Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – July 9

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Light of Christ

God Protects us

Alone or Overrun by Others

God’s Presence

Never Leaves Us

Psalm 91:9

You have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling-place.

2 Corinthians 3:12

Since … we have such a hope, we act with great boldness.

Words of Grace For Today

Today a crowd of tents overflowed from the Web campsite and filled the Birches campsite with an accompanying number of vehicles so many there is not enough room to park them all, and at least 5 large dogs. Awake, there is hardly room for the correct Covid 19 physical spacing, and sleeping the tents are close enough that one is already within a few metres of at least a few people in other tents, not to mention others sharing the tent you are in.

As the clerk at the drug store said (as sick people come for medicines), she’d had it and she’s done, completely done with this Covid 19 thing.

Wishful thinking until it kills you or someone you love, or compromises your organs for the rest of your life. A personal declaration that your done certainly does not cover it all.

You become one of the most dangerous people on earth today.

Thankfully we have made the Lord our refuge. We dwell in the Most High, and we dwell in a place isolated from everyone, including that dangerous drugstore clerk, every other dangerous carrier of Covid 19, and the fools who walk right up to me at Canadian Tire while I’m quickly finding the one thing I’m there for, having waited a good ten minutes for the two fools to move away from me down the isle 25 feet. While I’m determining which of the five different spools of plastic string I need, they return, walk right up to me and stand over me, breathing heavily and grunting impatiently for me to be done, and then as I stand up they walk within a foot behind me, push my cart out of the way and say I should get out of the way. Later the same two guys nearly run me over as I back up one foot to change course since the isle ahead is blocked by an elderly man on his cell phone. This time I politely ask the two if they could keep their 2 metre distance. They huff that I backed up into them, as I stepped back a half step at most to turn my cart to the left down an isle.

There are hundreds and thousands of other shoppers I have no close encounters with when I’m shopping.

Brash stupid boldness, like declaring Covid 19 is over because you say it must be, or walking over people with no respect for physical distancing, is not the kind of boldness that Christ gives us, through the hope the Holy Spirit creates in us.

The boldness Christ’s hope gives us is to

– do the right thing when everyone else is not,

– say the right words to a bully, when everyone else is cowering and capitulating,

– risk everything we are in order to save children at risk of horrendous abuse by their parent,

– not work to protect oneself, but to protect others who are vulnerable,

– and many other inspired risky actions,

since we know we need not protect ourselves or make our own security.

Christ has done that already.

All that we are and have, is for Christ, so putting everything on the line to do the right thing is exactly why we live and have anything to work with.

Martin Luther was right, too. We are bold in all we do, unafraid that we will inevitably sin. That knowledge does not deter us from risking everything to do the right thing. We trust that we have been, are, and will always be forgiven by Jesus the Christ. This is not some reckless abandon to do idiotic things to no good end or imaginable benefit. This means that we do not allow the Devil, or the inevitability of our sinning, stop us from trusting that God will guide us to do the right thing, and to know it is right.

We sinners, of course, so often try to justify our own sins. Doch with the Holy Spirit’s help we resist that as well, easily confessing, and re-adjusting our path, our plans, our hopes and our dreams to reflect Christ’s self sacrificing way for everyone we encounter: we sacrifice ourselves, not others.

For those who cannot comprehend the true risk of a virus, compared to the true risk of life and limb in order to save others, compared to the true risk of losing one’s own soul, we must pray and bless them: Lord bless these utter fools and keep them and their deadly virus far, far from us, all of us, humans.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – July 7

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

See?

What do you see?

What do you dare to see?

Do you really want to see

What Jesus has to show you?

Psalm 31:23

Love the Lord, all you his saints. The Lord preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.

Mark 10:46-49

As [Jesus was] leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many sternly ordered him to be quiet …. Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’

Words of Grace For Today

Last evening a big greyish pickup truck, a deep-throated, noisey Dodge Ram, with flood lights on a roll bar, two burly men riding in the bed, and a beefy grill guard on the front came prowling the dirt lanes, round and round as if looking for someone and not finding their target. An intentional threat to someone, either as a threatening show of force, or an actual hit. Apparently I am not the only one with an ex who is not above breaking or bending the law to end someone’s life.

How can one respond with Grace?

It is easy of course to respond not with grace but with a wish to physically end the threat of violence with greater violence. Pre-emptive revenge. So goes the world. Today one sees the crumbling of the social contract we live inside of, and the breaks in the thin veneer of civilization that we take for granted. Covid 19 stresses us, stresses the social contract, and the social contract starts to crumble.

How is one to respond with Grace and Honour?

The others certainly are beyond that. They act with blatant disregard for truth, rightness, goodness, and preservation of the social contract which serves them as well.

Jesus lived in the social contract of the Roman Empire, which contract was imposed and maintained by force in many foreign lands which were then included in the Roman Empire.

Jesus lives in this contract, giving to Caesar what was due Caesar. Jesus teaches not revolution, but bending down to notice those left on the wayside by the progression of the empire. Jesus hears a nobody, a blind beggar, sitting on side of the road calling to him to have mercy. Everyone else tells the man to be quiet, that Jesus has no time for him. Jesus stops, though, and calls Bart to him, and shows him the greatest mercy possible: he forgives him his sins. And oh, Jesus also gives him sight. Bart can see for the first time.

Jesus does this for all of us. If only we dare see. God’s love, poured without end or restraint over us, is impossible to ignore. Once blind and wretched sinners, we see and can respond. Like Bart we can follow Jesus and love God with all our hearts, minds and strength. We can imitate Jesus, and bend down to see, heal and forgive all those the world has left in the dust.

We can entrust those threatening vulnerable people to God’s care, which may be Grace and new life, or God may give the haughty their due.

Either way, we are Christ’s. We stand by the vulnerable to protect them, even if it means it costs us our lives.

Covid 19’s huge stress on each of us and on the social contract does not make us into violent, vicious animals that we were not before. The stresses of life do not make us different. They show to others more clearly who we have been all along. Let us pray that we have learned how to be who Jesus makes us to be: following his Way of Grace and the Cross.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – July 3

Friday, July 3, 2020

Be You [for] Tea, Later?

Beauty

is God’s daily word

“I love you, enjoy!”

Psalm 119:73

Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.

1 John 3:23

This is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.

Words of Grace For Today

Following Christ brings us to recognize we cannot do anything good on our own. Only by the Grace of God carried in us by the Holy Spirit can we do anything good at all.

Choosing to follow God’s commandments is something we can do. Actually fulfilling the commandments that we choose to follow is something else. Choosing to not follow God’s commandments is something we easily can both choose and accomplish on our own.

So when we hear, that we should learn God’s commandments, or obey Jesus’ commands, that may seem a simple thing. It is certainly not. It is impossible.

What does Jesus command us to do: To love the Lord our God before anything else and to love one another and ourselves as he loved us, and to love even our enemies.

Because God steps into our lives and replaces our track record of our past and future with Jesus’ track record, we can not only imagine fulfilling this commandment to love, we can live it in thought, word, and deed.

1 John 3 describes this love:

16We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

Simple, just choose and do it, Right?

Not so simple, we get to choose and do that, and are aware we can, only when the Holy Spirit wakens us to see through our worldly goods to comprehend our brothers’ and sisters’ needs and our ability to meet them, even if it may hurt us a bit or a lot to help them.

That’s loving with the same love that Jesus loves us.

The words spoken to one’s beloved are precious. They words spoken and not lived are the most powerful destroyer of speaker and the person spoken to. Love is powerful, wield it carefully. Wield it and trust mostly that the Holy Spirit will guide you to love as God loves us all.

It isn’t ‘rocket surgery’* after all.

It’s life.

.

..

*just in case ‘rocket surgery’ is not understood (since it is a construct):

the idioms are rocket science and brain surgery, both needing a great deal of knowledge, skill and even an artist’s creativity. Used as examples of work that is beyond most people.

Rocket surgery is a comic’s play of an idiot’s mix of the two, (though some say it was Don Cherry’s mix, go figure) which makes it even less attainable by the speaker, or as I have used, it is accessible for even the most confused.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – July 2

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Pastor

A Spouse

You get the idea,

If you have a spouse

Psalm 8:2

Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.

Luke 1:49

The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

Words of Grace For Today

All through life we learn how to respond to challenges. We learn to tie shoes. Maybe not, since more and more shoes are just Velcro. We learn to make allowances for others while we play, then as we study (if we learn to study), then as we raise a family (if we have children), as we mature with a spouse (you get the idea: if we mature -:), as we work, and as we age, retire and kick the bucket (stubbing our toe as we most always do).

All this supposedly gives us common sense, which seems less and less common. All this supposedly gives us knowledge, which seems less and less based on reality for many. All this supposedly gives us opportunity to fill our lives with goods, which we throw away for newer, maybe better goods as if our own worth were dependent on our goods.

God, in many and various ways, keeps trying to communicate to us, hard headed and stiff-necked that we are, to show us all of this is inside-out, up-side-down, or of no consequence when it comes to being part of God’s good creation, and the goodness we are to be (in thought, word, and deed) for others and our own souls.

How great it is that God keeps communicating with us, generation after generation, day after day. Only God who is holy could bear us rascal sinners with such loving patience and grace.

It is not complicated. It is so simple that this way of being (sacrificially loving, forgiving and renewing others) can easily come from infants and young children.

We get to unlearn the world’s lessons, and practice the foolish truths that a child’s perspective on the Goodness of Creation can teach us.

Thanks be to God.

Covid 19 places huge challenges before us. The blessing in these challenges is that we have to re-orient our lives and have therein opportunity to practice again that foolishness of Christ, which brings life to all people.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 29

Monday, June 29, 2020

Burdened?

Bowed

but

Not Broken

Daniel 6:23

Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

2 Corinthians 4:9

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

Words of Grace For Today

The challenges of this life, Covid-19 being a relatively small one, can kick the breath right out of us. Sometimes, like Daniel thrown into the hungry lions’ den, we get a small reprieve before our enemies’ tools/animals of destruction tear us apart and consume us limb, by limb.

Fewer times than we notice other miracles during our short lives on this marvellously created planet, sometimes we survive the tools/animals hungry for our pieces, together which make up our lives. At those times, like Daniel, it is good to have friends in high places with real power, like kings and queens.

When it comes to the challenges of life beyond this life, in the battle between the Devil and God, we have no chance at all to even be effective on the playing field, the stage or the battle arena. The Devil always gets his devouring ways with us – unless the Holy Spirit steps in and defends us.

At that time it is good to be baptized, because in spite of all the doubt the Devil and his minions can create in us, we have a sure sign that God steps in for us, we bear the Cross of Jesus on our foreheads, emblazoned their never to be erased.

That cross does not fend off discomfort, doubts, physical hardships, or assaults of enemies. It does guarantee us that God never walks away from us. We can even turn on God, trying to create our own way forward, and God is still there, carrying us, caring for us, nurturing us back to full health.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

This is a two-fold promise: first that we will not be crushed, driven to despair, forsaken, or destroyed.

Second it is Paul’s full disclosure that following Christ, our enemies will afflict, perplex, persecute, and strike us down.

It’s good to have a cross on one’s forehead to remember, rely on, and especially to have a saviour in the highest places, as well as in the lowest places and everywhere in between.

Trust God. Everything else is a passing illusion. Trust God, no matter that you will not get out of this life alive; but you will live eternally, starting the day you were baptized.

Hallelujah Always!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 26

Friday, June 26, 2020

Cold Track

Cold and Off Track!

There is no photo of justice observed and righteousness done at all times.

It cannot exist, except by GRACE

Psalm 106:3

Happy are those who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times.

1 John 2:17

The world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live for ever.

Words of Grace For Today

The way the world teaches it’s children to live is not to observe justice and do righteousness – just do not get caught.

The desires that fuel that kind of thinking are endless, in number and because of our inability to satisfy them. Our living experience of them is that they continue, as sure as the rock under our feet as we stand on a high crested mountain west of Edmonton.

Yet from God’s perspective that rocky mountain is a fleeting feature of earth, along with us living on it, and the entire planet as it spins around the star we call our sun will soon pass into oblivion.

The question for us all is how do we live in this fleeting moment, that lasts generation upon generation for us.

Observing Justice and doing righteousness at all times.

First that is impossible, a dream for some, and for all of us mostly wishful thinking.

We are saved by Grace alone. None of us are able to do other than sin, and we wretched sinners can only hope that Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection will save us, for there is no other hope for us.

So as long as we live, if we can always observe justice and do righteousness at all times, then we will be happy.

Since we cannot do that, is it true that we will never be happy?

I’d hope not, but …

… now is the moment when one needs to have prayed and trusted God, and paid a little attention in Confirmation Class.

We can be happy, because even though we cannot observe justice nor be righteous all the time, Jesus steps in for us, sets his record in place of our own.

Not on our own, but transformed by the Grace of God into saints, we can be happy, not just merely happy, but the happiest that we can ever be.

Able to observe justice and do righteousness always, only because Jesus steps in for us, the guarantee that we will be counted to have done exactly that cannot be more sure.

Happy hardly begins to describe how grateful we can be, relieved that we need not count on our own abilities, and exhilarated that life for us is wonderfully blessed by God.

Happy are we who have God doing justice, and observing righteousness, for us, for our record.

No matter our sins, as we trust God, we can join the many people who for so long have learned even amidst great grief to Sing Hallelujah Anyhow.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 16

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Think Not the Trees Bow to You

.

Humble Pie

Is hard to eat,

but more nourishing than greed, pride, and bearing false witness,

and other ways we forsake our God.

Jeremiah 2:17

Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the Lord your God, while he led you in the way?

John 8:31

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples.

Words of Grace For Today

God does not forsake us, ever, no matter what.

The Holy Spirit always leads us onward to serve Christ, and Christ alone.

It is not that the Holy Spirit leads us onward to serve our vision of the future, say what our own congregation should look like, or how much money we will save by cheating others, or how much comfort is due us at others expense, or even seemingly good goals: like that we will build family camps to nurture the faith at home, or that we will bring Vacation Bible Schools to remote areas in the North, so that First Nations people will be educated in the Christian Faith (as patronizing as that has always been!), or that we will recruit more and more people to join our church so that we are strong again.

The Holy Spirit always leads us onward to serve Christ, and Christ alone.

Discerning what Christ’s will for us is seemingly difficult, which we get so wrong over and over again. Only hindsight shows us how wrong we’ve too often been: take slavery, or exclusion of others by race, or nationality, or social class; or sexual orientation; or now on gender identification.

The ways we forsake God and go our own way seems to be unlimited.

The ways that the Holy Spirit uses to bring us home again, are actually unlimited, as unlimited as God’s Love and Jesus’ Grace.

Continuing in Jesus’ Way cannot be reduced to a few or even many sayings, rules, or verses. Democracy is not about a constitution, but rather democracy is about an attitude that toleration of others and their opposing ideas is essential to life and therefore to governing a people.

Being Jesus’ disciples is not reducible, not at all, to a set of rules, sayings or a constitution. It is a full experience of God leading us in ways and in places, toward ends that we cannot imagine, nor as we are underway, even fathom. It is about holding Jesus’ story of bringing Grace to all people at great cost to himself (his own life) as the guide to how we live. Following Jesus’ Way is about living out an ever evolving ethics that holds us humbly needing Grace, and bearing our own crosses, while not dumping the cross on others.

When we have nothing left to lose, then we are totally free.

We lose everything to follow Jesus, including the right to claim our right to live. Everything is the Holy Spirit’s to use. We are bold to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, for though it cost us our lives on earth, no one can separate us from the Grace of Jesus, the Love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit.

What freedom that is! What security! What everlasting hope that provides!

We can be so bold,

and humble.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 10

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Golden Grass

What Shows

is a small portion of the Wonders God has for us.

1 Kings 17:16

The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

Mark 6:41-42

Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. And all ate and were filled;

Words of Grace For Today

We don’t see miracles of meal multiplying beyond the capacity of the jar containing it, or fish and loaves multiplying in the hands of a crowd fed by Jesus.

We do see miracles.

We usually dismiss them

We want a sign or something that knocks us off our comfortable chairs compel us to see God at work in the world today.

God may work that way.

I think that Jesus multiplied the loaves (the text supports this as much as the traditional interpretation) by

calling the people to sit down,

who had come to hear him preach in an area far from a town that could service or feed the gathering of so many,

who were not dumb,

who packed a lunch, and rightfully carried with them, under their garments, so pick pockets could not steal it from them.

A boy pulls his out to eat.

Jesus uses their hunger, the disciples calling attention to crowd’s need to eat, and his trustworthy presence to ask people to sit and eat. No one brings out their food, not until the basket comes their way and they have plenty, so they add to the basket and you have something of a potluck.

The miracle is not Jesus working outside the laws of physics as we know them.

The miracle is Jesus working within our hearts, despite how we known them

as selfish, greedy, suspicious, and fearful.

Jesus transforms that crowd from what could become a frenzy of stealing food from each other, to a crowd of 5000 and many more who generously share what they have with each other.

What they have, Jesus shows them again, is more than plenty to feed everyone abundantly.

So Jesus provides for us today as well.

Look!

See!

Believe!

.

Rejoice!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 7

Sunday, June 7, 2020

In the snow, in the wind, in the rain, under these skies …

Is God Coming

Down this Road

For me,

For us,

For all the young men

who die senseless deaths

at the hands of police?

Psalm 98:9

The Lord is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

Matthew 24:14

And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.

Words of Grace For Today

Protests and Police using tear gas killed one of my son’s long time friends.

It helps to read that the Lord is coming …

to judge the earth, to judge with righteousness (finally)

and equity.

George Floyd

did nothing to deserve to have a policeman kneel on his neck for 9 minutes while he struggled to breathe and stay alive, a struggle he lost.

.

This explodes into protest at this time because Covid 19 restrictions are not fair, not equitable. The poor are hit the hardest, many struggling anyway to find enough food each day, and now, if they go out for food, they face curfews, police harassment and arrest, incarceration and almost sure infection. Rich people are often not even inconvenienced, or bother to change the pattern of their lives.

This is not equitable.

Being poor is rarely the person’s fault. Being rich is rarely due to honest hard work.

Being black … being a young man …

none of this is a fault. Yet this brings fear that minority mothers teach their sons to be aware of, and to fear this irrational hatred, lest hatred of them would cost them their lives. Even then, too often, just breathing and being (themselves) alive, unjustly costs them their lives because someone with a police uniform and a heart full of hate takes it from them.

Where is equity in all this?

This is racism, misandry, and out of control hatred.

.

Protesting is the least one can do, to support those who live in fear everyday, for the hope that one day they might not have reason to live in daily fear for their lives.

I have a dream!

Do you!?!

What are we to say when protesting peacefully is responded to with police tear gassing the protesters, even when they claim they have not used tear gas. They use pepper bomblets, which even they designate as tear gas!

Tear gas.

And it kills, sometimes.

Yet the police still use it!

Then they refuse to allow those affected by their tear gas to retrieve a handbag to get their asthma puffer …

And another innocent protester dies at the hands of the police ….

.

Thank God, that God will come!

God will come to judge with equity!

Helps us.

Help us be as God created us to be, bearers and witnesses to the Peace that surpasses all understanding

even as we mourn the loss

of another good young person,

this time a young woman.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 6

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Bown Shaken but Not Down

Wind Blown Grass and Trees

God is not shaken

though the whole world be shaken off its axis.

Covid-19 shakes nothing when God stands still.

Daniel 4:3

How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his sovereignty is from generation to generation.

Hebrews 12:28

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe;

Words of Grace For Today

What shakes in your life?

When the wind blows and catches the solar panels on the roof this whole place rocks. The first time the 50 km winds did that, with 90 km winds in the forecast, I climbed out into the blowing snow and ice cold biting wind. I looked at what was shaking me in my boots.

It didn’t take long to figure out what was happening. Solid anyway I thought. Then I retraced the steps I had taken to face the solar panels into the winter sun that barely peeked above the treetops for a few minutes. I remembered how I had anchored everything solidly … and I remembered how the cold and the onset of dark had rushed me. While the front side was anchored solidly to the frame that held all the solar panels to the rooftop, and that was only probably solid enough to stand up to a 100 km wind, I had just left the back side resting on that frame of piping.

So was! The panels all together stood nearly vertically six feet above the roof and five feet wide. That’s a lot of sail force on that frame holding the panels.

It had inherent limits being on the roof anchored to the piping that held everything in place, AND the back side (in the direction the most powerful winds could hit – since there were trees disrupting the wind in the other direction) was just sitting there!

I was lucky it had not just up’ed and walked off the roof top smashing, twisting and ruining everything in its path!

So was!

I had found an abandoned 1″ thick rope a few months earlier. Not friendly to hands, it seemed tough enough, at least it looked tough. I grabbed it and let go of it right away. Then I put on my gloves first and grabbed it, ran out into sharp cold, and ran that rope from the top of the solar panel frame to the one tree that stood close on the side where the wind was blowing from. The next day I anchored it around both sides of the top of the panel and back to the tree. Done.

.

It still shook when the winds kicked up. I no longer was alarmed. Maybe I should have been? The whole set up is different now, but the rope is back in place, and when it shakes, I go right back to what I am doing.

Trust.

in an old rope.

in a tree, which is still alive, unlike it’s neighbours.

in my ingenuity … well not really. I’m just too tired to think how to make it better and then get out and make it so. Soon, one of these days. Maybe when the rain stops.

.

God’s Kingdom is not shaken. It does the shaking throughout the whole universe. Wisdom begins with fear of the Lord, and needs love of the Lord (based on the Lord’s love of us) to grow.

All around, even as Covid 19 shakes us, or it should, God’s wonders are worth being awestruck by. The rope may last another day or so, or a year. But God’s unshakability lasts forever. From generation to generation God rules the universe.

For this we can stand in awe and give God praise and thanks.

There is no wind, or virus, or evil that comes against us that God is not more powerful than.

Covid 19 has shown we can meet the emissions targets set by the U.N. Maybe, just maybe, we will learn to keep it up even as the economies restart, and hopefully grow.

Then the winds may not continue to become more and more ferocious. And we can stand in thankful awe of God’s power, instead of in awful fear of what we’ve brought the environment to do to try to be rid of our destructive ways.

We can

trust

.

God

..

above all else

and count our blessings … they never stop. God is not shaken as more and more blessings pour over us, for us to share with others.