Friday, April 24, 2009

Blue Cloud Abbey

some of the antiques at Blue Cloud Abbey

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Orthodox Easter

Last Sunday the Orthodox Church celebrated Easter.
These photos were taken several weeks earlier at St. Katherine's Ukrainian Orthodox church in Arden Hills, Minnesota.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ivars seeking God

I will be leaving very early Thursday morning for Blue Cloud Abbey near Marvin, SD, for a 6 or 7 day private retreat and bird photography. I will not be posting on my blogs during this time, but you can follow me on Twitter by logging to 
If you join Twitter (a very simple procedure) and elect to "follow" me, my "tweets" will automatically appear each time you open your Twitter page.
I will also be posting photos from my iPhone camera of the Abbey as well as birding trips.

seeking God

Seeking God is not about acquiring something or excelling in something,
but making progress towards God through our total dependence on his grace.
-- Esther de Waal  Seeking God:  The Way of St. Benedict

Sunday, April 12, 2009


                                             iPhone photo

Saturday, April 11, 2009


God did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us; 
will he not with him also give us everything else? 
Romans 8:32

Friday, April 10, 2009

fear & love

Abba Anthony said,
"I no longer fear God, but I love Him.
For love casts out fear." (John 4:18)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

" . . . and birds of the air have nests; . . ."
Matt. 8:20

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

stability (cont.)

Is stability easy? Not on your life. But as the Desert Monastics told us, "It is by warfare that the soul makes progress." And if, by living as responsible members of the human community, we can come to the point where "the sun never sees our anger," then we will have come to fullness of life.
-- Sr. Joan Chittister, O.S.B.  Wisdom Distilled From the Daily:  Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today

Monday, April 06, 2009


It is so easy for people to come to live with others as if they were living alone. All they have to do is to stop noticing one another. But that is not a spiritual community at all. I need the conscious presence of other people to become sensitive to God's presence, to hear the gospel Word in life through those who are speaking it around me, and to be able to express my love for Christ in a real way, in the other, in the world.  Stability is the one sure tool we have to be certain that the world, for us, can really become a garden to be tilled rather than a candy store to be robbed.
-- Sr. Joan Chittister, O.S.B.  Wisdom Distilled From the Daily:  Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Palm Sunday

Cross of Glory Lutheran Church , Mounds View, MN

The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock. 
-- Psalm 18:46

Saturday, April 04, 2009


When I lived in Washington, D.C., I was privileged to meet Mother Teresa. I asked her, "Don't you ever become angry at the causes of social injustice that you see in India or in any of the places in which you work?"
Her response was, "Why should I expend energy in anger that I can expend in love?"
-- Dr. David Swoap 

Friday, April 03, 2009

what I should have said

What I should have said re the preceding post, courtesy of theMoravians:

I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2
From God and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Romans 11:36
Father, you help us to see the possibilities that are all around us. You encourage us in our daily walk with you. Give us the steadfastness to hold on to our truths and beliefs. Amen. 

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Is God at work?

An honest plea:
Why doesn't God do something? I'm having a hard time with the usual, "He works in ways you can't see/He alone knows what's best/in His time" stuff. Sometimes, when I feel really angry about something that seems so obviously wrong, it seems like those are just cop-out statements. When something goes right, we say that's God at work. When something goes wrong, we say God's still at work, we just can't see it. I know it sounds horrible, but some days that kind of talk sounds like a rationalization, and I really wonder if he's abandoned me or is punishing me. 
My answer: God is all we have. 

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