harnessing the power of photography for good

Posts tagged “Rock Church

Toys for Joy

Toys for Joy began over 15 years ago by Miles McPherson and Miles Ahead Ministries.  I first started photographing at Toys for Joy, I think in 2002.  This year’s Toys for Joy is just around the corner.

The photos here were taken back in 2003 by my friend and fellow photographer Rafael Delgado.

The event is now run under the umbrella of the Rock Church.  Miles McPherson is the pastor at the Rock.

Since 2002 I have photographed almost every Toys for Joy Christmas outreach.  Every year is different and to be honest, sometimes you wonder if the folks in line are really in need…that’s when I pray and seek to tell the story of what God is doing at this great event.   In the spirit of giving and blessing others, you have to look the other way when you see a teen in line, listening to music with his $200 beats headphones connected to  his iPhone while wearing $150 Air Jordans…One of the great things about Toys for Joy back when I first got involved, was that every man, woman and child that was in line heard the Good News of Christ coming at Christmas and His death and resurrection at Easter.  That everyone might have life in Christ.  Every person heard this message and was given a chance to pray to receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, before heading into the toy area.

Photographers by nature are observers…we are always looking for the “shot” that will tell the story in 1 photo…

I think Rafael got pretty close on this photo.  One of the traditions of  Toys for Joy was to award a bicycle to a young boy and girl near the end of the event…This young girl was just told she was going to be getting a new bicycle for Christmas!  The rest of the photos add to the story…

Praise God for Toys for Joy.  That kids who might not receive anything at Christmas might be blessed and know who this season is truly about….Jesus!

You can learn more about Toys for Joy by going HERE.


Extreme Horse Rescue Makeover

Tim & Cheryl Jachlewski, leaders of The Rock Horse Ministry organized an “Extreme Horse Rescue Makeover” day at Rapture’s Horse Rescue Ranch.  Over thirty people showed up on Saturday morning to help wherever they were needed.

A new shade structure was erected over one of the corrals.

 The trees were trimmed and the new staging area was set up.

All the corrals were cleaned

The storage area was cleaned and organized.

Stacey Russell, the founder of the Ranch, was very emotional as she thank everyone who had come out to help. What a blessing it was for the Horse Ministry to give of their time to support this worthwhile cause. Stacey, Shontel (her sister) and a few family members and friends have been providing care and comfort to horses and other animals in need for the past 12 years. They just recently became a non-profit, if you would like to donate your time or give financially email Stacy at i4rescue@ymail.com or connect on Facebook: Rapture’s Horse Rescue

At the ranch they are dedicated to the rehabilitation of abused and neglected horses and other animals. They have placed over 50 horses and numerous other animals into loving homes. Also, they hope to educate future and current generation on the rewards and benefits of caring for our animal friends.

To see more photos chick HERE

To learn more about MISSION Focused check out our Facebook Page


Jesus Geeks in Action!

Jack praying for Faris Hassan after delivering a laptop for him and his family.  They are refugees from Iraq and have been in the US less than 5 months.Faris with his wife and kids.

Jesus Geeks is a non-profit ministry that provides quality computer services for those who can’t afford it.  They also take old computers and repair & refurbish them…then they donate them to families who don’t have computers.  Sunday I had the chance to follow Jack, leader of Jesus Geeks ministry,  as he delivered 2 laptop computers to families in need.  In the case of Faris, they are Muslims, but Jesus Geeks don’t discriminate…the family needed a computer and they delivered.

The ministry is about serving Jesus with their gifts.  They have learned to be culturally sensitive with families who don’t know Jesus…but when Jack asked if he could pray for them they gladly accepted.   After praying, Jack closed the prayer by praying ” in the name of Isa Jesus.  Amen.”  Jack said Isa is the name Muslims use for Jesus.  Very cool.

Jack helping set up the laptop for another family from Ethiopia.

Kids are kids, no matter where your from.  The computer isn’t quite ready for play, but the kids don’t care…

Gabrawhout with his wife and 6 kids.  They have been in the US for less than 8 months.  While Jack was setting up the computer, I spent much of my time photographing their middle boy, on the left between his big brother and sister.  He was so much fun, wanting to pose for me whenever I wasn’t taking photos of Jack in action…Praise God for the work God is doing through Jack and the Jesus Geeks ministry.  If you want more info about the Jesus Geeks ministry, you can go HERE.


Promise Keepers San Diego :: Called Out

My first experience with Promise Keepers was at Anaheim Stadium in 1994 (seen here, before becoming a baseball only stadium).

It was an experience that I can still remember and it was when God really showed me the importance and the power of men who come together to pray and hold each other accountable.  Since 1994 I think I have been to 4 other Promise Keeper events, either to attend or photograph.This past weekend Promise Keepers was back in San Diego at SDSU‘s Viejas Arena.  The last time I was at there it was for the Rock Church Easter Service in 2007.  It was fun to wander around underneath, hard to believe it was 5 years ago since I was last there.Volunteers getting their assignmentsIt was a blessing to help Promise Keepers document this year’s conference in San Diego.  It was their last event for the year and it finished well.  Promise Keepers might not be filling 60,000+ seat stadiums right now, but I was exciting to see what God was doing.  They are trying to equip and encourage the men of the church.  Young and old and everything in between!   Calling them Out to be Men of God…in their marriages, families, churches, work places and communities.  There is talk of Promise Keepers coming back through San Diego next year.  If they do, I will be there!  What a blessing!


Women of the Rock :: 2012 Annual Retreat

The 12th Annual  Rock Women’s Retreat was up at Calvary Chapel’s Retreat Center, Murrieta Hot Springs.  From all counts it was a great success and more importantly, God was there and His Spirit was moving!  

Debbie Alsdorf was this year’s speaker

Take a look at a few photos that Raquel took and we think you will be blessed.  Stefanie Kelly lead the women in praise and worship

After Eden played a special concert of worship on Saturday night.Raquel did a great job.  We are so thankful for her and her heart to serve.  If you see her make sure you thank her for all the great photos she took.  Praise God!

If you want to see more of Raquel’s photos from the weekend, please visit the photo gallery HERE.


A Look Back at August 2012

Since returning from Oaxaca at the beginning of August, it seems like I have been going non-stop.   As I sit in Chick-fil-A and look back it’s hard to believe that it’s September 3rd.  Where did August go?

It’s a good thing I have photos to look back on to help me answer this question…if not for that, I don’t know what I would do.  So, as a way to maintain some sanity and to share what God has been doing I share these photos of August 2012.  God is good!

Beginning of August, finished photographing Summer Camp in Oaxaca, with Adventures in Life.  Taking portraits of cute little kids and some not so little kids….I got to spend some time with family, always a blessing.   We came together to celebrate my youngest niece Olivia’s 9th Birthday.

2002 Rock Church Staff photo, taken by Rafael Delgado.
In August I started looking through and uploading on Facebook old photos from the archives.   Photos are great reminders of what God has done in the past and a way of showing those who came before us.  This photo is from a 2003 Rock Church baptism at Mariner’s Point, Mission Bay.I love this photo.  Pete Giordano took this photo at one of the first Rock Baptisms, Mariners Point, I believe in 2001.  He is a great photographer who loves black & white film.    The photo speaks for itself.

August 16th, the Rock Academy started school.  I have had the privilege of photographing at the Academy for several years now…I watched a few kids graduate this past May that I have known since they were in elementary school.  It’s always fun to see the new faces as well as the familiar ones, in expectation…Blessings on the Rock Academy for a great school year! 

My friends kids, Valeria, Veronica and Diego.  It was their first day at their new school…August 18th, taking photos in San Marcos at Knob Hill Elementary.  Rock Church North County was there to help beautify the campus…over 150 folks came out that day.  That afternoon, Warriors Indoor Club Soccer…Photos are from the 18th and 25th.Rock North County had a Marriage “Date Night” on August 24th.  They asked us to document the evening and take portraits of the happy couples…Rock North County Baptism, August 27th at Carlsbad Lagoon.  A great place to declare your faith in Jesus publicly…August 31st, Friday night lights.  Rock Academy Football team had their season opener versus Capistrano Valley Christian. It was a close game but in the 2nd half Capo Valley pulled away winning 35-21.August was busy, but after looking through several thousand photos I can’t complain.  I get to use my gifts to serve Jesus and bless others!  Hopefully September does’t go as fast…


Photopeeps, Phun & Del Mar Phair

Photopeeps are going to the Del Mar Fair

Sunday, June 24th

We are meeting up at Rock North County after 10am service.

Come join us for church first then off to the fair…

or you can meet us there.

Bring your camera and appetite for fun, fotos & food!!

Directions to Rock North County HERE

Leave a message if your interested in joining us 🙂


Photopeeps Tonite!

Bolt on over to Photopeeps tonite.  We will not be in Little Italy tonite, it’s sold out 😦  So we will be meeting tonite at our usual time and usual place tonite.

7pm in Rm 353 at the Rock Church

We will have some pizza to share, it’s not the same, but it is kinda Italian.  Come and join us and let’s share photos and talk about Jesus!

Free pizza, free sharing, free fun!  All are welcome!


Photopeeps this Wednesday…May 30th

Victory Loves Preparation!

Join us this Wednesday as we share what’s happening this Summer with Photopeeps.   We have tons of fun things planned, some new classes, photo outings and summer bbq’s…

All are welcome, with or without a camera.   If you do have a camera, please bring it with you…we might take some photos in class!

Photopeeps :: May 30th, Wednesday at the Rock, 7pm in Rm 353

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.


Rock Photopeeps Wednesday May 16th

Get your camera and lets go have fun…Photopeeps will exploring Liberty Station today, May 16th.   We will be meeting in the lobby at 7pm, and walking out at 715…All are welcome!

If you want to join come on out.  Any questions you can email us at photoministry@therocksandiego.org


Baptism :: Sharing the Moment!

Baptism at De Anza Cove, Mission Bay in San Diego.


Photopeeps at Carlsbad Flower Fields :: Saturday May 5th

Photopeeps are heading out to the great outdoors….No.  We are not going to the frozen water falls of Hierve el Agua, in Oaxaca.  Maybe this summer…

This Saturday, May 5th we are going to the Carlsbad Flower Fields.  If you want to go take photos of all the colorful flowers, come join us tomorrow.  We are meeting up at the Flower Fields at 8am, meeting at the Starbucks in the outlet mall next door.  Doors open to the Flower Fields at 9am, so we hope to be first in so we can get photos before it becomes a zoo!

It costs $11 to enter, but if you look online you can find discount coupons…

You can go HERE for directions to the Carlsbad Flower Fields.

We hope to cyall tomorrow.


Join Us Wednesday for an Evening of Fun with Dave Miller

Dave Miller, Executive Director of Adventures in Life Ministry

Dave Miller, in orange, is coming to town next week.  The photo above was taken in the middle of Oaxaca City’s main market at the world famous NIEVES OAXAQUEÑAS CHAGÜITA .  

I first met Dave back in the mid 90’s, after my good friend Grady Martine and Dave co-founded Adventures in Life Ministry.

MISSION focused first started going to Oaxaca with AIL in 2010, to help Dave document the work that God is doing there.  Since February of 2010, we have been down to Mexico with Adventures in Life several times.  The photo above was from February of 2011, with Dave is Cyndy Smith, Jim Wanglund, Terry Schwartz  and Brotherjoe

Wednesday, May 2nd, 7pm at the Rock Church in Rm 353

Dave Miller will be sharing stories with us about our most recent trip with Adventures in Life, along with photos that we took.  This will be a chance to learn what God is doing deep in the heart of Mexico and how you might partner with MISSION focused and AIL as we continue to help them photograph the work of God in Oaxaca.

Please join us, FREE fun, all are welcome!

You can learn more about Adventures in Life Ministry HERE

If you want to see what we have been doing with AIL, please go HERE


Photopeeps Sharing this Week!

Photopeeps this Wednesday, 7pm at the Rock, in Rm 353.  All are welcome!

This Wednesday, April 25th is gonna be a sharing time…hopefully yall have been busy shooting photos over the past few weeks.

Yall are cordially invited to come and share with us!  Sharing is Caring!!

Please bring 3 to 5 photos that you have taken this month, April, that you would like to share.  Be ready to talk about your photos.  It’s best to bring your photos on a thumb-drive, but you can bring them on a cd or on a memory card.

This is a great time to come and learn more about us.  We have some fun things planned for the summer and we will be sharing a little bit of what we have planned this Wednesday.

Photography is fun!  Sharing is fun!!  Sharing photos is extra fun!!


The Old Town in My Backyard

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is the “Birthplace of California.”  SD is the birthplace of California!  Sweet!!I’ve been to Old Town San Diego many times over the years, my first time was when I was a wee lad in elementary school…but sadly, I have only been to Old Town 3 times over the years for the purpose of photographing this historic area.

Rock Photopeeps decided it’s time to venture out and take photos of San Diego.  Might as well start at the birthplace of California!  These are a few photos that I took Wednesday night.  I definitely want to come down and shoot a few more photos…

At the beginning of the year I decided that as fun as it may be to visit other parts California for photo excursions, it was time to spend more time photographing in  San Diego.

Love water!  Great for taking fun reflection photos…

Learn something every day…I did not know that the first US flag raised in Southern California was in Old Town.  Cool!

It looked like it was gonna be a cold and rainy night but it turned out to be quite lovely.  The clouds gave a little more character to the sky.  Overall…a fun night of photography!


Spinning for Jesus…Cross Fader DJ Ministry

Yes!   a DJ Ministry

Cross Fader DJ ministry wants to share the Love of Christ with those who appreciate the sounds that come from 2 turntables, drum machines, mixers and lots of bass coming from very large speakers.   At the core of Cross Fader is a group of dedicated DJ’s who love Jesus and can be seen battling and mixing in and around San Diego.

You can learn more about Cross Fader HERE.

They had their first official event as a ministry of the Rock Church not to long ago, I had some fun photographing up close and personal…unfortunately I forgot my ear plugs!  huh!?

DJ’s need Jesus too!

You can see more photos from Cross Fader DJ ministry HERE.


Photopeeps :: Old (School) Town

No…you don’t have to photograph in black & white and shoot with your film camera.  That’s unless you want to!  

This Wednesday we will be taking Photopeeps “Old School” as we venture out to Old Town San Diego for some photo fun.  We will be meeting in front of the Immaculate Conception Church in Old Town, at 645pm (link to church HERE).  We will start wandering around Old Town at 715pm.  

Immaculate Conception Church

Rain or shine, we will be ready to shoot and have fun!  So come join us and don’t be just a fair weather photographer, that’s if it rains, and come have fun…photography is fun!

If you haven’t been to Old Town San Diego State Park, now’s your chance.  It’s one of the more popular State Parks in California and it’s right in our backyard!

If you think your gonna come join us, please go to our Facebook page and let us know >>>go to the right of this post and you can get to our Facebook page>>>that way we can keep an eye out for you.

FREE Fun!!!   Tomorrow, Wednesday April 11th.

Meeting in Old Town, at the church at 645pm, we hit the bricks at 715pm!

Rain or shine, we will be photographing.  Bring a jacket and umbrella if it looks like rain.

Photography is fun!  All are Welcome!!


What’s so Good about Friday?

For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Romans 5:17-21 ESV)

Christ died (on Friday) and rose on the third day (Sunday) that we might have life!  That’s the Good News!

If your looking for somewhere to go to church this Easter and your in San Diego, you can go HERE to see what the Rock Church is doing or in North County San Diego, you can go to Horizon North County’s site HERE.


Oaxaca :: Jesus, the Dead & La Resurreccion

As some of you may know, my Aunt passed away yesterday, March 24th.  You can read more HERE.

Trying to keep focused, on Jesus today…the Adventures in Life Med Team went to Mitla today before church, and while walking the ruins and surrounding buildings I stumbled upon the following mural…

Loosely translated…Mitla is the sacred city of the dead, the grave is not the end.  The resurrection of JesusMark 16:1-8.

There’s comfort in knowing Christ offers eternal life to those who ask…

Do you know Jesus?  If not, ask us or please go HERE

This is in the courtyard of San Pablo Mitla Church.  Which is part of the Mitla Archeological Ruins Site.  The area is the second most important ceremonial site next to Monte Alban (Mitla is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.)

Oaxaca and Mitla are fascinating areas rich in history and culture.  If you are a photographer and want to experience it firsthand…let us know.  Maybe you can join us on future missions…

You can read more about what were doing this week at the Adventures in Life Facebook page HERE.


Rock Church :: A Brief Pictorial History

Rock North County had their first “official” Sunday service in their new home on Sunday. For many of the faithful who have been serving, since before Coastline, I could see a collective sense of relief. All those Sundays of setting up and then tearing down were over.

One of the blessings of being part of the photographers at the Rock is we get to see things on behalf of the rest of the body. We really are the eyes of the body. We get to document in photographs what God is doing at the Rock, and in a way, we become historians as well.

Rock Church 1st Sunday! ~ February 27, 2000

For me, it’s an added blessing to see what God has done in North County, because I am blessed to be part of the North County family.

So as the Rock begins a new season of ministry, of spreading Pervasive Hope to every nook and cranny of San Diego and beyond…it’s only fitting to share some photos of the Rock’s journey that has lead to the opening of the North County Campus 

Last Rock Sunday at SDSU Montezuma Hall ~ November 2004

1st Sunday at Ruffin Rd ~ November 21, 2004

1st Rock Satellite Campus: Rock Amplified ~ 2006

There are probably a few folks at the Rock who don’t know that the North County Campus was preceded by the Rock’s first attempt at having a satellite campus, affectionately known as Rock Amplified.  Rock Amplified was held at an elementary school 2 blocks from the Ruffin location.  It quickly became a refuge for families with young children and those wanting a smaller more intimate Rock experience.  With the move to Liberty Station, the Rock wanted everyone focused and together under one roof…

Pastor John Gross, leading Rock Amplified

Last Sunday at Ruffin Rd ~August 19, 2007

1st Sunday at Liberty Station ~ August 26, 2007Rock North County 1st Sunday at Coastline ~ June 13, 2010

Rock Kids North County ~ Ready to Move…

Last Sunday Rock North County at Coastline ~ March 4, 2012

1st Sunday Rock North County in New Home ~ March 18,2012

Rock North County is just the beginning of what’s next for the Rock…Praise God!


Photopeeps Tonite:: Come and Have Fun with Us!

Photopeeps Tonite :: 7pm at the Rock in Rm 353

All are welcome.  Tonite we will be wrapping up our Intro to Photo Fun Classes.  But don’t fret, we will be teaching this class 2 more times before the year is done.

San Juan Capistrano trip is this Saturday, come and learn more tonite.

Sharing is Caring!  Come have fun with us.


Photopeeps :: Swallows Day Parade ~ San Juan Capistrano

Time for Photopeeps annual trek north on the Amtrak train to San Juan Capistrano’s Annual Swallows Day Parade.

We like to have fun, so we usually take the Amtrak from Solana Beach up to San Juan Capistrano.  It’s a fun ride and it drops us off in the center of all the action.  It’s fun to explore the Mission and it’s a great place to shoot photos of the parade from.

If your interested in going with us please leave a message or email us at MISSION.focused@yahoo.com


CIF Basketball Championships

The Rock Academy Warriors battled to the end but came up a few points short in their first San Diego DIV 5 CIF Basketball Championship appearance, losing 36-44 to Foothills Christian.  

CIF Championships were held at USD’s Jenny Craig Pavilion (aka the Slim Gym).  The Warriors were well represented in the stands, cheering on their class mates on the court.

Congratulations Rock Academy Warriors on a great run!

Let’s hope for a good draw in the CIF State playoffs…Go Warriors!!


Rock Academy Warriors :: CIF Basketball

The Rock Academy will be playing in their first CIF Basketball Championship this Friday at USD, 4PM.

These are just a few photos of their journey to the championships…They had to defeat Warner Springs, Calvary Christian and Vincent Memorial along the way.  The no 2 seed Warriors will be facing the no 1 seed Foothill Christian Knights for the Division 5 Championships.  Go Warriors!Rock Academy Cheer Team, encouraging the Warriors on to victory!Warrior pride!