Let Your Face Shine

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

We Are the Ones

Who Shine

With Christ’s Light

As Snow Sparkles Between the Shadows

Psalm 31:16

Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.

Luke 12:25

Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?

Words of Grace For Today

On the coin of money is inscribed ‘In God We Trust.’

This is one of the more blatant and dreadful ironies of our lives: the world seeks coin to enable the collection of resources (through payment with the coin) and to ensure the bidding of the holder is done by others (through payment with the coin).

Those of us who cannot or do not have enough coin, worry about our futures: can we keep at bay the despair of hunger, the life-ending extremes of the environment, the decay of life without good medical care, or the loss of sanity as we are isolated (as an easy target for our enemies and separated from the social fabric of life.)

This worry motivates us to work, and to work hard, to ensure some kind of safety in our future, some kind of food supply in our days to come, some kind of health care so that what ails us can be discovered, diagnosed and treated, some healthy connection with other humans who do not wish us harm. Our worry itself does nothing. It adds not even a minute to the span of our lives. What we do to work through our worry may or may not succeed in providing life and life abundant for us.

Life in all its great goodness that God created us to enjoy does not require any of this that we can work for, though. Life abundant requires only one thing and that is God’s steadfast love.

God’s steadfast love moves us from worrying.

God’s steadfast love moves us from worrying about ourselves.

God’s steadfast love moves us from worrying about ourselves to working to be God’s love for others.

God’s steadfast love moves us from worrying about ourselves and on to knowing that we are marked with the cross of Christ, which does not just mark us like coins with the greatest irony of all times. The mark on us changes us from the root of our being to the last days we live in God’s good creation: we become God-made saints.

When our enemies or our shortcomings or the lack of things we require to stay alive threaten our future we can pray: Let your face shine upon your servants; save us in your steadfast love.

Like the sun rising for a new day, sparkling, dazzling in a field of snow, God renews Christ’s light in us, and we shine, and we sparkle, and we transform the world from misery to happiness, from despair to joy, from hunger to nourished … from lost to found.

Blessings, Joy, then Obedience

Monday, November 29, 2021

Because God Blesses Us to Know Beauty

no matter the tangles of life the intrude on our days

Therefore We are Able to Be God’s Blessings for Others

Deuteronomy 28:1-6

If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth; all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God:

Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.

Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your livestock, both the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock.

Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading-bowl.

Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

Matthew 12:50

For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.

Words of Grace For Today

Both passages say clearly enough that it is all up to us: if we do the right things, if we obey all God’s commandments, if we do God’s will, then

then we will be blessed in all ways,

then we will be Jesus’ brother, sister or mother.

That certainly is how the world works and how religious authorities have parsed God’s blessings in their attempts to control their followers.

God is not so parsed, not correctly anyway.

God’s blessings are not so parsed, not correctly anyway.

Jesus’ brothers and sisters and mother are not so determined, not correctly anyway.

But this is the way of the world, and it is our self-centred, familiar, assuring and futile way of working God’s will in our world.

Trouble is, it’s not us that works God’s will and this is God’s world.

God’s way, clearly demonstrated in the story of Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection, is that God blesses us, and we either can surrender to that, or work our way out of the blessings by going our own way. Even then God pursues us, relentlessly, promising to forgive us, give us re-newed lives, and send us out again to be God’s blessings for others.

God’s blessings are not tied to how powerful, wealthy, or famous we are. God’s blessings are contained in the God given ability to be able to love, and love completely and unconditionally. For is love, starting with fear and love for God, and then love for ourselves, our neighbours and our enemies … in love we find life, life’s meaning and purpose and a joy that cannot be marred by circumstances, no matter how bad they may be.

The joy that God gives us is familiar to most people. It is like living life being in love. Some know it as a teenager’s 1st love, or as a young adult knowing this is the one person to marry, or as holding your new born infant, or as guiding children as they grow up, or as playing with grandchildren, or as growing old together and sharing memories as you deal with new challenges.

Most all of us experience that being in love, and loving others, gives us a profound joy.

Being in love with God, fearing and loving God, gives us an even more profound joy. All our times of being in love come to an end. Some endings leave us lost, as if the pathways and walls of life itself have crumbled out from under us.

Being in love and fearing God is markedly different because that love never comes to an end since it is determined not by our capacity to love, but by God’s promises to love us always. God loves us always, no matter the twists and turns we take in life. Trusting that God loves us gives a pervasive joy, a foundational joy.

Today we pray, may we live fearing and loving God as God loves us. May we be God’s love for all other people, so that we do not forget how precious God’s love is.

Waiting for Comfort

Sunday, November 28, 2021

God Uses Every Means

to Get Us to Listen and Prepare Us

(even Morse code)

for the Coming Days

Of Celebrating Christ’s Birth

Psalm 119:76

Let your steadfast love become my comfort according to your promise to your servant.

Luke 2:25

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him.

Words of Grace For Today


Waiting for an event that is so much more than just another everyday occurrence.

Waiting for an event that is so much more than the greatest thing in one’s life.

Waiting for …

Waiting for God to break into the life of humans, and make a statement so clear about God’s love that it will shake all the foundations that humans build on, for everything that humans build.

Waiting for God to reveal how God relates to us, in our broken, sinful, destructive lives, which we seem incapable of setting right.

We wait.

We wait again this Advent.

We wait again this Advent for the celebration of our Saviour’s birth.

We wait.

Yet there is no way that we can wait idly for this celebration, just ticking off the days, eating the chocolates out of the advent calendar, and hoping that this celebration will bring life to us again, renewed life, and God’s favour … after all that we do as humans to one another.

We wait for our enemies to be converted to reasonable, truth abiding, honourable humans once again, if they ever were such people.

We wait … and the Holy Spirit works in us, helping us to see …

Helping us to see beyond the portents of this time, as storms increase in magnitude month by month, as temperatures rise so that glaciers recede at record rates, and so that ice caps melt and ocean levels rise covering islands and seashore cities, as wildfires burn away forests protecting mountainsides and rivers, as earthquakes increase, as droughts grip whole agricultural areas leaving farmers with no crops to sell and people without food to eat, and as rainstorms pour water in record amounts on dry and vulnerable areas flooding homes, roads, and whole cities, and whole mountainsides give way to mudslides that block off roadways halting transport of goods in its tracks, leaving retailers shelves thin, and Christmas wishes changed from a special gift to a wish that our lives and the lives of our loved ones will be preserved.

Helping us to hear beyond the news of these disasters and the ever- mutating and more dangerous variants of Covid spreading to our areas.

Helping us to trust …

Helping us to trust God’s promise that God’s steadfast love will be our comfort …

a comfort like no other.

Thus comforted we are able to reach out to save many people, people we know, people we do not know and people who are our enemies …

saving people from disaster with needed, real-time help,

saving people from the wiles of the Great Deceiver with needed, real-time love and hope.

Helping others to trust God’s promise that God’s steadfast love will be their comfort …

a comfort like no other.

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.

Where Do You Put Your Heart?

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Looking Up,

Do You See the Trees,


the Heavens Above?

The Forest or the View to God’s Grace?

Zephaniah 3:16-17

On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Ephesians 2:19

You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God.

Words of Grace For Today

What do we need today,

a warrior who gives us victory over our enemies?


to be renewed in God’s love?

There is, among all the things that occupy us in this life, only one thing that counts: our relationship with God.

Those that lie to the courts which have acted unjustly on their lies will have their lies turn back on them. There will be no escape for those that live by the lie, and try to kill by the lie.

Those that fear and love God, know God and God’s presence every day.

We are no longer strangers and aliens in God’s Kingdom. We are citizens with all the other God-made saints of all times, together children of God, members of God’s house.

Here we live.

Here our enemies’ lies have no meaning …

Here our enemies’ use of the unjust courts have no meaning, except

except their lies and perverse use of the unjust courts define them as God’s enemies.

That is no place to be on this planet, for there is no escape from God and God’s justice.

For us, there is home, always home in God’s blessed care.

Therefore we do not fear, no matter what lies our enemies threaten us with.

For we are God’s own people, God’s own blessed people, God’s own holy people.

Idols OR Love

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Idols cannot create this beauty,

Only God’s Pure Love

Creates this kind of Pure Love.

Deuteronomy 29:17

You have seen their detestable things, the filthy idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold, that were among them.

1 Thessalonians 3:12

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.

Words of Grace For Today

There are so many idols. These used to be made of wood and stone, sliver and gold. They are also made of things that build perverse hopes, perverse power, perverse wealth, perverse status, perverse lies, and … all kinds of perverse things.

There are so many kinds of love, so many ways that it holds us, supports us, gives us life … makes things as God created them to be in so many ways.

In each moment we get to choose to worship our idols, our perverse idols that rob us and others of life.


In each moment we get to choose to receive and give love that is able to create life for us and for others.

This choice is not something we can choose by ourselves. We need the Holy Spirit to guide us and inspire us, and help us to choose what is good and right.

In this moment how will we choose?

In this moment how will you choose?

About to Go Hungry …

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

God Places Pathways Before Us

That Will Return Us to Grace

and the Feast for All People,

If We But Only Look to See,

A Little Further to the Left.

Hosea 14:4

I will heal their disloyalty; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.

John 21:3-4

Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’ They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

Words of Grace For Today

When our efforts come up empty, failed, and we are about to go hungry …

When we have turned from God, served other gods, and ourselves as godlets, chased after futile dreams, and knowingly made deals with the Devil to achieve our selfish goals (even those we see as ‘trickling down’ benefits to others!) …

When we have known God’s Grace, lost sight of God walking with us, and turned back to our old self-sustaining, self-serving, self-centred ways …

What is a person to do after all, when God disappears on us, when the promises God makes are slow in being fulfilled, when enemies are knocking at our doors, or have us in custody already, or are in our heads and hearts creating intolerable anxiety? Should we not head out on our own in this beautiful, wonderful creation to make our own way, to provide for ourselves reaping bountiful rewards for our own efforts, enabling ourselves to escape the daily struggles to survive, to enjoy the comforts and luxuries we’ve earned (at others’ expense, even at the expense of other’s lives, even those who loved us!), and to gain status among the people?

When we return to our selfish, self-centred ways, we turn our back on God, God’s promises, and the Grace that saves us from our own sin giving us renewed life at Jesus’ expense. We ask, as if to justify what we know is wrong, what is a person to do? Surely we can be our own godlets, determine our own lives, and make a future for ourselves and our offspring for generations to come.

Then the cost for our selfish, self-centred ways becomes apparent and no denial of the cost is believable by any sane person any more. Nature rebels, angrily kicking up more and more extreme storms, fires, floods, eruptions, and mudslides. Our self-made security dissolves before our eyes, and often our loved ones, our offspring, with it.

How does God react to our rebellious, self-centred, selfish, destructive ways?

God is faithful.

God is faithful to God’s promises.

God is faithful to God’s promises and God heals our every illness.

God is faithful to God’s promises and God stands at the edge of un-creation that could easily consume us, or from which we could gather live-sustaining food for so many bodies, minds, and hearts.

God heals us, and guides us to fish the bounty of God’s blessings for all that we require to live and to live truly abundantly (not over-consuming luxuries while others starve, not resting in comfort when their is Christ’ work for us to do, nor building our hopeless securities that always fail falling around our ears.)

God does not disappear on us, ever. Our vision fails to see God when we turn in on ourselves and forget to see Christ in every person we meet.

God does not disappear on us, ever.

As God promises us, God does not disappear on us, ever.

The Devil’s Coming!

Monday, November 22, 2021

The Devil’s coming!’

says one loon to the other.

‘The Devil’s always coming.

Keep swimming. We have fish to catch.’

the other answers.

Nahum 2:1

A shatterer has come up against you. Guard the ramparts; watch the road; gird your loins; collect all your strength.

2 Corinthians 5:18

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

Words of Grace For Today

How do we see the world? How do you see the world?

How one sees the world makes all the difference for life, whether one scrambles to possess, connive to have more, and manipulate others to help you get more, whether that is more power, more wealth, more possessions, more pleasure, more control, more of anything or even of people.

The Devil takes no pause in attacking in the daylight, with an incomparable force, with incomparable soldiers (people as pawns), and with shock and terror to strike fear into every heart.

The Devil also takes no pause in working in the shadows, in the hearts of people driven to have more, in the minds of even those who think they are doing the best they can do (and those who know they are doing the worst things, just because they can and it serves their wishes.)

However the Devil attacks, the only thing that is sure is that the Devil has always, does always, and will always attack at every possible moment.

So …

If you think you need to protect yourself from the Devil, and you work your lifelong trying to defeat the Devil’s ability to control, dominate, and use you to destroy and de-story others, well … well then you will always lose out to the Devil, even when you think that you have won. Your life will become (has long since already become) a shamble of self-deceit and arrogance, and you, long ago, have become a danger to everyone around you.

This is the cry to stations: A shatterer has come up against you. Guard the ramparts; watch the road; gird your loins; collect all your strength.

If on the other hand you know that you will always lose to the Devil and the Great Deceiver’s attacks on your body, mind and soul …

and you know that the only defence against the Devil is the one Jesus provides, the promise given at our baptisms, that God will walk with us and always protect us from the Devil … If we trust God alone to defend us from the Devil’s attacks …

and as the cry to battle stations is sounded again and again, we know that we are already working out God’s Grace in our lives, bringing good news to the oppressed, binding up the broken-hearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; comforting all who mourn.

We can do this even while those around attempt to defend themselves from the Devil’s attacks with all their hearts, minds and strength, because we trust the gifts and promise given to us in our baptisms and that all this is from God, who reconciled us to Godself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

Instead of trying to defend ourselves, which is an effort doomed to fail, and effort that is needless, we live abundantly, living out Christ’ reconciliation for all people.

It’s not easy.

It’s not futile like fighting against the Devil.

It is the best life we can ever imagine.

Seeing With God’s Vision

Sunday, November 21, 2021

We may not see anything clearly


God Gives Us Vision to See

God’s Grace

For All

Proverbs 21:2

All deeds are right in the sight of the doer, but the Lord weighs the heart.

Romans 16:19

For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise in what is good, and guileless in what is evil.

Words of Grace For Today

When we commit ourselves to an action, hopefully we know that it is a good and right thing to do. Sometimes we may be totally wrong, and our own blindness makes us think that we are right when we are actually fully wrong.

God knows.

God knows if we are doing something right or something very wrong.

When we do something that we know is terribly wrong and we do it anyway, then … well … then we serve the devil in all the devil’s horrendous and terrible ways.

Since we so often think that our terrible actions are as great as anything, we can hardly decide how to proceed in our lives doing only God’s will. In fact we never know how to evaluate what we plan to do, whether it is good or bad.

We can only confess our sins every day as a start, and then trust that God will both forgive us, and renew life in us so that we can answer God’s call, to be God’s grace in every day for everyone we meet.

We can pray that we will be wise, knowing how to be bearers of joy for ourselves and for other people, filled with gratitude for all that God provides for us, for all that is good that God brings out of us each day.