Finding the Reflection of God

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One of the highlights of Yosemite, is seeing the reflection of towering granite cliffs in the water of the valley. In fact, one of the lakes in Yosemite earned the name “Mirror Lake” due to the beautiful reflections upon it’s surface. While not technically a lake, visitors enjoy seeing in its smooth surface the mirror image of the cliffs towering above. Mirror Lake it actually a man-made lake, from a time when sand and ice were exported from the area for use down in the coastal cities. Today, it is being allowed to return to it’s natural meadow conditions, so each year this once famous lake reflects less – and becomes filled with more grass and rock as the surface drops and widens into a meadow. Nevertheless, a creative photographer can still find places to capture a reflection of Half Dome that rises majestically above it. The reflections can be amazing… but to be seen, something is required. Without this one thing, there can be no reflection of the grandeur above. Waterfalls and flowing rivers and creeks pour over rocks and around bends throughout this incredible park, all working their way to the Merced or Tuolumne Rivers and ultimately to …

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3 Quick Tips When You Are Stressed Out

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OK, you don’t have a lot of time for this post – because you have a zillion other things you really should be doing, need to do, should have done, and ought to do. So I’ll get to the point – ready? 1) Don’t make any Big Decisions while you are stressed out. Stay the course, time for reflection and evaluation and possible changes will come. Put off reactionary changes/decisions until you can calmly and objectively think clearly. As my dad used to say, “Bad decisions can always be put off to make later. Good decisions take time.” 2) Walk away for a few minutes. Pray. Breath. Ask what can go? What can be left undone? Usually something can. If you’re not sure, ask your spouse. Then, stick it out and do whatever you got yourself into (that can’t be dropped) but remember how you feel now. You’ll need that for evaluating later. 3) Look at your calendar and look ahead. Find a breather spot. Plan something refreshing and enjoyable NOW. Even if it is weeks away, you’ll have something to look forward to. Give yourself a light at the end of the tunnel. A date? A day off? A …

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Happy Birthday, Buckaroo!

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Luke is 9. WOW, I can’t believe it. So proud of this kid. He is smart, kind, considerate and never lacks energy. He makes friends well, and has a caring heart. He must get all of that from mom. Yeah, I make music videos of my kid. I keep them on my iPad for when I travel; I love to watch them. Here are two of my favorites that I posted on my blog years ago, but decided to post on YouTube today, as I celebrate 9 years with this awesome kid. This one is my favorite, made in 2008: And this one I made as a night-night song for him in 2007: If you want to read more about this cool kid, here are a few of my favorite blog posts about Luke over the years, or just click on the Luke Category! These feature some cute pics of him growing up: How to Raise a Dew Baby! Watermelon Boy The Adventures of Illinois Luke Luke and Touch-a-Truck Rest Stops in Life Luke Turns Four! Yelling Out the Window Frustrating My Father Doctor Poncho Just Thinking About Kids and Behavior Dads iPhone Camera Tells it All The Perfect Birthday …

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The Cure for Smart Phone Addiction

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Last Sunday, our pastor continued a series called Satisfied. He shared some amazing statistics about Americans and their cell phones: 66% of Americans feel anxious if they are separated from their device. 58% do not miss one waking hour without checking their smart phone. 59% of Americans check email as soon as comes in. 89% of Americans check their device every single day, even on vacation. 80% of teenagers sleep with their phone! 84% of Americans believe they couldn’t go a day without their phone. The average cell phone user checks their phone 150 times a day! In fact, many people check their cell phone first thing in the morning and as the last thing they do before going to sleep. They go to bed and wake up checking their smart phone. While some people are worse than others, all of us, I believe, probably check their phone more than necessary. There is no doubt that we live in a world where our smart phone is now practically a part of our body. How many times have you been in a room filled with friends or family and everyone is on their device rather than enjoying each other? Well, I …

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Happy New Year from the Bastians

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I hope you had a wonderful Christmas Season – we went to visit family in California, so I got to swim in an outdoor pool over Christmas. Then came home to a delayed White Christmas and enjoyed spending my New Years Eve snow blowing about a dozen homes around my house on a beautiful snowy evening. I wanted to post our Christmas Letter and Year-End Video before now, but life was just too busy enjoying the holiday, so here they are now: #1 Enjoy Our Christmas Letter: (Click to download PDF) #2 Watch Our Year in Review Video! Looking forward to a new year of deepening friendships and serving you!

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