st. peter’s mission ~ cascade montana

MarveLes Art StudiosBlogs, Photography 2 Comments

monday… full of grace!

hope you’re weekend was full of amazing grace!  ours was, as we had another awesome road trip to glacier national park.  {more on that later!}

and we had a show-off day last weekend, in the early autumn beautiful, perfect day out in the country.  i invite you to sit a spell… and take in a few moments of the simplicity and grandeur of local scenery and history… i know i did!

the might missouri, or as some call it “the mighty mo” just outside of a little teeny weeny town called ulm.

the iconic vista of “square butte” just outside of cascade, montana,

yes… this is what i wait for… a beautiful horse ~ this was one is what i refer to as a “palomino paint” {not sure of the official color description} but i love it… against a stunning backdrop of montana sky and mountains.  

and the road less travelled led us to a beautiful, historic place that’s been on my ”montana hit list’ for awhile.  i’d never been there!  so glad we did… 

it’s difficult {for me} to imagine what struggles daily life brought to these early missionaries.  

would have loved to been able to get into the church building in the distance… perhaps another day.

and the architectural remains of a beautiful stone building.  i cannot imagine how each stone was placed, and slowly built into an amazing structure…

you may think it’s a bit morbid… but i find the old graveyards fascinating … and peaceful in many respects.  the stories that are untold {at least to me}, and the history … the hardness of the life lived in this wilderness, carved out in the time-worn stones… {or not}.

many of the graves are unmarked now… but some attempt has been made recently to show where they were, in the white wooden crosses on this hill.

symbols of faith.  love.  and eternal life.

… therefore we do not lose heart. though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. {2 Cor 4:16 NIV}

and… “as amazing as God’s work of creation is, it pales in comparison to His work of redemption.”  {jean fleming, pursue the intention life, ch. 9, pg 61 ~ love this book i’m reading!}

an interesting marker… a new “x marks the spot” if you will, where the ravages of time have dissipated the previous marker.  

i’ve often wondered about why today, we need to have a place, a marker… a stone, to mark our spot on history.  oh, i know there are myriad good thoughts, historical, {business related too ~ ugh} and misplaced, guilt-ridden, or just because “that’s what we do” kind of reasons, or even just a lovely sentimentality. i’m just sayin i consider these things.  i also can’t help but think of the thousands who were buried in the prairies of this country, without markers, in order to prevent thievery, or abominations to the graves, as the settlers rolled their wagons over the grave to “bury” the existence of such a thing… does that life mean less.  nope.  absolutely not.

but the reality is that this life here and now is what begins our eternal life.  that is what really is the heart of the issue.  i’m not sure i’m a fan of graveyards, per say.  i’m not sure i even want a stone when i pass.   because the truth is… this world will all pass away…  and what really matters is the relationships we have now. the life we live now.  that’s what i want my legacy to be, in the life we live each day.  “stuff” ~ homes, cars, financial gain, and… even the most sweet and beautiful old graveyards, will not withstand the day Christ comes again.  

although i do love what these old ones show us… and i sense peace from many of them when i visit, as i wander tenderly through the prairies and mountain grasses of hard, weathered earth.  

i know this life wasn’t the end for many… but only a new beginning, regardless of a marker, stone, or grand fence surrounding the worldly evidence of a life upon this earth.

and… “release the obsession with building a life and believe in the life Christ in building in you.”

and as i gaze into the amazing vistas of this most beautiful earth God created for us… and the hard, hard rocks… i am glad He also gave us a Savior to turn our hearts of stone, into hearts for Him alone…

you cannot help but notice that there is “nothing” out there… that is, no human evidence easily perceived.  this was hard country … back then.  it still is.  even today here are not many new homes or ranches even, clear out here.  some tried, in the hardy, determined stance of many abandoned homesteads we saw… some who survived.  not that many.  but then others who did, not only survived, but thrived, and passed on that thriving, life-giving, living, loving legacy of faith, grace, and mercy.  

and the blessing for today:  “may you be diligent in taking time to pause and reflect on the many ways God has blessed you. may you cultivate a heart that knows how to rest in God alone.  may you take every chance you get to spend time with God, to accept His love, to trust His direction in your life. as you look to Him, may you be reminded there’s a God in heaven very much involved in your minute-by-minute life.  He intends to get us safely home. but don’t wait til then to find your rest in Him. embrace a joyful, faith-filled life and perspective today!” {inspired by susie larson}.  amen.


Comments 2

  1. Beautiful photos and thoughts. If only these missions could have produced more happy memories and experiences for the children who were forced to live in them, who were in many cases forcibly ripped away from their loving families, forbidden to speak their mother tongues, beaten, and abused in various horrific ways. Sadly, to native Americans and Canadians, ruins like these are more so monuments of sadness and loss of their culture. If only the true gospel of Life through simple faith in Christ could have been dispersed with grace, instead of a system being dispersed through absolute domination and abuse. No doubt, there were loving missionaries, but this was not the norm. Verbal native histories tell a much sadder tale.

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