A Precious Pearl
A fierce Dragon
A stubborn Stone
Is my precious pearl
A mountain Stream
A feast in the Desert
Is my precious pearl
A book of Wisdom
A high Shelter
Is my precious pearl
Her hair is like the night
Her eyes like sun kissed waves
Her lips are spring time berries
Her arms a refuge for the weary
My love is a Precious Pearl
Thursday, March 26, 2015
A Precious Pearl
A person from my Facebook friends Don Carson posted this question.
Topic for discussion: Is it possible that the gifts of God can actually take the place of God within our heart? Go -
Here is my answer, I may have gotten carried a little bit away.
Topic for discussion: Is it possible that the gifts of God can actually take the place of God within our heart? Go -
This is an interesting question that has caused me to reflect some on the nature of God and the nature of Man as well as the relationship between the two.
The question can be approached from a few different interpretations.
One interpretation would probably be a more odd way of looking at it than you planed. But if we approach the result of God in our hearts and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit it is for Salvation and the power to live in Grace from that point on. And if we approach the thought of the Gifts of God as the things He brings into our lives we can see that those Gifts can not take the place of Salvation and Grace. We see the example of the Hebrew Nation at various times living in captivity pre and post David. They would bring great blessing and gifts to those nations and the people would receive gifts and blessings but they did not receive Salvation. For this discussion we will follow the principle that Salvation is only via the Messiah and those prior to the Cross lived by faith looking forward just as we live by faith looking backwards. We can also see this in the New Testament in the person of Judas. He received the Gifts of God but it did not take the place of God in his heart.
I know that this approach to the question is most likely backward from the intent but that is what came into my mind first.
Lets look at an interpretation that is probably more in line with how most others would view the question. That is do Gifts from God Come in to our life that will take the Focus from God and turn it to the Gift. We will once again consider Gifts to be those blessings that we interpret as coming from God. And here is where the nature of man enters into the picture and where I will take a bit of a contrary view. My conjecture is that we interpret things as blessings from God when it is actually our desires, wants, greeds, manipulations, bargaining, and such that has colored the event. That when those things come in to our life and they pull the focus from God, compete in our Heart so to speak for His place. those things did not come from God. They came from us.
Take a look at Lazarus the one with the sisters Mary and Martha not the beggar. And realize that the gift that Jesus brought into their lives was sickness and death. Jesus has healed others at a distance prior to this. He purposely delays His departure. Lazarus, Mary, and Martha considered Him the Messiah the One that was to come the Son of God. Yet He allowed Lazarus to die, this is not something we would ever think of as a Gift but it was. It was a matter of their interpretation prior to the full revelation of God’s plan.
So, with that view we must be diligent about what is entering into our lives and ask is this for the Glory of God or for my glory. Is this the leadership of the Holy Spirit confirmed by the whole of Scripture and sound advice of those grounded in the Word of God. Have I sought the answer to this in Prayer with an open heart. Have I seen confirmation to Prayers that are in line with sound Biblical understanding. Or is this what I want is it what I desire. Is it of God.
Now the concept of the Gifts being the Gifts of the Spirit are a matter I will leave to someone else to consider..
Monday, April 30, 2012
Saturday, April 03, 2010
“I have seen the Lord” signifies that we serve a living God not a dead god hidden in a grave somewhere, trapped in stone, nothing but an image, a recollection. Our God has lived with us, triumphed over death and dwells in glory. Our religion is of a relationship with a loving, living Deity. One Who desires to bridge the gap between humanity and Himself. Instead of mankind reaching into heaven, instead of mankind trying to make themselves acceptable, God reached down to us and lifted us up with the Lord. We have seen Him.
“I have seen the Lord" proclaims the hope of all Christianity. The knowledge that the grave is not absolute. That our God and Redeemer has power even over what we see as completely final. The Resurrection of Jesus is a precursor to what awaits those who are redeemed, those who are buried in the same death as Christ, Death to Sin. We will also share in His resurrection. In His Everlasting Life.
“I have seen the Lord” is the personal testament of the Christian. Each who have known redemption and been freed of Sin can proclaim boldly they have seen the Lord in their own life. We know the working of a Risen Lord in the conviction that brings repentance, in the sorrow that accompanies realization, in the comfort of forgiveness, in the joy of triumph. We have seen the Face of God and have known the truth by faith we have seen the Lord.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
The Genesis of this event goes back to the beginning of our time. When Holy God in His wisdom created a Man and a Woman knowing that they would reject Him. God knowing the awful price that would be required to reconcile that relationship gave the Man and the Woman freedom to make their own choice. In that moment of decision they rebelled and were exiled from the fellowship of God who loved them.
Yet at that moment Holy God decreed a promise. He told the Man and the Woman that a child would rise up to crush the head of the serpent and pay the debt for sin. Then History waited, and waited. At the appointed time a Woman conceived a child that was in nature fully man but also by nature fully God. God had sent His son into this world.
God in the person of Jesus Christ dwelt among men. He taught us many things. He established His Church to carry on His Word and Work. He Healed the sick, and sinful, He forgave the guilty. But most important of all He came to a place and time. Where Man in his own wisdom cried out crucify Him. Our very creator came to be with us and we in our own wisdom cried out for His death. Oh, Shame on all of mankind, when confronted by God we wish to destroy Him.
The Cross where Christ died in agony brings us to these words. These Precious words, where a Holy God in the person of Jesus Christ paid the debt of Sin. Where the Son of God took upon Himself all the sins of the world, all the sins ever committed all the sins ever to be committed. There on a hill in this small insignificant world the Creator took the burden of Sin upon Himself. When the transaction was complete he uttered those three words “It Is Finished” and mankind was redeemed. By nothing good in our self, no act was capable, only by the Blood of Jesus and the words “It Is Finished”.
Now what will you do with these words? Will you accept them, in your life? Will you take this healing blood and cleanse the stain of sins from your entire life? Or will you reject the Holy God that offered Himself up, on that cross? Will you reject Him and make the choice to walk into Hell knowing that so long ago “It Was Finished”?
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
In each of our personal lives there are words of significance. Perhaps the most important of my life were tied to the three words of Christ. They were “Jesus please come into my heart” Those words occurred in my mind one night as a young boy. That was when I accepted the gift purchased for me by the life of Christ. It took me years to realize just how significant those Words were for me. That they would be forever etched in the fabric of my life. They have set the course of all the Chapters and Sentences to follow.
A few days ago there were words given to me that will change my life once again. They may be the second most important words of my life. Strangely they are tied to the other words I’ve talked about. The Words of Jesus on the cross and the Words thought by a small boy in his bed. The Context of those words are rooted in the leading of God in two different lives of two different people from opposite sides of the world. Both share a love of God and His redemption. Both have sought the leadership of our Great Creator and Redeemer. The words were in answer to a question. Those Words were “Yes I’ll Marry You”.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
32Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.
39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
40But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
42Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[f]"
43Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
Think about this.
Here is a man that has wasted a life, he is now near the end, he stands accused and is sentenced to die. We don't know much about him. What exactly were his crimes? We know from Mark at one time both men heaped insults on Christ. We know that one of the criminals expresses the desire for his life to be spared. But then he mocked Christ, little did he realize the power right beside him. However this other man eventually defends Christ. Admits that he himself is being punished justly getting what his deeds deserved. Then he proclaims this man (Christ) has done nothing wrong though. Only by the Holy Spirit could this man have known what to do next. It defies all logic. He looks at the man hanging beside him. Seemingly powerless, dying as well. And says to Him "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom". Jesus replies "today you will be with me in paradise". Oh the joy at those words... Did this common criminal understand the full meaning of what he had just heard. Today even you who are a sinner condemned by your sin to death. Today you will be with me the King of all Heaven today you will join me in my home...!!!!
There are a great many things we can learn from this....
It was not the righteousness of the criminal that saved him. He starts by hurling insults on Christ. He had no chance to do good works. He repents and admitted his evil deeds. All he could grasp a hold of was the grace and mercy of Christ. That was all the he could claim.. And that was more than enough.
Baptism was not required. Although our faith stresses the importance of baptism. This man entered the Kingdom of Heaven with out it.. He received assurance from the ruler of heaven that he would be with Him without undergoing any ritual. Once again the grace of Christ was all that was required. No ritual needed.
Even on his death bed so to speak the criminal found mercy in Christ. We should never give up on anyone. We should continue to tell them of Christ up until the last moment of their lives. This man wasted all of his years and in the last hours he accepted Christ.
The Love and Compassion of Christ goes beyond our understanding. Here is Christ hung on a cross in agony. Suffering the turmoil and punishment of our sins. Bearing the burden for all of us. Standing in our place so we could stand in His. But in the very midst of that he reaches out to this Criminal and draws him to Salvation. Oh the Love Christ has for the lost.. And the desire He has for them to be saved is marvelous.
The criminals are a picture of all of us. We may think of ourselves as having lofty thoughts and mighty deeds. We might see our selves as John standing there at the foot of the Cross with Christ's mother. But we are truly represented by these criminals. Sentenced to death by our sins, rightfully so. Heaping insults on the Creator of the universe. No way of denying our guilt. We are completely and totally dead in our sin.. But there just beside us reaching out to us is Christ. There are no acts of righteousness on our part. We don't have anything to bring to impress the Lord of Creation. We are nothing but Criminals. However the King of all Heaven reaches out to us and says I have a gift for you. All you have to do is receive it. One of the Criminals brazenly rejects that gift and hurls insults at the Lord and stays condemned for all eternity. However the other Criminal humbles himself repents and begs the forgiveness of the Lord and resides with Him to this day in Heaven.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
We so often want a complicated answer something that we have to search for and work long to find. But God gives us a simple answer. Romans 12: 1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (NLT). This is how I picture it... We crawl off and sit down in the Mud and go wow I'm in mud how did I get here. What is God doing in my life. I wonder what it is He wants for me.. I wonder what it is God wants to give me.. Then God appears to us and we say God look I'm in the mud.. Why did you put me here? What is it you want to give me. God holds out the hands that were pierced for our Sins and says "I have given you my Grace it is sufficient". We would reply but God I'm in the mud please what do you want for me. God would then point to the the alter and tell us "Give your life to me dear child". I think at that time most of us say well God that is not really what I had in mind. I would like to go over there and sit in the field under that tree. It looks exciting... Please God I "want" that excitement.
This made my mind turn to the statement I've heard over and over.. God has a wonderful plan for your life. I realized that God does have a wonderful plan for my life. But it is from the viewpoint of God that it will be wonderful. I think I have a hard time seeing how wonderful it is because I don't have the viewpoint of God.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
A few years ago I heard a definition that probably put me on to this line of thinking. "Worship is a personal expression of the Love we have for our God and His son Jesus". An expression of gratitude for the reconciliation offered through the sacrifice of Jesus. The word that really struck me was personal. It is what I myself do. That has been a revelation, one of the good ones. It tells me Worship is first between God and me. Worship can take place at any time and any place! It can be expressed in many ways!
But what has Worship come to mean in the modern Christian Church? My thought is we have come to think of it as the part of a Church service where we sing or listen to someone else sing. Christians are starting to call this part of the service Praise and Worship. To a lesser degree Christians might call the part of service where a, Pastor or Preacher delivers a message, Worship as well. Christians are even calling the place this occurs a Worship center.
Why does this trend cause concern? Foremost is confuses the nature of Worship. Actually it constrains the nature of Worship. It promotes the idea that Worship occurs in a certain way, at a certain time. It even goes beyond that it changes Worship into something we watch for the most part instead of taking part in. I believe that these ideas are contrary to what God desires of us to experience in our time with Him.
Now to be clear watching a music performance that is of a Christian nature or listening to a Preacher expound on the Bible and the nature of God can certainly be parts of a Worshipful experience. There are many times I have heard a song that impacted my thoughts of God at that moment or heard a Sermon that helped me to have a profound appreciation and Love for God. I have always been a person that has filled their life with music. If I'm not listening to music I'm usually humming a tune or two. But sometimes we do need to turn that off and know God in the Silence.
So if Worship isn't these things or if these things are only a part of Worship, what is it that God desires for us? My personal thought is that God desires every activity and event in our lives to contribute to Worship of Him. God desires to be with us in everything we do. When we go in and come out, when we are in our rooms alone, when we are in a crowded school or workplace. God desires for us to express our love and adoration for Him in a personal way at all times of our life.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
The technical specs of the laptop are impressive. The performance is extremely snappy, but it is hard to see a difference between it and my old Macbook. However the screen is noticeably brighter and richer than any laptop I've ever looked at. Now every laptop looks like I'm looking at it through a layer of dust.
I have noticed that at low screen brightness there is a very annoying flicker visible. My understanding is that due to the nature of LED back lights to get a dim light they are cycling the LED's on and off very fast. Some people can see the flicker. I'm one of them.
Carrying the Laptop is a joy compared to anything else I've every picked up in this screen size. It is sturdy and light. I really don't notice a difference in weight between it and the old white Macbook.
PROS: Light weight, beautiful screen, Sturdy construction, lighted keyboard, processing power to spare.
CONS: Expensive, screen flicker at low brightness.
Nutshell: If you can afford it, this is a great laptop.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I finally ran across a post on the DD-WRT forums that talked about a similar problem. Their solution was to restore to factory defaults and set the router up again. This solved the slowdown problem! It also prevented the downstairs WRT-54GL from working with the newly factory defaulted router upstairs. To solve that I had to reset it to factory defaults and set it up again. When all was said and done I'm back to transfer rates around 2 Megabytes per sec. Which is about the best I ever get out of wireless G.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I have found that for the last two weeks I have been obsessively going over the things that I should take and the things I should leave at home. Like which clothes I need to take, which chargers, will they work, which cameras, how much does this weigh, on and on. So the virtual duffel in my brain has been filled and emptied many times. Now I just need to do that in real life...
The clock is ticking.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
This year I refound the joy of taking pictures, so many of my posts were about this picture or that. Digital makes taking photos so much easier and cheaper in the long run. I think I grew weary of it in my film days mainly because of the cost of developing pictures. But being able to take multiple shoots to see what works at little to no cost is great.
The year of Geotagging. I'm addicted to geotagging photos now. I love being able to pull a picture up on a flickr map and go oh so that is where I took this.
This is the first year since 2002 or 2001 I have not bought a new computer. Well if I can just hold out a few more hours it will be :-)
Monday, December 29, 2008
It is so odd to see the parking lot of a Walmart complete and totally empty the doors all shuttered and the carts stowed away. I saw this a few years ago on my way out of town. This year I purposely drove by in the afternoon to capture this shot.
Incidently when I turned in to the lot three cars followed me. Each person drove by the door with a look of anticipation on their faces. They slowly left the lot in disbelief that a Walmart could be closed. While I was taking the pictures four more cars came through the lot and repeated the ritual.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
It really is no surprise that I prefer shopping on the internet at Christmas I usually shop that way all the time. I sort of like coming home and finding boxes on the doorstep. When it comes to giving gifts I just go in pick out what I want to send, put in the shipping address and it shows up two days later at the recipients home. That way I can spread around some of the joy of finding boxes on the doorstep.
What makes Amazon the best for this? There are actually a number of things. One is the Prime Membership I have, free two day shipping, this includes items given as gifts. Amazon's selection of items is nearly unsurpassed buy anything. Their price is generally the best. The wishlist feature that allows you to view friends desired items. And when you need them their Customer Service is pretty customer focused. All of this combines to make Amazon the perfect shopping experience.
Oh and by the way I just ordered light bulbs from Amazon...
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I took this particular picture of an old Baptist Church out in a rural area called Handy. This is near Doniphan MO. When I started to look at the map data on flickr I realized this was the only picture geotagged in a large area. Sort of cool to be the first someplace.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Recently I was on vacation and ended up at Niagara Falls. There are a few things people really need to know about traveling there. As you get within 100 miles you start to see these little road side dumps that claim to be the "Niagara Falls Visitor Center" avoid these they are trying to sell you very over priced tour packages.
As you approach the State Park that is the falls you will notice a big glass building with an international food court. There will be some one with a tan shirt and a flag waving you into the parking lot. Pass them by... This is not the park these are people that are trying to make money on tourists. Once you have passed by you will see a nice paved lot that is part of the Park. It still costs $10 but I would rather my money go to the park.
Here is the other thing everyone will be trying to sell you some sort of tour package. Just walk past them go through the visitors center and take a look at the falls. After you have done that you can decide what sort of tours you want to take and then pay for them.
It is free to look at the falls it is free to walk over to Goat Island and get a much better look at both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. I would advise walking around the park and taking the grandeur of falls in before you fork over any more money. It is an awesome sight and well worth the trip.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Mac OS X Your network has been compromised
It appears one of the latest updates to Mac OS X has fixed this problem. I can now have my MacBook remember networks that have multiple access points under the same SSID.
I think the specific update that corrected the problem can be found here AirPort Extreme Update 2008-004
This has been a problem since around the First of 2008. Little bit slow on the old repair.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
But a few of the friends I like to travel with do drink coffee. I recently took a long road trip with one of those friends and witnessed what is like to travel with someone that really I mean really likes Starbucks. The first thing I started to notice was the intense attention to road signs and strip malls next to highway exits. There was the constant look from side to side the brow furrowing in frustration then their face lighting up, the look of calm when their eyes fell on a Starbucks sign. I'm sure if you think back you may have witnessed this too.
Maybe I exaggerate just a bit but I was astounded at my friends ability to spot any Starbucks within a mile of our route. Then there would be the sort of nonchalant "oh hey look there's a Starbucks, lets just swing by". Needless to say I never realized just how infested our country has become with these oasis's of coffee goodness.
Monday, September 29, 2008
After Unsharp Mask
You really need to look at larger sized images to see results.
I have learned one of the most important aspects of taking photos with a DSLR, they inherently make soft looking photos. But I've seen pictures that people have taken that look crystal clear. I was always disappointed that my pictures were just a bit less clear. I figured I was just not very good at selecting the aperture or my focus was off a bit or I was jerking a bit when I pushed the shutter button.
Then I read this article Understanding USM started playing with Unsharp Mask in Photoshop and it was like a veil was dropped from my pictures. All of a sudden I too had those Razor Sharp images that I was so envious of.
Go ahead click on the link understand the mystery that is Unsharp Mask and you too will be amazed at the results.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Here is an example of such a photo. The night before I went out to the St. Louis Zoo I was playing around with my camera in my office trying to see how exposure compensation effected my photos with a flash. I deleted the test photos and put the camera away forgetting the exposure compensation was a bit off.
Next day I walk into the zoo pull out my camera get the lens cap off and see a Grizzly Bear posing for photos. Here is one of the photos I snapped.
I bit over exposed this is the jpeg off the camera
Well that was not what I was hoping to capture.
Enter Adobe and Camera Raw here is that example.
Better I think.
Then tonight I was playing around with the photo in Canon's Digital Photo Professional. Here are the results from that tool.
Something about the third photo just freaked me out. The Bear's eye seems to be penetrating right to the core of me. This is the emotion I wanted to evoke with one of these Bear images.
This was all made possible because I was shooting in RAW and had the best source to post process. I used to think that working with a photo after you had taken the picture was cheating. I'm quickly changing my mind about that.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
We started off on a trip to the Japanese Festival at the Mo. Botanical Gardens but there was just no parking what so ever. So I dropped some friends off at the entrance and the rest of us headed to the Zoo.
One thing of note about the St. Louis Zoo is the fact they do not charge anything to enter. This is a one of the great things about living in St. Louis. They also have a pretty good amount of free parking around the Zoo. If that does not work out there are some big lots that charge a fee.
You might think that a free Zoo would not be that good. Not so, from what I understand the St. Louis Zoo is on par with any other Zoo in the Country. So all of you that live in other cities, it is alright for you to feel just a bit envious.
If you would like to see some of the pictures I took head over to my flickr account http://www.flickr.com/photos/reboot95
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The Photowalk in St. Charles only had about 18 people sign up for it so it was a very small intimate affair. I think that worked out a bit better than the other walks that were full to the brim.
If you get a chance to go on a photowalk take it.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Comes with Lens Hood
Great Zoom range
A bit heavy
Slow Auto Focus
Can't nudge the Auto Focus
With an 18-200mm zoom range this works well as a lens that can stay on the camera most of the time. This is a good thing with the "dust on sensor" problems inherent in a DSLR. The lens ends up being a number of compromises. The price on Amazon is great, the Optical Stabilization works well and is a real plus in shooting. The Autofocus is sort of slow and hunts a lot in low light. The lens could be a bit faster but all and all for the Amazon price of around $462 it is a good buy, and has become my primary lens. Oh yeah, and the pictures turn out pretty good too.
Friday, August 15, 2008
I've been using the Digital Photo Professional software that came along with my Canon EOS Rebel XTi. It has a few features that I like. And works really nicely with raw images that come out of the canon. The software allows you to choose different picture styles that mimic the ones available on the camera. The feature I've liked the best is to switch the picture to monochrome and then apply filters to give it different "Black and White effects".
Another thing I have noticed shooting in RAW with JPEGS turned on sure makes a 4 Gig card seem small. My 8 Gig card arrived a few days ago.
With this picture I selected monochrome added a red filter which really made the clouds look great. I then added a bit of blue tint to it. I sort of liked the effect and the way the picture turned out. A number of people have looked at it with puzzlement and asked why it was Blue.
This photo started life as a Canon Camera Raw image with these settings.
Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Focal Length: 154 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Focal Length: 200 mm
While on a road trip I happened upon this cemetery in IL. The starkness of a Tombstone with the word Wedding on it captured my attention. I felt it would look better in Black and White. I used Canon's Digital Photo Professional to create the Black and White image.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Take a look at this post from the Photowalk pro blog. If you would like to try it yourself http://www.revellphotography.com/blog/?p=982
I did not follow his recipe exactly I exercised some creative license and I'm sort of happy with the way it turned out. I sent it to a friend and he thought I had gotten a pinhole camera.
Still on the quest to be comfortable in Photoshop. But for now I am happy to follow recipes.
Know any good ones?