Day by Day, Night by Night.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

For the Love of God …

follow where Jesus leads.

Psalm 19:2

Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.

Revelation 14:7

He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.’

Words of Grace For Today

Day to day, and

Night to night …

There is a lot that comes at us day after day and night after night …

There are so many things by which we can orient ourselves as we face what comes!

Some promise a reward sometime in the distant future, some in the near future, some even in the just about to be present – almost instant rewards, but none live up to their promises and give us life, abundant life, except …

except when we orient ourselves first and foremost by a proper fear of God. It’s the kind of fear that gives God all the glory for everything good. God deserves our worship. We deserve to be people who give God glory and worship, along with all of creation.

except if we orient ourselves completely out of fear for God, we become pretty useless, reduced to fear responses for everything we do, which leaves us decaying into puddles of reptilian responses to everything: freeze, flight, or fight.

And these response do not involve our whole brain, our whole hearts, our whole being, all given to us by a God that loves us.

Martin Luther taught us well that ‘we are to fear and love God ….’

That love part gives us something by which to orient ourselves day and night, which bring our whole mind, heart and being in to play as we live, and by God’s Grace can choose to:

listen,

learn,

forgive,

love,

and

hope,

so that many, many other people can see how great life is when we live it oriented by our fear and love of God.

God’s judgment will come, day by day, night by night and

by God’s promise made to us in our baptisms we know that all our sins will be set aside and Jesus’ pure and righteous record will replace ours …

and we will be saved,

day by day and night by night.

At Great Cost We Are Healed

Saturday, January 15, 2022

We Find Our Way

No Matter the Challenges

Since Jesus Himself

Makes Us

Whole

Isaiah 53:5

He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

2 Corinthians 5:21

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Words of Grace For Today

We can of course try really hard to make things right, for ourselves, and for others if we are so inclined to care, though I’ve met some people as I’m sure you have, who do not want to make it right for others at all, not at all. They make it as bad for others as they can, with lies, corruption, and false convictions.

Our efforts to make it right are simply not enough, not ever. We cannot make it right, not right enough, no matter how hard we try. God help us,

literally, for there simply is no other way to make it right, not right enough.

Jesus, though, has already made it right, very right, more than right, for Jesus makes everything right for us with God, and then …

then everything is right for us.

And those people who want to do us as much destruction as possible are kept far enough away that we are safe, as safe as ever, as safe as ever.

For our sake God made Jesus to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

So we are healed and made whole, for yet another day, another way, another life given to us again, though we certainly do not deserve it. So it is by Grace another gift of life, love and hope …

at great cost to Jesus.

Reality, Poor and Needy

Thursday, January 13, 2022

The Light,

The Path,

The Way.

Psalm 70:5

I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay!

Romans 15:5-6

May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

Most times when the disasters of life coming knocking on our doors, we seek solace and assistance from our families, if they are any good, and we have been any good to them.

When the biggest disasters hit, though our families may be there to help us, it is to God that we turn and cry ‘hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay!’

We hope that in all our times and in all our ways we will learn to ‘live in harmony with’ our family, so that when we need them or when they need us, together we will be the hands and arms of God which can offer them help and deliverance, for all in need.

Our prayer for this day, and every Thursday, is for all our families, that the God of steadfastness and encouragement will bring us through each day safely, keep our hearts and minds at peace with ourselves and with each other, and inspire us to see God’s goodness in each other and to be that goodness ourselves, with gratitude for all God gives us each day.

We begin by remembering who we are; we are poor and needy, as each day begins … and only God gives us more.

Travellers, All

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Where Ever Our Paths Take Us.

Hold Us In Your Hands.

Jeremiah 10:10

The Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.

Matthew 11:25

At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants.

Words of Grace For Today

We all have places to go, if not that we actually go, then places to which we wish we could go.

Some of us dream of seeing the greatest man-made wonders: the great wall of China, the pyramids in Egypt, and in space the ISS. Or the wondrous features of earth: Siberia’s expanses, the ice shelves of Antarctica, the tundras of north Canada, the Grand Canyon, or … we each have our own list.

Many of us, though, have lesser places to go. Some of us must go on regular trips for business or family, and others of us have options to go places (or we wish we had the option.)

As we travel and others travel, we remember how powerful God is, that at God’s wrath the earth quakes. We remember that the greatest truths of God’s creation God does not reveal to the people who proclaim themselves ‘wise and intelligent’. Rather God reveals the greatest truths to the supposed ‘infants’ of this earth, the supposed ‘foolish’, ‘guilty’, and ‘outsiders’.

Today we remember all these travellers, supposed wise and God’s own children, and pray that God will accompany each traveller, on the way there, and on the way back, so that all travellers will live well before and after each trip that must be, and each trip that we choose to make.

We, also, pray that together we will remember how our trips cost the earth in CO emissions, and all of us a bit of our future, and a bit more for our future generations.

God, be merciful to us, as we poison the very earth you created for us to live on, as we travel to and fro.

Father and Mother, What is Special About This …

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Only A Moose Makes Tracks

Across the -30⁰ and Colder Lake,

While We Remember What We Have Heard

Of God’s Word.

What is special, is that we remember how God ….

Isaiah 31:1

Alas for those who go down to Egypt for help and who rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!

Hebrews 2:1

Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.

Words of Grace For Today

Rest.

Today instead of looking to ‘Egypt of might and horses many and chariots strong’, not even when these things of might, many and strength in our lives are carried by so many and various ways of working, of securing money, favour, and power, of being our own people, today

yes

today

we rest.

We rest in the Promises of God,

The Gifts of God,

The Saints of God,

The Forgiveness of God,

The Grace of God,

The Generosity of God,

The Love of God,

The Faith given to us by God,

and

The hope, that

that all things will be well, all things will be well, all manner of things will be well,

because,

All manner of things are already, today, by God’s Word that Creates, Sustains, and Renews,

by God’s Will, all things are already today well, quite well,

quite well indeed.

Faith, Hope … and Life Now!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Tracks Lead Us To Places Unknown

Always We Walk Not Alone,

for God Walks with Us.

Job 16:19

Even now, in fact, my witness is in heaven, and he that vouches for me is on high.

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Words of Grace For Today

It’s a quiet day ahead, for a cold winter Saturday, following many cold, cold days …

and not a little frustration with people who live by full disregard for truth, and who seek my death, sooner than later, but slowly so the suffering continues and they can be pleased with their sadistic efforts. It’s one thing to have one’s ex after you, it’s another to have the courts helping her. There is always more injustice than justice, more evil than good, and more death of good people (and not enough of evil people?)

How to remain hopeful that the future will be better?

Well, that is actually a futilely placed question,

for one cannot hope that the future will be better.

The only thing one can do is live well in the present, in the face of evil to be gracious and good. In the face of those who wish one dead, to live joyously.

The moments are not rare when the spectacular works of God can be seen here and now, they require only that one has ears to hear and eyes to see … and hearts to celebrate life with gratitude.

We have faith and hold to it as the future moves into the present and then the past. That faith is not something we conjure up or make or assemble … no in any way.

Faith is a gift … a gift freely given by God to us. Therefore it will never fail, nor succumb to evil of any kind or quantity.

Facing evil, God vouches for us saints, and there is no surer witness. More we do not need.

Therefore we see the future, not as something that need be better, but rather as more of the present gifts God gives us: that we are vouched for, and we can live gracious and gratefully and generously …

in this present moment

each moment

of each day, even today.

Holy Ground! Come No Closer!

Monday, December 6, 2021

This Could Be

The Hermit’s Holy Ground,

If One is Faithful

And Ears to Hear and Eyes to See.

Exodus 3:5

Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’

Hebrews 12:28

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe.

Words of Grace For Today

It was 2 am, and every sensible person was asleep or working the graveyard shift. Not Porgy. An alcoholic for decades with more than enough DUI’s to prove it, was drinking with his friends and when they all left at midnight he kept up by himself on the way home. At home he grabbed the left over beer and shifted from his pickup truck to his jeep. He set out to ‘run the muck around’ on crown land, except it was a foot and a half deep with snow. The better the challenge and the more fun.

He had toured all through the regular routes and left the run out to the hermit’s place for last. At 2 am his headlights off he winds onto the high road, now no longer on crown land for a ways, and follows the tracks that wind around an old basement filled with garbage and 20 year old trees, past the blocked off road above the illegal campsite sitting just 10 feet from the water of the lake, a road that can still be walked and from which the best views of sunset and fishers are enjoyed and captured by the hermit photographer. As he rounds the old deserted and abandoned camper and add-a-shack for a wood stove he guns the engine to ensure he wakes up the sleeping hermit and 50 yards later drives right through a wire that the hermit setup to slow down quads stealing wood from him. Up in the hermit’s wood yard Porgy’s jeep suddenly dies. It just stops. There Porgy sits, tries to turn the key to start the jeep but everything is black, dead, quiet.

The hermitage is holy ground. (Porgy has forgotten everything about ‘removing his sandals’ or giving God God’s due. God reminds Porgy by disabling his old jeep.)

Porgy has heard the ground is holy and not given it much credence. Now, completely dark, shut down silent, Porgy reconsiders. A light flashes down out of the sky. Porgy jumps out of his skin and prays earnestly for the first time since the last time he was drunk, “God save me!”

God has found a way to ‘speak’ to Porgy, even in his drunken haze.

It’s actually a military helicopter on an exercise, testing electronic surveillance, that God has put to use. Knowing all about Porgy’s DUI’s and alcoholism, the helicopter crew has been following his truck and then jeep for the last half hour, and having heard that the hermitage is holy ground they decide to play a bit with Porgy. They’ve remotely, temporarily shut off the jeep when they’ve known it would be safe. It was a good test of their equipment, logged and certified as effective at 500 metres.

As if in response to Porgy’s desperate prayer, the jeep lights up again. He starts it, and drives out as quietly as he can. Within days everyone hears a version of the story, Porgy’s version, how he went to visit the hermit in the evening and how God shut down his jeep as soon as he got on to the hermitage. He told everyone it must be holy ground.

Within days the military few know a different story, and they hear the story from Porgy. Only a faithful few realize that they played a part in it all, but God was at work. They realize that the hermitage really is holy ground. Humans (from his ex, the girls, the lay-pastor and bishop, the wealthiest people in town, the cops, lawyers, and more than 2 dozen judges) have sought to destroy a good, kind, and honest man, and they have only created a holy martyr, a hermit more safe from Covid than anyone of them, more blessed every day than any of them. Their practice surveillance of the area has long since established the hermit’s hard work to survive, his ingenuity, and his kindness to anyone who treads on that holy ground … and his efforts to save anyone from intruding in unholy ways on the holy ground. Their investigations of records they ‘practice’ accessing for ‘national security’ have given them enough of the completely unjustifiable effort of many different people to financially ruin him, to drive him deep into debt and poverty, and to even kill him … and the hermit’s blessed response of forgiveness to his mentally ill ex and the children and the binding of everyone else’s sins – putting their deeds over to God for judgment and offering them forgiveness if they would only but confess.

No one is holding their breath for that, since all the guilty people think no one will ever know who has done what or how.

But God knows, and a few intelligence people know, and a few honest people who listen carefully, and a whole lot of guilty people know.

That morning at 2 am, the hermit did wake up to the jeep’s engine noise, look out the window, and saw the jeep, and the light. He heard the near by helicopter and then saw Porgy start the jeep and drive away. When daylight came he went out and repaired the wire. All along, as for so many other things, the hermit gave God thanks, knowing that since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, we can give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe.

Go! And Follow! … Simple?

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

No Matter What Mess We Make

God Walks With Us

And Jesus Calls to Us to Follow

Simple.

Exodus 33:15

Moses said to the Lord, ‘If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here.’

John 10:4

When the shepherd has brought out all his own sheep, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.

Words of Grace For Today

God sends Moses and the people from Mount Sinai up into the land flowing with milk and honey. God sends Moses and the people and will not go with them, for if God does, the people are a stiff-necked people and God’s presence will consume them.

That does not bode well for the people. From here on they will have to proceed without God’s presence, which has accompanied them since they gathered to leave to cross the Red Sea and come all those years through the wilderness. This is a tremendous change, a change not for the better.

Moses understands, having spent time on the mount with God, collecting the commandments on rock tablets, has wisdom about what the people will loose if God does not continue to accompany them.

God promises to walk with us always, no matter what. So why does God want to send the people on their way … and not go with them? Are the people really so far gone, so stiff-necked that even God cannot fix it, or go with them?

The rest of the story, which is indeed worth knowing, is that Moses convinces God to go with the people, and God does. God is good for God’s promises.

The shepherd, Jesus, continues to fulfill God’s promise to us. More than that Jesus gathers his people from among all the people, and, because we know Jesus’ voice we follow Jesus.

Where we go, Jesus goes with us. More than that we know how to follow Jesus where Jesus leads us. There is nothing more blessed for us.

Living to Tell the Truth

Saturday, November 27, 2021

The Cold Hard Truth Is:

Where We’ve Walked

Is the Past

That No Lie Can Change

Psalm 17:7

Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Saviour of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.

1 Thessalonians 5:23

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

The movie Blood Diamonds, the story of Solomon Vandy, ends with a simple lesson: let us applaud those who live to tell the truth … in a world where lies reign over so many hearts, where greed drives people to perversions that move them beyond love, hope and life.

There is, as histories told, and truth written in literature and scientific studies bears witness, no end to the people who would destroy others in a vain attempt to get ahead. Ahead of what is not important other than to those who sacrifice their lives to those insignificant markers of gain, which is gain that so easily disappears, which gain eats at the hearts of those seeking it until they have no heart to love, hope or live left. Then live, a shells of humans, that only destroy and accumulate … and do not die soon enough.

For those who live as we do to tell the truth, we pray Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Saviour to those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand. For to live to tell the truth is to seek refuge in God’s hands.

The temptations are so great, to stoop to the level of those who use lies and destruction to accumulate their gain; gain that provides power, pseudo-security, comforts, and hedonistic excesses as it gulps down their hearts, minds, and strength. The temptations are great, for who would not want just a bit more control, security, comfort, and pleasure in life. Resistance is exactly like that to the Borg, it is said to be futile, until one calls on the one source of power that can save one from such temptations: God’s own blessings. Therefore …

Each day, each hour, we pray: May the God of peace himself sanctify us entirely; and may our spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We also pray that God would save our enemies, so that their perverse and relentless need to destroy us and the truth would cease, and so that they could learn to love, hope, and live again.

What We Think We Need OR What We Need?

Friday, November 26, 2021

We do not need great clarity to tell they are ducks.

Nor do we need great clarity to know

what is Evil,

Nor to remember God Promises forgiveness.

Psalm 94:9

Does not the One who planted the ear hear? Does not the One who formed the eye see?

Matthew 6:8

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Words of Grace For Today

It is all too easy to point to other people who behave in disingenuous ways, perverted ways, dishonest ways, criminal ways, and even full out evil ways.

Yes, in our pursuit to find our own way in life, we always find others who are examples for us to follow, and many more others who are examples of who we do not want to be like, examples of what we do not want to ever do.

As we pursuit our way in life, (in order to make more gains for ourselves) the temptation becomes greater and greater to do things that are less and less noble, genuine, honest, legal, and even somewhat good. Whether we admit it or not, we all fall into the trap of thinking that ‘just this one, little bad thing’ will be enough to help us make it. And then there is another, and another, until if we were able to be honest any more, we’d realize that we have become exactly what we promised ourselves we would never become.

That is the human failing, that we sin, no matter who we are, or how good we think we really are. It is the case for the alcoholic on the street, the drug dealer peddling slow death to so many, the police officer creating evidence against innocent people, the pastor who lies along with the police, the wealthiest community leaders and funders of the local churches who indulge their sexual desires with so many people by arranging for them some kind of financial benefit even so much as a place to live and a job or a few thousand each month during a monthly ‘afternoon tea’, the business woman who is as corrupt and perverted as the Russian occupiers and STASI of her youth, the judges who turn a blind eye to the corruption and perverted lies that corrupt lawyers and police offer the court and then convict innocent people (who will not toe the line of complying with power people’s wishes to keep in the dark their perverted ways), and the bishops who listen to gain information and then use that information to support whoever can deliver them enough power to remain bishop with influence in as many congregations and with as many people of money and power as possible.

The question is not whether anyone, ourselves included, have done things that God looks darkly on, sins that hurt others and separate us from God’s will for us.

The question is what we do next?

Do we admit our sin, confessing all that we’ve done, and seeking forgiveness from those we’ve hurt? 12 Step groups include this in their path they repeat over and over again in order to be honest with themselves about their addictions and how the addictions keep them from living by killing them slowly.

Or do we continue in our perverse ways of power, wealth, privilege, luxury, and greed – all at other people’s expense, even at the expense of their lives?

Do we admit, with abject humility, that God sees and hears everything that we do, say, and even think? Do we grab on to God’s promise of Grace, of forgiveness if we confess our sins?

Or do we continue to pound the life out of others with all means available to us, to extract the last bit of advantage we can from them before they die? Or do we continue in our blindness and deafness to deny that we have sinned at all, surrendering our souls to the Devil, and our lives to evil at each step?

The declarations of those who follow evil at every step about other people, false declarations made in order to deflect accountability and responsibility and exposure and honesty from catching up with their evil ways and their hearts caught by and dedicated to evil … These false declarations may appear to ruin others, innocent others, but they do not. These false declarations say nothing about their victims and instead light up for all to see, the perverted, dishonest, destructive acts of the declarers. Their false declarations about other illuminate for all to see exactly what they desperately try to conceal: their own sin and evil hearts and minds and deeds.

Those, like myself, about whom these false declarations are made, can live in peace, knowing that God sees all, God hears all, and God judges all people by the reality of their hearts, minds and deeds. Our enemies do not destroy us. They destroy themselves, for a lie once spoken, and lie relied upon, remains always to be a lie, and the lies turn back on their creators to consume them.

Thanks be to God, who provides all we need, even before we ask, so that we can live in peace, blessed peace provided for all us God-made saints.