Wednesday 31 December 2014

Prayer for the New Year

I came across this prayer in preparing for our New Years Eve service. I share it with you, praying that you may find some hope and courage in these words. Be blessed and may the God of peace be with you.

Thanks again for your support and for taking the time to read these posts.

Living in grace

"Another year is dawning,
Dear Father let it be,
In working or in waiting,
Another year with thee.
Another year of progress,
Another year of praise,
Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.
Another year of mercies,
Of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness,
The glory of thy face.
Another year of leaning
Upon thy loving breast,
Another year of trusting,
Of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of service,
Of witness for thy love,
Another year of training
For holier work above.
Another year is dawning,
Dear Father, let it be,
On earth, or else in heaven,
Another year for thee" - Frances R. Havergal.

God will lead you

As we come to the end of another year I want to thank God for His hand over our lives. I am even more convinced that, when we ask Him, God leads us into the future. I don't believe God is a pushy god, who demands to have his own way, but He is always more than willing to guide us along the paths of life. It is my prayer that we would allow God to be "Lord" over our lives in 2015.

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
    along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
    and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
    I will not forsake them.” – Isaiah 42:16

God will lead you. Just give Him a chance.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Isaiah 12

In that day you will say:
‘I will praise you, Lord.
    Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
    and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation;
    I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defence[a];
    he has become my salvation.’
With joy you will draw water
    from the wells of salvation.
In that day you will say:
‘Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done,
    and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
    let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
    for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.’ - Isaiah 12

Living in Grace

Monday 29 December 2014

With Joy

An encounter with Jesus leaves an indelible mark on your life. It certainly changed the lives of the shepherds. They lived out a lonely, mundane existence and I am sure that they didn't have much to look forward to - besides tending their sheep. However, after they had seen Jesus they returned to their 'old' lives with renewed energy and perspective.

"The Shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told." - Luke 2:20

How often do we go through the Christmas period and then feel empty and drained? We don't feel as much 'joy' as we would like to and we dread going back to our 'normal' lives. It is my prayer for us that the birth of Jesus would change our perspective and that we would be marked with joy.

May you take the Joy of Christ with you always. Let it be a mark upon your soul.

"Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls." -

Mother Teresa

Living in Grace

Sunday 28 December 2014

Coming Home

"There is no place like home!"
I am sure you have said these words before. I know that whenever we go away for a day or two, we have a great time, but it is good to be home again. There is nothing like sleeping on your own bed!

But, do we really know where "Home" is? Of course I am not speaking about a physical place, but rather a spiritual place. When we rest in the arms of Christ, we can be "at home" even at place on the planet.

As you enter into the last few days of 2014, ask yourself, "Am I in the place I need to be? Do I feel as if I am at home?" If the answer to these questions is perhaps "No" then ask God to show you the plan he has for your life.

Psalm 84:3 - Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God.

"To an open house in the evening
Home shall all men come,
to an older place than Eden,
To a taller town than Rome;
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be, and that are;
To the place where He was homeless,
And all men are at home." - G.K.Chesterton

Living in Grace

Friday 26 December 2014

Willing to receive

At this time of the year millions of people are willing to give and receive gifts from loved ones and friends. In a sense it comes with the season of Advent and the celebration of Christmas. I would love for more people to actually respond to the grace of God and to receive Jesus, instead of just receiving gifts. After all, Jesus is the ultimate gift - we will never receive a gift that comes close to his life and sacrifice.

John 1:11 – “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”

I am not against the giving and receiving of gifts - my family know that I love being spoilt :) However, at Christmas time we need to be reminded that there is only One Gift that will last for eternity. His name is Jesus.

"God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it." - Pope Francis

Living in Grace

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Praying that you have a Blessed Christmas

Isaiah says it best:
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” - Isaiah 9:2

I know that we live in a time of deep 'darkness' and there are a myriad of things to worry about, but I invite us all to appreciate the promise that comes with the birth of Jesus. Christmas is a perfect time to be reminded that there is LIGHT and that this light comes in the form of Jesus. We may be walking in the darkness, but let's stop and notice the light.

Here is my prayer for you all:
"Lord, today we acknowledge that our paths have led us into the land of deep darkness. Our nation and world seems to love the shadows more than the light. But, we are the people of the Light - Your light! We hold onto your promise that even though we may still struggle to see much hope in the future, we know that the dawn has come. And so just as the first rays of sunlight push back the darkness of night, may the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, rekindle the flames of love, peace and joy in our own hearts. Thank you for the best gift of all....Jesus. Amen."

Living in Grace


Tuesday 23 December 2014

I know where you stay!

"But I know where you stay 
and when you come and go." - Isaiah 37:28

We sometimes have a laugh with friends saying, "We know where you stay!"
It is usually used in the context of lending something to them and if they don't return it, then we will pop over and collect it. Or when they trust us with something, we promise to bring it back, and they reply, "It's OK - we know where you live!"

The same could be said of God - He knows where we stay! However, it is not always in a negative connotation that we should be thinking of this. It is reassuring that God knows us and has not forgotten us. God loves us and wants to be in our company. How amazing is that?

Christmas is a time of remembering that God has not turned his back on us and that he remembers us by name. The fact that he knows "where we stay" should not frighten us, but rather make us feel blessed. I guess the only time this truth may make us feel awkward is when we think we need to hide from God - then the knock at the door may make us jump under the bed!

May Christ dwell in your home and with your loved ones this Festive Season.

Living in Grace

Monday 22 December 2014

Fulfilling a promise

I still find it amazing that Isaiah was so accurate in his prophecies concerning the Messiah. When he penned these words he surely couldn't have known that Jesus would fulfil them all .... or did he? These words speak of how Jesus was to be a light unto the Gentiles - to offer hope to all those who couldn't help themselves.

“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
 to restore the tribes of Jacob
 and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” - Isaiah 49:6

“Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.” - Steve Maraboli

May the Light of Jesus fill your heart this week of Christmas.

God bless you all

Monday 15 December 2014

Be Reconciled

On the 16th December we celebrate a "Day of Reconciliation." Considering our history as a nation it is a very appropriate day for South Africans to remember. We are still very divided as a nation, but in many ways we are learning to respect and love all people - it is just taking a long time!

In my opinion, we can never fully be reconciled to another human being until we have grasp how God has chosen to be reconciled with us. We love, because God first loved us.

"Christian faith is... basically about love and being loved and reconciliation. These things are so important, they're foundational and they can transform individuals, families." -Philip Yancey

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! - Romans 5:10

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: - 2 Corinthians 5:18

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:20

Remember that this Advent season is about Jesus offering us a chance at being reconciled with God.

Living in Grace

Sunday 14 December 2014

Discovering Happiness

My friend Collin preached on "Finding Happiness" this morning and one of the questions he asked was, "What makes you happy?" It is interesting that while many people think that spending money on "things" will make them happy, most of us realise (deep down) that it is relationships that make us feel the most content and happy.

I agree with that. It is my relationships with my family and friends that make me the most happy. I feel blessed to be part of a family and to be loved by them. And I feel blessed to have friends who stand alongside me and support me in my life.

Ultimately I feel honoured to be loved by God and to be in a relationship with God. There is nothing else that comes close to satisfying our deepest longings.

Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
    a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.”

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near." - Isaiah 55:2-6

Living in Grace