Day 138 | Tuesday, 4 August 2020
Exercise: If you followed Exercise Group #1 yesterday, I am skipping today. I will list an exercise group every other day.
July 9th, I sent out more translations of the 23rd Psalm. Today I am giving you my last dose of different translations for your review. This favorite never gets old. I hope that you found at least one translation or version that really spoke to you.
Psalm 23 – New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
Psalm 23 – GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
The LORD is my shepherd. I am never in need. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside peaceful waters. He renews my soul. He guides me along the paths of righteousness for the sake of his name. Even though I walk through the dark valley of death, because you are with me, I fear no harm. Your rod and your staff give me courage. You prepare a banquet for me while my enemies watch. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows. Certainly, goodness and mercy will stay close to me all the days of my life, and I will remain in the LORD’S house for days without end.
Psalm 23 (This is a repeat but worth doing)
The Lord is my shepherd; - that’s relationship
I shall not want. – this is supply
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: - refreshment
he leadeth me beside the still waters. – rest
He restoreth my soul: - healing
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness- goodness
for his name’s sake – purpose
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, - testing
I will fear no evil: - protection
for thou art with me; - faithfulness
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. – discipline
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; - hope
thou anointest my head with oil; - consecration
my cup runneth over. – abundance
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: - blessing
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord – security
forever. – eternity
Gracious, loving shepherd, we thank you for your constant watching over your flock. We need you more that in our previous days as we continue to be concerned about the dangerous virus that continues to infect people. Lord, we ask you to lead us to discover ways we may help each other remain safe in our community. Continue to provide those places of rest and refreshment for your sheep. Lord, Hear our prayers. Amen
Today: prayers of thanksgiving for the Lord, our Shepherd.
Day 137 | Monday, 3 August 2020 – Exercise Group #1
From the Church Mouse
When the dove came to Noah in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf!
Genesis 8:11 NIV
After re-reading some of the last entries from the Church Mouse, it appears that what I’m doing, perhaps, is offering present day parables. That’s OK. I like parables. They are some of my favorite things…. so, here’s another:
Since my parable of the birds was sent to you on Saturday, I’ve been thinking about the birds seen most faithfully at our feeders. They are the gentle, soft-eyed, cooing doves. They are ground feeders, so some seed has to be left on the ground for them. A dove brought Noah an olive branch to let him know that dry land was near. Pretty important, but it was a dove that was chosen for the job, not a hawk. When Jesus was baptized, he saw a dove descending, symbolizing his purity and holiness. A very important job… but done by a dove, not an eagle. We watch doves at our feeders and pigeons on our roofs. Maybe, as we look at our doves and pigeons, we see gentleness and softness in them and think there can be no toughness, no courage, no resolve.
Listen to another side of gentle pigeons. The U.S. Army used trained homing pigeons to carry messages during our two World Wars. The birds’ speed, altitude, and their ability to find their way made them undetectable to the enemy. Resilient birds, pigeons often flew through heavy artillery to reach their destination.
A homing pigeon named Cher Ami, with an injured leg and a gunshot wound in the chest, managed to travel about twenty-five miles to deliver a message that saved 194 men in the World War I Battle of the Argonne.
A “platoon” of pigeons flew across Normandy during World War II to deliver strategic plans to Allied forces, with the messages folded in tiny cases attached to the pigeons’ legs.
Doves and pigeons mingle with people at the Woodlands, yet, they have soared to heights to bring messages of hope and to save lives throughout history. The Holy Spirit is symbolized as a dove. It mingles with humans, delivers hope and salvation, and puts a homing instinct into our hearts.
I am always thankful as I watch my doves, this gentle bird that symbolizes peace, hope and goodness. I’m reminded that even in these uncertain times that there is always an olive branch until we reach our home in heaven.
Now for foodie time:
On May 18th, on day 60 of the Rev.’s messages, after I joined him as the Church Mouse, I listed 10 items that you might want to consider if we find a shortage of meat this fall and winter. One such item is Quark (not the sub-atomic particle). Quark has long been used by dieters as an alternative to more fatty creams and yogurts and a source of healthy protein.
Quark is officially a cheese, thanks to its soft dairy nature. It looks a little bit like yogurt and can be swapped into all sorts of recipes to cut back on fat or calories when replacing things like yogurt or cream. It’s made from milk that has been altered by the addition of lactic acid. This acidification causes the whey in the milk to split from the curd, and then the solids can be gathered up and turned into Quark. Quark is said to have originated as far back as the 14th century in Central Europe. Quark is low in calories and fat and makes a great baking substitute if you’re trying to keep on top of eating s little bit better. Quark is mild and creamy, and neither sweet nor sour. It is healthy thanks to its high ratios of protein. This means it is really filling without being as fattening as ingredients like cream.
Check in on Friday for some recipes!
Day 136 | Sunday, 2 August 2020
If you would like Holy Communion today, please respond to me and we will come around later in the morning.
The assigned Scripture lessons for this the 9th Sunday after Pentecost are: Genesis 32:22-31; Psalm 17:1-7, 15; Romans 9:1-5 and Matthew 14:13-21.
Preceding these verses in Matthew is the recording of the death of John the Baptist. That sets the stage for verse 13.
Matthew 14:13-21 The Message
13 When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. But unsuccessfully - someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. 14 When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick. 15 Toward evening the disciples approached him. "We're out in the country and it's getting late. Dismiss the people so they can go to the villages and get some supper." 16 But Jesus said, "There is no need to dismiss them. You give them supper." 17 "All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish," they said. 18 Jesus said, "Bring them here." 19 Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. 20 They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. 21 About five thousand were fed.
Matthew 14:13-21 CEB Feeding the five thousand
13 When Jesus heard about John, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. When the crowds learned this, they followed him on foot from the cities. 14 When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion for them and healed those who were sick. 15 That evening his disciples came and said to him, “This is an isolated place and it’s getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said to them, “There’s no need to send them away. You give them something to eat.” 17 They replied, “We have nothing here except five loaves of bread and two fish.” 18 He said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves of bread and the two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed them and broke the loaves apart and gave them to his disciples. Then the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 Everyone ate until they were full, and they filled twelve baskets with the leftovers. 21 About five thousand men plus women and children had eaten.
Let me share some commentary as found in the CEB Wesley Study Bible.
“14:13-21 Compare the meal Jesus arranges for the crowds with Herod’s feast in the previous scene. Jesus’ reaction to the news of John’s death indicates a closer connection than the Gospels describe. Jesus’ desire for a “’deserted place’” (v13) is difficult during his mission. “’Looked up to heaven, blessed them and broke the loaves apart’” (v19) suggests a cultural, religious setting for a sacred meal similar to ‘”the last supper’”. Jesus compassion (v.14) extends beyond healing the sick to feeding the crowds. As God fed Israel in the wilderness, Jesus feeds the crowds in ‘”an isolated place’”. Even though women and children are present, only the men are counted. (v21) This is a wonderful lesson on sharing what we have with others for surely those gathered on that day would have had some food with them and Jesus feeding with what his disciples had taught them all to share with one another.
Today: in these times of need, how can we best share our blessings with others?
Day 135 | Saturday, 1 August 2020
From the Church Mouse
“God has given each of you special abilities to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings. 1 Peter 4:10”
One of my favorite activities, since I was a little girl, was to watch birds. This was not the disciplined, record-keeping work of bird watchers of today. I was usually bare-footed and as high up in a tree as I could climb. I loved watching the birds, not caring about their variety or prevalence. I just was fascinated by what they did each day, especially their nests.
I remember trying to make a nest once. I took a lump of clay form the creek bank on our 20 acres and tried to mold it with some straw into a nest. I think I had given myself permission to make a mess, because that is pretty much what it looked like. What I learned from this exercise was that I could not come close to making a nest as well as a bird.
God gives each one of us (even birds) unique talents and abilities, and we are to use these skills for each other and to His pleasure. We often find new joys and skills if we are open to them. Sometimes God pushes us out of our safe nests. This truly challenging time is surely one where we must venture forth, adapt, and overcome. Consider what we are doing here in the Woodlands. None of us can do everything, but each of us can do something, even if it is one small thing. So, this tree-climbing, bird watching child of God will no longer be caught in the crown of a tree, as much as I would dearly love to be there. So, . . . I have adapted. I am to be found on a swing in the Woodlands chapel, watching the birds – and I have overcome.
Now for one of my favorite foodies: Japanese clear onion soup
Instructions: - use a soup pot
Today: Thank God for the birds.
COVID-19 update as of 7-31-20 3PM 231 cases in the county with 103 in Battalion 3
Day 134 | Friday, 31 July 2020
Exercise Group #3
An Affirmation of Love – 4
(1 Corinthians 12:4-7; 13:13; Galatians 5:22-23, 25-26; 1 John 4:16-21)
“We believe that there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
We believe that the gifts of the Spirit include faith, hope, and love; and that the greatest of these is love.
“We believe that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
We believe that if we live by the Spirit, we should also be guided by the Spirit, not becoming conceited, competing against one another, or envying one another.
“We believe that God is love ...
We believe we love because he first loved us ....
We believe that the commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.”
A Prayer of Confession – Loving
“Great God of love, you created us for love, called us to share love and to mirror in our relationships the kindness, care and generosity that you show us. We have good intentions, but we fall short of being truly loving. We look out for number one, focus on being the best and take lightly the needs of others. When harmed or ignored, we look for ways to get back, pay back or turn our backs.
“Remind us again that loving ourselves involves loving God and others. Save us from a selfish love, a narrow preoccupation with self that ignores the rainbow of your creation. Teach us to be good friends and faithful companions as we follow the way of Christ. In his name. Amen.”
“Prayer helps me analyze the problem I face. Unfortunately, sometimes I go a long way down the road in a quandary, suffering inside, before I finally ask myself, "Why don't I talk to God about it?"” -Jimmy Carter
Today: Prayers for our country to return to a peaceful nation and a healthy country.
Birthday Blessings to Ann Lawson today!
Day 133 | Thursday, 30 July 2020
COVID-19 update – 228 in county 102 in battalion 3
Exercise Group #3
An Affirmation of Love – 3
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Colossians 3:12-15; John 15:1, 4, 10, 12)
“We believe love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or Arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
“We affirm, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, that we should clothe our-selves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
We affirm our desire to bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, to forgive each other, just as the Lord has forgiven us. Above all, we affirm our intention to clothe ourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony; and to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts.
“We believe that Christ is the true vine, and God the Father the vine-grower. We desire to abide in Christ as he abides in us. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can we unless we abide in him. If we keep his commandments, we will abide in his love. We believe that this is his commandment, that we love one another as Jesus has loved us.”
A Prayer for Grace
“O loving and gracious God, we come before you, recognizing both your holiness and our waywardness. If we were less acquainted with your love and grace, we might think that, in our unworthiness, there is no way we can approach you. We might think that we have erred too frequently, rebelled too willingly, ignored you too easily to ever be invited back into your presence.
“We now look at our erring and rebelling and ignoring with regret and sorrow.
We praise you that go you far beyond merely matching our repentance with your grace. According to your word, where sin abounds, your grace much more abounds. Because of your abounding grace we are in your presence now and will leave this place renewed and empowered to serve you in the world.
“We praise your name for the depth of your love and the breadth of your grace, and acknowledge this as your free gift to us, through Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us. Amen.”
Quotation: “No wound is so trivial that the love of God is not concerned with it. No pain is so deep, so long-standing, that the love of God cannot reach it. Every shock, every wound, every anger and grief is not only encompassed by that love but is also held and transformed by that love.” -Flora Wuellner
Today: Birthday blessings to Andrea Disbro and Herb Cook (maintenance)
Day 132, July 29, 2020 See you at noon for prayer
Exercise Group #3
Exercise #1 Lateral Arm raise
Exercise #2 Neck and Shoulder Stretch
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hands extended down at the side. Gently pull the left arm down, reaching toward the floor with the left hand, and tilt the head to the right. Hold the position for 10-30 seconds while continuing to breathe. Repeat the action, gently pulling the right arm down toward the floor, tilting the head to the left. Alternating between the two sides, repeat the stretch three to five times on each side. Rest and repeat three times.
Affirmation on Love – 2
(1 John 4:7, 12; Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:21-22, 25, 6:1; Philippians 2:3-4;
“We believe that we should love one another, because love is from God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.
“We believe that in this love we should let the word of Christ dwell in us richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in our hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.
“We believe we should be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord [although this is scriptural, I hesitate to support this verse for I believe in equality, just saying, Doug]. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
“We believe we should do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than ourselves. Let each of us look not to our own interests, but to the interests of others.
“For we believe that as many of us as were baptized into Christ have clothed ourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer male and female; for all of us are one in Christ Jesus.”
A Prayer for Nature
“God of wind and sea, of sky and river, we give thanks for the gift of life. We bring before you our gratitude for the miracle of nature's beauty, nature's rhythm, the breath of life.
“Preserve in us the desire to honor your creation, to know your handiwork, to share this symbol of your love for us with all your children. As part of your creation, make us sensitive to its fragile health. May we learn to care for our earth as you care for us - and keep the blessing alive for generations to come. Amen.”
“Your way of acting should be different from the World’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else.” – St. Benedict
Today: Where have you seen the Love of Christ exemplified lately?
Day 131 | Tuesday, 28 July 2020
Today I am going to start and exercise group #3 for your use. Also I am going to have four days of affirmations of love.
Exercise Group #3
Exercise #1 Lateral Arm Raise
Stand upright, with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms at the sides. Hold a dumbbell in each hand beside the thighs, with palms turned toward the body. (If you do not have a dumbbell grab a 1 or 2 pound can of something). With straight arms, slowly lift to shoulder height (arms parallel to the floor), pause, and then slowly return arms to the straight position. This exercise can also be done in a seated position using a resistance band or weights. Select a hand weight that allows completion of 8 to 12 repetitions. Rest and repeat about three times.
An Affirmation on Love – 1; (Psalm 33:18-22; 86:5, 12-13, 15; 103:8-12)
“We believe the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and shield. Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
“Lord, we believe you are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.
We give thanks to you, O Lord our God, with our whole heart, and we will glorify your name forever. For we believe that your stead-fast love toward us is great ... You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
“We all believe that the LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever.
We believe that God does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For we believe that as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is God's steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does the Lord remove our transgressions from us.”
A prayer for Loving Kindness
“Father, your grace really does amaze us. Or at least it should. We confess that too often we grow accustomed to your loving kindness, your forgiveness and your faithful provision for our needs. And we live from week to week, forgetful of where we would be without your grace.
“Thank you for doing for us what we could never do for ourselves. Remind us of how much forgiveness cost you, and how much that tells us about your relentless love and grace. Wake us to sense in a fresh way the security that comes by resting in the shelter of your hand. These things we ask in humility and gratitude. In Christ's name. Amen”
“Love is a fruit in season at all times and within the reach of every hand.” -Martin Luther
Today: how do we love those who resist following COVID-19 safety protocols?
Day 130 | Monday, 27 July 2020
From the Church Mouse
With the summer flying by and the fall approaching way too quickly, the Rev. and I have been thinking a lot lately about fear and worry.
I read a story not long ago about a military working dog named Doc. He was a beautiful male Belgian Malinois who was a military hero. He had served valiantly in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing for explosives, saving hundreds of lives. One day he was blown off his feet by a mortar fire. After that experience, Doc became fearful and hid under a bunk in the army tent.
He was retired from duty and adopted by an army sergeant in North Carolina. I can not pretend to understand the trauma of war, but I thought I could understand want Doc was going through. Doc was diagnosed with PTSD. I found out that military dogs can develop PTSD just like their human counterparts. The worry that Doc felt is the same as the worry we can feel. It can literally blow us off our feet.
The amazing thing is that Doc’s diagnosis wasn’t the end of his useful life. Through love and support, he regained his strength and confidence. He did not go back to the front but went on to do amazing work with soldiers who suffer from the same disorder.
It can be that way for us as well. Since God can use us even if we are worriers, perhaps, if we trust Him, we will find out that trusting Him is a whole lot better than worrying. Doc found his strength again and we can keep ours too, even if this fall and winter become a long, dark experience.
A quote for you: “Trauma creates change you don’t choose. Healing is about creating change you do choose.” – Michele Rosenthal
Now for some Foodie Facts: The Blueberry Heart Boost
“A cup of blueberries a day could keep the doctor away, says a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Among a small group of adults with metabolic syndrome – a condition characterized by having at least three heart disease risk factors such as high blod pressure, high blood sugar, and excess belly fat – eating the equivalent of 1 cup of the berries daily for six months was associated with improved vascular function. Specifically, the improvement was in the stiffness of heart arteries, a benefit that may be due to compounds in blueberries called anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory and other cardioprotective effects, says Aedin Cassidy, study author and a professor of nutrition at University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School. Toss a handful of blueberries on oatmeal, yogurt, or salad for a tasty, heart-healthy lift.”
COVID update from Chautauqua County web site: as of 3PM July 26, there were 223 cases with 101 in battalion 3 (us) and 9 deaths.
Day 129 | Sunday, 26 July 2020
TODAY: PRAISE THE LORD!
The assigned scripture lessons for this the 8th Sunday after Pentecost are: Genesis 29:15-28; Psalm 105:1-11, 45b; Romans 8:26-39 and Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52.
The Romans passage is a favorite of many. I have given both the more familiar and then the Message version. I really resonate with The Message translation of this passage. On this Lord’s day as our weariness continues to grow over the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertain future for people of all ages, it is good to reaffirm for ourselves that nothing, nothing can separate us from Christ’s love for us. It is also good to remember that if we are unsure what or how to pray right now, that God’s Spirit does our praying in and for us. As Psalm 105 reminds us: “Give thanks to the Lord; Sing to God; sing praises to the Lord; Give praise to God’s holy name! Praise the Lord!”
Romans 8:26-39 CEB
26 In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. 27 The one who searches hearts knows how the Spirit thinks, because he pleads for the saints, consistent with God’s will. 28 We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 We know this because God knew them in advance, and he decided in advance that they would be conformed to the image of his Son. That way his Son would be the first of many brothers and sisters. 30 Those who God decided in advance would be conformed to his Son, he also called. Those whom he called, he also made righteous. Those whom he made righteous, he also glorified. 31 So what are we going to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He didn’t spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. Won’t he also freely give us all things with him? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect people? It is God who acquits them. 34 Who is going to convict them? It is Christ Jesus who died, even more, who was raised, and who also is at God’s right side. It is Christ Jesus who also pleads our case for us. 35 Who will separate us from Christ’s love? Will we be separated by trouble, or distress, or harassment, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, We are being put to death all day long for your sake. We are treated like sheep for slaughter. 37 But in all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us. 38 I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers 39 or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.
Romans 8:26-39 The Message
26 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. 27 He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. 28 That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. 29 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. 30 After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun. 31 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? 32 If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? 33 And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? 34 Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us - who was raised to life for us! - is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. 35 Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: 36 They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. 37 None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. 38 I'm absolutely convinced that nothing - nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, 39 high or low, thinkable or unthinkable - absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.