Tag Archives: photos

My Easter Weekend in Photos

Just for you, my dear readers and friends (even my non-friends…you know who you are), here are some photos from the Easter weekend of 2017.

Enter into my world 😉

It all started on Friday when Katie (my daughter) and I went to downtown Chattanooga to renew her car tags – then realized the courthouse was closed. Go figure.

Friday

Just outside of the old courthouse in Chattanooga. The courthouse is behind me out of view. The fountain was dedicated many years ago to two firemen that died.

 

Oh my gosh! Olive Chattanooga is unbelievable! I never knew this place existed, but Katie and I stumbled upon it and fell in love. You have GOT to try the garlic-stuffed olives!

 

Saturday

Saturday afternoon I officiated a wedding. The ceremony took place on a bluff overlooking the valley in Dayton, TN.

 

A view from inside the beautiful house where the wedding took place.

 

The happy couple, Mr. & Mrs. Peter and Tina King!

 

Early Sunday Morning

Sunday morning we attended the Christian Motorcyclists Association’s Easter sunrise service.

 

After the sunrise service motorcycles and their riders were prayed for. They call it the “blessing of the bikes.”

 

Easter Morning at Church

Pastor Emeritus, Dr. Al Kashiemer holds his grandson during the men’s Sunday school class.

 

The Recovering Legalist and his wife, Valerie, after the morning Easter service.

 

Katie and Haley striking a sister pose.

Sunday Afternoon

After church the four of us went out and split a couple of meals at a Chinese restaurant. After all, what is Easter without Chinese food, right?

Then, after lunch, we went to the Chickamauga dam and flew kites – or at least tried. It was the first time in many years, and it was actually quite fun. All along we kept singing (or at least I did) the song from Mary Poppins.

 

Before we packed up the kites we unpacked the instruments for a little practice and a short video.

Katie and I recorded a video on Facebook Live. We played “Leaning On the Everlasting Arms.”

 

Back at the house, I finished up the Easter weekend with a little carpenter bee hunting. Got 2!

It was a really sweet, extended Easter weekend. I hope yours was as blessed as mine.

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Filed under Church, Easter, Relationships and Family

Crossing the Line? Or, a Lesson In Legalism?

The Picture

Have you seen all the funny pictures people are creating with “face-swapping” apps on their smart phones? I’ve seen pics of dad’s with their babies, people with their pets, and even one with a person swapping her face with the nobs on her kitchen cabinets!

NOTE: If you haven’t yet seen a face-swapping picture, then you’re living a minute or two behind the times. Few people with smartphones (the owners of which make up the majority of the civilized world) have not seen a face-swapping picture.

Face-swapping with my daughter :-)

Face-swapping with my daughter 🙂

Therefore, when my daughter, Katie, wanted to try our her face-swapping app on her new Motorola smartphone, I thought it would be fun. And, I was correct! The result was hilarious!

Or, at least that’s what I thought.

The Critics Speak

Katie posted the picture she took of us to Snapchat. She also forwarded it to several friends and relatives. I, on the other hand, saved the picture on my cellphone and posted it to Facebook. I wanted to share a little humor.

One of the things that made this picture funny was how perfectly it swapped the faces – it almost looks natural. But the other thing that made it funny for me was the sad irony of if all – the current bathroom battles. My original, off-the-cuff tongue-in-cheek comment was that we were “either getting ready for the new bathroom laws, or my daughter had grown a beard in college.”

Evidently, my sense of humor and the picture (either one, or the other, or both) was a little too much for some. The critical comments began.

Facebook friend: “Not very becoming of a pastor.”

So, I responded.

Me: You do realize that is a face-swapping app on my daughter’s phone, don’t you? It swapped our faces; I wasn’t dressed like a woman for real. That’s why it’s funny.

And the friend replied.

Facebook friend: “As men of God, I believe there’s certain line we are not to cross. What if someone see this and decide to be in courage to take it a step further. We should shun the very appearance of evil. And yes I do know”

That’s when I decided to respond with a blog post.

Lines

Where are the lines a pastor should not cross? Who has drawn them? Who determines where they should be drawn, how far they should extend, and how bold the marking?

For most of my life I lived in fear of what others thought about my spirituality. My life was burdened by others who were drawing the lines for me. They were the ones I feared would see me if I went to a movie or a restaurant that sold alcohol. They were the ones who would call me “liberal” if I didn’t do exactly as they prescribed. And because of others, I drew lines for others, too.

I was a full-blown legalist afraid of what other legalists thought. And, I’m still recovering.

But where are the lines? Are there no universal lines which none should cross, especially pastors? Of course! There are the lines of lust, adultery, envy, and bitterness. There are the lines that separate us from unethical financial dealings; misuse of power; and most importantly, doctrinal error. But when it comes to personal choices, self-management, and my family – in my particular context – it is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict me (draw lines), not my fellow brother or sister in Christ.

Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. – Romans 14:4

But What of the Weaker?

But as soon as I quote Romans 14:4, there are going to be those who quickly point out several other verses in the same chapter.

  • Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in [his] brother’s way. – Romans 14:13
  • But if thy brother be grieved with [thy] meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. – Romans 14:15
  • Let not then your good be evil spoken of: – Romans 14:16
  • Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. – Romans 14:19

The context of Romans 14 is that of one taking his liberty too far, to the point of doing more harm than good. Because of grace, it really didn’t matter whether a believer celebrated a certain day or ate meat offered to a non-existent false god. However, it did matter if one did these things in the presence of someone struggling with theses issues, someone of little faith.

Paul said that he would rather us never eat meat again, to throw away all our liberties, if by enjoying our freedom it caused another one to sin (14:21). He said: “You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right” (Romans 14:22 NLT).

That being said, I believe there is great liberty in Grace, but many times I refrain from exercising my freedoms in order to avoid “offending” one of weaker faith. Why? Because if that person, not fully convinced that what I was doing was acceptable, decided to go against his own convictions and imitate me (the one he might possibly look up to and admire), then I’d be causing that person to sin (14:23).

But You Can’t Please Everybody!

Now, with all of the above in mind, we must also consider something else – you can’t please everybody! Don’t even try!

If I lived every moment in fear of those who might find fault in every little thing I do, I’d go crazy! As a matter of fact, that kind of life will KILL you – it killed my father!

Look, there are people who won’t attend our church because on Sunday mornings I still wear a tie when I preach, while others get offended when I don’t wear a tie on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. Some people think I’m too liberal because I will go to a movie, eat at a restaurant that sells beer, and play darts. Yet, others think I’m too much of a “fundamentalist” because I dislike high school proms and condemn sin from the pulpit.

If all I did was try to please people, I’d never succeed.

The One I want to please is my Heavenly Father. As I seek to please Him and bring glory and honor to His name, I take note of the things I say and do, because I want my life to be a reflection of my Father’s heart. The last thing I want to do is offend anyone, especially God.

But folks, you’ve seriously got to take into consideration one more thing…CONTEXT.

My Context

Food, drink, clothing, style of music, dancing, etc., … in all of these areas CONTEXT will make or break you. Regarding the picture of my daughter and me, the context is thus…

  • technology is changing faster than we can keep track
  • Smartphones are the #1 tools of communication in the world
  • Most people with smartphones have seen face-swapping apps
  • Fathers do crazy things with their daughters – if they are good fathers and not deadbeat dads
  • I try to be a good father, not a deadbeat lowlife who never has fun with his children, and most people who know me know that.
  • I have a sense of humor, which is one reason all elementary children want ME to be their school bus driver
  • I have thousands of followers and subscribers to three blogs and social media, not to mention church members, family, and friends who know I can be very serious at times, goofy at other times
  • Over the last several years I’ve written multiple-hundreds of thousands of words, published audio and video, and plastered Facebook and Twitter with my thoughts and commentary.

If all it would take is one picture, one made in fun by someone who is well-known as a conservative, “right-wing” evangelical Southern Baptist pastor, to push somebody into acting out their transgender/transexual desires, then that person was too far gone to begin with; he/she/undecided would have flipped the switch with or without my stupid picture.

Final Point Long In Coming

Friends (including the one who left the above comment), give me a break. Lighten up a little. This world is most certainly going to hell in a handbasket, and the witch carrying Toto has gone from a bicycle to a crotch rocket (motorcycle). If we can’t find a moment or two to laugh at the insanity of it all we’ll all dehydrate from the tears of sorrow.

So, I’m sorry if the above picture offended you, but I’m not taking it back. My family is more important to me than the 0.00005% of individuals who might get their panties in a wad because they saw me look un-pastoral in a stupid picture with my little girl.

I’m choosing to live in grace; life’s too short to be legalistic.

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Filed under legalism, Parenting

Cherry On Top

Have you ever felt like your were invited to dinner for reasons you weren’t quite expecting?

vbs ice cream head

How would you caption this picture?

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Filed under Food, Humor, Life Lessons

Spew-Worthy News

Coffee and Donuts

This evening I stopped by Krispy Kreme to buy some donuts and coffee for my wife and me (Actually, the coffee was for me – she hates coffee). We did so in order to celebrate something special, but I can’t tell you what the special thing was – it was just special.

kk-hot-signAnyway, we got donuts…I got coffee. That’s all you need to know about that part.

By the way, tonight was the first night I ever saw a deformed donut come off the line. It made me wonder if Krispy Kreme had a museum somewhere to keep the really unique ones.

The News

A short time later, as we were pulling into our driveway at home, I retrieved my recently-purchased coffee from the cup holder and brought it up to my lips. It was at this time a story came over the news which was then playing on the car radio. Permit me to paraphrase what I heard…

“Due to a recent surge in deaths, Russia is launching a new public awareness campaign to advise people of the dangers of taking selfies…”

Right about now I had brought my disposable paper cup full of black coffee to my lips and had begun to fill my mouth with said black coffee. The story continued, though, before I could swallow the ounce or two now bringing pleasure to my palate…

“The Russian government is using graphics to warn people that it is not safe to take selfies while standing on railroad tracks, putting a gun to one’s head, or while standing beside a tiger…”

I almost spit the entire contents of my mouth – the previously-mentioned black coffee – onto my steering wheel!

Tigers? …What the heck!?

Now, it wouldn’t surprise me to read about some dude from Alabama taking a selfie with a gun to his head. I mean, after all, do you know what the most common last words of a redneck are? “Hey! Watch this!”

Sure, I’ve taken selfies with a monkey, even made whole videos (see below)! And yes, I’ve even taken a few calculated risks – like the time I filmed on the beach…and at the zoo…and in a real hospital…etc.

But a tiger? Only in Russia. 

Here’s the story. Just don’t be drinking coffee when you read it.

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Filed under current events, Humor, Monday Monkey

Train’em!

Favorite Photo

Just the other day Andy Britt graciously spent an entire day taking photos of my family. Should you need a good photographer, look him up.

But anyway, this picture has to be one of, if not my MOSTEST favorite! It captures the essence of everything I want to be as a parent. If ever my girls happen to glance over my shoulder to see what I’m reading, I hope they find me in God’s Word.

teaching the truth

By the way, the Bible in the photograph is mine. My finger is placed on Proverbs 1:7, which reads: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Other Verses

Maybe I posted this just to show off my favorite photograph…who can blame me? But on the other hand, can I share with you some other passages of Scripture?

  • Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
  • We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: – Psalms 78:4-6
  • And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4

Gentlemen, don’t waste an opportunity. Train’em now!

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, Homeschool, Life Lessons, Parenting, Relationships and Family

Promoting i4Daily

i4dailyMost of you, especially if you are new subscribers, probably aren’t aware of my photo blog, i4Daily. I’d love for you to check it out sometime.

Here’s the Story…

The iPhone has been a wonderful tool. I have used it for school, work, study (I can access my whole LOGOS library online), video, and photos. It had proved nearly indispensable to my blogging. Therefore, because I take pictures that usually never end up in this blog, I decided to create another one to showcase some daily pics.

Now, rarely do I just post a picture without first using an editing app. The pictures taken on the iPhone 4s are good, but it usually can be tweaked. So, for the most part I use BeFunky for editing.

Therefore, if you have a moment, browse my photos. I have no theme, or anything like that, but some are pretty dadgum good if you ask me. But of course, I’m prejudiced.

Click HERE to visit i4Daily. You can go to the “archive” tab at the top and browse through all the photos from the past. Each has it’s own little story, too.

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Filed under General Observations, places