Determination

The paved a road over me but I sprouted anyway.

The put up a fence to keep me out but climbed onto the fence and used it to reach skyward.

Then men came with saws and in anger they cut me down and hauled off my crown. I was devastated for a season. But my roots are strong and deep and in defiance I rose again.

I will not give up.

I will not yield.

I will live and I will flourish in this place where God planted me in spite of all challenges.

I am determined.

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Determined To Live “and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article. ( you can click on the tile to reach the contact form)

I have passed by this tree stump every day for more than fifteen years but I never really noticed it. Modern life is lived at sixty five miles per hour and it’s easy to overlook the details when you’re just trying to make your destination on time. However, I was forced to stop in front of stump by a construction zone and noticed the guardrail running through the tree. I couldn’t believe that I had not ever noticed it before standing just a few feet away from the current guardrail. But when I saw it I couldn’t unsee it. It was one of those things that called for to me to tell it’s story.

I thought about the conditions it must have had to sprout in. It would have been mowed down several times before reaching a size too large for the mower to cut. It was in the process of absorbing the guardrail when it was cut down. Now I see new leaves sprouting up from the stump. The tree embodies the the definition of determination. The drive to thrive regardless of adversity.

Being determined doesn’t mean that there won’t be a struggle or that you won’t be knocked down. Instead it means not giving up before you overcome.

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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Lastly, 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.

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Holding My Peace

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Peace Like A River ” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Ever since I was a kid people have advised me to “hold my peace”. It wasn’t until recently that I understood that this phrase didn’t necessarily mean shut up. Oh, I understand that’s what most people intend when they invoke the words but it means something different to me now. I hope that it’s going to mean something different for you too after this post. I realize that I have some readers that are not Christian. I can’t write this one from any other perspective. So, if you’re offended by Christianity then this post isn’t for you. You can skip this one. Unless of course, you’re tolerant enough to read it and try to gain something. I write a lot about peaceful moments and quiet time. The images that I share with you are normally places where I go to spend a few moments with Jesus Christ or in some cases something that makes me feel his presence in my life. It’s the things that “recharge my batteries”.

Christ is an endless supply of peace. We can be filled at any time. But the real challenge is staying full of peace in a world where your peace is under constant assault. I don’t have to provide examples, we all know where that stress comes from. Which brings me to my point. Being filled with peace and holding onto your peace might be two different things. Holding my peace now means something different to me. It means the ability to carry that peace throughout the day. I’m just as human as the next guy. There’s times when my peace battery is completely depleted. I’ve even gotten stressed out about being stressed out. The Apostle Paul said that he had to repent every day. But you know what? I’ve never really read where Jesus Christ refused to accept repentance. Don’t get me wrong, there will be a day when the age of grace closes and the day of vengeance will be at hand but not until after the rapture. Today we can simply come apart from the outside world and recharge as often as we need. And holding onto your peace gets easier with practice. Even if that means holding as long as you can and then running outside or into the next room to regain your grip on it. That grip will get stronger with exercise.

I hope you find this post and image to be an encouragement. Be blessed and have a great day.

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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https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

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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 onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

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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! Simply message me on Facebook oruse 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=238248269630914251

Lastly, 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! 😊

Winning The Day Regardless of the Score

Hello friends! tonight’s feature image is titled “Anticipation” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

They Tell me that it’s not really spring until there’s the crack of a bat. According to the MLB the opening day is May 28th 2019 which is actually early for Baseball but late for Spring. I have to be honest. I’m not a big fan of watching sports. What I am a big fan of is the bonding of attending the game. It’s not really something that I do often but When I do go I go for the whole experience. I don’t care about the score or the stats of the players. I like the smell of the popcorn or hotdogs and to listen to banter between the fans. I love to see the excitement in a child’s eyes when his team gets a home run.

I titled tonight’s featured image “Anticipation” because even though I’m not a big fan of watching sports I love to play. other than the occasional picnic i didn’t play much baseball but i did participate in other sports. I know what an athlete thinks about before the game. We work hard and train preparing for the big day. We want the crowd to go wild when we score. We have anticipation. We walk out onto the field on game day long before the crowd gets there & visualize these thing because we know that when the clock starts we will be in the zone. We hope & pray that our best is good enough 7 that when we fail the fans will show grace. Athletes thrive on the admiration of the crowd and losing that admiration is their worst nightmare. That shouldn’t be a big surprise because as humans we all thrive on the admiration of out peer group and we all fail. We hope and pray that those peers will show grace when we fail.

Its going to happen at some point in our lives. We’re all going to “strike out” or “drop the ball” or in the case of a racecar driver “crash and burn”. Failure is inevitable for all of us. we hope to find grace in the eyes of our friends not if but when it happens.

Imagine the ball player out on the field and all eyes are on him or her as the ball is dropped. when the game is a broadcast that error is exposed to everyone as the crowd hurls sneers and jeers. But what if the camera was on the crowd as someone dribbled hotdog sauce onto their shirt only to have the crowd respond with the same distaste?

I think the most awesome moment is sports history went down without the world even noticing. The game was in overtime and the batters were running out of gas. the pitch is given and the batter strikes out losing the game by one run. Amid the crowd’s disapproval I saw a small boy approach the rail. He couldn’t be older than six years. As the batter walked back to the dugout with his head low the boy reaches for him. I couldn’t hear the exchange but I didn’t have to hear it. Look on player face said it all as the child consoles the man. That grace in the eyes of a child told me that the payer won the game regardless of the score.

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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https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

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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 onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

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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! Simply message me on Facebook or use the contact form on my website and 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=238248269630914251

Lastly, 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! 😊

Out Of The Darkness

Hello Friends! For well over a year now I have posted at least once per day and to the best of my knowledge I have never recycled a picture. Technically that’s still true because tonight’s feature image is a new version of a previously published image. So I’ve titled the new version “Light At The End Of The Tunnel 2019”. If you would like to purchase a copy please use the contact instructions at the bottom of the bottom of the page.

Some days it feels like you’re on top of the world and nothing can go wrong. But then other days feel more like the world’s on top of you and nothing is working out according to the original vision. It’s going to be okay. The darkness won’t last forever.

Most of us don’t really know how many people are sending prayers on our behalf when troubles come. Especially if we’re busy just trying to survive the darkness. But trust me here, you have far more friends and family that believe in you than you’re aware of. Some of the dark places last a little longer than others but none of them are permanent dwelling places as long as you continue to push forward. Even as I write this I can here the pessimist’ s comments about the light being “a freight train heading your way “. Well, I can tell you that odds of encountering that oncoming train are greater for those who set up camp inside the tunnel than it is for those who continue to push towards the end. In fact, giving up before you reach the light is just about going to guarantee that train encounter so don’t give up! Keep making progress no matter what. Soon you will reach the light and the end of that dark place. And when you step outside of the tunnel remember that it takes some time for your eyes to readjust to the outside world again. There might even be a little pain but that won’t last either. As you rub your eyes and look around you’ll see how much beauty there is surrounding you again. With the darkness behind you and the fresh air filling your lungs I want you to know that we never had any doubts that you would make through.

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

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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/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

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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! Simply message me on Facebook or use the contact form on my website and 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=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos 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! 😊

First Bloom.

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “First Bloom”. As with all of feature images on my copies can be purchased by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

Tonight we’re having a little cold snap and as expected there is ice, snow and cold rain all on the same day. But I’m actually encouraged by the turn in the weather because historically there’s always a couple of snowy days before winter actually ends. Today’s snow means there’s only one or maybe two snows left to deal with. The next sign will be the emergence of the Serviceberry. Also known locally as Sarvis tree Serviceberry is probably the first thing to bloom in the Appalachian Mountains. As I understand it, the name comes from the old days when traveling during the winter months dangerous at best. Oftentimes when a person passed away in the winter the body was burried whenever it could be and the memorial service was delayed until Spring. There was little in the way of flowers to bring to the grave and thus the bloom of the Serviceberry tree filled the need. The tree would have been planted near churches and graveyards to ensure that flowers were available for those who came to the service. There’s other stories about how the tree got it’s name and there’s a long list of names for this family of trees. If I remember correctly from my forestry classes ( 20 years ago) the trees do hybridize frequently making exact identification of species and strains best left to tree nerds.

Because of the early bloom these trees are an important source of food for honeybees. It’s a mistake to think that honeybees sleep the winter away. They are busy all through the winter keeping the hive warm with their bodies and that means that they need fuel. A quick Google search says that a hive might need as much as thirty pounds of honey to make it through until Spring. TALK ABOUT A SUGAR BUZZ! By the time the weather warms up they’ll be ready to resupply and a good crop of Serviceberry bloom is just thing to tide them over until the rest of the flowers wake up. Honeybees feed the world so if you’re the kind of person who plants ornamentals and your local environment will support Serviceberry then you can do something that will actually make the world a better place by planting Serviceberry. Not only will you feed the bees that pollinate crops that feed the world but you’ll be rewarded with crop of your own. The Serviceberry fruit is edible and delicious! When I was a kid we would eat the raw when we could beat the wildlife to the berries but there’s a whole list of puddings, pies and preserves that use the berries.

I’m betting that some of my fellow Appalachians have some wonderful stories about picking Serviceberry fruit in late Spring and early Summer and I’d love to hear about your memories in the comments! If you’re reading this in one of the Facebook groups that have comments turned off then come on over to the Lloyd’s Lens Photography page on Facebook and tell me your story there. The weather is bad outside but we can look forward to seeing those delicate white flowers soon. The feature image for this post was taken in the last week of March a couple years ago.

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

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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/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

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I have new way for you purchase photos!

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! Simply message me on Facebook or use the contact form on my website and 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=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos 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! 😊

Winter’s Last Grasp

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my blog! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Dark Skies Over The Kanawha River”. If you would like to purchase a copy please use the contact instructions at the bottom of the page.

Dark skies hang over my Appalachian Mountains as old man winter throws his end of the season tantrums. In just nine days he must give up his throne and fade into history. Not being one who favors change he has sent rain sleet and snow as well as a blast from his icy breath. But have no fear. He can’t hold out much longer. Let old man winter waste his strength in vain. Ice will melt, waters will drain and topped trees will sprout new roots . I have already noticed that in the lower elevations the buds on the trees are beginning to swell in preparation for the explosion of new growth in the Spring. So as the cold rain falls and the trees shake in the wind I’ll be content to sit quietly by my fire and hold my loved ones close enough to keep them warm and safe. We know that the storms can’t last forever and that when the clouds break and the skies clear old man winter will be dethroned.

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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Just A Little Farther

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “A Little Farther Down The Line” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website or by messaging me Facebook. Links to each are provided below.

Just a little farther down the line, a new day dawns.

Just a little farther down the line, a new hope waits.

Just a little farther down the line a door opens.

Just a little farther down the line a friend welcomes.

Just a little farther down the line a dinner has been prepared.

Just a little farther down the line a celebration is in revelry.

Just a little farther down the line a family is reunited.

Just a little farther down the line it’s all there.

Step by step. Breath by breath. Day by day. We get there from here by not stopping, but by pressing a little farther down the line.

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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Go to https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/lloyds-lens-valentines-day-merchadise-page/ to support this blog by purchasing Frameable Valentine’s Day Cards

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