In my Father’s house

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.”   Psalm 91:1,2

 “Do I look at my life as being in my Father’s house? The only abiding reality is God Himself….I must learn to live every moment in my Father’s house.”  Oswald Chambers

 When my thought life is focused on His shelter, His house, and not my fantasies or memories. I find I live much more fully in the NOW of His presence and protection. That is where I find peace, not in the variability of my “feelings.”

Ohope Beach, North Island, New Zealand
Ohope Beach, North Island, New Zealand

Camping in the rain with Troop 514 at Hoffer Lake

This is the time of year Troop 514 heads up the alpine country above Anthony Lake. We go up on Saturday via a long hike, set up tents, cook, and then rock climb on Sunday. This year, the rain forced us to cancel the climbing, but the boys tested their skills and fortitude in the rain. They were not as well prepared as we had warned them to be, so it ws an excellent learning exprerience. Most importantly, they stayed “cheerful”, one of the requisites of the Scout Law.

The trail was soggy!!
The trail was soggy!!

Campfire, Hoffer Lake

Troop 514 around the campfire

Hiking down to Anthony Lake

Troop 514 hiking back down to Anthony Lake

Warming up by the campfireWashing dishes

Enjoying the smell of dutch oven bacon
Enjoying the smell of dutch oven bacon
Camping in the rain above Anthony Lake
Camping in the rain above Anthony Lake
Hoffer Lake above Anthony Lake
Hoffer Lake above Anthony Lake
Troop 514 dutch oven breakfast
Troop 514 dutch oven breakfast
Opening a baked cinnamon roll
Opening a baked cinnamon roll
Troop 514 camping
Troop 514 camping

Keeping it together

As the winds of the political environment pull us back and forth, Henri nouwen provides some wise words.

“How can we not lose our souls when everything and everybody pulls us in the most different directions? How can we “keep it together” when we are constantly torn apart?

“Jesus says: “Not a hair of your head will be lost. Your perseverance will win you your lives” (Luke 21:18-19). We can only survive our world when we trust that God knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. We can only keep it together when we believe that God holds us together. We can only win our lives when we remain faithful to the truth that every little part of us, yes, every hair, is completely safe in the divine embrace of our Lord. To say it differently: When we keep living a spiritual life, we have nothing to be afraid of.”  Henri Nouwen

 

Quail at bird fountain
Quail at bird fountain
quasi enjoying a drink
quasi enjoying a drink

 

Troop 514 backpacking in July in the Eagle Cap Wilderness

Embraced by memories of mountain air, sounds of the river, and visions of green meadows filled with wildflowers beneath alpine peaks, I loaded  La Grande Troop 514 Scouts into the car to travel to the trailhead that leads up the East Fork of the Lostine River into the Eagle Cap Wilderness. The trail requires more effort than earlier years, but the challenge makes the time and beauty all the more meaningful. I am blessed to live so close to such a special place and still have the legs to hike, albeit at a slower pace. And it was particularly fun to backpack with these older scouts who could carry more weight and prepare a gourmet dinner and breakfast—despite the mosquitoes!

 

Eagle Cap and moon
Eagle Cap and moon
Troop 541 ib bridge over the East Fork of the Lostine River
Troop 541 ib bridge over the East Fork of the Lostine River
East Fork, Lostine River
East Fork, Lostine River
Mosquito protection
Mosquito protection
Campsite
Campsite
Diner preparation, Troop 514
Diner preparation, Troop 514
Waking up
Waking up
Breakfast, Troop 514
Breakfast, Troop 514
Eagle Cap
Eagle Cap
Breakfast, Troop 514
Breakfast, Troop 514
Wilderness run
Wilderness run

 

Thirst and Living Water

When I backpack, water is the most critical weight I carry.  Without it, I could die, without enough, my face becomes hot and flushed and my movement labored. In the parched lands of the Bible, water is one of the most frequent and vivid metaphors.  When you know you are going to die without it, as the Israelites felt they were when they confronted God through Moses at Massah and Mariah in Exodus 17, you become desperate and demanding and non trusting.

We live through the water we drink.  Yet the Old and New Testament are filled with references to “living water,” a source of eternal life that comes only from God and quenches our bodily thirst forever. We find it spiritually as we accept God’s Presence to sustain our souls with the Holy Spirit. And we know it when we share our love with others. Someday, no longer separated from Him by our earthly bodies, we will be sustained eternally.

With joy you will drink deeply
from the fountain of salvation!
                      Isaiah 12:3
 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!  Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” John 7:37, 38
He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.
And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.
                                             Revelation 7:17
 hummingbird-drinking-wm-1
hummingbird-drinking-wm
robin-and-finches-drinking-wm
birds-at-waterfall

Making room

“Teach me, Lord, to make room for you in all the events and affairs of my days. Then I shall find rest. Then I will be at peace with myself and with you.”  Norman Shawchuck

 

“The house of my soul is too small for you to enter, Lord; make it more spacious by your coming.” St Augustine

 

Goat Rocks Wilderness. Mt Adams
Goat Rocks Wilderness. Mt Adams

 

Goat Rocks Wilderness
Goat Rocks Wilderness

Our 49th wedding anniversary

Starting at the trailhead for North Catherine Creek, Meg and I backpacked to Catherine Meadows in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.  The six mile hike was made easier through friends who took in most of our gear on their horses and mules. High above Catherine Meadows, Meg and I celebrated with a kiss!

Catherine Meadows
Catherine Meadows
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Catherine Meadows. Horses
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Cartwheel Ridge
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Cartwheel Ridge
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Cartwheel Ridge
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Descending from Cartwheel Ridge
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Crossing North Catherine Creek
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Eagle Cap Wilderness. North Catherine Creek

Singing a new song

“Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!

Honor and majesty surround Him; strength and beauty fill His sanctuary. ” Psalm 96

Former US Supreme Court Justice, William O. Douglas describes this strength and beauty in his book, Of Men and Mountains:  “When man ventures into the wilderness, climbs ridges and sleeps in the forest, he comes in close communion with his Creator. When man pits himself against the mountain, he taps inner springs of his strength. He comes to know himself.  He becomes meek and humble before the Lord who made heaven and earth. For he realizes how small a part of the universe he actually is.”

 

Bear Grass in Snow Grass Flat, Goat Rocks Wilderness
Bear Grass in Snow Grass Flat, Goat Rocks Wilderness

Goat Rocks at Sunset

Goat Rocks at sunset

High in the Goat Rocks Wilderness High in the Goat Rocks Wilderness

 

Thirsting for God

I love the references in Isaiah 12, John 7, and Revelation 7 to  living water. When I backpack, water is the most critical weight I carry.  Without it, I could die, without enough, my face becomes hot and flushed and my movement labored. In the parched lands of the Bible, water is one of the most frequent and vivid metaphors.  When you know you are going to die without it, as the Israelites felt they were when they confronted God through Moses at Massah and Mariah in Exodus 17, you become desperate and demanding and non trusting.

We live through the water we drink.  Yet the Old and New Testament are filled with references to “living water,” a source of eternal life that comes only from God and quenches our bodily thirst forever. We find it spiritually as we accept God’s Presence to sustain our souls with the Holy Spirit.  And someday, no longer separated from Him by our earthly bodies, we will be sustained eternally.

With joy you will drink deeply
from the fountain of salvation!
                      Isaiah 12:3
On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!  Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” John 7:37, 38
He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.
And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.
                                             Revelation 7:17

Our backyard wildlife sanctuary

Yesterday morning (Wednesday) provided us some delightful wildlife viewing.  The turkeys are messy, and not particularly welcome, but we nonetheless enjoy seeing the mamas and their many, many offspring sweetly clucking their way through the yard. And these large bucks show how healthy city fed deer can be!

Photos by Eric Valentine