Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sunday's Thought!


(C) Allen Pearson

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and a great time with your family and friends! Mine was really quiet and relaxing once again. Having lost my parents and mother-in-law a few years ago, we invited my father-in-law over for dinner. I grilled steaks and my wife prepared baked potatoes and vegetables. The day seemed to go faster than ever.

Now, we are on to a New Year! 2019 begins on Tuesday. I love the new year. It always seems like I am being given a clean slate to start all over again. After all, we haven't lived in 2019 yet. Every minute, hour, day, week, and month will be new.

With that in mind, I used to make a trillion, as it seemed since I had to live with them and try to succeed, New Year's Resolutions. They were all usually broken for some reason or another but I didn't give up without trying and having plenty of "re-starts!"

As I aged, yup I have been doing a lot of that it seems, I have grown a bit wiser and have come to realize that I can make New Year's Resolutions to change a few things in life and work throughout the year to change whatever it is want to change.

This year, I've determined a few New Years Resolutions that I want to make to help me grow in certain areas of life. My first one is to attend church every Sunday, another is to read my Bible more often, another is to read and study my favorite field of Bible Prophecy, and to read my Trains Magazines and books.  Though I have been a Christian all my life, there is always room to grow and learn more which is another resolution.

As I look back over the years, I tend to reflect around this time of year too, I can see where God has blessed my life in many countless ways. This doesn't mean that He has given me wealth and riches but that He has provided my every need. God has been doing that for me since I accept Him as my Savior in my youth. A decision I have never regretted. Also, it doesn't mean that my life has been perfect without any problems, issues or tragic events. While it's not necessary to share the details of those times in my life, it is important to share that God's Presence has ALWAYS been there to take care of me!

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Christian, please visit Peace With God!

"Christmas Lights"
(C) Used by Permission,  www.Storyblocks.com

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Wednesday's Words! Enocuragement from God's Word!

Scripture
(C) Allen Pearson

"But, I say to you who 
hear, love your enemies.
do good to those who
hate you, bless those 
who curse you, pray for
those who abuse you."

- Luke 6:27-28

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!


(C) Allen Pearson Photography


"For to us a child is born, 
to us a son is given; and
the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
 Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

- Isaiah 9:6

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Sunday's Thought!

Nativity
"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph"
Photo by Dan Kiefer on Unsplash

In the hustle, bustle, and commercialism the world defines Christmas, it not about all of that at all.

I find myself feeling at home this Christmas with a crowd who wishes "Merry Christmas" with their whole heart. A simple greeting, yet so full of love it's awesome. Yet, I've not decorated my home yet or bought any gifts for friends.

I bought my wife a few Christmas present to share the love of Christmas. She has been such an awesome wife, a help-mate, a best friend and the greatest travel buddy ever that I wanted to get her a few things she may not buy for herself! She will probably do the same for me. Yet, its not about the gift as it is the love given.

A few thousand years ago, Christ was born. I have no idea of the exact date and time but I do know that it happened and He came to love and serve others while teaching about God's Love. Did you know that Jesus loves you so much that after 33 years on this earth, He died on a cross for our sins so we may have eternal life in Heaven? That's a Gift. That's Christmas. That's Love. And, given as a Gift to you from Jesus at Christmas.

This is one thing in life that isn't too good to be true. Nor is it complicated or difficult to receive.  Please visit Peace With God to learn more.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word



Christmas
(C) Allen Pearson

"And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in
swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place
for them in the inn. For unto you is born this 
day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

- Luke 2:6-7, 11

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sunday's Thought!

Christmas
"Christmas Wreath"
Photo by John Price on Unsplash
My wife and I took a drive this weekend to visit her family's cemeteries and place wreaths on their headstones. It was the tradition of another family member for many years until he recently passed away last summer. My wife decided she was going to take over the tradition.

We bought around 17 live wreaths from the local warehouse store and we're on our way to visit the small towns where the family had been buried. A few of the towns, I have visited over the years either with my wife or as a child with my family. We headed out on a rainy Friday afternoon and drove the several miles to the cemeteries. I love diving to the countryside of Virginia. With its rolling hills, small towns, railroads, mom and pop stores, its always a fun adventure.

As we visited the graves of maternal and paternal grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, my wife had stories about these family members in days gone by. Our final stop was a cemetery in a small town at an old historical church far away from civilization. Fortunately, though we weren't sure where they were, we quickly found the headstones we were trying to find.

While my wife may not have been best buddies or close to all the people's graves we visited, however, they were family. They were people she grew up with and loved over the years. She put aside anything that may have been there and honored them with a Christmas wreath. In my mind, I could see my wife's mother, and probably other family members, smiling down from heaven at the tasks she just completed.

Do you have a family member you need to visit this Christmas season? Have you been fighting or arguing with a family member over the years and aren't taking the time to see them this season? Isn't it time to put aside these things and love them? After all, we do not know how long our family will be with us and we need to cherish them while we can.

As we traveled, I felt God's Presence keeping us company and watching over as we went through heavy rails over hill and dale and windy roads of Virginia. It was an awesome trip and had a bit of nostalgia as we ate in a small Mom and Pop restaurant called "Railyard Restaurant." It was awesome to share this time with my wife and God.

To learn more about the Christian life, please visit Peace With God!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word!

Christmas
(C) Allen Pearson

"And the angel
said to them, 'Fear
not, for behold, I
bring you good news
of great joy that
will be for all the 
people.'"

- Luke 2:10


Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sunday's Thought!

"A Charlie Brown Christmas!"
(C) The News and Observer

For some reason, there seems to be something different about this Christmas season. Not sure what it is or why it is or what. Maybe, I am getting old and immune to all the craziness of the commercialized Christmas which seems to be so inundating and overwhelming each year it's ridiculous.

For me, it seems like I’m missing my parents more this year than last. As they say, you don’t really “get over” the loss of a family member, you just adjust and learn to move on. Fortunately for me, memories of my parents bring back a lot of good memories and fun traditions.

This past week, I decided to re-live one of my favorite traditions from childhood with my wife and two furry boys! A “Charlie Brown Christmas” was scheduled to come on TV Thursday evening. The cartoon is one of the few Christmas programs which I will plan to sit and watch it. Every single second of it. Not miss one moment. There is something awesome about this show that has kept my attention for nearly 50 years.

The plan for Thursday evening was to get our favorite snacks ready for us and a few for the boys and sit in front of the TV. This, of course, brought back the memories of snacks and family time years ago. However, instead of popcorn, soda, candy bars, cheese and the like, I had milk and popcorn which was supposed to be healthier than other treats. My wife had treats which were healthy too. And, I never give my boys any treats or food which aren’t good for a dog or cat to have.

We all gathered around the TV, turned out all the lights, turned the volume up on TV and began watching a cartoon from the 1960s! I enjoyed this, it was my family and I was enjoying the start of the Christmas season. For me, it’s not Christmas until I see the show.

After the show was over, I couldn’t help by why I enjoy the show so much. Why is it so special to me to watch it? Why did I remember it was coming on that night after learning it was coming on a week ago. I seem to forget things pretty easily these days so to remember that was unusual.

I think it’s because “A Charlie Brown Christmas” takes me back to a simpler time. When Christmas was a celebration celebrated by everyone with simple decorations and presents and a sacred time of Christ’s Birth. When a gift from family, a co-worker or friends meant something special.

One of my favorite scenes is where Charlie Brown asks, “Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus replies,

Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about! And there were in
the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: 
and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto 
you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day
 in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'" Luke 2:8-14 KJV

A moment often missed in Linus’s telling Charlie Brown about the real meaning of Christmas is very subtly done. Linus drops his blanket and leaves it until he’s finished and returns to stand by Charlie Brown. 

I hadn’t noticed this intentional dropping of the blanket until another a Christian writer shared it on a post last month. Before reading his post, I thought the significance of the moment is to share how our “security” is in Jesus Christ’s Birth and His saving us from our fears. The words “Fear not” mean just that- do not fear.
After Linus says part, the rest of the cast seems to realize there is more to Christmas than the trees, decorations, and gifts. They decorate the tree which Charlie Brown had purchased and shout “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!”

The Birth of Jesus Christ brought salvation to man. Christ would live a life of ministry in helping others, loving others and sharing how we are to live. He dies for our sins so we can have eternal life in heaven with Him.

If you would like to learn more about Christian life and becoming a Christian, please visit Peace With God.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

Christmas
(C) Allen Pearson

"She will bear a son,
and you shall call his name
Jesus, for he will save his 
people from their sins."

- Matthew 1:21

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sunday's Thought!


Christmas
"The Nativity"
Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash

Merry Christmas! It seems like I may have already wished you Merry Christmas. I know that's not possible because I rarely start wishing people Merry Christmas until Thanksgiving. The retailers started decorating their stores before the children went back to school and it seems like I've been bombarded with Christmas advertising since almost that far back. And, the Hallmark channel seems to have been counting down their Christmas movie marathon since the last one ended. I'm sure you've heard this before, Christmas has become way too commercialized. Its taken the true meaning of the season away.

Around this time of year, I begin thinking about whether I have bought the gifts I need to buy or do I need to buy someone something? I don't want to forget my wife and there are a few friends I don't want to forget either. Also, I start thinking about what decorations I will use this year and when to put them up. So, I keep the season simple enough to enjoy while making sure not to forget those so very important to me.

Thus, begins another Christmas season. Before long, the night sky will be lit by all the lights and decorations making such a beautiful celebration. Driving through the neighborhood and even some cities are sights to behold.

However, the season is more about the Birth of Jesus, loving your fellow man, sharing gifts with those you love than giving the most expensive gift you can find or decorating to the hilt!

Years ago, I used to get stressed out about the Christmas season because I wasn't comfortable with giving presents to everyone in the office or participating in some of their holiday games or parties. It was because the season is a special time of celebration for me, one I celebrate with family and close friends. Once I came to the realization that Christmas is what it is for me, a celebration of Christ's Birth, I began enjoying it much more.

Unfortunately, Christmas can be a time of loneliness and maybe even despair. Sometimes, people who cannot afford to buy everyone they know or work with a gift, they become depressed or sad because they need the money for something more important like food, living expenses and the like. I know for me, sometimes I feel lonely because my parents are deceased and gone to Heaven.

Christmas is about the Birth of Jesus Christ and celebrating it. We give gifts to those we love because we want to do so. For me, I love receiving a small handmade gift from a friend. I have a small nativity a friend made about 30 years ago. I keep it because it was made from the heart. Though my parents are gone, I may get together with some friends to celebrate. I don't make myself do this, since I'm really more of an introvert, but it's a happy way to celebrate Christ's Birth.

If you are stressing about another Christmas season being here and having to go into debt to buy all those Christmas presents or are feeling really lonely, take the time to meet Jesus during this season. Learning more about Jesus and becoming a Christian isn't the "cure all" for everything that ails you but He will bless you and make your life awesome. A journey of life which words, written or spoken, cannot even be to explain.

It all begins with accepting Christ as your personal Savior. If you would like to learn more about Jesus and the Christian life, please visit Peace With God.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Railroad Photography! "Old House by Railroad Crossing"

"Old House by Railroad Crossing"
(C) Allen Pearson
As I travel throughout Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania railfanning, I have found it fascinating to not only looking for trains but artwork around or near the railroad crossing.

At this particular location in Delaplane, VA, history of many years gone past surrounds the area so there plenty of opportunities to be creative with what I call "Railroad Art" since much of the existing area was built around the train coming through.

The "Old House by Railroad Crossing" is available on printed products including traditional quality archival papers you can frame, metal, canvas, standouts, posters, and notecards. To learn more, please visit my Railroad Photography Gallery.

If you are interested in other products, like coffee mugs and journals, please email me from my website.

I have opened a store on CafePress: Allen Pearson's Photos making it possible for you to have my images on other products. If you are interested in other products, like coffee mugs and journals, please visit the site or email me from my website.