Sacred Space 538 – See the signs

Yesterday, I was looking for a particular petrol station to put some fuel in.
So as I was driving through a local town, I was looking out for the familiar logo / sign of the garage, I usually use: Caltex.

However, in the distance, I noticed another well know petrol station, Shell:


(This is of another station somewhere else in South Africa)

But the point of this post is that once I saw that familiar Shell – I knew what is was about. That got me thinking about familiar signs in our faith journey.

For two centuries, the Cross has served as that familiar sign for many people.
The cross has remind people of Jesus.
His sacrificial death for us.
His grace towards us.

People have worn it around their necks.
People have hung that cross in their cars.

BUT the flip side of familiarity is that the sign becomes just another sign.
Seeing the cross is not as impactful anymore…

Then, perhaps we need to find a new sign. Something that draws us in. Invites us to lively relationship with a very real Saviour.

I think of how recently, I’ve regained an interest in church steeples in the various towns I have driven through. Those steeples (sometimes from very old church buildings) remind me of God being everywhere.

As Third Day once sang it: “My God, You are everywhere.”

What signs do you have to point you to the Saviour?


Sacred Spaces 537 – Up on the Hill

I had the best time with two of my gappers (gap year students) yesterday.

James, Zoe and I went to go look for a geocache. But on the top of the mountain, we discovered so much more! Two caches and an old world war 2 ruin.

In a nut shell, yesterday up on the hill my soul felt giddy!
It felt alive!
And the adventure drew me to awareness of God.

I thought of Psalm 24: 1 “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.”
We live on an earth full of wonder. And sometimes it’s as close as our backyard!

All three of us, had to amble up some steep rocks.
It was quite steep. There was a little element of danger.
And then when we got to the top… that view. So breathtaking!

I know this is one of those OVERLY quoted verses – but John 10:10 came to mind:

“I have come that they may have life, and life to the full.”

Always when I get to explore. And when I am outdoors:

– I thank God for my health.
– I thank Him that I have legs and an agile body.
– I thank Him for the sights I see.
– I thank Him for being alive!

I often say this:

“Put me in a 100 church services and I will tell you 10 things about God. Put me out in nature for 10 minutes and I will tell you 100 things about God.”

Hmm, I said (to myself) that I would write my next Sacred Spaces, using the “not so common” verses…

Oops, I slipped back into that…

Next time – a more “unknown” scripture! (Watch this space!)

Sacred Spaces 536 – Hiding in His Word

This morning, I had this thought: I just want to sit here with God’s word.


It’s not like I didn’t want to go outside and deal with life.
I really, for a moment, just sensed His presence in a more real way.

Because sometimes, we sift through the scriptures like it’s a text book.

But then there are times… when we can

Soak in the pages.
Stay awhile among the words.
Pray and read and listen.
Believe in the mystery. (Scripture is not just printed text.)

It’s God breathed!
It’s sharper than double edged sword, cutting to the marrow!

The cynical will be dubious – but the child of God will approach with wonder.
The cynical will put up walls – but the child of God will realise, the Word is not an ordinary library book.

We have asked over the ages; how do we get to know God?

He left us with a great starting place: His scriptures.

Sacred Spaces 537 – The Beatitudes

It’s been while since I have read these:


What came to me is that as Jesus preaches from the hill he addresses all sorts of people.
The very people sitting there
(And those who will read the text years later)

He invites them in. He realizes people are at different spaces in their lives.
And that’s fine…

Each person who accepts the invitation will receive something. They will receive the thing that Jesus knows is best for them at that time.

So they come – the:

poor in spirit
the ones who hunger and thirst for a deeper faith (more righteousness)
the merciful
the peacemakers
(there is a few more to the list.)

Note that these “positions” or “postures” vary.
Some are a good place to be – others, not so much.

YET, all are welcome.

How about you, reading this today? Where are you at?

Will you accept Jesus’ invitation?

And then you know what comes next?
It’s a mandate.
It’s an invitation to a lifestyle.

He uses imagery relevant to those times (and even today)

He says:

Be salt!
Be light!

“…so that they may see your good deeds and praise Your Father in heaven.”

Now, that’s something I want to be part of.

Sacred Spaces 535 – The Long God

Last night, I visited the Bicester Methodist Church site. Perhaps, I was feeling nostalgic…

I noted that their weekly Curry Night has still been going on over all these years.

And that spoke volumes to me. How so?

There is still an incredible witness to the local church.


When the local church is there for its regular members over all the years:
celebrating birthdays, newborns, mourning losses – being there through all the seasons of the life.

Life is long.
There is a longevity to it.
(Yes, yes, I am familiar with that phrase: Life is short!)

I am reminded of the beautiful truth of Jesus and the vine in John 15.
How long does it take to grow and produce grapes?

See, what I am saying?
Life takes time.

We live in a toaster generation. A snapchat world.
Does life really need to move so fast?

We rush God!!
There are countless scriptures where people have to go through months / years to hear from God or see Him act.

Abraham had to wait years for his barren wife to fall pregnant.
Noah and his crew were out on that ark for a long time.
The prophets promised a coming Messiah. (That was years before Jesus was born.)

Essentially, I want to say.
Journey with God through the years.
See Him in the ebb and flow of your life.

Sacred Spaces 536 – 1 Kings 17

A good ol’ bible study post:

Check out this passage from 1 Kings 17:

“Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”

5 So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.


Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath

7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”

13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”

15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.”

Can we just marvel at that?

No problem for God. He’ll just direct the ravens to Elijah!
Sometimes, we just rush over scriptures and not pause and think… and maybe even SCREAM IT OUT!

God, You’re amazing!

Because.. He is.

Then, this moment in history is used to show a widow, a miracle from God.


I don’t know. I don’t have much more to add. I’ll let the Word speak for itself:

God sees your needs.
God will provide.
God does incredible things (stop forgetting that!)

Sacred Spaces 534 – The Rain King

“I belong in the service of the Queen
I belong anywhere but in between
She’s been crying, I’ve been thinking
And I am the rain king”
Counting Crows

Those lyrics have nothing to do this with this post. Okay, just the word: rain.

I’m not keen on getting in to big theological discussions. (Time could be used more wisely.)
But this is my blog platform; where I get to share my thoughts.
And if you like – you can read them. (I don’t mind comments. But if you’re wanting to argue. Find another arena)

Dripping tap, Perth. WA. 1975.

So Western Cape is facing a certain crisis:
We’re running out of water!
It’s just not raining here!
It’s quite concerning.

Then there were some suggesting this: “Is God holding the rain back from the people here, in Cape Town? God is angry with His people.”

And then outcome the arguers: “Your theology is bad!! God is not like that!”

Hmm, why do Christians like fighting so much?

My non believing friends, I’m embarrassed. I have no excuse for them… 😦

So my two cents on all this:

– The thing is, didn’t God hold back the rain in the scriptures? (And we live by His word don’t we? or are we just picking the pretty parts?)

– If someone (say one of my parents) is angry with me; does that imply they don’t love me? No way!! They still love me. They’re just upset because of me.

– How does a God, who desperately wants to get our attention – do so? If He would hold back the rain – dare I question that?


i) To check my own life.
ii) To ask myself these questions:
Have I become prideful in anyway?
Do I need to say sorry for any of my sins?
Have I not become too calloused in my own walk with God?
iii) Then, to pray. Come back to Him in dependence.
iv) To come back to a place of appreciating every little thing.

Even the rain we got on Friday night. It was a welcome blessing in these dire times…

And guess what – some Christians did?
They took to social media to add snarky (sarcastic) comments… really?

Oh God, forgive our arrogance…

Let’s rather pray this:
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”

Psalm 63: 1