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Dayle's Blog

4 Nov – Keep It Simple

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Most of us love to complicate our lives. Our modern world and the technology at our disposal has given us more time than ever before. Yet we are busier than ever and most people struggle under the weight of their schedules and stress levels.  We try to cram as much into our week as possible, rushing from one activity to the next with the constant temptation to add, add, add to our already packed lives.

Now I am all for making the most of my day and grabbing hold of opportunities that present themselves. To be honest many of us waste our days, or should I say years on unimportant time wasting activities and achieve far less than God purposes for us.

But in amongst all the busyness of life there is an essential ingredient to staying balanced and healthy regardless of what is happening. It’s the art of “keeping the basics” as the foundation of what we believe, value and build our life on. When our lives get too busy and complex and/or we haven’t remained focused on the core essentials of who we are and what we believe, we can easily stray from our foundational truths, practices and beliefs. Then when we face a challenge or experience a “faith hit” we find ourselves on shaky ground feeling like we are on “quicksand” sinking fast, and frantically needing to reach out for something or someone to grab hold of.

Today if you feel like you are on sinking sank and are desperately trying to get yourself onto solid ground know that help is available.

Stop what you are doing, reach out and grab a hold of the hand of Jesus. Life is not meant to be complicated and full of toil and burdens. Jesus said “my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. (Matthew 11:30). That means when you are attached or yoked to Him its easy – just move in time with Him, go where He goes, do what He does. His way is “light and easy”. Let him teach and/or remind you of the basics of spending time with Him, reading His words in the bible, talking to and listening to His voice and then doing what, and only what He says. Keep it simple and surround yourself and listen to people who encourage you, who know God and His word and whom God will use to help you.

Make the decision to “Get back to basics” today and plant your feet and future on solid ground.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand”. (Psalm 40:2)

Prayer: Jesus please grab hold of me today and place my life on solid ground. Help me to get back to basics and to build my life and future on a strong foundation that will see me through every phase of my life. In Jesus name. Amen

May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13)

3 Nov – Think Of Five Things

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What we think of ourselves is what we often become. As the bible says, “as a man thinks in his heart so is he”. (Proverbs 23:7) Which is why when we want to transform our life and begin to live the life for which we were created to live we have to challenge our thinking and any negative mindsets – to essentially get rid of our “stinking thinking”.

One of the ways we can be transformed is to make a list of five things that Jesus says about us and to memorize them. The point of this exercise is to develop new positive ways of thinking about ourselves, because when we proactively spend time thinking on the things that Jesus says about us we actually create new neural pathways in our brains. These pathways become mindsets that direct our thoughts and help us to visualise our life as we desire it to be.

As we change our thoughts God says our lives will be transformed as we begin to think and speak in line with what He says. He does the work in us and orchestrates opportunities for us to step into as we open up our lives for him to work within our hearts and to direct our steps.

Today don’t be “conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

Spend time thinking about and memorising what Jesus says about you…that you are loved, forgiven, a new creation, able to do all things through Christ who strengthens you, have the wisdom of God and all the power and strength of heaven behind you. (Romans 5:8; 1 John 1:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 4:12)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his mighty power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

Prayer: Jesus please help me to think about what you say about me rather than the negative thoughts that can so often fill my head. Thank you that as I think upon what you say about my life that you promise that you will transform my life. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

 

2 Nov – Clean Up

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Life is full of times when we have to have a clean up some things because if we travel through our whole lives without ever getting rid of or sorting though anything we will have a serious hoarding issue.

Some people say the best way to de-clutter is to take everything out of the room you are sorting and lay it all out on the backyard. Then only take back inside what you really want to move forward with into the future.

Our inner world is much the same. To stay healthy God encourages us to have regular sorting and de-cluttering sessions. To simply take a look at everything, surrender it all over over to Jesus and ask him what to bring back in from the “back yard” so to speak. That’s a scary thought, but a very liberating experience if we’ll have the courage to trust Jesus enough to “go there”.

Sometimes God even wants to change some things in our lives, even if they’ve been good, so that He might build something better in us to carry us forward into the future.

Paul in the bible experienced this when he wrote  “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him”. (Philippians 3:8).

Clean out’s, de-cluttering and allowing God to lead and build in us in whatever manner He sees fit can and is challenging. But the reward is that we gain space in our hearts and minds to move forward. Part of decluttering is being able to interpret the season we are in. If we continue to try and live in the past, however good it may have been, we run the risk of missing the new season and blessings that God wants to release in our lives. It takes courage and trust to move forward, but we can trust that God has gone before us and has prepared the way.

Today allow God to speak and bring revelation of what season you are in. It’s an exciting time to be walking with Jesus, and there is so much more to come. Take courage, de-clutter and make room in your life for Him to move.

“However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him-For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Prayer: Lord I thank you that you lead and guide me. Help me to see where I need to de-clutter and make room in my life for what you are wanting to do in and through me. I surrender all, that you might be all to me. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

1 Nov – A Busy Heart

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There is a big difference between having a packed, busy schedule and having a busy heart. Busy in the sense of carrying a lot in our hearts which perhaps we shouldn’t be or that isn’t beneficial to our overall wellbeing.

The problem is not being busy in life; Jesus himself had a hectic ministry schedule where people were pressing all around him, following him out into the desert to hear him, crowding into houses where he was and barely leaving him alone for a second. The problem arises when our hearts become busy and full of stuff. Whether thats our own issues, hurts and fears or other all consuming pursuits or people that we end up having no room for Him and what He has planned for us. No room to hold people in our hearts in love and prayer, or to govern over those things which heaven has assigned for us to be involved in. Jesus said, “I only do what my Father is doing and what He says.” (John 5:19)

Jesus had absolute clarity in all He said and did because his life may have been busy, but His heart was not.

One of the things we would all benefit from is taking heed of what God says about our hearts. Proverbs in the bible is a book of wisdom and it teaches that we, “above all guard the affections of our heart, for they affect all that we are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23 TPT)

Guarding or watching over our hearts means we are careful and diligent to keep our hearts uncluttered. We can all be like sponges absorbing and dwelling upon both our own experiences and relationships and/or other people’s issues, attitudes and pain. However if we leave this absorption unchecked we can quickly find our hearts very full of things God never intended for us to be subjected to or to carry around within us. The result is a busy heart which even if we choose to still our bodies to rest does not allow our hearts to be still. They have become busy; weighed down and cluttered with so many cares, thoughts and desires that we struggle to stop, to hear God’s voice and to be still.

Busy people get things done as long as they know how to rest regularly, but busy hearts  limit what God can do in and through us. Have a busy schedule and make the most of your day and every opportunity, but take care to guard your heart with all diligence so that you don’t end up having a busy heart.

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” (Proverbs 12:25)

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

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Jesus said, “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path……..The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13)

Prayer: Lord thank you that everyday is a fresh opportunity to live my best life and to experience and fulfil all that you have for planned for me.  Please help me to measure my schedule wisely so I can be busy but not stressed, but most of all help me not to have a busy heart. In Jesus name Amen.

31 Oct – We’re Surrounded

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It’s Halloween today in Australia, which traditionally is to celebrate the “Day of the Dead” or the night when pagans believe that the boundary between the realms of the dead and earth are thinner and so more easily accessible. As a result people dressed in scary costumes to masquerade as one of the dead so that the dead and any demonic creatures wouldn’t come near them.

Instead of celebrating the dead and the fear of death, I like to instead honour and acknowledge that today and tomorrow are All Saints Day or All Hallows Day, which celebrates and honours the men and women of faith who have gone before us. In remembering their lives we honour those ordinary people who had overcoming, mountain moving, world changing faith. They inspire, encourage and remind me of what is possible if we have faith and that it’s now our turn to make a mark in the history books. Their stories and lives testify that we are not alone but, “surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses” who are cheering us on to run our race well. They’re  encouraging each one of us to rise to the challenge to make a difference just as they did (Hebrews 12:1-2).

People like Moses who by faith stretched out his staff at God’s command and the waters of the Red Sea were parted freeing millions from imminent slavery and death. By faith Joshua and the people of Israel marched around the great walls of Jericho and they came crashing down. It was by faith Daniel escaped the lions den unharmed, David the teenager won the victory over the giant Goliath and Esther silenced the wicked Haman and rescued her people from certain death.

It was by faith that men like George Muller, trusting only in God cared for and fed thousands of orphans every day without requesting aid or money from any man for over forty years. By faith Hudson Taylor, John and Charles Wesley, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Amy Carmichael, Dwight L. Moody, Charles Finney, Smith Wigglesworth, Billy Sunday and Jacquie Pullinger crossed land and sea, stepped out in faith and often chose to forgo security, family and support to share what Jesus had done for them. (I encourage you to check out their stories)

They shared not about the fear of death but about Jesus’ love, goodness and grace extended to all mankind and how He cares for each and every one of us.

Today, just as those great men and women of faith lived and shared their life with others, I encourage you to celebrate the fact that you are not alone and that Jesus has overcome all evil, sickness and fear. Therefore there is no reason to fear death or the dead. Instead you can determine to step out with Jesus, to make your mark and fulfil your purpose too. Plus Jesus is no “Skinny Jesus” so you can freely go and eat all the chocolate you want.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”(Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV)

Prayer: Lord thank you for those who have gone before us and remind us of the difference one person can make if they put their hand in the hand of God and step out in faith. Please use me Lord to make an impact in the world and to be used by you too. In Jesus name Amen.

30 Oct – As We Think We Change!

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Our life today is a result of our thinking yesterday and our life tomorrow is a result of our thinking today. Plus what occupies our thoughts will also be contained in the words we speak.

If you don’t like where you are today, you struggle  in your thought life and with the words that come out of your mouth then here are some tips to help you to make some changes….

  1. Walk in Forgiveness – forgiveness of sin and forgiveness of others removes heartache and guilt from the past. Unforgiveness and holding grudges hurts others, but mostly it hurts us and steals our joy and peace.
  2. Do a mental spring clean of your thought life. Keep an inventory of what you are thinking about. It may shock you when you consider what you spend your day thinking upon. We literally can change our lives by beginning to think different thoughts. I recommend as a starting place in your spring clean is to begin think on God’s word and His thoughts.
  3. Check the environment in which you live and who and what you surround yourself with. We are each a product of our environment. as it affects our values, priorities and lifestyles. What are you allowing in your life?
  4. Ask yourself, “what am I doing with my spare time?” How we spend our time will greatly determine what we are thinking about. The devil brings his greatest temptation to people when they have time on their hands. King David is a good example. He made one of the greatest errors of judgement of his life when he was meant to be fulfilling his role as King and leading His army into battle. Instead he stayed at home and in his spare time slept with another man’s wife, whom he got pregnant, which then led to the death of an innocent man. (2 Samuel 11). It takes discipline of character, focus and goals in life to correctly handle extra hours given in our day. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to learn to have a healthy productive thought life, and to understand the importance of filling our free time with those things and people who will help us think right and encourage us to grow and achieve our goals.
  5. Who  are your closest friends? The people we associate with will greatly determine how we think. A person’s character and values are often revealed to others by knowing a person’s closest friends. Peer pressure and the desire to belong can be one of the greatest influences upon our lives. Choose your friends well!

The simple exhortation from God’s Word to only think on those things that are pure and noble and praise worthy can be used as an easy guideline for our thought life. It can become our standard as to who and what we associate closely with, how we fill our free time and any changes we may need to make in our surroundings.

As we think we change. What are you thinking about?

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect”. (Romans 12:2)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things”. (Philippians 4:8)

Prayer: Lord please help me to honestly examine my thought life and give me wisdom to see where I need to make changes and the strength to be a person who chooses well. Please surround me with people who will help me to be the best I can be. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

29 Oct – Soul Satisfaction

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One of the things I’ve discovered is that when I am tired, discouraged, disappointed or carrying some other weight in my heart and soul is that I will usually be more easily tempted…tempted to not do the things I know to do; tempted to snap at people, be impatient and to worry. To fall into old negative habits and becoming more vulnerable to getting off track and losing focus.

When we have a clear vision, focus and reason to get up in the morning many people tend to sleep and eat less. Our minds and bodies become primed and ready for action, instead of feeling sluggish, tired and vulnerable to attack both physically and spiritually.

However if our souls are dissatisfied or we have become heart – sick we can often over eat and crave more sleep. Plus we become more vulnerable to temptation. For the more our souls are dissatisfied with our present circumstances or we have hopes and dreams that have constantly being deferred, the deeper our soul dissatisfaction. And unfortunately it’s in this dissatisfaction that we will search for something, anything to feed and bring joy to our soul.  For,“When we are hungry, anything on the menu looks good. When our soul is dissatisfied, sin begins to look tempting, and even become addicted to that source because it feeds our soul.” (J. Ortberg)

Which is why it is wisdom to regularly ask ourselves, “How is my soul doing?” Am I satisfied or simply existing from day to day, feeding the emptiness in my soul with whatever is at hand and which makes me feel good in the moment?

Have you been working, waiting and being patient for a long time and now your heart feels sick?  It’s important to know what our level of soul satisfaction is because other wise we leave ourselves vulnerable to temptation, discouragement and merely existing in life rather than truly living. For, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Prov 13:12)

Thankfully this is where God comes in, for He desires our souls to be fully satisfied and our lives to be overflowing and filled with good things. He wants to bless us so much that every desire we have is fulfilled. Whatever we dream and hope for He actually says He wants to bless and provide the answer for us, with far more than we could possibly ask for – exceedingly more (Ephesians 3:20). But firstly He wants to meet our desire to be loved, accepted and connected to someone, because deep down that’s what we not only long for, but all need.

Today I encourage you to let God into every area of your life so that He can minister to your soul. Let Him heal the hurts, fill the deep voids and direct you to those places, people and things that He’s planned for you to bless your life with.

Then determine from now on not to settle any longer for any cheap thrills and quick fix to satisfy your soul, when you can have so much more. Let God begin to satisfy you with the very best today.

“He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” (Psalms 103:3‭-‬5 NLT)

“For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalms 107:9 NKJV)

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you desire to satisfy my soul. Please help me to be honest and to see where I may be settling for a quick fix to satisfy my wants and needs rather than trusting and leaning into you to satisfy and grant me the desires of my heart.  Would you please feed my soul and fill my life with good things today. In Jesus name Amen.

28 Oct – The Me I Want To Be

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The battle against not doing what we often want to do but know is not the best course of action is a real thing. Some would call that the battle of the spirit over the flesh. We know what we should do, but we struggle and are tempted to do what we ought not to do.

If we simply try and suppress and push aside a temptation that is within us it will eventually wear us out.  However a helpful key to not slipping into what we know is not beneficial for our lives is to have a clear vision of the person we want to become. To know what kind of person we want to be and what sort of life we want to lead and then be able to articulate and write it down and list the reasons why we’ll choose to take a particular course of action, refrain from certain behaviours and determine to develop various areas of our lives.  Without a why and knowing the reasons to walk away from temptation, the energy to suppress those desires because exhausting and more often than not, futile.

For me to control my natural desires to lash out at those who threaten and annoy me or to give into fear or some other weakness I have to have a reason; a vision for who I want to be, so that the force of that desire and vision is more powerful in my life than a moment of weakness and temptation to give in to the gratification gained by the immediate thrill.

John Ortberg in his book “The me I want to be” said, “Temptation promises as much as we want. It promises freedom, but it makes us a slave. There is always a hook. Real freedom is not the external freedom to gratify every appetite; it is the internal freedom not to be enslaved by our appetites, to have a place to stand so that we are not mastered by them.”

I’ve made a covenant or promise to God and myself that I will seek to become all that He says I am, whilst also endeavouring not to bring his name into disrepute by my words or behaviour. It’s why I choose to remain silent when I really might to give people a piece of my mind, why I ignore or look the other way when someone of the opposite sex notices me, why I seek to be honest and true to my calling and continually seek to grow as a person.

A clear vision and commitment to become the best version of ourselves will help keep us from wandering off track and motivates us to continually be developing and allowing God to shape our characters and lives, even when that hurts or is frustrating.

Today I encourage you to take some time to think carefully about the person you want to become – the best version of what that person looks like. What are your deepest values, dreams and goals; who and what sort of man or woman do you want to become? Then write down what that means and looks like with regard to the choices, places and people you associate with, the decisions you make and the life you lead both in public and private. God wants us to be the best version of ourselves and if we allow His hand to guide and direct our lives He will strengthen and help us even in our weakest moments to walk away from temptation and to keep the vision before us.

Who are you becoming today?

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ( Joshua 1:9)

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like ignorant people, but like wise people. Make good use of every opportunity you have, because these are evil days. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Prayer: Lord please empower me to become the best version of myself – the me I want to be. That you would help me to walk away from temptation and that my life would become so full of all that I am becoming that I don’t even miss the pursuits, attitudes and behaviours that I may have to forgo to become the best version of me. In Jesus Name Amen.

27 Oct – You Won’t Miss Out

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There is an interesting modern day term and condition called Fomo, which by definition is “the fear of missing out”. Fomo causes anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere and is often created or increased by social media. The other side of Fomo is that we can watch and listen to those around us and fear that the great life they seem to be having in their relationships, the holidays they take, their work, family life or whatever else is displayed on social media or talked about in your presence will never happen for or to you.

This “fear of missing out” is designed to drive and push us, and if we are not careful it will cause us to take our eyes off our own dreams and the plans God has specifically for us to instead focus on having what someone else has got.

When we start to do that we step into a dangerous place as the “fear of missing out” often encourages us to settle for less than what is God’s best for us. People can very easily choose to settle for a spouse or partner who doesn’t actually help them to be all that God created them to be. They can settle for the job that doesn’t fulfil them because they are too busy looking at what everyone has or is doing and so they settle for short-term gains instead of having a long-term view.

Most unfortunate of all in the “fear of missing out” mindset is the view of “I want to have fun and to do my own thing – God can wait.” That thought sadly can cause us to make  decisions that lead us down a path we were never meant to travel on, with people or to places that only cause  a “whole world of confusion and pain”. At worst it can lead to us spending an eternity separated from God.

But God didn’t ever plan for us to live someone else’s life or to be governed by fear and doubt. He made us to live out our dreams, aspirations and desires with the people, places and things that will bring us the most joy, fruitfulness and fulfillment.

When we trust and follow Him He will never allow us to miss out and therefore there is no need for fear and doubt. We need only to choose everyday to follow His ways and the directions that He gives us in His Word and through His guiding presence in our lives.

Life won’t pass us by, the person we are meant to spend the rest of our lives with won’t go to someone else and the job, promotion, holiday etc. that we dream about will come into our hands. If we focus our attention, not upon the “fear of missing out”, but on the goodness of God and His love for us then we are far more inclined to seek Him and His ways first. God promises in His Word that even if He has to move mountains, override the natural order of things, or organize divine appointments and opportunities so that we can step into our our destiny and meet the right people at exactly the right time He will do it, because that is how God operates, and that’s how much He loves us.

Today don’t settle for less than God’s best for you. Don’t allow fear to dictate your next steps or the course of the rest of your life. Instead choose to trust that He has a perfectly orchestrated plan for your life and that He will bring it to pass as you choose to let go of fear and to take hold of His hand as He leads you in the right way to go.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”(Isaiah 41:10 NIV)

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”(Matthew 6:33)

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

 “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.” (Lamentations 3:25 NIV)

Prayer: Lord please help me to live free from the fear of missing out as I learn to trust in you. Thank you that I can rely on your promises that you will direct my steps and that your plans for me are ones filled with hope and a future. I trust you today that I won’t miss out on your best for me and that you are turning things around in my favour today.  In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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