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.

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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.

All About The Christmas Holly

Well by gosh by golly, tonight’s post is all about holly!

One of the more familiar icons of the Christmas season in North America holly is a direct analogy to Jesus Christ.

Obviously the red berries are said to represent the blood that was shed for the remittance of sin. Only innocent blood could break the curse of Adam.

The prickles on the leaves are in relationship to the crown of thorns. In Roman Times the highest honor a leader could receive was a crown made from the grass of the battlefield where he had just gained victory. Because the thorn is a symbol for the curse of Adam a crown of thorns could be seen as a symbol for Christ’s victory, awarded to him by the sinners who He was born to save.

Holly is evergreen representing eternal life bestowed upon us by Jesus.

The wood produced by holly is white and symbolizes purity.

On a side note, if you want to have pretty red berries on your holly tree you need two trees. Holly comes in male and female trees. Holly grows wild in my area and before I understood why I would be disappointed to see one without berries.

In addition to that, one of my Forestry instructors would tell us that “holy wood will guide you right”. The wood is very fine grained and somewhat oily. Because of this it was once used to make guide pins for saw mills.

Even though Christmas holly is evergreen there is a type of holly tree that is deciduous. It has bright red berries like it’s festive Christmas cousin but the leaves turn bright yellow in the fall and drop in winter.

The berries of all hollies are poison but beautiful to look at making them great landscaping for the drab backdrop of winter.

That’s pretty much it for holly as it relates to the Christmas season. I hope that you have enjoyed this post.

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

Ring this bell for Facebook

Recently, I’ve been made aware that many of my posts on Facebook are being buried in the feed. So, if you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of theWelcome Page

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Christmas Holly 2018” and is available for purchase by usingthe Contact Form on my website. ( just click the picture of the bell below)

The second picture is titled “Deciduous Holly 2018” and is also available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website.

( just click the picture of the bell below)

(Note, I do not share or sell contact information. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

Ring this bell to order prints or schedule portraits

I’m also available for portraits by appointment. Use the Contact Form or message me on Facebook for details.

Be Still and Know

“Be still, and know that I amGod: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalms 46:10
King James Version (KJV)

Sometimes it’s hard to simply be still. As humans, we are creatures of action. We want to make things happen on our schedule. We desire to crack open a situation and “fix” it to fit into our plans. However, it’s not our plans that need to be completed. God has a plan and He is able to complete it. We have all had the experience of the over eager helper who means well but messes up the plan by doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. Or even when it’s right thing but at the wrong time.

Imagine that you have a classic car and you’re preparing it for a show. Your child wants to help and you’re overjoyed. Now, imagine that you’re soaping up the driver’s side and you look up to find the child waxing the unwashed passenger side. There’s a big smile on his face because he’s giving you his best effort and he’s proud because he hasn’t missed a spot. How often do we mess up God’s plans by trying to help but not doing it at the right time? How often do we try to polish a soul that God is still cleaning? I know that the verse above is normally quoted by folks who mean to inspire a sense of peace but there are times when God is simply saying “Step back a minute, I got this”. In those times we need to step back and let God deal with it.

My Last Christmas Wish of 2017

I have one last Christmas image to share this year.  This is a photo of the holly tree in my parent’s yard.  I used an out of the box filter to make it look like a painting.  Evergreen trees are a symbol of immortality.  Over the years I have come to learn that the secret of the evergreen trees is constant renewal.  As we exit the Christmas holiday and head into the New Year my last Christmas wish is that we are renewed in body,  mind and spirit.  

The Angel Story

Luke 2:10

 

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” 
King James Version (KJV)  

By this time tomorrow most of the United States will be covered by a blanket of wrapping paper.   I can picture in my mind that the responsible member of house is standing by with a snow shovel ready to plow through a brightly colored avalanch of Christmas joy. Great care must be taken during this task lest small chilchildren be lost within an embankment paper and empty boxes.  It’s easy to be swept up in the trappings of the celebration when you are only two feet tall.  As an adult,  it’s easy to to get lost in the excitement and preperation of the season. We have a tendency to focus on the doings  and overlook the beings.  I imagine that when the angel visited the shepherds that they may not have noticed at first.  Tending livestock requires multitasking.  Hedges must be maintained, animals are constantly wandering off, adequate food and water needs to be available and sibling rivalry has to quelled. Its very much like managing a family gathering. The Herald Angel would have needed to use that trumpet to get everyone’s attention.  “HEY, OVER HERE! EVERYONE FOLLOW ME! WE’RE HEADING INTO TOWN TO SEE THE BABY JESUS!” 

When they arrive there is more chaos.  The sheep are still wondering off, the wisemen’s camel train has taken over the parking  and now the cattle are lowing. Mary would have been a nervous wreck without the grace of God.  Everybody is there to see the precious gift laying in a manger.   The noise and clamor of the inn fade away into the night as the baby opens his eyes and the true gift is realized.  

It’s easy to get lost in the excitement.  There are plenty of distractions. Everything from twenty-four hour T.V. specials to making dinner and enjoying the surprises under the tree. Take a little time to stop and let all these things fade into the background and appreciate the true gift of Christ.