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Dayle's Blog

6 Nov – The Template

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Today Isaac our youngest child is busy making wooden Christmas decorations. Each piece has been carefully traced from a template and then cut out with his saw, complete with his earmuffs, protective eye glasses and him singing Christmas carols at the top of his lungs.

What struck me as I watched and listened to Isaac busily working is how he needs to take things slowly and carefully, especially in the more intricate parts of his design. If he rushes he is far more prone to make mistakes, have wobbly lines and not do as good a job as he could of if he went carefully, focused and takes the time to do his best.

The same can be said for every area of our life. When we focus and consider carefully what decisions, words and actions we make we are better positioned to do the best we can in whatever situation we face. The more we rush about and make hasty and ill thought out and prayed over decisions the more likely we are to mess things up, miss opportunities and damage our relationships. We also run the risk of missing God’s directives and guidance to lead us away from problems and into our destiny, relationships and the future He has for us.

Instead of rushing carelessly through life God wants us to take the necessary time to know His plan and strategy – His template, so that we live a life of joy and fulfillment. As you consider your future and what and how to build into your life take time to:

Prepare and get the template – much like plotting out or tracing the course as Isaac does with his christmas decoration template, God has a plan and strategy for us to follow too. Prepare by taking the time to get the template from Him and asking for wisdom as to what is the best way to proceed in every goal, situation, conversation or relationship. God will direct us in the right way to go and give wisdom through His Word, a confirming sign, wise counsel and a peace in our hearts.

Focus and proceed carefully – its unsafe for Isaac to allow himself to get distracted, especially when he has his saw operating. When we allow ourselves to get off focus we can also put ourselves in danger of missing opportunities or messing up relationships. Stay focused and proceed carefully as you follow God’s guidelines.

Equipment – Isaac has his saw, protective equipment, templates, ideas and youthful enthusiasm. We too must use what we have in our hand as we also gather and utilise resources to be able to accomplish our goals, clearly communicate and have great relationships.

Today as you look at your future, your dreams and the type of relationships you desire consider what equipment you have available, what help or support you need, any issues you perhaps need to deal with or offload and the “template” (Gods word and guidance) that God wants you to follow. Then focus, utilise your resources and with God’s help, strength and guidance start to build something amazing in your life.

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him. (Psalm 37:23)

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in”. (Isaiah 30:21)

Prayer: Lord thank you have a plan and strategy to enable me to live an amazing life full of purpose and joy. Please remind me not to rush ahead of you or to miss opportunities because I get off focus. Please  help me to walk in wisdom today and to follow, understand and know the template you have for my life. In Jesus name Amen

5 Nov – Faith that works

What do you know and believe today?  Jesus knows what He can do and it’s our faith added to His power that brings about miracles in our lives.

Sadly however many people never stop long enough to consider what they do believe, nor take the time to discover how to “work their faith.” Many can make the mistake of waiting until they are suddenly faced with a crisis or something that scares them and then they wonder why their prayers and faith don’t seem to be working, or why they feel so far from God.

Yet the bible says we have all been given a measure of faith, (Romans 12:3) but it does need to be put to work everyday. Thats why some people’s faith seems to work better for them than others; they have chosen to put their faith to work for them.

The more we use our faith the more of God’s ability we will have at our disposal, because His ability in us is waiting to be unleashed upon our circumstances.

However if we know we need to grow our measure of faith to deal with the situations we face God has given us a resource to power our faith up. It’s His words found in the Bible. Reading His word, hearing it being preached, and time in His presence are the only source of faith we need. For“faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

“Faith is a servant and is designed to do things for us that are impossible. It feeds on the impossible and breaks limitations.” (Bill Winston)

If you don’t believe you have enough faith, then I encourage you to do something about it! There is no point walking around saying, “I cant’ do that, or “my faith doesn’t work for me”, because God himself has given us everything we need. We do our part by releasing and exercising our faith and God does His by bringing the answer.

God has given us the ability to receive, so make the effort to “power up” your faith everyday by spending time in His presence, reading and studying His word and discovering what He says about your situation, need or dream.

Jesus said it this way, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

“Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.” (Mark 11:22-23)

Why not see what your faith can do for you and for those around you today and put your faith to work.

Prayer: Lord thank you that we all have been given a measure of faith. Help me today to be bold enough to do something with what you have given me, and to use my faith today. In Jesus name amen

4 Nov – The power of hope

 

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To have peace, success and joy in life we really have to have an expectation of good things. Without that expectation we can live in a state of waiting for the next bad thing to happen or failure to impact our life. But that is not how God wants any of us to live. Yes bad, negative and downright awful things do and can happen, but it’s hope and especially hope in God that will see us through the darkest storm and the toughest battles.

Hope is a powerful thing. God’s idea of hope is a “deep settled confidence that God will keep His promises”.

God’s Word actually teaches us that hope when and where we have God involved is a supernatural expectancy. It’s a hope that looks beyond the natural possibilities to those things that God has promised us in His Word and the agreement or covenant He has made with us to bring them to pass. Hope like this overrides natural abilities and circumstances and goes beyond to begin to see and know that all things are possible where God is involved.

Hope like this however isn’t just posessed by only knowing God’s promises, it also hinges on us seeing ourselves in possession of those promises.

If you’ve grown weary or been hit with circumstances that might be tempting you to lose hope, today don’t quit. Don’t think you don’t have enough faith to keep believing. You can have your hope restored.

The bible says it this way, “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:22-24)

David in the bible lived with the ultimate highs and lows of life. You can read some of his story in Psalms in the bible where he poured out what he was experiencing in both the great times and his moments of absolute despondency. One of the things Davids story reminds us to do is to not get downcast even when life throws us “curve balls”. He said, “Why are you in despair, my soul? Why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God. For I shall still praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 43:5 ISV)

When I look at the life of David I notice some things, which caused him to be able to say “Why so downcast O my soul, put your hope in God”.  When he was feeling discouraged He reminded Himself of who God is and he recounted all the things God had done for him in the past, as well as declaring God’s goodness and His loving hand on His future.

 David said, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?”(Psalm 27:1)

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”.(Psalm 27:13)

Today if you are facing difficulties or feeling discouraged I encourage to picture and speak better things for tomorrow and remind yourself of God’s goodness, His love and all of the promises in His word. (There are a lot of them).

Reaffirm your confidence in who God is and that nothing is too hard for Him. Renew your commitment to Him, follow His way of doing things and relax knowing He will keep His promises because He loves you and He does not want to withhold any good thing from you.

Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” ( Romans 8:32 NLT)

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” (Hebrews 10:23)

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you. Do not fear; I will help you”. (Isaiah 41:13)

Prayer: Lord please help me to have hope and an expectation for better things, both for today and tomorrow. Help me to have a deep settled confidence in you and your promises. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

3 Nov – You may be tired, but don’t quit!

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Life is not a short sprint but a long distance race and if we realise this then we will be far better equipt to keep going and not give into the temptation to quit when we face setbacks, trials or have simply been faithfully working at something for a long long time.

God’s Word also encourages us to, “not get tired of doing what is good. For at just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Don’t grow weary in doing good.” (Galatians 6:9 NLT)

I’ve discovered overvthe years some keys to overcoming and protecting myself against weariness and giving up, especially as with six children, pastoring churches, homeschooling, and just doing life I know what it’s like to grow weary. Here are some things I have learnt:

1. Make up your mind that quitting is not an option! We may have to change tact, our strategy, get some more help, and even tweak our vision, but that doesn’t mean we quit – we just get smarter and more resourceful with what we have in our hand.

2. Learn to see from heaven’s perspective. God sees the end from the beginning and everything in between. But we can look too often with our natural eyes when, if we saw with the perspective of heaven we would realise far more than we can imagine how God is at work on our behalf. He works behind the scenes and the biggest mistake we can make is to underestimate what He is doing in answer to our prayers.

3. Get some faith muscles. Our physical bodies and muscles respond to training and strengthening to carry weight and increase our endurance. Likewise we can also strengthen ourselves spiritually, mentally and emotionally. We can do this by spending quality time with Jesus, read and act upon His Word and activate our faith muscles to carry us through whatever we may face. If we are feeling weary we need to ascertain why and where we need strengthening and then choose to do something about it.

4. Put patience to work – By faith and patience we inherit the promises of God” (Hebrews 6:12.) Patience is a powerful tool to enable us to last the distance. Let patience have its perfect work because when we are believing in faith, we also need patience to hold us steady when it seems it’s taking a while. Patience is trusting in God’s goodness and that He will fulfil that which He has promised. The more we practice patience, the better we get at it.

5. Be aware and be on guard – opposition and problems may arise. Problems often arise to distract and to pull our attention off what God says, and what He has called us to do. They are designed to create an opportunity for us to become weary and tempt us to quit. However we can choose to take the offensive and be smarter so that we don’t constantly get “side swiped” by such opposition and attack. Be aware and be on guard! “For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil sprits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Weariness can sneak up on us so it’s wise to understand what is working against us to undermine and sap our strength, and what lifts us up and encourages us to keep going.

Today don’t allow yourself to grow weary in following the dreams and visions God has placed in your heart. Strengthen yourself and know that when we keep believing and moving forward God promises we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t quit.

Prayer: Lord would you please strengthen me today, and help me to put my trust in you and your goodness. Show me if there are any habits, situations, or relationships in my life that are designed to sap my strength, and to know what to do about these things. Thank you that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. In Jesus name Amen.

 

2 Nov-Facing disappointment

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When it comes to disappointment our expectations will always determine how we feel. If we have no expectations at the beginning it won’t matter what happens and therefore we’ll have no reason to feel disappointed. Yet when I read the bible and the life God wants us to live it is full of expectations and daring to hope and believe for extraordinary things. It takes faith to live like that, but faith – trusting and believing is what pleases God.
Its important whenever we are doing anything to determine to begin and then take the necessary steps to continually be moving forward, remembering that unrealistic expectations will set us up for disappointment and can even cause us to give up.
Sometimes we may need to take alternative routes or adjust things to attain our goals. It may take months or years to get the job we really want to achieve our dream.  Even the best relationships have tough times and everyone has their flaws that God is still working on.
When we do suffer a disappointment, especially when we were stepping out in faith a wise move is to face the disappointment, admit it hurts, talk to God and get His perspective and then ask the question:
Are my expectations set me up for disappointment?
Was it a God idea and plan or just a good idea?
Was I expecting it to happen overnight and it’s going to take more time? Am I being impatient and I just need to keep walking and moving forward to achieve my goal?
How can I potentially adjust things for next time?
What did I learn?
What is the silver lining; something good coming out of this situation
Disappointment can actually be something that God uses to turn things around for good in our lives because it helps us to clarify, reassess our goals and strengthen ourselves in God and His promises. It’s often when we are under pressure and feel like a failure that we find out what we are made of, who we believe and how much we are depending on our own strength, wisdom and ability instead of God’s. 

Today if you are facing disappointment or the fear of it, be encouraged to take some time, catch your breath and then look to Jesus who promises that He will complete what He has started and perfect everything which concerns you.
Plus He loves and approves of us regardless of our successes or failures and nothing is ever going to change that.

 

And we know that God causes everything to work for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28)

 

For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” (Psalms 27:14)
Prayer: Lord thank you that you love me regardless. Please help me to undergird my faith and expectations with your promises and to always keep walking, learning and moving forward. In Jesus name amen

1 Nov – While I’m waiting

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Life is full of waiting -from our mothers waiting expectantly for us to be born, to waiting for food, traffic lights, queues, watching and waiting to find that special person, waiting to hear back from a job or career opportunity, waiting to see if you made the team, waiting to be paid, waiting for other people to catch up or be ready….waiting, waiting waiting.

However we can learn alot about ourselves while we wait. Like are we trusting God and being patient, loving and kind as we wait or do we allow ourselves to get moody, tetchy and impatient? Do we wait with a good attitude or start to lose heart and get distracted, getting side-tracked and on the wrong path with the wrong people, doing unproductive and even harmful things? Do we give up while waiting or keep standing expectantly?

God wastes nothing and regardless of what is happening, or not happening and how long we have had to wait, I’ve discovered He is more interested in who we are – our character and what sort of man or woman we are becoming, than in what we’re usually actually waiting for. He is always good and wants to grant us the desires of our heart, but He also knows some things take a certain amount of set up and orchestrating and when the right time for them is to arrive. Much like a baby…if it arrives too early it can be dangerous, is more stressful and is far better to arrive in 9 months rather than at 8 months when most mothers are getting uncomfortable and ready for that baby to arrive.

God knows everything has an appointed time and rather than grumble, complain or have a bad attitude He wants us to grow in the wait. To lean on His goodness, to learn to trust Him even when the answer or dream looks long in coming. He forges our character in the wait and sharpens, refines and works on us like a mastercraftsman creating a masterpiece. His work is done far quicker, and properly if we stay put and don’t keep running off doing our own thing or throwing a hissy fit because we think everything is taking too long.

Unfortunately from experience I’ve learnt impatient grumbling attitudes and behaviour usually hold things up. God is never in a hurry, but He is interested in us becoming all we were made to be, and He definitely if we cooperate will use the waiting times for good in our lives.

Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” ( Proverbs 14:29)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

Today whatever or wherever you are in life I encourage you to learn and grow in the wait. Trust God’s appointed time and that when you have finished waiting it will be all the more sweeter for the testing and proving of your character and your increased appreciation for what you have waited for.

Prayer: Lord I’m choosing to trust your appointed perfect timing and to have a great attitude as I wait. Please work in me and create a right heart and attitude in me. In Jesus name amen

31 Oct -Ebb and Flow

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Ebb and flow are two phases of the tide or any similar movement of water. The ebb is the outgoing phase, when the tide drains away from the shore; and the flow is the incoming phase when water rises again.

Life overall is full of this same pattern of ebb and flow and I’m discovering that for us to be truly happy and at peace it’s really important to understand which phase we are in at any particular time and to trust God works in both.

The ebb phase is when things we are hoping and believing for seem “way out there”, off shore but the stuff that we didn’t realise or we were keeping covered and hidden in our lives gets revealed, much like when rubble or rubbbish submerged under the water is revealed when the tide goes out. This can make the ebb a difficult place and perhaps even confronting, painful and frustrating as we can seriously wonder if any good is going to ever happen again.

But the ebb is just as important as the flow for what we do in the “ebb” has consequences as to how well we handle and are set up and prepared for what is coming when the “flow” brings those things we are looking, hoping and praying for come to pass. In  the “flow” we receive answers, Gods goodness and His blessing, but its in the ebb that our faith and character is formed to handle the rush of the flow when the “tide turns”.

Just as nature has its ebbs, it also at the appointment time, has its flows. God is good and promises that He will work all things together for our good. When we are in an “ebb” phase we can rest assured that He is orchestrating a “flow” phase and it will be on it’s way.
In the flow suddenlies happen. You were single and then suddenly you meet someone. You were jobless and then the job offers start flowing in. You were seeking direction and suddenly everything becomes clear. You were feeling broken or depressed and suddenly the dark clouds lift. In  the “flow” we receive answers and experience God’s goodness and blessing.

Today whether you are experiencing an ebb or loving the flow know that life is full of both. Each has its appointed time and purpose in our lives. So relax, know God is in control, trust Him that everthing is okay and go with the Ebb and the Flow.

For everything there is an appointed time, a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you….do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. (John 14:27)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. (Romans 8:28)

Prayer. Lord please help me to remember you are in control and to trust my life is in your capable hands. Today I’m choosing to relax in the flow and to trust in your goodness to work all things for my benefit and growth in the ebb. In Jesus name amen

30 Oct – Do what you can do

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I read an article today about a man from a difficult background who was in trouble and on the run from the law. While driving in His car one day he heard a voice speaking on the radio telling him how to change his life and giving some keys on how to live better. The radio speaker  went on to tell his listeners how much Jesus loved them and bevause he did that preacher saved a young man’s life that day. Why? Because he chose to do what he could do, and listened and obeyed God’s call on his life to preach good news.

The thought that struck me as I read that article was, “what would happen if we all did what we were called and wired to do?” If we did what we could do? What if we spent our energy and brain power looking for ways to bless and help others? How many lives would be saved? How many people could we give hope and comfort to? How many hearts could we help heal and how many words of encouragement could we give if we simply did what we could do to use our gifts and talents to better the world and the lives of those around us?

No one is insignificant and no gift, helping hand or friendly smile is too small that it won’t or can’t make a difference. Through small gestures of kindness and each one of us knowing and walking in our purpose, doing our part and seeking God to be the best we can be, lives will be changed, hope revealed and darkness dispelled.

Today listen up to God’s promptings as He guides you through your day. Look to use your gifts, time and abilities to make a difference and determine to simply do what you can do, because someone out there needs you to.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” (Colossians 3:23)

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

Prayer: Lord please help me to be and do what I can to make a difference today. It may seems small to me but in your hands I know that small things count and nothing is ever too insignificant or unable to be used for good. Please help me to be remember that as I go through each day. In Jesus name Amen.

29 Oct – Change of season

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Change is everywhere and inevitable and if we are smart we find something to enjoy about each season and then make the necessary adjustments to our everyday lifestyle and routine.

Making adjustments and going with the season we are in is necessary for in life somewhere and at some time we will have to change and transition in response to our circumstances and relationships or suffer the consequences. Yet how often instead of going with change do we hang on to the previous season, kicking and screaming against change when its obvious its going to happen regardless.

If we look and learn from creation and how God has made things, a far wiser and gentler approach would be to follow the ebb and flow of what God is doing in and around us in the season we are in. To remember and give thanks for the previous season and to then look for ways to celebrate where we are now. There are some things for example that can only be enjoyed to the full at certain times – such as electric blankets and pumpkin soup on a cold winters day, the flexibility of being single, or the challenges and joys of relationships, study, careers, parenthood, or growing older.

Today, whatever season you are experiencing both in nature and in the rest of your life, choose to look for the joy in it, and the things you can appreciate in the season you are in; and remember God’s in charge and whether it’s one you love or hate, the seasons change and this one will pass too.

For everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under heaven”.(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Prayer: Lord please help me celebrate the season I’m in, and to appreciate all that I can learn, discover and develop in myself and in my relationship with you and those around me at this time. In Jesus name Amen

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