Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ruby Tuesday Too

I captured this vignette of our front porch because of the red flowers.  It wasn't until I started to crop the image that I noticed the saucer was red as well.  I love it when a plan comes together.  Happy Ruby Tuesday all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Inspiration Thursday

Tuesday the youngest grand daughter ran the 1600m (mile) at the junior high conference champion ship track meet.  This image was captured seconds after she crossed the finish line.  She didn't win or even place in the top eight, but she ran a clean race and cut 10 seconds off of her personal best time.  Considering that she started the season with a fall and a DNF (did not finish), she has come a long way in a few short weeks.  In order to make improvements in her running, training was required.  Life is a race.  It is a series of races within a race.  Some days we are required to sprint, other times we are required to string several days or weeks together to complete a single event.  In order to make improvements in our life race, training is involved.
There are countless books, blogs, videos, and other resources available designed to help us get better at everything from weight loss, to financial security.  All of these resources provide training tools to assist us in our journey to improve various aspects of our lives and bring us peace and happiness.  For the most part, the peace and happiness that is promised is either not achieved, or short lived.  There is only one source for an abundant life...Christ.   Jesus said, "...I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly."  The training tools for the abundant life are prayer, and the Bible.  The Bible is God's training manual for life.  I don't use it as often as I should, but when I do, I get much better and running the race of life.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Growing Up Baseball


Ruby Tuesday Too

It's a little early for Crepe Myrtle to be in bloom so I went to the archives to find this Ruby Red bloom from a few years back.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Inspiration Thursday

Track season is winding down, so our youngest grand daughter is involved is soccer, both spring and fall seasons.  I really think that sports for kids is a wonderful thing to get them involved.  Track can teach them that their individual effort contributes to the success of the team.  A team sport, like soccer teaches them that they need to rely on their team mates for their individual success.  The grand daughter is about to score a goal because a team mate passed her the ball at just the right time.
The success that we achieve in life depends a great deal on others.  While we may have some individual moments of glory, our most memorable accomplishments are typically the result of having someone else in our life to assist us when we need them most.  The one person that is ALWAYS there when we need them is Christ.  Regardless of our situation, He is there to walk with us and provide us with whatever we need.  That doesn't mean that Christ will always get us out of a difficult situation.  It means that He will provide us with the strength, comfort, and resources to face the situation.  The greatest resource that He has given me is my wife.  Together, I believe that we can face almost anything.  She is a perfect example of what a wife should be and I would be lost without her.  Whatever success that I have enjoyed in this life, I owe to my team mate.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Freedom Fighter
click on image to enlarge

Monday, April 13, 2015

Ruby Tuesday Too

One thing about a track meet...there is a lot of down time for competitors.  If you compete in only a couple of events and they are near the beginning of the meet, you can have three or four hours to kill before getting back on the bus and heading home.  If you compete in some of the last events, you have three or four hours to kill before you have to put  your game face on and give your best effort.
Even though some of these kids go to different schools, they may play on the same summer league baseball or soccer team.  They may compete against one another in other sports.  Teens are social animals by nature.  They will hook up and visit with each other at the drop of a hat.  It's actually kind of fun to watch.  Another nice thing about a junior high or high school track meet is that there is no shortage of red uniforms for a Ruby Tuesday Too post.  In the second image our youngest grand daughter is on the right.  She runs the 800m and 1600m.  This is her first year of competition and it's going pretty well.  I think she will be very competitive by the time she is in the 9th grade.  I don't think that the purple shoes make her any faster, she just likes bright colors.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Inspiration Thursday

And They're Off!
The start of any race is exciting.  Although there may be a favorite, no one really knows what may happen during the course of the race.  In the image above this race looks like a sprint.  Actually it's 300m hurdles.  Yes, hurdles.  While these young men are full of energy now, in just one minute, they will be exhausted.  Several will be excited about their achievement, while some will be disappointed and one or two may even show the scars of tangling with the last couple of hurdles because the energy and stamina just wasn't there to clear the last couple of obstacles.
Kids have a habit of  approaching life like a sprint.  They're in a hurry to get to the next level.  They want to walk, then they want to go to school, then they want to drive, then they want to get out of school, then they want to work...and finally, they want to retire and slow down.  Unlike the 300m hurdles, youngsters can't see the obstacles that life will throw at them.  There will be times when they can see a trying time coming and there will be times when they get blindsided by life.  Life's just that way.  Through it all, we need an anchor for our soul.  We need something that we can depend on regardless of what life throws at us.  We need something that we can depend on through good, bad, ugly, sorrow, joy, sickness, health, victory and defeat.  There is only one source of strength to carry us through the life and guarantee us the victory at the end of the race.  That source is Jesus Christ.  Trusting Christ as our Lord and Savior does not make us immune to difficulty.  In fact we can be guaranteed that trials will come our way.  What we can know is that Christ is our advocate in every situation and that we will have victory over death.  There is a better life, but the only way to experience that abundant life is to place our trust and faith in Christ and Him alone.  We must recognize that we are sinful by nature and that we are in need of a Savior.  We must acknowledge that Christ is that Savior, based on His life, death, burial, and Resurrection.  He was and is the Son of God.  Finally we must repent of our sinful life and invite Christ into our heart and ask His forgiveness and to save us.  He will forgive and save.  At that point we have victory over death and a new home in a place prepared for us by Christ Himself.  One day I'm going to "Wake Up In Glory".  How about you?   Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Monday, April 6, 2015

Ruby Tuesday Too

A couple of weeks ago I posted an "Inspirational Thursday" featuring our youngest grand daughter running in her first Junior High track meet.  I mentioned that it did not go well since she fell early in the race and never recovered.  I also said that she would learn from her mistakes and become competitive.
Last week she ran in her second meet.  She finished 6th over all (out of around 21 runners)  and first on her team in the mile and won her heat race in the 800 meters, which placed her about 9th over all (out of 30 runners) and again, first on her team. The first image is from the 1600 meter (mile) event and the second image is about 50 meters from the finish of the 800.  The telephoto lens makes the margin of victory look a little closer than it really is.  There are a lot of sporting events that are difficult to photograph because you can't get close enough to the action.  That's not the case with junior high track meets.  Just carry a camera with a telephoto lens and act like you know what your doing.  No one will bother you and you will get some great images of those who are near and dear to your heart.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

He's Alive!

Have a Blessed Easter

Easter is one of the two most important days in history.  Christmas celebrates the birth of a Savior and Easter celebrates His resurrection and our victory over sin and death.  I would encourage you to find a church that celebrates the true meaning of this glorious day and worship the risen Savior.  May the blessing that is Christ living in you bring a special joy to your heart this day and always.  He is risen and He's Alive!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Inspiration Thursday

Living Water
I was visiting a local park recently.  There is a stream that originates in the park and flows through the park until it merges with a larger creek and eventually flows north into the Elk River in Missouri.  This image is a very small vignette of the stream but it reminded me that there is no life as we know it without water.  Every living thing must have water in order to survive.  There is nothing quite as refreshing as a glass of ice water on a hot summer day.  After a hard day of working in the yard, a shower relaxes us, cleans us, and just feels good all over.  Water provides a source for many foods that we enjoy.  There is simply no life without water.
Our soul needs spiritual water in order to survive and Christ is the source of that water.  Jesus said, "...but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." (John 4:10)  There is nothing as cleansing to the soul as that time when one accepts Christ as their Savior and the burden of guilt is lifted.  Every time we gather to worship Him we are refreshed and when we spend time with our Lord in prayer and Bible study we are filled again with His love.  Without the "Living Water" that is Christ, in our lives we are already spiritually dead.  With the "Living Water" we are eternally alive.  There is no middle ground.