Fleeting Sunshine on Smoke or Light of Life

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Much of life is fleeting as sunshine on smoke.

God’s blessings are sure and forever.

Psalm 71:9

Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent.

2 Corinthians 4:16

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.

Words of Grace For Today

What used to take little effort and next to no time or thought, now takes great effort and forging onward through pain, dealing with lack of clear sight, and being exhausted way too soon each day.

Fear makes it worse.

There is almost no resolution.

‘If you have your health that is everything.’

It’s a nice sentiment, though the truth is more clearly ‘if you do not have your health, then nothing else can compensate for that. Life is a finite experience, and without health (as old age takes if from us piece by piece) that finite experience becomes smaller and shorter and smaller and shorter and then will soon end.

Our real comfort is that God does not ‘unbless’ us as we get old and ill.

Even as our bodies and minds seem to waste away, God renews our faith and trust, and thus we are able to continue on, blessing others with all we have left in life, of life itself.

Anything else is a mirage.

Threats and ‘Paddles’

Friday, April 9, 2021

We may think we are up a creek without a paddle,


God provides all the ‘paddle’ we need:

God’s blessings and claim that we are God’s own

Isaiah 43:1

Thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Romans 8:31

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

Words of Grace For Today

The challenges of our days can overwhelm us.

The challenges of Covid 19 can overwhelm us.

Other people’s lack of compliance with restrictions in place to protect us all from Covid 19 and it’s debilitating long term effects can not overwhelm us, it can maim us for life, or kill us.

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

We may be terribly afraid of what can happen to us, or what others will try to do to us, even when we have done nothing to warrant such threats to ourselves.

While we may seek security in all sorts of manners and means, there is only one real source of security, no matter our circumstances, no matter how luxurious our ‘boat’ through the waters of life and Covid 19 may appear to be: Our only true security is God’s blessing and claiming us.

What does God say?

Thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

We can relax, think clearly, plan and work as best we can, be thankful and generous with all we have, even our lives … for we can trust that we are in God’s hands.

The ‘Naked’ Truth

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Seeing Our True Selves

We Can Fear God’s Wrath


Know God’s Grace

Genesis 3:9-10

But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ He said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’

Hebrews 4:13

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

The truth can bite.

God knows all the truth about us, all the little and big lies we try to live and force on others, all the deception that we pass off as truth.

It is something to know one is ‘naked’ before God, exposed, fully known, it is something terrifying …

unless –

unless one knows ones’ self very well,

unless one knows one’s self so well, or at least well enough, to be honest about one’s own ‘naked’ truth – of how broken one really is,

unless one knows God to be gracious and unconditionally loving and forgiving, willing to give even God’s own life that we may live,


well then knowing God knows one’s self as well as one knows one’s self, and even better, indeed knowing God knows us all perfectly is


great blessing and reassurance that

all will be well.

Even when the waters of hell and chaos surround one and our own turn against us, we know that God is faithful, gracious, loving, forgiving and life-giving.

Which means we can be the same toward ourselves and all other people.

Zero Sum Or Prodigious Blessings

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Life is about seeing blessings in all things,

Looking also down to see beauty.

Isaiah 53:12

Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Luke 6:28

Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.

Words of Grace For Today

If life is a zero-sum ‘game’, then the goal is to get ahead by whatever means, destroying as many enemies and people who get in your way.

With the earth overburdened with nearly 9 billion people, we are pressing the limits of what the earth can sustain, with our ‘great’ life style, comforts, and luxuries. It is the generations old solution to compete for the ‘limited resources’, and to ‘take no prisoners’ along the way.

We humans thus reduce life to a zero-sum ‘game’, a project of limited resources which each person or family or nation needs to seek to gain for themselves before others do, or to take them from others if they have the resource you want.

It is hard to imagine in this zero sum ‘game’ that anyone will stop to bear the sins of the many and make intercession for the transgressors, or bless those who curse you, and pray for those who abuse you.

Since God did not create life to be a zero sum ‘game’, rather that life is abundant for all if all share what is available, it is obvious that we will bless those who curse us, and pray for our abusers and the transgressors.

Life is a project of being grateful.

God has provided plenty … for everyone,

including blessings.

Life is not sustained by things, consumables, resources, comforts, or possessing more than others, or enjoying luxuries.

Life is sustained in being God’s blessings for others.

That changes the colour of life from a zero sum ‘game’ to a ‘game’ of giving to others what they need in order to have an abundant life (which is not the same as a life of comfort or luxury).

We get to celebrate all God’s blessings for all people, even those who curse us for not playing their ‘game’.

God Gives, We Receive, We Give

Tuesday, April6, 2021

Nothing is Perfect.

God Provides for Us In All Circumstances.

We Can Share All That Is

With Others.

Job 5:11

He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.

Words of Grace For Today

As we receive from God, we are given the ability to give to others.

God provides for those most in need.

We can provide for those most in need.

The world works out to be a wonderful place to be alive in.

Thanks be to God.

The Blood, Sweat, and Tears of God’s Glory

Monday, April5, 2021

God’s Glory


Our Hearts and Minds

Hard Won Over

Amos 3:6

Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster befall a city, unless the Lord has done it?

Luke 24:26

Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?

Words of Grace For Today

A family of four, the parents of whom had chosen to serve as pastors in the church, arrived back on Canadian soil, ruined by a congregation that had a history of ruining pastors. Financially broke with only two old cars, they needed a place to live. They could not afford a house and rents were kept out of reach by artificial manipulations, to enrich the wealth of the few landlords that lived locally and the many who lived elsewhere.

So, the father decided they would look for property so that he could build them a house. They found and bought a property with an old, falling apart, mouse-infested homestead house on it, he built them a sound and environmentally responsible house, and they had a secure and safe place to live.

It sounds simple.

A young couple in their thirties, living between their parent’s houses, needs a place to establish themselves, to live together and forge their own way in life. They cannot afford anything available on the market, so they look at what they can afford. The best option is a repossessed townhouse that has the carpets ripped up, holes in the walls and doors from feet and fists, and lots of wear and tear everywhere. They buy it and recruit their friends and family to help them ‘make it right’ and safe to live in.

It sounds simple.

Life is much more complicated than the simple stories or dreams we have.

The family of four lived planed that the house would take a better part of a year to build as they lived in that homestead, two bedroom house with an earthen basement. Finances and construction were stressful beyond belief as step by step the father learned what needed to be done in the next step of construction. There was no room for errors or redoing any step. Fortunately a retired house builder volunteered to draw out building plans from his hand drawn design, research the new processes and materials they used, and generally keep the project from going off the rails. The parents both worked, he half time as a pilot, sinking every penny and every minute they had into the building project. In the end they moved into the not quite finished new house when the old house started to fall apart and become unlivable.

It took three years of literal blood, sweat and tears … and a lot of help from friends and family, and in the end the family did have a sound house to live in.

The young couple looked at the ugly, dirty insides of an otherwise sound duplex and estimated that it would be livable in a few weeks. Friends needed a place to live and they would share their new place with them. The friends apartment they were in flooded. The project started with volunteers joining in to gut the townhouse of thousands of nails and staples on the floors, dirt soaked carpets on the stairs, a huge assortment of things stuck into the walls, a folding door that did not work, and … and … and.

The project could not be completed in a few weeks. Drywall patching took that long, as the obvious holes were finished and then less obvious ones were found, outside walls without insulation were discovered, and useless space was made into useful closet space. Dingy curtains came down, ripped out curtain rod supports were removed, rotted baseboards and trim were removed, thousands of nails removed from nearly everywhere, and tens of thousands of pin holes in the drywall were patched. Finally with most of the walls bare, the priming and painted started, a sliding door was custom fit to the poorly designed bathroom near the entrance, the kitchen cupboard fronts were removed, the hinges soaked and cleaned of paint and grime, new paint freshened the kitchen, the upstairs floors were covered with a proper sub-flooring, and finally one, then two, then three rooms had new flooring installed. Painting continued, clean up continued, door bottoms where cut to fit the new floor height, and after cleaning up every day the construction mess, out went all the garbage to the appropriate disposal sites. New material for flooring, baseboards, and the assorted things that had to be replaced came in and were stacked even as the saw dust filled the air from cutting wood. The odd fix like a dryer vent needed to be installed. Appliances arrived. Old ones were carted off.

Four weeks past with painting to be done, trim to be cut, painted, and installed, flooring to be installed, but the end started to look possible in a week or so.

It took more than a month and finally the couple has a place to live and share with their friends.

God provides. Sometimes it requires lots and lots of blood, sweat, and tears to get to the basics, a safe and secure place to live.

God provides all we need, most of all to trust that God is with us, that God is for us, that God saves us. For this the Messiah suffered an agonizing death on a cross, unjustly condemned. Only then, three days later did God raise him back to life, to demonstrate to us hard-headed, hard-hearted people God’s glory is not in quick fixes or miraculous resolutions or taking away our free will. God loves us and wishes us to learn to love God, ourselves, our neighbours and even our enemies. That does not happen overnight or in an instant. It takes much more time than renovating an ugly, dirty townhouse. It takes much more time and effort and investment on our part than building a house from the ground up with the minimum of experience and money.

God’s glory is in saving us from our twisted ways and view of God, God’s creatures, and all of God’s creation.

For us to learn to love God, ourselves, our neighbours and even our enemies takes more than a life time. It takes the bending of time and space and reality that we build around us … until we can see the world and all that is in it as God created it to be … Good!

Christ is Risen!

Sunday, April4, 2021

Just Another Ordinarily

Spectacular Day

Exodus 33:14

He said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’

John 14:19

In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.

Words of Grace For Today

Christ is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!

Though we Christians have said this for generations, I would guess that for most Christians and non-Christians the events we celebrate today have had little effect on their lives. Either we simply ignore the consequences that follow from God raising Jesus back to life after being crucified unjustly and cruelly, or we’ve become so accustom to the story, it’s so familiar, that we take it for granted. It’s not like anything we do today is going to change what God did, right?


God keeps trying to reach us, to communicate with us, to bring the Good News to us so that we hear, and accept God’s will for us and all people: that God would love us and have us be that love for each other.

Christ is Risen, and may that make all the difference in the world, for you, for us, and for all the people we can make a difference for …

by loving them unconditionally.

God is Dead!?!

Saturday, April3, 2021

God’s Glory

Reaches Everywhere

Psalm 105:7

He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.

1 Peter 3:18

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.

Words of Grace For Today

God’s judgments are in all the earth and the judgments God makes is –

that God will sacrifice himself, even to death on a torturous cross, in order to give us life abundant.

Usually we think of judgments as condemning the unrighteous and commending the righteous. This is not God’s way with us.

Good thing because, if we acknowledge the truth, we are all unrighteous and worthy only of being condemned.

This day we remember that Jesus, fully God, lay dead in a tomb hewn out of a rock hillside.

God was dead.

This is what we unrighteous people deserve, yet fully righteous Jesus suffers our deserved ends.

The universe did not fully know then, and we can hardly full know now, the profound event of God being dead, of God suffering death and a torturous death at that, and of unjust humans exercising their petty power to condemn God to death.

This we remember for three days, or part thereof, and this Saturday all day long.

We remember, with grateful hearts, for without this sacrifice we would likely not know God’s intentions towards us unrighteous people. God’s intentions are …

Well the story of God communicating to us through Jesus, fully God and fully human, does not end on this day. It continues tomorrow, and each tomorrow … even during Covid 19 pandemic’s challenges.

God’s Intention Is To Make God’s Glory

Down to Earth Obvious

to Us

Jesus Dies, We Are In Life Together

Friday, April2, 2021

In The Weeds

What Boat Are You In?

Have Any Room for Others?

Psalm 147:14

He grants peace within your borders; he fills you with the finest of wheat.

Ephesians 2:14

For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.

Words of Grace For Today

While we struggle to get more than the next person, or more than we had yesterday, or maybe just enough to survive, we put ourselves in competition with others for limited resources.

Or so we think and say.

It is not so much that resources are unlimited, it is that life abundant does not require that some have so much, and others not nearly enough. More and more and more does not provide life; it only corrupts the life right out of us.

God’s peace, not only between nations, but within our borders, and between us all, even in our families and homes, does not require more and more and more.

God’s peace requires a reality check: we are God’s creatures, ‘they’ are God’s creatures, which means there is no real ‘they’, only ‘us’ all together.

Today we remember that Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice to demonstrate that God is not interested at all in our sacrificing each other in order to ‘get ahead’ or ‘to get our fair share.’

God is very interested in us sharing life, and all that makes up life, with others. Sometimes that looks like we sacrifice our own possessions or privilege or comforts … or even our own lives … in order that others may live. In reality we can only share what God has given us, a loan, as stewards. Everything is intended for everyone. God lived and died as a human to demonstrate that to us as clearly as possible.

Dr. Bonnie Henry points out that during Covid 19 we may all be in ‘the water’ together, but we certainly are not in the same boat. Some have luxury yachts and others are bailing out the dingy to save their lives.

It’s time we got everyone in a ‘safe boat.’

Do You Listen?

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Look and See.

Listen and Understand.

Job 33:13-14

Why do you contend against him, saying, “He will answer none of my words”? For God speaks in one way, and in two, though people do not perceive it.

John 18:20-21

Jesus answered, ‘I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.’

Words of Grace For Today


God created us able to love. It is what life is about. It is what God is about for us.


God created us able to listen. Able to hear God’s Word and Grace and Love for us.


God also created us able to refuse to listen, refuse to love, and to refuse to understand what life is all about.

Whether we listen or not, God speaks clearly, loudly, and demonstratively obviously … in many and various ways, and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus most obviously.

Life abundant is available to those who listen. It is part of listening that we come to know the abundance of life is not in material things, nor the absence of material things, or in having more than others.

There are more ways to get through life than living an abundant life, loving God, self, others and all creation as God created us to live and love. None of the other ways is worth pursuing. The Devil collects payments all along the way until there is no life left.

Living by lies eats at you, until there is nothing left.

Living by injustice eats at you, until there is nothing left.

Living by greed eats at you, until there is nothing left.


Living by love feeds you, until you realize life is wonderful, most wonderful when it is spent giving life abundant to others.

That’s the truth.

Listen or not, lies always remain lies, injustice always remains injustice, greed always remains greed: that is the truth.

Listen or not, God loves us unconditionally and wishes us to share that with all people.