Or Arthritis, Or …

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Like Nighttime Snow

Freezing The Pine’s ‘Green’,

Arthritis Grips One’s Thumbs

(and other parts)

Without Warning

Psalm 34:3

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

Philippians 4:4-5

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.

Words of Grace For Today

A low pressure area (weather) approaches and the barometer drops like lead balloons or truth entering a courtroom.

Lifting a 22’ post to vertical to be packed tight in a hole yesterday leaves me cautious with my back.

But why are my thumbs complaining so loudly. Ah, yes. The lifts, only a few inches at a time, were many over hours … and I used a small but still heavy and very sturdy tree top with many side branches to lift the post and then to support the post between lifts. The best grip (well the only workable grip) put my left thumb in a vise below one of those side branches. So today, screaming out with pain, it wants heat and it’s cool in here since I’ve cooled it down to 13⁰ with the night air to prepare for the coming heat of the day (over 30⁰).

Lots of things, aggressive things, could be done, like turbo pain relievers. But how is one gentle with pain.

Well, one is gentle with arthritis if one has any good experiences with it. Aggressive hardly ever works and is more likely to make it worse. So the coffee press is filled from the hot water pan with a cup. That task done the cup automatically gets held just a few minutes longer in that hand and then is run around the outside of the thumb to warm it. Still the pain.

So after breakfast, the coffee press always has about 3/4 cup of coffee in the bottom with the grounds that does not pour out without extreme measures and then always with grounds in it anyway, so it’s hot after the last cup is poured and it gently, carefully (it’s almost too hot to touch) serves as a heat pad, and finally the the pain subsides enough so that I can write (well type.)

And the day is good.

When it’s not one’s own body that’s screaming in pain, but another person cursing in anger, the same kind of approach works best, if one knows what is good for oneself and others. Find what soothes the pain that is behind the anger, since all anger at it’s beginning and core is pain, is being hurt.

And that hurt allowed to grow into anger. And that anger left to fester by someone who does not know what hurts them grows to nearly fill or actually overfill, the person’s every hour. And that overfill of past pain become anger gets set off with a small spark of pain way too often. And the frequent fire of anger (without any obvious cause) grows until the person is in full out rage … every hour of every day, until ….

So when you encounter an angry person it’s almost impossible to deal to any good effect with the anger that grows out of the present situation, … because, well, that isn’t the pain the person is ‘venting’ with anger or rage.

And the only way to calm the current situation is …

you got it,

with gentleness

that soothes not only the current pain but all that pain built up under the surface.

Gentleness goes a long way, everyday,

with everyone.

Even me.

Even you.

How could God not advise us to let everyone know our gentleness?

How can we exercise gentleness even today?

Or is everything a nail since we are always hammers!? (Hurts my thumb just to think that!)

Taking Ownership


Monday, May 29, 2023

Who Can Say

They Own

This Tree and the Snow On It?

Haggai 2:8

The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of hosts.

Acts of the Apostles 4:32

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.

Words of Grace For Today

That God owns the precious metals, and they do not belong to any human is quite the thought. As is the report that the early Christians were of ‘one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.’

We may wish that things were so, but even among Christians, things are given value and claimed to be owned by individuals. Oh, sure, for periods of time ownership may be shared or given over to an entity representing the whole group (as in communes like the Hutterites) but us humans always strive to have it for ourselves. It is not easy for most of us to simply share all we have, and it is even harder for us to share everything with a large group all the time. It just does not happen.

The difficulty with making a claim that God owns all the precious metals (gold and silver are just two of many) is that it starts with the premise that some metals are more precious than others. That degree of preciousness is a human construct. We are the ones who say that silver and gold, platinum and rare-earth metals are more valuable than just plain dirt and rocks. And we are the ones who give an upgraded value to concrete, sand, oil, gas, (and on goes the list).

So when we say that all the gold and silver (and all the precious metals and elements) belong to God, we start by acknowledging and giving assent to the claim that some things are more valuable than others.

Everything belongs to God.

Even we belong to God.

The rest of what is on earth is all stewardship, not ownership. But we quickly ‘forget’ that we are mere ‘renters’ on this earth.

The proper perspective is that we are stewards, providing care for what is God’s. And God has always wanted us to share with everyone, so everyone has enough to live abundantly.

We only sort of imitate that with our ‘good deeds’ and charity. If we could actually share with everyone, holding everything in common with all other people, the world would look entirely different, and we would live differently.

We pray that this day we can do another bit of imitating Christ, giving to those in need.


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.


In The Silence

Thursday 9 February 2023

God Sees Us,

No Matter Fog, Snow, or the Darkness

of Our Hearts

and God still walks with us.

Zephaniah 1:7

Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is at hand; the Lord has prepared a sacrifice, he has consecrated his guests.

Matthew 24:44

Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.

Words of Grace For Today

When we are still, quiet, calm, and silent what do we hear?

The traffic pounding the pavement, going back and forth, who knows why so many of us have so many places to go, just because we can or others will pay us if we do or we have learned that we must in order to eat (the things we want to eat)?

The bells ringing across the countryside inviting people to worship, or tolling to mark the funeral of yet another person no longer breathing, or clanging in alarm as the war reaches the outskirts of this area?

The manufacturing cascade of sounds of machinery churning, pumping, grinding, and wearing themselves out before their time?

The wild music of alcohol and drug induced partying that can erupt into all kinds of behaviour and violence spilling over into others’ safety?

The squirrels sounding alarm, crows cawing, an owl hooting, and the lynx silently invisibly avoiding the stinky skunks?

The ravages of a brain fully engaged in multiple tracks of problem solving stuck spinning against the slings and arrows of time?

Sometimes, not wanting to be silent is a reasonable protection from the cost of our times of industry chugging along to sustain an unsustainable life-style, nature fighting us into extinction with climate change, viruses, and fungi, and our inevitable defences of rampant escapism.


every once in a while for most of us (and always for some ‘blessed’ mystics), when we are silent, we not only hear that silent lynx, but we see that God walks with us crunching footsteps into the snow-pack.

God’s day is here, with us, always has been. Best is to get used to it.

For whatever we are up to, God is up to it with us, celebrating our thinkings, sayings and doings, or suffering the same.

Smile you are on ‘candid camera’, God’s view of us each and all, as it has been since before we were born, and even before time was created

when God consecrated us to ….


OR Upside Down?

Thursday 2 February 2023

Don’t Let ‘Em Snow-job ya!

Let that be the pines load.

Jeremiah 1:12

Then the Lord said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.’

Matthew 5:17

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. (Jesus)


Words of Grace For Today

Jesus did so much that challenged the understanding of the Law and the Prophets, as it applied to daily life.

Yet, Jesus did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but rather to fulfill them, which out to scare the ebiejeebies out of us, unless we have listened well to God’s Word,

and understood that most of the time we humans turn God’s Word upside down to fit into our own plans for our own lives.

And Jesus did not do that, so seemed to ‘upset the apple cart’, when he actually set it back upright.

And Jesus demonstrated God’s attitude of love, forgiveness, and sacrifice to save us … in such a way that we might know we are saved from all that should scare the ebiejeebies out of us, the work of the devil, which we too often embrace, and which in turn grips us tight in a death spiral …

until God frees us.

So this day we live free, now

what will we do with it?


Monday 23 January 2023

The Ideal, Which Sadly Exists Seldom:

A Church and

The Rock,

And Christ’s Light

Psalms 25:20

O guard my life, and deliver me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

Matthew 7:25

The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.

Words of Grace For Today

It’s snowing again, and whether, due to weather, the house falls is not really an issue, since the flakes are teeny, but after a few storms and 3 feet of snow like we have now, though some has melted into ice, the weight of all that gathered on the tarps may just put the tarps on the ground and ‘the house will fall.’

So we cry again in the drabness of yet again more days of snow, deliver us!

We take refuge but the rains and snows continue to fall, the winds will blow hard, it will beat on the house we have built.

Then our only hope will be the house that God has built for us, built on the Rock, Peter, the Church of Jesus the Christ.

But it’s been corrupted as well, so we are left, in the teeny flaked snow falling on tarps that we have to clear by hand, waiting for the sun to shine to give solar power so we can write more gratitude-filled words, words of grace.

Stand by

for better weather and the light.

(But there’s still work to do today, so have at it, with all we’ve got, as we wait for the light.)

It’s a drag or

What is lame is healed?

Wednesday 4 January 2023

The ‘yard’ with the drag,

before the last 1.5 feet of snow.

First Kings 19:7

The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, ‘Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.’

Hebrews 12:12-13

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

Words of Grace For Today

As the years accumulate and take their toll on my body, more and more joints complain, some very loudly and persistently.

Whether it’s arthritis or decayed bones or broken tendons, muscles, and blood vessels, the complaining is voracious when it comes to consuming my time and abilities.

Ah, such is life past it’s best by date.

It’s not that the journey is over. There’s lots of time travelling (forward one day at a time) left. And I hear more than just angels telling me to get up and eat to strengthen my body, mind, and spirit for the day’s travels.

The 1.3 km path through the woods into the meadow is already providing challenges. With the snow already at the beginning of January as deep as it was at the end of winter last year, the coming and going is tricky to say the least. So much of my time and resources are spent (despite complaining joints) to make the path smooth, or at least smooth enough that I can continue to drag the route in with a piece of roofing tin supported by an odd assortment of screwed together wood. That beats the snow into a hard packed mess that makes it a bit easier coming and going, a bit, but not enough.

Now I would love to have the joints healed, and the road bed (the dirt, grass, and rock surfaces) make level so that snow clearing were so much simpler and coming and going when it all melts and turns to soft mud would be predictably possible. I haven’t seen that yet.

So I love this passage’s promise, but I just don’t see it happening.

Rather time travel steals more and more usefulness from my joints, and that’s just life, or at least life past one’s best by date.

Another day of challenges, meeting them as best as possible, trusting that God walks with me always. Do God’s joints complain when God walks with me? Kind of think they must, or at least something similarly, so that God has compassion and mercy and at least heals my spirit, one day at a time.

What Awaits Us?

How Shall We Proceed?

Wednesday 28 December 2022

As Time Moves On, As Seasons Come to an End, As Canoeing Ended and the Snows Began, So On This Day What Comes to an End?

Psalms 42:12

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

2 Corinthians 3:12

Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness,

Words of Grace For Today


Looking where?

Looking back, forward, in depth, inward, to the stars?

In the in between time we look where it counts:

to God

for hope,

and love,

and life,

and purpose,

and direction, also for this day.

Though hope is based on nothing tangible, and while living based on nothing tangible is foolhardy,

nevertheless we proceed with boldness in everything we do,

for our hope is based on what is not tangible, but what is infallible, and the source of the only security available to any human in life: God’s Word.

So let the day bring what it will, we will hope

to respond with the same Grace God shows us each day.


that is a good ending to any year, day, moment, and even life, if that is what awaits us.

Well, Whadaya Know?

Sunday 25 December 2022

Fresh Christmas Snow Covers the Ground

as Grey Covers the Skies,

Yet Bright is Christ’s Light This Day.

Joshua 24:23

He said, ‘Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.’

John 1:18

No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

Words of Grace For Today

Lots of ways to orient one’s life,

only one is a living God, born among us to poor parents, from a most unabashedly scandalous pregnancy, and heralded by the lowest of the lowest of society.

Thus it is we are thought to be fools, and yet we continue as servants to the poor, the sick, the needy, the imprisoned. We continue to humbly begin our ways in the world remembering not our own greatness, but God’s in dealing with our great sins. We continue to live in a peace from out of time and place while conflicts storm around us. We continue to effect change, not through power, might, and force, but through humility, compassion, love, and forgiveness.

We continue.

We continue to live life to it’s fullest, sharing that fullness with all we encounter.

The snow may be fresh, but our orientation in life is as old as the universe: it is God-given from the beginning

and the Word

was made



live among us.

Just Plain Soaking Wet In …

Thursday 15 December 2022

Ah, we think we are so free,

so high on creation


we tumble

into the powder all wet

with God’s blessings.

Psalms 133:1-3

How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life for evermore.

Romans 12:4-5

For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.

Words of Grace For Today

Wherever and however we live, we live among other people, sometimes with other people, many times in spite of other people who would do us in given the smallest opportunity.

It is a witness to God’s grace given to us, which sustains us each day, when we work to live in harmony with all people, even those so misguided people who think our demise is their gain.

For this God created all of us, to live among and with all sorts of people with different abilities, characteristics, habits, viewpoints, faiths, colours, genders, and everything, including kinds of brains (from neurodiverse to super intelligent to average to simple) … even to mystics and on to profoundly spiritually blind.

It’s a challenge at best. Our demise at it’s worst.

And when we recognize we can only succeed by God’s Grace, it is the sweetest blessing in all the universe, a blessing that God pours out freely on us all.

Some of us just put on supposedly impenetrable ‘raincoats’ to shed God’s blessings so that we can go our own ways.

Even then God’s blessing bounce and splatter everywhere, soaking us all also from the bottom up, underneath all ‘protection’ we don.

So it is, we, God’s children, often in spite of ourselves, live in an uneven harmony, singing an odd tune to God’s melody, tripping all too often as we dance through life.

Where to today? To which melody?

Soaking in God’s blessings regardless!