Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

Ruby Tuesday Too

Steeeerike Three!

Spring is officially here and that means little league baseball.  In this image a young batter from the opposing team is caught looking at strike three.  That will happen a lot to these aspiring boys of summer.  It is part of the learning process.  He will soon learn to recognize a pitch that is coming into his strike zone.  He may not hit every one of them, but there will be fewer times that he is caught looking at strike three.  I love this time of year.  There are few things more entertaining than a day at the ball park with a bunch of eleven-year-olds.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Play Ball!

I love this time of year.  Actually, every season has something special about it that I like, but spring brings out the boys of summer.  The grandson is eleven now and at the age where there are some pretty good plays being made and the games can be very exciting.  This week-end was the first tournament that my wife and I were able to attend.  Here he is taking a walking lead off of second base after hitting a single and stealing second.  He scored a little later in the inning and the team won 7-2.

There are pretty strict limits on the number of pitches that these youngsters can throw, so a lot of the team get the opportunity to take the mound and try their hand at throwing strikes.  They learn pretty quickly that it's not as easy as it looks.

Since the fields do double duty as softball and baseball diamonds, the pitcher's mounds are artificial. That makes it difficult to practice your pitching since there are not many fields with mounds on them to practice on between games.  You probably need to get used to seeing sports pics on this blog over the next few weeks.  His sister runs track and plays soccer, so I'll be shooting some of those events and sharing the results as well.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Skywatch Friday

End of Day

Recently I have not had the time to go out and photograph sunrises or sunsets.  They used to be pretty easy for me to capture on my way to and from work.  Now that I am retired, I have to really make an effort to be in the right place at the right time.  The result has been that I have spent some time searching my archives for images from the past.  The journey reminds me why I like this hobby of photography.  You can capture a moment in time (actually 1/125 second) and enjoy it for decades.  This image is from December 29, 2009.  I was on my way home from work and it became apparent that there was going to be a great sunset, so I went to one of my favorite photo spots and waited.  I was not disappointed.  Have a blessed week-end.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Inspiration Thursday

Speed to Burn
Back in the twentieth century (the mid sixties to be exact), when I was in high school, there were far fewer sports for student athletes to choose to participate in, at least in Oklahoma. In the fall, there was FOOTBALL...period!
Winter brought basketball and wrestling (and wrestling was king in Oklahoma).  When spring came, baseball, swimming, and track & field were offered.  My choices were football, rest, baseball.  I only participated in track on an intramural level.  My 100m time was good for high school.  My long jump distance was just shy of 24 feet.  My distance running was abysmal.  I didn't like the mile and I hated the 800m.  200m was as far as I cared to run at one time.  Whenever we had to run a mile for time, I ran just fast enough to get a grade of "A".  If 6 min. and 30 seconds got me an "A", I ran somewhere between 6:05 and 6:20.  However, when it came to the long jump, I was always trying to figure out how to jump farther.  A new personal record was always my goal.  It was a matter of love for the event that determined my priorities.
The priorities that we set in our lives have a lot to do with our success and happiness in this life.  This world would tell you that you need to work more jobs, longer hours, and put out a stronger effort than anyone else in order to be successful, make more money, and be happy.  Some of the most miserable people I have ever met are those who are caught up in the rat race.  True happiness comes from God and God alone.
In the Bible, Jesus himself says, "I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly." An abundant life is not filled with diplomas, medals, possessions, or positions of honor.  An abundant life is filled with peace, joy, strength, comfort, love, and humility.  All of these things come from the Creator through His son, Jesus Christ.  While I was never a distance runner in high school, life is not a sprint, it is a marathon and we are all in it for the long haul.  The race of life is worth the extra effort necessary to finish well.  That effort includes prayer, study of Gods word, worship, and obedience to the instructions of the greatest "life coach" of all...God Almighty.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ruby Tuesday Too

This little mug/cup/shot glass belonged to my grandmother.  She purchased it as a souvenir of her visit to a county fair in 1908. Happy Ruby Tuesday all.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Skywatch Friday

I think almost every Skywatch photo is improved when water is added to the mix.  There are exceptions to every rule and I have several examples in my archives, but there is something about sunrise and sunset on a body of water that just makes the whole day better.  Have a blessed week-end.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Inspiration Thursday

The youngest grand daughter is now 13 and in Jr. High.  So far, she hasn't been infected with "drama queen syndrome" that seems to be a normal part of teen girls lives.  She does enjoy soccer and track.  Above is an image of her running the 1600 meter (mile) in the first race of her career and the season.  Later in the race she got tangled up with other runners, fell and didn't finish well.  She was heart broken.  This week she will practice, learn from her mistakes and improve her running skills.  She will get better and she will become very competitive in this sport.
"Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..." (Hebrews 12:1).  The Bible tells us that life is a race.  It is an endurance race, not a sprint, although our time on this earth is but a vapor.  Our race is witnessed by everyone that we come it contact with during the course of our lives.  Some of our family members will witness nearly all of our race while some people will get only a glimpse of what we are asked to endure between the cradle and the grave.
All of us experience times in our life race that we stumble and fall.  We let sin get in the way of our abundant life and we let the world around us have too much influence on our lives.  We have to go back to the practice field, sharpen our life skills in compliance with God's Word and re-enter the race. At the end of our race we want to be like the apostle Paul who said, "I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2Timothy 4:7).  It is critical that we keep the faith in these trying days.  When our race is complete and we stand in judgment before the God of all creation, we long to hear the words, "Well done good and faithful servant:...enter into the joy of your lord." (Matthew 25:21).