Thursday Matters- August 31, 2023
"How do we love and accept difficult people?” Someone asked me that question. I know…right? God loves us ALL and we are all created in His image. The ONLY way to love others genuinely is by the love God gives to us. 2 Peter 1:9 really made me think, “For whoever lacks the genuine quality of love is blind to what they have been given from accepting Christ. Jesus has wiped off, erased from the books, our own sinful lives.” He has cleared us. We’re free.
I KNOW it’s hard. You’re hurt. It’s unfair. The “other person” has the problem and not you. BUT love covers. God covers you, He sees and knows all the stuff you shouldn’t have done and the things you should’ve done and He still loves you. He wants you to show that love to others (and you may have to set boundaries). Forgive others so you’re set free, just like God loves, frees and forgive you. You can do it with Him and the Holy Spirit…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- August 30, 2023
Everyday What Do You Say
Debbie, what do you say to parents that are losing their little 16th month old boy to cancer? The parents are Christian but can’t understand why God won’t heal their baby? Can you help me with an answer?
Nothing you say will make them feel like it’s fair. The best thing to say is; "I don't know why this is happening. I hate that it's happening and that you’re hurting. But, I am not God and I don't know why He has allowed this. You’re right that it isn't fair. Why doesn’t God fix the pain? He's a big God...tell Him how you feel. It won't stop for a moment His great love toward you. We want to fix the hurt for our friend or want God to fix it. Don’t try to speak for God. Job’s friends tried that and it did not go well for them. Take your friend out, listen to them cry or just sit beside them and say nothing. Even Jesus wept when He went to the grave of Lazarus. Just let them know you are there and you care…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- August 29, 2023
Everyday Do Not Fret
Don’t fret yourself about your sin issues because God first pours out His love to you and then He gently exposes your sin, offering a way for you to change direction, to receive full pardon and freedom.
This is what He did with the Samaritan woman at the well. He didn’t meet her with condemnation. He first met her thirst. He offered her living water (eternity with God), but also let her know He knew all about her. She ran back to town to tell others about Him, not because she felt condemned, but because she had been offered hope and a way out. People are not drawn to judgment. They are drawn to true friendship and that is what Jesus is, a real best friend. No greater love can a man have than to give His life for His friends (John 15:13). Think of the ways you are most loved, it’s when someone meets and loves you right where you’re at. Be that kind person who loves others like that…everyday.
Monday Matters-August 28, 2023
Everyday Success Key
A post on Instagram read; “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 out a good that can come where success may be hidden. During my recovery of scoliosis back surgery in 2002 I was miserable yet I don’t regret what I went through. God taught me things I could have never learned any other way. Christ is the only one who can change our hearts when we are broken so we can become beautiful, and find success like never before…everyday.
Friday Matters-August 25, 2023
Everyday The Way
I’ve been to enough gatherings with both Christians, non-Christians and those who believe in Jesus but don’t call themselves Christians because of the stigma the word may bring (and I might very well be in that camp but I hate to admit it). Much of the time we get bogged down about being right and putting down how others who are doing it wrong. We end up talking issues, rules, programs or how we should being doing church. Sadly, what’s missing from our discussions is sharing the GOOD NEWS…the Gospel. Sharing how Jesus is the difference and the answer.
Author Carl Medearis writes; “The Gospel is not a ‘what.’ It is not a ‘how.’ The gospel is a ‘Who.’ The gospel is literally the good news of Jesus. Jesus is the gospel.” HE still lives. He claims to be the way, not just show the way. There is an enormous difference in religion and the forever-relationship Jesus offers. It’s not based on what we do but what He’s done. I want to be more vocal this; Jesus has changed my life…everyday.
Thursday Matters- August 24, 2023
Everyday Me Myself and I
Pride is a difficult problem for us to deal with because it hides. Pride deceives us and causes us to think we do not have it which is exactly the hope of the enemy so he can bring destruction into our lives. Obadiah 1:3 tells us, “The pride of your heart has deceived you.” “Yeah,” I think, “Me, Myself and I are my greatest problems.” So much of the time I’ve been full of myself when I need to be full of God!
Pride and love do not mix. Love is not proud and boastful nor does it keep a record of the hurt from others. Love “shakes it off.” Love doesn’t look down on others but how often do others who feel bad about themselves put someone else down hoping they’ll feel better? I think this happens a lot. Love values every individual. Let’s be full of love and acceptance for others, we all are of value and significance as God tells us this…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- August 23, 2023
Everyday Real Life
In one simple month all of life seemed to fall apart. Brandon had lost his job, the family’s golden retriever had died and Brandon’s wife was back at the clinic again to try new antibiotics to combat her bronchitis. God where are you? If He loves us won’t He take the pain away or at least some of it? Remember God is always with us and He isn’t surprised by what’s happening. Everything must pass through His hands first.
Sometimes a tragedy is where we meet God for the first time. We must lose religion, where it’s all about rules and proving ourselves, and instead rest in a personal relationship with God who knows exactly what we’re going through and how to take care us. Jesus working through us and not focusing on our own works or man’s laws is what’s important. God always loves us. He will not fail us. Grasp hold of His grace and mercy with both hands to find hope…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- August 22, 2023
Everyday Your Heart
Take comfort in knowing only God knows your heart yet I know it stings when someone judges you harshly because they can’t see your heart. The human heart is arrogant, and often cares for itself above all, prone to judge others, prone to make demands of others. The heart is also needy and incomplete with holes that can only be repaired by God’s perfect love.
Where’s the healing for it all? Jesus. He is it, His Word which is both justice and mercy. First, we must deeply understand and truly own our brokenness. 1 John 1:8 people, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” The Bible doesn’t call us to judge others but it calls us to always be mindful and humbly recognize our own weakness. Whatever righteousness we possess was given to us by the victory of Christ’s death and resurrection. God is grieved when we use the Bible on others as a weapon. Humility. Ask God to give you the grace to love others as He does…everyday.
Monday Matters-August 21, 2023
Everyday I Need Him
When I honestly accepted who God said I was, loved, redeemed and not a mistake, I felt 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. Do you ever try and appear righteous before God and others with your performance. I have and it’s exhausting. It’s a dangerous zone when get our assurance from wealth or our status. Oh my goodness…”they” is me, wretched, pitiably poor and so often blind. Isaiah 64 lays things out clearly when we begin to think, “I’m doing really well here.” “We’re all unclean and all our righteous acts are like filthy garbage. It’s what Jesus did on the cross that cleans us up and sets us free…everyday.
Friday Matters- August 18, 2023
Everyday Fully Loved
I’m thankful for God’s Word because He is the Word! HE is our Redeemer! The Bible isn’t about us. The Bible is about God and His redemption. Wickedness is indeed judged, but that’s not the focus of the story. Redemption and restoration to the glory of God is! That's it. The Woman at the Well ran to tell others about a man who met her thirst (Is He the Messiah?)! She did not run back into town to tell others that she felt judged, but rather she ran to let others know, that despite her past, Jesus accepted her where she was at. He is that same God.
Nothing we could do would ever take His love away from us nor is there anything we could do to cause Him to love us more. He knows me, my pain, my ache from the loved one I lost, the cancer that came to my husband, and my anxiety attacks. HE IS here, waiting to make creative, redemptive use of what has happened. He knows, He “gets us” and He loves us unconditionally…everyday.