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Dayle's Blog

17 Jan – Ask So You’ll Receive

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I’ve been thinking about the concept of asking this week. Asking as in; saying something in order to obtain an answer or some information. It’s to make a request in the hope of our request been answered with a Yes.

I’ve realised over the years that I am really bad at asking. I hesitate, second guess, don’t want to be a bother and far too often expect when I do finally ask, for the response to be no. Perhaps that’s a result of growing up and seeing those around me struggling, or just not thinking what I wanted was important enough that I should ask. Whatever it is my hesitation to ask isn’t really something God agrees with.

If I look at God’s word its full of asking, and that God is waiting for us to ask of Him. The issue arises to ask when we don’t know His heart towards us or His willingness to answer favourably.  Or we get all religious and think God’s too busy, it’s not a “spiritual” enough request, or that it’s just for me so I shouldn’t ask – that would be selfish.

Over the years when I have really had a deep desire for God to do something in my life and I have earnestly and expectantly asked,  I’ve seen some amazing things happen. I asked specifically for the sort of man and husband I wanted to share my life with, and my request was granted…in excess. I asked for children and was blessed with six. I’ve asked for healing and been healed and seen many healed as I’ve prayed, I’ve asked for money and food to multiply and it has. I’ve recently asked for new car and received more than I asked for; in a sports model with leather seats, in my favourite colour, at a bargain price. I asked to travel as a family and we’ve travelled the world with our children to New Zealand, Thailand, the UK, Italy, USA and Canada. I regularly ask for car parks, the best deals when shopping, help with directions (I ask that alot), for Gods wisdom and peace and for joy.

There is a verse in the bible that says,”Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 4:6-7 TPT)

God wants us to ask Him about everything and for us to bring our requests to Him. Instead of worrying He says, “pray,” instead of toiling and striving for whatever we desire, He says just delight in me, seek me first and ask! Nothing is too small and nothing is too big for Him to be able to handle. In fact He loves it when we stretch our faith and believe for our dreams to happen. (Psalm 37:4; Matt 6:33; Matt 7:7; Ephesians 3:20)

Today I encourage you to bring your requests to God, checking that what you are asking for is in the guidelines of His word. Then go ahead and ask, knowing that if it brings you joy, if it makes you glad you’re alive and blesses your heart. If it makes your day easier and more joyful and peaceful, if it helps another, it’s probably going to be exactly what your loving heavenly Father desires for you too. So, “Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.” (Matt 7:7 Amp)

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” ( Roman’s 8:32)

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

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you….Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 15:7; 16:24)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you love to answer my requests, and that you say that when I ask it will be given. So I’m asking today for ……………… Thank you Lord. In Jesus name Amen

16 Jan – Encountering God

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Imagine if we all pressed the pause button on a regular basis, and cried out, “God would you visit me and reveal yourself and your ways.” Imagine if we all had a discontentment arise in our hearts where the quick fix, done that God moments weren’t enough any more and we really sought His face. Imagine if we all didn’t care if everyone thought we had “lost it”, as long as we had Jesus showing up in our lives; in our lounge rooms, workplaces and wherever we gathered together?

Where we determined to let go of our stuff; of all the distractions, habits and mindsets that hold us back and instead prayed, “God please move! Pour out your power and reveal yourself afresh; I want to know you more”.

I believe God wants us to encounter Him and for us to know Him and Him us. Because when we give Him time, when we stop rushing around in our frenetic activity and choose instead to seek Him, and I mean really seek Him, God always answers and He always shows up.

Today I encourage you to seek God, lean into Him; make it your hearts cry to know Him more. That you will encounter God and all of heaven in a fresh way so that you would never be the same again.

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14)

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT)

“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you” (Psalm 85:6)

Prayer: Lord I want to know you God and the depths of who you are. I want to experience heaven and all the wonders of your person more fully. Please would reveal more of yourself to me today. In Jesus Name Amen.

15 Jan – Capture Your Thoughts

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I woke up today and quickly found myself with a number of things bombarding my thoughts. Things where I’m waiting on others to get back to me, communication difficulties, tasks I need to get on to, family to organize and an early start to my day with vacation swimming lessons.

As I sat beside the pool an hour later I realised my stress levels were putting me into the anxious zone and that I needed to check in on my rambling thoughts and get some order happening in my brain.

That “check in” on my thoughts is important because if we don’t train ourselves to control our thought life we can end up thinking toxic thoughts which leads to negative, toxic emotions. These then can hinder our ability to think clearly, make decisions, understand and learn. Plus toxic unhindered thoughts can lead to anxiety and illness.

Today as I sat quietly watching our son swim I chose to be mindful and to take control of my thought life instead of allowing my mind to be assaulted.  I sat back and captured my thoughts one by one. I did that by grabbing a piece of paper and pen that was in my bag and writing down all my concerns and what I was thinking about. I chose to become aware of what I was thinking, feeling and focusing on details. I wrote my thoughts down so I could examine them, gain some prospective and reshape thoughts where necessary to shift from being problem, fear focused to solving issues and finding answers to my concerns.

I prayed and sought God and with his help took my chaotic thoughts, reshaped them and built some new healthy ones instead. My day suddenly got clearer, my anxiety levels dropped and I knew what I was to do with the rest of my day.

Dr Caroline Leaf in her book, “Think, Learn Succeed” says, “a controlled thinking mindset helps us to intentionally shift our focus. It allows us to determine our own performance, rather than getting stuck replaying negative experiences in our heads….if we do not capture thoughts and monitor incoming information, it is hard to change toxic and chaotic thoughts, which will steal our mental peace and ability to build useful memories and learn.

As you go through this week, don’t wait for your thoughts, emotions and day to start overwhelming you. Take the time to regularly “check in” on what you are thinking about. Capture your thoughts, examine, reshape and replace your thoughts with constructive ones if need be; make a plan to move forward and then choose to go and have a productive week.

When we choose to truly tune in to the now – to see, feel, listen, move, taste, and inhale the present, using all our senses to soak up the minute beauty of the moment – we enhance our thinking and thereby enhance our ability to learn and succeed in life.” (Dr Carolyn Leaf)

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”  (2 Cor 10:4-5 NKJV)

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” ( 2 Tim 1:7)

Prayer: Lord thank you for each new day and for my ability to achieve and succeed in it. Please help me to be awareness of my thoughts and to capture and change any toxic thoughts and mindsets I may have. I thank you that today I can do all things because you give me strength. In Jesus name Amen

 

14 Jan – Finding Peace

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Hearing about how we can trust God to take care of us, that we need not worry and everything will be alright is helpful. But it won’t remove worry and anxiety completely from our lives. Acting upon those truths, and stepping out in trust will however begin to.

As we grow in peace instead of worry we’ll discover that God actually often leads us into situations that we would previously have avoided because of our fears. We grow in peace as we step into these harder places, because it’s in doing “hard” things; moving forward, facing challenges and learning to trust despite our anxiety that deepens the reality of God’s peace in our lives.

The more we face and embrace challenges, stretch ourselves and put actions to our trust the greater our peace and freedom from worry and anxiety will become. Primarily because, “Information alone will not bring about the transformation of the whole person. We may read book after book, hear talk after talk, listen to sermons – maybe even read the Bible – but still remain just as anxious as we ever were before. There is no way to get the peace of God from our head to the rest of our body besides trusting God enough to directly confront our greatest fear“. (John Ortberg – The Me I Want To Be)

A relationship with God doesn’t mean everything is going to be without pressure or difficult, anxiety causing situations. God dosen’t want or plan for us to avoid life, but instead to face and embrace every challenge, opportunity and circumstance, because He knows it will grow peace, trust and faith within us. Some amazing things are going to happen as we step out, but there are also going to be hard and even disappointing times too. However its our choice whether we trust and move in peace and embrace fullness of life or we shrink back in worry about all the things that might happen and fail to live the life we could live, if we were only less fearful.

Today if you want to worry less and experience greater peace in your life, then I encourage you to put some wheels on your faith. Move forward and face your fears, step out and trust God a little more, challenge the negative mindsets and see how your thoughts and subsequently your actions will begin to change as you confront your fears. Don’t worry today, pray, speak what God says about you and take action instead.

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” ( 1 Peter 5:7)

Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.” (Philippians 4:6-9 TPT)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you are always with me and that I can know your peace. I choose to put off worry and anxiety and to put on peace instead. Help me to follow where you lead, to confront my fears and to grow as I do today. In Jesus name Amen

13 Jan – I Need To Know What To Do

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King Solomon in the bible was faced with the task of leading a nation after the death of his Father David and he knew it was too big a task for him alone, so he turned to God for help. He prayed. But the interesting point to note is that He didn’t just pray for His needs to be met or for everything to go well with His leadership, or for riches, power and honour. Instead Solomon prayed and asked for wisdom.

God heard his prayer and said, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold now I do according to your word” (1 Kings 3:11)

There is a natural inborn wisdom learnt from experiences, education and wise counsel. However there is also a wisdom that is neither natural or inborn. It is supernatural. It is a gift of God, and when we make God part of our lives we have this supernatural wisdom available to us.

When we don’t know what to do; when we realise and acknowledge we need wisdom and strength beyond ourselves or even others expertise or advice, we can like King Solomon ask for God to give us wisdom. That prayer request takes humility and recognition that we actually don’t know everything and need Gods help. We live in a world where everyday we are faced with real challenges both in our own lives and in the world in which we live. But God has the answers and way through if we’d ask. 

Today take the time to pray just as Solomon did that God would give you supernatural wisdom. That you would have “a spirit of wisdom and revelation” in the knowledge of God. We could all benefit from receiving this “supernatural wisdom” to answer the challenges and questions we face. If we ask, God says He will give us His strength and wisdom, so I encourage you to ask today!

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way (Colossians 1:9-10)

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

Prayer: Lord I need supernatural wisdom from heaven. I need the knowledge and understanding that you give to help me in not just in my own life but also for the world I live in. In Jesus Name Amen.

12 Jan – Discipline Leads To Success

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Life is full of the need for discipline and the focus it creates in our lives. Often we “beat ourselves” up over our failure to remain focused and follow through on our New Year resolutions. Without discipline we can easily begin to flounder in our resolve and consequently our ability to reach goals, lead a healthy lifestyle, grow spiritually and ultimately be happy.

But being disciplined is a habit we can practice for a better life and it’s what many successful people attribute their success and happiness to.

There are great benefits to leading a disciplined life. Its one of the easiest ways to gain respect in the workplace and sets a positive example to others. It creates focus, reliability, patience and consistency in our characters; helps us be healthy, assists our educational pursuits and encourages us to be self controlled, resulting in positive relations with others. When we practice being disciplined we get things done faster and in the right time period. We are usually less stressed because we’re more organised and know what we are doing and are able to plan in advance.

God speaks in His word a lot about discipline. He knows that it need not be a negative, controlling or limiting aspect of our lives but a part of our character that will help us become all that He created us to be. A disciplined life helps prevent us from stumbling and enables us to be consistent in our speech, behaviour and faith. It enables us to remain steadfast in adversity and patient as we believe and pray.

God encourages us to be, “hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined,” and cautions that “a man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” (Titus 1:8; Proverbs 25:28)

I can think of many times when I have let myself and others down from not being as disciplined as I could have been. But God is so gracious and encourages us in our weaknesses to forgive ourselves, ask for His strength and choose to move forward. When we draw close to God we discover more of who we are in Him. As we look at Him and His word, we will see ourselves as He sees us; as new creations  who are disciplined, gentle, self-controlled people who run our race well.

“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)

It’s in the daily routine; in the decisions and habits we create and establish in our lives that discipline grows. It’s not burdensome, but about living a freer life where we are no longer governed by our emotions, weaknesses or bad habits.

Today start with a small area of your life that you desire to be more disciplined in; make simple changes first and write down your plan to move forward so that they are clear to you. Ask God for His strength and help and then go for it, one step and day at a time.

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air, but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you have created me in your image and likeness. I have resurrection power residing on the inside of me and the ability and strength to do all things. Help me to understand more fully who I am in you. I am disciplined, focused and healthy.  In Jesus name Amen.

11 Jan – Write A Letter

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In processing our feelings and thoughts and then writing them down (see “Get it out of your head” blog) there are often times when we are faced with an issue and emotions which we may find difficult and even confronting. Once we start to write down our thoughts and feelings it can be like lifting the lid on pandora’s box. We knew we were carrying around stuff, but maybe didn’t realise just how much angst, grief, fear and other emotions there was under there.

Once we’ve written down in point form our immediate thoughts and feelings regarding a subject, event or person and talked to God about it, if we still feel that we haven’t got to the bottom of how we feel there is something else we can do – it’s to write a letter.

Writing a letter may sound like a strange tool to use to unburden and rid ourselves of feelings we’ve had bottled up, but it’s very helpful. Write a letter to that person who has harmed you, or you’ve missed, or felt hurt or disappointed by. Write everything you have in your head and your heart – what you’d really like to say if you didnt hold back. You’re thinking it anyway and not going to surprise God either. He already knows. So as I say, “let rip” in that letter.

Lay it all down on paper. Shout, scream…whatever you want to say. Then when its written put it away in a drawer and then the next day and the next and the next write letters doing the same thing. Write until you have no more words to say. Finally if you need to, actually write a letter which you intend to give to that person saying how you feel. Interestingly I’ve discovered that the process of writing letters that are for my eyes only usually results in me not needing to say or give anything to anybody at all – unless God says to, I can leave it at that and keep my letter writing to myself. I’ve got it all out and I can forgive, let go and move on.

By the way if you have feelings and thoughts towards God that perhaps you’ve never voiced, write a letter to Him too. You’re far better to be completely honest with Him and yourself than live pretending everything is alright or shutting your feelings and heart off.

Today, if after you’ve got it all out of your head and talked to God about it, you still have more words and feelings, then take time to write a letter…life is too precious to carry around emotional and mental baggage that only weighs you down. Get it all out and go and enjoy your life instead.

Prayer: Lord please help me to be honest about how I feel and to get those things which I have been carrying around on the inside out. Please give me the words to express my feelings and the time and space to deal with it all. In Jesus name Amen

10 Jan – Get It Out Of Your Head

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There is something about writing things down that brings clarity. And clarity brings results; results in freeing ourselves from past issues, defining our vision and keeping focused so that we can achieve our goals rather than wandering aimlessly. (Habakkuk 2:2)

Many visionary success coaches and leaders recommend writing down our ten top goals everyday for 30 days, or if you are really keen everyday for the year. In writing down what we most desire we begin to shape our thoughts, actions and day. We become what we think about most.

Your dreams are only your dreams until you write them down. Then they are goals”

The other aspect about writing things down is when we are faced with an issue, past hurt, or greviance. I find it helpful to write the subject or name of that person on the centre of a page and then write everything I’m feeling and thinking down around that particular named topic or person. Everything I’m holding onto goes down in point form so that I can clearly see what the issue is and how I’m thinking and feeling. Then as a final step I pray and ask God for a promise I can apply to that situation or feeling.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you“. ( 1 Peter 5:7)

Many times I also have to choose to forgive, let go and look for the silver lining regarding what I’ve written, such as what did I learn from this, how has my time been freed up, and how can I grow through this experience?

Writing it down and articulating what is going on in the inside of me helps get things out of my head, frees my emotions up and gives me a focus point in which to pray, ask and believe for both my healing from past hurts and for my dreams and goals to happen. We spend alot of energy pushing aside thoughts and feelings. Yet if we took the time to write them down we could examine, process, deal with and then use our energy productively to achieve our goals and to enjoy life.

Today I encourage you to write down what you are dreaming of,  thinking and feeling. If there is an issue bothering you get it out of your head and down on paper so you and Jesus can work it out together. Write down your top 10 goals for the year and make them plain so you can see them, rewrite and say them everyday. Don’t keep everything in your head. The discipline of writing something down is one of the the first steps toward dealing with our issues and also making our dreams happen.

Prayer: Lord  please help me to take the time to write things down, so I can be both more focused on my dreams and goals and also be able to clearly see where I need to deal with and rid myself of any negative thought patterns or feelings. I’m writing it all down today. In Jesus name Amen

9 Jan – What Are You Feeling?

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There is something many of us don’t do that perhaps we should and that is to be in touch with and to validate our feelings. Even those times when we have that niggling thought or feeling of discomfort. Too often we instead brush things off rather than unpack and process what we are feeling and thinking. We can tell ourselves we’re being silly, insecure, emotional, fearful or suspicious.

However, I do believe that alot of what we feel can actually be God trying to speak to us or highlight an area we have been wanting guidance on. We get a feeling to go ahead with something or get a niggle we need to beware to help us to avoid danger, an awkward situation or so we”ll behave in a wiser way. Or it can be a feeling that needs to be looked at to see if it needs to be dealt with because it’s a hurt, fear or past experience that is affecting our life in a negative way.

Either way our feelings denote something is going on in the inside of us either from an external or internal stimuli. The feelings of, “I don’t feel good around that person, or I am feeling unsure, or I am feeling confident and great about this situation”. We aren’t to be governed primarily by our feelings (that can be exhausting), but we also shouldn’t ignore them either.

Perhaps the best guide is whether we have a peace about a person, situation, place or event. Jesus leads in peace, and even if we are under pressure or stretched to achieve something in some way, we can still have a peace we are in the the right place. Those little niggles of unease or a lack of peace God puts in us for a reason. I call them ‘Red Flags”, where we are alerted to something being out of sync or just “off”. Problems usually arise in our lives when we ignore the red flags and subsequently the feelings that go with them.

Today, don’t ignore your feelings and fail to examine and/or validate them. God promises He will lead and guide us in the way we should go, the people to have in our life, alert us to when something is or isn’t right in our bodies, spirit or emotions, who we can trust, those we are to be more careful with and how to walk wisely.

Trust God, learn the wisdom to be found in His Word, watch out for the “red flags”, which are there to warn us to be careful, and ask for and follow God’s peace over and in every situation, opportunity and new relationship.

But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come”. ( John 16:13)

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

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

Prayer: Lord thankyou for your guiding hand on my life and that you are the one who causes me to be able to feel. You created feelings for a reason – both to enjoy life and its goodness, and also to warn me when to avoid things or to take more care. Please continue to guide me today. In Jesus name Amen

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