Our yard has some of the most beautiful iris flowers, white with a deep purple. Here's a closeup of one flower:

110426 Iris

Strawberry Jam

When we went to the NC Farmer's Market a few weeks back, Ann brought a couple flats of strawberries to make strawberry jam. She put up 34 jars of jam, which we will enjoy for the next several months!

110418 Strawberry Jam


Jacen passed his tests, and he was awarded "White Belt with Yellow Stripes." In the first picture, his instructor awards him the stripes; in the second he proudly displays. And we are very proud of our son!

110408 Jacen TKD Testing

110408 Jacen TKD Testing

Another chapter in Galatians

My work in Galatians continues. Today I finished chapter 4, which includes the "allegory" of Hagar and Sarah. You can find my translation and interpretation on my New Testament page.

The purpose of the author

"The passage, and therefore the Word of God itself, is misrepresented, misused, and mishandled when it purpose has not been determined, with the direct result that its power and authority are lost." (Jay Adams, quoted in Greidanus' "The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text")

White belt with yellow stripes

Jacen has been taking Tae Kwon Do lessons this year, and last week was his first test. He began as a white belt, and he tested for the next rank, white belt with yellow stripes. The test consisted of moving through a set of forms, both individually and against another person. Here are some of the shots from the latter:

110408 Jacen TKD Testing

In this one, one of his instructors looks on:

110408 Jacen TKD Testing

More deer in the park

Two more shots of deer in Durant Park, near our house in Raleigh, NC:

110407 Deer

110407 Deer

Preaching video on Eph 4

Here's a video on Vimeo from a sermon I preached in Feb on Ephesians 4:1-6 on walking worthy of our calling:

Ephesians 4:1-6 from James Garriss on Vimeo.

Deer in the park

On two different occasions our family was walking through nearby Durant Park when we saw a herd of deer passing through. The second time, I had my camera.

110407 Deer

110407 Deer

Galatians 3

I continue to study the book of Galatians in my quiet time. I've recently finished my translation and interpretation of chapter 3, which you can find on my New Testament page.

Jacen likes them, too

I suppose it was not really surprising to find that Jacen liked Twinkies as well.

110330 Twinkies

110330 Twinkies

First time ever

Having lived overseas, our kids had many opportunities to do something for the first time ever. Recently they had such an opportunity right here in America:

110330 Twinkies

That's right, our kids have never had a Twinkie. Will they like it?

Robin Cardinal eggs

The next day I went back and found the mother robin cardinal sitting on her nest of eggs:

(Edit: Major thanks to my father who caught my mistake! This is a not a robin, but a cardinal. The beak is the giveaway, and I missed it.)

110330 Robin

110330 Robin


"Tension is absolutely essential to life. We grow and develop through tension. Our character is shaped by it. If God answered our prayers immediately, relieving all of our tensions in life, it would destroy us because we would see God as a tool to be used, like a genie in Aladdin's lamp. We would become even more selfish than we already are." (Bruce Waltke quoted in Guthrie's "Reading the Bible for Life)

Another preaching video

Here's a second video of me preaching from the book of James:

James 1:5-11 from James Garriss on Vimeo.

Robin Cardinal eggs

There are two camilla bushes in our front yard, one white and one red. While pruning them last weekend, I noticed that one had a nest, and in the nest were 3 robin Cardinal eggs:

110330 Robin Eggs

A portrait of a friend

Here's another friend, Tim. This one was taken for the staff page of our church, Open Door.

110330 Tim

Monster cookies

Last week I got a hankering for chocolate chip cookies--a regularly re-occurring event in our family--so Ann set out to make a new recipe. Generally it's a bad idea for Ann to mess with my favorite cookie, but this time it turned out well. The result of her efforts was a monstrously large cookie, three times the size of a normal chocolate chip cookie:

110330 Oreo Chocolate Chip

Why so large? The secret is revealed within. Yep, she encased an Oreo within two chocolate chip cookies. Yummy!

110330 Oreo Chocolate Chip

Portrait of a friend

It seems I've been doing a lot of portrait shooting lately, so I guess it's a logical progression to be shooting a portrait of a dog. This is Ghengis, an aptly named boxer, who belongs to our friends Tim and Nancy:

110330 Ghengis

110330 Ghengis


Jacen has been taking Tae Kwon Do this year and really enjoying it. He practices twice a week at our church. He's still a white belt, but he'll soon test for his first promotion. Here he's pictured in chim-bee, which is the ready stance.

110327 Jacen TKD

A portrait of Emmy

I'm still learning how to use a new flash I bought. Here's a portrait of Emmy. She'll be 11 in 6 weeks.

110327 Emmy

Future helicopter

Here's a shot from a maple tree near our church. The first time I tried to capture these seeds, they were a maroon red color; but my shots weren't any good, so I tried again. This time they were this amazing, bright green color.

110330 Helicopter

4 Errors to avoid when reading the Bible

1) Jumping from reading the Bible to personal application with finding the original meaning.
2) Opening the Bible at random and taking that as God's word for you today.
3) Failing to understand the context.
4) Failing to understand the type of literature (e.g., poetry, prophecy, epistle, etc.).

(George Guthrie in ch 1 of "Read the Bible for Life")