Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Settling in

It always takes time to settle into a new home. For some it can take months or even years. At the moment we are settling nicely into our new home and getting used to new surroundings. We know that it will take time to physically settle, but the blessing we have is that "in Jesus" we can be constantly settled. Our spiritual 'center' has not changed at all, even though we have relocated. It reminds me of the following words of Isaiah...

"... the God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me." - Isaiah 30:15-17 (Message)

Our strength comes from being dependent on Jesus. When our trust is in Him, then we are settled.

What do you think?

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Getting there ... slowly!

Unpacking is not a fun task at all. Box after box after box. And just when you think you are nearly the end, another box appears from nowhere. A friend asked us today how the unpacking was going and our answer was "we are getting there slowly!"

And that is the truth - we will get to the end sometime in the future, but it won't be finished in a few days - it all takes time. This should be a good lesson for us in the season of Advent. After all, a lot of us want Christmas to be here RIGHT NOW, and we don't like the waiting part.

However, moving towards Christmas day .... slowly, allows us to take in the beauty of the season, the expectancy of the Christ-child and the miracle of the Messiah. Rushing through Advent doesn't make us enjoy Christmas nearly as much as when we wait patiently.

So here is a little advice for us all - let us take a deep breath, soak in the Christmas carols and celebrations, unpack each advent 'box' slowly and thank God for his presence with us. We will get there in the end and the wait is always well worth it!

Luke 2:38 - "She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem."

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Hope for the helpless

"Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.
    Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them." - Psalm 10:17

I think this verse speaks into many lives this Advent season. There are a lot of people who feel 'helpless' with the circumstances that surround them, but if you asked these same people what they hoped for, they would give you a clear answer. They HOPE for change.

Hope still runs through our veins, even when we feel helpless. Jesus Christ offers all of us this HOPE - and so, may we receive his hope this Christmas season and remember that God hears the cries of his people.

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Thursday, 7 December 2017

A Sense of Humour

I wonder if God inspired these words for my three sons?

Genesis 45:24 - "Then he sent his brothers off. As they left he told them, “Take it easy on the journey; try to get along with each other.”
 
I sure hope that my three boys will get along on the journey to Cape Town, but anyone who has been on a long road trip knows that this is not always the case. I am sure there will be lots of arguing along the way....
.... and yes, I am sure we will be asked a few times .... "Are we there yet!?"
 
If you are on the journey towards the birth of Jesus, then 'take it easy and try to get along with each other."
 
Living in Grace
D3LM3

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Hungry for more

"Why is everyone hungry for more? 
“More, more,” they say.
“More, more.”
 

I have God’s more-than-enough,
More joy in one ordinary day than they get in all their shopping sprees.
 
At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together." - Psalm 4:6-8

It is very hard to go against the flow of the majority at Christmas time. People are caught up in the whole 'more, more, more' mindset and we can so easily follow suit. The challenge for all of us to get to the place where we can say - "God is more than enough!"

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Monday, 4 December 2017

A December Prayer



"Jesus, Light of the world.
When I am afraid and unsure,
comfort me with the light of Your presence.
When loneliness chills me,
warm me with the light of Your love.
When the road ahead seems dark,
guide me with the light of Your way.
When I don't understand and my
thoughts are unclear,
fill me with the light of Your wisdom.
When I seem spent like a candle consumed,
replenish me with the light of Your life.
Then, so filled with Your light, use me,
So that I, with You, may be light for the world!
Amen."
- Unknown

May the presence of Jesus guide you today. 

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Saturday, 2 December 2017

The Hope

"For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." - Romans 8:24-25

Advent is the season of HOPE. 
We wade through the busy shopping malls, packed highways, end of year functions - all in an effort to bring some kind of joy to others and ourselves. Yet, the very thing we all need is not an object, but a person. And in that person of Jesus, there is perpetual HOPE.

May you come to encounter the living God this Advent season.

Romans 5:5 - And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Living in Grace
D3LM3 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Aaron and Hur

"When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset." - Exodus 17:12

Thank you to everyone who has been an 'Aaron' and a 'Hur' to us over the last few days. We have needed all your support, care and help. It is so encouraging to know that when things get hard, there are people around to help 'lift your hands'. We appreciate every message and prayer - they have all kept us going.

Thought: Be thankful for those people in your life, who keep your hands raised so you can get the work done.

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Thursday, 30 November 2017

God's Strength > My weakness

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." - 2 Corinthians 12:9

Sometimes a verse makes a lot more sense when you are going through something very similar in your own journey. For us, we feel that we are needing God's strength in 'bucket loads' at the moment and so this verse really resonates with us. May it also offer you some hope and encouragement for what you are dealing with.

Remember that God's Strength > our weakness.

Living in Grace
D3LM3 

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

My simple prayer

With everything happening in our lives at the moment I have found myself praying a very simple prayer. It goes like this:
"Make a way, Lord! 
Please, Make a way."

I know it is not filled with flowery words, but the simplicity of the prayer helps me get through the million and one things on our daily agenda. Moving house, moving cities, moving churches, leaving family and friends, starting new schools, and generally just starting over again - these are just some of the things that we are dealing with at the moment. Now, do you see why the prayer makes sense?

"Oh, God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
 
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way." - Don Moen

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Monday, 27 November 2017

A healthy Forgetfulness


We all forget things at times, don't we? Sometimes the things we forget about are not that important (in the bigger scheme of things), but others are extremely important. I love the concept that John Ortberg shares about the trait of humility, where he refers to us learning a "healthy forgetfulness." 

This is a concept that moves us away from self-importance, self-indulgence and making everything about "ME." It is harder than most of us admit, but when we can start thinking more of others, than about ourselves, we are becoming more and more healthy - certainly in a spiritual sense.
 

“Humility has to do with submitted willingness. It involves a healthy forgetfulness. We will know we have begun to make progress in humility when we find that we get so enabled by the Holy Spirit to live in the moment that we cease to be preoccupied with ourselves, one way or the other. When we are with others, we are truly with them, not wondering how they can be of benefit to us.”John Ortberg


Matthew 23:12 - For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
 
Living in Grace
D3LM3

Sunday, 26 November 2017

By the Grace of God

In the 16th Century, John Bradford is alleged to have said these words:
"There by the grace of God goes John Bradford." 
It may seem a little strange that he was speaking these words about himself, but actually he was watching a group of prisoners being led to their execution. He recognised the potential for himself to be walking in their shoes. However, he saw the fact that he had been 'saved' as an act of God's GRACE. And I think he is right!

As I have reflected on many things of late, I keep coming back to that simple, yet profound truth. I am where I am, ONLY by the grace of God! Nothing more - nothing less!



Ephesians 2:8-9 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 


Acts 20:24 - However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Living in Grace
D3LM3


Thursday, 23 November 2017

Friday

As the world braces itself for Black Friday, can I take this chance to remind us all of the GREATEST Friday of all time - the day that Jesus gave his life for humanity. His life was given up at a great cost! To be flippant and to put it into shopping terms - We got the best deal in all the world that Friday!

Jesus paid for our sins on Calvary and in that moment the whole world turned dark. Please let us not forget the deep significance of that glorious day.

John 19:16-19 - Pilate caved in to their demand. He turned him over to be crucified. [ The Crucifixion ] They took Jesus away. Carrying his cross, Jesus went out to the place called Skull Hill (the name in Hebrew is Golgotha), where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote a sign and had it placed on the cross. It read: Jesus the Nazarene the king of the Jews.

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

First thing in the morning

What do you do first thing in the morning?
Make some coffee?
Check your phone?
Exercise?
Make breakfast?
Do your devotions?

When Isaiah was expressing his heart to God, he asked God to treat the people kindly and to 'be there for them' FIRST THING in the morning. It gives me a wonderful sense of comfort and peace to know that God is there for us and that God is our Hope. How do these words make you feel?

"God, treat us kindly. You’re our only hope.
    First thing in the morning, be there for us!
    When things go bad, help us out!
You spoke in thunder and everyone ran.
    You showed up and nations scattered." - Isaiah 33:2-4

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Pattern-Chamber


John Henry Jowett made this lovely observation:
“When we have the mind of anybody, we share the very springs of their being… (we) have their way of feeling, their way of doing things. It is to be like them in the pattern-chamber of the life, where conduct is originally fashioned, and where all the outside issues are finally determined.” 

So, it seems that we all have this 'pattern-chamber' inside of us. Perhaps it is better to call it our 'hearts' or 'souls', but that can just be semantics. The pattern-chamber will guide us to replicate and copy all the things we see, watch and hear in our daily lives. 

So, if we want to think like Jesus, to see like Jesus, and to listen like Jesus, we need to make sure that we put Jesus into the pattern chamber of our lives. 

2 Timothy 1:13 - What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.

Romans 12:2 - Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Living in Grace
D3LM3