Saturday, 31 December 2011

What will you do?

As the clock runs down on 2011 we stand on the brink of another New Year. In a few hours time we are all going to blessed with a potential 366 days in 2012. We will get the same 'blank' diary to fill and we will have the freedom to choose how we fill it. So, here are a few thoughts for you before you start adding details to your calendar:

1. What role will God play in your decisions?
2. How much time will you give to God in 2012?
3. How much of a priority will your family be?
4. How will you keep fit in 2012 - in a physical, emotional and spiritual sense?
5. What hurt do you need to leave behind as you start a new year?

Praying that 2012 will be a blessing for you.

Living in Grace

Friday, 30 December 2011

Day by Day

Remember that we can't do it all in one day. We will have to take 2012 one day at a time. May God bless you each and every day in the New Year.

"Day by day, dear Lord,
Of thee three things I pray;
To see thee more clearly,
To love thee more dearly,
To follow thee more nearly,
Day by Day." - Richard of Chichester (1197 - 1253)

Living in Grace

We were told about this

I know that Jesus told his disciples that they would have trouble in their lives (and the same applies to us), but for many people 2011 has given us enough difficulty and challenges already. It is time for a new year - new challenges, new difficulties and new adventures. It is a relief to note that Jesus finished off his comment to the disciples by promising to be with them - come what may!

"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

Living in grace

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

After Christmas

Eight days after Jesus' birth he was consecrated to the Lord, which was part of the Jewish custom. These are the words of Simeon who blessed baby Jesus:

"For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." - Luke 2:30-32

May Jesus be a light for us.

Living in Grace

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Blessed Christmas

May Jesus Christ be incredibly real for you this Christmas time. May the Spirit of Christ bring you peace, joy and hope. Amongst all your gifts may Jesus be your most prized gift.

Praying that you would all have a blessed Christmas,

Living in Grace

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Great description of Christmas

I can think of no better words to describe Christmas, than the following thoughts from George McDougall:

Best of all, Christmas means a spirit of love,
a time when the love of God and love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and
bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives
manifest the presence of God.

Hope your preparation for the birth of Jesus is filled with love, forgiveness and grace.

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

No lights

The last couple of days we have been so hectic, that we haven't even turned on our Christmas tree lights. With all the renovations, church services, arranging kid's lives, work etc, we haven't had a moment to turn the lights on and enjoy the ambiance of the Christmas lights.

Sometimes we do the same with Jesus - we pack our lives with "things" that we forget that he is around and that he offers to be Light in our lives.

So, here is what has struck home for me today:

You may forget the Christmas tree lights this year, but please don't forget Jesus.

Living in Grace

Monday, 19 December 2011

Two Promises for today

"He heals the broken hearted,
binding up their wounds.
he counts the stars
and calls them all by name." - Psalm 147:4

There are 2 huge promises in these verses:
One - God will heal our broken hearts.
Two - God knows you by name.

Simple, but deeply profound and reassuring for me.
What do you feel?

Living in Grace

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Kids grow up

At this time of the year, it is easy to forget that our worship should be focused on Jesus - the baby who grew up and became a man. It was the promise of salvation that made everyone get excited, when Jesus was born. However, this promise was only fulfilled in his adult years - Jesus grew up; he loved all people; he accomplished the will of His Father; we were offered Salvation.

As hard as it is, sometimes kids need to grow up in order to fulfil their purposes...

Luke 2:52 - "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men."

Living in Grace

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Extreme Makeover

We have enjoyed doing some renovations in our new home - it has been quite exciting to make adjusts to the space which we now refer to as 'our own.' Amidst all the renovations, I have reflected on the fact that when we invite God into our lives (house), He also wants to make some renovations. In a lot of cases, God needs to do an extreme makeover on our messed up lives.

What is God wanting to change in you right now? Are you willing to let him?

Living in Grace

Thursday, 15 December 2011


It has been done for us already, so why do we always try and sweat it out by ourselves?

Watchman Nee – "Christianity is a strange business. If at the outset we try to do anything, we get nothing. If we seek to attain something, we miss everything. For Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with a big DONE.”

Christ's birth reminds us that God has DONE everything for us. He sent a Saviour into the world to rescue us. What more could we ask for?
Living in Grace

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Celebrating another birthday

Today we celebrated Declan's ninth birthday. It was good to see him enjoy the presents and the cake. We had a low key day in the end, as he has already had his actual party - we just had a few of the family and his friends around to share cake and tea.

His birthday has got me thinking about how we all celebrate our own birthday's - how do you like to celebrate your special day? Do you like a small family get-together or do you prefer a big fuss?

Oh yes, I wonder what God thinks of the way we celebrate Jesus' birthday? I wonder if it pleases him or not? What do you think?

Have a blessed Advent season.
Living in Grace

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

What do you do with failure?

When Robert Fulton was still a teenager he became fascinated with a remarkable idea. He had seen the impact of the new steam engines and had thought about transferring the same principle onto a paddle boat. His first attempt was a complete flop - the boat sank. This setback didn't stop him from achieving his dream. Today he is accredited as designing and building the first commercial steamboat. In 1800 he was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte to design the Nautilus, which was the first practical submarine in history. Not bad for a young person, hey?

What do you do with failure? Do you allow it to stop you from fulfilling your dreams? Or do you see failure as a way of refining your purpose and destiny?
Living in Grace

Monday, 12 December 2011

Godincidence or what?

I love the way God speaks to us. I used an illustration in my sermon on Sunday about Leo Buscaglia's family. If you don't know anything about Leo, perhaps you can look here if you have a moment. Anyway, this morning I wrote something in my journal and I glanced at the bottom of the page. Every page of my journal has a quote and today's quote was written by none other than Leo Buscaglia - coincidence, no ways! Godincidence, absolutely!!

"What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life." - Leo Buscaglia

May God surprise you today.

Living in Grace

Saturday, 10 December 2011

What gives you strength?

We turn to all kinds of things and people to give us strength at times, but have we ever stopped to comprehend these words ...

Nehemiah 8:10 – “This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!”

Nehemiah points out that our strength can come from the JOY of the Lord. Sounds interesting hey? Perhaps it's worth a try. What do you think?

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

In One Word

Often we only need a single word to communicate something or a particular feeling to someone else. Today, in Pietermaritzburg, it is extremely warm, so if I just said 'HOT' most of you would know what I mean (unless you are in the UK right now...)
If you had to try and communicate the message of Christmas to someone, only using one word, what word would you choose?
It's an interesting concept - try it!

My word would always be "GRACE."
Let me know your word please....

Living in that Grace

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Christmas reminds us that Jesus' destiny was to fulfil the will of the Father. His coming into the world speaks of a new beginning - the era of grace suddenly broke into being. God's Grace had already been in existence, but humanity had never understood it, or perceived it, in such a profound way before.

"Jesus is the Alpha as well as the Omega, genesis as well as Telos. Jesus is not only the end and the goal, he is the beginning and origin of God's purposes with the world." - Frederick Bruner

Living in Grace,

Monday, 5 December 2011

Waiting for Christmas

I love Christmas!
I love the fact that churches embrace Advent and that we celebrate the birth of our Messiah. But sometimes I wish that people were more vigilant about Christ's second coming than we are about his first! I want to take nothing away from the Incarnation, but we must not forget that Jesus will come again. I am just saying....

Let's be expectant in new ways this Christmas.

Peace and Grace.


Sunday, 4 December 2011

Psalm 101

"I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
   to you, O LORD, I will make music.
2I will ponder the way that is blameless.
   Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
   within my house;
3I will not set before my eyes
   anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away;
   it shall not cling to me.
4A perverse heart shall be far from me;
   I will know nothing of evil." - Psalm 101:1-4

Have a blessed week.

Living in Grace

Friday, 2 December 2011

Birthday celebrations

In the season of Christ's birth, our family has the special treat of celebrating many birthdays. I guess we are privileged to throw a party for each other, as well as throwing a huge party for Jesus. What do you like to do for your family birthdays?  

Fly free and happy beyond birthdays and across forever, and we'll meet now and then when we wish, in the midst of the one celebration that never can end." Richard Bach

The best way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once.” - Joseph Cossman

Oscar Wilde - The old believe everything; the middle aged suspect everything: the young know everything.

God bless you this weekend.
Living in Grace

Thursday, 1 December 2011

A day to remember

We mark the 1st December as World Aids Day and I believe that it is extremely important that we do all we can to remove the stigma attached to HIV/Aids. Jesus cares for all people and we need to respond with love and dignity to all people.

However, today is also the day that we remember the life of Edmund Campion. I knew nothing of this godly man until I recently read about his life. At the age of 41 Edmund was hanged, drawn and quartered for leading an underground Catholic ministry in Protestant England of the Sixteenth Century.

The witness of this priest didn't go unnoticed and he impacted many lives, even in his cruel death. Eventually 300 years after his death, he was honoured as a saint. I truly marvel at the commitment of martyrs, especially when they are killed at the hands of other "Christians". It is sad that we find so much hatred in the place we should find the most grace and love - the church. May God forgive us!

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Yummy stuff inside

You have got to laugh at the brilliance of kids. As we were leaving for school this morning, our Labrador Bella was smelling Nathan's stomach - I thought he had snuck some cookies under his jersey, but he hadn't:) 
Getting into the car, I asked him, "Why was Bella smelling your tummy boy?"
He replied, "Perhaps she can smell all the yummy food I had yesterday - the cupcakes and sweets."
I had to laugh and then quietly mentioned to him, that dogs can't smell the insides of our stomach's, but it would be cool if they could.

So, next time your pet smells your tummy, just remember that perhaps they are smelling all the 'yummy stuff inside.'

May God bless us with his Spirit to fill us with grace, peace and joy - on the inside:)

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

No Fairytale

Advent reminds us that the birth of Jesus is no fairytale made up for little children. Sure, the details around his birth may be debated by some, but the one thing that even historians can't avoid is that Jesus existed. His birth changed the face of religion and his life is still impacting lives today.

Jewish historian, priest and later commander of Jewish forces in Galilee, Flavius Josephus wrote these words concerning Jesus:

"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named for him, are not extinct at this day." 

Josephus had nothing to gain from writing these words - as an historian he could not deny that Jesus existed. People in today's world can respond to Jesus how they like - they can deny him, they can refuse to worship him, but they can not refute his existence.

May Jesus Christ be REAL for you this Advent season.

Living in Grace

Monday, 28 November 2011

Life is fragile

I don't know what to say about it, too be honest, but I just feel I need to try and write something. I heard the news of Gary Speed's death yesterday and was shocked. Another person who had everything going for them - a awesome family, a brilliant career and a huge support base - yet Gary took his own life. We don't have any answers as yet, but it seems that he may have been struggling with dperession. There are thousands of people who choose suicide every year, yet it still leaves me feeling numbed when I read these stories.

Another footballer, Stan Collymore, wrote of his struggle with depression in this post. Christian writers Jeff Lucas and Adrian Plass have also struggled with depression. Singers, authors, musicians, politicians, actors, rich, poor, young and old - many people struggle with depression. In this season of peace and goodwill, it is still common for us to feeling overwhelmed and desperate. But, I believe in the hope of Advent - the hope that Christ can make a difference.

May Jesus truly bring His light and hope into our lives this Christmas - even if we don't have all the answers.

Living in Grace

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Scottish Proverbs

I have enough Scottish blood in me to take offense when the 'Scots' are ripped off about something. So, in order to pass on some of our ancient wisdom I have included a few one-liners - if you like, these are also called Scottish Proverbs:

“Confession is good for the soul.”

“Egotism is an alphabet of one letter.”

“Fools look to tomorrow. Wise men use tonight.”

“Never marry for money. You can borrow it cheaper.”

“Better be ill spoken of by one before all than by all before one.”

Living in Grace

Friday, 25 November 2011

Month to go

So there is a month until Christmas! The silly season is upon us - shops are getting busier and people are spending their December pay checks already. Do we, as Christians, follow the pattern of the world around us, or do we at least strive to remind ourselves of Christ in the chaos? This is what the season of Advent is meant to help us focus on - it's our spiritual preparation for the birth of Jesus.

As we begin the period of Advent this weekend, read this poem as a starting point. May Christ be real to us in our anticipation of the Saviour's birth.

Let Christmas not become a thing
Merely of merchant's trafficking,
Of tinsel, bell and holly wreath
And surface pleasure, but beneath
The childish glamour, let us find
Nourishment for soul and mind.
Let us follow kinder ways
Through our teeming human maze,
And help the age of peace to come
From a Dreamer's martyrdom.
- ~Madeline Morse

Living in Grace

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin

I love reading Bible stories to the boys. It is so refreshing to read these familiar accounts with the eyes of a child. Tonight we read the accounts of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace and then the one where Daniel has to interpret the writing on the wall. Obviously the kids version is quite dramatic, yet simple. It doesn't include the words: "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin" (thankfully), which were the actual words written on the wall.

If you want to know what they mean you will have to look it up yourself -
That's your home-work for today :)

May God bless us with enough simplicity to read and understand his word.

Living in Grace,

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


It is easy to be disillusioned now days. Our national sports teams toy with our emotions. Our national government passes a Bill that takes us back to the 'good old bad days'. Rising food and petrol prices put pressure on our bank balances.

So where can we turn?

Well, I find solace in the Scriptures because they remind me that previous generations have also felt disillusioned, but that God has come through for them.

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever." - Psalm 73:26

"I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge." - Psalm 73:28

Oswald Chambers - "If our trust is placed in human beings, we will end up despairing of everyone."

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

First Bible

This morning, I found one of the first bibles I was given as a kid - I was 6 at the time. It was such a special moment to find the bible again. It reminded me of the little Gideon's bibles we used to get at school. I used to always love the fact that the blue Gideon's bibles had verses to guide you through different circumstances. If you were worried or angry; needing direction or peace; seeking answers or upliftment, the references helped you to find the right verse to read.

Can you remember the first Bible you ever had. Tell me about it - I'd love to know.

If you are needing courage today then perhaps you can read this verse:

"Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, "Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on his way to put things right And redress all wrongs. He's on his way! He'll save you!" - Isaiah 35:3

Living in Grace

Sunday, 20 November 2011

John said ...

John Lennon once said: "Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans."
So, are we busy making plans (only) and not living? Sure, it is important to plan and prepare for the future, but we mustn't forget to live life to the full.

May you have a blessed week.

Living in Grace,

Friday, 18 November 2011

Am I Hitler?

Alright, it's official - Movember is becoming awkward. In fact, I am feeling persecuted, rejected and discriminated against. I have also been called all kinds of names. I admit that my moustache is a little weird, but in the last few days I have been told I look like 'Hitler', 'Super-Mario', 'Charlie Chaplin' and even something worse!!! Please pray for me and all other men who are growing their 'taches. We are doing it for a good cause.

If you want to know more about Movember visit this website. We are doing it to raise awareness of Prostrate and Testicular cancer.

Oh yes, please don't call me Hitler - I am feeling sensitive:)

Living in Grace

P.S. the guy in the photo is not me, nor any of my friends!!!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

What is friendship?

Leading on from my previous post, I have a question for us to think about:
What would your definition of friendship be?

Reading in John 1, I encountered the following description of Jesus' mission - he came into the world "full of grace and truth." Jesus came to earth full of grace and truth - it was these 2 qualities that revolutionised our world.

I want my friendships to be laced with these 2 qualities - GRACE and TRUTH. Grace to deal with my inadequacies and imperfections, but Truth to speak into my life and to hold me accountable to my callings to be a husband, father, child, brother, friend, pastor and leader.

"Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend."  - Albert Camus

Living in Grace

What a friend!

We all need friends! I am speaking of friends of the good type. The ones who are there for you and who encourage you. The friends who you can call at all times of the day or night. The friends who you may not see often, but are still committed to the friendship. I am grateful that I have a number of awesome friends. I am also grateful that I view Jesus as my friend too.

What a friend we have in Jesus, 
all our sins and griefs to bear! 
What a privilege to carry 
everything to God in prayer! 
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear, 
all because we do not carry 
everything to God in prayer. - Joseph Scriven
May you know Christ as your friend today.
Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A different take on studying

Most of what we study we forget. As a lecturer, it is sad for me to admit this, but I know that now that my students have written their final exam, most of the information will soon be forgotten. I guess the real challenge comes in why and how we study. I like Ezra's take on studying...

"Ezra had committed himself to studying the Revelation of God, to living it, and to teaching Israel to live its truths and ways." - Ezra 7:8

Imagine if we all studied God's word with the purpose of living it out and then teaching it to others? Studying becomes multi-dimensional and actually useful. Wow, now there is a thought!

Living in Grace

Monday, 14 November 2011

This might not work!

I have been enjoying reading Seth Godin's new book 'Poke the Box.' He writes a great paragraph on the topic of these 4 words - This might not work!

Seth argues that it is alright to say these 4 words. He adds:
"Is your work so serious and flawless and urgent that each thing you do, every day, must work? Change is powerful, but change always comes with failure as its partner. "This might not work" isn't merely something to be tolerated; it's something you should seek out." - Seth Godin

What do you think? Does your world allow you the freedom to risk?
Does the Church allow you the chance to do this?

Living in Grace

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Proverbs 12

We concluded our preaching series on Proverbs today, looking at chapter 12. Every word from the Scriptures speaks light into our lives and this chapter is no different. Here are a few verses that spoke to me:

1 If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it— how shortsighted to refuse correction!

 2 A good person basks in the delight of God,
   and he wants nothing to do with devious schemers.

 3 You can't find firm footing in a swamp,
   but life rooted in God stands firm. 

18 Rash language cuts and maims,
   but there is healing in the words of the wise.

 19 Truth lasts;
   lies are here today, gone tomorrow.

Why don't you take a read of the chapter and let me know which verse strikes you.

Have a blessed week,

Living in Grace,

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Birthday request

As you get older people start to ask you what you want for your birthday. It's a strange thing to ask, but I guess it does mean that you end up with good presents :)

To the Israelites, God asks a similar question:

"He said, "You're my son,
 And today is your birthday.
 What do you want? Name it:
 Nations as a present? continents as a prize?
 You can command them all to dance for you,
 Or throw them out with tomorrow's trash."
- Psalm 2

If God asks you what you want for your birthday, what would you say?

Living in Grace,

Friday, 11 November 2011

Remember for a reason

We stopped for a moment of silence and prayer today, as did millions of others. There will never be another Remembrance Day like today's event, ever again....11-11-2011.

But what is our purpose in Remembering all those brave souls who died in battles all over the planet? There must be something deeper. Miroslav Volf is a Christian theologian and he argues that there is a powerful reason for our Remembrance:

"The proper goal – the appropriate end – of the memory of wrongs suffered is the loving reconciliation of all people, both perpetrators and victims. And when that love is reached – imperfect and fragile in this life but complete and invincible in the next – then the memory of those wrongs can end as well." (Volf, in the words of Craig Hamilton)

Is this why we Remember the sacrifice of Christ in Holy Communion? Not to remember the agony of the cross so much, but rather to understand the love and reconciliation of our Saviour.

Just thinking!

Living in Grace,

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Bold Prayers

Do you ever feel that your prayers are weak and lack any meaning? I sometimes do! Perhaps it is because we sell God short and we don't have the faith to pray bold prayers. David was always willing to be bold in his prayers, as well as deeply honest. Here is an example of part of one of his prayers:

Psalm 139:23-24
"Search me, God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting."

May your prayers be bold and honest today.

Living in Grace

Monday, 7 November 2011

Your most important move

We all disappoint God at times! We all sin and fall short of God's glory (Romans 3:23), but when we remain defeated and feel unworthy of God's love that's when our problem's really multiply. The most crucial move we make will be the move after we have realised our sin. If we move towards the grace of God, we can experience forgiveness and redemption. If we move away from God, we will feel guilt, alienation and dis-ease.

"The Most important move you will ever make in your life is the move you make right after you fail God. Will you believe the accuser's lies and give up in despair, or will you allow yourself to receive the forgiving flow of God's love?" - David Wilkerson

It's your move!

Living in Grace

Sunday, 6 November 2011

What is in your heart?

Pastor and author, Andy Stanley reflects on what is in our hearts.

“It is when our hearts are stirred that we become most aware of what they contain.” 

“In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feel like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another.”

As you begin this week may God stir your heart and may you remember that God loves you.

Living in Grace,

Friday, 4 November 2011

Asking the wrong question

In his inaugural address American President John F. Kennedy said these famous words:
"Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."

I feel that we should change this statement rather to read as follows:
"Ask not what God can do for you, but rather what you can do for God!"

This is the question we should be asking.
If we dare...

Living in Grace

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Too much on your plate

The other morning one of the boys made himself some breakfast and when I looked at his bowl of cereal I knew he was never going to finish it - he had put way to much Pronutro into the bowl. When he was about half way through the breakfast he said to me "I can't finish it - there is too much on the plate!" I thought to myself, "No kidding, boy! Even Jonah Lomu wouldn't have finished that bowl of cereal."

In truth, how often do we do the same thing, but particularly in the things we take on. We can find ourselves getting to a place we were throw our hands up and say, "I have taken on too much! I can't finish all of this."
Can you relate to this?

May God grant us wisdom to do the important tasks and not to fill our lives with other 'stuff.' Saying NO is not a crime.

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Greater Heights

During the recent Willow Creek leaders summit, one of the speakers asked us to raise our hands. Every hand in the auditorium was raised. He then asked us to raise our hands 3 inches higher - which everyone managed to do. His point was this: "When asked to do something, why is it that most people just do the bare minimum? Why was it that no one raised their hands to their capacity the first time?"

He makes an interesting point, don't you think?

When we ask God to be our Saviour he invites us to go to great heights with him.

"The love of Christ compels us to do what we never thought we could do and go to heights we never thought we could reach. Precious is the name of Jesus!" - Max Lucado

May Jesus help you to reach heights for his sake.

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Prayer for exams

I found this prayer for exam times. If you are preparing to write exams, or know someone who is, may these words give you courage. Enjoy...

Lord, as I move into examination time I turn
once more to You, asking for your blessing and
assistance. I ask you to give me peace of mind with
a strong sense of work at this time. May I give
myself space and time to revise and prepare to sit
my examinations. Help me to keep focused on this task
 and not get too distracted by other aspects of my
life. Keep me from getting into a panic and help me
 to do justice to all my work and preparations.
On the days of my examinations keep me calm,
help me to think clearly and understand what I am
 being asked and so to recall the study and work
I have put in so far this past year.

Above all Lord I ask that you will
allow my efforts to bring about the
life you have planned for me, may I
be open to your vision of what you
wish for me and may I accomplish
this now and in my future life.

Living in Grace

Exam prayer discovered here

Monday, 31 October 2011

2 months to go

As of today there are only 2 months left of 2011. The year is not finished yet, so let's do all we can to live our lives to the fullest. Catch your breath, say a prayer and live courageously.

"Don't be fooled by the calendar.  There are only as many days in the year as you make use of."  ~Charles Richards

"May you live all the days of your life."  ~Jonathan Swift

Here are some things to do in the next 2 months:
1. Read a book for fun
2. Read a book from the Bible
3. Write a letter to a friend
4. Celebrate with family and friends
5. Think about others this Christmas and bless them
6. Watch 'that' DVD you have been meaning to watch
7. Take a walk and appreciate God's creation

Be blessed

Living in Grace

Sunday, 30 October 2011

God is AWEsome

Man, I love Jesus!

God is so AWEsome. At our 3 worship service today we celebrated a time of Thanksgiving. It is basically a time for people to share testimonies of thanks of what God is doing in their lives. WOW, I was blown away. God is at work, friends. If I had doubted this, well today I was reassured that God is still moving in our midst. The moving testimonies reminded us all that God takes care of his children and that God wants us to hang onto him. We know that life is full of 'dung' (as someone put it), but God wants to take us out of the mess and to lift us up. We can't escape the mess of life, but we can know that God is by our side.

Be blessed because God loves you. There are other men and women of faith who are also struggling on the same journey as you. You are not alone.

Living in Grace

P.S. The photo is of Nathan playing in the mud. Life can be muddy, but Jesus can make us clean :)

Saturday, 29 October 2011

God gets a mention

In our family prayer times we always ask the boys to thank God for something. It usually goes quite 'normally', but last night Josh prayer an interesting thing:

"Thank you God for mommy and daddy, Declan, Nathan, Bella (the dog), the bird, the fish and thank you for God...."

That's right Josh was thanking God for God! I am sure that God had a huge smile on his face - we certainly did. I think God was chuffed to get a mention in Josh's shopping list of prayers.

What do you think?

Living in Grace,

Inspiring quotes - part 2

Our second day at the Global Leadership Summit was better than the first. There were so many amazing speakers and some deeply moving worship. Here are a few of my favourite quotes from the day's speakers:

"I would rather deal with anger than apathy." - Michelle Rhee

"When a wise person hears the truth, they adjust themselves to match the truth." - Dr Henry Cloud

"Humility is the noble choice to forgo your status and use your influence for the good of others." - John Dickson

"We are God's instruments to create the future." - Erwin McManus

Living in Grace

Friday, 28 October 2011

Inspiring leadership quotes

We are attending the Willow Creek Leadership Summit at Kloof and it is inspiring.
Here are a few quotes from the various speakers today.

We live in a world that's crying out for better leadership - Bill Hybels

Instead of calling it failure, just call it an exercise in learning something
nobody else knows - Len Schlesinger

Before you tell me what you teach and preach. Show me how you
Live and give - Cory Booker

Make art. Give gifts. Lead. Make a difference - Seth Godin

Are you ready to break through your sound barrier? - Brenda McNeil

Living in Grace,

Thursday, 27 October 2011

What are you aiming for?

What are you aiming for? What is driving you at the moment?

"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither." -
C. S. Lewis

May our aims be Godly.

Living in Grace,

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Longing to be gracious

God longs to be gracious to us. God looks for opportunities to bless us. This is what Isaiah says:

"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!" - Isaiah 30:18

This is a far cry from the picture of God people try to paint - God is only out to get us. Or God is looking for ways to punish us. I think I prefer Isaiah's picture of God.
What about you?

Living in Grace

Monday, 24 October 2011


Muhammed Ali once remarked that "The person who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."

For me, God took the ultimate risk in becoming a human, in the person of Jesus Christ. There is no greater risk than giving up your power! Perhaps this is why Jesus is revered and honoured above anyone else on this planet.

Risk is worth it!
Combine love with risk and you have enough power to change the world!

Living in Grace,