Healing, Snow, Courage: All by Grace

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Hosea 11:3

It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them.

2 Peter 3:15

Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. … Our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him.

Words of Grace For Today

In time everything changes. This morning it’s a thing, quite  a thing, to go to bed with grass showing

grazed on by deer

and then

to wake at 3:00

to see the flakes flying in the flashlight

and to wake

before breakfast

to see the whole of everything and beyond covered

well by snow still falling.

But then that is life

and weather in Alberta by the lake.

Change is not always so survivable, especially not when it is evil, aimed at eroding or emptying our souls of unconditional love, forgiveness, grace, courage and hope.

Then we come to know that we need God every day, whether we see and know God or not, to heal us and to fill us with wisdom of living as those who have received salvation as a gift from God.

Only by grace are we able to live having received and sharing unconditional love, forgiveness, grace, courage and hope … with all people no matter what comes our way,

whether it is snow or Covid 19.

Take Heart …

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Even in the Darkest Darkness

God Sends Us with Light

For All People

To Heal Them and Set Them Free

Isaiah 42:6-7

I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.

Mark 10:49

Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’

Words of Grace For Today

Take heart; get up, Jesus is calling you.

It is one thing to be blind, blind to truth, blind to reality, blind to the consequences of one’s actions.

It is a whole other level of illness to be willingly, stubbornly, adamantly blind.

When we desire to be blind no longer, Jesus calls us – or rather: has already called us to come, to be healed, to become part of the Kingdom of God that is here, spreading the news of God’s Grace for all people, healing for all people, and abundant life for all people.

Called, healed, and given sight to see the wonders of God’s Grace, God gives us to the world as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.

We get to be the ones who give our lives so that those held captive by darkness can see the Light of the World, and live.

Take heart; get up, Jesus is calling you.

Now get ready for the ride of your life, for there is nothing like serving God, bringing light to the blind, and freeing those captive by darkness!

God! Where ARE YOU?!

Saturday, March 20, 2021

W hen the dark storms of evil threaten …

Judges 6:13

Gideon answered him, ‘But sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, “Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?” But now the Lord has cast us off, and given us into the hand of Midian.’

Mark 4:38

But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’

Words of Grace For Today

Why is this happening to us?

Where is God?

Does God not care?

When unjust judges take life from us …

When the one who said, ‘I love you. Marry me?’, turns on you with physical violence or worse (because it is unseen) psychological gaslighting, lying to police and to church and to courts, destroying your reputation, leaving you so far in debt you will never get out, and your health plummets into pain and disarray …

When friends, bishops, and seemingly good people join the gaslighting as if you were a social pariah or dangerous sexual deviant, scapegoating you instead of dealing with their own failings to deal with reality and truth …

When there are no friends left to stand by you …

When flood waters wash away your home and life and hope …

When wildfires rage wiping out your home and life and hope …

When petty warlords churn your homeland into a war-wasted horror of death, bombs, night raids and killings, rape, torture, and dread of your neighbour falsely (or rightly) betraying you bringing death squads to your door to take you away never to be seen again …

When powers turn on your way of life, destroy it, and work to extract resources and power from your home land, leaving masses of your people without the necessities of life …

When you have lived in the wilderness for years, eking out a living of a kind, and you read of the wondrous deeds of God, as God saved our ancestors from these, similar and other worse assaults on their lives,

Then you and we will rightly ask, “God! Where are You!?! Do you not care for us!? Will you not save us, NOW! Before it is too late!”

Gideon asked this for his people. In time, as God instructed him, ((his ‘army’ blew the trumpets marching around Jericho, bringing down it’s walls, delivering it and then the rest of the Promised Land into their hands. — That was not Gideon. That was God delivering Joshua and the people. God did this so many times.))

In time, as God instructed him, Gideon with just a small army, drove out a great army and captured it’s kings … using surprise and loud noise making.

The disciples asked this as the storm of un-creation on the sea tossed their small boat about at whim between the tall waves and battered it with wind. They knew their deaths into the deep of the void (what was before creation) was imminent. Jesus wakes and speaks only a word. The un-creation void of the deep waters and winds of the storm settle into the fresh breeze and calm waters on which life was sustainable as the fishers knew so well.

God may not resolve the danger that threatens our lives. God is not a puppeteer, interrupting our freewill and others’ freewill as we choose our ragged paths forward in life through creation and human-made un-creation as we go (which we and others must then try to survive if it possible at all!)

God loves us.

God stands with us.

God suffers and weeps with us … at the loss of any of creation and any of God’s creatures … for God loves creation and all in it, and created it GOOD!

God does give us, sometimes, the possibilities to struggle against the evil that threatens us and to survive. If we live, God is with us. If we die, God is with us and gathers us home … home at last.

So whether we live or whether we die, we are God’s beloveds, blessed and grateful for whatever life we get to live in this miracle of creation!

God does not ever abandon us. Not ever. Not even during a pandemic. The stories of God rescuing our ancestors provides us witness to God’s love and care.

Thus, no matter how great the waves of evil pound over us, we do not lose hope.

As we live, we are God’s people who stand with others as the great waves of evil pound over them.

This is love. This is grateful, hope-filled living.

This is life abundant.

The Light of Love Gets In

Monday, March 8, 2021

We may not see the Light

for the Wilderness.

God’s Light is always there

to guide us …

home

to God.

2 Chronicles 14:10

Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up their lines of battle in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Words of Grace For Today

We humans are so ready to test our strength against others, to draw up the battle lines, to commence fighting to gain what we want.

We do not need warriors or real war. We create battles, with battle lines, against those who stand in our way. So it is in a world run on greed.

Our world runs on greed.

God’s creation, the Kingdom of God, runs otherwise. It is not our strength that wins us anything. It is God’s strength that brings life to all people, not just mere struggling to survive kind of life, but life abundant. God does this by giving away God’s favour freely, generously, unconditionally.

The way God’s way of living, by Grace alone, becomes clear to us living in a world of greed only when we allow our weaknesses to be the opportunities that God’s strength is made obvious for all.

God accepts our weaknesses, pays whatever price we think needs be paid, and sets us on our way to be renewed, living in God’s favour. Thus we are able to reflect in our way of living the Grace and unconditional love that God created the world to live on.

In today’s world the greedy and ‘strong’ prey on those who are ‘weak’ to gain advantage for themselves. In today’s Kingdom of God the saints pray for the greedy and the weak that they will see God’s Grace at work in life all around them, and join the work of the saints in light.

The saints work is to be the faith that will give hope to the coming generations; our weaknesses do not separate us from God. As Leonard Cohen penned well enough in his song Anthem, “It’s through the cracks the Light gets in.”

Can We Sinners Live Wisely and Gently?

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

In the Darkness of Sin,

We May Not Know How to Live Well!

Sanctified, We Can Learn to Live

Wisely and Gently

As the Holy Spirit Guides Us.

Psalm 119:66

Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.

James 3:13

Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.

Words of Grace For Today

After we recognize our own hopeless sinfulness, which God redeems at great cost, forgiving us and renewing life in us, and that we need God’s forgiveness constantly, for we simply cannot stop sinning, then the question is how are we going to live?

The measure we humans have held up returns us right back into works righteousness, as if God suddenly has made us able not to sin, so that we must preform or lose God’s favour and blessings. These two passages certainly could be interpreted that way … making it easy for us to dismiss them.

There is more to it than that.

Once sanctified (made saints by God), though we continue to sin, God pulls out of us great works that further God’s will and work on earth among humans and for creation. Most simply put, God’s willa and work is that God’s Grace is demonstrated to more and more people, and more and more people embrace the cross as God’s demonstration of God’s love for all people; forgiveness, redemption and new life is for everyone. We can live to cooperate with God’s will, or we can constantly choose to defy God’s will and live as if God does not exist, has not created us, does not forgive, redeem and renew us, and as if we can go it alone.

We can go it alone … right to our own damnation, choosing to separate ourselves from God. God still comes to us, forgives us, redeems us, renews us … except at some point God allows us to have our way … and the hell we have created for ourselves is the hell we live forever. At what point this happens is not anything we can know. But that it happens we can know: we can choose to deny God’s good work in us.

How else can we live? There are options that God makes possible for us. Wisdom is one of them.

We can pray: Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.

We can live each day so that our God-given wisdom and understanding is evident in our works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.

These passages then speak to how we can pursue wisdom in our daily lives, not to our own benefit, but to the benefit of everyone around us. They speak of our penultimate striving that God make possible for us.

Between Infinite and Finite

Friday, February 26, 2021

We Find Our Way Home

to the Light of God

Following the Trail Left by

the Saints Who Have Gone Before Us.

Amos 4:13

For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind, reveals his thoughts to mortals, makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!

John 17:6-7

I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you.

Words of Grace For Today

While Covid 19 restrictions force us to deal with shortcomings in ourselves, in our congregations, in our faith …

All this can have huge upsides for us. Not that we are likely to overcome our shortcomings. Recognizing our shortcomings is the first step to confession, which is our first step back to renewed life in Christ. Our confession is not the first step back to renewed life, for God has taken many much larger steps to bring us to the point where we can confess by assuring us that God will respond graciously, forgiving us, and renewing us as we confess. In truth, our confession happens AFTER God renews life in us. Our confession is our first step to realizing (again and again) that God has already renewed life in us (again and again.)

The greater challenge in all of our-realizing-God-has-renewed-life-in-us is wrapping our finite, tiny minds (imagine so very small square holes) around God’s infinitely large being, or even God’s attitude towards us (imagine one multi-universe times infinity sized round peg!)

We just do not have the horse-power in our so limited minds, in our so limited existence as a whole species, to be able to start to comprehend God.

If you are pressed and stressed to the point of giving up by Covid 19 – a shortterm pandemic- , then we all must surrender to the reality that the project of starting to understand God is so far beyond us, there is no place to start.

Yes, humans have seemingly ‘understood God’ completely, which gives rise to all sorts of human-made-up religions, almost always tools for controlling other humans. What better way to control others than to have them believe it is not just another human ordering them about, but it is the divine, the infinitely powerful (to be feared), their Creator who orders them about. Even throw in love powered by fear and … well obedience is complete … or the just punishment has often been ruin, exile or even death administered by those in power over this made-up faith.

What about our faith that we hold to today? Is that made up as well? If you treat faith as a smorgasbord from which you can take anything as much as you want to form your faith, then I would guess that is not only the case, but you have lost yourself to a morass of ‘leaders’ who are yanking you around by the nose, though you may remain completely unaware of it.

If you adhere to a tradition … you may still be living out someone else’s control over you. OR maybe, just maybe …

Throughout scripture there is a thread woven of our God (the God of Abraham and Sarah and all the others down to Martin Luther, Kierkegaard, Bonhoeffer, Hordern, and many others of all generations) as a God who goes the complete ‘distance’ to bridge the infinite (imagine a multi-universe times infinity round peg) to finite (imagine a teeny, tiny square hole) problem.

We refer to it as revelation. We read it in the passages above:

For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind, reveals his thoughts to mortals, makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!

I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you.

We are not left to try to bridge the gap, to somehow wrap our heads around the infinite, the divine. We need not worry about ‘understanding’ God. God comes to us and does that for us.

That we cannot do anything to earn God’s favour or renewed life, that we can do nothing to understand God, must leave us as the beginning of each moment humble.

Humbled we can confess. Humbled we can proceed through our days assured that God walks with us, that we can be bold (not arrogant or self-righteous) and courageous to speak of God’s Word to us, and to be the doers of God’s Word at all occasions.

God’s Will for us, for this marvellous creation is most clearly seen in … our failures, our sins. In God’s Forgiveness in response to our sins we limited humans experience most clearly God’s Will for us and all people; that we live lives of gratitude for life, forgiveness and renewed life.

Confession and humility and gratitude are not easy nor are they comfortable. There are plenty of leaders who encourage us to start, continue and carry on our days without confessing our sins. In Covid 19 times, with recorded worship, my congregation has not had confession once as part of the services (that I have seen, at least. I would hope I am wrong. Yet it should be a part of everyday, a part of every service. It is the beginning of experiencing God, otherwise we risk avoiding God all together as we ‘make up our faith’ for the coming days.

What a miracle it is that God has given us; a way to begin to understand God’s Will and Word for us and all creation!

It is said in many ways. It is the shadows that point us to the Light! Leonard Cohen expressed it, ‘It is in the cracks that the Light gets in.’

Always Darkness in Corrupt Power, Light in Christ

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Even in the darkest of nights and tribulations
God provides a promise of Light

Christ’s Light

To reveal all Truth and Grace

1 Kings 8:59-60

Let these words of mine, with which I pleaded before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires; so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.

Revelation 15:4

Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgements have been revealed.

Words of Grace For Today

Bill Hordern wrote:

Therefore, as Reinhold Niebuhr saw so clearly, governments are never simply a protection against injustice, they are also strongholds of injustice. Although the Christians ought to seek to have the government protect the weak from the strong, in fact most governments tend to protect the strong from the weak. The sword is wielded to maintain the status quo and all its inequities. Therefore, we should be prepared to see that service to God rather than to man may sometimes bring us into conflict with the rulers over many more matters than just the niceties of theological doctrine or ecclesiastical practice. (Living by Grace p.195)

These words were quoted by a now bishop in a text study decades ago. This year a good pastor added: Hence the wisdom from the theology of the survivors of WW2, and the wisdom of the Civil rights warriors like John Lewis who said:Get into good trouble!’

It is as true today as ever, and especially here at home in Alberta, Canada. A partner Gaslights her partner, children lie, a pastor lies and schemes with the police to gather false reports, and to harass the target. Many false reports, false arrests, lies upon lies already and charges are laid. Church leaders lie to the RCMP. A petition to the court is made to protect the children. It is not only ignored and defeated and used as a ‘blood sport’ weapon against the good, honest, and kind (though not perfect) father to ruin his reputation, drive him so far into debt he will never get out of it, and to drive him homeless. Blatantly corrupt lawyers and their assistants bald face lie to the courts. Prosecutors lie to the Courts. Witnesses blatantly lie to the courts. Dozens of judges deal with the matters, those at crucial turns in the process blatantly lie about the evidence against (most of it lies already) the good father, and even about the evidence for the good father. He is falsely convicted, jailed where his life is threatened – mostly by the staff, and even by a nurse who administers a badly needed drug that has to be ingested with food, and denies him food for more than a half hour – it’s a miracle his stomach does not develop an ulcer – though he survives protected by a host of inmates and a few guards who do not want the old man needlessly hurt.

Denied support the good, honest, and kind father, Gaslit beyond imagination, is driven homeless. His body starts to fail, and he seeks the healing power of solitude and wilderness. He survives despite continuing efforts to kill him by courts, lawyers, and always his ex.

He prays daily in thanks for all he has, especially breath and health and love and work but especially for solitude during Covid 19. The most dangerous thing now is the contact he must have directly with people as most people are in flat out angry denial that Covid 19 is to be taken seriously.

The sin of so many people that has brought him thus far are too many to track, many remain hidden and unknown. This cannot be the first time such gaslighting, police harassment, blatantly false evidence by police and witnesses, false convictions and corrupt rulings, cruel games played by judges to hide they lies in their judgments, and persistent efforts are mounted to kill a good, honest, kind father. It is done so well, so practiced, so effective, so well hidden, with such disdain for truth and without fear of being caught out.

So this good, honest, kind father, now a holy hermit is me. I have forgiven my ex who is surely a borderline personality disordered person, and bound all other’s sins, known and unknown. Now I have prayed daily for God to bring the truth to light, and to deal with truth and justice and grace with those sins and sinners.

So I read today’s passage as if I had written it myself and know that I certainly not the first person to be so treated by other people. We humans really have a tremendous capacity to be cruel to others, and our methods really have not changed all that much since … well since the beginning of recorded history.

Still I pray knowing countless others have, do and pray the same with me:

Let these words of mine, with which I pleaded before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires; so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.

For then

Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgements will have been revealed.

That day is eagerly awaited, and until then we all trust that the Kingdom of God is near, God walks with us, even us homeless, gaslit, kind people who are so far surviving the sword of the powerful and corrupt which is wielded to maintain the status quo and all its inequities.

As member Jones said after one of many false arrests, Do you know why I do this? … Because I can.

But God will stop even this evil, in God’s time.

The Morning After

Saturday, January 30, 2021

The final mile​ still in the dark?

Thankful and Sharing God’s blessings

(including the miracles of such vaccines as never before possible?)

OR

Complaining and demanding yet more miracles

amid a pandemic?

Psalm 145:10

All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you.

Hebrews 6:7

[We can be like] ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated [for this is to receive] a blessing from God.

Words of Grace For Today

Is it gratitude that defines us?

Are we like ground, thirsting and tilled and producing nourishment for many?

Who is it that we are this day?

The Morning After, the morning of redemption:

So what does this morning offer to us, to you, to me?

The light shines bright in the mild air across the cold undisturbed curves of snow marking the goodness of winter this day, if even for too short a time.

Where does the light shine in you, in me, in us?

Coming out of the city yesterday, on that wretched 1 mile stretch of gravel that the city has never paved like the roads next to it and the MD roads out into the country (who is being disfavoured with this anomaly?) I was peddling nicely along, tired and warming up for the hours it would take to get ‘home’. The flashlight on the front provided a good beam, strobing to save power, and the snow had collected in strips or rather been run off in strips down the road. It was bumpy, washboard … a real pain in the butt and jolted my whole tired body. I kept seeking out a smoother path, finally even on the side just outside the last clear strip. I did not make it to the snow. Instead turning the wheel demonstrated that that ‘cleared’ strip was not just cleared, it was run over and over and over until it was a shiny slick ice way. The front wheel lost all grip on the ice as I turned to the right. It slid left, the bike handle bars, seat and packs on the back rack went right, gravity took hold and I was on my back and right buttocks before the goose could crap or squawk. My back did not like it a bit. Fortunately I’d just taken food with a Tordol to ensure my back did not give me problems and from experience it lessons the arthritis pain on the trip on the bike there and back.

I lay there a bit, lights red and brilliant white strobing in the dark near the ground, then rolled over to test if I were still functionally one piece if not at peace with the cursed universe. The left doubled mittens came off to dust off the snow, light and sticking everywhere.

I stood, more dusting off as a car whisked by without stopping to inquire about the strobes reflecting off the ice and snow.

Then, with miles to go, I pulled up the bike, turned each wheel and the pedals each a turn to ensure they were not damaged, and set off walking towards the west, smoke plumes far to the north and west, wheeling the bike back and forth between the snow and ice strips trying to find sure footing for myself and for the wheels. Most of a mile later, on the pavement I tested the grip. It seemed sure enough. So with the cabins ahead to the right I mounted the ‘old steed’ and powered by my tired legs set off on the all too familiar route of gradual rises that require walking and the grades where I can wheel free, forward and down just a bit. At the creek, steeper down I was more than wary, and stifled the gravity pull, more for the oncoming traffic that filled the lane ahead than for myself – for I was too tired to remember I ought not want to put cheek or anything else to the ground at great speed. Fortune was the first time I was barely moving, still in first gear, trying to find a path forward through the rough ground below.

Onward the night went, progressively faster and slower, approaching me and passing me by at varying speeds, with smells of leaking gas and oil, the plumes changing direction and the night sky moving against the ground lights, the airport strobe, and the reflections off the smoke plumes so far distant, the nearest just beyond my destination of warmth, shelter … All the while knowing the toughest mile is always the last pulling the bike through the snow after the road ends when I am left to more pedestrian advances through the snow toward … rest.

This morning …

After a late night of letting my overheated muscles cool to normal and my mind to find it’s rest, I woke twice to stoke in the dark, and then once again as the dawn barely started to push the dark west, each time not wanting to rise, but it needed be. Until finally I woke to bright light beyond the coverings, and slowly pulled the cobwebs back with more light and then a walk outside, and on to the late morning routine of Eucharistie und Frühstück, thankful for the fire that provides boiling water for coffee, and writing.

A morning of redemption from the monotony through yesterday’s exercise and today’s recovery.

So I ask again, mostly of you:

So what does this morning offer to us, to you, to me?

The light shines bright in the mild air across the cold undisturbed curves of snow marking the goodness of winter this day, if even for too short a time.

Where does the light shine in you, in me, in us?

Are we filled with praise and gratitude for all God’s generous gifts to us all?

Do we drink in those gifts, and give back to those most in need, the benefits of our being so blessed?

Fear: Freeze-Fight-Flight … or … Reassurance by God’s Grace?

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Dark Against the Light

By Grace we can trust that there is Light

That overcomes the greatest Darkness

Even Covid 19

2 Samuel 22:37

You have made me stride freely, and my feet do not slip.

2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Words of Grace For Today

Faced with the impossible challenge of facing war against Hitler, Churchill famously said: We have nothing to fear other than fear itself.

Taking office in 1933 FDR faced the great depression and famously said: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

This phrase as best researched seems to have originated with Montaigne in the sixteenth century, was probably picked up from Montaigne by Francis Bacon in the seventeenth, and then became a common proverb or axiom in later writers.

Over and over again in scripture as angels, leaders of God’s people, and Jesus himself greet people in great distress they say Fear not! For the Lord is with you! Or words similar.

Fear overwhelms our normal ability to deal reasonably with dangerous or challenging situations. We know that fear triggers a response generated in the brain below the cerebral cortex, which controls language and reason. Of course if we really are under attack in an imminent life and death situation, sitting and contemplating what is happening could be the end of us, so quicker responses, choosing between freeze, fight, or flight, are made by a faster area of our brain closer to the rest of our body.

Most of life is not helped by these responses, and in fact as a whole society, when we reduce our choices to these we end up with mass panic, if not in outright rioting mobs, then in masses of people unable to function and contribute to a societal solution, instead getting in the way of a solution and multiplying the problems faced.

God provides us, in the Good News that Jesus has redeemed us with Grace, not according to our works, a way of living that assures us: no matter what we face, God is with us. That reassurance, renewed in us by God’s Word each day gives us freedom from fear and all it’s causes, which are more than enough in this world to sink any reasonable person.

We, by Grace, are able to stride freely into each day, assured that this is the day of our Lord, God’s time, God’s creation, and God’s Spirit that accompanies us … giving us choices to respond to all sorts of evil with the same Grace that God gives to us.

We offer to others, by our very presence, the same Grace God exercises in and for us.

Calm reassurance of God’s Love for all creation in the face of Evil is God’s way of defeating Evil at every turn.

What a life, an abundant life, we get to live. God gives this life to us as pure gift! And we get to multiply it by giving it as gift to others!

It’s simple math: miracles of Grace beget miracles by God’s infinite factor of Love.

We have nothing to fear, but fear (Evil’s greatest presence) itself, and God has defeated fear and all Evil’s ways, even death!

We have everything to celebrate!

Limits are a Real Good Part of Life … Freedom in the Keep

Saturday, January 16, 2021

The path forward may be dark,

Doch God’s Light Guides Us

to Find Our Way Past the Wrecks of the Past.

Psalm 121:5-6

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

John 17:15

I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.

Words of Grace For Today

If God made a mistake, creating us to live on this earth, all of us so capable of evil that is so horrific we can barely imagine it’s destructive power, then the solution and our salvation would be for us to be able to leave all this behind. Many stories have been written and and genocidal attempts made, instead of removing us, to remove the evil from earth. It cannot go well for anyone, because sin and the agents of evil are each of us. It is not some identifiable or vague ‘them’. It is all of us who are the agents of sin and evil.

Many stories have been written and ill-fated attempts made to remove us from the bounds of sin on earth, from these flesh encased lives we have to live. None are good or successful. All need a huge dose of delusion.

Delusion runs rampant today, from Trump, Trump supporters, to similar flavours of government that ignore science, and instead implement restrictions for their own political ends instead of as protection for the people. Under the cover of Covid 19 great evil is perpetrated against millions of people the world over.

Did God make a mistake creating these people who use a pandemic as cover for evil, or for that matter for creating all of us, the perpetrators and victims alike?

Doch, God made no mistake creating us to live in these flesh encased lives here on this earth with all these other creatures. All humans, capable of evil, are also capable of great good. For this good God created us.

What we cannot do on our own is take on Evil and win. In fact the easiest route for the Devil to own us is when we try to concoct our lives as good on our own. That opens a freeway into our hearts, minds and strength for the Devil to work his/her wiles, wiles of deception and delusion, and even covering the tracks of evil in our core existence, so that we can fool ourselves about how the Devil possesses us!

In this marvellous life we are each given, God alone is our keeper, our safeguard against evil. God does not remove us from the wonders of creation and our awesome yet limited manner by which we participate in creation: See. Hear. Smell. Taste. Touch. Organize. Assemble what can seem as chaos into good order, good understanding. Marvel. Sing for Joy. Give God Thanks!

Still we will be overrun by evil. It is powerful, so much more powerful than we, ourselves.

Do you think you are so good that you are beyond the reach of evil tapping you at your core to perpetrate evil? Ha, for fools are exactly in this way played out by the Devil to commit the worst evil of all, passive aggressive, smiling to our faces and stabbing us in the back, pretending and parading around as if they were so good, yet at the same time plotting and scheming people’s destruction … completely owned (unawares) by the Devil.

Our only defence is God’s mercy, the story of Jesus’ sacrifice to rescue us and redeem us, the gifts of the Holy Spirit to renew us and guide us to …

… to humble admiration of God’s love for us

… to humble gratitude for God’s mercy

… to humble kindness toward all people, especially our ‘enemies’

… to humble dedication to work for justice for all people, justice based on truth and God’s mercy

… to humble joy no matter what we face, because we know God alone is our keeper and this world is where God intends us to live, and to live abundantly, helping others live abundantly as well.