Prodigious Living

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Golden Riches

Of A Life Abundant

Are Free

And Prodigious Gifts From God

Isaiah 30:18

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

Luke 15:20

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

Words of Grace For Today

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

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

The father is the one who is prodigal.

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

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

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

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

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

Judgment Day’s A’coming!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Fog Starts to Roll In

As God’s Mercy

Continues to Fill Our Days

With Thanks, Love and Hope

Isaiah 26:8

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

2 Corinthians 5:10

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

Words of Grace For Today

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

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

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

What more could a person want?

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

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

God walks with us.

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

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

except …

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

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

Wealth and the Golden Rule

Friday, October 15, 2021

See God’s Goodness




Leviticus 19:13

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

Luke 6:31

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

Words of Grace For Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More clearly prescribed for us all:

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

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

There is no way to make it all better.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Logic’? Have Mercy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Those are trees,

no matter how much you may wish to say it isn’t so

they remain trees,

until they die

and cease to be even dead trees.

Daniel 9:18

Incline your ear, O my God, and hear. Open your eyes and look at our desolation and the city that bears your name. We do not present our supplication before you on the ground of our righteousness, but on the ground of your great mercies.

Ephesians 3:12

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

Words of Grace For Today

We do not bring supplications to God on the grounds of our own righteousness, which is barely enough to notice, but on the ground of God’s own great mercies …

for by God’s mercies, by Grace, we have come to believe in Jesus our Lord and Saviour, and by that faith alone we are bold and confident that God hears us when we cry.

With Covid 19 in it’s fourth wave here, overfilling our hospitals and ICU capacity so that surgeries of all kinds are cancelled for lack of staff and space to support the surgeries and the patients, we do cry to God for help.

With Covidiots and Antivaxxers leading ‘the charge’ into the ICU beds for an average of 6 weeks each and then too often the morgues we are left dumbstruck by the Querdenken (the Skewed Thinking) that brings Covidiots and Antivaxxers to exist at all, we do cry to God for help.

Friday evening of Thanksgiving weekend I took a walk on to crown land into the random camping area, which has emptied after a summer of campers staying for months, parties of hundreds, and multiple households regularly sharing space and buffet style meals (all against the laws concerning random camping on crown land and health regulations in effect at the time – as if breaking the law were the purpose of coming out to this crown land). I met two boater pulling their boat out of the lake and securing the motor before driving away, and then a single camper (actually a drinker.) He started on a rant about Covid after I declined his invitation to come and sit beside him on his truck tailgate.

I think his logic can be summarized like this:

At work for an oil company they are testing everyone everyday [after huge infection rates that caused work disruptions, not to mention hospitalizations, ICU overloads and deaths] he is not vaccinated. Others he works for are vaccinated. They tested positive and he tested negative. Therefore the vaccines do not work and they are a hoax.

The scientists who tell us about vaccines are saying whatever it takes to get research grants, but they do not do anything real. It’s all fake. If it were real then there would be a cure for cancer [meaning a singular disease for all the things that are covered by the term cancer] but there is no cure.

The scientists say whatever they need to say in order to get more research grants in order to have a Mercedes in the driveway.

As he downed a beer, and tossed the can on a pile of more than 2 dozen empties, as he sat on the tailgate of that old, old pickup truck with mix matched cab and bed, ‘warming’ himself by the smoke of a fire stacked with huge logs enough to produce a 12’ high flame which were fortunately not burning because they were fresh cut green trees, beneath which was one birch dried piece of wood that was burning. It is illegal to drink alcohol on this piece of crown land, unless one has a campsite (which requires at least a tent) and one remains in that campsite.

My response to his ‘logic’:

If one wants to dismiss scientific research as real and disconnect oneself from reality (vaccinations never were purported to stop infections, but to stop the large majority of – not all – hospitalizations and deaths) then ANYTHING can be accepted as reality … and one is vulnerable to all fear-mongers and fear-based-power-takers, including the ruling party of this province.

So we cry to God, save us from this kind of ‘logic’ that endangers us all, as many, many people now wait for life-saving and life-restoring operations, which are displaced by the need for extra ICU beds to deal with people shot through with this kind of ‘logic’ and fear based hiding from reality.

We are so bold to cry to God, for it is not on our own merits that we are so bold, but by God’s own Grace exercised for us through Jesus Christ and made clear to us by Jesus’ story.

Lord save us from those who claim their freedom includes putting everyone else’s lives at risk.


Thanksgiving Monday, October 11, 2021

What Will You Give Thanks For Again This Year?

For This Shore,

The Fog,

Or the Glorious Future

Provided by Hope?

Jeremiah 31:33

This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Luke 21:33

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Words of Grace For Today

What will you do, or have you done, for Thanksgiving this year?

Will your celebrations reach all in your family?

Will your celebrations reach anyone beyond your family?

Will you pause, reflect and consider why you celebrate as you do?

Will giving thanks be the centre of your celebrations, or just a small piece, or even an aside to all the other activities?

As we celebrate Thanksgiving year after year, it loses it’s meaning for many of us. Instead it takes on as its purpose, the immediate experience of our Thanksgiving foods, football games, and family gatherings. We learn to identify Thanksgiving with the warmth of these traditions, with the results of our own efforts. Giving God thanks has become an obligatory part of our weekend.

Doch, the true warmth of Thanksgiving remains the spirit on fire God gives us humble saints, so that, by our labours, we can share that warmth with those struggling to survive the coming cold, and all evil. (KAS sermon for Thanksgiving 2021)

(‘Doch’ is that wonderful word from German that means ‘but rather’, a word that encapsulates God’s response to our sinful ways.)

God’s Word will endure forever. God’s Covenant with us will survive forever even if heaven and earth come to an end. God will always be our God, and we will be God’s people.

Since God does this for us though we certainly deserve nothing, each day gives us opportunity to give God thanks in thought, word, and deed.

Put away the gods and godlets …

Saturday, October 9, 2021

True Treasure,

Golden Creation

One Creator

Always God’s Creatures, God’s People, God’s Servants

Joshua 24:14

Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.

John 12:26

Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.

Words of Grace For Today

There are more than enough gods out there that people worship, not least of all themselves as godlets. After God delivers us into the Promised Land, Joshua and other faithful leaders call to us to put aside these other gods and our efforts to be godlets. They call us to be faithful servants of Jesus the Christ, the Trinitarian God, Parent, Son, and Holy Spirit.

As adults we make it so complicated, as if truth were relative, not absolute and clear, so that we can fabricate reality on our own to fit our own deceptions and destruction of others, as poor Wendy does, creating a fabricated ‘record’ of her office’s lies about being abused by an honest person (easy to victimize since she has autism).

Children often have not yet learned to lie with their parents and adults (and pastors like Anne, who has built her life on lies and bullying honest and vulnerable people to make her way.)

Before their Thanksgiving dinner his dad asked Jim, just 4 years old, to say the prayer. He began his prayer, thanking God for all his friends by name, for Mommy, Daddy, brother, sister, Grandma, Grandpa, and all his aunts and uncles. Then he gave thanks for the turkey, dressing, fruit salad, cranberry sauce, pies, cakes, cream and even the milk. Then he paused …. After a long silence, Jim looked up at his mother and asked, “If I thank God for the broccoli, won’t he know that I’m lying?” (reworked TL 2021 SERMONSHOP 1996, Al Henager, 1st Presb. Ch., Fordyce, Arkansas)

Sometimes, for some of us, we gain wisdom as we grow older. We see the fresh honesty of children and regain our perspective on who we are, God’s servants who can only beg for mercy. Some of us then can share this perspective of who we are as mere beggars with others, so that more and more people live an abundant life.

Jim’s grampa, Hank, is thankful for every little bit of harvest, even overjoyed when it does not go well, as it did this year. His wife and grown sons to be truthful are dismayed. She asked him finally how he can be so oblivious to how bad it’s been this year. Hank responded: I start the year, humble and thankful for each day I do not lose the farm, like so many of my friends did when we were younger. I’ve come to realize that the land, some of it in our family for generations, really is not ‘our’ land. It is on loan from God and we only beg for mercy and good harvests. Then he added, of course it helps that our sons make most of the decisions now. (TL 2021 “Hank’s Humility”)

As we enter this Thanksgiving weekend, we remember who we are, who we serve, whose people we are, and to whom we call on to save us: we serve the Lord Jesus in sincerity and in faithfulness. We acknowledge every day that we owe everything we have and are, even that we have breath this day, to God’s marvellous and bountiful Grace.

The Wild Woods On Our Own Or?

Friday, October 8, 2021

The Golden Path


To Life Abundant

Is Not So Cut and Dried

As the Wooded Way

Down Home

Ezekiel 20:11

I gave them my statutes and showed them my ordinances, by whose observance everyone shall live.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Words of Grace For Today

What did God do?

What do we do in response? What can we?

God, as Ezekiel reminds us, gave us God’s commandments, so that in following them we might live well. In response we built a great tradition of interpreting God’s Laws to fit every circumstance and every variation through time and place. Yet we are left with no hope of being able to actually obey all God’s commandments, down to the last little minutia that we’ve broken them down into … nor the spirit of the commandments, not at all.

Following Laws guided us for generations, though it really did not provide a way to live well. Either we have to admit we fail to follow God’s commands or we have to try to deceive even ourselves in order to seem to follow them.

Enter Jesus, who leaves us with a story written in the life of God’s own son living as a human. The point of Jesus’ story is that God loves us unconditionally and forgives us and renews us for life, life lived well. We only need to surrender our pride to the fact that God loves and saves us when we least deserve it. That seems to be a proverbial bitter pill to swallow, so we avoid the point of Jesus’ story and make it in to so many other things that are inconsequential …

and off we go into the wilds of life all on our own, no better than our ancestors who either ignored God’s commandments or pretended to keep them while breaking them morning, noon, and night.

Paul, assured that God saves him and all others, by grace alone, not by our merit, travels to share the Good News of Jesus’ story, and congregations form around his teaching. One in Phillipi supports Paul as he travels on to spread the Good News to more and more places. The letter to the Philippians is one of Paul’s warmest, kindest, most heartfelt. Filled with gratitude and wise advice on how to live our the renewed life given to us by Jesus.

In the passage for today, Paul gives advice on how to focus one’s mind to the greatest benefit of all those the saints work to share life abundant with. It is to focus and think on whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise.

This advice is not a formula on how to fulfill God’s commands, or how to earn God’s forgiveness and approval. It is what we can do after we humbly accept that we can only beg for God’s mercy … and then set out to be God’s Grace for others. Starts with what we spend our time thinking about.

So what’s on your mind today? What will you expend energy towards? How will you shine Christ’s Light into the darkness?

Truth, Light, Grace

Thursday, October 7, 2021

The Truth is Beautiful.

The Truth is Beautiful No Matter

How We Colour It.

The Truth is Beautiful,

For No Matter What Happens,

Christ’s Light Shines

Psalm 86:11

Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.

Hebrews 13:9

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food, which have not benefited those who observe them.

Words of Grace For Today

The heart as centre of consciousness, choice, intention, deliberation, and emotion (not quite as we would assign cognitive functions to the brain or ‘head’), the Psalmist prays may be undivided and the writer of Hebrews asks that it be strengthened not by might or power but by Grace.

Ah, the ways of living connected with creation are as extraordinary and seemingly out of sync with the way the people of the world proceed through life.

There are always ‘all kinds of strange teachings’, even today as fake news is manufactured as fast as people swarm to it on the internet, sharing it like viruses and diseases that infect one’s thinking and one’s being until one is so afraid and disconnected from God’s good creation and all God’s blessings that anything can be the truth. Lies are manufactured to deal with all kinds of situations, and against good people who threaten to expose these poor lost souls to reality.

It makes for proceeding through life a minefield of uncontrollable psychopathic variants of humanity that would rather spin a lie than participate at all in any truth. For truth has a way of expanding across all sorts of lies, webs of lies, and networks of liars, exposing with clear simple light the evil that is there, so obviously there. Only by constant denial and fabrication of more and more lies do the lies cover themselves in more shtako, as if that could ever hide them from the truth, the light, the Grace of God.

The truth cuts open the darkness. The light burns out the rot. And God’s Grace heals the wounds so that life can continue for all. Yet so many refuse to live in the light and dive back into the darkness of lies as quickly as they can, again and again as Truth, Christ’s Light, and God’s Grace continually work through the saints to bring life, abundant life, to all people and all creation.

So we pray each day, save us from being carried away by all kinds of strange teachings that benefit no one, and teach us your way, O Lord, that we may walk in your truth

Real as Creation: Faith and Hope

Monday, October 4, 2021

This is Shore

Real and Unperverted

God’s Creation

Jeremiah 2:27

They say to a tree, ‘You are my father’, and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ For they have turned their backs to me, and not their faces. But in the time of their trouble they say, ‘Come and save us!’

Hebrews 11:1

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

Words of Grace For Today

Trees as fathers, and stones as mothers. That surely is a mixed up version of perverting reality that I have not run into … often.

There are plenty of other versions of perverting reality that I hear of, read of, and encounter in daily life all too often. It starts with some terrible perversion of reality driven by hubris, thinking oneself is so much more than one really is. After a person allows that to happen, there is no telling what will come next. When one thinks one is no longer a creature of God, no longer anything less than a godlet, the mess one creates is pure … pure evil.

That’s how we get a US president like Trump.

That’s how we get so many Covidiots that secure the continuation of the pandemic in stronger and more destructive ‘waves’.

That’s how we get so much fake news, so much that so many people can believe vaccines are dangerous, that climate change is not real, or that truth is only subjective and can be anything we want it to be.

There is nothing more destructive to all life, in us, around us, and through-out the universe.

Even those of us who have resisted the fake news perversion and return of chaos into our lives are caught up by this evil. There is simply no escape.

When we allow this to consume us, then …

Then … we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves or anyone else.


Faith is all we have left.

Faith is what gives us hope.

Hope gives us, with no cause at all other than faith, to cry to God for help.

We cry and pray that God will save us.

As God promises in many and various ways, that by Grace salvation is ours, so God forgives us our sin, claims us as God’s own children, and sends us out to be the people who carry God’s Grace to others.

From ‘Trees’ and ‘Stones’ and all kinds of perversions of reality we pray ‘God save us.’

Self-Pity for Our ‘Little Bush’

Sunday, October 3, 2021

These Trees Will Soon Fall to Erosion by the Lakeshore

Shall We Consume Ourselves in Lament for Them?


Get about Bringing Climate Change to an End?

And Pandemics?

Shall We End Them

Before They End Us?

Jonah 4:10-11

Then the Lord said, ‘You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labour and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?’

James 5:11

Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Words of Grace For Today

We ought to be concerned (as God tells Jonah) not just for our little ‘tree’, our little corner of life. Rather we MUST be concerned for the whole nation, or rather, the whole earth.

Make that we ought to be alarmed in concern for the whole world.

Climate change is still denied by politicians, as if it would go away, as if is somehow not so clear that ‘the planet is angry at us’ as last year’s extremes are this year’s normals, and this year’s extremes are next year’s normals. Soon it will be last month’s extremes become this month’s normals … and on until we will have an impossible task of finding refuge on our own planet, anywhere.

The pandemic, Covid 19 is in it’s fourth wave in North America, and we seem to be preparing to suffer worse pandemics, perhaps even simultaneous pandemics, in the very near future … our future. No more of the ‘one pandemic in a century or so’. And we remain fully unprepared and unwilling to prepare and do what is necessary to prepare. We have leaders who ‘wish’ this Covid-19 away, and in doing so invite an even more brutal wave upon us all.

See the article in the Atlantic by Ed Yong if you wish to read it put even more bluntly.

We can certainly trust that God is compassionate and merciful and we can use Job’s endurance as a role model. Doch! We ought not invite such great need for God’s compassion and mercy, nor for Job-like endurance, down upon so many of the earth’s whopping 7.4 billion and growing population.

We may not have planned this population overburdening of the planet, but we certainly knew it was coming and we collectively did very little about it, least nothing effective!

Sitting ‘where our bush used to give us shade,’ wallowing in our self-pity does no one any good. We need to get up and proclaim the Good News and God’s judgment for ‘Nineveh,’ whatever that will look like for us. We pray that we may see God at work as God worked through Jonah’s speaking to Nineveh!

No one would dare to venture on such a mission, without trusting God’s grace, abundant and endless, flowing for us all.

So what are we waiting for?