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Dayle's Blog

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September 2020

30 Sept – Soul Survival

We do all sorts of things to prevent ourselves from getting unwell and in seeking to prevent disease, colds, flu and viruses. But do we pay the same attention to the survival of our souls? There is such a focus on diseases that we believe threaten our bodies, yet so many of us fail to heal and strengthen the core of who we are – our souls, which often needs far more healing and protecting than our bodies.

It’s like we’ve become complacent about the issues that really threaten us. We say no to flu and other diseases, actively seeking prevention and a cure or vaccine, yet we knowingly say yes to sin; our greed, un-forgiveness, dishonesty, hatred, racism, violence and lust. Yes our bodies need attention, but our souls do too.

Sin is the worst kind of disease and enslaver of our soulsa nd will always steal from us, eventually even affecting our overall health. We lie, cheat, gossip, struggle with our pride and arrogance, yell, get offended and then remain stuck in this place where we deny we have an issue, or knowingly fail to do something about the things we know are destroying us from the inside out. Sin can be deeply entrenched and until we acknowledge its existence we will simply push it aside and continue as we are, allowing our sinning to become a destructive habit.

Some of us if we do acknowledge our lack, think if we just try harder by the strength of our will to be a nicer person, to give to the poor, go to church, read the bible, pray and worship more we will attend to our souls. But the fact is we can only really override our sin habits by sheer willpower for a short time.

The biggest hope we have for real change and true soul survival is a new set of habits and lifestyle and acquiring these things is going to take more than will power. It’s going to take accessing God’s power and being in relationship with Him everyday.

Jesus said it this way; “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11;28-30 MSG)

Today there are many people busy focusing on their bodies survival, but perhaps we could also spare a thought for our soul’s survival too? Jesus said that the cure for our souls is and has always been the same: Acknowledge and confess our sin and it’s habits, get to know Him, study what He teaches in His Word, be in relationship with Him and others (break bread together), and replace old habits with new Jesus habits. You’ll discover that is where real freedom and health lies.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

“He Heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” (Psalm 147:2)

Prayer: Lord please help me to tend to my soul health as much as I do my physical health. That I would be healthy on both the inside and the outside. Thank you for teaching me how to live freely and lightly today and that I would continue to build your kind of habits in my life. In Jesus name Amen.

29 Sept – God Still Answers When We Pray

Often when I encourage people to pray about something they will hesitate and even say, “I don’t want to bother God with my problems, or He’s too busy with bigger things to be interested in my life.”

This however is not how the God I know works or thinks. He longs to answer our prayers and the desires of our hearts. To show Himself strong on our behalf and to let us know He is present with us.

He actually hears and is attentive to our needs, wants, concerns and desires. He answers us far more than we think or often expect.

I love how God will whisper quietly where I should park in a busy shopping centre, or guide me in which way to go when I get myself lost driving and my GPS is failing. Or how He will speak and answer my prayers about one of our six kids when I am worried about them or need Him to intervene in a situation. He has repeatedly secured appointments, bumped us up on waiting lists, provided teachers, medical doctors, holidays, friends and support as I’ve brought it to Him in prayer. He’s caused plane tickets to suddenly go down in price within seconds of us praying, made money and food multiply to provide for us, and opened doors for us that were previously closed shut. He’s healed from sickness, performed miracles and astounded us on more than one occasion. The more I think about how many answers to prayer I’ve had – both in the everyday and more significant events, the more in awe I am of the fact that God actually hears and answers us.

Yet how easy it is, even with our accounts of God showing up and off in our lives, do we still allow ourselves to feel the twinge of fear and worry. The thoughts of what-if, what are you doing and how long are you going to take to answer God?

When I find myself in this place, wondering why God’s taking longer than I want or I’m slipping into fear, I’m learning not to ask, “Why God”, but instead to think about what I do know. What do I know of God? What does His Word say? What has He done before in answer to my prayers? What has He spoken and revealed to me? What Word has He given me to stand upon, pray and go into battle with?

When I focus on what I know of God and what I see in His word, prayer becomes automatic, faith filled and expectant. Plus I am no longer really hugely surprised when He exceeds my request or expectations. He is waiting and looking for ways to show Himself strong in our lives, and if we’d bother to ask instead of doubting, grumbling, worrying or looking elsewhere for answers, we might just notice and see Him answer far more often.

God hears and answers you when you pray. He still performs miracles, He still heals, He still provides and He’s waiting right now for you to pray today.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (John 5:14-15)

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:12)

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Matthew 11:24)

Then said the Lord to me, You have seen well, for I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it.” (Jeremiah 1:12)

Prayer: Lord I’m bringing my requests to you today. According to your Word I’m asking for you to ………………… I thank you that you are faithful, that your word is true, that you desire to show yourself strong in my life today. In Jesus name Amen.

28 Sept – Heart To Heart Relationships

When a baby is first born they’re placed on their mother’s chest so they can be skin to skin and heart to heart. Father’s and their babies also benefit from this close contact and the bonding and connection process that happens because of this contact.

However it’s not just when we’re babies that we benefit from having healthy loving relationships where we have heart to heart connections. At every stage of our lives we benefit from positive connections and having heart to heart bonds. But for this bond to develop and last it must be protected and strengthened.

To do that we allow people to see the real us. That doesn’t mean we have to leave our heart’s wide open to just anyone, but knowing who to have in our close circle of disclosure and trust and allowing God to bring other relationships into our lives rather remaining distant all the time.

Not everyone we meet will be those we will build close heart to heart bonds with, but if we learn how to be confident in who we are, we will attract people into our lives we can ultimately build close connections with. Plus we will quickly learn to discern those we need to treat with kindness and respect, but perhaps not let too close.

God also desires for us to know His heart and to be able to connect deeply with us. However just like all our other relationships it will take us choosing to want to go deeper with Him. I’ve discovered that if I am open and honest with God, it helps to build deeper connections with the people around me. This is because my stability, security and confidence are founded in my relationship with God, which then flows out to every other bond I have.

Today take some time to be honest with yourself and God and draw near to Him, heart to heart. As you spend time building into this relationship it will enhance and deepen every other meaningful connection in your life.

“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Prayer: Lord help me to be honest and transparent with you and that as I do I will learn how to be open and more connected with those around me. Would you please send people into my world that I can build real, genuine, heart to heart relationships with. In Jesus name Amen.

27 Sept – Let Not Your Heart’s Be Troubled

One thing I need to keep a watch on in my life is keeping my heart from getting troubled. Just read a newspaper, social media, listen to the news or people’s conversations and we will surely find, hear or see something that has the potential to trouble our hearts.

However Jesus said something to guide us when He said, “Let not your hearts be troubledBut believe and trust in God” (John 14:1) Meaning don’t worry and be troubled, but have faith, keep going and believe in Me.

When Jesus said those words to His disciples they were about to face more trouble than most of us can even imagine. Jesus was aware of His impending death and crucifixion, His friends were all about to flee for their lives, there was uncertainty, death, disease, poverty and exhibitions of harshness and cruelty by the ruling Romans and society as a whole that we can scarcely comprehend in our modern times.

Yet Jesus said to His disciples, as He still does to us today, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” He goes on to teach us why we don’t need to be troubled. For He:

1. Has prepared a place for us, so that where He is, there we may be also. (John 14:3)

2. That those who believe in Him will assuredly do greater works than He has did while walking the earth. (John 14:12)

3. Holy Spirit will abide with us forever, and God Himself will make His home with us if we ask Him to be part of our lives. (John 14:17-21)

We don’t need to be troubled because if we have a relationship with Jesus He promises He is with us, that we have open access to heaven and we know where we are going when our time here is done. That if we believe in Him and His words remain in us we will also work and see amazing miracles, provision, healings, outpourings of power, wisdom, strength, and comfort.

Jesus is faithful. When He says, “don’t let our hearts be troubled”, it’s because He knows we don’t need to allow the crazy things of this world to steal our peace and He has a way around everything.

He is our peace and He expects us to do the works and miracles He did, instead of coming under the trouble, turmoil and wickedness of the world. The works Jesus did, He said we will do also and even greater. The peace He gave, we can minister to others. The comfort and strength He carried wherever He went, we too carry if we determine to abide in Him and let His words abide and settle down on the inside of us.

Today, discover and know who God is, and the truth that He is greater than any wickedness, disease, bad report, evil or trouble we may face in this world. Abide in Him and let His words abide within you and He will teach you His ways and give His assurance and wisdom so you’ll know what to do and when to do it. Wherever you go be encouraged that because of His love and goodness that none of us needs to live troubled anymore.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid”. (John 14:27)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” (John 15:16)

Prayer: Lord I choose to let your love and words rest in me today as you teach me your ways and wisdom. I will not let my heart be troubled because I trust and abide in you today. In Jesus name Amen.

26 Sept – Circles Of Disclosure

One of our sons just came into my office to talk to me about how he is keeping someone in his world at a distance. They should be like family to him, but through unfortunate circumstances he doesn’t feel like they are any more than a distant family friend.

I guess our son has decided for himself what his “circles of disclosure” are going to be. By circles of disclosure I mean that he is setting boundaries in his relationships with others and as a result his circle has become smaller in an effort to protect himself, which is sadly what most of us can end up doing as adults.

Circles of disclosure relate to the proximity and intimacy we allow in relation to ourselves and others. The closest circle, extending outwards consists of our dealings with firstly our family, then friends, colleagues, acquaintances and finally strangers. The greater the distance the circles extend from us the less those people know of who we truly are.

As an adult I am constantly working on my circles of disclosure and trust issue. I know that God wants us to have real connection both with Him and with those around us. Relationship is key to God and it’s why He created us in the first place.

He wanted to have a family and to share His creation with us. He is the God who at the end of the day walked in the garden with Adam and Eve wanting to hear about their day and to share His heart with them. When relationship was broken God continually reached out to reconnect with us in any way He could, and even called Abraham His friend. Jesus gathered his twelve disciples around them, and John his disciple is especially referred to as the one whom Jesus loved. (John 13:23)

“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.” (James 2:23)

Relationships, self disclosure and the proximity we allow others to get to who we truly are can be challenging. Primarily because it makes us vulnerable, and vulnerability can be a scary thing. But a full life always includes sharing our lives with other people and letting them into our world. Without disclosure and people getting close to us we will fail to really know what love is or live the full enriched life God desires for us.

The journey of letting people into our world is a process of communication by which one person reveals information about themself to another, and is reciprocated in kind. It includes the sharing of thoughts, our heart, feelings, aspirations, goals, failures, successes, fears, and dreams, as well as one’s likes, dislikes, and favorites.

The journey of self disclosure is one that takes time, often includes confronting our fears and learning to trust both God, ourselves and those He brings into our world.

As I look at Jesus and study how He relates to others and his efforts with me, I know that He really wants us to grow to trust; to be open, vulnerable and become people who can love and be loved freely. It’s who He is, and how He wants His friends to be too.

Today, I encouraged our son that it’s okay and really important to be honest about how he feels, but to continue to work at being vulnerable too. I really want him to be able to love and to be loved, and for him to let God fully heal his heart and grow his emotional capacity so that he can freely do that. I’m praying we can all do that too.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7-8)

Jesus said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

Prayer: Lord please help me to love and be loved. That I wouldn’t keep people at a distance all the time, but will allow myself to feel, to trust and to be more vulnerable. I know I can do that because you have my back, will give me wisdom on who is being real and who isn’t to be trusted and that I can always rely on you. In Jesus name Amen.

25 Sept – Hold On

Holding onto what we believe God has said to us, even in the face of contrary circumstances, is one of the biggest and hardest things we’ll ever have to do in our walk with God.

Take for example Abraham who was childless when God spoke to him and told him he was going to be a father. And not just the father of one child, but the father of a nation with descendants as vast as the stars in the heavens. At the time Abraham had no children and for twenty five more years, even after God had spoken this word, Abraham and his wife Sarah remained childless. Until finally when all natural hope had gone and Sarah was well past the age of being able to fall pregnant, she gave birth to a son Isaac.

Every day, year after year they’d held onto the promise, and no doubt everyday they’d battled with others opinions, their own doubts and the conflict in their minds and bodies as to how this was ever going to happen.

Yet Abraham chose against all hope to believe, and as a result he is called the Father of Faith. He figured out that if we’re ever going to receive all that God says is ours, then we’d better choose to believe and act differently from the general population. (Romans 4:1-12)

One of the biggest keys I see in Abraham’s walk of faith and choosing to walk differently is that he determined to keep what God had spoken and revealed to him before his eyes and in his mouth.

God changed Abraham’s name from Abram to Abraham because it means Father of a nation. Every time he said his name or other’s called out to Him it reminded Abraham and prophesied God’s promise to all listening – Abraham you are a Father! Each night when he looked up at the night sky he stood and remembered what God had spoken; that his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky.

In a world where there are so many voices telling us so many things as to what we should value and believe, we are going to have to make a choice. Do we listen to the noise or do we listen to God’s still quiet voice. His voice which speaks to our hearts and tells us things to come, who we are and all that He has planned for us?

Today I recommend choosing to stop and listen to God’s voice and to spend time searching His words in the bible to discover what He has promised and wants to show you. Then stand and hold onto what God speaks and reveals to your heart to be true, and be brave enough to believe it as you keep it before you eyes and in your mouth. Because that’s the path to living the life for which you were born.

“The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram.
  I am your shield, your very great reward.”

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?”  And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”

 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”(Genesis 15:6)

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.  This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:18-22)

Prayer: Lord I hold onto your promises and thank you that you are faithful. Please help me to keep what you have spoken before my eyes and in my mouth, and to remember that it is by faith and patience that we inherit the promises of God. (Heb 6:12) In Jesus name Amen.

24 Sept – Best Is Yet To Come

It’s fantastic when we retell our’s or other people’s stories of what God has done in our past or even just last month. But it’s also important that we have daily accounts of what He is doing today! That our best stories are not months or years ago, but that we have a living, vital relationship with God. That the deeper we go in our relationship with Jesus the greater the stories we have to tell of His power working in and through our lives. 

I love that God never intended that our walk with Him would start with a “bang” and then fade out. He plans that we will still be running five, ten, twenty, fifty years on and that the testimonies and stories we first experienced will be nothing compared to what’s happening in our lives now and in the future. Because what we’ve experienced is nothing in comparison to what God has in store for us, if we’d just keep going deeper in our relationship with Him. For, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor 2:9)

Today remember and celebrate all that you have seen and experienced in your walk with God so far. But also make a decision to not live there, but to keep going deeper and further in your relationship with Him. Start to believe and build your faith for God to do more in your life and to know Him in a greater way. That you would become bigger on the inside.

So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a crop if we don’t give up, or quit.” (Galatians 6:9)

“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” (Job 5:9)

“For the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32 NKJV)

Prayer: Jesus I want to have my own amazing stories to tell of what I have seen and experienced with you. Please use me to do great things and for my light to just get brighter and brighter. Let’s do something awesome today. In Jesus name Amen.

23 Sept – Your Miracle In The Making

I know from experience that it’s when we are facing our biggest opposition and battle that God will march into our circumstances and bring about the greatest miracles in our lives.

But it’s often while we are in the midst of these battles that we can easily fail to see that God is working behind the scenes on our behalf. That He is busy lining up breakthroughs and answers to our prayers. That we are actually in the middle of the making of our miracle.

However when we are in the middle of a miracle been made it may feel chaotic and like all hell is breaking loose. Your finances are under pressure, the medical report looks worse, there is bad news everywhere you look.

When God parted the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites it would have looked chaotic. On either side of the path through the sea there was gigantic walls of water being held back by the wind. The people were frightened, children and parents would have been running to get to the other side, the elderly struggling to get to safety, and everyone wondering if the wall of water was going to come crashing down on them. It wasn’t until they got safely to the other side that they would have relaxed and started rejoicing. Yet God had been in their midst the whole time, working to deliver and fulfil His promises.

It’s usually only when we look back that we realise when things were the most chaotic and our strength and hopes were fading, that we were actually at that moment in the middle of our miracle. Take for example David as he ran into battle against the giant Goliath, the Israelites passing through the walls of water, Joseph as he sat in a prison cell. Of Mary as a pregnant teenager, a grief stricken widow burying her only son, a blind man begging by the roadside and Jesus as he hung dying on a wooden Cross. All were struggling with some of their worst, most frightening and stressful moments. Yet on the other side of these moments was victory and triumph.

David slayed the Giant, Joseph was promoted from prisoner to the second most powerful person in the land, Mary a pregnant teenager became the mother of the Saviour of the world. A grief stricken mother saw her son raised to life in the middle of his funeral. A blind man’s sight suddenly was restored as Jesus passed by and Jesus the biggest of all miracles, conquered sin and death and redeemed all mankind.

In our darkest hour, when we are struggling to see glimpses of light, God can be heard saying, “Hold on, for I am at work.” It’s why Paul in the bible says, “God always causes us to triumph.”. (2 Cor 2:14)

Regardless of what it is we face, it is no surprise to God. He is not surprised by a global pandemic, financial pressures, sickness, or the stress and worry it may cause. He has the answer already prepared and a way through every situation we will ever face. He is not concerned by Red Seas, prison walls, people’s opinions, enormous smelly giants, bad medical reports or even death. He knows how to override the natural order of things to get the answers to us. He knows how to send a wind to push the water back, enable a shepherd boy to become a mighty warrior King, raise the dead, heal sick minds and bodies, restore families and set the prisoners free.

Today you could well be in the middle of your miracle and you don’t even know it. Your story does not end here, so hold on and stand firm in your faith and God’s promises. There’s a miracle in the making with your name on it!

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (2 Corinthians 2:14 NLT)

The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever.” (Psalm 138:8 NKJV)

“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:23-30)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you always cause me to triumph. Today I’m trusting in you and holding onto the fact that you still perform miracles and are faithful to fulfill your word and promises. Thank you for my miracle. In Jesus name Amen.

22 Sept – Better Together

A few years ago we travelled around the USA as a family and visited a beautiful spot called Lake Gage in Indiana U.S.A. We had a great time seeing the sights, walking by the lake, admiring the picture postcard houses, eating lots and being introduced to some American traditions.

One of those traditions was making smores; a gooey marshmallow and chocolate concoction squished between two sweet crackers. On learning how to make Smores properly I’ve decided that smores are a little bit like how life can be.

To make a great smore you need two marshmallows (U.S. A. marshmallows are giant size) – one is okay, but two is better which is much like what the bible says, “Two are better than one, for when one person falls the other can help him up”. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) When we have the right people in our life who encourage and help us to be the best version of ourselves, two are better than one. 

To make smores you need to toast the marshmallows so they are all gooey. God has also actually designed and works in us to be soft and gooey on the inside when we allow Him to work in our hearts. Just like a toasted marshmallow He wants us to be warm and soft in the middle so that things work, we have great relationships and things all come together.

Chocolate seems to make a lot of things better and smores are no exception. Coupled with two toasted marshmallows it just works, much the same as being with others in unity makes everything work better in life too. God says, that “where there is unity He commands a blessing.” (Psalm 133:1)

Lastly are Graham crackers – a crunchy, honey flavored cracker that makes a smore all come together. It’s the crunch that balances and makes all the gooey sweetness that extra bit special. Smore crackers are a lot like life’s “meaty bits” where you just have to buckle down and get things done. It may be a handful and even difficult to handle at times, but the “crunchy” not so smooth parts of life are where God works in us. He perfects our patience and character, and in the process we get the opportunity to put wheels on our faith.  

Chocolate, marshmallows and crackers are all great individually, but they become something pretty special when put together. To be honest I think they really are better together.

Today know that God is the midst of every circumstance and is working to make everything work out for the best. There may be hard times, but God is still working in the difficulties and will draw people around you to encourage and lighten the load. Watch out for the sweet parts of your day and for those who love and care for you, because they are the ones who will help bring and keep it all together, much like marshmallows and chocolate.

And we know that all things work together for good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purposes” (Romans 8 : 28)

Prayer: Lord help me to appreciate the sweet, gooey parts of my life, as well as the “I need to get on with it” parts. Thank you for what you are doing in me today and please help my life to be as flavoursome and good as a smore. In Jesus name Amen.  

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