Through Sun Rays and Time

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Looking Through Smoke and Mirrors,

to the Divine.

Psalm 99:5

Extol the Lord our God; worship at his footstool. Holy is he!

Acts of the Apostles 4:31

When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.

Words of Grace For Today

It’s a marvellous contraption, prayer is. Not that many see it that way, yet in the beginning there was no prayer, and for many millennia humans had forgotten about this contraption. The rediscovery of it has changed lives and the way the world works. God knows we need it as we face a fourth world war.


That from Sotorus’ paper journal, discovered with 11 others in the year 4391.

But back to the beginning.

In the beginning was the Word.

God spoke and the universe was created.

Humans spoke. Sometimes they spoke to God and they called it prayer. A contraption that allowed mortal beings to speak directly to the immortal creator of the universe. But most often when humans spoke all sorts of chaos ensued, tainted as every good intention was with intentions to make their own lives better, the cost to others be damned. And the humans damned the whole universe with their words and by their actions until in the year 2302 the earth ceased to support the 12 plus billion humans on it. Viruses wiped out 7/8ths of all people and half of what was left of other animals, birds and fish. In that same year earthquakes ripped every continent in pieces and violent ‘climate-changed-vicious’ storms wiped out what was left of every city within 50 miles of the new coastlines.

There wasn’t a city left with any building more than two stories high. No services existed anywhere.

Life became brutal for everyone …

Until groups of people gathered to live and work together. One group collected in an old warehouse area next to some of the only remaining arable land next to one of the new lakes fed by the new rivers the earthquakes created. They called themselves the Iblers.

This was not the only group who gathered. There were hundreds of them across the earth as it was the only way to survive against the wild storms and the few vicious animals left alive who survived by preying on the dead and the living, somehow not contracting any of the deadly viruses, or at least not suffering from them.

The Iblers had an old book in an old language that only one person could read. She taught others. In it they read of a thing called prayer, talking to God the creator of the universe. They practised it three times each day, twice alone at waking and sleeping, and once in the noon light gathered together. Slowly this practise changed the people, almost imperceptibly. Their transformation was slow and steady so that years later they were a content, hardworking, and thriving community, with children everywhere, with struggles galore, conflict still, but always great effort to sustain hope through love and grace. The book’s torn cover identified it as an IBLE.

Now in the year 5402 we give thanks for the Iblers and their rediscovery of the contraption called prayer, for with it we sustain hope, and love, and grace, and …

life itself





Editor’s Note: Maybe I got the dates all wrong; the records are quite smudged and the air is smokey more often than not leaving a permanent haze in my eyesight, yet it is clear that contraption prayer is powerful and to be used daily, with thanks.

As Long As

The Earth Endures

Thursday, April 6, 2023

A Reclaimed Oil Lease Is Scattered With Dead Limbs.

That’s Nothing Compared to the Chaos of Our Future.

Genesis 8:22

As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.

Luke 22:19-20

Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.’

Words of Grace For Today

The earth will not last forever. It will collide inside the Milkyway galaxy with the Andromeda galaxy, if nothing else so disasterous occurs sooner, in about 4.5 billion years or so.

Don’t hold your breath. In a few more hundred years we humans may have made the earth unfriendly for any kind of human life, along with so many other forms of life. Many, many are already extinct, and so many in just the last few decades!

How can we explain this to our descendants, who will struggle more and more just to survive? Will we say, well we enjoyed the power oil provided for our lives, our civilization … even while we corrupted truth at every turn to get the best, the most, the greatest comforts for ourselves while other humans starved to death, died of thirst, succumbed to curable diseases?

The debt load we carry would be unbearable … were it not for Jesus’ sacrifice that we recall every time we celebrate the Eucharist.

God knew how we would be, what we would take from the earth, other life forms, and other humans. So God set it all right with God’s own sacrifice. Jesus gave himself.

And we live free!

Now if we could just get it through our heads that we ought to provide the same amount of love and care to this planet as God has shown us, we might just live as a species for the greater part of 4.5 billion years, and even then we might, through some great miracles and wondrous discoveries, travel to a safe planet in another galaxy that is not set to collide with one of it’s own kind.

Each day let us pray, after we have confessed our sins and begged again for forgiveness, that God will give us ears to hear, hearts to learn, and faith to know God’s Grace for our enemies (us among them.)


Joy from Real Sorrow

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Our Justice can be as perverted as the crimes committed.

God’s Justice is perfect based on truth.

Jeremiah 31:13

Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Words of Grace For Today

Listening to the great jazz music from the soundtrack to the movie Chicago reminded me how that movie portrays how perverted the justice system is.

Most devastating is the song of the many inmates in jail, all woman, all telling tales of how they just had to kill the man they were with. They just had no other choice. They had it coming.

While widows normally grieve the death of their husbands, these women had their supposed sorrow turned into joy. They were glad to be rid of their men. One man just chewed his food too loudly. One was caught in an affair. One was just too slow. One looked the wrong way.

God did not provide this ‘escape’ from real sorrow for these women, nor the thousands like them that exist in real life. When you meet a woman like this, who grieves not a bit for her dead husband (as she says to the children, “we are survivors”) one knows one has met the work of the devil that disconnects a person from the real world and sets them loose to destroy others without feeling a thing. Psychopath, sociopath, or borderline personality disordered … it matters not the ‘proper’ designation we give them, they are sick and the devil uses them well, all too well.

God would rescue even them, were there a way we too would rejoice.

God’s work recounted in the passages above is not about these women. God’s work is the real and very desperately needed rescuing of so many people who experience real sorrow, grief, and mourning. This is what God does. God turns the impossibly dark days of mourning (in which no light can penetrate, or so it surely seems) into days of rejoicing and celebrating and hope.

These are the things we celebrate, too, along with those who come back into the light from the darkness.

These are the things we celebrate, today …

with a smile, a peel of laughter, and a heartfelt thanks lifted to God

who walks beside us through all our dark days

bringing us into the light.



Saturday, March 25, 2023

We All Throw Shadows In the Brilliance of Christ’s Light!

What Effect Does Our Shadow Have On Others?

Proverbs 16:32

One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city.

Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Words of Grace For Today

The basic human attitude when we allow ourselves to become wholly unsure of ourselves or anxious is to become angry. Well not in one step without options. We can count to 10 or 90, breathe, and subvert the panic. We can learn to acknowledge hurt, even hurt when we know the source as another human, and then divert our impetus to anger in more constructive, less destructive (to others and ourselves) attitudes.

We can learn, guided by the Holy Spirit and the saints, to be peacemakers for ourselves, turning what could become anger and escalating internal and external conflict, into a peaceful manner of living with all the hurts, disappointments, attacks, and great losses that life and other people will throw at us.

As we learn this, and practice it, for no one is ever perfect in maintaining even one’s own peace, then we can reach out to others caught in anger, anxiety, pain, loss and others attacked by other people; we can, by God’s Grace alone, guide them to find peace with themselves and with all life offers, both good and bad.

The world needs peace, as desperately now as ever.

How will we hang on to truth and share peace this day, even with our enemies?

More Light work for the saints.

These 40


Thursday, March 9, 2023

Hardly Wilderness,

Always Barren Living,

When We Try To Abandon God

Deuteronomy 2:7

Surely the Lord your God has blessed you in all your undertakings; he knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.’

Luke 22:35

He said to them, ‘When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?’ They said, ‘No, not a thing.’

Words of Grace For Today

If we live life in order to have more money and a full purse,

If we live life in order to have the best bag of everything,

If we live life in order to have the best footwear,

… If we live life in order to have things, power, status, …

Then …

Well then we will always not have enough and we will lack for what we think we need.

This is the way of the world, and it brings more destruction, disease, and destorying to others and to oneself, always more, but not goodness, always evil running others and oneself closer and closer to meaningless and death. If you want an eye-full of that watch Succession, the HBO series, or simply open your eyes to see how so many people live in the world around us.

This is not a fun way to live, no matter if people party hard and seem to be enjoying themselves. In truth this kind of living can only be pursued if one hides from one’s self, one’s real self.

God created us not to take from the world and claim it all to be ours. God created us to receive enough and share everything we have with others.

Jesus sends the disciples out with everything they need: kind hearts and a message of God’s love for all people! They lack for nothing.

God leads Moses who leads the people into the freedom of the wilderness, out of slavery, and though they barely have enough to survive, and it’s touch and go more than a few times, they always have enough … as long as they remember that God has led them and accompanied them all their years, even their ‘40’ (which is a symbol for ‘lots and lots – more than enough to count’).

Today we live in circumstances that outwardly do not appear to be wilderness: there are roads, vehicles, cities, barns and houses in farm yards, and industrial sites of many, many kinds. We call it civilization, but no matter what it looks like from the outside, if we do not have hearts ready to share God’s Word of Grace, all this is mere cover and running, running hard in the barbaric wilderness of humans bent on destroying, making ill, and destorying one another.

What will our day be like today, if not another blessed journey with God walking with us? Breathe. Give Thanks. We lack for nothing.


Words, Mighty Results

Sunday, March 5, 2023

With A Word God Creates!

With Great Effort and Big Machines (and cruel words)

We Destroy and Destory,

Doch God Saves All Creation

and Us In It

With A Word.

Psalms 33:9

For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.

Matthew 8:8

The centurion answered, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed.

Words of Grace For Today

It’s cold again this morning. Not the coldest, but enough that one needs take care before one goes outside, care to dress warm enough, not to leave any skin exposed, even a piece of one’s face that cannot be warmed quickly.

When crises rise up in our path, blocking our way forward, it is perhaps not so heart wrenching as to watch one’s daughter fall ill and no doctor’s efforts can save her. It may be worse, as war or earthquake or rising oceans, or other people rip us out of our lives and leave us with nothing more than the clothes on our bodies, if that.

Baptized in water and word, born of the Spirit from above, we can find our way to God’s promises, for when God speaks it is so.

So God created the world.

So Jesus cures us of our every ill.

So it is.

But when we cannot find our way back to God’s promises, and we flounder in waters too deep, cold, and wild for us to survive in, then what?

Then God accompanies us into the deep, cold, and wild, and finds us with a Word holy and simple: I love you!

And that is more than anything else in all the universe.

For no matter what happens to us, God welcomes us home … with a Word.


Justice and Coffee, with Mercy and Milk

Monday 27 February 2023

As the Sun Begins To Shine,

Is It Coffee Time?

Who’s To Judge?

Psalms 98:9

at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

Revelation 15:4

Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgments have been revealed. ’

Words of Grace For Today

I’ve read recently that coffee is the most popular drink in the world.

2.25 billion cups a day are swallowed by all kinds of people. It’s all kinds of coffee, from black to expresso to au lait, and of the many kinds of coffee beans only two are most used to make coffee that we drink, Aribica and Robusta.

I drink mine out of necessity the au lait way. Cuts the acid which is wickedly painful, even cancer-forming and deadly, on top of GERDS. But it’s still strong coffee I’m told, but it’s what I’m used to from my year in Germany. Thin tea-translucent coffee just doesn’t seem right. That’s what my old sponsor taught me while I visited here in her smokey apartment. She was the head of the German American Club that did their part in providing the scholarship I’d been given for a whole year free to study in Germany.

Now that bag of coffee is of course not just coffee. Can’t just be plain coffee from the food bank. It’s Starbucks’ Expresso. Now I never did feel I could afford Starbuck’s coffee, and certainly I can’t imagine now wasting that kind of money on a cup of coffee since the same money can buy me a week’s worth of SILK, soy milk, since I’m allergic to dairy. What a change, no SHOCK (might come closer) that was, giving up dairy and paying twice as much for ‘milk’!

Of course with GERDS I cannot drink and never have liked my coffee black. I always cut the acid with milk, and now with pricey SILK. I start out half SILK and half coffee. Drink half that and fill up the coffee and continue until after soothing my stomach with more SILK the last cup is a strong cup of coffee with 3 dollops of SILK.

But back to that skunk smell that started all this.

While we choose many things about how we live, in the end the One that judges us all and everything about us, from coffee to skunk smell, from good works to evil intentions, and from kindness to malicious hatred is still and always will be God.

God will judge, and we rightly fear God’s name, and rightly so love God and God’s name, for God judges with equity all the people. And before God judges, like adding milk to the acid of coffee to make the taste even milder than Arabica (the most consumed coffee bean) compared to Robusta (essentially the ‘other’ coffee bean that has more caffeine in it and is more bitter) God’s mercy, gracious forgiveness, love, and will to save us is to be trusted, as Jesus taught us.

It’s not at all related, or maybe it is: I trust coffee with milk (or SILK nowadays) but I trust God’s mercy, gracious forgiveness, and love even more than anything else.

Tends to make for good days, good enough for this day as well.

So how do you like your coffee and your trust in God’s judgments of us all?

God’s Pleasure

Us As Examples of Sin

Re – Redeemed!

Thursday 23 February 2023

Like a forest laid like waste after oil is extracted,

We’d wish evil could be also eradicated!

Ezekiel 33:11

Say to them, As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Matthew 6:13

And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.

Words of Grace For Today

We would like to eradicate evil from the earth, especially by wiping out others who are caught in evil they have little interest in escaping.


‘Let it be gone forever!’ We cry, until we realize that would eliminate us, too!

Then, having come to our senses, we start to notice once again that God’s way of dealing with evil is not to kill it off, but

to forgive it, transform it, and use it

as a demonstration of how Great God’s Deeds are in redeeming us who are irredeemable, really!

So we are bold to pray that we might not succumb to the Evil One, but that God would once again save us.

That’s a good start to the day.

Now our purpose also this day is to be God’s instruments by which others are saved from the Evil One. Not a small task, and it’s only possible by the work of the Holy Spirit in us.

Another day. Another miracle. Lots of work.

So Long!

So short

Monday 20 February 2023

Dark Days, Dark Decades!

Hope Forever?

Job 14:1-2

A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble, comes up like a flower and withers, flees like a shadow and does not last.

Hebrews 13:14

For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

Words of Grace For Today

Of all the projects she could have undertaken, Risha knew this would be her legacy. She’d earned her degrees in political science, biochemistry, philosophy, law, and her PhD in Oceanography.

She had designed the filter system and now led the corporation in charge of implementing the system in 100 locations around the ocean shores. While filtering and cleaning pollutants out of the ocean’s waters, effectively restoring water up to 500 miles around the filter, it would siphon off fresh water and provide irrigation and drinking water for areas that had gone dry and deserted over the last 30 years due to climate change.

The real ‘miracle’ of the filtering was that it could be set to consume carbon dioxide at huge rates. Turned and left on it would leave the air for 100 miles unbreathable, but if turned on and then off again, in cycles, the 100 filters could clear enough carbon dioxide from the air in 10 years to undo the carbon increase from the last 50 years, at least in their locations.

If she could just get 10,000 of the filters up and running within the next five years, they could reverse climate change completely, back to the re-industrial age.

That was her project!

Until the truth of Job was borne out again:

A mortal, born of woman … comes up like a flower and withers.

Risha, in the third year, well on her way to the 5000th filter location, came down with cancer. She had blossomed so brightly and so many people had seen and put their trust in her. And then within a month she was gone. Because so many people wanted to get rich from Risha’s project and were fighting with everyone for their own advantage, something she kept at bay while she was alive, the projects ground to a halt, and even the established filters had trouble staying in operation.

Five years later, the last filter shut down for lack of funding.

How had it come to that!?!

There was so much hope for this to save us all, and now our only hope would be in the New Jerusalem.

What a loss? What a typical self-destructive development from miracle and cure to fighting and decay and destruction that would continue as long as one could imagine surviving the onslaught of climate change that had already destroyed a tenth of all the coastal lands, cities and people. Living inland was not easier. Storms and precipitation or droughts had made another 30% of all the land masses uninhabitable, and everywhere else it was more or less a futile struggle to keep going.

God, will we humans ever learn?

Save us!


In the Beginning …


Friday 17 February 2023

Smile, Sourly?

Hope Contagiously!

Psalms 104:24

O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Revelation 4:11

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.

Words of Grace For Today

Henri sat chewing on a blade of grass, wondering how his garden project had come to such a terrible juncture. It cost him six times or more what just going to the farmer’s market would have cost him, and then double that with the hail destroying half his crop. And what was he going to do with all the produce anyway, even the half that would still be harvested.

Mein Gott, Mein Gott, he thought!

Which brought him to wonder if God, the creator of the universe and all the creatures on earth felt the same way after humans made such a mess out of it all!

Except God probably knew what would become of humans! And God, of course, planned for that, too! So why did God let Henri make such a colossal mistake when he was just trying to do the right thing?

He remembered hearing that God most delighted when bent, perverted, and lost souls finally confessed, repented, and allowed the Holy Spirit to renew life in them.

Kind of like making lemon-aide out of lemons, only on a universal scale! To which Henri thought, ya, not just throughout the universe, but for all people!

So how to make ‘lemon-aide’ out of his garden project gone amuck?!

He just could not spend more money on the project, and this summer was pretty much set. His mind swam aimlessly finding no ‘lemon aide’, just ‘lemons upon lemons’ all the way down, and all the way back up.

So he called Francine. She was beyond busy she said, but she offered to get back to him the following week. Then she threw out as a good-bye, ‘why not take on all the people who didn’t get a garden with her? I’ll send you the list.’ click.

And there it was: it clicked. Involve more people. That was the answer, but Henri really loved his peace and quiet and solitude. He thought that maybe it was time to sacrifice a bit of that to help others. So he, procrastinated, ruminated, and waited a whole 2 days before he started calling and …

At the end of the week, more than a few people had shown up and claimed a portion of the garden as theirs to care for and to harvest, and share with Henri.

Henri said he already had enough coming in from the student workers for himself, so they all agreed that the food bank would see great donations of fresh and preserved produce, and even some people offered to make dishes for the food bank to distribute.

Henri thought: “O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. You are worthy to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. … Even ‘lemons’.