Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday's Thought

I have to laugh as I see all the craziness at the local stores in preparation for Blizzard 2016, the first Blizzard in many years.  Although I think it is necessary to make sure you have needed items but the craziness is far from good.  And, no one really knows what going to happen until it does.

The weather people have been chatting about this storm possibly coming in on Friday and lasting through Sunday with the caviot that everything could change.  It will depend on whether all the factors of Mother Nature's scientific world comes together as man thinks he has figured out.  I don't mean anything against the weather people as they do the best they can but as with other sciences, factors can change creating a different outcome than expected.

The news of this storm has been headlined all week and grew with intensity as the week went on.  My wife picked up a few extra items at the store earlier this week as a "just in case" but not many as she did her usual shopping.  Knowing her, she didn't knock or bump anyone to get what she needed, she politely waited her turn to get the items.

While others, as I'm reading on Facebook are going crazy buying cases of water or gallons and gallons of milk and enough toilet paper that makes you really wonder what happens at their house.  One man was nearly run down by a man behind him because he wanted to get some items before anyone else.  All of these people doing all of these things in the grocery stores really makes me wonder what we're coming to as a society and what this world will be like after the return of Jesus Christ for the Christians of this world.

My first thought has been, if people are going to these extremes for a snow storm, blizzard, that might have them trapped at home for a few days, maybe a week, what are they doing to prepare themselves for Christ's Return? Are they ready to meet Him? Will they go to heaven with Him or are they going to be left here running to the stores grabbing all the supplies they can because they don't understand what happened OR, worse yet, they understand what happened but just didn't make the decision for Christ before it was too late.

I'm not one of those doomsdaysayers that walk around saying "The World Is Coming to an End- and, like get ready now!" I am one who wants to share the Good News of the Gospel or an opportunity for someone to discover the Gospel themselves.

Also, I'm not one for shoving the Gospel in your face as I've had it done to me and do not like it at all. I remember in college a few guys shoving the "repent now" in my face constantly and that made me want to turn and run even though they we're speaking the truth.

So, we've put our faith in the weather people who we do not know personally, at least most of us don't, that they are telling us the truth about the major storm coming up. Some of us, so much so that we've cleared the stores ourselves to stockpile enough whatevers to last us- probably much longer than we will be snowed in.

To me, there is a correlation here between placing faith or belief in what the weather people say and what a Pastor or a Missionary or a Christian Writer wants to share with you.

A Pastor at my church has been sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the message of Salvation, for as many years as I've been alive. He faithfully shares the same message of Christ's Love, His death on the Cross, His Resurrection and our Salvation through Him to be saved and have eternal life each week, every Sunday morning.

I have faith that he is right. Not because I like him, though I do. Not because he knows everything and is always right to never err. Not because he has some connection that makes him right therefore he can't possibly be wrong, but he has shared in the Scriptures the road to eternal life through Jesus Christ.

I have faith in what my Pastor has read to me from the Bible more so than I have in the weather people who forecast the storm coming. As I walked through the grocery store to get a few items since I finally got out to the store- not like it used to be for me where everything was close and I'd just go down the road- I have to plan my shopping trips- I wondered if these people making major preparations for a Blizzard based on what someone has said, are doing anything to prepare their souls for eternity?

When the week went on, the weather people were able to give provide a better timeline as to when we should expect the storm to arrive so we all prepared and hunkered down for the duration of the blizzard.

However, it's a totally different story about Christ Return. No man knows the day or hour of His return. If someone tries to tell you they do- RUN!  This means you need to make preparations now!

A few Scriptures to share-

[No One Knows That Day and Hour] “But concerning that day
and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.-  Matthew 24:36

31 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." 
No One Knows That Day or Hour 32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 
33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the 
time will come."  -Mark 13:31-33 (ESV)

"But know this, that if the master of the house
had known at what hour the thief was coming,
he would not have left his house to be broken into."  
-Luke 12:39 

 "Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent.
If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know
at what hour I will come against you." -Revelation 3:3

Jesus will return one day for His Church, His Bride, those who have accepted Him as their Savior and will take them to Heaven for eternity. Those who have not accepted him will be left behind to deal with the uncertainties of a more evil and out of control world- not a fun thought in my mind.

As you have undoubtedly made major preparations for the blizzard or maybe another storm, begin now to make preparations for your life in heaven.

Accepting Christ as your personal Savior is as simple as-

Admit  
Admit that you are a sinner, just like everyone else born into this world, until we confess to Jesus Christ and ask His forgiveness:

23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 
24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through 
the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,"
-Romans 3:23-24 (ESV)

"23 For the wages of sin is death,
but the free gift of God is eternal life
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 6:23, (ESV)
                    
Believe
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ:

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave 
his only Son, that whoever believes in him should 
not perish but have eternal life.
-John 3:16 (ESV)

Confess
Confess of your sins in a prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ:

9 "because, if you confess with your mouth 
that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that 
God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
- Romans 10:9 (ESV)

13 For “everyone who calls on the name 
of the Lord will be saved.”   
-Romans 10:13 (ESV)

So now what?

If you prayed this prayer with your whole heart and believed what you did, you are now a Christian.  My suggestion is to find a local church and become involved.  Talk to the pastor about this experience and ask him to teach you where to go or what to do next.

If you are not familiar with a local church, a few excellent resources to get you started or who can follow up with you are:

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association or Peace With God, Charlotte, NC

Dr. David Jeremiah, San Diego, CA

Centreville Baptist Church, Centreville, VA

In Touch Ministries with Dr. Charles Stanley, Atlanta, GA

Southern Baptist Convention

Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia

These resources are ones that I believe in and you'll get assistance to grow- you can contact them by visiting, writing, email or phone. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday's Words

"Cloud Portraits"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"God thundereth marvelously
with his voice;
great things doeth he,
which we cannot comprehend."

-Job 37:5

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Rescue[d] Dog Photography

"That Human There- Looks Like the Perfect One- !"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"I'm Lookin' for a Human to Love!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Rescue[d] Dog Photography has been a passion of mine for about 6 years now. It began out of a dream of photographing dogs, then grew to photographing dogs with the encouragement, support, and use of my work by PetConnect Rescue of Potomac, Maryland which is where I adopted Noah.

The images created are donated to the rescue and shelter for their use in publications and websites which help the dog to find a human and a "Forever Home."

Rescues and shelters are invited to share details about their dogs to feature them in a column Noah writes for the Fairfax County Times, titled "From the Dogs Paw" and posts titled, "Friday's Friend" on his blog, "www.fromthedogspaw.com."

All services are donated to the rescue or shelter.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday's Thought

"Snow and Fall"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

The Promise of a Life that Repents

BIBLE MEDITATION:
At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.” - Jeremiah 18:7-8

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
God is saying here, “If you will repent of your sin, I will repent of the judgment I had planned.” That is a promise to every one of us today. Just because you may have failed in the past doesn’t mean that God is finished with you. Are you ready for some good news on the threshold of a new year? You can have a brand new start! There’s hope for you. Our God is the God of the second chance. Your life may be marred. Your life may have gotten off track because of some hidden sin or some stubbornness when you refused to yield to God. But He is saying , “I don’t hold grudges. I am the God of the second chance.”

ACTION POINT:
This condition holds true for a life that is still pliable and gives God all the pieces. If your life is broken, give Him all the pieces, but do it while it is still pliable, and He can make another vessel out of you. Are you willing to do that?

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

Devotion Used by permission of Love Worth Finding

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday's Foto: Snow at Great Falls National Park

"Snow at Great Falls"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

In anticipation of the humongous blizzard snowstorm which is supposed to hit the East Coast this Friday and Saturday, I am sharing one of my favorite photos I took during the winter of 2010 when the Washington, D.C. area was bombarded with repeated snowstorms.

A few friends and I finally got out of the house about mid-February to photograph at Great Falls National Park.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Rescue[d] Dog Photography, Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League

"Abel"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting Abel!  He is a Great Dane looking for his "Forever Home" with a human or two to love.

He was fun to meet and photograph.  I was very interested in meeting a Great Dane so I was probably a bit excited when I arrived.  Abel was a bit hesitant, at first, to meet me but he warmed up to me quickly.

"Abel"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Abel took awhile to warm up to my camera.  Not surprising though, I've had many dogs that I have photographed for various rescues be shy or a bit too curious about my camera and equipment.  So far, no peeing on my camera bag or equipment by any of the dogs.

When I notice a dog is apprehensive or nervous about my camera, I slowly hold it out in front of me.  How slow I move depends on the dog.  Since they already trust me, I don't want to ruin that.  Abel was basically curious so I moved a bit faster with him than others.  Within a few minutes, the dogs, the curiosity is over and we're on to photograph.

Abel was an fascinating dog.  Though he's big, like a Great Dane is, he was friendly, curious and playful- excellent traits for a family dog or a companion for single person.

I highly recommend reading about the Great Dane before pursuing the adoption of one.  They are incredible dogs and need a bit of "child-proofing" to your human world!

If you are interested in learning more about Great Danes, the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League and the American Kennel Club are two great resources.

"Abel"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Rescue[d] Cat Photography

"Take Me Home!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Cats.  Though I am typically a dog person, I have come to learn that cats can make a great pet for many reasons.

Several years ago, with the adoption of a cat into our family and equal rights for cats and dogs in Virginia (or Maryland as where the rescue is located), I developed a photography session titled "Rescue[d] Cat Photography.

The images created are donated to the rescue for their use in publications and websites which help the cat to find a human and a "Forever Home."

Rescues are invited to share details about the cat to feature them in a column Noah writes for the Fairfax County Times, titled "From the Dogs Paw" and posts titled, "Friday's Friend" on his blog, "www.fromthedogspaw.com"

All services are donated to the rescue or shelter.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday's Thought


In continuing my discussions about New Year's Revelations. Another New Year's Revelations for me is to invite more people to church.

I was talking with a man not too long ago about attending church. I was surprised at how quick he was to point fingers at others. "The church is full of hypocrites" and he had his share of being hurt by "so-called Christians." We talked for several hours about what this one had done, what that one had done, how could they be Christian and do that and how he could be a Christian without dealing with that and how he saw no point in attending church with all the hypocrites there.

Interesting.
(C) Used by Permission, GraphicStock

My first thought was that I am very thankful God allows hypocrites into the church. While I do my best to serve Him and represent Him to others, invariably, as I am still a human being on this earth, I make mistakes. My mistakes could be from a lack of understanding of what a certain Christian behavior should be or even a not knowing about it. Further, Satan knows my weaknesses and will do his best to let someone else see them too. Even my buddy who has helped me to become a better man of God, has issues. Unintentional as they may be. And, of course, there is always the interpretation of what a Christian is to someone. Many think we are perfect so, there you go- no human on this earth is.

Further, not everyone who attends church is a Christian nor is everyone who professes to be a Christian, a Christian. There is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as your personal Savior that goes into play here and He works to change a person.

In the truest Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "Hypocrite: Full Definition of hypocrite - 1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion 2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings hypocrite."

Back to the man I was talking to or listening to, I didn't get much word in edgewise as he talked but had plenty of thoughts I wanted to share but could not because he kept talking so I politely listened.

After we finished talking, he was on his way not hear anything I would like to have shared. He politely acknowledged my invitation to church but essentially left it there and went on his way.

Our conversation provoked a horrible thought within me, "this person is ready to allow someone else, someone else's failures determine where he will spend in eternity, heaven or hell" or so it seems. Regardless of someone else's perceived behavior, or even known behavior, ultimately, you are responsible for this final decision. I didn't like that thought, but there really wasn't more I could do about it. He has to be open to listening to the Gospel from me, a friend, a TV or radio broadcast or by attending a local church. The thought, not in a judgmental fashion mind you, he was willing to allow the influence of these others and their missteps allow him to miss God's greatest gift, salvation and eternal life in Heaven.

If this sounds like you, I hope you will consider God's gift of Salvation He has for you before its too late. I'm not much of a doomsayer, but I will say that according to Scripture, the Lord's return isn't far off. The signs of His Return are evident everywhere. You need to make a decision for eternity.

A great website that will walk you through God's plan, is Peace With God.

Sunday's Thought

Used by Permission, GraphicStock

A few weeks ago, I started talking about New Year's Revelations.  Yes, Revelations. I changed the word because I am not normal, like to enjoy life, make people laugh, and just plain have good clean fun.  AND, Resolutions sounds so final.  So when I messed up my Resolution, it was like "welp, there went that one, lets see if we can continue to make #59 work."

Another Revelation I am making this year is to read and study more "Bible Prophecy."  Something I wish I'd known I enjoy so much many years ago, I am pursing the interest wholeheartedly by reading books recommended by some Pastors and friends I trust.

My Pastors and friends I trust and not my own?  First, I am new to really studying and reading in this area.  Second, if you are not confident enough to select an author who you know is 100% true to the Biblical text, it is wise to talk to a Pastor and friends you trust.  Otherwise, you could find yourself on a heresy trek which you don't want to do.
Used by Permission, GraphicStock

I have taken a class or two on the Book of Revelation and Christian Eschatology which proved to be a most exciting journey.   Its exciting to read and study a passage of Scriptures on Sunday only to see or hear about something in the news that supported what I just read.

Most important, I want to follow God's lead in this reading and study.  To do that, I must be a Christian which I have been for most of my 52+ years.  I need to learn to listen to Him and follow His instructions- something I am learning and will grow in.

Becoming a Christian is a simple decision, you can learn more by visiting the Peace With God website.  It isn't a perfect life as many would suggest, but God's Love for you will far outweigh any trials and troubles!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesday's Words

"A Frozen Walney Pond"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

 "For the Lord your God
is he that goeth with you,
to fight for you against your enemies,
to save you."

-Deuteronomy 20:4

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Sunday's Thought

Over the next few Sundays, I'm going to share about my New Years Revelations.  Yes, Revelations.  

A few years ago, I got tired of many resolutions, breaking them and finding myself unresoluted- which isn't even a word but if you've been following my writings, you know I tend to do that. 

By unresoluted, I mean unchanged, unperfected from the Resolution I made for the New Year.  So, I got discouraged and came up with making New Years Revelations.  

If I succeed at the Revelation, it is one. And, I found that I tried harder to succeed so that I could be a Revelation rather than not.  No word for that yet.  

One of my "Revelations" this year, is to serve God where He wants me in this new chapter in life and follow it.  By new chapter, I am saying New Year as a retired man from a career of thirty-three years to one of my photography and writing.  

I want to serve God using my creative skills somewhere where it will be used to reach others for Christ. 

A Revelation will be to find that place, and do as He wants me to do. 

Following Christ requires a commitment, one to follow Him and give your life to Him.  Why not start a New Year with your own Revelation of finding Christ and following Him.  To learn more about this, please visit Peace With God