Life, Love, & Hope

Sunday, January 16, 2022

In the Darkest Times

The Light of Christ

Brings Us Breath,

Love,

and

Hope!

Psalm 105:4

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.

Luke 11:10

For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Words of Grace For Today

There are many ways to celebrate God’s presence in our lives on the holy day of rest, and none more appropriate than to spend the day seeking the Lord,

as it is so appropriate on all good days,

and all bad days.

The promise is clear, better than anything else in all of life.

For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

On our good days the promise that we will receive, find, and have doors opened for us, when we ask, search, and knock, this promise is wonderful!

On our bad days these promises are essential to life. They give us breath, life, and hope … enough so that we live another day to …

fear, love, and serve the Lord.

It doesn’t get better than that.

At Great Cost We Are Healed

Saturday, January 15, 2022

We Find Our Way

No Matter the Challenges

Since Jesus Himself

Makes Us

Whole

Isaiah 53:5

He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

2 Corinthians 5:21

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Words of Grace For Today

We can of course try really hard to make things right, for ourselves, and for others if we are so inclined to care, though I’ve met some people as I’m sure you have, who do not want to make it right for others at all, not at all. They make it as bad for others as they can, with lies, corruption, and false convictions.

Our efforts to make it right are simply not enough, not ever. We cannot make it right, not right enough, no matter how hard we try. God help us,

literally, for there simply is no other way to make it right, not right enough.

Jesus, though, has already made it right, very right, more than right, for Jesus makes everything right for us with God, and then …

then everything is right for us.

And those people who want to do us as much destruction as possible are kept far enough away that we are safe, as safe as ever, as safe as ever.

For our sake God made Jesus to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

So we are healed and made whole, for yet another day, another way, another life given to us again, though we certainly do not deserve it. So it is by Grace another gift of life, love and hope …

at great cost to Jesus.

Spoils and Siblings

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Whose Land Is It, Anyway?

It is God’s

Given to Us as Stewards

To Share with Our Siblings.

Deuteronomy 3:7-9

All the livestock and the plunder of the towns we kept as spoil for ourselves. So at that time we took from the two kings of the Amorites the land beyond the Jordan, from the Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon (the Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, while the Amorites call it Senir).

Mark 3:35

Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.

Words of Grace For Today

Ancient claims of land belonging to a particular people are seldom anything but a bit hypocritical.

The land claim of Jews in the Middle East is well known to be established on their claim that ‘their land’ was stolen from others and their right to it was that God promised the people land. To this day the displaced Palestinians have legitimate grievances and suffer terribly waiting for the world to provide a reasonable resolution to being displaced since 1947, and earlier.

Indigenous land claims in Canada are based on white people stealing the land, though the indigenous histories are not without similar events through their own histories.

As long as people have lived, the competition for land has been a repeated source of terrible struggles, losses, and long term grievances.

So we, in our history, record that we took land from the Amorites, and kept livestock and plunder from their towns.

We are no better than the worst of all humans.

We are only saved by God’s Grace.

Only if the Holy Spirit inspires goodness in us, inspires us to do God’s will, and inspires us to be saints, are we able to reflect God’s love for us to others.

The Holy Spirit’s work, God’s work (by God’s will) alone determines then who is Jesus’ brother, sister, and mother. God alone makes us children of God, makes us Jesus’ siblings, and brings us to recognize that we are all ‘in this together.’ We are all each others’ siblings.

Land claims are crucial to pay attention to and to honour.

More important is to honour the gifts God gives us, not to try to hoard them for ourselves, and to share them with all those in need.

Tender God, Tender Hope.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Sun Goes Down

The Ice Captures the Weed

The Snow Covers the Ice

Always

By God’s Tender Mercy

We Are Healed and Live Abundantly

Psalm 30:2

O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.

Luke 1:78-79

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Words of Grace For Today

By the tender mercy of our God …

Everything that is blessing and gift in this life is

By the tender mercy of our God.

By the tender mercy of our God we learn to treasure all that each day brings to us:

The sunrise, the sunset.

The COLD outside (-46⁰C), the HEAT of the furnace’s chimney (2000⁰C).

The relentless attack of our enemies’ (lies to destroy, destory, and kill us – by which we learn to trust God alone) and the gracious response of truth, both exposed by Christ’ light (by which we learn to hope only in God’s tender mercy).

New food allergies and intolerances (that increase our food costs and teach us with pain how to eat well) and the plethora of good and nutritious food available from the food bank and the grocery stores (from which we can choose how to deal with new dietary limits.)

The skills of many decades of capturing the good beauty of life in photos, of writing words that inspire hearts and minds to live better, to live well, the dancing steps to music and through the snow and woods and atop the roofs, the knowing of languages from ancient times, of foreign lands and using ‘artificial intelligence’, the piloting precision-decision-making over and under clouds, around obstacles on the ground, and between hills and mountains and leaving & returning to earth, the melding with machines to accomplish work and travel safely in all kinds of conditions, and the seeing God present walking with us each moment (good and terrible).

And most of all the miracle of being healed so that we are able to love those that love in return and those who return for love betrayal, who return for love hatred and evil, and even for those who corrupt justice for so many giving privilege to the wealthy and connected.

By the tender mercy of our God we live filled with hope for our tomorrows, and for theirs.

By the tender mercy of our God.

Locusts or Honey Bees?

Thursday, December 23, 2021

The Beauty

In Situ.

God’s Way

For All Generations.

Lamentations 3:41

Let us lift up our hearts as well as our hands to God in heaven.

Ephesians 6:18

Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

Words of Grace For Today

Lift up our hearts … as well as our hands … to God in heaven.

This will then enable us to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to choose, with each thing we do, to work like mad for all people in God’s good creation.

Otherwise we will inevitably work, heartlessly, and without pause, consuming all we can on our way, destroying everything in our wake.

Locusts come in hoards and work their little hearts out.

When they leave, they leave because there is nothing more to consume.

When they leave there is nothing left behind for anyone else.

When they leave the goodness of creation must be re-established by God’s healing work built in to nature … if it can.

This we do not want to be as a species, because when we try to move on there is really no place for us to move to

on God’s good creation of earth, our host planet.

Instead,

we pray with endless supplications

that we would work with our hands

as honey bees do.

They work at least as hard as locusts.

They work with the plants like the locusts do.

They work differently, instead of consuming and destroying and moving on …

They work for the benefit of all creation, helping plants to flower and produce food, for us all.

In their hives they create enough honey to sustain their hive’s next generations and

they create enough honey to provide for many others to feed from the sweet products of their tireless labours.

Locusts destroy and move on to destroy more.

Honey bees work in the eco-sytem and they stay in that eco-system (if we allow them to) to help it continue to provide for this generation and many to come.

So we pray endlessly with supplication and thanksgiving that God has provided our ability to work hard, and to work as honey bees, providing for this generation and for many generations of saints to come.

Therefore God …

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Steps Up

Jesus Carries Up the Steps Up To Life

Grateful, Abundant Life

Jeremiah 30:12-16-17

For thus says the Lord: Your hurt is incurable, your wound is grievous. There is no one to uphold your cause, no medicine for your wound, no healing for you. All your lovers have forgotten you; they care nothing for you; for I have dealt you the blow of an enemy, the punishment of a merciless foe, because your guilt is great, because your sins are so numerous. Why do you cry out over your hurt? Your pain is incurable. Because your guilt is great, because your sins are so numerous, I have done these things to you.

Therefore all who devour you shall be devoured, and all your foes, every one of them, shall go into captivity; those who plunder you shall be plundered, and all who prey on you I will make a prey. For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, says the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion; no one cares for her!’

1 Peter 2:24

He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Words of Grace For Today

If we spent everyday counting our sins …

we would have no time for anything else.

If God spent any time counting our sins and letting us pay for them,

we would have no time for anything else.

God’s attitude towards us and our sins is made clear in Jeremiah’s words with one word: therefore.

It seems to be unexpected. It would not be the way we are with those who sin beyond count in such despicable ways.

Yet this therefore is for God the way God is. The way God is for us.

For God sees our incurable countless sins and …

and therefore God defeats our foes that do us woe. We who were called outcasts, are called most blessed.

God turns our sins into opportunities for us to learn of God’s mercy. Jesus’ story is God bearing our sins on the cross, so that we can live free, healed, and even righteous.

For that we can be grateful.

I Hear You, I See You, I Know You

Monday, November 8, 2021

God Knows Every Blade of Grass

Whether Buried by Snow or Standing in the Chilly Air.

So Also God Knows Every Last Minutia of Us,

And …

Psalm 63:7

You have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.

1 Corinthians 13:12

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Words of Grace For Today

It is a terrible thing to not be seen at all, to have others look right past you and never notice that you exist. It is a terrible thing to be reduced to a thing that can be manipulated and used, everything extracted from and then tossed out with the garbage (as has been done to me). It is a terrible thing to go asking for help from those certified and paid to help, and to be ignored, as if it were okay that one be left to die unnoticed (as the doctors, nurses, and staff have done to me with lies about what I supposedly did to justify their lies and abuse.) It is more horrendous to be the ones who abdicate their privilege and responsibility to provide help, to see and to work to heal. For by choosing to refuse help and care to those in need, they become instead of privileged, they become cursed by their own lies and hard hearts. While there is a cure for many diseases and ailments, and while God promises to heal us of every disease of our hearts, minds and strength; there is no cure for these kinds of lies and hard hearts, not without God intervening … but they refuse to hear God’s promises and they refuse to acknowledge their lies and hard hearts, and in so doing they refuse the only help that could save them, God’s Grace.

To be seen, to be helped, to help others, and to heal one another in body, mind and heart; this is what God created us for. This is a marvellous way to live; being saved and forgiven and healed by God so that we can be that same Grace for others.

It is a terrible thing to be silenced (as I have been), told you are someone you are not (as I have been) and told you have done things you did not do (as I have been). It is to be gaslit, and then silenced, to have your reality and voice stolen from you (as was done to me – by so many people including the courts – and most of the people who did this to me did not do it by accident or negligence or by error – they did it with eyes wide open intention). While it is horrendous for the person silenced, it is long term more devastating for the people who gaslight and silence others, for their reality is based on lies, a whole pack of lies, and they will never escape the horrors they create for themselves until they seek, find, and admit the truth of what they have done … and that is so unlikely to happen. Instead they create more and more lies, creating a bubble of completely falsehoods from the bottom, to the top, to all sides around them. They separate themselves from reality and reality is not for them, but against them in every way.

Those who are silenced know well what the Psalmist writes of ‘You have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy’ for God comes to help us, save us, and give us new life.

Those who gaslight and silence others cannot know God’s saving hand, can they! God reaches out to them, promises them forgiveness (as God does for all people), yet they refuse to acknowledge their lies and in refusing to recognize what they do they refuse God’s promises, help, forgiveness, and renewed life. What a waste of life!

To be heard: that is a precious thing. To be able to speak the truth and have people listen and respond: this is what God gave us eats, minds, and tongues for.

To be un-seen, and un-heard are terrible things.

To be seen and heard is precious and needed for life.

To be known … that is yet another infinite degree of precious, for it is beyond most people’s ability to know others well and even less so to know themselves. Paul describes this inability we share as ‘seeing dimly through a mirror’ and a very imperfect, misty mirror at that. But for another to know us, down to the last detail … and to love us in spite of it all … well that is something that only God can do.

And knowing that God promises to know us, all our past, present and future, the good, bad and the ugly about us, … and for God to promise to still forgive us, heal and renew us, and to send us out into the world to be that same forgiveness, healing, and renewing for others … well there is nothing so spectacular in all the universe and …

and this is the life God created us to live!

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

Simple

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Simple Tree

Simple Sunset

Simple Truth:

God’s Love is Life.

Genesis 3:19

By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

2 Timothy 1:8b-10

Join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Words of Grace For Today

There is always work to do, to survive, or to prepare to survive … unless of course one has gained privilege and comforts known previously only by kings, pharaohs, and rulers, that is the privilege of having survival needs long since met and one can luxuriate in life. As the dust we are from and to which we will return, when such comforts and privileges are ours, we inevitably consume our hearts and minds with un-graceful things, schemes to gain more at others’ cost, and concerns that have next to nothing to do with being God’s people.

In such positions of privilege we look on the work of the Gospel, the work of being the unconditional love for all others, as if it were such a great sacrifice for us to take on. Reality is that this is nothing more nor less than what we were created to be and do.

Our obsessions with survival, and all it’s replacement-substitutional (ersatz) concerns, is not at all the life we were created to live.

We always find our way into some perversion of the life God intends for us, as we struggle to escape death. We cannot escape it.

That is not our death toll, though. For Jesus has come to defeat death, and offer us life eternal.

The story is simple: provide care for all people, heal all people, love all people unconditionally, and allow (without fear of losing anything) those who would attack and maim you, who ruin your reputation with lies and schemes and scapegoating, and who would kill you to do as they must.

God is with us, always, all ways, and there is not enemy that can take God’s love from us. More we need not expect of life. For our God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace.

Hope, Like No Other

Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Light Shines

No Matter the Darkness

Of Our Days

Psalm 146:8

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.

Ephesians 1:18

With the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints.

Words of Grace For Today

Amid the pandemic that threatens our livelihoods and our very lives, we pray that God will cure us of the blindness that allows us to live unaware of God’s presence in, with, and among us.

Through all generations God has lifted up people who have been able to provide witness to God’s presence in, with, and among us , for the many people who remain blind to God’s presence. These are the saints in light, the Light of Christ.

The Light of Christ, the reality of God’s creation as blessed, shines through the saints, so that even the blind may know what they could see if they allowed God to heal them of their blindness.

This light shines as clear as the morning sun on a clear, blue-sky day. This light shines in all the dark corners where people would hide their sins and evil deeds.

This light shines clearly on the Covidiots, the Antivaxers, and those who intentionally spread false science. They spread the lies to create fear, for out of fear they are able to promise false solutions, and with false hopes they lead people into dark places from which they are able to be lead, giving their leaders power, dark power, power that would destroy faster than it heals or gives life.

Christ’s Light shines even today, especially today. For there is no shortage of saints, God-made-saints who see God in creation and give clear witness to God’s presence, and God’s guidance that would lead us all to life, and life abundant. For when we live, knowing that God is with us, we receive a hope that is beyond compare. This hope shines for us like a brilliant light through all the darkness of evil and sin in this world. This hope shines for us pulling us through the darkness of these days to a better future, a future that is blessed by God, where we can breathe clear, clean, uninfected air … even as we stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters and brothers on earth.

This hope shines brightly for us each day so that we are able to pray (even mid the pandemic that threatens our livelihoods and our very lives) that God will cure us all of the blindness that allows us to live unaware of God’s presence in, with, and among us.