Wednesday, 31 August 2011


May the advent of Spring bring new life and hope to your life and family. As the seasons change, remember that God will never let the winter last forever. Watch and wait for the new life that Spring will bring to you.

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.  ~ Proverb

The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.  ~ Bern Williams

Spring is God's way of saying, 'One more time!'  - Robert Orben
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. - Isaiah 43:19

God bless you.
Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 30 August 2011


When was the last time you felt ashamed of something?
I think that shame is one of the devil's biggest weapons against God's people. We may not find ourselves committing hundreds of sins, on a daily basis, but if the devil can remind us of our 'shame' then he feels he has control over us. If I feel ashamed, then I may not feel comfortable in the presence of God. Then I stay away from the Grace of Jesus and the devil smiles.

If you are feeling ashamed of something, I urge you to take it to the Lord. In prayer, ask for forgiveness and make things right. If someone has shamed you, begin to pray for them and forgive them.

"See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." - 1 Peter 2:6

Remember God's grace,

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Jesus our Capstone

When Peter refers to Jesus as a capstone, in his letter to the early church, he brings to mind a powerful image... 

“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone" - 1 Peter 2:7

When builders constructed an arch they always carefully placed the last stone (capstone) into it's place. The whole arch could collapse if the capstone wasn't the right size or if it simply didn't fit. 

When we put things together in our lives where does Jesus fit in? Is he the capstone - the all important piece keeping us together, or have we forgotten to include him in our lives? Just asking?

Living in Grace,

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Things can change

Things can change! Once upon a time I had hair - now I have very little! People move home, change careers, suffer loss, get married, buy new cars, change service providers, eat more, eat less, exercise more,.... basically we live through change. This next verse reminds me that even in our relationship with God, things can change for the better:

"Once you were not a people,
Now you are the people of God.
Once you received none of God's mercy;
Now you have received his mercy." - 1 Peter 2:10

God can change our lives!

Living in Grace,

Friday, 26 August 2011

The Rose

The words of the following song, The Rose, have spoken into the hearts of millions of people. What do they say to you today?

Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love, it is a hunger
An endless aching need
I say love, it is a flower
And you, its only seed

It's the heart, afraid of breaking  
That never learns to dance
It's the dream, afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It's the one who won't be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul, afraid of dying
That never learns to live

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed
That with the sun's love, in the spring
Becomes the rose.
It speaks to me of Resurrection, of Hope, of Renewal. 
Let me know your thoughts...
Living in Grace,

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Worth repeating

I use a range of different material for my daily devotions. It usually ranges from Our Daily Bread, FFDL (Faith for Daily Living) and a few other online devotions. Today's reading from FFDL was very meaningful for me and I think it is well worth repeating.

"Lord, have mercy on us. We have put our hope in you." - Isaiah 33:2 (GNB)

In the New International Version it says...

"O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you.
Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress."

May God be your strength,
and Peace!

Live in Grace,

Picture from this site

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Spiritual Junk food

It is always good to 'chew' on something that is spiritually meaty - something that can challenge our faith. Perhaps these words are worth chewing on today:

"Christians are called to forego spiritual junk food and over-sweet snacks. Christian progress is training the spiritual tastebuds to appreciate the satisfying goodness and nourishing grace of the Lord." - P. Greenslade

May God be with you today.

Living in Grace,

Monday, 22 August 2011

What stands forever?

What can stand forever?
I know that you are immediately thinking of either a building, or a person or an animal. However the answer is none of these. Here is the answer...

"All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands for ever." - 1 Peter 1:24-25

Perhaps it is worth reading the 'word' of the Lord. It will outlive all of us.

Living in Grace,

Sunday, 21 August 2011

When the lights go out

During our worship service this evening, the lights in the entire suburb went out. Our guest preacher Rev Ross Olivier was busy preaching his powerful sermon when suddenly all went dark! He was able to continue for another 10 minutes as some of the congregation found some candles to light up the sanctuary. In the end, we all had the chance to hear the end of his message, despite no electricity. The message of the gospel still came through to all of us - Jesus offers us the chance to enjoy abundant life - to live well! We need to turn to Him for the answers we seek.

So, when the lights go out in your life, don't lose hope. Jesus still wants to get a message across to us. It may be the simple message of "Trust in me" or "I will make you well" or "I love you."

Living in Grace,

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Safe in God's hands

We are safe in God's hands. That's what the Scriptures promise us.

John 10:28 & 29 – “I give them eternal life, and they shall never snatch them out of my hand. My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” 

We must not mis-read this to mean 'we will not go through difficult times' or even face suffering. The verse tells us that 'come what may', nothing and no one, will be able to remove us from the embrace of our Loving God. 

Living in the hands of Grace,

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A word for you today

Every time we read the Scriptures they speak into our lives. The inspiration of the Holy Spirit illuminates particular verses that we need to hear in the moment. Take a minute to read the Psalm below and see what God has to say to you right now.

"Keep me safe, my God,
   for in you I take refuge.
 2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
   apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
   “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
   I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
   or take up their names on my lips.
 5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
   you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
   surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
   even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
   With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
   my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
   nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
   you will fill me with joy in your presence,
   with eternal pleasures at your right hand" - Psalm 16

In case you are wondering, the words in red bold are the ones I felt God wanted me to hear to today. What verse was just for you today? Let me know...

Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

127 hours

What would you do in order to survive? Would you contemplate cutting off your arm? That's exactly what Aron Ralston did. Whilst hiking in Utah, he fell and his arm got trapped under a massive boulder. He was unable to move the boulder and he remained trapped for over 5 days, until he was forced to make the gruesome choice ... die in the mountains or cut off his arm and possibly survive. If you want to read more of his story click here

Jesus was willing to die on the cross for our sins. This is how much God loved us. His death and resurrection have invited us into a relationship with the Living God. It's our choice! How much do you want it?

Living in Grace,

Monday, 15 August 2011

What do you make of this?

"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." - 1 Peter 1:6-7

I don't naturally feel like rejoicing when I go through difficult times - do you? Yet, this scripture seems to suggest we should. Perhaps Peter writes these words with the benefit of years of hindsight. He had previously faced many moments of suffering and so maybe he is challenging us to see that God is still with us in these times - and that he is working on something amazing with us.

Any thoughts?

Living in Grace,

Saturday, 13 August 2011


What gives you hope? Is it when you hear someone say 'I'm sorry!" or when you notice the sunrise? Do you feel hope rise within you when you see different generations laughing together or people of different backgrounds living alongside each other? Are you filled with hope when you watch an inspiring movie or listen to a moving song?

Peter reminds us that, through Jesus Christ, we can expect a 'Living Hope' - a clear and tangible hope in the present - not just when we leave this earth. In my opinion the world needs as much of this hope as we can get!

1 Peter 1:3“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...”

Don't lose HOPE - hang unto the promise of God's Grace.
Living in Grace,

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Law unto themselves

We have heard this phrase a few times over the past 6 days - "a law unto themselves" - with reference to the many looters and rioters in England. Do you know where this phrase comes from? Any guesses? No, the answer is not 'Shakespeare!' It actually comes from the bible - Romans 2:14 to be precise:

"For when the Gentiles....having not the law, are a law unto themselves."

For a long time the Gentiles refused to obey the law of Moses - they submitted to their own 'law' and thus became a 'law unto themselves.' Society will always spiral out of control if we allow people to make up their own rules. It has happened in every 'civilisation' since the beginning of time. For me, nothing triumphs over the commands God has given to us.

Any thoughts?

Living in Grace,

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Riots in England

If you turned on the TV in the last few days one would easily mistake England for a war zone. Twitter and Facebook are abuzz with accounts of what is happening in cities like London, Nottingham, Manchester, Liverpool and many others. Most of us are completely flabbergasted that this is taking place in a 'first' world country and many others are anxiously waiting on news from family living in the UK. In my opinion, these acts of violence are senseless and criminal.

However, today I want to pass on a piece of good news that is coming from these places of chaos. It seems that many law-abiding citizens are now coming out of their states of shock and are working together to clean up the mess and to protect their churches, mosques and temples. One report showed how hundreds of people, armed with broomsticks, were moving into these areas and are forming an army of volunteers - all desperate to to keep their communities together and livable. Instead of fearing for their stores, some shop keepers were even handing out free coffee and doughnuts to these inspiring people.

In Biblical times, people like Nehemiah strongly believed that they could make a difference, despite the broken walls and hopeless. His heroic acts allowed the temple of Jerusalem to be restored to it's former glory. One person, one vision, one hope.

"The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire. When I heard these things, I sat down and wept." - Nehemiah 1:3-4

Our prayers should go out to people around the world who are struggling with brokenness in their lives... England, Somalia, Sudan, The Middle East, Zimbabwe ... the list goes on!

Living in Grace,

Serenity Prayer

In preparing for a memorial service today I came across the well known 'Serenity Prayer.' I think these words are incredible and they apply to our lives in all kinds of ways. Read this prayer, pause for a moment and then pray it our aloud. May it bless you abundantly.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
Trusting that he will make all things right
if I surrender to His will;
that I may be reasonably happy
in this life and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next. Amen."

Living in Grace,

Monday, 8 August 2011

Let it be me!

We often focus on the negative things in our lives, but my prayer is that on National Women's Day we would see the good in others and give thanks for all that God has given us.

"Become everything that God wants you to be. It is within your reach. Dare to grow into your dreams and claim this as your motto: Let it be me." - Mary Kay Ash 

Let it be me! Let it be you!

Blessings and live in Grace,

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Preaching to yourself

They say that preachers often preach their messages first to themselves and then to their people. As we reflected on Esther today, I was deeply challenged by Esther's account in the Scriptures. Not only was she a beautiful woman, but she was godly, courageous and compassionate. She came to understand that God had raised her up for a particular purpose in a specific time. When the crunch came, she never backed down from her call to speak out for truth and justice. Wow, we can learn a lot from her.

"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” - Esther 4:14

May we choose to live in the Grace of Jesus,

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Can this be true?

I stumbled upon an article about a Dutch minister who felt he couldn't offer his people any hope in things like 'Life after Death', as well as a lot of other things we believe in the Christian Faith. There are certain 'fundamentals' in our Christian tradition and I firmly believe that 'Eternal Life' is one of them. I have no clear what heaven will look like, but I believe that it exists.

Anyway, I was quite dumbfounded - and I ask how can a Minister publicly declare these things? Sure, we all have doubts from time to time, but surely, it is not helpful to air these to the world?

If you have moment read this article and see what you think

Let me know your thoughts.

Living in Grace,

Thursday, 4 August 2011


Who do you call when things get tough? God invites us to call out to Him - He promises to answer us...

Jeremiah 33:2-3 - “This is God's Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God:
'Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.” (The Message)

Have a blessed day.

Live in his Grace,

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

What were you born as?

After sharing in a funeral this afternoon a gentleman came up to speak to me. In our conversation he told me how he was born a Catholic, became an Anglican and is now a Baptist. While I have no real issues with any one of these denominations, I was taken aback by his comment on been born a Christian! I am not sure about you, but when I was born, I was born a crying, tiny (and probably smelly) baby! It was my choice, in my teens, to surrender my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and then I became a Christian (born again, if you prefer).

I know what this gentleman was getting at (and so I didn't correct him at the time), but it still disturbs me that people believe that faith is passed on genetically. For me, the only way we pass on our faith to our family, children, friends etc, is through sharing & teaching about the love of Jesus. Then when these people understand their need for a Saviour they choose to follow Jesus. No one can be born a Methodist, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Catholic etc - sure, we can be born into homes that embrace one of these traditions, but we are never born anything more infants in need of Love.

Any thoughts?

Living in Grace,

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The road not taken

I am not sure if you remember this poem by Robert Frost? It can speak about a whole range of things, but it is worth reading in the light of our faith journey - think about your walk with Christ and then read the poem again. What Scripture verse comes to your mind when you read it?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

Living in Grace,

Photo from this link

Monday, 1 August 2011

Back to the grindstone

It has been mentioned a number of times since we got back, that we will now be getting 'back to the grindstone!' I'm not sure if you know where the term originates from, but it has it's origin from centuries back, when people used to do a lot of their daily work on grindstones (A grindstone is a rotating solid stone wheel used for grinding, shaping, sharpening, or polishing).

It often has negative connotations, almost implying that one's work is back-breaking and unpleasant. This is where my 'ministry life' deviates from this definition - Yes, there are moments when ministry is draining and exhausting, but I love what I do! Getting back into routine is always hard, but I feel blessed to be in ministry and so 'getting back to the grindstone' is not an unpleasant task for me.

What are some of the unpleasant tasks in your line of work? Do they feel like 'grindstones' or not?

"The Israelites completed all the work, just as God had commanded. Moses saw that they had done all the work and done it exactly as God had commanded. Moses blessed them." - Exodus 39:42

Living in Grace,