reflection, 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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reflection, 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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reflection, 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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reflection, 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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reflection, 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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reflection, Scenery

God’s Love

This photo is from a trail in the Virgin Islands National Park on St John. There so many amazing views looking out at the water. One of the things i liked about this view was seeing how clear the water is, yet at the same time so blue. So clear that some of the difference in appearance (when close to the water like this) is actually due to what is at the bottom- sand, vegetation, reef and so forth.

God’s love is that that in many ways. Present everywhere you look. Yet it may appear differently depending on the surrounding circumstances.

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