From Dark

to Light

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Way To the Light

Seems To Cross Thin Ice,

So We Hesitate …

and then it is dark again.

Psalm 119:130

The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

Ephesians 5:8

For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light ….

Words of Grace For Today

Moving into the Light should be a simple thing.

Just choose your steps on the path towards the Light, right?


the devil has also sorts of false lights,

luring us into dead


Of course, the Light of Christ requires more than just walking,

it requires right hearts and minds and spirits,

all which we are completely incapable of attaining on our own,

if ever,



We need Christ to show us the way,

and even then

we need the Spirit to transform our hearts, minds, and spirits so that we can follow.

And still we fail.

So Christ comes

into our darkness

and brings the Light

to guide us


So we hope we will live in the Light

but we know from the past we will choose to wander

back into the darkness all too soon (like right now)


Christ will need to come again

and again

and again


again … ad infinitum.

If Only …

If Only It Were So Simple!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Thinking We Can Make Things Beautiful On Our Own,

Ruins All Our Efforts

Exodus 24:7

Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.’

James 1:22

But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.

Words of Grace For Today

Yes, we will do it!

We will be obedient!

(until we are not, of course, which is always bound to happen, since it is built into us humans to explore, push the limits, and rebel against authority.)

Oh, if James were anything other than a straw gospel, one that is blown away by even the slightest wind of adversity.

Then we could not just be hearers but doers as well of the Gospel.


life is much more complicated than that,

and so much more interesting.

We not only need to listen and hear and attempt to do, we need to start by confessing that we cannot on our own follow Jesus’ way of self-sacrificial love.

We need to beg for help from the Holy Spirit.

So, also this day,

we wish to be followers of Jesus, doers of God’s Grace, obedient servants of God Will,

but since we know we cannot ever,

we confess our sins,

trust we are forgiven,

and move into the day

knowing we are fully dependent on God to do anything good or worthwhile.

Just beggars, we are,

just beggars,

by Grace alone, saintly beggars.

Begging Low

Before God

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

As the day comes to a close, begging again, that all will be well.

Job 9:2-3

Indeed I know that this is so; but how can a mortal be just before God? If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand.

Luke 15:18

I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you ….

Words of Grace For Today

We would like to think that we can justify ourselves, before others to be sure, but also before God.


So much trouble comes from that thinking.

Starting a new day

one begins begging




for God’s mercy and forgiveness,

for we cannot make ourselves righteous,

nor free from our sinful past.

That only God can do for us,

and God promises to do just that

if we but just ask.

So begging it is

to start and end each day.

Unless, of course, it is an ordinary day when we try to justify ourselves to ourselves and God,

which leads to more disastrous days than we care to remember.


what are we waiting for?

God promises us ….

Is It All Falling Apart

Or Coming Together?

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Are These Just Clouds,

Or a New Kind of

Stealth Bomber?

Isaiah 57:16

For I will not continually accuse, nor will I always be angry; for then the spirits would grow faint before me, even the souls that I have made.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.

Words of Grace For Today

God, with steadfast love and mercy deals with us sinful lot of people, sending Jesus to save us, and entrusts to us that message of reconciliation. “You saved sinners-made saints: Share the Good News!”

What Good News is there to share today?

Peter Armstrong wrote in his weekly Mind Your Business Newsletter for CBC: “There’s an old joke that Canada’s economy is really just some banks, telcos and energy companies in a trench coat. But that doesn’t factor in the real estate industry.”

Lately, of course, we’ve heard a lot about consumer buying, fuel prices and taxes, interest rates and so many choosing between housing and food, while still living in houses and eating enough to not starve. Which is to say the degree of pain is sometimes locked into a standard of living that many in the world would gladly almost achieve, yet alone be able to continue in. But we are talking about losses in the face of inflation (economic manipulation by the wealthy at it’s heart) and not how good we expect life in Canada to continue to be. So all is well, right?

Maybe not at all, not at all.

Then Armstrong, commenting on a TED talk by the Irish economist David McWilliams, writes:

McWilliams “says a normal economist would come armed with charts and graphs and maps, the tools of his trade.

‘But I’m an Irish economist, so I’m only going to come here armed with some lines and verses of poetry,’ he says.

He starts by quoting the (Irish) poet W.B. Yeats. The Second Coming was written in 1919 and it famously describes a world falling apart:

‘Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…’

Remember, this was written in 1919. The Great War was over, peace had been restored to a weary world. And yet Yeats saw trouble.

McWilliams says all the economists back then were saying the world would go back to normal and everything was finally going to be OK.

Within a few years, Benito Mussolini was in power in Italy. Joseph Stalin was on the rise in the Soviet Union and Adolf Hitler had just staged a putsch in Munich.

“So what’s always bugged me is, why did the poet get things so right at a tipping point, and the economists get things so wrong?” asks McWilliams.

He says the artists, poets and musicians always seem to give themselves permission to think differently.

The TED Talk was done in Vancouver, so he quoted the Leonard Cohen line about how there’s a crack in everything, and that is how the light gets in.

‘What Cohen was saying to us was, “Look for the cracks, look into the cracks.” That’s where we’ll see the big picture,’ he says.

McWilliams says we are in a precarious moment in the world. And this TED Talk was done in April. The world has grown immensely more precarious since then.

He says at moments like this, the institutions risk falling into groupthink and confirmation bias.

‘So my idea, that I think is worth spreading, is the following: if you want to understand the world a little bit more clearly, listen less to my tribe, the economists, and listen to Yeats’s tribe, the poets,’ he says to thunderous applause.’”

Russia invades Ukraine and destroys countless lives. (Our inflation losses do not compare.) Hamas attacks Israel, kills and kidnaps civilians including children. Israel responds killing thousands and thousands of Palestinians as Hamas uses civilians, hospitals and schools as cover over their tunnels. Iran threatens to enter the conflict. The US already is in the area using it’s military on select targets in neighbouring countries.

Interest rates at home should be stable for a year, maybe. Maybe they will go down next year or soon thereafter. Maybe they will rise. Some food prices have dropped. Before this mess Silk (soy milk) sold for $3 for 1.89 litre. It rose to $5.50 at the highest with ‘special sale’ prices of 2 for $8.5. Then the sale price dropped to 2 for $8. Costco brought in 3 for $9 something. Now the price is dropped to 2 for $7.50. Something for us who pay the premium compared to milk, which we cannot consume for health reasons.

Where is the good news that is not false good news?

It takes starting with noticing that the real problem is our sinful ways that bring evil on others. That is at the bottom of all the other real bad, ugly evil, problems that we face in these days.

Poets see beyond the economics.

God’s saints see (enabled by the Holy Spirit) beyond the poets.

Thankfully we have God’s Word and Promise: God’s love is steadfast and his mercy endures, for each and all of us.

Angels for the Trickster?

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Shall This Place Then Be Called

Not ‘NearSite’ but

HereWalksGod’ or


Genesis 32:1-2

Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him; and when Jacob saw them he said, ‘This is God’s camp!’ So he called that place Mahanaim.

Hebrews 1:14

Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

Words of Grace For Today

Jacob, the trickster, after twenty years in hiding from Esau (from whom he stole his birthright), 14 serving Laban for his daughters and 6 for his flocks, sneaks away from Laban out of fear. Laban pursues him, and only a warning from God in a dream keeps Laban from doing Jacob harm. Instead they make a pillar of stones and make a covenant that neither will cross this point to do the other harm, nor will Jacob take other wives. Laban leaves Jacob, and Jacob continues on towards his birth home.

And then this passage: God’s angels meet Jacob so Jacob call the place Mahanaim, meaning two hosts or two camps.

If God sends angels to watch over and protect the trickster Jacob, then surely God sends angels to watch over each of his people, his broken and redeemed, sanctified people,

which is us.

Where will you see God or God’s angels watching, protecting, guiding you this day?


Sigh, Again

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Morning Arrives,

The Crescent Moon Accompanied by A Star,

a helper light,

which is actually the planet Venus.

Psalm 31:23

Love the Lord, all you his saints. The Lord preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.

Romans 8:26

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.

Words of Grace For Today

The challenges of every day are more than enough to dampen our energy available to even cry for help to God. How does one pray when one’s loved one is gone, one’s world is ripped out from underneath one, and even in the morning the light does not help clarify where or what one really ought to do?

How does one pray when one’s home is destroyed and one survives only because one was away that day, working on a project that required it? Where does one go?

How does one pray when rumours, nasty and dirty rumours, are spread by deceitful, arrogant, fearful, cowardly bullies, and they grow so intense that people want to kill you?

How does one pray when everything seems to be okay also this day and yet your heart tells you that your life is doomed, maybe the whole world’s, maybe just those you love and all the honest and good people (if there are even any of those left!)?

When our light has been snuffed out by the chaos and hatred of people lost in their own darkness, we are not abandoned.

The Holy Spirit, with sighs too deep for words, blows in again as a fresh morning breeze, reviving us, and giving us the words for our prayers,

the priority of meaningful tasks for this day,

and a direction for our lives, even as we walk yet in darkness.

Like a sliver of a moon, with a companion star, walking the sky as the morning sun pushes back the darkness in the east, God winds us through our days, sometimes with just enough light so that we do not stumble

too often

and we can find once again

the light by which to love

even those who want to be our enemies.


Why Believe?

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

The Secret to Life is Simple: Believe in …

But There’s a Cost.

Psalm 118:26

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.

John 1:12

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God ….

Words of Grace For Today

Many of this world’s 8 billion people really do not welcome those who come in God’s name. Instead they gang up on those who are not willing or able to fight, cheat, and lie their way through life,

While this goes on to the detriment of so many people, God offers life abundant

to those who believe in Jesus name as the Son of God, the one who demonstrated God’s sacrificial love and eagerness to forgive, heal, all of us, and then to send us out to others, so they may know God’s grace.

Children God calls us.

Children of God, God calls us.

Children of God, God calls us and blesses us with life abundant as God created us to live.

So why do people not choose to believe in Jesus’ name?

First, to be clear, it’s not a choice anyone can make without the Holy Spirit empowering us to make it. It is gift, pure gift.

And then, according to the world’s standards and values, it is a losing proposition. One gets to give up and give away everything that God has given as gifts to us. God intends them to be shared. It’s humans who think they are to be hoarded and used as status, power, and leverage over others.

So why believe at all?

Most do not.

A few do.

And the saints live on from generation to generation, sharing the secret to life: sacrificial, gracious, abundant love.



Saturday, October 28, 2023

Looking to the Future: Do We See Doom or Hope!

Isaiah 38:17

Surely it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but you have held back my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.

1 John 3:19-20

And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Words of Grace For Today

How we see the world around us and our lives in it is the result of many choices we make in response to what happens around us and to us.

In ‘HOMƎLAND’ the TV series, the challenges of deciphering deception, love, and despair never resolves in any episode. Instead (no matter what answers are revealed) the persistent looming doom ends each episode and season and we are left craving a resolution, so we return to more of the same. The beginning setting is not great. The end is still not great. Evil prevails like onions still present no matter how many layers we peel back to ‘see’ what is happening. Always people die along the way.

In ‘Star Trek, PICARD’, we see the old heroes of past series of Star Trek play again against all odds, against old and new enemies that would do them in. Each episode may or may not resolve some challenge, but within a few episodes (though wider threats continue) each ‘life or death’ situation is resolved, and as always our heroes live on (or at least most of them!) What we know, even before we start watching, is that no matter the evil that threatens life on earth and in the Federation, at the end, because humans and aliens can and do work together, the goodness of life will prevail. Not all challenges to goodness will be eradicated. Life remains filled with loss, death, and sorrow, but in the balance the goodness of life is restored and celebrated.

How do we play out our days?

How will we play out this ‘today’ and our many ‘todays’ to come?

As we trust that God is greater than our hearts, and that God has put our sins behind God’s back, to allow us to move on, the greatest evils are not eliminated from life for us, but they have no power over our ‘todays’.

Our hearts may continue to condemn us, and convince us that tomorrow will be worse, that ‘hell is other people’, but God is greater and God promises in so many ways that our lives are good and will be filled with goodness, and that other people (damned good sinners that they may be) are not ‘hell’, but rather God’s choice for love, life, and joy …

also for us


So today, let God’s Will be for us, as well.


or Despair?

Friday, October 27, 2023

A drab morning, snow falling, making wood collecting more difficult.

Or delight in the cool that makes working outside a bit easier

than with countless bugs looking for a meal from your skin?

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Words of Grace For Today

Courage is hard to come by when one is down and out, beaten again and again by enemies, lies, deceptions, and others’ greed.

At times one has to agree with Thomas Hobbes when he said about life being ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short’.

God answers that and all our other despairing with a simple reassurance: God is with us through it all.

Like walking in a sunset alone, still unable to do anything but despair how tough life is, ‘going it alone’ is always a recipe for struggles without end.

Like walking in a sunset with a loved one, the experience grows beyond itself to convince you two that life is a wonderful, marvellous adventure, with promise unending of things good and better.

So God walking with us through it all, turns life inside out with joy, delights, and hope.

And when God walks with us, we need not be overcome with fear of yet another enemy taking more of life from us, for even if that does happen, God will show us how to find joy and delight in all that life is for us.

Today, as the snow falls again, and then hard cold of winter is coming, the joy is in the warmth provided by a hot fire in the wood stove, held close by many insulated tarps. It may not be much, but it is as much a home as I have, and in it I find endless delight even as the challenges never cease to more than fully occupy my days.

So what will we see today? The enemies efforts or God’s Grace and delights for us?

God’s Kindness,

And Then What?

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Our View Of Wonder Is Not in Nature, Wonderful As It Is.

It is God Given.

First Samuel 2:30

Therefore the Lord the God of Israel declares: “I promised that your family and the family of your ancestor should go in and out before me for ever”; but now the Lord declares: “Far be it from me; for those who honour me I will honour, and those who despise me shall be treated with contempt….”

Romans 2:4

Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Words of Grace For Today

Listening to CBC’s Ideas: Astrophysicist Hubert Reeves on The Origins of Us (the Big Bang Theory), a popularizer of science little known in the English world, but famous in France, who died Friday, 13 October 2023:

The world began with a bang.

A very big bang, a theory that is ‘proven’ by 10 things that it predicts, which have since been discovered to exist.

We have messed it up royally.

God is kind, dealing with us with forbearance and patience.

So what then?

Snippets for the conversation with Reeves:

The universe is strange, more strange than we think, more strange than we are able to think.

Our way of thinking does not need to reflect reality. Reality is very counterintuitive.

We think in an operational way, that provides for our survival.

What is the power of our way of understanding the world.

We have limited intelligence.

There is no guarantee that our way of thinking is able to go the profoundest depth of the universe.

Our way of thinking is operational. There is no guarantee when we apply it to the universe. There is no guarantee that we can understand everything.

Can we understand at least that God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience is exercised for us for a purpose: that we will find our senses, and confess, and repent.

For while there is no proof that we know everything, and especially everything about the universe, we can know God’s Grace, and respond with humble confession and repentance.

That is not so far out in the universe that we cannot get around to God’s kindness leading us to repentance and understand it well,

or well enough to trust God will be patient with us as we figure it out.

A day’s task.

Every day’s task.