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.

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.

Truth, Light, Grace

Thursday, October 7, 2021

The Truth is Beautiful.

The Truth is Beautiful No Matter

How We Colour It.

The Truth is Beautiful,

For No Matter What Happens,

Christ’s Light Shines

Psalm 86:11

Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.

Hebrews 13:9

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food, which have not benefited those who observe them.

Words of Grace For Today

The heart as centre of consciousness, choice, intention, deliberation, and emotion (not quite as we would assign cognitive functions to the brain or ‘head’), the Psalmist prays may be undivided and the writer of Hebrews asks that it be strengthened not by might or power but by Grace.

Ah, the ways of living connected with creation are as extraordinary and seemingly out of sync with the way the people of the world proceed through life.

There are always ‘all kinds of strange teachings’, even today as fake news is manufactured as fast as people swarm to it on the internet, sharing it like viruses and diseases that infect one’s thinking and one’s being until one is so afraid and disconnected from God’s good creation and all God’s blessings that anything can be the truth. Lies are manufactured to deal with all kinds of situations, and against good people who threaten to expose these poor lost souls to reality.

It makes for proceeding through life a minefield of uncontrollable psychopathic variants of humanity that would rather spin a lie than participate at all in any truth. For truth has a way of expanding across all sorts of lies, webs of lies, and networks of liars, exposing with clear simple light the evil that is there, so obviously there. Only by constant denial and fabrication of more and more lies do the lies cover themselves in more shtako, as if that could ever hide them from the truth, the light, the Grace of God.

The truth cuts open the darkness. The light burns out the rot. And God’s Grace heals the wounds so that life can continue for all. Yet so many refuse to live in the light and dive back into the darkness of lies as quickly as they can, again and again as Truth, Christ’s Light, and God’s Grace continually work through the saints to bring life, abundant life, to all people and all creation.

So we pray each day, save us from being carried away by all kinds of strange teachings that benefit no one, and teach us your way, O Lord, that we may walk in your truth

Real as Creation: Faith and Hope

Monday, October 4, 2021

This is Shore

Real and Unperverted

God’s Creation

Jeremiah 2:27

They say to a tree, ‘You are my father’, and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ For they have turned their backs to me, and not their faces. But in the time of their trouble they say, ‘Come and save us!’

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Words of Grace For Today

Trees as fathers, and stones as mothers. That surely is a mixed up version of perverting reality that I have not run into … often.

There are plenty of other versions of perverting reality that I hear of, read of, and encounter in daily life all too often. It starts with some terrible perversion of reality driven by hubris, thinking oneself is so much more than one really is. After a person allows that to happen, there is no telling what will come next. When one thinks one is no longer a creature of God, no longer anything less than a godlet, the mess one creates is pure … pure evil.

That’s how we get a US president like Trump.

That’s how we get so many Covidiots that secure the continuation of the pandemic in stronger and more destructive ‘waves’.

That’s how we get so much fake news, so much that so many people can believe vaccines are dangerous, that climate change is not real, or that truth is only subjective and can be anything we want it to be.

There is nothing more destructive to all life, in us, around us, and through-out the universe.

Even those of us who have resisted the fake news perversion and return of chaos into our lives are caught up by this evil. There is simply no escape.

When we allow this to consume us, then …

Then … we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves or anyone else.

Faith.

Faith is all we have left.

Faith is what gives us hope.

Hope gives us, with no cause at all other than faith, to cry to God for help.

We cry and pray that God will save us.

As God promises in many and various ways, that by Grace salvation is ours, so God forgives us our sin, claims us as God’s own children, and sends us out to be the people who carry God’s Grace to others.

From ‘Trees’ and ‘Stones’ and all kinds of perversions of reality we pray ‘God save us.’

Come Home, Come to the Feast!

Friday, October 1, 2021

This is the Feast

(for the eyes)

of Paradise

Many Times Each Week

Jeremiah 31:8

See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labour, together; a great company, they shall return here.

Luke 14:16-17

Then Jesus said to him, ‘Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, “Come; for everything is ready now.”

Words of Grace For Today

God gathers the people together to come back home after being in exile. The blind, lame, the pregnant, those giving birth, all are invited to come together. All are invited home.

Jesus tells of the wealthy person who invited a great number to a feast, and called them when it was ready. Those who were invited had all sorts of excuses why they would not come. So Jesus tells how the gracious host sends his servants out to invite in people from the streets, the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame. When that does not fill the seats at the table the host sends the servants back out to compel anyone and everyone to come and feast with him; except those who are invited are excluded!

How are we in exile today? We (in North America where I live) live in countries that we call home, where health care is provided for everyone (if you can get in to see a doctor, a doctor who is not too exhausted to provide care, an honest doctor who will not lie to be rid of you if you have serious health concerns), where housing is available to protect us from the cold of winter and the heat and beasts of the hot summers (if you have enough money to buy or rent such a home, the rest of us remain in substandard houses or in no houses at all), and where our voices are heard in elections (if we buy into the most popular version of fake news and vote for the corrupt people who create fear in order to convince us to give up our protected freedoms in favour of their ‘dictator like control’ over us.

Are we not in exile in our own countries, where truth was long ago sacrificed, and where the wealthy gain their advantage with lies and deceptions so terrible they cannot admit their own sins?

Where is the feast that we are invited to, as Jesus’ listeners were at the meal hosted by the leader of the Pharisees where Jesus heals on the sabbath, where Jesus teaches them about claiming false honour, and where Jesus warns them about refusing God’s invitation to the great feast?

Some say the feast is the Eucharist hosted by your local church. Others say it is the feast of luxuries and comforts (enjoyed while others are hungry, thirsty, and dying for lack of life’s essentials.) Others say it is the food kitchens and food banks provided for those who are hungry.

What do you bring to the feast, to share, to enjoy, with those from the streets, who are invited and compelled to come and feast? Are we truly the saints who bring God’s Grace to be for all other people?

Simple

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Simple Tree

Simple Sunset

Simple Truth:

God’s Love is Life.

Genesis 3:19

By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

2 Timothy 1:8b-10

Join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace 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

There is always work to do, to survive, or to prepare to survive … unless of course one has gained privilege and comforts known previously only by kings, pharaohs, and rulers, that is the privilege of having survival needs long since met and one can luxuriate in life. As the dust we are from and to which we will return, when such comforts and privileges are ours, we inevitably consume our hearts and minds with un-graceful things, schemes to gain more at others’ cost, and concerns that have next to nothing to do with being God’s people.

In such positions of privilege we look on the work of the Gospel, the work of being the unconditional love for all others, as if it were such a great sacrifice for us to take on. Reality is that this is nothing more nor less than what we were created to be and do.

Our obsessions with survival, and all it’s replacement-substitutional (ersatz) concerns, is not at all the life we were created to live.

We always find our way into some perversion of the life God intends for us, as we struggle to escape death. We cannot escape it.

That is not our death toll, though. For Jesus has come to defeat death, and offer us life eternal.

The story is simple: provide care for all people, heal all people, love all people unconditionally, and allow (without fear of losing anything) those who would attack and maim you, who ruin your reputation with lies and schemes and scapegoating, and who would kill you to do as they must.

God is with us, always, all ways, and there is not enemy that can take God’s love from us. More we need not expect of life. For our God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace.

Hope, Like No Other

Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Light Shines

No Matter the Darkness

Of Our Days

Psalm 146:8

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.

Ephesians 1:18

With the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints.

Words of Grace For Today

Amid the pandemic that threatens our livelihoods and our very lives, we pray that God will cure us of the blindness that allows us to live unaware of God’s presence in, with, and among us.

Through all generations God has lifted up people who have been able to provide witness to God’s presence in, with, and among us , for the many people who remain blind to God’s presence. These are the saints in light, the Light of Christ.

The Light of Christ, the reality of God’s creation as blessed, shines through the saints, so that even the blind may know what they could see if they allowed God to heal them of their blindness.

This light shines as clear as the morning sun on a clear, blue-sky day. This light shines in all the dark corners where people would hide their sins and evil deeds.

This light shines clearly on the Covidiots, the Antivaxers, and those who intentionally spread false science. They spread the lies to create fear, for out of fear they are able to promise false solutions, and with false hopes they lead people into dark places from which they are able to be lead, giving their leaders power, dark power, power that would destroy faster than it heals or gives life.

Christ’s Light shines even today, especially today. For there is no shortage of saints, God-made-saints who see God in creation and give clear witness to God’s presence, and God’s guidance that would lead us all to life, and life abundant. For when we live, knowing that God is with us, we receive a hope that is beyond compare. This hope shines for us like a brilliant light through all the darkness of evil and sin in this world. This hope shines for us pulling us through the darkness of these days to a better future, a future that is blessed by God, where we can breathe clear, clean, uninfected air … even as we stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters and brothers on earth.

This hope shines brightly for us each day so that we are able to pray (even mid the pandemic that threatens our livelihoods and our very lives) that God will cure us all of the blindness that allows us to live unaware of God’s presence in, with, and among us.

Correct(ed) Science, Used For Evil

Saturday, September 25, 2021

From Dark Matter, To Sub-Atomic Strings,

To Beauty in Roses All Around Us,

God Created.

God Lives With Us.

God, Provide Protection from All Evil.

Jeremiah 25:6

Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, and do not provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.

Acts 17:24-25

The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things.

Words of Grace For Today

A pre-peer review study about the rate of inflammation of the heart following Covid-19 vaccination published a huge error in that rate, having begun with a hugely smaller number of vaccinations considered (25,000 instead of the correct 800,000). The inflammation is treatable without hospitalizations, and the correct rate is significantly smaller than the rate of the inflammation as a result of being infected by Covid-19.

The error was quickly caught by peer reviewers and immediately accepted by the authors, with apologies, and the study was withdrawn.

There are people who do not respect the order that God created, and the ability God gives us humans to explore, discover, and organize our knowledge of God’s order. Remember that science was possible only because of the religious faith that accepted God created an order that could and should be explored and better understood! So much for the simply stupid old antagonism between ‘science’ and ‘faith’. Both, pursued correctly, must depend substantially on the other!

In the midst of a pandemic (no it’s not over and able to be dealt with as an endemic, Premier Kenney, no matter what your supporters wish were so) science done correctly will always produce errors that need to be corrected. This study into the rate of inflammation of the heart after vaccination is one such. The process to correct the errors was pursued well by all involved.

So what’s the problem?

There are many, disingenuous people, who promote false ‘science’ in order to sustain a powerful and large enough antivax portion of the population. This error in this study has been spread like wildfire around the internet. There the correction has not been made. The error, honestly corrected by the authors, is intentionally left as if it were truth. This false science is spread as if it were true and people who have disconnected themselves from reality (wishing it were something it is not and will not ever be) are stupidly convinced to refuse to be vaccinated. The problem is that enough people refuse to be vaccinated so that the pandemic continues.

The same people who claim the pandemic is not real, that vaccines do not work, keep the vaccines from being used in enough people … and they make the pandemic continue. The poor, stupid people who wish there were no pandemic and who behave as if there were no pandemic, by refusing to be vaccinated, are exactly the people that allow Covid-19 to continue as a pandemic.

And the people who intentionally spread false science to promote these stupid opinions and actions know full well that they are a significant factor in continuing the pandemic. What kind of evil runs rampant in them?

These people have certainly gone after other gods to serve and worship them, and brought God’s anger down on themselves … and unfortunately on all of us, as the health care system is at a breaking point, running out of ICU beds, converting other beds (and the real and needed health care they would provide to ill people) to Covid-19 care beds.

At this time, when reality becomes worse because some people want it to be worse, and others refuse to accept that it is as bad as it is already, we need to remember that God is not contained in our shrines (of ‘small religion’ or false realities) doch, God gives to all mortals life and breath and all things.

God walks with us, even in these days when our very lives and livelihoods are threatened by Covid-19 and other more common diseases (from heart disease, strokes, cancer, and even the out of season cold and flu). God created us and all of creation with order which (because we are created in God’s image) we can discover with fertile, inquisitive minds working in reality within the capacity to organize our knowledge. God does not abandon us in this marvellous universe. God accompanies us, and gives us a history full of stories of how God has been present with people through all time. Jesus’ story is the most clear, as God became human, lived among us and healed our illnesses.

We pray, may God cure us of Covidiocies that prolong the pandemic and put us all at risk. May God protect us from the fools who hold Covid parties, sharing air and food with people with Covid in order to contract the disease intentionally, falsely hoping that they will have some immunity thereby – when what they do is fill up ICU beds and add to the death toll … and overburden the health care system with long-Covid symptoms for decades to come.

From such people, God we pray, protect us.