Saturday, November 24, 2012

Between Memory and Hope

Thanksgiving for me always has a certain bitter-sweetness to it.  I am overwhelmingly grateful for the many blessings I have received, but I am also reminded that my "highs," like my "lows," are transitory.  As I ponder Christ's statement that the Kingdom of Heaven is near, I wonder why it still seems far away.  And so I live between memory and hope, grateful for my past, but also looking forward to an eternal life in the future. "Let nothing disturb thee;
Let nothing dismay thee: All thing pass; God never changes
."  Teresa of Avila

Wallowa Lake

Powder Valley sunrise over the Wallowas

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gratitude, Love, and God's Goodness

Thomas Merton says it so well: we have the ultimate reason for gratitude and wonder--God's unfailing love for us.

“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. 
Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” 
― Thomas Merton

Wallowa Lake

Vasquez Rocks, CA

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Safe Shelter

"According the greatness of your goodness and your many mercies, look down on me and hear the prayer of your poor servant, exiled far off in the land of the shadow of death.  Protect and keep the soul of your servant, traveling amid the many dangers of life. By your grace, direct him along the path of peace until he is back home in the land of everlasting brightness."  Thomas รก Kempis

These two Bible passages are separated by more than five hundred years, but their theme is the same.  Only God gives us the sanctuary we can trust. Living two millennia from when these verses were written, we still have the same choice: to trust ourselves or to trust God. I guess it all depends on what and where we call "home." 

Avalanche Falls, The Flume, NH

Pancake Rocks, South Island, New Zealand

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Zip Lining, Franconia Notch, and the Kangamangus Highway

Meg and I began fall early this season with a trip to visit Michael and Sara in New Hampshire in mid September.  We were fortunate to enjoy the early turning of green leaves into multi hued colors. We traveled up north for a day of zip lining and hiking in the Franconia Notch area, near the town of Lincoln.  One of the most beautiful highways in the US, the Kangamangus, runs east-west from there.  Although it was still relatively early in the season, the reds were peaking in the high country, providing a wonderful visual feast.  Oh, and the zip lining was incredibly fun!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The steadfast love of the Lord

God never stops pursuing us, no matter how perilous our lives, our times may be. He yearns for our response; His faithful presence never ceases.

"You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my deafness;
you lavished your fragrance, I gasped,
  and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst; 
you touched me and I burn for your peace."
                      St Augustine

Mt Hood

McKenzie Pass