Re-posting of Ash Cave/Bean Hollow

Bob says the ones that did not roll over with the account change need to be seen by all! Hoep you are not too confused by these shenanigans.

Ash Cave is part of Hocking Hills State Park and Forest. I posted earlier this year about our vacation there. The plaque on the trail to the cave reads in part:

Ash Cave, Ohio’s largest stone recess, stretches 700 feet across and rises 90 feet high.

The rock shelter was created when ground water percolating through the sandstone eroded away the formation’s weaker middle layer, undercutting the resistant top layer which forms the ceiling of the “cave.” The water dissolves away the cement which holds individual grains of sand together. Seasonal freezing and thawing causes expansion and contraction which further loosen the particles and on rare occasion, blocks of stone, until they break off. The falls also contributes to the slow erosive process.

Historic Marker

Now examine this photo from Bean Hollow State Beach in California.

Bean Hollow State Beach California

Sometimes sights in nature remind me of other natural things I have seen. Granted, the pebbles found in the rocks at the beach were more interesting that the hollows at Hocking Hills, but both transported me to praise God’s work in the wonders of nature.

The eroded wall was right behind me in this photo

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
    and established it on the waters.

Psalm 24:1-2 NIV

“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens… When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”

Psalm 8:1, 3-4

Hiking, Suffering and Wildflowers

Joy is the transformation of our suffering, not the escape of all we have to face.

Mark Nepo

This post has had difficult showing up. I changed the type of WordPress account and some things did not transfer so easily. So If you have read this already, forgive me! Or enjoy the flowers once more.

May Apple struggles with dead leaf

This quote and this May Apple spoke to me. I also saw a trillium struggling with a dead leaf. Will I embrace these images and know that my suffering too can be transformed? Will I grasp that I do not have to escape all I have to face?

We took a walk at Eastfork state park. Then within a day or two we walked Whipple Nature Preserve. We had been there 2 years ago, during the pandemic. Wow! We were in older bodies now. Because of partial muscle tear in my right shoulder I could only use my walking stick with my left hand/arm. The hike was more difficult than we remembered, but when we got to the Betony Poppies it was well worth it!

Betony Poppies (yellow) and Large-Flowered Trillium (white)

The poppies covered many places on the hillside. At one point my phone got too hot next to my hiking body. This Brigadoon-like photo resulted.

Yes, it was a magical place!

How many other hillsides are covered with flowers and wonders that we never see? We are blessed to find these. I bask in their beauty. I had been feeling drained and empty. This helped fill my well again!

We saw “Nodding Trillium” which another hiker told us is supposed to bloom white. Yet here, it is blooming red!

Yes, the bloom is under the leaf! photo by r m dutina

Back to the quote above, we both were aching by the time we returned to the car. We promised we would skip one half of the trail next time… walk the branch to the left at the fork and then come back that way after we see flowers.

And oh, there were flowers! The trout lily had already bloomed. They have a special place in our hearts as at our last house they absolutely covered the hillside. The other flowers made up for missing the trout lilies! Violets in yellow, white, confederate, and purple wood violets or blue if you prefer!

photo by r m dutina
squaw root by r m dutina

As said on TV, “But wait! There’s more!!”

Shooting stars and squirrel corn!

I cannot seem to find just one name for this trillium. I have always called it Wake-Robin but online seems to call it ToadShade.

Photo by r m dutina

I left some flower photos out. We were drenched in beauty by the time we hiked back to the car. The reason I wanted to return to this hike was the Virginia Bluebells. One hiker told us they were about finished. I had almost given up hope of reaching them and Poof! There they were!

photo by r m dutina. Good thing he captured this. I was so delighted to see them, but also so tired that I never took a picture!

I am writing this on Tuesday after the Sunday hike. Yep, I am still sore and aching. Will I do it again next year? I will, with God’s help!!

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Psalm 24:1 KJV
photo by r m dutina

It seems as if this tree next to where we parked is saying,”Good job, guys! High five!”

Most Recent Poem

I was having a spiritual struggle and one person or the spirit from one person seemed to be the biggest challenge. I could not name the spirit but I knew it was there. Finally it was apparent I needed to get alone with the LORD and have a prayer time to throw this thing off. I was prepared to spend many hours if necessary, but surprisingly it only took a couple hours. This is the resultant poem.

Rooftops ©23-4-20 Molly Lin Dutina

Above the rooftops
Beyond my thoughts and dreams
You move by Your Spirit
Unseen yet beyond powerful
Invited by my yieldedness
You ask no invitation
Welcomed by my obedience
You come cleanse my house
Straightening my crooked paths
Wayward thinking
Thoughts that give negative entrance
You swing the Mighty Sword of Spirit
Sweeping away all hindrance
To Your will and ways.

Above the rooftop of my hair
(Which You have numbered every strand)
Your towering angels like ancient trees
Stand guard to alert me to invasion
I am kept by a love divine
I dwell under the shadow of the Almighty
Your wings enfold and embrace me
If I go astray You shepherd me back
If necessary You will even carry my smelly self
Returning me to the fold
Feeding me with the finest food
Brushing out the tangles in my wool
For You love me
You even pour Your love 
Like a bucket of soapy water
Throughout my heart by Your Spirit
No shame remains
After You work within me

May your week be filled with time for prayer and the rewards of having been in His presence.

Driven to Distraction

Many things occur in our neighborhood that are accompanied with sounds and noise. When I am writing the blog (preferable on Monday and Tuesday mornings) I pray, play music and try to tune out all the distractions. Today was no different.

Except, there was this clunk. Then later another clunk. Then two clunks in a row. The sounds were not rhythmic like a worker. Finally, I could not take it and had to go try to find the source of the distracting disturbance. What was causing this commotion?

I went outside. Okay the Royce fertilizer guy was down the street, but not making the noise I kept hearing. Nothing to the left of our house. Nothing else to the right.

I went out back. No workers there that I could detect. The trees have filled out so it is a bit harder to see the other houses. I went into the master bathroom. When I came back to the kitchen there was the sound. A Robin at the sliding glass door!

Earlier we had seen robins on the deck which is unusual. They seemed huge and likely were just puffed against the wind and chill. April 24 and 33 degrees! Go figure! One in particular seemed to be liking the rungs under the black metal porch side table. I noticed piles of gooey waste from that bird. Rinsed them off with glasses of water.

Now Lucky wanted in on the act. I told her to chase the birds off. Instead she decided to roll her ear in the most recent pile of waste. I moved the sliding screen door. I moved the lace curtain thinking perhaps she was seeing a “rival” in the door – her reflection. I put plastic planters upside down in front of the door and brought the water hose over the railing. Back to writing.

Thump. Thump. Really? I went to the door declaring, “I need cat!” and called “Here kitty, kitty.” No response though there had been an orange tabby in the yard recently.

I moved the sliding screen over the door where I thought the bird was knocking. This time I left the dog out on the deck. Of all the places in this wooded area, why our deck? Oh well. Those birds should go next door. That neighbor has a sliding glass door, too. She has a deck and no pets!

Do you know the center verse of the Bible? (These are facts that Christians like to collect.) I think the center verse is no accident as it has kept me from many troubles.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to put confidence in man.

Psalm 118:8. Another version reads “than to put confidence in mortals.” Take refuge in the LORD. Not the ones about you who you can see and hear, but who will die. The Almighty LORD, King over angel armies, He is to be our refuge.

The photo above was from online. It reminds me! We are going to make the trip of a lifetime (at least for us). When our 50th wedding anniversary rolled around we had planned to go to visit our 50th state. That was when the pandemic hit. Hawaii basically said, “You can come here, but you must quarantine for 2 weeks before you travel about.” My response was I can barely afford 2 weeks in Hawaii, much less a month!” So we put off our trip. Bob was really liking the idea of our 50th state and our 50th anniversary 😦

So this year we will celebrate our 53rd wedding anniversary and visit our 50th state! We have consulted our Hawaii experts the Cookseys. We have met several times with a travel agent. Bob is trying to overcome his discomfort about being on an island (or two) totally surrounded by water. We want to see the flowers, helicopter over the volcanoes, see rainbows, enjoy the tropics, birds, jungle plants, etc. Bob plans to eat lots of seafood. I think pineapple sounds delicious. I am even thinking about taking a vacation from writing the blog. Yikes, (Can she do that?)

We have a dog sitter. A house sitter. And by the time we return we might actually be broke! Our daughter says to go ahead and spend. We just might on this trip!

Well, So It Goes

I had paid for a business plan for a couple months in an effort to get blog posts printed for a hard copy. When I reverted to previous private plan WordPress changed some of the settings , such as Bob was not getting the posts as They changed it to a private blog.

I HOPE things are re-set now so that those of you who enjoy this blog can get regular notifications and read it with ease? If you have not seems posts for a few days you can page back and see the ones you might have missed.

Thank you for your patience, especially the surprising number of loyal readers and followers. I so appreciate you.

I think there is a sports broadcast that is called something like, “Pardon the Interruption.” Ditto.

Psalm 116 and 1 Peter

Turn again to your rest o my soul, for the Lord has treated you well. Have you instructed your soul in this was to be restored? Have you ever read Psalm 116 in terms of your relationship with the LORD God Almighty?

Gracious is the Lord and righteous;
    our God is merciful.
The Lord protects the simple;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest,
    for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

Psalm 116:5-7 NRSV

When I take time to review my life and my relationship with God I am brought back to a place of rest. Not do-ing, but be-ing with Him. When I peel off my complaints I realize He HAS treated me well, dealt bountifully with me. This fresh realization brings me to a point of wanting to serve Him more, in any ways that He asks.

Have you ever made vows to the Lord? We often hear of people in painful situations trying to bargain with God along the lines of “If You will just do what I want here and now, I will serve You forever.” We are really not in a bargaining position with God. But if You have made a vow to Him from the depths of your being, have you paid the vow?

I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
    and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people,

Psalm 116:17-18 NRSVUE

As an Associate of the Convent of the Transfiguration in Glendale Ohio I made a vow to pray for the Sisters daily. I promised to support the Convent and their work as I am able.

When the verse says “I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people,” to me it means there will no longer be just me and Jesus. I will live out my commitment to Him publicly, in the presence of all His people.

Are you living out your faith before the Lord only, or also before His people. Have you vowed to be a living sacrifice? That is my word for the year ( you can read back in January when I was impressed to choose that.) There are times this living sacrifice does not want to climb up on the altar, does not want to be a living stone.

Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God.

1 Peter 2:5 The Message
and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 

1 Peter 2:5 RSV

As a building stone I want to be like Jesus, ‘a chip off the old block’, similar in yieldedness and willingness to obey His Father and my Father.

“Lord help me to pay my vows to You in the presence of all Your people. Help me to serve you with joyous willingness. Show me Your chosen paths for me and I will walk there with You. Amen.”


In the churches there has been a tradition of celebrating the resurrection of Christ, not just on one day but an entire festal season right to Pentecost Sunday, after the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven and the promised Holy Spirit was given to the disciples. I challenge you to worship the Lord Jesus for His powerful sacrifice on our behalf. His resurrection power lives in us. Let us praise Him for the entire Eastertide this year!!The song lyrics below capture that in so many ways for me!

What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship

You were the Word at the beginning 
One with God the Lord Most High 
Your hidden glory in creation 
Now, revealed in You our Christ

What a beautiful Name it is, what a beautiful Name it is 
The Name of Jesus Christ my King 
What a beautiful Name it is, nothing compares to this 
What a beautiful Name it is, the Name of Jesus

You didn’t want heaven without us 
So Jesus, You brought heaven down 
My sin was great, Your love was greater 
What could separate us now?

What a wonderful Name it is, what a wonderful Name it is 
The Name of Jesus Christ my King 
What a wonderful Name it is, nothing compares to this 
What a wonderful Name it is, the Name of Jesus 
What a wonderful Name it is, the Name of Jesus

How sweet is Your Name, Lord, how good You are) 
We love to sing in Your Name, Lord, love to sing of who You are

Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You 
You silenced the boast of sin and grave 
The Heavens are roaring the praise of Your glory 
For You are raised to life again

You have no rival, You have no equal 
Now and forever, God, You reign 
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the Glory 
Yours is the Name above all names

What a powerful Name it is, what a powerful Name it is 
The Name of Jesus Christ my King 
What a powerful Name it is, nothing can stand against 
What a powerful Name it is, the Name of Jesus

You have no rival, You have no equal 
Now and forever, God, You reign 
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the Glory 
Yours is the Name above all names

What a powerful Name it is, what a powerful Name it is 
The Name of Jesus Christ my King 
What a powerful Name it is, nothing can stand against 
What a powerful Name it is, the Name of Jesus

What a powerful Name it is, the Name of Jesus 
What a powerful Name it is, the Name of Jesus

Written by: Ben Fielding, Brooke Ligertwood

My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
    and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed
    and meditate on you in the watches of the night,
for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:5-8 NRSVUE

The Work of God

This book is a collection of psalms and prayers with the subtitle ‘A Benedictine Prayer Book.’ I have owned it for a while now, but just recently began using it again. If you need a reading discipline you can cover Proverbs in one month with a chapter a day. You can cover the Psalms in a month with about 5 chapters a day. I broke Psalm 119 into smaller daily sections as it is so very long by itself! Below is my Psalms chart should you want an idea of how I do it.

DayPSALMSPsalm 119DayPSALMSPsalm 119

After covering the Psalms for a couple years I moved on to other devotions. So coming upon “The Work of God is rather like a refresher course in the Psalms . While reading one section with Psalm 115 and Psalm 116 I thought I would like to blog about it.

Compiled by the Revered Thomas McKenzie, Obl.S.B.

Psalm 115 begins with “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your Name give glory; because of your love and because of your faithfulness.” Then it goes on later to command Israel and the House of Aaron and “You who fear the Lord to trust in the Lord; he is their help and their shield.” I was taught that when something is written repeatedly in Scripture we are to pay attention to the repetition! Trust in the Lord, He is our help and our shield.

Don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get. When I am feeling weak and needing strength to get through each day I need to trust the Lord and know He is my help. He is my shield.

Why in 2023 would we need a shield? Most often we think of a shield in terms of warfare and combat. Do you realize we are at war every day because we trust and rely on the Living Lord? The enemy of our souls does everything in His power to undermine our trust in God. He began in the garden of Eden by having Eve and Adam question what God said to them. He continues to this day to bombard us with doubts, fears, unrest about God our Father. Yes, we undoubtedly need a shield about us. You, LORD, are my shield.

The next verses declare:

The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us;
He will bless the house of Israel;
He will bless the house of Aaron.
13 He will bless those who fear the Lord,
The small together with the great.

Psalm 115: 12-13 NASB

The final verse in this Psalm says “But we will bless the Lord, from this time forth for evermore. Hallelujah!

Psalm 118

In verse 22 we read “The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”

There are interesting definitions for cornerstone. Here are two of them.

  1. A stone at the corner of a building uniting two intersecting walls
  2. An indispensable and fundamental basis.

Jesus is the cornerstone of faith uniting the wall of Judaism and Christianity. He was and is their Messiah. The builders of Judaism rejected Him as the chief cornerstone. He is our Risen Lord and on this rock we build our faith.

Psalm 118:22 was quoted by Jesus in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Acts 4:11 says the same. Ephesians 2:20 says “You are built upon the foundation of prophets and apostles with Jesus Himself as the cornerstone.”

Is He your cornerstone? For everything you do? Is He truly your indispensable basis for life? Does He join your earthly life with your spiritual being? Can you truly declare that you believe “I am an unceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe.”

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:26-29

One video re-enactment I saw showed four or five men rolling the stone in front of the grave Joseph of Arimathea donated to Jesus. (I love the statement that He borrowed the tomb because He would not need it for long!) A huge stone in front of that tomb. I wonder if those men knew He was the stone the builders rejected? Did they realize He was the chief cornerstone?

Are you aware that He is a living stone and God considers you one, too?

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 

1 Peter 2:4-5 NIV

The Revised Standard version reads “LET yourselves be built into a s piritual house.” Let – allow, yield.

No, I do not mean a plant as featured on the site The Spruce. “Living stones (Lithops spp.), also known as pebble plants, are unusual little succulent plants that have evolved to look like the pebbles and rocks of their native habitats in Africa. These plants hug the ground and grow extremely slowly.” Made me laugh!

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
    and who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were cut
    and to the quarry from which you were hewn;

Isaiah 51:1-2 NIV

Isaiah is referring to the ancestors Abraham and Sarah, but we can rightly apply the same verse to our LORD Jesus Christ. We are, in a manner of speaking, ‘chips off the old block.’ As we follow Jesus we are to be like him, a living stone, chosen by God and precious him.

He will use us to build a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood. Oh so much to learn about “offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Absolutely none of that can be accomplished until we accept Jesus as the chief cornerstone of our faith and life.

The Shepherd, His Sheep

Seems this did not post correctly the first time, so here it is again!

I recently purchased a note card from the Printery House as Conception Abbey in Missouri. The image is the Good Shepherd carrying a sheep. the back reads:

The image of Christ as Good Shepherd is deeply rooted in the Gospels: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? (Luke 15:4, cf. Matthew 18:13). The symbolism is of this icon hinges on Christ’s saving Passion. This image of a shepherd carrying a sheep on his shoulders, borrowed from secular art of the Greco-Roman world, is now combined with the imagery of the Paschal Mystery: the resurrected Christ, who bears the marks of the nails, brings back sinners who were lost and now are found. The cross is seen in the background as a sign of Christ’s victory over death. Jesus is not only the shepherd, but as the Passion symbolism indicates, he is also the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

Conception Item CA8056
Here is the link if you want to purchase the card

About the same time as the card arrived I was looking through a devotional called Forward Day by Day. For many years I used this as my morning devotional guide. The Scripture readings for each day are listed and a short meditation written by various different authors each month. This page read as follows.

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.

At historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestertown, Maryland, where I served years back, someone installed an oversized window with an image of Jesus carrying a sheep around his neck. I never liked that window. It did not fit the space stylistically, historically, or size-wise, but also, I had never been a fan of the passive image of Jesus as Good Shepherd.

That was the case until I visited the sheep ranch of close friends. They invited me to watch the annual sheep branding, which you will be relieved to know is by spray paint. The sheep also receive oral inoculations for various diseases. The shepherds funnel the sheep from a holding pen through chutes, but because sheep are antsy, the shepherds sometimes must wrestle a few. The sheep will fight and buck and wriggle and strain.

The passive sheep around Jesus’s shoulders has surrendered, given himself over to a shepherd that he trusts will lead and guide and even carry when necessary.

MOVING FORWARD: Have you surrendered or do you still fight and buck and wiggle?

Rob Geizelman Forward day by Day Wednesday March 29, 2023

If you would like to hear the devotion read, here is a link

I really like the MOVING FORWARD question: Have you surrendered or do you still fight and buck and wiggle? What sort of sheep are you? Have you surrendered to Jesus? Do you ever allow Him to carry you?