The man in the park.

I teach the 7 and 8 year olds in church.  Our lesson last week was on Isaiah. He lived about 700 years before Christ was born.  He prophesied about things that would happen in the future.  He preached that Christ would be born and die on the cross and raise again in 3 days.  He preached that Christ would come again - that every knee will bow that all nations and all tongues would proclaim that Jesus is their Savior. 

Last week I was taking pictures in the park and was approached by a man.  He asked if he could ask me a personal question.  I hesitated but then said Sure... 

He asked if I thought I was a good person and if I thought I deserved to go to heaven.  Ha!  What a silly question!  I told him that I believed every person would go to heaven in some form of glory and degree.  I told him I was trying to be a good person and that if I repented of my sins and obeyed Gods commandments that perhaps I may escape the fire and depths of hell.

He then questioned me and asked if I told any white lies or if at work I wasted any of my employers time.  It was the "good person test".  The questions continued.  He pointed out that each of us fail miserably at keeping God's commandments.

How can one get to Heaven?  If we are all sinners and we all are.... than none of us deserve to go to Heaven.  The Lord says he cannot look at sin in the least degree.  We all deserve to go to hell.  Even if today - we stopped sinning and doing ungodly things...  No amount of good works we can do will make up for all our sinning.

But....God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ as a Sacrifice to save us.  How could he save us - He was perfect.  He was Godly.  He laid down his own life and took it back up again.  He was a God. He is a God.  He has given us the gift of Eternal Life so that we may return to live with Him and be like Him.  So simple yet so many do not comprehend it.  We don't deserve this gift. We haven't earned it.  Jesus has already paid for us.  We belong to him.

I don't know what gave the man in the park the courage to approach a stranger and preach and teach about Jesus - Except this.  He gets it.  He understands.  He feels that power of redeeming love and wants to share it with others.  Like Samuel the prophet standing on the wall calling his people to repentance - he boldly speaks of Christ.  The man at the park said that when he realized this truth he made a promise to Jesus he would bear his testimony to anyone who would listen.

A hymn that we sing in church I stand all amazed deeply touches me as I think about these things.

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died. …


Oh it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me
Oh it is wonderful - Wonderful to me

I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine.
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem and to justify....


Oh it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me!
Oh it is wonderful! Wonderful to me.

I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love, and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.


Oh it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me!
Oh it is wonderful! Wonderful to me.

(Hymns, 1985, no. 193)

Cloud Nine

I'm on cloud 9 and I have no intention of returning.

On the drive home from picking up my preschoolers I kept taking mental pictures of people and things I passed and wishing I had brought the camera with me.  I have been on cloud nine since I purchased my new camera.  I don't know how I ever got along without it - and can't remember life before I had it.  It's that special.  It's that much a part of me. 

Over the weekend 4 families let me take their pictures in the park.  The pictures turned out well and the families were happy with them.  I loved the time we spent together capturing the shots but it was while I was editing them that I fell in love with the people all over again.  I was able to catch some of their personalities and some special moments.  Editing can be very personal and emotional.  I love these people! 

I have always loved taking pictures but now that I have the proper equipment it has taken this fascination to a whole new level.  I hope that I never retire of taking pictures. 

You might have to come visit me at my new blog if I should go missing from here.  I will be posting pictures over there as soon as I get permission to do so.

Messy Jess Photography