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!

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.

Who Knows?


Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Do We Know

Where The Winding Path of Life,

Through the Cold Wilderness,

Will Lead Us?

Jonah 3:9

Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.

Mark 11:24

So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Words of Grace For Today

Who knows if God will relent?

The blind man, the mother of the sick young daughter, the tenth leper, and on goes the list.

Are we counted among those that ask, not knowing how God will deal with our sins, our failings, our desperate needs, our illnesses?

Or are we counted among those who know God’s mercy and steadfast love?

What will we be to other people, those that do not know, or those that trust God’s Word?

Whichever we are, we all can still ask God for all we need. God hears us, and delivers exactly what we need to know God’s mercy.


The Blessed

The Saints

For All the Saints

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

All the ordinary, lowly people, Jesus says, the ones who suffer,

They-We are the saints,

the wisps of life in the sky for all to see God’s great works of saving ordinary, lowly people, giving them-us


worth anything.

Deuteronomy 32:7

Remember the days of old, consider the years long past; ask your father, and he will inform you; your elders, and they will tell you.

2 Timothy 1:5

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.

Words of Grace For Today

Saints, or as Jesus calls us, the blessed, μακάριος, were understood to be different things.

At first the μακάριος were the gods, literally, for only gods could achieve a state of happiness and contentment in life that was beyond all cares, labours, and even death. The blessed ones were beings who lived in some other world away from the cares and problems and worries of ordinary people.

Well, that’s not us, no question. No, we are not the ‘makarios’, the gods.

Then the μακάριος were seen to be those who had died. That’s how they moved beyond the cares and labours of life here on earth. Death gave them entrance to God’s paradise.

Well, last I checked anyway, that’s not us either.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Nope, not me anyway.

Then the μακάριος were thought to be the elite and privileged, those people whose riches and power put them above the normal cares and problems and worries of the lesser folk—the peons, who constantly struggle and worry and labour in life.

Then along comes the usual thought that if people were wealthy they must have earned it, so the μακάριος were those who enjoyed the results of right living, or righteous living. If you were blessed you received earthly, material things: a good spouse, many children, abundant crops, riches, honour, wisdom, beauty, good health, etc; more things and better things than an ordinary person. To be blessed, you had to have big and beautiful things.

Nope, definitely not anyone I know. Those that are rich like that and think they have earned it are almost always pretty ugly people on the inside if you know how they’ve gotten so much more than the ordinary stiffs, like us.

Fortunately Jesus puts things upright (upsetting the apple cart of all that blessed privilege stuff of so many generations and fools).

Jesus says the lowly ones: the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the meek, the mourning, are the μακάριος, the blessed saints.

(Thanks to Brian Stoffregen again for providing the summary I’ve used as the basis for this.)

Now that’s a crowd, and it is a huge crowd of the hoi poloi of every generation, the majority of people who ever lived, that’s a crowd that we fit into.


If we are lucky.

If we are …


If God has claimed us and made us


For all the saints, a day to remember, and a time to look to the future God provides for the saints.

Yep, now that’s us.

That’s the down and dirty of it,

of it all, actually.

At least that’s what the old folks taught me.



Blew It Blues

Friday, August 18, 2023

Blue Sky, Missing the Point.

Two Birds Fly

With Grace.

Psalm 119:2

Happy are those who keep his decrees, who seek him with their whole heart,

Matthew 5:19

Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Words of Grace For Today


Blue Blues

Blue Dark Blues

Blue Dark Blues because we’ve blown it.

Blue Dark Blues because we’ve blown it, and it is the most important thing in all of life, the most important thing in all of everything that ever was or ever will be.

Deep, Dark, We-Blew-It-Biggest-Time Blues!

If ever there were a more hopeless situation it could not be known: Happy are those who keep God’s decrees and seek him with their whole heart, for God is the source of happiness and all that is good in life – BUT not one single person can ever keep God’s decrees and seek him with their whole heart. No one has. No one does. No one ever will be able to. Except Jesus.

For the rest of us, we are doomed, and there is no better reason

to not only sing the blues (for we’ve lost out on happiness and life and goodness, totally)


to be the blues,

stuck in the blues,


alienate from God,

in the blues forever.



God’s work in Jesus Christ to demonstrate that God extends Grace to us all,

forgiving us for not seeking God with our whole hearts and

breaking God’s decrees though we would do otherwise

which Grace turns our forever-blues into hope

that never ends and does not disappoint.

So it is that Blue is the colour of hope.

So that singing the blues is an act

of hope, even though we

blew it big time today

like yesterday and

tomorrow, So

God’s Blues

Carry us




At Thinking? And Doing Right?

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

How Long Will It Be Before

No Eggs Will Hatch?

Psalm 102:17

God will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer.

Philippians 4:6

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Words of Grace For Today

The not unusual question came over the phone from a telephone support person, “Are there any other questions you have?”

I gave him a list:

  1. What is the meaning of life?
  2. How can we deal with world overpopulation?
  3. How can we solve Climate Change this year?
  4. How do we solve the pervasive problem of racism and injustice against the poor?
  5. How can we solve the huge inequality problem throughout the world that is the root cause of so many other problems?
  6. How will I ever get out of debt?
  7. What is God doing while we systematically, methodically wipe out the environment that supports life on earth?
  8. How can we finally get truth to be valued and upheld in all aspects of life, especially in our courts?
  9. Are we going to poison ourselves to death like the Romans did with lead; though we are using the likes of PFAS and so many other toxins in daily life, like gasoline?

I ended with, “Those are just a few question I have.”

The reply was, “I’m not philosophical, so I don’t have the answers.”

I chuckled as the help person did as well.

But these questions are not laughing matters.

And the truth is, whether one is philosophical or not one needs to ask them and have at least a rough outline of possible answers. That’s a basic responsibility for anyone renting air on earth these days.

In the end, whether we solve any of these or none, we all need most of to


Not Loonie


Just Hope Filled

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

No Need To Be Loonie,

Loons Do That


Deuteronomy 5:33

You must follow exactly the path that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you are to possess.

Romans 15:4

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.

Words of Grace For Today

If hope is dependent upon one’s own merit, then all is lost.

Yes, everyday thinking assumes if I preform well today then there is hope for tomorrow and all that may come my way.

But when it really counts, our own merit provides little security or hope. Death will find us, usually unawares, no matter how well our last few days or weeks or years have gone. If we deny that death will claim us, no matter what, then we live as fools, perhaps foolishly enjoying life, but foolish none the same for what really matters: that God has us in God’s good hands.

For only in God’s good hands can we face death knowing that all is well, all manner of things are well, for us and all creation.

So obey God, yes. It is a way to live well enough, sometimes even the way to live long lives.

But trust not, not a bit, in one’s own merits. Trust only God’s good hands, and God’s good grace promised us. With that we can dance with joy each day, no matter what comes our way, no matter how others may think that the worst of life has found us.

Ah, hope.

The power of knowing God’s goodness carries one!

The Tinge

Of Dinge

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Those Are Not Clouds, Just Smoke!

Wildfires Burn,

Smoke Kills

From the Inside.

Psalm 51:14

Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.

James 5:13

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.

Words of Grace For Today

The runners sent to bring news of what waters would come their way returned when Julius’ people had managed in the hunting camp for four days. They reported that the five natural dams up river were all spilling over, the higher ones pouring wildly through eroded pathways. The sixth dam, the one closest to their community, still held the waters behind it, though only a meter remained before water would spill over it, and eventually it would erode away like the higher ones already had.

With this report, Julius called the community all together, though most were already there eager to hear from the runners. He asked if anyone had an idea of what they could do.

One of the builders spoke up: we could build a way to let water out of the sixth and fifth dams enough to lower them as much as possible. Let that water run, it would flood a bit, though not more than they had seen in past years. Then they could plug the dams enough so they would hold the flood that was coming. If they controlled the flow in two dams, and maybe even three they could reduce the flooding, maybe enough so that their community would survive. A group of builders gathered around and among themselves filled in the details of a plan. Julius called for quiet as they planned. When the builders turned around, Julius asked them what they needed to make it happen. They responded: lots of workers, everyone available. And tools. We’ll gather the tools. And we will need a few people to prepare meals and make a camp for us at each dam. With people ready to leave the gathering, the runners interrupted with one more piece of information.

They saw smoke off to the northwest on their way back starting at the fourth dam all the way to the fifth dam. There was a big fire somewhere upwind and it made it hard to breath at times. It looks like a tinge of dinge covering the whole sky.

Julius reminded them that they had natural fire breaks on all sides of the community so the fire was not a problem for them, but the smoke could be very dangerous. He asked one of the clothes makers if they could make masks to protect everyone who went to work on the dams. After talking it over with another clothes maker he said they could have them ready in a few days. We could send them by runner as they are ready and the workers would have them before they were done with the sixth dam.

That settled it. Julius asked if there were anything else they needed to hear about before the volunteers scrambled to get everything together for their days of working on the dams. No one answered and a hush came over the people.

Julius reminded them that the fires and smoke and the floodwaters would threaten other communities. They knew of five downstream and two more that the fire and smoke would likely affect. “We will send runners to them to give them news of our plans, ask for helpers, and to see what help we can provide them.”

“Remember always,” Julius said, “what was written and told by the Iblers so many times: ‘Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.

With that one of the singers started them singing a song of thanks, and hope, and love carrying the people into the future for generations to come: “Lord, you are life’s hope when life withers away, in clay and on rocks grow full in us, be germinating seed, be a secure place, Bring forth buds and bloom bright in us. And as a new ’morrow breaks on this good planet forth, in this new growing day, blossom in us. Keep us safe, securely, firmly in your strong, good hands and bless us all, bless us all and this your planet.

Lord, you are life’s goodness where loving breaks down,in our coldest times, breathe into us. give generous spirits, be our warming light, be hot flame, be burning in us. And as a new ’morrow breaks on this good planet warming again this new day, burn bright in us. Keep us safe, securely, firm in your good gracious hands, and bless us all, bless us all and your good planet.

Lord, you are life’s joy where all laughter is lost, in our deepest dark, live on in us, be joyous dreams dancing, be comforting sight, be voices and sing on in us. And as a new ’morrow breaks on this good planet forth, a wonder filled new day, sing on in us. Keep us safe, securely, firmly in your loving hands, and bless us all, bless us all and your good planet.”



Wednesday, May 17, 2023

When We Are Far From Anyone,

Alone With Dangers All Around,

And Fear Rattles Our Bones,

What ARE We to Do?

Psalm 6:2

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him.

Words of Grace For Today

Julius dreamed it at first, and then woke, being shook urgently by a young man crying to him, “Come quick! The earth had shook. The rocks are tumbling down. Isera was hit by one and she is not right in her speech. Besides that a runner arrived just now and says that the waters in the mountain lake that feeds our river have risen higher than anyone has seen them and suddenly they have burst loose. They will surely break through the next series of lakes and beaver dams. The runner is gone on to warn others downstream. Everyone’s bones are stricken and shaking with fear. Will we live even another week, or even another day?”

Julius rose, and dressed quickly, praying to himself as he did, that he might have the wisdom to know how to treat Isera, that he might find the words to unshake the bones of the many people who needed to make a plan, to decide how to protect the community and the people.

Julius thought while he walked to see Isera, head injuries always seemed to be dangerous. People who thought nothing bad had happened would be sick for months and years and some would never heal, their abilities to live normal lives gone and their personalities changed dramatically. He noticed that those that seemed somewhat worse at first often healed faster after they rested for days and weeks and sometimes even months, before they tried to return to normal living.

Isera seemed to understand what he said, though her words were all confused, meaning next to nothing. He asked her if she would rest now for days, maybe weeks. Her response was fast and furiously gibberish. So he placed a writing pad (sand in a box) and gave her the writing stick. He asked her only to write “Y” for yes and “N” for no. Would she rest? Her “Y” was a bit messy but it was there. Drink plenty of fluids, walk as little each day as possible. Eat no more than she needed. (Nobody really did, for food was not overabundant, but sometimes people who rested started to eat and eat and eat, so Julius included it in his instructions.)

He asked her if she had pain. “Y”. Is it more than 5 out of 10? “Y” Is it more than 8 out of 10? “Y” Is it 10 out of 10? “N” He pulled some bark out of his healing-pouch. He showed how much to tear off to boil in three cups of water to make tea. “Boil it and then cool it so you can drink all three cups in ten minutes. You can repeat that every two hours, up to six times in a day. But no more six times and not more often than every two hours. Otherwise you will likely get stomach cramps and vomit.” “Y”

He said he would be back to check on her in the morning. He asked her friend to stay with her through the night and wake her every hour or so. No more than each hour and a half. For he had experienced one man who fell asleep and never woke up, and another man who fell asleep, but his wife kept waking him, and he rested and returned to work in the community gardens a few months later.

Then Julius walked outside and asked people to send one person from each household to meet with him in ten minutes. No one needed to be woken up, everyone was woken up by the earth shaking or by someone scared waking them. They gathered. Never had Julius seen so many people crying, screaming at each other, shaking their hands, heads, and some even their whole bodies as they tried to tell each other what dangers lay ahead for them.

Julius called them to order. It took a bit and when they were quiet he asked people who knew to tell in simple, clear terms, what dangers they faced.

It came out that the earthquake had done a little damage to a few houses. Aftershocks had come as well, some almost as strong as the first, also adding to the damage.

So Julius listed that for them: 1. Earthquake.

Then someone mentioned the water that would wipe out their community before the sun rose. Julius asked how this was known, and paused to write

2. Flood.

It turned out nobody knew how bad or dangerous the water coming at them would actually be. Everybody agreed with Julius that they needed more information. Then someone cried a bit and reminded them of Isera. The falling rocks could hurt any of them out working near the cliffs. Julius wrote

3. Falling Rocks.

Then someone blubbered that this was doing them no good, they needed to run away to safety. That brought cries and screams as fear ran through nearly everyone there. Even Julius could feel the panic racing around the crowd. That’s when Julius remembered what someone had said about fear being the only real enemy. Julius stopped and called for silence for a minute, asked everyone to breathe deeply for a short while. Then he wrote

4. Fear! Most of all Fear!

He asked if their list were complete, was anything missing? When there was no response from the people, now quieted, Julius asked for volunteers to be the runners to get information up river. Three were chosen and sent to gather supplies and be off. Julius said it would be days, maybe weeks before the runners would return and in the meantime they should start packing and move to their hunting camp up in the hills, off to the side of the plateau that protected their community. That would also keep anyone else from being hurt by falling stones coming down the cliffs to the plateau.

More often than anything else Julius kept repeating, “We can deal with any danger if we have time. We have time. There is no need to be afraid. There is every reason to decide clearly and act carefully and quickly. We will be alright! The only danger that will do us in is fear itself!”

We will be alright.

We will be alright.

That is the promise God gives us all.

We will be alright.

We will be alright, for Jesus walks with us.


For Us

Monday, April 10, 2023

While Machines May Work For Us,

God Fights

With Miracles and Mysteries

For Us.

Exodus 14:14

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.

1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

I knew a young boy who put a bully in his place, on the ground with the boy on top of him, not beating him up, just pinning him there and telling him to leave his younger brother alone. After that bully not only left the younger brother alone, he protected both brothers from other bullies.

A version of that, only with a lot more physical violence, is what we too often think of when someone says they will fight for us. Okay, there are situations where there is no physical violence, just courtroom brawling, or boardroom brawling, or office brawling (which all entail plenty of violence, just not physical violence.)

God constantly promises to fight for us. And this fight is not against any young child trying to make a place for him or her self (i.e. a bully). Nor is it against the dirty lawyers and judges, CEO’s and directors, or office personnel. This fight is against the biggest of all, the devil and death itself.

God’s way of fighting is like that older brother. God is not about to destroy anything. God sends Jesus to suffer for us, to die for us, and then God brings Jesus back to life. That’s the kind of fighting God does. God shows us all this is God’s good earth, and everything in it is God’s (including all of us.)

Now, since God is always fighting for us, what have we to be afraid of?


That’s a good start to any day. I certainly will take it with a thankful heart and praise sung loud enough for the squirrels to be a bit disturbed.