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Dayle's Blog

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May 2016

22 May – Get out of the Box!

I  was thinking recently about the things that make us feel “boxed in”. The things that bring constraints, pressure, insecurities, fear, the lies of the devil, religiosity, legalism, and narrow mindedness.

Perhaps all of us feel boxed in at times.Trapped. Inadequate. Struggling for freedom from our faults and weaknesses; for the freedom to live successfully in our callings, walking with God. Once we get boxed things start to be shut down in our lives.

The devil’s plan to steal, kill, destroy, bind up, pressurize and steal our hopes and dreams. His plan for mankind is that we will struggle through life barely existing. (John 10:10)

God declares that He has given us freedom. To liberate, equip and deliver us. “For freedom Christ has set us free; (Galatians 5:1).”There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).

However how many of us get boxed in and conditioned to think and do and live a certain way? There is a saying “Don’t get so busy making a life that you forget to live”, but how many of us do exactly that?  We box ourselves into a certain way of thinking, doing, and living. Not only that, we often “box” God into our thinking and understanding of what is possible, correct or even spiritual.

When we allow ourselves to be “boxed in” and then box God, we risk diminishing His bigness, splendor and really How spectacular He is.

Think of creation; the universe, stars, the majestic scenery, all creations colour and variety. All creation cries out about the greatness of God.

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.” (Isaiah 40:12,22)

What is your view of God? Do you see Him as the one who cheers you on, who says “yes”, who imparts, builds up, and equips? Or do you see Him as one you expect to say “No” No to your hopes, dreams and requests?

It’s not about not being grateful or living contently, but examining our view of God and how if it is a small, narrow, constrained, a can’t or won’t view, it can lead us to being bound up, and to having a particular world view. To our thinking negatively about the world and life in general. For our answers to be “No” instead of “Yes”

Do you treat others with love and openness and look for the good and blessing? How do you live and what do you see when you look at the world?

Do you see life, colour, beauty, and have good expectations of the day ahead, of the future, and the plans and purposes God has planned out in advance for you to walk in?

Or do you see something different? Hopelessness, death, despair, sickness, and a dread of the future. Are you always saying “No”, instead of “lets see how we can make this happen? Are you critical of others and those different from you?

Maybe you are thinking “I’m like the No person, I am critical negative and expect the worst”. Perhaps circumstances, past hurts, even your personality have caused you to build walls that have boxed you in.

God is not like that, and He didn’t create us like that. Hurts, disappointments and circumstances can alter our outlook on life. But look at Jesus (who came to reveal the Father to us). He healed all who came to him, he delivered, he set free, he forgave, he loved, he laughed, rejoiced, partied, he embraced people and  life. That’s who we are made to be like. But we can get boxed in!

But we can break free. The best way to break a box open is to lift the lid, to push down the walls and let the light in. Where we have built walls they can come down. Where we have become constrained we can walk in freedom. We can let God, and we can let others into our life.

We may have to let go of pride, and realise we do need God, and we do need others. But how much better to break free from being boxed in, than to live constrained and suffocated.

Let God in today. Let him begin to heal you, to renew your thinking, to release fresh dreams and hope. Break out of the box and go and live your life with God 100%.

Get around joyful faith filled people who look at the world as a big amazing place full of God. Don’t go looking for the negative. Start to speak good things, to expect good things, and then to thank him for the blessing each day holds.

The number one reason Satan tries to box us in is to slow us down from going all out for God and really living meaningful full lives. He would love to eventually smother us inside that box and destroy us, keeping us from God’s will in our lives. So, today get stirred to the point you want to break out of the box that is holding you back. GET Out of the BOX!

 

 

 

 

21 May – Did you hear that? (Part 2)

 

God wants to be known to us, and communicate with us. That’s two-way communication. Why? Because you can’t really have a relationship unless there is speaking and listening. How do we get to know a person? By communicating with them. By talking and listening.

The Bible, makes it clear that we were created to have two-way communication with God. Jesussaid, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)

The most difficult part of hearing God is the fact that it takes time to learn to discern God’s voice amongst all the other voices. Just as when we first meet someone we may not instantly recognise their voice the next time we meet them, so it is with God. It takes time to instantly recognise His voice, but the more time we spend talking and listening the easier it is.

Here is one way I have learnt to hear God speaking to me:

1.Quiet yourself to hear. In quietness and solitude we find power, strength and intimacy.

2.Acknowledge God – Recognise who God is. He is God, creator of the universe. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your won understand. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” (Prov 3:5-6)

3.Position yourself to hear. Our heart attitude matters when it comes to hearing Him. Deal with anything that is getting between us and God, whether it be where we may have messed up, are worrying, or hold unforgiveness in our heart. Unclutter and humble yourself before God.  “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”  (Jeremiah 33:3)God reveals Himself to us, and through us as we humbly seek Him.

4.Prepare to receive: Do you plan to listen and/or do anything about what God says to you. Will you receive His words to you, or brush them aside as unimportant?

5.Spend time reading the Bible. It’s one of the main way God speaks to us. “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

6.Be still and ask God to speak to you. Be ready to listen and write down what you are hearing and seeing if possible. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it.”(Luke 11:28)

God speaks in our thoughts, inner promptings or a feeling of restraining (a restraint can feel like a scratchiness or unsettled feeling on the inside of us). Sometimes we may have a vision or picture in our minds, a word, or dream. Other times God speaks through other people confirming something to us.

We can train our ear to recognize clearly the voice of God above all the noise. Isaiah 33:3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden thing that you have not known” .

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26)

God is speaking; if we listen up we will hear Him loud and clear. 

Prayer: Lord thank you that you have not left us alone, but in fact you are with us. Help me to cultivate a heart that is quick to listen and receive your words of life, direction and love. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

20 May -Did you hear that?

Our lives are full of voices; of demands, expectations, hopes, and dreams.There are the voices of our families, friends, bosses, teachers, society, T.V, and the media just to name a few. In amongst all this noise and activity people are looking for guidance and clarity on what to do, where to go, and what to believe. We try to listen for God or a voice of guidance.

Christians, and those who don’t yet know Jesus personally all look for direction, purpose and answers to life’s questions.

We may hear that Jesus is the answer, but we often don’t live with the confidence that He is. Part of the reason is that people are not confident of hearing God’s voice, or don’t recognise or understand when and how He does speak to us.

The bible talks a lot about God speaking to mankind. In the Old Testament God’s voice was often heard audibly by people such as Moses (Exodus 3:4), Joseph (Genesis 37:5) and the prophets like Isaiah, through vision, dreams and messages.

The New Testament begins with a burst of communication from God.It is full of people experiencing visions, dreams, and angelic visitations. Angels spoke to both Mary, Joseph, Zachariah and Elizabeth. Peter gained direction in a vision in an encounter. (Acts 16:6). Others were directed by the Holy Spirit through inner promptings, prophetic utterances, or external circumstances that were God speaking and guiding them

Why all this speaking? Why all the angelic visitations, dreams, messages, and promptings? Why? Because God is speaking!

God has and continues to speak to mankind because to Him it’s all about a relationship with us. He may speak in many different ways to different people, but He is and does speak, guide and lead us if we are listening and taking notice.

All of us want to know the best direction to take. We all need purpose, strength, assurance, comfort and confidence in our journey.

The good news is that God promises that He will lead and guide us. That He will show us the right way to go. If we want to know God’s voice, and to know Him, there are some things I’ve discovered that help:

1.Spend time in quietness and solitude away from all the noise and distractions. The bible encourages us to “Be still and know that He is God“. (Psalm 46:10) Without taking the time to come away and get quiet it is difficult to hear God speaking clearly.

2.Learn to focus our hearts and lives before God. There are many things that can crowd our hearts and minds, cluttering our ability to hear from God. When someone is speaking we have to focus on them and what they are saying to hear clearly. The more noise and distractions the more focus is needed.

Tradition and religion has taught people that God only wants servants, that He directs, and we “work” for Him. But in actual fact God really wants each one of us to be His friend! Jesus himself said it, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends”. (John 15:15)

What is your view of God? How do you relate to Him? Because God wants to be more to us than traffic lights – Go, stop, take caution. He wants a relationship.

Hearing His voice comes from finding a way that works for you. Find a way that stops your body from racing, that stills your mind, and emotions, and softens your heart to enable you to listen to God’s quiet voice speaking. He will speak from His word (The Bible), from a quiet voice in your thoughts reminding you what the bible says and/or telling you what to do, through a peace that comes so that you know God is leading you in the right way to go, in visions, dreams, an urgency or prompting about something, and even angelic visitations.

I have discovered that real power comes out of stillness; strength comes out of solitude; decisions that change the course of our lives come out of times of stillness with God as He wait to hear His voice.

God is speaking. Are you listening?

Prayer: Lord I want to know your voice more clearly, please help me to make time to quiet my heart and mind. Guide me as I read your word, so that I learn to recognise and know your voice when you are speaking to me. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

19 May – Alone is Okay

We live in a world of constant ability to be in contact with others. If we are not with others, we are texting, phoning, emailing. Office spaces are abandoning cubicles in favor of shared desks and open plan spaces. People share their lives on face book, instagram, twitter, snap chat. We are always going somewhere, doing something or at least chatting to someone about going somewhere or doing somehthing. Even cooking our dinner, and what we have had to eat has become something that is worthy of social sharing.  

It’s great that we can connect, it’s important and beneficial to leading a healthy balanced life. However one result of all this social connection is that many of us rarely have time alone by ourselves.  Spending some time with yourself can reap enormous benefits.

Solitude is good for our mental and emotional well-being. When we don’t take time alone, and are always in a state of activity and conversation we can easily overlook the need to deal to the deeper issues of our life.

Even times of loneliness don’t need to be a negative thing. For in loneliness we find intimacy with God. When  alone it  can help us respond to  God speaking to us. Without that quietness we can easily miss Him amongst all the noise. 

Here are 10 benefits of spending time alone:

1.We recuperate and recharge. All of us – even the extroverts need time to stop, get quiet, recuperate and recharge. Peace, quiet and mental and emotional solitude is highly beneficial to recovering from the stress and pressures of daily life.

2. You can do what you want. When you are alone you can take time to enjoy things you really enjoy. Being alone frees us up to do exactly what we want to do. We can eat, dress how we want to, go where we wish and enjoy what is meaningful to us. There is no pressure to perform or be accomplished at anything. You are free to just enjoy the time.

3. Our creativity flourishes. When we spend time alone we can explore some of the more hidden parts of our personality or interests. You may never get a chance to go to a art gallery, catch a certain type of movie or restaurant, or try a new hobby because others around you may not share your interests. Being alone removes outside influences and allows us to just explore our creativity, allowing our imaginations to explore new possibilities freely.

4. Being alone increases our emotional and even physical ability to sort through problems. We gain understanding of ourselves. Just sitting  and spending time alone enables us to think and pray. This helps us recognise and understand our emotions,  and what is happening in our inner world better. Our ability then increases to use this awareness to manage better our behavior, responses and relationships while we are with others.

5..You get more done. Spending time alone eliminates distractions and our to do lists can get shorter as we focus uninterrupted time on what is on our lists. We become less stressed and fewer things weigh on our minds.

6.. Being alone helps us become more relaxed and tolerant. After some calm peaceful enjoyable time alone doing what we would like to do, the little annoyances are less of a drama because we are now feeling relaxed.

7. We appreciate other people more. Absence makes the heart fonder. Time alone lets us see people in a fresh light and reminds us of what we like and are grateful for. We are calmer and can be more reflective of what and who is important to us. 

Time by yourself can benefit you in so many ways, plus making the time you spend with others more enjoyable as a result of being more in tune with yourself. We reconnect with ourselves, with God and become more joyful and relaxed.

What would you enjoy doing on your own this week? Make a date with yourself and enjoy being with You! 

‘This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength‘ (Isaiah 30:15)

 

18 May – The Yes!

I was talking with a friend today who has been around for a little longer than I have. She was sharing about her appreciation of really making the most of every opportunity to enjoy experiences to the full while she had the chance.  She’d always danced and laughed, and immersed herself in whatever she was doing as much as possible while she had the chance. Now that she is older, and not so agile she is very grateful for all that she has seen, done and lived.

It got me thinking on the importance of saying Yes to life. In this busy fast paced world with often limited time and attention,  a lot of people are quick to say “No”. “No thanks!” “I’m too busy”.But if our first response is no we are very likely missing some God moments designed especially to bring us great joy, blessing and growth. Whenever we say No to life, we are saying no to fresh ideas, new possibilities and the chance to make unexpected discoveries. It’s impossible to say Yes to everything, but most of us could definitely say “Yes” to more than we do. Why not listen to yourself and examine how many times you say No.

Some great things to say yes to are:

Say yes to travel – my Dad used to say “ go traveling it will make you a bigger person on the inside and will only make you a better person”. Travel opens your eyes. If you really want to experience some growth and new perspective go traveling.

Say yes to talking with new people. We teach our children stranger danger, but as adults we sadly too often avoid some of the most wonderful experiences and the opportunity to meet and make new friends because we still shy away from people we don’t know yet. Practice the art of small talk, of smiling and making eye contact. At the very least you will brighten someone’s day, and very possibly meet your next best friend.

Say yes to something that pushes you out of your comfort zone
Yep its awkward,  but learning a new skill, trying something different, and taking action on something we’ve been putting off for ages will only make us grow.

Say yes to some Me time to reflect, recharge and renew. The key to a healthy life is balance. It’s okay to have some Me time. It’s recharges our passion and excitement for life.  Spend your “me” time doing something that makes you happy. Plus you’ll inspire others in your life to do the same

Say Yes to a date night. If you don’t have a date take yourself or a good friend out. Say Yes to having some fun and paying attention to the ones you love.

Say Yes to something you would normally turn down. Try different food, different music, different places, meeting different people, a different activity, sport or hobby. If it’s pure, lovely and worthy of giving a shout about, go for it.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things”. (Philippians 4:8)

Lastly but the most important;  Say Yes to God. When He prompts, asks or lays something on your mind and heart, Say Yes! It may stretch you, and push you out of your comfort zone, but Say Yes! It is the greatest thing we can do to consistently say Yes to God. Many of us waste a lot of time hesitating, deliberating and arguing when He just wants us to say yes to Him so He can bless us, and use us in some amazing way.

When we say “No” we can safely stay within our comfort zone. But saying “Yes” means our life can expand and deepen. The “Yes” allow us to open up our life to possibilities and joy.

Practice saying Yes to God, and Yes to life today!

 

 

 

17 May -When the pressure’s on!

What do you do when you come under pressure? Many people spend  their days having mini meltdowns because life just gets to chaotic or stressful and they have to  “let off steam”, have a temper tantrum, or rant at God and all those around them.

Pressure comes from a variety of sources. Sometimes it is our hectic schedules that we allow to get a little out of control, which cause us unnecessary pressure. If we didn’t try to cram so much into our day, or allow ourselves to be pressured by others expectations or be dictated to by our own insecurities, we often would live much more peaceful lives.

Another type of pressure comes  when we put ourselves out there, and believe God for something. A desire of our heart, a dream that we finally get enough courage to pray and start to expect for. God may have revealed that He wants us to start believing for something because He desires to bless us.

That’s when the pressure comes in. Suddenly we discover the need for our faith to be activated. We have to put what I call “wheels on our faith”. We go to the word, see what God is saying and what He has promised, we meditate on this word, we pray, we speak it, we walk the process of faith, trusting and believing.

Perhaps we are believing for a new car, or debts to be paid off, to be healed of an illness. God has spoken, He has revealed His will for us to receive these things. But then things start looking worse. Our existing car suddenly breaks down and is undrivable, then something breaks down at home and is going to take our savings to fix it. We are not having a great day, and then to top it off one of the kids gets sick, or an illness appears to be worsening.

The pressure is on! What do we do? Our human response is to start muttering and then complaining to anyone who will listen and will offer some sympathy. “That’s terrible, you poor thing….” That’s what you need isn’t it? An understanding ear to listen to you of how bad things, are especially when you have been trusting and believing for the complete opposite.

But oddly enough, God doesn’t teach us that. Our faith works under pressure. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. God hasn’t called us to be shrinking violets, or people who “throw up their hands in doubt and defeat” when the pressure gets intense.

He says we are more than conquerors, that nothing is impossible, and that when we are weak then He is strong in us. When we come under pressure He says to Stand! Not sit down and give up, not talk doubt and unbelief, but to stand and only speak what God’s word says.

When Jesus was approached by Jairus to come and see his dying daughter, Jairus was a desperate man. But he had heard about and believed in Jesus. He pushed through the crowds and implored Jesus to come. Jesus followed this desperate father to come and see his little daughter. Before even reaching Jairus home people came running down the road to inform Jairus to not bother Jesus any longer because his little girl was dead. Jesus turned to Jairus and spoke some very important words “Do not fear only believe”.

If there was ever a man who had reason to give way to pressure, to fear here he was. Jairus had just been told it’s all over your daughter is dead, why trouble Jesus anymore. In the natural all hope was lost.

Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet  and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” And he went with him“.

They were held up  along the way, while Jesus ministered to another person and, “While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing[a] what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus[b]saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was.  Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”  And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement”. (Mark 5:21-43)

The devil’s tactic is to get us to stop believing, because when we stop believing our faith becomes inactive. We get into doubt and unbelief. That is exactly where our enemy wants us. He will do practically anything possible to get us to let go of our faith.

The main weapon in his arsenal is Pressure! He will use pressure from whatever and whoever he can to cause us to quit. He wants our words to start being ones of doubt, and for us to start speaking rubbish contrary to God’s promises. He’ll use people around us to “push our buttons”in the hope of hitting the right one.

But God says when we are under pressure, when we have done all that we can do, then is not when we lie down in defeat, No, then is when we Stand!

Jesus looked at Jairus and said a seemingly ridiculous statement to a man who had just been told his daughter was dead. “DO NOT FEAR, ONLY BELIEVE”, and because Jairus didn’t cave under the immense pressure to step into fear and doubt, that Father saw his little daughter raised back to life.

Today, if you are feeling under pressure, or the next time you feel “your buttons being pushed”, remember the enemy wants your words, he wants you to start speaking unbelief, doubt and fear.

Don’t give him the satisfaction of getting to you. Kick his sorry butt in the name of Jesus, and keep standing. Get hold of God’s promises in His word, and steadfastly, stubbornly, and with some real guts remain Standing! Remain believing for your promise to come to pass. Be patient, and know that God is at work because, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). What he said to Jairus, and a myriad of other people, he says to us today, “Do not fear, only believe”!

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. (James 4:7)

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”. (Hebrews 4:16)

Prayer: Lord Jesus I thank you that you are faithful to your word, and that you do not lie. I put a watch over my words, and refuse to get into speaking doubt and unbelief. I choose to walk in faith and believing today, trusting that you are in control. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

16 May -The Morning Pages!

I’ve taken up a practice called “morning pages”. One of the first things I do each day is to grab my “morning pages” book and write everything down that is swirling around in my head. I can have a myriad of thoughts from the moment I open my eyes. I’m not sure how men have the ability to think nothing, but I’ve been informed they can. I on the other hand am never thinking about nothing. Therefore articulating my early morning thoughts and dialogue is highly beneficial.

For 20 minutes I jot down every conscious thought that enters my head. From the deeply philosophical “what am I doing with my life” thoughts, the questions and dialogue I have with God, or what are the kids doing today, did I make that dentist appointment, to; its freezing but I really should get moving and go for a run.

The purpose of these “morning pages” is to clear my head of all the chatter in my thought life, leaving space for creative and fresh thought and revelation. When we write things down we have to articulate everything. When we do this consistently there are several things that occur:

1.We get clarity about what we are thinking about, rather than a collection of jumbled and often rushed anxious thoughts
2.It slows us down so that we are forced to “think about what we are thinking about. We get to do a daily checkup.
3.In being more aware of all of our thoughts, we leave space for creativity to surface. we de-clutter and gain focus. We retrieve the parts of ourselves we have lost.
4.If we consistently  engage in morning pages or honest reflection and examination of our thoughts  in some way, our desires and dreams start to come to the surface and are revealed and articulated on the page right in front of us.

When we write down those often seemingly random thoughts that flit across our minds, a common theme or pattern can arise. Our own hearts are revealed.
I wonder if I should take an art class, I wish I could do such in such, I’d love to visit that place, I wish I wasn’t so stressed.”

In our fast paced and stressful lives we can get very accomplished at squishing our passions under a mountain of work, practicalities, family commitments, and even fear of doing something different.

But what I write in a somewhat rambling style of whatever comes into my head in that 20 minutes uncovers the secrets of my heart and mind. My hidden feelings become known.  Concerns, appointments I keep putting off, checkups, friends I’ve lost contact with, spiritual hunger, trips I’d would like to take, new ideas, reminders or promptings on relationships, God speaking to me.  It all appears on those 3 little pages over consecutive days and weeks.

Morning pages leave no corner of our life unexamined. Our dreams, our hopes, our disappointments,  our pain – all of these a day at a time, page by page, an issue at a time, causes us to become intimate with ourselves, and this in turn allows us to become intimate with others. Why? Because when we are comfortable in our own skin, we are more comfortable to another’s scrutiny. Relationships improve and we are healthier.

Some people explain the process of articulating our thoughts each morning as “a vacuuming process, it pokes the pages into every corner of our current life and when we’re done with them our consciousness is clean and fresh and ready for new ideas”.

I’ve realised that we usually know exactly what to do; we know deep down what we want in life, we can hear from God if we listen, and He is trying through all the noise to prompt, lead, and direct us into health, fitness, peace, whole relationships and blessing. In my morning pages God is consistently speaking loud and clear. I simply have to look at what I’ve written, follow promptings, especially when they are repeated, and be honest about my inner world.

Try it for yourself:
First thing in the morning take a notebook and write down for 3 pages everything that enters your thoughts. Every thought, write it down.
You’ll discover it calms and quiets your mind and body, and enables you to listen and hear God speaking. Over time you’ll notice the promptings, reminders, your heart being healed and the uncovering of long hidden dreams and things you’ve forgotten.

God reveals the secrets of our hearts, but He often uses very simple means such as the daily ramblings of words on a page to bring us fresh revelation of who we are and who He is.

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;” (Psalm 139:23)

Be blessed as you discover yourself and God afresh.

 

 

 

Sent from Samsung tablet

15 May – Leaning into the Future (No Regrets -Part 5)

A few years ago my husband and I made a decision together.  We agreed that we would lay it all on the line, that we would go full on, holding nothing back to seek God, to fulfill whatever He asked us to do. We didn’t want to hold anything back, but would put ourselves out there, and do whatever it took to live wholeheartedly seeking after Him. I told God privately I wanted to be at the forefront of whatever He was doing and releasing on the earth at this time. I didn’t want to be playing catch up or standing on the sidelines watching. I wanted to be up front,   right smack in amongst it.

I guess I realised that there is far too many opportunities in life where we can look back and feel regret. I don’t want to live like that.  I actually want to look back on my time here and say “I have done all I could, I have run my race and I have lived, really lived and made the most of the life God has blessed and gifted me with. I have sought after and loved and known my heavenly Father, Jesus, Holy spirit, the angels and the hosts of heaven. I have made the most of the gifts, talents and abilities I have been entrusted with, and have used them to bless. I have loved those around me, been a blessing to all I’ve met, loved my husband exorbitantly, loved and taught my children, grandchildren and great grand children, what I have learnt, and have had an absolute joy filled blast in the process of living it all”.

I guess I’m looking at myself from the perspective of heaven. Of seeing life from heaven. We can from that perspective see the end from the beginning, and we get a glimpse of our book, our scroll, and what has God planned?

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16)

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. (Ephesians 2:10)

To help us live that way, ask yourself “How do you want to be remembered by those you love most. What is God speaking and revealing to you? What are the things that are the most important? What things are you the most happy about having done? What things do you wish you had done, but now regret that you didn’t?

Now take the answers to these questions and make sure you do them! Don’t be like the businessman who said, “I spent my whole life climbing the ladder of success only to reach the top and discover that it was leaning up against the wrong wall.”

God has given us a unique “life message and purpose” that He wants us to live out and share with others. What if we don’t walk in our God ordained path and/or share our mes­sage? One word: Regret. We all have unique testimonies and a life to live and share with those God orchestrates to be in our lives. No one else can live your life except you.

Lean into your future. It belongs to those with a vision of what God wants them to do and be.

Living a life without regrets is possible if we let God define and determine our future. Paul in the bible said, “This one thing I do” (not these 40 things I half heartedly do). He also said, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.”

What vision from heaven do you see? If you don’t have one, then take some time to seek God. He will speak, He will reveal. Most of the time we simply don’t sit still long enough to hear what He has to say, and we wonder why we are directionless, or things don’t seem to ever work out as well as they should.

When you have an answer, write out what God is saying in a simple phrase or sentence. Focus on that God-given vision, it will keep you on the right path. Without vision we perish. (Proverbs 29:18)

Ask God to reveal the actions you can take and then take them! Celebrate Victories. Keep a record of what God has done and enabled; give Him thanks.

Ask God each morning what He would like you to do today:
1) write it down,
2) prioritize it and then
3) do it!

At the end of the day, review, reflect, learn from any mistakes you’ve made. When we live listening, seeking after God’s direction, walking in His ways and unique plan for each one of us, we don’t ever need to live a life of regret.

One important point to remember is that living a life without regrets doesn’t just happen. It takes intentional action and a choice on our part.

Don’t hold back any longer. Seek after Jesus with your whole heart. Lean into Him. He has your future in His hands. You can trust Him to lead you to live a life of no regrets.

Seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29).

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly”. (John 10:10)

 

 

 

 

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14 May – Living in the Present (No Regrets-Part 4)

If we desire to live a life of no regret, it helps to live in the present; to learn to live purposefully and proactively. To seize the day. We know we are living without regrets when we are fully engaged, alert, alive and enthusiastic in this present moment.  Delighting in today, in the now, because today is a gift from God.

The idea of being present, of being more conscious of life as it happens, may seem contradictory to those who are used to pursuing their goals, and having a clear vision and direction.  But cultivating mindfulness and embracing the present will helps us to achieve our goals and enjoy life more.
We can become so focused on the future, our goals and the day to day tasks we are involved in we forget to enjoy our day. Life isn’t just about the destination, but also about the joy of the journey.

If we are only focused on where we are going we are going to miss a lot of the blessing, experiences and memorable moments along the way. Being present is an important way to enjoy life to the fullest. By being mindful, you enjoy your food more, you enjoy friends and family more, you enjoy anything you’re doing more.

What’s more if we practice not just being more mindful of our present surroundings but also become more mindful of God’s presence, then even the mundane things such as housework, cleaning, or whatever we find boring can be times of experiencing His supernatural presence in a tangible way.  Try it; wash dishes or sweep or cook, and remain fully present and mindful of God’s presence all around you. It takes practice, but when we slow down, and think of Him, even the mundane can become special.

Brother Lawrence who sought to stay aware of God’s presence continually said, “We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.”

He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.
(Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God)

To help you live more in the present and become more mindful, think about making these practices part of your day.

1.Do tasks slowly and deliberately. Make your actions deliberate, not rushed and random. It’s better for your health and will make you a calmer person to be around.

2.Do less. If you do less, you”ll do those things more slowly, more completely, with more concentration, and therefore more proficiently.

3.Put space between things;  instead of rushing from one task to the next, give yourself some time between tasks to “catch your breathe” and gather your thoughts.

4.Spend at least 5 minutes each day doing nothing. Simply stop and rest. Don’t cram too much into one day. It just leads to stress.

5.Stop worrying about the future. Cast all your cares upon Jesus. Live more in the present, and delight in the right now. We only get today once, so make sure you enjoy it while it lasts.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

6.When you’re talking to someone, be present. Slow down your racing thoughts, look at those who are speaking to you; put away the phone and really listen.

7. Eat slowly and savor your food. Enjoy each bite, and really get the most out of your food. You’ll probably end up eating less, will compliment the cook more (which is always a good thing), and will digest your food better.

8.Live slowly and savor your life; its a gift so enjoy it as much as you can.Just as you would savor your food by eating it more slowly, do everything this way; slow down and embrace each and every moment.

9.Listen and look around you at the sights and sounds. The world is full of wonderful things. Imagine how you would behave if you were a tourist in an amazing foreign place. Practice being a tourist in the place you live; you might be amazed at what’s  been right in front of you all along.

Prayer: Lord help me to live in the present, and to not take today for granted. To live without regrets because I am fully engaged, alert, alive and enthusiastic in this present moment. Help me to delight in today,because today is a gift from you Lord. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

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