Maker Glue

Saturday 20 January 2024

Even the ‘glue’ that holds snow

to the branches

under the bright sun

in the

Jeremiah 10:12

It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.

Colossians 1:17

He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Words of Grace For Today

To the tiniest piece of physical reality (a quantum is it now?) to the greatest galaxies turning about themselves and in themselves,

and also here on earth as we twirl moving around the sun,

each held in place in relation to the rest by

gravity and …

well held in place by far more complex physical and sub- and meta-physical things than I can name

all this God created

and God holds it together.

So also God created each of us, our hearts, minds, and spirits,

holding us together as we breathe and live and move and hope and love and

and everything we do and are.

This day again we pray in thanks for all things that keep us alive, especially for the Grace of God that gives us life and hope

and everything.

Perfect !??!?


Friday, December 22, 2023

Knowing Our Place,

Wholly Dependent On God,

Is Obvious Living Close To

and Dependent On Nature.

First Samuel 12:15

… if you will not heed the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you and your king.

James 1:25

But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

Words of Grace For Today


As Advent is in it’s final week, and we reflect on how God works Wonders for us, though we too often distract ourselves with doing, impatient as we are for God to works wonders for us, here comes Sam and Jim to mess with our hearts and minds.

As if!

As if we could follow the perfect law!

Not a chance.

Not a chance in all creation.

We are but beggars, sinful beggars, begging for God’s mercy and forgiveness,


when we forget and think that we can somehow walk the line, stay perfect, follow God’s commandments,


we have already taken a huge leap out of God’s Grace into the Devil’s own arms.

Not that we should just give up, as if God were not merciful, having forgiven us again and again and promising to forgive us for the rest of our lives, and always and again restoring us so that we can work God’s grace for others.

Not that we should just give up and be as evil as we can be, as greedy as we can be, as selfish and destructive to others as we can be.

Trusting God’s steadfast love, we can proceed to give our best effort to do what is right and good for all people, especially the poor and outcasts, the vulnerable and sick, the elderly and the dying. We will never do that perfectly. But trusting that God will forgive us, we can proceed with confidence in God’s Grace taking on every challenge that comes our way.

So also this day, in this last week of Advent, as the daylight of each day slowly lengthens.

Blessed we are. Not proud of our gifts, but proud that God claims us as children and equips us to share all God’s gifts with others.


Wonders of Wonders

Sunday, December 10, 2023

In Our Faces Wonders,

and Almost Hidden Wonders

All Leave Us Awestruck …

Deuteronomy 3:24

O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your might; what god in heaven or on earth can perform deeds and mighty acts like yours!

1 Corinthians 12:6

… and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.

Words of Grace For Today

Many people through the ages have looked in awe at things found in nature, as huge as the sky reaching across the universe or as tiny as the parts of an atom, and given God credit for creating an awesome universe for us to live in.

As well we have experienced first hand the power of storms, cold and hot, with violent, destructive winds; we have experienced the immense stillness of a calm day from atop a mountain looking out over snow, trees, lakes, rivers and oceans; we have experienced the fresh crisp air of a sunny winter day, and the warm sunrise of an early summer morning; we have marvelled at how life returns in the spring to the plants, and how life begins in animals and in our own children;

and we have been in awe of all that God has created.

There is, though, no greater wonder to behold, than God’s forgiveness, which allows us to heal after we are hurt or have hurt others.

This is the wonder of wonders,

that gives us renewed life each morning, noon, and night.

For the Most

For the Most Vulnerable

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Spirit Dances

Each Morning, Noon and Night.

Only By the Spirit Working In Us

Can We Dance Jesus’ Dance.

Zechariah 7:10

… do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.

Ephesians 4:20

That is not the way you learned Christ!

Words of Grace For Today

God calls us many times in many ways to do justice for the most vulnerable, in Zechariah named as the widow, the orphan, the alien and the poor.

How do we learn?

How do we learn to do justice?

How do we learn Christ?

Is learning to do justice the same as learning Christ?

No, they are not the same.

They do overlap.

To do justice is for the most part to follow Christ’ commandment to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength, and to love our neighbours (and enemies) as ourselves.

But not all of ‘doing justice’ is what Christ calls us to.

And just ‘doing justice’ hardly begins to encompass all Christ calls us to.

For Christ calls us to love. To love as God loves. To love even when it costs us. And that moves us into and then also far beyond just doing justice for others.

Yet how can we learn to do justice?

Study, practice, and make errors … and more study, more practice, and more errors and (it keeps repeating, since we never get it completely and what we did yesterday does not provide justice for the most vulnerable today.)

And how can we learn Jesus?

Some would say it is the same. We study, practice, make errors, and repeat.

Those who have listened to the saints will know that will never even get us close, for the key to Jesus is

that we cannot learn Jesus on our own at all.

We only come to know Jesus when the Holy Spirit moves us to.

So we pray each day, come Lord Jesus, walk with us, let the Holy Spirit guide our thoughts, hearts and spirits, our dreams, visions, and hopes, and most of all our actions. Let them be reflections of Jesus to one another, and especially the most vulnerable.

And then we study, contemplate, plan, dream, and act as if it were all up to us, humbly remembering the Holy Spirit will guide and empower us.

Is It All Falling Apart

Or Coming Together?

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Are These Just Clouds,

Or a New Kind of

Stealth Bomber?

Isaiah 57:16

For I will not continually accuse, nor will I always be angry; for then the spirits would grow faint before me, even the souls that I have made.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.

Words of Grace For Today

God, with steadfast love and mercy deals with us sinful lot of people, sending Jesus to save us, and entrusts to us that message of reconciliation. “You saved sinners-made saints: Share the Good News!”

What Good News is there to share today?

Peter Armstrong wrote in his weekly Mind Your Business Newsletter for CBC: “There’s an old joke that Canada’s economy is really just some banks, telcos and energy companies in a trench coat. But that doesn’t factor in the real estate industry.”

Lately, of course, we’ve heard a lot about consumer buying, fuel prices and taxes, interest rates and so many choosing between housing and food, while still living in houses and eating enough to not starve. Which is to say the degree of pain is sometimes locked into a standard of living that many in the world would gladly almost achieve, yet alone be able to continue in. But we are talking about losses in the face of inflation (economic manipulation by the wealthy at it’s heart) and not how good we expect life in Canada to continue to be. So all is well, right?

Maybe not at all, not at all.

Then Armstrong, commenting on a TED talk by the Irish economist David McWilliams, writes:

McWilliams “says a normal economist would come armed with charts and graphs and maps, the tools of his trade.

‘But I’m an Irish economist, so I’m only going to come here armed with some lines and verses of poetry,’ he says.

He starts by quoting the (Irish) poet W.B. Yeats. The Second Coming was written in 1919 and it famously describes a world falling apart:

‘Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…’

Remember, this was written in 1919. The Great War was over, peace had been restored to a weary world. And yet Yeats saw trouble.

McWilliams says all the economists back then were saying the world would go back to normal and everything was finally going to be OK.

Within a few years, Benito Mussolini was in power in Italy. Joseph Stalin was on the rise in the Soviet Union and Adolf Hitler had just staged a putsch in Munich.

“So what’s always bugged me is, why did the poet get things so right at a tipping point, and the economists get things so wrong?” asks McWilliams.

He says the artists, poets and musicians always seem to give themselves permission to think differently.

The TED Talk was done in Vancouver, so he quoted the Leonard Cohen line about how there’s a crack in everything, and that is how the light gets in.

‘What Cohen was saying to us was, “Look for the cracks, look into the cracks.” That’s where we’ll see the big picture,’ he says.

McWilliams says we are in a precarious moment in the world. And this TED Talk was done in April. The world has grown immensely more precarious since then.

He says at moments like this, the institutions risk falling into groupthink and confirmation bias.

‘So my idea, that I think is worth spreading, is the following: if you want to understand the world a little bit more clearly, listen less to my tribe, the economists, and listen to Yeats’s tribe, the poets,’ he says to thunderous applause.’”

Russia invades Ukraine and destroys countless lives. (Our inflation losses do not compare.) Hamas attacks Israel, kills and kidnaps civilians including children. Israel responds killing thousands and thousands of Palestinians as Hamas uses civilians, hospitals and schools as cover over their tunnels. Iran threatens to enter the conflict. The US already is in the area using it’s military on select targets in neighbouring countries.

Interest rates at home should be stable for a year, maybe. Maybe they will go down next year or soon thereafter. Maybe they will rise. Some food prices have dropped. Before this mess Silk (soy milk) sold for $3 for 1.89 litre. It rose to $5.50 at the highest with ‘special sale’ prices of 2 for $8.5. Then the sale price dropped to 2 for $8. Costco brought in 3 for $9 something. Now the price is dropped to 2 for $7.50. Something for us who pay the premium compared to milk, which we cannot consume for health reasons.

Where is the good news that is not false good news?

It takes starting with noticing that the real problem is our sinful ways that bring evil on others. That is at the bottom of all the other real bad, ugly evil, problems that we face in these days.

Poets see beyond the economics.

God’s saints see (enabled by the Holy Spirit) beyond the poets.

Thankfully we have God’s Word and Promise: God’s love is steadfast and his mercy endures, for each and all of us.


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.


Blame God!


Tuesday, October 31, 2023

It Must Be God’s Fault,

All the Dead Trees in Threes,

And Ice In Our Way,

And Dirt In the Sand,


Isaiah 64:5

You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.

Luke 15:21-22

Then the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.

Words of Grace For Today

It is all too easy to blame someone else for what we do wrong. Why not blame God for everything that we do wrong and all that is wrong, when we are at it?

Well, because it is not the truth.

And it obscures our ability to see God’s abundant mercy and generous gifts that we receive, leaving us in the eternal darkness where the Evil One plays havoc with everyone and everything.

Confession, even made late after so much of life is wasted in the dark playground of the Devil, is God’s gift to us, a ticket to freedom to live in the Light again.

We tell stories of God’s forgiveness of the most grievous sinners, as Jesus told the parable of the great sinner son, who finally comes to his senses and returns home to his father, from whom he has taken his inheritance and squandered it on wasteful living, begging (for he has no rights left at all, not at all) to work for his father as a servant.

The father’s response is exactly what God’s is for all us great sinners who return begging God for mercy and the freedom to serve in God’s farm yards, lest we have only the pigs’ feed to keep us from starving.

God is gracious and merciful, abounding in steadfast love …

most evident when we are everything but.

Promises and Shame

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Remember the days of wildfire smoke that turned the sun orange?

Even then we stilled breathed!

And survived.

Joshua 21:45

Not one of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.

Luke 13:17

When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

Words of Grace For Today

I’m not so sure that all that God has promised has come to pass. There are many words of condemnation, promising the demise of all God’s people, which may have come to pass, but certainly not all of them, as God has relented and rescued God’s people, again and again, from the folly that we get ourselves into at the hands of our opponents.

Jesus, on the other hand, put his opponents to shame, with all the great works that he does.

Even this day, the wonders continue:

The air is breathable, free from smoke.

The water is drinkable, processed by systems designed by people building on the wonders of science and technology of this and previous generations.

The food is edible. Or sort of, maybe. Some of it in the grocery stores makes one question whether a huge source of cancer is not all the processed food we eat, with all the poisons in the packaging, and all the poisons that are on and in the food grown and sold … and eaten by so many people, us included.

But we do not go hungry. We just suffer all sorts of weird illnesses and diseases and decays of life. Of course the wealthy have ways of getting food that is less poison-laden, and us poor are left with no choice but to take what no one else wants. But at least we eat, right?

That is the promise that God has kept for us, that we will eat.

The shame is ours when we forget how blessed even our lives in poverty are.

Even moreso when we do not realize how others struggle to survive on so much less. Our poverty would be a dream come true for them!

So we practice this day giving thanks again:

Thank you God for all that keeps us alive!



More Money, More Money.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

One Of The Pathways In The Woods,

One Must Traverse

To Knock On My ‘Door’.

Proverbs 15:16

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it.

Hebrews 13:5

Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’

Words of Grace For Today

A person came knocking on my door today. Not that it’s really a door, although at one point, before someone had it replaced it stood for a door, with a sliding window, probably a screen (though there’s no sign of what happened to it), even having been scratched by a dog to get out. But now it’s mounted on a wood shipping pallet, at 90⁰ to another door which stands in for a wall, stabilizing this ‘door’, with a shipping pallet on the other side, also at 90⁰ for stability. Insulated tarps are taped and stapled around the door, for those are the real walls of this place that is as much as anything that I have to call home. I live in the woods, under lots of tarps or all kinds, wood pallets as floors and walls, and no connection to the electric grid, or natural gas, or TV, or even a proper driveway. It’s just a string of pathways through the woods to get here.

She came knocking, wanting a donation for the poor. How she managed to find this place is beyond me. How she could not notice that this is how a person below poor is struggling to live, not by choice, but by necessity to survive.

I told her I would appreciate a donation for the poor, me, if that could be possible.

She laughed, and said we are all struggling.

I guess she really did not understand what she saw or heard.

A person came knocking on my neighbour’s door. How she found the door I’m not sure, because there is fence all around the property and an electric gate that is kept locked that the drive passes through. It’s not even got a ‘man’ gate for a person to go through. My neighbour has the best car and truck, and mower, and snow clearing tractor (a skid steer on tracks) that are all kept in proper garages for each.

She told me he said he was struggling and did not have any donations for the poor. He had to pay for 3 months in rehab for his son, a drug addict from too little responsibility, too much money, and not enough necessity to work to make a living … and too much playing with his ‘friends’, the addicts that he started hanging with in school because he was bored.

A person will come knocking on your door, asking for a donation for the poor. How will you respond?

She really is just asking for money for herself. She’s convinced that being a multimillionaire is not enough, that she is poor, that she needs help, with groceries costing more and all now. She’s even had to cut back on her vacation trips. She can only manage 6 each year. She used to go somewhere every month, either for work or play; but both are really just play. The work trips just have a few hours of meetings during them.

So how should one respond?

With pity, condemnation, confrontation, or anger?

Money represents and provides one the ability to exercise one’s will, first to survive, then to excel in luxury and comforts. The problem is once one exercises one’s will for luxuries and comforts there is never enough money to keep up with one’s thirst for more.

Better to make due with little, than be cursed with so much one always needs yet more.


And Promises

Forever … or Not.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Everything Points To …

Psalm 105:8

He is mindful of his covenant for ever, of the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,

Romans 11:29

for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Words of Grace For Today

God remembers and does not revoke God’s promises for us, for more than thousands of thousands of generations.

God does not revoke the gifts given, nor the call to us to share those gifts, the requirements of life abundant, with others.

But we surely can deny those gifts in us and the call given to us.

And from that immense dismay, hurt, sorrow, and destruction have covered each generation.

Let us pray today that God will guide us to share the gifts with those in need, so that our hearts may know the peace that surpasses all understanding.