Devil’s Spin and Chaos … Or God’s Grace.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Heating with Wood Helps One Engage in Reality, no ‘spin’

because

the wood must be fed into the stove regularly in order to stay warm, and to cook food.

There is no pretending one stoked the fire, if one did not.

There is no pretending one gathered, cut and split the wood, if one did not.

There is no pretending one maintained the stove, if smoke does not ascend the chimney.

Psalm 146:5

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,

Luke 21:19

By your endurance you will gain your souls.

Words of Grace For Today

This verse from Luke out of context seems to encourage us to work hard, to endure all suffering that comes our way, so that we will save ourselves and gain our souls. This is perhaps an idea behind the writer of Acts-Luke, for often enough that writer turns Grace on it’s head. Instead of Jesus saving us though we deserve nothing, the writer encourages us, now that Jesus has shown us the way, to serve others and to endure suffering, so that Jesus will acknowledge us, be gracious to us, forgive us, and give us life abundant, life eternal.

Ah, so tempting this interpretation of God’s Grace is, though a complete denial of Grace it is. It perverts Grace into something that gives us an ability to earn God’s approval and our salvation, through Jesus the great inter-mediator, saviour, and Judge!

It is simply not God’s Grace that is proclaimed in such a way. God saves us. We do nothing to receive it or make it effective or real for us. All we can do is acknowledge that God is gracious to us, and then live out the response we are able to live out. Since it will never be enough, we rely on God’s Grace each day, to save us again and again, to rescue us from our sin, and give us life abundant … even as we trundle down the devil’s deceptions’ paths.

Luke’s readers had already experienced the destruction of the temple, and Luke writes of it as if it were yet to come. It is a word of encouragement to the followers of The Way (as Jesus’ followers referred to it) who suffered greatly at the hands of Jews and Romans, persecuted for their faith.

May we be saved from such suffering … though it occurs all around us even in Canada. The covidiots who dismiss scientific research, vaccinations and all, open themselves to whatever they want to make up, or accept that others have made up, about the world around them. Many, many people participate in this fabrication of an unreal description of reality, hoping to secure for themselves a more comfortable, more privileged life than they otherwise would have. People have been putting a ‘spin’ on reality since the beginning of time, though that does not make their perversions any less perverse. It does mean that honest and kind people, who follow Jesus’ Way, and who do not participate in the ‘spin’ that is going on around them, will be targeted.

Supposedly good and honest and kind and righteous people will dedicate themselves (at church) to understand and help others understand, and work diligently to help the people living homeless in their city … and at the same time perpetrate lies about other people knowing these lies have driven those other people to be homeless.

Supposedly honourable judges will accept all kinds of lies as evidence, reject so many truths as evidence, and bully those who are honest to give up their rights… and if those victims, those honest and kind people speak the truth to the judges, the judges will respond with lies trying to justify their dishonourable use of their power by accusing the honest people of trying to justify themselves (as if honest followers of Jesus ever needed to justify themselves. We are justified by Christ, and by Christ alone, and we know it!)

The result is a devil’s delight of chaos, even in a country supposed so just and fair as Canada, and the people who suffer are those, as it always was, is and will be, those who have not claimed power for themselves with their own ‘spin’ on reality.

So we suffer homeless, living in the woods, living on the streets, some of us driven right mad by the injustice done to us, some of us burying our souls in addictions trying to out-drink, or out-drug ourselves ahead of the perverse reality ‘forced’ on us.

This is when we need to endure, and by endure it is not meant that we need to make ourselves good. God does that. We need to rely on God’s Grace each day. Despite the devil’s chaos that whips about strangling so much goodness, we need to, or more clearly, we get to celebrate Christ’s presence with us each day. We get to respond with honesty and kindness to each person, friend, enemy, or covidiot (or any of the other forms the devil’s agents assume). We get to respond to all that comes our way with gratitude for God’s Grace that gives us breathe for each day. And we get to respond to the challenges of each season that would kill us with hard work to create a safe place for us to live each day.

Most of all we get to be agents of God’s Grace, no matter how that Grace is received.

To Life!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

God’s Golden Carpet

Rolled Out

For

The Guest of Honour:

Trepidation of Winter’s Deep Freeze

or

Hearts Inspired to Gratitude

Proverbs 15:13

A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.

Philemon 1:7

I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, my brother.

Words of Grace For Today

We know that good health is boosted by a good disposition and an attitude of gratitude, as is ill-health mitigated and recovery from ill-health aided by a robust spirit of gratefulness.

These are benefits to the individual who embraces God’s promises, summarized by Julian of Norwich as “All shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of things shall be well.”

These benefits multiple when one who sees God’s creation with such confident gratitude also sees others benefiting from embracing God’s promises morning, noon, and night, and can give thanks for those who inspire this assurance.

To know with all one’s heart, mind and spirit that, despite our great sinfulness and destruction we bring on each other, ourselves and the creation that supports our ability to live, that God will bring blessings to us each day, and produce saints out of us wretched, most wretched, most woeful, wretched sinners. To trust that other sinners, as well as ourselves, will be able to bring God’s grace to bear on such profound brokenness of heart, spirit, and world, is to live by Grace.

Why would we choose to live any other way?

Why would we choose to follow any other promise, especially the empty promises of corrupt leaders, fake news makers and spreaders, and other agents of the Great Deceiver?

Why would we seek solace in revenge or further destruction, or satisfaction at other’s misfortunes?

Why?

As the leaves carpet the woods and meadows, the nights reach below zero clearing out the remaining wasps and other flying bugs, and as the days are shorter, fresher, more invigorating (motivating one to prepare for the deep cold that’s coming) …

How can we live except by Grace?

Breathe. Breathe deeply. Breathe deeply of God’s goodness all around.

Humble Pie And Fishing

Monday, September 27, 2021

Looking Up

From Our Proper Lowly Places

in God’s Good Creation.

Psalm 119:67

Before I was humbled I went astray, but now I keep your word.

2 Corinthians 7:10

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death.

Words of Grace For Today

To be humbled.

To be humbled is to be taken from a place one has unrightly claimed as one’s own (a place of honour, power, wealth, privilege and comfort) and to be brought down to earth.

To be humbled is to be returned from the lofty reaches of the Devil’s Deceptions to God’s Kingdom where all are equal, equally ‘nothing’s except for the value God gives us by undeserved love and grace.

To be humbled is to be as God created us, fully dependent upon God for our breath and lives.

It is an irreverently proud person who claims, though, to have been humbled and then claims to keep God’s Word. Such an accomplishment is only possible for the Holy Spirit to bring us to participate in. It is never us alone who can do such a great thing.

To repent is not a one time event for Christ’s disciples. It is a daily, even hourly, manner of living. Humbly accepting our own inability to be righteous, and relying totally on God to make of us saints who can carry God’s Word in our thoughts, spread God’s Word with our words and actions, and embody God’s Word with our love for others and our hope for our shared future.

To repent is to acknowledge one’s sins, one’s bondage to sin, and God’s promise to free us from this bondage.

It is like fishing, knowing that one will not likely catch a fish at all, but that it is a day well spent, basking in God’s creation. Should one catch a fish then it will not likely be large enough to keep. So one will return it to the lake to live and grow and reproduce. When the most unlikely occurs and one catches a fish that is large enough to keep, then it is kept, cleaned, filleted, fried, and eaten with wondrous gratitude for such a rare privilege (one to partake in seldom lest one poison’s oneself as the fish are from the fracking used to make oil possible to bring up out of the ground.)

So it is that we live each day, holding God’s Word in our hearts and minds, as the motivator of all our actions, knowing that it will be seldom that we actually become the saints who share God’s unconditional and self-sacrificial love with others. Yet we find ourselves grateful for the readiness we can participate in, and for those rare events when God uses us. We may lose much of our lives in those moments of being God’s saints, but we know that this is exactly what God created us to be and do with our lives.

No Shortage of Covid Deaths

Sunday, September 19, 2021

People walk on Friday through an exhibition of white flags representing Americans who have died of COVID-19 that have been placed over eight hectares of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The U.S. has recorded more than 660,000 official coronavirus deaths. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Psalm 37:8

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret—it leads only to evil.

James 3:5-6

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Words of Grace For Today

Covid 19 has claimed so many lives, and so many of these deaths would have been avoidable if ….

There is no purpose or gain from being angry about this, or to be consumed by wrath at the Covidiots who multiplied the death count. There is no good in even fretting about it all.

We have seen how the tongue is capable of setting ablaze many things that should not be burned, like truth, reality, and common sense protections.

It is also where, we’ve come to know, the Covid 19 virus passes to enter the air as aerosols that linger in the air like fragrances of meals well prepared, cigarettes smoked in no smoking areas, and flatulence let loose in the milk cooler corner of a grocery store, as a silent, and deadly smelling protest against the mask and shield worn as a safety precaution (when the mask mandate was foolishly lifted in Alberta!) That little virus that finds it’s way into a body through inhaling such aerosols, is spread swiftly and effectively, when an infected body exhales, silently or with speaking (putting that little, yet powerful tongue in play.)

There are good uses for our breath, for our tongues, and for our concerns and responses to foolishness that costs people their lives: it is to speak the truth!

It is to speak the truth clearly.

It is to speak the truth clearly, and with grace.

It is to speak the truth clearly, with grace, and with compassion.

For it is only by the Grace of God that our failings have not resulted in a multiplication of unnecessary deaths. We pray may God save us from ever being party to such foolishness.

We pray, in thanks, for all the goodness of life, that which we enjoy still today, and the lives of so many who have avoidably died, surrendering their breath to Covid-19.

Run or Fight … … Or Be At Home?

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Even as the Evenings

Turn Blood Red into the Dark,

God With Us is a promise of an evening of great delight!

All is Well, All is Well , All Manner of things are Well.

Isaiah 52:12

For you shall not go out in haste, and you shall not go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rearguard.

John 14:3

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.

Words of Grace For Today

There are many reasons to run.

There are many reasons to run away.

There are many reasons to run for one’s life …

and to run fast, as fast as one can run.

When God promises to be with us, the reasons to run do not disappear, though we can be a whole lot less stressed, and have a whole lot less panic in us that rises into our throats, which panic leaves us only a choice to fight, flee, or freeze.

Instead when God promises to be with us, when God promises to be our rearguard, we can think clearly, without haste, for we can trust that God leads us in paths of righteousness.

When everything goes belly up, when the proverbial stuff hits the fan, we can trust that God has our backs. More than that we can be assured that when it seems that God leaves us, in fact God prepares a place for us, a place to call home, where God’s plan for us is always sure, even when we lose track of how God is with us.

Home, with God at our side, before us, behind us, promising to walk every step with us. Home, where our hearts are loved unconditionally by God.

Then, we can be at home where God brings us. No one can chase us away, and our enemies will be dealt with by God. We walk calmly through every hour, knowing that justice will be done by God. No lies, no deceit, no gaslighting, no false reports, no false arrests, no false testimony, no false convictions, no cover up. God sees everything, knows everything. For God a lie is seen and always remains a lie. For God the truth is always known and it always remains the truth.

Home, safe in God’s hands. Home where truth and beauty bring breath and life no matter the challenge. Home. Home in the wondrous creation God created for us to enjoy. Home safe and sound. Home where no one can chase us away and no evil can rule over us. Home.

It does not get better.

Singing and Dancing

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Every Step In Life

Leads Us to Sing and Dance

For God Is With Us

Always.

1 Chronicles 13:8

David and all Israel were dancing before God with all their might, with song and lyres and harps and tambourines and cymbals and trumpets.

Philippians 4:4-5

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.

Words of Grace For Today

When one surveys through memory how God has exercised great grace and steadfast love for our ancestors and for us in this time and place, there is only one response that we can engage in:

We sing and dance before God with all our might.

And we work each day to let our gentleness be the mode of our lives, gentleness that is born of enduring great suffering, and still receiving great grace and deliverance by God’s hand, for God is always near.

So we sing with all our hearts, minds, and strength, singing the old, old story of Jesus and his love.

This is the dance that celebrates everything that is good in creation: God’s grace and love for us all. There is nothing better possible than this in all our lives.

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.

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!

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.