Tuesday Matters-November 12, 2019
Everyday Gentle Answer
Sometimes I can talk too much. Even if I’m talking about good things it’s still better if I follow the advice of Proverbs 10:19; “Don’t talk too much, for it fosters sin. Be sensible and turn off the flow!” I know that the mouth that blesses, praises and prays can also irritate, hurt and harm.
One time I was having a heated argument with an unbeliever and out of frustration I wanted to lash out and say something to prove my point but I knew I’d probably regret it later on so instead I actually said Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.” It was weird but the argument stopped immediately, as soon as I spoke the Proverb. I guess because God had the last Word. I really want Psalm 19:14 to be true in my life, where the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart are pleasing to God...everyday.
Monday Matters-November 11, 2019
Everyday Real Self
I’m pretty sure we’ve all done this; “I’m good. I’ve got this under control,” and we perform like we have it all together. The pursuit of truth is not the moral resolution to avoid petty lying and to stop deceiving others; it’s the decision to stop deceiving ourselves. Rather than admit my own issues I find it easier to find fault with others and compare myself with them. To a certain degree we’ve all tried to cover, avoid, or perform as if there is nothing wrong and we’re certainly not as bad as that other person.
Self-deception is the enemy of wholeness because it prevents us from seeing ourselves as we really are. Ask God to show you what you need to see about your real self. He will show you lovingly and give you His grace and strength to face your issues and walk in wholeness so you can love yourself. It’s that kind of self-acceptance and coming to terms with our real personalities which helps us to love others authentically too…everyday.
Friday Matters-November 8, 2019
My husband was explaining to our sons what forgiveness really is and I loved his explanation. When we forgive someone who’s sinned against us the barrier in the relationship is removed. We can again see the person as God sees them rather than looking at the hurt of the sin every time we picture or see them. God doesn’t ask us to forgive others to earn any favor with Him. There’s nothing we can do to earn His love. He loves us as we are. And when we realize it’s an act of our will and a choice to forgive rather than something we let our feelings decide it can make the process a whole lot easier.
I know from experience that it’s my anger and hurt that makes me FEEL like I can’t forgive or I’ll never see justice. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can I let go and trust God to work in me to truly forgive and avenge me as He says He will….everyday.
Thursday Matters-November 7, 2019
Everyday Compliment Baby Loss
Trisha and Ben were excited to deliver their second child but the day before their child was due the doctors couldn’t find a heartbeat. So Tishri was induced and gave birth to baby Brendan, perfectly formed, but already in the arms of Jesus.
The following Sunday their pastor brought a message of hope from 1 Thessalonians: “The grave isn’t the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will certainly bring back to life those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.” Jill, a friend of Trisha decided to write a song for all the women who know this kind of loss.” The words go like this:
“Now I lay you down to sleep,
Oh, my baby, sweet and fair,
Until we're caught up in the clouds,
I take your hand, and we meet God in the air.
Until then, I'll miss you.
Until then, I'll love you.
I can't wait to see you.”
Imagine what a reunion that will be…everyday.
Wednesday Matters-November 6, 2019
Everyday Compassion for the Hurting
There’s someone hurting who needs healing, someone unloved who needs our touch; elderly, needing to feel that we care; and someone who is weak and needs the support of our shared weakness. I get it. Author and speaker, Brennan Manning, who has since left this earth, still inspires me. He said; “One of the most healing words I ever spoke as a confessor was to an old priest with a drinking problem. “Just a few years ago,” I said, “I was a hopeless alcoholic in the gutter in Fort Lauderdale.” “You?” he cried. “O, Thank God!”
When we bring a smile to the face of someone in pain, we have brought Christ to them. I know what it is to hurt and I know pain. What helps me? It’s NOT to hear more of what I should and should not do. I need to hear; “There’s hope. I’m sorry for this ache in your heart.” Weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who have reason for joy. We are all in this together…everyday.
Tuesday Matters-November 5, 2019
Good wisdom right there in the middle of the Bible; Proverbs 22:6: “Train a child in the way they should go, and when they’re old they’ll not turn from it.” When I had three teenagers at home (and a preteen) I realized that for their behavior to change there needed to be a heart change. Of yea, I’ve said; “I’m not asking what you want. I am asking you to obey.” But there are stages in parenting. First, we train when they are little. Second, we coach our kids by directing and holding them accountable. Third, we cheer on good choices and discourage bad ones. Lastly, we are our children’s fans when they leave home and try and give advice only when asked.
Try and speak to your child’s heart and not just their head. To tell a teenager to stop hanging out with a group they like, could get the response; “Let me live my own life.” But if you appeal to their heart and maybe share your past well you might actually see some change…everyday.
Monday Matters-November 4, 2019
“God how are You going to do this and when are You going to do it? Why is it taking so long?” Have those questions been yours? But think about the farmer who tends his crops. He just keeps sleeping and rising and does what he can to enrich his soil and cultivate his crops but leaves the rest in the hands of God.
Jesus spoke of the patient farmer in the Bible from Mark 4:26-28. He sows his seed in the ground and then goes on his way, sleeping and getting up each morning and eventually the ground brings what the farmer has hoped for. The farmer doesn’t know how the harvest will come or exactly when it will come but his job is to get up in the morning, do his work and then go to bed at night. He’s patient until the harvest arrives. Wait in hope. God is working. And while you’re waiting you can grow by spending time reading what He says and trusting Him…everyday.
Friday Matters-November 1, 2019
Steve is an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran. Upon arriving home three years ago from his final tour to Afghanistan he found out that his wife had been cheating on him and had spent or stole almost all of their money. Steve had nowhere to stay, no phone and was suffering from severe anxiety problems. One of his close friends from high school, Shawn, and his wife, took Steve in and let him live with their family of five. They’ve helped him deal with his divorce and get his life together. Since then, Steve’s moved into his own place, opened a diner, and his friend’s kids call him Uncle Steve when they see him.
This is the love of Jesus’ unconditional love. We’re His kids and no matter what mess we’re in, He’s there, ready to make redemptive use of our mess. Even on our worst days God stands with His door wide open and says; “Come in,” everyday.
Thursday Matters-October 31, 2019
Everyday Compliment Crazy
“It’s not fair. They don’t deserve my kindness and I’m certainly not going to compliment them because they think they have it all together.” Very often those difficult people in our lives are family. We think; “How can they be so clueless to their own junk and continue to point out mine?” But here’s the deal; we may not think they deserve our love or kindness but neither do we deserve God’s grace and kindness toward us.
The advice given me was; “Debbie, just lavish them with love. Compliment and see what happens in your heart and in theirs.” Guess what it works. Love someone with simply acts of kindness by praising the good of who they are and you’ll be amazed at how God changes your heart. Truth from God in John 13:34; “Love one another as I have loved you.” It’s hard. But the change, the blessing, the beginning of healing in a broken relationship…oh you’ll be thinking; “Why didn’t I do this sooner…everyday.”
Wednesday Matters-October 30, 2019
Everyday Marriage Advice
The other day I read this article giving me the “Do’s and Don’ts” on how to get a grip on a marriage gone bad. Some points were good such as; “Do speak honestly of your unhappiness to your partner and don’t bad mouth your spouse to your friends” BUT the “DO” that really threw me was; “Put yourself at the center of your life, go deep within yourself to find your strength.” I said out loud, “Are you kidding me, I’d just get depressed?” But the writer continues, “Who can be the center of your life but you?”
I know the answer! JESUS! He should be the center of our lives! And when He’s not that’s when we have problems, not only in marriage but in everything. I just read some great “DO’S and DON’TS” in Philippians 2: 3 and 4; “DO regard others better than yourself and DO NOT be selfish, thinking only of yourself.” What great advice from the Counselor who has all the answers...everyday.