Thursday, April 19, 2012

Unemployment And Stuart Smalley

So, Unemployment at 53 years old, … what’s it like?

Well, I think I can answer that now for those of you who have had the blessing of avoiding this experience.

Saturday Night Live had a character played by Al Franken named Stuart Smalley that kinda portrays how your mind plays games with you after you have been out of work for a while. If you don’t know what I’m talking about click here.

Stuart Smalley: I deserve good things. I’m entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with.
Narrator: Daily affirmations with Stuart Smalley. Stuart Smalley is a caring nurturer, a member of several 12 step programs, but not a licensed therapist.
Stuart Smalley: I’m going to do a terrific show today and I’m going to help people, because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and dog gone it, people like me.

Regardless of whether or not you believe anything Stuart says is true, ... this is what your mornings can be like in your head after you recieve a total of 0 returned phone calls or returned emails from potential employers after you jump through the hoops of the application process. You need a bit of Stuart Smalley in you to get through each day.

When a potential employer doesn’t return your call or respond to your resume, … you STILL know you can do that job. However, a prolonged period of unemployment will bring about a need for a self-worth booster shot. Over a period of time your sense of confidence drops. You develop feelings of being alone in the world (even when your family is focused on your care). You wonder if you’ll ever walk the ridges of mountains again. Will you ever feel productive? Eventually, you are broken. You really can’t talk about it too much. You sit quiet. You remain happy for good news for everyone around you … but you feel like you are worthless and matter to no one outside your direct family or friends. You’re on a raft with no pole.

I can go on and on with more detail here! But I won’t because that’s not where I choose to live. I am not on that raft.

I want you to know that I am experiencing the pain of these types of feelings. In other words, unemployment really isn’t the lark I may be showing on my face at a given moment. It really is unemployment … even if I am taking pictures and doing many things I used to do in my spare time. I'm back in school on two educational fronts. I am making myself available for assisting those in need in my local church.

I, myself, am in need right now … but I haven’t been forgotten. God has placed people in my life that have been a huge help and God is using them daily. God has already worked out circumstances for our good as a family even with very limited income for this period of our lives. God took care of the high cost of medical needs for our daughter. God used a man this week to assist us with a plumbing disaster.

However, it is true, at this moment, we remain in an ongoing sense of need and I feel sidelined in the game.

So, where do I go with all these feelings?

I will end this post by saying that I go straight to the Word of God and to His promises for me … because they are from a higher authority than world opinion.

I pray that the Lord will lift your heart with these words below so that you might be an encouragement to those who hurt around you.

God bless. NikonSniper Steve

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe." Proverbs 18:10

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

"Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?" 1 Peter 3:13

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?" Psalm 27:1

"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." Proverbs 3:24

"For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy." Psalm 61:3

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:13-14

“Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him.” Psalm 37:4-7

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD.” Psalm 40:1-3

“Those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31

“Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.” Hebrews 10:35-37

"My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." John 15:7

"All things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." Matthew 21:22

From Now Until The Cows Come Home

Cactus Flowers

Instrument Panel On My AVIS Rental

Fisherman's Wharf Bouquet

Galena House Inn

YES ... I Was Born And Raised In A Barn

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bryce Canyon Grandeur

Thank You Lord Jesus

JESUS calls me Friend
John 15:14-16
You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

The Matchless Power of JESUS, my Friend
Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

The Depth of Love of JESUS, my Friend
I am convinced that no matter how bad our situation is in this lifetime, it pales in comparison to the trouble we are in eternally lost without Christ. Christ owes us nothing!
The Bible says Jesus came to solve our eternal problem for the joy of doing it for us. Hebrews 12:2, says, Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Wow!

How should I respond to JESUS, my Friend?
Luke 7:36-50
One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”
“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

To JESUS, my Friend,
How can I ever thank you for paying for my sin? I can’t possibly understand why you loved me this much but I will cling to your promise of life eternal with you. I can only seek to live my life fully for you. Give me the strength to do what I cannot do on my own. Lord, I ask that you would use me to show others the greatness of your glory! I thank you for taking care of my needs. I thank you for the great wife and family you have given me. You owe me nothing … but my every breath comes from you and I pray I will use it to glorify your name.
Love, NikonSniper Steve

All Glory! International Version

I could tell you about the people that helped put this video together and a bit more about the talented people performing the music but I think that would completely miss the point, that ...
ALL glory, ALL honor, ALL wisdom, strength and power

Tired Horse

Our Breakfast With The Birds, Port Douglas

California Bank Deposits

Out Sniped

Soft Lights On Crater Lake

Massive Redwoods

Pirate Refreshment Barrel

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Telluride On Canvas

Beautiful Photography Award #4

This month's winner of the NikonSniper "Beautiful Photography Award" is ... Jim Begley of Corbin, Kentucky. You simply must click on his link and look at the beautiful galleries.
I love the Railroads, Alaska, Cars and Nature renditions of HDR photography. Many of you know I have been taking a stab at this new look in some of my photos but Jim Begley is a pro! All of his work is a delight to view! Enjoy!
I have learned many new ideas to attempt from his site and I hope to take a whack at some of this soon. Bravo Jim!
nikonsniper steve

Frosty Morning On Woodstock Square

Joplin Here I Come

Shades Of Creation

Shuteye After 2300 Miles Of Country Music

Flying Business Class To Tel Aviv