Tag Archives: worship

“The search for God is the project of a lifetime.”

“The search for God is the project of a lifetime. It does not come at the instant of an exercise completed….Instinctively and timidly, we avoid any real encounter with God because we know it will change our lives. Oh, we go through the motions of seeking God, of  course.  But we find it very hard to believe that God is God: all knowing, all merciful, all loving, all patient.

Augustine is very clear: our God does not change.  It is we who change as time goes by.  God is God always. It is we who are so often somewhere else. After we have sought and gone through all the baubles of life, God is still there waiting for us.

After we have spent our life avoiding God, we find, when we are finally ready and willing to look, that the love of God—still alive in us—still beckons us beyond the frills and fantasies of life to meaning of what it means to be alive….The is no such thing as coming too late to God.”  

Joan Chittister, The Breath of the Soul
Eagle Cap Wilderness

Eagle Cap Wilderness

Awareness

In the everyday busyness of my life, I think of what “I” need to accomplish.  I am thankful that it is not my agenda but God’s that counts–and that all I really need to do each day is to breathe an awareness of His surrounding me. I do not need to go to so called “sacred” or special places to be with Him.  He is with me in my life’s ordinary events and encounters–I just have to be open to this awareness.

Mt Rainier, William O Douglas Wilderness

Spray Park, Mt Rainier


Invited back to fullness

Although I do not recall the specific incidents from my childhood, I do have memories of disobeying my parents, and my subsequent attempt to hide from them, physically and emotionally, because I had not done what they had asked me to do.  I remember the terrible “lostness” of my intimacy with them. Those memories help me better understand the story of Adam and Eve.  They walked intimately with God, until they chose to follow their own desires and disobeyed His command to not eat the fruit of the Tree of LIfe.

How often do we choose to follow our own pleasure/will, starting with parents, and then with God?  And yet, He never leaves us.  He abides with us, in us, still seeking intimacy with us. In the Revelation, the last Book of the New Testament, Christ is still there, seeking us. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” We may have closed the door on Christ, but He still comes to that door and knocks, willing to share a meal, as a friend.  How amazing that God still reaches out to cross the barriers we erect!
Cat’s Back, Wallowa Mts, NE Oregon

Imnaha River country, NE Oregon

Come Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit, let me feel you inside me and follow you out of joy, not out of memory or habit.
“When we speak about the Holy Spirit, we speak about the breath of God, breathing in us.  The Greek word for ‘spirit’ is pneuma, which means breath.  We are seldom aware of our breathing.  It is so essential for life that we only think about it when something is wrong with it.
The Spirit of God is like our breath.  God’s spirit is more intimate to us than we are to ourselves.  We might not often be aware of it, but without it we cannot live a ‘spiritual life.’ It is the Holy Spirit of God who prays in us, who offers us the gifts of love, forgiveness, kindness, goodness, gentleness, peace and joy.  It is the Holy Spirit who offers us the life that death cannot destroy.  Let us always pray: “Come, Holy Spirit, come.”  Henri Nouwen

Smith Rocks, OR

Wallowa River Canyon, OR

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

Called back

Henri Nouwen writes, “I trust in you, Lord, but keep helping me in my many moments of distrust and doubt. They are there and will be every time I turn my eyes, ears, or hands away from you.  Please, Lord, keep calling me back to you, by day and by night, in joy and in sadness, during moments of success and moments of failure. Never let me leave you.  I know you walk with me.  Help me walk with you today, tomorrow, and always.”

Over the years I have I come to realize how amazing God is:  I think I am seeking Him, whereas He is always seeking me.  Indeed, He is the good shepherd who seeks all of us who have gone false, separate directions!
Ohope Beach sunrise, North Island, NZ

Below Hat Point in Hells Canyon, OR

He has caused His wonderful works to be remembered

” Lord, we are grateful for memories of joyful times, of beautiful experiences, of graces You have given.  May we wisely use the gift of awareness and memory You’ve given us; help us to notice and remember the beautiful sights we see, the kindness of our neighbors, the encouraging words we hear.  Guard us from dwelling on worries and committing unhealthy thoughts to our memories.  May we always remember the good around us, just as we say and do good things for others to happily recall.”

Mt Emily and horses

Kancamagus Highway

Gratitude, Love, and God’s Goodness

Thomas Merton says it so well: we have the ultimate reason for gratitude and wonder–God’s unfailing love for us.


“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. 
Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” 
― Thomas Merton


Wallowa Lake

Vasquez Rocks, CA


Journey

Fall colors, as they shimmer and dance, always intensify my thoughts of who I am in relationship to God and the life He has blessed me with. I hope as the seasons turn that somehow I am living more joyfully, more deeply, more hopefully, more simply in His presence. Progress is slow–three steps forward, two and half steps back–but progress nonetheless. I like what Luonne Abram Rouse, a pastor from Zimbabwe, has written in a song:

“Whatever it takes, no matter how long, I will keep the faith until victory has won. For there is no higher calling. There is no higher calling than to travel this journey with You.”  Who else, really, is there to travel with?
Kancamagus Highway, NH

McKenzie Pass, OR

Traveling with grace and endurance

“The surprise is not that, unexpectedly, things turn out better than expected. No, the real surprise is that God’s light is more real than all the darkness, that God’s truth is more powerful than all human lies, that God’s love is stronger than death. ”  Henri Nouwen

We travel this road of life with God’s strength and endurance, knowing always that the light of His Grace surrounds us always.
Norse Peak Wilderness

New Hampshire path