Repent, Believe the Good News

Friday, December 29, 2023

Our Well Worn Paths, Beckon,

But God Calls For Us To Turn,

And See Anew.

Deuteronomy 30:2-3

… and return to the Lord your God, and you and your children obey him with all your heart and with all your soul, just as I am commanding you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, gathering you again from all the peoples among whom the Lord your God has scattered you.

Mark 1:15

… saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’

Words of Grace For Today

We think all too often that we do not need to repent and return and believe anew the Good News.


in this in between time

we remember



we need start each day

with confession,

followed by repentance,

Then returning to God

and believing anew

the Good News,


promises us that God is eagerly waiting for us to repent, return and believe anew.

Another day

A new beginning



For Help

Weeping With Thanks

Thursday, December 28, 2023

What Wonders God Works, As the Sun Rises, Beginning a New Day!

Psalm 104:14

You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth,

Ephesians 5:20

… giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

People in desperate situations hope that someone will make a difference, help them, provide the basics of life and security.

Trapped on an island overrun by the enemy in a world wide war, the doctors and nurses and voluntold helpers (having found their way to the camp of the resistance fighters) have bound up patients for months or is it already years with old strips from old clothes. Everyone is malnourished if not starving. Everyone’s clothes are tattered and torn. Uniforms for soldiers cannot be required since no one has them. Spotty communications begging for supplies bring at most ‘Stand bye.’

Then, wrangling with all sorts of resistance from the infighting and egos of the top generals and admirals, a small group of 4 soldiers disembark from a submarine in rubber boats and paddle through the surf. Met by members of the resistance, more rubber boats are dispatched from the sub with supplies. Not enough, but something.

Visiting the ‘hospital’ the new soldiers still in black dyed fatigues cut open the new ‘plastic’ sealed packages of sulphanilamide, a new antibiotic and dressings. Weeping with joy and relief the doctor orders the nurses and helpers to take off all the bandages on the patients and to pour the sulphanilamide on and cover them with new dressings. Patients with fatal infections now have a chance at life.

(paraphrased from W.E.B. Higgins’ Behind Enemy Lines)

Ahh the immense tears-of-joy outpouring when assistance arrives for those subsisting as they irritate the enemy.

How many more people on earth this day could cry ‘Would that assistance were brought here!?!’

And we carry on, giving thanks for all that we have, all that keeps us alive, and all the blessings each day that come our way. It may not be supplies, clothes, and food, or shelter sufficient to stand the new normals of weather wind heat and cold, but it is all we need to know joy.


Between Times

The Beginning

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

In the Darkness of the Between Time,

The Light of Christ Shines


Isaiah 44:6

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.

Matthew 6:9

Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Words of Grace For Today

Between Christmas and New Years is always a time between.

Between the past and the future, and not quite the present,

sacred, set aside

set aside for reflection on what really is.

In the beginning is always God,

and our response to God can always begin with remembering how sacred and hallowed God’s name is, a reflection of God.

For God is not far off, nor so buried within us that we cannot know God, as much as our finite, limited, human brains will know the infinite, unlimited divine.


we begin each day

praying God’s thanks

begging for mercy and forgiveness

singing God’s praise


celebrating Jesus’ presence with us

even this day,

the third day of the Christmas twelve.

Boxing Away

Boxing Day Failure

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

One Day In and

Our Memory of Jesus

is More Faded

Than the Morning Moon


Isaiah 60:16

You shall suck the milk of nations, you shall suck the breasts of kings; and you shall know that I, the Lord, am your Saviour and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

2 Timothy 1:9b-10

This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Words of Grace For Today

Boxing Day

brings to the fore the obvious


failings of Christmas.

It’s when the commercial xmas takes over, crowds rush to the stores, sales and stock are piled high and wide, and money flows like smoke from a huge, hot wildfire.

Many retail stores turn a profit only because of the huge boost in December, and particularly on Boxing Day. Large stores turn extreme profits on this day, adding to the wealth they collect for stock holders and executives with huge bonuses.

Year after year, we attempt to remember that God is the sole source of our well-being. That God is the only source of a life worth living.

Christ comes as an infant, a sign that God’s true power is not in force or wealth or in possessing or possessions accumulated, but rather in the love that is pure, true, and steadfast.

We gather with small candles lit in the darkness and sing our faith on our sleeves of God’s wonders for us all, and then …

we run to the store the second day of Christmas to spend and get and possess all that we can.

What a huge failure we all are.

Our only rescue is in God’s Grace. God’s forgiveness.

So much for sucking life from the nations of the kings of the world. All that is is poison for our souls.

Pause, amid the hectic, and remember

God’s goodness in the simple, pure gifts of love

that sustain us each day.


Blessed Christmas!

Monday, December 25, 2023

The Light At Noon,

Is Enough To Show Us

God’s Bright Love.

Isaiah 38:14

Like a swallow or a crane I clamour, I moan like a dove. My eyes are weary with looking upwards. O Lord, I am oppressed; be my security!

Luke 2:11

… to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord.

Words of Grace For Today

Blessed Christmas,

May we not get lost in our efforts,

and let God’s wonders wash over us,

transforming us

and our views

or this world

with love.

Being Alive!

Being God’s Instruments of Light

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Sharing The Light Of Christ!

Isaiah 60:2

For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.

Luke 2:15

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’

Words of Grace For Today

Days before Christmas, 8 year old Ginger’s 9 year old sister, upset at all the work cleaning they were supposed to do before Christmas, told Ginger, “Santa does not exist. All this Christmas stuff was just a big, mean lie. It’s just work, work, work. It’s not fair.”

Ginger ran devastated to Grandma, “Grandma, Sis says Santa does not exist. That Christmas is all a big lie.”

When Ginger ran devastated to Grandma, saying Sis had said Christmas was a big lie, Grandma responded thoughtfully, “I’ve heard that nasty, mean rumour. It’s been going around for years.” After a pause, hoping she’d find some inspiration along the way, Grandma continued, “Come let’s go. I want to show you something.”

So off they went to the store. There Grandma, knowing Ginger loved dolls, asked her to pick one from the display just inside the door. As she choose one Grandma said, “I’m going to give you more than three times enough money to buy that doll. It’s from Santa, just for you. Then you can go and find a gift for someone you know who really needs something for Christmas. Meet me back here by the door.”

Holding her unpaid for doll, Ginger walked through the store for the first time by herself. She thought of who really might need something. Her family, her cousins, people at church, people at school …. That’s when Ginger remembered Ben needed a jacket. He came to school without one so he never went out for recess with the other kids.

It didn’t take long before Ginger found a perfect, warm looking, red parka with a hood, just a bit big for Ben. Ginger took the parka and her doll to the checkout counter, and handed the lady all her money, including the $2.75 of her own money she had with her. She explained that the jacket was for Ben, who needed one, and the doll was a gift for her from her Grandma. The lady said, kind of loud so even the other people in line behind her heard, “You don’t have enough money for both. You have to choose.” A lump started to form in Ginger’s throat.

Now Ginger had heard all the stories to us of God’s preparation for Christmas and of the people who had waited for centuries for the birth of the messiah. She’d heard of the ancient prophecies. She’d heard the story of the angel coming to Zachariah and Elizabeth – telling them of the birth of John the Baptist, of Zachariah’s muteness and Elizabeth’s joy. She’d heard of the other angelic visits to Mary and Joseph. On Christmas Eve, she’d heard again of no vacancy at any inn, a cow barn full of animals, of shepherds, and of angel choirs singing.

And as that lump formed in her throat, Ginger also remembered what her Sunday School teacher had said about Jesus sending us out to share with others what God has given us, especially people in need. Ginger said, “I guess Ben needs the jacket a lot more than I need the doll.” Ginger got 55 cents change and the parka in a large bag.

Ginger found Grandma waiting at the door with a card to attach to the bag. Ginger explained she only had enough money to get Ben a warm parka and what she remembered from Sunday School. Grandma, knowing she’d found her inspiration, said, “If you write on it ‘To Ben, from Santa’, he’ll know that Santa is real. But if you write on it, ‘To Ben, from Jesus’ friend’ he’ll know that Jesus is real. Which is more important?” Ginger didn’t have to think very hard. “Let’s write it’s from Jesus’ friend and add ‘Open now!’”

They drove to where Ben lived, pulled around the corner and walked back to the bushes just outside the door to Ben’s house. They paused to catch their breath. Then Grandma pushed Ginger out, “Go, put the bag on the step and ring the doorbell.” She did just that and ran back to the bushes.

Ginger waited, shivering with excitement next to Grandma. She still shivers today remembering how Ben’s mom came to the door, read the card, and called Ben, looking out following the footsteps in the snow to the bushes where the two stooped, mostly out of sight.

Ben came, read the card, tore into the bag, laughed and jumped with joy before putting the parka on. His mom asked if he wanted to yell out thanks. He did just that before they went inside.

Ben may or may not believe in Santa, but for the rest of his life he knew that Jesus has good friends.

On Christmas there was a mystery gift under the tree at Ginger’s house, with a card that read, “To Ginger, from Santa, who was in line behind you when you bought Ben his Jacket.” Inside was the doll Ginger had left on the counter at the store.

(2004 the original story of Ginger was read on the Radio, written by a listener in Lethbridge. This is a highly edited version rewritten by TL, 2023)

The Short Version

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Colour Your World Whatever Colours You Wish,

But If It Isn’t Coloured With God’s Love,

It’s Nothing.

Hosea 6:6

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt-offerings.

Romans 13:10

Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

Words of Grace For Today

Love is the short version of all the law.

Love of God, along with fear, for that is proper and right.

Love of neighbour, for that brings us to do right by them all.

Love of enemy, for that saves us from hate, and provides hope for the lost souls of this world.

Love of self, for that is to reflect God’s take on us.

Lots of other things are demanded of us by others, others who do not love God, neighbour, enemy or self. Lots of things that are not good for anyone in the end.

So let us hope this Advent,

that we will learn again each day to love

as God loves us




Perfect !??!?


Friday, December 22, 2023

Knowing Our Place,

Wholly Dependent On God,

Is Obvious Living Close To

and Dependent On Nature.

First Samuel 12:15

… if you will not heed the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you and your king.

James 1:25

But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

Words of Grace For Today


As Advent is in it’s final week, and we reflect on how God works Wonders for us, though we too often distract ourselves with doing, impatient as we are for God to works wonders for us, here comes Sam and Jim to mess with our hearts and minds.

As if!

As if we could follow the perfect law!

Not a chance.

Not a chance in all creation.

We are but beggars, sinful beggars, begging for God’s mercy and forgiveness,


when we forget and think that we can somehow walk the line, stay perfect, follow God’s commandments,


we have already taken a huge leap out of God’s Grace into the Devil’s own arms.

Not that we should just give up, as if God were not merciful, having forgiven us again and again and promising to forgive us for the rest of our lives, and always and again restoring us so that we can work God’s grace for others.

Not that we should just give up and be as evil as we can be, as greedy as we can be, as selfish and destructive to others as we can be.

Trusting God’s steadfast love, we can proceed to give our best effort to do what is right and good for all people, especially the poor and outcasts, the vulnerable and sick, the elderly and the dying. We will never do that perfectly. But trusting that God will forgive us, we can proceed with confidence in God’s Grace taking on every challenge that comes our way.

So also this day, in this last week of Advent, as the daylight of each day slowly lengthens.

Blessed we are. Not proud of our gifts, but proud that God claims us as children and equips us to share all God’s gifts with others.


Just Short

Thursday, December 21, 2023



For The Air!

Ezekiel 37:14

I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Words of Grace For Today

This is the shortest day of the year!

Well not actually.

It does have 24 hours just like every other, but

but it is the day with the shortest daylight of any in the whole year.

In the short light and long dark

God’s Spirit shines brightly

in us

around us

among us

so that

we will live

and have our own land

soil that we can survive on.

Except few people in the world do, and also we do not.

Renters like many fortunate people.

Less fortunate are those who neither own nor rent

and have no place to call home.

In the light and dark

we remember

and pray


God will protect them all as God has protected us these many years, through many generations, through trials and tribulations, and joys and celebrations.

Darkness cannot overcome us.

So we share the light we have with all around, and spread joy for this day as for each day





Not to Come Up Short,


Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Remember How God’s Grace

Lights Up Our Lives and

God’s Whole Creation!

Psalm 103:2-3

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits— who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,

1 John 4:10

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Words of Grace For Today

As the days get shorter and shorter and the darkness longer and longer, it is time to remember:

remember how hard we’ve all worked to get where we are.

How arduous the journey has been.

How competitors and enemies have taken possibilities and resources from us, leaving us with so much less.

And still we have come out okay, or so we say.

For we could have gotten more if we’d been like our enemies, vicious, uncaring, unscrupulous, deceptive, and downright dishonest about anything and everything that would give them an advantage, damned by the cost to others.

But we did not.

Some would say we suffer now because of it.

They are right of course.

Kindness, honesty, and fairness are always rewarded with suffering, even being cast out and labelled as abominations.

But remember



that we have come so far by God’s Grace alone,

and this day we survive only by Grace,

and living in God’s Grace is more wondrous than all the advantage our enemies have stolen from us, as we have worked to save the most vulnerable from destruction and disaster.


That we live in the love of God for us, enabled only by that love to be anything good at all, and able to love others, creation, and God above all.

Short days, long nights.


God’s love shines brightest in the darkness.