Category : Uncategorized

9 years, 11 months ago 0

As you know, I travel a lot and spend a lot of time in hotels alone. In the evenings when the days work is done, emails all answered, and other work completed, I like to relax and watch something on the computer. In recent years I’ve started picking up DVD sets of TV shows I never got time to watch but thought I might like. One show I discovered a few years ago was a show called Eli Stone. I really loved that show, unfortunately, as happens with much thoughtful, meaningful, television, it didn’t survive the ratings game.

The show was about a young lawyer who had visions of the future and through these visions he was able to help people in their most vulnerable moments. The pressure of living with this “gift” really weighed on the main character, Eli. In the very last episode, at the end of the second season
he finds himself in another vision, this time talking to his late father, who he believes may actually be God, and who had possessed the same gift. Out of frustration he lashes out at the hardship of getting so deeply involved in so many peoples lives, and the havoc it has brought into his.

The father and son have a very interesting conversation, it goes something like this; Eli, “Was this a test?” His father answers, “Everything is a test, life is a test, you, you my boy, are passing with flying colors….. I couldn’t be more proud.”

It says in scripture that on that day when we stand face to face with our Lord, that our greatest hope should be that we hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” The test is; will we take up His cross and carry it? What that means is that will we love others more than ourselves, live to bring joy and peace to those we serve? Will we want His will more than our own? Do we care more deeply about honoring His love and sacrifice than gaining the accolades of man? That’s the test.

Yes, life is a test, and it’s a hard test, but then, we have the the Man that wrote the test to lean on.

the pilgrim

*Photo note: Scott, my oldest son and I in the Virgin River, in Zion National Park. This shot was made during a trip we made together a few years ago. I’m not God, but the last line of Eli Stone would be my assessment of my son’s life as well.

9 years, 11 months ago 0

Romans 11:6 (New Living Translation)

And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.
In the world we live in, we often feel that if we don’t earn it, we will never have it. Life has trained us that way. When it comes to freedom from the wages of sin, it doesn’t work like that.

Let’s get something straight, sorry to say it, but we are all sinners. Sin means falling short of God’s plan for our lives. No one, except for Christ, has ever pulled that off. When asked what sins we have committed we may get defensive and starting naming all the ones we have not committed.
I’ve never killed anyone, l o n g p a u s e …… The list may end pretty short for some of us, me included. God’s not keeping score, He doesn’t have to, we have all fallen way short of His desire for our lives.

The big mistake many people make is to try and find things they can do to “make up for” their sins.
We give to charity, volunteer for worthy causes, try to save the earth, the whales, the snail darter.
We give to the poor, to the church, to the United Way and the Boy Scouts. Those are all great things to do, but they don’t wash away the stains left by our sin.

Thankfully God has a plan, by-the-way, He always has a plan! This was the greatest plan of all,
that He would give His only Son to come to earth to live among us and serve as an example and teacher, and then to be accused of sins and crimes He never committed and to accept the punishment for those sins, death on the cross.

The Good News is that He didn’t remain in the grave! In three days, He rose again and appeared to His followers, and many others. God said the price for sin is death, and He sent His Son to die for all of us once to end all payment for sin, forever. Like any gift of grace you must accept it for it to be of any value. You cannot work off you sin debt, you can’t do enough good to offset it.

Fortunately, the solution is easy. Say, “thank you Lord for your forgiveness, I accept it with a humble heart, I confess my sins and accept your forgiveness, please come and live in my heart.”

Why live with the burden of your sins past, maybe it’s time to sail on…………..

the pilgrim

*Photo note: Nikon D40 with the Nikkor 18-200 zoom lens set at 200mm.

9 years, 11 months ago 0

O.K. it’s not Friday, but I just couldn’t wait. I was asked yesterday if there was one lens in my bag that I couldn’t imagine living without, yep, this is it, the Nikkor 70-300 AFS VR zoom. This little gem is not very expensive, and for that reason, many never learn of it’s sterling performance. Nikon’s new 70-200 AFS VR II f 2.8 zoom is a great pro piece of glass, it also cost over $2,200.
This little fellow weighs less than half as much, is smaller and is nearly as sharp, cost? Around $550. All of that means little unless the lens performs. Let me share a few images made with this lens, and let you judge for yourself:

Having the right gear when working in the field can make all the difference in getting the shot. While most often, you get what you pay for, it’s good to know that in some rare circumstances, bargains do exist! As long zooms go, this little sweetheart is definitely on that short list…….

Another great deal? A life long walk with Lord. Now that’s an even better deal………

the pilgrim

9 years, 11 months ago 0

Please let me thank all of you so much for your prayers for my brother, Homer. On Saturday he underwent a heart cath to further determine what he was facing. The Doctors were shocked to find that what they feared was not warranted. While there were things for concern they were not nearly as severe as we had all feared. Not only am I extremely relieved, but overwhelmingly thankful. I’ve shared in the blog in the past about some of the wonderful answers to prayers I’ve experienced in the past, this one was just as incredible.

If you ever wondered what heaven will be like, this is a good clue. When brothers and sisters truly love one another because of their deep love for the Lord, they are there when they’re needed. It is truly amazing to know that while it is Jesus that has our backs, he uses each of us to stand in the gap for those in need. You guys sure did that for Homer and he greatly appreciates it, as do I. Homer is my only relative still living from our close family. I have often prayed that if someone in my family, including Sherelene, my kids and grandchildren has to go, please let it be me. Both Sherelene and I have experienced the loss of our mothers, fathers and grandparents, it is never easy to let them go. I sure didn’t want to loose my brother.

None of us knows when it will be time to go home. I pray that everyone within the range of my voice and internet connection makes those most important of all arrangements well in advance.
Accepting Christ is the most important act of life. Life is short, but eternity is forever.

Thank you again for your prayers and concerns, God is a loving father, He heard you and answered our prayers.

the pilgrim

*Photo note: The image above has nothing whatsoever to do with this entry, I just like it.
Nikon D700, 24-70 AFS lens HDR. I guess I love it because Ricky and I were shooting that morning in
Nashville together, and that is a great memory.