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

Friday, July 30, 2021

The Blessings Of God

Bring Serenity

To Those Who Trust God

Accepting Forgiveness Readily

And Sharing Blessings with All People

Like the Reflection of a Destructive Storm

Those Who Destroy Others

Are Tormented Always

By Their Own Sin and Evil

Psalm 32:10

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

Romans 5:5

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

Words of Grace For Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A House Does Not Make A Home

Saturday, May 22, 2021

No Matter the Storm or the Placid Calm

In the Wilderness of Homelessness,

A House Does Not Make A Home

Not Even for God!

2 Samuel 7:28

O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant.

Hebrews 4:12

Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Words of Grace For Today

King David, ruler of Israel, conqueror of all their enemies beginning with Goliath and the Philistines, and guided by Nathan to be wise and contrite when power had corrupted David … this powerful king, this young shepherd boy grown into a most powerful king, promises God that he will build God a house, a proper house made of cedar.

Through Nathan God provides David an unusual response: David shall not build God a house, for God has accompanied God’s people through the Reed Sea, the Wilderness, through battle and conflict, through the years and through the generations and never has God asked to be made to rest, unable to move with God’s people. Rather God will establish David’s house with a son, a lineage. God will establish Israel with a homeland, a place to gather without threat from their neighbours and enemies. David’s son will be loved and guided and disciplined by God. That son will build God a house most proper, [for then God’s people will be well established in the Promised Land].

Like David, we yearn to place God, to hold God, to worship God on our terms. God allows us our fantasies, doch we cannot control God in the least. Rather the Word of God lives and moves among and in us. We cannot control God or God’s Word in the least. Neither does God seek to control us. Rather God creates us, sustains us, walks with us, and always leaves us free to love, (which also means we are free not to love, rather to sin.)

As God creates us, sustains us, walks with us, and always leaves us free to love God’s Word remains in and among us, knowing everything about us more than we are able ourselves to know.

God’s Word is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow.

God knows when we choose to sin, in every exact detail. We may try to fool ourselves that we have not sinned, doch God knows and judges even the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.

How are we to live knowing God knows our every evil thought and intention and judges them and us with them?

Only by Grace can we live. And by Grace, trusting God’s forgiveness, God enables us to live free and abundant.

Those whose sins are bound, are warned that they have repeatedly and horribly continued to sin against God and God’s ‘little ones’. They have given over their freedom to a bondage to sin that destroys so many people whom they effect. The warning gives them time for the amendment of life. And the binding of their sins gives their many victims (those whom they destroy and yet destroyed they still live abundantly) the assurance that God will deal with these destructive, unrepentant sinners. With this assurance, they are able to live in God’s Grace, trusting that God’s judgment and mercy will be brought to bear on those who seek to bring them to ruin and to their deaths. They can wait with God for the unrepentant sinners to be won over by God’s Grace, so that they may join in God’s double victory: the victory that their destruction is stopped, and the victory that they join God’s people as Grace-saved-repentant-sinners who live life abundantly. With this victory, instead of destroying people trying to make their way upwards through life, they are freed to sacrifice all they are to exercise Grace for others, so that more and more people may live life abundantly.

Solomon built God’s temple. Doch God is not tied to a place or just one people. God moves among, walks with, and by God’s Word of Grace (the old, old story of Jesus and his love) God frees all people so that we are all able to love.

Thanks be to God.

Our Little to God is More Than Enough

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A reed, a little bark.

What we have may not look like much,

Doch whatever we have

God will use to give all people life,

life abundant!

Leviticus 26:5

Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land.

Matthew 14:20

And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.

Words of Grace For Today

God provides a great bounty for all to live from.

All in good order from sowing, to ripening, to harvest, to eating; God provides security for all. Not merely food security, but also food security.

We muck it up terribly so that through history billions go hungry and die of starvation.

Jesus comes to teach us, to heal us, and we gather. It is late. It is meal time. We are not stupid no matter how poor we are. We all have brought a bit to eat with us. We are not stupid no matter how poor we are. We do not bring out the food hidden for safety sake, lest the greed of a few fools and truly poor (who have brought no food with them) brings them to attack us, maim or kill us, and take our little food from us. We, too, are greedy this way. We call it caution or wisdom. Jesus calls it sin.

Jesus does not chastise or demand or expose us. Instead Jesus gathers the little his disciples have, places it in a few baskets, and passes it around for all to take from it what they need. Those with plenty add to the baskets, those with nothing take a meal from the baskets. Jesus does not dictate love, Jesus only lives an example of sharing God’s bounty with all people.

The people follow Jesus’ example, assured by his presence that they need not fear.

In the end many, many baskets of the leftovers remain uneaten. We are not stupid, we have brought more than enough. Jesus is not stupid, he shows us how to share God’s blessings of food and God’s blessings of everything else, so that all have enough, and there is plenty left over.

Now, today, amid the challenges of Covid 19, take the new opportunities we have before us, to relax (which negates fear), to bring out God’s bounty, and to share God’s great bounty with all, so that all have enough to live, and to live abundantly.

Blessings Are Challenging

Monday, February 22, 2021

Streams Like This Have Flowed Since Earliest Times

Just as God’s Blessings and Wisdom Have Flowed

Even in Difficult Times.

They Flow to Us in Our Traditions.

1 Samuel 1:11

Hannah made this vow: ‘O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a Nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.’

Luke 1:46-48

Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed’

Words of Grace For Today

Hannah is barren, unable to have children. Her husband shows her great favour, loves her deeply. But her husband’s second wife (who has borne him many children) persecutes Hannah because she is barren. Like faithful people of every age, Hannah turns to God and prays for a son, and vows in exchange for a son she will offer him to serve God, raised in the temple by a priest.

Out of Hannah’s suffering, her vow bartering with God, and God’s Grace, God gave us Samuel, a faithful servant of God who anointed and guided kings and rulers of Israel through his lifetime, including a king no less than David.

Out of our suffering God works wonders to bring about great things, greater than we could have imagined possible.

Mary, mother of Jesus, recognizes the blessings God bestows on her, as she is chosen to bear God’s own Son, giving him life in this world as one of us. Mary is remembered as blessed, all these many generations later. She will be as long as Jesus is remembered, which we trust will be for as long as humans live. That is a great honour, an honour that God bestows on a young woman, really barely a woman. A young woman caught in the poverty of a backwater eddy of life’s flow through Israel’s history and geography, Nazareth.

The blessings come at a huge cost to Mary. She will be shunned as a pregnant girl not yet married. Joseph in marrying her will take on her shame as well. Together they will struggle in poverty, and when Herod catches wind that there is a king born among the children around Bethlehem, they will have to run for their lives to Egypt. Herod will slaughter all the children of Jesus’ age in the area. That is just the beginning of Mary’s sufferings which continue until Mary will see her own son accused, condemned and tortuously crucified for crimes he did not commit.

There is no end of heartache for Mary, and we remember her for that, and for God blessing her.

When God blesses us, there is hardly any guarantee or example in our faith stories that this will mean we will live a ‘normal’ life, a comfortable life, a life of anything less than one filled with huge challenges.

We think we suffer greatly in this time of Covid 19. There have been many, much worse pandemics before. The church, and individual Christians in it, have been persecuted much worst many times over in our history. Now as then we are forced to be creative. Life is not as comfortable as before. We have to learn to be practical in entirely new ways. We have to learn to worship in new ways.

Along the way we see how little some leaders have valued the long-and-hard-won traditions we have inherited. Instead, feeling this is the first time anyone has faced any challenges as God’s faithful people, leaders are making up new words. Were those words profound and as meaningful as the words our ancestors of faith had written, edited, and refined through so many ‘difficult times’ that would be one thing. Unfortunately many of these words end up merely as trite and pithy as mass marketed greeting cards.

Our traditions are not weak, nor wrong, nor set in stone. They exist for us to tap, to adapt, and from which to create new and continuing traditions from.

That requires a deep and broad knowledge of our history and traditions, a profound wisdom about faith and the world, and a great humility that allows an ongoing confession of one’s own and our collective sins, from which God saves us again and again.

We pray (with no first born to offer to God in barter) that God will give us all we need, so that we will not set to ruin the church that we have inherited, the faith that we live in, and the awareness of God’s presence among us … especially in difficult times such as these with which Covid 19 presents us.

We pray, God save us. God guide us. God help us mourn what is lost. God help us rejoice at what is left. God help us celebrate what is new to us again, as it was to many who have gone before us.

Always Darkness in Corrupt Power, Light in Christ

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Even in the darkest of nights and tribulations
God provides a promise of Light

Christ’s Light

To reveal all Truth and Grace

1 Kings 8:59-60

Let these words of mine, with which I pleaded before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires; so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.

Revelation 15:4

Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgements have been revealed.

Words of Grace For Today

Bill Hordern wrote:

Therefore, as Reinhold Niebuhr saw so clearly, governments are never simply a protection against injustice, they are also strongholds of injustice. Although the Christians ought to seek to have the government protect the weak from the strong, in fact most governments tend to protect the strong from the weak. The sword is wielded to maintain the status quo and all its inequities. Therefore, we should be prepared to see that service to God rather than to man may sometimes bring us into conflict with the rulers over many more matters than just the niceties of theological doctrine or ecclesiastical practice. (Living by Grace p.195)

These words were quoted by a now bishop in a text study decades ago. This year a good pastor added: Hence the wisdom from the theology of the survivors of WW2, and the wisdom of the Civil rights warriors like John Lewis who said:Get into good trouble!’

It is as true today as ever, and especially here at home in Alberta, Canada. A partner Gaslights her partner, children lie, a pastor lies and schemes with the police to gather false reports, and to harass the target. Many false reports, false arrests, lies upon lies already and charges are laid. Church leaders lie to the RCMP. A petition to the court is made to protect the children. It is not only ignored and defeated and used as a ‘blood sport’ weapon against the good, honest, and kind (though not perfect) father to ruin his reputation, drive him so far into debt he will never get out of it, and to drive him homeless. Blatantly corrupt lawyers and their assistants bald face lie to the courts. Prosecutors lie to the Courts. Witnesses blatantly lie to the courts. Dozens of judges deal with the matters, those at crucial turns in the process blatantly lie about the evidence against (most of it lies already) the good father, and even about the evidence for the good father. He is falsely convicted, jailed where his life is threatened – mostly by the staff, and even by a nurse who administers a badly needed drug that has to be ingested with food, and denies him food for more than a half hour – it’s a miracle his stomach does not develop an ulcer – though he survives protected by a host of inmates and a few guards who do not want the old man needlessly hurt.

Denied support the good, honest, and kind father, Gaslit beyond imagination, is driven homeless. His body starts to fail, and he seeks the healing power of solitude and wilderness. He survives despite continuing efforts to kill him by courts, lawyers, and always his ex.

He prays daily in thanks for all he has, especially breath and health and love and work but especially for solitude during Covid 19. The most dangerous thing now is the contact he must have directly with people as most people are in flat out angry denial that Covid 19 is to be taken seriously.

The sin of so many people that has brought him thus far are too many to track, many remain hidden and unknown. This cannot be the first time such gaslighting, police harassment, blatantly false evidence by police and witnesses, false convictions and corrupt rulings, cruel games played by judges to hide they lies in their judgments, and persistent efforts are mounted to kill a good, honest, kind father. It is done so well, so practiced, so effective, so well hidden, with such disdain for truth and without fear of being caught out.

So this good, honest, kind father, now a holy hermit is me. I have forgiven my ex who is surely a borderline personality disordered person, and bound all other’s sins, known and unknown. Now I have prayed daily for God to bring the truth to light, and to deal with truth and justice and grace with those sins and sinners.

So I read today’s passage as if I had written it myself and know that I certainly not the first person to be so treated by other people. We humans really have a tremendous capacity to be cruel to others, and our methods really have not changed all that much since … well since the beginning of recorded history.

Still I pray knowing countless others have, do and pray the same with me:

Let these words of mine, with which I pleaded before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires; so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.

For then

Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgements will have been revealed.

That day is eagerly awaited, and until then we all trust that the Kingdom of God is near, God walks with us, even us homeless, gaslit, kind people who are so far surviving the sword of the powerful and corrupt which is wielded to maintain the status quo and all its inequities.

As member Jones said after one of many false arrests, Do you know why I do this? … Because I can.

But God will stop even this evil, in God’s time.

10th Day of …

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Who are you this day,

on the path of life

that is given to you?

Who are any one of us,

If not God’s blessed saints?

Isaiah 58:10

If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.

Luke 6:36

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Words of Grace For Today

In history there were many of these people, and today we remember two, one of each:

There was a wealthy person, who had inherited great riches, position, and power. Working hard to manage all that was at her command, she increased her wealth through every means and method available to her. If her choices caused a great number of people misery, despair, or death, she took no notice.

It was her birthright, she claimed. She was going to increase her position for that is what she was born to do, just as her ancestors had done. She did not learn her history, though, and paid little attention to literature of any kind. She was interested in ways and means to increase her wealth, and only that. When something could serve her she researched, brought in expert advisers, and used everything to her own advantage. If something or someone did not serve her advantage she quickly got rid of it or them.

Those who knew of her prayed for her … to stay far away from them.

There was another wealthy person, who had inherited great riches, position, and power. Working hard to manage all that was at his command, he increased his wealth wisely.

Aware that his ancestors had worked hard to earn the wealth, position and power that was handed on to him, he learned their history, and as much of history as he could. He accepted that poverty, misery, illness and death would always be part and parcel of life, though he did not ignore the responsibility that was handed on to him, the responsibility to make a difference in many, many people’s lives; a good difference. He understood from his ancestors that all he had was a blessing from God, a blessing that remained a blessing only as long as he ensured it was handed on to others as blessings.

He did not stand in the limelight. Only a handful of people prayed in thanks for him by name. Very few people actually knew that what they received in time of great turmoil, illness or death came through various paths from him. Yet when people received assistance, opportunity or protection, they were also given a word: pay it forward. Because of his work many people prayed prayers of thanks.

With this wisdom this man of great riches, position, and power not only helped people, but what emanated from him was an ever growing web of gratitude and a sense of responsibility to share what one had, so that everyone in need received the help, exactly the kind of help, they needed in order to live thankful lives.

In this year 2021, which person would you wish to have living in your community, province, or country?

God has given us each great blessings so choose to be that person in your community!

Carry on and spread the tradition of immense gratitude for God’s blessings. First among God’s blessings is that Jesus saves us from sin and gives us abundant lives.

2nd Day of 12: Dealing Grace to All Creation

Saturday, December 26, 2020

See the Light!

Carry the Light to Heal All People

and Creation Itself!

Jeremiah 33:6

I am going to bring Jerusalem recovery and healing; I will heal its people and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security.

Luke 2:15

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’

Words of Grace For Today

As Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon laid his siege ramps against the walls of Jerusalem to over run it in 589 BCE, and Jeremiah had already prophesied that Jerusalem and Judah would fall to their enemies, King Zedekiah came to him and asked him why he prophesied their demise.

We all know that such proclamations in time of war are dangerous. They can be self-fulfilling by undermining the morale of the people. Jeremiah prophesied as he did, because God called him to; the people had turned from God, become perverse, and it was only a matter of time before their own corruption brought enemies to their walls to conquer them, weak as they had become from within. Few if any heeded Jeremiah’s warnings … and Jerusalem (in 587/6 BCE) and later Judah fell to their enemies … and then other enemies … and more enemies … so that they remained ruled by foreigners when Jesus was born (despite the Maccabean 167-160 BCE and other revolts seeking their independence).

Before Jesus’ birth, more than 500 years since Israel was independent, the people had many stories to remember and to be disappointed in and place their faint hopes in. One such story was of a Messiah who would be born in Bethlehem.

The Shepherds may have known this story, or not. Still, when an angel and then a chorus of angels visit them to give them the news that a saviour is born in the city, they are not fools. They up and head into the city to see the Saviour born and laid in the hay of a cow’s manger.

Why Shepherds? One might surmise that, as ones who lived very rough in the hills as they tended and guarded their sheep, they would not be put off by the poverty into which the Saviour was born.

Yesterday, the Day of Christmas, is the first of twelve days of Christmas. These twelve days give us opportunity to seek out the saviour of the universe – no longer an infant in a cow barn. On our own we will see nothing other than the mundane world, perversions of truth spread to create chaos from hysteria and fear so that evil people can rise to power, … and we will see our only own failures, fears, and dashed dreams.

Guided by the Holy Spirit though we will encounter not only the wonder of God become human, born as an infant Saviour. We will encounter the Saviour, with God’s Grace, healing all people and creation itself, redeeming and renewing them (and indeed us), so that we broken people can be the vessels that carry God’s healing Grace to all in need.

God knows, during this pandemic, there are so many people who need healing, healing from Covid 19 (acute sufferers and long-haulers) from the detrimental effects of physical distancing and isolation, but even more-so from the sickness of the soul that has eaten at the hearts of so many people – long before this pandemic started a year ago. Now the vacuum in the souls of the world is made more obvious.

Pray we encounter the Saviour anew, and that God will make us worthy saints, those who carry the Light of Life to those in need around the earth. May we be those saints who are blessed to bring the Saviour’s healing to all whom we encounter.

Twelve days, a whole hurting creation, and billions who need healing: our work is cut out for us! Thank God it’s God who works through us, healing us as we go!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – December 14

Monday, December 14, 2020

God Promises and Delivers

Homes For All People

Righteous Homes,

not Windblown Shacks and Outhouses

Isaiah 26:9

My soul yearns for you in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

2 Corinthians 9:10

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

Words of Grace For Today

As the vaccine is promised ...

Like in every generation before we yearn and hope, sometimes beyond hope. Yet sometimes in despair we give up that last strand of hope …

In the dark of the night, when monsters rear their ugly head occupying all the challenges of our days which we thought we could deal with well enough and those monsters eat at the foundation of the order of our lives amid the chaos …

There is always the darkness, the evil that threatens us.

Whether or not we see or listen or know, God promises to judge all with real justice and grace, out of which will come righteousness for all … whether we experience this righteousness or not God’s promises are the only promises that are sure!

God promises to walk with us, giving seeds that we can sow and harvests abundant that we can gather in, increasing in and around us God’s righteousness – for Christ is come.

God’s Son came, and will come again, to make clear God’s will towards us, namely that God loves us and judges us with mercy and truth. Jesus will judge all for everything they have done.

How can righteousness come out of the evil of all humans, which is so destructive, pervasive and enduring? Jesus offers us his record, pure and sinless, and on that record we are judged. Our records, our sins, the evil we have done to others, and the destruction we have wrought on creation … all this is erased as if it never occurred in all of time at all. So we emerge, all of us, righteous.

We do not get to wait for Christ’s judgment until after we die. Christ judges every day, every hour. Christ renews us as righteous every moment. We still remain sinners, yet always are we fully God-made saints.

So we yearn …

We yearn for judgment …

We yearn deep in our bones for judgment, so that we are made righteous, and those that do us evil will be rescued from their sins and we with them.

Advent is the time we relearn to trust God’s promises, and we live this abundant life waiting, alert, holding to the Promise that draws us onward, and draws from us righteousness we did not know we were capable of.

We are the harvest. We are the labourers in the harvest. The harvest is ready, each day. The harvest is so abundant it cannot be stored in all the earth or even the universe. Such is God’s promise to walk with us and bring us to live life abundantly!

No Covid 19 pandemic can rob us of this abundant life. Not even when our usual Christmas habits are not possible this year while we remain safe for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for all our neighbours.

Life is still abundant. Perhaps just because we must rethink what is essentially Christmas, our celebrations in the future will regain a significance we have not previously known.

Whether or not we see or listen or know, God promises and delivers life over abundant for all!

Let us make it so for all people, also this Christmas!

Take Advent to truly prepare.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – December 6

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Second Sunday of Advent

Saint Nicholas Day, Remembering the Bringer of Gifts

Like Tracks in the Snow Disappearing Toward the Light,

The Signs and Wonders of God’s Work for Us All

Are All Around Us.

Daniel 4:2

The signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me I am pleased to recount.

1 John 1:2

This life [the word of life that Jesus brings to us] was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us.

Words of Grace For Today

Signs and wonders … the word of life revealed, eternal life even today for us.

These are everywhere to be encountered, seen, heard, touched, inwardly experienced.

The sun rises in the cold morning, light spreading and pushing back the darkness until a clear burst of light is visible through the trees near the horizon. The Light of the world is here, as a blessed sign that God is with us.

The periodic drone of fisher’s ice augers rumbles like bumble bees across the snow covered lake and through the trees. There are fish in this lake, stocked as it is, which provide food for many, except in the shoulder seasons when the ice forms or melts and is not safe enough to support a fisher. When the water is open boats bring fishers to all corners and bays of this lake. Then the ice is solid, on foot, by quad and side-by-side and snowmobile, or by truck, fishers spread across the lake to harvest for their families sustenance, signs of God’s blessings unceasingly flowing for us all.

After more than seven years with various people seeking my destruction, death and/or exile based on lies and greed, and a mental illness perverted view of life, fuelled by misandry and hate-based, perverted faith, I wake each morning, here, alive, accepting my life as blessed, though I am financially so far in debt I will likely never emerge, though my reputation among corrupt people of power will likely never be restored, though I work desperately hard to survive the challenges of living rough: cold requires lots of work but it is constant and properly conquered with care; moisture, heat, and bugs are the most difficult, fickle, and most dangerous. Each day I still breath is a gift from God, a sign of the wonders God works sustaining my life though it is under constant attack by so many, and so powerful.

This is eternal life, for today. (Yes, eternal life has already begun. We do not wait until after death!) For the Word of life, Jesus Christ, has come, is here, and will return.

Advent, these precious few days of blue hope, suspending us in waiting, holding us alert in watching, guiding us with Light into the darkness of winter … Advent is filled with signs and wonders of God working for us. We only need take a breath, pause, reflect, … and notice all that God does for us each day.

This day there are millions of people who through terrible injustice and cruelty do not have clean air, clean water, nourishing food, adequate clothing, sufficient shelter. Many, many people will die this day across the face of the earth … and it need not be so.

So many more millions have those basics of life, but lack the other two that keep us give us resilience to face the challenges and evil that would rob us of our hearts, minds and strength: meaningful labour and love (both being able to love others and to be loved by others).

Facing Covid 19 and our feeble efforts to slow it’s progress through the populations, if we do not have an ever-renewing reserve of resilience, we can lose our hearts, minds and strength to face each day. We can instead forego all precautions and put others at great risk, we can gather as if we thought that would help (participating in a super-spreader event, killing and maiming many downstream), or we can join the insane protests with no masks or physical distance (also participating in a super-spreader event, killing and maiming many downstream).

What will we do this day, if seemingly small, to reach out with the Word of life, to all? What will we do reaching out to others, for therein we build our own resilience?

The Word of Life works signs and wonders for us all.

Stay alert, lest we do not notice, or hear, or see Christ in our midst, calling us to be Christ’s signs and wonders for us all.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – December 2

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Pyramid Mountain Before Sunrise

God’s promise of a day of renewal

each day,

every day.

Psalm 11:1

In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me, ‘Flee like a bird to the mountains.’

John 14:27

Jesus spoke: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

Words of Grace For Today

When I am most drained, I head to the mountains. I do not flee. I head there to hike, to camp, to ski, to take photos, to write. The mountains are a place of renewal.

Mountains have long since also been a place where we humans have fled from danger to our lives, for in the mountains we are harder to find, though life there is much more challenging. The world can easily give us more than we can take, where even the renewal of the mountains or the refuge of the mountains is not enough.

I do not give to you as the world gives.

The world, filled with sinful people, gives in lots of horrendous ways.

The world gives Covid 19, generously, killing and maiming millions.

The world gives false security with power, fame, and money, but all of that can evaporate in an instant and become more of a burden than a security for the future or a freedom for one’s todays.

The world gives promises of equality, justice, and opportunity; and then oppresses the masses, knowingly judges and falsely convicts, incarcerates and ruins honest people based on falsehoods and cruelty … The world promises opportunity but offers only opportunity to be enslaved so others can exercise corrupt power.

The world provides the blessings God created it to contain: air, water, food and opportunity to produce and utilize clothing and shelter; but the people in the world ensure they have their own excessive ‘comforts’ and luxuries at the expense of others being robbed of clean air, clean water, nourishing food, adequate clothing and sufficient shelter.

The world invites the masses to work to make a living possible, and then enslaves the masses at a standard of living that is impossible to call humane.

The world comes at us when we speak out and encourage change, equity, and justice. The world comes at us, condemns us for threatening the powerful people’s privileges in order to bring justice to the masses. The world comes at us to kill us with lies and Gaslighting or drive us into exile.

This is nothing new. It’s been humanity’s inhumane manner of executing injustice from the beginning of time.

God gives in many and various ways, all of which are marvellous.

God created and creates a universe that provides enough to support each and every person’s needs to live, and to live abundantly.

God gives us free choice to love, along with the other option, to choose evil.

God frees us from our inevitable choices that are evil, forgiving us, redeeming us, and renewing us so that we can live free from the sins of our past, present and future.

God gives us abundant life, and inspires, equips and calls us to give life abundant to all those around us.

God promises to walk with us no matter what we encounter in life. God’s Word is absolutely trustworthy. God keeps promises, always.

God sends Jesus, God’s own son, to live as an example of how to live life fully, abundantly; sacrificing oneself to provide life to others, forgiving even our enemies, and fearing and loving God, loving oneself and all other people, especially one’s enemies.

Jesus gives us peace, a peace that no one and nothing can take from us.

Therefore we have no cause to be afraid and our hearts need not be troubled … by any of the chaos that churns the world around us.

We get to be the people at peace, sharing life and peace – graciously – with all.

What a life.

It is the life of living renewed, each day, as if we were in the mountains.

It is a life living as refugees, in God’s arms, protected from all the threats of this world.

What a life!