Greatest Christmas Gifts…..

1 year, 12 months ago 7
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The other day a friend asked me what was the greatest Christmas gift I had ever recieved.  The answer came very quickly, the birth of my savior, Jesus Christ!!  Of course meeting and marrying Sherelene was an incredible event, but not actually a Christmas gift.  I started thinking about all the things I am very, very thankful for;  family friends, a measure of health, but true, deeply held friendships are way up on my list.  Friends like Don Nelson, Chuck Summers, Bill Pekala, Mark Kettenhofen and Dr. Charles Stanley are certainly great blessings, but I don’t get much time with them.  Homer, you are in a special catagory all your own, so you will be coming up soon!  Maybe the four people that I am closest to, on a daily basis, besides my immediate family, are Jim Haverstock, Carl Turner, Jack Graham and Jim Begley.  I want to take a moment to tell each of them why I value their friendship so much and extend to them a wish for a very Merry Christmas!!!


Jim and Sue Haverstock    Jim and Sue have become very close friends and a dear brother and sister in Christ.  Jim is one of the most selfless, giving and compassionate men I know.  He has been a great council for me, helping me keep on the straight and narrow path. Like many of my closest friends, tend to be, he and Sue are both exceptional photographers and truly love the craft.  I truly enjoy immensely going out and shooting with Jim, he a real pelasure to be around, and his laugh is infectious!!  It is rare that a day goes by that Jim and I don’t talk, it just makes my days better to hear his voice!


Jack Graham   Of all the things I’ve done in my career, I hold most dear the success I’ve had running workshops, and I feel  know a lot about that subject, enough to say that Jack Graham is probably the preeminent workshop provider in the field today!  His concern for his clients is amazing and he works tirelessly to see they get “more” than they paid for!  We have been friends for a long, long time.  He did his first workshop with me with the late Galen Rowell in the early ninties.  Jack was a big time professional musician playing with big names like Frank Sinatra!  He put that same effort into photogrpahy and has become one of the best out there today! Jack has become not only someone I admire, but someone I love very much, I’m thrilled we get to work together!  * Sorry Linda and Roscoe I didn’t have a picture of you guys with Jack, love you too!!!!  Merry Christmas Roscoe, I hope Santa brings you something cool!!!


Jim Begley   Jim Begley is one of the finest Christian men I know, he lives his faith and he is a joy to be around.  When Jim retired after 40 years working for the railroad, his wife was very excited to finally have a full time husband to travel and do all the things she missed out on while he was working.  Even though Jim helped me establish His Light Workshops it wa obvious that his time to travel at will was going to be reduced.  I was sad for us to go our seperate ways professionally, but I still consider Jim not only a very dear friend, but I hold him high as one of the best shooters I’ve ever had the pleasure, and honor, to work with.  Jim’s work still ranks up there among the best I’ve ever seen!!!


Carl and Monica Turner  Carl is a powerful believer and a great servant of God, Monica too!!!  I have leaned on Carl so many times for advice on a variety of subjects and we have a great on going friendship and brotherhood.  Carl is a very knowledgeable man on many subjects and has many friends and admirers, I’m thankful to be among those people he calls a friend!  I am very thankful everytime we get the chance to spend time together, he is real joy in my life!  I know one thing for sure, which ever one of us goes to be the the Lord first, the other will be waiting at the gate to be among the first to greet them!


So those are my greatest gifts, whether Chistmas or not,  my friends, family and His Boundless Love!


Blessings & Merry Christmas,


the pilgrim

7 Responses

  1. Carl says:

    Such an honor to be a class with these folks!! And when I am speechless (like now!) I only have two comments – WOW! Thank you!

    Life would not be the same without you – you are a measure more than any scale can display! There are some ugly spiritual giants that need to be killed in this life – there are other tangible, personable giants that need to be loved and appreciated. You are of the later!

    We both have been blessed beyond measure in this life. God has opened the window of Heaven over us and has rained down talent, wisdom, and favor. It is not our doing – it is His! We are two blessed men! WOW! And Thank You!! (I reserve the right to add more later if God gives it!)

    • admin says:

      Nothing more needs to be said, you said it best, God has truly, richly, blessed us and you are one of those great blessing for me Carl! I pray this Christmas brings you all the joy and peace a man can hold!

  2. Jim in Bloomington says:

    Carl has said eloquently how we all feel about you (and about each other). We love you.

  3. Jim Begley says:

    Bill, Bill, Bill……. you have had way to much eggnog……. Thank you so much for the kind and humbling words. There is not enough space on this blog for me to express my thanks for all you have done for me, personally and professionally. I owe you lunch….. Merry CHRISTmas to you and your family.

    • admin says:

      No my dear friend, I was completley clear headed when I wrote my comments about you! It is pleasure and honor to count you among a few very close friends. I will certainly take you up on lunch, but you don’t owe me at all, you’re paid in full, but your fellowship would be welcomed!!!

  4. Thank you for mentioning Don. I miss him and am appreciative of all he has done.

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