Sunday, June 28, 2015

An ancient message that still speaks today

I will lead blind Israel down a new path,
    guiding them along an unfamiliar way.
I will brighten the darkness before them
    and smooth out the road ahead of them.
Yes, I will indeed do these things;
    I will not forsake them.  Isaiah 42: 16

None of us really "see" well.  It is good to know that Lord is always there to brighten whatever darkness surrounds us, and to make our way smooth. Indeed, He will never forsake us!

Grande Ronde River, Wallowa County

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Troop 514 rafting the Grande Ronde Rive

Seventeen Scouts, ages ten and half to eighteen, along with seven adults, spent three days rafting the Grande Ronde river this past Friday through Sunday. We rented five boats. The river was low, slow, and challenging.-- lots of obscured rocks that needed to be maneuvered around and between. However, all went well and the boys learned about "reading" the river, and rowing.

They cooked dutch oven meals for both dinner and breakfast.  We had four cooking groups and the boys did a wonderful job working together.  Their cooperation and collegiality was a joy to behold.  They were supportive of each other, and the few conflicts were minor. This is the third river trip we have done in the past four years.  I have enjoyed watching boys grow into young men.

Grande Ronde River, Friday campsite

Grande Ronde River, Wallowa County

Grande Ronde River, Troy, Wallowa County

Powwatka bridge

Enjoying a great dutch over chicken and rice meal Friday night along the Grande Ronde river

Saturday night dutch over dinner: chili and corn bread

Maneuvering past the Red Rock on the Wallowa river, which later joins the Grande Ronde

Monday, June 22, 2015

Small steps of love

Once again, Henri Nouwen provides his challenging insights into how even small steps of loving moves us into God's light.

"How can we choose love when we have experienced so little of it?  We choose love by taking small steps of love every time there is an opportunity.  A smile, a handshake, a word of encouragement, a phone call, a card, an embrace, a kind greeting, a gesture of support, a moment of attention, a helping hand, a present, a financial contribution, a visit ...  all these are little steps toward love.

Each step is like a candle burning in the night.  It does not take the darkness away, but it guides us through the darkness.  When we look back after many small steps of love, we will discover that we have made a long and beautiful journey.”  Henri Nouwen

McGraw Creek, Hells Canyon Wilderness

Milford Track, McKinnon Pass

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Not by sight

This Scripture has always resonated with me.  None of us know whether tomorrow will be success or disaster, contentment or disappointment, joy or sorrow.  What we do know is that beyond our earthly vision, our earthly horizon, lies a God who loves us— a God who showed His love by his living Son. 

"God has not promised to take away our trials, but to help us change our attitudes toward them."  Fr Richard Keating  

And so, challenging as it is, we can live joyfully with the known and the unknown.

Cannon Beach, Oregon coast

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Troop 514: Flag ceremony to open the session of the Oregon House of Representatives

Every other year, Troop 514 travels to Salem, OR to open a House of Representative's session with a flag ceremony.  This year we also also met with our State representative, Greg Barreto, toured the Capitol and visited with a justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.  The Scouts are both serious and excited by this opportunity.  I always enjoy watching how well disciplined the scouts are as they first practice, and then perform, this call to the colors and pledge of allegiance ceremony.

Troop 514 outside the House of Representative chamber

Practicing the flag ceremony

The formal ceremony

The Pledge of Allegiance

With Representative Greg Barreto

Oregon Supreme Court justice Rives Kistler

The Oregon WW II Memorial

Sunday, June 7, 2015

His Word

The grass withers and the flowers fade,
    but the word of our God stands forever. isaiah 40:8

We know each of us will, sooner or later, fade.  Yet God's Word remains eternal. I realize more and more, that His Word is the only foundation to stand upon.  All else, like this seed head, is blown away. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Always keep your camera handy

As Meg and I were driving out to Wallowa County, we saw this great animal encounter. We had never witnessed anything like this.  Fortunately my camera was right with me, close at hand.

“I wonder if this bird wants to be my neighbor like Mr Rogers said?"

“I'll wait and see."

"I don't care what Mr Rogers said.  This is NOT your neighborhood!”

"And No, I don't want to be your neighbor!"