Parched. Wasps. … Or Blessings?

Friday, October 22, 2021

Wasp Nest

One of Two Nests Tina Found

A Stones Throw from Camp

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.

Philippians 4:19

My God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Words of Grace For Today

Jane moved her old, really old, 5th wheel 40’ camper into the random camping area after Thanksgiving. It would be cold and the old camper was well equipped with a wood stove, at least until it froze hard and stayed there, well below freezing even during the day. That would make the water system to risky to use, which in turn would make life that much more complicated.

By then her ‘job’ for Arnold would be done, keeping a camera on the entrance to monitor ever coming and going, especially Tina’s. It was not really that difficult a job and Jane’s cover story was simple. She claimed she was homeless. (Tina actually was so she would relate to that.) Jane said she would stay just two weeks, since that was the legal limit, but it’d be easy to stay longer if Arnold wanted her to. Jane’s story was that she had lost everything in the oil bust and needed a place to stay.

Tina was not taken in. First because Jane claimed to lose everything in the oil bust of 2016, and the oil bust was in 2014. Second because if Jane really were homeless since 2016 that was 5 years living somewhere else just fine. So why appear right after the summer crowd stopped camping? Third Jane parked her camper where everyone coming in would see it, and where she’d be able (with the security cameras Arnold gave her) to see everyone coming in and going out. There were way better places to camp for so many reasons. The only reason to camp where Jane did was if someone wanted to camp with lots of other people in multiple units. But Jane was all alone.

Sometimes Arnold’s plans to make Tina’s life difficult were too transparent, and not all that effective. The real challenge was all the lies Arnold came up with. There was no way to prepare for those. Still Tina knew that goodness flowed in so many ways in her life and through her to other people. God had provided, through other people mostly, all that Tina needed (though Tina worked as hard as she could to provide security for herself through each challenging season. For the upcoming winter that meant gathering, cutting and splitting enough wood to ensure she stayed warm. That was hard work, and yet it was work that could be done. The other season’s challenges could not be met with more hard work. They were, thus, much more difficult to prepare for and to get through safely.)

More than once Tina had felt that even so close to a lake, and with rain pouring down on her, she lived in a parched place. God’s provisions helped those feelings pass quickly. Instead Tina watched as the blessing from God continued to pour over her and surprise her in new ways. She knew that God had made her bones, her heart, and her faith strong, strong enough to meet all that challenges that living homeless placed on her.

She gave God thanks, and prayed that God would help Arnold face his own demons instead of falsely blaming others for his own sin.

As the sun rose on the fifth morning since Jane’s arrival, Tina saw another blessing pour into the woods where she stayed. Out gathering wood she came across two huge wasp nests, and both were empty. She had made the correct decision to stay out of the woods while the wasps were so bothersome and so many. Where she found them gave her plans on how to minimize the wasps in the area next spring and summer if they became such a problem again. The forecasted cold La Nina winter promised to eliminate pests like pine beetles and wasps … and require more wood to stay warm.

The balmy days of autumn made for perfect weather for gathering wood. A blessing on top of a blessing from God who never failed to provide, as a good spring continues to provide water more than sufficient in quantity and purity.

Odor or Audor

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Moonlight.

Even in the Dark

God Provides Light for Us

Genesis 8:21

When the Lord smelt the pleasing odour, the Lord said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.

Titus 2:11-12

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly.

Words of Grace For Today

The inclination of our hearts is evil from our youth.

What happens next is … well … our history of destroying one another in the most creative and repetitive ways.

Kind of a mess.

So God decides to fix it all and start over. Come waters all and flood the evil people to death. God plans to start over … so Noah, the righteous man and his family, along with two of every kind of animal on earth are loaded into an ark, that will float out the flood. Noah and company find dry land when the waters recede and they give a wonderful aroma wafting offering as thanks to God.

God is pleased, and promises never to flood away the evil inclinations of all the human hearts, ever again. (Thank God for that, and for Noah for reminding God that we might be worth the bother.)

Bother is what God does, and God sends Jesus to demonstrate clearly the inclination of God’s heart is to be gracious and provide salvation to us all.

A huge bother, costing Jesus his life, though it does actually provide the greatest salvation for us that we could ever imagine.

Worldly passions and all kinds of all impiety do not hold a candle in comparison to God’s gracious gift of salvation for us.

A little gratitude can fill our lives and spill over to many people around us. It’s not the trickle down theory, leaving those under the trickle with less than those on top. It is the overfull blessing that is equally generous to all.

God provides everything we need: promises we can count on, and generosity we can share with everyone.

Prodigious Living

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Golden Riches

Of A Life Abundant

Are Free

And Prodigious Gifts From God

Isaiah 30:18

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

Luke 15:20

So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.

Words of Grace For Today

The prodigal son claims his inheritance from his living father and his father gives it to him. The poor son uses his great wealth, well squanders his inheritance, and ends up broke … broker than broke and does not even have food enough to survive and so eats the food of the pigs … until he realizes that his father’s servants eat and survive better than he does in his terrible state of being the wasteful idiot that he has been.

The final scene says it all, the prodigal son approaches his father’s home. Actually prodigal means extravagantly generous, which the father is, and the son is certainly not. The son is extraordinarily wasteful, selfish, and … and … well the son is so much like all of us.

The father is the one who is prodigal.

So the final scene of the story says it all. The idiot son approaches his father and the prodigal father comes rushing out to greet his wayward son and …

The rest we all know: the father not only receives the son into his home, he reinstates him as his son.

Jesus tells us this story (and it is recorded for us to know so many generations later) so that we can understand and anticipate that this is how God is towards us, all of us who are so wastefully wayward children (blowing our inheritance again and again on selfish living). God not only will welcome us home when we ask to serve in order to survive, God reinstates us as God’s own children.

Then God sends us out into our lives to be the agents of God’s prodigal welcome for all the other sorry, idiot, wasteful and wayward children of God (people just like us.)

It’s not about money or a comfortable life. It’s about love, gracious mercy, and blessed justice determined by God to give us all life abundant.

Trouble, Trouble, Double Trouble

Monday, October 18, 2021

Looming Clouds Above,

Threatening Shadows Below.

Everywhere Trouble Awaits

For Minds Caught in Anxiety.

OR

Cast Your Anxiety On Christ

and

See the Beauty!

Psalm 50:15

Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.

Words of Grace For Today

DO NOT WORRY!

Which makes one focus all the more on one’s worries.

Cast all your you anxiety on Jesus!

Now that’s a great collection of words that can foundationally change one’s life for the better. For we know that anxiety drives one into a survival, pre-rational thought option pattern of responding to the world (or at least to one’s imagined threats in the world.)

Those choices are not that helpful in most situations, and the likelihood that we imagine a threat that is not real at all or at least not as threatening as we perceive it is … well … it is so likely we can say it is the standard for most of life. This fear based reactions to life makes us vulnerable to those many evil people who use fear in others to control them, to move them to make decisions not at all in their best interests, but to the advantage of the one controlling them! It’s sop for despotic political leaders taking and maintaining power; after all democracy (or any form thereof that responds to the public needs and best interests) is not very efficient, or preferential to those who have or want to have position, power, and privilege.

So to be able to cast away our anxieties, not declaring them unreal (even if most are) sets us free from being controlled by fear. Then we are able to proceed through our days, using our God-given brains to think clearly and make choices that will benefit those around us.

The latest examples are all those people who read the fake reports about vaccine dangers and decided to not get vaccinated, or to wait. So they did not get vaccinated. Now they populate the ICU’s and hospitals and after that drain on our too-limited health resources, they live the rest of their lives with health compromises no one would choose, unless the other choice is death by Covid suffocation.

After we’ve cast all our anxiety on Jesus, then we are able to give God praise and thanks.

What a life God offers us, a life that responds to reality, instead of fabricated fears used to control us, destabilize our lives and the community life around us, and eventually the national security of our country and many other countries in the world.

Oppressed, Afflicted, Abused … and Silent!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Beautiful Light of Christ,

Will Reveal the Truth and the Lies

About Every Moment of Our Lives,

this we trust, so we live free!

Isaiah 53:7

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

1 Peter 2:23

When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.

Words of Grace For Today

The urge for all humans is to respond to attacks with attacks of ones own, but with a greater intensity.

This leads to wars on a personal scale in marriages, among family and friends, within communities, countries and between countries. It leads us into the worst that humans can bring to bear on one another, so horrible much of it is unspeakable.

What am I to do about the RCMP Jones who fabricated evidence and coordinated others to bring false reports, who did this just because she could, even though I was innocent and bewildered at why or how anyone would do such a thing?

What am I to do about my ex who created so many lies about our life together that life became unbearable, and no matter what I tried or sacrificed or gave her she only created more worse lies about me and our life together, and then created more and more lies for the courts, lies that I could not even imagine where they came from? Or the children who came to court to lie as well, trying to get me falsely convicted? Or the prosecutors who gleefully took the cases, presented the lies to teh courts and created more and more lies on their own for the courts to hear? Or the lawyers who were supposed to be my lawyers or work to inform me of the court processes, and simply did none of that, instead tried to make my testimony totally useless in court?

What am I to do with the judges themselves, who received these lies eagerly, and made ruling after ruling to enable a false conviction, and when all the evidence was in they still had to lie about the evidence in order to falsely convict me, and especially those who did it so cruelly, naming my kindness as something that had created fear, as if my kindness could at all create fear!? Or the judges who removed sections of testimony and then played games and made up more lies to ensure I spent $1ks with no hope of hearing the audio of the section that was removed from the transcripts?! And on and on go the inexplicably dishonest and cruel things that people with authority did in order to convict me and send me to jail for crimes that I did not commit, which left the children suffering cruel borderline personality disordered ‘parenting’!

What am I to do with the pastor, bishop, doctors, office managers, church council people, community leaders and many others who joined in the creating of lies about me, so that I am cut off from my church, cannot receive medical care even as my health requires more and more medical intervention, am not safe in the community as on many occasions people put my life at risk, some violently, some with reckless breaching of Health Orders, and some with threats to my person, well being, and survival?

My list is not complete even at that, and there is more and more that time reveals to me that I did not know of, and so much more that I will never know about, yet billions of people today and through history have stories that are so much worse!

What are we to do with such terrible evil directed at us, often (as is my case) with no rationale reason that it the evil be directed at us?! There is plenty of random, senseless destruction of life, but this is focused and directed evil against us, though there is no reason for us being chosen, except some insane perversion of reality. What are we, the victims of this destruction and evil to do? What are the rest of you people, who are not the victims of such senseless, useless, and avoidable evil, supposed to do?

What are we to do when it is impossible to judge 100% correctly who is doing what to bring about such atrocities against innocent people?

Jesus says forgive as we are forgiven. This brings us freedom from being victims to being blessed by God!

What if the sins are not even acknowledged by more than a handful of people, and otherwise the evil is continued by the same people, choosing new victims as the violence and destruction mounts and becomes systemic?

I have forgiven those who suffer mental illness, my ex, and the children effected by her.

I cannot forgive the others, especially those with authority and position, who are responsible to ensure this kind of injustice does not happen. I also cannot respond with increased vengeance or violence and destruction. I will not allow myself to become like them.

I have bound their sins, and made it known so that they have opportunity to amend their lives, and God can celebrate a victory first that their destructive evil is acknowledged and stopped, and God can celebrate a second victory, that they have received freedom from the Great Deceiver’s grip and begun to life a life of service to Jesus the Christ.

Binding sins is not to be judge over others. Binding sins is not to condemn others. Binding sins leaves the judging and the punishments or mercies to be in God’s hands. It makes known what has been done, even when it cannot always be known completely who has contributed knowingly or unwittingly participated.

Binding sins does bring the victim freedom from being a victim, and allows one to stand blessed each day.

The Suffering Servant of Isaiah, and Jesus (reported also in 1 Peter), do not even respond with a declaration of the evil done and the binding of sins. They suffer in silence the violence done to them. This may seem to some to be the better response. I cannot agree. One needs identify evil and hope that the perpetrators will amend their lives, or at least, as a ‘civilized’ society we will collectively recognize the evils done against so many innocent people.

One cannot live well and seek revenge, though.

Lies are lies forever, always without end.

Truth is truth, always and forever.

God’s Grace gives us boldness to be those who forgive and who bind sins. Without it we would be left breathless. With it we are given breath each day by the Holy Spirit.

Thanks be to God!

Judgment Day’s A’coming!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Fog Starts to Roll In

As God’s Mercy

Continues to Fill Our Days

With Thanks, Love and Hope

Isaiah 26:8

In the path of your judgments, O Lord, we wait for you; your name and your renown are the soul’s desire.

2 Corinthians 5:10

For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

Words of Grace For Today

The morning wakening after long hours of sleep, enough to repair and rejuvenate the body, blossom into pure joy, simple joy. The fire is still warm, stoked to last again for hours. The door opens to frosty grass (suppressing the last of any bugs or wasps which would have been ready to buzz about), and fog has settled over the lake, making for great photos (or so, anyway). The smoke from the beast well-fed, meanders over the meadow into the trees. The fresh pressed coffee wafts clean inside with plenty of blueberries to top the morning cereal. Prayers include thanks for precious people, a large number of my families, now and of origin.

Then as breakfast satisfies the hunger and thirst of the night (cutting back to lose weight for better health outcomes) the fog descends over the meadow encasing it in a white glow that ends visibility just at the tree lines.

All this on a day that promises progress to prepare for winter. Old logs are ready to cut up and stack for firewood. A few new pieces of lumber wait a bit of construction before the tarp goes up to provide shelter from the rains and snow, and a few simple sewing jobs will improve the comfort on cold nights.

What more could a person want?

Well, I have a long list. Anyone who dreams of making life better has a list of things that would help the small and large improvements to one’s life, to the lives of others close and even for strangers.

So what are we to make of this life? Is it just the daily grind, the daily joys, the obtuse strangers and the warmth of friendships, the lies of enemies and the powerful trying to protect their privileges, and the small kindnesses one shares and receives with so many people?

God walks with us.

That is a double edge sword, cutting for us against all evil and fabrications by enemies … and it is the edge that cuts the sin and evil of us as well. It is promise to save and promise to put to an end: good is saved and evil is sent back to primordial void, right?!

Yes! Justice will prevail, and our enemies will be exposed, our sin will be cut from us, and we will be left pure and unmolested by our enemies baseless attacks …

except …

except read Jesus’ story! There one discovers anew that God’s judgment is not bent on destroying us but on saving us, forgiving us, setting Jesus’ record in place of our own at our judgment day, renewing life in us (a spirited, passionate life of commitment to being God’s unconditional love for others), and sending us out to live a life abundantly full of and spreading God’s Grace everywhere.

Like the fog that settles in, God’s mercy and wholehearted love for us and all people, covers us. Then God’s forgiveness provides our ‘daily bread’ like heat, breakfast, and opportunity to give God thanks for our family (some who love us good and always, and some who find hate and lies and fabricating blame for others as their way through life). Before the day is too far spent, God then blesses us with the golden sunlight dancing on the fog, dispersing it into the trees and beyond, as God’s promises give us hope … hope that today all will be well, and tomorrow all will be even better!

Wealth and the Golden Rule

Friday, October 15, 2021

See God’s Goodness

Everywhere

In

Everyone

Leviticus 19:13

You shall not defraud your neighbour; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a labourer until morning.

Luke 6:31

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Words of Grace For Today

This sounds a lot like labour rights, or as they are written in Leviticus, limits on the wealthy. The problem with limits on the wealthy is

everyone identifies ‘wealthy’ to mean someone with more money than they have.

The person with an income of $10 million a year but does not have a jet for personal use, may be isn’t wealthy, right?

The person with an income of $1 million a year but does not have a fancy house on the lake with their own boat house and pontoon boat, is not wealthy, right?

The person with an income of $200,000 a year and owns their own home but does not have enough to travel more than two times a year to Europe and one other trip to warmer climes in the winter, is not wealthy, right?

The person with an income of $50,000 a year, a small home, and an inexpensive economical car, but cannot travel more than to the mountains a few times a year, is not wealthy, right?

The person with a minimum wage job, who rents a two bedroom apartment, has a nice truck, and a small family of four who eat well, but cannot manage to save a down payment to own their own home, is not wealthy, right?

The person with an office job that pays $5.00 a day, has their own bicycle, and a rented small cubical sharing a kitchen and bath with 30 other cubicle residents in a high-rise, but cannot afford their own shower, like those on the top 10 floors of the high rise, is not wealthy, right?

The beggar who sits on the street morning and evening, usually receives enough to feed their family of three living in a tin shack and washes in the river at mid-afternoon when it is not too full with other people, is not wealthy, right?

The orphan child, orphaned by the latest virus, like millions others, has enough strength to beg for food and eats every other day, maybe, but has not stable place to live, is not wealthy, right?

The war-orphaned child, starving like 100s others in their village suffering famine for a fifth year, who will die today, is not wealthy, right?

No matter who you are, no matter your wealth, these laws of life apply: You shall not defraud your neighbour; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a labourer until morning.

More clearly prescribed for us all:

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

There are so many people in this world suffering illness, violence, and maltreatment caused by humans, and even more who are tormented by their inability to find a good purpose in this messed up world we make for ourselves and the next generations.

There is no way to make it all better.

There is no way to even start small and hope that one can make it right, from the richest sharing enough, so that the poorest have a life to live.

The only way to begin each day is to know that all people, from the wealthiest to the poorest, are God’s creatures, whom God loves, whom God sends us out to love.

We start loving all God’s people when we realize how much God has given us, not by our own merit, but undeserved Grace, which makes us the richest people on earth, for we live with God’s favour and blessings … which blessings can never be measured in material possessions, or power, or fame.

God’s blessings are measured as immense by the heart that sees …

God in everyone, everything, always, in all places, and knows

that God created it all, blessed it all, and walks with us all each day.

Therefore all is well, all is well, all manner of things are well.

Thanks

Thanksgiving Monday, October 11, 2021

What Will You Give Thanks For Again This Year?

For This Shore,

The Fog,

Or the Glorious Future

Provided by Hope?

Jeremiah 31:33

This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Luke 21:33

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Words of Grace For Today

What will you do, or have you done, for Thanksgiving this year?

Will your celebrations reach all in your family?

Will your celebrations reach anyone beyond your family?

Will you pause, reflect and consider why you celebrate as you do?

Will giving thanks be the centre of your celebrations, or just a small piece, or even an aside to all the other activities?

As we celebrate Thanksgiving year after year, it loses it’s meaning for many of us. Instead it takes on as its purpose, the immediate experience of our Thanksgiving foods, football games, and family gatherings. We learn to identify Thanksgiving with the warmth of these traditions, with the results of our own efforts. Giving God thanks has become an obligatory part of our weekend.

Doch, the true warmth of Thanksgiving remains the spirit on fire God gives us humble saints, so that, by our labours, we can share that warmth with those struggling to survive the coming cold, and all evil. (KAS sermon for Thanksgiving 2021)

(‘Doch’ is that wonderful word from German that means ‘but rather’, a word that encapsulates God’s response to our sinful ways.)

God’s Word will endure forever. God’s Covenant with us will survive forever even if heaven and earth come to an end. God will always be our God, and we will be God’s people.

Since God does this for us though we certainly deserve nothing, each day gives us opportunity to give God thanks in thought, word, and deed.

Simple Cure, Living Sacrifices

Sunday, October 10, 2021

A Fisher’s Shack

God’s Home

Also on This Shore.

On Yours?

2 Kings 5:17

Then Naaman said, ‘If not, please let two mule-loads of earth be given to your servant; for your servant will no longer offer burnt-offering or sacrifice to any god except the Lord.’

Romans 12:1

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Words of Grace For Today

Naaman is a great Aramean warrior … who has leprosy. A slave girl taken from Israel in a raid advises Naaman’s wife that the prophet in Israel can cure him, so the Aramean king sends Naaman with great treasure to beg the king of Israel to cure him. The king is distressed and cries, ‘Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.’

Elisha hears of this and sends word to Naaman to come and be cured. Naaman comes, Elisha directs him to bathe in the Jordan seven times, and Naaman erupts in a rage at how senseless this is, and how the Jordan is no better than the rivers at home. His servants intervene and ask him if Elisha’s directions were more difficult, would he not follow them. Since they are so simple, why not follow Elisha’s prescription. Naaman relents, bathes in the Jordan, and is cured. He returns to give the great treasure he carries to the prophet of God, but Elisha will accept no gift.

Naaman responds with his insistence of two mule-loads of earth, a promise to not worship other gods (except when he brings his master to worship his master’s god).

Repeatedly in scriptures the references are earthy, mundane, even scatological.

What is clear is that God does not ask of us anything other than or less than a sacrifice of our own hearts, minds and bodies in response to all that God does for us. Bringing great treasure does nothing to win God’s approval or thank God for God’s great deeds. For what more can God for us than to cure us of our diseases for which we are cast out of the community by God’s own people? It is often said by elderly people, if we have our health, that is everything. It is not actually true, but it does reflect how health does determine the baseline of our physical lives, which does determine much about the parameters of our physical lives. The truth is that our spiritual health determines everything about the parameters of our lives, no matter our physical limitations.

No matter how great we think we are, no matter how wealthy we think we’ve become, no matter how much comfort we live in, the value of life is measured only by God’s presence with us. Everything else is at most secondarily significant and most is barely worth considering, except as a means to share God’s Grace with others.

We reach high. We reach far and wide for the greatness that will make life, all in vain.

A young fisher lived with his beloved wife in a humble fisher’s shack near the shore. The day she found out she was pregnant her husband caught the largest fish he’d ever seen or heard of. He celebrated because it would feed them for months. Then the fish spoke and offered to fulfill the fisher’s wish if he were set free. The fisher loved his wife and knew she wanted a true house for a home, and he made his wish. He arrived on shore to see their shack gone and in it’s place stood a marvellous house.

As the pregnancy progressed his wife became more and more demanding, never satisfied with her marvellous house. She wanted a queen’s castle and to rule the country. The fisher caught the magical fish again and freed him for his wish fulfilled. He arrived on shore to see their house gone and in it’s place stood a huge castle.

It was not long and his wife was again not satisfied with her castle and ruling the country. She wanted to be pope and live in the Vatican. The fisher caught the magical fish again and freed him for his wish fulfilled. He arrived on shore to see their castle gone and in it’s place stood the Vatican including St. Peter’s Cathedral.

Late in the eighth month of her pregnancy the fisher’s wife became more and more unsatisfied being pope, and she demanded that she become God and live in God’s own home in the heavens of eternal glory. The fisher caught the magical fish again and freed him for his wish fulfilled. He arrived on shore to see the Vatican gone and in it’s place stood their humble fisher’s shack. There indeed God lived … and twins, a girl and a boy, were born the next morning. (free retelling of Fisher’s Wife)

No matter how high, far or wide we reach, God sends us higher, and we inevitably fall, fall free, fall as trapeze artists with no safety net to catch us.

Doch, when we inevitably stumble into free-fall, since we know God alone saves us, we can remain calm and still, fully trusting that God will catch us, sometimes with something as simple as bathing seven times in the Jordan, and bring us home to God’s humble ‘fisher’s shack.’

Put away the gods and godlets …

Saturday, October 9, 2021

True Treasure,

Golden Creation

One Creator

Always God’s Creatures, God’s People, God’s Servants

Joshua 24:14

Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.

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

There are more than enough gods out there that people worship, not least of all themselves as godlets. After God delivers us into the Promised Land, Joshua and other faithful leaders call to us to put aside these other gods and our efforts to be godlets. They call us to be faithful servants of Jesus the Christ, the Trinitarian God, Parent, Son, and Holy Spirit.

As adults we make it so complicated, as if truth were relative, not absolute and clear, so that we can fabricate reality on our own to fit our own deceptions and destruction of others, as poor Wendy does, creating a fabricated ‘record’ of her office’s lies about being abused by an honest person (easy to victimize since she has autism).

Children often have not yet learned to lie with their parents and adults (and pastors like Anne, who has built her life on lies and bullying honest and vulnerable people to make her way.)

Before their Thanksgiving dinner his dad asked Jim, just 4 years old, to say the prayer. He began his prayer, thanking God for all his friends by name, for Mommy, Daddy, brother, sister, Grandma, Grandpa, and all his aunts and uncles. Then he gave thanks for the turkey, dressing, fruit salad, cranberry sauce, pies, cakes, cream and even the milk. Then he paused …. After a long silence, Jim looked up at his mother and asked, “If I thank God for the broccoli, won’t he know that I’m lying?” (reworked TL 2021 SERMONSHOP 1996, Al Henager, 1st Presb. Ch., Fordyce, Arkansas)

Sometimes, for some of us, we gain wisdom as we grow older. We see the fresh honesty of children and regain our perspective on who we are, God’s servants who can only beg for mercy. Some of us then can share this perspective of who we are as mere beggars with others, so that more and more people live an abundant life.

Jim’s grampa, Hank, is thankful for every little bit of harvest, even overjoyed when it does not go well, as it did this year. His wife and grown sons to be truthful are dismayed. She asked him finally how he can be so oblivious to how bad it’s been this year. Hank responded: I start the year, humble and thankful for each day I do not lose the farm, like so many of my friends did when we were younger. I’ve come to realize that the land, some of it in our family for generations, really is not ‘our’ land. It is on loan from God and we only beg for mercy and good harvests. Then he added, of course it helps that our sons make most of the decisions now. (TL 2021 “Hank’s Humility”)

As we enter this Thanksgiving weekend, we remember who we are, who we serve, whose people we are, and to whom we call on to save us: we serve the Lord Jesus in sincerity and in faithfulness. We acknowledge every day that we owe everything we have and are, even that we have breath this day, to God’s marvellous and bountiful Grace.