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.

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.


With Patience …

Monday, March 25, 2024

It May Have Seemed A Good Idea,

But Then We Find Ourselves Out on a Limb

of A Tree

Ready to Tip Into the Waters

of Death!

Second Chronicles 18:13

But Micaiah said, ‘As the Lord lives, whatever my God says, that I will speak.’

2 Timothy 4:2

proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.

Words of Grace For Today

Proclaiming the Good News ought, it seems, to be a wonderful experience,


humans don’t like to have their ‘apple carts upset’, ‘their cheese moved’, ‘their boat rocked’!

Surprise surprise


Most often the Good News messenger is ‘shot’, vary rarely with a camera,

or hung

or burned at the stake

or buried alive

or crucified.

So do we really want to follow Jesus?

Well, to whom else shall we turn.

For only Jesus has the message that brings life,

true life to all who hear and follow

a rather humbling path

of service to God’s will

in service to others.

It’ll take all the patience we can muster to face down the opposition and derision others will throw at us,

but God walks with us,

and there is no greater blessing.

So onward, One Step, One Word at a time.


Or Smart-ss, or rather Wisdom?

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Finding Our Way,


Following the Path of …?

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.

1 Corinthians 1:30-31

He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’

Words of Grace For Today

Oh, we try!

We try to be as smart as we can, but

the results are often that we are just pretending, having missed the boat on wisdom and instead having jumped aboard the ship of fools.

God, by comparison to our futile efforts, gives some great capacity for knowledge and others for wisdom. Seldom do the two overlap, but when they do …

Then we enjoy pearls of wisdom that are precious, and never do they call attention to the one so gifted, but rather point to the giver of everything, especially wisdom, – God our Creator, Saviour, and Sustainer.

To give God thanks, pointing to all things evil and life ending for others, is a sign of true evil and foolishness.

To give God thanks, and point to God for all things good, this is a sign of true wisdom.

Let us pray today we may be gathered in by the Holy Spirit in the second category, able to share all we are and have with those in need.

Memetic Desires

Or God’s Way?

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Dreary Woods, Wishing For Someone Else’ Life?


Living in God’s Country, a Paradise?

Psalm 116:12

What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?

Luke 17:15-16

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.

Words of Grace For Today

While so much of what goes on around us, towards us, and finally in us has to do with insecurity, and our fruitless efforts to escape its ugly claws on our hearts and minds, there is nothing so refreshing for our souls as to

a) take a vacation to a warm, sandy, sunny beach in the Caribbean?

b) win an all expenses paid ski vacation to a destination of our choosing and at a time of our choosing?

c) inherit $100,000,000?

d) move into one’s dream house with views to the mountains out the front windows and over a river valley where the sunrises each morning, with no mortgage, a gift from a secret admirer?


e) …

Oh, stop that crap produced by generations subjected to memetic desires through advertising and others ‘possessing’ what we come to want and then need, until we use innocent scapegoats to resolve our misunderstood desires.

What God offers is life, life at its best!

All we need to wish for is the continued ability to be thankful for all we have already, gifts from God’s good hand and gracious dealings with us undeserving, sinful people.

Filled with thanks, our days progress with less outrageously unfounded covetousness and conflict – outward with other people, and inward with our own hearts and minds.

Thank God for thankfulness,

and may we have a greater dose of it each day, if you please.

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!

Being Children


Friday, March 15, 2024

Clouds Everywhere Float Through the Sky,

As God’s Children Inhabit the Earth


Deuteronomy 14:1

You are children of the Lord your God. You must not lacerate yourselves or shave your forelocks for the dead.

Galatians 3:26

… for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.

Words of Grace For Today

To be children again, wow!

Or is it Woe to those who wish to be children!

Or is it Whoa Betsy, hold on now. No way do we want to be children again!

Not that it really matters, we are born children, every one of us, and we remain children to our parents our whole lives. No way out of that.

Being good children is something that may not be on everyone’s agenda or priority list, but it’s one of those things the Ten Commandments highlights as being important to good living.

So we ought to work at it. Sometimes there are benefits to being someone’s child like a great inheritance, and then sometimes it’s just a pain.

Whether we are God’s children or not is, like being children to our parents, is not up to us. Not that our parents had much choice in the matter about having particularly us as their children. … Unless, of course, we were adopted. Then our parents chose us, specifically us.

That’s what God does: chooses us, adopts us, gives us all the benefits of being heirs.

That’s a load of life abundant dumped in our laps.

Are we up to living it?


Speak Forgiveness

Preach It From the Rooftops

Friday 9 February 2024

Out There,

Beyond the Trees so Strong

(like our sins),

Is The Light of Christ,

Rising Majestically,


Isaiah 40:2

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

Luke 24:47

… that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Words of Grace For Today

The uses we put religion to ought to turn God in his grave, if he ever were in one! (Well Jesus was, but is no more.) But how is it that we put religion’s face on such horrendous schemes and deceptions.

What would the world look like if …?

What would we all look like if …?

If we used religion only proclaimed the Grace of God, that sins were already paid and God has restored us all more than two-fold for all we have lost to our sins?

Remarkably different, peaceful, gracious, generous, and blessed.

So let’s start today …


even though we are fully forgiven

we cannot let go of sin

for sin still has it’s ugly-strong grip on us

in us






we persevere running the good race put before us

also this day

of beauty


by our sins.



Thursday 8 February 2024

Quietly Wait Here,


Quietly Run Here?

Lamentations 3:26

It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Words of Grace For Today




Not really things that are possible at the same time, or?

Running the good race set before us, the race of sharing the Good News with everyone, using out thoughts, words, and actions to point people to God’s Grace and steadfast love.

Waiting quiet;y on the Lord for the salvation that is promised to us.

Two different things, until one realizes that the only way to run the good race (with everything we’ve got) is to know that we can only wait for salvation. Salvation is not something we run towards, or earn by running, or receive after the race is won.

Salvation is something that God gives to us in God’s own good time.

And in God’s own way.

So that we are equipped for the race.

Which we certainly cannot run on our own, not at all.

Not at all.

So we




With thankful hearts and open minds to what God will bring us to do this day.

The Heavy Gift

Of Righteousness

Tuesday 6 February 2024

When Most of Life is Like

a Tumbled


of Upturned Roots,

Where is Righteousness?

Exodus 19:6

… but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.

2 Timothy 4:8

From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Words of Grace For Today

If only …

If only longing for something would make it so …

If only longing for something would make it so, the world would experience more chaos than even now.

But if God longs for something, then … well then it is going to happen, well maybe. And if we long for what God longs for then it will surely happen, or?

Then comes into play human freewill that makes love possible, and what God longs for most is that we freely choose to love, which means God does not make it happen, but waits for us to choose love, which can take a long time, too often more time than we have.

And God’s longing in not fulfilled.

Then we can long to love, but not choose it, and we are disappointed that God does not make it happen, forgetting that freewill is an essential part of love.

So we long for the Christ to appear, and that alone does not give us righteousness. Nor does our choosing to love God, our neighbour, ourselves, and even our enemies. Us receiving the crown of righteousness is wholly a gift.

Wholly and only a gift given to us.

Wholly and only a gift from God.

Wholly and only a gift given to us though we do not deserve it.

And that is something to celebrate, for the Christ is already arrived and here with us each day, and the crown that we do not deserve is ours,

though it weighs heavily on our heads

for with it comes the responsibility (response ability) to love

without condition or hesitation

all people and all of creation.

Just a little work for us each day, eh?