Thursday 30 January 2014

Keep Calm

You may have seen the "Keep Calm and Carry on..." posters around. They are now all over the place with many weird comments attached to them. There a number of them that I like, but the one that strikes home today is the one I attached..... Keep Calm and Trust in God.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, here is a brief description from wikipedia:

"Keep Calm and Carry On was a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939, several months before the beginning of the Second World War, intended to raise the morale of the British public in the aftermath of widely predicted mass air attacks on major cities. It had only limited distribution with no public display, and thus was little known. It was rediscovered in 2000, has been re-issued by a number of private companies, and has been used as the decorative theme for a range of products."

 If you like these posters please tell me which ones you like best. I'd love to hear from you.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Short arm?

There is a wonderful saying in the Bible, that goes like this:

“Is the Lord’s arm too short?" - Numbers 11:23

It is a rhetorical question that God asks the people of Israel. In tough times people lose faith in God's ability to answer their prayers and to save them from their distress. It is almost as if we imply that God doesn't have the strength or 'long enough arms' to rescue us. But of course we know that this is not the Truth. God can rescue us and he will. Believe me - God's arm is able to save us.

Isaiah 59:1 - "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear."

Whatever you may be facing this week, remember that God's arm will save!

Living in Grace

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Prayer and Fasting

There are a number of incidents in the Bible where the Disciples got together to pray and fast. Each time they did this God seemed to answer their prayers with clarity and authority. It is not some kind of magic formula, but it is certainly documented that God moved in a BIG way after a time of prayer and fasting.

We are calling a day of Prayer and Fasting on Thursday 30th January and if you are willing please join us praying for the following things:

1. Unity amongst Christians in our communities (especially in Circuit 801)
2. To be Transformed by God's love and grace
3. To be strengthened in our service and witness to the world around us
4. For God to help the broken and to restore those who have lost hope
5. Those people struggling with Depression

It would be wonderful for you to join us in this day of prayer and fasting.

Daniel 9:3 - "So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes."

Living in Grace

Monday 27 January 2014

Saying 'Yes'

We have been reflecting on Discipleship this last week and one realises how much of a commitment is involved in following Jesus. There can be no half-hearted efforts in following Jesus - it requires an "ALL IN" attitude. This should not deter us from saying 'YES' to Jesus though. God knows that we are fragile and prone to wander, yet he still wants us to be part of the journey. Just because we realise that we will 'fail' doesn't mean that we shouldn't follow Jesus. Jesus knew all of this when he died on the Cross for our sins. He knew we would NEVER be perfect, so he took away the punishment for our sins. Our response is then to feel the freedom of 'our sins paid for' and to seek to honour God with our lives. The best way we can say 'Thank you" to God is to offer Him our lives in return.

Ø “Becoming like Christ is a long, slow process of growth.” – Rick Warren

 ·   2 Corinthians 13:9 – “Our greatest wish and prayer is that you will become mature Christians.” 

Prayer thought: Remember that Jesus recognised our 'imperfections' long before we became aware of them, yet he still offered us his love and mercy. 

Living in Grace

Saturday 25 January 2014

Watching out for each other

   John Wesley – “Watch over each other in Love.”

      Being part of an accountability group is key to our growth in the faith. It is hard to open up to another Christian, but it will help us keep accountable to the things of God. Being a Christian is hard and we need someone to walk alongside us, encouraging us and keep us focused on the ways of Christ. For this reason, I love John Wesley's comment above .... watching over each other in love is crucial. 

     So, who has your back and who are you watching out for in love?

    Just asking?!

    Living in Grace

Thursday 23 January 2014

Please give me a Quote

When you want some work done around the house or at work, you usually ask someone to give you a quote. Once you receive the quotes you then decide if you can afford to go ahead with the work or not. It may seem like a good idea before hand, but the quote can make all the difference in the end. Can you imagine if it worked the same with Jesus.

ME: "Hey Jesus, I think you are great and I would like to follow you. But before I do, could you give me some idea of what I am in for (a quote)?"
JESUS: "Well, Delme it's quite simple really. It will cost you all you have."
ME: "Excuse me, Lord! Didn't quite hear you there - you seemed to be breaking up a little. Did you say it would cost me everything."
JESUS: "Yip!"
ME: "Like as in ALL?"
JESUS: "That's what I just said."
ME: "Mmmmh, well, is there no ways, you could give me a little discount? How about 50% off?"
JESUS: "I'd love to Delme, but it doesn't work that way. It's all or nothing."
ME: "Ok, Lord. Can I think about this for a while. I wasn't prepared to pay that much. Are you sure I can't get anything good for a fraction of the cost?"
JESUS: "Sorry, Delme. Following me will be tough, complex, tiring, exhilarating, adventurous, rewarding, a huge blessing, but it doesn't come for nothing."
ME: "Maybe I will come back later then. Really don't know why you don't want me to follow you even a tiny bit?"
JESUS: "Well, the reason it can't work like that is because when I died on the cross, I didn't just ask for 10% of your sins or even 50% of them. I took them all upon myself and it is that 100% that opens the door for our relationship. It was all or nothing for me and so that is the price for you too."
ME: "But Jesus that's being unfair. How will I survive if I give my all to you?"
JESUS: "You will be surprised!"
ME: "Meaning what?"
JESUS: "Once you give me all, I will know where your treasure lies and then I will give it all back to you. You can then look after it for me and in that way you will have way more than you ever dreamt you'd need."
ME: "Ok, Jesus. I don't get the logic, but give me some time to think it over..."

When it comes to following Jesus, we can't ask for a quote and then negotiate the price. Jesus said it like this:

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”Matthew 16:24-25

Worth thinking about...

Living in Grace

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Did I make the call?

Too often in my faith I fall into the trap of thinking that I am doing Jesus a favour by following him. But, this is clearly a dangerous mindset to fall into. We need to remember that it was Jesus who called us first:

"Come, Follow me!" - Mark 1:17

SO, if and when I decide that "Yes" I want to follow Christ, I need to do so on His terms. It is not my place to negotiate with Jesus when and where I can fit this "disciple" thing into my busy schedule.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer remarks:
"Discipleship is not an offer that man makes to Christ."

This is spot on. I need to be reminded that I never made the first call - I just responded to Jesus' call. It was his offer to me and when I accepted, I took on board the whole 'package' of being a Christ-follower!

Living in Grace

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Last Resort?

Lately I have been challenged about how we treat 'prayer' in our lives. For many of us, Prayer becomes a last resort - when we have exhausted our own way of doing things, then we think of turning to God. Yet, this is not the way that Jesus modelled his prayer life. Before he did anything Jesus went away to pray and seek His father's will. Prayer was always Jesus' starting point - it was his FIRST port of call.

Psalm 55:17 - "I will pray morning, noon, and night, pleading aloud with God; and he will hear and answer."
"We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties."  ~ Oswald Chambers

May we turn our hearts first to Christ in prayer, then we can put our hands to work.

Living in Grace

Monday 20 January 2014


"Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." - Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)

If Paul could speak to our Churches today he would probably preach from this text. It is something we all struggle with...... WORRY! Turning our trials and worries into prayers is a great way of allowing God into our lives.

Why don't you try this today? Let me know how it goes....

Living in Grace

Sunday 19 January 2014

Transformed to love!


Charles Spurgeon – “If we truly love Christ, we shall care for those who are loved by Him.”

Being transformed by God’s love is not just about our own personal salvation and well-being.
Our transformation has to also include loving those whom God puts in our lives. This may be
people that we like, but it may also include people that we wouldn’t usually gravitate to. Loving
God must include loving others!  

If you don't believe me, then have a read of 1 John 4:20-21

Thomas a Kempis – “Whoever loves much, does much.”

Living in Grace