Princes and the Poor Outcasts (Us)

Sunday, August 14, 2022

God’s Light

Reaches Down,

Down into All Our Darkness,

Down into All Our Decay,

with Love

Psalm 113:5-9

Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high,
who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

Philippians 2:6-7a

Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.

Words of Grace For Today

God on high, filling the earth and the heavens and the whole universe, stoops low to raise up the poor from the dust, the needy from the ashes, and seats them among the princes! God gives the barren woman children and joy.

Jesus, God’s Son, one person of the one Godhead, the Trinity, though God in great power and glory, empties himself of all that and takes the form of a slave, and is born as one of us, a poor human.

What kind of a God is this, if not one to be feared and loved. For God does not abandon humans at all. He helps the most needy find a place in the world. He gives barren women children and joy, and a home!

So we fear and love God each day.

And give God praise from down low, lower than we think we really are, humble but not humble enough. Blessed but needing greater blessings. Surviving and living well, but always on the edge, threatened by many and protected by many more, and above all protected by God’s great might and love,

Come what may.

Scapegoats: No More!

Saturday, August 13, 2022

There is a Glimmer of Hope

That Jesus’ Light

Will Expose Their Wickedness and Provide Justice,

Meanwhile We Live Well!

Isaiah 50:6

I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

John 1:29

The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Words of Grace For Today

The Suffering Servant of Isaiah and other sources in the Old Testament willingly submits to abuse and torture. Is this an appeasement of the wickedness of those with power to do such things? No, this is, in Isaiah 50, a declaration of the servant’s righteousness, of God’s eventual vindication of the Servant, and the condemnation of the abusers.

Jesus life, death, and resurrection is interpreted in many ways. One is that Jesus had to die and undeserved death in order to take on the punishment for all of us who deserve death, all in order that we would not have to suffer our deserved punishment. A hope-giving interpretation, one that is at the foundation of Christian faith. (A foundation that is in so many ways undermined as people try to assert control over their destinies, making it themselves who choose to save or be saved by Jesus. On goes the hubris and sin. But that’s a digression on decay of faith.)

A vital and more life inspiring interpretation is one offered by Rene Girard: that Jesus suffered as a scapegoat as God’s clear message that scapegoats are not needed or wanted anymore. This is not unlike Abraham almost sacrificing Isaac: it is stopped because God wants to make clear that God does not want any child sacrifices, not at all.

God does not want any more scapegoats. Yet scapegoats are offered up every day.

Girard points out that we desire what others close to us desire or have. That is our desires mimic other’s desires. That results in more people wanting what others have, though there is not enough of the things desired to go around. This sets up conflict between us and those close to us. We cannot live well in conflict with people close to us, so we resolve it by taking out our conflict on an innocent third party. This is our scapegoat. The punishment meted out make no sense, except that in the cruelly punishing someone for our guilt, we experience a temporary relief in the conflict between ourselves and those close to us.

On and on it goes as the tension of conflict builds inevitably again, and since it worked so well before we get well practised in scapegoating innocent, vulnerable, and defenceless people. Thus minorities and immigrants and neurodiverse people and, and, and end up disproportionately in our jails, being abused and tortured, and killed – and no one ‘gets caught’ for the cruel injustice, least of all the judges that let it all happen before their eyes, day in and day out.

Jesus preaches and heals the needy people. Rich, poor, mobile, invalid, blind, deaf, short, tall, Jesus heals them all. The established religious leaders are jealous. They want the adoration and the power that goes with it that Jesus is given by the people. The act to have what Jesus has, and instead of a third party scapegoat, they go right for Jesus. And they get him, dead on a torturous cross. They think they’ve won.

On the third day Jesus rises back to life, out of the grave, living beyond death, crushing their win with life.

No more scapegoats needed. Jesus is the last one.

Yet on and on and on it goes every day, more and more scapegoats fall victim to things they had nothing to do with, defamed throughout the community, lied about in courts, jailed though entirely innocent. Ruined.

Or so they think.

That is the rest of the message from God, Jesus as the medium. God does not let injustice win, nor bullying, nor scapegoating. God raises those victimized back to the fullness of life.

And we live well.

Grateful for God’s Word in Jesus, and for new life, by Grace. Some of us fortunate to have life still on this side of the grave. After, well, then it’s into Paradise. Some say that’s a city with a room for everyone. I rather hope it’s a pristine wilderness, where one can find solitude finally, away from bullies.

I’m sure God has that figured out and I, and all innocent scapegoats, can get on with another glorious day where, after all the effort cruelly expended to try to make it not so, it is a miracle to still be alive. Solitude is a great blessing. Peace is extraordinary. Grace abounds.

$104,000,000,000,000,000 or so?

Thursday, August 11, 2022

How Many Mosquitoes Are There in This Photo,

In All The Air Shown?

104,000,000,000,000,000 or so?

?Maybe or Does My ‘Spidey Sense’ Have It Wrong?

It Doesn’t Really Matter, Does It?

What Matters Is How Many Have

and Are Going to

Bite You!

Psalm 31:24

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.

1 Corinthians 13:13

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Words of Grace For Today

We can do all the spiritual exercises we want to, building up all the strength we can imagine possible, and we will have little effect on the outcome of the battle evil wages against us.

It’s like an individual school teacher, nurse, pilot, or dentist trying to earn enough to set right the imbalance of power and wealth in the world (say that individual is extremely good at earning and has $1 million a year to dedicate to the project), where the global economies are valued at $104 trillion, and the problem will require wealth a million times that each year to actually effect the solutions needed over 3 decades. So let’s see $1 million needs to be multiplied by 1000 (bringing it to $1 billion) and by another 1000 (bringing it to $1 trillion) and another 1000 (bringing it to $1 quadrillion), and another 1000 (bringing it to $1 quintillion) and another 100 or so (bringing it to $100 quintillion) and then add another mere $4 quintillion. That’ll give us enough for the first year. Each year it has to be the same, adjusted for inflation and growth of the global economies. But that should illustrate how hopeless that project would be for one person, and for all the people who joined in the project if they were just over half the people on earth, or even all the people on earth. Getting more and more people to embrace the project would lower the needed amount significantly, but the likelihood of even getting a second person to commit to the project is so astronomically unlikely that raising the money oneself would probably be easier, or rather, just as impossible.

So go for all the spiritual strength you want and can find and … you’re still doomed! Deader’na doornail!

What can match the strength that we need to overcome evil. Well nothing we are capable of is that powerful, not even as a small start.

The only things that can possibly overwhelm and subdue evil are those things God gives us, like faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love. But if we try to acquire or control these for our project to overcome evil, they no longer remain as God’s, they become ours, and they become hopelessly inadequate even for everyday life, yet alone the battle against evil.

Thank God, literally, that God provides all we need for daily living (if not daily survival on this planet) and that God has long since overcome evil, with the death (submitting to evil) and the resurrection (negating the power of all evil for all people of all time) of Jesus, God’s own son, God himself.

It’s a small thing, but it’s what we can do: give God thanks, each morning, noon, and night.

As for the people who are out there on their own trying to overcome evil, and probably contributing more to evil than anyone cares to know about, well, we can pray that they do not waste too much life (their own and others’), and that some day they will wake up to the wonders that God provides each day.

As for those suffering evil, well we give our everything to counter the effects on them, to help them recover and find joy in faith, hope and love again, and we work like the dickens to counter specific agents of evil, like Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, but also so many other injustices even in our own back yards. That’s more than enough for a full lifetime, and for that we need all the faith, hope, and love and strength that God will give us.

Another day in the trenches … joyfully proceeding onward.

God’s Fire and Hammer

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Fire and Brimstone Preaching!

Does It Lead to This?

Isaiah 43:2

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

Matthew 8:26

And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you of little faith?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm.

Words of Grace For Today

The verse for today from Matthew may have Jesus calming the storm, but in the first verse of this upcoming Sunday’s Gospel lesson from Luke 12:49ff Jesus says, I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

In the Old Testament Lesson for this coming Sunday from Jeremiah 23:29, Jeremiah speaks God’s Word: Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

God’s hammer and Jesus’ fire. These are not the usually expected comforting, inspiring, prodding, and demanding Words that speak of our God’s relationship to us. Often we ignore the Fire and Hammer of God’s Word, well, unless we are firebrand preachers that rain down ‘fire and brimestone’ on our people. But that’s not us. That’s not our faith. That’s a faith of long ago and of backwards people and of mad preachers, right? Yet the Word rises up again and again, as Fire and Hammer.

There are many ways to dismiss them or ignore them outright. But they do say something important. These aspects of God’s Word remind us that we always remain sinners, and God’s response to Evil applies to our sins and to us as well. God burns down Sodom and Gomorrah. God judges each person, dividing the kernels from the chaff and burns up the chaff. God smashes our efforts to be gods. God smashes our hard hearts. God smashes our altars to other gods, especially our gods of money and power. God purifies creation with these (and other) destructive forces.

If we resist and manage to avoid the Fire and the Hammer, they will eventually catch up with us and then their destructiveness is even greater. Fire in forests is a great example. We’ve suppressed them for nearly a century now, and the fuel for wildfires has accumulated so great that when the lightning of the storms torches a tree the fire spreads and grows without bounds, until we put great energy and resources into stopping it. Even then our efforts are a drop in a hot skillet. We hope for rain, or cool temperatures, or a turn of some kind that is beyond our control in order to limit the damage from the wildfire. So many homes, communities, resources are burned. If we’d allowed smaller fires to consume and cleanse the countryside the fires would have less fuel. They’d be destructive on a smaller scale. And with climate change we can anticipate that wildfires will only get larger and larger in the coming decades. What will we do then?!!

Wildfires are only one kind of the many storms that get more extreme, more damaging each year, because of climate change caused by our unrelenting use of energy to build our own security.

There are even more kinds of storms, worse storms, that assail us as people, and as the church, the boat we are in. So many churches have closed in recent decades. More close every year. There are so many on the verge, even now. People are not interested in belonging to a church. Why not?

There really are so many reasons. Today we have a sense that so much is secure or secure enough in our lives. Or more importantly so many people determine that the way to gain more security in life is not by joining people each week singing, praying, and being berated by a preacher. Sadly it’s often been a preacher of little education or sensibilities. As seminaries struggle to recruit and train pastors the bar keeps dropping and the education is less and less rigorous and the results are palpable as one sits and listens. But then even some of the ‘doctors of ministry’ preaching out there are pretty good examples of just plain bad preaching. As for the rest of the worship: old rituals are not needed. Life passages go just fine without the church’s involvement. Birth, baptisms of a kind (our own kind thank you), puberty passages into adulthood (well barely for most, but we let the kids drink and drive and toke up as a rite of passage), marriage (but who gets married anyway, it’s hook ups, live ins, and making house and home together for a while), and death (well that bites. That just bites, but when the church was not there through the rest of it, it’s pretty hard to receive anything from the church.) What we need in the way of spirituality we pick up and make up on our own, some of it ‘old’ and some of it ‘new’, although in reality none of it is ever new. It’s all been done by so many people over so many millennia. The only thing new about it is that those that adopt such beliefs and practices are unaware of how it was used by so many before them, so they’re on their own. The bend and colour of these belief gatherings and rituals are not life-giving, but self-serving.

So they are pretty much what so many congregations have allowed their faith and practices to decay into. No wonder people are not interested in the church. It’s just the same self-centredness mixed into a weak faith (weak in that it really cannot address very well the evils of our everyday lives), only at church they try to control you with their mix of weak made up faiths.

This kind of turning congregations into life-draining communities, and this kind of self-centred ‘made up’ faith systems are exactly why God’s Word is a Fire and is a Hammer. We need to be cleansed of this chaff and these hard structures that rob life from us and the planet.

So the Fire burns. Churches close. The Hammer smashes. Lives are left in ruins. Countries go to war. Energy is disrupted. Oil spills into waters. Nuclear plants meltdown for all sorts of different reasons. Storms pound us with water, wind, and hail, or tsunamis and earthquakes rip the earth right out from under us.

At these points of destruction it is all good and well to trust God. But turning away from using everything at our disposal and doing everything we can to help as many people survive as possible, or refusing help that is offered is simply not faith. It is only self-centred wishes for death to claim others, and perhaps us as well.

How to survive even the thought of that day when we and those around us need rescuing from the angry ‘climate changed’ planet?

Faith. Trusting Jesus words that the Fire will not burn us, and the Hammer will not destroy us. Any other stance is to succumb already to the destructive forces unleashed. We may die from the fires and get crushed by the hammers, but we live on with Jesus.

That hope can inspire us to live, and live well. And to give everything we have to helping others survive the fires and the hammer blows that are inevitably coming our way.

So what will we do this day? We will not make up our own faith. We will continue to rely on the great cloud of witnesses and saints that have gone before us. We will continue to begin each day confessing our sins and giving God thanks for all the blessings showered down on us. We will continue to pray for all people, even our enemies. We will keep the rituals that give life so that they become burned into our hearts and minds so well nothing can remove them, not even the worse disasters. We will sing God’ praise, and our desperate cries for deliverance from our enemies. And we will continue to give thanks. Thus anchored in God’s Word, today is just another day. Evil abounds. God’s Grace abounds even more. We stay alert, humble, and holy.

It’s just another day. There’s work to be done. There always is.

Keep and Bee

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

There are Many Storms of Fire and Light

Comin’ Our Way

We Can Stop None of Them by

Keeping Anything or Being Anything.

Proverbs 7:2

Keep my commandments and live, keep my teachings as the apple of your eye.

James 3:13

Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.

Words of Grace For Today

When religion is reduced to us doing the good things, then religion is nothing more than the rest of life, dressed up to be nice or good or respectable. We do this because we recognize that we certainly are not nice or good or respectable. We are good at one thing, and that is being sinners.

Religion that is used to tell other people that they ought to live nice or good or respectable lives is an often apparently successful project, which fails at anyone living nice or good or respectable. It just controls people and makes everyone hide the truth about their lives being anything but nice or good or respectable.

By all means, go for it: keep and be: keep God’s commandments as the apple of your eye. Be wise and understanding and show by your life that your works are born of wisdom. If you can. But nobody can Keep and Be!. That’s the honest bare truth about humans.

So why all this posturing as if telling others to be nice and good and respectable by being wise and understanding and keeping God’s commandments?

Yes, why? Why these marching orders to Keep and Be?

Because facing the fact that telling others how to be better is futile means having to face the fact that trying to be better oneself is also futile.

Yes, why admit that? That might lead to total despair which might drive us back to rely solely on God for anything good to come out of us or for anything worthwhile to come of us.

Then solely relying on God for everything good, we might just beg God for forgiveness and mercy and another chance at life and the wisdom to know how to let God be God and us to be humans.

God saw all that coming and sent the patriarchs and matriarchs (cannot leave them out) and the prophets and warrior-kings, and wise-kings, and then Jesus to show us how to live in creation as creatures full of gratitude for life itself, and for a model on how to share life with others, generously, prodigiously, extravagantly even!

Relying solely on God for anything and everything good, we might just start to keep the Law, love the Lord your God with all you heart, mind, and soul, and your neighbour as yourself, especially your enemy. And that might be the wisest thing we ever accomplish in life.

The source of keeping the Law and being wise is not that we decide to so keep or be. It is only in that we surrender any illusions we have that these things might be within our grasp by our volition. Instead they are gifts from God, flowing freely over us, available to us if we simply surrender to God’s good mercy and unconditional love for us and all people.

Keep and be: might be better now days if we would just keep bees.

Abandoned to Their Evil Ways!?

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

This Represents Well How We Live

Stormy With Others,

Exposed by the Light,

Always in Conflict,

In the Dark!




This Represents Well How Christ Frees Us to Live,

at Peace

With Ourselves,

and With Others.

Psalm 89:49

Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David?

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Words of Grace For Today

Sunday afternoon two men show up in a big 2500 pickup truck having plowed their way through huge gullies of water, ice, slush and mud to park in the snow just off the lake. They say as explanation that they have been away working up north (one presumes Fort McMurray, though it could be lots of different places up north) and they have come for some peace away from their women. [Their own description and words, not mine at all.]

This is a common explanation of men (and women) who come out here to the sacred ground (that is also so desecrated by abuse of the land and of the people themselves who show up here to ‘party’), namely that they come here to get away from [fill in the people supposedly closest to them] so that they can have some peace.

Jesus shows up where the disciples are gathered behind locked doors out of fear for their lives and offers first, “Peace be with you!”

Jesus knows what the disciples need first and foremost. Jesus knows what we need first and foremost. Jesus knows we need first and foremost an overriding sense of peace, a peace that cannot be shaken by whatever comes our way.

It is an honest observation about humans that we thirst for peace, well most of us. There are some who only thirst for violence and blood and destruction and power. Most of us, though, thirst for peace. Soldiers write that their enduring dream and motivation in fighting battles in horrid conditions, experiencing abominations no one should ever have to witness, is that they want to live, at home, with their loved ones, quietly and peacefully.

It is an honest and depressingly sad commentary on us humans that given the opportunity to live at home with our loved ones, we are unable to find peace with each other. We need to be apart, away from the strife, in order to find any peace at all.

What is it with us, the vast majority of us, that we thirst for peace, and yet given every opportunity to live it with our loved ones, we end up in conflict with them, they with us, and we flee?

The Psalmist wrote on a larger scale, bemoaning the loss of a kingdom ruled by David, and Israel’s being ruled by foreign powers. We can cry these same words to God with reference to how we live with each other at home, in our faith communities, in our neighbourhoods and villages, and in our provinces, states, and countries: Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David?

Where indeed is God’s promise that we can live in peace with each other?

I would guess that God actually never promised us this, and Jesus certainly does not promise us this. Jesus provides for us 1) freedom from our sin and guilt so that 2) we can live with gratitude for all that God has done, is doing, and promises to do for us and so that 3) we can serve others with gentle grace, forgiveness and love, starting with those closest to us and not ending at all. It is our Christ-bought-and-freely-given way of being towards all people.

The wages of sin are death, and we see that in our inability to live at peace with those closest to us: the greatest impediment to living at peace with others is (not that they are such imperfect, terrible people but) that they reflect back to us our own imperfections and terrible sinfulness (especially that we do such terrible things to the people we love – and what kind of horrendous people are we to do such terrible things to our beloved!) It is living with others that our true selves are unavoidably presented to us.

So we run away.

So we blame our beloved (as if they were the cause of us being such terrible people!)

So we begin to descend into a life of lies about ourselves and others, and here we see the wages of sin: it is a slow, miserable death, bit by bit of our souls are lost until though we walk and talk, we are dead through and through inside.

How can we live given we are such miserable sinners (actually we are excellent sinners, and miserable people!)??

Only by Grace can we live at all.

Only by Grace can we find peace with ourselves and with our beloved.

Only by Grace.

For the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And that is the promise given to David and all others through all generations.

We can live in Peace! Even with those closest to us.

So what are we waiting for?!

Today, be Christ’s Peace for those closest to you. It’s free, so why not!

Idols or The Living God

Sunday, March 6, 2022

The Light




Foolish Deception of Every Idol

And Brings Life

Habakkuk 2:18-20

What use is an idol once its maker has shaped it — a cast image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in what has been made, though the product is only an idol that cannot speak! Alas for you who say to the wood, ‘Wake up!’ to silent stone, ‘Rouse yourself!’ Can it teach? See, it is plated with gold and silver, and there is no breath in it at all.

But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him!

Matthew 2:2

Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.

Words of Grace For Today

It is simple to understand that an idol, a wooden carved image covered with gold, silver, and even platinum with precious stones is not God at all, for there is no breath, no life, to power in such things other than the power given to them by the misguided imaginations of those who foolishly worship these idols.

Today, as in every age, we have our own idols: power, money, fame, and luxurious comforts – all stolen from other people leaving them without even the necessities of life. As the planet hosts more and more people (7 billion and counting), all craving for more and more of their idols, there is precious little to go around for those who do not clamour after these idols. With more and more people crammed into small spaces, all needing food delivered to them, all hungry for healing that the concrete-crammed-vertical spaces cannot offer and for whom a walk in a natural environment is likely only via Zoom (which does nothing to heal the heart, mind and body) … with more and more people the zero-sum game is played at all levels, from the family member who takes everything from her siblings she can, to the despot ruler who violently invades another sovereign country for it’s natural resources and location on the sea, killing millions, displacing even more – as the world watches live … helplessly.

But! … But! Now that is a call to attention here.

But! Or better DOCH! (it is otherwise to be truthfully understood.)

Doch God is in the temple, the church, the synagogue, the mosque, the sanctuary, the convent, the monastery and in each person, a temple that hosts the living God, as God walks with us.

God’s living people, God’s powerful angels (powered by sacrificial love), Christ’s hands and feet, words and hope … all this is plainly to be encountered, and if not denied, then celebrated, as dead idols are put to shame,

for no matter what, God lives.

WHOA! No Brakes!

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Brake Caliper Completely Loose

Caliper again

Brake Fluid Leaking

Psalm 115:16

The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to human beings.

Luke 12:48

From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.

Words of Grace For Today

I don’t know about the earth belonging to humans, but creation is God’s.

Sometimes it breaks, or in this case the brakes need fixing. Badly.

I drive all the way to Sherwood Park for new tires. They need replacing and the last km into camp is getting worse, so I’m looking for tires with a grip. Canadian Tire has some Motomaster tires on sale, more than $500 less than the next option. It makes the trip worth it and it’s warm enough that my camp will not freeze over through only one warmer night before it gets below minus 10⁰ again.

Then Canadian Tire in Sherwood Park notices the back brakes needed replacing, shoes gone, calipers, emergency brakes … the whole shabang! So they did the works the next morning, along with a front lower control arm for $270 and a windshield with a crack coming across the driver’s side. More than $3k for everything, tires included, which is about 1/3 my annual income last year and this. They work until 16:00 the second day. The first afternoon they’ve gotten the new tires on the summer rims and kept the truck overnight to start inspecting the next morning, promising it can be done that day. I’m hoping I get back mid afternoon so things are not too cold, that is,s not completely frozen in camp.

But I finally pickup the truck at 17:00, having helped with an idiot MS Outlook email problem for the last hour (settings that will not stick, accounts that will not select, the works. Finally I reset the .pst file to which the accounts download by creating a new subfolder in the inboxes and pointing the account to that subfolder, then resetting it to the proper inbox. Gotta wonder!) It’s a long trip home in the dark.

Halfway into a 4 hour trip home, when I pull off to re-torque the lug nuts, the brakes go spongy. It’s dropped from above zero to -7⁰ and started to snow. There’s no place to stop. Even if there were as I drive on camp is freezing up. Left overnight there will be thousands of dollars of damage, something I cannot even start to contemplate how to pay to fix. So I drive on using the manual setting to gear down in order to slow down the few times I need to, thinking the brake fluid is leaking and getting lower each time I use the brakes. I’m saving fluid for when/if I really need brakes.

I arrive at the drive entrance to camp with 1 km of slogging through snow to go on slippery packed tracks. I gear down and then try to stop using the brakes. No brakes at all! Fortunately I’m going slow on a gravel road with no one around. I let the truck roll to as slow as it will and then put it in park. It clatters and clicks to a stop. I shift to low 4×4. When the truck slides off the tracks to the outside of a corner I get stuck in the slippery and deep slush-snow-ice. It is fortunately the only time when I need to shovel to get out in the wet, dripping wet melted 2 feet of snow. I slog on with care on those corners to stay on top the tracks … and finally I’m home. It’s snowing heavily. It’s -11⁰ and I’m tired and cold and hungry, but the camp is not frozen yet! That’s nice.

The next morning I pop the hood. Yep, the brake fluid is empty!

I look under the back and there is fluid dripping down from the driver’s side onto the tire and then on to the snow. I look more closely and the driver side rear caliper is flopped on top the axle as one does for service, completely left unbolted (or broken loose?) the piston completely extended with fluid pumped out freely.

Not sure what it takes to leave a brake job like that, or if it were even possible that it came loose and the caliper flopped itself nicely on top the axle?

Now for the fix: a tow into Canadian Tire in Cold Lake, and see if they can fix/finish the brake job so that it works? But when? Tough to figure out all the logistics and not leave camp to freeze!

This is God’s creation, God’s people, and God’s mess, right?

Well maybe this is a human mess, and God is watching, laughing or at least smiling, keeping me safe, shaking his/her head at the mess we humans make for ourselves and each other.

Living in the Light of Christ

Saturday, December 11, 2021

As if Even the Trees Bend to the Light of Christ

So We Know

In This Moment

That God is Here Walking With Us.

Which is the only Wisdom There Is

Psalm 33:10

The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.

1 Corinthians 1:20

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

Words of Grace For Today

If only …

If only we could have known …

If only we could have known God’s will for us and …

If only.

These are the words of regret, as if wishing the past were different could change anything.

The only thing that we have is … or better said:

The only time we have is now.

We cannot change the past. We cannot determine the future.

We can and must and do live, choose, act, and … well everything is in the present … except memories that are immutable, wishes that are unreliable and impossible to make happen in the future, and hope that is all about the future being different than the present seems to determine it will be.

The present is what we have and here and now is when we live, choose, and act.

So plan away for the future, and regret your foolish past, or dance on other’s graves of the past. None of it makes any difference. It is all like worrying. The only thing it will get you is lost time in the present and more things to worry about in the next moment.

What is sure are God’s promises, blessings and gifts … all given in and for the present so that we can hope for the future to be God’s and we will be in God’s time, now as always.

As for our plans we make to get ahead or live on our own: God puts those plans in the crapper. As for all the wisdom that teaches us how to live successfully in this greedy, supposedly ‘zero sum’ life: God puts it in the crapper as well. That wisdom and all our plans only work to separate us from God’s blessings, gifts, and promises.

Hang on, though, leaving what others consider ‘wise’ and giving up on making ‘plans’ that others anticipate from us will leave us looking different than most others around us. Instead of lying to get ahead, we may well end up in poverty with our integrity intact and blessed as God walks with us … instead of chasing money, privilege, comfort, and status while destorying others along our greedy way.


Well today …

Today, as in each present moment, we rest in God’s promises for the future, God’s forgiveness for our past sins, and bold to live the present with integrity … and able to enjoy a good night’s sleep, the warmth of the winter sunshine, the snow spread across the lake and the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and the warmth God provides in so many and various ways.