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June 2019

30 June – Honour what you have

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Focusing on what we don’t have is a sure fire guarantee that we will go through life in a state of frustration and dissatisfaction. Even when desires are fulfilled many people still don’t feel happy because they simply move onto the next thing they are wanting and forget to honour God with what He has blessed them with already.

An antidote to living in this state of dissatisfaction is to learn to honour and be grateful for what we have now. Instead of looking at our job, home, looks, partner, relationships or anything else in our life and wishing they were different we can honour what we have already and look for the positives and the attributes we do appreciate rather than the things we don’t like about our lives. Rather than complaining about our job, workplace, family, church or wherever we spend our time, we can honour and respect what we do have in these things and remember to be grateful. When we do that we get into doing things God’s way and our perspective changes and He brings the increase. 

For example rather than complaining about not being able to go on holiday, we can think of ways to have fun at home. Some people even go to the airport in their city and then act as if they are tourists visiting for the first time. They have a great time exploring and seeing their home with fresh eyes.

If we honour and hold in high esteem what we have we end up focusing on the good things about our life and consequently we become more patient, loving, considerate, satisfied, grateful, take hold of opportunities, bounce back from disappointments far easier and have more fun in life.

When we honour what we have God also knows that He can trust us with more. He knows we won’t just brush aside His hand of blessing on our lives. That we will appreciate the people He brings into our world, the children He blesses us with and the work, gifts and talents He bestows upon us. When we honour what we have He knows we can be trusted with greater things.

Whoever is faithful with very little will also be faithful with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. If then, you have not been faithful with worldly wealth, who will entrust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:10-12)

Today honour and give thanks for what you have, rather than what you don’t. As you do you’ll start to make the most of the good things in your life and respect and honour them. Then God will trust you with more.

Prayer: Lord please help me to have eyes to see and a heart to acknowledge all that I have in my life. That I would not spend my time and energy always looking at what I don’t have and therefore miss everything I have already been blessed with. I honour and give you thanks for everything and everyone in my life today and especially that I can know you. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

29 June – Honour

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Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about honour – the quality of knowing and doing what is morally right, of fulfilling an obligation and commitment and regarding someone or something with great respect and high esteem.

The bible says to honour God, our Mother and Father, widows, marriage, our leaders and those who serve. To honour one another and to give honour to whom honour is due (Exodus 20:12; Duet 5:16; Matt 15:4 1 Thess 15:13; Heb 13:4; Rom 12:10; 13:7)

Honour acts like a check point and guide post for our thoughts, behaviour and beliefs and is something my husband and I have tried to teach our children and those we lead. To honour their bodies, intellect, gifts, calling, purpose, relationships, other people and their relationship with God.

In looking at what the bible says it would be fair to say that honour is the culture of heaven and highly important to God. He wants us to value and hold Him in high esteem as well as other people and ourselves.

When we honour God we respect who He is and what He says and hold in high regard His word and directives to us.

When we honour ourselves and others it leads us to live very differently because we choose to honour by caring for and not cheapening or dragging ourselves down through our actions or beliefs. We know we are valuable and we consequently behave accordingly.

The consequences of not honouring is that dishonour or a failure to observe or respect someone or something will cause shame, disgrace and discredit. When we dishonour we cheapen and drag down what was once honourable and highly esteemed and we miss God’s best for our lives.

Without integrity and honour, having everything means nothing”. (R. Sharma)

Today I encourage you to treat yourself with honour and respect because you were created in the image of God and are highly valued by Him. He put a lot of thought and planning into making you and bestowing gifts and a purpose into your life. Don’t cheapen the honour He has placed in and upon you by being and believing about yourself less than who He says you are. We also actually honour and glorify God the most when we rise up to be the person we were created to be and refuse to allow ourselves to be discredited or dragged down by ours or other people’s wrong thinking, actions and behaviour towards us or in our conduct.

Choose the way of  honour today!

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love, give preference to one another in honour”.(Romans 12:10)

“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonourable, he will be a vessel for honourable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”(2 Tim 2:21)

Prayer: Lord would you please forgive me where I have treated you and others with dishonour and disrespect or have allowed myself to be discredited and dragged down because I undervalued my worth. Please help me to make honour a central value in my life and that I would seek to honour you in all I am, say and do from now on. In Jesus name Amen.

28 June – How do I know?

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There is a question that most people ask themselves at one time or another. It’s, “How do I know I’m heading in the right direction?”

This question could be in reference to many things that involve a risk or change of some sort such as starting a business, changing employment or career paths, beginning a new relationship, getting married, starting a family, choosing a school or university, even taking a holiday or travelling overseas. Every time we begin something new or venture out we have the same question, “Am I heading in the right direction and how will I know?”

“How will I know?” The fact is we often don’t know 100%. We don’t know for sure everything we try or embark upon is going to work out exactly as planned, or always be a resounding success. There will probably always be some questions, anxiety and lingering doubts and fears. But courage is not an absence of these feelings; courage is acting even when we do have these fears.

The “How do I know I’m heading in the right direction”  question is in fact a perfect opportunity for our faith and trust in God goodness to be activated and for us to put ourselves out there and to grow. The unfortunate alternative is to continually vacillate over which direction to take so that in the end we do nothing, experience little, go nowhere, and miss out.

A reporter once asked Mother Teresa what it was like to have absolute, total clarity in life, to which she responded:

I have never had clarity. What I have always had is trust.”

When we don’t know or are unsure of which direction to take we are forced if we are smart to look beyond ourselves. To look to God for wisdom and clarity and to allow others that He draws around us to help and speak into our lives. As we launch out in a particular direction we often in fact access courage, skills and abilities we didn’t realise we had, and amazingly with God’s help and hand upon our lives it usually works out. Perhaps at times a little different from what we first envisaged, but nevertheless it works out.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them”. (Romans 8:28)

Today don’t just sit there. If you don’t know what to do, and which direction to take seek God, and then do something.

As you begin to move in a particular direction keep asking questions, keep praying, keep listening and being willing to adjust and shift tact and direction where needed. Look for the open doors and opportunities and the “red flashing warning lights” to not go there. Pay attention to the answers that present themselves along the way and keep trusting God to lead you step by step. Then sooner or later you’ll realise you’ve figured it out and will reach your destination.

But remember there is only one thing that gets us heading in a direction at all and that’s taking that first step, whilst we trust God to lead.

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:29)

And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left”. (Isaiah 30:21)

In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight”. (Proverbs 3:6)

Prayer: Lord please help me to trust you to set me in the right direction. I trust you to guide me today and to take care of me as you guide my steps. In Jesus name Amen

27 June – Take a Moment

 

I’m continually endeavouring to remind myself that everyday is a gift from God and so not to live my day in a negative, stressed and distracted state of mind. To essentially seek to live in the moment I’m in.

God’s word encourages us to; “Look carefully how you walk! Live purposely and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people). Making the most of the time (buying up each opportunity) because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is”.(Ephesians 5:15-17 amplified)

In our world there are so many distractions and it’s easy to miss what God is doing right in front of us, so an antidote to these distractions is to choose to really open our eyes to see, our ears to hear and our spirits and senses to feel and perceive what is all around us.

If you are with your children, your friends and those significant people in your life, then BE with them. Laugh with them, cry with them, listen to them, play with them and pray for them. Lock eyes with who you are with and BE with them. Turn your mind and heart to what God is doing right in front of you and stop yourself from thinking on 100 other things, or running ahead to other issues, problems and people.

The truth is if we value living in the moment, we will live in the moment.

When we are seeking to live in the moment an important thing to remember is that technology was made for man, not man for technology. Sometimes it is a good decision to turn off our phone, shut down the computer, switch off the television and most importantly discipline our minds to be present. To get into the practice of listening well and honouring others with our purposeful presence.

Our undivided attention in the moment says you love and care, because we have this one moment and then it is gone forever, so choose to live in the moment and trust God with all the things that so often scream for your attention and time. Give your life to those things that are important and not the things that seem urgent.

Today practice living in the moment. Seize the moment with Jesus and don’t push Him to the bottom of the list of who is important, because He really does and will make every other moment better. Live in the moment with those you love and remember in amongst it all to take a moment for your self and enjoy your day and all the wonderful things in it.

Prayer: Lord help me to embrace the day and to take some time with you and to keep focused on who and what you’ve called me to be. Please help me to make moments with those I love so that I won’t miss those experiences that are right in front of me simply because I get too distracted and weighed down with things that don’t really matter. In Jesus Name Amen.

26 June – A Beautiful Mess

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Tonight I was spending some time with one of our daughters and teaching her how to paint pour. Paint pouring is a technique where you let the paint do what it wants to while you gently direct it to flow across the canvas. As I talked my daughter through what to do using this technique I realised she was hesitant and not feeling confident  because she didn’t want to make a mistake or for it not to work out. At first she didn’t like how the colors were mixing together on the canvas and was disappointed.  I told her to change how she was moving the paint by tilting the canvas a different way and all of a sudden the whole picture changed as the colours merged together and came to life.

With paint pouring, as with many things in life what you first see can rapidly change as you make a different move, trust yourself and just let what is meant to happen happen.  Yet to do that you have to get over the fear of making a mess or mistake and just get your hands and heart completely involved.

As I paint and also contemplate life I’m discovering more and more what a liberating and wonderful gift to give ourselves is the freedom to make a so called mistake or mess.  

All the well known explorers, artists and fore runners had to face the fear of failure, disappointment and the pain of perhaps making a mistake. But they chose to risk it because the regret of not trying to them was worse than the regret of making a mistake.

I believe God wants us to really know and experience freedom.  He doesn’t want us limited by our fear of regret or failure and promises to  give us wisdom and to guide and help us as we ask. If we do happen to make a mistake, He promises to be there to prevent us from totally falling.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you“. (James 1:5)

The LORD supports everyone who falls and raises up those who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:14)

Don’t let a fear of making a mess or mistake hold you back. Beautiful things happen when we trust both God and ourselves and choose to go for it. 

Prayer: Lord thank you that you give me wisdom and the space to learn and grow. Please help me to live free from the fear of making a mistake or mess and give me courage to be all you have made me to be.  I want to really live – with no regrets! In Jesus name. Amen

25 June – Everything’s going to be Alright

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“If we knew that everything was going to be alright and we were going to be ok, how would we be today?”

Would we be as stressed about the things of our day or would we choose to just get as much enjoyment out of the day as possible?

Taking the attitude that “everything’s alright” can change our perspective completely.

Instead of spending our day just surviving and getting anxious or stressed we can look at the circumstances of our day and choose to smile, relax and enjoy it! To enjoy the journey, the experience, the living of our day.

Recently I’d had a busy weekend, it was Monday and the week looked just as busy. I could feel my anxiety levels rising.

Then I had this thought, straight from Heaven I think.

If you knew everything was going to be ok and YOU were going to be ok, how would you be today?”

At that point I was reminded of God’s promises.

That if He is for us, who can be against us. That neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:31, 39)

As I thought about everything being ok, I started smiling and peace replaced my anxious thoughts.

What a relief to know that EVERYTHING in our lives when we walk with Jesus is going to be ok in the long run. He is for us, He is with us, Heaven is cheering us on.

WE are going to be ok. We may hit a few potholes on the road along the way; maybe even get a few bumps and bruises, BUT WE WILL BE OKAY!

So I’m “choosing” to relax and enjoy the day regardless because God says EVERYTHING’S ALRIGHT!

 

24 June – Hear and Do

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How often do we hear, read, dream or discern something and know that we should listen and take it to heart but we fail to act. Instead we allow ourselves to be distracted and hesitate to take the time to listen carefully and then act accordingly. We fail to be what the bible describes as, “a person who is both a doer of the word, and not just one who hears.”

 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the world and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”(James 1:22-25)

Perhaps it is our maturity level, wilfulness and if we are honest our tendency to not want to listen but simply continue on the path we are on. We don’t want to be interrupted or have to change. Even when God clearly speaks to us through His word or some other means we persist in what we want to do and don’t realise or acknowledge that when God speaks and directs it’s for a very good reason! He desires to lead us away from danger, life’s pitfalls and the things that are going to damage us. He instead seeks to direct us towards the path of blessing, meaning and purpose.

God says in His word, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you.” (Psalm 82:8-9)

“Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. “If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea. (Isaiah 48:17-18)

Today, I encourage you to both listen and act! When God speaks or you know that He is trying to catch your attention, don’t brush what He is saying aside. Stop and listen and then act straight away on what He is saying. If you aren’t sure, take the time to pray and seek clarification, and perhaps talk to someone who is more mature in the things of God than you are. Let’s both listen and act!

Prayer: Lord I desire for my ears to hear you speaking, my eyes to see what you are revealing to me and a heart to understand what you are saying. Help me to not be stubborn, forgetful or difficult, but someone who is quick to listen and even quicker to act. In Jesus name Amen.

23 June – Perseverance

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This is a repost from a while ago…fyi an update on Isaac and his perseverance is that he has now begun jumping with his pony.😊

Today Isaac our youngest child reaped the benefits of perseverance. Several months ago he had a bit of a scare when attempting to canter on the pony he rides. It didn’t go at all well and ended up with him screaming on the back of a startled pony, who eventually stopped as she realised her rider was not happy with her cantering.

To his credit Isaac has persevered even though he has at times been quite scared. Each week he has spent time thinking about, praying and focusing on being able to canter again. Some days it just wasn’t going to happen as he struggled with his fears, but gradually he was able to venture to take one step of cantering, then two, four and then a whole circle in the arena. As the weeks have passed by he has set himself a new goal of going a little further each ride, and today he blitzed his goal and completed 5 full circles of cantering, with a huge smile on his face.

Perseverance means not giving up. It is persistence and tenacity and the effort required to do something and keep doing it till the end, even if it’s hard.

The bible talks about perseverance and that persevering in our faith produces steadfastness. When this “steadfastness has its full effect…you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

James 1:2-4, 12 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Learning to persevere in life and in our faith is an important part of living the life God has planned for us. When we fail to persevere through difficulties, setbacks or things we may be afraid of or find challenging we will keep giving up, which is not something God wants for us. He doesn’t give up but remains faithful and He always says for us to keep going, keep running your race, keep believing and moving forward with me. We also have a great cloud of witnesses in heavenly places who cheer us on and encourage us to keep persevering.

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Whatever you are facing today, I encourage you to seek God for His wisdom. Clarify if what you are believing for and are focusing on are things that He desires for your life. If they are then keep going, even if it’s hard because you will surely get there. And if Isaac’s win today is any measure of how much joy we can have in persevering, (even though it may be difficult or scary at times), then it’s well worth it.

Prayer: Lord thank you for your strength and help today. Help me to persevere in the things you have directed me in, until I reach my goal and have run my race. In Jesus name Amen.

22 June – Get off my boat

Do you ever get weary of all the fuss and bother around you or how you may feel internally at times?

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.

The “force” of our purpose and knowing what we are made to do and be creates 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 the boat.

I think God wants us to be like that speedboat. Then life’s drama’s, negativity and the cares and concerns of the world are far less likely to get near us or drag us down. We are focused and will recognise what really matters in life and leave the rest in our wake.

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” if 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 try to entangle and drag me down. Please give me strength and endurance  so I can gain the momentum and wisdom to keep moving forward today. In Jesus Name Amen.

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