Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Can We Choose

To Move to the Far Shores

And Posses the Land There?

Is it Fate, or God’s Will?

Or Greedy Human Ambition That Will Only Destroy Us?

Jeremiah 32:42

For thus says the Lord: Just as I have brought all this great disaster upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good fortune that I now promise them.

1 John 3:2

Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.

Words of Grace For Today

Today we exercise our human capacities to accomplish work that we endeavour to complete. It is often work that puts us one step closer to a goal, towards a future that we see possible for ourselves or for other people. Some goals are little more than our survival, or others’ survival. Most often even those are some variation of survival plus a better life. It is honourable to wish others to have more than the bare minimum to survive, to enjoy life abundant as God promises us all people can have. It is honourable to strive to have life abundant ourselves, to have a measure of security against those things that endanger our survival. These are the blessings of God for us that we can give them to others.

We create real evil for ourselves and many other people when we try to create securities that protect us from what we cannot protect ourselves, for then there is no end to what we take out of life for ourselves, and we inevitably take it from others at others’ expense (sometimes even their lives) and we find ourselves incapable of giving to others that which we’ve taken from others. We hoard it for ourselves.

This is all about freewill. God gave humans freewill, and we certainly exercise it, both in the beauty of love for others and all of creation … BUT also in the ugly greed and avarice that robs others and all creation of life itself.

Jeremiah expresses an ancient view of freewill. We may think we have freewill, but God at least partially intervenes and brings woe as punishment for sin and blessings as reward for righteousness to God’s people.

The Vikings TV show portrays the exploits of Ragnar Lothbrok and his contemporaries (dramatized beyond what we know of that time from the available historical accounts.) The Norse gods and the Christian God play a large part in the lives of all the people, from the leaders driven to conquer and rule more territory, to the warrior and soldiers who fight for leaders, sometimes this one, other times that one, and the peasants and farmers who provide for their leaders generously and sometimes enough for their own families. The interplay provides one overriding truth (chosen by the writers and creators), which is that the gods and God are used to further the aspirations of the most ambitious, to ameliorate those who receive no advantage, and to explain everything as ‘the will of the gods’ or as it is ordained by God.

Fate. These statements undercut human freewill and responsibility.

The most ambitious and destructive individuals see all this and use this ‘religious’ excuse in every way possible to further their own ambitions … which inevitably costs many other people their lives! The freewill of these people is to use the mass acceptance of Fate as an explanation for the course of life to hide their own sins so freely done.

It is a horrible and accurate portrayal of what the human heart is capable of. Let no one today be so foolish to think this does not continue, and will continue as long as humans survive. So how are we to respond to the pervasive sin and evil wrought so freely by humans?

We cannot declare with any honesty that we are entirely free of such sin and evil. There is no one that qualifies for that purity, no one except Jesus, the Christ … who was God.

The Way of life that Jesus lead his followers to pursue, to endeavor to accomplish each day in their lives (and we in our lives) is to accept first one’s own sinfulness from which one cannot be free, to then trust God’s promise to love and forgive us even though we cannot deserve such love, to accept and trust that while we remain yet sinners God also makes us into saints who are capable of doing God’s work on earth. We remain able to choose to love God, all people, and all creation, even though we cannot help ourselves from choosing to turn from loving God, all people and all creation.

What this makes of our lives is not pre-determined by God. Our eternal end is offered to us by God, which is that we are God’s own children and God will bring us home, even as God will accompany us each day, each moment of our lives. As Christ is more and more revealed to us in our short lives and through all of history, so we will be more and more like him, for he has claimed us for God to be adopted as God’s own children.

What difference does this make for us and our endeavours each day?

We can trust that we can choose to bring life abundant to others with all God has provided us. This is the simple purpose of our lives. This is how our freewill can be directed by fearing and loving God above all else, loving all other people as (well as) ourselves, and even our enemies.

True Freedom

Monday, August 30, 2021


Even All We Think Is Hidden From the Light

Is Known by God

And Will Be Known By All!

Isaiah 29:15

Ha! You who hide a plan too deep for the Lord, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, ‘Who sees us? Who knows us?’ You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?

Ephesians 5:13

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness … Everything exposed by the light becomes visible

Words of Grace For Today

The evil that fills the world comes from the hearts of humans.

As the heart chooses to turn from God, so the heart thinks it can hide such a choice from God, which multiples the sins and the evil that is wrought.

Always, sinful humans think they can hide from God, even though God has made them. They can hide nothing from God. No one can.

The light of Christ will shine always into every dark corner that we think we can hide in.

God sees everything that is us, that is a part of our lives: everything we think, everything we say and write, and everything we do.

This is the promise that undoes all evil and sets us free, for God knows us completely, good and evil that we are. Yet God loves us, all of us, and rescues us from sin, forgives us, and renews life in us.

If We Just Do Good Enough? Or?

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Accepting God’s Grace

Is To Find Our Way

To the Light,

No Matter the Obstacles.

Jeremiah 15:19

Therefore, thus says the Lord: If you turn back, I will take you back, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall serve as my mouth. It is they who will turn to you, not you who will turn to them.

John 14:23

Jesus answered him, ‘Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.’

Words of Grace For Today

“If you turn back …”

“Those who love me …”

Everything in these phrases are turned on the view of God and humans that God demands of humans that we do what pleases God, and then, and only then, God will be pleased enough to love us and to give us worth by serving God.

This is a long and dangerous tradition that in history has proved to be so attractive and so destructive to both Christians and those they named as their enemies. And as far as that goes, for all other religions which have embraced such thinking.

Because humans are not capable of pleasing God enough to earn God’s favour enough to sustain life through all it’s challenges and temptations.

God is, on the other hand, very capable of loving humans, even when we do not deserve it. If this were not true God would never have loved any human.

What is true in all these words of Jeremiah and John is that God loves us.

God loves us enough to call us to turn back from our sinful ways, to return to God’s embrace, to allow God to be at home with us, so that we can keep God’s Word and so that we can speak God’s Word to all who will hear.

This begins with God’s promise to us to forgive us.

It continues despite what we do, with God renewing life in us.

Then God sends us out to exercise the same grace for all people.

Only then does our freedom come into play, our freedom to respond to God’s great mercy by confessing our sins and surrendering to God’s mercy, by extending that same mercy to others.

This is the Word that is so precious.

This is the Word that gives life abundant to us, and to all people who hear, believe, and receive God’s mercy willingly.

God’s way with humans is to rule always, yet to give us freedom to choose to love or to not love. No matter what we choose God promises to be faithful, to always love and forgive us, and to give us opportunities to return to God’s way of love and mercy.

God’s way with humans is not:

if we, then God.

God’s way with humans is:

Because God loves us when we do not deserve it at all, not at all,

Therefore we are free to choose to respond and be God’s mouthpiece, God’s doer of love in this world.

There is no surer promise nor hope of life abundant, than what God promises us.

God Calls, Come Home!

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Come Home

Live in Christ’s Light

In the Truth

Ezekiel 11:19

I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.

Acts 2:39

For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Godself.

Words of Grace For Today

God calls home, home to life as God created us to live it.

Home to live with lively hearts of flesh, and renewed spirits.

Home to leave behind our hearts that have grown hard as stone with the travails of life and the evil that has bombarded us, and the evil with which we have bombarded others.

God calls us home to live with new spirits and hearts that are shared among us all. Hearts the love one another because God first loves us, though we certainly do not deserve God’s love at all, not at all.

There is no greater promise than that God will renew our spirits and give us new hearts, for our spirits and our hearts are what we have to share with each other, with the strangers, and even with our enemies. In our hearts and in our spirits God’s image is made known to us and to others, as God created us, in God’s own image, thus able to choose to love and live and give without end generously to others so that they may live.

Come home, this morning, this day, this evening, this night.

Receive the gifts that God promises



God Writes

Friday, August 27, 2021

Whether Written in Letters and Words on a Page


in the Clouds Each Day

The Light of Christ Shines Through the Darkness

and Transforms Our Hearts, Minds, and Souls

To God’s Good Purposes.

Psalm 19:8

The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes.

2 Timothy 3:16

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

Words of Grace For Today

The Words recorded in scripture are long since recognized as instructive, inspired by God (though not written by anyone other than humans interpreting what God inspires), and providing health for the body, mind, and soul.

There is an idea that we can train ourselves in righteousness reflected in the words from the letter to Timothy.

Ah, yes, the age old turn of grace into something we must accomplish ourselves, even if it is only possible after God saves us.

What good does it do for us to think that after baptism we are more capable of being ‘trained’ to be righteous and do righteousness.

Paul’s comments on this (as opposed to pseudo-Paul, or letters written after Paul’s style), and Martin Luther’s are instructive: on our own we cannot do anything to make ourselves righteous before God, only God can bring us to righteousness. No matter how much we discipline ourselves, instruct ourselves, strive to change ourselves … there simply is no hope in or good result from such efforts. In fact they serve to blind us to the reality of who we are and who God is to us and who God makes us. We are, and always remain, sinners. Any effort to pretend it is otherwise only detracts from our faith, our trust in God, our hope in God’s Grace for us.


Grace alone.

Then are we to simply allow ourselves to be as depraved and debauched as we can or would wont to be? Are we to focus on all that is sin and attempt to multiply our sins without end?

There is no good end to that, of course, as we destroy people and creation around us, and even ourselves.

As we acknowledge that we are sinners and will always remain sinners, and that only by Grace can God make us to be anything else, and in fact God makes us saints, holy people who reflect God’s Grace, Truth, and Love … THEN

Then we can choose to put aside sin (as best we can), and allow God’s Grace to flow through us, infusing our thoughts, words, and deeds with God’s free and unconditional love for all people.

Then we may just be the reflectors of God’s righteousness. BUT we fall into the Devil’s snare if and when we try to claim that we, made to reflect God’s Grace by God’s Grace alone working in us, have somehow accomplished this sainthood on our own merits (or even in part on our own merits.)

Scripture inspires us as God-made saints to reflect God’s Grace, and to confess daily or more often that we sin and cannot free ourselves … or even do anything good … except by God’s Grace working in and through us.

Scripture inspires us. That is it creates in us an awareness of God’s presence in, with, and through us. Scripture does not make us more or other than we are. Neither does scripture reflect God’s own thoughts. Scripture remains the result of sinful humans, interpreting and reflecting God’s presence in their imperfect lives.

Not perfect: neither us humans, nor the scriptures we produce by God’s inspiration. But they are the best it gets, kind of like us. We are the best it gets, until God works through us, and then we still are the best it gets.

Which as God’s Grace works in us can be awfully awesome and wondrous … which can also be the scariest and the most comforting experience we will ever have. The scariest it is because it exposes with great clarity the raw sin and evil in us that we otherwise would hide from and deny. The most comforting it is because that raw sin and evil (so horrid as it is) is dealt with by God and it needs no further effort on our part to be set to rest in our pasts.

What a life!

Shepherd Guide Us

Thursday, August 26, 2021

God’s Great and Mighty Deeds

Are Reflected in the Wonders

of All Creation,

Even in Our Enemies!

Psalm 28:9

O save your people, and bless your heritage; be their shepherd, and carry them for ever.

1 Peter 2:9

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

Words of Grace For Today

When one thinks of all the times and all the things that have been done by people claiming to be God’s own people, a royal priesthood, and a chosen race, one’s stomach must turn dark with boiling acid. How such promise and blessing has been perverted to evil to serve the Devil’s purposes, against God’s will, and to great detriment of the perpetrators and the victims.

What are we chosen, as God’s own people, solely so that we can give witness to God’s power in weakness, God’s power of love demonstrated to us again and again by saving us by grace, though we never deserve anything from God.

There are many mighty acts of God that we are called to tell in our stories, the stories we tell ourselves, the stories that we write and speak to others, and the stories we create with our lives.

What we have demonstrated through history and in each of our lives, is that without God’s grace, without surrendering in humility (at the horror of the sin we can commit) to our need for God to save us again and again each day, without Grace giving us breath … without God’s help each moment we are capable of the most evil and depraved things done to others, even to those we profess to love, and even to ourselves.

So we pray:

O save your people, and bless your heritage; be their shepherd, and carry them for ever.

Having acknowledged who we are, sinners all … having turned to God yet again to rescue us and carry us … having recognized God’s great and mighty acts for our ancestors and for us in our own lifetimes … we celebrate God’s promises for us, God’s claim on us as God’s own people, that God has chosen us to be examples of what goodness can be accomplished when God redeems God’s people.

We sing and we dance in celebration with all people, even our enemies; for if God can save us, certainly God will do what is necessary to save them (starting with us seeing clearly if they are even our enemies at all, and if they so remain, then celebrating that God still gives them time for the amendment of life.)

Such a celebration! A feast in paradise already today!

All In God’s Image

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

God Created

All People

To Share the Wonders of Life on This Planet

Through the Lens of Love

Genesis 1:27

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

1 Corinthians 11:11-12

Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man or man independent of woman. For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman; but all things come from God.

Words of Grace For Today

Humans are not totally depraved. We are capable of doing good things, and even loving truly. That requires that God gave us freedom to choose to love … which means we also can choose to do evil things and even things that destroy love with hate. We like to think well of ourselves, that we most often choose to do good, to love truly all that God has given us. Most of us think better of ourselves than is the reality. Part of thinking better of ourselves is that we all look at each situation and try to not find blame with ourselves, but with others. We most easily choose a stranger or someone who is different than us to blame for terrible things we cannot find the cause of, so that we are not blamed for them.

All of us do this blaming. Through all human history because men and woman are identifiably different from each other, the other gender has always been a too common ‘other’ to blame for our own shortcomings. It is so common yet we want to avoid acknowledging it that we have names for it that mislead us from seeing what we are doing to each other. We call it the ‘battle of the sexes’ or the ‘age old competition between men and women.’ It is in fact our sin of blaming others for our own sin at work.

This is not how God created us to be. God created us to live at peace with each other, with equal respect for each other, and with appreciation for each others gifts given by God as gifts for all to benefit from. God intended us also in couples to live in love with each other.

To live, loving others, to live in love with one other person, and to be at peace with one’s own sin, is the most rewarding, purpose giving manner to live; it is how God created us, male and female, to live with each other.

It is the perverted and truly depraved who believe and live as if ‘others’ are all terrible and they and those like them are without fault. It is a terrible thing when men abuse women and with disrespect and lies take away their voice, their honour, and their dignity. It is no fix for this, as is too often done today, when women rise up to abuse men and with disrespect and lies take away their voice, their honour, and their dignity.

It is the mentally ill who blame others, to the extreme, for all their own sins to avoid all culpability, no matter how clear it is that they themselves are truly at fault.

God created people to be able to love.

To sustain the species, as with many other species, God created us male and female. This is a blessing. This does not mean that every man was created to procreated with a woman in love with her so that the children would grow up in a family built on love, or that every woman was created to procreate with a man in love with him so that the children would grow up in a family built on love.

By design, when the population flourishes and procreation is not in the best interests of the species or the planet, some men were created to love only other men, some women to love only women, and many more men and women were created to love either the opposite or the same gender. When the pressures of overpopulation increase, and the luxuries of civilization increase, human history shows that those who choose the same gender as their partners increases … by design, so that the population may decrease. Somehow, so eager to blame others who are different, and so eager to be able to condemn others who are different from us (or so much the same as us, filled with shame condemning them instead of ourselves,) we fail to appreciate that God provides ways for us to love and live fully and for the population to decrease to where the planet can survive us humans.

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

God created us in God’s image, capable of love. It is in loving that life has meaning. It is in loving others that we are made able to give all that we are so that others can live, and live abundantly. It is in loving that we can share God’s greatest blessing: to love unconditionally.

Each Day

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

As Darkness Fades at Each Sunrise

So God’s Blessings

Rescue Us Over and Over Each Day.

Daniel 7:14

To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed.

Colossians 1:13

He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son.

Words of Grace For Today

Daniel’s vision sees God having given dominion to one human-like being, and destroying the greatest beast.

This vision is part of the book, set in the 6th century BCE, written in and about the oppression of the Jews in the 2nd century BCE. Just as God delivered Israel in the time of David, so God will deliver the people then … and now.

After Christ, the one like a human being is understood to be Jesus, for God gave him all power, as indeed Jesus is God, the Son of God, a person of the Trinity, one-Godhead, three persons.

For the people reading Daniel when it was written, the hope created in them was that the evil oppression of their time would come to an end with the rise of a ruler like David, who would throw off their oppressive foreign rulers and assert independence.

Even when Colossians was written this imagery is used to convey the promise provided in baptism, that we are made children of God: we are rescued from the power of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of Jesus. This provides solid hope, that all is accomplished, though I wonder what the people thought as they were hunted down, persecuted, and killed by the oppressive Jewish and Roman rulers.

Can we say the transfer is complete, finalized? I think that any honest person would have to admit that even baptized Christians continue to do evil things, think evil things, say evil things serving the power of darkness, or in Daniel’s imagery, the great evil beast. Is all hope lost?

For those who believe that once they are baptized, freed from bondage to evil, and sanctified as Jesus’ followers … for those who believe it is once done and complete and that then they are not still in bondage to sin at all and never sin … for those who believe that they do not ever again serve the powers of darkness at all … well for these people the realization that they do still sin, and constantly, this realization must undo their baptisms completely, as their house of cards crumbles into a dust heap of cheap, self-made faith. For this reason so many bury their heads in the sand about their own sin, or blame others for their sins. But nothing any human can do will erase their sins.

Those, including us, who believe that we are adopted, yet remain free to choose to love God … and to choose to not love God and all of God’s creation … those who embrace Luther’s statement of faith that we are God-made saints and yet simultaneously sinners … those who accept in humility that only by Grace are we saved, and we must be saved again and again … those who know that as much as we need air to breathe we need Grace to live each moment … these people do not lose hope. Indeed we rejoice knowing that in our weaknesses and sins though Evil seems to win the day, God always wins over Evil and our weaknesses and sins are God’s clear demonstration of God’s power of love, exercised by Grace alone, not by merit.

We hope in what God can do and does do and has done for us. We do not rely on our own abilities. Our hope is sure. We live blessed by God each day.

We rejoice in all that God brings from us, the Grace that we are able to exercise on God’s behalf for other people. We remain every day grateful for God’s mercy and love. Our hope is sure, for we live blessed each day by God, no matter what our enemies try to do to us, no matter what evil or disaster or illness befalls us. We live each day blessed by God.

Profane Efforts to Be Holy

Monday, August 23, 2021

Wood Cannot Become Gold

Nor Can We On Our Own Become Holy.

God Provides Wood That Gives Heat

Which Gives Life.

So Also God Provides Grace

By Which God Makes Us Holy.

Leviticus 22:32

You shall not profane my holy name, that I may be sanctified among the people of Israel: I am the Lord; I sanctify you.

1 Peter 1:15

As he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct.

Words of Grace For Today

Profane and holy, these two ways of thinking, talking, acting describe our lives.

Sigi grew up in a ‘normal’ farm family on the prairies, within view of the grand Rockies. Watching her family work to raise crops and cattle each year she was no stranger to the cost of illnesses, and the benefits of health. She was a bright young girl, brighter than most around her. She saw the discord in her parents’ lives between what they said they believed in and worked at and how they lived their lives. As a young teen, as teenagers are wont to, she resolved to not make the mistakes that her parents made.

Beginning with her own health she believed firmly as her parents did that her body was a gift from God, and also since her baptism, a visible presence of God’s Grace for all to encounter, and for her to benefit from by giving abundant life to others. Her parents said they believed their lives were gifts from God, including their bodies, and then they ate foods that were not healthy. The allowed their bodies to become fat and out of shape, even though they worked hard and were strong, they were not fit. In time the illnesses they allowed into their bodies would show themselves.

At first, when Sigi resolved to keep her body fit, she loudly critiqued her parents, shaming them as best she could. She developed habits that she knew were healthy. Sigi ate only food she knew was healthy for her, only the foods that she needed to be and stay healthy. She exercised everyday and through the week had a routine of various exercises that kept her whole body fit. It was a painful year that her parents endured while she ingrained her habits into her life. She allowed her critique to spread to others in the family, and then to others in the community.

When her father had his first heart attack, she was brought up short. She stopped critiquing her parents, and others. She was bright enough to realize that her critique on her father was a contribution, even if small, to his stress and therefore to his heart attack. She started to realize that being healthy was more than just being physically healthy. So she began a life-long struggle to find, develop, and maintain a healthy mind and a healthy soul.

Six decades later, in her early 70’s Sigi was still struggling with this same struggle. She had seen her father survive 4 heart attacks, many years of good return on the farm, and the two decades of large swings from profitable to huge losses. In the deep trough of the third great loss her father suffered his last heart attack. The farm was repossessed. Her mother moved to town to a small apartment she rented. Her mother’s dementia advanced suddenly in that small apartment and she died within the year.

By then Sigi was married, had a career as a psychologist, had her own three children, and had suffered their teenage years as her parents had suffered hers.

Sigi still struggled to find health in her own thinking, in the deepest corners of her mind, in the darkest valleys of her soul. Her habits were all healthy. She was still physically fit, though her body ached from arthritis, occasionally so bad she could barely move. She attended church. She meditated daily. She prayed for her family, for her church, community, country, and the whole world. She prayed for people around the world. She donated a tithe to her church, and gave even more to aide for people in terrible catastrophes around the world. She practised good, sustainable, and environmentally friendly ways of being on earth: She drove a small, economical car, installed good insulation on her small home along with a solar panel array that provided most of her electricity needs, and composted and reused most of her waste. She had bicycled most everywhere until her arthritis hampered that, and still during the summer she managed to do most of her grocery shopping using her bicycle, now a bike with an electric assist motor to help her up the small hills and rises between home and the store.

When her husband, Vern, had died of a massive stroke when he was only 58, something in Sigi just broke down, and left her unable to find any peace or purpose or health or hope.

Then so many years later, as if by a miracle everything changed again for her (like it had when she was just a teenager realizing that her parents said they believed one thing and lived completely differently). She was listening to a sermon, a simple sermon, not even a very good sermon, she heard words that she’d heard many times before: that Jesus saved us by Grace alone, not by our merits. It hit her like thunder breaking through an invisible lightening bolt and exploding in her like fireworks.

She had worked all her life to be healthy, to honour God with her body, mind, and soul, as she was a visible being of God’s presence on earth for her and others. What she had struggled against all this time was that she just could not make herself completely healthy, not healthy enough; not in her body, not in her mind, and certainly not in her soul. Her failures were as visible as her successes to anyone who knew her well could tell you. Her demands to be healthy had ruined relationship after romantic relationship before she met Vern, and many friendships as well throughout her life.

She realized that she could no more earn God’s blessings by trying to be completely holy, any more than her father could stop his heart attacks, her mother her dementia, Vern his stroke … and on went the list of other’s illnesses, reminding her of her own illnesses and the suffering she had caused so many people with her ‘holier than thou’ attitude.

Sigi regained a sense of purpose in life through more than a year of searching to understand this revelation, that she was saved by grace alone though she did not and could not deserve it, and that she was to be that same grace for others.

She realized that only by Grace could she ever reflect the holiness that God wished for her, only by Grace could she turn to God who was always with her, as the holy companion God promised to be.

She realized that her efforts to be completely holy were as all human efforts done as one’s own, as profane as anything she’d ever witnessed in her life.

Only by allowing God to make her holy, though she deserved it not one bit, could she be holy at all, and only then could her life be a visible witness to God’s holy presence with all people. It was all by Grace, that wonderful thing that God was for all people: giving freely without cost, given with ease to make one at ease, moving one through time with the beauty of a dancer, of a butterfly appearing from nowhere, moving through the heart wrenching challenges and losses of life as if pulled onward towards the goodness of life for others.

Sigi lived her final 2 decades, trusting that Grace was for her and for other people. She moved gently, kindly, sharing God’s unconditional love with all. She still struggled to be healthy in body, mind, and soul, but her struggle was not on her own. She allowed herself to fail, forgiving herself as God had already. She even enjoyed ice cream for the first time in her life, without a guilty conscience, trusting that this enjoyment was also part of a good abundant life. Profane she realized was unavoidable, though one ought not jump into it headfirst if one didn’t have to! Holy she humbly realized in new ways each day was all gift, a blessed gift of God’s Grace, a gift God offered to each sinful person.

Our Efforts Compared to God’s Promises

Sunday, August 22, 2021

The Marvels of Technology

That Made Mobile a Living Space

Hardly Compares To

God’s Love

Which Makes a Living Space a Home,

A Safe Home.

Leviticus 26:12

And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people.

1 John 1:3-4

We declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Words of Grace For Today

God creates.

God creates humans.

God creates you.

God creates me.

God knows what wretched sinners we each will be.

God still creates you and me and all of us.

God plans that in our wretched sinfulness, God’s power will be made obvious to all who have eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to love and live and believe. God does not abandon us to our sinfulness, though we may experience the painful results of sin, of others’ and our own sins, as unending suffering and abandonment by God.

God brings words to the ancient writers minds, words of promise to counter our limited understanding of our own lives and of God’s great goodness, mercy, love and grace. The ancient writers put in words for us to read so many generations since: that God promises to not abandon us, not even to our own wilful sins and their consequences. God promises to walk with us.

This many mystics and other faithful people have experienced in the face of sin’s great destructive consequences: that God walks with us each step of each day, no matter what we do, say, or think.

God’s promises are sure.

We use many things to make life safer for us:

Natural gas for heating, though some of us only have wood heat it is still heat against the winter cold.

Gasoline to power engines to do work for us, mowing grass, clearing snow, moving vehicles to and fro bringing food and other supplies to stores and home from stores.

Coal, natural gas, and water (and a tiny amount of wind turbines and solar panels) to generate electricity to a distribution grid that powers industry, business machines, and home appliances to wash and dry our clothes, wash our dishes, run our computers and TVs, charge our phones; though some of us cannot afford to connect to the grid, and some of us use our own generators run on solar power or gasoline.

Science and engineering accomplishments and implementations that bring water to us and remove waste; that have allowed us to build vertical cities from deep underground to high above the streets; that have given us a system of roadways and railways and shipping systems and air transportation systems including complex trucks, trains, ships, and planes that span rivers, valleys, oceans, and continents; that have provided specialized buildings for research, health care, magnetic imagining that provides details unimagined by even Röntgen; computers with all their benefits and detriments to healthy living.

The list of what we use to make life more secure goes on and on.

Nothing of our own efforts guarantees us a good future.

Our own efforts are so marvellous that previous generations would hardly comprehend what we’ve done, and what we rely on. We rely on our accomplishments so thoroughly that we seem unable to give up any of it, not even to walk away for a few days without that always-at-hand ‘smart’phone. We’ve become so dependent that we by and large equate security with our ability to posses and use these technologies.

Yet nothing of our own efforts can guarantee us a good future. Reliance on them as security for life is a reduction of life to what they provide us; God created life to be so much more than our own technologies (marvellous as they are) can provide. No matter the marvel, no thing can match the power of love, the power of forgiveness, the power of healing with mercy and grace.

Only God’s promises can and do provide us the guarantee we ask for, that today and all our tomorrows be life abundant for us. As God walks with us, God loves us each step through our days, today and every tomorrow. There is no more powerful provision for and assurance of life abundant, even as we inevitably face death, of our loved ones and our own deaths than that God walks with us and love us unconditionally. There is no comparison in all our technologies that enables us so to live and to provide life abundant to others, everywhere in God’s good creation.