Dismal, Desperate Visions

Of Renewed Creation

Monday 22 January 2024

Hungering For

Creation Renewed,

As Fresh As New Snow

Covering Every Past Evil

Isaiah 45:8

Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness;let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it.

2 Peter 3:13

But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

Words of Grace For Today

While the reality of everyday life is quite dismal, more so for many than for us, even the poor and homeless in Canada, for war and famine are things very few of us struggle with and many across the globe face that and worse …

So dismal is life, as it can be seen by any set of eyes, for travails is something humans are always able to create no matter their circumstances, good or bad …

So dismal is life when all is going so well and nothing is satisfactory, for we humans always dream of more, and more and more until we out dream the possibilities of being anything at all …

So dismal is it all

that the vision of water pouring down from on high on the parched earth and into our parched hearts, bringing blossoms and crops to grow in abundance, abundance to feed all our hungers and pains of dreams unmet …

that the vision of showers raining down righteousness and justice for all so that no more do any suffer the evil of lies and greed of others, stealing life out from under us …

that the vision of God bringing from this old creation, so corrupted by our collective and accumulated evils that we have a hard time finding the goodness God declared was there when God created it from the void and chaos – God bring from this old creation a new creation, a creation good from the beginning to the end, untainted by our sins and evils done to others …

that the vision of God’s hand extending into our lives and making things right is so yearned for and dreamt of that we are like the parched land starved for more than 40 years …

So dismal is it all and our God given vision of God putting it right almost takes our breath away …

and then we realize that God has already accomplished this

and this dismal world is already redeemed and made new by God’s mercy and steadfast love, so clearly demonstrated in Jesus’ life, healing, death and resurrection, that

we can only remember now

to breathe in the fresh air

that has renewed what

we saw as so dismal

and made it new




For Help

Weeping With Thanks

Thursday, December 28, 2023

What Wonders God Works, As the Sun Rises, Beginning a New Day!

Psalm 104:14

You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth,

Ephesians 5:20

… giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

People in desperate situations hope that someone will make a difference, help them, provide the basics of life and security.

Trapped on an island overrun by the enemy in a world wide war, the doctors and nurses and voluntold helpers (having found their way to the camp of the resistance fighters) have bound up patients for months or is it already years with old strips from old clothes. Everyone is malnourished if not starving. Everyone’s clothes are tattered and torn. Uniforms for soldiers cannot be required since no one has them. Spotty communications begging for supplies bring at most ‘Stand bye.’

Then, wrangling with all sorts of resistance from the infighting and egos of the top generals and admirals, a small group of 4 soldiers disembark from a submarine in rubber boats and paddle through the surf. Met by members of the resistance, more rubber boats are dispatched from the sub with supplies. Not enough, but something.

Visiting the ‘hospital’ the new soldiers still in black dyed fatigues cut open the new ‘plastic’ sealed packages of sulphanilamide, a new antibiotic and dressings. Weeping with joy and relief the doctor orders the nurses and helpers to take off all the bandages on the patients and to pour the sulphanilamide on and cover them with new dressings. Patients with fatal infections now have a chance at life.

(paraphrased from W.E.B. Higgins’ Behind Enemy Lines)

Ahh the immense tears-of-joy outpouring when assistance arrives for those subsisting as they irritate the enemy.

How many more people on earth this day could cry ‘Would that assistance were brought here!?!’

And we carry on, giving thanks for all that we have, all that keeps us alive, and all the blessings each day that come our way. It may not be supplies, clothes, and food, or shelter sufficient to stand the new normals of weather wind heat and cold, but it is all we need to know joy.

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.


Just Short

Thursday, December 21, 2023



For The Air!

Ezekiel 37:14

I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Words of Grace For Today

This is the shortest day of the year!

Well not actually.

It does have 24 hours just like every other, but

but it is the day with the shortest daylight of any in the whole year.

In the short light and long dark

God’s Spirit shines brightly

in us

around us

among us

so that

we will live

and have our own land

soil that we can survive on.

Except few people in the world do, and also we do not.

Renters like many fortunate people.

Less fortunate are those who neither own nor rent

and have no place to call home.

In the light and dark

we remember

and pray


God will protect them all as God has protected us these many years, through many generations, through trials and tribulations, and joys and celebrations.

Darkness cannot overcome us.

So we share the light we have with all around, and spread joy for this day as for each day






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.

Dead Man Walking

and Dead Woman Walking

No More

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Many or Few, Our Steps Will Not End With Death.

Psalm 30:4

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name.

John 5:25

Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

Words of Grace For Today

‘Dead man walking’ refers to those on death row in particular as they walk their last few steps from their cell to the execution room. It also is used by extension to describe those who are targeted to die soon for their ‘misdeeds’.

It is a hell of a term,

not least of all because every human alive is walking their last steps alive on earth. Some have a few decades of walking, some a few years, some a few weeks, some a few days, some a few hours, but we are walking towards our deaths.

Jesus turns the meaning of that hellish phrase around. Those who are dead will be called some day to walk again. Properly we should say it’s dead people not only walking again but living again,

and living most fully,

in the grace and light of God.

For this God promises also us all, even those who still walk our few remaining steps, so that we need not fear death.

For death will not have the final say. Neither will the devil nor those who seek our deaths.

Already today then we sing and dance and praise God for the life abundant God has given us for this day, as yesterday, as every tomorrow.


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.

For The Poor

And The Sick

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

God’s Spirit Works Even In The Dark,

Even Like The Wood Stove

in the Dark-Cold of Winter.

Isaiah 55:1

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Mark 1:32

That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons.

Words of Grace For Today

At sunset …

Here in June the summer sun rises at about 4:45 sun sets around 22:00, but we have no (technical) night, just twilight, with over 17 hours of daylight. When the sun sets our days are already over, some days for an hour or more. On the other side of the calendar the winter sun waits to rise around 8:30 and then sets already around 16:00 and we have less than 8 hours of daylight. When the sun sets our days are hardly over. We keep working without the sun lighting our way.

In Galilee in June the summer sun rises at about 5:30 sun sets around 20:00, with over 14 hours of daylight. When the sun sets their days may or may not be over. On the other side of the calendar the winter sun waits to rise around 6:30 and then sets already around 16:30 and they have 10 hours of daylight. When the sun sets their days may or may not be over, depending on whether or not they got up with the sun in the morning.

So when the people brought the sick and possessed to Jesus to be healed, if Jesus wanted to call it a day, that was not going to happen.

God works even in the dark.

God’s work is most evident in the darkest of times with the sickest and poorest of people.

When we feel the world turning dark, as it certainly can be these days, it is a comfort to know, God works well in the dark,

Even in our dark

Even in our darkest

Even in our coldest, darkest, most hopeless of times.


Sigh, Again

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Morning Arrives,

The Crescent Moon Accompanied by A Star,

a helper light,

which is actually the planet Venus.

Psalm 31:23

Love the Lord, all you his saints. The Lord preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.

Romans 8:26

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.

Words of Grace For Today

The challenges of every day are more than enough to dampen our energy available to even cry for help to God. How does one pray when one’s loved one is gone, one’s world is ripped out from underneath one, and even in the morning the light does not help clarify where or what one really ought to do?

How does one pray when one’s home is destroyed and one survives only because one was away that day, working on a project that required it? Where does one go?

How does one pray when rumours, nasty and dirty rumours, are spread by deceitful, arrogant, fearful, cowardly bullies, and they grow so intense that people want to kill you?

How does one pray when everything seems to be okay also this day and yet your heart tells you that your life is doomed, maybe the whole world’s, maybe just those you love and all the honest and good people (if there are even any of those left!)?

When our light has been snuffed out by the chaos and hatred of people lost in their own darkness, we are not abandoned.

The Holy Spirit, with sighs too deep for words, blows in again as a fresh morning breeze, reviving us, and giving us the words for our prayers,

the priority of meaningful tasks for this day,

and a direction for our lives, even as we walk yet in darkness.

Like a sliver of a moon, with a companion star, walking the sky as the morning sun pushes back the darkness in the east, God winds us through our days, sometimes with just enough light so that we do not stumble

too often

and we can find once again

the light by which to love

even those who want to be our enemies.



Saturday, October 28, 2023

Looking to the Future: Do We See Doom or Hope!

Isaiah 38:17

Surely it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but you have held back my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.

1 John 3:19-20

And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Words of Grace For Today

How we see the world around us and our lives in it is the result of many choices we make in response to what happens around us and to us.

In ‘HOMƎLAND’ the TV series, the challenges of deciphering deception, love, and despair never resolves in any episode. Instead (no matter what answers are revealed) the persistent looming doom ends each episode and season and we are left craving a resolution, so we return to more of the same. The beginning setting is not great. The end is still not great. Evil prevails like onions still present no matter how many layers we peel back to ‘see’ what is happening. Always people die along the way.

In ‘Star Trek, PICARD’, we see the old heroes of past series of Star Trek play again against all odds, against old and new enemies that would do them in. Each episode may or may not resolve some challenge, but within a few episodes (though wider threats continue) each ‘life or death’ situation is resolved, and as always our heroes live on (or at least most of them!) What we know, even before we start watching, is that no matter the evil that threatens life on earth and in the Federation, at the end, because humans and aliens can and do work together, the goodness of life will prevail. Not all challenges to goodness will be eradicated. Life remains filled with loss, death, and sorrow, but in the balance the goodness of life is restored and celebrated.

How do we play out our days?

How will we play out this ‘today’ and our many ‘todays’ to come?

As we trust that God is greater than our hearts, and that God has put our sins behind God’s back, to allow us to move on, the greatest evils are not eliminated from life for us, but they have no power over our ‘todays’.

Our hearts may continue to condemn us, and convince us that tomorrow will be worse, that ‘hell is other people’, but God is greater and God promises in so many ways that our lives are good and will be filled with goodness, and that other people (damned good sinners that they may be) are not ‘hell’, but rather God’s choice for love, life, and joy …

also for us


So today, let God’s Will be for us, as well.