Farmers rely on giant silos to store their grain, or corn, or whatever. The point is fill up those silos! It’s easy to get into that habit! Don’t get me wrong, for the farmer it is an occupational necessity, for us not so much.
Over the last several years, as I was securing the photo gear for retirement, I realized I had a lot of stuff!!!! Truthfully, I had a lot more than any reasonable person needs. When I first got into the new Fuji System I only had a couple or three lenses, and one body. I shot like that for quite a while, and I learned something, I really didn’t need much more. Now, I didn’t say I didn’t want more, (hard habit to break), but I can tell you this, my work improved. I spent a lot more time thinking about what I was seeing, and how to approach it, and less time worrying about which of twelve lenses to use!
This is about focus, focus on what is most important, which brings me to the real point of this exercise. It’s time to focus, focus on what is most important. What you have doesn’t matter, what you hope to acquire doesn’t matter, what others think of you doesn’t matter. Who you are is what matters! So who are you? That is as question worth pondering, and answering.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 at 12:09 am
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Life is a series of journeys ; developing from a baby into a toddler, a toddler into a pre-school child, a child into adolescent, from an adolescent into a young adult, climbing the decades from young to middle age, to older. Maybe one of the toughest transitions is from working to retirement. *(now just in case Bill Pekala is reading this and thinking it is aimed at him, well it’s not entirely, aimed at him, it’s aimed at a lot of people who have retied or are going to retire, but he’s included!) When I starting thinking about retiring from full time employment, I started to search for all the information I could about how to prepare to make it as successful transition. I talked to a lot of friends that had retired, I searched the scripture for teachings, and I prayed a lot about what I should do.
I came up with some solid answers, from solid sources, and I’m willing to share them with all of you, under one condition; Know that these were the answers ”I” found for “me”, you need to search your mind and heart to see if they ring true for you, and your life. However if you are retired or are about to retire, please give this some thought, it’s very important stuff to think about and pray about. I wish all of you a fulfilled and productive retirement! Here goes:
1. Don’t stop and sit down and do nothing! Many years ago I knew an elderly mail carrier from back home in Harlan, he walked many miles every day delivering the mail. I’m sure he thought when I retire I’m never doing this again! I remember when he retied he started sitting on the porch watching the traffic drive by his house, I saw him often, he would be reading a book, or the newspaper, or just staring into the distance. He died in about a year. He stopped having a purpose and his body just shut down. A. Stay active, B. Have a to do list. C. fix things around the house, set up a home office if you don’t have one, go there everyday and do your new job! Stay involved. I teach workshops and still am a very active photographer, so I spend almost 8 hours every day that I’m home working in my office, I edit images, I build teaching programs, I take on line classes to learn things I never had time to learn before. I stay busy, I do allow my self an afternoon nap sometimes if I’m tired, and I have been known in good weather to sit on the back deck and read a good book, but I don’t do it all day long!!!!
2. Accept your new role. This is a tough one. Many of us had important jobs, many of us managed other people. Lots of people pulled at us needing information, reports, and a long list assignments, and travel. We felt important, now we get 80% fewer emails, our calendars only as filled as we make them, and a lot fewer people are asking for our help. The first normal reaction is to feel a sense of loss. Don’t harbor that thought for very long. We still have plenty we can do, the good news is we are making the assignments now, if we feel like writing a report (which I never do!!!!), we can write it to ourselves. The MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember is our worth is not tied to “who” we work for, but “what” we work for. When you work for a corporation you are paid to live for “their mission”, now you can live for “your mission!!!!” Find your mission! Make it something worthy of your skills and time.
3. Reconnect with old friends, family, and new friends. You now have time to reach out and touch someone because you want to, not because it is part of your employers mission! You no longer work for the Acme Corp, you can feel free to be more open in expressing your knowledge, not encumbered by the policies of your former job.
4. Remember who brought you to the dance! It’s an old saying that basically means be appreciative for those that have been good to you! Be responsible! As most of you know that because of a health issue I had to reduce the size and weight of my camera bag. I ended up using the Fuji X system, this was tough after begin a life long Nikon shooter, but it was what was best for my shoulders. I came to really enjoy the new system and produced some excellent ( can I say that???!!!”), work with it. Three weeks after I retired from Nikon, Fuji approached me and offered to run a two page national ad of my work. I told them I was honored, but that I couldn’t possibly do that, it was way too soon after leaving 11 years of employment by Nikon. I greatly respect the people that are my friends at Nikon, I still own and use Nikon gear, it would not have been the right thing to do. This was a test, the enemy said, “Well, Nikon is not asking to run your work in an ad!” While that was true, that had nothing to do with “doing the right thing”. Character and integrity is doing the right thing because it is the right thing. I’d rather be known for that than published in a national ad! Appreciate those that have contributed to your life.
5. Rejoice in the time to do what you have not been able to do while working! Spend more quality time with your spouse, children and grandchildren. Get to a few more church services, and get some quality fellowship. Make a list of all the things you always wanted to learn to do, prioritize the list, and them and get started!!! You now have the most precious commodity we are given in life, time, use it wisely!
6. Go back and read the blog entry ”The Fourth Quarter“. It will help you sort out what the last part of your life could an should be about
7. Lastly, Know who you are. Today’s devotional from In Touch had two very revealing paragraphs:
Our world emphatically proclaims the importance of self-esteem, which is a favorable impression of oneself. Surely, we are told, an individual who values himself highly will accomplish much. Yet Scripture tells us that true confidence flows, not from self, but from our identity in Christ.
The Holy Spirit is the basis for our confidence—not positive thinking, right circumstances, or the ability to think highly of ourselves. Even in the midst of difficulty, we can live with boldness because the Spirit of the living God lives in us and enables us to follow Him.
Of course, we have a role too. The Spirit directs us and strengthens us, but we are responsible to listen, obey, and diligently follow His guidance each day. We can have assurance in an unstable world because almighty God provides everything we need to live triumphantly.
Are you facing situations that make you feel inadequate or insecure? Search the Bible for descriptions of the Lord’s character. Realize that our sovereign, almighty God—the Beginning and the End—lives inside of you through His Holy Spirit. Find your confidence in your Creator, Redeemer, and Friend.
My prayer for all of you that were led to this entry that God will richly bless you, and help you make the coming years the very best of your life!
This entry was posted on Saturday, January 11th, 2014 at 6:11 pm
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I had a number of things I wanted to bring to your attention on the blog today so here goes.
First, sad news from North Carolina, Snake Barrett lost his mother to cancer, and I would ask all of you to lift him and his family in prayer. Snake is a truly dear brother and I know he and Carolyn are really suffering, please remember them! Please know all of us are thinking of you Snake!
You may have seen the announcement yesterday about the forming of KelbyOne the new fusion of NAPP and Kelby Training. I for one, want to say I’m very proud to be working with KelbyOne on the training site and activities related to Photoshop World. If you are coming to Photoshop World in Atlanta, please come by and let’s visit! I love meeting folks that visit the Blog face to Face!
You know you are aging when you have to invite your grandson, Cade, (11) to drop by and teach you how to use your DVR! That was one of my retirement goals, learn how to use the blasted thing! I’ve been wanting to tape shows when I miss them and honestly had no idea! Of course he did, and now I’m all set up, thanks Cade!
I have a favor to ask, I get emails from time to time asking for Jim and I to run another Slide Show Production Workshop, we are thinking of doing one in March, in Corbin! The last one was really fun, each student produced their own show and we had a graduation where everyone showed their production!!! It was a blast!!! One evening everyone comes over to my house and we have my special recipe, Fortney’s Famous Bar B Q! It would be a Wednesday evening through Sunday morning class, and the fee would be $499. If you would be interested shoot me and email! If enough respond we will seer a date!
From time to time you make a mistake, I know that is hard to believe, but it’s true! Our Old Car City Event is a very popular and fun workshop but registrations have started very slow, we really want to do it again this year, so here is the deal, we are going to lower the price from $799. to $599, Yes, $200 off if you register by the end of January! Don’t worry of you are one of those that have already registered you just saved $200. too! Please consider joining us for what is a great Americana shoot! Check out my KelbyOne class on photograph Antique Cars filmed at Old Car City!
Another book that is in production! Whose Hands are at the End of My Arms, Subtitle; The Life and Times of Bill Fortney. Through the years I’ve had a lot of requests to get some of my stories down on paper, but thanks to my friend John Gompf, this is going to be something really different! His suggestion was to record them and do an Audio book, that way, some day my grand children and great grandchildren can hear the stories in my own voice. I’m really excited because I have hours of recording of my interviews with folks like; Bear Bryant, Roger Staubach, Barbara Mandrell and many others, I hope to have a few audio excepts from those interviews. I’m truly excited about this project, I hope to have it ready for Christmas 2014!
If you were at the Photo Plus show in New York last late fall and happen to drop by the Fuji Film booth you would have see five of my images in their display! It was great to share images with the Fujni faithful!
The image above was stolen, no I took it, but only after I saw the same basic image made by Chuck Barnes, I begged him to take me to this location in Savannah, and he did, thanks Chuck!
One last great thing shared with me today by Walter Rossini:
2 Corinthians 5:17 New Living Translation (NLT)
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Romans 8:1,2 I am free forever from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that all things work together for good.
Romans 8:31-39 I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21 I have established, anointed and sealed by God.
Galatians 2:20 I am dead to myself; it is now Christ who lives in me.
Colossians 3:3 I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident God’s work in my life will be completed.
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy1:7 I am not a person of fear, but of power, love and sound mind.
Hebrews 4:16 I can find grace and mercy in time of need.
1 Peter 1:23 I am born again. My new life is not from my parents.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 9th, 2014 at 10:56 pm
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A couple of decades ago when I was in my late 40′s a friend recommended a book called “The Second Half”. It was a Christian book for men, tied to the football theme, to help them consider what they had spent the first half of their lives doing, thinking, and being committed to, and called on them to re-0rder their priorities. I’m ready for the next book, “The Fourth Quarter” which to my knowledge doesn’t exist, so I might just write it myself. If I do, this is what it will say in short form;
You’ve live three quarters of your life expectancy, and no one is guaranteed you’ll get all those allotted years! It’s time to ask yourself the big question; “What did my life mean?” Did I leave this world, my community, my family, my friends, any better off than they were before I came into this world. By the time you get into your mid to last sixties, you’ve already seen a lot of your family, parents, grandparents, friends,and some, sadly, their spouses, go on. It’s to late to have any further affect on those we’ve lost, but it’s not too late to affect those that are still with us.
How can I make a difference? If you hope to help others you must start with helping yourself. You may be thinking how can I become “good enough” that I can influence other’s lives? You can’t. As human beings, effort and commitment alone will not take us to such a high plane. To have Christ like characteristics, we must become more Christ like! This can’t be accomplished with good works, we must submit to the one that actually did it. Jesus promised that if we would submit to Him, give Him our hearts and ask for His forgiveness, we could become Christ like. It’s not a magic potion or spell, it’s a long hard walk to learn day by day how to be more like Him. Why choose Jesus? Because in the history of the world no single man has made more of a difference, no one man has changed more lives. He is the real deal.
So here is a simplified action plan:
1. Get on your knees and ask God to convict you of what you need to confess to Him and ask forgiveness for. He will speak to your heart and you will know it is Him, and He is right.
2. Genuinely repent for your past life, and ask Him to make you new in Him. Once again He will, and the change will be immediate, though the old man changes slowly, you will be immediately filled with the knowledge that God has forgiven you, and that you have clean slate to start with!
3. Get into fellowship with other committed Christians, and get into the Word. God inspired men to write His “manual”. Read it and study it, ask the Holy Spirit to come into your heart and reveal the truth in it! Start with an easy to read version like the New Living Translation. Find other believers, you know more than you think! Spend time with them, learn from what they have learned in their walk. Gain strength from them, and soon God will be using you to bring strength to others.
4. Live by one of the most important lessons Jesus laid down, “Do unit others as you would have others do unto you.” As my dear friend Scott Kelby says, ” you can never go wrong by doing the right thing!” This is the best way to learn what a Christ like walk is all about.
5. Pray and ask God to help you as you grow and mature. Ask Him to send you people that you can minister to. He will, and it will deepen your faith, and allow you to bless others.
6. Start everyday with this prayer; ”Heavenly Father, thank you for another day to serve you. Thank vou for those people in my life that love me, please help me be the husband, father, grandfather (you fill in the blank), that you desire me to be, and let me do no harm, but lift others up by being obedient to you. Please keep me humble and always mindful that all good things come from you. Protect me from getting puffed up when you allow good things to happen in my life, remind me that it is You not me, that provides all good things. Thank you Father for loving me, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to save me, and allow me to bring others to come to know and love you too. I ask all of this in Jesus precious name, Amen”
Now if you have never gone through these six steps the enemy is filling you with doubt, and telling you all kinds of bad things will happen to you if you listen to this crazy man that writes a blog!! That’s a lie, God only wants the very best for you and He is waiting to hear from you. You are only six steps away from the life God has always wanted you to have!
I pray that you will take these words to heart and at the end of the Fourth Quarter, I expect to be one of your brothers that is pouring the gatorade over you as we celebrate the ultimate victory, eternity with our Lord!