a revolutionary revelation

that’s what I had as I thought about these life giving, life changing words from Colossians 3:16,

“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

The instruction given to me here is not to read the Word, nor to recite it or to memorize it – I am not told to study it or to understand it – no, I am told just to let the Word in, to let it come in and live and make its home with me.  After all, that’s what dwell means.

And it’s that word dwell that I like so much, it resonates with me in an unexpected way that brings with it comfort, peace, hope and joy.  Why?  Because to dwell implies permanence – it implies moving in and making a home with – it means settling down,  it means settling in for the long haul.

The traveler doesn’t dwell anywhere, he simply stays a night here, a night there.  And just like the rolling stone who gathers no moss, without the act of dwelling, no relationships are formed and gathered.  No wonder God wanted the Israelites to build Him a tabernacle as they wandered in the desert.  The tabernacle was to be God’s dwelling place among them, so that He could  dwell with them.  After all, they were His people and they needed His Presence to be with them and to go with them.

For the God who dwells in unapproachable light and who ” . . . sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. (for the God who) stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.”  (Isaiah 40:22) for this God to desire to come down and to dwell among His chosen people, is really quite remarkable.  Unfathomable, actually.

It is just as unimaginable as when Jesus left His home in glory, where He dwelt in that same unapproachable light and instead, made His home, dwelt, among us two thousand years ago.  Who would leave a palace to live in poverty?  Christ did, because that is where we were living, so He came and made His home with us.  Unbelievable!

And now I am told to “let the Word of Christ dwell in me richly.”  This is even better than His tabernacle Presence!  He is not with me but in me.  “Christ in me, the hope of glory”  What a difference a preposition makes!

Just who am I inviting in to dwell with me?  Colossians says “the Word of Christ.”  John 1:1&14 tells me, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  . . .  The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

There’s that word dwelling again.  The Word who came to walk among us, is Jesus.  He came to make His home with us – He came to stay.  Yes, He did leave this earth, but He sent Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit to dwell in us.  “And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – (there’s that idea of dwelling being permanent)  . . .  the Spirit of truth.   . . .  you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”  (John 14:16-18)

Jesus is the Living Word.  “He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He Himself.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is (are you ready for this?) the Word of God.”  (Revelation 19:13)   Now that’s a revelation!   (pun intended)

No wonder Colossians 3:16 tells me to “let the Word of Christ dwell in me richly” – Jesus and the Word – they are one and the same!

The God of all the universe wants to dwell with me?  wants to make His home with me?  How can this be true?  “Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.”  (Revelation 3:20)  Now that’s settling in, getting comfortable, making yourself at home, up close and personal dwelling – that’s what my Heavenly Father calls (another favorite word of mine) abiding.

Abiding is living in that place of peace and protection even while walking through the fires, floods, illnesses, hardships, losses and painful trials I experience in this broken world.  They are not where I abide.  I abide in Him.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  (2 Corinthians 4:7)  In this scenario, I am the jar of clay and the treasure in me is Christ dwelling in me through the power and presence of His Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is living and active.”  When I respond to the knock, open the door and “let the Word of God dwell in me richly,” (I guess the richly part means I let Him move into all the spaces I have to offer, holding nothing back, giving Him free access to everything since it is now His dwelling place)   I have the Living Word living in me.  The Word is alive because Jesus is the Word and He is alive and active as His Word accomplishes His purposes when it comes to dwell in me and in whosoever will.    

My part is to “let”, to allow Christ’s words to dwell in me, to have their way, to take up residence in me, get cozy and make me their home.  That’s dwelling.  I just let them in, those Living Words do the work that needs to be done – in me and in the world.  They have all the power.

“So is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  (Isaiah 55:11)

Oh, Heavenly Father, let Your teaching fall like rain and Your words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants, . . .(Deuteronomy 32:2)

Lord, may Your Living Word fall like rain on my heart, softening the surface, gaining entrance, making Your home there, putting down roots in the broken places, cleaning and healing and restoring, making Your dwelling place fit for Your Presence to abide – with me –  to dwell with me  . . .

“I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”  (Isaiah 57:15)

that’s me – the lowly, the contrite – the overlooked – the invisible,   and yet  . . .

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.”   (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

One translation says “your body is the home of the Holy Spirit . . . “,  that’s dwelling – that’s moving in and taking up residence.

In Moses’s day, they had to build a tabernacle, a place where their Holy God’s Presence could dwell among them.  Now, that same Holy Heavenly Father God, is willing to dwell in me and in you through His Holy Spirit.  The difference between among and in – what a difference a preposition makes in my life!

Christ came to dwell – not to visit  . . . Christ in me, my hope of glory.   (Colossians 1:27)

sincerely,      Grace Day



















I didn’t get the memo

that’s why as I write this, there are two (not one but two) plumbers in my house with all kinds of equipment, making all kinds of loud, random, overtly ominous noises, which doesn’t bode well for me, I think, nor for the possible outcomes to the plumbing health of my house.  Do loud, strident noises of all kinds mean things are going well and getting fixed or are these strange noises a harbinger of more, as yet undiscovered plumbing problems being revealed even as the current problems are being corrected.

I blame my mom.  Isn’t that what we do when we don’t know who else to blame? Blaming moms for just about everything is pretty standard practice, always has been. Actually, I think it’s an age old tradition.  So why do I think my mom is responsible for these two plumbers being here now?  It falls under the heading of “things my mother never told me”, that’s why.  She never told me not to put egg shells down the garbage disposal.  Who knew?

Well, apparently everyone else but me knew and has always known about this rule of garbage disposal etiquette.  I just never got the memo – and for that I blame my mom. Thing is, she probably warned me, I just wasn’t listening.

Some lessons are learned much later in life than others.  Now that I know not to do this, I am altering my behavior accordingly.  But I eat a lot of eggs, so I am constantly challenged to remember this new rule and to break this old habit of putting my eggshells down the garbage disposal.

Now I’m wondering what other important life memos I have missed.  Was I paying attention when mom was passing on her wisdom?  Or did I even think her wise at the time?  I thought there would always be more time with her – and then there wasn’t.  Why is that such a hard lesson for me to learn?  Do it now – don’t wait  . . .

tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, including me – that may have been one of the memos I missed along the way – but with Kobe Bryant’s unexpected death we have all received that memo again, loud and clear – unmistakable –

tomorrow is promised to no one – not even to the rich nor the famous nor the hard working nor the wise nor the wonderful –

so  . . .   “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion,”    (Hebrews 3:7-8)

“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”  (2 Corinthians 6:2)

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”   (Revelation 2:7)

mom made sure I got these memos and the many more contained in God’s living word, His living love letter to me and to each and every one of us –

if I don’t want to miss any more important memos – I need to open up my Heavenly Father’s Book and read His message –

I don’t want to be saying at the end of my life – “I wish I’d known, but I never got the memo!”  

some memos are just too important to miss  . . .

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”    (John 3:16)

sincerely,           Grace Day











if eyes are the windows to the soul

then the heart is the doorway to that soul.  the difference? – with windows you are still on the outside looking in – you are an observer, not a participant, not a part of the person or their life.

but the door – the door gives you access – the door lets you in – the door gives you a place at the table – you can enter in through the door (only a thief enters in through a window)

my heart has become a revolving door – people enter my life and leave it at an alarming rate.  It makes my head spin, if not my heart.

I like the entering in part – there is always room for a new person who I haven’t met yet – whose story I haven’t heard – whose sorrows and joys I haven’t yet shared . . .

it’s the exiting part that is painful – so many things take people away – death, job change, moving far away, a change of heart (pun intended)

and people take so many things away with them when they go –  pieces of myself, that I have shared with them during our time together – confidences confessed, secrets shared, my affections bestowed without restraint – did they know how precious they were to me?  of what surpassing value their presence in my life?

these exits are usually without fanfare – no slamming doors – (can’t do that with a revolving door) – no doors shut – keeping people out – that’s the beauty of a revolving door – always open – able to let more people in – but also allowing them to exit at will

I guess if I shut the door no one could leave, (in theory anyway) but then no one could enter either.

it’s just a lot of wear and tear on my heart – people coming and going – in and out of my life – I get attached – I create a space for them – a place for them at the table – and then one day they aren’t there anymore – there’s an empty place at the table and an empty space in my heart – a space unique to them, that no one else can fill.

I can’t figure any way to stop this revolving door except to close it up – stop letting people in – let them look in through the windows but don’t let them enter in through the door – because the door to my heart is a revolving door and that means they might leave at any moment, without warning    . . .

but there is One who enters in and comes to stay –

“Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching.  My father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’ ”   (John 14:23)

“Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.”  (Revelation 3:20)

Jesus has promised me His abiding presence with me, in me – to stay – forever.

“Now it is God who  . . .   set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”  (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

not only has He entered in – never to leave – but He allows me to reciprocally enter in to abide with Him  . . .

Jesus said, “I am the door; whoever enters through Me will be saved.  He will come in and go out, and find pasture.”   (John 10:9)

sounds a little like a revolving door – but the going out isn’t a leaving of the abiding relationship the sheep has with the shepherd, or that we have with our Heavenly Father-

I have His invitation – “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you  . . . ”  (John 15:4)  and I have His promise – “Never will I leave you nor forsake you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”   ( Deuteronomy 31:6 & Matthew 28:20)

sincerely,        Grace Day









Patriotism, Politics, & Prayer

three words that don’t seem to belong together, in fact one might wonder whether they can co-exist at all.  Time will tell, I guess.  History has a way of revealing to us things the present succeeds in hiding from our view until it is too late.

As I have been pondering the concept of patriotism these past few days, Edward Everett Hale’s book, “The Man Without a Country” comes to mind.  Published in 1863, it is the story of a man who learned to love his country, although it was no longer his.  In that same year, a speech was given, by President Abraham Lincoln on a battlefield in Pennsylvania.  He delivered this two minute speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 19th, 1863 at a ceremony honoring fallen soldiers of the Civil War while dedicating the land as a cemetery for those soldiers.

Times were tough, the nation was in crisis and Lincoln was hated by everyone, his own party and the opposing  one as well.  His speech, which we now call “The Gettysburg Address”, was not well received.  By using the words, “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” Lincoln made the Civil War not only about preserving the Union but about equal human rights for all.  This did not set well with those who wanted slavery to continue.

In fact, in September of 1862, when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the Chicago Times printed,  “a monstrous usurpation, a criminal wrong, and an act of national suicide.”  Lincoln should have been used to this type of personal attack by this time, as he had been criticized constantly from all sides ever since his election to office.

The Salem Advocate, a paper from his own home state of Illinois printed these words, “His speeches have demonstrated the fact that  . . .  he is no more capable of becoming a statesman, nay, even a moderate one, than the braying ass can become a noble lion.   . . .   His weak, wishy-washy, namby-pamby, efforts, imbecile in matter, disgusting in manner, have made us the laughing stock of the whole world.  The European powers will despise us because we have no better material out of which to make a president.”

Clearly, political hate speech is not a phenomenon new to our time.  Even without the aide of TV, Twitter etc., political  opponents could successfully assassinate the character of anyone with whom they disagreed.  Edward Everett, a famous orator of Lincoln’s day wrote in his diary of Lincoln, “He is evidently a person of very inferior cast of character, wholly unequal to the crisis.”   And Congressman Charles Francis Adams wrote this about Lincoln, “His speeches have fallen like a wet blanket here.  They put to flight all notions of greatness.”

Time would tell.  Time would prove how wrong they both were.  But at that moment Time remained silent.  Why was Lincoln so unpopular?  An article, “Evidence for The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln”  states, “The insults heaped on Lincoln after his arrival in Washington were not the result of anything he himself had done or left undone.  He was a man without a history, a man almost no one knew. Because he was a blank slate, Americans, at the climax of a national crisis thirty years in coming, projected onto him everything they saw wrong with the country.”

Today Lincoln is known as “the Great Emancipator” and history honors his legacy. Time has finally found her voice.  Well, her past voice anyway.  At present she seems eerily silent once again as wars of words rage all around our country.  Do we once again have to wonder whether our personal freedoms guaranteed in The Declaration of Independence will remain intact?

Interestingly, Hale, author of the book “The Man without a Country” became a Senate chaplain when he retired from the ministry.  He was chaplain of the Senate from 1903 until his death in 1909.  When asked if he prayed for the senators, Hale replied, “No, I look at the senators and pray for the country.”  (some things never change)

What would Hale’s prayer for our country be today?  Perhaps “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”  (Gettysburg Address, 1863)

or perhaps Hale would have prayed for us to truly be “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  (the pledge of allegiance)

united, with freedom and fair treatment for everyone? – does such a place exist?   sounds like a dream to me – a dream worth working for – a dream worth fighting for –  a dream worth dying for (many have done just that) – a dream worth preserving – the American dream  . . .

“if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  (2 Chronicles 7:14)

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His.  He changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.”  (Daniel 2:20-21)

sincerely,        Grace Day








where do you stand?

seems a simple enough question if taken literally, after all, you are standing on something right now (well unless you are sitting, but soon enough you will stand up again) and when you do, you will be standing on a floor, on a carpet, on a sidewalk, on grass, on a ladder, on the sand of a beach, – but you will be standing on something.

Then there’s the figurative or metaphorical implication of the question, meaning where do you stand on any particular issue or idea?  This answer is not as easily ascertained by the casual onlooker and may not even be fully known by the person to whom the question is directed.

Nevertheless, we all have to ask ourselves this question, we can’t escape it or ignore it forever – where do I stand?  

An old Chinese proverb says, “one foot cannot stand in two boats”.  That seems pretty obvious to me, no explanation needed.  But unfortunately, we have two feet!  I think two feet could stand in two different boats, one in each boat, for awhile anyway, as long as the boats were close together.  Maybe while the boats were docked side by side this would work, even though very uncomfortable, unstable and precarious.

But eventually the boats will again set sail for their separate destinations, leaving the one foot in each boat person in a quandary or more likely adrift in the water, trying to find a foothold, trying to find a new place to stand.

I’m thinking this kind of a person, when he does find a place to stand again, may find himself with a foot in both camps.  This is our more modern version of the old Chinese boat proverb.  We use this phrase to describe someone who is connected to two different groups with opposing interests.  They may even belong to both groups without making a firm commitment to either one.

We call this behavior, straddling the fence, literally to have one foot on each side of a fence (not a real comfortable position to be in, depending on the height of the fence)  Figuratively, this refers to the person who can’t make up their mind and appears to favor both sides of an issue, argument or situation.  They simply refuse to commit and take a stand, they would rather straddle than stand.

That’s right – straddling is not standing.  The former is a poor imitation of the latter. It cannot be sustained over time.  Eventually the straddler topples over because his feet are not firmly planted anywhere.  They may even be suspended mid-air as the straddler remains on the fence.  

Why do we become two boat, two camp people?  Probably because we have two feet.  Why doesn’t it work for us?  Probably because we have only one heart. Matthew 6:24 explains it this way, “No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money.” (or both God and anything else)

I have to make a choice.  I can’t stand in two boats.  My feet may be in two boats but my heart can only be in one.  Joshua 24:14-15 makes this clear, saying, “Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness.   . . .  But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.  But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

No fence straddling for Joshua, he knew where he stood, where he wanted to take his stand.  Revelation 3:15-16 has something to say to all the fence straddling, two-boat, two-camp people struggling to find a place to stand.  “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of My mouth.”

I am the same way.  I prefer things to be either cold and refreshing or hot and warming, but I have no use for anything lukewarm.

Another old proverb attributed to Confucius says, “The man who chases two rabbits, catches neither.”  I assume that outcome has something to do with the fact that the rabbits run in different directions requiring a choice be made about which rabbit to pursue, but in refusing to choose, both are lost.

I need to choose and I want to choose wisely.  Matthew 7:24-27 tells the story of two builders of houses.  One built his house on a rock foundation and the other builder built his house on the sand.  When the wind and the rain came, the house on the sand fell with a great crash, but the other house  ”  . . . did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

It matters where I am standing.  I need to be able to tell the rock from the sand.

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” (Isaiah 26:4)

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.”   (Psalm 18:2)

where am I standing?   three favorite hymns come to mind as I answer this question.

“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand”  and “standing on the promises of Christ my King, through eternal ages let His praises ring”

finally, “Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand . . .”

that’s where I wanna be standing  . . .

sincerely,          Grace Day










my friend – the Snow Captain

finally, I have friends in high places – well at least friend in high place.  This is a recent appointment for my friend, a new title bestowed upon her in this season of her life –  certainly something noteworthy to put on her resume, something impressive to add to her list of accomplishments.

This reminded me that I, too was once a captain.  I was a patrol captain at my elementary school when I was in sixth grade.  I’d forgotten until now about this title, which I held for a year.  I guess it meant I was in charge of the other “safety patrols” as we carried out our duties each day before and after school at the street corners where the students crossed as they came to and left from school each day. We didn’t have uniforms or hats or anything much to set us apart, just a sash of sorts with a badge pinned to it, proclaiming our status as part of the school patrol. Today these are called crossing guards and actual grownups do this job.

But it must have been a position of power and influence, as the title “captain” implies.  After all, there are captains of ships, captains of football teams, captains of industry, pirate captains and so on.  The captain is the one in charge, in control – the captain makes the decisions for himself and for the others over whom he is captain.

So, I’m thinking to be a Snow Captain is pretty cool, who wouldn’t want to be the boss of the snow?  Can my friend decide when and where and how much it snows? Does she get to decide what kind of snow and how long it will stick around? Imagine how great to have big, fluffy flakes floating around in the air, falling to the ground – but only landing on the grass and bushes and trees, making them beautiful, while leaving the streets, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots clear.

My friend, in her capacity as Snow Captain, could command snow to be on sledding hills and ski slopes.  She could arrange for the optimum amount of snow in yards, enough to build snowmen without leaving bare patches.  But how far do her captain powers extend?  If only as far as her own neighborhood, that’s still a lot of power.  At least in her neighborhood there would be no shoveling of driveways and sidewalks, no need to clear the streets.  All the other neighborhoods would be jealous of her “snow captain powers”.  It would be quite picturesque all the time in her neighborhood, if only the snow now obeyed my friend all because of her newly bestowed title of “Snow Captain”.

But therein lies the problem.  The title of “snow captain” implies some measure of power and influence, but do those things actually come with the title? – this man made, man appointed title?  Who really is “Captain of the Snow”?

I love these words which God spoke to Job after Job had questioned God.  God asks of Job, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?  . . . Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble,  . . .  What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?  Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, to water a land where no man lives,  . . .  Does the rain have a father?  Who fathers the drops of dew?  From whose womb comes the ice?  Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?”   (Job 38:4, 22-30)

Job 37:6-7 tells us, “He (God) says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’  So that all men He has made may know His work,  . . . ”  Looks like our Creator God is the real snow captain, after all.  He not only has the title, He has the power over the elements that He created.  They obey Him.

In Matthew 8:26-27 we read where the disciples experienced this same revelation of God’s captainess over His own creation.  “Then He (Jesus) got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.  The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this?  Even the winds and the waves obey Him!’ ”

The poet, William Ernest Henley, wrote in his famous poem, Invictus, these memorable lines; “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” Written in 1875, these words have been quoted by many over the years, including Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela.  These words are quoted so often because they are thought to be words of encouragement and of inspiration.  They sound as though they are just that.

In fact, these words sound so good to our ears that we fail to notice something very important about them.  These words are false!  These words are not truth!

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”  (Proverbs 14:12)

I am not the captain of my soul.  My soul needs a Savior.  I am not the master of my fate.  God is Sovereign over all the universe, over all that He has created.

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me.  I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.   . . .   what I have planned, that will I do.”

I like to think I am in control, but I am not.  “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”   (Proverbs 19:21)

“But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.”   (Psalm 33:11)

I would rather be in the hands of an all wise, loving, merciful, good God than in the hands of any captain, including myself.  I do not want to be the captain of my own soul.  I did not create my soul, and I can’t save it, sustain it, care for it, or prepare it for eternity.  Only my Heavenly Father can do that.

To me the lines of the poem, Invictus, are lines of despair, not of hope.  Consider a few lines earlier when the poet states, “Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, and yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.”

Not very encouraging at all.  No inspiration there.  If all the author is expecting in his future is “the Horror of the shade,”  and still he is not wise enough to be afraid, are we confusing his lack of discernment with courage?

Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

“He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.”   (Proverbs 14:26)

The author of the poem, Invictus, didn’t realize that a properly placed fear of God means we don’t have to fear anything or anyone else.  I can live my life with courage, but only when the “captain of my soul” is my Creator, God.  I am not fit for the job.

I love what the criminal hanging on the cross next to Jesus said, when he asked the criminal hanging on the cross on the other side of Jesus this question – “Don’t you even fear God when you are dying?    . . .   Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.’  And Jesus replied, ‘Today you will be with Me in Paradise.  This is a solemn promise.’ ”    (Luke 23:40-43)

There is a line in the Invictus poem that reads, “Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.”

This man, the criminal on the cross next to Jesus, had a bloody head for sure.  But unlike the man in the poem, this man’s head did not remain unbowed.  He bowed his head. This man had the good sense and the courage to humble himself, to bow his head before the Creator of the universe, who was hanging on the cross beside him and to ask for what Jesus had the power to give to him – forgiveness of his sins and eternal life with Him in heaven.

The words of the poem Invictus are deception masquerading as inspiration.  Its words sound sweet to our ears because we want to believe that we are in control. Perhaps, asking the questions God asked of Job would put things in perspective for us.  Questions such as, “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb?  Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place? Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been shown to you?  What is the way to the abode of light?  And where does darkness reside?

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions.  If  I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul, then I am in big trouble and without hope. But fortunately, that is not the case.  My heart, if not my head, is often bloodied, and I am often afraid, unlike the man in the poem, but

even though I may face trouble and hardship and persecution and famine and nakedness and danger or the sword (or a gun) – I am more than a conqueror through Him who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.    (Romans 8:35-39)

When I am bloodied, I will bow and in allowing the One who is the Creator of my soul to also be the “captain of my soul” I will be more than a conqueror.  therein lies the hope, therein lies the victory   . . .  therein lies all inspiration, therein lies the very reason for me to have courage and to live my life with courage  . . .

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! (have courage)  I have overcome the world.”   (John 16:33)

Jesus, the captain of the snow –  Jesus, the captain of my soul!

sincerely,     Grace Day


















a word to the wise

seems like everything comes with a warning label nowadays, especially most foods and beverages.  I don’t pay that much attention though and there is a reason for that.  Most product labels which include the warnings if there are any, are very small and the print they contain is necessarily minuscule in order for the words to be able to fit onto the label.

so the words of warning don’t really stand out, they don’t really get anyone’s attention at all.  We might even need a magnifying glass to read them.  This kind of defeats the purpose of a warning, which is to get someone’s attention in order to warn them of some dire consequence or impending danger should they choose to consume or to use said product, before it is too late.  That’s the whole point of a warning, it needs to precede the anticipated action, so the person is aware of the consequence before they make their choice.

Tiny print on an obscure product label does not get the job done because it does not get anyone’s attention.  Whoever is in charge of protecting the unsuspecting consumer could take a lesson from the BUMP sign on my walking path.  Now there’s a warning no one can miss!  I have written in previous posts about this ever changing but ever present BUMP warning sign, which alerts me, the walker, to upcoming danger on the path that awaits me should I choose to continue on said path.

Wouldn’t it be helpful if life came with some warnings big enough and bold enough and bright enough (like my BUMP sign) to get my attention and to hold my attention long enough for me to receive the message containing the warning that would leave no doubt as to the danger ahead for me if I continue on the path I am currently taking.

There is truth to the expression “forewarned is forearmed”.  with that in mind I will share some warnings I wish were displayed boldly and brightly so that they would not be missed by myself or others who could benefit from a head’s up before it is too late.

These warnings, if heeded, would protect me from much pain and heartache.  If only these warnings were displayed as prominently as my BUMP sign  . . .

“danger – failure to forgive may damage your relationships”

“beware – hatred is hazardous to your health”

“look out for lies and those who tell them – don’t believe everything you hear – only the truth will set you free”

“proceed with care – entering gossip and slander zone”

“caution – selfishness and greed have been found to be harmful to your heart”

“enter at your own risk – bullying practiced here”

“cannot be held responsible for outcomes occurring apart from prayer”

“be on your guard – casting of stones may occur without warning”

these would certainly be helpful warnings to protect me from the consequences of continuing on a path of unforgiveness or of hatred or of selfishness etc.

God’s word has some warnings that I would do well to pay attention to,  such as

“Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.”  (Deuteronomy 11:16)

“then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head.”   (Ezekiel 33:4)

“Then He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Watch out!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’ ”   (Luke 12:15)

“He (Jesus) told them this parable, ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees.  When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.  Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.’ ”  (Luke 21:29-31)

God’s warnings are pretty clear, I just have to pay attention to them.  I shouldn’t ignore them any more than I could miss or ignore my big, bold, bright blue (now yellow-gold) BUMP sign.

my Heavenly Father tells me,  “Listen to My instruction and be wise; do not ignore it.  Blessed is the man who listens to Me, watching daily at My doors, waiting at My doorway.  For whoever finds Me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.  But whoever fails to find Me harms himself; all who hate Me love death.”  (Proverbs 8:33-36)

He also warns me saying, “Watch out that you are not deceived.  For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’  Do not follow them.  When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened.  These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”   (Luke 21:8-9)

Fortunately, I am walking with the One who knows the beginning from the end.  He is my guide on this journey.  He will not let my foot slip – He watches over me and He neither slumbers nor sleeps.  He hems me in behind and before.   (Psalm 121:3-4 & Psalm 139:5)

Although my path may be treacherous at times, I have this assurance –  “the God of all grace, who called me to His eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will Himself restore me and make me strong, firm and steadfast.”  (1 Peter 5:10)

I just have to heed His warnings, which He provides in abundance throughout His living Word.

sincerely,            Grace Day














technology wars resume

yes, it’s true  – the truce I had been enjoying with technology came to an abrupt end recently, leaving me confused and fearful of what she might do next.  As you know, dear readers, technology and I have often been at odds and I have written about our battles in past posts.  But lately, I have erroneously believed that we had made peace, when in truth technology was just lulling me into complacency, waiting for me to let my guard down, so that she could make her move.

And what a move she made!  Technology unexpectedly ambushed me in the worst possible way – she hit me where she knew it would hurt the most – my blog site simply disappeared from my old desktop, which is where I do all the writing of these posts.  I wanted to blame WordPress, because I think they must have updated something.  But my older  (very older) version of Windows could no longer keep up and so my blog site just vanished from my computer without so much as a warning or even a fond farewell.

Technology shattered our peaceful co-existence with this unexpected ambush, which of course is redundant, because an ambush by definition is unexpected.  Nonetheless, I was blindsided, completely caught off guard.  I am still reeling and technology is pressing her advantage, fighting me at every turn.  If I succeed in writing and posting this post, it will be a major victory for me and a step in reclaiming what technology is attempting to take from me – my ability to communicate with you, dear readers.

So I am currently walking through the valley of the shadow of technology filled with fear born of uncertainty as to the outcome of this contest between us.  But then I call to mind a different valley, a much darker valley mentioned in Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

I know there are many valleys much darker than the valley of the shadow of technology.  I have walked through some of them and will yet find myself walking through more of them.  They can get pretty dark.  The valleys of the shadows of loneliness, of illness, of despair, of loss, of pain, of fear;  these can be dark and deep valleys indeed.  But there is a Light that shines in my darkness and the darkness cannot extinguish it.

According to Psalm 23:4, the Lord, who is my Shepherd, is with me in the valley.  His rod and staff provide me comfort.  The shepherd used his rod to fight off wild animals and his staff to direct the flock.  That’s both protection and direction the Lord gives me as He walks with me through the valley.  Then there’s something else.

James 1:17 describes God as, “the Father of the heavenly lights, in whom there is no shadow of turning.”  Not only is the One who walks with me in my dark valley the Creator and Sustainer of all light but there is no darkness in Him, no shadow at all.  After all, that’s what shadow is, darkness.  Technology may be attempting to cast her shadow of hindrance and set back over me, but He who is the light of the world is greater than any shadow technology can cast.

Besides, when technology’s shadow is finally eliminated, when she finally takes off her mask, will I find a friend and not a foe as I had expected?  Will I discover that she has been a friend all along, urging me on, forcing me to grow and to change with the times, forcing me to face my fears, not wanting me to be left behind?  Maybe she will prove to have been a friend all along, one I mistakenly judged to be the enemy.

Darkness will do that, shadows will do that – obscure the truth, hide true identities, make the way through the valley harder to find.  But there will come a day when even the valleys will be full of light.  (if there will even be valleys at all)

“Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.  And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.  For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”  (Isaiah 40:4-5)

The glory of the Lord will fill the earth with light.  No more dark valleys.  No more shadows.  Today I am walking through the valley of the shadow of technology but I will fear no evil, for “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  (Psalm 119:105)   I will not lose my way.

I may feel I spend more time in life’s valleys than on life’s mountaintops, but it is in the valley that my Heavenly Father prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies.  Take that technology!  I am not giving up.  So today this blogcast (I know that is not a real word) is coming to you from a remote location other than my desktop!  a modern day miracle amid the mundane for sure.

“Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again, I say rejoice!”  (Philippians 4:4)

sincerely,                      Grace Day





there’s a dead body in my basement . . .

how’s that for sensationalism?  it is a true statement as of today, but it is not the whole truth.   The whole truth is that the dead body I discovered quite by accident this morning – is that of a mouse.  I immediately exited the basement and have not returned as of this writing.  I am filled with fear, paralyzed by an irrational reaction to my unexpected grim discovery.  After all, the mouse is dead.  It poses no viable threat to me.  But I can’t bring myself to return to the basement.  My basement now contains a corpse.  And I am not ready to face that reality yet.

In the original, animated Cinderella, the mice were so cute, so adorable even – they sang and they danced and they helped her create a beautiful dress to wear to the ball.  Those mice were not scary at all.  Even so, I cannot bring myself to return to the basement.  I’ll just have to do without whatever I might need that I keep down there.

At present, my fear is greater than my need.  We will see.  Time will tell.  Matthew 10:28 says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”  Yes, I think my fear is misplaced. I’m afraid of something that has no power to harm me, while I need to be paying attention to what or to who does have the potential to hurt me, maybe even fatally.

I find a warning in 1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

Ephesians 6:10-12 tells me to, ” . . . be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Wow!  I have bigger problems than a dead mouse body in my basement.  I think that is pretty clear.  I have a much more sinister enemy who wants to devour me, to destroy me.  But I also have an infinitely powerful, infinitely compassionate protector and deliverer.

“But You are a shield around me, O Lord; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.”   (Psalm 3:3)

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”  (Psalm 18:2)

“He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.”   (Psalm 18:30b)

My Heavenly Father is my protector, my shield from the very real forces of evil that Ephesians 6:12 warns me about.  Despite how scary things can be at times for me, causing me to be afraid, I have this assurance – the same assurance Jesus gave to His disciples when He said to them –

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”   (John 16:33)

So even when I am surrounded by the troubles and the trials that come into my life, I can take heart as God’s word says, or take courage as another translation says, because my Heavenly Father is my shield.  He holds me securely and promises me that nothing will separate me from Him.  I don’t need to be afraid – of anything – even dead mice.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?    . . .    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”  (Romans 8:35, 37)

That’s me – more than a conqueror – because He not only watches over me, He is with me.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”   (Isaiah 43:1-2)

“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”   (Isaiah 41:13)

I don’t need to be afraid – I am not alone – my Creator is holding my hand – He is with me wherever I go – ” . . . I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20)

even to a basement with a dead mouse body  . . .

sincerely,         Grace Day