Friday, 10 July 2020

Prayer for this weekend

Christina Rossetti Quotes - QuotesNStories
Christina Rossetti wrote some beautiful poetry in her day, as well as many prayers and songs. Here is a prayer of hers that I have slightly modernised. Enjoy it and have a blessed day.

"O Lord, who is the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,
who notices your weak creatures,
weary of labour,
weary of pleasures,
weary of heart from hope deferred,
and weary of self.
In your abundant compassion
and unspeakable tenderness,
bring us, we pray, 
into your rest, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Luke 2:14 - “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Approaching storm

Approaching Storm | Tony Corso Images
As I write todays blogpost we are expecting a massive storm to hit the Cape any moment. The weather has already changed and we are bracing ourselves for heavy winds, driving rain and even snow on the mountains.

All of this got me thinking about the storms we face in our lives and how different they would be if we had a little forewarning before they arrived. Take for example any of the storms you have faced in your life and imagine if you had been given a "storm report" beforehand. Would this have made a differnce for you? I think it would have made a huge difference for most of us. But, sadly we are not granted that privilege.

Of course, Jesus did give us some warning about the troubles we would face, but I guess we have short memories or perhaps we never thought the storms would effect us.

John 16:33 - 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.”

Proverbs 10:25 -When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.

May God guide you through the storms you may face.

For those who had trouble watching the video yesterday please click on this link and hopefully it works :)


Living in Grace
D3LM3

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Two powerful words - THANK YOU

Hi friends,

This is a THANK YOU message to you all for your support and encouragement over the last 13 years of this incredible journey (see video below). This blog wouldn't be anything if it weren't for your willingness to read these thoughts. God bless you and I look forward to the future.

If for some reason you can't open this video then you can check it out on Youtube and Facebook. If all of that fails let me know:)

Thanks again
Living in Grace
D3LM3

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Fan the flame


Fan into flame the gift of God | Henry Center
"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you." - 2 Timothy 1:6

In this single verse Paul touches on such an important aspect of our Christian lives. He reminds Timothy (and us) that when we receive God as our Saviour we are given a spiritual gift and we are meant to use this gift for God's glory.

One of the reasons why I feel many church-goers get frustrated in our faith is because we don't recognise what that gift is and so never get to enjoy using it for the Lord. So, here is the challenge for each of us:

1. Do you know what your spiritual gift is?
2. Are you fanning this into a flame so that it can glorify Jesus and the church?

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Monday, 6 July 2020

Growth or decline?

Region's outlook marred by uncertainty and risks of hard Brexit ...
In reflecting on Jeff Manion's book The Land Between, he delves into the Israelites struggle to see God's plan as they travelled out of slavery into the new land. Sometimes we also struggle to see God's will and plan in the painful journey's we go through and I think that this season of Covid-19 is no exception. The real challenge for me lies in what we make of this time of transition. As Manion says:

“Our response to God while in the Land Between is what will determine whether our journey through this desert will result in deep, positive growth or spiritual decline.” – Jeff Manion

When we look back over this time of intense trial and difficulty what kind of things will we see in our spiritual lives? Will we recognise Spiritual growth or will we have to acknowledge that our faith has taken a huge step backwards?

Whatever the outcome of this 'Land Between' for us, we should never forget that God's desire is always to bring about a hope and future for each one of us.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

Living in Grace

D3LM3

   

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Complaining

One Of The Few Things I Complain About: Complaining
I am finding it so hard during this time of lockdown to remain focused on the good things that are out there and not let the negative change my mind-set. When I catch myself complaining I try to get a handle on it and rather try to count my blessings instead. I am not sure if you are better at it than I am, but it is worth reflecting on. Some of the things I complain about are not really major issues in the big scheme of things I guess.

I used to give the Israelites a tough time for being so grumpy when they were in the desert, but on reading through Exodus again, I have come to understand why they were complaining. They felt as if God had led them from one bad situation into another. Complaing about no water and no food is a really big deal and none of us would be excluded from doing the same thing.

Exodus 16:7 - In the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaints, which are against him, not against us. What have we done that you should complain about us?”

As we start a new week, let us resolve to do a few things:
1. Refrain from complaining about trivial matters
2. Give thanks for our many blessings
3. Help those in need.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” Maya Angelou

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Friday, 3 July 2020

Unsettled


Unsettled – Advent Truth
"But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to tell you, for a doubtful mind will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind." - James 1:6

As I read these words from James I am trying to work out if I am doubting the Lord in these uncertain times and I would have to say.... 'not really.' I am stumped in terms of what the future holds, but I don't believe I am doubting God's grace and love in the midst of this storm.

However, if I am being honest I must admit that I am feeling very unsettled. And James is so right when he says that being unsettled makes you feel like a wave of the sea, tossed about and blown everywhere by the wind. This is the time when we need to allow our stability to be found in the person of Jesus and not in our circumstances. Seasons will come and go, but the Love of God remains firm and secure.

The other thing about feeling unsettled is that it makes us start to become very miserable and our actions can easily hurt other people. We need to be on our guard against allowing our feelings to spill over into the lves of those we love.

“An unsettled person will constantly rant about inconsequential things” - Charmaine J Forde

Prayer: Lord, even though I am feeling unsettled in these turbulent times, teach me to place my trust and hope in you. You are the only stable Factor in my life at this time. Amen.

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Uncertainty

CONTROL FREAK - How To Embrace the Uncertainty In Life - Gratisoul
I have found recently that many of the scriptures I know seem to take on a whole new meaning in the present circumstances in which we find ourselves. Take this one for example:

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." (1 Timothy 6:17)

Although I have never thought of myself as being arrogant, I do realise how easy it is to put our hope in the material things of the world. If we never realised it before Covid-19, then this panemic has certainly helped us remember that 'wealth' and 'security' are not as certain as we always think they are. There is a strong call for us to place our Hope in the things of God and in God's great promises.

1 Corinthians 4:10 (Message) - "You might be sure of yourselves, but we live in the midst of frailties and uncertainties."

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Beginnings

4 QUotes: New Beginning Quotes Every day is a new beginning, take ...
As we embark upon the beginning of another new month (and the second half of 2020) let us remember that with Jesus there is always the chance to begin again. Let us forget the former things and hold onto the promise of new life.

Romans 6:4 - "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

“Without a beginning I am pouring the whole of my existence into the building of endings, while the cross and the resurrection declare that God is incessantly building beginnings from the collapse of endings.”
Craig D. Lounsbrough

“Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” -  L.M. Montgomery

What does beginning again mean for you today?

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

The Half-time score is irrelevant

8. Don't give up at half-time. Concentrate on winning the second ...
Today marks the end of June and the end of the 6th month of the year. So I guess we are half way through 2020 - can you believe it? In some ways it feels like we have just woken up from a bad dream and still have another few hours until day-break.

Anyway, I just wanted to remind myself (and you also) that the half-time score in any game is actually not that important. Just because you may be losing at half-time doesn't mean that the game is lost. As Gresham Barret once said: "The most insignificant score is the half-time score."

As we steel ourselves for the second half of 2020 let us turn to the Lord for our strength and guidance. The Bible is filled with examples of people who looked down and out, but who managed to turn the tables with the help of God. Let us not lose heart, but commit all our plans to the Lord and ask the Spirit to strengthen us.

Ezra 10:4 - "Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”

"Instead of facing a crisis as I approached middle age, I discovered that a new and better life lay before me. I called the process of discovery 'halftime,' and the outcome led to my second half." -Bob Buford

Living in Grace
D3LM3


most insignificant score is the score at halftime. Gresham Barrett
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/halftime-quotes
The most insignificant score is the score at halftime. Gresham Barrett
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/halftime-quotes

Monday, 29 June 2020

Blue Monday

Blue Monday 2019 – National Awareness Days Events Calendar 2020 ...

Blue Monday is a term that is used for the 3rd Monday of January, which is considered to be the saddest day of the year. It originates from the idea that in the Northern Hemisphere, this is usually a cold time of the year, people are sad because of returning to work, breaking New Year's Resolutions and just generally feeling depressed.

Today is not anywhere near the middle of January, but it feels a little "blah" to me. It is cold outside, with a little drizzle and there seems to be no end in sight with the Covid-19 story. It is easy on days like today to feel down and demotivated, but one has to ride through the troubled days to get to better days.

Let us not lose the Hope we have in Jesus Christ. For God, we can turn to him anyday of the week and know that he is willing to be with us.

Here are some beautiful words from Psalm 142 that may offer hope to those who are feeling a little down. God bless you.

“As I sink in despair, my spirit ebbing away, you know how I’m feeling, Know the danger I’m in, the traps hidden in my path. Look right, look left— there’s not a soul who cares what happens! I’m up against it, with no exit— bereft, left alone. I cry out, God, call out: ‘You’re my last chance, my only hope for life!’ Oh listen, please listen; I’ve never been this low. Rescue me from those who are hunting me down; I’m no match for them. Get me out of this dungeon so I can thank you in public. Your people will form a circle around me and you’ll bring me showers of blessing!” (The Message)

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Sunday, 28 June 2020

The Significance

6 Ways To Make History Class More Fun | The Teachers Digest

The significance of major events in the history of the world is obvious. They make us stop and look back to see how far we have come OR maybe how we have refused to learn any lessons from the past. Today, the 28th June is a signifcant day for many reasons, but 2 of them tie up with the First World War.

It was on this day in 1914 that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his consort, Sophie, were assassinated in Sarajevo, precipitating the outbreak of World War I. Fast forward five years (1919), and it was on this day that the Treaty of Versailles was signed confirming the end of the war.

What happened in the space of 5 years changed the trajectory of the world, especially in regards to politics, economics and human relations. Millions of people were killed and millions left broken and traumatised.

Although we don't officially know the dates of Jesus birth and death, it was these two events that changed the way humanity viewed God. For the first time many people realised that God was willing to go to the ends of the earth to bridge the relationship between man and God. Jesus' birth, life and death changed our lives forever.

What will this day mean for you? Will be significant?

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Friday, 26 June 2020

A Lantern

Psalm 119:105 | World Challenge

Lazarus Spengler was a 16th Century reformer, who supported Martin Luther during the tumultuous days of the Reformation. He is also known for helping design the "Luther Rose" which became symbol of Lutheranism. 

At one point he wrote: "For my feet your holy word is a lantern, a light that shows me the way forward; as this morning star rises upon us we understand the great gifts that God's spirit has certainly promised us, and in these we have our hope." 

Of course, his words are just an echo of the words of Scripture, where the Psalmist once sang:

"Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path." - Psalm 119:105

May God continue to be your lantern during these days of challenge and uncertainty.

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Lasting qualities

NIV, The Woman's Study Bible, Hardcover, Full-Color | Fear of the ...
In our 'throw away' world  many things aren't built to last any more. It is as if we only expect them to give us a limited life-span. Appliances, vehicles, clothes, mobile devices, computers and the like. Sadly, this same attitude has moved into other avenues of our communities and this has had a negative impact on our relationships and faith. 

As we come to the end of our reflection on the Proverbs, the writer reminds us that a person who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. The body ages, material possessions lose their appeal, but the person who honours God will be remembered.

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman fears the Lord will be greatly praised." - Proverbs 31:30

“Remember to take time for God—it is life’s only lasting investment.”
― Elizabeth George

“To know Christ in the modern world is to know him in your world now. To know him in your world now is to live interactively with him right where you are in your daily activities." - Dallas Willard

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Speak up

Pin on Empowerment
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those who are perishing. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice." - Proverbs 31:8-9

When King Lemuel's mother shared her insight with him she wanted him to be a wise and caring king. Forgetfulness is so prevalent among rulers and politicians that we see how they forget the poor and the marginalised. However, a leader who remembers the downtrodden is well loved and admired. Perhaps these words of wise women shaped the leadership of King Lemuel? 

They are certainly a true word for all of us today!

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” — Alice Walker

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” — Dr Martin Luther King Jr

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Living in Grace
D3LM3

Monday, 22 June 2020

Don't laugh at the small things

It's a simple reminder for us all do think about the small things ...

Humanity has learnt so many lessons from our past, but we are actually not always willing to remember these vital lessons. The story of David and Goliath teaches us that the small guy can win the battle, but we still look down on those who seem insignificant.

Proverbs 30 reminds us again that we should never despise the small things of this world, because they are full of wisdom and they will show us up if we overlook their gifts.

“There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise:
Ants—they aren’t strong,
    but they store up food all summer.
Hyraxes
—they aren’t powerful,
    but they make their homes among the rocks.
Locusts—they have no king,
    but they march in formation.
Lizards—they are easy to catch,
    but they are found even in kings’ palaces. – Proverbs 30:24-28

Who are the “small” people in your world at the moment? How are you treating them?

“Humility will open more doors than arrogance ever will.” - Zig Ziglar

“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” - Jesse Jackson

Living in Grace

D3LM3


Sunday, 21 June 2020

Asking God for favours

Wherever God has you today, be bold in the Lord!
How many times have we asked God for certain things? Our prayers range from asking for good health, protection, a job, a partner, a sign, a child, some rest, healing, good weather, world peace and so on. But how many of us have ever prayed for these 2 things?

"O God, I beg two favours from you; let me have them before I die.

First, help me never to tell a lie.
    Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!
    Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
    And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name." - Proverbs 30:7-9

I think the second request is very intriguing. How do we know what is the balance between riches and poverty? That is such a grey area for many of us. However, I do love the sentiment behind this prayer, because Agur has come to realise that living on either extreme (Riches and Poverty) has the propensity to drive us away from the heart of God.

What do you think?

Mark Batterson - “Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.

Thomas a Kempis - "Oh, how great peace and quietness would he possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all his confidence in God."

Living in Grace

D3LM3

P.S. Image courtesy of Kelly Latta Ministries