Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday's Thought!

New Year
(C) Storyblocks, Used by Permission

Each New Year’s Eve has me thinking about what I did right and what I did wrong in this past year and how I can improve myself in those areas. Or maybe better said what went right, what went wrong. You’d think by the time you got my age, one would be perfect but that just doesn’t happen.

2017 was a great year. I spent quite a bit of time traveling and working on my business. I decided I might not live long enough to see all I want to see so why not see as much as I can while I know I can go see all I want to see.  Not that I expect to die at an early age or anything but none of us are guaranteed another minute or another day in life. Just the moment we took the breath and lived through it.

Water Workout
(C) Storyblocks, Used by Permission
After my first year of retirement taking a look at what I want to do with this newfound freedom, I decided I wanted to build my photography and writing business. Also, I decided that I don’t want to be “crazy busy” anymore. Too much stress and headaches. I love working with clients photographing their furry friends while providing services and products at great prices. I enjoy photographing nature and railroads too so I began exploring those areas. 

Another focus to improve will be exercise consistently. Sometimes I let other things get in the way of swimming or walking my dog. Though I got the priorities in order the last half of 2017. I will focus on that more and maybe add a bit of weight lifting too. An app I use has a yearly contest where you can compete against yourself to do better in the new year. I signed up and we’ll see how well I do. Exercise is always a good place to start a New Year.

A primary focus for 2018 will be to learn more about God! I love reading Bible Prophecy from scholars who explain the Book of Revelation and the prophecies in the Books of Daniel, Ezekiel and others in ways which I can understand since I am not a scholar. These guys are awesome in their writing style and discussion of today’s events which is a fascination to me. However, they never predict a date in which Jesus Christ will return to earth to take Christians to heaven. If you read about someone who gives a date when Jesus will return, run! The person is not worth any attention.

Bible Study, Christian
(C) Storyblocks, Used by Permission
At the pool last week, one of my liberal friends said the Christians she has met were some of the nastiest, meanest and grouchiest people she has ever met. Unfortunately, I couldn’t disagree with her as I’ve been a victim of some of those people too. Their attitudes and mannerisms aren’t what Christ intended us to be. They often hurt people without even realizing it. One of the points I learned in discussion with my friend was to discuss how imperfect we humans are and we often make mistakes, sometimes without realizing it. I wondered how many people are not attending church or not Christians because of what someone has said or done to them. This is really a shame because they are missing the blessing of Christ and knowing Him.  We shouldn’t base our serving Christ and attending Worship Services on what someone has said or done, no matter how many times it happens. A goal in 2018 will be to share the Gospel as often as I can especially to reach those who other Christians have turned off.

I am not a theologian or Bible Scholar, in many ways I wish I were, but I am a Christian who knows the Blessings of following Christ throughout my life. I know that Christ has taken care of me throughout my life. I have have been happy and content. Now, understand, this isn’t saying that I have had a perfect life without any problems nor has it made me wealthy. However, I have been happy and content with only a contentment Christ can provide. I am not worried or concerned about what the New Year 2018 may hold as it’s all in God’s Hands and in His Control.

If you would like to learn more about following Christ, please visit Peace with God.

New Year 2018
(C) Storyblocks, Used by Permission

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson

"For I, the Lord your God, 
Hold your right hand;
It is I who say to you,
'Fear not, I am the one who helps you.'"

- Isaiah 41:13, ESV

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017!

(C) Allen Pearson

Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year! 

from Allen Pearson's Photos & from The Dog's Paw!

Allen, Meg and Noah

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sunday's Thought

(C) Storyblocks, Used by Permission

I love this time of year. Ever since I was a young boy, I have loved decorating for Christmas, from placing ornaments and lights on the tree in the living room to decorating the front yard with lights and Christmas figures and going to see Christmas lights in our local community. I really enjoy seeing how others in our neighborhood decorate their yards. My favorites are the Nativities people place in their yard.

(C) Storyblocks, Used by Permission
An important part of Christmas and decorating for it is to have a Nativity scene in my front yard. For me, Jesus Christ's Birth on Christmas Day is the reason we have this season. I believe its majorly important for me to express my faith and belief with a Nativity as the central focus of my decorating.

Memories of my childhood Christmases often come back to mind this time of year too. My mother would bake Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies, and another variety which I can't remember what it was as I didn't like them. She would make only so many cookies so we made them last to Christmas. Though I didn't know this until later in life, my mom would start paying attention to things I wanted throughout the year so she would have something special to let "Santa Claus" know that I really wanted. And, she did this
(C) Storyblocks, Used by Permission
throughout my life. Dad had the fun job of putting things together like the bicycles which came with incomplete and poorly written instructions of how to put it together. He was up until 3 a.m. putting it together only to be awakened at 5 a.m. by two rowdy boys ready to celebrate and get their presents. Mom and Dad made wood Christmas decorations for our front yard based on a scene from a Charlie Brown Christmas and another set based on the Nativity.

Though I loved all the presents and gifts my family and friends gave me throughout the years, those were not the most important reasons or things of the season. Most important in this season of the year is to remember that Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby who would become a man and minister to people throughout His short life. Later in his life, He would die for man's sins so that if we believed in Him, accepted Him as our Savior and confessed our sins, we would have eternal life in heaven.

The greatest presents my parents and friends gave me when I was young was to introduce me to Jesus Christ and the Bible, God's Word. I became a Christian at a young age and haven't regretted it.

If you would like to become a Christian 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 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.

"The Nativity"
(C) Allen Pearson

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson

"16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 
17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them."

Luke 2:16-20, ESV











Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday's Thought

(C) Storyblocks, Used by Permission

The Christmas season approaches faster and faster every year- this year no exception.  I've noticed, this year, there seems to be quite a few organizations and churches reaching out to those who lost loved ones this past year.  The idea is to help people get through the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year's holiday season.

I agree it can be a lonely time. Over a few short years, my parents and brother passed away. I remember the lonely feeling of being alone on this planet.  While it was different and quite a few things in my life changed, I noticed a much stronger love and comfort which I had never felt before.

The comfort of friends and family meant quite a bit during that time and seemed to help over the years after my family's deaths. When they were all gone home and back to work is when the loneliness and grieving seemed to happen. However, I noticed the strong love and comfort of Jesus Christ being there throughout all of the time of losing my family and throughout the years after.

Christmas is an awesome season for many reasons. First, I love the celebration of Christ's Birth with all the decorations, Christmas music cantatas, and the Worship services at church during the month of December. For me, all of this brings back a flood of awesome memories of my parents and me during Christmas while I was growing up.

Mom used to love to decorate the house with a Christmas tree and the many ceramic pieces she made. Our home always had a festive touch to it. For Dad, it was all about the music of the season. He was the Minister of Music and always prepared the Christmas Cantatas, the solos, the Hymns, the- whatever else music- for the Christmas services at church. He was forever singing around the house especially if he had a solo. Dad and Mom had designed and built an outdoor Charlie Brown Christmas and Nativity set out of plywood which we would set out in the front yard every Christmas. I miss these moments and enjoy the memories of Christmases past.

I miss my parents quite a bit during the Christmas season and it's usually the time that I forget they've passed away and want to call them about an event or help with something.  It's all good.

As time passed, I've noticed God has given provided a peace and comfort which passes all understanding. It is difficult to explain and write about as it's more peace and comfort than what a person would think peace and comfort would be. I know this is probably difficult to understand but it is a Gift from God to those who trust, love, and accepted Him into their lives as Savior and Lord.

If you would like to learn more about God's Love for mankind, please visit Peace With God.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday's Words! Encouragement from God's Word

(C) Allen Pearson

"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.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: 
you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths
and lying in a manger.' 
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a
multitude of the heavenly host praising God
and saying, 14 'Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those 
with whom he is pleased!' 
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, 
the shepherds said to one another, 
'Let us go over to Bethlehem 
and see this thing that has happened, 
which the Lord has made known to us.'"

- Luke 2:10-15

Merry Christmas!

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.