As I have only been in the land of sunshine for a short length of time, and therefore do not as yet know too much about California, I will nevertheless try to write something concerning the beauty, scenery and climatic conditions of the great western state.

Our Church in Redlands is situated on the northern end of town where the great stretches of orange groves begin.  The home of our minister, Rev. De Boer, is next to the church, and on the other side of their home is our Christian school.

To me Redlands and vicinity may rightfully be called a wonderland, as every day seems to bring new surprises and new wonders.

We are surrounded by the towering mountains on all sides, and especially at this time of the year they are most beautiful to see with their tops clad in glistening white snow, which we can see from the distance.

Sometime ago a party of five of us made a trip up into the mountains.  As we travelled higher, turning curve after curve, we could feel the mountain air becoming more fresh and invigorating.  Also, the high altitude seemed to have a peculiar buzzing effect upon our ears.

It was near supper time when we finally reached our destination.  The mountain air worked up our appetites.  So before going any further we had a bite to eat.  Thence, we began climbing the rest of the way by foot, searching for the falls we had heard so much about.  We finally did find the beautiful falls, tumbling amid rugged scenery, in a spot called the “Valley of the Falls.”  The falls gushed straight down from the rocks above us.  Looking about us we could see mountains above, below, and all about, truly making us feel very small and insignificant.  Yes, reminding us once again of One Who is far greater than we—the Creator and Maker of all creation, Who governs and upholds all things.

But not only are the mountains noted for their rare beauty but also the deserts, the flaming sunsets, waving palm trees, flowers of every size and color, and last but not least, seemingly endless stretches of the golden orange trees.

It seems strange that at this time of the year one can pick ripe golden oranges in the warm sunshine, and then in thirty minutes drive to the mountain heights and engage in winter sports.

Sunshine prevails in abundance practically the whole year around.  The mountains, mild ocean currents, and the warm sun help to keep winter at bay

The ocean is a drive of approximately sixty-five miles from Redlands.  On one occasion, since I have been here, we made a trip to the ocean, about the latter part of September.  It was a beautiful day.  We left Redlands by truck about ten o’clock in the morning.  The sun was very hot so that we who were sitting in the rear of the truck acquired a sunburn before we even arrived at the ocean.  Then upon our return in the evening, the air had cooled so considerably that we were chilled to the bone on the way home.  This goes to show the contrast in climate out here; mornings and evenings are cool while during the day it is usually hot.  But all of us enjoyed playing in the huge waves of the ocean that warm September day.  We also found great sport in gathering sea shells of all colors, size and description.

Once again I say that truly Redlands and its surrounding country is most beautiful and interesting to see.  May we thank God that we still have the opportunity in this country to enjoy nature in all its beauty and loveliness as His handiwork.

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

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Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

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