• Rates & Packages
    • What to Expect
    • Find Me on Facebook
    • Follow Me on Pinterest
    • Subscribe
    • About this Blog

book recommendations for the current season

Tina Vega Booklist October 2020

  1. Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby [New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller]
  2. The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor: Seeing Others Through the Eyes of Jesus by Mark Labberton [2011 Christianity Today Book Winner]
  3. Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by Latasha Morrison [New York Times and ECPA Bestseller]
  4. Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Minds by Jen Wilkin
  5. Still Evangelical?: Insiders Reconsider Political, Social, and Theological Meaning by Mark Labberton, Lisa Sharon Harper, Jim Daly, Shane Claiborne, Karen Swallow Prior, Mark Galli, Tom Lin, Soong-Chan Rah, Robert Chao Romero, Sandra Maria Van Opstel, Allen Yeh, and Mark S. Young [2018 Forward INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalists – Religion]
  6. America for the Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States by Erika Lee [this award-winning author teachers at the University of Minnesota]

I have provided Amazon links above and many are free to borrow through Hoopla and other library apps.

Back to Top Contact Me Share on Facebook Tweet this Post Email to a Friend

light & darkness cannot share the same room

I know that words matter – we are influenced by them and in turn influence others by what we say. I wrote a faithbooking lesson on this topic more than a decade ago when I shared a story about our old neighbors – “Jeffrey Dahmer” and “The Mole People.”

These were nicknames I had come up with for the neighbors living next door to us based on behaviors I had observed; I not only referred to them that way in our own home, but in conversation with other neighbors. This went on for months. When I finally met “The Mole People” in person, I discovered they were sleep-deprived parents with a newborn (the reason they were always inside with blinds drawn). It turns out Tony and I had a lot common with them and we became friends shortly before our move to Rosemount. I tried telling the other neighbors about my name-calling mistake but the damage had been done. My words had influenced others to believe the worst about our next-door neighbors and it stuck.

After becoming a Christian, I learned about the power of words from a biblical perspective:

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Proverbs 13:3

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak. Matthew 12:36

Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34

There are six thing the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. Proverbs 6:16-19

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. Proverbs 29:11

I think it’s pretty safe to say this applies whether words are written or spoken. I share this now because I have really been struggling with words I am seeing and hearing from our president.

© Tina Vega Photography

Words meant to hurt, encourage rebellion, and blame.

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

And as I learned for myself in the lesson with our neighbors, this is wrong. It is not cancelled out by the wrongdoing of others, nor is it erased by good behavior, good intentions, or good deeds. I spent decades making excuses for my own behavior before realizing I desperately needed the saving grace of Christ. [The only way out from this stuck way of living is salvation which requires confession, repentance, and transformation as the natural progression.]

I still mess up but can no longer make excuses for my poor behavior, actions, and words. I lean into the above process over and over again asking God to shape me into someone who looks more like him.

None of us has this thing all figured out and all of us are right about some things and wrong about others. I value freedom which allows for differing thoughts/opinions and believe there is much we can learn from each other. That being said, in my own pursuit of truth early in the pandemic I printed up the president’s tweets and spread them out on my table.

© Tina Vega Photography

And the pattern it revealed was unmistakable. As a born again, bible-believing, Jesus-loving Christian I am concerned about the church’s involvement and backing of Donald Trump, specifically its impact on those who do not yet know the Lord. Plain and simple, I struggle to see how any of this glorifies God. My call is to love God with everything I have (heart, soul, mind, and strength) and to love my neighbor as myself. Love is a feeling that expresses itself in action – showing tenderness, compassion, and sensitivity. If this is the case, what am I radiating? Do my actions line up with my words? What am I doing to encourage those around me? Things to think about over the coming weeks and beyond.

You are not the same as those who don’t believe. So don’t join yourselves to them. Good and evil don’t belong together. Light and darkness cannot share the same room.
2 Corinthians 6:14

Back to Top Contact Me Share on Facebook Tweet this Post Email to a Friend

jake | minnesota high school senior photographer

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

I met Jake and his mom several weeks ago at a beautiful park in the Stillwater area. It had been years since I last saw Jake in person and it was so fun to see him now as a young man.

© Tina Vega Photography

In addition to his senior session, his mom wanted a few family pictures captured as well.

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Here’s a peek at several more of my favorites from our time together:

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Thanks again for the great afternoon. Have a wonderful senior year, Jake!

Back to Top Contact Me Share on Facebook Tweet this Post Email to a Friend

summer day at the arboretum | minneapolis family photographer

© Tina Vega Photography

Days earlier I had met 2/5 of this lovely family for a senior session. During that session I gain valuable information regarding a certain Mike & Ike-loving family member and decided to use it to my advantage.

© Tina Vega Photography

I wish I could say it was the reason these images turned out so incredibly lovely but, truth be told the family was that way all on their own.

© Tina Vega Photography

It was my first time at the arboretum since “the olden days” (pre-Covid) and we may have broken a few rules. There were so many arrows and signs, it sort of threw my off at first. Thankfully there were only a handful of people on site. But we eventually made our way around and had fun in the meantime.

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Here are several more of my favorites from our time together:

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Thanks again for the fun, fun afternoon!

Back to Top Contact Me Share on Facebook Tweet this Post Email to a Friend

lucas | minnesota high school senior session

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

I met Lucas a few weeks ago for a morning session at one of my favorite spots. We talked about summer, school, and activities – I discovered Lucas is a talented musician among many other things.

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

It was a pleasure to get to know him and his mom in addition to learning a little about his family (who were scheduled to work with me days later).

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Here are a few more of my favorites from our first time together:

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Have a great senior year Lucas!

Back to Top Contact Me Share on Facebook Tweet this Post Email to a Friend

T W I T T E R