harnessing the power of photography for good

Merry Christmas

Sharing is Caring :: time to share photos from Saturday’s excursion to Balboa Park

The scene…over 325,000 San Diegan’s came to this years event at Balboa Park

Tonight, December 7th, 7pm in Rm 353….Come join us as we share photos from last weekends Christmas on the Prado (aka December Nights).  All are welcome, even if you didn’t make it down to Balboa Park last weekend.

For those sharing photos from this weekend, please bring (5) five photos you would like to share with the class…that’s because sharing is caring.

Museum of Modern Art….after the rush

Merry Christmas from all of us at MISSION focused


just some of the photo family goofing around at toys4joy



last unofficial photo-peeps gathering of the year….and Christmas pot-luck…dont miss the fun

fun, fotos and food (potluck) this wed nite in rm 352 at the rock.  7pm come and join the fun!!

this wednesday will be our last unofficial photo-peeps gathering of the year.  all are welcome just bring some food, like chick-fil-a or in-n-out to share with the peeps.

all are welcome to come hang out and fellowship with us and share in the Christmas spirit and some tastey grub.

we will be talking about taking photos of fireworks….sharing tips and tricks.  with the new year around the corner theres bound to be be some new years fireworks for you to take photos of.  if not, theres always juy 4th.

bring some camera to share, and some food to take photos with.

all are welcome.

any questions feel free to contact us at photoministry@therocksandiego.org

horton plaza christmas, take 2

 i was talking with my mom about what i saw at horton plaza on christmas day.  she commented that it seems like alot of groups come out in force during the christmas season, but who is helping the homeless the rest of the year. i mentioned that the san diego rescue mission has programs that help the homeless all year long, they also provide hot meals for other organizations that help the homeless.  but it was a valid question, with the salvation army hosting their annual christmas dinner that same day, and other groups doing similar acts of kindness around san diego.  

as i thought about the why, its a fairly uncomplicated answer.  this time of year brings the saints out of all of us, and a chance to help those less fortunate during the christmas season, isnt that hard to do.  as pastor miles says, even those who normally dont go to church during the year, will go or at least be open to going during the christmas and easter season.  and i think that carries over to folks being more willing to give of their time and money.  unfortunately, the homeless situation is a year round thang, and folks like the sd rescue mission are serving in season and out.

so does that mean we should be rolling out meals every weekend for the homeless?  maybe.  i know that God likes when we serve in areas He has gifted us in.  kind of like putting the square block in the square hole, easy.  ive been know to say ” the need isnt the call.”  Gods Word is clear, that the workers are few, theres always a need.  but i think that sometimes we can get “guilted”  or pressured into serving, because of the need.  but  i think that sometimes, we fail to do anything.  citing that God hasnt called me to do that, or i wasnt gifted in that area.  is it easier to serve where we are best suited to minister…without a doubt.  can God use us if we serve where we arent gifted to serve? certainly.  the important thing is we do something.   to do something that you love and are gifted in would be best.  but doing nothing would be worse.

do something big for His Glory!

Christmas at Horton Plaza

my family celebrated christmas together on christmas eve… which we have done off and on over the years, to allow my brothers to spend time with their wives families.  ive never really liked it, seems anti-climatic…come christmas day, all the presents are open, food is chillin in the fridge, what to do?

i talked with some friends who are part of the homelss outreach at the rock, they were gonna be downtown serving breakfast for some of the homeless, and they invited me to come down.  when i got to where they were gonna be, it looked like they had cleaned up and left.  there were bags of trash and a few folks relaxing, but no rock peeps.

so i prayed and headed towards horton plaza, its about 930am or so.  the joint was quiet, a few mall rent a cops, and some homeless folks, no mice that i could see.  then, around 10am a few cars rolled up, and a few more, then an rv.  folks started setting up tables, bringin out food and clothes…and the homeless started lining up.  as i wathced, i couldnt tell if they were with a church or homeless ministry of some sort.  after watching for awhile, it didnt look like a church group, but they were merry and joyful regardless.  they had lots of food, they were serving up christmas dinner.  looked like turkey, mash potatoes w gravy, rolls, some sort of soup, and cookies.  they were handing out socks and clothes as well.

i got to talkin with a young man named kenneth, who was living downtown, and was trying to get into the sd rescue missions program.  he told me he came to saving knowledge of Christ 6 months ago, and how everything just seemed to make sense now.  he told me how he asked God for a Bible and someone gave him one the next day, the exact Bible he wanted, a life recovery Bible. he quoted a few  verses to me with a big smile…

Matthew 6:25-34

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

as he held up the food he just received, he said “look, God provided a hot meal for me.”  i smiled back at him and wish him a merry christmas, and told him i hoped to see him at the rescue mission.   i am truly thankful for the blessings God has given me, and what i witnessed this morning, was a simple reminder of folks looking to bless others as they had been blessed.  as is the case more often than not lately, i ran into someone i knew who was part of the group blessing the homeless at horton plaza.  he told me it was a group of 5 families and friends who decided to do something nice for those less fortunate, on christmas day…this is their 5th year theyve done this.

thank you Jesus.

merry christmas

i love watching a charlie brown christmas…i think i own 2 vhs copies, and at least 1 dvd copy.    good memories.  praise God!  merry christmas

Luke 2:18-14  KJV

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

An experience…

Two years ago was literally my first Rock Photography experience… I felt almost – well – lost… My shots were out of focus, off in composition, it was a learning experience… It was Toys for Joy 2007. I thank God for that opportunity. I grew so much as a photographer and truthfully got to see how documenting where God is working can be so amazing… Today– as a Rock Photographer – it has been unbelievable. And now, 2009, not only has our photo ministry grown, but so has Toys for Joy – in every way possible… I had a great time and it was truly great to be a witness…

That last one says it all for me – cut away all the distractions – the massive amounts of people, the piles of toys and clothes, the rain…. heck even the color in the picture!… to a child it didn’t matter… they are just so drawn by the one gift that they get to come away with… it was the feeling that whatever their personal situation, this is the thing that mattered in this moment… that was their moment.

Toys For Joy: The reason for it all…

Amazing how everyone both guests and volunteers, braved the cold and rain to make this a successful event.  The main focus of course was to help those in need at this special time of the year.  The look of anticipation on the kids faces was more than enough reward for me but even more important was the lives that were changed  A simple gesture of the giving of ones time, some toys, clothes, food, and/or prayer are all that He asks of us.  But how often He gives us so much more back in the interactions we have with others while sharing the love He intended us to use.  We don’t ask for any anything in return for our gestures of good will but God always surprises us with what we least expect.  May God work on your heart this Christmas and as we rush around, try to remember that there are many who need our love and support.

In Him,

Jim Wanglund

Toys 4 Joy 2009

do something!   toys 4 joy was crazy.  tons of folks, i havent heard officail numbers yet, but i left around 245pm, and there were still folks lined up for toys.  a long, long line!

this is the 8th toys for joy ive been part of, i think… and everyone is different, and the location has changed several times in the last few years.  but what remains constant is God’s Love and our need for a Saviour.  it was a long, wet and muddy day, and im dog tired.  woof!  praise God!

Toys 4 Joy 2009 is this Saturday!

toys 4 joy.  this saturday 9am to 2pm at Memorial Park & Rec Center

Ocean View Blvd. & 30th St. ,  San Diego,  CA 92113