Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"Used by permission, GraphicStock."

As we end 2014 and begin 2015, a few words to consider-

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

-2 Corinthians 5:17 [ESV]

Interested in learning more about Jesus Christ and how to have a life filled with His Joy? Please visit Salvation.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday's Thought

"Used by permission, ChristianQuotes"
I discovered this graphic and quote at Christian Quotes website and found it to be one of my favorites.

For me, this is God reminding me that as He calls someone to do His Work or His Will, He will prepare you to go forward to do it.

2014 was a rough year.  Quite a few changes happened, we lost a two family members within days of each other and a third got seriously ill- it was crazy.  Yet, in the midst of it all, I felt God's Presence comforting me and teaching me along the way.

As the year went on, I learned that God has something for me to do for Him.  More than I am doing now.  Not prepared for it, I argued that I wasn't the one nor am I ready and that's not what I want to do in my future.

2015 will hold quite a few changes for me.  Am not worried about whether I am equipped or can handle what comes my way- just relax in God's Hand- He will equip me for what I need to be.

Have you found yourself being asked to do something at church but not qualified?  Yet, you knew you were supposed to do it?   Please share in the comments.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday's Foto: A Favorite Spot

"A Favorite Spot"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Walney Nature Center is one of my favorite places in Northern Virginia to photograph.  Seems around every turn, is something new to please the eye and soul- nature is very healthy for you-

I photographed "A Favorite Spot" while exploring the trail which goes behind the Walney Nature Center offices and Information Center down toward the pond.  I love to take Noah, my dog, with me on these shoots.  He keeps me company and enjoys the outing.  I have to admit though, it takes me several attempts to get the photo I want because he's anxious to explore so he'll tug on the leash.

Where is your favorite place to photograph?  Please share in the comments-

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

"Christmas Nativity"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

O Come All Ye Faithful 

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;
O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest;

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Author: This Christmas carol is credited to an English hymnist named John Francis Wade (1711-1786).
It was later on translated to English by Frederick Oakeley and William Thomas Brooke
and was published on Murray's Hymnal in 1852.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"Christmas Red Poinsettias"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Hark the Herald Angels Sing! 

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Author: Written by Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
the melody of Mendelssohn'scantata (Festival Song)
was used by William H. Cummings and 
adapted it to the lyrics of Wesley's
"Hark the Herald Angels Sing."

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday's Thought

Christmas Memories 3

Today is Christmas Sunday- typically celebrated in the Christian church the Sunday before Christmas.  This is usually the highest attended Sunday, along with Easter, of the year.

(C) Allen Pearson,
All Rights Reserved
For those who attend church regularly, it is often the time to catch up with friends who have been away at college or who have parents or grandparents in town visiting. It is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ with your church friends who you may not see again before Christmas.  For me, I have a few friends that I want to see before Christmas Day and its been a time to see college students that were in classes I taught at church.

There are many great memories of playing the organ for a Christmas Cantata my father directed at church.  I'd rehearse with the choir and practice and practice.   Not only did I work on that, but had the hymns, a prelude and postlude to learn.  I wanted it all to be perfect.

One year, I had found a copy of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. It was written in the key of "C" so I knew I could learn it if I practiced and practiced.  The Sunday I played it, the audience stood. When the audience stood, which I hadn't thought about, I got nervous as to the attention given to me.  I managed to play the piece without an error (according to the church members- I won't share my version).

Used by Permission, GraphicStock
I remember one Christmas what seems like hundreds of years ago now, especially when you look at the development around the church, when I was a teenager.   The pastor's wife Doris had me help her  decorate the church.  Not sure why me, but it was and maybe a few other teenagers.  Anyway. we were to go out in the field behind the church and get branches with pines needles on them and return to the church.  The decorations turned out to be the most beautiful I'd seen in a church.  Not to mention, the beautiful smell of pine.

One of my most recent favorite Christmas memories was when we attended a Baptist church where the organist really knew how to play the organ.  Tate knew all the ways to pull out the right stops, play the bass pedals loud on certain pieces- she didn't play around when she played the organ.  She played it majestically giving the organ the ability to let the church hear what it was made of.  The pianist, Mary, had the special touch that brought the piano to life.  Christmas was a musical celebration of Christ's birth to Tate and Mary.  I got to sit back and praise God through their music.  The blessings are beyond any explanation.

Joy to the World

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Author: The lyrics was written by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), 
also known as the "Father of English Hymnology." 
Watts wrote the lyrics in 1719. 
The melody was composed by Lowell Mason (1792-1872), 
a composer of church music.

May you have a 
Blessed Christmas Sunday full of memories!!

Merry Christmas!!

"Used by Permission, Christian Clipart"

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday's Foto: Blushed

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

The leaves are blushing aren't they?  Or, is it a streak of God's paint brush painting red across the fall leaves?

Taken in Walney Nature Center off the Rocky Run Trail.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday's Thought

"Used by Permission, GraphicStock"

Christmas Memories 2

Christmas was always something special for my mother. She loved playing Santa Claus for my brother and I.  Later in life, when I married, she was thrilled to include my wife.

Soon after I married, it became a family joke when my mother would say, "I've started my Christmas shopping- any guesses who for?"   I never really had to wonder who it was. My father always seemed happy to go along with whatever mother had planned for the Christmases.  Though, I think he really had a little more to do with the gift suggestions than he wanted to admit. I know he enjoyed the surprising part of it.

I have many Christmas memories involving my parents.  A few of my favorite include the year of "the Bicycles!" My brother and I were notorious for waking up very early on Christmas Day- very excited to get what Santa brought us.
"Used by Permission, GraphicStock"

One year, we got up around 5 a.m. and went to wake up Mom and Dad.  Little did we know, that Dad had just gone to bed, not more than two hours before we woke them up.  He was hoping we'd sleep in- but to his dismay, that didn't happen. He had spent all night assembling bicycles for us.  We didn't know this until several years later.

One of the funniest memories was the year my brother gave my father a leaf blower.  Somehow, the thing came on when Dad opened it and everything- everywhere went flying across the room- wrapping paper, bows, decorations. Fortunately, the tree remained standing. I remember ducking so I wouldn't get hit with something.

A special gift that I still have, and when I become the world's greatest dog photographer (yes, it used to be nature photographer), it will be worth millions, was the year my parents gave me my first camera. My mother thought I needed a digital camera and gave me the latest and greatest digital point and shoot. I began a lifelong journey with photography that I owe to Mom and Dad's gift that Christmas.

Most of the time, our gifts were something we needed or had been wanting for a long time.  And, definitely not something expensive.  We had to save our allowances for that. I am thankful my parents didn't give us underwear or socks or t-shirts at Christmas. I always felt bad for the nerdy kid who got those and told others when asked.  

And, for us, Christmas was about the celebration of Christ's Birth, not getting presents.  The presents were symbolic of the wisemen giving gift to Baby Jesus. Music of the church filled the air and often around the house as we celebrated the Birth of Our Savior Lord Jesus Christ.

Should our Lord return to take His children home, will you be ready? To be sure visit Salvation and then visit God's Love.

"Used by Permission, GraphicStock"

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday's Foto: White Poinsettias

"White Poinsettias"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
One of my favorite Christmas decorations is the Poinsettia, white and red.  They are just so beautiful and bring Christmas to a natural celebration without all the glitz and tinsel and tacky.

I cannot have them in my home as I have had dog and will probably adopt another dog and cat soon.  Poinsettias are extremely dangerous for dogs and cats are listed among the toxic plants that can cause death.

Knowing that, I take the time to enjoy them at my church which decorates quite a bit with them.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Photographing the Seasons: Painter's Light

"Painter's Light"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
As many nature photographers have said, and I know I've said a few times, you can return to the same place at a different time or a different day and time and find something different to photograph.  A fact that never ceases to amaze me.

A few years ago, when I was searching for the perfect images for a friend, I left for Walney in the early morning.  I was walking through the field in Walney Nature Center, near the stream when the sun rose creating a beautiful array of light and colors.

The entire field of trees and underbrush seemed to come alive with color.  To me, it looked like God took paint and splotched it across the area.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday's Thought

Christmas Memories

My brother passed away a few years ago now. Unfortunately, we weren't very close. We didn't hang out together, do stuff together and so on it went, as many brothers do.

We lived different lives with different friends and different interests.  Chances were, if you liked to hang out with him, you probably would not like me and vice-versa. He was pretty much the GQ guy and while I'm more the outdoor guy who loves to get his hands dirty in the garden or while playing with the dog. What was funny about this is, we didn't let others pick on each other.  We pretty much defended each other! I always thought that was funny- or interesting to say the least.

After his passing, I have been reminded of many Christmas memories that I'd never given much thought. These have been triggered by songs on the radio by old favorites like Nat King Cole or especially Bing Crosby's "Jingle Bells" or "mele kalikimaka."

Recently the memories have been about us as boys in an Alabama city.  Decades ago, we were sitting in the backseat of an old station wagon- when Santa Claus pulled up next to us at a traffic light.  Of course, we really thought it was him.  Santa and my parents had fun with it and he waved "bye" as we took off from the traffic light.  My brother and I were so excited I can remember us smiling from ear to ear.

Then, there was the Christmas when Santa Claus came to visit.  He knocked on the door, my parents opened it and in walked Santa Claus.  We were so excited.  He said he was just checking on my brother and I making sure we were being good.  And, of course, he wanted to double check our "wish list."  

My brother's passing caused a fire already burning in my heart to flame even stronger.  I wondered what it's like in heaven, though not in a hurry to find out. The larger burden of this, was the people around me who are going to die without hearing the Gospel or spending the time getting to know Jesus. My heart ached at the thought- but wasn't sure what to do.

I decided I would share the truth of the Gospel with as many people as I can- which I should be doing anyway- and I would reach out to people who may be lonely during the Christmas season.  The way I will get through the Christmas season is to remember the great memories of Christmases past while celebrating the glorious Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

"Living Nativity"
Flickr Creative Commons, Ralph Daily

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Photographing the Seasons: Green on the Trees

"Green on the Trees"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
I enjoy walking through the woods at various local parks photographing the colors of fall.  I love finding trees that are covered in ivy or other growth that makes the tree "green."

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday's Foto: Photographing the Seasons: Walney- Through the Leaves

"Walney- Through the Leaves"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
This is one of the first images I created when I began photographing in 2006. I was using my Fuji FinePix S5200. I wasn't sure, at the time, what I wanted to do in photography, so I bought what I called a "little fancier than a point-and-shoot" camera and used it quite a bit.  The camera was a little faster than the prior one and it got me hooked on pursuing photography further.

"Walney- Through the Leaves" has become one of my favorite photos.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Photographing the Seasons: Fair Lakes Fall

"Fair Lakes Fall"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
One of the most beautiful fall settings is located on the Fairfax County Parkway north of Monument Drive- this was before the major widening project.

Early morning is the best time to photograph this location but it should be scoped out first to see if it is still safe and develop hasn't changed the view.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"Colors of Fall"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"The Lord is a stronghold
 for the oppressed,
A stronghold for those in times of trouble,
And those who know Your name
out their trust in You,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken 
those who seek you."

- Psalm 9:9-10 [NSRV]

Monday, December 1, 2014

Photographing The Seasons: Mysteries of Walney

"Mysteries of Walney"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
"Photographing the Seasons" became a project for me when I said "it's difficult to find beauty in fall and winter" to a client.  I love the spring and summer seasons so much and do not like the cold weather, that I missed the beauty of the rest of the year.

In my quest to find fall's beauty, I captured "Mysteries of Walney" as the sun rose over the trees across the way.

Photographing nature is a fascination experience.  I have returned to locations where I've photographed before, and seen something different.  "Mysteries of Walney" is a great example of the ever changing world of nature.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday's Thought

What Are You Thankful For?

With Thanksgiving this past Thursday, I got to thinking about thankfulness.

Am I thankful? Do I thank people who help me? What am I thankful for?

Used by Permission, GraphicStock

Then I got to thinking about thankfulness and the Bible. What does the Bible tell us about thankfulness?

The Bible tells us to be thankful at all times and in all circumstances. It says so right in 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."

What does this call to thankfulness mean to us? Can we really be thankful in all circumstances, even when bad things happen to us?

This is a struggle. It's not pretty. We often fight with ourselves over being thankful when things aren't going our way.

I know I wasn't thankful when we had to put our dog, Zane, down. I wasn't thankful when my grandparents passed away. I wasn't happy when I got into a car accident.

And yet, if I look back on these circumstances there can be thankful.

I'm thankful Zane is finally at peace. He no longer hurts.

I'm thankful the passing of my grandparents were peaceful.

I'm thankful that I didn't get hurt in the car accident.

While our circumstances may suck, while our circumstances may not be ideal, while our circumstances may make us question whether or not God loves us we can be sure that we can be thankful.

We're called to be, after all. That's not easy but it's doable.

Let's be thankful today. What are you thankful for?

This is a guest post by Joseph Lalonde. He is a youth leader and leadership blogger at Joseph shares leadership tools and encourages you to become a better leader. With him on Twitter or at his blog. Joseph also has a free eBook that you can own by clicking here.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

As I write my Thanksgiving greeting this year, I can't help but think about how thankful I am for God and friends.

2014, and many years prior, have been rough.  This year, my father, which left me as the last living family member. A few days prior to this, my mother-in-law went on to heaven too! God placed friends in my life that have made these days easier to handle- I can't begin to thank them enough.

God's Hand has been in my life more in 2014 than I remember before or maybe I am just more aware of His Presence now.  I grew up in the church and have always been active, but these past few months, since Dad's going on to heaven, I have felt Him in my life guiding and leading me in directions I hadn't anticipated.  All good, I should say great and very exciting!

This Thanksgiving, I urge you to forget the material stuff, put down your electronic devices- even turn them off, and spend time with your family and friends.  If you are mad or not speaking to a family member or friend, go hug them and enjoy their company.  After all, what's on your devices can be read later.... the material stuff can be bought later...... family and friends? Well, you don't know so don't miss the hug or two.

Written in loving memory of my family. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"Used by Permission, GraphicStock"

"Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,

and a great King above all gods."
-Psalm 95:1-3 [ESV]

"Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 4:6-7 [ESV]

Monday, November 24, 2014

Photographing The Seasons: Walney

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

The colors of Walney Nature Center are always beautiful whether it's fall, winter, spring or summer.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday's Thought

When life is challenging what do you do? Where do you turn? Or, what do you turn to?

The Thanksgiving holidays followed by Christmas and New Years are stressful and exhausting especially if you've lost a loved one since last Christmas.

A week before Thanksgiving, for me, the season is starting out a bit difficult. I'm not depressed or sad or upset. I'm just missing family members who've passed away over the years. Just about everything seems to kick off a memory or two of family during the holidays. So, it's really not a time to be depressed or down in the dumps, but one to be Thankful and Joyous.

What? Yes. You read right. And, no, I haven't lost my mind. Well, that last one is out on debate among my friends. 

I decided that I don't want to miss the holidays- times with those still living because I miss those who've passed. I will remember them, laugh or cry at the memories, but not allow myself to miss out on the celebrations. Yes, it will take some effort, quite a bit, but it will be worth it especially when January gets here and I can look back.

As Thanksgiving is this week, I'm going to make a concerted effort to think about what I am thankful for. Yes, I miss my family especially during the holidays, but I am thankful I had great parents to enjoy while I had them. As life has moved forward, I see so many friends, a church family, Pastors and others who are in my life now, that weren't before- because I didn't know them. For that I am thankful.

If you are alone this Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Season, I pray God will be with you and give you His Peace that peaces all understanding.

If you are searching for something to help you get through the holidays, drugs, alcohol and other things are not the answer- Jesus Christ is- learn more about Him and His Love by visiting this post.

Share what you are thankful for in the comments sections.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Happy Birthday (You Know Who You Are!)

I have a friend who has taught me about male friendship.  How fun it can be to hang out with the guys- I never thought that was even possible or remotely interesting.  He's proven me wrong more than a few times in his caring way.

In our conversations, one of the striking things about him is his acknowledgement of God.  Whatever comes his way, "it's the way God's got life planned, it's how God wants it to be-"  That has been a strong encouragement to me.

He's gotten a year older today. I can't place enough candles on the graphic to mark each year as it would set the blog on fire.  And, I won't mention his name but he knows who he is and he can't deny that God created a great guy.

Happy Birthday (You Know Who You Are!)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday's Thought

Last week, I talked about prayer and getting past the hurdle of the "high and mighty" or "lofty" speech when praying. Praying to God, like you're talking with your best friend, is one way to do it.

Another thought about prayer this week.  I love praying for other people and their needs, not to mention my own.  Sometimes, I inadvertently forget everyone else and focus on my own self.  That's not a good thing.

Today's self-centered society or as I like to call it "Me-First World" may tend to pray like we drive or walk or cut in front of someone in line at the store, "Me-First."  Not only are those behaviors rude and inconsiderate, they are not what God commands us to do.

When I was younger, centuries ago, I was taught a poem.  I've been trying to remember or determine if it was part of a song or an actual poem or where it came from.  As I "Googled" to find ideas or suggestions to this, I found quite a few resources suggesting in a different direction that I am writing this week.  Most of them were referring to living a life to serve Jesus, serve others, and then yourself is the way to have J-O-Y in your life.  True.

My point is in prayer.  Remembering to pray, how to structure your prayer.   I was taught to remember this when I pray:

Jesus first:  Praise Him for all His Goodness and the Blessing He has given you.

Yourself Last:  Your requests to God are last.

Others in between:  Pray for the needs of others.

I was taught it in the order written, J-Y-O.  Changing it to the context it's meant or stated, you can form an easy acronym of J-O-Y.   Which, makes it easier to pray for others.

I'm sure there are many other ways to remember prayer requests of others or to pray for others.  Please share them in the comments below.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"Walney's Colours"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"Every Word of God
is pure:
He is a shield unto them
that put their trust in Him."

- Proverbs 30:5

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday's Thought

Flickr Creative Commons: (C) Leland Francisco

When I was a kid and while growing up in the church, prayer was One of the hardest and most difficult subjects for me to comprehend- especially as a young boy and a new Christian.

After all, talking to God is a serious subject and you have to get it right or else. Prayer and God are sacred and you've got to be sacred when you go to Him in prayer. Know the language and all. Right?

The pastors I knew always had this almighty, high-lofty prayer each Sunday, and I knew I didn't know those words so it wouldn't come natural-


Oh my. It wasn't just one Pastor or Preacher or Evangelist, it was everyone I came into contact with at church, a friends church or campmeeting.

Frustrated, I literally wondered if I could or would learn to speak to God through Prayer. That was concerning as it must be part of the Christian's life.

One day, I was in a class at church when a man spoke about Prayer and how speaking to Him is like talking to your friend, your best friend. Of course, though, you might want to be more "respectful" and "polite" with God than you are with your best buddy- the speaker laughed. He continued to say that you don't need to use the lofty language to speak to Him as you often hear from Pastors, Evangelists and the like- though there is nothing wrong with that either.

Another point he made to support the thought is that when you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, become a Christian or a Believer, He comes into your life to help you with challenges- to be in your life and care for you.

He had a good point. Maybe if I tried to pray as I was talking with a friend, share requests of others, my challenges, the ups and downs, I would be more diligent and feel a bit of "success" in my prayer life.

At first, I have to admit, it was strange, I felt disrespectful, irreverent, unChristian-. That I didn't want. As I prayed more, I felt God's presence and a comfort that I was doing the right thing. The reassurance was what I needed.

As I go through my life now, my prayers have always been as I am talking to a friend. I thank Him for everything, I pray for people as I think of them or see them. I've noticed, I've become closer to God. He is with me more than I felt before- though it's not about a feeling- the closeness has grown because We talk and I "try" my best to listen.

"Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
-Colossians 4:2 [KJV]

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
-Philippians 4:6 [KJV]

"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, 
and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret;
and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Matthew 6:6 [KJV]

Flickr Creative Commons: (C) Leland Francisco

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Noah!!
A great companion, faithful friend
 and exercise buddy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"Golden Leaves"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear;
what can man do unto me?"

- Psalm 118:6

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday's Thought

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son
so that whosoever believeth in Him, shall have everlasting life."
- John 3:16 [KJV] public domain.

One of the most well known Scriptures in the Bible and one that I think every child is taught in church to memorize.  At one point, when I was very young, I began wondering if there were others to learn since I'd always heard about John 3:16. At age 51, I still remember it- when many things I don't.

And, it wasn't without good reason.  It sums up the Christian faith very simply taking away all of the extra "stuff" people seem to be thinking they have to do to become a Christian, a child of God or a Believer.

I've often thought that, though believing in Him means accepting Jesus as your Savior you will go to heaven, it also means that you'll have Him with you in this life.  He will be there with you through the good times, the trials and the challenges.  Though things may not go as you want, you'll have a peace and comfort in your heart that it's going according to His Plan- which is far better than doing it on your own.

Would you like to follow Jesus, become a Christian and follow Him? Just pray-

Admit that you are a sinner, just like everyone else born into this world, until we  confess to Jesus Christ and ask His forgiveness:

"[23] for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [24] and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," 
-Romans 3:23-24, [ESV Study Bible]

"[23] For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 6:23, [ESV Study Bible]

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ:

[16] “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." -John 3:16 [ESV Study Bible]

Confess of your sins in a prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ:

[9] "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. "
- Romans 10:9 [ESV Study Bible]

[13] For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”   -Romans 10:13 [ESV Study Bible]

So now what?  

If you prayed this prayer with your whole heart and believed what you did, you are now a Christian.  My suggestion is to find a local church and become involved.  Talk to the pastor about this experience and ask him to teach you where to go or what to do next.  

If you are not familiar with a local church, a few excellent resources to get you started or who can follow up with you are: 

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Charlotte, NC

Dr. David Jeremiah, San Diego, CA

Centreville Baptist Church, Centreville, VA

These resources are ones that I believe in and you'll get assistance to grow- you can contact them by visiting, writing, email or phone.  

May God bless you.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Photographing the Seasons: Splashes

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

One of the beautiful attributes of the fall season is watching the transition of colors from mostly green to reds, yellows, and oranges.   To me, it looks like God spilled a splotch of paint on the trees.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"Fall's Beginning"
Credit: Allen Pearson,
All Rights Reserved

"The fear of the Lord tendeth to life:
and that hath it shall abide satisfied;
he shall not be visited with evil."

- Proverbs 19:23

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday's Thought

There's something really special about community. Honestly, I think we were created for community.

Think back to creation. God created the heavens and the earth. He created the water and land. He created animals. And then He created man.

Used by Permission, GraphicStock
After creating man, God began to ponder and realized something. Man shouldn't be alone. He should have a companion and thus Eve was created from Adam's rib.

It's an odd thought. Man was created and, afterwards, God thought it was bad for him to be alone.

So why do we try to shut people out? Why do we think we can go at it alone? Why do we get into the mindset that we don't need anyone but ourselves?

This goes against God's thinking.

We weren't meant to be alone. We were meant to be in a community of others. We were meant to live our lives with people.

We've got to get out of the mindset of it's me, myself, and I. It's not that way. Especially if you want to follow in the order of God's creation.

This is a guest post by Joseph Lalonde. He is a youth leader and leadership blogger at Joseph shares leadership tools and encourages you to become a better leader. With him on Twitter or at his blog. Joseph also has a free eBook that you can own by clicking here.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday's Thought

Mis-Direction or God Direction

God how You bless me with Your interruptions.

Your choices, Your words, Your dreams,
Your thoughts, Your love, Your timing!

A wrong turn? 
No, it’s the right one, look up ahead.

A wrong door? 
No, it’s the right one, see, it’s opening.

A wrong time? 
No, it’s the right time, hearts and minds are prepared.

Thank you Lord that I 
Took the wrong turn (Your way),
Opened the wrong door (Your will)
At the wrong time (Your time).

If I had not, I would have missed out on the blessing
You had prepared, just for me!

A mis-direction, most definitely not…

A perfectly timed and placed God direction.

(C) Kim Kirby, 2014, All Rights Reserved