The DawnShine

From On High

Sunday 29 January 2023

Blues, Peaches, and De-Light

Psalms 80:20

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Luke 1:78-79

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. ’

Words of Grace For Today

After a long, dark night, after many days of snow and clouds, freezing rain and wind, nothing quite compares to the light of the dawn breaking in on this life with blues, peaches and golds spraying the white snow-laden ground with all colours of the rainbow.

These are reminders of God’s promise not to abandon us, not to the floods, nor to the disasters of any kind, nor to the darkness that can creep up on us and catch us, drawing us down, down, down.

God’s promises renewed, our hearts buoyed once again, and our minds set on what lies ahead, even the shadow of death cannot steal the peace from us. Our enemies that would do us harm have no chance, nor have they had any chance of succeeding in bringing about our demise.

Instead we have found refuge in God’s great light, in God’s great forests, and beside God’s great waters. The sun powers our shelters, wood heats our bones, and clean water refreshes us each day, as we feast on simple foods, enjoying every bite.

Even as the cold winds blow, there are moments to find the solitude warming our hearts, bodies and minds as we work outside to provide the basics for the coming days.

And writing, writing, writing keeps our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, as we explore the truth of the past, present and future.

This is the light of Christ, God’s countenance that shines brightly here on us, and everywhere.

May the light find you today filled with gratitude for God’s gifts and the opportunities to share life with those in need (which is pretty much everyone.)

Giving Up!

Surrendering to God With and For Us

Friday 27 January 2023

The colours of dawn show the glory of God,

whether we see it or not.

Psalms 1:3

They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.

Philippians 1:9-11

And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

Words of Grace For Today

Jonathan worked hard everyday, as he had since he was 5. He remembered what his mother had taught him, that you had to work hard to make it in life. He had definitely wanted to make it in life. First he had wanted to make his mother proud. He may have wished something of his father, but he had left them before Jonathan knew anything about him. Then as he grew older he saw that people with money got to do what they wanted, so he decided that he would have lots of money by working hard.

A quick three years earned him his first degree, another two his PhD and he was on his out working hard everyday. At first he worked for someone else. After a year he figured out that the only way to be wealthy was to have people working for him, so he quit his job and started his own little design and engineering company. Just five years later he had grown it to 1000 employees in 20 different cities. He’d sold that company for his first real billion in his own bank account. He’d invested half in safe stocks and the rest into a new company, this time architecture, engineering, and construction. Within 3 years he had more than 3000 employees in 30 different cities across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Then he’d met Michelle on a worksite in Vereeniging and again on a project outside Dar es Salaam and all the sense of his working everyday dissolved like his nightly antacids in hot water. He’d taken a year to be with her, working every other week or so, getting just as much work done, still adding to his assets and investments, and the value of his company, all privately owned. They’d been married in Cape Town, had a week long honeymoon in Stockholm, Oslo, and Sankt Peter Ording.

Then he’d gotten back to work, even as the children arrived. First Olevia, then Petrus. When he came back from working in Hebron on a new project, his first in Israel, he found Michelle in the hospital. No one knew what made her ill, but she could barely lift her head or hands, and she whispered at most a few words each day. He’d sat by her for 4 straight days, as her condition got worse and worse, until ….

Looking back on the week that had followed, Jonathan could not remember what had happened. He sat on the edge of his hospital bed now. People told him he collapsed at Michelle’s funeral. He had no memory of it at all, or of the previous days in the hospital.

He rubbed his forehead. It did not help the headache or the dizziness. He tried to stand, but the room spun and he sat back down. Minutes later he woke up laying on his bed.

All the money that he had, and he could not save Michelle, and now he could do nothing for himself. Give him a building project and he’d excel, but this! What was this!?

When he found these verses (Psalms 1:3 and Philippians 1:9-11) beside his bed that night, he thought, yes, he’d prospered, but to what good end? He thought his love for Michelle had overflown all limits, and he had acquired great knowledge and wealth. But had he any insight to help himself determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ he would be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness?

It was like another test, and he was failing this one badly.

The pastor that visited his roommate the next morning talked about how we could not do anything good without the Holy Spirit guiding us to do that good. Otherwise it all turned to dust and hopeless evil. We could, of our own freewill, choose to do evil and turn from God; but only God could help us live in God’s good grace.

He was more confused than ever. How could he do what was right if that was impossible? But he could still do what was wrong, because that was fully possible for him?

His roommate got up later that day, and saw that he had not even made it to the bathroom at all that day. He walked over, and saw Jonathan’s confused, hopeless look, and simply made the sign of the cross on his forehead saying, you are marked with the cross of Christ, and you are precious to God. Be at peace.

And then it all changed for Jonathan. He died.

They revived him. A month later he went home. He spent hours, days, weeks and months making no sense at all of what the pastor or his roommate had said. Not until Olevia walked into his study and told him that God walked with her, whether she liked it or not. But it didn’t help keep the bully girl out of her face at school. So she was reading about Gandhi and nonviolence. She knew that what seemed to be weakness was going to be her strength.

And it clicked for Jonathan. He stopped trying to do everything right, to earn enough money, to read the right things, to think the right things. He just prayed to God that he surrendered.

He woke the next morning and for the first time ever, doing nothing except waiting to see the sun rise, paying attention to the glorious colours of the dawn slowing push the darkness away until the deep blue sky shone bright above the pink and cream in the clouds on the horizon … and he knew that God was with him, and had been his whole life, even when he had never paid attention or cared.

For the first time ever life looked wonderful, even while he felt profound guilt for leaving Michelle so often and the grief of her leaving him with an un-fillable hole in his heart.

Gladness In Our Hearts

Thursday 26 January 2023

So Many Steps To Take,

To Preserve Creation

For The Next Generations!

Psalms 4:7-8

You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound. I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

Romans 14:17

For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Words of Grace For Today

Former Calgary mayor, Naheed Nenshi, in his November 2022 ‘In Defence of Democracy’ speech for the Samara Centre for Democracy’s at the Toronto Public Library outlined five simultaneous crises that we face, which threaten more than just democracy, but also democracy:

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/keep-fighting-to-build-strong-communities-naheed-nenshi-1.6679094

Public Health, which the pandemic showed us all too clearly is broken so badly and so unfairly and so unjustly.

Mental Health, which is buried, hidden and denied, yet officially effects 1 of 4, and realistically is a crisis for every single one of us at some time in our lives.

Economic Injustice, which is fuelled by systems that we rely on, which as much as slavery did[does] needs to mistreat so many people in order to keep our societies functioning.

Environmental Crisis, which has shown us that we’ve used up most of our ‘carbon budget’, climate is changing in years (changes that used to take millennia), and change cannot come soon enough, though the wrong changes will leave us worse off than we are now and will be otherwise.

Inequity, which is the fundamental crisis underlying all the others, so that while some live opulent lives now, most of us live in the dregs of their leftovers, and the gap between the haves and have-nots is getting wider, faster than ever before.

Of course, in the past year we must add a sixth crisis, that of inflation and the rising cost of borrowing money, of paying for housing, of buying groceries and gasoline and everything else that is basic to life as we live it.

These crises are familiar to anyone who has not been ‘asleep at the wheel!’

Nenshi provides illustrations: from an immigration system that promises educated, certified, even practising professionals entry to Canada, where we then deny them the right to exercise their professions and instead relegate them to hard, manual labour like long-term care work, or the new driver’s lecture for youth of colour that concludes: always keep your wallet out and visible so that if/when you are stopped you do not need to reach for it, do as you are told, and do not resist: do not let being pulled over be the last thing you do!

So what are we to do?

Nenshi offered three ways to get to an anti-racist culture: empathy, sacrificial service, and love.

Nothing new there either.

So if we’ve know and practised these things, while we may not have made any progress, we know personally and communally that the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

That God has put gladness in our hearts more than when grain and wine abound. Therefore we will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make us lie down in safety.

Yet, there is so much that God’s good creation needs from us still, while we still have breath, before it is too late!

‘Work with us, again this day, God!’ we pray

‘Bring gladness to our hearts once again.’

Ah, Life Done God’s Way

Wednesday 25 January 2023

God Plays A Great Tune

With Every Possibility

Are We Listening and Watching and Praying

And Giving Thanks?

Proverbs 11:19

Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live, but whoever pursues evil will die.

Matthew 5:6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Words of Grace For Today

The ordinary ways and means of life are simple: do the stuff right, do the righteous stuff and you will live well.

But if you do the wrong stuff, you will not live well, you will suffer, and die miserably.

The other thing is, if you hunger and thirst for righteousness, then you will be fine.

But …

Jesus is God’s message to us that God intends life to be otherwise for us.

Not just any other way, but the ‘foolishness’ of the cross, that upside down way from our view, of God’s greatest power being in sacrifice in order to forgive and give new life to all us sinners who deserve nothing other than … well, nothing other than all bad, not even breath for life.

Yet we get all that God has that is good for us, given freely to us, to make life wonderful. Of course all that we get from God is not for us, it is for us to give away to others, especially others in need in order to actually keep living.

What a way to live, eh? Everything upside down from the rest of the world, and everything blessed, even when others think we have lost our minds.

But we know how we are blessed in the greatest of ways, even if we are hungry, homeless, and lies have ruined our reputation.

The sun rises, the sun shines or snow falls or rain drops like buckets, and then the sun sets. During every minute God shows us the simple joys of breathing, writing, taking photos, and being gracious, kind, and forgiving.

That’s the stuff of life as God intended us to live it.

Do It Right! Or Else!

Sunday 15 January 2023

Our Sins, like dark trees,

always partially block OUT God’s Perfect Light,

which makes life

beautiful.

Proverbs 21:3

To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

James 2:26

For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.

Words of Grace For Today

Sacrifice is given after one has done what is not acceptable to God (sin), to appease God, to win God’s favour, and to set things right with God.

Of course, we humans would think that, instead of sinning it would be better just to do what pleases God, wins God approval, and stays right with God.

James hits it right on the head: the body alone is not alive, not unless spirit inhabits the body, mind, and soul. Likewise faith without works is also dead, for works are the spirit that gives faith its life … right?

What James hits right on the head is the easiest perversion of faith, apparently the Devil’s favourite path to corrupt us away from God, for we take it up so often. It goes like this: we do, God rewards us, beginning and of story.

Thank God that is not the story of God’s will and Word for us. Not at all. God created us able to love and able to sin. That is God created us free to choose to love (otherwise it is not love) which requires us also to be free to choose to not love, which is to sin and turn away from God’s will for us.

God planned for all that.

God loves us, whether we choose to love and live out that love doing righteousness and justice, enlivening our lives of faith with works of love (and all that comes with it.)

God does not abandon us to our lives of sin, perverse, destructive, and full of suffering as they are. God, instead, reaches out to us with love and forgives us and renews God’s spirit in us, and sends us out to do the same for others.

That is God’s will and Word for us.

There are so many seemingly convincing arguments to live otherwise, to avoid the real beginning of our relationship with God in worship and the rest of life. The real beginning for us is confession of our sins, which is the acknowledgement that without God’s forgiveness and grace we are nothing good at all, not at all.

There are so many fully convincing arguments made that we are sinners but not really that bad after all, not like other terrible sinners. We are not wretched sinners, just sort of sinners. All that is the Devil’s work to pull us away from fully relying on God’s forgiveness and grace as the source of spirit in our lives, which is really life itself.

Thankfully God planned for that, too, graciously sending God’s own son to show us how wretched we are as sinners, and how forgiving God is, and we can be forgiving of ourselves and others, without avoiding our profound and desperate need to be forgiven in order to breathe and be alive each moment.

Yes, we ought to do it right or else. The else is, God will forgive us again, and again, and yet again, demonstrating that we can do it right only with God’s Spirit guiding us.

Oh, and God prefers neither that we do righteousness and justice, nor that we make sacrifices. God prefers that we live out and tell the story of God’s Grace enabling us to do God’s will for us all.

Be Reconciled

Friday 13 January 2023

Feeling like a useless, Dead Stick stuck in the Ice?

Fear not!

God lovingly planned

for that, too!

Isaiah 44:8

Do not fear, or be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? You are my witnesses! Is there any God besides me? There is no other rock; I know not one.

2 Corinthians 5:20

So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Words of Grace For Today

Be reconciled to God.

That sounds like we’ve got a lot of work to do, since, if we are honest with ourselves, we are so far from reconciled with God, others, or any of creation.

Might some definitions of reconcile help us understand what that work is? Definitions from The Free Dictionary (worth every penny) https://www.thefreedictionary.com/reconcile

Are we to:

1. To reestablish a close relationship between parties? Oh if we only could, but God is beyond our control, so try as we might, only God can do this!

2. To settle or resolve (a dispute)? Are we in a dispute with God? Sure appears that way given the list of our sins, our thoughts, words and deeds that go against God! So can we get rid of our sin, past, present and future. Not a chance!

3. To bring (oneself) to accept? Well, maybe this is getting closer to what we might be able to do, if it weren’t for those persistent, pesky sinful desires and wishes that drive us to reject God’s will for us, so I guess not this either!

4. To make compatible, harmonious, or consistent? Oh, if only. Nope, this requires that God makes us over again and again, into something different than we are, sinful, wretchedly sinful, persistently wretchedly sinful people.

5. To compare (one financial account) so that it is consistent or compatible with another? Nope, we cannot buy our way into God’s good graces, so keeping the books will not work. And nope: cooking the books will not work either.

6. To reestablish a close relationship, as in marriage. Well, marriages are full of all sorts of crap, and we bring enough with us wherever we go, so maybe we can establish a close relationship with God, as long as that includes relating to our sins on an up close and personal level. Is that really reconciling ourselves with God, though. That’s more like a bad marriage: dumping all our crap on our spouse, and saying it’s all their fault things don’t go well!

7. To become compatible, harmonious, or consistent as in balancing one’s bank account? Nope, our accounts are so out of whack that it’s not in the works to keep good books or cook ‘em enough to make us a fit for God’s goodness.

Except:

Thankfully when God created us, God planned for all that, and is loving and gracious with us and all our sins and crap like that, so that

God does the reconciling of us with God.

God does it all.

And we get to live free from fear, blessed to be a blessing to all we meet, so that all other people will come to know

God does it all for us.

We do not reconcile ourselves to God.

We are reconciled, to God, by God, thus ‘be reconciled’ is the phrase.

That’s not so much work, as giving up and letting God take over.

Now I can reconcile or resign or submit myself to that kind of Grace, as we all can.

Let It BE So

Sunday 11 December 2022

We need not be caught in the ‘fog’ of not knowing.

God makes all our paths

(past, present, and future)

clear.

Proverbs 5:21

For human ways are under the eyes of the Lord, and he examines all their paths.

Luke 1:38

Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Words of Grace For Today

How often will we get the opportunity to respond to God’s Word for us by saying, ‘Let it be so, as You will?’

God watches over us, knows everything we think, say, write, and do. God has since the beginning of time communicated well with us so that, if we care to listen, we can understand God’s will for us, each day.

We get that opportunity to submit to God’s will every day.

Even today.

Ears, eyes, and hearts open and we will understand God’s will for us … well enough to choose to follow God’s will or

to choose to follow our own way

and suffer all that comes

from rebellion

instead of all the gifts that come from submitting to God’s good will for us.

Oh, we pray, may it be that we will submit.

Oh, we pray, may it be so, today.

Rain With A Chance of Lava

Wednesday 7 December 2022

The Outsider.com Provides This Sighting

Isaiah 5:22-23

Ah, you who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant at mixing drink, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of their rights!

Philippians 4:8

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Words of Grace For Today

We get used to somethings in life that keep repeating themselves everyday.

Like there being many who are ‘heroes in drinking wine’ and many who ‘acquit the guilty for a bribe’ and ‘deprive the innocent of their rights’ for these are the ways of those lost to addiction and care little for their responsibilities to provide justice for all people. These ‘heroes’ proceed easily through each day, corrupting justice without batting an eye, because it is done routinely, regularly, expectedly so. Expectedly so except by the innocent who are condemned to suffer the injustice of being called criminals they are not. Expectedly so except for the victims of crimes who see the guilty parties walk free. Expectedly so even by the children of God, for we are not blind to evil, and we do not support it, so instead the injustice is turned against us, easily so.

In Hawaii the usual forecast is for temperatures around 21⁰, sunny with a little wind. Occasionally the forecast shifts to rain for a few hours, a warm rain before it shifts back to sunny and pleasant.

So these days when the forecast is for: Cloudy with a chance of Lava, it catches people’s attention.

The big one, Mauna Loa volcano, is erupting spewing out smoke and gases and liquid, freeky-hot-melt-everything-it-touches lava. The eruptions go on and on and are a spectacular site. Tourists flock to catch a glimpse of the upheaval.

But it’s dangerous. The lava, of course, is a deadly thing. The reach of the ‘smoke’ and ash is far greater, and unpredictable … and deadly. The ash is caustic. The ‘smoke’ is made up of a number of gases that are toxic to life. Breathe enough in and that’s the last one worries about breathing … or anything else.

We know that the forecast of ‘clouds and a risk of lava’ may seem humorous but that is the forecast God provides for those who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant at mixing drink, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of their rights!

We might well cheer and flock to see the event, like ‘lava chasers.’ The greatest risk is that we, too, will be caught in such exterminations of evil doers, for none of us are without sin.

So we pray, Lord save us and all your people from forecasts of ‘clouds and a chance of lava’, also this day.

May our lives be predictably in your hands, blessed for us and for those around us.

Looping Through at -32⁰ C

Sunday 4 December 2022

just a bit more to the left and down

opps, too far!

Ezekiel 34:12

As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.

John 10:11

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Words of Grace For Today

Right here. The flock is scattered, but this old ram is not lost. Rather God walks with me each day. This past Friday there was hardly any possibility of getting lost … at least not getting lost and living to tell about it. It dipped down into the dark cold of winter’s depths:

This morning I am out for my usual morning exercise walk down to the lake shore and up to the oil lease reclaimed field. 50 steps down, 75 up, then 22 up, then 48 up, then 48 back down, with lots of steps in between on the level or sort of so.

It’s -32⁰ for the first time this year. The drains have gone below freezing, the septic field is now at -2⁰ as it has been for days. Used water has to be carried out.

I’d forgotten this wonderful world of -30⁰C:

Stepping outside the air hits me in the face and it’s bracing, biting. The hood goes up right away even before locking up.

The snow is loud, squeaking and crunching and even screaming short cries as I step down the the hill into the wood, and then sliding, sliding, and not being able to stop until I reach the bottom.

The light fills the horizon with pastel hues of peach and orange and blue on top the greys and whites and delights of the playful tracks left yesterday in the snow.

Climbing in short steps in the footholds long ago stomped into the first snows, my breath is not as short as it was months ago, but by the time I reach the top I’m glad for a pause to catch with a camera the light painting the poplars with the skyclours bouncing from East to West and down around my lined pants on top of long johns covering already cooled legs. I move on, stopping to catch the light and colours, freezing my hand in the process, warming it inside the parka under my armpit. It takes more time than the walk takes to warm up my hand, mostly because I keep sacrificing it to the work of photo taking. I hope anyway, but since my glasses are fogged over a bit and I do not want to dump heat to take off my glasses, I am guessing from experience what I’m doing with the camera. The results will speak for themselves soon enough.

Just about to the top

Closer

Closer, yes, the sun made it.

Back I step into the heat, what is still inside the insulated tarps, and my glasses finish the fogging. But I’ve memorized the steps in, from this pallet to that, where I take off my boots and put them up on a shelf to be warmed, for the floor is near freezing while the ceiling is above 30⁰ and sometimes 50⁰ or 60⁰ or hotter, though then the danger of burning down increases greatly.

Off comes the cold parka, hung up on a nail, along with the fleece and wool hat, and the rush of warmth is so welcome.

Off come the boots, the lined pants, and I step up to the living area, up higher for better heating. It’s 30⁰ at the ceiling and 10⁰ at the floor.

Ahh, yes, -30⁰ has it’s delights and it’s challenges. Thankfully there is always a warm down duvet over the sleeping rolls, and I can warm up my feet and legs there if I need to.

All is well. All is well with my body and soul. The irregular melody of a hymn (from Gregor Linßen’s Und ein neuer Morgen part of der Messe “Lied vom Licht” that I worked on toward a better than Google translation yesterday) loops through my mind: for the melody, sung in German

1) Lord, you are our hope where life withers away,
in clay and on rocks grow full in us,
be germinating seed, be a secure place,
Bring forth fresh buds and bloom bright in us.
And as a new ’morrow breaks on this good planet
forth, in another new day, blossom in us.

.

Ref- Keep us safe, securely, firm in your wonderful hands and bless us all,
bless us all and this good planet.

.

2) Lord, you are goodness where love breaks apart,
in cold and dark times, breathe inside us.
be bless’d spirits sparking, be our warming light,
be hot flame, be burning in us.
And as a new ’morrow breaks on this good planet
forth, in another new day, burn bright in us.

.

Ref- Keep us safe, securely, firm in your wonderful hands and bless us all,
bless us all and this good planet.

.

3) Lord, you are our joy where laughter is lost,
in deep darkness, live on in us,
be joy filled dreams and thoughts, be comforting looks,
be voices and sing on in us.
And as a new ’morrow breaks on this good planet
forth, in another new day, sing on in us.

.

Ref- Keep us safe, securely, firm in your wonderful hands and bless us all,
bless us all and this good planet.

.

A rather wonderful way to start a day!

The good shepherd has kept this hermit well, safely cared for and provided for, in good company in the solitude that leaves plenty of welcome for God to walk along each step down, up, out and in, in warmth and in cold.

May the Good Shepherd also find you this day, and walk with you to keep you safe from all harm.

From Where Do We Come?

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Even the Plants on This Planet Breathe,

as a Gift From God.

Isaiah 59:19

So those in the west shall fear the name of the Lord, and those in the east, his glory; for he will come like a pent-up stream that the wind of the Lord drives on.

Luke 13:29-30

Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.

Words of Grace For Today

In this generation there are many people who do not believe in God, as in every generation. The span the globe from east to west, north to south, and live in every corner, circumstance, and comfort/desperation.

This is a wonderful vision that one day all people will come from the East and the West and fear God and God’s glory, that people will come from the north and the south to feast in God’s Kingdom. It just is not how it is today, or that there is any evidence that it will come about any day soon.

How just it will be that some of those who are last will be first, and those who are first will be last. It is better that it be all the first will be last and all the last will be first, but we will go with Luke’s version. That’s something of an improvement over the injustice that leaves so many people struggling to survive each day, many succumbing and more wishing they could be done with the struggle, one way or another.

Many who do not believe in God are completely ignorant or apathetic to the reality that God believes in them, in the possibility that they will turn from their arrogant evil ways and not only believe in, but fear and love God. And fearing and loving God will turn to serve others, working to give them life abundant. For now they fight against that possibility totally unaware that if God did not believe in them they would cease to breathe.

As we breathe, as we are together with saints from the south, north, west, and east, as we are joined by the saints in light who no longer need to breathe, we give God thanks …

Thanks for everything that keeps us living and able to see God’s glory each day, poured out on us all and over creation.