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Dayle's Blog

21 Jan -Love that remains

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God wants us to know that regardless of the problems or the “noise” of life that so often surrounds and swirls around us we are not alone. He promises that His love and care for us will never cease or be drowned out or washed away.

He promises “that nothing can separate us trom God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow  – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NLT)

Everyone wants, and deep down needs to know that kind of love that remains; that is overcoming, unsinkable and constant. Which is perhaps why places like the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is known as honeymoon capital of the world. Its a spectacular sight, but its also a visual reminder and illustration of God’s power, His love and the strength and capacity He has given each one of us to love. God says, “Waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it”. (Song of Solomon 8:7).

Today know that nothing can quench or drown out God’s love for you. Then ask Him to flood your heart with His love so that you will know every day how great and powerful His love is. Then go and share that love with those around you. (1 John 3:1)

Prayer: Lord thank you for your love for me, that nothing can ever overwhelm or wash that love away. Help me to experience and know afresh the love you have for me today.  In Jesus name Amen

 

20 Jan – Catalyst for change

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In life we will often face the prospect of forced change, yet most of us don’t choose to change of our own volition, but because we find ourselves uncomfortable and are forced to make a decision about our circumstances and future.

I have a saying “Being uncomfortable is a catalyst for change”, and over the years I have noticed that some of the biggest changes in my life happened after months of promptings from God. A quiet nudge, a gentle whisper, a confirmation. Ifbi listened I was teady and looking for change, but when I consistently chose not to listen I would suddenly find myself in an uncomfortable position.

Today I want to encourage you that if you are feeling particularly uncomfortable or know change is imminent then stop and listen. Is God trying to say something to you? Is He trying to get something to you? Being uncomfortable is not always bad, for often it is the place God allows us to get to as a catalyst for the change we need to transition to new things.

God is good and He loves and has a plan to bless and prosper us. Even when everything else is changing He never changes. If you are feeling uncomfortable today, look for God in the midst of your discomfort and let Him lead you through, bevause He has blessing on His mind.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 4:7)

 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19)

Prayer: Lord help me to listen up to you and when you are looking to bring change in my life. Please help me to recognise that being uncomfortable can actually be a catalyst for change new things being imparted into my life. In Jesus Name. Amen.

19 Jan – One person can make a difference

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If you look through history you can easily see that one person can make a difference, and I am always challenged when I read about the men and women throughout history who are known for their impact on the world. Men and women who chose not to limit their influence by what they could do, but who especially chose to put their lives in the hands of Jesus and simply said “Here I am, use me”.

Men and woman like Dwight Moody, Mother Teresa, Oral Roberts, Hudson Taylor, Gladys Alyward and Maria Woodworth Etter. Some were uneducated and from very poor families yet they did astounding and amazing exploits and their deeds have lasted long after they have gone from this world.

I love the story of one such man named Dwight Moody. He was born in 1837 to poor parents in a humble farmhouse in Massachusetts. At 17 years old he left home to move to Chicago as a shoe salesmen.

There he made a decision. He started to seek God first for his life and future and as he did Dwight began to feel compelled to speak to people about Jesus. Soon he had crowds listening and a large church formed as he continued to share. At different times 50,000 people would crowd around him as he stood in his buggy and spoke to the gathering crowds. Presidents and their cabinet members sat on platforms with him as he preached and through his endeavors the YMCA was formed and established.

Dwight Moody was known as a man surrendered to God and a man of prayer, actually he was a greater prayer than a preacher. He knew in the depths of his soul that nothing is to hard for God and so he would pray.

But what always inspires me most is that Dwight Moody really knew the value of one person to God. Everyday he determined to speak to at least one person about Jesus, even if that meant getting back out of bed late at night and going out on the street to find someone to share with.

He was one ordinary man, but in God’s hand this humble former shoe salesman’s life was used to change millions of lives and his spiritual legacy continues to impact the world today.

Life is full of good things; jobs, families, careers, cars, houses, holidays etc. But if that is all that our lives consist of then perhaps we have missed it. Bevause in the end our possessions, clothes, shoes, personal items, holidays memories, photo’s, and souvenirs are all packed up in boxes. They may all be good things, but how many of them are lasting?

The bible says, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever” (1 Peter 1:24).

However what if we had the perspective and understanding of what is the most important thing? What if we thought about using our time each day not just on the immediate, but on what is also of eternal significance. What difference we could each make in the lives of people around us if we just stopped and asked God, “What would you have me say and do today?”

This week spend some time at the start of each day asking Jesus what He has for you to do? Who to speak to, to call, to have a coffee with, who to pray for or with?

One person can make a difference, so make that one person you!

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

Prayer: Lord help me to see the difference I can make and to see the eternal significance I can make today. Speak to me Lord, I’m listening. In Jesus name Amen.

18 Jan -Be kind to yourself

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In a world where there is often unkindness, it’s so important that we are kind to ourselves.
Sadly though we often aren’t. We compare, put ourselves down, are our own worst critics and can easily tell everyone else what is wrong with us. Too often we only see the failures, the disappointments and the hurts we have suffered instead of the good in ourselves and our situation.

So today I wanted to say “You are Awesome, whether you are working at a job that maybe you don’t really like to provide for yourself or your family”.
“You’re awesome as you do your best at being a mum or dad to your children”.
“You’re awesome as you keep studying, learning and trying to be better at whatever you do”.
“You’re awesome as you continue to be a friend, brother, sister, mum, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle, and workmate”.

I’ve discovered that understanding how to be kind to ourselves means giving ourselves positive self talk. What are three things you like about yourself? Now focus on those things. What is one thing you can say you do well? Now congratulate yourself!
What’s one thing you give to be a blessing to others? Just keep doing it!

All we can ever do is, “Do the best we can with the revelation we have now!”

We can always keep learning and growing and yes we are always going to look back and say “If only I’d known back then what I know now…” But that’s life. Choose to listen, learn, maintain a teachable spirit and keep going.

The kids will eventually sleep through the night. You will get to the end of your studies. You can get that better job. You will meet someone. Your health can improve. You will with wise choices, get out of debt.
Don’t give up on your dreams; keep walking, praying and speaking hope and life.

God has a plan and purpose for your life. He is a good God and He is for you. So today be kind to yourself and know that you are greatly loved by God and it’s going to be okay.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth”. (Psalm 139:13-15 ESV)

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are“. (1 John 3:1 ESV)

Prayer: Thankyou Lord that you love me so much and for your great kindness towards me. Please help me to see the good in who I am and how you have made me and to be more at peace and kinder to myself today. In Jesus name Amen.

17 Jan -When to hold, when to fold

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You’ve got to know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away….its the words of a Kenny Rodgers song my Dad used to sing and there is some wisdom in the words that actually go beyond a card game.

Those who are wise have learnt to know what to hold fast to and what to release, while those who choose foolishness choose instead to hold onto those things which can cause them loss and grief. They hold onto disappointments and often release that which would have brought life.

In contrast the wise hold onto the promises of God and let go of the things that would rob and frustrate their life. They let go of disappointments, jealousy, bitterness, un-forgiveness, pain, fear, doubt, anxiety and the past.

Yet how often do we choose to hold onto the past or bitterness and offense and in doing so let go of the very things we should hold such as God promises, who He says we are, and His love, acceptance, forgiveness and plan for our lives.

We would be better to seek God to know when to hold on and stand fast for that which God says is our’s and when to let go – “to fold em” and release things from our efforts of control.

As Lisa Bevere wisely says, “You go as far as your power allows, and if nothing changes, you have no choice but to let go. You bless and move on. You exchange frustration for release. You release what is in your hand so He can release what is in His”.

God promises wisdom to those who seek and ask Him. The closer we are to Him and His ways the deeper our understanding of how life works and how we can live freely and lightly.

For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding: He stores up sound wisdom for the upright. (Proverbs 2:6-7 KJV)

Today I encourage you to let go of those things that don’t generate life, health and growth. Release disappointment, anger, bitterness, and offense and anything that steals from the life God has for you. Instead focus on, seek after and hold onto God’s promises, who He says you are and His plan for your future. Learn what you can change and what you can’t and what to “hold and what to fold”…

If you need wisdom – if you want to know what God wants you to do -ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” ( James 1:5-6 NLT)

Prayer: Lord I ask for wisdom to know what to hold and what to fold in my life and that I would focus of those things and relationships that generate life and health. In Jesus name amen.

16 Jan -Because you say so…

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Nevertheless at your word I will cast out my net again”. It’s the words Peter said to Jesus as He asked him to cast His nets again after he’d been fishing all night and returned without a catch. Jesus didn’t seem too bothered that Peter had already been working all night when he asked him to cast out his net again…no doubt because he knew what was coming. As Peter obeyed and acted upon Jesus’ instructions his net became so full of fish it began to tear. Giving a shout he called for his partners who were in the other boats and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. (Luke 5:5-7)

Nevertheless at your word….because if you say so I’ll do it… it’s that attitude that caused a release of God’s power and break through in Peters life. It’s that same response to a Word from God that has changed more lives than I can count throughout the world and across the generations. From the widow with a tiny jar of oil which suddenly started to multiply eradicating her debt, a man covered in leprosy asked to dip in a river seven times so that he’d be healed, Zacchaeus who was asked to come down from his sycamore tree so Jesus could visit his home and in doing so drastically changed his life, to the first 12 men who responded with a “Yes” when Jesus turned to them and said, “follow me”. In doing so they helped to change the world as they carried the simple message that Jesus is the answer to every pain, sin, shame and grief. That He bore the sins of the world, (our mess ups), while He died on a rugged wooden cross and then overcame death as he rose from the dead three days later. (2 Kings 4:1-7; 2 Kings 5; Luke 19:1-10; Matthew 10:2; matthew 28:19-20)

At His Word, His glance our way, His hand outstretched towards us, our lives can and will suddenly change, which is exactly what Jesus wants for each one of us….

Just as the widows oil overflowed and Peter’s nets burst with God’s goodness, our lives are vessels just waiting to be filled with everything Jesus has for us. We only need to do our part and respond. Even if it is as Peter replied “I‘m tired, and have been working at this a long time, or “I’m scared and embarrassed“, as no doubt the debt enslaved widow did. Even if it is with some trepidation and uncertainty, that’s okay because Jesus is big enough and His love will carry us. As long as we respond with a “Yes”. A “Yes, I will follow you”. A “Yes”, because I know you’re looking my way, a “Yes” because “I acknowledge you’ve spoken, and if you say so I will act and move upon your word”.

Today know that Jesus is always speaking. He’d always glancing your way, always outstretching his hand and always ready to release His power into your circumstances and life. The only question is how will you respond..

“But Peter replied and said to Him, “ Master we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at your word I will let down the net”. (Luke 5:5)

Prayer: Lord I may feel tired and discouraged at times but because you say so I choose to respond with a “Yes, to whatever and wherever you say to do or act upon. At you word Lord. In Jesus name amen

15 Jan – Seize the moment

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Our life is not lived one day or one hour at a time. It is lived one moment at a time. Put simply our life is a series of moments.

But perhaps it’s wisdom for us to ask ourselves the question “Am I making the most out of this moment, because this moment of my life will never come again?

That doesn’t mean we have to accomplish great feats all the time or be having an amazing adventure every single second of our day. But it does give credence to the thought that maybe we could be more accountable for our time, because each moment is special and a gift we shouldn’t waste.

We may not be able to change the past, but we can make choices to make the most out of this moment, right now.

An easy place to start creating the habit of “seizing the moment” is when something significant is happening in our day or on a birthday, anniversary or special date on the calendar. Choose to make it a moment instead of rushing through it all. It’s never “just your birthday”. It YOUR birthday, and worth celebrating, because it’s the day God chose for you to be born. It’s worth celebrating anniversaries, graduations, test results, a sunset, having everyone over for a meal during the week. It’s worth celebrating something everyday, because in amongst our “making moments” we build a culture and mindset of thankfulness and it’s catching.

Now days I usually have more help making moments. Our children have watched me plan events, and make the most of any date on the calendar as a reason for a party. They have helped celebrate birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries, many milestones, and any excuse to bring out the fairy lights.

Life is beautiful. It really is and God loves it when we rejoice and celebrate. He sees your life as a gift to you and those in your world. When we seek to “make a moment”, no matter how simple it is, God is there. He is in the midst of our laughter and celebrations, our times together and in us being thankful.

Today take the opportunity to “make a moment.” Don’t waste them, but seek to make each one something to remember and celebrate.

This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it”. (Psalm 118:24)

Prayer: Lord thank you for my life and the moments that you give me each day. Help me to keep perspective, be thankful and most of every day. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

14 Jan – Weeds and seeds

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Weeds are by definition: a valueless plant that grows on cultivated ground to the injury of a desired crop. They are troublesome plants that usually grow profusely where they are not wanted.

Pulling weeds and sowing seeds is part of life and not just in the garden. Jesus taught that our hearts are like soil and we need to be mindful of what we are planting and allowing to grow in that “soil”. Both weeds and seeds have immense ability to multiply and unless we are diligent and mindful of what attitudes, beliefs, values and desires we are cultivating in our hearts we can easily allow and/or encourage the multiplication of “weeds” – those valueless, troublesome, rapidly growing hindrances, which quickly become detrimental to the good “seeds” we do want to flourish and produce in our lives. (Mark 4:3-8; 13-20)

One good way to spot weeds in our lives is to check our conversations and reactions to people and situations. What are we most excited about? What annoys us? What do we talk with others about? What preoccupies our daily thoughts? Are they good, pure, honourable and worth thinking and talking about, or are they negative, easily offended, grumpy, and ungrateful?

Do a weed and seed inventory today and check up on what is growing in the “soil” of your heart. Just as in the garden it is wisest to catch the weeds before they start to multiply, it’s also wise to catch any “weeds” in our hearts and minds before they run rampant through our lives. Ask God the Master gardener to come and reveal and weed out anything that is or will be troublesome. Act sooner rather than later, because a heart and life left unattended will easily produce a crop of weeds which will kill off and diminish any healthy desirable crop in our life.

The bible says, “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:7-9)

I passed by the field of the sluggard And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense, And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles; Its surface was covered with nettles, And its stone wall was broken down. When I saw, I reflected upon it; I looked, and received instruction.
A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest. Then your poverty will come as a robber, and your want like an armed man.” (Proverbs 24:30-34)

Let’s tend to the condition of our hearts today and sow seeds of love, kindness, gratefulness and quality time with God so we produce a mighty harvest of what we actually want, rather than a whole lot of ugly weeds!

Prayer: Lord please help me to get rid of any “weeds” in my life and to be sowing and growing those things that are beneficial. Where necessary would you please come and weed out the troublesome things in my life, and help me to feed the desirable seeds of your Kingdom. In Jesus name Amen.

13 Jan -Make plans

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This is a repost and since writing we have taken our hoilday to America/Canada. It was an amazing time for which I am very grateful I took the time to plan, rather than merely talking about it. I encourage you to also make some plans.

I’m in the middle of planning our next family holiday. Planning is an interesting process because it makes us think and articulate what we really want. We can talk around and around in circles about a subject, but it’s only when we have to put our plans down on paper and prepare to take action that real decisions have to be made and decisions can be difficult.

However even though making plans can be difficult, there are significant benefits when we choose to sit down, get quiet and make plans.

Making plans makes us revisit our dreams, and the things that so often get pushed into the background. Our responsibilities and daily life can silence what we truly desire and dream about, but when we make plans we are forced to look beyond the everyday to what we really want.

Making plans encourages us to search our hearts and to be honest with others and ourselves. We are more inclined to prioritise what is really important to us when making plans and not just seek to take the easiest route or course of least resistance.

Making plans makes us realise that we need wisdom and clarity on what to do, and where to go next. Otherwise we simply become a victim of our schedule and life passes us by, rather than taking definite steps in a planned direction to get to where we really want to go.

Making plans often motivates us to seek higher revelation (preferably the God kind), as we recognise we need direction and guidance. In planning we realise that we don’t always know the best thing to do, and we actually would benefit from God’s help and for Him to speak to us and to give us direction.

Making plans lifts our perspectives to one where we actively seek “to do the things that matter,” rather than just coasting along letting life simply happen around us. Plans give us direction, vision, clarity, and something to get out of bed in the morning for. Planning leads to goal setting and strategizing, which creates an energy and momentum in our lives. It helps us to have purpose, and we are less likely to get caught up in negative situations, and relationships. Plans help us to know where we are going, the steps to take and the reasons for it all.

Today, are you making plans and if so, who’s helping you? Are you making plans in your own wisdom and ability, or have you asked God for His wisdom and knowledge of what is the best course of action, and what His plan is. He actually wants to surpass any plan we may have, and to make “the plan” even better. The bible says, “God will do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us,  (Ephesians 3:20).

Don’t just let life happen around you; get involved and make some plans. But remember to seek God and include Him in the process, because He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows the dreams and desires of our hearts, the end from the beginning and everything in between. He’ll direct us in the right way to go, how to avoid danger and disaster, and will bless everything we put our hands and hearts to.

Let God direct you in your plans today, and see what He will do in, and through you.

Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give you a rich and satisfying life. “ (John 10:10 NLT)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”(Jeremiah 29:11)

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NLT)

Prayer: Lord thankyou for helping me to make plans, and that in them you will guide and direct my steps. Help me to be honest and true to who I am, and to seek after the life you created me to live. In Jesus name Amen.

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