Saturday 31 March 2012

Holy Week

I love Holy Week. It is such an amazing reminder of God's awesome love for all of us. I personally feel that the power of the Cross (on good Friday) and the celebration of Life on Easter Sunday is even more meaningful when my Easter journey is a daily one - starting from Palm Sunday and then ending at the Resurrection.

"Holy Week is a celebration of life over death. The whole message of Holy Week is the message of God to join him." - Glenn Duffy

I encourage you to join your local Church community in celebrating Holy Week.

Living in Grace

Friday 23 March 2012

Renew your strength

We all need to be strengthened at times. The strength we draw from God and others helps us to continue along the Christian journey. It is this strength that develops our character and ultimately renews our hope.
Romans 5:4 - And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

May God renew your strength today. I pray He does!

Living in Grace

Thursday 22 March 2012

Habits that intimidate

What personal habits intimidate you at the moment? It is hard to be honest with ourselves, but I believe it is vital for our spiritual growth.

"Bad habits are like chains that are too light to feel until they are too heavy to carry." - Warren Buffet

James 4:7 - "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Living in Grace

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Keep me safe

Listening to the rain storm just now, made me think of where homeless people find shelter in the midst of a storm. Perhaps under a bridge, or outside a shop front, or even in a parking garage. I guess, the more you are used to surviving on the streets, the more ‘street smart’ you become. In the end, Shelter becomes a top priority for anyone living on the streets.

When you are caught up in the middle of a ‘storm’ where do you go for shelter?

"Keep me safe O God, for I have come to you for refuge." – Psalm 16:1

Living in Grace

Monday 19 March 2012

Desperate to read the Bible

In preparing for the message on Sunday I came across this story - it really hit home to me. I have so many opportunities and resources to read the Bible, but do I always make the most of them? Read this story and see what it says to you:

A man in Kansas City was severely injured in an explosion. Evangelist Robert L. Sumner tells about him in his book The Wonders of the Word of God. The victim's face was badly disfigured, and he lost his eyesight as well as both hands. He was just a new Christian, and one of his greatest disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible. Then he heard about a lady in England who read braille with her lips. Hoping to do the same, he sent for some books of the Bible in braille. Much to his dismay, however, he discovered that the nerve endings in his lips had been destroyed by the explosion. One day, as he brought one of the braille pages to his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised characters and he could feel them. Like a flash he thought, I can read the Bible using my tongue. At the time Robert Sumner wrote his book, the man had "read" through the entire Bible four times.

Let's not assume that we will always have the time, resources or opportunity to read the Scriptures. Let's make TODAY count.

Living in Grace

Saturday 17 March 2012

Today in the world

Today (17th March) the Irish celebrate St Patrick's day. Besides all the consumption of Guinness, I hope that some people remember that Saint Patrick also had a massive influence in bringing Christianity to Ireland. He was creative in his teaching style - legend says that he used a Shamrock (similar to a 3 leafed clover) to explain the Trinity to his congregation.

May God be real to you today. Look out for God's messages in and through Creation.

Living in Grace

Thursday 15 March 2012

The inspiration

The Bible inspires me. There is so much hidden wisdom, truth and guidance in the Bible - it may take us a life time to discover it all.

"All great spiritual movements among the people of God have come about through a revival of Bible Study." - Vernon McGee

"Everything in the Sacred Book shines and glistens, even in its outer shell. But the marrow of it is sweeter. If you want the kernel, you must break through." - St Jerome

How is your Biblical adventure going?
Living in Grace

Wednesday 14 March 2012


How often have you woken up in the middle of the night and felt troubled by something? I am talking about the kind of thing that keeps you awake for a long time. What do you do when this happens?

Do you try and work it out in your mind?
Do you try and count sheep?
Do you get up and pace around the house?
Do you pray?

Jesus invites us to give Him all our cares - we should trust him at his word.

Also remember that a lot of what we worry about may not even come to pass.

"Of all your troubles, great and small, the greatest are the ones that don't happen at all." - Thomas Carlyle

Living in Grace

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Calvin's challenge

I am often inspired by the many men and women of faith who have gone before us. We live in a time when we need good Spiritual role models - one can't go wrong by looking at the courageous believers of the Reformation period. Reading about the life of John Calvin this week, I have been impacted by his desire to serve God with all he had. May you be blessed through some of his thoughts...

"There is no worse screen to block out the Spirit than confidence in our own intelligence.

“Let us not cease to do the utmost, that we may incessantly go forward in the way of the Lord; and let us not despair of the smallness of our accomplishments.”

“Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a day; set him on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.”

“We should ask God to increase our hope when it is small, awaken it when it is dormant, confirm it when it is wavering, strengthen it when it is weak, and raise it up when it is overthrown.” 

May God speak to you through one of these quotes today.

Living in Grace

Monday 12 March 2012

We are God's

We can't give God only a part of our lives - it is all or nothing. However, we spend all of our lives wrestling with surrendering every part of our being to God's will and purpose. John Calvin was obedient to God and these words sum up his attitude:

"We are not our own: let not our reason nor our will, therefore sway our plans and deeds. 
We are not our own: let us therefore not set it as our goal to seek what is expedient for us according to the flesh.
We are not our own: insofar as we can, let us therefore forget ourselves and all that is ours.

Conversely, we ARE God's: let us therefore live for him and die for him.
We ARE God's: let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions.
We ARE God's: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal."

Remember that WE ARE GOD'S in the first place. It is up to us to surrender to his will and plans for our lives.

Living in Grace

Sunday 11 March 2012

I get it!

It sometimes happens that God speaks loudly to us - not audibly, but through His Word or through circumstances. It is never a coincidence when God sends the same Scripture passage to you, more than once and through difference sources.

The reading for today, in our 40 Days in the Word series, is James 2:17.
I visited a friends Church this morning, as I was asked to 'Crit' his progress in the ministry - one of the verses he used in his sermon was ... James 2:17.

Curious to know what it is?

"In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."

What does this say to you?

Living in Grace

Saturday 10 March 2012

Joshua's party

Time flies doesn't it? It seems like yesterday that our little baby came into the world - today he turned 4. He is slowly changing into an extremely independent child - full of life and adventure. Josh asked for a Pirate party and that's what he had. It is fun sharing parties with your kids. I feel blessed today.

Count your blessings.
Name them one by one.
See all that God has done.

Be blessed.
Living in Grace


Thursday 8 March 2012

Prayer for you

I shared with my students on Monday about the life of Ulrich Zwingli, one of the Reformers of the sixteenth century. Like most of his contemporaries, Zwingli was a man of courage, faith and zeal. He paid the highest price for his Christian ideals. Here is a moving prayer of his:

"Almighty, eternal and merciful God, whose Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, open and illuminate our minds, that we may purely and perfectly understand thy Word and that our lives may be conformed to what we have rightly understood, that in nothing we may be displeasing unto thy majesty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Now, that's a prayer worth praying often.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Love all people

So often our religious beliefs can make us unloving towards other people. Perhaps the most common animosity in our modern world is between Christians and Muslims. We can so easily slip into a judgemental spirit, without remembering that God has a heart for all people and that we are called to love everyone.

I learnt a valuable lesson this morning. I was driving the kids to school when a Muslim family (in the car next door) waved to get my attention. I looked across to see what they wanted, and they pointed to my left hand tyre - it was half flat and I hadn't noticed. I was grateful to them for their thoughtfulness and I immediately pulled into a garage and had it seen too.

As Christians, we need to help our fellow believers, but we also need to reach out to all people. Love should be something we share with everyone.

Any thoughts?

Living in Grace

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Celebrating with you

In our men's accountability group this morning we were challenged to celebrate the achievements of others. Often we struggle to recognise the good in others and before we can genuinely say "well done" to someone else, we go through mixed emotions. Part of us struggles with a little jealousy or even a little insecurity - perhaps if I celebrate your victory, I may not be noticed anymore...

Our inspiration for celebrating with others should be Christ's attitude of humility:

Philippians 2:3-5
"Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had."

Celebrate with someone today.

Living in Grace

Monday 5 March 2012

Interrupted by God

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.” -  Dietrich Bonhoeffer
May God interrupt us with his love and grace today.
Living in Grace

Sunday 4 March 2012

Do all you can

If you want a challenge for this week, then take a look at these words from John Wesley. Think of how different our lives would be if we could put this into practise.
“Do all the good you can, 
by all the means you can, 
in all the ways you can,
in all the places you can, 
at all the times you can, 
to all people you can, 
as long as ever you can.” - John Wesley

Try it - I dare you.

Living in Grace

Thursday 1 March 2012

Running in the train

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of my "heroes" in the faith (I know I not supposed to have Christian heroes, but I find his work inspiring). He once wrote:

"If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction. " - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

How simple, yet profound is that?! 
Many people have "boarded" the wrong train in life and think that if they run faster along the corridor they will get somewhere. How wrong can we be? We will still end up at the wrong destination.

Which train have you boarded? Is it going in the right direction?

Living in Grace


We all need reminding at times. We set reminders on our phones, in our diaries, on the fridge or even by trying a piece of string to the front-door (in days before cell-phones:)

So here is a reminder for you.

1 John 3:1 - See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!

If you had forgotten this promise then please write it on your forehead!

If you have joined us on the Challenge this year, remember that we choose a day to Pray and Fast, as well as setting the goal of reading through the Bible. Hope it is all going well.

Grace and Peace.