Thursday 31 January 2013

The Hour that changes everything

The Hour that changes everything is a book written by John van de Laar. In this great book, John challenges us to contemplate why and how we worship God, and how our worship changes our lives.
If worship is just a selfish attempt to feel good, then we really are missing the whole point. John writes:
“We strive for worship to transform us so that we live lifestyles of Christ-likeness.” 

If we see the Sunday gathering as just an hour to check in with God, then we miss the real power in our worship. Worship services can change our lives and ultimately change the way we live for Jesus.

We are privileged to have John sharing at our services on Sunday, as well as leading a worship workshop for our local Circuit. John will also be speaking at a Youth Event on Friday, as well as sharing his testimony at our men's breakfast on Saturday. Join us if you can - every event is free:)

Living in Grace

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Obstacles or NO

When we face obstacles in our lives one of the hardest things to discern is, whether this is God's answer of 'No' or whether this is just an obstacle to grow our faith. Each situation is different and should be prayed about separately, but we should recognise that God can say 'WAIT' or even 'NO.'
He may have put an obstacle in our way for a very good reason.

In my devotion this morning, the Our Daily Bread included the story of Balaam (Numbers 22) and this great quote:

"Balaam's story teaches us that not every obstacle is meant to be overcome. Some are placed by God to keep us from doing something foolish. When our plans are hindered, we shouldn't assume that it is satan trying to stop us. IT MIGHT BE GOD TRYING TO PROTECT US."

Pray for wisdom, my friends.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Born on this day...

It is believed that Thomas Aquinas was born on the 28 January 1225 AD. He was later declared a Saint, although some could argue that point. On the whole he contributed so much to the formation of our Christian Theology and faith. He was a prolific writer and some of his famous words include:

"If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. "
"There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship."
Enjoy these quotes and be blessed today.

Why not pray this Scripture verse throughout the day... 

Psalm 27:4-5 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.  For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.

Living in Grace

Monday 28 January 2013

Phone, Facebook and Twitter

I stumbled across this inspiring quote today. It made me smile, but I fully appreciate the serious truth in these words.

God has no phone, but I still talk to him.
He has no Facebook, but I am still his friend.
He doesn't have Twitter, but I still follow Him.

Do you own a phone?  
Are you still talking with God?

Are you on Facebook?
Would you include God as one of your friends - bear in mind that all your Facebook friends would then read Jesus' posts too?

Do you Tweet?  
Would you be happy to allow God to follow you and read your Tweets?

(if you are not on Facebook or Twitter, then ask your grandchildren to help with my last 2 thoughts:)

Worth thinking about!

Be blessed

Living in Grace

Sunday 27 January 2013

I can't decide for you

I can't make a decision for you - you will have to step up and make a decision by yourself. 
I am talking about choosing to follow God in 2013. 
Jesus invites us all to join him and to be part of his movement, but he never forces us to reply to the invitation.

Even though I may not be able to decide for you, I need to tell you that I have chosen to follow Jesus...God can count me in. 

We have chosen to echo the words of Joshua - 

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” - Joshua 24:15

Let me know what your decision is sometime....thanks.

"To follow Jesus implies that we enter into a way of life that is given character and shape and direction by the one who calls us. To follow Jesus means picking up rhythms and ways of doing things that are often unsaid but always derivative from Jesus, formed by the influence of Jesus. To follow Jesus means that we can't separate what Jesus is saying from what Jesus is doing and the way that he is doing it. To follow Jesus is as much, or maybe even more, about feet as it is about ears and eyes" - The Way of Jesus, Eugene H. Peterson.

Living in Grace

Saturday 26 January 2013

Follow where God leads

What are you focusing on at the moment? It we have nothing to keep us focussed then there is a strong chance we will go off course. And then when God calls us to follow in a particular direction we may be reluctant to obey.

"Those who catch the vision are ready to follow the Lamb wherever He leads, and as they follow, in this spirit of joyful adventure, their path becomes clear before them and they are given power to fulfill their high calling.” - Amy Carmichael

May God grant you power to follow His leading and to fulfil his calling for your life.

Living in Grace

Thursday 24 January 2013

The heat is on....

With the ridiculous heat wave we have been facing in Pietermaritzburg today (over 40 degrees) I felt we needed a few 'heat' quotes to mull over:

"One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat. " - Woodrow Wilson

"I think it's really great when you stand up for something that you really believe, even if you get heat for it." - Christina Aguilera

  • Psalm 32:4 - "For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer."
But with God there is help in the times of 'heat...
  • Isaiah 25:4  - You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.
May you know the refreshing presence of Jesus in your life...
Living in Grace

Wednesday 23 January 2013

I Promise

We have all been let down by broken promises before - the pain may even still linger with some of us. After all when someone says, "I promise you", we tend to believe them, especially if they are family or close friends.

Have you ever stopped to think how God may feel when we break our promise to Him? Does God just laugh it off, or is there a little stab of pain in His chest too?

This Sunday, we are inviting our community to renew our promises (Covenant) with God. It is usually a special time of reflecting on our faith and relationship with Jesus. Reaffirming our Covenant with God means consciously choosing to re-commit my life to God. It doesn't have to mean that I have drifted off the path or that I am in a desert place, but it is a glorious opportunity to say to Jesus..... "I DO!"

"Losers make promises they often break. Winners make commitments they always keep." -
Denis Waitley

May you renew your promises to God on a daily basis.

 Please feel free to respond to any of the posts - I love getting feedback - some of you have been far too quiet lately:)

Living in Grace

Tuesday 22 January 2013

There is always something

It has been almost a year since we moved into our our home. It has been a wonderful and blessed time for us - my home is my castle! But, as you are aware, there is always something that needs to be done around the house. I doubt whether I will ever finish all the small things that need to be done.

When we move into our new Spiritual homes, the same is also true. I am a constant work in progress and the Holy Spirit is not finished with me yet. I think that i am God's long term project. We must allow God to do his work in us, as he has in mind the perfect picture of how our lives should be.

May God change us into His likeness on a daily basis.

Living in grace

Sunday 20 January 2013


This morning we had the privilege of sharing in the induction of Collin Moore at Wesley. Our Superintendent minister, Adrian Roux gave a fitting charge to Collin and challenge to our community. One of the scriptures Adrian used, was:

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

We can see so many things changing around us, but we must never forget that Jesus Christ remains unchanged. Amongst other things, this means that God's grace, mercy, compassion, justice, truth, love and peace continue to be revealed in our generation.

May you be aware of Gods' unchanging love today.


Saturday 19 January 2013

One step

Take the first step friend. That's what God requires of us - take the first step to respond to His great love. We don't have to have "it" all figured out from the beginning, but we must have the courage to act in faith. Stepping out of the 'boat of comfort' is hard, but so life-changing.

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. "
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Is God calling you to move your feet?

I am just asking.....

Living in Grace

Friday 18 January 2013

Faith in 3 words

It is hard to express our faith sometimes, but perhaps, at other times, we try and over-complicate things. Describing some of the aspects of faith, in as few words as possible, could prove tricky.

However, here is my attempt for this morning.


"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and 
wonderfully made." - Psalm 139:13-14

May God remind you today that you are his beloved creation.

Living in Grace

Thursday 17 January 2013

14 year journey begins

If I asked you to embark upon a 14 year journey, you would probably think I was mad. Who would want to travel for that long in any case? Yet, today we celebrated as little Joshua began his 14 year school journey in grade RR at Merchiston. It is going to be a long road for him, but we know that he will do well.

What is interesting is that, as parents, we don't stop our kids from making this long journey, because we feel it may be too tough for them. In fact, we encourage them to go on this educational journey, because it is the best for them. It will give them a head start in life.

How does this compare with our faith? Sometimes we are too lazy, comfortable, non-plussed to make even a 3 month journey in our Christian lives. We feel we haven't got the time to 'do' church or to spend time with God, yet these are all so important for our Spiritual lives.

We are always so willing to go the extra mile for other things in our lives, but God takes a back seat. God will just have to understand how busy we are! I am not so sure that this is the right attitude to have. What are your thoughts?

Have a blessed weekend.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 16 January 2013

God loves each of us

Saint Augustine wrote many amazing works, in his time. His brilliant mind and passion for Jesus shaped the Christian movement of the time. His legacy has been passed onto us, in the form of his words. Here are a few thoughts for today:

  • "God loves each of us as if there were only one of us."
  •  "He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent."
 Both of these quotes remind me of God's unique and overwhelming love for all of us. His grace is awesome. Why don't you chew on these quotes for a few moments and see what God says to you.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Paradox of Life - part 2

Hi friends,

As I promised here is the second part of the poem "The Paradox of Life" - I pray that it is a blessing to you today.

These are the times of fast foods, and slow digestion, big men and small
character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of
two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are
days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night
stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to
quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and
nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to
you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just
hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going
to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to
you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your
side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is
the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but
most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from
deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for
someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to
speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Living in Grace