Sunday 29 April 2012

Growth is not optional

If we follow Jesus Christ, then we need to realise that Spiritual growth is not an option for us - it is mandatory. Once the spirit of Christ dwells within us, God wants to nurture that 'seed of faith' and allow it to blossom and grow. However, we need to do our part too. A seed won't grow if it is placed away from the sun, water and warmth. It is our task then, to make sure that we work alongside God in putting ourselves in the right place for growth to take place.

I have known people who have blamed God for their lack of growth and spiritual development, but they haven't bothered going to church or Cell group for months. God can't make the seed grow in a vacuum. We need to nurture the seed of faith in our lives - God will make it grow.

If you have a moment, read 2 Peter 1:5-9 again.

Living in Grace

Saturday 28 April 2012

Is your foot stuck?

Can you picture driving through town and somehow your foot gets stuck on the accelerator? Your levels of panic would drastically escalate when you realise that there are loads of cars and people in front of you. If you can't get your foot off the accelerator you will either kill yourself or lots of other people (or both).

This is the sad reality for many of us in our daily lives. We embrace the "drug" of rushing and busyness. In doing this, many of us have not realised that our feet are stuck to the accelerator. We can't stop or perhaps don't want to slow down. But, we need to be wary that soon we face disaster. This is why we should embrace moments like this long weekend - they are gifts for us to slow down - to catch our breath.

"A stuck accelerator has huge implications for my soul... Hurry is a devious soul enemy. Incessant activity will drain us. In our rush to accomplish much and live to the fullest, we rob ourselves of some of life's richest moments." - Lance Witt

So, here is a little advice. Take a breath, pray this prayer and close your eyes for 1 minute. I trust you will feel a difference.

"Dear God, forgive my rushed spirit. My busyness has become a drug. I can find excuses as to why I am so busy and I can even blame other people, but in truth, I need to take responsibility for my own decisions. Please restore my soul with your peace and your overwhelming calm. I need you at the centre of my life and when I rush around I lose track of your voice. Come, Spirit of Jesus, and fill me again. Amen."

Living in Grace

Thursday 26 April 2012

TV aerial

Do you have a TV aerial or dish at home?
Do you have a TV?

This may seem like a silly question, because most of us who have a TV will have either an aerial or a dish - it's pretty obvious. However, it seems that it isn't like this all over the world! Michael Cassidy shared a powerful story of how a village in South America had many TV aerials, even though the community was dirt poor. When Michael asked his interpreter why the villagers could afford TV's, but not food and clothes, he was told:
"TV is a huge status symbol in this community. If you are thought to own a TV, then people think you have made it. Most people save up money to buy an aerial first, so that others 'think' they have a TV, but in fact most people don't even own one."

How true is this story of our lives too? We try to pretend that we have everything all together or that we are religious or that we have money, but we are actually hiding the truth. In the end, no matter what 'aerials' we may put up to lie to others, God knows our hearts.

Perhaps it's time to get honest with Jesus. I am just saying....

Living in Grace


I know that bad news sells newspapers, but I am tired of driving past depressing headlines. And what is even more bleak, is that it seems as if they are getting worse. I know that I can't change the headlines, but I believe I can take some responsibility in feeding my spirit with good news.

If there is plenty of evil out in the world, then I must hope that there is even more good - I want to hear more messages of hope, rather than stories that make me feel depressed.

As I write these words, I am even more convinced that our planet needs to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. We can never hear enough of Hope, Peace, Love and Joy.

Any thoughts?

Living in Grace

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Another Coincidence

On Sunday evening, Michael Cassidy shared the story of Brother Lawrence (1614 - 1691), who tried to pray or 'practise the presence of God' in every situation he found himself - even whilst pealing potatoes. I love Lawrence's testimony - it inspires me to pray whenever I can and it teaches me that prayer doesn't have to be 'religious' in order to be sincere.

Anyway, here is the coincidence. My daily devotion on Monday morning (Our Daily Bread) was on 1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Pray without ceasing. Guess who was mentioned in the devotion? Yip, Brother Lawrence! How awesome it that? God obviously wanted me to hear something important and so he repeated it for me - twice in 2 days.

Now, all I need to do is listen and then act.

What do you think?
I would love to hear some of your thoughts - I haven't heard from a few of you for ages - come on, share your pearls of wisdom with us....

Living in Grace

Monday 23 April 2012

Conquering Inner Space

This past weekend has been an awesome experience for me. Our Choose Life ministry weekend was such a blessing and God moved in a powerful way. I think I may jot down a few of the highlights in a couple of posts today and tomorrow.

Michael Cassidy made a comment last night, that made an impression on me. He said something like, "Man has gone to great lengths to try and conquer Outer-Space, but we are yet to conquer our Inner-Space." It is true that we will do anything to try and make our lives feel significant, yet the greatest thing we could ever do is to allow God to have control of our lives. When Jesus is invited into our lives, that's when we see the miraculous take place.

Only try to conqueror the world when you have allowed Jesus to win you over.

Living in Grace

Thursday 19 April 2012

Beginning again

Be willing to be a beginner every single morning - Meister Eckhart

"This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."- Psalm 118:24

Start afresh.
God loves a clean slate to write his words upon our heart.

Living in Grace

Ready to Live

We are always getting ready to live, but never LIVING - Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is interesting that Jesus speaks a lot about Life and Living. He wants us to live the Abundant Life he has promised to us (John 10:10). He wants us to experience this NOW, not tomorrow or next year.... Now.

Don't get ready for life, just start living it.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Inspired by others

Irenaeus, one of the Teachers of the early church remembered a time when his great mentor, Polycarp, spoke of hearing John (the disciple) speak. Wow, can you imagine that? Being a generation away from the disciples and being mentored by someone who had seen them? That would be great.

We can be inspired by the testimony of others, but we also have the Holy Spirit within us. God is close to us - he is only a prayer away. We may wish for mentors like John, but we have the greatest mentor in the Spirit of God.

“The glory of God is a human being fully alive; and to be alive consists in beholding God.”
Saint Irenaeus 

“Error never shows itself in its naked reality, in order not to be discovered. On the contrary, it dresses elegantly, so that the unwary may be led to believe that it is more truthful than truth itself.”- Irenaus

Please pray for our Choose Life ministry weekend. Pray for our speakers and especially for Michael Cassidy who is sharing with us at all of our Sunday services this week.

God bless
Living in Grace

Monday 16 April 2012

Charting a course

"We do not understand the intricate pattern of the stars in their courses, but we know that He who created them does, and that just as surely as He guides them, He is charting a safe course for us." - Billy Graham

Who is charting your life?
God or yourself?

 It may be time to trust God to chart a safe course for us.

Living in Grace

Sunday 15 April 2012

The Titanic, Legacy and Perspective

One Hundred years ago the "unsinkable" Titanic sank. However, the legacy of this ship lives on and we are still intrigued about the events that surrounded the final moments of the passengers and the ship. What is it about the Titanic that it still captures our imaginations and how long will it's Legacy live on for? In truth, I don't know how long it's Legacy will continue for, but I guess it will fade over the centuries.

But here is an interesting perspective - isn't it amazing that Jesus lived 2000 years ago and His Legacy continues to live on? There seems to be no end to the 'gospel story', that has captured the hearts and spirits of billions of people. This reinforces for me, that Jesus was no ordinary person - he had to be the Son of God. No ordinary person can leave a mark on the world, 2000 years after they last walked on the earth.

Any thoughts?

Living in Grace

Friday 13 April 2012

Handel's Messiah

On this day (13th April) 1742, Handel's Messiah was first performed in Dublin as an oratorio for Lent. Some years later it moved from it's Easter performances to it's place in our Advent experience. I have always linked it in with Christmas, so I was surprised to learn of it's connection with Lent.

Observation: when we do things for God, we should never dictate to Him how and where our gifts should be used. Let's do all we can for God and allow Him to bring Glory to His name.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 11 April 2012

The Presence of Christ

One of the biggets gifts of the Resurrection is that we get to enjoy the presence of Christ with us on a daily (and permanent) basis. May this knowledge sink into our spirit's and bring us great joy.

Remember this:
"Joy is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ." - William Vader Haven

Christ is with you.
Believe it!

Living in Grace

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Disorientated by Joy

There have been times in my life where I have been disorientated by stress, fear and even despair. Sadly, these times have far exceeded the number of times I have been 'disorientated by joy'. I am not sure if you know what I mean - where joy overwhelms your senses to the point where you lose track of time and place.

I think the Resurrection must have been such a moment for the disciples. The appearances of Jesus must have left them reeling in such an amazing way, that perhaps they lost track of time for a few moments.

"And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement..." - Luke 24:44

I am sure that they kept saying - "I can't believe it! I can't believe it! Jesus is back from the dead."
Joy and amazement left them unable to comprehend what was happening - disorientated by Joy.

May God fill you with Joy today

Living in Grace

Monday 9 April 2012

Hands that bring change

God's hands can bring about change. Just when we think that all is lost, we must remember that God can do anything. Don't be too dispondent. Don't give up.

"The disciples had seen the strong hands of God twist the crown of thorns into a crown of glory, and in hands as strong as that they knew themselves safe..." - Dorothy Sayers

You are safe in the hands of God.

Living in Grace

Saturday 7 April 2012

Plant the Cross

The Cross was planted into the ground at Golgotha. The soldiers made sure that the holes were deep enough, so that the crosses would take the weight of a man. I wonder if they had to dig a deeper hole for Jesus' cross? After all the cross was not just carry his weight, but also the burden of my sin and yours - it must have been a deep, deep hole.

"As you gaze upon the cross, and long for conformity to him, be not weary or fearful because you cannot express in words what you seek. Ask him to plant the cross in your heart. Believe in him, the crucified and now living one, to dwell within you, and breathe his own mind there." - Andrew Murray

Thank you Jesus for being willing to carry the burden on my sin. I am forever indebted to you. May my life reflect my love for you.

Living in Grace

Thursday 5 April 2012

God's thirst

"How do you approach the thirst of Jesus? Only one secret - the closer you come to Jesus, the better you will know His thirst. Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor - He knows your weakness, He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you." - Mother Teresa

Is it possible that when Jesus said on the cross, "I am thirsty" that he was speaking of his thirst to love us and to pour out his grace upon us?

Just wondering?!

Living in Grace

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Choose Life

In Deuteronomy 30:19, Moses reminds us that we have choice to make in all aspects of our lives. He urges us to CHOOSE LIFE. This great challenge is going to be the theme of our Mission weekend from the 20-22 April 2012. If you would like to know more details about what's happening please check out this link

Just in case you can't click on that link, here is a brief overview:

Friday Evening - Arise Band, with Matt Lewis sharing a message - 7pm
Saturday Morning - Breakfast with Aaron McILroy (Comedian) - 8am (there is a cost for this event and booking essential)
Sunday services - Michael Cassidy will be sharing with us and the Fox-Fire Ministry team will be meeting with the kids at the Family service.

If you can't be with us, please pray for the whole weekend. We would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Living in Grace

God knows

"The Passion of Christ is comfort for us.
He comforts us readily and kindly and says:
All will be well, and every kind of thing will be well."
- Julian of Norwich

We shared in a very difficult funeral this morning. It was hard to find words to express comfort to the family, especially considering the tradegy of the young woman's death. In the end, the best thing we could do was to remind them of Jesus' love and his death on the Cross. Our God knows what it is like to suffer loss and to grieve. Holy Week is another reminder that despite our pain and despair, Jesus understands and that in the end 'all can be well.'

Be blessed and don't forget to show your love to those nearest to you.

Living in Grace

Sunday 1 April 2012

Palm Sunday's message for you

We have all had Palm Sunday moments in our lives - tasting the applause of the crowds, feeling the glow of appreciation - basically, basking in life. We are all happy to enjoy these moments, but when our 'Palm Sunday' quickly moves to the betrayal of the cross, we are not so chuffed anymore. However, our litmus test comes in how we handle the changes in our lives. Do we give up, or can we see God's bigger picture in these situations.

"Practically everyone has known the taste of Palm Sunday, the sweetness of success and popularity, and nearly all of us have tasted the bitterness of Good Friday, of failure and rejection. What saves us from an endless round of ups and downs, what frees us from the tyranny of events over which we have no control is our commitment to press forward in obedience to God -it is trust in God's love to bring about Easter morning, - knowing that the meaning of life is to be found in the knowledge and love of God,- and in sharing that knowledge and love with those who accompany us on the way." - Rev. Richard J. Fairchild

Living in Grace