Thursday, 5 August 2021

It matters

I like to do some reading around Leadership as often as I can and one of the authors I enjoy is Nancy Ortberg. She wrote a lovely book called "Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands", where she reflected on leadership with these words:

“Leadership matters. It stands at the crossroads of what we do and who we are, and that is a profound place. It requires that we shape vision and develop a plan and work hard.  It requires that we become stronger in our resilience and forgiveness and determination and love.”

This last sentence is the one that I wanted to highlight, because I believe this speaks to all of us, not just leaders. Life is teaching us that we can become stronger and more resilient. If we choose determination then I also feel we can lean more towards forgiveness and love. 

What do you think?

Ephesians 1:7 - "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace."

Living in Grace


Tuesday, 3 August 2021

What's on the sandwich?

What do you like to put on your sandwich snacks? Do you enjoy a piece of cheese, or some meat or are you happy with something plain like peanut butter? You are wondering why I am speaking about sandwich fillings, when I should be sharing about Psalm 57? Well, as I read through the Psalmist's list of woes, I note that in the middle of dealing with the 'pride of lions' (v.4) and the 'pit of distress' (v.6) he calls out for God to be exalted in the heavens:

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.

For me, it is almost like he wants us to know that God can still reign supreme, despite what is happening around us. So, perhaps his call for God to be exalted and glorified is a reminder to himself, as well as a call for God to take his rightful place. 

They spread a net for my feet—
I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
but they have fallen into it themselves. (v.6)

How do you see God acting when you face times of trial? 
Do we need to be reminded that God is exalted and that his glory will fill the earth?

Living in Grace

Monday, 2 August 2021

The pride of lions

"I find myself in a pride of lions who are wild for a taste of human flesh;
Their teeth are lances and arrows,
their tongues are sharp daggers."
- Psalm 57:4 (The Message)

I would never want to find myself in the middle of a hungry pride of lions. I can imagine it, but wouldn't want to truly experience it. David has obviously found himself in the midst of a vicious group of back-stabbers and gossips - people who are willing to destroy him with their mouths and attacks. 

Although this is how he feels at the moment he is able to hold onto the promise of God's intervention - God will soar from the skies and deliver him from their hands/claws. This is such beautiful imagery and it is easy to put ourselves into the scenario.

Soar high in the skies, O God! Cover the whole earth with your glory! (v.5)

May you hold onto the fact that God watches over us and that God can make a way out of the 'pride of lions' for us.

Living in Grace

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Until the Hurricane blows over

"Be good to me, God—and now!
I’ve run to you for dear life. 
I’m hiding out under your wings
until the hurricane blows over.
I call out to High God,
the God who holds me together.
He sends orders from heaven and saves me,
he humiliates those who kick me around.
God delivers generous love,
he makes good on his word."
- Psalm 57:1-3

There is something in the promise of God helping to hide us under his wings that is always comforting. In this version of Psalm 57, I am drawn to the picture of God letting us hide out until the hurricane has blown over. 

What is your 'Hurricane' at the moment? Can you picture yourself hiding out in the shelter of God's grace?

Before you rush off into the rest of the day why don't you pause for a minute and imagine yourself in hollow of God's hand.

Living in Grace

Friday, 30 July 2021

Talk of the town

"Everyone sees it. God’s work is the talk of the town.
Be glad, good people! Fly to GodGood-hearted people, make praise your habit." - Psalm 64:9-10 (The Message)

When you are the talk of the town, people will be speaking about your life everywhere you go. This can be in the case of good things, as well as negative circumstances. Nowadays, we would probably say that you have 'gone viral' or that your name is 'trending' on social media. Either way, it is when a lot of attention is placed on what is going on in your life. Your actions are the talk of the community.

Eugene Peterson's reflection on Psalm 64 teaches us that when God responds to the evil-doers there will be much excitement and people will be glad that justice is done. We are then encouraged to 'fly to God' knowing that he has heard our prayers and that he does respond to our cries for help.

"The righteous will rejoice in the Lord
and take refuge in him;
all the upright in heart will glory in him!" (v.10)

Living in Grace

Thursday, 29 July 2021

You get what you deserve

There is a saying that we all have used at some point in our conversations that goes like this: "You get what you deserve!" We may have even said it like this: "You reap what you sow!" 

Well, in today's readings from Psalm 64 we note how David reminds the Israelites that God will dish out his own punishment upon those who seek to do evil to others. 

"But God will shoot them with his arrows;
    they will suddenly be struck down.
He will turn their own tongues against them
    and bring them to ruin;
    all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
All people will fear;
    they will proclaim the works of God
    and ponder what he has done." - Psalm 64:7-9

This verse teaches us to be patient when evil seems to prosper. We are reminded that God is the ultimate judge and no one will escape from the works of God. This can be a little frustrating for us at times, as many of us would like to dish out our own revenge, but we are called to trust in God's ways.

What does this verse for you today?

Romans 12:19 - "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord."

Living in Grace


Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Beautiful Paradox

Bear Grylls writes "there is a beautiful paradox at the heart of this life of faith and love. We are not His equal, yet God involves us in His plans, as precious sons and daughters. He could do it all on His own, but He chooses to involve us, to invite us closer to Him. He gives us total freedom, yet He remains in control."

As much as I recognise this divine paradox I can't help but wonder if God didn't make a mistake. When I look at how we consistently mess up and sadly sully the name of Jesus, why would he choose to be partners with us? God's decision is confusing, but He has made it! 

We now need to take this great privilege and LIVE as his sons and daughters. In this lies the challenge for each one of us.

2 Corinthians 6:18 - And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

What will you do with this beautiful paradox?

Living in Grace