“The finest men in all the world are not to be found in the warm, genial climates, where the earth has only to be tickled with a hoe, and it laughs with plenty; but the strongest and the most enterprising spirits have been found at the back of the north wind, where there are frosts and ice, and long, dreary winters, and men have a hard struggle for a livelihood. They become really men under that stern training. Now, if there were no thorns and thistles, no struggles and no trials, should we have any brave Christians? Should we have any great and noble souls at all? When did the Church yield her best men for her Lord’s service? It was in the persecuting times, when they had to swim through seas of blood to hold fast the truth of Christ. These are silken days, and we have wretched specimens of Christians everywhere; but if the times of persecution were to come once more, with the rough winds blowing, and the whole sea of the world tossed in tempest, we should then find brave sailors who would put the ship’s head to the wind, and ride safely over the stormy billows in the name of the Eternal God.” Spurgeon, C. H.

From the Thorns and Thistles Sermon, Vol 39.

Announcements,

Some SmugMug Features

If you visit the new Smug Mug gallery you’ll notice there’s a section called “top 100 photo keywords”. Each photo I uploaded now has keywords tagged to each photo that tell things like who is in the photo and where it was taken. I recently started adding these keywords to each photo within Photoshop. Now, if you want to see all the photos of Claire, you can click on the keyword and all of them will be collected in a gallery for you to view. Also, notice that when you hover your mouse over the keyword, it shows how many photos exist for that keyword. The size and boldness of the keyword also is an indication of how many photos are collected under that keyword.

One other thing, the galleries are now organized into categories and there can also be subcategories. This is basically for organizational purposes to make it easier to navigate through many photos. For example, our families trip to Alabama has so many photos, that it would just be a bit too many for one gallery, so I created a category called Alabama 2007 which you can see from the front page. When you click on this, it will bring you to another page that shows you several galleries from our Alabama 2007 trip. Since there are so many photos, you may not see all of them in one sitting, so this organization of the photos into sub galleries not only makes it easier to go back to where you left off, it also makes it easier for browsing or returning to photos in the future if you want to grab a photo that you know is on there somewhere.

There’s some other cool features of Smug Mug, such as, featured galleries, and most popular photos, but since the Smug Mug interface is new to most of you, and there aren’t that many galleries in there to begin with, I decided to disable those features for now to simplify things.