Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 19

Monday, October 19, 2020

Out there … Alone.

Whether it seems we stand alone, like the tree, or the ice house, where everyone passes us by, or turns far away from us,

God created us all,

and we are ALL in this together!

Psalm 146:7

Who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry? The Lord sets the prisoners free.

John 8:36

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Words of Grace For Today

Who executes justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry, and sets the prisoners free?

We should all do this each day!

Do we? Not many and not much! We leave this to God to do.

Who frees humans from their captivity, the real captivity that robs life from us, the captivity to sin (to turn away from God and try to make our way in life on our own, almost always at other people’s expense … so that people are oppressed by our efforts to get ahead in life, so that people go hungry while we are well fed and live in superfluous comfort, so that people are imprisoned for telling the truth as we lie in order to gain and retain our ill-gotten privileges and wealth!

Yes! Who executes justice, feeds the hungry and sets prisoners free when we are the oppressors, the one’s who take away food, and lie to have people imprisoned?

We leave it to God!

And God’s people step forward to undo the injustice, hunger, and falsely imprisonment that we cause … and ignore … or worse, celebrate, as if the one’s we’ve done these atrocities to are our enemies.

They are not. They are God’s people, on this sojourney in life with us.

Thanks be to God, God’s Son, Jesus the Christ, came to live, heal, forgive, die, and be resurrected that we might know God chooses to free us from our captivity to sin.

The Son frees us, and we are free indeed!

Free to be the one’s to bring true justice to the oppressed so no one need fear their neighbour or the authorities’ bullying, false arrests, and robbing of life; to feed the hungry so no one is hungry or without the basic necessities of life; and to set the prisoners free so that no one is falsely convicted or falsely imprisoned, and more …

so that all people will know that God’s Son has set us all free from captivity to sin … we can trust that God will bring out of us all the goodness that God created us and all of creation to be.

That’s such a fundamental revolution in the way people think, speak and write, and act that so many people resist this freedom.

And the injustice, hunger for daily bread, and false imprisonments continue and even increase.

It is no solution to turn on (and try to exterminate like the pests they are) the bullies, the oppressors, those who take, deprive others of, and hoard the daily food available in creation, and those who hold others in prison cells or poverty in a reserve or in a land distant and separate. Others will only replace those who are exterminated, and those who exterminated others simply become the oppressors.

God wants a victory for all, a double victory (as Martin Luther King Jr. called it), a victory where everyone is free. God does not delight in an evil person’s death. God delights in Jesus setting them free.

What else did we think God created all this universe, and us in it, for, but for us all to live, choose, love, and hope freely … all by Grace alone?

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Sept 23

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fall Arrives with Colours

in the Light.

There’s old stories in all that.

Isaiah 25:8

He will swallow up death for ever. Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.

2 Corinthians 5:4

For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

Words of Grace For Today

In a word it’s done: God swallows up death, wipes our tears away, takes away our disgrace from earth!

While under this tent (the firmament, the sky) we groan burdened down. We wish not to be disgraced further by being stripped of everything of life. Rather we wish to be robed in Christ’s glorious robes, so that what is mortal, frail, and failing (sinful) in us will be swallowed by God’s Word, which gives us and all creatures and plants life, and indeed brought the universe to exist in its good order from nothing.

There is disgrace before other people, sometimes deserved, more often fabricated by others to destroy innocent people. This is difficult to bear, until one realizes that the fabricating of disgrace 1) has been going on since the first generation, 2) it does not constitute actual disgrace for us, but 3) it does constitute real disgrace for those who fabricate disgrace for us. Still this disgrace is a terrible burden to bear.

In the scheme of the universe created in good order disgrace before others (real or fabricated) is nothing compared to disgrace before God. Fabricating disgrace for others is only one way in which so many disgrace themselves before God. The Devil has his wiles in endless variety.

While disgraced before others we groan with the burdens of trying to survive each day. We seek relief in so many ways. So many require that we throw off life, what little we have left, and throw away all that is of value and joy in this mundane world. As if disconnecting ourselves from our bodies, from the grass, trees, and lakes and oceans, from other people whom we love and whom love us, and from other people who suffer like us and so much worse. Tossing away life given to us by our Creator cannot give us life. This is another wile of the Devil. It merely furthers our disgrace.

Disgrace seems to swallow up all of life, before others, and before God. Death pales in comparison and merely gives relief from disgrace.

God does not leave it to be so. God speaks a Word. With a Word (of might beyond our imagining) God removes our disgrace from all creation. God robes us in Christ’s glorious robes of unconditional love. Death is swallowed up by God’s giving us re-newed life, life in Christ’s name.

With a Word. God speaks and it is so.

Human masters can speak words and order others to make it so. God speaks and all of creation is so.

More power cannot be.

And this power clothes us in Christ’s righteousness, covering our sins, our disgrace, freeing us from disgrace fabricated by others, and we are able to engage fully in life, for ourselves and more. We are able to follow Christ, sacrificing all we are and have and can do in order that others will hear this Word of life.

Hallelujah!

This is the old, old story of Jesus and his love.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Aug 26

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Left Behind

Left Behind by Accident or as Sacrifice?

Christ reconciles us to God, no sacrifice required!

We have a blemish free record, no matter how many ‘gloves’ we’ve lost.

Isaiah 43:24-25

You have not bought me sweet cane with money, or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins; you have wearied me with your iniquities. I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.

Colossians 1:21-22

You who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him.

Words of Grace For Today

The sacrifices made to God have changed through the centuries and generations. Once we offered birds, animals, and before that other people, even children. We knew that, having done something wrong, having sinned, we owed God payment for our sins.

When we know we have sinned our minds recognize how estranged we’ve made ourselves from God. Knowing what we’ve done we become hostile to God as well.

We ‘dig our own grave’. Yet God does not leave us there.

No sacrifice by us is sufficient to pay for what we have done, and continue to do, and will do. God knew this, knows this. God sent Jesus, his Son, to sacrifice himself, the one last sacrifice needed to set things right between us and God, between all humans and God.

Nothing is needed on our part.

Now since God sets us right with God, holy and blameless … well the possibilities are astronomical, and wondrous.

Jesus calls us and the Holy Spirit equips us to be the voice, hands, and feet of Christ on earth, extending unconditional love to others, providing justice based on truth combined with mercy and wisdom, and blessing all people with more than just the basics of life. As the Holy Spirit equips us we can offer others abundant life. That may require sacrifice on our part, yet all we have is given to us, so it is not really ours to give up, it is ours to share with everyone.

Makes for a wondrous life for us, and for all people.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Devotions – May 21

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Imperfect Reflections

Evil Uses Imperfect Reflections of God’s Will

to Guide Us to Our Destruction

Psalms 97:10

The Lord loves those who hate evil; he guards the lives of his faithful; he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.

Ephesians 4:15

Speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

How does one say this: some people are stupid. In Canada, one does not say this in polite company. Is this right? Or maybe the question is wrong. It should be: Is this the best we can say?

This past week campers have gathered as every year for the first weekend of the summer. In the random camping area where I live on crown land, there were no restrictions possible to limit units to every other campsite, since no official campsites are designated. There are unofficial ‘campsites’ well established though. Established enough that they are named.

Doublesite is the first site on the left as one enters the area. It has the end of the circle-road bisecting, after it loops through to the main campsites and just before it joins the entrance road again. It’s large enough open space to easily fit three (four are tight) camper units on one side of the road and two units and two large tents on the other side, though more are possible. This weekend three units circled tightly the central campfire (not fired up, thankfully with the fire ban on). Tents were pitched on the other side, but only one or two. People and especially the half dozen pre-teen children freely mingled and met around the toys and food tables.

There seemed to be little concern for Covid 19 physical distance restrictions. Someone will get killed from Covid 19 because of their carelessness.

Rightsite is the first site on the right as one enters the camping area. It has a 100 metre separate roadway through trees into it’s wide opening around a huge campfire pit. A favourite site, it is usually occupied by one unit, maybe two units. There are two pathways/roadways leading away from it where other units can fit into, though it’s not all that optimal. It can work though as a group campsite and occasionally it is just that.

This weekend a bus and three camper units, plus three tents were squeezed in around the campfire pit. Set off by itself it was hard to see whether a fire was lit. But the space hardly allowed for anything but absurdly normal interactions between the people with so many units filling the area, with no concern for Covid 19 restrictions of any kind. Someone will get killed from Covid 19 because of their carelessness.

Along the loop further past the winter landing for ice fishers, two sites (Lake 1 and Lake 2) sit between the road and the lake, within 5 metres of the water. This weekend the first was empty, but the second was occupied by one unit, a truck, a truck pulling a boat, and a third crossover vehicle.

Around at the end of the loop, before it returns through Doublesite a number of roadways intertwine between the trees making up Website. Usually one or sometimes two units fit back there, not necessarily camping together. This weekend it hosted three camper units and three tents, and twice that many vehicles, with vehicles coming and going all weekend long. The older teenagers and early 20-year-olds carried on like it was a regular bush party, drinking, making lots of noise, louder as the night wore on, tossing frisbees, and setting up drinking games (with shared bottles). After they left there were a number of areas a short ways into the woods with used toilet paper and not quite empty toilet paper rolls strewn about. Someone will get killed from Covid 19 because of their carelessness. Can you spell Darwin Awards?

And at night, the perpetrators unknown, someone lit off a series of fireworks, despite the fire-ban. If they had started a wildfire the dry conditions and the huge amount of dry junk brush in the woods and dead trees would have sent an inferno rolling through and out of here.

Can one say ‘stupid’ loud enough and long enough? With Covid 19 restrictions, who knows when firefighters enough may appear to control it! Who knows how much property would have been destroyed and how many lives would have been lost!

In Cold Lake itself, when I go shopping typically people breach a one metre physical distance from me on a regular basis despite my best efforts to avoid them, forget about 2 metres. I sat at the tailgate of the borrowed truck picking up hardware from Canadian Tire. No less than a dozen people walked past me, all within a foot, two at the most. I finally pulled out a 6 foot stick that I use to pull things out of the 6 foot truck-bed and propped it against the tailgate out onto the pavement easily covering the area where all those people had walked. It forced the next dozen to walk at least 1 metre away from me, and most did that and no more, cutting from the corner right past me at the tailgate.

I’ve heard people foolishly say that there is no Covid 19 in Cold Lake. 2 tested cases were reported, but the military do not report their cases, nor could Cold Lake report an outbreak or real numbers lest threats to Canada could know our military is unable to respond due to illness.

Can one say ‘stupid’ loud enough and long enough? Someone will get killed from Covid 19 because of their carelessness.

As Monday noon rolled around the vehicle noise from that end of the camp area increased, then settled down. I sat writing and out the window off to one side I saw a black something move across the narrow view. I stood up and peered out the window where I might see the whatever if it kept moving the same direction. Nothing, then from behind the borrowed truck meandered a young adult black bear, nosing about for food. Coming right toward me, it was no more than 3 metres away, through the window.

I grabbed a camera to get a few shots. Then as the bear continued to poke about and started toward the camper itself I started shouting. At first there was no response, then the bear slowly changed it’s slow meandering course away from the camper back toward where it had emerged from the roadway to the rest of the camp area.

This young bear has already learned that human campsites are a source of food. That makes for a dangerous bear, one that is not afraid of humans, one that will easily attack humans. Someone is going to get hurt, badly and likely killed eventually, before this bear’s life ends. Who left food out and when so that this bear learned humans are a source of food?

The Bear Truth:

Someone Taught this Bear

Humans Mean Food!

Can one say ‘stupid’ loud enough and long enough?

One can, but is it the wisest or best thing to say?

As we grow up into Christ we learn to hate evil, but to speak graciously and gently about others sinfulness. We remember our own and all that Christ forgives us. We extend that grace towards other sinners.

We speak the truth (about our and their sinfulness) with love (the same love God exercises for us in Christ, that erases those sins.)

The truth is, the population is rebelling against the present restrictions. Even the restrictions are not strong enough to stop Covid 19 from spreading; they will just slow it down to avoid spikes in cases that overwhelm the health care system. If we were under restrictions strong enough to stop Covid 19 from spreading, we would be in full rebellion.

Speaking the truth in love sometimes meaning saying what can be said to get people to do what can be done, and not trying to do what cannot be done, so that people rebel and do nothing to help reduce the dangers we face.

Lake 2 was the only campsite where a bunch of garbage was left scattered behind, (if one does not mention the used toilet paper around Website) though the fire-pits everywhere seem to be treated as if they were garbage cans. So there is that to thank all these campers for: comparatively little mess to clean up after them!

Now feeding that bear, intentionally or inadvertently by leaving food or garbage out for it to find … there just is no excuse for that.

Come to think of it, there is no real excuse for any sin, or for any of us to participate in evil. Yet we keep doing it, thinking it will bring us life.

Only life lived out of God’s Grace brings us and others life.

Be everything good and gracious you can be. At your worst, be kind. That will get you and yours through every challenge in these times when we are ripe pickings for the Devil’s temptations to call others ‘stupid’.

God’s Beauty

Perfectly Created

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Apr 18

Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Laws of Physics. An Empty Glove Grows Cold Even in the Light

The Law, Greater than an Empty Hand

Jeremiah 8:7

Even the stork in the heavens knows its times; and the turtle-dove, swallow, and crane observe the time of their coming; but my people do not know the ordinance of the Lord.

Romans 2:14

When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves.

Words of Grace For Today

Today all to often sinful people (like us) rationalize anything and everything, as if truth, goodness, purity, and obedience were all relative or in the eye of the beholder or fully dependent on one’s perspective.

Quatsch!

Absolute reality does exist, and those who pretend that they can change reality so that they get to take control and rule over others, are only working out the Devil’s own way.

The ordinances, the Law of God, given in the Old Testament, were not equivocal. Generations spent countless hours interpreting, applying and writing guides to them, but that never changed the Law given by God. Reality is reality. God is God. Law is Law.

Do not murder. Do no commit adultery. Do not steal. Do bear false witness. Do not covet.

These are not complicated, yet a life long challenge to obey.

Jesus’ command is simpler: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength! Love your neighbour as yourself, and your enemy.

Jesus’ command is a greater challenge to obey, for instead of proscribing destructive behaviour, Jesus prescribes life-giving behaviour. Jesus’ command impacts everything we think, say and do!

Of course one does not need to hear Jesus’ commands to be able to love God and all people.

On the other hand just because we are baptized hardly means that we will love God and all people. So we need to hear the command again and again, so that we remember what the Holy Spirit equips us to be able and ready to do, each and every day of our lives.

None of us are above God’s law, or above Jesus’ command to love God and all people.

Following the law perfectly is impossible. We remain sinners who break it constantly, but that does not mean that we can pretend the Law does not exist, that we will not break it, and that we are not condemned for those breaches. We are only saved by Grace. That we are saved by Grace alone inspires us to forgive others as we are forgiven.

What a beautiful world that makes, for we are in it, together.

2020 Apr 11 How to Grow During Covid 19

The Un-Secrets to Ministry Growth During Covid 19

The Word, the Light.

The Light is Glorious! Do you see?

Do you want the Word, Jesus Christ, to reach more and more people?

Do you want to grow the body of Christ, to share the Good News with new people, to provide ministry to more people than you have before?

Most pastors and leaders of congregations would say, Yes?

But are you willing to get the things done to make that happen?

Most pastors and leaders would say yes, but …. And then not do what is necessary.

So what if Covid 19 has shut down gatherings, including worship services. Our hearts and brains still live on, right?

Why is Covid 19 not an opportunity to reach more people?

It is easier to get someone to ‘participate in’, to ‘visit’, or to ‘try out’ a church on line than in person. So why are the churches not capitalizing on that?

Yes, some are putting together online worship opportunities, so severely limited by the brick and mortar model of worship, that it’s painful to watch the results, but then worship in person has often been that, too. No wonder memberships decline. Or worse is for it all to become an entertainment hour where the real Word of God is hardly a bother.

Assets

Intentional Interim Ministry teaches (as many elsewhere, too) that the way to grow a church is to build on the church’s assets, on your own assets.

Trinity’s Music as a good start

Look at Trinity Lutheran Church’s worship offered via a link from their website http://www.trinity-lutheran.ab.ca/ to Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIBh_NH2X34&feature=youtu.be#t=0s

Prelude & Postlude

Among Trinity’s assets are it has a cathedral style building with a pipe organ, and an organist in Cherie Larson who knows how to make it ‘sing’, and other musicians who contribute at a very professional level to enliven worship with profoundly meaningful music.

Trinity also tapped someone who is a professional quality photographer and a video editor to create an entrance/prelude collage and exit/postlude collage of photos, set to music which is an excellent experience to take in on Youtube (better than actually entering the brick and mortar building!)

So far, so good!

Hymns

Then for hymns for the worship service, the music (from the hymnal?) with words and musical notes are presented on the screen while the music is professionally produced for the audio track, also a joy to experience. It is as good as if one is there in person (almost – since other congregants voices are missing – but one hardly notices that lack since it is still terrific to experience as it is done.) No two hymns are presented in the same way. Different instruments and voice-collections are used for each hymn. Nothing is merely good enough and then boringly the same. Always a variety brings out the best in the music of the hymn presented, reflecting the content of the hymn in the best possible way.

So far, getting better.

The rest of Trinity’s worship can be skipped over so as not to detract from the worship experience. But read on to how easy it would be to make all profoundly wondrous.

God’s House?

The Body of Christ, the Church is not made of Brick and Mortar or Wood

So what’s missing?

Missing are liturgy, scripture readings, sermon and prayers that reflect the Good News they are intended to be, instead of half efforts to fulfill an obligation whatever that is.

Readings and Words spoken need to sing!

Readings of the biblical texts for the day, can be read with heart, clarity and meaning that convey the content of the lessons. Why present worship without scripture, and scripture presented like it truly is God’s Word to us, in all its glory.

Liturgy can easily be presented, like the hymns, so that one can participate. Again reflecting God’s Word to us in all its glory.

A sermon ought memorably reflects the lessons of the day, the news of the day, and God’s life-giving Word meeting us in our sinful/God-made saintly lives. It is not that difficult to present a sermon in a manner that makes it as profound an experience as the entrance/prelude or the hymns. Of course a sermon ought to reflect the theology of the cross, of grace, and of hope that inspired us to become pastors in the first place.

Other worship material can also easily be presented so that people can participate (like the hymns are presented to be participated in.)

How come these other pieces of the worship are not as good as the music? It’s not because they cannot be. I’ve experienced them at Trinity to be as good, and not. And at a great number of other churches, both as tremendously good and woefully poor. What is it anyway that we fail to be inspired (inwardly animated to engage in the profound in-breaking of the divine in our life at that moment) leading worship, as Pastors and as lay people?

So what could be done?

This is not just for Trinity, but for every congregation out there that dares to ask, how can we reach and minister to and provide care for even more people, especially during this crisis?

What are your assets?

Can someone do music well for the congregation?

Can someone do photography well for the congregation?

Can someone do video editing well for the congregation?

Can you do your own great version of Trinity’s Prelude/Postlude?

Note: the photography for all the photos throughout the service cannot be just pictures; Trinity’s are professional photos taken with great care to present what is there with the best light, composition, and tone! That is not simple or easy to reduplicate. But if you want to do this well, good photography is a minimum!

Note: the music is not just any music played sort of well. It is the right music for the season, for the experience of entering worship. That is not simple or easy to reduplicate. But if you want to do this well, good music is a minimum!

What to do to make this worship profound through the whole service?

What could make the ‘talking head’ sections of worship not just better but profoundly inspiring to experience?

How about the best lighting, composition, and tone set up for the recording of the Pastor/Readers?

How about putting the Pastor – even a still photo (especially if you cannot figure out good photography while recording video of the readings)- standing at the altar, or at the lectern or in the pulpit as is appropriate?

How about not presenting the Pastor sitting?

How about not presenting the ‘talking head’ throughout the section being presented?

How about starting with the live/still Pastor/Reader photos/videos, and then on top of the continuing audio using photos or video that reflect the meaning of the audio beneath?

Or animated [Lego] for the children? See https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1721092675775 and for the back story: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/lego-video-coronavirus-1.5524282

The Path

The Path Before Us May be Difficult

What not to do?

Do not present amateur photos or video or audio. Make it better than just good. Make it profoundly good!

Every human is a precious person, created in God’s image.

There is no human face that cannot be photographed to be engaging!

So do not present photos or videos that present any presenter (Pastor or lay) as washed out, greyed out, or old and tired.

Plain words are better than bad photos of the reader!

Same goes for voices! Remember, these voices carry the Word of God. Do not present almost dead, hard to hear, or confused voices. They ought to be professionally-played-on-a-pipe-organ music to one’s ears, heart, and soul! (Pastors: if you do not know how to do this then now is finally the opportunity to learn. Start with understanding the words and the Word they proclaim! The words ought to stir your spirit when you say them! Edit and practice saying them until they do!)

What is required to do this (much, so far)?

Equipment (computer and software) to record music.

Equipment (computer and software) to record ‘talking heads’.

A good [cell] camera, computer and software to produce the photos.

Equipment (computer and software) to edit video

A photographer.

A videographer. (these may be the same person, even one of the readers, pastors, or musicians.)

A website with Youtube posting or link capabilities.

A Youtube account.

Musicians, Pastor, Readers,

The Holy Spirit – is already ready to inspire everyone!

The Online Worship Results

So the worship experience on the church’s website is as terrific as it can be, worth participating in, something anyone would be proud to provide the link to, to anyone.

It’s all good enough to go viral and (not be an embarrassment to anyone, rather it would) make everyone proud to be part of the effort!

Now What? ‘Shoe Leather’ is Required

Now What!?

Now it’s the same as a mission church: share the good news.

Distribute hard copy invitations to be distributed (carefully protected as VIRUS CLEAN – state on the papers what precautions are taken to ensure the papers are CLEAN!)

Distribute them to members at home (lots of driving, but get it done, at least once!) Think about distributing already consecrated elements at the same time, in quantity to last a few months for all bound to the limits of home.

Give members multiple copies of the invite and encourage them to make more copies or ask for more if they need them.

Ask them to share the invitations with everyone they know, and anyone who is lonely! That’s a whole lot of people now!

In the neighbourhood around the church, hit the pavement with many persons working alone, putting the invitations in mailboxes -careful to be virus clean!

Why now?!

Because we can!

Because it’s God’s Word!

Because people are more in need of some contact, and open to responding to invitations online and have time to respond!

Because people are hurting, and hurting people are the people the church (historically, if not your church) cares about, and cares for!

Because it is why we live and breathe!

Because the hard work is rent for the air we breathe!

Do you want your congregation to grow, or it’s ministry to reach more people!?

Answer with your actions.

Chop Chop

Chop Chop, there’s work to be done!

Comments are welcome back to

shm AT prwebs DOT

Rev. Tim Lofstrom

Who am I? I know whose I am and who I am, but maybe you do not. I am:

Photographer, writer, blogger, and erstwhile Euphonium player and student of music.

B.A. summa cum laude from Concordia with CREDO honors, M.Div. from Yale, one year scholarship at Justus Liebig Universität, and 16 years parish experience spread over 4 decades, spouse to a parish pastor for over 3 decades.

Also commercial pilot; stay at home father; instructor at community colleges for computers; bookkeeping, photography; MCSE (NT4), ran a computer business for 8 years; and built a house with my own hands after retiring in my 40’s as a pastor in order to pull my pension as seed money for a home for my family.

Now: homeless, my reputation ruined thorough gaslighting even as I did laudably also for children, still creating photos, writing, and celebrating the Eucharist to remember who I am in the face of who people lie to say I am other.

http://www.prwebs.com/

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Apr 6

Monday, April 6, 2020

Look for the beauty no matter how small. Be guided by Beauty and Truth.

Hosea 8:12

Though I write for him the multitude of my instructions, they are regarded as a strange thing.

John 18:37

Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’

Words of Grace For Today

Sometimes we cannot see anything straight, so blinded by our greed, envy, guilt, and anxiety. Some political satirists refuse to use Trump for material anymore. His lies are no longer at all humorous. Asked on Jan 22 whether the US should be concerned about a pandemic, he responded: “No, not at all. We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” Trump’s lies have deadly consequences. As I write this predictions give 100k and 240k deaths in the US, alone. But before we defend this man, or attack him further, Stop. Think. Confess.

We all do this out of anxiety, guilt, envy or greed. We lie, even to ourselves. God speaks, we regard God’s Word as a strange thing, in order that we can carry on in our sinful ways.

Jesus came into the world to testify to the truth. No matter who we are, or what we say, no matter what we believe or disbelieve, Jesus was born to demonstrate the truth to us at it’s core. God loves us, all of us, even when we lie to ourselves and others about real important things in life. God sent Jesus to save us from our own lies, so that we can listen once again to Jesus’ voice: Love one another as yourself, even your enemies.

Stupid Deadly Things I’ve Heard Today

Interspersed with Truth and Beauty

You probably should be able to tell the difference!

Golden Grass

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

If it’s just white,

It just snowed really heavily.

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

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

money problems.

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

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

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

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

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

Dull Light, Dull Brain All White

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

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

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

The Spanish flu killed in a few hours.

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

The Spanish flu killed 50 to 100 million people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s the big deal.

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

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

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

to share their experiences.

Wolf or Potato

Wolf Moon 2020 January

It’s not there yet or here yet,

but it’s really nearly here,

.

Light Night

Light of Night

Moon full of light,

Blazing Cold, Square Cold, Deep Cold

so a bit chilly, one might saw.

.

No Potato

No Potato

No Potato, But a Bit of Light on Snow, and Walla!

Or if one tries to peel a potato outside it might be the last potato or

anything else that might be peeled by one,

such as a bell.

Bells ring, for joy, for alarm.

What’s alarming in your life?

That many people regularly bully others in order to get their way with them.

A crime, it is, most, that no one cares for the most part about bullying by adults of adults.

Just when bullying is done to children … or vulnerable women.

What would one want? Justice.

Justice of course, laced with compassion. God’s way of being God.

We Regret

To inform you

That the duel at high noon

The Full Light of Day Was a No Show

The Full Light of Day Was a No Show

.

Was

(

You may be interested to know

Since you appear to

Have invested your everything

On the light

)

Lost

To the oncoming shadows’

Cold train of

Darkness

.

Due to the

Failure of light

E=MC2 and all

To make a

Full

Appearance.

.

Fits with the millions of letters and texts to karma:

Here’s a list of people you seem to have missed.

.

But The

Christ is born

To bear all this

Having borne all sins

Being born

without a father but within full blown scandal.

Sheltered by a good stepfather.

Of progeny from beyond the firmament and stars.

Divine progeny fit into human skin and all.

Bearing the light and life victorious

For all.

.

Shadows long at noon

Do nothing to separate

Us from the love of God.