In Him There Is No Darkness At All

Monday, February 28, 2022

Awesome In Splendour


Exodus 15:11

Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendour, doing wonders?

1 John 1:2

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.

Words of Grace For Today

To see what God reveals as the Light of the World, to look into God’s eyes to see all creation reflected with beauty, to touch God’s hand and feel the power of self-sacrificial love overwhelming the universe, to hear God speaking and understand the Word of Life …

to know that there is no other god, except God, Three in One, Parent, Son, Holy Spirit, all and each Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier …

to be re-created, redeemed, and sanctified … and sent out into the world to share all we have received …

This is to have our joy complete,

and to know

in him there is no darkness at all.

So we sing the words Kathleen Thomerson wrote for us:

I want to walk as a child of the light
I want to follow Jesus
God sent the stars to give light to the world
The star of my life is Jesus

In Him there is no darkness at all
The night and the day are both alike
The Lamb is the light of the city of God
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus

I want to see the brightness of God
I want to look at Jesus
Clear sun of righteousness, shine on my path
And show me the way to the Father

In Him there is no darkness at all
The night and the day are both alike
The Lamb is the light of the city of God
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus

I’m looking for the coming of Christ
I want to be with Jesus
When we have run with patience the race
We shall know the joy of Jesus

In Him there is no darkness at all
The night and the day are both alike
The Lamb is the light of the city of God
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus

Who Else could possibly move us to know you, God, so well?

Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendour, doing wonders?

…. To sing along Concordia College Choir, Moorhead MN

Wait? Courage? Humour?

God will let us go with it.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

There’s Trees,

There’s Forest,

There’s Light.

Wait With Courage!


Learn To Enjoy

the Humour!

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

2 Corinthians 1:7

Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.

Words of Grace For Today

We all want justice now! Justice that does not first sacrifice truth in order to proceed with lies, bias, corruption, and blatant replacing light with darkness, sweet with bitter, life with death, and justice with cruelty.

God walks with us. Not that in the moment that really helps, we still want justice now! Even so, and even though, we already know that we must wait for the Lord. We must be strong and let our hearts take courage and wait … wait … wait for the Lord.

Sometimes the little things get blown out of proportion because the big things are so unjust. And then … well then there are hours and hours of darkness like the following:

Wait for it.

The Bad News: It’s been so cold, -40⁰ or so for nights now. I’ve been burning through wood. I’m running out of wood. It’s a lot of work to haul and split enough and I’m getting behind.

The Good News: I wake the other morning and after working so long to haul and split enough wood the previous day, despite being exhausted and sleep deprived (stoking the fire every 2 hours night after night will do that) the wood lasted easily through the cold night!

But Wait for it.

Bad News: the wood lasted because there was no fire from 21:00 to 1:00 and the shelter that houses the wood stove got down to zero! It usually needs to stay at 50⁰ to keep the water tank from freezing, especially in this cold! (But I was so tired I fell asleep at 18:30 and woke at 22:00 ish to a phone call.)

Good News: when I saw the fire was out I brushed away the ashes and looked closely at the fire bricks. Yep!

Bad News: under the chimney the brick had a hole, if left it would burn through the stove wall itself.

Good News: I’d seen a crack in the brick two days ago and bought stove cement and fire bricks with points (I’m out of money and need to save for food) earlier yesterday.

Bad News: the bricks were sort of held in place by a retaining bar held by bolts, which are unreachable without taking the whole furnace apart. That’s possible but it’s a 10 hour job and it’s NOT possible when it’s cold, especially not this cold.

Good News: the brick were all so broken I could pry them out with a screw driver.

Bad News: new bricks had to be fit in past the retainer bar.

Good News: the bar was burned away at the chimney and the rest could be bent with a pliers far enough to slide all the bricks in under what was left of the bar.

Bad News: the bricks were too tall by 3/16 of an inch.

Good News: they can be cut with a cutting blade on a hand grinder and fortunately I’ve been loaned a grinder with plenty of cutting disks.

Bad News: the grinder runs on 110volts and my camp has no utilities: no electricity, no water, no sewer, no nothing but Grace.

Good News: I’ve been loaned 2 small 2200watt generators that only weigh 65 lbs to provide electricity when I need it.

Bad News: I need gasoline to run them.

Good News: There’s still some gas left in both generators.

Bad News: they are not supposed to be run at anything colder than -5⁰C and it’s below -20⁰, which is 10⁰ colder than I’ve ever gotten one to start.

Good News: one’s inside.

Bad News: I’m too tired to haul the generator from inside to outside where it can be run. I can’t risk pushing my bad back and spasming leg muscles too much, especially when I’m so exhausted and fatigued and sleep deprived!

Good News: Small miracle! After 40 pulls on the starter cord my shoulder has not given out on me and I get the other one – the one out in the cold – to fire up and run.

Bad News: it takes until past midnight to individually cut each brick to custom fit, clean the ash and crud out from where they need to slide in, and get them fitting in place. And then 2 brick are still flopping loose where there is no retainer bar left to hold them!

Good News: the stove cement maybe, perhaps, might just hold them until summer when I might be able to rebuild the whole stove again for the third time. So I glue the two bricks with furnace cement and start a fire that will light and burn fast. Heat at last.

Bad News: there’s hardly any heat for a half hour and I’m so so tired, so tired, so tired … and then I have to stoke the fire yet again.

Good News: I’m finally in bed after 1:00 ish.

Bad News: I’m wired and can’t sleep.

Good News: I’ve got no meetings in the morning so I can sleep in. (I never have meetings, ever, really. No one really cares to meet with a person who is homeless. It kind of shames them that they don’t fix the systemic problems that cause homelessness!)

Bad News: I wake at 4:45 to almost no heat, 17⁰ in the shelter (and the water tank is at 0⁰!), and a chilly 12⁰ at the bed.

Good News: I get a fire going.

Bad News: it takes 50 minutes.

Good News: the bed is still there.

Bad News: morning is there too.

Good News: I don’t care. I’m punch drunk tired, laughing out loud at it all, thankful the stove will last, maybe, another year.

Three nights later I finally get enough sleep to start breaking out of sleep deprivation.

We wait, and with courage wait, and wait, and wait, for the Lord, who works at God’s own pace in God’s own time and in God’s own way.

We have courage to wait because ‘Our hope for God is unshaken; for we know that as God shares in our sufferings, so also God shares in our consolation.’

Think about it. God dies. God suffers with us. God finally got enough sleep to start shaking off sleep deprivation.

Makes one wonder …

Who was in charge of creation while God is sleep deprived,

or unconscious for suffering,

or dead?

The other persons of the Trinity? That’s a (weird) argument for a Trinitarian God, eh!

Good News: God will let us go with it. There are far greater humorous things to laugh along with as well! Learn to laugh at them all. It builds courage as we wait!

Of Whom Shall We Be Afraid?

Saturday, February 26, 2022

We Live

In The Light Of Christ

And Need



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?

John 8:12

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’

Words of Grace For Today

There is the Ukraine, following Georgia and Crimea; just one place on earth where military force is used to invade neighbouring countries to control them.

These kinds of invasions rightfully create fear in us all.

Africa’s conflicts never end.

These kinds of invasions rightfully create fear in us all.

The Middle East is one conflict and war and invasion after another.

These kinds of invasions rightfully create fear in us all.

Police apply force unjustly against so many minorities, and also against now men falsely accused by vengeful or deranged women. For some women are blood thirsty as some are to destroy any man possible in order to avenge violence against women, which even though dramatic and terrible, today’s violence against women is still only a fraction of that conducted against men, some of it also by women against men, with the same deadly results. It’s all the same thing: violence aimed at innocent people, and the first victim is truth, and those impacted the worst are the children.

These kinds of invasions rightfully create fear in us all.

More subtle kinds of invasions happen all the time as truth is sacrificed in our own courts, and many, supposedly just, courts around the world.

These kinds of invasions rightfully create fear in us all.

There are so many more real reasons to be fearful of all the evil that is perpetrated indiscriminately and directed exactly against us.

What are we to do?

We have no other choice or option: we get to trust God’s promises: that Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life and

that the Lord is our light and our salvation, and therefore we have no reason to fear anything, nothing at all.

Nothing at all.

So we, no matter the reasons that are so many to fear, … we have no reason to fear … for no matter what evil happens or is done to us or other people,

God is with us, the Light of the World is with us, there is no darkness for us …

nor is there reason to fear anything, anything at all.

We live in the Light.

Of whom shall we be afraid?

Ukraine, Ukraine!!

Friday, February 25, 2022

Peace Here

Affords Many

The Freedom To Fish

In Different Directions

Under The Same Sky

Psalm 135:14

For the Lord will vindicate his people, and have compassion on his servants.

Matthew 5:6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Words of Grace For Today

Today there is little to say other than prayer on prayer for the good people of the Ukraine, who have lost so much, and now so much more is taken from them … and for all the people for generations to come who will loose again and again because of this occupation and stealing of land by Russia.

So we pray that the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants, and that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled.

And that Justice, based on truth, will prevail,

there and here, as well!

Lord, help us if it does not.

Fahrenheit Fear, Death, and Freedom

Thursday, February 24, 2022

That’s Not Winter Temperatures

Nor Desert Temperatures

That Bring Death Close


Fear Closer

Isaiah 25:8

He will swallow up death for ever. Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.

Luke 1:73-74

This is the oath that God swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear.

Words of Grace For Today

If you have ever served God in the midst of being attacked by your enemies, who have your death planned for you, then you know fear …

fear that drips with acrid sweat and foul tastes and smells …

and knowing fear you know there is a temperature to it, a temperature that you’d just as soon not be able to measure ever again.

Yet, always curious in our desperate drive to make order out of the chaos of life, we still try to put that temperature in the records, maybe so that we can ignore it or try to avoid it for the rest of our lives. The first challenge is to find the correct scale on which to measure this temperature. Maybe Fahrenheit, used in the US, the enemy of so many people, even it’s own people, and an enemy that creates so much fear around the world, sometimes without doing anything at all. History does the job for it.

How did Fahrenheit come to be?

Celsius uses the points for freezing (0⁰) and boiling of water (100⁰) … water being so basic and an ubiquitous substance needed for life.

But Fahrenheit uses 32⁰ for water freezing and 212⁰ for water boiling. That’s nuts.

It seems that Fahrenheit, in order to set the first standardized scale for temperatures, uses fickle human feelings, conglomerations of past experiences skewed by complex and unpredictable chemical and electric storage mediums (brains), filtering and skewing present experiences which are easily skewed by raw emotions, false and destructive beliefs, and diseases that disturb the uptake of reality.

So on the Fahrenheit scale it turns out that:

It feels real cold at zero degrees and it feels real hot at 100⁰!

Wikipedia puts it out there that Mr. Fahrenheit’s (who created the F scale) “original paper suggests the lower defining point, 0 °F, was established as the freezing temperature of a solution of brine made from a mixture of water, ice, and ammonium chloride (a salt). The other limit established was his best estimate of the average human body temperature, originally set at 90 °F, then 96 °F.”

Wikipedia goes on to put it right. Today temperature “is now formally defined using the Kelvin scale and hence ultimately by the Boltzmann constant, the Planck constant, and the unperturbed ground state hyperfine transition frequency of the caesium 133 atom.”

I can read the words … and not much more, and I still know the temperature of fear has little to do with F, C, K, Boltzmann, Planck or caesium 133. It has to do with the drive to stay alive, and not succumb to one’s enemies that would have one dead, lately by leaving a brake job unfinished when I had a 4 hour trip ahead of me … and charging me 1/3 of my annual income for the privilege of being forced to learn to drive without brakes in an automatic transmission vehicle. (Another plus for manual transmissions.)

God never leaves us in the lurch … that our enemies (sometimes we are our own worst enemies) try to put us into.

God promises that God will swallow up death.


God has long since granted to us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear.

Temperature for fear on a scale is no longer needed.

For everything else Celsius will do.


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Most Often

The Path

Following Christ

Appears to Be

A Maze


There Is

An Amazing Path

to the Light of Christ

Psalm 119:6

O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.

John 4:34

Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.’

Words of Grace For Today

Most humans have never thought to listen at all to God. Their loss, literally, as they plow through life, destroying more than they could imagine.

Most humans who have thought to listen to God, have learned just enough in such a way to make God’s Will into their own will, and they blithely continue on plowing through life, destroying more than they can imagine.

Those who strive to listen to God … well …

It’s really no different for us either: we continue to plow through life, destroying more than we can imagine.

So we, we who would live life in order to give life to others … so we pray constantly that we would be able to hear God’s will for us and follow God’s will with our thoughts, words, and deeds.

Yet without the Holy Spirit it is hopeless for us and our prayers.

Jesus was a different kind of person, one who knew and followed God’s will, not his own will made to appear to be God’s will. Rather Jesus knew, followed, and received nourishment by following.

Sometimes it is not hard to think that we are more like Hansel and Gretel trying to find the bread crumbs of Jesus, and receiving mere snippets of nourishment for the little treasures we find, sometimes most unexpectedly on what we thought was certainly not a path Jesus ever trod or sent us out on to tread one step at a time.

The most precious gift we receive from the Holy Spirit is to see, hear, and touch the presence of Jesus in our lives each day, in the most unexpected manners.

To see, we look …

To hear, we listen …

To touch, we reach out ….

Another day, this day, and we pray nourish us Jesus, with your bread of life and the gifts of the Holy Spirit most precious.


Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Beauty of God’s Grace



In the Holy Spirit’s

Working In Us

Judges 5:3

Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes; to the Lord I will sing, I will make melody to the Lord, the God of Israel.

Philippians 4:5

Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.

Words of Grace For Today

It doesn’t take much to be gentle, …

not really.

It just takes everything we can possibly give to …

to respond to …

well …

to respond with Grace …

with gentle Grace to …

to respond with gentle Grace to all the evil that other people throw at us, on top of us, and under us so that we can do no other than slip and slide to our demise.

Yet … first God responds to us and all our sins with gentle Grace,

gentle Grace …

ah gentle Grace meets our sins though we do not deserve anything of it at all,

not at all, and then

because God so responds to us we have hope …

we have some hope of responding with gentle Grace.

It takes more from us than we can possibly give, and only have some hope of responding gently as the Holy Spirit holds, guides and enlivens us with what we simply cannot find for ourselves,

unconditional love.

Ahh, as the sun rises and sets we simply cannot find unconditional love except as God gives it to us and as others, by God’s Grace, extend it to us and for us.

So gently it comes to us.

And so gently God gives us all that is needed to give gentle Grace to others.

Harsh & Costly Interruptions of Grace

Monday, February 21, 2022

See the Light,

Hear the Word,

Rejoice With Our Hearts:

God IS With Us


Keep Running From God

and the Truth

Isaiah 53:11

Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

Colossians 2:10

You have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority.

Words of Grace For Today

Headstrong as we all are, we need some rigorous interruption to our daily routine, to the expected, to the unrighteousness of our lives that we’ve come to rely on in order to make our way forward.

That’s what the suffering servant, and many who have followed who have sacrificed themselves to give others life, and what God in the life of Jesus has done for all: they have interrupted the usual and expected flow of selfishness with their own sacrifice that gives others life. Their sacrifice is simple to describe. They put themselves in the way of corrupt people and powers who seek a scapegoat for their own corruption, lies, and destruction of others … and all manner of sins that clog up the flow of life with their own shtako. These corrupt people easily lie about an innocent person in order to gain some catharsis for the strain the overflow and damming (and damning) their own sins spew across their own lives.

Then as the innocent person is destroyed, the strain of the shtako in their own lives seems to be relieved. Yet it is not at all, not at all. In fact it deepens the clogged up piles that impede life, honest life, blessed life as God created us to live it. … until another innocent scapegoat is slammed into jail or poverty or derision and eventually death.

This seems to be the regular rhythm and rhyme of life … over and over again … and no one seems to care or notice that the innocent are some of the best people alive … until they are no longer.

When God sacrificed life in the death of God-Jesus, God sent a clear message: NO FURTHER SCAPEGOATS ARE REQUIRED for life to flow onward, for the goodness of life to be lived, for the overwhelming, clogging and damning sins of so many to be forgiven.

God dies.

God dies to interrupt our usual.

God dies to interrupt our usual scapegoating to save us from our sins, and to save all those we would scapegoat.

And yet so many people simply cannot bear the thought that God knows their sins, so they keep scapegoating innocent people, and innocent people are jailed, slammed into poverty and derision, and eventually killed … all for nothing more than a temporary cathartic relief of actual, overwhelming, damning and destructive guilt.

Woe to those who continue to scapegoat the innocent!

But for those who have ears, for those who have eyes, for those who have hearts …

ears to hear God’s Word,

eyes to see Christ’s Light,

hearts to receive and live out God’s unconditional love for us all …

For those who the Holy Spirit has given ears, eyes and hearts to receive God, God blesses us with God’s presence each day, each moment … no matter the false convictions, poverty, derisions, or death wishes aimed at us …

and we live lives as God intended us to live them: honest, grateful, generous, forgiving, and steadfast … and as required, self-sacrificial.

A Day of Rest, God’s Way.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

We are blessed to be blessings for generations to come

Reflecting God’s Promises of Grace for All

One Day At A Time.

Genesis 26:4

I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, and will give to your offspring all these lands; and all the nations of the earth shall gain blessing for themselves through your offspring.

Galatians 4:28

Now you, my friends, are children of the promise, like Isaac.

Words of Grace For Today

When the earth was inhabited by very few people the promise of offspring was a tremendous promise. Abraham and Sarah receive this promise from God, along with the promise of the land, land flowing with milk and honey.

Isaac is their son, the beginning of the offspring who will be as numerous as the stars of heaven.

For each of us, the promise that Jesus brings to us at our baptisms is that we not only receive the promise given to Abraham and Sarah, but that we are the offspring just as Isaac was. In us God begins the blessing for and of generations.

Not only are we blessed, but we are made to be blessings for every other person alive and for all generations to come.

Not that we need worry about the burden of carrying all the hope of future generations. The Holy Spirit is with us and working to bring us to each task, each person, each hope that we need bring to others. It’s a huge job, and it’s a wonderfully completed task, completed by God through us.

Stiff-necked People, God’s Fierce Anger

Saturday, February 19, 2022

All Our Own Proud Work

Is Nothing

If We Do Not Work

Out of God’s Unconditional Love

For Us and All People.

2 Chronicles 30:8

Do not now be stiff-necked as your ancestors were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary, which he has sanctified for ever, and serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger may turn away from you.

Luke 14:15

One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, ‘Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!’

Words of Grace For Today

Yield ourselves to the Lord, do not be stiff-necked as our ancestors were.

Great words of advice, and if the reward for yielding and not being stiff-necked is to have God’s fierce anger turn away from us, well…

well then, who in their right mind would ever be stiff-necked, and who in their right minds would not yield to the Lord??!!

Except we do all the time, holding our own rights up high, our own abilities out in front of our journeys in life, our own accomplishments of wealth, power, renown, and all else we are proud of and depend on each day to provide us security from the vagaries of life’s journey. Our own accomplishments are of course reached by stomping on others, taking from others, ensuring others remain oppressed, persecuted, abused, disadvantaged, cast out and not wealthy, powerful, or of great renown.

Ahh, we humans and our little games of stealing life from others so that we can have more … but

but more of what?

More security we think, but it can disappear in a flash.

More solid reputation we think, but our underbellies just keep getting bigger and bigger and more and more vulnerable and the chance of us being exposed as frauds and cruel people grows with each of our efforts to secure our own journeys.

More power we think! More wealth we think! But power and wealth can disappear overnight when we are not alert or even as we are watching very alert.

Even so all our wealth, power, renown, and security, and all that we have accumulated and accomplished for ourselves still leaves us as failures, empty shells of the living, creative, loving, enterprising creatures God created us to be … and there remains a void in our heart of hearts, at the centre of our minds, and in the space all around us … no matter what we try to fill our hearts, minds and spaces with. We simply are not made to be filled with anything other than …

other than, well, adoration for our God and Creator:

an adoration that brings us to yield at each step to God’s will.

an adoration that brings us to sacrifice ourselves (yielding even our stiff-necked pride) so that all other people will have the necessities of life, and so that all other people will know God’s unconditional love … through us.

an adoration that brings us joy even as we face the greatest challenges in life and the worst attacks by our enemies.

And we will have enemies, if we practice God’s unconditional love for all people, because God’s love exposes the futility and destruction inherent in the common human way of accomplishing our own journeys at other’s great costs.

God’s fierce anger is what God’s love looks like to stiff-necked people, because God’s love dissolves into ashes and dust all that we think we have accomplished, freeing us from the false securities which own us. The more we rely on our own accomplishments the more we lose, the more we fear losing, the more we attack those who love unconditionally.

God save us and help us to yield everything we are and can do to your unconditional, self-sacrificial love for which you have created us.