|(C) 2021, Allen Pearson Photography|
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Sunday, April 25, 2021
|"Two Seeding Dandelions!"|
Photo by Johnson Chou on Unsplash
Over the past few weeks, I started doing some yard work. It's something I look forward to all winter season, especially if it has been a cold one with a lot of winter storms. This year's winter wasn't that bad considering previous years. Just the idea and opportunity to get outside to do yard work makes me happy.
As I went out in the garden, I noticed there are quite a few weeds growing everywhere all over the place. I was surprised since I usually keep on top of my weeding but after a lot of rain and the spring season, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Last year, I wasn't able to get out to do much with the yard since there were some important family matters keeping my attention.
Weeding and yard work is often my time to talk with God. Sometimes, I sing hymns or Christian songs over and over in my mind- after all, music really feeds my soul.
I have weeded many gardens in my life. One thing I have noticed is that weeds often do not have very deep roots in the soil. If I go to pull a weed and it doesn't come out easily, it might be a plant. Shows how much I can identify the weeds in the garden! Anyway, the shallow roots don't really protect the weeds from whatever comes its way. I've noticed as the weeds grow tall, embarrassing to admit that I've had some really tall ones lately, but still do not have strong roots. Also, the coloring of weeds isn't as beautiful as a flower with its roots deep into the soil.
The observation of weeds reminded me of how God transforms a human life when we become a Christian. He prunes out the weak roots in us, especially those we don't need and strengthens the good roots in us that we need, and helps us grow where we are planted. As God prunes out the weeds, He "cleans" us up too. He cleans our heart, mind, and soul to begin transforming further to what we should be. Eventually, we become less like the weed in the garden nobody wants to become like the Oak Tree standing tall for God.
The wonderful experience happens when we accept Christ as our Savior. We must believe in God, Jesus, and follow His Word. It's best explained at Peace With God.
Saturday, April 24, 2021
|"NS Coal Cars Rolling through Horseshoe Curve, Altoona, PA"|
(C) 2021, Allen Pearson Photography
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
|(C) 2021, Allen Pearson Photography|
Sunday, April 18, 2021
"Taking the Scenic Route!"
Some time ago I was at a World Fair and saw the tremendous prospects of science presented in the exhibitions. I thought of what Einstein said shortly before he died. “I feel,” he declared, “like a man chained. I get a glimpse of reality and then it flees. If only I could be free from the shackles of my intellectual smallness, then I could understand the universe in which I live.”
Not only do we want political and intellectual freedom today, we also want moral freedom. We have sexual expression on a scale unknown in modern times. We thought it would make us happy, but we are miserable with it. We have found it destroying not only our morals, but our souls.
We say we want freedom from prejudice, freedom from ignorance and freedom from poverty. We even say we’re searching for religious freedom. There are groups in North America that want to throw out all Christian emphasis, all religious symbols. They wish to be free from such “bondage.” They say, “Do away with the recognition of God in national life.”
Our forefathers did not feel that way. They desired that we should have freedom of religion, but not freedom from religion. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12). If we push God aside, may God have mercy upon our nation!
The Scripture teaches that the only truly free people in the world are those who have made Christ their Savior, Master and Lord. Jesus Christ said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
What, then, is truth? People seek for that, too, as they seek for freedom. The scientist seeks truth about the physical universe. The philosopher tries to discover truth about human existence. The psychologist looks for truth about the action and reaction of the human mind. At the end of his life, Gautama Buddha said, “I am still searching for truth.”
But here is a man, a giant among men, who appears on the horizon. He stands before His neighbors and friends and declares, “I am the truth!” (Cf. John 14:6). What an astounding claim. “I am the secret of all truth—all psychological truth, all sociological truth, all scientific truth, all philosophical truth, all religious truth.”
THE SECRET OF THE UNIVERSE
The Scripture says that “by him all things were created” (Colossians 1:16) and “in him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17). There is something that holds matter together, and the scientist cannot tell you what it is. I believe that someday we are going to learn that the secret of it all is Christ: that if He took His hand off us for five seconds, we would blow apart. He is truth! Ultimate truth!
Now, you can reject this truth and think that you are free. You can say, “I have rejected Jesus Christ, I have rejected God, and now I am going to live it up.” But you will find yourself in a bondage far greater than any you knew before. You end up with inner conflicts, guilt complexes, inferiority feelings, fears and neuroses, and your so-called freedom is a new enshacklement.
When Christ told His disciples, “I am the truth” (Cf. John 14:6), He was either right and was telling the truth, or He was a blasphemous deceiver who knew that He was not the truth and was lying. Or He thought that He was God, and He did not know the difference. That would have made Him a maniac—a person who thought He was God when He really wasn’t! Which was it? That is a decision you will have to make. You will have to decide who Jesus Christ is—a liar, an egomaniac, or what He claimed to be: God in the flesh, the ultimate reality and truth in the universe. If He is God and the truth, and He tells me to follow Him, I would be a fool not to do so.
GOD DEMANDS A COMMITMENT
We are all interested in truth, and Christ is the truth. When you give yourself to Him, He opens the doors of your mind in the most glorious way. You see a new dimension of life that you have been previously blind to. When you open yourself to Christ—to truth—your life lights up. Your whole inner life glows, and there comes a peace and joy and security that only He can give.
So God demands a decision, a commitment, a surrender, a conversion. Jesus said, “You must be born again.” It wasn’t optional. He said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7) before you can get into the Kingdom of Heaven.
When you come to Christ, He gives you a freedom that is real: “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
What is this freedom? First, He frees you from the penalty of sin. I could preach from morning until night, describing what sin is. But I do not need to. You know that you have sinned against God.
We break the laws of God. We fail God. We fall short of His requirements. We are sinners. And this sin has done something—it has alienated us from God. Our sin comes between us and God, so that He has to hide His face from us and will not hear us. You may laugh at this. But remember: The Bible says that “fools mock at sin” (Proverbs 14:9). You can say that your offenses are small and don’t amount to anything. But God is a pure and righteous and holy God, and in His sight, you have caused offenses; you have caused a cloud to come between you and God. You are separated from God so that your prayers cannot be answered, and all of our religious actions mean nothing in His sight. You can try to cover up your sins, but God says that you cannot get away with it.
But here comes the glorious part: Christ took the penalty of our sin. That is what the cross is all about. He died on that cross for people like you and me, sinners who had failed Him and had broken His laws. On that cross, God took all of our sins and laid them on Christ, so that He became sin for us. He took the judgment of our sin; He took the hell of our sin. And the moral accountability that you would ordinarily expect to face at the judgment, you will not have to face if you claim Him as your Savior.
I will not be at that judgment. Oh, yes, I have sinned; I have broken God’s laws a thousand times, but I will not have to face the judgment. I will not have to give an account. Why? Because on the cross the Lord Jesus Christ took the accountability for me. He took the sin and judgment for me. That is the glorious grace and mercy of God that none of us can fully understand.
Oh, the depth of God’s grace! Oh, the height of God’s mercy, the breadth of God’s love, that He is willing to say to you and to me, “I forgive you. You will never have to face the judgment!” When that gets through to you, you can go to bed and sleep a new kind of sleep.
The full penalty has been paid. The Judge will never say, “I pronounce sentence on you,” because Christ has accepted that sentence for you. In Christ you are free. Accept it by faith, and go your way rejoicing.
Second, we are freed from the power of sin. Jesus said, “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34). Are you a slave of sin? In bondage to jealousy, to pride, to selfishness, to immorality, to gambling, to some drug, to sinful pleasure, so that sin has become your slave driver?
It may be that sin stands over you with a whip and lashes you across the back. You protest, “But I don’t want to commit this sin. I don’t want to tell this lie. I don’t want to get drunk. I don’t want to get involved with that person.” But you yield to the domination of sin—you are a slave to sin. The very thing you say you will not do again, you do. It becomes worse and worse as you grow older. Your heart gets harder and harder, until finally there is death and judgment and hell.
But when you know the truth, the truth shall make you free. How wonderful! Sin is no longer in the throne room of my life. Christ sits there, and as I daily, moment by moment, yield my members to Him, He puts my life in order. Satan no longer has the power over my life that he once had. Sin is no longer in command. Oh, to be sure, I slip and fall, but Christ is there to pick me up and to put His arm around me and to love me.
Our Heavenly Father has seen everything that you have done. He is just waiting now for you to come and confess it, to acknowledge it and say, “Lord, here I am. I want a fresh start. I want a new day in my life. I want a new beginning. I want a new birth. I want to be yours from this moment.”
To learn more about God's Plan of Salvation and repentance, please visit Peace With God!
Devotion used by written permission of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Friday, April 16, 2021
|"Garden Perspectives! Spring's Swirl of Colors!"|
(C) 2021, Allen Pearson Photography
The Spring season always brings out so much beauty in the natural world. One of my neighbors had a yard full of beautiful Dahlia's a few seasons ago. With his permission, I grabbed my camera with a macro lens and began shooting.
I am sharing this image to welcome the beauty of Spring!
To enjoy more Spring beauty and other images in my Garden Perspectives series, please visit Allen Pearson Photography, Garden Perspectives!
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Monday, April 12, 2021
|"An Eastbound Empty Freight, Boyce, VA"|
Art of the Freight Car Series
(C) 2021, Allen Pearson Photography
Sunday, April 11, 2021
|"The Tulips of Spring!"|
Photo by Jackie Gray on Unsplash
When you say, “I’m not going to yield to God,” you are the clay God is describing here in the book of Jeremiah. Clay that was once soft and pliable has now dried and hardened. It cannot be reshaped. It can only be thrown away without being broken and turned into clay again.
There is genuine peril in a life that rebels against God. Some people, when they realize their hidden impurities and stubborn resistance to God, are willing to be broken. They say, “Here I am Lord. I yield myself to you. I repent. Take me, make me, mold me. Give me a new start.” And God will.
On the other hand, you can say, “It’s my life. I’m going to live it the way I want to. I’m not going to yield.” That’s your privilege. But if you do that, you’ll be hardened in that position, and once the clay is hardened, the Potter cannot remold it. He cannot remake it.
God offers a second chance. When you read the Bible, you find it’s full of people God gave a second chance to. But always, always they were pliable. They were willing to yield to Him. Search your heart. Are you pliable?
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.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Sunday, April 4, 2021
(C) 2021, Allen Pearson Photography
Today is Easter Sunday. I am so happy to be attending church and being with my church family celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Last year, the Virginia Governor determined it was necessary to close churches because of a "supposed" pandemic of COVID-19. While it didn't ruin the meaning or reason for Easter, it did make it different not being able to see my church family and friends. I didn't like that.
Coming from me, that's a weird statement to make. I'm really a quiet introverted-nerd who is happiest hanging out with my wife, dog, and cat but not really anyone else. However, over the years of my life at Easter, I would get to see some of the college students who have been away at school, meet some of the family of your friends who are in town, as well as visit with your Christian friends. The Christian friends who have been with you through many aspects of life. There is just something special about seeing them on Easter Sunday morning. I think it is the love that Christ gives us which creates that special bond that is only found within the Christian community.
The Easter season brings quite a few memories. The beautiful celebratory music, the awesome sermons, and the pageantry. It is a glorious time. Once Easter comes, the earth begins to come back to life after its cold wintry season. The Spring season often reminds me of the glorious gift of eternal life God gave us by being crucified on a cruel cross some 2,000 years ago. As humans, we are like the dead of winter with its cold, harsh, and sometimes brutal storms. Due to our sins, we are lost and unable to truly find our way. Sometimes it seems that the winter storms are all we have in life. But, when Christ died on the cross for us, it's like the Spring season after a long winter. Everything comes to life, the darkness goes away, nature begins to bloom in it's full glory- a beautiful sight to behold.
When we accept Christ as our Savior, we have kind of an Easter of our own. Our sins are forgiven and we become dead to the dark and alive to the beauty of life- like which we see in Spring. It is a glorious transformation which, though may take time, is a grand experience. God did it all for us!
To learn about God's plan for man, please visit Peace With God.