Thursday 31 December 2009

New Beginnings

What difference can 1 day make?
Ask millions of people this same question tomorrow and you may get an answer!
It is intriguing to see how many of us believe that the change over of years, brings a dynamic change in our lives. I will NOT be making new year's resolutions this year, but I hope to continue a few committed promises that I have already made before God.

As we stand on the brink of another new year, we all feel an overwhelming sense of hope - hope that 2010 will be better;
hope that the things I didn't do in 2009, may get done in 2010;
hope that relationships will deepen and that some will be restored;
hope that 'new' means better!

In Christ, there is always hope and there is always 'New'...

Psalm 144:9 - I will sing a new song to you, O God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

May God be with you in 2010.
Seek to 'Live in Grace' - that's my desire.


Wednesday 30 December 2009


I don't believe in coincidence! But, I do believe in God-incidence. In my sermon on Sunday, I referred to Isaiah 43 and 3 days later it crops up in my daily devotion - is that chance?, coincidence?, or maybe God wants me to hear something.

Here is Isaiah 43:4 (from the Message)
"That's how much you mean to me!
That's how much I love you!
I'd sell off the world world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you."

In today's devotion there was also these words from a song:
"I've anchored in Jesus, the storms of life I'll brave;
I've anchored in Jesus, I fear no wind or wave.
I've anchored in Jesus, for He hath power to save;
I've anchored to the Rock of Ages!" - Lewis Edgar Jones

Hold onto the Anchor of Life,

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Future Promises

Sometimes we need reminding of the awesome promises of God. Here is a passage I often go to, when I need some encouraging.

Isaiah 43: 2
“WHEN you pass through the waters…
I will be with you.

WHEN you pass through the rivers…
They will not sweep over you

WHEN you walk through the fire…
You will not be burned."

Each statement speaks of something that will happen in our future (WHEN), but they are all followed up with incredible promises (in bold). We can trust our future into the hands of God.

Corrie Ten Boom – “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

Living in Grace,

P.S. thanks to for the photo

Monday 28 December 2009

Shopping Blues

Admit it, this has happened to you!
You buy all that you planned to buy from the grocery store and when you get home and unpack everything, something is missing. The thing is - you know that you paid for it, but it is not in your shopping bags. There are two potential reasons for this:

1. We forgot to put it into the bag and we are the fools.
2. The shopping assistant thought that you wouldn't "mind" missing one of your many purchases and bargained on you not returning to look for it.

To be honest, the few times it has happened to me, I have banked on option one - it is quite possible that I forgot to put it into the packet. I am then left feeling frustrated!

However, it happened a few days ago and I am convinced that there was something 'strange' about the whole thing. In the end, it was too much of a schlep to go back and get that ONE item again, but I was feeling livid. I smelt a conspiracy!

Here's my theory:
If every 'packer' is encouraged to hold back one item per customer (especially when we buy 40+ items) then the store can save themselves a lot of money when you add these all up. Most people figure it is too much effort to go back and find their purchase and if we did go back it probably won't be there. Besides, how can I prove that the slab of chocolate, I brought 30 minutes ago from your store, is not sitting in my stomach now - sure, I have the till slip, but that proves nothing!

What do you think of my theory or has the festive season got to my brain?

"Rich and poor have this in common:
The Lord is the Maker of them all."
- Proverbs 22:2

Living in Grace,

Sunday 27 December 2009

The Day after Christmas

In preparing for today's sermon I found this really awesome poem entitled "The Day after Christmas." I wanted to share it with you, but you will have to view it on the site that I found it. Here it is... The Day After Christmas. Enjoy it.

Just remember that we don't have to be afraid to pack away the Christmas tree, the tinsel, the Nativity scene and the Christmas carols. We will NOT pack Jesus away with all of these things - Jesus is with us 365 days of the year. He does not leave when all of this things are put away until December 2010.

Isaiah 43:5 - "Do not be afraid, for I am with you..."

Be Blessed,

Saturday 26 December 2009

Boxing Day

Do you know why the day after Christmas is sometimes called "Boxing Day?" It is NOT called Boxing Day because children end up 'boxing' each other over their Christmas presents, as someone once suggested (which is not a bad guess, though!)

It was named Boxing Day because wealthy people would 'box' up some gifts and take them to the poor in their community, the day after Christmas. I guess, the fact that we call it the 'Day of Goodwill' in South Africa is also a good way of expressing love towards others.

So how has your Boxing Day been? Has it been filled with 'boxing' or with Goodwill?

As we brace ourselves for the New Year, let's take a leaf out of Mary's book...

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19

Living in Grace,

Friday 25 December 2009


Christmas is a time when we give and receive gifts and in Christian circles we try to do this without losing focus of the real reason for the giving of these gifts - which is the birth of JESUS CHRIST - just in case you forgot :)

Here are two questions that relate to gifts and presents:

What has been the best gift you have ever received?

What has been the best gift you have ever given to someone?

As we move away from Christmas, for another year, let's daily thank God for the best gift we could ever hope for - Grace given through Jesus.

Grace and peace to you,

Thursday 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas

The Linscott family want to wish you all a blessed Christmas. Just as a new born child immediately makes an impact on our lives, so may Jesus Christ touch your lives in a special way.

Christmas is the one day of the year that carries real hope and promise for all humanity - Edgar Guest

Christ became what we are, that we might become what he is - Athanasius

Grace appeared in human form - Hallelujah!

Moved by Grace,

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Through the eyes of a child

Sometimes parents make the mistake of trying to live their lives through their kids. This normally applies to highly competitive parents who push their kids to excel, so they (the parents) can feel better.

Why don't we instead try and view Christmas through the eyes of children this year - not for any other gain, than to put a smile on our faces. What I mean is try and appreciate their excitement, enthusiasm and anticipation surrounding the Christmas period. For many of us, the Christmas 'Spirit' seems to be residing in some other part of the world (or maybe the Grinch stole it!) - but if we check with the younger kids in our community, we will find that Christmas is still AWEsome.

May Jesus truly come to life in our world, this year.

Living in Grace,

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Sand Castles

We had a great few days away and this time the weather was better than we normally get - yeah:)

We got the chance to build a few sand castles on the beach (none as impressive as the one in the photo though). But, here's the thing about building a sand-castle... we know that it will be destroyed by the next high tide, but we go ahead anyway - it's fun.

Sometimes we treat decisions in life the same way - we know that things won't last, but we make the decision anyway, regardless of the consequences.

Jesus has a different take on this:
"Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." - Matthew 7:26-27

What do you think?

Living in Grace,

Thursday 17 December 2009


We will be away for a few days, so I will be taking a short 'sabbath' from writing. Hopefully, we will have good weather this time:)
Be Blessed, if you are travelling somewhere.
Enjoy the Christmas season.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

It is not often that you hear 'Thank You' nowadays. We heard lots of 'I want', 'You must' or even 'I expect', but we hear less and less 'Thank yous.'

So here goes...

I sincerely want to thank you for taking the time each day to read my '5 cents worth.' I appreciate every one of you for interacting with the content of my posts and for passing it on to others. I thank you too for the growing trust and friendship that we are beginning to nurture - I do appreciate it and although, at times, I feel vulnerable in my sharing, I write it hoping that it will inspire and encourage you.

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is 'thank you', it will be enough.” - Meister Eckhart

So, one last time - THANK YOU for signing up to these posts and please remember to ask your family and friends to sign up for themselves or you can do it for them -just tell them to expect the mails :)

Humbled by your grace,

P.S. If someone has done something for you today, please go out of your way to say "Thank You." It will bless them!


Today we celebrate the 'Day of Reconciliation' in South Africa. Despite it's political history, this day can be an amazing opportunity for all people to practise the biblical concept of 'Reconciliation.'

2 Corinthians 5:18 - 20
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation... we are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

In these verses we are encouraged to:
1. Remember that God chose to reconcile us to himself, through Jesus Christ.
2. Continue the ministry of reconciliation - i.e. Be Christ's ambassadors in helping us to be reconciled to each other.
3. Get back into relationship with God, if we have broken ties with Jesus.

So how are you doing as a 'minister of reconciliation?'

Reconciled through Grace,

P.S. Thanks to for the photo.

Tuesday 15 December 2009


As we move closer and closer towards Christmas, may the peace and love of Christ fill your heart daily. Remember that Advent is a time of preparation and expectation. We are anticipating the 'Light of the World' and so we pray that the shadows in our lives diminish over this festive season.

“Advent is a pilgrimage towards light. At the end of Advent is a brilliant deliverance.” – C. W. Gaddy

“And with many other words, John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.” – Luke 3:18

Isaiah 65:19 - “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”

Living in Grace,

Monday 14 December 2009

My boy turns 7

Declan turned 7 today. I can't believe how fast he is growing up. When he had just arrived on 'planet earth', many people said that we should savour every moment of his life, as before we realise it, he would have left home. To be honest, I didn't quite understand what they meant, but today I am slowly getting it!
In the blink of an eye, 7 years have passed by. He has grown from a tiny baby into a young boy and will soon be an independent young man.

My commitment is to enjoy every moment with him (and my other kids) and to realise how blessed I am. I will continue to pray the Aaronic blessing, from Numbers 6, over them daily. God will be a much better Father to them, than I could ever be, but I will continue to enjoy my privilege of 'fatherhood.'

May you enjoy every moment with your loved ones.

Living in Grace,

Sunday 13 December 2009

Carol Service

We enjoyed our Carol Service at Church this evening - it is always great to sing some familiar songs, as well as some newer songs. I am not sure if this happens to you sometimes, but during one of the familiar carols, I was suddenly struck by their words - it was like I had not seen these words before. They go like this:

"Hear the message of salvation, Jesus brings to every race,
See the infant who embodies God's great glory and His Grace." (Happy day of great rejoicing)

What is your favourite Carol?

May Jesus fill you with His Grace and peace today, so that you may sing of His wonderful love.

Living in Grace,

Saturday 12 December 2009

In the midst

"You will never find Jesus so precious as when the world is one vast howling wilderness. Then he is like a rose blooming in the midst of the desolation, a rock rising above the storm." - Robert Murray McCheyne

"The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."
- Zephaniah 3:17

Living in Grace

Friday 11 December 2009

2 Weeks Notice

Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock starred in the movie Two Weeks Notice (2002). Getting tired of working for Hugh Grant and putting up with his nonsense, Sandra Bullock gives him 'two weeks notice' of her resignation. The rest of the movie revolves around her attempts to leave and his attempts to keep her at work.

You may be wondering what this has to do with us - well, I am simply using the catchy title of the movie to remind us that it is TWO WEEKS to CHRISTMAS. I am giving us 'two weeks notice' to prepare ourselves for the most anticipated day of the year.

Let's remember that the real reason for Christmas is not the gifts, but the GIFT - Jesus Christ.

Living in Grace,

P.S. - By the way if you ever need ideas of cool gifts for your Pastor check out this website (I can't believe they even have a website for this! Some Pastors are weird! We don't need gifts, because our rewards are 'out of this world!' :)

Thursday 10 December 2009

End of your Tether?

Have you heard this idiom before?

"I am at the end of my tether!"

I am sure you have! Here is the official description of this idiom:

"If you are at the end of your tether, you are at the limit of your patience or endurance." (Some countries use the word 'rope' instead of tether.)

At this time of the year, there are many people who are feeling at the end of their tether. The rush of the festive season and the tiredness of a long year, all take their toll on us. So what do we do in order to change this situation? Here are 7 suggestions:

1. Plan a day off, without any agenda. Even better, take your holiday now.
2. Continue to fight for your daily time with God - we need these moments alone with God.
3. Be honest with your family and friends as to how you are feeling.
4. Remember that Christ was born into the midst of messy world. Just because our lives feel 'upside down', doesn't mean that God has abandoned us. It's in these times that God wants to Shine through.
5. Try not to take 'life' personally. It is easy to feel as if the whole world is conspiring against you, but we need to remember that everyone goes through difficult times.
6. Seek prayer or help if you believe that you are always at the 'end of your tether.'
7. Read these words and then use them in a short prayer...

"How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble!" - Job 26:2

May you find peace!

Held by Grace,

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Does God need us?

It has stuck me lately that there are many people who just couldn't be bothered with God. Whilst, I want to respect people's opinions, I struggle to see how life can be viewed, without including a Godly perspective.
The tragedy is that the people who decide to exclude God from their lives, still crave something that is beyond themselves - this shows in the plethora of places they look for 'meaning' and 'happiness.'

Abraham Heschel - "God is not alone when discarded by man. But man is alone."

And yet, the Psalmist writes...

Psalm 8:4 - "What is man that you are mindful of him,the son of man that you care for him?"

God doesn't need us, but God desires to be with us - that is Grace!

Awestruck by Grace,

Tuesday 8 December 2009

Turkish Delight

I am going through a weird phase at the moment - I have a craving to make 'food!' Now, let me point out that I have never had a problem with eating food, but suddenly I have this desire to make my own stuff.

So, yesterday I looked for the easiest thing I could make, without burning the house down and it was Turkish Delight. To be honest, it came out alright - not bad for my first attempt, but safe to say that I won't be opening up my own confectionery soon.

While, we are speaking about food, what is your favourite sweet? If you didn't know, mine is Chocolate - any kind and flavour, as long as the wrapper says C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E, I am happy.

In Biblical times there were not many sweets, but honey sufficed for those who had a 'sweet tooth.' Honey was often used to describe how people could sweeten up their lives.

Proverbs 16:24 - "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

May you speak 'sweet' words to people you meet today.

Living in Grace

Monday 7 December 2009


Last night we had a time of celebration with the 5 young guys who served on our GAP year programme in 2009 - LIFESONG. It was truly inspiring to hear these guys share their testimonies and to see the change in their lives. They took a huge leap in faith and dedicated a year of their lives to serve Christ in the Church.

We named this GAP year programme after the song, 'LIFESONG', from Casting Crowns. The words of this song, speak of making our lives count for Christ & these guys truly lived out these words...

"Empty hands held high
Such small sacrifice
If not joined with my life
I sing in vain tonight

May the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You

Let my lifesong sing to You
Let my lifesong sing to You
I want to sign Your name to the end of this day
Knowing that my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to You

Lord I give my life
A living sacrifice
To reach a world in need
To be Your hands and feet

So may the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You."

The 5 'Lifesong' guys leave us with the challenge of asking ourselves "Are we giving 100% to Christ?"

Live boldly,

P.S. - Paul, Ross, Stuart, Ty & Quin, you guys rock!

Sunday 6 December 2009

Walking with God

There is a verse, hidden in the middle of Genesis 5, that inspires me. This is it -

"Enoch walked with God..." - Genesis 5:24

These are impressive words! To say that a person walks with God is powerful and yet, humbling at the same time.

Could they say this about you and I?

Delme walks with God...
Kim walks with God...
__________ (fill in your name) walks with God?

Be conscious of God's desire to walk with you this week and then 'Walk with God!'

Living in Grace,

Friday 4 December 2009

Who shares with you?

Wow, I can't believe that another year has flown by. I am a year older, although I still feel the same - do you know what I mean? Thank you for all the many birthday wishes that Kim and I have received - we feel blessed.

Just a thought - today I will celebrate with millions of other people. Going by the law of averages, there could be about 16.5 million other people having their birthday on the 4th December (boy, do I feel special now!)

The truth is, we all share our birthday's with other people. Here are some other people who were born on my birthday...

1. 1795 – Thomas Carlyle, Scottish writer and historian (d. 1881)
2. 1918 – Albert Francis Capone, son of Al Capone (d. 2004)
3. 1835 – Samuel Butler, English writer (d. 1902)
4. 1964 – Scott Hastings, Scottish Rugby Union international
5. 1949 – Jeff Bridges, American actor

I also noticed, that besides some famous people, I also share my day with poets, politicians, murderers, singers, football players, dancers etc. Makes one think!!

So, have you found out who shares your birthday? Let us know...

Be Blessed,

Thursday 3 December 2009


This week is a great week in my family. Kim celebrates her birthday today (3rd) and I have mine tomorrow!:) Declan also has his birthday on the 14th!

There are many cultures and religious groups that don't celebrate birthdays and whilst I want to understand their reasons, I feel sad in a way :(
I guess, the main reason why I feel sad is because birthdays have always been such a blessing in my family and I would love other people to share in the joy that we get to experience.

Birthday's are a time of giving thanks for the special people in our lives!
Birthday's remind us that God gave us life!
Birthday's bring families together to celebrate!
Birthday's are a good reason to eat lots of Chocolate Cake....mmmh!

To those of you who are celebrating birthday's soon, may God Bless you. To those whose birthday's are in 2010, let me be the first to wish you every blessing. To all of us, receive this blessing today...

"May the LORD bless you, and keep you;
May the LORD make His countenance shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
May the LORD turn His countenance to you and grant you peace."
- Numbers 6:24-26

Lastly, a question for you all - do you know of other couples who share a birthday or whose birthdays are a day apart? I'd love to know - thanks!

Living by the Grace of God,

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Would you treat me differently?

Would you treat someone differently if you knew something 'unique' about them?

If you knew I was HIV positive, would it make a difference?
If you knew I cheated on my Tax return, would you care?
If you knew I was a thief, would you still trust me?
If you knew I was a Muslim, how would you respond to me?
If you knew I was a King, would you grovel?
If you knew I was a Billionaire, would you ask for money?

Just in case you are wondering, none of these 6 things relate to me, especially the last one!! However, if you suddenly found one of these to be true, would it change your opinion of me?

As a minister, I have experienced this a few times - I can be speaking to someone and their behaviour or language suddenly changes when they find out that I am a 'Minister.' Sometimes they change the way they relate to me out of respect, but other times, it is out of some preconceived notion of who a minister is.

The remarkable thing about Jesus was that he never treated people differently - regardless of who they were. The woman at the well, the lepers, the paralyzed man, the woman who had been bleeding for years, Nicodemus etc. He loved them all and wanted them to experience the overwhelming love of his Father.

Would we be able to treat the next person we meet with the same 'Grace' as Jesus did?

Growing in Grace,

Tuesday 1 December 2009

It's not my problem!

Today we stop and remember 'World AIDS day.' For a lot of us (if we are honest) we struggle with this day, because we just don't know what to do about HIV/AIDS. Many Christians have adopted an attitude of "It's not my problem!" or "It doesn't affect the Church." Both of these assumptions are not helpful.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus would be ministering to the families infected and affected by HIV, if he were walking the streets of South Africa today. He reached out to the lepers, prostitutes, demon-possessed and to the 'outcasts' in his day. Just like many people infected with HIV, the 'outcasts' in Jesus' day were all treated with disdain by the religious establishment.

So then, in the present, the only way He can minister to the millions of people struggling with the disease, is through the body of Christ - mmmh, that is US. So despite our lack of resources or knowledge or ability, we have to do something!

Here is a start:
1. Name the people in your circle of influence, who are infected/affected by HIV.
2. Pray for them and their families.
3. Ask them if you could do something practical to help them.

Start small and let's see how we can all change the world.

For a really awesome blogpost and moving story about HIV/AIDS please read my friend, Dion Forster's post.

Touched by Grace,

Monday 30 November 2009

Final Countdown

So December is upon us - 11 months of 2009 have already passed us by and we are into the final countdown before Christmas and the New Year.

How has this year been for you so far? Have all the hopes and dreams you started out with, faded or disappeared? Have some of them materialised?

Regardless of the past 11 months, we can still make this year a memorable one - we still have 31 days to 'live intentionally.' Here is a quote to keep us all focused on making the "festive season" a God-inspired month...

Albert Einstein - "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."

We remember that Jesus' life was always one lived for others. It is our turn now!

Grace to you,

Sunday 29 November 2009

Father George Zabelka

Over 60 years ago Catholic Air Force Chaplin, Father George Zabelka blessed the men who dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Over the next two decades, he came to the realisation that he had been terribly wrong in lending moral and religious support to the bombings. In a speech, just before his death, Father Zabelka left this message:

"All I can say today is that I was wrong. Christ would not be the instrument to unleash such horror on his people. Therefore no follower of Christ can legitimately unleash the horror of war on God's people...All I can say is: I was wrong! do otherwise would be to bypass the first and absolutely essential step in the process of repentance and reconciliation: admission of error and admission of guilt."

Now there is a thought - someone who is willing to admit they make a massive mistake. When last did we admit to making wrong choices & judgements? When last did we get to say 'sorry' and really mean it?

Living in Grace

P.S. I got this quote from Shane Claiborne's book 'Jesus for President.'

Saturday 28 November 2009

Great leaders

"He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander." - Aristotle

Could this be why Jesus is considered to be the greatest leader of all time?

Philippians 2:8 - And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Don't just follow any person - follow the best Leader!

Following Grace,

Friday 27 November 2009

God is Greater

This week has brought it's own share of issues for me to face. Some of them have been easy to deal with, whilst others will still need more time and prayer! These 3 words have been ringing in my spiritual ears all week - "God is Greater!" (1 John 3:20)

In the next chapter, John adds these words - "Greater is He who is in me, than he that is in the world.”1 John 4:4

I see these words as a Promise - they give me hope. They remind me that what you and I face, may be difficult and perplexing, but God is Greater than these things. If I don't believe in this, then where do I turn? If the Lord can't stand alongside us and help us to defeat the 'giants' before us, then where is my hope?

When Elijah taunted the prophets of Baal, it was because he knew that God was Greater!

When David walked out to meet Goliath, it was because he knew the same thing to be true.

When Daniel refused to bow to a foreign king, he understood the same truth.

When you face your challenges today - what will go through your mind?
I am defeated? OR 'God is Greater!?'

Grace and peace

P.S. - Have a look at the photo and remind yourself of the 'greatness' of God.

Thursday 26 November 2009

Practise what you Preach!

I preached on "3 simple words" last Sunday morning and I used 1 John 3:11-24 as the main focus. Reflecting on these verses I highlighted 6 examples of "3 simple words" that challenge us in our Christian journey. Here they are:

"Love one another" - v.11
"Death to Life" - v.14
"God is Greater" - v.20
"He knows everything" - v.20
"Confidence before God" - v.21
"Live in Him" - v.24

Here's the thing - I have had to deal with every single one of these 6 'phrases' in the past 5 days. It is one thing to preach about a good idea, it's another thing to LIVE out what we believe in.

So, my challenge has been - "Practise, what you Preach!"
What about you? Do you "practise what you preach" and how easy is it for you?
In my experience, it is harder to "Live out" than to "Speak out!"

Live it out,

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Halfway Mark

My friends reached the halfway mark of their Cycle Tour today. They managed a mammoth 575 km's in 4 days - that is impressive! So, tomorrow they will enjoy their rest day, up at Kosi Bay, before they start all over again and spend the next 4 days heading back to PMB. This quote is for them:

“Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” - William Carey (this is one of my favourite quotes!)

Oh, and here is another quote, to inspire us all to do great things for God ...

"I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker." - Helen Keller

May we embrace this gift called 'Today' - there will never be another like it!

Living in God's Grace,

Tuesday 24 November 2009

3 Never's

Driving to work this morning, East Coast Radio were having a 'phone-in' where they asked people to share the 3 things they would NEVER do. There were some interesting thoughts coming from the listeners and it got me thinking about what my "3 Never's" would be...

1. Never take my family for granted.
2. Never underestimate the power of God.
3. Never say "I can't!"

Continuing with our thoughts from yesterday (3 simple words), perhaps Jesus would also have 3 thoughts for us & all of them include the word 'Never.'

1. Never will I leave you, nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
2. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8)
3. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life - (John 8:12)

What are your 3 "Never's?"

Living in Grace

Monday 23 November 2009

3 simple words

We can communicate strongly in just 3 simple words.
- I love you
- Count on me
- Please forgive me
- You are hopeless
- I hate you

Every one of these comments has the power to transform our lives. Jesus didn't need a lot of words to tell us how he much he loved us. Here are a few:

"Father forgive them."
"It is finished."
"Come to me."
"Love one another."
"Don't be afraid."

Don't over complicate your relationship with Christ. It will always remain the most profound relationship we will ever experience, but it starts with 3 simple words..."Jesus loves me." From there on, we get to live in response to Christ's love for us.

Have you ever spoken 3 'simple' words to someone else (or had them spoken to you)? What were they - I'd love to know?

Living in Grace (3 words)

Sunday 22 November 2009


There are now 200 days to the start of the World Cup Soccer. Whether we love soccer or not, we need to be prepared for the huge impact this event is going to have on our nation. Positively, millions of people will get to see our beautiful land and our Tourism industry will boom. If the British Lions Rugby tour brought in R1.5 Billion rand into South Africa, then we can expect a huge cash injection into our economy over the duration of the World Cup Soccer.

Sadly, there will be a massive increase in some negative happenings too. There could well be an increase in criminal activity, prostitution and potentially some football hooliganism. If you want to be 'disturbed' in getting to grips with football hooliganism, watch 'Green Street Hooligans' (starring Elijah Wood) - it is not for the faint hearted and definitely NOT a movie to show your Bible Study group. As a huge soccer fan I was left feeling very disturbed.

Anyway, my point is this - 2010 is going to take place soon and we are all going to feel the ripple effects of it, one way or another. As a Christian community let's start praying for the event. Let's ask for opportunities to showcase our nation, but also our deep faith in Christ. We witnessed in 1994 how prayer changed the way people responded to each other, during our elections - so, why can't prayer change people again? I believe it can!
What do you think? Can prayer make a difference during the 2010 World Cup?

1 Samuel 10:9 - As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul's heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day.

Grace to you,

P.S. Let me reiterate that 'Green Street Hooligans' is not a movie to watch with kids or sensitive viewers. It does give a detailed look at the 'underworld' of football hooliganism. It is not for the faint-hearted!

Saturday 21 November 2009

Stumble upon

Sometimes the most powerful things we get to experience are not pre-planned. We literally stumble upon them or they suddenly appear before us. I was doing some reading for the services tomorrow and I came across this prayer. I hope that it will encourage you as much as it 'spoke' to me...

"All-present God,
today I kneel before you in the knowledge
that you are not far from me - on the contrary:
you are as close to me as my own heartbeat."
- Solly Ozrovech

I needed this prayer for my 'soul' today. I hope that we will all remember that God is as close to us as our own heartbeat.

If you have 20 seconds, why don't you close your eyes and breathe slowly - can you 'feel' your heartbeat? In every beat of your heart - God has been present.
Amazing hey!

Grace is defined in the beat of our hearts.

Living in Grace,

Friday 20 November 2009

Cycle Tour 2009

Some crazy people from our Church are cycling 1150 km's to raise funds for commUN1TY and towards our building fund. They will be heading off on Sunday morning at 8am. Please keep them in your prayers as they will be cycling for 9 days.

It is really awesome to see these people put their faith into action and to go the extra 'mile' for a worthy cause. They have understood these words...“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” - Martin Luther

Pray for: Mike, Paul, Grant, Ursula, Logan, Darren and Wesley.

For regular updates please follow them on Facebook

Living in Grace,

End of week inspiration

This week has been looooooooong! Maybe it has been the weather or perhaps it has been the many things I have had to deal with, but I am grateful for a free evening tonight. I think the end of the year syndrome is hitting me early this year, but I am grateful for the comfort of God's strength.

Here are some quotes to start your weekend:

“Grace is available for each of us every day - our spiritual daily bread - but we've got to remember to ask for it with a grateful heart and not worry about whether there will be enough for tomorrow.” - Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” - John Updike

"Beauty and grace command the world” - Park Benjamin

Live today in Grace,

Thursday 19 November 2009

Stop and count

With all this hectic rain we have been having in KwaZulu Natal it is easy to start complaining about the weather. Admittedly, it does feel as if we are living in Europe, but we know that this weather is totally unseasonal. The sun will appear soon!

I find that when I start to whinge and complain about stuff, that I need to STOP and make a conscious effort to count all the blessings I have in my life - things that are wonderful, despite the weather.

Why don't you take a few moments to do the same. Here is a blank list of 5 - think of 5 people or things that you want to be thankful for today:

1. _______________
2. _______________
3. _______________
4. _______________
5. _______________

Allow these people (and things) to be the starting point of your prayer today.

"Count your blessings, name them one by one..." - Johnson Oatman Jnr.

"My cup overflows with blessings" - Psalm 23:5

Living in Grace,

Wednesday 18 November 2009


A while back the boys planted some seeds in the garden - they wanted to grow their own veggies. With all the rain we have been having, their seeds have begun to shoot up and of course now we have to start worrying about the birds. Tongue in cheek, we suggested that we make a scarecrow for their garden and of course they loved the idea.

So in a rush of spontaneity we grabbed an old broom, old clothes, plastic bags filled with newspapers and a hat. After lots of laughs, we had the old 'scarecrow' ready for action in 30 minutes! Now he guards the veggie patch and time will tell if he does his job or not!

What struck me about the whole scarecrow thing, was that we didn't spend hours planning how to make 'him' and we never rushed out to the shops to buy anything to add to his outfit - we used what we had. Often, the Holy Spirit prompts us to do something for God's Kingdom and we spend days/weeks trying to decide a way forward and planning our next step. In the end, we often end up doing nothing.

I am not advocating 'bad planning', but what I learnt from this exercise, is that sometimes we over-complicate our relationship with Jesus. He has given us His Word as an instruction manual - let's read it and then just act in faith. Somehow I think God is more forgiving of our feeble first attempts than when we delay and miss His opportunities.

What do you think?

Living in Grace,

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Taking care of Grace

If you have ever looked after a child for any length of time you will know that it is a lot of work. Sure, there are moments of laughter and fun, but there are also many trying times thrown into the mix.

Looking after a child is one thing, but how about 'administering' (looking after) Grace? How does that sound to you? Easy, difficult?!

1 Peter 4:10 - “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

Today, we will get an opportunity to administer grace - let's take up the challenge and do it well. If you end up having a story to tell, then please let us hear about it. Thanks.

Administering Grace,

Monday 16 November 2009

When in doubt...

I came across this powerful illustration last week and wanted to share it with you all (apologies to those who heard it on Sunday evening)...

"One summer, a man spent the day on the beach in Jacksonville, Florida. The undertow was unusually strong that day, and more than once, lifeguards jumped down from their towers to rescue swimmers from the treacherous surf. Finally, the man went to the lifeguard station to express his appreciation for the dedication of these men. When he walked inside, he noticed a sign on the wall in large red letters: "If in doubt, go!"
And the man said, "Those same words should be on the walls of every church and on the wall of every person’s soul."

So if it involves the Kingdom of God and bringing glory to Jesus, don't hesitate - GO! This is our call - there is no room for doubt!

Moved by Grace,

P.S. Thanks to for this story.

Sunday 15 November 2009

What is Love?

There are many answers to this question - "What is love?"
Here is one on these answers...

"This is love, that we walk according to His commandments." - 2 John 1:6

"Obedience is another word for love and loyalty." - Our Daily Bread

What is "Love" for you?

Living in Grace,

Saturday 14 November 2009

Inspiration for you

I came across this great website called inspirational quotes. It contains some awesome quotes.

"If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes." - St. Clement of Alexandra

"We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

May we all be inspired to live our lives for the glory of God.

May the Grace of Christ be real for you today.

Living in Grace

Friday 13 November 2009

Free chapters of my Book

Today is the anniversary of the launch of Living Oceans Apart. I can't believe that it has been a year since we had the fantastic launch at Wesley.

God has truly blown me away with the way in which the book has blessed many people. I have received a number of emails from families who have found the book helpful and who have passed the book onto their loved ones. I give God the glory for all of this.

Even when I reflect on the writing this blog, I have to confess that part of the initial motivation came through the book. The whole 'book' experience has taught me to be more brave for God and to attempt great things for His Kingdom. Life is too short to allow our fears to stop us from doing things for Jesus.

Zig Ziglar - “You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.”

If you are interested in receiving 5 free chapters of the book please visit the website Living in Grace. Please also forward this onto anyone you like - they may enjoy the Free chapters.

I want to thank all of my friends and family who helped to make the book a possibilty - you are all awesome. Thanks again.

Soli Deo Gloria

Living in Grace,

Thursday 12 November 2009

Stand with me

Often when we go through difficult times our natural tendency is to withdraw and to deal with the 'rogue waves' ourselves. This self-preservation tactic has been used for ages and to some degree it works. However, when we do this we also open ourselves up to the danger of isolation and loneliness.

Whilst, it is tough to admit that we need someone to 'stand alongside us', it is key to riding out the rogue wave. Look at what Jesus said when he was facing the toughest moment of his life:

"My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with me." - Matthew 26:38

Jesus needed his friends to be with him, during his darkest hour. He knew that they couldn't change what he was facing, but he needed them to be with him.

Don't stand alone and face the waves - there are people that are willing to stand with you.

Supported by Grace,

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Jesus for President

I am reading this very challenging book by Shane Claiborne, called 'Jesus for President.' He has this awesome quote on page 49:

"The great paradox and humour of God's audacious power:
... a stuttering prophet will be the voice of God,
... a barren old lady will become the mother of a nation,
... a shepherd boy will become their King,
... and a homeless baby will lead them home."

Live out loud,


At 11:11 on this the 11th day of November I will pause and Remember!

If ever there is a 'Rogue Wave' that sweeps over humanity, it has to be during times of war and conflict. My late grandfather left his family to fight in North Africa, during WW2. I am alive today, only because his life was spared - I am one of the 'lucky' ones.

I have never been to war, but I understand that millions of people have sacrificed their lives to try and make this world a better place - I am grateful for their sacrifice. However, it doesn't change the fact that, in times of war, families are torn apart, cities are destroyed, evil is let loose! And all of this in the name of 'Power' & 'Pride.' Make no mistake, in my opinion, War is only the result of the 'Pride of humanity.' Pride gives way to arrogance, which ultimately ends up in Dictatorship.

Shane Claiborne writes - "Strength and pride, men and swords ... dangerous things, aren't they?"

The tragedy is that millions of innocent people die as they are caught in the middle of the games of politicians. The past hundred years are a reminder of this! War has ravaged every continent on our globe!

I still believe that until humans turn our attention to the 'real war' that rages in our hearts, we will fight our other battles in vain. It is the 'sin' in my heart that causes me to wage war against my brother and sister. Jeremiah puts it like this:
Jeremiah 17:9 - "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"

However, today I will remember that Jesus Christ died on the cross, to stop the enemy of sin waging war on my soul. Jesus has become my victor - he fought the battle and has gained the victory for all of us. Now that is something worth remembering.

Today I will also choose to Remember...
...what my family have done for me. loved ones who have passed away. blessed I am to have an awesome wife and 3 fantastic sons. be thankful in all things. enjoy living in Freedom. live today as if it could be my last.

Genesis 9:16 - "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

Remember Grace,

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Extreme Surfing

I have done a little bodyboarding in my younger days and have caught a few big waves, but I have never caught a 'Rogue Wave' (thankfully)! Rogue Wave’s are unpredictable, abnormally large waves that occur on a seemingly random basis in the oceans. The highest recorded Rogue Wave was 30m (95 feet) - that is pretty huge!

Just as these waves appear out of nowhere and destroy ships and anything in their path, so 'rogue waves' occur in our lives too. We could be enjoying life, when all of a sudden we get tragic news, or lose our jobs, or hear that a family member is ill - there are many potential Rogue Waves in our world.

If we know that they will come, how do we then prepare ourselves to handle them when they arrive out of the blue? That's a tough question! One member of our Church responded that we "just have to Pray!" That advice is still the best for me - the only way I believe we can survive a Rogue Wave is if we pray!

"Let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

May Grace give us strength to face the 'unpredictable' waves in our lives,

Monday 9 November 2009

And the Wall came tumbling down!

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the 'collapse' of the Berlin Wall. This wall stood as a reminder of separation between the Eastern Bloc and the West of Germany. Families were divided, Berlin was divided, ideas were divided.

The Berlin Wall was a classic reminder of how insane humanity can be. Just because we don't like someone, or disagree with them or think differently, our natural response is to pull away and to build a barrier between us.

I am privileged to know that in my lifetime, I have seen many walls come tumbling down, but there are still too many 'Walls' in our world.

As Ronald Reagan once said, pointing to the Berlin Wall, "Tear down these walls!"

Jesus is the best at tearing down our 'walls':
Jesus tears down walls of hate,
walls of fear,
walls of doubt,
walls of despair,
walls of pride.

May the Grace of God 'tear down' any walls in my heart and yours,

Let's live beyond the walls!

Sunday 8 November 2009

Heat wave

Do you prefer Summer or Winter?
I think that after today, there will be many votes for Winter!
Today has been way too hot! The heat has been intense and many of us have felt tired and drained. Driving back from Church this morning, Kim noted that the temperature was 42 degrees - that is rather warm, even for Maritzburg.

It is interesting to note how easily we complain about the weather - when the heat is unbearable we say it is too hot; but we also complain when it rains too much or when it is too cold! Perhaps this says more about us, than it does about the weather.

At the end of the day, I always feel sorry for the Lord (not that he needs me to feel sorry for Him)! I mean, when we are gifted with sunshine, then we long for the coolness of rain & when it rains for 3 days in a row, all we want is to see the sun. We are hard to please.

Think on this verse for today...
2 Corinthians 9:8 - And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Bless you today, my friend.