Wednesday 31 July 2019

It takes Courage

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“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

There is so much truth in this single quote. Whatever you and I choose to do in LIFE we are going to need COURAGE to get it done. This applies especially to the most important things in our lives.
Even following Jesus takes Courage. We may be living in communities where it is easier to say we are Christians, but many followers of Jesus need huge courage just to confess their faith.

Whatever you are facing today, may God give you courage.

Acts 4:13 - When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

Living in Grace

Monday 29 July 2019

New song

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He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him." - Psalm 40:3

It is remarkable that with all the millions of songs already produced that artists find creative ways of expressing their thoughts and emotions in new songs. Itunes has over 40 million songs on its database - That is an incredible amount of songs don’t you think?

As we think about it, a new song doesn’t necessarily mean that the older songs are obsolete, but rather that, after going through a difficult experience, there is a fresh expression of God’s goodness and mercy. A deeper comprehension of Christ's faithfulness inspires new words to flow from our hearts.

Are you able to sing a new song at the moment?

Psalm 149:1 - "Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people."

Living in Grace


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Isaiah 41:10 - "They who wait upon the Lord, will renew their strength. They will run and not be weary they will walk and not faint."

The word wait in this verse can also mean - meditate, look to and hope in. Out of these 3 alternatives, the only one that implies some action is the call to meditate. In a world were waiting is a swear word, let us continue to look to the Lord, Hope in his goodness and meditate on his Word. In God's time we will renew our strength and we will continue our journey with the Lord.

Living in Grace

Saturday 27 July 2019

Turned for good

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 Genesis 50:20 - Joseph wrote about his brothers, "You meant to throw me in the pit for evil, but God turned it for good for the saving of many lives."

There is such a lot of negative and "bad stuff" that happens in our world, that it leaves even the greatest optimist filled with second thoughts.  When I read the story of Joseph, and especially this verse, it gives me some hope. What could potentially derail us, may just end up being used to bear witness to Jesus and help a lot of other people.

Hang in there if you feel as if you have been thrown into the pit - God has a way of graciously bringing good from this.

Living in Grace

Thursday 25 July 2019

Sound advice for living in today's world

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As a young Jesuit priest, John O'Malley was given this insightful, down to earth advice, about living in a Christian community. I think this advice is great for everyone to hear today - if we can put this into practise, then that will be even better!

First, you are NOT God.
Second, this is NOT heaven.
Third, DON'T be an ass!

Can you imagine how much heartache we may be able to save ourselves if we understand these 3 things. This is my version of the 3 points:

We depend on the Grace of our loving Saviour, 
as we look towards Heaven, while daily serving in this world.
The more we love our neighbour, the less our actions make us look selfish and foolish.

"...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." - Hebrews 12:2

Living in Grace

Wednesday 24 July 2019


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What season of life are you in at the moment?
What season of Spirituality are you currently in?

Just as the weather patterns move us through different seasons in a year, so we must accept that our lives (and faith) move through seasons too. Of course, each season will mean different things for different people and that is okay.

For example, here in the Western Cape, our current season is Winter, which brings with it rain, wind and cold! Some people love this time of the year as it means a time to stay indoors, read, get warm and reflect. Other people hate this weather, as it makes them depressed, grumpy and wet. Each to their own, but we realise that we can't control the seasons - we just need to embrace them and enjoy (or endure) them.

So, when it come to our faith, I feel we need to apply the same reasoning. Some seasons come upon us without warning and we wish that they hadn't. We need to turn to God during the tough seasons and hold on for the promise of a better season. God is all these times.

Seasons will change, but God remains the same.

Psalm 104:19 - "He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down."

Living in Grace

Tuesday 23 July 2019


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In response to the disciple's question - “Who then can be saved?” (Matthew 19:25), Jesus goes on to give this interesting response:"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
It is a well known verse and we use it often to encourage other people not to give up with their present trials and struggles. 

While we can see the connection between our tough times and God's promise of help, we mustn't forget that Jesus is responding to a question about Salvation. His disciples had just heard Jesus challenge the rich young ruler, who believed that he could earn his salvation (by good works and by having wealth).

Jesus reminds his followers that people cannot earn their own salvation. It is a gift from God, made possible through the work of the Saviour. If man (sic) wants to save himself, he will tire himself out in the effort and will never earn enough credits to enter the Kingdom of God. However, if we walk through the door of Salvation (actually Jesus himself), we will find God waiting to receive us. 
This is the mystery of our faith.

What are your thoughts?

"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us." - Anne Lamott


I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. Anne Lamott

Living in Grace

Monday 22 July 2019

Is it too hard for God?

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Genesis 18:14 - Is anything too hard for the Lord?

The answer to this question is usually "of course not!" God can do anything and so nothing is impossible for God. What most of us struggle with is why God  doesn't answer our heart-felt prayers in the way we would like and in our time frame. I don't have a easy answer for those questions, but I still want to encourage us to believe in the goodness of God. A delayed answer to my prayer is NOT an indication that God has decided to stop loving me. God is LOVE and he will never change his character.

Nothing is out of his reach and his capabilities. Hold onto the promises of Christ.

Living in Grace

Saturday 20 July 2019

Compare and despair

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I am fearfully and wonderfully made - Psalm 139

It is a natural thing for us to compare ourselves with other people, but it is not a good thing. When we fall into that trap, we are subtly denying who we were created to be, suggesting that God made a mistake. If I want to be more like you, then in order to be like you, I will have to let go of who I am. As James Martin SJ. suggests, when we compare we are lead to despair.

Of course, I am not suggesting that I am perfect as I am, and don't need changing or need to be inspired by others - of course I do. However, if I am going to desire to become more like someone else, then let that person be JESUS CHRIST. In striving to become more like Jesus, God graciously transforms me into the person he created me to be.

Oh the mystery of it all!

Living in Grace

Friday 19 July 2019

The Artisan

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"A rough and unshapen log has no idea that it can be made into a statue that will be considered a masterpiece, but the carver sees what can be done with it. So many ... do not understand that God can mold them into saints, until they put themselves into the hands of that almighty Artisan." - St. Ignatius Loyola

There is so much depth to this little paragraph from St Ignatius. It speaks to us of surrendering into the hands of the Almighty, who is the complete artisan. God knows how to be the painter, sculptor, potter, carpenter, builder - in essence, Creator.

As we consciously choose to put ourselves into God's hands today, will we allow him to shape and mold us?

Colossians 3:10 - "... and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator."

Living in Grace

Thursday 18 July 2019

One day at a time

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Have you ever felt as if you are carrying too many burdens? I know that I have felt this way before and although it is hard to put into practise, we all need to try and live ONE DAY at a time. Jesus clearly understood that his followers were burden by many things - BIG things - including poverty, disease, death, illness, oppressive government, religious abuse and hopelessness. Despite all these burdens Jesus still urged his followers to give their cares to him and to walk in faith, one day at a time.

John Newton suggested the same thing:
“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”

May God grant you the Strength to handle today's trials and Faith to know that Jesus will be there when tomorrows troubles come.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Not beyond our reach

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Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it." - Deuteronomy 30:11-14

Often we assume that the things of God are way beyond the reach of us mere mortals, but according to the words of Deuteronomy they are not! In fact, it seems that what God requires of us has been made all the easier through the work of the Holy Spirit. As I read through these words again, I am reminded not to make my faith so complicated. It can be as simple as it is profound.

Friends, let us not believe that God has hidden his treasures so far from us - they are nearer to us than we think.

Living in Grace