Thursday, 31 May 2012


As I reflect on how God works in our lives, I am still left dumbfounded. God works in ways we least expect and He surprises us with moments of incredible grace. Sadly, we miss many of these gifts because we are too focused on what God is NOT giving us, rather than on what He is.

Remember that God only wants what is best for us - so He will give us what we need and not what we always want.

As I am moving towards the 1000th blog post I want to ask a favour of you. Please could you think back over the posts you have read and then share with me the ONE post that has meant something to you or has been relevant for your situation. Please, I would love to hear your story. If you can't reply on this blog, please email it to

Many thanks
Living in Grace

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Hand of blessing

Our experiences can shape our mindset in a powerful way. Just ask someone who has come from an abusive relationship. They will tell you that a 'hand' has the power to love or destroy.

In light of this, it is easy to read the Scriptures with our own bias or experiences clouding the real message. Take for example, Psalm 139:5. In the NIV translation, part of this verse reads, "you have laid your hand upon me." Now, it is easy to see how for some people, this could be troublesome - the last time anyone laid a hand on them, it was in an aggressive way.

However, this is not what the Scripture is saying and we could miss the true gift in this verse. The New Living Translation opens the verse up like this...

"You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head." - Psalm 139:5

Wow, it is speaking of God's hand of blessing. That is well worth receiving, I hope?!

May God be with you today and may His hands of blessing be upon you.

As I am coming up to my 1000th blog post, I am going to ask you all a favour tomorrow. Please answer tomorrow's blog post if you can. Thanks. 

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

What do you call God?

In Old Testament times the Israelites revered God so much that they called God YHWH. This was a term of respect and awe - Yahweh - was as personal as we got when we spoke to God.

However, things changed when Jesus came along. He tells us to call God, Abba, which means 'daddy.' Suddenly our relationship with the Eternal God moves from one of 'distance' to one of 'intimacy.' Sadly though, many Christians still struggle to communicate with the Lord in moments of intimacy. They feel to uncomfortable to speak of God as a parent or close friend. Yet, this is exactly what Jesus instructed his disciples to do. If you don't believe me, go and read the first few chapters of Matthew and read the Lord's prayer again. Take note of how it starts - "Abba father..."

 "To love God, means to call him ...ABBA" - Scot McKnight

Prayer: Our loving Dad, thank you for opening the doors of intimacy with you. It is so wonderful to know that when we speak with you, that there doesn't need to be any religious protocol - we can just be ourselves in your presence. Teach us to hunger and thirst for a deeper relationship with you and not to only give you the scraps of our time. Amen.

Living in Grace

Monday, 28 May 2012

Pharoah's disease

I came across an interesting comment in a recent devotion. When the author mentioned 'Pharoah's disease' I was immediately intrigued and then remembered what his disease was - Pharaoh's sickness was that he had a hard heart (Exodus 14:8). Wow, one never hears of people going to the doctor because they have stubborn or hard hearts, but I guess we should. Heart disease of this kind is far more lethal, because it can impact Eternity.

When last did you have a "heart" check up?
Do you potentially have Pharaoh's disease?
Ask the Holy Spirit to soften your heart today.

Living in Grace

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Spirit of Fire

Today is Pentecost! May the Spirit of the Living God fall afresh on you. Seek God and you will experience the blessing of the Spirit. God has given us this precious gift of His Spirit - we are therefore never alone - God is with us wherever we go.

Acts 2:3-4 - "They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit..."
"Let us thank God heartily as often as we pray that we have His Spirit in us to teach us to pray. Thanksgiving will draw our hearts out to God and keep us engaged with Him; it will take our attention from ourselves and give the Spirit room in our hearts." - Andrew Murray
"O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams." - St. Augustine

Living in Grace

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Defining moments

We all have them at some stage in our lives - I am referring to Defining moments! Whether we recognise them as this or not, we face situations that ultimately define us. They could be relationships, difficulties, death, birth of a child, challenges overcome, career moves, decisions or anything really. In the end, they all have one result - we are not the same anymore.

For John Wesley, his defining moment happened on this day (24th May) many, many years ago. After being a Christian for many years, he encountered God in a deeper way, whilst worshipping in Aldersgate street in London. This moment with the Holy Spirit changed his relationship with God in such a profound way that it is often referred to as his second conversion. The Spirit of God lit the dead wood of faith in John and as he became "on fire" for Jesus, the Gospel he preached, transformed people's lives. The Wesleyan revival began with John's defining moment.

What has been your defining moment? Have you forgotten what happened then or does it still impact your life?
I would love to hear your story.

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

What does God require?

What does God need?
What does he want?
What does God require of you and I?
"To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with him!"

If you don't believe me, read it in Micah 6:8.
You see, God is complete - God lacks nothing and wants for nothing, but God does ask things of us. We can turn to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) or the Ten Commandments to see what God requires of us, but I feel that Micah 6:8 is a powerful summary of all that God asks.

Read it again. It is not as easy as it first looks.

Try it - I dare you!

Living in Grace

Monday, 21 May 2012

Changed forever

Today (21 May 1738) is remembered as the day that Charles Wesley moved from a 'legalistic' outlook of his faith to a spirit-filled evangelical faith. In other words, his faith become deeply real for him this day. It no longer seemed a chore or burden for him, but a unrelenting passion to serve Jesus. As a result we were blessed by the incredible song writing ability of Charles Wesley - he wrote over 6000 hymns. That is awesome!

Have you been changed by the Spirit of the living God or is your faith still mundane, routine and insignificant in your life? If it is, perhaps you need to spend some time with your Living God - faith was never meant to be dull. Start by praying this prayer:

"Living Lord Jesus, my faith has fallen into a rut and I don't know how to get out. I admit that I have lost my passion to spend time with you and to put you first in my life. From this day on, I resolve to give you my full heart, not just the leftovers. Come and move in my life today. Amen."

Living in Grace

Sunday, 20 May 2012


I woke up with a thought on my mind and I think it is worth sharing with us today. Perhaps this is a word for someone who is reading this blog.

Do not allow yourselves to become paralysed by a fear of insignificance.

1 John 4:4 - "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."

Your significance is found in Jesus.

Live in His Grace

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Enjoy the view

I love this quote. I think it is brilliant.

"There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full." - Henry A. Kissinger

In truth, the crisis moments we face help us to put everything in sharp perspective - even our diaries suddenly don't seem as full as we make them out to be. 

Our crisis times are like climbing up a mountain, but with God there is always a gift in the midst of the trouble.

"It's easier to go down a hill than up it, but the view is much better at the top." - Henry Ward Beecher

Living in Grace

Friday, 18 May 2012

People or things

Before Randy Pausch died he gave his 'Last Lecture', which has been put into a book. It is amazing how the very real knowledge of life and death helped him to put words to his thoughts. Here is one of his profound statements:
“People are more important than things.” ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
Simple, but so true!
What is more important to you at the moment? 
Jesus is most important...
Living in Grace

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Powerful stuff

Ascension day is deeply significant for us as believers. It reminds us that Christ's work on earth was complete (in the physical form), but that it was just about to begin through His Holy Spirit. It also reminds us that Jesus is actively interceding for us in heaven...

·         Romans 8: 34 - “Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”

     "Christ's ascension is a sign for us of the miracle of his transformation. He is the kernel and heart of all power in heaven and on earth." - Karl Barth

     May God be gracious to you today and always.

     Living in Grace

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Ascension Day

Don't forget that on Thursday (17th) it is Ascension Day. If you had forgotten that it was this special day, why don't you read up more about it in Acts 1.

See, the Conqueror mounts in triumph,
See the King in royal state,
Riding on the clouds His chariot
To His heavenly palace-gate;
Hark, the choirs of angel voices
Joyful halleluiahs sing, 
And the portals high are lifted,
To receive their heavenly King.
      - William Wordsworth
Be blessed by the Ascended Lord today.
Living in the Grace


There are many things that we want from life. However, a lot of these things we don't actually NEED. We may want them for a variety of reasons, but they may not be the best for us. God promises to supply us with the things we need in life...

"And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:19

Make a list of the needs you have today and start asking God to meet these needs.

Living in Grace

Monday, 14 May 2012

I will declare

One of the things I love about the Psalmists is that they spoke so honestly about their emotions, yet they always weaved some Hope into their words. I have been blessed to re-read Psalm 89 today. Here are some of the opening words:

"I will sing of the Lord's great love for ever, with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself." - Psalm 89:1-2

Let's declare that God's love stands FIRM forever!

Living in Grace

Friday, 11 May 2012

Long Sleeved Pants

I realise that in my last few posts I have been a little 'down' - we are all just struggling to come to terms with loads of grief that has recently impacted our community. I would appreciate your prayers in this difficult time. Thanks.

Anyway, just to lighten the tone, I must tell you about Josh's comment the other day. As I was getting him dressed, he was telling me that he doesn't need to wear "long sleeved pants" to school because it was far too hot for that. I had to chuckle to myself and I didn't bother correcting him as he was totally convinced about his short/long sleeved pants:)

May your week be awesome and may the weather be so good that you can wear your "short sleeved pants" all day long. (For those of you who are English, remember that the "pants" I am speaking about are "trousers" and not underpants:)

Kids are a true gift - they make us laugh and cry at the most unusual times.

Be blessed today.
Living in Grace

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Who are you?

Who are you?
I realise that you know your name, but do you know who you are? Do you know what makes you tick? What gets you up in the morning? What fears do you have? Is the public "you" the same as the private "you?"
"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." -Aristotle 
So be wise today and get to know yourself. God knows you already.
Living in Grace

Monday, 7 May 2012

I am willing

What strikes me as sad is the question the man with leprosy asked Jesus - "If you are willing, you can make me clean" (Mark 1:40). The reason I say this question makes me sad is that it reveals how hopeless this man felt. No one had a cured for him. No one touched him. Not even religion could help him. He had probably asked for help so many times, but found people unwilling to help him.

A large number of people believe that God is unwilling to help them in their times of need or that perhaps God has even caused their pain. This is no true at all. Jesus reply gives us an insight into the heart of God:

"I AM WILLING!" Jesus said.

He is willing to walk alongside you in your pain.
He is willing to console us in our grief.
He is willing to offer us hope and direction.
JESUS is willing.

Pray believing that Jesus is willing to meet your needs.

Living in Grace

Saturday, 5 May 2012

With us

With so much pain and sadness being experienced in our community these past few days, it is easy to forget that God is compassionate and caring. Jesus never avoided people who were hurting - he embraced them and offered them his presence. 

May we remember that God is IMMANUEL - that means "with us" in all things.

Mark 1:41 – “Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man." 

Living in Grace

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Cross in my pocket

I spoke over Easter of the 'Cross in my pocket'. Today is the day I so desperately cling to that cross. It's all we can do!

            I carry a cross in my pocket
            A simple reminder to me
            Of the fact that I am a Christian
            No matter where I may be.

            This little cross is not magic 
            Nor is it a good luck charm. 
            It isn't meant to protect me.  
           From every physical harm.

            It's not for identification 
            For all the world to see. 
           It's simply an understanding
           Between my Savior and me.

          When I put my hand in my pocket  
          To bring out a coin or key.        
         The cross is there to remind me     
         Of the price he paid for me.

            It reminds me, too, to be thankful  
          For my blessings day by day      
         And strive to serve him better  
          In all that I do and say.

            It's also a daily reminder 
           Of the peace and comfort I share 
           With all who know my master  
          And give themselves to his care.

             So, I carry a cross in my pocket 
           Reminding no one but me           
           That Jesus Christ is Lord of my life
           If only I'll let him be.

Stay close to the Cross - it is there that you will find the Grace you are looking for.

Living in Grace

Truly religious

Do you consider yourself religious? Take a look at this definition of a religious person and see what you think.

"A religious man/women is a person who holds God and humanity in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion  is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

Do you agree or disagree? Just asking?

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Question

"At the close of life the question will be not, how much you have got, but how much you have given; not how much you have won, but how much you have done; not how much you have saved, but how much you have sacrificed; how much you have loved and served, not how much you were honored." ~Nathan C. Schaeffer~

God be near you this day. Be aware of His presence - God is as close as our very breath.

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

100 Days - making a difference

My friends Mark and Pete are crazy!
They have decided to run for 300 days in 2012, covering at least 5 km's per day. I hope that you are asking WHY they would do such a crazy thing? Here is the answer:

They are running for the young children who roam our streets - their commitment is to raise awareness for ICare an organisation that helps street Children to change their lives. ICare does a marvellous job in giving kids hope and a future. So, by running 300 days in 2012, Mark and Pete will be getting our attention and will also be helping to raise funds for ICare.

They have set an audacious goal of raising R100 000 and if we help them, they can do it. Please go to their website now and see how we can help - thanks for your support of this awesome cause.

Living in Grace