All posts by Neil Ellis Orts

Little girl running through a grassy field in a sleeveless dress

Taking Delight in My Neighbor

The first weekend of January 2024 was interesting, in a microcosm sort of way. There were two different but strangely related situations. I’ll start with the second one first because it’s shorter due to it not being a story I want to tell publicly in

Man worrying with furrowed brow


Times get hard. 2007 was a tough year for me. At the end of 2006, I spent 6 nights in the hospital. I’ve always been rather healthy, so this was a completely new experience for me. This put me in a spin for most of



I have empty days. I don’t mean days of idleness with nothing to do. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I fill my days with so many projects and tasks that I fail to schedule in any Sabbath rest. At the end of my days,

Dandelion blowing in the wind

Joy Does Not Come Easily

Joy does not come easily. The day begins with the caller I.D. warning against picking up the ringing phone. The breakfast bowl sees measured portions – rations – of store brand cereal and milk. Miss the bus. Spend the day with unhappy customers. Ensure bus

Black and White Photo of Statue of Jesus Laying in Glass Coffin

Not Yet

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36) Not yet. Not yet. I’m too consumed with little passions, small dislikes, tiny hungers — little things that confine me. Like a man in a little box, whose world is defined

Stained glass window image of Jesus

Once I Met Jesus

Once, I met Jesus and I thought he was a king and therefore the ultimate law-giver. All I had to do was meet the demands of his law and we would be happy together forever. But I couldn’t keep his laws and I couldn’t be

Black male hands resting on an open Bible

The Fluid Rock of Grace

you can’t get there with your morals or without love lie down with me the rules aren’t always right. (Sam Phillips) I like certainty. I think it’s a fairly common trait in humanity, but it’s a problem sometimes. It becomes an idol. I used to