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Dayle's Blog

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January 2018

13 Jan – Get rid of the grumps!

feeling grumpy

We can all get a little grumpy at times. Perhaps some people get grumpier than others. However, most things that happen in our daily lives which cause us to become grumpy, we won’t even remember in twenty years time. So why are we letting these things steal our joy today?

Life is too precious to be known as Mr or Mrs Grumpy pants, so here are some tips to help avoid those grumpy, grouchy moments that can so easily steal our joy, thankfulness and perspective:

1.Be alert to what makes you grouchy – At the end of a day I like a little quiet. Excessively loud music or too much loud talking annoys me. Watch out for your grouchy triggers, and avoid them, or minimise their impact. Sometimes we just need to remove ourselves from the room or situation, and breathe and do something to relax.

2.Don’t let other people’s grouchiness affect you – We all need to be mindful of who we are spending time with, or watching and listening to. Plus if we respond to other people’s grouches we will only add to the grouchiness.

3.Surround yourself with positivity – Don’t get sucked into negative discussions, bad news on social media or the news. Don’t let others steal your joy, and get bogged down in their stuff. Other grumpy people will always try to squash your joy and bliss. Refuse to let them. Their problems are theirs, not yours. If people don’t wish to deal with their issues, that’s their decision and problem, not yours.

Be around positive, happy, people as much as possible. Choose not to read that depressing newsfeed on Facebook; ask yourself, “do I really need to hear another piece of bad news or negativity?”

4.Have a sense of humour – sometimes we just need to not take ourselves, and life so seriously. Lighten up and look for the good in your day. Have a good chuckle at the funniness of life, and decide to enjoy, and not be annoyed by all the funny and unusual people in it.

5.Hug someone – My husband has a technique of hugging me for at least 20 seconds when I am grumpy or feeling on edge. He says it takes at least that long for someone to relax and “receive a hug.” Hug someone, or cuddle a pet and receive the benefit of physical touch.

6.Talk to someone – sometimes we just need to feel listened to, and be able to share what we are going through or feeling. We can all benefit from sharing what’s on our hearts and minds. It stops things going around and around in our minds in a jumbled mess, which usually leads to anxiety, stress and grumpiness. Make a regular time to have a cuppa, and a good chat with someone you can trust.

7.A merry heart is like medicine (Proverbs 17:22) Watch a funny movie or do something that makes you laugh. Laughter goes a long way to getting rid of the grumps.

8.Do some exercise – the positive endorphins, and stress relief experienced when we exercise does actually create a natural “high” and mood lifter. So get your heart pumping.

9.Lastly but most importantly, hang out with Jesus – “The grumps” are no match for Him. Praise Him for who He is, and how much He loves you.

Praise silences grumpiness, and the king of the grumps the devil, and gives us a heavenly and eternal perspective. Sing, speak God’s promises (there are hundreds of them) and let go of your worries and bad mood. God promises He will then fill you with bliss and joy unspeakable.

Today give all your cares, worries, and grouches to Him, and receive afresh His love and joy for you.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8)

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17)

Prayer: Lord please help me to be aware of what makes me feel grumpy and to do something about it. I give all my grumps to you and ask you to fill me with your peace and joy today. In Jesus name AMne

12 Jan – To hear His whisper like it’s the loudest voice

hearing-gods-voice

“Man is the greatest marvel in the universe. Not because his heart beats forty million times a year, driving the bloodstream a distance of over sixty thousand miles in that time; not because of his successes, his cleverness, or his personality; but because he may walk and talk with God”. (R. Lessin)

When you think about the fact that God, the creator of the universe wants to have a relationship with us, and is actually concerned and watchful over our comings and goings it makes you realise we are obviously a lot more important to God than the world would like us to think. We can actually walk and talk with God…. We can have a relationship with Him; hear His voice and experience the tangible touch of His presence.

Our second daughter Shara wrote a song which she sings. It says,

“I want to hear your whisper like it’s the loudest voice,

I want to feel your touch like it’s the wind in force,

And when you move I will follow in your steps, because my life is yours I have no regrets.”

Essentially God wants all of us to be able to walk and talk with Him. He wants us to hear His voice above all the noise, and to know His presence every day of our lives. It’s the reason Jesus came to earth. He took the consequences of mankind’s sin upon Himself and restored to us the ability to have the communion we were created to have with all of heaven. He wants to make His home in our hearts so that as we learn to trust in Him our roots would grow down into His love and keep us strong. For then we will no longer be prone to be battered about by life’s storms and to live a life full of regrets, but instead will follow in the steps Jesus has laid out for us.  (Ephesians 3:17)

It’s this love of God in our hearts which is higher, deeper, longer, and wider than any other which all of us can experience if we choose to seek Him, and then keep seeking Him all of our lives.

Today I encourage you to take the time to do that. Seek Him, for if you do you will find Him in increasing measure. You will start to hear His voice like it’s the loudest, and will begin to experience His presence and touch on your life as you walk and talk with Him.

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 29:13)

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20-22)

Prayer: Lord I want to walk and talk with you and come to know you more. Would you please help me to hear your whisper like it’s the loudest voice, and to feel your touch like it’s the wind in force today. In Jesus name Amen.

 

11 Jan – Expect good things

mercy new every morning

One of the most important attitudes and things we can do in our day is to have an expectation of good things. Yet how often do we wake up and the burdens and demands of the day come flooding in before we have even opened our eyes properly. If we are not careful those first few moments end up defining the rest of our day.

Instead when we wake up in the morning God wants us to see the day as one full of opportunities for Him to show up and show off in our lives. He says that, “His steadfast love never ceases; his mercies are new every morning, and great is His faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Meaning that one of the main reasons we can expect good and for God to be involved and present in our day is because of His mercies which are new every morning. Mercy in God’s economy describes His great compassion and lovingkindness. It’s a covenant or agreement He has between us and Him, and is intrinsically part of his character and attitude towards us. His mercy promises His protection, provision, guidance, forgiveness and constant presence. Because mercy is God’s inititive, the mercy He gives is gracious, unmerited, and underserved. In other words it doesn’t depend on our ability or good works but on His love and kindness. (Gen 19:16; Exod 33:19; Jer 42:12).

If we know anything of God we know that He is all powerful and able to do anything, yet perhaps our anxiety and lack of expectation for good things in our day comes because we doubt God will move powerfully and specifically on our behalf and in the situations we are facing. Essentially we doubt his loving-kindness, faithfulness and His mercy every day towards us personally.

Yet one look at His Word says that He will be there for us every morning and throughout our entire day and night; that He won’t leave us or neglect us, and that we are always on His heart and mind. That He is an everpresent help and strength to us if we’d only let Him be.

Today I encourage you to expect Gods mercies to be revealed and poured out on you. Expect to see and experience God’s loving kindness and faithfulness towards you and your circumstances. Look for His hand upon your day, and as you see it give Him thanks, because His mercies are new every morning.

Prayer: Lord thankyou for your lovingkindness and mercy towards me each morning. Please help me to look at my day and life’s circumstances in the light of your goodness, compassion, forgiveness, protection and provision and to expect good things today. In Jesus name Amen

 

 

10 Jan -He’s more than enough!

more than enough

Life can be so full of possibilities, dreams, and opportunities for discovery, growth and development that it’s easy to get bogged down with too many goals and expectations. Instead of inspiring and energising us for new things and us enjoying all that is possible in our lives we can instead allow ourselves to come under unnecessary pressure to make things happen and for everything to be perfect – including us!

As a home schooler of our two youngest children I am well aware of the trap that too heavy a load of expectation can be, and the tendency to want everything and everyone to be perfect. This often only drives me to rush, push and pressure both myself, and our children to achieve, hit markers and to keep up with everyone else. However as in all areas of our life God is not asking for perfection, but just for us to continue to grow in our love and knowledge of Him and to then share that with others. He only asks that we continue to discover the unique, amazing person He has created each of us to be.

God wants us to know that He doesn’t require or expect us to be perfect. He is perfect for us, and as we discover everyday who we are in Him and who He is, we realise that He freely takes our imperfections and erases them so that we can be made perfect and whole in Him. When we fall short, He fills in the gaps; when we mess up He forgives and restores us; when we realise we are not enough, He tells us He is more than enough!

God says to us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me”. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Today don’t beat yourself up over expectations and the striving for everything to be perfect. Know that Jesus’ grace is enough and that His power is perfected in us in our weaknesses. We are complete in Him because He is perfect, with nothing missing or broken, and as we come to Him we are made whole.

“For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.“ (Colossians 2:9-10)

For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are made holy.” (Hebrews 1015)

Prayer: Lord thankyou that in you all my imperfections and failings are washed away. Help me to remember that when I am feeling not enough that you are more than enough and that I am complete and made whole in you. In Jesus name Amen.

9 Jan – What are you seeking?

scole

The Greek word for leisure (scholé) is the origin of Latin scola, from where we get the English word school. However the modern thought and context for the institutions of education and learning in our modern mindsets usually only emphasizes results, production and checklists, rather than “leisure.”

The classical ideal for education of any sorts was that its goal was truth seeking, not profit-earning. To be pursuing education, philosophy, or theology was to be at leisure, because one was not concerned with productivity, profit, or politics. It meant seeking truth, goodness, and beauty first and foremost, and laying aside personal agendas, prideful goals, and desires so that one could be open and able to embrace truth, goodness, and beauty wherever you saw it.

Unfortunately the idea of education, knowledge or self-improvement in many ways in the modern world is only seen as beneficial if it adds value, and usually only economic value. The pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty are often relegated to a place of minor importance in the big scheme of things, and we as a society are no doubt the poorer for it.

However God’s ways are so much higher than our ways and when we connect more with Him and how He thinks you discover afresh the truth that He did not create everything grey, merely functional, or only focused on production. Otherwise we would all look the same; there would be no colour, music or necessity for those things that are not entirely about productivity. Fortunately instead, God made us all unique, colourful, creative, and innovative. We innately are lovers of beauty, goodness and truth because that is who God is and we are all made in His image and likeness. (Genesis 1:27)

God encourages us in His word to not just be about results or profit, but to be a blessing to others and to embrace truth and goodness wherever we are because when we do that we reflect who He truly is. He want us to think on, “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)

Essentially that we make our lives about, “doing things that will provide blessing, and not just things that have economic value.” (Dr Perrin)

An easy first step in bringing “schole” – the seeking of truth, goodness and beauty back into our lives is to begin to surround ourselves with whatever and whoever is true, good, and beautiful. That will mean different things for different people but it pays to keep in mind that what we focus and think upon is what we become. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

Today I encourage you to consider what cultivating a life that seeks truth, goodness and beauty first and foremost looks like for you? Have you been simply seeing things as worthwhile and beneficial if you can put a price tag on them? Are you pursuing things for the joy and goodness found in them, or only for what it can get you or what the world says is worthwhile? Because life – the God kind of life, is to be filled with wonder, joy, goodness, kindness and fruitfulness. It’s what Jesus gave His life to give us, and which as we live it will draw and lead others to Him.

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

“Or do you disregard the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)

Prayer: Lord thankyou for all the true, good, and beautiful people, places and things that surround me everyday. Please help me to see, appreciate and pursue these things more so that I might reflect your goodness and kindness to all those around me. In Jesus name Amen.

8 Jan – Peace of mind and heart

perfect peace

I woke up this morning and read this promise in the bible. It said “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you.” (Isaiah 26:3).

Our minds are powerful, and what we think about affects us more than most of us understand. “75-98% of mental, physical and behavioural illnesses come from toxic thinking” (Dr Carolyn Leaf).

Therefore it makes sense that a loving God who cares infinitely about every detail of our lives would want us to keep our minds fixed on Him so that our whole being would be kept in perfect and constant peace. Peace being; “a freedom from disturbance, and having quiet, tranquillity, and rest.”

When we fix our minds on God, we choose to fix our thoughts on His goodness, on what He says, on who He is, and on His promises. He wants us to have hope for the day, and He knows that fixing our thoughts on Him, which is fixing our thoughts on faith, hope and love, will cause health and wholeness.

When we fix our minds on God it causes hope to rise up, and hope causes activity in our minds that changes the structure of our brain in a positive and healthy direction. That means there is hope for us to change even where we haven’t been peaceful, and have struggled with our thoughts and emotions. When we fix our minds on Jesus and His love and goodness our actual brains change.

It has been found that 12 minutes of daily focused prayer (which is simply talking and listening to God), over an 8 week period can change the brain to such an extent it can be measured on a brain scan.”

The Bible says it this way, “Finally, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things..and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4: 8-9)

Today check what you have been fixing your mind on. Is it thoughts of hope, or is it thoughts of fear and disaster? If you have been struggling and not living in peace, take time throughout the day with Jesus, read His words in the bible, download them onto your phone, put a favourite verse on your screen saver, pin-board or wherever you will see it as a reminder of what God says about your life. Because God promises that, “He will keep us in perfect peace when our minds are fixed on Him.” (Isaiah 26:3)

I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” – Jesus  (John 14:27)

Prayer: Lord thank you that I can be in perfect peace when I fix my mind on you. Help me to take the time to think more deeply about the promises in your word, than I do about everything else going on around me. I receive and hold onto your peace today. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

7 Jan – Take the time

make time for others

Today I watched as someone I know demonstrated the importance of taking time with people. They went out of their way  to connect with someone who just happened to be passing by and made the effort to spare a few minutes of their time to say Hi, and enquire how the other person was. It may have seemed a small thing, but it revealed their heart and that people are important to them.

Taking time with people is an admirable trait and one, which the ultimate people gatherer Jesus demonstrated. He took time with all those who came to Him even when the social customs and traditions of the day said you didn’t bother with certain classes, sexes or types of people.

Not only the rich, successful, and educated people were welcomed by Jesus, but also  those most people didn’t even notice. Elderly people sick in bed were healed; Children were blessed in his arms, prostitutes, the demon possessed, the lonely, the widow, the sick, unclean, and the outcast were all accepted and set free from what ailed them.

Nobody was or is today beneath Jesus’ notice or regard. He still cares, and He still takes time with people. No request or concern is too trivial for Him to take notice, and no prayer is unimportant to Him.

Today, I encourage you to draw near to Jesus and come to know Him as the one who takes time with you. Tell Him about your day; your hopes, dreams, and desires and let Him meet every need in your life. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and is never too busy to listen or to act on our behalf. (Hebrews 13:8)

Take a leaf out of Jesus’ book and imitate Him in how you relate to people. Learn to take the time with others as Jesus takes time with us because you never know how much it will mean to someone for you to stop for a few moments to ask how they are going, or to lend a helping hand to a person in need.

“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behaviour from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Prayer: Lord thankyou for the example you set me on how to relate to others. Please fill my heart with your love for others so that I too will learn to take time with people and to love them like you do. In Jesus name Amen.

6 Jan – One day at a time

one day at a time

I woke up this morning with several things on my mind and the temptation came to start worrying about what was going to happen tomorrow, the next day, next week and in the general future. However as I did this I started to feel more and more anxious until I realised my mistake – I was worrying about tomorrow when in fact Jesus said very clearly not to.

Instead He said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of it’s own. (Matthew 6:33-35)

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25)

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan?* (Matthew 6:27)

“Let your gentleness be obvious to everyone. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7)

Instead of worrying, being anxious and in danger of becoming a “control freak” God wants us to trust Him with all our concerns, our dreams and the desires of our heart. He knows and loves us; He understands our situations and He wants and will work out the very best for us if we follow and trust in His way of doing things.

But when we worry we are in fact choosing not to trust Him to bring the best out for us in every situation which would be contrary to what He has promised in His word. When we fail to trust we essentially are believing that He is not faithful to His promises, which is believing a lie. Instead we feel the need to take the controls and try to make everything happen in our way, timing and plan which usually doesn’t work out so well, or with far more stress and upset than if we had just trusted God in the first place and stopped worrying.

Not worrying about tomorrow means we make our plans but we let the Lord daily direct our steps. It means waiting on Him each morning and seeking His direction and guidance for our day in everything – in our relationships, appointments, schedules, and time. We let Jesus “take the wheel” and allow Him to lead and direct, because He knows what we have to do and where we need and want to be, but He also has divine setups and appointments for us to walk in also. When we let Him lead us like that we can relax and just enjoy the day trusting that He will unfold and bring the best in our day. 

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Today whatever you are facing in life, whether that is relationship issues, jobs, education, family or a change in direction don’t fall into the trap of worrying and becoming anxious about it all. Instead take one day at a time; be thankful for the good things in each day and trust God to work out all things for your good both today, tomorrow and in the future.

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” (Romans 8:28 AMP)

Prayer: Lord I’m choosing to take one day at a time and to trust you to bring the best out in every circumstance, and to work all things for my good. Jesus you take the wheel today and be in full control of my life. In Jesus name Amen.

 

5 Jan – In my wake!

speedboat

I’ve discovered, and unfortunately often have to be reminded to take my eyes off the problems and drama’s happening around me, and instead look firmly ahead to what God’s purpose and plan for my life is.

Knowing what our purpose, passion and God given gifts are causes us to be motivated and empowered to move forward, rather than looking behind, or to the left or the right at what everyone else is saying or doing.

The “force” of our purpose and knowing what we are made to do and be, causes a momentum within us that protects us from the things or people who may drag us back or down. We’ll leave them in our wake, like a speedboat in motion leaves a wake in the water. A speed boat’s “wake” causes turbulence that is difficult to get over or through. The more momentum we have the bigger our wake, and the less “stuff” is able to attach itself or get on board our boat.

We are like that speedboat, when we have momentum and keep moving forward. Life’s drama’s, negativity, and the cares and concerns of the world are much less likely to get near us or drag us down when we are focused, and recognise what really matters in life.

However if we are constantly listening and looking at all the problems, other people’s issues, or just the noise around us, these become like weights climbing aboard our vessel. They serve as distractions and we can easily run the risk of entertaining these “weights” when we lose focus and start listening and looking at them.

The bible talks about the importance of keeping momentum in what God has called us to do and be. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,”

 “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.” (Hebrews 12:12-13)

Today make a decision to focus on your God given purpose and what you are motivated and passionate about. Focus on those things that bring joy, fulfilment, and are God’s plan for you. Think on, “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” and leave the rest in your wake. (Philippians 4:8),

Prayer: Lord please help me to remain focused and free from the weights that so easily try to entangle and drag me down. Give me strength and endurance to gain the momentum I need, and then wisdom to keep moving forward. In Jesus Name Amen.

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