A Refresher Course …

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Just a Few Drops,

and The Promise

is

Spectacular.

Relief From the Heat!

1 Samuel 12:24

Only fear the Lord, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.

Romans 12:11

Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Words of Grace For Today

There is great cause to fear God. God, with a whim and a sigh, can send the universe spinning back into nothingness, or any small part. A single mosquito, though I’d prefer a whole bunch around here, or one of us, with no more than a word, God can smite us back out of existence and remove us from the timeline.

Why serve the Lord then? Why not try to make it on out own?

Out of fear? Are we to serve God because we fear him?

That will not get us far, or rather it will send us far away from God (even as God is with as nonetheless).

We are to fear and love God because first God has done such great things for us. Like creating us in the universe. Like saving our sorry butts again and again, freeing us from our sins, even when we keep going right back to them! Like bringing us out of slavery into the Promised Land. Like adopting us as God’s own children in our baptisms. Like walking with us even when we run away, and especially on the darkest stretches of life.

Thus we come to serve God with zeal. For in God we know we are saved, nestled in care and love, and protected from all Evil … oh, and given every hope even when we despair.

In the heat of the day, God sometimes reminds us how great God is. It rains. While it’s been 32⁰ out and much hotter in the sun, and humid, and sticky, and it’s so close inside even if it is a few degrees not so hot, we breath heavily and sweat a lot.

Then it rains hard and heavy for a few minutes, dropping large drops everywhere, freshening the ground and the air is heavenly … and cooled down to a comfortable 19⁰. Great for sleeping a good night’s sleep. So there’s that, too! And all our enemies are stymied by God knows what, and we live safely. So much for which to give God thanks. So with what is left in life we serve God, and God alone.

For we breathe.

Just Right

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Fresh, Clean, Wet Morning

Psalm 139:9-10

If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.

Matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And

Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Words of Grace For Today

Some mornings the joy of life permeates everything (despite all the possibilities of so much shtako colouring the view)!

Everything is wonderful today. The monster has eaten it’s fill of dry wood and produces in return warm dry heat to dry out the wet towels and clothes that need drying every day. Outside the rain falls on and off heavy, pounding the air clear, washing the camp clean. The rain is cool. The air is fresh, refreshing coming in the windows, countering the intense heat available from the monster (the wood stove that eats so much wood in the cold winter weeks). I pull two spoons full from a newly opened can of coffee and the aroma fills the small living space. The water boils briskly on the monster so I need not spend propane for that this morning, a savings when every savings is life. Great creamy Silk half-n-half with coffee coffee in the mug warms my hands, minimizing the arthritic pains, and soothing my throat all the way down! Creamy tart berries wait on my cereal where every spoonful is both smooth and crunchy, sweat-creamy and biting with Vitamin C in the black berries.

It’s a new month. The start of the second half the year, so it’s a new log file, crisp and clean. The calendar pages get turned up and held with tape for the small calendar, and up and over the board for the large calendar.

Since it’s not cold outside freezing the living daylights out of everything, I need no monster heat to survive. It’s like grits, ‘its extra, only 25 cents.’ And that (the gathering of an armful of small wood sticks) I can afford today. Maybe not in four months, but today I’ll burn this resource, upon which my life depends in the winter.

The heavy rain lets up, the sun shines in the windows, the birds start to sing and the stupid squirrels (and 2-legged animals) are silent so far this day. All seems just right.

I’ll take it. It’s rare.

Today, a holiday weekend, I’ll take a break from ‘going to the nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to obey.’ Or maybe I’ll be able to, we will see what this day brings.

These are small celebrations of life, enjoyed fully, before it is taken, shaken, and made nearly impossible by my ex’s lies (added to by so many, even the judges) in court. (What illness, evil, and cruelty bring people to lie so profusely and then defend the lies as if they had become truth? Some say it is the necessity of relieving conflict by scapegoating innocent people. Some say it is as good as it gets. Some say the lies do become truth. Most people bury their heads in the sand, unwilling to realize that this kind of lying in court is what brings violence to the doors of governments and courts and individuals. When you live by the lie, unfortunately you will die by the lie as well. If you are to uphold justice and you dispense injustice based on lies, allowing that barbarism to play a part in so many people’s lives – those that benefit and those destroyed by your lies – really a barbarism in themselves – then it should be no surprise that those who are violent will rise up and cut out of society those liars and injustice-dispensers. Once barbarism is in play, it will dominate, as easily and surely as Omicron.)

But let’s set that aside for a few more days, and not let the evil of it ruin these days. It will have it’s deadly effect soon enough.

Now and always, I rest in the peace of knowing that Jesus is with me always, to the end of the age

This morning I’ll take the wings of the morning and sing with the Psalmist:

If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.

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.

Out for a Bit of Beauty

Out for a Bit of Beauty

Before the showers of the day a quick paddle around the lake at sunrise caught the goodness of light and life.

The colours against the sky reach from reeds to single tree.

 

 

 

The colours are not the greatest but it’s as good as it gets. Fall cool has hit and the leaves are turning, ready for the winter to come.

 

After a day of soft rain showers a walk through the freshly washed world worked wonders.

 

 

The road lined by birch sentinels keep watch though all atrocities still perpetually ruin plants and creatures alike.

 

 

The entrance after rain is less easily traversed, keeping undedicated traffic to a minimum.

 

 

The traffic is still high enough for stupidity to persist.
Can you find it?

 

Flowers colour the forest floor.
(OK, not quite flowers.)

 

 

The dreary evening light is obvious here.

 

And less here

 


Until one compares it the morning light before a day of raining gently.

 

 

How wonderful it is to live in the midst of such beauty,

and to live so well,

Despite loved ones become enemies by their choice lying and wreaking havoc in my life to try to ruin in.

Who has time or energy for revenge, though new enemies treat me as if I would somehow allow anger to ruin my life?

God will judge those who have participated, who have maltreated me, who have tried to contribute to my ruin. That judgement is more real and more profoundly problematic than any revenge I could seek.

As for me, I can choose again and again to forgive,
to bind and move on,
or ignore the work of evil against me or the stupidity that it masquerades as.

Live Peace.

Enjoy.

Breathe.

The wonders of fresh water astound and point to the goodness of the Creator.

After the Storm Does Anyone See Us

After the Storm Does Anyone See Us?
It was not much of a storm
just snow and white and wet and cool and windy windy windy …
but
when it passed
the beauty is by comparison
even more wonderful

 

 

The trees shine

Red on green in winter.

 

 

 

And on the sun setting the fog catches and holds the red for all to see.

The trees hold the sun one last moment in light.

 

 

 

 

 

The tracks go off as always

To just another nowhere, anywhere, here-where.
Here, does the world know that we are here?
I know you have got people who know you are there, but
Do you even know we are here? Do you know where here is?

Do you know who we are?
Do you know who you are?

Isn’t that the joy … of being able to ask,
And not know but think it’s possible to consider an answer is possible
Eventually?
Like the storm that eventually passes,
and leaves a beauty
that is that more enjoyable.

What is worth showing?

What is worth showing, yet alone keeping?

I wake to the rain at 5 am. It was forecast to start at 8, an hour after sunrise, so there go my plans for a canoe outing to take sunrise photos. I’m not up for working the camera in the rain on the lake in a canoe, without the equipment to protect the equipment that I do still have.

So at 6 I’m up, doing maintenance things, and the rain has stopped, so I still head out, still in bathrobe, to catch just a few photos as the sunrises. There is little spectacular light large, but there are all sorts of images in the light to be taken and considered. But what is worth even looking at, yet alone keeping.

Well here are representatives of what are the results, just the jpg’s. The raw files are too large to post. And each photo is shot in a shutterspeed bracket set of 3. The camera’s correct exposure guess. 2 stops darker (faster shutter speed, same aperture as set, same ISO) and 2 stops lighter (slower shutter speed, same aperture as set, same ISO). Not all the bracketing results in three usable images, yet alone good images, as you can see from some of the selections.

Representatives of all the shots (27 of 164):

The first three are a complete set of bracketed shots:

One had an interesting effect, though, but not worth much more than curiosity as I moved the zoom during the shot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the question is what really is good enough of these to keep, to share, to show?

And that is as much of photography as working the camera to the light and the dance of life.

Here are the keepers, already seen above.

 

 

Regrowth after the chainsaw’s work.

 

 

The morning invitation: go out and see.

 

 

Reeds, Reflected, Resting

 

 

Autumn is coming

 

 

Clear to the bottom

 

 

Using a zoom

 

 

The forest floor, freshly rained on

 

 

All the view

 

 

A little red goes a long way
 

Bend in the wind like grass, or break in the wind like trees.

But in the end the mortality rate is 100%.

 

 

And then there is the possibility of using software to improve the photos, or to make HDR images from the bracketed shots. But that for another time.
On to the grind.