Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word


(C) 2020, Allen Pearson Photography
(C) 2020, Allen Pearson Photography

"Another year is dawning!
Dear Father, let it be,
In working or in waiting,
Another year with Thee;
Another year of leaning
Upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting,
Of quiet, happy rest;"

- Another Year Is Dawning
Lyrics: Frances R. Havergal, 1836 -1879
Music: Samuel S. Wesley, 1810 - 1876

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Sunday's Thought!


Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash

Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash

The joys of Christmas. There are so many. As we celebrated Christmas on Friday, I found myself enjoying the company of a friend, my wife, and her father. We had a delicious meal together to celebrate Jesus's Birth, our friendship, and family together. Also, later in the day, I found myself thinking about past Christmases with family and friends as well as looking forward to next year. Who knows what next year will be like. Since my parents passed away, Christmases have been a challenging season because I miss them. This year, I made strides to going forward creating new memories. I think about this Christmas and what went well to repeat next year. It was a good season. 

When my Pastor asked, "what is my favorite Christmas memory?" I didn't have to think long about his question and I quickly realized that it had nothing to do with any gifts I'd been given over the years. I have quite a few great Christmas memories with my parents and my wife. I have to say I have two favorite memories. These were created when I was less than 7-years-old. My parents, brother, and I were running errands of some sort. At a traffic light, Santa Claus pulled up next to us in a station wagon. When he saw us, of course, we were so excited as he waved at us. The other favorite memory was when Santa Claus decided to stop by our house and ask what if my brother and I were still being good boys and what we wanted for Christmas. I still smile when I think of those memories. As I grew up, there were many other Christmas memories. One year, my wife snuck behind my back getting with the family about buying a set of Grove's Music Dictionary of Music and Musicians as my gift that year. 

I think my favorite memories are going to be changing though. This year was a very challenging year. Yes, COVID-19 and the political leadership were extremely annoying but my wife and I were given a blessing from God which cannot be matched, unless by Him. My wife fought some health battles this year. She faced some challenges which she handled very positively. During her challenges and many doctor's visits, she helped others by sharing her experiences when asked. Often, she told me that she felt calm and had peace in her heart. She knows it was God taking care of her. She has made it through and the doctor has said she is well. That is my Christmas present for 2020! For which I am thankful.  

The joys of Christmas aren't lost after all the presents are opened nor after the last bit of food is swallowed or the party is over. Jesus's Birth brings joy to our hearts and lives, contentment to our souls with a peace that truly passes all understanding. My wife and I experienced, once again, the peace within our hearts as she went through her challenges. It's not even the gifts and meals we have at Christmas which does any of that. Not at all. It is the Gift of Jesus's Birth and the acceptance of God's Gift of Salvation that does it.

Accepting God's Gift of Salvation doesn't mean that you will have a perfectly healthy life or you will be healed from any diseases. I wish that were true as I have several I would like to be gone! It doesn't mean, you will have riches or wealth or never go through any of life's tragedies. I share that first to say, that it does mean when those times of challenging life events, once you have learned to place your faith and trust in Jesus, you will notice how He gives you those calm and quiet or the peace that peaces understanding in your heart. 

This Christmas season, why don't you open the Best Christmas Present you could ever get from anyone anywhere anytime and begin celebrating life as a Christian?! Please visit Peace with God to learn more.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

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

(C) 2020, Allen Pearson Photography
(C) 2020, Allen Pearson Photography

"Thanks be to God for this gift 
too wonderful for words!"
- 2 Corinthians 9:15

Merry Christmas!

(C) Storyblocks, Used by Permission

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Sunday's Thought!

Photo by Dan Kiefer on Unsplash
"The Nativity"
Photo by Dan Kiefer on Unsplash

Revealed to Shepherds, Hidden from Herod 
by Adrian Rogers, Love Worth Finding

And it came to pass, 
as the angels were gone away from them into Heaven,
 the shepherds said one to another, 
Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, 
which the Lord hath made known unto us.” 
- Luke 2:15

What is the great need in the world today? Is it information? We’re drowning in a sea of information. If information is what we need, God would have sent an educator. Is it technology? If technology had been the need, God would have sent a scientist. Is it money? Do you think your problems would be solved if you had more money? If money were the need, God would have sent an economist. Is the need more leisure? Maybe God should have sent an entertainer.

No. Our great need is salvation. And so God sent a Savior.

I’m amazed (and blessed) that He sent the message to humble shepherds. Old Herod, the King, never did quite get it. He never did understand. But humble shepherds understood the message. Why? Because “God has hidden these things from the wise and the prudent and has revealed them unto babes.” (Luke 10:21)

Do you want to understand who Jesus Christ is today? Then lay your intellectual pride in the dust, come to Him and say, “Lord, reveal this truth to me.” Sing it and follow it: “O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”

To learn about salvation and more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit Love Worth Finding - Assurance of Salvation

Devotion used by written permission of Love Worth Finding.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) 2020, Allen Pearson Photography

"Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth."

- Silent Night, Holy Night
Joseph Mohr, Franz Gruber, 1818

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Sunday's Thought!

(C) 2020, Allen Pearson Photography
"Decorated for Christmas!"
(C) 2020, Allen Pearson Photography

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere I drive... and is it ever! I have lived in my neighborhood for almost six years and have never seen so much decorating! There are inflatables of all shapes, sizes, and characters, like mine, Nativities, Christmas trees, snowmen, and of course, all Christmas lights of all colors! A drive through the neighborhood is a beautiful experience. You know Christmas is coming!

When I was a young boy, which seems like yesterday but in reality was a hundred years ago, my parents and I would start putting up our outdoor Christmas display right after Thanksgiving which included handmade wood figures of a scene from Charlie Brown Christmas and a Nativity. They were simply made but were built with love by my father. We place lights around this Spruce tree which would eventually get too large for us to place lights at the top.

Soon after, probably within the week, we would decorate the inside of the house. Sometimes we would start decorating the tree inside, and all the other things mother wanted to decorate, after we got home from a morning spent at the Christmas Parade. The parade seemed to kick off a joyful cheery season in the town with people rushing here and there to get things done.

For my family, Christmas meant music and, especially, church music. My father was the Minister of Music when I was growing up so Christmas was a challenging time. He always practiced his solos for the Christmas Cantata many times over. The music at church, especially the Sunday before Christmas, was always the best the church ever did. Looking back now, it's a great Christmas memory.

When I retired, I moved near the area where I grew up. Of course, there are many memories from my childhood during the Christmas season. My first December here, I was surprised by all the noise on the first and second Saturday mornings of the month. It was the start of the Christmas season with parades in two towns, fireworks at a local shopping center, and Santa Claus visiting the communities on a fire truck with sirens blaring. It was Christmas! These celebrations didn't happen in the area where I lived before retiring.

While government leaders might think they can cancel Christmas to prevent the spread of COVID-19, they cannot. Christmas isn't something you can just decide to cancel because it doesn't meet a political agenda. It is a celebration of Jesus's Birth. How it's celebrated is determined by each of us. It is memories of families, friends, and time together.

I keep hearing the phrase, "Wait until next Christmas to gather with family, sit this year out." A lot can happen between now and next Christmas. If I had a family still living, I would do my absolute best to gather with them this Christmas. Heaven forbid, I didn't and they aren't here next Christmas. If I had to "zoom" to see them, I would do my best to make that a special moment to never forget.

Christ is the center of Christmas. His Birth is celebrated by many throughout the world. Jesus came to earth at Christmas, lived a life of ministry, and died on a cross to save us from our sins. To learn more about Jesus and God's Plan of Salvation, please visit Peace With God.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Introducing Allen Pearson Photography and Noah's Paw of Railroad History!

"Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific Lead Mixed Freight"
(C) 2016, Allen Pearson Photography

I just missed the steam engine era when they ruled the railroad tracks roaring through the town where I grew up by being born in the early 1960s. I should have planned better, huh?! When I was growing up, I became interested in diesel locomotives which were becoming the source of power for the railroad.

As a child, I had a small HO scale model followed by an N scale railroad layout. I do not remember much about it as I got away from it as I grew up. Also, I remember not having much money to spend on models and using cardboard to create some buildings designed after those around town and my grandmother's house.

As I grew up, went to college, came back home, and started my career I got away from creating and enjoying my model railroad layouts. Also, I moved to an area where there weren't railroad tracks so I invariably got away from my love of trains. How could I let that happen, right?

When I retired, about 5  years ago now, as I was moving in my house, I heard the train horns in the distance. The horns seemed to be coming from 2 directions and they were blaring! Was I ever excited?! With my train interest re-ignited, I quickly found ways to enjoy watching trains.

My dog Noah and I began taking off at least once a month or so to watch trains at several locations between Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. My wife, Noah, and I began taking trips to Pennsylvania to watch trains at several locations. I was hooked again and loving every minute of it.

However, after a while of watching trains with a few buddies, I began noticing I needed to find my specific enjoyment of the hobby. I had become overwhelmed with the awesome wealth of information my buddies had but it was too much. I don't sleep, eat, drink, watch trains, repeat. I'm not sure that I absolutely need to know everything you could possibly ever know about trains or a train coming through. Where or what is my interest?

My interest is simply sitting trackside waiting for a train to come while reading my train magazines and learning about the history of the railroad and how it got here. The railroads have had a prominent place in the history and economic development of the United States of America.

With my developing an interest in the area of railroad history, I will start sharing a few blurbs of history along with the images I create while waiting trackside. Since Noah has been my railfan buddy for a few years, the posts will be called "Noah's Paw of Railroad History!" 

Noah's first paw-

(C) 2020, Allen Pearson Photography
(C) 2020, from The Dog's Paw!

"BARKS! In 1797, the steam locomotive is invented in England (Association of American Railroads)"

Of course, if you love dogs and cats, you can always follow Noah and Samson's, his cat brother, adventures at from The Dog's Paw!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

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

Revelation 12:5, Allen Pearson Photography
2020, Allen Pearson Photography

"She gave birth to a male child,
one who is to rule all the nations
with a rod of iron,
but her child was caught
up to God and to his throne."

- Revelation 12:5

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Sunday's Thought!

Photo by Walter Chávez on Unsplash
"The Nativity"

Canceling Christmas…Says Who???
by Kim Kirby

Cancel Christmas? Never in my life would I have thought that could happen, but in this day and age of our government shutting down stores, restaurants, birthday parties, funerals, and the like, Christmas could certainly be next.

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, a time when people smile at each other as they stand in line waiting to pay for that last-minute gift for someone they had left off their list. A time when people look for the perfect tree whether it’s in the store with lights attached, or going to a tree farm to cut it down.

Christmas cheer, Christmas cookies, Christmas music, and Christmas memories, it’s a special time of year. Friends send family photo cards and everyone says, “my, how their kids have grown.” People reach out to loved ones they’ve missed seeing to wish them Merry Christmas. How we look forward to hearing that one special song that, for each one of us, says…“Christ is coming.”

Candles, wreaths, trees, mangers, music, presents, what says Christmas to you? Do you remember when you first heard about the birth of Jesus? Did you picture a baby smiling, wiggling, looking around as babies do? Or did you picture a baby that seemed to be quietly listening, waiting, knowing?

Did you know that shepherds were the first to hear of Jesus’ birth? They were in the fields with sheep, now being a shepherd was not the “go-to” job of the year. It was dirty, smelly, and you never knew what you might have to crawl over, crawl under, or fight to find a sheep that had wandered off. Imagine, in the middle of a dark sky, an angel appears lighting up the heavens. How frightened they must have been, but then the angel said, “Fear not.” It was probably their first encounter with an angel and I believe when they heard the words, “Fear not,” a peace like they had never known filled them and they were no longer afraid. How like God to announce the birth of His son, to everyday people, not to Kings or Princes, but shepherds, and how appropriate because the Son of God would become our Shepherd.

The joy of Christmas can’t be canceled, the passion of Christmas can’t be canceled, the hope of Christmas can’t be canceled, and most certainly Jesus' birth will never be canceled. For how can you cancel what has already taken place.

Canceling Christmas? No one can cancel the spirit or the heart of it, for it lives in you. Make a decision today to share the spirit of Christmas all year long with everyone you meet.

To learn about God's Gift of Good News, His Plan of Salvation for man, please visit Peace With God.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Railroad Photography! Railbox Cars Roll by Nokesville, VA, Art of the Freight Car, Rail Art Series

(C) 2020, Allen Pearson Photography
"Railbox Cars Roll by Nokesville, VA,
Art of the Freight Car, Rail Art Series"
(C) 2020, Allen Pearson Photography

My favorite aspect of railfanning is watching freight trains roar by! Over the years there have been many box cars to grab my attention. In the early days, it was the blue Chessie System, the  Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, and the Southern Railway boxcars. No, I'm not sure what it is that catches my attention about the freight boxcars but they do and have for some 50 years. It will probably continue for another 50 years! 

With my interest in freight boxcars, I've developed a series of photographic images that capture the art of the freight cars as they go roaring through. Some images have graffiti as this one does while others will have various artistic views. 

Please visit my photography gallery at Allen Pearson Photography, Art of the Freight Car, Rail Art Series

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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

(C) Allen Pearson Photography
(C) Allen Pearson Photography

"Angels from the realms of glory,
wing your flight o'er all the earth;
ye who sang creation's story
now proclaim Messiah's birth:
Come and worship, come and worship, 
worship Christ, the newborn king."

- Angels from the Realms of Glory
James Montgomery (1816)

To learn more about God's Plan for Man, the Good News, please visit Peace With God!