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Harmony of Grace

Image Source:  张 学欢 Why did I decide to start this blog? Why call it Harmony of Grace?  One definition for the word harmony is "living in peace and mutual understanding with others." I have always been fascinated with music and in my opinion, the musical definition of the word harmony has a more accurate depiction of the word's true meaning. In musical terms, a harmony is "a note or group of notes that compliment the notes in the melody (main tune of the song)." There are many different possible harmonies, but if played/sung correctly, they all compliment the melody and emphasize the beauty of the musical arrangement as a whole. When I had my first encounter with Jesus, the concept of harmony became much more real in my life. But how does harmony have anything to do with God's grace? I believe that God's grace can be seen in the world we live in, through various means, as a complimentary harmony to God's nature an

The Storm Before the Calm

  I was recently caught in a devastating storm in Howick. I was driving home when all of a sudden, the branches from the trees nearby started falling all over the road. The gale-force winds and hail came so suddenly that I did not know what to do. I decided to pull over and wait it out. I could hear branches hitting the roof of the car and prayed that the more lethal ones would miss me. I was fully at the mercy of the elements. There was nothing I could do to intervene. A few weeks after the storm, I went to Midmar Dam. Everywhere I looked were signs of the storm that had passed through a few weeks earlier. It was clear that people had been hard at work cleaning up the debris, yet nothing could hide the lingering effects of the storm. There were dozens of trunks on their side, branches holding on for dear life and piles of mud and leaves everywhere the eyes could see. Even though it was clear to see the devastation that had torn this area apart a few weeks earlier, now in the peaceful

The Secret on our Doorstep

I have often written about my attraction to nature, particularly to climbing mountains. I have discussed at length how I feel acutely aware of God's presence with me when I am sitting on top of a peak, looking out over the vast beauties of God's creation. The problem is that in recent months, I have been swamped. Overwhelmed with meetings, assignments, seminars, and the urgent needs of every oom and tannie in the church, I have had no time to retreat into the wilderness to connect with God in a deeply intimate manner. Reading Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird has reminded me of a deep truth that many of us (myself included) often forget. We do not need to venture off into the wilderness to connect deeply with God. While these sacred moments in nature help us to become more acutely aware of God's presence with us, God is within each of us and we can connect with God even in the middle of our busy lives. "We can never get closer to God because God is already within us

Perfection vs Potential

The word p e r f e c t ion  comes with a whole lot of baggage. We all know that no-one is perfect, and yet we are told that practice makes perfect. To be a perfectionist is sometimes seen as a crutch, while at other times we are encouraged to strive for perfection. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, taught about an idea called C h r i s t i a n P e r f e c t i o n and asserted that followers of Christ could experience this ideal. In Genesis, we read that God created the world and humanity and declared that it was good. Many claim that this implies that God's original Creation was perfect. D a n i e l l e S h r o y e r suggests that perhaps "a more appropriate view of creation would be not perfection but potential. God designed the world to develop and function in a certain way, while allowing for creation to live freely into its potential. Sometimes creation will live up to and into its potential, while other times it will renounce it.... Potential reminds us once agai