Friday 31 July 2015

Do some fishing

Sometimes we just need to do a little Fishing! 
Well, to be more specific – we just need to do a little casting. Everyone of us is invited to ‘cast’ all our cares onto the Lord and to trust that he will sustain us through all the issues we are facing. 

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you;

He will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22

What an awesome promise, don't you think?

So, how about it then? Are you tired of trying to do everything alone? Why don’t you cast your cares onto Jesus and see what happens?

Living in Grace

Thursday 30 July 2015

The Afterglow

I was reading a book yesterday that spoke on an interesting concept - it spoke of living such a good life that when you have passed from this life, that there is an 'Afterglow'. This is a summary of what it was saying:

"Every Life leaves after an AFTERGLOW – this could be an inspiration of goodness, beauty, passion for something, truth, or anything else..." 

If you have ever watched a glorious sunset, you will note that just after the sun has sunk below the horizon, there is a moment when the light is good for photo's - it could be called an 'Afterglow' of sorts. The day has come to an end, but there is still something left for us to marvel at. 

When Jesus died, all his enemies thought they had triumphed over him, but Jesus had a long Afterglow. In fact, the Afterglow of Jesus' life still lives on in the presence of his Spirit. He may have returned to the Father, but the Holy Spirit remains with us forever.

May you bask in the afterglow of the presence of Jesus and may you be touched by his grace.

John 11:25 - Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Don't be despondent

Don't be despondent - God is not finished with us yet.

Philippians 1:6 - And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. 

When God starts a work in us, we mustn't get discouraged if things don't happen according to our time frame - God is still going to carry on the work in our lives. We need to be patient and trust in God's perfect timing.

Tom Patterson - "Our best contribution in life can only be made as we allow God to finish his work in progress and perfect our uniqueness.”

Living in Grace

Train up a child

Over the course of this last holiday we have had the privilege of hosting a Children's Holiday Club. It was so heart-warming to see all the children having loads of fun and learning all sorts of things. The theme was 'Survivor', based on the hit TV series, and the kids learnt about how to 'Survive' as Christians in the 'jungle' of Life.

It struck me again how
important it is to teach Children the things of faith while they are young. As we get older we complicate faith and Christianity in so many ways, but the beauty of kids, is that they love God unreservedly.

  • Proverbs 22:6 -Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.

This is not a guarentee that our kids will walk in the ways of Jesus, but at least they would have heard of the Gospel and of God's grace.

A huge thank you to all the Leaders and to Kim who arranged it all - you all have outdone yourselves.

Luke 18:16-17
"Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

Living in Grace

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Need a recharge?

How long does your cell phone battery last? A day? Two days? 5 hours?
I suppose it all depends on what you use your phone for and what make of phone you have.

Regardless of the age of your phone or how much you use it, there is one thing common amongst all of us phone users..... Our phones ALL NEED a recharge.

So, take a look at your life at the moment. Does the same principle not apply to your life? Regardless or how busy you are, how old you are, or whatever else we may add to the mix - the principle is still the same. WE ALL need a time to recharge.

God called it a SABBATH. Phone companies call it a recharge. It's the same thing. We can't work effectively and honour God with our lives if we have no 'power' in our souls. The gift of the Sabbath is that it offers us a chance to rest and to reconnect with God and ourselves.

Perhaps there are a few of us who are needing to be recharged at the moment! What you are doing about it? Remember a phone that has no power is useless. Likewise a human spirit with no power can also be rendered useless.

Exodus 16:23 - “This is what the Lord commanded: Tomorrow will be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath day set apart for the Lord."

Exodus 16:29 - "They must realize that the Sabbath is the Lord’s gift to you."

Luke 23:56 - "But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested..."

Living in Grace

Monday 27 July 2015

God doesn't make junk!

There is an old saying that states: “God doesn’t make junk!”
I love the sentiment of these words. It reminds me that when we begin our lives anew with Christ that he takes the broken, discarded pieces of our lives and he makes something amazing out of them. Others may look at us and think that we look unattractive or even a pile of ‘junk’ but that is not the way that God sees us.

 “… that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.”Ephesians 2:5-6

There are numerous artists who take scrap metal and make something incredible out of it – look at the picture attached. In a spiritual sense that is what God does for us. We were all bent out of SHAPE by the sin in our lives –  and maybe we were consider worthless, but through God’s LOVE and GRACE, he made something awesome out of our mess.

Prayer: Thank you Lord that in your eyes I am not a piece of junk, but rather a beautiful human being, filled with enormous potential and with a unique to make.

Living in Grace

Friday 24 July 2015

Let nothing move you

"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.
Let nothing move you.  
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, 
because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain." -
1 Corinthians 15:58 

Standing in the ocean is a therapeutic experience for me. I love it! I love the sight of the waves rising before me and then bracing myself for the imminent crash over my body. Sometimes I even move my feet deeper into the sand, giving myself a greater chance of standing firm. I find that I can withstand the waves up to a certain point, but soon a bigger wave arrives that knocks me off my feet. Quickly I need to get back onto my feet and face the next set of waves. 

This analogy can be helpful in your own spiritual walk. We are encouraged by St. Paul to 'stand firm' and to 'Let nothing move you', but what happens when we are knocked over? 
Well, I feel that we then need to rise again and bury our feet in the 'sand' of God's love and grace - in that way, we are not letting things move us or defeat us. What do you feel?

May God continue to bless you and hold you in the palm of his hand.

Living in Grace

Thursday 23 July 2015

You are not a clone!

“God didn’t clone anything. Everything God makes is unique. Our best contribution in life can only be made as we allow God to finish his work in progress and perfect our uniqueness.” -
Tom Patterson

We spend an huge portion of our time wishing we were someone else. Somehow we are been lead to believe that person God created (us) is not good enough and so we seek to become someone else. It is very tiring trying to live like this. We become disillusioned with pretending to be someone funny, clever, spiritual, sporty, musical, handy, good-looking or whatever else seems right.  

God never intended this to be our life path. God never wanted us to feel second-rate or to feel that He made a mistake. God created us all unique and God did this on PURPOSE. If he had wanted to make us all clones, he could have done that, but then the world would have been a boring place. God wants us to marvel at our uniqueness and to celebrate his imprint in each of our hearts.

"You made me; you created me." - Psalm 119:73

"He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, “He didn’t make me”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”?" - Isaiah 29:16

Living in Grace

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Blue Like Jazz

Donald Miller wrote a wonderful book called Blue Like Jazz - it is not your ordinary Christian book, but it certainly challenges your faith on so many levels. The thing I like about his book is that he is completely honest about his struggles as a Christian, which is a very humbling thing to do.

On the surface it would be easy to assume that Donald has it all together and that he is living life as a "successful" Christian author. However, he is not into pretences, and this makes his book so refreshing. I highly recommend it, if you are looking for something to read next.

There is this one quote in the book that has been coming back to me, again and again. I offer it to you today as a form of challenge.

“ be in a relationship with God is to be loved purely and furiously. And a person who thinks himself unlovable cannot be in a relationship with God because he can't accept who God is; a Being that is love. We learn that we are lovable or unlovable from other people...That is why God tells us so many times to love each other.”

John 13:34-35 “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

Living in Grace

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Defining moments - confronting the sharks in your life

We will all face them at some stage in our lives - they are called DEFINING moments. They are moments where we walk so close to the mystery of death that it is almost as if we can look into the LIFE beyond. They are moments that bring our earthly lives into sharp reality and where we do soul searching like we have never done before.

Australian Surfer Mick Fanning had one of those moments over the weekend, where he was attacked by 2 huge sharks while surfing at Jeffery's Bay - and he lived to tell the tale. In case, you missed the whole incident, the photo on today's blog is taken from that incident. I am not a prophet, but I am convinced that Mick will LIVE his life differently this week. I am sure that he will appreciate his family and friends a whole lot more. I am sure he will enjoy his health (and legs) more than he did last week. This is what DEFINING moments do for us - they change us.

2 Peter 1:2 - "I write this to you whose experience with God is as life-changing as ours, all due to our God’s straight dealing and the intervention of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master." (MSG)

What has been a defining moment for you?
We don't have to wait for a 'near death' incident to appreciate all that we have. Take a moment to thank God for all the blessings in your life.

Living in Grace

Monday 20 July 2015

What we can learn from Dolphins

On Sunday I got to witness something that I will never forget as long as I live. We witnessed sardines being forced into a bait ball by a pod of dolphins and then watched as the dolphins came in to feed on the masses of fish. I have seen this on TV before, but never in real life. It was truly amazing.

The team work of the dolphins was incredible - it was so well orchestrated and it showed that they were really working together for the common good. It would have been a complete failure if each Dolphin had said to the others, "Hey, let's each fend for ourselves!" Sure, they would have eaten a few fish, but they would never have had as much success as they did as a TEAM.

We are easily tempted to do LIFE on our own. We think that we don't need help or anyone else to support us in our ventures, but we do. Christianity knew nothing of solitary faith for nearly 3 Centuries. It was only later that Christians moved out of community to find 'peace' with God in the desert. Yet, even when the Monks moved away from the temptations of the city, many of them joined together to work as a team - to be in community.

·         Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 - Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

As you go through your day, see how you can support someone else and if you need help, don't be afraid to ask someone.

Living in Grace