Everyday Grace


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I’ve been dithering writing this post. I’ve wanted to write something about repentance, sin and grace for a week or so. As I walk through Lent many of my readings have covered similar matters that have further stimulated my thoughts.

Further, we had a visiting Pastor speak at church the other day on the topic: “God is after my thoughts”, which added weight to some of my own ideas.

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Reflections on Lent – It’s all about Jesus


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As longer time readers may recall, I observed Lent last year for the first time. You can read about my experience in a series of posts I wrote, starting with this one.

So I thought I’d do it again this year. Why? Well, any practice that gets me to think more about Jesus and The Father is a pretty good thing I reckon. But in saying that I don’t want to get too religious about it which in this case means I’m doing something for the sake of doing it, rather than truly seeking Him. Often less is more, if that makes sense.

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A Final Reflection on Lent – It’s all about Him!


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It is the day after Easter Sunday. And my first experience of observing Lent has now passed.

Did I have an experience of God that wowed my mind? No.

Was I able to effectively let go of my daily ill discipline that I had set out to fast? Yes, but with lapses.

The most satisfying experience over the six weeks was reading the complete Bible. It was a massive task and one I often questioned why I was doing it. Most days I was just skimming through the Word just to keep up with the demanding schedule.

I don’t feel the same sense of euphoria that Margaret, who responded to God’s nudge to encourage thousands of people from around the world to take up this challenge (you can read about Margaret’s cartwheeling reflections here)

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Palm Sunday Reflections – We are God’s Delight


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Today is Palm Sunday Down Under. The day Jesus rode, on a donkey, into Jerusalem. This marks the first day of Easter week.

I finished reading the Old Testament on Friday. And wow, was it a rewarding experience. Certainly challenging, 1300+ pages in 5 weeks. I didn’t have time for deep reflection on individual passages or verses, but I don’t believe that was the purpose. It gave me an overall sense of the first part of God’s great love story.

My key take-out: God loves us so much. Yes, we are His delight. Too often we can dismiss the Old Testament (OT) as being full of great Sunday school stories but has now been “usurped” by Jesus in the New Testament (NT).

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Lent Reflections – Repentance & Restoring Joy

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Photo very graciously supplied by Mary DeMuth

My siblings and I have been helping our parents spring-clean their house. They’re both in their eighties and it never ceases to amaze me how much stuff one can collect over a long life. The house becomes very “full”, especially when you’re not inclined to throw things out, as is the case with my parents.

They have a lot of stuff and I mean a lot.

We’re hopeful they will be able to secure a move to a smaller place in their next two months, in fact we may know as soon as early next week regarding one place mum has her heart set on.

This won’t really be a spring clean, rather a major overhaul with lots and lots of stuff discarded, given to charities and grateful others. Already, a number of trips have been made to the tip as well as one large council pickup.

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The Mystery of the Manna


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I’m often asking the Lord for answers. Whether it’s about what’s going on with Angelguard, prayers for people who are struggling, or simply about the fact I might have woken up feeling unwell. A day doesn’t go by when I’m not asking Him, “so what about this or that.”

Do you do that?

The extent of my questioning God increases significantly when times are tough or uncertain. For example, a job proposal is rejected or my dad’s health relapses. “Why God?” and “is this the end?” are questions I’m sure I’ve asked many times in relation to those two matters.

I’ve been reading through the Old Testament as part of my Lenten experience of completing the entire Bible. This week I finished Job. I think most of us are familiar with his story; Job was “totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion.” I’d like to be described as such. He was also extremely wealthy and “the most influential man in all the East.”

Wow, a really impressive guy in my estimation.

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Lent Reflections – You’re in Charge!


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I planned to share a post on ‘repentance’, which I will do over the next few days; however, I got struck yesterday by the “3 occurrences” nudge that I thought was useful to share.

Have you ever found that a verse or a message appears 3 times in a very short period of time? Do you take any special notice of it?

I do. I believe it’s one of the gentle nudges from the Lord.

Yesterday I was working through my devotionals and two of them referred specifically to The Lord’s Prayer. Interestingly, both emphasised a different perspective.

Now you might say that’s only twice, so it’s just a coincidence. However, prior to that whilst eating breakfast I happened to read Margaret Feinberg’s daily email with the heading: “How can the Lord’s Prayer Transform you forever?”

So I was a goner – 3 strikes. There was something specific that God wanted me to notice from the prayer.

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Lent – Give up or Take up?


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“So what are you giving up for Lent?”

As I mentioned in my post last week, often it’s this question that dominates discussions around the season of Lent. Yes, if the season involves “spring cleaning of the soul” (I like that expression), then letting go of our junk makes sense.

Fasting is an important aspect of our walks allowing us to let go of our dependence on certain things (food, TV shows, internet, etc) so we can filled by the Lord whilst relying on Him.

But I wondered for myself what is more important is to actually take up a new practice. Last week, I mentioned there were certain areas in my daily routine that I had become undisciplined over, so was not achieving as much as I should be.

The best way to change a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. Isn’t that what they say?

“The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

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Observing Lent


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I’ve never given Lent much thought. For some reason, I know not why, I’ve thought it an outdated practice that Catholics observe. Typically, it appeared to be reduced to “what are you giving up for Lent?” In my overly judgemental moments I found it strange that apparently non-pious people chose to participate in such a “custom”.

As some of you may know, I observed Advent last Christmas and found it a wonderful practice in drawing closer to the Lord each day. I love learning and discovered so much in those 20 or so days. This led me to my word of the year, “Silence” and an increasing desire for intimacy with the Lord.

A few weeks ago, the Lord gave me one of those gentle nudges that got me thinking about Lent. At the same time, I noticed a Lent study by Ruth Haley Barton, whose book, “Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s Transforming Presence” I so enjoyed when I read it last month. So I promptly ordered that study.

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