Friday 30 August 2019

New Life

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Spring is upon us and with the change in Seasons comes the hope of change and expectation of new life. Here is a lovely prayer for Spring, which has been adapted by John Newton.

"Lord, afford a spring to me,
Let me feel like what I see;
Speak, and by your gracious voice,
Make my drooping soul rejoice. 

On your garden deign to smile,
Raise the plants, enrich the soil;
Soon your presence will restore
Life to what seemed dead before."

(from a hymn by John Newton taken from Guideposts)

Titus 3:5 - "... he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit."

Living in Grace

Thursday 29 August 2019

In God's Image

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"To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name." - Thomas Merton

"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." - Genesis 1:27

You are created in the image of God and therefore you are beautifully and wonderfully made.
We are NOT God, but we carry his likeness in our souls when we allow God's Spirit to fill our hearts.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 28 August 2019

Simple prayers

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"Thank you, Lord, for the grace of your love,
for the grace of friendship,
and for the grace of beauty. Amen." - Henri Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak

Prayers don't need to be long-winded in order to be meaningful. Here is another example of a beautiful, but simple prayer!

Psalm 109:26 - Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love.

Living in Grace


Tuesday 27 August 2019

Big enough?

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Out of all the works of Christian Mystic Evelyn Underhill I love this quote the most:

“If God were small enough to be understood, He would not be big enough to be worshipped.”

Is it not true that in trying to reduce God to a size that will be manageable for us to understand, we slowly lose the magnificence of God's glory, power and might? If we want a God that is so small that he will fit into our tiny minds, then he would not be worth worshipping at all.

Psalm 99:1-3 (The Message)
"God rules. On your toes, everybody! He rules from his angel throne—take notice! God looms majestic in Zion, He towers in splendour over all the big names. Great and terrible your beauty: let everyone praise you! Holy. Yes, holy."

Here is another lovely message from Evelyn. Enjoy.

"God is much in the difficult home problems as in the times of quiet and prayer."

May you be blessed today.

Living in Grace

Monday 26 August 2019

The knock-on effect

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Have you ever witnessed at first-hand the impact of the Knock-on effect!?
Have you experienced the fall out from someone else's decisions and then seen your plans hit for a six? Here is a random example that may give you an idea of what I am speaking about:

You are in a meeting and it runs late because someone hijacks the agenda, waffling on about something insignificant. Now, instead of leaving at the appointed time, you find yourself caught up in the afternoon traffic. The delay in the traffic jam, makes you late to pick up your kids, which makes for an interesting car-ride home. Everything else then runs behind schedule and your great plans for a quiet evening at home go up in pillar of smoke!

And the frustrating thing is that all of this is the knock-on effect of something beyond your control! To be more specific..... someone else's actions change your entire day!

Can you relate to this at all? If you can, then can I ask us to pause for a moment and ask the question:

"What if I am the someone?"
"What if I can make a positive knock-on effect in someones life?"

 "Can I do something that causes a ripple of change and hope around me?

Jesus' ministry is a classic example of how his life caused a major knock-on effect in those around him. It was not a day in their lives that he changed - Jesus changed their entire existence!

"At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them." - Luke 4:40

Living in Grace


Sunday 25 August 2019

God will make a way

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Don Moen wrote an inspiring song about 20 years ago and I was reminded of this song this past week. The words are a great reminder that even when things look bleak, God can make a way for us.

"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."

John 1:23 - John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

Living in Grace

Thursday 22 August 2019

A Confrontation

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I don't like confrontation at all and usually I will shy away from it unless it is absolutely necessary. However, there is one confrontation I believe we all need to have and that is a 'confrontation' with Jesus. Perhaps confrontation is not the word we would usually use to speak about our encounter with Jesus, but read these words and see what I mean:

"A confrontation with Jesus is always a rigorous examination of the "musts" of our life. It is not unlike lying in the ICU of a hospital after a massive coronary. In the silent darkness of early morning, we ask where all the hurrying and demanding, all the striving and spending bring us - at last." - Donald Shelby

Proverbs 8:10 - Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold.

If you had a confrontation with Jesus right now, what "musts" do you think may need to change in your life?

Living in Grace

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Without despair and pride

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"Jesus Christ is a God whom we approach without pride, and before whom we humble ourselves without despair." - Blaise Pascal

This quote reminded me of the words from Hebrews, where we are invited to approach God's throne with humility and confidence.

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." - Hebrews 4:15-16

This teaches us that there are two things we can let go of as we come to God: Our pride and our despair. 

Living in Grace

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Blessed with peace

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The Lord gives strength to his people;
  the Lord
blesses his people with peace.”Psalm 29:11

In reflecting on today’s reading John Stott writes some insightful words: “God, whose voice is heard in the thunder, can also pacify the storm, making Himself known in the still small voice as well as in the earthquake. He is thus able to give to His people not only strength but peace.”

For millions of people struggling to make ends meet in this crazy world of ours, if you offered them strength and peace, they would take them both with open hands. Some would even be willing to pay exorbitant prices for the blessing of peace and strength. 

The irony is that Jesus Christ offers us both of these gifts for free – through trusting in God’s grace, we get to benefit from His perpetual peace and strength. Jesus said: 

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:27).

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). 

Living in Grace

Monday 19 August 2019

What is best for you.

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How do you know what is best for your life?
How do you know what is best for your children's lives?
These are tough questions to figure out, especially when the future seems a little unsure.
I don't believe we can fully see the entire picture, but we can put our trust in God to help us. As Isaiah comments: The Lord teaches us what is for the best.

"This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go." - Isaiah 48:17

Helen Keller - "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart."


Living in Grace

Sunday 18 August 2019

Where does your security lie?

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"Where does your security lie? 
Is God your refuge, your hiding place, 
your stronghold, your shepherd, 
your counsellor, your friend, 
your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? 
If He is, you don't need to search any further for security."- Elisabeth Elliot 

In an age where security is the new buzz word, we are constantly looking for new ways to keep ourselves physically secure. However, we realise that there is still a limit to how much we can protect ourselves. In a spiritual sense, we are also looking for answers as to how we can be at peace and know our faith is secure. Elisabeth Elliot had to face the tragedy of losing her missionary husband when Jim was murdered on the mission field. In the end, she eventually came to a place of peace, knowing that God would be her rock and fortress. 

This is a very challenging lesson to learn and it makes it all the more real when someone has face a crisis in their lives and overcome that crisis by trusting in God. 

What do you feel about Elisabeth's quote?

Ø  Isaiah 54:5 - For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.

Living in Grace