Finding Us

In the Fog

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Freezing Fog Is

God’s Painting


In The Cold and Dark

Ezekiel 34:16

I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.

Luke 15:6

And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.”

Words of Grace For Today

The bones are dry, dead, gone.

God assembles them.

Breathes on life into them again.

And we live.

The cantankerous ram is lost, yet again.

He’s found by the dedicated shepherd caught in a thorn thicket, unable to free himself.

The shepherd suffers cuts and tears and blood and time … rescuing the ram from the thicket.

And then the walk home, the ram limping along, not able to fight or think of running off again.

And we celebrate.

The enemies are strong and attack from afar.

The powerful and rich are greedy and corrupt and rot the nation from within.

Many people suffer lives of agony without the necessities, yet with joy that God is with them. They are the winners, even as the corrupt bask in their wealth and power, for

God comes to rescue the lost, the ones suffering, the ones denied life, and the fat, corrupt, unjust, and cruel powerful and rich are brought to their knees and left destitute on this earth and still devoid of a soul.

These we know as surely as the fog of the night is captured in beauty in the morning light on all the tree limbs and brush of the wilderness.

So our hearts, though suffering oppression and abuse, are filled with the free beauty of God’s creation and the cold of the night,

While God warms our hearts, minds, and spirits by the fire.

How shall we enter this day if not with unending thanks to God, and clarity of our mission to share life abundant with all people.


In The Silence

Thursday 9 February 2023

God Sees Us,

No Matter Fog, Snow, or the Darkness

of Our Hearts

and God still walks with us.

Zephaniah 1:7

Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is at hand; the Lord has prepared a sacrifice, he has consecrated his guests.

Matthew 24:44

Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.

Words of Grace For Today

When we are still, quiet, calm, and silent what do we hear?

The traffic pounding the pavement, going back and forth, who knows why so many of us have so many places to go, just because we can or others will pay us if we do or we have learned that we must in order to eat (the things we want to eat)?

The bells ringing across the countryside inviting people to worship, or tolling to mark the funeral of yet another person no longer breathing, or clanging in alarm as the war reaches the outskirts of this area?

The manufacturing cascade of sounds of machinery churning, pumping, grinding, and wearing themselves out before their time?

The wild music of alcohol and drug induced partying that can erupt into all kinds of behaviour and violence spilling over into others’ safety?

The squirrels sounding alarm, crows cawing, an owl hooting, and the lynx silently invisibly avoiding the stinky skunks?

The ravages of a brain fully engaged in multiple tracks of problem solving stuck spinning against the slings and arrows of time?

Sometimes, not wanting to be silent is a reasonable protection from the cost of our times of industry chugging along to sustain an unsustainable life-style, nature fighting us into extinction with climate change, viruses, and fungi, and our inevitable defences of rampant escapism.


every once in a while for most of us (and always for some ‘blessed’ mystics), when we are silent, we not only hear that silent lynx, but we see that God walks with us crunching footsteps into the snow-pack.

God’s day is here, with us, always has been. Best is to get used to it.

For whatever we are up to, God is up to it with us, celebrating our thinkings, sayings and doings, or suffering the same.

Smile you are on ‘candid camera’, God’s view of us each and all, as it has been since before we were born, and even before time was created

when God consecrated us to ….

And It Begins

And It Continues As Before.

Tuesday 31 January 2023

Since the Murky Mists Of Time’s Beginning,

We and Creation Have Evolved

From Generation to Generation.

Only One Never Changes!

Psalms 102:26-28

Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like clothing, and they pass away; but you are the same, and your years have no end. The children of your servants shall live secure; their offspring shall be established in your presence.

Revelation 1:4

John to the seven churches that are in Asia:Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne …

Words of Grace For Today

The week is underway.

The news reports things that have long since been: football wins with the last play, a field goal; inflation giving way to recession and jobs underpaid and worker shortages and ticket scalping, which are all the chaos of capitalism or called more honestly, futile efforts to limit legalized and unchecked greed; movies that win awards which makes money for more greedy people; and fear of the survivors and refugees in Canada as those, who darn near succeeded in finishing them off in a nearly ‘successful’ genocide, return to Canada; and the weather forecasts a dip to below the mid minus 30’s tonight.

John starts his writing with a greeting, one that had been underway for sometime: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come …

But these people John writes to live under great oppression and threats to their lives, thus the coded manner in which John writes.

After pleading that his life not be cut short, as he has taken ill, the Psalmist honours God as the creator long ago of creation. God will endure always even as people age and die and are replaced with others. In this cycle God has established the children of God’s servants, of God’s people, and the children of the children, and the children of each generation as it passes from life leaving the living to the following generations.

And this has been underway for quite some time now.

Not that getting ill and anticipating ones early death is easy or to be taken lying down (so to speak.) Nor that getting old and anticipating one’s timely death is easy nor should be taken ‘lying down’, if one can ‘stand’ at all any more.

But there is comfort in knowing that God provides for all God’s people, and all their children. The future, as we have seen it come to be our history, is and was in God’s hands, as it always will be.

So even the particulars of this day are in God’s hands, even as the temperatures drop near -40⁰.

Still, there is work to be done, to prepare, to survive, and to flourish in this life abundant that God provides for us, holding us always in God’s hands.

Lead Us Through Loneliness to …

Wednesday 18 January 2023


Alone or

in Solitude,

in the fog and

freezing drizzle.

Exodus 15:13

In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed; you guided them by your strength to your holy abode.

1 Peter 3:18

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit

Words of Grace For Today

During Covid we learned to live with minimal contact with other people … well some of us did. It is quite the thing to live separate from lots of human contact. Some of us can live that way much more comfortably than others. It’s called being an introvert.

Introverts know a lot about solitude, as opposed to loneliness. Being lonely implies that one is missing an essential part of life, contact with others. Finding solitude and enjoying solitude implies that one is relieved to be separate from the chaos of other people. Lonely is to be at a loss. Solitude is to live well alone.

For extroverts it is difficult to imagine being at peace separate from the chaos of others, because they gain energy from others, while us introverts ‘charge our batteries’ only when we are alone.

Different ways of being, both have their challenges and weaknesses. Extroverts can too easily get caught up in the ‘fake news’- ‘echo chamber’ – irreality that can lead to either trumplike idiocy with power or suicide bomber fanaticism. Introverts can too easily miss out on the joy of loving other people.

For us all, Jesus came and sacrificed himself, the only perfectly righteous person, and then came back to life; all in order that we might be free from the sins that drag us down, extroverts and introverts alike, into the pit of life-squandered-on-stupidities.

Instead, God leads us, not by force, but by weakness and mercy, to find the fullness of life in accepting forgiveness for our sins, and extending that same forgiveness to others.

In that steadfast mercy, we are ‘found’ again and again by God’s Spirit, and we find ourselves ‘at home’, in God’s abode,

which is this beautiful creation all around us.

With the Help of …

Tuesday 17 January 2023

All Paths Lead to The Point.

The point of life is to treasure

God’s Grace!

Psalms 119:11

I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.

2 Timothy 1:14

Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

Words of Grace For Today

While we are given the ability to choose to love or to not love (sin), we do not posses the ability on our own to do all that is right. We are, by design, sinners.

But with the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us as is promised and demonstrated at our baptisms, we are saints, ones who do God’s will.

Now that is something to treasure!

It is the most precious gift ever possible.

And God gives it to us wretched sinners, so that we may live, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Give To Get??

Sunday 8 January 2023

If We Look to Give So That We Will Receive,

We Live Like Three Dead Sticks

Stuck in the Ice

in the Freezing Fog.

Deuteronomy 15:10

Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.

Luke 6:38

give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.

Words of Grace For Today

The order of causation is messed up.

We do not give so that we will get what we give and more of it.

First God gives us everything, including breath, life, love, and hope.

Because God gives us so much, we can give liberally all God has given us so that others will enjoy the life God has given them.

And that is how it works.

Trying to encourage people to give to others in order that they will receive what they want or need is a futile project as countless ‘Stewardship Programs’ give great witness to.

If we remember how it is that we are free from sin and able to live graciously at all, then that is a good beginning to any day.

Let it be so, also today with us.

Dead Proud

Friday 6 January 2023

Thick Fog Settles

and Departs,

Leaving Glorious Patterns of Crystals.

Our Pride Only Destroys All It Touches.

Second Chronicles 32:24-25

In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, and he answered him and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah did not respond according to the benefit done to him, for his heart was proud. Therefore wrath came upon him and upon Judah and Jerusalem.

1 Peter 5:5

In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. ’

Words of Grace For Today

There is a fast way to orchestrate one’s own demise: pride.

There is a wonderful, enriching way to live blessed and shared those blessings with others: humility.

Today we pray, may we be humble this day, and in every day to come.

Let It BE So

Sunday 11 December 2022

We need not be caught in the ‘fog’ of not knowing.

God makes all our paths

(past, present, and future)


Proverbs 5:21

For human ways are under the eyes of the Lord, and he examines all their paths.

Luke 1:38

Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Words of Grace For Today

How often will we get the opportunity to respond to God’s Word for us by saying, ‘Let it be so, as You will?’

God watches over us, knows everything we think, say, write, and do. God has since the beginning of time communicated well with us so that, if we care to listen, we can understand God’s will for us, each day.

We get that opportunity to submit to God’s will every day.

Even today.

Ears, eyes, and hearts open and we will understand God’s will for us … well enough to choose to follow God’s will or

to choose to follow our own way

and suffer all that comes

from rebellion

instead of all the gifts that come from submitting to God’s good will for us.

Oh, we pray, may it be that we will submit.

Oh, we pray, may it be so, today.

Finding Peace?

Thursday 17 November 2022

Another Day Ends,

With The Sun Leaving It’s Last Light

In The Western Clouds,

As Fog Settles Over The Ice.

Is This Peace?

Psalms 116:7

Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

2 Thessalonians 3:16

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you.

Words of Grace For Today

We humans seek many things in life. Our striving and competing creates no end of conflict and anguish for us and many others caught in our wake. We may think we, ourselves, do not create this conflict, especially if we’ve been privileged by birth or happenstance, yet it is part and parcel of each person. While we may deny the evidence of our own creation of chaos most of us live in the wake of others who create great conflict, violence, chaos, destruction, and suffering, some of it on our behalf and for us, some of it against us and for the benefit of others at our loss.

In the conflict and chaos we often seek peace, with others, with creation, with our Creator, and most often with ourselves.

Real peace is not something we can achieve. It is a gift.

Rev. Roger H. Black at Bethel Lutheran Church, Madison, WI provided this illustration for Luther Seminary’s God Pause for 13 November 2022 beginning with the words of the hymn When Peace Like a River and it’s refrainIt is well with my soul”:

An art contest asked painters to depict a perfect picture of peace. All kinds of entries with images of peace were painted, including such as that of the quiet of a lake on a windless summer day. The winner was surprising. The artist painted a tumultuous waterfall cascading down a rocky precipice. Stormy grey clouds threatened to explode with lightning, wind, and rain.

Amid it all a spindly tree clung to the rocks at the edge of the falls. And in that tree a little bird had built [its] nest. Content and undisturbed in [its] stormy surroundings, [it] rested on [its] eggs. [He/she] manifested peace that transcends all earthly turmoil.

(Note that in 90% of bird species the male sticks around for the nest building, incubation, feeding, and care of the young.)

While we may strive for this kind of peace amid the inescapable turmoil that is our lives, we cannot achieve it.

Not any more than that bird created the peace of that nest amid the turmoil of its surroundings. Birds nest. It seems to us a sign of peace, though it is instinctual life. Somewhere in that chaotic environment the two birds were going to establish a nest. Likewise, somewhere in our chaotic worlds we try to create a home for us and ours. Whether peace permeates our lives, in and out of that home is something we can and should strive for, but it is not something we can achieve. Not really.

That said the image of the nest amid the storm and tumult is a poignant reminder of what peace really is.

That kind of peace is given to us as a free gift.

Roger continues:

By God’s mercy we have this kind of peace in the midst of turmoil. “Our sin…is nailed to Christ’s cross.” We are made right with God through “his own blood shed for us.”

[The gift given to us is that]

No matter what happens to us, we are not dismayed. [Well, we need not be dismayed.] For we know [or more truthfully we can know] that “it is well with our soul.”

The truth is even when the peace that surpasses all understanding is given to us, sometimes we ignore it and proceed as if we did not have the greatest gift ever given to us.

So we do well to pray each day:

Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

And we do well to offer to ourselves and to others a reminder of God’s blessings:

May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you.