Good photo

What makes a good photo?

couple in carriage

Just married

(Christof Stache,AFP/Getty images/ July14,2010)

Germany’s defender Philipp Lahm kisses his wife Claudia, former Claudia Schattenberg, in a carriage after their marriage in the church of Kleinhelfendorf in southern Germany. Lahm came back from the FIFA world Cup in South Africa on July 12, where his team placed third.

This was one of 118 photos that was published by the Chicago Tribune in a feature entitled “Photos in the News” on their website for July 14, 2010. Viewers were invited to leave comments regarding the photo in the feature.

I did not leave a comment, but I thought that this might be appropriate: “Congratulations to a VERY happy couple”.  Or maybe this would be appropriate: “Oops, another ‘wardrobe malfunction’.

What do you think? What would you comment about this photo? Is this a good photo?

Perhaps Philipp and his new bride, Claudia, would be more pleased to have this photo in their personal album of photos from their wedding where they could reflect on the moment through the years and share it and other pictures with members of their families and other friends than to have it published on the Internet for all the world to see.

Philipp and Claudia are obviously a very happy and beautiful couple, as the photographer caught them in this special moment following their wedding.  But this photo has a lot more to illustrate than just the joy of the moment.

I would invite you to consider a statement that I have written about “A Good Marriage” on my website as you consider your response to this picture. It can be viewed here: a good marriage

I would suggest that one of the great qualities of this photo is that it captures the special blessing that comes to couples as they give and receive the special personal expressions of their love and affection for each other. I think that most viewers of this photo will recognize that it is much different than many of the “kissing” photos that are displayed and preserved in most wedding albums. It portrays qualities of tenderness and respect that are very important in any “good” marriage.

As you reflect on this photo and my statement on “A Good Marriage”, what do you see in this photo that illustrates some of the principles that I have given in this statement? Let’s talk about this photo and what it takes to have “a good marriage.

Emotional support

If you are engaged in giving or receiving emotional support with someone, you are engaged in a process that is a special gift to both of you. You just may be trying to encourage a friend or your spouse who has recently lost his or her job. Maybe a neighbor just came down with a “bug”, and needs some help for a few days. Or maybe one of your coworkers just went through a divorce. Or maybe you are responsible for the ongoing care of an parent who has become disabled by a serious stroke or disease, and they will need a lot of emotional support everyday as they struggle with their changing circumstances. All of the various problems that are currently troubling our society are creating a growing group of thousands of people who are in daily need of some emotional support from someone else. Their cases are reported everyday on the news, particularly if they live in any of the gulf states.

Part of their needs may be financial, but the bigger, more important part, is probably more personal. It has to do with how they are going to adjust to their changing situation. Oil companies, banks, government agencies, and even churches, synagogues, or mosques can’t provide the quality of emotional support that is needed by many people today. Such emotional support can best be provided by a friend who really cares and with whom you don’t need an “appointment” to see.

For some additional commentary on this matter see my statements on encouragement and care givers on my website. There is a big need for this good gift of emotional support in our society today. How much “paper work” should be completed before one can get this type of support? Why can’t the big agencies with money and personnel provide this kind of support? What does a person need in order to provide good emotional support to someone else? Let’s talk about this matter.

Good entertainment

We’re into the summer season of TV programs, but what do you find that offers good entertainment?

I have a hard time finding anything that is really good enjoyable entertainment. We don’t have many channels for our programs, but I don’t think that having more channels makes much difference. There is only more of the “same” from which to choose, more movies, more sports, more crime dramas, more “sexy” comedies, more reruns, more talk, more contests, etc. And of course there are more advertisements everywhere.

There is no good entertainment left?

Apparently more and more people are making the decision to listen to their favorite music on their iPod’s, or to just spend their free time talking with their friends on Facebook, or tweeting on Twitter, but the content of much of these “messages” may not be very enjoyable or even positive. There doesn’t seem to be much that is “good” these days to talk about or to write about for the hours of TV broadcasting that must be filled everyday. What entertainment do you find that is really good? What makes it enjoyable? How does it affect your mood at the time? Is the effect positive? How long does it last? Is there any good entertainment left? Let’s talk about this matter.

Good jokes

Have you heard or read any good jokes lately? I’m not sure that I have. There doesn’t seem to be many really funny stories or incidents being circulated through all of the media today. I don’t think that a good joke should malign anyone. It shouldn’t make light of anyone’s race, nationality, gender, age, looks, health, or intelligence.  Sexual relations is too serious a matter to be the focus of a really good and “clean” joke.

Where are the good jokes?

There are a lot of severe and difficult problems facing many individuals in our world today. There is very little good news being broadcast or circulated by all of the media that is available to us today. It would help to hear or to read something that was really funny. Has something really funny happened to you? If so, you might share it without maligning anyone else. If you know any good jokes, submit it as a comment to this post. If it meets my standards, I’ll approve it and publish it. Let me know your standards for a good joke. What makes you laugh? Let’s talk about this.

Lessons from the oil spill

There are lessons from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It is obvious that the engineers at BP and their associates have been seeking to “harvest” a crop from a “field” that is surrounded by powerful forces over which they have little or no control. Now the oil is polluting the “fields” of the fishermen in the gulf who seek to “harvest” the crops of shrimp, clams, crabs, oysters, and fish, the sea creatures that form the “produce” of their businesses.

These business men are not much different from the farmers who seek to harvest crops from the land upon which they reside. They all seek to harvest crops from raw materials that they didn’t make from fields that are subject to forces over which they have little or no control to sell products that they really don’t “own”. None of the engineers made the oil that they seek to harvest or the field that they entered to get it. None of the fishermen made any of the creatures that they work to harvest every year or the fields from which they seek to get them. None of the miners made the coal fields from which they seek to harvest their products. None of the engineers made the winds that power the turbines that they have fashioned to produce the electrical currents that they sell. None of the engineers who make the solar panels to harvest the heat of the sun made or can control the forces that create that heat. None of the jewelers made the gold, diamonds, and other precious stones that they buy from harvesters  and fashion into beautiful items to be sold in the commercial markets of the world. And none of the wetlands and marshes along the gulf coasts were made by any of the residents of Louisiana or any other of the states that border that body of water.

Lessons from the oil spill?

All of the creatures and nests and plants that some residents of these states and our politicians are seeking to save and all of the raw materials that are available to human beings who seek to fashion them into products that they can sell or otherwise use and even the products themselves belong to God! (See Psalms 24:1 in the Bible) All of the “farmers” of the world and the merchants who sell their products and the customers who buy them and the dependent human beings who use them are dependent upon the loving God who has provided them with the basic resources to meet their needs. But the harvesting,  the selling,  the use of these products , and even the care of the living creatures in these “fields” must be done within the rules and guidelines that have been established by God otherwise the systems of production and marketing will get broken and there will be serious consequences and losses for everyone.

These are some of the good lessons that we might learn from the oil spill. Let’s talk about this.

Good neighbours

Good neighbours are priceless friends. He or she or they are people with whom you can talk. They will watch out for your place without being nosy. They are people from whom you can borrow something, if they have it to lend. They may help you with a project in your home. They respect you and genuinely care about your welfare. They will be supportive and encouraging without being wishy-washy or dishonest. You can depend upon them to be straight with you. You can trust them. They may live on the other side of the wall, on the lot next door or across the street, or down the road apiece, but they are there.

One of the greatest compliments that you can pay anyone is to say that he or she or they are good neighbours

In your opinion what makes a neighbor good? For a comment regarding one quality of this matter see this statement on friendship Are you a good neighbour? Do you have good neighbours? What do we need to do in order to be good neighbors? Let’s talk about this.

Good business

The president is trying to introduce some reforms into the banking and financial operations of our markets. He apparently wants these businesses to be good businesses, to be more “transparent” in some of their transactions. But some of the executives seem to be somewhat reluctant to support the full extent of his proposed reforms. It is reasonable to expect business executives to refrain from trying to sell merchandise that is dangerous without clearly noting its dangers. It is reasonable to pass laws against fraud in business transactions and to prosecute accused offenders. But there is a reasonable difference between what is fraud and what is just a “shady deal”.

A good business?

There is a difference between what is a deadly or dangerous side effect to some product and what is just a possible side effect for some users. There may be a difference between the advertised claims of a product and its actual benefits, but these differences are commonly overlooked unless the real effects of using the product are severely dangerous. Many used cars are sold “as is” with no guarantees or warranties. Perhaps high risk mortgages should be sold the same way. But then the banks and financial business that hold them might have a hard time in selling them, and they may lose a lot of money when the lenders default.

No one wants to loose money in any business transaction, but most business transactions involve some risks.  So the reform issue seeks to minimize some of these risks. How much “transparency” is really appropriate in any good business? Is honesty really the best policy? What if all of the risks involved in the use of some product are not clearly stated in the “fine print”, is that grounds for “fraud”? Let’s talk about this.