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Harmony of Grace

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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.

Returning to the real world

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Last week, I wrote about visiting sacred spaces where we are instantly more aware of God's presence with us. You can read that post here: Sacred Spaces

It is great to withdraw to the Sacred Spaces in our lives where we best encounter God. Unfortunately, it is not possible to stay there forever.

In the story of Jesus’ transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9), Peter wants to set up tents on the mountain to prolong his sacred encounter. Peter was the first of many to try and make his sacred space more permanent.

When I was sitting on the mountain at the minister's retreat two weeks ago, I would have loved to have stayed in that moment for hours. However, it was starting to get dark and I had another session to get back to.

As much as we would like to, no-one gets to stay on the mountain forever. All of us that meet with God in “Sacred Spaces” have to eventually return to the real world.

Often, the real world is not a nice place to be. There is much pain, heartbreak and evil waiting for …

Sacred Spaces

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Earlier this month, I attended a minister's retreat in Modderpoort near Ladybrand. We stayed at a beautiful old Anglican Monastery.

Most of the days were filled with meetings, but one afternoon we were given a few hours of free time to do as we pleased. I decided to go and explore the surrounding mountains after receiving a tip from another minister about some ancient cave paintings that could apparently be found nearby.

Unfortunately, after the recent rains that the area had been experiencing, the path up the mountain was overgrown and not easy to navigate. I spent way longer than necessary traversing up the side of the mountain, often veering off the path and needing to track back to a previous point.

I walked for close to an hour with no sign of getting closer to my desired destination. I was about to turn around and make the treacherous trek back down the mountain when I walked through a clearing and was faced with intriguing caves and the most stunning rock paintings that I h…

The value of a re-read

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For the past few years, because of the theological studies that I have been doing, I have been required to read many books from a wide variety of authors. Many of these books have been enriching to my personal spiritual life. Others, while interesting and valuable, were much more difficult to get through.
Because of all this required reading, I have neglected reading books that nourish my soul. "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." - C.S. Lewis I have recently been uplifted by re-reading one of my all-time favourite books, Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. While certainly not perfect, this book has always held a special place in my heart.

As I read through the familiar words, I was reminded of the first time I experienced God's grace in those pages. I actually found myself tearing up as I was overwhelmed by an incredible sense of God's love for me.
I believe that it is important to read as widely as possible, including authors whose beli…