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Dayle's Blog

11 Dec – Strengthen Your Imagination

We possess both physical eyes to see into the natural world as well as spiritual eyes, which can enable us to see the future and spirit realm.

There are over 400 scriptures in the Bible referring to imaginations, dreams and visions and our imaginations can be an “on ramp” into heavenly places.

The Greek word for mind in is this passage is “dianoia” (dee-an-oy-ah) or imagination; the centre of power in our mind.

First Peter 1:13 tells us, “Gird up the loins of your mind.” Loins (which involves the centre back muscles, are regarded as the centre of physical strength and power.)When we gird up the “Loins of our mind” we strengthen our imagination.

God gave Abraham a vision of the stars of the sky and told him he would have many descendants (Gen. 15:5), and that produced faith in Abraham’s heart (Gen. 15:6).

It was an example of godly imagery, where Abraham girded up the loins of his mind – his imagination to see what God saw, which produced faith in Him.

There’s a saying a picture is worth a 1000 words, so when we see something, it has the power to change us much more than when we simply think a thought. 

Today don’t fix your thoughts and imagination on problems, defeat and worry.  That uses your imagination to empower fear and anxiety. Use it instead to magnify the bigness of God and begin to imagine all that God will do in your life. Take the scriptures and promises He has given you and imagine and dream with them.  Whatever He has put in your heart to do – picture that!

Prayer: Lord thank you for my imagination. Help me to see what you see and to gird up my mind and strengthen it with your thoughts, visions  and plan for my life.  I picture good things for my life knowing that all things are possible in you. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

 

10 Dec – Holding Steady

I’ve been thinking about how important it is to hold steady. Especially when things in our lives get busy, out of balance, we come under pressure or face anything else that might cause our world to become unhinged.

As I was contemplating this I came to the conclusion that as long as we are anchored to something steady and reliable we will ourselves remain steady. It’s much like a sailing boat which has a sail designed to catch the wind. Without the sail up a boat gets buffeted about by the wind and the waves and doesn’t really go anywhere fast. Yet when the sails are in place and the boat is facing the right direction it catches the wind and travels where the sailor wishes it to go. However an important part of the whole process isn’t just about the sails being up, but also what the sail is attached to. On every vessel there is a vertical pole called a mast and a horizontal pole called a boom which the main sails are anchored to. If the sail isn’t anchored properly to the mast or the boom it will flap about in the wind and do very little, and more than likely cause injury to those on board. Yet when the sails are anchored firmly to both the mast and the boom they are able to catch the wind and travel at amazing speeds across the water.

When things feel out of our control and we feel buffeted about by the “winds of life” there is something we can do to steady our world. The key is to know what our anchor points in life are. For me Jesus and what He says in His word are my mast and my boom is knowing and walking inmy purpose. If I keep my focus and heart anchored on Jesus and my purpose I know I will be okay because all my choices are anchored on a firm foundation and everything I do and am is attached to those points. As the wind of opportunity and God’s hand on my life moves and blows I can simply catch the wind and enjoy the ride.

Today I encourage you to secure your “sails” to firm anchor points so that you might have a firm foundation to hold you steady as you catch the wind and travel forward into your destiny.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.” (Psalm 62:2)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you are in control and in you all things hold together. Please help me to have the wisdom to know who and what my anchor points are and to secure my life to those things, so that I am not buffeted around by life but instead will catch the wind in my sails. In Jesus name Amen

9 Dec – Have Courage

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The bible repeatedly refers to courage and also to be of “good cheer”, as in Mark 6:50 when Jesus gave the command to the disciples when they saw Him walking on the water and started freaking out.

“Because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Mark 6:50)

The Greek word courage and good cheer literally means “boldness and confidence” In God’s terms courage is the opposite of fear.

Personally I have had to learn to be courageous. As a child I was very timid. I wasn’t particularly brave and was often scared of doing anything new or that took me out of my comfort zone. I missed out on a lot being like that, and it is the motivation which causes me to encourage our own children and those I get the opportunity to share with, to not live in fear but to be courageous.

I’ve discovered that fear limits; it steals, and it squeezes the life out of us. Instead of running towards life and trying and experiencing new things, fear causes us to run and hide, always stepping backwards or sideways instead of forwards.

Being courageous is a gift. It’s a gift we receive when we realise how much we are loved and cared for by God. The more we understand the depth of His love for us the more courageous we become. That knowledge increases as we spend time with Him, as we pray, as we read His word and as we learn all His promises for us.

Courage also increases from being filled with the Holy Spirit and His power, and knowing that the one who is with us is greater than any adversary or threat. Plus we have a myriad of angels who are ready and waiting to assist us.

For He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4)

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14)

When I started to understand and spend time with God I realised I didn’t have to fear because He really is with me. He strengthens me when I am weak, He gives me words to speak when I have none; He releases wisdom, boldness  and power to walk wherever He asks me to go. I know angels go wherever I go, and they have my back at all times. They’re my helpers!

Today if you are lacking courage, don’t be afraid. Be of good cheer because God, when you ask Him into your life promises that He will be with you; to help, to strengthen and to enable you to do whatever you need to do. Where you lack strength He says He is strong in us. Where you lack wisdom He says ask and He will give it. Where you are timid He says He will make you bold.

Courage is a gift that is available to all of us. Its just takes knowing who we are, and who is on our side. Today “Be of good courage, do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. (Joshua 1:9)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you promise that when I invite you into my life you will never leave me. Help me to understand your promises, and to take the time to know and you  because courage is found in knowing how much you love and care for me; and understanding that there are resources from heaven available to me. Help me to be courageous today.  In Jesus name Amen

 

 

 

8 Dec – Facing The Pain

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While this time of the year is a joyous time of celebration, it can for many people also expose pain. Unfortunately many times when we feel pain rather than seeking to find the root of the pain and a solution we instead look for a sedative or numbing agent. These can be different things for different people. Some seek drugs, alcohol, relationships, keeping busy and any other distraction they can think of to escape facing the pain.

But whether we like it or not pain serves an important purpose and role in our lives by alerting us to injuries such as a physical injury or an emotional, mental or spiritual hurt. That’s because the correcting purpose of pain tells us that something is wrong. If we didn’t feel pain, we wouldn’t know we were sick or suffering and therefore wouldn’t seek an answer and cure for our pain.

The thing I continually discover about experiencing pain is that God can work in and through our lives in the midst of suffering if we allow Him into that space. Our painful experiences He can and will use in us to heighten our senses and to give us a greater awareness of our need for healing and to get to the root of issues, and it also can remind us of the more important things in life: of our need for God, for love, family, hope and what our purpose is. It can increase our strength, resolve, resilience, endurance, maturity, and empathy for others.

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”. (Romans 8:28)

Today be encouraged that no matter what you may be facing or have been through not to be afraid of facing the pain. You are never alone in that space for God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us and that He will perfect all that concerns us. Jesus knows what it is to suffer even unto death, to be beaten, misunderstood and rejected and He will help you work through your pain and lift the burden off your shoulders to bring you peace.

Rather than trying to numb or medicate our suffering lets choose to face the pain and any of its scars. Jesus is right there ready and waiting to help us through, and if we allow Him He will work gently within us and help make us whole again.

He (Jesus) was a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief. As we hid, as it were, our faces from him; he was despised and we did not esteem him. Surely he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows. Yet we esteemed him stricken smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon him and by his stripes we are healed.”(Isaiah 53:3-5)

Prayer: Lord please help me to face any pain I feel in life so that with you I can work through the cause and be healed inside and out. In Jesus name Amen.

7 Dec – Why Would You Want Me?

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We all know our our own shortcomings, failures and bad habits and if truth be told we can often be afraid that if someone else gets too close they will see these things and then have every reason to reject us.

Because of that we ask ourselves ourselves. “Why would anyone want to have anything to do with me if they really knew what I was like?” Yet  God doesn’t seem to take what we may think of ourselves into account when He comes knocking. The list of those who stand out as being what we might think an unusual choice for God to even notice, let alone use to do amazing things in and through their lives, is endless.

Just picking up a bible will reveal that God doesn’t just look at what people do or even achieve. We often are prone to look at outward appearances; how smart, attractive, clean living, successful, and even “spiritual” people are, yet that doesn’t seem to be all that God sees when you examine some of the accounts of the men and women who became friends of God. Men like Abraham who was a pagan, sun worshipper who God called to follow Him, Rahab, the town prostitute who not only slept around, but got paid for it; King David who one minute was playing worship songs out in the fields and the next minute can be found committing adultery with a woman which resulted in her getting pregnant, and then organising to have her actual husband killed in battle to cover his own tracks. Mary Magdalene who was demonically afflicted, Zacchehus who was a thief and a cheat, Peter who was a loud, bumbling fisherman, and a crazy possessed man who hid naked in a cemetery. (Gen 12; 2 Sam 11:1-27; Joshua 2; Luke 8:1-3; Luke 19:1-10; Matt 14:18-22; Mark 56:1-20)

All these people were not the type you would expect God to want or choose to use to do great things and yet their stories and lives are recorded as being exactly whom and what God wanted. Why? Simply because God looks not only at the things we do and appear to be, but He also looks at our hearts. The condition of our hearts is what is most important to Him and all He asks is, “Do you want me, and the life I have to offer you?”

Because He offers it with an outstretched hand for us to walk with Him step by step. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, or to never make a mistake, but simply to do our very best to follow after and get to know Him, and to then learn from Him how to live the abundant life He wants for us. (John 10:10)

The choice is ours everyday, even if it feels like a risk, to not keep questioning and beating ourselves up about our failings but instead to choose to follow Him; because to put it very simply, He does want us!

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height.. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29 NLT)

Prayer: Jesus even though sometimes its difficult to understand why you would want me, I’m choosing to believe you do, because you gave up your life for me. Help me to choose the life you offer me and then please help me to walk with you everyday. In Jesus name Amen.

 

6 Dec – Five Things For Success

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Those close to me will know that this year has been a particularly difficult one in numerous areas of my life. Sometimes life throws curve balls, not everybody is kind, stuff happens and change is inevitable.

However we are what we focus and think upon and it’s in what we determine to do everyday that will see us not only walk through the valleys, but also will enable us to come out the other side stronger, wiser and with our dreams intact.

There are no surprises for God and whatever we may face, you can be sure He has a plan, process and way through.

One key I’ve repeatedly discovered is to be consistent, for its, “in consistency that the power lies to overcome”.

In determining to be more consistent it’s helpful to choose five things to consistently do everyday that will help you remain focused on the future, encourage you to activate your faith and will fix your attention and what you are speaking and thinking, off the problem and onto God and His solution.

An example of these five things  that I try to do everyday are:

  1. To pray and read God’s Word everyday – We find God and who He is when we read His words. The bible is a living book and God and His Word are one. It’s His guidebook to us for living; how to walk in wisdom, overcome and find our purpose and destiny. (2 Tim 3:16; Prov 4:20-22)
  2. To exercise – it relieves stress and will cause us to feel better about ourselves. People who exercise regularly are more positive, confident and solution focused. (1 Cor 3:16-17)
  3. To listen to positive faith-filled messages – faith comes by hearing and so what we hear is vitally important to our success and achieving all that God has for us. Feed what you want to develop in your life and starve what you don’t. (Romans 10:17)
  4. To read – Reading increases our understanding, knowledge and confidence. There is wisdom in much counsel so gain knowledge from the best and take your talent and make it a skill by gaining knowledge and understanding (Prov 15:22)
  5. To think, declare and visualise the direction you wish to take and the dream God has put in your heart.As a man thinks so shall he be.” (Prov 23:7) What we “see” will create in us a vision for the future, which will then help us decide how to live today.

Today I encourage you to stop, pray and ask God to help you define the 5 things that you can put into action in your life.

Then determine that you will consistently do these 5 things everyday to help you achieve your dreams, ensure you keep running even when the going gets tough and which will cause you to have success.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)

Prayer: Lord I know the plans your have for my life are good. Please help me to put into action those things that will help me achieve and see the dreams you have placed in my heart come to pass. Please fill me with your strength and the capacity to be consistent in all I do and am today. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Dec – What Love Is

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“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction we are loved”.

The world has a view of love which is understood to be: an intense felling of deep affection or fondness for a person or thing. A great liking. This meaning is taken from the Latin and Greek words – eros and amore’. It is speaking essentially of a love of the worthy.

Love is also mentioned 735 times in the Bible. The word love in the bible has however a different definition. It is when someone is loved no matter what, even if totally unworthy!

1 John 3:16 explains love this way, “This is how we know what love is. Jesus Christ laid down his life for us”.

Look for yourself at Jesus as He loves the women who was sentenced to death for adultery (John 8:3-11), or the raising from the dead of the only son of a widow (Luke 7:11-15), of the acceptance of Zaccheus, the despised, thieving little man (Luke 19:2-10), or of the demon possessed, tormented man who lived in the cemetery, who Jesus loved and freed to live a new life (Mark 5:2).

Jesus is the same yesterday, and today and forever. How he loved then, is still how he loves now. It doesn’t matter if you think yourself invisible to everyone else, He still sees you. It doesn’t matter what you have or haven’t done; how successful you are or if you feel a complete failure. It matters not! Jesus loves you.

“Love was demonstrated to us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.(Romans 5:8)

The world’s “love system” says you are lovable if you are worthy in some way, but if you are broken, ugly, or bitter and twisted; if you are unpopular or even invisible to others then who would bother loving you?

I say that the world’s love system is failing, it is messed up, and it is messing people up. Both the rich and the poor, the popular and the invisible. The successful and the not so successful. The world’s love is not enough. It is second best and flawed and unable to make us whole.

But God’s “love system” is fully intact and transforming. If we believe that, or we desperately want that type of love, we have a decision to make. Which love will we seek after and earnestly long to know with all our hearts?

Jesus says you can know His kind of love. He says “You will find me if you seek me, when you search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). Plus when you receive the love He has to offer you , you understand what real love is and it becomes far easier to be love others, as He sheds His love abroad in our hearts. (Romans 5:5)

Today may you seek to know and live in this love; and in knowing will you have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:18-19)

 

 

 

 

4 Dec – Get Out Of The Box!

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Choosing to live “outside the box” that society, others expectations, our mindsets and the status quo put us in can be threatening. Many even find the freedom found living out of the “box” confronting. We can all very easily become accustomed to limits; to boundaries, pressure and rules and if truth were told we may be quite fearful and offended when others venture beyond the known norm too.

Yet the bible says that when we ask Jesus into our lives He takes off the limits and encourages us to step out of any areas of our life where we’ve been boxed in, and offers us freedom instead. He gives us the ability to choose; to grow, to discover and to really live. The battle is whether we will be brave enough to embrace that type of lifestyle and belief system, or whether we stay within the confines of the status quo and what is usual and expected.

Even the church and many of those who seek to follow Jesus and His ways can still remain locked behind walls of religion, rules and limitations in their thinking and expressions of faith. Instead of believing that all things are possible for the person who believes and that who the son (Jesus) sets free is free indeed, we have allowed circumstances, traditions, societal norms and the tactics of the devil to define and confine us to venturing only where it “seems” safe, normal, inoffensive and acceptable to the masses. 

However I sense that God wants so much more for us. His Word says so, the moving of His Spirit says so and the demonstrations of His miracle working power say so. If you look through God’s Word you will discover account after account of people who refused to live within the limits and expectations of their time. They pushed the boundaries of their faith, their race, their gender and their natural abilities.

One of the people whose “out of the box”  life is documented in the Bible is Abraham. He dared to believe God; forsaking the limits and acceptance of his time, family and culture in leaving everything he knew to venture forth into a land he did not know. He believed when all natural hope was lost of fathering a child to his wife, and He believed when God spoke and directed him on how to live. He chose to live out his life beyond limits and this is why God calls Him the “Father of faith.” (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:6; Romans 4:16)

Today  I encourage you to examine any limits or confining mindsets and expectations on your life. Are you locked into a lifestyle, thinking and system that was never God’s plan for you. If so, take some time to examine what these limits are and then ask God to set you free from them. 

Because one of the main reasons Jesus died and rose again is to release us from any bondage, limitation, weight or fear and to bring us freedom to live as the person He created us to be. “For who the son sets free is free indeed.” (John 8:36)

Jesus himself said these words; “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18)

“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (Galatians 5:1)

Prayer: Jesus thank you for the freedom you offer me. Please help me to live beyond my own or other peoples imposed walls, or the system of the world so that I can truly live free in you. Help me to step out of the box today. In Jesus Name Amen.

3 Dec – Sterotypical

I’ve been thinking recently about stereotypes: a stereotype being a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

In my role as a pastor I am often confronted with facing people’s stereotypical and commonly held view of what a pastor and especially a woman pastor is and should be like. It’s amazing how many people have a viewpoint of what you will in their minds talk, look, dress, believe and behave like. Add to that the loud and often surprised exclamation of  “What! “You’ve got six kids”.

These views and expectations have often carried over to the stereotypical views and prejudice my six children have faced being pastors kids and the jokes, snide comments and teasing they’ve experienced. All this quickly enables one to see why stereotypes can be rather unhelpful.

I guess stereotypes eventuated because it can make people feel safe or more in control if they place people in boxes. Then they can feel like they know how to relate to people who are different from them or who are unknown to their experience or social circle.

However when we are too hasty to put people in our stereotypical box we can very easily fail to ever get to know them properly, or at all. Someone walks into the room and we subconsciously will be sizing them up and judging who and what they are by the way they look, dress, move and talk like. We can even make a judgement call by the company they keep or the family, job, home and area they come from.

Some stereotypes may be in fact quite accurate, but if we don’t, on making these estimations of a person, then leave the door open to really get to know them, we can easily dismiss or categorize people without giving ourselves the opportunity to know who they truly are. Plus if we meet someone and they have suffered under and from stereotypes all their lives you can be fairly sure they are going to be on the defensive and be protecting their true selves from criticism,; yours or others veiled comments and judgements.

Jesus however is a great example of someone who refused to label anyone. He saw their humanity; who they truly were and who they could also become. In contrast the religious leaders simply saw sinners; lowly tax collectors, prostitutes, the poor, sick, and forgotten.

No one dared be friends or visit a tax collectors house, yet Jesus invited them into his inner circle. (Luke 19:1-10)

When Simon the Pharisee was hosting a party that Jesus was attending a prostitute crashed their gathering and Jesus took the time to speak with her. Simon was horrified but Jesus asks Simon ,”Simon do you see this woman?” All Simon could see was a prostitute. What he thought he knew about her prevented him from seeing and knowing her at all. If he’d taken the time to get to know her maybe he would have understood what had led her to the life she lived and perhaps he would have been more compassionate and begun to see her as a fellow human being.

Jesus because of his refusal to stereotype people was actually able to “see” this woman. He saw her as a person, her worth, who she was created to be and he loved her, which led to her open display of pouring perfume upon Jesus” feet and washing and drying them with her tears and hair.

All of us desire to be known and to allow ourselves to get to know others without the stereotypes, expectations or judgements. Because when we do it makes room for us to love and be loved in such a way that brings freedom, changes lives and encourages people to step into their destiny.

Drop the stereotypes today. If you struggle under the weight of what others have thought or think of you then I encourage you to break open the box, shake the stereotypes off and ask God to help you peel back the layers and freely let who you really are and want to be shine forth.

If you’ve been guilty; as we all no doubt from time to time are, of making judgement calls and comments; of having expectations and failing to really take the time to get to know someone and who and why they are the way they are, then I recommend following Jesus” example. Forgo the comments, mindsets and failure to understand and perhaps imagine walking in that person in front of you”s shoes for a moment.

Then take the time to listen instead of talking, be compassionate instead of opinionated – always thinking you know it all and who everyone is, and instead ask God to help you “see” who is actually right in front of you and often has been all along.

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring to God”. (Roman’s 15:7)

Prayer: Lord forgive me when I have been opinionated and made judgements about people without taking time to see them. Help me to break off stereotypes from my life and also not to place them on others. In Jesus name Amen.

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