Sunday, 31 July 2011

Thoughts for a Monday

Psalm111 (The Message)

Hallelujah! I give thanks to God with everything I've got—
   Wherever good people gather, and in the congregation.
   God's works are so great, worth
   A lifetime of study—endless enjoyment!
   Splendor and beauty mark his craft;
   His generosity never gives out.
   His miracles are his memorial—
   This God of Grace, this God of Love.
   He gave food to those who fear him,
   He remembered to keep his ancient promise.
   He proved to his people that he could do what he said:
   Hand them the nations on a platter—a gift!
   He manufactures truth and justice;
   All his products are guaranteed to last—
   Never out-of-date, never obsolete, rust-proof.
   All that he makes and does is honest and true:
   He paid the ransom for his people,
   He ordered his Covenant kept forever.
   He's so personal and holy, worthy of our respect.
   The good life begins in the fear of God
   Do that and you'll know the blessing of God.
   His Hallelujah lasts forever! "

Living in Grace,

Saturday, 30 July 2011

God provides

Our trip home was long and tiring, but we are thankful that we arrived home safe and sound - 28 hours after we left! The boys were really good considering the length of the trip and they slept like 'real' babies, starting from when we drove home from the airport and all through the night!

During our stop over in Dubai we were wandering through the packed airport, trying to find a place to sit and to get breakfast - which proved to be a real mission. We were battling to find a place to settle in for the 4 hour wait, when we stumbled upon the Emirates lounge. Assuming that this was only for the First class passengers we almost passed by, when Kim suggested we ask them if we can come and sit down. I ventured in, not very hopeful, only to blown away by God's provision. It turned out that Emirates provides all passengers with a 4 hour (or more) changeover with a free meal and space to chill out! How awesome is that? So, not only did we get some free food, but we also some space to stretch our legs and avoid the maddening crowds. God does provide!!

Have you got a story to tell of God's provision? I'd love to hear it!

Living in Grace,

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Long journey home

We begin our long journey home on Thursday afternoon and we have mixed feelings about it. It is going to be sad to say goodbye to family and friends in the UK, but we are looking forward to seeing family and friends in South Africa again. The journey is going to be a loooong one. It starts with a 3 hour bus trip from Bath to London Heathrow, a 3 hour wait before our flight leaves, then a 7 hour flight to Dubai with a 4 hour wait in the Dubai airport and then finally a 8 hour flight to Durban. The final hour car drive to Pietermaritzburg will be a blur, but we will eventually fall into bed on Friday evening later......whew, please pray for us!

"To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping”Chinese Proverb

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” - Don Williams, Jr.

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

This is a picture of a boat station at Lizard, the Southern most point in England. It was from this point that many passengers and sailors were saved when their boats/ships sunk of this treacherous coastline. It seems a little 'worse for wear' nowdays, but it still stands to remind all of us that people need help sometimes. In the midst of unexpected storms we may need someone to reach out and help us. Thank God that He was given us his son Jesus, as the perfect Saviour.

We head back to South Africa in 2 days and although we are sad that this part of our long awaited Sabbatical has come to an end, we are looking forward to catching up with family and friends in SA again. Take care.

Living in Grace,
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Friday, 22 July 2011

5 seconds of fame

We went to the RNAS (Royal Navy Airshow) the other day and the boys had fun looking at all the planes and helicopters (just for you Stu and Tim). They even had the chance to be "rescued" and winched to safety by one of the helicopters - which they loved. Joshua was waiting his turn when the ITV news crew arrived and asked us if we minded them filming him and we said "Of course!" So that evening Josh had his 5 seconds of fame as he was beamed across the UK on national TV news - much to his brother's jealousy! Here is a photo of him at the top!

Living in Grace,
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We have spent the last week in Cornwall, which is a beautiful part of the world - except when it rains! We haven't had the best weather, but we have tried to make the most of it. The little village we are staying in also doesn't have any cell phone reception or wifi - which is quite ironic really as we are staying less than 4 kilometers from the Goonhilly Earth Satellite Station, which when it was built was one of only 3 in the world. To this day it still beams phone, fax and TV messages around the globe, except mine of course:)

Yesterday we had a rare sunny day and got some amazing photo's of the Cornish coast line. I will post some of them on the blog soon. Anyway, take care and God bless.

Living in Grace,

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Oxwich and Wesley

Driving down a little country lane, near a village called Oxwich, we saw a small plague on this cottage. The sign read, "The Rev John Wesley preached and resided at this cottage 5 times between 1764 and 1771." I love it - in the middle of no where we stumbled upon a place that had the 'footprint' of the legendary John Wesley. If we had been looking out the opposite window we would have missed it. It's not a bad place to spend a few nights and to preach, I must admit.

Living in Grace,
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Awesome Gower

This week we popped across to the Gower Peninsula, in the South of Wales, for 2 days. It is absolutely stunning and has some amazing beaches - just as you can see in the photo. No wonder Welsh poet and author Dylan Thomas remarked that Gower has some of the most idyllic beaches in the United Kingdom. I would agree with him. The best part of the experience is that often you feel as if you are the only people on the beaches...brilliant!

Living in Grace,
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Wednesday, 13 July 2011


We heard a catchy song the other day by Noah and the Whale called L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N - It's a really great song, but it has a sad story behind it. Some of the lyrics go as follows...

What you don't have now will come back again
You've got heart and you're going your own way."

Whenever you are feeling down, remember that with God on your side Life does go on. The Lord gives us hope even in the darkest of times. Keep going and have faith.

Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

City of Bath

My family live in a beautiful part of England! The city of Bath is truly amazing and well worth a visit if you ever pop over to the UK. It is filled with so much history, going back even to the time of Christ. One of the things that made Bath world famous was the warm water that bubbled up from under the city, first discovered 2000 years ago by the Romans. Almost all roads led to Bath in those days and there are traces of the Romans all over the place. The water was thought to have healing powers and so it attracted rich and poor, who were all keen to live longer and to be healed from their ailments. You can still taste some of this water today if you like, as the Bath Spa continues to tap the same water source that drew the Romans to the city, all those years ago... however, it does not taste great! Why is it that all medicine tastes disgusting?!

There is another person who has added to the historical story of Bath and that is none other than Jane Austen. The picture in the blog is from one of her residences, when she lived in the city. I am sure that you all know who Jane Austen is, but in case you don't have a clue Jane is the English novelist who wrote Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Emma, Pride and Prejudice and many more. She lived in the city in the early 1800's.

One of the awesome things I like about Bath is that no matter how many times you walk in the city you keep stumbling upon surprises. It happened to us today - we walked past the magnificient Abbey and came upon an ancient fountian that we had missed every time previously... except today, that is. It was brilliant -  I love surprises.

Anyway, remember that no matter how familar things may be in our homes, places of work, worship and even in our communities, that God is the God of surprises. God wants to bless us with new discoveries every day. Look out for them and let me know when you find one!

Living in Grace,

Monday, 11 July 2011

Sound Advice

I love reading familiar passages in different versions of the Bible. I know that there are lot of people who don't consider The Message to be an accurate translation, but it certainly opens my eyes to the depth of the Word of God. Try these verses from the Beatitudes as an example:

"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family." - Matthew 5:7-9

I think that's sound advice for anyone.
Blessings to you all.

Living in Grace,

Friday, 8 July 2011

No one noticed!

How long would it take before people realised you weren't doing so well or even worse, that you weren't breathing anymore? Minutes, hours, days?

In the last few days I have stumbled across a few sad stories of people who have died in their homes or in one case, a fire in his home, and all of these people were not 'missed' for months! One old lady was only found years later. That's tragic, don't you think? I understand that some people like to keep to themselves or perhaps they don't have any family close by, but to be dead and this to go unnoticed - that's horrific.

Wouldn't it be bleak if the church died and no one noticed? Wouldn't it be heart-wrenching when a Christian community, that used to be the life and soul of a town, ceased to exist and people hardly missed a step? My prayer is that our churches are so needed, essential and life-giving that we (and the rest of the community) would fight to keep them alive and well! What do you think?

Living in Grace,

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Starbucks community

Sitting in the Starbucks (Coffee Shop) this morning I was struck by the way it has become a unique 'gathering' in the community. People on their way to work popping in for a caffeine boost, tired tourists needing a welcome break, stressed parents ordering an Espresso to calm the nerves, students using the free WiFi, and then of course me, just needing a few hours to catch up on some things...with a glorious tall Cappuccino.

Placing myself in the corner of Starbucks I have watched as all kinds of people have purposefully opened the door and immediately felt at home - they are a few minutes away from a heavenly dose of Coffee. There is no one at the door welcoming people, but everyone seems to be happy to be in the 'right' place and whether they are just grabbing a take-away of sitting down, most people will leave Starbucks satisfied.

Shouldn't our Churches learn from some of these things? Are our doors always open? Do we welcome everyone who chooses to push open our doors? Will people feel they have come to the right place, when they stop off at our places of worship? Will they feel uplifted, spiritually fed and ready to carry on with their lives? Will there be a sense of change in the mood of the weary traveller? Will they find the peace of Christ in the midst of our 'unique gathering?'

Just asking?!

Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Theatre of Dreams

Yesterday we went to visit the Theatre of Dreams, which is the home of Manchester United, if you didn't know! It was an awesome experience and everyone loved it. The attached photo gives you an indication of the fun we had there. The tour of the stadium was impressive and we got to eat in the Red Cafe, which was more than just a restaurant. The museum is also quite amazing and of course seeing all the Trophies was special.

For all of you Man United fans, I will tell you the whole story if you want, but I know that there are many of you who either don't really care or don't support United and I don't want to offend you too much :)

Chat soon.
Living in Grace,

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Powerful Words

We were taking a walk the other day when we came across these words outside the small village of Kippford. I found them to be so apt - true in every possible way! What do you think?

"Some will love thee,
some will hate thee,
some will flatter,
some will slight.
Cease from man,
and look above thee,
Trust in God,
And do the right." - Anon

May these words inspire you today.
Be blessed and thanks again for taking the time to read these thoughts!

Living in Grace,

Friday, 1 July 2011

Rebuilding Walls

Visiting Castles and ruined Abbey’s always leaves me with more questions than answers. I love the fact that I have the privilege of standing on a piece of ground that has previously had knights, kings, servants and commoners all walking over it. It blows my mind. But, I always feel that I want to ask these historical people a million questions – what was life really like? What did you do for recreation? What was the food like? How did you cope without the internet? (Hehehe :) 
Seriously though, when I see these former Landmarks in ruin I like to remember the story of Nehemiah. It broke his heart to see his home city broken and in ruins. He was moved to rebuild the city and the walls, thus bringing a nation back together again. Nehemiah had been given a mandate from the Lord and he was willing to do all he could to restore the city to its former glory days.

“So we rebuilt the wall ...for the people worked with all their heart.” – Nehemiah 4:6

What parts of our lives or communities may need rebuilding? Are we willing to be the ones to start the process? Just asking?

Living in grace,