Friday, 29 April 2011

Two Hands

Perhaps this is the reason why God gave us two hands!?

Audrey Hepburn - "Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm ... As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others."

Who can we lend a hand to this weekend?

Living in Grace,


Thursday, 28 April 2011

Royal Wedding

Apparently over 2 billion people will be watching the Royal Wedding on the 29th April. I have to admit I probably won't be glued to the T.V. watching, but I am intrigued by the whole event. It fascinates me that almost one third of the global population will be taken up by this wedding. I pray that Christ gets a real mention in the midst of the fanfare and ceremony.

Out of interest, the Scriptures speak of Royal Weddings taking place thousands of years ago.

Isaiah 61:10 -I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Isaiah 62:5 - As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

Let's not forget the the greatest 'Royal Wedding' is still to happen. When God (the Bridegroom)announces the special day, the Church (the Bride) will be celebrating the best wedding of all time. The whole world will watch this event with awe.

Revelation 19:7 - Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Frailty of Life

I have been reminded again this week of the frailty of life. We spend so much time stressing about things that we believe are important, but at the end of the day ARE THEY REALLY? In truth, today we may be enjoying life, consumed by all kinds of things, but by this time next week we could be gone. Life is that short.

Jesus' disciples got to experience this first hand. One day they were laughing and eating with him, but within a week they had already buried him and were wondering what to do next. Thankfully for all of us, Jesus' resurrection breathes hope into our lives too. We will pass from this life one day, but a glorious inheritance with Christ awaits us.

"The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children." — Psalm 103:15-17

Forgive the heavy sentiment today, but I just feel that we need to enjoy every moment God gives to us. Be blessed, my friends.

Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Clay and Potter

We often question whether God actually knows best. We don't see things working out as we hoped they would and we begin to worry. If you can relate to this, then know that we stand in a long line of believers who have wrestled with God's will. In the end, we have to trust in God as our 'Potter' - we are the clay and God wants to make something awesome out of our lives.

"But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him." - Jeremiah 18:4

"Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." - Isaiah 64:8

Have a blessed Freedom Day, if you are in South Africa.

Living in Grace,

Monday, 25 April 2011

There is none like You

I am amazed at how our brains work! Today we were just relaxing enjoying Family Day when the words of a song came into my mind. I haven't sung this song for years, but it just popped into my mind - it's really weird. Anyway, these are the words of the song:

"There is none like You,
No one else can touch my heart like you do,
I could search for all eternity long,
and find there is none like you."

"Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me." - Isaiah 46:9

When last did this happen to you? What song were you singing?

Living in Grace,

Sunday, 24 April 2011

A day of Hope

For me this Easter Sunday has reminded me of the incredible Hope we have in Jesus. Just when the disciples were the darkest time of their lives, Jesus miraculously rises from the grave. What a reminder that God is not predictable or controlled by human decisions. Our Lord has risen from the grave!

Remember that when we worship Jesus, we worship the Lord of Hope. Nothing is to difficult for God. Death, sin and guilt have been paid for on the cross and now we are invited to taste the sweet victory of the empty tomb.

Hebrews 6:18-19 "God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Living in grace,

Friday, 22 April 2011

The Cross

Writing some thoughts about the Cross, Thomas a Kempis wrote:
"You can sure that if there had been a better way to humanity's salvation, Christ would have followed it. He plainly taught the bearing of the Cross. 'If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget himself, take up his cross every day, and follow me (Luke 9:23)'."

Thank you Jesus, for enduring the scorn of the Cross for my sake.

Living in Grace,

Thursday, 21 April 2011

The difference a Tree makes.

"A tree in Paradise made us debtors to God:
a tree on Golgotha has wiped away our debt." - St Irenaeus

What a difference one tree can make!
The fruit on the tree in the Garden of Eden proved to be too enticing for Adam and Eve - their decision to eat from this tree brought death and punishment to all humanity.

The tree on Golgotha was not enticing for anyone, not even Jesus. However, in enduring the scandal of the Cross, Jesus offered us the fruit of freedom and forgiveness.

We get to choose which fruit we eat and from which tree?

Choose well....

Living in Grace,

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Have you felt overwhelmed recently? I felt like that today. We are trying to sort out visa's for our Sabbatical and it seems that every step forward is met with 3 steps backwards. Every time we get the correct documents, we realise we need more documents. Every time I breathe a sigh of relief, I am met by another obstacle. So, with everything piling up, I felt overwhelmed.

Then, the spirit slowly reminded me of how Jesus felt in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was alone and I am sure he felt overwhelmed. He prayed so hard that he sweated blood - that's certainly on the road to feeling consumed. However, in the end Jesus prayed a prayer of relinquishment and trust in his Father.... "Not my will, but yours be done!"

I know I need to do the same.
What about you?

"Tears and sweat and heartache have always been the most potent ingredients of a vagabonds prayer." - Steven James

Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Slow Motion

Somethings happen so fast that, in order to appreciate them, we need to watch the event again in slow motion. For me, Holy Week allows us the opportunity to put our Faith in slow motion.

In our minds we know that the Crucifixion and the Resurrection are the culmination of our Christian Faith, but we mustn't be tempted to rush to the conclusion, just yet. By taking a step by step, frame by frame, look at the events of the Passion of Christ, we view things in slow motion. We get to appreciate the magnitude of Easter and what this means for us.

So, I urge you - put your Faith into slow motion this week. Watch and see how awesome Jesus is.

Living in Grace,

Monday, 18 April 2011

That's your responsibility

Twice in Matthew 27 we read these words, "That's your responsibility."
They are both used in situations where people want to 'pass the buck.' Early on in the chapter, after Judas has realised the implications of his actions, he tries to give the 30 coins back to the religious leaders, but they rely:
"What is that to us? That's your responsibility!"(v.4)

Later on, when Pontius Pilot washes his hands of the situation with Jesus, he says,
"I am innocent of this man's blood. It is your responsibility." (v.24)

It seems that we live in times where no one wants to take responsibility for our actions. Perhaps it's time we changed this?

Living in Grace,

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Laying it down

When the crowds placed their garments at the feet of Jesus they were honouring him as their King. Although many of them were swept up in the hype of the moment, some of the people were truly surrendering their all to Jesus.

“Those that worship Christ as King must lay their all under his feet;
the clothes, in token of the heart.” – Matthew Henry

Are we prepared to lay our hopes, dreams, ambitions and desires at the feet of Jesus? May this Holy Week lead us into a place of deep worship and reverence for Christ our King.

Living in Grace

Saturday, 16 April 2011

The Christian Life

"The Christian Life consists in what God does for us, not what we do for God; The Christian Life consists in what God says to us, not what we say about God. We also, of course, do things and say things; but if we don't return to Square One each time, we will ... soon be practising a spiritually that has nothing to do with God." - Eugene Peterson

For me, worshipping God with other believers, reading the Scriptures, prayer and other spiritual disciplines, always takes me back to Square One. It's vital that I move back to the Source of my Life, otherwise I cloud my worship.

What Spiritually are you practising?

Living in Grace,

Friday, 15 April 2011

Little Wonders

Every now and again a song makes a big impression on me. I was watching a DVD with my sick kids today and a Rob Thomas song was playing in the background. It was the theme song and it's called "Little Wonders." This is how some of the words go...

"Let it go,
let it roll right off your shoulder don't you know the hardest part is over. Let it in, let your clarity define you in the end we will only just remember how it feels. Our lives are made in these small hours these little wonders, these twists & turns of fate time falls away, but these small hours, these small hours still remain Let it slide, let your troubles fall behind you let it shine until you feel it all around you and I don't mind if it's me you need to turn to we'll get by, it's the heart that really matters in the end All of my regret will wash away some how but I can not forget the way I feel right now."

When I read these words in the context of God helping me to 'let things go' and believing that He will deliver us from difficult times, they take on a different meaning. Try it - read these words as if God were speaking 'Life' over your situation.

Be blessed.

Living in Grace

If you have Broadband take a listen to the song here

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Faith or sight?

If I asked you all to raise your hands if you knew the following Scripture, most of you would be sheepishly raising a hand right now. This is the verse...

"We live by faith, not by sight." - 2 Corinthians 5:7

The trouble with me is, is that I seem to be set to the default setting of 'faith by sight.' I may go to sleep living by faith, but somehow I wake up ready to operate by sight. In other words, I have to remind myself that God is calling me (on a daily basis) to renew my faith in Him. That means that whatever I need to tackle today will require an attitude of faith. If I can 'see' how something will end up, before I trust God in it, then I have not walked by faith. I have then put my trust in things I can see and know, instead of the person of God.

What about you - walking by sight or faith?

Just asking...

Living in Grace,


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Unity and Holy Week

This Sunday (17 April) marks Palm Sunday in the Christian calendar, which is the beginning of Holy Week. A lot of churches hold services every evening of the week and I encourage you to join one of these at your local Church - it will bless you immensely.

In our community, we celebrate a combined Palm Sunday service with all the Churches in our local area - it is a wonderful sign of Christian Unity. In an era when so many Christians fight over doctrinal issues, it is awesome to identify the Passion of Christ, as something that unites our Faith - (This Sunday we meet at St Matthews at 6:30pm).

"How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along! It's like costly anointing oil flowing down head and beard, Flowing down Aaron's beard, flowing down the collar of his priestly robes. It's like the dew on Mount Hermon flowing down the slopes of Zion. Yes, that's where God commands the blessing, ordains eternal life." - Psalm 133:1-3

Please don't let Holy Week simply be an 'ordinary week' for you. Rediscover the grace and mercy of Jesus.

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Solid & Hollow

Author Steven James wrote an amazing book entitled: Story: recapture the mystery. He blends poetry, Scripture and personal reflection on the entire Bible. Here is a moving extract from his chapter on 'Longing for God.'

Can something be both as solid as stone and as hollow as an echo?
Only one thing.
What's that?
A human heart.

"God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end." - Ecclesiastes 3:11

What are your thoughts on this?

Living in Grace,

Monday, 11 April 2011


We have all been let down before - someone promises to do something and then they never keep to their word. It can be frustrating, hurtful and even disappointing. But, if I think about it, I realise that I have done the same thing ... more times than I care to admit. Mostly it has been pure forgetfulness, but there have been times when I was just being irresponsible. What about you? When last did you break a promise? When someone lets you down what do you do and who do you turn to?

Remember that if God hasn't answered your prayers, he will still get to it - trust him.

"The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think..." - 2 Peter 3:9

Living in Grace,

Saturday, 9 April 2011


As much as I have tried to explain otherwise, Josh still thinks that a caterpillar is called a 'cat-o-pillow!' It is tough being 3 years old and knowing everything:)

Sometimes I am convinced that I know better, but God slowly shows me that His way is always best. I am often slow to learn, but I am grateful God doesn't always tell me, "I told you so!"

What about you?

Living in Grace,


P.S. I hope you like the photo of the cat on the pillow?

Friday, 8 April 2011

Grace and glory

"For the Lord God is our sun and shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right." - Psalm 84:11

May you receive enough grace to see you through today
and may you taste the glory of the Father.

Live in His amazing grace,

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Favourite Story

The other evening I asked the boys which Bible stories they wanted to hear before they went to sleep. It seems that these two stories are their favourites at the moment - Daniel in the lion's den and the temptation of Jesus.

What is your favourite Bible passage? I would love to know.

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Faith > Fear?

In order to move forward (or deeper) in our Christian experience there has to come a time when our FAITH in Jesus is greater than our biggest FEARS. Is this the case for you today or are your FEARS overwhelming your ability to step out in FAITH?

Luke 8:25 - “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Frozen Snowball!

I stumbled across this story the other day - I absolutely love it:

"Baseball pitcher Tug McGraw had a wonderful philosophy of pitching. He called it his frozen snowball theory.
"If I come in to pitch with the bases loaded," Tug explained," and heavy hitter Willie Stargell is at bat, there's no reason I want to throw the ball. But eventually I have to pitch. So I remind myself that in a few billion years the earth will become a frozen snowball hurtling through space, and nobody's going to care what Willie Stargell did with the bases loaded!" - Our Daily Bread, July 26, 1994.

I am not sure if the world is really going to be a 'frozen snowball', but this stories challenges me on this thought:
Sometimes our fear of the future prevents us from enjoying the abundant life God has given us in the present.

Living in Grace,

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Ambrose on greed

Ambrose was a unique church leader in that he reluctantly took up the post of Bishop of Milan. This was in a time when leaders jostled for power and title. In one of his writings he comments:

"God ordered all things to be produced so that there would be common food for all, and so that the earth would be the common inheritance of all. Thus, nature has produced a common right, but greed has made it the right of a few." - Ambrose

Challenging thought hey?

Living in Grace,

Friday, 1 April 2011

What is success?

We often struggle to identify what success means in our modern context. Is it only about collecting the most 'toys', degrees, money or facebook friends?

Someone reminded me of this poem from Ralph Waldo Emerson the other day. It is entitled What is Success?

"To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

What does success mean for you?

Living in Grace,