For the first four years of this website a
Q&A section of six topical pages was linked to the common menu. When the
Quotes & Philosophies section was created, those six pages were deleted from
the website and the below selections archived here. These questions and answers
were among those found in the original (various topics now mixed together) Q&A
pages. Any additional questions will show the date they were asked and added
to this page.
How do you picture God?
I see God as beyond my ability to picture or understand, but
yet very personal and approachable, Someone with Whom we are always connected.
As a Christian, I look to Jesus as my Savior and relational example, and believe
there is a Holy Spirit within me helping me to open up to greater truths, and
a better way of living, all the time.
Now that you've been connected for a few months, what do you
think of the Internet?
My first impression of the Internet is that it is incredibly
cluttered. Beyond that though, I do have to admit, I am impressed by the
wealth of information available at your fingertips. I also like connecting
with people (through email) more regularly, especially since there is no "per
call" or "per minute" added cost. And, there is no question, that the
ability to share one's work beyond local contacts, indeed -- worldwide, is simply
On the downside, it is just one more way
for us to busy ourselves with what we are creating, and ignore the incredible
outside world which God has already created and placed us into. Regardless
of how awed I am at some of the artistic talent involved in many of the graphics
on the Internet, I have yet to find one which can hold a stick to a real sunset.
No matter how moved I might be by music and visual combinations, they cannot
capture, in the truest sense, the peace and connectedness found by a wooded
stream. I have never understood our rush to enter a "virtual reality,"
when we have not even begun to experience "real" reality. (Assuming, of course,
that this world is not already something illusory, but that is a whole different
discussion.) In whatever ways the Internet can help us to care for and
connect with that which we were created a part of, and the One Who created it,
I applaud. Whenever, it pulls us away from God, or experiencing all with
which He has blessed us, or allows us to ignore our responsibilities to be good
stewards of that with which He entrusted us, I see it as just another toy for
a self-centered species, which cannot be bothered to walk in the realm of truth.
Like anything else, it is just a tool. How we choose to use that tool
The Book of Daniel predicts that increased earthly devastation
will mark the "End Time" and return of Christ. Paradoxically, many fundamentalists
see dying coral reefs, melting ice caps and other environmental destruction
not as an urgent call to action, but as God's will. In the religious right worldview,
the wreck of the Earth can be seen as Good News. Tell me what you think.
In Matthew 24:36-51 Jesus talks about the end times and
his second coming . . . "No one knows about that day or hour . . ." is
how the verses start, but the key issue here is how they conclude [I will begin
at verse 48] "But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master
is staying away a long time,' and he then begins to beat his fellow servants
and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on
a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will
cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will
be weeping and gnashing of teeth." The parable uses other people to make
the example, but the implications are clear. Jesus does not expect us to mistreat
what God has created while we await the end times. That would include ALL of
what God created. AND He certainly does not want us to be abusing one another,
nor any of his creation, in an effort to force a time about which He clearly
states "No one knows about that day or hour . . ." Indeed, He states very
plainly that those who do, will be considered "hypocrites." Scripture
says to avoid greed in all its form. Living in blatant disregard for other's
needs, and the rest of God's creation, by using the "end times" as an excuse,
is just GREED playing games. And it is not even all that subtle. Not to mention
a host of other sins Christ has asked us to leave behind as we follow Him.
Were you always interested in poetry and writing?
No. I had very little interest in English class subjects
in school. I once had a college professor tell me, after giving us an
assignment to write a poem, that the one thing she could be absolutely certain
of was I would never become a poet. I started writing later. At
first, because I had some dreams I wanted to remember. Then in 1985, in
the middle of some significant spiritual searching, and after a "stress collapse"
(the psychologist's term), the floodgates just burst open. I still do
not see myself as a writer, but as a photographer who writes.
Did you study photography or were you self-taught?
I am self-taught. In my teenage and early adulthood years I took pretty
decent photos with a little Kodak 120 Instamatic. At age 35, when my wife
of 17 years divorced me, I decided to treat myself to a 35mm camera. After
about 10 years of taking photos with that camera I thought perhaps I should
get some instruction, so I enrolled in the correspondence school, New York Institute
of Photography. But, I have not been real crazy about formal schooling
since graduating from college, so even though I had paid for the whole course,
I only actually completed one lesson. I did learn some things by reading,
viewing, and listening to the materials they sent. But mostly it has been
trial and error.
Why don't you have one of those counters showing how many people visited your
site before me? I like to see what visitor number I am.
Much like when I opened the Teaching & Sharing Center at the beginning of 1995,
I had a decision to make. Was I doing this because it was the path I thought
God was asking me to take, regardless where it lead or how it played out, or
was I doing it with specific goals and expected results. If all the time
and expense I have put into this site was so that God could touch just one human
soul, is it not just as worth it as if He were to use it to touch thousands,
or millions? Yet I am human. To know that few people visit the site
would offer a discouragement, I would need to constantly work at overcoming.
To know that multitudes are visiting the site, would offer the American temptation
to see what I do as valid, because it is justified by the numbers, instead of
constantly turning to God for direction. I am better off not knowing the
count. Unfortunately that means you do not get to know your visitor number
Why do you mention money on the first page of this site, when your focus is
not on money?
Whenever there are monetary costs related to doing something, the money issues
need to be addressed. But, it is precisely because I did not wish it to
be an ongoing issue throughout the site, that I decided to get it out of the
way by putting it on the "front" page. Sort of a "now that that is done"
we can continue on with the real stuff without interference. Some people
may not be able to see beyond the mention of money, and exit before enjoying
the rest. That is sad, but I still believe this was the best way to handle
You have made your website so complex that it operates for about 3-4 minutes
and then doesn't open. I suggest you simplify it so it will open quickly before
you lose all those that are trying to use your site. When in doubt...simplify.
The site is photo intensive, so that could be causing the problem. Some
pages like Fall Color Cruise have as many as 80 photos on a single page.
I adjust the quality level on the photos to get them below 50kb per image (with
a few exceptions) but if someone has dial-up Internet and a relatively small
capacity in their computer it could take a while to get some of the pages to
open. Because most computers store pages as you visit, you could try telling
yours to “clear history” if it seems to be jamming up. I have a cable
Internet connection and a fair amount of RAM and storage capacity, so I have
no problems getting things to pop up. But, I am aware people who are visiting
have many different kinds of systems and connections. That is the reason
for keeping file sizes small on the photographs, and the maximum to around two
dozen or less on most pages. Of course, the less photos I put on any given page,
the more pages it takes to display the ones I want to share. This then lends
itself to the seeming complexity of the site. Click "Navigating the Site"
on the HOME page for an overview.
(added in October 2007) [I] Can't believe that as pix intense as your site is
that it loads up so quickly . . . is there a trick to that?
. . . I am glad to hear all the extra work --- works. I start, of course,
with either a digital original or a scan of my 35mm print. Then I pull
the photos into an old (Corel) Photo House 1.1 program (although any photo program
which has variable quality settings will work). I tell the computer to
use 100 pixels per inch (dpi) so the inches and pixels will match in number
(500 pixels = 5 inches, etc) and I do not have to do any calculating.
I usually reduce the photo to a size where the longest edge is 500 pixels or
less, then I save it (in JPEG format). The reason I like the old Photo
House program is it has a sliding scale beginning at 2 and going thru 255 rather
than just low, medium and high quality settings. I have learned that between
24 and 44 (quality setting) at 500 pixels (longest edge), I can usually get
the file size down below 50 kilobytes, which is the objective. It is pretty
astounding really, to see a picture of around 900 kilobytes or even 1.5 megabytes
reduce to less than 50, but that is what lets them open so quickly. It
is a little tricky when I want something bigger, like a background. The
larger the size gets, the lower the quality has to go to compensate in file
size. Around 44 (quality setting) I start to lose image integrity (becomes
pixilated). You can see it in some of the backgrounds in the quotes section.
I always copy my image files to a work folder (not taking a chance with the
original that way) when doing this, then save the smaller photo as a separate
picture file (save as), lately with the letters RFW (reduced for website) after
the photo inventory number, to distinguish it from the original.
If your photo program only has low, medium and high, at 500
pixels, the medium setting is usually sufficient to get the file size down.
Once you get the hang of it, things move pretty quickly. Unless of course
you work with the amount of pictures I do. Then sometimes it feels like
it is going to take forever just to get the images ready to use.