Monday, March 31, 2014

Ruby Tuesday Too

My nephew is helping coach his daughter's volleyball team.  We drove down to Fayetteville, AR (about 25 miles from our house) to watch her team play in a tournament.  They finished second out of a 20 team field, losing the last match 2 games to 1.  During a pre-game warm up I couldn't help noticing that red wall behind my nephew and Ruby Tuesday just naturally came to mind.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Skywatch Friday

Spring time in the south generally means one thing...Thunderstorms.  Thunderstorms often bring tornadoes with them.  We are entering tornado season and after the devastation of Moore, Oklahoma and Joplin, Missouri recently, people are a little anxious about the weather in this part of the country.  The truth is, there is very little that we can do about the weather.  Like life, what really matters is how do we react to events over which we have no control.  One might even ask, how do we react to events that we do have some measure of control.  Are we prepared to make the right decisions?  One thing is true, regardless of our circumstances or the burdens that we are asked to bear, for the Christian, Jesus is there "Through It All".
Have a blessed week-end.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Inspiraton Thursday - I Need Thee Every Hour

Believe it or not, most Americans say that they believe in God.  I guess the real question is, "Do they believe in the God of the Bible, or a god of their own making."  I think we'll leave that discussion for another day.  Even those who say that they believe in the God of the Bible don't always feel that they need His presence in their lives.  They only call on God when life becomes too difficult for them to handle on their own, and then, it's a last resort.  We will spend our own resources, exhaust ourselves, our friends, our families, and others, in order to cope with difficult circumstances.  Then, when all else fails, we pray to God for deliverance.
If you ever read much about the apostle Paul, you will find that he rarely prayed for deliverance.  Instead, he prayed, and asked others to pray on his behalf, for strength and boldness to be God's witness in every circumstance.  He knew that his audience with the governor, king, etc., might be the only time that those rulers would ever hear the truth of the saving grace of Christ, and Paul prayed that God would allow him to be that voice.  Paul never told God that he only needed divine intervention during hard times.  Paul told God, "I Need Thee Every Hour."  Don't we all?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Leading Lines
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It's time for Scavenger Hunt Sunday again. Grab a camera, grab the list of prompts, and go capture some images that represent the prompts. Ready, here we go.

Leading Lines
Leading lines is a basic concept in photo composition.  Leading lines are those lines in the photograph that draw the viewer into the image.  They can be straight lines, diagonal lines, even curved lines.  In the image above the edges of the pavement serves as  leading lines.  On the left of the image the row of tree trunks also create a leading line.  Even the colors of the leaves on the right side of the image serve as a leading line that take you further into the photograph.  Whenever possible, I like for the leading lines to take the viewer somewhere, rather than just continue into infinity.  In the image above the tree in the back of the image serves to stop the view and allow the viewer to explore the rest of the image.  That tree is placed according to another rule of composition, the rule of thirds.  An image is almost always more interesting if it is not in the middle of the frame.  That red tree is placed in the left and lower third of the composition.  This placement also helps the leading lines take you to the subject.  Okay, that's all I know about that.

 Good Morning!
While on a business trip at Disney World, several years ago.  I spotted a Tigger coffee mug.  On the back side of the mug is the inscription "Wired For The Day".  I had to have it!  Last week I took my little point and shoot Canon camera and tried out it's macro feature.  Honestly, it did a great job!  I was very pleasantly surprised at the results.  I was literally holding the camera less than two inches from the mug when I captured this image.  There are some things that point and shoot cameras do very well.  My Canon point and shoot has a fireworks setting and if I put the camera on a tripod, with a two second delay (also built into the camera), it will take stunning fireworks images.  So just because you don't have a high-end DSLR, don't think that great images are out of your reach.

Okay, so I didn't take these images.  In May my wife and I will celebrate forty years together in a marriage relationship that grows better each day.

To many Oklahomans, this looks like a pretty strange relationship.  The University of Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys are fierce rivals and the fans are not always amicable towards one antother.  However, when the game is little league baseball and the participant is related to both spectators (probably mother and grandmother), then there is a spirit of peaceful co-existence.  I would not expect them to be sitting this close together in November, when OU and OSU hook up on the gridiron.

  Due to a long, cold, snow filled winter, that has extended into March, and a few minor health issues, my latest landscape project has been on hold for several months.  Warmer days are ahead and the planting season is near.  I will be ready to complete this planter as soon as weather permits.  I might even post the finished project when everything is complete.  Stay tuned.  Well, that brings us to the conclusion of another Scavenger Hunt Sunday.  Isn't it about time that you joined the fun?  See you next week.

Turning Eighteen

Today this happy little camper has a birthday.  It is a very special birthday.

Our oldest granddaughter is turning eighteen today!  She will graduate from high school in May and then, off to college and a whole new life, filled with possibilities.  We love her more than she will ever know and we look forward to the next chapter in her life.  Happy birthday to our favorite eighteen year old! 
 Love ya, 
Nana & Papa

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Skywatch Friday

Sometimes the morning or evening sky is layered with color.  While it only lasts a few moments, I could watch it for hours.  Our lives are layered.  We have layers of friends.  Some are childhood friends, long forgotten.  Some are recent friends that we spend time together.  We have layers of activities.  There is entertainment, hobbies, work, and family.  All of these layers require that we spend time in those relationships in order to bring out the best in ourselves and others.  We can't truly understand why some people do the the things that they do, unless we understand the person better.  When we know something about a person's past, their education, their family, their interests, we can better understand why they may react to a situation differently that most others.  The person that most of us know the least about, yet knows the most about us, is Jesus.  God created us, breathed life into us, and developed a plan for our lives.  Yet most of us have no clue what that plan is, because we spend almost no time getting to know the one who knows us best.  Investing time in God's Word, and spending time in prayer, talking to our Lord is the only way that we will ever have the relationship with Jesus that He intended.  It's never to late to begin.  After all, each of us is a "Soul Going Somewhere".  Have a blessed week-end.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Inspiration Thursday

Do you have a best friend? Do you have a BFF?  Do you have more than one?  Do you have one of each gender?  Is your spouse your best friend?  Are there things in your life that you will not tell, even to your best friend, even if it is your spouse?  Hmmm.m.m.m.  Almost everyone has someone that they consider to be their best friend.  Still, most of us have things in our lives that we consider private property and off limits, even to our best friend.  Others feel the security and freedom to tell their best friend everything.  Another unique thing about the relationship between best friends is that we will do things with and for them that we would not do with or for other people, even close friends.  Close friends are not best friends.  What are you willing to do for your best friend?  There is a best friend that has done everything for you, including die on a cross for all of those things that you will not tell anyone about.  He knows what they are.  He knows what you've done, and He loves you anyway.  He is there, regardless of our situation.  What a Friend We Have In Jesus.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ruby Tuesday Too - Crystal Bridges

The Red Flower - Joseph Stella

A brand new exhibit opened Saturday at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  Friday was a preview for members of the museum.  My wife and I took advantage of the smaller crowd at the preview and went to see the exhibit.  It is outstanding.  If you live within 100 miles of the museum, it is well worth the drive.  The cost to view the exhibit for non members is $8.00,  It is eight dollars well spent.  The exhibit features works from Picasso, Gauguin, Matisse, and Cezanne.  All of the works are from the collection of the late William S. Paley, founder of CBS.  Here are a few other works that caught my eye.

The Architect's Table - Pablo Picasso
Yes Virginia, this is a Picasso and was painted sometime between 1910 and 1912.  Needless to say, as a retired architect, this piece struck a chord with me and might be my favorite piece in the exhibit.

The Musketeer - Henri Matisse

Sand Storm - Agnes Pelton

One of the unique things about this exhibit is that photography is allowed.  No flash photography is ever allowed in the museum, and often times no photography of any kind is permitted.  Since I was not sure about the restrictions, I only took my point and shoot camera.  I do intend to return to the museum very soon and take my DSLR to capture some better images of this wonderful exhibit.  There are a few sculptures in the exhibit as well, but my photos were not good enough to publish.  I'll fix that when I return.  Again, if you are in the area, make this exhibit a must see.  The museum provides IPod touches with audio descriptions of many of the works.  It really adds to the enjoyment of the tour.  Happy Ruby Tuesday all.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Skywatch Friday

The combination of clouds and vapor trails from commercial jets formed a cross in the sky one day.  I was reminded that there will come a day when the One who died on a cross for us will come again.  In fact, the Bible tells us that, "The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God."  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  The we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the cloud to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord." (I Thessalonians 4:16-17)  We are all going to spend eternity somewhere.  Those who have acknowledged that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God and we are all sinners in need of a Savior, asked Christ to forgive them of their sin and invited Him into their life, will "always be with the Lord."  Those who refuse to believe that Christ is the Savior and refuse the gift of eternal life will suffer a different fate.  The Bible tells us that "...Death and Hades delivered up the dead who weree in them.  And they were judged each one according to his works.  Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."  We are all going to die once.  Those who have been born again, spiritually, will live forever with the Lord.  Those who refuse God's offer, will die a second, spiritual death and spend eternity in the lake of fire.  The choice is ours to make.   For the believer, the day that the Lord comes will be a Glorious Day and the first of an eternity of Unclouded Days.  We just have to realize that there is No God Like Jehovah.  Have a blessed week-end.




Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Inspiration Thursday

Not too many years ago, when you went to the grocery store, the clerk at the check-out would ask you, "Paper or Plastic".  He/she wanted to know if you wanted your groceries placed in paper sacks or plastic bags.  A little later the reusable shopping bag came along and is still used by many folks today.  The idea is that we are being good stewards of our resources and keeping a lot of paper and plastic out of the landfills.
When you go to make a purchase, a clerk may ask you, "Cash or Credit."  There was a time, when you put gas in your car, the choice was "Regular or Unleaded."  Even when we go to our favorite fast food restaurant we are faced with a choice of "Dine-In, Drive-Thru, or Carry-Out".  The truth is, our lives are filled with choices.  The most important choice that we will ever make is who will be in control of our life.
We can let other people make our decisions for us.  We can let outside sources influence our decisions to the point that we get blinded to the truth and simply follow a Humanist world view of popular belief that tells us fame and fortune are the basis for happiness.  But there is a choice that is indeed the right choice.  Given all of the options in this life, "I'd Rather Have Jesus."

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ruby Tuesday Too

I've always liked cars.  I never was a mechanic and I never knew enough about cars to do any serious hot rodding, but I always had an affection for rolling art that could go fast.  In my life I've owned a 1968 Mustang coupe, and a 1971 Datsun 240Z.  A couple of years ago I nearly bought a Nissan 370Z, but after the test drive I realized that I was no longer comfortable behind the wheel of a modern sports car.  The limited views from inside the "cockpit" and the paddle shift were just more than I wanted to deal with, so I bought a pick-up truck and kept my bass boat.  Still, I love to admire fast cars.  It's a "child of the sixties" thing.  Happy Ruby Tuesday all.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Scavenger Hunt Sunday
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On the side of a building in downtown Bentonville, AR is a mural made up of 4"x4" squares of mini-art.  All of the pieces are done by children in the community and are based on a theme.  One popular theme is Thanksgiving.

  Take a close look at the third square in the center row.  You gotta love a kid that is thankful for bacon!

What timing.  A couple of weeks ago I did a whole post on our trip to Tanger Outlet Mall in Branson, MO and how colorful athletic shoes had become.  Scroll down a few posts if you want to see some really colorful footwear.,

Mirror, mirror
This is one of my favorite images of "The Big Guy".  Several years ago we took the family to Disney World.  While waiting for a ride I captured this image of the grandson.  I still wonder what he was thinking about when I see this image.  I'm thinking that they grow up waaaay too fast.

In the 1960's the strip center was the icon of shopping in America.  You could find a grocery store, pharmacy, shoe store, five & dime among the tenants.  Today the strip center is dominated by quick serve restaurants, and service businesses like nail and beauty salons, cell phone providers, etc.  If  you live in Bentonville, Arkansas the name synonymous with shopping is...

And for the final prompt, if  you're asking yourself, "Why did he post this image?"  The answer is...

Just Because


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Skywatch Friday

There are days when we go through life without noticing much about the world around us.  But, from time to time, God gets our attention by providing us with a sight that we cannot ignore.  Sunrises and sunsets can be spectacular and during the winter a beautiful sunset will not be denied.  Staring into the western skies we get a sense of peace and an little joy comes into what might have been a very hectic day.  For the Christian these glorious sights are but a glimpse into the unspeakable beauty that God has prepared for us in that place called heaven.
For those who name the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior, when the angel of death visits our door, we have nothing to fear.  We will pass from this life into a place that our mortal minds cannot comprehend.  Heaven's Joy Awaits.  Have a blessed week-end.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Inspiration Thursday

Last week I decided to post some inspirational music videos for your enjoyment.  Well, I may have gone a bit overboard, but I still like the concept.  So, I am starting "Inspiration Thursday."  We all need a little inspiration from time to time and, for me, there is nothing better than a little music to make my day better.
When we are just learning to walk our parents hold both hands and guide our every move.  As we get older and more mobile, they still require that we hold their hand when we cross streets, or are in large crowds.  When we get into our teens we find that the opposite sex is pretty attractive and we really like holding their hand to show our affection.  We even reserve a finger on the left hand for that ultimate expression of our love for our spouse, a wedding ring.  In times of joy and times of trouble, we often find ourselves holding the hands of those we love and lifting our prayers to the Creator.  As Christians, when our journey on this earth is at its end, we hold the hand of our loved one and usher them into the waiting arms of our Savior.  One hand that is always ready to hold us is the hand of Jesus.  Have an inspired day.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ruby Tuesday Too

For those of you who either don't own a television or have been living under a rock for the past few years, this is the Duck Commander logo on a t-shirt in an Under Armor store.  Duck Commander is the company owned by the Duck Dynasty family and it has indeed become a dynasty.  In fact, I personally think they have over saturated the market recently with Duck Dynasty gear.  It's on everything.  Still, I think this might make a pretty cool Ruby Tuesday Too badge for 2014.  Here's what it will look like.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Scavenger Hunt Sunday
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I have to admit, these were not the easiest prompts to come up with appropriate images.  Let's see how these captures work.

Unusual Crop
 I just decided to use a stock crop pattern found in PhotoShop Elements.  We've had a long winter, and we're looking forward to the flowers of spring, so I just combined the two concepts into this image.  That's all I got.

 One of my favorite buildings is Tulsa, OK is the Fairgrounds Pavilion.  It is a beautiful art deco structure and is decorated with wonderful terracotta murals.  While the building, as a whole, is very attractive the real beauty is in the...


On The Ground
 In the fall, not all of the color is in the trees.  When the leaves begin to fall they often carpet the ground in a myriad of color.  Sometimes the best view is on the ground.
I have no idea what I was attempting to accomplish in this image, but I'm pretty sure that I missed the mark.  Rest assured, this is the last time you will see this image posted.
Earlier this week I posted images that showed how colorful athletic footwear had become the past few years.  In truth, athletic gear in general has become much more colorful.  Here is a sock display at an Under Armor store.  Trust me, athletic tops and bottoms are just as colorful.  With very little effort you can glow in the dark.  Have a blessed Sunday.