Ask and …

What the #*^%&#^$&$^$!! Happened!?!?” ?

Sunday, November 26, 2023

The Lake Sings The Morning In!

Another Gift From God,

so precious.

Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good, a stronghold on a day of trouble; he protects those who take refuge in him,

Matthew 7:7

Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.

Words of Grace For Today

All of us have asked for things to be a bit better,

or a lot better.


it seldom

turns out to be better,

especially if we get exactly what we’ve asked for!

Thankfully God

hears our pleas, our cries, our wailings, our dreams, or requests,


God most often only gives us what we need


offer life abundant to others.

So much for getting

it to be a little bit better for ourselves.

So we could say, following Jesus really is a bummer, right?!


What God provides that we seldom ask for is

everything we need to live life abundantly.

It is certainly so that living with everything hunky doory and with an abundance of what the world would have us chase after, is not

God’s life abundant

that we receive.


we receive hope, the ability to love and be loved, the ability to be kind and honest, the ability to give

to the most needy

what they desperately need.

And then God gives us the ability to say thanks and enter each day

confessing our sins, and relying wholly on God to bring us to do good things for others.




Or, when God does not give us exactly what we asked for (that would be so bad for us) we can pretend to be astounded and selfishly ask,

“What the #*^%&#^$&$^$!! Happened!?!?


Mercy Me!

Monday, October 16, 2023

That’d Be Us,

Smoking As We Go Down,

If God Were Not Merciful!

Psalm 103:10

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

Ephesians 4:32

… be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Words of Grace For Today

Well, a week of giving thanks for being able to take photos, and lots of other things is great, and it continues not least of all for Mercy.

Mercy me where would we be without mercy!

Since God does not make us pay all our debts, huge and impossible as they are, why are we not so gracious with those whose debts are small and owed to us?

Tender-hearted is a great start to every day, and every challenge. It gets us further than most any other effort on our part.

So God is merciful, and we, well not so much. God is tender-hearted, and we try but end up not so much, right?

And the world around us, with wars, lies, corruption, and lack of care for those without, is what we get!

Starting everyday remembering to be thankful for God’s mercy and tender-heartedness towards us is a great start. And then …?

What are you thankful for today?

Can you see all that you can be thankful for, clearly enough?

Answer 8

Wood, that provides heat and cooking in the winter, without which I would be a might bit chilly and more.

Good Land

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

The Good Land?

Deuteronomy 8:7

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills,

Acts of the Apostles 14:17

… yet he has not left himself without a witness in doing good—giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filling you with food and your hearts with joy.’

Words of Grace For Today

Perhaps if we develop ‘warp drive’ (space flight faster than light) we can anticipate that God will bring us into a good land, flowing with water and all goodness, but until then

we’ve ruined the earth so much that it is hard to imagine a ‘good land’ somewhere under these skies.

The water flows alright, as the glaciers and ice caps and land mass ice melt, and it collects in the oceans and they rise, and what used to be ocean front property is underwater.

Or the water does not flow and the rains do not fall and the crops do not grow.

Or … you name it, the climate of earth has gotten mean.

What did we expect?

Okay, it’s not really all all that bad.

There are blessed places where the water flows, the rain falls in good amounts, the sun shines, and the crops grow.

And if one has lived in an area that was marginal to good before climate change, conflicts and disasters, but it has become uninhabitable or unsafe then coming to a land where crops grow and people live in relative safety, then one can count that as a blessing.

Typical is, though, that if we’ve always lived where the crops grow reasonably well year after year, then we easily forget how blessed it is that God has brought us to this good land.

It is easy to forget how others yearn for such a land to call home.

It is easy to think we deserve it … and others do not.

When life is hard, survival in question each day, then each breath is precious, and with each breath we can say, thanks for such wondrous blessings. These are the blessings that make life possible.


Everywhere, God ….

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Obstacles or Beauty,

Always, All Things Are

In God’s Hands.

Psalm 95:4

In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.

Revelation 14:7

He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.’

Words of Grace For Today

Das DDR Museum feiert am 18. Juli ein besonderes Jubiläum: Vor 30 Jahren wurde am 1. Juni 1979 um 20:00 Uhr in der Samariterkirche in Berlin-Friedrichshain die erste von vielen Blues-Messen gefeiert.

On July 1, 1979 at 20:00 the Samariterkirche in Berlin- Friedrichshain celebrated the first of many Blues-Worship-Services. These services were packed in every available space with youth in East Germany (most not belonging to any church), struggling to find their way in the most surveilled country ever, with demands for adherence to policies and attitudes that everyone knew were impossibly false.

A young man, who was impressed with the diaconate work for the handicapped that the church did, spoke to the youth pastor at the Samariterkirche and offered to do something for the church. What can you do? I can make blues. So a blues worship service started up, led by the youth pastors. The idea spread to churches across East Berlin. Young people flocked to the churches.

The STASI (state security police) attended as well, with all the misery that could mean for pastors, youth and any supporters.

The church hierarchy questioned why all this for people who did not belong to the church.

The youth pastors replied that if they came, it was their job to provide worship for them. And they did addressing the questions of youth that were not allowed to be addressed anywhere else in society, not in school, not on the streets: What of this state controlled life being watched and reported on, and all of it recorded by the STASI, determining often what education and work one could get if one was not thrown in prison? What of forced military service for all youth, of no freedom to ask how life could be better, when all of life from indoctrination in school to lifelong the ‘party line’ had to be spoken even though it was obviously false? And what of the wall and border areas and policies that prohibited people from leaving to the West.

The gloriously coloured West with promise, like a first love, that in fact wears off quickly to reveal a reality that is so corrupt and rotten with excesses and poverty for most, with privilege for the few.

Even to all this – East Germans hardships, the West’s corruptions and poverty – even all this is in God’s hands.

And those blues services provided one piece (allowed by Honecker in conversation with Bishop Schönherr, both survivors of Nazi concentration camps) of a perfect storm that led to the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, and the signing of the Unification Treaty 3 October 1990.

Sometimes what we see as great obstacles, mountains blocking our way forward in life, are God’s declarations of magnificent beauty, calling us forward to something new.


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?