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,