Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Garden Perspectives: Blanket Flower and Bee

"Blanket Flower and Bee"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Experimenting with my Pentax camera using a 1:1 ratio macro lens, I created this beautiful image of a bumble bee gathering nectar.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday's Thought

"Lily in Walney Pond"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

The King’s Table

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice,
and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, 
and he with Me.” - Revelation 3:20

A man once told me, “Back in the depression, we had three meals a day. We had oatmeal for breakfast, cornmeal for lunch, and no meal for dinner.”

You may feel like that. You may not feel as if you have much now. But I don’t care what is set on your table today. Friend, listen, when you become a Christian, whether or not you have a freezer full of filet mignon, it makes no difference. There’s Someone else Who prepares a table before you in the presence of your enemies, and He is the Lord Jesus Christ. As a Christian, you eat at the King’s table.

If you have opened the door to Him, you feast in Him. You are in the Lord’s fellowship! You sit at His table! And no matter how poor you are, you eat with the King! Open your heart’s door to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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

Devotion used by written permission of Love Worth Finding.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Garden Perspectives: Throwback Thursdays

"Dogwood Blooms"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
For this weeks "Throwback Thursday," an image when I was carrying my camera with me everywhere I went, photographing everything in sight.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Garden Perspectives: Verbana

"Verbana"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
A favorite annual to plant is the Verbana.  These flowers are available in a wide variety of species ranging in colors, I like the flowering annual for it's persistence in all types of soil and weather.  A perfect flower for container gardens, pots or ground cover.

The colors I've used are red, white, purple and a mix of white and purple together.  The brilliance of the colors are great to set off other flowers by placing them in front or to the side.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday's Thought

Allen Pearson, Kim Kirby, 2016

As I've gone about my life and work this week, a song has gone through my mind repeatedly.  Not being a doomsayer, I was kind of hesitant to share the lyrics or write about it.

However, when I have something repeated several times, I believe God is sharing something to either get my attention or to share in "Sunday's Thought." So, while I am paying attention- I'm sharing today!

Way back in the day, when I was just a young sprat and a church organist, my father used to lead the choir in a song, "Redemption Draweth Nigh" by Gordon Jensen.  It was one of his favorites as well as several other people's.  

As an organist, I would sing along, not loud enough to scare anyone sitting near me or throw the choir off with my off-key tone, or cause people to run in fear, but to enjoy the song myself.  The words to the song have stuck with me over 40 years.  Here are the lyrics:

Redemption Draweth Nigh

Years of time have come and gone
Since I first heard it told
How Jesus would come again some day
If back then it seemed so real
Then I just can’t help but feel
How much closer His coming is today

Signs of the times are everywhere
There’s a brand new feeling in the air
Keep your eyes upon the eastern sky
Lift up your head redemption draweth nigh

Wars and strife on every hand
And violence fills the land
Still some people doubt He’ll ever come again
But the Word of God is true
He’ll redeem His chosen few
Don’t lose hope soon Christ Jesus will descend

Signs of the times are everywhere
There’s a brand new feeling in the air
Keep your eyes upon the eastern sky
Lift up your head redemption draweth nigh

Lift up your head redemption draweth nigh

(C) 1970, Gordon Jensen

With all the news of world events, it's amazing how true the words to this song are today.  Maybe that's why it keeps going through my mind.

As I am not a doomsayer nor am I going to shove my beliefs in someone's face as I didn't like it when done to me, I will share that one of these days, God will return to take the Christian's to heaven.  Those who have given their heart to Him, believe in Him, will go with Him.  Not a matter of being a good person.  It is a matter of accepting Him-

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.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Garden Perspectives: Throwback Thursday

"Bee and Purple Cone Flower"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
For this week's "ThrowBack Thursday" photo, I'm sharing the Bee photo that started it all. My interest in photographing bees began with this photo and all the compliments I got when sharing it.

I've learned the key to photographing bees is to find them gathering nectar on a flower and quietly come up to them.  Don't wave your arms or make any fast movements as that will disturb the bee.  If you make movements like that, you will increase your likelihood of being stung too.

If you quietly sit and watch the bees you'll learn their patterns of going from flower to flower.  The bees get used to you being there so you begin photographing.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday's Thought

"Good News: Billy Graham has spent his life telling others
of God's glorious plan of salvation."
 Photo: Russ Busby/©1960 BGEA, Used by Permission of BGEA

Are You Safe from the Storms?
by Billy Graham

The ark built by Noah is a symbol of Jesus Christ. In this day, when the clouds of judgment are beginning to gather, Christ is the refuge. You must cross the threshold and pass into the ark. Accept Christ now as your Savior before it is too late.

Even if the world does not end in your lifetime in a cataclysmic judgment, the moment you die will be the end of the world for you. The world that you live in will die with you. Are you ready for death? Are you ready for the judgment that is to come the moment you step out into eternity?

Let Christ into your heart today. You can then be saved and be inside the ark. The storm of judgment can break out; but it will never touch you, because you are in Christ Jesus. And “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

Prayer
Dear Lord, I confess that I need You more than words could ever express, and I repent for the ways I have drifted away from You. I choose now to follow You and to accept the eternal rescue in Your ark of salvation made available only through Jesus. In His Name. Amen.

Adapted from “Christ, the Ark of Safety” by Billy Graham

The Bible verse is taken by permission from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers, Nashville, Tenn. Adapted from “Christ, the Ark of Safety,” by Billy Graham, Decision magazine, May 2016 ©1960 BGEA.

Reprinted with permission from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Garden Perspectives: Throwback Thursdays

"What Shall I Sing Next?"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
I keep seeing quite a bit of social media posts about "Throwback Thursday" meaning share something from many years ago.

In that theme, I'd like to share on Thursdays a  photo I took when I first starting shooting and it has become on my favorites over the years.

I photographed this frog at Green Springs Park in Alexandria, VA in 2006 when I just started photographing.  The frogs had been singing ptoviding a beautiful concert as I walked through the park.  When I saw him, he looked as if he was saying "What Shall I Sing Next!"

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sunday's Thought- Happy Mother's Day

Used by Permission, GraphicStock
Love your Mom today!  Especially if you aren't doing it everyday.  This is a good day to start and then to continue.  Love her.  Be there with her today.  Don't let the day go by without loving her.

I spent time with my mother over the years even after I got married.  It was something that I would always do and something I never regretted.  After marriage, it was a special treat to share time with her through garden projects and grilling dinners.  These times together meant quite a bit to her, and, to be honest, me too.

My mother, and father too, brought me into this world, taught me about life and the way I should go.  I was brought up in a good Christian home with firm beliefs.  I was allowed to question everything in a respectful manner. Key word there was respect. And, I got answers too-

I look back and can see how much my mother gave up to raise my brother and I.
She would never say that because she loved us so, to her, it wasn't giving up anything.  She loved the time with us and truly disliked when we had to go back to school after a nice long summer or a Christmas break.

She didn't have a "career" of sorts not working outside the home until we were in high school years. She voluntarily lead the youth group at church.  I didn't come to appreciate that until later in life when I learned how important the church's influence is.  She participated in Vacation Bible School every summer.  She loved having all of our friends come over the house to play instead of us going elsewhere.
Used by Permission, GraphicStock

My mother always loved me.  I knew that, but, I didn't come to realize how much so until I was told by her friends about her love for us or how much she enjoyed gardening at my house or how delicious the steaks were. For some reason, those comments really stuck in my mind.

And, I grew up with a church full of "mothers" who didn't think twice about teaching us right from wrong and would look out for us, as well as their own children.  These were the church ladies who knew God's Love and didn't think twice to share that with us.  Later, I would learn what a difference these ladies would make in my life.

When I first started driving, I was stopped by a policeman one Wednesday night on my way to church.  I wasn't intending to do something wrong, but I was pulled over.  The policeman gave me a firm warning and let me go.  I was pleased and learned a lesson.  Later, I learned that one of the many "moms" saw me stopped and pulled over to check on me.  She wasn't going to let me get away with doing anything wrong but she was making sure I was alright.

One thing my mom always shared with me throughout the years was God's Plan of Salvation. And, come to think of it, all my mom's did this- it was truly their love showing through-

Created by Allen Pearson and Kim Kirby

"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, HCSB

Please visit Peace with God to learn more.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Garden Perspectives: American Robin

"American Robin"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
One of my favorite birds is the American Robin.  I've had quite a bit of fun photographing Robins.

Years ago now, I was trying to repair the lawn in my backyard.  I wanted to level an area and put in sod.  I dug the area out and leveled as best as I could.

When I preparing to put down the sod, an American Robin came up to within several feet of me- the bird looked up as if to say, "Can I get some worms first?"  So, I turned around and went on my deck.  I quietly turned around and watched the Robin gather worms, fly away and come back.

Since that moment, the American Robin became one of the birds I love to watch.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday's Foto: A Yellow Gerber Daisy

"A Yellow Gerber Daisy"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
One of my favorite annuals to purchase each year at the Garden Center is the Gerber Daisy.  I love the brilliant colors and the awesome unique petals.  Some will be the typical flowery petal, while others will have the spiked or crew cut hairstyle-look going on!

I love planting these flowers in my nicest ceramic or clay pots in a place where I will see them everyday.

When I plant these flowers in pots, I like to contrast or coordinate the pots color with the flower.  This one being a cheerful yellow, I will not use a yellow or light colored pot, such as a beige or white, as it will make the color look flush.  A green or blue or darker color would be best so the plants brilliance will shine and cheer each day for you!


Thursday, May 5, 2016

The National Day of Prayer

"The Orange Flower"(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

The National Day of Prayer 

A reminder to pray for the leaders of our country, the upcoming elections, the leaders of our churches, the leaders and those serving in our military, the media, businesses, the economy, our friends, and families.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday's Thought

"Red Bud Blooming"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
What Does it Mean to “Repent”?
by Jack Graham

"Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out…”
Acts 3:19

Repent!

I meet so many people today who are scared of that word. In fact, they’re so scared of it that they avoid using it altogether! Yet, very few actually understand what that little word means.

You may be surprised to learn the word repent in the Greek New Testament simply means to turn around. It was a military term that described a soldier marching in one direction and then doing an about-face. And when it’s used in a spiritual sense, it means to change your mind.

So really, repent is a perfect description of what happens when you come to Christ. You no longer reject Christ, but now you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. You do a spiritual about-face, which in turn changes everything.

And not only do you change your mind about Christ, but you change your mind about sin as well as you discover what it really means to honor God. You realize that it’s no longer about performance. It’s about a heart attitude that confesses Christ and seeks to honor Him in every aspect of life!

So should you be afraid of the word repent? No! Instead, embrace the idea of doing a spiritual about-face, turning to Christ and away from sin in your life!

To learn more about "Repent" and God's Plan of Salvation, please visit Jack Graham - "New Life In Christ".

Taken from “What Does it Mean to ‘Repent’?” from Power Point Ministries (Used by permission of Power Point Ministries and Jack Graham).