And Ezra said: ‘You are the Lord, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the host of heaven worships you.’
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory for ever. Amen.
Words of Grace For Today
There is much that we can create:
Paintings, sculptures, pottery, photography.
Dance, theatre, film.
Novels, short stories, poetry.
Our spirit flows from us as we create, and as others take in our creation they certainly can be inspired. The spirit flows.
As parents we are privileged and responsible and accountable for nurturing, guiding and inspiring our children to become healthy adults. Teachers, coaches, and pastors/rabbi/priests are privileged to assist and participate in nurturing children. Yet we do not inspire life into children, we merely help God’s given spirit grow.
We cannot, no matter how hard we try, inspire, on our own, our creations to breathe. God alone can bring what is not alive, to breathe and come to life, to dream and envision the possibilities of joy and hope.
God, on the other hand, creates in such great quantity and quality that we can only be awestruck. So much in the universe does not breathe, does not carry and share spirit. God also creates things that live, that breathe, that smile and dream.
God gives that to each of us!
We can only respond by being awestruck. We can only appropriately respond by worshipping God, our creator. All the goodness we enjoy comes from God. As we remember that we are God’s creatures owing God everything, life is as God created us to live it: life is life abundant.
As we share with others what God has given us, so that everyone enjoys life abundantly, we enjoy more and more what God intended for us to experience: grace and love.
Another great thing about creation is that that God’s creation is held together by grace and love.
Are we like that, weighed down, instead of enjoying life!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
1 Timothy 6:14-16
He will bring about the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.
Words of Grace For Today
Sometimes there is little time.
Give God thanks.
A foot and half plus of heavy snow fell. I had a full day, with little time to write.
Still there were many things to be thankful for, many more to laugh at, and some I just had to shake my head at. One over-arching thing keeps getting proven over and over: God has a sense of humour and keeps hoping for us … why else would we humans be left to do such ridiculously, humorously, crazy things that both fill the news and are apparent right in front of one’s eyes … too often done by the one who the eyes belong to!
Patch Adams had it right: the unexpected joyful thing gets people to notice a bit more of life, and life is wonderful. There is every reason to be “excessively happy.” So why not be that for as many people as you can?
God is everywhere watching, a Light that powers the universe, a Light so great we cannot behold it, so we need not wait. Here and now (in each moment of each day) is the right time and place to make a joyful noise to God!
Whether it seems we stand alone, like the tree, or the ice house, where everyone passes us by, or turns far away from us,
God created us all,
and we are ALL in this together!
Who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry? The Lord sets the prisoners free.
So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Words of Grace For Today
Who executes justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry, and sets the prisoners free?
We should all do this each day!
Do we? Not many and not much! We leave this to God to do.
Who frees humans from their captivity, the real captivity that robs life from us, the captivity to sin (to turn away from God and try to make our way in life on our own, almost always at other people’s expense … so that people are oppressed by our efforts to get ahead in life, so that people go hungry while we are well fed and live in superfluous comfort, so that people are imprisoned for telling the truth as we lie in order to gain and retain our ill-gotten privileges and wealth!
Yes! Who executes justice, feeds the hungry and sets prisoners free when we are the oppressors, the one’s who take away food, and lie to have people imprisoned?
We leave it to God!
And God’s people step forward to undo the injustice, hunger, and falsely imprisonment that we cause … and ignore … or worse, celebrate, as if the one’s we’ve done these atrocities to are our enemies.
They are not. They are God’s people, on this sojourney in life with us.
Thanks be to God, God’s Son, Jesus the Christ, came to live, heal, forgive, die, and be resurrected that we might know God chooses to free us from our captivity to sin.
The Son frees us, and we are free indeed!
Free to be the one’s to bring true justice to the oppressed so no one need fear their neighbour or the authorities’ bullying, false arrests, and robbing of life; to feed the hungry so no one is hungry or without the basic necessities of life; and to set the prisoners free so that no one is falsely convicted or falsely imprisoned, and more …
so that all people will know that God’s Son has set us all free from captivity to sin … we can trust that God will bring out of us all the goodness that God created us and all of creation to be.
That’s such a fundamental revolution in the way people think, speak and write, and act that so many people resist this freedom.
And the injustice, hunger for daily bread, and false imprisonments continue and even increase.
It is no solution to turn on (and try to exterminate like the pests they are) the bullies, the oppressors, those who take, deprive others of, and hoard the daily food available in creation, and those who hold others in prison cells or poverty in a reserve or in a land distant and separate. Others will only replace those who are exterminated, and those who exterminated others simply become the oppressors.
God wants a victory for all, a double victory (as Martin Luther King Jr. called it), a victory where everyone is free. God does not delight in an evil person’s death. God delights in Jesus setting them free.
What else did we think God created all this universe, and us in it, for, but for us all to live, choose, love, and hope freely … all by Grace alone?
So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.
Words of Grace For Today
God requires of us?
We must be doers of the word?
Luther described James as a straw Gospel. Like a straw house that the wind blows away with ease and fire burns quickly away. All chaff, no substance.
Before God requires anything of us, Before we ‘get’ to be doers of the Word, God acts.
God acts by creating us, making us able to love, which requires free choice, which means we sin and are bound to choose to sin, so God acts to forgive us, redeem us, and set us free to love, choose, sin, and God walks with us to forgive us, redeems us and set us free again and again to love ….
Always God acts first. Then we are enabled by the Holy Spirit to do what is ‘required’ of us:
to fear God, to walk in God’s ways, to serve God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength!
Make no mistake: it is everyone’s obligation to fear and love God, to walk in God’s ways, and to serve God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength: to be DOERS of God’s Word. We do not get a pass to sit on the sidelines of life and allow EVIL to have it’s way with us and others. We are to WORK against EVIL, in all it’s forms of injustice, violence, and degradation of life.
We do not get to sit on the sidelines like those in Hottelstedt who watched train load after train load of people in cattle cars and box cars pass through their town and not work to stop the obvious extermination of masses of people, genocide to provide for a ‘pure’ Aryan nation. After the war was lost, they excused themselves that they had no idea what was happening just a few kilometres away.
Our duty includes being curious about the work of evil around us, to speak up, to speak out, and to work to stop it. We use Grace and forgiveness, giving God opportunity to rejoice at the redemption of yet more sinners.
It’s not so easy as following rules. It requires everything of us! Thank God life, all of life, has an honourable and glorious purpose! To serve God and be the ones who bring God’s will to actuality here and now … by being the bearers of forgiveness, redemption, and freedom.
The Lord is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.
And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.
Words of Grace For Today
Protests and Police using tear gas killed one of my son’s long time friends.
It helps to read that the Lord is coming …
to judge the earth, to judge with righteousness (finally)
did nothing to deserve to have a policeman kneel on his neck for 9 minutes while he struggled to breathe and stay alive, a struggle he lost.
This explodes into protest at this time because Covid 19 restrictions are not fair, not equitable. The poor are hit the hardest, many struggling anyway to find enough food each day, and now, if they go out for food, they face curfews, police harassment and arrest, incarceration and almost sure infection. Rich people are often not even inconvenienced, or bother to change the pattern of their lives.
This is not equitable.
Being poor is rarely the person’s fault. Being rich is rarely due to honest hard work.
Being black … being a young man …
none of this is a fault. Yet this brings fear that minority mothers teach their sons to be aware of, and to fear this irrational hatred, lest hatred of them would cost them their lives. Even then, too often, just breathing and being (themselves) alive, unjustly costs them their lives because someone with a police uniform and a heart full of hate takes it from them.
Where is equity in all this?
This is racism, misandry, and out of control hatred.
Protesting is the least one can do, to support those who live in fear everyday, for the hope that one day they might not have reason to live in daily fear for their lives.
I have a dream!
What are we to say when protesting peacefully is responded to with police tear gassing the protesters, even when they claim they have not used tear gas. They use pepper bomblets, which even they designate as tear gas!
And it kills, sometimes.
Yet the police still use it!
Then they refuse to allow those affected by their tear gas to retrieve a handbag to get their asthma puffer …
And another innocent protester dies at the hands of the police ….
Thank God, that God will come!
God will come to judge with equity!
Help us be as God created us to be, bearers and witnesses to the Peace that surpasses all understanding
Those who are far
off shall come and help to build the temple of the Lord; and you
shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.
In Christ you also
are built together spiritually, into a dwelling-place for God.
Words of Grace
these days we can easily experience that many of our loved ones are
‘far off’, even if they are only a few kilometres distant, we may
not be able to visit with them. Now we cannot offer to give them a
ride to church on Sunday or to the Lenten soup supper and services.
One of the gifts given to us in our baptisms is that we are all
members of One Body. This is a physical reality. It is also a
spiritual oneness that Christ gives to us. No matter how ‘far off’
we may be these days, Christ calls us to be together, physically
distant, but socially and spiritually as near as the heart beat in
our chests, the dreams in our minds, and the hope that gives us the
future completeness of Christ’s 2nd coming already today.
For the last seven years I have been gaslit by so many people. First at home and then it spread through the church as the lay pastor started in, by people in the community recruited by the RCMP, the RCMP themselves, by lawyers, the prosecutors and even my own lawyers, and most recently by the judges and justices who created their own lies in order to convict me, and to deny my applications.
may be difficult for many to believe.
used to be unimaginable to me.
it is the truth that impacts my daily life, as my ‘ex’, the lawyers,
and the courts have completely ruined me financially driving me into
debt so far I cannot see the light or the tunnel. I have left to my
name a huge debt, a bicycle, a tent, a sleeping bag and my clothes. I
live alone in the woods. I survive on money borrowed from family and
friends, using borrowed highly modified equipment to survive the
elements on next to no money.
appears that the lies told about me and those who have told them, and
the judges who have ruled using them, have completely determined my
is not so. They have determined some of the external circumstances of
my life, and they seem to persist at determining more. But they
cannot determine who I am and what I have done (or not done).
I am still the same kind, gracious, man of faith that I have always been, with a good set of skills and knowledge, and abilities, and above all the assurance that, because God loves me, I am able to love, forgive (or not as it is), breathe, and extend Grace as it is extended to me.
Those who have gaslit me, those who have repeatedly and intentionally lied about me, in order to try to create a reality about me that simply is not so; these people have not created a reality about me. They have created a huge set of lies.
Their lies do not determine who I am. They do not define me.
Their lies determine who they are. Their lies define them.
My ex and the children I have long since forgiven. They were, at my ex’s invitation, my life, my love, and God’s gifts to me.
But all the others, those who are given authority and responsibility to investigate and rule based on the truth. those whose positions are to be respected, they are not only guilty; they make a habit of gaslighting others, and some have laughed at their maniacal fun at hurting innocent people.
As I am ordained to extend grace and forgiveness to all people whom I meet, I am also ordained to bind the sins of those who should not be forgiven. This is a rare thing. But these lies are all too common, oft repeated, and engaged in as sport, as the record of innocent men convicted by the courts belies.
The damage their lies do to the innocent men and the children is incomprehensible. They leave children in the care of people who create lies about men who healthily love their children. They leave children with sole parents who suffer psychotic breaks, who project their own faults on to others near them including the children and their spouses. They leave the children without a healthy parent, and with a most unhealthy parent, who does the unspeakable to the children, and then adds those terrible things to the list of lies about which they gaslight their spouses.
The damage is also to the spouse (and children) who lie to create a false and terrible story about their innocent men. Being believed when one lies, and encouraged even to lie more, disrupts any trust even the liar could possibly have in the just and fairness of the world. At any moment someone else could start lying about them and they would be ruined based on those lies.
The damage is to everyone, for at any moment anyone can start lying about anyone else, and the person lied about will be ruined, even though they are innocent. This is the destruction of trust, without which society disintegrates into a morass of nothing being true or trustworthy or healthy, for anyone.
This is who the people who gaslight others are: they are those who dismantle everyone’s ability to trust the rule of law, the word of people, the basic justness of our country. Many peoples, against whom prejudice and bias has run rampant, have known this for generations.
I known it, personally.
you believe me or not is immaterial, but it is vitally important. You
could easily be next.
This is what those who gaslight others do to our country. This is who they are. This is how they try to determine others to be worse than themselves, but that is a futile effort. This is who they determine themselves to be: corrupters and perverters of all that is good.
Thus their sins are bound, and they are told, so that they are as aware as they can be made to be. They have time to amend their lives, through telling the complete truth about their lies, openly, publicly, and through making restitution as it can be made.
they can be reconciled with their victims.
the day of them telling the full truth or
God judging them, this is not something
they can leave behind. It is what they have to look forward to, to
that day when the Light of Christ will shine.
May it shine soon, now on this earth, during our lives. But if not,
then soon enough.
When the Light of Christ shines on what they have done, and the truth I have always provided, no witnesses or rules of evidence will be needed. God knows everything. There is no statute of limitations or excuses of lack of resources to judge fairly according to the truth. God knows the truth, the absolute truth. God will judge their sins.
am not determined by their gaslighting. I do struggle to survive the
effects, but I am blessed each day. I live thankful and even joyful
at times. I will survive until God brings me home to the New
Jerusalem, the city of light, into the room prepared for me by
know who I am. I am blessed to have lived a very self-aware life.
Lies do not determine or define the person whom they are told about; they determine and define the person who tells the lies.
The reality of Gaslighting is that it is destructive for everyone, but most of all for those who tell the lies.
wood stove, set up to provide heat in the severe -40°C winter worked
provided hot water for coffee in
and tea throughout
without it’s challenges as the stove pipe got so hot that it melted
the plastic tarps of
the shelter around the stove.
Week is our opportunity to remember and learn ever more from Jesus
story. Jesus’ story is a life full of communication from God to us,
in a way we can understand.
God tried to communicate to us with Word, creating a good creation. We messed it up, with trying to be smarter than we are and blaming others for the results. Kicked out of paradise we even became murderers, for a ‘good’ start.
God tried to communicate to us with the Law, we turned it into control of others.
tried to communicate to us with the prophets, and we thought they
were crazy, because they really were, trying to embody God’s Word
does that to humans.
rebuilt the damaged tarp sections, put in a heat shield and a remote
thermometer. Now gets as hot as 70°C without problems.
sent his Son, a full life story lived that we can learn. Jesus came
to live, teach, heal, and do remarkable things like calming the chaos
of the waters.
exists beyond time, matter, limits. Now Jesus has all the limits of a
human. Paul says it well: Jesus emptied himself of being other than
human, and became limited as a human.
real purpose of Jesus’ life was his death. That’s this week’s
one really listened at first, and those that did usually got it all
wrong. Listen to the parade as Jesus enters Jerusalem. They think
that Jesus is God’s way of giving them control again of Jerusalem,
maybe. That’s their hope.
harsh winter slowly gives way to cool spring temperatures, and the
2000° C inside the furnace became way too hot in the shelter. Always
the thermometer showed a max of 70°. It dawned finally on me that
the thermometer could read no hotter than 70°C but the actual
temperature could be much more!
the triumphant entry parade into Jerusalem, things go downhill fast
and hard. Jesus is betrayed, deserted, tried, denied, whipped,
condemned, mocked, tortured, abandoned, and murdered on a cross.
is no greater measure of suffering.
came to live and die exactly like this. Why?
came to make clear: God understands our suffering, even if our
measure seems to have an upper limit, God has no limits, God
understands us, our pain, our sin, our suffering, our death.
lived it to show us God’s intent for us.
Jesus dies, he forgives those that mock, torture and kill him.
is what God wants us to be to each other. Not sinners, destroyers,
scape-goaters, or mockers, torturers, murderers, or chaos makers, not
even people who cannot listen to others pain and suffering and not
know what to do.
know God knows our suffering.
our suffering we experience what others suffer. We know what we most
need when we suffer is forgiveness, love and not to be abandoned.
learn this so that we can give God’s gifts of forgiveness, love and
being present to others as they suffer.
came as Jesus to show us God’s goodness and love for us has no
limits. God’s forgiveness has no limits. We may not easily hear,
listen or understand, but we have Jesus story handed from generation
to generation. We can always learn more if we pay attention.
story is God’s new limitless thermometer by which we can measure
what really goes on in this world. There’s lots of heat. There’s
even more love, forgiveness, and compassion than we are ever capable
week, we remember, we listen as we can, we learn anew as we are able.
Jesus story we know and trust, no matter what we do, what we succeed
at or fail at, God understands our yearning, our chaos, our
always loves, forgives and is present with us …
Atwood’s quote, ” Men are afraid women will laugh at them.
Women are afraid men will kill them.” is too simplified to
honestly live on it’s own, unless it is just meant to honour women,
and disparage men.
the real deep problem of illuminating only part of reality, but that
is what we are at most capable of.
misadrism it’s not really helpful, it kills the human spirit.
honest is to say:
are afraid men will kill them, men they know, but especially men they
do not know. Their fear is real, and tragically accurate of a few
afraid women will drive them to kill themselves, especially women
they know, but generally all women. Their fear is real, and
tragically accurate of more than a few women.
fear is of real, literal death; but also of smaller deaths, even
figurative deaths, deaths that rob a man (or a woman) of life at the
killer is the fear. Living in fear limits the horizon to only well
guarded, defensive stances.
Atwood also wrote: “I hope that people will finally come to realize
that there is only one ‘race’ – the human race – and that we are all
members of it.”
Life for each and every one of us is intended to be lived looking to God’s horizon that is so far out-reaches any of ours that we can only be astounded as we glimpse the vistas available to us, each and all.
is measured in how we help each other see those vistas and the
creator of them.
forecast this morning. Instead we received snow, fluffy big heavy
flakes that made noise landing on the tarps shelter.
is the time of re-newed life. But first, as the snows of the winter
melt, we must face the dreck of the life through the winter, records
of the mess we’ve lived and made.
instead of rain that makes mud, to get snow that gives a fresh cover
again over the remains of past efforts to live, including many
vista reaches deep inside as the horizon is clouded away and the
light is dimmed.
Sounds like a winter baptism of the world and for the creatures.
Fear, of how the past will catch us, is no way to live. There are renewals that do not hide or cover up that past.
They are called forgiveness, reconciliation, and hope …
hope that allows one to laugh with instead of at another person.