Saturday, April 28, 2012

The spark of God

After loving God wholly and completely, how then do we answer the call of the second great commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves?

"When we recognize the spark of God in others, we blow on it with our attention and strengthen it, no matter how deeply it has been buried or for how long. When we bless someone, we touch the unborn goodness in them and wish it well."
Dr.Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. "My Grandfather's Blessings"

Monday, April 23, 2012

Water, fish, and sun

Last year, Matt and Teresa gave me a guided fly fishing trip for Christmas.  I had to take a rain check because of last April's weather.  This year, however, the weather was excellent, so we went off last Friday.  Dave, the guide, took me in one canoe, and Matt and Sebastian went in the other. I mainly fly fished, but also did some spinning as well.  I caught a nice sized brown trout on a lure, and some hard fighting rainbow on a fly.  Matt and Sebastian were also successful. I may have to give up the late afternoon light and get back into fly fishing when I return.  The conclusion of the trip was also delicious.  Dave smoked the trout for us.  They are excellent eating! 

As always, the sunrises here have been spectacular. Meg and I enjoy getting up early, taking the short walk to the beach, and doing our morning devotional and Bible readings sitting against a piece of driftwood as the sky lightens and the sun rises and the waves play their music.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

His shield of love

Awe, wonder, gratitude--No matter where we are, His Presence, His shield, His love, grace and mercy surrounds us. And prayer never requires a wi fi or a G3 connection! 

And we are ever reminded of what Thomas รก Kempis wrote long ago:

“Protect and keep the souls of
  your servants, traveling amid
the many dangers of life. By
  your grace, direct us along
the path of peace until we are 
  back home in the land of ever
lasting brightness.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A wonderful family five days

One can easily make a day's driving loop from Ohope, where the family lives, to Taupo to the Tongariro National Park to Matamata (Hobbiton) to home again.  However, we enjoyed a five day family trip that included skydiving in Taupo, hiking the classic Tongoriro Crossing 19.4 km hike past Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom), and visiting the set for Hobbiton. Sebastian and Emma were impressive hikers on the Tongariro Crossing.  At ages 11 and just turned 13, they were challenged beyond anything they had ever done before.  They completed the hike (12 miles) in good spirits, and only minor complaints. Anyone who enjoys Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit who comes to New Zealand should definitely work Hobbiton into their visit.  The set really does bring those movie scenes alive! Meg and I are grateful for the deep memories we are building with our family, despite the physical distance by which we are separated.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Zealand arrival

Meg and I arrived in Auckland on April 11.  The overnight flight was easy as usual.  We took a self portrait shot, enjoyed coffee/tea and a muffin at the domestic terminal before we flew to Whakatane.  Teresa, Sebastian, and Emma met us.  Impressively, they immediately picked up our luggage and carried it the car--and to the house when we arrived.  Then Sebastian opened his birthday present--a radio controlled helicopter.  He is well on his way to mastering its flight maneuvers.  We have enjoyed the beach and surf.  And the weather has provided some beautiful scenes and colors. So, many good days with family lie ahead is this great country!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Christ is Risen!

Richard Rohr writes, "The cross is the standing statement of what we do to each other and to ourselves. The resurrection is the standing statement of what God does to us in return."      

No matter who we are, and what we have done, God's love, grace, forgiveness remain!