Friday Matters- May 29, 2020
Everyday Hope Ahead
Life is hard. An unexpected death of someone you love is hard. Yep. I’m a Christian because I am convinced that only in Jesus Himself is there any adequate, calming useful, clear explanation of any of life’s tragedies. When a friend loses the life of a loved one, what can we offer? I’ve found simply sitting beside them to grieve the loss, the shortness of life or perhaps how it all feels unfair, is best. But surely our Savior can say to us in our loss, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” The Savior who has been there and back safely, who died and rose again and now can fully assure us. To say a loved one died because of some sin in our lives is not only unrealistic, distorted thinking for a Christian, in whom “the light of the world” lives, but is an insult to the forgiving heart of the Father. Love others as He does. Share the hope…everyday.
Thursday Matters- May 28, 2020
Everyday I Want Love
I remember a discussion with girlfriends’ right out of college and the advice was given, “Love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.” Another friend, who had been through a few relationships added, “You become who you choose to spend the most time with. Choose wisely.” Girlfriend added, “I mean, if I line up all my ex-loves in a row, I can see the flow chart of my mental illness.” Advice taken.
In life’s journey we all want to be known and loved, and Jesus knows us better than anyone and still loves us. He knows me, my pain, my ache, my disappointments, my shame, anger at myself and the part of my heart that hasn’t fully forgiven others. He knows. HE IS here, waiting to make use of what has happened. He is always on the move. He isn’t wasting time, thinking about all the trouble He has with us or how awful we feel about where we are with ourselves and our troubles. God loves us unconditionally…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- May 27, 2020
Everyday “Oh, you again…”
“If God has such great plans for me why is it they all seem to be falling apart?” Everyone seems against me. Some talk about a devil but is he even real? Does he have horns and carry a pitchfork? Yep, the devil is real. He’s not a Halloween costume and he has plans to destroy the ones God has.
Face the fact that there’s an enemy who’ll never leave us alone but we don’t have to let him bother us. “Oh, it’s you again,” I’ve said, rather than caving into the temptation to give up. Satan throws garbage lies at us because it's the way he is able to hurt God. When someone attacks your kids you take action to protect them because you’re on their side. God is on our side too. We are created in His image. “Be bold,” I told my son, David. “You can be aware of the devil but you don’t have to let him get to you.” We have redemption through Christ and nothing that’s happened to us is so destructive that God can’t redeem it…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- May 26, 2020
Everyday God IS Bigger
God is bigger. We may know this in our heart but it’s acting it out like we believe it that makes the difference. One of the hardest things to do is to forgive someone who isn’t’ sorry for what they’ve done cuz “it’s so not fair!” And because it’s not fair we want them to know how wrong they are. What does God want? Go to 1 Peter 3:9 and read; “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That’s what God asks and He’ll bless you for it.”
Do you think God tells us to be good to those who’ve hurt us just because He wants to watch us suffer? No. The enemy works through people to hurt us and if we end up hating that person because they’ve hurt us then Satan’s job has been accomplished two times over. But if we respond with love then we’ve gotten Satan back and he’ll wish he never laid a finger on our lives…everyday.
Monday Matters-May 25, 2020
Everyday Cancer Dancing
After my pastor friend Dave and his wife Barb received the news of his cancer and were walking through the atrium at the Mayo clinic they came upon a group of ladies singing hymns around a piano. Two young women, one in a wheel chair and her partner were "dancing" and doing hand motions while singing to the music. Dave wrote, “Debbie, it was probably the most beautiful choreography I’ve ever seen. You can well imagine we joined in - to the extent I could with tears running down my cheeks. We learned later that the girl in the wheel chair is in a lot of pain, but does not feel any when she’s dancing.”
Cancer journeys are hard. Once Dave and his wife accepted the assault to his body they were free to laugh, cry and live in the season they were in. Jesus knows. Psalm 30:5; “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”…everyday.
Friday Matters- May 22, 2020
Everyday Earth Experience
This earth is not our home. Good…because it’s so stinkin’ hard some days. I so often have to look up look & find the hope to move forward. Hope is basically the belief that something good is going to happen, there’s something better that’s ahead. We need hope for this earth experience now but we also have an eternal hope when we confess and profess that Jesus is Lord and the only one who can remove our guilty sins.
One of the most helpful things I can do is to go public with my struggles while sharing the hope that I have. When I openly share my hard places and say a promise, say from Philippians 1:6, where God tells us, “He Who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it until the day He returns,” I find that I’m not alone because someone else needed to hear exactly the same thing. The earth experience is hard but there’s always hope. Keep on keeping on…everyday.
Thursday Matters- May 21, 2020
It’s been ten years since Brenda’s best friend, Susan, became ill and needed a kidney transplant. Brenda was a fitting donor and chose to donate one of her healthy kidneys to Susan even after doctors said her chance of survival was only 30%, and that there would be inherent risks to Brenda’s health as well. So imagine the joy of Brenda getting ready to drive to her best friend’s wedding where she would be her maid of honor as Susan married the love of her life. Susan happened to meet her Prince at the hospital ten years ago when she received her transplant.
Proverbs 13 tells us that when a longing is fulfilled we have life. The “what ifs” never get us anywhere. It’s like one of my favorite posters which reads; “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.” What gets us somewhere is living life with a transplant of hope in believing there’s something good coming…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- May 20, 2020
Everyday Kid Training
“I absolutely get what you’re saying about raising a good and godly kid,” shared Beth. It’s not like I haven’t heard the Proverb, “Train up a child in the way they should go. When they’re old they’ll not depart from it.”
“But our oldest daughter is determined to do everything the hard way no matter what advice and direction we give,” continued Beth. “Why didn’t this verse apply to our family? We felt as if we failed God, failed our daughter, but God’s grace showed us that despite our best efforts and prayers our daughter had a free will to choose her own way. It’s not that she departed from the way she was trained; she just never arrived there in the first place. We did our best with our own imperfections.” Beth and her husband will never give up on their daughter and God certainly won’t either. God cares about our kids more than we do. So while you wait receive His peace and grace that He gives you and your children each and everyday.
Tuesday Matters- May 19, 2020
Everyday Keep On
Often our prayers are ones where we cry about all that is wrong and we list what needs fixing. Just so you know, it’s more than OK to do this. God cares about our pain and all that happens to us. But sometimes we stop praying and give up on God because He didn’t answer the prayer like we thought – our sick friend got sicker and the marriage we prayed would stay together ended in divorce. That’s hard.
I’m sorry if that’s been the outcome for you in a prayer, but please remember this; GOD WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON YOU. Nothing you do or don’t will cause Him to withdraw His love and nothing is too small or too big for Him to take care of. He loves us personally. There is something redeemable in your mess and pain right now and if you can manage to get up and serve someone else who’s having a hard time, you’ll find hope. We all need a cup of it…everyday.
Monday Matters-May 18, 2020
About eight years ago I never really ate breakfast; unless you counted the Diet Coke and chips. I ate what I wanted when I wanted. I even remember standing in my kitchen one morning at age 41; eating chips and drinking my Coke thinking, “I feel so great! I wonder how long I will be able to keep this diet going?!” And I thought because I was healthy in my relationship with God, reading the Bible and doing Pliates occasionally I’d be just fine. “Who needs green leafy vegetables?” But five months after having these thoughts I started getting sick with a lot of different infections and then came emotional anxiety and… well…I kinda crashed.
There were other factors that played into my “crash” but I heard God clearly speak to me. Yes, He had great plans for me but I needed to take care of my diet. 1 Corinthians 16:20; I don’t just belong to myself; I’m God’s girl and I honor Him by the way I live my life and take care of myself….everyday.