God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Expectations

This photo is from White Sands NP and that evening was possibly the most spectacular sunset I have ever seen. And we almost missed it! We were driving from Guadalupe Mountains NP where we had spent the morning hiking. It was a very long drive and by the time we got to White Sands, it was so cloudy that I didn’t think we would be able to see the sun setting. Never happier to be wrong!

We have an amazingly poor ability to predict the future. I think our judgement is affected by our expectations which are closely tied to our desires.

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

Joy

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before God, singing for joy. Know that the Lord is God, who made us, to whom we belong. We are God’s people, the sheep of God’s flock. Enter the temple gates with thanksgiving and its courts with songs of praise. Give thanks and bless God’s name. Psalm 100:1-4

(Lily Lake, Estes Park Colorado)

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Year End

Sunset at Lily Lake, Estes Park, CO

This seemed like a good photo to reflect on the end of 2021. It was a difficult year in many ways for many people. Optimism was high during the summer; a survey showed almost 90% of Americans thought that things were getting better. Then Delta hit. Now Omicron. I’m sure many are wondering if things will ever be “normal” again.

I don’t have an answer to that question. I used to be fond of saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” I never felt that way in 2021. Maybe we’ll get to that point in 2022. I do know that “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Unexpected Times

This photo was taken not too long before sunset at New Smyrna Beach. I take a lot more sunrise pictures here – you don’t actually see the sun setting; the view is ENE. The sky caught my attention this evening with the moon and mix of colors in the clouds.

A wonderful reminder that God can not only be found in unexpected places but also at unexpected times.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Up Close or Far Away

This photo was taken at Arches National Park of an area called the Fiery Furnace. It gets its name from the fiery red appearance at sunset. Not only is it dramatic from a distance, it is dramatic to hike through with numerous sandstone arches including the Walk Through Arch, Crawl Through Arch, Skull Arch, Kissing Turtles Arch, and Surprise Arch. To limit the impact on the environmental, a permit is required for access to the Fiery Furnace (or you can join a ranger-guided tour).

Creation, amazing up close or far away.

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God in all things, Photography

Our Front Yard

I’ve been using photos from our trips out west over the past 4 months. Which have been very inspiring for me. Using photos from around Dayton is just not as inspiring. It is so true that we take for granted what is familiar to us.

This photo was taken in our front yard. That night I looked out and was struck by the sky. It makes me wonder how many times I’ve missed the beauty in my own “front yard”

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Cloudy Skies

This photo is from Arches National Park, near the end of our week in Utah. We had hardly seen a cloud in the sky prior to this day. The clouds started moving in by the end of the day and we saw little sun the rest of the week. Despite the clouds (because of the clouds?), there was a spectacular sunset this night.

This year certainly had its share of “clouds.” As we come to the end of the year, I can’t help but view the COVID vaccine as a spectacular “sunset” for 2020.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock stands 128 feet tall. While it appears to be a balancing act, the upper rock of sandstone sits attached to the lower pedestal of mudstone which is eroding more rapidly. Eventually, the 3,600 ton boulder will come tumbling down as the erosion continues. In the winter of 1975-76, Balanced Rock’s smaller sibling “Chip-Off-the-Old-Block” collapsed. (See the National Park website for great “then and now” photos: https://www.nps.gov/arch/learn/photosmultimedia/then-and-now.htm).

Life changes and many of these changes may seem unwelcome. It requires trust that God is “sculpting” our lives into masterpieces.

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