We Are All Guests

Some Desperately Need Homes, NOW!

Friday 12 January 2024

Edmonton police officers and city crews could be seen at a homeless encampment in the area of 95th Street and Rowland Road on Tuesday morning [9 January 2024]. Police and cleanup crews were met with resistance from people who live in the camp and from advocates who showed up to support them.” Global News

Psalm 119:19

I live as an alien in the land; do not hide your commandments from me.

[or another translation: I am a guest on earth.]

2 Corinthians 5:1

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Words of Grace For Today

Just because we know that we have a home waiting for us

after life

even if the earth is destroyed

even if the universe is destroyed,

does not give us an excuse to destroy


the earth

this universe!

These are gifts from God

to be treasured.

Life to be lived with integrity, kindness, and mercy for others.

The earth to be used and guarded from destruction so that future generations have a better earth to live on.

The universe to be explored and admired and guarded from destruction of all kinds, because this is our home now

And God said life, the earth, and all the universe are Good.

So we ought to keep it all that way.

Instead of bulldozing tent cities, the last, most secure place for many people who find themselves homeless in the cold of winter and the heat of summer,

How about making a home for them as well,

a good, safe, nurturing home

on earth?!


Making Things Right

Sunday, October 22, 2023

When the neighbour fills in the wetlands,

taking away a carbon sink and water purifier,

how does one make it right?

Leviticus 19:17

You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbour, or you will incur guilt yourself.

Galatians 6:1

My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted.

Words of Grace For Today

It is more difficult than it sounds:

making all things right with someone who has done you wrong.



we have done God plenty of wrong,



though we certainly do not deserve it

makes all things right with us,


to spend the effort to

gently make all things right with those that do us wrong.

A little sounding task, that can take a whole life’s effort.

That’s what today is all about.

Each day’s today.


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.

Fickle Love.

Sure Love.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Challenged, Human Love Fades

Like Sunlight In Smoke

Making Cowards

Out Of More And More Of Us.

Hosea 6:4

What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes away early.

1 Corinthians 13:1

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Words of Grace For Today




Love is a



often confused

most often abused

little understood and acknowledged


necessary for life,

or at least life abundant as God created us to live it.

Human love is like the morning dew that evaporates in the heat of the day.

God’s love is steadfast and sure,

the only thing that can be trusted in all the universe.

When people say they love us, that usually means they want to take something from us and,

when they have gotten all they can get, then they decide that they do not love us anymore.

We humans love God like that, too. Greedy and fickle, changing with the time of day and the tide of climate change and with opportunity.

God’s love is sure.

The only thing that is really sure.

Locked down, constant, unchanging, and reliable

if we dare see reality.

And that is it really, love requires courage.

We humans are mostly cowards, though we like to think otherwise. Which is part of our problem.

When the Holy Spirit makes us courageous, then watch out, for the miracles pour through us from God to others, wondrously.

Like feeding 5000 men and 20,000 women and children with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Turning hearts from fear to trusting and generous.

Will God’s love miraculously turn our hearts today from fear to trusting and generous?

Watch and see,

if we dare!

Bullies and Liars

Come in All Sizes

Saturday, June 10, 2023

God’s Grace Meets Us All!

Can You See It?



Do We Need To

Zoom In Closer?

Jeremiah 31:25

I will satisfy the weary, and all who are faint I will replenish.

Matthew 5:3

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Words of Grace For Today

Driving to town at 80 kph two vehicles passed me and an RCMP patrol car pulled up behind me. A few minutes later it turned on its lights. I pulled over, with a bit of pre-PTSD rising in me that I stuffed down. As I waited, I pulled out my Driver’s License, Registration and insurance papers so the cop could not accuse me of reaching for what? Something to threaten with?

He arrived behind the driver’s window, which I had rolled down as I saw him approach. “How are you, today?” “I was doing fine.” “Do you know why I stopped you.” “Not a clue.”

M. Tobias went on to say that the speed limit was 100 and I was going 80. That lots of cars were piled up behind me. That I was impeding traffic.

I told him in no uncertain terms the reason I was going 80 was because I was broke. I didn’t bother filling in that I am broke in large part because the RCMP had harassed me and aided my ex in sending me to jail for a crime that never happened. I have filed a 50 page complaint with the RCMP detailing their harassment, warning them that their sins are bound and if they bother me again I will sue them for harassment.

He asked for and took my papers. When he returned he handed me a print out of a warning. He threatened that it would be entered on my record.

I told him that neither going 80 nor being broke are crimes. I warned him in no uncertain terms that he was harassing me and I would sue him if he continued.

Later I noted that he had not indicated how I had ‘impeded traffic’ nor that I was going 80 kph. No doubt because if he did it would make him look like the fool and bully that he is.

I guess I should be more poor in spirit, not able to know when I’m being bullied and harassed, know when a cop is full of it, and not be so able to state my case clearly … then I’d be in the poor of spirit that God blesses, because

this flagrant abuse by a cop is not the first nor the last time cops will be fools and bullies, harass innocent people, and abuse their power, and

being the focus of that abuse is no blessing.

Or is it?

I was not able to work the rest of the day. That’s the PTSD running loose on my edges wiping out all concentration needed to work.

But I did get some badly needed rest. And when I cleared my mind of the event, I indeed was able to see how replenished I was, how God had indeed restored me to a peaceful heart, mind, and soul. Which was needed to deal with my ex’s lawyers either blatant incompetence or malicious malfeasance (not following a judge’s order and improperly filling out and sending a form to me that attempted to undermine the effect of the order).

I guess bullies, fools, and evil hearts will always be a part of one’s life. The question is how one responds.

God help us all, for as God must need respond graciously to our foolishness and sins, so we need help to extend that same grace to others.

But will that help M. Tobias stop bullying people and actually do the work he should be doing, like dealing with the real crimes that are committed on a regular basis around where I live: all the drinking and driving and tossing the cans out, cooking drugs in the campground, or cutting down living trees to make the ‘roadways’ wider, or camping for months and that within 30 metres of the lake (illegal in all of Canada!)

We can only pray, and hope that God will tend to our hearts, minds, and bodies.

When the red and blue lights stopped me, I was on my way to the food bank. That cop stop cost me another $3 or so; every trip to town is another $25, $30 if I go over 80 or ‘gun it’ out of the stop signs/lights. So how many cop-stops does it take to make a trip to the food bank impossible because I don’t have the money to pay for the trip?

Thankfully God walks with me, and suffers everything that lawyers, cops, and everyone else does to me; so I am not alone, nor deserted. I am accompanied and given help and hope that does not fail.

How’s your day looking? Ready to be challenged by people doing evil things, grounded in God’s presence, and humble but not defeated by evil?

Have at it. God protects us.

The Kingdom

Not of this world, but in it.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Even as the Light of Warmth Burns For Us During Cold Days,

So God Rules Even When We See Rampant Injustice.

Daniel 2:44

And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall this kingdom be left to another people. It shall crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand for ever;

Luke 22:29-30

and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Words of Grace For Today

What can we hope for? While reports of injustices against other people receive from most a shrug of the shoulders (if even that), the cries for help rise from new and old corners: the newly homeless, wildfire evacuees with nothing left at home, drowning victims of illegal immigrants, volcano or flood or storm or drought displaced, the innocent and cruelly convicted, the victims of unjust wars and conflicts, the victims of spousal abuse (both men and women) … and the children, always the children.

We can hope and work to create a just world, a just kingdom where we rule and provide justice for all. Though this has been clearly demonstrated to be mostly a futile effort. For if we rule, we will rule unjustly like all others. And whatever our efforts may be we can never eliminate injustices in our lands or on this earth. We humans are too perverted towards sin and doing others harm to be able to overcome all that we do against each other.

We can and should still work to bring justice where we can, little as that may be. One case at a time.

We can and should look to God’s promises that God’s Kingdom is already arrived on earth. We may not see it for all the injustices of all kinds in every corner. Yet God has established God’s rule, since the beginning of time.

Trusting God’s promises gives us courage to take on injustices, and keep working even when it seems we make no progress.

Already we feast at Jesus’ table.

Already we enjoy peace that surpasses all understanding.

Already God has judged those who need to be judged.

Thankfully we do not need to be, nor will we ever be able to, judge the 12 tribes or anyone else. Fortunately that is God’s work, and we can trust God to do it right.

This is another day in God’s kingdom, where God rules, and we work as God’s servants to share life abundant with as many people as we are able.


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.

The Kingdom

For the Fools

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Without the Light of Christ,

We Get Lost In the Fog of Lies

That Are Spewed So Freely.

Second Kings 19:34

For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.

Luke 12:32

Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Words of Grace For Today

A city or a kingdom. We could dream of having one or the other, someday. In today’s world where fear is fuelled with lies, fuelling hate and rage, and denunciations of others that are senseless.

One of many lately is the ‘charge’ against the Trudeaus for taking a warm, post-Christmas vacation to a luxurious location in Jamaica – owned by a friend – at their own expense, while the government paid for what is required for the prime ministers’ security. The trip was pre-cleared to be free of conflict of interest. There were no Covid restrictions or other kinds of restrictions in place that were ignored. The only ‘charge’ is that Trudeau is out of touch with the financial struggles of ordinary Canadians.

The people making and repeating those charges all have it luxuriously good. In the context of all human history they all enjoy a standard of living better than 99% of the people who ever lived! And the ones creating and feeding such bogus charges probably went on similar vacations to warm climates or somewhat luxurious locations. And I can guarantee you that 100% of those people making such charges enjoy a standard of living better than I do. Vacation!? Trips!? – As one who can barely afford one trip each week to town to get food, water, and supplies the people throwing out such accusations are simply off their rockers.

The problem is these are not isolated or innocent ‘charges’. Yes, they have become part and parcel of politics. And that is exactly how dire and dangerous such ‘charges’ are! Out of such lies thrown about to create fear, so that from fear grows hate, and from that hate grows rage, and from that rage stem all sorts of violent actions are undertaken and justified (like occupying the streets of Ottawa and the borders here in Alberta to the US), and from that chaos … well chaos is a smoke screen for greater and greater evils, and we stand on the precipice of a fascist ruler rising out of the chaos … and then the ‘freedom’ that so many rage-filled suckers claim they pursue will be totally lost for all … well all except those favoured by the despot ruler. There are all too many examples of how that is done and what people suffer because of it.

Even people favoured by the ruler suffer, for their comfort is bought at the price of living a lie, and turning a blind eye to those unjustly exploited, jailed, and killed to feed the rulers’ whims.

And there goes the neighbourhood, to hell in a hand basket.

There is a reason the people were warned against seeking and elevating a king to lead them. Corruption always follows. The question is of what kind and how much.

Well, perhaps we then can already begin to dream of a city or a kingdom that we can share with other righteous people, capable of compassion, listening, and dialogue.

Yet God provides the ‘kingdom’ and ‘the city’ already to us, baptized saints.

We may not live in any city at all.

We may not live in any kingdom, but rather a federation of provinces and territories.

But we live blessed,

fools for Christ, and

members of God’s city and God’s kingdom, which is all creation.



Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Running for One’s Life

Between the Wood Piles;

Life can be like that

way too often!

Zechariah 8:13

Just as you have been a cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you and you shall be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.

2 Corinthians 3:5

Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God …

Words of Grace For Today

Like a rabbit running, twisting and turning between the trees, the firewood piles, and around the campers, to find freedom from the pursuing lynx, so Brett found himself dodging the taunts and slurs thrown at him, along with spit balls, as he exited from school for his walk home.

Lately this once enjoyable walk home had become a nightmare, a horror not knowing from where the next insult, slur, or physical challenge would come. Today he vowed to himself, would be different.

It was, just not anything like he had hoped.

Three bullies from Grade 9 showed up along with the usual five Grade 6 bullies. What started as a few taunts, slurs, and tossed spitballs, soon became physical rocks meeting the mark on Brett’s thin back and legs. Then came the punches to his head and back, even as he ran, felling him in a tangle to the hard pavement. The sack over his head nearly made him choke and puke. It stank and ran with dog feces.

One more punch to his head and Brett was relieved of consciousness.

The next thing he knew he woke, tied tight, unable to move more than an inch, the bag still in place. It was dark, and lonely, and painful everywhere on his body. The minutes crept by until he passed out again. For hours he wavered between unconsciousness and half-awake throbbing pain. It became light again and dark again, and light again …. Brett lost track of how many times before he stopped waking up.

When he woke again, the pain had not stopped, but the stink was gone, the sack was gone. He was not tied up, but lay in a clean soft bed. He’d been cleaned up and he lay in soft pajamas.

Celia came in. He could barely believe it. This was the girl he adored and had never had the courage to say or do anything to indicate his feelings. She carried a cup of hot milk and a bowl of oatmeal. She fed him and told him:

She had found him, called her father and together they had untangled him from the sack and ropes, cleaned him up, taken him to their home, showered him, and lay him in bed, waiting for a doctor to come.

Along the way, the bullies had shown up and challenged them, but she had told them in no uncertain terms that if they did not leave she would lay them flat on the ground. The biggest had challenged her, and she had done just that, knocking his legs out from under him. With that the other had run.

Her father had come then, and picked up the boy Celia had knocked down, and told him that he was fortunate because Brett was still alive, and Celia had done nothing more than knock him down. She had a black belt in taekwondo and found her strength not in her own small frame, but in her belief that God walked with her. She otherwise probably would have too easily killed him or left him permanently unable to walk.

Now he should drink and eat just a bit more and then the doctor would be there. He would be fine though. She’d made the bully promise that they would now protect Brett.

So God provides what we need to be safe, and if/when we die God welcomes us home, safe and sound for all time.


Joy from Real Sorrow

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Our Justice can be as perverted as the crimes committed.

God’s Justice is perfect based on truth.

Jeremiah 31:13

Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Words of Grace For Today

Listening to the great jazz music from the soundtrack to the movie Chicago reminded me how that movie portrays how perverted the justice system is.

Most devastating is the song of the many inmates in jail, all woman, all telling tales of how they just had to kill the man they were with. They just had no other choice. They had it coming.

While widows normally grieve the death of their husbands, these women had their supposed sorrow turned into joy. They were glad to be rid of their men. One man just chewed his food too loudly. One was caught in an affair. One was just too slow. One looked the wrong way.

God did not provide this ‘escape’ from real sorrow for these women, nor the thousands like them that exist in real life. When you meet a woman like this, who grieves not a bit for her dead husband (as she says to the children, “we are survivors”) one knows one has met the work of the devil that disconnects a person from the real world and sets them loose to destroy others without feeling a thing. Psychopath, sociopath, or borderline personality disordered … it matters not the ‘proper’ designation we give them, they are sick and the devil uses them well, all too well.

God would rescue even them, were there a way we too would rejoice.

God’s work recounted in the passages above is not about these women. God’s work is the real and very desperately needed rescuing of so many people who experience real sorrow, grief, and mourning. This is what God does. God turns the impossibly dark days of mourning (in which no light can penetrate, or so it surely seems) into days of rejoicing and celebrating and hope.

These are the things we celebrate, too, along with those who come back into the light from the darkness.

These are the things we celebrate, today …

with a smile, a peel of laughter, and a heartfelt thanks lifted to God

who walks beside us through all our dark days

bringing us into the light.