Saving Private Ryan?

Or just us old goats?

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Thinking we can make it through life on our own

is like

thinking we can walk through the woods

to the sun rising.

Proverbs 14:34

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

Luke 22:39-40

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.’

Words of Grace For Today

We would like to believe that our lives serve a great purpose.

Maybe we will do something as purposeful as ‘Saving Private Ryan’, sacrificing our own lives so that the last son of a family of fallen sons can return alive to his grieving, thankful parents. Of course we’d like to turn the story just at tad, and survive as well.

But that is not likely to be

if we are left to our own devices.

The temptations of sin are great and the cost is absolute, final, and ultimate.

Unless …?

Unless what?

Unless God saves us.

So we pray ‘save us from the time of trial.’

Save us.

Save us.

Or we are lost.


And Ever??

Sunday, March 24, 2024

it may seem the horizon of life goes on forever

past the moon setting orange and down ….

First Chronicles 17:27

… therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue for ever before you. For you, O Lord, have blessed and are blessed for ever.

Matthew 25:34

Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…”

Words of Grace For Today

Ahh, the hubris that would make a human think their kingdom could continue without end!

If ever there were a true saying about everything in life it is simply, “this too shall pass.”

Only God continues without end.

So we know, our sufferings

and our joys

shall pass.

Until one day God gathers us into the home created for us.

Meanwhile there’s much to be done to surrender our wills to God’s

and work to give the essentials

of life to the millions

starving, who face

sure death


The godlets

Like GREEEEEED are not so small!

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Isn’t It Time, To Recognize Reality,

Sins and All!

Jeremiah 16:20

… mortals make for themselves gods? Such are no gods!

Colossians 3:5

Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).

Words of Grace For Today

Greed is certainly a long-lived godlet, an idol that we embrace so hungrily. This godlet like all idols eats at our hearts from the inside out, starting with fake insecurities and fears that we then try to buy our way free from. Stupid, but very seductive, widespread, and destructive.

Jesus addressed these insecurities. The people are enthralled and filled with exuberant hope as Jesus enters Jerusalem to put an end to the corruption, the tyrannies, the wild insecurities and fears that rob all the people of life.

But with God everything is not as it seems.

Insecurities, Real and Faked

We may not fully grasp the insecurities the people suffered in Jesus’ time. It may even be difficult to fully understand the insecurities we suffer today.

What author Astra Taylor had to say may help. She wrote about the dangerous insecurities of our times which threaten our future, even as a species. In particular she points to false and manufactured insecurities planted in us, and nurtured among us every day by our consumer society.

Guarantees of safety from great dangers pour over us, like use this shampoo to save yourself from dandruff, use this antiperspirant to save yourself from career and relationship ending stink and stains, buy this car to save yourself from the dangers on the roads. It’s not just one message. Together the accumulation of them all, our collective responses, and the unspoken expectation that we will “keep up with the Jones’s” subvert our ability to see where real dangers actually threaten us.

Yes. It’s a paradox – we live in the most prosperous era in human history, and the greatest disparity ever between the rich and the poor keeps growing. Because the wealthy people buy into it with gusto, guaranteeing their ability to make mega-luxury purchases of fake security at the cost of the basics of life for the rest of us, millions of people struggle to survive until the next day.

With the burning of our energy inheritance of fossil fuels, nature’s timekeeping becomes increasingly confused causing plants and animals to fall out of sync. In a world so out of joint insecurities multiply exponentially, as does self-righteous anger.

Taylor says to counter that destructive anger “We need to … acknowledge and embrace our [real] insecurities, while resisting manufactured ones. [By facing reality, especially our real fears, we can foster] a wisdom that can guide … our personal lives [and] our collective endeavours.”

CBC Ideas Newsletter for 18 March 2024, Astra Taylor’s Massey Lectures of 2023, rebroadcast this past week on CBC radio’s Ideas. Adapted 2024

By Faith

That maybe a lot to take in. Yet we know by faith that we cannot escape all insecurities. Every generation has heard scriptures teaching us to put aside false insecurities and fears, maybe not in those exact words. We practice the confession of sins as the beginning of worship and prayer. Confession includes recognizing and letting go of our false and manufactured insecurities and fears.

Our faith has also taught us that things are not always what they seem!

The Whole Shooting Kaboodle-dom!

Not for us! But for Christ!

Friday, March 22, 2024

Just When We Thought

It Was All Ours!

We Pass Away Into Oblivion.

Psalm 102:26

They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like clothing, and they pass away;

Colossians 1:16

… for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him.

Words of Grace For Today

We’ve taken dominion over the earth

and darn near ruined it into being an inhospitable wasteland, wherein we cannot survive much longer, or maybe we’ve crossed over the point of no return and it’s a done deal.

Our error, made new each day, is to assume God made it all for us.


God created it all for Christ!

Even us.

So that’s our place, not rulers but servants.

And once we surrender to that truth,

then Christ shares the blessings of life with us,

first and foremost the blessing of being blessings for others.

Today, Come


Tuesday, March 19, 2024

In the Darkness Look Not Out There Far Away,

But Close By,

For There Your Home Is Ready, Waiting,

Just for You.

Deuteronomy 33:27

He subdues the ancient gods, shatters the forces of old; he drove out the enemy before you, and said, ‘Destroy!’

John 14:1-2

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

Words of Grace For Today

Driving out the enemy and destroying it,

sounds like finally all will be set right.


we realize that we are that enemy, we are the ones creating false gods, and giving our lives in worship of them, so that

if-when we destroy those enemies,

that in us that would so worship other than our God

will be destroyed.

Are we ready

for that!?

But do not let our hearts be troubled, for by Grace alone, God will save us


give us a home

like none other,

especially prepared and reserved for us,

where love flows freely

and all ills are cured

and we are finally

set free from our own sin.


Start today living in that place already prepared for us.

Answer the invitation to Come

into the heart of God’s love for each of us.

Walk On

Toward Justice and Love

Monday, March 18, 2024

Take a step in the right direction,

Towards the Light and Love

of Life.

Isaiah 10:1-2

Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees, who write oppressive statutes, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be your spoil, and that you may make the orphans your prey!

Matthew 7:12

In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

Words of Grace For Today

What do we want?

What can we do?

Is it so hard to do for others, what we would want for ourselves,

and to do it first for others,

before expecting it will be done (by us or others) for us?

A small step away from injustice and towards the love that holds the universe together,

and gives life to every heart.



or rather walk on

by Grace alone.

Good Words

& Deeds

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Dark Shadows Cross Our Paths.

Do We Trust the Word That All Is Well Ahead?

Psalm 105:1

O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples.

Romans 10:17

So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

The Word

created in the beginning


continues to create every minute thereafter


always faith grows or dies from what one hears (and reads – a kind of hearing from others).

So Jesus calls us to share the Good News, with words if necessary, but first with acts of love and kindness, meeting people’s real needs, so that the Word spoken will already be validated by our actions.

And that is an impossible task on our own, for we always mess up our actions and motivations with self-interest and selfish concerns.

Thank God, the Holy Spirit can create faith in us, and in our thoughts, words, and deeds, so that the Good Word is heard

in our actions

and then

in our words.

Get talking after doing good!


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.

Treasure That Fear?

Or Mix It With Love?

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Lynx Prowl Here.

Fear and Love

Allow One to Live On Here

Isaiah 33:5-6

The Lord is exalted, he dwells on high; he filled Zion with justice and righteousness; he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure.

Acts of the Apostles 9:31

Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

Words of Grace For Today

Fear is a great motivator. Some say it is precisely what brings people to seek refuge in totalitarian, fascist rulers, enter Putin and Trump and a host of others not so obvious, (and a long long long list from history) but well on their way to being rulers, not leaders,

and rulers that should be feared rather than embraced! But

what can we do?

Pray and vote, and hope.

As for God, often fear is seen as our appropriate attitude towards the Almighty who judges everyone and condemns more than a few.

But that gets us nowhere in life other than in the same old rat race trying to make our way to goodness and God’s good graces.

Thank God it ain’t that way God put it together for us.

God comes and gives us (as gifts, fully gifts) life, forgiveness, healing, and renewal …

each day.

So Luke adds, the ‘comfort of the Holy Spirit’ and

Martin Luther speaks of ‘fear and love God, so that ….’

Always not just fear, for it paralyzes us and leaves us not so much freewilled beings, but instinctual ‘reptilian’ reactionaries, by fear reducedd to choosing between freezing, flighting, or fighting. Usually not the best options, though sometimes it is.

For those times, let fear motivate us, we pray.

But for all others, let love be the stronger companion of fear,

also this day.

Fine or Coarse

They’re still grounds!

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Was it freewill that brings us to live where this is Spring time?

Psalm 121:7

The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.

John 17:15

I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.

Words of Grace For Today

Coffee Grounds.

Coffee is wonderful, without power the choice every morning is a French Press.

Can’t do milk, so Silk in the coffee mellows the acids, cools it a tad, and makes a smooth, slightly sweetened hot boost to the morning, though not as much when I could drink caffeine and still sleep well at night.

Wonderful morning still, mostly decafe, a bit of the full power stuff, a small boost but still wonderful.

And then there are the grounds.

What a mess.

Try getting them out of the press’ screen using little to no water. Impossible.

Then if I use water it cannot be sent down the drain and where to then?

So I use a paper filter, which helps with the screen, but not completely.

The grounds still need to be rinsed out (or wiped out, but what a mess trying that is!)

And where to put all that water. Plastic bags to be emptied on to the ground is best. Still a labour-after-the-gotta-love-that-jo!

God probably has stories like that involving forgiving and cleansing our hearts. What a delight that people can love. Gave ‘em freewill to make it possible. But oh, what a headache cleaning up their choices not to love!

And no matter what kind of things you provide to make the clean up easier, they always find a way to make it so messy it’s just unbelievable! Or, since it’s God, not so unbelievable as rather

planned for.

Thank God for that, or we’d all be sunk in our own sin all the time, and our only salvation would be to be out of this world away from freewill, sin, and, then of necessity, love.

Or stay in the world and lose freewill, which would make us no more than bi-ped, smart but stupid animals, eh?!

On we go, freewilled, sinning, and saved, into this new day, trying to return God’s gifts by sharing them with others, as fine or coarse as it may turn out to be.