Old Yosemite Photos

One of the amazing things about Yosemite is it’s timelessness. For those who have been there – you will easily recognize these scenes photographed way back near the invention of the camera. Enjoy!

Labels below are my guess… if you think I’m wrong, simply comment and I’ll update!
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Sentinel Rock

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A Giant Sequoia

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North Dome

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North Dome

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Merced River, I believe this is just downstream from Nevada Falls.

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Yosemite Fall

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The Grizzy Giant Sequoia, Mariposa Grove

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The Three Brothers

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Sentinel Rock

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Illilouette Falls seen from Illilouette Canyon (not an easy access place)

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Sentinel Rock again.

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Front view of Sentinel Rock

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Sentinel Rock in the right corner

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Nevada Fall with Liberty Cap over looking to the left

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Vernal Fall

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A view from the Valley – it may be that Half Dome is whited out in the center?

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Finally, El Capitan!

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Bridalveil Fall from Pastoral Meadow

It would be fun to try and recreate each of these today and put them side by side! Someday maybe that could be the purpose of trip. Though, I may print these out and take with me and keep an eye out for them!

– Karl

A Time of Reflection

One of the highlights of Yosemite, is seeing the reflection of towering granite cliffs in the water of the valley.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 the Pacific Ocean. But you won’t see reflections in most of these because they lack the one quality that can be found at Mirror Lake and in a few other locations.

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Know what the requirement is for reflection?

Calmness.

In order to see a reflection of the grandeur and majesty “above,” the surface of the water must be calm. It must be still. It must be uninterrupted by ripples, or tossed rocks, or precipitation. It is only in a surface at peace that it can reflect what is above.

That is why I started Yosemite Summit. It is why five ministers will be joining me in May for the 8th annual Summit. We all seek to reflect our Creator. We want His majesty and grandeur to be reflected in our lives. But every day life is overloaded with things that threaten to wash away that reflection. Life is fast paced as we hurry to get everything done, dodging the rocks and navigating the bends of life. There are pebbles and stones tossed into our life continually that cause ripples of anxiety, stress or simply non-stop activity that make the Reflection of God difficult, if not impossible, to see. Problems and trials of life pour down like rain and we soon feel like we can’t even see God in our daily experience.

What is needed is a way to get away from all the disruptors of calmness so we can again see the clear and grandiose image of our Lord and King.

Yosemite Summit is a time for calming the soul so it can again see and reflect the Creator-given image of God. If you aren’t one of those joining me this year, pencil it in for next May. But you need not wait so long to find some calmness and to again enjoy God’s reflection. Get away. Get quiet. Get free of the ripples of life. You need not travel far. It’s a condition of the heart.

The Psalmist had it right when he wrote, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Or, as the NASB translates it, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” Or as James promises, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

Like Mirror Lake, we tend to reflect less over time if we don’t work to create calmness. Ultimately, this is why God made is. “God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” (Acts 17:27)

Step away. Invite calmness. And reflect your creator.

Yosemite Summit 2015 Prayer Poster

I would appreciate if you would join me in praying for the fellows who will be going to Yosemite Summit 2015. Maybe you’ve gone in the past, maybe you’re still praying about coming in the future. Be a part of this year by lifting us up in prayer before and during the Summit.

Below is a Prayer Poster. Print and post where you’ll see it, and join me in praying for each guy on this event as Yosemite Summit approaches.

1) For God to be preparing us for what He has in store!
2) For great friendships to be created/deepened.
3) For safety as we hike in God’s Creation.
4) For the ability to be able to completely release what we leave behind and be complete open to what God wants to do that week.
5) For our families while we are away.

YS15prayerposterClick image above to download 4MB PDF

THANKS for your prayers! Be sure to pray about joining me in 2016!

Karl

This will Amaze You…

Tony Evans writes, “In Exodus 34:23-24, we read that three times a year all the males in Israel were to go on a retreat before the Lord who ruled over them. In the Old Testament, the phrase “Lord your God” means sovereign Lord. Three times a year, all of the men were to go to a certain location, and in so doing, acknowledge the sovereign rule of God in their lives. Now, before we move past that too quickly, let’s look at what that might have done to those left behind.

Three times a year all of the males left their land and homes. From a military and defense perspective, that is unthinkable. From a commerce and agricultural perspective, that is unthinkable. All the men are gone and there are only women and children left to fend for themselves? That doesn’t sound like a very good national strategy.

But that is where the second verse in this passage comes in. God says that while you are away seeking Me and honoring Me under My authority, men, do not worry. He says that He will see to it that no one will bother your land, houses, or anyone left behind. We read, “… no man shall covet your land when you go up . . . to appear before the Lord your God.”

In other words, God is saying that if you will simply align yourself under My authority, then I’ve got it. I’ll take care of the rest. I have you covered. But in order for God to cover you, men, you are going to have to humble yourself under His authority. You are going to have to align your thoughts, actions, decisions, and leadership under the overarching viewpoint and authority of God.” – Tony Evans

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Wow. And I’m only challenging guys to join me for ONE WEEK to re-establish God as Sovereign in their lives. This is what Yosemite Summit is all about. Only two spots remain for this year. No worries, everything back home God will watch over while you are prioritizing His role in your life and ministry.

Will you trust God and go meet him on the mountain?

Register Today!

The Cure for Smart Phone Addiction

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?
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Well, I know the cure!

While you can set limits, turn it off on dates, or set the charger in another room, I have an even better idea.

Men, you need to join me at Yosemite Summit in May.

Why? It is the perfect opportunity to “unplug.” Whether you feel you have a healthy or addictive relationship with your phone, no one can argue that a week without being constantly connected is not a good thing.

Just Imagine It…

No e-mail.
No facebook.
No twitter.
No texts coming in.

Just time with God, walking and talking with some other ministry leaders, and enjoying the NOW instead of what is “out there.”

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Clarification: The guys do carry their phones for safety and we do allow communication with wives (calls and texts) but we drastically limit all other uses of our smart phones, even deleting email accounts and Facebook and Twitter apps. They can always be restored when the week is over. The freedom to relax when unplugged is difficult to describe!

I can’t tell you how many guys over the years who have told me that initially they were a little concerned about the technology/social unplugging, even if they didn’t admit it to me at the beginning of the week, but by the end, they were so refreshed and rejuvenated that they have determined this is needed regularly. (There is a reason every year I’ve had repeat guys coming on the Summit, this year included.)

Shane Farmers modern day translation of Ecclesiastes 1:4-7

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Ready to get unplugged? Want a break from your smartphone? Join me at Yosemite Summit, only TWO spots remain for 2015. Browse the YosemiteSummit.org site to learn more about this potentially life-changing experience.

Register Today!

 

 

2014 Yosemite Summit Report and Video

Yosemite Summit 2014 Report

One of the best decisions I ever made in life was to start Yosemite Summit. I can still remember how nervous I was the first year – it was an incredible step of faith to put money down on a lodge not knowing if any guys would even sign up. I’ve now completed seven Summits.

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Each year God brings together a completely different group of men – sovereignly gathered by God for a week of unplugging from the busyness of ministry to reconnect with God in an incredible way.

What are the benefits of Yosemite Summit that these men benefit from? Let me share a few with you… (click on any image to view larger)

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They get to spend time strengthening their foundation by spending quality time with the Rock.

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They gain a new objectivity on their life and walk with God.

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They learn to see God in nature in new and creative ways.

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They learn to enjoy the journey over the destination.

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They gain a heightened perspective on life.
(Can you see him there?)

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They learn that even when you can’t see God at work… He is still there.
Sometimes it’s just behind a layer of clouds.

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If you are patient… in time what was hidden will be revealed!

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They discover there is nothing that God can’t find a way through…

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They get time in the Word without their cell phone or anything else interrupting.

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God’s majesty is seen in the midst of life’s storms.

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They might even get to spend some time with their head in the clouds!

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Or walk along the River of Life?

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Or be reminded that though their sin be as scarlet, it shall be white as snow!

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They are reminded how to stop. And just be in the moment.

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A new viewpoint on their life back home becomes clear.

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New friendships are formed that will last a life time.

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The words Church and Sanctuary take on completely new meaning.

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If you are a man in full time Christian ministry, may I invite you again to prayerfully consider joining me at Yosemite Summit? Get off the beaten path and soak in a week of no schedule, no deadlines, no interruptions, no demands on your time, no backlog of things you are behind on… and just leave it all behind for a week focused solely on your walk with God with some brothers who know your journey, because they share in your Call.

Enjoy this highlight video from Yosemite Summit 2014. Who knows, maybe you’ll be in the 2015 videos.

To learn more, visit the past years reports, watch the videos, browse the blog for many posts about the Summit or just e-mail karl@yosemitesummit.org

 

Meeting God Upon the Rock

From one of the 2014 Summiteers:

Yosemite Summit was an incredible experience that I pray I’ll be able to attend again.  It truly was a place to experience our Creator like never before.  Put aside all the pressures and stresses of ministry and life and connect with the Father.  I’ve walked away from Yosemite Summit with a different view of myself, my family, and my ministry.

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(Click to View Larger)

My highlight was on the first day at Turtleback Dome. There was just something so moving about being able to see Tunnel View without all the crowds.  I can’t even really explain it, but as I sat on that enormous rock and had tears falling down my cheeks, I met God in a way that I feel that I haven’t in a long time. Powerful. Often the best times to hear from God is when everything around you is quiet and you just bask in His creation.

– Pat, 2014

 

Back from Yosemite Summit 2014

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A full report with highlight video will be coming soon (I’ve got some catching up to do from being “unplugged” for a week) – but I wanted to at least let you all know we got back, share a few pictures and give you a free wallpaper for your computer!

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We had a fantastic week – walking with God and enjoying some amazing fellowship. About a week before the Summit a friend sent me the following facebook message and hit the nail on the head as to WHY myself and a small group of other men drop everything and go on this Summit each year. Here is what they sent me, written by Tony Evans:

In Exodus 34:23-24, we read that three times a year all the males in Israel were to go on a retreat before the Lord who ruled over them. In the Old Testament, the phrase “Lord your God” means sovereign Lord. Three times a year, all of the men were to go to a certain location, and in so doing, acknowledge the sovereign rule of God in their lives. Now, before we move past that too quickly, let’s look at what that might have done to those left behind.

Three times a year all of the males left their land and homes. From a military and defense perspective, that is unthinkable. From a commerce and agricultural perspective, that is unthinkable. All the men are gone and there are only women and children left to fend for themselves? That doesn’t sound like a very good national strategy.

But that is where the second verse in this passage comes in. God says that while you are away seeking Me and honoring Me under My authority, men, do not worry. He says that He will see to it that no one will bother your land, houses, or anyone left behind. We read, “… no man shall covet your land when you go up . . . to appear before the Lord your God.”

In other words, God is saying that if you will simply align yourself under My authority, then I’ve got it. I’ll take care of the rest. I have you covered. But in order for God to cover you, men, you are going to have to humble yourself under His authority. You are going to have to align your thoughts, actions, decisions, and leadership under the overarching viewpoint and authority of God.

For an entire week, five men joined me for this very purpose. If you are a man looking at the Yosemite Summit and thinking, “I can’t get away like that.” Consider how the Israelite men felt when God asked them to do this three times a year. Every man on this Summit reports how it is a sacrifice to do this, but they always find it more than worth the time invested in their walk with God.

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Let me challenge any man in ministry to prayerfully consider blocking off May 17-21, 2015 on your calendar right now and start praying about whether you might be able to join me next year at Yosemite Summit.

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We end every Summit at the Yosemite Chapel, a fully functional church in the heart of Yosemite Valley. As we wrapped up this year’s Summit we marveled at how God had provided for us. At times miraculously throughout the week. Thank you for your prayers as we invested this time in our relationship with God, our wives and children – and as a result, our ministries.

This year we got to see some incredible cloud formations – you’ll see more in the highlight video and report to come, but for now, here is a FREE wallpaper you can put on your computer as a reminder to praying about Yosemite Summit:

Click Image to download high resolution version.

Click Image to download high resolution version.

Download: YS14wallpaper-HalfDomeClouds.jpg (3.2 MB)

PRAY for 2014’s Yosemite Summiteers

Here is this year’s Yosemite Summit Prayer Poster:

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Click to Download Full Size PDF

This year Dave, Brian, Patrick, Skipper and Jeff will be joining me for the 7th annual Yosemite Summit UNconference for men in ministry. Whether you know us personally or not, we’d all appreciate if you would download this PDF Prayer Poster and post it somewhere you’ll see it and pray for us as we prepare to go, and while we are on this sabbatical retreat.

What can you pray for?

  • Safety as we enjoy hiking around Yosemite National Park
  • Mental Release from our “jobs” back hom
  • Ability to focus on the reason we are there
  • Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit while we Walk with God on the Summit
  • An Openness to Listen to what God wants to say to us while we are there
  • No distractions mentally, emotionally or spiritually
  • That we would all get along and form Christ-like friendships.
  • Whether God might want YOU to come to Yosemite Summit in 2015!

If you have been considering Yosemite Summit, but it tends to fill up before you get a chance to register, MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW for May 17-21, 2015. The sooner you block out those dates, the start to plan around them, the more likely it will be that you will be able to join me next year! I’m already praying for you.

It’s Time to UNPLUG and Reconnect to What Matters

You just have to see this in person!
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Have you ever wanted to UNPLUG from the hectic busy pace of ministry life? That is the entire point of Yosemite Summit. It is a week where you are unplugged in every sense of the word. No computer, no e-mail, no phone calls, no work, no deadlines, no ’emergencies’, no pressure. Better than a day off spent catching up on personal things – it is a complete break for the sake of complete rest and renewal.

I was once told by a very wise mentor, “Karl, you need to stop being a human doing, and learn to become a human being.”

Reflection

That is what Yosemite Summit is all about. It is an annual cessation of activity. Too often we confuse busyness with what God is truly seeking from us. Not that we aren’t busy doing good things! But we get so busy doing these good things, that our relationship with God can grow distant, and soon God is wondering, why or who we are truly busy for?

Stopping, completely, once a year is an opportunity to recalibrate. It is a time for reflection and renewal. It is not a time of evaluating ministry goals and seeking a new “ministry vision” from God! It is a time of setting all that down and walking away from it.

Perspective

Why? God did not save us to gain a worker. He can manage quite fine without us. (Something to consider when you are working so hard – God doesn’t need you!) He saved us that we might enter into a relationship with Him and get to know Him. If we are so busy working that we aren’t getting to know Him – than the working isn’t working. It is actually counter-productive to what God’s true aim is.

We are busy “making Him known,” but we forget the first half – “To know Christ, and to make Him known.” If we forget our relationship in the pursuit of the second half, we are then working to reproduce something that isn’t what God wants. No wonder many non-believers have no interest in becoming a Christian! They see a lot of busy-bodies, instead of disciples of Christ, men and women who walk with God.

To be in awe of God again…

So once a year I stop all the activity and simply walk with God for a week doing nothing else but enjoying Him. And I invite a small group to join me. It changes me and helps me continue that walk when I get back to my God-given work.

Will you join me this May? Only three spots remain.

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Take some time and browse through the blog on YosemiteSummit.org – you’ll discover inspiration and the answers you have about this unique event.

I’m already praying for you… I just don’t know who you are yet.

Learn More:
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PS: If you need this Summit and can’t afford it, please let me know.