God Abandons?

No, God Engages

Always, to save us from ourselves

Saturday, September 2, 2023

When it seems the world closes in on us, as if God has abandoned us, hope carries us back to trust God always walks with us.

Isaiah 63:15

Look down from heaven and see, from your holy and glorious habitation. Where are your zeal and your might? The yearning of your heart and your compassion? They are withheld from me.

Galatians 5:5

For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.

Words of Grace For Today

God provides all we need to live, fully, abundantly, graciously, and generously with others.

It is not that we choose to be good and live righteously. It is a gift given to us in our baptisms and renewed many times each day. So we live as saints.

We can and so often do (thus the repeated giving of the gift) deny the gift, turning away from God to follow our own path, which always leads us straight to perdition.

Thank God, God saves us from ourselves.

And so this day also we live as saints, despite having chosen perdition again and again.

Thank God.

The Message:

The Lord Knows Us

Every Nook and Cranny

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Think We Can Hide Out There?

Think Again.

God Knows All About Us!

Isaiah 49:3

And he said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’

Acts of the Apostles 10:36

You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all.

Words of Grace For Today

Bonhoeffer wrote Who am I? Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine. … and he ended with:

Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!

That is for all of us the most determinative thing to know about ourselves, that God knows us!

God knows us, every nook and cranny, all our good past-present-future, and all our terrible, hidden, denied, covered up, destructive acts and wishes and thoughts. It can be more than scary to think God knows all that! It can be downright debilitating, making us want to give up entirely,


God demonstrates again and again, not only that God knows us inside and out. God shows us over and over again that God also loves us, as we are!

Knowing that God loves us, makes us able to love ourselves, and to love others (even though we never are very good at knowing ourselves or knowing others completely).

Knowing that we can love ourselves and others is liberating.

Knowing others do love us is marvellous, if entirely suspect, at times.

Knowing that God loves us is everything!

And of us miserable sinners (actually we are rather good at sinning) God brings us to be those who bring God to be glorified, by us and others, awestruck by God’s works for us all.


Follow, Obey … ?

Hope Like Hell

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Can We See The Way

That God Calls Us To,

This Day.

Deuteronomy 13:4

The Lord your God you shall follow, him alone you shall fear, his commandments you shall keep, his voice you shall obey, him you shall serve, and to him you shall hold fast.

1 Corinthians 10:13

No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

Words of Grace For Today

Follow, Obey, and Live!

It’s great to follow a wonderful leader.

One who give us good life in following!

If only we can find one, identify one, and know with surety that we are not wrong.

Is it possible not to be wrong?

Can we be 100% sure of anything?

Not at all.

Not at all.

The question for us always is, since we cannot

since we cannot so much …

Then there is only trust.

Trust that God will provide all that we need,

trust that God is and always will be faithful,

So that we can meet the challenges of each day,

especially today?

Fickle Love.

Sure Love.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Challenged, Human Love Fades

Like Sunlight In Smoke

Making Cowards

Out Of More And More Of Us.

Hosea 6:4

What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes away early.

1 Corinthians 13:1

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Words of Grace For Today




Love is a



often confused

most often abused

little understood and acknowledged


necessary for life,

or at least life abundant as God created us to live it.

Human love is like the morning dew that evaporates in the heat of the day.

God’s love is steadfast and sure,

the only thing that can be trusted in all the universe.

When people say they love us, that usually means they want to take something from us and,

when they have gotten all they can get, then they decide that they do not love us anymore.

We humans love God like that, too. Greedy and fickle, changing with the time of day and the tide of climate change and with opportunity.

God’s love is sure.

The only thing that is really sure.

Locked down, constant, unchanging, and reliable

if we dare see reality.

And that is it really, love requires courage.

We humans are mostly cowards, though we like to think otherwise. Which is part of our problem.

When the Holy Spirit makes us courageous, then watch out, for the miracles pour through us from God to others, wondrously.

Like feeding 5000 men and 20,000 women and children with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Turning hearts from fear to trusting and generous.

Will God’s love miraculously turn our hearts today from fear to trusting and generous?

Watch and see,

if we dare!


To Love?

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

The Whole Universe,

Determined By

God’s Judgments


God’s Love?

Genesis 3:8

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.

Words of Grace For Today

Love ought to preclude fear, but all I know from life is that love has taught me to fear greatly, especially that the love claimed is not really love at all, but rather sick manipulation that will kill if it can, and otherwise ruin anyone who trusts it faster than you can blink an eye.

Or Maybe:

Love ought to preclude fear, or maybe just drive out fear. The difference being love exists along with fear, but love moves fear out of the driver’s seat of one’s life and heart and mind and spirit. Fear is still there, love just negates it into being irrelevant. But all I know from life is that love has taught me to not worry, for love claimed may or may not be love, but love from God is sure and in that love I allow myself to be defined. That is the love that has taught me what love really is.

Adam and Eve hide from God for fear, for they know Good and Evil and they have disobeyed God. They have tried to reach beyond their own selves and have tried to be God, knowing Good and Evil. So they think they know Good and Evil, and in a small way they do. They have caught a glimpse of it. Same as I have caught an eyeful of love claimed that is really manipulation. What they have not yet learned is that God’s love is greater than all Good and Evil.

But they will.

And we will.

And in that we need not worry for tomorrow

for God loves us, even as we are caught in Evil and in Love.

God’s love defines not only us, but the universe through and through.


Sing When

It All Is NOT Going Well?

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Like A Camper Left To Rot In the Field, When Junk Is All We Are, Also Then … ?

Psalm 35:18

Then I will thank you in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise you.

Ephesians 5:19

… as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts,

Words of Grace For Today

“Then I will thank you …” When will we give God thanks?

Do we do this when, finally, in one of those rare moments, everything seems to be in order in the universe (or at least the small part we are aware of)?

Well, those moments are worthy of giving God thanks and praise, worthy of singing among ourselves and in our hearts.

But those moments are rare, maybe coming once a week, or even once a month or once a year. For some it seems they come once in a lifetime.

What about all the other times? The real shtako times, when the universe is dumping all the rot of garbage in our laps, all over our lives, in every path we try to walk forward on until we slip and slide, collapse and can at best cry for help? What about all the other mediocre times when nothing is good and nothing is really bad, except we just don’t really have a good reason to struggle again to try to make things better, since we’ve tried so many times in the past and nothing changes? What about all the times when we are just about to celebrate a tiny step towards better and someone stomps all over the possibility like someone stomping out a troublesome ant?

Can we really sing among ourselves and to ourselves, filled with thanks and praise for God?


Not on our own.

Not at all, Not at all.

But …

but by the power of the Spirit in us, given to us by God, even in the slippery, gooey times of shtako, dumped on us by the universe, we can and do give God thanks and praise

for breath

for faith

for love

for hope

that sustains us through it all.

So also today, we sing our thanks and praise to God from our hearts.

Two Things

To Start With

Monday, July 10, 2023

You Don’t Have To Be A Jedi

To Know

The Day Starts And Ends


Two Things.

Psalm 95:6

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

1 Timothy 1:17

To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Words of Grace For Today

Two things to get straight at the beginning of …

well at the beginning of every day

and the beginning of anything:

First thing is that God is due worship and praise. (I’m not sure about ‘on bended knee’ now that mine are old and do not like to be bent, yet alone knelt on. Kneepads help, but just a bit. – I trust that God knows about that, too.)

Second thing is that we are miserable sinners, or actually we are tremendously good at sinning, and telling ourselves that we have not sinned, not terribly anyway. So confessing our sins puts us right with our reality.

God is Great; we are great at being terrible.

Humble pie and songs of thanks: makes a blessed start … to anything.

As of Old

Old is Not for Sissies With Skewed Memories

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Remember Days Without So Many Mosquitoes, Flies, and Wasps?

And No Smoke?

They Were

Freeking Cold!


Jeremiah 30:20

Their children shall be as of old, their congregation shall be established before me; and I will punish all who oppress them.

Philippians 2:1-2

Paul wrote: If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Words of Grace For Today

Yearning for things to return to what they were, in the days of old, is understandable and common enough … and wholly misdirected leading often enough to disasters.

Memory of things in the past is an odd kind of thing. Reality may play a part, and we all hope it plays a large part, though we know more and more people live with a perspective of even their recent past (and also then their current days) that is quite disconnected from any reality – rather it is determined more by what they wish it had been and what they wish the current time would be. Most often how we see some more distant past, that is our ‘days of old’ with more of a disconnect from reality and more and more colouring from emotions, wishes, dreams, and (to be honest) games our own memories play on us.

When we wish for a return to ‘the good old days’, or the ‘days of old’, more often than not we want only a slice of the reality of the past and a huge slice of wishes made to exist when they never have in the past.

Some memories are best left in the past as past and not wished for as our future, lest we end up with less a slice of anything good and more and more disasters created as we try to either force things to be a certain way (which almost always goes awry if not for what we try to force, then for so many other things for us, and most often for other people) or we disconnect further and further from reality as we insist that things not only must be a certain way for us, but that they actually are for us – and usually that entails condemning others (though in reality they have done little to nothing to merit our condemnations.)

So how to move into a ‘better’ future for us and others?

Paul often directed his readers in various congregations to trust God’s promises in Christ as he does for the Philippians: if there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

If we are to accomplish that on our own, just be in full accord and of one mind, then we are bound to fail, and miserably. More disconnect from reality!

When we recognize all that God has given us, sinners that we are, then it becomes not only possible, but blessedly easy. Christ gives us encouragement, consolation from love, sharing with others God’s Spirit, compassion and sympathy, and complete joy.

As we live with and aware of those gifts pouring over us, we need not wish for some ‘days of old.’ Right now is just fine. In fact it’s terrific. It doesn’t get better!

And it never was better!

That doesn’t mean that life now is free of challenges and disappointments. It is that God helps us keep everything in perspective, in the perspective that we are God’s children and God walks with us and protects us.

Each day is, no matter the challenges we face or enemies that pursue us, beyond comparison just plain blessed.

When death comes it too will be a blessing. We will get to go home.




Oh, for the record, keep the smoke and bugs; give me the freeking cold almost any day, as long as I have enough wood to burn in the monster, and … and … and.


Into The Day

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Learning From the Sun,

Which Even On Smoky Days,

Skips Across the Evening Waters,

Our Days Begin With Celebrations: 1, 2, 3 …

Jeremiah 8:4

You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord: When people fall, do they not get up again? If they go astray, do they not turn back?

1 Timothy 1:12

I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service,

Words of Grace For Today

People fall.

People fall often, sometimes physically, more often psychologically and even more often spiritually.

Getting up again, well that is not always a simple matter.

We’d like to simply say, yes we all get back up. Well-being is restored to us and we walk tall and healthy, full of vigour and vitality.

But it just ain’t so.

Most of us walk wounded, stooped over or even crawling from day to day. And all of us will some day not ever again get up, and we hope that someone will honour us enough to lay us in a grave.

While we breathe, wounded or stooped over, we know that God walks with us and gives us strength for this day, and each new day we breathe. We do not deserve such grace. We count on such grace.

With Timothy we give God thanks, for all the strength we need God provides, and when we need added support, God carries us through the hellish days we find ourselves in, until we come out the other side into the light of love, hope, and grace.

As we can then, we take time to skip into a waltz or two step, celebrating all that God does for us, thanking God for such undeserved gifts.

The End

To Everything Will Come

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Don’t Be Foolishly Fooled;

Even the Sun

and It’s Setting

Will Come to an End.

Habakkuk 2:3

For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.

1 Peter 4:7-8

The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.

Words of Grace For Today

Knowing that ‘this too will pass’, can often be a comforting bit of wisdom to remember.

This grief

– after the death of a loved one,

– after a loss of a relationship,

– after the loss of health and abilities,

– after the loss of dreams and hope itself,

(all kinds of grief) will also pass.

The excitement of celebrations, tainted

– by family and/or friends who are not at all kind,

– the reminder of loved ones not present,

– the burdens, past and future, such celebration puts on daily life and/or daily survival,

– one’s own inability to actually eat or dance or talk with others,

(all kinds of celebrations, tainted or not) will also pass.

This life, too often aptly described as hard, brutish, and short, will also pass.

Knowing that everything will pass, eventually, even breath itself, helps keep us focused on what really matters,

… well sometimes it does.

Sometimes we just focus on trying to ‘beat’ time and ‘cheat’ death and ‘get more out of life’.

When we realize that God walks with us through everything that will pass then it is easier (as the Holy Spirit guides and enables us) to see how precious it all is,

even that person who is not at all kind,

even the grief from a loss, that gives witness to how precious who/what was lost really was,

even the celebration that we cannot fully participate in, is precious, and worth participating in as we can.

Each day, each hour, each minute there are so many things that are precious, and

if / when we realize this,

we can take the good and the bad

as precious gifts from God

which gives our hearts, minds and strength the most precious things of all, faith, hope and love:

faith that God created us and walks with us,

hope that the future will be precious as well as each minute now is,

and love for God, God’s people, and all of God’s creatures and creation.

And that can make for some interesting, challenging and rewarding time,

like today.