Monday 31 December 2012

One thing is sure

In a year of much change, exciting new adventures, joy and heart-ache, it is always good to remember that God has been with us.

Haggai 1:13 - "Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, gave the people this message from the LORD: “I am with you, says the LORD!”

I can't predict what will happen in 2013, but the one thing I know for certain is this:

May 2013 be a year filled with the presence of God in your life.

God bless you and thanks again for your support of this blog.

Living in Grace

Friday 28 December 2012

Habbakuk's prayer

Habbakuk prays an awesome prayer in Habbakuk 3. He ends off with these words of faith and hope:

"The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights."

May God be your strength today - may He enable you to tread confidently in places of victory, as well as difficulty.

May you finish 2012 strongly and be aware of God's grace with you.

Living in His grace

Monday 24 December 2012

Let's Remember

Let us always remember that Jesus came before Christmas. So, let us put him first this festive season. Enjoy the time with your loved ones and friends, but take time to honour the King.

"Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years... Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart." - George Matthew Adams

May Jesus be near you this Christ-mas time.
A Blessed Christmas to you all.

Living in Grace

Friday 21 December 2012

Do you want to be decent or dynamic?

"Many Christians have enough religion to make them decent, but not enough to make them dynamic." - Kenneth Guider

Now, I believe that we can be both DYNAMIC and DECENT as Christians, but our churches are filled with people who think they are decent (which they may be), but they have lost the spark of following Christ. Being a disciple of Jesus requires us to be dynamic - afterall we have the Spirit of the Living God dwelling inside us.

So, which do you want to be?

I know which I am choosing!!!

Living in Grace

Sunday 16 December 2012

Day of Reconciliation

In South Africa we mark 16th December as the day of Reconciliation. This public holiday has a long history, changing it's name from "Day of the Vow/Covenant" to it's new name, a few years back. Personally, I think the name is an appropriate fit for our present circumstances in RSA and abroad.

There is so much brokenness in our time - many people live in relationships where there is unforgiveness, selfishness, hurt and a number of deep wounds. The day of reconciliation reminds me that there is always hope for us, especially if we belong to Christ. Jesus comes to reconcile us to His Father and in turn challenges us to be reconciled to one another.

How are your relationships today? Who do you need to be reconciled to this week? Are we willing to do something about it?

Living in Grace

What does it mean?

Those of you who are wise please tell me what it means when your kids start wearing your clothes?Declan turned 10 on Friday the 14th and he is already fitting into some of my old T-shirts. It could of course mean that I used to be "thinner" than I am now - which is true I guess. But, it really reminds us that our little boy is growing up fast.

Time is fleeting and it is best we enjoy every moment with our loved ones!

Live in the grace of God daily.


Saturday 15 December 2012

Bless someone today

In sharing on the story of Elizabeth (from Luke 1) I have to marvel at the way she chose to BLESS Mary. And not just once, but twice. If you want to check it out, go to Luke 1:42-45.

It takes a humble and secure person to want the best for others. Elizabeth wanted the best for Mary and she recognised that God had not just favoured her (Elizabeth), but that God had also chosen to bless other people.

May you be so blessed today, that your Spirit dances with delight! Here is an Irish blessing for you to read and pass on...

May there always be work for your hands to do
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May the sun always shine on your windowpane;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you. 

Living in God's Grace

Thursday 13 December 2012


When John the baptist was lying in prison, awaiting his fate, he had a moment where he wondered if Jesus was the real Messiah. He asked his disciples to ask Jesus,

"Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" (Matthew 11:3)

In a time, where there were many 'would-be' saviour's and Messiah's, John wanted to make sure that Jesus was the Real deal. Jesus let him know that he was the genuine Messiah and I am sure that this calmed John's nerves. Of course, we confront many things that tempt us to give them allegiance, but in the end, they are just fraud's. It is only Jesus who is the 'REAL DEAL.'

Don't be taken in by tricksters and fraudster this festive season - there is nothing that can meet our needs like Jesus can. Trust in Him.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 12 December 2012


I am not that superstitious, but I realize that on a day like today (12th of the 12th month, 2012) there are many people who are. I am not that stressed if the world ends this year, as I don't really have much control over this. However, I do believe that we all need to be aware of our responsibility to make right with God, on a daily basis! Have you done this today? If not, perhaps this should be your first prayer today:

"Lord, help me to realize the selfishness of my ways. Help me to surrender to your mercy and grace. Lead me in your everlasting! May the Light of Christ shine in my spirit this festive season.Amen."

Just out of interest, the 12th verse of the 12th chapter of the 12th book of the Bible is a very plain verse. It reads,  "They purchased the timber and dressed stone for the repair of the temple of the Lord, and met all the other expenses of restoring the temple." (2 Kings 12:12)

May the Lord bless you today,

Living in Grace,

Monday 10 December 2012

Closer than you think

Most people still believe the mission field is far from where we live. In countries, like South Africa, we take for granted that everyone knows about Jesus and that it is only countries in Asia (or somewhere else) that need to discover who Jesus is. However, this is such a naive assumption to make.

 We had an interesting encounter this last weekend which challenges this mindset. A family that live just around the corner from our Church, decided to pop in to our Christmas Night Market and they started speaking to one of our members. It turns out that they knew nothing of the Christian faith, had not been a church before and did not know about Holy Communion. And this is a family living in walking distance from our Church. Wow, friends, we all have much work to do.

It is our responsibility to share the Good News with all people and it doesn't require us going to China to do this. Our Mission field is on our door-steps. Let's start to look out for opportunities to be God's ambassadors.

"Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't. " -
Richard Bach

Living in Grace

Sunday 9 December 2012


I have enjoyed reading about Zechariah this past week - not the one from the Old Testament, but John the Baptist's dad. His story can be found in Luke 1, if you would like to read it sometime.

One of the awesome things about Zechariah, is that his name means, "Yahweh Remembers". In the midst of his own difficulties, God answers Zechariah's prayers, reminding us all that God remembers us.

We may feel as if God has abandoned us or that He is choosing to ignore us, but the promise of Zechariah is that God will answer!

May the God of Zechariah, Isaac, Jacob, be near to you today.


Living in Grace

Thursday 6 December 2012

Observers or followers?

The story of Christmas seems to catch the attention of many people - so much so, that billions of people will celebrate Christmas in some form or another. It such a pity that these same people can't count the cost of following Jesus - perhaps the life-story of Jesus is too hard for some to comprehend?
“How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, His precepts!”
Benjamin Franklin

“Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more....”
Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

What does Christmas mean for us?

Living in Grace

Wednesday 5 December 2012

How things change

Now that I have come of age (nice way of saying "getting old"), I have been reflecting on how things have changed over the last 40 years. Take for example the price of things - one forgets how quickly things get more expensive. Here are a few examples of the drastic change in prices.

In 1972, these were the following costs:
Average house price - R17000
Cheeseburger - 28c
Cup of coffee -12c
Steak and chips at restaurant - R1.20
Glass of Coke - 12c


Please tell me your stories of how prices have changed in your lifetime. I would love to know!

The point of this blogpost is to remind us of the fact that despite how things change over time, God never changes!

May you know the love and security of God's love today.

Living in grace

Monday 3 December 2012


The season of Advent is all about preparation and anticipation for the birth of Jesus. It is not that we don't know about Jesus, but we need to be willing to be surprised by the "Word made Flesh." Our faith is never static and neither should our experience of Jesus be - every year our love and appreciation for the Christ-child should deepen and grow.

We cannot conceive how the Divine Spirit dwelled within the created and human spirit of Jesus.... What we can that our own...existence is...but a faint image of the Divine Incarnation itself - the same theme in a very minor key.
~ C.S. Lewis, Miracles, p147

Be blessed today.

Living in Grace

Sunday 2 December 2012

Birthday prayer

It is a blessing to celebrate Kim's birthday today (3 December) - she is such a gift to us all and I am blessed to be married to her.

Here is a prayer that I found, which may be a blessing for others who celebrate birthday's soon.

Thank you for all the experience of this past year;
for times of success which will always be happy memories,
for times of failure which reminded me of my own weakness and of my need for you,
for times of joy when the sun was shining,
for times of sadness which drove me to you.

Forgive me
for the hours I wasted,
for the chances I failed to take,
for the opportunities I missed this past year.
Help me in the days ahead to make this the best year yet,
and through it to bring good credit to myself,
happiness and pride to my loved ones,
and joy to you. Amen.

God bless you today and always,

Living in Grace

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Spiritual Plateau

“Most of us plateau when we lose the tension between where we are and where we ought to be.”
John Gardiner

We never "arrive" in our Faith. We will always be on a journey; always be conscious of improving and becoming more like Jesus. However, getting stuck in a spiritual plateau is a real possibility. We remain stuck in one place. We know that we ought to be moving forward, but we just can't seem to get going. Can you relate to this feeling? 

The only advice I would like to offer, is be honest with yourself and God. It is when we realise where we actually 'are' in our faith, that we can be challenged to follow Christ more deeply.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 27 November 2012

God uses His left hand

I am not saying that God is left handed, but  I do want to point out that, when it comes to loving us, God is willing to put everything into it - both hands, if you like.

Here is a verse that reminds us that God uses his "left-hand" to hold onto us:

"You hold me by my right hand." - Psalm 73:23

So picture the scene, we are walking along the beach, talking with God. Our hands are held together - my right hand in his left hand. This makes me feel secure and loved.

I hope that it brings you much courage too.

Living in Grace

Monday 26 November 2012

Lord, make me uncomfortable

I don't think many of us are willing to start our prayers, "Lord, make me uncomfortable...." - It seems a weird prayer to pray. However Richard Rohr has this very challenging blessing, which he invites us to pray.

"God, bless me with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that You will live deep in my heart.

God, bless me with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people and the earth so that I will work for justice, equity, and peace.

God, bless me with tears to shed for those who suffer so that I will reach out my hand to comfort them and change their pain with joy.

God, bless me with the foolishness to think that I can make a difference in the world, so that I will do the things which others say cannot be done.  Amen."

Join me in praying this prayer today.

Come on, be daring for a change:)

Living in Grace

Saturday 24 November 2012


We are trying to gather some feedback for our preaching series for 2013. If you have something that you would find helpful for your Christian journey, please drop us a line. This includes ideas for sermons, relevant topics or even particular books of the Bible, that you would like us to teach on - please go to this link now. It will take you 1 minute. Thanks.

Living in Grace

Thursday 22 November 2012

Changing weather, changing moods

This weather we are experiencing at the moment is soooo strange. One day it is nice and hot, the next it is raining again. Some mornings I don't even open the curtains expecting sun anymore!
So, I totally understand how people's moods are impacted by the weather and seasons. In truth, S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) is common in Northern Hemisphere climates, but it could become a real issue in our own country soon.

The challenging thing for 'followers of Jesus' is that we shouldn't let our moods impact upon how we follow Christ. We should follow him, despite how we feel. It is hard to practise, but it is something we should endeavour to live out.

How do you feel about that? Let me know your thoughts please.

David Matthew Click “No matter how dark the night, somehow the sun rises once again and all shadows are chased away”

Living in Grace

Wednesday 21 November 2012

A question

The Biblical writers often present questions to their listeners (readers). Sometimes they are simple to answer; at other times they are more complex. What do you make of this one?

"How can we honor our GOD with our lives, The God who gives rain in both spring and autumn and maintains the rhythm of the seasons..." - Jeremiah 5:20-25

How can you honour God with your life today?

Living in Grace

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Dag Hammaskjold

If you can't say his name, that doesn't matter. However, you must read his powerful quotes. Dag Hammarskjold knows how to make you think.

It is playing safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity.” 

Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.”  

"God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason."

Be inspired to live in Grace

God bless

Sunday 18 November 2012


I got worried the other day. I was worried that there was something majorly wrong with our pipes in the ceiling, as there was no water getting to our geyser. I got worried that I would have to replace all of them, at a major cost. However, on the advice of a friend, I checked the "noozle" where the water flows into the geyser and found the problem. I disconnected the offending part and replaced the 'cone' and 'washer' - this all cost me the massive sum of R16.20. Needless to say I was utterly relieved that I didn't have to fork out thousands of rands.

This is what I learnt in all of this:
Sometimes we worry about a situation and we make it seem worse that what it actually is. The 'problem' may just be a small thing, that is actually impacting upon a whole lot of other circumstances.

Take your cares to Jesus. He cares for us. Ask the Spirit to reveal the true cause of our problems, before we start jumping to the wrong conclusions.

Living in Grace

Friday 16 November 2012


I was doing some working in the ceiling yesterday (fixing the geyser) when my torch went out. Stumbling around in the roof, with no light, is not the greatest of fun! The only way I could get out was to keep my eyes peeled on the light coming from the opening below the trap door. I was quite relieved to climb down the ladder and find a decent torch to finish the job.

In all of this I think it is important to hold onto this message....

Job 17:12 - "In the face of the darkness light is near."

May Christ be your light today and always.

Living in Grace

Thursday 15 November 2012

My Utmost for His Highest

The author of "My Utmost for His Highest" Oswald Chambers, died on the 15th November 1917. His work has inspired me over the many years.

"We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there's nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don't want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of 'good time' is seldom in sync with ours.” - Oswald Chambers

Are you willing to do your Utmost for God's highest?

Living in Grace

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Splash protection

I like driving with my window open - it gives me the feel of fresh air and freedom. The other day, during one of our rainy spells, I enjoyed having the window down for a while. The rain started to come into the car, so I closed the window. Just as well I did, because 10 seconds later, a passing car sprayed up a massive wave of water, right onto my window. I would have been completely drenched if i hadn't just closed it!

We never know when a wave of dirty water is going to be sprayed in our direction, but we do have the "cover" of a loving God to help us through these times. Reach out to God and may his Grace cover you from the sprays of life.

Isaiah 43:1-2
 “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 13 November 2012

One Day

Another one of Joshua's classic chirps is, "One day when I am big....!"
He says that when he is "Big" then he can do a whole lot of things. He even thinks that he will be able to fly like Superman, when he is Big!

The reality is that if we keep waiting for "one day" to arrive, we may miss out on the plan God has for us now. Don't wait for "one day", if God is prompting you to do something today.

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.  - Abraham Lincoln

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.  - Robert Brault

May God bless you TODAY.

Living in Grace

Monday 12 November 2012

Peace and Quiet

Josh decided that he wanted to sleep in our room tonight. I asked him why the sudden change? He told me it was because he wanted a little "piece of quiet!' I chuckled to myself.
"What do you mean, boy?" I asked him.
He said, "My brothers make to much noise for me, so I want a piece of quiet!"

I didn't correct his English, because I understood exactly what he meant. Sometimes we all just need a little peace and quiet. The world makes too much noise and we just a little time to rest and catch our breath. Is that how you are feeling today?

May God grant you your own little "piece of quiet" today.

Living in Grace

Friday 9 November 2012


Anniversaries are important! They help us to remember where we have come from and they teach us to celebrate the joy in our lives. Of course, we can have all kinds of anniversaries - some that celebrate marriages, other special events or even sad memories.

This weekend we remember another kind of anniversary - Remembrance Day. We set time aside on the 11th November, every year, to remember all those people who died in the pursuit of peace. May we never forget the great sacrifice our ancestors paid for the benefit of future generations.

This weekend I also celebrate an anniversary - It has been 4 years since my first book "Living Oceans Apart'' was launched. It has been a fun adventure to see how the book has impacted people's lives. Thanks for the support and love.

What anniversaries are you celebrating soon? 

Living in Grace

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Praying with our hearts

Prayer can so often just be hot air. The more we learn to pray from the depths of our hearts, the more in tune with God we become.

"Why do we pray so much with our lips and so little with our heart?"- Jean-Nicholas Grou

"Sometimes a person prays with his tears, even when words are missing." - Bill Gothard

Pray with all your heart today...

Living in Grace

Tuesday 6 November 2012

A word before

When I preached on Romans 8 two weeks ago I did not realise that our lives would be suddenly turned upside down. Some of the verses and quotes I used were, in some sense, a preparation for us.

Job 36:15 - "But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction."

Romans 8:26 - "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."

May you live for God today.
Living in Grace

Thursday 1 November 2012

Thank you

Since I put out the plea for prayer on Sunday evening, our family has been blessed by the many calls, emails, messages and FB comments. You all have been a gift to us - in the midst of our devastating crisis. Like I said on Sunday, we have no words to describe how we are feeling, but we are just trying to take things 1 hour at a time.

The cremation service will be Thursday afternoon and the celebration of Barry's life will be on Friday at 12 o'clock.

Thanks again for all the prayers and love. We could not go through this time without the knowledge of your support.

“There is not enough time,
And there is no song I could sing
And there is no combination of words I could say
But I will still tell you one thing …
We are better together.” - Jack Johnson

Living in Grace

Sunday 28 October 2012

Pray for us

Hello friends. I don't often do this, but we need your prayers. Kim's brother, Barry was tragically killed in a car accident today. He leaves behind a distraught family, including a young wife and an 8 week old baby girl.

We have no words or prayers, so please pray for us.

Living in grace

Thursday 25 October 2012

What are you living with?

What are you living with...?

"If you live with constant criticism, you learn to condemn.
If you live with constant hostility, you learn to fight.
If you live with constant ridicule, you learn to hide.
If you live with constant shaming, you learn to feel guilty...


If you live with encouragement, you learn to be confident.
If you live with praise, you learn to be appreciative.
If you live with tolerance, you learn to be patient.
If you live with trust, you learn to live by faith." - Leonard Sweet

Choose how you will live today.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 24 October 2012

The blessing in prayer

I have taken the liberty of sending you all a prayer today. It was written by William Temple (1881-1944). May it bless you.

"God of Love, we pray that you would give us love in our thinking,
love in our speaking,
love in our doing,
and love in the hidden places of our souls;
love of our neighbours, near and far;
love of our friends, old and new;
love of those whom we find it hard to bear,
and love of those who find it hard to bear us;
love of those with whom we work,
and love of those with whom we take our ease;
love in joy,
love in sorrow;
love in life and love in death;
that so at length we may be worthy to dwell with you,
who are eternal love,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
forever and ever."

"Prayer is related to our inborn hunger for God. Prayer is not for God's benefit, but for ours." - Robert and Debra Bruce

Please take the initiative and pass it onto others who may need a prayer today.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 23 October 2012

David and Lance Armstrong

Here is a deep question for you?

Are someones words declared null and void after they have been caught out by their sin?

Think first of King David: He said these words a long time before he committed adultery with Bathsheba:
"How great are you, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you - there is no other God." (2 Samuel 7:22) These words remain true to me, even though David's life erupted like a volcano!

Now think about Lance Armstrong. He said these words, long before he was found out for cheating:

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up, stays with me. So when I feel like quitting, I ask myself, which would I rather live with?”

For me, these words still speak some kind of truth, despite Lance's character being exposed for what it is.

Here is my dilemma - Is "truth" able to withstand the character of our humanity?

I believe it is able too, but would love to know your thoughts.

Living in Grace

Monday 22 October 2012


"Right action is better than knowledge; but in order to do what is right, we must know what is right." - Charlemagne

How can we know what God wants us to do, if we don't spend time reading his word? If we want to know what is 'right' and what God's will is, then we need to be disciplined in understanding the truth.

So, how is your reading of the Scriptures going?

Genesis 4:7 - "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Living in Grace

Saturday 20 October 2012

Love is a temporary madness

I am going to be using this quote on Love at a wedding later today. It is taken from Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two." - Louis de Bernieres

I feel that many people follow Jesus in a moment of decision, but struggle to persevere in that decision, especially over the long term. That is what being in a "committed" relationship with Jesus Christ is about.

Are you in 'love' with Christ for the long haul?

Living in Grace

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Quotes to inspire you

“It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” - Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
Emily Dickinson 

  “If you're reading this...
Congratulations, you're alive.
If that's not something to smile about,
then I don't know what is.”
Chad Sugg

Be blessed by these quotes today.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Don't wait

"We are saving it for a rainy day!"

This is a familar saying, which implies that we are preparing/saving for a day in the future - a day when we may need to do something.I enjoy this saying, but perhaps it can lead us down a road of procastination. If you are waiting for a "rainy day" to give yourself to God, please don't. Likewise, if you are waiting for a the perfect moment to do something, think again...

"Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest." - Ecclesiaster 11:4

Seize the moment God has given you.

Living in Grace

Monday 15 October 2012

When the lights goes out

Last Tuesday our electricity went out at home, during a huge storm. We rushed around looking for torches and candles - we eventually managed to get enough light to finish supper and the kids homework.

What do you do when the lights grow dim in your faith? Who do you turn to?
Remember that you can always turn to Jesus - He is your constant companion - He is the Light of the World.

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." - Albert Schwietzer

Living in Grace