Monday 31 May 2010

30 years

We celebrated the 30th birthday of our Church yesterday and although we are 'young' in comparison with the 2000 year old Church, it was still a special occasion for us. What is more significant for me, is the people that made this original "church plant" a possibility. Although many of them are obviously 30 years older, many of them are still committed in their faith. That is the best testimony of them all. Generally buildings will last longer than humans, but when people are still passionate about Jesus, many years later, that says a lot to me.

It gets me thinking about the significant people in my spiritual walk. There have been a number of men and women who have shaped my journey with Jesus and have encouraged me to "keep the faith." I will be eternally grateful for their wisdom, guidance, love and prayers.

I am interested to know who has shaped your Christian journey - has there been a significant person who has been crucial in encouraging you to get to where you are today? If there has, please let me know.

Psalm 107:1 - "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."

Thanks again for your willingness to receive these posts and to interact with them. You are all continuing to shape and mould my Christian journey. May you be blessed today!

Living in Grace,

Sunday 30 May 2010

Walking Temples

There is this outstanding verse in 1 Corinthians 6 that always amazes me. I am not sure if it amazes me because (1) God would have the guts to work like this or (2) because Christians don't realise how much power we have living inside us - I am speaking of the Holy Spirit living in each one of us.

Read it and see what you think...

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honour God with your body." - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Is God crazy, brilliant or incredibly gracious in allowing us to be blessed by His Spirit? Let me know your thoughts!

Living in Grace,

Saturday 29 May 2010

Godly Foundations

Here is some food for thought:

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”1 Corinthians 3:11

Luke 6:48-49 – “… But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."

I will be exploring some of these thoughts tomorrow in the service.
Strength and grace to you.

Living in Grace,

Friday 28 May 2010

Which Way?

"Teach me your way, O Lord;
Lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors."
- Psalm 27:11

How do you know if the decision you are about to make is the right one? And whether it is part of God's will? Well, there are many books written on this subject, but let me offer a few thoughts:

1. Scripture - is the decision you are about to make contrary to what the Bible teaches? It the answer is 'Yes', then don't go there!
2. Spirit - what do you sense the Holy Spirit is saying to you about this? Are you at peace?
3. Spiritual friends - it is wise to consult a few trusted Christian friends. If they are confirming your decision then trust their advice.
4. Situations - are there certain 'doors' opening for you, which previously were closed shut! Perhaps God could be paving the way for your decision.

Of course, life is not as clear cut as this, but I hope that this helps a little. Trust in God to lead you into 'paths of righteousness'. God is big enough to guide you through these adventurous days.

Living in Grace,

P.S. If you are involved in the Emmaus community in PMB, please take note of this...
Date: 29th May @ 10H00 for 10H30
Venue: All Saints United Church, Pietermaritzburg

Thursday 27 May 2010

Google Maps

I am leading a workshop in Pinetown on Saturday and I needed to find directions how to get there. So, where did I start? Yes, I started with Google Maps (when I am big, I will get a GPS)! Where would we be without this application? It is awesome.

The other day I was looking for some spiritual direction and I couldn't get the help I needed from Google Maps, so where did I turn? Yes, I asked the Holy Spirit to lead me to the right answer in the Bible. How awesome is that? It's even better than Google.

The next time you need to know where to go or what decisions to take, turn to the Holy Spirit and Scripture. They will lead you to the right place.

Genesis 24:49 - "Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn."

Psalm 25:4 - "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths..."

Living in Grace,

Wednesday 26 May 2010

Robin Hood and Crux Mobi

We watched the new Robin Hood movie the other day and it was just what I needed - an escape from reality. It was fairly good and it achieved what I always enjoy about certain allowed me to dream. If you want a strong review on Robin Hood then you must read Gareth Killeen's comments. Although we disagree on a few points, it is well written and worth reading.

My friend, Gareth heads up the Crux mobi media ministry and he is doing an awesome work there. If you have a cell phone then you need to visit their site and download it onto your phone ASAP. Most of us have easy access to our phones and most of us check them many times per day. Through their ministry one can get lots of good Christian content straight to your phone. You can get weekly movie reviews, music, leadership thoughts and daily devotions (including Faith for Daily Living and even this blog in English and Zulu.)

Here is a blessing for you today:
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:13

Living in Grace,

Tuesday 25 May 2010

God knows what to say

I have shared a little insight into my experiences over the last couple of days and what has been so amazing is to realise that God still speaks clearly to us. In the midst of my post-Synod blues I was reading these words from Thomas a Kempis and it was as if they were written for me.

"If discouraging and unpleasant days come, don't be despondent or defeated. Stand strong in God and bear whatever you must to the glory of Jesus Christ. For after winter, summer comes; after night, the day returns; and after a storm, calm is restored." - Thomas a Kempis

How awesome is that? It says to me that God cares! It reminds me that the Spirit of God is alive and that no matter what we go through God knows what we need. If you had given up on God for a moment, please hang on to this the truth that Thomas a Kempis reminds us of...

"after night, the day returns!"

May the Spirit of Christ be real for you this day!
Blessings my friend,


I wanted to comment yesterday on Aldersgate, but I was still recovering my sanity after Synod. Anyway, the amazing thing about
John Wesley's experience in the church in Aldersgate Street, on the 24th May 1738, was that his life changed 180 degrees. Although he was a Christian before this day, he often referred to this date as his 'real' conversion. He ministered in the power of Spirit after this encounter, and his life changed the lives of millions of people.

There are a few similarities with John's experience and those of the disciples at Pentecost. They were also Christ-followers before Pentecost, but it seems as though the 'transformational' power of the Holy Spirit radically changed their ministry and lives.

May we not just be Christ-followers (in name), but may we be Christians filled with the life-changing power of the Spirit.

St Augustine - “O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.”

Living in Grace,

Monday 24 May 2010

I Tried!

I tried! I promise you, I really tried!
I am talking about the Synod I have just endured for the past 3 days. I tried to be positive - I tried to look past the power struggles and blatant incompetence from some of our leaders. I tried to build bridges across the divides of our differences. I really tried!

But, I failed! I have come home feeling beaten and demoralised. I am not sure that I can endure another Synod! I fear it will shattered the last drop of enthusiasm I have for the institution called 'Church!' If you want to read a really good and objective view of the synod please read my friend, David Barbour's comments - they are worthwhile.

On the other hand, I am grateful for God's redeeming Grace. God has a way of changing the bad into good. I arrived back to Wesley Methodist (my home society) and we had an awesome day of Pentecost. The two services in the morning went well and then we had an afternoon of sessions on the Holy Spirit (as part of the Alpha course). Our evening service continued on this theme and we were blessed to see many people being ministered too. The power of the Spirit was tangible and one could sense that God was with us.

So, I am grateful for the quick way in which the Lord showed me the 'other side' of the church. A place where people are earnestly seeking Jesus and are willing to be lead by his Spirit. A place where people are not interested in any other power, except the POWER OF THE SPIRIT.

Prayer request: If you are part of any church denomination, please pray for your leaders and the 'structures' of that body. Our churches need leaders to arise from the dust of collapsing organisations. Perhaps it is time for another Pentecost mixed with a huge dose of Reformation!

Living in Grace,

Photo of Broken Church from here

Saturday 22 May 2010


I am still at Synod, so my thoughts are a little jaded at the moment.
This is day 3. Anyway, here are two thoughts for us to reflect on:

"Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life." - Leo Buscaglia

"An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine,
but because people refuse to see it." - James Michener

Be blessed,
Living in grace,

Friday 21 May 2010

What is your worst meeting ever?

Thank you for your comments and prayers concerning my attendance
at Synod. So far things are going OK. My friend Alan Bester led a
stirring Bible Study this morning on the Emmaus Road - from Luke's
Gospel. It was an awesome start to the day.

A number of you have mentioned about your experiences
of meetings. This leads me to ask this question:
So,what is the worst meeting you have ever attended?

Let me know!

My worst meeting was at Synod many years ago.
By the end of 3 long days of meetings, the Synod still
wanted to discuss a few things. It was late + I still needed
to travel 3 hours home. When I think about it I still cry!!

Living in Grace

Thursday 20 May 2010


I leave for the Church's 3 day Synod now. I would be lying if told you that I was motivated and excited about going to sit for 3 days. Sure, some of the discussion will be alright, the fellowship with other Christians will be good, but overall I normally come back home feeling deflated and saddened. Well, that has been my experience in previous years.

However, this year I am praying that I will not come back a 'beaten' man. I am going with a positive mindset and I am going to seek the good in the frail organisation (a.k.a 'Methodist Church'). Please pray with me and for the whole Synod. This is one of the few times a year the 'people called Methodist' get together and we need God to inspire us. Oh how I long for the fire of Pentecost to set fire to our Church again.

I had to laugh at these quotes about meetings:

“A meeting is an event where minutes are taken and hours wasted.” - James Kirk

“Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

How efficient are your meetings? Let me know!

Living in Grace,

Wednesday 19 May 2010

I've got the Sun in my hands

There is a catchy song getting a lot of airplay at the moment. It's sung by Locnville and the chorus goes like this:

I’ve got the sun in my pocket and the moon in hands
I throw it up amongst the stars and watch it move in a dance
Sometimes I stop and play it over again
With a smooth breeze blowing, flowing closer within, hey.

It is an interesting concept for humanity to consider that we are bigger than God. I am not saying that the band wanted to send that message out, but the lyrics 'sun in my pocket and moon in hands' are strikingly reminiscent of the attitudes of many political leaders, sports stars and actors. Fame and prestige may make us feel like gods, but it is only fleeting and then we one day wake up to the words of Job...

"He fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark.
His thunder announces the coming storm."
- Job 36:32-33

There is only one God.

Living in Grace,

P.S. I still like the song - it's catchy! Awesome photo from here

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Why do we struggle with this?

Paul writes honestly about his struggle with sin in Romans 7. The expression of his struggle sometimes leaves us feeling a little tongue-tied, but he gets his point across. He knows what is right and what he should be doing, but can't always follow through with the 'right action.'

Do you feel like this sometimes? We know what we should be doing, but somehow we contrive to mess it up? I am just so grateful for the forgiveness and grace that come from Jesus. He is the Hope I need!

Romans 7:14-16 (Message) - "I can anticipate the response that is coming: "I know that all God's commands are spiritual, but I'm not. Isn't this also your experience?" Yes. I'm full of myself—after all, I've spent a long time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary."

Living in Grace,

Monday 17 May 2010

World Cup Tickets

Today was a significant day for me. I finally got to see my World Cup Soccer tickets and to hold them in my own hands! As a kid I dreamt of one day attending a World Cup Soccer event and I can't believe that my dream will be a reality in just over 3 weeks. I feel like a big 'kid' again.

Have there been some things that you have dreamt about for years and then you have finally got to experience your dream? What was it like? Was it worth the wait?

Sometimes I dream about "Heaven" like this, and I wonder if we will be disappointed that our imaginations have over-glamorised it. Then I realise, there is just no way Heaven will be disappointing. God will be there & whatever Heaven actually looks like, it will be truly incredible.

"No eye has seen,
No ear has heard,
No mind can know,
What God has in store..."
- 1 Corinthians 2:9

I am hoping that the World Cup Soccer is not a disappointment!
I am convinced that Heaven will be AWESOME!

Living in Grace,

Sunday 16 May 2010

Spiritual beings on a human journey!

"We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey."

These insightful words from Stephen Covey give us a new perspective on our lives. God has breathed life into our mortal frames and we get to live on earth for a number of years. However, when our human journey comes to an end, we believe that Jesus offers us the chance to continue our journey with Him - 'spiritual beings on a new journey!'

Is this why Jesus challenged Nicodemus to be born again (John 3)? Firstly, we comprehend that we are spiritual beings born in flesh. Secondly, we need to choose to align our spiritual lives with God - spiritual beings choosing to live in eternity with our Saviour?

What do you think?

Living in Grace,

Saturday 15 May 2010


Following on from our thoughts yesterday, you may be interested to read these words:

“The morning star was the brightest of them all, and it is the herald of the day which chases away the darkness of the night. Jesus is the best and the brightest of all, and before Him, the night of sin and death flees away.” – William Barclay

“The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.” – Psalm 97:6

Look Up! The glory of Jesus is evident for all to see.

Live in His amazing Grace,

Friday 14 May 2010


I love this quote from Vincent van Gogh:
"For my part I know nothing of any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream."
(Yes, I did use this quote in one of my chapters in NOW,but I love the quote enough to repeat it!)

The Scriptures remind us that Jesus can also be compared to a star.

Revelation 22:16 - "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."

May we remember that Jesus is the true light (star) that shines in the midst of our darkness.

Living in Grace,

Thursday 13 May 2010

Broken hearts

There are many people in our communities who struggle with 'broken hearts.' Often we ask 'Why' when our hearts are bruised and broken. Oscar Wilde reflects on this when he writes:

“How else but through a broken heart may Lord Christ enter in?"

Psalm 51:17 - The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

What do you think about this? Let me know your thoughts if you have a moment.

Living in Grace,

Ascension Day

Remember the days when Ascension Day was still a public holiday? Ah, those were the days...

...well, now that the Government doesn't give us an incentive to celebrate Ascension Day, it is interesting to see how Christians respond to the day. A lot of churches notice that their attendance is not what it used to be and a number of newer Christians aren't even aware of the importance of Acts 1:1-11.

"The ascension of Elijah may be compared to the flight of a bird, which none can follow; the ascension of Christ is, as it were, a bridge between earth and heaven, laid down for all who are drawn to Him by His earthly existence." - Michael Baumgarten

What does Ascension Day mean for you?

Summing up what it means for me, I would say:
"No Ascension, No Pentecost!"
"No Pentecost, No early church!"
"No early church, No spreading of the Gospel!"
"No witnessing, No chance of me hearing about Jesus!"

Maybe this is too simple, but it works for me.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 12 May 2010

The Jesus Prayer

What do you pray when you feel so tired and uninspired? This week, I have found myself praying the Jesus Prayer often. It is simple, but deeply profound.

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner."

Why don't you give yourself a minute and then quietly pray this prayer.

Living in Grace,

Tuesday 11 May 2010


Firstly, let me thank you for taking part in yesterday's 'riddle.' There were many people who replied to the challenge and, so far, everyone has got it right. Yes, the answer was Samson and you can find the riddle in Judges 14:14.

I was giving Declan a little pep talk the other day in the car - he was playing a soccer match in the afternoon and I was trying to encourage him to have fun and to do his best. Suddenly, he says to me, "Dad, I'm not afraid of losing you know!" Well, I was speechless! I wasn't insisting that he HAD to win the match, I was just trying to get him focused. Clearly, he had already made up his mind that he was going to have fun, but that he wasn't 'afraid of losing!'

I have been struck recently with the number of people that are afraid of various things. While fear is common amongst humans, we all end up struggling with different fears (and or phobia's). So what are you afraid of? If you are keen to share your fears, please go here and follow the link. It will take you 20 seconds.

I know I have written on this before, but it still seems relevant:

Psalm 46:2 - "Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea..."

Jeremiah 39:17 - "But I will rescue you on that day, declares the LORD; you will not be handed over to those you fear."

Living in Grace,

Monday 10 May 2010

Who said this?

Are you up for a challenge? Come on - I dare you!

Here is a riddle for you today. If you know who said these next words, then reply to this post. Let's see how many of us can get the right answer.

"Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet."

I will give you one clue - it's in the Bible somewhere.

Praying that you have a blessed week.

Living in Grace,

Sunday 9 May 2010


I have been challenged this week about God's Mercy. I am going to be exploring some of the elements of 'mercy' tonight in Church. However, if you are reading this after Sunday, please read these thoughts and may you be blessed by the Mercy of Jesus.

Hebrews 4:16 - "Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

The person who refuses to show mercy destroys the bridge over which he himself must cross - Mark Opperman

Touched and changed by Mercy,

Saturday 8 May 2010


"God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers." ~ Jewish Proverb

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." ~
Tenneva Jordan

These two quotes speak a lot of truth about my mom. What thoughts sum up your feelings about mothers?

For many people the word 'mother' speaks of love, blessing and friendship. However, for others, memories of 'mom' are a little sad or distant. Regardless of our relationship with our earthly mothers, David spoke these words:

Psalm 139:13 - "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."

Living in Grace,

Friday 7 May 2010

Grand challenge for all Christ-followers

"In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord." - 1 Peter 3:15

"I wish he would come in my lifetime so that I could take my crown and lay it at this feet." - Queen Victoria

Inviting Jesus into our lives (hearts) is one thing, but setting Him apart as Lord, that's another challenge altogether.

Does Christ occupy a tiny part of your heart, or is Jesus LORD of all of it?

Living in Grace,

Thursday 6 May 2010

Who can match this?

"I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are very wise and very beautiful; but I never read in either of them: "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden." - St Augustine

Psalm 68:19 - Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour, who daily bears our burdens!

Have we been taking our burdens to Jesus?
Just asking?

Living in Grace

Thanks for the photo goes to these people

Wednesday 5 May 2010

Ideal leadership

Max De Pree wrote, "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor."

John 13:14 - "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet."

Are we able to define the 'reality' of the situation?; are we able to say 'thanks'?; are we able to serve one another?. If we answer 'Yes' to all 3 questions, then Max and Jesus would call us 'leaders.'

Live as a leader impacted by Grace,

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Big Decision

If you are needing to make a big decision soon, follow this advice...

"I am only one, but I am one! I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will no let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." - Edward Everett Hale

"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ" - Philippians 3:7

Living in Grace,

P.S. - The quote from Edward Hale was used by my friend, Russel Norman, in his sermon on Sunday.

Monday 3 May 2010

One Quote, One Verse, One Week

In this first week of May, I am going to be blogging in this simple style - 1 quote, 1 verse, 1 thought. I pray you may be inspired!

"Since feeling is first, who pays attention to the syntax of things." - e.e.cummings

Psalm 119:91 - "Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you."

Life is not measured in the things we can accumulate, but rather in what we can give to others.

Living in Grace,

Saturday 1 May 2010

Walk by Faith

Some friends from Pietermaritzburg (and a few from our Church) are hosting the Walk by Faith event on the 15th May. The vision is to gather people to Worship God and this year we are all meeting at the Botanical Gardens from 12pm. Marius and his worship teams have stepped out in faith again and we pray that many people will be blessed through this ministry. John van de Laar from Sacredise is going to be the guest speaker this year.

I am blogging about this for a number of reasons:

1. I believe in the Vision of gathering to worship Jesus.
2. It would be great to support this event through our attendance or prayers.
3. God gives us dreams and visions that are bigger than ourselves - yet, when we step out in obedience, God reveals the mystery of his Grace.
4. Being a Christian is a courageous step and I wish more believers would make a stand for Jesus.

What is God revealing to you? Are you willing to step out of the boat and to begin to 'walk on water?'

Living in Grace,

P.S. Join us on the 15th May 2010. It's FREE to get into the Botancial Gardens, thanks to the Walk By Faith team.