Friday, November 29, 2013

2013 Christmas Music Marathon Day 2

This week-end is traditionally the biggest shopping week-end of the year.  Shoppers spend countless hours walking through stores in search of gifts for friends, family, and loved ones.  In their search for the perfect gift at the right sale price, they often fail to spend a few minutes to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.  2000 years ago God Almighty created the perfect gift for all of mankind and presented it to us in the form of a child.  A child that would grow into a man.  A child that would die on a cross.  A child that would rise from the grave and give us all victory over death.  Still, few people walking the streets of Bethlehem that night knew the importance of the event that was taking place in a manger.  Take a few moments, and take a walk through Bethlehem.

Skywatch Friday-Christmas Music Marathon Season IV

 Welcome, welcome, welcome to Skywatch Friday and Season IV of the Christmas Music Marathon.  Starting today I will post at least one video and maybe an inspirational thought with the hope of helping you focus on the true meaning of Christmas and celebrate the birth of our Savior.  So, let's get started.

We celebrate the Fourth of July by filling the night sky with wonderful fireworks displays.  We take great pride in the freedoms that we enjoy because brave men and women have given their lives to protect those values that we hold dear to us.  There is one freedom that even the sacrifice of millions of Americans is multiple conflicts cannot resolve and that is the freedom from sin.
The Bible tells us that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." and "there are none righteous, no not one." The Scriptures also remind us that "the wages of sin are death".  We can have victory over sin and death.  On a cold winter night God filled the night sky with the light from a star that guided shepherds and wise men alike to the alter of the Savior.  Only through the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ can we have victory of sin and death.  Through Christ we can experience an abundant life and eternal life.  Glory to God in the Highest!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Break Time

I am going to take a short break from posting over the next few days.  As you know Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  That means that Driller's Place annual Christmas Music Marathon is about to begin.  Each year, on the day after Thanksgiving, I start posting inspirational thoughts and Christmas music every day until Christmas.  I've been known to go a few days longer.  With that said, I've got to spend some time searching for new videos, deciding which of the classics to post and generally gather my thoughts for the season.  So,  if you like celebrating Christmas, and you like inspirational Christmas music, new and old, then stop by here during the holiday season.  I think you will like what you see and hear.  Here's a sample.

So mark your calendars for "Black Friday".  We will be shopping for some of the best music of the season that points us to the true meaning of Christmas and celebrates the birth of a Savior.  See you next week.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Autumn Leaves Final Entry
Bella Vista/Bentonville, AR



Monday, November 18, 2013

Ruby Tuesday Too

Final Bloom of the Season

I picked this bloom last week.  It is the final bloom from a special rose bush in our yard.  This variety was my mother's favorite and the bush came from their home, after dad passed away.  I've also taken this opportunity to do some experimenting with photography.  I took some family photos the other day for friends.  I rented a new lens for the task.  It is a 24-70 f2.8 and is great for portrait work.  I really like this lens and hope to own one in the future.  Recently, I did purchase the latest version of PhotoShop Elements (version 12 to be specific).  I shot this image in camera raw and Elements will allow me to open the raw files and work on them.  I don't understand everything about the meaning of "camera raw", I just know that the files are larger, so they contain more information than the typical jpeg file that most images are captured in.  At any rate, I'm pretty sure that this feature will keep me entertained for some time to come.  I will say this, unless you plan to print pretty large photos or you intend to turn your hobby into a profession, I'm not convinced that camera raw is necessary.  If you only post your images on the web, I can almost guarantee that you don't need to be in camera raw.  Right now, I am on the fence as to whether or not I need to be in camera raw.  One thing for certain, I'm going to need bigger SD cards if I continue to shoot in this mode.

Glorious Unfolding

Last night my wife and I attended to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert at our church.  Well, we got to see most of it.  My wife volunteered to help prepare meals for the artists and crew while I volunteered to shuttle them back and forth to the hotel as needed.  Both of us had a great day.  Here a a few images from the concert.

There were three artists, Jason Gray, Laura Story and Steven Curtis Chapman.  They were wonderful.

Jason Gray opened the concert.  This is a really gifted young man with a message.  I got to spend a little time with him and I really like this guy.  You need to listen to and purchase his music.

Jason was joined onstage by Steven Curtis Chapman.  I really liked how all three artists worked together and shared music as a team...not just three separate artists.  It was really enjoyable.

 Laura Story was the second artist and her music comes directly from her life and her heart.  Again, if you haven't heard this young lady, you need to get acquainted with her music.

 The headliner was Steven Curtis Chapman.  He has been in Contemporary Christian Music over twenty years and is still putting out great music with a message.

The tour was appropriately named "Glorious Unfolding".  While that is the title of Chapman's new album, last night was indeed a Glorious Unfolding of music and worship.  Like I said, you need to get to know these folks, so here is a sample of their music.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Skywatch Friday
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There are times when you can look into the early morning sky and know what kind of day it's going to be.  You can almost feel the sunshine or rain, or whatever else the weather may bring.  There are also times when we can look into the mirror of our lives and know what kind of day we are about to experience.  The decisions that we have made in the past and the things that we have been involved in, may form the basis for our life today.  We may be experiencing health issues because of a poor lifestyle when in comes to our well being.  We may be facing stressful situations because of our choices in friends, work, or how we have related to those around us in the past.  Regardless of the situation, we most likely spend a good deal of time searching for solutions to our life issue.  Who can we turn to?  Who can we trust to deliver us in difficult times.  There really is only one answer to that question.  The God who created us and desires to have fellowship with us, is able to do all things.  In fact, for those who believe in Him and have trusted Him with their salvation, he has prepared a place especially for each of us.  He has even told us that it is impossible for us to imagine how glorious our heavenly home is going to be.   Until then, we must endure this thing called life, but we don't have to travel through life alone.  We have a savior...Oh What a Savior!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Autumn Leaves III 
Bella Vista/Bentonville, Arkansas

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ruby Tuesday Too

I found this collection of light fixtures at a kiosk vendor at The Landing in Branson, Missouri.  They make a very colorful display at night.  They would also be a great addition to a kids room.

Salute to Veterans

Old Glory waves in the November air here in Northwest Arkansas. It serves as a reminder that today is Veterans Day. With that being said, I'm going to share a salute to one veteran.

My father joined the Navy in 1943. He was a telegraph operator for the Frisco Railroad and he became a radio/telegraph operator for the Navy. Dad could type 105 words per minute on a manual typewriter!!! He could send and receive Morris Code in excess of 70 words per minute! Trust me, that puts him in a class by himself.

Dad was assigned to the U.S.S. Bunker Hill, an Essex Class aircraft carrier. The Bunker Hill served in the Pacific theater. She provided air support for the invasion of Iwo Jima, Tarawa, the Marianas and other islands. She had a crew of approximately 1500 men.

At 10:10 a.m. on May 11, 1945, two Kamazi's hit the Bunker Hill, ripping gaping holes in the flight deck and turning parts of the ship into an inferno.

The Bunker Hill burned for three days before the fires were brought under control. Only the U.S.S. Hornet, and U.S.S. Franklin suffered more damage without being sunk than the Bunker Hill.

Hundreds of brave young men lost their lives that day. Fortunately, my father was among the living. Like most of these warriors, he has said very little about the war over the years. The truth is, words cannot describe the terror of war, nor make anyone understand what the warrior must endure. The survivors spent another three days burying the dead and sea and trying to get the ship seaworthy enough to sail toward help.
As I mentioned last year, we are losing these brave men and women, who truly saved the world, at the rate of 1200 per day. They are nearly all in their 80's and 90's now. They will not be with us much longer. On this Veteran's Day seek out one of these patriots and personally thank them for their sacrifice and their contribution to the life that we enjoy. You may not get another chance.

Thanks Dad.

Note, this post was first published on November, 9 2009.  Dad passed away 5 weeks later on December 16, 2009.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I Collect
 I have an assortment (collection) of pocket knives and multi-tools.  This represents about half of my stash.  I don't think any of them are particularly valuable or considered collectable to anyone other than myself.  I am particularly fond of the three knives in front.  The first bone handle knife belonged to my grandfather.  The second is a wooden handled knife that was issued by the military to my father, in WWII.  Every soldier/sailor is issued a TL-29 pocket knife.  The third one is my TL-29 that was issued to me during the Viet Nam war.  The only other knife in the collection that has real sentimental value to me is that yellow handled Case knife.  It was my father's favorite knife to carry.  I don't have a favorite knife that I carry every day, but I do carry one from my collection virtually everywhere I go.

 This Bob Timberlake coffee table is the first really nice piece of furniture that my wife and I ever bought.  We purchased it around 1980 along with a couple of end tables.  We have always considered them to be heirloom pieces and will go to one of the grand kids some day.  There is another small collection of archticture related items under the glass top.

 Yep, I have music.  I own over 500 CD's.  I guess that also qualifies as a collection, doesn't it?  Most are Contemporary Christian and Southern Gospel.  There are a number of classic rock and roll along with other miscellaneous artists.  I do love music and I have most of these albums burned to my MP3 player and my computer.  News flash!  I don't own an Ipod.  I have a Zune MP3 player. At the time the Zune was much cheaper and stored 120 gigs of music.  The Ipod never stored more than 64 gigs.  It just seemed like a better deal.  Like BetaMax, the Zune is no longer in production, but mine still works like a charm and I can download from ITunes.


 Yes, I live in a beautiful part of the US.

 Yes, the Autumn colors have just completed their spectacular display.

And yes, I enjoy sharing my world with you.

Someone I Miss

I miss my hero.  Dad passed away nearly 4 years ago and I still miss him.  There is hardly a week that goes by that I don't think about how fortunate that I was to have such a special father in my life.  Obviously, the first photo was taken during WWII when he served in the Navy.  I took the second photo the Easter prior to his passing.  Love you dad.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Skywatch Friday

Did you ever look as a sunset and ask yourself, "Where does the sun go?"  Then you found out that the sun doesn't really move, it is this planet that we call home that rotates around our light source that causes the sunrises and sunsets for us to enjoy.
As a Christian, have you ever asked yourself, "Where did God go?"  For some reason He seems to be distant.  He seems to have moved away from you or doesn't seem to be responding to your pleas for help.  Closer inspection of our relationship with the Lord will almost always reveal that it is us who have moved.  We have drifted away from our source of light.  The good news is that no matter how far away we run from the one who loves us the most, He is never more than a prayer away.  God is always ready to restore the relationship with his creation.  It is only our guilt and pride that prevent us from returning to the Creator of life and the giver of the abundant life.  God wants to walk with us everyday, until that day when we will fly away.
Have a blessed week-end.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


For those of you who may be unfamiliar with term SOTC, it stands for "Straight Out of The Camera".  I've been spending a little time recently trying to capture some local water falls.  Here in the Ozarks, most of these are intermittent.  In other words, we only have waterfalls after in rains.  A couple of the local man made lakes have spill ways that turn into streams after rain storms.  Recently we've had some good rains, so I've had the opportunity to photograph the water as it runs through the woods.  Once I got home and opened the files, I found several nice images.  The only thing I have done to these images is to crop them.  No other post processing was done.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Autumn Leaves II
Bella Vista/Bentonville, Arkansas