God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Twists and Turns

This is a photo of the Oxbow Overlook in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. An oxbow is an U-shaped bend in a river or a curved lake left as a remnant when the loop gets cut off from the narrow part of the bend. The Little Missouri River actually does a double bend here, with the river doing a complete 270 degree turn within the width of this photo.

I have been reflecting this past week on how it’s hard to know where life’s twists and turns are taking us. I heard a recent podcast that talked about the mistake of committing to a decision and being unwilling to change course, even when events make it clear a change of course is needed. Although many of the examples were from the corporate world, it applies as much (or more) to our personal decisions.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Be Radiant

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be always in my mouth. My soul will glory in the Lord; let the poor hear and be glad. Magnify the Lord with me; and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me, delivered me from all my fears. Look to him and be radiant, and your faces may not blush for shame. This poor one cried out and the Lord heard, and from all his distress he saved him. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he saves them. Psalms‬ ‭34:2-8‬

(Photo: Wind Canyon, Theodore Roosevelt NP)

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

Cairns

This is another photo from the top of Buck Hill in Theodore Roosevelt NP. As I was wondering around, I saw all of these stones stacked into cairns. Cairns usually function as markers of the direction to follow a trail. In this case, they were just the result of people having fun stacking stones.

Discernment involves recognizing signs God has placed in our life and distinquishing them from the (not so random) distractions.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Distracted

These are the Cannonball Concretions in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt NP. How could you miss seeing these rock formations, which were not more than 100 yards from the main road driving in? We did, at least on our first pass by. We were looking for the picnic area, which was on the other side of the road.

People are easily distracted, which is one reason why it is important to be intentional in our daily lives.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Wind

This is the Wind Canyon in Theodore Roosevelt NP. It is near the Little Missouri River, but was actually formed by erosion from wind and rain rather than the river. This makes me think of how God appeared to Elijah (1 Kings 19:11-12) – not in the strong and violent wind (or earthquake, or fire) but in a light silent sound.

We often expect to see God in large and dramatic ways. Seeing God in all things also means looking for God in the small and common things that we encounter.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Top of the World

This photo was taken from Buck Hill in Theodore Roosevelt NP. It was a fairly short climb, and we decided to eat lunch overlooking this view. Even though we really weren’t at high, it was definitely an “on top of the world” experience. For some perspective, there is a bison laying down just to the left of the center of the photo.

This was an experience that made me ponder the goodness of God.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Seeing

This is a photo from the Coal Vein Trail in Theodore Roosevelt NP. In this area there was a 12-foot-thick coal vein deep underground. In 1951 it caught fire and burned for 26 years. As it burned away, the rocks above were left unsupported and the surface collapsed, forming a depression. When the underground coal fire was burning, this area looked more like a wasteland than a grassland. After the fire burned out, prairie plants reclaimed the land slowly over time.

What does it mean to see as God see? Looking at a burned out field and seeing verdant green.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Choices

As we were finishing a short hike at Theodore Roosevelt NP, a couple standing at the parking area asked us if we realized we were being followed by a bison. We turned around and saw this guy not far behind us. We climbed a small hill and watched him walk by.

There continues to be stories in the news of people who think it’s OK to walk up to these animals and wind up being injured by them. And I do admit that they seem very mild manner when you see them walking by like this. However, I’m never tempted to get close to one. So what leads to the tragic error in judgment for those who wind up in the news?

I’m currently reading a book, The Whole Language by Gregory Boyle (Homeboy Industries). In it, he talks about the sad choices former gang members had made. Often his message is don’t judge but rather try to understand why choices are made. I often say “there but for the Grace of God go I”. I realize I have made plenty of bad choices without ever finding myself in a hopeless situation. If we are to learn to love others as God does, we need to stop seeing others as different than ourselves.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

A Prophet Among Us?

This is a photo of a prairie dog town in Theodore Roosevelt NP. Prairie dogs are very social animals; they live in large colonies or towns that can span hundreds of acres. They can detect predators from a great distance and alerts other prairie dogs with a special, high-pitched call.

I could see myself as a prairie dog. People are also social animals that generally live in large towns. I just need to work on my call for warning others.

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