Taking time for God

“Practice an extended period of private prayer, reflection, and meditation, pondering, percolating—whatever you want to call it. But do something everyday on a regular basis to engage in a conscious dialogue with your inner self and God. If every waking moment is filled with input and stimulation, your soul’s voice is being drowned out. You’ll eventually b begin to experience spiritual numbness, a blasé feeling…

Not making time to pay attention to your soul each day is like driving around with God in the back seat of the car,  but with the music turned up so loud you can’t hear a word He is saying.”  Joe Paprocki
Ohope Beach sunrise, Psalm 46:10

God is Love

Beloved, God is love. 1 John 4:7

“Notice that John doesn’t just say God shows love. He says God is love.This is a huge distinction. The love of God is God. That means it’s not sentimental. It is incredibly powerful.  It is ruthlessly determined.  It’s determined to give itself away at any cost. And one problem we will have with the God who really is, is that He will invite us to do the same, whether we accomplish it is this lifetime, or in eternity with Him”  Fr. Thomas Keating
Cats Back Wallowa County, 1 John 4.8

Doing good

Meg and I recently saw the excellent movie, “Won’t You be My Neighbor.”  This movie, about the life of Mr. Rogers, reminded us that amidst the “not good,” the evil, it is so important consciously to cultivate that which is good and loving. In our lives we must do more than merely avoid that which is bad.  We must reach out and build up others, be healers and peacemakers, as best we can.


Cornucopia, East Pine Reservoir Baker County

Carrying our load

”As a pilgrim we, we sometimes journey.
We often know not which way to turn.
But there is One who knows the road.
Who’ll help us carry, who’ll help us carry,
our heavy load.”

Aretha Franklin, from her album  “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”

Her life was not easy.  We all ultimately survive on grace and faith, as Max Lucado said in the quote I used in last week’s post.

Psalm 119.105, La Grande OR

Icelandic puffins

Puffins are absolutely the sweetest, most striking birds. I gave Michael my Canon SX 60 since his hand is steadier when shooting at the full optical zoom.  He captured some great puffin images at a coastal location Disa and Einar took us to.  The last picture is with my iPhone.  Lots of luck and a bit of skill predicting where it would come in so I could get a little better focus.  Here are some interesting puffin facts I found on line:

During the breeding season, the puffin develops a distinctive colorful beak, that this becomes dull in the winter.
Puffins spend most of the year at sea, and only return to land once a year to breed.
An extra bone in the pugging’s jaw prevents fish at the tip from falling out.
The puffin’s bill is serrated to help carry fish, and it has be recorded hold 83 sand eels.
Iceland puffins
Iceland puffins
Iceland puffins
Iceland puffins
Iceland puffins
Iceland puffins, puffin with fish Iceland
Iceland puffins, Iceland puffin with fish
Iceland puffins
Iceland puffins
Iceland puffins


Oh, there once was a Puffin
Just the shape of a muffin,
And he lived on an island
In the bright blue sea!

He ate little fishes,
That were most delicious,
And he had them for supper
And he had them for tea.

But this poor little Puffin,
He couldn’t play nothin’,
For he hadn’t anybody
To play with at all.

So he sat on his island,
And he cried for awhile, and
He felt very lonely,
And he felt very small.

Then along came the fishes,
And they said, “If you wishes,
You can have us for playmates,
Instead of for tea!”

So they now play together,
In all sorts of weather,
And the Puffin eats pancakes,
Like you and like me.
-Florence Page Jaques, originally published in Highlights magazine

The Gljúfrabúi waterfall

Fortunately, most visitors return to the parking lot after visiting the Seljalandfoss. However, if one continues west less than half a mile, one encounters the  Gljúfrabúi. This waterfall begins high and then disappears into a narrow cleft.  It is aptly named, translated as “Dweller in the Gorge.” It falls into a slot canyon, so the its bottom is visible only if you enter a narrow crack, wading through shallow water into a mossy cylindrical chamber.
I had not planned to enter because, despite going behind Seljalandsfoss, my shoes were fairly dry.  However, Michael and Sara came out with gorgeous pictures, so I cast aside my fastidiousness over wet shoes. Actually Michael advised me just to balance on the wet rocks and anchor my hand on the side wall.  Ha, my balance is still good, but not that good.
As you can see, the trip inside was well worthwhile.
Gljúfrabúi waterfall Iceland
Gljúfrabúi waterfall Iceland
Gljúfrabúi waterfall Iceland
Gljúfrabúi waterfall Iceland, Gljúfrabúi rainbow
Gljúfrabúi waterfall Iceland
Gljúfrabúi waterfall Iceland
Gljúfrabúi waterfall Iceland, Gljúfrabúi rainbow
Gljúfrabúi waterfall Iceland, Gljúfrabúi rainbow
Gljúfrabúi waterfall Iceland, Gljúfrabúi rainbow
Gljúfrabúi rainbow, Gljúfrabúi waterfall Iceland

Photos by Eric Valentine