Thursday Matters- April 30, 2020
Everyday Offense Taken
We can say we trust in God to avenge or defend us but when we take matters into our own hands we aren’t putting a lot of trust in God taking care of our hurt. A big challenge is not to pick up the offense of a friend or family member who’s been hurt. I’m guilty there. But when we take on someone else’s offense we’re sucking the poison of their sin and we become bitter along with them.
I’ve seen this happen when a parent’s anger towards someone passes on to their children. Remember if only one side of the story is presented you don’t have the whole truth and may have a cocktail of lies. It’s the enemy’s plan to ruin relationships. God’s plan is to restore. Follow Deuteronomy 30:19 which tells us to make the choices which bring life so that we and generations to come may live meaningful lives. More is caught than taught and the way your children trust God will have a lot to do with the way you trusted God in relationship conflicts…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- April 29, 2020
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.
Tuesday Matters- April 28, 2020
Everyday Flowers from Husband
I still remember the “just because I care” flowers from my husband sent a few years ago. I had called my husband at his office to lament about some unresolved drama that I had so Dan told me to come to his office. I did. But… then out of nowhere a “stress arrow” hit my husband and he began speaking from his book of Lamentations. He began talking about our finances, his work load, and health stuff. It was unusual for me but I sat SILENTLY and prayed while tears ran down my cheeks.
I left the office with a hug and knew that this is life and it would be okay. An hour later a beautiful bouquet of flowers arrived and a card from my husband saying; “I love you.” At the same moment a dear friend called and said, “I was praying for you and thought you might need to talk.” That’s JUST like God, supplying what we need when we need it…everyday.
Monday Matters-April 27, 2020
Everyday Crazy Thoughts
Do you have crazy thoughts? And by that, I mean the kind of crazy negative thoughts that swirl in your mind which come from past hurts or present crazy circumstances. When I have them they seem to creep in when I’m traveling a long distance by myself. BUT I know we can choose what we think on. WE can release God’s plan for our lives by no longer thinking about the things of old and believing instead that God has a good plan for our future.
Since what we think about eventually comes out of our thoughts, we will never get our mouths straightened out unless we do something about our thoughts. We need to stop mentally living in the past and begin to think in agreement with God. Then once we do that we can begin to speak in agreement with Him. We can actually see our own future and think on truth from Isaiah 43:19; “God makes s a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. He can make a way for you and me…everyday.
Friday Matters- April 24, 2020
Everyday Get in the Van
“Mom, why do we have to go to church? I don’t want to. Jesus loves us. Can’t we skip?” Years ago, getting four boys to Church on time with my husband and all buckled into the family van, was not on my “Favorite List.” I had similar complaining thoughts too. Church is people and people can be super irritating. And often when we get to church we begin judging; “Is the music good, the sermon effective, is Sunday school taught right, and what about the format in general, is it inviting and engaging?
Yea, sure maybe those are good questions but the point is, thank God that He loves us right where we’re at and not where we should be. We need to remember we’re all gathering as sinners in need of a Savior and His grace. So when church complaints began on a Sunday morning I came up with this simple mantra, “Love God, Love others, and Get in the Van.” Church is not about you. It’s about God’s grace which we all need to receive and give…everyday.
Thursday Matters- April 23, 2020
Everyday Family Van
Our family van has been so challenging on so many different levels, and so one of the times AGAIN I had to ask someone to jump the battery with cables which I carry in the back where the hatch is broken. This guy, Josh, he helped me get my van going and I was thanking him I just thought, you know, I’m gonna ask Josh some questions about his life. And I found out that Josh, he was stuck in a really difficult place. I listened. Because I know for me that I don’t want necessarily a response because rarely can a response make something better but what makes something better is that connection, that understanding.
And in that same way God wants to connect with you; to listen to us, to love us where we’re at and not where we should be, to show us we’re not alone and that there is always hope. And when there is hope and that understanding of His love, His forgiveness, there is freedom…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- April 22, 2020
Everyday Compliment Crazy
“It’s not fair. They don’t deserve my kindness and I’m certainly not going to compliment them on anything because they already tell me how great they are anyway.” Very often those difficult people in our lives are family members. 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 and theirs. God tells us in John 13:34; “Love one another as I have loved you.” It’s hard at first…really 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.”
Tuesday Matters- April 21, 2020
Everyday Bedtime Story
I still remember years ago returning home from my son’s skating class and thinking it probably wasn’t a good time to tell my husband Dan that our "check engine soon" light was on again even though the next day I had to make a drip which was 200 miles away. I didn’t tell Dan about the engine light because he was in the basement shop-vacing water due to a plug in our sewer line. My journal indicates that Joey was 7 and he asked again for The Book of Job for his bedtime story. “Irony,” I wrote. But I was immediately struck by Job's response after all his belongings and children are taken away; "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD."
Eventually, I had all four boys in bed and while I was folding laundry I had a peace wash over me as I repeated over and over, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” No matter what happens there is peace not because all that happens is good but because God always is good…everyday.
Monday Matters-April 20, 2020
Everyday Umpire of Peace
I always thought that having peace was a feeling and so I thought if I prayed God would give me a feeling about how to proceed. Years later, through prayer and understanding, I realize God’s gives peace in the way of “knowing” rather than just a feeling. This comes by way of the Holy Spirit.
Think how an umpire in a ball game decides if a player is “in” or “out” and in Colossians 3:15 there’s the Umpire of Peace, “Let the peace from Christ act as umpire in your hearts deciding and settling all questions that come into your mind.” We are able to ask God a question and trust the Holy Spirit on how to proceed. I remember my young friend, Rhonda, asking me if she should take an additional job because finances were tough but then again the long hours would affect her family too. At first, my feelings were, “Take the job.” But after we prayed together neither of us had peace. So Rhonda refused the job and almost immediately help came in a different way. Pray with and for peace the “Umpire of Peace”…everyday.
Friday Matters- April 17, 2020
Everyday Believe Truth
Who are you? Do you believe who others say you are or who Jesus says you are? So many of us hurt with this brokenness because we believe the lies the enemy shouts, telling us we’re not good enough. And guess what? We’ll never be good enough but GOD IS good and more than enough. HIS grace IS available for every situation, feeling and circumstance we go through. Romans 8:37 tells us; “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Shame has no place in our lives.
Travel one day at a time and know that you’re not alone. You’re not a mistake and your past doesn’t define you. My life has been turned upside down and inside out. It has taken sharp turns that I never envisioned or planned for and that may be true for you too. But no matter how life tries to shake you, shame you or shock you, the unconditional love of God, with no condemnation, will do the same and make all things new and beautiful…everyday.