Lost innocence

Today, once again, the radios and the tvs are full of violence. Within days of a mall shooting, even more lives are lost and this time in the place where innocence is suppose to thrive. In moments of such terror and horror, we blame God for letting this happen.
“If God was good, he would have stopped this…”
“How could God let this happen?!”
And many more angry outbursts against a loving God.
I do not feel the need to defend God. He’s big enough to withstand misunderstandings, anger, and even hatred. He loves us no matter what language and emotions we throw at him. So in our sorrow, don’t turn away from him, but rather give it all to him. God can handle it. He wants it all. And he is grieving for us just as much as we are for ourselves.
The main thing we should be concerned about are those who lost their innocence today. Parents who are grieving the lost of their precious little children. 20 innocent souls today were lost. 6 adults who worked with those students and tried to protect them, are also gone. As well as one person whose unknown emotional state caused so much damage. 27 people are gone and the community is hurting. The children who survive will spend the rest of their life struggling with what happened today. Adults will cast blame and will not get the answers they seek. We need to focus on what matters the most- caring for the families who are grieving, and making sure the children are protected.
A mall in Oregon has opened it’s doors again and eventually, the elementary school will once again open to allow children in to learn in Connecticut. We should never forget the tragedies that have happened there. We should learn and change because of it. Our job is to protect the innocent. May we offer refuge to the hurting, and be the voice of reason to those who have become lost.
We wish that this would never happen again, but sadly in a world full of broken people who are steeped in sin, we are seeing this too much.
May the Lord come soon so that the world may be made new again.
Praying for all of us.

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World Walking

Today, I met Erik. Erik and his dog, Nice are taking the world on a walk. So far they have walked over 5,000 miles. According to his website blog (www.worldguy.org), the duo has walked in at least 30 different states as well as in Washington, DC. Erik says that they average around 10 miles a day. This recent walking goal is to walk from Washington state to Oregon. He and Nice have been doing this for 5 years now.
So, you might wonder. Why in the world does some guy decide to walk with his dog all across the country?
Not only is he walking with his dog, but he is also walking the world. This huge rubber ball has a way of catching one’s eye. Painted like the world with the Worldguy’s website address on it, it rolls along beside Erik and Nice. It’s also the reason I stopped to talk to him, I just had to know what in the ‘world’ he was doing.
I caught up to him when he stopped at the town’s library to rest and I did something I very rarely do– started a conversation with a stranger. “I just have to ask…” I said.
Erik smiled and said that he was raising awareness for Diabetes and that he was trying to get people to get up and take a walk.
He allowed me to take a picture of him with his walking buddies as he told me where he’s walked and why he was doing it.
His mother, Gerta Bendl, a Kentucky legislator, died from complications with diabetes when she was 56. Erik (50 years old) decided to get the word out about diabetes and let people know about the disease.
So he walks the world and his dog, stopping to answer questions and posing for pictures. As I wished him safe and well on his travels, Erik said, “Take a walk with a loved one and live healthy.”
I encourage you all, if you see a world rolling on by with a dog and a man- stop and talk to him. Offer him a honk of the horn, a wave, or a handshake– for trying to keep you healthy and aware.

Do you have a passion or a desire that you would be so willing to walk across the country to raise awareness for?

God’s Rest

Image

I went on a little adventure on Tuesday. My professor took us all to Multnomah Falls for breakfast and to discuss the end of the semester as well as the conclusion of our class. I was excited to be at the Falls due to the fact that I’ve only been there once when I was in high school. I’ve been living about a half hour away from it since I started my undergrad six years ago. Now, finally as I’m nearly done with my Seminary classes I get to go see them.

I only saw the top of it over the Lodge. We were on a time constraint so we spent the morning talking about the class and eating the wonderful breakfast (I had huckleberry pancakes–yum!) Then piled back into the van and went back to campus.

So close. So far away.

So, I did something that I rarely ever do- I did something impetuous. I got in my car in under a half hour and drove back. Because I’m horrible at directions for fear of getting lost, what do I do? I get lost. Ended up driving the Historic Columbia River Highway. What a treat!

I saw the Vista House:

With the panoramic view that it offers:

 West

 center

east

Then I traveled the windy narrow road, where I found a little turnoff area for Sheppherd’s Dell.

What a beautiful hidden gem I found there! Down a slightly steep path I come across this:

Just nestled among the trees with a huge drop off that went under the bridge. I feel in love with this waterfall. This picture ^^^ is only the ‘top’ half that was visible, my camera didn’t do justice to depth that it fell to go under the bridge.

So, as more people started to intrude, I got back into my car and kept driving. Next up on my little surprise adventure was the Wahkeena Falls:

Where I saw this waterfall that also went under a bridge. But, I could get closer to this one as you can actually walk close to a lot of it. (From these Falls, which has a camping site, you can hike 1/4 of a mile I believe to Multnomah Falls on trails)

After taking numerous photos here of the water that was rushing by, I continued onto the granddaddy of all Oregon Falls- well, at least one of the most well known ones. Multnomah Falls.

The force that the water rushes off of this cliff is amazing. You stand near the lodge (which is beautiful and has wonderful food) and you can feel the mist cooling your flesh, but you can’t see the Falls!

While I didn’t do any true hiking this day, I went up past the bridge a little. These are some shots of that experience.

 to prove how misty it was  my bangs and my camera were both pretty wet-but it was worth it! 🙂

On the way back down I saw this little beautiful waterfall rushing to join the big waterfall in the basin before heading out to the Gorge

 This little waterfall reminded me very strongly, that we are too often focused on getting to the prize (for this it was “The” Multnomah Falls) that we forget to enjoy what we see along the way. I stepped over the bridge, looked, but kept walking. I didn’t take time until I came back down, to see how extraordinary this little waterfall is, how lush and serene it was. It wasn’t loud and brash like it’s Papa, but still so very powerful.

So be happy when you reach your goals, but don’t be so focused on it that you don’t see what’s around you that will give you the power to keep moving forward. Take it from me:

 or you can leave it and find out for yourself. 🙂
Through this impetuous adventure though, God gave me the serenity that I so desperately needed and didn’t realize that I was running low on. So many things had drained me so completely that I was put-putting along on fumes.

This little time by myself and God was emergency R&R time and I am so glad that my car got lost. Because when it got lost…I found myself. I was safe in God’s arms all this time.

“That’s you, drops of water and you’re on top of the mountain of success. But one day you start sliding down the mountain and you think wait a minute; I’m a mountain top water drop. I don’t belong in this valley, this river, this low dark ocean with all these drops of water. Then one day it gets hot and you slowly evaporate into air, way up, higher than any mountain top, all the way to the heavens. Then you understand that it was at your lowest that you were closest to God. Life’s a journey that goes round and round and the end is closest to the beginning. So if it’s change you need, relish the journey.” 
― Edward James Olmos

Psalm 61

God, hear my cry;
pay attention to my prayer. 
I call to You from the ends of the earth
when my heart is without strength. 
Lead me to a rock that is high above me, 
for You have been a refuge for me,
a strong tower in the face of the enemy.
I will live in Your tent forever
and take refuge under the shelter of Your wings. Selah

God, You have heard my vows; 
You have given a heritage
to those who fear Your name. 
Add days to the king’s life;
may his years span many generations. 
May he sit enthroned before God forever; 
appoint faithful love and truth to guard him. 
Then I will continually sing of Your name, 
fulfilling my vows day by day.