Proof: for Fear yes! For God no, sorry.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Dark Master

Or the Conqueror of Fears?

Isaiah 44:24

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who by myself spread out the earth.

1 Corinthians 8:6

For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

Words of Grace For Today

God is the creator of all things, and is the one for whom we exist.

There is no proof of this basic statement of faith. Any attempt to prove God exists or that God is the creator of all things or that we live solely for God’s good pleasure and God’s good pleasure is that we live abundantly and for each other … any attempt to prove most anything of God or that God exists at all requires that we first accept the result of the proof as the beginning of the proof.

Fear now … there is all sorts of proof that it exists, that we have it in abundant measure, and that it digs deep inside us and directs our ways and days.

Wasps decided, as wasps decide, to establish nests through out the insulated and not insulated tarps of my shelter, and in the spare tire for the camper I borrow.

Taking down the skirt around that small borrowed camper I took a hit, a hard hit right on the top of the wrist. It forced me to drop everything in my hands and run. I realized I was stung by a wasp, maybe a bee, but the force was like that of a wasp.

I watched as yellow jackets stormed around the spare tire I had moved past to pull away the insulated tarps that form the skirt there. When they quieted down I reached in for my things that I had dropped and was rewarded with a second hit just as hard as the first. It hurt worst than the first even though I knew what it was and there was not much surprise. After all I saw the wasp this time an instant before the pain-shock hit my brain.

For a good week my wrist hurt, then itched out of control, and then ached so bad it was hard to use that hand.

I went looking for wasp killing spray foam. None was to be found or even ordered on line for delivery sooner than three weeks down the road. Even after the ache subsided when I heard a wasp nearby an echo of the jolt of the sting hit me again. Each day I tried to work elsewhere until finally I was tucked inside the camper waiting for time to pass. I realized I was living in fear, having stopped all progress on the necessary repairs that could only be done in warmer weather.

Fear.

Fear requires no proof, though there is plenty of it, that fear exists and that fear will stop us in our tracks.

There are answers to fear. Fear that is not real requires we redirect our thinking until it no longer lands us in the clutches of fear. Real fear requires action. But before action it requires calm and calculated plans on how best to act, how to eliminate the source of the fear.

Degreaser detergent is supposed to kill wasps. I had a good size jug of it.

Vinegar is supposed to repel wasps. I got a good size jug of it.

Peppermint oil is suppose to kill wasps. It was too expensive to even consider.

Even though the sprayer would stop working after 5 pumps, I sprayed a full half jug of vinegar around, to no effect.

I dumped water detergent mix on the nest I could sort of get at, to no effect.

I went on line and tried to order more wasp control foam, but it would take even longer to arrive.

More and more wasps buzzed all around. If I did not act it would get worse and could get so bad that I could not get in and out of the camper or even come near to it.

So I got up early one morning, found a piece of fibreglass screen material left over from repairing ripped screens, got a rainjacket, jeans, another pair of nylon pants, rubber boots, thick leather gloves, and of course duct tape.

I filled the sprayer with detergent and water mixed thin enough so that the sprayer would spray.

After two hours of spraying, refilling, spraying, using a long pole to knock down and out a nest, and stomping it to a flat mess, I had killed a number of those hard-hitting wasps, destroyed three nests, and knew that this would not be the last of it. Too many wasps survived after the nests were gone. They would rebuild and regain numbers and become a problem again, maybe real soon.

Then I would use detergent and the protective gear again, until the foam killer spray arrived to kill enough that they would go away and not come back.

Fears can be dealt with, one way or another.

The only way to deal with the underlying fear of death and destruction by our enemies is to either destroy them first (which is a hell of a way to live – and is everything God tries to tell us is NOT how to live) or to trust God’s promises and grace and love for us.

Trusting God we can overcome all the fear the Evil one and other destruction-seeking people serving the Evil one can put into us. We can live free.

For we believe and therefore for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

More of the fear conqueror’s suit

Fears, fears of real dangers, help us prepare to avoid our destruction.

God Blesses Us Despite What We Do!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

A Beaver

Giving Warning.

Do We Heed God’s Warnings? NO!

Yet God Continues to Bless Us!

Psalm 91:14

Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name.

1 John 3:21-22

Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

Words of Grace For Today

Julie and Greg sought refuge from the heat, well over 35⁰ each day from 8:00 to 20:00 or later making sleeping difficult, and at best restless. The packed up their little camper behind the truck and headed out to a lake more than an hour away, since all the campgrounds at other lake closer were overfilled. There was no proper campground, just crown land where random camping was allowed.

They were hardly the first to arrive, and most of the possible sites were filled and overfilled with others seeking relief from the heat and being cooped up for more than a year with the covid19 restrictions. With luck, or was it a pure blessing, they arrived just minutes after another family left one of the furthest campsites, one set among birch trees on a hill more than 50 feet above the lake. They settled in and carried their canoe down near the four log steps to the water.

For a week they ‘enjoyed’ temperatures that did not climb above 32⁰ and nights that cooled off after sunset at 21:30 to the high teens, making sleeping a wonderful and restful reprieve. The first few days they recovered and found wonder in the relative cool nights, and the canoe outings during the hottest part of the day into the cooler air above the water. They knew that God had delivered them.

Then they became accustom to the reprieve, and noticed the challenges of camping: the swarms of mosquitoes morning and evening made being outside less than comfortable, the flies that chewed small chunks right out of their arms, checks and even eyelids, and the bees and wasps whose stings they were allergic to. Then there were the late night parties from the other parts of the campground that seemed to never end until the sun rose; a downside of uncontrolled camping producing loud music and fireworks at all late hours! The quads, dirt bikes, and side by sides chewed up the dirt right before their camper, blowing exhaust into their camper at any hour. They became complainers instead of giving God thanks.

Saturday afternoon all that complaining ended with a real danger. The emergency broadcast service rang out from their cell phones: a tornado warning! A funnel was sighted moving fast NW just 30 miles away to the SW of their precious campsite. There was no basement or building to hide in against the SW wall. They did what they could. They pulled their hand-made cedar strip canoe high away from the lake and secured it among some strong trees and bush. The parked the truck on the lakeside of the camper, opened it’s windows and all the windows on the camper (to prevent the severe drop and rise in air pressure from blowing up either the truck or camper.) Taking a larger tarp they found where a tree’s roots had been ripped out leaving a depression, laid down the tarp, sat and laid in on it, and covered themselves with the tarp to protect themselves from the rain that pelted sideways at them in the high wind.

The last thing they saw before covering themselves was a funnel approach the other side of the lake, tossing trees out of it’s path like toothpicks, and throwing a great blinding spray of water that hid everything from sight as it came across the lake. The deafening sound grew until it went totally quiet, not from lack of sound but from the pressure built in their eardrums that made hearing anything impossible. In their bones they felt instead of heard the roar, the explosions and earth shaking thuds, and then the stillness ….

When they uncovered themselves all the trees for 100 yards in all directions were gone, in their place were shreds of logs piled in places like matchsticks poured out of their box by a child playing with danger.

They walked back to where they had laid their canoe. Miraculously the trees were gone, but the bush remained covering their untouched, precious canoe. In that same moment they recognized behind a jumble of logs their camper, and then their truck, both untouched by the destruction.

In the rest of the random campground 4 people were killed, 10 others injured, and many vehicles and camping units were damaged or totally destroyed. Some trees, though not many, remained standing as before. The shoreline was hidden beneath a mess of bush, logs, and the remains of boats that had been in the water or on shore. Julie and Greg used their truck to transport 8 people to the hospital and then a second trip with the other 2 less severely injured and 2 bodies they had found.

For weeks after both Julie and Greg, knowing that their sins were many and varied, knew that many days they had done nothing to please God, yet God had delivered them. They were alive. Their precious canoe, truck, and camper were undamaged. They were the only family camping that completely escaped damage or injury of some kind. They did not deserve this, so they gave God thanks, with words each morning and night, and with acts of kindness for others, helping others recover property, and cleaning up the camping area as they could. Somehow the heat that had returned, the mosquitoes, flies, bees and wasps that continued to swarm, and the parties that people somehow continued to hold each evening made little difference.

The goodness of life itself outshone all the challenges, obstacles, and ugliness around them.

Julie and Greg knew that God blessed them not because of what they had done, or not done, but simply because God so chose to bless them. They learned, slowly as the blessed shock of surviving unscathed, how to reflect God’s blessings in their daily lives, how to maintain their gratitude for each breathe and moment of life, and how to shine undeserved grace to other people.

Even scripture, given to humans to write, can be wrong when it somehow conveys that God blesses us because we obey his commandments and do what pleases God.

First God blesses us. Then like Julie and Greg we slowly learn to obey and do what pleases God. And we inevitably revert to our old ways of complaining about life and doing all things only for ourselves, until God surprises us with an undeserved blessing, so that we slowly learn again to obey and do what please God…. Until we inevitably revert to our old ways … and God surprises us again and again with undeserved blessings.

Precious to Whom?

Sunday, July 18, 2021

In the Heat of (Climate Change Ever More Extreme) Summer

God Remembers Us

And the Many Paths Our Machines Have Made

In the Cool of Winter.

‘Chill’

God Recommends We

‘Chill.’

2 Samuel 7:22

Therefore you are great, O Lord God; for there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

Revelation 1:17-18

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive for ever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades.

Words of Grace For Today

In this rough and wild world of self-interested cheats and liars all, it is good to know one’s friends well and to have friends in high places, very high places.

No better friend than God, for there is no one like God, no god besides God, whether we’ve heard it or not!

The trouble with human friends is that when they get to be in high places, they cannot be trusted not to turn on you for their own interests of staying in high places, or demanding dirty little favours of you to help them stay in high places.

God does no such thing. We need not fear that God will turn on us, or turn us into petty criminals doing God’s dirty work so that God can remain God. God has no such concerns, for God has not stepped up higher than is God’s place (like some friends do, and all people in high places have done!)

God does no such thing. Instead God assures us we need not fear God’s Power and Might. God has turned that all powerful, all-mightyful reality toward resolving all that would destroy us.

God chose to be born as one of us, weak and vulnerable to corrupt powers that pretend to be more than they are, just as many of our judges and police and politicians do today. God suffered a terrible death at their hands, and defied their ‘power’ and the real power of death and evil itself! All so that we can live free of such fears, of petty powers and of real destructive powers of evil and even of death itself.

That’s what a real good friend in the very high places (and the low places and everywhere in between) does for us.

We must be some extraordinary precious!

Breathe in that reality!

We are precious to the Ultimate Most Powerful One!

What a life!

What are we going to do with it, that’s the question for each of us each day!

Whether We Are On or Off, God’s Love Is Always On!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

The First Wondrous View Each Sunny Morning.

Wonders Never Cease

Whether We Notice God’s Miracles

Each Day Determines Much of Our Lives

Psalm 48:9

We ponder your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple.

Ephesians 2:22

In Christ Jesus you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.

Words of Grace For Today

God’s temple, that temple built by humans, is a great place to contemplate and ponder God’s great works.

God’s temple, that temple built by God – that is all of creation and especially the wildernesses untouched by human ‘domination’, development, and destruction – is the place to contemplate and ponder God’s great works visible and obvious before one’s eyes, if one will open them and notice what is there.

God’s temple, that temple, the body that God dwells in, in each of us provides no end of cause to pause, contemplate, and ponder all of God’s great works that give us breath and life, re-newed life, and hope.

God’s temple, that temple, the body of Christ made up of all the followers of Jesus the Christ, through all time and in all places, is the most remarkable opportunity to contemplate and ponder the great works of God, for in the gathering of Christ’s followers (not at all the greatest people ever) the evidence of God’s Grace is blatant to even the casual observer. Here, in those Christians alive now, great sinners we each and all are and by Grace God-made saints we each and all are, along with the sinner-saints of all times and place, give ample witness to God’s greatest work; that by Grace God claims us, walks with us (even when we sin, trying to ‘run from’ God), forgives us, renews us, and sets us free (sin-free, though we always choose otherwise) to live each day again. That marvellous Grace, for each of us, and that marvellous Grace among us, holds us alive, in body, mind, and spirit. That Grace does not cease when we try for the million-times-millionth time to ‘run from God.’ God’s Grace, miraculously accompanies us through all our lives and into eternity.

If the trees create remarkable shadows on the ‘dark side’ of the sun’s light, we humans cast a shadow far more obvious with our ‘trying to run from God’ efforts. The Grace of God, in the Light of Christ, does not fail to shine even on the cloudiest of days or the darkest moonless nights. Our sins make God’s Grace as blatantly obvious as the trees’ shadows on the dew lit grass of the early morning sun.

This Grace is God’s love, God’s steadfast love.

This Grace is God’s love, God’s steadfast love, also for you (no matter what you have done ‘running from God’, or how desperate your enemies are that attack you, or how lost in it all you may find yourself!)

This Grace is God’s love, God’s steadfast love, also for you, this day, this night, and your every tomorrow.

This is worth pondering, and being awestruck by once again.

God Walks With Us

Monday, May 17, 2021

Since the Sun First Rose

To Shine Light on Us

We’ve Had Many Paths to Choose From.

Many Have Chosen Evil as Their Path.

God’s Blesses Us, Walking with Us

Guiding Us on Paths of Righteousness.

Genesis 39:23

The chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.

1 Corinthians 3:6

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

Words of Grace For Today

When God chooses to work with us, things work out well for us.

Joseph is in jail not because he did anything wrong, but because Potiphar’s wife wanted to have sex with him, he refused, she falsely accused him of sexual assault, and he was quickly falsely convicted and jailed.

Not much has changed through the many, many generations. Women can too easily make false accusations of a man and have him falsely convicted and jailed. Happened to me. The worse part of that was everyone knew the reports, charges, testimony, and judge’s decisions were all made up of material lies, obvious lies. Without the lies brought to the courts and those made up by the court there could not have been any convictions. The real damage is not to me, as it was not to Joseph. The real damage is done to the children who were in my care who learned that lies win in court. The real damage is done to those who lied, for to lie about such things, and for courts to produce blatantly false decisions and convictions, costs those people a huge part of their soul, their spirit, their health and well-being, which like cancer grows until there is nothing good left in the person.

Joseph, as I was, is noticed as different, honourable and honest, by his jailer. He is put in charge of many things and trusted with them. God is with him, and it is obvious to those around him. It is not that Joseph or I or the many falsely jailed people through history with whom God has walked are perfect. It is that we are blessed, in many and various ways.

There is a wide stream of hubristic Christian theology and practice that takes the blessing of God’s people, the prospering of our work, the growth of God’s Kingdom around us, BUT it changes this from a blessing to a claim to control God’s Will: namely this heresy claims that those whom God chooses for eternal life (and the rest of humanity is damned eternally) can be seen to be so chosen because they prosper, and by prosper is meant they become wealthy on the backs of other people. This is not God’s blessings at work for them. This is the Devil’s perversion of blessing into curse: Goodness is measured in material wealth, power, or position.

God’s blessings come in many and various ways. God’s blessings sometimes come most fruitfully, most obviously, when one suffers the lack of material wealth, power, or position. This does not mean, as some have turned it around backwards again by the Devil’s wiles to pervert God’s blessing, that one has to be poor, powerless, or an outcast among the homeless or nation-less in order to be blessed.

Paul struggled against great odds to bring the Gospel to everyone, even those not Jewish, and in so many places around the northeast Mediterranean. The congregations that he helped develop were not made up of perfect, or even nice people. A quick read of the Letters to the Corinthians makes this obvious. Yet Paul’s missionary work prospered and was blessed by God. Through his work and many other developments in the flow of time Christianity has become a recognized religion for the last millennium and a half; which is not a perfect development either, marred as it is by as much scandal and war as not.

Still, we say with Paul of his work for Christ and of ours: We planted, others (Apollos) watered, but God gives the growth.

Because God walks with us, and gives growth so that in many and various ways things prosper, we can say Julian of Norwich, even when the world is ‘going to hell in a hand basket’ that all will be well, all will be well, all manner of things will be well.

God Rocks! God Rules Everywhere!

Friday, May 14, 2021

God’s Glory Shines Everywhere!

Psalm 103:19

The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

Revelation 19:6-7

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunder-peals, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.’

Words of Grace For Today

When the evil of those who are entrusted to be just and honest and good reaches arbitrarily into so many lives, destroying the old and the young alike, then we have pause to wonder:

Is God at all listening, watching, caring at all?!

Our travails are no greater than many humans have experienced through history. Truth is they are not as great as so many. We read the witness left by those who suffered so much more than we do today.

The witnesses through the generations are clear, wondrous and sure:

God has established God’s throne in the heavens, and God’s kingdom rules over all.

There will be many days that Evil will drive us to doubt God’s love, God’s promises and God’s deliverance. On those days, in those moments, the witnesses that have gone before us bring us back to trust the power of God, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, and the All-Loving.

We can join the chorus crying: ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory!’

We, too, give witness for the generations that follow us, that God has given God’s heart to us in love, with a love that created us, rescues us, and sustains us!

No matter what comes our way with hearts filled with wonder we know that God has given us all lives of great challenge, love, and adventure!

Love vs Slings and Arrows

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Seen My Love, Lately?’

Psalm 44:26

Rise up, come to our help. Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.

Luke 17:21

Nor will they say, “Look, here it is!” or “There it is!” For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.

Words of Grace For Today

As the slings and arrows fly at us, we are desperate for God to save us, not only from the things piercing the air so near us, some not passing us by. We need to be saved from ourselves. One only needs to recognize how we have dealt with the beauty of creation around, in and among us to know that we really do screw things up good. Or bad as it were.

So we require God’s salvation, and we cry ‘Rise up, come to our help. Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love,’for it is not on our own merit that we can possibly hope God will redeem us. We need God’s grace provided to us; we are solely dependent on God’s steadfast love as the reason God would save us.

So God provides all we need.

Further we need not look. We need not seek somewhere else. For the kingdom of God is here among us!

Great that it is, a life dependent on God’s Grace, on God’s steadfast love only.

until we collectively and individually screw it up so royally again and the slings and arrows of others’ misplaced anger start piercing the air around and toward us.

So we cry to God to save us

again and again we repeat this, and God, for the sake only of God’s steadfast love, continues to save us.

What a love!

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?

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.