Sunday, January 31, 2021

Sunday's Thought!

Photo by Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash
"Fire!"
Photo by Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash


A question on a Bible study email I received this week was, "Is hell a real place?" My immediate thought was "YES! I don't want to find out for sure!" I believe hell is a real place but that it can be avoided. However, it is a choice for everyone to make. I cannot make it for you nor can anyone else. Each and every human on planet earth makes their decision before they die. Since none of us know when we will die, we should make that decision sooner than later. 

A discussion about death is often the very last topic on anyone's list to chat about with their friends or family. I remember when my mother passed away many years ago, it was difficult for my father. Though we had had the discussion about death many years before, a few items such as a cemetery plot and headstone hadn't been arranged. Most other details had been. My father grieved her passing quite a bit because he lost his companion, my mother, of some 49 years. They were inseparable and loved each other immensely. Dad knew he would see her again in heaven one of these days. My mother became a Christian at an early age and lived a Christian life. 

A few years later, my father passed away. I remember grieving my loss. However, it wasn't as bad as it could have been because I knew my father was in heaven. He lived a devout Christian life and served God through many ministries and other ways over the years. I know I will see him and my mother again as they are in heaven. 

I remember when I was younger being taught by my parents, grandparents, Pastors, and Sunday School teachers throughout life about heaven and hell. It was a topic often brought up in sermons especially during the early years of my life. I decided that I wasn't interested in dying one day and going to hell because I wasn't going to become a Christian. I became one because I believed in God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible.  As the Bible mentions hell, or hades, quite often in many passages such as these:

"Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown 
into the lake of fire." - Revelation 20:15 NIV
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” - Revelation 21:8

The Book of Life is where your name is written when you are forgiven by God for your sins and become a Christian. What is hell? Eternal and forever separated from God for those who do not repent. It has been described as an awful horrible place by many Bible scholars.

As time has gone on, I've noticed that many churches and ministries do not share or speak about hell. They have gone to a feel-good Gospel to appease those who do not want to hear or to tickle the ears of those they do not want to offend. It's a shame because heaven and hell are real places. 

I know for me now, or even when I was a young kid, I do not want to be eternally separated from God. 

Hell is for those who do not know God. To learn more about God, Jesus, and the Bible, please visit Peace With God

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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

 

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


"Let us not
become conceited,
provoking one another,
envying one another."

- Galatians 5:26

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Sunday's Thought!

Photo by Kenny Stier on Unsplash
"A Walk in the Cemetery"
Photo by Kenny Stier on Unsplash


Live Your Life Prepared for Death
by Jack Graham, PowerPoint Ministries

"It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.

--Hebrews 9:27

The end of life is not usually a fun subject. I don’t know too many people who like to talk about death. And I have counseled very few people who look forward to death. But unless my math is incorrect, I believe the death rate is right at 100 percent.

It’s terribly foolish to live life unprepared for death. Which is why, I believe, the author of Hebrews gives us the perspective in the verse above. In essence, I believe he is saying that you’re not ready to live until you’re ready to die!

Scripture also tells us that life is like a vapor, which means it’s far too short and precious to waste time trudging through pointless and worthless activities. We need to set our sights and hopes on things above, not just on what’s here in front of us.

That’s why as a pastor I urge Christians to spend their lives seeking heaven. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 6:19-21 to store up treasures in heaven, not on earth, because we aren’t here for very long. We don’t have anything to fear from eternity, even though most of the world around us fears death and doesn’t like to think about it. But we have been delivered from the power and the sting of death through Christ.

I hope the thought of death doesn’t scare you. We don’t know all there is to know about eternity, but I do know that because of Christ we can live in hope and anticipation of being with Him…forever!

LIVE YOUR LIFE PREPARED FOR DEATH

To learn more about God's Plan for your life, please visit PowerPoint Ministries with Jack Graham, New Life in Christ.

Devotion used by written permission of PowerPoint Ministries with Jack Graham.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

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

 

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

"If God sends us
on stony paths,
he provides strong shoes."

- Corrie ten Boom

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sunday's Thought!

 

Photo by Jamie Coupaud on Unsplash

"A White Wedding Gown Hanging" 


Whose Clothes Are You Wearing?
by Adrian Rogers, Love Worth Finding Ministries

"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; 
for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, 
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
 and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."

- Isaiah 61:10

Some people reading this will be absolutely speechless when they stand before the King of Heaven. They are church members, but they’re not saved. Instead, they’re dressed in the rags of self-righteousness rather than the wedding garment of His righteousness. Can you say this? “He hath clothed me with the garment of salvation. He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.”

In 1834 Edward Mote wrote this timeless hymn, “When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh may I then in Him be found. Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.”

It would be tragic indeed for those who acted in every conceivable religious way to think they can come to the wedding without being clothed by the righteousness of Christ. I’m not trying to get you to doubt your salvation, but I want to ask you, are you saved? How do you know?

For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.

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

Devotion used by written permission of Love Worth Finding.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Garden Perspectives! Summer's Black-eyed Susans

 

(C) 2021, Allen Pearson Photography
"Garden Perspectives! Summer's Black-eyed Susans!"
(C) 2021, Allen Pearson Photography

Although our winter weather has not been that bad, so far, this year, I am sharing an image of beautiful yellow Black-eyed Susans from my garden last summer. This is my way of encouraging those who look forward to the warmer weather and want the winter weather out of here.  One of them would be me! 

"Summer's Black-eyed Susans!" is part of my Garden Perspectives series. To view my other work, please visit Allen Pearson Photography - Garden Perspectives

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

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

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



"For you have need
of endurance,
so that when you
have done the will of
God you may receive
what is promised."

- Hebrews 10:36

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Sunday's Thought!

Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash
"The Heavens Are Telling!"
Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

When I was much younger, maybe as early as pre-teen years, I remember watching a movie at the church's youth group meeting titled, "A Thief in the Night!" This would have been in the 1970s. The movie was so well done and portrayed much of what the church believed the Book of Revelation was saying in the Prophecy of Jesus Christ's return to the earth to take the Christians to heaven before the evil was released on the world. 

One point I must make upfront. I believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, God's Word. I have always believed it and will continue. Yes, I am a conservative Bible-believing Christian. When I was a young child, I didn't understand how the scenes and aspects created in the movie "A Thief in the Night" would or could come true. It didn't seem to be possible, and I wondered about the drama portrayed in it. 

For example, will the government really be able to find anyone in the country who is a Christian and believes in the Bible, God, and Jesus Christ? At the time, there were millions of people living in the United States, and that number has grown considerably over the years. Today, I realize that it really doesn't take much for someone to find a Christian if they wanted to do so. My cell phone, social media, email all reflect who I am and what I believe. 

Also, at the time, I could not believe that people would actually hate Christians. In those days of my youth, Christians, church, Sunday School, youth group, and all were respected in the community. There were the Baptists, Nazarenes, Methodists, and Catholics, among others who were part of the community, and you pretty much knew it. That's not to say that everybody went to church or supported it, but many people did, and you often knew it. Why would they hate Christians? Many of them had upstanding jobs and roles in the community and often helped others in their time of need. Today, I am repeatedly reminded that leaders in this country hate Christians and probably would do away with us if they could. The comments I have read in various media have shared the thoughts or wishes of leaders who want to get rid of Christians. Hmmm. Interesting. 

Today, we are seeing many different prophecies from the Bible coming together before our eyes. I am not a scholar, nor am I versed in writing about it. However, I read quite a bit of Terry James Prophecy and Hal Lindsey's writing, to name a few. These writers, nor I, know the exact day or time when the Lord will return to earth to take the Christians home. If someone tells you they do, run the other way!

One of the prophecies which are coming true that I learned from the movie and from the writers I mentioned is when "good becomes bad" and "bad becomes good," or "lawlessness." Basically, this speaks of when man will turn toward good works or deeds as not being considered good but bad. We are seeing more and more of this in our world today. The violence in US cities this summer is a good example of this. 

I had no idea when I watched those movies which such interest as a teenager, that I would remember it today and learn so much from it. Along with that movie, there were many teachers and preachers who taught even more about the Lord's Return. 

For me, I am looking forward to the day, or moment in time, when the Lord will return and take the Christians to heaven. I'll say, it's not something that I deserve, but God promised He would return one day to take those who believe in Him, confess their sins, accept Him as their Savior, will go to heaven. Those who do not, will not. To learn more, please visit Peace With God.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Railroad Photography! All By Its Self!

(C) 2020, Allen Pearson Photography
"All By Its Self!"
(C) 2021, Allen Pearson Photography

I am so used to seeing trains, or helpers with several locomotives, going through town that seeing one locomotive by itself seems a bit odd or different. 

My work, which I share in this Journal, is available in various printed forms, including journals for taking notes during railfanning trips and other adventures. For more information, please visit my Products, Prices, and Services page.

Please visit my railroad photography work at Allen Pearson Photography, Railroad Gallery.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

 

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

"Watch and pray
that you may not enter
into temptation.
The spirit indeed is willing,
but the flesh is weak."

- Matthew 26:41

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Sunday's Thought!

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash
"Happy New Year 2021!"
Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

Happy New Year! As we turn the page in the calendar or hang a new one on the wall, we realize 2020 is gone date-wise. Some of its challenges will last forever while others we will move past. However, celebrating a new year or turning a page on the calendar isn't going to make bad things go away or instantly make the world great and perfect. The news media and social media posts will ensure that you hear or read all the negative you can possibly handle and more!

However, a friend of mine, Josh Shriver, wrote a great Facebook post which I want to share with you as he brings out some great points-

"Please Don't take this the wrong way; but  I am exceptionally grateful for 2020. This is not a humble brag post or a look at what I accomplished post.  Its a "find joy in the difficulty" post. We all indeed faced "unprecedented times" (the phrase itself was used daily); many of us lost loved ones; we encountered tragedies; witnessed unspeakable hate-filled acts from people in various backgrounds--but we also learned to reconsider our priorities; persevere in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles; learned to push ourselves beyond comfort levels; appreciate the small things; and open our hearts to others in need.   Don't wish away 2020 without taking a moment to take inventory of what blessings were there amid the chaos that threatened to steal any and all joy.  And don't be fooled into thinking the date on the calendar will magically change our perspectives or our circumstances.  Happiness can be fleeting, but Joy and contentment are not circumstantial. These attributes can actually be found even in the worst of situations and even during the worst seasons of life.  Find something to be Grateful for and remain Hopeful for tomorrow too. Feel free to comment something you are grateful for or a lesson you learned from 2020."

Finding Joy, being Grateful, remaining Hopeful, and being content is only found in trusting Jesus and becoming a Christian. To learn more, please visit Peace With God.