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November 2019

13 Nov – Soul Happy

soul happy

I frequently have a conversation with people about the importance of prospering their souls. It is important to understand how our soul, body and spirit operate together. The bible says we are a living soul, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). However we must be careful not to confuse that which is truly spiritual, and that which is only soulish or physical. Our spirit is the central place of activity where the Holy Spirit operates in regeneration, and that regenerating then flows over into our souls and bodies.

That’s why it’s so important to feed our spirit and our soul with good things. We spend time reading God’s word, taking time to praise and worship, and to enjoy our relationship with Him. It lifts our spirits and renews and prospers our soul; actually bringing health to our bodies.

Far too often we try to compartmentalise our lives, not understanding that what we allow into our lives will affect every part of our being – our soul, body and spirit. Which is why we must feed and care for all of our being, and not just part of it. You can be physically fit, eat healthy, do fun things and yet be spiritually lacking and dead. Or you can be spiritually fit and healthy and be lacking emotionally or be physically unwell.

The bible says, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2)

So the question is how do you prosper your soul. Our spirit’s are regenerated and renewed by God’s presence and life in us; our bodies by eating and exercising well, and putting in the truth of God’s word. But what about our souls?

I have discovered that we often don’t know what makes our soul happy. And if we do, we don’t do those things enough.

God’s word will prosper your soul because it tells you how much you are loved and how God sees you. Then God actually wants you to go out and enjoy your life with Him. Matthew 12:34 says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. So it’s vitally important that we are taking care of our souls, our hearts so that they are full and overflowing. If we only concentrate on the necessary to exist, our souls will not be prospering and our heart will not be full of good things. Instead we can end up cynical, tired, short tempered, having toxic speech, and disillusioned with life.

Today make a list of those things that make your soul happy. If you can’t think of anything, why not try something new. It doesn’t have to be a big things; it can be simple like a cup of coffee at your favourite cafe, enjoying some great scenery, good food and company, a sport, hobby, music, art, shopping, etc.

Take some time to prosper your soul today, and do something you enjoy. It will bring you good health, renewed energy, and a zeal for life. Plus your mouth will speak from the overflow of a heart that is full of an appreciation for the life you have been given.

Prayer: Lord please help me to understand myself better and how to prosper my soul. Reveal to me anything that is not right in my heart, and help me to deal with it, as I prosper my spirit, soul and body. In Jesus name Amen.

12 Nov – Raise Your Voice!

 

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Metaphorically speaking the definition of “to use your voice” is the way people express themselves. However there are many people who through their experiences, lack of support, abuse, or feeling defenceless do not have a voice. There is the voice of a child, the sick, the marginalised and those who lack the freedom, ability, confidence and courage to speak for themselves.

Which is why those of us who have the ability and resources to use our voices; those of us who are advantaged, educated, skilled and who have the freedom to speak; those of us who sing, paint, create, are visible, have a platform or pulpit, those who are in positions of power, influence and authority have a responsibility for the common good, for the voiceless and marginalised, for the silenced and the down trodden to speak…..and to speak up loud!

I’m talking about speaking up for the silenced voice of the millions of slaves in the world today – more than ever before in human history because human trafficking in the form of sex trafficking, forced labour, bonded labour, involuntary domestic servitude and child soldiers is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world generating more than $150 billion US dollars every year.

Or for the prisoners who are having their organs harvested to sell as organ donations or the babies who are aborted by their thousands every single day and whose tiny little body parts are being bought by biotech companies.

I’m talking about the 1 in 4 woman who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault – that 1 in 4 means someone is a victim living on your street, in your work place, school, church, sporting team or university.

Or the children who have not eaten a proper meal today in our nation or the predominately ignored cries of the homeless, the sick and the elderly who struggle to have a voice that is heard.

Isn’t it time we chose to look around us; to see what’s going on both behind closed doors and even blatantly right in front of us and we spoke up; we reached out in compassion, we lent a helping hand, we gave of our resources and our unique gifts and abilities to make a difference. That we choose to imagine, to pray, to act and to believe for a better world, because the fact is, “The world suffers a lot, not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people.” 

 “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth.” (William Faulkner)

 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice” (Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT).

 

 

 

11 Nov – 101 Things

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At the moment I’m busy making a list of the 101 things I want to do. It’s all about me putting a demand upon myself to dream and imagine what my life can be. What can I do, see and become in my lifetime.

Our list of 101 things (if we took the time to make one) is unique and all about our life, desires and particular assignment/s from God. It’s a bit like being like a child and making a list of what we want for Christmas. Before we were aware of finances, practicalities and any limitations, what did we dream and dare ask for? Most of my kids were and still are not too concerned about how my husband and I will be able to afford or attain the gifts on their Christmas lists – they simply dream and ask for what they’d like.

God is like the best parent imaginable and loves for us to dream, pray for, ask and imagine what our life could look like and He never thinks our dreams or requests are too big or too insignificant for Him to take notice of.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”(Psalm 37:4)

So today I have been busy dreaming of all that I could become. Of the things I can study, places I’d like to travel to, people I’d like to meet and things I’d like to achieve in my lifetime. I’m purposely letting my imagination run wild and not getting stuck in the wondering of how any of it could happen. My job is to imagine, to pray, to ask and to believe and dream. It’s then God’s job and promise to me to, “Do exceedingly more than I can ask, think, dream and imagine according to his power that is at work in me” (Ephesians 3:20)

We become and attract what we think about most, so I encourage you to take some time to dream today. Make your own list of 101 things and let yourself dream impossible, big, fantastic thoughts and dreams about your life and future.

God had Abraham look up at the stars and imagine His descendants as innumerable as the stars in the sky before He even had one son. He taught Jacob to mark and place poles all around the watering hole for his flocks so that he could imagine more easily his speckled and spotted flocks increasing each season. (Gen 15:5; 30:37-31:16) Thats because there is real power in taking the time to see beyond where we are today; to look up and into the future to where we’d like to be.

Albert Einstein said,” Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

What can you imagine today? Now write it down and start to get a clear picture of what that life looks like.  Because thinking about where you want to be in the future helps you decide how you are going to live today.

“For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.”(Psalm 107:9)

No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”(Psalm 84:11)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you desire good things for me. Would you please help me to dream big today and to start to focus and plan how I want to start living that life today. In Jesus Name Amen.

10 Nov – Living On Purpose

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We are all driven by something. The word drive is defined as “to guide, to control or to direct. So what is the driving force in your life? Is it fear, guilt, resentment, materialism, or the need to be loved and to have others approval? Or are you guided by the fact that you know your purpose and the meaning for your life? Does love and compassion guide you? Does God direct you?

Let’s be honest, we all want our lives to be significant and for people to remember us once we have left this world and we can all get caught up in the desire to achieve, to leave our mark and to create a lasting legacy on earth. Yet what really matters in the end? Is it buildings, large bank accounts, houses, cars, a list of achievements or trophy’s on the wall? Or is it actually that our life and purpose has it’s foundation and direction in what God says about our life. In what He says is important. In who He says we are.

Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). But His full life consists of knowing Him and living our life walking with Him. His full life is learning to trust Him and allowing Him to lead and guide us to impact the world for good.

The bible says, But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

God wants to “add” to us all the great things He has created. But first He wants us to know Him and to discover our purpose and to be able to use the gifts, talents, resources and opportunities we have been given for good. He wants us to be able to bless others, to alleviate someone’ else’s pain, to show love and compassion; to be Jesus’ hands and feet in this world and to enjoy the often crazy, wild, adventurous ride with Jesus while we do!

If you want to make a mark on the world and leave a real legacy, the best example of a purpose driven, amazing life is Jesus. He is without a doubt declared to be by Christians and non-Christians alike the greatest teacher and world changer the world has ever seen. What drove Him? It was His love and compassion for all mankind and his mission to destroy the works of the devil. (John 3:16; 1 John 3:8)

Today, think about “what drives your life” Is your life guided and motivated by love, compassion and the desire to be used by God for good? Or are you driven by fear, doubts, and primarily just your own ambition. Because if you want to make a real difference and to have a life that is meaningful and with purpose I encourage you to look at Jesus and follow His example. “Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us(Ephesians 5:1-2)

Let’s choose wisely what really matters in life and live our life on purpose. Then all the other things that so many people spend all their time and energy chasing after will be added to you as well. 

Prayer: Lord thank you that you have created me with a purpose and that you want me to use all that I have been given for good. Help me to enjoy my life but to also make my mark everyday by simply following the example of Jesus. In Jesus name Amen

9 Nov – My Assignment

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Our lives are often likened to “whatever comes our way and then having to make the most of it the best we can; a pack of cards in which we are dealt a hand; or some sort of journey. ” In contrast is also the belief that our lives are about having an assignment and specific call, with an overall purpose and plan to them.

Interestingly Jesus, who is historically known as one of the greatest leaders of all time prayed, “Father I have completed down to the last detail what you assigned me to do”, (John 17:4), which makes me think that our lives are indeed an assignment in which God has given us a unique purpose during our time on earth. It’s our responsibility and choice however as to whether, with the time, gifts and opportunities we are given  whether we complete our assignment and purpose in life or not.

Many of us may struggle with that concept as we can fail to know what our purpose in life is in the first place, so how shall we know what our God given assignment is.

However perhaps it is all very simple. Perhaps it’s as simple as sitting down quietly with Jesus and writing down our thoughts, for as we do that what we actually desire, think about and dream of will start to be revealed. It doesn’t have to look possible, be sensible or even something we think we can do now. It’s giving ourselves the permission to discover our dreams; what’s in our heart and what we actually want out of life, because chances are it’s those things that God has assigned for us to do and be anyway.

As Joel Osteen says,” It’s not complicated. Our destiny has to do with what excites us. What are we passionate about? What do we really love doing? Our destiny will be a part of the dreams and desires that are in our hearts – part of our very nature.”

This is primarily because it is God who created each one of us both special and unique. No one is quite like me and no-one is quite like you.

It is God Himself who placed within us many of our desires and dreams, and because He is both loving and good to all He has made, it makes sense that those things will involve things we enjoy and make us glad we are alive. When we do and be those things it makes and reflects who we truly are and is how we fulfil our unique destiny.

This week I encourage you to take some time to sit quietly with Jesus and to write down your thoughts and desires. What would you like to achieve, where would you like to travel to, what do you think God might like you to do and be; what do you dream about? Just let yourself simply think and imagine your future, for as you do you’ll start to discover the dream and purpose God has for you. And in the words of C.S. Lewis, “You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”

“And the Lord answered man and said, write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may be able to read it easily and quickly as he hasten by“ (Habakkuk 2:2 AMP)

“It is never too late to be who you might have been“. (George Elliott)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you have a special and unique life and assignment planned for me. Please help me to recognise the dream and desires in my heart and what really matters both to you and me for my future. I trust you to bring it to pass in my life as I walk everyday with you. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

8 Nov – Eyes Wide Open

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There is an account in the bible about some friends of Jesus who met Him after he had risen from the dead. The strange thing is they didn’t recognise him. They didn’t expect to see Him walking along the road with them, and even when Jesus  shared a meal with them for the most part they couldn’t see Him for looking!

Luke 24:28-30 says,  “When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”

Jesus’s identity was hidden from them, and they didn’t recognise Him even though their hearts burned within them. It was only when Jesus took the bread and broke it in the same manner as when he had at the last supper that His identity was revealed and their eyes were suddenly opened! Mark 14:22)

But I wonder how often are we the same as the disciples and we fail to recognise Jesus?  How often can’t we see Him or His plans and purposes even when they are right in front of us?

Is it because God works differently from what we expect? Is it because we pray but we tell God how we want Him to answer? We like to dictate to God and when the answer comes in a different way we don’t at first recognise His hand.

The bible says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.…(Isaiah 54:8).

Or do we not see Jesus because our hearts have become so cluttered and dull towards Him? When He speaks do we hear and if we hear, do we answer Him or push Him aside and go our own way because our hearts have grown dull through compromise, un-dealt with sin, complacency, disobedience, worldliness and rejecting God’s word and His way of living?

Yet if we hunger after God our eyes will be opened for He is ever ready, always calling and longing to reveal Himself and the treasures of His kingdom to us. The bible promises that if we draw near to God he’ll draw near to us. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him in truth“. (Psalm 145:18)

Today take the time to seek after God. Draw near to Him and He’ll draw near to you. He’ll speak if you really want to hear and for the eyes of your heart to be opened. For God promises that as we seek Him He will answer; that you may see and feel and understand who He is and how much He loves you.

Don’t go another day failing to know that Jesus is walking along beside you. If you know Him already, draw close and seek a deeper revelation of Him. There is always so much more! He promises that “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart“. (Jeremiah 29:13)

My Prayer for you today is that:I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,  and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Ephesians 1:17-19).. May you know Him and His awesome plan and love for you. In Jesus Name Amen

 

 

 

7 Nov – Run To Win

 

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Endurance is the power to withstand something challenging with fortitude and resilience. It is also the ability to recover from and have immunity to fatigue and trauma.

To travel through life well, reach our fullest potential and live the life God has planned for us it’s going to take endurance. Endurance to persist, keep going, hold onto our dreams and to continually stand upon God’s promises.

Endurance however is something that many people don’t really possess for it is far too easy to take the easy route, or settle for comfort, security and the status quo. Yet God has actually called each one of us to persevere and run with endurance the race that is set before us so that we might win the prize. (Hebrews 12:1).

However for us to consistently run with endurance we are going to need to know what we are running towards and for. What is in front of us and why and what are we persevering for?

Today I encourage you to take some time to seek God for the race He has destined you to run. We are all capable of being and doing far more than we imagine or give ourselves credit for and it’s in the gradual steps; consistency and keeping focused and intentional that enable us to experience and become all that God made us for.

Consider where are you heading, what is the purpose in it and what are the steps you need to take to move forward? Each week pray and ask yourself and God what can I consistently do today and this week to increase in my capacity and to grow and develop towards my goal. Then set your vision and focus and run at with it all your might. Because once you know what is before you, God promises He will direct your steps, strengthen you with all power and enable you to withstand, overcome and persevere so that you may win the prize and take hold of everything for which God took hold of you.

Run your race today, and run it in such a way that your may consistently move forward with endurance so that you may win!

And let endurance have its perfect result so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”(James 1:4)

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” (1 Corinthians 9:24)

 Prayer: I pray that I will be strengthened with all God’s glorious power so that I will have all the endurance and patience I need. May I be filled with joy, always thanking the Father because He has enabled me to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. In Jesus name Amen. (Colossians 1:11-12 NLT)

 

 

6 Nov – God Still Speaks

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Have you ever wondered if the dreams and visions (dreams we have while awake) are somehow God speaking to us? The answer would be yes. God does actively speak to us through visions and dreams and these can have very significant meaning.

Often God will use our dreams and visions to challenge us about things in our hearts that we have left unattended. Other times He will release the ability for us to “see” the future and where and what God is leading us to or what He is saying about a person or situation. 

However we aren’t always open to hearing what God has to say to us, often because of our busy schedules or the state of our internal world. We can fail to take the time to listen or set aside time to hear God speaking. Or perhaps we don’t want to listen because what He has to say is difficult to hear. There are areas of our hearts that our minds don’t want to acknowledge, but God will reveal these things in visions and dreams.

Through visions and dreams He is able to get past our conscious self-defence mechanisms and go right to the heart of the matter, revealing the true condition of our hearts. This gives us opportunity to pay attention and listen to God, so that we can face these hidden areas in our life, and be healed and set free. He can also speak in a vision or dream regarding a specific situation or to someone else with a specific message for us.

All through the bible God used visions and dreams to bring direction, revelation and instruction. He still endeavours to instruct us through our visions and dreams and uses them to imprint things upon our hearts and minds that He wants to tell us. The images we see may reveal a coherent message or seem to make no sense. In my experience of interpreting dreams, there are often particular objects, people or places God uses to symbolise specific things. Initially it may make no sense, but if we wait and ask, God will bring revelation.

Both Joseph and Daniel had visions, dreams and interpreted theirs and other people’s dreams. The dreams revealed peoples hearts and told of the future. God will even speak in a dream or vision to those who don’t profess to know or believe in Him so as to fulfil His purposes and/or to draw them to a revelation of His existence. (Genesis 37:5-9; 40; Genesis 41 Daniel 1:17)

It is however important to understand that we can all have what I call “pizza dreams”, like when we’ve eaten too late, and experience a disturbed sleep. We can have jumbled dreams from a busy, over anxious mind, which is our mind trying to sort out our previous day. It’s why its a good idea to spend some time before we sleep reading the bible and asking for forgiveness and healing for any mess up’s, or struggles we may have faced throughout the course of our day. We can also give any busyness and concerns of our day over to Jesus before going to sleep. Then when we dream or have a vision, we can be more confident that it is God revealing and speaking to us and not just “the pizza”.

If we think that God has communicated with us through a dream or vision, the Bible is the best place to confirm whether the message we have received truly came from God. If it doesn’t sound like how God speaks in His word, caution is always wise. It’s also worthwhile sharing what has been revealed to us with other Christians who know God and His Word well.

Biblically and historically visions and dreams have been a legitimate method God uses to impart visionary revelation, and it continues to be today. Ultimately Gods desire is to bring us closer to Him so that he can impart His plans and purposes for us, and our communities. He also wants to enable us to communicate with others with wisdom and revelation. Dreams and visions are designed to speak directly to our hearts about our lives, others we know, about our church, city, nation and the world.

Today, consider the dreams or visions you may have had. Write them down, pray and seek God over them and what they may mean. God never does anything without a purpose, and if we’ve had a dream or vision from God, you can be sure it is for a reason.

We can also ask God for the spirit of revelation, and wisdom that we might know Him better. Ask today, and expect God to speak, and for you to begin to see visions, and dream dreams.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” (Ephesians 1:17)

For God does speak—now one way, now another—though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds. Then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction”. (Job 33:14-16)

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)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you desire to speak to me, and draw me closer to you. Please remind me of any visions or dreams you have given, and help me to understand and grasp hold of what you were saying. Please release to me in greater measure visions and dreams from heaven. In Jesus name Amen.

5 Nov – It’ll All Be Worth It

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Today I’ve been buzzing on the inside all day…primarily because I had a win this morning as I went on my weekly horse ride. For months I’ve been riding a little horse who has some anxiety issues and quirks which I needed to learn to manage to be able to ride her. That or I’d probably have ended up on my backside in the dust. She and I have had our moments over the months as we’ve both learnt to trust one another and to deal with our anxiety, fear and my ability to remain calm and in control.

However today thanks to the months of learning to handle my emotions, thoughts and body’s reactions as I rode that little horse, I got to ride another bigger, stronger and very pretty horse who made all the past months of learning, self evaluation and pushing through my fears worth while.

I came away from the stables feeling on top of the world and knowing all that work and practice had just paid off. Everything I’d learnt I applied today and as I did the usual trepidation at handling such a powerful animal was replaced with exhilaration.

It reminded me that when we are in the midst of the hard work and the constant pushing to breakthrough our limits, fears or present capabilities it can feel like we and our situation is never going to change…that we are not going to ever change. Yet if we just keep walking, (or riding) stay consistent and remain holding onto Jesus, the Word He has spoken and the dreams and desires in our heart, we will breakthrough, overcome and see the victory.

So I encourage you today to celebrate each step you take, because in the consistency; in the deliberate moving forward, in the trusting and believing for better things ahead your breaking through and dreams are getting closer and you will receive all that God has promised if you do not grow weary and give up.

Hold steady today and determine to keep movimg forward, because as I experienced today the win is worth it and there is better up ahead.

“And don’t allow yourselves to be weary or disheartened in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming!” (Galatians 6:9 TPT)

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded”. (2 Chronicles 15:7)

Prayer: Lord please help me to keep moving forward and to remember that all the hard work, consistency and staying focused on my dream and the Word you have spoken will reap the benefits and come to pass. Help me to stay strong today because it will be worth it. In Jesus name Amen.
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