Friday 12 July 2024

Saint Benedict - words of wisdom and a prayer

Saint Benedict was an Italian monk who had a profound influence on the Christian faith in the 5th Century, and his legacy lives on through the 'Rule of St. Benedict' and the monasteries founded in his name. 
Two of his famous quotes give us some insight into his soul. 

"He who labors as he prays lifts his heart to God with his hands."

"Prefer nothing, absolutely nothing, to the love of Christ."

In reflecting on his feast day, Malcolm Guite, wrote a beautiful poem/prayer to remember the life and work of this godly man. Here is part of his writing.

"You call us all to live, and see good days,
Centre in Christ and enter in his peace,
To seek his Way amidst our many ways,
Find blessedness in blessing, peace in praise,
To clear and keep for Love a sacred space
That we might be beginners in God's grace." - Malcolm Guite

Living in grace

Thursday 11 July 2024

Stand firm in this grace

There are so many things that threaten our peace of mind, spirit and lives. It can be extreme weather conditions, like we are experiencing at the moment; challenges at work or in your family; financial strain or even worries about the future.

So, when these waves break over you, how do you manage to stand firm? What do you do? Who do you hold onto? I have been reminded again and again that the best way for me to stay strong, is to rest in the Grace of God. 

2 Chronicles 20:20 - Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm.

Psalm 33:11 - But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.

1 Corinthians 16:13 - Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.
1 Peter 5:12 - My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.
Prayer: Lord, help me to lean upon your amazing grace and so then, to stand firm in the peace that you give to us. Amen.
Living in Grace

Wednesday 10 July 2024

Are you looking for some direction?

"If, then, you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ, because He Himself is the way." - Thomas Aquinas

As we embark upon any activity today let us commit to take Christ with us. This may seem like a simple thing to do, but how many times do I rush out the door in the mornings, without offering my day to Jesus? 

And as we face challenging tasks in the day, wouldn't it make us feel more at peace, if we could say: "Lord, Jesus, you are MY way. Help me to keep my eyes on You."

Thought: If you are seeking direction in your life, why don't you start with making Christ your center, your way, your life? Once we have this in place, we can trust that God will lead us on into the unknown.

Psalm 5:8 - Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow.

Living in Grace


Tuesday 9 July 2024

Guide me, O thou Great Jehovah

When William Williams wrote the words of Guide me, O thou Great Jehovah, I wonder if he realised what an influence it would have on many of our lives. As we read (or sing) these words, what comes to your mind?

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land. I am weak, but thou art mighty; hold me with thy powerful hand. Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more; feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain, whence the healing stream doth flow; let the fire and cloudy pillar lead me all my journey through. Strong deliverer, strong deliverer, be thou still my strength and shield; be thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan, bid my anxious fears subside; death of death and hell's destruction, land me safe on Canaan's side. Songs of praises, songs of praises, I will ever give to thee; I will ever give to thee.

They surely give us some insight into the trials that Williams may have faced in his native Wales (in the 1700's), as well as his trust in God's deliverance. Taking examples from the Old Testament, Williams reminds us that God is our provider, deliverer and redeemer. Williams is remembered as one of the most famous Welsh Methodist hymn writers.

Blessings to you.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 2 July 2024

Beware of the leaks

As the winter rains start in the Western Cape, so we also begin to notice the places in our buildings where leaks have started to show. This can be a devasting time for people, as many don't know how they will contain their fragile coverings and homes. 

It struck me again this week, as I was trying to deal with a leaking washing machine, that unless we deal with these leaks when we first notice them, they will only get bigger and more destructive. 

I guess, the same would apply in our spiritual lives too - unless we take note of the places where we feel we are weak or cracks are beginning to show, then we could be in for some very difficult times.

"Laziness lets the roof leak, and soon the rafters begin to rot." - Ecclesiastes 10:18

Thoughts: Do you have some cracks beginning to show in your faith? What can you do to mend the problem areas? 

Living in Grace

Monday 24 June 2024

Late or right on time?

"There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. 

In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling short-changed. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready." - Romans 5: 3-8(Message)

I really enjoy Eugene Peterson's paraphrase of these verses from Romans. It gives me the peace that Jesus is always showing up in our lives, at just the right time! If you read it in different versions, you will get the same confirmation, but with a slightly different emphasis.

"When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners." - Romans 5:6

Living in Grace


Sunday 23 June 2024

A prayer for the start of a new week

As you begin the new week, I wanted to offer you a beautiful prayer to help you in your plans and preparations. May it be a blessing to you.

“O Lord, who has mercy upon all, take away from me my sins,

and mercifully kindle in me the fire of Your Holy Spirit.

Take away from me the heart of stone,

and give me a heart of flesh,

a heart to love and adore You,

a heart to delight in You,

to follow and to enjoy You,

for Christ’s sake.” - St Ambrose of Milan, 337-397 AD

"I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh." - Ezekiel 11:19

Living in grace