Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Snow shelter construction

In preparation for the annual Boy Scout Klondike Derby, Scouts from Troop 514 in La Grande went up to Mud Lake, opposite the Anthony Lake ski area and built snow caves on the Saturday and Monday of Presidents' Day weekend.  I went up as well, and built an igloo.  These Scouts, and I as well, think sleeping in the snow ins almost "normal."

The annual Boy Scout Klondike Derby for 2013

Last Friday night and Saturday. Boy Scouts from Troop 514 in La Grande went up to an area opposite our local ski area at Anthony Lakes.  They had built snow caves there the previous weekend. On Friday, they arrived in a snow storm in the dark, set up their gear in the snow caves in storm, ate dinner in a storm, slept thought the night in a storm, ate breakfast in a storm, competed in a heavy snow storm, and packed up in storm.

They did all of this without complaining or shirking any responsibility.  They cooperated and worked together to not merely survive, but to overcome. And these boys varied in age from fifth grade to eighth grade, so you can see the quality of the efforts.  The pictures show a few of their activities. (As always, you can click on the images to enlarge them, and get the full "flavor" of the event)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Psalm 27: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life

As I read Psalm 27 in its entirety, I love to imagine myself being bathed in His Light, held closely in His loving salvation, to live forever in His sanctuary.

The one thing I ask of the Lord
    the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music.

Grande Ronde Valley

Ohope Beach, West End, New Zealand

Bermagui, Australia

Saturday, February 16, 2013

You are the Potter; we are the clay

“A rough and unshaped log has no idea that it can be made into a statue that will be considered a masterpiece, but the carver sees what can be done with it.  So many do not understand that God can mold them into saints, until they put themselves into the hands of that almighty Artisan.”       St. Ignatius Loyola                    
God has created us in His image. Through His prophets and His Son, He has called us and shown us the way He wants to shape us.  Paul puts it so well in his letter to the Galatians:  "the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control."  

May we all be willing to let this transformation flow into us; to let His refining fire remove the dross from us as we seek to live humbly, justly, and faithfully.

Elephant Rock, Three Sisters Beach, NZ

Elephant Rock, Three Sisters Beach, NZ

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Remembering Who calls our names

"To remember who creates us and recreates us, who calls us again and again, who knows us completely, and who loves us unconditionally is to be prepared, as Jesus was, for all that is to come. We need have no fear of today or anxiety about tomorrow. We belong to God who claims us as beloved children and holds us close to the embrace of strength and love. Listen and remember today that God calls your name and be transformed and sustained in all that awaits you."  Reuben Job

And in this spirit, the following prayer really speaks to my daily life: "Loving Lord, in the struggles that I face, help me always to find the right way, or, having lost it, to come back to you.  Only your grace and love can accomplish this. Only in that way do I know blessedness and peace of heart."

Anthony Lake, Gunsight, eastern Oregon


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

To There and Back: Travels in January, 2013

As you know, Meg and spent six weeks in New Zealand and Australia, from the first week of December, 2012 through the middle of January. We have gone from northern hemisphere winter to southern hemisphere summer and back to winter.  The experience has been exciting and stimulating. From sand and surf in New Zealand and Australia to snow and mountains in La Grande; from boogie boards to snow shoes. We have been blessed by this blend all within one month.

Anthony Lake and Gunsight

Meg amidst snowy trees

Bermagui, Australia Sapphire Coast

Ohope Harbour

Mt Cook lilies, Routeburn Track

Key Summit, Routeburn Track

Sapphire Coast, Australia

Anthony Lake winter

Bluebottle, Three Sisters Beach, NZ

Saturday, February 2, 2013

"I remind myself that I am in the Presence of the Lord."

"I remind myself that I am in the Presence of the Lord.
I will take refuge in His loving heart.
He is my strength in times of weakness.
He is my comforter in times of sorrow."

In the morning, when I do my morning devotions, during the day when my own busyness surrounds me, at night when I cover myself with prayer, I love this reminder that God's love, strength, and comfort never desert me.

Taranaki Coast, North Island, NZ

Dawson Falls, Mt Taranaki National Park, NZ