Forgiveness and Healing

“How can we forgive those who do not want to be forgiven? Our deepest desire is that the forgiveness we offer will be received. This mutuality between giving and receiving is what creates peace and harmony. But if our condition for giving forgiveness is that it will be received, we seldom will forgive! Forgiving the other is first and foremost an inner movement. It is an act that removes anger, bitterness, and the desire for revenge from our hearts and helps us to reclaim our human dignity. We cannot force those we want to forgive into accepting our forgiveness. They might not be able or willing do so. They may not even know or feel that they have wounded us.

“The only people we can really change are ourselves. Forgiving others is first and foremost healing our own hearts.”  Henri Nouwen
Daniel 9, Morgan Lake OR

Unconditional Love

We all talk about unconditional love, but I find it hard to really do, despite how close I am to people.  Yet these two delightful dogs  accept me unconditionally.  All they ask for is my love and attention. If only I could give and receive the same intensity of love to and from God and others.

I am challenged by this verse from the Spanish hymn, Lord, You have come to the Lakeshore: “You need the caring of my hands. Through my tiredness may others find resting. You need a love that just goes on loving.”

“The human heart yearns for love: love without conditions, limitations, or restrictions. ..We must start by realizing that our restless hearts, yearning for perfect love, can only find that love through communion with the One who created them.”  Henri Nouwen
Mt Emily, Ladd Marsh

Morgan Lake winter

Morgan Lake sits above La Grande, in Union County OR. Although the road up there is steep, it is only a fifteen minute drive to reach it. Few people visit it in the winter, so the tranquility is always refreshing. Late afternoon light and sunsets are exquisite.


Morgan Lake, Solstice sunset
Morgan Lake OR
Morgan Lake OR winter
Morgan Lake OR
Morgan Lake
Morgan Lake
Morgan Lake
Morgan Lake, solstice sunset

Let the past rest

As I watch a sunrise or sunset develop, I am awed by the spectrum of color that is displayed. The light and color move gradually and spectacularly, cleansing my mind and soul, reminding that my circumstance are minute compared the eternal moving, transforming Light.


“God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience….Let us go out with the patient power of knowing the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us.  It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.

Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step into the invincible future with Him.”  Oswald Chambers
Grande Ronde valley, Union County Oregon

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

Troop 514 snow shoe to Hoffer Lake

On Saturday, I snow shoed up to Hoffer Lake, above Anthony Lake, OR  with five Scouts and two other adult leaders. I came back with two “day” scouts, and the others are camped up there tonight. It was a proverbial winter wonderland, but not enough to attract/convince my “elderly” body to stay overnight


Troop 514, snow shoe Hoffer Lake OR

Getting water for soup

Preparing soup at Hoffer Lake
gathering fire wood

Morgan Lake, La Grande

A ten minute drive takes me to Morgan Lake, above La Grande, OR.  It sits in a high prairie, so the afternoon sun sets unblocked by the hills. I love to walk here year round.  Each season brings it own mood. Winter’s late afternoon sun is warm and rich, filled with serene mystery.

Morgan Lake OR, La Grande
Morgan Lake OR, La Grande
Morgan Lake Union County
snow pattern
snow bundle Morgan Lake
winter sunset, Morgan Lake La Grande


Photos by Eric Valentine