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December 2020

22 Dec – The Miracle Magnet

I’ve been thinking about how I can grow in my attitude of gratitude lately. I’ve discovered that unless I am mindful of my gratitude attitude that it’s very easy to slip into complaining and being negative.

Whereas practicing gratitude has a positive effect not just on our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health but also on all those around us. As we express our gratitude we become more aware of God’s presence and welcome him moving in our lives, and when that happens anything is possible! (Psalm 100:4)

However when we incessantly complain we limit our ability to recognise the good things or to see the possibilities in front of us.

The solution to ingratitude is to be intentionally thankful. Here are a few ideas to help make gratitude a bigger part of your life.

1. Thank God. When we want to grumble and complain, thank and praise God for His goodness instead. Be thankful for things you usually take for granted, such as your food, water, electricity, hot showers, transport etc. It will soon change your focus from grumbling to appreciation and from negativity to hope. Practice looking for the good instead of the bad.

2. Keep a journal or gratitude jar: Note 3-5 things you are grateful for everyday and write them down and give thanks as you do.

3. Aim to give at least one compliment every day, whether directly to a person or by sharing your appreciation of something.

4.What can I learn from this? When you find yourself in a difficult situation what can you learn from it? What can you be grateful for in this circumstance?

5. Set yourself a goal to not complain for 30 days. Get into the God’s word on what He says about about being grateful and write a scripture down each day. Ask Jesus to help change your focus from negativity to hope.

6. Talk about good things: Instead of calling someone to complain about your life use the time to talk about some positive things that have happened or you’ve heard about since you last spoke.

Gratefulness to God for who He is and what He has done are all expressions that send a message to God that resonates with who He is. Gratitude is a magnet for miracles because it’s the language of heaven. 

Today focus on all that God has provided for you and the potential each new day contains to something great to happen. As the Psalms say; “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1)

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world…”(Philippians 2:14)

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” (Psalm 100:4)

Prayer: Lord help me to have an attitude of gratitude instead of one of complaining and entitlement. Today I want to say thank you for all that you have done and how much you love me. In Jesus Name Amen.

21 Dec – Finding Jesus

There are some circumstances in life where our world can be exploding with noise, and some of that noise is deafening, chaotic and can even throw us off balance.

A remedy to this noise is to find some time to be quiet. Primarily because in the quiet God can be found and it’s there that He restores our soul. In the quietness we are made strong as Jesus calls us to be still so that He can bring rest and peace to our busy minds and hearts.

However perhaps instead of quietness and rest many of us have learnt to hear the voice of the world and it’s  constant chatter and noise, but have failed to learn and to recognise God’s voice in the quiet.

Today think about the past 24 hours of your life. How much quiet have you had? What noise in your life keeps you from hearing God’s voice and experiencing His presence?

Psalm 23 encourages us to discover quietness and to seek and be led to quiet places.

“The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (my life);He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. (Psalm 23:1-2 Amplified version)

Try this challenge – for one week. Spend five minutes each day sitting with Jesus in quiet.  Don’t read, petition or recite off your list of thoughts and requests to Him. Just sit and absorb the quiet and turn your heart inwards and focus on Jesus.

Take time to allow Him to restore and to bring strength today. For “In quietness and confident trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

Prayer: Lord please help me to find you in the quiet. To take the time to still my heart and mind each day so that I might simply sit with you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

20 Dec – The Picture On The Box

A few months ago I sold what I thought was our inflatable pool. It was in its box and I didn’t check that it was actually our pool. It turns out the box was full of two air mattresses, but fortunately the people buying it decided they would keep the mattresses and not worry about the pool.

2020 has been a bit like my pool sale. At the start of the year and the new decade we were excited by the picture on the box and what we believed and desired 2020 to be. However very quickly we realised the year was going to be vastly different from the display “on the 2020 box”. For some it has been a very difficult and disappointing year where they threw out their goals and calendar and battened down the hatches to weather the storm as best they could. Others have adjusted to the challenges and determined to make the most of the situation, which has enabled them to harness the potential of what came out of the box . A bit like choosing to go camping with my air mattresses rather than having a pool party in the backyard.

Whatever your year has looked like 2020 has been a timely reminder to all of the importance of being able to adjust and adapt. For my family it’s meant a lot of change and adjustment. We’ve had to close down public gatherings, cancel our trip to the USA for Christmas, my husband lost his job, I’ve had an accident, some of our children have struggled with illness and two more of our children moved interstate in amongst state border closures. We’ve had to adjust, trust and lean into God and His promises. Instead of an overseas trip we have paid off all our small debts, our kids have had to grow and become more self-sufficient, my husband chose to upskill and completed his MBA, I made use of my time and studied and honed my skills and we’ve taken some time out to recharge and reconnect.

It’s when we are under pressure that we see who we are and what we believe, and it’s in those moments that it’s vital that we look for the potential and possibilities rather than all the problems, trusting that God will work all things together for our good. (Romans 8:28)

Some things are out of our control but we are able to control our responses and attitude. We can seek God as to what and how we wants us to move forward and trust that He is working even when we can’t see or feel it.

As the year draws to a close and you start to contemplate what is ahead, I encourage you to set some goals and a vision for the New Year. But also be ready to adapt and adjust your strategy and plans if the picture on the box of 2021 starts to look different from what you have planned. God always has a counter strategy for anything the devil thinks up and promises to “perfect all that concerns us” and to help us reach our goals. What He has started in us He is faithful to complete even if and when the picture looks different to our plans. And remember, “if it’s not good yet, then God’s not done yet.

Prayer: Lord thank you for the year and for being with us through it all. Please help me to see the possibilities and potential for the year ahead and teach me how to be able to adjust and adapt when the picture starts to look different to “what’s on the box”. I know that you are working all things together for my good. In Jesus name Amen.

19 Dec – Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled

Read a newspaper, facebook, listen to the news or people’s conversations and we will surely find something that has the potential to trouble our hearts.

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

When Jesus said those words to His disciples they were about to face more trouble than many of us could imagine. Jesus was aware of His impending death and crucifixtion, 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 trouble because 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 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 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 from us.

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. 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, remind yourself who God is, and the truth that He is greater than any wickedness, evil, disease or trouble we may face in this world. Abide in Him and let His words abide within you. As you do He will teach you His ways and give you assurance and wisdom so you’ll  know what to do, and not to do. Then you too can share wherever you go the truth of His love and goodness, and that none of us needs to live perpetually troubled.

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 won’t allow my heart to be troubled because I trust and abide in you today. In Jesus name Amen.

18 Dec – Overshadowed

Your shadow will always release whatever overshadows you.” Bill Johnson

What we are most aware of is what will overshadow us. An example is Peter a disciple of Jesus, whose shadow healed people as he walked along the road. Peter was so aware that Heaven was overshadowing Him that it was more of a reality than anything or anyone else. (Acts 5:15)

Psalm 91:1 says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the most high will abide under the shadow of the Almighty”.

We live under the shadow of God and He wants us to live more and more aware of His presence. That we would “set our mind on things above, not on the things on the earth” and be instrumental in releasing heaven into every situation we face and every place we go.” (Col 1:3)

“We’ve been designed as a resting place for the spirit of God. For in doing so, we change every environment that we walk into. As we give place to the spirit of God, we will find continually that we will change and shift environments, because what we are aware of is what we release all around us. (Bill Johnson)

The world is beautiful and amazing, but there is also a lot of fear, anxiety, worry and chaos. If we are not careful we can start to focus upon and turn our hearts towards the chaos. In doing so we become more aware of the confusion and worries of the world than the presence and power of God. The shadow of the world clouds our view of God and we risk losing sight of the potential and power we have in Him to bring change and deliverance.

Today consider what you are focused on? Are you aware of God’s power and presence in and upon your life? For your shadow will always release what overshadows you. I encourage you to look to God’s goodness and presence as you seek Him to bring heaven to earth.

Prayer: Lord, please help me to become more aware of your presence than anything else Help me not to allow the cares and concerns of this world to cloud my view of you and the potential I have in you to change situations around me to line up with what heaven is releasing today. In Jesus name Amen

17 Dec – Celebrate Your Wins

There is a saying that “success is a series of small wins”. However when we are busy working to achieve and reach our goals we can overlook and underestimate a powerful source of daily happiness and joy in our lives. This source is to be found in celebrating our accomplishments no matter how small.

There is however a temptation in many of us to constantly be driven forward and always be focused on “what’s next”. We can negate the importance and energy generated by taking the time to properly celebrate our progress.

Wins like getting up to exercise and eating healthy today. Wins such as tackling and making progress on a difficult project, trying something new, or pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone. Wins like facing and overcoming a fear or negative habit and spending regular quality time with God. Wins like stepping out to share our faith or to pray for someone, building into our relationships and taking the time to do the things we love.

God is also totally into celebration as is documented all through the bible. For example the shepherds, wise men, and angels celebrated the birth of Jesus with gifts, songs, and prayer. God gave Israel many directives to mark their calendar with celebrations such as the Feast of Booths, year of Jubilee, communion and baptism.

Jesus said that He came to give us joyful, overflowing life (John 10:10). He actually expects us to celebrate at every opportunity – both in our relationship with Him and also in every win we experience in our daily life. It was never God’s plan for us to live dull boring, lives, and Jesus’ example shows that. He was even criticised for partying too much by the religious people of the time.

Today give yourself permission to celebrate your wins. Document when and where you have accomplished something this week or month, remembering it’s the small wins we can easily forget about in the daily routine. Keep track and then reward and treat yourself in some way. Pause, thank God, and savour your achievements, understanding that these wins are the very things that fuel our progress, add to our sense of happiness and give us the motivation to keep going.

At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres.” (Nehemiah 12:27)

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Prayer: Lord please help me recognise and celebrate even the small wins in my life. That I would be able to see the progress and steps I am making to become all that you made me to be and to recognise your hand upon my life. In Jesus name Amen.

16 Dec – How To Create A Different Tomorrow

If we keep on doing the same things, we will keep getting the same results. Yet how many of us go from one week to the next continually doing, thinking and talking the same old things, and then wonder why we are so bored or dissatisfied with our lives?

We are creatures of habit and routine, which means that we do need to regularly challenge ourselves or we can end up in a rut and our lives being less than what God had planned for us.

The things we did yesterday have brought us to life we have today. But now if we want something different, we will have to change something today to create a different tomorrow. There’s no other way to get there.

Today, think and pray about what kind of life God has put the desire in your heart to live? What do you want to see, achieve and experience? What are you looking for in your life?

To help give yourself a “kick start” and to get a different tomorrow make a list of ten things that you would like to attempt, explore, or master and then make a plan to go and do them.

Seek God and ask Him about what He thinks. Find what God’s Word says about the desires in your heart and allow Him to speak into your thoughts and plans so that He can help you succeed.

Write these thoughts down somewhere where you will regularly see them so you can keep focused and pray over them.

God’s word says to “Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he who runs may read it.” (Habakkuk 2:2)

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)

Ask God for His strategy to help make it happen, and then start to step a little at a time to stretch and challenge yourself so that tomorrow’s results are different from today’s.

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” (Proverbs 21;5)

We are never too young or old, and while we have a heartbeat, God has a plan, purpose and tomorrow for us to look forward to and enjoy. Begin today, and create a different tomorrow.

Prayer: Lord, please help me to not live in a state of boredom and monotony when you have so much more for my life. I want to begin today to seek you and your best for my life, in Jesus name Amen.

15 Dec – Comfortable Is One Of The Worst Things You Can Be

Isaac, our youngest child and I were chatting, and he was asking me how you do scary things when you’re afraid. He wants to achieve his goals and dreams, but that will require him to step out of his comfort zone. He was telling me that Jesus had said to him that, “being comfortable is one of the worst things you can be”.

I explained to Isaac that being comfortable sounds like it should be our ultimate goal in life; in our finances, relationships, career, family and who we are. But being comfortable is not the same as being comforted. Comfort is knowing we can rest and find protection in God and His promises. Comfort is the foundation upon which we use our faith to do great things, knowing that God has our life in the palm of his hand and that all things will work together for our good.

Comfortability, however, can very easily cause us to stop being willing to place our trust, faith and courage in Jesus. Our comfortability becomes a stumbling block to our growth and faith journey.

When we allow ourselves to be comfortable in our faith, more often than not, it causes us to become complacent about our relationship, our purpose and our dreams. We are happy to stay right where we are, doing the things we’ve always done.  

Jesus wants us to know that He is our comfort and that we can find our rest and peace in Him, but that doesn’t mean we are meant to get comfortable with our life. (2 Cor 1:3) He desires us to know Him, so that from a place of comfort and security we will step out in faith and do great things…” but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits“. (Daniel 11:32) Essentially God likes us being uncomfortable because it helps us to grow and fulfill the purpose for which we were made.

Peter was comfortable being a fisherman. Then Jesus said, “Follow me,” and he became a disciple and fisher of men instead.

Mary was comfortable being a young girl engaged to her fiance, Joseph. Then an angel appeared to her, and she became the mother of Jesus.

Noah was comfortable being a husband and father. Then God told him to build an ark.

Moses, Ruth, Esther, Job, Joseph, David and many others were ordinary people living comfortable, safe lives until God showed up and told them to GO, be uncomfortable for me.

Today lean on Jesus and know that He is the God of all comfort who will uphold you through every circumstance of your life. But don’t get comfortable about the purposes of God on your life. Continually determine to step out in faith and trust knowing that there is always so much more and that you can do all things through Jesus who gives you strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you comfort and give me the strength. Please help me to find my rest and peace in you, and from that place step out to do great things. Make me uncomfortable if you need to, so that I will continue to grow. I trust you today to lead me. In jesus name Amen.

14 Dec – How To Get Things Done

Nehemiah is a great example of how to get things done and how to succeed even when under extreme pressure. He was the guy who was given the task of leading the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem after the people returned to their homeland after many years in captivity.

I love what Nehemiah said to his enemies when they were trying to distract him from his task to lead and organise his fellow countryman to rebuild the wall. His response was, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” In other words, “I’ve got an important assignment here and I don’t have time for distractors.” (Nehemiah 6:3)

Perhaps we can all learn from Nehemiah’s leadership and wisdom on how to face challenges in life and how to keep moving forward regardless.

Nehemiah displayed several qualities that enabled him to succeed where others had failed. His leadership characterises the importance of:

  1. Letting our life be compelled by purpose and vision – Nehemiah refused to be distracted or discouraged by those around him. He was compelled by a purpose and vision that helped him to focus regardless of what his enemies or even his own countryman said. This purpose gave him unwavering focus and perseverance.
  2. Commitment – Nehemiah was committed to the assignment and task he believed God had given him. This commitment enabled Nehemiah to draw the best out of others and resulted in the wall being completed in 52 days.
  3. That fear is not an option – Nehemiah didn’t allow fear and doubts to cloud his perspective or view of the future and what God had promised. Fear would have silenced and stopped from their purpose both he and his countryman. The people were under attack, had suffered failure and discouragement and didn’t know what to do. Because of this Nehemiah knew he must stand strong. He remained up on the wall away from his distractors and made the decision that fear and doubt were not an option.
  4. To pray about everything – Nehemiah sought God’s wisdom. Whatever the situation is we are to pray – we actually cannot afford not to pray.  Nehemiah prayed “Lord let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant…give your servant success today by granting him favour”. (Nehemiah 1:11) The bible encourages us, “to not worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
  5. To be courageous – There is no doubt Nehemiah and anyone else who has overcome the pressures of life and gone on to succeed in their purpose has chosen the path of courage rather than fear, doubt and timidity. God’s word also refers to courage as “good cheer” which means boldness and confidence. God repeatedly encourages us to fear not, to be of good cheer, and to have courage in life.

“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 1:9-11)

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

Whatever situations or challenges you are facing today know that God has a plan, and with Him you also can overcome. Take the time to clarify your purpose and assignment in life, commit to the task at hand, make the decision that fear is not an option. Pray about everything, and then with boldness and courage choose to stay above the “noise and distractions” as you keep moving forward.

Prayer: Lord thank you that I have a purpose and reason for being here. I choose to not listen to fear, distractions or those that would cause me to lose heart. Instead I commit to keeping my eyes on you, your Word and who you say I am today. In Jesus name Amen.

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