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October 2020

30 Oct – Focus On Jesus

Today I had to have an MRI scan on my knee which was hurt as I was thrown off a horse a few weeks ago. To have the scan you are required to lie on a table with your leg braced in a contraption to hold it very still. Then you are conveyed into a large domed machine, having first been fitted with earplugs and then headphones to protect your hearing.

This scan takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and the whole time you are not allowed to move. However the funny thing is the moment you are told not to move it’s exactly what you want to do. Suddenly you start to feel an itch under your braced knee, your toes wiggle involuntarily and you seriously want to sneeze. The more you try focusing on not moving that body part, the more intense the desire to move, scratch and wiggle becomes.

As I lay trying desperately to think of other things today, I started to ponder on the fact that my scratchy knee and wiggly toes were primarily a product of my focus. I couldn’t do something and had to hold completely still, and so immediately I wanted to move everything.

In our everyday life we are often faced with similar challenges. We decide to eat healthier and forgo sugar and then suddenly everywhere we go we are offered cake, our favourite chocolate is on special and it seems we are bombarded by every sugary food advertisement on TV and social media. Whatever it is we are seeking to let go of or move away from so that we can move forward in an area of our life, is often the very thing that will try and negotiate to tempt us back again.

However as I lay in the MRI machine today I discovered that as I focused on talking to Jesus and contemplating all the good things He was doing in my life I completely forgot about the need to scratch my knee, wiggle my toes and sneeze. Actually before I knew it 15 minutes had passed by and the friendly technician was lifting my knee out of the scanning equipment and telling me I could sit up and leave. Not only had I been able to remain still as requested, I hadn’t even noticed the time and my previous desire to wiggle and scratch had disappeared.

Instead of trying not to do or be something choose to fix your focus on Jesus. It’ll cause your thoughts, responses and attitudes to be directed towards Him so that everything else starts to fade away.

Focus on Jesus today and all will fall into its rightful place.

My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight,
 that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.
” (Proverbs 5:1-2)

You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you are the one who makes all else fade away in the light of who you are. Please help me to set my heart and mind on you today so that everything else in my life falls into place. In Jesus name Amen.

29 Oct – Empowered For Life

Most people usually comment I’m either superwoman or a little crazy. But I’ve discovered that when God places dreams and desires in our hearts He will also give us the grace we need to walk them out. As we stay connected to Him and the life He’s called us to, He empowers and anoints us to be able to live it out well.

It doesn’t mean it will always be easy, but if we believe that God has called us to a certain life and pursuit of a dream, then with that call comes the anointing, grace and empowering to do that life in all its fullness, with nothing lacking or missing.

For many years I would have a baby on my arm who I had just breastfed, changed and then handed to my husband or their older sibling so I could get up and speak or lead in some way. Some nights I got little sleep but still knew we’d have to get all six kids – (babies and teenagers) ready early in the morning, be presentable and up in front of or welcome a house full of people that God had entrusted us to encourage and help. I completed my studies whilst our kids were all little or school age, church planted, pastored, supported my husband numerous times as he’s completed another course of study or new role. We’ve travelled as a family, ministered overseas, started new ventures, businesses and homeschooled our youngest three children. I’ve been dance, music and sport mum, whilst also endeavouring to use the other gifts and abilities God has given me.

The truth is the life we are called and destined for will undoubtedly push us past our comfortability, and original knowledge and abilities. It will always stretch us to walk out our calling and to go after life with both hands. Yet I’ve learnt that this is the place we can discover a renewed awareness of God’s presence, strength and the motivation to face our fears, any limitations and to do it anyway. We learn how to work with others, to pull our resources together and to let go of the small stuff. The very place where we feel we have run out of strength and ability is also our opportunity to discover a deeper revelation of God and His abiding presence with us.

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” (Romans 8:11)

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Ultimately God wants us to enjoy our life and to find life balance so we can prosper in every area; in our career, business, studies, family and relationships. Jesus Himself said, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]“. (John 10:10 Amp)

Don’t be afraid of attempting something that takes you out of your comfort zone, or maybe hasn’t even been done by anyone else you know before. Instead take time to pray and ask God what He has for your life and the dream and desires He has placed in your heart. Read His Word to build your faith that all things are possible with God, spend time in His presence, get His strategy and then go for it.

“Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us”. (Ephesians 3:20 Amp)

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you empower me to fulfill all that I am created to be and do. When it is hard I know your grace is sufficient for me and when I feel weak you are strong in me. In Jesus name Amen.

28 Oct – Dive In Deep

There is a Latin maxim, which says, “True breadth is achieved through depth”. Much like when you travel to a different country and instead of trying to see and experience everything, you only choose a few places and see them well. This strategy I think is far better than attempting to see everything at once, and then becoming so exhausted that each place you visit just blurs into another so that you can’t really remember anything in particular when you return home.

We can experience this dilemma in every area of our life; in our relationships with God and other people, our education, experiences and life in general. We can easily settle for experiencing things in a hit and miss way, never really discovering our passions, abilities and the depth of wonder around us because we lack the time and commitment to go deeper.

Seeking depth means we lighten the load; we make our life simpler and less complicated; we choose to focus on those things that are truly worth our time and effort. We choose less, so that we might go deeper!

Today I encourage you to examine your life and assess whether you are just skimming the surface in your relationships, experiences and in your pursuit of Jesus? Are you merely paddling around in the shallows in your education and the exploring of the world around you, never really being inspired or excited by what you see because there is no depth to your discoveries.

The choice is ours everyday whether we come out of the shallows, in order to dive in deep. To expect and pray as Paul prayed when talking about going deeper in God– “so that I may know Him (Jesus) (becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely and in that same way experience the power of His resurrection which overflows and is active in believers”. (Philippians 3:9-10 AMP)

Prayer: Lord please help me to prioritise those relationships and pursuits that are worth going deeper in. Most of all help me to go deeper in my relationship with you. I want to come out of the shallows. In Jesus name Amen

27 Oct – Kept Safely

Frapping is a nautical technique that sailors used when a ship was being beaten about by the wind and waves and at risk of breaking apart. Sailors would take ropes and chains and literally wrap the boat with these bands to strengthen the vessel. This would hold the vessel together against the pounding waves and keep the ship and its occupants safe and intact.

Frapping reminds me of what God does in our lives. He holds all things together by the power of His Word and who He. However in much the same way that a ship would be at risk of being damaged if it shook off its safety bands, we can also be hurt needlessly when we ignore and fight against God’s safety bands and boundaries in our lives too.

God knows where and when we need to be held together in alignment with Him and within His loving, firm hand. He never wants to limit our freedom or joy in life, but He does want to protect us from entering into stormy seas and treacherous territory needlessly.

Today whatever you are going through be encouraged that God is your ever present help and will lead you in the way to go. At times what He asks of us may feel constricting or not what we feel like doing. However just as the ‘frapping” bands secured a ship so it wouldn’t break apart, God secures and often pulls us together and even up on things in our lives so that we won’t get beaten around by unnecessary troubles and storms. When He holds us and we don’t fight His guidance we’ll always be able to keep moving forward regardless of conditions and make it safely home.

“For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17)

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8)

Prayer: Lord thank you for your loving hand on my life. Sometimes I may want to shake off your guidance and do my own thing, but I choose to listen, accept your counsel and follow you today. In Jesus name Amen.

26 Oct – What To Do When Things Don’t Go To Plan

I’ve learnt that we can’t judge how much God loves us by our circumstances. God loves us regardless of our circumstances, and His plan is always good even when we don’t understand why some things happen.

When something in our life fails to go according to plan there are a few things we would be wise NOT to do.

1.Don’t throw up our hands and give up.There is no point in quitting. Sometimes we may need to adjust our course a little, but if we know that God is in what we are doing, and we are praying and seeking to live His ways, we can’t just give up. Our answer and our results just haven’t shown up yet. It’s God’s job to keep His promises, and ours to keep believing.

2.Don’t get angry and throw a “hissy fit”.We can all be tempted to get angry when things don’t go our way. But anger just leads to strife and fear, and those two things hinder the working of our faith. God is busy behind the scenes and there is a lot of activity and work that goes into making God’s plans for our life come about. Stay out of anger, in faith and trusting God.

3.Don’t panic. God knows the beginning from the end and everything in between. He has the answers, the way through, and the break we need. He promises that He knows the plans He has for us, plans to give us a hope and a future. So we just need to relax and rest in the knowledge that everything is going to be all right in the end. (Jeremiah 29:11)

No matter what happens it’s important that we don’t throw away our confidence in God’s goodness. There are times in life where we may not understand what is happening, but we can’t let what has or hasn’t happened dictate what we are going to believe. Psalm 27:13 promises that, “We WILL see the goodness of God in the land of the living”.

When things go wrong or not according to our plans, trust that God has it under control. Trust is a choice to believe that God is good, and that he’s working things out to our advantage. Trust means holding onto what His word says regardless and being patient and giving God time to work on our behalf. We are always in such a hurry, but I’ve discovered God isn’t.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, …He makes ALL things beautiful in His time”. God specialises in the business of restoration and restitution, promising to work all things together for our good. (Romans 8:28)

“The LORD says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.” ( Joel 2:25)

Today if you have been disappointed or things have not worked out as you planned, take heart the journey isn’t over yet and God says with Him your life has good things up ahead. So don’t have a “hissy fit” and give up; keep trusting God, keep believing and you will see the goodness of God in the land of the living.

Prayer: Lord thank you that no matter what I face, you will make all things work together for my good. Help me to trust in you and to keep believing and standing on your promises until I see your plans and purposes for my life fulfilled. In Jesus Name Amen.

25 Oct – Learning To Listen

Over the last few days due to a riding accident I’ve had to be very quiet and pretty much do nothing. However I’ve learnt over the years that this is an ideal time to especially lean in, pray and hear from heaven. Jesus said that He is the Good shepherd and that those who follow Him and His ways are His sheep, and we will know His voice.

However to hear clearly we have to learn to tune the frequency of our heart and spirit to Jesus and tune out all the other background noise. Tuning into Jesus’ voice is much like the story of a man who lost a valuable watch while working in his ice house. He searched carefully, raking through the sawdust but failed to find his missing watch. Others helped look but they also couldn’t locate the man’s watch either.

One day a small boy quietly went into the ice house during lunch break. After a few minutes he came back out with the lost watch in his hand. Amazed, everyone asked how he found it. “It was simple,” the boy replied. “I just closed the door, lay down in the sawdust and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking.”

Jesus wants us to know and recognise His voice but if we don’t take the time to be quiet, or we’re only listening for the things we want to hear we can miss what He is saying. Yet the moment we stop and seek Him for what He has to reveal and not merely what we may want to hear, we will discover Him speaking to our hearts.

There is no substitute for taking  time to listen, so today take the time to do just that. As you read God’s word and sit in His presence just listen. As you go through your day tune your heart and spirit to be Jesus’ voice. As you talk with others watch out for God speaking to you through them. For as you seek Jesus and truly desire to hear from Him you’ll discover like the boy who found the watch, direction, revelation and your own valuable treasure.

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know Me.” “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:14; 27)

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13)

This is what the Sovereign LORD, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength (Isaiah 30:15).

Prayer: Lord please help me to stop, rest and listen in your presence. Thank you that you are my shepherd and that I can hear and discern your voice speaking to me today. In Jesus Name Amen.

24 October 2020 – The Path to Greatness

Today’s blog is written Dayle’s husband, Philip.

As an executive coach I often work with people helping them maintain a clear focus to achieve their goals.  It takes discipline and perseverance to become the best person we can be and achieve all we were made to be.

Several years ago, Dayle took on the challenge to give people a daily blog that would help to reflect, inspire and encourage them to be the best they can be. This is quite a goal, taking time every day to encourage us all to aim higher.

This past week had been a little different for our household.  On Tuesday Dayle was bucked off by a horse and broke her collar bone.  After a full day in hospital she is now home unable to currently used her arm, and in a fair bit of pain.

What’s amazing is the dedication, resilience, and commitment Dayle has to fulfill her promises.  As of yesterday, Dayle has blogged daily 1773 times. That is almost 5 years of blogging without missing a day through travel,  working,  illness, computer breakdowns, helping our children move across the country,  changing jobs, and now while unable to use her right arm, very little sleep, and facing ongoing pain.

I have watched her blog from parks, from the passenger seat of the car, while flying, sitting on trains, early in the morning and late at night from all parts of the world. 

Dayle’s dedication had shaped many lives, at last count over 20,000 people monthly. Looking at the feedback Dayle receives the daily blog is helping shape your life as it is mine.  Her commitment and discipline inspires me to be better and push myself out of my comfort zone, to aim higher, and to be more disciplined.

We all have many parts to our lives. Yet regardless of the skills, talents, goals, and purpose we may have nothing replace character. One of the best bits of character I have learnt from Dayle is self-discipline. I like things to be comfortable and easy and there are times I have used difficulties and challenges as an excuse to not follow through.  But Dayle has shown that to truly achieve our life’s purpose we must push through the difficult times to follow through on our commitments.  When we do, we truly make a lasting impact, and achieve results.

My challenge to you today. is what are you letting stop you achieving your dreams and goals?  Ask yourself if those things that are blocking you are because you are not disciplined enough to push through the tough times. Ask yourself what you could achieve if you persisted and really gave it your best shot.

Take a moment today and think about what a difference your life would be if you really committed to your goals.  Life has a purpose. Are you achieving yours or are you allowing compromise and poor self discipline stop you?

After all the scans and x-rays my wife has had this week, I have seen parts of her I have never seen before.  Yet even after a day of painful scans, prodding and medical attention, Dayle returned home late in the evening and wrote her blog. This is the commitment it takes to really make an impact and achieve our purpose.

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”  Hebrews 12:11

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Cor 9: 24-27

“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” Proverbs 13: 4

23 Oct – Look Up

There is something special about someone you like or love coming to find you. As in the movies when the girl or the guy is all set to leave and the other person jumps on a plane, speeds along a busy freeway or climbs over a mass of people at a busy train station to loudly declare their love…

But I know an even better tale of love which is recounted in Luke 13:10-17 in the bible and tells of how Jesus healed a woman who had been bent over double for 18 years.

Jesus was teaching in a meeting and there was a woman who was suffering with some sort of spinal fusion which caused her body to be bent over. She had spent 18 years staring at the floor, unable to stand or sit, or even to straighten up her crooked back.

Many people had been healed as they came to Jesus and asked Him for healing, but this woman did not ask. Maybe she couldn’t move fast enough to reach Jesus to ask, or perhaps she couldn’t even look up to be able to see where He was. But Jesus saw her, and better than any other love story or heroic dash to airports or train stations Jesus not only saw this poor bent over woman, He also called out to her. He called and went to her with deep love and compassion for her tragic circumstances and said, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity. And laying His hands on her, she immediately was made straight.” (Luke 13:13)

There may be times when we think God does not even notice us, especially when we feel like we are bent over like the woman Jesus healed. But He does, and just as He called out to the bent over woman who had spent the previous 18 years staring at the floor, He calls out to each and every one of us. He sees and notices us amongst all the mistakes, the distractions and anything else that may prevent us from seeing or coming to Him. He calls out to us and offers to heal, restore, rescue and remind us of who we truly are. He calls out to us even when we may not be able to see Him because we are struggling to look up from the floor.

Today listen out for His voice, for just as Jesus laid his hands upon the bent over woman and she was immediately healed, He will be calling you and wanting to meet your every need today.  That woman no longer had to spend her life staring at the floor, but was able to fully look up at the one who had made the effort and sacrifice to leave His home and come looking for her, and He’ll do the same for you too.

This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.” (1 John 4:9-11 The Message)

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Prayer: Lord I don’t want to spend any more time staring at the floor, or being fused in one spot where I feel like I can’t go anywhere. I want to be free to really live the life you left heaven to come and give to me. I receive that life you offer today. In Jesus name Amen.

22 Oct – You Can Do It

“I can’t” is a phrase that I endeavour to keep out of my vocabulary. It’s a choice I made many years ago when I decided I wanted to run at life instead of settling or stepping back off challenges or opportunities in fear or doubt.

I’m also challenged by the fact that an, “I can’t” type of attitude and set of beliefs is the complete opposite of faith and trust, especially when God’s word clearly says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13). This leaves me with a choice in how I live my life; “I can’t and doubt and fear, or faith and trust and an “I can” type of life.

Reflect for a moment how often you think and say the words “I can’t” in a day? “I can’t do that”. “I can’t handle it”. “I can’t understand”. “I can’t afford that”. “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t”. When in actual fact even in our own strength with discipline and consistency we can always do far, far more than we give ourselves credit for. We are after all, each made in the image of God Himself and therefore have within us immense potential.

Add the fact that Jesus says that we can do ALL things when He is strengthening and enabling us to that potential, and “I can’t” is no longer a factor to consider when determining what and how we will go about our day. When Jesus is involved and we learn how to lean into His grace, which means supernatural ability, all things become possible.

Undoubtedly in our own strength and ability we will inevitably run out of power, but not with Jesus enabling us. With Him we can run and not grow weary and walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31). We can have revealed to us the very mysteries of the universe, see new creative ways of doing things, think outside the box and see and live life from a completely different and unlimited perspective. For in Him we can live, and move and have our being”. (Acts 17:28).

We were never created to live independent from God, but when we suppose God isn’t interested in our life we will take take the ” I can, and all things are possible factor out and dumb it down to limitations, fear, lack and “I can’t” beliefs and thinking.

Today determine you are going to be a “I can” type of person, as you take what you have, dream of and are believing for in your life and connect into Jesus’ limitless strength, power and ability. You can do it!

‘For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together”. (Colossians 1:16-17)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” (Ephesians 6:10)

Prayer: Lord thank you that I can do all things you have planned for me to walk im because you will give me strength. I’m taking “I can’t” out of my vocabulary and choosing to align my thinking and words up with what you say I can do, and the purpose you have for my life. In Jesus name Amen.

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