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3 years, 2 months ago 3

 

I had a great day yesterday!  First I know this bog is not about me and technically this entry is not about me.  I would hope that you would understand that what I’m going to say for the next few paragraphs is in reality, praising God!  Please allow me to set this up?

 

As a Tech Rep for Nikon one of the things I’m assigned to do is go to big shows like, Imaging USA (where I am now), Photo Plus in New York, The WPPI Show (mostly wedding photographers), CES (Consumer Electronics Show), and PMA (Photographic Marketing Association).  The purpose  for all these shows is to display and answer questions (marketing) about all our products, especially new ones.  this is only the second show, CES was two days ago in Las Vegas, that we’ve shown the D4 to the public, it has been really busy.

 

At these shows you generally stand at a booth, behind a glass case, and pull out what ever camera or lens the customer want to see, handle, and ask questions about.  If you took all the questions from all the shows and wrote them on a legal pad, it would end up being essentially the same ten or fifteen questions.  Sometimes it can get pretty tiring.  Most folks that do this for a living dread doing the shows and are so happy when the show is over and they are on the plane home.  Some of my friends, o.k. most of my friends think this is all so glamourous, but it’s not, however this show has been really different.

 

On the way down to New Orleans, on the plane, I closed my eyes and prayed a long prayer.  I prayed for Sherelene’s safety while I was gone, I prayed for my family and my grandchildren, I prayed that I would hold up physically for the show, keep my voice, feel good and do a  good job.  Then I asked God to give me the strength, wisdom, and concern for our customers to really reach out and help them as best I can.  I also asked God if He would send some believers to me to fellowship with.  I also prayed for my fellow Nikon folks.

 

I had a great day because God truly answered my prayer!!!   Sherelene and the family are doing great, I’m feeling physically better than any show I can remember in the last four or five years.  I’ve had a great group of customers with relevant questions and it has led to some very good conversations that I think have really helped them.  But most of all, I’ve had a pretty good number of people walk up and tell me they read the blog!!    They kindly expressed their joy with being able to come here for His word and His inspiration.  A number of people have engaged me in truly wonderful spiritual conversations and a lot of joy has been raised up in me.  This has been such a great show!  People are excited about our new products, are primed for future ones, and I’ve really enjoyed it.

 

Now how can this entry not be about me????!!!!  Actually, it is about His faithfulness.  God wants us to be filled with His joy, and His presence.  He also wants us to be ready, willing, and able to reach out to others with His love!  He can make all of that possible, by giving us the strength, wisdom, knowledge, compassion, and “opportunity” to serve Him.  How do we serve Him?  By showing how joyful it can be to be His servant.  Believe it or not, that greatly encourages people.  I had more than one person or couple, say before they walked away from the counter, “Thank you so much, I not only learned what I wanted to know, but I just feel great!”  Folks, that is God.  Only our loving Heavenly Father can turn talking about a new camera or lens into a spiritual, uplifting, experience.

 

Please let me challenge you to pray, this morning, that God will give you a day filled with joyfully serving Him, and buckle your seat belt, it will be a great and exciting day!   I believe that is one prayer He loves to answer!

 

I bet you can guess what I prayed for this morning!

 

In Him,

 

the pilgrim

3 years, 2 months ago 3

 

Chuck Summers gave me a book, it looked interesting, it set in my office for months, every time I saw it I thought I should take the book on a trip and read it.  Last week when I came down to New Orleans for the bowl games, it was at my office, in the same place I had laid it when Chuck gave it to me.  On the plane flight home, I sat next to a young Doctor and his wife, and he was reading the same book.  I asked him how he liked it, he said “it’s challenging…”  When I got home I thought I know God wants me to be challenged, maybe it’s time to read the book.

 

The book is called “Radical – Taking Back Your Faith from the  American Dream.”  Tonight when watching one of the ball games, (I told you I will mindlessly watch any two teams play!),  I turned the sound down and picked up the book, and somewhere in heaven I’m sure I heard a voice say “finally!”  O.K., maybe I didn’t, but after a few pages, I sure felt like I did.

 

The author, David Platt, shared how he had been one of the youngest pastors of a mega-church in America, he was living the dream, had thousands of members, new buildings going up everywhere, he was rising as a super star in the modern church. But he found himself uneasy. The man he gave his heart to, and pledged to serve didn’t set mega churches as his model.  When Jesus was crucified and resurrected he only had about 120 followers that were doing what He had asked them to do!  Often when thousands showed up, to see Him, Jesus would tell them of the great sacrifices they would have to endure to follow Him.  Obviously, that did not attract a lot of followers.

 

David was bothered by two questions;

 

1.  Was he going to believe Jesus?

 

2.  Was he going to obey Jesus?

 

His biggest fear is that he would do what most of the Christians in first century did, hear Jesus, and then walk away. He committed  to follow Jesus wherever He led him.   It led to his meeting with groups of Christians in underground churches in Asia.  I’m going to pull the next couple of paragraphs directly from his book;

 

Imagine all the blinds closed on all the windows of a dimly lit room.  Twenty leaders from different churches in the area sat in a circle on the floor with their Bibles open.  Some of them had sweat on their foreheads after walking for miles to get there.  Others were dirty from the dust in the villages from which they had set out from on bikes early that morning.

 

They had gathered in secret.  They had intentionally come to this place at different times throughout the morning so as not to draw attention to the meeting that was occurring.   They lived in a country in Asia where it is illegal for them to gather like this.  If caught, they could lose their land, their jobs, their families, or their lives.   He listened as various members share stories of what God was doing in their churches.  They shared about members that had been kidnapped, tortured, and killed.  They shared about being threatened their families and all they had would be taken if they did not stop gathering to study the Bible.   They got on their knees with their faces in the dirt, and prayed prayers like;

 

“O God, thank you for loving me.”

“O God we need you.”

“Jesus, we give our lives to You and for You.” 

“Jesus, we trust You.”

They wept as they cried out to God.  Even in fear, they knew He would be with them!

 

At this point I was under deep conviction  From time to time many of you have been so kind, and nice,  to say how much you appreciate my witness,  and sacrifice to share the Good News.  As I read about these courageous Christians, I knew that anything I’ve ever done for Him is truly pitiful by comparison, or as the scripture says, our righteousness is as filthy rags.

 

The name of the first chapter of the book is;  Someone Worth Losing Everything For    I want to have a radical faith, a faith that sustains me as I offer Him it all.  I believe I have committed my  all to Him before, but reading this wonderful book, I realize that I need to re-make that commitment.  I don’t want to play church, I don’t want to appear to be a quote, “good” Christian.  I want to be the man He is calling me to be.  I know I’m not that man now, I know it will be a long slow climb, but I desire to be enabled by Him, to walk away from anything that stands between Him and my heart!  Pray for me as I start this journey, better yet, join me……….

 

In Him,

 

the pilgrim

3 years, 2 months ago 4

 

Are you tuned to the right station?  When I’m out driving around in my car I love to listen to a variety of kinds of music and talk radio, but if I’m tuned to a rock station I won’t hear the nice soft jazz I was expecting.  If you want to develop a relationship with our Heavenly Father, you need to be tuned to His station.  O.K. pilgrim, cute picture, nice tie in, but I need more specifics!

 

No problem, Just as we wouldn’t expect to receive light Jazz from the rock station, we can’t expect to hear from and be guided by God if our antennae is aimed in the wrong direction.  I can tell you some places you will have a hard time tuning into God; a casino, a bar, a street corner where drugs are being sold.  How about a night club, or exotic dancing joint.  Shocked that I knew about those!!?? In a past, that I don’t want to discuss, I have seen and done things I know better than to have anything to do with now!  God can certainly be in the most unexpected places ministering to the lost, but it’s not a good idea to go there to fellowship with Him.  Truthfully,  those are pretty radical places, try this list; an x-rated movie, a TV show that is counter to what you believe, being in a conversation that is filled with gossip, or  how about telling or listening to a dirty joke.  Truth be told, almost all of us have been someplace we knew we should not have been.  But where do you tune into God?  How about church, or in prayer, in reading the Word.  How about fellow-shipping with other brothers and sisters in Christ.  How about meditating on His Word, maybe even finding a quiet place to listen for His voice.

 

The world desires to drown out His voice, to offer other things to fill our time rather than to seek Him.  Over the Christmas season I feasted on far too much football, I should have been reading and studying,  more than watching a mindless game I wasn’t even interested in!  I don’t like the word discipline, because I don’t have a great deal, but to successfully walk with Him you need to discipline yourself to stay on your knees, in the Word, and in contact with him.  Im thankful for Sherelene, Chuck Summers, and  Jim Begley for keeping me steered in the right direction.  Jim Haverstock, and Carl Turner do their part as well.  If you wonder if you have friends, look to see who is helping you keep it on the straight and narrow!  Those are the keepers!

 

Try to remind yourself to ask constantly, am I tuning You in my Lord, or tuning You out……………….

 

the pilgrim

3 years, 2 months ago 3

 

 

Why seeking power never wins;  Seeking to control always ends badly.  Jesus told us over and over that seeking power and control ends in the loss of everything.  Someday the greatest powers the world has ever known will fall down on their knees before a King that never sought power!  Why is wanting power a loosing proposition?  Those that seek power for the sake of power need power to fill the hole left in their spirits from a lack of self worth.  We try to find ways to assure ourselves that we are worthy.  There is one big problem, we’re not worthy…  We have all fallen short of God’s glorious plan for our lives, and instead of accepting the only worth that matters, His love and approval, we seek to find it in some other way.  We often hurt others in our grasping attempt to gain a hold on authority over others.  Jesus set an example that was the opposite of this.  He, who was God’s Son, the King of Kings, came to be a servant and to offer all He had to others.  He never asked to be recognized, or placed in a position of high authority, He already was the most powerful force in the Universe, yet He never sought to be recognized and worshipped for His power, but for His Great Love.

 

Why do we look for what we need in all the wrong places?  Because we lack the understanding of even a little child.  We lack the faith in our Heavenly Father to trust in Him.

 

We seek instead to prove our worth, only showing our foolishness.  There is an answer though, surrender to the only real power worth kneeling down before, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

Forgive us father for we know not what we do…..

 

the pilgrim