Swimming Circles in Emptiness of Opulence

Sunday, January 31, 2021

When we have so much and still cannot share generously and freely,

We drive in circles,

leaving tracks all over others,

bearing witness to our craziness, the emptiness of our lives,

and our inability to live abundantly.

1 Chronicles 29:9

Then the people rejoiced because these had given willingly, for with single mind they had offered freely to the Lord; King David also rejoiced greatly.

2 Corinthians 9:7

Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Words of Grace For Today

Why do we give?

Why do you give?

We do not give in order to earn God’s favour. That is a futile way to earn God’s favour and a destructive way to live.

We give because 1) others are in need of what we can share, and 2) because giving cheerfully, not reluctantly or under compulsion, reflects and determines who we are and who we become.

We give because God has not left us poor!

The Sheldons were a large family in severe financial distress after a series of misfortunes. The help they received was not adequate, yet they managed their meagre income with ingenuity – and without complaint.

A new social worker in poverty-stricken Appalachia was assigned the Sheldon family and shared this story about her first visit with them.

One fall day I visited the Sheldons in their ramshackle rented house where they lived at the edge of the woods. Despite a painful physical handicap, Mr. Sheldon had shot and butchered a bear that strayed into their yard once too often. The meat had been processed into all the big canning jars they could find or swap for. There would be meat in their diet even during the worst of the winter when their fuel costs were high.

Mr Sheldon offered a jar of bear meat to me. I hesitated to accept it, but the giver met my unspoken resistance firmly. “Now you just have to take this. We want you to have it. We don’t have much, that’s a fact; but we ain’t poor!”

I couldn’t resist asking, “What’s the difference?

His answer proved unforgettable. “When you can give something away, even when you don’t have much, then you ain’t poor.When you don’t feel easy giving something away even if you got more’n you need, then you’re poor, whether you know it or not.”

Florence Ferrier Gospel Notes 2001, Brian Stoffregen, reworked KAS and TL 2004 &2020

Just because one is wealthy, powerful or famous does not mean one does not need, for one’s own well being, to give and give generously. Even King David joined the people in giving and in rejoicing!

As for people that are so flush with luxury and comfort that they have forgotten that others are in need, and who are so poor the hoard their untold wealth, only God can deal with them. We cannot nor do we need to deal with them. That’s one more blessing for which we can be grateful to God!

The Morning After

Saturday, January 30, 2021

The final mile​ still in the dark?

Thankful and Sharing God’s blessings

(including the miracles of such vaccines as never before possible?)


Complaining and demanding yet more miracles

amid a pandemic?

Psalm 145:10

All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you.

Hebrews 6:7

[We can be like] ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated [for this is to receive] a blessing from God.

Words of Grace For Today

Is it gratitude that defines us?

Are we like ground, thirsting and tilled and producing nourishment for many?

Who is it that we are this day?

The Morning After, the morning of redemption:

So what does this morning offer to us, to you, to me?

The light shines bright in the mild air across the cold undisturbed curves of snow marking the goodness of winter this day, if even for too short a time.

Where does the light shine in you, in me, in us?

Coming out of the city yesterday, on that wretched 1 mile stretch of gravel that the city has never paved like the roads next to it and the MD roads out into the country (who is being disfavoured with this anomaly?) I was peddling nicely along, tired and warming up for the hours it would take to get ‘home’. The flashlight on the front provided a good beam, strobing to save power, and the snow had collected in strips or rather been run off in strips down the road. It was bumpy, washboard … a real pain in the butt and jolted my whole tired body. I kept seeking out a smoother path, finally even on the side just outside the last clear strip. I did not make it to the snow. Instead turning the wheel demonstrated that that ‘cleared’ strip was not just cleared, it was run over and over and over until it was a shiny slick ice way. The front wheel lost all grip on the ice as I turned to the right. It slid left, the bike handle bars, seat and packs on the back rack went right, gravity took hold and I was on my back and right buttocks before the goose could crap or squawk. My back did not like it a bit. Fortunately I’d just taken food with a Tordol to ensure my back did not give me problems and from experience it lessons the arthritis pain on the trip on the bike there and back.

I lay there a bit, lights red and brilliant white strobing in the dark near the ground, then rolled over to test if I were still functionally one piece if not at peace with the cursed universe. The left doubled mittens came off to dust off the snow, light and sticking everywhere.

I stood, more dusting off as a car whisked by without stopping to inquire about the strobes reflecting off the ice and snow.

Then, with miles to go, I pulled up the bike, turned each wheel and the pedals each a turn to ensure they were not damaged, and set off walking towards the west, smoke plumes far to the north and west, wheeling the bike back and forth between the snow and ice strips trying to find sure footing for myself and for the wheels. Most of a mile later, on the pavement I tested the grip. It seemed sure enough. So with the cabins ahead to the right I mounted the ‘old steed’ and powered by my tired legs set off on the all too familiar route of gradual rises that require walking and the grades where I can wheel free, forward and down just a bit. At the creek, steeper down I was more than wary, and stifled the gravity pull, more for the oncoming traffic that filled the lane ahead than for myself – for I was too tired to remember I ought not want to put cheek or anything else to the ground at great speed. Fortune was the first time I was barely moving, still in first gear, trying to find a path forward through the rough ground below.

Onward the night went, progressively faster and slower, approaching me and passing me by at varying speeds, with smells of leaking gas and oil, the plumes changing direction and the night sky moving against the ground lights, the airport strobe, and the reflections off the smoke plumes so far distant, the nearest just beyond my destination of warmth, shelter … All the while knowing the toughest mile is always the last pulling the bike through the snow after the road ends when I am left to more pedestrian advances through the snow toward … rest.

This morning …

After a late night of letting my overheated muscles cool to normal and my mind to find it’s rest, I woke twice to stoke in the dark, and then once again as the dawn barely started to push the dark west, each time not wanting to rise, but it needed be. Until finally I woke to bright light beyond the coverings, and slowly pulled the cobwebs back with more light and then a walk outside, and on to the late morning routine of Eucharistie und Frühstück, thankful for the fire that provides boiling water for coffee, and writing.

A morning of redemption from the monotony through yesterday’s exercise and today’s recovery.

So I ask again, mostly of you:

So what does this morning offer to us, to you, to me?

The light shines bright in the mild air across the cold undisturbed curves of snow marking the goodness of winter this day, if even for too short a time.

Where does the light shine in you, in me, in us?

Are we filled with praise and gratitude for all God’s generous gifts to us all?

Do we drink in those gifts, and give back to those most in need, the benefits of our being so blessed?

Share the Light or Loose It All.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Damned or Saved

It’s our choice.

How will we live out today, as saints or sinner?

Both always at the same time!

Daniel 12:2

Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Words of Grace For Today

The world’s equations are simple and messed up. They speak of just rewards. The wealthy and ‘successful’ hold that they have earned their wealth and ‘success’, and the poor just have not worked hard enough!

Those in deep poverty don’t have time to waste on such equations: life demands everything of them just to survive another week, maybe even just one more day!

Those in between, afraid they may end up in deep poverty, buy into the work-reward equation as protection from sliding into desperate poverty (until they do, not a result of their own doing) and as a faint hope that some day, if they work hard enough they may climb up into better circumstances, even become one of the wealthy or ‘successful’.

God’s equation is not tied to our efforts, not efforts at good works, nor efforts at true belief, not efforts of right thoughts. God’s equation of ‘success’ requires only God’s acting on us, in us, and through us …. By grace alone we are saved.

So what do we do with these biblical texts and many like them that seem to throw us right back into the ‘our good efforts and good results net us eternal salvation or eternal damnation – so buck up pal and do good OR else!’ equation?

First of all: it is a life long challenge to remember and hold to God’s equation for our eternal salvation. Some hold (not us) that it’s all up to God, so what we do does not count at all! It’s just that our lives will reflect God’s choice of salvation or damnation for us: that is if we look like God has saved us it means we are and the other way around. In this way of living one falls right back into desperately trying to be or at least look good, so as to show in this life one is chosen by God to be saved! And that brings us right back into the futile equation of ‘it’s all up to us, so buck up pal Or else.’

Second of all: it is not up to us to get it right. We do not hold that we can save ourselves, but we certainly can ignore God’s good work in us and live like hell. Literally we can sin madly and never take claim of the gift of salvation that God has already given to us and constantly newly gives to us.

So our salvation is a result of God’s good work for us.

And our damnation is a result of our own evil work in creation.

A paradox, but what else is faith, than a tension beyond comprehension, requiring trust each day, each minute.

Before God we are all in deep poverty, needing God’s gift of redemption. We are all sinners.

Before God we are all given the greatest riches and real success, claimed as God’s own children. We are all saints.

So how to live each day: simple! Share God’s Grace with everyone.

As Jesus summed it up: love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength, and your neighbour as yourself, even your enemies!

That equation for each day is like the bright sun in the mild air on the cold snow returned after weeks of cloudy, snowy, deep-freeze weather: it’s filled with thanks for the light, love for creation, and hope for each new day!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

We are as fragile as grass in the deep freeze of winter snows.

And more precious than platinum to God.

Genesis 32:11

Deliver me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I am afraid of him; he may come and kill us all, the mothers with the children.

Luke 19:9

Then Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham.’

Words of Grace For Today

Jacob, the trickster, who stole the birthright and inheritance from his brother, cries to God. Jacob is rightfully afraid that his brother has every right to respond and not kindly. That he will kill everyone in Jacob’s family is a possibility.

So Jacob cries for God to deliver him from his rightful punishment.

If any of us think we are in a different situation before God, we are real fools. Think again.

No one is righteous before God. All of us deserve punishment for our sins. All of us ought to humbly cry to God for deliverance, deliverance from our enemies that we do not deserve.

God responds to Jacob’s cry.

God responds to our cries.

God responds, graciously, mercifully, lovingly forgiving us and delivering us … maybe not from our enemies, but from the Devil and from us losing our souls (heart, mind, body in one whole big loss of our lives).

For we too, by faith in God’s Son, Jesus the Christ, so marked with this faith as a gift given to us freely by God, are also counted among the children of Abraham, God’s own people.

Humble pie.

Desperate pleas!

Gracious Deliverance!

We are in this together: this life, this pandemic, these challenges, … all of it.

God’s creation is a wonderful place to live and share life abundant with others.

Grace is Beautiful

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Grace Pours Over Us

Leaving Little Tracks Across Our Paths

So That We Can See, Believe, Understand and Live Wisely

Isaiah 29:24

And those who err in spirit will come to understanding, and those who grumble will accept instruction.

James 1:5

If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.

Words of Grace For Today

Once we accept and start to live in response to 1) our accepting we deserve only perdition, 2) God’s Grace having saved us from perdition, and 3) God’s Grace saving us daily, then there is much to understand, there is always instruction to take to heart, and there is always wisdom to seek so that how we live will reflect God’s Grace for us and for all people.

On our own we can do little, and it is easy to grumble about how life treats us poorly. It is all too easy to act like fools, not fools for Christ, just fools that mess up life royally.

The solution for us is simple: ask God, for God is generous and ungrudging as God pours Grace over us, and after Grace, understanding, gratitude, instruction and wisdom.

Ask and God will give us all that God knows we need to live life abundantly.

The wisdom of our lives lived abundantly starts with the fear and love of God, ourselves, our neighbours and our enemies … and sharing the abundance of Grace, love, and life with those we know, especially those we know are in need.

Hammer and Fire of God

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Cleansing Fire, Hammer of God

Come, and Come Soon!

Jeremiah 23:29

Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

Luke 12:49

I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

Words of Grace For Today

In the dead-cold of winter (so mild before this week, but no longer at all mild at -36⁰C) a bit of fire is a welcome thing. Vented, directed, contained with plenty of snow at shovel length to put out anything that approaches too much fire, the heat of fire meets the bleeping cold air and provides a livable space.

Most people in homes enjoy the balance of fire against cold as a product of natural gas ignited in a furnace with the heat distributed to the rest of the home by electricity (either an air fan or a water pump.)

There are cautionary tales to be told or rather seen: the house that one day is an example of a grand house on a hill in the woods, and the next a scarred roof line behind an untouched facade, which on closer viewing displays the chimney standing on it’s own with the building around it on the side and back of what used to be a house, missing and what is visible is jagged and charred. A chimney fire it seems consumed a home, hopefully without loss of life. The 5th wheel RV appears setup along side the remains of the house for the remainder of the winter, spring and summer, with the dogs running outside as they usually had.



One sees on the news videos of thick smoke and vehicles making their collective and slow exit out of Fort McMurray as wildfires wipe out huge areas of the city.


One sees the photos of a railroad accident fire that has burst and melted rail cars and rails themselves.

Or in a figurative understanding of fire:

From Mistakes – Despair, Inc. At https://despair.com/products/mistakes

It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others. Not every life can be a success, just like not every vessel can be seaworthy. But there’s no shame in being one spectacular shipwreck.

God’s Word is like all that, taking what is evil in the world, what is evil and sinful in us, and burning it up like chaff ….

Ah, what a fire that will be!

God’s Word always is a two edged sword, cutting away evil, also from us, among us, and from within each of us!

The Word of God cleanses with fire, and what a fire it is already in us!

The Word of God cuts away and burns away our sin and evil, and cleanses us, pure and righteous! By Grace we live through the cleansing fire.

God provides more than an RV replacement for a home. God provides us a home in the New Jerusalem, the City of God, the New Creation.

For some of us so connected to nature in our existence God provides that we need not move into a city; God provides a home in the wilds of nature’s wonders and beauty.

God’s cleansing fire that Jesus brings is destructive, powerful and wonderfully just. We pray it will be kindled soon among us. We pray the hammer of God will break apart Evil from within us and from among us, so that all will have homes, all will have food, all will have a good life, an abundant life!

God’s Unequal Equation – Grace for All

Monday, January 25, 2021

The Wonders of God’s Grace

As Gift to Us All

Jeremiah 30:11

For I am with you, says the Lord, to save you; I will make an end of all the nations among which I scattered you, but of you I will not make an end. I will chastise you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.

1 Peter 5:6

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.

Words of Grace For Today

The world works under simple rules: do well, do good, and get rewarded. Do badly, do evil, and get punished. At least those are the rules that people talk as if applied, and that supposedly ‘good’ people abide by (or appear to abide by.)

The dark reality is that the simple rules do apply, just a different version: Do badly enough, do great evil, and get rewarded. Do real well, do great good, and get punished by those who do not want to be know as those rewarded for doing evil.

So preachers come to the pulpit, with little experience, or much experience, and they preach a foul message: that in the church we good people must pull ourselves up, pull ourselves together, and gather together in our efforts with each other to change the way the world works, so that the simple rules, the first version, the version taught to small children, is the way the world works.

The words may vary a bit: it may be that the reward is that justice is done for all people including the guilty who we must stop and punish. Or it may be that the homeless will have homes and the hungry will have food because we do the work to make it so.

Always the message is: get up and get it right. Get on with doing good. Our reward will be in heaven, or some such thing. But those who do terrible things will be punished and put to an end.

Ha! The evil that is in such a message is immense.

It corrupts God’s message in Jesus Christ down to the same formula as humans always play with: Do and be rewarded or punished. Now get on with all that you are able to do (good or bad.)

Only by Grace are we good enough for God, otherwise every single one of us fall short of God’s measure of what good enough is.

God’s simple rules are completely different. First God comes, rescues and saves us. God marks us as God’s own children. Because God saves us, not just once but our whole lives long, therefore we are able to hear the story, understand the story, accept the story, and share the story of Jesus and his unconditional love for us.

Therefore we are able to go out into the world that seems to work on a ‘do’ and ‘get results’ equation. In this wonderful world we are able to live out a different equation, the one that describes Jesus’ story.

That equation is ‘God does for us’ and therefore ‘we get to do for others.’

That’s amazing Grace.

That’s wondrous Love.

That’s a basis for undeniable Hope.

Because God does for us, we can face anything that comes our way. Even that which appears to be ‘discipline’ from God for our sins.

God promises, through everything, not to abandon us, not to destroy us.

In God’s own time we will be transformed, with gratitude, to those who can reflect God’s Grace to all around us.

There is no need or possibility of us good people pulling ourselves up, pulling ourselves together, or gathering together in our efforts with each other to change the way the world works. That may happen from our efforts, but only if God works in us. Our goal can be to transform the world. But only in that more and more people know Jesus’ story as the story of God’s unconditional love – done first for us by God when we do not and cannot deserve it, so that we can share that with all others.

That’s an equation that has God’s wonders as a wildcard variable, that makes everything possible … for God, and by God for us.

Grace Saves the Whole Human Race

Sunday, January 24, 2021

The woods through which life’s ‘race’ winds.

Jeremiah 2:29

Why do you complain against me? You have all rebelled against me,’ says the Lord.

Romans 3:23-24

Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Words of Grace For Today

The all seniors cross country foot race was held yesterday in the land of the faithful.

One young woman, really a girl still and the star runner among the girls, decided the night before, that she would meet with her friends for supper, to celebrate that this year for the first time the senior girls would run along with the boys.

It was a fine celebration, with duck, wine, and chocolates, and it went on and on for the victory of being able to run against the boys was a long two year battle. The later it got, the harder they celebrated, until it was midnight, then 1:00, then 2:00 when the bar, long since closed, booted them out into the taxis called for the girls.

The star male runner kept to his pre-race routine. He had a solid supper, with plenty milk and fruit juice to drink. He went to bed at his normal 10 pm, woke up at 7:00, and did a short 1 km jog to warm up before a good breakfast. He was confident he was ready when he got a ride to the race grounds. He had received a call from his friend who had test-run the race course as soon as it was set at 8:00 to get the details of what it looked like.

The star girl runner woke at 8:10 with a headache and queasy stomach. She ate a full breakfast, with lots of coffee. She arrived at the race grounds looking a bit worse for wear but not anything like she looked at 8:10.

There were a number of sprints, and shorter races held first, so it was 12:30 before a lunch break was called. The girl ate a light, nutritious penitent lunch with plenty of juice. The boy grabbed french fries and a burger with a coke. By 1:30 there were two more shorter races to be run before the main 5K cross-country race. The girls in each race had held their own, winning one and placing second in a few more. Predictably the boys were stronger and faster.

At 1:40 there was one more race. The star boy ran to the wood with his nervous stomach and emptied the fries, burger and coke into the bush. That was common. Then, so confident of himself, he forgot to eat the sugar cubes he normally ate for his empty stomach to give him energy. The star girl, penitent to the core, visited the washroom and relieved herself of the vestiges of last night’s revelry.

Then their race was called. They lined up. Set their marks. At the gun they were off.

They started, almost slow compared to the other races, but fast for this long distance. The girl drafted off the boy as they entered the woods where the trail wound up and down and around the river valley before coming back into view for the last half kilometre to the finish line.

In the woods something happened that had never happened before ….

When the runners appeared the star runners where shoulder to shoulder. Not just next to each other, but with an arm around the other racer, they struggled to run. The pack came into view easily behind them, and though they could have passed the two, they stayed in formation behind them. It was a sight to see.

As they came closer it became obvious that the girl supported the boy with his arm around her shoulder. He was limping badly on his left leg, barely touching his right foot to the ground.

So it was they came in tied for first place across the finish line, with the other five boys and one girl runners in formation close behind them, tied for third.

… In the woods something happened that had never happened before to the boy in a race as the various racer’s recounted afterwards. His right ankle turned, he fell, rolled and lay in pain. The girl, just 2 strides behind him – some other racers say he was toying with her and was not looking ahead – stopped to help him up. He was ready to quit, his sure victory lost. But she kindly reminded him he was a racer not a quitter. She wrapped his arm over her shoulders, grabbed him by the waist and they hobbled on. The other racers, a few at a time coming upon them, at first stayed in the order they arrived, but when the path entered the last half kilometre they joined arm in arm in a line behind the two, who had developed a faster pace.

In the ‘race’ of life, if we think we are headed for the finish on our own, ready to win the glory of God, we are sorely deluded. Not a single one of us is pure enough for that.

It is only the Grace of God that picks us up (usually borne by another human who God’s Grace has saved) and carries us, each year, each day, each minute towards the glory of God promised to us at our baptisms. Not a single one of us can finish the ‘race’ on our own. Only by Grace do we move forward at all, and then only humbly with others’ aide.

The victory party for that race was more subdued by far than the girls’ party of the night before, though it spread across the whole community, as people heard what Grace and the other racers had done that day … for both the girls and the boys … and the whole community.

We are in this together, and only together by Grace can we make it through life, yet alone the pandemic … or anything else life and evil throw at us.

Hang in there, together,

with Grace.

Lost and Found … Home, by Grace

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Cold Cold Cold

It all points to the Truth:

Not Cold, nor Storms, nor Wind, nor Foe

Nothing Separates Us From God’s Grace

and Our Home in the Land of Faithfulness!

Jeremiah 32:41

I will rejoice in doing good to them, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.

Luke 19:10

For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.

Words of Grace For Today

The case where we find ourselves in our stories after we sin, yet again:

To be lost.

To be lost in despair.

To be lost in despair as the rest of the world seemingly peers down on us as nothing.

The case where God’s story takes over ours and becomes ours:

To be found.

To be found worthy.

To be found worthy and given all that can be dreamed of.

If we have not known the first circumstance as our own, each day many times over … if we continually hide the truth from ourselves and we cannot and do not admit how lost we are, then the second circumstance can hardly mean anything.

The Son of Man did not come to heal the self declared ‘healthy’ nor to rescue those that claim not to be ‘lost’. God’s Son came and comes, sought out and seeks out those that are lost, found and finds us and restores us to the fullness of life, found and blessed.

God blesses us by planting us in this land in faithfulness. What a land that is: no fake news, no relative truths, no deception, no getting ahead at others’ cost, no rules using Covid as a cover for corruption and no rampant evil run amok. This land in faithfulness is a land where everyone has a home, a good home. And everyone is faithful to each other and to God.

Of course when the world around us gangs up on us for things we have not done and tries to Gaslight us in to believing that we are worthless, then it certainly helps to know the first case very well as it is actually true for ourselves, AND to know the second case (God’s Grace) to be true for us at the same time. Because then the Gaslighting, no matter how persistent nor long, will not destroy us. Then we benefit for God has planted us in the land of faithfulness. We know how humble we must be, how broken and lost we are, and how blessed we are that God claims us as God’s own children.

In the land of faithfulness all people prosper, contribute, and share blessings, especially with those in need. All the possible dreams of being blessed by God are made to come to be, for us all.

No Covid 19, restrictions, loneliness, covidiots, storming unrighteous and foolish mobs, or threats to our well-being can separate us from God’s blessing.

… So we lay ourselves to sleep each night confident that God’s will can be done also among us, and we will sleep in safety.

… So we rise up in the morning each day confident that God’s will can be done also among us also by us, and we shall live in safety, boldly acting as agents for the Son of Man, seeking, finding, and rescuing the lost … rescuing them with the same Grace that daily saves us.

That’s reality. That’s truth. That’s love.

What a life! God gives us all blessings possible!

Hearts Enlivened by the Spirit! … OR?

Friday, January 22, 2021

Deep-Chill Coming

In our hearts as well?

Hosea 3:5

Afterwards the Israelites shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; they shall come in awe to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days.

Philippians 2:13

For it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Words of Grace For Today


After, in the prophetic image of Hosea given to him by God, … after God ‘plays the lover of an adulteress.’ For Israel has wandered yet again from God’s love to the adulteress love of other ‘gods’ and other values and other everything. Israel is trying to play being godlets, or at least as if they could choose their ‘god’. So Hosea, as God commands him, takes a harlot as his ‘wife’, to demonstrate to the people how they have taken ‘gods’ and loves that are not God, that are not Love!


Thankfully God does not abandon Israel, nor us (for such wandering is commonly repeated even in these days). God has an afterwards for us. Afterwards is always a time of return to God, seeking God, and being in awe of God, so that we once again know God’s goodness in and among us!

This is the time that God’s gifts of the Spirit enable us to choose, to will and to work for God’s good pleasure … that all people have life, and life abundant!

Which time is this day for you?

Playing with other ‘loves’ and trying to hide from the love of God?


Seeking, walking with God (since God walks with you already), standing in awe of God’s work in and among us, and enjoying God’s goodness for all people?

The deep-freeze will arrive this day, staying minus 20⁰C ish day and night, going to minus 27⁰C at least one night, maybe even minus 30⁰C. A touch of cleansing cold.

Will our hearts become or stay so cold?

Or will we choose to will and work for God’s good pleasure?

As for me and my household (oops, no household, just me) we/I will choose to …

hope that the Spirit will overcome sin in us/me and bring God’s will to be among us, also.