God in all things, Photography, Prayer, Scenery, Travel

Delight in Surprises

This photo was taken on Kiawah Island, near the northern end of the beach. I was surprised to see eagles because I couldn’t remember ever seeing them at Kiawah in the past. Plus, I was out biking and just happened to look over to the dune and see them standing there not too far away.

As I read about the distribution of bald eagles in the US, I was surprised to find out that they are year round residents of the Atlantic Coast. We recently returned from Alaska, another place the bald eagle resides year round. So I shouldn’t have been surprised (but I was) when I saw two on the beach near downtown Anchorage.

What makes for a surprise? The unexpected, of course but what separates the expected from the unexpected? We are surrounded by God’s gifts, how many do we take “for granted” and how many do we truly delight in?

God in all things, Photography, Scenery

Standing Out

This is the photo that I took in May in the Twin Creek Park near Germantown. It may not be obvious, but there is a duck just to the right of center. The duck almost blends in except for its bright green head.

There are times that each of us would like to blend into our surroundings. But remember that God has given each of us a gift and we are to be a light on a stand, a city on a hill. Or even a duck on the water.

God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel


It’s not easily seen, but there is a single bird flying just at the edge of the clouds in the upper left. And several more birds near the center of the photo. I remember taking this picture when I saw the birds flying by. The sunrise was spectacular, but I love getting photos with birds in them. Sort of like the cherry on top of the sundae.

The parable of the prodigal son is really as much about the father, who Is also prodigal. Prodigal can mean to be wasteful or to give lavishly. God gives to us lavishly, like birds flying across the sky during a beautiful sunrise.

God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel


This photo was taken in the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Virginia Beach) last month. The egret (just left of center) had attracted my attention. I wonder, do birds experience isolation? If so, is it something they seek or something they avoid?

For people, isolation can be helpful or harmful. Or both at the same time. So many people are experiencing isolation right now due to the pandemic. Some are comforted by the experience but many are discomforted. I pray for God’s peace for everyone experiencing isolation.

God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel


One of the things I enjoy about an early morning run is the solitude. Nothing like a little time alone to sort through all that is going on the world/my life.

My idea of prayer has changed considerably through the years of my life. I used to think of prayer as talking to God. Now my prayer time is a little less talking and a lot more listening. Early morning runs are definitely prayer time.

God in all things, Photography, Scenery

Social Distancing

These birds obviously did not get the social distancing directive. This photo is a reminder that like the birds, we were created to live in community.

Social distancing is a one of many big challenges that we are now facing. Schools have been closed, people are working from home or not able to work at all. Church services have been cancelled across the country. Many people are already suffering.

Today’s daily meditation from the Center for Action and Contemplation: “[God] wants us to come to the [Divine Presence] in our anger, in our fear, in our loneliness, in our hurt, and in our confusion.”

God is there for us; we must also be there for each other.

God in all things, Scenery

Addition by subtraction

I usually carry my phone with my when I run and often stop to get a photo of something that catches my eye. This photo was taken in Kiawah this summer. The bird caught my eye and I was fortunate to to get my phone out quick enough to catch it flying across the water.

Of course, photos taken in a rush are seldom framed perfectly. I’m posting the original photo below. As you can see, I’ve cropped the original quite a bit. Hopefully you agree that I’ve improved the image.

I have come to understand that much of the process of being “fashioned” in God’s image means that there are things which need to be removed from my life. Things like anger, hate, jealousy and distrust.



Kiawah Island

There are many things that I really enjoy taking pictures of, and birds would certainly be on that list. I’m not certain why birds fascinate me but two obvious things come to mind. One is their ability to fly and the beauty of flight. The other is the amazing diversity of birds.

There is also an amazing diversity among people. We are experiencing a time when this is a source of much pain. Let us pray that it would rather be a cause for celebration.