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.

For the Most

For the Most Vulnerable

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Spirit Dances

Each Morning, Noon and Night.

Only By the Spirit Working In Us

Can We Dance Jesus’ Dance.

Zechariah 7:10

… do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.

Ephesians 4:20

That is not the way you learned Christ!

Words of Grace For Today

God calls us many times in many ways to do justice for the most vulnerable, in Zechariah named as the widow, the orphan, the alien and the poor.

How do we learn?

How do we learn to do justice?

How do we learn Christ?

Is learning to do justice the same as learning Christ?

No, they are not the same.

They do overlap.

To do justice is for the most part to follow Christ’ commandment to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength, and to love our neighbours (and enemies) as ourselves.

But not all of ‘doing justice’ is what Christ calls us to.

And just ‘doing justice’ hardly begins to encompass all Christ calls us to.

For Christ calls us to love. To love as God loves. To love even when it costs us. And that moves us into and then also far beyond just doing justice for others.

Yet how can we learn to do justice?

Study, practice, and make errors … and more study, more practice, and more errors and (it keeps repeating, since we never get it completely and what we did yesterday does not provide justice for the most vulnerable today.)

And how can we learn Jesus?

Some would say it is the same. We study, practice, make errors, and repeat.

Those who have listened to the saints will know that will never even get us close, for the key to Jesus is

that we cannot learn Jesus on our own at all.

We only come to know Jesus when the Holy Spirit moves us to.

So we pray each day, come Lord Jesus, walk with us, let the Holy Spirit guide our thoughts, hearts and spirits, our dreams, visions, and hopes, and most of all our actions. Let them be reflections of Jesus to one another, and especially the most vulnerable.

And then we study, contemplate, plan, dream, and act as if it were all up to us, humbly remembering the Holy Spirit will guide and empower us.

Ask and …

What the #*^%&#^$&$^$!! Happened!?!?” ?

Sunday, November 26, 2023

The Lake Sings The Morning In!

Another Gift From God,

so precious.

Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good, a stronghold on a day of trouble; he protects those who take refuge in him,

Matthew 7:7

Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.

Words of Grace For Today

All of us have asked for things to be a bit better,

or a lot better.


it seldom

turns out to be better,

especially if we get exactly what we’ve asked for!

Thankfully God

hears our pleas, our cries, our wailings, our dreams, or requests,


God most often only gives us what we need


offer life abundant to others.

So much for getting

it to be a little bit better for ourselves.

So we could say, following Jesus really is a bummer, right?!


What God provides that we seldom ask for is

everything we need to live life abundantly.

It is certainly so that living with everything hunky doory and with an abundance of what the world would have us chase after, is not

God’s life abundant

that we receive.


we receive hope, the ability to love and be loved, the ability to be kind and honest, the ability to give

to the most needy

what they desperately need.

And then God gives us the ability to say thanks and enter each day

confessing our sins, and relying wholly on God to bring us to do good things for others.




Or, when God does not give us exactly what we asked for (that would be so bad for us) we can pretend to be astounded and selfishly ask,

“What the #*^%&#^$&$^$!! Happened!?!?

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.

Visions and Realities

Friday, November 24, 2023

Visions of Grace,

Brighter in the Darkness of Our Realities,

Than the Moon on a Clear Winter Night.

Zechariah 13:9

And I will put this third into the fire, refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’

Revelation 21:3-4

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.’

Words of Grace For Today

The day is coming, when …

The day is coming, when will it come?!

The day is coming, when death will be no more, mourning and crying and pain will be no more!

When will it come!!?

That is a vision of God’s promises brought to completion for us all.

Meanwhile the realities we face are obvious:

It is as if we are in the smelters cup, over the fire, dross (which we have so dearly accumulated and attached ourselves to) is burning off, and we are poured into moulds of things precious and of use …


of use to God, and maybe not to our worldly ways of evaluating things.

The realities of our daily lives are challenging to say the least, just to survive


God’s saints

pulled and pushed and cajoled and seduced by temptations to trust not in God’s good graces, but rather in our own efforts to secure life for ourselves.

Thank heaves we have visions

of God walking with us,

among us,

working for us,

completing some of the Promises God makes each day,

also this day.

How the Crap Flies!

Thursday, November 23, 2023

How Bright The Light Of God’s Grace,

That Leads Us On Through Life,


Psalm 69:6

Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me, O Lord God of hosts; do not let those who seek you be dishonoured because of me, O God of Israel.

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace ….

Words of Grace For Today

When we sin, especially when we aim it at other people in anger, the effects of that evil just keep getting bounced around, spreading further and further.

A wise old pastor said once among friends looking back on their lives as pastors, “I hope that I have not hurt anyone.”

Today that could easily be improved on with, “God, I pray you will forgive me for the people I have hurt, and that you will help them heal.”

When Leonard Cohen wrote, “If the sun would lose its light And we lived an endless night … And no one that you hurt could ever heal, Well that’s how broken I would be, What my life would seem to me, If I didn’t have your love to make it real.”

One of the real things about life is that watching other people, many whom we love, suffer because of what we have done, takes all the goodness of life from us.

So we pray with the Psalmist Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me; do not let those who seek you be dishonoured because of me….

For when others are put to shame or dishonoured because of our sins, the stain it leaves on them is not simply a matter of them healing. It is also necessary that the communities around them learn to free them of the shame they have put on them, and restore their honour to them.

That healing is much more complex and often nearly impossible.

So we pray, counting on the forgiveness of our sins, in the richness of God’s grace.

Grace upon grace from God, and through others empowered by the Holy Spirit, provides us our only hope in life,

that all may be well,

all may be well,

all manner of things may be well.

Even as the crap continues to fly all around us.

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 ….

With A Little

Help From …

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

As A New Day Dawns,

Remembering From Whom Our Help Comes.

First Samuel 7:12

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’

Acts of the Apostles 26:22

To this day I have had help from God, and so I stand here, testifying to both small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would take place: ….

Words of Grace For Today

Going it alone, or with our own family, or friends, or company, or kind is typical for us as we meander through life towards, well, we like to deny it with all our efforts – but it’s still towards death.

And we get there in the end, successfully, whether we like it or not.

The journey is usually fraught with failures and detours and disasters of our own making.

As we get to the end of any day, or the start of a new day, best is to recognize that we have nothing new to offer the world,

but the old stuff we have received from the saints before is precious.

Each day, ending or beginning, it is helpful to remember that we cannot make anything good happen for us or anyone else, unless we let God have at us and guide us and perform miracles in us so that out of our pathetic efforts some good will come.

So, to give thanks, to God,

who helps us on our way,

blessing us

and through us others,


that’s a good start and a good end to each day.

Waiting Through

The Long Dreadful Days

Monday, November 20, 2023

No Matter How Obscured Our Vision Becomes,

God Keeps the Light On For Us

Psalm 90:13

Turn, O Lord! How long? Have compassion on your servants!

John 14:3

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.

Words of Grace For Today

The days have come and gone and will come again.

The days of all kinds,

for the one true statement that applies to every day and every moment is:

This too shall pass.

So when the days of trials cloud over us,

when the evil of our neighbours spills over into our yards,

when the temptations seduce us to ‘make it good on our own’,


we are assured that these, too, shall pass,

and in the end,

the place Jesus has prepared for us will be ours again,

in the heart of God’s steadfast love,

which is the only thing that will not change or pass or leave us desolate.

So our solitude is blessed, and our days of communion are blessed,

and even our days of challenges are blessed

with God

Walking with us.

Knowing From Whence

Sunday, November 19, 2023

No Matter The Obstacles,

God Clears the Way to the Light

Malachi 2:7

For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

1 Peter 3:15

… but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you ….

Words of Grace For Today

As the days wear us down,

closer to the grave each day

assisted by the evil of other people

directed at us

or just spewed into the universe around us all


are given hope

that does not fail.

Then when the testing days arrive yet again, we are ready to provide an account of whence comes our hope:

The steadfast love and grace of God,

that carries us when we are down and

guides us in days of joy

to celebrate what is of ultimate value,

not this world’s


God’s great gifts.