The Year Past, The Year to Come …

Friday, December 31, 2021

As the Days Come to a Close in Darkness

So the Year May, too,

Yet by Faith Through Grace

We Know

God is With Us


All Ways.

Numbers 21:7

The people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people.

Jude 1:22

Have mercy on those who doubt.

Words of Grace For Today

The last day of the year

leaves us to ask (as so many media do for us in various ways):

Where has this year taken us?

Where will this next year bring us?

Will we have any choices that will make a difference, a real difference, for ourselves and all living on the earth, and for the course of human history?

We, if we were here at the beginning of the year and if we are here at the end of the year, have survived.

What have we survived besides merely to live on? Our enemies have sought and continue to seek to kill us by whatever means they can use (trying not to get caught of course or pay any price for their efforts.) We have survived all the attacks of our enemies. Our enemies have built up a collection of lies about us, which has next to nothing to do with us (except … well read on) and which clearly defines who they are, what kind of people they are … and as humans have been wont since the beginning of time their lies reflect rather clearly exactly what they have done. They have lied that instead of them being the ones doing terrible things, they have names us as the perpetrators of their great evil. Which we have survived, though … the consequences of their lies are that more and more people believe their lies, and more and more people join their efforts to kill us, slowly or more quickly. And still we have survived.

We have survived not because we are so strong, no, we are old and weak. We have survived not because we are so rich and influential, no, we are caught deep in the grips of poverty from which we likely will never emerge and most of our friends we used to have, have deserted us, afraid of being associated with one who is attacked so ferociously. They do not want to become collateral damage. We have survived only by the Grace of God, and by many and various miracles that God has worked to keep us alive.

We have survived, though it has appeared at many times that we would not, could not, simply because even in those darkest moments of doubt, God has made us able to remain grateful of all God does for us and for our enemies, offering us forgiveness and renewed life. With grateful hearts more and more miracles have sprinkled our path, been noticed, convinced us that God walks with us making us saints and this has given us hope … and hope has carried us through the darkness to the light of day, to the Light of Christ.

We are thus quite able to trust that this coming year will be more of the same: God walking with us, miracles in abundance, hope carrying us always into the Light.

Our choices? Well our choices will be as always, the best we can make at the time, and even then always imperfect, yet made perfect by the Grace of God alone.

And that same Grace, as only God’s Grace can, will make a difference, a real difference, for ourselves and all living on the earth, and for the course of human history.

So Moses prayed for the sinful people, and God continued to write God’s story with the lives of God’s people, bringing us to each new day, as a miracle-gift, for each of us.

No New Year resolution will carry us to a better life. Only God’s resolution, covenant, promise will carry us, as it has, into the best life ever, the life of God’s own children, God-made saints, given breath and time … to be God’s Grace for others, especially our cruel enemies.

Jails for Whom, Anyway?

Thursday, December 30, 2021

In the Light of Christ,

All Crime is Laid Plain for All to See!

Freedom is to Live in the Light of Christ,

As Fishers on the Lake at Sunset.

Psalm 74:16

Yours is the day, yours also the night; you established the luminaries and the sun.

Romans 13:12-13

The night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy.

Words of Grace For Today

Knowing from long experience as humans we know that enough people will violate the goodness of social order, so we create laws and police and courts and judges and jails for such people.

What ends up happening is that the laws are written by people who will as readily as anyone violate the goodness of social order to ensure that they stay in power to write the laws, so that they are not held responsible for the evil they do.

The police are more than ready to violate the goodness of social order, justifying their lawlessness for themselves by saying that they must keep order and they are not given enough tools to do so.

The lawyers who work to convict and who work to protect those charges are ready to violate the goodness of social order, justifying their lawlessness to themselves by saying that they must do what is necessary to play their part in keeping good order and they are not given enough tools to do so without cheating the system.

The judges who are supposed to work to ensure that only guilty people are convicted and sentenced are more than ready to violate the goodness of social order, justifying their lawlessness to themselves by saying that they must do what is necessary to play their part in keeping good order and they are the ones who determine what is just and what is not.

What is lost as all these people, supposedly do their part in keeping good order, is simple: truth is lost and with it all possibility of good social order. The real criminals continue to rape society of it’s goodness, it’s wealth, it’s equality for all; and they put others in jail who work at the bottom of their ladder of corruption; the drug dealers, the killers, the violent rapists, at least all those that are not smart enough not to get caught.

So for whom do we build jails? We hope they are for real criminals, and we trust at least some real criminals end up there. But the real criminals are the ones who process other ‘less successful’ people who violate the goodness of social order. There are no jails that can hold these people and keep us all safe from them.

God will judge all people, and these criminals will eventually pay for their crimes against us all.

For God’s is the day and the night. God created all. The darkness of night is passing, and the day of Christ’s light is near.

So we pray God helps us lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; help us live honourably as in the day, in the Light of Christ.

Tender God, Tender Hope.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Sun Goes Down

The Ice Captures the Weed

The Snow Covers the Ice


By God’s Tender Mercy

We Are Healed and Live Abundantly

Psalm 30:2

O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.

Luke 1:78-79

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Words of Grace For Today

By the tender mercy of our God …

Everything that is blessing and gift in this life is

By the tender mercy of our God.

By the tender mercy of our God we learn to treasure all that each day brings to us:

The sunrise, the sunset.

The COLD outside (-46⁰C), the HEAT of the furnace’s chimney (2000⁰C).

The relentless attack of our enemies’ (lies to destroy, destory, and kill us – by which we learn to trust God alone) and the gracious response of truth, both exposed by Christ’ light (by which we learn to hope only in God’s tender mercy).

New food allergies and intolerances (that increase our food costs and teach us with pain how to eat well) and the plethora of good and nutritious food available from the food bank and the grocery stores (from which we can choose how to deal with new dietary limits.)

The skills of many decades of capturing the good beauty of life in photos, of writing words that inspire hearts and minds to live better, to live well, the dancing steps to music and through the snow and woods and atop the roofs, the knowing of languages from ancient times, of foreign lands and using ‘artificial intelligence’, the piloting precision-decision-making over and under clouds, around obstacles on the ground, and between hills and mountains and leaving & returning to earth, the melding with machines to accomplish work and travel safely in all kinds of conditions, and the seeing God present walking with us each moment (good and terrible).

And most of all the miracle of being healed so that we are able to love those that love in return and those who return for love betrayal, who return for love hatred and evil, and even for those who corrupt justice for so many giving privilege to the wealthy and connected.

By the tender mercy of our God we live filled with hope for our tomorrows, and for theirs.

By the tender mercy of our God.

Mercy! Mercy Me! Mercy All!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

God’s Mercy Shines As Life-giving Light On Us.

It may be below -40⁰ out,

And still we live only by the grace and mercy of God,

that allows us to keep warm and

breathe and

love and


In the Light of Christ

Joshua 24:16-17

Then the people answered, ‘Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed.’

Jude 1:20-21

But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

Words of Grace For Today

After a full generation wandering in the wilderness, and before that generations in harsh slavery in Egypt (that is the thanks Joseph’s people are given for his saving them all from famine!) Joshua puts to the people a choice, to serve God who has delivered them, or to serve others gods, the gods of the people of the lands they have entered and will enter.

The people respond with a choice that pleases God: they choose to follow Joshua and to follow God, their saviour, who has protected them all the way in every time.

Jude, as many before and since, present to his beloved readers, that they should act righteously, that they should build up their holy faith, that they should pray to the Holy Spirit, that they should keep themselves living and speaking and acting in the love of God, and they should look forward to the mercy of Jesus that will lead them to eternal life.

There is always much to do to be about doing God’s will, living out one’s faith, building up one’s faith, to pray in the Holy Spirit for all people and to keep oneself in the love of God … and to choose to serve the God who has been our Saviour through every generation, and will be our Saviour in every generation yet to come.

Ah, to always be able to make the right choices, and to always do God’s will, live out God’s love for all people, to build up our faith. It is never so with us.

Joshua’s people enter the Promised Land and their stories are just like our stories: we continually choose to do the right thing, to follow God … and then we go about the sinful and evil things, we serve other gods, the gods of the land we are in, the gods of consumerism, the gods of capitalism/greed for money, the gods of privilege and comfort at others’ expense, at the cost of other people’s lives.

The only thing that saves us is …

as always,

the mercy of God demonstrated to us in the story of Jesus the Christ.

The only thing that gives us any hope that God will continue to walk with us, to guide us, to love us … is that in spite of our sins, God continually comes to save us, to redeem us, to forgive us, and to give us new life in God’s love.

From this we hope that our enemies may also experience the truth of God’s mercy and relent from trying to kill us to save themselves (which cannot work for them anyway.)

For this we hope.

And with this hope we live, each day, blessed by God’s doing mercy for us, not our choices.


Monday, December 27, 2021

Like Sin

We can say all we want that

those are not weeds

But the sin is always there,

Like the weeds are always there.

Jeremiah 2:35

You say, ‘I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.’ Now I am bringing you to judgment for saying, ‘I have not sinned.’

1 Peter 1:13

Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.

Words of Grace For Today

It is one thing to sin terribly. It is another degree of a thing to then claim that one has not sinned. That leaves one unable to redeem oneself.

Even then the only thing that saves us, that can save us, is what God has demonstrated through Jesus. Jesus’ story is clear and simple: God always has loved us, been ready to forgive us, and given us everything we need to know how God is always gracious towards us.

So our hope is set on Jesus Christ’ grace.

We are thus prepared for the action that the Holy Spirit calls us to do, namely living out grace for all other people.

It’s quite a life God has for us, and quite a life we have to offer others.

Record Lows

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Blue Christmas Morning


Take Your Pick F or C

Temperatures are cold

And Hearts are Frozen Hard.

Maybe no records there, It’s been that way in each generation.

Psalm 109:21

But you, O Lord my Lord,
act on my behalf for your name’s sake;
because your steadfast love is good, deliver me.

Acts 7:59-60

While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he died.

Words of Grace For Today

Courageous of Stephen to forgive those who killed him without just cause. They were filled with hate at someone different, someone with hope, someone who knew Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.

So they gathered around him and threw stones at him until he was dead. Blunt force trauma, repeated, and repeated, and repeated by a mob.

We think that we do not do such things today, but …

My story and many like it give clear evidence (denied by most – what can one do for the mob?) prove that mobs of many kinds exist today. Women trying to assert themselves make up stories about good men so they have a man to abuse, ruin, and kill … and feel like they have gained power over men. Cops who need to bully someone like they are bullied so they encourage civilians to create damning false stories about their target. Cops who lie in court. Lawyers who leave the cops’ victim defenceless in court, and judges who love to add their own lies to the blatantly false evidence in order to convict good people, just because they all can. Just because they hate life. Just because they fear truth. Just because.

We should cry day and night to God to act on our behalf. Our only hope, as ever it has been, is that God’s steadfast love is good and God promises to deliver us.

Christ was born, and killed for being good, a threat to corrupt, dirty and evil powers, and simple fear and hatred of what is good in life.

So we live, pray, and hope, also these c…c…c…cold days that God would deliver us, from the hatred in us, from the fear in us, and from the hatred and fear in those who would kill us by any means possible.

We pray, God let not our enemies triumph. Rather show your steadfast love as more powerful in the weakness of forgiveness and steadfast love.


Saturday, December 25, 2021

The Light of Christ

Shines Always,

Warm or Cold,

Snow or Rain,

Sunshine or Dark.

So We Celerate.

Deuteronomy 13:1-3

If prophets or those who divine by dreams appear among you and promise you omens or portents, and the omens or the portents declared by them take place, and they say, ‘Let us follow other gods’ (whom you have not known) ‘and let us serve them’, you must not heed the words of those prophets or those who divine by dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you indeed love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.

1 John 3:23

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.

Words of Grace For Today

By the faith that God has given us …

by our faith in the grace that God demonstrates in the birth of Jesus Christ,

by the gifts given us by the Holy Spirit,

We celebrate today the birth of Jesus.

Blessed Christmas brings us all to God’s reality for us:

We are blessed

to be able to celebrate.

So we celebrate.

We celebrate, no matter what else, we celebrate.

Silent Celebration, Christ’s Light Bright

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christ’s Light

Rises each Morning,

And Remains with Us Through All the Dark

Evil of this World.

Psalm 38:22

Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation.

Luke 1:68

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favourably on his people and redeemed them.

Words of Grace For Today

As we begin this evening to celebrate Christ’s birth, not the first time at all, not at all, the temperatures are set to drop deep below -30⁰. That cold will not hinder the blessed warmth that God’s story of Jesus’ love for all people provides for all the faithful.

Candles are lit on the wreath, one for each Sunday of Advent, reminding us that Christ comes and brings light to all the darkness of our lives and of this world, all the darkness that robs us of life.

Yet, this year, again, for all those intelligent to act wisely, there will be no worship service with great crowds, music, and candles lit while we sing Silent Night.

How God moves us through the challenges of life!

In the cold, in the wilderness, in the dark, in great solitude, the blessed quiet of the woods next to the lake, there is always great reason to celebrate all that God provides us.



Give Thanks.


It will all be well, very well, all manner of well … for all us God-made saints.

Locusts or Honey Bees?

Thursday, December 23, 2021

The Beauty

In Situ.

God’s Way

For All Generations.

Lamentations 3:41

Let us lift up our hearts as well as our hands to God in heaven.

Ephesians 6:18

Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

Words of Grace For Today

Lift up our hearts … as well as our hands … to God in heaven.

This will then enable us to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to choose, with each thing we do, to work like mad for all people in God’s good creation.

Otherwise we will inevitably work, heartlessly, and without pause, consuming all we can on our way, destroying everything in our wake.

Locusts come in hoards and work their little hearts out.

When they leave, they leave because there is nothing more to consume.

When they leave there is nothing left behind for anyone else.

When they leave the goodness of creation must be re-established by God’s healing work built in to nature … if it can.

This we do not want to be as a species, because when we try to move on there is really no place for us to move to

on God’s good creation of earth, our host planet.


we pray with endless supplications

that we would work with our hands

as honey bees do.

They work at least as hard as locusts.

They work with the plants like the locusts do.

They work differently, instead of consuming and destroying and moving on …

They work for the benefit of all creation, helping plants to flower and produce food, for us all.

In their hives they create enough honey to sustain their hive’s next generations and

they create enough honey to provide for many others to feed from the sweet products of their tireless labours.

Locusts destroy and move on to destroy more.

Honey bees work in the eco-sytem and they stay in that eco-system (if we allow them to) to help it continue to provide for this generation and many to come.

So we pray endlessly with supplication and thanksgiving that God has provided our ability to work hard, and to work as honey bees, providing for this generation and for many generations of saints to come.


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Tilted World

Dark Challenges

Deceitful Enemies

And Gracious God.

All Will Be Well.

Numbers 14:20

Then the Lord said, ‘I do forgive, just as you have asked.’

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.

Words of Grace For Today

When the whole world falls apart around us from the sins of our enemies, and our lives seem to fall apart at their roots

The only hope we have is God’s promise to forgive, even to forgive our enemies.

This promise gives us life when all life seems impossible to enjoy.

As rich as Jesus’ Grace is we will live, redeemed, forgiven and given life. Our enemies find no life in all their empty desires and no hope in all their dreams of might by deceit.

This is God’s way of giving life to those to whom God has chosen as God’s own people. So we learn to forgive even when our enemies’ only continued efforts are to try to destroy us and life around us.