Rhododendrons at the Red River Gorge

Look above you! Look below you!

A friend mentioned to me that the Rhododendrons were in full bloom at the Red River Gorge, here in KY. My wife had to work the night shift and the late afternoon sun was a little obscured by the haze which made a perfect combination for me to head over to Kentucky’s version of the Grand Canyon to shoot some of the blooms. When shooting flowers, I prefer overcast lighting so I was optimistic about what I might be able to do.

I did not arrive there until about 7:30pm and began down a trail that was recommended to me. Even though it was the 4th of July weekend, I pretty much had the place to myself. It only took about 100 yards to get lost in the quiet and lushness of this sanctuary.

Did I mention it was quiet?! As I walked along, I began to pray that the Lord would help me find a good composition, as well as not get lost since there was not a lot of light left to find my way back to the car. I created about six different scenes but the one attached works best for a smaller viewing area like this blog.

“Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?”
St. Augustine (354-430), De Civit. Dei, Book XVI

This scene was shot on a Hasselblad H3D-50 camera with a 80mm (normal) lens, mounted on a tripod. The exposure was 1/3 of a second at f22 at ISO 100.


Jeff RogersJeff Rogers – With twenty years of nature photography experience as well as a lay pastor background, Jeff brings an appreciation for God’s creation as well as spiritual guidance. His wife, Melissa, an emergency room physician, shares his passion for serving God and preserving the beauty of nature.

Kentucky’s Lady Slipper Orchid

During the first weekend of May I was fortunate to visit a wonderful retreat at the Pine Mountain Settlement. Located in eastern KY, yet close to the Virginia border, it is a beautiful oasis away from all things busy. I attended the Black Mountain Wildflower Weekend and it was delightful. Even though I grew up in Kentucky, this was the first time that I was introduced to a variety of little gifts that pop up every year around this time.

Photographing wildflowers is not easy, and fortunately I still had some old extension tubes that I could attach between my camera and lenses in order to get close enough to fill the frame. Having mostly overcast skies above me that weekend was also a gift since so much of photography is about managing contrast.

Just over that beautiful Black Mountain, looking into Virginia, you could see the mountaintop removal that was taking place. It appeared to creep right up to the Kentucky border. This area is so beautiful and it is the highest elevation (4,145 feet) in our state. There are a number of rare and endangered plants in this area that can be found nowhere else in the Bluegrass.

“Never a day passes but that I do myself the honor to commune with some of nature’s varied forms.”
– Source unknown

Jeff Rogers


With twenty years of nature photography experience as well as a lay pastor background, Jeff brings an appreciation for God’s creation as well as spiritual guidance. His wife, Melissa, an emergency room physician, shares his passion for serving God and preserving the beauty of nature.

For Our Viewing Pleasure

It seemed like winter lasted forever and once the wildflowers began popping up here in KY, I headed down to the Red River Gorge to find a few. These little fellows are called Dutchman’s Breeches. These interesting flowers like limestone regions and Kentucky is in no short supply! Unlike many wildflowers, Dutchman’s Breeches, are not known to have any medicinal value. The Creator must have made them just for our viewing pleasure! As St. Basil the Great said in “The Germination of the Earth”, “I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that wherever you go, the least plant may bring you the clear remembrance of the Creator…. One blade of grass or one speck of dust is enough to occupy your entire mind in beholding the art with which it has been made.” These tiny flowers were shot with a Hasselblad 50mp camera and a few extension tubes in order to get close up enough. Jeff Rogers


With twenty years of nature photography experience as well as a lay pastor background, Jeff brings an appreciation for God’s creation as well as spiritual guidance. His wife, Melissa, an emergency room physician, shares his passion for serving God and preserving the beauty of nature.

The Earth is Yours


Photo by Jeff Rogers

Thanks to letters from you, some days just start out right! This one from a pastor’s wife in California literally filled me with music. The tune is stuck in my head (a good thing), but I always have trouble understanding lyrics (I’m deaf in my left ear), so I’m glad Erin included the words! The metaphors match the scene outside my window—spring “rising from the ground” in this season of resurrection and hope.

Dear Nancy,
My husband and I thought this was such a beautiful song for Earth Day and thought you might like it as much as we did. The lyrics are below and the link to the video may be found here.

Here are the lyrics:

Your voice it thunders
The oaks start twisting
The forest sounds with cedars breaking
The waters see You and start their writhing
From the depths a song is rising

Now its rising from the ground

Holy, Holy
Holy, Holy Lord
The earth is Yours and singing
Holy, Holy
Holy, Holy Lord
The earth is Yours
The earth is Yours

Your voice it thunders
The ground is shaking
The mighty mountains now are trembling
Creation sees You
And starts composing
The fields and trees they start rejoicing.

Now its rising form the ground
Its rising from the ground
Hear us crying out
Hear us crying out

Holy, Holy
Holy, Holy Lord
The earth is Yours and singing
Holy, Holy
Holy, Holy Lord
The earth is Yours
The earth is Yours

Enjoy and be blessed!


Nancy Sleeth serves as the Program Director for Blessed Earth and is the author of Go Green, Save Green: A Simple guide to saving time, money, and God’s green earth, the first-ever practical guide for going green from a faith perspective.

All Creation Worships the Creator


In February of 2004 I spent a month backpacking and canoeing in and around Big Bend National Park as part of an 8-month graduate program in wilderness leadership through Wheaton College. This experience opened my eyes, not simply to the beauty of God’s creation, but to the reality that all creation worships the Creator.

Traveling in the desert is not easy. It is dry and dangerous, filled with snakes and stickers, and I was not expecting this desert jaunt to be a stroll through the Garden of Eden. Nevertheless, I was astounded by the stark beauty, inspiring vistas, and surprisingly abundant life to be found in the Texas wilderness.

Over the course of many miles hiked through the park and paddled down the Rio Grande, I fell in love with the beauty of this desert landscape. The many varied forms of cacti, impressive rock formations, numerous species of birds (more than any other national park in the country), 8,000-foot mountains, colorful sunrises, and clear night skies provided a tableau for God to paint upon.

Perhaps the most spectacular scene in this Texas desert is the brilliant night sky. With its dry, clear air, and being dozens of miles from any cities, Big Bend affords some of the best star gazing in the U.S. Each night I lay down on my sleeping bag under an open sky and gazed in wonder at the magnificence of God’s handiwork.

It was here, in the desert, that I truly began to understand the importance of Psalm 148 for our generation today:

“Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds…” (7-10)

We humans are not the only ones that worship the Creator. The Bible says that all of creation sings God’s praise. Cacti and lilies, deserts and forests, doves and scorpions–everything that God created worships him. When we carelessly or needlessly destroy something that God has created, we are destroying something that was designed to bring God glory and which he called “good.” Thus, caring for God’s creation is an active way of worshipping our Creator.

Before Texas I had always enjoyed the wilderness environment, but had never connected this natural experience with my faith. Experiencing God in the Texas desert—seeing him glorified in the magnificent canyons, vibrant sunsets, intricate desert flowers, peaceful mornings, and striking mountains—brought new understanding to what it means to worship.


Brian serves as the Director of Communications for Blessed Earth and is passionate about helping people connect their faith with God’s call to care for his creation. He lives with his wife, Becky, and daughter, Acadia (“Cadie”), in western New York where he also serves as the Director of Intercultural Student Programs at Houghton College.