Rest Easy

Sunday, June 4, 2023

A rose,

beginning to bud,

bringing God’s beauty

to be seeable.

Psalms 145:17

The Lord is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings.

Philippians 1:6

I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

While the world churns out trouble,

and we each and each contribute enough ourselves,

God is our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, just in all judgements, not biased by lies or deceptions to gain undeserved advantages while stealing life from others. God sees all. Knows all, Judges all. And if our sins are not bound then we can count on God’s grace to save us.

But …

When they are bound, then who knows, for God will judge also knowing that we had warning and time for the amendment of our lives. What then does a just judge do?

For us blessed by God to be God’s own children, we trust that God will carry to completion the work that God has begun in us, to redeem us, sanctify us and equip us to be God’s emissaries of Good News on earth.

For us, life is all about seeing what God has in store for us; like a rose beginning to bud, God is about bringing great beauty and wonder into our worlds. Do we have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to celebrate it?

When It All Hits

The Proverbial Fan …

Friday, June 2, 2023

Red Beauty?

Or Fire Burning Us Out?

Or Smoke

Taking Our Breath Away?

Haggai 2:9

The latter splendour of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts.

Colossians 3:15

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

Words of Grace For Today

When, though one knows one has done everything possible to make things right, it all hits the fan and gets blown to bits, one has to ask, why?

Happens to all of us, some more than others, always too often.

So how do we proceed through our days, having this happen to us, and knowing it will surely happen again?

Shall we resign, capitulate, and end our days in despair?

Shall we rise up to fight more viciously than ever imagined – hard for pacifists to fight, yet alone viciously – but shall we abandon being pacifists all together and fight like everyone else, and be more vicious now so that we can win, finally!?

Shall we plod on, actually or pretending not to notice how others run us over like bugs on the road of life?

Thankfully God knew it would be like this for us.

God sent Jesus and the Holy Spirit (all God, Three in One, anyway) to demonstrate life on earth for us, and to guide us with God’s power of self-sacrificial love through all that comes our way.

This provides an unwavering peace, the peace of Christ, that we can claim for ourselves at all times, in any circumstance, no matter who stands against us.

Further, though we may fear the result of all the things we have lost as we move forward in our days breathing, God promises that what is taken will be not only replaced (better than insurance of any kind) but that what we receive will be of far greater value. God’s gifts are always greater and more precious than any thing could be.

Today, ask for peace. It is ours. Trust God’s promises, they are sure. Never are we bereft of life’s best and most precious. God sees to that.



Thursday, June 1, 2023

Looking Up,

and Seeing

the Star

Above the Setting Moon.

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.

Philippians 3:10-11

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Words of Grace For Today

I want to know …

Such yearning.

Such yearning that changes the taste and scents of each day, each hour, each minute.

I want to know … but what do we want to know?

So much of life is filled with yearning for the comforts (or things towards comforts) and pleasures that this life offers only with such wiffs, and then they are taken from us, often destroying our ability to yearn with clarity for what will bring health and life.

I want to know … Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings.

Now that is something unlike other yearnings, for it is not for comforts or improvements or anything quickly withering into the evening fog. This yearning to know Christ, the power of his resurrection and (then comes the key to it all – the all that is life and death and existence itself) the sharing of Christ’s sufferings.

That is the key to life: to know Christ by sharing in his suffering. His sufferings were unearned, but offered in order that others might live, and live free and abundantly.

This yearning takes us outside ourselves and extends all that we are toward giving to others; giving everything we can to as many other people as we can so that more and more people will know the power of Christ’s resurrection in their own lives (the hope that moves us beyond living waiting for death).

This yearning is to see that God with a word, has wiped away our tears and disgrace, and the tears and disgrace of all people, and replaced it with the joy and thanksgiving of living fuelled by the power of Christ: self-sacrificial, unconditional love for all people.

May that be our days, and this day. Our hours, and this hour.

One Day

One Day At A Time

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Waiting …

Waiting …

Waiting …

for the New Day

Of Hope Colours.

Psalms 30:11-12

You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you for ever.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Words of Grace For Today


Hope lives despite the current circumstances that provide no basis for believing that things will get better as time progresses.


Hope is that our mourning (for all that once was is now gone, and all the dreams of what could be have vanished with the setting sun coloured by smoke from fires that have burned so much) will be turned to dancing, that our despair (at how the world treats everyone as if we were all commodities) will be turned to joy overflowing, that the gloom of deceit (that steals the healing power of love from us all) will be turned to peace in our hearts and in our lands.


Hope fuels the world, and it does not contribute to pollution, deprivations, or global warming.


Hope seems too far to achieve, or climb to, or build it from the debris that remain.


With grateful hearts, even in the deepest of our despair, we know that hope is ours, not because we possess it, but because God sends the Holy Spirit to give it to us fresh, like the morning dew in the mountain meadow as the sun rises between the green slopes lining the horizon.


Hope is fresh, also this day, and our hearts overflow with thanks.

For without hope all would be lost, and the first to to be lost is always truth followed by love.


Hope arrives, uninvited, colouring our hours, again this day.

The Doer

And the Pretenders

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Who Are We To Say We Make Anything Happen?

God Makes Even the Moonlight

to Have Colour.

Numbers 11:23

The Lord said to Moses, ‘Is the Lord’s power limited? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.’

Matthew 18:19

Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.

Words of Grace For Today

There is great power that we humans exercise. We make decisions and plans. Then we go about executing them.

Huge holes are dug and parks established in them. Mountains and plains are excavated for minerals, coal and gravel. Skyscrapers are built that reach high into the sky, standing against wind, rain, storm and most everything (but not airplanes crashed into them.)

All that we do makes us feel powerful.

Yet what we do, even if two or three gather in Jesus’ name to agree on what to ask God for, we are not the ones who do it. God is.

We fool ourselves when we think we do anything good that God has not made possible for us to do.

God is the doer.

We are the pretenders and sometimes even stewards, acknowledging that God is in control, and we ‘work’ on God’s behalf.

Were that it were always so … and more so.

Why not today?

Taking Ownership


Monday, May 29, 2023

Who Can Say

They Own

This Tree and the Snow On It?

Haggai 2:8

The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of hosts.

Acts of the Apostles 4:32

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.

Words of Grace For Today

That God owns the precious metals, and they do not belong to any human is quite the thought. As is the report that the early Christians were of ‘one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.’

We may wish that things were so, but even among Christians, things are given value and claimed to be owned by individuals. Oh, sure, for periods of time ownership may be shared or given over to an entity representing the whole group (as in communes like the Hutterites) but us humans always strive to have it for ourselves. It is not easy for most of us to simply share all we have, and it is even harder for us to share everything with a large group all the time. It just does not happen.

The difficulty with making a claim that God owns all the precious metals (gold and silver are just two of many) is that it starts with the premise that some metals are more precious than others. That degree of preciousness is a human construct. We are the ones who say that silver and gold, platinum and rare-earth metals are more valuable than just plain dirt and rocks. And we are the ones who give an upgraded value to concrete, sand, oil, gas, (and on goes the list).

So when we say that all the gold and silver (and all the precious metals and elements) belong to God, we start by acknowledging and giving assent to the claim that some things are more valuable than others.

Everything belongs to God.

Even we belong to God.

The rest of what is on earth is all stewardship, not ownership. But we quickly ‘forget’ that we are mere ‘renters’ on this earth.

The proper perspective is that we are stewards, providing care for what is God’s. And God has always wanted us to share with everyone, so everyone has enough to live abundantly.

We only sort of imitate that with our ‘good deeds’ and charity. If we could actually share with everyone, holding everything in common with all other people, the world would look entirely different, and we would live differently.

We pray that this day we can do another bit of imitating Christ, giving to those in need.


And Spirit

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Without God’s Spirit

We Are Lost

All Children

and Fire Surrounds Us.

Zechariah 2:4b-5, 9

‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited like villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and animals in it. For I will be a wall of fire all round it’, says the Lord, ‘and I will be the glory within it.’ … ‘See now, I am going to raise my hand against them, and they shall become plunder for their own slaves. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me.’

Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Words of Grace For Today

So often God is seen as the Powerful One who works destruction against those who sin, which is all of us.

When God becomes a ring of fire around us and gives us over to those we have oppressed that in revenge they can oppress us are we to call on God to save us? Can we call on God to save us from God’s work against us in response to our own sins?

This way of looking at God does not work out very well, not for anyone, for we all sin and deserve God’s ring of fire around us moving in on us to consume us and end our sins.

God knew this when God created the universe and called it (and us in it) good.

Rather than being a God of revenge and punishment for our sins, terrible as they are, God has other ways of working for us when we sin. God forgives us and gracefully gives us new life, the Spirit working in us to bring new life to us and all those around us.

While we may have lost the words of thanks, praise, and hope itself,

by the Holy Spirit in us we become able to speak all languages, especially the language of forgiveness and hope for all lost sinners.

The Rock

Sends the Unseen

Saturday, May 27, 2023

What Are We To Do

When The Morning Sun Hides

It’s Warmth and

Life-Giving Rays?

Deuteronomy 32:4

The Rock, his work is perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God, without deceit, just and upright is he;

1 John 3:24

All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

Words of Grace For Today

As Julius and his community worked and waited and struggled to survive in their hunting camp, overfilled by themselves and their many guest, not only the New Iblers, Julius opened Sotorous’ journal and found this passage, an old passage that Sotorus had copied from the time when the earth held nearly 8 billion people and wars and climate change started to displace people:

While our worlds turn upside down on us, through wildfires, smoke, floods, droughts, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, melting polar ice and permafrost, or through conflicts (personal and geopolitical), or through loss of health, homes, security and peace, or death, how are to know that all is well with us and the world.

We lose all and any sense of orientation that there is an order and rhythm to life that we can rely on, waking in the morning, and sleeping in the evening.

The creation story that begins in Genesis 1 has a rhythm to it, as it lays out the rhyme and reason that God creates the universe, our world and all that is in it: God calls it good.

What are we to do when we no longer sense or can find that rhyme and reason, that rhythm of each day and night, and God’s presence and purpose to create a universe and life in it that is good?

We are helpless on our own.

God planned for this, too.

God let it be written again and again that God is not a God filled with deceit and scheming against us. If only we could hear those words and trust them. But even that kind of trust is gone.

What are we to do?

There is nothing we can do. It not only appears that way, it really is that way.

And we do not need to do anything.

God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. It is the work of the Spirit that allows us at any time in our lives, to sense God’s rhyme and reason, God’s rhythm and order, God’s Grace and Love.

When all sense of any order is gone from our lives, it is not up to us to make it right. God will do that.

God will do that.

God wills that God’s Spirit will do that in us.

So we live each day, that we have a sense of God’s rhyme and reason, filled with thanks and praise.

So when that order is gone, we wait and hope beyond hope that God’s purpose and order for our lives will be given to us again.

So we pray in our chaos: help us God!

Trusting that all will be well, all will be well, all manner of things will be well.

Julius read this to the gathered community on their day of rest.

Led by the New Iblers and God’s Spirit the community responded in a cacophony of voices: “Help us God! Help us God! Help us God!”

Julius ended with: “This the Spirit shows us: All will be well! All will be well! All manner of things will be well. – Let us give God’s Thanks.”


God’s Gift

Thursday, May 25, 2023

When the Sun Don’t Shine

But a Tinge

of Orange

All Around,

Then What?

Micah 5:1-2

Now you are walled around with a wall; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike the ruler of Israel upon the cheek. But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.

1 Timothy 3:16

Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great: He was revealed in flesh, vindicated in spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory.

Words of Grace For Today

In times of trouble, in desperate times when all hope is drowned by the fires of time eroding like tsunamis burning the coastlands of all inhabitants and buildings, when our lungs burn with the smoke of fires about to consume us, when our feet are already soaked by the waters that will drown us, when the earth continues to shake after all our buildings are rubble, after missiles still explode with more arriving though there are no more cities left on earth, when life withers away, when love grows cold, where all laughter is lost …

Then what ARE we to do?

God knows these times will come in every generation.

God knew we needed more than what we could see or know or demonstrate to be true.


God gives us faith,

Faith in the saviour who will rise from the least of us all, a saviour who speaks not to the realities that we cannot change (for conquering enemies or oppressive rulers only makes way for other enemies and other cruel rulers).

No, God gives us a saviour who lives as one of us, teaching, healing, and showing us how to live lives of peace, joy, hope, grace, and love … even as the evil of the world swirls around us.

Jesus lived.

Jesus lives.

By faith we can live as well, even in these days.

To Be

To Be Noticed

Even When One Is

Burdened, Weary, Outcast

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Will We Notice Those

Living Far Away

In Desolation?

Psalms 142:4

Look on my right hand and see— there is no one who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for me.

Matthew 11:28

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Words of Grace For Today

After the gathered New-Ibler leaders, the complainers, and Julius had waited for what seemed too long a time, Julius continued, “These are our neighbours, even though they are not part of our community. We should provide for them exactly as God has provided for us through our neighbours. Who knows, the New-Iblers may not be able to return to their lands. They may join our community as many others have in the past.” He reminded them that one of them was not born into this community, and two others parents had joined the community.

“Remember, as well,” Julius continued, “that Raili here is the daughter of one of our members who left to marry her mother and live with the New-Iblers. Remember we need to marry outside our community to ensure our children and their children are born healthy.”

He asked them if they should or should not welcome their guests to join them? The intruders agreed, but they reminded Julius that they came representing many who sent them. So they called a community meeting, as difficult as it was to gather all in one spot.

Together they remembered how blessed they were to have each other, and that though it was a difficult time, they had always welcomed people willing to join them, if they agreed to abide by the decisions of the community and it’s recognized leaders.

Up until that point, everyone had expected Julius to act as their leader. Now they heard one person suggest that like Isaacer from years before, they recognize that Julius would lead them. That brought a round of clapping, raising hands, and general low humming of agreement.

Julius agreed on the one condition that at any time he could leave the duties to others, so that he could continue to be a healer to this community and to travel to provide healing to others, and most of all that he could continue to learn, learn, learn.

Julius then reminded them how they were welcomed as the tired and weary by their own community and by others, as so they would strive to welcome all the tired and weary, the healthy and the ill, the sorrowful and the joyful into their midst.