Monday 31 May 2021

In you

"Lord Christ,
you are the still centre of every storm.
In you is calm,
whatever the wind outside.
In you is reassurance,
however high the waves.
In you is strength,
however, contrary the tide." - Eddie Askew

We are reminded today that "in Jesus" we find our rest, peace and strength.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." - Romans 8:1

Living in Grace


Sunday 30 May 2021

Who is driving?

Orbit Velocity Pro tandem: 'The perfect way to work together' | Technology  | The Guardian

I came across this lovely piece of writing this past week. It made me think about who is in control of my life? Hope you enjoy it.

“At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there sort of like a president. I recognized his picture when I saw it, but I really didn’t know Him.

But later on, when I met Christ, It seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal.

I don’t know when it was that he suggested that we change places, but life has not been the same since. When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable. . . It was the shortest distance between two points.
But when Jesus took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds, It was all I could do to hang on! Even though it looked like madness, He said, "Pedal!"

I worried and was anxious and asked, "Where are you taking me?" He laughed and didn’t answer, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure. And when I’d say "I’m scared," He’d lean back and touch my hand.” - Anon

Who is driving in your life?

Living in Grace



Thursday 27 May 2021

The opportunities we miss?

"Christ of the pilgrim path,
and of every pilgrim heart,
thank you for revealing yourself
in situations we would prefer
to pass by."
- Prayers from Iona (edited by Peter Millar)

This prayer reminded me of the man who was beaten up on the road to Jericho and then left to die. There were opportunities for both the priest and Levite to help the man and to open themselves up to someone they usually chose to ignore, but they never took the chance. Through his decision to stop and help, the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) shows us the way of mercy, and also reveals the heart of God to all of us.

Is it possible that Jesus could reveal something of himself in the situations we would rather avoid?

Living in Grace


Wednesday 26 May 2021

Better than Jesus?

Why would Jesus tell his disciples that it was 'better' for them that he returned to the Father? At first glance I struggled with this statement. If I had been with Jesus for those 3 years, there is no way I could imagine anything or anyone better. However, Jesus insists that this is the case and we need to know why. Hall Harris gives us this lovely insight:

"But why is it better for the disciples to have the presence of the Paraclete than the presence of Jesus himself as they do now? Because the Paraclete will not only be with them as Jesus has been, but in them as well (John 17:23, 26)."

This is the key difference. When Jesus was physically present with his disciples he was limited to time and space - he could only be in one place at a time. However, when the Holy Spirit came this changed the playing field. Now everyone had access to the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit.

So, if there is an answer to the question: "Is there anything better than Jesus?" The answer would have to be: Yes, it is the Spirit living within us.

What do you think?

Living in Grace


Monday 24 May 2021

What does God look for in us?

What does God look for in us?

This is a very challenging question and will include a variety of different answers. Some of us will include thoughts such as 'devotion', 'surrender', 'moral purity', 'worship' etc. In Paul's letter to the Romans he says: 

"No, a real Jew is anyone whose heart is right with God. For God is not looking for those who cut their bodies in actual body circumcision, but he is looking for those with changed hearts and minds. Whoever has that kind of change in his life will get his praise from God, even if not from you." - Romans 2:29

This seems to indicate that God is looking for our hearts and minds to be changed through his Spirit. If God can see this kind of change, then God will be pleased. 

As we remember the anniversary of John Wesley's 'changed heart', let us be thankful for the way God encounters us and is always willing to bring about transformation in our lives. Here are some quotes from John Wesley:

The church changes the world not by making converts but by making disciples.

I have never known more than fifteen minutes of anxiety or fear. Whenever I feel fearful emotions overtaking me, I just close my eyes and thank God that He is still on the throne reigning over everything and I take comfort in His control over the affairs of my life.

Let your words be the genuine picture of your heart.

Living in Grace

Sunday 23 May 2021



I realise that there many different teachings on the Holy Spirit in the larger church, but I still remain convinced that the gift of the Spirit is for us to do the work that Jesus left for us to do. Of course, we enjoy the greater benefits of the Spirit in other areas of our lives (that is just the gracious nature of God spilling over), but the Spirit's main agenda is surely to equip the church for sharing the Gospel, living Christ-like lives and changing the hearts of people. 

Perhaps these words will help us reflect on this in a deeper way:

"Without the Spirit of God, we can do nothing. We are as ships without wind. We are useless." - Charles Surgeon

"Trying to do the Lord's work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you." - Corrie Ten Boom

"The Holy Spirit's main ministry is not to give thrills but to create in us Christlike character." - J.I. Packer

John 15:26-27 (The Message) - “When the Friend I plan to send you from the Father comes—the Spirit of Truth issuing from the Father—he will confirm everything about me. You, too, from your side must give your confirming evidence, since you are in this with me from the start.”

Living in Grace


Thursday 20 May 2021

Head held high

"But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high." - Psalm 3:3

Many of us are feeling the weight of life and issues at the moment. For this reason, I found this reading to be very moving and meaningful for me today. Let us remember that God offers to be a shield around us, guarding our hearts and souls. 

The other great promise is that Jesus is the one who lifts our heads high when they are drooping and the strain of life seems overbearing.

Eugene Peterson writes:

But you, God, shield me on all sides;
You ground my feet, you lift my head high;
With all my might I shout up to God,
His answers thunder from the holy mountain.

May God grant you his strength and peace

Living in Grace


Wednesday 19 May 2021

Why would you exchange a castle for a stable?

Max Lucado writes a moving piece about the choice that God made when he sent Jesus into our world. In the simplicity of these words we grasp the magnitude of God's humility and willingness to lay his glory aside for us.

"Jesus swapped a spotless castle for a grimy stable.
He exchanged the worship of angels for the company of killers.
He could hold the universe in his palm,
But have it up to float in the womb of a maiden."

John 10:18 - "No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Living in Grace

Tuesday 18 May 2021

I will do something

I came across this insightful thought from Francis De Sales last week:

·     "The test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying, not, “What a lovely sermon!” but, “I will do something!

      As I think about this quote it reminds me that all the "life-changing" sermons I have heard have called me to make a decision and then to act on it. If the truth be told 'lovely sermons' don't change lives - decisions that are inspired by the Holy Spirit change lives. 

      Is there a decision that you made that still needs to be acted on?

      Job 22:28 What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways. 

     Living in Grace 


Monday 17 May 2021


"Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." - Colossians 2:7

As we take a few moments to unpack this verse there are a few things worth noting. 

The word "let" implies that we must make a conscious choice to allow our 'roots' to grow down deep into the heart of God.

Then our lives must be "built" on the foundations of God and there is also the attitude of surrender - the word "let" appears again.

Once we allow this process to start, then our faith starts to take root and grows stronger and stronger.

It is interesting to note that the overflow of this decision is thankfulness.

What do you think?

Are you able to "let" God lead and guide you at the moment?

Living in Grace


Sunday 16 May 2021

Beautiful reminder

"I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours." - John 17:9

The essence of John 17 focuses on Jesus' prayer for his disciples, his future followers (us) and himself. There is something deeply moving for me when I consider that Christ is praying for me. If you are dealing with some concerns in your life at the moment, how does it make you feel that Jesus is praying for you?

Charles H. Spurgeon - "Every one of us, beloved, when we listen to the words of Christ should recollect that he is praying for us; that while it is for the great body of his elect he intercedes in this chapter (John 17) and the one preceding it, yet it is also for each believer in particular that he offers intercession."

Living in Grace



Thursday 13 May 2021

God is not making it too difficult

"Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 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?” 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?” 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

Sometimes we may think that God is playing a game with us and that somehow we are always on the back foot. However, today's reading reminds me that God is not asking us something that is too difficult for us. God wants us to "succeed" in walking with Him and the Word is given to us as a source of guidance and Life.

Do you feel that God makes it hard for you to follow him?

I am writing this on Ascension Day and one of the truths of this special occasion reminds me that Jesus Christ is praying for us all the time. That doesn't give me the impression that God wants me to fail.

Living in grace


Wednesday 12 May 2021

Timeless prayers

Often I lean upon the prayers of those who have gone before us. Today I want to remind us all of this lovely prayer by Richard of Chicester - it is 800 years old, but definitely still relevant for our time.

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,
Follow Thee more nearly.

Is there a Pray that you turn to in your times of need? Please share it with me - I would love to know.

Luke 11:1 - One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Living in Grace

Tuesday 11 May 2021

Come and rest

“Come now, insignificant man, fly for a moment from your affairs, escape for a little while from the tumult of your thoughts. Put aside now your weighty cares and leave your wearisome toils. Abandon yourself for a little to God and rest for a little in Him.” - Anselm of Cantebury

This quote from Anselm reminds me of the words of Jesus, who understands all our pain and struggles, and invites us to rest in his love. Sometimes all we need is just a few moments to catch our breath and to know that God is with us. I think of Susanna Wesley who had to find time in her massive household of 10 kids to pray and find her peace - she used to sit in a certain chair and put her apron over her head. This was her way of letting her kids know that she was praying. 

We can all find these little moments - we just need to be intentional about it.

Matthew 11:28Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Living in Grace


“I believe in order that I may understand.” - Anslem of Cantebury

Monday 10 May 2021

Sinners to saints


We should all stop and marvel at how God changes the hearts of even the hardest of people. We may not consider ourselves sinners on a grand scale, but all followers of Jesus need to have moved from being 'sinners' to saints. No one starts the spiritual lives already in the kingdom of God - we need to choose to move from our kingdom to be under God's reign. 

Romans 5:19 - "For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous."

Living in Grace


Sunday 9 May 2021

Mother's day

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." - Exodus 20:12

On Mother's day (9th May) we offer up a special prayer of thanksgiving for all mothers (and women in general). We should be grateful for the remarkable role that they play in the lives of our communities. 

"Dear Lord,

Thank you for the gift of women in our communities, and especially for mothers today. We are deeply grateful for their compassion, wisdom, strength and graciousness. We acknowledge the roles they play in guiding and nurturing the hearts of the younger generation, as well as their Godly example. We thank you for their protective instincts and their often unselfish actions.

Sadly, not all people have the gift of a good relationship with their mothers and so we pray for these broken relationships, as well as for those mothers who have already passed away. We ask that the void left by these mothers would be filled by friends, family and Church community. 

Thank you for the role that Mary played in raising the young Jesus and for the way she would have nurtured him and taught him many things. It is profound that the Incarnation of the Messiah included years of being loved and mentored by his parents. Surely, this is not an accident, but a recognition of the importance of these roles.

Lord in your mercy, please hear our prayers. Amen."

Living in grace


Saturday 8 May 2021

Thinking leads to actions

"Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts." - Soren Kiekergaard

Proverbs 23:7 - "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."

It is so true that the more we dwell and think on certain things we slowly start to act more inline with those thoughts and ideas.

So, what are you thinking about at the moment?

Is it changing your actions?

Living in Grace


Thursday 6 May 2021

Love and hate

What do you make of these words from two hugely influential people:

"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." - Martin Luther King Jnr.

Jesus said it like this:
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." - Luke 6:26-28

Is there room in our hearts for both?
I don't think so.

Living in Grace

Wednesday 5 May 2021

Aslan the strong

C.S. Lewis created the character of Aslan in his incredible Chronicles of Narnia series and I am grateful for the remarkable image of the strong Lion. Aslan has an obvious correlation with King Jesus and it is interesting that whenever he shows up in the book, he brings hope, authority and love to the others. I think that Lewis did a great job of portraying the strong, but compassionate side of the Lion. 

“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

May Jesus Christ bring into your life the same strength, peace and love that you need right now. 

Isaiah 40:29He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

Living in Grace

Tuesday 4 May 2021


I have come to believe that Prayer is inexhaustible. We could pray for every remaining minute of our lives and still not comprehend the depths and mystery of prayer. For this reason I love reading the thoughts and ideas on prayer, from those who have gone before us. These faithful prayer warriors teach us another beautiful aspect of the ocean of prayer.

Here are a few to inspire you today:

"Sometimes a person prays with his tears, even when words are missing." - Bill Gothard

"Daily prayer for daily needs." - E.M. Bounds

"The great gift of God in prayer is Himself." - Maxie Dunnam

As you find the time to communion with God today I pray that you may experience the light and love of His spirit.

1 Kings 8:28 - "Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day."

Living in Grace


Monday 3 May 2021

Waiting Patiently

The great nineteenth century evangelist George Muller remarked if you continue to wait patiently and believingly upon God; then answers will surely be given to your prayers.” Today’s reading reminds us that our patience with the Lord will be rewarded in the end, we just may need to be very patient.

Psalm 40:1 - "I waited patiently for the Lordhe turned to me and heard my cry."

"I waited and waited and waited for GodAt last he looked; finally he listened." - Eugene Peterson in the Message

The words 'waiting' and 'patiently' don't usually go hand in hand, but I guess we are urged to keep trusting in God's ability to deliver us from our times of trouble.

Living in Grace