Thursday 30 January 2020

Why even bother?

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Ever caught yourself thinking, "Why should I even bother?"
"Why should I bother trying to nice to other people?"
"Why should I bother trying to follow Jesus when it is so hard at times?"
"Why should I bother?!"

Paul has a great answer for us. He says to Timothy - "That is why we labour and strive, because we have put our hope in the LIVING GOD, who is the Saviour of all people, and especially of those who believe." (1 Timothy 4:10)

Perhaps Paul's words are worth a second look. What is it about his challenge that you find helpful today?

Living in Grace

Wednesday 29 January 2020

In spite of this

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"But in spite of this, there is still HOPE for Israel." - Ezra 10:2

When Ezra wrote these words he was speaking about a particular incident in the life of Israel and how "in spite" of their disobedience there was still some Hope for them. Thankfully God is merciful and was willing to forgive their sin.

What are you going through at the moment, that could be your "In spite of?" What I mean is, if you read that verse again, but added in your context, would it still be a word of encouragement for you?

"In spite of ____________, there is still hope for me!"

May God fill you with his grace and compassion today.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Breaking through the veil

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Every now and again we get a glimpse of God through the gift of creation. It is almost as if the veil between this world and the next is lifted for a moment and we see into eternity. William Law writes beautifully about this gift.

"All that is sweet, delightful, and amiable in this world,
in the serenity of the air, the fineness of seasons,
the joy of light, the melody or sounds, 
the beauty of colours, the fragrancy of smells,
the splendour of precious stones,
is nothing else but Heaven breaking through 
the veil of this world."

May God break through into your world and may you get a glimpse of God's incredible mercy.

2 Corinthians 3:16 - "But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away."
Living in Grace

Monday 27 January 2020


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"Hope is Oxygen for the soul." - Peter Kreeft

As we look at this quote today it speaks powerfully into our daily lives. Just as we need oxygen to breathe and survive, so we equally need HOPE to keep us going. Hope is a remarkable emotion, but it is also fragile. Thankfully we know that we can place our Hope in Jesus Christ.

Psalm 25:5 - Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Living in Grace

Saturday 25 January 2020

You are Enough

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In her incredible book One Thousand Gifts Ann Voskamp wrestles with her life and whether she is ever going to feel content with herself. In one chapter she writes: "Would I ever be enough, find enough, do enough?" Her question is profound and one that many of us may have asked ourselves.

Can I take a moment to remind all of us that in God's eyes we are enough! God loved every one of us to the ultimate extreme - He gave Jesus for us - surely that is LOVE in action? If you need to read it with your own eyes then start with these two verses today:

Deuteronomy 23:5 - However, the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.
John 16:27 - No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
Living in Grace

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Sand through the hourglass

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I came across this quote at the bottom of my diary the other day and it left me with a lot to think about:

"The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, 
the clearer we should see through it." - Jean Paul

What are we able to see through the empty hourglass of our lives? 

Proverbs 3:13 - "Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding."

Living in Grace

Monday 20 January 2020

What kind of feet do you have?

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"At one time Peter had wayward feet, but Andrew brought him to Jesus.
And then one night Peter had some wet feet because he was walking on the water.
Then he had washed feet when Jesus knelt before him and washed his feet (John 13).
He had wandering feet when he denied the Lord. 
(However, in the end he had willing feet.)

What kind of feet do you have?"  - W. Wiersbe

If this little piece makes any sense for us, let it be a challenge as to how we walk with Christ in the days ahead. Even though Peter wasn't always perfect he had the most willing 'feet' out of all the disciples. He was willing to go wherever Jesus went.

Mark 10:28 - Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”

Living in Grace

Sunday 19 January 2020

The One who sent it!

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In her marvellous book 'Bread of Angels', Barbara Brown Taylor reflects on how when we ask God for things (for example, when the Israelites asked for food in the desert) we often create an impression of how God should answer our prayers. The trouble with this is that we then limit God to our image of the answered prayer. The manna in the desert may have not looked appetising, yet it was an answer to prayer and this helped the people survive on a daily basis.

Barbara Brown Taylor writes:
" is not what it is that counts, but who sent it, and the miracle is that God is always sending us something to eat. Day by day, God is made known to us in the simple things that sustain our lives - some bread, some love, some breath, some wine - all those absolutely essential things that are here today and gone tomorrow."

May we come to know the gift in the answer to our prayers and that God is still in the business of providing manna for his people.

Living in Grace

Saturday 18 January 2020

You have a Hope

We are reminded again that God is more interested in our future than in our past. When Jesus meets Simon Peter the following interaction takes place.

"The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter)." - John 1:41-42

For many of us we can't undo the past, but through the Grace of Jesus we have a glorious future. Jesus knows who Simon is (his background, hopes, dreams and failures), BUT he knows what he can become. He will called the Stone, the Rock - Cephas.

Our struggle for 2020 may need to begin in letting go of our past and believing in the amazing future Christ has in store for us.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Chasing the wind

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We are having a lot of strong South Easterly winds at the moment in the Western Cape. All this wind reminded me of the thoughts of Solomon who spoke about a 'chasing after the wind', which is obviously an impossible task.
"Fools fold their hands
    and ruin themselves.

Better one handful with tranquillity
    than two handfuls with toil
    and chasing after the wind." - Ecclesiastes 4:5-6

As we head into the 3rd week of 2020 let us resolve to focus our hearts on things of value and not on things that are a 'chasing after the wind.'

Living in Grace

Tuesday 14 January 2020


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Children and families have begun the process of "reorientation" this week as they head back to school, work and further studies. Reorientation simply means to "familiarise ourselves with something again" or to "change direction or focus".

I believe that this is also such an important task for all Christians to undertake. Just as starting a new year comes with its own set of challenges, so the process of doing a spiritual reorientation will also take something out of us. Are we willing to do this?

Joshua 3:4 -  "Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before."

Living in Grace

Sunday 12 January 2020

Lord, open unto me...

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Lord, Lord, Open Unto Me
Open unto me, light for my darkness

Open unto me, courage for my fear

Open unto me, hope for my despair

Open unto me, peace for my turmoil

Open unto me, joy for my sorrow

Open unto me, strength for my weakness

Open unto me, wisdom for my confusion

Open unto me, forgiveness for my sins

Open unto me, tenderness for my toughness

Open unto me, love for my hates

Open unto me, Thy Self for myself

Lord, Lord, open unto me!

- Howard Thurman.

Living in Grace

Saturday 11 January 2020

Day by Day

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"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." - Psalm 68:19

Remember that Jesus invited us to take our needs to him on a daily basis. Not only does God help us with the troubles of today, but also the provisions we so desperately need.

"Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits thou hast given me,
for all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
may I know thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly,
and follow thee more nearly, day by day.
Amen." - Richard of Chichester

Living in Grace

Friday 10 January 2020

Inspiring Prayer

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Sometimes we just don't know what to pray, that is why I find it helpful to use prayer from the Bible or those written by others. Today's post includes a lovely prayer written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and that you also find it helpful.

O God,
early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray,
and to concentrate my thoughts on you:
I cannot do this alone.

In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
but you know the way for me …

Restore me to liberty,
And enable me so to live now
that I may answer before you and before me,
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.

Living in Grace

Thursday 9 January 2020

Running to your embrace

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‘Let our lives run to Your embrace… and breathe the breath of Eternity. O God Supreme! Most secret and most present, most beautiful and strong. Constant yet Incomprehensible, changeless yet changing all! What can I say, my God, my Life, my Holy Joy… You are the only reality…’ - Evelyn Underhill

Thank you Lord for the gift of being able to come to you in prayer, any time and in any circumstance.

John 17:20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,

Living in grace

Wednesday 8 January 2020

Open wide the windows

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"Open wide the window of our spirits, O Lord, and fill us full of light;
open wide the door of our hearts, that we may receive and entertain you
with all our powers of adoration and praise." - Christina Rossetti

Why don't you pray this prayer as your open one of the windows in your home, work or even while driving in your car.

Acts 1:8 -  He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses

Living in Grace

Tuesday 7 January 2020

God of goodness

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“God, of thy goodness, give me Thyself;
for Thou art enough for me,
and I can ask for nothing less
that can be full honour to Thee.
And if I ask anything that is less,
ever Shall I be in want,
for only in Thee have I all.”
Julian of Norwich 

Jesus encouraged us to depend on his father's love and provisions. God knows what we need and God has promised to take care of us.

Matthew 6:30-33 (The Message)
 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Living in Grace

Monday 6 January 2020

Make me Lord

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Alan Paton loved this prayer from Mother Theresa, which he subsequently adjusted for our South African context. I hope you enjoy it and are able to use it for your own prayers.

Make me, O Lord, the instrument of your love, that I may bring comfort to those who sorrow and joy to those who are regarded as persons of little account. In this country of many races make me courteous to those who are humble and understanding to those who are resentful. Teach me what I should be to the arrogant, the cruel, for I do not know.

And as for me myself, make me more joyful than I am, especially if this is needed for the sake of others. Let me remember my many experiences of joy and thankfulness. And may I this coming day do some work of peace for thee. Amen.
— Alan Paton

Living in Grace

Saturday 4 January 2020

God can do anything

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These words may not be familiar to you as they come from the paraphrase of Eugene Peterson - however, I have included the original at the end of the post. The are wonderful words of promise and hope for a new year.
"God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!" - Ephesians 3:20-21

Hold onto these words and allow them to fill your heart with promise and peace.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

Living in Grace

Friday 3 January 2020

O God, our help in ages past

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"O God, our help in ages past, 
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home." - Isaac Watts

It is wonderfully reassuring to know that God has been with us from the dawn of time and God will continue to be there for his people.

Let us find our rest in home of God.

Living in Grace

Thursday 2 January 2020

Faithful God

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As I bring the last month's reflections on Micah to an end, let us use his words as a starting point for our fresh start to 2020. They are a wonderful reminder of God's mercy, compassion and FAITHFULNESS.

"Who is a God like you,
    who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
    of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
    but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
20 You will be faithful to Jacob,
    and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
    in days long ago." - Micah 7:18-20

Our God is Faithful.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 1 January 2020

New Year Pose

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As you embark upon another New Year what pose are you taking? It make seem like a weird question, but if you think about it, the word Pose can mean "to stand or sit in preparation for something". 

We take on a pose for most things in our lives - even if the pose over the festive season is one of sitting on the couch, eating or spending time with family - that's still a pose.

How about this as a Godly pose for 2020?
"But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
    I wait for God my Savior;
    my God will hear me." - Micah 7:7

Let's get ourselves ready for what the Lord has in store for us this year.

Living in Grace