Why Does Pope Francis Want to Change a Verse in The Lord’s Prayer?

I heard this morning that Pope Francis wants to change the wording of The Lord’s Prayer. He said that God does not lead us into temptation, but that is Satan’s job. He said this verse implies that God leads you into Sin and a father wouldn’t do that but that a father would help you get up immediately. Instead he wants it to be, “do not let us fall into temptation.”

I enjoy digging deeper into the Bible and getting a better understanding of what it’s teaching us so let’s jump on in.

First of all, temptation isn’t actually sinning. Temptation happens before you sin or don’t sin. It’s important to distinguish between temptation and sin because, come on, who isn’t tempted to do something they shouldn’t? I know that I get tempted but I don’t always follow through on the temptation. And it’s God, and the things I’ve learned from His word, that helped me overcome the temptation.

Pope Francis is using the KJV, so I wondered what the original Greek translation is actually saying. According to Strong’s Concordance, the word “lead” (1533) could be better translated as “carry” or “bring”.

So, instead of “Lead us not into temptation,” it would be more accurate to say “please don’t carry or bring me into temptation”? I wondered what the original word “temptation” is actually saying.

The word temptation here could be better translated as “trial” (3986) So, we would be asking God, “please do not carry me or bring me into a trial or test, but deliver me from evil”? This reminds me immediately of Job, who God actually brought to Satan’s attention.

“Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?” Job 1:8

God said to Satan there’s nobody on Earth like Job, who is upright and blameless. Satan replies that God blesses Job and if God took away all those blessings then he’d surely curse God.

“The LORD said to Satan, “Very well then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Job 1:12

God is outright testing Job, carrying him or leading him into temptation. The heading over this section is even titled, “Job’s First Test.” Even though He is allowing Job to be tested by Satan (who God created) He also ordered Satan not to lay a finger on the man himself.

Hmm . . . in the book of Job, I see no implication of God leading him into temptation. I see that God outright carries him into temptation which is directly brought about by Satan. So, Pope Francis is partially right that it’s Satan’s job to tempt humans into sinful behavior. But, who created Satan and gave him that job? God did.

It might be hard for some people to look at God as being in control of everything, including Satan, or whomever else he created. I feel comforted because I know that God is in charge, and I personally don’t want to be tested the way Job was tested. God allowed him to go through some pretty bad stuff. But God also protected Job while he went through these tests.

I was reminded of another verse:

“If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23,24.

Many verses in the Bible let us know that God will get us through difficult situations that will surely happen, but he won’t let us fall. So, the Pope’s concept about asking God to not let us fall is definitely a common concept in the Bible. But I still wonder if it is an appropriate or necessary translation for this particular prayer?

The Lord’s Prayer was given by Jesus as instruction on how to pray. And if we study it carefully, and combine this one prayer with other things the Bible is teaching, I believe we can continue to deepen our understanding until the cows come home.

come home cow.jpg

Let’s look again at Pope Francis’ proposed translation “do not let us fall into temptation.” Is this a better translation? Does it give us a deeper meaning of what the prayer is asking for? Does the Pope’s reasoning behind the change make sense? Are his reasons consistent with the rest of the Bible? Does it actually water down the truth? 

I’m glad I looked up the original meanings in the concordance. Gives me a little more wisdom to chew on.

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Cows Butting Heads at Sunrise

1st cow pic

First cow picture taken

In the early days of my exploration of photography, I was 7, visiting family in Texas where these strange creatures called cows were everywhere. I was living in the Mojave Desert in Southern California at the time where cows weren’t so common, so they definitely had my attention. Everyone was confused and weirded out that I was wasting the film in my disposable camera on boring things like cows. “What is she taking pictures of?” they would all ask in bewilderment.

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Well, I am still taking pictures of boring cows. But, they aren’t that boring. Once they notice that I’m there, they quit what they’re doing and all of a sudden 20 cows are staring at me and walking quickly towards me. Each time this happens, I immediately have a flashback of the time I was fishing with my dad on his family farm for the first time, and I turned around and saw a herd of cows appear out of nowhere and start coming at me. I totally freaked out, while my dad was totally chill. “It’s ok, they’re just looking for food.”

That’s what I was afraid of . . . they’re ready to get back at me for all those delicious cheeseburgers I’ve enjoyed. 

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Lately we’ve been having some psychedelic colored sunrises so I got up bright and early hoping to get something interesting. I stopped at a ranch on the picturesque farm road I drive down daily. I was sorta bummed out that the sunset colors weren’t as cool looking as the previous mornings when I didn’t have time to stop.

As the sun was rising, I noticed cows were grazing in the distance and then I spotted 2 cows butting heads. I love when I get the opportunity to see animals behaving in their environment.

 

 

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If I could have gotten inside the fence and gotten closer I could have included the sunset and gotten some better detail of the cows and the water. I wasn’t about to trespass though, so I had to take the pictures from really far away.

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Being Thankful in Texas

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that everything’s bigger and better in Texas. Well that’s true. Big hair, big stories, big trucks, big land, and big sports fans. I’m a big Dallas Cowboys fan and the football game is the thing I look forward to the most on Thanksgiving. (Yes, even more than the food.)

true meaning thanksgiving

Shoot, Texas is a football state. You might think Pee Wee football is serious stuff but by the time you get to high school. . . . watch out. (Netflix Friday Night Lights, and you’ll see.) I was in high school band and the Dragon’s biggest rival was the Lufkin Panthers. Those games were a little scary too. Their scoreboard had a panther that screamed and the ferocious energy was. . . .well, it was Texas high school football energy.  And guess where Dez Bryant played when he was in high school . . . 

dez lufkin

AT&T Stadium – Art, Education, and Football

The world’s biggest domed structure, AT&T Stadium, is a great example of just how important football is round here. I mean, who else would have an art gallery in a sports stadium? (I’m an artist who loves sports so thumbs up from me.) According to their website, they also offer classes and an educational tour which will be the “experience of a lifetime.” (I love education too!) And that Jumbotron takes my breath away. 

jumbotron

The Food

You’re not just gonna get a ‘lil hot dog and a fountain coke here. On their menu you’re gonna see items like the Jumbo Texas Pretzel, The Big D, and The Legendary Double Burger. During the games they show footage of their grills . . . omg, it’s mouthwatering. Better bring a Texas sized appetite.

food

The Cheerleaders

The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders set the standard for all cheerleaders. They’re beautiful and incredible athletes and they do a great job cheering our boys. They’re always ready to pose for photos, sign autographs, and volunteer their time to great causes, like the Salvation Army. 

Buccaneers Cowboys Football

Doing The Most Good

One of the biggest and most important contributions made by and through the Dallas Cowboys organization is their longstanding connection with The Salvation Army. All year long, but especially during the holiday season. Each year they serve an early Thanksgiving meal to families and starting in 1997 the Thanksgiving Day halftime performance became a kick off to the Red Kettle Campaign.

zeke kettle

They also encourage youth through the Play 60 program, by choosing 11 youth who are judged based on their performance and on how they demonstrate The Salvation Army’s 5 Core Values:

  • Passion
  • Compassion
  • Bravery
  • Uplifting Spirit
  • Trustworthiness    

You see we not only have big stuff and big Texas attitude. . . we also have big hearts. I remember during Hurricane Harvey all of the reporters on t.v. were just so shocked that we would help strangers. They just kept repeating it over and over again, until finally one guy said, “That’s what Texans do. We don’t care about race or anything else, it’s what we do.” We jump in our big trucks, drive over our big land, and we help our neighbors out. 

Dem Boys aint having a great season, but whether we win or lose I’m really looking forward to the game. I hope you’re having a Happy Thanksgiving . . . even if you aren’t watching the game 🙂 And go make a donation when you go out to do your shopping . . . and don’t forget to grab a bag of Tostitos too and help the Cowboys do some local donating.

 

Happy Veterans Day

USAF-AMERICAN-FLAG-EAGLES-LETTERING

My dad is retired Air Force, and he is a veteran of a foreign war, Persian Gulf. He worked with dangerous chemicals and things that go boom. He’s always been a good spirited, funny, strong, healthy, John Wayne kind of guy. He doesn’t get sick. He has God given stamina and endurance. He’s never had surgery or been to the hospital.

Until recently, 7 days before my birthday, he needed to go to the ER because he was having trouble breathing. I couldn’t believe it. He was even trying to grab his stuff for work, because apparently he thought he was gonna be going there after a quick visit to the ER.

need blood

They ran dozens of tests (seemed like 1,000’s) and just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. They finally said he was anemic. More like he was a starving vampire. He walked into that place with 3.7 units of blood. The normal level is 4.7 units. Even though it was obvious something serious was wrong he was talking, making jokes, and his skin wasn’t even pale. They finally diagnosed him with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, which we’re pretty sure he got from a weed killer. (Maybe you’ve seen the late night commercial.)

Of course the hospital’s concern was very focused on insurance. That’s when I felt so grateful for his service in the United States Air Force. They had a little trouble finding his info because like I said at the beginning of this post, he doesn’t get sick. So, he never actually completed the paperwork. He figured other people needed that insurance more than he did. Everything got sorted out, and just a little more than 2 months later he’s recovering remarkably well thanks to God, and the strong man he made my dad to be.

I told a lot of people in that hospital about his service and that he’s a veteran. I don’t know the exact number of people, but out of all of them, only 1 person thanked him for his service. Now that Veterans Day is here, I want to thank all of our brave veterans for their service. The way my dad faced these challenges, is the way our troops face their challenges to protect our freedoms.

They’re not just heroes in war but they’re heroes in the everyday. I was reminded of that when my dad went into the hospital. (BTW, 2 months earlier he fell off my roof, and got back on the roof to finish the job.) He was brave and cracking jokes and making everyone else feel comfortable when he couldn’t even hold his head up. Bigger than life. That’s the kind of people that join up.

thank-you-for-your-service

Right now on the holiday we make an effort, but we can show our appreciation all year long. After all, they do that for us. It really means a lot to them to hear it. I pray that God blesses you and your family like he blessed mine.

Happy Veteran’s Day.

Two Invaluable Traits We can Learn from Former White House Photographer Pete Souza

pete souza taking a pic

Meet photojournalist Pete Souza. Former Chief Official White House Photographer for two former American presidents: Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. He’s just come out with a book, Obama: An Intimate Portrait, where he shares 300 of the nearly 2 million photographs that he took during President Obama’s two terms in office. With that kind of CV we photographers need to pay attention to this guy.

Trust

I happened to catch Charlie Rose on CBS This Morning interviewing Souza, and he asked him how he earned complete trust from President Obama. Any photographers out there know that if you’re following someone around documenting them you’re going to be apart of intimate moments.

Souza told Charlie Rose that he actually knew Mr. Obama for 4 years before he became president. They had already built a professional relationship and over time he built on that trust each day.

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It’s very important for the photographer to earn trust so that the people getting their photo taken will feel comfortable. The first engagement shoot I ever did was really easy because I was best friends with both the bride and the groom. When I asked them to kiss we all turned deep red for a moment.

Kim and Dex flirty copy

We quickly finished laughing and they let their guard down and I captured the fleeting moment. It helps when you ask them how they met or how he proposed. They’ll quickly get comfortable, forget you’re there and give you plenty of photo opportunities. Which brings me to the 2nd invaluable trait:

Invisibility

invisible

Who hasn’t wished they had the super power of invisibility? Co-anchor Norah O’ Donnell mentioned how President Obama actually forgot that Souza was in the room; that he pretty much became invisible. Wow. I have no problem becoming invisible while shooting birthday parties and weddings . . . but this guy did it in the White House. Color me impressed! I’m sure his previous experience with President Reagan didn’t hurt.

I don’t have any tips on developing your invisibility . . . it pretty much came naturally to me. (I’m short.) Or maybe the camera is actually a cloaking device . . .  people do want to look good and natural in their photos, so they just live in the moment.

sam elliott the ranch

I like the show on Netflix, The Ranch. Sam Elliot’s character has a running line where he says in his deep drawl that he hates everyone, except [fill in the blank]. In one he says, “I hate everyone, except Ronald Reagan.” lol Cracks me up. Check out some awesome photos taken by Souza. Notice the one of Michael Jackson and Ronald Reagan.

By the way, I recommend that you study Pete Souza’s photographs. Pay attention to light, composition, what he chooses to include in/out of the frame, etc.

So how do you build trust with the people you photograph? Do you have any trouble blending in? I’d love to hear any tips you have on building trust and becoming invisible.

 

A Leonardo da Vinci Painting with an Illustrious and Deceptive History Re-Surfaces

new salvator mundi

I love how the art world has a history filled with intrigue, mystery, and conspiracy. I heard on the news this morning about an unquestionable and unexpected 21st century discovery of a finished Leonardo da Vinci painting. My ears perked as I was pulled away from my Clash of Clans game. The journalists were very excited about how much money it will be going for at the auction, and how much the painting reminded them of the Mona Lisa.

I can see right away that technically the painting has the luminescent quality of Leonardo’s work, especially in the careful detail of the curls in the hair. Notice the hair in this detail of the angel from Verrocchio’s, The Baptism of Christ, which was painted by Leonardo da Vinci.angel hair da vinci

When I first laid eyes on the Salvator Mundi painting I didn’t think of the Mona Lisa. I saw differences in the background, in the placement and the position of the figure, and in the symbolism of the hands. Also notice the absence of the cleft chin in the Mona Lisa painting.

Instead, I thought of Albrecht Durer’s most famous Self Portrait from 1500 where he expressed his divine creative inspiration by painting himself in the reminiscent style of Christ.

Here we have many similarities with the background, with the straightforward positioning of the figure’s body and with the positioning of the hands. You can also see that both figures seem to have a cleft chin. (The beard on Durer does make it a little bit hard to tell.)

The experts aren’t 100% sure when the painting was done, but they have narrowed it down to around 1490 – 1500. The experts are however confident that this painting is an authentic Leonardo da Vinci. It first resurfaced in 2005 disguised as a copy. Over the span of 500 years it had disappeared, had been damaged, had been painted over . . . and at the same time, had been remarkably preserved in some areas like in the curls and the hands.

I hope you check out this website to learn more about the interesting history, and the unusually unanimous authentication of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi painting. I love art . . . it never fails to amaze me.

While very different from Leonardo’s version, Albrecht Durer also painted a Salvator Mundi portrait. It was unfinished and kinda creepy looking.

AD salvator mundi

Creepy Goya Artwork Perfect for Halloween

Before I turned 1 my dad introduced me to scary video games like Castlevania and DOOM and scary movies like Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. Been hooked ever since.

I love scary stuff all year long but I always feel extra creeped out around Halloween. Well, I was driving home today when I saw an 18 wheeler that had the word “Chronos” written on it. I immediately thought about the Francisco de Goya y Lucientes painting, Chronos Devouring One of His Children. I haven’t looked at that painting in years, so I dug out my very heavy art book and took a look.

chronos devouring one of his children

Also named Saturn Devouring One of His Children

Goya painted this in 1820-1822 during the Romanticism period. I remember thinking that period would actually be romantic but it wasn’t. Instead you get a bunch of creepy and scary artwork.

Last night, I was watching Rocky V with my friend (who’s 13) and when Adrienne said she wanted her son to use his mind, not his fists, my friend said he didn’t understand how you’d fight with your mind. Well, he’s got some learning to do because our minds are the most fascinating and mysterious and most powerful parts of our body.

It’s my vivid imagination that usually scares me the most. And the creepy and scary things the human mind can think up is something that a lot of artists were trying to depict during the Romanticism period.   

chronos close up

Close up

I like the bright red blood pouring onto his hands which are clenched so tightly around the miniature body of one of his children that he must have broken the bones. His long hair and that crazy desperate look in his eyes sends chills down my spine. Even the color of his skin and the way Goya positioned the titan god’s body makes me feel sick.

Apparently, Goya originally painted 14 paintings known as the “black paintings” directly onto his walls in his Madrid home. That would be sooo scary to have this “dad” staring at you as you go get a drink of water . . . or gosh . . . a late night snack.

los caprichos

Another scary piece by Goya that’s perfect for Halloween is Los Caprichos, plate 3, from his aquatint etchings series. In this etching, The Boogeyman is Coming, Goya depicts an irrational and common fear which was created by parents and society to scare children into behaving.

I was never afraid of the boogeyman, but I knew people who were. After staring at this etching for a while and contemplating the fear I do start to get a little scared. Goya’s use of dark and light go really well with the terrified looks on their faces. And I can’t even see the Boogeyman’s face. The unknown is always scary.

My imagination has no trouble running away from me. Especially as I sit here in the dark on Halloween night while the rain beats on the roof.

I hope you enjoyed looking at Goya’s creepy artwork. I know I did. Have a Happy and Scary Halloween.