This Mess!?

No *&^! Thanks?

Saturday, June 3, 2023

The Beauty of Creation

Messed Up

By Climate Change=Wildfires=Smoke=Can’t See,

And Can’t Breathe!

Zechariah 9:9

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Words of Grace For Today

The world seems to be totally messed up.

Lies take the day.

Fake news creates convictions that there is no climate change, just normal evolution. (Really!?)

Politicians that believe their own lies and fake news.

And middle classes that think the fake news politicians are going to actually work for them, and not the special interests and big businesses that support them in exchange for decisions that favour their businesses, or hide the reality of their raping the planet and our future.

The meek shall inherit this!

As one of the meek I will say a resounding, “No Thanks! Keep your messes and give us the New Jerusalem without you or your messes!”

(Maybe that is too much for a meek response?)

and then even this sometimes meek and sometimes not so meek person gets to remember that what appears to be a total mess is not beyond God salvaging great good from, and us inheriting it just may be the best thing this world will ever see, other than that God came as a meek saviour, riding on the foal of a donkey. Not the ride for a great leader, eh?!

But exactly the ride for God. For God would show us that great rides, great pomp and ceremony, wild parties of excesses, and shows of great power, force, and privilege, and not even the joys of wondrous comforts in life … all this is not what God created us in creation to be able to experience.

God created us to be able to give. To give life to other people. To restore, protect, use sustainably, and enjoy all of creation.

I guess us meek people (and the not so meek among us) can celebrate today all that God gives us, as we share it with as many people as we can.

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.

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.

Standing Up

Through Our Troubles

To Give Thanks

Monday, May 22, 2023

See The Elves Rising

Through the Snow

In The Morning Light,

Like Poverty Stricken People

Standing Up Through It All

To Give God Thanks

Ecclesiastes 8:15

So I commend enjoyment, for there is nothing better for people under the sun than to eat, and drink, and enjoy themselves, for this will go with them in their toil through the days of life that God gives them under the sun.

Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Words of Grace For Today

The cynical writer of Ecclesiastes commends enjoyment, eating, drinking and making merry, as people make their way through the toils of life. Nothing like a little backslap in the face about life being full of trouble and toils while speaking to enjoyment.

One surely can see that life is full of toil for some. But not for the privileged. Right? – Wrong. They have troubles, troubles with in consequential things, things of no import that they make into the greatest of troubles. Such it is with humans. If we don’t have trouble with and in life, we make it up. We are more comfortable that way.

God has other intentions for us and plans for us.

God would have us reorient our take on life, ours and others’.

Our lives certainly do have toils and troubles enough to fill a lifetime for each of us. Our lives also have most certainly enough joy, love, peace, and hope to fill a lifetime, and for those for whom that is not the case (which is always at least a great minority of people alive on earth if not most) God gives us this joy, love, peace and hope in great enough quantities to share with all those who need more of life in order to experience the goodness of joy, love, peace and hope.

Whoever we are, those with -or-those without, each day is filled with opportunities to give God thanks, for even in the activity of giving thanks we reorient ourselves from what we lack to the abundance that God pours over us – to be shared with others.

Each day … also means today.

Get hopping







The Tinge

Of Dinge

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Those Are Not Clouds, Just Smoke!

Wildfires Burn,

Smoke Kills

From the Inside.

Psalms 51:14

Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.

James 5:13

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.

Words of Grace For Today

The runners sent to bring news of what waters would come their way returned when Julius’ people had managed in the hunting camp for four days. They reported that the five natural dams up river were all spilling over, the higher ones pouring wildly through eroded pathways. The sixth dam, the one closest to their community, still held the waters behind it, though only a meter remained before water would spill over it, and eventually it would erode away like the higher ones already had.

With this report, Julius called the community all together, though most were already there eager to hear from the runners. He asked if anyone had an idea of what they could do.

One of the builders spoke up: we could build a way to let water out of the sixth and fifth dams enough to lower them as much as possible. Let that water run, it would flood a bit, though not more than they had seen in past years. Then they could plug the dams enough so they would hold the flood that was coming. If they controlled the flow in two dams, and maybe even three they could reduce the flooding, maybe enough so that their community would survive. A group of builders gathered around and among themselves filled in the details of a plan. Julius called for quiet as they planned. When the builders turned around, Julius asked them what they needed to make it happen. They responded: lots of workers, everyone available. And tools. We’ll gather the tools. And we will need a few people to prepare meals and make a camp for us at each dam. With people ready to leave the gathering, the runners interrupted with one more piece of information.

They saw smoke off to the northwest on their way back starting at the fourth dam all the way to the fifth dam. There was a big fire somewhere upwind and it made it hard to breath at times. It looks like a tinge of dinge covering the whole sky.

Julius reminded them that they had natural fire breaks on all sides of the community so the fire was not a problem for them, but the smoke could be very dangerous. He asked one of the clothes makers if they could make masks to protect everyone who went to work on the dams. After talking it over with another clothes maker he said they could have them ready in a few days. We could send them by runner as they are ready and the workers would have them before they were done with the sixth dam.

That settled it. Julius asked if there were anything else they needed to hear about before the volunteers scrambled to get everything together for their days of working on the dams. No one answered and a hush came over the people.

Julius reminded them that the fires and smoke and the floodwaters would threaten other communities. They knew of five downstream and two more that the fire and smoke would likely affect. “We will send runners to them to give them news of our plans, ask for helpers, and to see what help we can provide them.”

“Remember always,” Julius said, “what was written and told by the Iblers so many times: ‘Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.

With that one of the singers started them singing a song of thanks, and hope, and love carrying the people into the future for generations to come: “Lord, you are life’s hope when life withers away, in clay and on rocks grow full in us, be germinating seed, be a secure place, Bring forth buds and bloom bright in us. And as a new ’morrow breaks on this good planet forth, in this new growing day, blossom in us. Keep us safe, securely, firmly in your strong, good hands and bless us all, bless us all and this your planet.

Lord, you are life’s goodness where loving breaks down,in our coldest times, breathe into us. give generous spirits, be our warming light, be hot flame, be burning in us. And as a new ’morrow breaks on this good planet warming again this new day, burn bright in us. Keep us safe, securely, firm in your good gracious hands, and bless us all, bless us all and your good planet.

Lord, you are life’s joy where all laughter is lost, in our deepest dark, live on in us, be joyous dreams dancing, be comforting sight, be voices and sing on in us. And as a new ’morrow breaks on this good planet forth, a wonder filled new day, sing on in us. Keep us safe, securely, firmly in your loving hands, and bless us all, bless us all and your good planet.”



Wednesday, May 17, 2023

When We Are Far From Anyone,

Alone With Dangers All Around,

And Fear Rattles Our Bones,

What ARE We to Do?

Psalms 6:2

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him.

Words of Grace For Today

Julius dreamed it at first, and then woke, being shook urgently by a young man crying to him, “Come quick! The earth had shook. The rocks are tumbling down. Isera was hit by one and she is not right in her speech. Besides that a runner arrived just now and says that the waters in the mountain lake that feeds our river have risen higher than anyone has seen them and suddenly they have burst loose. They will surely break through the next series of lakes and beaver dams. The runner is gone on to warn others downstream. Everyone’s bones are stricken and shaking with fear. Will we live even another week, or even another day?”

Julius rose, and dressed quickly, praying to himself as he did, that he might have the wisdom to know how to treat Isera, that he might find the words to unshake the bones of the many people who needed to make a plan, to decide how to protect the community and the people.

Julius thought while he walked to see Isera, head injuries always seemed to be dangerous. People who thought nothing bad had happened would be sick for months and years and some would never heal, their abilities to live normal lives gone and their personalities changed dramatically. He noticed that those that seemed somewhat worse at first often healed faster after they rested for days and weeks and sometimes even months, before they tried to return to normal living.

Isera seemed to understand what he said, though her words were all confused, meaning next to nothing. He asked her if she would rest now for days, maybe weeks. Her response was fast and furiously gibberish. So he placed a writing pad (sand in a box) and gave her the writing stick. He asked her only to write “Y” for yes and “N” for no. Would she rest? Her “Y” was a bit messy but it was there. Drink plenty of fluids, walk as little each day as possible. Eat no more than she needed. (Nobody really did, for food was not overabundant, but sometimes people who rested started to eat and eat and eat, so Julius included it in his instructions.)

He asked her if she had pain. “Y”. Is it more than 5 out of 10? “Y” Is it more than 8 out of 10? “Y” Is it 10 out of 10? “N” He pulled some bark out of his healing-pouch. He showed how much to tear off to boil in three cups of water to make tea. “Boil it and then cool it so you can drink all three cups in ten minutes. You can repeat that every two hours, up to six times in a day. But no more six times and not more often than every two hours. Otherwise you will likely get stomach cramps and vomit.” “Y”

He said he would be back to check on her in the morning. He asked her friend to stay with her through the night and wake her every hour or so. No more than each hour and a half. For he had experienced one man who fell asleep and never woke up, and another man who fell asleep, but his wife kept waking him, and he rested and returned to work in the community gardens a few months later.

Then Julius walked outside and asked people to send one person from each household to meet with him in ten minutes. No one needed to be woken up, everyone was woken up by the earth shaking or by someone scared waking them. They gathered. Never had Julius seen so many people crying, screaming at each other, shaking their hands, heads, and some even their whole bodies as they tried to tell each other what dangers lay ahead for them.

Julius called them to order. It took a bit and when they were quiet he asked people who knew to tell in simple, clear terms, what dangers they faced.

It came out that the earthquake had done a little damage to a few houses. Aftershocks had come as well, some almost as strong as the first, also adding to the damage.

So Julius listed that for them: 1. Earthquake.

Then someone mentioned the water that would wipe out their community before the sun rose. Julius asked how this was known, and paused to write

2. Flood.

It turned out nobody knew how bad or dangerous the water coming at them would actually be. Everybody agreed with Julius that they needed more information. Then someone cried a bit and reminded them of Isera. The falling rocks could hurt any of them out working near the cliffs. Julius wrote

3. Falling Rocks.

Then someone blubbered that this was doing them no good, they needed to run away to safety. That brought cries and screams as fear ran through nearly everyone there. Even Julius could feel the panic racing around the crowd. That’s when Julius remembered what someone had said about fear being the only real enemy. Julius stopped and called for silence for a minute, asked everyone to breathe deeply for a short while. Then he wrote

4. Fear! Most of all Fear!

He asked if their list were complete, was anything missing? When there was no response from the people, now quieted, Julius asked for volunteers to be the runners to get information up river. Three were chosen and sent to gather supplies and be off. Julius said it would be days, maybe weeks before the runners would return and in the meantime they should start packing and move to their hunting camp up in the hills, off to the side of the plateau that protected their community. That would also keep anyone else from being hurt by falling stones coming down the cliffs to the plateau.

More often than anything else Julius kept repeating, “We can deal with any danger if we have time. We have time. There is no need to be afraid. There is every reason to decide clearly and act carefully and quickly. We will be alright! The only danger that will do us in is fear itself!”

We will be alright.

We will be alright.

That is the promise God gives us all.

We will be alright.

We will be alright, for Jesus walks with us.


Lost in the Desert


Brought to the Feast

Monday, May 15, 2023

It May Not Be Dry,

But It’s Bleak.

Bleak Winter Cold and Blah.

Or is it blessed peace?

Psalms 107:2-8

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress; he led them by a straight way, until they reached an inhabited town. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

Matthew 8:11

I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven …

Words of Grace For Today

Getting lost is common enough and most often resolved easily, if one admits to being lost. Not all of us can be Daniel Boones who are never lost, just a might bit confused of one’s whereabouts.

But being lost, knowing it, and admitting it is the first step to getting help being found again, being set right, being led to the feast.

That’s why we start worship with confession of our sins, so that we know God leads us onward to the feast of life!

Those who would mock us for being lost, are most lost of all people. For they not only do not know they are lost, but they think that by mocking others they can make their own situation more secure. Such it is certainly not.

Each day is another day to be humble and ask God to save us from the dry deserts of our lives, from the smokey hours downwind from wildfires of evil, from the arrogance that would bring us to mock other’s being lost.

The feast after all is not for those who are never lost. The feast is a grand celebration of all those who were once lost, and now are found …

by great mercy

and love.

Weeping & Pain

Overcome by God’s Promises

Friday, May 12, 2023

Fire & Smoke

May Colour Our World and Steal Breath From Us,

Doch God Promises Life


Jeremiah 31:9

With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

John 16:22

So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

Words of Grace For Today

That life is filled with pain and sorrow, difficulties and failures, enemies and losses is no surprise for anyone with their eyes open.

Often in the midst of the worst that life serves up for us, it is challenging to remember that God intended us to enjoy life by giving help to others. God did not intend for life to be an endless party, ignoring ours’ and others’ needs. God did intend that life should be rewarding, joy-filled, and filled with vitality of mind, body, and spirit.

So God promises that though today we may have pain and sorrow, God has not forgotten us. God has claimed us as God’s own people and become a father & mother to us all.

What God promises no one can take from us.

That is reason enough to give every bit of effort we have into sharing the goodness of life with others.


Crying To God

Or Languishing Away …

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Even The Animals There Were Barely Alive,

Starving Like the People.

Isaiah 50:2

God spoke:Why was no one there when I came? Why did no one answer when I called? Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? By my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a desert; their fish stink for lack of water, and die of thirst.

Matthew 8:2

… and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.’

Words of Grace For Today

When Julius travelled to the south, climbing the steep cliffs and crossing the miles of barren rock, he found (as he had heard he would) a community of people so poor and poorly prepared for anything that would come their way that it astounded everyone who saw their community that they had survived this long.

Julius stopped at house after house offering to help heal anyone who was sick, to share words of encouragement, to offer advice on how to prepare better for the winter yet to come, and more desperately to increase their food stores if just a bit. Yet at every house he stopped at, he was told that he could not help them, that they would have to make do such as life was for them. He could move on if we knew what was good for him.

So he moved on to the next house, and the next, and the next, and …. After finding almost every house in the community he turned back north for the journey home that would take him through two nights.

He reached the barren rocks and stopped for that first night. As he setup camp and started to prepare for his light meal, such as it was, for he was nearly out of food himself, unwilling to take anything from such a poor community, a voice called out.

He stopped, surprised and then astounded as one of the community he’d just visited cried out to him to help them. He went, met the person, and heard that a house outside the community, a house he had not found was over-filled with people all sick, cast out of the community. The wanted to be healed, if he could take the time to help them.

So he went.

He saw even in the dark of night with the few lights from burning torches.

He diagnosed them with a simple malady of fungus.

He showed them how to grind up the root of a plant that grew nearly everywhere around them, to boil it in a tea. Within a day they would notice a difference as they started to heal. They scoffed at him and told him he must leave to that he did not become sick, too. They insisted.

So he left, camping not far away.

The next day as he was a short ways across the barren rock plateau, he heard a cry again.

He turned to see a young boy of about 11 running towards him. He stopped. The boy who he’d noticed among the sick, already had started to heal. Then the boy danced towards him, knelt in front of him, and begged him to allow him to come with him.

After a long conversation Julius sent the boy back home, instructing him to help the others. He also promised that he would return before the harvest, and then each year at least once, and begin teaching the boy to be a wise healer for his own people, and anyone who was in need.