Reliable What?

Friday, March 8, 2024

the Moon rises on schedule and full

of reliability

Second Kings 13:23

But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion on them; he turned towards them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them; nor has he banished them from his presence until now.

Romans 11:29

… for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Words of Grace For Today


That’s what we look for in things we buy and count on, like cars and trucks, computers and microwaves, garbage compactors and calculators (oh, yeah, we haven’t bought those for decades give or take, right?), and clothing. Just hate it when that new underwear opens a tear on a seam after the first washing, don’t you?


That’s what we look for in our friends.

Who wants a friend who disappears as soon as things get tough. And we try to be there for our friends in their times of need. No sense in only expecting of others and not giving it when we should. The challenge is to be there for ourselves, when no one can be there for us. Somethings we just do alone, and must.


That’s what we hope and trust God will be.

When we are in trouble, when we are down and out, when the world comes crashing in on us. Like when God is there for the people because God made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Of course, God is reliable, the utmost. But the question is always, as Einstein named it, Is God benevolent or malevolent?

Reliable malevolent would do us no good, just lots of harm. Condemned out of the gate and forever more, things turning against us in every moment, people using us, abusing us, and falsely accusing us at every opportunity.

Reliably benevolent and … well …

all has been well, all is well, and all will be well,

for the world can come crashing down around us, as sometimes it feels it is indeed, and we know no matter what, God is with us, the Holy Spirit equipping us and guiding us, and Jesus calling us

to be reliable

for others in their need,

even this day.

God’s Purpose

For the Good and the Bad

Sunday 21 January 2024

Beauty, Gold And White,

Shall Also Pass.

As We All Will.

What Purpose Has God In All That?

Job 2:10

But he said to her, ‘You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Romans 8:28

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Words of Grace For Today

But what is God’s purpose?

Job suffers. No one really can figure out (though many theorize) why God does such terrible things to Job.

Jonah gets the call from God. Jonah runs away because Jonah knows that the task God has for him is, first of all, a thankless task. The Ninevites will not repent. Secondly, they more than deserve to be destroyed. So why should Jonah bother!

God knows otherwise and persists with extraordinary measures to get Jonah on task.

Finally Jonah relents and gives the Ninevites a lacklustre warning, “Repent or be destroyed.”

God’s surprise for Jonah starts with the Ninevites all repenting.

And God continues with the surprise by relenting and not destroying these terribly evil people.

History shows that Nineveh was destroyed eventually.

So I guess God is merciful and loving, but it’s really hard for us people to change and stay changed.

What are we to do with that today?!


Hurry and Come Down

(Me?! But I Worked So Hard to Get Up Here!)

Tuesday 16 January 2024

From the Ur-Waters of Precreation,

to the Storms of Today,

God Claims Us.

Isaiah 43:1

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Luke 19:5

When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’

Words of Grace For Today

How hard we all work to get where we are!

Like Zacchaeus we may have taken advantage of others, but the work was not easy and the price we paid, over and over again, was not nothing.

It’s cost us so much, really.

Then Jesus calls us, “Come Down. Hurry!”

God formed us, named us, and claimed us, and

did God ever intend for us to climb so high up where we’ve gotten,

on the backs of other people

paying the price with our hearts


and souls?

Coming Down can be harder than climbing up. It’s not easy. It’s hard to give up what we think we’ve earned.

Down with Jesus, breaking bread with him, celebrating the goodness of life, we see again how far we’ve wandered away from God’s love and life

given to us in the beginning.

The beginning of each day

each minute.


Wishing But Left Waiting

Monday, December 18, 2023

In Midwinter We Can Wish For the Golden Light Of Summer,

But There Ain’t Nothing We Can Do To Make It Come.

Daniel 2:21

He changes times and seasons, deposes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.

Luke 1:52

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly….

Words of Grace For Today

Not just a few people whom I have known more than deserve the wish that Jesus would come to judge them, cutting through all their lies and false rumours and self justifications for the evil they work against others. Then they would be stopped in their tracks and their victims would be restored to life as it was before they so destroyed them with lies and abuse and all kinds of evil.

For while these abusers and evil doers are still all too active in their evil doing, they have long since ceased to live, for their spirits have been taken by the Evil One, and they walk as shells in motion without heart and soul.

Jesus come!


There is nothing in that wish,

not for those wishing it,

nor nothing that stops the evil nor restores the victims.

So we wait.

So we wait and can do nothing to bring Jesus’ judgment and healing.

For there is nothing to be done to stop the evil doers and their evil, nor to restore their victims.

So we wait.

So we wait, so oft impatiently, for there is no other hope for things to be made right.

So we wait, and pray: come Lord Jesus, come!

until we remember that through forgiveness God heals the victims of evil, and the perpetrators as well.

So we pray, come Lord Jesus, come! Forgive us, heal us, and if you must, forgive those who still work evil against so many victims, helpless to defend themselves, except that they rest in your presence

here already today,

for while there is nothing to do to bring Jesus to come,

we can recognize Jesus is already here,

among us,

healing us,

even when we cannot pray that our abusers would be forgiven,

even when we hope the Holy Spirit would bring our abusers to amend their lives.

So we wait, and pray

our thanks that Jesus is already come, is here, and will come again to judge both the living and the dead.


Undeservedly so.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

God Guides Us On Our Challenging Path to the Light of Christ,

and Calls Us to Share It and Everything

With Everyone.

Psalm 65:4

Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple.

Galatians 4:4-5

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.

Words of Grace For Today

Happy are those.

Happy are we, as some of those, as we are, who are adopted by God as children. God has chosen us and taken us in when we least deserve anything good. God has given us bounty beyond bounty of things good. Nothing can take that from us.

God calls us to share all this with everyone we encounter, the promise, the reality, the reception of gifts, the challenges, the call to share it all.

God help us, for the tasks are as impossible as the gifts are astounding.

How can we but dance and sing our thanks and praise for all God has given us, including the answer to the age-old question: what is the meaning of life?

Which is none other than to share all we have with those in need.

God help us if we don’t. God help us to do this, each day.


And love

Monday, December 4, 2023

God Can Burn It All Down,

or Light a Fire Under Our Lazy Butts.

Which do we need today?

Isaiah 41:10

… do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Matthew 21:15

But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the amazing things that he did, and heard the children crying out in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’, they became angry ….

Words of Grace For Today

Fear can grab us without notice.

If we often let ourselves stay there, then the path for fear (one of the Devil’s favourite tools) is slick and becomes more and more travelled, more and more often without any reasonable cause.

Especially if we, like the chief priests and scribes, hold on to power by dominating others with fear fuelled by deception, corruption, manipulations and/or false gods or words supposedly of God.

Fear can rip our clear thinking minds right out of us, pressing us down into anger, anxiety, and panic … which keep us from thinking straight or being able to recognize what is real around us. We react to false fears as easily to real fears, always with disaster, whether we freeze, run, or stand ‘our ground’ to fight.

All a waste of time, energy, and life.

God’s word so often calls us to not be afraid.

God knows we have enough real reasons to be afraid.

Yet, God promises us that God walks with us, and therefore even when there are real reasons for us to be afraid, we not need fear. Instead we can participate in Jesus’ reign throughout all creation, wherein love, sacrificial love, is more powerful than anything that could threaten us.

Love carries us, even into and through death.

So there is no reason to fear,

unless we turn from God, and then we rightly fear God.

When we realize that God has turned to us, again and again with steadfast love and mercy, forgiving us, renewing us, equipping us, and sending us out to share the power of sacrificial love with all creation, then

well, we still fear God, for God is all-powerful, able to end us and all creation in the blink of an eye. Yet we also love God, for God has given us and does now give us and always will give us life, precious blessed abundant life.

So we breathe, and sing and dance in praise and thanks for all God is and does for us.

From Dark

to Light

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Way To the Light

Seems To Cross Thin Ice,

So We Hesitate …

and then it is dark again.

Psalm 119:130

The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

Ephesians 5:8

For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light ….

Words of Grace For Today

Moving into the Light should be a simple thing.

Just choose your steps on the path towards the Light, right?


the devil has also sorts of false lights,

luring us into dead


Of course, the Light of Christ requires more than just walking,

it requires right hearts and minds and spirits,

all which we are completely incapable of attaining on our own,

if ever,



We need Christ to show us the way,

and even then

we need the Spirit to transform our hearts, minds, and spirits so that we can follow.

And still we fail.

So Christ comes

into our darkness

and brings the Light

to guide us


So we hope we will live in the Light

but we know from the past we will choose to wander

back into the darkness all too soon (like right now)


Christ will need to come again

and again

and again


again … ad infinitum.

If Only …

If Only It Were So Simple!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Thinking We Can Make Things Beautiful On Our Own,

Ruins All Our Efforts

Exodus 24:7

Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.’

James 1:22

But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.

Words of Grace For Today

Yes, we will do it!

We will be obedient!

(until we are not, of course, which is always bound to happen, since it is built into us humans to explore, push the limits, and rebel against authority.)

Oh, if James were anything other than a straw gospel, one that is blown away by even the slightest wind of adversity.

Then we could not just be hearers but doers as well of the Gospel.


life is much more complicated than that,

and so much more interesting.

We not only need to listen and hear and attempt to do, we need to start by confessing that we cannot on our own follow Jesus’ way of self-sacrificial love.

We need to beg for help from the Holy Spirit.

So, also this day,

we wish to be followers of Jesus, doers of God’s Grace, obedient servants of God Will,

but since we know we cannot ever,

we confess our sins,

trust we are forgiven,

and move into the day

knowing we are fully dependent on God to do anything good or worthwhile.

Just beggars, we are,

just beggars,

by Grace alone, saintly beggars.

Begging Low

Before God

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

As the day comes to a close, begging again, that all will be well.

Job 9:2-3

Indeed I know that this is so; but how can a mortal be just before God? If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand.

Luke 15:18

I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you ….

Words of Grace For Today

We would like to think that we can justify ourselves, before others to be sure, but also before God.


So much trouble comes from that thinking.

Starting a new day

one begins begging




for God’s mercy and forgiveness,

for we cannot make ourselves righteous,

nor free from our sinful past.

That only God can do for us,

and God promises to do just that

if we but just ask.

So begging it is

to start and end each day.

Unless, of course, it is an ordinary day when we try to justify ourselves to ourselves and God,

which leads to more disastrous days than we care to remember.


what are we waiting for?

God promises us ….

Is It All Falling Apart

Or Coming Together?

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Are These Just Clouds,

Or a New Kind of

Stealth Bomber?

Isaiah 57:16

For I will not continually accuse, nor will I always be angry; for then the spirits would grow faint before me, even the souls that I have made.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.

Words of Grace For Today

God, with steadfast love and mercy deals with us sinful lot of people, sending Jesus to save us, and entrusts to us that message of reconciliation. “You saved sinners-made saints: Share the Good News!”

What Good News is there to share today?

Peter Armstrong wrote in his weekly Mind Your Business Newsletter for CBC: “There’s an old joke that Canada’s economy is really just some banks, telcos and energy companies in a trench coat. But that doesn’t factor in the real estate industry.”

Lately, of course, we’ve heard a lot about consumer buying, fuel prices and taxes, interest rates and so many choosing between housing and food, while still living in houses and eating enough to not starve. Which is to say the degree of pain is sometimes locked into a standard of living that many in the world would gladly almost achieve, yet alone be able to continue in. But we are talking about losses in the face of inflation (economic manipulation by the wealthy at it’s heart) and not how good we expect life in Canada to continue to be. So all is well, right?

Maybe not at all, not at all.

Then Armstrong, commenting on a TED talk by the Irish economist David McWilliams, writes:

McWilliams “says a normal economist would come armed with charts and graphs and maps, the tools of his trade.

‘But I’m an Irish economist, so I’m only going to come here armed with some lines and verses of poetry,’ he says.

He starts by quoting the (Irish) poet W.B. Yeats. The Second Coming was written in 1919 and it famously describes a world falling apart:

‘Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…’

Remember, this was written in 1919. The Great War was over, peace had been restored to a weary world. And yet Yeats saw trouble.

McWilliams says all the economists back then were saying the world would go back to normal and everything was finally going to be OK.

Within a few years, Benito Mussolini was in power in Italy. Joseph Stalin was on the rise in the Soviet Union and Adolf Hitler had just staged a putsch in Munich.

“So what’s always bugged me is, why did the poet get things so right at a tipping point, and the economists get things so wrong?” asks McWilliams.

He says the artists, poets and musicians always seem to give themselves permission to think differently.

The TED Talk was done in Vancouver, so he quoted the Leonard Cohen line about how there’s a crack in everything, and that is how the light gets in.

‘What Cohen was saying to us was, “Look for the cracks, look into the cracks.” That’s where we’ll see the big picture,’ he says.

McWilliams says we are in a precarious moment in the world. And this TED Talk was done in April. The world has grown immensely more precarious since then.

He says at moments like this, the institutions risk falling into groupthink and confirmation bias.

‘So my idea, that I think is worth spreading, is the following: if you want to understand the world a little bit more clearly, listen less to my tribe, the economists, and listen to Yeats’s tribe, the poets,’ he says to thunderous applause.’”

Russia invades Ukraine and destroys countless lives. (Our inflation losses do not compare.) Hamas attacks Israel, kills and kidnaps civilians including children. Israel responds killing thousands and thousands of Palestinians as Hamas uses civilians, hospitals and schools as cover over their tunnels. Iran threatens to enter the conflict. The US already is in the area using it’s military on select targets in neighbouring countries.

Interest rates at home should be stable for a year, maybe. Maybe they will go down next year or soon thereafter. Maybe they will rise. Some food prices have dropped. Before this mess Silk (soy milk) sold for $3 for 1.89 litre. It rose to $5.50 at the highest with ‘special sale’ prices of 2 for $8.5. Then the sale price dropped to 2 for $8. Costco brought in 3 for $9 something. Now the price is dropped to 2 for $7.50. Something for us who pay the premium compared to milk, which we cannot consume for health reasons.

Where is the good news that is not false good news?

It takes starting with noticing that the real problem is our sinful ways that bring evil on others. That is at the bottom of all the other real bad, ugly evil, problems that we face in these days.

Poets see beyond the economics.

God’s saints see (enabled by the Holy Spirit) beyond the poets.

Thankfully we have God’s Word and Promise: God’s love is steadfast and his mercy endures, for each and all of us.