Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday's Thought

(C) Graphicstock, Used by Permission

The news of violence and chaos just keeps coming- doesn’t take a day, or even a minute or two, off. And, if it isn’t one thing, it’s definitely another.

I have finally gotten to the point where I do not watch the news anymore. Every time I watch it or listen to it, it’s almost frightening and definitely unnerving. A few months or so ago, I turned on the TV to watch one of my favorite black and white television shows from my early days of life. The TV was on a news channel my wife likes to watch. The news story which came on was covering some violence which made me immediately think something was happening overseas somewhere. I was caught off-guard, totally surprised, to find it was happening in this country.

More r
(C) Graphicstock, Used by Permission
ecently, I returned home from a trip to learn violence happened in the form of protests of angry people. I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it as it would just stress me. However, I prayed for everyone involved. Again this week, the same type of violence happened in another city. Though not sure where, I heard more violence later in the week.

Such acts as these used to be uncommon in this country. Of course, no place is perfect and we’ve had our share of violence but the magnitude and frequency of it wasn’t like it’s been lately. Almost seems like everywhere you turn or every time you turn on the news something violent is happening somewhere where it doesn’t usually happen. For some people, this is stressful and creates a heavy load on them even though they are not directly involved.

Though the news sometimes stresses me and leaves me a bit concerned or worried, it doesn’t leave me worried, concerned, frightened or wondering what’s next or what’s going to happen in the long run of things. It’s all in God’s hands.

The confident peace-of-mind given to me by God through becoming a Christian provides a peace of mind and a happiness which is really beyond understanding. I am not concerned for tomorrow or the future as my faith is in God. Whatever I might go through, whatever violence may happen, God is still in control of it all. Whenever I hear news about violence or chaos, I focus on the fact that God is in control of everything. Period. I need not worry.

To know this Peace of Mind, you must make a decision to follow God by becoming a Christian. It is simple concept or Plan. Prayerfully read the following:

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 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

Pray

"Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. 
I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation 
and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. 
Jesus, come into my life and take control, 
forgive my sins and save me. I place my trust in You alone
 for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life."

Amen

Now, you're a Christian - Welcome to the family.  So, what's next-

Find a 100% Bible-believing, teaching, preaching church. Here are a few resources:

Find believers (Christians) to fellowship with.
  • Get baptized.
  • Read the Book of John.
  • Get in a Bible Study.
  • Daily: Pray and read the Bible
  • Find a Mentor
  • Learn how to Pray
  • If you find yourself wondering or asking "Why am I not perfect" or "Why am I still doing wrong things?" Be sure to talk with your Pastor, a Christian friend or a mentor.
(C) Graphicstock, Used by Permission

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"I wait for the Lord,
my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;"

- Psalms 130:5

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday's Thought

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"On the cross, Jesus died for our sins
so that we will have eternal life with Him in Heaven!"
If you Accept Him,
Believe in Him, 
Confess your sins to Home- 
He will wash your sins away!"

Finding God, or Jesus Christ, or becoming a Christian is as simple as that, Accept, Believe and Confess.  

If you would like to begin your awesome journey following Christ, please visit Peace With God where you can walk through the steps to becoming a Christian. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday's Foto! Noah at Manassas National Battlefield

"Noah at Manassas National Battlefield Park!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Scouting a place to photograph a dog for a client is harder than you would have to do when photographing humans.

A few weeks ago, Noah and I took off on a Saturday morning to scout a few places at the Manassas National Battlefield for me to photograph a client's dogs. My client enjoys history and loves her dogs.

At the New York Monuments area of the Manassas National Battlefield, I captured a photo of Noah assisting me to find the perfect place to photograph my clients dogs.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday's Thought

"Cloud Portraits - The Heavens"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Here lately, I have had three friends pass away and go on to heaven. One of them wasn’t a surprise because of her age, the other two were complete surprises as they were young and in the prime of life.

A few weeks ago, I travelled to Tennessee to a “HomeGoing Service” for a lady I went to college with. She was the one who was always laughing finding humor in everything! It was her laughter and humor which got me through the crazy college years. Without her, I probably would have never, or at least not as much, laughed and enjoyed those years. She had this absolutely contagious personality which everyone seemed to love. She married my college roommate and friend and they spent twenty-some-odd years together. They probably laughed them through. Occasionally, we caught up over the years by phone, email, or text. At the center of her life was an awesome Christian faith which was constantly shared with others. Her death was a complete surprise as she was quite young.

I spoke to her husband about a week after her passing and discovered an amazing wealth of Christian Faith pouring out of him. While I was expecting sadness and had thought of things not to say while we were talking, he was doing amazingly well. He said his wife went to heaven while he was there with her and it’s been something they’d always wanted. He was going through the “peace that passes all understanding” which only a relationship and faith in Jesus Christ will provide. God was with my two friends during the time they received the news she only had a few days left to live to the day she passed away and every minute thereafter.
"Purple"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

When I returned home, I learned one of the Christian saints that I met as a young child around 7- or 8- years-old, had made her way to heaven. I wasn’t too surprised because she was 92-years-old and her health was failing. Prior to my travels to Tennessee, I went to visit with her and her daughter. All things considered, we had an awesome time. It was an awesome time for me to remember the days of playing organ and piano music on Sundays’

My friend spent her life as a Pastor’s wife and church pianist. She raised three children and loved them very much. As a very young church organist, she taught me many things about music as we played for church services every week. She always represented the kindness, love and attitude of Christ.

Soon after I got the news of her passing, I was asked to play the piano for the funeral service. I didn’t hesitate to say “yes” but had to qualify it by saying I haven’t played in years so it may not be the “prettiest” music. Also, I wanted to honor my dear friend by playing for the service. During the service, I learned quite a bit about her. Quite a saint, who spent her life serving God, loving others and loving her children. The amazing part is God blessed the music I played to her family and those in attendance. I was blessed as well as I played for a “Saints HomeGoing Service!”

More recently, a man from church passed away after being admitted to the hospital for what I thought was to be a routine procedure. I got to know this guy by seeing him in the church hallway and taking a few minutes to say “hi.” He always had time to chat, ask if there was something he could pray about for me and was always, and I mean always, smiling.

What’s so unique about this? The man had several health issues which caused him quite a few limitations. He never let them stop him from what he was to do in life though.

What? I don’t know as it didn’t matter- the guy was friend and a great man who loved God and served God to the best of his ability.

When he passed away there was a true sense of loss and sadness in the church and among his friends. Yet, we celebrate as we know he is no longer suffering any of his health problems- he is healed in heaven. An amazing thing happened the Sunday he passed away. While no one was expecting this to happen so none of this could have been planned for his passing. The choir song and the sermon was centered on “death” and “mourning loss.” God was sharing his message of grief to us that morning- it was truly a amazing experience.

What do all these people have in common and what’s the reason for all this? Its their love of God. At some time in their lives, they accepted Christ as their Savior and began a walk the Christian life. While none of them had an easy life or were free of physical or health problems or life’s tragedies their faith in God kept them going and kept them happy. God took care of them throughout their challenges of life.

Following Christ is as simple as A-B-C- go through these steps-

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 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

Pray
"Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life.
I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation
and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever.
Jesus, come into my life and take control,
forgive my sins and save me. I place my trust in You alone
for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life.
"

Amen

Now, you're a Christian - Welcome to the family. So, what's next-
  • Find believers (Christians) to fellowship with.
  • Get baptized.
  • Read the Book of John.
  • Get in a Bible Study.
  • Daily: Pray and read the Bible
  • Find a Mentor
  • Learn how to Pray
"The Light of Morning!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Wildlife Gardening - A Few Decisions

"Purple Cone Flowers in Wildlife Garden"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reerved
Before you go gung-ho headfirst into creating a Wildlife Garden in your backyard, there are a few items you need to think about and make decisions before you spend one penny toward the project.

Attracts Wildlife!  A Wildlife Garden isn’t a garden where God creates wildlife because you have watered and fertilized everything as best as you can.  It is a place where wildlife will come to feed, get a drink of water, make nests, create families, feed their young and send off their young to the wilds of the world!  While not every garden will see everything stage of this with the native wildlife but it will be some or all or variations on a theme thereof.

Over the years, I have seen American Robins build nests, feed their young and teach them to fly and sometimes I think they are waving their young as they go off into the wild.  I have seen Northern Cardinals feeding their young on the railing of my deck.  I have seen bazillions of pollinators coming in for pollen and nectar and anything else they might want- saw a black Bumble Bee taking a sip of water in a birdbath. I’ve hand-fed a Hummingbird who realized I really am a good guy.  I have seen Carolina Wrens gathering food and rush it back to the nest. I've seen Song Sparrows feeding their youngs open mouths who are nestled in a bird house.  All of this is incredibly awesome to see. I have had two snakes come into the garden to do whatever it is they would want to do in a garden and no, I did not stay close to find out either!  Many mornings, rabbits come into the yard for breakfast and stop by later in the day for their evening salads. I have seen a Cooper’s Hawk come in for its meals which are usually smaller birds or critters. This can be heartbreaking when it’s a favorite bird but when it’s a snake- I found myself rooting for the hawk and asking him to come back for more.

Wildlife Garden
 "Black-Eyed Susan's in Wildlife Garden"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
On the other side, the dark side- the night that is, the wildlife that comes out at night such as skunks, opossums, and other critters come into the garden for their salads and snacks.  I don’t see these for obvious reasons so I can’t be 100% positive who did what and when, but I have seen evidence of plenty of blooms, leaves, and branches chewed up.

I love seeing the wildlife activity in my wildlife garden. I have had some great ringside views of the beauty of nature and its critters.  The photography opportunities have been awesome as well.

Knowing these events happen in the garden can mean the native plants will get eaten, the blooms you’ve been waiting to see will be someone’s favorite snack and it could take a long time for the garden to “grow out” because of the critters eating and snacking.

First decision- Can you handle this? At first, I was very frustrated and thought about how I could get the critters to stop destroying my plants.  Then, my brain realized, “that’s the purpose of the wildlife garden- feed the critters!”

Do you have a dog? I do. And, he is a very important part of everything that I do. He is always around. He is a hound too.  Not all dogs are hounds- just hounds are hounds in the manner that they hunt and chase when they can. Sometimes capturing the critter of the chase. To keep my dog out of trouble with the local wildlife laws, I’ve paid attention to the habits of the critters which come into the yard such as the Eastern Cottontail Rabbit. I pay attention to the times of day when they might be out and avoid letting my dog out. This isn’t a foolproof system so I have often knocked on the door or window near where I will let the dog out in an attempt to give the critters a head start!

Second decision- Can you work with this and keep your dog(s) out of trouble?

Native Plants. To me, native plants are absolutely beautiful. In my experience, they are beautiful because they belong in the environment in which you live. If you go hiking in the woods, you will see most of the plants you have in your garden at some point. However, sometimes the native plants look like weeds until they grow out or bloom.

Third decision- Can you handle that look or do you want the garden to be perfect all the time?

Not your polished formal garden. I enjoy taking long walks through the woods getting back to nature as often as I can. The woods, the trails, the plants, the weeds are all beautiful to me.  Often nature will take me from a stressed moment in life to a more relaxed feeling. A wildlife garden can offer these benefits in your own backyard!

When planting in the wildlife garden, you will want to stagger the plants to give a more natural look to the garden as opposed to creating straight lines which will create a more formal look. When the plants are grown, they will provide a look like of a woodsy area too.

Should you have trees in the garden which drop leaves in the season, these leaves can be raked into your wildlife garden to provide even more natural design and a compost for the coming season.

Fourth decision- Can you handle a garden looking like it belongs in the backwoods?

Do you have a wildlife garden? What do you like or dislike about it? Please share in the comments-

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Wednesday's Words - Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson

"But I will sing of your strength;
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love
in the morning.
For you have been a fortress
and a refuge
in the day of my distress."

- Psalms 59:16

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday's Thought

(C) Allen Pearson


"Whoever confesses
that Jesus is the Son of God,
God abides in him,
and he in God."

- 1 John 4:15, ESV

Many people make becoming a Christian harder, or more of a difficult thing than what it is.  There are no jobs or chores you have to do.  There is no exam where you have to get an "A" to pass in order to make it to heaven.  Nor, can you just be a good person. Nor, have you been too bad to be forgiven and loved by God. He loves everyone. God wants to see everyone make it to heaven. 

Its a matter of accepting Christ, believing in Him and confessing your sins to Him. Just do this-

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 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

Pray
"Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. 
I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation 
and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. 
Jesus, come into my life and take control, 
forgive my sins and save me. I place my trust in You alone
 for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life."

Amen

Now, you're a Christian - Welcome to the family.  So, what's next-

  • Find believers (Christians) to fellowship with.
  • Get baptized.
  • Read the Book of John.
  • Get in a Bible Study.
  • Daily: Pray and read the Bible.
  • Find a Mentor.
  • Learn how to Pray.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday's Words - Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"You will seek me 
and find me,
when you seek me
with all your heart."

- Jeremiah 29:13, ESV

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday's Thought

(C) Allen Pearson
"For with the heart one believes
and is justified, 
and with the
mouth one confesses
and is saved."

- Romans 10:10, ESV

God's Plan of Salvation for man is a simple matter of accepting, believing and confessing.  Not as complicated as many make it out to be or it may seem to be.

Interested in learning more about God's Plan of Salvation and His Plan for you? Please visit Peace With God!






Saturday, July 22, 2017

Garden Perspectives: Caladiums

"Beauty of Caladiums"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Caladiums capture my attention as a gardener and a photographer for their beautiful intrinsic colors and varied designs.  It's almost as if God created each leaf to be like none other like He did man, each leaf, a plant of its own with no two alike.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wednesday's Words - Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"Be sober-minded; be watchful.
Your adversary the devil prowls around 
like a roaring lion,
seeking someone to devour."

- 1 Peter 5:8

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday's Thought

"A Summer's Flower"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved


The Deceitfulness of Riches


BIBLE MEDITATION:

And these are they which are sown among thorns; 
such as hear the Word, And the cares of this world, 
and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, 
choke the Word, and it becometh unfruitful.” - Mark 4:18-19

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
There are many misconceptions and illusions about money. Money can buy some things but not others. It can buy marriage, but it can’t buy love. It can buy four years in college, but it can’t buy an education. Money can hire a doctor, but it can’t make you well. Money can take you almost anywhere except to heaven. It can buy almost anything except happiness. Some people think money means security. But there’s no security in money. It fades away.

ACTION POINT:
The Bible speaks of the deceitfulness of riches because earthly treasures can be wiped away so easily. Are you putting your trust and hope in things of eternal value?

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

To learn about salvation, please visit Assurance of Salvation. Devotion used by written permission of Love Worth Finding.

Devotion used by written permission of Love Worth Finding.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wednesday's Words - Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"Be angry and do not sin;
do not let the sun
go down on your anger, 
and give no 
opportunity to the 
devil."

- Ephesians 4:26-27, ESV  

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sunday's Thought

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"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

In this day and age of complicated processes or chores and being rewarded or recognized for what you have done good for your company, community or whatever, it is difficult to believe that something great can be received for free.  

Free? Yes free... free for the asking. These days it seems anything worth anything you must either work for it or pay a pretty penny to get it.  Not with God's Plan of Salvation.  He loves you, He wants the best for you- ALWAYS- He wants you to spend eternity with Him- some day- He wants the absolute best for you! 

As I look back over my life, I can see God's magnificent Hand with me through all my days.  This isn't to say that I have had an excellent trouble-free, problem-free life because I haven't had.  However, I have seen God's Hands and Love over me through the trouble and problems. 

If you would like to accept God's Gift of Salvation, please follow these steps:

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 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

Pray
"Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. 
I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation 
and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. 
Jesus, come into my life and take control, 
forgive my sins and save me. I place my trust in You alone
 for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life."

Amen

So, now what?
Now, you're a Christian - Welcome to the family.  So, what's next-
  • Find believers (Christians) to fellowship with.
  • Get baptized.
  • Read the Book of John.
  • Get in a Bible Study.
  • Daily: Pray and read the Bible
  • Find a Mentor
  • Learn how to Pray
#God #Jesus #GodsPlanofSalvation #Salvation

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wednesday's Words - Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson

"Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires 
of your heart."

- Psalms 37:4

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July! Independence Day!

Used by Permission, GraphicStock

Happy Independence Day!  When you see someone in Military uniform, especially today, be sure to stop and say "THANK YOU!"

Many men and women have given so much so we can have the freedoms we have today.  Military families have given up many things that we don't know about so their soldiers could do their jobs and fight for our freedoms.

So, take a second and say "Thank You!" with the biggest smile you can muster!


THANK YOU USA MILITARY ARMED FORCES!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Sketching Your Wildlife Garden

"Purple Cone Flowers in Garden"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

I like to sketch how I want my garden to look before I begin any work in construction.  While I am an artistic photographer, not an illustrator or landscape artist, I use some very basic skills which anyone can do.  If you would like to learn further and go into excellent detail about garden design, I recommend visiting Paper Garden Workshop with Lisa Orgler. Paper Garden Workshop- Designing Your Garden Defining Structure.

While she goes into excellent detail which is very useful and helpful for creating a detailed plan, I use a sheet of graph paper, pencils, and colored pencils to do some general planning and design. I am basically trying to provide myself with an overview.

Before you start drawing, measure the area in which you plan to create your garden. Convert the squares on the graph paper to equal an even or easy measurement such as one square equals 5 feet or 10 feet.  If you are designing a smaller garden, you could use smaller measurements like 2 or 3 feet- it’s up to what you are comfortable with and want to design. Once you’ve determined the measurement you want, draw out the parameters of the project.

For me, I don’t always have the time to sit down and design the entire garden all at once.  Knowing that I design a simple legend in a small corner of the page so I could refer back when I return and would remember when building the garden. I’ll use letters to signify certain flowers that I enjoy and want to plant in the garden.

Examples of typical symbols I use:

X or O     Rocks

PC          Purple Cone Flowers

BS          Black-Eyed Susans

DS          Daisies

WFM     Wildflower Meadow

An          Annuals

TRP       Trails or Paths

You get the idea- keeping it as simple as possible will be beneficial in the long run when constructing the garden.

If you are not one who can visualize a project in your mind, here are a few more options.  Use colored pencils in your sketch to signify different aspects of the garden. Visit the website of your favorite garden center and select photos of the plants you would like to grow in the garden.  Save copies to your computer for printing.  Print copies as needed of each plant then delete the photos.  For personal use like this, that’s not a problem or an infringement.  However, do not use them for other purposes without the permission of the photographer or owner- like the garden center.

Once you have sketched out the plan, you are ready to begin construction or to hire someone to build the garden area for you. Since I am not able to do all the digging and building in my gardens, I hired professionals to do the work.

Be sure to talk to the person you hire making sure they are familiar with what you want to do creating the garden. I recommend asking at a local garden center if you should do any soil amendments when digging the garden.  If you live in Northern Virginia with all its red clay, you will probably need to do so for the plants to grow.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday's Thought


Used by Permission, GraphicStock

Independence Day is just a few days away, as you have undoubtedly heard with all the barrage of sales going on at all the local stores. Seems it's a great way to push those summer items and maybe a few fall season ones too- while forgetting why we have a celebration every 4th of July.

The 4th of July, also known as Independence Day, is the day which Americans celebrate the birth of the United States, and commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 on July 4 by the Continental Congress.

The day brings many family and community celebrations across the country which feature fireworks, picnics, music, and almost everything you can imagine.  When I was growing up, the day was celebrated by going to a family reunion picnic in the woods and mountains of West Virginia. While it was awesome to see relatives every year, I was one of those curious and adventurous boys who wanted to spend time exploring rather than eating food and talking with family.  However, I did take the time for family and enjoy their company. Later in life, I realize how important those times really were. People are most important and spending time away from hectic schedules to break bread with them is truly important.

Most of my family has passed away, gone onto other things in this life or are having celebrations of their own. As we start a new tradition in my family of a party to celebrate the day, I am reminded of all the sacrifices made over the years to allow us the freedoms which we have in this country. Not only by those who diligently worked to write the Declaration of Indepence but so many people who fought in battles and wars to protect our rights and freedoms. I cannot thank these people enough.

A more important freedom though was given by God to mankind many years ago. A freedom unlike any other, one family or friends cannot give you nor can any government program or military role get it for you.  Only you can accept it.

What am I talking about? God gave His only Son for your freedom.  He died on a cross so you and I can be free from the burdens of our sins. He forgives us for all we have done. A true gift to man, as you cannot buy it or work for it.  You just have to ask for His Gift by following these steps:

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 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

Pray

"Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. 

I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation
and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. 
Jesus, come into my life and take control, 

forgive my sins and save me. I place my trust in You alone
for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life."


Amen

What Next?
Questions? Do these-
"On a Hill Far Away"
Used by Permission, GraphicStock

Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday's Foto" A Loving Cat!"! A Loving Cat

"A Loving Cat!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

A favorite photo taken recently is this one of a very loving cat being fostered by the Prince William Humane Society.

I went into the cat room to take photos of two cats, this one was one of them, to assist in their adoption and finding a "Forever Home!"  Next thing I knew, this cat was pawing for my attention as he curled up around my legs, followed me around and tried to get me to pick him up.

An aspect of my photography work is photographing dogs and cats for local dog and cat rescues, shelters and humane societies in hopes of helping the animal get adopted quicker. A few of the rescues have informed me my work has helped to raise the adoption.  I guess the saying "A photo is worth a thousand words is true."

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Beat the Deer While Living on the Edge

(C) PlantNoVaNatives
However cute we may all find Bambi, he and his relatives are responsible for large-scale degradation of the environment in Northern Virginia. You might suppose that human habitations are crowding out the poor things, but actually the opposite is true. The deep woods that made up so much of our area used to support only a limited number of deer, which do best in edge habitat. Our roads and housing developments have turned Northern Virginia into one huge edge! The problem is compounded by the fact that chopping up forests into tiny pieces allows invasive introduced plants to encroach from all directions – think Kudzu and other vines blanketing the trees along the Beltway.

The hugely bloated deer population has decimated the tree seedlings as well as all the other native plants which are the basis of the entire ecosystem. What is left tends to be small, impoverished parcels of woods consisting only of adult trees and little else to support the wildlife.
But all is not lost! We have the power to turn this situation around and make Northern Virginia a place where butterflies and songbirds can thrive alongside their human neighbors. All it takes is to plant and protect native plants in our own yards (and even on our own balconies). Two strategies are needed when you live in deer country:

Protect the plants. Small fences around shrubs and trees until they grow are very effective for taller plants. Various sprays and other strategies for shorter plants can be effective if you are conscientious about using them. And where a deer fence around a whole section of yard is practical, gardening becomes nirvana!

Where protective measures are impractical, choose plants that are relatively unpalatable to deer. Many plants that are native to Northern Virginia fill this need. Check out the list (as well as other strategies) here or look them up on our plant search app.

About the Author:
Plant NOVA Natives is a joint marketing campaign of over forty private, public, and non-profit organizations and hundreds of individuals. Our mission is to educate the community and to promote the benefits to water quality and natural habitat of planting beautiful Northern Virginia natives, through the efforts of committee volunteers using multimedia outreach and events, and by working with local growers and sellers of native plants. All are welcome to participate in this collective action movement. Plant NoVa Natives

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wednesday's Words - Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
teaching and admonishing
one another in all wisdom,
singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
with thankfulness in your hearts to God."

- Colossians 3:16

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday's Thought

"Summer Flowers"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Jesus Paid it All For Us

Max Lucado

Back in our elementary school days, my brother received a BB gun for Christmas. We immediately set up a firing range in the backyard and spent the afternoon shooting at an archery target. Growing bored with the ease of hitting the circle, my brother sent me to fetch a hand mirror. He placed the gun backward on his shoulder, spotted the archery bull’s-eye in the mirror, and did his best Buffalo Bill imitation.

But he missed the target.

He also missed the storehouse behind the target and the fence behind the storehouse. We had no idea where the BB pellet flew. Our neighbor across the alley knew, however.

He soon appeared at the back fence, asking who had shot the BB gun and who was going to pay for his sliding-glass door.

At this point, I disowned my brother. I changed my last name and claimed to be a holiday visitor from Canada.

My father was more noble than I. Hearing the noise, he appeared in the backyard, freshly rousted from his Christmas Day nap, and talked with the neighbor. Among his words were these:

“Yes, they are my children.”

“Yes, I’ll pay for their mistakes.”

Christ says the same about you. He knows you miss the target. He knows you can’t pay for your mistakes. But He can.

God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. - Romans 3:25

To be saved by grace is to be saved by Jesus, not by an idea, doctrine, creed, or church membership, but by Jesus Himself, who will sweep into heaven anyone who so much as gives Him the nod.

If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. - 1 John 1:7

God didn’t overlook your sins, lest He endorse them. He didn’t punish you, lest He destroy you. He instead found a way to punish the sin and preserve the sinner.

Jesus took your punishment, and God gave you credit for Jesus’ perfection.

Reprinted by permission of Max Lucado.

Interested in learning more about God's Gift of Salvation for man?  Please visit Peace With God.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday's Words - Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson


"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; 
The righteous man runs into it and is safe."

- Proverbs 18:10 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday's Thought - Father's Day

Used by Permission, GraphicStock
 I always look forward to the warm spring, and occasionally hot, weather which leads up to Father's Day and then the summer every year. For me, it is a time of mixed emotions. I am happy and excited for the winter weather to be gone and the time I spend outside whether in the garden or walking my dog, yet, I am a bit sad as "Father's Day" approaches and my father went to heaven a few years ago.

I didn't inherit my outdoors and gardening skills for my father, though he taught me about lawn maintenance and curb appeal and he was always willing to help me with outdoor work like installing birdhouses on cemented posts, repairing the fence, it was his forte.

However, he taught me to love music and all of its greatness. He often said that  "Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture" playing when I decided it was time to enter the world.  Later he would share music of the Classical Greats like Mozart, Back, Beethoven and Haydn. When I was growing up, he always had some type of music playing around the house.  He loved to listen to the easy listening elevator music, classical music, Southern Gospel, and hymns on albums, cassettes and later CD's.

Dad received a Music Education Degree from Trevecca Nazarene College and used his skills to write many songs, some of which were published, lead choirs, lead congregational singing and sing solos. Whenever something "big" was coming up, like a solo, he would practice for weeks ahead of time. When I grew up and moved away, he would always invite me to hear him sing in the Christmas or Easter Cantatas.

My father was the son of a Nazarene Pastor. He was brought up in a Christian home so he taught these values to me.  These were the greatest gifts my father ever gave me.  We went to church, we prayed together as a family, and read the Bible.  He never waivered in his faith regardless of the situation or what was going on in the world or even the church he attended. Most of all, he wanted to be sure I would make it to heaven when I died so he shared God's Plan of Salvation with me.  As a result, I became a Christian and followed Christ.

One thing I noticed about my Dad over the years, he was always laid back and never let anything bother him. He had a calm spirit which I learned later in life that it had quite a bit to do with his Christian faith.

I am thankful for God's blessing me with a father who loved me enough to share God's Good News with me.

Want to learn more about God's Plan of Salvation?  Please visit "Begin Your Journey to Peace".



Used by Permission, GraphicStock

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"Casting all your anxieties on Him,
Because He cares for you."

1 Peter 5:7, ESV

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday's Thought

"Trumpets in Bloom"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
As Bright as the Promises of God

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.” - Romans 4:20-21

Adoniram Judson was a great missionary. He went to Burma and labored long. He prayed, fasted, and witnessed. But rather than seeing souls come to Jesus, Adoniram Judson was arrested. He was tortured and cast into a vile, filthy, vermin-infested prison.

Later when he was home on furlough, he was asked if the prospects were bright for the conversion of the world. His famous reply was, "As bright, Sirs, as the promises of God!"

Every person in this world can say that. If he knows the Lord Jesus Christ, he is an heir of the kingdom of God; and he can say, “My future is as bright as the promises of God.”

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

Devotion used by written permission of Love Worth Finding.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Today Would Have Been Mother's Birthday!

"Flowers Against the Fence"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Today would have been my mother's 74th birthday, June 9.  I know she is having a great time in Heaven so I don't wish her to be back here but that doesn't mean that I don't miss her and think of her often.

Since mom was the one who gave me my first digital camera some 18 years or so ago and always encouraged me in my gardening work, I decided to honor her with some of my favorite images from my "Garden Perspectives" work.

"Yellow Coneflower"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"Sunlight on the Daisy"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved


"Brilliant Tulips"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
"Strawflower"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved