Sweet Jesus?

Or Christ Crucified!

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

You Can Call It What You Want.

It’s Still A Rabbit, and Always Will Be,

Until It’s a Meal.

Some Things Are Obvious,

When We Aren’t Playing Games On Ourselves.

Joel 2:17

Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep. Let them say, ‘Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, “Where is their God?” ’

Titus 2:14

Christ it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Words of Grace For Today

‘There’s enough sugar in that bowl to power a train from here to Toronto.’

That could be said of a lot of breakfast bowls.

It won’t make it true.

But it could be said, given how much sugar is packed into cereals these days.

It is as if the cereal companies and us eating them are trying to make our worlds a little sweeter … any way we can

even if it makes us foolish and fat, over-feeding our frenzy for sweetness.

These efforts of our may well be sublimated attempts on our part to make up for our inability to set ourselves right with God and God’s creation.

The only answer for that un-rightness is in God’s own work to reach us, so Jesus, the Christ, is born, teaches and reaches out to us hoi-poloi, heals us of every ill, equips us with unimaginable gifts, and sends us out to share those with other people, others of the masses of hurting humanity, so desperately trying to set themselves right with

well, many don’t even know what with.

The ‘priests can cry in between vestibules and the altars’ all they are won’t. Such are their efforts.

The people will none the less cry “Where is their God?”

For it is all too easy to let God’s works go unnoticed, if we are on the train to ‘making the world sweet’ for ourselves.

We do not need to share more ‘sweetness’ with others.

We can share God’s gifts that heal our every ill, give us renewed life, and set us on a mission like no other.

It’s not Mission Impossible, though sometimes it is a mission unimaginable, like reaching out with kindness to the very enemies who would do us in.

Eating cereal for breakfast with berries is simple. Cutting the grass may be needed. Sharing God’s gifts … well that’s out of this world and sometimes seems crazier than anything else we’ve seen or heard of

unless we read of the saints, who have done it all before.

Miserably Dumb

Or Thankfully Joyous?

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Break Life Down,

Like A Coffee Press, To It’s Many Pieces,

And One Misses

The Wonder and Spirit

Given To Us!

Like Coffee,

It’s The Joy and Thanks

That Matters Most.

Ecclesiastes 3:22

So I saw that there is nothing better than that all should enjoy their work, for that is their lot; who can bring them to see what will be after them?

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Words of Grace For Today

Ecclesiastes always is a rather big downer. Think of a way to take the joy out of living and the writer found a way to explain it and pound it home.

It’s our lot to work, might as well enjoy it for who knows what comes next! And even if we knew how could we, the hoi poloi, actually understand what was told us!?

Great words of comfort. Work hard. Die miserably. Such is life.

How could a writer so off-base with God’s goodness and steadfast love for us be considered significant; and then significant enough on top of that to be included in scripture?

Colossians, written in the style of Paul, at least knew the perspective to take: one where God is creator and we God’s creatures:

whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I’ll take that for this day, and each day. There may be lots of work, hard work, this day and each day, just to survive. I’d rather go about it aware of all God’s blessings, with a thankful heart, joyous spirit, and busy hands. Ok, with arthritis in the hands, two out of three will have to do for today and the rest of my days.

Joyous spirit and thankful heart is a good start to … to anything.

Two Things

To Start With

Monday, July 10, 2023

You Don’t Have To Be A Jedi

To Know

The Day Starts And Ends


Two Things.

Psalm 95:6

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

1 Timothy 1:17

To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Words of Grace For Today

Two things to get straight at the beginning of …

well at the beginning of every day

and the beginning of anything:

First thing is that God is due worship and praise. (I’m not sure about ‘on bended knee’ now that mine are old and do not like to be bent, yet alone knelt on. Kneepads help, but just a bit. – I trust that God knows about that, too.)

Second thing is that we are miserable sinners, or actually we are tremendously good at sinning, and telling ourselves that we have not sinned, not terribly anyway. So confessing our sins puts us right with our reality.

God is Great; we are great at being terrible.

Humble pie and songs of thanks: makes a blessed start … to anything.

As of Old

Old is Not for Sissies With Skewed Memories

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Remember Days Without So Many Mosquitoes, Flies, and Wasps?

And No Smoke?

They Were

Freeking Cold!


Jeremiah 30:20

Their children shall be as of old, their congregation shall be established before me; and I will punish all who oppress them.

Philippians 2:1-2

Paul wrote: If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Words of Grace For Today

Yearning for things to return to what they were, in the days of old, is understandable and common enough … and wholly misdirected leading often enough to disasters.

Memory of things in the past is an odd kind of thing. Reality may play a part, and we all hope it plays a large part, though we know more and more people live with a perspective of even their recent past (and also then their current days) that is quite disconnected from any reality – rather it is determined more by what they wish it had been and what they wish the current time would be. Most often how we see some more distant past, that is our ‘days of old’ with more of a disconnect from reality and more and more colouring from emotions, wishes, dreams, and (to be honest) games our own memories play on us.

When we wish for a return to ‘the good old days’, or the ‘days of old’, more often than not we want only a slice of the reality of the past and a huge slice of wishes made to exist when they never have in the past.

Some memories are best left in the past as past and not wished for as our future, lest we end up with less a slice of anything good and more and more disasters created as we try to either force things to be a certain way (which almost always goes awry if not for what we try to force, then for so many other things for us, and most often for other people) or we disconnect further and further from reality as we insist that things not only must be a certain way for us, but that they actually are for us – and usually that entails condemning others (though in reality they have done little to nothing to merit our condemnations.)

So how to move into a ‘better’ future for us and others?

Paul often directed his readers in various congregations to trust God’s promises in Christ as he does for the Philippians: if there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

If we are to accomplish that on our own, just be in full accord and of one mind, then we are bound to fail, and miserably. More disconnect from reality!

When we recognize all that God has given us, sinners that we are, then it becomes not only possible, but blessedly easy. Christ gives us encouragement, consolation from love, sharing with others God’s Spirit, compassion and sympathy, and complete joy.

As we live with and aware of those gifts pouring over us, we need not wish for some ‘days of old.’ Right now is just fine. In fact it’s terrific. It doesn’t get better!

And it never was better!

That doesn’t mean that life now is free of challenges and disappointments. It is that God helps us keep everything in perspective, in the perspective that we are God’s children and God walks with us and protects us.

Each day is, no matter the challenges we face or enemies that pursue us, beyond comparison just plain blessed.

When death comes it too will be a blessing. We will get to go home.




Oh, for the record, keep the smoke and bugs; give me the freeking cold almost any day, as long as I have enough wood to burn in the monster, and … and … and.


That Rot, Trying to Earn God’s Good Graces

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Among the Weeds, See the Beauty?

Around the Beauty, See the Weeds and Thorns?

Amid All That is Life, See God’s

Generous Gifts!

Proverbs 10:7

The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.

Hebrews 6:12

… so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Words of Grace For Today

In the Kingdom of God there must be rewards.

There is so much written and spoken about how we are rewarded for our good works and our good work for others.

Ahh, there is the rub.

It’s all an illusion.

We are nor rewarded by how we live or do or think or believe.

The causation direction is all messed when we talk about how we earn our reward from God.

God rewards us first – when we certainly do not deserve it- and then we get to respond.

We inherit, not as reward, but because God is generous with steadfast, unconditional love.

So how are we going to go into this day?

Fretting how we will get ahead?

Working hard to earn God’s good graces?


Thankful for all we are given that we have not and cannot earn, and sharing those same gifts with others?

Coming Up Short


Thursday, July 6, 2023

The Light!



‘Find’ Jesus,

Standing Beside Us,

The Whole Time!

Psalm 25:1-2

Of David. To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.

Luke 19:3

Zacchaeus was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature.

Words of Grace For Today

With all of our expectations of others, of how we should be able to progress through a day, a week, a year, a life, it is too common that we come up short. Of course we come up short when others measure us or we measure ourselves compared to others. (That’s how we pretend that we are better than others, others who are ‘shorter’ at life than us.) The real challenge is when we come up short according to our own measure.

That can bring on our old friend the blues very quickly, and that trusty friend can settle in for an extended stay, even sleeping on our bed because we cannot sleep well at all.

We all try to compensate, somehow or another. Some pretend to be real intelligent, some very wealthy, some very privileged, some very powerful, some from real old blood –

which reminds me of the guy who showed up to camp. Everything he tried turned out poorly. He couldn’t get a place to rent. Landlords kept renting out any room he showed interest in before he could come up with the first months’ rent. He had a truck. On the truck he had a camper, given to him, laden with black mould that he started to rip apart to get at the mould and get rid of it. Before he got very far the police came and told him he was camping illegally and he had to move somewhere else. But, and this came in a conversation after he told me of all his failings, he asked me how long I had lived here. I said five years, meaning this camp place. He proudly said he was bred and born in Cold Lake.

It didn’t matter that we were standing 25 kilometres from Cold Lake, but this he had done better at than me. That made him worth something! I was a ‘newbie’ and he belonged here … until the police told him to move. –

It really doesn’t matter how we try to pretend to be better at life and in life than we really are, making such claims always makes us look just a tad foolish (well under it all we are through and through fools.)

Like David we may fear being put to shame by our enemies, but like David we often put ourselves in shame faster and more thoroughly than any enemy could. So we cry with David, O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me …

to which we add: save us, most of all, from ourselves.

Like Zacchaeus we may have tried to gather as much money and power as we can (at other’s expense) but we know there is more to life than these empty things we fill our lives with.

We want to see Jesus, the healer, the teacher, the one they say is the Son of God.

We don’t have to climb any trees.

Jesus walks here.

At least Jesus walks here with me wherever I go, even when it’s into a hell of a mess. And Jesus walks with me, guiding me and sometimes carrying me out the other side back into the light.

We may come up short, but we are never too short to see Jesus walking with us. Sometimes we need a saint or two or thousands to show us, but there Jesus is, pulling us out of our self made shame again, back into life where we can breathe and laugh and sing and dance … and share God’s blessings with others. Our only real ‘claim to fame’ is that we were born and bred here, we belong here …

with Jesus in God’s Kingdom. (But that’s not our doing. God chooses that for us!)



Friday, June 30, 2023


Morning Fishing,

Until the Hell-Raising SkiDoos

Blow It To Bits

Jeremiah 20:11

But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not prevail. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonour will never be forgotten.

Luke 17:5

The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’

Words of Grace For Today

As a departing word a couple I’d just met wished me health and well-being. I thanked them wholeheartedly. They were kind people. There’s not enough of that kind of folk.

I know too many people who would rather be wished wealth and hell-being, and more and more of it, since they orient their lives towards all the wealth they can get, legally or illegally or blatantly criminally. They want the wealth so that they can continue to raise as much hell as possible, taking all the pleasure from every day that they can steal, usually from others, but also from their own health and well-being.

Being anywhere near those kind of people is dangerous. Even if they do not target you, you are going to fall victim for their greedy progress through life, leaving a ‘scorched earth’ behind them, all too often with lots of people getting burned. These kind of people are persecutors of so many people, many more unintended victims of the wide swatch of destruction they leave in their wake.

We can understand then when Jeremiah celebrates that God will put those who persecute him to shame, letting them stumble and fall into dishonour. Life would be so much better, we could easily think, if God would take all those hell-being-ers and give them a quick exit of shame out of this world.

Yet God doesn’t do this for us. Instead God calls us to forgive these destroyers of life. God wants to be able to rejoice at their repentance. Even when we cannot imagine they even see their sins yet alone consider repenting, God continues to give them breath and hopes. When God hopes, surprising things happen.

But for us to tolerate these hell-being-ers and suffer their destruction that seems to know no bounds?! How can we do this.

Once again we cry with the disciples: “LORD, INCREASE OUR FAITH!”


Into The Day

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Learning From the Sun,

Which Even On Smoky Days,

Skips Across the Evening Waters,

Our Days Begin With Celebrations: 1, 2, 3 …

Jeremiah 8:4

You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord: When people fall, do they not get up again? If they go astray, do they not turn back?

1 Timothy 1:12

I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service,

Words of Grace For Today

People fall.

People fall often, sometimes physically, more often psychologically and even more often spiritually.

Getting up again, well that is not always a simple matter.

We’d like to simply say, yes we all get back up. Well-being is restored to us and we walk tall and healthy, full of vigour and vitality.

But it just ain’t so.

Most of us walk wounded, stooped over or even crawling from day to day. And all of us will some day not ever again get up, and we hope that someone will honour us enough to lay us in a grave.

While we breathe, wounded or stooped over, we know that God walks with us and gives us strength for this day, and each new day we breathe. We do not deserve such grace. We count on such grace.

With Timothy we give God thanks, for all the strength we need God provides, and when we need added support, God carries us through the hellish days we find ourselves in, until we come out the other side into the light of love, hope, and grace.

As we can then, we take time to skip into a waltz or two step, celebrating all that God does for us, thanking God for such undeserved gifts.



Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Dreams Draw Us

Through the Fog of the Future

Into Many New and Wondrous Days

Psalm 138:2

I bow down towards your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.

1 Peter 1:23

You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.

Words of Grace For Today

I have a dream

I have a dream: I have a dream that one day I will live in peace, away from the chaos of people, industry, and commerce.

I have a dream. I have a dream that I will own land as far as the eye can see, with lakes and mountains, where I can travel to camp among the wonders of creation, in solitude and in peace.

I have a dream. I have a dream that my home will have a zero carbon footprint, with solar, wind, and hydro power abundant, with insulation and design to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and be built to last for more than two hundred years.

I have a dream that fresh water in will be filtered and fed under pressure by gravity so that no pumps are needed to provide water, and that waste water will flow out by gravity power alone so that no pumps are needed.

I have a dream that I will have an airplane powered by electricity from my carbon-free power generation, with skis in the winter so I can visit remote places with a camera.

I have a dream that my friends will come to visit once a year, gathering in campers and guests cabins near my home. I have a dream that I will actually have friends, at least two or three. I have a dream that my family will come and visit once a year, gathering in campers and guests cabins near my home. I have a dream that at least a few of my family will actually be kind and honest, and that they will be the ones to visit and the others will come only every ten or twenty years to visit, if then.

I have a dream.

I have a dream, but I know God has other plans, at least God certainly has so far in my 60 plus years on this earth and there’s not much time to make any part of my dream come true, so what am I to do?

Knowing that I am born anew, not of perishable things but of the eternal Word of God I know God’s Word creates dreams for me.

So I have these other dreams. They grow from God’s faithfulness and steadfast love, from God’s Word of grace for me and for others, and they guide me to find the peace of God in the chaos of people, politics, conflicts, and storms. God’s Word guides me to value, more than my dream for myself, the peace that I can offer to others. God’s Word inspires me to take photos of where I live, to show people the beauty of creation that they often miss seeing: like a bright yellow flower in the meadow that belongs to a tenacious, invasive species of weed, like the play of light at 4 am as the sun rises above the smoke beyond the foothills seen from a mountain meadow (which is hardly a meadow since it’s a decommissioned oil well site,) like the trickle of water sliding down the rope holding the tarp in place over my ‘home’, a camper, a tarp that leaks so that the water drips everywhere, just not yet inside the camper, like the creek flowing in just one spot amidst the curves of snowbanks at -30⁰ just beyond the dry road to town that the grasshoppers own in the summer.

God’s Word guides me to write as I can, words that share the Good News of God’s steadfast, unconditional love for us all, words that inspire people to remember God’s dreams for us, for us all.


In All Creation

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

God Makes Even Weeds to Reflect God’s Beauty.

Isaiah 49:26

I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine. Then all flesh shall know that I am the Lord your Saviour, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Matthew 28:18-20

And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

Words of Grace For Today

Gruesome. That’s what the Isaiah passage starts out with. Just Gruesome images of revenge on the oppressors.

Gruesome use of power, and that power is God’s power, imagined as revenge and destruction of evil people.

Jesus says that power and all authority to use it is his. He though is not about to do the gruesome revenge thing. Instead he uses the power of self-sacrificial love, unconditional love, especially for the sick oppressors. With that power he not only makes such gruesome punishment unnecessary, he wins the hearts and minds of all people.

And indeed all people will know the power of God, but not as gruesome to be feared, but loving and kind, merciful and gracious, to be feared by evil (especially the evil in us that would be gruesome) and loved by all.

If we want to take power into our hands to force things to be, then God is not for us, but walks with us to entice us down another way of life.

Living as Jesus’ disciples though is as challenging as ever, for we cannot hide in ourselves, among ourselves, safe in our small worlds. Jesus sends us out into the world.

And that is where we make a difference, not gruesomely so, but lovingly and kindly so.