Photographer Patty Brdar
|Back to HOME page|
Keepers Greetings & Graphics, as a business, has a rather short history since 1998. So the better approach to the background of its development is to give my personal testimony...
Accepting the Lord Jesus as Savior
I was born into a Christian family, the youngest of six children. I was taken to Presbyterian church as an infant and went to Sunday school as a child. Jesus always seemed "real" to me; I had no reason to doubt that He existed and loved me just as I had been taught. It was in Mrs. Lunny's Sunday school classroom (she was a warm, loving woman that must have exuded the love of the Lord) that I prayed to receive Jesus into my heart when I was just 6 years old. Praise God! Just imagine that! The God of the Universe sends His Spirit to do the mighty work of salvation even in a little child! I have no memory of deliverance from any sorted preschool sins of note, but I do remember the happy, new feeling of belonging to Jesus (John 3:16, Romans 8:15 and Ephesians 1:5).
The Early Years
These were also the early years of becoming a "shutter bug" when my Dad bought each of us a cheap plastic camera and supplied us with 126-cartridge film and "flash cubes." I still have quite a few black-and-white snapshots of our Collie dog. And family vacations were always a highlight of each summer where I attempted to take pictures at the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Traveling and photography were thus etched into my being.
Geographically, I started out in Pennsylvania for my first 18 years, then spent 13 years living in Honolulu, then moved to Jerusalem for an exciting year, followed by five years in California, and then returned to Pennsylvania in 1997. I've traveled extensively to many different countries, particularly in Asia, and Europe. I've had the opportunity for first-hand glimpses of cultures and religions around the world and to see a bit of the work God is doing through his faithful servants in places where you'd least expect it. I've worked and/or volunteered in Christian ministries that have provided the most exhilarating successes as well as the deepest heartaches.
Hardships and God's Faithfulness
Living as a Christian does not mean that life is always easy. Some of the most difficult episodes in my life that were real faith-testers include the sudden death of my brother John (he was 15, I was 14); in my 20s, the loss of a loving relationship with a man who, as it turned out, was an atheist and couldn't bear with my Christian beliefs; in my 30s, my work at a beloved ministry had an ugly, un-Christlike ending; and at age 41, I was hit with a horrid, debilitating disease that lasted 10 severe months until I just wanted to die. Having a relationship with the Lord is sometimes the only blessing in the midst of painful moments. He is always present and willing to confirm, restore and renew His relationship with me whenever I turn to Him. He has answered countless prayers, both big and small. My best, life-long friends in the whole world are those I've met through worshipping God together. Serving God and making a difference in other people's lives, in the midst of whatever kind of work I'm doing, is always the most gratifying part of life.
Through the years, the Lord seems to continually weave Jewish influences into my Christian walk. It started in 1981 when I met an Israeli believer at a Bible study in Waikiki, and then went to visit her in Israel two years later, and I was "hooked" on Israel. Since then, I've met many other Christians who have a love for the Jewish people, and I learned more about the unique circumstances involved when discussing the Lord with Jewish people. I began meeting more and more Jewish-believers-in-Jesus who astounded me with their understanding of the Scriptures because of their knowledge of the Jewish culture. The first time I heard a Jewish-Christian scholar speak on the Gospels, it was like I was hearing the story for the first time! Although I desired with all my heart to know God through His Word, I realized that I was missing a HUGE aspect of God's Word - the Jewish roots of my Christian faith. So, God graciously continued to give me opportunities for in-depth Bible study, which included attending the weekly Torah study at the local synagogue in Honolulu. In addition to my regular church, I also attended my first Messianic Congregation - a group of Jews and Gentiles who love the Lord Jesus and worship together in unity (Eph. 2:11-22).
I've had several exciting, extended visits to Israel, including the opportunity to move to Jerusalem and live in the Old City with my best friend Riv. We signed up for Hebrew school to learn the language. Every day was filled with new learning experiences in our new environment. I was able to stay in Israel for more than a year on a tourist visa. We saw the seasons and the holidays and met many interesting people - Jews, Arabs, and people from almost every country in the world. Worshipping God as part of an international choir in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve is one very special memory among many. We also experienced the Gulf War first hand - air raid sirens in the middle of the night, gas masks, taping up doors and windows, and listening for news on radios in three different languages. The year in Israel was the most intense, day-by-day (sometimes minute-by-minute) walk with the Lord that I have ever experienced in my life. It was truly a time of "relationship" with Him.
Keepers Greetings & Graphics
All my travel adventures through the years have afforded me the opportunity to take thousands of lovely pictures. In 1998, I started Keepers Greetings & Graphics, and Israel greeting cards and note cards were the first product. As the business grew, store managers requested gift items more than cards, so "Scripture Pictures" quickly became my main product line - photos of Israel framed with appropriate Scripture verses that compliment the biblical site - which I sell via the Internet, at art shows, and at Christian bookstores around the country. In 2002, I left my regular office job, as the time seemed right to jump into photography as a full-time business. "Irish Blessings" - photos of Ireland framed with fun Irish blessings and poems - became the next major development in the Keepers' product line.
Road trips to stores across the country were highly successful. However, no sooner had business begun to take off, due to health issues in my immediate family, responsibilities kept me "grounded" from traveling. So a new plan was set in motion for doing all my work from my home workshop. Thus, this new, larger web site was launched in 2003 - www.PattyBrdarPhoto.com - and will enable the business to grow, God willing, as I now offer custom elargements as well as license images for publications and web sites. Many (perhaps thousands) more photos of other countries will eventually be added, with a particular focus on God's beautiful creation - nature, flowers, animals, mountains, fields, waterfalls and oceans. All in the Lord's time. And to God be the glory. Amen.
2004 Update: Good news! I've just completed an agreement with a major manufacturing company that will market six of the Israel Scripture Pictures to gift & specialty shops and Christian bookstores all across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand! Look for the beautifully framed Holy Land photos at your local gift store beginning in August 2004!!! ( If you are a buyer for a store, please contact me, info@PattyBrdarPhoto.com, and I will put you in contact with the marketing reps.)
In the course of developing Keepers, I have been blessed with the help of many wonderful people. See the Thank You page.
Back to HOME PAGE