Nine things I learned from Charles
On one of my many trips down to Charles house in Atlanta, someone shot this image of us together in his Darkroom/equipment room. It now proudly hangs on the wall of my home office. I learned so much from Charles in our many conversations, from his sermons and his books. I wanted to share a few of those lessons that have been life changing for me, I pray they will be for you too!
- Focus on what God has blessed you with instead of desiring more. This lesson came on an occasion when I was frustrated about the financial success of another photographer who was not a Christian. I fell into the place of feeling God was not blessing me enough. I’m very ashamed to admit that I was thinking that way, but truth is I was.
I went to Charles and shared my frustration and asked him what I should do. He said he understood what I was feeling but he had a prayer that would solve my issue. I foolishly said tell me what it is, he said it’s very simple, ask God to give you what you deserve. I immediately knew I was sure I didn’t want to pray for that! Charles then said may I ask you a few questions, i said of course;
He asked me if I was married and if I loved my wife? I said yes very much (and he knew the answer to all these questions!}
Do you’ve children, are they healthy?
Let’s see if I remember this right he said, what you do for a living is go to all the most beautiful places and the best times to be there and photograph, right?
Now Bill, how many times have you gone bankrupt? After a half dozen more questions that pointed out just how blessed I was, he said let me ask you this, what more do you want God to do for you than he has already done?
I said, I’m sorry I bothered you with this question.
2. Give all your cares, concerns and desire to God and then trust Him with the results. Charles was adament that God desired the best for you, and we can leave it all in His hands.
3. Instead of telling God your plans, as Him what His plans are for you and then follow them. He once told me if you want to make God smile, tell Him your plans!
4. Seek your Joy in the Lord, you will not find it any place else. We are to be in this world, but not of it!
5. Know that you are a sinner and undeserving of God’s Grace. love and forgiveness! We cannot earn His Grace, it is a gift freely given, but we must accept it and Him.
6. Seek first Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you, even the desires of your heart. Don’t seek your desires, seek God and he will change your desires to match His for you and only then can He bless you with those desires he knows will bring you the greatest blessings!
7. Forgiveness is the key to freedom. Until we can forgive we can never have the peace of God!
8. This is how to live: Make it your goal and desire to leave others better off than before they met you.
9. Always keep your motives pure! Some years ago while visiting Charles sitting at his big round kitchen table he pushed legal pad and a pen across the table to me. He said. “go down to my equipment room and list all the gear of mine that you want me to leave to you someday.” Charles had a vast collection of cameras and lenses from several different manufacturers. I pushed the legal pad back to him and said, I don’t want anything. He persisted to say he really wanted to do this more me. I said Charles, “I have only wanted your friendship, and I will never do anything that would allow you to ever think that my friendship had anything to do with what I could gain from it, materially.” That kept our relationship clean and clear of that!
Charles taught me through the example of his life that what we say we believe only has God’s power if we really believe it and live it. I have tried to follow that principle. I’m thankful for all I learned from him.
This entry was posted on Saturday, April 22nd, 2023 at 8:02 pm
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.