Wednesday, 31 March 2010

April Fool

Apparently the earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, written in 1392 (so says wikipedia). Every year thousands of people are caught out by practical jokes, hoax stories and ludicrous announcements. Watch out for them!

The torture and death of Jesus Christ will never be a joke, although some try to discredit Jesus. The agony that He went through was real.

His Resurrection is also not a hoax, although skeptics try to distract us from the triumph of the empty tomb. People can call me a fool for following Jesus, but that's alright - I have been called worse things!

1 Corinthians 1:18 - "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Hate Speech

I just heard on the news that the ANC don't believe that the slogan "Kill the farmer" is classed as hate speech! That's interesting! I am not sure if they think that the rest of South Africa is totally stupid or what, but the last time I checked, trying to incite any human being to kill another person is 'Hatred' in it's purest form.

Look, I am no politician, but I just wanted to remind the ANC (and anyone else who had forgotten) that 2000 years ago, there were a crowd of people that shouted this slogan...

"Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"
And look what happened to Jesus!

But hey, I am sure that the Pharisees, Chief Priests and Teachers of Law, weren't really meaning to kill Jesus - they just wanted to express themselves in a slogan that could unite them and allow them a voice....

We all know that the chants of the crowd, incited by their leaders, eventually got Jesus nailed to a cross. Perhaps the politicians want to do their own reflection this Easter and re-think the consequences of their own chants and slogans. Enough people are dying!

For us, the common people in the street, let's also beware lest our words inflict pain on others.

Living in Grace,

P.S. Forgive my political rant.

Only a few

All of us would love to celebrate and dine at the Heavenly banquet, but how many of us are interested in the suffering of the Cross?
Mmmmh, can I count you in?
Suffering is not so nice, but feasts and celebrations I can do!
The truth is, we can't have one without the other.

"Jesus has many who love his heavenly kingdom, but few who bear His Cross. Many want consolation, but few desire adversity." - Thomas a' Kempis

Jesus says it like this:
Luke 14:27 - "And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."

The feast awaits, but we may have to endure a time of bearing the Cross.

Living in Grace,

Monday, 29 March 2010

Father, Forgive them

What is the hardest part of forgiveness for you?
Which do you find harder to forgive - the harsh words or the actions of others?

Jesus sets before us an extremely hard example, when he utters the words from the cross, "Father, Forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing!" - Luke 23:34

He was choosing to take the sins of everyone upon himself and was pleading for the Father to have mercy on the very people who were destroying him. That is a tough act to follow.

Who are we needing to forgive today?
Do we have the courage to forgive?

Live in the shadow of His grace,

Sunday, 28 March 2010

We've Lost!

This Palm Sunday I have been struck most by John 12:19 (from the New Living Translation). As the pharisees noticed the crowds of people following Jesus, they said these words:
"We've Lost!"

For them, they saw Jesus as a threat. He was turning 'their' people away from them. Jesus was preaching with authority. His influence was perhaps affecting their bank balances. Everything about Jesus was really irritating them. They were 'losing' and Jesus was winning. So, they conjured up a plan to make sure that Jesus stopped gaining the edge - their plan was murder!

Sometimes in Church circles we also worry about 'winning' and 'losing'. If a particular church seems to be 'drawing' people we start to get jealous. We start to get uneasy and often we allow our feelings to become vocal. We may even feel as if we are losing and they are winning.

The ironic thing about Jesus and Pharisees was that Jesus actually came to be on their 'side' first of all, but they refused to accept him (John 1:11-12). If Jesus had chosen a team to play for, he would have chosen the Jewish one - after all he was Jewish. Sadly, he was rejected by his own people and that's when he preached the Good News to everyone. Their loss became our gain.

May our bitterness never prevent us from seeing the 'Truth' of Jesus' mission.

Living in Grace,

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Silver Lining

Sometimes we need to make sure that we don't miss out on the miracles, when we are looking for something else.

"Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold." ~
Maurice Setter

The crowds at Palm Sunday were expecting Jesus to be someone he was not. In their disappointment they changed their Hosanna's to 'Crucify Him!' A lot of this was because of their deep frustration that Jesus was not who they wanted him to be. They missed the truth, because they were looking in the wrong place. They missed the silver lining!

May Christ be real for you this Holy Week!

Living in Grace

P.S. Thanks again to all of you who managed to make the book launch.

Thursday, 25 March 2010


Most of you will read this on Friday (or close to it).
Most of us are excited that it is the weekend:)
Most of us are planning some exciting things over the next few days.
Most of us parents will have our kids at home over the holidays, which is great!
Most of us will be genuine as we pray, "Thank you Lord that it's Friday!"

I pray that 'most' of us will remember that next Friday we mark as no ordinary Friday. It will be GOOD FRIDAY. Tomorrow will be an exciting Friday for me, as we launch my new book, but next Friday is more important for me. I write, blog, live, preach, breathe, love and dream, all because of next Friday.

Good Friday will remind me of my sin and my incredible need of a Saviour. Good Friday will remind me that it should have been me on the cross, but Jesus died in my place.
Good Friday reminds me that through the death of Jesus, I am granted eternal life!

Enjoy your Friday, but please don't forget next Friday!

Living in Grace,

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Say it NOW!

Why do we wait until the important people in our lives are no longer with us, before we tell them what they mean to us? We need to SAY IT NOW! I am convinced that our world will be a better place if we told our family and friends how much they have impacted our lives. Let's not wait for their memorial service before we tell them - let's do it today.

If you are willing to take up this challenge, then read the 2nd chapter in NOW and follow the prompts to the website.

Join the NOW revolution and change your world!

Living in Grace,

P.S. Copies of the new book NOW, will be on sale from Friday or are available via the website.

City of Refuge

Joshua 20 speaks about 'Cities of Refuge.' When people had committed a sin 'unintentionally' they needed a place to flee from the community who may have been keen on revenge. These cities offered a place of hope and safety. The sinners were secure in the walls of the city.

Isn't this what Jesus does for us? He is our 'city of refuge' - when we have sinned, we know that we can turn to him and he will not cast us out!

Psalm 46:1 - God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

May you find refuge in the arms of Jesus.

Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Known by God

I came across this hidden, but powerful verse this morning:
"But the man who loves God is known by God." - 1 Corinthians 8:3

This would apply to both men and women - when we love God a deeper intimacy develops between us and God. There is a difference between knowing who someone is and actually knowing them intimately. Let me give you a random example:

I know who the following people are - Nelson Mandela, David Beckham and Bill Gates. But do I know any of them personally - sadly, Not! You see, there is a difference between knowing about someone and then knowing them intimately.

In a way, Paul was arguing that when we love God, he doesn't just know who we are, but that he knows us intimately. He knows us 'warts and all' and he still loves us. Jesus died for every aspect of our lives. That is powerful.

Live in God's grace and may you be blessed to be 'known' by the Creator of the Universe.


Monday, 22 March 2010

Monkey's Wedding!

Two weeks ago I shared at our morning services about how a 'Monkey's Wedding' can be a sign of heaven breaking through into our lives. If you don't know what a monkey's wedding is, here is a simple explanation:
"It is when the sun shines at the same time as it is raining!"
(Overseas it is known as a 'Sunshower' and in Afrikaans it is referred to as a 'Jackal's wedding.')

Today I got to see another monkey's wedding - it was awesome! Again it reminded me that even though the rain may fall in our lives (and we feel as though we are in a storm), the light of Christ will always shine through.

Psalm 112:4 - "Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man."

May you know the light of Jesus in your heart today.
Be Blessed, my friend.

Living in Grace,

Sunday, 21 March 2010


This passage speaks of the intimate way in which God viewed Benjamin.

Deuteronomy 33:12 - About Benjamin he said: "Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders."

Wouldn't you like to be called God's beloved?
The truth is that we are! When Jesus died on the cross, I believe he knew me by name. He knew my sins and yet he still chose to die to set me free from sin.

Let's aim to live as the 'beloved' of Christ.

Living in Grace,

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Would I have done that?

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich." - 2 Corinthians 8:9

I have this awesome book called 'Contemplating the Cross' (by Tricia McCary Rhodes) which I have been reading as a preparation for Easter (when I get a chance). I came across this quote today:

"You will understand that spitting scene (that night) when God lets you see your own heart." - Alexander Whyte

That is a powerful quote!
Is there a part of me that understands my dark-side and sin or do I just pretend that it doesn't exist? Would I have spat at Jesus if I were a Roman soldier? I honestly don't know - but what I do know, is that I reject his motions of grace when I need them the most!

What about you?

Trying to live in Grace,

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

NOW - refuse to let the moment pass!

The new book is out!
We have called it NOW and it is our prayer that it will inspire us all to seize every moment from God as a precious gift. We have designed the book in such as way, so that readers will interact with the website . Some of the chapters have a challenge, which we hope people will take up and then visit the website to complete.

You are all invited to our 'launch', which will be at Wesley Methodist on Friday 26th March at 6pm. I will share more about the book then. If you are on Facebook, join the Event page and you can even become a Fan too. Thanks for the support.

We are going to be having a few other books at the launch too. John Bailey and Jenny Hillebrand's books will be at the launch too - they are both Methodist Ministers and we will be able to see their awesome work.

Tim Weaver will be out from the UK and will be bringing 20 of his new books with him. Although his book was released in the UK in February, it hasn't officially been launched yet in SA. Just to give you an idea of how famous my brother-in-law will be, his book, Chasing the Dead, has sold over 10 000 copies in 2 weeks! Not bad for a first time author. I taught Tim all he knows:) (...I wish!) Tim has asked me to point out that his book is in the genre of Crime Thriller - It is a great read for anyone who loves exciting books.

We will be donating R10 per book sold towards the Youth Easter Camp happening in 2 weeks time.

God Bless you,
Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

How many Bibles are there?

Just out of interest, how many Bibles, would you guess, exist in the world today?

Here is the answer:

"There are over 1,000 different types of bibles; and there are all together (bibles made) about 6,000,000,000, add or subtract 1000. The Christian Bible is the bestselling book of all time!"

With the world's population being over 6 Billion, it seems as if there are enough Bibles printed to get 1 into the hands of ever person, yet some people have too many Bibles and some have no access to them at all.

After all, how many Bibles do we need in any case? I think I must have well over 20 on my book shelf (now that's a bit greedy) and I am reading the Scriptures more from my phone/computer nowadays. So I think it is about time I started to give them away.

What do you think? How many Bibles do you own?

Another thought:
We can't assume that just because a person has a Bible that they read it or are changed by it. If this were true, most of the planet would be Christians. Surely, the challenge is bigger than just getting a Bible into the hands of people (which the Gideons do very well), it has to be about teaching people how to read it!

So, the real question, should be:
'How often do you read ANY of your Bibles?'

Keep reading my friends!

Living in Grace,

Monday, 15 March 2010

The Gospel according to the 3 Billy goats gruff!

Yes, I have lost the plot, but just bear with me.
I was helping Declan read his school book this evening - it was 'The Three billy goats gruff' - do you remember that book? Anyway, as he was reading a weird thought came into my mind - "This links up with the Gospel in a powerful way!" Let me tell you why I think so...

The nasty troll had made everyone afraid of crossing over the bridge to the sweet green grass on the other side. However, the 3 Billy goats changed that forever! It was the third Billy goat who rammed the ugly troll into the river (never to be seen again) and from that day on everyone freely crossed over the bridge - no more fear, no more troll!

So, even though the devil thinks that he can scare us from crossing over into eternity, we must remember that Jesus has booted him into the Abyss. He has no more hold over us and Jesus is our Saviour.

What do you think of that?
(Ok, please don't lambaste my bad theological reflection, but think about it!)

Revelation 20:3 - He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.

Living in Grace,

Sunday, 14 March 2010

15th March

By the time you read this it will be the 15th March. This day is significant in history because in the Roman calendar the 15th March was known as the Ides of March. We remember that on this day, in 44 B.C., Julius Caesar was murdered by Brutus, Gaius and other senators. The famous words 'Et tu, Brute?' (You too, Brutus?) linger on in Shakespearean literature.

Seventy years later Jesus was also betrayed by his friends. He could have been surprised at Judas' betrayal and said, "You too, Judas?" however, Jesus already knew that he was going to be 'back-stabbed' by one of his disciples - remember how he prophesied about it at the last supper? The amazing thing was that Jesus' incredible love for you and I, allowed him to face this betrayal (and death)! What amazing love is this?

Next time you feel betrayed think of Jesus.

"I’m forgiven because You were forsaken,
I’m accepted, You were condemned.
I am alive and well, Your spirit is within me,
Because You died and rose again."
- Chris Tomlin (Amazing Love)

Living in Grace,

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Heaven breaking through

We are looking at the last of our preaching series on 'God is closer than you think' and the topic is "Heaven Breaking Through!" What does this mean for you? Think about it for a few seconds and put aside your theological hat! If heaven broke through into our world, what would it look like?

Simply for me, 'heaven breaking through' is when evidence of Agape Love is found in our communities. When you and I love with a supernatural ability. When we love beyond our capabilities. That is when a part of 'heaven' is found on earth.

"May your will be done on earth
As it is in heaven."
- Matthew 6:10

Living in Grace,

Friday, 12 March 2010

Heaven desires and Hell fears

C.S.Lewis made this incredible observation:

"What matters, what heaven desires and hell fears, is precisely that further step, out of our depth, out of our own control."

Becoming a disciple of Jesus means taking that initial step - out of our own control, but trusting in the Call of Christ. This is what made 'hell fear' - the day you said 'YES' to Jesus.

Just a thought. Since that awesome day - the day we said 'YES' to Jesus and we moved out of our comfort zone, when last did we take step? When last did we surrender to the desires of heaven?
Just asking?

Mark 11:22 - "Have faith in God," Jesus answered.

Living in Grace,

Thursday, 11 March 2010

This Day

Stephen Curtis Chapman wrote the following inspiring lyrics:

"Yesterday the sky was bright and clear
I could see the sun and I could hear the song
Faith flowered like a river free and deep
And grace was not hard to be believed
But that was yesterday
And what was close enough to touch
Now seems a world away
So what about this day?"

So what about this day? How will we choose to live today?

If you have a moment check out: Hebrews 13:8, Malachi 3:6.

Living in Grace,

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Birthday smiles

It has been a will since I wrote and I apologise for that. I have been in Johannesburg leading some services and workshops, which all went well.

Today, I want to celebrate, because it is my baby's birthday. Yip, Joshua turns 2 today (10th). He is a true gift from God and we love his personality and zest for life. I thank God every day for my family.

I know this verse applies to the birth of Jesus, but I feel that it applies to our kids too...

Luke 1:14 - "He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth."

May you be blessed by your family and may you appreciate every moment that you have with them.

Living in Grace,

Monday, 8 March 2010


What is a risk for you?
Is it starting that "thing" you have dreamed
about, but just haven't had the courage to begin?
Is it making that phone call?
Is it saying that radical prayer?
Is it taking a new step in faith?

Life is filled with opportunities and many of them
are risky. Following Jesus is also risky in sense, but
that it is why we call it FAITH.

Take a moment and read Hebrews 11:1

Living in grace,

P.S. I am up in JHB for a few days and God has been good.
I travel back home tomorrow.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

What does God want from us?

What does God want from us?
I can't be holy in my human state;
I can't seem to be perfect,
no matter how hard I try;
I don't always love with every part of my being.

So what can I do then?

"What does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
And to walk humbly with your God." - Micah 6:8

That is what God wants from us! Hard, but worth trying.

Living in Grace,

Friday, 5 March 2010

Transformed into something valuable

"Any experience can be transformed into something of value." - Vash Young

I came across this quote, which reminded me of the following verses from Romans 8...

"And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters." - Romans 8:27-29

May God continue to guide you and may the Spirit transform all our experiences into things of great value.

Living in Grace,

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Do you not know?

"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak."
- Isaiah 40:28-29

This verse is for me right now. I am grateful that God gives us strength when we feel we have none.

I pray that these words would strengthen you too. Be blessed.

Living in Grace,

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


Just for you:

"Blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
the woman who sticks with God.
They're like trees replanted in Eden,
putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season."
- Jeremiah 17:7-8 (Message)

May you be blessed.

Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

These guys are awesome

Every now and again you just have to admit that you know some awesome people. I am proud to introduce 2 of these people to you.

Firstly, Tim Weaver (he is my brother-in-law, so I get brownie points for this). Tim's first novel 'Chasing the Dead' was released in the UK last week and will be out in South Africa next week. It is written in the Crime thriller genre and he has already been signed by Penguin books on a 2 book deal. Tim's book will be translated into 7 different languages (that's impressive hey!). 8 years of hard work and perseverance have been put into this book. To check out more of his details, feel free to go to his website.

Secondly, Tyron Bache (we are not related, besides being brothers-in-Christ. I hope I still get brownie points though)! I have been complemented many times on the Living in Grace website and every time I have to set the record straight. The site is 99% Tyron's work, with my occasional input. He has done an amazing thing with the site and I am honoured that he has helped me with getting the 'Living in Grace' name out there. Tyron has an awesome future ahead of him. Please have a look at his website.

Both of these guys are still young and yet they are following their dreams. They are willing to make sacrifices to get things done. That inspires me.
What do you think and who inspires you?

Living in Grace,

P.S. I will be posting about some more awesome people soon:) Watch this space...

Listening to the voice of God

How hard is it for you to hear from God?
Come on now, don't evade the question!
... give yourself a score between 0 and 10.

I know that honesty hurts sometimes, but if we admit that it is hard to hear from God then maybe we can get to the root of the reasons for this.

Russel Norman (one of our Young Adults from Wesley) preached an awesome sermon on Sunday where he reminded us that one the reasons we fail to hear from God is 'Busyness.' He is spot on!

For me, when I am busy running around doing 'things for God', I end up being distracted and then slowly cutting out God's voice.

"I think God's going to come down and pull civilization over for speeding." ~ Steven Wright

Is this what happened to Solomon and David? Were they so busy running their Kingdom's 'for God' that they stopped listening to God for direction?

What do you think about 'busyness' and hearing God's voice?

Living in Grace,

Monday, 1 March 2010


When we make mistakes what is our initial reaction?

Do we try and justify our actions?
Do we blame somebody else?
Do we hide in shame?
Do we do nothing and hope that no-one notices?

How about this as a novelty?
Just start by saying, "Sorry!" And then offer to make things right.
I think that this simple act is one of the hardest things for humans to do!
Why? I am not sure - ask yourself that question?
Why do you find it hard to say sorry?

Just out of interest, the ability to say 'Sorry' has something to do with our ability to ask God for forgiveness. If we can't admit our mistakes before God, then we will not be able to admit our need for a Saviour.

2 Corinthians 7:9 - "...yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us."

Living in Grace,

P.S. If you are one of the few people in the world who has no problem with this, please pass on your secret!