Rain With A Chance of Lava

Wednesday 7 December 2022

The Outsider.com Provides This Sighting

Isaiah 5:22-23

Ah, you who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant at mixing drink, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of their rights!

Philippians 4:8

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Words of Grace For Today

We get used to somethings in life that keep repeating themselves everyday.

Like there being many who are ‘heroes in drinking wine’ and many who ‘acquit the guilty for a bribe’ and ‘deprive the innocent of their rights’ for these are the ways of those lost to addiction and care little for their responsibilities to provide justice for all people. These ‘heroes’ proceed easily through each day, corrupting justice without batting an eye, because it is done routinely, regularly, expectedly so. Expectedly so except by the innocent who are condemned to suffer the injustice of being called criminals they are not. Expectedly so except for the victims of crimes who see the guilty parties walk free. Expectedly so even by the children of God, for we are not blind to evil, and we do not support it, so instead the injustice is turned against us, easily so.

In Hawaii the usual forecast is for temperatures around 21⁰, sunny with a little wind. Occasionally the forecast shifts to rain for a few hours, a warm rain before it shifts back to sunny and pleasant.

So these days when the forecast is for: Cloudy with a chance of Lava, it catches people’s attention.

The big one, Mauna Loa volcano, is erupting spewing out smoke and gases and liquid, freeky-hot-melt-everything-it-touches lava. The eruptions go on and on and are a spectacular site. Tourists flock to catch a glimpse of the upheaval.

But it’s dangerous. The lava, of course, is a deadly thing. The reach of the ‘smoke’ and ash is far greater, and unpredictable … and deadly. The ash is caustic. The ‘smoke’ is made up of a number of gases that are toxic to life. Breathe enough in and that’s the last one worries about breathing … or anything else.

We know that the forecast of ‘clouds and a risk of lava’ may seem humorous but that is the forecast God provides for those who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant at mixing drink, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of their rights!

We might well cheer and flock to see the event, like ‘lava chasers.’ The greatest risk is that we, too, will be caught in such exterminations of evil doers, for none of us are without sin.

So we pray, Lord save us and all your people from forecasts of ‘clouds and a chance of lava’, also this day.

May our lives be predictably in your hands, blessed for us and for those around us.

Lordy, Lordy, I Want That!

Monday, October 17, 2022

Oh, Can I Have A Camper Like That?

That Would Be So Much Better,

Easier, Roomier, Safer,

Warmer in Winter, Cooler in Summer!

It’s Been Dumped In The Yard Here,

Causing No End of Trouble!

Who Will Get It Out of Here!

Deuteronomy 5:21

Neither shall you covet your neighbour’s wife.
Neither shall you desire your neighbour’s house, or field, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

2 John 1:6

And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning—you must walk in it.

Words of Grace For Today

We need to put limits on our wants and wishes, drives and desires, and our endless comparing and complaining, right?

Yes, by all means.

Of course, taking what is our neighbours is plainly wrong, and most of us avoid that to some degree in our lives, since societal pressure condemns those who just take. If we think we are free of the sin that this commandment would save us from, just because we do not take what is our neighbours’, then we are so misguided.

Girard had it right when he connected for us that our desires grow out of seeing what those closest to us have, which sets up competition that leads to conflict, which conflict we inevitably cathartically resolve by falsely blaming and scapegoating innocent bystanders.

This commandment to not covet or desire what is our neighbour’s tries to save us from destroying innocent bystanders as we attempt to save our relationships with those closest to us. The real challenge is that societal pressures shove us firmly into scapegoating innocents in order to cathartically resolve our conflicts. It helps society continue to appear to be ‘civilized.’ And ‘civilized’ appearances help everyone blithely continue on as if all were done well by us.

That is the same reality-denying approach to life which sets us up to have leaders like Trump, movements like ‘Querdenkers’-Covidiots-Covideniers, populist movements like Daniel Smith’s that proclaim they are looking out for the ‘common people’ when actually they are serving us all up on a platter to powerful interests, and government advisors who will say that our privacy needs to be balanced with businesses need to collect our private data from which they can create products to provide to us. Which must be products we do not need, since no one needs to collect private data to be able to identify the real needs of a population. Those are constant. The only thing that changes is the way in which others’ interests – ie. ‘not in our interest’ – work to deceive us about what is required for life. That effort is always to manipulate us to ‘have’ covetousness and competition-conflict-creating desires.

And that’s what the commandment would save us from.

If only.

As for me and the squirrels (well probably not the squirrels since they keep stealing insulation out of the skirt, but at least for me), we – or rather I – like this commandment. I know I cannot keep it. So I pray, “God save me!”

And that will have to do for this day, as everyday.