The Cracks

That’s how the Light gets in.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Light Is Gold,

The Light Is Distant,

The View Mottled.

How Does the Light Reach Us?

Zephaniah 3:7

I said, ‘Surely the city will fear me, it will accept correction; it will not lose sight of all that I have brought upon it.’ But they were the more eager to make all their deeds corrupt.

Luke 19:45-46

Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, ‘It is written, “My house shall be a house of prayer”; but you have made it a den of robbers.’

Words of Grace For Today

In all our efforts to have a ‘good’ life, we most of all deny that we have screwed up life tremendously.

We try to pretend that it’s just a little problem, that we did something ‘not quite right.’ When in fact the result is a crack in the foundation of our lives that tears more than the curtain in the temple. It tears apart our own hearts, minds, and souls.

Whenever God gives us ‘temples’ and ‘houses of prayer’ we turn them into ‘dens of robbers’ in so many ways, so many same old, same old ways, that people have used since the beginning of time, all trying to make our own way in life and make it better than it was. The more God gives us the more eager we are to make all our deeds corrupt, trying to cover up our latest corrupt deeds.

What does God do with us, then?!

God uses exactly those cracks in the foundation of our lives to shine the Light of Christ into the foundations of our lives,

to revive us.

God never repairs the cracks, as if they never were. The wounds heal, though the cracks remain, so that the Light can continue to shine in on us

so that we can live and breathe in the Light

even as we turn yet to more corrupt deeds,

also this day.

By God’s Grace alone, though we can breathe.


and bask in the Light,

and give God thanks,

and trust the call to go out to share the Light with all people.


Even When Stumbling

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Even In The Darkest Times, God Dwells Among Us Providing What We Need.

Psalm 119:165

Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.

Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

Words of Grace For Today


Living fully

Living fully always with thanks

Living fully always with thanks for all God does among us,

Living among us, God chooses to carry us through all life’s challenges.

Living among us is God bringing us gifts beyond our imaginations

Living among us is God healing us of our every ill

Living among us is God sending us out to share

Living among us is God’s Light

Living among us is God

Living among us



Jail Time

Di-Lithium Time

Monday, August 7, 2023

Jail-Time Allows Only Dreams

of Moonlit Nights,

and Much More

Genesis 39:20-21

And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; he remained there in prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love; he gave him favour in the sight of the chief jailer.

Acts of the Apostles 16:25

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

Words of Grace For Today

After a long, hard time in the roiling heat of the di-lithium chamber of climate change there’s nothing quite like waking up to a cool breeze blowing in off the lake. The fresh clean air, after days of smoke. The slight chill against one’s face. The comfort in the long sleeve shirt and durable jeans, a head and neck covering hat, and rubber boots, all so that one can make the morning hike to the lake shore and up the hill (for aerobic exercise) to the reclaimed oil lease, and back to …

back to what is left

after losing


to lies,

jail-time and

a criminal record for crimes that never happened.

After a long, hard time in the roiling heat of the di-lithium chambers of jail there’s nothing quite like waking up to a free, cool breeze blowing in off the lake.

Seeing the results of one’s own labours to survive one day at a time, and then one season at a time, and then one year at a time, and after 5 years to be able to prepare for the next year’s hard winter, and the next year’s hellishly hot summer. Setting one’s sleep schedule to fit one’s own life instead of a jailer’s schedule. Resting in a bed one has made. Working at a desk that one has made. Knowing that one’s small abode will not get tossed without notice, and without recourse. Eating food that one prepares oneself, food that one’s body tolerates and is nourishing for it. Taking medications that one keeps oneself, at the hour one needs to take them, and always properly in relation to food intake, keeping throat cancer at bay, and not risking the medication ripping a hole in one’s gut. Being able to live a (hopefully safe) distance from actual criminals and unpredictable, violent addicts. Exercising when one chooses, canoeing on the lake when one is able, working and resting as one chooses, reading what and when one chooses, writing and learning as one chooses, exploring the universe (via the Internet).

After a long, hard time in the roiling heat of the di-lithium chambers of hell there’s nothing quite like waking up to the blessed, free, cool breeze blowing in off the lake.

For having learned the hard way (for there is no easy way to learn this) that God is gracious and walks with one,

into and out of every kind of di-lithium chamber the universe can capture one in,

one knows and trusts that every breath, no matter in or out of a di-lithium chamber of any kind, is the most precious gift, a reminder that God gives blessed life

and nothing is more precious,

nor is anything more required

than breath,

and sharing breath with others,

for life to be blessed,


and complete.


Truth Makes Us Sheepish.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Can We Admit

The Dark Would Have Us,


That We Want To Live In The Light?

Psalm 23:3

… he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

John 10:14

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,

Words of Grace For Today

There’s not much good about being compared to sheep. Oh, the lambs are cute. Getting up every 2 hours through the nights during the months of lambing season is not at all cute. Stubborn rams and ewes are not anywhere near cute. Helpless and dumb flocks are frustratingly exactly not cute.

So with the 23rd Psalm we start today and any good day with an admission that we are pretty dumb when it comes to living in God’s creation. We go on to admit that we need help and protection from the Evil One. While we are at being humble (always a good start) we can confess our sins and total dependence on God for life itself, for every breath.

Sheep-like we are then. Humble we must be.

God, though, does not see us as useless or dumb or helpless. God leads us in the right paths, not so much for our sake, but for God’s. God wants creation to work (whenever and whatever that will be) as God intends it to work.

At the centre of each of our lives is a ‘soul’, the being of being human, conscious and aware of being alive, of value, of time and future and possibility, of love, hope and faith. Too often our souls rot right out from inside us, dripping on the floor like apples gone bad for way too long, stinky, buggy goo all over our lives.

Then God restores our souls, so that we can also be aware of God’s steadfast love, forgiveness, and renewal of life … life that intends us to live to benefit others.

It’s living to benefit only ourselves that rots our souls out of us.

When we are down and out of soul, in the gutters of creation, far from where God would have us live, we may well cry to God for help.

Always God hears our cries. God knows our voices. And God rescues us, yet again, so that we can know God’s voice: Jesus calling us … calling us to come home, and sending us again to go out into the world to give God’s benefits of life to others. Not simply a sending, but a sendoing.

Good hearty soul time it is then, living for other’s benefit, especially for those who do not deserve it at all … which is who we are every time God comes to rescue us, often with the voice, heart, and hands of other people of God.

Lots of people need what God gives. How can we give some of it today? Each day?

Can we humbly accept that we need others to give it to us, as well, on behalf of God?


& Trouble All This Long Day?

Welcome to the Human Race.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023


Even In The Longest Darkness,

Or The Longest Day!

Psalm 25:17

Relieve the troubles of my heart, and bring me out of my distress.

John 16:33

I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!’

Words of Grace For Today

I’m sure that to the many first century Christians who were persecuted and killed for their faith the statement that ‘Jesus had conquered the world’ rang pretty empty. As it has for so many persecuted Christians since,

Even to this day.

Truer to so many hearts are the Psalmist’s words, “Relieve the troubles of my heart, and bring me out of my distress.” and in the German the translation include, “The anxieties of my heart are great!”

Troubles are one thing that is common to most humans. And the most destructive response is fear run wild become panic.

In panic we are unable to do anything wise.

Thus Jesus’ words are most helpful, “I have said this to you so that you may have peace!”

Peace is the beginning of coping with any situation, even the most dire and even those that are sure to result in great suffering and even our deaths.


May it permeate from God’s Spirit to our spirits and into our bones, muscles and minds,

Also this long summer equinox day, with all it’s inevitable troubles.


With Thanks

Monday, June 5, 2023

More Sure

Than the North Star

and the Little Dipper,

God Walks With Us

Isaiah 38:19

The living, the living, they thank you, as I do this day; fathers make known to children your faithfulness.

Colossians 2:6-7

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Words of Grace For Today

And on life goes. Not easy. Not like in the past.

Not when we have climate change: wildfires and smoke, storms of vicious power, floods, droughts, and denials that it is anything more than natural evolution as in the distant past.

Life, in the present moment, always has enough challenges to make it seem that life was never this hard, not for us or anyone in the past.

Then we need only remember the difficulty of hauling water, jug by jug, on one’s head, as our ancestors had need to do, until horses, cattle, and donkeys were tamed enough to use as beasts of burden for us. So many other comforts that we take for granted make life so much easier for us than many alive even today. These comforts were beyond any imagination for most humans who ever lived.

So life may not be more difficult.

Yet the truth is comforts and difficulties are not the true measure of life’s difficulties.

Being alone, that is the constant through all of human history and even today which makes every challenge of life extreme, and sometimes impossible. Even hermits and recluses through the ages have found life possible by knowing that God walks with them. While most humans rely on other humans to be with them, to ease the burdens of life, many as they are; hermits who are mystics (and all who take their baptisms seriously) know that the only true companion is God.

Some will say that ‘the blues’, the bottle, or their dog is their only true friend. God though is not limited in anyway. When God walks with us, then come what may, we know how to give thanks. Thanks that overflows, even amidst the most difficult times.

Even today, come what may, we give thanks, and pass on this true assurance of life’s goodness to our children, so that in generations to come, they may face each day, knowing they are not alone.



Thursday, June 1, 2023

Looking Up,

and Seeing

the Star

Above the Setting Moon.

Isaiah 25:8

… he will swallow up death for ever. Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.

Philippians 3:10-11

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Words of Grace For Today

I want to know …

Such yearning.

Such yearning that changes the taste and scents of each day, each hour, each minute.

I want to know … but what do we want to know?

So much of life is filled with yearning for the comforts (or things towards comforts) and pleasures that this life offers only with such wiffs, and then they are taken from us, often destroying our ability to yearn with clarity for what will bring health and life.

I want to know … Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings.

Now that is something unlike other yearnings, for it is not for comforts or improvements or anything quickly withering into the evening fog. This yearning to know Christ, the power of his resurrection and (then comes the key to it all – the all that is life and death and existence itself) the sharing of Christ’s sufferings.

That is the key to life: to know Christ by sharing in his suffering. His sufferings were unearned, but offered in order that others might live, and live free and abundantly.

This yearning takes us outside ourselves and extends all that we are toward giving to others; giving everything we can to as many other people as we can so that more and more people will know the power of Christ’s resurrection in their own lives (the hope that moves us beyond living waiting for death).

This yearning is to see that God with a word, has wiped away our tears and disgrace, and the tears and disgrace of all people, and replaced it with the joy and thanksgiving of living fuelled by the power of Christ: self-sacrificial, unconditional love for all people.

May that be our days, and this day. Our hours, and this hour.

The Doer

And the Pretenders

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Who Are We To Say We Make Anything Happen?

God Makes Even the Moonlight

to Have Colour.

Numbers 11:23

The Lord said to Moses, ‘Is the Lord’s power limited? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.’

Matthew 18:19

Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.

Words of Grace For Today

There is great power that we humans exercise. We make decisions and plans. Then we go about executing them.

Huge holes are dug and parks established in them. Mountains and plains are excavated for minerals, coal and gravel. Skyscrapers are built that reach high into the sky, standing against wind, rain, storm and most everything (but not airplanes crashed into them.)

All that we do makes us feel powerful.

Yet what we do, even if two or three gather in Jesus’ name to agree on what to ask God for, we are not the ones who do it. God is.

We fool ourselves when we think we do anything good that God has not made possible for us to do.

God is the doer.

We are the pretenders and sometimes even stewards, acknowledging that God is in control, and we ‘work’ on God’s behalf.

Were that it were always so … and more so.

Why not today?

Give Us

A Break

Sunday, May 14, 2023

The Trees May Look Goners,

and the Sky Dark

with a tiny sliver of a moon,

but that Moon Reflects

the Light of the World.

All is not lost or dark.

Daniel 6:19-24

Then, at break of day, the king got up and hurried to the den of lions. When he came near the den where Daniel was, he cried out anxiously to Daniel, ‘O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you faithfully serve been able to deliver you from the lions?’ Daniel then said to the king, ‘O king, live for ever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong.’ Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. The king gave a command, and those who had accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. Before they reached the bottom of the den the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

John 10:27-28

My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.

Words of Grace For Today

“If one is awake at all, one knows that there is more that goes wrong in life than goes right.” So goes the ‘wisdom’ of those who propagate fear in order to control others, whether it’s politicians or just your local neighbourhood kid out to make her way among the other kids.

Jesus knew (it’s not that great a secret) that fear is the deadliest enemy to living a good life, a life abundant and blessed. In so many ways he taught with words, healing, and example how to live free of fear.

Not that living free of fear frees one from what can take life from us, but why help all that evil life-sucking stuff get to us sooner than it may anyway. Let evil have to work the full routine if it’s going to get us.

Now the writer of Daniel took another tack. We like this one. The enemies plot and succeed in getting the king (against his wishes) to throw our good Daniel into the den of lions to be eaten. Gruesome end, to say the least. But then God intervenes and frees Daniel not only from fear but from the beasts that are to be feared. The king celebrates and then deals with those who forced him to toss Daniel to the lions. He has them thrown to the lions and for them and their families there is no rescue. The lions ‘overpowered them and broke all their bones.’ At least we are spared the bloody details.

But that is not how God works, as the mountain of evidence to the contrary shows so well. Evil, whether it is a company of schemers and plotters who would have us thrown to the lions, or the neighbourhood kid out to run the other kids her way, or the politician who would create fear in order to win elections, or the lawyers, judges, ex’s and other criminals (liars they are) who create lies and punishments for obvious lies, – evil seems to win.

Exactly to that appearance Jesus speaks: it is not a win for them. It is a loss. A loss of decency. A loss of good life. A loss of truth. A loss of honour. A loss of blessings. A loss of one’s soul to the Devil. As for us who suffer the evil efforts of others: we win again, not because of what we do or do not do, but because of what God does for us.

God blesses.

God protects us.

God shows us how to live, even when evil seems to conquer all around us, and how to live free of fear and filled with joy.

God shows us how to leave the battle with evil to God’s power, the power of love in weakness, suffering, and even death – to which God responds with eternal life for us.

No one can take from us what God gives us. And that is the win of a lifetime. Greater a win there is not.


My Cry!

Saturday, May 6, 2023

When It Is All Darkness,

Getting Darker,

To Whom Do We Turn?

Psalms 18:6-7

In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because God was angry.

Mark 4:38

But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’

Words of Grace For Today

As he travelled, studying and practising healing on those who came to him desperate for help, Julius came across this fragment of writing.

Last night the river rose another 2 meters. It’s now 6 meters over flood levels. Both bridges to town are covered and the only way to town is up the point of the valley’s junction, up and across the prairie fields (through two cattle fences -but that is much better than up the old railroad grade winding up to the prairie) to the road to the power station. Then back towards town, but then further away to reach the road that goes across the top of the dam and finally on 39 into town, all told more than 45 minutes instead of the usual 5 minutes. The yard, the old house, the drive and the well are all flooded. If tonight the river rises again even another meter this house will flood like all the neighbours have already in the last two weeks. What will we do then? Will we have power? Will the house wash away? Will we be washed away as well? It’s been so many days now, each with a new report of it getting worse with new threats and new losses. I’ve cried for help so many times. I’m out of voice to cry.

Julius knew this had been just the beginning of the angry climate. Now they were fortunate to live in a place high enough and stable enough that threats were infrequent, only 50 or so a year. One neighbour of their community had fled from an area not even that far away, a community called Fisigner, when a river had flooded and taken 10 homes in the first hour. Everyone left had run. They had looked for other survivors whenever they met other people, or as Julius travelled about, but there were no news of any Fisigner survivors.

Julius thought, what could they do if, when the called to God to be saved, God answered with anger and more violent storms and floods and wildfires and earthquakes. Then he remembered how Jesus woke from his resting in that fishing boat with Peter and the others. The seas had churned and threatened their very lives, yet Jesus was calm. He spoke and the water and the wind were calmed.

Julius decided he would remember that as God’s answer to their pleas.