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Dayle's Blog

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September 2018

30 Sept – Change

change 2

To change should mean to grow.

We all have the capacity for massive growth and development in every area of our lives.

It really is fear and pride that causes a person to have the attitude: “This is who I am, either like it or lump it”

I read an article about marriage, but it really covers an attitude for all or our lives and relationships: It said, “We may fall in love with any kind of person, but the person we choose to marry must embody one particular quality: they must be committed to constant change and transformation. We should not choose someone who is perfect. We should choose someone who is perfectly aware they aren’tperfect, and who wants to get better with every day. We marry people because we like who they are. But people change. Plan on it. Don’t marry someone because of who they are, or who you want them to become. Marry them because of who they are determined to become. And then spend a lifetime joining them in their becoming, as they join you in yours.”

There is something powerful about a commitment to change and transformation, and about a person who has vision and purpose and desires to change for the better.

That type of person has a special quality about them, they know who they want to become, and are committed to growth and transformation.

God has an invitation into our lives when we have that sort of attitude. He loves us just the way we are. He accepts us just how we are, but He also loves us too much to leave us like that.

The change we need most is not in our circumstances, but in ourselves.

Today determine to become a person who makes a commitment to growth and transformation. Invite God into every area of your life to grow and develop you to be all that you can be.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will”. (Romans 12:2)

Prayer: Lord please help me to face change in a positive way and to embrace the process so that I can continue to grow. In Jesus name Amen.

29 Sept – God is in a good mood

god isn't made with you

In life we can often fear things, but maybe our biggest fear when we have acknowledged that there is in fact a God, is that He is NOT in a good mood, and especially that He may not be in a good mood with us personally.

Perhaps that’s why Jesus said what He did when He stated, “Fear not, little flock, “For it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

What fear is Jesus trying to eliminate here?

He is trying to eliminate the fear that God is not the kind of God who really wants to be good to His children. This fear can rise up in our hearts causing us to feel that God does not want to be gracious to us, that He does not want to be generous and helpful to us. We  think of God as one who is basically annoyed, angry and intent on judging us all the time.

Sometimes even if we believe in our heads that God is good, we may feel in our hearts that the wisest thing we can do is stay out of His way and maybe if we keep the rules okay, we’ll sneak by him when he is in one of his good moods.

The problem with this thinking and fear is that we’ll never really know where we stand or whether we can depend upon God. That belief may have come from our own experiences with our earthly fathers, and not knowing what we were ever going to get. It perhaps came from having to avoid their bad moods, or learning to expect their inconsistencies and the likelihood of them hurting and disappointing us.

However if we judge God through the lens of our earthly father’s we may very well always live without the love an assurance our heavenly Father so much wants to give each of us. We may never experience fully the capacity of His love for us, His willingness to answer our prayers, and His help and blessing in the things we pray, hope, and dream for, because in our fear we hold Him at arms length.

But Jesus makes a point of telling us that this is not how our Father God is, or how He feels about us. He says, “Fear not little flock.” In others words, don’t be afraid, God delights to do good things for you, and is busy thinking up all the ways He can bless and love on us personally. It’s His good pleasure to give us the Kingdom.

Good pleasure means that God does it gladly. It’s God’s joy, desire, hope and pleasure and delight to give the kingdom – all He has, to us.

Numbers 6:24-26 says these words,“The LORD bless you, and keep you; The Lord make HIs face shine on you, And be gracious to you: The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.‘…(Numbers 6:24-26)

Today if you happen to wonder whether God is for you and is helping with all that you face, remember He is in fact in a good mood and His attention is directed right at you. This is as a sign of the favour, esteem, approval and the love you have in His sight and that you indeed have nothing to fear.

 If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things?”(Romans 8: 31-32)

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you love me and that I don’t have to live in fear of you being in a bad mood. Help me to see where incorrect thinking or feelings about you have affected my life and relationship with you and what I expect. Please heal my heart where I may have been hurt or disappointed by my own earthly parents. In Jesus name Amen.

28 Sept – He made me look up from the floor

he made me look up

There is something special about someone you like or love coming to find you. As in the movies when the girl or the guy is all set to leave and the other person jumps on a plane, speeds along a busy freeway, or climbs over a mass of people at a busy train station to loudly declare their undying love…

But I know an even better tale of love which is recounted in Luke 13:10-17 in the bible and tells of how Jesus healed a woman who had been bent over double for 18 years.

Jesus was teaching in a meeting and there was a woman who was suffering with some sort of spinal fusion which caused her body to be bent over. She had spent 18 years staring at the floor, unable to stand or sit, or even to straighten up her crooked back.

Many people had been healed as they came to Jesus and asked Him for healing, but this woman did not ask. Maybe she couldn’t move fast enough to reach Jesus to ask, or perhaps she couldn’t even look up to be able to see where He was. But Jesus saw her, and better than any other love story or heroic dash to airports or train stations Jesus not only saw this poor bent over woman, He also called out to her. He called and went to her with deep love and compassion for her tragic circumstances and said, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity. And laying His hands on her, she immediately was made straight.” (Luke 13:13)

There may be times when we think God does not even notice us, especially when we feel like we are bent over like the woman Jesus healed. But He does, and just as He called out to the bent over woman who had spent the previous 18 years staring at the floor, He calls out to each and every one of us. He sees and notices us amongst all the noise; the mistakes, the distractions and anything else that may prevent us from seeing or coming to Him. He calls out to us and offers to heal, restore, rescue and remind us of who we truely are. He calls out to us even when we may not be able to see Him because we are struggling to look up from the floor.

Today listen out for His voice, for just as Jesus laid his hands upon the bent over woman and she was immediately healed, He will be calling you and wanting to meet your every need today.  That woman no longer had to spend her life staring at the floor, but was able to fully look up at the one who had made the effort and sacrifice to leave His home and come looking for her, and He’ll do the same for you too.

This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.” (1 John 4:9-11 The Message)

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Prayer: Lord I don’t want to spend any more time staring at the floor, or being fused in one spot where I feel like I can’t go anywhere. I want to be free to really live the life you left heaven to come and give to me. I receive that life you offer today. In Jesus name Amen.

 

27 Sept – Surrender

surrender

Surrender is to stop fighting and resisting and surrendering to God works the same way. God has a plan for our lives, and surrendering to Him means we set aside our own plans and eagerly seek His. The best part of surrendering to God is that He always, always has our best interests at heart and a plan for our lives which will exceed anything we could ever think, pray, dream or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20; Jeremiah 29:11)

The best part is that the more areas of our lives we surrender to Him, the more room there is for God’s goodness and power to fill our lives, and the more we resemble Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Surrender however is sometimes difficult and I’ve discovered that this is usually the case when I forget to keep looking at Jesus and His promises, and instead turn my attention to view my circumstances through natural eyes. When I do that I am far more inclined to hold onto people and things too tightly and begin to worry, fret, and start making decisions from a place of fear and doubt rather than trust and faith.

Which is why God wants us to surrender in the first place. When we surrender we no longer have to make it all happen on our own, for it is not in our own strength that we live but in His. Plus it’s very hard for God to get anything to us when we are holding onto our lives so tightly we can’t receive anything He has to offer. We fear letting go, but without that letting go and surrendering our will and plans we cannot see or take hold of the amazing, fulfilling life that He has to freely give us.

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

Today I encourage you to look again at God’s promises in His Word and to examine your heart as to whether you are letting go in surrender of your life, so that God can then give you the overflowing, joy filled, God kind of life that He has planned for you all along. It will be different, sometimes a little wild, and often take you out of your comfort zone but you can be sure that instead of looking back with regret you will know a life that is pleasing to God, one of fulfilment and one amazing adventure.

“Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions.
With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make.  Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go.”
(Proverbs 3:5-6 TPT)

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”(Matthew 16:24-25)

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”(Galatians 2:20 NIV)

Prayer: Lord you are good and I know that the plans you have for my life are full of hope and an amazing future. Please help me to trust you more so that I let go in surrender knowing that you hold my life and plans securely in your hands. In Jesus name amen.

26 Sept – Learning to rest, not quit!

learn to rest

Many people know what it is to be tired and fatigued at some point in their lives. To feel weary, which by definition is an extreme tiredness; fatigue and reluctance to see or experience any more of anything!

The truth however is that most things that are worth doing are going to push and stretch us out of our comfort zones. Things which at some stage will make us feel weary and even tempt us to quit.

This weariness and the desire to quit is especially prevalent when it looks like we might  have failed, and failure is what many people are afraid of. But perhaps as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” It’s better to at least try something than never try at all. Failure is not the end of the world, and any mistakes we make are proof that we are trying and hopefully learning along the way.

I’ve had my share of failures and weariness; from feeling like I could have done better with our kids, other relationships, leadership and just life in general. But I’ve also learnt some keys on how to keep going and not to quit!

Learn to rest, not to quit. Seek balance – work hard, but remember to have fun; to rest, recharge, and prosper your soul; which means discovering what brings us joy, rest and refreshing. Downtime is vital so we must make ourselves take some. Jesus set this example for us when He encourages His disciples to come away from the needy crowds so they could all rest awhile. (Mark 6:31)

Stop looking at the problems. Jesus said there would be problems, but He also said He has overcome them. Don’t keep looking at the problem or what everyone else is doing or saying – look at Jesus and listen to and believe Him! “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Stand firm –be resolute, stubborn, tenacious, and choose to act and think upon who God says you are, and what you are capable of in Him. Sometimes we just have to dig deep into who we are, and God’s strength in us, and stand firm!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” ((Philippians 4:13),

If God is for us who can be against us.”(Romans 8:31)

Put on the full armour of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

Choose your words – Having six babies I know what it is to be so tired I felt physically ill. I’d say, “I’m so tired” all the time. But then God started to tell me to stop saying I’m tired all the time, and to instead speak positive, energising words. It worked! I’ve learnt to speak only what He said about my body, my situation, my future, family, nation, and His plan for my life. “He says, “Let the weak say they are strong” (Joel 3:10).Our bodies listen to what we say, and all of creation responds to faith filled words. Learn to speak the promises in God’s word because “He is watching over his word to perform it!(Jeremiah 1:12)

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” (Proverbs 13:3)

Choose friends well – when fighting weariness we need to have friends who will be there alongside us; who will listen, be willing to reach out to help, will pray with faith, encourage, inspire and spur us on so that we will not give up! “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour, for if they fall, one will lift up his companion.”(Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

God is faithful and promises to give strength to the weary, and to help us keep going so that will will in due time reap a harvest.

“He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”(Isaiah 40:20-30)

Feeling weary or a failure today? Then look up, learn from your mistakes, take a rest and prosper your soul, turn to Jesus for strength and help, and just keep going; and don’t you quit!

“Let’s do it – full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. God always keeps His Word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshipping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25 The Message Bible)

25 Sept -Reflection time

reflection

It’s that time of the year again where my lovely husband starts reflecting on the past year. It’s his yearly thing to do and as a family we are now pretty used to this annual event.

Reflection is actually not a bad thing to do as it means think, have consideration, study, ponder, mediate and contemplate. Which is interesting because for the most part our fast paced, production focused world doesn’t give much time for reflection.

Which is probably why most people don’t slow down long enough to reflect on their day, let alone their year. But without reflection how can we ascertain how we are travelling through life, take stock of our health, relationships, spiritual journey, whether we are dealing with our hurts and disappointments or carrying them around with us, and readjust and refocus on our goals and the dreams God has placed in our hearts.

Taking the time to slow down, to breathe, think deeply, listen to our hearts, to God and to reflect on who we are, who God is and His plan for our life is one of the best ways to keep growing and developing into all that we were created to be.

The bible says, “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.” (Proverbs 27:10 ESV)  Yet without reflection we can miss what is buried within our hearts and therefore push aside issues that need our attention and also God’s plans and purposes and strategy to fulfil them.

Today ask yourself why don’t I stop and take more time to reflect? Is it because I am afraid of what I might have to face, or of my disappointment because of the course my life has taken? Or am I so rushed and exhausted I simply don’t stop long enough?

A solution is to prioritise some time to reflect with Jesus. He will help and enable us to see the hidden things of our hearts and our lives through His perspective and plan. Where we feel we have failed or have disappointments and frustrations He will, if we ask Him give us wisdom  to make better decisions, heal our hurts, energise us to keep on going on our journey and direct us in the right paths to take. Where we are achieving our dreams and goals He will encourage us to dream bigger and also teach us how to inspire others to do the same.

I encourage you to schedule in some quiet space to be able to reflect: to ponder, contemplate and consider all that you are thinking, feeling and doing so that you continue to grow for, “life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards”. (Soren Kierkegaard)

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Prayer:Lord thankyou for this day and your hand upon my life. Please help me to take some time to stop, reflect and listen to your guidance so that I can continue to grow into all that you created me to be. In Jesus name

24 Sept – Perfect peace

perfect peace 2

I woke up this morning and read this promise. 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 hope like this it is an activity of the mind that changes the structure of our brain in a positive and normal 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, I encourage you to 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  He promises that, “He will keep us in perfect peace when our minds are fixed on Him.”

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 learn and 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.

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.” (John 14:27)

 

23 Sept – Better together (back to basics pt 4)

better together

When we look at the basics of walking with Jesus it’s not just about an experience or head knowledge of Him, but also about really knowing Him as a friend. That we would not do, think and say nothing that would offend him, just as we would hopefully treat any loved one in our life.

When we pay close attention to the basics of Christian living it helps us to remain  aware of Him throughout our day. The basics are easily remembered in a simple “wheel diagram”. Prayer, and study of God,and service and community. Having all four firmly in place assist us in making our life flow, rather than feeling like we are on a bumpy ride all the time. (See posts 23-25 May)

4.Community / Fellowship

Our English word, “fellowship” is the translation of the Greek word, “koinonia.” It’s from that word that the word, “fellowship,” is derived from. It means “to hold something in common“. To have relationships that are dependent on more than one individual and to be an interdependent relationship.

Our fellowship with others is affected by our relationship with Jesus as our inner unity is expressed outwardly and in our ability to connect with others. It is not just doing something together but also in working, serving and being together so as to be a blessing!

When we have the basics of prayer and study to know and love God more, our outward expressions of serving and living in community with others causes us to be “better together”. We are able to connect as a “body” of people as we all have a part to play, not independently doing our own thing, but connecting together for the greater good.

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

God encourages us, “to stir up love and good works, not forsaking meeting together” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

The simple act of getting together doesn’t however achieve the goal of fellowship. It’s how we  treat each other while we are together that is crucial.

Jesus put the concept of true community in a nutshell when he said, ”A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35)

Sometimes we would prefer “going it alone”, or having the mentality of “I’ll get done faster if I just do it myself”, and “I don’t need anybody else”. But there is both wisdom and power in community and the steadying strength and support it can bring to our lives.

The bible sums it up pretty well. “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up? Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?…And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11)

God has people that He wants us to connect with because with them in our life we are better together.

Prayer: Lord I thank you you that I am never alone. Help me to appreciate the power of community and relationship with others, and to deal with any negative feelings or past hurts. Please bring those people that you desire to be in my life into closer relationship with me. In Jesus Name Amen.

22 Sept – Looking outwards

mother teresa

God loves for us to grow into all that He created us to be. He delights when we prosper as people. However it’s also important to remember that in all the blessings of God on our lives  it’s not ever meant to be just about us. God also wants to equip and energize us to be able to serve others, and to on occasion turn our focus outwards as He works through us to affect the world for good and to share The Blessing.

The first step then is to take on the thought of giving and acts of service as an outworking and overflow of the fullness in our hearts of knowing and discovering God. Service stems from how we have connected in prayer and how we have grown to love Jesus more through getting to know Him. For it is God’s love in us that ultimately motivates us to consistently be able to serve others.

Mother Teresa said, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.
She also said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” Which is a great reminder that it’s not all about what we do, but how we do it. We prevent serving becoming just another thing to do when we focus on serving with great love, regardless of how big or small it is.

We don’t have to make serving God and others a “work” that we have to drag up from somewhere inside ourselves. If we feel like its a chore then it’s a good idea to check how  our relationship with Jesus is going and to check on our prayer life and pursuit of knowing Him is going. (See Blogs 20-21st Sept). For we give and serve most effectively and joyfully when it comes from the overflow of our hearts.

Today I encourage you to spend some time with Jesus and to then listen to the promptings He gives of where and how to serve others.

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone,”(Galatians 6:10)

So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might,” (Colossians 1:10-12)

Prayer: Lord please help me to understand that serving is not to be meant to be a chore, but an overflow of my heart and love for you and my fellow man. When I am striving or making it all about “works” please remind me to strengthen myself in you, so that serving becomes a joy again.  In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

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