harnessing the power of photography for good

Rock Women's Ministry

Women of the Rock SHINE

“Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor: be aglow and burning with the spirit, serving the Lord” Rom. 12:11

SHINE meets on Thursday mornings at 9:30 alternating each week between a walk in the park and a Bible Study at the Rock Church.

The Bible Study is “The Beautiful Disciplined Woman” taught by Karen Stevens.


Stretching and introducing ourselves to each other

Prayer before our walkWalking & Riding

New Friends & FellowshipPrayer & Encouragement

GOD’s Handy Work

Womens Retreat Photo Booth…

Recently I was blessed by being able to photograph some wonderful women who spent time in fellowship and worshiping the Lord at the annual Rock Women’s Retreat.  Most of my time was spent at the photo booth but I also had time to capture moments in silence with Him and worship with After Eden.  Even with the serious discussions, prayer, and groups the women really had a good time especially with the photo booth.  I’m happy to have been able to serve and help MISSION focused capture some of those moments.

to see more photos from the Women’s Retreat please visit MISSIONfocused.smugmug.com

2011 Rock Women’s Retreat

God reminded me just how much He is able to provide over my life when I received news from Brother Joe that I was able to go to the the Women’s Retreat this year.  All I can think of was Ephesians 3:20.  He does give beyond what we ask or think of!  Love my Spiritual brothers and sisters so much!  Not only did He provide me the financial means, but He also provided me the very spiritual support necessary for me to have with sisters before stepping into a new season in my life in a few months: the season of marriage.

Fellowship was wonderful and Laurie Cole was such a great speaker for this year’s Women’s Retreat.  She focused on the topic From Bitter to Sweet, using the book of Ruth as reference to her sermons.  What I got out of this retreat was how we find ourselves being like Naomi sometimes, a women who was bitter of losing everything in her life and not recognizing the very blessing of a Ruth right in front of her during the storm.  Powerful worship was lead by Toni Dejesus-Coloma, After Eden, and the worship team of the Women’s Ministry.  On Saturday morning, we were all blessed with a devotional lead by Teresa Holderby.  Empowering workshops were lead Saturday evening by Kirsten Strawn, Lisa Gordon, and Victoria Thomas.

Going to these retreats for four consecutive years now, I can honestly say it never gets old!  There is so much power when two or more come together in His name!  I invite any woman considering to go to go.  Special shout out to the two gentlemen (Jim and Brother Joe) for coming out and making each woman feel special at the photo-booth set up!

to see the photo-booth pics please click on www.MISSIONfocused.smugmug.com

FACES of the Women of the Rock

photos of all the craziness are ready for the world to see……..you can see some at our facebook page HERE.  and we are working on loading all the photos on another site where yall can download all the photos you want, in their full resolution versions…stay tuned.

for now, enjoy

**all photos are loaded up on our gallery site!!**

you can view all the crazy photos and download the ones

you want to keep and share…

we do take bribes if you wanna see a photo “disappear”

****please visit www.missionfocused.smugmug.com ****

2010 Rock Women’s Retreat


The Lord said, “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live.  I will be with you, just as I was with Moses.  I will not leave you or forsake you.” –Joshua 1:5

This year’s speaker for the annual Women’s Retreat was LaRoya V. Jordan.  She spoke of the power one receives as God’s empowered woman.  E.M.P.O.W.E.R.E.D. stands for Essential, Motivated, Persistent, Obedient, Willing, Effective, Reverent, Encouraging, and Determined.  This is my 3rd Retreat with the Rock, 2nd time serving as their photographer.  I am truly blessed whenever I capture moments God allows me to take.  Nothing is better to me than seeing women surrendering their lives to the Lord.  I was also able to just allow God to romance me this year.  Camera in my backpack, Bible in my hand, I walked over to the Hot Springs alone and dipped my feet in, expecting at any moment to witness something to take with my camera.  But the Lord had better plans for me.  During the time of 2-4pm on Saturday, I just sat there and took everything in.  I was reading the book of Psalms and all I can hear God saying was, “Am I beautiful, Raquel?”  “Yes Lord,” I replied, “You are.”  And how can I not?  Nothing but beauty surrounded me.

“The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength.  Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.” –Psalm 93:1

Recap of the 2009 Rock Women’s Retreat

Arriving back home around 1pm Sunday, I was fully aware of the spiritual warfare awaiting after experiencing such an amazing encounter with the Lord this weekend.  The awesome thing about being fully aware about the spiritual realm is that you do not fear it.  I pray that every single woman of The Rock Church will have the opportunity to encounter God the way these women experienced it this weekend. I cannot explain enough how the Spirit continues to work in every individual who goes to these retreats.  Sure, you can have an everyday relationship with God and in fact, talk with Him during your hours of work or school. But I challenge you, reader, have you actually allowed your mind, your Spirit, to be at rest with Him?  Have you actually had the chance to fall silent and wait upon the Lord? 

One thing that stuck with me after the retreat was the message on how our lives are designed.  Like puzzle pieces, it can appear a chaotic pile of mess if we view every piece of our lives as an independent event with no meaning and no purpose. That is far from the truth.  Like puzzle pieces, they come together to create a big picture.  Remember your last heartache?  I thank God He didn’t answer every single prayer request I had during that period of heartache!!  From every thorn in life, there exists a rose.  And from every pain that exists in our lives, there exists a testimony.  Furthermore, notice how wonderful and how vivid the rose appears after experiencing the poke of the thorn?  Praise the Lord He knows what’s best for us and keeps us safe in all our ways!!

We had an amazing worship with Mike Clark and the band Saturday night.  Toward the end of the night, nobody was ashamed to proclaim their love for the Lord.  Many were on their faces in reverence while others were raising their hands high up in surrender to the Lord.

Overall, the retreat stretched my spiritual walk to whole new different level.  For one to be a servant of God, one must be treated as a servant of God.  And as a servant of God, I am still Precious In His Sight.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. – John 15:9

Oh yeah, I was so happy to see Brother Joe up there Saturday checking up on me!!  Awesome brother in Christ!  And he even stayed for dinner and coffee after!

2009 Rock Women’s Retreat

This will be my second time attending the retreat, first time serving as a photographer.  I am honored and priviledged to be able to serve God in the area of photography.  I remember the first time attending the retreat, it was evident the women around me were absolutely sold out for Christ.  I then knew the following year I would serve  the women’s ministry in some area of leadership.  Leaders, especially women filled with wisdom, inspire me to be the best that God ordains me to be.  The day started off with fellowship and checking into our rooms.  No matter if you came here with friends, or even alone, you were welcomed by atleast somebody.  The worship of the night was powerful and was led by Stefanie Kelly and the band. 

 Afterwards, a message on a deeper relationship with God was delivered by our speaker of the year, Debbie Alsdorf, whose message did its  purpose in touching many who came to listen to it.  I knew God had an appointment with me and every women out here seeking His face.  Only He can satisfy what we seek everyday.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  -Matthew 5:6 

Rock Women’s Retreat

im at the womens retreat looking for raquel.  sitting in the lobby listening to the speaker as she was sharing about habits and how if were not careful, we can end up forming some habits that arent so healthy.  i was reminded of powdered creamer in the philippines.  they love the powdered creamer.  and now that i think of it, they love the instant coffeee.  the application for me was how we can sometimes think that instant coffee and powdered creamer is the bomb!  when in actuality, in my humble opinion, its a poor substitute for a freshly drawn espresso.  much in the same way, we can be lulled into thinking that life as we know it, without Christ,  is it.  that it dont get any better than we may have it.  when we know in reality that life is just beginning when we first hear the call of Christ, and come to Him.  it only gets better!

so the reminder for me is to not settle.  even in Christ, things are always better the more we spend time with Jesus.  so leave the powdered milk at the counter or the nikon, and go for the gold, the good stuff…like Canon!  Christ said He came that we might have life, life to the fullest.   John 10:10

i was planning on leaving once i met up w raquel and made sure she was doing well.  she is….but  im still here…i had dinner : )

im sitting in the coffee place here and im talking w some friends and brenda has agreed to share about the retreat experience so far….

                                      debbie alsdorf , this years retreat speaker

heeeeeyyy… i am totally blessed to be here at the rock women’s retreat!  God has allowed this amazing opportunity for women of all ages to come together and get to know each other, share eachothers’ life stories, and most importantly grow closer to our Lord and Savior. 

God has used our wonderful speaker, Debbie, to touch the lives of each woman here… and through her stories, knowledge, and the wisdom that God gave her, spoke to each woman in ways that we didn’t think could be done.

we had the opportunity to dip our feet into the natural hot springs, hang out at the coffee shop, play games, and just talk.  talk to eachother.  talk to God.

i have also had the awesome previledge to lead worship with stefanie kelly, regina pruitt, paul “brown sugar”, and jacob.

Brenda with her daughter Desi