God in all things


I’ve written before about the times and ways God surprises us. This photo actually represents two surprises for me.

We had just taken enough from the Cincinnati airport; I looked out the window and saw this strange white stuff on the ground. It took me a moment to realize it was dense fog over the Ohio River. Surprise 1. Of course I had to take a picture!

The second surprise came when I finished editing the photo – adjusting the light/contrast and color. I hadn’t even noticed the colors in the sky until I was actually cropping the photo.


Closer than you think

I took this photo yesterday morning, as I was leaving our neighborhood. Shortly after I took the photo, this song came on the radio:

You’re closer than you think you are

Only moments from the break of dawn

All His promises are just up ahead

Maybe you just haven’t seen it, just haven’t seen it yet.

(Danny Gokey, Haven’t Seen It Yet)


Trees Planted by Streams

Their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.

Psalms 1:2-3

Photo: Overlooking the American River, near Sacramento, California



When we travel, I take a lot of what I would “touristy” photos. The kinds of shots many people would take when traveling to that location. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to to travel to so many amazing places in the past few years. It’s not hard to take great photos when you’re somewhere like the Grand Canyon or Glacier National Park.

I also try to take photos that I would call “artsy.” Maybe something most people would see but not take a picture of. Sometimes, a view from a spot that gives a unique perspective on a common sight. In the picture below, I was struck by the contrast between the tree in the foreground and city of Albuquerque in the distance.

In a similar way, there are some Bible passages that have a clear meaning. Other times, I appreciate being able to read the reflections of others for a perspective that I would not have on my own. Among the many resources available, I suggest looking at the daily reflections from itemissaest.org or jesuitprayer.org.


Consolation & Desolation

We had a magnificent view from our house in New Mexico with amazing sunsets. This first photo was taken just after sunset our third night there. The effect on the clouds is dramatic, giving them a red cotton candy appearance.

I took this second picture a mere 3 minutes later with a remarkable difference in the appearance of the clouds.

Similarly, consolation can turn to desolation quickly in our lives. Consolation, or times we are moving toward God, becomes desolation when we lose our focus on God. Fortunately, we don’t need to wait on the “sun” to rise, God is always there, waiting to “shine” on us!


Standing Out

This is a view of the Sandia Mountains, taken from inside a stone cabin/shelter built in the 1930s. The shelter was designed to blend in with the surroundings.

The idea of blending in can be a good one. Animals often try to blend into their environment as a mechanism of defense. Adolescents will go to great lengths to blend in (fit in) with peers. It feels comfortable to fit it.

On the other hand, we are called to be a light on lampstand and a city on a hill. The photo reminds me that while I am comfortable fitting it, I am called to stand out.


Oral traditions

This is the last photo I took on our trip to New Mexico before getting on the plane to come home. It is Red Rock in Jemez Springs. When I look at the photo, what I remember is the welcome center across the road. Inside the welcome center, there was a small museum for the Native American tribe that lived in the area.

It was very interesting to learn more about the history of the original people of New Mexico. I admit that I knew very little before our trip. One thing I learned was the importance of their oral traditions, handed down through many generations.

Oral traditions are also very important for Christianity, especially for the historical books of the Old Testament, the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and probably some of the epistles attributed to Paul. All were likely stories and messages that were told and re-told many times before they were written in the form we recognize as the Bible.


Monkey no climb

This is a photo of a tree that we saw on St Kitts. The spines along the trunk serve to prevent monkeys from climbing the tree to get the fruit. The common name of the tree is the sandbox tree, but it is also known as the monkey no climb tree.

For me, this is a reminder that God opens doors and God closes doors. Best not to try going through closed doors!