Where Does God Leave Us?

Lost friends, lost love, lost time.

There are so many lies, so many that create a reality that is so fictional.

And all are focused on destroying life, my life, and others’ lives.

Lost friends, lost love, lost time.

Where did we go so wrong!

We move so hard forward scorched earth behind, onward to nowhere.

Lost friends, lost love, lost time.

How can so many of you pledge and commit yourselves to uphold truth, honour, and justice

and then turn and so perversely dishonour everything you pledged ourselves to, taking life away from so many others?

Lost friends, lost love, lost time.

God suffered worse, at the hands of those so pledged, committed, and dishonourable to all that is good,

as God’s only son was arrested, tried, falsely convicted … and crucified, one of the most horrific, torturous deaths possible.

Lost friends, lost love, lost time.

By Grace

God did not leave Jesus dead, nor does God leave us so perversely ruined, though we are fully undeserving of both the destruction, and God’s Grace.

God does not leave us but joins us again with

lost friends, lost love, lost time.

..

By Grace

God Leaves Us Not At All, Ever, Anywhere.

By Grace Alone.

Wise Choices OR the Usual?

Friday, May 7, 2021

No Matter How Nice It Appears,

When We Choose to Walk Away from God,

We Walk on Thin Ice.

We Choose Thin Ice

Too Often

Psalm 25:5

Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

1 John 5:15

If we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him.

Words of Grace For Today

There are so many choices we must make each day or make by trying to not make the choices; they catch us no matter.

The wiser we get, hopefully before we get too old, the more we notice how little we know of everything we need to know. We see how desperately we need help.

So we learn to plead to God for help: lead us in your truth, and teach us.

Where else are we to ask for what we need?

Where else in this world of corruption from top to bottom are we to find truth, about us, about others, and about God?

We know when we ask God, God will provide what we need.

This is God’s promise, which we can trust.

There is no more we need from life than what God provides, for it give us everything worth waiting for; God’s truth that is irrefutable.

Trusting God’s truth gives us life in the face of so many lies about ourselves, about others, about what God is and is not.

Trusting God’s truth gives us life, life abundant.

Desires of Birds, Bees, Beasts, and Fish

Thursday, May 6, 2021

God’s Value

Is Everything.

God Values

Every Thing and Being

In Creation.

Psalm 145:15-16

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.

Luke 12:22-24

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!’

Words of Grace For Today

I am not sure about this:

You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.

We humans have a way of ‘desiring’ so much more no matter how much we have.

Further the birds, bees, and beasts, and not to forget the fish, struggle under the effects of our ‘possessing the land’, ‘dominating it’, and destroying ecosystems that have taken millions of years to establish!

So?

The truth is God created the world quite capable of sustaining all the life created on it, satisfying the desire of every living thing. God promises to provide for the needs those desires are given to life of all kinds, in order that all life can continue on God’s good earth.

That includes our desires that God gave us so that we could continue to live among all the life on this planet.

How did we screw it up so badly!?!

Well, God loved us, wanted us to be able to love, which means we need to be able to choose to love or not, and …

Well so much of the time we humans have chosen, do choose, and forever will choose to do other than love! Youch, what a price!

We are destroying what provides us the ability to live on earth! It’ll take us maybe 100 or so, maybe only 25 or 5 years, to unmake the earth capable of sustaining life, something God created in 6 days, or millions of years measured in our time.

What power we have … to destroy!

And what power we have, as well, to love, when we so choose. Choosing to love is possible, for any one, for every one, of us … though only as God makes us able.

The beginning of God making us able is to promise that God values us greatly. Knowing that we can choose to act responsibly and responsively to that unconditional, life-giving and life-renewing love!

God willing and ‘the creek not rising’ (maybe it ought to be ‘the oceans not rising’) we may still live on planet earth in 1000 years and more!

God’s Word started this all. God’s Word sustains us all. Certainly God’s Word is able to bring us to that miracle of miracles.

So what are we going to do today, with God’s love?

‘Victorious’ vs the meek>

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

God Created All That Is.

God Judges Everyone for Everything.

We all win.

Jeremiah 27:5

It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the people and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomsoever I please.

Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Words of Grace For Today

We work so hard to survive.

And when that is accomplished or given to us by our station at birth or by sheer insane luck, stupidity, or corruption we humans always look to have more from life. We measure it in what is ours! not theirs.

Yet God created this earth not for us to divide it up among ourselves. God created it good, sufficient for all, held together by love, renewed by Grace, and sanctified to be wondrous – including us!

The bold seem to win the most at this inane game of possessing what cannot be possessed, love, land, security, hope and the future.

Jeremiah and Jesus puts it clearly that God is the creator and the one who gives the earth to stewards, and those stewards are not the bold and victorious in our inane human games we have reduced life to.

The meek will inherit the earth.

After we are done ruining it, the victorious will not want it. They will move on to other planets, other challenges, other inane games that they can use to ‘prove’ they are significant.

Only God determines who is significant and for what we are significant.

Have you any clear idea for what we are significant?

Or who is significant to God?

What does the old, old story of Jesus and his love teach us about for what we are significant and who is included in this ‘we’?

Right, all are included (even the deluded ‘victorious’) for we are significant at all to God, solely because …

Because God chooses to love us!

Another Day

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

A Shadow of One’s Self;

God Strengthens the Whole.

Set for another day!

Psalm 138:3

On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.

Romans 10:12

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him.

Words of Grace For Today

Love is true,

Hope is strong.

Set for another day.

The eagle soars above,

the loons sing across the water.

Set for another day.

The water jug is full;

the bucket toilet emptied.

Set for another day.

Enemies have had their way,

God promises they are moot.

Set for another day.

The night brings freezing,

The day brings warmth.

Set for another day.

The soup has beans,

the milk stays cool.

Set for another day.

The visitors stay far,

the deer graze near.

Set for another day.

The wood is gathered,

the wood is split.

Set for another day.

The world does not want to know

that I breathe only by Grace, still

Set for another day.

The wind blows sleet

the sun hides above thick storm clouds, still

Set for another day.

The story is told;

no one listens, still

Set for another day.

I called on God.

God answered with true love.

Set for another day.

Love is true

Hope is strong.

Set for another day.

Limits Are Nothing Compared to God’s Delight

Monday, May 3, 2021

Dark Above

Dark Below

Danger on the Horizon

...

Yet God Is My Stay,

Each Day.

2 Samuel 22:19-20

They came upon me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my stay. He brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

Matthew 9:9

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.

Words of Grace For Today

The life I live is limited by many restrictions. While so many others feel the restrictions to protect us all from Covid 19 (or sort of at least), years before Covid 19 the reality of abject poverty, a ruined reputation, and injustice profound kept my horizons down to surviving one day, one week, one month, one season interrupted by desperate, life threatening needs.

As at no other time in my life, though some have come nearly as close, I have known that God walks with me,

and

that I am blessed with a life abundant.

I, with so many other humans through history, know well these words as my/our own:

They came upon me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my stay. He brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

Perhaps you do, too?

This I have known as well, that God has called me, perhaps not like Jesus calling Matthew away from a life as a hated tax collector, but to be one who shares God’s Grace with as many people as I am able.

As I have followed Jesus, knowing that God delights in me, I have given my all each day as I was able. I have delighted in God’s claim on me, and the promise that God will walk with me no matter what, and that there is nothing that can separate me from the Love of God. For God has claimed me, a sinner of my own making, and made me a saint of God’s own making. In that everyone has hope. If God can save me, attacked as I am by foes yet each day, surely God can save anyone.

God created this earth, and us in it … and when it was done God said, “It is Good!”

So we can be good this day, too. Why not! If not now, when?!

May Day Morning Reflections

Sunday, May 2, 2021

A Little Spring Ice

Is Sprung from the Water

by a ‘Little’ Wind

Deuteronomy 32:46-47

Take to heart all the words that I am giving in witness against you today; give them as a command to your children, so that they may diligently observe all the words of this law. This is no trifling matter for you, but rather your very life; through it you may live long in the land that you are crossing over the Jordan to possess.

John 6:63

It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Words of Grace For Today

May Day

God has spoken, commanded, given wisdom so that we may live long in the Promised Land.

God’s Word gives us life, renews our spirit, revives the body, and calls us to live abundantly.

God’s Word created this wondrous world we live in and are working so hard to destroy in order to provide ourselves comforts and luxuries un-dreamed of by most of all our ancestors.

Yet, on this first day of May, God’s Word comes alive, as it often does for those who care to listen, breathe, and respond to the call to live, and live abundantly.

What a marvellous thing to wake up, without having had to have a fire going to keep things from freezing, to light the fire laid last night, and walk about under the trees down to the lake, in the sun and in the shade absorbing warmth in the just above freezing fresh air and the cool breeze from the ice piled on the shore from yesterday’s westerlies.

What a wonder that the air moved as wind is powerful enough to move the weight of the ice against itself and pile it up four and six feet high on to the shore, exposing crystals formed last fall to the open air and camera lens.

What a wonder it is that these tall trees (tall for Alberta at 40+ feet) can stand against gravity and those winds, until they do not. In the recent high winds (the new norm) more than a few have had their tops snapped off falling to the forest floor they are so weighted. Old trees have been knocked clear out of the ground, broken at the root. One green and budding 50+ foot poplar is snapped clean off just above the ground, falling through everything on it’s way to bounce not at all off the ground, around 1000 lbs of tree become dead become wood at the onslaught of one last wind. Other trees in the nearby woods similarly have taken it ‘on the cheek’, or rather ‘off the root’.

It is a glorious morning time, before the noise of the day, of human activity and campers’ abuse of the woods, of oil industry traffic dimming in the distance to be replaced by the dull roar of the plants processing heavy bitumen into heavy oil, thinned enough to pump through pipe networks to gas plants and shipping ports.

For now all is still here near the lake and far into the woods, until the birds sing and flit about, the birds on the ice screech and geese honk, the owl hoots a few last times before the day’s rest. Shadows from the sun reaching past the bare tree trunks reach the grass and leaves on the brown and green grass, striping it with stark lines pointing toward the water.

The one huge pain of this tree budding season lays in wait ready to ambush my body’s immune system, overloading it, scratching at my eyes, piercing my sinus with pain, running fluid into my throat and into my lungs. Allergies will sap more than half my energy as my body fights an invisible, unknown, unassailable opponent for more than the 60th season, giving it everything and losing it all to not even a tie-breaker. Medicine will relieve the losses, day by day, and take days off the end of my life, even now leading to infections in my lungs, bronchitis which robs me of my breath, and occasionally pneumonia laying flat on my back inches from needing a hospital’s oxygen to survive.

This is a glorious morning, with it’s inherent promise of surviving another -30⁰ and colder winter that will still come my way, God willing and ‘the creek not rising’, and it’s twinges in my nostrils and scratches in my eyes that foreshadow the battles to be fought and lost yet again against an invisible, unknown and unnecessary foe.

This is a glorious morning, a blessing provided by God’s unending Grace.

This is a glorious morning, which I will enjoy and be profoundly grateful for, for God has rescued me so that I can survive the lies, the scapegoating, the gaslighting, the false testimonies and affidavits, the injustice, the false convictions, and the cruel rulings that benefit no one, especially not the children.

Breathe.

This is a glorious morning in and by which God continues to bless me.

Breathe.

And prepare for the days’ hard labours, which keep this aging body able to move against arthritis, decay, gaslighting, and cruel injustices.

Breathe.

God has spoken, commanded, given wisdom so that we may live long in the Promised Land.

God’s Word gives us life, renews our spirit, revives the body, and calls us to live abundantly.

God’s Word created this wondrous world we live in and are working so hard to destroy in order to provide ourselves comforts and luxuries un-dreamed of by most of all our ancestors.

Yet, on this first day of May, God’s Word comes alive, as it often does for those who care to listen, breathe, and respond to the call to live, and live abundantly.

Breathe even, and especially, in these times of new normals.

‘Bring in The Poor, The Crippled, The Blind, And The Lame’

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Nothing Is As We Think We Can Expect.

God Has Plans

For Us

And

For Our Enemies,

Plans of Grace for All.

Psalm 9:19

Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail; let the nations be judged before you.

Luke 14:21

So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, “Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.”

Words of Grace For Today

The travails of life are great, and there are plenty who contribute unjustly to ours and others’ travails. As we suffer and wonder where the next morning will take us, and what greater suffering will fall upon us.

How can it be that we would other than pray with all our heart, Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail; let the nations be judged before you.

It is not that God does not hear our pleas. God answers with something we may have forgotten to expect. God calls the most unfit to feast at the table with us … including our enemies.

We may wish those who cause us, many other people, and the children great suffering God’s judgment, so that the injustice will stop.

Doch God is not so to be distracted from reaching out to the most needy, our enemies among them, who need time … time to recognize Grace through people’s response to them … time to realize God has forgiven them, and offered them renewed life … and time for the amendment of life.

Children, Peace, and Swords

Friday, April 30, 2021

When We Think We Have Seen

And Understood All God’s Glory for Us

A Second Look Can Show Us How Much the World

Is Tilted Askew

and Polluted by Oil

..

And Yet God Remains Always Gracious with Us!

Isaiah 9:6

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Acts 10:36

You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all.

Words of Grace For Today

Sometimes, unfortunately not always, when a child is born the parents and others hold such hope for the child. They wish the best, the greatest, the most for this child. They hope this child will become an amazing human.

Sometimes this hope for the child becomes something more. It can become something ugly, destructive, and evil. It can become that the parent or others take the life of the child and try to force the child to become what they hope the child will become.

It can also become something beautiful, life-giving, and blessed. It can become that the community sees the individual, respects her/him, and gives everything they have to allow the child to grow into a full human, a sinner and a saint.

Being a parent is a great and marvellous honour and responsibility. Sometimes that responsibility creates so much fear a parent does not parent. Sometimes a parent completely ignores the responsibilities and the child suffers immeasurably.

Sometimes that responsibility is met with new found maturity, and both the parent and the child grow to know God’s blessings. The first of those blessings is the daily (re-) discovery that one cannot do it on one’s own. One needs family, church and community to help out. Even that is not enough, not ever and one learns to trust that God will walk with us parents, guiding us, forgiving us, loving us, and renewing us, so that we can be that example for our children.

Then, every so often a child is born, and the weight of all the hopes and dreams of a community, a people, a planet rest on that infant’s shoulders even before the child is able to talk. There is no lack of need for saviours for the people and for the planet. Today is no exception! History records many times a saviour was needed, and almost as many times that the people saw a saviour come their way, a few times it was a child. Very seldom the saviour actually was able to save the people.

Jesus arrives, the Isaiah passage is repeated this time apply to Jesus, and all the hopes and dreams land on the infant in the manger. This child does grow to be a saviour, one for all people of all time, and for all creation!

What we’ve made of Jesus is always an interesting reflection on the us. In Acts Luke reflects that Jesus came to bring peace. Except Jesus says ‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.’ (Matthew 10.34)

This leaves us with much to learn from Jesus’ story. We are never done learning from it. So we need to hear the familiar old, old story of Jesus and his love. When we think we are so familiar with the story, or parts of it, that is when we need to hear the story again and again, told simply, clearly, gracefully … so that we do not ‘self-correct’ the story we remember into something foreign to Jesus’ story.

Grace and Peace be with you!

Calves and Hubris

Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Glory of Gold:

of God’s Creation

Or

of Our Hubris

Exodus 32:11-12

Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, ‘O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, “It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth”? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people.

1 John 2:1

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Words of Grace For Today

There is not one person who will not sin, turning from God even after God has made clear that by Grace (forgiveness and renewed life freely given by God) alone we live well.

Our human response to such great generosity given at such a great price, but taken and then squandered would be to wipe such a person from the face of the earth. We would so judge others, and hope that we would not also be judged. Or, for far too many people, we fear and ‘know’ that we will not be met with Grace again by God, so we go about blasting our way through life, destroying people left, right and centre, taking all we can from others and from life, sure that there is no God for us.

So Moses fears God will do to them, killing them in the mountains, and consuming them from the face of the earth. Answering God’s call Moses has led this rag tag band out of Egypt, but they have many times revolted in small ways against God and Moses demanding more and more. Then this hubristic band turns to worship their own smelted golden calf; it’s a full out revolt against God.

It is our story. It is the story that each of us can find in our own behaviour. We wish we would not sin, yet we still do. Too often in our hubris we turn in full revolt against God and worship our own gold-smelted-whatevers.

God could just as well kill us and consume us from the face of the earth. Yet God does not. God sends Jesus to save us yet again, and we live abundant lives by Grace alone, again … and again … and again. Jesus advocates for us. We learn how not to sin. We return to sin gravely. And Jesus saves us.

Now, given that God sends Jesus to save us, not once or twice or 77 times 7, but as many times we turn from God to sin, how are we going to respond to others who sin, again and again?

We can judge them, ‘killing’ them, and working to consume them from the face of the earth

OR

We can exercise God’s Grace for them … as Jesus calls us to. As God called Moses to lead the people out of slavery.

It’s a no-brainer …

because it’s not rational or reasoned or effective or productive or pious or righteous.

It requires pure faith,

which is by Grace alone possible.