Thursday, 23 March 2017

Smile at Life

"Nothing can resist the person who smiles at life - I don't mean the ironic and disillusioned smile of my grandfather, but the triumphant smile of the person who knows that he will survive, or that at least he will be saved by what seems to be destroying him." - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Some days we just need to wake up, smile at life and then carry on. As de Chardin suggests - our smile is an acknowledgement that with Christ by our side, we are never defeated! Jesus has saved us and so we live as forgiven people.

Despite what is happening around you, I encourage you to make an attempt to smile - may that smile break into the darkness and remind you that Jesus is always Victorious.

Living in Grace
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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Focused with reason

When Paul went out to share the Gospel he was incredibly focused. He knew what he wanted, more than anything, was to tell people about the LOVE of Jesus. This moved him to enter into all kinds of places and to mix with a range of non-religious people - his sole purpose in doing this was to bring Jesus to them. However, he never compromised his commitment to Christ and always remain loyal to the Cross.

"I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!" - 1 Corinthians 9 (Message)

God is calling us to enter into the world of "the other", in order that we might bring HOPE to them. It is no longer good enough to sit in church and to invite people into our space, we need to GO into the world and to take Jesus to others.

Living in Grace

Monday, 20 March 2017

Moved with compassion

“Empathy: Your pain in my heart.” - Jess Lair.

When we walk close to the Lord we begin to understand the needs of others in a new way. We move from sympathy to EMPATHY. Allowing the pain of a fellow Christian to enter into our heart, is following in the way of Christ. We may not be able to solve the problem or make the pain go away but we can walk alongside those in need.  

Mark 1:41 - "Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”

In this week, where we remember 'Human Rights Day' (in South Africa), may we recognise the humanity in all people and be moved to compassion.

Living in Grace

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Prayer for Healing

If you find yourself in a place where you need healing, or someone you love, needs to know the love of Christ, then I invite you to pray this prayer.

"Spirit of the Living Christ,
we thirst for your presence;
the searchings of our mind,
the longings in our heart,
truly, our souls are restless.
Yet you are our healer, 
enlarging our vision
even when we cry in pain;
calming our hearts,
with your gift of inner peace."

Proverbs 3:8 - Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.

Living in Grace

This prayer is part of the worship service that takes place at the Iona chapel service every week. May God use it to bring light into our darkness.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Your confidence

We live in times where some people are extremely arrogant about their ability (even though they don't fulfil their tasks) and others lack confidence in their God-given ability. From the Taize community in France, comes this lovely reflection. It teaches us that the confidence we receive from Christ can transform our lives.

"Come and bathe us in your confidence, Lord, so that even our inner deserts burst into flower."

Acts 4:31 - While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence.

May God's confidence fill you with grace and strength.

Living in Grace

Friday, 17 March 2017

A Prayer from Saint Patrick

In order to get into the spirit of celebrating the life of Patrick of Ireland, I am including a few thoughts and prayers from the great man of God. Enjoy them and may God Bless you.

"I bind unto myself today,
the power of God to hold and lead;
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to harken to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward,
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard."

"Before I was humiliated I was like a stone that lies in deep mud, and he who is mighty came and in his compassion raised me up and exalted me very high and placed me on the top of the wall."

"If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me."

"I am certain in my heart that all that I am, I have received from God."

Living in Grace

Before I was humiliated I was like a stone that lies in deep mud, and he who is mighty came and in his compassion raised me up and exalted me very high and placed me on the top of the wall.
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Thursday, 16 March 2017

Old Irish Prayer

There is an old Irish saying/prayer that reflects on the life of St. Columba. It invites us to be HOPE for others in the world around us.

"May God guide you...
To be an isle in the sea,
To be a hill on the shore,
To be a star in the night,
To be a staff for the weak."

I invite all of us to try and be one of these things today. Can we be, for someone else -
An Island of Hope?
A Hill of Refuge?
A Star to guide?
A Rod/staff to lean on?

Psalm 23:4 - "your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me."

Living in Grace