God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Change

We returned to Jamaica last week, the first time since 2019. Some things were the same, others very different. Sunrise the morning of this photo was really the only day we saw sunrise. Between cloudy days and the dust cloud from Africa, there wasn’t much to see most mornings. But this photo was certainly a familiar site.

The Ministry of Health has not given permission to have our usual clinics, but we were able to spend a couple of days doing children’s check ups. And another day getting the Wellness Center ready for clinics. ACE, the NGO we work with, has grown significantly and now owns a several hundred acre farm.

It is quite inspiring to see God’s hand at work.

Standard
God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Looking

Despite making many trips to Kiawah Island through the years, I don’t have many sunset photos. That is probably related to two factors: there aren’t as many clear views of the West as there are of the East and sunset is fairly late in the summer when we have always been there. So I was more than happy to stop and get out of the car to take this photo last month.

God is always there. We are not always looking.

Standard
God in all things, Photography, Prayer, Scenery

Presence

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart; in the presence of the angels to you I sing. I bow low toward your holy temple; I praise your name for your mercy and faithfulness. For you have exalted over all your name and your promise. The Lord is on high, but cares for the lowly and knows the proud from afar. The Lord is with me to the end. Lord, your mercy endures forever. Never forsake the work of your hands! Psalm‬ ‭138:1-2, 6, 8‬

Photo: Germantown MetroPark

Standard
God in all things, Photography, Scenery

Waiting

I was hiking at the Bergamo retreat center last week and came out of the tress to overlooking this open area. It isn’t that easy to see in the photo, but there was a deer in field (just right of center). I was pleasantly surprised to see the deer.

I read a quote from Simone Weil (1909-1943) last week: “We do not obtain the most precious gifts by going in search of them but by waiting for them.” There is another saying that is the flip side of being pleasantly surprised. “Be careful what you ask for.”

The bottom line is that we often don’t recognize what we truly want (or are asking for).

Standard
God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Impressions

This is the lower falls of the Yellowstone River. Impressive even from almost a mile away. While we were there, I was able to experience the falls from the top and hike to the bottom of the falls as well as seeing them from the distance. Different aspects stand out from the different perspectives. It is dizzying to be at the top and look down. At the bottom, you get to experience the spray up close. But only from a distance are you able to appreciate context.

Standard
God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Changes

This is one of my favorite views – sunrise in Jamaica. I was at this spot every summer for over 10 years, but not since 2019 due to the pandemic. We are planning to return this summer, but things will definitely be different this year. Some things are back to the way they were before. Some are not likely to ever go back to the same.

One thing is certain. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

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

Time to Relax

Taking a ride in a hot air balloon is an amazing experience. This is a photo from our trip to Albuquerque 3 years ago. Other than an occasional blast of propane it is so quiet and peaceful. And the views!

I can’t think of another activity (involving movement) that is as peaceful. Maybe floating in a canoe down a lazy river. These experiences emphasize the benefit of taking time to relax.

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

Noticing

This was photo was taken at Guadalupe Mountains NP, on the McKitrick Canyon Trail. There are so many interesting details in this image – a patch of red leaves, the tree with white bark. I’m drawn to the white stone trail disappearing into the distance. Maybe it represents an ongoing adventure, sort of like the yellow brick road.

It brings to mind a reflection from “The Inner Chapel: Embracing the Promises of God” by Becky Eldredge. Notice what you are noticing. Discernment is about noticing. Noticing the promises of God at work in our life. Noticing the deep desires in our hearts to respond to the love given to us. Noticing the longings of other people. Noticing our gifts. We discover the unique call upon our lives when we notice the needs of the world around us and the gifts we have to respond to the needs. When we notice both the needs of the world and our gifts that give us joy and meet those needs, we have found our promised unique call.

Standard
God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Expectations

This photo is from White Sands NP and that evening was possibly the most spectacular sunset I have ever seen. And we almost missed it! We were driving from Guadalupe Mountains NP where we had spent the morning hiking. It was a very long drive and by the time we got to White Sands, it was so cloudy that I didn’t think we would be able to see the sun setting. Never happier to be wrong!

We have an amazingly poor ability to predict the future. I think our judgement is affected by our expectations which are closely tied to our desires.

Standard