Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday's Thought

A Charlie Brown Christmas
(C) www.picgifs.com

 Recently, I got to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas on TV. It's always a special moment from my childhood that I love to remember every year. We would get our snacks and sodas and get to our favorite places to watch this most awesome Christmas special from beginning to end, never missing a second of the show.

If I were to analyze why those moments were so special and are still today, I'd have to say it's because of the cartoons simplicity and focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Charlie Brown realizes something is missing at Christmas and he can't quite put his finger on it. He tries to get involved in a Christmas pageant and even selecting the Christmas tree. He hasn't figured out what Christmas is all about until Linus shares:
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:8-14, KJV) That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
A Charlie Brown Christmas
(C) www.picgifs.com
Charlie Brown and the gang realize the true meaning of Christmas is about Jesus's Birth and the show ends. The show ends on a happy note with everyone shouting "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!" and singing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!"

Today, the cartoon means more to me than it ever did as it helps me to focus on the real meaning of Christmas and giving. Sometimes, with the Christmas commercials starting as early as July, it seems, and the local stores putting out their decorations in September, the focus is on "get, get, get." While it's not wrong to "get" or "receive" it is better to "give than receive" focusing on the other person.

Jesus was born on Christmas Day. He came to earth as a humble man born to a Mary and Joseph in a manger. He was King, He will rule the world, yet He chose the simple Birth to reach all of mankind. If He had been born in the highest royal fashion with everything He needed at His Fingertips, would we, as humans, realize the awesome gift that He brought to us? That of eternal life in heaven with Him? Or would we feel like meager humans who could not approach Him for anything- much like it seems in today's Presidents, Kings, and Queens or Royalty? I do not think we would have understood nearly as well as we do from His Humble Birth.

What did Jesus do that was so great? Came to earth to save us from sin, from ourselves. All of us. Not just me or you- everyone who will accept Him, believe and repent.

If you would like to accept Christ's awesome gift to us, the Gift of Salvation- eternal life, please read and pray through 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 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 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.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word



"6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, 
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy  that will be for all the people."

 - Luke 2:6-10, ESV

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday's Thought!

"Red Sunset"
(C) Allen Pearson
Are You a Cultural Christian?
by Jack Graham, PowerPoint Ministries

"And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, 
and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

--John 17:3

Can you look at today’s verse of Scripture and really believe that all religions are the same? Of course not! All religions are not the same. They can’t be and I’ll tell you why.

Jesus is the difference between all the religions of the world. There’s a reason why Jesus is the greatest influence and the most powerful personality the world has ever seen. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords! Jesus alone is altogether worthy and forever worthy of your worship and mine.
And the Scripture says that one day every knee will bow and confess Jesus Christ as Lord. And when that day comes, I want you to know that Buddha and Mohammed will bow down and confess Jesus as Lord! In fact, the devil himself will confess Jesus Christ as Lord because Jesus’ name is exalted above all names. Jesus’ name is exclusive and eternal.

Have you settled this question in your heart?

Maybe you’d say, “Pastor, I’m a Christian; I go to church.” Well, churches are filled with cultural Christians who fail to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I urge you to make it personal. Bow to him even now and declare him to be the Lord of your life.

JESUS IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALL THE RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD.

To learn more about God's Plan for your life, please visit PowerPoint Ministries with Jack Graham, New Life in Christ.

Devotion used by written permission of PowerPoint Ministries with Jack Graham.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Railroad Photography: The Art of the Locomotive

"The Art of the Locomotive"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
I decided to name this photo, "The Art of the Locomotive" as the Manassas Center for the Arts is to the left of the locomotive.  I photographed this from the Manassas Train Station Visitors Center last Christmas season.

As a photographer - artist, I enjoy creating art with a railroad theme.  For now, I mostly focus on creating quality prints using quality archival papers, metal prints and canvas prints.  Eventually, I will add products as I discover new and unique items.

Please visit my Railroad Gallery and let me know what you think about my work in the comments below.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson

The Birth of Jesus Christ

"2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child."

- Luke 2:1-5

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday's Thought

As I watched the news and news commentaries over the past few times this week, I couldn't help but be very thankful! Very thankful to God that He doesn't bring to mind repeatedly wrongs I may have done in my life after He has forgiven me for them. It is time to move on and become the man He wants me to be.

When I watch the news, I hear about many wrongdoings of people who have supposedly messed up and made mistakes. Of course, everyone has to get on the proverbial bandwagon to criticize or point out the mistakes of someone else as if they hadn't made any mistakes, doesn't really matter what mistakes in this case, in their lives. Everyone's pointing their fingers including the media. I get tired of hearing all of this and feel sorry for the person who erred. I remember reading the Bible many years ago,  Jesus said, "Let Him who has no sin cast the first stone."

When I was younger, I was a pretty good kid. I wasn't too interested in getting into trouble or causing my parents problems. I wasn't the perfect angel that I will happily let you think that I was. Over the years, I made a few mistakes here and there, but I asked God for His Forgiveness. He forgave me of those sins and mistakes. 

This isn't to say that mistakes, sins, crimes, or whatever, don't have consequences. It's not a get out of jail free card.  Those would be dealt with as they are and in the appropriate manner.

The point is that God loves you no matter what you have done in this life. While people you know may constantly bring up that you did this or that, God will not do that once you've accepted Him as your Savior and repented of  your sins. People may browbeat you with allegations and comments about your wrongs, but rest assured, God isn't like that.  He doesn't like when we make mistakes or err in our ways, but He forgives and moves on.

If you see these news stories and wonder, "how can or would God ever forgive me for what I have done?" He does.  He will. Just ask.

If you would like to learn more about God and His Plan of Salvation, please visit Peace With God.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

(C) StoryBlocks, Used by Permission

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Allen, Photographer and Writer
Noah, Pawthor and Pawtographer

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson
"And now we thank you,
our God,
and praise your
glorious name."

- 1 Chronicles 29:13, ESV

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday's Thought


(C) StoryBlocks, Used by Permission

This year has gone by so fast.  Hard for me to believe this week will be Thanksgiving. 2017 has been one fast year. The old saying "time flies when you are having fun" hold very true. Or, the "older you get, the faster time flies."

As Thanksgiving approaches once again, I begin my usual thoughts of being thankful and what I am thankful for and what I am thankful.

(C) StoryBlocks, Used by Permission
I'm not much on material stuff or having the latest and greatest of anything. These things wear and tear or fall apart and are gone before you know it. Though, I thank God often for what He has provided in this life. Food, clothing, shelter, and the human needs of this life.

I am thankful for God, my wife, my dog, and friends. God has taken care of me throughout my life in ways I never would have imagined, especially at the time. I couldn't even begin to write or say enough great things about my wife, dog, and friends. They are the awesome in my life which I would miss if they weren't around.

As I go through this life, I've seen many people work to make as much money as possible so they can have the largest house, the nicest cars, and the best clothes. All fine for them, but those don't bring peace and contentment within your heart and your life as having God in your life will.

What seems like centuries ago, my parents took me to church every time the church doors were open. I was taught about Jesus, God, the Bible and the church.  As I learned, I became a Christian and followed Jesus throughout my life.

What are you thankful for?

If you would like to learn more about God's Plan of Salvation, please visit Peace With God.



Thursday, November 16, 2017

Timeless Thursday: Fall's Paint Palate

"Fall's Paint Palate"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
The beauty of fall can be found everywhere. Sometimes I capture the beauty of the brilliant colors by walking through my neighborhood with camera in hand.  Sometimes, it's a tree in someone's yard (be careful with this as you do not want to photograph something personal giving away the location of the  house or anything which indicates who lives on the property.)

Other times, I take a walk, as I used to do quite frequently at Walney Nature Center and capture God's beautiful handiwork in nature.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson

"So we do not lose heart,
though our outer self
is wasting away,
our inner self is being
renewed day by day."

- 2 Corinthians 4:16, ESV

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday's Thought

"Splashes of Fall Colors"
(C) Allen Pearson
Last Sunday when a man went to a Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas and began shooting killing 26 people, I found myself disturbed that such a crime could happen within the walls of God’s House, a church, the Sanctuary.  Why did this happen? Why did this man go to the church and begin shooting and continue inside the building? Questions I may never really have answers for but ones which are not as important as one which came glaring in my mind.

Another disturbing point in the Texas Church shooting was the lack of respect for God’s House, the Church, the Sanctuary.  When I was growing up, we were taught to respect the God’s House, the Church, the Sanctuary. This wasn’t the place to run, play, have parties, drink sodas and eat snacks, it was where you worshipped God. Maybe a little legalistic, but the idea was it was a place of worship, sanctity, and respect. It’s not like other buildings or businesses in the area. So, the idea that the shooter went into the church or shot into the church got my attention. Not sure why I felt this way, maybe it was Satan trying to discourage me from attending church or to stay away from Christian activities.

Once again, my mind began to contemplate, as it often does, “If this happened to you, would you be ready to meet Jesus?” If I was at an event somewhere in the universe and someone opened fire and I died, in that split second when I would have no way to do anything including saying a prayer to Jesus to confess all my sins or to proclaim my belief in Him or to become a Christian in those last fleeting seconds of my life- am I ready to meet Jesus? Repeatedly, I debated that thought. Without a doubt, I know that I am. What about others?

"Sunshining Through"
(C) Allen Pearson
Chances are, I would not have the time to pray those prayers or have those thoughts as the shooting would be too fast or too quick. I’m sure the adrenaline of the situation would be distracting too.  It would be over in a matter of seconds.  I would be on my way to my eternal home. Simple as that.

I need to be ready. I began my Christian life within a few days of being born. At least that’s what I’ve always said since my parents attended church all of their lives and there used to be a week between leaving the hospital and going out in the world, so it had to be a few days or a week before I went to church.  Once I started, I was not allowed to miss because my parents went every time the church doors were open. But, that isn’t what makes a Christian. Going because your parents make you or because you HAVE to isn’t it.

I knew that, I became a Christian at a very early age and recommitted my life in my college years. I remember a college professor saying, “You can’t get to heaven on your parent’s shirt tails!” The comment made me think so I had a conversation with God to be sure that I was ready to go in a moments notice.

My post is all over the place this week, kind of unusual for my writing, but I’ve had concerns for me, for you, as the country is still reeling over the events of last Sunday in Texas and the increasing violence.

The real question is, “are you ready?”  Should something happen to you in this crazy world, would you be ready to go to your eternal home?

If you would like to follow Jesus and become a Christian, please read and pray 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
  • If you find yourself 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.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran's Day!


Photo Credit:Samuel Branch


Thank you Veterans!

Celebrating the greatness of the men, women, and dogs who served in the U.S. Armed Forces! Thank you for all you do and have done to protect our freedoms and keep us safe!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Garden Perspectives: Late Summer Sunflower

"Late Summer Sunflower"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

The garden is one of my favorite places to photograph. I enjoy looking for flowers, plants, trees, and even bugs to photograph from a different and unique perspective. 

This technique is based on using the basic rules in photography using a macro lens and an artistic eye. This just takes practice until you design the perspective you want.

To see more images and order products such as note cards, canvas prints, and metal prints, visit my Garden Perspectives Gallery!

When purchasing products from my galleries, you are always receiving the best quality prints and products.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Timeless Thursday! Grey Foggy Morning

"Grey Foggy Morning!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
As many photographers will say, a foggy cloudy morning can be a great time to photograph.  The cloudy skies brings out the color and diffuses the bright sunlight allowing a better photo.

Sometimes I enjoy photographing scenes in the fog for the beauty and mysteriousness of it. Seems natures beauty shows a different side in the fog, rain and snow.

When is your favorite time to photograph?




Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson

"Lord, remind me
how brief my time on earth
will be. Remind me that my days
are numbered - How fleeting
my life is. You have made
my life no longer than
the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a
moment to you;
At best, each of
us is but a breath." And so,
Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in You.

- Psalms 39:4-5, 7, NLT



Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sunday's Thought


"Fall at Walney Nature Trail"
(C) Allen Pearson

”...to Live is Christ...to Die is Gain”
with Dr. Adrian Rogers

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.” 
- Luke 23:43

I read about a man who was on an airplane in a bad storm. Even the flight attendant was nervous. But there was a little lady humming “Blessed Assurance.” She seemed to be at ease. This man said to her, “Lady, aren’t you afraid?” She replied, “Not at all. I’ve given my heart to Jesus Christ. Not so long ago, I had a daughter who died. She was a radiantly beautiful Christian and is now in heaven. I have another daughter who’s in Denver, where this airplane is going. But, I tell you the truth. It really doesn’t make much difference to me which daughter I visit.”

Jesus told a man on a bloody cross, “Today you’ll be with Me in paradise.”

If you were to die today, where would you spend eternity? And what about your family?

For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers and to learn about salvation, please visit http://www.lwf.org/assurance-of-salvation

Devotion used by written permission of Love Worth Finding.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Railroad Photography: Rolling Rock Cars

"Rolling Rock Cars"
(C) Allen Pearson
An interesting train which goes through the Manassas and Northern Virginia area daily, if not twice daily, is the "Rock Train" which consists of several rolling stock designed to carry rock from a quarry to construction sites in Northern Virgina. Thankfully, this train exists as it takes quite a number of dump trucks off the road during peak travel times.

I have recently begun learning railroad photography working to capture the beauty of the railroad and related aspects. 

If you would like to see more of my railroad photography work, please visit Allen Pearson's Photos - Railroad Photography. Prints and notecards are available for purchase.

I am interested in learning your constructive comments about this photograph. Please share your comments below. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"You keep him in 
perfect peace whose
mind in stayed on 
you, because he 
trusts in you."

- Isaiah 26:3, ESV

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday's Thought

"Fall at Walney"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Psalms‬ ‭23:1-6‬ ‭KJV
by Kim Kirby

“The Lord is my shepherd...He takes care of me and watches over me.

I shall not want...He provides everything I need and everything I don't know I need.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures...He gives me rest.

He leadeth me beside the still waters...He quenches my thirst.

He restoreth my soul...He renews and refreshes my spirit.

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake...He teaches me how to live in truth, honesty, and with integrity.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...He is always with me when I am high on the mountains and in deep despair in the valleys.

I will fear no evil for thou art with me...He hems me in behind and before and lays His hand upon me.

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me...He brings peace into my storms.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies...He sends the armies of the Lord to be with me so I do not have to face the enemy alone.

Thou anointest my head with oil...He pours Himself out over me.

My cup runneth over...He gives me exceedingly abundantly more than I could ever ask for or imagine.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life...He gives me what is best for me.

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever...Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross so that I will have eternal life in heaven with Him.
‭‭‬‬
(C) Kim Kirby, 2017

If you would like to learn about God's Peace and His Plan of Salvation for all people, please visit Peace With God

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Photographing The Seasons! Fall's Paintbrush

"Fall's Paintbrush"
(C) Allen Pearson
Over the years as I've walked through Walney Nature Center, I've been privileged to see God's artwork throughout the park. His paintbrush going from leaf to leaf and tree to tree creating the most beautiful artwork in nature man could ever see.

To see more of my photography, especially the "Photographing the Seasons!," please visit Allen Pearson's Photos.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson
"And He died for all,
that those who live
might no longer live for themselves
but for him who for their sake died
and was raised."

- 2 Corinthians 5:15

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday's Thought




"And it shall come to pass that everyone 
who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

- Joel 2:32a, ESV

With all the bad news, violence and craziness going on in the world these days, isn't it great to know God cares about and loves you? He always has and always will! The love, peace, comfort, and contentment God provides will help you get through life's challenges.

If you would like to learn more, please visit Peace With God.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson

"It is the Lord who goes before you. 
He will be with you; 
he will not leave you
or forsake you.
Do not fear or be dismayed."

- Deuteronomy 31:8, ESV

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday's Thought

"Fall at Walney"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

You’re Too Late!
by Adrian Rogers

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, 
He said, ‘It is finished,’ and He bowed His head
 and gave up the ghost.
 - John 19:30

Evangelist Billy Sunday preached in tent meetings. It is told that one time after a meeting had ended, a young man who had been in the services and under great conviction found Billy Sunday and said, “Oh Mister Sunday, I need to be saved. What can I do to be saved?”

Billy said, “I’m sorry. You’re too late.” The young man said, “Oh, but I wanted to be saved. I should have been saved. What must I do to be saved?”

And Billy Sunday said, “You’re too late to do anything to be saved, for Jesus has already done it all. It’s finished. All you need to do is receive what He’s already done,” and he led the young man to Jesus.

It is finished. All you need to do is receive what Jesus has already done.

If you would like to receive what Jesus has already done for you,  please visit Assurance of Salvation.

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

Devotion used by written permission of Love Worth Finding.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement for God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson

"The fear of man
lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in
the Lord is safe."

- Proverbs 29:25

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday's Thought

(C) Allen Pearson
"Behold, God is my
salvation;
I will trust, and will not be
afraid; for the Lord God is
my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation."

- Isaiah 12:2, ESV

What a week it has been! My wife shared with me on Monday about the news of the Las Vegas shooting. I was shocked at such a horrible act to happen. I have felt so sorry for the families of the victims and others who were harmed in the event and spent time through the week praying for them.

I heard a man on a local radio station who was at the concert when the shooting happened, "I wonder if I did enough to help others,.... why wasn't I shot instead of one of these younger people.... I will be heading home to my daughter and will be hugging her.... but these people will not be..... it's just awful..." His story went on for a few minutes and really provoked a lot of thought.

Life is short. You never know when it will end.  Not to be doom and gloom but that's just the way life is- regardless of who you are.  Now, this doesn't mean that you hide and quit doing the things of life that you enjoy doing like going to outdoor concerts, outdoor art festivals, and the like.

However, maybe its time to think about what would happen to you when you die. None of us knows when our time will come so we should be prepared for the "last second notification!"

I became a Christian at an early age as my parents were active in their church so the Gospel was familiar to me.  I recommitted my life to Christ in college after a college professor said "You can't get to heaven on your parent's shirttails- it's your decision" which caused me to wonder about my own life.

While my life hasn't been picture perfect and I am not a wealthy guy having everything in the universe that I would ever want to have, I am a very happy and content man which God has created within me. By accepting Him as my Savior and following Him over the years, He has taken care of me. When it comes time to die, whenever that is, I have no worries as I know I will go to heaven.

If you would like to become a Christian and follow Jesus, read and pray through 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 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 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.
Another excellent resource is Peace With God.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday's Foto! Norfolk Southern at Elkwood, Virginia

"Norfolk Southern at Elkwood, Virginia"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
My dog Noah and I will take off in the Subaru Forester and go railfanning- often at the last minute. We have followed several local roads to learn where we can easily and legally watch trains go by and capture some photographs of the awesome machines.

We were surprised by this train. While we knew a train should be coming as we'd seen "green signals" during our drive but we didn't know when. The trains are so quiet these days compared to years ago, we didn't even hear this one coming.  We were parked in the direction the train was headed when all of a sudden the train come up from behind.

Also, I was surprised I was able to get any good photos of it. Since I already had my camera set and had a general plan to capture the image, I got this one.

Most of my photography can be purchased on prints and various products.  Visit "Norfolk Southern at Elkwood, Virginia" at my Railroad Gallery.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Timeless Thursday! Walney Pond Red

"Walney Pond Red"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Foggy and overcast mornings are ideal for finding nature's beautiful array of colors, especially in the fall.  Don't miss an opportunity to find the beauty of color just because it's a foggy and cloudy morning.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson

"Peace I leave with you;
My peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give you.
Let not your hearts be troubled,
neither let them be afraid."

- John 14:27, ESV

Today's Scripture is shared to encourage the families of the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas on Monday and for others who were there as well. 

My heart aches for the people in Las Vegas.  As I pray for all involved, I hope you will too.  

Please share this graphic with those you know need encouragement.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday's Thought


"Dunn Loring Fall Sunrise"
(C) Allen Pearson
WOW! Hard to believe that the month of October is already here.  The fall season began a few weeks ago- the last time I looked the leaves were still green and on the trees. As I went out to church this morning, I noticed the leaves seem about ready to burst into their magnificent fall colors! Living in Virginia with all its trees, and not far from the Shenandoah Valley, I am getting a bit anxious to for the brilliant display to start.

When I look through the viewfinder of my camera, I am in awe at the beauty of God's creation. The intricate detail of the leaves and colors. Sometimes they look like God took a paintbrush and slathered a splash of  paint across the trees.

I remember one tree behind our house trees ago always caught my attention in the fall as it began its change to fall colors. It was one leaf, then several and then even more. Within no time, the tree was all one color, a bright cheery red.

When you think about it, that's how God does things for people too. Once you accept Christ as your Savior, He begins a work in you to change you from what you are to "be the best you can be!" He will change you in areas that aren't so pleasing and help you grow in those areas where you are already awesome.

But, it doesn't happen overnight.  If you give your life to Him, it's not an instant change process for which I am truly thankful since I'm not sure our human-selves could really stand a process like that.

I have to say though, the journey God takes you through to become the person He wants you to be, is a awesome experience. I would not want to live a life any other way but by following God, being a Christian. I have seen enough of someone without Christ in their life to know it's the best life you can live on this earth.

While some will say, you have to give up "this" or "that" or you have to be perfectly good and you know yourself and you know you cannot do all of that. You don't have to do all that or worry about it.  God will take of it for you- along the way you be blessed, loved and loved some more!

If you would like to learn more about God's Plan of Salvation, please visit Peace With God.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday's Foto! Coming Around the Bend! US Rail Safety Week September 24-30


"Coming Around the Bend!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Railroad Photography, or as I'm starting to call it "Railroad Art," is becoming a fascination to me. While I've spent several years learning to photograph nature, dogs, cats, and gardens, this will be a new venture with new ideas for me.

To start with, "safety" is a huge issue.  Unlike my current interests, the risks are known and can pretty much be planned or prepared for.  While I have a few safety concerns like not finding a Copperhead snake near my legs when I'm trying to photograph the beautiful sunset by the lake, being surprised by a bear, being bit by a dog or scratched by a cat. To be safe, I read up on whatever I need to be cautious with, more than a few times before I go out- especially if it's something I haven't done in a while. The risks here are slight as most areas where I photograph nature, there are others around and most wildlife isn't interested in bothering us.

For railroad photography, it's basically simple and common sense: STAY OFF THE RAILROAD TRACKS and STAY OFF RAILROAD PROPERTY. Simple as that. As I have photographed trains in various areas of Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and now exploring Maryland, one consistent theme comes to mind, I do not always hear the trains coming. Staying off the tracks not only keeps me in compliance with local and federal laws, it keeps me alive and well and able to go see another train coming.

Back in the day, when I was a young sprat, no not quite back to the steam engine, when I would listen for trains then run to the front porch of my grandmother's house to watch them go by, the locomotives were noisy. I knew the train was coming, like well in advance, so I was prepared. Today, the locomotives and trains are much quieter.

Since I photograph dogs, cats, horses, and gardens, I do not have reasons or even thoughts about taking my clients on the railroad tracks to photograph them. However, as a photographer when I am work to create my "Railroad Art," I do not want to photograph in a way that looks like I am standing on railroad tracks to get the shot. Why? While I have learned my photography art from looking at what others have done, learning techniques, and finding my style, other photographers might see my work- if I stand on the tracks, they might too.

Stay off the railroad tracks and railroad property. There are plenty of safe places to photograph railroads and trains.



#USRailSafetyWeek, #NorfolkSouthern, #OperationLifesaver, #RailroadPhotography, #RailroadArt





Thursday, September 28, 2017

Norfolk Southern at Horseshoe Curve! US Rail Safety Week, Sept. 24 - 30!

"Norfolk Southern at Horseshoe Curve!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Whenever I go, wherever I go, to photograph those awesome locomotives which run the rails throughout our country, safety is my first focus. Where can I stand to capture those incredible locomotives which is safe?

Do not stand on the tracks to photograph trains or your clients. Not only is it illegal it is very dangerous. Trains are much quieter these days and you may not hear one coming before it's too late.

Used by Permission, Operation Lifesaver



#USRailSafetyWeek, #NoPhotosOnTracks, #Photography, #RailroadPhotography

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement for God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord
establishes his steps."

- Proverbs 16:9, ESV

Monday, September 25, 2017

Railroad Photography - Rail Safety Week, Sept. 24 - 30


"NS 9721 Locomotive in Manassas"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

Think this guy can stop for you? WRONG! Think again! It can take a freight train more than a mile to stop!

See tracks? Think train! It might be your life you save!




#USRailSafetyWeek, #NorfolkSouthern, #RailroadPhotography

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday's Thought

Used by Permission, Storyblocks
God is Good
by Max Lucado

There’s a reason the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror. Your future matters more than your past!

God’s grace is greater than your sin. You thought the problem was your calendar, your marriage, or your job. In reality, it may be unresolved guilt. Don’t indulge it! Don’t drown in the bilge of your own condemnation. What you did was not good. But your God is good and He will forgive you. He is ready to write a new chapter in your life. Say with Paul, “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us” (Philippians 3:13-14 TLB).

Your salvation has nothing to do with your work and everything to do with the finished work of Christ on the cross. Rejoice in the Lord’s mercy!

Reprinted by permission of Max Lucado.


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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017