Arrogant Bullies Meet God’s Word!

Sunday, October 31, 2021

God’s Word Exposes

All Bullies’

Weaknesses

Like Smoke in the Trees

And Gives Us Life

Ezekiel 12:25

But I the Lord will speak the word that I speak, and it will be fulfilled. It will no longer be delayed; but in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and fulfill it, says the Lord God.

1 Corinthians 4:20

For the kingdom of God depends not on talk but on power.

Words of Grace For Today

Paul writes to the congregation at Corinth, a very divided and problematic congregation, filled with strife and people seeking to gain power. Paul speaks to the issues through the letter, and here addresses the arrogant ones who are full of divisive talk. Paul speaks to the bullies.

While Paul has preached (spoken) about the grace of Jesus, forgiveness of sins for sinners as we all are, and renewal of life given as a free gift (grace) so that we can share the gifts God gives us each day with others who need what we have, here Paul uses his written words to move people to recognize that these promises given to us in Jesus’ story are not mere words. These promises carry the reality of the universe’s maker and all of God’s unlimited power in them.

Words carry God’s promises. The Word, Jesus the Christ, as John teaches, existed before the beginning with God, and God spoke to create all that is. Words are very powerful.

Words are also empty vessels of deceit and deception, of irreality, of things that are not, though corrupt people and the Devil wish they were, and with their wishing they give them a semblance of reality … but only a reality that dissolves like a holo program on a spaceship in a fictional story of the Star Trek series.

God’s power is in words that are fulfilled, even for a rebellious house, like Israel and like us all as we seek our own way through life. God’s power is in healing that relieves diseases of body, mind, heart and soul. God’s power is greater than anything else we could imagine and infinitely more! God’s Word creates all that is, all reality that does not dissolve but stands in time … and in hearts and minds … for bodies and for souls.

The arrogant bullies in the Corinthian congregation and all the bullies of all times and all places are no match for the power of God, the Word of God. So unsure of themselves, bullies present a false front of self-assurance and self-made power. Their so called ‘power’ and deceiving words dissolve in the face of truth, in the face of God’s Word, in the face of Grace, in the face of real power, in the face of sacrificial love, and in the face of hope that cannot be extinguished by evil.

Bullies everywhere: listen up! Bullies everywhere: stand down! Bullies everywhere: God will deal with you, will heal you, will send you out to be messengers of God’s Word that gives life (instead of the words you now use to destroy others’ lives.

Bullies everywhere meet God. God’s been with you through all time.

Bullies everywhere quake in fear, for God has spoken and your bulling days are coming to an end.

Life is Fragile! So …

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

All of Our Lives Will

Eventually, Inevitably

Go Up In Smoke!’

So What Are You Going To Do and Be

Until That Day?

Deuteronomy 2:7

Surely the Lord your God has blessed you in all your undertakings; he knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.

Matthew 16:18

I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

Words of Grace For Today

Life is fragile, so eat dessert first.

The value reflected in this humour is that pleasure is all life has to offer, and life is going to end at any time, unpredictably, so grab all the pleasure you can while you still can.

God acts to free God’s people from slavery in Egypt, delivering them to 40 years wandering in the wilderness. Wilderness is not plentiful with the necessities of life, and even here God has been with the people, walking with them, and providing all the people need. They have lacked nothing.

God sends Jesus to be a living human, in the most understandable language for us humans. Jesus story is to teach and guide us to live lives worthy of God’s blessing given to us. Even as Jesus offers himself (in order to demonstrate God’s power in weakness, in forgiveness {not vengeance}, and God’s enduring unconditional love that graciously forgives us all our sins), and will no longer be present to the disciples as he has been, Jesus does not desert the disciples. He provides the Holy Spirit to guide them, and takes their ‘rock’, Peter (the one so zealous yet foolish and full of faults), and builds on that a church that will last and not succumb even to the power of the Devil.

How do we respond?

The popular concept that comes the closest to simply explain our appropriate response is ‘pay it forward.’ That is, give to others what God has given to us, namely abundant life (through gracious forgiveness and the renewal of life).

Pay it forward.

A concept that is easy to understand, and very exactly when we try to exercise it fully … since God has given us so, so, so much!

God’s value for our lives would have the humorous saying go like this:

Life is fragile, so give it to others while you still can.

Lord, Teach Us

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Even in the Wilderness

God’s Spirit Moves

Moving Us to Love and Trust God

and

to Love God’s People,

Even the Idiots.

Psalm 86:5

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.

Luke 11:1

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’

Words of Grace For Today

Lord, teach us to pray.

Our enemies continue to deny their evil deeds, blaming us for the destruction they have wrought, using their corrupted power to assert lies as if they ever could be reality.

Covidiots continue to threaten so many lives as once again they crowd the various campsites with multiple vehicles and units. On site within ten feet of the water draws 1 camper, 7 tents and 9 vehicles, normally this site holds at most two campers. There is no visible sewage facilities, other than perhaps one shared toilet in the one camper. Young adults, most vulnerable now to dying of Covid, play a mere foot from each other around something.

Another site hosts 3 tents and 3 units, normally it hold 1 or 2 units. Another site hosts 3 large units, normally it holds 1 unit. Another has 6 units fit in where 2 units usually occupy the space. Yet another that usually holds 1 unit, has three tents and a biffy tent, the only one among all the sites.

At each site a small to large crowd gathers around a fire, a buffet is set out on a table for all to visit as often as they wish. There are no masks or observances that Covid will kill them with a bare day’s notice, and/or us, and/or many, many other people.

The seasons change, and this year’s normals are last year’s extremes, and we wonder if living in the woods will be survivable for the few years we have left!

So we ask again this morning, this noon, and this night, Lord, teach us to pray, again.

Teach us so that we know our real concerns may be left in your hands, so that evil doers with power, idiots of all kinds who threaten many lives, and the climate changes that will come our way may all be left in your hands as our twilight years approach and we wonder how many years or months or days we have left in this life of wonder.

Teach us to pray.

Lord, teach us.

Abba in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come! Your will be done! (soon please!) on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil! For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen’

Lord, teach us to pray so that we can live trusting your Grace and Love for us and for all people.

Fleeting Sunshine on Smoke or Light of Life

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Much of life is fleeting as sunshine on smoke.

God’s blessings are sure and forever.

Psalm 71:9

Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent.

2 Corinthians 4:16

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.

Words of Grace For Today

What used to take little effort and next to no time or thought, now takes great effort and forging onward through pain, dealing with lack of clear sight, and being exhausted way too soon each day.

Fear makes it worse.

There is almost no resolution.

‘If you have your health that is everything.’

It’s a nice sentiment, though the truth is more clearly ‘if you do not have your health, then nothing else can compensate for that. Life is a finite experience, and without health (as old age takes if from us piece by piece) that finite experience becomes smaller and shorter and smaller and shorter and then will soon end.

Our real comfort is that God does not ‘unbless’ us as we get old and ill.

Even as our bodies and minds seem to waste away, God renews our faith and trust, and thus we are able to continue on, blessing others with all we have left in life, of life itself.

Anything else is a mirage.

Pentecost: Thoughts Toward a Sermon or more

Genesis 11:1-9


Thoughts


One language,


One language, one gathering,
making a name
making a name for themselves:


God helps


God helps them avoid disaster: nothing will stop them! Not even them destroying the planet or at least life on it.
God saves us by ending it, prayer answered: NO!
God comes to see the city, the tower, and God is alarmed? Displeased? Not said: just God ends it: confuses languages and scatters them.


Divisions vs community


Divisions over conflict is EASY, building community despite differences is the challenge, the miracle that shows God is at work with us!


Confuses Gramma [r]s


God confuses their language, into different words, sounds, gramma(r)s, they leave off the tower building.

God Blesses us, even in our conflicts, with the healing power of the earth


Acts 2:1-21


Thoughts


Language


HS with ability to hear and understand, unites people from every language into the church,
All hear in their own language: not glossolalia! But clear speech beyond language barriers!


Fire:


All that it is: God’s presence, God’s guide in wilderness, mark of humans, gathered at campfire safe from animals who fear fire, fire that purifies by consuming dross, as judgment purifies us of sin, by consuming it with fire.
Fires burn, destroys: revenge of the earth to climate change by burning fossil fuels beyond our share. We’ve built more than than the tower of babel. We’ve setup the earth to turn on all the life on it, us included.
Fires: prevented fought down, now the fuel available is generation’s worth, burns all at once and the sun is blotted out.
Solar power: winter 1.2 to 3 maybe 4 amps. Now in mid day 15 easy.
But with fire’s smoke, down to 3 or 1 or less.
Solar power, the basis of photosynthesis; the growth of plants, upon which the chain of food is built, from smallest life forms, to plants, to small bugs, to small animals to larger animals to largest to the most dangerous: humans.


Prophesy of Joel:


All will prophesy, sons and daughters, slaves men and women; old men will dream dreams (usually stop because there is no hope that the dreams can be fulfilled or seen through, a surrender of the world to the younger generation) but here: old men dream and set to being the fulfillment of dreams, God’s dreams.


Portents:


blood, fire, smoky mist, moon to blood,
Lord’s Day
before the Lord’s glorious day!


Be saved


Call upon him and all will be saved!

John 14:8-17 [25-27]


Thoughts


Satisfied


We will never be satisfied, but we continually hope.
Even when what we ask for is right in front of us, we ask for more.


Miracles


DO help us believe that Jesus is God is the Holy Spirit is Jesus … is working in our midst
Ask, I will give. But so much asked for and not ever yet given.
Be careful what you ask for, sometimes Jesus gives us what we ask for: we ask for foolish things, impossible things, things that will hurt others, and Jesus answers NO. Other times Jesus gives us what we ask for and we do not recognize it.


Love and Obey


Love is to obey Jesus’ commands: to love your neighbour as yourself and your enemy!


Lawyer in court – Advocate – Of New


God gives advocate (lawyer in God’s Court for us), who will be with us forever, though Jesus goes away.
We see HS, the advocate, the Spirit of Truth! Able because God is in us, HS in us
World cannot receive him, does not see him,
New, always present
Jesus tells us, so we will know, but the Advocate will be with us, reveal new things, make us see new things, remind us of Jesus!


No worries Mate


Do not be troubled, do not be afraid (Fear is the greatest enemy), anxiety gets people to behave in bad ways.


1. Thoughts Towards an Outline


Fire:


the season, the ban, the power, the saving power – distinctively human
the destroying power, wildfires, smoke, solar blocked, photosynthesis, stopped, dross, judgment where sins are burned away like dross, leaving us pure, ready for the New Jerusalem.
Spirit
Ruah, breath, spirit into inert forms →life, inspiration, spirit means vivified, and for God’s good purposes.


Language


Language, the basis of communication, but more, the basis of thought! New language, new thoughts, new history new manners:
2nd language: a world opens up when one lives in it.
Computer languages: a whole new world opens up, but it is not filled with people, but imaginations made statically moving, reading conjures up the creative imaginative mind. TV rests the mind and slowly atrophies thoughts and creativity; computer interactions with games, deepens the narrowing of the thought, away from others, to chips. Everyone knows chips are not healthy, not potato chips, not chocolate chips, though tastey; neither computer chips alone.
But as a tool, as an avenue to other people, to expand imagination in writing and conceiving uses, ways to be used, ways to be helpful to others: first text to talk: allow blind woman to continue significant work in the community (PR),


Reaching to the Heavens

All that we dream of is seen in our dream of reaching the stars


Reaching to the Heavens, the dream of humans since we peered at the stars outside the safety of the cave.
Space travel.


Conflict and Differences


Conflict and Differences : Blessed by God, caused by God to save us from our own selves.
Limits on name for ourselves: God’s blessing


Working out the bugs

Misquotes in even the smoky photos: upper left, that’s no helicopter.

There are some bugs to work out, of course, these are just rough thoughts scratched together.