Thursday, 25 May 2017

Don't forget what Goes before!

As we mark Ascension Day in the Christian community, it is easy to get like the disciples were on that day - dazed and confused. We can end up day-dreaming, looking into the sky, without realising the task that Christ has given to us. If we read the verse before the actual Ascension, we will note that Jesus sends the disciples out as "witnesses" - in the power of the Holy Spirit. That is the great task and we need to remember that!

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him." - Acts 1:8-9

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Time waits for no person

"You may delay, but time will not!" - Benjamin Franklin

"Time and Tide wait for no man." - Geoffrey Chaucer

It struck me again this morning, that I will never have control of Time in the sense that I can't speed it up or make it slow down. Time is time, and it will wait for no one. However, what I do have control over is how I use the Time given to me and how I direct my diary. This is what I will be held accountable for in the end. If I procrastinate today, then I miss an opportunity to use my time effectively.

Proverbs 4:10-11 (Message) Dear friend, take my advice; it will add years to your life. I’m writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way, I’m drawing a map to Righteous Road. I don’t want you ending up in blind alleys, or wasting time making wrong turns.

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The answer?

How do you feel about Adam Hamilton's quote:

“Jesus Christ is the solution to the deepest longings of the human heart. He is the answer to the most serious problems that plague our society.”

In a world where things are getting more and more out of hand, I believe that Jesus is the solution to our problems. A community who are changed by the Love of Jesus will bring a whole new outlook to our world. What do you think?

Hebrews 9:26 - But instead he sacrificed himself once and for all, summing up all the other sacrifices in this sacrifice of himself, the final solution of sin.

Living in Grace

Monday, 22 May 2017

What do you think?

I am leading a series of Bible Studies at our District Synod over the weekend and I have been given this theme - "Igniting Mission - Breaking Barriers." I would love to have some of your thoughts on this topic if you have a minute. Perhaps I could be so forward to ask you to reflect on these questions and if you can give me your opinion I would value your time.

1. What does Mission (being a Witness for Christ) mean to you?
2. How do you think we can 'Ignite' Mission in our local contexts?
3. What are you currently doing in your Church that you feel has "caught alight" and is being effective for the Gospel?
4. How can we break barriers in our communities through our Witness for Christ?

Thanks for helping out. Please reply to the email address ( or on the actual blog itself. In the meantime think on this quote:

Michael Green – “God’s church exists not for itself but for the benefit of those who are not yet members …and the church which lives for itself will be sure to die by itself.”

Acts 20:24 (Message) - What matters most to me is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extravagant generosity of God.

Living in Grace

Sunday, 21 May 2017

The pack of Porcupines

German Philosopher, Schopenhauer once remarked that Christians are like a pack of porcupines on a freezing cold night. The freezing weather conditions force the porcupines together for warmth, but as they get closer to each other their quills begin to jab and wound each other. So they move away from each other, only to repeat the process over and over again.

I think this brilliantly describes the dilemma of Christian fellowship. True community is difficult – just when you feel it is all going well, then suddenly something bursts the bubble and people feel wounded. Over the years of ministry in various churches I have discovered that relationships within a community of faith are complex. In the very place where we should be showing love and care for each another, we often discover that this is not the case. (This extract was taken from my recent book Whatever it Takes)
      If you belong to any community, religious or not, then you would have experienced something of this Porcupine effect. It seems to happen wherever people gather together. We need to be in community and so we are drawn together, but after a while we find other people irritating, frustrating and just 'different.' This leads us to pull away again. However, in the end we will find that we need human company again and so we will come back together. 

      If we are going to live together in community, then perhaps we need to listen to this advice:

    "It requires less character to discover the faults of others than it does to tolerate them.’ – J. Petit-Senn

    Living in Grace

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Is Talent God-given?

There is always much debate as to whether the 'talented' people in the world were born with all their Talents and gifts or whether they had to work hard to achieve these goals and awards. I am not sure if there is a simple answer to this question, so I will err on the side of both - Any person who has much talent also needs to work hard in order to become successful. That's my take on it!

Anyway, be that as it may, I came across this lovely reflection on Talent and I think these words are very, very wise!

"Talent is God-given.
Be humble.
Fame is man-given.
Be grateful.
Conceit is self-given.
Be careful." - John Wooden

Living in Grace

Friday, 19 May 2017

Open the windows

You walk into the room and the first thing you smell is must! The air is stale and your immediate reaction is to open all the windows. Soon the fresh air transforms the room and you begin to feel alive again. It is amazing how one simple act, can change the atmosphere of a place.

But, have you ever thought about this in connection with your spiritual life? Have you felt that your spiritual life has become stale and musty? Have you longed for a refreshing breeze to sweep through your spirit? If you have felt like this, then perhaps it is time to open the windows of your spiritual life. Perhaps it is time to invite the Spirit into your heart again.

It is our choice whether we simply exist in the room full of stale air, or we open the windows wide and invite God's refreshing LIFE to fill our lives again.

Malachi 3:10 - “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!

2 Kings 7:2 - The officer assisting the king said to the man of God, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!” But Elisha replied, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!”

PRACTICAL SUGGESTION: Walk to one of the windows in the room you are currently sitting in. Open it and spend a minute asking the Spirit of God to fill you again. Feel the fresh air on your face as you wait for God to transform your heart. 
Living in Grace

Thursday, 18 May 2017

But not today!

Here is a lovely take on life - enjoy! The poem is called "But Not Today!"

"I shall grow old perhaps, but not today, not while my hopes are
young, my spirit strong, my vision clear, because life has a way
of smoothing out the wrinkles with a song.

I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, not while my dreams
remain a shining shield, my faith a lance, and 'neath a sky of
grey, my colours wave upon the battlefield.

I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, not while this pen can
write upon a page, and memories turn Winter into May, shall this
stout heart be brought to terms by age?

I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, and scorning Time who
would enlist my tears, I stand convinced there is a better way,
of occupying all the coming years.

I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, in my own style and in
my own sweet time, no night so dark there does not fall a ray of
light along the pathway that I climb.

Just say of me, when my last hour slips like one bright leaf to
softly rest among the others..."Life was Summer to the heart, of
one who died believing she was young."- Grace E. Easley.

1 Corinthians 12:31 - So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.
Living in Grace