Thursday 30 November 2023

Waiting, waiting, waiting!

It seems that the Lord is trying to teach me (and a few of you) the valuable lesson of waiting. I am not a patient person, so this is a tough lesson to be learning again! I had hoped that by the time I was in my 50's I would be a lot better at this discipline, but alas, it seems I am not! 

Thankfully, the Bible speaks on this issue in many places, and I am grateful for the words of advice that can help me in my wrestling. So, if you find yourself in a similar boat, I offer you some words of solace and may God grant us all the ability to 'wait patiently.'

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." - Psalm 27:14

“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about." - Acts 1:8

Psalm 37:7 - "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;"

Isaiah 26:8 - "Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts."

Living in Grace

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Failure is not fatal!

I have some inspirational quotes at the bottom of my diary. There are days when they don't really speak into my situation, but there are some days where they really make a lot of sense. This is what the quote said today:

"Success is not final; Failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

None of us enjoys failing at anything, but it is a part of life. However, it is important to have the courage to get up and try again. This also applies in our Christian faith. Although we strive to be Christ-like, we will make mistakes and disappoint ourselves and the Lord. The important decision for us to make is to ask for forgiveness, and then to ask God to help us move ahead. 

1 Chronicles 28:20 - David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.

Prayer: Lord, give us the courage to continue following you, no matter how imperfect we feel. 

Living in Grace

Monday 27 November 2023

Carry on until the end

Sir Francis Drake wrote a prayer that may be helpful for you today:

"O Lord God, when thou givest to thy servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same unto the end, until it be thoroughly finished, which yields the true glory: through him who for the finishing of thy work laid down his life, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen."

Philippians 1:6 - "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."

The hardest part is not always beginning something, but rather having the courage to carry on until the end. 

Living in grace


Sunday 26 November 2023

Christ the King

The last Sunday before Advent is usually marked as Christ the King Sunday. It is a significant occasion for believers as it draws our attention back to the Sovereignty of Jesus. In a time when leaders scramble for power and worldly leadership is often self-centered, we would do well to honour Christ as our King and Saviour. 

1 Timothy 1:17 - “To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Revelation 19:6 - “On his robe and on his thigh, he has a name inscribed King of kings and Lord of lords.” 

Elizabeth Joy-Lawrence wrote: "We need Christ the King Sunday because we need to remember that our ultimate hope is not in any human being, but in Christ.”

      Thought: How could Christ the King Sunday change the way we live our daily lives?

      Living in grace



Wednesday 22 November 2023


"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

As Paul ends off his letter to the church in Thessalonika, he urges them to hold JOY as their life-breath, PRAYER as their divine connection with God, and GRATITUDE as a daily practice. 

His words are equally inspiring for all of us, despite the challenge of trying to put these ideals into practice.

What do you think?

"Always be joyful.
Always keep on praying.
No matter what happens, always be thankful,"
 - Living Bible

Living in Grace


Monday 20 November 2023

We can't go back to yesterday

"It is no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then." - Lewis Carroll

There is a profound truth in this statement! When one sincerely confesses our sins (of yesterday), and we seek to live in the grace of God today, we need to let go of the past. Sadly, there are many people who keep trying to dredge up the pain of the past, but through God's mercy we can move on into our future. 

"No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." - Philippians 4:12-13

Thought: What past mistakes keep you from moving forward with freedom?

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you do not hold grudges against us. Teach us to let go of our pasts and to trust in your mercy in the future. Amen. 

Living in Grace


Sunday 19 November 2023

Come Holy Spirit (Uthando)

I have been listening to this beautiful song over the last while. It was written by a friend of mine, Mark Counihan, with input from his wife, Denise and friend Langa Mbonambi. If you need a song to quietly lift your spirits and remind you that God is still with us, then please click the link and listen. I am sure you will be blessed by the words and melody. (Come Holy Spirit)

Come, Holy Spirit
Move among us
Come Holy Spirit
Flow Living Water
Flow within us
Flow Living Water


Your Love is alive
Breaking the darkness
It’s bringing the Light
To soften the heart of stone
Your Love is alive
Breaking the darkness
And winning the fight
And bringing the orphan home


Uthando uthando
Lwakho lwakho
Luyaphila luyaphila
Your love is alive
Umbuso umbuso
Wakho wakho
Uyaphila, uyaphila
Your Kingdom is alive

No matter what language we speak - the Spirit of God is among us and God is alive.

Living in Grace

Thursday 16 November 2023

You don't have to save the world!

There are a large number of us who are adversely impacted by events happening around the globe. It is not that we are physically affected in anyway, but we certainly feel frustrated that we can't do anything to help. 

I have found that the emotions, that come along with these feelings of helplessness, can wear us down to a point of paralysis in our present contexts. In other words, we are so caught up in the battles raging elsewhere, that we have no energy to make a difference where we are living now! 

This quote has helped me to have a reality check:

Parker Palmer – “Our real freedom comes from being aware that we do not have to save the world, we must merely make a difference in the place where we live.”

Jesus told his disciples to be witnesses in Jerusalem first. Once they had done that, then they could move out to Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

Living in Grace


Wednesday 15 November 2023

It is a good thing to have hope

When reading through the book of Lamentations, I couldn't help stopping at chapter 3 again. As you read through these words (in the modern paraphrase), I pray that they may be a blessing to you. 

It’s a Good Thing to Hope for Help from God

I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left. 
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
(Eugene Peterson) 

Living in Grace

Tuesday 14 November 2023

A visual reminder

Sometimes we need visual reminders of things that are important to us. This can be photographs of loved ones, or mementos of holidays or a cross that hangs up in our home. All serve the purpose of jogging our memories in order to keep us living in the now. In ancient Israel, Moses was given this instruction:

"Then the Lord said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: Throughout the generations to come you must make tassels for the hems of your clothing and attach them with a blue cord. When you see the tassels, you will remember and obey all the commands of the Lord instead of following your own desires and defiling yourselves, as you are prone to do. The tassels will help you remember that you must obey all my commands and be holy to your God." - Numbers 15:37- 40 

What do you use to help you remember important things in your life?

Living in Grace

Monday 13 November 2023

Forget me not!


According to the Green Thumbler (a garden blogger), the story behind the "Forget-me-not" flower goes like this:

"It is said that while God was walking in the Garden of Eden, He came across a blue flower and asked for its name. The flower, being shy, whispered that it had forgotten its name. In response, God named the flower “forget-me-not,” promising that He would not forget it."

This ties in nicely with the words of Isaiah 44:21-22, which remind us of the promise that God never forgets us.

“Remember these things, Jacob, for you, Israel, are my servant.
I have made you, you are my servant; Israel, I will not forget you.

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”

May these words offer you great comfort today.

Living in grace


Saturday 11 November 2023

Fallen Soldier

I came across a lovely poem from Branden Hildago called Fallen Soldier. In memory of all who have died in wars and conflicts around the world. We also remember all the innocent victims of violence and war. Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayers.

Fallen Soldier All Alone
Fallen Soldier Far From Home.
Trickling Down His Face A Tear,
Forgetting How It Feels To Fear
Death And All It's Fate And Glory.
Now It's Here, No Need To Worry.

Fallen Soldier All Alone
Fallen Soldier Far From Home
He's One Of Those They'll All Forget;
The Life He Lived, The Goals He Set,
The Ones He Loved, The Ones Who Wait
To See His Nearly Forgotten Face.

Fallen Soldier All Alone
Fallen Soldier Far From Home
Now Breathing's Just A Waste Of Breath
And Living's Just A Waste Of Death
As He Searches For A New Address;
A Brand New Home Free Of Loneliness.

Fallen Soldier All Alone
Fallen Soldier Far From Home
Lying Motionless On The Ground,
The Battle Raging All Around.
For Now He Is Not All Alone.
This Fallen Soldier Is Welcomed Home.

Living in Grace


Wednesday 8 November 2023

Not sure how I feel about this - what do you think?!

Sometimes we read things in the Bible that make sense, on one level, but also sound a little scary or even unfair, on another level. Take this verse as an example: 

Deuteronomy 8:2 - Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands.

Or this one, which is referring to Hezekiah: 

"However, regarding the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart." (2 Chronicles 32:31)

I am okay about God using testing times to teach me things, but not sure how I feel about God testing me to see what's in my heart. Especially the part about withdrawing from me. Maybe it is just the language that is used, that makes me a little nervous, or perhaps I just need to trust more in the ways of God.

How do you feel? Any thoughts? 

Living in Grace


Tuesday 7 November 2023

Preparing for future trials

As I have been reflecting recently on the reasons why we encounter trials and times of testing, I was struck by how Jesus' temptation in the wilderness prepared him for his future ministry.

Matthew 4:1- Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (the Greek word tempted can also be translated as Tested.)

James points out that we can profit from our trials and struggle when he says: " My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4)

So, I guess I have been challenged to try and consider my trials from a different perspective. Is it possible that God allows us to endure times of testing, in order to prepare us for something else in the future? What could that be? 

How do you feel about that?

Living in Grace


Monday 6 November 2023

You moved any mountains lately?

I came across this prayer recently. I am not 100% sure who the author is, but the words struck me as being authentic and honest. 

Lord, I've never moved a mountain and I guess I never will.
All the faith that I could muster wouldn't move a small ant hill.
Yet I'll tell you, Lord, I'm grateful for the joy of knowing Thee,
and for all the mountain moving down through life You've done for me.

When I needed some help, you lifted me from the depths of great despair.
And when burdens, pain and sorrow have been more than I can bear,
you have always been my courage to restore life's troubled sea,
and to move these little mountains that have looked so big to me.

Many times, when I've had problems and when bills I've had to pay,
and the worries and the heartaches just kept mounting every day, Lord,
I don't know how you did it. Can't explain the where’s or whys.
All I know, I've seen these mountains turn to blessings in disguise.

No, I've never moved a mountain, for my faith is far too small.
Yet, I thank you, Lord of Heaven, you have always heard my call.
And as long as there are mountains in my life, I'll have no fear,
for the mountain-moving Jesus is my strength and always near.
 - Source Unknown.

Matthew 17:20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Living in Grace


Thursday 2 November 2023

Why wait until tomorrow?


As November picks up pace and we suddenly start to realize that Christmas is next month, we can become a little flustered. Some of us are motivated to get done, as much as possible, while others of us may be tempted to procrastinate. 

This quote from Charles Spurgeon may give us all something to think about.

"Alas, tomorrow never comes! It is in no calendar except in the almanac of fools!" 

Jesus said“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." (Matthew 6:34 - The Message)

Proverbs 27:1 - Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

The challenge for all of us is to not leave these things for tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come!

What do you think?

Living in Grace

Wednesday 1 November 2023

The secret of success is ....

Benjamin Disraeli once remarked: "The secret of success is constancy of purpose." 

I believe he has a point in many aspects of life, and we saw part of this in the Springboks recent World Cup Rugby victory. When a team (or individual) pushes forward with one purpose in mind, there is greater chance of success. The more the purpose is thwarted or watered-down, the less likely that the result will be successful.

I would argue that this can also apply to faith, although I wary of the word 'success' when it comes to ministry and Christianity. Jesus certainly had a consistency and singlemindedness, that motivated him to change the lives of his disciples and all that met him. He poured his life into the lives of others and drew them into the heart of the Father.

What purpose is motivating you at the moment? Are you able to keep your eye on the main focus?

Joshua 1:7 - “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

Living in Grace