Friday Matters-August 30, 2019
Everyday God Shouts IN PAIN
Emotional pain is harder than physical pain? Can I get an “Amen?!” I mean I get physical pain from my recovery with scoliosis back surgery and having mono and flu where I never thought I’d leave the bathroom floor. However broken relationships, the loss of a loved one, and the failure of a plan or dream, well … that kind of pain is so much harder for me.
But it helps to remember God uses pain to get our attention. C.S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasure, but He shouts to us in our pain.” Pain is God’s megaphone. We rarely change when we see the light. We change when we feel the heat. But why does it get so hot? I hear ya. The answer is God’s love turns-up, it warms when it all seems so cold and hopeless. He’s always aware and He always cares. Proverbs 20:30, “Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.” Yes, God loves you, everyday.
Thursday Matters-August 29, 2019
Everyday Keep On Going
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.
Wednesday Matters-August 28, 2019
Everyday His Thoughts
Well what in the world are you up to God. I. Can’t. Even. We can’t know the mind of God. Isaiah 55:8 says; “His thoughts are nothing like our thoughts.” But we can know the heart of God. We can TRUST and hope in His promises. I know it should be obvious to us that His ways are past finding out. He wouldn't be a very big God if we could fully comprehend Him with our finite minds. Walter Wangerin wrote, "We chirp theories because we can't stand the silence." I guess that’s how it is when we try to fully understand the purposes of suffering. It’s better to admit, "We don't understand, but we believe that God loves us and, that 'our Redeemer Lives'."
Someone has suggested that in the margins beside many of our life's experiences is simply written: "to be explained later." Success for each day is not waiting for an answer to our whys but walking in the hope that He is making a way and there’s a purpose for it all…everyday.
Tuesday Matters-August 27, 2019
Everyday Change Me
Oh that place when you know if change is gonna happen it first has to happen with you. So you cry out to God, “Change me!” I found myself at night in a dark living room asking God to forgive me, to change me to be more like Him. I wanted to ask Him to fix the other person who was hurting me but I knew the real solution was my heart needed to change. God knew I felt, “It’s not fair.”
You and I often don’t often understand why a particular heartache is happening but it isn’t always for us to understand. The question for us is, “Can God be trusted?” The answer is, “He can.” His grace and comfort meets us right where we’re at. Humble yourself and swallow your pain then look at 1 Peter 5; “Humble yourselves under God and He will lift you up. Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” I’m in. Are you? Let’s do this this life well with His grace…everyday.
Monday Matters-August 26, 2019
Everyday Key to Success
“A key to success is playing the hand you were dealt like it was the hand you wanted.” I had to really think if there was truth to that. Yes, I may not have wanted what was dealt but “here it is” so what am I gonna do with it? My choices; scream, cry, complain and hide or I make the best of the situation and find the lesson, and blessing in it. We can let experiences change us for the better or ruin us. Character more often is developed in crisis when we stop focusing on the hurt and search for the good where success may be hidden. During my recovery of scoliosis back surgery, 15 years ago, I was miserable yet I don’t regret what I went through. God taught me things I couldn’t have learned another way. In brokenness we can find beauty and success…everyday.
Friday Matters-August 23, 2019
Everyday Offense and Hurt
We can say we trust in God to avenge us but as soon as we take matters into our own hands and try to avenge ourselves or someone we love we obviously aren’t putting a lot of faith in the power of what God promises. I think 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 and He will avenge you and those you love. Follow Deuteronomy 30:19 which tells us to make the choices which bring life so that we and our descendants may live meaningful lives…everyday.
Thursday Matters-August 22, 2019
Everyday Protecting Your Children
When I first heard the flight attendants say; “In the event of an emergency, where an oxygen mask is needed, please first secure the mask to your own mouth before placing it on any of your children,” I thought it seemed selfish. I’d risk my life for my children so shouldn’t I help them first? But here’s the point; if I really want to help my children survive then I first better get my own mask on so I can think more clearly to save both our lives.
Raising kids is not for wimps. I’m not a wimp. If you’re a parent, you aren’t either. We need to dive into the Bible and follow God first before expecting our kids to do the same. Proverbs 6:20 works; “Children don’t forsake the teaching of your mother,” and with that comes the jingle, “More is caught then taught.” The most effective way for our kids to trust and follow God is for them to see us following Him no matter what’s going on…everyday.
Wednesday Matters-August 21, 2019
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.
Tuesday Matters-August 20, 2019
We are the Poor
I mean honestly, when I began to really understand what Jesus was offering me with complete forgiveness and no condemnation I could stop pretending and performing. I need Him desperately. It is not the “they” who are poor, sinful and lost. It’s awareness that we ourselves are the primary target.
Unless we acknowledge that we are the sinners, the sick ones and the lost sheep for whom Jesus came, we do not belong to the “blessed” who know that they are poor and inherit the Kingdom. Let’s stop trying to appear righteous before God and others. It’s a dangerous zone when get our assurance from wealth or our status. “I’m good. I have all I want.” We must realize that we’re wretchedly and pitiably poor and we’re blind and naked too. Isaiah 64 often comes to me when I think, “I’m doing really well here.” “We’re all unclean and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. It’s His blood shed for us which cleans and covers us…everyday.
Monday Matters-August 19, 2019
“Dan, c’mon, please pay the bill. My allowance won’t cover it.” I was at my husband’s office asking for grace as I handed him the bill from spending too much at J. Crew Catalog. Whew…he forgave and paid the bill. I was relieved. But when I went home I discovered that a stick of butter, my special cake plate and a container of frosting was missing. I knew my nephew had baked a cake while I was away so I called and scolded him for not replacing my supplies.
When I hung up the phone I realized I was acting like the ungrateful servant in Matthew 18. A king was about to punish this servant for a debt of millions but instead had pity and forgave. But was this servant grateful? No, he instantly found his friend who owed him a few thousand and when instant payment wasn’t given he had the man thrown in prison. Okay, so I got the memo. God gives fresh mercy to us each day so how can we afford to withhold mercy from others who need it too…everyday.