Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 6

In the fields outside of Bethlehem shepherds were working. The job of a shepherd was a thankless task. They were expected to protect the flock at all costs, regardless of the circumstances. It is little wonder that the news of the Good Shepherd was first shared with these men. Bethlehem and the world were not prepared when the angels announced that a King was coming to Town. Have a blessed day.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 5

I just wanted to be among the first to officially wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Life can be difficult. Life can be disappointing and move much faster than we are able to adapt. It is easy to get overwhelmed and stressed, but remember one thing. A Savior was born and with the birth of Christ, "Joy Has Come to This World". Have a blessed day.

Monday, November 28, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 4

"And she brought forth her first-born Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
For centuries the prophets of God had been telling the faithful that one day God would send a Savior to dwell among them. On the the night that Christ was born, Grace Has a Face. Have a blessed day.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 3

When Joseph discovered that Mary was expecting a child prior to their formalizing their marriage, he was advised by some to put her away. However God sent him a messenger saying. "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Joseph listened to the angel, obeyed the will of God and a Savior was born. It wasn't his child, it was the Son of God.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 2

"Then the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And you will conceive in our womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." (Luke 1:30-33)
Mary was just a teenager engaged to Joseph when the angel of the Lord appeared to her. He told her what was going to take place very soon and that her life would be changed forever. That is a lot of information for a young woman to absorb. Still, her answer to the angel was, "Behold the maidservant of the lord! Let it be to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38) Mary simply made herself available to God and a Savior was born.

Friday, November 25, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 1

Welcome to season seven of my annual Christmas Music Marathon. The purpose of this event is to temporarily take your mind off of the commercial madness that typically surrounds this season and focus on the true reason that we celebrate Christmas. The birth of Christ is the single greatest event in human history and when coupled with the events of Easter we have a complete picture of God's plan for the redemption of the human race.
Each day, between now and Christmas, you can come to this blog and find a music video that celebrates the birth of our Savior and the joy that His birth brings to the heart. There will be new songs, old songs, hymns, along with praise and worship music. So take a break from your Christmas shopping, football watching holiday season and stop by here to enjoy a little music to uplift the soul and focus on the Savior.
I traditionally begin with a video that reminds us of the first Christmas and invites us to Take a Walk Through Bethlehem. Let the marathon begin!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

 Fall colors can still be found here in NW Arkansas. You just have to look and shoot a little closer to the subject in order to weed out all of the clutter.

Ruby Tuesday

 We have a couple of flower pots on our front porch that we displayed in May, thinking that by August everything would be dead. Well, we had a wet spring, a semi-mild summer and Autumn temperatures have been well above normal. So-o-o-o geraniums are now a part of our Fall landscape. Who knew?

2016 Christmas Music Marathon Begins Friday!
My seventh annual Christmas Music Marathon starts this Friday. On Black Friday of each year I start posting at least one video each day that celebrates the true meaning of Christmas. Take a break from shopping, football watching and other distractions to spend a few moments with some of your favorite musicians to celebrate the "Reason for the Season". See you on Friday.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Awe...some Monday - Seven Decades

Sunday I began my seventh decade on this planet.

There was cake in the shape of a digital camera and Oreo cookies! I love Oreo cookies. There were friends and family that stopped by to join the celebration.

Our daughter and I are being photobombed by the youngest granddaughter.

Later I got a Happy Birthday kiss from the newest member of the ladies high school soccer team. Try-outs for the team have been conducted over the past two weeks with 50-60 girls competing for about 30 roster spots. It is something special to make the roster as a freshman. Best birthday present of the night.

Of course there is the one who has made everyday of my life special for the past forty-two years. Best gift ever. Thank you Lord for giving this lady to be my wife and best friend. Have a blessed week.

2016 Christmas Music Marathon Begins Friday!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Skywatch Friday - Moon Shot

This week the Super Moon has been the topic of conversation for a lot of people. I decided to grab the camera, go outside and see if I could capture a few interesting images. Here are the results.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Inspiration Thursday

All of us spend most of our lives working to earn a living. We want to provide for our family and purchase nice things for ourselves. We desire to live in a nice home, and drive a nice car. We want our children to have a good education so we have a college fund. We want to live comfortably in retirement so we have a retirement plan, such as a 401K. We often make these things the highest priorities in our lives and neglect what is truly important, our relationship with our Creator.
God reminds us just how precious we are to Him in Matthew and again in Luke.
Christ reminds us that the lillies of the field do nothing to be beautiful. God created them and gave them their beautiful color and shape. We are infinitely more important to God than a flower, so He will provide for our needs, if we make our relationship with our Creator the most important relationship in our lives. If we want to live our lives on our own terms and take whatever life throws at us, God will allow that to happen. However, if we place our lives in His hands, and seek His guidance everyday, a life that is marked by service, contentment, and joy can be ours. Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Awe...some Mondays

It is nearly the middle of November in Northwest Arkansas and I still have a rose that is blooming. This rose was my mother's favorite and my dad made sure that there were several around the house. I transplanted this plant in 2009 and moved it again in 2015 but it is currently in a container. Thursday night was our first hard frost of the year, so I moved the shrub into the garage since there are three more buds in addition to this bloom.

It just doesn't seem to matter which direction you view this bloom, it is just gorgeous.
 I cut the buds from the plant and put them in a bud vase for my wife and I to enjoy. Now is is time to prune the plant and prepare it for a long winter nap.

One nice thing about photography is that long after these buds have bloomed, faded, and gone, I can still enjoy their beauty until next season when the life cycle begins anew. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Veteran's Day 2016

My grandson's Junior High School held a Veteran's Day assembly to honor the local vets. Some of the kids were honoring their parents or grandparents. The vets in attendance ranged from Iraq/Afghanistan warriors to the Korea/Vietnam vets. Sadly, I don't think there were any WWII heroes in attendance. Even the youngest of the "Greatest Generation" would now be in their 90's.
There were members from every branch of service represented and I think they appreciated being honored by the youngest generation. I doubt if many junior high students grasp the importance of the vets service to their country, but one day they will understand that the men and women of the military have served around the globe and defended freedom to the ends of the earth. I hope that you voted last Tuesday, because these veterans defended your right and privilege to cast a ballot for the candidate of your choice regardless of your political views. They deserve your respect.
The junior high choir sang a couple of songs, the orchestra played, and a couple of people spoke in honor of Veterans Day.
Our grandson sings in the choir and he is directly in the center of this image.
After the ceremony my daughter captured an image of The Big Guy and myself. All in all, it was a good day. Have a blessed Veterans Day.

Inspiration Thursday

There is an old rock and roll song titled, "One is the Loneliest Number" and I am sure that, at some point in our lives, nearly all of us have felt like we were all alone in this world. We have days when we believe that nobody cares about what we say, what we do, or what we are going through. We just feel like it is "Me against the world", and the world is winning. There is one who cares for you regardless of your situation and that is the One who created you.
Genesis 1:26-28 tells us that God created man and woman and gave them dominion over the earth. Gensis 2:7,21-24 give us a marvelous detailed account of the creation of humanity. We are special to God. He chose to make man in His image and give mankind dominion over this earth. In Psalms 139:14-16 David recognized that not only was he "fearfully and wonderfully made" but that God knew everything about him before David was even formed (v16). There is nothing in your life that is a surprise to God. In fact, the Creator has stated "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." (Jeremiah 1:5). Everything that happens to us, good or bad, is designed to draw us closer to Him and make us aware of our need for His presence in our daily lives.
You are so special to God that He has a desire to spend an eternity with you and was willing to give His own Son as a sacrifice so that you might be saved. God LOVES you!!! He has not forgotten about you.
Regardless of what you may think, how you may feel, or what you may be going through, God loves you. Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Season's First Diving Competition
I went to my local community center to exercise the other morning. There was a sign at the front desk that said the pool would be closed later in the day for the high school swim a dive meet. I made a note to be back, with my camera to grab a few images. I only had time to grab a few images of the dive competition, because I really needed to be two places at once.

I love fall. I can photograph football, basketball, swimming and wrestling. In the spring I get soccer, track & field, baseball and softball. Have a blessed week.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Awe...some Mondays

 From April through November, the First Friday of each month is celebrated around the square of our town. Each month is a different theme with vendors showing products and services that fit the theme. Now that Christmas is officially just around the corner, the November theme is TOYLAND!!! Walmart and Disney combine forces to bring in a huge compliment of vendors and products. One of the hits with the boys was obviously the pro wrestling action figures. Some of the accessories include a "cage match" suspended above the ring.
I know that all of us wanted a brand new Schwinn bicycle when we were kids. Well, they brought a collection of trail and mountain bikes along with an expert to demonstrate what you probably shouldn't try at home. Really, it was a great show.

Then there were the battery powered cars for the younger set. Our granddaughters shared one of these that was styled like a Jeep nearly twenty years ago. They drove the wheels off of it. The new styles are pretty cool.

The Nerf Mega dart gun seemed to be a hit with all of the kids. I think this model holds 30+ sponge darts.

Lego's brought a Lego Santa while Mr. & Mrs. Claus were busy with the kids on the other side of the square.
I got to photograph the event for the local downtown organization. It was a lot of fun, but it was busy. Seriously, there were nearly 10,000 people around the square. Let the Holiday Season begin! Have a blessed week.