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6 years, 11 months ago 0

I had a rough night last night. Shoulder pain and a visit from a demon of anxiety and fear was
thrust upon me. It all started in late afternoon when I watched a tv show I watch from time to time.
The predictions for our country and our economy were pretty stark. I must have given it more thought than I realized. I woke up several times during the night each time having dreamed of some form of personal financial disaster. The last time I awoke, probably around 3:30 a.m. I started thinking about the blog entry yesterday and what God expects of us. A quick reminder, here is the scripture again:

Micah 6:8 (The Message Translation)

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, 
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, 
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously.
When I fell back to sleep I had a wonderful dream that answered most all of my questions. You can decide whatever you want about the dream, but I think it will speak to you, as it did to me.
In my dream there was a man named David. He was in his late seventies. He volunteered at my church serving food at the various evening meals and for the Saturday morning fellowship breakfasts. David was a very kind, loving man, with a gentle manner. Everyone loved David and he had many friends among his church family. David had retired and was on a fixed income, but he took delight in serving others, and so he did. A few years ago David lost his wife of fifty years and it would have been a devastating blow where it not for the close friends in the church that surrounded him and ministered to his needs during those difficult days. In spite of his loss he never lost his outgoing love for others. David didn’t have much, but he never missed a meal, and was always warm and dry.
The other day there were two obituaries in the local paper. David’s and man named Frank. Frank had been a very successful business and political leader in the community. He was very wealthy but few people really knew him very well. In fact the greatest emotional turmoil in his family at his passing was the fight that ensued over his vast fortune. Family members that were never close were torn even further apart in their greed. Frank’s obituary read on forever, David’s was short an to the point.
On that very day David arrived at the Gates of Heaven and Jesus was waiting to greet him. When David walked though the gates Jesus embraced him and spoke softly in his ear, “Well done my good an faithful servant, welcome to paradise. It’s so good to have you here with me”
I don’t know where Frank was, I didn’t see him in my dream, but then I would not read too much into that. Frank’s fate is, and always has been, in God’s hands.
What I do know is that David lived by the scripture above, and all his needs were met, he had many people that grieved his loss, and many real friends. He made the lives of many others much better because of his love for them. Now, David is with Jesus. His reward is complete, he is reunited with family and friends and knowing David, from this dream, he will be standing at the gate to greet many of us, that’s just how David is, his love is that genuine.
When I awoke at 5:22 a.m. I knew I had to shower and write this down while every detail was fresh. I know this dream brought me great comfort and understanding, and took away my fears. I hope it does the same for you.
God is good, He loves us so much, He does not want us to be racked with fear and He has already shown us how to win in this life. Thank you Lord for sharing David’s story with me. Please give him a hug for me and thank him for helping one more person down here.

the pilgrim

6 years, 11 months ago 0

Good question. Have you ever wanted to throw your hands in the air and lash out with that mantra? Believe it or not God would not be angry at your question. The truly incredible thing about our Heavenly Father is that He has never tried to hide anything from us. In the the book of Micah is a very revealing scripture about what God truly wants from us.

Micah 6:8 (The Message Translation)

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, 
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, 
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously.
We’re really good at overcomplicating things, lets try not to do that with these instructions.
Let’s see, God has made it plain how to live, what to do (clear instructions)
Do what is fair and just (honest and right) to your neighbor (that means everyone)
Be compassionate and loyal in your love. (show mercy and be steadfast in your love)
Don’t take yourself too seriously (it’s not about you or me) take God seriously (it is about Him!)
Not all that hard to understand. A little harder to do, but worth it.

the pilgrim

*Photo note: Dew drops on spider web, shot with a 200mm Micro Nikkor lens.

6 years, 11 months ago 0

I’m posting the Friday entry early since I’m tied up on a project tomorrow. I’ve got a couple of great tech items to share with all my photo buddies out there. First I made a big mistake a couple of weekends ago, I invited Scott Kelby to come shoot with me one morning at Sun n’ Fun in Lakeland, Florida. No, I love Scott and we had a great time but just before he left he pulled out his new iPad to show me all the cool things it could do. No problem I had already decided not to buy one, couldn’t see any good use for it if you already carry a laptop. Big mistake, never underestimate what Scott’s enthusiasm can do to you. Bought mine later that afternoon. Actually I was wrong, “big news”, not like that ever happened before! The iPad has some seriously good application for photographers. First it is a great way to share your work in an informal setting with others. It really makes your images sing and as I discovered at the Kentucky Derby, several buddies that stopped by were so knocked out they blogged about my work. Bill Frakes of Sports Illustrated fame made some very nice comments on his blog, http://strawhatvisuals.com/ It was very kind of Bill to make those comments and being such an admirer of his work and talent it meant even more.

The iPad is good for a lot of other things as well; as a book reader, Contact and Calendar manager, killer movie player, and it surfs the web very well. You can also get and reply to email and texts. Lots of fun games and interesting apps, it’s just a tech geek’s delight……. And yes it holds a ton of music and audible books, rented movies, TV shows you missed, and then there is the ability to watch any YouTube stuff that strikes your fancy. I get the USA Today each day on it and several other periodicals. O.K. I’m hooked, I guess this is where I say, thanks Scott.

I made another great discovery that I need to tell you about. I’ve had a number of great labs make prints for me through the years, and I’ve been pretty happy with most, some more than others. Richard Small discovered a print maker in North Carolina and was kind enough to tell this gentleman about me. Roger Laudy of Imagewizards was kind enough to make me a couple of prints to show me what they could do. I sent him the file below and looked forward to a couple of test 8X10’s. Roger prints on aluminum, cool idea for airplane shots. The prints came today. To my shock they were 20X30’s and one was framed and one had a beautiful stand off frame box. I called Roger immediately to thank him and when he answered his cell I said, “Wow, Wow, Wow!!!” I went on to tell the shocked Roger that in all my 40 years a shooter I had never seen prints anywhere near the equal of these. I cannot tell you how impressed I was with the sheer impact of these prints, the super high gloss finish on aluminum was something to behold. I’m starting a business called Avart (aviation art – airplanes as art) and I can assure you that Roger and Imagewizards will become the official printer for all my work. This new process is over the top.
I encourage you to visit their website: www.imagewizards.net I even further encourage you to have them make you a print of your favorite image. Fair warning, this is going to cost you, I’m
already worried about the enormous collections of stuff I would love to have them print. They are not cheap but then I have never seen the equal of these prints, ever……..

So where is the usual spiritual message, here goes; I’m blessed, really, really blessed. Great friends to share my life with, and a wonderful bride (happy birthday sweetheart!) and our family to love. Terrific light on great subjects, in wonderful conditions, what more could I ask for? Nothing, thank you Lord, I don’t deserve these blessings, but I’ll take them all the same. May you have blessed and restful weekend, see you Monday……

the pilgrim

This is the file that Imagewizards printed for me, trust me, their prints look ten times this good!

* Photo note: P51 Mustang, WWI era Warbird, Shot withe D700 and 70-300 AFS VR ISO 200 – tripod.

6 years, 12 months ago 0

I’m not a tree hugger, don’t get me wrong, I love the creation, but I worship the Creator. In any group there are those that go way to far to the edge, (in my estimation). Some folks actually worship the natural world, it is, in affect, their religion. Please don’t count me as part of that club. I do think that God shows His magnificence in the creations of His world. I’ve never seen a jewel or string of pearls as beautiful as dew drops on a summer morning, but then that’s just me. I’m pretty sure my wife would rather have some diamonds or pearls for her birthday than a string of dew drops!

I’m not a great close-up photographer, but I plan to get a lot better at it, it is a part of nature photography I’ve been saving for years to get serious about someday, that day is coming soon.
When I do look deeply into the natural world up close and personal, I see God. I think His grand plan reveals itself the closer we look at the designs of His hand. As I said, I don’t do near enough of this kind of photography, but every time I do I have a spiritual experience. I’m not getting all new age on you, I just marvel at the beauty of His world when examined carefully.

Let me share just a few close-ups and see if you see what I’m seeing?! Enjoy

the pilgrim

Photo notes: All images with Micro Nikkor lenses, 105mm and 200mm.