Thursday, November 29, 2007
Someone close to me this week was uncertain of his faith because he had questions. Because he didn't have all the factual evidence of Christ, he wasn't sure if he could believe. To go further, he'd heard that because he became a Christian when he was a kid that it basically didn't count... Anybody out there who can relate? Well, hunker down and grab something to drink, take a minute or two from your busy day and read.
Kari and I read Hebrews 11 this morning, simply because it was the next chapter in our study together, and it’s amazing how closely it followed what we had talked about. It’s a big part of what is so awesome to me about God’s timing, because if you didn't already guess, Hebrews 11 is more famously known as the Faith Chapter. :)
This is the link about the day my son accepted Christ.
If you asked my boy, he’d never remember the exact day. We do, of course. We took his picture, wrote in his bible, and it was a reason to celebrate. But to him, it happened, and it doesn’t matter if he can remember the exact hour of the day or what the sunset looked like. Do you think that matters to Christ? C'mon. My boy made a decision to believe, and God honored it.
That doesn’t mean that because he got saved that he’s golden. It’s not like he has a monopoly on life, some kind of Get Out of Jail Free card. There is still the consequence of temptations, his actions, his sin. That’s why the bible says to daily crucify that nature, to follow Him. Following him means that we are on a path. We can fall away, go whatever direction that we want, and I really believe we can throw away the gift that was given and be just as lost as if we were never found.
That’s the sweet and sour of having the free will to choose for ourselves. But God doesn’t forget our promises. We do.
Putting on the armor daily, being transformed by the renewing of the mind, these verses are about daily actions that produce fruit, that keep us drawing nearer to Jesus instead of falling further away. Whether we live to see the reward of that on Earth or not, we will reap it in eternity.
To those of you out there with questions, searching for answers: What you are doing, seeking Him and the truth, having questions and digging for the answers, it’s not wrong. It’s something you are supposed to do. You've got to know what you stand for. You've got to be ready to give an account.
(Heb 11:6) It's impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.
It’s a daily walk, even when we can’t see. Some of the most well known Christians never saw the fruits of their faith, or had the answers written out for them.
In fact I can pretty much guarantee that what they experienced in their lives probably didn’t make any sense at all.
Stephen was stoned for standing up for his faith. He had no idea that one of the men that would watch him die would go on to become Paul, the writer of almost half of the New Testament. Fox’s Book of Martyrs is filled with Christians who were persecuted even to death … They are a testament in and of themselves. They couldn’t have known that the record of their faith would give generations the courage to stand for their own.
Faith is first, and I really believe that God meets us in that action. None of us are ever going to have it all figured out. What fun would that be to have all the answers, to know the ending before you even read the first chapter? C.S. Lewis wrote a book about being Surprised by Joy. The title says it all. The joy is finding Jesus and His signature in the most unexpected of circumstances, realizing His workmanship where we least expect it… What more refreshing way to discover this gift than to open a little piece of it every morning.
I remember the anticipation, a few nights before Christmas, when my brother and I would sneak to the tree, armed with a razor blade and Scotch tape, ready to perform delicate surgery on every present under the tree. We'd open them up just enough to see the gift, then quickly cover our tracks and re-wrap them, hiding the evidence of any fore-knowledge with a new, fresh peice of tape. That way mom and dad wouldn't have a clue... yes, we were sooooo sneaky. To me, that’s what happens when we forget what following Christ should feel like. Every day there’s a new chance to be amazed. Only we've childishly covered up and removed any evidence of that joy.
If I wake up one morning and I’m not interested, or I’m too smart to be surprised, it won’t be because I just grew up, it will only be that I’ve forgotten the cost of that gift, the price that was paid and how precious it really is.
Posted by Daniel C. Elliott at 12:31 PM
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
If some of you are curious, we finally got the approval to add-on to our studio, and things are moving right along, thanks to alot of guys putting in some very full days of hard work.
Willy with WT Construction is contracting the work, and we've been amazed at the workflow and organization. Willy was here the minute we got our approval, even put some of his jobs on the back burner to get started on ours before the snow begins to fly.
We got to tour some of his homes this week, and I can tell you that every single one is unique and custom and downright beautiful. There's a special touch to every room that is remarkable.
My hat's off also to Gerry's Concrete for their time in this project. They were here before me (amazing enough), at the studio pouring the floor by 5 am, and last night when it got too dark to see and I thought they'd be calling it a day, they just repositioned their trucks and flipped on the headlights to keep right on working. If you can't tell from the frosty pictures, it was also bitter cold with the wind. The hot concrete came out of the truck and hit the ground steaming, and these guys took hold of that raw mud, pushing and sculpting it into a beautiful floor.
Well-spoken words bring satisfaction; well-done work has its own reward ~Proverbs 12:14
Posted by Daniel C. Elliott at 9:22 AM
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I had someone ask me a little while ago if all we did was weddings, based on our site.
I said 'no, we handle seniors, kids, families, maternity, even some commercial work now and then.' When they asked why all we showed was the weddings I was a little confused, until I realized they'd never been to our website (where all the pictures are), only to our blog.
Yeah, I know, I don't seem to post much about 'business' on my 'business' blog (i've never been a marketing genius, and I'm not exactly business savvy. I just take the pictures, and then write when I get the itch...didn't you know??).
Well we've only got about 2 weeks left for the rest of our senior sessions, so I thought it might be helpful if I actually posted some shots?
This is Kristi, and she hasn't even seen her pictures yet (cause I'm still editing them as I type), but I think they are just too beautiful to keep quiet about. Kristi is in drama, and she's a very intellectual young lady. It's probably a safe bet she's alot smarter than me. But hey, I think I still managed to capture that thirst for life, her spirit, which is what makes this girl so wonderful to be around...
Posted by Daniel C. Elliott at 5:30 PM