Thursday 29 August 2013

Fire warning

"If you play with fire, you can expect to get burnt!"

I heard this saying again today and it was pretty good timing. You see the Weather Bureau sent out a Fire warning (today), asking people to be extremely careful with fires - the weather conditions are 'perfect' for fires to spread and cause major destruction.

The Bible can act as a fire warning sometimes too. God shows his care for us, in trying to steer us away from harm. God knows that if we begin to play with 'fire' then there is every chance we are going to get hurt. Sadly, many of us don't listen to his advice and we go ahead with a own plans. In the end, we still come back to God and complain that we got burnt.

"My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight," - Proverbs 5:1

"Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning." - Ecclesiastes 4:13

"To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear." - Jeremiah 6:10

Let's be aware that 'fire' can be a dangerous thing. It can harm us, as well as others we love.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Great God-incidence

I was filling up with Diesel yesterday when the attendant asked me where I worked. I told him that I was a minister and that I worked at Wesley Methodist. My answer sparked off a great conversation - all around the issue of faith and the Bible. He was talking in half Zulu/English and me in half English/Zulu.

He told me that his dad was a leader in his church and then he said that I should read Psalm 1 sometime. As it happens I had my Bible in the car, so I pulled it out and we started reading it together. As this was happening another inquisitive attendant joined us and asked me to explain what the passage meant - it was awesome! The 3 of us talking about God and faith, all while my car was being filled with diesel.

Did I plan to do that - no ways. I was just planning on filling up and then carrying on with my day. But, God decided to bless me and hopefully the two attendants. I certainly left the garage in high spirits and thanked God for "arranging" our little impromptu gathering.

I am reminded that God is always looking for opportunities to use us, even if we don't feel prepared or good enough. It doesn't have to be an event that would make national news, but it DOES matter to God and those involved.

Look out for a "God incidence" today.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Hill 2 Hill

I don't ever do this, but I want to let you know about an awesome project we are supporting. It involves me getting into cycling shorts and trying to ride a bicycle. Here is the story...

...I have joined a crazy group of people (most of us linked in with Wesley Methodist), in a challenge to ride the Hill2Hill mountain bike race on the 14th of September. The challenge is to complete the hectic 45km route (from Cato Ridge to Hillcrest), in aid of a local charity called Eden Kids.

We are hoping to raise enough money for them so that they can continue the great work they do with the children from the 'Jika Joe'  informal settlement. Please visit their website to get a better understanding of who they are and what they do - Joel Ruttenberg is the founder of the Project. You can find them at :

The idea is that each rider raises a minimum of R500 towards the Kids project - in this way we get to bless them and help the ministry. As you know Mountain biking is not my main 'spiritual gift', but I am really keen to help out these kids, so please help us meet our target. I am hoping to raise way more than the minimum amount.

If you would like to make a contribution to Eden Kids, you can do so online at:

Thanks for taking the time to read this - even if you can help with a small amount, that will be much appreciated.
Living in Grace

Monday 26 August 2013


"As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person." (Proverbs 27:19 NLT)

What is your reflection like today? Try and pause for 2 minutes, asking yourself this question:

"If God were checking my heart right now, what state would he find it in?"

Looking at our reflection in a mirror or in some water, reminds us of what we physically look like. Asking God to look at our hearts is a good way of keeping a tab on our spiritual well being. If things aren't too good, then best we make a plan to do something about it!

Live in the Grace of God, but remember that our goal is to be a reflection of our Creator.

Living in Grace,

Thursday 22 August 2013

As the Crow flies

I am sure that you have heard the saying before, "As the crow flies?"
It has come to mean, "the shortest distance between 2 points" and when we use the idiom it usually relates to that. The irony of this saying is that crows don't actually fly as straight as they could - they usually fly in zigzags or arcs, looking for their food. Anyway, regardless of the reliability of this idiom, we still use it and we all understand what it means.

So, when it comes to following Jesus, why do often take the longer route? Why do we choose to go on our own path, when there is a direct route to Him. I think we would save ourselves a lot of time and heartache if we stayed closer to God, instead of marking our own tracks.

So, here is a challenge for all of us today. Take the quickest path to God - don't rely on your own agenda, but trust in God to meet your every need. Let's fly with the crows and rest in the presence of God.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 21 August 2013


Bonaventure was born, Giovanni di Fidanza, and was considered to be one of the Doctor's of the Church. His deep thinking and love for God challenged many people of his generation. It is impressive that his legacy lives on, even today. Most of us will say things that will never be passed onto future generations, but Bonaventure is an example of someone who other people loved to quote. 

Here are a few of his quotes:

When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard more than the proceedings from the mouth.   

Since happiness is nothing other than the enjoyment of the highest good and since the highest good is above, no one can be happy unless he rises above himself, not by an ascent of the body, but of the heart.  
Lord Jesus Christ, pierce my soul with your love so that I may always long for you alone, who are the bread of angels and the fulfillment of the soul's deepest desires. May my heart always hunger for you, so that soul may be filled with the sweetness of your presence.

Three things are necessary to everyone ... truth of faith which brings understanding; love of Christ which brings compassion; endurance of hope which brings perseverance.

I like this last quote the most. May these 3 things bring your joy today - Faith (understanding), Love (compassion) and Hope (perseverance)! 

Living in Grace

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Act like you are in love

                                                                                  "Do not waste time bothering whether you LOVE
your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him." - C.S. Lewis 

Our generation is obsessed with 'feelings' - when we don't feel something, then we think that it is not real. However real Love can never be based on feelings. History reveals that millions of believers died for their faith under massive persecution - did they 'feel' in love with God in the moments before they died? Probably not! Yet, it was their genuine LOVE for God that irked the pagans and their persecutors.

Read C.S. Lewis' quote again and allow it to inspire us to LOVE with sincerity. We have an immense capacity to love - we may even surprise ourselves.

Living in Grace

Monday 19 August 2013

Dealing with disappointment

It is inevitable. You will have to confront this at some stage or another....disappointment! It takes various forms, but usually involves something/someone not meeting our expectations.

Disappointments happen at work, in our homes, in school contexts and even in the Church. When these knocks come from 'strangers' we tend to get over them a little easier, but when people close to us let us down, then the disappointment hurts even more acutely. There are times when these disappointments seem to come from God and they leave us feeling bewildered.

Whatever your disappointments may be, know that Jesus Christ had to deal with his fair share of let downs and hurt. One of the men he chose to be his closest confidant (Judas) betrayed Jesus for a few coins. Some members of his own family misunderstood him at times. The people he initially came to bring the Gospel too, rejected him and plotted to kill him. If anyone understands your pain, it is Jesus.

Paulo Coelho - “When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.” 

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”Alexander Pope

What are you planning to do with your disappointments today?

Living in Grace

Sunday 18 August 2013

Locked up

You have heard the illustration before, but perhaps we need to hear it again. The Law gives us boundaries for faith and life, but when we break the Law, it is almost as if sin keeps us captive. We are held in bondage, with no help in sight. However, that is where Jesus steps in. It is his love and life that break the combination to the 'locks' that sin uses to control us. He sets us free and that is Good News indeed.

22 But the scripture says that the whole world is under the power of sin; and so the gift which is promised on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ is given to those who believe.
23 But before the time for faith came, the Law kept us all locked up as prisoners until this coming faith should be revealed. 24 And so the Law was in charge of us until Christ came, in order that we might then be put right with God through faith.- Galatians 3:22-24

If you are feeling trapped by sin, remember that Jesus has already given us the key to unlock the chains that bind us.

Living in Grace

Thursday 15 August 2013

Leaning into God

Someone once described faith as - “To lean your whole weight upon!” 

I love this definition of faith. It implies that I need to lean into the promises of God and to trust that these promises will hold me in every part of my life. However, it is more than just leaning into a promise, but actually "upon a person" - that person is Jesus.

The more we lean our whole lives upon these promises the more we trust them - it becomes second nature to us then. Then we don't even think twice about trusting God with our problems and issues. 

Why don't you lean into God this morning? Why don't you trust him with your life's decisions and your issues. Give it a try.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 14 August 2013

It's gone public...

When Paul wrote his letter to Titus he makes a big deal of God's forgiveness and grace. God is always ready to give and forgive - the news is now out and we can't keep it secret anymore. Here is what he had to say:

God's readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation's available for everyone! We're being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. (Titus 2:11-14 MSG)

Don't keep it a secret anymore - God's love is public and he is ready to bless.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Danger lurking inside

We came home yesterday to discover that our neighbour's huge tree had just fallen over. It was quite a scary sight, as it covered the whole of his driveway and entrance into his garage. My immediate thought was that it had been the wind that had blown it over, but upon reflection the wind wasn't that strong. As one got closer to the tree you could see that white ants had happily been eating the trunk for ages. It literally got eaten from the inside out and it was the ants that weakened the tree. In the end, all it took was a small gust of wind to blow the whole tree over.

I am sad that this old tree is no more - it look stately and proud. We will miss it. What bothers me even more is whether I am like that tree or not. Are there "things" eating me up inside? Do I dismiss those small "things" that others can't notice, only to have these very things destroy my core?

We need to protect our inner core (spiritual well being), so that nothing can topple us. We may not notice these things at first, but in the end they will harm us.

May God protect your spirit today. Take good care of the small things in your life, so that when the time of testing comes, you can stand strong.

Living in Grace

Monday 12 August 2013

I nearly lost my sole

I nearly lost my sole! Yes, you did read correctly - I spelt "sole" right (I am speaking about the sole of my shoe). The other day we were cycling in the forest near Cascades, when I noticed something was wrong with my shoe - I looked down to realise that the sole of my right shoe had come off. Thankfully I found it and was able to repair it again - now it is as good as new:)

The scary thing is that many of us nearly lose our 'souls' to other things. Work, pride, stress, relationships, stubbornness, poor ethics, bad religious experiences - these can all be contributing factors in destroying the essence of our 'souls.' Sometimes we get to a point where our 'souls' seem beyond repair.

So, how is your soul doing today? What is truly going on deep down in your heart? Please don't allow things to build up and destroy the core of your life. Turn to Christ and ask Jesus to restore your soul.

One can afford to lose a sole, but you can't ever afford to destroy your SOUL!

" that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live." - Deuteronomy 30:6

Living in Grace

Saturday 10 August 2013

Child of the King

It is a tragedy that we have become so blase to this fact: 
When we surrender to the love of Jesus, we become children of the King. 
This is huge - it is not to be scoffed at or simply noted! .... No ways, when you become a child of God, your whole life should feel the change.

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” – Galatians 3:26
    William Barclay – “To bear the name of the family of God is something to keep a man’s feet on the right way, and to set him climbing.”
    Have you forgotten that you are child of God? Don't let today pass without basking in the knowledge that God calls us his children.

   Living in Grace

Thursday 8 August 2013


My car battery died on Tuesday! Of course it never happens at the best of times and it often causes headaches when it does happen. I am sure you can relate?

Anyway, all it needed was a good recharge and now it seems to be working great. I am thankful for friends helping me to get it recharged and ready to go again. A car that won't go is pretty sad!

So, what about our spiritual lives? Are we feeling a little flat? Do we need a little recharge? I pray that this long weekend (in South Africa) may give some of you the chance to recharge your spirits and to get ready for the next part of the journey. May God's spirit help you to recover and be rearing to go again!

Be blessed

Living in Grace

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Good intentions or action?

There is an old saying that goes like this:

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

Bernard of Clairvaux has been given credit for this quote and it is a challenging one. Many of us have the best intentions to do various things, but never end up following through with them? Our actions don't match our intentions. So, Bernard argues that these intentions pave the road to hell - away from the presence of God.

How do you feel about this?
What good intentions of ours need to become actions this week?

Be challenged to go further with God.

Living in grace

Monday 5 August 2013

Sore throat

"I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched." - Psalm 69:3

I am sure that plenty of us can relate to getting 'hoarse' from shouting to much (or just speaking to much). Perhaps this has happened at a sports event or even at concert. Our throats get sore and hoarse from over use and so we need to give them a rest.

In Psalm 69 David tells us that his throat has become 'parched' from calling out to God so much. He knows that he can call out to God and so he does - numerous times. If one stopped reading this Psalm just after a few verses, we could mistakenly think that God ignores David's calling. However, this is not the case. God does hear and David's sore throat is not in vain.

"The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people." - Psalm 69:33

May you continue to call on the name of the Lord. He hears your prayers and will answer in His time.

Living in Grace

Saturday 3 August 2013

Open-handed God

God is generous! God is NOT stingy as some make him out to be - but rather he is lavish in his love and generous in his mercy. Our God is open-handed!

I imagine God as the Sower, scattering seed all over the place, even allowing birds to eat from his hands. When it comes to humanity, God treats us the same. Even though God knows that much of this generosity will be abused by some, neglected by others, and demanded by us, he continues to be open-handed.

"You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing." - Psalm 145:16

Prayer: Lord, may I acknowledge your great love today and may I seek to be generous with those that I encounter. Teach me to be open-handed in the way I live my life. Amen.

Living in Grace