Thursday, September 29, 2016

Inspiration Thursday - Trust and Obey

One of the most difficult things for a person to do seems to be to place their trust in someone else. We are taught to be self reliant, self sufficient, and self motivated. We take great pride in our personal accomplishments and our ability to solve our own problems. There was a song that praised the self made man, titled "I did It My Way." However, God tells us to trust in Him with all of our hearts and not to lean on our own understanding.
The truth is, our finite minds cannot always see or comprehend how God is working in our life. The Creator tells us, "...My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9) The psalmist asked of God something that we should seek daily when he wrote, "Show me your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on you I wait all day." (Psalm 25:4) David wrote, "As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him."
 (2 Samuel 22:31) It's pretty simple really. All we have to do is "Trust & Obey." Have a blessed day.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Awe...some Mondays

Recently we traveled to Lee's Summit, Missouri to see some of my wife's family.  During our visit,
their grandson had a football game. He's in the 6th grade so there was plenty of entertainment that didn't always include the competition on the field. Still, I managed to keep my lens focused on the game and captured a few of images.

Of course the family had seats on the 50 yard line and they were free. Try getting this deal at a college or pro game.

The grandson is No. 64 in the blue jersey. Sometimes it's hard to get a good clean image of a lineman. They are usually in the middle of a pile of arms and legs.

Here he is providing a little pass protection for his quarterback. It's very important to keep your quarter back on his feet.

Our team lost 13-6 by way of two "Hail Mary" passes, but it was a beautiful day and we got to spend time with people that are important to us. Have a blessed week.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Skywatch Friday

When the clouds are churning, there is always a show to watch. Afternoon clouds like these make one anticipate an awesome sunset.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Inspiration Thursday - Guardian Angels

Do you have a guardian angel? Well, there's a very good chance that you have more than one. In fact, you may have a multitude of heavenly hosts at your disposal. The psalmist tells us, "For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all of your ways." (Psalm 91:11 ESV). Life can be difficult, very difficult. For me, it is impossible to imagine getting through this life without the help of the Lord and the angels that He has provided for me. How do you enlist the service of this helpful heavenly host? Like every promise from God, it requires some action on our part. The Bible says, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV). If we seek His will for our lives He will show it to us. If we knock on the door of wisdom that is found in the pages of Scripture, He will open our hearts and minds to absorb the knowledge that is waiting there for us. If we ask for wisdom, guidance, the fruit of the Spirit and those things that God desires for us to have, He will pour them out on us far beyond our expectations.
God is in the business of molding us into the image of Christ and He desires to flood our lives with those things that draw us closer and make us more like our Savior. After being tempted by Satan the Bible says, "Then the devil left Him, and behold, angles came and ministered to Him." (Matthew 4:11) As Christians we are children of the King, and God the Father has made the same angels available to us that ministered to our Savior. Rejoice!!! "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4) Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Awe...some Mondays - New Mug

Is there anything from your childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood that you found boring only to discover it's true worth later in life? For me, it was Frankoma pottery. The colors seemed uninteresting and the glazes seemed awkward, not to mention that the whole thing reeked of the southwest and cowboys. When I was a child, I wanted to be a cowboy, but when I became a teen I left the wild, wild west in my rear view mirror. However, decades and decades have passed and the past few years I have come to appreciate the earth tones and the subtle designs that make up this pottery from my home state of Oklahoma. This mug is my most recent purchase and an excellent example of why I like this stuff.

The handles on most all of Frankoma pottery is comfortable to hold and fits most any hand. Here you can see that the handle starts from the right at the top. It starts from the left at the bottom and the pieces of clay have a subtle ridge where they overlap to form the handle. It is these little design ques that really make me appreciate the work of Frankoma. The company was started in 1933 by John Frank. He was the first professor of ceramic art at the University of Oklahoma. The family owned company was in business continuously until 1991. This particular mug has another unique characteristic.

It is at least twice the size of a normal Frankoma coffee mug/cup. It may be too large for coffee, but I can see it filled with soup or hot cocoa on a frosty fall evening by the fire while watching football.  Have a blessed day.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Skywatch Friday

It's been a looooong time since I last posted a Skywatch Friday image. Yesterday the clouds churned into thunderheads and eventually we got an afternoon shower. The clouds were so much fun to watch and so spectacular that I decided to focus entirely on the formations and forget about any kind of foreground in the image. These kinds of images make excellent backgrounds for placing quotations on. Here is an example that I created in PhotoShop Elements. Have a blessed week-end.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Inspiration Thursday

What historic quote do you remember from the past and why is it important to you. President Kennedy challenged us to "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." He also said, "...the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." This is exactly what the psalmist meant when he penned, "Your Word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You." (Psalm 119:11) It is also the lesson that the apostle Paul was teaching the church when he wrote, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16) The whole purpose of reading Scripture and committing it to memory is to provide us with the tools to live this life and live it in a manner that pleases our Creator. The Bible is far more than a collection of quotable verses. It is life's instruction book and it was written by the very One who created us. The author tells us that, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16).When any life circumstance leaves you scratching your head and wondering what to do, it is most comforting when you can recall an encouraging Scripture and calms your spirit and helps you re-focus on those things that are truly important. Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Time Warp - Fun With Filters

Today I decided to have a little fun with some filters that are available to PhotoShop & Elements users. This image was taken at a recent event on our local town square. With just one click of the "Convert to Black & White" button, we step back in time.

This image could have been taken during a similar celebration in the '40's or '50's. It might even have been a pristine image taken during the Civil War. However, just a couple of more clicks from additional filters, available free through Google NIK software, and the image becomes an original that has been recently discovered after being locked away in someone's attic for over a century and a half. Have a blessed day.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Awe...some Mondays

On the first Friday of each month from April through November there is a special event on the square in our hometown. Yes, it's called "First Friday". You can scroll down a few posts and see images from the last event. This month the celebration the theme was based on the early days of our fair city and it's tie to the Civil War. Yes, Arkansas was involved in the Civil War and several battles took place in the Northwest quadrant of the state, near the towns of Prairie Grove and Pea Ridge. Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Northeast Oklahoma were also home to some pretty famous outlaws of the old west and again during the gangster era of the twenties and thirties. The geography made it very difficult to find someone in these parts unless they chose to be found. Anyway, part of the celebration included a reenactment of a bank robbery on the town square. I don't know if there ever was such an event, but the reenactment was certainly fun to watch.

There is a gun fight in the streets as the  U. S. Marshals and their deputies shoot it out with the outlaw gang. 
A few of the bank robbers are on horseback and seem to have the law outnumbered, but not out gunned.

Even early law enforcement knew the advantage of a double barrel shotgun. Well, the robbery was foiled and good triumphed over evil once again. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Inspiration Thursday - Wisdom

 Who do you trust and where do you go for wise counsel? For most of us our parents were the first people that we thought had all of the answers and we asked them a myriad of questions. Still early in our childhood most youngsters added their grand parents to the group of souls from whom they gleaned information and sought wisdom. By the time we were teens we thought our parents had become clueless and our grandparents were just old. We turned to our teachers, coaches and cultural icons for wisdom. As young adults in today's world electronic communication and social media has become the most trusted source of contemporary, relevant wisdom. There is a source of wisdom that is just as valid and timeless as ever. That is because the source is has always been and will always be.
The Bible says, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16) The purpose of this doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction is stated so, "that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:17) God has a plan for your life and He has provided you with an instruction book to prepare you to live out that plan. The instructions in the book tell us how to obtain eternal life, how to live life in this world and give us a picture of the abundant life that is available to us now and the glorified life that awaits us in heaven. The problem is that most of us don't read or follow instructions very well. Surely there is a better way. Surely there is a short-cut. Certainly I can create a successful life for myself that is superior to anything that the Creator of the universe can construct. Read the instructions again and discover that the One who created you, loves you more than you know. Always has, always will. Have a blessed day.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Awe...some Mondays

Let's face it, for some people, their car is their pet, especially if it is and really cool hot rod and they built it themselves. Something tells me that a stop sign is nothing more than a starting line of the next drag race for this Little Duce Coupe.
When the flag drops most competitors never get this view of the little coupe. All they get is the smell of burnt rubber and the glow of taillights disappearing into the night. Have a blessed day.