Dance, Dance

Dancing to the Music of God’s Spheres

Tuesday 24 January 2023

The Moon Dances,

At Sunrise,

Inviting Us

Into God’s Dance of Life

for All

Psalms 91:9

Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling-place,

John 14:1

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.

Words of Grace For Today

Were it so simple, that we could make God our refuge, and then we would always dwell in God’s Most Wondrous City, home for all the saints.

Were it so simple, that we could just choose to believe in God and in Jesus, and then our hearts would not be troubled.

But life is not like that. Nor are we able to always seek God as our refuge or choose to life in God’s wondrous city. Nor are we able to set aside all that troubles us and rest secure in our belief in God and in Jesus.

God planned for that.

God sends the Holy Spirit to guide us

into the city of God

into the care of God’s loving hands,

into God’s refuge

into a firm belief in God and Jesus the Christ,

and away from all that troubles our hearts.

Yet we often choose the trouble of this world as our dwelling place and our hearts contents!

God planned for that, too.

And sends the Holy Spirit again and again,

even today

to guide us into God’s dwelling for us, and life abundant, by moving us to share all we are and have with those who are in need.

This day, a wonder-filled day it is, as always, because God walks with us, through our darkness, and gives us hearts that sing and dance and fly

with grace to the mysterious music of our Creator, always with us.

A waltz if you will,

so dance, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three ….

Not AGAIN!

Monday 23 January 2023

The Ideal, Which Sadly Exists Seldom:

A Church and

The Rock,

And Christ’s Light

Psalms 25:20

O guard my life, and deliver me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

Matthew 7:25

The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.

Words of Grace For Today

It’s snowing again, and whether, due to weather, the house falls is not really an issue, since the flakes are teeny, but after a few storms and 3 feet of snow like we have now, though some has melted into ice, the weight of all that gathered on the tarps may just put the tarps on the ground and ‘the house will fall.’

So we cry again in the drabness of yet again more days of snow, deliver us!

We take refuge but the rains and snows continue to fall, the winds will blow hard, it will beat on the house we have built.

Then our only hope will be the house that God has built for us, built on the Rock, Peter, the Church of Jesus the Christ.

But it’s been corrupted as well, so we are left, in the teeny flaked snow falling on tarps that we have to clear by hand, waiting for the sun to shine to give solar power so we can write more gratitude-filled words, words of grace.

Stand by

for better weather and the light.

(But there’s still work to do today, so have at it, with all we’ve got, as we wait for the light.)

Great Foundation of ‘Foolishness’

Sunday 22 January 2023

Do We Follow In Other’s Footsteps,

Or Forge Ahead Where the Spirit Leads Us?

Many Saints Have Gone Before Us,

Without Them We’d Know Nothing

of the ‘Foolishness of the Cross’

Giving Life Abundant!

Jeremiah 10:6

There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might.

1 Corinthians 3:11

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

Christ laid a foundation of God’s power in weakness, of sacrifice for others being the way to an abundant life. At baptism we enter into that way of living as the Holy Spirit gives us such great gifts … all so that we can share God’ Grace with others. And then so often we turn it right back upside down and try to make it on our own as saints!

Another Adaptation of Mother Teresa’s “Anyway”

Mother Teresa wrote in her piece titled “Anyway!” that no matter the cost we should still choose to do the good things. I’ve adapted it to reflect that life following Christ is not about making the right choices. That’s a futile way to live, because the problem is that we never keep making the right choices! Jesus showed us instead that God intends that we surrender in our weakness and sinfulness to what the Holy Spirit makes us able to do: living out the foolishness of the cross, bringing Christ’s light into every darkness.

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centred. – We get to forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. – We get to be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. – We get to succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. – We get to be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. – We get to create anyway.

If you compassionately listen to a poor person tell their story, it’ll wrench your heart and cost you a bit of life – We get to really listen anyway.

No matter how many poor people you help, there will always be another in great need. – We get to help the poor anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. – We get to be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. – We get to do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. – We get to give our best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God, and God promises to love us, no matter what. God gives us more than we need, so we get to give our all helping others see that God’s Grace is for them, too.

No matter how we fail or what comes our way in God’s great goodness, God created us to love compassionately, live vibrantly, and give unabashedly everything we have so that others may live knowing God’ Grace is for them, too!

Small wonders fill our days, if we but look and listen, and share them.

Three Star Joy

Thursday 19 January 2023

In Our Darkness,

We May Only See The Evil,

as here the pollution

of an oil processing plant.

Job 28:24

For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens.

Matthew 18:14

So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.

Words of Grace For Today

There are plenty of times-events when we can well wonder if God sees what is going on, if God cares about what is happening to us or to others, if God will ever intervene and stop the horrendous evils that are perpetrated against us or against others.

Just look at what men get away with doing to women. It’s all over the news. And then don’t forget to look at what women get away with doing to men. It’s not all over the news, and it should be. Instead women can freely lie to the courts, and just as effectively as men kill women, women kill men. It ought not be so easy, for men or for women to kill others. But that’s how it is. And no one seems to care that women are as effective at killing men through lies in the courts and outside the courts as men are at violently killing women with force!

Does God care?!

Just look at what rulers have done and are doing (like Putin among so many evil rulers) to people with their military. Bombing apartment buildings, city-cide, scorching the earth ahead and behind them, attacking electrical and energy delivery networks and systems … and don’t forget the forced conscription or abduction of young men and women into the military, swiftly brought to the front without sufficient training, fodder in their unjust wars.

Does God even notice?!

The atrocities are not new or suddenly present in our times. The atrocities are as old as human life on earth (maybe before!)

The scripture passages remind us that God does see everything that happens, good, bad, ugly, and atrocious. God cares and wills not that even one little person will die before their time.

We could go with that assurance and bury our heads, but …

But many little ones are being killed even this day, again! Many men (and women) will be killed today by violent or subtle means, many with courts, cops, and the community playing a part in their deaths and in the cover ups.

So what are we to do, say, or think?

As in all our responses to all evil, close at home and far away in place and time, we can but trust that God not only sees and cares, but accompanies us and all those who suffer, and when we die, God calls us home.

Having a home on earth is enjoyed by many, but it’s taken from many more, even this day, again. Having a home in eternal time (having begun before we were even born!) with God is a basis for great joy and thanksgiving in life, even this day … even if this day were the day that we would finally succumb to our enemies’ ongoing attacks against our lives.

With great joy and thanksgiving, then we go into this day and each day. What more can we ask of life?

Well, let me make a list … it’ll be a few hundred pages long so hang on to your hats.

Or …

We can rest in God’s blessings already given to us each day and again this day.

Christ’s Light Shines,

like three stars,

even in this darkness.

Chaos? Or Giving?

Tuesday 3 January 2023

The clouds cover the light into the future.

Where shall we turn for life?

Psalms 119:154

Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise.

2 Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.

Words of Grace For Today

Look around and there is not much ‘good news’ out there.

The unjustifiable war in Ukraine continues with civilians and cities targeted for wholesale destruction.

Europe faces a winter without enough natural gas to stay warm and running at full capacity.

The snow pack is a deep as it was at the end of February last winter and last winter it was the most we’d had for a while. Great for skiing and snowmobiling, but hard on snow clearing budgets and especially the snow clearing budgets that only consist of arm and back power to cover kilometre long driveways.

Covid continues to kill people and combined with the flu and colds and RSV emergency rooms are overfilled and hospitals are going into the third year of overcapacity resulting in staff shortages burning out the staff that are there.

Climate change (an example is the snow pack) promises more storms of all kinds and a few new ones tossed into the mix, more disruptions, more destruction, and a cycle where last year’s extremes are this year’s normals and this year’s extremes become normals next year, until one wonders what normal will look like!

While the causes by ‘big business’ are significant, the message is clear that we, the everyday little people, contribute massively and therefore we are guilty, guilty, guilty for not stopping the progress of climate change long ago when dealing with it were possible. Now we are left with guilt and trying to mitigate, minimize, and survive, if we can.

And, if one cares to pay attention, the Devil is playing the board as freely as ever. Fake news, lies in everyday life, and manipulations for power and control over others is rampant. Try to be one who does not participate and people will see you as vulnerable and gang up on you. The attacks may be violent and obvious, or subtle and deadly nonetheless!

It has been like this in every generation (with different flavours and crises), so much so that the Psalmist could write words thousands of years ago that fit our guilt-ridden, fright-filled, weather stricken mornings very well:

Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise.

We know that God promises us life, but it seems that life has just fallen out of our reach yet again, and the best we can do is submit to the chaos, and live as long and well as we can, taking what we can while we can, no matter what it costs others!

Oh, the temptations of the Devil are so powerful. They promise ‘good life’ and deliver death for more and more people.

Our only hope is as Paul wrote to the Thessalonians so many years ago, that

the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen us and guard us from the evil one.

With a quiet, breathless prayer of thanks, we submit, not to the empty promises of chaos, but the blessings of God that are given to us to be shared with others.

Now that’ll give us a full day, a busy week, and a wonder filled year.

Vacillations

Thursday 29 December 2022

Whether By Night

Or By Day,

The Beauty Is God’s,

The Pollution

From Making Power for Our Insatiable Striving to Control Our World

is Ours

Numbers 23:19

God is not a human being, that he should lie, or a mortal, that he should change his mind. Has he promised, and will he not do it? Has he spoken, and will he not fulfil it?

2 Corinthians 1:19

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not ‘Yes and No’; but in him it is always ‘Yes.’

Words of Grace For Today

God is not human, vacillating with first this Word and then later a contrary Word, always indecision reflected as the inability to know and control what is to come. Rather God is Omniscient and All Powerful so that God’s Words and Promises are sure, to be trusted, and thus

we are to live accordingly.

Or else!

Right?

Not really. Not really at all, at all.

For God did become human, in Jesus, and in him Paul says all things are always Yes – not vacillating between Yes and No. Paul asserts this when he was caught out by having told the Corinthians of his plans to return to Corinth and then his actually not returning by choice or due to things beyond his control. Paul wants to reestablish his trustworthiness to the Corinthians by pointing out that Paul is, like Jesus, always trustworthy, though not in this case! And, if we are honest, it is never the case for any human.

Though some people intentionally lie and are very predictable in that they will do you harm if it is to their advantage, there is not a person ever who can know the future and control it, try as many may.

So we are left vacillating between our yes’s and our no’s and seem to be untrustworthy and out of control. That chaos evil people take advantage of, manipulating others’ destruction and their advantage.

And that is just how it is,

Right?

Not at all, not at all.

For God’s Word is sure, and while we must not comply with God’s Word, and in fact are woefully incapable of doing so consistently,

By God’s grace and by God’s grace alone, we get to live according to God’s Word, not that it ‘works to our advantage’

but in order that we are examples of how God works with woeful sinners like us, like you, like us all.

Well, Whadaya Know?

Sunday 25 December 2022

Fresh Christmas Snow Covers the Ground

as Grey Covers the Skies,

Yet Bright is Christ’s Light This Day.

Joshua 24:23

He said, ‘Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.’

John 1:18

No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

Words of Grace For Today

Lots of ways to orient one’s life,

only one is a living God, born among us to poor parents, from a most unabashedly scandalous pregnancy, and heralded by the lowest of the lowest of society.

Thus it is we are thought to be fools, and yet we continue as servants to the poor, the sick, the needy, the imprisoned. We continue to humbly begin our ways in the world remembering not our own greatness, but God’s in dealing with our great sins. We continue to live in a peace from out of time and place while conflicts storm around us. We continue to effect change, not through power, might, and force, but through humility, compassion, love, and forgiveness.

We continue.

We continue to live life to it’s fullest, sharing that fullness with all we encounter.

The snow may be fresh, but our orientation in life is as old as the universe: it is God-given from the beginning

and the Word

was made

flesh

to

live among us.

Amid the Chaos …

Saturday 24 December 2022

Stepping Down,

Stepping Out,

Living In The Light!

Zechariah 9:10

He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the warhorse from Jerusalem; and the battle-bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Luke 2:14

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!

Words of Grace For Today

As the nations wage war, as conflicts consume lives from billions to one single person by another, and as the Devil plays in God’s good creation:

God comes and commands that there be peace among all nations and for all people, for God favours us all.

The sun rises shining bright, lightening hearts and minds in these short days and lately these cloudy days.

The temperature rises to above -20⁰.

And small successes provide music worth listening to this season, blessed music that is not Xmas musak.

Christ is born this evening (we celebrate again the event of more than 2000 years ago.)

And there is cause to celebrate life in all it’s chaotic complications, time to pray for those close and far, and even for those who are bent on destroying me to cover their lies and injustice, and time to rest in God’s peace that permeates all.

What else would one do on Christmas Eve

.

.

.

if one is not caught in the manufactured celebrations and all the pain that go with them?

It’s too unbelievable to not be true?

Friday 23 December 2022

Even at -39⁰ the morning

starts

again

with

Eucharist

&

breakfast.

Psalms 21:13

Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.

1 Timothy 3:16

Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great: He was revealed in flesh, vindicated in spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory.

Words of Grace For Today

There are stories that are just too unbelievable to be made up. My ex, a bunch of women, the cops, and the courts gave me such a story. If I had not been so lied about I would never believe what happened, being kicked out of apartments for no good reason except someone was trying to frame me, being arrested, tried, convicted and sent to prison for crimes that never happened (yet alone were committed by me!), and financially sent into debt so far I’ll never see my way clear in this lifetime.

That’s the evil done to me.

Then there is the rest of the story, of people quietly acknowledging what they saw happening as corrupt and unjust, of life criminals going out of their way to protect me from real harm in jail (while guards and other inmates certainly sought to kill me – without getting caught), of opportunities and circumstances that provided me enough to survive on, and the skills to better and better protect myself from the elements and the ever-present criminals, … and from the on-going lies others tell about me which are then used in court over and over again, even though anyone with half a mind knows what is said are lies, yet again.

And the mystery, not that I can survive in spite of it all, which is substantial enough, but that God has blessed me, walked with me in very visible, tangible and life-giving ways, and protected me from all harm that would do me in.

Jesus’ story is like that, too. Every story of God making things happen in spite of evil people working to ‘get ahead’ is like that, too.

There are countless stories like mine. People are dealt with unjustly by people intentionally doing evil. And God providing a better life for them in the midst of all that evil.

Makes one stop and contemplate, how Advent calls bring us to prepare, and Xmas culture lays great expectations on us, and yet God reaches into our lives and brings to us each Christmas (in spite of all the things we do to avoid noticing God at work) the wonder and awe of God being everything for us, even as a young infant child born in poverty.

Thank God for that, again.

And again this day, we stop to wonder in awe, and give God thanks for the simplest things that show us God walks with us.

Thirst, Testing, and Reaping: Or Grace?

Tuesday 13 December 2022

We Thirst

Most of All For

Cool, Clear,

Light.

Christ’s Light That Gives Life.

Deuteronomy 6:16

Do not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.

Galatians 6:7

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow.

Words of Grace For Today

The people in the wilderness are thirsty, for there is little to no water for them and it has been so for days. So why did God bring them out into the wilderness? It’s freedom. But freedom can mean being free from the necessities of life and that is not what they thought God would provide for them.

They are ready to rebel. Moses is to be their victim, and then? They would be worse off than before! Or?

And God offers Moses access to water, using the staff that parted the waters of the Red Sea for the escaping Hebrews and then un-parted to drown their pursuers. Water flows from a rock.

Well, God showed those people how water can be had, eh?

Not really. God showed the people that God would provide.

Not that it helps. When they are hungry, having had little to no food for days they demand of Moses and God that they have food, and then even meat!

And that is all reasonable, right?

In Galatians the people are warned that they will reap what they sow. Except that is expressly what Jesus saves us from. We reap what God sows for us.

Somewhere in there is God’s reality and not our confused interpretations used to hammer each other into submission and obedience to our wills (not God’s).

God provides all we need, and asks us to beg, cry, and demand from God what we need. So we pray for everything we need!

God also understands that we are never free from sin. God needs and promises to continually forgive us our sins, exactly so that we do not ‘reap what we sow’ so that we can live free of that burden, a necessity before we can live anything close to thankful, gracious, and generous with ourselves and others, and God’s good creation.

Living free, in God’s grace, does not mean that we will get it right all the time, or even a little bit. It does mean that at the end of the day, and at the beginning of each new day, we can thank God for everything and ask God for everything we need … and even everything we want, knowing God will pare down our what-we-want list to only those things that are good for us and others and all creation.

So likewise today, we give thanks and beg like mad for what we need and want. Often we cannot discern what is which, anyway. But we need not fear God’s response. God walks with us and suffers what we suffer, suffering at the hands of our enemies, and giving us

Assurance that when we thirst, there will always be a rock that flows freely with water for us.

Exodus 17.2-7

The people quarrelled with Moses, and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’ Moses said to them, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?’ But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?’ So Moses cried out to the Lord, ‘What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.’ The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.’ Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah* and Meribah,* because the Israelites quarrelled and tested the Lord, saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’