Follower of #Jesus Christ. Husband. GCM missionary with Illini Life. Photographer. Sports enthusiast. Lover of people and culture.
I'm entering my second school year of full time campus ministry. I love seeing the radical transformations that come when people choose Jesus over the lives they are living. My heart is to share the truth, goodness, and beauty of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Man Who Shakes His Hips. This is my favorite Entertainment Night video. Granted, I made it, but Jack Dillow has moves. It’s pretty awesome. :)
This Spring Break, I, along with my buddy Nick (@modrzeje), led a trip for Illini Life to Service Over Self in Memphis, TN. SOS is an incredible organization with great mission and vision. And they are one of many organizations in the Binghampton neighborhood of Memphis. There are numerous organizations contributing with urban farms, a housing development group, and a health and evangelism clinic, to name a few.
These amazing organizations all contribute to reinvigorating, and bringing Christ to a hurting area of an historic city. And they all do amazing things. However, the one organization that I think is doing some of the coolest stuff hasn’t even been mentioned.
Caritas Village is a restaurant, coffee shop, and community center in a neighborhood where culture is too often pushed out for vices. They proudly display art on the walls, offer fantastic food priced for the neighborhood, host classes, and so much more.
They bring a dignity to a neighborhood in need. So much of the other stuff is needed, and welcomed. But when people are given a place where they can gather, that’s safe, around a table, with good food, something wonderful happens. I can’t fully describe it, but what I can say is that where art, culture, and beauty are, there’s something that humanizes a place and people. Something that makes one want to belong. Something that isn’t steeped in addictions, lusts of the flesh, or creating pain, but rather helps to break addictions, nourish the flesh, and heal pain.
If you ever are at SOS in Memphis, be sure to make a stop at Caritas for some coffee, food, and fellowship with the staff. Ask them why they’re there and about the amazing things they are doing. I think you’ll be blessed by it.
This week, I’m reengaging back with campus after a week away for a mission trip to Memphis with Service Over Self. This is an amazing missions project for a college student to go on, and I’m thankful that we get to be a part of it.
When I went on this trip the last time, in 2009, I was clicking my camera every few minutes to capture the perfect moments. It led to beautiful images and wonderful memories captured.
This year, I did not use my dSLR one single time. I charged it up, got it ready, cleared off the cards, wiped off the lenses, and then promptly pulled out my iPhone at all those same opportunities that I had 4 years ago.
Why the shift? Shareability, quickness, and mobile editing. My phone is a powerful machine. Even with the basic camera app, I’m able to take gorgeous photos (granted, minus the depth of field and low-light performance of my Canon 50D). Then, with apps like Snapseed, PhotoForge2, Over, and Path on for editing, and Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for sharing, I’m able to more quickly, and just as compellingly (in my opinion) document a mission trip. Add to this, the unique new app from the folks at Twitter called Vine, and I’m sharing videos seconds after they happen, of goofy, or deep heartfelt moments from our trip.
What’s the downside? The pictures aren’t as good. This is a quick solution that accounts for 80% of the pics I’d take on a mission trip. I probably missed out on 20% of the truly compelling stuff though. That’s significant. But for what I was doing, I found it to be the best, and most convenient solution.
The best camera is the one you have on you, and my phone slips into my pocket. I just need to make sure to have the dSLR in a bag close by, for when stuff needs to be captured in a more professional way.