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?