Monday 31 July 2017

Which TIME are you in right now?

The well-read passage from Ecclesiastes 3 is one which has influenced people throughout the generations. It covers everything that we will experience in our life-time and perhaps even more. I have found that every time I get to read these words from Solomon they speak to me, because I find I am “in a different place” or time. 

I believe it is the nature of the Spirit to highlight a particular moment in TIME for us - or to reveal where we are at in life. So I wanted to ask you to think about which "TIME" you are in today? Are you in a season of…?


The Good News is that all these seasons don’t last forever, so if you are in a very bad place right now, don’t despair because God can turn the seasons around. Just trust in Him and listen to his wisdom.

Living in Grace

 There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Sunday 30 July 2017

Life is like a corkscrew

Life is like a cork-screw sometimes - a cork-screw that can't be straightened. Well that is what Solomon suggests in Ecclesiastes - and I tend to agree with him (in part.) There are some things that happen to us, that leave us feeling a little 'bent out of shape' and we wonder how things will come right again. I am grateful that God always seeks to make things 'whole' again and that even when life gets tough, God's help is at hand.

12-14 Call me “the Quester.” I’ve been king over Israel in Jerusalem. I looked most carefully into everything, searched out all that is done on this earth. And let me tell you, there’s not much to write home about. God hasn’t made it easy for us. I’ve seen it all and it’s nothing but smoke—smoke, and spitting into the wind.
15 Life’s a corkscrew that can’t be straightened,
A minus that won’t add up." - Ecclesiastes 1 (MSG)

Don't forget that God is always on our side, even when life gets you down.

Living in Grace

Thursday 27 July 2017

Start with God - Proverbs 1

"Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God;
    only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you;
    never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee.
Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair,
    like rings on your fingers." - Proverbs 1 (Message)

There are a few important things hidden in these verses that I think are key for us:

1. Everything we do should start with God. So often God becomes our stop-gap when everything else seems to fail, but we need to remember to go to GOD first.

2. Our parents taught us many things and we should heed their advice. Of course, no parent is perfect, but we would do well to listen to Godly advice from our close family members.

3. Put wise counsel on the "outside" of your daily living - in other words, remember it! Put it in your hair or on your fingers if it helps you remember the wise of the godly.

Have a blessed day.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Creation reveals so much

Apologies for the long absence from the daily blogs, but I have been on a much needed Sabbatical - I am sorry for not giving you all warning about missing the posts - I had actually hoped to write a few while I was away, but that never materialised. Apologies again.

We have been on a wonderful road trip as a family, taking in some truly incredible sights of South Africa. The one thing I am convinced of is this - We live in a beautiful country! As we spent time soaking in the breath-taking Blyde River Canyon, God's Window, Kruger Park and Mabibi it left me in awe of our God.

I admit that I don't know all in the ins and outs of how God created the world, but I DO believe that a loving, creative, intelligent God created our planet. The things I have just witnessed testify 100% to God's creative hand. Perhaps the writer of Genesis makes the biggest understatement of all time when he writes...

Genesis 1:31 "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."

May God bless you today and I promise to get back on the computer and will write some more posts asap. Thanks for the concern show from so many of you - I feel loved :)

Living in Grace

Saturday 15 July 2017

Arrogance will let you down - Proverbs 3

When we think that we have all bases covered and we are confident in our own ability, that is when we are walking on thin ice. The wisdom of our own 'eyes' can be very different from what God requires of us. This is the warning that comes from Solomon in Proverbs 3.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil." - Proverbs 3:5-7

I have also learnt over the years to ask for wisdom from Godly people. It is amazing how God speaks through his servants. If you are in a tight spot today, ask God to guide you and TRUST in the Lord to get your through this tough time. Don't rely on your wisdom, but lean on God's understanding.

"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." - Socrates

Living in Grace

Friday 14 July 2017

3 Strong Words - Psalm 150

The last 5 Psalms, recorded in the Bible, all contain 3 very simple, yet profoundly powerful words - PRAISE THE LORD. In fact, if you read these Psalms now you will note that they all finish with the same 3 words - it is a call for us to offer Praise to our King.

It is not a question of suggestion or "if we have had a good day", but rather an act of Faith. When we proclaim the three words - PRAISE THE LORD, we are showing our allegiance and respect to our Lord. I think that this is a call for us, even when things don't work out for us, because it reminds us that God is still on our side and that he will fight for us.

So, if you say these 3 words with me today, you will be acknowledging who your master is and that you trust in God's great hand to be with you.

"I praise loudly. I blame softly." - Catherine the Great

Living in Grace

Thursday 13 July 2017

Show me the way! - Psalm 119

Have you ever got yourself lost? So, lost that you have had to rely on someone else to point you in the right direction? I know that this has happened to me on more than one occasion - it is quite unnerving don't you think?

There will come a time in your life where you will need someone to point you in the right direction. I am thankful that God has shown me the way to go and has offered his Spirit to guide me through the obstacles of life. If you are finding yourself feeling a little lost today, then please ask God to guide you - I am sure that he will cast some light on your path.

Psalm 119:105 - Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light for my path.

Wonder knows that while you cannot look at the light, you cannot look at anything else without it. It is not exhausted by childhood, but finds its key there. It is a journey like a walk through the woods over the usual obstacles and around the common distractions while the voice of direction leads, saying, 'This is the way, walk ye in it.' - Ravi Zacharias

Living in Grace

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Compassionate King - Psalm 103

It is not often that you find a compassionate ruler. Being compassionate can be seen as a sign of weakness, yet in this case, it reveals the great strength of God. When it is well within God's power to be vengeful or harsh, he shows his great love for humanity in his mercy.

It saddens me when I hear of people speaking of God only as an angry God or as someone who delights in putting people in their place. Do these words sound like someone who is angry?

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him." - Psalm 103:13

Just as our Lord is compassionate, let us show compassion to those who need it.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 11 July 2017

Psalm 37 - Don't worry about other people

We spend far to much time worrying about other people and what is going on in their lives, that we get side-tracked from dealing with our own issues and circumstances. David urges the people of God not to get caught up in worrying about the wicked and those "others", but rather to trust in God and to put our lives into God's hands. Solid advice I think!

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun. - Psalm 37

Stop worrying about other people and turn to your Saviour. TRUST in him.

Living in Grace

Sunday 9 July 2017

Psalms - Brilliant God

There are so many fantastic Psalms. It is impossible to choose only 1 for the sake of these daily blogs, so I will have to cheat and choose a few more. Today's Psalm speaks of the brilliance of God. I like the way that Eugene Peterson encourages us to Praise God with those words - God, Brilliant Lord. It reminds me that God is so incredible and amazing that our human words are just not enough to describe our Saviour.

God, brilliant Lord,
    yours is a household name.

Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;
    toddlers shout the songs
That drown out enemy talk,
    and silence atheist babble.
3-4 I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
    your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
    Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
    Why take a second look our way?
5-8 Yet we’ve so narrowly missed being gods,
    bright with Eden’s dawn light.
You put us in charge of your handcrafted world,
    repeated to us your Genesis-charge,
Made us lords of sheep and cattle,
    even animals out in the wild,
Birds flying and fish swimming,
    whales singing in the ocean deeps.
God, brilliant Lord,    your name echoes around the world. - Psalm 8

Living in Grace

Saturday 8 July 2017

Job - no more words!

The suffering of Job is well documented and many people feel a great kinship with the man who suffered greatly in his time. Job had to endure things that would break many of us, but he kept wrestling with God, his friends and life. His suffering became his greatest teacher and in the end, God restores to Job everything he lost (and more).

Job had a lot of questions for God, but in the end, he realised he couldn't out-think or out-reason God. He needed to rest in the Infinite wisdom of his heavenly father. These words show us Job's reponse to God.

1-6 Job answered God:
“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.
    Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
    ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
    made small talk about wonders way over my head.
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
    Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
    now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!
I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
    I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumour.” - Job 42

Sometimes we just have to trust in God's wisdom and His ways. 

Living in grace

Friday 7 July 2017

Esther - Such a time as this?

13 Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. 14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” - Esther 4:13-14

If we keep looking towards the future, we may miss out on the blessings of the present.
If we keep looking to the past, we may carry unneccessary burdens into today.
The greatest challenge for us is to reflect on why God has allowed us to be alive for the PRESENT. 
Is it possible that we were created for such a time as this?

What do you think?
What are you going to do about the challenges that lie ahead?

Living in Grace

Thursday 6 July 2017

Nehemiah - with God's Help

Carrying on with the theme of yesterday - rebuilding when faced with opposition - it is interesting to note that Nehemiah faced similar trials as Ezra. There were many people who tried to distract them from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, but in the end God helped them prevail. This verse sums up the hard work and focussed stewardship of Nehemiah and his team.

15 So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. 16 When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God." - Nehemiah 6:15-16

The hard work of the people, coupled with the HELP of God, ended up in a great victory and the task was completed. We would be wise to remember that anything worthwhile will take time and a huge effort if we want to succeed in that task. If it is worth it, then it is worth the pain and hardship to accomplish the goal.

Keep at it! God will help you complete the task.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 5 July 2017

Ezra - don't be discouraged

Ezra records how the people of Israel had to deal with lots of trouble and hardship as they tried to rebuild the Temple. There were people who pretended that they wanted to help, but actually just wanted to distract and disrupt the good work. These local residents did all the could to DISCOURAGE the people of Judah, but in the end God helped them to finish the task.

Then the local residents tried to discourage and frighten the people of Judah to keep them from their work. They bribed agents to work against them and to frustrate their plans. This went on during the entire reign of King Cyrus of Persia and lasted until King Darius of Persia took the throne." - Ezra 4:4-5

So, next time you are discouraged from your task or other people tried to distract you, remember who you are doing it for and trust in God's protection. Even though people may try and frighten us from the work, we need to persevere until the end! 

No plans of God can be frustrated!

Living in Grace

Tuesday 4 July 2017

2 Chronicles - a great promise

The book of 2 Chronicles is not one we often turn to when we are looking for the Promises of God, yet it contains one of the most well known passages in the Bible. These words are as appropiate in today's world as they were when they were written. The contain a wonderful promise, as well as a poignent reminder for us to follow God's ways.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 15 My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. 16 For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart. - 2 Chronicles 7:14-16

I am not sure if you have noticed that last line before? Read it again - it is wonderful!

I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart. 

God says that we are dear to his heart! That is something to cherish today. Believe it and be blessed by it!

Living in Grace

Monday 3 July 2017

1 Chronicles - A song of thanks

Sometimes a song says it best! There is incredible emotion in the melody of a song and when the lyrics compliment the music, then the song becomes deeply meaningful. In order to thank God for the amazing blessings he had received David wrote many songs. We know that most of them are recorded in the Psalms, but there are a few scattered throughout other parts of the Old Testament.

The words of today's song are found in the book of 1 Chronicles. As you read them I pray that they would make your heart glad and that you would be moved to offer your own praise to the Lord.

Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
    Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
    Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
33 Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord,
    for he is coming to judge the earth.

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever.
35 Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation!
    Gather and rescue us from among the nations,
so we can thank your holy name
    and rejoice and praise you. - 1 Chronicles 16

Living in Grace

Sunday 2 July 2017

2 Kings 19 - Asking for help

We don't find it easy to ask for help do we? We think it may be seen as a sign of weakness or that we aren't coping, but in truth, we NEED to ask for help at times. When King Hezekiah was confronted with a grave threat from his enemies he turned to God for help. This showed his great humility and willingness to place his trust in God. We could all learn from his example - asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but of greater TRUST.

"Bend down, O Lord, and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God.
17 “It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. 18 And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. 19 Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God.” - 2 Kings 19:16-19

"We're often ashamed of asking for so much help because it seems selfish or petty or narcissistic, but I think, if there's a God - and I believe there is - that God is there to help. That's what God's job is. " - Anne Lamott

Remember it is OK to ask for help.

Living in Grace

We're often ashamed of asking for so much help because it seems selfish or petty or narcissistic, but I think, if there's a God - and I believe there is - that God is there to help. That's what God's job is. Anne Lamott
Read more at:

Saturday 1 July 2017

1 Kings - Solomon's request

If you were invited to ask for anything that you want - what would you ask for?
It is actually a tough question, but the more you think about it, the more things come to mind. It is a legendary account of Solomon's response to the offer made to him by God.
"What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!"

This is Solomon's reply:
Solomon replied, “You showed great and faithful love to your servant my father, David, because he was honest and true and faithful to you. And you have continued to show this great and faithful love to him today by giving him a son to sit on his throne.
“Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. (1 Kings 3:6-10)

May we also learn to ask God for wisdom how to handle the troubles of life and then courage to deal with all the challenges that come our way.

John Maxwell -  "A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them."
A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.
Read more at:

Living in Grace