A World of Deep Darkness … Lit Brightly by Christ

Monday, November 1, 2021

The Darkness and Cold Will Come Soon.

So Prepare With Hard Work


Trust the Light of Christ

to Guide and Heal Us.

Isaiah 9:2

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.

John 16:24

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

Words of Grace For Today

November is the month when the short days, long nights reach their 4 month long dark winter, lack of light, phase. As one who suffers a slight attitude problem with extended darkness (slight SADS) I prepare well, plan to be in the daylight as much as possible, and save for gasoline to run the generator to supply electricity for the many lights set to stun the living daylights back into me. I often unscrew a few bulbs from the set of 8 that shine from each end of my warm space (warm if the furnace is burning hot enough!)

Before I heard about and understood the effect of the lack of sunlight on my mind, I loved to joke about the darkness, and about the light at the end of the tunnel. … I still do, though now the humour is a bit darker, since I know ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’ is most likely a freight train of Covid19 delayed goods, running late and fast and long and heavy, coming this way … and we’ve got no where to go to get out of the tunnel, so throwing ourselves between the tracks on the dirty ties, and keeping our heads down is probably the best way to survive what’s coming at us. Except keeping our heads down pretty much means giving up on life until the train leaves us in the tunnel in the dark, marching, marching, marching over the ties to get out of the tunnel. The advice fits well: when you find yourself having/having-been marched into hell, keep moving until you are out!

This is only a caricature of the deep shtako that so many people through history and in so many places have found themselves. It is the deep darkness that Isaiah and many others speak about. It is the darkness that can be forced upon us by our reaction to the dark seasons, by other people’s intent to destroy and de-story us, and by the cascading and accumulating effects of sins massed into evil that simply consumes all life in its wake.

We need the promise that Isaiah and so many others have provided: on them and on us a great light has shined. Even in the darkness consuming us and those around us, there is a light that shines, a great light that shines in every darkness, a light that exposes and overcomes all darkness: every lie, every deceit, every greedy theft, and even death. It is the light of Christ.

This light provides us simple respite from the darkness: we ask. Jesus delivers. We live in the light and are the saints who reflect Christ’s light to all around us.

November is the month when the short days, long nights reach their 4 month long dark winter, lack of light, phase. There is a light that overcomes all darkness, and we are God-made saints who get to reflect that light in the darkness to all people around.

Christ has dealt with all our past sins. Christ has overcome all the past evil and darkness. Christ has prepared us and all the saints for every coming darkness no matter how dark it gets.

That’s a promise to live out today! Work hard for the coming winter. Prepare well. And always trust Christ to be with with us, no matter what comes!

Odor or Audor

Wednesday, October 20, 2021


Even in the Dark

God Provides Light for Us

Genesis 8:21

When the Lord smelt the pleasing odour, the Lord said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.

Titus 2:11-12

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly.

Words of Grace For Today

The inclination of our hearts is evil from our youth.

What happens next is … well … our history of destroying one another in the most creative and repetitive ways.

Kind of a mess.

So God decides to fix it all and start over. Come waters all and flood the evil people to death. God plans to start over … so Noah, the righteous man and his family, along with two of every kind of animal on earth are loaded into an ark, that will float out the flood. Noah and company find dry land when the waters recede and they give a wonderful aroma wafting offering as thanks to God.

God is pleased, and promises never to flood away the evil inclinations of all the human hearts, ever again. (Thank God for that, and for Noah for reminding God that we might be worth the bother.)

Bother is what God does, and God sends Jesus to demonstrate clearly the inclination of God’s heart is to be gracious and provide salvation to us all.

A huge bother, costing Jesus his life, though it does actually provide the greatest salvation for us that we could ever imagine.

Worldly passions and all kinds of all impiety do not hold a candle in comparison to God’s gracious gift of salvation for us.

A little gratitude can fill our lives and spill over to many people around us. It’s not the trickle down theory, leaving those under the trickle with less than those on top. It is the overfull blessing that is equally generous to all.

God provides everything we need: promises we can count on, and generosity we can share with everyone.

Adversity and True Strength

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Life is a series of reflections

on us.

What have we,

What will we,


for others to enjoy an abundant life?

Isaiah 48:10

See, I have refined you, but not like silver; I have tested you in the furnace of adversity.

Luke 6:22-23

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

Words of Grace For Today

This life may be terrible and even horrendous, but it will be all right in heaven, so this is all right, too, right?

What doesn’t kill you, makes you strong, right?

Too often these rather stupid simplifications of valid ideas are used as excuses to allow psychological or physical violence and abuse to continue. The truth is there are scars from many things that do not make one stronger.

Perhaps the worse use of these is to justify that some people can enjoy great wealth, privilege, and comfort, while others struggle to stay alive, and others die very ignoble deaths, all in order to make the ‘chosen’ few able to be wealthy, privileged, and comfortable.

God did not make creation for us to live in a while and then escape from it’s injustices to heaven. God made all of creation, saw the accomplished work of creating, and said, “It is Good!”

Life for all people is designed to be GOOD!

GOOD does not mean without pain or suffering evil, for then there is also no possibility to love and experience joy. Pain and suffering – and – love and joy are part and parcel of the kind of life God created us for.

We live and love and experience joy. Some day the people we love will suffer and die. We will then also suffer and experience pain.

And it is all Good.

It is true that those who enjoy wealth, privilege, and comforts now at the expense of others being able to live abundant lives will, for eternity, suffer their choices to be blind and deaf to what they do to others.

It is also true that those who suffer and know only pain, will for eternity be released from that horrible kind of experience and they will know joy forever.

Our lives here and now are not to simply accept all suffering and pain as necessary. It is to work as hard as we can to mitigate and minimize all pain and suffering, to provide an abundant life for everyone!

That’s a life full and long of hard, dedicated work of love, not the sentimental kind of love, the real kind of love that puts one into action and pulls one to sacrifice so that others can live well.

What makes us strong, truly strong, is to know that even as we suffer and are in pain God walks with us, still creating, still seeing all that God does through us, and God says, “It is Good.”

Therefore we know that already today all will be well, all will be well, all manner of things will be well.

Choice Stock, Broken Stock

Friday, March 26, 2021

Where Will This Day Take Us?

The First Step is Always

Confess, Repent, and Be Gratefully Gracious

Jeremiah 2:21

Yet I planted you as a choice vine, from the purest stock. How then did you turn degenerate and become a wild vine?

Revelation 2:5

Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

Words of Grace For Today

Humble pie, these readings are for today.

God creates us good, choice vines from the purest stock.

We degenerate and become wild vines, producing little good!

We have fallen from the greatness that God created us to be, to live out in creation.

What are we to do?

The most common human response is …


No, we are not that bad. No, we have not fallen. No, God did not create us to be good only.

And on go our denials, some quite marvellous in their creativity.

What is God to do?

We expect that God will punish us, removing our lampstands, unless we return to being good and doing good works.

This expectation is more denial. It is not just that we have fallen. We cannot rescue ourselves or ever again but sin, behave as wild vines, fail to do the good works that God created us for to do.

Doch, God does not punish us. God has mercy on us and is prodigiously gracious with us. God forgives us. God promises to forgive us. God invites us to face reality. God invites us to repent.

To repent is to turn about: we cannot ‘turn about’ and be and do good; but we can ‘turn about’ our pride and arrogance that denies our prolific sins. We can acknowledge, confess, and rely solely on God’s forgiveness … and then move forward relying solely on God’s Grace each day, each moment.

We become humble, grateful, and gracious with ourselves and others.

We recognized that we are broken, somewhat repaired, vessels that carry in our brokenness witness to God’s overwhelming mercy, grace, and love for us (and for all people, and for all creation).

Creation needs our good hard work. We need our hard, diligent, and good work … for our own survival and for the survival of all other people … and more than survival we work to provide abundant life for all people.

This day has it’s fullness waiting.

Are we ready to repent … and let God guide us to (with joyful thanks) accomplish the work that is ours this day?

God! Where ARE YOU?!

Saturday, March 20, 2021

W hen the dark storms of evil threaten …

Judges 6:13

Gideon answered him, ‘But sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, “Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?” But now the Lord has cast us off, and given us into the hand of Midian.’

Mark 4:38

But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’

Words of Grace For Today

Why is this happening to us?

Where is God?

Does God not care?

When unjust judges take life from us …

When the one who said, ‘I love you. Marry me?’, turns on you with physical violence or worse (because it is unseen) psychological gaslighting, lying to police and to church and to courts, destroying your reputation, leaving you so far in debt you will never get out, and your health plummets into pain and disarray …

When friends, bishops, and seemingly good people join the gaslighting as if you were a social pariah or dangerous sexual deviant, scapegoating you instead of dealing with their own failings to deal with reality and truth …

When there are no friends left to stand by you …

When flood waters wash away your home and life and hope …

When wildfires rage wiping out your home and life and hope …

When petty warlords churn your homeland into a war-wasted horror of death, bombs, night raids and killings, rape, torture, and dread of your neighbour falsely (or rightly) betraying you bringing death squads to your door to take you away never to be seen again …

When powers turn on your way of life, destroy it, and work to extract resources and power from your home land, leaving masses of your people without the necessities of life …

When you have lived in the wilderness for years, eking out a living of a kind, and you read of the wondrous deeds of God, as God saved our ancestors from these, similar and other worse assaults on their lives,

Then you and we will rightly ask, “God! Where are You!?! Do you not care for us!? Will you not save us, NOW! Before it is too late!”

Gideon asked this for his people. In time, as God instructed him, ((his ‘army’ blew the trumpets marching around Jericho, bringing down it’s walls, delivering it and then the rest of the Promised Land into their hands. — That was not Gideon. That was God delivering Joshua and the people. God did this so many times.))

In time, as God instructed him, Gideon with just a small army, drove out a great army and captured it’s kings … using surprise and loud noise making.

The disciples asked this as the storm of un-creation on the sea tossed their small boat about at whim between the tall waves and battered it with wind. They knew their deaths into the deep of the void (what was before creation) was imminent. Jesus wakes and speaks only a word. The un-creation void of the deep waters and winds of the storm settle into the fresh breeze and calm waters on which life was sustainable as the fishers knew so well.

God may not resolve the danger that threatens our lives. God is not a puppeteer, interrupting our freewill and others’ freewill as we choose our ragged paths forward in life through creation and human-made un-creation as we go (which we and others must then try to survive if it possible at all!)

God loves us.

God stands with us.

God suffers and weeps with us … at the loss of any of creation and any of God’s creatures … for God loves creation and all in it, and created it GOOD!

God does give us, sometimes, the possibilities to struggle against the evil that threatens us and to survive. If we live, God is with us. If we die, God is with us and gathers us home … home at last.

So whether we live or whether we die, we are God’s beloveds, blessed and grateful for whatever life we get to live in this miracle of creation!

God does not ever abandon us. Not ever. Not even during a pandemic. The stories of God rescuing our ancestors provides us witness to God’s love and care.

Thus, no matter how great the waves of evil pound over us, we do not lose hope.

As we live, we are God’s people who stand with others as the great waves of evil pound over them.

This is love. This is grateful, hope-filled living.

This is life abundant.

Like the Moon

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Like the Moon in the sky and in the water,

We may think we choose our way,

Doch God guides us and inspires us

to live as reflectors of Christ’s Light!

Proverbs 16:9

The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.

2 Corinthians 3:5

Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God.

Words of Grace For Today

Who are we?

We are fallible and arrogant, needing reminders regularly of how fragile our grasp on reality, truth, and goodness are.

We are able to give God all God is due: our lives in service to others so that they may experience and know the Grace of God which gives us renewed life, even though we deserve nothing but condemnation and expulsion to the emptiness of the Void.

Rather than giving us what we are due, God forgives us, redeems us, renews us and sanctifies us so that we can reflect the Light of the World to all in need.

It is only because God so constantly renews us and makes us holy (sanctifies us) that we are able to do anything good.

The human tendency is to forget God, God’s gifts, and claim all that is good is our own doing. This is a foolish error that costs us so much each day, and it costs so many other people so much each day.

We may think we make plans that we are capable of carrying out. So it is only with sinful plans! Any good plans we make, as well as the steps we take, are possible only because God has saved us from ourselves and through the Holy Spirit permeating our being inspires us to things so much better than we could ever do or imagine on our own.

God does not control us like a puppeteer. God inspires us, and if Luther is correct, we can at most surrender to doing what God asks of us and moves us to be and do. We, on the other hand, have free will (not to do good) only to do sinful and evil things, selfish things, destructive things, common things … and then lie to ourselves about how ‘good’ our evil ways are.

Oh, God, save us from our own sin, and the deceptions that allow us to think we can be anything without you! (Like thinking we can plan our own good way.)

God, help us to see the wonders of being and doing as you inspire and enable us.

God, help us extend this same Grace to all other people, sinful and evil as they are.

The Light of Love Gets In

Monday, March 8, 2021

We may not see the Light

for the Wilderness.

God’s Light is always there

to guide us …


to God.

2 Chronicles 14:10

Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up their lines of battle in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Words of Grace For Today

We humans are so ready to test our strength against others, to draw up the battle lines, to commence fighting to gain what we want.

We do not need warriors or real war. We create battles, with battle lines, against those who stand in our way. So it is in a world run on greed.

Our world runs on greed.

God’s creation, the Kingdom of God, runs otherwise. It is not our strength that wins us anything. It is God’s strength that brings life to all people, not just mere struggling to survive kind of life, but life abundant. God does this by giving away God’s favour freely, generously, unconditionally.

The way God’s way of living, by Grace alone, becomes clear to us living in a world of greed only when we allow our weaknesses to be the opportunities that God’s strength is made obvious for all.

God accepts our weaknesses, pays whatever price we think needs be paid, and sets us on our way to be renewed, living in God’s favour. Thus we are able to reflect in our way of living the Grace and unconditional love that God created the world to live on.

In today’s world the greedy and ‘strong’ prey on those who are ‘weak’ to gain advantage for themselves. In today’s Kingdom of God the saints pray for the greedy and the weak that they will see God’s Grace at work in life all around them, and join the work of the saints in light.

The saints work is to be the faith that will give hope to the coming generations; our weaknesses do not separate us from God. As Leonard Cohen penned well enough in his song Anthem, “It’s through the cracks the Light gets in.”

Second Wednesday in Lent

The Light, The Light!

In Response to

a reflection on God’s Promise given to Sarai and Abraham: descendants, and their new God-given names:

3 questions

1. What does this encounter-renaming-promise-of-blessing have to do with us today, in a pandemic wherein so many people are Querdenkers (reality deniers – eg ‘I’m done with this Covid!’) in order to get by, or are sinking, sinking into despair, addiction, abuse, cruelty, or being overwhelmed as the demands to be creative cannot be even begun with.

2. It is said in various and many ways ‘old age is a dry or fruitless time of life.’ Can those in this time of life at all agree: yes physically and mentally ‘little deaths’ rear their ugly heads and steal bits of us from us*DOCH Is this not the most fruitful time of life when the wisdom that one has discovered as a teen and onward start to be proven as wisdom indeed? Is this not the time of life when the penultimate things (and the even less important things) of life recede into the background and the ultimate takes not only front and centre stage, but inspires one to see how God is present (as sacramental as ever) in the mundane and simple … the ordinarily super-beautiful small things**

* – Let’s not talk about the GERDS or sciatica that disturb my rest! or the looming cancer – So I can no longer sit to read and write, doch now I can stand at a new (creatively crafted from coffee cans and plywood) makeshift desk to type and read.

** Quickly given examples: pine cones shredded by a squirrel scattered beneath a tree – evidence that in the -35⁰ temperatures God provides also for these little creatures, or the sunsets and sunrises that shower specular light everywhere transforming the dull into the means of Grace (on par with God sanctifying sinners with God’s most marvellous glory), or the northern lights of greens and purples dancing across the cold sky of infinite stars sending light from millions of years ago?


3. Is the so ordinary, familiar Lenten reflection provided on Abram and Sarai’s encounter with God, the advanced years of both, the promise of children numerous, the laughter … is this a reflection that while this time may seem so unique and demanding for us, for God it is ordinary, already many times having occurred, and it can be taken by us simply ‘in the flow’ of God’s promises and presence.

Which reminds me of the story of the rabbi who refused to join the council of the synagogue. Pressed he relented (seasonally appropriate) and agreed he would join, but he would attend only when there was something new to deal with. Something ‘new’ arises, they seek his attendance, he points out that this ‘new’ thing is addressed in the writings of this or that revered rabbi. Another ‘new’ thing arises … and it repeats many times. Each time the rabbi shows that the ‘new’ thing is rather ‘old’. The rabbi is not required ever to attend council.

Doch, God does do new things with us, as Abram and Sarai are given new names (new essence, new identity by God) as Abraham and Sarah.

God does wonderfully new things in order that we will recognize who we are, who God is, and God’s enduring attitude of Grace toward us and all creation. It is the same old, old story of Jesus and his love.

Which is always new when it is shared as Grace and hope in love.

Can We Sinners Live Wisely and Gently?

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

In the Darkness of Sin,

We May Not Know How to Live Well!

Sanctified, We Can Learn to Live

Wisely and Gently

As the Holy Spirit Guides Us.

Psalm 119:66

Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.

James 3:13

Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.

Words of Grace For Today

After we recognize our own hopeless sinfulness, which God redeems at great cost, forgiving us and renewing life in us, and that we need God’s forgiveness constantly, for we simply cannot stop sinning, then the question is how are we going to live?

The measure we humans have held up returns us right back into works righteousness, as if God suddenly has made us able not to sin, so that we must preform or lose God’s favour and blessings. These two passages certainly could be interpreted that way … making it easy for us to dismiss them.

There is more to it than that.

Once sanctified (made saints by God), though we continue to sin, God pulls out of us great works that further God’s will and work on earth among humans and for creation. Most simply put, God’s willa and work is that God’s Grace is demonstrated to more and more people, and more and more people embrace the cross as God’s demonstration of God’s love for all people; forgiveness, redemption and new life is for everyone. We can live to cooperate with God’s will, or we can constantly choose to defy God’s will and live as if God does not exist, has not created us, does not forgive, redeem and renew us, and as if we can go it alone.

We can go it alone … right to our own damnation, choosing to separate ourselves from God. God still comes to us, forgives us, redeems us, renews us … except at some point God allows us to have our way … and the hell we have created for ourselves is the hell we live forever. At what point this happens is not anything we can know. But that it happens we can know: we can choose to deny God’s good work in us.

How else can we live? There are options that God makes possible for us. Wisdom is one of them.

We can pray: Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.

We can live each day so that our God-given wisdom and understanding is evident in our works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.

These passages then speak to how we can pursue wisdom in our daily lives, not to our own benefit, but to the benefit of everyone around us. They speak of our penultimate striving that God make possible for us.

Always Darkness in Corrupt Power, Light in Christ

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Even in the darkest of nights and tribulations
God provides a promise of Light

Christ’s Light

To reveal all Truth and Grace

1 Kings 8:59-60

Let these words of mine, with which I pleaded before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires; so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.

Revelation 15:4

Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgements have been revealed.

Words of Grace For Today

Bill Hordern wrote:

Therefore, as Reinhold Niebuhr saw so clearly, governments are never simply a protection against injustice, they are also strongholds of injustice. Although the Christians ought to seek to have the government protect the weak from the strong, in fact most governments tend to protect the strong from the weak. The sword is wielded to maintain the status quo and all its inequities. Therefore, we should be prepared to see that service to God rather than to man may sometimes bring us into conflict with the rulers over many more matters than just the niceties of theological doctrine or ecclesiastical practice. (Living by Grace p.195)

These words were quoted by a now bishop in a text study decades ago. This year a good pastor added: Hence the wisdom from the theology of the survivors of WW2, and the wisdom of the Civil rights warriors like John Lewis who said:Get into good trouble!’

It is as true today as ever, and especially here at home in Alberta, Canada. A partner Gaslights her partner, children lie, a pastor lies and schemes with the police to gather false reports, and to harass the target. Many false reports, false arrests, lies upon lies already and charges are laid. Church leaders lie to the RCMP. A petition to the court is made to protect the children. It is not only ignored and defeated and used as a ‘blood sport’ weapon against the good, honest, and kind (though not perfect) father to ruin his reputation, drive him so far into debt he will never get out of it, and to drive him homeless. Blatantly corrupt lawyers and their assistants bald face lie to the courts. Prosecutors lie to the Courts. Witnesses blatantly lie to the courts. Dozens of judges deal with the matters, those at crucial turns in the process blatantly lie about the evidence against (most of it lies already) the good father, and even about the evidence for the good father. He is falsely convicted, jailed where his life is threatened – mostly by the staff, and even by a nurse who administers a badly needed drug that has to be ingested with food, and denies him food for more than a half hour – it’s a miracle his stomach does not develop an ulcer – though he survives protected by a host of inmates and a few guards who do not want the old man needlessly hurt.

Denied support the good, honest, and kind father, Gaslit beyond imagination, is driven homeless. His body starts to fail, and he seeks the healing power of solitude and wilderness. He survives despite continuing efforts to kill him by courts, lawyers, and always his ex.

He prays daily in thanks for all he has, especially breath and health and love and work but especially for solitude during Covid 19. The most dangerous thing now is the contact he must have directly with people as most people are in flat out angry denial that Covid 19 is to be taken seriously.

The sin of so many people that has brought him thus far are too many to track, many remain hidden and unknown. This cannot be the first time such gaslighting, police harassment, blatantly false evidence by police and witnesses, false convictions and corrupt rulings, cruel games played by judges to hide they lies in their judgments, and persistent efforts are mounted to kill a good, honest, kind father. It is done so well, so practiced, so effective, so well hidden, with such disdain for truth and without fear of being caught out.

So this good, honest, kind father, now a holy hermit is me. I have forgiven my ex who is surely a borderline personality disordered person, and bound all other’s sins, known and unknown. Now I have prayed daily for God to bring the truth to light, and to deal with truth and justice and grace with those sins and sinners.

So I read today’s passage as if I had written it myself and know that I certainly not the first person to be so treated by other people. We humans really have a tremendous capacity to be cruel to others, and our methods really have not changed all that much since … well since the beginning of recorded history.

Still I pray knowing countless others have, do and pray the same with me:

Let these words of mine, with which I pleaded before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires; so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.

For then

Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgements will have been revealed.

That day is eagerly awaited, and until then we all trust that the Kingdom of God is near, God walks with us, even us homeless, gaslit, kind people who are so far surviving the sword of the powerful and corrupt which is wielded to maintain the status quo and all its inequities.

As member Jones said after one of many false arrests, Do you know why I do this? … Because I can.

But God will stop even this evil, in God’s time.