Wednesday 29 August 2012

Hope > Fear

In the movie, The Hunger Games, President Snow remarks that "Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear." 
I agree, except that I would add 'Faith' and 'Love' to the list too.
Faith, Hope and Love will always be stronger than fear.

Perhaps Paul's use of words in 1 Corinthians 13:13 reinforces this too:

"Now these 3 remain, Faith, Hope and Love. But the greatest of these is Love."

If you are experiencing some moments of fear in your life, reach out to God and remember that God's Hope is always greater than your fear.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Twelve 12

"Be joyful in Hope
Patient in affliction
Faithful in Prayer." - Romans 12:12

So which do you need to focus on today?

Identify one and then ask God to speak into your life today.

Living in Grace

Monday 27 August 2012

Words to encourage you

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself,
"The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him... 
- Lamentations 3:22-25

Just thought that we needed to be reminded of this verse today.
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Living in Grace

Sunday 26 August 2012

What will I keep?

In preparation for sharing in today's sermon on being Generous Christians, I stumbled across these 2 quotes. Both challenge me to be more generous with all that God has blessed me with:

  • ·      “We ask how much a man gives; Christ asks how much he keeps.” – Andrew Murray
  •  ·     Paul Rees – “Stewardship is not leaving a tip on God’s tablecloth.” 
What do you think?

May God bless you today 

Living in Grace

Saturday 25 August 2012


When we consider how blessed we are, it makes us blush that we so easily complain about the "things" we wish we had. Besides the obvious material things that one accumulates, we are abundantly blessed by the grace of God (2 Corinthians 9:6-15). But why did God choose to bless us so much? Was it because he wanted us to become self-centred and self-reliant? I doubt it!

I believe God blesses us, in order that, we may bless others. As someone wisely said: "Your overflow is someone else’s necessity.”

Please consider how you might allow your overflow to bless the lives of others - that is in all things. Your gifts, your talents, your time and your resources.

Living in Grace

Friday 24 August 2012

Hearing Great Things

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know - Jeremiah 33:3

This is an amazing promise from God - that when we call to God (i.e. pray) he promises to answer us and to reveal Great things to us. That sounds incredible - perhaps we should give God a chance to speak to us?

"No one can believe how powerful prayer is and what it can effect, except those who have learned it by experience." - Martin Luther

We are hosting a Day of Prayer on Sunday (26th) - please join us in praying for the many needs in our world. Pray from where you are. Thanks...

Living in Grace

Wednesday 22 August 2012

God knows

I have heard it said in passing conversations, "God knows when that will happen..."
The context of these words haven't been 'Christian' and so the phrase 'God knows' is almost blasphemous. However, even in a 'throw away' comment, people are speaking some kind of theology (even if they are oblivious to it).

It is true, God does know. God knows everything. As David wrote, "He knows when I sit and when I rise" (Psalm 139). God knows when a sparrow falls to the ground and when someone we love is sick. God knows when the world will end and God knows us all by name.
God knows...

If you are beginning to lose your faith in God's answer to prayers - don't be discouraged....

Living in Grace

Monday 20 August 2012

Helen Keller's inspirational words

Helen Keller certainly had to endure enough suffering in her life - she went blind and deaf at 19 months old. If you have forgotten her story, then please read it here.

She wisely once remarked:
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved." 

Sometimes I need to be reminded that my struggle may seem bad, but it is not as bad as someone elses. If people like Helen Keller have the resolve to allow suffering to make her stronger, then we could do the same.

Paul suggested a similar thing in Romans 5:2-5
"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

Living in Grace

Saturday 18 August 2012


We decided to take the boys to the Circus today - it is the first time I have been in over 30 years -  and it was great fun. Watching through the eyes of the kids was fantastic - it made it even more special.

What I find strange is that we still refer to this fun and entertainment as the 'Circus' - which is the same name given to the games in Rome in the 1st Century. At those events Christians were thrown to the lions and people laughed at that as 'entertainment' - thankfully humanity has changed a little since then...

...or have we?
Taking note of the senseless killings at the Lonmin mine this week, perhaps we are still struggling with sin and our evil human nature.

Friends, we don't need a ringmaster or leader - We need a Saviour!

Living in Grace

Thursday 16 August 2012


Josh wanted to know if, when he was in Kim's tummy, he had his favourite blankie with him. We had a quiet chuckle and told him that he was very happy in mom's tummy and that he only got attached to his blankie when he was a baby. He battled to process this, but we think he got it in the end.

Why is it that we get attached to things so easily? Things that we may not need, but things that give us comfort or peace of mind.

Do we depend on God as much as we depend on these other things?

"Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God." - Isaiah 50:10

Living in Grace

Wednesday 15 August 2012


"It does not take a perfect church to introduce a man to the Perfect Christ." - Richard Woodsome

I have been part of a number of different Churches during my ministry - all of them have been great, in their own way. However, not one of them has been perfect! I am certain that there is no such thing as a 'perfect church' - there just can't be, because Churches are made up of people like me and you - imperfect.

However, what I have found is that, in each church, people have met Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. They have encountered the perfect Christ. That's what really counts - meeting Jesus.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 14 August 2012

In what?

Many of us have come across this Scripture before:

"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:6-10

Now read it again, but taking note of the phrase "in Christ"It is repeated 3 times in this passage, so clearly Paul wanted us to note something about it. For me, it reminds me that I can do nothing worthwhile or eternal unless I do it "in Christ". I can do a lot of things IN.... Church, Culture, Society, Family, Fun, and so on, but they will only be temporary. When we do things 'In Christ' there is true power and legacy.

Please remember to support the African Enterprise Mission Week. It has started in Pietermaritzburg and will be carrying on all week. Get to a venue near you for 7pm meetings - If you are needing to reconnect with God then don't miss out on these meetings please. We are attending the events hosted at the NG Kerk Hayfields this week. 

Living in Grace

Monday 13 August 2012

Jesus Creed

As a Jew, Jesus would have prayed the Shema on a daily basis. This is taken from Deuteronomy 6:4

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

He would have also known the words of Leviticus 19: 18 - “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

So when he was asked about the Greatest commandment, Jesus added these 2 commands together and came up with the essence of all the Law and sayings of the Prophets - read it in Matthew 22:37-39. This is the new Creed he would have encouraged his disciples to prayer. 

Our mandate is to pray the same prayer - Love God, Love Others.

Why don't we allow this to be our prayer this week. 
"Lord, help me to love you and to love others."

Living in Grace

Sunday 12 August 2012

Jesus knew his Maths

Jesus knew his maths. He knew that if we had no love in our lives, then we would amount to nothing. A life minus love for others, ends up counting for zero. Rick Warren sums it up best when he writes:

Life minus Love = Zero  

If there is no love in what you do today, is the outcome really going to count? I am just asking...

Living in Grace

Saturday 11 August 2012

Don't wait 4 years

The Olympic hype and fan-fare is almost over. I will miss watching some amazing sport and can't wait for Rio 2016. What has been a real sober reminder for me, this Olympics, has been the athletes who have just missed out on a medal. Training for years and years and coming in the dreaded 4th place must be hugely gut-wrenching. I suppose that for some athletes, this motivates them even more, while for others, it signifies the end of a dream.

In your faith journey, please don't wait another 4 years before you try and "run the race." God has called us to be faithful and to persevere. That means being Christians who are disciplined all year round. How is your spiritual preparation going? Are you competing to the best of your ability?

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." - Hebrews 12:1

Live in God's Grace

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Some thoughts

"When I read that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, it was as if day suddenly broke on a dark night." - Thomas Bliney

"The God of the Resurrection is awake all the time..." - George MacDonald

If you living near Pietermaritzburg, please remember the African Enterprise Mission Week starting from the 12-18th August. Services will be taking place all over Pietermaritzburg.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 7 August 2012


This past weekend I decided to clean some of our fence, as we started to notice a bit of rust showing. So we needed to sand down the particular areas and then paint the Anti-rust onto the fence. What shocked me was how the original paint covered up some of the rust. If we hadn't spotted it now, the fence would have become a lot worse -  and quickly.

Here was my thought: Is this how our spiritual lives have become? Rusted underneath, but covered with a little paint. If we don't pay attention to the Godly areas in our lives, then soon things will begin to fall apart. Sure the outside veneer may give others a false impression for a while, but soon the 'rust' will give us away.

Isn't it time, you did a little anti-rusting of your own? Ask God to help you in this.

Matthew 6:20 - Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy...

Living in Grace

Monday 6 August 2012

Little bits of good

Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. - Desmond Tutu

We mustn't get caught up in the trap of thinking that we need to go to the 'ends of the earth' to make a difference. Jesus didn't travel far from his birth-place, yet he changed the world forever! This is why I love Desmond Tutu's quote (above), because it reminds us that if we live worthy lives where we are, we will make an enormous difference in our world.

Psalm 58:11 - "“There truly is a reward for those who live for God..."

Living in God's grace

Sunday 5 August 2012

Tiki Gelana

Tiki Gelana won the women's Olympic marathon this afternoon. What was amazing about her win was that she fell in the middle of the race and could have contemplated stopping. However, she didn't quit and she bravely ran to win a gold medal.

When life knocks you to your knees, don't quit. Pray, get up and carry on. May God bless you with grace and strength.

"We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed." - 2 Corinthians 4:9

Living in Grace

Thursday 2 August 2012

Praying when you don't feel like it

I have found that preparing for our series on Prayer that my own prayer life has been greatly challenged. One can't pray enough, I guess.

The trouble with most of us is that we tend to think that praying is based on our emotions - in other words, if I feel like praying, then I will. If I don't feel in the mood, then I don't. Obviously, this is not great 'prayer theology' is it? I mean, if love was only based on mood swings and feelings, there would be even less 'love' around.

"When we feel least like praying is the time when we most need to pray." - R.A. Torrey

So, please pray today - even if you don't feel like it. I am convinced that Jesus wants to spend some time with you.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 1 August 2012


If you want to read a great piece on our new South African hero, Chad Le Clos, please read my friend Tyron's post. It's great.

In response to the applause that the Olympic athletes are receiving, here is a great Psalm, which gives God the Praise that He deserves.

"Applause, everyone. Bravo, bravissimo! Shout God-songs at the top of your lungs! God Most High is stunning, astride land and ocean. He crushes hostile people, puts nations at our feet. He set us at the head of the line, prize-winning Jacob, his favorite. Loud cheers as God climbs the mountain, a ram's horn blast at the summit. Sing songs to God, sing out! Sing to our King, sing praise! He's Lord over earth, so sing your best songs to God. God is Lord of godless nations— sovereign, he's King of the mountain. Princes from all over are gathered, people of Abraham's God. The powers of earth are God's— he soars over all." - Psalm 47 (Message)

Next time we clap for the Athletes let's send up an extra round of Applause for God.

Living in Grace