Tuesday 30 October 2018

Be our strength

I stumbled upon this scripture this morning. I found it helpful and would like to share it with you all. I am grateful for the small ways in which God speaks to us. May it offer you some consolation and encouragement.

Isaiah 33:2 - Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.

Helen Keller once remarked: Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/strength

Prayer: God, please give me the strength I need for today and the Hope that will see me through until tomorrow.
Living in Grace

Monday 29 October 2018

Sitting on your hands

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[ To Be Mature ] In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.- Ephesians 4:2-3 (Message)

As you read this wonderful passage from Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus, what strikes you?

Here are a few of the stand out things for me today:

1. Do I spend time sitting on my hands?
2. Don't take paths that lead nowhere.
3. Humility and discipline are key ingredients along the journey.
4. Pouring ourselves out in acts of love.
5. Be quick to mend broken fences.

I would love to hear from you - send me a message. God bless. 

Living in Grace

Sunday 28 October 2018

Not easy, but worth it!

Image result for Not easy, but worth it 

Listening to many wonderful testimonies in Church today, I was reminded that many of our stories are born in pain. Almost every person testified how through their pain they came to experience God's love and compassion. It almost sounds ridiculous, but this is what we have experienced. Left with a choice of giving up on God and turning back from him, people shared of how they choose to see God's hand at work in their lives. I suppose our stories of the Christian faith could be summed up like this:

"Following God is NOT easy, but it is still WORTH it."

Don't let your present difficulty prevent God from revealing his mercy to you.

Living in Grace

Friday 26 October 2018

Happy place?

So where is your HAPPY place? Where do you find yourself at peace and the most content? Is there a place that you like to find 'refuge' in - to flee back too in order to connect with God and yourself?
There are a few places that I love going to for this purpose, but the best is the BEACH. Let me walk on the beach or just sit and watch the waves and I am happy. The stress of life evaporates quickly when I smell the sea and hear the ocean.

So where is your happy place?

Coming back to our Psalm for the week, we see that David doesn't need a place to go to, but rather desires to be in the presence of God - that is his place of contentment. When David spent time with the Lord he felt at peace and restored.

Psalm 46:1God is our protection and our strength.
    He always helps in times of trouble.

Living in Grace

Thursday 25 October 2018

Step out of the Traffic

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God,
    above politics, above everything.” - Psalm 46:10 (Message)

This is such a refreshing look at the familiar words of this Psalm. We may remember the verse like this:“Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

However, as I read the words 'Step out of the traffic!' I think of intentionally getting away from the hustle of peak hour traffic. Once the noise dies down, I can take a careful look at my surroundings and in a spiritual sense, 'take a loving look' at God. It is reassuring to note that God is above all things - including politics!

Perhaps today is the day we need to step out of the rush-hour traffic and take a loving look at Jesus.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Standing Fearless

I remember once being enticed to do a bridge-swing. It was a long time ago, but I am sure that the reason I attempted this feat was because there was a lady I was trying to impress. Needless to say, my bravery was a facade and jump off believing I was going to die. Thank goodness I survived to tell the tale! The one thing I can say for certainty is that NEVER stood at the edge of that bridge feeling 'fearless.' I was a nervous wreck.

So, here is reason for the story (above). When I read Psalm 46 from Eugene Peterson's Message, this is what he says:

God is a safe place to hide,
    ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
    courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
    the tremors that shift mountains. (v.1-3)

The only time we stand 'fearless' before anything that makes us afraid, is when we know that we are in God's care - no matter what! God is the safest place to hide and to trust in his goodness.

May we stand at the edge of our troubles and put in our faith (as weak as it may be) in the hands of God.

Living in Grace

P.S. It is with sadness that I learnt of Eugene Peterson's death yesterday. He died at 85, after a long battle with cancer. I will share some thoughts on his life later in the week.

Tuesday 23 October 2018

From the ashes

This is a lovely poem that reminds me of the HOPE we have in the Lord. That even when things seem at an end, there is still a song of Hope. I don't think that Sara Teasdale meant it in this way, but I have read these thoughts into it. Enjoy.
“From my spirit's gray defeat,
From my pulse's flagging beat,
From my hopes that turned to sand
Sifting through my close-clenched hand,
From my own fault's slavery,
If I can sing, I still am free.

For with my singing I can make
A refuge for my spirit's sake,
A house of shining words, to be
My fragile immortality.”

Sara Teasdale

Isaiah 61:3 -  "...he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory."

Living in Grace

Monday 22 October 2018

That picture!

There are a few iconic pictures, paintings and photos that speak such volumes into our lives. One of them is the photo I have attached. I was reminded of this photo during this last week and, being a preacher, I had to use it in my sermon yesterday.

Have a look at the picture and reflect on these few words from Psalm 46. I will share some more thoughts on this later in the week - so keep reading :)

Psalm 46:1 - God is our REFUGE and Strength, an ever present help in trouble.

Today, may you hold onto this powerful image and the words of this Psalm.

Living in Grace

Thursday 18 October 2018

Life itself is grace

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.- Frederick Buechner

This is a lovely quote to begin the day with.  Remember that the very breath you are breathing now is a gift of grace.

God bless.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Keep a firm grip

"Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word." - Hebrews 10:23
" Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." (NIV)

 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.

No matter what version you read of this verse, it conveys the same message - sometimes we just need to keep a firm grip on to the promises of God. Whatever you are facing today, hold onto the important promises of God. He is faithful to keep up his end of the bargain.

Living in Grace