Sunday, 31 January 2010

Answer this...

I used this quote in my sermon tonight.

Warren Wiersbe - “You can tell something about the character of a person when you ask them these 3 questions: What makes them laugh? What makes them angry? What makes them weep?”

So, what makes you laugh?

What makes you angry?

What makes you cry?

1 Corinthians 15:33 - Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

Living in Grace,

Photo from here

Saturday, 30 January 2010


Clive Staples Lewis has to be one of my favourite authors and thinkers. The fact that he was also a Christ-follower makes his work even more impressive for me. Here are a few of his quotes:

The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.

There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way."

A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.

Just remember that it is great to read good books, but we mustn't neglect the truth that is found in the Bible.

May God bless you,
Live in His Grace

Friday, 29 January 2010

Show them

"Christianity taught people that LOVE is worth more than intelligence." - Jacques Maritain (French Philosopher)

Remember that we may not be able to convince people into believing the GRACE of Christ, but we have an opportunity to show them this love. If you choose to LIVE IN GRACE people will soon comprehend the great mystery - that God loves us!

John 13:1 - "Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love."

Blessings to you,
Photo from here

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Psalm 37

Here are 2 amazing verses from Psalm 37.

"If the Lord delights in a man's (or woman's) way,
he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand."
(v.23-24 )

May you be encouraged today, even if you feel as if you are falling. God promises that you will not stumble!

Living in Grace,

Photo from this site

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

We can win together!

In our competitive world we often try to get ahead, without thought of anyone else. Sometimes we need to realise that we can benefit from the help of others (and they can be blessed by our help)! If we fight our battles in a team, we all end up victorious. This is what happened to the Israelites...

"So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword." - Exodus 17:10-13

Who could do with your help today?
Look for the win-win situation - it brings great blessing to you and others.

Living in Grace,

Cool photo from here

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

What a difference!

A day can make a big difference!
Life can change in an instant - for better or for worse - we all know this. However, life can also take on a new look if we make an intentional change ourselves. It may not be a radical change, but it can still produce something dynamic.

This is what I had to do this week. I needed to get away somewhere quiet, just to let my 'soul catch up with my body!' So for just over a day (and night) I read, prayed, slept, ate, walked, read, wrote, prayed and slept.

I am beginning to understand even more clearly now why God planned the Sabbath at the end of the 6 days of work. It was in order for us to rest, to recuperate, to reflect and to recapture the desire for the next 6 days. The 7th Day is crucial for our survival.

Exodus 20:11 - For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Hebrews 4:9 - There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God

If you get a chance, why don't you see what difference 24 hours can make in your life? If you need some help getting started drop me a line.

Living in Grace,

Photo from here

Monday, 25 January 2010

Interesting Stats

Here are a few of the interesting stats we shared in the sermon on Sunday.

• Kids who viewed their mom as religious – 48%
• Kids who viewed their dad as religious – 23%
• Kids who experienced family devotions, prayer or bible reading at home – 27%

These are quite alarming stats, especially when you consider that these kids were in Church-going families.

What would the stats be in your family now or when you were growing up?

“Choose this day who you will serve...but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15

Living in Grace,

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Time for a service

All cars need to have regular services in order for them to function effectively. If we don't take them for these services then they will start to perform below their optimum.

The same applies in our spiritual lives. We need to discern the signs of our own spiritual well-being and if we are needing a little fine-tuning, then it is best to do this soon. This is what I will be doing on Monday and Tuesday. I will be going for a spiritual check-up. It is the right time. Two days of spiritual restoration is in order - it is time to clear my diary and to spend time with Jesus.

Exodus 33:14 - The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

Matthew 11:28 - "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

How is your spiritual engine going?

Living in Grace,

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Sacred versus Secular

This Sunday will see millions of people worship in Church buildings all around the world. Sadly, most worshippers will believe that their relationship with Jesus is confined to that service time alone. People will feel that they have had their 1 hour of 'Sacred' time with God & then they will continue to live the rest of the week in the 'Secular' world.

Why can't we take our faith home or into our work places or into our places of learning? I think we should be taking Christ into every area of our lives!

Dallas Willard has this to say:
"There truly is no division between sacred and secular except what we have created. And that is why the division of the legitimate roles and functions of human life into the sacred and secular does incalculable damage to our individual lives and the cause of Christ."

Wow, this is a challenging statement to make!

What do you think?

Living in Grace,

Friday, 22 January 2010

How much?

A good book will cost us about R120,
An awesome cup of coffee about R10,
A delicious meal could set us back R200,
A new shirt may be around R150,
A new car will cost us...big bucks!
And a house will set us back close on R1 million.

Yes, I know that these figures depend on where we shop, but stay with me....

Everything nowadays has a price tag on it. We can bargain if we want, but we will still pay something in the end.

So, how much do you think you're worth? R50, R50 000, R5 million?
Here is what the Bible estimates you're worth...

Isaiah 43:4 - Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.

To God we are priceless! How awesome is that?

And God's love for us?
Psalm 36:7 - How priceless is your unfailing love!

Living in Grace,

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Dealer in Hope

I came across this interesting quote from Napoleon Bonaparte.

"A leader is a dealer in hope."

Could this be why Jesus is viewed as such a powerful leader? Where-ever he went Jesus dealt in Hope.

Matthew 12:21 - "In his name the nations will put their hope."

Who brings you hope?
What can you do to bring hope to someone else?

Grace offers me Hope,

Photo from here

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


As I have said before - I don't do 'waiting' very well.
I love what Phillips Brooks says: "The trouble is that I am in a hurry, but God isn't!"

However, it is clear that there were many people in the Bible who had to wait to receive something special.

-Abraham waited 100 years before he was given a son (Hebrews 6:15)
-The Israelites waited 40 years to enter the promised land (Exodus)
-Simeon waited his whole life to see the Messiah (Luke 2)
-The disciples had to wait for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4)

I guess it may well be true that "All good things come to those who wait!"
What do you think?

Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


Seven days ago Haiti was rocked by an enormous earthquake (which you all know already) and I have not written anything on it as yet. Why, you may ask?
Is it because I don't care? Well, of course not!

To be honest, I just don't know what to say or write.

I mean, what is there to say that can make it any better for the people of Haiti? Will my words bring 200 000 people back to life?
How can I try to rationalise why this happens?

I will not point out that this is some way of God getting even with people - I will not speak on God's behalf, when it comes to things like this. Sure it may be Apocalyptic, but there were many godly people in the midst of the dead - did God just allow them to die, so we can all get a message?
Not the God I want to believe in!

Look, I understand that we frustrate God at times. I get it, that I sin and mess up daily. But I also understand that God wants to be in relationship with us - that's why Jesus came to earth isn't it?

To lead me back to God.
To pay for my sins on the cross.
To offer me forgiveness.

So, why the earthquake struck Haiti and not South Africa, I don't know. What I do know is this...

Romans 8:18 - I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

2 Corinthians 1:5 - For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

In the meantime, let's all pray for the people of Haiti. They need our love and prayers. Let's leave the "why did this happen" for another day!

Living in Grace,

Monday, 18 January 2010

The Value of Adversity

Our community is still reeling from the tragic loss of Bruce Grobler. He was an inspirational young man, who left his mark on many of our lives. Although we will never fully understand why things happen the way they do, it is important for us to seek comfort from Christ. Please pray for his family and friends during this difficult time.

I was reading 'The Imitation of Christ', by Thomas a' Kempis this evening and this was the passage that I was reading:

"Sometimes it is good for us to have trouble and crosses to bear. Adversity can return us to our senses. It can remind us that we are here as refugees, and that we must not place our trust in anything belonging to the world."

He makes a good point, but I am still not a fan of adversity.
How do you feel?

Living in Grace,

Sunday, 17 January 2010

In, On, Sing!

Psalm 40:1-2
"I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD."

For those of you who heard part of this tonight at Church, please forgive the repetition - I think it's important to share with everyone.

When David cried out to God in the midst of his troubled life, he shared how the Lord moved him through 3 phases:

1. From being in the slimy pit,
2. To placing him back on solid ground,
3. Giving him a reason to sing again.

Regardless of where you are right now, Christ is with you and you will sing again. Hold tight - God won't let you go.

Living in Grace,


Saturday, 16 January 2010

Strength to you

I realise that many people have had a roller-coaster start to 2010. If you are finding yourself at the bottom of this 'ride' then here is a verse for you.

"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
- Isaiah 41:10

If you are at the 'top' of this adventure called 'Life', please pray for your family and friends who are needing strength at this time.

Held in the grip of God's Grace,

Friday, 15 January 2010


"The forgiven love much,
The recently forgiven more so,
The drastically forgiven most of all."
- Philip Greenslade

Which one are you?

Luke 7:47 - "Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

Gratefully forgiven,

Photo credit here

Thursday, 14 January 2010


Thank you for your support and for allowing my thoughts to invade your inbox.

Can I ask you to help by passing these posts on to anyone who may need some daily inspiration in their Christian faith. If it is possible, ask your friends or family to sign up themselves (or do it for them) by going to
In this way we can keep a record of all who receive them. Thanks :)

Despite an increasing hunger amongst people to read the Bible, I have also noticed a rising frustration at trying to understand what it means. While I don't have all the answers (by a long shot), I started this blog to try and help us reflect on the Bible in our daily lives. The blog is meant to connect our experiences (and questions) with the Scriptures.

Thanks again for the comments and interaction. It is a pleasure to be on the journey with you.

Living in Grace,
help photo

How do you operate?

As individuals we respond to things in contrasting ways. Some of us need guidance, accountability and direction. Others of us, like to be free agents, making our own choices, without the need of a support structure. Personally I think that both options, when taken to the extreme, can be harmful.

For me, I need the freedom to be 'ME', but I also need the input, care and guidance from others.

What about you?

Ecclesiastes 4:10 - If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Miracle in the Andes

I have just finished reading an inspiring book entitled 'Miracle in the Andes'. It is the story of how members of a Uruguayan Rugby team miraculously survived for 72 days in the Andes. If there ever was a story that motivates one to appreciate life, this is it. You can read more about it here.

As much as I enjoy reading a variety of books (as do most of you), let us not forget the importance of reading and reflecting on the Bible. Every page is filled with an image of God - it teaches us more about how awesome our God is. Sure, there will be sections that make us scratch our heads, but that's part of the mystery of the Scriptures.

Deuteronomy 29:29 - "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law."

Living in Grace,

Staring at the Wall

Sometimes life seems as if it is looming large over us (just like the wall in the picture). This is when we need to step back and see how big our God is - even the 'wall' looming large over us, is tiny in comparison with the might of God.

2 Samuel 22:30 - "With your help I can advance against a troop ; with my God I can scale a wall."

Living in Grace,

Photo courtesy of

Monday, 11 January 2010

Why I don't like to make decisions on Mondays!

My secret is exposed - I don't like to make decisions on Mondays!
And here is the simple reason why...

On Mondays I usually feel spiritually, emotionally and physically exhausted. Leading services on Sundays may not seem that draining, but it is hard to explain how one truly feels at the end of the day.

So, in order not to make a really dumb decision, I choose to ride out the Monday blues and then try and make rational decisions later on in the week. Weird, I know, but that's me!

Matthew 11:28 - "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Do you have a bad 'decision' day?

Rest in God's Grace,

Thanks to for the photo.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The point of no return

When Julius Caesar crossed over the Rubicon on the 10th January 49 BC, he made a conscious decision to pass the 'point of no return.' His action systematically declared war on Rome and history was changed forever.

The same thing happened to the Israelites when they crossed over the Jordan river (Joshua 3) - life would never be the same again for them.

I am sure that both Caesar and Joshua had moments of doubt, fear and uncertainty, yet they still crossed over the rivers. As we gaze out into 2010, we will all come to places of decision. We will have to decide to go over or to remain on the shore of safety.

What will it take for us to venture into the river? A promise, a threat, a command. How about this...

"Be strong and courageous..." - Joshua 1:6

"I claim no right to myself - I have given myself clear away and retained nothing as my own." - Jonathan Edwards

I am crossing the river. Come and join me!

Living in Grace,

P.S. Photo from

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Best and worst jobs

In today's paper they included an interesting article on 20 of the best and worst jobs to have in 2010. While I realise that they are only the opinion of some researchers, they do make intriguing reading. I will just include the first five...

Best jobs
1. Actuary
2. Software engineer
3. Computer systems analyst
4. Biologist
5. Historian

Worst jobs
1. Roustabout
2. Lumberjack
3. Iron worker
4. Dairy farmer
5. Welder

As a Pastor I fit into neither the top 20 best or worst jobs. Go figure!

Whatever work you do, let's consider ourselves blessed to have work. Perhaps we could learn from Paul in terms of our attitude towards our work.

Colossians 3:23 - "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men..."

Living in Grace,

Photo thanks to

Friday, 8 January 2010

Crossing our Jordan

I'm going to be dealing with Crossing our Jordan on Sunday. Just as the Israelites needed to cross over the Jordan to enter the promised land, so we sometimes have to overcome obstacles in our lives, in order to move with God.

Just before they reached the river, God encouraged them with these words -

Joshua 1:6“Be strong and Courageous…”

When God calls, we need to rely on the Spirit to give us the strength and courage to cross our 'Jordan.'

Jean Paul Richter“Courage does not mean to blindly ignore danger, but to spot and conquer it.”

Moving from our comfort zones is never easy, but often it is necessary. What is your Jordan?

Live in Grace,

Thanks for photo of Jordan River

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Achilles heel

In Greek poetry it is said that Achilles died when he was struck with a poisoned arrow in his heel - thus starting the saying which we refer to as having an 'Achilles heel.' This is the definition according to wikipedia:

"An Achilles’ heel is a fatal weakness in spite of overall strength, that can actually or potentially lead to downfall."

Well, this certainly happened to our Champion warrior Achilles and this has happened to many other powerful people ever since. Just when we think we are strong (and perhaps invincible) we run the risk of being destroyed by something small - like an arrowhead.

So, what is your potential Achilles heel?

The Scriptures give us this advice:
Isaiah 63:1 - Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? "It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save."

"We become God's people when God's grace conquerors our fear of others knowing our weaknesses and shortcomings." - Leverett Luck

Live in the strength and grace of God,

Photo courtesy of
Hope the ladies appreciated the photo of Brad Pitt!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


I had the privilege of watching Invictus last night and it was a great movie. It made me feel proud to be a South African and to see how far we have come as a nation. However, it is also clear that we have far to go.

This is the poem quoted by Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) in the Movie:

"Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

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.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."
- William Ernest Henley

It is a stirring poem indeed. There is just one thing I would change -
Jesus is the Captain of my Soul!

What about you?

Living in Victory,

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Best Books

For a list of the best books of 2009, read this article from the New York Times. If you want to know the books I enjoyed the most this past year, read below...

Ministry Book:
Eugene Peterson - The Contemplative Pastor

Challenging my faith:
Shane Claiborne - Jesus for President

Non Christian:
Stephen Ambrose - Band of Brothers

Creative Ideas:
Seth Godin - Tribes

Biblical Book:

"Everything is possible for him who believes." - Mark 9:23

So what are your favourites?

Living in Grace,

Monday, 4 January 2010


What have you eaten today?
... a bowl of cereal?
... some fruit?
... a sandwich?
... meat and veggies?

When Jesus was instructing his disciples how to pray, he suggested that they pray this - "Give us today our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11). The thing is, did he literally mean that God would give us our physical food or was he referring to our 'spiritual' diet? Or was he referring to both?

Forget about what you have physically eaten today - now, let's ask ourselves:
"What has my spiritual diet been like today?"

That's the real question, for me!
What do you feel?

Living in Grace,

Sunday, 3 January 2010

David versus Goliath

Tonight I am very sad, because my football team lost! Yes, Manchester United lost to Leeds United (who are two divisions below Man U) in the FA Cup. So, all of you non-United fans can have your moment of pleasure - at least for today.

Although my team lost, I did have a tiny chuckle at the fact that again I have witnessed 'David beating Goliath.' We often read the passage in 1 Samuel 17 and think that this only happened thousands of years ago, but it still happens today. Sure, Sport is not Life (sometimes), but it can remind us of some important spiritual principles - never write off the underdog.

If you feel as if you are always living as the 'underdog', take heart - God is on your side.

May you have a blessed day. Please excuse me while I now go and cry myself to sleep:(

Living in Grace,

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Paper Planes

Some things are fun to make and awesome to play with, but in the end, they don't last a long time - like paper planes.

On the other hand, some things are harder to work at, take a lot of discipline and may not seem like 'fun' to others, but in the end they last for eternity - like Faith and our relationship with Jesus Christ.

In 2010, I want to opt for spending time on things that last beyond a few moments.
What about you?

1 Corinthians 3:13 - "...his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work."

Living in Grace,

P.S. Photo thanks to

Friday, 1 January 2010

My decade in review

After seeing some really great 'decades' in review, from a few friends, I have decided to follow suit. So here is my last ten years in very abbreviated form:

1999 - Kim and I got married. Finished 5th year at Bryanston Methodist as a Youth Pastor.
2000 - Travelled and worked in the UK.
2001 - Worked in UK and then travelled around the world.
2002 - Started ministry in Somerset West and finished my first year of ministerial studies. Declan was born in the December.
2003 - Finished my degree at John Wesley College in Pretoria and assisted at North Rand Methodist.
2004 - Moved to Dalton Methodist. Nathan was born. Completed my Honours degree.
2005 - Continued at DMC, started my Masters in Theology.
2006 - Completed Masters, Ordained as a Minister, finished at DMC.
2007 - Started at Wesley Methodist in PMB. Visited family in UK and started writing book.
2008 - Joshua born in March. 'Living Oceans Apart' published & launched in November.
2009 - Mission trip to Ubombo, took up blogging seriously, celebrated 10 year wedding anniversary, & got to visit Sabi Sabi.

Whew, after all of that, I suddenly feel tired! There is so much more I could have written, but that would take up many more pages.

God has been incredibly gracious to me over the past 10 years, especially with my fantastic family. God has brought some amazing people into my life and I am blessed to be surrounded by so many great people (yes, that includes you!).

It is amazing to see how all of our lives can change, without us even perceiving HOW and WHEN.

"No eye has seen,
No ear has heard,
No mind has conceived,
what God has in store for those who love him..."
- 1 Corinthians 2:9


May we all start 2010 Living in Grace,