Monday, 31 October 2016

A New Plan

I had a good plan mapped out for this morning! All was set to GO and I was ready. By the time I got to the second thing on my agenda, my Plan hit some problems. I was frustrated and irritable. But, then I felt the Spirit whisper to me - "Delme, make another plan!"

Of course, I wasn't so keen, because I was prepared for plan A, so thinking about plan B threw me off balance. In the end, adjusting the plan wasn't too bad, I guess, but I realise that I had to be open to 'see' the possibilities of another way. How are you when it comes to making another plan? Do you see the hand of God in the change or do let your frustration get the better of you?

Even God had to make other plans. When the people of Israel failed to keep their end of the covenant deals, God had to make another plan. Eventually, God's grace moved him to offer his son, Jesus as the final plan. This plan will be written on the hearts and souls of all people. See what Hebrews 8 has to say (from the Message)

This new plan I’m making with Israel
    isn’t going to be written on paper,
    isn’t going to be chiseled in stone;
This time I’m writing out the plan in them,
    carving it on the lining of their hearts.
I’ll be their God,
    they’ll be my people.
They won’t go to school to learn about me,
    or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons.
They’ll all get to know me first hand,
    the little and the big, the small and the great.
They’ll get to know me by being kindly forgiven,
    with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.

Living in Grace

Saturday, 29 October 2016

All good things come at a great cost

I have had the privilege of attending the Global Leadership Summit this weekend. I find that there is always some inspiration from the talks and they always challenge me to become a better leader, Christ-follower and Pastor. One of the many brilliant speakers this year was John Maxwell. I have read many of his books and so to see his talk was special. There was something in his talk that really struck a chord with me - it is simple, but a timely reminder to me. He said something along the lines of this:

"All good things come at a great cost." (Achieving your goals is like driving uphill - it is hard and can be tough going.)

Of course, he is right. Why would anything 'good' come at zero effort and cost? In a business sense this speaks about how achieving anything significant is going to mean blood, sweat and tears. In personal relationships, it will be the same. And the same applies for our Spiritual lives - having a great relationship with Jesus comes at a great cost - and this was all paid for by Christ himself.

So, before you give up on the 'uphill' challenges of your life, ask yourself if pushing through the tough times will not be worth it in the end.

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Recharging the batteries

Cellphone companies are constantly trying to improve the battery life on their devices. The longer your battery life the happier you will be! And yet, despite all of this fuss about battery life, you and I will still need to plug our phones into the socket, in order to charge our phones. No matter whether your current phone lasts a day or even two days, the batteries all need a recharge at some point.

And so the same applies to us. Why we think we can run for days and weeks on end, without allowing ourselves the chance to 'recharge' is beyond me. We need to recognise when our emotional and spiritual batteries are running flat and then to recharge. If we want to be effective in the long run, we need to look after our personal 'battery life.'

Matthew 11:28-30 - Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

If you have some good ideas on how to recharge your spiritual lives then please share them in the comments section of this post. Thanks and God bless.

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Tree

The other day I noticed a car had crashed into a tree along the sidewalk. Everyone seemed to be fine in the vehicle, but the car was not! Later that day, I passed by the same spot and saw that the car had been towed away and that the tree still stood firm and strong - it was like nothing had bashed into it.

This whole picture reminded me that God is like aTree -  strong and secure. When we embrace the good news of Jesus, we get to rest in the shadow of the TREE.

Matthew 13:32 -  "It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. - Psalm 104

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise. - Proverbs 11:30

May you rest in the strength of the TREE today.

Living in Grace

Sunday, 23 October 2016


I am so grateful that even when I am "all over the place", God is faithful and that God sticks with me. I love this portion of scripture where Jacob tells his family that God is forever faithful and that we need to honour God.

"Jacob told his family and all those who lived with him, “Throw out all the alien gods which you have, take a good bath and put on clean clothes, we’re going to Bethel. I’m going to build an altar there to the God who answered me when I was in trouble and has stuck with me everywhere I’ve gone since.” - Genesis 35:2-3

Why don't we take a moment to thank God that he has 'stuck with us' all the way.

Living in Grace

Friday, 21 October 2016

The chase is wild

King David finds himself in a spot of trouble and he knows that the only one who can save him is God. So, in his distress, he pins his ears back and he runs to the Father. God will be his place of safety - his refuge - his haven.

"God! God! I am running to you for dear life;
    the chase is wild.
If they catch me, I’m finished:" - Psalm 7:1 (Message)

When we are feeling a little deflated and lost or when we feel as if our enemies are out to get us, where do we turn? Do we run to God for dear life, experiencing the wild chase or do we give up?

May you run into the safe arms of Jesus today.

Living in Grace

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Catherine of Siena

Catherine of Siena is known as one of the mystics who shaped Christianity in the 14th century. She was deeply marked by the love of Christ and so this theme of 'LOVE' comes up many times in her writings. It got me thinking about how ours have been shaped by God's grace and mercy - do we show signs of being changed by God's love?

Here are a few of her thoughts on LOVE:

"You are rewarded not according to your work or your time but according to the measure of your love." Dialogue 165

"Love transforms one into what one loves." Dialogue 60

"One who knows more, loves more." Dialogue 66

"We trust and believe in what we love."  Dialogue 8

"There will be love in proportion to faith and faith in proportion to love."  Letter T344

May you be marked by the love of Jesus today.

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


Don't be so afraid to make a mistake that you end up doing nothing. Fear can prevent us from living the abundant life. Can you imagine if Peter, James and John (and the other early disciples) were so afraid of making mistakes that they never ventured out of the Upper Room. The world would never have got to hear of the Gospel of Jesus.

"The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake." - Meister Eckhart

Don't be afraid to try, especially if it could bring glory to Jesus.

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The "Thank You" prayer

Meister Eckhart once remarked:
"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."

We don't thank God enough for all that he has done for us and for the blessings we have been given. Instead of praying a complicated prayer today, why don't you just allow these 2 words to be your prayer for the day.

Thank you Jesus.

1 Chronicles 16:34 - "Give thanks to God—he is good and his love never quits. Say, “Save us, Savior God, round us up and get us out of these godless places, So we can give thanks to your holy Name, and bask in your life of praise.”(MSG)

Living in Grace

Monday, 17 October 2016

All around us

Lancelot Andrews was a bishop in the Church of England in the 16th Century. He served as royal chaplain to Queen Elizabeth I and later to Kings James I and Charles I. Amongst his many achievements and writings is this lovely prayer. It speaks to me of the fact that Jesus is with us always. May these words speak to you today.

Be Thou within me, to strengthen me;
Without me, to keep me;
Above me, to protect me;
Beneath me, to uphold me;
Before me, to direct me;
Behind me, to keep me from straying;
Round about me, to defend me.
Blessed be Thou, O Lord, our Father,
for ever and ever.

May the Spirit of Jesus enfold you with this love and grace today.

Living in Grace

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Interesting take on prayer

Frederich Buechner once remarked that we should "go where our best prayers take us."
I am not sure how I feel about this quote to be honest.
Is it simply a statement of faith believing that we should step out into the unknown, believing that God will answer our 'best' prayers?
Or is it inviting us to move into situations that are the "best" for us?

My worry is this: what does it imply about suffering? What if my best prayers ask for me to avoid all kinds of trial and diffulties, but I end up experiencing some tough times? Will I then think that God has not heard my prayers? I just don't know!

What are your thoughts on his quote?
Let me know.

Living in Grace

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Did I?

I really enjoy the writings of Henri Nouwen. In one of his works he speaks about asking 'real Questions.' As I reflect on these thoughts I believe these are great questions to ask ourselves at the end of every day - if you like, they can help us reflect on the success/failures of the day. This is how it goes:

Did I offer peace today? 
Did I bring a smile to someone's face? 
Did I say words of healing? 
Did I let go of my anger and resentment? 
Did I forgive? 
Did I love? 
These are the real questions. 
I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, 
here in this world and the life to come.

May you find these words helpful in your own faith experience.

Luke 1:79 (MSG) Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God’s Sunrise will break in upon us, Shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death, Then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace.

Living in Grace
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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Prayer for guidance

I trust that some of us will find this prayer helpful today. Grace.

"Lord, grant that I may always allow myself to be guided by you, always follow your plans, and perfectly accomplish your holy will. 
Grant that in all things, great and small, today and all the days of my life, I may do whatever you require of me.
Help me respond to the slightest prompting of your grace, so that I may be your trustworthy instrument for your honour.
May your will be done in time and in eternity by me, in me, and through me.
Amen." St. Teresa of Avila

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The Lifeguard

Apologies if you were expecting a nice picture of a hunky Lifeguard, but I wanted to make sure that you all remained focused on this post :)

Over the holidays we went away for a quick break down to the beach, but for a few days swimming and surfing was banned. The hectic weather conditions and giant surf made swimming far too dangerous.

What was interesting to note was that the Lifeguards were warning people not to go into the surf, but there were people who still disobeyed the order and tried to go and swim.The swimmers would be reprimanded and then come out the water - but a few minutes later someone else ignored the ban and tried to swim. At one point the exasperated Life guards were telling people that bathing was banned for the SAFETY of the public! It was not that they wanted to chill out and take a day off – no, they were doing their job and trying to protect people.

This reminded me of how we sometimes view God and his commands. We often think that God has made the rules and commands just to mess with us – like some kind of sick LIFEGUARD, who just wants to stop my fun in the sun.

It is interesting that when the Lord gave the 10 commandments to the Israelites it was to PROTECT Them and keep them safe in the NEW LAND they were about to enter into. They had been used to living under the leadership and rules of the Egyptians for generations. These were set for them to say to them – “Hey, guys it is gonna be tough out there – if you want to survive and live long in the land, then I am laying down these guidelines.” But the people kept ignoring God.

Nehemiah 9: 16-18 - But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. 17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them."

God is not a mean person trying to mess up our lives, rather he is a loving LifeGuard trying to protect us from getting ourselves in trouble.

Living in Grace