My husband has had a passion for photography longer than I’ve had a passion for writing (and I say that only because he’s older than I am). He loves capturing the fleeting moments of God’s amazing creation, once on film, now in digital format.
When we were dating, he took hold of my heart when he assembled a slide show of his favorite photos. From sunrise to sunset (and some instrumental music playing in the background) he led me through the beauty and wonder of creation. I felt as if he was giving me a glimpse into his heart and soul. And I thought, “if these pictures reflect this man, then he’s someone I could spend my life with.” That was over thirty years ago.
Throughout our life together he has continued to take pictures. However, only a few others were blessed by his art and I always encouraged him to “do something” with all the images he had. And I encouraged him all the more after we retired.
In 2017, I discovered what was then called Amazon Create Space where aspiring writers could self publish their own books and with it, an idea began to blossom. That same summer I attended a ministry retreat and in a box of free books I found a simple 8X8 book by photographer Mal Austen, a photo meditation on the psalms. As I flipped through the book I thought, we could do this.
I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember writing the poem at my parents’ home that, along with verses from the Psalms, now make up the heart of Praise. I asked Jon to look through his images and find pictures to go along with each verse. I kept the format simple, one of Jon’s photos, a verse from the Psalm, a line from my poem, a prayer prompt, and space for the reader to write her own prayer.
I dubbed it our photo devotional. And the Be Still series was born. I had the first edition done and up for sale on Amazon in November of that year. Our church organized a fall artisan fair that year and I used the opportunity to promote and sell the first copies.
The book can be purchased on Amazon at Praise: Proclaiming the Glory of God.
See all the books currently available by visiting my Be Still page.
All the books in the Be Still series are available on Amazon. Visit my author page Jill English Johnston.