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
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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.
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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