Monday 30 September 2019

Ignoring others

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The story of the Good Samaritan is well known in our communities, even outside official church circles. The basic message in the parable is that the religious people, who should have stopped to help the man, didn't stop, but it was the Samaritan who couldn't ignore the mans plight. Even when the Samaritan was expected to walk past, his compassion made him stop and help.

"Instead of ignoring others or stepping over or on them, with the Lord's help, we may be able to open our hearts to all in charity, compassion, and commitment." - Karen Greenwaldt

This is the challenge we live with as Christians. Showing our compassion and charity for others is an indication of our commitment to Jesus.

Luke 10:33-34 - "But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him."

Living in Grace

Thursday 26 September 2019

Does anyone care?

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Does anyone care?
This is an interesting question to answer, but before we do let me share this story with you.
I read an article about a young student in New Zealand who died in his hostel room, but no one noticed for 2 months. Can you believe that? That is 8 weeks. 56 days!

Eventually his parents asked the authorities to break into his room because they were getting worried. This story bothers me, because it shows that although we are living in a "connected" world via social media, we are not as connected as we think. This poor guy had to wait 2 months before anyone cared enough to knock on his door.

For this reason, I believe the church plays an important role in helping people connect to one another. This is not just for social reasons, but to keep each other accountable to the faith we profess. Community is vital for our survival in our Christian walk.

"Isaiah asked what we all ask at one time or another: “Does anyone care, God? Is anyone listening and believing a word of it?” The point is: Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to." - Romans 10:16-17 (Message)

Thought: Don't be tempted to withdraw too far from your Christian community, because there is a chance that people may give you the 'space' you ask for, but when you are in desperate need, there may not be anyone to hear your cry for help.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Look upon us Lord

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"Look upon us, O Lord,
and let all the darkness of our souls
vanish before the beams of thy brightness.
Fill us with holy love,
and open to us the treasures of thy wisdom.
All our desire is known unto thee,
therefore perfect what thou hast begun,
and what thy Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek thy face,
turn thy face unto us and show us thy glory.
Then shall our longing be satisfied,
and our peace shall be perfect."
(Augustine, 354 - 430)

Sometimes we find wise words from disciples who have gone before us. Augustine wrote this prayer sixteen hundred years ago and the words still ring true today. May you find strength and help through these words today.

God bless you.
Living in Grace

Saturday 21 September 2019

What to do with your disappointment?!

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So when you face disappointment what do you do with it?
Get angry? 
Seek revenge? 
Feel depressed?
When Samuel was disappointed he turned to God and he prayed about his disappointment all night!

1 Samuel 15:11-12 - "Samuel was angry when he heard this. He prayed his anger and disappointment all through the night."

If you carry on reading this passage in 1 Samuel you will note that he prayed through is disappointment first before he confronted Saul. This is a good lesson for most of us - praying first can help us avoid compounding our situation by speaking out of anger!

Living in Grace

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Dealing with bad breaks

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We will all face a tough times and 'bad breaks' in our lives - what is left for us to decide is how we deal with these. Paul gives us some sound advice for dealing with the bad breaks we will encounter.

Paul suggests (in words of Eugene Peterson):

At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

If you feel as if you have been driven to your knees, then let Jesus take over and allow God's strength to help you through this tough time.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 17 September 2019

What I value the most

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"We declare how we value God as much by our actions, by the way we treat other people, by the manner in which we do our work, as by anything we say. If however, I want to put God above all things then prayer will help to purify my motives and clarify my judgement." - Christopher Bryant

I somehow keep coming back to this understanding of faith and spirituality. If I don't match my words with appropriate actions, then I am surely disqualifying the very point I am trying to make. Jesus was the master (excuse the pun) at following up his words with his life. People knew that when he preached it was not just a good idea, but rather something he was willing to live out.

Luke 8:21 - He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practise.”

We are counted as Jesus' family when we practise what we preach.

Living in grace

Monday 16 September 2019

Nkosi! Ndithembe wena.

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During the Ordination Service yesterday, we sang the Siya Kudumisa (Te Deum) and it was marvellous to hear the church in full voice. The last line of this song really spoke to me and I feel it is a timeous reminder to all of us.

Nkosi! Ndithembe wena: ma ndingaze ndidaniswe.
In you Lord is our hope. Let us never be put to shame.

We will end up putting our hope in something or someone, so let us remember to consciously choose to place that trust in Jesus.

Jeremiah 17:7“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him."

Living in Grace

Thursday 12 September 2019

Past, present, future

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"Trust the past to the grace of God,
The present to His love
and the future to His providence." - Augustine of Hippo

We all have a past, a present and a future! And we all get to choose how we deal with each one of these. Augustine gives us sound advice when he urges us to ask God to allow his Grace, Love and Providence to go with us.

Romans 8:38-39 - "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

What do you think?

Living in Grace

Wednesday 11 September 2019

All I want is ...

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Apparently when Dante turned up at the door of a Franciscan monastery a monk asked him what he wanted. Dante replied in one word - "PEACE!"

I think his desire is probably the desire of most people. What we wouldn't give for peace? Peace of mind. Peace in the world. Peace in our communities.

Lloyd John Ogilvie wrote: "Christ is peace. Christ is patience.
We could never produce these graces in our own strength in our own strength in the quantities they are needed in our families and our world. But we do have access to an unlimited stockpile of patience because the same Spirit that enable Christ is in us."

John 14:27 - “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."

Living in Grace

Tuesday 10 September 2019

A monument to our stupidity

"They have stumbled off the ancient highways
    and walk in muddy paths.

Therefore, their land will become desolate,
    a monument to their stupidity.
All who pass by will be astonished
    and will shake their heads in amazement." - Jeremiah 18:15-16

Reading these verses from Jeremiah 18 I couldn't help wondering how relevant they are to our society today. People have chosen their own paths and instead of walking in ancient paths, have chosen to walk along muddy pathways. 

And in the end, our choices will come back to haunt us and they will be left as monuments to our stupidity! Future generations will look at what has happened and will shake their heads in astonishment.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Living in Grace


Monday 9 September 2019

Charge it to me

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It is a great blessing when someone pays the bill for you! It catches you by surprise and makes you feel as if you want to bless someone else. When Paul wrote to his friend Philemon, concerning the issue with Onesimus, he told Philemon to charge the account to him. 

Philemon 18-19 – “If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self.”

This paints a magnificent picture of God's grace and how God pays our debt for us. When I owe the Lord for my sins - a debt I can never repay - I am grateful that Jesus steps into the gap and says "Charge it to me!"

May you be blessed today knowing that the Lord has taken your sin upon his shoulders.

Living in Grace

Sunday 8 September 2019


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Jeremiah 18: 4 – “…so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” 

There are moments in our walk with God where we don't know what he is doing with and in us. Things seem a little different, strange and uncomfortable. Could these be the moments that God is busy reshaping us for something he has in mind?

Who are we to tell the Potter what he should be making?
I may want to be a made into a 'bowl', but the Potter may believe I would be a better 'cup' or 'vase'. 

God doesn't need me to tell him how to create - God is the great Creator. 

The only thing I can trust is that WHATEVER God is doing, it is going to be the best!  

If you feel as if God is busy reshaping you, trust in his design and process.

Living in Grace

Thursday 5 September 2019

It starts with ME!

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It has to start with me!
I am speaking about making a difference in our nation and speaking out against abuse, violence and the rape of women and children. What we are seeing in our country is devastating and leaves everyone feeling outraged. But, like many people we are asking:

"What can I do?"
"What difference can I make?"
"I want to add my voice, but I am only one person?"

If you are feeling like this, then let me encourage you to add your voice. Don't be concerned that your voice may not be heard - it will be!
A waterfall is made up of millions of drops of water.
A beach is made up of billions of grains of sand.
Each tree boasts thousands of leaves covering it's branches.

We all can make a difference in this world no matter how small it may seem to be.

HOWEVER, it must start with me.

I should lobby government to act, but not at the exclusion of looking at my life.
I must wear 'Thursdays in Black' buttons and pray against this evil, but not just for one day a week.
I definitely must stand up for people who are down-trodden and abused, but not just when it suits me.

And so, it started this week with me! I checked my own attitudes and heart.
And then we sat down with our 3 sons and spoke to them about this situation.
We told them how important it is to treat women with dignity and respect.
We encouraged them to stand for those with no voice.
We urged them not to use derogatory or lewd language in speaking with any woman.
We will tell them again and again, that a women's body is to be respected.
We will continue to tell them what Jesus expects from us.
Our 3 young men must learn how to change the nation and to live differently. 

It started with us.
Any change and revival starts close to home. It has started in our household. The hope is that if everyone does this, then change will be seen in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.

In his song, Send Revival, Start With Me, Matt Redman bases his lyrics on 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Isaiah 6:5-8. The words speak for themselves.

We're looking to your promise of old
That if we pray and humble ourselves
You will come and heal our land
You will come, You will come

We're looking to the promise You made
That if we turn and look to Your face
You will come and heal our land
You will come, You will come
To us

Send revival, start with me
For I am one of unclean lips
And my eyes have seen the King
Your glory I have glimpsed
Send revival, start with me

Living in Grace

P.S. - Pray for our nation like you have never prayed before.

Wednesday 4 September 2019


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"You only have control over three things in your life - the thoughts you think, the images you visualise and the actions you take (your behaviour)." - Jack Canfield

I am not sure if I agree with the statement that I only have control over these 3 things (maybe there are a few more), but I do agree with the notion that I must be accountable for my thoughts, my actions and what I look at. The Bible has been teaching us this for years, but people don't like to be told what to do. When Paul wrote this letter to Titus he instructed him to raise up godly leaders and Christ-followers:

Titus 2:12 - It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

What do you feel?

Living in Grace

Tuesday 3 September 2019

You can see it!

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Most of us reflect on our faces what is happening in our hearts, even if we are not aware of it. Have you not had the experience of a friend coming up to you and asking: "Whats wrong?" - and that is even before you have told them anything?

Our faces reveal our hearts!

"For the Church Pentecost brought light, strength and joy. It wasn't necessary for anyone to ask whether they had received the Holy Spirit. Light and Strength are self-revealing." - Samuel Chadwick

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

The challenge for us is to reflect the Light of Christ in our lives. 

May our faces reflect the glory of Jesus.

Living in Grace

Monday 2 September 2019


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One of the hardest thing to master in this life will be Contentment. We struggle to come to a place of feeling satisfied with the things in our lives. We ask questions such as these:

When will I have enough? 
Why is this wrong? 
When will this change? 
Why can't that person be different? 

In reflecting on this topic, Benjamin Franklin once remarked:  "Contentment makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor." 

The writer to the Hebrews adds his clear voice on this issue: 

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”(Hebrews 13:5)

Question: What is the one thing that is causing you discontent at the moment? Is God perhaps trying to teach you something through this particular situation? 

Living in Grace