Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"Virginia Bluebells at Bull Run"
(C) Allen Pearson

 "For I reckon that the sufferings of this 
present time are not worthy to be compared 
with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

- Romans 8:18

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday's Thought

Stop The Fight

For some reason, most of us like to put up a fight. A fight to be right and to be the one declared the victor.

I've been thinking on this lately. And the thoughts I've had troubled me. I think they may trouble you as well.

No one really wins when we continue to fight and argue about who's right. Especially on the small matters of life.

Really, does it matter if we drink grape juice or wine at communion? Will it matter if I tithe with my money or with my time. Should everyone serve a ministry in the church?

In the end, I don't see any of these arguments leading anywhere positive. Instead, these arguments lead to division in the church. Non-Christians begin to see the church as negative rather than a positive force that can change their lives.

Let's get over the petty differences we've allowed to separate churches for so long. Let's come together rather than tear each other apart.

A really cool verse I found recently puts it this way:

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

This Bible Scripture comes from 1 Corinthians 1:10. If we begin applying it to our lives, I see it being a world changer.

Paul's calling us to a big challenge. A challenge to agree with one another. To stop being divisive (See, even in Biblical times the church had a hard time sticking with each other).

He says to be of one mind. And one thought. And to have no divisions among us.

Also note, nowhere in this passage does Paul tell us who's right or who's wrong. He tells us to agree and that's that.

There's not to be a battle of the wits discovering who's right. We're supposed to stop dividing and agree.

Question: What do you think about Paul telling us to agree but not what to agree on? Does this seem weird to you? Let me know your thoughts 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.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wednesday's Words

"Cloud Portraits"
Credit: Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Shall atheists dare insult the cross,
of our Redeemer, God?
Shall infidels reproach His laws,
Or trample on His blood?

Then let our faith grow firm and strong,
Our lips profess His Word;
Nor blush nor fear to walk among
The men that love the Lord.

-Isaac Watts
(taken from "Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts,
Hymn 33. Work is in Public Domain.)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Photographing the Seasons - Spring Light in Walney

"Spring Light in Walney"
Credit: Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
My friend Marian showed me this location in Walney Nature Center a few years ago- now it's one of my favorite places to photograph.

Many times I'll use the area to photograph dogs for clients as well.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday's Thought

Credit: GraphicStock, Used by Permission

One of the favorite Easter hymns sung in many churches in celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each year that I played the church organ, this was one of my favorites to play as I could use the full sound of the organ to celebrate the RISEN CHRIST!  

"The angel said to the women, 
‘Do not be afraid, for I know that 
you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified.
 He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.’ "

-  Matthew 28:5,6

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and Heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

- Words written by Charles Wesley, 1739 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

Graphicstock- Used by Permission

It has been nearly 15 years since I took my friend and his family to the Easter production at one of the larger churches in the area.

I was surprised when he brought his two children since I mentioned the program was pretty dramatic and might be a bit too much for young children.  He knows his children so I didn't think any more about it.

As the crucifixion scene began, the audience of a thousand or so people went silent. They began to nail Jesus to the cross, all you hear is "clink! clink! clink!"  A scene that brings tears to my eyes and I usually cannot watch.

All of a sudden, my friends young daughter, maybe 3 years old, hollers "Daddy they're killing Jesus!"  Did that ever bring the tears and smiles out around us-

They didn't kill Jesus that day -He died for our sins, but rose again on Easter Sunday so that we may have eternal life with Him.

One of my favorite Easter memories and I think about it each year as I am thankful for all Christ endured that I might have life with him.

Interested in Salvation, here's are the A B C's to following Christ!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maunday Thursday

Credit: GraphicStock, Used by Permission
I am taking a short break from sharing my photography work to celebrate the Easter season.  This week is Holy Week for the Christians, today being Maundy Thursday, the day when the Disciples celebrated the Last Supper with Jesus before He went to the cross on Good Friday.

The Passover with the Disciples
17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread 
the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you
have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 
18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and
 say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand.
I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 
19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and 
they prepared the Passover.

20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 
21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, 
one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful
and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?”
23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish 
with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is 
written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man
is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had
not been born.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered,
“Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

Institution of the Lord's Supper
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after
blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, 
“Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and 
when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying,
“Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant,
which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 
29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until 
that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.”

Jesus Foretells Peter's Denial
30 And when they had sung a hymn, 
they went out to the Mount of Olives.

-Matthew 26:17-30 (ESV)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Photographing the Seasons - Spring's Red Buds at Cabbell's Mill

"Spring's Red Buds at Cabbell's Mill"
Credit: Allen Pearson's Photos
Most of my spring photographs like this were inspired by and taken for my wife.  She loves the Red Bud tree so when I am out walking, especially at Walney Nature Center, I grab as many photographs for her as I can.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday's Thought

Do you thank God, literally, for His Blessings daily, even for the "small" things that happen in life?

Life has been a bit stressful lately.  My mother-in-law and my father are requiring extra attention over the past month or so. I'm thankful that God has given my wife and I the ability to take care of their needs.

Yesterday, my wife and I needed to go visit my father to discuss his future place to live.  After a serious accident, he's recuperating well, but will need to have assistance in his daily life.

Several things going on at my house, I hastily prepared myself to go- putting on my hearing aids as I got ready to go out the door.  I did a few other things- then headed out the door with my wife.

We got down the road and I realized I was missing the right hearing aid.  My heart stopped. The dread of "oh no!" came over me.

A tight time limit to do this errand to see my father kept me going on my way, otherwise, I would have turned around and gone home to look for the hearing aid.

After the visit with Dad, my wife and I got home and searched the car, the driveway, the garden, the yard, the stairs- everywhere I thought I had been and could loose my hearing aid.  Could not find it.

Then, I remembered- "master bathroom" I went in there to check something before we left.  So, I rushed up there - and there it was- on the bathroom sink counter.

I was so happy to find it I yelled "Thank You Jesus!!" And, I said it again "Thank You Jesus!" And, I was serious about it as find the hearing aid was a blessing.  I can hear without them but not as well and with some sounds, not at all.

I believe in saying "Thank You Jesus" or "Thank God" whenever He does something for us.  There are no coincidences in life with God in control.

"Oh give thanks to the Lord; 
call upon his name; make 
known his deeds among t
he peoples!

Psalm 105:1 ESV

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Photographing the Seasons- American Robin at Walney

"American Robin at Walney"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
The American Robin is one of my favorite birds.  Not sure why, just enjoy enjoy watching them and their nesting habits.  Whenever I have a nest in my yard, I'll change my yard work habits around to avoid disturbing it.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday's Thought

Being content is a subject on my mind lately.  I think the weather and some of the issues in life lately has brought it to mind more than a few times.

Why the weather?  Spring has sprung, the snow and cold is done for another year. While this weekend has chilly, I've been hearing people complaining it.  I have to laugh to myself because some of these people were just complaining about the cold and snow.  I'm glad- so glad- it's not snow or ice or another Polar Vortex- though this past winter did present some new and interesting challenges.

While others share about the latest and greatest gadget or clothes or cars, I enjoy listening to their conversations but am content with what I have. While I love looking at cars with the latest and greatest stuff on them, and yes occasionally drool and want, I am very happy and content with the ones I have.  And, am happy with the things in life God gave me to use.

Lately, my wife and I have had to care for our elderly parents.  Realizing they won't be around forever we're doing things we never thought we'd have to do.  Yet there is a pleasure and happiness that's come with that.

 Not that I am speaking of being in need, 
for I have learned in whatever situation 
I am to be content.

Philippians 4:11 (ESV)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wednesday's Words

(C) Allen Pearson, All Righs Reserved

"Love your enemies,
do good to them which hate you,
bless them that curse you,
and pray for them which
despitefully use you."

- Luke 6:27-28