Saturday, 2 July 2022

We need time to recharge the motors!


With all of the latest load-shedding (in South Africa) I have noticed that our gate motors don't have the necessary time to recharge their batteries. Previously, it would have been fine, but now that we are on level 6 load-shedding, there is no time for them to get back to full power.

The obvious connection with our emotion and spiritual batteries is there for us to note. If we don't take the time to recharge our batteries, we will eventually come to a stand still. Jesus reminds us all of this important principal when he takes time to rest and recharge.

Matthew 14:23 - After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone...

Living in Grace

D3LM3

P.S. I will be taking a few days to 'practise what I preach', so I won't be sharing blogs for a few days :) 

Friday, 1 July 2022

Eavesdropping on a conversation



"For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God." - Teresa of Avila

Let us remember that when Jesus instructed his disciples to pray, he suggested that they use a radical term for God - our Father - It was something they hadn't really believed they could do. 

"Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy." - Matthew 6:9

How is your prayer life at the moment?

If someone eavesdropped on our prayers would they be able to say: "this person is definitely friends with Jesus?"

Living in Grace

D3LM3


Thursday, 30 June 2022

Magnetised by his goodness


"...many of us today, despite our familiarity with the Gospels, have imbibed an image of God which causes us to recoil from him rather than be magnetised by his goodness." - Joyce Huggett

The clearest way to identify our own image of God, would be to ask us all to draw a picture. Thankfully, I am not going to do that today, as my drawing leaves a lot to be desired. However, if I had asked you to draw a picture, what kind of image would you have put onto paper? 

There is a sad reality amongst many church-goers, that very few of us can picture a smiling, gregarious Jesus. It is easier to think of an austere, bearded holy man, rather than allow ourselves to dwell on the idea that Jesus' magnetism drew thousands to his side. If the crowds had been afraid of him, they wouldn't have tried to get near him. 

What do you think?

Hebrews 7:19 - But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Laughing at ourselves


The last 3 books I have finished reading have all taken a lighter look at the church and the 'goings on' inside the Christian community. None of them have been irreligious at all, but have certainly made me laugh and groan at the same time. We are indeed a strange bunch :) 

Each of the authors have taken their own slant on the characters within the stories, but I have certainly been able to laugh at myself and some of the interesting people in the books. I feel that laughter is a great way of drawing aside the curtain and taking a deeper look at myself. Of course, sometimes it makes me feel sad that the church has missed the mark many times, but it also fills me with hope when I see how many people are sincerely seeking to follow Jesus. 

In the end, it is important for all of us to remember that God didn't call a group of perfect disciples to lead the church, but a group of believers who knew that they had to rely on the grace of Christ. 

Psalm 126:2 - We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”

In case you are wondering which books I have been reading, here they are:

  • Till the Fat Lady Sings - Bob Jackson
  • The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass aged 37 3/4 - Adrian Plass
  • Heavens Doors - Lynda Rose

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Monday, 27 June 2022

Paving the way


"God not only begins, but conducts to the end, the work of our salvation, that his grace in us may not be useless and unprofitable. As he opens up the way, he paves it, and removes the obstacles of every description, and is himself the leader during the whole journey. In short, he continues his grace towards us in such a manner that he at length brings it to perfection." - John Calvin

As we read these words is there a passage from scripture that comes to your mind?

Perhaps I can prompt us a little...

... John 14:6?

... Isaiah 35:8?

If you have the time to search these two passages you will find the answer in each one of them. For me, the key in this quote and in the scriptures is that God's grace continues with each one of us, as we journey on the way. Instead of creating obstacles for us, God paves the way.

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Be strong; do not fear


In preparing for a message today I was drawn back to Isaiah 35. There is something profound about these words of hope:

"Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
Be Strong, do not fear."
- v.3-4

I am sure that these words are meant for some of us today. If you have a moment please read through the entire chapter - it will be a blessing to you.

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

How deep the Father's love


How deep the Father's love is one of my favourite songs. There is something special about the words, melody and message of the song that reaches deep inside my soul. If you have never heard the song, here is a beautiful version of the song - may it bless you today. 

"How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That he should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory." 
- Stuart Townend

Ephesians 3:18 - I pray that you will be able to understand how wide and how long and how high and how deep His love is.

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

The dawn will break

 


In the Southern Hemisphere we are experiencing the Winter Solstice today. Our shortest day and longest night, will be mirrored by the longest day and shortest night in the Northern Hemisphere. Whichever you are experiencing today, please think on these few thoughts:

The longest night of our year will only be from 17:44 this evening until 07:51 tomorrow morning (in Cape Town). Yes, it will be cold and dark, but it will not be forever. I find that I have a greater capacity to 'hang on' when I know that the end is in sight. 

This thought gives me hope when I think about all the pain and heartache in the world - with Christ we are offered the great hope that even our darkest of times will not be forever.

Jesus died and entered into the darkness, but that was also short-lived. Three days later he rose from the grave and gifted us all with the promise of new life. 

Psalm 112:4 - Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.

"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn." — Hal Borland


Living in Grace
D3LM3


Sunday, 19 June 2022

Taste and See


On this Father's Day I invite us to reflect on a special aspect of our relationship with God - that we can 'experience' God's love first hand and not just in our minds.

Psalm 34:8 – “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!”

To “taste and see” the goodness of the Lord is not only to “agree and believe” – but to experience God’s goodness.

"The difference between believing that God is gracious and tasting that God is gracious is as different as having a rational belief that honey is sweet and having the actual sense of its sweetness.” – Jonathan Edwards

It is easy to point out all that is wrong with Father's in our world, but we should never forget that Jesus reveals the love of the perfect Father. May you taste and see that God is good.

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Remember the God of our Youth

                                                         


As we remember National Youth Day on the 16th June, let us be reminded of our call to invest in the lives of the younger generation and to offer them the guidance they need. The best gift we can give them is the knowledge of Jesus as their Saviour and Friend. Here are a few passages to spur us on:

Psalm 71:5 - For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.

Psalm 103:5 - who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Ecclesiastes 4:13 - Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 - Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble.

What 'faith' lessons would you love to pass onto the younger generations?


Living in Grace

D3LM3

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Start by listening to the stories of others


When Paul spoke to the learned people in Athens, he noted that they had built a statue “to an unknown God!” (Acts 17:23). They had done this as a safety measure,  just in case they had missed out on one of the many gods – they wanted to cover all their bases. 

What I like about Paul's response to this statue is that he didn't dismiss their religious efforts outright, but rather used it as a bridge to the gospel of Jesus. We would be wise to use this approach even in our own lives as people are still seeking God today. Sadly they are not looking for God in the church, as the church may have failed a lot of people over the years. 

However, it is good to remember that we are not offering them the church (per se), we are offering them Jesus.

Philip Moore offers us this advice: “Luke tells us to stop dismissing people’s stories and instead use them to point people towards Jesus. When we listen for ways to build bridges and point out Jesus where people have missed him, opportunities to call people to repentance are never far away. God is looking for tour guides – ordinary people like you and me.”

What do you make of this? 

Whose story do you need to listen to today? 

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Monday, 13 June 2022

Be near us


“O loving Lord, be near us today,
Open our ears to hear your voice.
Open our eyes to behold your glory.
Open our hearts to receive your grace.
Open our lips so we can offer you just praise.
For the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.” (based on a prayer by Frank Colquhoun)

Psalm 73:28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

It is good to be close to God. May you come to know the presence of our Saviour today.

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Friday, 10 June 2022

I shall not pass this way again


“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” - William Penn (inspired by Stephen Grellet 1773–1855)

This quote leaves me questioning how I treat other people and what if I only get one chance to show kindness to another human-being? It may sound a little cliched, but we are all called to show love to people and to reveal Christ in all we do. This is not as easy as we think, but we are asked to TRY.

Ephesians 2:7 - "... in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus."

As we walk through our lives today, may we try to notice every person as a 'fellow being' and offer the love of God to each of them.

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Thursday, 9 June 2022

A New Yoke - what does this mean?


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30

I was reminded today that when Jesus offered for us to take his yoke upon ourselves it was a radical offer. We usually imagine the idea of two oxen ploughing the fields, under the same yoke - one of them being represented by us and the other by Christ. Jesus takes up the greater strain of the yoke and we are given a moment to rest.

However, there is another side to the illustration. Rabbi's also referred to the teaching of the law as a 'yoke.' And that when we chose to follow God, we lifted the yoke upon our shoulders and learnt the ways of God. However, this proved to be a burden for many people, as they felt the desperate weight of their sins and the bondage of the law. Jesus' invitation to a new 'yoke' is therefore an invitation to a new way of following God -the way of Love, Mercy and Grace. 

May the words of Matthew 11 bless you with freedom, rest and peace, today. 

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Acknowledgement of request


I had to write an email to a corporate institution this week and was pleasantly surprised to immediately receive an 'acknowledgement' email in return. That in itself was not amazing, but what did surprise me was that the email stated: 

  • I had made contact with the right department
  • They were experiencing a high volume of queries
  • They would get back to me asap
Somehow their email made we feel 'at peace' - almost as if I had been helped already or that my query would be dealt with soon. Strange, but true! 

And then I thought to myself - what if God could do that with my prayers? We could pray and God could get one of his angels to send us an email stating:

1. We have sent our request to the right department
2. God was experiencing a high volume of requests
3. He would get back to me asap

Wouldn't that make us feel more at peace? I could probably carry on without bombarding God with more requests if I just knew that he had heard me the first time. 

Or is it just me?

And then I read these words, which put me straight:

Psalm 6:9 - The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.

Psalm 40:1 - I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.

Living in Grace

D3LM3




Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Hope in the future


“Where there is no hope in the future, there is no power in the present.” – Anon

It is hard to shake the feeling that the world is in a huge mess. Everywhere you look, all we seem to see is crisis, trouble, pain, suffering and despair. As Christians, we need to keep our focus on Jesus Christ in order to look beyond the limits of our world. If we are only looking for signs of hope in the man-made world, we will come up disappointed. 

Let us hold onto hope, so that we can live with purpose and power in the present.

Job 6:11 - “What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?

Job 11:18 - You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

Living in Grace

D3LM3


Monday, 6 June 2022

Living God's way


The work of the Holy Spirit is to enable us to live our lives for the glory of God and to serve others in our communities. As Eugene Peterson eloquently describes: "The Holy Spirit is God moving in us to live God's life."

How does this resonate with you? 

Do you sense the Spirit moving in your heart, equipping you to live God's life?

1 John 3:24 - The one who keeps God’s commands livein him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he livein us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

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

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Sunday, 5 June 2022

A most unique gift


When we receive gifts from loved ones and friends, it is usually an indication of a deeper relationship between us. I mean, how often do you give gifts to someone you don't really appreciate and enjoy? I can't recall ever doing that.

We are reminded that at Pentecost God gave us the greatest gift of all - Himself. Jesus had been explaining to his followers that they should expect this GIFT, but in true fashion, no one knew what this gift would be. 

Acts 1:4 - On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about."

"Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”  - John 4:10

The challenge for us all is what we will do with this most unique and indispensable gift. Sadly, too many of us have left the gift unopened and unused.

Living in Grace

D3LM3


Thursday, 2 June 2022

Being prayed for


There is something special about knowing that people are praying for you. It gives you a sense of hope and support. However, how does it make you feel when you consider that Jesus prays for us? Read these words from John 17:

"I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message." - John 17: 20

Romans 8:27 - And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

Whatever you are facing today, may you be encouraged that the Lord is praying for you. God will grant you His strength. 

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Dragons and fairy tales


“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” ― G.K. Chesterton

There is something intriguing about this quote - perhaps it is because most children love fairy-tales or that we grow up wanting to believe in heroes and 'knights in shining armour.' 

My immediate thought was how this quote speaks into our experience of Faith. We don't need to be reminded that evil exists (these are the dragons), but rather that Christ has overcome all of our dragons. The stories of faith, found the Bible, remind us that Christ is victorious and these should inspire us to place our trust in the One who defeats all evil.

Jeremiah 1:19 - They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

John 1:5 - The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Acts of kindness never die


"Acts of kindness never die. They linger in the memory, giving life to other acts in return." - Jonathan Sacks

I have observed 2 things recently: 

1. Our world lacks a lot of kindness. Sure, there are some people who have the gift of pushing through the negativity, but we could all do with more kindness around us. 

2. Kindness stirs a response in us - it usually makes us want to also show kindness to others.

Romans 2:3-4 (The Message) - God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

Colossians 3:12 - So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.

What is your response to this quote? 

Please drop me a line if you get a moment - I'd love to hear your thoughts and stories of kindness. 

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Monday, 30 May 2022

Haste versus Hurry - is there a difference?



"Though I am always in haste, I am never in a hurry because I never undertake more work than I can go through with calmness of spirit." - John Wesley

I confess that Mr Wesley's words had me scurrying for the dictionary to try and see if there is a difference between 'haste' and 'hurry.' In most of the dictionaries there is very little difference between the two terms, although if I were to try unpack what John Wesley's intention, it could be something like this:

  • To be in haste (urgency of movement) may relate to sharing the Gospel with those in need, fully aware of the time constraints and the urgency of this task. There is no time to waste.

Whereas, when my life is in a hurry, there is a sense of being out of control and perhaps being a little side-tracked by the myriad of tasks on my plate. To hurry is "to do things quicker than normal" - thus implying less focus.

What do you think? If you know a better definition, please let me know. Maybe there is no difference between the 2!?

Anyway .....

My point is this: "We should be in tune with the Holy Spirit as we go about our tasks. He will lead us and give us capacity to complete all the important things in our lives."

Psalm 38:21-22 - Don’t dump me, God; my God, don’t stand me up. Hurry and help me;

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Unpicking the lock


Charles Spurgeon - “He who made the lock knows well what key will fit it.”

Charles Spurgeon reflects on how God knows what is the best way to 'unpick' the lock of our hearts. In the story of Lydia in Acts 16, God uses the words of Paul and Silas to reach her and to bring her the good news.

"As she (Lydia) listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying." - Acts 16:14

Has God managed to unpick your heart or have you hardened your heart to his voice?

Living in Grace

D3LM3


Saturday, 28 May 2022

Nothing in half measure


There are some days when we wonder why we don't give more to God. And perhaps there are also a few moments when we think that God is holding out on us. Well, according to E.M. Bounds, God never does anything in half measures, so perhaps the problem lies with each one of us? 

"Jesus Christ stands as the illustration of God's word and its unlimited goodness in promise as well as in realization. God takes nothing by halves. He gives nothing by halves. We can have the whole of Him when he has the whole of us." - E.M. Bounds

Exodus 19:8 - They all responded in unison, “We will certainly do everything he asks of us.” Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.

 Are you able to give God your 'ALL' today?

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Prayer is the practice of love


In her book LEFT TO TELL, Immaculee Ilibagiza, writes about how she survived the Rwandan genocide of 1994, where she also lost her whole family. What is even more remarkable about her story is that for 91 days (3 months) she and 7 other women lived in a small bathroom, not knowing when her enemies would come for her. They were graciously fed a few scraps of food by a kind neighbour, who had taken the risky decision to hide them in his house. Her story is life-changing. 

In part of the the book, she wrote a lovely prayer, which is even more profound when you know her testimony. She says: 

“Prayer is the practice of love.

It can change the world.

It sounds so simple, but it is true.

Hold on to hope and find peace in your heart.

Put your trust in God.”


Psalm 9:12He does not ignore the prayers of men in trouble when they call to him for help.


May we all hold onto hope in our troubled world.


Living in Grace

D3LM3

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

What will it take? - a brief reflection on our own Aldersgate experience.


Today is marked as Wesley Day - the day that John Wesley had his heart 'strangely warmed' at a church service in Aldersgate street. A lot has been written about his experience and I am sure that you have even heard a sermon on this topic before. However, today I want to make 3 brief observations on Wesley's Aldersgate experience and why I think it's important for us to chew on his watershed moment.

1. Apparently John Wesley went 'unwillingly' to the service that evening. In other words, he was not keen to go - he probably could have come up with many reasons why he couldn't attend, but he still went! It was his personal commitment to worship that put him into a place where God's spirit changed his life. How does this challenge us? What blessings could we be missing out on if we only go to worship when we feel like it?

2. John Wesley was already an Ordained priest by the time he went to the service on the 24 May 1738 - in fact, he had been a priest for 10 years already. This shows me that he was open to the work of the Spirit in his life - he didn't have an arrogance that assumed he knew everything. God is always willing to work in the lives of people who surrender to him.

3. Wesley's experienced energised him to serve God in new ways. He continued to serve within the Anglican Church, but he was passionate about preaching the Gospel in ways that hadn't been done before. When we encounter God, the Spirit moves us out of our comfort zone, for the sake of God's kingdom. We need to pray for the courage to be obedient.

May your heart be strangely warmed today.

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Monday, 23 May 2022

Trouble - blessing or curse?

 


"Trouble proves a blessing or a curse, depending on how it is received and treated by us. It either softens or hardens us. It either draws us to prayer and to God drives us away. The sun can either soften the wax or harden the clay. The sun can either melt the ice or dry out moisture from the earth." - E.M. Bounds

 There is something so profound in these words from E.M. Bounds. He was such a man of deep prayer and wisdom, that I imagine him using the 'troubles' in his life to draw him closer to Jesus. I also love the way he reflects on the power of the Sun - that it has the strength to melt the wax, as well as, harden clay.

So, as you are reading these words today, what do you feel about 'Trouble?'

2 Corinthians 4:17 - For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

 Living in Grace

D3LM3


Sunday, 22 May 2022

Quest for happiness


Is happiness something that we will always find elusive ... or are we looking in the wrong places? Here are some interesting thoughts on happiness. 

Stormie Omartian – “We will never be happy until we make God the source of our fulfilment, and the answer to our longings. He is only one who should have power over our souls.”

Ecclesiastes 2:26 - To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness."

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ - Matthew 25:23

“I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.”
― Jane Austen

What will it take for us to be happy today?

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Don't let them out of your sight



"My child, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."
- Proverbs 3:21-24

What things of value do you try and keen within your sight? 

Is wisdom and understanding on that list?

I find it interesting that Proverbs teaches us that we will sleep soundly when we start by keeping wisdom and understanding close at hand. There is a lot of truth in this.

"A man only becomes wise when he begins to calculate the approximate depth of his ignorance." - Gian Carlo Manotti

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

So little time



In her book, The Quotidian Mysteries, Kathleen Norris reflects on our universal lament of how little time we all seem to have. She argues that it is not the time that is the big issue, but rather how we reflect during the 'hours' of everyday. She writes:

“The often heard lament, “I have so little time,” gives the lie to the delusion that the daily is of little significance. Everyone has exactly the same amount of time, the same twenty—four hours in which many a weary voice has uttered the gospel truth: “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Mt 6:34, KJV). 

But most of us, most of the time, take for granted what is closest to us and is most universal. The daily round of sunrise and sunset, for example, that marks the coming and passing of each day, is no longer a symbol of human hopes, or of God’s majesty, but a grind, something we must grit our teeth to endure. 

Our busy schedules, and even urban architecture, which all too often deprives us of a sense of the sky, has diminished our capacity to marvel with the psalmist in the passage of time as an expression of God’s love for us and for all creation: It was God who made the great lights, whose love endures forever; the sun to rule in the day, whose love endures forever; the moon and stars in the night, whose love endures forever. (Ps 136: 7—9, GR)

How can this change the way we think about our lives and encountering God in the ordinary moments?

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Monday, 16 May 2022

Idolising the self


We live in an age where we are constantly posting updates, pictures and information online - most of this may pertain to others, but a lot can revolve around ourselves. While, there is nothing wrong with this, we need to be careful (as Christians), that we don't fall into a trap of self-idolatry. The line is very fine, but the real test is whether we find we 'need' the affirmation more and more, or whether it's just good to stay in touch with others. 

What sparked these thoughts was a line that I read today in The God of Surprises by Gerard W. Hughes - "To repent and believe the Good News is to turn away from self-idolatry and to let God be God in us..." 

Jesus calls us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves, so we can see that we are supposed to love ourselves on one level, but self-idolisation is crossing the line. 

Acts 17:16 - While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.

Any thoughts?

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Sunday, 15 May 2022

God's timing


Many of us have a constant need to know what's going on and when! However, LIFE has an uncanny way of keeping these two things a mystery for us. Perhaps this is why Jesus reminded his disciples of this powerful truth:

Acts 1:7 (Message) - 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.

We need to be content with the gift of the Spirit (which should never be seen as the second prize by-the-way). He will lead us into the knowledge of all things. Timing is the Father's business.

As I write these words, I am busy recovering from my first case of Covid, so these words are intriguing for me. Is it just a case of 'God's timing' or 'it was eventually gonna happen?'  

Makes one think, doesn't?

Living in Grace

D3LM3

P.S. I apologise for the lack of blogs over the last couple of days, but I have barely made it off the bed. I appreciate the prayers and support. Stay safe. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

What are we defined by?


Whether we like it or not, each one of us is defined by something. We can be defined by our upbringing, or our education. We can be defined by our faith or friendships. We can also be defined by our careers and the context in which we find ourselves. 

When Paul writes to the church in Colossae he has some words of encouragement for them and it may help us to understand his intention, especially in light of 'what defines us'.

"Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ." - Colossians 3: 11(The Message) 

Once we are "in Christ" this is what should be our defining criteria. 

What do you think?

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Monday, 9 May 2022

The donkey in the Lion's skin


Aesop, the ancient storyteller, told this remarkable fable: 

"Once upon a time, a donkey found a lion's skin. He tried it on, strutted around, and frightened many animals with his new appearance. Soon a fox came along, and the donkey tried to scare him, too. But the fox, hearing the donkey's voice, said, "If you want to terrify me, you'll have to disguise your bray." 

Aesop's moral: Clothes may disguise a fool, but his words will give him away.

This fable still finds value in today's context. How many times do our politicians try to disguise themselves with titles, propaganda and staged photoshoots, but in the end, their words still give them away?

"Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions." - Proverbs 18: 2

"The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives." - Proverbs 18:7

This challenge is not just for the politicians of this world, it is also for ourselves. We may think that by putting on airs of respectability we may win a few supporters, but it is our words that give prudence to our true characters. 

Living in Grace
D3LM3

Sunday, 8 May 2022

A prayer for Mother's


I have come across a lot of different prayers and thoughts for Mother's Day, but this is one that I really found meaningful. I have taken the liberty of changing a few words and lines, but I give the full credit to Rebecca Barlow Jordan for the majority of the inspirational words.

"Dear Lord, Bless every mother, grandmother and women with the finest of your spiritual blessings today. Confirm in her heart and spirit the work of her hands and the love that she has freely given to the children and people under her care. Validate her worth daily so she has no doubt that she is loved, valued, and cherished in your eyes.

Create in her a deep sense of your protection and trust, so that worry and fear disappear as she places her loved ones into your care. Let her know that every prayer she has prayed and every encouraging word she has spoken have been transformed into sweet, fragrant offerings.

Whisper deep within her spirit the sweet words she longs to hear from you. Show her that nothing can ever separate her from your love. Help her to nestle daily into the promises of your Word, standing with faith on the things you declare are true. Let her know that you reward faithfulness, and that true success doesn’t lie in accomplishments or accolades.

Let her rest in knowing that she has done all she can and that she and those she loves truly belong to you. Bless her with a servant spirit so she can teach her own the joy of hearing one day, “Well done!”

Let her joy be contagious; let her passion be pure; and let her life overflow with all the blessings she deserves—on special days, and on every day of her life. In Jesus’ name. Amen. (Adapted from Rebecca Barlow Jordan)

May all mothers, grandmothers, and women in general, have a blessed day today.

Living in Grace

D3LM3


Saturday, 7 May 2022

The Conspiracy of Kindness - changing the world by simply being kind


In his book, “The Conspiracy of Kindness,” Steve Sjogren makes an interesting observation. He states that less than 10% of Christians have the spiritual gift of evangelism, but around 90% have the gift of serving. He then goes on to speak about how we can witness to people through our acts of kindness and service. 

I find this a very thought provoking point, especially in the light of sharing our faith. When we speak to congregation members about sharing our experience of Christ, many people glaze over and become very scared. All the excuses in the book are then put forward as to why they can't evangelise and I fully understand how intimidating it can be. However, every person has the ability to 'serve' someone else and to show kindness. 

Imagine if we all ventured out into the world with the idea of sharing God's love with people through our actions and service?

In Acts 9 we read of a woman named Tabitha, who did exactly that. If you are interested in knowing more about her, then please check out our latest sermon on this remarkable woman. 

Living in Grace

D3LM3

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Will there be Good News?

 


We use the phrase 'good news' in many different contexts today. 

  • Will there be good news about the petrol price?
  • Will there be good news about the war in Ukraine?
  • Will there be good news about Covid?
  • Will there be good news about ......?

When Jesus offered himself to humanity, it was not so much what He could do for us that made it good news, but rather that He was the good news all wrapped up in one remarkable Person.

Luke 4:43 - But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”

·       William Loader - "The good news is about bringing life where there is death, love where there is hate, healing where there is brokenness."

Living in Grace

D3LM3