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