Holiday Gatherings

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Charleston West Virginia In Twilight 122319” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.


As the evening light lingers all of the ribbons are cast aside and the brightly colored paper is scattered across the floor.  The gifts well received and the children are either asleep or fighting to hold their heavy eyes open and enjoy the New toys for “just five more minutes.” In most homes the feasting will continue for several days ending on January 1st.

Extended families will begin the egress back to the individual houses with those familiar connections renewed. The bonding of of their hearts made stronger with the time spent together under the twinkling lights and around the tables of home.

The love they have shared under the glow of the New Light will warm their souls in the cold months to come.

I do often think about what it must have meant to part ways again in the days before long distance communication. In a time when one cold only share their thoughts with pen and paper in hopes that an express rider would be able to deliver the message intact. In those days a person may not see a loved one’s face for decades. Those were the days when expressions of love was delivered on the back of a horse and a visit from a friend or relative was a journey through the wilderness.

But that was also an age when a person’s time was their own. Unless they were tied down with livestock ( and many were ) there was no artificial deadline to be home by. That trip over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house was one that could be experienced and not just taken. and once the destination had been reached staying for an extra day or two was part of the gift.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Christmas 2019, the New Light

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Christmas In A Small Town 121117MR” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article. Unlike most of the photos on my blog it is a mixed reality image because it has been augmented beyond what my eyes actually saw.

I’ve been making reference to the “New Light” over the past several days. As I mentioned a few posts ago my world view encompasses multiple interpretations of what I observe.

  • The natural view which is a straightforward understanding of the physical world and it’s occurrences.
  • The philosophical view which is little “life lessons” not of a spiritual nature.
  • The spiritual view which are things that I think God is trying to teach me.

Sometimes all 3 come to me at once and sometimes they come at odd times. Sometimes there’s only one or two views that present themselves but generally speaking there’s always something to be contemplated. Such is the case with the holidays and the solstice.

I believe that the Gospel of Christ was first written on nature. All of the natural events in our world ( which in my view includes the whole of the physical universe) are foreshadowing the story of Jesus. The world was born in darkness as told in the first 3 verses of the book of Genesis. I equate this with the ages before Jesus and the winter solstice with the night before Christ was born and the creator of the universe inhabited an earthly body to bring us life.

St John chapter 1 verse 4 teaches us that Jesus Christ is our light and source of life

We don’t really know for certain what day or season Jesus Christ was born in. There’ good evidence for December based on the details of when the shepherds would have been in the field. But the symbolism of a world in darkness receiving light was the important thing.

When we think about the symbolism of light we generally think about ” enlightenment” relating to a deeper understanding of the deep things concerning God’s nature and ultimate truth. But if you search it out the light of the sun symbolizes God’s grace. Or in other words, the unmerited favor of God. A gift that mankind did not and could not earn but which we desperately needed.

So, to tie it all together. We are celebrating the gift of grace through the coming of Jesus Christ at a time when the symbol of grace is rising higher in the sky. The actual date of His birthday is not as important as recognizing the gift that was given.

Merry Christmas to you and yours from Lloyd’s Lens Photography.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Forage Friday #38 Mistletoe

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image was taken just for Forage Friday. All of the photos are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

While mistletoe is not known to have ever caused human death it is toxic and is likely to make you very sick. I normally wouldn’t include such a plant in a Forage Friday post however it does have a market value as a Christmas decoration could feed you indirectly if you’re crafty enough to collect it and transform it into decor to be sold as such for a profit.

Throughout the Appalachian Mountains the bare branches stand out in contrast to the sky. However, along the Kanawha River some of the trees still have thick green clusters of leaves that seem to form lose spherical shapes in random locations in the trees. In winter this is the tell tale sign of mistletoe.

As stated in the warning above mistletoe has no food value. It is a parasite to the tree that hosts it and often causes deformation of wood. It’s peg like root grows into the cambium layer and diverts nutrients from the branches. The white sticky seeds are toxic except to birds. In fact, the only thing that mistletoe has going for it the culture that’s provided a niche for it to fill.

I have done a little research on the origin of mistletoe as a Christmas tradition and following is a very abbreviated layman’s version of the tradition of kisses under the mistletoe.

Well before that famous kiss between mommy and Santa Claus the mistletoe plant was a symbol of love and benevolence in the Norse cultures. I know that Thor gets all the Press because of Marvel’s Avengers and Stan Lee’s wonderful imagination but back the Baldr ( Sometimes spelled Balder) was the big hero. In the Norse mythology Baldr was a god with a pretty impressive talent. He was invulnerable. So much so that the other gods made a game of testing their weapons on him. However, Loki managed to learn that Baldr’s one weakness was mistletoe and depending on the version of the story struck him with either a dart or an arrow made from mistletoe. Which of course lead to Loki being asked to leave the party in an unceremonious manner. Everyone was bummed out over the death of Baldr including the mistletoe. So the Norse gods struck a deal with mistletoe. ( everything in Norse mythology has a personality) Mistletoe would promise never allow itself to be used as a weapon again ( in spite of the fact that it is a poison) and in return the gods would make it a symbol of love.

Then in 18th century England (and presumably because the myth had gained some resurgence ) a “game” was created where merrymakers were allowed to steal a kiss from any girl caught under the mistletoe. There also seemed to be a rule that for each kiss a white berry was removed from the sprig and once the berries were all gone the kissing game was over.

I have tried to learn how the mistletoe tradition made it into the Christian traditions of Christmas. As the church began to adapt it’s own versions of the pagan holidays many the elements were converted and assigned an alternative myth. However, mistletoe seems to have been more tolerated than adapted and therefore I could no alternate myth.

I did mention that if you’re crafty enough to make a kissing ball that mistletoe might provide a little extra holiday income. I couldn’t find any special instructions for preserving mistletoe however Southern Living magazine recommends harvesting the sprigs with a shotgun. Now I like to shoot guns but I’m going to recommend that you use a pole pruner so as not to have little holes in your decorations. 😉

I did a quick check on Amazon for a mistletoe kissing ball and an 8 inch diameter plastic kissing ball was priced at $12-$15. My gut feeling is that a well made natural mistletoe ornament should be worth at least $25 and there’s plenty of craft shows and farmer’s markets to sell them in.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

The One True Gift

The Most Recognizable Christmas Decoration is of course the Nativity Scene itself. When I was a kid it was just as common as the Snowman and Santa Claus are today. Every village square and every church yard displayed a large manger scene with livestock, wise men, shepherds and angels. Almost every home had a rustic miniature nativity that seemed to be either on the coffee table or the large stereo cabinet in the living room.

The secular world certainly has lots of questions about where Jesus was born, how he was born and they’re quick to point out that December 25th was not his real birthday. Yeah, we knew that already. And it doesn’t matter. My faith is not in the date. My faith is not in how many wise men actually showed up. It doesn’t matter if he was born in a manger or under a tree and then brought into the manger later. My faith is in the identity of the child who was given out of the love of my creator for all of mankind. My salvation is in the fact that Jesus was both God and Man and that his innocent blood would be shed thirty three years later to bring reconciliation between us and father God. It’s just that simple. And, if I can just hold on to the truth of why we celebrate and who we celebrate then it truly is Christmas every day.

Normally I end my blog post by pitching my business and instructions on how to contact me or follow my page but tonight I wanted to take a break and just give you something from the heart. Tonight’s image is untitled and not for sale. It’s simply a confession of my faith. That though Jesus Christ I was reconciled unto God almighty. There’s a Christmas gift for ya. From reconciliation to redemption and the things God has in store for the believer beyond this broken world.

Merry Christmas friends and may God bless us every one.

Tomorrow night there will be no post. I’m taking Christmas Day off to spend time with family. My next post will be on December 26th.

The Star Of Bethlehem

Tonight I want to Continue with looking into the meaning behind Christmas decorations with the Star Of Bethlehem. Today it’s either used as a topper for the Christmas Tree or displayed as part of the Nativity Scene. As I researched for tonight’s post I was amazed at the number of articles that try to figure out how to make the Star into some explainable cosmic event such as a Supernova, Comet or an alignment of the planets. That would make it easier to explain away the miraculous birth of the Messiah. As if all that happened was that the Magi studied star charts and calculated when the event would occur. While I believe that there was a certain amount of looking for signs that would lead up to the appearance of the Star Of Bethlehem I believe that the Star Of Bethlehem itself was a special creation of God that existed only for a limited time to fulfill the Prophecy.

Numbers 24:17
“I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.”

What I learned most while reading up on the Star Of Bethlehem was that in trying to deconstruct a miracle it’s so easy to lose it. How often do we pray for answers and then try to explain those answers away? We all do that at some point in life. Outside of the obvious symbol of Star in fulfillment of prophecy I think that the Star on the top of the Christmas Tree should remind us to simply trust and follow. If we can learn that the God will do the rest.

Standing in for the Star Of Bethlehem in tonight’s feature image is the full moon as seen through a cross six lens filter.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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Tonight’s Feature Image is untitled but is available for purchase by usingthe Contact Form on my website. ( just click the picture of the bell below)

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