God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Standing Out

This is a photo of Mt Rainier from our trip 4 years ago. The mountain certainly makes for a striking image. One reason is that the peak is so much higher than the surrounding area. As I understand it, this is expressed as the topographic prominence which is over 13,000 ft for Mt Rainier (most in the contiguous US).

We are called to stand out. To be a city on a hill. How? Through our love. Love of God, love of neighbor.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

The Path

This photo was taken at Capitol Reef National Park on the Cohab Canyon Fruita Overlook Trail. I almost laughed when I came over a small ridge and saw the path going ahead. You don’t usually see it so well marked out on a rocky surface. More often, all you have is a single cairn as seen in the lower left.

Similarly, there are times in our lives when the right decision seems clearly “marked” and other times more trust is required that we are following the right “path.”

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Our Heart’s Desires

This is a photo of an unnamed slot canyon near Las Cruces New Mexico. We found it by quite a coincidence. We had decided to visit a winery after we finished hiking on the last full day of our trip. In talking to one of the owners of the winery, she asked if we had hiked the nearby slot canyon. Turns out it was only about a five minute drive away so we went there because we had been hoping to find a slot Canyon to hike and all of the ones we had found were either further than we wanted to drive or too difficult (or both).

Often, what we most desire is exactly what God also desires. Unfortunately, we often want it right here right now. Fortunately, with God it’s going to be “right place right time.”

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

Imagination

This photo was taken near Las Cruces, New Mexico. The clouds were astounding throughout the day. So many different patterns; I looked across here and saw waves crashing on the beach.

God has given us a wonderful and powerful gift of imagination. One way to use this gift is imaginative prayer, where you picture yourself in a scene from the Bible. This Lent would be an excellent time to practice this form of prayer

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Discernment

If you are like me, when you look at this photo, you think “that looks very hot!” Seems like a good illustration of the saying that looks can be deceiving. Beyond that, it represents how our expectations and preconceived notions can mislead us.

Discerning God’s direction for our lives can be challenging. Because of our expectations and preconceived notions. Going beyond those requires patience and humility – two things that seem to be in short supply these days.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Pleasantly Surprised

This is the McKittrick Canyon Trail to The Notch. This particular hike was somewhat of an afterthought. When we were planning our trip to Texas, we knew that we wanted to spend most of our time at Big Bend. We decided that we also wanted to go to the Carlsbad Caverns. Guadalupe Mountains National Park is not far away. So we decided to spend a day there and picked this hike as one that looked promising.

Turns out this was our favorite hike of the trip. So many colors! Challenging but not too difficult. Beautiful scenic views at the top (and on the way up).

God pleasantly surprises us, often when we least expect it!

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Closer to God

This is Balanced Rock at Big Bend NP. Well named, although Balanced Boulder might be more accurate. For perspective on size, I could not touch the rock when I was standing under it. How did that rock wind up there? Unlike the formation with the same name at Arches, this is clearly not just the result of erosion. It sure looks like it came rolling down and wedged itself into that position.

There are a lot of things in life that leave us wondering how they came to be. I see many people with infections who want to know how they got that infection. More often than not, I have to admit that we have no idea. Not knowing can be frustrating; I think it exposes our vulnerability. It also reinforces the knowledge that we don’t always get what we want.

Ignatius of Loyola taught that we should seek neither health nor sickness, wealth nor poverty. Rather, we should seek only that which draws us closer to God.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Familiar

This is a photo at Big Bend NP at sunrise. At the far left, you can see a formation called the Mule Ears. Why mule ears? It looks as much like many other animals. Personally, I see owl ears.

Mules were used for transporting supplies in the early 1900s in the area. So it makes sense that a mule would be the animal that came to mind.

For me a reminder, look for God in the familiar.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Time & Distance

This is a photo of the Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend. The Rio Grande River run through and created the canyon. It looks very much like a “V” in this view. But from inside the canyon, the walls look almost straight up. Mostly, this is because you can’t see the tops of the walls from the bottom. Also, I think this view makes it look a little more V-shaped than it really is in the inner part of the canyon.

A reminder that distance (and time) gives a different perspective. It may be more accurate, but may be less so.

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