Evangelism: The Importance Of Giving A Testimony.

Evangelism: The Importance Of Giving A Testimony.

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done” (Psalm 105:1). 

Dr.A

Let me ask you this. What is 750,000 miles long, reaches around the world thirty times, and grows twenty times longer each day? Answer: The number of people who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a LOT!

The bible is an unique book of revelation that unveils God’s plan for humanity as well as a salvation plan. Evangelism might be an activity that is carried out by humans but is definitely inspired and guided by God. The gospel is good news ladies and gents and must be shared to the nations.

For years folks have been asking how can we, in 2017, evangelize unbelievers in such a complex and technological world. The answer is surprisingly simple! It starts with giving a testimony. By the way, how did you find God? Do you remember the exactly moment when you found the love of God in you? Well, it starts there.

At Westmore Church of God, we spoke in great detail about this plan of evangelism in last week’s Wednesday class. Let me share with you a model of evangelism that I know will help you to actively engage in the great commission. It goes a little but like this and starts with a testimony.

  1. Use your testimony
  2. Plan your testimony
  3. Point people to Jesus
  4. Clearly explain the gospel message
  5. Share several key scripture verses
  6. Explain how you actually receive Christ

Here is my advice: Spend some time alone, have conversation with God and put together (if you haven’t done so) a sketch about how you found God. After that, look at the model above and start evangelizing! Why not? We are called by God to do so. As the great 92 year old missionary educator James Beaty once said, “It pay off to obey God.”

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We All Have Gifts And They All Come From The Lord.

We All Have Gifts And They All Come From The Lord.

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We all have gifts and they all come from the Lord. “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. read more. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills” (1 corinthians 12:1-11). 

Event photography is an art. Drawing with lights in low lighting isn’t an easy activity if the goal is to produce outstanding shots. In addition, capturing memorable moments isn’t an easy task at all, either because human beings is unpredictable. In reality, you never know what folks will do when you hit the trigger.

The photograph taken above was part of a service assignment for a local church in Cleveland, TN. The choir was awesome and the worship first class which helped to capture cool photos like this one you are seeing. Doing great photography isn’t easy and events aren’t an exception.

We are to do what the Lord has called us to do. Are you listening to God?

 

Life is a journey, God is the pilot, and we are the passenger.

Life is a journey, God is the pilot, and we are the passenger.

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“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6. 
The moment we try to guide our lives and “command our destiny…” is when we get into trouble. Christians are to trust God and be obedient to Him never trusting our own understanding. Don’t fall into the “I can control my own future” temptation — Listen to the Holy Spirit when He talks to you. What is to come is God’s call not your call or mine. Remember: Everything in to be done in God’s time and to His glory not on our own time and to our own glory. In Matthew 10:30, the Lord teaches us, “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered…” Very true, indeed but who among us can count how many hairs we have on our head? See.
Life is a journey, God is the pilot, and we are the passenger. Enjoy the ride and trust. It is my call and yours. Courage! Courage! God is in control. Be obedient and trust. Never forget, “God takes care of His people…” the moment you realize that God (not you) is in control.
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31. 

Speaking Your Mind With Reason Is Critical In Life.

Speaking Your Mind With Reason Is Critical In Life.

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Let me tell you this straight: Your end is near if you decide to stop sharing what you know and learning new things due to fear of retaliation or simply because of arrogance. I am not aware of any quality professional who lacks generosity and/or avoids engaging in timely professional development. Life, my friends, isn’t about you or me. Life is de facto about others and how we share and learn overtime. Don’t get me started — if you think that you know everything under the sun, you are heading towards imminent disaster and a huge awakening in the near future. Nobody knows everything… not even you. We need to be prepared, thats for sure. We need to keep learning and sharing.  We need lifelong learning! We need lifelong sharing!  Be ready to speak your mind with reason once is a while as the former is certainly critical to your success in life.

All that I ask you is: Be reasonable. We already live in a world that is so unreasonable.  We most definitely need to be vocal about the former because acting without reason is dangerous and always backfire. In fact, being unreasonable is both dangerous and oppressive as it can silence the voices of people who might otherwise change the world for the better. Our goal is to make things better not worse in this world. It is to carry and advance honorable agendas in a timely fashion. Be patient, be kind, be loving and strive to be great in the eyes of others. Speak your mind with reason and defend what is right and honorable once in a while. Remember: Being impartial or overly judgmental of others, especially if your life depends on the same people you criticize, isn’t wise. One thing is for sure — Your goals are not that different than mine. it is to move forwards in life by being a reasonable person. Is it that complicated? I don’t think so.

There are many ways people can speak their minds reasonably. In this life, I will share with you three ways I speak my mind with reason. Here we go.

  1.  I write. Well, the former shouldn’t come a surprise to anybody, right? I write my blog on a daily basis in order to communicate my thoughts to the masses with a tough of reason. Writing allows me to speak my mind in symbolically through language. What is my overall goal you may be asking. My goal is simply to speak my mind to others so that engagement takes place as I believe that sharing what I know and hearing what others have to say is a critical to my own professional development and with succeeding in life. This is my advice to you — You should de the same and write daily. Writing is a wonderful tool to tell others about how you feel, as long as it is done with reason. It is a way to keep yourself sane in this insane world that we live in.
  2. I photograph. Drawing with lights allow us to speak our minds visually. Differently from writing, a well taken photograph is art in itself with no symbolism. We all need art to be reasonable. Life is art and without question… life without art isn’t life as we know it. The whole idea of being critical is tied to the field of photography. Have you ever met a professional photographer who wasn’t critical of his/her photography work? Are you critical of your photography? Tom Petty once said, “Sell your computer and buy a guitar.” I say, “Sell your computer (or guitar) and buy a DSLR!”
  3.  I speak. Speaking in public allows me to speak my mind orally. When was the last time that you delivered a public speech? If you haven’t done one in a while, I would strongly suggest that you make plans to deliver one by next week. In order to speak your mind with reason, you need to be versed in public speaking. I bet Dale Carnegie would agree with me on this one! Get yourself a good public speaking training program and start developing your repertoire of speeches so that you also have the ability to change the world for the better by speaking and being reasonable! We need more people like you, that’s foe sure.

Your end is near if you decide to stop sharing what you know and learning new things due to fear of retaliation or simply because of arrogance. I am not aware of any quality professional who lacks generosity and/or avoids engaging in timely professional development in this world. If you think that you know everything under the sun, you are heading towards imminent disaster and a huge awakening in the future. Nobody knows everything… not even you. Be patient, be kind, be loving… take time to write, photograph, and speak so that you also have a chance to speak your mind with reason. Are you ready for the challenge? I hope so.

You Have To Stay The Course: Building Anything Isn’t Easy.

You Have To Stay The Course: Building Anything Isn’t Easy.

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In this life, you must stay the course if you plan to achieve any form of success. If you have owned a business of any sort, you know that running a start-up is never easy and somedays can be quite frustrating. You must, however, do what is required to keep fighting the good fight. What you are seeing above is Dr. Almeida Photography LLC’s society 6 product store, laptop and iPad skins section. We started our shop with society 6 back in late Fall 2016 with the hope we would provide high quality photo products to the masses in the central Mississippi area. I have to admit that selling art in this highly competitive technological world is rough. However, with persistence and much follow through, we have had our successes. Giving up isn’t an option for us and it shouldn’t be an option for you if your goal is to develop a profitable enterprise. Be aware though: Success, for the common man, doesn’t occur overnight. If you are eager to start your own side business, be ready to spend long hours working on a wide variety of tasks associated with the firm, ranging from producing, cataloging, budgeting and promoting the business. It won’t be easy, I guarantee you. Why?  Because friends don’t buy, strangers don’t know you and resist buying anything from you at first. If you are new to an area, good luck infiltrating local markets. In such environments, people tend to work with their long time buddies and friends rather than working with you. So, what do entrepreneurs need to do in order to gain access and start selling their products in a new market. There are a number of solutions to this problem. In this article, I will share with you three proven ways to increase your business.

  1. Partner with locals. One of the most successful strategies you can use is to parter with an influential local buddy. By abdicating part of your business in exchange for access and q-ratio, you can launch your business much quicker than your competitors and start competing for real dollars much sooner than having to build the business through traditional means of advertising. I can guarantee you that will take more capital to advertise a start-up than negotiating a 2-3% partnership with a local resident. As soon as you work with a local, he/she will (at least in theory) do some of this work for you. Even though friends don’t buy, friends refer business clients to their friends first. Sure, you need to be very careful not to partner with whatever person from your community. You need to interview him/her and make sure that they are well known and connected in their neighborhood.
  2. Create a publicity campaign. Don’t waste your money in advertising at least not at first. Ads are expensive and often don’t pay off the way that they should. The reason for the former is because ads don’t influence already established client perceptions about a similar product in any region. Let me explain: There is no advertising campaign, regardless of price, that will change people’s minds about sending their kids to another gymnastics facility. Madison County Gymnastics dominates the market, period. Sure, one way to break into their gig is to partner with them but what if they aren’t interested in partnering? I bet they won’t be interested in partnering with anyone because they don’t have to. So, what could you do then? The answer is publicity. You need to convince folks overtime that what you have to offer is worth them having. This, of course, takes a lot of time and effort. Who said that working for yourself is easy?
  3. Sell outstanding products. The market is flooded with great products. You have the duty to produce/create products that will challenge your customer’s perceptions of what outstanding means. There is zero room for mediocrity and a lot of room for improvement, every time we offer a new product. Back in 2016, we used to manipulate our photographs using my 5 point editing process to ensure the highest possible photo quality one can find in the market. In 2017, we have added two steps in the editing process. Is it more time consuming on my part? Yes. But hey… Are you in business to gain market share or to be seen as just one more guy out there trying to sell a few prints a year? Be ready. In 2018, we shall add one more editing step!

In this life, you must stay the course if you plan to achieve any form of success. If you have owned a business of any sort, you know that running a start-up is never easy and somedays can be quite frustrating. Your role as an entrepreneur is to strategize locally, create publicity campaigns and master your craft. In contemporary USA, competition is fierce and expected. You need to be a starter if you want to “make it” in today’s global economy. In order to be a successful small business owner today, you must know how to compete and know how to win and lose. Remember: Building anything isn’t easy.  Are you ready for the challenge?

Interior Design Photography Can Be Quite Tricky.

Interior Design Photography Can Be Quite Tricky.

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Capturing interior design images that take your breath away isn’t very easy. Even though we have seen an explosion of what I call “photodemocracy,” where the regular person now can take a fair amount of photographs at very low costs with okay quality, the more intricate types of photographical work is still very tough to do. Being able to frame and shoot an interior design photograph without much space and light to work with is a quite challenging endeavor. It is pretty tricky actually — Taking interior design professional photos in tiny rooms is like trying to fit seven fishes in a 10 gallon aquarium without a filter and a proper light. A much as we would love to have available technologies to help us to photograph interior design real estate,  I just don’t see how modern machinery will make our jobs any easier in this domain. There are a number of ways in which you can make your job a bit easier when taking interior photographs. In this blog posting, I will share with you three tips you could use to take your own interior design photographs.

  1. Use a tripod.  In order to take great interior design photographs, you will need a great tripod. Tripods allow photographers to frame shots at slow shutter speeds without running the risk of producing blurry photographs. A great tripod will cost you at least $200 but hey… who said that photography is cheap? It is the price of quality, my friends. I don’t recommend the alternative — Taking interior design photos without a tripod. Well crafted tripods significantly help professional photographers with keeping photo movement to a minimum. There is no reversal to this one. You will need a great tripod in order to capture great interior design photographs.
  2. Great glass. Without the appropriate lenses, interior design photography can become a daunting activity which could turn into a very stressful experience. I personally recommend the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8G ED AF lens. This is a very sharp Nikon lens possessing a quite good focal length and f stop. I know, I know… this lens will cost you almost two thousand dollars! Its price is steep but the images you will be able to capture with this lens will justify its cost. It is a no brainer. As we have said in this article before — Who said that photography is cheap? It is the price of quality, my friends. I don’t recommend the alternative.
  3. Master photoshop. Chances are not very high that your rough interior design captures will be your last. You will need to fix your photos in order to make them presentable to a client. Fixing exposure, camera lens distortion, manipulating shadows and highlights, and reducing camera noise and aberration are some of the many attributes that you will need to control and manipulate in order to produce outstanding interior design photographs. In order to do the former, you will need to master Photoshop or its alternative.  Failing to fix your shots will cost your reputation. You just have to be able to make your photographs better after taking them in raw format.

Capturing interior design photos that takes your breath away isn’t very easy. In fact, they can be quite tricky at times. You will need photo equipment and software expertise in order to produce great photo products. Owning a tripod and great glass is paramount. Mastering photoshop is also a necessity if you are planning to capture outstanding interior design photographs. Are you ready to embark in such challenging journey? The rewards can be quite gratifying.

Life Is A Journey: You Might As Well Enjoy The Ride With God.

Life Is A Journey: You Might As Well Enjoy The Ride With God.

draphoto2.jpgThe unpredictability of life is a mystery that can only be fully understood by God. One day we find ourselves in a big city near the suburbs of Hong Kong. Another day we find ourselves living in a small town near the outskirts of Duluth Minnesota. How unpredictable our lives are, I say. I often wonder how anybody can live life without believing that there is a God. Life is full of inexplicable surprises for anyone to deny the existence of a superior being. How can we explain the blessings that we receive and give? How can someone be born wealthy and chose modesty over principles? I don’t have the answer to these questions but maybe one day I will understand. By the way, the photograph above was taken in the well known Natchez Trace located near the city of Jackson Mississippi. What a beautiful scenery man, I have to admit. I still remember driving down there and stopping my car beside the highway to take both a landscape photograph and to reflect. I realized in a very short period of time that it is only by the grace of God that we can live a good life, regardless of might say. I live a great life full of blessings given by Jesus Christ. Every semester, I speak with a number of college students seeking life coaching advise. I help them to find themselves and to use the gifts that God has given them and me. What a privilege to be able to encourage the youth into serving the God with their lives. I love it… I was born to do this. In the bible, we read in Acts 15:32, “And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words.” We must do so with enthusiasm.

Some of us have the duty to encourage others to achieve greatness, be compassionate, and care for the poor. Someone needs to be a cheerleader for others and give unconditional generosity. The bible talks about exhortation, an important gift given by God to some. In Romans 12:8 we learn, “the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness…” How great is His word and the plans He has for one’s future. The unpredictability of life is a mystery that can only be fully understood by God. I surrender it all. It is well, it is well with my soul. As long as you lead me into your ways and future plans… We shall be just fine. My life without you is in vain. God always be glorified, forever and ever. Life Is A Journey — You Might As Well Enjoy The Ride with God all the days of your lives.