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2 years, 9 months ago 3

Have you got a photographer on your list and you’re stumped about what to get them?  Let me make a few suggestions, these are all things that I find very useful and I know they would get great use from any of these items!  I’ll go from the least expensive to the most!


The Hoodman Loupe 3.0   $79.99    A great way to see clearly what’s on your LCD screen!




2.  The Visable Dust Sensor Loupe    (BriteVue Quasar Sensor Loupe 7X)  $88.15




3. A Swiss Army Exploreer Knife  $49.95



4. An LED Flashlight  - My favorites are Smith & Wesson and SureFire)  prices vary from $35. to over $100.  A very good small one can be had for around $50. * This one is extra special, I’ll tell you at the end!  The one illustrated is the M&P Tactical MP5 ($59.99)



5.  Gerber Crucial Knife/Tool  $39.95 at REI *Link below,-green?preferredSku=7940560027?cm_mmc&mr:trackingCode=DDFE1A37-37BF-DE11-974B-0019B9C043EB&mr:referralID=NA&{copy:s_kwcid}=&mr:adType=pla&gclid=CIfg3NuZ4awCFQpV7AodKw6P3g



6.  Gerber Suspension Tool   $29.99  Walmart



7.  A Micro Fiber Cloth  (Vary from $10. to $15.)  My favorite are the Kinetronic Tiger Cloths link below




And now two little stories for your Christmas pleasure!


The Swiss Army knife above was a Christmas gift from my wife in a year that even a $49. pocket knife was a real stretch for us financially!  I loved the knife, had always wanted one, but loved it even more because Sherelene got it for me.  While on a trip to North Carolina to interview Richard Petty for a magazine article, I lost my knife.  I was heart broken, I look everywhere and couldn’t find it anywhere.  For months I hated that I had lost it!   The next year my friend Danny Lawson and I had to go back to North Carolina for another story, he had been with me on the first trip.  On the trip down I talked to Danny about hating loosing my knife.  He suggested we took a short hike up into the national forest and wondered if I might have dropped it there.  I said maybe but what  would be the chances be that it would still be there.  We parked the car and walked up the path, and there right on the trail was my weathered leather case and my spotless stainless steel treasure, it was my knife, one year later!  I have to admit I cried.  Every time I pick it up and use it I remember that little miracle and my wife’s love and generosity.


Now the LED flashlight.  A few weeks ago I got a package from a very dear friend, I wondered what on earth it might be?  The friend is Carl Turner one of my best photo buddies and a great Christian brother. When I opened the box I could hardly believe the contents, two Smith  & Wesson, M&P Tactical Flash lights,  the small one pictured above which now goes with me everywhere in my camera bag, and a larger one that I use all the time.  As much as I appreciate these wonderful gifts, and I really do appreciate them, even more I appreciate Carl’s friendship, Carl has brought incredible light into my life in more important ways than with a flashlight!!!!


Christmas is a time of giving, to show our love, and to enjoy the great blessing of being the giver!  Never forget the reason for the season is Jesus himself, who gave the most anyone can give for us,  His life!!


Merry Christmas,


the pilgrim


2 years, 9 months ago 2



I got an email this morning from a dear friend, Bob Phipps,  with the enclosed video, this has been one of my greatest Christmas gifts, please take a moment to read the information about  how this video came about and then enjoy the link below,  and Merry Christmas again…..  and thank you Bob for sharing this with me, and now all my friends!


“Where’s the line to see Jesus”?

About the Song

While at the mall a couple of years ago, my then four year old nephew, Spencer, saw kids lined up to see Santa Claus. Having been taught as a toddler that Christmas is the holiday that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, he asked his mom, “where’s the line to see Jesus”?

My sister mentioned this to my dad, who immediately became inspired and jotted words down to a song in just a few minutes. After putting music to the words, and doing a quick recording at home, he received a great response from friends. He sent the song off to Nashville without much response, except for a Christian song writer who suggested adding a bridge at the end of the first chorus. My dad then asked if I wanted to record the song to see what we could do with it. I listened to the song, made a few changes to the words to make it flow better, and we headed to Shock City Studios.

It was at the studio where Chris, owner and producer, rewrote the 2nd verse and part of the chorus… with goose bumps and emotions high, we were all hopeful and felt like we had something special. The demo was recorded in just under 2 hours and sent off again to Nashville… still no response.

Then 2 weeks before Christmas last year, my cousins Greg and Robbie decided to do a video to see what we could accomplish on YouTube. The first day we had 3000 hits and it soared from there. We received e-mails, phone calls, Facebook messages from people all over asking for the music, CD’s, iTunes, anything… we had nothing. After a couple of meetings with Chris following the amazing response, we got serious. We headed back into the studio this past spring… this time with guitars, drums, bass, pianos, choirs… the real deal…. and here we are today.

Getting iTunes set up, a website put together, and loving that thousands upon thousands of Christians have come together… remembering the true meaning of Christmas. Out of the mouths of babes come profound truths that many adults can not understand. Hopefully Spencer’s observation will cause people all over to reflect on the love of Jesus, and that one day we will all stand in line to see Him. We are most thankful to our Heavenly Father to have this chance to share our music with you. Merry Christmas everyone. 


Cut and paste this link to Google and enjoy the video!  It will come up first on the list:    New Christmas Song – You Tube



the pilgrim

2 years, 9 months ago 0


How do you give?  As we prepare to find the perfect present for those we love, how are we entering into that special interaction with others? Do we give in hopes of getting something in return?  Do we give in hopes it will make up for past hurts or neglect?  I used to wear an wrist band that had WWJD on it, “What Would Jesus Do?”  In the area of giving what did Jesus do?  Well he did several things and we can learn how to give by following His examples:


1.  He gave with out any expectation of what would be given in return.  He didn’t say I’ll do this for you, if you will do that for me.  His deep love for us made it impossible for Him to give with strings attached.


2.  He gave because that is what He really wanted to do.  He did not feel obligated to give.  He didn’t feel pressure to give.  He didn’t worry about what others would think,  if He didn’t give.  He gave out of a full heart, overflowing with love and grace for us.


3.   He didn’t give to us because we deserved it, or had earned it.  He didn’t wait until we were better people before He gave.


4.   He gave to everyone.  He did not select just the rich, or famous, or powerful, but he gave equally to all who sought Him;  rulers, kings slaves, the poor, and the rich.  Men and women, Jews and Gentiles.  He didn’t play favorites, no one was too bad or too good.


Very soon you will be presenting presents to those you love.  Do it in the spirit of the man whose birthday we celebrate.


the pilgrim




2 years, 9 months ago 5



I may not be around much longer……  I made a deal with God, I asked him to let me live long enough to see Kentucky beat Tennessee in football, on Saturday the Wildcats broke a 26 year string of consecutive losses to the Vols!  What Now????  Now I wonder how long I’ve got!!  Just kidding, but it does bring up a very interesting question for all of us.  How seriously do you take sports?  I know, in the past, I’ve been way too serious.  One night when Kentucky lost to Duke in the NCAA Tournament when Christian Lattner hit a last second shot, I went into the driveway and smashed a water bottle from our water cooler to smithereens. When I returned to the house my wife said, “Can I ask you a question?”  I said sure, she said, “Who won the NCAA tournament three years ago?”  I said I didn’t know, she said, “Point made…..”   A lot has changed since then, I promise…..


My wife is a sharp lady and she had made a very good point indeed, I was acting like a child about something that in a few weeks wouldn’t matter.  Sports can be very enjoyable as long as you don’t make it more serious than it is.  It’s a game, it’s fun to watch, but when it’s over it’s another day.  It’s a fault many of us share, we make more of things in life than we should.  We put a value on things that should not receive that much value.  We shouldn’t, but, we do.   Maybe one of the most important things we do in life is figure out what is worth valuing and what is not.  Let’s work on a list together, but instead of me telling you what you should value and what you should not, Why don’t I make a list and let you decide.  Assign the following terms tho the list below, Critical, Important, Mildly Important, Not Very Important, Irrelevant.  Good luck, I know you will do well!  I have confidence in you!


Who will win the Super Bowl.


Who will be the next President of the United States.


Are you going to be at your son’s soccer game this evening?


Are you going to trade for a new car?


Should you buy a new camera?


Will you get that raise you are hoping for?


Have you told your wife you love her today?


How good of a photographer are you?


Can you figure out what’s important and what’s not?


Do you believe in God?


Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior?


Starting to get the hang of this.  It’s really very simple, figure out what truly matters and spend your life doing something about that!!


Love you in Christ,


the pilgrim