Words In Ashes [part 2]

Posted on 2.28.2010


My word today- humbled. I am humbled by the amazing stories and courage and passion of today’s Words In Ashes participants. I am humbled and honored to have had 26 more opportunities today to share people’s stories, testimonies and words. They were raw, they were real and they were excited. Here is the second installment of WORDS IN ASHES. If you missed the first, please read the description of the project in the last post. I am so grateful to be an instrument in this project!

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KELLEY. [SINNER] “I don’t believe there is a difference between a “little” sin or a “big” sin. Some sins leave marks on our lives, changing us forever….for God does not remove the consequences…..he lets the pain strengthen our faith. God also planned our redemption, he knows we will sin before we commit the sin, therefore, he forgives us with grace.”

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DANIEL. [LOVE]  From -Ivory Coast  ” God loves us despite whoever we are; whatever we do. There is no limit when God loves.  We sometimes feel darkness because of our sins; but God shows us LOVE. He gives us Love all of the time and puts everyone back in his Big House, in his Kingdom of lights and joy. I do love him too!”

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KAREN. [TRUST]   SOPHIE. [GIFT]  I didn’t realize how far from God I actually was until I needed him the most. Until I was completely broken and my world turned upside down. Recently we were told by a room full of physicians that our beautiful 4 month old, Sophie, was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis. This is a neurological disease that causes tumors to grow in her organs for which there is no cure. Almost with the same breath they told us she has approx 46 in her brain and they would grow as she grows. How could this be? After many hours, days and weeks of soul searching I chose not to be angry and turn from God but rather TRUST and turn to him for I know he has a plan. God knew Sophie before I knew her and I want to see her for what she is, a GIFT from heaven.”

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STEVEN. [PURPOSE]  “Before coming to Christ I lived a life completely devoid of purpose. All of my energy was directed at obtaining worldly possessions and status, but I could never find meaning in them. Finally, in the midst of troubles, I turned to God and his grace filled me. I was called to service and have found meaning and purpose in serving Christ.”

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BLAIR. [UNWORTHY]  “We are all unworthy of God’s love, mercy and grace. Yet, he sent his one and only son down to this Earth to become one of us. He lived a pure, holy and sinless life, but died a cruel, terrible and painful death, so that I could be forgiven of my sins. Every day that I live, I thank Jesus Christ for coming to die for this UNWORTHY SINNER, so that my sins can be forgiven and so that I may spend eternity with him in heaven one day.”

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BEN. [BEAUTY]  “Isaiah 61:3 ‘To give them beauty for ashes and the oil of mourning” ….I offeredthe Lord my ashes of ruin and in return He gave me the beauty of his love. He took my nothing and shame only to grant me joy and His name.”

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AUNNA. [WAITING]  “Lately it feels like I’m always waiting on something. And, ultimately, I realized that I am waiting on God. I am waiting on him to reveal the purpose he has for my life. I am waiting on His perfect timing. But, most of all, I am waiting on the hope and peace that only He can provide.”

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HEIDI. [SHED]  “Because Jesus knowingly and willingly shed his blood for me, I am shed of my guilt, pain, and shame. My sin is shed in his blood.”

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KUAN CHEN. [AMAZING] - Taiwan   ” He (God) always shows and ‘amazing’ way where I never though about for me to follow!”

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KATHIE. [STRENGTH]  “God gives me strenght to defy and yet embrace my age. God gives me strength to pursue my day with joy and sunshine in my heart. God gives my strength to encompass my responsibilities with energy.”

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NATHAN. [RELY]  “I didn’t create myself. I didn’t give myself life. I don’t provide the air I breathe. I don’t supply the blood I need. I rely on Christ to be.”

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KATHY. [ABANDON]  “I am a control freak. I hold the reigns of my life so tightly- full of fear and not wanting to let go. But, the Lord in his grace and mercy is asking me to ABANDON my life completely to him, to trust him just as a child jumps trustingly into their father’s arms.  So the Lord is asling me to let go, to jump, freely, trustingly, totally abandoned to Him.”

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KEITA NASSIRA. [MIRACLE] Netherlands  “God is a miracle God. He’s something good that someone needs in his life. He is savior- he is the hope- happiness- joy and the light in everything that happens in our life. He is the glory rock. He can change everything in our life. He is a miracle God.”

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BETH. [WILLING]  “I haven’t always been so willing to let Jesus be the Lord of my life. I have always been involved in church, but found myself running. I am so grateful for a God with endless mercy and patience for me. I am now willing to follow His will for me and let my own plans go. And I feel truly blessed by my Heavenly Father. I must decrease so he may incresase!”

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ADAM. [KNOWN]  “God knows me more completely than I know myself. He sees my innermost being and loves me through it all. I continually strive to know Him and to make him known to others.”

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[ANNOINTED]  ” ‘to dedicate to the service of God.’ My life has one purpose, to submit to God’s will completely. My prayer is that I will follow Him in everything. My life means nothing without him. I am anointed.”

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JOESEPH. [LOVE]  SRI LANKA “God has showed his love by creating us similar to his image.”

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WHITNEY. [FOCUSED]  “I’ve always known God and felt his love, but I am becoming more focused on him and allowing him to mold me. Focused on his grace, focused on his power, focused on his word. In return, with his guidance I can focus on being a better Christian, a better wife, and a better mother. Without focus, I am lost.”

 

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CINDY. [ENOUGH]  “I spent years trying to fill the emptiness in my heart with destructive things. These things finally knocked me down to my knees, which meant I was in the perfect position to pray! I turned to God and realized he is ENOUGH. There is no longer an emptiness inside. I am finally whole.”

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KAITLYN. [CHANGE]  “Sometimes you kind of have to die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself to become a new person.”

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LESLIE. [REALITY]  “If ‘it’ takes too much emotional energy, then ‘it’ is not worth it!’

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KATRENA. [UNSURE]  “I’m unsure of what God has planned for this chapter in my life right now. Maybe what I want right now isn’t what God wants for me. I may be unsure, but I trust him completely.”

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MOLLY. [INSPIRED]  “Over the years I have been resistant to fully trust the life that God has set forth for me. But, through my spriritual walk, I have embraced what he truly wants me to live the best life for myself. It may not be easy or perfect, but it’s mine. I am inspired to fully live it.”

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SARA. [CONSTANT]  “God is constantly showing me His love and grace even though I am not worthy. He has a plan for my life and I am working on trusting Him. My goal is to be in constant prayer with Him.”

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BECKY. [FAITH]  ” ‘If you have the faith of a mustard seed….nothing shall be impossible to you.’ -Matthew 17:20. Two years ago this February I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Because of God’s grace, His mercy and His love for me, my life was spared and I was given a second chance. I realize now that my faith, along with the outpouring of love, prayers and support of my family, friends and people whom I didn’t even know played and important part in the healing of my body. I never gave up my faith in God’s ability to rid my body of this illness. Faith to me is an unmovable and unshakable belief and trust in God.”

A huge THANK YOU to all who have participated in this project so far. Your honest testimonies are making a difference and inspiring other.




hrule


Words in Ashes [A CONCEPTUAL SHOOT]

Posted on 2.21.2010


 This past Wednesday being Ash Wednesday inpired an idea.  Ash Wednesday, for those who don’t know, marks the first day of Lent, which is a period of repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. I wanted each of my subjects to chose a word that represented where they were spiritually in their relationship with God. The word could be a noun or a verb, everyone really had free reign. That word would be written on their forehead in ashes and an image would be captured. I asked people to be raw and real with the words that they decided would be their Ash Word. I felt that with the right lighting and emotion this project could be a really powerful presentation of the connection between a word and the season one finds himself  in their walk with God. As important as the image, is the description of why each indivudual chose the word that he or she did- which is below each image.  I am really excited about how this turned out and I think that I want to turn it into an even bigger project and create a coffee table book with many more subjects. I hope this inspires you as much as it inspired me.

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HEATHER. [HIS] “I was purchased with a price. I am a voluntary lover of Jesus; He alone dictates my Life. I am His and He is mine.

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ELISHA. [EVOLVING] “I am constantly evolving in my faith and yearning to learn more. I suppose I am searching for the Truth as I evolve.”

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SARAH. [RENEWED]  “I haven’t always given Him (GOD) my all and have recently realized this. He is deserving of everything, every ounce, my ALL, so I am renewed….renewed by His endless and forgiving love.”

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SHERI. ME. [MERCY] “I am astounded and humbled by God’s mercy. His mercy has broken me, stripped me, and exposed me. Because of his mercy, he continues to mold me and shape me to be who he intends me to be. Because of his mercy he refuses to give up on me even when I continue to stumble. I am so thankful for MERCY.”

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ROSS. [PURSUIT] “I know God requires constant pursuit, as he is pursuing me.”

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JENNY. [VITAL] “My relationship with Christ is vital. It is required to live, to care, and to love. It is vital to keep me alive. The forgiveness, mercy, and grace  provided me is vital to my survival and my life everlasting. “

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JASON. [CHOSEN] “We were created by Him and are sustained by Him. He is the beginning and the end. To think we have anything to do with our salvation is absurd. To do so is stating we have a position similar to His. The reality is He has called us to Him and we are chosen.”

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MEGAN. [ALIVE]“Growing up, you go to church and you read the bible verses and say your prayers! As you get older you begin to learn what it all resembles and shape what HE means to you! I believed in HIM and in the power of prayer, but HE wasn’t ALIVE IN MY HEART until about two years ago….. for me the TRUE relationship with HIM…. is that HE is now ALIVE in my heart and I now FEEL HIM walking with me everyday, everywhere! Its the best feeling HIM ALIVE IN MY HEART ”

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ROWE. [SUSTAINED] “Lately I have gone from the top of the mountain to the lowest of valleys. There have been days where I have felt like giving up, but though it all, God has sustained us. He is the ULTIMATE SUSTAINER whe we feel like giving up and we can’t go on.”

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BECKI. [STRECHED]  “God has not allowed me to be “stuck” spiritually or emotionally. He has stretched me. The past 18 months have not been what I would have planned, but God has been there every step of the way, even when thing have not “felt” good. However, every time i feel like I can’t endure anymore God reminds me that it is all ultimately for His Glory, Name and Renown. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. His is perfecting me through pain and fear.”

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ANGI. [SECURE] “At first I didn’t know for sure if God was real. I have always believed in him but was never for sure until I had my son Mario. He was born lifeless for more then five minutes. I prayed and so did thousands of people- and then God brought him back to life to me. I knew then that he is real. He could have taken him, but he knew that I needed him in my life. I thank God every day that I have my son. He is my life. I am now secure that he is real. “

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[BLESSED] “I feel blessed in so many areas of my life and only God is to thank. My husband is returning home safely from a deployment in Afghanistan. I have family that support me in everything I do, and God has provided for my husband and I financially. I am blessed!”

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ALEX. [RECLAIMED]  Before picking “reclaimed” as the word describing my current spiritual state, I struggled with several that sounded good, but didn’t fully hit the mark. “Broken” is always a good one, because I have a sneaking suspicion that if you don’t feel a little bit of that beautifully broken state in the presence of God, you’re probably doing something wrong. “Becoming” was another top choice because it captured the constant journey I’m on instead of a static destination (and as a bonus it has the double meaning of “beautiful”).
When it comes down to it, however, it’s not about where I am but who I am to Him. I ran away from God for a long while and unwittingly lived out a slow death. Over the past year, through a miraculous chain of events I have been transformed and rescued. I have been marked again as His and redeemed. While I’m still growing and maturing into my new role, my place as his reclaimed prodigal daughter is the most important and defining feature of my spiritual state
.”




hrule


Cupid and Her Targets [A CONCEPTUAL VALENTINES DAY SHOOT]

Posted on 2.14.2010


So, every now and then I whip up a conceptual shoot in my head and then I pray that I can execute it to make it match my vision. When your subjects are 6 and under- matching the dream to reality can be a challenge. I decided that I wanted to create a series where a couple (represented by a 4 and 6 yr old ;) were being targeted by Cupid (represented by my 4 yr old). We started with hair, makeup and wardrobe styling. I wanted Mia and Coleson to look like little romantic adults and Aslyn to look like a quirky, sassy, mischievious little Cupid. We styled them accordingly. It was FREEEEEZING and snowing today- and the children were semi-tortured- so it was truly a challenge- but- here is what we have! CUPID and HER TARGETS…….  Ps- It is a heart lolipop and a Ring Pop that Coleson is using to attempt to woo Mia. =)

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hrule


A Birthday Shoot [SNEAK PEAK]

Posted on 2.13.2010


Just a little teaser from the birthday shoot of one of my favorite families! It was another magical shoot for these two sweet kiddos. ENJOY!

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hrule


BELLA BAMBINO BEAUTIFUL BABY CONTEST!!![voting live from 2.8.10 to 2.15.10] Gift for Voting! =)

Posted on 2.6.2010


Alright, the moment everyone has been waiting for….The 2010 Bella Bambino Beautiful Baby Contest is here! Here are the details; there are three categories- NEW BAMBINOS- LITTLE BAMBINOS – and BIG BAMBINOS. Every image will have a number in each category. To vote, you must email me at sherigrippo@gmail.com and tell me the category and child’s number for which you are voting! As a gift for voting for the most bella bambino, you will get a spring fine-art session for FREE if in your email you indicate that you would like to book your spring session! In the suject line please write BOOK MY FREE SESSION if you can remember! Winners will be chosen based upon the voting public as well as a team of child photographers from across the US! So- just some tips for the parents to rally votes from friends and family, send out a mass email about the contest and if you have a facebook, post about the contest in your status! GOOD LUCK! Winners in each category will recieve a 16×20 fine art print as well as another session and be feautured as the FACE OF BELLA BAMBINO! Happy Voting Everyone!! (If for some reason your child was entered in the contest, but does not appear here, please email me immediately and I will add them in before voting begins!)

CATEGORY NUMBER 1 – BIG BAMBINOS

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CATEGORY NUMBER 2 -  LITTLE BAMBINOS

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CATEGORY NUMBER THREE – NEW BAMBINOS-

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hrule