Thursday 30 June 2016

Hey Jude

I love the opening words of Jude's letter. This is such a brilliant prayer and hope for other people.

From: Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and a brother of James.
To: Christians everywhere—beloved of God and chosen by him. May you be given more and more of God’s kindness, peace, and love." - Jude 1:1-2

It takes an unselfish person to pray for blessings for others. In this verse, Jude asks that his friends would be given more of God's kindness, peace and love. What a lovely thought! 

If you could pray a prayer for your friends, what would you ask for?

Why don't you pray that prayer now?

Living in Grace

Tuesday 28 June 2016

John Lennox

"Indeed faith is a response to evidence, not a rejoicing of the absence of evidence." - John Lennox

As Christ-followers we will always be asked to explain why we believe in God. We may be ridiculed at times and scoffed at on other occasions, but that comes with the territory. If you ever want to read some good work on Christian apologetics then have a look at some of John Lennox's work. He is a living example of someone who holds the worlds of Maths, Science and Faith together.

"Faith is not a leap in the dark; it’s the exact opposite. It’s a commitment based on evidence… It is irrational to reduce all faith to blind faith and then subject it to ridicule. That provides a very anti-intellectual and convenient way of avoiding intelligent discussion.” - John C. Lennox

It is always hard to come up with the perfect answer for an atheist or agnostic, but sometimes we just need to love those people who disagree with us and then allow the Spirit to work in their lives. After all it was not a person who convinced me to follow Christ, but it was Christ who revealed himself to me. When Jesus calls us to follow him, then it is hard to turn him down :)

1 Corinthians 1:27 - But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

Living in Grace

Monday 27 June 2016

Live it out

"It is not what people eat, but what they digest that makes them strong;
Not what we gain, but what we save that makes us rich;
not what we read, but what we remember that makes us learned;
not what we preach, but what we practice that makes us Christians." - Unknown.

Faith is easy to speak about, but it is so much harder to live out. 
Our communities have enough 'sound' bombarding their lives -what we need is some clear examples of what it means to follow Jesus.

Exodus 24:14 - "You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
"Just live life. That's the best way to learn how to act. Just live." - Rory Culkin

Read more at:

Living in Grace

Sunday 26 June 2016

One step away

I think this quote sums up the incredible grace of God. I know that some of us battle to see God as a loving parent, but I believe that God delights in us, as his children. If we walk away, this breaks the heart of God; however if we take that one step back, God welcomes us home.

"No matter how many steps you take away from God, 
it still only takes one step to get back." - Unknown

Romans 3:27 - God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade. (MSG)

Living in Grace

Friday 24 June 2016

The World Changed today

The 24th June 1916 will always be remembered as the day that changed the world. It was on this day, exactly 100 years ago, that the Allied artillery began their week-long bombardment of the German lines, in what is known as the battle of the Somme.

Clearly, it was a day that changed the world in so many ways. We can't look back at the history of Europe and the world without reflecting on how this day change millions of lives. Of course, the 24th June 2016, may also be remembered as a day that shaped Europe (and the world), with Britain choosing to Exit the European Union. Time will tell what impact this has on our future.

More importantly, we need to ask how today has changed your life? Is today a gift to you from God, or is it just another day on your calendar? It is worth thinking about.

1 Corinthians 10:11-12 - These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes.

Matthew 27: 9-10 - "Then Jeremiah’s words became history: They took the thirty silver pieces, The price of the one priced by some sons of Israel, And they purchased the potter’s field. And so they unwittingly followed the divine instructions to the letter."

Living in grace

Thursday 23 June 2016

It may not be as it seems

Henry the 8th was crowned King of England on the 24th June 1509. According to some scholars

Henry's motto was "Coeur Loyal" ("true heart") and he had this embroidered on his clothes in the form of a heart symbol. Alongside the motto was the word "loyal".  

For me, there can be no greater irony, as Henry was far from loyal to his wives or his friends. It is one thing to brand your clothes or your body with a motto/symbol that speaks well, but it is a much harder thing to live out what you believe.

My reflection on this is that we should not believe something about someone just because it may be presented in a certain way. The true test comes in how the actions match the talk.

Romans 10 (The Message) - This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!”

Living in Grace

Wednesday 22 June 2016


I had the misfortune of dropping my phone the other day and to my dismay I noticed that my screen had shattered (almost like the one in the attached photo). I know that I am not the only one to have had this bad luck, but it does leave you with a sick feeling, don't you agree?

The word "shattered" comes up in the bible in a few places, but the one that strikes me the most is from Matthew 21: 42-44 - "Jesus said, “Right—and you can read it for yourselves in your Bibles: The stone the masons threw out is now the cornerstone. This is God’s work; we rub our eyes, we can hardly believe it! “This is the way it is with you. God’s kingdom will be taken back from you and handed over to a people who will live out a kingdom life. Whoever stumbles on this Stone gets shattered; whoever the Stone falls on gets smashed.” (The Message)

I don't believe that it is God's desire to 'smash' us, but in this passage Jesus is referring to the fact that God's Kingdom is much stronger than the works of man. If it was a straight battle between God and humanity, we all know who would end up broken. Thankfully, God's grace invites us to belong to Christ's Kingdom, no matter how fragile we feel.

Question: Are we building our own kingdoms or are we striving to live in God's Kingdom?

Living in Grace

Tuesday 21 June 2016

With both hands

"We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God..." - Hebrews 6:18 (Message)

Grab this amazing promise with both hands. 
And never let go.
This is our unbreakable spiritual lifeline.
How brilliant is this?!

"...we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls." - Hebrews 6:18

Living in Grace

Monday 20 June 2016

The Refugee

Today is World Refugee Day. If you want to have a read of some interesting information on what this day is all about then please read this link. What strikes me about today, is that we easily forget that Jesus was a refugee for part of his early childhood.

13 After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14 That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, 15 and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.” - Matthew 2:13-15

We are so used to seeing pictures of refugees on boats trying to get across to Europe or long lines of people walking across barren terrain - these images may/may not strike a chord with us, but it is so vital to remember the humanity of these people. Let us imagine that Joseph, Mary and Jesus could be walking in one of those groups of refugees.

“I urge you to celebrate the extraordinary courage and contributions of refugees past and present.” - Kofi Annan

Prayer: Today we pray for those who have been displaced by war, famine or genocide. May you grant us the same grace that you gave to those who harboured Jesus when he was just a child. 

Living in Grace

Sunday 19 June 2016

Day of Prayer

1 Kings 8:28 - Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.
Join us today as we pray for our country and for the upcoming elections.
Let us pray for our children and for our youth of our land.
Pray for leaders of integrity and courage.
Let us pray for reconciliation and healing in our land.
Pray for ........................
"We have to prayer with our eyes on God not on our difficulties." - Oswald Chambers 
"God does nothing except in response to believing prayer." - John Wesley
Read more at:
Living in Grace

Saturday 18 June 2016

Great Father's Day prayer

I stumbled across this prayer today and I am thankful for the wise words of the author of the prayer. 

Father’s Day Prayer

A 21st Century Africana Worship Resource
by The Rev. Marilyn E. Thornton

Our Father who art in heaven,
bless the fathers who are on earth;
Those who work hard every day
to light a path and show the way;
Those who forget and don't perceive
the devastation when they leave.

Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come;
thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Help the earthly fathers know
and praise your name in daily flow,
Making no difference between
the holy realm and worldly scene.

Give us this day our daily bread.
And for the dads without a job,
Strengthen their faith in Provider God.
Feed them with the bread of love
The wine of justice
The meat of determination
The fruit of the spirit;
That they will remember how Jesus gave himself for us
Demonstrating that there are many ways for a MAN TO GIVE.

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Teach our men the ways of peace
Desiring that all violence shall cease
Whether husband/wife, parents/children
Black on black, nation to nation
Neither tongue, hand, gun, knife
No shock and awe, no fiery towers . . .
Help humanity learn HOW TO FORGIVE.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
Guide all daddies to be wise.
Give them strength of soul to seek the prize
Of a world without racism or greed,
A world where no child is left in need,
A world where cheaters cannot win,
Salvation reigns, there is no sin.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever, Amen.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Prayer for today

In a time of so much uncertainty, I turn to you, O God.
I believe that you are the only stable thing in the world right now.
I don't understand how and why you work, but I believe that you are good.
Help me to hold true to your ideals and to share your Love with those around me.
When I stumble, forgive me.
When I hurt others, let me have the strength to say sorry.
When I am tempted to add to the darkness, fill me with your Light.
In your name I pray.

This is a short prayer I wrote today - use it and  may it offer some hope to you.

Living in Grace

Prepare the door of our hearts, O Lord, that welcoming your Holy Spirit, we may delight at your entering in and rejoice in the holiness which your presence brings. Amen.
Ephrem of Syria (c. 306-373)

Tuesday 14 June 2016

I am desperate for some Good News!

If you are anything like me, then you are desperate to hear some Good News. This past week has been horrendous on planet Earth. It is almost as if one can't imagine things getting worse, and then suddenly they DO get worse! Man, I am dying for some good news.

Reflecting a little on the events of South Africa, Orlando, France, Sudan, and the Middle East, I am even more convinced that we need to hear that God loves us and that God's Kingdom is a reign of Peace and not war. I have been saddened by the comments of a few 'Christians' on social media who have taken over God's job as 'JUDGE' and have superimposed their own feelings onto the tragic events of our planet.

In my opinion (and I am open to correction), one of the most influential passages in our Gospel's comes from John's account of the life of Jesus. This is what he says:

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." - John 3:17

Romans 3:22-26 - "We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus."

I hope this is GOOD NEWS for all of us today.
Living in Grace

Monday 13 June 2016

Just plant the seed

We are results-driven world. We want to see these results instantly. Football coaches are fired for not delivering instant success. Schools are tested on their ability to produce immediate success. Churches are scrutinised for not bursting at the seems in a short space of time. We all want to see our hard work produce some fruit, but what happens when this takes time? What do we make of these words from the Scriptures:

1 Corinthians 3:5-7 - What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.  I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.  So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

"Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." - John 12:24

Perhaps all that God requires of us today is that we plant a seed in the life of someone else. That could be a seed of Love, Hope, Peace, Joy or Grace. Of course the greatest seed we could plant is the reason for our salvation - Jesus. That seed may take a long time to grow, but we need to plant it.

Living in Grace

Sunday 12 June 2016

What makes us God-followers?

I have been reflecting on this question over the last week or so - "What makes us followers of God?"
The answer is not as simple as one would like to think. In trying to answer the question, we sometimes get stuck on some of the external "things" that could indicate we may be God-followers.
For example:

Going to Church
Reading the Bible
Fasting and giving

Yes, these are all disciplines we should be practising in our experience as Christians, but it all starts with a change in heart. Once our HEARTS have encountered the Living God, that is when the 'lights go on' for us and we decide to follow God. And this change in Heart doesn't come from a magic formula or a special medicine - it is through the work of the Spirit of God. We need to give God the grace to work in our lives and it is His work to change our hearts.

28 For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. 29 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.” – Romans 2:28-29

How is your Heart today?

Living in Grace