Tag Archives: Taranaki_coast

“I remind myself that I am in the Presence of the Lord.”

“I remind myself that I am in the Presence of the Lord.

I will take refuge in His loving heart.
He is my strength in times of weakness.
He is my comforter in times of sorrow.”
In the morning, when I do my morning devotions, during the day when my own busyness surrounds me, at night when I cover myself with prayer, I love this reminder that God’s love, strength, and comfort never desert me.
Taranaki Coast, North Island, NZ

Dawson Falls, Mt Taranaki National Park, NZ

For God alone my soul in silence waits

This week, I have held the first line of Psalm 62 in my mind. I have read different translations, but this one resonates deepest with me. Thousands of years ago, this writer recognized three things:  he had a soul, only God could fill it, and his soul needed silence. Today, it is so easy to get wrapped up in filling ourselves with things that don’t matter; that only create “noise” in our souls, and separate us from God.

And so I try each day to begin with the Bible and commentary; with prayer and with quiet music.  Some mornings are better than others, but this fundamental spiritual discipline provides an anchoring reference point for the rest of the day. It is the foundation for the awareness of God that Chambers describes:
“Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy and leave room for God to come in as He decides.”  Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest”
Eastern Oregon

Three Sisters Beach

Three Sisters Beach

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

Let the past rest

A New Year, a new month, a new day.  The past does not need to restrain or restrict us when we are willing to begin anew with Christ, who never leaves us.  Oswald Chambers, in his writing for December 31 from “My Utmost for His Highest,” states how we can let our past rest and our future, ever recreated afresh, begin:
“As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that 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 out into the invincible future with Him.”
Bay of Plenty

Three Sisters Beach

Three Sisters Beach, NZ–the best beach ever!!

Late yesterday afternoon, Meg and I visited the best beach EVER I have seen. Three Sisters Beach, on the Taranaki west coast of North Island, NZ, lies an hour’s drive north of New Plymouth. It is accessible only at low tide.  To get there, you walk/wade down the Tongaparutu river.  The earlier you leave ahead of low tide, the deeper the water, as you can see by the pictures of Meg.

The “sisters” are sea stacks, vertical columns of limestone cliffs, capped by harder rock, that the waves’ forces have eroded away from the headland. Frequently they are arches whose center has collapsed. The shapes are both whimsical and dramatic, and provide nesting areas for seabirds. They glow, along with the cliffs, in the early evening sun.

And, there is a most excellent motel about fifteen minutes north of here, the Mokau Motel, one the best you will find anywhere. It overlooks the Mokau River and the ocean, and Mt Taranaki.  The facilities are equally suberb!