Wednesday 29 February 2012

One extra Day

With today being the 29th February I got thinking about how awesome it would be if we had an extra day to live. Imagine if you were told that Day X should be your last day, but God was going to give us a bonus day. What would you do with that day? I'd love to know.

"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."  ~Henry David Thoreau

Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.  - James Dean

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. - Hebrews 13:8

Living in Grace

Monday 27 February 2012

Flood Lights

If you have ever tried to find something in the dark, just with candlelight, then you can understand how frustrating it can be. Now, if we had a huge flood-light our search would be made so much easier. As we approach the Bible, let us remind ourselves that the Holy Spirit acts as our flood-light. He illuminates the Word of God for us to understand.

"I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called..." - Ephesians 1:18

Quit relying on your own candle to show you the way; allow God's Light to reveal His truth to us.

Living in Grace

Sunday 26 February 2012

God is with us

Sometimes I need to be reminded of a familiar story, in order for me to remember a great truth. The poem "Footprints in the sand" has been around for a long time and I used it in a sermon today, but the message in these words speaks volumes to us all. May you be blessed through these words:

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.  
 Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.                   
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.                        
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,                           
 other times there were one set of footprints.                                     
This bothered me because I noticed                                
 that during the low periods of my life,                              
when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,                     
 I could see only one set of footprints.            
 So I said to the Lord,      
 "You promised me Lord,  that if I followed you,              
you would walk with me always.                    
But I have noticed that during                           
the most trying periods of my life                                  
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.     
 Why, when I needed you most,  were you not there for me?"                                    
The Lord replied, "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints,  is when I carried you."

Living in Grace

Thursday 23 February 2012

One right covers many wrongs

"Here it is in a nutshell:
Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death,
another person did it right and got us out of it.
But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into LIFE!
One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong;
one man said YES to God and put many in the right." - Romans 5:18-19 (The Message)

When Jesus said YES to the will of His Father, His action offered to cover a multitude of sins - yours and mine.

Be thankful for Jesus' YES.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 22 February 2012

I can't

When we get to the point in our lives where we say:
"I just can't any more..." that's when we should remember that God will take over.
Too often I leave God out of my efforts and when I realise that I am floundering, I recognise that perhaps I never quite invited God to help me out in the first place.

"I can't" is perhaps the greatest prayer of surrender we could ever pray!

I can't...
God can!

Living in Grace

Tuesday 21 February 2012

New eyes

I have been enjoying reading the Bible with new insight over the past week or so. As a preacher I often fall into the trap of reading the Bible for others - by this I mean, I read and prepare a message in order to pass on some insight to our faith community. However, there are times when I need to read the Bible for myself ONLY. It is hard to separate the two forms of Bible study, but the 40 Days in the Word series is helping me to do this.

Here are some of the readings from Philippians that have struck a chord with me this week:

"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." - Philippians 1:27

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.' - Philippians 4:13 (this was the very first verse I ever memorised as a baby-Christian)

Tell me your story...

Living in Grace

Sunday 19 February 2012

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, which is our preparation for Easter. Lent reminds us that Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days before he began his public ministry, which ultimately led him to the Cross. In our community we celebrate Ash Wednesday, combined with a touch of Shrove Tuesday. We eat pancakes before we go into our Ash Wednesday service and to be honest the sense of community and fellowship is a wonderful start to Lent.

May you be conscious of Christ's presence this Lenten journey.

Living in Grace

Thursday 16 February 2012

How the Bible can change your life?

We are going to be unlocking the following topic over this weekend - "How the Bible can change your life!" I came across this illustration, which may give us a deeper insight into this message...

"A former park ranger at Yellowstone National Park tells the story of a ranger leading a group of hikers to a fire lookout. The ranger was so intent on telling the hikers about the flowers and animals that he considered the messages on his two-way radio distracting, so he switched it off. Nearing the tower, the ranger was met by a nearly breathless lookout, who asked why he hadn't responded to the messages on his radio. A grizzly bear had been seen stalking the group, and the authorities were trying to warn them of the danger.

Any time we turn out the messages God has sent us, we put at peril not only ourselves, but also those around us. How important it is that we never turn off God's saving communication!"
- Harold M. Wiest, Power for Living, p. 109.

When we read the Scriptures we must expect that it will change our lives.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 15 February 2012


Nelson Mandela has influenced people all over the world. As he gets older, his 'voice' becomes more important for the future generations. It is always profound to be taught by the wisdom of a person who has 'walked further' than we have. A while back, Nelson Mandela commented:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."

With God on our side we can accomplish anything we put our mind to.

Living in Grace

Monday 13 February 2012

Helped by the Bible

Have you ever been searching for an answer to a tough decision, question or situation and the Bible has ended up giving you some clear direction? If you have, I would love to know your story.

Jesus promised us that the truth (of the Word) would set us free (John 8:31-32).

May God's Word offer you direction, hope and encouragement this week.


Saturday 11 February 2012

Equipped for the task

If we want to do good work, then we need to be equipped. This applies to anything in life, not just in our Faith.

If you want to be a good sportsperson, then you need to make sure you are equipped.
If you want to be a good musician, then you need to be prepared.
If you want to be a great teacher, then you need to equip yourself for the task at hand.

"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man (woman) of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Living in Grace

Thursday 9 February 2012

40 Days in the Word

We start our new preaching series entitled 40 Days in the Word on Sunday. We will be joining in with thousands of Churches all over the world in participating in this series. If you want to know more then click on this link. It is our hope and prayer that we would discover the beauty and power of the Bible again.

Remember that is has been said that the Scriptures are God's LOVE LETTER to us. It would be a huge shame if we never read God's thoughts to us...

Living in Grace

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Meditate on it

"Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." - Joshua 1:8

Reading the Bible is not just an academic exercise, it is also an way of changing our lives.

How is your Bible reading plan going so far?

Living in Grace

Monday 6 February 2012

Close to the edge

"But as for me, I came so close to the edge of the cliff!
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone." - Psalm 73:2

Have you ever got yourself into a situation where you have felt that you were slipping... not physically, but emotionally or spiritually? What did you do in that situation? Who helped you out of that dangerous place?

For the Psalmist he turned to God and found that God rescued him just in time. Turn to God - reach out your hand and God will pull you back from the brink.

Living in Grace

Sunday 5 February 2012

Is your Faith Convenient?

We were reminded today at Church (thanks to Alice Fabian) that Christianity should not be about Convenience, but rather about Sacrifice. If we find that we are slipping into the mindset of convenience then we should remember the example of Jesus. There was nothing convenient about following Jesus in the Early Church - just ask the disciples when you meet them face-to-face one day. So, in a similar way we should expect our fair share of sacrifice and commitment in our present Faith journey.

May God be real to you this week,

Living in Grace

Saturday 4 February 2012

A gathering of thoughts

As we gather for worship this weekend, reflect on a few of these insightful thoughts:

"Every Christian is a priest, not offering a sacrifice for sins - since that has been done once and for all - but offering his person, praise and possessions" -Vance Havner

"When I bow to God, God stoops to me" - Robert Chapman

"In contemporary society our Adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry, and crowds." - Richard J. Foster

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell" - C.S. Lewis

Which of these 4 speaks to you the loudest today?

Living in Grace

Thursday 2 February 2012

Breakfast in Bed

When Jesus made breakfast on the beach for the Disciples (John 21) it was a powerful act of grace. They had deserted him in his hour of need and yet Jesus still forgave them. His act of servanthood (making them a meal), when they had been working all through the night, was deeply filled with love and mercy. You don't make a meal for someone if you don't care for them. Jesus blessed them with this early morning meal and it changed the hearts of the disciples.

Well I can't offer you breakfast on the beach or even breakfast in bed, but if you are in and around PMB on Saturday (4th Feb) please join us at our Men's Breakfast at 7am at Church. It is going to be relaxed and fun. Sorry ladies, but this one is only for the guys this time:)


Wednesday 1 February 2012

Let down

How often have you been let down? I am sure that there have been numerous times for most of us. What surprises me is how quickly we put our trust in people even after they have let us down - which isn't always a bad thing, I guess.

However, God warned us that people would let us down and that we shouldn't take 'refuge' in other people, above Him.

"It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lorn than to trust in princes." - Psalm 118:8-9

Trust in God today. God will be your refuge.

Living in Grace

Image from here