Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 22

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Ice On Reeds, the Start of Freeze Up.

As Sure as the Lake Will Freeze Over in Fall,

So Will the Season of Christ’s Light Come.

Let it be soon, God.

Psalm 39:6

Surely everyone goes about like a shadow. Surely they are in turmoil for nothing; they heap up, and do not know who will gather.

2 Timothy 1:10

This grace [which saves us and gives us a holy calling] was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Words of Grace For Today

The world’s way of living is to try to make something from nothing, to have more for oneself. It is a turmoil like no other, yet no one can know who will get to gather in the rewards for all our striving to make something for nothing. Few of us reap the rewards of our efforts. Some reap the rewards of many others, and claim it is their right. It is not. Most of us give up great effort and see no reward at all.

Only those who labour for Christ are rewarded for their efforts, not with the heaps gathered in by others or by themselves. Rather we who labour for Christ receive first the reward for Jesus’ sacrifice, and then we live dedicated to following Christ’s will for us and others.

This is a holy calling. We no longer lives as a shadow, as part human, part darkness, outlined only by a brighter light. We live as the beings God created us to be, full, embodied, clearly seen in the light, solid even in the darkness of any kind, especially that of evil.

When one toils in order to have enough to provide the basics of life to oneself and one’s family, one can see no end of toil. For there is never enough for oneself and one’s own. When one toils in order to have the basics of life for oneself and one’s own … and for all those around in need, then there is always enough … enough for life that is worth living.

Yesterday I stopped at Walmart to pick up the four grocery items I need to deal with GERDS, for which I hope I have enough money since the gift card I was given had less than a dollar on it.

Done the first isle following the assigned directions to maintain physical distancing, I came face to face with two grocery carts. I stopped and waited for the people behind the carts to place in the rather full carts what they were looking for on the shelves. Then the proceeded to come further down the isle the wrong way towards me. I asked them to turn around, that they were going the wrong way. The first of the two carts instead turned to the side of the isle to try to force his way past me. I turned my cart to the side two inches to close the gap and he rammed my cart. I asked again.

With cursing the two cart drivers turned around, and a third man with them, starting verbally abusing me, threatening me to find me in the parking lot. As I continued with my shopping he continued to yell abuse at me from the next isle, from 20 and 50 feet away. I looked for staff. There were none to be found.

I headed for the checkouts, and while I was trying to deal with the 0 value gift card, the verbal abuse and threats started up again as the group joined the que to the checkouts. I yelled for security, afraid for my life, that this guy might actually follow me out into the parking lot!

Security came, or was it the manager. He was questioned. My credit card transaction was held up as they pulled my id. Finally I was allowed to exit the entrance doors to distance me from this guy.

If I could toil for this guy and the guy in a vehicle going 110kph passed me on my bicycle on the right, on the shoulder of highway 55, … If I could toil for these guys to not be idiots, not put my life at risk with their frustration that things are not going their way, how would that look?

I’m at a loss what to do for idiots, and many more others of so many kinds, who breach the social contract we have, which holds the barbaric nature of humanity at bay with such a thin veneer of civility. That thin veneer suffers attacks everyday, and its amazing that it still holds. If we are not careful, if we are not all careful, it will dissolve all too soon.

Then toiling for the basics of life will be an impossibility for us all, idiots, liars, deceivers, even for former holders of great authority, and also for us saints with a holy calling.

Pray that the Light of Christ will shine soon into the darkness that has descended on these lands and on these people,s here and across the globe, so notable as it is just south of the border.

The Light will expose the evil done, burning it up like chaff, as it finally abolishes death and brings life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Soon and Very Soon, we pray; Come and Deliver us, all. We are ALL in this together.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 19

Monday, October 19, 2020

Out there … Alone.

Whether it seems we stand alone, like the tree, or the ice house, where everyone passes us by, or turns far away from us,

God created us all,

and we are ALL in this together!

Psalm 146:7

Who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry? The Lord sets the prisoners free.

John 8:36

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Words of Grace For Today

Who executes justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry, and sets the prisoners free?

We should all do this each day!

Do we? Not many and not much! We leave this to God to do.

Who frees humans from their captivity, the real captivity that robs life from us, the captivity to sin (to turn away from God and try to make our way in life on our own, almost always at other people’s expense … so that people are oppressed by our efforts to get ahead in life, so that people go hungry while we are well fed and live in superfluous comfort, so that people are imprisoned for telling the truth as we lie in order to gain and retain our ill-gotten privileges and wealth!

Yes! Who executes justice, feeds the hungry and sets prisoners free when we are the oppressors, the one’s who take away food, and lie to have people imprisoned?

We leave it to God!

And God’s people step forward to undo the injustice, hunger, and falsely imprisonment that we cause … and ignore … or worse, celebrate, as if the one’s we’ve done these atrocities to are our enemies.

They are not. They are God’s people, on this sojourney in life with us.

Thanks be to God, God’s Son, Jesus the Christ, came to live, heal, forgive, die, and be resurrected that we might know God chooses to free us from our captivity to sin.

The Son frees us, and we are free indeed!

Free to be the one’s to bring true justice to the oppressed so no one need fear their neighbour or the authorities’ bullying, false arrests, and robbing of life; to feed the hungry so no one is hungry or without the basic necessities of life; and to set the prisoners free so that no one is falsely convicted or falsely imprisoned, and more …

so that all people will know that God’s Son has set us all free from captivity to sin … we can trust that God will bring out of us all the goodness that God created us and all of creation to be.

That’s such a fundamental revolution in the way people think, speak and write, and act that so many people resist this freedom.

And the injustice, hunger for daily bread, and false imprisonments continue and even increase.

It is no solution to turn on (and try to exterminate like the pests they are) the bullies, the oppressors, those who take, deprive others of, and hoard the daily food available in creation, and those who hold others in prison cells or poverty in a reserve or in a land distant and separate. Others will only replace those who are exterminated, and those who exterminated others simply become the oppressors.

God wants a victory for all, a double victory (as Martin Luther King Jr. called it), a victory where everyone is free. God does not delight in an evil person’s death. God delights in Jesus setting them free.

What else did we think God created all this universe, and us in it, for, but for us all to live, choose, love, and hope freely … all by Grace alone?

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 17

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Path to ?

Think you’ve seen this Path before,

Maybe, Still God Requires of Us

That We Bring Sojourn Through Life

Sharing the Fullness of Life with All People

Starting with Kindness, Truth, Justice, and Hope!

Deuteronomy 10:12

So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

James 1:22

Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.

Words of Grace For Today

God requires of us?

We must be doers of the word?

Luther described James as a straw Gospel. Like a straw house that the wind blows away with ease and fire burns quickly away. All chaff, no substance.

Before God requires anything of us, Before we ‘get’ to be doers of the Word, God acts.

God acts by creating us, making us able to love, which requires free choice, which means we sin and are bound to choose to sin, so God acts to forgive us, redeem us, and set us free to love, choose, sin, and God walks with us to forgive us, redeems us and set us free again and again to love ….

Always God acts first. Then we are enabled by the Holy Spirit to do what is ‘required’ of us:

to fear God, to walk in God’s ways, to serve God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength!

Make no mistake: it is everyone’s obligation to fear and love God, to walk in God’s ways, and to serve God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength: to be DOERS of God’s Word. We do not get a pass to sit on the sidelines of life and allow EVIL to have it’s way with us and others. We are to WORK against EVIL, in all it’s forms of injustice, violence, and degradation of life.

We do not get to sit on the sidelines like those in Hottelstedt who watched train load after train load of people in cattle cars and box cars pass through their town and not work to stop the obvious extermination of masses of people, genocide to provide for a ‘pure’ Aryan nation. After the war was lost, they excused themselves that they had no idea what was happening just a few kilometres away.

Our duty includes being curious about the work of evil around us, to speak up, to speak out, and to work to stop it. We use Grace and forgiveness, giving God opportunity to rejoice at the redemption of yet more sinners.

It’s not so easy as following rules. It requires everything of us! Thank God life, all of life, has an honourable and glorious purpose! To serve God and be the ones who bring God’s will to actuality here and now … by being the bearers of forgiveness, redemption, and freedom.

What a life!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 16

Friday, October 16, 2020

Don’t Go Batty

Trust God to keep you strong, to walk with you, to protect you.

Psalm 121:4

God, who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

1 Corinthians 1:8

God will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

The challenges of providing for the necessities of physical life are quite daunting at times.

Air is not complicated here in Alberta, yet.

Water … well clean water is a matter of collecting it from the city water dispensing site, cubit metres at a time, not that expensive, except for the cost of getting there and hauling it ‘home’. When it’s below freezing there are significant challenges if keeping it from freezing before one can use it, nearly impossible challenges for me. Or one can buy it much more expensive, filtered by reverse osmosis 5 gallon jugs at a time, and pay to get there and haul it home. Or one can collect rainwater and filter it oneself and sanitize it. Or one can use contaminated lake water … putting one’s own health at risk. Or in the winter one can collect snow and melt it, and boil it, trying to assure oneself that it has not been contaminated by some animal or whatever. Still water is possible. Canada has more fresh water than any other place on earth. Fortunate we are.

Food is an ongoing challenge. Growing it is not an option when one has not home or land or ability to ensure one is able to garden in any specific spot for at least a season. Buying it is necessary, but it costs money, which is in very short supply, though not non-existent. The food bank supplements what one can buy, and food is possible, most of the time, so far.

Clothing … is good, fortunately I have enough left from days of having a reasonable income, which is good since second hand stores exist, though they are limited in what they have. Or it is hours and hours away to get to the city where the available clothes are a wider selection. So far, so good, though.

Shelter is a daunting challenge that consumes more than 3/4 my time. In the end, so far, I have shelter from the rain, the snow, the wind, and the cold.

I am fortunate. I still live better than the majority of people alive on earth today, a mere fact of being born in North America and been able to work most of my adult life.

The real challenges that I cannot deal with myself, are other people’s wishes to have me dead, to arrange that that is likely, or to be willing to risk that they hit me when passing me at 110 kph on the right, on the shoulder, as I bicycle to and from town, working like mad to avoid the plentiful potholes that would wreck a rim or at least send me flying to the pavement.

Evil is hard to deal with. It’s always been incomprehensible to me, why some people are so cruel, lie so much, and cheat, or exercise their authority with malfeasance or sadistic processes.

With the daily physical needs of life, God is always there.

With dealing with the power of evil in everyday, God is always there.

The huge challenges of life are the last two necessities, meaningful labour, and love (to love others and to be loved by others.) These are not so much something one can acquire without the cooperation of the community in which one lives, or at least some people in it. When the most powerful people wish me dead … well these are nearly impossible.

When dealing with the power of evil so blatantly exercised by powerful people every day against me, God is always there. Sometimes God saves me from the effects of evil. Other times God simply weeps and suffers with me.

Still God neither slumbers nor abandons me.

As for God strengthening me (or any one for that matter) so that we are ever blameless … that never can happen. God strengthen me and strengthens each of us. We are able to remain gracious … with ourselves and with others, even our enemies who wish us dead. But we cannot on our own ever achieve blamelessness.

God must continue to forgive us each moment. Only by Grace are we now acceptable to God. In the end only by Grace (i.e. that Jesus’ record stands in for our botched, dirty and stained record) do we ever hope to still be acceptable to God.

God does not abandon us, nor does God sleep or slumber. God is on watch and walks with us.

Thanks be to God! For only by Grace do we live. Only by Grace do I live each day.

What about for you?! Do you think you make it through even a day or an hour on your own? Or are you also, by Grace, thankful for each breath?!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 12

Monday, October 12, 2020

Tevia’s Blessing for the Czar –

God: Further Please!

Psalm 16:2

I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.’

John 17:3

This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Words of Grace For Today

Another Sci-Fi flick portrays the destruction of the human species, not quite by it’s own hand. An alien intelligence helps us along. Yet encountering a single, sort of good or at least good enough person, preserves her spirit, reincarnates her into an AI being and elevates that spirit to a new level, another dimension. The movie is boring, for all sorts of reasons, not least is that the move to a next level is in itself not interesting, nor effectively portrayed. How can it be?

Life is full of goodness, just because it is filled with challenges, hair falling out, birth of children (grandchildren if one is so blessed), losses and victories, getting wet and cold – and being comfortable and warm …. Life is good and interesting because it is embodied. It is mundane. It is vulgar and we strive to make it honourable and civilized.

Too many people assume that the thin veneer of civilization can be maintained even as they violate the basic sensibilities of respect and empathy for others that is at the heart of any good civilization. Out to get the most for themselves, they act as barbarians towards the truth, towards other people, and toward justice. When people with power start to create psuedo-realities that have little to nothing to do with reality, civilization teeters on the brink of chaos.

What follows history portrays often enough: we become barbarians, killing and maiming each other in order to survive and take the plunder for ourselves.

Courts that proceed based on blatant lies and allow people and lawyers complete latitude to kill others indirectly through the unjust results, invite more than insurrection. They invite the collapse of civilization.

The only thing that can save us is …

reform?

truth?

might?

No, none of these save us. Only God’s Grace saves us. Only Grace received and then exercised for others can possibly rebuild civilization enough that it can withstand the onslaught to the social contract that awaits us, that is underway already by fools, idiots, and fanatical makers of ir-realities and chaos.

The Irish called it shenanigans. Leprechauns, playful beings, pull on the strings of daily events, disrupting the procession from morning to night to morning just enough to bring humour to our efforts to be in control at all, at all.

That’s not this kind of shenanigans. This is the kind perpetrated by the evil minded dwarfs that work to thwart life wherever and how ever they can. That kind of shenanigans is the kind that unseats civilizations and all the powers that exist in it.

Presidents, Prime Ministers, Rulers and Courts who play with dwarf-minded shenanigans work to unseat themselves. Either they need to be unseated sooner than later, or God needs to give us the miracle of double victories. First that the injustice stops and truth dictates the winners. Second that the liars and creators of ir-reality, even the Rulers themselves, are won over to live for goodness sake, with Grace and empathy for all people.

This is life, filled with Grace, that God created us to enjoy on our journeys. Eternal life is to know the God who created us, to fear and love God. And eternal life is to know Jesus, God’s only Son, who sacrificed himself so that we may indeed live, with God walking on our journeys with us.

Try as we may, there is no real goodness that comes out of us, ourselves. All goodness that seems to come from us, is the reflection and result of God’s Grace winding its way in and through us.

Thank God for Grace!

Please God save us; give us double victories, your miracles in these troubling times. Covid 19 does not make things worse, or people worse. It merely raises the stress so that who evil people are, and how dangerous our times are, become frightening clear.

God save us, all of us! We are all in this together!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 10

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Water: Clouds and Lake (and Ice)

The Wonders of Creation

The Power that Created it

The Grace that Saves it

Psalm 33:9

For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.

Mark 4:39

He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.

Words of Grace For Today

God Creates with a Word.

Kings’, emperors’, and pharaohs’ power was such that they need only speak and others would make it happen for them! No one dared to disobey.

God speaks and the nothingness of the not-yet-universe becomes something, something firm, solid, and existing. That’s infinitely more power than the most powerful ruler.

The people of Jesus’ time saw the world much differently than we do today. A firmament, a dome and separator, stood in the sky. On our side of it the world existed. On the other side of it was the chaos of not-creation, the nothingness that God created the world out of. The chaos was, as best one could translate it in terms available today, anti-matter, or anti-existence.

The point of all that is that this same chaos-anti-matter-anti-creation came up in the oceans. The water, the deep, was the same thing that was beyond the firmament, which was clear because when the firmament leaked it rained. When one ventured forth on the sea, one was courageous indeed, for one came into contact with anti-creation.

When storms rose up on the sea, the anger of God or simply the chaos of not-creation rose up to consume everything in it’s way. The disciples in the boat with Jesus feared not only the storm that could wash them out of the boat and send it and them into the deep. The disciples feared the power of chaos, the power of not-creation, or antimatter that could swallow up them, their boat and who knew what all else. Anyone caught in a flood will have stories of this fear. It is part of our human DNA.

Jesus is not afraid!

Human that he is fully, he is also fully God. He proves it. He speaks and the chaos of anti-creation is stilled. He commands all of creation and all of not-creation.

Now that is someone we want on our side.

But that cannot and never does happen.

Instead God brings us on to God’s side, and Jesus pays the price to make that possible, and the Holy Spirit moves in and through us to get the work of God to come out of us, in spite of us remaining sinners. Wonders never cease with God working us for the goodness of creation.

Which is good, because Evil never ceases to flow from our sins destroying the goodness of life for us and those around us, and those that come after us for generations.

Next time you see it rain, or the waves rise from the water of a lake or ocean, imagine the truth that those before us knew: this is the chaos out of which God created, which can consume us back to not-creation.

Thanks be to God, the waves are down, the sky up, and the rain is sufficient but not too much. It’s a balance, that involves us as well, if we wish to cooperate with God’s good creation.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 8

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Driftwood, Tossed by Winds and Waves, As are We

Foggy Morning

Don’t Let a Little Fog

Keep You from Noticing and Participating in

The Beauty of Creation

Joshua 24:22

Then Joshua said to the people, ‘You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.’ And they said, ‘We are witnesses.’

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

You have chosen … and are witnesses against yourselves … to serve the Lord!

Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on practices of piety that are claimed to bring you a good relationship with God and salvation.

There are always challenges in life. Covid 19 is one serious one that everyone shares … and everyone suffers from everyone else’s stupidity in not being one who protects against it. It is the community maker or breaker kind of virus. We cannot as much protect ourselves as we can protect others. We must rely on others to protect us. One person cannot protect anyone or any group. The weakest, stupidest link in the chain causes the infection to spread. And many weak links allow the virus to spread like wildfire in a dry, tinder-laden forest.

Covid 19 protection demands of us practices, not unlike piety (for one has to be consistent, one might say ‘religious’, about keeping vigilant with these practices). These practices for other people’s protection must be engaged in to save us all.

While we each can and must do things to protect ourselves, they are not enough by themselves. We each require many other people to engage in the protection practices to keep us safe. We never know who it may be that we need to be consistent and diligent for us to be safe.

We are not in control of our own safety, our own ability to survive this pandemic. It is in other peoples’ hands.

We are less in control of our relationship with God. Anyone who claims we control our own salvation with our choices is an utter fool, trying to entice us down a path of human effort to become godlets for ourselves. Only God can save us from our sin. At most we can strive to respond, and hope that occasionally the Holy Spirit will pull from us the miracle of us actually doing something for God in this world!

We can choose to serve God. We can be witnesses against and for ourselves. It is good to so respond and choose and strive to serve God. As far as our relationship with God and our salvation go, it counts for next to nothing, because we never can be consistent in serving God alone! We continually break away from and work against God. We are, all our lives long, captive to sin. Only God can save us.

That said, God does save us, through the sacrifice of Jesus, the Christ. And by the power of the Holy Spirit God promises to pull out of us miracles, miracles that we, pitiful us, can actually do God’s will on this earth, at least occasionally.

Strive we must. Striving has it’s own rewards, not unlike hard exercise to provide the basics of life for ourselves, our loved ones, and for others, especially our enemies and the needy, the stranger, and the homeless.

It’s another day. Another night. Every day has its opportunities and beauty. Every night its beauty and rest for recovery. Hard work is before us. May the Holy Spirit use it to accomplish God’s will also among us!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 4

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Fall, Colours, Shack not fallen yet.

Matt’s

Abandoned Not-Home

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

1 Peter 1:13

Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.

Words of Grace For Today

The world demands that we strive to prepare, possess, and secure for ourselves all that is necessary for the best life we can achieve. We are taught: Trust possessions, wealth, fame or at least good reputation, and your own knowledge and intelligence to provide a future of the best and and greatest comfort available to you.

God created us and provided us creation for an entirely different way of living. We must strive. That is a given. But we are created to strive to connect with our Creator and Saviour, and with other creatures of God. This includes working to provide ‘daily bread’, the necessities of life. We provide them not just for ourselves and our own. We provide them also for the needy, the poor, the strangers, the refugees, the outcasts … and for all the people the world prefers to forget.

This is to prepare our minds for action, to discipline ourselves, to count on God’s Grace alone, to trust the Lord with all our hearts, to acknowledge God. To count on Grace alone and to acknowledge God enables us to prepare for action and to discipline ourselves to be Christ’s hands, feet, and voice of Grace for the ‘forgotten.’

Covid 19 restrictions and precautions have taught us once again that ‘we are in this together!’ It does no good to protect just the wealthy and the privileged. The poor and the homeless need to be protected as well or no measures are sufficient. To protect the poor and the homeless requires first that we ensure the basics of life are available to them as well.

Long since recognized is that it costs less to provide homes for the poor, than it does to provide all the other services, like emergency services, minimal health care, etc for people living without a home.

In homes, people are better able to care for themselves, even when some cannot do that well, caught as they are in addictions or circumstances beyond which they can resolve. People caring for themselves, from a level in a home, achieves greater results than from the street or woods level. ‘Homes’ does not mean an apartment in a run down, dangerous, crime controlled place of squalor. ‘Homes’ means a place that anyone would be eager to live in: a safe, warm in the winter, cool in the summer, dry, pest-free, friendly neighbourhood. That’s why homes for the poor need to be built in every community, sprinkled in as part of life, in all our lives. So NIMBY has no place in this world. God calls us to say YIMBY! and YIOBY! and YIYBY! Yes! in Everyone’s ‘Best Yard’!

When we trust the ways of the world, or our own insights, then we settle for much less than we are capable of, less than providing well for all other people.

Trusting God alone, and God’s Grace alone, moves us to be in ways and to do things that we could never have imagined we were capable of being and doing.

God’s ways with us are wonderful, awesome, and down right frightening – unless we trust God. Trusting God they are wonderful, awesome and enthralling – inspiring and life-giving!

Breathe!

Now comes the adventure of your life.

Today is Sunday, a day of rest.

Which may be a calm day, a break from work.

Or

It may be God’s day to get us to provide for the rest of the poor people in our city, county, M.D., or community a home, food, clothing and love!

It may be God’s day for us to get the rest of God’s work finally done! (or well on it’s way.)

Breathe, and prepare ourselves.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Sept 30

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Leaves of Gold

Leave it all up to God

Psalm 116:10

I kept my faith, even when I said, ‘I am greatly afflicted’.

James 1:12

Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Words of Grace For Today

Enduring temptation and keeping faith even during affliction; these things are ours to strive for in response to God’s Grace that gives us life, now and for eternity.

Here the half-faith concept of our relationship with God is presented: we do right then God rewards us with the crown of life. This is not faith based on Grace, or on Christ’ Cross.

This is like receiving an inheritance from one’s uncle who one did not know about. The inheritance comes at a time when financially one is about to sink into oblivion and likely death. It provides a better standard of living than one ever dreamed of.

Thereafter one lives striving to do the right things according to the dead uncle’s wishes, though one does not know exactly what they were since the will did not make any demands or requests. It just provided the inheritance.

One strives and tells everyone, including oneself, that since you have kept worthy of you uncles’ wishes, you have earned the inheritance, therefore you deserve it and need not share any of it with others.

We are the poor nephew, given the best inheritance. We are adopted as children of the living God, the creator of the universe.

Now, we are not clueless about God’s wishes for us. God calls us to imitate Jesus’ generous, unconditional, universal love for other people, especially our enemies, our neighbours and ourselves. Jesus lives a full life of sacrificial giving and healing others. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to actually imitate Jesus. One our own it would be hopeless, but with the Holy Spirit giving us everything needed to imitate Jesus, we work the work of the saints.

What a life!

It is as beautiful as nature at the turning of the seasons, as gold carpets our paths and all our ways.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Sept 29

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Trees Reflecting the Light,

See Through the Trees

to the Living Water

Zechariah 8:19

Thus says the Lord of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be seasons of joy and gladness, and cheerful festivals for the house of Judah: therefore love truth and peace.

John 8:32

You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

Words of Grace For Today

When people wish to deceive in order to gain and maintain power, wealth, status, and position, truth becomes relative to one’s perspective, because the actual truth cannot be admitted. If it were all the falsely gained power, wealth, status, and position would be lost.

In war the first victim is truth.

In greedy business practices in a world based on greed there can be no truth except what is made up to be claimed as truth after the fact.

Truth is a double edged sword, it cuts down everyone living out of lies, and on the back swing lays to waste everything built up based on those lies.

I’ve always had a hard time believing people actually expected others to accept as truth the lies and deceptions they practised and presented as truth. Yet not only do they expect, they demand, and even threaten ruin or death to those who do not accept their lies a truth.

From lies comes death to the one who lives by them. First comes death of one’s own soul, for there is no integrity between creation, one’s actual history, and what one claims supposedly happened. The gaps grow and rip apart one’s soul. One walks, breathes, and appears to live, but one has sacrificed the soul of one’s existence, the essence of being alive. One walks through life a shell of a full human, rotten in the core with a thin veneer of life surrounding one’s dead innards.

As one loses one’s soul one loses connection with God’s creation, which as an embodied human, a child of God, is one’s connection to God and to other people, as one of God’s creatures.

Quickly one becomes entrapped by one’s own lies as one caught in quick sand, until eventually the lies rule one’s life, relentlessly and ruthlessly.

….

What is one to do, if one has so died and yet still walks and breathes, or if one’s loved ones have chosen this path of walking dead, serving greed, money, power, or position, instead of acknowledging our place in God’s creation as one of God’s creatures?

The sad truth of human existence is that every person at times and in various ways sinks into living out lies that at first seem to be to our advantage, but then cost us everything good about being human.

How can one be freed from this enslavement to lies and falsehoods, to evil?

The first thing to do is pray.

The second and ongoing thing to do is seek out truth, absolute truth, in God’s Word and among God’s people, good people who strive to live by truth. Seek with all our being the truth of God, and the truth of God’s Grace for us creatures, and the great possibilities for our response to such prodigal dealings with us!

The Truth is that Jesus brought and brings to us, of God’s attitude towards us and all people being fundamentally Grace, bought at God’s Son’s own life. This is an absolute truth. No relative factor applies or can be applied to it. Jesus welcomes us though we do not deserve it at all. Jesus welcomes all people, tax collectors in his time like liars of all times. As Jesus has paid the price for us and all our sins, God frees us from our captivity to all sin, including our lies.

This is true freedom.

Then by Jesus’ invitation we get to be gracious (on behalf of Jesus) with all the people we encounter, especially those we would normally ignore or discredit.

The Truth sets us free, to be the kind of people God created us to be; to be kind people, filled with gratitude and grace for all the people we meet.

When we know this Truth, then even in months of fasting, and doing without, God blesses us and calls us to share the blessings joyfully with others.