Truth is Blessed. The Wicked are Tormented By Their Own Sins.

Friday, July 30, 2021

The Blessings Of God

Bring Serenity

To Those Who Trust God

Accepting Forgiveness Readily

And Sharing Blessings with All People

Like the Reflection of a Destructive Storm

Those Who Destroy Others

Are Tormented Always

By Their Own Sin and Evil

Psalm 32:10

Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.

Romans 5:5

Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Words of Grace For Today

When Arnold had finished with Tina, having sent her to jail for crimes that she did not commit, he still suffered the terror jags. With all his lies about Tina he had created, or rather constructed, a wholly fictional character, which he’d applied to Tina and presented to the church, the courts, and even the children. That character had very little that was true about Tina. Almost all of the terrible things in that character came from Arnold’s own sins and crimes many of which haunted him out of his terrible past. The church, community, and courts, able to know very well that it was only fiction about Tina, had accepted the fiction nonetheless as true about Tina. They continued to do so even as it was more and more clear that they had added their own lies in order to convict, ostracize and ban Tina. Their increasingly worse sins were bound, to be judged by God. They church and judges continued to protest that they had done nothing wrong. It was impossible to have them accept the terrible truth about what they had done, thus they were in God’s hands. Every denial of the truth set them further and further apart from reality, from a healthy life, from the goodness of creation, from all of God’s blessings, from God’s love, and from all hope.

Tina, forced by poverty to live homeless in the wilderness, with help from friends that loaned her enough to get by on each year, lived in the middle of the goodness of creation beside a small lake. There reality was an unavoidable part of every day. Life threatening cold in the winter, and mosquitoes, wasps, and heat in the summer did not allow for any denials about reality. Wood needed to be collected, cut, split and burned to create a warm and safe space in winter. In the summer grass needed to be cut to minimize the mosquito population, wasps deterred or nests destroyed to allow use of the small and very old borrowed camper, and shade needed to be sought and created around that camper in order to mitigate the searing heat that made midday activities dangerous to impossible. Surrounded by the peace of nature, for the most part left alone by other people as a holy mystic, and required or at least able to exercise sufficiently most every day Tina’s health recovered from the terrible cost of suffering Arnold’s abuse, the gaslighting joined in on by the police, community, churches and the courts, and the life threatening ‘medical’ treatment provided by some doctors and nurses.

Tina saw the goodness of creation in the ebb and flow of the seasons as the lake sang and then moaned in bass tones as it froze and then quietly thawed and in a day or two was cleared of ice by a strong wind, the birth of new robin chicks and the care the parents provided the one that too soon glided out of the overfilled nest, the arrival of fawn’s and beaver pups, the fruit of the various berries in their own seasons, and then the welcomed night freezings that cleared the air of all mosquitoes and wasps, the ground of all ants and pine beetles, and the arrival of snow deep enough to ski far beyond where one could walk in a day.

With nothing but her clothing still sufficient for each season, a tent and good sleeping bag, and a bicycle, Tina counted her blessings as friends and family loaned her, gave her, and provided for her more than enough to survive on; she lived and thrived and wrote and took photos … and every morning gave God thanks. Life was reduced to the basics and it had not been so good for a long time. She saw God’s blessings each day, poured out on her and she shared them with the few people she saw during each week.

In spite of everything, all the terrible lies told about her, all the challenges she faced nearly every day to live, Tina knew like no other time in her life that God sustained her and that she had every reason to hope … for hope had not disappointed her at all.

She was able to trust God fully (well almost), and she counted on God’s love surrounding her, pouring over her, flowing freely to the few people she spoke with each day. She knew better than at any other time in her life that the Holy Spirit guided her, that Jesus was present all around her, and that God created and sustained her in everything.

Arnold chose to force his success in life at everyone else’s cost. Tina was only one of his victims. And he paid dearly, daily with the terror jags that disabled him, with the fear of any criticism, with the profound self-doubt that haunted him along with his unshakable knowing the truth of his own terrible treatment of Tina and so many other people. His past haunted him. He knew someday it would catch up with him, one way or another.

Tina lived blessed, not perfect though forgiven, and free … all a gift from God that she knew she did not deserve, and which would never be taken from her, not by all her enemies nor even by all the evil in the world.

De-story-ing OR God’s Story

Saturday, July 24, 2021

The Blood Red Sun Sets

Through the Smoke

Telling Us, If We Listen

That There Is a Cost

As We Try to Breathe

For Ignoring Climate Change Warnings for Decades

Genesis 50:21

Have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.

Ephesians 4:29

Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.

Words of Grace For Today

There is too much to fear these days:

The Covid19 delta variant and other more transmissible and deadly variants that will come out of unvaccinated populations where Covid still runs rampant threaten us all.

Climate change disasters like crop failures, disasters for the farmers and for the people who depend on that food (at a cost that can be afforded), floods that destroy homes, businesses, industries, and kill people (putting the future habitability of so much land in doubt), fires that destroy homes, businesses and forestry industries and kill people (putting the future habitability of so much land in doubt, and drive even higher the cost of building lumber – so that it is out of reach for so many people), and wildfires that put so much smoke in every direction into the air that for thousands of miles people have trouble breathing.

Barbaric fabrication of reality (by spouses and children, police and pastors, lawyers and judges) in order to gain a fast diminishing advantage (money, power, and/or status) over good and honest people, falsifying science results or ignoring science’s best results (by politicians who lead us into destroying the very things that we need to live on earth, and by Covidiots and others who put every life at risk with their unsupported insistence that they can be right with their foolishness), and the accumulation of power by people who have driven fear into huge portions of our populations so that they are willing to surrender their freedoms in exchange for false promises that their fears will be dealt with. Instead more and more of their freedoms are taken and hate based decisions by despots destroy the lives of many good people. All which disconnects us from reality, the basic reality that God walks with us, and blesses us with many things in order that we can share them with all other people.

How are we to respond to these very real causes of fear in and among us?

First we listen as we have listened for years, for decades, and for generations to God’s promises.

Have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.

Second we learn how and practise daily to be the people who live past fear in the Grace that God provides, so that we can share that Grace with others.

We let no evil talk come out of our mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that our words may give grace to those who hear.

If that sounds simple, it is, and it is impossible for us. Doch with God all things are possible and God calls us to live exactly this way. Living beyond fear, filled with Grace and sharing Grace with others, with our words and our actions, is exactly how God created us to live in the world.

There is too much to fear these days, just as there always has been for every generation. We can get lost in that fear, destroying (and de-story-ing) ourselves and others in the process … OR

We can remember and live in the story that God has for us: God makes us saints who share the Light of Christ with the whole world and all the people in it.

We cannot help but to fear and destroy and de-story ourselves and others.

Doch by God’s Grace we are saved and can be part of God’s work of saving everyone of all time.

Not so small a deal, when we think about it and remember how much God has done for us through the generations.

Blessed Discipline For Wisdom

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Living for Christ

Is A Simple Way,

An Impossible Way,

The Only Way

to Live.

Proverbs 3:11

Do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof.

James 3:17

The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.

Words of Grace For Today

Wisdom is hard to come by.

For oneself and even harder to find in others, almost impossible to find in others who have power and position. Partiality and hypocrisy run rampant in humans, especially those who live with much whether that is power, position, wealth or possessions.

The wisdom that God would have us live out with our lives is not complicated, nor difficult to find, and it is not even rare to see (at least glimpses of it anyway.)

What is impossible is for us to live by it everyday in all circumstances.

An abundant life includes that we strive to live by this simple wisdom: God loves us, is gracious with us, forgives us, gives us renewed life and sends us to be all that for other people … not once or twice or a hundred or a thousand times, but without end. Because God is gracious to us without end we always have grace to give to others.

Getting to live this simple wisdom does not happen without God disciplining and reproofing us. Getting to live this simple wisdom brings us to receive and give peace, gentleness, mercy, and willingness to yield and to accept and produce good fruits of labour (God’s, God’s people for us, and ours for other people.)

Simple and impossible to live by … yet nothing is impossible for God, and for God to do with us for others.

It’s a wonderful, adventurous, and enthralling life, one that takes all our everything and returns to us more than we thought life could ever possibly provide … except God is the provider and the life is always more than we could imagine.

These are God’s gifts to us, for which we give thanks each morning, and each night.

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!

Unending Complaints, or Enduring Grace

Choose for Yourself this Day

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Bright Light

Shines on Our Complaints

and

on God’s Generous Grace

Which Puts Life Back Together Again.

Exodus 16:11-12

The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” ’

Hebrews 10:36

For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

Words of Grace For Today

Hebrews is a book that often gets it backwards: if we do this then God will reward us with that.

The way God works is as God works for the people following Moses. They are enslaved, they do nothing to deserve their slavery or God’s blessings, yet God leads them (through Moses’ acting as God directs him) through the Red Sea and into the freedom of the wilderness.

Then they complain that they have nothing to drink. Though they show little appreciation for the priceless freedom God has already provided for them (they have not earned more from God at all, not at all!) God provides them with water that flows at the wack of Moses’ staff on a rock! They drink their fill that day and each day of their sojourn in the wilderness.

Then they complain that they have nothing to eat. This ragtag band of free people simply knows nothing about gratitude and everything about being slaves to their own bad attitudes and complaints.

They deserve nothing God has given them again and again, and still God again gives them what they ask for and need: meat at night and bread in the morning!

That’s how God works for us, and always has, and always will.

We screw up royally, and God does for us what we need having done so that we can get on with living life abundant (as God created us to be able to live!) Then we screw up and God continues to save and bless us … and repeat endlessly (ad nauseum!)

We receive from God blessings upon blessing, endurance among them, as we already today receive what God has promised us: an inheritance as God’s children, God’s presence with us each moment of our days, and eternal life that has started already long ago ….

Because God is so generous with God’s Grace for us, we have plenty of Grace to also be overly generous with all other people. That’s part of the abundant life: that we share all God gives us, especially with those who need the basics of life to be able to survive another day and another year, with hope for the future.

The atom bomb can blow the world apart at the atomic level; God’s love and grace puts the world and all that lives on it back together at the super-sub-atomic level, at the level of existence created.

God puts life back together for us, too, no matter how we ‘blow it up’ and apart for ourselves and others around us.

God is the only One who can put life back together again, even when ‘all the king’s men and all the king’s horses could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again.’

Why Lord, Why?!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Lord, Why When the Light is Right in Front of Us

Do We Still Seek the Darkness?

Isaiah 61:1

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.

Galatians 5:1

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Words of Grace For Today

God, why …?

God why is it so hot!

Sweat pours down my back and arms and all over dripping all my work in stinky wet.

My jeans stick to my legs as I try to move. My shirt tugs back at all my efforts to move. It’s hard to get anything done, and when I do I feel like someone has wrung me out like a sopping wet towel and left me still soaking and stinking.

Ok, God, I can get used to the heat, it’s not easy but I’m adapting to it, but

God why are there so many miserable mosquitoes ready to bite me at all hours and at dawn and dusk they swarm so thick it’s hard not to inhale more than a few just walking a few feet from the door. When they bite it hurts, and then goes away, just to come back with a terrible itch that simply will not go away and will not be ignored! What’s that about anyway. If I try to ignore them and merely wash the itch away with ammonia in the glass cleaner, that sort of works until I get itchy all over inside my eyes, my nose, my throat and my ears and I start to have a severe allergic reaction that starts to take my breath away. Really, does it have to be so bad all summer long!? I have to wear long jeans and long sleeves, thick socks and a hat with flaps down my neck and over my ears soaked in DEET to keep them away. Then every night I have to wash all that DEET exposure away before I sleep which takes water which is expensive to haul here to have to wash with. Fortunately I have friends who have loaned me the things needed to shower each night and haul water often enough from town that I can shower on the hot days before sleeping.

So God I guess I can get used to the mosquitoes, but God, I mean really: does there have to be so many black gnats that dive bomb into my face, my eyes and ears and take little chunks away as prizes for their kamikaze efforts, which because they are so many they usually survive better than I. I end up breathing them into my lungs at least once a day. I have to constantly wave my hand in front of my face to keep them away, which sort of works and they only seem to be out in certain places while I am mowing grass. So it’s not all the time, thankfully.

So God I guess I have figured out how to survive even the kamikaze gnats.

But God why are there so many wasps, not just ready to bite me when I try to work on the tarps that shelter me from the cold in winter. They did sting me, hard sending shock waves through my body and brain freezing out all other thoughts or impulses except to run. Not just once, but twice, and they hurt unbearably for hours, then itched and ached for days. The memory returned fresh each time I stepped outside and the sound of a wasp buzz reached my ears. I live in fear everyday of being smashed into panic again. I cannot have that. I cannot work. I have to huddle in fear inside.

That just cannot be. So I’ve made a suit to protect me from head to toe, even a piece of screen left over from repairs to guard my face, all duct taped together with no gaps at all. I’ve read on the internet that dish soap will suffocate wasps. I cannot find any prepared wasp control/killer spray, so I’ve filled a spray bottle with a water soap mix and I’ve destroyed the nest on the tarps, and three in the woods so close they wasps swarm around the camper each day.

So God I guess I’ve figured out how to deal with the fear created by being stung by wasps, and in the fall they will all dies off. Next spring I know what to do to keep them from creating nest here again. It’s simple if I am ready.

But God I really don’t know what to do with the people that gaslight me, that scapegoat me, that bear false witness against me, and the judges that lie about the evidence before them in order to convict me and deny me true justice. How can a society survive such barbarism anyway. It’s like the truth does not count for anything and whatever someone makes up for the courts and whatever the courts want to make up for themselves will be taken in the worse possible way for me, and I’ll pay and pay and pay until I have nothing left and still I’ll be driven into debt, further and further and further, and made to give up even the most common decent truths about myself. I have had to celebrate the Eucharist each day to remember that you too were betrayed and scapegoated and convicted and … well you were crucified. I have not been killed. I have found your blessings in each day in the most profound and simple things, like having enough to eat, and a good cup of coffee with fresh milk in it in the morning, and having medications I need, and having reason and opportunity to work hard to survive, and write and dream and use photography to speak about the wonders of your creation.

So God, I guess I have gotten used to evil all around in the most trusted, honoured places in society in this adopted country of mine. I have to remember how much you forgive me, so that I can remember that you may forgive these people as well, though now I cannot say their sins are forgiven, for they have not admitted they did and still do this same thing to others, and it is horrendous for the children. So I have bound their sins so that they might fear that they will answer to you, though with you I hope for a double victory, now that they provide justice based on truth, and that they join your people in celebrating all your gifts, encouraging others to do the same.

But Lord, it’s so hot, there’s so many mosquitoes and gnats and wasps and so many enemies of goodness, kindness, truth, and love. How can I deal with all of them all the time.

So I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep

and if I die before I wake, least I won’t wonder how much is still at stake

for the dance of life is more than a dance, gracefully, graciously partaken in.

It is also a feast and celebration with you, God, with all your people, in thanks for all you’ve suffered to do good things for us all.

So I guess I can wait for the cold, when the sweat will not run freely, the mosquitoes will be done for another year, the gnats will disappear and I can breathe easy, and the evil people are kept at bay by the cold and snow.

But God why does it have to be so cold and stormy, and why does there have to be so much snow.

I mean I like to have my peace and be able to ski ….

So Lord I pray, give me your peace, in the sleep of the righteous and pure, graciously so made a saint of your light by your own choice and by grace through faith alone.

Another simple normal summer day.

When does autumn start to arrive?

But Lord, why do the bears start to come around in the fall …..?

Lord, whatever it is that holds me captive, free me. Whatever it is that blinds me, give me sight. Whatever it is that robs me of joy while serving you and sharing the good news of your Grace with others, take this from me so that

because you give me life

I can be one of the saints who bring good news to the oppressed, who bind up the broken-hearted, who proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners.

Help me live in the freedom you have so preciously bought for me; help me not return to the slavery that I know so well and feels so comfortable … until it binds me so close to evil that life starts to shrivel right out of me leaving me alone with my fears.

Simple, Impossible Wisdom

Except Nothing is Impossible for God!

Monday, July 12, 2021

Kindness

Is the Light

That Guides Us Through

The Thorns of Life to the Goodness God Intends for Us All

Genesis 13:8

Then Abram said to Lot, ‘Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herders and my herders; for we are kindred.

Romans 12:10

Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour.

Words of Grace For Today

Tim’s father, in the movie About Time, has one line written for him that reflects a simple wisdom that many generations have discovered and passed on (from the umpteenth best man’s toast at Tim and Mary’s wedding):

We’re all quite similar in the end. We all get old and tell the same tales too many times. But try and marry someone kind.

When you marry, or you have relatives you did not choose, or friends you may or may not have chosen most everyone’s flaws and faults can be dealt with graciously … if both people are kind.

This is the quality of a relationship that one person in it cannot make up for in the other. One can try to forgive the lack of kindness, but eventually one will run out of energy and succumb in one way or another.

So the wisdom that Paul knew well and recommended to even strangers in a new (potential) congregation in Rome, and the wisdom that is carried for generations in the Abraham and Sarah stories is quite simple, basic, and essential to living abundantly: be kind.

In other words, show honour to each other, let there be no strife between you and your people and others, love one another with mutual affection.

Simple wisdom that is impossible to achieve at all if one is not well practised in being kind.

Being kind is a matter of choice … for a few times each day, but being kind always in all things to all people is impossible except by Grace the Holy Spirit inspires us to be like Christ for other people.

So we are kind … as we are able … and we pray that God will help us to be kind always …

that it may go well for us and our people in the land that God has promised us …

where God has led us to be.

Us-Them, We(eds), or All Together.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Whether we see others as ‘weeds’ in our lawn of life

God sees us each as precious and

God shines Light on each of us,

the light of love and life.

Isaiah 56:7

These I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.

Colossians 3:11

In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

Words of Grace For Today

We humans keep building walls, us and them.

God keeps telling us and showing us that God is for all people, without any us or them.

Christ is all and in all … and for all peoples!

Christ is even for me, and for you, sinners though we be, God has claimed us a God’s children and made us saints, able to share God’s light with all people …

without any ‘us’ or ‘them’

or

walls

or

judgments

or

condemnations,

just

Grace for all.

It’s a wonderful dance of love, this life is (at least as God intends for us, and makes possible for us to live it.)

Ready or not here it comes, one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time … one decision at a time.

Set a place for Elijah, keep an eye for the poor at your gate, invite in the homeless …

This is God’s day, and out day to give everything back to God, one decision in one minute at a time.

Giving Thanks to God ….. not to godlets.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Life is A Maze

an Amazing Maze of Wonders,

Gifts from God.

God is All Amazing.

No need to make small godlets.

Psalm 106:1

Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever.

Colossians 3:17

Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Words of Grace For Today

Giving God thanks surely involves using our voices and God’s name, though when we use God’s name constantly in our communication with other people it is a grand misuse of God’s name, grace, and steadfast love.

Truly, in word and deed, doing everything in the name of our Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God is so much more than mere words of thanks, or constant mention of God’s name.

Giving God thanks is an attitude towards life that brings us to reflect God’s grace towards others.

It is to give of one’s self so that others will live, whether they accept and practice faith in Jesus Christ, or not, for all people are God’s creatures, God’s precious people, people God forgives.

Giving God thanks is to extend to all others the same grace that God first has given (and continually gives) to us.

More often than not it is to do it anonymously, so our names are not known or remembered, so that our God’s name is not known or remembered … rather that God’s grace towards us is experienced as God’s grace towards other people. We certainly are not to bring people to worship or adore us for our good deeds and gracious words. We certainly are not sent out into the world to bring people to worship a ‘small god’, a godlet of any kind even one they name Jesus.

There are enough people worshipping a godlet of some kind or another, and too often they call that godlet ‘Jesus’. It certainly is not.

The past president of Tanzania is one very visible example: Covid 19 hit and shut down country after country in Africa with restrictions and precautions. What did this ‘Lutheran Christian’ do? He prayed. Certainly good. Then he announced to the country that his ‘godlet’ ‘Jesus’ had cured all Tanzanians of Covid 19. There was to be no mention of any respiratory illness as Covid 19, though there were thousands of cases everywhere. His godlet Jesus caused the avoidable death and long term disability through Covid 19 (and long Covid 19) of thousands of Tanzanians. That kind of godlet, no matter what it is called, is certainly not the Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God, healer of our every ill, the creator, redeemer and sanctifier of the universe and all people in it.

Small gods, godlets, are made up every day by so many people looking for a way through life’s challenges.

God walks with us, seeing all we do, and still God’s steadfast love endures for ever for us and all people.

Because God is gracious to us, therefore we can be gracious with all the deadly covidiots out there, and all the abusers, and all those with power who abuse it, and all those who thought (and those that still think) residential schools were acceptable, … and all the enemies of life abundant for all.

Treating the enemies of life abundant for all is how we give thanks to God, for God’s grace worked first for us.

Happy 90th Birthday Celebration Dort!

Very sorry we cannot cross the border to be there to celebrate with you.