God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Hidden

I find water lilies to be intriguing. I’m not sure why but I used to think they were completely floating in the water. I learned from Wikipedia that is not the case. It seems obvious that they must be anchored to the bottom of the pond or lake, since they more or less stay in one place. I also learned there were about 70 species of water lilies. Genetic studies have shown that they are among the oldest flowering plants.

There are so many things in life that are “obvious” once you know them. There also are so many things that are “hidden” that we make assumptions about. Often without realizing we are making those assumptions. This seems to apply to racism. It is not obvious until you see it. Then you wonder how you could have not seen it before.

(Photo: Indiana Dunes National Park)

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God in all things, Photography

Laboring

Seeing God in all things does not literally mean I think God looks like these flowers. I read a reflection last weekend (www.americamagazine.org) that suggested adding the word laboring: God laboring in all things. I don’t use the word “laboring” often, but I like the idea of seeing God in action. I see God providing beauty through these flowers. In an even larger way, I see God providing love and kindness through the actions of so many people reaching out to family, friends, neighbors and strangers in need right now.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

The Stalks

This is a photo of a banana tree in Panama. Which is really just a plant and not a tree. What looks like a trunk is really a “pseudostem” which grows from a “corm” in the ground. The leaves of banana plants are composed of a stalk and a blade. The pseudostem is made up of tightly packed leaf stalks.

When a banana plant is mature, the corm stops producing new leaves and begins to form a flower spike. The female flowers appear in rows further up the stem from the rows of male flowers and will develop into fruit.

So I wonder – if Jesus was born in Panama, would he have said “I am the corm and you are the stalks?” Doesn’t have quite the same vibe as vine and branches, does it?

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Raindrops

This photo was taken after a morning rain shower in Panama. I like how the rain drops stand out on the flowers. It is a beautiful image that reminds me rain/water is life-sustaining.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:8-11

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Waiting in Stillness

This photo was taken earlier this month at Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia. It reminds me that during Advent, we wait in quiet and darkness.

Lord of Light, our only hope of glory,

your radiance shines in all who look to you. Come light the hearts of all in dark and shadow.

O Root of Life, implant your seed within us, and in your advent draw us all to you,

our hope reborn in dying and in rising.

For you, O lord, my soul in stillness waits;

Truly my hope is in you.

(Marty Haugen)

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Scenery

Mountains

I am surprised that I had not previously shared this photo. It was taken 2 years ago in Glacier NP on our hike to Siyeh Pass. There are so many things I like in this view. The wild flowers in the foreground. The spindly pine trees on the right. The creek running through the middle. But what really draws my attention is the mountain in the distance.

Mountains are a symbol of strength. We talk about “mountaintop” experiences. God spoke to Moses on a mountain. Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount.

Thankfully, we do not have to climb a mountain to encounter God.

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God in all things

Change

How quickly things can change!

I remember walking by this flower bed on Wednesday and there were no flowers blooming yet. On Thursday, I was surprised to see multiple flowers blooming and took the first picture. Friday, it seemed like all the buds had opened.

In life, sometimes we embrace change and sometimes we resist it. But we can’t avoid it.

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Scenery

The Cacti

This was another photo taken on our hike to Ram Head on St John Island. We saw more of these cacti, Turk’s Cap (Melocactus intortus), than I could count. We understand that we were about a week early to see them bloom. The flowers are supposedly edible. We talked to some other hikers who had been on the island for awhile and said the red “heads” had appeared in the past week.

This illustrates a common occurrence in life. We can be happy for that which we have and experience, or we can focus on/ long for that which is “missing” or out of our reach.

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God in all things

What do you call it?

The tree is this photo is native to Malaysia and Australia. It has been introduced throughout the tropics, and in Jamaica it is known simply as “Jamaican apple” or the more common Otaheite apple. There are a number of English common names – the Malay apple, Malay rose apple, mountain apple, rose apple, Otaheite apple, pink satin-ash and pommerac. In Jamaica, it is commonly eaten freshly picked from the tree. But it is often used to make a refreshing apple drink (often with ginger added). Other times the otaheite apple is stewed with brown sugar and ginger, which makes a very nice sauce that is sometime serve with ice cream as a dessert.

I call my reflections “Seeing God in All Things” and talk about experiencing God visually, but there are many other experiences that are God moments. Maybe you understand something clearly for the first time – an “aha” moment. Sometimes, they are experienced as an overwhelming sense of peace, awe, or joy. Whatever you call it, recognize it as God’s presence.

Reflection from seeinggodinallthings.com

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God in all things

Knowledge

This was the first time (and last time) I ever saw a flower that looked anything like this. The photo was taken during our visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden 2 years ago. It took a little effort (actually, not that much) to find the name of the flower – Passion Flower ‘Inspiration’ (Passiflora inspiration).

It continues to amaze me how much information we have available to us through the internet. Even more amazing- knowledge of God’s Word.

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