Sunday, April 30, 2023

Through the Thick of Life,

Christ’ Light Orients Us

To Life Abundant,

by giving life to others

Genesis 28:16

Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!’

Luke 24:32

They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’

Gospel for Today: John 10:1-10

‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’

Words of Grace For Today

Jacob wakes and is convinced (after his struggle with the angel) that God is in this place, and he did not notice.

The disciples on their way to Emmaus walk along with a stranger who opens their eyes to the truth, from the scriptures and all of life. Yet they do not recognize this person, not until he shares bread and wine with them and in the eating the recognize that this is Jesus, risen from the dead.

Many times in life we do not recognize God or God’s works, as we are so engaged in trying to ‘fix’ our own lives, and to compensate for our sins and the sins of so many people around us, and who have gone before us.

On this, the Good Shepherd Sunday, we read that Jesus is the door, a door that is always open to us all, each and every one of us, though we certainly do not deserve such a welcome in the flock of Jesus. We also read that Jesus has the voice that we recognize, sometimes not in our busy minds and hearts, but always in the foundation of our being.

By this voice, by this Word, our lives can be oriented. Orient, the East.

Martin Luther called it the ‘morning land’.

As by the sunrise of each morning we orient ourselves for the day, so by Jesus’ Voice and Word, by Jesus’ Light rising out of every darkness, we can orient ourselves, not by our own strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us.

Thus oriented for this day, we have plenty of work ahead of us, sharing all Jesus’ openness to us sinners, God’s grace, and the precious gifts of the Holy Spirit to share with so many people.


Living Sacrifices,

Ourselves! (not others.)

Saturday, April 29, 2023

At Sunrise,

Even When Storms Are a’Brewing,

Nothing Need Deter Us

God Sends Us

To Bring Hope+ to All.

Deuteronomy 26:10-11

So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me.’ You shall set it down before the Lord your God and bow down before the Lord your God. Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house.

1 Timothy 6:17-18

As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share,

Words of Grace For Today

Fundamental to life abundant is to give it all away, every last breath we have, and of course every thing, and all the rest.

God always gives us enough.

Not enough to feed our endless covetousness, lusts, greed and thirst to make our own lives at the cost of others.

God does, though, give us enough to satisfy God’s desires for us: to live and live well.

This is how God created us to live.

Today, how else would we try to live, when as God intends brings joy, contentment, trust, and hope to the core of our being?

Getting Changed

Into Saints

Friday, April 28, 2023

Where Will God Send Us Today?

First Kings 20:11

The king of Israel answered, ‘Tell him: One who puts on armour should not brag like one who takes it off.’

Ephesians 4:23

… and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds

Words of Grace For Today

When warriors go to war, armour is a good thing to put on. When one no longer needs to fight, one can begin the struggle to make peace last. That’s the challenge of God’s holy people.

We don’t start out that way though, or rather we may start out that way but we all get lost early on in life. Instead we work to fight for ourselves and our own. God has other plans for us.

God chooses to transform us from fighters for our own interests into peacemakers, caregivers, life sustain-ers, bearers of words that inspire and give life abundant, actors of forgiveness and grace and mercy, and whatever God gives us to do.

God chooses and we are transformed in our hearts & minds, no longer striving to be good or good enough for God, Accepting who we are, sinners needing rescuing & acknowledging who God is, and then living out for others what God has done for us: loved us, forgiven us, freed us to be now sinner-saints,

We look the same on the outside, but in our hearts & minds, God has transformed us, as God intended at our creations, made us beautiful like colourful butterflies, precious, holy servants, God’s people. God sends us out, volun-tells us to care for God’s precious creation & the creatures in it, including our neighbours, all of them, of all kinds.

Each day there’s the work of love to do, serving others, even if it takes away our very breath, in awe & wonder as God brings us home, to the place Jesus prepares for us.



To Wonders of Wonders

Thursday, April 27, 2023

The Wonders of Wonders

Surround Us

Each New Day.

Isaiah 44:21

Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you, you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.

Romans 11:1

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.

Words of Grace For Today

When Covid, on top of deceptions and lies, on top of deteriorating health, on top of life decaying into old age, leaves one feeling abandoned …

and who cannot identify with that reality when no one is there or here, or anywhere …

the only saving grace is to know and trust that God has not forgotten us, that God has not rejected us.

For the beauty of the world still surrounds us.

The celebration each morning still reflects the light of Christ in the Eucharist.

The provisions for survival are still possible.

And life is still possible, even peaceful, and we have learned to enjoy solitude immensely, knowing God walks with us, is for us, and protects us.

Is this not also the blessing God provides for us all?

The Reason

The Real

Renewed Reason To Celebrate

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Where Once Fishers Fished for Food,

Now Is Empty,

Dying Ice.

Jeremiah 33:10-11

Thus says the Lord: In this place of which you say, ‘It is a waste without human beings or animals’, in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without inhabitants, human or animal, there shall once more be heard the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank-offerings to the house of the Lord:
‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures for ever!’ For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord.

Titus 2:11

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all,

Words of Grace For Today

How many desolate places are there these days, where no more are there inhabitants or animals to be found? Where conflict and destruction of wars have chased all living things away? Or climate change storms or earthquakes or floods or droughts or rising oceans or … (you name it) have made places uninhabitable?

How many desolate places are there these days, where inhabitants and animals are to be found? Where Covid isolation, strife among neighbours and within families, or greed for power has pitted some against others, or greed based lies have destroyed the foundations of trust, decimating all that remains of a place of safety where one used to acknowledge, converse, suffering with, mourn with, and celebrate joyfully with others?

Covid is no longer treated as a pandemic, yet long Covid has taken a greater toll than just the number of those who have succumbed to death because of Covid. And such a greater number of people all across the world have suffered irreparable damage because of the mostly sensibly enforced isolation of Covid restrictions. Elderly people in care homes, seniors with age and health issues, those suffering dementia, those already caught in the grips of addictions to alcohol, drugs, or anything else, people of all ages with compromised health, children of all ages, school age children deprived of years of learning opportunities and community with other children, extroverts of all flavours cut off from what energizes them, and even introverts and hermits driven further from others.

So many people suffer and will not recover. Others are slowly recovering, like feet that slowly recover feeling more than two years after a rather simple case of Covid early on before the variants of concern became household things.

But how does one reach out?

How does one welcome others, when welcoming them places everyone at new and unseen risks, even risk of death?

How does one carry on without contact with others, giving and receiving the simplest kinds of care?

This is not the first time we have faced such challenges. Many times in millennia gone by, we cried to God to save us,

and God brought voices of mirth and joy to ring from places so desolate not one human or animal had been found there, where before desolation took hold the hustle and bustle of life and community had been vibrant.

These are exactly the kind of challenges we face as people, for which Jesus came, lived among us, taught, ministered to and cured all that ails us, and demonstrated the power of God, not in acts of taking over worldly powers, but in the weakness of loving humans, all of us, just as we are, and showing us how the power of forgiveness gives new life to us all.

So we too, in slow recovery, will sing this day. We will sing God’s praise and pray that those lost will be found, those sick will recover, those dying will be set free to come home to Jesus.

Let the choruses ring out, and once again mark the land as blessed in all ways.


Seeing the Unseeable

Seeing the (Seeable) Saints

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Can We See Beyond The Obvious,

The Roadblocks,

The Hopelessness?

Psalms 112:4

They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

Words of Grace For Today

It is one thing to know that others are fighting against one, working to take everything from one, even life itself.

It is a whole other thing to have those closest to you, turn and take advantage of ‘knowing you best’ in order to steal even life itself from you. For then, not only do the enemies possess the most private information about you, they have thus ripped one’s heart and foundation of life right out of you, robbing you of the ability to trust any other person. Then it becomes clear that this was their intention from the start. It was not to share the best of life with you, but to steal the goodness of life from you and to make you as miserable as they had been all along. Perhaps they hoped to enjoy the goodness of your life by stealing it from you, but such joy of goodness is never possible through such treacherous evil. So they continue to find their next victim, and the next, and the next ….

God planned for this, too.

God’s Spirit, by grace alone, created saints in every generation before us, people who despite all efforts to rob the goodness of life from them continue to trust God’s promises, and they lived as they chose (aided by the power of the Holy Spirit) to be gracious, merciful, and righteous.

God’s Spirit rescues us who can no longer trust anyone or anything, sends not only the Spirit to guide us, but saints of these generations, to show us how to trust by seeing what cannot be seen: God’s faithful love and presence with us






Our enemies may have destroyed us by all worldly measures, but we live blessed in so many ways that we can only give God thanks and praise for,










And we see what cannot be seen.

We trust beyond experiences that have robbed us of all ability to trust.

We live abundantly.



Looking and Waiting

Monday, April 24, 2023

In The Deep Cold and Drear of Winter,

We May Wait for and Look for Spring,

but when hope is destroyed,

can we wait and hope

for life to return to our hearts?

Psalms 130:6

… my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.

Jude 1:21

… keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

Words of Grace For Today

How in the chaos of this world, where truth is sacrificed by everyone every minute, or so it seems, can we find the patience to wait for and look for something better?

What I trusted was the foundation of life here in this country, is blown to bits and shambles. Lies were spread like wildfire rumours, devouring truth, leaving angry accusations levelled at me. It mattered not that they were false rumours, for they were taken up as a call to war against an enemy with more lies added at every turn (even by those entrusted to protect us all from evil), and I was made to be for so many self-righteous people the face of that enemy, though I had lived my life standing quietly and effectively against such enemies and against such lies, rumours and false accusations against others.

How can I wait for and look for God to fix this unfixable chaos that has left me so far in debt I will never see my way clear of it, even as I live as frugally as possible, off the grid in the bush (freaky hot in the summer and hellishly cold in the winter), heating with a rebuilt wood stove, insulated by tarps cast off pieces of foam held in place by cast off pieces of lumber, a door rescued for reuse on its way to the landfill, all built, repaired and held together by ropes and duct tape and lots of wood screws – constantly needing repairs and replacement.

And then I read with new eyes from centuries past poetry, psalms, prayers and literature. People have sighed, plead, and cried aloud for help from much worse betrayals of self and goodness and civility and honesty and love and hope. My life goes on with blessing abundant in the peace of life beside a small lake in the relative quiet of the bush (though fighter jets landing at the nearby base shatter ear drums and peace at all hours, and the nearby oil installation – an old, ear splitting loud electricity generator growls and pounds on and off for days on end, and bush parties in the summer — all this noise when it disappears for hours or days or even weeks makes the quiet, peace, and solitude then so much more noticed and vibrant.)

What chaos and destruction we humans have wrought on others, and on ourselves. It is not that we have not and do not continue to work to bring a just order and peace to bear on this chaos. Many give their all towards such efforts from large and even world-wide to small and personal. Many work outside any lime light, go completely unnoticed during their active efforts, and are forgotten even before they die. For every step forward it seems at least a step is taken backwards. Here we ended slavery of black people. But the world around even today, people are still enslaved. Even here people are held in bonds that control all choices and steal away all fruits of their labours.

Where is our hope?

my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.

As the sun rises each morning the Holy Spirit creates hope where there is no reason or evidence for it.

The greatest burden we each bear is that (if only we were honest with ourselves) we all participate, blindly perhaps, enjoying the benefits of this continuing slavery, and contributing to the chaos that consumes life at every turn, stealing bits and pieces of life from others, and even finally their lives — all so that we can live on, as it were.

For this burden steals life from us, either in our acknowledging it, or worse in our trying to deny its weight in our lives. We try to swim and still we sink into the chaos. We try in so many ways to try to convince ourselves we can fix it and save ourselves.

keep yourselves in the love of God.

It is futile.

At best we can beg God to keep us in God’s love, save us, free us, and guide us to

look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.


Another day begging God

Receiving from God

Thanking God

Sharing God’s blessings

whether we are so fortunate to live off the grid in the bush or in the tumult of the city.



Thank God We Cannot!

Sunday, April 23, 2023


Think Again!

You Can Not Hide

Even in the Darkest Thicket,

Or Anywhere!

Jeremiah 23:24

Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord.

Hebrews 4:13

And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.

Words of Grace For Today

While we may run from the blessedness of life in so many ways, our running from is futile.

Still we run ourselves far and deep into death in so many ways.

And most of all we try to hide from God, out of fear that being seen by God will expose the futility of our striving to live and live longer and better than others, or better and longer than we should have. Then God will also know of the inevitable destruction to others caused by our futile strugglings.

No matter how hard and far we try to run away, God remains faithful.

God sees all we do.

We may think the worst of it all is that God will hold us to account for what we have thought, said, and done to others, to ourselves, and to God’s good creation.

Yet, we cannot hide, and thankfully so.

God remains faithful, picking us up when we fall flat on our faces, failures at living even in the least of successful ways. Even as God holds us to account, God graciously, freely offers us forgiveness and renewed life.

So today, how will we live today?

Resting in God’s always seeing and knowing us (deep into our bones and history and thoughts)?


Stupidly thinking we can outsmart God and hide from God in every way?


Rest easy: God does not abandon us to such foolishness!


Of breath?

Saturday, April 22, 2023

All Things Die, Even Us. That Is Not The End?

Psalms 39:5

You have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight. Surely everyone stands as a mere breath. Selah

2 Corinthians 5:1

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Words of Grace For Today

The ‘fountain of youth’ is a the blatant example of how we strive to reach beyond our own limits. Life is short and we would like to live forever, or at least longer, much longer, with good health.

No one really wants to live on in an increasingly vegetable state for decades and centuries longer than one would otherwise have lived.

So we strive to maintain our health as long as possible, and wish that we could find ‘the key’ or ‘the keys’ to give us better health: a pill, a surgery, a diet, an exercise, a meditation ….

The gift God gives us is a life, in today’s terms in Canada, which can last at most just over a century, and for most of us about 8 decades. (79.49 years for men and 83.9 years for women (so https://www.cpp.ca/blog/what-is-the-life-expectancy-in-canada/).

As if the gift of life were not enough, we yearn for more, and some of us do more than yearn. Some of us go to great extremes to have more life and more from life for ourselves at cost to others, even as far as taking the goodness of life from others, even taking life itself from others (as in killing for organs to transplant) in order to lengthen our own lives.

Yet God gives life as we receive it: blessed.

Normal for us is to fear the loss of life, not only the end termination in death, but the loss of abilities while we live on and on and on. Perhaps the worst example is Alzheimer’s from which one fades in and out of remembering even one’s own identity, while, in one’s more lucid moments, fully knowing the loss of memory will return.

The healthy, God-given response to that very legitimate fear, is to accept death in all its forms and trust that God planned for that, too. God planned for that by promising us that we will live on even after death, and not in the imperfect-dying manner in which we live now, rather in the perfect way that God makes possible at our creation (well limited by our sinfulness – greatly limited): eternal, perfectly healthy, and gracious: living in peace, with joy, and loving one another as God loves us.

Life remains short for us all (though longer than almost all of our ancestors). Life is nonetheless blessed!

Certainly, specifically because it is short we have the opportunity of recognizing that life is blessed.

So how do we choose to live this day:

Will we continually complain that life is short and that we slowly lose our health with age, all the while striving to live longer and better?


Will we live out the blessings that God pours so freely on us, and share them with others?



Those Damned Squirrels

Friday, April 21, 2023

An American red squirrel.

If the troubles squirrels make were the worst in this country ….

but no,

we have to endure lies from all quarters.

Exodus 20:16

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

Ephesians 4:29

Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.

Words of Grace For Today

While I certainly know personally the cost paid by one against who numerous people worked to bear false witness against,

the prohibition to not bear false witness is (even though seemingly impossible for even Justices given authority and responsibility to hear, determine and only provide truth) more easily complied with than the admonishment not to allow any evil to come out of our mouths, but to allow only words that give life through grace to be heard from and spread by us.

The one is a negative: do not do this.

The other is a positive: do this.

And, to not do something evil is easier than to do good always.

That said, not doing evil ever is still impossible for us humans.

That’s where God’s Grace comes in, without which we would be lost, more-so than it seems we are already.

God’s Grace frees us from the evil of our past, so that each moment we have a new unencumbered possibility to choose to do good, and yet we still choose evil.

Knowing that is how it is with us, then we are able (freed by God’s Grace) to allow grace to be everything for others. As we allow grace to be everything for others, then we cannot help but speak and spread grace everywhere for all people.

So we pray: let grace, O God, pour freely from our mouths, also this day, that Your will may be done also among us.