Boxing Away

Boxing Day Failure

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

One Day In and

Our Memory of Jesus

is More Faded

Than the Morning Moon


Isaiah 60:16

You shall suck the milk of nations, you shall suck the breasts of kings; and you shall know that I, the Lord, am your Saviour and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

2 Timothy 1:9b-10

This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Words of Grace For Today

Boxing Day

brings to the fore the obvious


failings of Christmas.

It’s when the commercial xmas takes over, crowds rush to the stores, sales and stock are piled high and wide, and money flows like smoke from a huge, hot wildfire.

Many retail stores turn a profit only because of the huge boost in December, and particularly on Boxing Day. Large stores turn extreme profits on this day, adding to the wealth they collect for stock holders and executives with huge bonuses.

Year after year, we attempt to remember that God is the sole source of our well-being. That God is the only source of a life worth living.

Christ comes as an infant, a sign that God’s true power is not in force or wealth or in possessing or possessions accumulated, but rather in the love that is pure, true, and steadfast.

We gather with small candles lit in the darkness and sing our faith on our sleeves of God’s wonders for us all, and then …

we run to the store the second day of Christmas to spend and get and possess all that we can.

What a huge failure we all are.

Our only rescue is in God’s Grace. God’s forgiveness.

So much for sucking life from the nations of the kings of the world. All that is is poison for our souls.

Pause, amid the hectic, and remember

God’s goodness in the simple, pure gifts of love

that sustain us each day.

The Only One

The Only One Listening

Monday, December 11, 2023

A logging road in the Klanawa Valley on western Vancouver Island divides two landscapes: a cutblock on the right, and old-growth trees that are part of a wildlife protection area on the left. Tara Carman/CBC

No One Listens and Cutblocks Eat Away at Our Precious,

Climate Saving, Old Growth Forests

Psalm 38:9-11

O Lord, all my longing is known to you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart throbs, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me. My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction, and my neighbours stand far off.

1 John 5:14

And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

Words of Grace For Today

Job knew it, as many have since.

It is that experience that everyone and everything has turned against one, even life itself, and there is no one that hears. No one that listens. No one that understands. No one that cares.


That God hears, listens, understands, cares and



God even responds, providing what we need to survive even those dark times.

And survive we do, until the sun shines brightly again in our lives and we have all the listening, hearing, understanding, and caring we require

in order to

Give God thanks with our every breath.

Low Blow

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

We Need A Good Shepherd to Guide Us Through the Many Coming Storms.

Ezekiel 34:23

I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.

Matthew 9:36

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Words of Grace For Today

Shepherds, in Jesus day, lived rough, with the flock on the hills, leading them to green pastures and fresh water by day and guarding them from danger by night.

Being a shepherd was not a highly sought after or held in high esteem occupation. Quite the opposite. It was one of the lowest of the lowly ways to make a living.

Being compared to sheep, though, that is a real low insult, that hits out of bounds and lays one flat as fodder for the vultures.

Sheep were and still are very dumb animals. They need protection all the time from predators. They need to be led to food and water. And …

When we were young my brother demonstrated how they follow, absolutely stupidly.

As we were bringing the sheep into the barn he sat out of sight just inside the door. After the first ten sheep passed through the doorway he stuck a broomstick across the doorway about a foot and a half high. The next sheep jumped over it to follow those ahead, as did the next five. Then he pulled the broomstick out of the doorway, and …

the rest of the flock jumped over the none-existent broomstick to follow the sheep ahead into the barn.

Sheep are real stupid.

So being compared to sheep is a real low blow.

The problem is …

the comparison fits us just right.

We need a Good Shepherd to have compassion on us helpless people, following most stupidly the most stupid of stupid leaders.

Thank God, God sends us one in Jesus, who saves us,



again today, many times.

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.


Walk it off?

Not a chance.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

John Hopkins: Fungi Nightmare in the Making

Lamentations 3:58

You have taken up my cause, O Lord, you have redeemed my life.

1 Peter 2:21-23

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.

Words of Grace For Today

CBC health newsletter reported how a man came home for a long weekend, walking up his drive he vomited blood on his driveway, ended up needed a new liver (cause of cirrhosis unknown), four years later went in for a liver transplant, and spent more than a month on IVs with multiple superbug infections (infections resistant to antibiotics).

And this is more and more common. Surgery is getting to be dangerous, because of the killer infections that come with it. Covid should have woken us up to the huge risk we are at, across the world, to unstoppable infections. Instead people want Covid to be over so they say it is over and behave as if it’s over, but it’s not. We will suffer greater death and losses of health because of it. People don’t want that to happen, so they live as if it is not already happening. Wanting it to be, does not make is so.

A walk up one’s drive, after a long, hard work week is supposed to be the beginning of a kind of rest and recuperation. The walk is the beginning of ‘walking it all off’, so that one is ready to be with one’s family, and then ready to return to a productive work-week.

Sin is worse. We cannot just ‘walk it off.’ We can pretend it does not exist, which only deepens the sin’s ravaging in our lives, like superbugs denied and thus let loose to run havoc more freely in our midst.

Only God’s forgiveness can save us from sin.

Also from the sin of denying Covid, and the dangers of super bugs: bacteria, viruses, fungi.

Without God’s forgiveness, redemption, and renewal of us, we cannot engage to help one another survive come what may.

So we celebrate each morning, noon, and night (and also this day) with the writer of Lamentations: ‘You have taken up my cause, O Lord, you have redeemed my life.’ And we pray that we may be delivered from diseases that cannot be cured, again today.

The Answer is

(NOT always)


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Roses Are Red

And Violets are Blue



Can Make You

Dead, Through and Through.

Or make you wish you were.

Psalm 22:23

You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

John 17:22

The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one,

Words of Grace For Today

When we are young (ish) and we search for a mate for life, some of us come up with some real doosies!

No names of course, for that would embarrass us all.

The man who marries a young woman and then, despite conversation and promises to be faithfully monogamous, insists that it is his right to have sex with other woman.

The woman who in her 60’s continues to hoard canned food. Already more than 100 lbs overweight she remains fearful that, impoverished as they are for his having served as a pastor, … that they will run out of food. Her hoard fills all their living space, living room, dining room, extra bedroom and even their own bedroom. It takes an extra moving van to move the cans.

The female synodical bishop who aspires to be the bishop of the national church and uses every means to run off or ruin any pastor or congregation who challenges her autocratic, unjust, and even illegal actions to secure her ‘power’.

The woman, to compensate for her insecurities, who cannot accept responsibility for anything she does wrong always blaming it on someone else (as ludicrous as her reasoning often is), who latches on to a fat man who is ‘going places’, and then ridicules him to his literal death, to avoid a divorce and the loss of half their accumulated wealth (more than a little of it legally gained.)

The senator’s wife (a senator who serves on the committee for space exploration) who all her money and tries to send his to a scam artist, who sends news every month of the ‘little green men’ in their midst and his negotiations with them to keep them from overthrowing the government.

The obscenely rich land developer whose wife never runs out of energy or appetites for other people, without their clothes, who has to be sent to one of their other homes to interrupt her appetites run amok.

For some people the blessing that we may be one as Jesus is one with the Father, is not such a blessing.

The words of wisdom certainly apply, no matter for what else you marry someone, marry someone kind.

At least then, no matter how crazy they (or you) turn out to be, at least they will not try to bring about your death.

Best to be humble before God, confident only in God’s grace, for in many awesome ways God demonstrates God’s saving grace for us, not only for the Hebrew slaves escaping across the Red Sea into the wilderness, but for all of us, from our slavery to whatever oppression or sin, into the wilderness where we can learn to serve others God’s own grace, instead of our confidence in things that will always fail us.

These are the


Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Our lists are as helpful as clouds are for planning a meal.

Not at all.

Zechariah 8:16

These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace,

Romans 14:19

Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual edification.

Words of Grace For Today

It’s easy to find lists of things about which one can justifiably say, these are the things. One can even find lists of things about which one can justifiably say, these are the things we should do.

Peace always tops the list and love others is almost always in there, … as long as the list of things to do is a list of how to be good.

The trouble is that we

too often


to be bad

even in spite of ourselves wanting to think we are good.


here’s a list of things that we can always be sure we will do:




etc until the last one is: die

Empty lists of things that we can be sure we will do followed by a sure thing: death.

How did God ever expect us to make anything good come about when death is the only sure thing we know we will do, and it’ll be good because we leave room then for the next generation and for evolution??!

If that is a real question for us, then it’s time to take a break….

It Will Get Better

Eventually …

Friday, August 25, 2023

Fires Spot the Ground,

Eating Everything in Their Paths.


Takes Our Breath Away

Isaiah 49:4

But I said, ‘I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my cause is with the Lord, and my reward with my God.’

James 5:7

Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.

Words of Grace For Today

With wildfires in the Northwest Territories, thousands of people have evacuated, mostly south, way south even to Calgary. Smoke swirls and flows across much of Alberta and Saskatchewan as the NWT fires’ smoke combines with those in BC to wreak havoc on breathing, which last I checked is still a basic function required for staying alive.

It’s not unlike all the other evils that come back to haunt us from our pasts, evils that we blithely contributed to, thinking the day of reckoning would not come, not really. It’s a shame. Almost all of the severe weather events we suffer now could have been avoided if we would have listened, believed and made changes back when changes would have made a difference. Oh, they still will make a difference, but we are in for a lot of suffering for the next few centuries. A lot of suffering.

It’s Gotten Hot,

Not Just In Hell.

Then from CBC news ( we get this:

Though forecasts of rising temperatures, no rain and shifting winds continue to be a worry, fire experts are taking several days to do infrared scans of several of the largest blazes, including the one outside the capital city, said Jessica Davey-Quantick, wildfire information officer for the Department of Environment and Climate Change.

The scans will provide information that will allow wildfire teams to plan next steps in the fight, she said.

If only we could have scanned into the future five decades, back in the 1980’s, eh?!

But we do now what we can:

In coming days, we’ll have more information as these fires are assessed and our next steps are established. Right now it is not safe to return to these communities that have been evacuated,” she said.

Most of all we have to remain hopeful, and remember how we’ve survived in the past, and how we can help each other now:

For now the best we can all do is just wait and see what’s coming. We’re going to get through this. It’s going to get better. Eventually,” she added with a smile, “it will snow.”

Thank God, literally, for knowing things like ‘it will snow’ which give us hope, hope for all the challenges we face in the midst of all the evil we have contributed to form our days,

even this day.

Thank God for ‘snow’.


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.

Guard Your [Everything]

But Humility Knows It’s Futile

Friday, August 4, 2023

A Bit of February’s Chill Feels Good In August’s Heat.

Fools Forget the Bite of -40⁰ and of +40⁰.

We Are Vulnerable.

Ecclesiastes 5:1

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God; to draw near to listen is better than the sacrifice offered by fools; for they do not know how to keep from doing evil.

Matthew 7:1

Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.

Words of Grace For Today

Right, Ecclesiastes again. All full of wisdom and folly, advice that cannot help one iota.

If we could do what we know or easily could know is right, the world would be a different kind of place,

one without love,

since love requires freewill and

freewill inevitably allows and produces not love

which includes choosing and doing what is not right (even when we know what is right.)

As far as not judging others, it’s also great advice, a warning that we too will be judged.

But we will inevitably judge others and we will for sure be judged, regardless of what we do.

Only God can save us!

And God has, does, and will again.

Now that’s wisdom that is not full of folly.

Humbly trusting God’s works for us

is the only worthy way of living.

But we will miss that mark again today, again and again.

Thankfully God knew that, and has taken that into account with forgiveness for us that is unending.

So we can dance a little, maybe?