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2 years, 3 months ago 2

 

 

 

It’s always interesting to look at spiritual commitments and decisions, one day out.  I shared with you my rather profound Sunday morning, yesterday.  Today I was put to the test.  I ran into one of the most egregious of the characters that have been stirring up trouble in my church.  To be honest I didn’t know who this person was, having never met them face to face, but when I introduced myself , and they spoke their name, with somewhat of sneer on their face, it hit me immediately, wow, one of the culprits!  The shocking thing was my internal reaction, something akinned to “whatever”…..

 

It wasn’t until this face to face, would be confrontation, that I realized I’ve genuinely let it go. I felt no anger, no desire to let it  go on this person, I actually felt a complete peace and walked away remaining so!   Trust me, only God could have left me with that kind of inner calm.  Prior to my trip to the alter, I would have embarrassed myself.  I share this because I desire for everyone to feel the peace that comes from trusting Him to fight our battles.  Am I still unhappy with the behavior of these people, you bet, but then I’m sure I’ve made a good number of folks unhappy as well.  It is a good example of the old story of , “let he who is without sin, throw the first stone.”  Look maw, no stones in my hands!

 

If I still felt that I needed to take some action and “right the wrongs”,  I would be admitting that I don’t think God can handle it, not a chance!  I believe He has it all in His capable hands, and out of mine, where it  should be!

 

the pilgrim

 

 

O.K. I admit iet, that was a pretty awful photographic pun!

2 years, 3 months ago 6

The trouble with transparency, is you can’t hide anything!

 

transparency |tranˈsparənsē|noun ( pl. -cies)1 the condition of being transparent : the transparency of ice.2 an image, text, or positive transparent photograph printed ontransparent plastic or glass, able to be viewed using a projector.ORIGIN late 16th cent. (as a general term denoting a transparent object): from medieval Latin transparentia, from transparent-‘shining through’ (see transparent ).

 

I like the part of the definition that says “Shining through”.  When we are transparent that is what should happen, the essence of our lives, (God), should “shine through”  I have a confession to make, part of my essence has not been shining through, a part of my being has been blocked up with something to thick for the light to shine through, vengeance.  If you have followed this blog, you know about the troubles that have transpired in my church.  You, no doubt, have sensed that I’ve been very upset, angry, and at times livid about the circumstances taking place there.  This morning I went to church for the first time in a month, (I was on the road all but 37 hours of June!!!)

 

Since the last time I attended my church, our pastor, and my very good friend, of 13 years, Tim Thompson has packed up and left, escaping th nightmare that has transpired. I was not ready to meet a new pastor, I hadn’t gotten over the one I had lost.  I didn’t want to see many of the people of my church,  as I’ve held them, at least in some way, responsible for not putting their collective feet down and stopping the madness.  I went into the sanctuary with a bad attitude to start with.  The first person I saw when walking into the back of the church was one of the key people that has instituted much of the change and anguish. By the time I got to my seat I was just about ready to explode.  The enemy was more than happy to give me a long list of things I could do to show my displeasure and call the guilty, in my eyes, to task!  I gripped my Bible, bowed my head, and asked God to calm me.

 

The pastor got up, and he is a kindly old man, about my age, and he seemed like a nice enough fellow, he opened with a scripture and then delivered a life changing sermon, (life changing for me).

 

2 Corinthians 12:7-10    New Living Translation (NLT)

even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

 

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

He went on to explain how God had used a “thorn in the flesh” to make Paul dependent on Him.  Paul had been the greatest of the disciples, and God had revealed so much to him that He knew it might cause Paul to think to highly of himself, and so He gave him a burden to carry that only God could help him face.  Without God, Paul could not be His Servant.  Only in our weakness can we truly be used of God, otherwise we would be allowed to start to believe that we were a big part of the success of God’s work through us!

 

Sitting in the church, listening to the sermon, reading the scripture, I fully realized that God was using these circumstances as  thorn in my flesh.  He had presented me with a situation that I could not change, and instead of yielding to Him and trusting Him, I had become bitter and angry, and was allowing it to block my relationship with Him.  I realized that this was my thorn in the flesh!  I could see clearly how my belief that I could do something about the situation had led me to depend on myself, not God.

 

At the end of the service I went down to the alter and poured my heart out to my Heavenly Father, I asked Him to forgive me for allowing my “self” to rise to such heights.  I asked God to give me the strength through Him to forgive those that I’ve been detesting, and I released them to Him. It’s His battle, not mine.  I asked Him to help me be the man He wants me to be, not the man I sometimes, falsely, have thought I was.  I came off my knees knowing that a new day had dawned in my walk with Him.  I was back in my proper place, leaning on Him.

 

A young lady sang a song that fortified what God had shown me this morning.  It’s called Blessings

 

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

 

 

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

 

 

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we have faith to believe

 

 

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

 

 

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

 

 

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

 

The trouble with transparency, is you can’t hide anything!

 

In Him, more than ever,

 

the pilgrim

2 years, 3 months ago 4

 

 

You may or may not know who George Harding was.  You probably don’t, unless you lived in Corbin, Kentucky, or worked on the railroad.  He wasn’t a Senator, or a Congressman, a civic leader, or celebrity.  He wasn’t extremely rich, or famous, he was something much better, a good man!  George Harding was my neighbor, three houses up the street.  He moved a way a few years ago, but we stayed in touch.  Every time I turned the corner to go to my house and he was in his yard, which was often, I would slow down roll down the window and we would chat.  He had a smile that could make your worse day seem to  melt away.  George was a good friend, a kind man, a humble man, a man that would always offer a hand, and always had a kind word for everyone.  He was a God fearing man, and good husband.  He wasn’t George Clooney, or George Forman, or George Washington.  I guess we need all those George’s but I think we need the George Hardings of the world a lot more.

 

The George Hardings of the world affect us on a daily basis. They cheer us up, they make us proud and they show us what is so great about living in a small town in the southern part of Kentucky!  The world will not miss George, but his friends and neighbors sure will.  His wife Edith sure will, because George made a difference.  He made a difference, and he wasn’t even someone you knew, and that was your loss.  More importantly if we do not live up to that standard of being “significant”, to those around us, it’s everyone’s loss.  When I think of George I’ll think about how someone, a lot of someones, are going to have to take his place, standing in the yard, being friendly, and making other peoples’s lives better.

 

Thank you George, for all those great moments that you lifted my spirits, I know a lot celebrating is taking place on the other side!

 

the pilgrim

 

1 John 4:11
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.

 

2 John 1:5
I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning.

 

2 years, 3 months ago 0

I’ve had a week to review images and look closely, that further examination has led me to believe that for certain circumstances the classic manual focus glass is a great choice!  Especially for landscape and close-up work.  In both of these fields you want to control depth-of-field closely, and the great depth markings on the old manual lenses is a great help.  Also with the advent of the Live View, with magnification, precise focusing can really be achieved, like never before. I also noticed that the depth of color was also amazing.  The shot below of rocks in the surf at Little Hunter’s Beach in Acadia N.P. was a good example.

 

In another close-up situation I wanted to capture the delicate colors in a flower at the Acadia Garden, the 105 Micro Nikkor f 2.8 did a sterling job. The color was spot on and the sharpness was great in the area of shallow focus.  The tactile pleasure of working with old dissimilar metal racing’s in the helicoids makes the shooting process so much fun.  It really takes you back to the “old” days.  As I said before I don’t see the manual lenses so much as a replacement for current lenses, but just as a great way to vary the process.

 

Then there is the cost factor, many of these classic old lenses can be purchased used in very good condition for 1/4th to 1/3rd the cost of current glass.  I’ve found mint condition 24mm f 2.8′s for around $150., 105 mm Micro Nikkor f 2.8′s for around $300.  By-the-way if anyone ever finds a mint condition 25-50 f 4 AIS Nikkor zoom let me know, I’ve been looking for one, for some time and would  love to add it to my classic collection!

 

As of today my manual lens collection consists of:

 

24mm f 2.8 Nikkor

55mm Micro Nikkor f 2.8

50-135 Nikkor f 3.5 zoom

105 mm f 2.5 Nikkor telephoto  (the classic portrait lens)

105 mm Micro Nikkor f 2.8

80-200 Nikkor zooms (both the f 4.5 and f4)

300 mm IF-ED f 4.5 Nikkor telelphoto

400mm IF-ED f 3.5 Nikkor telephoto  (One of my favorite lenses of all time!)

 

I’m still looking for the 25-50 and the 28 mm f 2.8 lens!  I’ve got to stay out of camera stores that sell a lot of used glass!!!!!

 

Give one a try, I believe you will enjoy it!

 

the pilgrim