Well, after doing some research and prayer, I bought a new camera, which arrived on my doorstep from Amazon this morning. I bought a brand new Canon Rebel XSi. I took it for a little test-drive last week at a camera store in Manchester, and I think it has all the features I want. I had thought about buying the camera from the store, since the price was actually comparable to anything I could get online. But there were two things holding me back: I found it for $13 cheaper from Amazon, and, more importantly, they didn't have it in stock right then, so I would have had to have driven back to Manchester sometime this week - which is 30-40 minutes in the opposite direction from where I normally drive. So, it would have been more than just a $13 difference with gas prices these days (not to mention the time I would have to spend driving to and from). But I think it would have been nice to support a local store, rather than the giant online retailers.
The camera seems nice so far, though I haven't done much. It is super light and has some neat features. It can take a lot more frames per second than my previous camera, and it has mirror lock-up for those longer exposures.
I did pray (though not enough, admittedly) about whether I should spend all this money on a camera - something that is merely a hobby for me. I have been wondering for a while if I should spend so much time and money on something that is merely a hobby. Am I really helping anyone by taking part in such a pasttime? I don't know. I have been trying to figure out how I can utilize my photography as more than just backgrounds for PowerPoint presentations, and the covers for my New England Pastor magazine. Even though I love New England - taking pictures of white churches, covered bridges, and other charming architectural icons doesn't seem like it necessarily turns a person's mind to the Creator. I do take pictures of scenes that are purely nature, but I take just as many of these man-made structures.
The same holds true for snapshots on family vacations and outings. It's nice to have a record of memories, but is it all that important to have a $700 camera for such a thing?
So . . . I continue to try to figure out how I can use this hobby of mine for God. Suggestions would be welcomed.
On another note, I don't have a lot else on my mind these days as it relates to blog posts. Nothing has struck me as blogworthy recently, but I'm sure there will be something in the near future. We are just starting the Nominating Committee process in my churches, and it promises to be quite intense. I am praying for God's wisdom in this whole process. We really need it.