The Broken

Weary, Kingdom Workers

Thursday, November 2, 2023

A general view shows smoke as it rises following Israeli strikes in Gaza, October 9, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Out of Sinners,

God Makes Saints,

Is that us, today?

Isaiah 50:4

The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens— wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.

Matthew 25:39

And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?

Words of Grace For Today

As I write this it is All Saints’ Day. The Hamas – Israel war continues, and continues to kill civilians, and Hamas continues to use civilians, even hospitals as shields.

There are few prayers which are sufficient. One prays that God will remake the catastrophe into something life-sustaining. It seems only God can do that.

In the future a few years a young family of three will tour the ancient cathedral in Gaza with it’s wonderful stained glass windows. Bombed in 2023 the windows were cracked, some missing pieces. One stained glass artist works on the second to last window, repairing, but not removing the signs of the damage, filling in the gaps and repairing the cracks with silver, gold, and blue glass pieces and structural materials. As the family looks at each window, the parents will explain the scene and name the saints depicted. Afterwards, the young daughter will burst in on grandma and grandpa sitting at home and exclaim, “Grandma we saw the saints today!” Grandma asks, “Who are the saints that you saw?” Without pausing the daughter responds: “The saints are the broken people the light shines through.” (decades old story, reworked)

What God does as always, is call broken people to shine the light of Christ on all that is, and all that can be.

Let us so shine, even in our brokenness.

Even though those in need are so many and the needs so great and our help seems so little.


Blame God!


Tuesday, October 31, 2023

It Must Be God’s Fault,

All the Dead Trees in Threes,

And Ice In Our Way,

And Dirt In the Sand,


Isaiah 64:5

You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.

Luke 15:21-22

Then the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.

Words of Grace For Today

It is all too easy to blame someone else for what we do wrong. Why not blame God for everything that we do wrong and all that is wrong, when we are at it?

Well, because it is not the truth.

And it obscures our ability to see God’s abundant mercy and generous gifts that we receive, leaving us in the eternal darkness where the Evil One plays havoc with everyone and everything.

Confession, even made late after so much of life is wasted in the dark playground of the Devil, is God’s gift to us, a ticket to freedom to live in the Light again.

We tell stories of God’s forgiveness of the most grievous sinners, as Jesus told the parable of the great sinner son, who finally comes to his senses and returns home to his father, from whom he has taken his inheritance and squandered it on wasteful living, begging (for he has no rights left at all, not at all) to work for his father as a servant.

The father’s response is exactly what God’s is for all us great sinners who return begging God for mercy and the freedom to serve in God’s farm yards, lest we have only the pigs’ feed to keep us from starving.

God is gracious and merciful, abounding in steadfast love …

most evident when we are everything but.


Who Are We?

Who The [Hell] Are We Anyway!

Monday, August 14, 2023

They ask about us:

are we palatable, like tasty berries?

Or are we more like poisonous berries,

bright and deadly?

Proverbs 16:7

When the ways of people please the Lord, he causes even their enemies to be at peace with them.

Matthew 5:44-45

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

Words of Grace For Today

In the tumult of today’s world,

when even mother nature seems to be angry with us, challenging our ability to adapt and survive even more extreme weather and destructive storms,

when wars erupt unjustly (as always) leaving people caught between death, destruction, and displacement,

when there are so few honest people who provide truth as a measure of who one is to them,

in the tumult of this world

how are we to know who we are?

how are we to find peace, with ourselves, our world, and with others who wish to do us harm?

Today we measure mostly who we are looking within our selves, an inside view, established by ourselves. This leads to a detachment from others and from community, and more and more people are ‘lost’ to themselves and others. This in turn allows people of power to use, abuse, and denigrate others. In the extreme assembling one’s identity mostly from within leads to narcissism.

In Jesus time people mostly measured who they were by looking outside themselves to what others thought of them. It allowed for distinctions made by powerful people to denigrate the masses as less than significant except to serve the powerful. In the extreme this leads to co-dependency, as we would call it, for those who assemble their identity nearly all from others.

Through history we humans have swung this way and that, between codependency and narcissism, finding our identity mostly with difficulty.

Always, no matter how we assemble our identity, there are ample paths to tear apart anything like peace for ourselves and those around us. Narcissists and codependents wreak havoc for themselves and people around them. Wars are begun by them, easily and often. Sometimes the wars are global, sometimes against a community, sometimes within a family, often within one person. Disruption and destruction reign.

Where is peace to be found?

How can it be that even our enemies will find peace in our presence?

This is only possible when we allow the Spirit to build our identity based on who God says we are: simultaneously pitiful sinners and, miraculously, saints.

God’s peace flows around this kind of people, known by their love for others, even for their enemies. Peace flows with their love like water from the rock in the wilderness as Moses led the people out of slavery into the wilderness, their offspring lead by Joshua into the Promised Land; our ancestors.

Today who will we say we are?

Who will our actions say we are?

How will people know us?

Will they encounter God’s Grace and Peace through us?

Pray the Spirit inspires us to be a bit of a miraculous saint even this day.


Seeing the Unseeable

Seeing the (Seeable) Saints

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Can We See Beyond The Obvious,

The Roadblocks,

The Hopelessness?

Psalms 112:4

They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

Words of Grace For Today

It is one thing to know that others are fighting against one, working to take everything from one, even life itself.

It is a whole other thing to have those closest to you, turn and take advantage of ‘knowing you best’ in order to steal even life itself from you. For then, not only do the enemies possess the most private information about you, they have thus ripped one’s heart and foundation of life right out of you, robbing you of the ability to trust any other person. Then it becomes clear that this was their intention from the start. It was not to share the best of life with you, but to steal the goodness of life from you and to make you as miserable as they had been all along. Perhaps they hoped to enjoy the goodness of your life by stealing it from you, but such joy of goodness is never possible through such treacherous evil. So they continue to find their next victim, and the next, and the next ….

God planned for this, too.

God’s Spirit, by grace alone, created saints in every generation before us, people who despite all efforts to rob the goodness of life from them continue to trust God’s promises, and they lived as they chose (aided by the power of the Holy Spirit) to be gracious, merciful, and righteous.

God’s Spirit rescues us who can no longer trust anyone or anything, sends not only the Spirit to guide us, but saints of these generations, to show us how to trust by seeing what cannot be seen: God’s faithful love and presence with us






Our enemies may have destroyed us by all worldly measures, but we live blessed in so many ways that we can only give God thanks and praise for,










And we see what cannot be seen.

We trust beyond experiences that have robbed us of all ability to trust.

We live abundantly.



Looking and Waiting

Monday, April 24, 2023

In The Deep Cold and Drear of Winter,

We May Wait for and Look for Spring,

but when hope is destroyed,

can we wait and hope

for life to return to our hearts?

Psalms 130:6

… my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.

Jude 1:21

… keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

Words of Grace For Today

How in the chaos of this world, where truth is sacrificed by everyone every minute, or so it seems, can we find the patience to wait for and look for something better?

What I trusted was the foundation of life here in this country, is blown to bits and shambles. Lies were spread like wildfire rumours, devouring truth, leaving angry accusations levelled at me. It mattered not that they were false rumours, for they were taken up as a call to war against an enemy with more lies added at every turn (even by those entrusted to protect us all from evil), and I was made to be for so many self-righteous people the face of that enemy, though I had lived my life standing quietly and effectively against such enemies and against such lies, rumours and false accusations against others.

How can I wait for and look for God to fix this unfixable chaos that has left me so far in debt I will never see my way clear of it, even as I live as frugally as possible, off the grid in the bush (freaky hot in the summer and hellishly cold in the winter), heating with a rebuilt wood stove, insulated by tarps cast off pieces of foam held in place by cast off pieces of lumber, a door rescued for reuse on its way to the landfill, all built, repaired and held together by ropes and duct tape and lots of wood screws – constantly needing repairs and replacement.

And then I read with new eyes from centuries past poetry, psalms, prayers and literature. People have sighed, plead, and cried aloud for help from much worse betrayals of self and goodness and civility and honesty and love and hope. My life goes on with blessing abundant in the peace of life beside a small lake in the relative quiet of the bush (though fighter jets landing at the nearby base shatter ear drums and peace at all hours, and the nearby oil installation – an old, ear splitting loud electricity generator growls and pounds on and off for days on end, and bush parties in the summer — all this noise when it disappears for hours or days or even weeks makes the quiet, peace, and solitude then so much more noticed and vibrant.)

What chaos and destruction we humans have wrought on others, and on ourselves. It is not that we have not and do not continue to work to bring a just order and peace to bear on this chaos. Many give their all towards such efforts from large and even world-wide to small and personal. Many work outside any lime light, go completely unnoticed during their active efforts, and are forgotten even before they die. For every step forward it seems at least a step is taken backwards. Here we ended slavery of black people. But the world around even today, people are still enslaved. Even here people are held in bonds that control all choices and steal away all fruits of their labours.

Where is our hope?

my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.

As the sun rises each morning the Holy Spirit creates hope where there is no reason or evidence for it.

The greatest burden we each bear is that (if only we were honest with ourselves) we all participate, blindly perhaps, enjoying the benefits of this continuing slavery, and contributing to the chaos that consumes life at every turn, stealing bits and pieces of life from others, and even finally their lives — all so that we can live on, as it were.

For this burden steals life from us, either in our acknowledging it, or worse in our trying to deny its weight in our lives. We try to swim and still we sink into the chaos. We try in so many ways to try to convince ourselves we can fix it and save ourselves.

keep yourselves in the love of God.

It is futile.

At best we can beg God to keep us in God’s love, save us, free us, and guide us to

look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.


Another day begging God

Receiving from God

Thanking God

Sharing God’s blessings

whether we are so fortunate to live off the grid in the bush or in the tumult of the city.


or Free?

Saturday 11 February 2023

The Horizon.

God’s Gift,

one of many.

Psalms 142:8

Bring me out of prison, so that I may give thanks to your name. The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.

John 8:36

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Words of Grace For Today

Of course, you, yes proud, upright, self-righteous you, have never been in prison, so to be set free, and to be free indeed is nothing, right! Not to you.

But let me tell you as one who spent time in prison, put there by lies about a crime that did not even happen, by judges, prosecutors, lawyers, RCMP, and witnesses who all knew they were lying, for it was that blatant, being set free is an experience one does not ever forget. Nor does one forget the time spent as an inmate. Life threatened in various ways at least once a week, by real violent inmates prompted and setup by guards, and by nurses, and by the brass, but protected by real criminals and maybe even a few honest guards … and by God and God’s people. Food and medication that were not tolerated by my system. The noise. The predictable and irregular inspections and demands and new impromptu ‘rules’ and the lack of horizon and photography and intelligent conversation … and the boredom.

The real prison that we find ourselves in does not have brick and mortar walls and evil people attacking us, and uncommitted crimes dumped on innocent scapegoats, and other ‘real’ criminals (guards include) so unpredictable and demanding. The real prison we find each find ourselves in is the one we make out of our own sins. Lies that corner us. Deeds that destroy others (as we intended) but that also haunt and destroy us. Words that we used to try to create a new reality for ourselves, and in denying God’s real creation we step right into the Devil’s playground, where a physical jail would be millions times more preferable!

This is the prison that God has always offered to free us.

This is the prison that the Devil has sent so many ambassadors to, to offer us yet again another way out, which is really another shackle to add to the many that choke the life right out of us.

This is the prison that we try and try and try to free ourselves from, and too often delude ourselves that we have succeeded, only to see the Devil’s playground has expended again around us and our lives and around those we love.

This is the prison that Jesus frees us from. And when Jesus frees us we are free indeed.

So we breathe.

So we dance.

So we take photos.

So we enjoy the horizon.

So we delve into intelligent conversation when it is possible.

So we worship each day to begin the day.

So we sing God’s praise and give thanks for all that keeps us alive, by God’s grace alone, for obviously we do not deserve any of these blessings.

Our task is simply to extend these blessings to as many other people as we possibly can.

That’s life lived richly, abundantly, as God created us to live.

So on this day, what will we do?

What will you do?

Rain With A Chance of Lava

Wednesday 7 December 2022

The 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.