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Dayle's Blog

12 Mar – Your best life

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Today as I sit waiting for our youngest daughter to finish her modelling and deportment class I have been pleasantly intrigued by the music and variety of people walking in and out of the adjacent building. I’ve discovered its a belly dancing class that people are going to as individuals of every size, shape and age busily wander past me with their colourful, vibrant clothing and carefree laughter flowing through the carpark, and music pumps excuberantly out the doors.

The thing is these dancers all look and sound very happy, which is a nice phenomenon as so many people quite simply aren’t. They’ve obviously found something they enjoy and are uninhibited enough to give it a go.

Unfortunately many people don’t live free or are willing to give new things a try for fear of embarrassing themselves, failing or just feeling so inhibited they can’t seem to move in any new or adventurous direction at all. It’s like the fear of failure and disappointment has stopped them too many times and now it’s just easier to settle into the status quo.

Perhaps the only time you may see people loosen up, come out of themselves and say they’d like to do something new is if they have consumed large quantities of alcohol or other substances. Primarily because when the effects of alcohol and drugs kick in people’s inhibitions lessen and people often dance, sing and share things that they would normally in a sober state successfully hide. Which to be honest is a little perplexing. Why is it that the only time people feel they can be free is when they’ve been drinking or consuming another substance designed to dull the pain, make them forget their worries and bring what’s hidden within them out.

Today however why not go against the status quo and consider how your life could be more colourful, exciting and blessed if you chose to acknowledge, deal with and push past your fears, pain, unhealthy inhibitions and any issues you struggle with so that you could start living your best life. How different would you be it you were set free in an area you know you are stuck in and chose to explore, discover and try new things without needing to drink or take a substance to help you do so.

That I believe is Gods best for us. It’s why Jesus said, “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me.” (Matt 11:28-39 Tpt)

But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect – life in all its fullness until you overflow”. (John 10:10 Tpt)

I encourage you to come to Jesus today and ask Him to heal and set you free so that you can really live your best life.

Prayer: Lord please help to take the lids off my life where I step back instead of stepping forward into everything you want for me. Help me to discover and try something new this week as you heal and set me free of anything that is holding me back. In Jesus name Amen

11 Mar – No skinny Jesus

If you were sitting in our kitchen while the lamb roast was preparing in the slow cooker, you would no doubt start to get hungry. The longer you sat, and the longer you waited the hungrier you’d get. Eventually you would get really really hungry.

Being that hungry is how Jesus wants us to be for His presence and His love in our life.  Not just a little bit peckish, take it or leave it type hunger, but famished.

St Augustine cried out in hungry desperation for God. He asked for, “the gift of your coming into my heart and filling it to the brim, so that I may forget all the wrong that I have done and embrace you alone, my only source of good.”

There are so many other, so called alternatives that promise fulfillment,  but don’t fill the hungry void in our lives. People might endeavor to quench their hunger with the accumulation of possessions, relationships, family, careers, money, travel, wealth etc. These pursuits aren’t bad in themselves, but they can be a distraction from the real satisfier of the hunger in the depths of our souls that Jesus wants to fill.

Why? Because Jesus is not a skinny Jesus who hasn’t got much to offer, He’s not low calorie, and barely enough. He is full and overflowing, and wants to bring unbelievable joy to our lives.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever”. (Psalm 23:5)

But you have to be hungry. He won’t force you to partake of the richness of who He is. He won’t force you to spend time with Him. He wont force you to forgo the “fast food” substitutes in exchange for the “real deal”. Instead we get the opportunity everyday to choose.

To choose to let go, or even to empty our lives of everything that we’ve tried to fill the hunger with. If we keep snacking on those things that come to try and crowd out God we won’t make room in our hearts and hunger fully for Jesus. We will keep being fooled by the fast food on offer which has no lasting benefits, and  which eventually makes you sick, lethargic, and lacking in what you really need.

God cries out to each one of us “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live.” ( Isaiah 55:2)

“Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man (Jesus) will give to you.” (John 6:27)

When we forgo the worlds fast food we start to hunger and thirst after that which satisfies. We get desperate.  We seek till we find it. Our  capacity and hunger grows, and as we open up our hearts to God and receive from Him, He fills us with far more than we could have asked, dreamed or imagined. We receive food from Heaven.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart”. (Jeremiah 29:13)

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”. (Matthew 5:6)

Prayer: Lord help me to see those things which are crowding my heart, that are a poor substitute for knowing you. Forgive me where I have ignored you and chosen others to fill my heart and time rather than you.  I make room in my heart and life for you; that I would hunger after the one who truly satisfies my soul.  In Jesus Name. Amen

 

10 Mar – Words that build

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Our words are like power-packed capsules that are able to move mountains, tear down strongholds, build hope and release encouragement.

However a lot of the times we can underestimate what our words are releasing in and around our lives. We underestimate that with our words we can build and literally call things into existence. We can literally frame up and release the things that heaven is talking about for us personally, for our family, our church and our community with faith filled words. However we can also choose to listen to and speak lies, negativity and evil and end up undermining and stepping right away from the purposes of God for our lives.

Even when things don’t go quite to our plan and our circumstances are not what they should be, God still has a way through. If we listen and allow Him to bring revelation and wisdom He will guide us out of every predicament. One of the main ways He does this is encouraging us by releasing a vision, or renewing and clarifying an old one. He redirects our focus not upon our current situation but upon our future and gives us something to look towards. He says, “renew your mind with my promises and plan, and then start speaking your future rather than focusing and talking about your present circumstances and problems”. (Romans 12:2)

Today I encourage you to spend some time asking God to release fresh vision and revelation. Choose to fill your thoughts and words with an expectation for good things to come to pass in your life as you frame up what God is saying for better things ahead.

God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did”. (Romans 4:17-21)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”.(Jeremiah 29:11)

Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full”. (John 16:24)

Prayer: Lord I’m agreeing with you and your Word today as I choose to focus on what you say and your promises rather than any negatives in my present circumstances. I’m putting my faith and words to work and believing for positive change in my life. In Jesus name Amen

9 Mar – Take a load off

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Our eldest son is now much taller and stronger than I am, and when we go out shopping he carries the heavy bags for me. His Dad has modelled to him to bear the weight and burden for me, and to respond quickly to any need he sees.

The bible teaches us do likewise and to “bear one another’s burdens”.(Galatians 6:2) Meaning to be there for one another; to help when others are weighed down, and to be alert to needs so that we are quickly able to offer help. Bearing burdens alludes to the custom of travellers, who, when too heavily laden with their baggage, relieve one another by bearing the burdens of the weak or fatigued.

It’s being available to respond so that people are not crushed under the weight of their burdens, and it’s a practical outworking of Jesus’ command to love one another.

The key however to assisting one another is not to absorb pain. We are to assist, but we are not to make it our entire responsibility to fix things. When we start to do this we will soon find ourselves struggling under the weight of everyone else’s burdens, which can rapidly erode our own strength. Instead our role of helping carry people’s burdens is that we direct attention onto Jesus, and ultimately encourage all involved to give Him their burdens to carry. We offer our help so that people can rest, gather strength and get a fresh perspective that Jesus is able to help them, rather than continuing to struggle or having to come to the rescue all the time.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”. (Matthew 11:28-29)

Jesus is the ultimate burden bearer, and He asks that we come to Him so that we will all know rest from our labours. When He carries the load we can then learn from Him how to travel light and burden free.

Today, if you are carrying burdens, cast them upon Jesus for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Your shoulders were never meant to carry the responsibility of making everything work. All we are asked to do is seek Jesus and His way of doing things, and He will work out the rest. (Matthew 6:33)

If you know you have been carrying others burdens in an effort to assist them, make sure you are not absorbing pain that God never intended you to. Regularly take time to cast all burdens upon Jesus, and then do only exactly what He asks you to do give show love and assistance. 

“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall”.(Psalm 55:22)

What is the price of two sparrows – one copper coin. But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows”.(Matthew 10:29-31)

Prayer: Lord I give you all my burdens today and ask that you carry the load. Please help me to trust in you, and to remember that you have promised you will take care of me and will give me wisdom to know how and when to help others. In Jesus name Amen.

 

8 Mar – Doing nothing at all

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Today I rested and did very little at all. Sure I had things written down to do today, but as I woke up I heard God gently whisper in my spirit, “just stay in bed a while longer and rest.”
Then as I later got up I had the same internal nudge to not be making lots of phone calls, running around, or ticking off tasks in my diary. No, “just sit quietly and chill”. And as I did anxiety and fatigue lifted off me.

A lifestyle of ceaseless labour, day after day, no matter how noble or worthy our cause is not good for us. We aren’t really built for it and eventually something gives way.

Jesus set an example for us that we are designed to follow, in that He often withdrew from people in order to rest and commune with the Father.

The news about him (Jesus) spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:15-16)

Interestingly Jesus withdrew to rest from the demands of the people and day at the height of his popularity. There were literally thousands and thousands of people crying out for Jesus to heal, teach and bless them. The need and opportunities were great and yet often we find Jesus choosing to rest and take time off, because He understood if He was to accomplish His purpose (and set us an example to follow) he had to remain spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally strong. And that required regular times of prayer, rest and recuperation.

Rest is the invisible part of our time, the part that rebuilds and remakes us every day.  Without adequate rest we will suffer and struggle to fulfil those things that God has placed in our hearts to enjoy, experience and accomplish.

Today I encourage you to follow Jesus’ example and take time to rest. Schedule rest in your diary and day, and honour that time as just as important as the other more visible, measurable productive parts of your life. Let’s be wise and cease from all our activity when we need to and come away and rest.

Prayer: Lord help me to understand the importance of rest and to set aside a regular time to cease form all my activity and labour so that I can recuperate, reflect, relax, and fully rest. In Jesus name Amen.

7 Mar – What are you soaking up?

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Often when I’m feeling discouraged or negative I will get an internal check to take a look at what my input and to who or what I am listening, looking at and spending time with. That’s because what we surround ourselves and “feed” upon is essentially what we will become.

To make positive steps forward  in life it is often necessary to take an honest look at our relationships, past times, media and recreational viewing and our hobbies and habits and whether they are beneficial or not.

The bible teaches us about wisdom and says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20) That’s because our souls and spirits are like sponges and will soak up whatever is around them the most. The question therefore to regularly ask ourselves is, “What am I soaking up?”

The bible gives us a simple and easy guideline to follow in what to soak up. It ‘s found in Philippians 4:8, and says,

Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think on these things.” (Philippians 4:9)

When we filter all that we are thinking about, watching, listening to and saying and doing through this guideline it soon becomes apparent if we need to make some changes, for we put in is what we”ll  put out. As we input those things that are beneficial, and helpful to our growth, peace, faith and character we are promised that, “The peace of God will be with us.” (Philippians 4:9)

I encourage you to ask God how you are going with your thought life, habits, relationships and your subsequent actions and habits? Are you soaking into your life those things that help and strengthen your destiny and purpose, and build into your faith and encourage you to be better everyday?

It’s always our choice, and if we choose God’s way of living, He promises He will strengthen us everyday and help us to be the person we were always created to be.

“I call heaven and earth to speak against you today. I have put in front of you life and death, the good and the curse. So choose life.”(Deuteronomy 30:19)

You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.” (Luke 6:45 The Message)

Prayer: Lord please help me to choose wisely the things I “soak up” into my life. May they be things that are true honourable, right, pure, lovely and praise worthy, so that my life will also reflect these things. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

6 Mar – Who do you Trust?

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The definition of trust is; a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something. 

Looking at that definition makes you wonder if there is anything or anyone you can completely trust? Is there anyone who is fully without a shadow of doubt completely reliable? People are people, and things happen to prevent or limit our ability to always be available at all times, in all things. Anyone in a relationship, who is a parent or has any responsibility will know that. Stuff happens, and we can all let others and ourselves down.

However there is one who says, “Trust me” and He actually promises He will be 100% reliable for us, our ever-present help in time of need or trouble. God is the one who asks us to trust Him, and who actually has the power and resources to follow up on those promises.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

But trust does not mean indifference and an attitude of, “Oh, I guess it might turn out all right.” That is not trusting for trust is something positive. It is real, tangible and a definite attitude where we acknowledge our need and desires and God’s ability to meet them.

However it’s important to note that trust does not mean ignoring the facts. Trust looks and sees the dangers, the needs and the challenges and assesses them. But upon seeing all this, trust looks beyond and sees God, whose name is also “El-Shaddai” – the all-sufficient one. Trust sees that God is greater than the challenges, dangers and difficulties, and trust helps us face and overcome them.

The benefits of this sort of trust is peace and a calmness where we are no longer overwrought with fear and worry, because trusting in God brings confidence, calmness and peace. We learn we can trust Him because he loves us so much and it is love that motivates Him. Love is who He is and that sort of perfect love never fails, it never runs out, it never gives up, it is always constant and reliable.

Three Hebrew young men; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego trusted God, and the fiery furnace could not even singe their garments. (Daniel 3:16) Daniel trusted God, and the hungry lions could not touch him. (Daniel 6). Abram who God renamed Abraham trusted when God asked him to leave his relatives, his country and his home to go into a land he did not know. He trusted that God would bring him to a new home  and that He would protect, bless, and be faithful to His promises. God spoke and Abraham trusted that what God said, He was well able to do. (Genesis 15)

Today God still asks us to trust Him, to rely on Him to do what He has promised. He wants us to trust Him to lead and guide us every day. Not because He wants to control us, but because He knows the way and the best route to get there.

He knows what is going to prepare and grow us to be all that He has made us to be. So He asks that we trust Him, not leaning on our own often limited understanding of the situation, but trusting in His unlimited knowledge of the past, present and future.

Today I want to encourage you to trust God for He is able to get you to where you need to go. He knows the way, and He will willingly show you if you choose to listen to Him.

Trust Him to speak. Trust Him to protect you. Trust Him to heal and deliver you.  Trust him to help you fulfil the dreams in your heart (Ephesians 3:20). Trust Him because there is no shadow or changing in Him. He is not a man that He should lie, or one who promises things that He then cannot deliver. (Numbers 23:19)

Trust God; have confidence and rest assured in the firm reliability and ability of who He is and His great love for you!

For, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

“In God, whose word I praise in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?“ (Psalm 56:4)

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture”. (Psalm 37:3)

Prayer: Lord thank you that I can trust in you. Please help me when I fall back into only relying upon myself instead of choosing to trust and have confidence in you.  I choose to trust you more today. In Jesus Name Amen.

5 Mar – Keep walking

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There are times in life where there is nothing for it but to simply keep walking…

To keep walking and doing what you know to do even if you don’t see anything happening yet.

To keep walking because if you stop it’ll be more effort to pick yourself back up and start over, much like a moving vessel is far easier to move forward than a stationary one.

To keep walking because you’re still breathing and God still has a purpose and plan for you to fulfill.

To keep walking because when we’re walking and choose to lift our heads up we will eventually walk out of any difficulty, disappointment or set-back. Or as Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going”. Why? Because you don’t want to stop there, and better things are up ahead…just keep walking till you get there! For “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”. (Winston Churchill)

To keep walking because others are undoubtedly watching and as we find courage to keep going and to overcome; to be all that we were created to be and do, it encourages and inspires others to do the same, and to not give into temptation to give up when things get tough.

To keep walking because often it’s that last little push and move forward that is needed before breakthrough comes. Thomas Edison a world famous inventor was told by his teachers he was “too stupid to learn anything,” yet he keep walking, inventing and pushing and went on to hold more than 1,000 patents, including the phonograph and electric lamp.

Or Theodor Suess Geisel better known by many as Dr Suess, the much-loved children’s author who had his first books rejected by 27 publishers. Those books went on to sell more than 600 million copies worldwide.

David who is referred to in the bible as a man after God’s own heart, also knew how to keep walking even in the midst of immense opposition and loneliness. He said, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, your rod and your staff they protect and comfort me”. (Psalm 23:4)

David trusted that what God had promised and spoken over his life He was faithful to complete. David’s part was to keep His eyes fixed on the promise, and on God who had spoken it. David also chose to walk in forgiveness, humility and to cultivate the attitude that if he messed up the best way forward was to admit his wrong doing, ask for forgiveness, praise God for His goodness and get back out there again. Because of these things David saw his breakthrough, recovered from set-backs, and was a man who knew God as His best friend.
“The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough. (Psalm 23:1 TPT)

Today I want to encourage you to keep walking. If you’ve had a knock back, are feeling weary or simply don’t know what to do next…just keep doing what you know to do. If you’re not sure seek God, spend some time in His Word seeking His wisdom and discernment, and if need be get some godly counsel from those with wisdom and more mature in faith than you are. (Proverbs 3:21-26 The Passion Translation)

But most of all don’t give up…keep going; don’t quit on what God has placed in your heart and spoken over your life, hold onto your dream and water it with prayer, time with Jesus, faith-filled positive words, and getting around others who will encourage you….and remember to “keep walking”!

Prayer: Lord I’m asking you to encourage me today to keep walking. Even when I feel surrounded by disappointment or opposition I know that I am surrounded by you and that your love and faithfulness will strengthen and keep me safe even when I’m travelling through the darkest valley until I reach the other side. I’m going to keep walking today. In Jesus name Amen.

4 Mar – Soul health

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I frequently have a conversation with people about the importance of prospering their souls. It is important to understand how our soul, body and spirit operate together. The bible says we are a living soul, which is why it’s so important to feed our spirit and our soul with good things.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).

Far too often we try to compartmentalise our lives, not understanding that what we allow into our lives will affect every part of our being – our soul, body and spirit. Which is why we must feed and care for all of our being, and not just part of it. You can be physically fit, eat healthy, do fun things and yet be spiritually lacking and dead. Or you can be spiritually fit and healthy and be lacking emotionally or be physically unwell.

The bible says, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2)

So the question is how do you prosper your soul. Our spirit’s are regenerated and renewed by God’s presence and word bringing life to us; our bodies by eating and exercising well, and putting in the truth of God’s word. But what about our souls?

I have discovered that we often don’t know what makes our soul happy. And if we do, we don’t do those things enough.

God’s word will prosper your soul because it tells you how much you are loved and how God sees you. Then God actually wants you to go out and enjoy your life with Him. Matthew 12:34 says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. So it’s vitally important that we are taking care of our souls so that they are full and overflowing. If we only concentrate on the necessary to exist, our souls will not be prospering and our heart will not be full of good things. Instead we can end up cynical, tired, short tempered, having toxic speech, and disillusioned with life. Plus I’ve discovered that those things that bring us joy are an on-ramp to heavenly places. Joy is a trigger that often opens us up to an awareness of heaven and God’s presence all around us. 

Today make a list of those things that make your soul happy. If you can’t think of anything, why not try something new. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, it can be simple like a cup of coffee at your favourite cafe, enjoying some great scenery, good food and company, a sport, hobby, building or creating something, music, art, shopping, etc.

Take some time to prosper your soul today, and do something you enjoy. It will bring you good health, renewed energy, awareness of heaven and a zeal for life. Plus your mouth will speak from the overflow of a heart that is full of an appreciation for the life you have been given.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of His name”. (Psalm 23:-3)

Prayer: Lord please help me to understand myself better and how to prosper my soul. Reveal to me anything that is not right in my heart, and help me to deal with it, as I prosper my spirit, soul and body. In Jesus name Amen.

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