Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!

"Flowers in the Garden"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Happy Leap Day!  There are all sorts of customs and traditions associated with the Leap Day which happens every four years, such as women proposing marriage to their boyfriends instead of the other way around.

In the past, it was just another workday for me.  Now that I've retired from my full time job and am working on my photography and writing business, I've made "Leap Day" the day to do something special.  Or, if I can't get out, due to weather or whatever, I'll dream about it!

If I could spend this day doing whatever I wanted to do, it would be to take Noah on a walk through a garden like the one shown above taking our time to enjoy the flowers and allow Noah to sniff whatever he wants. 

What are you doing with your extra day or what would you like to do with it?  Please share in the comments below.   

"Happy Leap Day!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday's Thought

Used by Permission, GraphicStock

Anchored

BIBLE MEDITATION:
Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.” - Isaiah 41:10

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
I was raised in South Florida, in what you might call hurricane alley. When we knew a hurricane was coming, my dad would say, “Boys, go out there in the back yard and tie things down,” patio furniture and things like that. Sometimes we would go out after a hurricane, and the thing we tied down was gone and the thing we tied it to was gone!

ACTION POINT:
Friend, you’d better be tied to Jesus. He won’t blow away.  Where is your hope?  Where is your security?  What have you anchored your hope to?  I hope it’s in the solid rock, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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

Devotion used by written permission of Love Worth Finding.

Sunday's Thought

"A Light Snow in Walney"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
The Changed Life

BIBLE MEDITATION:

The dog is turned to his own vomit again;
 and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”
 - 2 Peter 2:22

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
An unsaved person can sit in church, sing in the choir, and sound holy and righteous. But as soon as he’s back in the world, he’ll return to the sordid, old sin he enjoyed before.

Peter likens the unsaved religious person to a dog and a pig. You can scrub him clean, brush his teeth, and dress him in a pink ribbon; but he will go right back into the mire. A scrubbing on the outside doesn't change his inner nature. The dog may feel better, and the pig may look better; but neither has been changed.

But a person who comes to know Jesus Christ as his personal Savior is changed. He does not want the same things anymore. He does not live the same way anymore. He has been born again into a new life.

ACTION POINT:
What has changed in your life since you came to know the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you different? The Bible says when we are “in Christ,” we become new creatures—for the old has passed away, and all things have become new. Have you experienced that? Then thank Him today!

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

Devotion used by written permission of Love Worth Finding.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy President's Day

Used by Permission, GraphicStock
For many years of my career, President's Day was one of my favorite and least favorite, yes at the same time and the same day, holidays.

Favorite?  It signifies the soon end of the winter season.  Some of the buds on trees and bushes are starting to form.  Some Daffodils are starting to grow.  Spring isn't too far away.

Least favorite?  After several months of holidays, some of them more than one day, President's Day was the last one until Memorial Day.  Often, that thought put to planning when I'd take my annual leave to go somewhere.

Too often, this holiday is celebrated with every business having sales while forgetting to remember the accomplishments of the two Presidents whose birth we are celebrating.

George Washington  (1732 - 1799)

  • He was the first President of the United States of America. He served two terms President.  After serving the two terms, he refused to serve for the third time. He served the office from 1789 to 1797.
  • While serving as President, he refused to be paid. He even used his own money to fill the budget of the country.
  • He organized the first United States Cabinet and the Executive Branch, established the USA federal judiciary and he had a major roll in bringing amendments to the US Constitution through the Bill Of Rights.
  • He signed the Naval Act in 1794, creating the US Navy.
  • At the first Virginia Convention, he was elected as a Delegate to the First Continental Congress. at the first Virginia Convention. 

Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)
  • He became the 16th President of the United States. He was the first Republican President. He served the office from 1861 to 1865.
  • He Issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 which was intended to free more three million slaves.
  • He signed the Homestead Act in 1862 which gave small lands to farmers. If they met certain requirements, the farmers could pay a small fee for the deed to the property. If not, the land had to be returned.
  • He is the Only President to Hold a Patent! An interest in mechanics inherited from his father, President Lincoln designed a device for lifting boats over shoals. In 1849 he received Patent No. 6469 for his invention.
  • Along with Salmon P. Chase, he established the US National Banking System, instituted the first general income tax in the States and started printing paper money.
  • He signed a bill on creating the Department of Agriculture which transformed and expanded the agriculture in the States.
  • He improved education by signing the Morrill Act (Land Grant College Act) in boosting higher education in the States.
  • During the Civil War, he led the Union to Victory. With little experience as commander in chief, he read and worked diligently to improve his military tactics.  
  • He Contributed to the Reconstruction after the Civil War.
  • He Signed the Thanksgiving Proclamation in token of gratitude because of the Union’s victory at Gettysburg.
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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday's Thought

Used by Permission, GraphicStock
This year, when I think of Valentine's Day, the first thought that comes to mind is the "Love of God!" It has gone through my mind repeatedly all week long.

Don't get me wrong, I am blessed to have a wonderful loving wife, who, without her, I would not be the man I am today and would not want to be without her in my life. I would go crazy, get lost and fall apart.

God's Love for me, for you, is an incredible experience that every man and woman should have. He loves us. Period. No ifs ands or buts or "well, you must do this, or that, or pay that, or purchase this, or give that." He loves us. Simple as that. Again, period. 

What I find amazing is that He gave His only Son to die for our sins so if we confess belief in Him, we will have eternal life.

(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.
17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

-John 3:16-17 (ESV)

Over the past few years, I've come to love a hymn that I can remember my parents singing when I was a child and playing as a church organist. It seems recently it has become popular again.  

At this time of year when love is emphasized in many ways, I've had this song on my mind quite a bit. I've been singing or humming as I walk my dog or as I drive somewhere. An amazing song which, to me, expresses the depth of God's Love further. 

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When hoary time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall;
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call;
God’s love, so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Words & Music © 1923, Ren. 1951 
by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188.
Lyrics and Music:Frederick Martin Lehman (1868-1953)

As my life began a crazy, very stressful trek in 2008 with my mother becoming ill, it was followed by several years of taking care of her, several family losses and illnesses.  I noticed as I went through this time, whatever happened, God's love was still there.  It was almost as if I was being tested whether I would still love God or believe that He loved me when these illnesses or losses occur.  And, I did and I know that He loved me- as the experiences couldn't have been better handled without Him and His Love. 

This Valentines Day as you share your love with those you love, consider finding God's Love for you and sharing it those you love.  Finding God's Love is as easy as visiting Peace With God.

Used by Permission, GraphicStock

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday's Thought

"Billy Graham"
Used by Permission from BGEA
Surrender It All
by Billy Graham

Among young and old alike, we need a change—a spiritual change, a moral change. God calls on all of us to make a total surrender to His Son Jesus Christ.

Have you ever surrendered yourself unconditionally to Christ? Have you ever given Him your mind and your body and your will? When you come to Christ, that’s just the beginning because you must live for Him. And in living for Him, that means that the dominant feature of your life will be love. Whatever the color of someone’s skin, you love them. You go out of your way to be friends with people of another race. That’s how you love.

I hope that you will say, “I receive Jesus in my heart. I trust Him. I know that I’m going to go to Heaven because of Him. I know my sins are forgiven because of Him, and I’m ready to die for Him.” Will you do that?

(Adapted from Billy Graham's article "Total Surrender")

Read More 

Prayer
Dear God, may I never hold anything back from You. Amazingly, You held nothing back from me, but gave Your only Son as a ransom for my sin. Help me surrender everything to You, to follow You wholeheartedly. Take my life and make it all that You want it to be. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Adapted from “Total Surrender” by Billy Graham, Decision magazine, January 2016 ©2015 BGEA.

Used by permission of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wednesday's Words

"Northern Cardinals in Snowstorm"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust,
and not be afraid:
for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength
and my song;
he also is become my salvation."

- Isaiah 12:2

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Photographing The Seasons: Happy Groundhog Day!

"Purple Phlox"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
To celebrate the possible "early spring" predicted by Punxsutawney Phil who did not see his shadow at Punxsutawney, PA and other groundhogs such as Shubenacadie Sam in Canada, Staten Island Chuck in New York, and General Beau Lee in Georgia concurred, I am sharing this early Spring-like photo, "Purple Phlox."

Monday, February 1, 2016

Photographing The Seasons: Great Falls National Park

"Great Falls National Park, 2010"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
One of my favorite photographs from the snowy winter of 2010.  After very many storms, a few friends and I were able to get out and go to the park.  An example of winter's beauty.