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2 years, 9 months ago 8

I just celebrated a wonderful Mother’s Day with Sherelene and our family, and a nice restful weekend, and tonight I head to the airport for a trip to Seattle this week for the International Association of Aviation  Photographers, one of my favorite groups!!!!  I am so excited about the new phase of life starting very soon!!!  I’m also excited about a few more events with my Nikon friends..  I was thinking that God has truly given me an abundant life, and then this morning the In Touch Devotional just capped it all off, please let me share it with you.

 

John 10:1-11

 

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

 

Parable of the Good Shepherd

 

10 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Thisfigure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

 

 

So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

 

 

11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherdlays down His life for the sheep.

 

While there are many religions, there is only one way to heaven. Jesus clearly states that “no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). He used several picturesque descriptions to emphasize this point—He called Himself the way (14:6), the door (10:9), the living bread (6:51), and the good shepherd (10:11).

 

 

God does not expect you to follow some kind of ritual to make Jesus the Lord of your life—you can use any words that you like. However, some biblical elements are essential when beginning a relationship with Him:

 

 

• Confess your sin and admit your need for a Savior (1 John 1:9).
• Place your trust in Jesus Christ as the only possible Savior, acknowledging that He died for your sins, was buried, and rose again three days later (John 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:3-4).
• Believe that your sins are forgiven and your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (1 John 5:11-13).

 

 

Every person has a choice to make. Death is inevitable, but we can decide whether, on exiting this world, we will enter eternal torment or the everlasting beauty of God’s presence. Let me make this very clear: What a person believes about heaven and hell won’t influence God in the slightest. People will be judged not by their attitudes but by the truth of His Word.

 

 

 

Scripture declares there is but one way to heaven—through faith in Jesus Christ. His gospel is a straight path from the pit of sin to the glory of heaven, with the promise of an abundant life in between. What we must do is go through the Door and follow the Way; then the Living Bread will sustain us.

 

 

 

I shared this wonderful devotional because I want you to enjoy that abundant life!!!  He wants to give it to you!!!  If we accept Him, and confess our sins, and truly repent, we not only get Eternal Life with Him, but The Abundant Life now!  This is too good to pass up!

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

the pilgrim

 

2 years, 9 months ago 4

Thanks for a great week, I hope I was hitting the right keys!!??  When I sit down to right the blog I often wait on the Holy Spirit to lead, and the best blog entries are always from Him!!  I am spending the weekend with Sherelene before I have to jet off to a week in Seattle, so I will make this short!  Thanks for being here, reading the blog, praying for me, and being my partner in this effort!  Please pray that I will be open to His spirit to continue to share with you what He placing on my heart.  I know how much He loves you, and how much I appreciate your being here with me.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

In Him,

 

the pilgrim

2 years, 9 months ago 0

Tuesday I ran down to the Smokies to test some cameras and visit with John Gompf.  On the way down I stopped to shoot a picture of a ferris wheel I had never even noticed, but that my teaching partner, Jim, had captured wonderfully.  What I had seen was the old red fire truck above.  I was so focused on the old Ford, I didn’t even see the ferris wheel!  Didn’t see a ferris wheel?  I mean how could you miss a ferris wheel?  Well I did.

 

Being focused is a good thing, and then again not such a good thing.  I missed the forest because of a tree!  Both as a photographer and as a person we need to expand our vision, put on the wide angle lens of life.  Focusing in on what we find most interesting is not a bad thing, missing other important things is.  In life we need to be open to all that is going on around us, it will lead to opportunities to serve Him, and as a photographer to make more great shots.  Expanding of vision is a good  thing.

 

You can’t affect what you never see…………

 

blessings,

 

the pilgrim

2 years, 9 months ago 16

One of my favorite expressions is “walking up stream”.  If you have never waded out into a pretty fast moving river and tried to walk against the current you can’t really appreciate just what that means.  In my younger years I was an avid white water canoeist.  If you canoe you will spend a lot of time out in waste deep water getting your canoe aligned in the current.  I can tell you that walking against swift current is one of the most difficult things you can attempt to do, the pressure is constant, there is no let up.  That is the way of the world today, if  you are a professing Christian, attempting to walk the walk, you’re walking into a never ending roaring current, going the other direction from where you are trying to go.

 

Let me start with the very clever cartoon at the top sent to me by John Gompf.  I’m not standing in judgement of gays, that’s not my job, God does the judging, He tasks me to love His children and pray for their salvation.  Is being gay a sin?  God says it is.  God also laid down a long list of things that are sin and He did not rank them!  So, if you are a liar, you’re a sinner, if you are jealous of others lives, you’re a sinner, if you have put any other thing above God in your life, you’re a sinner, If you commit adultery, (remember Jesus said it is just as bad to have adulterous thoughts as doing it!!!),  you’re a sinner!   Do you really want me to go on????!!!  Face it, the passage in Romans was right, “for we are all sinners, for we have fallen short of the glory of God.”

 

Try to keep that in mind before you throw stones.  So, back to walking up stream.  The world is hostile to people of faith, they don’t want to hear the kinds of things I just wrote above, they want to be told that they are just “normal” and they should do whatever feels good.  (“It’s a woman body and no one has the right to tell her what to do with it”, “We should be able to love and marry whoever we want!”,  ”If I don’t have something I want, and someone else has extra, I can just take it.”  …and the beat goes on….)  I’m trying very hard to let go of the way the world is turning and walking in a different direction.  I have come up with a very short plan to help me live the kind of life I know He wants me to live.  Please let me share, I would love to hear your input too, we’re  in this battle together!!

 

1. I start everyday asking God to surround me and my family, and friends with His protection, grace, and love, and allow me to see His will for my life, and give me the strength to be obedient to His will.

 

2. I ask God to constantly remind me that every person I meet is one of His children, that His son Jesus died for.  No matter what they are doing, or how bad they seem to be in my eyes, God loved them enough to send His son for them!  The people whose behavior I despise the most, are still potential brothers and sisters in Christ, if they will ask for forgiveness and accept Him!  I ask God everyday to never allow me to stand in the way of their redemption.

 

3.  I ask God to help me concentrate on “the board in my eye, instead of the speck in someone else’s!”  It’s easy to feel you are walking with God, and others are not, and become judgmental, but we must resist that with all the power He can give us.  No one was ever led to Christ by being judged and condemned.

 

4.  I ask God to place people in my path that I can love, in His name, and with His love.  After an exhaustive study of the new testament and the life of Christ, I can find no instance where Jesus led people to himself with debate, argument, or coercion, every time someone fell on their knees before Him it was because they were overwhelmed by His all encompassing love for them, and the assurance that they could be forgiven!  I pray that I can exhibit that love in my life for others.

 

5.  I ask God to protect me from the temptation of the enemy to embrace what our world stands for.  The enemy says if you just conform you can enjoy any pleasure of this world and be free of judgment, but it’s a lie!   Accepting the standards of this world will only enslave you, and never give you true freedom!

 

Pray for those that mistreat you, and ask God to guard your heart from wanting to retaliate against the world, judgment is His, not ours.  Yes, the current is swift, and the walk is hard, but the God of the Universe is holding your hand, and walking with you, and against Him no force can impede His will for our lives!!!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

P.S.  Thanks for the cartoon,  John!