Tuesday Matters- February 28, 2023
Everyday Life Struggle
The letter began, “Debbie I’m struggling. I’ve been unemployed since September, I have an aunt who is in the hospital and my husband is constantly reminding me that he’s the one who’s paying the bills. I feel frustrated and far away from God.
Feeling far away from God and like He doesn’t care is what the devil wants you to feel and think. Satan’s two favorite lies are the “forever” lie and the “never” lie. He tells us the negative things in our lives will never change and will forever be the way they are. The enemy tells us we’ll “never” experience the freedom or healing we desire and the way you’re right now will stay that way “forever.” The truth is God is good and He has plans to bring you wholeness from your brokenness. Trust in God because bad things ultimately give way to better things. Ecclesiastes 3:1; TO EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven…everyday!
Monday Matters-February 27, 2023
Everyday Baby Love
Tishri 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 Pearson, a friend of Tishri and songwriter said; “I decided to write a song for all the women like myself and Tishri 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.
Friday Matters- February 24, 2023
Everyday Helmet Princess
I have a friend known as, “The Princess who wore a Helmet.” She has been through intense trials, but her strength is in Christ. “I want to share my story of hope with others,” she wrote. “We are born into an imperfect world where a battle must be fought. I think my battle really began with my baby daughter's skull surgery. She had to wear a helmet but in a sense so did I. It was in those years of sleepless nights that I discovered the power of prayer. I poured out to God and He poured into me. During this time my husband too experienced intense grief over the deaths of his father and brother. And to complete the experience I had extreme pain in my jaw with TMJ surgery.
And yet my friend Brenda said, “I was able to surrender to God when I let my mind focus on Him and not my fear.” Brenda has God’s peace because she wears the helmet of salvation, walking in God’s grace and hope…everyday.
Thursday Matters- February 23, 2023
“Are you serious you just sent me this text?” wrote my friend Kelly. “My husband and I were having a discussion, okay an argument, and I’m sitting on the couch because I need a clear mind to hear from God. It’s 1:00am and “bzzzz-bzzzzz” you send THAT scripture?” I live in Minnesota. Kelly lives in Colorado. We’ve met once. I sent her a text message at at the moment God knew she needed it.
I shared from Luke 21:15; “Kelly, Jesus will give you a mouth and such utterance and wisdom that all of your foes combined will be unable to stand against or refute.” We need to wait on God for His wisdom which will not come from the mind but from our inner being. “Oh, Jesus help us against our natural inclination to manipulate things to work the way we want them to work. We believe in You and wait on You. AMEN.” Ask God for His words and way…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- February 22, 2023
Everyday Grocery Store
I was shopping at our local grocery store at 11:00pm and in my pajamas where it appeared that all the 18- to 20-year-old employees were working. As I pushed my cart around the store, I listened to Brandon talk about his future in the pickle aisle. I got to the checkout where Chelsey rang up my items and Warren bagged my groceries. Whitney then came over with questions on how it was that I was a motivational speaker.
I told my audience of three how I was given the opportunity to be on the radio and then gave a short impromptu example; “Grocery shopping one evening I realized the simplicity in following 1 Corinthians 13. Take the time to be patient to listen and be kind to others, even though you are only there to get a pile of groceries. This blesses not only someone else, but you even more!” I finished and Whitney said, “That’s good. Can you do that ‘for real’ and use our names on the radio?” So, here you go guys! You matter and make a difference …everyday.
Tuesday Matters- February 21, 2023
There’s this prophet in the Bible named Jeremiah and he had many of the same thoughts and feelings like us. In Lamentations 3:17 he says, “I have forgotten what good, and happiness are.” Haven’t we all been there, when all we think about is how awful our lives are? Jeremiah was used by God to warn Israel to turn from their destructive behavior, but instead time and again the people tried to get rid of him. It was rough. But in the long list of frustrations that Jeremiah expresses in Lamentations you’ll also read further in how Jeremiah reminds himself of God’s character and faithfulness. It doesn’t take any faith to believe that God exists—it takes faith to believe that God is trustworthy when your circumstances do not seem to bear it out.
Not all things that happen are good but promises everything will work out for the good. We all have Jeremiah rough days but there are always ones filled with hope and fresh mercy…everyday.
Monday Matters-February 20, 2023
Everyday Boy Character
I have four boys but there’s one who is most like me which made life challenging in the teen years (for the whole family). Peter’s phone was taking away at times of discipline and one such time I had to drop a note off at school to let him know I’d pick him up and not to take the bus. I wrote, “Peter I’m sorry for my part in provoking you which led to hurt feelings for both of us. Please forgive me. I love you always. Mom”
As parents we wanted our sons to develop strong characters from the inside-out. Not just temporary behavior change, but God’s work for a heart change. God is so cool because at youth group that evening Peter heard a guest speaker talk about the grace God gives and how we can’t afford to withhold from others. Peter apologized and said I could keep the phone as long as I wanted. He forgave me too. Jesus is always the answer…everyday.
Friday Matters- February 17, 2023
I know God’s best for us is to forgive and be tenderhearted to one another like God does for us as Ephesians 4:32 reminds us. But knowing and living it out are two different things. Jesus calls us to be kind and tenderhearted toward everyone, even to those we don’t like. That’s hard when someone’s hurt us. But Romans 12:9 is clear; “Let your love be genuine and outdo one another in showing honor.” Personal, political, religious, and any other type “opponents” should be treated with kindness. This means assuming the best, and not the worst, of difficult people. Forgiveness doesn’t release the one who’s hurt you, it releases you.
Having a tender heart is the willingness to see the pain from the point of view from the other person’s perspective and see them as God does. This only can happen through the power of the Holy Spirit. Healing comes when we allow God into our struggles…everyday.
Thursday Matters- February 16, 2023
Everyday Life’s Choices
My husband Dan and I were on the couch once again having “the talk.” Oh, you know the talk about finances and getting out of debt? Dan proceeded in a serious tone talking about what “we” needed to do but it sounded more like a lecture about what “I” needed to do. I wanted to shout; “If you don’t like the way things are, look at the changes you can make. Don’t wait for me to change.” I even had a verse to go with “my talk”; Deuteronomy 30:19; “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”
But for some reason I sat silently and prayed. And by the end of Dan’s lamentation he actually said, “I guess I need to look at the choices I can make and not put it all on you.” “Why don’t I shut my mouth more often and simply pray? It’s a life-giving choice to make…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- February 15, 2023
Everyday Jesus Forgiveness
I love people. People also make me crazy and more so the ones I love who’ve hurt me. Often, it’s hard not to carry the offense around and let it go. You’ve probably heard, “WWJD,” “What would Jesus do?” but really the question should be: “What DID Jesus do? He loves and forgives, and Jesus asks us to forgive others as He does.
ONLY through the Holy Spirit power can we be set free. Ask yourself the questions, “Is it enough for God to know my pain, disappointment, and frustration? Can I hand my offense entirely over to Him, move forward and treat others better than they treat me? What if it means only God knows my hurt and nobody else?” It’s a process but that’s how real God has to become to us. You’re not alone. I could sit for hours and discuss my pain with you. But, let’s pray: “God set us free with Your love to forgive others completely as You do for us…everyday.”