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Dayle's Blog

15 Nov – In the quiet He is there

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There are some circumstances in life where our world can be exploding with noise and some of that noise is deafening, chaotic and can even throw us off balance.

I’ve discovered that quiet is vital to us being able to journey through the ups and downs of life. It’s in the quiet that God can be found and it’s there that He restores our soul. In the quietness we are made strong as Jesus calls us to be still so that He can bring rest and peace to our busy minds and hearts.

Yet how much time do we give to quiet and finding Jesus there? Perhaps instead of quietness and rest many of us have learnt to hear the voice of the world and it’s  constant chatter and noise, but have failed to learn and to recognise God’s voice in the quiet.

Psalm 23 encourages us to discover quietness and to seek and be led to quiet places.

 “The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (my life);He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. (Psalm 23:1-2 Amplified version)

Today think about the past 24 hours of your life. How much quiet have you had? What noise in your life keeps you from hearing God’s voice?

Try this challenge – for one week. Spend five minutes each day sitting with Jesus in quiet.  Don’t read, petition or recite off your list of thoughts and requests to Him. Just sit and absorb the quiet and focus on Him. What might He say when you stop long enough in the quiet to listen, and how much stonger and more at peace will you be?

Take time to allow Him to restore and to bring strength today. For “In quietness and confident trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

To help you to take the steps to quietness and to firstly focus upon Jesus  have a listen to “In the quiet” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzuHsX4YecY

Prayer: Lord please help me to find you in the quiet. To take the time to still my heart and mind each day so that I might simply sit with you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

14 Nov -When life hurts

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We live in a broken world and unfortunately sometimes we will be faced with painful experiences, frustrations and disappointment. Walking with God doesn’t mean life is always a party or filled with positivity. At times we will have to face, and do hard things.

The bible is full of the passionate emotion of people crying out in lament, questions, pain, frustrations and disappointments to God. In our Western culture we are often taught to keep a “stiff upper lip”, and to “suck it up princess”. But God actually wants us to be honest with Him and to share our hearts, even if that means with tears and lamenting. He knows there is healing found in that place with Him.

Jesus Himself wept and cried out to the Father.

Isaiah 53:3 tells us that the suffering Messiah would be “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).(Matthew 27:46)

Where have you laid him,” He asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they answered. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”…(John 11:34-35)

The bible says we are to imitate Jesus, meaning we are to rejoice, to celebrate, to speak God’s word, to mourn with those who mourn, to cry out, to weep. We are to imitate His feelings, His emotions, His expressions, and His actions. If Jesus feels, then it must be okay for us to feel too. Minimising our feelings can actually rob us of intimacy with God, as He doesn’t see our relationship being conditional on us always feeling great, or having it all together. We can also grow close to Him in disappointment, pain and frustration.

Are you hurting? Take the opportunity to open up your heart and be honest with God about how you feel. Our pain and disappointment can be pathways for a deeper relationship with Him.

In Psalms 30:5 David sings “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” This is a promise that even when life hurts, it will not be forever. Be honest; cling to God, tell Him how you feel,  and know that “He will perfect that which concerns you,” and bring you through whatever you are facing(Psalm 138:8)

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22)

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

14 Nov – A catalyst for change

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Discontentment is our heart being dissatisfied – so what is it that we feel dissatisfied about? 

I’ve learnt that when we fail to get quiet and to listen to God speaking to our hearts what usually happens is we keep doing the same things day in and day out, yet failing to see that the reasons we are feeling so frustrated and discontented with our life are the exact issues God wants to deal within us and to change.

God will also often allow us to become uncomfortable and discontented as a catalyst for change, which is why it pays to listen and take notice of what is stirring in our hearts so we don’t miss God talking to us.

Today I encourage you to take a moment to schedule in some time with God to reflect and pray so that you can hear Him speaking to your heart. Remember at times God does allow us to be discontented and uncomfortable so that we will stop and take time to assess our lives and seek Him for guidance. Perhaps today your discontentment is actually God orchestrated and is Him trying to catch your attention so that He can speak and lead you to make some needed changes in your life?

I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.” (Proverbs 18:7)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-6)

Prayer: Lord please help me to be in tune with how I am actually feeling and thinking, and to seek you as to whether my discontentment is due to you wanting me to deal with an issue or whether you have something new for my life. Help me to hear you clearly today. In Jesus name amen

12 Nov – Slowing down

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Many, if not all of us are guilty of being too busy to be able to take the extra time to go slower. We rush from one activity to the next, squeezing as much as possible into every second and then we wonder why we feel tired, have lost focus, and don’t hear from God or communicate well with others.

Ironically most of what we are busy doing so much of we won’t even remember in twenty years time. Why, because it’s actually not significant to our lives and is often just filling the space in our day. It’s a bit like spending time with someone and feeling like you need to make sure there is no silence between you, because the silence makes us feel uncomfortable.

When our kids were little toddlers we would take them for a walk to the park. The “walk” would take a long time because they would inspect and sometimes chat to every flower, ant and person they saw on their walk. We could have rushed it, picking them up and just getting to our destination, but as most of us know, it’s the journey as well as the destination that is important. It’s in the journey that we learn, discover and find out who we are and about the world around us.

Perhaps we all need to be more like a little child and practice the old saying, “stop and smell the roses“, which is not simply about flowers, but rather about how to live our life with a deeper appreciation of the world around us. It reminds us to slow down and notice the little things that make life worthwhile. Despite a busy life, it is important to know how to be present in the moment; otherwise those moments will pass us by and we will quite simply “miss them!”

God’s presence is also all around us and uts often when we slow down and find a quiet space to draw near to Him that we will recognise His presence. It is in quietness that we find his strength and it’s in slowing the pace that we find balance and a healthier, happier, richer and less stressful life.

Today, I encourage you  to slow down, draw near to God in the quiet and appreciate everything that’s around you, as you “stop and smell the roses”.

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

(Isaiah 30:15)

“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)

Prayer: Lord please help me to slow down and to draw near to you today and to appreciate the moments in my day more. In Jesus Name Amen.

11 Nov – No fear

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When we allow fear to dictate to us who we are; our capabilities, where we go and what we do, the result is that we tend to step away from the person God says we are and who He has made us to be. We essentially end up “standing still” in life and then going backwards, rather than running confidently into our future and the things that will bring us joy.

Fear limits; it seeks to paralyse, to squish our joy and steal our future from us. So to combat fear and it’s consequences we actually need to regularly do things that push us out of our comfort zones; which stretch and make us think, act and really live, even if that means we have to do things we find hard or make us face our fears. We don’t have to do everything all at once, but it pays to do something otherwise we run the risk of stepping futher and futher away from who God has purposed for us to be and we allow fear to win instead.

God says that His perfect love casts out all fear, so the more we know we are loved by God through spending time with Him, reading His Word and connecting with others who know they are loved by God too, the bigger His love gets in our hearts and minds, and the less fear controls who we are.

Draw near to God today and allow His love, acceptance and care of you to cast out all your fears. He is creator of the whole universe, yet He knows every star in the sky by name and every hair upon your head. He can handle anything and everything you may be facing and with Him by your side you’re going to be more than okay.

Let His love instead of fear motivate and speak to you, for love will give you a boldness and confidence to be who you really want to be and who God says you are, rather than being someone who shrinks back in fear and doubt.

“No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love.” (1 John 4:18)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Prayer: Lord please help me to draw close to you today so that you can remind me of who I really am and how much you love and care for me. Fear will not win today. In Jesus name Amen

 

10 Nov – Best day ever

This is a repost but its been a great day so I thought I’d share again.

Today I spoke to a boy who told me that this had been the “bestest day ever” in his entire life. He made me smile because his obvious delight in the day was written all over his face.

Less than good days happen – sometimes we can have one of those terrible, horrible, no good days. But part of the secret of having less terrible, no good days is to have the attitude of “today is going to be a great day”, from the moment we open our eyes”. And to be able to answer the question what makes a good day; a “best day ever” for us?”

Today my young friend would tell you it was because he had spent his day playing and on the beach; fishing, paddle boarding and having fun with his friends. Plus he had started his day off having waffles for breakfast. That’s what made his day the best day ever.

Often as we get older we get so used to just coping with Monday through Friday, whilst hoping for a great weekend, that we miss ever having “a best day ever,” and sadly we can even cease expecting them.

So here are a few pointers on what might help you have “a best day ever”

1.Take the time to do things you love. Far too often we simply go from week to week doing the same old things, with nothing to look forward to, or even trying to have a special or enjoyable moment in our day. Choose to create moments; life is about making moments, so don’t wait for them to happen.

2.Spend time with people you like and love. Be thankful and enjoy the people in your world. Take and create date days, family nights and gatherings with those you actually like being around.

3.Look for ways to serve and bless others. When we use the things that we are good at, or can share with others, we not only increase our enjoyment of those things, we also share the joy.

4.Be grateful and give thanks for all that God has surrounded you with. Go out and enjoy the great outdoors, your favourite café, great food. Visit and choose to engage in some way with the beauty all around you.

5.Maybe the politicians have got something in this: Go and hug or kiss a baby, or a puppy if you’re hard pressed to find an adorable little person.

Days go by so fast so have the attitude of being thankful, and make the most of at least some part of your day. When you do you may well discover that you have the “best day ever” today!

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy, I (Jesus) came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)(John 10:10 AMP)

Prayer: Lord please help me to appreciate every day, and expect that each day has the potential and ability to be my best day so far. Help me to create moments, and to look for the good in everything because you made it all for me to enjoy. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

9 Nov – My determined purpose

Knowing and loving God is to do with our heart and not with obedience to a set of rules. It’s about having a new heart and a new way of relating to God; A different way of seeing the world and creation and all that is in it. It’s not about another experience but knowing God in all His fullness.

Unfortunately in life that desire and fire to know Him can often get extinguished. We get caught up in the systems of the world and even the system that we may know as church. We work and serve more as a way of knowing him. We give and give and we end up having our zeal for Him exhausted by weights which He never intended for us to carry. I’m not saying don’t serve; Jesus served. But if that is our “knowing him” then we’ve lost our way.

Our motivation instead is to love and seek His heart and heaven more, and to learn from Him how to live freely and lightly. Then out of that our “doing” flows.

Today what is your determined purpose? Is it to just have experiences and excitement and to only stick to the well beaten path in your walk with God? Or do you really want to know Him and who He is more deeply?

Are you prepared to go off the beaten track?  For God loves taking us on what we call in  Australia ,”bush bashing” because thats often where peace and joy lie, away from the crowd and the ststus quo. At times we may with Him meander along on paths unknown and then bang we see why! And we find ourselves in the midst of a crazy wild ride. An adventure!

But if we we don’t take the time to know God we won’t trust him to take the driver’s seat and we instead will take over and head for known paths. Especially when we are under pressure or afraid and we are faced with the temptation to head back to the tried and tested road instead of following wherever God leads us.

Today I encourage you to be brave and begin to seek God. That you might know him and the wonder of who He is, and to then begin to live the adventure you were always made for.

For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power out flowing from His resurrection”.  (Philippians 3:8-10)

Prayer: Lord I want to know you. Not just know about you, but really know you. Forgive me where I have settled for just hearing about you, but have not been seeking you with all my heart. Today I’m choosing to seek you. In Jesus name amen.

 

 

8 Nov – Feeling Anxious?

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Today I woke up feeling anxious. Its something many of us have experienced and is caused by many different things from being overworked, over thinking, not dealing with our worries, concerns, hormones, negative thought patterns, our environment, relationships, our past intruding on our future and outside influences or “noise”.

Anxiety is at epidemic proportions in our society and is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.

Yet in amongst all this anxiety when we listen to Jesus and what He says in His word and whispers in our spirits is, “Don’t be anxious about anything, but by prayer and bringing our requests to Him we will know peace.” And peace is what we all need.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Everyone’s anxiety triggers are different, but for me I’ve learnt that if I don’t keep a watch on my thoughts and my schedule I will end up feeling anxious with worries, concerns, negative thinking, and a mindset of preparing and waiting for something bad to happen.

On top of that is my tenancy to get too busy and to not take time out to prosper my soul – as in, to do and be in places which feed and nourish my heart, emotions and mind.

However the more I spend time with Jesus the more I learn and realise that He actually wants us to learn from Him how to live freely and lightly. He wants us to keep in the habit of bringing our concerns and requests to Him so He can help us deal with them and so He can answer our prayers. Heaven is on standby and at the ready to make that happen.

We were never created to do it alone and He has wisdom and power to enable us to live a full abundant life, plus He has positioned people who are prepared to encourage and share our life with us and to make our journey bigger, better and brighter.

Today as I wokeup and practiced some self awareness as to what was causing me to feel anxious I checked in on my thoughts, chose to deal with some issues, handed over to Jesus some things out of my control ,(but not beyond His loving care) and got my schedule for the next few days out of my head and onto paper so I could delegate, offload and prioritize.

Some other keys I also use to help me when I’m feeling anxious and to hopefully prevent me going to that space in the first place are to:

Eat well
Exercise regularly – cardio as well as weights
Get outside in the fresh air
Challenge any negative thoughts. To ask myself “are these thoughts true and valid or just full of fear, doubt ans lies?”
Read and declare God’s promises in His Word, and remember what He has spoken and done for me already.

Fix my attention on Jesus and heaven “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2)
Listen to encouraging preaching that builds my faith and reminds me of God’s goodness
Spend time with Jesus and with others who know Him and will pray and encourage me in my faith and believing
Use a diary to keep my schedule under control
Have time away from technology and social media
Discover and participate in things that prosper my soul,  just for fun
Communicate with and share my life with others

I want to encourage you today that if you struggle with anxiety or have those days where you just don’t feel good, know that you are not alone. Jesus promises He will help; He wants and will lift the burdens from us if we will roll them over to Him, and there are people available for us to talk to.

Beloved, I pray you to prosper concerning all things and to be in good health, just as yiur soul prospers.” ( 3 John 1:2)

Leave all your cares and anxieties at the feet of the Lord, and measureless grace will strengthen you” (Psalm 55:22)

Prayer: Lord I give you my anxious thoughts and ask you to help me to deal with those things that trigger anxiety in me. I trust in your goodness and the promises in your word and declare today is a good day and everything is working out for me. In Jesus name

7 Nov – Look who’s talking

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Jack Deere who wrote “Surprised by the voice of God” wrote that there are three voices besides the voice of God that can speak to us. They are:

The voice of our emotions

The voice of darkness/Satan

The voice that comes through the pressure we feel from family, friends and others.

We can easily get into confusion if we listen to these “voices,” rather than seeking to hear God’s voice speaking to us. Sometimes we can even go from person to person, and place to place looking for what we want to hear, rather than truly seeking God. There is always someone who will tell you what you want to hear when you look hard enough. We have to watch that our hearts are right and uncluttered with our own motives, issues, unforgiveness or fears, so that they don’t deceive us into hearing, doing and acting outside of what is God’s best for us.

God speaks in many ways; through the bible, through miracles, supernatural means, natural means, our circumstances, through our experiences, trials, visions, dreams, trances, by impacting our mind with a part of a sentence or just a single word that we may not even understand at the time. He speaks to us by impressions, which often communicate knowledge and by preachers, teachers, prophets, and others. Gods speaking, so its just whether we have ears and hearts to hear Him and to listen to what He is saying.

Today I encourage you to ask God to speak to you in whatever way He wants to. He wants to be part of our every day lives and to help, guide and protect us. It could speak as you read the bible and a verse just keeps on “jumping” out at you or you are reminded of it later. It could be through an experience, another person words, a vision, dream, impression or a inner sense that God is saying something.

Write what you are “hearing” and seeing down. I practice in the little things as well as the more important issues of life.  When you choose to actively listen out for God speaking you will suddenly come to realise just how much He has been trying to communicate with you.

God calls and speaks to each one of us whether we know Him already or have never even had a conversation with Him.

The bible says, “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seekme and find me whenyou search for me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD”.(Jeremiah 29:12-13)

I can guarantee that if you take the time to listen and seek to hear God’s voice you will. Maybe then the question is, “What will you do when you hear Him speak”?

Prayer: Lord please give me ears to hear and eyes to see the things you want to reveal to me. Forgive me when I have pushed you aside or have listened to other voices rather than yours. I don’t want to do that anymore, so speak Lord for I am listening.  In Jesus Name Amen.

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