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2 years, 6 months ago 6

As we approach Easter, this morning’s devotional from In Touch is all the  more meaningful…..

Colossians 2:13-15

New Living Translation (NLT)

13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

 

What does the cross mean to you? Many people in the world today view it as a symbol of Christianity, but stop and think about what it represented in Christ’s day. Nobody wore a miniature cross around the neck or displayed one in a place of worship. The cross was a torturous means of execution, and the mere thought of it was repulsive.

 

Yet believers throughout the ages have chosen this as the sign of their faith. In fact, to remove the cross from our teaching and theology would leave nothing but an empty, powerless religion. The subjects of death, blood, and sacrifice have become unpopular in many churches because they’re unpleasant and uncomfortable topics. We’d prefer to hear about the love of God, not the suffering of Jesus.

 

But let me ask you this: How could anyone be saved if Christ had not been crucified? Some people think all you have to do to receive God’s forgiveness is ask Him for it. But a sinner’s request can never be the basis for His forgiveness. He would cease to be holy and just if no penalty was imposed for sin. According to Scripture, there can be no forgiveness without the shedding of blood (Heb. 9:22). Christ had to bear the punishment for our sin in order for God to grant us forgiveness.

 

Every time you see a cross, remember what it really was–an instrument of execution. Then thank Jesus that He was willing to be crucified so the Father could forgive you of sin. Though the scene of your redemption was horrendous, Christ turned the cross into a place of great triumph.

 

I wear a cross not to tell the world who I am, but to remind myself, Who I serve.

 

the pilgrim

2 years, 6 months ago 2

 

So now that all the new Nikon cameras are released and being shot, which is the one to buy?  Hold your horses, good question, but poorly asked!  Let’s ask this question first;   What do you use a camera for?

 

Let me draw some broad categories of shooters;

 

The Full Time Sports/Photojournalism Pro:  You shoot all day, everyday, under all kinds of weather, dust, and grime.  You charge your batteries every night, and the camera barely cools down in time to start shooting again.  You need a very high frame rate, and often shoot in miserable light, but still have to get the shot.  You are rough on your gear so it has to hold up to abuse!  D4, D3s, or D3, maybe in a pinch, the D700 are your cameras.  If you have to do video, the D4 and D3s are your only choices, (the other two have no video).  The D4 is the consummate, sports camera, plenty of resolution, but gobs of speed.  If your job is tough, this camera is even tougher.

 

 

The Landscape/Nature/Wildlife/Travel/ Studio/ Wedding/ Portrait/Fine Art Photographer:  If you shoot anything that requires lots and lots of detail and the ability to make enormous prints (think feet instead of inches)!  The new D800 is the answer to your prayers.  If you simply don’t need that kind of resolution, the D700 or D7000 will serve you well.  There is one problem, once you’ve shot the D800, it will be very, very hard to go back!  The detail is addicting!!  The D800 is made to be used hard, maybe not quite up to the D4 standard, but plenty tough!  It’s lighter and smaller and easier to carry than a D3s or D4.  The D7000, even more so.  If you shoot sports the speed and buffer on the D7000 will eventually disappoint you.  The D800 is only marginally better in that it has a big buffer, but 4 fps is not a sports camera.

 

 

What am I going to buy?  Good question.  If I had to decide today, I think it would be the D800 and the D7000, I might would get a D4 if the budget permitted, but I am now addicted to 36 megapixels and I love the D7000 when weight is an issue and to stretch my lenses.  More new cameras will come in the future and we will have to see what they are, and how they perform.  One thing is for sure, the D7000 will make almost any image I ever need to make, but oh my goodness how sweet it is to look at those big, super rich files coming out of the D800.  I don’t think I can ever go back now!!

 

Life is Good!

 

The pilgrim

2 years, 6 months ago 0

 

It’s Tuesday the third day of April and I’m back in the, “infamous – pie shaped room”, at the Augusta National Golf Club.  It’s the Masters and I’m in Golf Prison all week.  Now before you start feeling sorry for me, fat chance of that, let me share a thought or two.  When you give yourself fully over to God, He does as He pleases with your life.  Even more so, He does with your life, what will bring Him the most glory, or at least that’s the plan, if you co-operate!   The biggest hurdle to get over,  in life,  is seeing that the purpose He has in mind might be something completely different than what you think you are experiencing.

 

I’m not a big golf fan.  I played when I was younger, and as the old joke goes;  ”I gave it up because of all the people that got hurt!”  However, the week at the Masters could hardly be called drudgery.  Hotel rooms in Augusta go for $450 + a night during the Masters, so Nikon is kind enough to rent a large, very nice home, for the three team members to stay in for the week.  The pie shaped room is air conditioned, thank goodness in Augusta in the spring!!!  The Golf Club provides good food and nice facilities for the press, so all is well in that department.  No, all is well in the comfort zone.

 

Time for a thankfulness check up!  What I do love about this week is the fellowship with people I care a great deal for but seldom get to see! My team for this event at Brien Aho, and Takawuki Abe.  Brien is a new Tech Rep and has hit the ground running, he is going to be a great one!   Abe San is a legend in the golf community, he has saved more photographers bacon than anyone can remember!  It is a pleasure working with them.  While at the Masters we get visits from lots of photographers, many of whom, I only get to see once or twice a year.  this is a dangerous game, because you will always leave someone out, and that is a shame, they are all great people, but a few always come to my mind when you say the Masters!  Dom Furore and J.D. Cuban, both of whom work for Golf Digest, their two best shooters in my opinion, are also great guys who make this week long sentence a lot more than tolerable!  Some day when I hang it up and move onto other things, I will really miss these two guys!  We always make it as tradition to go out and have a meal together and it is much anticipated by all!  Fred Vuich, formerly with Golf Magazine, and now free lancing mostly for SI, (Sports Illustrated) is not only a terrific shooter, but one of the nicest men you will ever meet, and is a brother  in the Lord as well, which is a real joy.  Of course John Beaver and Robert Beck drop by (both from Sports Illustrated), and they are great friends as well.  There are more, but these are some of my very special friends that you can find at the Masters every year.  They make this event something to really look forward too!

 

I believe God gives us people, people to love for Him.  People to encourage, to listen to, and to learn from, and maybe, just maybe, teach them a thing or two as well.  It’s the wonderful way He works, as we invest in others, it brings back the riches of friendship to us, and, in the end,  He is glorfied!

 

I may be in prison, but as Paul said, “I’m note really in prison, I’m in Him!”

 

The words of the song For the Love of God, sung by Kenny Rogers,  seems like the right way to end this entry:

 

I could follow Him, I could pledge my faith
Bound by duty I could honor and obey
But the love I found is compelling me
To serve Him from a heart that’s been redeemed

I would give my all, everything I’ve got
To the highest call, for the Love of God
Every day I live, I’d give no matter what
I will do it all, for the love of God

May I never serve from a heart of fear
Thinking only that the end is drawing near
Oh but Lord I pray, that in all I do
I’ll be driven only by what pleases You

I would give my all, everything I’ve got
To the highest call, for the Love of God
Every day I live, I’d give no matter what
I will do it all, for the love of God

No greater motivation, there is no higher cause
My one and only reason remains the love of God

I would give my all, everything I’ve got
To the highest call, for the Love of God
Every day I live, I’d give no matter what
I will do it all, for the love of God

 

Yes, I have comitted my life to him, I will do it all, for the love of God………

 

the pilgrim

 

Clever Title????  My wife’s idea!  Thanks sweetheart!

 

2 years, 6 months ago 7
A friend sent this to me today, it was just to good not to post!
A Minister passing through his church
In the middle of the day,
Decided to pause by the altar
And see who had come to pray.

Just then the back door opened,
A man came down the aisle,
The minister frowned as he saw
The man hadn’t shaved in a while.

 

His shirt was kinda shabby
And his coat was worn and frayed,
The man knelt, he bowed his head,
Then rose and walked away.

In the days that followed,
Each noon time came this chap,
Each time he knelt just for a moment,
A lunch pail in his lap.

 

Well, the minister’s suspicions grew,
With robbery a main fear,
He decided to stop the man and ask him, ‘What are you doing here?’

The old man said, he worked down the road. Lunch was half an hour
Lunchtime was his prayer time,
For finding strength and power.

 


‘I stay only moments, see,
Because the factory is so far away;
As I kneel here talking to the Lord,
This is kinda what I say:

‘I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I’VE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND EACH

OTHERS FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN. DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY,
BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS Ben CHECKING IN TODAY.’

The minister feeling foolish,
Told Ben, that was fine.
He told the man he was welcome
To come and pray just anytime

 

Time to go, Ben smiled, said ‘Thanks.’
He hurried to the door.
The minister knelt at the altar,
He’d never done it before.

 

His cold heart melted, warmed with love, And met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart,
He repeated old Ben’s prayer:

 

‘I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I’VE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND EACH

OTHERS FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN. I DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY,

BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME CHECKING IN TODAY.’

 

Past noon one day, the minister noticed
That old Ben hadn’t come.
As more days passed without Ben,
He began to worry some.

At the factory, he asked about him,
Learning he was ill.

The hospital staff was worried,
But he’d given them a thrill.

The week that Ben was with them,
Brought changes in the ward.
His smiles, a joy contagious.
Changed people, were his reward.

 

The head nurse couldn’t understand
Why Ben was so glad,
When no flowers, calls or cards came,
Not a visitor he had.

 

The minister stayed by his bed,
He voiced the nurse’s concern:
No friends came to show they cared.
He had nowhere to turn.

 

Looking surprised, old Ben spoke
Up and with a winsome smile;
‘the nurse is wrong, she couldn’t know,
That he’s in here all the while

 


Everyday at noon He’s here,
A dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down, takes my hand,
Leans over and says to me: 


‘I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, Ben, HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP,
AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN.  ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY, I THINK ABOUT YOU EACH DAY,
AND SO Ben, THIS IS JESUS CHECKING IN TODAY.’
I imagine He would love for you to “check in” today!
the pilgrim