Wednesday 30 November 2016

The Shield - Advent 3

"I bind myself today
The power of God to hold and lead
His eye to watch, His might to stay
His ear to hearken to my need
The wisdom of my God to teach
His hand to guide
His shield to ward
The word of God to give me speech
His Heavenly Host to be my guard." - Irish Blessing

It is the image of God's protective shield that struck home to me today. What strikes you about this blessing? May God be near you and may God bless you.

Genesis 15:1 - After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

Living in Grace

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Stronger than ... Advent prayer 2

"Lord, goodness is stronger than evil,
Love is stronger than hate
Light is stronger than darkness;
Life is stronger than death;
victory is ours through you who love us." - Desmond Tutu

Evil, hatred, darkness and death are all strong words, but I am grateful that Jesus has given us things that are much stronger. This advent season remember that 'Goodness, Love, Light and Life' are all much stronger than anything the evil one has planned for us.

1 John 4:20 - Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

Living in Grace

Monday 28 November 2016

Blessing - Advent 1

In a world where so many people demand things, it is refreshing to know that God is still generous and gracious. In order to celebrate God's merciful nature, I have chosen to share a few blessings and prayers with us all over this Advent season. May each one of these offer you much love, hope and peace.

Be thou a bright flame before me,
Be thou a guiding star above me,
Be thou a smooth path below me,
Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me,
Today - tonight - and for ever

--- Columba (521-597) Irish monk and missionary in Scotland

John 10:11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."

Living in Grace

Sunday 27 November 2016

Advent begins

“I will proclaim the name of the Lord.
    Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
    and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
    upright and just is he. – Deuteronomy 32:3-4

When we read these two verses we note a number of things to Praise God for:
1. His NAME
3. His WORKS

As we start this season of ADVENT, where we wait for the birth of the Messiah, why don't you reflect on a few of these virtues and use them as a prayer of thanks to God.

Living in Grace

Friday 25 November 2016

Doesn't Black Friday miss the point?

Doesn't Black Friday miss the whole point of "Thanksgiving"? When people gather with their families on Thanksgiving Thursday, it should be about celebrating LIFE, family, friends, togetherness and just simply being thankful for all that we already have in our lives. There is usually a sense of deep contentment or blessing on this particular occasion. But, clearly it seems that underneath the surface this is NOT the case!

The fact, that we are rushing around 24 hours, trying to get the best bargain on toilet-paper and TV's, implies something about our lack of Contentment. Now, don't get me wrong, I am part-Scottish and so I love a bargain more than most people, but I feel there is something amiss.

Reflecting on this today, I am left with a few questions and I am always open for your wisdom and insight into this event called Black Friday. My musings are as follows:

1. It shows how discontented many of us are probably feeling.
2. It points to a desperation among the poorest of the poor - who rely on these bargains to survive.
3. It tells us the shop owners and stores are already making loads of cash on their goods, so discounting them is not a problem. Is that Just?
4. It is a brilliant strategy to draw people into the shops to buy things they made not really need.
5. People fight each other for the limited bargains - where is the humanity in that?
6. Does Black Friday now mark the beginning of the Christmas spending spree - stretching people's already tight budgets?
7. It makes people live more off their credit cards as they believe these bargains will never be repeated.

I just don't know - please let me know your thoughts. And if you are one of those bargain hunters, let me know what you managed to get and why you think Black Friday is a good idea - I am open to all suggestions.
2 Corinthians 4:15 - All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Living in Grace

Thursday 24 November 2016


I learnt something very interesting last week. It hit home to me that being patient when SITUATIONS arise, that are behold our control, that we need FORTITUDE to get us through these tough times. There is a difference between being patient with people and being patient when Circumstances surprise us.

“…being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience…”- Colossians 1:11

Some of us are going to need endurance, fortitude and strength to ride out the tough times in life. May God grant us the resolve to carry on despite what happens around us.

"Patience and Fortitude conquer all things." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Living in Grace

Wednesday 23 November 2016

No Short Cuts

“…growing in the knowledge of God.” - Colossians 1
We may be able to take short cuts in some things in life, but when it comes to growing in our knowledge of Jesus, there are NO SHORT CUTS. I am sorry to break the bad news to us all today, but the way we become disciples of Jesus is to sign up for the long haul. In order to understand God more fully and to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus, we need to spend time in God's presence. 

There is just no quick 'pill' we swallow to learn the Bible, to become effective in Prayer, to grow in our faith and to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. It requires discipline and commitment. 

 2 Corinthians 8:10-20 -So here’s what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can’t. The heart regulates the hands. This isn’t so others can take it easy while you sweat it out. No, you’re shoulder to shoulder with them all the way, your surplus matching their deficit, their surplus matching your deficit. In the end you come out even. As it is written, Nothing left over to the one with the most, Nothing lacking to the one with the least.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Two great requests

C.F.D. Moule – “Prayer makes two great requests. It asks for the discernment of God’s will and then for the power to perform that will.”

We should be very wary of praying for God to show us his will, unless we are willing to actually do what he requires of us. I know that even though the task may be tough, God will give us the strength to perform his will. When we have to rely on God's strength it reminds us that we partners with God and that indeed, we are not God!

2 Chronicles 16:9 - For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

Living in Grace