Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Waiting on God...

It is impossible to reach a milestone in your life - for example like our church Centenary - without thinking of the 'what next' question? We take very little time to savour the joy of a moment before we start thinking of what lies down the road. While this is a good practise in some respects, it does make us a slave to our own agenda and sense of timing. Waiting on God is a hard discipline to get right.

“Wait on the Lord" is a constant refrain in the Psalms, and it is a necessary word, for God often keeps us waiting. He is not in such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way to give more light on the future than we need for action in the present, or to guide us more than one step at a time. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God. When action is needed, light will come.” - J.I.Packer

Isaiah 40:31 - "...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Living in Grace


Monday, 25 October 2021

Choosing a moment of silence


If anyone needed a reason to have a moment with the Lord as a form of devotion or quiet time, then this quote gives us one: "We are silent at the beginning of the day because God should have the first word, and we are silent before going to sleep because the last word also belongs to God" - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Too often I find that before I have hit the ground running there is already a cacophony of noise blaring for my attention. Being silent before the day begins (and as it closes) is a brilliant way of allowing God to speak to us.

Mark 6:32 - So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone.

Living in Grace


Sunday, 24 October 2021

Time to Celebrate

We had a wonderful time of celebration today as we marked the Centenary of our church community. It is the first time I have been part of a Centenary as a minister and I found it to be a beautiful moment. One of the great delights was getting together with so many people from our community to worship God and to fellowship with one another. Having the worship service outside was a risk, but the weather was almost perfect. We felt truly fortunate and blessed for this great gift. 

This has been the first time in nearly 2 years we have been able to get the whole community together and the sense of relief and joy in the celebration was tangible. I think that this is something every community has missed during Covid and something we need to make space for in the future. I think this is what kept the Israelites focussed despite their tough circumstances - they were able to get together to honour God, to feast together and to laugh and sing. 

Moses answered, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the Lord.” - Exodus 10:9

Luke 15:24 - For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

How are you able to Celebrate with your family, friends and Church community?

Living in Grace

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Pessimist? Optimist?

Are you more of an Optimist or a Pessimist?

Before you answer my question, read these words from Helen Keller and see if her words make a difference to your answer.

"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars,
or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit."

I believe that when our optimism is coupled with Faith in Jesus Christ it becomes an incredible force for good. Optimism can get us so far, but trust in the power of God is the real difference.

Galatians 1:10-12 Do you think I speak this strongly in order to manipulate crowds? Or court favor with God? Or get popular applause? If my goal was popularity, I wouldn’t bother being Christ’s slave. Know this—I am most emphatic here, friends—this great Message I delivered to you is not mere human optimism. I didn’t receive it through the traditions, and I wasn’t taught it in some school. I got it straight from God, received the Message directly from Jesus Christ. (the Message)

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Definition of the Soul

"No one can give a definition of the soul. But we know what it feels like. The soul is the sense of something higher than ourselves, something that stirs in us thoughts, hopes, aspirations which go out to the world of goodness, truth, and beauty. The soul is a burning desire to breathe in this world of light and never to lose it - to remain children of the light." - 'Reverence For Life', 1933.

In answering this really complex issue of the soul, I think that Albert Schweitzer gives us a great starting point. It is our soul that connects with the heart of God and inspires us to remain as Children of God. None us of knows that the soul actually looks like, but we know it is there.

Deuteronomy 4:29But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.

What are your thoughts on the Soul? How have you been able to understand it?

Living in Grace


Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Out of the shadows

Shadows in Cinema: A Complete Guide to Using Shadow in Narrative Filmmaking  & Video Projects • Filmmaking Lifestyle

Most of us reading these words are familiar with the idea of the Incarnation - God becoming flesh and living amongst us. Sadly, this idea loses its magnitude in the fog of our religious language and rhetoric. This morning I was reading these words from Leonardo Boff and the image of the Incarnation struck home again:

"God has left the resplendent shadows of an inaccesible abode and now draws near the murky light of the human race. God enters the conflict, takes up the cause of the conquered and the marginalised against the mighty...the mercy of God is not reserved for the end time alone."

Question: Why would God leave the glorious light of His abode to come close to the dingy light of planet earth?

Answer: For us. 

John 1:14 - "And Christ became a human being and lived here on earth among us and was full of loving forgiveness and truth."

Living in Grace 



Monday, 18 October 2021

Cherubim - What comes to mind?

"The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble;
he sits enthroned between the cherubim,
let the earth shake." - Psalm 99:1

When we read about the cherubim in Psalm 99 what kind of 'being' comes to your mind? Angelic? Baby-faced? Peaceful?

If any of these comes to your mind, then I would have to agree with you. However, we would all be very wrong! According to biblical scholar Robert Alter, cherubim "are not the dimpled darlings of Christian iconography but fierce mythological beasts - with the body of a lion, large wings and a human face..."

So, as we picture the Lord sitting between these incredible beings, now we know why the earth will shake and tremble. 

Question: What part of God's personality leaves you feeling a little bit of 'holy fear'?

Living in Grace