The Perfect Shot Part 2: Forward-Facing

When we have that camera in the forward-facing position, we’re not always going to get that “perfect shot”. We have to remember that humans are human and none are going to be “photogenic” all the time.

In the last post I wrote about a beautiful view of God’s creation such as sunsets, rainbows, etc. If we look at a different angle, human beings are part of His creation as well. When we think of human beings as His creation, maybe we first think of babies.

Looking at a baby we see innocence, purity, new life. A little face, a little being, perfect and untouched by the world. No wonder so many want to hold them.

As those babies grow older, they begin to change. They go through different stages at different ages. They sometimes break out with pimples in the teenage years or even later down the road of life, wrinkles begin to develop- not to mention anything and everything else in between.

Babies become adults in what seems to be the blink of an eye, yet nothing has changed as far as the Creator is concerned. People are His creation. So innocent in the beginning, then developing their character as well as their imperfections and blemishes. Not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. It’s hard to look past that, right? Sure it is, sometimes.

If it’s someone we know and love, we tend to have an easier time maneuvering around those things that block our view to see the beauty inside of them we know is there. Or is it easier?

Sometimes what we end up seeing on the inside makes it a little more difficult to look past.

Life eventually takes it’s toll on all mankind, sometimes more on the inside than the out. Then, sometimes equally, it seems.

When we have that camera in the forward-facing position, we’re not always going to get that “perfect shot”. We have to remember that humans are human and none are going to be “photogenic” all the time.

I’m reminded of when my husband is engrossed in some sort of program on television. My daughter walks in and just so happens to stop and stand right in front of the TV. He’ll move his head around to see what’s on the screen.

Making the effort to look past something to see what’s behind it must mean there’s something back there worth seeing. That is the way the Lord wants us to see people, the way He sees them- looking past the effects life has had on them. He wants us to see who He created and He wants us to love them just as He does.

*Application*
Ask the Lord to help us see others through His eyes, to have love and compassion for those we view as unlovable.

The Perfect Shot

When I see a beautiful sight, I always grab for my cell phone in hopes to get that perfect shot. What makes it perfect to me? To not have anything obstructing my view.

I’ve missed numerous sunrises due to the fact that I’m not a morning person but I’ve chased many a rainbow, ran to see a sunset and, of course, walked around with my head in the clouds.

It’s God’s creation and it always amazes me. It’s perfection at it’s finest: raw, unfiltered beauty.

Do you ever think that God looks upon His creation in this way? In the beginning, the book of Genesis, the Bible says God saw that it was good.

When I see a beautiful sight, I always grab for my cell phone in hopes to get that perfect shot. What makes it perfect to me? To not have anything obstructing my view.

I live in rural America, nice place, not a lot of buildings to get in the way but there are plenty of powerlines. Numerous times I’ve had to crop these things out of my photos before being satisfied- and some aren’t able to be cropped out. They are right in the way.

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I don’t want to have to look past these man made things to see the beauty but sometimes I have no choice. It may not make for the perfect shot but it doesn’t take away the beauty that exists past it all.

Sometimes we have to look past those “power lines”- those things in our lives that tend to have so much power that they distract us from the beauty beyond.

Do we see the beauty past the chaos? Are we looking at what’s going on OR are we seeing what’s happening? Although I’ve used both of these phrases in italics as an informal greeting,  I realize they are actually very different.

It is possible to become so tuned in to the Father that we can still see that raw, unfiltered beauty in even the toughest of situations in our lives.

We must desire to look through God’s eyes. We must have faith in Him and in His Word, remembering His unfailing love and promises to His children that He will keep. He is where that power lies.

*Application*
Ask the Lord to help us look past what’s obstructing our view: to see through His eyes.

Nothing New Under the Sun

Although what you have to say may have already been said, you never know who might read your posts when others’ have gone unread.

I used to love to read Christian books. I loved finding deals at yard sales, thrift stores, book stores and anywhere else I could find them. I would come home and put them on a bookshelf. Any time I would walk by and look, one would catch my eye. I would pull it off the shelf, open it and it would be something that would speak to my heart.

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When I first started working on my own book, I quit reading other books. I even got rid of a bunch of them. I feared something would stick in my mind and I would unconsciously plagiarize. I didn’t want to be labeled “copycat” so I chose to stick with the Bible as being the only book I would read.

Although I read articles from time to time, I still haven’t touched but a handful of books over the past 4 years.

It’s been a little less than a month and a half since I started this journey in my life called blogging and it has been a roller coaster of a ride. I’ve had moments of excitement as well as moments of discouragement. Not long in, I even wished I’d never started so no one would know I had quit.

One night I was so discouraged, I desperately picked up my phone and “Googled” when you’re a discouraged blogger (or something to that effect). I read the first thing that popped up on my screen, which was a blog and just as the books I used to open, that post was exactly what I needed. It spoke to my heart.

Recently I ventured out onto the blogging site I use and read some fellow bloggers’ posts and even subscribed to some of their sites! I joined a social media group of blogging women. I have found a special community and they have welcomed me in with open arms. It has been a huge blessing to say the least!

And do you know what? I’ve read a post someone wrote about getting a speeding ticket (and they wrote theirs before I wrote mine). I’ve read posts about some things I wrote about in my book. I’ve read posts where someone used the same Bible verse last week that I used the other day. I’ve read posts about things that have been weighing on my mind and heart heavily. I’ve read good godly advice about blogging and the Christian life. I’ve read about our faults and His grace. And do you know what else I’ve read?

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 NKJV   9) That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.  10) Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.

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I have realized I’ve been robbing myself of blessings for quite some time now. As my friend Elizabeth told me- the root word of relationship is relate. When you can relate, it builds relationships. We understand one another! So, to all my newfound blogging friends, I want to thank you!

If you’re not a blogger and you have something to say, start a blog!

Although what you have to say may have already been said, you never know who might read your posts when others’ have gone unread.

Now I’m beginning to sound like Dr. Seuss so I’m signing off for now (haha).

Thank you for reading and God bless!

The Mustard Seed

As I looked off to try to pull myself together, I just so happened to look to my right and there on a shelf was a nice, shiny glass jar full of mustard seeds!

Luke 17:5-6 NKJV    5) And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6) So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

I never knew what a mustard seed looked like when I first read this verse  long ago, but could only assume it was a very small seed. It never seemed to affect my understanding until years later when I actually saw one. It was quite an encouragement to see how small a mustard seed really is and know, if I have at least that much faith, big things can happen.

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A lady I used to clean for once a week never had me doing the same thing as I did the previous week. One day she wanted me to help her clean her spice cabinet out. As I reached and retrieved different bottles and containers, I handed them down to her. When we got to the container of mustard seed she said it needed to be thrown away. I quickly spoke up and asked if I could have it. Of course she didn’t care and I gladly brought the jar home.

Since I spend a great deal of my time in my own kitchen, I decided I’d put it on the counter beside my stove. It would be a good reminder for me.

Reminders can sometimes be overlooked when we see them day after day, but when we see them in places other than our own kitchen, they remind us, as well as revive us, in a special kind of way. The reminders we’re blessed with seem to come along just at the right time.

It was the night before Christmas (just kidding, but it was close!) and my husband and I were out doing some last minute shopping. We decided to eat at a restaurant close by that we’d never been to (Outback Steakhouse).

As we sat at the table, we talked about some things that were heavy on our hearts at that time. As I looked off to try to pull myself together, I just so happened to look to my right and there on a shelf was a nice, shiny glass jar full of mustard seeds!

The shelves weren’t near every table but they were by ours at a perfect time: a time when all the faith I had was surely as much as at least one tiny seed in that large jar.

I believe He hears our hearts say to Him, “Increase our faith.”

Can you think of a time when He gave you a reminder?

 

The Speeding Ticket Part I

In a desperate attempt to escape the inevitable, I said, “This is my first ticket in 9 years.” Unimpressed, he handed me the clipboard and an ink pen and asked me to sign the ticket.

Last school year, the day before the last day of school, I was in a hurry.(Imagine that!) I had to get my daughter to school on time, then had to be somewhere else, somewhat of a distance away, with very little time to spare.

The speed limit was 45. I saw a policeman coming towards me from the opposite direction and I knew I was busted. Somehow I had gotten away with going the speed of however far down my foot pushed on the pedal for quite a few years. Nothing outrageous but nonetheless, breaking the law. I began to think maybe they couldn’t clock me, or in my own little mind, that they just wouldn’t pull me over.

I so often justify my actions regarding my miles per hour by debating why the speed is posted as it is, what think it should be posted and why. I actually even see myself take my fingers off the keys as I’m typing this. It seems I just can’t completely shake the feeling of needing to justify my argument. In reality, it doesn’t really matter. In the words of so many these days: It is what it is. It surely was what it was: I was pulled over.

I rolled my window down as he approached my car. “Ma’am, do you know how fast you were going?” “Uhhh…. 50 something???” I said. After all, once I saw him and slowed down, that was what I was going.  “61!” He replied.

I was irritated, to say the least. I’d already grabbed my license and proof of insurance and handed them to him when he asked for them. I told him I didn’t have my registration with me but he only said “ok”. He took what I had and walked back to his vehicle behind me- you know, the one with the bright blue lights flashing.

My stepson and daughter were with me. My daughter in the back seat saying, “This is great. I’m going to be late.” And my stepson sitting beside me, shaking his head, saying something about accepting the consequences of my actions. I, of course, didn’t want to hear it.

When the cop came back to my car, he had his little clipboard with a bright pink piece of paper on it. In a desperate attempt to escape the inevitable, I said, “This is my first ticket in 9 years.” Unimpressed, he handed me the clipboard and an ink pen and asked me to sign the ticket. The $187.25 ticket!

If my low fuel light would’ve been on, I still think I would’ve made it many more miles on just fumes because I was fuming mad! Me, the kids and my attitude pulled back out onto the highway. I dropped my daughter out at school and went on towards my next destination. I spent half the day blaming this on whoever, or whatever, I could. (Yes, I’m 38.) It’s almost as if I had to go through different stages of emotions before I reached the point of admitting it was nobody’s fault but my own.

Let’s go ahead and face the truth. Rebellion is not a good thing. Me being a Christian makes it even more not a good thing. 

So many times I talk to the kids, and whoever else as it may come up, about our own actions. How on the day of judgment we won’t be able to point fingers at anyone else for what we do. That will be unacceptable.

2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV says- For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

So, did I deserve the ticket?

(Just kidding! No hesitation there.)

YES! I acknowledge that I deserved the ticket.

There is a statement on this citation in all caps right above the line where I had to sign that says:

I UNDERSTAND THE ABOVE NOTICE, AND THAT MY SIGNATURE IS NOT AN ADMISSION OF GUILT.

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The thing is, to me it was an admission of guilt. My signature clearly shows my attitude of pride and rebellion against authority, yet I really had no other choice but to admit that I WAS GUILTY.

Thank you for reading!

Stay tuned for Part II of “The Speeding Ticket”.