Cannery Row Sunrise

Cannery Row Sunrise

Cannery Row Sunrise

First Shots – Cannery Row Sunrise

We are on a weekend visit to Monterey to celebrate Marcie’s birthday. We’re staying at a place on Cannery Row, so I got up early to take a walk and see what I could find. Well…and to get coffee.

Found some great coffee, and this sunrise.

Every photographer knows that you sometimes have to get up early to catch the best light. But I’m not going to complain too much about the early hour of this shot. Sunrise was after 7:00. Daylight savings came in handy.

A sunrise is a daily reminder that we get a do-over. This, more than anything, is the thing I like most about watching the sun break the horizon. No matter what has happened before, today we get to start over and do our best to get it right. Each new day is a new opportunity. A gift from God as he says to us, “you get another chance.” Sunrises are so great! Use them wisely.

This is an iPhone version. A light overcast was beginning to burn off, and the marine layer was still hugging the coast. I wanted to catch the sun breaking the horizon and there was just enough room beneath the marine layer.

The complete Monterey series will be posted soon in Places and Travel. For now we’ll just enjoy our day at the beach.


Here is a DSLR image made just before the iPhone image above.

Cannery Row Sunrise

Sure could have used a tripod for this, but it was left in that spot where I would remember to grab it on the way out the door. It was about Santa Nella that I remembered it.

Posted in Landscape Tagged , , , , , , , |

Sylvia Smiles


It was a few months ago when I gave my friend three child sponsorship packets to look through. Without opening the packets she looked carefully at the pictures. It took her only a minute to choose to sponsor Sylvia, a six-year-old girl from Mexico. Of the three, Sylvia was the only one not smiling. My friend told me, “I want to put a smile on this girls face.”

She did.

At our small group Bible study this past week my friend showed me this picture that Sylvia sent to her. The picture from the sponsorship packet of a frowning Sylvia is on the right. See her smile in the more recent photo with her mother and sister? That smile is the result of having a sponsor who loves and cares for her, believes in her, and generously gives to Sylvia and her family.

Sylvia smiles.

Sadness is turned to happiness.

Despair gives way to hope.

Sylvia smiles. My friend smiles. I smile.

My great joy is being able to share in the joy my friend finds in sponsoring Sylvia. Matching children with sponsors is always exciting, it always brings a smile, but there is a special thrill when the sponsor is someone you know and see regularly and are able to share the joy with. Each letter, each picture, and every hug my friend shares is a cause for celebration for both of us.

Sylvia’s birthday is next month. We are already talking about how we will celebrate.

You can put a smile on a child’s face too. Children all over the world are waiting for smiles, for someone to release them from poverty in Jesus’ name. Your support, just $38 a month, provides so much. Medical checkups, nutritious food, health and hygiene training, education, and more. All this for $1.27 per day.

When children find out they’ve been sponsored, the joy they feel is indescribable. Just knowing that someone across the globe cares means more than you can imagine. Sponsoring a child in need will profoundly change the future for your child, and will change your own life as well.

Please take a minute and go to, find a child who could use a smile, and become a smile giving sponsor today.

Posted in Compassion Tagged , , , , , |

Downtown Stockton

The Photo Friday challenge for this week is “City.”

Click on the image to see a larger version.
Old Stockton Hotel

For this week’s challenge I decided to resurrect a shot from August 2013. It first appeared in a post titled, Magnificent Stockton Sunset. Below is the text about this shot from that post.

I always make a point of looking away from the sunset when I shoot. Sometimes what is going on in the opposite direction is much more impressive that the sunset itself. I’m not sure that was the case this time, but this is a view I have always wanted to capture. It would have been better if more clouds filled the sky on this side. I am certain they would have given off a spectacular red-orange glow. As it is, there is this warm and inviting glow over downtown Stockton.


You can vote for Photo Friday images at the Photo Friday Web site. Each week between 12:01am Friday and 11:59pm Sunday CST a “cast noteworthy vote” link will appear in the header frame of the Link Viewer for the previous week’s challenge. Click the link to cast your vote.

Thank you for voting for Stockton, CA, number 102.

Posted in Weekly Challenge Tagged , , , |

Racing Against Poverty

Kenia Perfas has been in a race her whole life. A race against poverty, a race against illiteracy, a race against failure and neglect.

Because of the dedication of a loving sponsor, Kenia will win her race against poverty.

You can help another child win their race. For just $38 per month, $1.27 per day, less than a cup of coffee, you can sponsor a child in need. As you exchange letters, send photos and offer encouragement in Jesus’ name, your love will bring hope to a child that will last a lifetime.

Thanks for watching the video, and thank you especially for sponsoring a child.

Posted in Compassion Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Following Compassion in the Dominican Republic

By now most of you have figured out that I am following Compassion International’s blogger trip in the Dominican Republic. Rather than write a post of my own right how, I am posting links to the teams posts below. Take a few minutes to read them and consider sponsoring a child to release them from poverty in Jesus’ name. Of course, I reserve the right to edit and make comments later.

To Save Many Lives – Bri McKoy. Bri is the Compassion Blogger team leader and her post are also at Compassion’s Blog on Child Poverty.

Dominican girl

Courtesy of Compassion International | Mike Varel

Why Love Is Not a Consolation But a Light – Bonnie Gray.

Thanks to a Compassion Sponsor, Saulo goes to school — and he comes back home to teach his brothers all the materials he learned. And the beautiful thing is this: Compassion-partnered churches open their doors to unsponsored siblings for worship and recreational activities like sports, music and art.

Compassion sponsor letter

Courtesy of Compassion International | Mike Varel

Everything We Have – Ruth Soukup.

Courtesy of Compassion International | Mike Varel

Courtesy of Compassion International | Mike Varel

How to Get Rid of the Darkness in Your World… – Holley Gerth

I think the enemy tries to make us feel overwhelmed when we hear about or see poverty and other difficulties in our world because then we become paralyzed by guilt or fear. Or if that approach doesn’t work, he might try to convince us we have to destroy the darkness directly–in other words, become antagonistic and negative in the name of “justice.”

But we can’t let ourselves fall into those traps. Instead we need to stay focused on the only real solution to darkness: adding more light.

Courtesy of Compassion International | Mike Varel

Courtesy of Compassion International | Mike Varel

Shout out and thanks to Mike Varel for the fantastic pictures from this trip. See them all on Flickr.

And remember to sponsor a child today.

Posted in Compassion Tagged , , , , , , , , |