Dark Past

Darker Future?

Friday, August 11, 2023

AP Photo/Becky Bohrer

Mendenhall Glacier on June 8, 2023, in Juneau, Alaska

Daniel 2:22

He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with him.

John 1:5

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Words of Grace For Today

Scientists processed a ‘rediscovered in 2017’ ice and sediment core taken in 1996 below Camp Century in Greenland, in the dark under 4500 feet of ice. Studying that past they determined that 416,000 years ago plants thrived there. While scientists used to think that the ice pack over Greenland had been there for millions of years, meaning it was quite resilient to changes in temperature, this means that the ice pack is comparatively sensitive to increases in temperatures, and

Much more quickly than we thought, with climate change and rising temperatures, the whole ice pack will melt. All that ice gone means the temperatures there will rise as the sun’s heat is absorbed into the ground instead of reflected back by the white ice-snow. It also means that the oceans will quickly rise as much as 23 feet just from Greenland’s ice water being added to the oceans. Greenland will be warm and wet, and the entire earth may be ice-free.

Billions of people live near sea level: large cities like New York and Vancouver’s lower mainland, large areas like Florida, most of the Netherlands and sub-continent India and large areas of Africa.

So out of the darkness comes the light that shows that the future is very dark for billions of people, and by extension for us all.

Enjoy the light while we can, right?


Do something to prepare, except our possible preparations are small (and smaller yet are the preparations we will likely engage in) compared to what lies ahead.

It’s like building a bomb shelter in one’s back yard and stocking it for a few month’s habitation. That was not needed, fortunately. But such preparations would have been wholly inadequate!


Allow ourselves to both do all that is possible, assist others, and pray for sanity among all people. It’s going to get hard.

And when it gets hard some people turn to violence, as if nature’s onslaught will not be enough.

Then the peacemakers will be needed to keep at least a few people sane, able to make a future worth living

for generations to come.

Pray that we will not forget how to dance, laugh, and sing, amid the darknesses to come.

Pray that the Light of Christ will live in and among us.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will teach us now and always to live in that Light, amid the darknesses we know all too well.


From the Highest One

to the Lowest Ones

Sunday, August 6, 2023

God’s Compassion Is Spread,

Like Sprays of Cloud,

To All People,

Through Us.

Psalm 22:5

To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

James 5:11

Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Words of Grace For Today

God knows we get a lot of grief, ridicule, and judgment from other people, and that we hand out more than a fair share of it to others.

Compassion may flow occasionally from us and to us, though anyone with eyes to see and hearts to know will know full well that there is not enough compassion in the world, nor in any single human’s life, not since the beginning of time, nor to the end of time.

God walks with us, saves us, redeems us, and sends us out to share God’s mercy and compassion with others. God models compassion in Jesus’ life many times, also when he seeks private time to grieve John’s death at Herod’s hands and sword … and then a huge crowd intrudes on his solitude and grief. Jesus has compassion on them, teaches them (in Mark) and heals them (in Matthew- and teaches and heals them in Luke).

The Spirit inspires us to be compassionate with all people. It’s not like we can do it on our own.

So where, when, how will the Spirit bring compassion to people today, through us?

Just A Bit

Probably Not More

To Start

Monday, July 17, 2023

It Will Never Be Big,

But It Will Be a Tiny, Red, Beautiful, and Tasty Strawberry.

What Will We Be?

Hosea 8:12

Though I write for him the multitude of my instructions, they are regarded as a strange thing.

Matthew 7:24

Jesus said: Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.

Words of Grace For Today

If only one had the words

the words to make it right

the words to make what is broken heal

the words to bring life back where it is no more.

Without these words

one is lost.

Then Jesus speaks

and we find our way home

at last

as the colour returns to earth

and light shines in our darkness

for our home is built on the rock

of our salvation


just a bit

we smile at the universe.

The Perfect

The Very Perfect

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Not All of Us Can Be Perfect,

Or Capture the ‘Perfect Water Droplet’

(which does not exists, anyway.)

Isaiah 31:6

Turn back to him whom you have deeply betrayed, O people of Israel.

1 Timothy 1:15

The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost.

Words of Grace For Today

Humble Pie.

While the world is full of bullies, liars, and doers of evil, so much so it seems it’s impossible to find even one good person –

which reminds one of the visiting pastor to the Lutheran Church of Hope in Tinytown, Anywhere. He was following up on inquiry made to him directly about serving this new church in his spare time. That was an odd request since he was moving to a small town a little jaunt away to start his retirement. Still he met with the chairperson, who showed him around the church building and the church yard. It looked pretty new if small.

He asked as they approached the altar how many members the congregation had. The reply told him everything he needed to know, and more:

Well, ten years ago we were 150 members. But so many were not serious about their faith, so most of them left leaving us with 30 active members. Then two years ago there was a fight between two families. It was groundless, at least in the present. But they had been fighting for generations so who knows what it really was about anymore. So I told both families they could either make peace or leave. Both families left, not just the one’s fighting but all their relatives and a few friends. That left us with 10 active members. In the last two years I’ve worked to avoid any more fights. When someone does not measure up to the standards of our faith I tell them to shape up or ship out. All of them have chosen to ship out. Now we have a real good congregation of two people: myself and my husband. But lately I’m not so sure about him either. I’ve come close a few times to telling him to shape up or ship out. But he’s come around on his own.

The problem with fixing everyone else, is it blinds us to our own faults, and that blindness drives us to judge others harshly, maybe as harshly as they deserve, but not as harshly as we ourselves deserve.

The sign of a faithful person is one who can readily say that God’s grace is needed more by one’s own miserable sinful self than any other person.

The writer of the letter to Timothy had it right:

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost.

We can be glad that he claimed that spot. At least we are not as bad off as he was … or?

May your day not force you to be humble, but may you find joy in starting each day humbled by the wonders of God’s grace, and Christ’s work to save us all.

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









To Wonders of Wonders

Thursday, April 27, 2023

The Wonders of Wonders

Surround Us

Each New Day.

Isaiah 44:21

Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you, you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.

Romans 11:1

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.

Words of Grace For Today

When Covid, on top of deceptions and lies, on top of deteriorating health, on top of life decaying into old age, leaves one feeling abandoned …

and who cannot identify with that reality when no one is there or here, or anywhere …

the only saving grace is to know and trust that God has not forgotten us, that God has not rejected us.

For the beauty of the world still surrounds us.

The celebration each morning still reflects the light of Christ in the Eucharist.

The provisions for survival are still possible.

And life is still possible, even peaceful, and we have learned to enjoy solitude immensely, knowing God walks with us, is for us, and protects us.

Is this not also the blessing God provides for us all?



Thank God We Cannot!

Sunday, April 23, 2023


Think Again!

You Can Not Hide

Even in the Darkest Thicket,

Or Anywhere!

Jeremiah 23:24

Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord.

Hebrews 4:13

And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.

Words of Grace For Today

While we may run from the blessedness of life in so many ways, our running from is futile.

Still we run ourselves far and deep into death in so many ways.

And most of all we try to hide from God, out of fear that being seen by God will expose the futility of our striving to live and live longer and better than others, or better and longer than we should have. Then God will also know of the inevitable destruction to others caused by our futile strugglings.

No matter how hard and far we try to run away, God remains faithful.

God sees all we do.

We may think the worst of it all is that God will hold us to account for what we have thought, said, and done to others, to ourselves, and to God’s good creation.

Yet, we cannot hide, and thankfully so.

God remains faithful, picking us up when we fall flat on our faces, failures at living even in the least of successful ways. Even as God holds us to account, God graciously, freely offers us forgiveness and renewed life.

So today, how will we live today?

Resting in God’s always seeing and knowing us (deep into our bones and history and thoughts)?


Stupidly thinking we can outsmart God and hide from God in every way?


Rest easy: God does not abandon us to such foolishness!


By Another

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Don’t Go Bananas.

Go YoYo

Back Into

God’s Gracious Hand.

Nehemiah 9:31

Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.

John 14:19

In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.

Words of Grace For Today

There are so many of us people on earth that it is a wonder that it does not just wobble out of round and tumble into the sun, ending all the injustice and evil and destruction and lies with which we weight our ways.

But God, as in times too many to count in the past, does not extinguish us, end us, or forsake us, though creation might be much better off without us!

So why?

Why does God tolerate all the evil we generate each day, weighting down the timeline around the earth so that it reaches the sun with enough force to wobble it out of it’s orbit in the Milky Way. (Maybe that’s why the Milky Way is wobbling to the path of Andromeda Galaxy!?)

We seem to be dead-set on creating more and more wobble with our days, wobbling everything back into the chaos of pre-creation so fast it’s hard to tell what was that is now no more.

Thankfully God sent Jesus to model for us how to live, without all the wobble … and since we find that impossible to mimic, Jesus also sets us free from the guilt of our wobbles.

We get to live again, like a yo yo brought back from spinning on the end of the string, back into the hand of God. We live, active and capable of love, compassion and mercy, not because we are so good, but because Jesus gives us life (life lived as he lived it … inside the realm of God’s good earth.)

Sleeper beepers, what are we going to do today, as God pulls us back into the ‘game’ of life?


For Jesus

Monday, April 3, 2023

We Build Houses,

Even For Fishing With Jesus For People.

God Has Other Plans

For Us.

Psalms 16:8

I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Hebrews 12:2

looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Words of Grace For Today

For us all, all too often we see God as our right hand power that enables us to succeed in the world. Our enemies should lay down and worship, if not God, then us, for the power we wield.

Except life is not like that, and God’s Word for us is not either.

Instead God deals with the reality of life … which ends in death for us all.

God frees us from our sins, and our ultimate fears of death,so that we can live.

On Easter we will say: Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen Indeed! As enthusiastic as we may have learned to proclaim this wondrous news, the power of that news is clear only when we know deep in our bones and hearts what has come before: Jesus has died. Jesus has died a terrible, torturous, unjust death.

That’s what Holy Week is all about. It reminds us of the reality that Jesus addresses with his death and resurrection.

Make no mistake there have been plenty of deaths recently. Among them:

Five siblings, their spouses and children and friends gather to bury the siblings’ parents killed in an accident. An earthquake rocks the mountain overlooking the cemetery and buries them all. A tank runs over an orphan soldier crushing the breath out of him forever. An addict dies alone and helpless poisoned by xylazine cut into his drugs. An old man dies forgotten in his soiled bed. Two women are stoned to death by a crowd of self-righteous zealots.

And then this Friday we remember also that Jesus was falsely accused as many before and since, was strung up and left to die on a cross.

Anyone who is paying even a little bit of attention knows the searing sadness, and profound sorrow of death. That’s life on earth. We get used to such news.

God planned for that, too.

God lets us dive into the familiar of death, and then jars us out of our comfort zones with Jesus’ resurrection,

Turning our worlds all topsy-turvy, back upright,

Where only God is in control, and we live and breathe only as God gives us these gifts … to share.


Wild (-erness) Love

Thursday, March 16, 2023


Christ’ Light Draws Us

To The Far Shores

of Our Imaginations

to See and Be

God’s Love for All People

Deuteronomy 32:10

He sustained him in a desert land, in a howling wilderness waste; he shielded him, cared for him, guarded him as the apple of his eye.

Or perhaps better pro-nouned:

God sustained the people in a desert land, in a howling wilderness waste; God shielded them, cared for them, guarded them as the apple of her eye.

1 John 4:16

So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

Words of Grace For Today

Led out of slavery, across the land of a hostile despot, pursued by well trained, deadly soldiers, saved by a miracle crossing the Red Sea into the wilderness, and then?

What good is it to be freed from slavery only to end up in the wilderness to die of thirst, or hunger, or empty hearts and souls unable to imagine God’s grace?

So God sustains, shields, cares for, and guards the people in the barren howling wasteland. God sustains, shields, cares for, and guards the people with love, for there is nothing so powerful.

Seeking to establish a democracy leaders of the country (politician, banker, and publisher) arrive at the White House for a week of consultations. The brilliant writer leads them to craft a wonderful constitution. The President ‘interferes’ by bringing two of the greatest minds into the room with them. The greatest minds are from opposite parties and from opposite ends of the spectrum of thought, especially about how a democracy should function … except for one basic foundation.

Stymied by the constant arguing that prevents any consensus about what should and should not be included in the new constitution, the writer finally seeks out the President to silence the arguing. They only have one day left to finalize their document!

The President advises the writer that the goal is not a constitution, written and sealed for adoption. The goal is to teach by example, and in that example reach into the leaders’ hearts, minds, and souls to show them that the foundation of democracy is not any written document or anything else, except for the willingness to listen with respect to one’s opponents. If this small group of leaders learn to respect that one foundational principle, not in writing, but in their hearts, minds and souls, then they will teach others by example back home. With that principle they will be able, not easily, but successfully, to write and adopt … and the hardest part … and to follow the constitution with respect for all opinions honestly presented for consideration. (From West Wing)

Our foundational principle for life is not merely for the worst of all forms of government, (except all the others). Our principle for life is what God gives us, love. Living that love, trusting that love, listening to each other with that love, these are the things that Jesus does for us setting an example, so that we may live, trust, listen with love for others, so that they may learn to live, trust, and listen with love. With this miracle, for it can only happen by miracle transforming our hearts in spite of ourselves, God brings us through every barren wilderness to the Promised Land.

Today we get to live out the love that God has for us.

That’s Light work, spreading God’s miracles with abandon across the landscapes of all creation. Ready or not God already has sent us.