God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

The Light

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

John 1:1-5

(Photo: New Smyrna Beach)

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God in all things, Scenery

The Deep

This photo was taken a year ago in Jamaica. I’ve seen sun rays coming through the clouds many times before, but never such a focused beam in the distance.

The ocean can seem overwhelming in its vastness. Full of mystery. A reminder of how small and fragile we are. Yet some see only challenges to be overcome.

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail

And there I find You in the mystery

In oceans deep

My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name

For I am Yours and You are mine

(Hillsong United, Oceans)

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Scenery

The Familiar

This photo was taken as we were approaching to land in Athens. Athens is near the center of the photo. When I took the picture, my focus was on the city and how it seems to be creeping up the bordering mountains. I didn’t notice the layer of white near the top of the photo until I was editing it. My initial thought was that these were mountains, maybe even the Alps! But on closer inspection, I realized they were “only” clouds.

Why do I find it disappointing they are not mountains? Maybe clouds seem more common or ordinary. While there is comfort in the familiar, excitement often lies in the unknown or at least the less known. Conversely, there is a tendency to fear the less known. May we be grateful for both the foreign and familiar.

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Scenery

Peace

This is another photo from this week at Kiawah. When I look at it, the word that comes to my mind is “peace.” Certainly, this is a peaceful scene but it goes beyond that for me. It connects me with many happy memories from past vacations here.

Peace is so much more than the absence of conflict. It is more like an experience of true contentment.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

John 14:27

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Scenery

Salt of the World

This is another photo taken on St John, USVI at the National Park. This is called the Salt Pond and if you look closely, you can see something white at the edge of the pond. This is salt which forms at the edges (and gives the pond it’s name). This happens because the pond is actually below sea level. So water from the sea gets in, but can not escape except by evaporation. When there are extended periods of time with no rain, the salt concentration get so high that the salt precipitates out. People actually come to this pond to collect salt and report that it “tastes good!” The red color is reportedly due to algae in the pond.

We are called to be salt, to provide “flavor” for the world. In our modern world, it is easy to overlook the value and importance of salt. I imagine the value of salt was more appreciated in New Testament times.

May we allow God to use us to provide “value” to those around us.

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Scenery

Cloudy Days

This is a photo from our recent trip to New Smyrna Beach. We had a couple of very nice sunny days … this was not one of those days. It was taken about 5 minutes after sunrise. Even though you can’t actually see the sun, it is easy to imagine where it is. In large part, this is because we have experienced so many sunrises in so many circumstances.

In a similar way, sometimes we see God clearly. Many other times, we must trust God is there based on our past experiences.

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Scenery

Unexpected Path

This photo was taken during our hike in the Virgin Island National Park, St John. At this time, I was trying to capture the pile of stones that marked the turn up the hill headed to Ram Head. As I look at the photo now, however, what I see is a strikingly blue path leading to a small island.

It makes me think of the “turns” in life that at the time, seemed to be leading me one way, but in hindsight actually led in a direction I did not expect. Or would necessarily have chosen.

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