Monday, March 31, 2014

Photographing the Seasons - American Robin in Early Spring

"American Robin in Early Spring"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
If you have been following my work for long you know already, if not, you will soon learn that I have a few favorite birds that I photograph as often as I can or see them- the American Robin and the Black-Capped Chickadee.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday's Thought

As a believer, we often want to save the world. And to do so, we believe we must be the one to change the minds, and hearts, of those we see as fallen.

Have you ever found yourself there?

Me? I've been there multiple times. And it wasn't pretty.

I'd see some wrong action or hear a coarsely spoken word only to jump on the person. My first reaction would be to tell them how wrong they are. How they're going to go to Hell. And how they must repent.

Over the years, my approach to these matters have changed. I no longer take the quick action and jump down their throats. It's ineffective and, for the most part, wasn't Jesus' style of winning people over.

But, if we're not to shove the gospel down the throats of those who are sinning, what are we to do?

Let's take a quick look at scripture. This will show us what Jesus' actions were.

Mark 2:15-16 - Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and[a] Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”

          Matthew 9:10 - While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many
          tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.

         John 4:7 - A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to
         her,“Give Me a drink.”

What I see in these verses is that Jesus took the time to interact with those we would call sinners. The ones who are living in sin. The ones who are proud of their sin.

Jesus took the time to sit down and eat with them. He took time to talk with them. He got to know the sinners.

This was Jesus' way of winning the lost. He became friends of sinners, as the Pharisees called Him.

If Jesus was a friend of sinners, the question raised is: Am I following Jesus lead and being friends of sinners as well?

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.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday's Foto - Photographing the Seasons: Snow on the Phlox Bloom

"Snow on Phlox Bloom"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Mother Nature doesn't want winter to go away so she shares snow on the Phlox blooming in my garden.

For me, it's a good reminder that Spring is on it's way- warmer weather will soon prevail.  

Garden Perspectives - Crocus in Spring

"Crocus in Spring"
(C) Allen Pearson
All Rights Reserved
I enjoy working and exploring nature found in gardens with my macro lens in the spring through fall months.  The lens isn't the easiest to work with as it requires more patience and set up to use properly than some other lenses.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Garden Perspectives - The Blue Pansy

"The Blue Pansy"
(C) Allen Pearson's Photos, All Rights Reserved
Often, around this time of year in my garden, the Pansy's return to life after a normal winter season. I wonder what will happen this year since it was extremely cold and snowy.

Usually, I am excited with extreme anticipation of the coming warm weather at their bloom- this year will be no exception.  Actually, since this writing has not been any exaggerations, I may be overly extremely excited about the warm weather coming and pushing out one of the coldest winters I can remember.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"Sunrise Over the Pond"
Credit: Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Let me never be ashamed of the truth 
of the Gospel, that I may bear its
reproach, vindicate it, see Jesus as its
essence, know in it the power of the
Spirit. Amen.

- A Puritan Prayer

Monday, March 24, 2014

Photographing the Seasons- The Burning Forsythia Wall

"The Burning Forsythia Wall"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
One of my favorite signs that warm weather isn't far off is the Forsythia's blooming in March, sometimes after the official "First Day of Spring."

With the early morning sunlight flowing these Forsythia's, it made the wall look like flames.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday's Thought

Lately, I've been hearing the questions, "Will you stand up for what you believe?"  Will you stand up for "Jesus Christ?"  "Are you willing to be be teased, picked on, ignored, ridiculed, made fun of, and all those other negative actions that people could do- simply because you believe in Jesus Christ and the Gospel?

As I heard these questions, repeated in nature over and over, I couldn't help but think about the song "I'm Not Ashamed" by the Newsboys.

"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, 
for it is the power of God for salvation
to everyone who believes."
- Romans 1:16 ESV

What will you do when asked about your faith or someone makes fun of Christ?  Will you stand up? Or will you keep silent? 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Garden Perspectives - First Day of Spring

"Impressions of Spring"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
At 12:57 p.m. today, Vernal Equinox does it's thing to usher in spring!  Happy SPRING!! I can't say it enough!  HAPPY SPRING!!

The weather has been snowier and colder than normal this winter so I am looking forward to a regular walking routine with my dog and to all of the spring chores!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Photographing The Seasons - Northern Cardinal in March Snow

"Northern Cardinal in March Snow"
Credit: Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
I am surprised this image turned out as clear as it did- granted it's not perfect but close enough giving a great photo of the Cardinal.

I am sharing this image as being one I took for fun memories.  This winter has been colder and snowier than usual.  Whenever the storms were coming, the birds would gather at the feeders and birdbath (heated).  I wanted a "fun" photo to remind me of the birds gathering.

I photographed this image from my studio which is in a second story building and screens on the window.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Photographing the Seasons- A Bowl of Ice Cream?

"A Bowl of Ice Cream?"
Credit: Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
One of the coldest and snowiest winters I can ever remember is technically almost over.  In two days, it will be the first day of Spring.

We shall see-

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday's Thought

Perfect.  I have to be perfect and I'm the epitome of perfection. When I was younger, my room was perfectly clean- everything had it's place and everything was in it's place. Always.  My car was perfectly clean.  For the most part.  I did work hard to keep it there but it was little harder to do. I dressed perfectly, my hair was perfect. You name it, it was perfect.  So, I thought anyway.

When I began the Christian life, as a child, I understood that I was to be perfect.  No more sinning.  No more mistakes. No more errors.   As I grew older, I thought the same thing but began realizing I am far from perfect and trying so hard to achieve it was exhausting.

Finally, I realized this achievement of perfection was not only exhausting but impossible.  I was frustrated until it sunk into my thick skull that Christ does not call us to be perfect.  Only to follow Him.

And, don't think you have to be perfect to start the journey as a Christian or to continue to follow Him- you just have to accept Him as your personal Savior then allow Him to work on those imperfect areas of your to make you perfect- but in His way.  You will still be an imperfect human, so don't get any ideas of sudden instant perfection, but you will be made into the perfect image of Him as He would want you to be- it's a great experience!

Accepting Christ as your Savior and beginning a life with Him is this simple:

A- Admit

Admit that you are a sinner, just like everyone else born into this world, until we confress 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)

B-  Believe

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ:

[16] “For God so loved the world,
[f1] that he gave his only Son, 
that whoever believes in him should 
not perish but have eternal life."
-John 3:16 (ESV Study Bible) 
 ([f1] 3:16 Or For this is how God loved the world)

C- Confess
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)

If you prayed this prayer with your whole heart, 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.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"Virginia Bluebells"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"Blessed are ye,
when me shall revile you,
and persecute you,
and shall say all 
manner of evil against you falsely,
for my sake."

- Matthew 5:11

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday's Thought

"fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
- Isaiah 41:10, ESV

Monday, March 3, 2014

Garden Perspectives - Crocus

Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

About this time of year, maybe a little earlier or later, this flower is a very welcome sight!

The Crocus is one of the first flowers to begin blooming in my yard each year.  When I see it, to me it means Spring is not too far away.  After all the cold weather and maybe some snow or ice storms of the winter, I am always happy for spring to arrive.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday's Thought

"GraphicStock- Used by Permission"
This has been one of those rough and tiring weeks.  I feel like I need more than a weekend to recover from it!  There was too much drama from a work colleague, a bit overloaded with work to get finished by a certain time, a snow storm or two, and ongoing concerns over the well-being of two family members which sometimes has my wife and I going in different directions.  To top it all off, a repeated rude comment from a someone in an email which ended up weighing hard on me.

All of this turns my attention to encouraging others.  Instead of being critical or condescending, shouldn't we be encouraging them with a kind word or two? After all, you never know what the other person is going through.

"But encourage one another daily,

as long as it is called “Today,” 
so that none of you may be hardened
by sin’s deceitfulness."

-Hebrews 3:13