Thursday, February 27, 2014

Skywatch Friday

 This huge crane has landed on a construction site just one block from the city square recently.  To say that it dominates the skyline is putting it mildly.  A new shopping center and parking garage are going to be placed on the site and the design will be reminiscent of the main streets of small town America.  While Bentonville, Arkansas has grown from a sleepy community of 10,000 in 1987 to over 35,000 in 2013, the downtown area still has a sense of place, not unlike Mayberry RFD.  This new construction will seek to enhance that type of environment.
The crane sits in the middle of the one-square-block site and the boom can reach all four corners of the construction area.  There is no place on the site that the boom cannot assist in the construction process.  Our relationship with Christ is a lot like that.  If we place Christ in the center of our lives, there is no corner of our life that He is unable to provide us with the help we need to live our lives well.  Like the mighty crane Christ can lift the burdens that are too heavy for us to bear and give us the strength and courage to build our lives according to His will.  The crane will remain in the center of the construction site until the job is complete.  Like the crane Christ will remain in the center of the life of His bride (the church) until the construction is complete and He come to take us home.  All of us need a crane in our life it's just that many of us are not willing to allow the crane to dominate the center of our life.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Music Break

Don't ask me why, but I thought today would be a good day for a little music break.  The three or four of you who actually read this blog on a regular basis know that I love music, especially gospel and contemporary Christian music.  The past four years I have posted my Christmas Music Marathon and I usually include at least one song each week as a part of my SkyWatch Friday post.  I can't play any instrument and I can't sing, but I am a good listener.  So, with that said and without further delay, here are a few tunes from some of my favorite artists.  Enjoy.

Bart Millard is not only a great solo artist that pays tribute to the hymns of the church while putting a new arrangement on many of them, he is also the lead singer of Mercy Me.

Jason Gray is a true artist.  He can write the lyrics, arrange the music, and even direct the videos when needed.  His lyrics are among the best I have ever heard in contemporary Christian music.

I love Southern Gospel and I love the bluegrass spin that the Isaacs put on their music.  They are a special group and if you ever get a chance to see them in person, don't miss it.

The Booth Brothers are one of my favorite Southern Gospel groups.  They can sing anything and they have a message that cannot be denied.  This is a "fun" song to end this post.

Well, that was fun.  I hope you enjoyed the break from my usual posts.  Maybe I'll  just start a Gospel Music Thursday.  Let me know if you want to see and hear more.  Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ruby Tuesday

 Ruby Slippers
 Recently we spent a couple of days in Branson, Missouri.  That almost always means a trip to one of the outlet malls.  I needed a new pair of athletic shoes, so I headed to one of several stores that carry the type of shoe I was looking for.  One thing that struck me was the colorful shoes that are now available.  Gone are the days of the basic white shoe.  Here are a few options.

 Chartreuse is a very popular color these days.  I suspect that we have Nike and the Oregon Ducks to thank for that.

 There is a lot of hot pink on display and I think that the breast cancer awareness programs are partly responsible for the popularity of this color in athletic gear.

 Some shoes seem to try to include all colors in one location.  I guess if you can't make up your mind what color you truly like, then this might be the option for you.

 There are even lacing options.  I've seen this offset lace on soccer shoes in the past, but never on more traditional athletic shoes.  Still, the focus seems to be to cover  your feet with color...a lot of color.  So what did I pick out for my new footwear?

 Sorry to disappoint, but I went with basic black.  There is an old saying that goes, "if you can't baffle them with your brains, dazzle them with your footwork."  Well, my footwork just isn't that dazzling and the only thing that my brain baffles, is me.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Skywatch Friday

This cross sits in the courtyard of a local church.  I found it to be a nice foreground feature for a somewhat mundane sky one day.  There are days when looking into the sky will take your breath away.  Other days, not so much.  Like the song says, some days are diamonds, some days are stones.  We don't have much choice in what life may bring our way from day to day, but we do have a choice in how we react life tosses our way.  I know people who don't ever seem to be happy with their life, regardless of how blessed they may be, and I know people that rejoice each day of their lives, in spite of the fact that they are terminally ill and moving quickly to that time when they will step into eternity.  It all comes down to a REAL relationship with a Savior.  Have a blessed week-end.

There will come a day that each of us will finish our life on this earth. Have you ever wondered, "What happens next?" Well, the next 30 minutes will answer that question. It just might be the most important 30 minutes of your life.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Scavenger Hunt Sunday
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 Looking Up 
Like most of the country we've had an unusually cold, snowy, icy winter.  This past week has been no exception.  Thursday I wandered out to a local park that has some small bluffs and rock formations with overhangs.  I found some icicles.  Sometimes the best images occur when you "Look Up" through the ice and into the sun. The large formation to the right is over six feet long.  The ones to the left are about three feet in length.

This drafting light has been in my life for nearly forty years.  It wasn't considered vintage when I purchased it, now I think both of us are nearing the "antique" designation.  The lamp is aging much better than me.  It is proof positive that "they don't make 'em like they used to.  Even the fluorescent tubes are over 35 years old and it still works like a charm. I had to go into storage to get it to replace a reproduction lamp that I bought a couple of years ago and the dimmer switch had failed.  I think this lamp is here to stay.

Favorite Mobile Device
You were expecting an IPad Mini?  Well, I do love my Mini, and I can take it more places with less difficulty, but when I want to really escape into my own happy place, I head for the lake, fire up the bass boat and put the whole world behind me.

Every time it snows in the winter or we get a heavy rain in the spring, it seems like I find myself at this location.  I pick up the camera and head outside to the spillway of a small local lake.  It is an ever changing venue through the seasons and I never tire of photographing it, although I sure some of you are growing a little weary of looking at  these images.  Winter is especially interesting since there is the opportunity for snow and ice to collect on the rocks.  I grabbed this image, as well as the Looking Up image on Thursday afternoon.  More light snow is in the forecast this week-end and next week, so this place will change again in a few days.

On cold winter mornings, when I feel like staying inside, I'll fix a mug of coffee.  I add a little cream and then, just for fun, hit it with some whipped cream.  It just makes everything a little cozier.  Try it sometime.
Well, that's another Scavenger Hunt Sunday in the bag.  Hope you enjoyed the images, but more importantly, I hope you got out and shot some photos of your own.  It's a great hobby and one that you can enjoy for a lifetime.  See you next week.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Skywatch Friday

After an overcast morning gave way to a sunny afternoon, clearing skies brought the promise of another cold winter night.  Snow on the ground and snow in the forecast has caused most residents to pray for an early spring.  Last year the high temperature on February 6, was 66F and the low was 29F.  This year the high was 17F and the low 7F.  Brrrr!!!  No wonder our heating bills are double.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

Ruby Tuesday Too

We got snow, we got bird feeder, we go cardinals....Happy Ruby Tuesday all.  Stay in, stay safe and stay warm.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I haven't done much shooting the past couple of weeks, but that's a whole other story.  The result is that I had to look in my archives for some appropriate images.  If you knew how semi-organized my images are you would know that finding appropriate images for this week was easier said than done.  So, without further delay, here we go.

This cooler has been in the family for over sixty years.  A very close friend (pseudo aunt) worked for Coca Cola and gave this to my dad in the early 1950's.  It's been camping, fishing, picnicking and it is still in excellent condition.

Almost any baby animal looks cute enough to snuggle.  This little fella was at the Tulsa State Fair.  The petting zoo and livestock exhibits are one of the best parts of the fair.

On any given night the crowd on this street is so thick you can hardly move independently.  You just go with the flow.  I've been to New Orleans a couple of times on business and I've visited Bourbon Street during the daylight hours. It's not my favorite place.  I really have no desire to be there when the sun goes down and it gets weird.

 Behind the Lens(es)
I'm usually the one behind the lens.  Since I captured this image with a self-timer on one of my cameras, I am really in front of the lens and technically behind the least I think that's how it works.

 Where Were You
Anyone who has witnessed the majesty of the Grand Canyon knows that one image is not enough to capture the grandeur of this place.  In fact, I don't believe that 100,000 images can convey the splendor of this wonder of the world.  Truly, mid-day is not the best time to shoot, but if you take any kind of a tour, you're going to be shooting in the middle of the day, in the worst possible light.  I would love to go back and capture morning and evening light in the magical place.
Okay, that wraps up another Scavenger Hunt Sunday.  See  you  next week, hopefully with some more recent images.  Have a blessed day.