Tag Archives: Ohope

His steadfast love never ceases

On this most special day, I am reminded of what I should remember each day with each breath: God is with us at all times, in all places. He is the God of Life, and His steadfast love and mercy never cease, whatever the circumstances or conditions.

Shot at sunrise while walking to the beach at Ohope on our second morning there.



“Freedom comes when you know with your heart that you are loved.”

“Freedom comes when you know with your heart that you are loved.  If you could accept and believe that you are unconditionally love and embraced,  you could go all over the world and never be lonely…In our personal relationships a moral life is not enough. We must also live the mystical life, a life which is embraced by the God who says, “I love you fully and unconditionally.”  Henri Nouwen

Mt_Harris_OR, Union_County_OR

Ohope, Bay_of_Pleanty

The Eternal Shepherd

“Love unites all, whether created or uncreated.  The heart of God, the heart of all creation, and our own hearts become one in love.”  Henri Nouwen

Kutawere_wharf_NZ, Ohiwa_NZ

And God is the eternal, ever present Shepherd calling us to Him, bringing us to Him. Thank goodness, because even now, I still wander astray and need him to bring me back and give me strength.

Baker County

East Cape, N

 “I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord. I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak.” Ezekiel 34:15.16

Sunrise, Sunset, Ohope Bach, North Island, New Zealand

Ohope Beach lies on the Bay of Plenty, a long crescent shaped bay four hours east of Auckland.  It recently was rated as the top beach in New Zealand.  The beach here runs for miles, offering great waves for surfing and boogie boarding.  Excellent fishing is found both in the ocean and Ohope Harbor, or Ohiwa as it is also called.  Morning and evening light is never the same, never boring, sometimes subtle, sometimes shocking, but always alluring and enduring.

Ohiwa, Ohope_harbour

lilies and Ohope sunrise

Norfolk pine, Bay of Plenty

Ohope Harbor, Ohiwa

Bay of Plenty, Ohope Beach

Ohope Beach

Ohope Harbor, Ohiwa

West End Ohope

West End Ohope

West End Ohope

Released to His Eternity

Have you ever noticed a moth, a fly, a bee, or other insect flying up against a glass window inside your home?  Recently in New Zealand, as I was coming back from my morning devotions and opening the glass door into Matt and Teresa’s home, I saw a small moth flying against the inside of the glass.  As I released it to the outside–the environment for which it was created and destined–I thought about our human condition.

Is our physical life in reality a flight/fight against the glass window constraints of this earthly world?  Isn’t it true–as we think of how temporary our pleasures, our achievements, our lives really are–that we sense we were created for something more?  That in our heart of hearts, our soul of souls, we know our real life begins after this one, that indeed we are spirit contained in a limited physical body that will someday be released to join our Creator.
Shell Beach, Ohope, North Island, NZ

Three Sisters Beach, North Island, NZ

By light rather than by feel

This week I was looking for something in a wire drawer that was located slightly above my head.  The area was dark, but I wanted to find it by “feel” instead of by light.  After several minutes of fruitless feeling, I finally turned on the light, and found it immediately.

I have discovered living my life is quite similar.  So often, I function by feel, attempting to do the task my way. From a believer’s viewpoint, I have realized the vast, unbridgeable gap between living life according to my own ethics/morals and God’s.  I am soon lost without the firm, but gentle/kind path that God leads me on. God’s light is so much more than “lighting a candle in the darkness.” It is Truth itself, embracing me in my good times and my bad; always leading me home to Him. He is the “life giving light!”
Bowman Trail in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, OR

Ohope Beach, NZ

Our present, God’s future

Meg and I are enjoying early morning devotions on our front porch as we hear and watch multiple hummingbirds at the feeders we have set out.  However, these delicate and remarkable birds are not gentle.  They are exceptionally territorial with one species fighting against another and even “bullies” within the same species demanding first rights to the feeder.

These observations have prompted some thoughts about our “natural” world.  If we view the world only through secular eyes, we will be stuck for endless generations in our territoriality–in our selfish, egotistic “me (or my group) first”. Yet God has given us another way: Isaiah boldly predicts the “the calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion.”  And, “no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain.” Not only does God tell us that He will reverse/level the current social structures, but He calls us to be part of the movement.  From Isaiah Chapter 58: 6-8, to Christ’s call in the Gospels, we are called to bring salt and light, hope and comfort, to those who suffer. From the Beatitudes to the sheep and the goats, Christ shows us the strength in forgiveness, in giving up our “rights.”  With Him, we do not have to define and defend “territory.” We know that nothing separates us from HIs Love, and that all boundaries, of whatever kind, are removed by His mercy and justice.
Memaloose, Hells Canyon


Hearing the Word

If we believe God spoke our universe, our world, our selves into existence, then how do we listen to Him?  Here is what Henri Nouwen says:
“The Word of God is not a word to apply in our daily lives at some later date; it is a word to heal us through and in, our listening here and now.

The questions therefore are: How does God come to me as I listen to the word? Where do I discern God’s healing hand touching me through his word? How are my sadness, my grief, my mourning being transformed at this very moment?  Do I sense the fire of God’s love purifying my heart and giving me new life? These questions lead me to the sacrament of the word, the sacred place of God’s real presence.”  Henri Nouwen