I was thinking today about grief, and I’m reminded that there are many points of grief in our lives which we fail to recognize. We see the big ones – death of a loved one, severing of a friendship – but the smaller ones go unnoticed. They sting and cut and slowly cause grave injury. They color our worldview and our perspective of others. The big griefs, we face head-on, determined not to let them stop us. The small ones, we ignore, and all too often, they are our undoing.
The great ones all seem to forge their own path. From the biblical examples of Abraham, Moses, Esther, Ruth, David, and so many others, to the more modern day tales of Thomas Edison, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Teresa, history is littered with great men and women who refused to listen to skeptics. The louder the voices telling them not to do something, the more resolve they had.
Even people who know nothing about Africa still know that it’s a veritable treasure trove of pictures. It’s a continent full of exotic plants, exotic animals, and even exotic people. From the densely populated urban centers to the open plains, from north to south, east to west, and coast to coast, tourists flock to Africa, cameras in tow. Here are ten pictures that (almost) everyone takes in Africa.
Those who know me best are well aware that I don’t shy away from conflict. Though I don’t seek out arguments, I’m not put off by them, and I don’t back away from them. In fact, I think sometimes arguments and disagreements are some of the most healthy conversations we can have. They make us better. They give us new perspective. If we’re truly listening and engaging in the conversation, they can persuade us to change our minds, or they can help us solidify our point of view.
A few years ago, I began a journey through the bible that forever altered my view of scripture. I had always held the bible in high esteem, but this adventure caused me to dig into it in a completely different way I ever had before.
The premise was simple. Every day for a year, I would read several chapters of the bible, then I would blog my thoughts and response to what I read. This wasn’t an in-depth study or a theological thesis. This was a daily reflection – sometimes pretty raw and unprocessed – on the words of scripture as I read them that day.
On my first trip to Kenya, I had no idea what to expect. The trip itself was a bit of an impulse buy, and I knew almost nothing about Africa except what I had seen on National Geographic. I wasn’t prepared for the cities, nor for the mountains, nor for the many varieties of lush trees and plants that grace this little corner of the world.
But as I began to get a feel for the natural environment here, one thing that stood out above all else: there are a ton of birds. In fact, over 1100 species of birds can be found in Kenya, including some very large varieties.