Monday Matters - September 21, 2020
When someone says, “I have a hobby” I usually think their crafty. My hobby is that I like to do self-decorate. I create outfits which I call costumes. Sometimes I wear my pajama costume for the day. God enjoys all of us and our unique hobbies. Not so enjoyable is when our hobby causes havoc in the home which it has for me when I’ve exceeded our costume budget. God knows and cares about what you care about. We can always ask Him for help and balance. I wanted a new coat. I needed one (or so I thought).
I prayed about it and as I was dropping off clothes at a consignment shop I picked up a check which just happened to be the same amount as a perfectly perfect purple coat which had my name on it. Isn’t that so nice of God? He’s so awesome…everyday.
Friday Matters- September 18, 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.
Thursday Matters- September 17, 2020
Everyday Feet Washing
Nancy felt she had forgiven her friend but every time she drove past her girlfriend’s home, the resentment and pangs of hurt would surround her. She prayed. God answered. He told her He wanted her to picture Him washing her feet everyday thus showing her how much He loves and forgives her. She spent this time with Jesus and then the day came when He said, “Now I want you to wash your friend’s feet, “Okay but make sure the water is scalding,” she thought. It startled her that this was where her heart was but she obeyed.
She prayed and let the Holy Spirit change her as she mentally washed the feet of her friend. Nancy still not in a restored friendship but she no longer has deep hurt when driving by her friend’s home. I am not there either with letting go of some deeper hurts but I know God knows and His love continues to work in and through me…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- September 16, 2020
Everyday Best Friends Everywhere
“We’re best friends now!” that’s my “go-to” line when I’ve connected with someone in a significant way. I take a “selfie” with the person too and get their information to stay connected. Gigi and I are best friends now too. I met her at a retreat and like all people she had to story to tell.
Gigi shared her wild child past living in Brazil and as I listened to her I found what is true with so many others, we make harmful choices when we live in darkness and hopelessness. I know that there’s hope no matter who we are and what we’ve been through and that’s what pulled Gigi out of her pit. There was hope, there was Jesus who knew and knows and loves her as she is. Our past does not have to define our future. Our best friends are those who know that the hope is there and His name is Jesus…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- September 15, 2020
Everyday Cry Cleanse
You want to look up but you can’t because the burden you’re carrying is so heavy and you feel strange because the alter call at church was about going forward to pray for a prodigal child and your kids are all in church wondering, “What’s wrong with mom?” Others come forward to pray with those in front but I sat alone. Then suddenly, a woman, who could be described as the exact opposite of me, gentle and quiet, put her arm around me.
It was quiet and not a word was said but gradually more tears started rolling down my face and then I started to sob. This woman gave the love and understanding of Jesus, who also wept with loss and felt alone. She put her arms around me and just sat with me because she knew what my heart must be feeling. Jesus waits with us, sees our tears and cries with us. Sometimes He sends just the right person He can work through to meet us in our need…everyday.
Monday Matters-, September 14, 2020
Everyday Get in Van
“Mom, why do we have to go to church? I don’t want to. I know Jesus loves me. Can’t we skip?” Years ago, getting four boys to Church on time with husband and buckled in our family van was not on my “favorite list” of things to do. I had complaining thoughts too because church is people and people can be super irritating. Often when we get there we begin judging; “Is the music good, the sermon effective, is Sunday school being taught right, and what about the format in general, are we inviting and engaging? Shouldn’t we be doing more?
Yes, we probably should but thank God that He loves us right where we’re at and not where we should be. We are all gathering as sinners in need of Savior who gives grace. So my answer to myself and boys remains the same, “We go because it’s not about you. Learn how you can give, not just what you can get. “Love God, love others, and get in the van.
Friday Matters- September 11, 2020
I don’t get why Jenny is so popular? She’s not that nice but people seem drawn to her? Maybe if I try act more like Jenny and dress and wear my hair the way she does I’d be liked more and more popular? Have you been stuck in the shadows where you don’t realize the beauty of how God created you? He doesn’t want us to compare ourselves to another and be something we’re not because He didn’t make a mistake with you.
Life can be hard and I think we’ve all had those moments thinking the grass is greener on the other side but guess what? That grass has to be mowed too. Read the Bible and find in Ephesians 12 that you’re God’s workmanship and He’s created specific things for each of us to do by the way He created us. Comparison is the thief of joy. Focus on being the blessing God created us to be…everyday.
Thursday Matters- September 10, 2020
Everyday Grace Giving
“Honestly this person has had way too many moments of grace from me,” said Susan. “I know love forgives despite what the other person does and I know about setting boundaries with the person who is still operating in dysfunctional behavior. Okay great but what about really forgiving someone who’s hurt you and making the decision to stop rehearsing the hurt by playing the memory around in our heads everyday. It’s hard.
For the most part Susan had forgiven Steve but some days she was triggered by the past hurt and then any peace she had would disappear. There’s always this temptation to rehearse our hurts and expectations so that’s why there’s a God and He’s not you. The woman prostitute, who anointed Jesus’ feet with costly perfume displayed an act of tenderness and Jesus said this about her; “She loves much because she’s been forgiven much.” I have been forgiven much. Have you? We all need grace just as much as the next person…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- September 9, 2020
Everyday Jesus’ Sacrifice
How do you know when you’ve given enough to get to God? Don’t you just have to perform a bunch of good deeds? I see Jessica helping the poor and marginalized all the time so she must be close to God. And aren’t there many different roads that can lead to God? But what about the people that have been taught to hate and are the poor just virtuous? That sounds right, but it is not what Jesus said. Jesus said you cannot earn Him taking the executioner's cross for you. We instinctively know this.
If a soldier drapes his body over a grenade to save his friends, we recognize it as a sacrifice. Something we honor, but not something we can pay him back for. The same is true with Jesus. He loves us for who we are and not for what we do. The good things we do, like soup kitchens for the poor and others acts of kindness, are out of our love for Him…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- September 8, 2020
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.