The Rich

And the Poor

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

What Stands Before Us?


Or Wonders?

Psalm 109:31

For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save them from those who would condemn them to death.

James 2:5

Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?

Words of Grace For Today

While the wealthy enjoy comforts unimagined by previous generations, the poor suffer on, as in every generation, just to survive. Because the wealthy presume they have earned the comforts and luxuries they take for granted, and that the poor have not, they sink into a false sense of security that blinds them to the realities of God’s good creation. First among them they forget that nothing we have is our right or what we have earned, for everything have and are (especially our abilities to work to ‘earn’ anything) is given to us by God though we certainly deserve none of it.

The poor are not so blinded, for they enjoy only the real joys of life as we struggle to survive another day, another night, and then again another day. Their eyes are opened to the wonders that God provides. Their joys immense, even while their sufferings overwhelm their ability to survive! Out of such paradoxes the Holy Spirit nurtures faith, faith in God’s good grace for us all.

And which are we, who enjoy more comforts than imagined by the generations gone before us? Do we know how to live faith, each day, amid our ‘little sufferings and discomforts’?

Pray, then, that God will save us, too, wealthy and blind, or poor and joyous at creation’s wonders.


We Are All Guests

Some Desperately Need Homes, NOW!

Friday 12 January 2024

Edmonton police officers and city crews could be seen at a homeless encampment in the area of 95th Street and Rowland Road on Tuesday morning [9 January 2024]. Police and cleanup crews were met with resistance from people who live in the camp and from advocates who showed up to support them.” Global News

Psalm 119:19

I live as an alien in the land; do not hide your commandments from me.

[or another translation: I am a guest on earth.]

2 Corinthians 5:1

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Words of Grace For Today

Just because we know that we have a home waiting for us

after life

even if the earth is destroyed

even if the universe is destroyed,

does not give us an excuse to destroy


the earth

this universe!

These are gifts from God

to be treasured.

Life to be lived with integrity, kindness, and mercy for others.

The earth to be used and guarded from destruction so that future generations have a better earth to live on.

The universe to be explored and admired and guarded from destruction of all kinds, because this is our home now

And God said life, the earth, and all the universe are Good.

So we ought to keep it all that way.

Instead of bulldozing tent cities, the last, most secure place for many people who find themselves homeless in the cold of winter and the heat of summer,

How about making a home for them as well,

a good, safe, nurturing home

on earth?!

For the Most

For the Most Vulnerable

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Spirit Dances

Each Morning, Noon and Night.

Only By the Spirit Working In Us

Can We Dance Jesus’ Dance.

Zechariah 7:10

… do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.

Ephesians 4:20

That is not the way you learned Christ!

Words of Grace For Today

God calls us many times in many ways to do justice for the most vulnerable, in Zechariah named as the widow, the orphan, the alien and the poor.

How do we learn?

How do we learn to do justice?

How do we learn Christ?

Is learning to do justice the same as learning Christ?

No, they are not the same.

They do overlap.

To do justice is for the most part to follow Christ’ commandment to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength, and to love our neighbours (and enemies) as ourselves.

But not all of ‘doing justice’ is what Christ calls us to.

And just ‘doing justice’ hardly begins to encompass all Christ calls us to.

For Christ calls us to love. To love as God loves. To love even when it costs us. And that moves us into and then also far beyond just doing justice for others.

Yet how can we learn to do justice?

Study, practice, and make errors … and more study, more practice, and more errors and (it keeps repeating, since we never get it completely and what we did yesterday does not provide justice for the most vulnerable today.)

And how can we learn Jesus?

Some would say it is the same. We study, practice, make errors, and repeat.

Those who have listened to the saints will know that will never even get us close, for the key to Jesus is

that we cannot learn Jesus on our own at all.

We only come to know Jesus when the Holy Spirit moves us to.

So we pray each day, come Lord Jesus, walk with us, let the Holy Spirit guide our thoughts, hearts and spirits, our dreams, visions, and hopes, and most of all our actions. Let them be reflections of Jesus to one another, and especially the most vulnerable.

And then we study, contemplate, plan, dream, and act as if it were all up to us, humbly remembering the Holy Spirit will guide and empower us.



More Money, More Money.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

One Of The Pathways In The Woods,

One Must Traverse

To Knock On My ‘Door’.

Proverbs 15:16

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it.

Hebrews 13:5

Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’

Words of Grace For Today

A person came knocking on my door today. Not that it’s really a door, although at one point, before someone had it replaced it stood for a door, with a sliding window, probably a screen (though there’s no sign of what happened to it), even having been scratched by a dog to get out. But now it’s mounted on a wood shipping pallet, at 90⁰ to another door which stands in for a wall, stabilizing this ‘door’, with a shipping pallet on the other side, also at 90⁰ for stability. Insulated tarps are taped and stapled around the door, for those are the real walls of this place that is as much as anything that I have to call home. I live in the woods, under lots of tarps or all kinds, wood pallets as floors and walls, and no connection to the electric grid, or natural gas, or TV, or even a proper driveway. It’s just a string of pathways through the woods to get here.

She came knocking, wanting a donation for the poor. How she managed to find this place is beyond me. How she could not notice that this is how a person below poor is struggling to live, not by choice, but by necessity to survive.

I told her I would appreciate a donation for the poor, me, if that could be possible.

She laughed, and said we are all struggling.

I guess she really did not understand what she saw or heard.

A person came knocking on my neighbour’s door. How she found the door I’m not sure, because there is fence all around the property and an electric gate that is kept locked that the drive passes through. It’s not even got a ‘man’ gate for a person to go through. My neighbour has the best car and truck, and mower, and snow clearing tractor (a skid steer on tracks) that are all kept in proper garages for each.

She told me he said he was struggling and did not have any donations for the poor. He had to pay for 3 months in rehab for his son, a drug addict from too little responsibility, too much money, and not enough necessity to work to make a living … and too much playing with his ‘friends’, the addicts that he started hanging with in school because he was bored.

A person will come knocking on your door, asking for a donation for the poor. How will you respond?

She really is just asking for money for herself. She’s convinced that being a multimillionaire is not enough, that she is poor, that she needs help, with groceries costing more and all now. She’s even had to cut back on her vacation trips. She can only manage 6 each year. She used to go somewhere every month, either for work or play; but both are really just play. The work trips just have a few hours of meetings during them.

So how should one respond?

With pity, condemnation, confrontation, or anger?

Money represents and provides one the ability to exercise one’s will, first to survive, then to excel in luxury and comforts. The problem is once one exercises one’s will for luxuries and comforts there is never enough money to keep up with one’s thirst for more.

Better to make due with little, than be cursed with so much one always needs yet more.

… help …

I’m Sinking

Don’t Ask Me To Save YOU!


Saturday, August 26, 2023

No Way!

Surviving Off-Grid

Ain’t Glorious!

Isaiah 58: 6-7

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Hebrews 13:16

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Words of Grace For Today

When we struggle to achieve a bit of the dreams (from years past) that are still possible in the old life we live,

Sometimes one’s muscles, joints, bones, and brain just hurt too much to do more than the bare minimal for survival.

Then, after a life of not being compensated as agreed one would, and struggling to provide for children as well, when one already goes to the food bank for food, suffers astounding injustice, has no house (just an off-grid camper and wood stove), and few kin want to see one, yet alone help one (even hide, though that is so far from possible nor desired) what can one do to offer God the pleasing sacrifice:

to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke, to share our bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into our house; when we see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide ourselves from your own kin?

Ah … is that not the rub. We always have explanations for why and how it is not for us to provide to others less fortunate than ourselves.

Even this day, we pray, help us see all God gives us, which is all we have to share with those in need greater than ourselves.

Even this day.

Even you-all.

Even me.



At Thinking? And Doing Right?

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

How Long Will It Be Before

No Eggs Will Hatch?

Psalm 102:17

God will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer.

Philippians 4:6

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Words of Grace For Today

The not unusual question came over the phone from a telephone support person, “Are there any other questions you have?”

I gave him a list:

  1. What is the meaning of life?
  2. How can we deal with world overpopulation?
  3. How can we solve Climate Change this year?
  4. How do we solve the pervasive problem of racism and injustice against the poor?
  5. How can we solve the huge inequality problem throughout the world that is the root cause of so many other problems?
  6. How will I ever get out of debt?
  7. What is God doing while we systematically, methodically wipe out the environment that supports life on earth?
  8. How can we finally get truth to be valued and upheld in all aspects of life, especially in our courts?
  9. Are we going to poison ourselves to death like the Romans did with lead; though we are using the likes of PFAS and so many other toxins in daily life, like gasoline?

I ended with, “Those are just a few question I have.”

The reply was, “I’m not philosophical, so I don’t have the answers.”

I chuckled as the help person did as well.

But these questions are not laughing matters.

And the truth is, whether one is philosophical or not one needs to ask them and have at least a rough outline of possible answers. That’s a basic responsibility for anyone renting air on earth these days.

In the end, whether we solve any of these or none, we all need most of to


To Be

To Be Noticed

Even When One Is

Burdened, Weary, Outcast

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Will We Notice Those

Living Far Away

In Desolation?

Psalm 142:4

Look on my right hand and see— there is no one who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for me.

Matthew 11:28

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Words of Grace For Today

After the gathered New-Ibler leaders, the complainers, and Julius had waited for what seemed too long a time, Julius continued, “These are our neighbours, even though they are not part of our community. We should provide for them exactly as God has provided for us through our neighbours. Who knows, the New-Iblers may not be able to return to their lands. They may join our community as many others have in the past.” He reminded them that one of them was not born into this community, and two others parents had joined the community.

“Remember, as well,” Julius continued, “that Raili here is the daughter of one of our members who left to marry her mother and live with the New-Iblers. Remember we need to marry outside our community to ensure our children and their children are born healthy.”

He asked them if they should or should not welcome their guests to join them? The intruders agreed, but they reminded Julius that they came representing many who sent them. So they called a community meeting, as difficult as it was to gather all in one spot.

Together they remembered how blessed they were to have each other, and that though it was a difficult time, they had always welcomed people willing to join them, if they agreed to abide by the decisions of the community and it’s recognized leaders.

Up until that point, everyone had expected Julius to act as their leader. Now they heard one person suggest that like Isaacer from years before, they recognize that Julius would lead them. That brought a round of clapping, raising hands, and general low humming of agreement.

Julius agreed on the one condition that at any time he could leave the duties to others, so that he could continue to be a healer to this community and to travel to provide healing to others, and most of all that he could continue to learn, learn, learn.

Julius then reminded them how they were welcomed as the tired and weary by their own community and by others, as so they would strive to welcome all the tired and weary, the healthy and the ill, the sorrowful and the joyful into their midst.


Even When One Is

A Burden?

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

The Refugees Can Come At Anytime,

By Land, Sea, or Air,

in Cold, Heat, or Storm.

Will We Welcome Them?

Deuteronomy 5:32

You must therefore be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn to the right or to the left.

Matthew 22:37-39

He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” ’

Words of Grace For Today

The runners who alerted the neighbouring communities of the coming floods and fires trickled back to Julius’ community, bursting at the seams of their expanded hunting camp. All but the one who went to the furthest community. She did not return for months. They found out she had stayed to help that community prepare as best they could for the water and flames that could wipe out the community. Her advice and their efforts are a whole story in and of themselves.

The surprise, a bit unwelcomed, was that the closest community saw little hope of saving their homes and fields, so they followed the young man who had alerted them, all the way back to the hunting community. Already bursting at the seams in their camp, having spent days expanding it to accommodate all of them instead of just a small hunting party, they people starting to complain and cry in uproar that it was not fair to be take such advantage of by these people. The New-Iblers, as they called themselves, were a sixth the number of Julius’ community. As they waited patiently just outside the hunting camp Julius met with a pair of their leaders.

The request was that the New-Iblers be able to make a separate camp not far away and share protection, resources, and work with Julius’ community. Just as Julius was about to respond, welcoming them, a trio of his community members arrived, protesting to the New-Iblers that they would bring such trouble and burden to them. There simply was not room, nor resources, to accommodate the visitors. Even a new camp would make this hunting camp nearly useless in the future for hunting, marking the human presence so wide that wildlife would avoid the area.

Julius listened. When the intruders were done complaining, he reminded one how the community had come together to help his family when their house caught on fire, building him a new home. Another Julius reminded how when her family’s garden had failed, everyone in the community had donated generously to them so that they had more than enough produce for the coming year until the next harvest. Someone had even investigated why the garden had failed while others had not. And then helped the family rescue their garden from the worms that had multiplied so fast there, so that it continued to produce even to this day. They others he reminded of how the community had helped each of them. They he reminded them how they had all helped others in the community.

Remember the ancient wisdom from the old texts: “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ ”

No one could tell what those bringing the complaints of the community were thinking. They waited. Sometimes it takes time to take in wisdom that is not easily welcomed.

Standing Up

Through Our Troubles

To Give Thanks

Monday, May 22, 2023

See The Elves Rising

Through the Snow

In The Morning Light,

Like Poverty Stricken People

Standing Up Through It All

To Give God Thanks

Ecclesiastes 8:15

So I commend enjoyment, for there is nothing better for people under the sun than to eat, and drink, and enjoy themselves, for this will go with them in their toil through the days of life that God gives them under the sun.

Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Words of Grace For Today

The cynical writer of Ecclesiastes commends enjoyment, eating, drinking and making merry, as people make their way through the toils of life. Nothing like a little backslap in the face about life being full of trouble and toils while speaking to enjoyment.

One surely can see that life is full of toil for some. But not for the privileged. Right? – Wrong. They have troubles, troubles with in consequential things, things of no import that they make into the greatest of troubles. Such it is with humans. If we don’t have trouble with and in life, we make it up. We are more comfortable that way.

God has other intentions for us and plans for us.

God would have us reorient our take on life, ours and others’.

Our lives certainly do have toils and troubles enough to fill a lifetime for each of us. Our lives also have most certainly enough joy, love, peace, and hope to fill a lifetime, and for those for whom that is not the case (which is always at least a great minority of people alive on earth if not most) God gives us this joy, love, peace and hope in great enough quantities to share with all those who need more of life in order to experience the goodness of joy, love, peace and hope.

Whoever we are, those with -or-those without, each day is filled with opportunities to give God thanks, for even in the activity of giving thanks we reorient ourselves from what we lack to the abundance that God pours over us – to be shared with others.

Each day … also means today.

Get hopping







Thirst to be First

Kills Those Last

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Starvation Can Take 3 to 6 Months To Kill.

Luxury Kills the Spirit

In Days.

Isaiah 65:1

I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask, to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am’, to a nation that did not call on my name.

Matthew 19:28-30

Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.

Words of Grace For Today

So often we strive and struggle and compete and sacrifice the goodness of life to be among the privileged, the wealthy, the powerful: the ones who receive everything in abundance; the ones who come in first in life.

Nothing wrong with that really …


Our being first in those ways always makes someone come in behind us, so that down the ladder, way behind those of us able to strive to be among the first, there are billions of people struggling to just survive. Forget about first, these billions would like to live. Our taking everything we can get and wanting yet more (which threatens our lives in ways we do not see – they are the silent killers of excess living) costs other people their very lives. Sometimes the causation trail is direct, sometimes more indirect. But with climate change we see there really is a ‘butterfly effect.’ Except it is not a butterfly that we put in motion, it is a bit of luxury (over and over again) which sets off global ocean and atmosphere changes which lead to violent storms, flooding, wildfires, droughts, melting of permafrost and roasting of forests and people alike.

God planned for all that, too.

God calls to us.

God is always ready to answer us with graceful forgiveness, renewed life, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to guide us into lives of humble service to people in need.

Trying to be first turns us in to the greatest curse on humanity. That’s not first place in history. That’s last place. It is to be the ones who brought humans and most life on earth to a catastrophic end, or at least put it on life-support, while the ‘healer’ works to cure us of our every ill.

Being the last ones, though … Being the ones most in need, well, God promised that these people are always first in God’s way for the world and all who inhabit it. Being humble servants of God puts us right there with those most in need, so that we live with them and we die with them, and God receives us just as God receives and honours them.