Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:6-7

6 For to us a child is born,to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, [a] Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:6-7


Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Birth of Christ - Merry Christmas

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

- Luke 2:1-20 (NIV)
Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas - Silent Night

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child!
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in Heavenly Peace,
Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Silent night, holy night, Darkness flies, all is light;
Shepherds hear the angels sing,
Alleluia! hail the King!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.

Silent night, holy night, Wondrous star, lend the light;
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Saviour is born,
Christ the Saviour is born.
Words: Joseph Mohr, John Freeman Young
Music: Franz Gruber

I have always loved the silence in the night of Christmas Eve. Growing up, my parents would take me and my brother around the city to view the Christmas decorations. Although many of the lights and displays were incredible as people had put many hours into creating them, what got me the most what the silence of the night. The quiet of the evening which seemed to start at sunset. The crowds running to and fro, the hustle and bustle of the city, seems to stop. A gentle hush seems to cover the earth on Christmas Eve.

I love the Christmas Carol, "Silent Night" as it not only reminds me of the memories of my childhood but that Christ was born. He came to earth to live as man, then He died to save us from our sins. We can be forgiven of those sins, which we all do, simply by asking Him to forgive us and come into our hearts. Once we do that, in sincerity with all your heart and mind, He will forgive us and give us eternal life in heaven.

Celebrate! Christ's birth this Christmas. May you have a blessed Christmas. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Introducing Noah

I didn't think that I would be able to do it, but one look at his furry face and reading the profile, I had to check him out. Who is he? Noah. Actually, he started out with the name Sawyer given to him at the Rescue. So, I did. We planned to go to see him and the infamous Northern Virginia traffic made things more of a challenge than we had time. So, we rescheduled for Saturday.

I was scheduled to photograph dogs with Santa Claus at the Ashburn Village Animal Hospital on Saturday, so we went after I finished. That was a fun shoot and I was almost disappointed when it ended. But was anxious to possibly be adopting a dog too.

We headed to the rescue, Pet Connect, in Maryland. Found his home and went to visit.

He instantly knew to become friends with my wife first. She's the cat person in the family and so he did. He won her heart, then he came to meet me. It was hard on me because I still missed Mozart, but knew I needed to fill the "dog void" in my life.

Long story short, he came home with us. We changed his name to Noah. He is two-years old and a very playful puppy. He is mostly Black Lab, but has a bit of another breed in him. Not sure what yet and it really doesn't matter except for my own curiosity.

This photo of him was taken on his first day out in the snow after the storm ended.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Saturday!!

I always look forward to Saturdays! The day I can get up early, enjoy my photography and get a few things done around my house.

Today, though, is different. I will be photographing dogs with Santa Claus at the Ashburn Village Animal Hospital where my dog's vet works. They take appointments from their clients and set up a two-hour block of time for photographing and add a Christmas party in the mix. I am excited about the event and have been for several months.

I lost my dog, Ruffgang Amadeus Mozart (1995-2009), a little less than month ago. Although, definately the hardest thing to do, I am planning to look at another dog later today. Hopefully, he will come home with us tonight. Not a replacement for Mozart, but a new addition to our family to fill the void where Mozart left off. He is 2 years old and a Black Lab Mix. We'll see what happens.
Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Friday

Happy Friday!! I am off today. Decided a few months ago, today would be a good day to take off and enjoy the day. Will probably work on my photography for awhile, take a nap (or two), do a few things around the house, and then back to relaxing!

I look this image a few years ago with my Fuiji S5200 camera. It's a point and shoot but it created some fantastic images. This image was taken at sunrise in February when I was concentrating on finding Winter's beauty. I like the mystery the trees create in front of the clouds. The photographing of sunrise with the clouds was the start of my interest in photographing clouds and the creation of my Clouds Gallery at

If you are headed to work today, I hope you have a great and blessed day!

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Have Everything - Bud Hance

So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, will give You thanks forever.
Psalm 79:13

Erma Bombeck once wrote about the subject of thankfulness, saying that when she forgot to be thankful among cancer survivors, she would hear the voice of a particular eight-year-old named Christina, who had cancer of the nervous system. When Christina was asked what she wanted for her birthday, she thought for a moment and then responded by saying "I don't know. I have two sticker books and a Cabbage Patch doll. I have everything!"

Sometimes a momentary thought about someone other than ourselves is all it takes to remind us to be thankful for what we have and who we are. In the same way, when we turn our attention away from ourselves and upward, toward the Giver of all life, the many blessings He has poured out on us come rushing back and overwhelm us with thanksgiving.

If we find ourselves complaining about our situation or longing for a better life, we need to take a few moments to worship God and allow His goodness to wash over us until we are consumed with gratitude.

Philippians 4:10-13 (NASB)
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. [11] Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. [12] I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. [13] I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

The optimist says, the cup is half full. The pessimist says, the cup is half empty. The child of God says, my cup runneth over.
- Anonymous

Dr. David Jeremiah – Turning Point

Friday, November 20, 2009

In Memory of My Dog- (1995-2009)

It's hard to believe, I keep waiting for a bark, a yelp, or some noise to get my attention, my dog of 12 years would do.

After a fight with cancer, along with some other health problems, I had to put my dog, Ruffgang Amadeus Mozart, to sleep today. Although I knew it was coming, it was still the hardest thing to do. But, I knew his suffering would only worsen and I did not want him to go through that.

But, I celebrate the 12 years of companionship, the many summer nights of driving around town with all the windows down - his ears flopping in the wind as he stuck his nose in the air showing pure happiness, the snowball fights when he always managed to tackle me, the walks when I wondered who was walking who, the early morning wake-up calls "Daddy I gotta go out", and the "I love you" looks from your brown eyes.

Mozart came into our lives when his family moved out of the country. He was 2 years old and already had a few owners. We hit it off immediately and became best friends. When my wife and I bought our first new home together, Mozart was the first to move in. (and the first to bring mud into the new home!)

I will miss you Mozart, but I will see you in Heaven one of these days.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Two Newspapers by Bud Hance

Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

On his way to work one morning, a man purchased his usual newspaper and went on his way. To his dismay, he discovered that he had accidentally taken two newspapers instead of one. He immediately got in his car, drove back to the store and returned the extra paper. About a week later, someone stole money from that same store, and when the grocer thought through the patrons who frequented his store, he immediately dismissed the man as a suspect, saying, "That man is really honest. He came all the way back here just to return a newspaper he took by mistake."

Everything we do in life becomes evidence of who we truly are. What does our life's evidence say about us? Does it say that we merely profess to be a follower of Christ or does it reveal our love and true devotion to Him? While our goal should not be a morally perfect life, we should strive to have a walk with the Lord that is consistently growing and changing to resemble the One whom we serve.

1 Peter 1:13-16 (NKJV)
Living Before God Our Father

13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”[a]

A man's life is always more forcible than his speech. If his life and doctrine disagree, the mass of onlookers will accept his practice and reject his preaching.
- C.H. Spurgeon

Saturday, October 24, 2009

One Week Away - Pottery and Photography Open House - Oct 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It was last May when Tammy first asked if I would be interested in participating in an Open House with her. The time has flown (as always) and next weekend is our big event.

The photograph above is some of Tammy's work. The green stuff, as I call it. Tammy probably has a more formal name to it. Either way, it's all beautiful and you'll be happy you made the Open House.

Another side of Tammy, that I haven't mentioned, is her husband Steve. (This could take all day to write about!) Steve is quite a character and a lot of fun to be around. He can find the humor in everything- which is an excellent trait to have. Steve's talent is painting homes. Although I've not seen his work, knowing him I tend to believe it's great. But, don't trust him anywhere near Tammy's potters wheel!! Clay would go everywhere while Steve would have no clue what was happened. You'd be a mess, the house a mess and all we'd have to show for it would be a very small mound of clay that Steve would call a pot. If you are able to attend the Open House, you will get to meet Steve and his sense of humor. Be prepared to laugh and enjoy.

The more sane side of my family is my wife, Meg. She tends to be more fact based and sensible than I am. Although she claims not to be creative, she would make a good portrait or people photographer. While on trips, she'll take pictures of things and have people in them. It's funny how great the pictures turn out, when she didn't intend on that to happen. I think she has a creative streak that may be just itching to get out. Her strength is in accounting and numbers. I've never met anyone who can do accounting so easily!! Thank God she does the accounting for my business.

Me? You will see my nature images framed and unframed, matted and my art note cards. I will be taking orders for Christmas Cards too. Details at the Open House. And, if you have a Dog or Cat, you can check my Dog and Cat Photography Services!!!

I hope that you can come to the Pottery and Photography Open House, POTTERY AND PHOTOGRAPHY OPEN HOUSE at 14712 Algretus Drive,Centreville, VA 20120-1331, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More info: Allen Pearson, or Tammy Ratliff,

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Tribute to Fall

Well, by now you can tell that my favorite season is spring and summer. They are about equal, although the heat of the Summer may make it more of a favorite while the significance of Spring... meaning winter is ending.... is a major importance to me too. Also, the beauty of the flowers and plants returning for the season is magnificient.

But, Fall has it's beauty as well. Welcome fall! I've noticed the leaves this year are particularly beautiful. The reds, oranges, yellows, etc., are just magnificent. I tried to photograph it's splendor this season and just cannot seem to bring out it's beauty the way I see it.

This photograph was taken last fall during an art show in the Facquier County area. The simplicity of the leaf on the pond is what got my attention.

More fall images to come as the season goes along.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cloud Portraits

I am experimenting with a new software and was able to develop this video file. Thought it might be cool to show several images based on a theme.

Cloud Portraits is a gallery on my website where I feature images taken of clouds throughout the year. I find it fascinating to watch the clouds coming in before a storm and then as they depart. Often, the depth of the skies, especially when there are clouds in front of other clouds, are magnified in clouds.

I remember as a kid looking into the skies and playing the game, "what do you see?". Not sure who taught me this, but I remember seeing Snoopy, a turtle, a tree and many others by looking at the clouds and using my imagination.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Two Friends - Two Talents - an Open House, Oct. 31, 2009

In a few weeks, I will have the privilege of being part of an Open House with a fellow artist and friend.

Tammy Ratliff is a potter who makes functional pottery. If you have the opportunity to go to Clifton Days (in October every year), she is the potter who participates in their event. Tammy makes pottery that can be used around the house so its "functional" and just doesn't sit around the house gathering dust. Her work is beautiful and has a lot of vibrant earthy colors. She will have many of her pieces on display during the Open House. Visit her website at to learn more about Tammy and her craft.

I will be displaying nature prints (framed, matted, unmatted) and Art Note Cards. Art Note Cards feature images from my photography adventures, are blank inside for your personal notes and an envelope.
All of our work will be available for purchase so you can get an early start on Christmas shopping!!!
The details of the event are:

******Saturday, October 31, 2009******
with Tammy Ratliff
14712 Algretus Drive
Centreville, VA 20120-1331
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
More info: Allen Pearson,
or Tammy Ratliff,

Facebook: Allen Pearson's Photos
Twitter: AllensPhotos

Sunday, September 20, 2009

YAY for Sundays

I am so glad it is Sunday. I look forward to it, usually beginning on Monday morning around 8 a.m. ish. Why? I love going to church on Sunday mornings, been doing it every Sunday since I was a little boy through life to now (for the most part). I go to learn more about Jesus and God and to strengthen that relationship. A week without going to Sunday School and a Worship Service just lacks the fellowship and relationship I need. I tend to like the traditional worship with piano, organ, choir and hymns. (nothing against contemporary - uncle Jack). Anyway, the fulfilling spirit from attending church on Sunday with my wife is unmatched by anything else. My wife and I attend Ox Hill Baptist Church.

One of the main things I love about Sundays is just being with my wife. We usually go to lunch somewhere but not much else, but we are together. And it's great to just be together. She adds beauty to my life and the day like none other.

The other thing I love about Sundays is the time to do "nothing" or something that I enjoy. During the warmer months, I spend most Sunday afternoons in my gardens. The nap in the swing is always first priority. Then, I usually weed, deadhead plants, clean out the bird baths and feeders. During the cold months, I like to read, watch TV and sometimes do some photography in a local park.

It's the day. The day for church, spending time with my wife, and just enjoying life is here. May you have a blessed Sunday.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Live Honestly by Bud Hance

A friend of mine, Bud Hance, wrote this devotional called, "Live Honestly". I receive his devotions by email and learned quite a bit from them. This one, made me think more than usual, "Live Honestly". So, with his permission, I'd like to share this with you.

"Live Honestly"

"Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly." (Hebrews 13:18)

It ought to go without saying that a Christian should live honestly in all things. Apparently it does need saying, however, because the Scriptures contain many such references. For example: "Provide things honest in the sight of all men" (Romans 12:17). For the sake of one's Christian testimony before other men, it is vital that utter honesty must characterize his life. Even if men cannot see our little acts of dishonesty, God can, and so even our secret actions must be "providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men" (2 Corinthians 8:21). "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest . . . think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).

We live in a corrupt and cynical society where genuine honesty is rare. Petty pilfering at the office, cheating on taxes, plagiarizing, loafing at the job, padding expense accounts, cheating on tests, cutting corners on obligations, breaking promises, exaggerating--the list of petty dishonesties is endless, not even to mention the crime and major corruption so prevalent today almost everywhere. In such an environment dominated and conditioned by a humanistic educational system, unsaved persons easily adapt to such questionable practices, for "unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled" (Titus 1:15).

But when Christians do such things (and, unfortunately, they do!), those same people find it scandalous, and blaspheme the gospel because of it. How vital it is for Christians to become scrupulously sensitive about even the smallest matters. This should, in fact, be a major item of daily prayer, as in our text for the day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Creation Sings!!"

Tomorrow will be my first Artist Reception. The show is called "Creation Sings!!" and is based on the beauty of nature. Here is a poem, of sorts, that I wrote for the occasion:

Creation Sings!!”

All CREATION SINGS to the Heavenly Father
From the majesty of nature.

All CREATION SINGS to the Lord Jesus Christ
From the ice and snowflakes of winters storm.

All CREATION SINGS the Magnificence of His Presence
From the mighty rushing winds of winter.

All CREATION SINGS praises to the Almighty
From the warmth of the early Spring Sun.

All CREATION SINGS to the Highest of Heavens
From the daffodils and tulips of spring.

All CREATION SINGS to the GOD of the Universe
From the rocks of the rivers.

All CREATION SINGS to the One Who Is and will Always BE!
From the clouds and constellations of the skies.

All CREATION SINGS in honor of the Creator,
As the heat of the summer warms the land.

All CREATION SINGS for the Majesty of our Lord Jesus Christ
From the red, gold, brown and orange leaves of fall.

All CREATION SINGS to the God of Creation
From the wildlife creatures of the world.

All CREATION SINGS to the GOD who loved the world so much that
He gave His Son so that we may have eternal life.

All CREATION SINGS to the Lord Most Holy
Who reigns forever and ever.

CREATION SINGS (emphasis: Quieter)

- © Allen Pearson, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Creation Sings!!"

My first exhibit as an artist photographer is happening at Convergence: A Creative Community of Faith in Alexandria, VA, now through September 30, 2009. The artist reception is on Sunday, September 13, 3-5 p.m..
"Creation Sings!!" is about the unique beauty of nature that we all see as we are going through our hectic daily schedules. The exhibit features photographs of flowers, birds, fall, and butterflies as well as from the National Parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Tetons. Living in Virginia, we don't see these National Parks everyday or go anywhere near them, but these images bring extra beauty to my life as I have had the opportunity to travel.

At the artist reception, Pianist Mary Dart and I will present "A Journey through Creations Song!!" which is a slide show presentation of nature's beauty with piano music. Mrs. Dart will be playing various hymns, classical, and jazz pieces from 3-4:30 p.m. to give my work some background beauty. The idea is to create a quiet time away from your hectic schedule to enjoy nature.

I hope to see you at the Artist Reception. Would be great to meet you.

For more information, go to

Convergence is located at 1801 N. Quaker La., Alexandria, VA., 703.998.6260. Take I-395 North to King St. toward Alexandria, to a left on N. Quaker Lane.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Squirrels and Bird Feeders by Curtiss S. Pearson

For years, My wife and I have kept bird feeders in our back yard. At the same
time, we have also had a small population of squirrels. We didn’t voluntarily get the squirrels. They just showed up one day and liked us so well, they decided to stay.

Now, many people think of Squirrels as dumb little animals. They are little, but they are not dumb, as my experiences have proved. Actually, they are very agile, fast, determined and destructive little animals, who think they are entitled to everything especially bird seed in bird feeders.

For a long time, I tried to keep the squirrels away from the bird feeders and save the seed just for the birds. Imagine my thinking this! The squirrels did not wish to cooperate and I was forced to try several desperate measures. These were:
(1) Surviving with acrobatic squirrels: Our bird feeders are on posts. Some hang by cords, and others sit on top of the posts. Our squirrels had to run and try to make the big jump from the ground to the feeder. Usually, they would get to the feeder and eat the bird seed while throwing some on the ground just for good measure. On rare occasions, they would eat “leftovers” on the ground, but they really preferred to dine in class inside the main feeder
(2) Placing plastic cola bottles on the posts. Someone suggested we place 2 liter soft drink bottles on the bird feeder posts to stop the squirrels if/when they tried to climb. We tried this and it worked - - for a little while. I placed the bottles on the posts about halfway up from the ground using duct tape to keep them in place. The squirrels were forced to stay on the ground and behave for a day or so. Then they learned that they could jump over the bottles and go on up the post with no problem. They even learned to hold onto the bottles with their sharp little claws as they passed over them.
(3) Making the posts slippery. Someone else suggested smearing petroleum jelly on the posts making them slippery for the squirrels. This would keep them from getting enough traction to climb up to the feeder at the top of the post. Our little rascals learned to tackle the posts with their little legs pumping away at about a hundred miles per hour. With this extra effort and perseverance, they learned to get to the top anyway. There must be a lesson on perseverance in this somewhere.
(4) Putting Slinky toys on the posts. Another suggestion was to buy children’s slinky toys and drape them down over the post from the feeder. We bought the toys and hung them as directed. This worked for a day or two. Then the little animals learned that they could jump higher and go on up the post in spite of the Slinky toy hanging around them and banging them on their little bodies. Does anyone need any Slinky toys? I have two that have hardly been used.
(5) “Squirrel proof” bird feeders. The best solution is to buy metal squirrel proof bird feeders. Squirrels can chew through wood and plastic, but metal usually deters them. We had a plastic “squirrel proof” feeder that the squirrels basically destroyed by chewing and clawing at it constantly.

The biggest problem with “squirrel proof” feeders is the squirrels don’t know that they are “squirrel proof..” Therefore they mount a strong offensive effort as long as they see the bird seed in the feeder. One of our “pets” even got inside a bird feeder with the bird seed after lifting the lid and twisting and turning his body in numerous odd positions.

So, I think a good strong metal “squirrel proof” feeder is a good choice. You can feed the “birdies” and protect the birdseed from the squirrels all at the same time. If I had bought a good strong metal “squirrel proof” feeder at the beginning, I would not have had so much trouble with the squirrels. But then who knows? Maybe I would not have had as much fun and entertainment or learned so much about those “dumb little” squirrels either.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Alive in Him - By Bud Hance

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

The final verse of Charles Wesley's "And Can it Be That I Should Gain?" provides a fitting climax to all that has gone before:

No condemnation now I dread,
Jesus, with all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th'eternal throne,
And claim the crown, thru Christ, my own.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1). "Who is he that condemneth?" Not Christ! "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (v. 34).

As in our text, we are now alive through Christ's work on the cross. This gives us a standing far beyond our comprehension. "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him" (Colossians 2:9-10). The song calls Him our "living Head," and so He is. Peter calls Him a "living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. . . . The same is made the head of the corner" (1 Peter 2:4-7).

In response to His love, we "put off concerning the former conversion |way of living| of the old man . . . And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24). Dressed in His righteousness, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day" (2 Timothy 4:8).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fridays and "Creation Sings!!" Exhibit

Wow! This week went fast. Which is good in some ways. Just wish the evenings and weekends would go alittle slower. Although I enjoy my full time job, I enjoy the weekends where I get to be more creative. Happy Friday and I hope you have a great weekend.

I am off work today to get a few things done around the house and a few errands finished. Sometimes it takes more than a Saturday to get things finished.

Speaking of Saturdays, I will be hanging my first exhibit "Creation Sings!!" at Convergence: A Creative Community of Faith in Alexandria, VA, tomorrow morning. The exhibit opens on Tuesday, Sept. 1 and runs through Wed., Sept. 30. I will have around 15 prints framed and on display. The exhibit is intended to feature the beauty of nature and how it sings everyday. We are just too busy to catch the beauty of it's song as we rush through our busy schedules. I know, for myself, there has been too many occasions lately where I just didn't stop to enjoy. And, even, several occasions that I wished I had my camera on me. Anyway, the exhibit will feature birds, landscapes, and flowers.

Happy Friday. Come out and see "Creation Sings!" September 1-3o, 2009. Details at and

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Friday!

Yeah!!!! It's Friday once again. I love Fridays, end of a work week, get 2 days to catch up on things at home and relax.

It's supposed to rain most of Saturday, but that's fine as we need it. My flower gardens are really starting to look sad despite my efforts to water them regularly.

I am hoping for a rainy day so I can work on my upcoming gallery. My work will be featured at the Gallery at Convergence, 1801 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria, VA for the month of September. The exhibit is titled "Creation Sings!!" meant to bring out the beauty of nature's song it sings everyday whether we are listening or not.

On September 13, 3-5 p.m., will be the Artist Reception. This should be a lot of fun as I will be hosting an audio visual presentation, "A Journey Through Nature's Song", which will feature an overview of my work by projecting images on screens with pianist Mary Dart accompanying. Mary Dart has been an encourager of my art since I started out in 2006. I met her as she is the pianist for Ox Hill Baptist Church in Chantilly, VA, which is where I attend.

If it rains tomorrow, that'll make it easier for me to stay inside and work on upcoming shows. I love the outdoors so much that it is really difficult to stay inside and do these things on a beautiful hot, muggy, humid Summer Saturday.
This image was taken as a storm was coming in. I was working in the yard, had my camera handy and caught the image. I enjoy taking photographs of clouds, storms coming in and the aftermath, such as rainbows.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Chains Fell Off - By Bud Hance

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." (1 Peter 2:9)

The fourth verse of Charles Wesley's great hymn "And Can It Be That I Should Gain?" compares Peter's miraculous deliverance from prison with a sinner's deliverance from bondage to sin. "Peter was sleeping, . . . bound with two chains. . . . And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: . . . And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him . . . follow me" (Acts 12:6-8).

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quick'ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light:
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

The Bible teaches that before being delivered, "ye were the servants of sin i.e., in bondage to sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Romans 6:17-18). We were powerless to gain freedom on our own.

But "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6), bringing freedom and life. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened i.e., made alive by the Spirit" (1 Peter 3:18). "And you, being dead in your sins . . . hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians 2:13). If He has done all this for us, how can we do less than follow Him?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

His Mercy Found Me by Bud Hance

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8)

The third verse of the hymn which has drawn our attention, "And Can It Be That I Should Gain?," sets the stage for the implementation of His majestic plan.

He left His father's throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race;
T'is mercy all! Immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me!

The plan involved the death of God the Son. The Creator dying for the creation. The righteous Judge taking on Himself the penalty of the condemned. The rejected Holy One becoming sin on behalf of the true sinner. The convicted ones, powerless to alter the situation, simply receiving the offered grace through faith (see our text).

First, God had to take on Himself the nature of the condemned, live a guiltless life so that He could die as a substitutionary sacrifice. To do so, God the Son had to leave His Father's throne. And, although "being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God i.e., was willing to give up his kingly status: But made himself of no reputation literally, 'emptied himself', and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: . . . and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:6-8).

Adam had rebelled against his Creator's authority, and all of mankind suffered. "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12), yet Christ's work on the cross changed all that. "For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many" (v. 15). Amazing love!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Immortal Dies! - By Bud Hance

"Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen." (1 Timothy 1:17)

The second verse of (often left out of the hymnal) "And Can It Be That I Should Gain?" poses and solves a great mystery:

T'is mystery all! the immortal dies!
Who can explain this strange design?
In vain the first-born seraph tries,
To sound the depths of love divine;
T'is mercy all! Let earth adore!
Let angel minds inquire no more.

Our text reminds us that God is immortal. And yet, "Christ died for our sins" (1 Corinthians 15:3) to bring us salvation. If this astounds us (and it should), we can take solace in that we are not alone. "Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things . . . which things the angels desire to look into" (1 Peter 1:10-12).

Think of it! The Creator, the Author of life, has died to offer eternal life to His creation, for "all have sinned" (Romans 3:23), and the "wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). He died, so that we don't have to die! This grand plan remains beyond our full grasp, as it always was to the prophets and the angels. I could not live, had He not died!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Can it Be? - By Bud Hance

"Christ also suffered for us. . . . Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2:21-24)

Those who love good church music have come to love Charles Wesley's commitment to and knowledge of his Savior and the Scriptures, for he wove into his music and poetry deep insights which challenge and thrill us even today. One of his hymns, "And Can It Be That I Should Gain?," has unfortunately been abridged in modern hymnals. The original five verses are expressed:

And can it be that I should gain,
An interest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him, to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That thou, my God, should'st die for me?

Even the Old Testament saints wondered why God loves man so. "What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?" (Job 7:17). The New Testament contains many similar expressions of wonder. "Behold, what manner of love literally 'what a different kind of love' the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" (1 John 3:1). "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. . . . And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement" (Romans 5:8-11).

The point is we were desperate sinners deserving His wrath. "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love i.e., 'amazing love' wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)" (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!!!!

Happy Birthday Sweetheart and may you have many more! This photograph of an ice flower in honor of you and the beautiful things you do for me and others.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I can't believe I forgot to write about my favorite season, after all I was so thrilled about Winter's end, I wrote tributes to Spring over two days.

Anyway, most of my friends think I am crazy because I love the heat of summer. I love the warmth I feel as the sun hits my body when I am working in the yard, walking or just sitting outside reading. On any given day, you'll find me trying to get out in the sun to enjoy it whenever I can. At work, it's staying outside until I have to go in, going outside at lunch and then enjoying the evenings. On weekends, it's every minute that I can!

So Happy Summer!! Enjoy it while it is here!! Sit outside and read and enjoy some Green Tea.

One of my favorite photography aspects of summer are the bees. I love to watch and photograph them as they buzz around my yard. This picture is of a Bumblebee on an Arizona Blanket Flower. I used my Pentax 100mm Macro lens to take this image.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Exodus 3 - The Burning Bush

In Exodus 3, God speaks to Moses through a Burning Bush. Over the years, I've wondered what that was like, how Moses felt and what the bush looked like.

This spring, I captured an image in Walney of early spring. As I was going through my images and saw it, my first thought was "the Burning Bush." This image gives me an idea of what it might have been like to see the bush burning.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunrise and Sunlight

I often rise at a 4 a.m. to enjoy the quiet of the morning. I work abit on my art and listen to classical music. On Sundays, I listen to sacred works by JS Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, etc.

I particularly love the mornings when the sun rises while I am in my studio. I like to turn out the lights and continue to work or whatever while the sun slowly rises and illuminates the room. It seems the sun is telling me "Good Morning and Welome to another bright and cheerful day." The room has a warm glow that seems to make it a happy quiet place until it is time to go out and face the world.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Bear

After traveling through the Cades Cove area of the Smoky Mountains National Park, I got disappointed that I didn't see as much wildlife as I wanted. Of course, being a Nature Photographer, I realize nature is what it is when you find it. And, it's always beautiful.

As we turned a corner after spending several hours in Cades Cove, we came upon cars parked alongside the road. On the hillside were 3 bears, Mama and her babies. I managed to get this photo.

Also, if you go to see Black Bears or anywhere were you might encounter them, READ all the information YOU RECEIVE so you can protect yourself and the Bear. Listen to the Park Rangers too. They know what to do. I was surprised at how many people got dangerously close to the bears to get a photo and were pretty rude to the ranger. She's trying to save your life and the bear and your rude??

Anyway, I hope you like this photo.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Few Days in the Smokey Mountains

As a nature photographer/artist, I look for different things in nature to photograph. I look for the unique beauty that is easily missed. This tree that hadn't bloomed yet, or may have been dead, got my attention while traveling.

This image was taken outside my cabin near the Smokey Mountains National Park.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Day Made for You?

Have you ever had a day where you felt like God created it just for you? You didn't really ask for it..... but He created the day just for you?

Yesterday was that kind of day for me. It's been raining here for 11 days straight. Not necessarily a non-stop rain, but every day for the past 11 days we've had rain. This has made it hard for me to travel to the mountains or to do much gardening. Although I'll garden in the rain, when it's warm, it was difficult to maintain the yard and do some of the final clean up stuff, like cleaning up mulch or dirt, when it's raining. And, not to mention, it's been difficult to get to the garden centers for one reason or another. Things just were not coming together like I'd like and was frustrating because I love my gardens. I have a container garden where I plant flowers that I don't want my dog to get into, a Backyard Wildlife Habitat (certified by the National Wildlife Federation) and a garden that surrounds the foundation of the house. With all the rain, I've really missed my time of planting and mulching and even weeding.

Although I like my full time job, especially since working there provides my essentials of life, it's been a little too stressful lately. So, I planned a day off for yesterday. The plan was to go to the mountains, relax and photograph. BUT, the rain was to continue.

But, when I woke yesterday, the forecast was calling for beautiful weather here. So I decided to take the day off, not go to the mountains, but stay home and work in the yard. I took off for Lowes. They had a bunch of flowers and stuff I really needed in the garden center. So I loaded my Forester, went home and planted and planted some more. THEN, it came time for the second round of trips to get annuals. Off I went! I stopped at Layng's Nursery first, and find EXACTLY what I wanted! ZINNIA's. Not just a few, but the exact count! Then found more flowers that I needed and after a stop at Meadow's Farms, I had a full load of plants in my Forester once again!

I got home and planted and planted and planted and planted and planted. You get the idea. Then, it dawned on me, it'd been a perfect day..... the sun was out most of the day but it wasn't hot (although if it were, it'd been fine with me), I found all the plants I needed at my favorite nursery, Layng's, and was able to plant most of them and mow and trim the yard. Once I realized what happened, I felt God's smile and said, "Thank You for a BEAUTIFUL DAY!"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Great Worship Experience

I have gone to Church all of my life. Seems like from the day I was born, I was in church. Looking back, at age 46, I find that commitment has been really worth it. Not only from the perspective that my faith and belief in God has grown, but I've gotten to know Him on a more personal level. A Worship Experience for me is a personal visit to the Almighty who gave me life.

The church I attend with my wife has a traditional Worship on Sunday mornings. Organ, Piano, Choir, Hymns, the whole 9 yards of a ultimate traditional worship. For me, the beauty of worship on Sundays is when the choir, congregation, organ, and piano come together in harmony to sing the beautiful hymns of the Church, such as "How Great Thou Art" or "To God Be the Glory." The music takes you to an experience where you feel like you are in Heaven with the angels praising God.

Some Sunday evenings, I get to attend another Worship service at 5 p.m. at Convergence: A Creative Community of Faith. The ministry of the church is to reach out to artists in the Northern Virginia and Washington DC area. Worship gatherings are held in the lab and are not your typical Worship service, they try to incorporate the arts into a service. Poetry, readings, and other forms of art are used to bring you into a time of study of God's Word. Each week is something different. As an artist, I find the worship experience brings me to a time of worship God as the person and artist I am. An acceptance of me, as unique and odd as I am, and my art brought to the Worship of God.

Gardening and Macro Photography

This year, the garden season snuck up on me faster than in other years. This is a good thing as I enjoy the warmer weather much better than the cold. But, so far we've had more rain than sun. That's been great for the plants, too good for the grass and not enough for someone who enjoys the sun like me. So, I have been playing catch up in some ways. I've mulched one section of my garden which is around the house. I still have to do the backyard habitat area which isn't too bad, just a lot of work.

So, Friday night and yesterday, I ran to Lowe's and Meadow's Farms to buy the plants I need to start planting my annuals, perennials and other green places. I buy about 35 plants to place around the front yard garden, create a new garden (had to have something for the spot where the Barberry bush died) and my container garden. I bought petunias, verbana, salvia, Arizona blanket flower, gerber daisy and some really neat looking plant that I don't remember the name. I spent most of yesterday planting my new plants. First I had to repair a space where a barberry bush died. I lost a few plants in the new garden I planted last year, probably due to the drought and my not being able to constantly water the plants. So, these were replaced, then on to the backyard where I planted flowers in pots which will highlight the deck area and a container garden that I created where an old swing set used to be.

So, this morning, I am sore. My side hurts. My back hurts. I feel older than I was yesterday. But, I can't wait to go back outside after church and plant some more.

My macro lens is going to get alot of use this spring and summer. Today's image is of my neighbor's tulip. I have been experimenting and trying to get a good close up of the yellow tulips, inside the bloom and out.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another Macro Flower

Here's another flower, like the previous post, for my friend.

A flower for A Friend

I'm posting this photograph of a flower for a friend who is thousands of miles away on the other side of the world. She has been instrumental in helping me get started in my photography business and is a very good friend.

This photograph was taken with my new macro lens of flowers in spring. I just got a Macro lens a few weeks ago and am really enjoying it. I've been photographing many flowers adding a new dimension to my art.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Thought

I have this calendar on my desk at work which my father replaces for me every year at Christmas. I like the Scripture calendars, not much into the cartoons (except for Peanuts) or the funny ones and I do like the Thomas Kinkaide calendars. Anyway, very often a Scripture will be on the page for the day that really applies for me. God trying to tell me something. On those days, I forget to change the page, I go back later and discover, "Wow!! This really applied to my bad day Monday." So, I am trying to get into the habit again of tearing off the page of my calendar every morning when I get in.

One of the Scriptures for this week, has kept my attention all week. It is:

"Don't be afraid; just believe" - Mark 5:36 NIV

I've been thinking about this Scripture all week. As far as I know, I am not afraid or scared. Then, I think, maybe its for the future. I know that I have been concerned about being able to retire in a few years and the economy and some of the news stories have had me concerned, "Don't be afrain, Just Believe". As I've think repeatedly about this Scripture and look for the application for me, one thing I know for sure is that as a Christian, the blessing is you don't have to be afraid, because God is always with you wherever you may go and in whatever happens to you. Maybe that's the application I need to remember..... to reinenforce in my life...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter - Crown Him with Many Crowns

Crown Him With Many Crowns
Matthew Bridges/Godfrey Thring

Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne. Hark! How the heav’nly anthem drowns all music but its own! Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee, And hail Him as thy matchless King thro’ all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of love! Behold His hands and side. Rich wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified. No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight, But downward bends His wond’ring eyes at mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of Life! Who triumphed o’er the grave; Who rose victorious to the strife for those He came to save. His glories now we sing Who died and rose on high, Who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.

Crown Him the Lord of Heav’n! One with the Father known, One with the Spirit thro’ Him giv’n from yonder glorious throne. To Thee be endless praise, for Thou for us hast died. Be Thou, O Lord, thro’ endless days adored and magnified!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Holy Week - Why Is Was a 'Good' Friday - Bud Hance

Why It Was a 'Good' Friday

"And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council." (Luke 22:66)

The origin of "Good Friday" ceremonies are somewhat muddled in history. Some suggest that the earlier roots go back as far as 100 A.D., but others insist that it was well into the fourth century before anything like the "passion week" observances became established.

Beyond that, there is a good bit of controversy about the title itself. Everyone now agrees that the focus of the dedication is on the crucifixion of our Lord. So why "Good" Friday? Why not "Sad" Friday, or "Awful" Friday? Although historians and theologians tend to focus on the etymology of the term and debate the circumstances by which the ceremony became identified, the truth may well lie in the sovereignty of God Himself.

On that day in history, the sins of the world were paid for! This was the day that "it pleased the Lord to . . . make his soul an offering for sin" (Isaiah 53:10). That day, "the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).

Yes, there was great sorrow and travail that day. During the awful physical darkness from noon to 3:00 p.m. (Matthew 27:45), Jesus had cried out in utter anguish: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). The earth itself shook and rumbled as the creation was torn asunder in reaction to the horrific judgment of the Creator for sin (Matthew 27:51).

But then came the victory cry, "It is finished" (John 19:30), and, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46). His suffering ended, the payment completed, eternal propitiation accomplished, Jesus laid down His human life to await the great resurrection that God might give "assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holy Week - Maundy Thursday -When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Isaac Watts/Lowell Mason

When I survey the wondrous Cross On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ, my God.
All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all!

Holy Week - A Mournful List of Honors by Bud Hance

An instructive writer has made a mournful list of the honors that the blinded people of Israel awarded to their long-expected King.

1) They gave Him a procession of honor, in which Roman legionaries, Jewish priests, and men and women took part, He Himself bearing His cross. This is the triumph that the world awards to Him who comes to overthrow man's greatest enemy. Derisive shouts are His only acclamations, and cruel taunts His only songs of praise.

2) They presented Him with the wine of honor. Instead of a golden cup of generous wine, they offered Him the criminal's anesthetic potion, which He refused in order that he might, in all its unmitigated horror, taste death; and afterwards when He cried, "I thirst," they gave Him vinegar mixed with gall, thrust to His mouth upon a sponge. What wretched, detestable inhospitality to the King's Son.

3) He was provided with a guard of honor, who showed their esteem of Him by gambling over His clothes, which they had seized as their treasure. The bodyguard of Jesus was a quaternion of brutal gamblers.

4) A throne of honor was found for Him upon the bloody tree. The cross was, in fact, the full expression of the world's feeling toward Him. "There," they seemed to say, "you Son of God, this is the manner in which God Himself should be treated, could we reach Him."

5) The title of honor was nominally "King of the Jews," but this was distinctly repudiated. They really called Him "King of thieves" by preferring Barabbas and by placing Jesus in the place of highest shame between two thieves. In this way His glory was turned into shame by the sons of men, but it shall nevertheless still gladden the eyes of saints and angels, world without end.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Favorite Easter Memory

My favorite Easter memory is from going to Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA, about five or six years ago to see there Easter program. The music ministry at this church is incredible so I knew the afternoon was going to be more than well spent. A blessing for sure. I invited my friend Bud and his family to the program. Thinking the realism of the program might be too much for young children, I was concerned about how the Crucifixion might bother his children. Bud, being a smart man and knew his children better than I, wasn't concerned when I mentioned this to him.

As usual the program went along great. However, when we got to the part where they crucified Jesus to the cross, it got real quiet, as it always did. There was some quiet whispering around us. Then all of a Bud's daughter climbs into his lap and says, "Daddy!!!!! THEY'RE KILLING JESUS!!" Not a word, was said as the child's voice was heard around us in this big sanctuary. Bud explained to his daughter gently and lovingly what was happening and that Jesus would come back to life on Easter Sunday!

A child's words rings through my mind every Easter Season, 'Daddy, THEY'RE KILLING JESUS!! Jesus died a cruel death on a rugged cross to save us from our sins so that we may eternal life. A simple prayer asking God to forgive our sins and faithfully believing He will and does, is what Easter is about.

Holy Week - Oh How He Loves You and Me

O How He Loves You and Me
Kurt Kaiser

O how He loves you and me! O how He loves you and me! He gave His life; What more could He give? O how He loves you; O how He loves me; O how He loves you and me!

Jesus to Calvary did go, His love for sinners to show. What He did there Bro’t hope from despair. O how He loves you; O how He loves me; O how He loves you and me!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Holy Week - And Can It Be?

One of my favorite hymns....

And Can It Be?
Charles Wesley/Thomas Campbell

And can it be that I should gain an int’rest in the Savior’s blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me who Him to death pursued? Amazing love! How can it be That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left his Father’s throne above, So free, so infinite His grace! Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race. ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me! Amazing love! How can it be That Thou, my God shouldst die for me?

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, Fast bound in sin and nature’s night. Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray. I woke; the dungeon flamed with light! My chains fell off; my heart was free. I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. Amazing love! How can it be That Thou, my God shouldst die for me?

No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him, is mine! Alive in Him, my living Head, And clothed in righteousness divine, Bold I approach th’eternal throne And claim the crown, thro’ Christ, my own. Amazaing love! How can it be That Thou my God shouldst die for me?

For Palm Sunday

For Holy Week and Easter, I will be posting some Scriptures, Poems and other writings which are important to me in my Christian Faith.

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying "Take and eat; this is My body." Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in My Father's kingdom." -Matthew 26:26-29 [NIV]

Friday, April 3, 2009

Finally Friday - What is it?

Another Friday! YAY!!! Fridays always have a special "tone" to them. You know it's the end of the workweek, time for some time for yourself, time to enjoy things with the family and get a few things done around the house. For me, Fridays are great because I know I'll have more time with my wife, dog and cat and I can go out to a park in the early morning when the critters are out and photograph. The quietness of the early morning that hasn't been touched by the craziness of the day is one of my favorites. This weekend, I will be starting some of my spring garden projects.

Last summer when I travelled in California, I took a ton of pictures throughout my trip. Once of the most unique shots is of a flower that I took in San Francisco. Any ideas what it might be?

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring 2

With Spring comes a lot of yard work, and even more yard work, then some more yard work. Over the next two months, I'll remove the dead leaves and stuff from the winter, trim the bushes, plant a few flowers, mostly perrennials, and mulch. My garage will become a Lowes Garden Center Annex tonight when I start bringing home bags and bags of mulch!!

I love the spring as creation comes to life and we see God's handiwork. I often wonder what the Garden of Eden was like or what heaven will be? The Bible says "Beauty beyond compare" or "that you can imagine." If spring on earth is this gorgeous. Imagine it in Heaven

Another photo of crocuses planted last fall.

First Day of Spring 1

YAY!! The first day of Spring has arrived and what better day for this to happen than on a Friday!?!?!?!?!!!!! I love the start of spring as I watch the birds returning from their "winter" homes. The first thing I notice is the American Robin looking for worms and beginning to stake out his territory. Then, other birds come in and start doing the same thing. In my backyard, I built a Backyard Wildlife Habitat which attracts birds and butterflies throughout the season. This time of year, when birds start staking their territory the yard almost seems like a war zone with them chasing each other. One year, I got in the line of a Cardinal and a Robin and thought for sure I was going to get a chest full of red hair. Thankfully, the Cardinal stopped and the Robin left. Buds on trees, flowers perking up their heads, the temperatures are starting to get warmer are all of my favorite part of spring.

Last Fall, for the first time in my years of gardening, I planted crocuses. This is a picture of one of the first blooms this year.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Yeah! Tomorrow at 7:44 a.m., Spring begins! Winter will be gone for another year. This photo was taken at Walney after the March 2 snowstorm. Yeah SPRING!!!

A Salute and Celebtation to THE LAST DAY OF WINTER

The last day of winter couldn't come fast enough for me. I love the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons best. Although, I have learned to find the beauty in Winter with its snow, ice and trees with no foliage. The trees create a form of art with their branches reaching to the sky. Snow casts beauty all over the earth while ice adds imagry that allows the mind to go into a creative flow. God has given us beauty in all of creation in many seasons. Today, I celebrate the end of winter and begin an adventure into the Spring.