Children of God

“You are created because of love and you are given unconditional love.  That is who you are: a beloved one and one who has love to share.

“The voice that Jesus heard at his baptism was an incredible affirmation from God: ‘You are my beloved Son. My favor rests on you.’
“That voice made it possible for Jesus to go into the world, to live in the truth and also to suffer.  He knew the truth, he claimed it, and he walked in the word.  People ruined his life by rejecting him and hurting him, by spitting on him and finally killing him on the cross, but he never lost the truth.  He lived his joy and his pain under the blessing of the Father. He never lost his truth. God loved him unconditionally and no could take that from him.”  Henri Nouwen
We are NOT defined by society’s demands, by the movie/television ads, even by our friends.  God’s never ending love is where we find a strength and our comfort, and beloved-ness.
1 John 3, Nugget Point, Catlins

Nugget Point sunrise

Vigorous seas, whipped by Antarctic winds, can make offshore seafaring dangerous, and on onshore life challenging at Nugget Point and the Catlin beaches.  Yet most of the time calm dominates. The  scenic beaches are serene, and the residents resilient.

 

Nugget point, Catlins
Nugget point, Catlins
Nugget point, Catlins, Nugget Lodge
Nugget point, Catlins, Nugget Lodge
Nugget point, Catlins, Nugget Lodge
Nugget point, Catlins, Nugget Lodge
Nugget point, Catlins, Nugget Lodge

The Nugget Point Lighthouse

Nothing but open seas and Antartica lie beyond Nugget Point and the Nugget Point lighthouse, located in the Catlins of South Island, New Zealand. The intriguing vertical stripes of the rock stacks and cliffs are layers of sedimentary rock that formed horizontally under the sea, then uplifted and tilted over time. The “nuggets” are some of these sedimentary rocks the jut along side Nugget Point Lighthouse and out in front of it.  Rugged, rugged, lonely, lonely.  A long ways from home, and strikingly beautiful !!

 

Nugget Point Lighthouse, Catlins, sea stack
Nugget Point Lighthouse, Catlins
Nugget Point Lighthouse, Catlins
Nugget Point Lighthouse, Catlins
Nugget Point Lighthouse, Catlins

Nugget Point Lighthouse, Catlins

 

Nugget Point Lighthouse, Catlins,Nugget Point

nuggets

Nugget Point Lighthouse, Catlins

Nugget Point Lighthouse, Catlins, New Zealand spoonbills

 

Nugget Point Lighthouse, Catlins, Nugget Point yellow eyed penguins

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

The Heart of Prayer

“The heart of prayer is to recognize the presence and action of God and to consent to it.  We do not have to go anywhere; God is already with us…Faith tells us that we already have God—the divine indwelling. The most intimate relationship with God is to be completely present to God, whatever we may be doing.” Fr Thomas Keating

 

John 15, Morgan Lake  Oregon

Photos by Eric Valentine