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Thursday, April 21, 2022

He's Not Santa God

As for the telly, I only watch Trinity Broadcasting, bar the odd sporting event.

TBN has content that's quite good. Well, mostly.

There's still quite a bit of God repaying you in kind...give us money, and God will bless you with MORE money!

And...God wants you to be well. Illness isn't a physical problem, it's a SPIRITUAL problem (and for a love gift of $100, we'll show you how to activate your angels).

I can understand where these folks are coming from, and I do believe them to be sincere. But they are perilously close to turning God into a vending machine, or, worse, a kind of almighty Santa Claus.

The vending machine analogy makes God into something mechanical...put a penny in the slot, get your desire... but the St. Nick thing is way worse, because it implies that our actions can control God's behaviour.

I think that the reality is quite different.

We give to God, of our material wealth, or of our labour.

We receive strength and grace for the long journey home.

We want to be well, but wellness is not physical. It's peace with divine will, which purpose we know not, but which we choose to accept.

The metastasis in my left humerus has resulted in a fracture (don't ask how, I feel SO stupid!), and I have to move my left arm around with my right. As in, when I lays me down to sleep, I have to use the good arm to position the broken one on a supporting pillow.

But it's OK. The worse it hurts, the more I want to work hard, use my words as I can to soothe the pain in others.

Cancer has made me better than I thought I could ever be.

Cancer makes me want to hug the world.

And that, dear hearts, is recompense enough for all I have given, and lost.

Things may not be going well,
and life's fatally flawed,
but even at the gates of hell,
keep on praising God,
not like it's some mantra
that will help you escape,
rescued by a Santa
in a superhero cape.
Even as the flames lick high,
and you're marshmallow-on-a-stick,
do not pause to wonder why
God ain't like St. Nick...
just know and say before you fall,
"I am Yours, and You are all "

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is RUN. You're kidding, right, with pancreatic cancer? REALLY?

Ah, well.

Every day I got the runs,
and Imodium's my best friend,
for it isn't really fun,
what comes out the other end.
Diet sometimes seems to help
things from getting too darn runny,
but I then I'm giving out a yelp
and there I am, back in the dunny,
if, that is, I am in time
(no, I will not wear Depends!),
and thus the obligation's mine
to wash my briefs, as clean new friends,
and there is grateful thanks that's owed
that this is not a pay commode.

Three minutes. Must be my heart talking. Or something else.

Music from The Beach Boys, with Don't Worry Baby.

Sylvia's all for hugging the world in exchange for ice cream.



  1. I do not have anything as serious as cancer at the moment, but I have had a couple of episodes of severe diverticulitis which led to hospitalizations and permanent dietary changes.

    I rarely watch TBN because I cannot abide the prosperity gospel that so many of their programs "preach". But everyone has to find their own path to the truth, and I would never judge anyone's faith journey.

    1. Barb, my heart goes out to you. I've heard that diverticulitis is heartbreakingly awful.

      I too detest the prosperity gospel, but TBN does have enough gems for me to make it worthwhile...and it calms the dogs!

  2. "I am yours, and you are all." Amen. Beautiful thought to carry with me today. Thank you and bless you!

    1. Karen, I am so glad these words touched you!

  3. "I am Yours, and You are all." Amen. You brought to mind an old hymn and I had to google to grab the words accurately:
    "Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
    God will take care of you!
    Beneath His wings of love abide,
    God will take care of you!
    God will take care of you,
    Through every day o’er all the way;
    He will take care of you;
    God will take care of you!"

    You, Andrew, are living under just that care as you run to Him each day! Praying for you.

    1. Joanne, thank you for sharing that lovely hymn, and most especially for your affirmation and prayers.

  4. i love your description of wellness.

    "We want to be well, but wellness is not physical. It's peace with divine will, which purpose we know not, but which we choose to accept."

    I had a pastor who encouraged us to ask each other, "how is it with your soul?" This rmeinds me of the hymn, "It is well with my soul." I am praying for you and Barb.

    1. Jolene, your pastor was dead right... what matters is that wellness of the soul.

      We thank you so much for your prayers!

  5. I'm thankful our God is not a vending machine or Santa Claus, Andrew! He is greater, mightier and more wonderful than that! You said it well, "I am Yours, and You are all." Praying for you as you continue your journey.

    1. Lisa, I am glad, too, that God is mightier than any flawed and simplified thing we may try to conjure!

      I'm so very grateful for your prayers.

  6. I am happy you don't have to use a pay commode when you must run!!

  7. I love how you defined wellness, and the sweet peace of this post. But then you had me in stitches with your Ode to the Runs!
    Bless you, Andrew - I keep you in my prayers.

    1. Kym, I am delighted that you found peace here... and a laugh!

  8. Sending love, Andrew and Barb. Your humor shines through.

  9. I admire your ability to use humor to walk through such tough stuff!

    1. Anna, thank you so much for this lovely affirmation. Laughter is indeed the best medicine.

  10. Bless you, Andrew, you keep giving what you got. You've encouraged me and others through your writing. Prayers.

    1. My dear Norma, thank you so very, very much for these words, your prayers, and your friendship.

  11. "Do not pause to wonder why
    God ain't like St. Nick...
    just know and say before you fall,
    "I am Yours, and You are all"

    There are times I wish God was like Santa, that I could just hand him my wish list and poof!, he would fulfill it. But I know he doesn't work that way. What an even crazier, more chaotic world this would be if he did! Good thoughts here, Andrew!

    1. Lisa, I love this, that the world would be super-chaotic if God WERE like Santa! You gave me a good laugh.

  12. Love both your poems and so appreciate your clarity about the character of God.

    1. Stephanie, I'm so glad the poems spoke to you! And no worries, I've had beaucoup tech issues this week too.