God’s Own Blue and Beautiful

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

God’s Creation

Blue and Beautiful

Darkened Always by Evil.

Job 12:10

In God’s hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.

Acts 17:28

[God made then so that ]… they … search for God … though indeed God is not far from each one of us. For “In God we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we too are God’s offspring.”

Words of Grace For Today

Even the writer of the Acts came to know the truth, that God created us all and we thus search for God in our own ways.

Even so God needs not to be searched for, for God is not far from any one of us. For we in God we live and move and have our being; we are God’s offspring.

While the life of every living thing and breath is in God’s hands, that certainly does not mean that God protects our lives from destruction by those that would do us harm. Indeed we suffer great destruction from the evil one and from those that would advance themselves at other’s cost.

Our consolation is that God is never far from any of us. No matter how terrible it gets at the hands of our enemies we need not search for God, God is with us. No matter how difficult it becomes as resources, circumstances, friends, church, family, and even hope abandon us and we feel we are left isolated to die on our own in the wilderness, God walks with us. God provides everything to us that we need to live abundantly. This is not that we will have an abundance of anything in life, except that we will live with God’s abundant Grace, Mercy, and Blessings.

It can always get worse.

It never gets bad at all, since God is with us.

It is most terrible for those who work unjustly to do us harm, for they disconnect themselves from God, even as God is so near to them. By their own doing they walk alone in their self-made hell and terror.

For us every day is a day of peace, with ourselves, with God’s creation, and with God.

For we are God’s own children.

Unending Complaints, or Enduring Grace

Choose for Yourself this Day

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Bright Light

Shines on Our Complaints

and

on God’s Generous Grace

Which Puts Life Back Together Again.

Exodus 16:11-12

The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” ’

Hebrews 10:36

For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

Words of Grace For Today

Hebrews is a book that often gets it backwards: if we do this then God will reward us with that.

The way God works is as God works for the people following Moses. They are enslaved, they do nothing to deserve their slavery or God’s blessings, yet God leads them (through Moses’ acting as God directs him) through the Red Sea and into the freedom of the wilderness.

Then they complain that they have nothing to drink. Though they show little appreciation for the priceless freedom God has already provided for them (they have not earned more from God at all, not at all!) God provides them with water that flows at the wack of Moses’ staff on a rock! They drink their fill that day and each day of their sojourn in the wilderness.

Then they complain that they have nothing to eat. This ragtag band of free people simply knows nothing about gratitude and everything about being slaves to their own bad attitudes and complaints.

They deserve nothing God has given them again and again, and still God again gives them what they ask for and need: meat at night and bread in the morning!

That’s how God works for us, and always has, and always will.

We screw up royally, and God does for us what we need having done so that we can get on with living life abundant (as God created us to be able to live!) Then we screw up and God continues to save and bless us … and repeat endlessly (ad nauseum!)

We receive from God blessings upon blessing, endurance among them, as we already today receive what God has promised us: an inheritance as God’s children, God’s presence with us each moment of our days, and eternal life that has started already long ago ….

Because God is so generous with God’s Grace for us, we have plenty of Grace to also be overly generous with all other people. That’s part of the abundant life: that we share all God gives us, especially with those who need the basics of life to be able to survive another day and another year, with hope for the future.

The atom bomb can blow the world apart at the atomic level; God’s love and grace puts the world and all that lives on it back together at the super-sub-atomic level, at the level of existence created.

God puts life back together for us, too, no matter how we ‘blow it up’ and apart for ourselves and others around us.

God is the only One who can put life back together again, even when ‘all the king’s men and all the king’s horses could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again.’

Grace, Tiger … Grace!

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Tiger Lily

Bright Orange on Green

God mixes colours just fine,

As God mixes us bad people in with creation and comes up with Grace and Wonders!

Psalm 71:16

I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God, I will praise your righteousness, yours alone.

Ephesians 2:10

We are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

Words of Grace For Today

It’s simple: God created us to do good works.

We sign God’s praises for God’s righteousness, God’s alone.

It’s all way too simple said this way and expounding on just these words will leave out the truth about God all together.

We will set ourselves up to have to praise God, and God alone. We will set ourselves us to do what we are created to do: to do good works. We will fail, and many of us will lie to ourselves and others in order to pretend we are not failing … so great is the cognitive dissonance when we cannot do the good deeds we think we are created to do.

Not that we should give up on doing good works and praising God alone.

On our own we can never do either.

How is life then ever at all good enough with us for God to even pay us any attention?

Simple in a word, and as complicated as the whole universe held together at the subatomic level, yet vulnerable to even the smallest parasites and viruses!

Grace is that Word. God acts first to forgive and renew us. Then, guided by the Holy Spirit (in spite of our wishes and understandings that would lead us astray) we are able by Grace to do good deeds.

Thanks be to God, for the greatest miracle is that God chooses to save us, again and again.

We start each day with prayers. We end each day with thanks.

All day long we are caught (if we stop to notice at all) by the wondrous miracles God does to forgives us and renew us … we are caught up on God’s Kingdom, and we share it, imperfect and ungraceful as we are, with others … who are also imperfect (needing forgiveness) and ungraceful as the like us bungle through life, as if we were wild elephants in a china shop.

Crash, Bang, Crash.

Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle

We keep breaking God’s heart of steadfast love. And God keeps on forgiving us and renewing us.

Now that is a simple word and as complicated as moving to live in the mountains and ensuring we can enjoy both sunrise and sunset; The way the world works, we are privileged if we can have either one or the other … but both, and new life? That’s a miracle for which we can give God thanks and praise each day.

The Words of Life

Friday, June 25, 2021

Fly Baby, Fly!

Psalm 91:4

He said, ‘If now I have found favour in your sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.’

John 8:31-32

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’

Words of Grace For Today

Finding favour in God’s sight, and continuing in Jesus’ word; there is nothing better in life, for though we are a stiff necked people, God has pardoned our sins, and given us the promise that we are God’s children, inheritors of all that God has to give.

While the world goes nuts with fake news, deception, and gaslighting of whoever can be had, Jesus gives us the truth and makes us free, free from the all our sins, and free from the losses from others’ sins, and most of all free from all the sheer craziness of life formed from lies, from the foundation on up to the latest addition of the day.

For that we can rest at night and dream of things unreal at night, because during the day all is tied clearly to reality.

So we ask:

Can

A

Canoe

Sit in the dark

And stand against the wind

Alone?

Or does it need company,

Security cameras,

Or chains

To hold it down.

‘Fly baby fly’

Might not

Be the mantra?

Rather the words

that give one heart

are ‘Come, let us see the loons,’

by which we mean the birds on the lake

not the two legged nutters

that waste life from sunrise to sunset.

‘Rest, baby rest,’

in Jesus’ hands

all is well, all is well, all manner of things are well.

God Creates, We Make It Up, Doch Truth is Still Truth

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Seeing the Whole World

In the Tiniest Drop

Of Creation

Ecclesiastes 3:14

I know that whatever God does endures for ever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him.

Romans 11:29

The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Words of Grace For Today

There are plenty of awesome things that exist and events that happen in the universe that give us more than enough cause to pause and stand awestruck, observing what God has done. The moon eclipse this morning is just one small such event. That the planets and moons, sun and stars continue in movement around each other, in galaxies, and more: that super novas bring some of those stars and planets to their end, that black holes absorb even light, that tadpoles in such great swarms survive and grow to become frogs, minnows fish, and puppies full size dogs. The world is full of things marvellous and wonderful, standing for generations as the mountains, canyons, and lakes do, or living a generation as short as a day, or as long as ‘4 score and 20’ or hundreds of years as turtles do.

Our eyes and ears are given to us, made in such a manner, that we can experience the wonder.

Our brains are given to us, made in such a manner, that we can choose … well we can choose so many things, including whether or not to notice and protect as sustainable the things that have stood for generations and the living things that have but a generation on earth, however long that is for each.

The real miracle of God’s creating comes directly at us, us humans who have bodies and minds, and live with more, a spirit. This is something we can only tangentially observe. Though poets, artists, philosophers, theologians, mystics, and scientists of the ‘soft’ sciences make great efforts to give us evidence of what our spirit is, what our spirits are, we are at a loss to fully comprehend and be able to describe what a ‘spirit’ is, what our ‘spirits’ are, or even to definitively establish that ‘spirits’ exist.

Yet by faith we live, adopting well established patterns of thoughts about one person’s spirit, our collective spirits, so that we can proceed through our days with some kind of claimed purpose, order and meaning.

Faith as a living out one’s life as a member of a religion is also such claimed purpose, order and meaning. It is foolish hubris of so many ‘faithful’ people to claim that their religion, their brand of their religion, their particular expression of their religion or their individually tailored, customized, made up faith or spirituality is somehow THE ONE God gave to humans to live by. That foolishness and hubris has fuelled much religious fervour, many wars, and countless lives – and long before death it has cost people their spirit.

The healthy, faithful people know full well their religion is a human construct in response to God’s work and will, that it is fallible, sometimes seriously unhealthy, and always in need of reform yet as a religion that has stood the challenges of time it contains many kernels of life-giving beliefs, beliefs that encourage practices, which in the doing they bring holistic health to the doer and those around, that respect the Creation and Creator, and the many people of the same and of different faiths, whether healthy in their faith or not, yet they are still creatures of God.

In our faith we recognize that God calls every person to their own vocation, their way and manner of participating in the precious life that is given to us all. God does not set us out on into the ‘wilderness’ of the unknown without first well equipping us for the sojourn; God provides us each many of a variety of ‘gifts’, insights, abilities, skills and compassions so that we will find also in the ‘wildernesses’ of our journey’s the great variety of God’s Work, everywhere in the universe from the grandest scale to the tiniest of scale, and more so than in any other way, in the ‘spirit’ of each person.

God’s greatest miracles are always those that transform a human spirit from unhealthy, foolish, hubristic, to life-giving and sharing, wise, and humble … and faithful.

The order that we live with recognizes not all fiction is based on reality, that reality is a definite thing, and lies are lies as truths are truths; we are not lost or snaffle-baffled by corruption’s claims that reality is other than it is. Gone are the Trumpite fantasies, the Covidiocies, false testimony and convictions, and the denials of real science, like the denials of climate change and Covid19’s existence, deadly existence.

Always present are gratitude, generosity, truth, grace and real hope, from the tiniest view of the universe to the grandest view of God’s marvellous creation.

Thanks be to God.

Living by God’s Promise

Sunday, May 23, 2021

We Are Quite Small in All Creation and Time!

God Rules

over All

Daniel 4:31-32

While the words were still in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven: ‘O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: The kingdom has departed from you! You shall be driven away from human society, and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like oxen, and seven times shall pass over you, until you have learned that the Most High has sovereignty over the kingdom of mortals and gives it to whom he will.’

Titus 3:6-7

This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Words of Grace For Today

To those who wish to lord power and destruction over others, to try to build their place in God’s creation and in time, like Nebuchadnezzar, .. to all doers of evil against God, God’s people, and any of God’s creation, God brings judgment and humility. God drives them, like Nebuchadnezzar, away from human society, to dwell with the animals of the field … to eat grass like oxen. All time shall pass over them until they have learned that the Most High has sovereignty over the kingdom of mortals and gives it to whom he will.

The power that God gives to God’s people is not to ‘lord it over’ others.

Rather through Jesus our Saviour we are justified by his grace, so that we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

We live in that hope and promise that life given to us now is abundant, and knowing and trusting this we are freed to live out God’s love for all people, to exercise for all others the same grace that God exercises for us in and through the telling of the old, old story of Jesus and his love.

Living in that promise, no matter what befalls us, no matter what enemies attack us with violence or lies, no matter our health, no matter how we suffer Covid (with illness, threat, or stress of the restrictions placed on our lives, or the lengthening of the pandemic and unnecessary risk Covidiots add to our lives) … no matter our circumstances, we are able to thank God for all we are and have, and to sing each day, Take my life that it may be, consecrated Lord to thee.

Thus we know, trust and live out that all is well, all is well, all manner of things are well with us … for God walks with us and God has sovereignty over the entire universe.

Thanks be to God!

Challenges, Darkness, Light

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Light

Let Us Be Light

For Those In Dark.

Deuteronomy 32:11

As an eagle stirs up its nest, and hovers over its young; as it spreads its wings, takes them up, and bears them aloft on its pinions, so the Lord alone guided him.

Philippians 4:7

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Words of Grace For Today

The challenges we face everyday are not inconsequential.

On our own the Devil always gets us and has his way with us.

God does not abandon us.

Like an eagle providing care for it’s young, God looks after us. Like a loving parent God guides us all our days.

We need not panic, or lose heart, for the peace of God surpasses all understanding, guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, and guides us to be saints, the people of Christ’s light, Christ’s Grace, God’s love for all we encounter.

God’s peace is everything we need for this day, for each day … one day at a time.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

We are as fragile as grass in the deep freeze of winter snows.

And more precious than platinum to God.

Genesis 32:11

Deliver me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I am afraid of him; he may come and kill us all, the mothers with the children.

Luke 19:9

Then Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham.’

Words of Grace For Today

Jacob, the trickster, who stole the birthright and inheritance from his brother, cries to God. Jacob is rightfully afraid that his brother has every right to respond and not kindly. That he will kill everyone in Jacob’s family is a possibility.

So Jacob cries for God to deliver him from his rightful punishment.

If any of us think we are in a different situation before God, we are real fools. Think again.

No one is righteous before God. All of us deserve punishment for our sins. All of us ought to humbly cry to God for deliverance, deliverance from our enemies that we do not deserve.

God responds to Jacob’s cry.

God responds to our cries.

God responds, graciously, mercifully, lovingly forgiving us and delivering us … maybe not from our enemies, but from the Devil and from us losing our souls (heart, mind, body in one whole big loss of our lives).

For we too, by faith in God’s Son, Jesus the Christ, so marked with this faith as a gift given to us freely by God, are also counted among the children of Abraham, God’s own people.

Humble pie.

Desperate pleas!

Gracious Deliverance!

We are in this together: this life, this pandemic, these challenges, … all of it.

God’s creation is a wonderful place to live and share life abundant with others.

Hammer and Fire of God

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Cleansing Fire, Hammer of God

Come, and Come Soon!

Jeremiah 23:29

Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

Luke 12:49

I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

Words of Grace For Today

In the dead-cold of winter (so mild before this week, but no longer at all mild at -36⁰C) a bit of fire is a welcome thing. Vented, directed, contained with plenty of snow at shovel length to put out anything that approaches too much fire, the heat of fire meets the bleeping cold air and provides a livable space.

Most people in homes enjoy the balance of fire against cold as a product of natural gas ignited in a furnace with the heat distributed to the rest of the home by electricity (either an air fan or a water pump.)

There are cautionary tales to be told or rather seen: the house that one day is an example of a grand house on a hill in the woods, and the next a scarred roof line behind an untouched facade, which on closer viewing displays the chimney standing on it’s own with the building around it on the side and back of what used to be a house, missing and what is visible is jagged and charred. A chimney fire it seems consumed a home, hopefully without loss of life. The 5th wheel RV appears setup along side the remains of the house for the remainder of the winter, spring and summer, with the dogs running outside as they usually had.

Fire.

Or

One sees on the news videos of thick smoke and vehicles making their collective and slow exit out of Fort McMurray as wildfires wipe out huge areas of the city.

Or

One sees the photos of a railroad accident fire that has burst and melted rail cars and rails themselves.

Or in a figurative understanding of fire:

From Mistakes – Despair, Inc. At https://despair.com/products/mistakes

It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others. Not every life can be a success, just like not every vessel can be seaworthy. But there’s no shame in being one spectacular shipwreck.

God’s Word is like all that, taking what is evil in the world, what is evil and sinful in us, and burning it up like chaff ….

Ah, what a fire that will be!

God’s Word always is a two edged sword, cutting away evil, also from us, among us, and from within each of us!

The Word of God cleanses with fire, and what a fire it is already in us!

The Word of God cuts away and burns away our sin and evil, and cleanses us, pure and righteous! By Grace we live through the cleansing fire.

God provides more than an RV replacement for a home. God provides us a home in the New Jerusalem, the City of God, the New Creation.

For some of us so connected to nature in our existence God provides that we need not move into a city; God provides a home in the wilds of nature’s wonders and beauty.

God’s cleansing fire that Jesus brings is destructive, powerful and wonderfully just. We pray it will be kindled soon among us. We pray the hammer of God will break apart Evil from within us and from among us, so that all will have homes, all will have food, all will have a good life, an abundant life!

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.