Saturday 30 December 2017

I am Thankful

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." - Colossians 4:2

Regardless of how our year has gone, I think we would do well to follow Paul's advice of being thankful. I find it interesting that he includes THANKFULNESS in the same breath as 'prayer' and being 'watchful.'

We should keep a look out (be watchful) for the root of bitterness that can creep into our hearts. One of the ways to do this is to offer prayers of Thanksgiving to God. There is not better time to begin this than on this last day of the year - this will help us reflect on all that has taken place over the last 364 days.

I am Thankful for ... family friends health Church community
...God's creation
...second chances
....this day

What are you thankful for?

Living in Grace

Friday 29 December 2017

In the end

"In the end we only regret the chances we didn't take." - Anon

As we come to the end of another year, let us reflect on the things that have happened and give thanks for God journeying with us. However, if we feel that we are living with a few regrets then let us resolve to take those chances in the new year. I am grateful that God allows us to have second chances. We may have missed an opportunity this past year, but let us not miss the NEXT opportunity that God sends our way.

Hebrews 3:14 - We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.
"I think the only advice I can give you on how to live your life well is, first off, remember... it's not the things we do in life that we regret on our deathbed, it is the things we do not." -  Randy Pausch

Living in Grace
Read more at:

Thursday 28 December 2017

Palm of God's Hand

Carrying on from yesterday, where I used a line from a Traditional Irish Blessing, I want to use the last line of that blessing as our key focus for today.

"May God hold you in the palm of His hand."

I love the image that this line creates for us. It helps me imagine that God is so huge and strong, that he is able to lovingly hold me in his protective hand. God has the power to squash and clench his fist, but instead he uses his hand to love, care and protect us.  May this fantastic image live with you today - you can rest in the palm of God's hand.

"You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of God’s hand, a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God. No more will anyone call you Rejected, and your country will no more be called Ruined. You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight), and your land Beulah (Married), Because God delights in you and your land will be like a wedding celebration." - Isaiah 62:1-5 (Message)

Living in Grace

Wednesday 27 December 2017

Wind at your back

"May the wind be always at your back."
I never fully understood the impact of these words from the old Irish Blessing, until I began to run around Fish Hoek. Some days I can find myself really straining against the wind whilst on a jog, but then I turn down a side street and suddenly the wind is blowing on my back. Wow, it makes a world of difference. It almost feels as if the wind carries you along the road and the journey feels much more pleasant.

So, in light of this, I pray that we would all experience the wind upon our backs and that God would carry you along your journey. I realise that their will be times of strain and struggle ahead, but may most of our days we 'running with the wind.'

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Living in Grace

Sunday 24 December 2017


A blessed Christmas to you all and thanks for taking the time to read these thoughts over the past months and years.

All the excitement and anticipation is now at an end - CHRIST is present with us in the celebrations of his birth. May you sense God's abundant love today. May all the preparation and hype of the Advent season not disappoint us today - this is the moment we have all been waiting for. The Messiah has come.

"That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens." - Romans 8:18-21 (MSG)

May our 'joyful anticipation' grow a deeper hunger within us - that we may desire more and more of the Lord.

Living in Grace

Saturday 23 December 2017


Christmas is ALMOST upon us.
That word 'almost' is an interesting word, isn't? It speaks of a closeness, a nearness, and of something about to happen or of something that could happen in the future.

With Christmas ALMOST here, let us not let the word 'almost' apply to our acceptance of God's geneous love and peace. Wouldn't it be sad if we found ourselves saying:

"I almost believed in God's grace."
"We almost experienced the peace of Christ this year."
"I almost made amends with my loved one."
"We almost gave our hearts to Jesus."

Let us vow not to make our Christmas an 'Almost' encounter with God.

Romans 13:12 - "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light."

Living in Grace

Friday 22 December 2017

A Long Day

This week marks the 'longest Day and shortest Night' in the Southern Hemisphere. It got me thinking about how long the days stay light for and how awesome it is be experience the long summer days. It also teaches me about how long God chooses to show us his light and Grace. God desires to reveal his love to us for as long as possible. Sadly, there will come a day when God will call all to account, but in the meantime we should all embrace the Grace given to us.

"But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” - Romans 10:21

2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

As you enjoy the long summer days (or short winter days for those of you in the North) reflect on the graciousness of God. 

Living in Grace

Thursday 21 December 2017

A beautiful promise

"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing." - Zephaniah 3:17

Zephaniah speaks of a time when the Messiah will bring peace and victory to Israel. Just as a loving parent takes delight in their young child, so God will hold us in his arms, quieten us down with his soothing voice and sing love songs to help us rest.

May you know that God delights in you today.
May God 'quiet' your troubled soul with his love.
May you hear God rejoice over you with singing.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Like a Cathedral

In my diary I have a daily quote at the bottom of the page - often they are good, but some days they are brilliant. Take this one for example. It was from the other day.

"Life, like a cathedral is not so much to be admired for its external appearance and majesty. Life, like a cathedral, is more meaningful because of what goes on in the sanctity within. Seek patiently and persistently to discover true life by looking inward." - Unknown

It takes a little time to digest these words, but they speak to me of experiencing Christmas within our hearts and not just on the surface. Getting beneath all the trappings is so important during the Festive season, because when the tinsel, lights and decorations are packed away, what are we going to be left with?

Seek to experience Jesus this Christmas.

Living in Grace

Monday 18 December 2017

The Visit

It is at this time of the year that family and friends often come to visit - or we go and visit others. Usually these visits bring lots of joy and too much eating, but they are occasions we look forward to and remember for a long time.

The word Advent can mean a number of things, including: 'coming' or 'visit' - and we remember in the season of Advent that God came to the earth in the person of Jesus. The Messiah came to VISIT humanity in order to bring us back to God. Jesus' visit was not just a social 'popping over for tea', but rather an intentional encounter with each one of us.

Are you ready for the VISIT of the Messiah this year? What expectations do you have of his visit?
Let us get our hearts ready for this visit.

Luke 1:68 - “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people.

Living in Grace

Sunday 17 December 2017


We are too easily distracted! We are busy doing one thing and then someone comes along and interrupts us - we lose our concentration and the distraction is complete.
In all the final preparations for Christmas Day let us not lose our focus of the real reason for our Celebrations. Let us resolve not to be distracted by the all extra trappings of "Christmas."

"But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made." - Luke 10:40

Martha was in the presence of Jesus and she still got distracted by the peripheral things. It is hard to remain focused on Jesus, but I pray that we will do all we can to keep our gaze on him. 

Living in Grace

Saturday 16 December 2017

In the Lord's strength

"And he will stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
Then his people will live there undisturbed,
    for he will be highly honored around the world.
    And he will be the source of peace." - Micah 5:4-5

Let us resolve not to try and stand in our own strength, but in the strength of the LORD. Standing in our own strength always ends with us falling short and growing weary.

May you have a blessed day and may you sense the power of the Spirit upon you.

Living in Grace

Friday 15 December 2017

Born a crime

What are you reading at the moment?
I am reading Trevor Noah's autobiography entitled 'Born a Crime' and it really is a fascinating read. It has challenged me on a number of fronts, especially as a South African. However, the one thing that keeps coming back to me, is the title of the book. Trevor was born into a South African context that didn't allow black and white people to be married to one another - it was a crime in those days. So, when Trevor took his first breath, he was considered to be the result of a criminal act.

It got me thinking about Jesus' birth.
For some, he was also born a crime. He was also seen as an upstart and someone who was challenging the religious law of the day. Even King Herod wasn't too happy about his birth. In a similar sense, Jesus was born into a world that didn't want him. And when he died, they crucified him as if he was a criminal. He was willing to go through all of this hatred just for us.

"When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born." - Matthew 2:3-4 

What does Jesus' birth mean for you this year?

Living in Grace

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Settling in

It always takes time to settle into a new home. For some it can take months or even years. At the moment we are settling nicely into our new home and getting used to new surroundings. We know that it will take time to physically settle, but the blessing we have is that "in Jesus" we can be constantly settled. Our spiritual 'center' has not changed at all, even though we have relocated. It reminds me of the following words of Isaiah...

"... the God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me." - Isaiah 30:15-17 (Message)

Our strength comes from being dependent on Jesus. When our trust is in Him, then we are settled.

What do you think?

Living in Grace

Sunday 10 December 2017

Getting there ... slowly!

Unpacking is not a fun task at all. Box after box after box. And just when you think you are nearly the end, another box appears from nowhere. A friend asked us today how the unpacking was going and our answer was "we are getting there slowly!"

And that is the truth - we will get to the end sometime in the future, but it won't be finished in a few days - it all takes time. This should be a good lesson for us in the season of Advent. After all, a lot of us want Christmas to be here RIGHT NOW, and we don't like the waiting part.

However, moving towards Christmas day .... slowly, allows us to take in the beauty of the season, the expectancy of the Christ-child and the miracle of the Messiah. Rushing through Advent doesn't make us enjoy Christmas nearly as much as when we wait patiently.

So here is a little advice for us all - let us take a deep breath, soak in the Christmas carols and celebrations, unpack each advent 'box' slowly and thank God for his presence with us. We will get there in the end and the wait is always well worth it!

Luke 2:38 - "She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem."

Living in Grace

Saturday 9 December 2017

Hope for the helpless

"Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.
    Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them." - Psalm 10:17

I think this verse speaks into many lives this Advent season. There are a lot of people who feel 'helpless' with the circumstances that surround them, but if you asked these same people what they hoped for, they would give you a clear answer. They HOPE for change.

Hope still runs through our veins, even when we feel helpless. Jesus Christ offers all of us this HOPE - and so, may we receive his hope this Christmas season and remember that God hears the cries of his people.

Living in Grace

Thursday 7 December 2017

A Sense of Humour

I wonder if God inspired these words for my three sons?

Genesis 45:24 - "Then he sent his brothers off. As they left he told them, “Take it easy on the journey; try to get along with each other.”
I sure hope that my three boys will get along on the journey to Cape Town, but anyone who has been on a long road trip knows that this is not always the case. I am sure there will be lots of arguing along the way....
.... and yes, I am sure we will be asked a few times .... "Are we there yet!?"
If you are on the journey towards the birth of Jesus, then 'take it easy and try to get along with each other."
Living in Grace

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Hungry for more

"Why is everyone hungry for more? 
“More, more,” they say.
“More, more.”

I have God’s more-than-enough,
More joy in one ordinary day than they get in all their shopping sprees.
At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together." - Psalm 4:6-8

It is very hard to go against the flow of the majority at Christmas time. People are caught up in the whole 'more, more, more' mindset and we can so easily follow suit. The challenge for all of us to get to the place where we can say - "God is more than enough!"

Living in Grace

Monday 4 December 2017

A December Prayer

"Jesus, Light of the world.
When I am afraid and unsure,
comfort me with the light of Your presence.
When loneliness chills me,
warm me with the light of Your love.
When the road ahead seems dark,
guide me with the light of Your way.
When I don't understand and my
thoughts are unclear,
fill me with the light of Your wisdom.
When I seem spent like a candle consumed,
replenish me with the light of Your life.
Then, so filled with Your light, use me,
So that I, with You, may be light for the world!
- Unknown

May the presence of Jesus guide you today. 

Living in Grace

Saturday 2 December 2017

The Hope

"For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." - Romans 8:24-25

Advent is the season of HOPE. 
We wade through the busy shopping malls, packed highways, end of year functions - all in an effort to bring some kind of joy to others and ourselves. Yet, the very thing we all need is not an object, but a person. And in that person of Jesus, there is perpetual HOPE.

May you come to encounter the living God this Advent season.

Romans 5:5 - And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Living in Grace

Friday 1 December 2017

Aaron and Hur

"When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset." - Exodus 17:12

Thank you to everyone who has been an 'Aaron' and a 'Hur' to us over the last few days. We have needed all your support, care and help. It is so encouraging to know that when things get hard, there are people around to help 'lift your hands'. We appreciate every message and prayer - they have all kept us going.

Thought: Be thankful for those people in your life, who keep your hands raised so you can get the work done.

Living in Grace

Thursday 30 November 2017

God's Strength > My weakness

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." - 2 Corinthians 12:9

Sometimes a verse makes a lot more sense when you are going through something very similar in your own journey. For us, we feel that we are needing God's strength in 'bucket loads' at the moment and so this verse really resonates with us. May it also offer you some hope and encouragement for what you are dealing with.

Remember that God's Strength > our weakness.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 29 November 2017

My simple prayer

With everything happening in our lives at the moment I have found myself praying a very simple prayer. It goes like this:
"Make a way, Lord! 
Please, Make a way."

I know it is not filled with flowery words, but the simplicity of the prayer helps me get through the million and one things on our daily agenda. Moving house, moving cities, moving churches, leaving family and friends, starting new schools, and generally just starting over again - these are just some of the things that we are dealing with at the moment. Now, do you see why the prayer makes sense?

"Oh, God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way." - Don Moen

Living in Grace

Monday 27 November 2017

A healthy Forgetfulness

We all forget things at times, don't we? Sometimes the things we forget about are not that important (in the bigger scheme of things), but others are extremely important. I love the concept that John Ortberg shares about the trait of humility, where he refers to us learning a "healthy forgetfulness." 

This is a concept that moves us away from self-importance, self-indulgence and making everything about "ME." It is harder than most of us admit, but when we can start thinking more of others, than about ourselves, we are becoming more and more healthy - certainly in a spiritual sense.

“Humility has to do with submitted willingness. It involves a healthy forgetfulness. We will know we have begun to make progress in humility when we find that we get so enabled by the Holy Spirit to live in the moment that we cease to be preoccupied with ourselves, one way or the other. When we are with others, we are truly with them, not wondering how they can be of benefit to us.”John Ortberg

Matthew 23:12 - For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Living in Grace

Sunday 26 November 2017

By the Grace of God

In the 16th Century, John Bradford is alleged to have said these words:
"There by the grace of God goes John Bradford." 
It may seem a little strange that he was speaking these words about himself, but actually he was watching a group of prisoners being led to their execution. He recognised the potential for himself to be walking in their shoes. However, he saw the fact that he had been 'saved' as an act of God's GRACE. And I think he is right!

As I have reflected on many things of late, I keep coming back to that simple, yet profound truth. I am where I am, ONLY by the grace of God! Nothing more - nothing less!

Ephesians 2:8-9 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 

Acts 20:24 - However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Living in Grace