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Dayle's Blog

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October 2018

22 Oct – Be kind

To be kind takes courage – courage to step out of our comfort zone to help another person. Courage to be kind even if that means risking loss or rejection in offering our kindness. However if we understand that being kind is less about us, and more about who we are being kind to it makes that stepping out in kindness far easier.

I’ve discovered that it is in experiencing God’s kindness towards me that continually leads me back to Him, even when I’ve messed up or failed. Receiving His kindness and love then enables me to reach out with that same kindness to others. 

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads to repentance”.(Romans 2:4)

God wants us to share kindness with those around us. Why? Because everyone no matter who they are desperately needs to see and experience kindness. Many people can go through the day never feeling the effects of kindness, never hearing an encouraging, positive word or smile. They are surrounded by negativity and hopelessness and are struggling. To be honest these people are often the people we retreat from and avoid, because they seem to be grumpy or difficult all the time. But kindness has the power to change that and simple acts of kindness can soften even the most hardened heart and work to heal a broken one.

The bible says “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

Kindness is powerful to effect change and healing in people’s lives.  Medical studies have found that there are huge benefits to us being kind. Not only does kindness make us and others feel good, studies have demonstrated that the psychological benefits are actually reflected in the circuitry of our brains. Being kind increases happiness, life satisfaction, and self-esteem and works for young and old, regardless of race, religion or social status.

Another interesting study revealed that kindness is found to be more attractive to people than good looks. So perhaps if you are looking for a date, partner, friend or even spouse, think about practicing kindness.

When we are being kind, even if they are a stranger, we’re saying your life matters. And in people’s often hectic world, even a small gesture of kindness can help lift a bad mood, brighten someone’s day and open hearts up to the goodness of God.

Today make the time to show kindness to those around you. It’s good for your health, your brain and mood. Plus you may just make someone’s day and even meet your soul mate or next best friend,

Prayer: Lord thank you for your great kindness towards me. Help me to share that kindness with others today and to look for opportunities to make someone else’s day. In Jesus name Amen.

21 Oct – Letting God in all the hidden places.

let god in

We can all get very good at only letting God and others see what we are comfortable with. However the thing about God is that He really wants to touch, refresh and fill with His presence even the hidden spaces and places of our lives that we perhaps have become very adept at covering up or tucking away out of sight. 

It’s much like when someone paints a house; it takes extra effort to paint in all the cupboards and nooks and crannies. We could easily just leave the clothes in the cupboards, the food in the pantry and not bother to move large furniture. We may think, “it’s okay, nobody will bother looking, it’s just the hidden areas so it doesn’t really matter”.

However when it comes to our internal world it does matter and God does see it all. Plus  He knows that eventually others will see and more often than not be affected by our hidden stuff too. God sees our “closets”, the attitudes, secret sins, habits, addictions, mindsets and anything else we try to push out of sight or cover up from others and even ourselves. Yet He still loves us unconditionally just the way we are. He accepts us, blesses and always wants to draw us close. But He also loves us far too much to leave us in the state we can get ourselves in. We may have fooled ourselves and everyone else but we can’t and don’t fool God. He sees and knows everything about us.

The bible tells us that, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

When we hide from God and “closet” away areas of our life it eventually will cause us to draw near to God only so far, until we come to a grinding halt. We get the feeling that we can’t go any further in our relationship because if we do, God or someone else might see the areas of our life we don’t want seen. Sometimes we also hide and try to ignore things about ourselves because bringing them out of the “closet” is just too painful, confronting or difficult.

But today I felt the Lord saying, “I see everything, even the hidden things and I want to be involved and to refresh and renew every area of people’s lives. I want to clothe you with my presence just like you would new paint, every “cupboard, nook, cranny and hidden area of people’s lives so that you won’t miss a thing I want to bless you with.”

Today, allow God into the hidden, closeted away areas of your life. He doesn’t want to harm or condemn you, but simply to give you new life in Him so that He can fill you with His presence, peace, blessing and joy.

“Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD” (Psalm 139:4).

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways” (Psalm 139:1-3).

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you” (Psalm 139:15-16).

Prayer: Lord please help me to be honest with myself and you about my life. I know that I have things that I keep hidden from others and sometimes even you. Would you please come and shine your light and presence into every area of my life so that I am no longer hiding. In Jesus Name Amen.

20 Oct – Letting go of “Stuff”

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Today I have been decluttering, which by definition is the process or activity of getting rid of mess and things you do not need or want from your home or other place. To declutter causes you to organise and prioritise one’s commitments and material possessions etc in order to make it more pleasant and useful.

We can have so much going on; so much noise, activity and things around us that we can all run the risk of missing what we actually want to be surrounded by and to hear and see. Our lives can quickly feel cluttered and the more clutter we have the less peaceful and focused we are.

When we declutter a room or area of our house a good way to get motivated and have some direction is to spend a few minutes visualising that room and thinking about how we want it to look. What are the most essential pieces of furniture? What doesn’t belong but has just gravitated there? What is on the floor (hint: only furniture and rugs belong there) and what is on the other flat surfaces? Once we’ve visualised how the room will look uncluttered and figured out what is essential, we can get rid of the rest.

The same can be said for our lives. It’s good to spend some time looking at our life, just as we would a room, and think about how we want it to look. What is most essential and beneficial and what doesn’t belong and has just gravitated into our lives? What is in the way, or crowding and cluttering our life – much like unnecessary things on a floor?

This is where I find it helpful to ask God to reveal his design for our lives. What does it look like to Him when I’m uncluttered, focused and free?What does He say is essential, and what does He say I need to surrender to Him or get rid of? I ask Holy Spirit to show me and to release that vision, because once I can visualise how my life will look uncluttered, I am far more likely to let Him have free rein and to move in my life and willingly let go of any “clutter”.

When our home is filled with clutter, trying to tackle a mountain of stuff can be quite overwhelming. Many advise to start with just five minutes. These baby steps are important; they are a start, and tomorrow we can take another five minutes and another few minutes the next day. Before we know it, we’ll have cleared a whole cupboard or a room and our whole house. 

The decluttering process works the same way in our emotional, spiritual and mental lives.  Start with taking five minutes today to ask Jesus where you can de-clutter your life. Then tomorrow do it again and then the next until you grow to love the de-cluttered feel, look and the freedom it brings.

God I believe is a fan of the decluttering process because He knows it is very hard for us to stay focused and live in true freedom if our lives are overflowing with “stuff”. When we allow God to have access to every area of our life we are can more easily see what we actually want to have in our life and to then ask ourselves the question, “Do I want any of this stuff or do I want to let go and make room for new things?”

I encourage you to take some time over the next few days to look at what you do want to move forward with in your life and what is, or has become clutter. What possessions, attitudes, relationships, mindsets or issues are not helpful, beneficial or necessary in your life, and what do you wish to keep? God wants to help so take the opportunity to pray and ask for Him to assist and guide you as you take the steps to look ahead and see what is possible. Then determine to let go of “stuff” and declutter your world.  

Let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us.”(Hebrews 12:1)

“Casting all your care on him; for he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you want me to live a life that is full of life and freedom. Help me to de-clutter my life, whether that be physically in my home or work, or in my inner world and relationships. Give me wisdom and clarity to know what to hold onto to, what to let go of and what to throw away. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

19 Oct -What kind of life do you want?

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Decide what kind of life you actually want and then say “no” to everything that isn’t that”.(Dr Caroline Leaf)

It sounds so simple but perhaps we often complicate things when we don’t need to, especially when we can seek God and His Word for what sort of life He wants for us and then filter everything we think, feel and do through those guidelines and promises.

The bible says, “Where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint”. (Prov 29:18 NIV) Or another translation of this verse says, “Where there is no clear prophetic vision people quickly wander astray. But when you follow the revelation of the word, heaven’s bliss fills your soul”. (Proverbs 29:18 TPT)

The life God wants for us is one where no matter how many successes we may have experienced or alternatively the loss, abuse or disappointment we may have suffered, God desires to restore and renew in some way whatever we’ve had stolen or lost and to bring exceedingly more blessing and increase into our lives.

However the decision is ours  as to whether we take the time to look into God’s Word and wait upon Him to speak and bring revelation as to the life He has uniquely planned for us, or whether we muddle along relying primarily on just our own ability and intellect. I say it a lot, but we can trust God in that whatever He has in store for us is good because He is good, and He will always exceed and do immeasurably more in and through our lives than we could ever ask, think, dream, pray for or possibly imagine on our own. (Ephesian 3:20) He promises to work all things out for our good, make seemingly impossible situations turn around in our favour, pour out His blessings and give us purpose, peace, joy and fulfilment in life.

Once we see what is possible when God is given the “drivers’ seat” of our lives (rather than a forgotten about passenger), it is up to us what we choose. Whether we choose God’s way of doing things on a daily basis, tapping into His supernatural, transforming power or we remain content with what we can make happen in our own strength and wisdom.

I encourage you to seek God out today and discover and choose wisely what sort of life you want; then begin and continue to walk that life out saying “NO” to everything and everyone that doesn’t look like what God has placed in your heart and instructed and promised in His Word for your life.

Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power energises you.” (Ephesians 3:20 TPT)

Now fear the Lord and serve Him wholeheartedly…but if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household we will serve the Lord.”(Joshua 24:14-15 NIV)

Prayer: Lord I’m asking for you to speak to me today from your Word and to reveal to me your plan and purposes for my life. Show me what kind of life you have for me and then please give me the strength and wisdom to say NO to anything that doesn’t look like that today. In Jesus name Amen.

 

18 Oct – Make room for something new

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God created the world with newness of life built into it’s design and every year we see that in the seasons. But it’s also how He created us. We are designed to grow and have new challenges, dreams, goals and vision. It constantly amazes me how we can always do far more than what we might have first thought, especially if we put our hearts and minds to it.

One of our daughters is always doing new things; it’s exciting to hear what she has been up to or is planning next. I think it’s a great habit to cultivate; looking and wanting to experience all that life has for us.

What we do everyday affects our hearts, minds, attitudes and spirits and doing new things can actually help to make new pathways in our brains. It also opens us up to  possibilities for God to move in our lives. For if we keep doing everything the same we can over time close ourselves off to life and even start to believe we don’t have a reason to get out of bed in the morning or begin to look to the future with no anticipation or hope.

Isaiah 35 in the Bible always encourages me. It is a proclamation of new life from God and reveals His desire to strengthen us even when we may feel weak or fearful of the future.

God says that the desert, which often symbolises the areas in our life which have become barren, shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; like rivers in the desert will He pour out His spirit on those who are thirsty.

Isaiah 35 says, “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,

Even with joy and singing… Strengthen the weak hands, And make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.

 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, And the thirsty land springs of water.” (Isaiah 35:1-7)

Be encouraged today and allow God to  release renewed excitement and anticipation for the future. Draw aside with Jesus and ask Him to shower you with His presence so that any barren, dry  places in your life can be filled with hope and a fresh vision planted within your heart.

It’s important to also understand that when God prompts us and we feel Him saying something that we choose to hold onto those NEW things and decide to run with them, rather than simply let them go or push them aside because it seems too hard or we give way to fear and uncertainty.

We get to choose everyday to “water” those seeds of hope and vision with prayer, God’s Word and believing or to kill them off with negativity and neglect. I really encourage you to hold onto whatever God releases because as it bears fruit in your life it will always be exceedingly more than you could of ever imagined possible on your own. (Ephesians 3:20)

Come to God and ask Him for  fresh hope and vision today! For He says, “Behold I will do a new thing, now it springs forth; shall you not know it.” (Isaiah 43:19)

Prayer: Thank you God that you love me so much. I ask that you restore, renew and release something straight from heaven into my life as I look for and make room for new things today. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

 

17 Oct – No more fear!

no more fear

Fear – it will attempt to paralyse us into inaction and keep us stuck in our current mindset and situation. It’s something that most, if not all of us face at one time or another but to move forward and become all that we were created to be we must face our fears.

I’ve realised in my own life that fear has stopped or hindered me more times than I’d like to admit. Mainly because I have listened to fear’s voice and believed its lies. Fear knows how to remind us of our failures, shortcomings, disappointments and whispers to us of our deepest doubts and insecurities in an effort to hinder and prevent us from stepping out and moving forward.

However fear has something that its whisperings lies cannot combat. Fear is no match for the perfect, overriding goodness and love of God and His concern, care and plan for our lives. The bible says that “perfect love casts out all fear”, and that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind”. (1 John 4:8; 2 Tim 1:7)

When I choose to fill my heart and mind with what God says and to focus on my future rather than my past that love – His love for me and in me wins over fear every time. As I shift my focus off fear and look to God and His goodness instead I start to see what is possible and how God is working on my behalf. My expectation begins to change, my thoughts become clearer and I can see the light up ahead and which way to go. Essentially fear with its what if’s and doubts has to move aside and make way for my future as I fix my eyes on Jesus and who He says I am.

The bible says it this way: “We must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us. We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 TPT)

Today I encourage you to face your fears head on and bring them out of the shadows and into the light. For where the light shines on the darkness  we can begin to challenge wrong thinking and feelings and replace them with truth and hope. Instead of believing lies or “what if’s” we can overcome fear with faith and any doubts with God’s goodness and promises.

Smash fear in the face today knowing it’s no match for God’s love and goodness, and then get up and start running into all that you dreamed your life could and should be.

 “The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”(Psalm 121:7-8 NIV)

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18 NLT)

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

Prayer: Lord thankyou that my life is in your hands and that I have nothing to fear for you are with me. Please help me to be honest about the  fearful things in my heart and the thoughts in my head that can often hold me back or cause me to be distracted with anxiety and worry. I give those things to you today and know that your perfect love for me casts out all fear. My future is bright and good things are happening for me today as you go before me to lead the way. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

 

16 Oct – The Tapestry

tapestry

I’ve been having this conversation with God lately asking Him where and what He’d like me to do.

Before we were even born God had a plan for each of our lives and good works for us to walk in. (Kph 2:10) Repeatedly in His Word we can see how people have always been involved in the telling and unfolding of God’s story and His heart to draw all men and women, young and old to Himself. That story has never changed and the sharing of it has been interwoven through many lives like a giant multi coloured tapestry handed down from generation to generation. Each person in Gods hands is like a unique thread used to unfold both their individual stories and His bigger plan….until it comes to now rest upon us.

Each thread had and has a part to play. We all have gifts, abilities, talents and potential which God desires for us to use to impact and mark our paricular generation. When we push aside, run from God, allow discouragement or fail to realise just how much potential and power we have residing within us we csn essentially hinder God being able to thread us into position or dull our colour, vibrancy and unique place in history.

We have all been made in Gods image. We all have a purpose for our existence and tremendous potential and God ordained opportunities to impart and impact something of worth and value and to yes..change the world.

Today consider what or where are you holding back? What gifts, talents or potential are you discounting because you may have become discouraged, disappointed or compared yourself to others and counted what you have as unimportant?

Who you are may at times look insignificant, unspectacular or not as interesting as others, but what you carry within you in the hands of God is a thread that He will, if you allow Him to make all the difference in a world that so often wants everyone to be monotone.

“God’s been waiting, will you give Him the opportunity to begin weaving?”

“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 NIV)

“So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.” (Ephesians 5:16-17 The Message)

Prayer: Lord help me to not underestimate the value of who I am and what you have deposited on the inside of me. Please help me today to take the necessary steps to grow in my potential, to use my gifts and to trust you to place and position me so that I continually make the most of the life you have given me as you weave the tapestry of my story within yours. In Jesus name Amen.

15 Oct – Come away and rest

come away

Rest is imperative to our health, but unfortunately we can feel guilty when we aren’t producing anything or when we do try to slow down and rest. However it’s through rest that we rebuild, rewire and are renewed. Studies have discovered that the inner subcellular of our heart cells are functionally replaced in three days; a process that takes place during rest. The process is fast. The skin on our face is replaced in two weeks and our gut lining cells take two days.

While sleeping there are amazing things happening within us that are adversely affected when we don’t rest. In deep sleep we categorise the acts and motions of the day which causes changes in our brain circuitry, plus the releasing of creativity and dreams. It’s also as we sleep that new brain cells for the next day are created.

God’s word also tells us clearly that God rested and we don’t really get the picture of God being lazy or unproductive. In Genesis, the story of creation tells us that;

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2:2-3)

A lifestyle of ceaseless labour day after day, no matter how noble or worthy our cause, is not good for us, nor pleasing to the God. God chose to rest setting an example for us that we are designed and created to follow.

Jesus illustrated this model in that He and his disciples often withdrew from people and activity in order to rest and commune with the Father.

The news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:15-16)

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31 NIV)

Interestingly Jesus withdrew to rest from the demands of the day at the height of his popularity. There were literally thousands and thousands of people crying out for Jesus to heal, teach and bless them. The need and opportunities were great and yet Jesus chose to rest and take time off because He understood that if He was to accomplish His purpose he had to remain spiritually, physically and mentally strong. And that required regular times of prayer, rest and recuperation.

Rest is the invisible part of our time that rebuilds and remakes us every day.  Without adequate rest we will suffer and struggle to fulfil those things that God has placed in our hearts to enjoy, experience and accomplish.

Today determine to take more time to rest. Schedule rest and recuperation time in your diary and day and honour that time as just important as the other more visible productive parts of your life.

Prayer: Lord help me to understand the importance of rest and to set aside a regular time to cease from all my activity and labour so that I can recuperate, reflect, relax, and fully rest. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

14 Oct – Be someone worth listening to

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Reckless words are something that many of us have suffered from, or inflicted upon others. Sarcasm, complaining and negative words can affect us far more than we might expect, and sadly we can become so used to saying or hearing reckless words that we become desensitized to them.

The bible talks about the power of our words, and teaches us that, “the words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing”. (Proverbs 12:18)

When we use our words carelessly they can be just like a razor sharp sword, which we use to thrust indiscriminately into or around other people, causing havoc wherever we go. In contrast is the person whose words are like a healing balm; encouraging, lifting up, and bringing wisdom and grace into every situation.

Deep down I think most of us want to be a person whose words are of value, and are worth listening to. We all, to some degree want to be heard, and I don’t think any of us want to be remembered as someone who was a “brute” or an “old shrew” with the words we spoke, or were known for.

What we put into our life is what will come out. For out of the mouth the heart speaks.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of”. (Luke 6:45)

If we want our speech to be gracious and full of praise, encouragement and inspiration, then God teaches us in His word to fill our lives with those things. Instead of focusing on how often we “mess up” with the words we speak; how often we gossip, criticise, and are hurtful, or fearful in our words, God simply says come to Him and ask for forgiveness for our negative speech. He then encourages us to e focus and fill our minds and hearts with what is positive and loving it will over time flush out the negative.

Today, do a word inventory and check your speech. Surround yourself with people who are wise with their words, listen to faith filled, positive words, and choose to only read those words which are of benefit to you.

Ask forgiveness if you need to, and make a decision to be a person who speaks wisdom and healing wherever you go.

“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)

Prayer: Lord please forgive me for my words when they have been negative, and I have hurt both others and myself by speaking them. Help me to surround myself with words of wisdom and grace so that my words are worth listening to. Would you please “set a guard over my mouth, LORD; and keep watch over the door of my lips”. (Psalm 141:3) In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

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