The Gift of Breath and Body

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Wonders of Creation

Wonders of Human Life

Wonders Created by God

as Gift for All!

Genesis 2:7

Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.

3 John 1:2

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.

Words of Grace For Today

Whether we speak of ourselves made up of body and soul, or we see ourselves as one unified whole of various characteristics interconnected and interdependent, we know …

that historically people have spoken of humans as made up of bodies (flesh, blood, muscles, bones, organs) and souls (spirit, Geist, reason and emotion, sentience) … and …

that historically people have spoken of humans one interconnected, interdependent whole, connected not only to ourselves, but to all other humans and creatures and all of creation, not only in this time, but throughout all time.

In the creation story from Genesis 2 God animates the dust that forms a human with God’s breath (Spirit!) so that the dust lives.

We ought remain humble; we are but dust. We can be so wrongly arrogant; we are God’s Spirit. We ought be so humble; all that we are dust and Spirit are gifts from God, and we exist only because of God, continue only according to God’s Grace, and are promised eternal life only because God so chooses to love us. We can do nothing to earn any of this.

We are not little gods because God breathes Spirit into us. We are mere creatures capable of bearing God’s Spirit to others, capable of bearing God’s Spirit to all creation – not that we do, more often than not we choose to turn against God, God’s creatures and creation, playing as if we were little gods.

It is known that when our spirits, our souls, are in good health, the health of our bodies improves, we recover from illness quicker. When we connect with nature we reduce our stress and our physical and mental health improves. We, body and soul, are connected to God’s creation, interacting at least, though God teaches us we are interconnected.

In the face of Covid 19, and all the challenges to our physical health, even age itself, we pray for ourselves and all people, that as God heals our souls, God may heal our bodies as well. We pray that we may recognize that not only are we in this pandemic together and so dependent on others to observe restrictions to stem the transmission of Covid 19, we are guests on this earth and so dependent on each other to treat all humans as the precious gifts they are and all of creation as the wondrous gift it is, for us all.

Limits are a Real Good Part of Life … Freedom in the Keep

Saturday, January 16, 2021

The path forward may be dark,

Doch God’s Light Guides Us

to Find Our Way Past the Wrecks of the Past.

Psalm 121:5-6

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

John 17:15

I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.

Words of Grace For Today

If God made a mistake, creating us to live on this earth, all of us so capable of evil that is so horrific we can barely imagine it’s destructive power, then the solution and our salvation would be for us to be able to leave all this behind. Many stories have been written and and genocidal attempts made, instead of removing us, to remove the evil from earth. It cannot go well for anyone, because sin and the agents of evil are each of us. It is not some identifiable or vague ‘them’. It is all of us who are the agents of sin and evil.

Many stories have been written and ill-fated attempts made to remove us from the bounds of sin on earth, from these flesh encased lives we have to live. None are good or successful. All need a huge dose of delusion.

Delusion runs rampant today, from Trump, Trump supporters, to similar flavours of government that ignore science, and instead implement restrictions for their own political ends instead of as protection for the people. Under the cover of Covid 19 great evil is perpetrated against millions of people the world over.

Did God make a mistake creating these people who use a pandemic as cover for evil, or for that matter for creating all of us, the perpetrators and victims alike?

Doch, God made no mistake creating us to live in these flesh encased lives here on this earth with all these other creatures. All humans, capable of evil, are also capable of great good. For this good God created us.

What we cannot do on our own is take on Evil and win. In fact the easiest route for the Devil to own us is when we try to concoct our lives as good on our own. That opens a freeway into our hearts, minds and strength for the Devil to work his/her wiles, wiles of deception and delusion, and even covering the tracks of evil in our core existence, so that we can fool ourselves about how the Devil possesses us!

In this marvellous life we are each given, God alone is our keeper, our safeguard against evil. God does not remove us from the wonders of creation and our awesome yet limited manner by which we participate in creation: See. Hear. Smell. Taste. Touch. Organize. Assemble what can seem as chaos into good order, good understanding. Marvel. Sing for Joy. Give God Thanks!

Still we will be overrun by evil. It is powerful, so much more powerful than we, ourselves.

Do you think you are so good that you are beyond the reach of evil tapping you at your core to perpetrate evil? Ha, for fools are exactly in this way played out by the Devil to commit the worst evil of all, passive aggressive, smiling to our faces and stabbing us in the back, pretending and parading around as if they were so good, yet at the same time plotting and scheming people’s destruction … completely owned (unawares) by the Devil.

Our only defence is God’s mercy, the story of Jesus’ sacrifice to rescue us and redeem us, the gifts of the Holy Spirit to renew us and guide us to …

… to humble admiration of God’s love for us

… to humble gratitude for God’s mercy

… to humble kindness toward all people, especially our ‘enemies’

… to humble dedication to work for justice for all people, justice based on truth and God’s mercy

… to humble joy no matter what we face, because we know God alone is our keeper and this world is where God intends us to live, and to live abundantly, helping others live abundantly as well.

Help! Help! Help! Finding our way in Covid times.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Path of Our Life,

When God Carries Us,

We Have So Much to be Thankful for

Psalm 119:37

Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways.

Colossians 2:6-7

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Words of Grace For Today

Eldon worked hard, sought to save as many people as possible wasted money. Yet his life went off in all sorts of directions as he sought to find purpose, meaning, or some fulfillment in life. He chased things that some would call extras or luxuries, just to have something fill up his life. He avoid alcohol and drugs, yet his addiction to things of comfort, pleasure and status had him deep in it’s grasp.

Knowing little, but that his addiction was killing him, he sought any help he could. He even prayed, Lord save me from my addiction. Show me the way to life as you created us to live it. Show me what you have created me to be and do with this life, this life that is so empty.

Jane grew up in the church, was confirmed, participated in the youth group activities and studies. Bright as anyone she knew she went off the university, on to grad school, with full scholarships. She applied to study history for a Ph.D. at Yale and was given a fellowship. While she had always applied herself to study beyond each course, the course work being rather easy for her, she found the Ph.D. studies all encompassing and demanding, so that for the first time in her life she was afraid of failing. She worked long hours each day, through every weekend. Three years into the work she was grinding away at her thesis when it all came tumbling down on her.

She tried to study and could barely see letters on the page. She tried to remember what she’d just read and made notes about, and it would not come to her. She tried to sleep and she could barely sleep.

She went to the doctor, who did a full work up but everything tested fine. The doctor did confirm that Jane was unable to focus on anything. It was as if she’d become an idiot overnight, and it stuck. It was so frustrating. She went to a therapist, who was kind and knowledgeable, but there was no help to give Jane. Finally she took a two week trip back home. Walking her old home town high school paths, nothing seemed to bring her to be able to read and remember.

She went to see her pastor, who listened thoughtfully to everything Jane told her. Her pastor said she had no idea what was happening to Jane. She advised simple things, stop to breath, say morning prayers, sing her favourite hymns, go to confession, come and partake in the Eucharist.

Jane then confided in her pastor that she had stopped going to church when the work load for her doctorate because so demanding.

Her pastor pointed her to a verse from Colossians:

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Her pastor pointed out that no matter what else was going on with her, Jane still had so much to be thankful for. She suggested keeping a daily journal of everything that she had and could be thankful for.

Jane started a Gratitude Journal, making entries each morning. Weeks later after returning to the university and her teaching duties (part of her fellowship) Jane realized she was less stressed about her studies, and she could sit and read and remember.

She dove back into her thesis work.

It was decades later when Jane crossed paths with Eldon, who was still praying for relief from his addiction as life meant nothing if he had not acquired something new that day.

Eldon could see how Jane was kind, thoughtful, and assured of herself, even as she took on some of the toughest challenges at the university where she was a full professor, shortly to take over as head of the history department. He asked how she managed to appear so … so … maybe it was that she looked so content.

She said she always found ten things to be thankful for each morning to enter into her Gratitude Journal. After that no matter what happened, she reminded herself all day long, that God was good to her. The rest was relatively easy, even if it was nearly impossible.

Today, remaining alert and consistently doing what is required to minimize the spread of Covid 19 after nearly a full year of it, may seem almost impossible. It need not, if we remember to always be thankful for all we receive from God.

Facing Covid and All Our Enemies – With Grace!

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Christ’s Dazzling Light

Always Shines For the Blessed

Through All the Darkness

Jeremiah 12:1

You will be in the right, O Lord, when I lay charges against you; but let me put my case to you. Why does the way of the guilty prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?

Matthew 20:10-12

Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.”

Words of Grace For Today

Why does the way of the guilty prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?

Why, working for God, do they, who arrive at the latest hour, receive the wages of those who showed up to work at sunrise?

We think that the world is so that we can understand how it works? For example when we ski off a cliff we should plan that we are going to land down below where we took off from. Gravity is a thing that we can understand.

So is it with many things in our world. Things we do have consequences, consequences that we can prepare for, consequences that anyone with a clear working mind and heart understands very well.

But when it comes to how God works with us and with other people, it easily seems everything we know makes no difference.

God’s ways are opaque for us.

Until we start to comprehend Grace.

Grace is the upside down stuff of our normal lives. Grace is how God works in the world.

If we try to understand, then it seems the guilty prosper and the treacherous thrive, and it seems that our work for God ought to be paid according to our efforts and time invested.

Yet, it is not so in God’s creation.

Grace alone brings us to life, life as we were created to live.

According to Grace, God’s purpose for each and every person is not to reward us according to our efforts. God’s purpose is to bring each and every one of us, freely, to live abundantly.

Cars run on gasoline or diesel. Bodies run on nourishing food and good drink.

God’s creation runs on Grace, the best of everything is free. Everything is free, but like manna given to nourish the people in the wilderness, manna that was good only for a day, and could not be stored, all that God gives us freely cannot be hoarded for ourselves. The goodness that God gives us is only good when we give it freely to others, just as we have received it.

So …

What appears to be unexpected and up-side-down, is God’s Grace working for us … and we can be ready to share all God gives us with all those we meet. Though we give, give, and give, God’s blessings will never run out; they will always flow, pouring over us and to all around us.

Ahh, to understand God’s ways is beyond us, but blessings flow; for them we can be filled with gratitude … and that makes everything wonderfully different, even when our tit-for-tat mindset is surprised or frustrated that our wicked enemies seem to win forcing us into an early grave.

(‘Joke’ is on them. We get to live abundantly, thankfully, sharing blessings freely, loving and dancing with grace through life. Then as they continue to live on earth, futilely pursuing more and more worthlessness, we enter the heavenly home prepared for us, for eternity. – If they could only see the end of their gaslighting and corruption.)

Advent Preparations During Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – December 21

The first day the sun can shine longer than yesterday

by a few seconds.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Life is Filled with Wonderful

Mundane Things

Like Cold, Snow, Trees, Light

From Generation to Generation

All in God’s Hands

Psalm 102:28

The children of your servants shall live secure; their offspring shall be established in your presence.

Revelation 1:8

I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Words of Grace For Today

Security is a fleeting illusion, unless one by grace places one’s full trust in God. The security one has then is not in having a comfortable or successful life. Then security is in God’s hands, God who is the Alpha and the Omega (the ‘A’ and ‘Z’ of all.)

When we practice placing our trust in God, which we usually skew into something else, then the ‘habit level’ of our lives moves to a different ‘place’. If we are fortunate (the self made skew not being too extreme) we start each day conscious that God is our all in all, and that all we have and are is God’s anyway, so we ‘give it’ all we’ve ‘got’ by ‘giving it our all’ so that all other people can have life abundant. Then through the day as we make choices each moment, they are at least somewhat informed by this awareness.

The truth is most ‘religious’ people skew the love of God into something that supports their own privilege or position in the world. Rich people interpret God’s blessings as evident in their wealth. Poor people see God’s blessings poured out on the poor. Powerful people interpret God’s blessing as evident in their having power, powerless see God’s blessings in the meek, the lowly, the outcasts, the pure of heart.

And we all desire to have a place in the history of humanity, by not dying and being forgotten, but by making our mark and being remembered for generations. While few can hope to be remembered, most all of us strive to pass on to the next generations some of who we are and what we value.

All this is rather foolish of us, though pretty standard. God keeps calling us to see the world anew, through the eyes of others, through the eyes of Jesus.

We cannot secure our own lives, we all die. We cannot secure our place in history, we all vanish like grass in winter under the snow.

We need not secure our own lives. God already secures us as God’s own children.

The children of God’s children shall live secure; their offspring shall be established in God’s presence.

More we cannot attain. Even this is given to us as a free gift. More we do not need.

So what are we doing this extraordinary Advent to prepare for an extraordinary Christmas?

Whatever we have done this Advent to prepare, whatever we do this Christmas, more than what God has done for us by being born as one of us, is all our own odd skewing of what Christmas is about.

So celebrate, and maybe remember, that what we do is at best a misty, foggy, reflection (in our own warped mirrors) of what God has done, does today, and will do for us, each and every one of us humans, each day.

God takes care of that mushroom cloud of sin and hypocrisy (ours and everyone else’s, too) and sets us re-newed into each moment of each day.

What a life!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – December 15

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

God’s Creation is Filled with Beauty

even the drippings of creosote from a chimney

from burning junk wood

1 Kings 8:24

The covenant that you kept for your servant my father David as you declared to him; you promised with your mouth and have this day fulfilled with your hand.

Luke 1:68-69

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favourably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty saviour for us in the house of his servant David.

Words of Grace For Today

A mighty saviour for us in the house of his servant David

So often we wish for power and might, with God’s backing, that we can direct at our enemies in order to make our lives better. God promises a saviour.

David, King David, ruled Israel by most historical accounts successfully, conquering the neighbouring enemies, solidifying power in his hands, securing a place for his people among the many.

As generations passed, and Israel was weakened by corruption and their neighbours grew powerful, Israel’s independence was crushed again and again. Sometimes it’s civilization, culture, and religion were left in shambles. Sometimes they were all subsumed into a foreign rule, to various degrees benevolent or cruel as opportunity and whim arose for that power and it’s agents.

Israel, as we humans are wont, equated their world power or lack thereof with God’s blessings. God promised a saviour. So the people hope for a powerful ruler of Israel, God’s appointed and anointed, to conquer the foreign powers, to run them out, to rule over them in their lands, to expand Israel’s territory to ensure their domination of the future. This was the image they carried of King David, so a saviour from David’s house was this kind of a saviour.

God’s blessings are, fortunately for the majority of humans who are alive and who have ever lived, not equated with world power, wealth, or privilege. God sends Jesus to demonstrate this very clearly: God’s power is that of sacrificial love, of forgiveness and grace, and of justice and mercy. More clearly stated God’s justice is always based on truth and on God’s steadfast mercy. Thankfully, or we’d all be doomed to eternal damnation.

Jesus comes to teach, heal, forgive, save, renew, and equip us to be God’s grace for others.

God has promised with God’s own mouth and have this day fulfilled with God’s own hand. The Lord God of Israel has looked favourably on his people and redeemed them.

This Advent we prepare again to give witness, among all the things that detract us from God’s Word in Jesus, the Saviour, to God’s power, the power of sacrificial love.

The trappings of Christmas are not all available to us, so what will we use to give the world this clear witness during the coming 12 days of Christmas?

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – December 14

Monday, December 14, 2020

God Promises and Delivers

Homes For All People

Righteous Homes,

not Windblown Shacks and Outhouses

Isaiah 26:9

My soul yearns for you in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

2 Corinthians 9:10

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

Words of Grace For Today

As the vaccine is promised ...

Like in every generation before we yearn and hope, sometimes beyond hope. Yet sometimes in despair we give up that last strand of hope …

In the dark of the night, when monsters rear their ugly head occupying all the challenges of our days which we thought we could deal with well enough and those monsters eat at the foundation of the order of our lives amid the chaos …

There is always the darkness, the evil that threatens us.

Whether or not we see or listen or know, God promises to judge all with real justice and grace, out of which will come righteousness for all … whether we experience this righteousness or not God’s promises are the only promises that are sure!

God promises to walk with us, giving seeds that we can sow and harvests abundant that we can gather in, increasing in and around us God’s righteousness – for Christ is come.

God’s Son came, and will come again, to make clear God’s will towards us, namely that God loves us and judges us with mercy and truth. Jesus will judge all for everything they have done.

How can righteousness come out of the evil of all humans, which is so destructive, pervasive and enduring? Jesus offers us his record, pure and sinless, and on that record we are judged. Our records, our sins, the evil we have done to others, and the destruction we have wrought on creation … all this is erased as if it never occurred in all of time at all. So we emerge, all of us, righteous.

We do not get to wait for Christ’s judgment until after we die. Christ judges every day, every hour. Christ renews us as righteous every moment. We still remain sinners, yet always are we fully God-made saints.

So we yearn …

We yearn for judgment …

We yearn deep in our bones for judgment, so that we are made righteous, and those that do us evil will be rescued from their sins and we with them.

Advent is the time we relearn to trust God’s promises, and we live this abundant life waiting, alert, holding to the Promise that draws us onward, and draws from us righteousness we did not know we were capable of.

We are the harvest. We are the labourers in the harvest. The harvest is ready, each day. The harvest is so abundant it cannot be stored in all the earth or even the universe. Such is God’s promise to walk with us and bring us to live life abundantly!

No Covid 19 pandemic can rob us of this abundant life. Not even when our usual Christmas habits are not possible this year while we remain safe for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for all our neighbours.

Life is still abundant. Perhaps just because we must rethink what is essentially Christmas, our celebrations in the future will regain a significance we have not previously known.

Whether or not we see or listen or know, God promises and delivers life over abundant for all!

Let us make it so for all people, also this Christmas!

Take Advent to truly prepare.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – December 13 Third Sunday of Advent

Sunday, December 13, 2020

In the Dark

There is Light

Be Christ’s Light

for Others!

Jeremiah 10:6

There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might.

1 John 4:14

The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.

Words of Grace For Today

As the second wave of Covid 19 continues to explode around us with infections, hospitalizations and deaths that overwhelm us …

And finally restrictions are in place that might ‘bend the skyrocketing’ numbers …

Christmas will not be like many before.

There is none like God … the prayer of faith saves the sick, sins are forgiven …

So we trust God, pray fervently and rely on our sins being forgiven by forgiving others

AND

we learn from wisdom available by God’s grace to us all. For example:

On The Dose, a CBC radio program, available in numerous ways including on demand, this past week host Dr. Brian Goldman interviewed psychology professor Steve Joordens who gave advice and guides on how to stay mentally and emotionally healthy through the holidays and beyond. The advice is badly needed by many as resilience to the effects of isolation is plummeting in a free fall as fast as the Covid 19 numbers are skyrocketing.

I had to step away for part of it, such are the demands of my living situation as I balance delicately hour by hour between destruction by ice or by fire, but these are the notes from my daily journal, expanded to make sense to any reader:

1. Plan for next year’s Christmas.

This year do what is necessary to make the holidays (and every day) safe, very safe, as safe as can be, for yourself, for your loved ones, and for all those you all encounter! Many things will not be possible. Be creative this year. Plan next year to do the things you cannot do this year.

This is not like war. We know an end is in sight and recovery to a somewhat familiar normal will come, so we can plan for it. We can make our new normal even better by planning for what is precious!

2. Make intentional social interactions.

We all need to interact with others. Don’t do what is not safe, very safe. Error on the side of safety, for now. That does not mean we cannot have many social interactions. Make your virtual connections real. Listen, share, laugh, cry, ‘be there’ for the intense moments and for the mundane. Reach out to people who may not have someone. Develop ‘pen pals’ or rather phone-pals or zoom-pals.

We are in the same storm, but in different boats. So respect that we all have to cope, each in our own ways. The basics are the same: we need to stay afloat amidst the chaos.

3. Counter Anxiety with Enjoyment.

Cortisol flows when we are anxious and moves us into fight/flight/flee mode in which we do not reason, we just act to save ourselves; or so the instinct works or rather does not work well when fight/flight/flee responses can do nothing to save us, let alone help us.

Endorphins counter the effect of cortisol, so do things and help others do things that bring enjoyment. Climb El Capitan, well … maybe just get a good dose of exercise as you are able. Music moves us to remember good times, brings us to laugh, and dance. Give the gift of music to yourself, and to others. Give music to bring back memories of times before Covid 19.

3. Be a model for children.

Children experience the world through us parents and adults. Do your own work to build up resilience so that you are not anxious around children. They will learn with you to be resilient in the face of extreme challenges. They will learn how to set anxiety aside.

Be a model for other people, too. Adults learn from other adults. We never quite stop learning from others if we stay healthy!

The real dark side that is becoming more and more apparent while everyone is under the stress of Covid 19 restrictions and infections and long term illness and deaths is … is depression, which unchecked is leading to suicides.

Be aware of this and notice your anxiety before it overwhelms you. Be resilient for others. Reach out to others. If you or someone else is at risk of harming themselves, there is help. Reach out. The resources are on the web in many places including www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx , scroll down to GET HELP.

4. Learn to relax at will.

You cannot be relaxed and anxious at the same time. Get online guides to practice how to relax. Practice until you can relax without the guides.

Then notice when you are starting to become anxious, and relax instead.

Use this to prepare for sleep as well.

5. Embrace winter.

Get out. It’s safer outside as far as Covid 19 goes. Be safe in the cold, dress for it. Get vitamin D by taking a walk on a sunny afternoon.

6. Bring wood from the first dry stack. (Oops, sorry that’s just the reminder for me to get wood to stay alive through last night’s -26⁰ C dip into hard freeze.)

Everyone has things that need be done to get through the winter and each month, besides dealing with Covid 19. Ensure you and others are doing those things, too. Work (not to an extreme) helps maintain resilience.

We trust God, pray fervently and rely on our sins being forgiven as we forgive others their sins, and we learn from wisdom available by God’s grace to us all.

Be safe, be wise, do not be anxious or let your hearts be troubled: instead find ways to enjoy life and share it with others, and relax into the comfort of God’s arms. God walks with us each day, each hour. God carries us when we falter.

Christ calls us to be God’s arms for one another; carry one another with respect and love.

[Thanks to The Dose, though I paraphrased considerably and creatively.]

.

Light one, two, (three), (four) candles to watch for the Messiah, let the light banish darkness ….

[Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah, words by Wayne L. Wold]

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – November 21

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Given this Beauty,

To Make Our Way with Hate and Vengeance and Injustice

OR

To Abide in God’s Blessings and Love, Shared With All People,

For which do you think God created the universe?

Psalm 63:4

So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

1 John 4:16

So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

Words of Grace For Today

There is a lot of excrement that people produce from their hearts, minds and strength, which has nothing to do with the digestive system.

Trying to make one’s way through it each day is a huge challenge.

We can see that challenge as the evil created by others, which impedes our progress in life, so that we respond with hate and vengeance and injustice in our futile efforts to make right what is wrong.

Or we can see the challenge as a dance, in which God enables us to participate, with the goal not to put it all right. Rather we participate in the dance of life each day in such a way as to reflect God’s love for those excrement makers, God’s unconditional love for them … and for us.

We know that dancing, especially into old age (80’s and 90’s), provides tremendous benefits to one’s body and one’s mind … and to the love one has for one’s gracious partner, who can move in response to the music, the words if there are any, and to the ‘traffic conditions’ on the dance floor.

Viewing life as a dance around the Devil’s Work, the excrement abundant, brings great benefit to one’s heart, mind, and strength. Thus we are able to bless God, God’s people, and all creation, and to lift up one’s hands in thanks, joy, and hope as we call on God’s name, in whom we abide, and who abides always in us.

We are not ever alone.

No matter the lies told about us. No matter the false convictions against us. No matter the Gaslighting directed against us. No matter the Devil’s attacks on us in all guises.

No matter the isolation and distance required by sensible Covid 19 restrictions, we are not ever alone.

God walks with us each hour of every day.

Fearing and loving God, how then would we choose to live: filled with hate,

OR

filled with love?

How do you choose again this day?

If you choose to fear and love God, then reach out to others, and share God’s love, unconditionally.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – November 19

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Given this Beauty,

To be Fearless in All Things or to Fear and Love God at All Times,

For which do you think God created the universe?

Psalm 34:9

O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want.

Luke 14:17

At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, “Come; for everything is ready now.”

Words of Grace For Today

To Fear God; this is the ancient, constant beginning of awareness of God. We lived on the plains, lived in caves, hunted for food, were hunted as food. Fear kept us alive. We could not understand many things of the world around us. We came to know that God created us, that God who created us was an awesome power, more fearful than the animals that hunted us for food. It took generations for us to begin to understand that God loved us, and that fear alone was inadequate a response to God’s love. We needed to fear and love God.

To fear and love God; this is the beginning and the end of all our lives and our purpose in creation.

While food does not come our way freely so that we must work constantly in order to have food to survive, God provides the food of life that nourishes us beyond the basic physical needs. For God created us hungry for truth, order, understanding, community, and love.

God sets the table for us again and again, to come and eat so that we can know truth, see and maintain order and gain a fuller understanding of the universe and our places in it. God feeds us so that we can dance our way through the challenges of community, and so that we can love as God loves us, freely and unconditionally.

Fear drives us. Love draws us. Together they help us sustain life for ourselves and those with us, and hopefully for all people.

How will you live this day, and all the days you have on earth?

Will you be fearless in the face of all challenges, diving headfirst into Evil’s temptations to be your own godlet?

Or will you fear and love God, the God who created the universe, and loves you and all people, and all creation, unconditionally?

If we fear and love God we can do no other than commit ourselves to living out the gifts God gives us, by promising:
to live among God’s faithful people,
to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper,
to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed,
to serve all people, following the example of Jesus,
and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth.