So Many Stages of Anger

Friday, June 10, 2022

Many Things Are Best Left With the Setting Sun

Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Ephesians 4:26-27

Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.

Words of Grace For Today

Anger is many things. Actually we use the word anger to mean many different things often not realizing that we are talking about different things. It makes conversations about anger difficult.

Anger can mean 1) the emotion we have when we are hurt by another person. It is not properly anger, but the precursor to anger. We may or may not know by whom, or what it is that hurts. It’s just the hurt is known (or thought to be known) to be caused by another person. Our emotion is the hurt of being done poorly to by another person. This is purely an emotion. It cannot be avoided. If we deny the emotion it will grow on it’s own. We can (sometimes) pause our further response, let the emotion settle (sometimes counting to 90 works, by which time the emotion will subside – if it does not re-fire from a repeat of a hurt, or some replaying of the hurt as if it were real again). When the emotion has settle we are able to rationally choose how to respond to the hurtful event.

If course we can feed the hurt and it will grow into anger proper:

Anger can mean 2) the emotion we allow hurt to develop into when we do not let it settle. This happens in increments. A slight intensification is that we identify who did us the hurt and we focus our hurt back on them as resentment which loops back on us as more hurt, until the hurt is so great it is anger. We are mad or angry at another person.

Anger can mean 3) the emotion of being angry at a person to being obsessed or overwhelmed with the hurt that this particular person has done us. We want to strike back, not that we will or have, but that we want to ‘get even’ as if that would sooth our own hurt. It will not. But that is the illogic of being hurt and letting it grow to overwhelm us so that it ‘needs’ resolution.

Finally anger can mean 4) an emotion that is past anger, more correctly referred to as rage. We become consumed by the irrational need to ‘get even.’ This feeds on itself until we somehow find a release. Out of rage come acts of revenge. Rage is beyond thinking about ‘getting even’ or even thinking. It is the motivation for irrational acts that will damage the other. The problem is all too often we misidentify the person who hurt us in the first place, and secondly no act of revenge can ever relieve our pain. It can only lead to a false sense of self-righteousness about planning and maybe carrying out an unjustifiable act of hurting another person.

This act of revenge can be limited to words, spoken or written, or it can involve physical acts of violence against the other person.

If we allow hurt to grow into anger and anger to intensify, and then to overwhelm us as rage there is little that can be done to stop it. Best is to stop it while we can. It’s not likely we can stop it later on from growing into acts of revenge. We ought not let the sun set on our hurt-anger. It only takes 90 seconds to let that emotion to dissipate.

Out anger, when acted out in acts of revenge start the hurt-angry cycle for others, often not even the person(s) who hurt us in the first place.

Being hurt is not avoidable, but the rest really is.

Words to the wise: Learn to speak soft words to oneself when one is hurt, so that the hurt is taken in stride. Learn to speak soft words to others so that their hurt (whether it really is caused by us or not) does not grow into anger towards us.

Life is full of hurt.

Life has more than it’s fair share of anger coming and going for all of us.

Life can be miserable if we seek revenge as a way to resolve our hurt that has festered into rage.

Rage never brings peace. It creates more hurt in us and in others.

We can choose to wait 90 seconds and then rationally respond to hurt. Best to stop hurt before it grows into anger.

Simple wisdom.

Hard to live.

Every day is an opportunity to practice choosing how we respond until it becomes second nature to let hurt dissipate. That’s the beginning of finding peace with a world that does not seem to want us to know peace

Striking Fear Into Our Hearts

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Middle of the ‘Night’

and

The Sun Never Sets,

Our Evil Deeds

Are Never Hidden

From the Light of God

1 Samuel 12:20-21

Samuel said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; and do not turn aside after useless things that cannot profit or save.’

John 12:26

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

Words of Grace For Today

You have done all this evil!

That is usually preceded by a long list of horrendous things we have done, some are well known and many we have hidden so others would not find out about them, but then someone did. Everything eventually sees the light of day!

You have done all this evil!

That is usually followed by a stiff condemnation and a listing of the ways we will be punished, which hardly ever is exactly proportional to the horrendous things we have done. We would like to say that crime and evil do not pay, but they do. We would like to believe that innocent people are not punished for things they did not do, but there is more evil done punishing innocent people than the evil that innocent people are punished for. It’s just how we ‘get it out of our system’. We humans are always up for a good scapegoating to relieve the pent up pressure on our own guilty consciences. Girard had that right!

You have done all this evil!

Then Samuel plays out for the people God’s grace. There is no punishment list.

There is in the prior verses much more: Samuel, old in age, has come before ‘all of Israel’ and asked them to judge him if he is guilty of any offence, and they have declared that he is not guilty of anything.

Samuel goes on to recount their history, from their cries in Egypt that God answers by sending Moses and Aaron to bring them to the Promised Land, to their wayward worship of and serving other gods, Baal and Astartes, God’s punishments as foreign powers conquered them, and then their request for a king to lead them against their enemies. This is counted by all as a sin, one terrible sin on top of all the others.

Still Samuel tells them that all can be well: if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well.

It’s not a simple day of reckoning for Samuel. The people are still called to account, so Samuel demonstrates God’s power: Is it not the wheat harvest today? I will call upon the Lord, that he may send thunder and rain; and you shall know and see that the wickedness that you have done in the sight of the Lord is great in demanding a king for yourselves.’ So Samuel called upon the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.

The people, rightly notice God’s power and wrath against them and pray for their lives, not to God, but they ask Samuel to pray for them: All the people said to Samuel, ‘Pray to the Lord your God for your servants, so that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of demanding a king for ourselves.’

This is where the verse above fits. Samuel begins by telling them not to be afraid. He just struck the fear of God into their hearts and now he tells them not to be afraid. They should serve their God alone, and all will be well, if they and their king serve God alone. Samuel tells them God has an interest in them, so God will not too quickly kill off the sinful people for all their sins, the last being asking for a king to lead them against their enemies.

For the Lord will not cast away his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.

To their request that Samuel pray for them, Samuel puts it simply:

Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.

And what is that instruction, as if the passages have not been spilling it out in abundance: Only fear the Lord, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.

And it they do not, well then there will be, as they feared, the punishment that they already deserve: But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.

So is God merciful?

Is Samuel right to strike the fear of God into their hearts with rain and thunder on their wheat crops?

The whole scenario plays out that we can avoid God’s wrath by serving God alone. Yet like the Israelis we turn from God in so many ways each day.

God does honour those who serve him.

Thankfully God is merciful to all people who ever lived and will ever live, for we have all at some time in some way turned from serving God alone. Scapegoating innocent people to relieve the conflict in our lives we have created is just one of the ongoing, horrendous sins that is our turning from our God, who has sent us the Spirit of truth, to guide us in all truth.

Ah, but we choose to hide our evil deeds, and our hearts from the truth, for we think we cannot bear the punishment that will follow.

Thankfully God is merciful to all.

Now for today: how can we choose to serve God alone! Well then … on with it!

Groaning

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Is this Your Lost Camper?

What’s It Doing In My Yard?

The VIN of the Lost/Stolen/Misplaced and Unlicensed Motor Home

Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.

Romans 8:23-24

Not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen?

Words of Grace For Today

There is every cause to groan at the developments of the previous days …

besides the reasons of every day: death is a’coming as our bodies give up life; we may be adopted and redeemed, but our bodies still have so many demands and limits and … well life, as one gets older and older, does not seem to get better, in fact, quite the opposite. Our bodies are not the only things that wear out. Machines that we rely on do as well. While our bodies are covered under the provincial health care plan, and we may have supplementary insurance, our machines cost lots of money to have someone qualified fix them.

So our machines get cobbled back together again and again, and pretty soon it’s a marvel that they work at all.

Our bodies get health care, such as it is, if a doctor will even care at all about you. All of that costs lots of money that comes out of our pockets as taxes, supposedly more if we have and make more money, though it seems not to work out that way. Even with the best health care, though, our bodies still slowly and sometimes quite quickly decay as if pulled back to be dust.

We can rejoice that with all this decay, God is our strength and portion forever, and that even our bodies will be adopted fully and redeemed fully and renewed, better than in our first life. We wait. We wait for God to keep the promise that our bodies will be redeemed and renewed. There is no proof available that this redemption and renewal will happen. So much of what we observe and experience points in exactly the opposite direction. So we are given hope. Hope alone. Hope in what is not obvious or not seen or sometimes apparently simply not possible.

Hope is hope when it anticipates what is not seen or proven or provable.

God gives us plenty, even when in the previous days someone parks a 40 foot old motor home in my yard from across our campers where I live. This motor home has no license plate, is a mess inside as much as is obvious through the door’s window. It has all the signs of being stolen and dumped here, out of sight and in my way. The yard is used as a dumping ground.

Now that stupidity is a cause for so much groaning. When will it stop!

God gives us hope that even things like this will be resolved, since redeemed is a bit much to hope for.

Different? Precious!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Francesco Melzi’s Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci

As Neurodiverse as We Get!

As Many Children Are,

If We Would But Notice!

Psalm 127:3

Sons and daughters are indeed a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb and a reward.

Mark 9:36-37

Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

Words of Grace For Today

In Jesus’ day, children were a nuisance of too much trouble to be ignored. One had to actively work to keep them … away, out from under foot. They were less than human and they died in droves. Why care for them? Why bother with them? Why? Why? Why?

Today we have a different attitude towards children, at least in some parts of the world. In other places they are soldier fodder, as long as they are big enough to carry guns. In some places they are sexual fodder, no size minimum. In some places they are labour fodder. In some places the girls are necessary for future wives, married off even prepuberty, and then boys carry on the family privileges. In other places only girls are valued and boys are ridiculed into self-loathing and shame (well that’s getting to be the case here at home too.)

No matter how we value them, children are a challenge. As infants until (hopefully) they are teenagers, they require care in order to survive, though there is no shortage of children having to fend for themselves at much younger ages.

So how do we appropriate them?

Like so many humans that we put less worth on, our appropriation of them, our valuing them, influences how they develop and how they live.

When we do not give value to others we diminish their lives.

Elders, revered by their culture, live longer. Not only that they live more capable much longer as well, thinking more clearly, moving more ably, contributing more value to their culture longer.

People we classify as ‘mentally ill’ herded into institutions, fared much more poorly (generally) than when they receive appropriate care, supports, and self determination living ‘in the population’. So today the ‘mental institutions’ that flourished in the 50’s and on have all but disappeared.

The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) first came out in 1880 in the USA. While the history of recognizing and suppressing (killing usually) expressions of neurodiversities is long and cruel, the ‘modern’ era certainly does not improve much on the damage done to people identified as mentally ill, though we’d like to think so.

The truth is neurodiversity is the evolutionary mechanism in the human brain allowing us as a whole species to adapt to a far greater spectrum of circumstances than would be possible otherwise. The list of artists, inventors, designers, discoverers, explorers, and geniuses is occupied almost entirely by neurodiverse persons. Why? Because they are capable of ‘thinking outside the box’, which is exactly how their brains work from the get go!

This does not minimize that many neurodiverse people face huge challenges just ‘getting along.’ I should say, though I am no genius, that I am one of this group, and have paid heavily for thinking and being different throughout my lifetime.

The real cost, as I have experienced is the cruelty shown me in the last decade by so many (also the courts). It goes like this: people tell you you are X (some kind of different), and they ridicule and devalue and silence and shun and incarcerate and shame you for being different, then one’s ability to ‘fit in’ becomes life threatening.

Not only do we experience the world differently and often more accurately than ‘normal’ people, we also have to dig deep in history and in ourselves to find our own worth, in the face of so many people cruelly devaluing us in order to try to establish their worth to be more than it is. Being ‘normal’ is not that great!

And then many sociopaths having risen to exceptionally powerful positions and extracted their power from the ‘normal’ masses. One can look at Putin today pouring soldiers lives into over running Ukraine, or Trump amassing popular support while he continues the stripping of money and opportunity from the ‘normal’ masses, the middle class, to provide for the huge corporations, whose legally defined primary value has to be profits (ie, taking from others for themselves.)

It’s been like this, with variations in players and their ways and means, since the beginning of time. How can one, even as a ‘normal’ person, live well yet alone survive in such a world order?

God’s shows us that this is not, this most certainly NOT, anything like what God intends for us. This is the cruel sin that God would save us from inflicting on each other and on ourselves.

For each person life starts in infancy, and one develops through childhood. During that time huge parameters are made as to how one lives thereafter. Some are hard parameters and one never outlives them. Many are ‘soft’ parameters, which one butts up against throughout one’s life though one can overcome them, maybe.

As Jesus came to love and save all people, Jesus certainly does not dismiss the children, devaluing them. Instead, Jesus demonstrates that children (like all people we devalue and cast out) can be appreciated and given attention, and therein give abundant life!

Some of us neurodiverse people have special gifts of receiving children, treating them so as to communicate to them that they are of great value (which they are!)

It is a deep, dark mark of sin on our culture that as we rush to value women (and falsely blame men wholesale for all the problems of the world) we play it out as a zero sum game. We make men lose as if that will help women! Worse, we devalue and falsely accuse and exile men who are so gifted with children (as if all so gifted men were instead sexually deviant and a threat to children!) The price is paid by us all, first by the children, and then by our collective loss of people who know their own value and give to life and to all people.

Such a loss.

Jesus would have it otherwise: ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

The children are our future. How we teach them to value themselves and all creation and all creatures is our legacy. We set the parameters that our species will have to deal with in the future.

Ahh, people, treasure what is precious. Different is precious!

Heil & Truth Reclaimed

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Life as God Created Us To Live,

Full of Wonder, Forgiveness, and Hope.

Isaiah 58:11

The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.

John 4:14

Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’

Words of Grace For Today

God made us so that we could live, and live well, healthy and abundant lives. This God intends for us.

The Devil intends that life not be for us, but against us. All the devil’s works, done so well by so many humans, and by all humans, look to cheat us of life.

It is done slowly, tempting and pulling us into a way of living that consumes us, our hearts, minds and souls. And then the trap is sprung and whether we notice or not, we are trapped in a life that is horrendous.

Dietrich Bonhöffer wrote:

Noch will das alte unsre Herzen quälen,
noch drückt uns böser Tage schwere Last.
Ach Herr, gib unsern aufgeschreckten Seelen
das Heil, für das du uns geschaff
en hast.

Siegfried Feitz translated it to sing:

The worst of the old year still torment us
we’re troubled still by long and wicked days
Lord give our frightened souls the healing
for which you have chastened us in many ways.

Much of the meaning is changed to keep the meter I would presume.

A not at all meter-keeping translation might go like this:

[after the first verse ends wishing to enter a new year with you the second verse continues]

Yet the old [year or times] are wont to torment our hearts,
Yet the heavy burdens of evil days weigh us [down]
Oh Lord, give our startled and fearful souls
that healing, for which you had created us.

The bolded word ‘Heil’ carries with it a great connotation that one can hardly avoid noticing, as Bonhöffer wrote this while imprisoned by the Nazis, shortly before he was shot on suspicion of being part of the conspiracy to assassinate Hitler.

No matter one’s language, one must recognize the phrase ‘Heil Hitler’, which was required of the German people by the Nazis many times a day. It’s translation is hardly ‘Health Hitler’. The literal meaning would be something like ‘Long health for Hitler’, but the actual meaning is closer to Hail Ceaser, or Long Live the King, and it certainly indicated one’s submission to Hitler’s rule.

So when Bonhöffer writes: Oh Lord, give us the Heil, for which you had created us, the connotation is unmistakable:

God give us back the word Heil, so that it once again is the health for which you created us, instead of being used as crowd rendered submission to Hilter’s dictatorship and all it’s cruelties to so many people.

As every temptation presented to us by the Devil, at first the invitation is given so that it sounds just so right. This is, the crowds say unawares, just what we’ve always wished for, dreamt of, thirsted for.

The Taliban did it, winning the hearts of the people by raising critiques of their imperfect world, government, and even their faith. They then, with small perversions at first and blatantly bombastic perversions by the end, turned the good faith of Islam against the people, against the women, against their critics, and finally they brought in brutal force to ensure compliance with measures no sane person would every wish for or support, except the perverted minds who wish to control the masses in barbaric ways.

Dictators in all times in all places have used similar methods, from the Thirty Tyrants in Athens (who killed Socrates among so many), to the cruel Caesars of Rome, to Russian dictators from Lenin to Putin, to the ‘Populist’ rulers like Trump. The first sacrifice is truth.

They cannot have truth hang around, for it will expose the lies that are told the people, the lies that cover for their collecting and exercising cruel powers against so many people. Inevitably what follows is the extermination of whole ‘kinds’ of people.

Martin Niemöller’s words are powerful reminders:

First they came for the socialists,
and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,

and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—

and there was no one left to speak for me.

Niemöller admitted in 1963 he harboured antisemitism yet he was one of the first to speak out (in his book Über die deutsche Schuld, Not und Hoffnung published in English Of Guilt and Hope)“Dear Friend, I stand in front of you, but we can not get together, for there is guilt between us. I have sinned and my people has sinned against your people and against yourself.”

Life is not simple for any of us, with our biases, prejudices, and bigotries. And once the Devil has got us down that road of self-righteous condemnation of ‘them people over there’ it leaves so many perversions of truth in it’s wake it is humanly impossible to bring things back to some semblance of life as God created us to live it.

Thus we pray: Guide us, Lord, continually, and satisfy our needs in parched places, and make our bones strong; make us like watered gardens, like springs of water, whose waters never fail. Bring us to be the springs of your water gushing up to eternal life from which many may drink and never again thirst for truth, or for life as you have created us to live it.

Save us and all people from cruel dictators, unjust judges, corrupt police, and evil bishops and pastors. Save us from the temptations to pervert truth for our own interests, and from scapegoating innocents to hide from and cover up our own dreadful sins.

Instead, give us the water of eternal life that we might not ever again thirst for justice or for truth.

Instead, give all people the water of eternal life that no one will ever again thirst for justice or for truth.

Instead, forgive us our sins. Forgive our enemies their sins. Forgive the tyrants and bullies their sins, that they may know, as we do, the wonders of your love.

Oh Lord, give our startled and fearful souls that healing, for which you had created us all.

Images of Blessings and Dangers to Life Itself

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Spring Snow Falls Heavy on Rust Leaves That Forgot To Let Go Last Fall

Are We Also Out of Sync with Creation

Or

Has God Blessed Us Beyond All Imagination or Image of Blessing?

Genesis 49:22-26

Joseph is a fruitful bough,

a fruitful bough by a spring;

his branches run over the wall.

The archers fiercely attacked him;
they shot at him and pressed him hard.

Yet his bow remained taut,
and his arms were made agile

by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,

by the God of your father, who will help you,
by the Almighty who will bless you
with blessings of heaven above,

blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

The blessings of your father
are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains,

the bounties of the everlasting hills;
may they be on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.

by the God of your father, who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

1 John 3:18-20

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Words of Grace For Today

Images of God’s blessings reflect the world of the writer.

These passages from Genesis use the image of the bow held taut, arrows shot at one by one’s enemies who press hard against one (seeking one’s death), in counterpoint to God’s blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb, blessings that are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills.

The bow and arrow are no longer common in the arsenal used to kill us by our enemies. Mighty warships with great guns, fighter jets with smart missiles, drones for surveillance and armed with missiles and guns, automatic rifles, RPGs, tanks and artillery, fighter helicopters, nuclear submarines, silent submarines, radar, sonar, anti tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, and propaganda. Closer to home the weapons are hunting rifles, shotguns, poisons, deadly-wrongly-provided health care, webs of lies and deceptions, and corrupt police, lawyers, prosecutors and judges.

The deadliest, the least detected or spoken of, are always the psychological assaults, most destructively spun by one’s who have pursued, won, and spoken of love, though love is so far from their capability. Their self-interests are everything to them, and the lies told never end until one is dead and gone and hopefully forgotten … for if and when the truth is known the false-love persons are most detested and shamed … for they attack under the guise of what all know (even if they pretend not to accept): namely that love is the one precious piece of life that God gives us so that we can overcome all other challenges to life, and with love press on to live honest, honourable, and holy lives.

So we say with the writer of 1 John: Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

In love we see God’s attitude toward us and all creation, and by love we are emboldened to live and live abundantly, blessed with all blessings ever imagined, including God’s blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb, blessings that are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills.

Do Not Leave Me Defenceless

Friday, March 4, 2022

It is one thing to have the time of age lean in on one, as death looms.

It is an entirely other thing to have other people work to advance the arrival of one’s death.

God save us from such people.

Psalm 141:8

My eyes are turned towards you, O God, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; do not leave me defenceless.

John 14:19

In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.

Words of Grace For Today

Lots of people are dying from ‘natural’ causes, some of the ‘natural’ causes are induced by other people, so the causes are not that natural, rather homicidal. Lots of other people are trying to kill even more people, forget about inducing natural causes, these efforts run the gamut from open violence to secretive schemes, and all of them are the work of the Devil and people cooperating with the Devil. Lots of people will die because others are trying to kill them. Lots of people die because of the Devil and his followers.

That’s the way with humans. It’s terrible. It’s worse if you are one of the people induced or openly or secretively sought to be killed by others, the Devil’s sacrifices in an attempt to supplant God’s rule over all creation and all beyond the universe we know or imagine.

So we, the people who others seek to kill … we pray: My eyes are turned towards you, O God, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; do not leave me defenceless.

We trust, no matter whether we live or whether we die, whether by natural or very not natural causes, we live and we die with Christ at our side.

As Jesus lives, even though Rome crucified him at the behest of his own religions leaders, so also we, no matter who seeks our deaths or how, we too shall live, and not just another day or week or year, but for all eternity.

The truths that guided our living will live into eternity.

The lies told by those that seek to kill us, will be remembered as lies for all of eternity.

We are not defenceless, though we die. For our God is our rock and our shield, a mighty fortress against all the works of the Devil.

So we sing: In Him there is no darkness at all, The night and the day are both alike.

And

Von guten Mächten wunderbar geborgen, erwarten wir getrost, was kommen mag.
Gott ist bei uns am Abend und am Morgen und ganz gewiß an jedem neuen Tag.

(Sheltered wonderfully by God’s loving powers We look forward confidently to what may come.
God is with us in the evening and in the morning and surely on every new day.)

Innocents Project Here?

Friday, January 14, 2022

Like Fog Rising From the Cold Frozen Lake Ice,

Made All That More Visible by the Wonderful Light,

So May the Light of Christ Make Obvious

the Fog of Evil and False Convictions

That Abound, Also Here!

Psalm 126:3

The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.

Ephesians 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

Words of Grace For Today

Every day the only way to survive, after the evil that has been focused on me to bring about my undeserved destruction, is to remember that the Lord has done great things for me, and I rejoice!

Fridays, we remember all those people who are falsely accused, harassed by the police soliciting false reports about them, fabricating evidence, and falsely convicted by judges who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20) We especially pray for men who are falsely accused by their spouse or partner, for there seems to be no end to the false charges and convictions based on obvious lies by women about good, honest men.

We pray that the Light of Christ will come to bear on each false conviction and those that brought it to be, that God’s justice will come to be for the falsely convicted and come down on all those that contributed to the false conviction and the destruction of their lives.

We pray, that as it is for me it will be for all those falsely convicted: that God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. And that those heavenly places will be where we are now on this planet earth.

The Way of the World

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Sky Remembers

With the Colour of Honour

The Blood of All

The Men Abused

and Many Who Were Killed

Ecclesiastes 5:6

Do not let your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake; why should God be angry at your words, and destroy the work of your hands?

Colossians 2:18

Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking.

Words of Grace For Today

Sunday rest.

Monday work and remember the children.

Tuesday work and remember all the men who are abused by women.

Oh, you say, that is not how the world is. Men abuse women and kill them.

Yes, we’ve come a long way recognizing how some men, very few men, abuse women with violence that eventually and inevitably leads to the man violently killing the woman, or psychological demeaning until the woman feels so worthless that she kills herself. And we have recognized the signs, and coaxed and coached abuse women away from their abuser (which is very hard to do since the abuser’s abuse captures and makes the abused think she needs the abuser’s presence and approval), and provided safe places for abused women to recover their sense of self, their voice, and their assurance of their own worth … and a vision of life without the abuser.

And many women and men have gone beyond that to assume and punish all men for the abuse done by a few, which only turns the tables on the men. Now the women and men become ardent, unrelenting, unabashed misandrists, theirs is the destruction of innocent, good people (men), and the lies that are told about innocent men mushroom into a cloud over society from which no one can escape.

Meanwhile many men are caught in their abuser’s trap, just as women are also. They have lost their voice, their woman has robbed them of their sense of self, of all their friends, of all contact with reality as they are blamed for so many things each day, small at first, the huge things, that the man has had nothing to do with. And the end is the same as for women: some women abusers are violent and they eventually, inevitably kill the abused man who is so worthless she sees him as not even human. More women psychologically beat the voice, worth, and hope right out of the man until he withers into self-loathing and finds no way to go on, so he kills himself. Men with a even a small tendency for violence use a gun, those with none use other means like poison.

When the courts are involved, like the rest of society, there are precious few who even think it’s possible for a woman to abuse a man if the woman is not beating the living daylights out of the man, and even then they are more likely to charge and convict the man – even though it is the woman violently beating up the man, and the man only tries to save his life. When the abuse is psychologial the courts most likely convict the man of come kind of harassment or psychological abuse (even though it’s the woman who is the abuser, if they would only open their eyes to the possibility!)

The rest of society is not unlike the courts, blaming the man for being abused: ‘what kind of a man are you to let a woman treat you like that!’ ‘No real man could ever be abused by a woman. Look at her. She’s half a foot shorter, and 50 pounds lighter (though so much stronger physically, if they’d only look.)’ ‘You’re not a real human if you let her treat you like that. You must have it coming. You’ve done something terrible to her.’ ‘Hey, man, it’s your fault for staying with her. Anyone with sense would have left long ago.’ And so go the blaming of the man for the woman’s abuse.

In the end everyone loses, no one more than the children, who learn to lie to protect themselves, who learn that courts and cops and church people are all corrupt, who learn never to tell the real truth about who is doing what to whom, because they will be made to pay if they do.

So we remember Tuesdays all the men abused by women.

And we pray that we will not be led astray by our words or others’ words of deceit.

And we pray that we will not be caught up in the ‘human way of thinking’ so that we ignore men who are suffering, and whose suffering will always end in death … unless someone or some miracle intervenes.

The Year Past, The Year to Come …

Friday, December 31, 2021

As the Days Come to a Close in Darkness

So the Year May, too,

Yet by Faith Through Grace

We Know

God is With Us

Always,

All Ways.

Numbers 21:7

The people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people.

Jude 1:22

Have mercy on those who doubt.

Words of Grace For Today

The last day of the year

leaves us to ask (as so many media do for us in various ways):

Where has this year taken us?

Where will this next year bring us?

Will we have any choices that will make a difference, a real difference, for ourselves and all living on the earth, and for the course of human history?

We, if we were here at the beginning of the year and if we are here at the end of the year, have survived.

What have we survived besides merely to live on? Our enemies have sought and continue to seek to kill us by whatever means they can use (trying not to get caught of course or pay any price for their efforts.) We have survived all the attacks of our enemies. Our enemies have built up a collection of lies about us, which has next to nothing to do with us (except … well read on) and which clearly defines who they are, what kind of people they are … and as humans have been wont since the beginning of time their lies reflect rather clearly exactly what they have done. They have lied that instead of them being the ones doing terrible things, they have names us as the perpetrators of their great evil. Which we have survived, though … the consequences of their lies are that more and more people believe their lies, and more and more people join their efforts to kill us, slowly or more quickly. And still we have survived.

We have survived not because we are so strong, no, we are old and weak. We have survived not because we are so rich and influential, no, we are caught deep in the grips of poverty from which we likely will never emerge and most of our friends we used to have, have deserted us, afraid of being associated with one who is attacked so ferociously. They do not want to become collateral damage. We have survived only by the Grace of God, and by many and various miracles that God has worked to keep us alive.

We have survived, though it has appeared at many times that we would not, could not, simply because even in those darkest moments of doubt, God has made us able to remain grateful of all God does for us and for our enemies, offering us forgiveness and renewed life. With grateful hearts more and more miracles have sprinkled our path, been noticed, convinced us that God walks with us making us saints and this has given us hope … and hope has carried us through the darkness to the light of day, to the Light of Christ.

We are thus quite able to trust that this coming year will be more of the same: God walking with us, miracles in abundance, hope carrying us always into the Light.

Our choices? Well our choices will be as always, the best we can make at the time, and even then always imperfect, yet made perfect by the Grace of God alone.

And that same Grace, as only God’s Grace can, will make a difference, a real difference, for ourselves and all living on the earth, and for the course of human history.

So Moses prayed for the sinful people, and God continued to write God’s story with the lives of God’s people, bringing us to each new day, as a miracle-gift, for each of us.

No New Year resolution will carry us to a better life. Only God’s resolution, covenant, promise will carry us, as it has, into the best life ever, the life of God’s own children, God-made saints, given breath and time … to be God’s Grace for others, especially our cruel enemies.