When the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.

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It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo.  The ones that really mattered.  Full of darkness and danger, they were.  And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end.  Because how could the end be happy?  How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?  But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow.  Even darkness must pass.  A new day will come.  And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.  Those were the stories that stayed with you.  That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why.  But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand.  I know now.  Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t.  They kept going.  Because they were holding on to something.

— Samwise Gamgee
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,
(movie version).

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Our lives can only have meaning if we are a part of something larger than ourselves.  Jesus of Nazareth said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.  From now on you do know him and have seen him.”  (John 14:6-7, ESV).

The pictures are of the same scene along the Bierstadt Lake trail in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

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The mountains are calling …

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The mountains are calling and I must go, and I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.

— John Muir.

John Muir was one of the founding fathers of our national and state park systems.  The mountains called him, and he worked incessantly so that when the mountains called us, we could enjoy them.

God’s blessings.

Happy 7th Anniversary Light from Light

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The first post on this blog appeared seven years ago in May 2008 A.D.  Happy anniversary Light from Light.

In the topmost picture please notice the mountains behind the trees.

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The photos in this post are from Bierstadt Lake in the Rocky Mountains at about 9465 feet elevation.

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An anniversary is always a time for reflection.

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“He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.”  (Psalm 23:2, ESV).

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“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  (Psalm 23:6, ESV).

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God’s blessings to all the readers.  Thank you.

Photographic Interlude

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There hasn’t been much snow around here this Winter, so in the absence of snowy pictures, I thought I’d post a picture from last Autumn.

The above picture is of the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains.  The water is Mills Lake, and the mountain between the trees is probably Pagoda Mountain (13,497 ft).  I was at an estimated elevation of about 10,000 feet above sea level when I took the picture.

A Song of Ascents:

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

— Psalm 121:1-2, 7-8, ESV.

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The above picture is of the stream leading into Mills Lake.

May God bless you.

The Difference Sunlight Can Make

Spotty rain clouds were sailing over the peaks while we hiked over the mountains on the Cub Lake trail in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Taking photos was a challenge because the sun would come out, then hide behind a cloud, then come out again, and on and on.  Often, I saw a shot, took my camera out, turned it on, lined it up, got focus, and whoosh another cloud.  This happened repeatedly.

Clouds have their own beauty, and spotty clouds scraping the mountain peaks can be quite breathtaking especially when they cause the sunlight to fall in beams or crepuscular rays.  Nonetheless, a cloudy diffused light often doesn’t make the best photograph.  I am posting the following two photographs taken only moments apart to demonstrate the difference sunlight can make.

In this top photo, the sun is blocked and diffused by clouds.

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In the photo below, the sun is shining through the clouds.

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These two pictures were taken almost at the same time and from almost the same spot.  As the wisdom of Scripture says, “Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.”  (Ecclesiastes 11:7, ESV).

As a final note, there was a big forest fire around Cub Lake the year prior to this hike.  Some careless campers let a fire get out of control, and it burned this entire area.  If the tree roots holding the rock and soil in place on the mountain slope rot away before new trees take their place, there could be landslides, and this would become a different place.  So far at least as of last Autumn, the trees were burned and dead, but the wood and roots were still solid and strong.

Let us walk in the light, and let us always enjoy God’s blessings while we have them.

Bierstadt Lake Meditation

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These are pictures of Bierstadt Lake high up in the Rocky Mountains (at about 9500 feet elevation).  The mountains in the background form the Continental Divide.  It is a peaceful and calm place to think.

Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

— Psalms 90:2, ESV.

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All creation declares the glory of God, but His greatest work is the new creation in Christ.

“For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

— Isaiah 54:10, ESV.

G12 Electronic Level and Estes Cone

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Recently, God blessed me with the opportunity to go hiking in Colorado.  We got sick, so we were not able to hike as much as we had planned, nonetheless, we were able to hike to Dream Lake (elevation 9912′), Emerald Lake (10,090′), and to the summit of Estes Cone (11,006′).  The picture above was taken in a meadow on the hike to Estes Cone.

According to Trails.com, Estes Cone is an inactive volcano.  Ascending to the summit of Estes Cone involves mostly hiking and some climbing.  On the hike to the summit, I snapped an occasional picture, but felt dissatisfied with the photograph’s representation of the steepness of the terrain.  The hike looked too flat.  Then I remembered that my Canon G12 camera has a built in electronic level, and that I had recently calibrated the level:  It was accurate.

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The picture above is the first picture I took using the electronic level.

The picture below was taken using the electronic level (while on the climb to the summit).  The taller mountains are on the left, so the horizon itself is not perfectly horizontal.

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The picture below was taken on the way down from the summit.  Notice the man standing in the upper left of the picture.  Most people stand straight vertical, but having an electronic level built into the camera is still an excellent and handy tool.

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I appreciated the interplay of light and shadow on the other mountains in the distance (Mount Meeker, Longs Peak, Mount Lady Washington, etc).

The Lord is gracious, and may He bless you.