Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – July 8

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Colours

Leaves fall

Our wisdom falters,

God is everywhere, with us.

Isaiah 29:14

I will again do amazing things with this people, shocking and amazing. The wisdom of their wise shall perish, and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.

Mark 6:2

On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands!

Words of Grace For Today

A few nights ago a man came telling me that the surveyors would becoming, that he had made an offer on this land. (This is crown land, never will it be for sale.) He said that this land had been in his family many years ago. It was coming back into his family. The fences would go up, he would bring his truck in and plow the road. (The road is impassible and would need numerous culverts, lots and lots of clay roadbed compacted into place and layers of gravel over that to make is something that could be plowed.) He was going to develop the shoreline. (Twenty metres in from the edge of the lake is always Crown land and it cannot be developed without a special permit, which are few and far between.) He said he was going to divide up the land into 5 acre plots for various members of his family. (It would take millions of square miles of land divided into five acre plots to accommodate his whole family, the family of all Canadians.)

Jesus comes doing amazing things that shock people. They ask where he came from? Where did he get this wisdom that he teaches?

The surveyors cannot find the borders of the Kingdom of God. They cannot determine how to divide it up into little plots for each family. They do not have the instruments to determine how big anything is according to God’s measure.

Any wisdom we put together is no more than this man’s puffed up claims to be able to buy crown land for his own, when it is used already by so many for random camping. Watch carefully, and we may see God at work.

Who in your life makes false claims, haughty claims of ownership of things that cannot be owned? Are you the one? Does God’s wisdom show you up to be foolish in God’s Kingdom?

Only God’s Grace can show us a path forward wherein we can imitate Jesus’ way of the cross, bringing Grace to all people. Only by God’s Grace can we avoid making foolish claims of how we are buying up God’s Kingdom for ourselves.

Only by God’s Grace, today we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us forward into an abundant life. Thanks be to God.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – July 5

Sunday, July 5, 2020

God’s Creation

God’s Creation

Our part:

to reflect God’s Grace,

Christ’s Light

Joel 2:23

I will look with favour upon you and make you fruitful and multiply you; and I will maintain my covenant with you.

Ephesians 3:12

In [Jesus] we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.

Words of Grace For Today

Once we have practised, that we are saved by Grace alone (not by our own efforts) then we are ready to understand what our own efforts are: they are responses to God’s Grace, and always should strive to extend that same Grace to others, even our enemies.

It is odd then to read Joel writing: I will maintain my covenant with you. God makes a covenant with us. It is unlike other covenants (contracts). It is one sided: God promises to do for us, God does for us, God does not demand anything from us in return. God does not look from the covenant to us to respond. God’s promises give us life and a model for how God created us to live in creation. That’s God’s part. There is nothing like us maintaining our part of the covenant. That is a return to the false pride that drives us to try to be godlets, as if we could.

That does not mean we have nothing. We have everything by Grace through faith in God. That includes a boldness and confidence.

We can boldly step up to extend Grace to others.

In the face of enemies that deride and seek to destroy us, we have confidence that self-sacrificial love is God’s way and therefore our way to sure victory: love will win and evil will lose, hate will dissolve, riches, power, and reputations gained wrongly will evaporate, and those who have lived out God’s Grace for others will already have their reward in that they have an abundant life. Extending God’s Grace to others is the sufficient requirement for an abundant life and defines what an abundant life is. Love as Grace is everything.

Through faith in Jesus we have a boldness and confidence that comes from the Holy Spirit guiding us each day to seek out, enjoy, and share God’s blessings.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – July 4

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Mirroring God’s Goodness with our lives in the weeds.

God’s Yes

Our amen in the weeds.

Leviticus 26:9

Give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.

2 Corinthians 1:20

For in him every one of God’s promises is a ‘Yes.’ For this reason it is through him that we say the ‘Amen’, to the glory of God.

Words of Grace For Today

Understanding to learn God’s commandments is a child’s first step in following Jesus. Next the difficult part comes in following the commandments. The ten commandments are a beginning to what following Jesus’ commandments (to love God, self, others and even ones’ enemies) are all about.

Love is a life long challenge that is worth every bit of energy and time we put into it.

We are only able to follow through because God promises to love us, accept us, forgive us, and set us on a path to follow the Holy Spirit guiding us to do God’s will.

God’s promises are always Yes to life according to God’s will.

Trusting God we can put an amen ready on our lips for every occasion.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – July 2

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Pastor

A Spouse

You get the idea,

If you have a spouse

Psalm 8:2

Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.

Luke 1:49

The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

Words of Grace For Today

All through life we learn how to respond to challenges. We learn to tie shoes. Maybe not, since more and more shoes are just Velcro. We learn to make allowances for others while we play, then as we study (if we learn to study), then as we raise a family (if we have children), as we mature with a spouse (you get the idea: if we mature -:), as we work, and as we age, retire and kick the bucket (stubbing our toe as we most always do).

All this supposedly gives us common sense, which seems less and less common. All this supposedly gives us knowledge, which seems less and less based on reality for many. All this supposedly gives us opportunity to fill our lives with goods, which we throw away for newer, maybe better goods as if our own worth were dependent on our goods.

God, in many and various ways, keeps trying to communicate to us, hard headed and stiff-necked that we are, to show us all of this is inside-out, up-side-down, or of no consequence when it comes to being part of God’s good creation, and the goodness we are to be (in thought, word, and deed) for others and our own souls.

How great it is that God keeps communicating with us, generation after generation, day after day. Only God who is holy could bear us rascal sinners with such loving patience and grace.

It is not complicated. It is so simple that this way of being (sacrificially loving, forgiving and renewing others) can easily come from infants and young children.

We get to unlearn the world’s lessons, and practice the foolish truths that a child’s perspective on the Goodness of Creation can teach us.

Thanks be to God.

Covid 19 places huge challenges before us. The blessing in these challenges is that we have to re-orient our lives and have therein opportunity to practice again that foolishness of Christ, which brings life to all people.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 29

Monday, June 29, 2020

Burdened?

Bowed

but

Not Broken

Daniel 6:23

Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

2 Corinthians 4:9

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

Words of Grace For Today

The challenges of this life, Covid-19 being a relatively small one, can kick the breath right out of us. Sometimes, like Daniel thrown into the hungry lions’ den, we get a small reprieve before our enemies’ tools/animals of destruction tear us apart and consume us limb, by limb.

Fewer times than we notice other miracles during our short lives on this marvellously created planet, sometimes we survive the tools/animals hungry for our pieces, together which make up our lives. At those times, like Daniel, it is good to have friends in high places with real power, like kings and queens.

When it comes to the challenges of life beyond this life, in the battle between the Devil and God, we have no chance at all to even be effective on the playing field, the stage or the battle arena. The Devil always gets his devouring ways with us – unless the Holy Spirit steps in and defends us.

At that time it is good to be baptized, because in spite of all the doubt the Devil and his minions can create in us, we have a sure sign that God steps in for us, we bear the Cross of Jesus on our foreheads, emblazoned their never to be erased.

That cross does not fend off discomfort, doubts, physical hardships, or assaults of enemies. It does guarantee us that God never walks away from us. We can even turn on God, trying to create our own way forward, and God is still there, carrying us, caring for us, nurturing us back to full health.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

This is a two-fold promise: first that we will not be crushed, driven to despair, forsaken, or destroyed.

Second it is Paul’s full disclosure that following Christ, our enemies will afflict, perplex, persecute, and strike us down.

It’s good to have a cross on one’s forehead to remember, rely on, and especially to have a saviour in the highest places, as well as in the lowest places and everywhere in between.

Trust God. Everything else is a passing illusion. Trust God, no matter that you will not get out of this life alive; but you will live eternally, starting the day you were baptized.

Hallelujah Always!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 27

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Green Turned Golden

Golden even in Death

Such are God’s Blessings

Psalm 74:2

God, remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago, which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage. Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.

2 Corinthians 8:9

For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.

Words of Grace For Today

Remember, God, your congregation.

Jesus’ Riches lost, to make us Rich.

There is a congregation where the council has presented, and persisted in presenting, to the congregation a vote to call a candidate for ordination, even though he has not even attempted to start the process to be approved for ordination in our church.

It’s an invalid motion at an illegal meeting of the council, presented illegally to the congregation, named as that by the Bishop, i.e. it is against their constitution in both spirit and the letter.

I am quite sure that the council has committed a whole series of criminal acts, bringing criminal liability and civil liability on themselves, and profoundly so.

Remember, God, this congregation, Hope Lutheran, Edmonton which is yours from of long ago, and save these leaders, Catherine Moir and Richard Grynas among them, from their brash, bullying, sinful selves, and the members who must participate in an illegal process to voice their disagreement with the process, yet alone the lack of qualifications by the not-candidate.

There is a congregation, where the lay pastor cooperated with the RCMP who were coordinating a Gaslighting operation to bring false charges against me. The lay pastor, in a pastoral care session with me not only interrupted me while I was crying to accuse me of threatening her, she disclosed the information she gained in those pastoral care sessions to the RCMP and others, which was perverted to further Gaslight me.

This lay pastor went to the congregational council and used lies from the RCMP and others to convince the council to ban me from the congregation, something that is impossible in our church if people behave according to our theology of the Cross and Grace. This lay pastor then went on to bald-face lie under oath in Court against me.

The judged used this pastor’s lies as grounds to convict me, but the lies were not enough. The judge had to lie about the meaning of the restrictions I was under in order to say I had broken them.

Remember, God, this congregation, Lakeland Lutheran, Cold Lake, which is yours from of long ago, and save us all from the crimes that lay pastor, Anne Zimmerman (now miraculously specially ordained) and council have committed against so many good people.

While these people and many more commit crimes and unethical acts in the name of Jesus, Jesus did nothing like what these people do. While he had everything, except our salvation, he came and emptied himself of everything allowing equally malicious, confused and evil people to call for his crucifixion. Then, as now, the judge knew true innocence, and still for fear of the power of evil religious leaders, the judge perverts justice and allows people, who pretend to be God’s righteous people, to kill an innocent person.

On the cross Jesus hung, and cried to God, Father forgive them for they do not know what they do. Then in desperation he plead, Father why have you forsaken me? before he gave up his last.

With that Jesus paid the full price, not merely every thing he had, he gave up every bit of life he had in him. Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty we might become rich. That is Jesus gave up every thing, even his life, so that he could show us that God’s love provides everything for us including salvation, so that we can live in God’s grace and live abundantly, rich with all God’s blessings. There is nothing we can do to earn these riches and our salvation.

We can choose to walk away from those blessings, away from that salvation, away from that abundant life. We can do it in the smallest way, or in the most blatant and flashy way. Walk away is what we all do, and can do no other, each day. Then God exercises Grace again and re-invites us to the feast of life lived in Jesus name. Again and again.

What does God do when these congregation’s leaders and lay pastor/not-pastor turn deceit on others to bring them close to their deaths?

When does God no longer welcome these brash sinners, who even admit their sin, and in the same breath say they are forgiven, ridiculing God’s Grace as if it were a tool of theirs to wield according to their own will. Instead of confessing their own sins they make false accusations against innocent people to distract from their own terrible sins.

There are many horrendous sins one can read about in history, which one must believe the perpetrators will answer for as they stand in judgment before Jesus. As the chaff is burned out of them they will be entirely consumed into the void of the universe as they suffer that eternal fire.

Surely Jesus did not give up everything in order that people could, in his name, so cruelly deal deception, criminal lies, and destruction on other people, could he?

May Jesus correct all our ways that we will not be consumed by that eternal fire, but indeed act as his saints, confessing our unending sins and making restitution to any who we have sinned against, so that we may not be instruments so freely used by the Evil One to destroy God’s people.

Remember, God, each congregation, which is yours from of long ago, and save us all from the life destroying work of the Devil. Help us sing the Hallelujah Anyhow. Those we are poor, bankrupt according to the world’s standards as a result of the Devil’s work, as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice, we live as the most richly blessed people, with clear consciences. We have much work yet to accomplish, God’s Grace to offer to so many people, and such Joy to share as matches nothing else in life!

May you, too, find the riches of Jesus’ sacrifice, pouring into your lives, and the strength to stand up against blatant evils, to demand others be held to account for the evil they perpetrate on so many people.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 23

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Fire, Fire

Fire of God

Word of God

Both spread like Wildfire!

Psalm 147:15

He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly.

2 Timothy 2:8-9

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained.

Words of Grace For Today

People’s responses to God’s Grace can all too often be rejection and attack of the messengers.

God’s Word is not affected or restricted or limited or stopped. God’s Word permeates the universe like the strings that physicists theorize may make up the universe.

The Word, like subspace transmissions, travels faster than light, travels instantaneously everywhere.

Jesus Christ lives. Not even death can stop God!

God’s Word will where it wants, makes what it will.

We know, it wills not that we are enslaved, but that we remain free in God’s own good creation: free to choose to love instead of hate; free to choose to do righteousness for others instead of harm others striving for our own self realizations; free to choose to sacrifice ourselves in order that others may live, as Christ did for us; free to choose to live an abundant life, measured not by comfort, things, privilege or power, but measured by how many other people benefit from us reflecting God’s free, gracious, generous forgiveness, renewed life, and spirit (sometimes called chutzpah or gumption or nerve) to reflect the Light of Christ instead of our meagre attempts to shine.

The Word

travels instantaneously to where it is needed,

to strengthen the defences against the Devil and his evil perversions of good creation.

to heal our every ill

to renew life.

There is nothing else that is trustworthy other than God’s Word.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 19

Friday, June 19, 2020

God’s Road?

Is This Our Road?

Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Ephesians 5:17

So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Words of Grace For Today

The myriad of choices that we make each day, determine what choices come our way for the rest of our day, and years.

Sometimes this is remarkably clear.

If we choose to marry someone we have fallen in love with, with no regard for what kind of a person they are, there may be hell to pay, especially if they are not a kind person.

If, on the other hand, you choose to marry someone you have not fallen in love with, even if they are a kind person, you may certainly not be. For there are good motives to marry not for love, though there are many more evil motives.

Who you marry, or choose to live with, makes and breaks all sorts of future options. There is not much good in the greed, jealousy, and pride that drives one’s spouse to abuse you for all you’ve got to give.

If you choose to lie, cheat, and break others of hope in order to get ahead, no matter the cost to others, your choices will sooner than later be hemmed in by the record you make for yourself. With little to no good choices left you feel obliged to continue to find your own way toward a future that ruins all who it will touch.

Sometimes this is remarkably clear.

More often it simply is not clear at all. In those times as we attempt to move toward a future that offers life to some, if not many, or maybe just one’s own greedy self, we need some guidance.

That is all foolishness, for God keeps His eyes on all that we think, say and do.

You can also say God keeps Her eyes on all that we think, say and do. We cannot apply gender to God, though our speech limitations often lead us to do exactly that. The foolishness is to think our limitations determine God’s being! Blimey foolishness!

If we are so inspired by the Holy Spirit to be righteous beyond normal days, and we seek a choice in each fork in our roads, that will bring life to people, all people, even if it costs us in the process, then …

Then where does one turn to find such abnormal choices forward?

One can find all sorts of supposed wisdom, how to make life better for oneself and a few others. One can find all sorts of supposed wisdom, how to make oneself better.

That is all foolishness.

Where can one turn to find the purpose of life fulfilled in one’s choices, so that the Will of God through oneself, if it be so granted by God, will be pursued?

Where does one turn to find truth and real wisdom, instead of foolishness?

Where else can one turn, than to God? And where does one find God, other than in the story of Jesus?

This we trust, that the Holy Spirit will guide us, and we will not be led astray. We will not find ourselves doing what is illegal, nor what is plain stupid. We will not need to do what is foolish by any standard or meaning of the word, like blatantly flaunt a constitution that governs our ways and means.

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

God help those who continue to walk down ways that are foolish.

God help us as we choose today what forks we will follow, God help us and those we love.

May they be all of God’s creatures, even our enemies.

What Is Energy?

Energy is Something, eh?

Wood Cut

Is energy what God stores, in places we’ve found, to extract to use to warm, power, and run our lives of greater and greater comfort.

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Small Pile

Can we store up energy, in a pile, or in tanks, in order to stay alive?

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White Birch Lovely

Does God Store Energy in Beauty?

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Fire Red

Does God Store Up Energy in the White and Red Clouds?

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Smoke and Cloud

Can We See the Energy That is There?

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Branch and Light

Certainly There is Great Energy in a Little Branch and Great Beauty

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Water Swirls Reflect Reality?

Sometimes Swirls of Clouds Reflected in the Greatest Reservoir of Energy is God’s Clue

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See the Light? Fear the Light as the Wicked, Or Rejoice in the Light?

The Light of the Sun has the Greatest Energy, other than its Maker

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It is the Maker that we reflect with hope and faith.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 18

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Sky’s on Fire!

Storms a coming!

OR a Beautiful Night? OR

Waiting for the stars?

Genesis 6:22

Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Words of Grace For Today

People say that there is no reason to hope that … and then they go on to say what they have no hope for.

Everyday language would use the word ‘hope’ that way. But hope is really something much different.

It may help to put the word hope in a few wider contexts with comparisons to other words.

Pessimism is looking at all the evidence available and drawing a conclusion that gives the bad evidence more importance. So the glass is half empty and going down. The world is in the worst shape it’s ever been. Humans are the worst species and are quick capable of destroying the whole earth. That’s pessimism for you, always coming up with the trajectory straight into trouble and deeper.

Optimism is looking at all the evidence available and drawing a conclusion that gives the good evidence more importance. So the glass is half full and getting fuller. The world is in the best shape it’s ever been. Humans are the best species with the greatest chance of saving planet earth. That’s optimism for you, always coming up with the trajectory straight into a wonderful world and beyond.

Realism what people use to say their view of optimism and pessimism is right, not skewed like the other views.

Hope looks at all the evidence available, finds none that indicates God’s will is being done, and yet with no evidence to support this belief, lays everything on the line, trusting that God’s will is being done, God’s will is what we are supposed to be cooperating with, and in the end God will provide all that we need, even if that means all we get is a room prepared for us in the city of light, in life eternal.

Hope beyond hope is just hyperbole. Properly said one might mean: hope beyond all evidence, which is hope in it self anyway.

If we need to remember how great hope can be, remember Noah building the ark and ridiculed by all around … until the water starts pouring down, and keeps pouring down.

We may face challenges, on top of Covid 19, someone we most trusted has broken that trust by doing something blatantly illegal; of cancer has returned; or your lies in court have been noticed by the police; or your cheating on your taxes is being investigated, or (fill in your favourite sin) has been noticed by someone close to us and we have gravely disappointed them, or … the kids are just getting on your nerves too much … or the idiots are running their unlicensed motorcycles and quads all over the place, set off fireworks every night, and party until 3 and 4 in the morning so that it’s terrific when it storms at night to shut it down.

Pessimists would say: it’s just going to get worse.

Optimists would say: it’s just people blowing off steam. It will get better soon.

The person of Hope would say: God’s creation will withstand also these assaults on good sensibilities, and God provide all enough sleep, despite the neighbours late hours.

Perhaps Noah would like to take the fireworks, motorcycles and quads, and the party-ers on the ark for a little ride … somewhere far away. But that’s just hope beyond hope.

Perhaps God has other plans?

Perhaps there is hope yet, that some sense, respect and common decency will enter into these people’s lives …

or more likely I will gain an understanding of how helpful and beneficial all these late hour activities are for other people, so I will smile, instead of grimace, at their occurrences, waking me from my sleep.

There’s always hope.

Here’s hoping.

I Hope.

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Faith is beyond hope. It is a gift of trusting when there is no reason to trust, or to hope.

Faith is a gift that the Holy Spirit continually renews in us, since we wear it thin so quickly.

Faith is the most powerful thing we will ever know in our lives.

Love comes in almost tied with Faith.

Some have said Love comes in first.

Regardless, there are these three: Faith, Hope and Love.

There is nothing like them in all the universe.