Saturday, 27 August 2016

Sharp, Sharp

I have the privilege of being able to share at a Men’s Weekend on the North Coast, over this weekend. I have found that it is so vital for us to take time out to encourage one another and to hone our faith-skills. We live in a time where many things ‘blunt’ our desire to serve Christ and to lead effectively. We need to be consciously making time to sharpen our faith.

It reminds me of the following words from Solomon:

Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Ecclesiastes 10:10 - Using a dull axe requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.

Who can you go to in order to have your Spiritual life sharpened?

Living in Grace

Friday, 26 August 2016

Don't Quit

"Most people who quit don't give up at the bottom of the mountain; they stop halfway up it." - John Maxwell

Don't quit now! You are already halfway up the mountain - just think of the view you will have from the top. All the sweat, pain and sacrifice will be worth it.

So, if you are reading this post today, thinking about giving up, then I urge you to reconsider. If God has called you to this task (this mountain), then please keep climbing. Christ will be your guide.

1 Timothy 6:11 - But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

Living in Grace

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Reflection - Soren Kierkegaard

"When you read God's Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, "It is talking to me and about me." - Soren Kierkegaard

When we spend time digging in God's Word we notice something very profound. All of the events recorded in the Bible took place thousands of years before any of us were born, yet we can still hear the Word speaking to us. Books like the Psalms, Proverbs and even Ecclesiastes will never grow old - their message is timeless and they speak into our lives, even in 2016.

However, there is also something else that is profound - God's Word speaks about me. It reminds me that I am a sinner in need of Grace. It tells me that I am the beloved child of God. It reassures me that God is with me all the time.

Romans 10:11 - "As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”

So, I completely agree with Kierkegaard - God uses the Bible to speak to me, as well as speak about me.

What do you think?

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Push the boundaries

Orville Wright was born in August 1871. We remember that along with his brother Wilbur, Orville was an aviation pioneer. Without their passion for flight, we may have had to wait decades before the first plane was invented. One of the things that strikes me about people like Orville Wright is his willingness to go beyond his limits. He was willing to push the boundaries, in a good way.

"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance." - Orville Wright

Joshua and Caleb were similar kinds of people to the Wright brothers. When they went into the Promised Land (Numbers 14), they returned to the Israelites, saying: "We can do this!" The other 10 spies were not so eager, but Joshua and Caleb believed that God would guide them into the new territory. When we know that God is by our side we can be brave and courageous.

So, here is a question for you - what is stopping you from pushing the boundaries for the Lord?

I have two words for you:Be brave!

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Write it in stone!

Charles Spurgeon reflected on life and death by saying the following:

"A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you, and were helped by you, will remember you. So carve your name on hearts, and not on marble."

One day we will all have a marble tombstone of some sorts, but the bigger challenge is whether we are carving our names onto the hearts of others.

“This new plan I’m making with Israel isn’t going to be written on paper, isn’t going to be chiselled in stone; this time I’m writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts. I’ll be their God, they’ll be my people. They won’t go to school to learn about me, or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons. They’ll all get to know me first-hand, the little and the big, the small and the great. They’ll get to know me by being kindly forgiven, with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.” – Hebrews 8: 6-13 (Message)

Start chiselling. 

Living in Grace

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Divided we fall

There is an old saying that reminds us of this one important truth - "United we stand, but Divided, we fall!" This saying is used in sports teams, battles between nations, church leadership meetings and even in friendships. However, perhaps the place it plays out the strongest is in FAMILIES. If a family is united together, then they can withstand most onslaughts, but if they allow division to cause strife, then the family bond is in danger.

It was Jesus who used these words to his followers in Luke 11.

Luke 11:17-18 - He knew their thoughts, so he said, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall apart.

Are you allowing divisions to get among your team/family at the moment? 
What are you doing to sort it out?

Living in Grace

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Ordination - 10 years on

I was reminded today of our Ordination service, which took place on this day in 2006. In our Church system (at the time) we were Ordained 5 years after beginning our training, although I had already served for 5 years as a Youth Pastor in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

For Kim and I, our ministerial training involved serving in the Church Street Methodist Community in Somerset West (2002), while studying part-time in Plumstead. Then we moved to Pretoria for a year of Academic studies, where I finished my outstanding academic work (2003). From the city of Jacaranda's we were sent to the Umvoti circuit, where we served in the town of Dalton for 3 years. After our Ordination we moved to Pietermaritzburg, where we have been serving at Wesley Methodist (Hayfields) for 10 years.

As I reflect on nearly 20 years of combined ministry, I am grateful for all that God has done for us and for how he has led us. I am grateful for the support of my entire family and my friends - without their encouragement I am not sure I would be where I am today. All in all, I am most grateful for the presence of Christ with me, where-ever I go.

My challenge for us all today is this: "Don't be afraid to say YES to the call of Jesus. We don't know where it will lead us, but it will certainly be a huge adventure."

1 Peter 2:21 - To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
Living in Grace