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!
The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.
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.
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?
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
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 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.
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.
We do not need great clarity to tell they are ducks.
Nor do we need great clarity to know
what is Evil,
Nor to remember God Promises forgiveness.
Does not the One who planted the ear hear? Does not the One who formed the eye see?
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Words of Grace For Today
It is all too easy to point to other people who behave in disingenuous ways, perverted ways, dishonest ways, criminal ways, and even full out evil ways.
Yes, in our pursuit to find our own way in life, we always find others who are examples for us to follow, and many more others who are examples of who we do not want to be like, examples of what we do not want to ever do.
As we pursuit our way in life, (in order to make more gains for ourselves) the temptation becomes greater and greater to do things that are less and less noble, genuine, honest, legal, and even somewhat good. Whether we admit it or not, we all fall into the trap of thinking that ‘just this one, little bad thing’ will be enough to help us make it. And then there is another, and another, until if we were able to be honest any more, we’d realize that we have become exactly what we promised ourselves we would never become.
That is the human failing, that we sin, no matter who we are, or how good we think we really are. It is the case for the alcoholic on the street, the drug dealer peddling slow death to so many, the police officer creating evidence against innocent people, the pastor who lies along with the police, the wealthiest community leaders and funders of the local churches who indulge their sexual desires with so many people by arranging for them some kind of financial benefit even so much as a place to live and a job or a few thousand each month during a monthly ‘afternoon tea’, the business woman who is as corrupt and perverted as the Russian occupiers and STASI of her youth, the judges who turn a blind eye to the corruption and perverted lies that corrupt lawyers and police offer the court and then convict innocent people (who will not toe the line of complying with power people’s wishes to keep in the dark their perverted ways), and the bishops who listen to gain information and then use that information to support whoever can deliver them enough power to remain bishop with influence in as many congregations and with as many people of money and power as possible.
The question is not whether anyone, ourselves included, have done things that God looks darkly on, sins that hurt others and separate us from God’s will for us.
The question is what we do next?
Do we admit our sin, confessing all that we’ve done, and seeking forgiveness from those we’ve hurt? 12 Step groups include this in their path they repeat over and over again in order to be honest with themselves about their addictions and how the addictions keep them from living by killing them slowly.
Or do we continue in our perverse ways of power, wealth, privilege, luxury, and greed – all at other people’s expense, even at the expense of their lives?
Do we admit, with abject humility, that God sees and hears everything that we do, say, and even think? Do we grab on to God’s promise of Grace, of forgiveness if we confess our sins?
Or do we continue to pound the life out of others with all means available to us, to extract the last bit of advantage we can from them before they die? Or do we continue in our blindness and deafness to deny that we have sinned at all, surrendering our souls to the Devil, and our lives to evil at each step?
The declarations of those who follow evil at every step about other people, false declarations made in order to deflect accountability and responsibility and exposure and honesty from catching up with their evil ways and their hearts caught by and dedicated to evil … These false declarations may appear to ruin others, innocent others, but they do not. These false declarations say nothing about their victims and instead light up for all to see, the perverted, dishonest, destructive acts of the declarers. Their false declarations about other illuminate for all to see exactly what they desperately try to conceal: their own sin and evil hearts and minds and deeds.
Those, like myself, about whom these false declarations are made, can live in peace, knowing that God sees all, God hears all, and God judges all people by the reality of their hearts, minds and deeds. Our enemies do not destroy us. They destroy themselves, for a lie once spoken, and lie relied upon, remains always to be a lie, and the lies turn back on their creators to consume them.
Thanks be to God, who provides all we need, even before we ask, so that we can live in peace, blessed peace provided for all us God-made saints.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
2 Thessalonians 3:13
Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.
Words of Grace For Today
What is a person to do?
A megalomaniac hired me to fly and do ministry to native people (as we honourably referred to them back then), and because some in the ministry looked to change the direction from the paternalistic method the megalomaniac had developed (supported by ensuring chaos reigned among all those working for him so that he could dictate whatever he wanted to) to a ministry which was responsive to the people’s direction. I followed their direction and worked to develop relationships that would support that ministry. Progress was slow. It did not take the megalomaniac long to figure out he’d lost control of my ministry and that he was incapable of raising enough money to support the ministry even if I had followed his patronizing methods of ministry. I was fired. That was not enough. He and those that supported him had to grab a rumour going around the congregation where I worked 1/4 time (along with a full time senior pastor) that the pastor was gay. Mid 1980’s and that would spell the end of anyone’s career as a pastor. They applied the rumour to me, along with many people in the congregation. That was not enough. As I had tried to make sense of the chaos that the megalomaniac created I spent hours tracking his communications and directions and all else that he produced. None of it made sense, unless one allowed that he was trying to create chaos. That was more evil than I was able to imagine back then, fresh out of seminary as I was, so the time I spent was attributed to me having gone crazy. This is a common method for those who try to use chaos in order to gain and maintain control: they blame good, honest, honourable people with insanity. From his position of power in that organization there was little anyone could do to defend me, and no one stepped up to try in the face of the charge that I was both gay and crazy.
What is a good person to do?
A good person could try to fight back. A good person, other than me, could have stood up to defend me, knowing it would have cost them their job with the organization. A good bishop could have sent someone to defend me, but that didn’t happen. I did not even realize what I was being accused of until long after it was all done.
Then came truth came out: the senior pastor was discovered, murdered, naked along with a male prostitute in the city. The congregational president, whose gay brother had recently died in Vancouver of AIDS, quickly sold his car dealership and moved far away. I was on a trip for the church in Europe and found out about this over the following months.
None of the truth made any difference. I was supposedly gay. I was supposedly crazy of some kind. Every congregation I served as a pastor would have some kind of power issue among themselves and they’d scapegoat me to resolve their conflict with each other, using the rumours against me. I thought there was something wrong with the way I did ministry. There wasn’t unless one counts that as a pastor one has to be more than good, honest, gracious, and capable of sharing God’s Word in all one does. One has to be complicit, scheming, devious, and manipulative of the people with power in the congregation to keep them from using you as a scapegoat for their own sinful issues with each other. And one needs to be fortunate to have people of power willing to step up to protect one, so that one can continue in ministry.
What is a good, honest, gracious, and very capable person to do?
Some say: get one’s vengeance. Destroy those who would destroy you.
Others say: make sure you have more power than anyone else.
Others say: just give up and let the false accusations happen. Find other work. Move to some other town. Eventually the rumours will die out.
Jesus calls us to something different. As the passages today remind us, in the face of evil what a person is called to do is not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it, and do not be weary in doing what is right.
People still make those false accusations about me, that I am gay or that I am crazy.
The people who do so reveal themselves as working for the Devil. They are the people and pastors and bishops, congregational leaders, cops, ex, step children, lawyers, and plenty of judges and justices who are not good, kind, gracious, nor honest.
What is a person to do?
What a person is to do is to continue to do good, speak the truth, receive all people with kindness, and pray that God will soon bring the scapegoating to an end.
What is a person to do? God will do enough, soon enough.