Recent Posts
5 months ago 7

 

 

I just got the new Artists Standing For Christ God Beads from Original Pieces,  and they are terrific and available very soon!  I will let you know the moment they are available through OP.  I am loving the great collaborative effort the wonderful folks at Original Pieces have dedicated to our cause.  The Oakley’s are committed to serving our Lord through their business and they are working hard to help us spread the word.  Tami told me that even the name of their business was from God, she was inspired that we are all Original Pieces, made by God, each with worth and purpose.  That is what ASFC is all about, letting people know that they have real worth.  If you are not a believer,  you may wonder how on earth I can make that statement!  After all, you and I know lots of people that are really bad folks, some are dishonest, some have hurt others badly, some are impossible to like.  So how can they have worth?

 

Please let me share a story with you, a very personal story.   Many years ago I ran a company that Sherelene and I owned, a business, called The Great American Photography Workshops.  A few years into running the business we were upside down.  I owed over fifty thousand dollars  and could see no way out.  I was in the desert, no I really was in the desert, in Arizona!  I had just run three straight workshops, and was thinking constantly about facing the failure of our business.  One day it became more than I could bear, I pulled off of the road in the desert, and wept bitterly.  I wet the steering wheel with my tears.  I prayed, God, please, please help me, I’m so afraid!  Now those of you that know God’s voice will understand the next part, for those that don’t I can only beg you to believe me, because what comes next is truth and epic!

 

In my spirit, but as clear to my spirit as an actual voice, God said “What are you afraid of?”  I said, ” I’m afraid of failing, I’m known as one of the leading workshop providers in America,  I run one of the most successful workshop companies in our country.  What value will I have if I loose that?  It’s the only thing I have.”

 

The next thing God said to me, in my spirit forever changed me.    It was profound, and a truth I had never fully grasped before.  God said, “Do you really believe that is what gives you worth??!!  Young man, I sacrificed my Only Son just for you, that you might be forgiven, so you tell me, how much more valuable do you want to be than that!!??”

 

I drove out of the desert a new man, a man that realized that my worth is not based on my reputation, my accomplishments, what people think of me, or even what I think of myself!  My worth was established over 2,000 years ago.  That is why I’m standing for Christ, because He did so much more than stand for me, He died for me!

 

So when you decide to join us in ASFC, you can proudly wear the G Beads and this is what they signify. The three wooden beads stand for the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, they are made of wood from the Olive tree in Bethlehem. The two red beads on either side represent the blood of Christ that was shed for you and I.  Our prayer is that many people will ask what the bracelet, (that’s what most people call it when they ask me!),  is all about?  What a perfect way to share little part of our faith.  The most important thing is for those of us that know Him, to help others learn about Him, and accept His forgiveness.

 

 

 

 

In a couple of days many millions of people will make New Year’s resolutions.  Mine is simple, I will be obedient to God’s call to go out and love others in His name, with His love, and for His Glory!  Join me!

 

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

5 months ago 10

 

 

It happens from time to time, a well meaning person tries to talk some sense into me!  Over the Christmas holidays a person asked me why I made such a public, strong, unabashed stand for my faith.  He said, “I think it’s great to have beliefs, but in today’s society a lot of people think that is something you should keep to yourself.  Many people are made uncomfortable by someone being so bold about it.”

 

I respect his opinion and I fully understand where he is coming from, but I don’t think he fully understands where I’m coming from.  Let me share an email I got this morning from someone signing up with Artists Standing For Christ,  and I will withhold the name of the person who so kindly sent the email to me.

 

HI Bill, count me in.  I really like the concept of Artists Standing for Christ. You don’t know the effect you have had on me since we have not seen each other for awhile. I attend church regularly and now my daughter and her two children do also! I take part in a weekly Bible  study reading Corinthians 1. I have spent the past three weeks reading and studying Romans to catch up with the group.  I wake up happy with gratitude every day. Thanks to you.

 

He added this quote which I love,

 

“Life’s not about waiting for the storms to pass….It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
~ Vivian Greene

 

I appreciate the kind words, but the glory and honor should go to Him who makes all this possible, including my life.  It just so happens that I have a very special love for the man that sent me that email.  I’ve prayed for Him, and have watched him become a terrific photographers as he has also grown in his faith.  I’m thrilled he is getting to be a really good shooter,  I’m much more thrilled about this note!!!!

 

Photography is what I do, I love it, and it has brought me 46 years of fun, adventures, excitement and fulfillment, but it will not last forever.  Being obedient to God and doing as I’m told for His glory and His sake, will last through out eternity.  My friend got one thing wrong in his email to me, the last sentience; Thanks to you.  No my friend, thanks to our Heavenly Father who loved you enough to place in a situation where we could meet and He could minister to you.  What part do I play in all this?  Simple, I live by the following prescription;

 

“Life Comes down to just two things;  God loves you, so….love others…and God sacrificed everything to be with you, so….sacrifice everything.”

 

It’s no more or less than that.  Is it easy?  No!  Is it worth it to remain under the protective wings of our Heavenly Father?   You bet!  A dear friend of mine that has a very successful prison ministry ends all  his meetings with this quote.  ”When I’m gone, if you can’t remember me, you’ve lost nothing, but if you can’t remember anything about the man I shared with you, Jesus, you’ve lost everything my friend!”

 

No one knows what their life will be worth when they are gone, but I’m not taking any chances, mine will count for something far more important than myself.  I will raise up the name of Jesus and will lovingly share it with anyone that will allow me to. I don’;t want anyone to miss the peace and joy He has brought into my life, and no one has to.

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

 

 

 

5 months ago 6

 

 

As we close out the great year photographically, it’s time to get ready for 2016.

 

FIRST:   Many of this year’s events are sold out or almost sold out, so with that vote of confidence, it’s time to focus on what I will teach this year.  (Sorry about the pun “Focus in”)  couldn’t help myself.  So after months of thought I realized that my friends, clients, customers are ready for the next step.  So this year my emphasis will be on the process of stepping up our visual acuity,, your ability to see, formulate and compose for better images.  A heavier emphasis on image reviews that go deeper and teach more.

 

SECOND:  The His Light Workshops this coming year are limited to 8 Guests.  I want to have a closer, more tight knit experience among myself and the students.  I’m excited to see how the new formula works, I’m betting a much better experience for everyone involved.

 

THIRD:  With the creation of Artists Standing For Christ, things are heating up spiritually, and I’m praying on how to best handle that in our workshops.  I know exciting things are ahead.

 

FOURTH:  The Gear, what am I going  to carry th is year and what am I going to use.  This one is a heck of a lot tougher.  Fuji has done a really bad thing, they’ve produce enough incredible bodies and glass that choosing is no longer easy.  My mantra has always been simplify!  It’s really hard to do so now with so many wonderful options.  My solution?  If traveling by car, I will carry two main camera bags; one with the Two X-T1s, 10-24, 16-55, 18-135, 50-140, 1.4 Converter, in the Second, a X-T10,  14, 16, 23, 35, 56, 90 .  In a small third bag I keep a Fuji X100T and an X30.  Of course tons of extra batteries. polarizers, auto extension tubes, and on and on!

 

There will be more, but that’s it for now.  I’m really looking forward stop the coming year with all of you!!!!

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

the Pilgrim

 

 

Image by one of my students, sorry, lost the info, but who ever shot it, it’s a good one!!!!!

 

 

GET EXCITED,  I’m currently testing something from Fuji and I can’t wait to share about it, but I can’t, not until it is officially releases, I can’t say anymore but I can tell you it is going to be EXTREMELY Big!  Be patient, it is worth it!!

5 months ago 2

 

 

Let’s take another few steps down this very important road.

 

5.  We are who we associate with.  Build a circle of friends that believe as you do, wow, sounds like a church!  I know lots of people say I’m not into into “organized” religion, those places are full of hypocrites.  Yes you are absolutely right, they are, another word for that is sinners.  However, there is worse news coming.  Romans tells us that “we are all sinners, we have all fallen short of what God wanted for us.”  So if you are going to throw stones at all those sinners, well just remember what Jesus said, “Let he that is without sin, cast the first stone!”  Hey I didn’t say it, if you don’t like it…take it up with Him!

 

6.  Watch what you watch on TV, at the movies, and what you listen to.  This is a tough one,  I like a good movie as much as the next guy, but I’ve gotten stricter on myself about what I spend my time watching.  I lean towards TV shows that have a strong moral message like Blue Bloods.  How do we know?   Watch one episode of any show, if it espouses something that makes you uncomfortable, you likely should take that one off the list.  Warning, this is going to cut your TV time way down!

 

7.  Make your play list uplifting.  There are plenty of good artists out there that produce great music, that is keeping with your new standards, and some terrific Christian music.  Thankfully artists like Jordan Smith are turning the tide on great music that is uplifting!

 

8.  Clean your slate.  Developing  a perfectly open line of communication with Him changes everything.  That starts with forgiveness, not yours, that’s a done deal!  Now it’s time to search your heart and make list, a list of those you have not forgiven.  I know the drill, I’ve been through it, and I can give you some advice; God loves you but it is not a good idea to try and convince Him that you have the right to refuse to forgive someone because of how badly they hurt you.  A little review; Your Heavenly Father, (God) sent His ONLY Son to die so you could be forgiven for your sins!  Do you really want to argue that point with Him??!!  Thought so, get to it, you’ll never believe the freedom that comes from letting it go!

 

O.K. that’s some heavy stuff, so let’s give it rest for now, but the pay off is greater than you can ever imagine!

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

the pilgrim