Friday, July 01, 2011


I took the wrong lens with me to Chicago.
The 85mm is a telephoto lens. (I think. Slight telephoto.)
You have to stand back to take portraits and that seems to work just fine.

But it is not the best lens for taking pictures inside or in close quarters.

So when I tried to take pictures of Emma's new apartment there was no getting the whole room in view.
I should have brought a wide angle lens: my 35 mm or 17-55 2.8.

But with all the moving and hauling I was afraid to bring many lenses due to their cost and the weight....

So I brought one lens....the wrong one.

So here is what you get to see of Emma's apartment. (half a house)

A very cool doorknob.

The windows are large, the floors are dark (a bit grimy) wood, they are on the second story.
There is a gated yard with a nice lawn in front and in back. They are very close to the red line and the lake.
It's a good place.

I want to share Emma's support letter with you because it is so beautifully written and because it explains so well what
she is doing this year.

In no way am I asking for donations for her. She sent this letter mostly to family and long time friends who have know her for a long time. I know many of you have watched this girl of mine grow up so I want to share her journey with you it is kind of my journey too.


To My Family and Friends,

Recently, I graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a major in Communications and Bible. As my time at Moody passed, and the process of choosing my next steps was nearing, God continued to reveal and open doors to a very unique path. Even though I studied Communications, I have also always had a heart for missions and working , living and loving alongside the poor - I’m about to embark on a different kind of missionary journey - an Urban one.
Through an unexpected meeting of a like-minded friend last November, Sher Sheets, I was given the opportunity to move to a diverse, poor and spiritually underresourced neighborhood north of Downtown Chicago - the community of Uptown. Before graduating, I was leading a group of students out to Union Station, where many homeless hang out and pan handle the crowds. Our desire was to build relationships and birth friendship on the streets, and coincidentally, Sher was doing the very same thing, in the exact same place! Both of us, at different times, threw birthday parties for our friends at Union.
Now, by taking the step of moving into Uptown, I am fully committing myself to not only friendship with the poor, but of intentional, incarnational living. God sent Jesus to be physically present among us. Through my years at Bible college, I received much knowledge - but the Word must become Flesh and live with the people. In Uptown, my heart will be able to express what my mind has been taught.
Sher started a Nonprofit, JUSTembrace, and it is with JUSTembrace that I am doing a one year internship here in Uptown. This internship includes first and foremost being with the people of Uptown, I am here to be available and present; our soon to be home will be the hospitality house of the neighborhood - we can not wait to celebrate with everyone! Also, I will be planning four Art Events for the community. These will look like anything from hip hop classes, to talents shows, to photography workshops. The poor are often made into the project, but it is my dream to have the poor creating the project - thus restoring dignity and worth to their identity.
You are receiving this letter because I am taking a step of faith this year, and I ask you to take one with me. Take a step of faith by praying for Uptown, for the relationships we are making here. Consider taking a step of faith in your own life, and asking what does it mean to live like Jesus in your neighborhood? Currently, I am working part time and I will continue to do so to pay necessary living costs. However, because we are moving in to a larger house so that we can better entertain and host our neighbors and friends, our expenses are greater. JUSTembrace is hoping to raise $15,000 for our rent, furniture and events this next year. If you would like to help us love Uptown, you can donate a tax deductible one time or monthly gift to help build and support our friendships through JUSTembrace.
If you would like an update or any more information, please let me know and I will add you to an email list. Thank you for the encouragement and prayer I already know I am receiving.

Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”


So many students graduate from college with so much debt that can not do something like this when they graduate.
Moody Bible Inst. discourages loans for this exact reason. The college is a mission school and knows that their graduates can not take debt into the mission field. The students pay only their room and board (@ $10,000) and the college tuition is paid for by donors. It's a beautiful thing. Thank you Moody donors.


images from uptown and Greek town




Emma is taking sample pictures of Uptown for a project. I intended on going out there and taking pictures too, until we saw there was no ledge and well, I didn't want to fly off the building. Just a little scary for me.


Emma's friend Larissa. Cute shot. I'm schooched way over to get her in focus.


Emma was sitting across the table from me at Greek Islands restaurant on Tuesday night. I was teaching her how to meter with my camera. Our food was good...but not as good as Aunt Dorothy made. We always favored Diana's restaurant in Greek town and I guess it has closed. Can you believe Greek Islands didn't have tiropitas on the menu???


Here I explain how to make bokeh. :o) It worked!


A elderly gentleman selling umbrella hats in Uptown. He has a megaphone.

I know you want one!!! I should have bought one.

Katie would wear it.

Happy July!!!

"It was a splendid summer morning and it seemed as if nothing could go wrong."
- John Cheever

Encourage one another,

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