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Dayle's Blog

22 August – Tiptoe if you must, but take a step

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How often do we value safety over growth and guarantees over adventure, fulfillment and stepping into our best life in God?

The thing is God actually knows that it will take faith and trust in who He is, rather than what we are capable of to access the life He has planned for us. He is fully aware that we will need to walk closely with Him, because we are not created to do it alone.

Take for example how my husband and I have nearly been married for 30 years.  31 years ago when we first started dating I’m sure I looked at people who had been together for 50 years and wondered how they managed to be married and happy for so long. It wasn’t really in my frame of reference. However on taking the step to date, then get engaged, then married, then have one child, then another and another until we had six children I realised something. We don’t take hold of all that God has planned for us all at once. I didn’t become a wife and mother of six kids all at once. We took a step and trusted that with God we could be married happily and be parents. There was a process of learning, of trusting, of facing our fears and issues, of realising where we were weak and needed God to come in, where we had to grow and where we inevitably had to humble ourselves and ask for help.

We receive and inherit the life God has for us one step at a time. When we choose to trust God it does not mean being blind to the facts, challenges or our own weaknesses. Rather trust recognises and assesses the dangers, threats and challenges and looks beyond and sees God.

Peter could only walk on water because Jesus stepped forward as Peter stepped out. Gideon could only defeat a 130,000 strong army with 300 men because God’s hand moved to help him. Joshua lead several million people to march around the walls of Jericho and saw them come tumbling down as God honoured His promise and Joshua’s obedience. (Joshua 6; Judges 6; Matt 14:22-33)

None of them could have experienced victory in what they were asked and desired to do unless God was there to meet them. Yet when we desire guarantees over trusting God’s goodness and who He is we invariably run the risk of missing out on the life God so desires to give us.

If we want to experience and live that abundant overflowing life we know is possible in God, we actually have to take a step forward trusting God will meet us as we do.  Peter had to get his feet wet, Gideon had to come out from hiding and gather his men, Joshua had to march around the city for six days with no sign of change, trusting he’d heard right.

Yet all of these men of faith experienced something that all those who sit back spectating never know. They knew the freedom and exhilaration of experiencing God’s power at work after taking an enormous risk. They came to know God – to really know Him as the one who provides, sustains, rescues, fights for them and works miracles.

Today where is Jesus calling you to take a step? Because wherever and whatever it is you can be sure He is waiting to meet you there. As you consider I recommend that you take some time to calculate the risk, determine if the regret of not stepping out is worse than the risk of failing or being disappointed. Pray and seek God’s Word and His wisdom on what’s in your heart and then go on and “take that first step!”

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5-7)

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

Prayer: Lord help me to not be someone who watches life pass me because of my fears, desire for guarantees and need for security. Please help me to take a step into what you have for me. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

21 August – First Things First

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I recently read a quote by a man I respect that has been happily married for over 40 years. After 40 years they can honestly say that they still like and love one another. He said, “When people ask how we’ve been married for so long I say, we love God more than we love each other”.

When our spiritual life is healthy and we have a growing relationship with Jesus our relationships, goals and all we hope and dream of has a far greater chance of happening and lasting. It’s not just about finding or even taking care of ourselves, but about putting God first and leaning on His strength rather than just our own. When we truly put Him first we essentially connect to the life source and power of everything that is good and true which has far reaching benefits for the way we live our daily lives.

If we bookend our day talking to Jesus; with Him being the first one we converse with in the morning and the last one at night that we give our attention to, then we will start to filter what happens in our day through Him. I want to have Jesus as my first priority, my husband second, my kids third and my extended family, friends, work, goals and hobbies come after that.

However sometimes other things can try and sneak in and try to crowd our important out. We check in with social media, the news or work related issues instead of Jesus being first in our day. We end our day slumped in front of work or the TV and tell ourselves we’ll get to God and spend time with our loved ones tomorrow. We allow job pressures and busyness to take over all our time and the weeks and months pass by without a date night with our partner, a holiday or day out with the kids and friends are something we used to have. We lean on our own ability and strength to live the life we dream of, yet fail over and over to walk in it because we live trying to essentially wdo it alone.

So today why not change all that and start by asking God to help you put the important, rather than the most urgent as first in your life. The life God has for you is possible so I encourage you to ask Him to reveal what it is and to empower you with His strength to live your absolutely best life. Then with His help start the process of “putting first things first”.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”. (Matthew 6:33)

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”(Matthew 19:26)

Prayer: Lord help me to be honest with what and who I actually prioritise in my life. Then please help me to start the process of putting the important first in my life and knowing how to lean on your strength so that I can be who you say I am. In Jesus name Amen.

 

20 August – God’s In A Great Mood!

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Over the last few months I’ve been praying the prayer of Jabez, which is essentially that God would bless me indeed, that His hand would be upon me, that He would enlarge my territory and that I would cause no pain and not be in pain either. (1 Chronicles 4:9-11)

The exciting thing is that God is honouring that little prayer. Take for instance the fact that in the last week two of our children have gotten jobs, my husband and two other children have had favour in their studies and careers, doors are opening, creative ideas are flowing and boldness to step out and do new things has been released.

Expecting God to bless and understanding that it is actually okay to ask for His hand of blessing upon our lives has lifted my faith and expectation. So much so that on the phone yesterday I said to one of our daughters, “okay it’s Monday and we have the whole week ahead of us so I’m going to go and find some good news”. Within minutes of declaring that I received two pieces of good news regarding her career and a new opportunity open up for her. Now some might say that is just a coincidence but today more good news occurred with both of our adult daughters.

God is listening when we pray and even though we may sometimes not see the answer straight away we can be sure that He hears, and if we are praying according to His Word He will be on set up and busy activating the answers and blessings to come our way. It may at times surprise us how creative He is with His answers, but since He is the Creator  we really shouldn’t be surprised. Take for instance how He provided for the hungry by multiplying food, or making water turn into wine, healing blind eyes, restoring people’s health, causing livestock to increase at an incredible rate, and blessing people with children who were previously barren. He opened prison doors, turned people’s lives around, set the oppressed free and restored the years that the enemy had stolen. (Matt 14:13-21; John 2:1-11; John 9; Genesis 30; Genesis 11;30 1 Sam 1:5)

God is still in the business of answering prayer and performing miracles, so I encourage you to pray…ask for what you desire. God doesn’t want to hold any good thing back from us. He loves to bless and pour out His gifts upon us. As one of my friends says, “Shake the Christmas tree and watch all the gifts drop out.” 

Ask for what’s burning in your heart. Ask that He would bless you indeed and that His hand would be upon your life. He’s not heavy handed but instead says that His yoke is easy and His burden light. His hand holds so much blessing in it and He just wants for us to be open and ready to receive from Him. Expect your influence and impact to be enlarged and that you would walk in peace rather than pain and be a blessing to others as you have been blessed.

God is a good God and He’s not only good towards us on Sunday’s when we might possibly show up in Church. He’s good all the time and He is constantly thinking up ways to bless and reveal His love to us. He actually is in a great mood!

Ask and then expect to receive some good news today.

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” ( Romans 8:32 NIV)

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds and to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 NLT)

Prayer: Lord I thank you that you are in a great mood and that you love me so much. Thank you that you forgive my mistakes and that you desire good things for me. Today would you bless me indeed and enlarge my territory and that your hand would continually be upon me. Please keep me from evil and pain. I receive good news today. In Jesus name Amen.

 

19 August – Work In Me

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A lot of the time we can get ourselves in a muddle or off track because we lean on our own understanding, emotions or desires rather than on what is God’s best for us. Our guidance on what to do and be is far too often upon how we feel at any given moment rather than what God says in His Word. Sadly then we can end up wondering why our life is a mess and how we’ve hurt both others and ourselves through our behaviour, words and actions.

God has a pretty simple solution to all the drama we can find ourselves in and it’s to put our life and everything we think, believe and do through the filter of His Word and His love for us. In filter, I mean when you see and hear it in His Word you do it, and if God cautions, advises and emphatically says, “don’t do it, we don’t!” God’s very clear and simple when it comes to how we are to live. He shoots straight, but how often do we try to dodge around Him?

Jesus regularly stops me in my tracks if my heart attitude and subsequent behaviour starts to look like me instead of Jesus. He says, “ If you really love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments”. (John 14:15 AMP)  or in other words, “Loving me empowers you to obey my commands.

Really loving Jesus means I don’t do, say or be just what I want anymore. It’s not a control thing or legalism…we follow Jesus’ way because we love him and don’t want to say, do or be anything that would cause him sorrow. He loves us freely, and He gives us the choice everyday to love Him back. As a result He can then give us the life He has planned for us. (1 John 3:8; Jeremiah 29:11)

Jesus’ main purpose was to destroy the works of the devil and to give us an abundant overflowing joy filled life simply because He loves us. Interestingly when we begin to grasp that truth and seek to live that abundant life, it’s actually a way to love Him back.

Today if you really love Jesus, just like you would in any other relationship – let Him know. Love Him by keeping and obeying what He says, and know when you are struggling to do that you can ask for His power to enable you.

I’ve discovered that when I’m really struggling to do and be as He asks that He will help and always give me a means of escape or way to freedom from the things that hold or try to latch onto my life. Sometimes we may need to get some help to work through things but that’s okay because Jesus provides for that too if we are willing to listen and get support and help when we need it.

And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it.”(1 Corinthians 10:13)

Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.”(John 14:16 ESV)

Prayer: “Jesus please work perfection into every part of my life and give me all that I need to fulfil my destiny. I want to only do and be someone who loves you the most. Help me to be that today. In Jesus name Amen.

 

18 August – Be consistent

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It’s Sunday night, I’ve just crawled into bed after a busy weekend and was all ready to watch a movie when I remembered I hadn’t posted a blog today. It will be my 1,343rd post as I have been blogging daily for close to four years now and spasmodically a few years before that.

The thing about doing anything and seeking to be is that there has to be some sort of intrinsic motivation to keep you consistently growing and constant. If our motivation is from an external force or pressure it will usually fail to keep us running the distance and we will eventually quit. Jesus however wants to be the force within us that enables us to remain constant and constantly moving forward and higher in life. When we make a choice to give Jesus the reins of our life and choose to be consistent in one area it starts to flow over to other areas.

There is a phrase “IN CONSISTENCY LIES THE POWER”

Our example and bench mark should always be Jesus. And Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus isn’t fickle. He doesn’t change His mind from one day to another. He’s constant.

Even the best business plans, goals, study schedules, fitness regime etc will fail without a dedication to consistency.

If we say we’re going to do something, we do it. If we say we’re going to be somewhere, we’re there. If we initiate a new process or initiative, we follow through. Consistency is a must as you build and grow in any area of your life and is a daily choice. It is a “Habit”

Today I encourage you with God’s enabling power to cultivate the habit of doing successful activities. Often it’s just a handful of habits over the course of many years that separates the victors from the victims.

Can you imagine what you can accomplish and the type of person you will be in the next 20 years with consistency?

How often do you think about brushing your teeth, getting dressed or breathing?Your body has internalised these activities and you end up doing them every day without thinking.

When you take time with God, speak what He speaks, eat well, exercise etc consistency will make sure you actually do it. The repetition will teach your subconscious to do it automatically until it becomes part of who you are.

Now imagine what you can do if you teach yourself to be consistent in other areas of your life as you see yourself being consistent and achieving and breaking through your limits.

The bible says that as a person thinks so shall they be, so start seeing and thinking of yourself as a person who is consistent.

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7)

The benefits of developing consistency in our lives far out weighs the effort. There is a revelation of God and who you are as a person that comes from consistency that the inconsistent person will never see.

Determine today to be consistent. Don’t try to base today on yesterday’s time with God or the workout last week. Be consistent in something today, then tomorrow get up and do it all again!

Prayer: Thank you Lord that I can do all things through you who gives me strength. I am a consistent person that sticks to things. Help me today. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

17 August – Awareness of His Presence

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Brother Lawrence who lived with an incredible awareness of God’s presence once said, “it is necessary to always be aware of God’s presence by talking with Him throughout each day”.

He endeavored to stay as close as possible to God and said, “Out of love, I try not to say, do or think anything that might offend Him”. As a result Brother Lawrence declared that he felt much closer to God in his day-to-day activities than most people ever believed to be possible. The worst trial he could imagine was losing his sense of God’s presence which had been with him for so long a time.

The peace and depths of happiness people spend vast amounts of energy searching for  is much closer than most of us realise. So many people are trying so hard to find God, but they are running in the wrong direction or doing spiritual gymnastics to feel worthy or good enough for God, which only leaves them discouraged and bent out of shape.

Yet, “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth….is actually not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:23-31)

God is closer than you think and the fulfilment and peace that we so often search for can actually be found in seeking Him and making being His presence a priority. Not just for an hour once a week or a few moments during our day but endeavoring to stay aware and close to Him at all times.

When David prayed, “In your presence there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures for evermore,” he meant that nearness to God himself is and can be all-satisfying. (Psalm 16:11)

Today make every effort to live in His presence more. I’ve discovered some ways to live like that are spending time alone with God and determining not to be afraid of solitude. Sometimes the loneliness we can feel is God’s invitation for intimacy with Him. We can also lean in and cultivate an awareness of His presence as we worship Him, read His Word, keep our hearts uncluttered and soft towards Him and cultivate attitudes such as thankfulness and gratitude for the life we have been given.

Let’s take God at His word and remember that, “in His presence is fullness of joy“ as we endeavour with our whole hearts to live more and more aware of and in the presence of God. He longs for us to have that close relationship with Him and for us to be His friend.

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18-19)

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)

Prayer: Lord I thank you for all you have done; for everything you are going to do and most of all for who you are and your love for me. Please help me to be more aware of your presence every minute of the day. In Jesus name Amen.

16 August I’ll Be Happy When…..

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There is a thinking that says, “I’ll be happy when I have this happen in my life”. As a result many can go through life always wishing things were different, yet never acknowledging, thanking and honouring what they already have.

Focusing on what we don’t have is a sure fire guarantee that we will go through life in a state of frustration and dissatisfaction. Even when our dreams are fulfilled many people still won’t feel happy because they just move onto the next thing they are wanting and forget to honour God for anything at all.

An antidote to living in this state of dissatisfaction is to learn to be grateful for what we have. Instead of looking at our partner and wishing they were different, we can honour and appreciate them for who they already are. We look for the positives and the attributes we do like rather than all the things we don’t. Rather than complaining about our job, workplace, family, church or wherever we spend our time, we can honour and respect what we do have in these things and remember to be grateful. This then causes us to become more patient, loving, considerate, contented and able to have far more fun in life.

For example instead of complaining about not being able to go on holiday, why not think of ways to have fun at home and look for the good in what you have right in front of you. Some people even go to the airport in their hometown and act as if they are tourists visiting their city for the first time. They have a great “holiday” exploring and seeing their city with fresh eyes.

When we choose to honour and appreciate what we have God also knows that He can trust us with more. He can trust us that we won’t just brush aside His hand of blessing on our lives and that we will appreciate the people He brings into our world; the children and friends He blesses us with and the work, skills and talents He bestows upon us.

Whoever is faithful with very little will also be faithful with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. If then, you have not been faithful with worldly wealth, who will entrust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:10-12)

Today think about what you do have rather than what you don’t because as you do you’ll soon realise your life is far better than you perhaps realised; you’ll make the most of what you have and God in His time will then trust and bless you with more.

“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful” (Colossians 3:15)

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” (1 Timothy 6:6)

Prayer: Lord please help me to have eyes to see and a heart to acknowledge all that I have in my life. That I would always have a heart to look at what I do have so I don’t miss your hand upon my life. I honour and give you thanks for everything and everyone in my life today and most of all that I can know you. In Jesus name Amen

 

 

 

15 August – Be As Happy As You Can

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C.S Lewis once said, “It is a Christian duty for everyone to be as happy as he can.” It’s actually what we are called and made to be; to be joyful, cheerful and abundantly happy.

Jesus said it this way, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance, to the full, till it overflows (John 10:10 AMP).

Cheerfulness and joy are what God wants to give us and it’s when we choose to walk in close relationship with Him that any of our sorrow, bitterness or anger can be exchanged for His joy. I’ve discovered that even in the midst of depressing situations, sadness and loss that I can know His comfort and abiding joy. That Jesus actually does come alongside us to minister comfort and turn our mourning into dancing and our sorrow into joy if we turn and receive from heaven all we need and desire. (Psalm 30:11)

However some things can block the exchange between Jesus and us, and our receiving of this joy and cheerfulness. One of those “blockers” is un-forgiveness which inevitably causes people to become angry and bitter. Un-forgiveness steals people’s good cheer and often results in illness, relationship breakdowns, strife and turning everything sour and horrible.

God however has a solution. He advises us to, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted and gentle, forgiving one another as He for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”

 If you are struggling physically and emotionally or you just feel awful inside all the time, take a look in the mirror and examine your heart and attitudes. Is there an angry, unforgiving person looking back at you?  Because the truth is we don’t actually hurt the person we are holding a grudge against the most (they probably barely think about us). Our unforgiveness and grudge holding hurts and steals from us the most and filters into everything we do, think and become if we aren’t careful.

Today I really encourage you to let go of the weight of anger and un-forgiveness and choose for your own sake, and the people close to you to walk in forgiveness so that your heart and life can be healed and filled with joy and good cheer.

 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25)

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”(Matthew 18:21-22)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-6)

Prayer: Lord please reveal to me if I have un-forgiveness in my heart and help me to then forgive and let go of any grievances I may have towards others. Today I turn to you and receive your joy and ask you fill my heart with your love and good cheer.  In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

14 August – Making My Soul Happy

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Far too often we try to compartmentalise our lives, not understanding that what we allow into our lives will affect every part of our being – our soul, body and spirit. Which is why it’s a good idea to feed and care for all of our life and not just part of it. You can be physically fit, eat healthy, do fun things and yet be spiritually lacking and dead. Or you can be spiritually fit and healthy and be lacking emotionally or be physically unwell.

The bible says, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2)

So the question is how do you prosper your soul. Our spirit’s are regenerated and renewed by God’s presence and life in us; our bodies by eating and exercising well and putting in the truth of God’s word. But what about our souls?

I have discovered that we often don’t know what makes our soul happy. And if we do, we don’t do those things enough.

God’s word will prosper your soul because it tells you how much you are loved and how God sees you. Then God actually wants you to go out and enjoy your life with Him. Matthew 12:34 says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”.

So it’s vitally important that we are taking care of our souls and our hearts so that they are full and overflowing. If we only concentrate on the necessary to exist, our souls will not be prospering and our heart will not be full of good things. Instead we can end up cynical, tired, short tempered, having toxic speech and disillusioned with life.

Today why not make a list of those things that make you happy on the inside. If you can’t think of anything, why not try something new. It doesn’t have to be a big things; it can be simple like a cup of coffee at your favourite cafe, enjoying some great scenery, good food and company, a sport, hobby, music, art, shopping, etc.

Take some time to prosper your soul today and do something you enjoy that is good for you. It will bring you health, renewed energy, and a renewed zeal for life. Plus your mouth will speak from the overflow of a heart that is full of an appreciation for the life you have been given.

Prayer: Lord please help me to understand myself better and how to prosper my soul. Reveal to me anything that is not right in my heart and help me to deal with it, so that everything will go well for me as my soul prospers. In Jesus name Amen.

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