Sliding Off Into the Devil’s Doo-doo.

Monday, January 31, 2022

On the Bright side:

There’s no grass to mow

mosquitoes to suffer

or wasps to interrupt one’s being outside.

No Matter the Season

The Devil’s always got enough doo-doo waiting.

Jeremiah 3:22

Return, O faithless children, I will heal your faithlessness. ‘Here we come to you; for you are the Lord our God.

1 Peter 2:25

For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Words of Grace For Today

The first kilometre out is a drive through the woods, which never gets plowed.

The tracks have, with the heavy snowfall onto which another foot is falling now, driven on many times over, have been packed down, while the snow across the rest of the trail remains relatively soft snow. Where the loose snow to be removed it would become obvious that the tracks are elevated above the rest of the trail … and when the temperatures rose to near and above freezing the tracks of hard packed snow turned to slippery snow or ice … and driving on the tracks became nearly impossible. The vehicle keeps slipping off into the foot to two feet deep snow that’s not been shovelled away, and beside the trail the snow has accumulated to 3 feet deep in places.

High on the tracks all is fine, but slipping down into the soft snow puts progress to a sudden halt.

Sheep go astray. Vehicles slide off the tracks. People slip on the Devil’s temptations into trouble, deep trouble, and life comes to a grinding halt … or not. Sometimes deep in the Devil’s temptations and trouble we keep living on blithely to the damage we do to ourselves and others around us, pleased as we are that even if we are caught in the Devil’s doo-doo, others are worse off than us (because we’ve put them there!)

God promises, I will heal your faithlessness.

God brings us back to the Good Shepherd and the guardian of our souls.

Thanks be to God.

Now what are we going to do with this renewed life? More wallowing in the Devil’s doo-doo, or work as the God-made saints God equips us to be?

It’s not easy doing God’s Will. It’s also not easy shovelling out a kilometre of tracks built up into hard packed snow ridges, crusty snow between and deep fluffy snow to each side. I trust that God will help immensely. It will take me about 2 months before I could possibly complete the task and by then God will have sent a bit of spring to melt away the snow … and the water will turn the tracks to mush. A whole other challenge made worse by the packed snow left on the trail.

It’s not easy doing what is right, but it is still right to do it. So off I go with a shovel as often and as long as my body will allow.

What are you going to do today with the life God renewed in you?

I will heal ….

Sunday, January 30, 2022

It is Enough

To Be Loved

By Jesus

And Know It As Sure As the Setting of the Sun.

Hosea 14:4

I will heal their disloyalty; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.

Mark 8:36

For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?

Words of Grace For Today

Jesus Loves You!

Jesus heals our disloyalty, loves us freely, and …

While we work to make our ways forward in life, to make a little (or a lot of) profit for ourselves, Jesus makes sure that we do not forfeit our lives.


there is more to it than it seems:

Jesus loves you!

And there is nothing more important in life than to be assured that Jesus loves us.

God’s Temple

Saturday, January 29, 2022

As Wonders Abound,

None Are More Wondrous

Than the Holy Temple,

The Holy Vessels

God Made Us To Be.

Ezekiel 37:23

They shall never again defile themselves with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. I will save them from all the apostasies into which they have fallen, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

1 Corinthians 3:16

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

Words of Grace For Today

There are innumerable examples of how we have perverted life into something that is a zero-sum game, and we’ve taken it for all we can, mostly from others, as if that were our right. Some have perverted the image they have of themselves into an image of a godlet, and excluded God from their lives (as if that were possible anyway.) Others have turned themselves to pursue [fill in any thing, or pleasure, or position, or wealth, or … ] as if attaining enough of it would fill their lives, and all sorts of perverse things happen to them and the people around them because of their pursuits.

God simply created us with freewill, and we make a mess of it, a terrible mess of it, we certainly do, we do.

God does not leave us there, in the damnable places and conditions we create for ourselves. God comes, as demonstrated in Jesus’ story, to cleanse us, and to restore us as God’s people … so that we once again can be people who fear and love God above all else. We see again that God is with us always, that God has poured God’s Spirit into us, made us vessels that hold the holy of holies, so that we can be and do God’s generous, unconditional, love and grace for all people.

You, and I, and each person, are/am/is a holy temple; and our treatment of ourselves and of others as holy is properly warranted.

God don’t make no junk.

God just makes all things blessed, and us, God made holy.

Get used to it.

Be it, with gratitude.


Friday, January 28, 2022

Caught In The Weeds Of Life

By What Do We Orient Ourselves?

Psalm 62:6

He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

Matthew 11:15

Let anyone with ears listen!

Words of Grace For Today

There are many things that we count on to keep ourselves oriented in life as we progress through each day, day after day. We might be tempted to compare our journey each day to a hiker on a trail to a mountain top where the view extends in all directions over the ice covered peaks of a magnificent mountain range. One goal, one path, and we trod on, climb on, take breaks to drink and to eat maybe even to sleep a night or two … always onward to that one goal and that one glorious view. That hiker orients their progress on a map, by GPS or compass, by landmarks, by the moss on the tree trunks, and then above the treeline by the sun or by the moon and the stars. Maybe a better comparison, we might think, would be to an adventurer on a trek to the north pole across the deteriorating ice, looking for so many work-arounds and water crossings, not being able to rely on a compass (and not having GPS to make that a non-issue).

Life is so much more complicated than a single path towards a single destination and a glorious view, so the comparison doesn’t help much to consider how we orient ourselves amidst each day’s challenges, complications, set backs, victories and rewards, and … and all the distractions or … or are the distractions not all distractions? Are not some of them the real gist of life?

How do we orient ourselves? By some distant goal or achievement? By some earned fame or landmark of wealth or accumulation of power? By some undocumentable attitude? By the love we receive from family, from children and grandchildren?

God created us for this journey, though it certainly is not on one path, not even one path for each of us 7 some billion on earth today. It certainly is not towards one goal either.

Describing life in it’s full colour, assailed by challenges and enemies, the Psalmist knows well the pains, sufferings, triumphs, losses, rewards, and joys of life … and with the imagery of being under attack assures us that God alone is our rock and our salvation, our fortress; We shall not be shaken.

The paths we take this day will be like many before, and perhaps like none we’ve seen. We can hope for a summit with a view to life all around us, but we are as likely going to be caught in the Devil’s deceptive net that shows us the world, and yet shows us nothing of reality at all, not at all.

God’s Word is spoken, sent out, brings unconditional love, renewed life, and a mission to be and share God’s Word, Grace, Love, and Hope with all people. We were all made with ears that can hear God’s Word. As we journey onward on our mission, Let anyone with ears listen! For in the Word of God we have all the orientation to the goodness and purpose of life that is possible.

Conditional or Unconditional Love?

Thursday, January 27, 2022

A Short Section of the Shovelled Portions

After the Daylight is Spent

as Well as My Capacity,

Energy, and




Psalm 103:17-18

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

Words of Grace For Today

The drive in here, into the meadow in the woods by the lake, from the gravel road that is maintained by the MD is nearly a kilometre long.

Most years the snow and rain make it challenging though not impossible to make the trek when needed to get supplies, food, and water.

Today that seems to have changed and to find out whether that has changed is to risk getting stuck in hard, cold, soft and freezing and hard frozen ice and snow smothered with rain over the last few hours.

Whether I can make transit that fist kilometre or not is entirely up to what I do in preparation. It is at least a two week task to try to shovel the worst parts free and clear down to the hard packed snow-ice that has developed over the last months from November on. There is no need to wish I had shovelled it regularly as the snows fell. First I had lots of other work to do to survive the winter so far, with it’s plentiful snow and it’s deep hard cold for days below -35⁰ and weeks below -25⁰. Second, the task of shovelling that kilometre once would take about a week of constant work, pushing my old body to it’s limits each day. By then the next snow would have fallen and I’d have had to start all over again … meaning I would have been shovelling snow constantly for months now and doing little else … when there is lots that has to be done to survive without a home in the woods next to a lake, even if that is all a huge blessing from God. So no regrets that I drove that kilometre as I could, dragged two logs behind to bounce a bit of the snow to the side and pack the remaining in a hardened roadway that I could drive over.

With the warming to above zero and the accompanying thaw, with the rain that has drenched the snow and with the freeze coming again that will turn it all into slippery ice, that kilometre will not be ‘miraculously’ ‘fahrbar’ (drive-able). The drive-ability of that kilometre depends now almost entirely on how much I shovel, where I shovel, how far down I shovel and if I survive (no heart attack or stroke or back spasms laying me flat in the snow for days while I freeze to death, or any other of a host of ways that shovelling could put me down.)

That’s a reality that is conditional, conditional on what I do.

God’s grace, forgiveness, claim on us, and mission that we are sent back into the world to work at is not conditional at all. God’s blessings and favour are not conditional on anything we do. That God blesses us and favours us is entirely unconditional! It depends only on God’s steadfast, never changing, never failing love and grace.

We humans do not like to be so dependent on any one or thing other than ourselves. So we, along with great words of God’s grace and steadfast love, have repeatedly perverted God’s promises into being conditional on our responses to God’s grace and steadfast love. Thus Psalm that teaches (wrongly) that God’s blessings and favour for us and our children and their children and all people is conditional on us keeping his covenant and remembering to do his commandments.

That condition sets us up to strive to be and do what we cannot be or do: perfect. And it gives control of our lives over to others who interpret our being and doing as sufficiently good enough or not.

God’s grace and steadfast love are not conditional.

God sends us out to be and do that same unconditional grace and love for all people.

Are we up to the mission? It does take every bit of life we have in us, and often more.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Fully Deployed Before Launch

The James Webb Space Telescope×1233.jpg

Psalm 90:16

Let your work be manifest to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.

John 1:14

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

Words of Grace For Today

There are life altering moments for us humans. If we are blessed they will be moments that givec us life, instead of rob life from us. Astronauts, and even space tourists, say that being in space and seeing back to earth and out into the deep of space changes everything about how they see life on earth, how they see everything.

The James Webb Space Telescope is in orbit, looking further than any other telescope has been able to. And ‘further’ means it sees back in time. That is, the light that it can see has travelled light years upon light years before arriving at the telescope. That same light could come to us if we sat in space orbit with the new telescope, though we are unable to see that minuscule particle-waves of light among the brighter and closer sources of light. We can see light from galaxies about a million years back in time with our bare eyes. The Hubble telescope can see 10-15 billion light years back in time, which is back to what we believe is the beginning of light, the beginning of the universe, the big bang. The Webb Telescope is designed to be more flexible than the Hubble, and is designed to see the first million or so light years starting with the big bang. In the beginning ….

We may need telescopes to see ‘far out there’. We need no instruments to see the work, power, life, glory, grace and truth of the creator of the universe. For that we need faith, and that is always a gift, only a gift, from God.

Once we see God’s work, power, life, glory, grace and truth, life for us is never the same. That is the most fundamental, profound life-altering experience there is. We usually allow the poignancy of that experience to fade and meld into the myriad of experiences, though that altering element never quite goes away. It’s like a mark on our skin that changes and morphs over time, but never goes away. The liver spot on my wrist below my thumb appeared as a tiny, barely perceptible dot in my 20’s, grew to be more obvious in my 40’s and by my 50’s had grown to more than a half inch across. It keeps growing. Faith, the gift of faith, grows on us in quite a similar manner, unless we take rash measures to cut it out, like a surgeon’s knife excising a malignant mole.

It would not be the first effort, were we to try and build a faith-generating ‘telescope’, so that we could see back into the beginning of time to see God create this whole thing we call the universe. Humans have tried to ‘create’ or control faith since the beginning of our time. It’s always a futile effort, destroying more of life than it gives to anyone.

So we today we continue to pray: Let your work be manifest to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.

And we remember that Word that created the universe became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

For this we give God thanks, unending thanks.

Correction or God’s Wrath!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

When We Skew Our Perspective On God’s Creation,

Taking Correction is Welcomed

even if it chaffs.

God’s Wrath


takes all perspective and vision and life

away from us

in all time.

Jeremiah 10:24

Correct me, O Lord, but in just measure; not in your anger, or you will bring me to nothing.

1 Thessalonians 5:9

For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

There are many people, on earth, and who have lived on earth (and there will be plenty more in times to come), who know that they need no correction from God or anyone else for that matter. They are wrong, but there is little to be done for them. They sit in positions of power, like judges and bishops, archbishops can cardinals, who are pretty hard, if not impossible, to provide any correction to. They get away with bullying, abuses beyond imagination, and making light dark, sweet bitter, and life death. They have no fear … of anyone, especially not God.

There are many people, on earth, and who have lived on earth (and there will be plenty more in times to come), who know that they need every correction available from God or anyone else for that matter. They live humble lives, fearing and loving God, and loving other people, praying that God will have saved them (like that pastor about to retire who expressed his greatest concern to his colleagues over a game of cards and scotch – I was so young and did not understand then – ) ‘from having hurt anyone!’

God’s wrath directed at any part of creation, at any person or any people rips that part of creation with unimaginable agony out of creation. God’s wrath completely unmakes it/them, uncreates it/them, separates it/them from every having existed.

We pray we will never know God’s wrath!

God’s wrath is perhaps well directed towards those who will take no correction.

God promises are that God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this promise we live, in fear of God, overwhelmed with love for God and all God’s creation and all God’s people.

It’s a good life, though we know we always need correction, and pray that God’s correction will come in ways that will not destroy us, for we breathe, and work, and pray, and struggle, and love, and hope … as God-made saints and simultaneously as sinner still.

And we pray each day that we will, above all, not hurt anyone, and, knowing that we have and cannot help but still hurt others, we pray for forgiveness each morning, noon and night.

Night Vision Always

Monday, January 24, 2022

No Matter How Darkness Arrives

in Our Lives,

God Sees Clearly

and Guides Us to Live Well!

Psalm 139:11-12

If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night’, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Luke 4:40

As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them.

Words of Grace For Today

God knows we know what it is like

to have darkness overtake us,


to have the light disappear on us while we progress through our work that requires light to finish.

We are thankful that for God there is no darkness that is dark. For God the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.

God does not need night vision googles to deal with what we experience as darkness, for even as the sun sets, and even as we succumb to illness God sees clearly what we need to be healthy. God sees perfectly, and

through the gifts of the Holy Spirit,

God gives us sight to see what is hidden by the darkness of sin and evil, and to be the ones who bring Christ’ balm to heal any who [are] sick with various kinds of diseases.

So we can rest assured, even as the darkness grows around us and envelops us, that God sees all that we need to live, and to live abundant lives.

Pray and Sing as Long as …

Sunday, January 23, 2022

no matter what path lays ahead

no matter what path is behind

We pray and we sing as long as …

Psalm 104:33

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

James 5:13

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.

Words of Grace For Today

Life is full of surprises.

Surprises that are good, and surprises that are bad.

Whatever life brings to us this day, we know that God claims us, forgives us, renews us, and sends us back into all that life is to be God-made saints, though we always remain sinners.

So we sing, and sing, and sing and dance giving God praise and thanks for all of life.

While we suffer, for there is no shortage of that in our lives as well, we pray, and pray, and pray to God, asking for deliverance, for forbearance, for endurance, and for hope … so that we can continue through the dark days as blessed God-made saints, to emerge into the light of life and joy and contentment … for all is from God,

so we sing and pray as long as we have being in this life,

and in the end we will return to God, still blessed as always, to live eternally with all the saints in light.

As for today … bring what may we are ready with our songs and our prayers … and the gifts God gives us to bring God’s Grace to bear on so many people’s lives.

It’s a wonderful life.

It Only Takes …

Saturday, January 22, 2022

It’s quite simple to be

the Light of Christ

For those caught in Darkness.


Isaiah 9:4

For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.

Luke 1:78-79

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Words of Grace For Today

It only takes a smile …

It only takes a smile to express the greatest things in life …

It only takes a smile to express the greatest things in life, which are to know that God has delivered us, and will deliver us,

for God has broken the rod of the oppressor. With tender compassion God has brought light to those who live in darkness and those who live in the shadow of death. God guides our feet (and our whole being) into the way of peace.

It only takes a smile to express thanks to God,

especially when that smile is given freely to strangers in need of hope,

especially when that smile comes flowing from the heart,

especially when that smile is followed by the hand and feet of the body of Christ freeing, and moulding, and assembling all that is needed to provide the basics of life to those who have nothing,

especially when that smile carries a promise that God’s favour is forever and always present in the generous, gracious gifts that share life abundant.

It only takes a smile that flows from the heart to the other person’s heart to say

I love you


God loves you.

Free up a smile or two or ten thousand today, add a twinkle from your heart … and make the world bright with hope.