The Cracks

That’s how the Light gets in.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Light Is Gold,

The Light Is Distant,

The View Mottled.

How Does the Light Reach Us?

Zephaniah 3:7

I said, ‘Surely the city will fear me, it will accept correction; it will not lose sight of all that I have brought upon it.’ But they were the more eager to make all their deeds corrupt.

Luke 19:45-46

Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, ‘It is written, “My house shall be a house of prayer”; but you have made it a den of robbers.’

Words of Grace For Today

In all our efforts to have a ‘good’ life, we most of all deny that we have screwed up life tremendously.

We try to pretend that it’s just a little problem, that we did something ‘not quite right.’ When in fact the result is a crack in the foundation of our lives that tears more than the curtain in the temple. It tears apart our own hearts, minds, and souls.

Whenever God gives us ‘temples’ and ‘houses of prayer’ we turn them into ‘dens of robbers’ in so many ways, so many same old, same old ways, that people have used since the beginning of time, all trying to make our own way in life and make it better than it was. The more God gives us the more eager we are to make all our deeds corrupt, trying to cover up our latest corrupt deeds.

What does God do with us, then?!

God uses exactly those cracks in the foundation of our lives to shine the Light of Christ into the foundations of our lives,

to revive us.

God never repairs the cracks, as if they never were. The wounds heal, though the cracks remain, so that the Light can continue to shine in on us

so that we can live and breathe in the Light

even as we turn yet to more corrupt deeds,

also this day.

By God’s Grace alone, though we can breathe.


and bask in the Light,

and give God thanks,

and trust the call to go out to share the Light with all people.

When I Wake Up

I know who I am going to be!

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The Moon Sets as the Dawn Breaks,

Who Will We Be This Day?

Proverbs 14:26

In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and one’s children will have a refuge.

Romans 8:35

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Words of Grace For Today

Knowing who we are is a great start to any day.

Often our confidence in who we are is lost in delusions and dreams unreal.

There is only one identity that we can know of ourselves that will bring us life with each breath and that is …

Yet there is, before we speak of it, so much that would tear us from that identity.

Not least of all is our own drive and dreams to be something worth being.

Through hardships we forge ahead, proving we are worth the breath we breathe.

Through distress we dig deep, proving we are made of goodness.

Through persecution we deny our persecutors their satisfaction, proving we cannot be conquered (even as we sink deeper into the abyss.)

We try to survive through famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword, but then the course of nature claims us in our deaths.

Oh, how futile all our struggles turn out to be. And how foolish our enemies have made themselves out to be, as they sink faster into the abyss with each move made against us!

There is no confidence we can have, about anything, least of all about ourselves that will save us.

We are doomed, all of us.

The one confidence that we have is a confidence given to us, though we do not deserve it, not at all, not at all.

That identity is one given to us by Jesus: we are the bearers and sharers of Jesus’ love for the world and all people ever.

From this love, nothing can separate us,

because God gives it to us each day, each hour, each minute.


Four Strong Winds

Blow us around and off course.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Are We Blown Like the Waves Over the Rocks?

Psalm 62:9

Those of low estate are but a breath, those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.

Luke 6:12

Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God.

Words of Grace For Today

The good times seem to have left us, and left us in the lurch, up a creek of shtako with no paddle or hands even.

We may think we are special, of great importance in the course of history even, or at least for a few people now.

Yet, of greatness or lacking any importance to anyone, we are all but like a breath that passes, of necessity for life to continue, to make room for the coming generations, for evolution to proceed bringing God’s blessings to us through the generations.

What are we to do?

Give up?

Go full bore ahead, damn the cost to others, making our way in life?

Bury our heads in the sand and pretend all is okay?

Lots of options, we people have come up with.

God offers the only one that does us any good:

to head to the ‘mountain’ and spend the ‘night’ in prayer.

The mountain is not so far, or merely a geographical location, just as the night is not merely the time between sunset and sunrise. The mountain is that place where we have encountered God, many times, sometimes even noticing. The night it that darkness that threatens to overwhelm us, against which darkness we can do absolutely nothing.

So we pray.

We pray, God save us!

God save us, sending four strong winds to blow us home again to you, home between the seas and foreign lands, home to rest in your breath, the fifth wind that gives us life, which is really the first wind,

the first wind of all life, and

the last wind.



Are You Alone?

Or Not Alone?

Monday, September 18, 2023

The Sun Comes Up In the Cold.

Are You Cold And Alone?

Ezekiel 18:4

Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die.

1 Timothy 2:1

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone …

Words of Grace For Today

We go through life, most of us, most of the time, with our heads in the sand, so to speak, not able or willing to risk taking a clear view of what we are about, what we are really up to, what a chasm lies between what we dream of doing, think we are doing, and what we actually are doing.

‘Thank God, only those of us who sin will die!’ Pretend we do, then that we do not sin, or at least not enough to die.

That death is not just a physical death, but a complete death, GONEERs forever and amen.

Yet we all sin, we all die, we are all GONEERs, not just after our physical deaths, but already now, this day, as we pretend so drastically to be good enough.

In one way we can take morbid comfort in that we are not alone. In fact everyone is in the same boat with us, on the passage into hell, long before our time.

So what to do this day?

Then we realize that God knew we would be like this and certainly did not create us just to be lost to eternal death even before we lived a day of goodness. So Jesus came to rescue the boatload of us, to redeem us from our sins, to renew life in us, and to send us out to do the same for other people.

Thank God we are not alone! There’s a whole boatload of us (taking in all the people ever who have, now do, and will live) that Jesus saves, and sends out.

Tough day, it may seem to be, when we take in how far across that chasm we live from where we thought we would live. Then, as the Spirit demonstrates once again how much God has done for us to give us life, life even on those tough days, we get to celebrate each breath.

We get to make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings each day for all other people, as we realize how much God gives us also this day, tough as it may be.


When the Foundations of Earth Shake

What are we to do?

Sunday, September 17, 2023

When the Foundations Dissolve Beneath Us,

May We Have Loved Ones,

Made Solid With God’s Love.

Isaiah 33:24

And no inhabitant will say, ‘I am sick’; the people who live there will be forgiven their iniquity.

Revelation 1:17-18

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive for ever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades.

Words of Grace For Today

Earthquakes take most everything we take for granted and undo it. Gravity rapidly oscillates, solid ground becomes liquid, protection over our heads become threats to our survival, …

What are we to do?!

In life, there are more things like earthquakes than we wish to admit. More things change the very foundation of life for us. Evil has free run at the foundations of life we create for ourselves, even those who we love can turn against us without warning.

What are we to do?!

Like Isaiah we turn to God, when the world under us seems to flow away, and we pray: We must be sick! Save us.

Only God can reach out to us, and assure us that life is solidly grounded in Jesus’ love for us, love that is not selfish or guile or facile. Even death cannot shake God’s love for us.

Here is our solid foundation, upon which our love, hope, and breath rely.

May it be so also today for us.


Walk it off?

Not a chance.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

John Hopkins: Fungi Nightmare in the Making

Lamentations 3:58

You have taken up my cause, O Lord, you have redeemed my life.

1 Peter 2:21-23

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.

Words of Grace For Today

CBC health newsletter reported how a man came home for a long weekend, walking up his drive he vomited blood on his driveway, ended up needed a new liver (cause of cirrhosis unknown), four years later went in for a liver transplant, and spent more than a month on IVs with multiple superbug infections (infections resistant to antibiotics).

And this is more and more common. Surgery is getting to be dangerous, because of the killer infections that come with it. Covid should have woken us up to the huge risk we are at, across the world, to unstoppable infections. Instead people want Covid to be over so they say it is over and behave as if it’s over, but it’s not. We will suffer greater death and losses of health because of it. People don’t want that to happen, so they live as if it is not already happening. Wanting it to be, does not make is so.

A walk up one’s drive, after a long, hard work week is supposed to be the beginning of a kind of rest and recuperation. The walk is the beginning of ‘walking it all off’, so that one is ready to be with one’s family, and then ready to return to a productive work-week.

Sin is worse. We cannot just ‘walk it off.’ We can pretend it does not exist, which only deepens the sin’s ravaging in our lives, like superbugs denied and thus let loose to run havoc more freely in our midst.

Only God’s forgiveness can save us from sin.

Also from the sin of denying Covid, and the dangers of super bugs: bacteria, viruses, fungi.

Without God’s forgiveness, redemption, and renewal of us, we cannot engage to help one another survive come what may.

So we celebrate each morning, noon, and night (and also this day) with the writer of Lamentations: ‘You have taken up my cause, O Lord, you have redeemed my life.’ And we pray that we may be delivered from diseases that cannot be cured, again today.

Forever Judgment

And Doom, OR?

Friday, September 15, 2023

God’s Hammer of Judgment Looms Over Us


Hosea 11:8-9

How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.

John 12:47

I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

Words of Grace For Today

Through all the generations the fear of God is fomented in and among us by threatening us with God’s judgment. “In the end everyone will be judged according to what they have done, said, and thought! Therefore be good lest you end up in hell – suffering – forever!” And so go the similar admonishments and threats.

It just about scares the living daylights and joy and hope right out of each one of us. For the result is not a great effort to be good. Rather it drives us to deny our own sins, and create great facades of being good enough.

All that drives us, individually and as a community, further and further from the goodness that God created us to be for each other and all people.

Then we read these passages: God is in our midst and does not come in wrath to judge and condemn. And Jesus comes into the world not to judge it and all in it, but to save the world.

Which will this day be for us?

A day wherein we strive to be good or rather to create the illusion that we are at least good enough to avoid God’s wrath?


A day wherein we rest assured of God’s saving efforts to forgive us our own sins, and set us free to extend God’s grace to others?

If our record is any indication then more the former than the latter.

If we accept God’s record as determinative then God’s forgiveness will bring us out of the former into the latter


life will be a miracle of goodness,

also this day.


Get hammered by Evil,

And rescued by the miracles of Goodness.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Do we pick up the hammer of evil and hand it to our children?

Psalm 103:13

As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.

Matthew 7:11

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Words of Grace For Today

Giving good gifts to one’s children does not mean giving them everything they ask for, not at all. It takes some great courage, wisdom, and empathy to understand what a child finds interesting, challenging, and overwhelming, and then to give what helps the child find her/his way the next step in life.

Living aware of one’s children’s interests, challenges, and roadblocks takes time and focused attention … and kindness, in order that one has compassion for them.

All children have goodness in them, as well as evil. Always one works to reward and develop the goodness. Every generation on earth needs all the goodness it can muster. There are severe challenges to goodness, always something evil tries to hammer goodness back into the ground as dust. It’s a miracle any goodness survives among us at all. It is a miracle we depend on, many times each day.

When the evil in children starts to take over and wipe out the goodness, it breaks one’s heart, especially as the children’s parent. The best a parent can do then is offer the best support, opportunities, and resets — in the form of forgiveness, second chances, or sometimes as developing ignorance of the evil, and sometimes as harsh punishment of the evil, but most often letting the evil run it’s course so the children experience natural consequences for their choices. With the proviso that a parent does try to protect a child from permanent damage or death.

So God deals with us, we pray also this day.

The Answer is

(NOT always)


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Roses Are Red

And Violets are Blue



Can Make You

Dead, Through and Through.

Or make you wish you were.

Psalm 22:23

You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

John 17:22

The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one,

Words of Grace For Today

When we are young (ish) and we search for a mate for life, some of us come up with some real doosies!

No names of course, for that would embarrass us all.

The man who marries a young woman and then, despite conversation and promises to be faithfully monogamous, insists that it is his right to have sex with other woman.

The woman who in her 60’s continues to hoard canned food. Already more than 100 lbs overweight she remains fearful that, impoverished as they are for his having served as a pastor, … that they will run out of food. Her hoard fills all their living space, living room, dining room, extra bedroom and even their own bedroom. It takes an extra moving van to move the cans.

The female synodical bishop who aspires to be the bishop of the national church and uses every means to run off or ruin any pastor or congregation who challenges her autocratic, unjust, and even illegal actions to secure her ‘power’.

The woman, to compensate for her insecurities, who cannot accept responsibility for anything she does wrong always blaming it on someone else (as ludicrous as her reasoning often is), who latches on to a fat man who is ‘going places’, and then ridicules him to his literal death, to avoid a divorce and the loss of half their accumulated wealth (more than a little of it legally gained.)

The senator’s wife (a senator who serves on the committee for space exploration) who all her money and tries to send his to a scam artist, who sends news every month of the ‘little green men’ in their midst and his negotiations with them to keep them from overthrowing the government.

The obscenely rich land developer whose wife never runs out of energy or appetites for other people, without their clothes, who has to be sent to one of their other homes to interrupt her appetites run amok.

For some people the blessing that we may be one as Jesus is one with the Father, is not such a blessing.

The words of wisdom certainly apply, no matter for what else you marry someone, marry someone kind.

At least then, no matter how crazy they (or you) turn out to be, at least they will not try to bring about your death.

Best to be humble before God, confident only in God’s grace, for in many awesome ways God demonstrates God’s saving grace for us, not only for the Hebrew slaves escaping across the Red Sea into the wilderness, but for all of us, from our slavery to whatever oppression or sin, into the wilderness where we can learn to serve others God’s own grace, instead of our confidence in things that will always fail us.



Tuesday, September 12, 2023

A newly discovered cache of internal documents reveals that the sugar industry downplayed the risks of sugar in the 1960s.

Mounds of Sugar,

Taste Great?



Exodus 19:4

You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.

Hebrews 10:35

Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward.

Words of Grace For Today


Confidence brings rewards.

Yes, confidence brings rewards, but

are those

good rewards

or the rewards

of the foolhardy.

As far as having seen what God did to the Egyptians and how God bore us up on eagles’ wings,

that is a piece of history now, one we have not seen ourselves, and the record shows that the people were not so easily convinced that being brought out into the wilderness with no water or food was such a great thing.

In fact they were abundantly confident that Moses had made a huge mistake, bringing them out in to the wilderness to die of thirst or starvation, and then of boredom with no meat to eat and then always the same old same old to eat, morning, noon, and night. God did not provide them with Kellogg’s, General Mills, Malt-O-Meal, Nestlé, Quaker Oats and Post Foods to produce a great variety of breakfast cereals that will eventually kill anyone from sugar poisoning. But at least the sugar addicts do not complain as they eat themselves to death!

So how are we to be confident,

yet not too confident,

and confident in the correct things that make for life,

instead of in things, like sugar, that provide for our slow deaths after miserable lives?

I think best is to be quiet humble, not so confident at all, but fully dependent on God’s good grace.

Or one can fall in love, which seems to ‘fix’ life quite well.

And then one wants more and more of that sweetness, which may or may not ‘fix’ life at all. The potential is there for great blessings and great curses, just like all else that is sweet as sugar.

More on that …

if we survive the night.