Words of Grace – Apr 2

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Seeing Salvation … Daily

Seeing Salvation … Daily

Psalms 71:17

O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.

Luke 2:28-30

Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation.

Words of Grace For Today

When we live a long life, we know how life is: there are times of full colour, loud celebration, and overwhelming exuberance; there are also times of deadening greys, stifled sobs, and oppressive despair; and there are times of everything in between. As the Holy Spirit leads us, we continue to proclaim God’s great deeds in our lives, in lives around us, and in the lives of saints before us. Simeon, knowing his days were coming to an end, rejoiced that he was able to imagine and know, hear and see, touch and be touched by the infant Jesus, the Saviour of all ages. Whether we are close to our end … or expecting years and decades more of this wondrous life, filled with God’s marvellous deeds, we too can lift our voices in thanks for all God is, and all God has given us to experience in our days on earth. What a marvellous gift we have … to share with others!

Words of Grace, Apr 1

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Small Steps to Healing: Listening

Small Steps to Healing: Listening

Isaiah 65:19

I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress.

John 16:22

So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

Words of Grace For Today

Where does it hurt? This question has been asked for eons of children and adults alike when they are injured. The point is to find out what is damaged, what the damage is, and how it can be addressed. Today we ask it of each other in a different way. We ask one another to pause, to breathe … slowly and deeply. Then reflecting on your own past few days, where does it hurt? We ask this of each other, and then we listen attentively, graciously. For we know the joy that Christ gives us is never taken away from us. It has the power to help our bodies, minds, and souls heal. First though we listen, where and how does it hurt, so that we can be the salve of blessed oil that Christ has poured over us for those who are hurting, so that our cries and weeping in distress may find their end in Christ’s love and joy for us.

Words of Grace 3-31

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Far Off or Fully Present?

Far Off or Fully Present?

Zechariah 6:15

Those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the Lord; and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.

Ephesians 2:22

In Christ you also are built together spiritually, into a dwelling-place for God.

Words of Grace For Today

In these days we can easily experience that many of our loved ones are ‘far off’, even if they are only a few kilometres distant, we may not be able to visit with them. Now we cannot offer to give them a ride to church on Sunday or to the Lenten soup supper and services. One of the gifts given to us in our baptisms is that we are all members of One Body. This is a physical reality. It is also a spiritual oneness that Christ gives to us. No matter how ‘far off’ we may be these days, Christ calls us to be together, physically distant, but socially and spiritually as near as the heart beat in our chests, the dreams in our minds, and the hope that gives us the future completeness of Christ’s 2nd coming already today.

Words of Grace 3-30

Monday, March 30, 2020

Alone or Always Someone Taller Beside Us

Jeremiah 8:4

You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord: When people fall, do they not get up again? If they go astray, do they not turn back?

John 6:37

Jesus says: Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away.

Words of Grace For Today

It is so easy to stumble and fall. To lose our way. To end up really alone. Father Brown (a BBC series) says often, “I am not alone. God is always with me.” Jesus has claimed us and there is nothing that can take us away from him. We may often feel alone. We may desperately need another person’s presence, their voice, their listening heart, to remind us that God is always with us. Reach out. Be the person Christ claimed you to be. Be the reminder of God’s presence for someone needing to hear once again, the old, old story of Jesus and his love.

Words of Grace 3-29

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Consolation in the Dark

Consolation in the Dark

Psalms 142:4

Look on my right hand and see there is no one who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for me.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.

Words of Grace For Today

This wisdom is now frequently shared since more and more of us will be effected by isolation: God created us to be in connection with other people. Different people at different times need more contact. Isolation does have a negative impact on our physical health, making us sick in and of itself. We may well cry out: no refuge remains for us! Doch. God consoles us in all our afflictions, also those we face today. Reach out to console others with this gentle, gracious, and caring consolation that we have already received from God.

Words of Grace

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Crises Define Us

Psalms 147:11

The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Mark 3:35

Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.

Words of Grace For Today

Everywhere one hears that we are facing a new and unprecedented crisis. It is new for most of us, though, as humans, we have in history faced many similar crises and challenges. Our faith prepares us for everything that happens on earth. What happens to us determines only 10% of who we are. 90% of who we are is determined by what we do. We are well equipped to do the will of God; we are God-made saints, though still sinners. Because our hope is based on God’s love for all creation, we can reach out to others isolated, alone, and afraid, by every means still available to us. We can be the people of God, claimed by Christ, and equipped by the Holy Spirit. Bringing Light to others with a simple telephone call can make all the difference for them, and for us.

End of Many Concerns

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Ahh, Great Light, Great Night to Come, Easy Walk.

Nice Day on the Ice

End of

A good day fishing

Fishing season

Drinking on the lake

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Lots of Tracks

Lots of Tracks

SarsCov2 in that fishing hut

Risk management with a wood stove

Warm days at the lake

‘Burning your playhouse down’

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Looking for the Light

Looking for the Light

Sharing one’s feelings 

Hauling, Cutting, Hauling, Splitting, Hauling, Smoke, Ash

Hot Times on the Ice

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The Butt End of it All

The Butt End of it All

.

..

….

Start of:

Living alone

Fishing in the cold air

More bad luck

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Catching the Last Rays of the Day

Catching the Last Rays of the Day

Looking for SarsCov2 elsewhere

Being able to stand up straight without hitting ones head

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It’s All She Wrote

Karma – (But, Karma, this was not on the list! Karma, what you doing!)

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That’s it! Schluss! Fire’s Gone Cold.

That’s it! Schluß! Fire’s Gone Cold.

More Stupid Deadly

It was Friday 20 March 2020. All sorts of information had already been made widely available concerning Covid 19.

An health emergency is declared on Tuesday 17 March.

The advice, and later requirements, are

  • to wash your hands often during the day, especially before and after touching surfaces,
  • to keep social distance (at least 2 metres or 6 feet away from others)
  • avoid gatherings of people (over 50 people gatherings are banned)

For the latest information on restrictions (now 15 people on 29Mar, and lots more as the attempt is made to limit the fast spread which will overwhelm available services) see: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

There is much more: to repeat what many have posted already:

A study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests the virus can live

  • up to four hours on copper,
  • up to a day on cardboard,
  • up to three days on plastic and stainless steel, and
  • up to three hours in the air.

The times vary according to environmental conditions, of course. Meaning these could be much longer under ideal conditions (for the virus – very un-ideal for us!)

NOTE! Freezing temperatures ‘put the virus in stasis’, meaning freezing does not kill it all, but preserves much of it! Meaning the above times are put on hold in freezing temperatures.

An earlier study of SARS Cov (the outbreak of 2002-3) determined that the survival time for this related virus under optimal dry surface, air conditioned temperatures, could be as long as 2 weeks, or 3 weeks in a liquid environment at room temperature. The greatest transmission ‘assistants’ could be foamites (objects or materials which are likely to carry infection, such as clothes, utensils, and furniture.) https://www.hindawi.com/journals/av/2011/734690/

Still needed is information at what temperatures/humidity SARS CoV2 is killed.

Bright Clear Nice Icicle

Sometimes the light is so bright that it bounces all over and compromises the beauty of the most natural developments. Here the icicles of warm days and cold nights catch the evening sun that lays down shadows sweeping across the soft curves of blown snow.

The light’s reflections and distortions do not change the snow, the trees, the shadows, the icicles. It changes only our perceptions.

Reality is still reality.

I’m in Walmart to get the few groceries I need and can afford, wiping down items to disinfect them before putting them in my sanitized container, to take to the self check out; controlling what I can.

A father walks past me, whom I’ve greeted at a distance just minutes before, who says to me:

“It’s airborne. Wiping down things will not help.”

I responded sarcastically, “You’re so smart, but deadly wrong!”

Later I’m in the Dollar Tree picking up essentials, keeping my distance from the people in front of me, and I turn part way around and see the line up behind me, the nearest person is less than 2 feet away. Everybody behind that person is just as close, as if there were no warning to keep your distance from other people.

The golden sun, set spreads no reflections. Instead just beautiful light.

We have the ability to see the same things at different times, in different light, and appreciate the root of the beauty of the universe.

The light’s reflections and beauty do not change the snow, the trees, the icicles. There are no shadows. Still the real change is only our perceptions.

Reality is still reality.

What gives, with the deadly stupidity about town?

Someone standing that close to a person with a compromised immune system could be essentially killing the compromised person.

Do people not listen? Learn? Care?

Or are people so angry at being told to change their habits that they protest by not following the recommendations?

Or is it the disbelief of the masses that gets crazy people elected? That tolerates systemic abuse of identifiable groups of people? That brings intelligent people to jump on the band wagon of Gaslighting victims of abuse?

Stupid is just Stupid. Sometimes it is also Deadly.

Stupid Deadly Things I’ve Heard Today

Interspersed with Truth and Beauty

You probably should be able to tell the difference!

Golden Grass

If there is all white almost everywhere, the exceptions, like a bundle of golden grass, will stand out, in the light, as beautiful.

If it’s just white,

It just snowed really heavily.

If it’s all just grass, this bundle is not that interesting, most likely.

If one has just gold, well that’s another problem I’ve never had,

money problems.

It’s just like a cold. I don’t see what all the fuss is about.

Right, for some people Covid 19 is just like a cold and does no more damage than a cold.

It’s just like the flu. I’m not worried.

Well, you should take flu more seriously. It’s fatality percentage is less than 1.0%, but it is still deadly for some people.

And it mutates every year, so it can become more deadly in a year or less.

Dull Light, Dull Brain All White

If there is no light, than nothing is seen as it really is. Everything becomes so much the same that it’s just dull, and then who would be interested?

It’s all a bunch of nothing. It’s just a kind of flu.

Yes, it is a kind of flu, a different kind of flu. Not in it’s make up, but in it’s ability to kill it has perhaps the same or greater fatality percentage as the Spanish flu. The Spanish flu hit a small community in northern Canada and of the 80 people there 72 died within a short time.

The Spanish flu killed in a few hours.

Covid 19 is estimated to have a fatality rate similar to the Spanish Flu.

The Spanish flu killed 50 to 100 million people.

So why worry if Covid19 and it’s mutations kill that many people every year or more – since the percentages of infected and the percentage of dead are the same, the population is much larger therefore proportionately many more people will die, or if this virus is not reduced by the passing of seasons (dies off due to the heat of summer) then it may be a great number more?

It may be in a short time that way too many people will die to allow life to continue as we know it!

Because it will not take long for there to be no one to grow, distribute and sell the food you have become dependent on, or the products, or … well, anything.

Making Tracks in the Simplest Part of the Day: Beautiful Light

When the light shines, then you can see the beauty of a simple day.

And when you take time to figure out the truth, then you can act appropriately,

so you do not expose dozens of people to your infection, killing a handful of them.

That’s the big deal.

Cold Lake has supposedly 4 cases of Covid 19 as of today.

Schools are closed until at least September, Libraries are closed.

Makes sense with a military base and lots of wealthy people traveling the world, and coming home

to share their experiences.

Lent as Story

2020.02Feb25LentOurStory

Lent as (our new) Story

One of God’s gift to us humans is our ability to understand stories, to hear them and experience what is in them, and to write stories to convey more than just the words describe, or as in movies, more than what the images portray by themselves.

Imagination More Than We Could Know

Imagination More Than We Could Know

Stories have the key to communicate the most hidden, the most complex, the most poignant, the most critical, and the most beautiful aspects of life itself; and in that communication to the reader, listener, or viewer to teach something new, to connect at an un-imagined level, and to reveal something even beyond what the author, reader and creator conceived possible.

Our Words and Images Reach The Pinnacle and Depth of Beauty

Our Words and Images Reach The Pinnacle and Depth of Beauty

This Lent we embark on 40 days of fasting, reflection, prayer and meditation which themselves reflect a long tradition of the preparation to hear the story of Passion week and Easter Sunday, and which in themselves each year are a new story for each one of us.

What is your story, the one you are always part of?

What is your story, the one you are always part of?

What new will you learn, imagine, encounter on your 40 day journey this Lent?

Can you see something new?

Can you see something new?

Lent has it’s own stories, worthy of hearing again and again: Shrove Tuesday: the yeast and oil used in one last meal so the house has none in it during Lent. The ashes of our origins and ends as organisms on this earth. Marked in the sign of the cross, branding us as belonging to Christ. No meat. Fasting severe or limited. Giving up something. Engaging in something. Praying daily or even hourly, especially for one’s enemies.

Can we see through the fog?

Can we see through the fog?

All this to prepare our hearts, mind and souls to hear, imagine, and celebrate Jesus’ sacrifice and victory over death and all our sin.

Christ’s story is filled with Light!

Christ’s story is filled with Light!

All this to prepare our hearts, mind and souls to hear, imagine, and celebrate Jesus’ story lived out in our lives.

Finding our way through the frozen of life.

Finding our way through the frozen of life.