Getting Out There

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

It’s hotter at 9 am today than the hottest moment yesterday,

Climate change in a day (yesterday’s extreme is today’s normal),

So maybe it’ll help orient us if we get reminded

that winter is coming and it’ll be blessed cold.

Isaiah 66:19

I will set a sign among them. From them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud—which draw the bow—to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.

Mark 16:15

And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.

Words of Grace For Today

So many people want to stay in their own little bubble of the world, safe, comfortable and sure of what will come tomorrow – and if what comes tomorrow is something different then they have great ability to lie to themselves and others to day what happened is not different, but it is still what they know how to handle.

So the people are done with Covid before the third wave, and now we face the seventh wave. Covid is not done with us. So many people may refuse to behave responsibly, protecting others by wearing masks, keeping physical distance, and providing ventilation indoors. We all may want to be done with Covid. It’s just that might just kill us, and if it will not kill exactly the fools that indiscriminately get infected and share that everywhere they go, it’ll kill so many of us, even us who are wise about our exposure and protection.

To be other than wise about Covid requires that one live in a bubble of foolish denial of reality. And that’s where so many people live, about Covid, about their rights and others’ rights, about justice and truth, about climate change, about God’s blessings and their obligations to the strangers.

God knew this would be so, and in every generation has sent faithful, wise people out into the world to be remnants, giving witness to God’s good creation, truth, and the challenges we actually face, living on this planet.

So which are you going to be today: a comfort seeking, reality denying, self-protecting-other-endangering, bubble living parasite,


one of the remnant of witnesses who remember and preserve the truth of God’s good works in every generation, as well as the honest reality of life on planet earth?

Today, in small ways we each will choose, though God will do everything to guide us

to be one of those who are Getting Out There.

For All People

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

God’s Good Mercy Is For Us All,

New Sprouts …


Old Farts


Habakkuk 3:19

God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights.

1 Timothy 4:10

For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, especially of those who believe.

Words of Grace For Today

A saviour of all people!

A saviour especially of those who believe, but not only for those who believe!

How often we in the church have claimed salvation only for ourselves. Ah, so wrong we can be about the most important things!

The blessing, for us who believe, is that we know we have strength given to us far beyond anything the world can throw at us. So we say with Habakkuk that God makes our feet like that of the deer and makes us tread even on the heights.

In old age as my feet move more slowly and climbing to any height gets more dangerous, I’m sure that I cannot say this with much literal meaning, but that figurative meaning is even more valuable.

Or at least that’s what one has left to say when one gets older, eh?

Today, we toil and struggle, as people have in every generation. We get to do so with great hope that God walks with us through it all, no matter how deep the shtako gets.

So onward, one step at a time. Clean up before sleeping, and then it starts all over. What a blessed life! This God provides even for those who do not believe. Now that is a miracle, a wonder, an inexplicable reality of God’s good creation.

Just Doing it Right!

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Wisps of Light

Begin the Day

As the Spirit Starts

Our Hearts

Genesis 15:6

And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Galatians 3:7

so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham.

Words of Grace For Today

Righteousness is, by definition, the quality attributed to someone who does this right. Or as Wikipedia has it (like many other dictionaries – no surprise) it is the quality or state of being morally correct and justifiable.

Further as Wikipedia has it: William Tyndale (Bible translator into English in 1526) remodelled the word after an earlier word rihtwis, which would have yielded modern English *rightwise or *rightways. He used it to translate the Hebrew root צדק tzedek, which appears over five hundred times in the Hebrew Bible, and the Greek word δίκαιος (dikaios), which appears more than two hundred times in the New Testament.

It is tzedek here in Genesis that is translated as righteousness. It is connected with justice, and not merely the dispensing of decisions (that may or may not be just) as courts do, but about ensuring that decisions are just before they are made and that after ensuring that injustices are corrected.

It is all about doing, and doing it right, or doing what is necessary to make sure what is done wrong is corrected to be that which is done right.

So how is it that Abraham gets off being called righteous! He was a man of God, but he was also a cheat, thief, and con man. For those who do not want us to forget (rightfully so) our female ancestors, Sarah was right there with Abraham, helping him with his cheating, thieving, and conning! Abraham, less Sarah on this one, was ready to kill his own son, until God stopped him. So he could be considered, in his heart, to be a murderer. How can one such person be considered righteous.

Consider for a moment what then it means to be called a descendant of Abraham because of what we believe!

How can Abraham be consider to be righteous?

By faith.

He believed the right things?

Or as the New Testament witness clarifies again and again, we are saved by God’s grace (gift), not by what we do, think, or believe, but by what the Holy Spirit brings us to do, think, and believe.

So we do not really ‘do’ any of this on our own, certainly not by our own ‘free’ will.

And neither did Abraham.

God made it so. We might say God justly did it so.

And that is where all righteousness comes from, from God justly doing it … to us.

We get to be called righteous and we get to be eternally grateful, for left on our own righteousness is impossible, as plenty of history and current events give witness to!

Let us begin the day, then, trusting that the Holy Spirit will bring us to do righteously, and always giving thanks that it is so, also this day for us.

Stinking Dirty

Saturday, June 25, 2022

This is the Servant-Slave’s view

through the weeds,

near the dirt.

Deuteronomy 8:5

Know then in your heart that as a parent disciplines a child so the Lord your God disciplines you.

John 13:15

For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

Words of Grace For Today

Jesus hosts the disciples for his last supper, and provides for them as a good servant/slave. He washes their feet, dusty from the day walking with sandals (socks were not yet a thing, nor boots the common footwear, yet, oh, you say it’s shoes, ok. Still back then it was sandals for everyone). At the end of the day one’s feet would be just a tad, shall we say, stinking yucky dirty. So the one who washed feet was not just a small bowl and cloth routine. It meant a lot of stinking, really stinking, dirt and grime. It’s no small job, and it’s not a pleasant one.

Then Jesus continues: I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. So we are to serve others, even doing the most servant/slave kind of service even if it just plain stinks.

We certainly are not to be the one’s who set our discipline over others, lording it over them, thinking that our example can be set before them and either by punishment or carrots of encouragement we can change others to be better.

Our work is to be the one’s who make others stink less by our work. We leave the ‘making others aware of their failures’ to God.

And we understand that God will discipline us to put us back in line. (If we can even find a line to be in, serving others needs.)

A great day: finding our way out of being lord over others and into being servant/slave for others.

Great joy. (May not seem like it, but when you give it a go, you find the servant/slave for Christ is always living a better life than any rich, powerful, or famous master.)

Enjoy, today as well as every other day.

Rains and Wind and Trees Down

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Trees Should Not Lean On Campers!

Psalm 121:8

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and for evermore.

2 Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.

Words of Grace For Today

Yesterday the rains fell, the winds blew, and I slept, fitfully with wild dreams in tune with the ruckus outside.

I woke to see leaves against the back window of the camper. Winter tarps strung on frames quickly assembles as the cold set in, gave out around the camp. Tarps danced with anger in the wind.

I wandered out in rubber boots and my bathrobe to survey the damage. The top rain tarps were whipped back exposing the insulating tarps. The protection for firewood was mostly gone, and I freed the tarps the rest of the way to keep it from ripping itself any more. The tree, well … a tree was blown over onto the back of the camper. Thus the leaves at the window were that tree’s, yesterday a good 6 feet away, today up close and pressing on the glass.

I had hauled in wood the day before yesterday. The ‘ropes’ were still in the truck. I positioned the truck to pull a rope, wrapped around another tree (low for better leverage and less risk of pulling that tree over on to the camper) and on to the tree kissing the camper as high as I could reach (for better leverage on that wayward wood.) With a tug in low 4×4 the tree came upright, and then settled against another tree back towards the ‘pulley’ tree. I reattached the rope straight from truck to fallen tree, and backed up (praying the tree would not find it’s way back on to the camper just 6 feet away). It followed the rope and settled nicely in front of the truck (also a concern that I may not be far enough back and the tree would more than kiss the truck!)

A Kiss, Thankfully, Just a Kiss.

So it was: my morning. A day with plans to endure the rains. I’ve survived a flood, watching waters rise to within a metre of destroying a house that I build with my own hands, crossing up over the river valley to the plain away from town. Then travelling (instead of 3 km to town) back and around and over the dam up river (the only road still in tact over the river) 17 km to get to town, and hearing the rain each night, each day, and the reports that the dam was softened and shifting.

Real dread fills my bones still when heavy rains persist day after day.

This tree, this rain, did little damage that cannot be repaired. The tarps and their supports needed to be better designed and built before another winter. Now it will be done a bit sooner in the summer. A good thing at that.

So it is that I can heartily echo these readings:

The Lord will keep our going out and our coming in from this time on and for evermore and the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.

It’s just another normal spring day (normal given climate change.) What will I do with it? What will you do with it?

Foolhardy or Courageous?

Friday, May 27, 2022

More Often Than Not,

The Challenges We Face Are Unseen,

Like the Mosquitoes on the Lake


the Wasps Nesting

in That Tree

1 Samuel 17:37

David said, ‘The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.’ So Saul said to David, ‘Go, and may the Lord be with you!’

1 Peter 4:11

Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Words of Grace For Today

Going into battle with nothing more than trust in God is wholly foolhardy.

David has brought provisions from their father to his brothers who serve in Saul’s army, now facing the Philistines. He hears of Goliath’s challenge. He witnesses the Israelis cowering in fear. He speaks up that facing such an enemy and putting him to defeat would surely win the king’s favour.

That just gets his brothers angry with him for his seeming foolishness.

David’s words reach Saul’s ears, he is summon, and David offers to be the one to fight Goliath. Saul rebukes him. David is just a boy. Then the verse above is David’s response. He has faced down lions and bears. Certainly he can face down one man. Saul, with few other options, sends David as a last hope, or rather as a meaningless sacrifice to let Goliath demonstrate his battle powers.

Saul dresses David in Saul’s own armour, and David takes it off because he cannot move in it. Instead he takes staff and 5 smooth stones from the wadi.

The rest is history.

Goliath falls. David rises to become the celebrated king of Israel.

Most of us, fortunately, will not have to go into battle, nor serve as king. Instead our battles will be less fatal by all appearances. Our callings will be varied, and God sends us out to be as courageous (not to be confused with foolhardy) as David in what we do.

Most of all, just as David relies fully on the little skills he has and the great faith that he has in God, so we are to rely on our God-given skills and more so on the great faith God gives us.

It is our attitude of gratitude (for God saving us and giving us renewed life each day) more than anything else that will carry us through adversity.

God did not create us all so that we can seek our own glory. God created, redeems, and renews us so that all people will know how great God’s mercy is, how abundant God’s grace is, and how beautifully unconditional God’s love for us is.

That’s something to start the day with: knowing that we, whatever we are called to be and do, do it all as God’s people.

Enduring Less Than 30 Meters

Sunday, May 22, 2022

From on the Water,

the Sun Rises


Over the Campers Parked Within 5 Metres

of the Protected Water.

Job 10:12

You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.

James 5:11

Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Words of Grace For Today

Job showed great endurance, suffering greater losses and illness and pain than most of us care to imagine. Endurance is a gift from God, as it is fueled by faith, as Job’s demonstrated.

What are we to do when the earth and it’s fragile systems cannot endure the onslaught we have brought against her?

In Canada the law has sought to protect bodies of water and the fragile ecosystems on their shores by proscribing camping within 30 meters of a body of water and driving through any waterway.

Here the area used by many campers each summer is a random camping area, which used to be a municipal campground decades ago before it was handed back over to the province to ‘care for’ as Crown Land. Signs ask that people respect the land, not cut down trees for firewood (logs already on the ground can be used for firewood), stay no longer than 14 days, and take out with them everything they bring in.

Still many leave garbage, unbelievable garbage behind, stay months on end (it’s supposedly their right!) and they hack down living trees and worse scar trees so that in a few years they will die, and generally show great disrespect for the land, tearing it up with motorized deep tread tires among many other things. What no sign says is that camping is prohibited within 30 metres of the shoreline, and scores of campers dig up the sand to park within 10 meters of the shore everything from subcompact cars with tents to 50 foot 5th wheel campers.

This first long weekend, the start of the camping season for many, is certainly no exception. Only noteworthy is that there are ‘only’ ten vehicles parked within 20 meters of the shore, and only two larger camper units within 10 metres. That will change, for the worse … or for the better … as the summer progresses?

One can only hope.

And trust that as the Lord is compassionate and merciful so too will the enforcement officers first be clear with what is legal and what is not, and then be compassionate and merciful, but not afraid to ban people who cannot seem to learn to camp responsibly and respectfully.

Now excessive noise from partying and quads or side-by-sides that do not have sufficient mufflers are another problem, as is the public drinking, that is the drinking of alcoholic beverages anywhere other than in one’s own camping area, which begins to beg the question if there are ten units parked around one campfire, is all that drinking still at each person’s campsite? Stretch it far enough and anyone can drink anywhere in the whole random camping area. Or rather, that is how far it is stretched and tolerated by any enforcement persons I’ve ever witnessed out here. Some of the partiers are off-duty enforcement officers.

So we will endure, for the damage is not to us, but to the land … as long as God keeps the craziness of these ‘illegal’ campers at a great distance from us. After all, compassionate and merciful as God calls us also to be does not mean that we need to be ignorant, naive, or stupid about other’s stupidities, does it?

We pray the earth will endure, for generations and generations to come, so that they can enjoy the beauty of such a camping area.

This day will be marvellous, a wonder to behold, in spite of the disrespect so plentiful here.


Dammed or Damned

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Which would we rather,

to be dammed by ice and all that is not nice,


to be damned by our own blindness and foolish ways?

Jeremiah 31:34

No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

John 6:28-29

Then they said to him, ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’

Words of Grace For Today

This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’

Or to put it another way: It is God’s work, not ours, to believe in Jesus.

Here we see Jesus responding to questions that really have no good answer, not as those asking would understand what a good answer might be.

The person comes with a certain way of seeing the world. It is a very unhealthy, sometimes really destructive way of seeing the world. It is a common way of seeing the world. It is to see the world as if God really did not exist and as if God did not create the universe and everything in it and as if God did not love every person in ways we can at best imagine only a little bit.

One such common question is ‘How can I save myself and my family from the threat of the foreign powers that rule our world?’

There are lots of things that one could try to do. Maybe they are even possible to do. But none of them will save you from the real threats to you and your families lives, because the foreign powers are not the greatest or the worst threats to your lives. The greatest threat to life is always to assume one lives outside God’s favour, blessings and grace.

Another common enough question is, ‘How can I get a [fill in the romantic preference, girl/boy/woman/man/monkey (just kidding)] to fall in love with me?’

The reality is no one can get anyone else to fall in love with them. Often people think they can ‘trick’ or ‘seduce’ another person to love them, but the result cannot ever be love. It is much, much less and if it’s based on deception, it will always be destructive to all parties.

The right question is, ‘How can I love someone with all my being, even when they might never love me in return? And if they never do, can I then learn to love someone else with all my being?’

The answer to that question is simple: be honest, open, trustworthy, kind and … be yourself. Then if someone should love you, they will love the real you.

The tricky part of all these ‘love me’ questions is not the love part, it is being ‘me’, and being ‘me’ in such a way as to be the best that God created ‘me’ to be.

But, as is almost always the case when people ask important questions, the problem is in the person asking the question, not the world around them; and usually the problem is they have not figured out how to be themselves. They imitate, pretend, hope, and fail, but they never really know who they are.

So in the reading for today the people come to Jesus and ask, ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’

Which is an odd question. They might mean, ‘what must we do to do what God would have us do?’ but instead they ask, ‘what must we do in order to do the things that only God can do?’

The obvious answer is ‘you cannot do a thing since you simply will never do God’s work for God’. God does that work just fine, thank you. And only God does that work.

But telling the people who are asking in earnest this odd question is not kind. So Jesus answers another question, perhaps a question the people meant to ask, and perhaps the question that they could have asked. Always Jesus answers the people with something that is REALLY important for them to hear.

So Jesus tells these inquisitive people: ‘God’s work is to believe in me, the one God sent to you!’

That’s what they need to hear. It’s all about believing in Jesus.

The thing they do not hear is this: only the Holy Spirit can bring a person to believe in Jesus. Oh, people, dear stumbling, controlling people. No one can bring themselves to believe. And look at all the work, the words, the movements, the effort spent over the last 2000 years to get people to believe in Jesus!

Writing long before Jesus’ day Jeremiah knew well what faith in God was all about. It is about God working in us all that God wills for us: that we know God and love God, ourselves, our neighbours and our enemies, and all creation! Jeremiah sees that God does it all for us: ‘No longer shall we teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for we shall all know God, from the least of us to the greatest, [as the Lord says]; for God, and God alone, will forgive our iniquity, and remember our sin no more.

Now that will be the day!

Labourers and Labours of Love

Friday, April 22, 2022

The Results of God’s Labours:

New Life



1 Chronicles 22:15-16

You have an abundance of workers: stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and all kinds of artisans without number, skilled in working gold, silver, bronze, and iron. Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you.

Acts 4:33

With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

Words of Grace For Today


It is one of the necessities of life, well … not just any old labour, but meaningful labour.

When one builds a house or church or temple or mosque, even today, there are many different specialized crews that show up (hopefully on time and necessarily in the right order): surface prep earth movers, utilities installers (usually underground, leaving stubs above ground ‘at the curb’), a track hoe and maybe a dump truck to haul away the extra dirt, foundation builders, concrete crews (today with fewer wheelbarrows to move the concrete into place and one big cement pump truck that can deliver concrete anywhere in a 50’-75’ radius,) basement framers, concrete crews again, framers or insulate block assemblers (depending on the style of house, wood framed or insulated blocks filled with concrete), and on it goes with roofers for everything from rafters to shingles, eavestroughers, siding installers and/or parge and stucco appliers, carpenters to build the inside walls electricians, plumbers, drywallers, painters, cabinet makers, floor installers, and interior designers. Maybe one needs specialized trades to install a heat pump, in-floor heating, ventilation, and computer power and internet connections.

When Solomon starts to build the temple the list is shorter, the work much more muscle intensive and the materials considerably heavier, starting with stones for the foundations and walls.

That was labour intensive.

It was not labour that Solomon likely engaged in other than to give the orders for the work to commence and be done, if even that.

There is other labour that many people engage in, labours less of one’s hands and more of one’s mind, like writing, teaching, researching, inventing, designing, exploring, serving, healing, protecting, leading, buying and selling, and the list goes on. (There are also many bogus labours that try to cheat people of their some or all of their lives.)

One additional one is mentioned in the second verse for today: preaching (or giving testimony about Jesus.)

What is odd is the description given for how the apostles preached, ‘with great power.’ This is odd because everything about Jesus was that he called for us to take note that the ‘power’ we used in this world is not the kind of ‘power’ that God intends for us to use. God’s power (made so clear by Jesus’ life, ministry to forgive and heal, death, and resurrection) is the power of serving others with unconditional love and forgiveness that offers renewed life to all people over and over and over again.

With Great Power, the power of sacrificial love, to give witness in thoughts, words and deeds, to God’s intended manner of us living in this good creation.

That is the labour of all faithful people.

This kind of labour may net one nothing, or even cost one greatly, even costing one one’s own life! This is the basis of love, the unconditional love of God that God intends for us to BE for one another.

And that is hard labour!

That is a very special kind of labour.

That is a labour that we carry on as we work at our meaningful labours of contributing to a good society around us.

Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you.

Boldly Going Where …?

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Head for the Light?!?

It’s Not the Light at the End of the Tunnel (a train coming at us!)

It’s a Full Moon Setting at Dawn.

Jonah 2:7

As my life was ebbing away, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.

2 Timothy 2:19

But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: ‘The Lord knows those who are his’, and, ‘Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.’

Words of Grace For Today

Of course, it is a common story: A person has had no place for God in their life …

until …

until everything goes wrong …

health-wise …

and …

death comes knocking.

Suddenly everything is about ‘God’ …

And ‘God blessing and saving the person who has ignored God lifelong!’

The old thought always comes back: the way one lives lifelong has to mean something in the end, right. So there really is not last minute salvation. There really is no last hour baptism to guarantee one’s salvation. We are judged by God by our full record!

That’s right, isn’t it? It has to be! Otherwise why did I try so hard to do the right things all my life, giving up all the opportunities that would have benefited me greatly though they would have compromised my soul!?

Ah, were it so simple, so that we could judge who is God’s and who is not God’s; who has been good enough, and who has not been good enough.

Or rather, thank God it is not so simple, so that humans can actually judge each other … because, well, humans have a really bad track record of getting everything wrong and really messing things up, royally!

What we can trust fully is that God knows! God knows who are God’s and who are not.

By Grace God gives those who are not, another breath, and another, and another ad nauseam, all so that they have another and another, and another ad nauseam opportunity to repent and convert, and to learn what we who are God’s have learned and relearn again and again, namely that

We are saved only by God’s Grace (God’s choice) through faith (given to us as a free gift, though we do not deserve it at all.)

So we go into each new day, boldly going where all humans have gone before, into the fray of returning lies with truth, hate with love, despair with hope … as God makes us able.

The Same Moon Casting (Faint) Shadows