by G. D. Watson
If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-25
If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be allowed to follow other Christians. In many ways, He seems to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.
Others who seem to be very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and scheme to carry out their plans, but you cannot. If you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.
Others can brag about themselves, their work, their successes, their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. If you begin to do so, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.
Others will be allowed to succeed in making great sums of money, or having a legacy left to them, or in having luxuries, but God may supply you only on a day-to-day basis, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, a helpless dependence on Him and His unseen treasury.
The Lord may let others be honored and put forward while keeping you hidden in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade.
God may let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit, but He will make you work and toil without knowing how much you are doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work which you have done; this to teach you the message of the Cross, humility, and something of the value of being cloaked with His nature.
The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and with a jealous love rebuke you for careless words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.
So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you.
God will take you at your word. If you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and let other people say and do many things that you cannot. Settle it forever; you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue or chaining your hand or closing your eyes in ways which others are not dealt with. However, know this great secret of the Kingdom: When you are so completely possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven, the high calling of God.
Beautiful pictures Mike! My favorite is the Sunset. There is something about a Sunset that just amazes me. It is so beautiful. Our daughter gave us a digital camera for Christmas. I now need to figure how to work it. This may take awhile lol.
Thanks Cristina. That sunset was over Puget Sound taken from pier 54 just as the last ferry was about to go out of sight. Digital is very convenient, but I can usually take better pictures with my film camera. The digital cameras that can do as well are very expensive. Send me some photos when you get it going. 🙂
Don’t hold your breath! LOL
You’ve just got to learn to think “photographically.” 🙂
Mike, I found your site on CRN. Apart from the ministry aspect, when I saw the “photography” link, and opened up those pics…..wow!
You underestimate your photographic skills. Those are great pics. Is that sunset pic on the main page a panoramic shot?
No that is just a wide angle shot I took from the end of a pier on the Seattle Waterfront as the Sun was setting over the Sound. I suppose it looks panoramic because the Olympic Penensula in the distance is far enough away and there is so much water between where I was and it and the sky is so open that it looks that way. Thanks for your compliments. Unfortunately, I gave that camera to my son and have revereted back to film. My Film camera is a Canon AE-1 that I bought in 1976. I’ve had it refurbished and it is now like new. I will be taking a trip in May to a mountianous region of Oklahma so am planning on taking a lot of black and white as well as color shots there. I will put them up if they turn out. Again, thanks!
How did I miss this post? Anyway, you are really good at photography! I bought a 35mm about 7 years ago with two different lens and I can’t take a good picture to save my life. Today I went and bought a digital camera. I would like to go to class and learn how to use both. I love photography even if I do stink at it.
I’ll bet that class would help you a lot. I learned all about f-stops, shutter speeds, focal lengths, film speeds, light levels, etc. when I took that photo-journalism class at OSU. We took one roll of film and worked off of just a couple of shots on that roll in the darkroom the rest of the semester. I would love to have my own darkroom, but now I do all of that on my Mac using Photoshop. I think I’m going to take a class on how to get the most from Photoshop soon. Should be fun. The first two pictures above were taken with my digital that my son has now. The rest were taken with my Canon AE-1. The Digital is a lot easier to get pictures on your computer, but I always get a CD with my prints when I get my film developed. That helps a lot.
Let me know how the class goes. 🙂
I found your article on Luther helpful and then, as I love photography too, had to visit this page!
I find this hobby such a welcome break from ministry (and struggles!) It absorbs me completely, as I try for the next humming bird special, for example.
Here are over 140 of my efforts in a wonderful friendly gallery.
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Thanks for the link!
I have recently taken up digital photography and would love to learn more about basic fundamentals in how to use a camera effectively, such as how aperture and shutter speed adjustments can affect shots . Do you know of a great place online where I might find tutorials that can baby step me through the process?
Strangely I was drawn to your site while scanning through old Sliceoflaodicea archived pages on my system. I recall how often you commented on their site as I went there frequently to learn of new deceptions creeping into the Church. God works in great yet mysterious ways does he not? Praise God for men like yourself who are willing to stand up in the times we face ahead.
Start with those links in the article above. They are great.
Yes, God is in complete control. I pray that God will continue to guide your paths.
I agree, great images I esp. like the B&W. I hope you have that well framed!
I am just returning to photography after a gap of 30+ years. What little I learned was back when an AE-1 was pretty high tech. After all, it used batteries! Not being able to justify the expense of a digital SLR as a returning hobby, I ended up choosing a Canon S1 as a compromise. Plenty of manual control. The best thing I did was take a community course from a good local photographer. She had us learn to turn off all the auto stuff, then learn to make the camera do what you want. Add the auto back if you want it.
It’s amazing that after all these advances, it still comes down to composition, shutter, aperature, and focus. Learn to understand these, and you’ll take great pictures.
I’m new round these parts, look forward to reading your stuff. My own walk has taken me into the thinking of the English reformers, and Anglican worship seen through that lens.
Welcome! I too have recently come back to photography as a hobbie. My AE-1’s seals were all gummed up when I started using it again. I had that fixed and now it’s great. The problem is the rust on me. 🙂
I have that one framed. Thanks! I am getting ready to take a trip into SE Oklahoma into the mountains. I have several rolls of 50ISO B&W to take some serious landscape shots. I am really looking forward to it. Yes, you are right that taking great photos has a lot more to do with the skill of the photographer than the equipment.
Your class sounds like one I would like to take. 🙂
Again, welcome and I pray you will find a blessing in the other posts here.
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