Parched. Wasps. … Or Blessings?

Friday, October 22, 2021

Wasp Nest

One of Two Nests Tina Found

A Stones Throw from Camp

Isaiah 58:11

The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.

Philippians 4:19

My God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Words of Grace For Today

Jane moved her old, really old, 5th wheel 40’ camper into the random camping area after Thanksgiving. It would be cold and the old camper was well equipped with a wood stove, at least until it froze hard and stayed there, well below freezing even during the day. That would make the water system to risky to use, which in turn would make life that much more complicated.

By then her ‘job’ for Arnold would be done, keeping a camera on the entrance to monitor ever coming and going, especially Tina’s. It was not really that difficult a job and Jane’s cover story was simple. She claimed she was homeless. (Tina actually was so she would relate to that.) Jane said she would stay just two weeks, since that was the legal limit, but it’d be easy to stay longer if Arnold wanted her to. Jane’s story was that she had lost everything in the oil bust and needed a place to stay.

Tina was not taken in. First because Jane claimed to lose everything in the oil bust of 2016, and the oil bust was in 2014. Second because if Jane really were homeless since 2016 that was 5 years living somewhere else just fine. So why appear right after the summer crowd stopped camping? Third Jane parked her camper where everyone coming in would see it, and where she’d be able (with the security cameras Arnold gave her) to see everyone coming in and going out. There were way better places to camp for so many reasons. The only reason to camp where Jane did was if someone wanted to camp with lots of other people in multiple units. But Jane was all alone.

Sometimes Arnold’s plans to make Tina’s life difficult were too transparent, and not all that effective. The real challenge was all the lies Arnold came up with. There was no way to prepare for those. Still Tina knew that goodness flowed in so many ways in her life and through her to other people. God had provided, through other people mostly, all that Tina needed (though Tina worked as hard as she could to provide security for herself through each challenging season. For the upcoming winter that meant gathering, cutting and splitting enough wood to ensure she stayed warm. That was hard work, and yet it was work that could be done. The other season’s challenges could not be met with more hard work. They were, thus, much more difficult to prepare for and to get through safely.)

More than once Tina had felt that even so close to a lake, and with rain pouring down on her, she lived in a parched place. God’s provisions helped those feelings pass quickly. Instead Tina watched as the blessing from God continued to pour over her and surprise her in new ways. She knew that God had made her bones, her heart, and her faith strong, strong enough to meet all that challenges that living homeless placed on her.

She gave God thanks, and prayed that God would help Arnold face his own demons instead of falsely blaming others for his own sin.

As the sun rose on the fifth morning since Jane’s arrival, Tina saw another blessing pour into the woods where she stayed. Out gathering wood she came across two huge wasp nests, and both were empty. She had made the correct decision to stay out of the woods while the wasps were so bothersome and so many. Where she found them gave her plans on how to minimize the wasps in the area next spring and summer if they became such a problem again. The forecasted cold La Nina winter promised to eliminate pests like pine beetles and wasps … and require more wood to stay warm.

The balmy days of autumn made for perfect weather for gathering wood. A blessing on top of a blessing from God who never failed to provide, as a good spring continues to provide water more than sufficient in quantity and purity.

We ARE In The Same Boat

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Our Shared Boat,

Christ

Has Space for All,

Light for All,

Hope for All.

Ruth 1:16

But Ruth said, ‘Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.

Galatians 3:28

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

Words of Grace For Today

Often said of Covid-19 pandemic is that we are all in the same boat on this one. Everyone needs to get vaccinated in order for any of us to be safe. That means everyone in the world.

We are not in the same boat, though. We are all dumped out onto the ocean, that is true. The problem is some of us are in private luxury yachts burning diesel to manoeuvre with chefs preparing 3 meals a day with coffee, snacks, and an open bar tea at all hours, others are in luxury sail boats eating gourmet foods, some of us are in smaller boats on survival rations handed out by our governments, and many, many people are hanging on flotsam praying for their very lives.

Naomi is an elderly widow in a foreign country whose two sons have also died. She is leaving to find her way back to her homeland, in hopes of living out her remaining years there. Ruth, one of her widowed daughters-in-law will not abandon her even though Naomi directs the two daughters-in-law to return to their mothers to seek new husbands there.

Ruth promises, even in this hopeless, bleak culmination of time and events, to stay with Naomi, to adopt her homeland, her people, and her God. There is not much hope in any of that, now is there. Not at that time when women had no standing or property or ability to be gainfully employed (with notable exceptions). So Ruth accompanies Naomi and together the two make history, enough that the Bible contains the Book of Ruth.

What would the world look like if we were not so able to abandon all those people hanging on to flotsam in the pandemic of Covid-19?

What would it take for us truly to be united as one kind of people, on privilege of people, on status and wealth of people?

God would have to come and forgive us all our sins, making us equally acceptable before God, based solely on God’s Grace. Then God would have to send us forgiven people out into this wonderful and terribly broken and overcrowded creation to extend that same equal and unconditional forgiveness and love to each other. We would finally be united as beggar-sinners, blessed by God’s own generosity towards us all.

And this God demonstrated with Jesus’ story is exactly what God did do for us all.

So we are united as one under Christ, without distinction, without class or privilege or wealth differences. When it counts we are all in the same boat … with Christ making our way across the dead sea of our sins and past evils that still hold us in bondage.

When it counts we are all in the same boat … the trouble is we continue to sin, and cannot stop ourselves, so that some are climbing out of our shared boat with Jesus into their private luxury yachts, others are tossing people out of Jesus’ boat into the open ocean to die, and yet others are jumping ‘free’ because they cannot stand the thought that they are at best beggars for God’s mercies.

When it counts those of us who are saved by Christ and follow Christ … we are all in the same boat … and we work hard as we are, knowing we are God-made saints, and simultaneously still sinners, yet inspired by the Holy Spirit to be God’s love and grace for those around us.

We certainly are in the same boat and the rations are not fancy. The seating is crowded. Yet we are still afloat … by Grace alone.

Thanks be to God.

Odor or Audor

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Moonlight.

Even in the Dark

God Provides Light for Us

Genesis 8:21

When the Lord smelt the pleasing odour, the Lord said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.

Titus 2:11-12

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly.

Words of Grace For Today

The inclination of our hearts is evil from our youth.

What happens next is … well … our history of destroying one another in the most creative and repetitive ways.

Kind of a mess.

So God decides to fix it all and start over. Come waters all and flood the evil people to death. God plans to start over … so Noah, the righteous man and his family, along with two of every kind of animal on earth are loaded into an ark, that will float out the flood. Noah and company find dry land when the waters recede and they give a wonderful aroma wafting offering as thanks to God.

God is pleased, and promises never to flood away the evil inclinations of all the human hearts, ever again. (Thank God for that, and for Noah for reminding God that we might be worth the bother.)

Bother is what God does, and God sends Jesus to demonstrate clearly the inclination of God’s heart is to be gracious and provide salvation to us all.

A huge bother, costing Jesus his life, though it does actually provide the greatest salvation for us that we could ever imagine.

Worldly passions and all kinds of all impiety do not hold a candle in comparison to God’s gracious gift of salvation for us.

A little gratitude can fill our lives and spill over to many people around us. It’s not the trickle down theory, leaving those under the trickle with less than those on top. It is the overfull blessing that is equally generous to all.

God provides everything we need: promises we can count on, and generosity we can share with everyone.

Prodigious Living

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Golden Riches

Of A Life Abundant

Are Free

And Prodigious Gifts From God

Isaiah 30:18

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

Luke 15:20

So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.

Words of Grace For Today

The prodigal son claims his inheritance from his living father and his father gives it to him. The poor son uses his great wealth, well squanders his inheritance, and ends up broke … broker than broke and does not even have food enough to survive and so eats the food of the pigs … until he realizes that his father’s servants eat and survive better than he does in his terrible state of being the wasteful idiot that he has been.

The final scene says it all, the prodigal son approaches his father’s home. Actually prodigal means extravagantly generous, which the father is, and the son is certainly not. The son is extraordinarily wasteful, selfish, and … and … well the son is so much like all of us.

The father is the one who is prodigal.

So the final scene of the story says it all. The idiot son approaches his father and the prodigal father comes rushing out to greet his wayward son and …

The rest we all know: the father not only receives the son into his home, he reinstates him as his son.

Jesus tells us this story (and it is recorded for us to know so many generations later) so that we can understand and anticipate that this is how God is towards us, all of us who are so wastefully wayward children (blowing our inheritance again and again on selfish living). God not only will welcome us home when we ask to serve in order to survive, God reinstates us as God’s own children.

Then God sends us out into our lives to be the agents of God’s prodigal welcome for all the other sorry, idiot, wasteful and wayward children of God (people just like us.)

It’s not about money or a comfortable life. It’s about love, gracious mercy, and blessed justice determined by God to give us all life abundant.

Trouble, Trouble, Double Trouble

Monday, October 18, 2021

Looming Clouds Above,

Threatening Shadows Below.

Everywhere Trouble Awaits

For Minds Caught in Anxiety.

OR

Cast Your Anxiety On Christ

and

See the Beauty!

Psalm 50:15

Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.

Words of Grace For Today

DO NOT WORRY!

Which makes one focus all the more on one’s worries.

Cast all your you anxiety on Jesus!

Now that’s a great collection of words that can foundationally change one’s life for the better. For we know that anxiety drives one into a survival, pre-rational thought option pattern of responding to the world (or at least to one’s imagined threats in the world.)

Those choices are not that helpful in most situations, and the likelihood that we imagine a threat that is not real at all or at least not as threatening as we perceive it is … well … it is so likely we can say it is the standard for most of life. This fear based reactions to life makes us vulnerable to those many evil people who use fear in others to control them, to move them to make decisions not at all in their best interests, but to the advantage of the one controlling them! It’s sop for despotic political leaders taking and maintaining power; after all democracy (or any form thereof that responds to the public needs and best interests) is not very efficient, or preferential to those who have or want to have position, power, and privilege.

So to be able to cast away our anxieties, not declaring them unreal (even if most are) sets us free from being controlled by fear. Then we are able to proceed through our days, using our God-given brains to think clearly and make choices that will benefit those around us.

The latest examples are all those people who read the fake reports about vaccine dangers and decided to not get vaccinated, or to wait. So they did not get vaccinated. Now they populate the ICU’s and hospitals and after that drain on our too-limited health resources, they live the rest of their lives with health compromises no one would choose, unless the other choice is death by Covid suffocation.

After we’ve cast all our anxiety on Jesus, then we are able to give God praise and thanks.

What a life God offers us, a life that responds to reality, instead of fabricated fears used to control us, destabilize our lives and the community life around us, and eventually the national security of our country and many other countries in the world.

Oppressed, Afflicted, Abused … and Silent!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Beautiful Light of Christ,

Will Reveal the Truth and the Lies

About Every Moment of Our Lives,

this we trust, so we live free!

Isaiah 53:7

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

1 Peter 2:23

When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.

Words of Grace For Today

The urge for all humans is to respond to attacks with attacks of ones own, but with a greater intensity.

This leads to wars on a personal scale in marriages, among family and friends, within communities, countries and between countries. It leads us into the worst that humans can bring to bear on one another, so horrible much of it is unspeakable.

What am I to do about the RCMP Jones who fabricated evidence and coordinated others to bring false reports, who did this just because she could, even though I was innocent and bewildered at why or how anyone would do such a thing?

What am I to do about my ex who created so many lies about our life together that life became unbearable, and no matter what I tried or sacrificed or gave her she only created more worse lies about me and our life together, and then created more and more lies for the courts, lies that I could not even imagine where they came from? Or the children who came to court to lie as well, trying to get me falsely convicted? Or the prosecutors who gleefully took the cases, presented the lies to teh courts and created more and more lies on their own for the courts to hear? Or the lawyers who were supposed to be my lawyers or work to inform me of the court processes, and simply did none of that, instead tried to make my testimony totally useless in court?

What am I to do with the judges themselves, who received these lies eagerly, and made ruling after ruling to enable a false conviction, and when all the evidence was in they still had to lie about the evidence in order to falsely convict me, and especially those who did it so cruelly, naming my kindness as something that had created fear, as if my kindness could at all create fear!? Or the judges who removed sections of testimony and then played games and made up more lies to ensure I spent $1ks with no hope of hearing the audio of the section that was removed from the transcripts?! And on and on go the inexplicably dishonest and cruel things that people with authority did in order to convict me and send me to jail for crimes that I did not commit, which left the children suffering cruel borderline personality disordered ‘parenting’!

What am I to do with the pastor, bishop, doctors, office managers, church council people, community leaders and many others who joined in the creating of lies about me, so that I am cut off from my church, cannot receive medical care even as my health requires more and more medical intervention, am not safe in the community as on many occasions people put my life at risk, some violently, some with reckless breaching of Health Orders, and some with threats to my person, well being, and survival?

My list is not complete even at that, and there is more and more that time reveals to me that I did not know of, and so much more that I will never know about, yet billions of people today and through history have stories that are so much worse!

What are we to do with such terrible evil directed at us, often (as is my case) with no rationale reason that it the evil be directed at us?! There is plenty of random, senseless destruction of life, but this is focused and directed evil against us, though there is no reason for us being chosen, except some insane perversion of reality. What are we, the victims of this destruction and evil to do? What are the rest of you people, who are not the victims of such senseless, useless, and avoidable evil, supposed to do?

What are we to do when it is impossible to judge 100% correctly who is doing what to bring about such atrocities against innocent people?

Jesus says forgive as we are forgiven. This brings us freedom from being victims to being blessed by God!

What if the sins are not even acknowledged by more than a handful of people, and otherwise the evil is continued by the same people, choosing new victims as the violence and destruction mounts and becomes systemic?

I have forgiven those who suffer mental illness, my ex, and the children effected by her.

I cannot forgive the others, especially those with authority and position, who are responsible to ensure this kind of injustice does not happen. I also cannot respond with increased vengeance or violence and destruction. I will not allow myself to become like them.

I have bound their sins, and made it known so that they have opportunity to amend their lives, and God can celebrate a victory first that their destructive evil is acknowledged and stopped, and God can celebrate a second victory, that they have received freedom from the Great Deceiver’s grip and begun to life a life of service to Jesus the Christ.

Binding sins is not to be judge over others. Binding sins is not to condemn others. Binding sins leaves the judging and the punishments or mercies to be in God’s hands. It makes known what has been done, even when it cannot always be known completely who has contributed knowingly or unwittingly participated.

Binding sins does bring the victim freedom from being a victim, and allows one to stand blessed each day.

The Suffering Servant of Isaiah, and Jesus (reported also in 1 Peter), do not even respond with a declaration of the evil done and the binding of sins. They suffer in silence the violence done to them. This may seem to some to be the better response. I cannot agree. One needs identify evil and hope that the perpetrators will amend their lives, or at least, as a ‘civilized’ society we will collectively recognize the evils done against so many innocent people.

One cannot live well and seek revenge, though.

Lies are lies forever, always without end.

Truth is truth, always and forever.

God’s Grace gives us boldness to be those who forgive and who bind sins. Without it we would be left breathless. With it we are given breath each day by the Holy Spirit.

Thanks be to God!

Judgment Day’s A’coming!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Fog Starts to Roll In

As God’s Mercy

Continues to Fill Our Days

With Thanks, Love and Hope

Isaiah 26:8

In the path of your judgments, O Lord, we wait for you; your name and your renown are the soul’s desire.

2 Corinthians 5:10

For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

Words of Grace For Today

The morning wakening after long hours of sleep, enough to repair and rejuvenate the body, blossom into pure joy, simple joy. The fire is still warm, stoked to last again for hours. The door opens to frosty grass (suppressing the last of any bugs or wasps which would have been ready to buzz about), and fog has settled over the lake, making for great photos (or so, anyway). The smoke from the beast well-fed, meanders over the meadow into the trees. The fresh pressed coffee wafts clean inside with plenty of blueberries to top the morning cereal. Prayers include thanks for precious people, a large number of my families, now and of origin.

Then as breakfast satisfies the hunger and thirst of the night (cutting back to lose weight for better health outcomes) the fog descends over the meadow encasing it in a white glow that ends visibility just at the tree lines.

All this on a day that promises progress to prepare for winter. Old logs are ready to cut up and stack for firewood. A few new pieces of lumber wait a bit of construction before the tarp goes up to provide shelter from the rains and snow, and a few simple sewing jobs will improve the comfort on cold nights.

What more could a person want?

Well, I have a long list. Anyone who dreams of making life better has a list of things that would help the small and large improvements to one’s life, to the lives of others close and even for strangers.

So what are we to make of this life? Is it just the daily grind, the daily joys, the obtuse strangers and the warmth of friendships, the lies of enemies and the powerful trying to protect their privileges, and the small kindnesses one shares and receives with so many people?

God walks with us.

That is a double edge sword, cutting for us against all evil and fabrications by enemies … and it is the edge that cuts the sin and evil of us as well. It is promise to save and promise to put to an end: good is saved and evil is sent back to primordial void, right?!

Yes! Justice will prevail, and our enemies will be exposed, our sin will be cut from us, and we will be left pure and unmolested by our enemies baseless attacks …

except …

except read Jesus’ story! There one discovers anew that God’s judgment is not bent on destroying us but on saving us, forgiving us, setting Jesus’ record in place of our own at our judgment day, renewing life in us (a spirited, passionate life of commitment to being God’s unconditional love for others), and sending us out to live a life abundantly full of and spreading God’s Grace everywhere.

Like the fog that settles in, God’s mercy and wholehearted love for us and all people, covers us. Then God’s forgiveness provides our ‘daily bread’ like heat, breakfast, and opportunity to give God thanks for our family (some who love us good and always, and some who find hate and lies and fabricating blame for others as their way through life). Before the day is too far spent, God then blesses us with the golden sunlight dancing on the fog, dispersing it into the trees and beyond, as God’s promises give us hope … hope that today all will be well, and tomorrow all will be even better!

Wealth and the Golden Rule

Friday, October 15, 2021

See God’s Goodness

Everywhere

In

Everyone

Leviticus 19:13

You shall not defraud your neighbour; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a labourer until morning.

Luke 6:31

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Words of Grace For Today

This sounds a lot like labour rights, or as they are written in Leviticus, limits on the wealthy. The problem with limits on the wealthy is

everyone identifies ‘wealthy’ to mean someone with more money than they have.

The person with an income of $10 million a year but does not have a jet for personal use, may be isn’t wealthy, right?

The person with an income of $1 million a year but does not have a fancy house on the lake with their own boat house and pontoon boat, is not wealthy, right?

The person with an income of $200,000 a year and owns their own home but does not have enough to travel more than two times a year to Europe and one other trip to warmer climes in the winter, is not wealthy, right?

The person with an income of $50,000 a year, a small home, and an inexpensive economical car, but cannot travel more than to the mountains a few times a year, is not wealthy, right?

The person with a minimum wage job, who rents a two bedroom apartment, has a nice truck, and a small family of four who eat well, but cannot manage to save a down payment to own their own home, is not wealthy, right?

The person with an office job that pays $5.00 a day, has their own bicycle, and a rented small cubical sharing a kitchen and bath with 30 other cubicle residents in a high-rise, but cannot afford their own shower, like those on the top 10 floors of the high rise, is not wealthy, right?

The beggar who sits on the street morning and evening, usually receives enough to feed their family of three living in a tin shack and washes in the river at mid-afternoon when it is not too full with other people, is not wealthy, right?

The orphan child, orphaned by the latest virus, like millions others, has enough strength to beg for food and eats every other day, maybe, but has not stable place to live, is not wealthy, right?

The war-orphaned child, starving like 100s others in their village suffering famine for a fifth year, who will die today, is not wealthy, right?

No matter who you are, no matter your wealth, these laws of life apply: You shall not defraud your neighbour; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a labourer until morning.

More clearly prescribed for us all:

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

There are so many people in this world suffering illness, violence, and maltreatment caused by humans, and even more who are tormented by their inability to find a good purpose in this messed up world we make for ourselves and the next generations.

There is no way to make it all better.

There is no way to even start small and hope that one can make it right, from the richest sharing enough, so that the poorest have a life to live.

The only way to begin each day is to know that all people, from the wealthiest to the poorest, are God’s creatures, whom God loves, whom God sends us out to love.

We start loving all God’s people when we realize how much God has given us, not by our own merit, but undeserved Grace, which makes us the richest people on earth, for we live with God’s favour and blessings … which blessings can never be measured in material possessions, or power, or fame.

God’s blessings are measured as immense by the heart that sees …

God in everyone, everything, always, in all places, and knows

that God created it all, blessed it all, and walks with us all each day.

Therefore all is well, all is well, all manner of things are well.

Devil’s Spin and Chaos … Or God’s Grace.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Heating with Wood Helps One Engage in Reality, no ‘spin’

because

the wood must be fed into the stove regularly in order to stay warm, and to cook food.

There is no pretending one stoked the fire, if one did not.

There is no pretending one gathered, cut and split the wood, if one did not.

There is no pretending one maintained the stove, if smoke does not ascend the chimney.

Psalm 146:5

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,

Luke 21:19

By your endurance you will gain your souls.

Words of Grace For Today

This verse from Luke out of context seems to encourage us to work hard, to endure all suffering that comes our way, so that we will save ourselves and gain our souls. This is perhaps an idea behind the writer of Acts-Luke, for often enough that writer turns Grace on it’s head. Instead of Jesus saving us though we deserve nothing, the writer encourages us, now that Jesus has shown us the way, to serve others and to endure suffering, so that Jesus will acknowledge us, be gracious to us, forgive us, and give us life abundant, life eternal.

Ah, so tempting this interpretation of God’s Grace is, though a complete denial of Grace it is. It perverts Grace into something that gives us an ability to earn God’s approval and our salvation, through Jesus the great inter-mediator, saviour, and Judge!

It is simply not God’s Grace that is proclaimed in such a way. God saves us. We do nothing to receive it or make it effective or real for us. All we can do is acknowledge that God is gracious to us, and then live out the response we are able to live out. Since it will never be enough, we rely on God’s Grace each day, to save us again and again, to rescue us from our sin, and give us life abundant … even as we trundle down the devil’s deceptions’ paths.

Luke’s readers had already experienced the destruction of the temple, and Luke writes of it as if it were yet to come. It is a word of encouragement to the followers of The Way (as Jesus’ followers referred to it) who suffered greatly at the hands of Jews and Romans, persecuted for their faith.

May we be saved from such suffering … though it occurs all around us even in Canada. The covidiots who dismiss scientific research, vaccinations and all, open themselves to whatever they want to make up, or accept that others have made up, about the world around them. Many, many people participate in this fabrication of an unreal description of reality, hoping to secure for themselves a more comfortable, more privileged life than they otherwise would have. People have been putting a ‘spin’ on reality since the beginning of time, though that does not make their perversions any less perverse. It does mean that honest and kind people, who follow Jesus’ Way, and who do not participate in the ‘spin’ that is going on around them, will be targeted.

Supposedly good and honest and kind and righteous people will dedicate themselves (at church) to understand and help others understand, and work diligently to help the people living homeless in their city … and at the same time perpetrate lies about other people knowing these lies have driven those other people to be homeless.

Supposedly honourable judges will accept all kinds of lies as evidence, reject so many truths as evidence, and bully those who are honest to give up their rights… and if those victims, those honest and kind people speak the truth to the judges, the judges will respond with lies trying to justify their dishonourable use of their power by accusing the honest people of trying to justify themselves (as if honest followers of Jesus ever needed to justify themselves. We are justified by Christ, and by Christ alone, and we know it!)

The result is a devil’s delight of chaos, even in a country supposed so just and fair as Canada, and the people who suffer are those, as it always was, is and will be, those who have not claimed power for themselves with their own ‘spin’ on reality.

So we suffer homeless, living in the woods, living on the streets, some of us driven right mad by the injustice done to us, some of us burying our souls in addictions trying to out-drink, or out-drug ourselves ahead of the perverse reality ‘forced’ on us.

This is when we need to endure, and by endure it is not meant that we need to make ourselves good. God does that. We need to rely on God’s Grace each day. Despite the devil’s chaos that whips about strangling so much goodness, we need to, or more clearly, we get to celebrate Christ’s presence with us each day. We get to respond with honesty and kindness to each person, friend, enemy, or covidiot (or any of the other forms the devil’s agents assume). We get to respond to all that comes our way with gratitude for God’s Grace that gives us breathe for each day. And we get to respond to the challenges of each season that would kill us with hard work to create a safe place for us to live each day.

Most of all we get to be agents of God’s Grace, no matter how that Grace is received.

Hey There! You! … Yes, You!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

From the Clouds in the Heavens

to the Depths of the Waters

God is with Us.

1 Samuel 3:4

Then the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ and he said, ‘Here I am!’

Acts 18:9-10

One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people.’

Words of Grace For Today

God calls us in many and various ways, each individually called and promised that God is with us already, and that God will walk with us each day of our lives.

We do not need to answer at all, and God will still walk with us. If we turn about towards God and follow Jesus, God will walk with us. If we turn away from God to follow some other hollow way of living, filling ourselves with all the variety of creation’s possibilities, God will walk with us still … and suffer what we do to ourselves and to others around us.

God calls us and knows that we will be afraid, and that we cannot help but be afraid. God asks that we order our fears under God’s promise to be with us: That ought to inspire a greater fear of God than any other fear possible in this world, even the fear of the Devil, the Great Deceiver, grasping at our very being with promises of all kinds, yet all of them empty of life abundant for us and for people around us.

Our fear of God, subsumed under God’s promise to walk with us, to protect us (even in death) from all harm, and to forgive us, give us new life, and send us out with the purpose we were created to fulfill (namely being God’s unconditional love for all people so that they have life abundant) gives birth to a more powerful love for God, more powerful than even our fear of God.

God calls us in many and various ways. When we say, ‘Here I am! Send me!’ we tell God nothing God has not known since before time existed. What we do with these words is recognize God’s wondrous reality for us: God walks with us and knows where we are all the time, and knows what plays in our hearts, what fears consume us, what nightmares haunt us, what evil shreds at our being …. Still God loves us, heals us, and sends us out scars and all …

to be unconditional love for others.

It is a small task that encompasses not only our whole lives; it encompasses the entire universe.

God calls us in many and various ways …. and we answer if we dare! No matter, God walks with us.