Friday 23 December 2022

The Lord is ....

In times of great uncertainty and distress it is good to hold onto the promise that God IS our guiding Light and the One who comes to our rescue. There is no question about it - this is a true reality of Christ's birth, and the miracle is that we are invited to be a part of this gift. 

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid? - Psalm 27

May you know the guidance of the Light of the World this Christmas season and may you find God's strength carrying you into the New Year.

Living in Grace


Wednesday 21 December 2022

Invisible Light

The visible reminder of Invisible Light.” - T.S. Eliot

“I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.” - John 8:12 (The Message)

This is such a beautiful promise for us all to digest again. Jesus is the Invisible Light, that T.S. Eliot speaks of and Light of World, that John mentions. May the light of Jesus fill your heart and soul this year. 

Karoline Lewis - "John understands that God’s promise to be with God’s people wherever they go has now taken on a different representation in Jesus."

Living in Grace


Tuesday 20 December 2022

What shadow do you cast?

See the source image

In reflecting on the presence of Jesus this Christmas, I have noted how wherever he went, Joy seemed to follow him. It was as if JOY was his shadow. 

John 15:11 - I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Somehow, we seem to believe that all shadows are sinister or dark, yet when I think of how the shadow of a tall building or tree gives respite to those of us baking in the sun, then shadows become a gift. Not only does Jesus give us the gift of himself, but his shadow brings along further gifts of Joy, Peace, Hope and Love.

Matthew 2:10 – “When they saw the star they were filled with joy!” (NLT)

“There is strong shadow where there is much light.”  - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If your life cast a shadow, what kind of shadow would it be? 

Living in Grace


Monday 19 December 2022

The Joy of the Lord is your strength

"And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” - Nehemiah 8:10

At this time of the year, we long for joy and happiness, and we are willing to seek it in all sorts of places. In my experience, Joy is not something we can buy, earn or even claim. However, we can 'receive' it - as a Gift of the Spirit. 

This JOY sustains us through all kinds of turbulence, crisis and stress. As much we hope that Christmas will be a time without pain and suffering, we realise that we live a world where these exist in abundance. However, it is my prayer that we come to experience the gift of JOY this year, through God's gracious Spirit.

o  Luke 2:10 – “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”

Living in Grace


Wednesday 14 December 2022

Beautiful gifts come in small packages

"In telling the Christmas story, the Gospel writers remind us that when things seem darkest, joy can come in unexpected places and small packages. Children remind us of the joy of playing, giving, learning, and loving. In the presence of such joy, our inner child can awaken our Christ nature and then the Messiah is truly born.

Christmas is not an event that happens only in December or 2,000 years ago in Palestine. Christmas happens as we open to the possibility of hope, when we live in the understanding of peace, and when we give love."
- Rev. Kevin Daigle

Luke 2:12 - This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

May we not fall into the trap of believing that the 'biggest gifts' are the best. The smallest of children have changed the world. One child offered hope to millions of people - his name is Jesus. 

Living in Grace

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Jesus loves me, this I know!


When Anna Warner and her sister Susan teamed up to write the poem, “Jesus loves me”, I doubt they realised that it would have the incredible impact that it has had on the Christian community.

The lyrics first appeared as a poem in the context of an 1860 novel called Say and Seal, written by Susan Warner, in which the words were spoken as a comforting poem to a dying child. So, we can picture the scene in the story – there is a child who is lying incapacitated, vulnerable, and alone. The person who is caring for this little child, can think of only one person who could bring comfort to her and so she speaks:

Jesus loves me—this I know,
For the Bible tells me so:
Little ones to him belong, —
They are weak, but he is strong.

The refrain was written and added later many years later, but it certainly added to the overall power of the song:

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
For the Bible tells me so.

And the Warner sisters are 100% correct – the Bible is filled with passages to point us to the truth, that God loves us. Arguably the entire Canon of Scripture is underpinned with this key thought: 

Jesus Loves Me!

1 John 3:1 - See how very much our father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! 

Living in Grace


Monday 12 December 2022

To love means ...

On the broad topic of Love, GK Chesterton once wrote - “To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

The birth of Jesus should open our eyes to see that God came for all people and to reveal Christ's Love to all who would receive it. When we are asked to love God and to love our neighbours, we can't really be "picky" as to who we love - this is the difficult part of putting love into practise.

Matthew 22:37-40 - "Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

“We don't need to explain our love. We only need to show it.” - Paulo Coelho

Living in Grace


Friday 9 December 2022

True Inspiration

"God's inspiration does not come to those who sit with folded hands and lazy minds and only wait, but to those who think and seek and search. True inspiration comes when the searching mind joins with the revealing Spirit of God." - William Barclay

I think these words teach us a lot about the value of Advent. Of course, Jesus is not only revealed to those who reflect on his birth, but I do believe that the more we 'seek' Christ, the more we discover him. 

So, this is my prayer for you this week:

May we find Jesus in the words of Scripture.
May we discover Christ in the chaos of our world.
May we encounter the Spirit of God in the songs of Christmas.
May we comprehend his grace in the touch of a friend.
May we be reminded of his love in the smell of the scented candle.
May we appreciate his incarnation in the silence of the night.

As you search for Christ this season, may you discover how close he truly is.

"Search and you will find." - Matthew 7

Living in Grace


Thursday 8 December 2022

Paradise unlocked

"Come, then, let us observe the Feast. Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the Nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, 

the devil confounded,
the demons take to flight,
the power of death is broken,
paradise is unlocked,
the curse is taken away,
sin is removed from us,
error driven out,
truth has been brought back,
the speech of kindliness diffused,
and spreads on every side,

a heavenly way of life has been ‘in planted on the earth, angels communicate with men without fear, and men now hold speech with angels." – St. John Chrysostom

When I read through these words of John Chrysostom, I was struck by the phrase - "paradise is unlocked."

As we accept the invitation to celebrate the Birth of Jesus, may we experience the beauty of a new paradise.

Revelation 2:7Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Living in Grace


Tuesday 6 December 2022

In conflict with ourselves, but at Peace with God.

In sharing about the PEACE that Christ gives to the world, I have been caught up in thinking how many people refuse to love themselves. Of course, there are plenty of people who have no problem with this (loving themselves), but there are millions of people who struggle to love who they are. There are a myriad of reasons for this, but in essence, the truth still stands - we are often in conflict with ourselves.

In response to this, Jesus says in 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.” (NIV)

Complete Jewish Bible - “I have said these things to you so that, united with me, you may have shalom. In the world, you have tsuris (distress). But be brave! I have conquered the world!”

The starting point for our peace is to know Jesus. We can experience true Shalom when we know that we are loved by Jesus.

Living in Grace


Monday 5 December 2022

Looking for the star

"When they saw the star, they were overjoyed." - Matthew 2:10

"O come, thou radiant Morning Star,
Again, in human darkness shine!
Arise, resplendent from afar!
Assert thy royalty divine!
Thy sway o'ver all the earth maintain,
And now begin they glorious reign. Amen."
 - Charles Wesley

As we look out in the evening skies, let us take note of the brightest stars and remember that the birth of Jesus Christ brings great joy.

May you find your JOY this Advent season.

Living in Grace


Saturday 3 December 2022

We all have to grow up

Growing old is not optional for us mere mortals. From the moment we breathe our first breath, our bodies are influenced by our frail mortality. That is just life, and we can either fight against it or celebrate the gift we have been given. 

This weekend, Kim and I get to celebrate our birthday's once again. It is always special to mark our birthday's a single day apart. Each year, it is a long patient wait, but when we eventually get there, we get to celebrate together. 

The reason for this post, is not to remind you of our birthdays :) BUT to reflect on the fact that even Jesus had to grow up and he grew older. Too often we celebrate Christmas and leave Jesus as the tiny infant in the manger. This is not where he stayed! He grew up, became a man, and entered into three years of public ministry. At the end of this time, he gave up his life for the sins of the world. This is worth remembering. 

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." - Matthew 1:21

“Don’t leave Jesus in the manger; don’t remember Him only at Christmas. Instead, learn to walk with Him every day, as you pray and read His Word and ask Him to help you.” - Billy Graham

Living in Grace


Friday 2 December 2022

Not just for me!

Many people are hell-bent on taking care of Number One (themselves). We note that a large majority of our world live with 'blinkers' on and try to appease only themselves. As Christians, we have to fight against this urge the whole time - it is like swimming upstream. Jesus teaches us to love our neighbour and to serve our fellow man/woman, but this is tough to do.

Advent offers us a different perspective on 'giving' and 'sharing.' So, we look to God as the source of all goodness and mercy - and then we should make an appropriate response. 

God gave us Jesus and he then invited us into his abundant mercy. However, this mercy, hope and peace are not just for us to keep (for ourselves), but to offer to others. 

“Advent challenges us to live in the present moment as agents of this future hope. We can begin to share this hope wherever we find despair and discouragement.”Trevor Hudson

2 Corinthians 9:8 - And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

Living in Grace


Thursday 1 December 2022

Look to the seat of Mercy

The mercy seat (kaporet) was the golden lid placed on top of the Ark of the Covenant and it contained two cherubim on either side of the seat. It was believed that Yahweh would appear in the space between the 2 angels. On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would sprinkle blood on the seat, asking God to forgive our sins. 

Of course, the birth of Jesus ushered in a new Covenant, and we don't need to sprinkle blood on the seat of Mercy anymore. In fact, we can argue that Jesus is the new Mercy Seat - our forgiveness rests on Him.

11 So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. 12 With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. (Hebrews 9)

It may seem the wrong time of the year to be speaking about the death of Jesus, but I was reminded today that it is the presence of Jesus that drew our attention to the grace and MERCY of Yahweh. 

Thought: As we remember World Aids Day, and all those who are impact by HIV/AIDS, let us be conscious of how we judge other people. In the end, we are all called to look to the one who offers us justice and Mercy - his name is Jesus. 

Matthew 7:2 - "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Living in Grace


Wednesday 30 November 2022

As close as we can get

Historians know that in order to try and substantiate a thesis, we need to get as close to the original source as possible. So, how close to the life and times of Jesus can we get, in order to try and understand the mystery of his birth? 

Well, besides the words of the Scriptures themselves, we get a glimpse of Jesus, through the eyes of Ignatius of Antioch. His name may not mean much to you, but he is a very important figure in the history of our faith. He was born around 50AD and lived until 117AD. More importantly, it is widely recorded that he was a disciple of the apostle John. 

Ignatius wrote a lot of letters to the first Century Church and this is what he wrote (italics are mine):

"There is only one physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born and unborn, God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering and then beyond it, Jesus Christ our Lord."

"For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God’s plan, both from the seed of David and of the Holy Spirit."

"Consequently, all magic and every kind of spell were dissolved, the ignorance so characteristic of wickedness vanished, and the ancient kingdom was abolished when God appeared in human form to bring the newness of eternal life."

Like I mentioned yesterday, let us not become side-tracked by the actual date of Jesus birth, but rather contemplate the incredible gift He is to the world.

Luke 1:29 - But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus. He will be great, be called ‘Son of the Highest.’  (The Message)

Living in Grace

Tuesday 29 November 2022

Having Hope

“Live in faith and hope, though it be in darkness, for in this darkness God protects the soul. Cast your care upon God for you are His and He will not forget you. Do not think that He is leaving you alone, for that would be to wrong Him.” - John of the Cross

The first week of Advent invites us to focus on the word HOPE. It is remarkable that even though we have a working understanding of 'Hope', this can take on a deeper meaning when we reflect on what it truly means for us. 

Hope is what gets us up in the morning. 

Hope is what enables us to lift our heads, when all seems lost. 

Hope enables us to push our disappointments aside for a moment and to trust in something better. 

Hope teaches us to hold out our hands to Christ.

“To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the HOPE of glory.” – Colossians 1:27


1. What does "Hope" mean for you this week?

2. Where does your Hope lie?

Living in Grace


Monday 28 November 2022

When did it all begin?

There is a lot of debate around the origins of Christmas. Many Christians point out that Jesus probably wasn't born in December, and they would be right. The trouble is, we don't have conclusive evidence to mark his actual birth date, otherwise we would surely be celebrating his birthday on that date. 

I found these interesting comments from, which I would like to add to the mix:

The actual observance of the day of Jesus’ birth was long in coming. In particular, during the first two centuries of Christianity there was strong opposition to recognizing birthdays of martyrs or, for that matter, of Jesus. Numerous Church Fathers offered sarcastic comments about the pagan custom of celebrating birthdays when, in fact, saints and martyrs should be honoured on the days of their martyrdom—their true “birthdays,” from the church’s perspective.

This is an interesting point and would mean that we could end up celebrating Jesus's birthday around the time of Easter. I do like the idea of our death as being the 'birth' of eternity, which would tie in with John's thoughts on being born again. However, Jesus didn't need a 2nd birth, as he was without sin, so this is also tricky. 

In the end, I feel that we waste a lot of time and energy debating something that we can't solve with satisfactory answers. However, this doesn't stop us from pausing to remember the impact of the birth of Jesus. Surely the message of the 'Word made flesh' and the fact that Jesus lived and died for our sakes, should make all the difference?

What do you think?

"The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighbourhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish." - John 1:14

Living in Grace


Sunday 27 November 2022

The Countdown

We have been watching our kids "tick-off" every completed exam and seen the end draw nearer, day by day. There is something satisfying in doing this - I guess it is the feeling of fulfilment and the desire to complete the goal, and then we all get to celebrate when it is done!

We do the same kind of thing when we are planning a holiday or longing for a special occasion. We countdown the days until the big moment arrives. Each day is 24 hours nearer to the anticipated joy. 

And so, as Christians we begin our own version of the 'Countdown' today. Advent is the season of expectation and preparing for Christ's coming. Of course, we do this with two main motives - to celebrate the birth of the Messiah on Christmas morning and also to remind ourselves that Christ will come again. 

Advent stems from the Latin word 'adventus', which means the 'coming' and from what we can tell was first celebrated in the 4th Century. According to the Gospel Coalition, The Council of Sargossa (in 380AD) meet to discuss various heresies in the church and there is mention of Advent in those meetings. The council was not committed to any specific dating of Advent, though, and only suggested people attend church daily between December 17 and 29. 

As we continue this journey through Advent, I will be sharing various thoughts, insights and reflections in relation to this season. It is my hope that this will make our experience of Christmas a meaningful one. 

Psalm 119:116 - Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.

Living in Grace


Thursday 24 November 2022

Precious Lord, take my hand

“Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand;
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light;
Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.”

The words of Thomas Dorsey have offer hope and comfort to millions of people over the last century, including Martin Luther King Jnr, Elvis, Jim Reeves and others. Written in a time of his own pain and suffering, Thomas found the solace and inspiration from his knowledge that God is always with us. 

May his words also speak to you today.

"My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life." - Psalm 119:50

Living in Grace

Tuesday 22 November 2022


Philosophers could argue over the question of 'importance' and never really come up with a solid answer. 

What is important for you, may not be important for me. 

Who is important for me, may not even appear on your radar. 

Sadly, sometimes the church gets caught up in side-issues; things that are not as important the gospel. Political parties make a habit of losing focus and becoming distracted. Families can be the same and even schools and other communities. 

Staying focused is hard, but important!

"I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said." - 1 Corinthians 15:3

"It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow." - 1 Corinthians 3:7

Living in Grace


Monday 21 November 2022

Time spent in prayer is never wasted


The story I shared on yesterday's blog reminded me of the wisdom of Francois Fenelon. As you read through these quotes today, may they offer you some inspiration and encouragement. 

“True prayer is only another name for the love of God. Its excellence does not consist in the multitude of our words; for our Father knoweth what things we have need of before we ask Him.

“It is false humility to believe ourselves unworthy of God’s goodness and to not dare to look to him with trust.”

"Time spent in prayer is never wasted."

2 Chronicles 6:19 - Yet, Lord my God, give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence.

Living in Grace


Sunday 20 November 2022

Trying to flatter the King?

Francois Fenelon was the court preacher for King Louis XIV of France in the 17th century. One Sunday when the king and his attendants arrived at the chapel for the regular service, no one else was there but the preacher.

King Louis demanded, “What does this mean?”


Fenelon replied, “I had published that you would not come to church today, in order that your Majesty might see who serves God in truth and who flatters the king.” - (Submitted by Chris Stroup, Source Unknown)

Thought: The obvious challenge for us all is this - do we attend Sunday worship to gain the respect of others, or do we worship to honour the King? 

Revelation 17:14 - They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

Living in Grace


Thursday 17 November 2022

A lamp that lights the way

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

"By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path" (Message)

"Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path." (NLT)

No matter what version you read this verse in, it says the same thing. God's Word sheds just enough light for us to take small steps of faith. And this is all that we need at the moment. 

The circle of light, that would be cast from an ancient oil lamp, wouldn't have been close to the brightness of our modern LED lights, but they would have offered sufficient light to give the 'holder' confidence to step forward.

As we turn to God's Word, his wisdom and guidance, shine enough light for us to walk in faith. We can't see the whole pathway, but we can trust that God will lead us down the path, step-by-step.

Living in Grace


Wednesday 16 November 2022

Contemplate the beautiful thing

"To do the useful thing,
to say the courageous thing,
to contemplate the beautiful thing:
that is enough for one man's life."
- T.S. Eliot

I found these thoughts very interesting, especially on the level which asks the question: 'what is success?' We live in a society that is constantly telling us what 'success' looks like, and most of the times it looks nothing like T.S. Eliot's thoughts. 

I think if Jesus was asked this question, he would suggest something like this:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” - Matthew 22:37-40

What do you think would constitute a successful life?

Living in Grace

Monday 14 November 2022

Perspective makes all the difference

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." - Genesis 50:20

These words from Joseph have always challenged me on the topic of perspective. So often we find ourselves in difficult circumstances and we wonder why God has allowed these things to unfold. We question God's plans for our lives, and we see all setbacks as God's failure to honour his commitment to our lives. It takes an incredible amount of wisdom and faith to trust in God's sovereignty, despite what the situation may look like. 

“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.”
― George Eliot

Living in Grace


Sunday 13 November 2022

If God is for you ....

"A Young William Wilberforce was discouraged one night in the early 1790s after another defeat in his 10-year battle against the slave trade in England. Tired and frustrated, he opened his Bible and began to leaf through it. A small piece of paper fell out and fluttered to the floor. 

It was a letter written by John Wesley shortly before his death. Wilberforce read it again: 

"Unless the divine power has raised you up... I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that (abominable practice of slavery), which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. 

Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. 

But if God be for you, who can be against you? 

Are all of them together stronger than God? 

Oh, be not weary of well-doing. 

Go on in the name of God, and in the power of His might." - Daily Bread, June 16, 1989.

I have deliberately made this quote appear over a number of lines, as I think that each sentence is filled with power and promise. Is there perhaps a word that stands out for you today. Hold onto that for your 'food' for the day.

Romans 8:31 - What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Living in Grace


Friday 11 November 2022

Remember, remember the 11th of November!

As I child, I distinctly remember the phrase, "remember, remember the 5th of November." This was always said in conjunction with Guy Fawkes, and it was such a catchy little ditty that I still remember it to this day. 

However, as today is Remembrance Day, I would like to offer a variation of the phrase and encourage us to sing: "remember, remember, the 11th of November!"

It is always good to pause and remember all who can gone before us, especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. In many ways, War reminds us of the evil of humanity (on one hand), while also teaching us about the resilience of human beings. Sadly, we never seem to the learn the lessons that War teaches us and, even today, we feel the global impact of another war - the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

“There are perhaps many causes worth dying for, but to me, certainly, there are none worth killing for.”
― Albert Dietrich

Remembrance Day is also a moment where I stop to consider what Christ has done for me. Jesus took the worst that humanity could throw at him - including my sin - and paid the ultimate sacrifice, in my place. For this, I am deeply grateful and indebted to him. As I remember this, I pray that my response is not one of apathy but rather is motivated to honour what He has done for me. 

Wouldn't it be a miracle if all humanity could remember the pain, loss and destruction of War and then commit to never repeat that evil again? 

Isaiah 2:4 - "He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore."

Living in Grace


Thursday 10 November 2022

Like wineskins in the smoke

"Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your decrees." (Psalm 119:83)

This is such an interesting image to contemplate. 

Perhaps we can't relate to the habit of carrying our water/wine in wineskins anymore, but we can still picture the practise of the Israelites doing this. When the Psalmist uses this simile, he refers to the idea of an empty container that has shrivelled up through contact with smoke in the home. 

And this is how many people feel at the moment, especially as regards their spiritual and emotional lives. We feel as if we are empty - and that our lives are shrivelled/dried up by the constant demands of the world around us. 

Thankfully, there is some good news. When we feel like this, we must remember the words of the Lord and turn our eyes to Jesus. As we allow the 'Living Water' to fill us, so our hearts will be revived, and we will be able to face the challenges of a new day.

John 7:38 - Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.

Living in Grace


Wednesday 9 November 2022

Let courage rise with danger

In his famous hymn, Stand up! Stand up for Jesus, George Duffield penned these two lines:

"Let courage rise with danger,
and strength to strength oppose." - George Duffield (1818-1888)

These words speak of how we can ask God's Spirit to fill our hearts with such courage, that when we face any danger or strife, we can feel our hearts rise to meet the challenge. I believe that God can do this for each one of us, no matter the situation we are facing.

Exodus 15:13 - In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.

Thought: Have you ever encountered a difficult situation, but sensed a supernatural strength carry you through the time of testing? 

Living in Grace

Tuesday 8 November 2022

When grace is enough to get us through today!

"My grace is enough; it’s all you need.

My strength comes into its own in your weakness." - 2 Corinthians 12:9

How many times have we stressed over our weaknesses and wondered who will notice our inadequacies? Paul's honest vulnerability is refreshing and he boldly states: "Christ's power works through our weaknesses, so I have learnt to be 'okay' about admitting my weaknesses" (my version of his thoughts).

May the Grace of Jesus carry you through today and may we rest in the promise that 'HIS GRACE IS ENOUGH!'

“I am struck by how sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes.”
― Jean Vanier

Living in Grace


Monday 7 November 2022

Brighten up your corner - Inspirational poem

In conversation with a friend last week, he mentioned an inspirational poem to me. As I read it, I realised it was the perfect ending for the sermon I was writing. Having shared the poem on Sunday, a few people have asked for the words. So, here they are - it is a poem entitled: "Brighten up your corner." Enjoy and please pass on to someone in need. 

We cannot all be famous
Or be listed in "Who's Who,"
But every person, great or small,
Has important work to do.

For seldom do we realize
The importance of small deeds,
Or to what degree of greatness
Unnoticed kindness leads.

For it's not the big celebrity
In a world of fame and praise,
But it's doing unpretentiously
In an undistinguished way.

The work that God assigned to us,
Unimportant as it seems,
That makes our task outstanding,
And brings reality to dreams.

So do not sit and idly wish
For wider, new dimensions
where you can put into practice,
Your many good intentions.

But at the spot God placed you
Begin at once to do,
Little things to brighten up
The lives surrounding you.

If everybody brightened up

The spot where they're standing,
By being more considerate,
And a little less demanding.

This dark old world would very soon
Eclipse the evening star,
If everybody brightened up
The corner where they are! - Helen Steiner Rice

So, the challenge lies before us!

How can we lighten the dark corners of our world? 
What can we do to bring Christ to those who need Him?

Isaiah 60 - Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.

Living in Grace

Sunday 6 November 2022

What's your catch phrase?

Many of us have a little phrase or a few words, that have become our catchphrase. We are known by these words and often people even associate us with the message behind these words. In the Bible, it could be argued that Isaiah was known for his "do not fear" mantra, and one just needs to read a few verses to confirm the truth behind this: Isaiah 7:4, Isaiah 35:4 and Isaiah 40:9. 

Another Old Testament prophet was well known for his "take courage" catchphrase. Haggai used this sentiment a number of times in the short book, of the same name.

"Yet now take courage, O Zerubbabel, says the Lordtake courage, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord; work, for I am with you, says the Lord of hosts." - Haggai 2:4-5 (NRSV)


1. Do you have a catchphrase?

2. What do the words of Haggai stir up inside of you today?

Living in Grace