MISSION focused would like to say to Dave & Chelle Miller “Happy Wedding Anniversary!”
It has been a blessing for us to get to know them and work alongside them in ministry….May God continue to deepen and strengthen your love for Him and each other today as you celebrate 33 years of marriage today!
We Love Y’all!
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
(Matthew 5:1-12 ESV)
This morning Dave shared from Matthew 5, the Beatitudes.
It reminded me of something I heard and never forgot. I was a young christian and going to Emmanuel Faith Community Church in Escondido, Doc Strauss said “there are lots of people who say they love God, but very few truly love Jesus.” He was talking about having a passionate personal relationship with Jesus. Being fully surrendered to the One who I owe everything to. All that I have is His.
Dave shared how much of Mexico is culturally religious and in much the same way many Americans fall into the same category. As followers of Christ, are we looking at the Beatitudes as a check list for our faith? As if we will gain eternal life if we get all our boxes checked off before God calls us home. Christians have been told that they need to “do things” for the kingdom in order to become more like Christ. We pray before meals, go to church, attend Bible study, read our Bible…and somewhere along the way we were told we should evangelize and go on mission. Romans 6 tells us that obedience leads to righteousness.
Dave really hit it home when he said that we need to have obedience with purpose.
Today is Thursday and in less than 2 days we will be on our way back to the states. Are we really serving Christ out of a deep passionate desire to honor Him with our whole life? Or are we here because it’s what christians are supposed to do? Where are you going?
The great thing about our relationship with Christ is that while God demands perfection from us, He sees us covered by the blood of the Lamb. By God’s Grace, we are given the Holy Spirit to help us along the way on this process of sanctification, becoming more like Jesus each day.
I love the photo above. It reminds me of what our relationship with God is like…
As I watched this scene unfold, I couldn’t hear what he was saying to his son, but it didn’t matter. I know what was being conveyed by his body language an the fathers smile…what I saw was a picture of God reminding me that He is there for me. Though I may mess up or fall on my face, He is there to gently remind me that His Grace is sufficient. I don’t have to “try” so hard. Obedience with purpose.
Our friends Raquel and Bayani got married on 11:11:11. Time to party…mixin it up on the turntables!
What to do with a bunch of photographers “attending” a wedding…watch out!
The Rock Photographers and MISSION focused wish only the best for Mr. & Mrs. Bayani Atienza as they begin their new life together in Christ! Thanks for sharing your lives with us!
pastor miles started a new series called wired for love…
God wired us for love and to live in relationship with one another. Beyond instinct – beyond longing – love is written into our very design. But like any system, the code can be corrupted and cause a crash. What if we discovered that our world has corrupted love’s code? That we’ve gotten love all wrong and in the process damaged our wiring. That no matter how perfect you believe love currently is – it could be better – more permanent – more fulfilling – more powerful.
you can learn more about this new series HERE
in support of the new series we have been taking photos of folks on sundays…take a look at some of the fun photos
you can see all the photos we took at both campuses at missionfocused.smugmug.com
i love camp. it was at camp that i heard the call of Christ and began my walk with Jesus…its been at camp that ive had the honor to walk with young men as they first made commitments to Jesus…and its been at camp that i have had the privilege to document the work of the Holy Spirit as He worked and moved in the lives of the leaders & counselors as they shared their lives with jr and sr hi students over the years.
ive lost track of how many times ive been to camp…but every camp experience is different and God never ceases to amaze me as i get to witness His Grace and Mercy in action!
there was a young man, he looked like he might be going into his freshman year…not sure. i saw him several times crying…someone said he was homesick…for the sake of this post lets say he was.
as i watched, i was impressed by how many of his fellow students came to comfort him. the idea of being homesick stuck with me the rest of the weekend.
this wasnt the first time ive seen kids be “homesick,” it happens fairly frequently. why it made an impression on me more this time i dont really know why… what i do know is what God revealed to me.
i like the photos above because it reminds me that i need to remember who i am in God. i am a child of God. no matter what comes my way, my Dad is still in charge and right there beside me. and i need to remember that as fun as camp can be and as adventurous as life is, with God…i am just a visitor here. this is my temporary home (to steal a line from carrie underwood). and maybe i need to be more homesick.
as i really thought about the concept of being homesick, what comes to mind is a desire to be somewhere where we belong, a place of safety. it really is a better place. as followers of Christ, our home is in Heaven, with Jesus. i think sometimes we get to comfortable here on earth. as if this is all there is, this is as good as it gets. we know this isnt true from God’s Word, and that whats to come is much better, philippians 1:21 to live is Christ and to die is gain.
luke 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.
our love for God and our desire to be with Him, must be so great that it looks like we hate everything else in comparison.
when was the last time you were homesick?
the weather couldnt have been any better for this years marriage retreat! this will be the 4th marriage retreat ive been to…all without a wife! but thats a whole different story to be told later…
this years retreat theme was all about keeping your marriage REV’D UP!
you can see more photos HERE…Enjoy!
wedding phun…reception was over and we all went to take a few more photos of the bridal party. trevor, malia and cyndy were with the bride and her entourage…i was chillin the the julius and the guys. a little direction and bam! let the photo phun happen!
part of the phun of shooting with friends, is that there are more eyes to see and get the shot…i think we all took the foto above. i tend to shoot underexposed but in the above photo it was a little overexposed. so i cranked up the saturation and overexposed it in lightroom to blow out her dress. its a nice counter balance to the nice proper fotos the others shot of the bride.
father of the bride, waiting to walk his daughter down the aisle…this is a classic mike diggs foto! big smile, squinting eyes and chewing gum. thankfully the gum stayed hidden in most of the family fotos, but not the smile.
trevor and i got to meet with julius and lea this afternoon and present them their wedding fotos (unfortunately malia & cyndy couldnt make it)…its always phun to be there to show the bride n groom all the hard work yall put in to document this beautiful day for them. always a huge blessing.
Lea & Julius’ wedding last week was a beautiful celebration and
confirmation of their LOVE in the presence of their family & friends.
Lea was a little disappointed that the sun did not come out, but even without the sun The Paradise Point Resort on Mission Bay was still a gorgeous location for a wedding. Besides, the shade produces much better portraits than bright overhead sun..
What a stunning couple
The reception that followed the wedding was
a time of good food and fellowship.
For me weddings are always a reminder that God calls the church his bride: Revelation 19:7-8 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give God the glory! For the wedding of the Lamb of God has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” you can see more photos on our Facebook site or by going HERE
weddings are such a beautiful event…a time of celebration and new beginnings.
on saturday may 7th, mission focused was honored to help document the marriage of Julius + Lea.
congratulations to the happy couple!
to see more of these sneak peak photos from their wedding day please go HERE
cyndy originally posted this on our facebook site
Valentine’s Day is special,
With it’s candy and lovely flowers,
Dinner at a fancy restaurant,
…And dancing til the wee hours.
When I think of this special day,
I think of God’s warm love,
And the blessings that He sends,
On the wings of angels from above.
We are all blessed in knowing,
That His great love continues to grow,
And that His precious Redeemer
Will never curtail it’s flow.
I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day,
Valentine’s spread God’s love around,
And lifts the heavy hearts,
To our Creators holy ground.
Stop for a moment to thank Him,
For all of His promises to you,
Then give someone a warm hug,
And He will give one back to you,
Every day can be a Valentine,
To a stranger or a friend,
When we take the time to share,
God’s love that never ends.
We were created for a purpose,
To go and tell the Good News,
What’s better than a Valentine,
With it’s angelic views.
~ Eva May Young ~
I love LOVE. Sometimes I think God created me to be over-emotional for a reason and sometimes I think He challenges me to overcome the obstacles that stem from being too emotional…but there is one place that emotions are permitted to run rampant- a wedding. In fact, it’s encouraged! Needless to say, I feel comfortable there.
It’s at weddings that I can be me. When I shoot them I have to constantly remind myself that I’m there to work and that I wasn’t invited as a guest! But it’s so hard to separate myself from their dream, their journey, and their love story, especially when their love… is rooted in Christ.
Knock, Knock, Knock! TJ Sinsay gently pounded on the door to Leslie’s apartment where the girls were getting ready. Surprisingly, I was able to meet him there at 7:30am… which in my world doesn’t exist because I haven’t seen the morning dew or smelt the scent of a new day for as long as I can remember. But I’m glad I did. Thank you TJ for allowing me to co-shoot this wedding with you! It was a blast!
One by one, her eager bridesmaids scurried into her apartment to prepare themselves for the big day. I recognized some of them from The Rock and found comfort in their familiar faces. But nothing soothed my nerves more than their conversation. If only I got a nickel for every time I heard the Lord’s name while I was there! These girls were incredible. They truly love Leslie and you could tell that they wholeheartedly supported her commitment and new chapter in life! My favorite part of the entire day was when the girls prayed for Leslie right before she walked down the aisle. Not only did the prayer leave no dry eye in the house… but it also spoke to me and how I want my future wedding to be. Lord, please send me more women like these. Women that can surround me on my wedding day, shower me with Your love and pray for my everlasting marriage…
Leslie was radiant. She glowed with anticipation for the moment when the double doors opened to reveal her soon-to-be hubby, Ace, waiting at the altar. All morning, she spoke of him, smiling as she shared the blessings that God has bestowed upon their relationship and how thankful she was that He provided everything they needed during their wedding planning. It was wonderful to see God’s fingerprints on her heart and on their wedding day. It made me excited to meet her lucky groom too!
I met Ace when we convinced him to do some portraits with the bridesmaids, but I didn’t get a full grasp on WHO HE WAS until the toasts were given after dinner. One after the other, someone stood to proclaim the impact that Ace had had on their lives. They boasted that they were extremely proud, that they were amazed at his Godliness, that they were inspired and encouraged by him and that they grew deeper in their faith just by knowing him. As I stood along the wall, listening to these praises, I was fascinated that at 20-years-old, Ace really had it together.
The rest of the day was just as beautiful as the beginning. I was blessed by the whole experience. I love that God can shine through a couple like this. I love that God’s gift of marriage is a metaphor for our relationship with Him. I think all weddings should be like theirs…effortlessly glorifying God by the mere act of loving each other the way that Christ loves us! Congratulations to the newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. McClaron!!