Saturday 30 September 2017

Oh to be encouraged!

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you.
Criticize me, and I may not like you.
Ignore me, and I may not forgive you.
Encourage me, and I will not forget you. “ - William Arthur Ward.

There is something incredible about Encouragement! I am talking about sincere, well meaning words of Encouragement. They can go a long way to changing your attitude and even your situation. Next time you are given an opportunity to "lift the spirits" of a friend, I invite you to encourage them.

Romans 15:32 - "Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other."

Ephesians 4:29 - "Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them."

Living in Grace

Friday 29 September 2017

I can't keep this

One of the old martyrs said to his persecutors as they were leading him to his death,
"You take a life from me that I cannot keep,
and bestow a life upon me that I cannot lose." - Dwight L. Moody

To have the assurance and faith to speak these words, as your last words, is truly remarkable. It speaks of a depth of Trust in Jesus that I long to have. It reminds us all that the one thing we are all obsessed about preserving (Life) is the one thing we cannot hold onto.  Makes you think, doesn't!?

Matthew 16:25 - For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

Living in Grace

Thursday 28 September 2017

Turtle or Hen

"A turtle lays thousands of eggs without anyone knowing, but when the hen lays an egg, the whole country is informed." - Malayan proverb.

We all know people who like to brag about their accomplishments - no matter how small or big they are, these people love to cluck like a hens and shout so the world can hear. We may be impressed by what they have achieved, but we will still think they are loud and arrogant.

On the other hand, the person who achieves much, without bragging or boasting, impresses us much more. Their humility seems to add to their achievements and we want to honour those people more.

In a Spiritual sense, we can also have 'hens' and 'turtles' in the church. Some people like to tell the world what they have done, but the 'turtles' who get on and quietly do the work of laying the 1000 eggs, end up being noticed in the end.

Worth thinking about, don't you think?

Proverbs 25:14 Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of gifts never given

Living in Grace

Wednesday 27 September 2017


Hi there friends - apologies for the lack of contact the past few days. I have had a second round of flu that has left me feeling "man" down and at the same time we have had no telephone/internet at home for nearly a week - which has been equally frustrating. Anyway enough excuses for now. I came across this verse today which I thought would make a great "mantra" to live by. I offer it to you to reflect on and to use for yourself.

"Live in harmony with one another;
Be sympathetic,
Love as brothers/sisters
Be compassionate and humble." - 1 Peter 3:8

What do you think?

Living in grace

Saturday 23 September 2017

Resist the Temptation

We all face temptations in different ways and from different sides. We can't stop the temptations from coming, but we can decide how we respond to them. Let me tell you about a little temptations I faced recently:

We have been paying a fair amount of hospital and doctor's bills of late - and sometimes the medical aid pays the money directly into your account, instead of into the doctors account. They seem to prefer it for us to pay the bills ourselves. As you can imagine, it is quite a nice feeling to see your account suddenly swell with a few thousand rand, and the 'temptation' is to believe that the money is yours to spend elsewhere. I find that the best way to avoid the temptation is to get 'rid' of the money as soon as I can - in other words, pay the outstanding account ASAP. The longer the money sits in the account, the more you are tempted to believe it can be used for other expenses. If I gave into that temptation, then I would 'pay' for it later on.

Perhaps this example is a good way of dealing with other temptations that may come our way - pride, selfishness, anger, lust, greed etc - getting 'rid' of that initial thought is a good way of removing the temptation from resting in your heart.

1 Corinthians 10:13 -  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

What do you think?

Living in Grace

Friday 22 September 2017

Walking with God

“A person who walks with God always gets to their destination.” - Henrietta C. Mears

This simple quote can be mislead us into thinking that the path to our destination is going to be easy, BUT it doesn't say that at all. What it does tell us is that when we choose to walk the journey with Jesus, we will end up at our destination - the underlying assumption is that God will help us reach the end goal. 

I needed this reminder today. How about you? 

Micah 6:8 - He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Living in Grace

Thursday 21 September 2017

Do your part

"He who governed the world before I was born shall take care of it likewise when I am dead. My part is to improve the present moment." – John Wesley

I like this sentiment from John Wesley. It reminds me of two crucial things:

 1.       God was involved in the things of this world long before I was born, and God will continue to be involved long after I have gone. I should let him do his work and stop worrying so much. 

2.       We have an important part to play in this world, even if it is only for a brief moment in time. We can love God, love others and seek to make the world a better place.

Psalm 90:1-2
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Read the fine print

“Following Jesus isn’t something you can do at night where no one notices. It’s a twenty-four-hour-a-day commitment that will interfere with your life. That’s not the small print—that’s a guarantee.”Kyle Idleman

I like this quote because it tells the truth about following Jesus. It reminds me that if I want to really follow Jesus then it will take 'ALL' of me. There is no catch in the fine print - that is the Guarantee. Christianity will consume your life - it is meant to do that. It is meant to turn everything upside down. 

If we want to follow the Jesus way, then we had better prepare ourselves for a bumpy ride.

1 Peter 2:21 - "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps."

Living in Grace

Monday 18 September 2017

Lord, you catch me when I am falling

I have found these words from a song by Casting Crowns quite meaningful lately. As I share them with you I hope that they strike a chord with you too. I especially like the words "Lord, you catch me when I am falling." Are there any words that stand out for you?

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the bright and morning star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?
Not because of who I am
But because of what you've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who you are
I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still you hear me when I'm calling
Lord, you catch me when I'm falling
And you've told me who I am
I am yours
Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?
Living in Grace

Friday 15 September 2017

We needed a surgeon ...

Peter Kreeft – “We needed a surgeon, and he came and reached into our wounds with bloody hands. He didn’t give us a placebo or a pill or good advice. He gave us himself.” 

      This quote reminds me that Jesus comes to meet our needs and not our 'wants!' In giving of himself, Jesus met every one of the desires and needs that we had (and will have). God could have given us the drugs to numb the pain, the pill to stop the hurting or even some helpful advice. Instead God sent us his Son - and in Jesus, we got all we ever needed.

      "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him." - 1 John 4:9

     Living in Grace