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August 2020

31 Aug – Moving Forward

moving forward

To continually move forward in life takes regular assessing of our progress and challenging any fears, habits, beliefs and mindsets that may have crept in. It’s very easy to suddenly find ourselves stuck and being unable to move forward. It might be fear of failure, being judged, fear of hurt, loss, or disappointment. It could be we’ve got too comfortable or we’ve grown complacent.  However once we’ve acknowledged what the issues are we can actively seek to deal with them.

A few of the things that can contribute to us to not moving forward are:

1. Limiting Beliefs

A limiting belief is a belief that keeps you stuck. When we believe we cannot do something or we doubt what God has said we need to take time to look into why we think that and then challenge these limiting beliefs.

2. Our patterns and behaviors

God says we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. In other words we don’t have to be stuck in the way we think. We can change and don’t have to stay limited in negative, limiting patterns and behaviours that are contrary to what God says. He says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Not making decisions about our life is actually making the decision to allow other people, circumstances and exterior forces to decide our future and the course of our life.

3. The past holding us back

Making decisions that are based on our past experiences will hold us back from moving forward.

Far too often we remain stuck because we continue to accept the status quo, and unconsciously make assumptions about our situation based on past experiences that determine what we can and cannot do. Or we dwell on the negatives in our lives rather than on our successes. Instead God wants us with His help, to identify what is keeping us stuck and to question and challenge our thoughts and what we believe so we can move forward.

4. Choices and habits

The best way to counteract the ways that prevent us moving forward is to create new habits. When you do something new for the first time it always seems out of place and strange. The second time that you do it, it feels a little less so.  Focus on the new rather than the old so that the new will eventually unstick the old way of thinking to create new thought patterns, choices and ways of doing things.

Today take the time to challenge your thought patterns, what you believe about yourself. Challenge what is really stopping you from moving forward and know that with God you can do all things.

Prayer: Lord please help me to challenge how and what I believe about myself.  I don’t want to be stuck so I’m choosing to push myself out of my comfort zone and to move forward.  In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

30 Aug – We Are Not Alone – God Is With Us

god is with us

The kingdom of heaven operates above and beyond the realms of this world. There are no limits in heaven’s system, nothing is impossible there. When these things are released they are designed to impact the world for good and to remind us that we are not alone – God is with us!

However we can, even if we profess to know Jesus, be so conditioned by the world’s system. The system that says that things are just not possible, to believe only what you can see, hear, and touch and that miracles aren’t that commonplace or happen at all. Sadly we can get very good at talking the talk, but fail to walk in faith and power.

But God fully intended that our lives would be lived in the supernatural and that we would know that He is with us! Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:12)

Take for example your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating and going-to-work. Now think where is Jesus in your day? Where is the supernatural? Because the way we live our lives each day is a reflection of how much we include Jesus in it and what we expect.  He longs to be at the centre of our focus and purpose and for us to know Him as Emmanuel – God with us. Because the more aware we are of Him the greater our expectation and faith to believe for Him to move in our midst.

Right now the world especially needs to know God is with us, and for us to begin to operate more and more in the realms of heaven and the supernatural. To bring much needed answers from heaven to earth.  The question is, what degree will we seek Him and ask for the power of Jesus to work within and through us?

Living like that is simply operating in heaven’s system and not the world’s. The exciting news is that we can all learn to live like that. We can all be involved in what heaven is saying and releasing, rather than settling for a life where we only believe according to what we we can do in our own strength and limited power.

Today I encourage you to practice turning your attention every hour upon Jesus so that you are continually reminded throughout the day that He is with you. You are not alone and don’t have to come under what the world is doing and saying. Come up above it all as you set your heart and mind on Jesus and heavenly places. For as you do you will become aware of a heavenly, supernatural realm and be able to hear, see and empowered to move with what Jesus is doing everyday.

We are not alone – God is with us.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”. (Ephesians 2:6)

“But our citizenship is in heaven.”(Philippians 3:20)

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: Jesus thank you that you are with me would you use me today. I want to know heaven, and be part of impacting earth with answers from heaven. Please help me to be more aware of you than the things of the world today. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

29 Aug – The Super In Your Natural

supernatural x 2

It’s really interesting to watch people on a sporting field. The players inner world is clearly displayed, as the way people play the game on the court or field is also how they play the game of life.

Today as I watched our kids soccer teams I could easily differentiate those who believed in themselves, ran hard at life and had an internal positivity and drive. These were the players who attacked the ball, weren’t afraid of the contest and who played with their hearts as well as their heads.

Sport is a great illustration of life. If we want results and to fulfill our purpose it pays to have the attitude of, “I better put the work in, have a great attitude and determine that I’m going to give it my best”. Then regardless of the outcome you know you have done all you are capable of and can walk off that field or court with your head held high.

When we seek to be the best we can, the added bonus we have is that if it’s something God has placed in our heart to do and become, He says He will take our natural ability and put His supernatural in it.

Some call that supernatural ability, God’s anointing. David in the bible was anointed to become a great warrior and leader. He was also anointed to play music and to be an example to others. Samson was anointed to defend his people against their enemies, and was able to slay 1000 men with only the jawbone of a donkey. Moses was anointed to lead the Israelites out of captivity, Esther to be Queen and to rescue her people from Haman’s wicked plot to annihilate them, and Deborah to wisely judge and lead her people.

These heroes of faith chose to seek God for the direction of their lives. They also determined to have a great attitude and to give their very best with what they had in their hearts and hand. As a result God blessed their lives and helped them fulfill their destinies.

Today whatever you are seeking to do or become, seek God first. If He’s involved and what you are running at is in line with His plan, He will empower and enable you to go the distance and help you become who you were created to be. Invite Him to put the SUPER in your natural. He’ll do exceedingly more in your life than you could have asked, prayed for, thought, dreamt or possibly imagined. (Ephesians 3:20)

‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him“. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” (Luke 24:49)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12)

The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

Prayer: Lord thank you for putting your super in my natural. Please help me to be in the centre of what you have for my life and to run at life with everything you have put within me. That I would do far more than I have previously thought, dreamt and imagined as I make room for you to work within and through me today.  In Jesus name Amen.

28 Aug – On His Shoulders

you raise me up

When our kids are faced with a problem they often will come to us and ask for help, prayer and wisdom. It’s actually one of the first things they do. Why? Because they know we love them and will do anything we can to help them overcome what they are facing. Sometimes that’s just a word of advice and wisdom or redirecting their attention off the problem and onto the solution. Other times it’s giving them a helping hand, or a shoulder to cry on.

God as a loving Father is much the same, but infinitely better. We can also come to Him with our problems, needs and the things we hope to achieve. He is ready with wisdom from His word, direction, will send help in the form of both angels and people, and offers us comfort and strength. Not only can we cry on His shoulder, but also He will, just like Dad’s often do, lift us up on His shoulders so that we can see the view ahead more clearly as He carries us along.

God has big shoulders and He can easily carry our loads, lift us up when needed, and help us with any problem we may face. He’ll enable us to stand on the mountaintops, and give us wisdom and strength for the journey. All we need do is ask for His help, go to His word for wisdom and revelation, and listen and do what it says, as we hold onto Him.

Psalm 27:5 says,“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.”

Next time you are faced with a challenge or just want some encouragement, take the time to draw near to God and to search in His Word for the answers you need. Pray until you get revelation, trusting that God will show you what to do. And if you get tired and just need a rest, always remember that you can go to God and let Him lift you up on His shoulders, because none of us are ever too big for Him to do that.

“In the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.” (Deuteronomy 1:31)

The Lord always keeps his promises; He is gracious in all He does. The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their heavy loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in everything He does; He is filled with kindness.” (Psalm 145:14-17 NLT)

Prayer: Thank you that when I need it you are always happy to lift me up on your shoulders and to carry me along. Knowing that I’m not going to get flustered or worried today. I’m choosing to just enjoy the day and to trust that you’ve got everything in control. In Jesus Name Amen.

27 Aug – We Can Change

we can change

I was recently having a flashback about something that I would rather not remember. As I chatted with some wise counsel about these unwanted memories I was reminded that, “Many people want to dig down and deal with everything that may have happened to them, and to examine every single memory. Yet we don’t really have to do this unless those events and memories have or continue negatively affect our life.”

The fact is that even though there will be events in our lives that we really wish had not happened, this does not mean that we have to be depleted and destroyed by them. With God’s hand upon our life even the awful moments can be overcome and part of turning our ashes in beauty. With time, healing and having the attitude of not just surviving but thriving we can choose to grow to be more compassionate, wiser, deeper, resourceful and a stronger person for all that we’ve come through. We don’t have to allow the bad things to steal from us; evil may seek to destroy who we are, but God always has the last word. (Romans 8:28)

Only a few years ago neuroscientists believed that our brains were like a hardwired machine, and if experienced we would always be stuck with the damage of trauma, bad memories and negative mindsets. However in the last few decades science has made the discovery that our brains are in fact changeable and malleable. Instead of having brains (and therefore thoughts, emotions and reactions), that are “stuck” our brains are in fact changing moment by moment every day. This change and adaptability is called neuroplasticity. 

This neuroplasticity is exciting because regardless of what has happened to us, or how we may currently think, we can change! We can actually change the physical makeup of our brains through our thinking and choices. This means we can move past our memories, negative events and the effects of trauma.

Every night while we are sleeping baby nerve cells are being created, so when we wake up each morning they are at our disposal to learn, discover, to replace any negative toxic thinking and to rebuild healthy thoughts and emotions. The birth of these new baby nerve cells is called neurogenesis.

We may not be able to control everything in our lives or about our day, but we can definitely control and renew our thoughts and consequently our reactions.  Each morning those new nerve cells can be shaped and used to replace any thoughts/memories we don’t care to have or to be weighed down by. Science is agreeing with what God says; we can be transformed, healed, set free, and given the ability to start each new day afresh.

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Today be encouraged by how God has created us. You don’t have to be stuck with your bad memories and their adverse consequences, bad habits you may have struggled with. God has wired and created us to grow, develop, heal and change!

Take time to read the Bible and let God’s words and presence restore and refresh your soul. Put to good use those new baby nerve cells and fill your heart and thoughts with God’s plans for your life which are filled with love, peace and hope for the future.

With God’s help, “If you wired those toxic thoughts in, you can wire them out.” (Dr Caroline Leaf) 

But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” ( Philippians 3:13)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you have created me with the ability to constantly change and to move past any hurtful memories and mindsets. Please help me to observe and change any unproductive unhealthy thoughts, reactions and habits I may have so that I can become all that you have made me to be. In Jesus name Amen.

 

26 Aug – Tune Into God

tuned in

This is a repost, but it holds a timely reminder to tune into God.

Today while having my horse riding lesson I was reminded of how perceptive a horse is. They are so sensitive to our every movement, emotion and even thoughts and when well trained will respond in kind. If we are nervous they feel it and respond; if we become distracted and unfocused because we are thinking on other things they too can lose focus; if we’re at peace and in control they gain confidence and trust in us.

Incredibly the slightest change in the tension of my core muscles causes my horse to slow or to change his gait, and even if I make no other movement but to tense those muscles my 400kg horse feels it and responds accordingly.

As I was contemplating the incredible sensitivity of my ride today I felt God whisper to my heart, “that’s how you are to be”. I want you to be so sensitive and in tune with me that at my slightest movement, directive or shift you perceive what I am doing and respond to me”.

As I found out on my ride today that sort of sensitivity to someone or something means we have to focus and not allow ourselves to be distracted by our thoughts, other things going on around us, or our own fears and feelings of inadequacy. Essentially to be that sensitive and in tune we have to hold God in our hearts, to love Him and to lay a lot of what takes up our time, thoughts and energy aside so that we can both communicate and perceive what we are meant to as God communicates with us. He is moving, leading and directing us all the time. However the question is whether we are listening and choosing to be sensitive to His leading, or do we simply want to go our own way?

Today take some time to tune into God; practice quieting your rushing thoughts and emotions and “Be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10). For it’s in waiting, listening and learning to be sensitive to his voice and presence that we will find the joy and freedom that we desire, and the guidance that we so often can lack.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” (Psalm 32:8-9)

“Let me hear Your loving-kindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 143;8)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you are always with me and that you desire for me to know you so closely. Please help me to tune into you by quieting my busy heart and mind. I want to be more sensitive to your every word, movement and directive today. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

25 Aug – 10 Tips to Achieving Your Goals And Staying Sane

achieve

I’ve learnt that lots of activity doesn’t always signify great results. Many of us can rush about and yet end up achieving little. Perhaps instead we would benefit from thinking and praying about what we want to achieve, discerning the best course of action and then moving deliberately. 

So here’s 10 tips to going slower, achieving your dreams, and staying sane in the process:

1.Prioritise and do less if necessary. Make the conscious choice to do less and focus on what’s really important. Schedule space between tasks and appointments, so you can move gently through your day.

2.Be present and mindful of where you are and what you are doing. It’s not enough to just slow down — you need to actually be mindful of whatever you’re doing at the moment. Focus on what’s in front of you.

3.Disconnect from technology. Fomo – the fear of missing out keeps us running at top gear. Instead of being on high alert 24/7, put the phone down, switch off technology and disconnect from the demands of your day.  It takes discipline, but it’s very difficult to slow down if we are always checking for new messages coming in.

4.Be with people: If you are with people then focus on them and not other things.  Choose to really be with people, rather than just meeting with them.

5.Get outside: Take the time to breath fresh air, to be in nature, to enjoy the scenery and serenity of what God has created for us.

6.Eat slower. Many health and digestive complaints stem from eating too fast, gulping and being stressed when we eat. Discipline yourself to allow ample time to eat slowly. Be mindful of each bite and appreciate what you are eating.

7.Enjoy the drive. Slow down when you’re driving and take time to appreciate your surroundings. Use your drive time to contemplate life, listen to music or a podcast, pray and to just breathe. Our drive time can be a great time to check in with God and/or those who are with you.

8.We get to do this There is a saying, we don’t have to go to work, we get to go to work. The truth is the life we are living is the life someone else is earnestly praying for. Be grateful for what you do have and find the joy in the everyday.  I remember years ago a friend of mine came back from a third world country and begged to be able to wash the dishes. I was amazed, but the treat of turning the tap and getting a sink full of hot soapy water made washing the dishes not a chore for her but something to be enjoyed.

9.Be Single task focused and concentrate on one thing at a time. It’ takes practice but when you feel the urge to rush about doing 10 things at once press pause, breathe, and stay focused on the task at hand.

10. Breathe  Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques. Take a deep breath hold for 3 seconds, and then slowly let it out. Then do it again. Feel the air coming into your lungs, and feel the stress going out. By fully focusing on each breath, you bring yourself back to the present, and slow yourself down.

The patterns of this world encourage us to rush and to give the appearance of doing a lot, when really, we are often just being busy with little to show for it. The bible says, “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. That means taking the time to stop, think and pray for God’s wisdom and guidance so that we can then be deliberate and purposeful in the way we live.

God promises he will direct our steps and that He will lead us to prosper in all we do. The key is to be still long enough to know what God is doing and saying. (Psalm 46:10)

Today I encourage you to press pause regularly through your day so you can be still for a moment and to recollect God in your midst. Breathe, pray and listen to His gentle leading in the way to go about your day. Include him in every decision, meeting and conversation and he will help you get all that you need done, fulfill His amazing plans for you for the day and still have time to spare.

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

‘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)

Prayer: Lord please help me to slow down and draw near to you. Would you teach, lead and guide me in how to live more purposefully and gratefully.  Thank you for this day and everyone I get to see and everything I get to do and be today.  In Jesus name Amen.

24 Aug – Clean Your House

clean house

Two nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night and felt God speaking to me about having a clean house. I lay wide awake thinking about all the areas of our house that needed cleaning up until finally at 5.30am I nudged my  husband awake and said rather urgently, “We need to clean out the bedroom cupboard”. He wasn’t for some reason very enthusiastic and told me to, “Go back to sleep.” “We’ll do it when the sun actually comes up!” 

The purpose behind God telling me to “clean your house” is not just a practical one as I soon realised. When we make the effort to clean our house up, we will invariably end up cleaning other areas of our lives up too.

God isn’t really phased if our bedroom is untidy, how much clutter we have collected, whether there are dishes in the sink or if the bathroom’s been cleaned. However I did gather from our middle of the night conversation that He does know that “what’s on the outside is a reflection of what’s going on in our insides.

For, “Isn’t it odd, we can only see our outsides, but nearly everything happens on the inside”. (Charlie Mackesy)

Taking the time to clean up our house helps us to let go, move forward and to step into the next season.

When we are surrounded by “stuff” it, without us often realising, becomes a blockage to our success and moving forward in our lives. Mess and clutter starts to drain and steal our energy, focus and peace as it creates a disagreement between what we desire and how we’re actually living.

We all benefit from having clarity and freedom and when we clean our house it helps us to gain clarity and to also assess whether there are areas of our hearts and minds that need attention too. That’s because our “stuff” has emotions, memories and thoughts attached to it.  As we sort through our belongings and the attachments to these things that we’ve stored away in our homes, we get to choose both internally and externally what we move forward with and what we drop off and leave behind.

Success and management coaches (I happen to be married to one), recommend making a plan and following these 3 steps to help clean our house and hearts, so we can make room for the life we want.

  1. Make a list – writing down all that we want to clean out both externally and internally, brings clarity and reveals what needs to be done so we can unravel the mess in our heads and hearts. Go through your house room by room and itemise everything that needs to be cleaned up and sorted.
  2. Schedule: Allocate a time to begin. There is no better time than today…so just do it.
  3. Set the timer for 20 minutes. Just 20 minutes will get you started and keep you motivated. See how much you can get done in 20 minutes rather than overwhelming yourself trying to do too much at once. A consistent 20 minutes a day adds up and will get it done!
  4. Stay focused and clean one room or area at a time. Make the first area you work on be the one you spend the most time in. Keep cleaning/decluttering until you feel good about that space.

“Clutter is not just the stuff on the floor – it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living.”

“When you declutter – whether it’s on your home, your head, or your heart – it is astounding what will flow into that space that will enrich you, your life and your family.” (Peter Walsh)

Today determine to,”throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and run with endurance the race set out for you.” “Casting all your care on Jesus, for he cares for you.” (Hebrews 12:1; 1 Peter 5:7)

Prayer: Lord please help me to see where I can benefit from cleaning up both my physical world and all that is within my heart and mind. I can do all things because you give me strength, so I’m taking the time to clean my house and my heart, starting today. In Jesus name Amen.

 

23 Aug – Get Wisdom

Often people assume that the older you get the wiser you are. But that is not necessarily so. We are only wise to the degree that we have learned to rightly apply our knowledge in life.

God has a high regard for wisdom. Proverbs 4:3-9 says, “Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding! Don’t forget one word! Don’t deviate an inch! Never walk away from Wisdom—she guards your life; love her—she keeps her eye on you.

Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!

Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won’t regret it; never let her go—she’ll make your life glorious.

She’ll garland your life with grace, she’ll festoon your days with beauty.” Dear friend, take my advice; it will add years to your life”

God instructs us to put effort into becoming wiser tomorrow than we are today. That means it is an ongoing continual process, and is not only found in the gaining of a formal education, but also the daily, lifelong process of growth.

God wants us to live fulfilled joyful lives, and for most of us that is what we desire. He knows it will take walking in wisdom to attain this and that, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him”. (James 1:5)

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gets understanding.” (Proverbs 3:13)

Not everyone wants wisdom; they don’t prize or value being wise at all, mostly because they want to follow their emotions, or plead ignorance when their foolish behaviour catches up to them.

Other people can be motivated by their circumstances rather than logic and wisdom. Many times we can be act foolishly when actually we know better. Often people aren’t lacking information, but they are lacking motivation and determination to follow wisdom.

So how do we get wisdom? Firstly desire wisdom and then apply it with all your might.

“If you prize wisdom, she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will honor you” (Proverbs 4:8).

To prize, means it must be valuable to us.

Today, value wisdom and ask God for it so that all your ways will be filled with hope and the years of your life will be many.

Prayer: Lord help me to value wisdom and the understanding that comes from you. That I may gain a heart of wisdom. In Jesus Name. Amen.

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