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Dayle's Blog

11 Dec – Better up ahead

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The approaching of Christmas and the New Year is a great opportunity to review our year, goals, dreams and God’s promises to us and to then delegate some time in our schedules to seek God’s wisdom and plans for the New Year. It’s important not to miss the opportunity to  take some time alone with God for reflection, listening, prayer, and planning.

Many people spend a lot of effort working on externals, such as their physical appearance or a new job, home, course of study or an interest. But to see genuine change and growth and to enter into all that God created us to be we must also work on our internal world’s.

What we believe in our heart determines our life. Friends, career, our behavior, family, values, they all stem from what we believe. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”. (Proverbs 23:7) If we want to begin the New Year well we must get our believing and thinking right. And the one thing that is paramount to building a foundation for our peace and happiness for the future is the understanding that Jesus came to give and reveal to us abundant life and the devil came to steal it.(John 10:10) Jesus is not out to harm us but instead He is chasing after us to bring into our lives His goodness, love and mercy (Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 23:6).

Today I encourage you to plan in some alone time with Jesus and to sort through your internal world so you can begin the New Year fresh and ready for a new challenge and seeing the fulfillment of your goals and Gods plan for your life. Don’t drag the negatives or unnecessary excess weight of this year into the new. God is good and His mercies are new every morning and He has awesome things planned for each one of us, and regardless of the year you may have had, He wants us to expect and believe for better things ahead.

Prayer: Jesus please help me to take the time to reflect, learn from and sort through all the circumstances and events of this past year. Thank you for the blessings of the highlights and for walking with me through the low times. I’m looking forward to good things. In Jesus name Amen.

10 Dec – Rise Up !

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Passivity is dangerous…mostly because being passive results in us lying down and allowing things to happen to us rather than rising up and causing things to happen for and through us.

Passivity will encourage us to let go, look down, roll over and beg for what is ours already. It’s insipid, will creep up on you if you’re not careful, and is designed to suck all our dreams, drive and energy from us.

The dictionary definition of passive is accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance, which doesn’t sound like anything Jesus modelled or would want us to be a part of.

Instead He says, expect, believe, look up, rise up and keep moving! He tells the weak to declare they are strong, the poor they are rich, the broken they are whole, the sick healed and the lost found. Jesus was, and is never passive. He did not allow things to happen to Him but knew what He was doing, because He understood where He was going and the purpose for it all. Whatever happened He knew the “Why”, because He saw His role in the bigger picture which caused Him to respond actively rather than reacting negatively, or not at all.

Today if you have fallen down. If you are tired and lying in the dust, if you no longer know what to do, where to go or how to get there don’t let go of your courage. Look up! Look up at Jesus the author and finisher of your story. All of heaven is cheering you on, so rise up and dust yourself off and get heavens perspective and guidance for your next steps. Choose to reach out and to ask Jesus to help you because you are not alone in this. Seek out and listen to His word and do what He says for He has a plan for you and a way to fulfil it.

Beat the urge to be passive and to just take whatever comes. Instead get your fight on, take back what’s yours and Rise up today.

Do you see what this means -all those pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on. It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running – and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honour, right alongside God. When you find yourself flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Hebrews 12:1-4 The Msg)

Here is a song by Lauren Daigle called “Rise up” to encourage you to shake off passivity and keep going today!

Prayer: Lord thankyou for your strength, comfort and perspective today. I’m choosing to look up, dust myself off and to Rise up in victory today. In Jesus name Amen.

9 Dec – Being wise

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In building our lives and our homes we need a solid foundation, and I can’t think of a better foundation to build our lives on than wisdom. Personally I have discovered a wealth of wisdom to be found in God’s word. It teaches me how to be a loving, strong, trustworthy wife, parent, friend, and leader. I have discovered the knowledge, comfort and understanding in God’s word to navigate through some of the toughest times in my life. The wisdom in God’s word has brought me through death, loss, failure, financial worries, and parenting challenges.

There have been many times when I was unsure of what to do when it came to decisions with one or all of our six children, other relationships, work and our future. However when I have chosen to stop and quiet my heart and mind so that I can seek God for His wisdom He’s always led me to the right course of action.

We all like to think we’re making wise choices whether it’s in our relationships, difficult decisions or just everyday life. Here are 3 ways wisdom can be more established in our lives:

1. Live by the wisdom you have already been given:

God’s word is full of wisdom and it’s been given to us. Read it and listen and do what it says.

Reflect and learn from your experiences, and mistakes. Perhaps start a notebook titled “The things I’ve learnt” to help you remember.

Listen to wisdom, and do your best to understand. Ask for good judgment. Cry out for understanding. Look for wisdom like silver. Search for it like hidden treasure. If you do this, you will understand what it means to respect the Lord, and you will come to know God. The Lord is the source of wisdom; knowledge and understanding come from his mouth.

 “Delight is in the law (word) of the Lord, And in His law meditate day and night, then whatever you do shall prosper.” (Proverbs 2:1-4; Psalm 1:2-3)

2. Get input from those who demonstrate wisdom:

Become wise by walking with the wise; Hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.” (Proverbs 13:20 The Message)

Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, But a man of understanding walks straight. Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with counsellors they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22)

3. Be open to correction:

How do you respond to correction? Do you get offended? Do you feel rejected? Do you get defensive, or indulge in a bout of self-pity? When we value and seek wisdom we need people who’ll be honest with us. Why? Because we often get blinded by our own motives and ego’s. When God corrects or sends someone else to correct us, it’s because He wants what’s best for us. Be teachable, willing, quick to learn, and open to counsel.

So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? 

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either.

It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.

God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children”. (Hebrews 12:4-11 The Message)

Make a decision to gow in wisdom today, for it  is worth far more than precious jewels, or silver and gold. When you value wisdom you will also find long life, peace, and riches and honour. (Proverbs 3:13-18)

Prayer: Lord help me to build my house on wisdom and that by understanding and knowledge it will be filled with peace, joy, love and an abundance of precious and pleasant riches. In Jesus Name Amen.

8 Dec – What is true

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In a world where we are often told truth is relative and fluid we are faced with the question, “what is true?”

This is especially relevant if we are in the midst of change, transition or things just don’t seem to be going well in our lives. Life is full of moments when we can feel like everything we thought we knew, the people we thought we had relationships with, or the path we envisaged we were on suddenly shifts and changes.

When we face these times in our life, it’s so important to know in our hearts what is true. What hasn’t changed, who is in our corner with us, who and what will not change?

God promises that He does not change. He does not change who He is, or His plan for mankind at a whim. He is unchanging, and steady, and someone in whom we can depend. Our love and commitment can change, but His love and faithful for us does not!

As we grow to know God more, we will discover some truths about Him. Those truths are what will hold us steady in the midst of change, comfort us in hardship, and strengthen us so we can keep walking. The truth about God is that:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no change or shifting shadow.” (James 1:17)

God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Numbers 23:19)

“The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail”. (Lamentations 3:22)

 “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” .(Isaiah 40:8)

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” (Isaiah 40:28)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life“. (John 3:16)

When you are seeking for what is true and something and someone you can depend on, look to Him, and look to His Word. God and His word are one, and therefore His word is true. If you want to know what to do, say and how to act in your life, in your work, study and relationships, then the ultimate guide is God and His Word. He is our road map, compass, and light and will see us through every decision, and comfort and strengthen us in every adversity and challenge.

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 NLT)

If we base our decisions and life on it; don’t act without consulting it, think of what it says before we answer or say anything, and search in it for the answers and way to move forward, then we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. It’s in that freedom that we are enabled and empowered to live our best life.

Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. (John 8:31-32)

Base your life and future in what is truth and you will live free, for God is faithful to every word He has spoken.

Prayer: Lord, in a world where the truth is so often manipulated or changed to suit people’s purposes, thank you that you are always the same. Thank you that your word is unchanging and that in it I can find the truth I need to live freely. Help me to know and apply that truth to my life every day. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

7 Dec – One word

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One of the main ways I have learnt to trust God and to keep standing even in the face of contrary circumstances is to take hold of His word on the situation I am facing. Just one word from God believed on and spoken forth can and will literally move mountains, silence demons, shrivel up sickness, release provision and bring God on the scene. One word from God can change everything. 

Simon Peter one of the first disciples of Jesus discovered the power of believing and trusting in a word from Jesus. He and his friends had spent all night fishing but had caught nothing and were returning home when Jesus called from the shore, “put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch again”. Simon was tired, probably annoyed and just wanted to go home to bed, but he chose to stop, listen and receive that one word from Jesus and it paid off.

“When Jesus had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch. ”Master, Simon replied, we have worked through the night without catching anything. But because you say so I will let down the nets. When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to tear.”(Luke 5:4-6)

Just one word from Jesus can change your life. Today I encourage you to spend some time with Him. Get to know Jesus better by reading His Words in the bible and spending time in His presence and around others who know Him too. If you are facing a situation or you are feeling afraid or unsure about the future search out and ask Him to show you the answer in His Word regarding what you need or are facing. God says He is “alert and active watching over his Word to perform it, and that the angels hearken to the word of the Lord” when it is spoken in trust and faith. (Jeremiah 1:12; Psalm 103:20)

Hold onto that one word, ask him to bring revelation and clarity into your situation and then determine to believe and trust in His love and ability to bring it to pass because when Jesus speaks it changes everything!

Prayer: Lord I know that one word has the power to change everything. Please speak to me and help me to trust in your love and faithfulness today. In Jesus name Amen.

 

6 Dec – Triggers

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As we go through life we all have our own experiences, relationships and situations that are both good and bad. Everything we face in life helps to shape us, but these things can also become triggers in our thoughts, emotions and spiritual life.

A trigger is a stimulus such as a smell, sound, or sight that triggers thought patterns and emotions and can often be related to trauma or stressful situations.

Fortunately all triggers aren’t bad. Some triggers are actually beneficial and pleasant like today as I walked into our local pool and was surrounded with the sounds and smell of chlorine and water. The instant I smelt the pool my thoughts went  back to my own swimming lessons when I was a child and the fun I had learning to swim. I emotionally connected with the smell and sounds all around me and the pleasant memory the pool triggered.

The same is true for certain foods, scenery, texture, music, particular people, celebrations or situations I might find myself in. Many of my triggers are triggers to joy and beneficial to my emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. However I also have had, and in some cases still do have negative triggers that push me to react and cause my emotional state to unwantedly shift. Like the smell of a certain perfume or aftershave, things people might say or do that are similar to something in my past, a song that reminds me of the last time I saw my brother before he died, or the sight and smell of satay sticks being a reminder of our daughters anaphylactic episodes.

The key to not being at the mercy of life triggering us into places that we don’t want to go is to begin to be more aware and in touch with what we react to so we, with God’s help can deal with and be healed in these areas of our lives.

If something is negatively triggering us it is helpful to:

Be present and notice what we are reacting to. Self awareness is key to dealing with and moving towards healing from negative triggers in our lives. If you struggle to connect with your real thoughts and emotions ask God to help you understand how you are feeling, and if needed talk to someone who will support you.

Relax -breathe deeply and hold your breath for 3 seconds and then breath out and release the tension.

Step back – Clear your thoughts and focus on one thought or phrase which you want to think and feel so that you shift to responding rather than reacting.

Pray and think upon and speak what God says about you and the situation or relationship memory that you are reacting to. Many triggers may be facts about how we perceive/d a situation but they aren’t necessarily all true.

Consider what God says about your life and think upon His truth. Start to visualise the future He has for you.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Forgive and let go – many times what is triggering us negatively we simply need to let go of and determine to move on. We don’t have to be negatively shaped by our pasts, but can determine to let God into our hearts so that we can heal, learn, grow and move forward.

Change the narrative – most of us are going to experience rejection, hurt, disappointments and challenges, but we get to choose how these things will shape us. Will they make us small, fearful and limited or with God’s healing and guidance will we choose to use these things to cause us to become stronger, more resilient and things God uses to build our story of overcoming, breakthrough, hope and faith. God says he will work all things together for our good and His plan and purpose is to weave an amazing tapestry of our lives using with all the threads of who we are and who He declares we are in Him. (Romans 8:28)

Today don’t let your triggers manipulate, control or hold you back from the life and purposes God has for you. Take time to recognise what triggers you have both negatively and positively, focus on responding the way you want to rather than reacting badly, pray and seek God for what He says about situations or relationships, forgive and let go and determine to change the narrative as with God’s help you begin to build the life He has for you.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Casting all your anxieties on Him. For He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2Timothy 1:7)

“The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.” (Psalm 145:18-19)

Prayer: Lord thankyou for your love, concern and grace towards me. Please help me to be more self-aware, to understand what triggers I have in my life and how to move forward to wholeness and joy. I choose to forgive those who have hurt, rejected or disappointed me and I ask that you would build in and around me the life you have called and chosen for me. In Jesus name amen

5 Dec – Heaven is our Home

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I was thinking about heaven and how when we have a relationship with Jesus heaven becomes our home. The bible says in fact that we become citizens of heaven. (Philippians 3:20, Ephesians 2:19)

A citizen is a native of a city, or an inhabitant who enjoys the freedom and privileges of the city in which they reside. Which is why God encourages us to set our minds on heavenly things, because as I’ve discovered when we start thinking of ourselves as a citizen and having access to heaven our whole perspective changes. No longer do we need to think of ourselves as homeless, forgotten, enslaved, insignificant or lower than we ought. We belong to a Kingdom that is far greater and more powerful than anything comparable on earth.
What’s more a citizen is someone who legally belongs to a country and has the rights and protection of that country. As Citizens of heaven we have all the rights, benefits and protection that heaven lends to its people. We have the backing of the King of Heaven, protection of his angelic army and access to his resources, knowledge, wisdom and power.

Just as a citizen adopts the culture and practices of the nation or kingdom to which they belong the same is true for us when we realise where we have a citizenship in heaven and all the rights and privileges that pertains to. Instead of adopting the culture of the world Jesus says look up, set your mind and hearts on where you belong, where you have a home, a family and a great cloud of witnesses cheering you on. We don’t have to settle or think things cannot change, advance or get better. We have alot of “fire power” and divine favour and protection behind everything we do in heaven and on earth.

We have been given permanent residence in heaven now. That invitation and citizenship changes everything as we don’t have to wait until we die to see, perceive, experience and gain the perspective of heaven and how much impact heaven does and wants to have on earth. Jesus said, “I am the gate. Those who come in will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. and Jesus said, “all authority has been given me in heaven and on earth….” We are to see (perceive) from  heaven and release heaven on earth. (Matthew 28:18; John 10:9)

God encourages us to come to him when we are weary, burdened or simply want to hang out. Where he is we are. The issue however often is that we can get pulled down in amongst the noise of this worldly dimension far too much and lose heavenly perspective. That’s when it pays to stop and remember who we are, who God is and where we truly come from and belong. (John 14:4). Jesus comforts all who know and follow Him with the words, “Let not your hearts be troubled… In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. You know the way to the place where I am going. (John 14:1-4)

Since then you have been raised with Christ set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above not on earthly things.”(Colossians 3:1-3)

Today I encourage you to remember where and to whom you belong. All are welcome in heaven when we choose to follow Jesus. There is no hurdles to jump or debts to be paid. He’s done all that already. All that is required is a simple yes and an open door to our hearts as we choose heaven, his ways and all that it means be a citizen. Heaven is our home, or as Jewel the horse in the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis describes his homecoming…”I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further In!”
Heaven is our home!

Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”.(Ephesians 2:19)

But our citizenship is in heaven”.. (Philippians 3:20)

Prayer: Lord thankyou that as I know you heaven becomes my home and I hold citizenship there with all its rights and privileges. Help me to remember I am a V.I.P in your Kingdom today. In Jesus name

4 Dec – Stay Positive

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Being a positive person is about having a positive mind set. It’s not looking or being happy all the time, but how we “see” the things that go on in our life and the world around us.

Researches have discovered some benefits of positivity are: increased life span, lower rates of depression, lower levels of distress, greater resistance to the common cold, better psychological and physical well-being, reduced risk of death through cardiovascular disease, and better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

Having a positive mindset doesn’t mean that we keep our head in the sand and ignore life’s less pleasant situations, but it does relate to what we do with disappointments and unpleasantness after we’ve gotten past the initial feelings of anger and sadness.

A positive mindset can make such a difference to the quality of our life. There are going to be disappointments but if we are to live the life God desires for us we have to learn to manage and create ways to think which make things better and not worse.

One of the great things I have learnt, is that when we know Jesus and have invited Him to lead our life He says we have His mind – “the mind of Christ”. That means we have access to the thoughts, wisdom and understanding of God. We actually have all the positivity we need because love is positive, and God is love.

For, who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love”. (1 John 4:8)

Left to my own devices and weakness I used to fall into the trap of  fear and worry. However in Christ – knowing Jesus I have experienced first hand the change to my own way of thinking, and consequently my actions. I remember a group of people I knew commented that I was just “too happy all the time”. I laughed because that just proves what a difference Jesus can make to our lives. As long as we stay connected and abiding in Him, His positivity and joy will flow into every area of our hearts and minds, renewing us day by day.

Our self talk – the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through our minds starts to change as we choose to listen to what God says about us in His word – that’s why we need to read it every day! Without His positivity feeding our thoughts we can entertain self-talk that is full of misconceptions we create through lack of information, our fears, what we watch and listen to, or our past.

God says we are over comers and that He gives strength to the weary. He binds up the broken-hearted and comforts all those who mourn. (Romans 8:39, Isaiah 40:29, Isaiah 61:2, Matthew 5:4)

Today, I encourage you to seek Jesus and His way of thinking. Made it a habit to self talk “His” talk about your day, instead of “self-talking” negatives and fear. It makes such a difference to the quality of our overall life and health. God is good, and today if you are reading this you are still alive, and God has a reason and purpose for you.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths”. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”. (Romans 12:2 NKJV)

Prayer: Lord I choose to talk how you talk today and to fill my mind with positivity and life giving thoughts. Thank you that you love me so much, and have good things in store for me. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

3 Dec – Don’t give up!

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Learning to persevere in life, in our faith and to hold onto the dreams God has placed in our hearts is an important part of living the life God has planned for us. When we fail to persevere through difficulties, setbacks or things we may be afraid of or find challenging we can get in the mindset and habit of giving up, which is not something God wants for us.

God doesn’t give up, but remains faithful and He always says for us to keep going, keep running our race, keep believing and keep moving forward because He is with us. When we run out of strength He says He will strengthen and help us to keep going. Plus we have all of heaven cheering us on and encouraging us to keep persevering.

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

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Whatever you are facing today I encourage you to seek God for His wisdom. Clarify if what you are believing for and focusing on are things that He desires for your life. If they are, then keep going, persevere, and hold on even when it’s hard, because you will surely overcome and it will be well worth it when you do.

Prayer: Lord thank you for your strength and help today. Help me to persevere in the things you have directed me in until I reach my goal. In Jesus name amen.

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