God’s Own Blue and Beautiful

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

God’s Creation

Blue and Beautiful

Darkened Always by Evil.

Job 12:10

In God’s hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.

Acts 17:28

[God made then so that ]… they … search for God … though indeed God is not far from each one of us. For “In God we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we too are God’s offspring.”

Words of Grace For Today

Even the writer of the Acts came to know the truth, that God created us all and we thus search for God in our own ways.

Even so God needs not to be searched for, for God is not far from any one of us. For we in God we live and move and have our being; we are God’s offspring.

While the life of every living thing and breath is in God’s hands, that certainly does not mean that God protects our lives from destruction by those that would do us harm. Indeed we suffer great destruction from the evil one and from those that would advance themselves at other’s cost.

Our consolation is that God is never far from any of us. No matter how terrible it gets at the hands of our enemies we need not search for God, God is with us. No matter how difficult it becomes as resources, circumstances, friends, church, family, and even hope abandon us and we feel we are left isolated to die on our own in the wilderness, God walks with us. God provides everything to us that we need to live abundantly. This is not that we will have an abundance of anything in life, except that we will live with God’s abundant Grace, Mercy, and Blessings.

It can always get worse.

It never gets bad at all, since God is with us.

It is most terrible for those who work unjustly to do us harm, for they disconnect themselves from God, even as God is so near to them. By their own doing they walk alone in their self-made hell and terror.

For us every day is a day of peace, with ourselves, with God’s creation, and with God.

For we are God’s own children.

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.

Our Horrendous Truths, God’s Gentle Truth

Friday, July 9, 2021

Beauty Large and Small

Everywhere.

Abuses, Injustices, and Killing

Everywhere,

Even Here and Now.

Psalm 103:8

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Galatians 5:22-23

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.

Words of Grace For Today

While Canada struggles with the reality outed now that residential schools were a place of mass deaths for first nation’s children forcibly taken from their families, the real problem lies so much deeper, and it’s effects are far more widely felt.

Canada is not a place of justice.

Canada is a place of ‘law’, where ‘law’ means that while there is process, the results are still the same as if there were no law: the result is arbitrary and moulded around the law to fit the desired results … by police, by lawyers and crown prosecutors, by judges, and by appeal judges.

Anyone can be arrested, tried, and convicted for anything.

I am living proof, as are thousands of others.

Abuse comes in many other forms as well. It comes from narrow focus, diverted interest, and biased justice. Lack of safe drinking water for communities for decades and longer. Preferential treatment for those with connections and promised support of those in power, puppets really for money-power interests. Biased application of laws; it used to be worked against women, now it’s worked out against men. More men die of violence and abuse than women, and more men die of suicide, a direct result of abuse than women, yet our attention is focused on the missing and murdered women. A larger view of the atrocities is required to be able to address the real issues.

Only a large view of what is happening can start to address the real issues and make real change possible … but those require we broaden our focus, hold our interest and provide justice based on truth … while those with power, wealth and influence have no interest in doing so; it would mean a loss of privilege for them.

It has been so since the beginning of time.

Canada is no different.

Canadians may be polite on the surface; but the corruption and abuse run as deep and wide among us as anywhere at any time in history. We just cover it with a thin layer of deceitful niceness.

And either directly, indirectly, or by omission every Canadian is implicated, and guilty, awaiting sentencing by God.

Thankfully God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love or there would be no hope for any of us, not at all.

There is another way to live: The Holy Spirit makes this possible for us: the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Now that’s a way to live, and to address the abuse, corruption, violence, and killing that is so much a part of life around us – whether we choose to see it or ignore it.

This way of living guided by the gifts of the Spirit gives us the courage to see reality, the real terrible things that go on around us, in our names, each day, against good, honest, innocent people.

This Spirit-led way of living gives us the courage to respond to our terrible reality so as to change it, including the residential school mass graves now being uncovered for all to see.

A helpful, healthy, and effective response begins with the everyday responses we give to those around us: honest kindness, gracious truth, and generous joy … so that when the really devastatingly huge issues arise we are well practised in responding with peace, self-control, and gracious truth!

In this way as well God is abounding in steadfast love for us.

Barriers to Truth

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Breathe the Light,

See the Loon’s Wail,

Know God’s Power,

For God Walks with Us!

Psalm 147:5

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.

Mark 10:27

Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’

Words of Grace For Today

Tina stood outside her camper, breathing in the sunset air with light pounding against the still lake waters. How had it come to this? Such beauty, wonders, and peace after a decade of Gaslighting?

She had not earned it, nor felt any claim to it, though her attachment to the land and waters ran through her bones deeper than it had a right to.

For mortals this would be impossible to imagine; but even this is not impossible for God.

For years what troubled her is that people could do what they had done: lied, gaslit, scapegoated, made false reports to the police, blatantly lie in court (even police officers), and then the lies the judges told in order to convict her, send her to prison. How could people choose to do such things? How could people think they would get away with it, and then it seemed they got away with it.

She had always known she had not committed the crimes, or done the terrible things reported and rumoured about her around town. The impact of being declared a criminal though ran deep and she questioned what she had done wrong to ‘earn’ this kind of treatment, even if people were so evil, corrupt and cruel to do to her and say about her the things they had.

It took years of loneliness, despair, prayer, hope, and many repeat acts of people lying about her, pushing her back down as she tried to gain a voice. That was it for the first few years, silenced about the false police reports and false charges. Then silenced about the lies told to the courts. Silenced by unjust and cruel judges. Everyone was so afraid of the truth, now that the ‘game was afoot’ to scapegoat her for evil they had previously, otherwise done, and which they still continued to do.

It took years of coming to understand that the evil done to her had very little if anything to do with her at all. All those years of confusion, pain, loneliness, silence, and lost hopes. Slowly, ever so slowly she came to understand how very little it had to do with her and how terrible the things were that she had learned about, the lies and games that people played creating the lies, the horrendous perversions that people participated in and covered up, with influence, money, and raw force.

Arnold had invited, begged, persistently courted and pursued her. In court he’d said she was the one who had pursued him, for his money, for his children, for his home. All of that was lies. He had pursued her for the good company she was, for her great way with children, and, after he’d seduced her, for the sex. He made out that he was charmed, needy, and fulfilled by her. But he really knew nothing about love at all. He begged her to marry him and not just have an affair. She agreed and he promised they would marry when she was divorced. And when she was divorced he said they didn’t need to get married, that it would be just like they were married.

On it went, a marvellous, unbelievable six months of being in love, with the isolation from friends, the constant critique of little things mostly of things he did and blamed her for, the silence about her past, and all the stories about how perfect his first wife was. All that even after he confided to her that he had driven her to kill herself when her two life insurance policies overlapped and both paid out handsomely making him a multimillionaire in months. She was perfect in every way, and when she made a wrong decision he made sure she changed her mind and made the right one, especially the last decision to end her life.

He went to work on Tina right away, and got her on a drug that caused her to be suicidal, and he drove her hard, hard, hard until one day with half a bottle of sleeping pills and a bottle of alcohol Tina was ready to find her freedom from Arnold’s abuse.

How had it come to this?

How had that come to sitting by a lake breathing in the sunset with light pounding against the still lake waters. Such beauty, wonders, and peace after a decade of abuse, Gaslighting, and one suicide that failed only because the cream in the Irish Cream slowed the absorption of the sleeping medication – that took three days to work it’s way out of her system?

How had it come to this after that?

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; God’s understanding is beyond measure.

So many times Tina had resigned her to God’s care and understanding of what was being done to her, for it made no sense at all, not at all, at all!

It took years but it had come to this, by the lake.

Tina still did not understand, though she agreed, For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.

Where are you today? How did you get there?

What unbelievable challenges blocked your path so many times in so many ways?

How has God shown you, that for God all things are possible?

Weary? You Bet!

Monday, June 21, 2021

Rest, at Sunset, In the Calm

That Christ Offers

Isaiah 12:3

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Words of Grace For Today

Like no other words these are so welcome …

now after 15 months plus of Covid 19 restrictions and unknowns,

when my enemies pile on more lies and destruction, take more money I will never have piling debt on debt, and when it seems there are too few people who know who I a really am. Because I certainly am not the person reported to and by the RCMP, or testified about in the courts, or convicted and labelled a vexatious litigant by judges who care not for the actual truth,

when illness and disabling arthritis and injury combine to keep me from doing what I had planned to do to keep healthy, busy, and keep the mosquitoes at bay: mow, mow, and again mow,

when the death of a loved one rips the foundation of life out from underneath us,

when the darkness of the Evil One convinces us that the world is always going to be dark, even when the sun shines longer today than any other day in a year, and that evil will always win the day,

What we thirst for at those times, and now, is a place to rest in safety and

Jesus calls to us:

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Once again God works to convince us, to reassure us with hope beyond hope, that

With joy we will today draw water from the wells of salvation.

There are no better words that these:

Come you who are weary and I will give you rest, so that with joy you will draw living water from the wells of salvation!

When we have rested, and washed ourselves and souls once again clean, when we have drunk our fill, then Christ calls us to share these words, these opportunities to rest and be renewed, and this living water. Christ calls us because there are so many people weary, carrying heavy burdens, who lose themselves as if they were separated from the love of God.

These words, these offers, this living water is all we have, it’s all we need to be able to share, it is all that anyone needs from life.

What joy comes when God calls us out of our weariness, and we share it all with others!

Responding to Wickedness with Grace

Saturday, June 19, 2021

In The Darkness

Christ’s Light Shines

For All,

Even Liars, Bullies and Tyrants

Micah 2:1

Alas for those who devise wickedness and evil deeds on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in their power.

Matthew 20:25-26

Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’

Words of Grace For Today

There is evil planned and done … simply because people can. Words of tyrants and bullies – I do this (evil to others) because I can.

Jesus provided a life-giving example for us: we give our lives ‘as ransom’ for others, so that they may live.

One of the many times I was falsely arrested Constable Jones stood across the counter from me after I was processed and she alone remained in the room with me. She boasted, “Lofstrom, do you know why I do this?”

Now I had not yet figured out the extent of the lies told about me, and her involvement in recruiting false reports from other people, even the lay pastor of the church I attended, Anne Zimmerman. Nor had I figured out that there would be no real trial, no truth provided by anyone except me and my words would be rejected and the lies accepted as evidence. I had not figured out, nor could I anticipate what storm of gaslighting was undertaken to get me charged, nor the lies that even the judges would tell in their decisions to convict me and deny my appeals. So many of the lies were little but the decisions relied on them, and materially on the judges’ own lies in order to convict or deny me.

I had not yet figured out the extent that this was standard procedure, easily done, building blocks of lies into bigger lies until the whole process was not even at all about what I had or had not done, said, or written. I had not figured out that the process was not about me at all. It was about the people who lied, being able to lie and get away with it, and being able to make a decent, honest, and kind man suffer an injustice of their making. I had not figured out any of this. I had respected the police all my life. Now turned on me, I was caught in a kafkaesque nightmare. It seemed I’d woken up in a twilight zone. I was silent, hurt, and scared witless.

Jones answered her own question, “Because I can!”

Micah writes, “Alas for those who devise wickedness.” Indeed one needs pity Jones, Zimmerman, and all the many others who devised this wickedness of lies against me, especially the judges. If one lies so easily, so profusely, so readily and so finally against decent, innocent, kind people, that means that their hearts are so twisted from reality around them, and so twisted from God’s goodness for them that they live in a self-made hell from which their is no escape …

except by God’s Grace.

We are not called to live by lies, certainly not to exercise them against innocent others simply ‘because we can!’

Christ exercises Grace for us, giving us renewed life each day. So we take that Grace, so prodigiously poured out on us undeserving sinners, and we direct it’s flow towards those around us. We follow Christ’s example and serve others, striving not to be ‘first’ or to rule over others. Instead we give all we have and are so that others will see the Light of Christ shining for them.

In the darkness of night, we know the Light of Christ shines for us, so that our deepest fears need not rule over us. At the dawn of each new day, we know the Light of Christ shines for us, so that we can live free of fears that cripple us, so that we can be as generous with Grace for others as God is generous with Grace for us.

We say we do this, not because we can, but because Jesus shows us that this is how we can live abundantly, and the Holy Spirit makes us able.

Whatever the Challenges of Our Days …

Monday, May 31, 2021

God’s Deliverance

Awaits Us

Each Day

Isaiah 56:1

Thus says the Lord: Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed.

2 Corinthians 6:2

For he says, ‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’ See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!

Words of Grace For Today

We’ve waited, waited, and waited …

and now is the day of salvation.

Except it is not that our enemies are eliminated,

It is that we are redeemed and set free from our sins.

We still will struggle to maintain justice, to do what is right, and to be gracious with people who are not just, who do wrong, and who are everything except gracious.

What is new, and is new each time we recognize that the Kingdom of God is at hand, is that we know that God has and continually delivers us.

That is the basis for living in grace, living out grace for others, and finding hope, joy, and peace in each moment whether it’s a challenge or not we are in the middle of.

Adversity and True Strength

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Life is a series of reflections

on us.

What have we,

What will we,

do

for others to enjoy an abundant life?

Isaiah 48:10

See, I have refined you, but not like silver; I have tested you in the furnace of adversity.

Luke 6:22-23

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

Words of Grace For Today

This life may be terrible and even horrendous, but it will be all right in heaven, so this is all right, too, right?

What doesn’t kill you, makes you strong, right?

Too often these rather stupid simplifications of valid ideas are used as excuses to allow psychological or physical violence and abuse to continue. The truth is there are scars from many things that do not make one stronger.

Perhaps the worse use of these is to justify that some people can enjoy great wealth, privilege, and comfort, while others struggle to stay alive, and others die very ignoble deaths, all in order to make the ‘chosen’ few able to be wealthy, privileged, and comfortable.

God did not make creation for us to live in a while and then escape from it’s injustices to heaven. God made all of creation, saw the accomplished work of creating, and said, “It is Good!”

Life for all people is designed to be GOOD!

GOOD does not mean without pain or suffering evil, for then there is also no possibility to love and experience joy. Pain and suffering – and – love and joy are part and parcel of the kind of life God created us for.

We live and love and experience joy. Some day the people we love will suffer and die. We will then also suffer and experience pain.

And it is all Good.

It is true that those who enjoy wealth, privilege, and comforts now at the expense of others being able to live abundant lives will, for eternity, suffer their choices to be blind and deaf to what they do to others.

It is also true that those who suffer and know only pain, will for eternity be released from that horrible kind of experience and they will know joy forever.

Our lives here and now are not to simply accept all suffering and pain as necessary. It is to work as hard as we can to mitigate and minimize all pain and suffering, to provide an abundant life for everyone!

That’s a life full and long of hard, dedicated work of love, not the sentimental kind of love, the real kind of love that puts one into action and pulls one to sacrifice so that others can live well.

What makes us strong, truly strong, is to know that even as we suffer and are in pain God walks with us, still creating, still seeing all that God does through us, and God says, “It is Good.”

Therefore we know that already today all will be well, all will be well, all manner of things will be well.

The Day of the Lord

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Glory of the Lord

is not only a ‘some day’ hope.

It is evident every day

in the simplest ways.

Zechariah 14:9

The Lord will become king over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be one and his name one.

Revelation 22:3-4

Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

Words of Grace For Today

The Day of the Lord has many names. It is the day when all the wrong, sin, and evil that humans have perpetrated against each other and against creation and against God will cease and the after-effects will cease as well.

In human terms the rule of unjust humans over others will cease, and God will be king over all the earth and over all people; justice and truth, mercy and compassion, forgiveness and life-giving love will be the way humans will interact with each other.

In divine terms, all that is accursed will no longer exist. The city of God, the New Jerusalem, will be founded (or revealed to us). Jesus is the sacrificial lamb, given to convince us in terms we understand, that God forgives and loves us unconditionally – and that there is no limit to the lengths God will go to to forgive us and more, to convince us we are forgiven. Except God will not violate our freewill as beings capable of love. God will love us, forgive us, walk with us, stand by us, care for us, guide us … but God will not take away our ability to love ourselves, each other, all creation, and God.

This Jesus will no longer be a sacrificial lamb. He will be raised to the most exalted position, to sit on God’s throne, ruling with sacrificial love, over all the universe.

The Day of the Lord has many names and many images and many hopes expressed in them.

The Day of the Lord is the day when all that is wrong will be set right.

Those who benefit from the wrong that is now perpetrated and live lives of comfort will cease to live in comfort. They rightly fear and deny that the Day of the Lord will ever come.

The great majority of humans who have ever lived, and the great majority of those who live on earth now, will no longer suffer the ignominy of being forced to provide comforts and luxuries for others at the expense of the basic necessities of life, and even their lives. For the great majority of humans the Day of the Lord is the expression of hope that provides the little comfort available to them; on that day all will be set right, and those responsible and blithely benefiting from the wrong will no longer exist.

The Day of the Lord has been anticipated for generation upon generation … and is yet to come to be. Still we do not give up hope that God will set right all the wrongs that are done against us. We do not give up hope that God will set right the little wrongs (and not so little) that we do to each other.

Freedom. Hope. Life based solely on forgiveness and love.

We are not yet at the Day of the Lord.

For now, our sins give witness to God’s response to our failings: God forgives and loves and renews us.

For now, we get to be bearers of the Good News that God has placed before us in many and various ways, and in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection: namely that the substance of life is love, and the glue that holds it together, and the lubricant that makes it still move is unconditional forgiveness and love.

For now we have quite the life to live and to live that life in the full expectation of the Day of the Lord pulling us forward through each day’s challenges (including all that Covid 19 makes more obvious.)

God! Where ARE YOU?!

Saturday, March 20, 2021

W hen the dark storms of evil threaten …

Judges 6:13

Gideon answered him, ‘But sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, “Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?” But now the Lord has cast us off, and given us into the hand of Midian.’

Mark 4:38

But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’

Words of Grace For Today

Why is this happening to us?

Where is God?

Does God not care?

When unjust judges take life from us …

When the one who said, ‘I love you. Marry me?’, turns on you with physical violence or worse (because it is unseen) psychological gaslighting, lying to police and to church and to courts, destroying your reputation, leaving you so far in debt you will never get out, and your health plummets into pain and disarray …

When friends, bishops, and seemingly good people join the gaslighting as if you were a social pariah or dangerous sexual deviant, scapegoating you instead of dealing with their own failings to deal with reality and truth …

When there are no friends left to stand by you …

When flood waters wash away your home and life and hope …

When wildfires rage wiping out your home and life and hope …

When petty warlords churn your homeland into a war-wasted horror of death, bombs, night raids and killings, rape, torture, and dread of your neighbour falsely (or rightly) betraying you bringing death squads to your door to take you away never to be seen again …

When powers turn on your way of life, destroy it, and work to extract resources and power from your home land, leaving masses of your people without the necessities of life …

When you have lived in the wilderness for years, eking out a living of a kind, and you read of the wondrous deeds of God, as God saved our ancestors from these, similar and other worse assaults on their lives,

Then you and we will rightly ask, “God! Where are You!?! Do you not care for us!? Will you not save us, NOW! Before it is too late!”

Gideon asked this for his people. In time, as God instructed him, ((his ‘army’ blew the trumpets marching around Jericho, bringing down it’s walls, delivering it and then the rest of the Promised Land into their hands. — That was not Gideon. That was God delivering Joshua and the people. God did this so many times.))

In time, as God instructed him, Gideon with just a small army, drove out a great army and captured it’s kings … using surprise and loud noise making.

The disciples asked this as the storm of un-creation on the sea tossed their small boat about at whim between the tall waves and battered it with wind. They knew their deaths into the deep of the void (what was before creation) was imminent. Jesus wakes and speaks only a word. The un-creation void of the deep waters and winds of the storm settle into the fresh breeze and calm waters on which life was sustainable as the fishers knew so well.

God may not resolve the danger that threatens our lives. God is not a puppeteer, interrupting our freewill and others’ freewill as we choose our ragged paths forward in life through creation and human-made un-creation as we go (which we and others must then try to survive if it possible at all!)

God loves us.

God stands with us.

God suffers and weeps with us … at the loss of any of creation and any of God’s creatures … for God loves creation and all in it, and created it GOOD!

God does give us, sometimes, the possibilities to struggle against the evil that threatens us and to survive. If we live, God is with us. If we die, God is with us and gathers us home … home at last.

So whether we live or whether we die, we are God’s beloveds, blessed and grateful for whatever life we get to live in this miracle of creation!

God does not ever abandon us. Not ever. Not even during a pandemic. The stories of God rescuing our ancestors provides us witness to God’s love and care.

Thus, no matter how great the waves of evil pound over us, we do not lose hope.

As we live, we are God’s people who stand with others as the great waves of evil pound over them.

This is love. This is grateful, hope-filled living.

This is life abundant.