MY PHILOSOPHY AND SERVICES
 

Although much of what I do involves my photography and poetry, I am basically a missionary. It is not in the traditional sense of getting on a plane to fly off to some distant place.  God called me out of a twenty year career in the insurance business in 1994 to a new endeavor right here where I was. I will not repeat my various specific mission statements now, but at the core, all of what I do is centered around helping people into a stronger relationship with their Creator, and assisting them to bring into full expression whatever design He intended for their lives. The fulfillment of that is usually found within talents and gifts, personality, likes and dislikes, and a myriad of other details which make each of us individual.  The Nature-Spirit-Expression theme of the T&SC originated in my personal ministries.  Mind, body, and spirit are looked at as integrated within one life.  Practical matters are just as important a piece of the whole as the more philosophical. 

A distinguishing dynamic of what I do is openness to speaking and listening about any aspect of life.  I have dealt (and still do) with enough garbage in my own life that no topic is off limits or surprising to me.  I see God (the Holy spirit in particular) as an available guiding presence in every circumstance, and recommend always turning to Him.  Not in the holier than thou, you need to get your act together sense, but in a real everyday, this is where I am at and what I am dealing with way.  I invite Him into every nook and cranny of my life.  Some will tell you God cannot be where there is sin.  I say, if something is truly sin, that is the place in my life where I need Him more than ever.  Why would I not want His presence and counsel where it can do the most good? 

 

ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY

I see my photography and poetry work as a part of my ministry. Generally speaking, I am not available for hire. I do not have the facility, equipment, or inclination to properly do portrait photography. I am not interested in the full dynamics of wedding or most other commercial photography. Commercial uses of my images have been primarily of photos I had already. I often, depending on the details, will allow such use on a free will offering basis. Occasionally, I have engaged in providing photographic services when specifically requested if an event date was open on my calendar, or the situation was flexible enough to allow me to fit it into whatever circumstances my schedule permitted, and what the person or organization desired was what I call "snapshot" photography. Below, you will find some information and pictures to hopefully give you a better idea of the types of things I am most likely to consider based on my philosophy of service. 

 

In 2004 our local church participated in a Habitat for Humanity build project with other organizations and churches. The volunteer coordinator saw photography on my skills list and called asking if I would be willing to use my camera rather than a hammer. I did this completely free (no contribution or fees), showing up whenever I could. In the end they were given 3,879 digital images on four photo CDs. Their work fit my mission statement and the involvement was initiated through my local church (and my wife).  But, flexibility of time was the most important dynamic. 

 

Sometimes, I will agree to take pictures at a non-commercial event on a free will offering basis. This allows the person or organization requesting my services to give what they can toward my expenses of operation and still get what they might not be able to afford otherwise. 

I generally find the limitations of flash photography counterproductive to getting good candid shots and prefer working  outside in natural light. However, if I am taking pictures of stationary objects, where I have the time to use slower settings without a flash, then I am more likely to consider an indoor project. 

These "Toddler Time" photos were take at Fitzgerald Park, outdoors on a sunny day, with pretty good results. I consider if something fits my mission philosophy and, quite frankly, whether it will be fun rather than just feeling like more work. 

 

GENERAL LIFE TOPICS

Financial:  With twenty years of experience in the multiple-line insurance business, I have a fairly good grasp of financial basics.  Prior to that, in my younger years, I stepped into many of the major pitfalls of poor financial choices and learned the hard way.  Many years ago, I had a side business fail which took me to the brink of bankruptcy.  Both my experience and training has covered a wide breadth.  Today I use, and teach, a 10-10-80 Biblically based debt free living way of handling money and resources.  This has carried us well through the ups and downs of the economy.  I believe it is the best way of getting anybody into a position to be able to weather the storms.  It took me 15 years, from making the decision, to get totally out of debt.  But, it can be done even from a disastrous starting point.  A few weeks before I was reworking this page, some friends were telling us about a wonderful financial seminar they had only paid $100 for.  Everything they mentioned was the same teaching I have been offering free for almost twenty years. 

Business & Ministry (using your gifts):  I was a sole-proprietor businessman for over forty years.  In my lifetime I have set up three corporations, and did all the paperwork for the filings which got the Teaching & Sharing Centers its 501c3 public charity IRS approval.  I have had employees and worked with independent contactors.  If you are wondering how to start, and what basic steps should be initiated with governmental bodies, the guidance is yours for the asking. 

Natural Health:  I tend to shy away from self-promotion in the natural health arena.  There is so much to it, I would not even begin to refer to myself as an expert.  But, when I see the lacking advice people are getting from some not so bashful individuals and companies, I wonder how to balance my misgivings.  I have pretty much throughout my life tried to avoid the use of medications unless absolutely necessary.  Now, for over 17 years, I have been involved with taking and learning about natural and herbal products.  The marketplace today is flooded with inferior and ineffective natural products.  I have a number of companies I use, and trust, who were in the game when it was more of a passion than just a business to make money at.  Since my quadruple by-pass heart surgery in March 2006, I have had to learn about diet, nutrition, exercise, and a number of health alternatives.  You only need to listen to the calm voice at the end of a commercial to know what a disaster most of the advertised drugs are for our bodies.  The only drug I have taken after the initial recovery period of my surgery is a daily low-dose aspirin.  Each person must become the choice maker concerning their own health, but if you are wondering about the alternatives - ask. 

Mental Health:  Do poets naturally have a wider emotional pendulum, or do those with such swings of intensity just often gravitate toward poetry?  Either way, I have walked the paths of depression and soared into the heavens.  Suicidal thoughts were no stranger earlier in life, and later along my journey, spiritual side roads have twice landed me in a mental health hospital.  Although it perplexed the medical experts, one outcome of walking these paths is a first hand knowledge of what it is like.  Whatever you are dealing with, there is no judgment or condescension here.  The opportunity to be open and honest can be healing in and of itself.  Please let it be perfectly clear that I am not a licensed therapist . . . just a fellow traveler who can listen and share. 

Spiritual:  Last, but not least, is the spiritual piece of the puzzle.  In truth, I see the spiritual in everything that exists, and every moment of our paths.  But, intentionally making time to connect with your Creator, and entering into a close personal relationship with God (however you choose to perceive God) has benefits beyond anything else you could possibly find within this entire site.  It should be the most automatic and natural thing we do in life.  Yet, the reality is that many people struggle with the details and a fear which has been fed by so many conflicting perspectives.  My journey started in what many call New Age.  I spent time with Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. and the Theosophy of Rudolf Steiner.  I walked for a number of years with the twelve steps of Al-Anon, and have embraced many of the basic philosophies of my Native American ancestors.  Though I have landed squarely in the hands of Jesus, the Christ, and spend a great deal of time in Scripture, I particularly like working with the Friends of Peace Pilgrim materials.  The truth already resides within your very being.  Nobody can make it happen for you.  But, those of us who are already committed to Truth and our own journey, can help you with your initial steps and offer encouragement and reminders along the way.  This is the most precious service I offer. 

The Feedback & Contact page has the most current information you might need to reach me.  My teaching and sharing is done one on one by appointment, or more casually whenever I happen to be at the Teaching & Sharing Center of Grand Ledge.  All of what I do and offer is free.  Some have trouble understanding this because they assume if something has value it must come with a big price tag.  There are quotes and information elsewhere which dispel and explain the fallacy of such thinking.  Basically, at the very top of Truth is Love . . .   . . . REAL LOVE IS ALWAYS FREE 

 

 

 

WEBSITES AND PAGES

As webmaster for this site, I have created all of the pages here, utilizing my own photography, poetry, and writing most of the basic text. I also designed and set up the Teaching & Sharing Centers site, and working with the individual, the basic web page on the www.tscenters.org site for each of those who became Independent Affiliates of the non-profit corporation (IRS approved 501c3 public charity). I have since retired from the webmaster volunteer position with the T&SC, and I also no longer host pages within my (this) site. But, I am happy to answer questions about the process of creating pages, T&SC Affiliate program, and hosting alternatives I have explored. 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY LESSONS AND QUESTIONS

Personal instruction in the basics of photography is offered free if you simply wish to bring your camera to the Teaching & Sharing Center of Grand Ledge at a mutually convenient time. Whether it is to learn how to fool your digital camera into giving you the light exposure you desire without knowing about or changing the manual settings, the one-third rule that will improve your pictures, or to actually understand the 35mm language (aperture openings, shutter and film speeds) that digital cameras use . . . just ask. I am happy to share what I have learned over the years. 

 

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