Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Home Authors Posts by Wendy Grages

Wendy Grages

The Truth About Gossip

I always thought that the friend you gossip to must be your most trusted and loyal friend. After all, you wouldn’t want to risk anyone finding out that you’ve been talking about them behind their back. So naturally, I would think the person you are gossipping to is the one closest to you.

But that turns out to be false. In fact, what many people don’t realise is as soon as you share something with someone that wasn’t yours to share, you begin to lose credibility and trust in their eyes. Now that may not surface for a while, but over time that friendship will begin to diminish. Friendships that are not built on mutual trust and the ability to keep confidence will end up being superficial.

So the next time you hear a juicy bit of news about a colleague or neighbour, stop and think about a few things:

  1. Is this news mine to share? – so often we rush to the old, “Oh my goodness did you hear about so and so” without much regard to how it affects the person we are talking about. Recently my co-worker shared with her team member that she was pregnant and his response was, “Yeah I know, so and so told me.” Now that was not for so and so to share. My co-worker should’ve been the one to share the exciting news with her team member.
  2. Would I say this if he/she was standing right here? – nowhere else is “out of sight out of mind” more prevalent than when it comes to gossip. Many times, the thrill of the news we have found out dulls our common sense. If the person who you are about to talk about were standing right there, would you still say what you are about to say? If the answer is no, then I am sorry to tell you that you are gossipping and it is very unbecoming.

Gossip can be such a big part of our universities, work places and social clubs but what if a few of us started saying, “You know what, that is not mine to share so I’m not going to talk about it.” It may be difficult at first to resist to urge to tell someone something you’ve heard, but I bet if you give it a try, you will feel your character growing stronger!

And one I am personally trying and I invite you to try,  is when someone is trying to gossip to me, I will simply say, “Oh no thanks, I don’t need to hear about that” and politely walk away.

We can be the change that we want to see when it comes to the ugly little monster called gossip.

The best way for me to overcome temptation to gossip is to turn to God for help. He promises to always help us out of a tempting situation. If you would like someone to pray with you or if you have questions about God, please click on the link below or on the pop-up. We’d be happy to talk with you!

When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

It’s bound to happen to all of us, at least once in our lifetime. You know, when out of the blue, life throws you a huge, giant, curve ball. What do you do?

The curve ball is an American baseball term which describes a ball being pitched from an unexpected angle. But in our lives, it takes on the meaning of: something which is unexpected, surprising, or disruptive.

Most of us like surprises but that’s because we assume the surprise is something we are hoping for. What about the kind of the surprise that comes out of nowhere like a curve ball….unexpected, surprising or disruptive.

Maybe your boss is resigning just as you were starting to get along. Maybe your best friend has to move away. Maybe you’re being relocated and have to make a new life somewhere completely different to where you are used to.

Whatever it may be, it happens to us all during the course of our life. So how do you handle it when life throws you a curve ball?

  1. Remember who’s in charge – as followers of Jesus, ultimately, He is in control of our lives. What that means is that He is watching over the details of our lives and makes sure that everything works out in the end. I love this verse in Romans 8:28:

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

2. Look for the good in the situation – it’s there, I promise! Sometimes we can become so overwhelmed by the disruption of the surprise of the curve ball that we fail to see the good in the situation. Maybe your friend moving away is an opportunity to be a friend to someone who’s lonely. Maybe your boss resigning is an opportunity for you to better yourself at work and cultivate other relationships within the workplace.

Whatever it may be, there is good that can come out of every curve ball, every unexpected surprise.

I love that knowing Jesus personally means that we can trust Him with whatever curve ball may come our way. He promises to always be with us and He will lead and guide you through any situation, if you allow Him to.

So in closing, I want to encourage you to relax, remember and rest.

Relax – it’s going to be ok in the end

Remember – God is in control and He loves you

Rest – in the fact that He is working things out for your good

If you have questions, need prayer or want to know Jesus personally, please click on the link below or on the pop-up. We’d love to hear from you!

How to Deal With THAT Family Member

It’s Christmas time! And we all know what that means right? Big family dinners, lots of get-togethers with of course, you know, THAT family member.

We all have at least one….you know that uncle who never contributes anything but eats more than anyone. Or the aunt who keeps giving you the worst-smelling deodorant. Or the cousin who’s always bragging about how awesome their life is. Or the brother who always vocalizes his political insight without regard to how others see things. The list can go on and on. The point is, we all have THAT family member that drives us crazy, annoys us and maybe even offends us.

They say you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family so it looks like we are all facing the inevitable this Christmas season….so how do you deal with THAT family member?

  1. Don’t take it personally – sure this is easier said than done, but it may be the only key to your sanity! I often find that people aren’t necessarily directing comments at you, just around you. Don’t take the bait. Nothing will deflate them quicker than a non-reaction to their inappropriate comment.
  2. Look for the good in them – after all, they are your family. Try and find something that you admire about them or something you may have in common with them. And just try and talk about that!

At the end of it all, it’s just a couple of hours out of your day that you need to spend with them and you will survive! Look for ways to be interested in your other family members and love them.

Whenever I am at a trying family function, I always remind myself of the people who are no longer with us. It kinda puts things into perspective and encourages me to spend time with my family while I have the chance.

After all, life is short and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Despite all our family’s shortcomings, remember, they are the first people who loved you and most likely will be the last ones standing with you.

So pour yourself another drink and go talk to Aunt Gladys in the corner who keeps telling you the same story over and over. You may just make her Christmas!

No matter what challenges we face in our own families, there is one person who always accepts you and loves you for who you are, just as who are. His name is Jesus Christ and He is inviting you into His family and into a real relationship with Him. If you would like to know more about this incredible love, click on the pop-up or link below.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

As a little girl growing up in South Africa, I remember walking down to the beach one day and looking up to see a sign that said, “Whites Only”. Confused, I turned to the person with me and asked what it meant. They said that this beach was only for white people. My immediate response was, “So where do all the other people go when they want to go to the beach.” They explained that people of other skin colours had their own beaches they could go to that was much closer to their home and much better for them.

Of course, it was only years later that I came to discover the evil of apartheid in my beloved nation. My point I am trying to get at today is that I spent years believing what I was told by grown-ups and educators around me instead of finding out for myself what was happening in my country.

I simply believed and accepted what was told to me and always thought, “Well, surely the grown-ups know what’s best. After all, I’m just a kid, what do I know?”

So my question to you is, what do you believe about Jesus? Have you simply believed what was told to you by others or have you found out who He is and what He’s about for yourself?

So how can you find out more about who God is?

  1. Read God’s letter to us, the Bible – In our day and age, there are many voices shouting many different things. But can I encourage you that there is a Truth that has stood the test of time. The Bible is a book that was written thousands of years ago and yet is still the best-selling book of all time. Can I encourage you to pick up a Bible or find one online and begin reading it? Perhaps a good place to start is in the New Testament. Read about how Jesus lived His life on earth. I promise it will inspire you.
  2. Ask God to show you who He is – Yep, you heard me. Talk to God and ask Him to show you who He is and what He thinks about you. He can handle your tough questions, I promise. Maybe all you’ve heard is that God is angry or distant or hard to please. Take some time out and talk to Him about these things and ask Him to bring clarity to what you’ve heard. He may just answer you!

I promise you that God is far better than anything you’ve heard. He can sometimes be so misrepresented by both the well-meaning and the ill-meaning people out there.

Nothing is stopping you from finding more about who He really is for yourself. I know that if you do some digging, you will find out that He loves you more than you can fathom and that He has incredible plans for your life.

If you’d like to chat to someone about knowing God more or if you have questions, we would love to talk to you. Simply click on the pop-up or the link below.


How to Finish 2015 Strong


Ah it’s that time of year again, isn’t it? You know, where everything at work or university is winding down, you’ve changed your computer screen saver to a picture of some exotic island and you have replaced meetings in your planner with Top 10 Things to do over the holidays.

It’s an unusual idea, I know. But instead of day-dreaming your last few days of work away,  or spending extra time getting coffee because, let’s be honest, there’s not much work to do anyway, you could actually get so much out of these next couple of weeks that it could change your life! Intrigued?

  1. Wrap up incomplete projects – the end of the year is a great time because many people are already in holiday mode, so there’s not usually a lot of pressure to get things done. Why not use this time to finish off projects that you started throughout the year? How much better will your holiday be if you know you left nothing hanging by the wayside?
  2. Take some time to re-envision – Most people wait until the beginning of the year to think and dream about the work they do. But what if you got a head start and spent some time jotting down a few things that could take your life to the next level?

Some great questions to ask are:

  • In what areas can I improve this next year?
  • Am I easy to work with?
  • How can I make my boss’ life easier?
  • How can I add value to those around me?

They are fairly simple questions but I think you will find them profound as you sit down and begin to ponder on these things.

I love this verse in the Bible found in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27,

You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

Let’s run hard for the finish line and end off 2015 even stronger than we started it!

If you’d like to know more about a real relationship with Jesus, I invite you to click on the link below or the pop up.

Have You Been Unfaithful?

Now before you think this is a relationship blog, it’s not. Well I guess, it kind of is. I am not asking if you’ve been unfaithful to your spouse or significant other. I’m asking, “Have you been unfaithful to God?”

Sorry to break out the English lesson here but the word means this:

UNFAITHFUL – not faithful; false to duty, obligation, or promises; faithless; disloyal.

So I’ll ask you again, “Have you ever been unfaithful to God?”

Now before you get all down on yourself, please know that I am writing this to myself and many others as we have all, at some point or another, been unfaithful to God. I guess the purpose of this blog is not to make us feel guilty for our unfaithfulness but to just draw attention our short-comings so that we can more accurately understand the fullness of God’s perfection.

I love this verse found in 2 Timothy 2:13,

“If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.”

Isn’t that a powerful verse? I am so blown away by the fact that God’s love towards us and His response to us is not dependant on our response towards Him.

Think about this for a moment. When Jesus chose to give His life on a cross so that we did not have to be separated from God, it had nothing to do with our response. He died for us before we even knew Him!

Religion teaches that we have to earn our way into God’s good books and therefore, we can earn our way out also. But that’s not what the Bible teaches.

A true belief in Jesus is not about rules, it’s about relationship. You see, we don’t have to earn our way into friendship with God. He has freely and unconditionally extended love and favour to us. Not because of how good we are, but because of how good He is.

So the next time you find yourself feeling bad for being disloyal to God, remind yourself that we’ve all been there. The most important thing is that even though we don’t always get it right, God does get it right. All the time, every time.

Even when we are unfaithful to Him, He remains faithful to us. He remains loyal and faithful to His promises over us.

God loves us so much and has great plans for our lives. Even when we mess up and are not loyal to Him and His ways, His love remains.

So can I encourage you? Stop focusing on what you are doing wrong and start focusing on what He has done right. Instead of focusing on how unfaithful you have been, start focusing on how faithful He remains.

To find out more information about having a real relationship with God, please click on the pop-up banner or link below.

Being the Bigger Person – What If I Don’t Want To?

Do you ever get tired of this saying? You know, when someone hurts you, disappoints you or makes you mad and all your friend has to say is, “Oh just let it go. Be the bigger person.” Well, I’m sorry, what if I’m tired of being the bigger person? What if I’ve had enough of always having to let things go? Why can’t the other person be the bigger person for a change? Why does it always have to be me?

Ha, I know I’m ranting now but have you ever caught yourself saying this or at least thinking it? I hope I’m not the only one!

Truth is, it’s easy to get offended and mad when people do us wrong. What’s difficult, is to be the bigger person. So what does it look like to be the bigger person?

  1. Keep short accounts – I know it’s not as easy as it sounds, but we need to be slow to get angry and be quick to forgive. Life is short and what is a huge issue today will end up being a distant memory tomorrow. Spend your energy on things that matter.
  2. Be the example – I once read a great quote from D.L. Moody that said, “The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it.” Instead of arguing your point or trying to convince the other person why you are right, rather show them with your life.

So the next time someone cuts in front of you in traffic, or takes your seat, or steals your idea and pitches it to your boss, or manipulates you or goes behind your back or [the list goes on and on], take a deep breath and don’t react. Rather, behave in the way you wish they would and I think maybe, just maybe, if more of us start doing that, this world would be a better place.

It’s not easy to be the bigger person, especially when everything within us just wants to tell them off. The Bible tells us that what seems impossible to us, is possible with God. The more I read God’s Word and spend time meditating on Him, the easier it becomes to be the bigger person. Jesus has an amazing way of transforming our human nature into a more godly one.

To find out more about experiencing this for yourself, click on the link below. We would love to chat with you.

Do You Have a God-Dream?

One Sunday night in 1998, I sat in my home church, wrestling with God about what He wanted me to do with my life. I had many options to study different things but I always knew that He had called me for something different. I sat in my seat and said, “Lord, what do You want me to do with my life?” The words were hardly out my mouth when the preacher got up and read Isaiah 61 out loud, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach the good news”…as he continued reading I knew that God was answering my prayer. I knew that was the dream that God placed in my heart. And then…year after year..NOTHING happened. I got to the point where I stopped believing that was what God had placed in store for me….well almost.

What is the condition of your dreams, of God’s promises, of His plans for you?

I believe that God places a God-dream on the inside of all of us. But somewhere along the way, dreams can wither away.

Maybe today it’s just been too many years of disappointment. Maybe your dream is just taking too long that you’ve almost stopped believing. Maybe you shared your dream with someone and they laughed or criticized you. Maybe you think God couldn’t possibly have that in store for you.

If we look at the story of Joseph in Genesis 37, God placed a dream in his heart that he would be successful and a ruler of the nation. When he shared his dream with his brothers, they got jealous and sold him to some traders who were passing by. If we fast forward a bit, Joseph finds himself in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He couldn’t be further from his dream if he tried.

Some might say, how sad, what a tragedy. I read an interesting article recently that said there was no word in the Hebrew Bible for tragedy. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” So the writers of the Old Testament believed that if the situation wasn’t beautiful, it wasn’t it’s time yet.

So what is a God-dream? How do you know it’s from God? Well here are a few pointers:

  1. God-dreams are always bigger than us – God-dreams or God promises are often far beyond what is naturally possible or likely. That is why it’s not called a good dream, it’s called a God-dream!
  2. God-dreams give us vision – Joseph sat in the prison forgotten and forsaken. BUT his dream, God’s promise is what kept him believing and kept him going.
  3. God-dreams are for our good and His glory – God longs to bless us and give us a hope and future. He wants to use us to fulfil His great plan for humanity. The fact that He would choose to use us is humbling and overwhelming. Our dreams should rely on God and give Him glory. At the end of it all, God used Joseph to not only save his family but a whole nation.

If you’ve never had a God-dream and are interested to find out more, please click on the pop up or link below.

Designed For Difficult

Have you ever had one of those days when things just kept going wrong? Have you ever gotten home after a long day and said to yourself, “This is all too much, it’s too difficult, I can’t do this anymore”?

I’ve recently had a week just like this. Maybe it’s because I was working long hours or had a lot on my plate but whatever it was, I was not coping with what was happening in my life. Difficult phone calls, difficult meetings, difficult decisions and dealing with difficult people! As the tears ran down my face, I felt God whisper to my heart, “You were designed for difficult.”

You were designed to go through some stuff!

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear today. But I believe it’s what God wants us to know. So many people run away from trials and try to avoid difficulty at all cost. But I’ve come with GOOD news today, don’t be afraid of trials or struggles, YOU WERE DESIGNED FOR DIFFICULT.

There’s this encouraging verse in 1 Peter 4:12-13, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.  Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.”

I believe our lives are to be like tea bags. I know, weird right! You see, a tea bag on the shelf looks pretty and smells nice but it’s not fulfilling its purpose. It’s only when it is immersed in hot water, does the full flavour and benefit of the tea get released.

So it is with us. Without trials, sure our lives look pretty but it’s only when we go through difficult times, that the glory and power of God in us, gets released to those around us. So what do you need to know as you face difficult times, struggles, trials or hardships?

  1. You are His – God has rescued you, chosen you and called you by your name. So when the tough times come, when you find yourself in hot water, you do not have to be afraid! The tea bag doesn’t freak out when it’s immersed in hot water. Someone more intelligent, more powerful and far more loving than anyone we have ever known is in control of us and our situation.
  1. Walk THROUGH the trial – Sometimes the only way to get through something, is to GO THROUGH it.
  1. Stop running – Instead of running from the struggle, use it to release what’s in you. I love this verse in 2 Corinthians 2:14-15, “In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation.”

There is something inside you that the world around you needs to experience. Only when you are put into hot water, into difficulties, can what’s in you be released for those around you.

So be encouraged, you were designed for difficult!

To know more about how God can help you through any situation, click on the link below or pop up banner.

When People Disappoint You

Have you ever gotten that phone call you have been dreading? Perhaps you didn’t get the promotion, or your bond wasn’t approved, or you didn’t get accepted into university or your friend stabbed you in the back?

Over the course of our lives we will have many opportunities to be disappointed. Unfortunately, that’s just part of life. People will misunderstand you, twist your words, lie about you, lie to you and things won’t always go as you hope. It can be tough, I know. I have certainly had my fair share of disappointments.

So what do we do? If disappointment is inevitable, what can we do about it? Well, I guess I can think of a couple of things I could do…..I could cry, plot revenge, throw a fit or get bitter. OR, I can look to see what God’s Word has to say about it.

Romans 5:5, “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

Although there are many things I can do, the only thing that’s really helpful is turning to God’s Word. This verse tells us that pretty much the only thing that cannot disappoint us is the hope we find in Jesus Christ. He is always there and can help us navigate the disappointing seasons in our lives.

I mean, Jesus faced his own share of disappointments when He walked on the earth. People misinterpreted what He was teaching, plotted to kill him, his friend betrayed Him for some money and the very people He was trying to help, spat on Him and mocked Him. He knows exactly what our disappointment feels like and He is there to comfort us and align our perspective.

So how do you deal with disappointment?

  1. Turn to God in prayer – He is always there for you, ready and waiting to hear from you. Because He loves you so much, He longs to comfort you and give you fresh perspective. Tell Him how you are feeling and then let Him speak to your heart.
  2. Shake it off – I know it’s easier said than done but try and not let it get into your heart. When someone disappoints you, it says more about them than it does about you. You can’t control what others do and say, you can only control what you do and say. So the next time disappointment comes knocking, take a deep breath and let it wash off you. You are not what you do and you are not the sum total of what people say about you or do to you.

I am praying for you right now, that as you read this blog, your perspective will be enlightened and that God’s peace would come into your heart and mind. We’re in this together friend!

If you’d like to chat to someone about this or if you’d like to know more about the peace and hope of Jesus that never disappoints, please click on the link below or on the pop up. Keep your head up 🙂

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