Category Archives: North Island New Zealand

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

Proclaiming God’s Glory

Praise to our Creator Unceasing
Source of all on land, sea, and sky
Praise to Christ Eternal Wisdom
Praise the Spirit, Holy Fire
Let our voices rise to praise Thee
Everlasting Love Divine

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship.
 Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.
                                        Psalm 19:1, 2
Ohiwa Harbour, Psalm 19, Ohiwa Harbor Ohope, Ohope

Motu Falls and the Whinray Reserve

Meg and I took a delightful loop up the Waioeka Gorge to Motu Falls and then back to the coast at Opotiki. The road over the mountains back to Opotiki is “metal”, i.e. gravel, and very steep and winding.  Fortunately, few people other than mountain bikers do it, so we had the drive to ourselves. The Whinray Reserve is essentially private property that has been donated as a preserve of excellent old growth trees and ferns, and supports kiwis and other endangered New Zealand wildlife.

Whinray Reserve, Motu Falls


Whinray Reserve, Motu Falls
Wairata, Living Water Bush Cafe, Waioeka Gorge
Motu road
Motu Road

Motu Falls, Motu road

Wairata, Living Water Bush Cafe, Waioeka Gorge
Whinray Reserve, Motu Falls
Whinray Reserve, Motu Falls
Whinray Reserve, Motu Falls
Whinray Reserve, Motu Falls
Whinray Reserve, Motu Falls

Ohope and the Bay of Plenty

Ohope calls itself the “sunshine capital of New Zealand.” Frankly, I would call it the “sunrise/sunset”  capital. The Bay of Plenty was named by Captain Cook in the 1770’s after he found abundant provisions to replenish his ships along this coastline.

Since it faces northwards, Ohope Beach benefits from both sunrises and sunsets. As you can see, the colors glow magnificently. At sunrise, the mountains of the East Cape of the Bay of Plenty are often blanketed with clouds. This cloud cover creates a mystique to the land behind these mountains. Beautiful coves and beaches lie beyond the East Cape.  It was the filming site for the excellent New Zealand movies, “Whale Rider” and “Boy.”


Ohiwa oyster farm, Ohiwa Harbour
Ohope beach, Bay of Plenty, Ohope
Ohiwa sunrise, Ohiwa Harbour
Ohiwa Harbor, Bay of Plenty
Ohope, Bay of Plenty
Ohope Beach, East Cape Bay of Plenty, East Cape North Island
Ohope Beach, New Zealand sunset
Bay of Plenty, East Cape New Zealand
Ohope sunrise, Norfolk pine
Ohope beach, Bay of Plenty, East Cape New Zealand

God’s Curtain of Light

Psalm 104

 Let all that I am praise the Lord.
Lord my God, how great you are!
    You are robed with honor and majesty.
  You are dressed in a robe of light.
You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens;
you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
Psalm 104 image, Ohope, Bay of Plenty, East Cape

Opening a door

We talk about New Year’s resolutions, but in God’s Creation, all is always new, all is always eternal. We live in God’s eternal now, where the door is always there for us to open and know His Love, Mercy, and Forgiveness.  However, it is up to us to open the door to Him.

See I have placed in front of you
 an open door that no one can shut.
                          Revelation 3:8
Three Sisters Beach North Island New Zealand

Great Hiking Trails of the World

One of my pictures was selected for the cover of this recently published coffee table book. It shows Mt. Ngauruhoe which is the major mountain along the Tongariro Crossing on North Island, New Zealand. Mt Ngauruhoe was digitally altered to appear as Mt Doom in Lord of the Rings. I am humbled and honored to have this picture on the cover of a truly fascinating book. It was commissioned by the American Hiking Society, and published by a most excellent company, Rizzoli International Publications. If you enjoy beautiful pictures with excellent descriptions of trails around the world, you can order it from Amazon, or your local bookstore. 

Great Hiking Trails of the World, Mt Ngauruhoe, Tongariro National Park, North Island New Zealand
Great Hiking Trails of the World, Mt Ngauruhoe, Tongariro National Park, North Island New Zealand


Still, for Good Friday

For Good Friday

This day
let all stand still
in silence,
in sorrow.

Sun and moon
be still.

be still.

the waters.

the wind.

Let the ground
gape in stunned

Let it weep
as it receives
what it thinks
it will not
give up.

Let it groan
as it gathers
the One
who was thought
forever stilled.

be still.

and wait.


—Jan Richardson

Ohope Beach, East Cape Bay of Plenty
Ohope Beach, East Cape Bay of Plenty

Love remains

During this Easter week, it is good to remember and reflect upon the incredible unfailing love God shows us despite the evil and chaos that never seems to end. Indeed, we have sound reason NOT to let our hearts be troubled!

“Hope and faith will both come to an end when we die. But love will remain. Love is eternal. Love comes from God and returns to God. When we die, we will lose everything that life gave us except love. The love with which we lived our lives is the life of God within us. It is the divine, indestructible core of our being. This love not only will remain but will also bear fruit from generation to generation.

“When we approach our deaths let us say to those we leave behind, “Don’t let your heart be troubled. The love of God that dwells in my heart will come to you and offer you consolation and comfort.”  Henri Nouwen

Isaiah 65, Ohope Beach
Isaiah 65, Ohope Beach