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Dayle's Blog

15 Oct – Look How Far You’ve Come

I was talking with my husband Philip today about how far we have come since we were two 19 year olds. We were madly in love, lived on two minute noodles a lot of the time, earnt minimum wages and owned an old car that most of the time was parked up in the garage not working. We walked everywhere, had a house filled with people all the time and everything was second hand. But we didn’t care, we loved each other and Jesus with all our hearts.

Philip and I have journeyed a distance since those early years and have gained a lifetime of experiences as we’ve travelled the world, raised 6 children together, ministered, worked, studied for our qualifications and determined to keep living out our purpose and growing as people.

Instead of always looking at how far you have to go in life, sometimes it’s good to look back and see how far you have come and all that God has done in you. It reminds us of how faithful God has been, and all that we have learnt and experienced. As I say, “With God, nothing is ever wasted that we travel through in life, especially if you learn from it.” Plus, if on reflection we don’t like what we are seeing as part of who we are, we have with God’s help the option to change.

Today I was reminded of how God has blessed and held us together both in the battles we’ve faced and in the really great times of our life. It encouraged us both and strengthened our resolve to just keep running our race. We aren’t running our race alone because God is right there alongside us.

Take some time to look and see how far you have come today and give thanks for all God has done in and through your life this far. Then ask Him to reveal any areas He wants to work on and bring change in and determine to just keep running…

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” (Psalm 27:23-24) 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Let your eyes look straight ahead; Fix your gaze directly before you.” (Proverbs 4:25)

Prayer: Lord thank you for all that you have done in my life to this point. I’ve come a long way. Please show me the way ahead and anywhere I may need to invite and allow you to work in me. I want to continue to become all that you made me to be. In Jesus name Amen.

14 Oct – Walking On Water

It’s so easy to focus on the problems and negatives. We hear about the state of the economy, education, health, and the world’s moral compass and we can be tempted to focus on these things until we get to the point of shaking our heads in discouragement or making every effort to try to ignore it all.  I don’t believe it’s necessarily helpful to stick our heads in the sand and pretend everything’s rosy, but there is also a definite danger in allowing the negatives around us to become our focus, rather than putting our hope and trust in God’s goodness and ability to fulfill His promises.

Jesus highlighted the importance of keeping our eyes fixed on Him in the account of Peter walking on the water. It had been a busy day and Jesus had sent his friends before him in a boat while He dispersed the crowd, and spent some time alone praying……

Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying,“Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

So He said,“Come.”And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.But when he saw that the windwas boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

And immediately Jesus stretched outHishand and caught him, and said to him,“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased”. (Matthew 14:22-31)

Peter recognised Jesus and took the courageous step of climbing out of his boat in the middle of a stormy sea. He even walked on water just like Jesus, until he made a mistake that many of us still make – he chose to take his eyes off Jesus and consider his surroundings.

Essentially Peter forgot who was with Him and as a result He started to sink as he lost faith. He forgot about Jesus’ ability to care and override natural forces to do something supernatural like walking on water and calming the wind and waves. He forgot just how powerful Jesus is, and instead looked at a few waves which he happened to have been walking on a few seconds earlier!

Faith is trust. It doesn’t necessarily make sense, but to live by faith does mean we’ll have to keep our eyes on Jesus and choosing to focus on what He says and does, rather than the noise around us, our situation or other’s experiences,

We won’t ever live the life that God says we can live in Him if we focus on anything but Him. It just doesn’t work. We can’t live healed and whole if we look at other people and what they have experienced, rather than what Jesus says in His word. We can’t live at peace when we read and listen to the noise of the world, instead of resting in His love. Nor will we know overflowing abundant life if we follow the crowd rather than fixing our eyes on Jesus and following Him and His ways.

However just as Jesus didn’t force Peter or any of the other disciples to step out of the boat, he won’t force us. It’s our choice. As for me, I’d rather be walking on water with Jesus any day, because really how cool is that!

Prayer: Lord please help me today to keep my eyes fixed on you rather than on people, my circumstances or the noise around me. For with you I can “walk on water”, and be empowered to conqueror any storm in my life. In Jesus name Amen!

13 Oct – Appreciating What You Have

All day I have had the constant, loud, repetitious noise of a jack hammer ringing in my ears. The house next door is having some extensive renovations done and it seems every tile in their house is being removed, because that jackhammer didn’t stop all day.

Today’s ongoing noise was a reminder of how easy it is for us not to appreciate all that we have in our lives until it has been removed or changed in some way. I like to have some peace and quiet, but until today I didn’t appreciate just how much I really, really value quiet. Without it I became agitated, distracted and unsettled inside. I had to really concentrate on getting quiet down on the inside, so that my external circumstances didn’t affect me too much.

This year in particular has no doubt highlighted to most people the many things they perhaps didn’t appreciate until they were no longer accessible or available.

We know we should acknowledge all we have and are and be thankful for all the people and blessings in our lives. But sadly we can often fail to see who and what is right in front of us until they no longer there.

It’s only when our freedom, health, peace, quiet, job, income and those special people in our lives suddenly are no longer there or as accessible that we suddenly see how important these people or things are to us.

Whereas perhaps a better way to live is to regularly stop, look around and ask God to show you what and who truly matters in your life. Then with a renewed understanding and perspective you can actively begin to appreciate, and if need be fight for what is precious to you, rather than finding out when it’s too late or you can do little to change it.

Take some time today to appreciate and be thankful for all the people in your world and for all that you have.

Let joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17)

Prayer: Lord please help me to recognise who and what truly matters in my life. Thank you for all that you have given me and the people in my world. In Jesus name Amen.

12 Oct – Sleep Well Tonight

I was saying goodnight to our youngest son Isaac tonight when he asked me if a dream he’d had where he got blown up in a helicopter was going to happen. He had woken up from a nightmare a few nights ago and it had obviously been bothering him since then.

I stopped and chatted to him for a few minutes and we talked about what God says regarding our life and His promises. I reminded him that God says that he wants to give us a long life and to show us his salvation, and that our salvation includes being delivered from all evil.

When he calls out to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation.” (Psalm 91:16)

Isaac looked at me intently, nodded his head and said, “Okay, that’s good.” Then he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep. As I sat looking at him sleeping peacefully I was reminded that this is how God asks us to be. To be so trusting when He speaks to us. To trust when He says, I with be with you and deliver you and give you long life. Simple, straight to the point and a promise that we can rest and rely upon.

Right now if you knew everything would be alright and God had only good in his plans for you, how would you be today? Because that’s what God says He has planned for you. That everything is in His hands, and that you are going to be okay. That He has good plans in store for you, better than you can possibly imagine. (Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 3:20)

However being able to rest in that truth means we’ll need to be like a child is with a loving parent and learn to trust Him. To be like Isaac and take God at his Word so that we are then able to just enjoy the day, to be able to relax and lie down and simply go off to sleep at night knowing God is faithful and everything will be alright.

Take God at His word today and practice trusting Him in both the little things as well as the bigger issues in life. He is faithful to His promises so you can sleep well tonight.

Prayer: Lord thank you that you watch over my coming and my going and care for every detail of my life. I trust in you that you would satisfy me with long life and show me your salvation. In Jesus name Amen.

11 Oct – Miracles From Your Mess

This week I had a reminder that we can’t lump our whole day in the good or bad pile because some moments in our day were great and some were not. We have to take each moment and value it for what it’s worth. If some moments were terrible, then we can give them over to God and ask Him to lift the burden of them and then determine to focus on one of the better moments in our day.

To expect that everything is always going to be exactly how we want it, with no upsets or messing with our plans just sets us up for failure, disappointment and angst. It’s just not practical to expect and require that every single moment in our day is going to be perfection. Actually sometimes the less than perfect moments are the ones we learn the most from, and which God uses to bring people together or pleasantly surprise us in some way.

When we travelled to Europe a few years ago with five of our children we had a series of unexpected moments, which didn’t go to plan. I fainted on a London train as we were organising to pick up our vehicle to travel to the Lakes District in England. We had all our accommodation booked for the night, and we thought everything was organised. However the paramedic at the train station took one look at me and said, “I think you are all going to get stuck in weekend traffic for 5-6 hours; go to Wales instead.” So we set off to Wales, which was only two hours drive away. However on arrival we discovered every form of accommodation was booked out for the night and we literally had nowhere to sleep for the night. Not a great moment! Left with no alternative we chose to sleep all seven of us in the car, or should I say small bus.

The funny thing is that if you ask our children today what they remember from our trip they would say the night in the car was a highlight. They will all start laughing and retelling their side of the story, and who sleeps weird and takes all the room. Our eldest son Ben will declare the loudest that he slept in the boot!

Through our night in the car the rest of our holiday accommodation was a lot better because all the squabbling about who had to share a room with who was no longer such an issue and everyone had a new appreciation for a comfy bed. Perspective and thankfulness are powerful and I’ve found that it’s often in the moments they don’t go to plan that we discover and see things and people in a new light.

The bible says to give thanks in everything. That doesn’t mean we thank God for the terrible moments or see them as something He has sent us. It instead means that IN everything we give thanks that He is in control. That He can and will turn things around for us, and to never let go of our confidence in His love and goodness towards us.  

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.“ (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

I’m learning that we shouldn’t write off a day just because there are a few bad moments. God has a way of working miracles out of our messes, and everything when placed in His hands will be okay. To be honest it often works out better than we initially planned.

Next time you are faced with a mess of a day or a situation that’s full of difficulties, don’t despair. Instead look for and start to expect the miracle in the mess that God is working on for you, and give thanks for it in advance.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you have my life in your hands and that with you everything is going to be alright. Please help me to enjoy the great moments in my day, and to stop and be thankful for them. When not so great things occur, please also help me to give them over to you so that you can help me through them and cause something good to happen from them. In Jesus Name Amen

10 Oct – Living The Moments

One of our daughters just re-posted a memory from three years ago when we were on our family trip to the USA and Canada. Before leaving home we asked each of our kids who was travelling with us where they would like to go. The list was long but we had a lot of fun getting to the requested spots and God was so good in surprising us and even exceeding our requests in all the places we stayed and the awesome people we met along the way.

The particular memory our daughter shared today was from our time in New York City. I couldn’t help laughing as I watched her instagram post and was reminded of how excited she had been at finally seeing this city that she’d previously only watched in movies and dreamt about visiting,

It reminded me of how God wants our lives to be full and overflowing (John 10:10) His design is that our life be full of moments that are really worth remembering, such as our trip to New York. It’s why it’s so important in the midst of life’s busyness to mentally and emotionally pause so we can take a mental snapshot we can remember later.

Plus as we pause and live in the moment we learn to keep everything in perspective as we choose to focus on those things we want to remember. I’ve also discovered that God is phenomenal at making all things work together for our good. Its why it’s wise for us to stop, breathe and trust Him to make everything alright even when we are experiencing something we’d rather not remember. Some moments we may need to leave with Jesus to fix and others we can just sit back and enjoy.

I encourage you to start making a habit of pressing pause and really living the moment you are in, rather than just rushing through it. It’s never just another day, but one in which God wants us to rejoice because when it comes down to it, He’s the one who made it for us to enjoy. Nothing is a surprise to Him and when we seek to live our day being thankful and looking for the joy, we will realise and find God is there too.

Today take the opportunity to seize the moments in your day and to make them ones you can remember and enjoy. You’ll look back later and be glad you did.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” (John 10:10 AMP)

Prayer: Lord thank you for this day and all that you have given me to enjoy in it. Please help me to keep perspective and to remember that even the difficult moments you will work for good as I trust in you. I choose to rejoice in today for you made it and therefore it must be good. In Jesus name Amen.

9 Oct – Step Off The Sidewalk

I was reading about Desmond Tutu today and how he grew up in South Africa in the midst of apartheid and segregation. Tutu is known for being the Nobel Peace Prize award-winner and a renowned South African Anglican cleric. He is famous for his opposition to the policies of apartheid and as one of the world’s most prominent spiritual leaders. He advocated to speak for all oppressed people’s struggles for equality and freedom.

One of the things that made a significant impression on Tutu as a young child was one day as he was out walking with his mother and a tall white man in a black suit came towards them. In the days of apartheid when a black person met a white person while walking on a footpath, the black person was expected to step into the gutter to allow the white person to pass and then nod their head as a gesture of respect. This day however before Tutu and his mother could move out of the way, the white man stepped off the sidewalk, and as they passed he tipped his hat in a gesture of respect. Tutu’s mother went on to explain that the white man was Trevor Huddleston and that he’d stepped off the sidewalk because he was a ‘man of God”. This was the first time the nine year old Tutu had seen a white man pay respects to a black woman, and on hearing that Huddleston was a man of God, Tutu decided that he wanted to be a man of God too.

Tutu later said that day on the sidewalk and the subsequent friendship he developed with Huddleston helped shape his unshakable optimism and limitless faith in the ability of human beings to do good.

“Despite all of the ghastliness in the world” Tutu once said, “Human beings are made for goodness. The ones that are held in high regard are not militarily powerful, nor even economically prosperous. They have a commitment to try and make the world a better place.”

Trevor Huddleston didn’t do anything remarkable that day. He simply chose to do the right thing and show respect to a woman and another person.

In a world where stepping off the sidewalk, honouring another, opening a door, or even smiling a greeting is sadly not always the norm, Tutu’s story serves as a reminder of the difference treating others with love and respect can make.

Perhaps as more of us “step off the sidewalk”, show kindness and treat others as we would like to be treated, we too will start to see that human beings are made for goodness, and together we’ll make the world a better place.

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these”. (Mark 12:30-31)

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” (D.Tutu)

Prayer: Lord please help me to be more aware of the areas of my life where I have habits or mindsets that need to change. I want to make the world a better place, so please fill me with your love today so that I can. In Jesus name Amen.

8 Oct – Get Really Fat!

God wants us to be strong and self aware enough to know where we aren’t. Primarily because when we are “puny” in an area of our lives we can easily get things out of perspective, be more prone to stress, fear, anxiety and an easy target for enemy attack.

As a way to become and maintain this strength God teaches us in His Word to become “fat” so that we can shake off and if need be, break off yokes that are designed by the enemy to enslave and hold us back.

God said of these yokes, “their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken because you have grown so fat.” (Isaiah 10:27)

Some translations explain the yoke being destroyed by the fatness of the anointing – and it’s primarily God’s Word which carries this yoke breaking anointing.

It seems God has given us a key to freedom. It’s in getting really “fat” in His Word which makes us strong, so that the yoke will be shattered from around our necks. It’s His word and the power it carries that strengthens our spirits, renews our minds and gives us the knowledge of who we are and the resources available to us as a child of God. Then we can be the person that we were born to be; burden and yoke free.

Essentially God’s saying, “the fuller and “fatter” you are on my Word the sooner yokes and limitations will be broken off your life…..”And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” (NKJV)

Today if you know you struggle or keep getting hit in an area and it’s been a weak spot, don’t be content to stay weak or yoked so that it controls you. Instead get your bible out and find every verse that talks about that issue and God’s desire to make you strong and “fat” in it. Write it down and carry it with you; look at it throughout the day until it renews your thinking and changes your response. Build your faith and understanding of God’s power to make you strong.

Schedule in time in your day to “fatten up” – actually get really Fat, on the word and the anointing it holds, until you are so “fat” that no yoke or burden can hold you back or push you down. For the anointing breaks the yoke!

But Jesus answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4)

“He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.’ (Psalm 107:20)

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

Prayer: Lord please help me to consistently strengthen myself in your word so that every yoke will be broken of my life, starting today. In Jesus name Amen.

7 Oct – No Fear!

One of the biggest things that can come against us in life is FEAR!

Fear of failure, rejection, of being disappointed, of not being worthy, of our past, our future, of the “What if’s?”

Fear has been defined as False Evidence Appearing Real. It tries to make us fixate upon and think that the worst will happen!

Jesus said in John 10:10 “the devil comes to rob, kill and destroy, but I have come to give you abundant life”. We sometimes get a glimpse of that abundant life that Jesus wants to give us, and then too often it’s stolen from us by the cares of life and our fear and worry.

The devil is called the “father of lies.” He uses the natural emotion of fear against us to make us feel helpless in resisting him. He wants us to doubt God and ourselves because it makes him and his sidekick fear appear stronger than they really are!

The devil’s tactic is to make us feel like we are all alone and his objective is to warp our image of God, the world we live in, and how we see ourselves.

But the good news against our tendency to fear is that we are all created in the image of God and are precious in His sight. As we spend time getting to know Him and what He says He will enable us us not to give in to the lies of fear, but instead to know “who” we are in Jesus and what He has done for us. We grow to understand and experience the power that is available to us when we trust in Him. That power at work in and for us will remove and turn around every fear, every sickness, lack, failure, and even at times turn our mistakes around. His perfect love casts out ALL fear.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18)

Imagine if  you only believed and said what God said about you. What if you only spoke what God said about other people and their situations? How different would you be! How free from fear would you become?

God has so much to reveal to us. He wants to help us really “LIVE” this life He has given. (John 10:10) But a key to walking in this full life is that we can’t allow fear and intimidation to blind us to how much God loves us and how much He is for us!

As a reminder to not fear Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Today choose to combat fear by only saying what God says in His Word about your life and  future. Know that He is faithful to His promises, and that as you seek Him He will answer and deliver you from all your fears. Let that be your tactic against fear today!

“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)

“I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:11

Prayer: Lord thank you that you love me and know all about my life and future. Please help me to give all my fears over to you today and to put my trust in your goodness and love. That you would deliver me from all my fears and perfect and fulfil the plans you have for my life. In Jesus name Amen.

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