Saturday, November 29, 2014

The birthplace of joy

“I have always been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted until I slowly discovered that my interruptions were my work.”

"That is the great conversion in our life: to recognize and believe that the many unplanned events are not just disturbing interruptions of our projects but the way in which God molds our hearts and prepares us for his return.  

Our great temptations are boredom and bitterness. When our good plans are interrupted by poor weather, our peace of mind by inner turmoil our hope for peace by a new war, our desire for a stable government by a constant changing of the guards and our desire for immortality by real death, we are tempted to give in to a paralyzing boredom or a to strike back in destructive bitterness. 

But when we believe that patience can make our expectations grow, then fate can be converted into a vocation, wounds into a call for deeper understanding, and sadness into a birthplace of joy."  Henri Nouwen

Friday, November 21, 2014

a feeling of joy and anticipation

"Some, who have gone to edge of what we call ‘life,’ tell a consistent story.  They sense themselves moving across a bridge towards a bright, beautiful place on the other sideThey feel happy, buoyed up by a feeling of joy and anticipation.  They feel free of their bodies, that they are moving at an incredible speed towards God, and that they are being bathed in God’s love as if it were an avalanche of warm light.  In that brightness nothing else matters, neither sin nor misfortune nor worry nor suffering.  Their hearts and souls are filled with the presence of God’s glory.”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"Let us seek to do your will"

"Lord, just as you led the Israelites out of Egypt, lead us as we seek to do your will, to 'love you more dearly and follow you more nearly' all the days of our life."

Mt Emily Recreation Area, La Grande OR

Glacier Lake, OR, Eagle Cap Wilderness

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Western larch and the Mt Emily Recreation Area

As the fall colors fade in La Grande, as leaves fill yards and streets, the western larch (tamarack) are just beginning to radiate color. These trees are deciduous conifers that shed their needles after a late fall golden display.  In the springtime, the fresh needles are a bright pale green, offering a totally different sheen.  The grow straight and tall, like candles, up to a height of one hundred and eighty feet. I love to wander in and around them in the Mt Emily Recreation Area, as the bright sunlight bounces off their needles.

western larch, tamarack

Grande Ronde Valley

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA

MERA, Mt Emily Recreation Area

western larch

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Along His path

"According to the greatness of your goodness and your many mercies, look down on me and hear the prayer of your poor spirit, 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. Amen."  Thomas รก Kempis

Cascade Locks OR, PCT

Benson Falls OR, Columbia Gorge

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Boiler Bay, Oregon Coast

After the annual Judicial Conference at Salishan on the Oregon coast south of Lincoln City, Meg and I drove a few miles down the coast to Boiler Bay, an overlook that provides spectacular views of the ocean's power. I took these pictures from inside the car, through my open window.  Even with the car's protection, rain still blew in over me and the camera.  Nonetheless, the waves were an endless source of drama and excitement.  It was difficult to leave and return to "ordinary" scenery of fall leaves as we traveled east across the coast range to home.

I have two pictures of gulls in the storm, with two different backdrops.  We are always astounded to see how these creatures manage to find calm spots in the storm.

Boiler Bay

Boiler Bay

Boiler Bay

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The intensity of His presence

Like all of us, I enjoy the deep beauty of fall.  Transient though the season is, this burst of life reminds me that I should focus on the intensity of these days, rather than nostalgia for what is passing away.  It is a good lesson for me, now that I have entered my seventies. I know that God's love never ceases, it is new every morning (and evening). I am with Him eternally, now as I breathe in my body, and someday, as my spirit and soul join with His mystery.

Morgan Lake OR, La Grande

St Peters La Grande OR