Recent Posts
3 years, 3 months ago 1

 

Today’s In Touch lesson was great, please let me share it and some thoughts….

 

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

 

 

New Living Translation (NLT)

 24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 

 

What words would you use to describe our society? Materialistic, sensual, impatient, indulgent, undisciplined–these are just a few. We’re also a “have it now” culture. Satan specializes in presenting us with opportunities for instant gratification while promising us that indulging our appetites will bring us the satisfaction we seek.

 

Human appetites, in themselves, are not sinful. In fact, they’re God-given. However, because of our fleshly weaknesses, they need to be controlled. When our appetites rule us, we’re in trouble. Paul likened the Christian life to that of athletes who are so focused on winning the race that they exercise self-control in every area of their lives.

 

That’s exactly how we’re called to live, yet we lack the motivation, determination, and power to do so in our own strength. For this reason, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit within us. If we yield our lives to Him and step out in obedience to His promptings, we’ll have the strength to say no when fleshly desires feel overpowering (Gal. 5:16).

 

Another key to success is keeping our focus on the eternal instead of the temporal. Many decisions that seem mundane are in fact spiritually significant. Are you indulging an appetite that could result in the sacrifice of an imperishable reward in heaven?

 

When the Enemy tempts us, he always tries to keep our attention on our desire and the pleasure of indulgence rather than on the eternal rewards and blessings we’re forfeiting. Just remind yourself how quickly immediate gratification wanes and how long eternity lasts.

 

This morning on ESPN there was a story about a professional football player that got into trouble in a night club at 4:00 a.m.  Duh!  What wopuld anyone be doing at a night club at 4:00 a.m.  The story said the young man had, had problems in the past but seemed to have gotten his act together, apparently no one advised him on where to stay away from, to stay out of trouble!  As Christians we need to choose wisely where we go, who we hang out with, and what we do. Sometimes staying out of trouble, spiritual or physical can be as simple as not going where the trouble resides!

 

Walk strong and tall in Him!

 

the pilgrim

 

*Image info:  Shot on film many years ago and now processed with Topaz Simplify to create the painterly affect.  Learned from my partner,  Jim Begley at this past weekends workshop!!!  Even the teachers learn!

3 years, 3 months ago 3

 

Last weekend I had another milestone in my walk with Him.He opened new places in my heart!  As we fellowshipped, and worshipped, prayed, and praised Him a new freedom started to take over in me.  I’m sure that I, like many others, have worried about how people might react when we come fully out in the open about our faith. I still realize that can happen, but any apprehension I had,  has been removed.  In conversations with various people at the workshop, I came to see how boldness, begets boldness, (to use a good Old Testament word!). But it’s true, when we are open up and are forth right, it opens the door for others to be the same.

 

It has been my dream for a long time to see a workshop opportunity like this arrive.  The response has been wonderful, and it makes Jim and I want to work even harder to make it better and better.  You can reast assured that we will do just that.

 

Thanks you Father for this opportuynity to serve you….

 

the pilgrim

 

3 years, 3 months ago 11

 

I can hardly write this blog entry, I’m overcome with gratitude, and praise for my Heavenly Father!  This fast weekends workshop was far greater than I had even dreamed and prayed for, God blessed us beyond imagination!  I’ve had a dream for such along time of a gathering of photographers to learn, laugh, fellowship, but also to deepen our walk with Him.  This weekend it all came together.  On Thursday night at our first meeting we enjoyed seeing the Guests images,and they were wonderful, at the end of the evening I share a movie clip from the film 7 Days in Utopia.   The film is a story of a young golfer whose father has driven him his whole life to become a pro golfer and in a major tournament  that he is about to win, he melts down and looses it, his father walks away and he storms  off in anger.  While driving in the country he swerves off the road to miss a cow, he’s not injured but a kind old rancher comes to his aid.  The rancher tales him if he will spend one week in Utopia he will help him find his game.  For a week,the rancher,  named Johnny , helps him with his golf game and much more.  He teaches him to See, Feel, and Trust.

 

At the end of the film Johnny invites Luke to show him what he has learned and they start playing a game of golf, as a storm rolls in he is playing the best golf of his life, when Johnny says the storm is to bad to continue,  he rebells ands says he has to finish!  Johnny walks away just as his father had one week before, and he realizes what a mistake he has made.  The next morning he goes to see Johnny to apologize. He finds him in the small cemetery digging a small grave.  When he approaches him and apologizes for his actions he asks whose grave he is digging.  Johnny the old rancher, played in the film by Robert Duvall, tells him he will soon see!

 

Johnny asked Luke, (the young golfer),  what will you epitaph say?  Will it say you shot a 59?   Luke knew right then that he had been chasing the wrong goals in his life.  He thank Johnny for everything, but Johnny responded like this,  ”Luke, I don’t think it was an accident your coming here, but I can’t each you anymore, what you do with what you’ve learned is up to you now.”  Luke said, “Thank you Johnny.”  but Johnny responded, ” Don’t think me, thank Him, thank God, because He is all around you and in you, there is a still small voice of truth in your heart, He will guide you. He then said You can See His face, Feel His presence, and Trust His love.  SFT.  Johnny says to him God Bless you son, and walks away.  Luke kneels at the grave side and pulls out the wooden box in the shallow grave.  Inside he finds as note from Johnny, “Luke, in this box you will find a pencil and two pieces of paper.  On one right down all the truths that you’ve learned while you have been in Utopia, that life is about Faith, relationships, Character, and Integrity. That God has a plan for you  that is much deeper than a little white ball falling  into the cup.   That  will become the heartbeat, the foundation of your new life.  On the other piece of  paper write down all the lies you’ve been told about your life, that your golf score is and indicator of your identity and true self worth, or that failure is golf is failure in life. Take the truths with you, but bury the lies, right here, right now!

 

After our group watched the film clip I told them that Dean Lewis who owns Old Car City, had agreed to dig as small grave in the woods of his property and placed a sign on the grave that said S F T.  They were invited to bury their lies at the end of the workshop.  That was to take place Saturday afternoon at 4:30.  As the time approached, the enemy was telling me that it was a stupid idea, that very few people would participate.  As I walked over to the old lunch box we were using to hold our lies, I saw that the lunch box was filled almost o overflowing with little pieces of folded up paper, I then discovered that the thermos bottle was also stuffed with pieces of paper, dozens of slips of paper containing our friends lies to themselves. I had to hold back the tears as i walked to the grave sight, there I found all our attendees walking into the site.  We prayed over the lies and then placed them in the ground.  a number of people came over and on their knees tossed the dirt over the lunch box with their bare hands, we then put rocks on the grave site.

 

As we walked away the air of freedom in our hearts was incredible.  Like everything else through out our workshop weekend, God had honored our prayers and given us a wonderful time with each other and Himself.  It was the beginning of an exciting time in all our lives, free from our lies, and a wonderful start for His ministry through, His Light.

 

Blessed beyond measure,

 

the pilgrim

 

 

 

 

3 years, 3 months ago 8

 

Well, I’m  sorry for a day late posting, but we have been very busy in White, GA, a great group has been keeping us on the run!  This had been a great workshop group and we have gone nonstop.   It’s been a great mix of some old friends and some great new ones!  Old Car City has provided the great subject matter everyone has been expecting and Dean Lewis and his crew has been a great host.  The spiritual side has been even more exciting.  With Dr. Charles Stanley and Ricky Skaggs along it had been all the more fun!  I have not had a chance to shoot a great deal, as is often the case at workshops, but I’ve managed a few I like, hope you enjoy them!

 

In Him,

 

the pilgrim