Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday's Thought

You may be struggling to find peace. I know I have lately.

Peace seems so elusive lately and it's frustrating.

We think peace should be easy to find. But even when we're looking to the right place, God, we can struggle with obtaining peace.

This past week, I finished reading a great book on the topic of peace. It's called Calming The Storm Within: How To Find Peace In This Chaotic World by Jim Lange.

Jim's book has helped me realize I need to be more intentional about searching out the peace I long for. And his advice is helping.

Here's a few tid-bits from his book that I found really helpful.

If we are willfully sinning, it is impossible to find true peace in our hearts

Don't discount the value of asking others to hold you accountable. It could be a life saving act for you and can help bring peace to your life.

He requires us to ask Him to do what only He can do. When He doesn't find that person to pray, He cannot move.

There's a few takeaways that I got from each of these quotes from Calming The Storm Within.

First, our choices often bring about the lack of peace we feel in our lives. We've chosen to walk away from peace by choosing to do our own thing.

Second, God has placed others around us to hold us accountable and to be a comfort to us in our times of need. Don't neglect the people God has placed in your life. They're there for a reason.

Third, we have to be willing to ask God to do His work and to help us do the work he's put us on this earth for. When we're unwilling to go to God, He's unable to move.

I can't reiterate how much Calming The Storm Within can help you find peace in your life. If you'd like to purchase a copy, you can do so by clicking here.

Question: How are you finding peace in your life? Please share your story in the comment section below.

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, February 16, 2014

Sunday's Thought

These past few weeks, I’ve been talking about Bibles on a tablet and reading the Bible.  This week, I’d like to discuss devotion resources you can find too.

For me, over the years, reading devotions has been a source of frustration.  Why?  Well, I was brought up in a legalistic atmosphere which meant many of the devotions I had access to, were so boring.  No offense intended to anyone who wrote those, but they were over my head.  So, I lost interest.  I was too young to understand the scholarly way in which they were written. 

At the time, there wasn’t much written toward younger people, or at least I didn’t have access to them. So, devotions were a bit of a problem as I used my church’s literature and ventured into following the reading and studying of my Bible through devotions that I didn’t always or even understand half the time.

Over the years this began to change as I grew older and began to explore churches and other material on my own.  By doing so, I discovered many great writers, preachers and teachers who believed along the way I was taught.  

These materials proved to be great because they were written in layman’s terms or language a young man who isn't a theologian could easily understand and apply to his life. 

Of course, this meant making sure that I read my devotions before work or in the evening and in some cases, carry the material with me in my car to read at lunch.  This worked pretty good.

When I got my tablet, I decided to search for the printed material online- maybe I could find them as an application (or an app.).  And, I was somewhat successful.  I was surprised at how few of my favorite writers have devotion apps.  And, I tend to stay away from authors writings whom I don’t know or can’t get a recommendation from a friend or pastor. 

My success was in finding the Radio Bible Class’ “Our Daily Bread” as an app. for my tablet.  Since our church shares their materials and I’ve been reading some of them since I was a young adult, I thought perfect- and I was right. A feature that I really like is the ability to go straight to today’s reading.  I don’t have to thumb through pages to find it.  Another feature is the ability to read the Scripture references for yourself by way of links to Bible Gateway.  My favorite feature is the ability to share what I read- if I want to share this with friends, I just click on a link to share to Facebook or Twitter.

How’s this for convenience?  A Bible, or Bibles, or your tablet or phone.  Devotion material to get you reading or studying, on your tablet or phone.  We have no excuse for not studying or reading God’s Word as we have access to it nearly everywhere now! 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Photographing the Seasons - Frosted Fallen Leaves

"Frosted Fallen Leaves"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
To me, when I photograph nature, beauty abounds everywhere!  The texture, colors from the early morning sun, and the frost on fallen leaves are what got my attention to the beauty in this photograph.

I created this image at Walney on a cold winter day in January.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"Cloud Portrait"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved"

"Blessed Assurance,
Jesus is Mine..........
Born of His Spirit,
Washed in His Blood.....
This is my story, 
This is my song,
Praising my Savior,
All the day long!"

- Fanny J. Crosby
Text from "Blessed Assurance"

Monday, February 10, 2014

Photographing the Seasons - Cloud Portraits 1

"Cloud Portraits"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
I have a gallery on my website that I named "Cloud Portraits."  Several years ago, I became fascinated with the designs, lighting, portraits or artistic creations I found by looking to the skies. Of course, my creative mind and imagination went a bit wild at times and I saw things that left others scratching their heads.

I found it fascinating to go out on my front porch or the back deck after a storm event and watching the clouds.  Occasionally, I would get some great photographs.

Sunsets and sunrises are found in this gallery as well.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday's Thought

Last week I discussed the advantages I was finding in having Bible apps. on my tablet. Actually, I have several as I like the different translations. On my Facebook page, a reader shared a few more tips which you may benefit.

My thoughts this week turn to reading your Bible.  What seems like 100's of years ago, when I was young, I heard ‘Read your Bible, study your Bible, memorize your Bible, Read your Bible, study your Bible….” You get the idea. This was given with little instruction as to how a young kid or even a teenager and then a young old- should approach reading the Bible. The book is enormous to a young kid I was clueless where to start.

So, I wanted to please God in every way that I could, including reading my Bible. And, I started in Genesis 1. I would read a chapter a night. This seemed to work well, so I started following a "Read the Bible In A Year" plan.

Before I knew it, something came up and I would miss a day and I was overwhelmed with trying to catch up.  After a few instances like this, I got frustrated.

I decided not to follow a reading plan because it seemed to me that I was rushing to accomplish something that was keeping me away from the true meaning of reading my Bible and that is to read it and learn from it.  

If I had had the portability of the Bible like I have on my tablet now, I could have read at many points of my day like I am attempting to do now.

However you want to approach it, it's important to read your Bible daily.  It's important to learn from it and to study it.  Whichever way you choose to approach reading your Bible, be sure it's not so overwhelming that you loose interest.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Photographing the Seasons - Big Rocky Run at Walney Nature Center

"Big Rocky Run at Walney Nature Center"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
A little off the beaten path at Walney is a cool place to explore- you'll see turtles, deer, fox, Blue Birds and yes, skunk (from what I've read thankfully)!  The creek runs through the park, but down in this area, you get a unique view of the water flowing towards you.

A friend gave me directions to find this location.  "Big Rocky Run at Walney Nature Center" was photographed in the winter months on a very cold morning.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wednesday's Words

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"A sound heart is the life
of the flesh:
but envy
the rottenness of the bones."

- Proverbs 14:30

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dog Photography- Precious Pup!

"Precious Pup!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Black Labrador Retrievers seemed to be the "Dog of the Neighborhood" where I used to live- everyone seemed to have one while each dog had its own unique personality.

When I photographed "Precious Pup", he was all over himself to share his love of humans!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday’s Thought

For years I’ve wanted to carry my Bible with me wherever I go.  Not some legalistic belief, just a desire.  However, I’ve never felt comfortable with letting a Bible sit in a place where it could get damaged.  Maybe that’s legalistic, but I've always seen it as respect for God’s Word. Not being able to carry one easily wherever I went, I developed different ways to have one available.

Keeping a Bible in my car resulted in it falling apart due to the varying weather conditions.  I kept an NIV Study Bible in my cubicle and within reach when working in an office- not for display or to announce to visitors or coworkers that I’m a Christian because they should see that in other ways- if not, I pray God would convict me.  I kept it there for my reference whenever needed and to read.  At the same time, I didn't want it to get damaged or messed up and it wasn't the easiest to carry to the lunchroom and back.
Being one who doesn't have to have the latest and greatest of anything but if I find a deal on something- well, technology sometimes is that way for me.  I finally bought a tablet because it was on sale and through one of those coupon things.   

On my tablet, I found a great way to read my Bible. When I got my table, I found that I could download apps for free!  One of my friends suggested taking advantage of free stuff so I searched for Bibles and found quite a few apps..

Also, the many free downloads are excellent for allowing you to read the Bible anywhere.  I'm trying out several translations to give me different insights and determine which will allow use without internet access.    

After that, I went to a website, You Version, where I found by creating an account I can select a Bible to read in a translation that I prefer.  I can use it wherever I want without WiFi though some features aren't available.  With WiFi, I can highlight verses, make notes, and many other features.

Whichever way you go, reading your Bible daily will be an excellent adventure in your life.