Friday Matters- November 25, 2022
Everyday Older Brother
“I’m a high school graduate because of my older brother,” Kevin told me. I’m healthy and I’m alive because of my older brother Tim.” Today Kevin is 18 and his older brother Tim is 29. When Kevin was seven and Tim was 18, he got an apartment on his own so they could live “on the good side of town.” They moved out of the Crack House their drug addicted mother was living in and who’s now sadly passed away. Tim worked two jobs to pay the bills and always made sure Kevin was safe, fed and at school on time. “He basically saved my life,” said Kevin. “I could never repay him, but I can step up and make a difference in someone else’s live like he did mine.”
God makes a difference in your life when you let Him. Stress less on all the things, you think, He might take away and instead focus on the freedom and love He has to give, no matter who you are or where you’ve been. Share God’s love with others. God loves us…everyday.
Thursday Matters- November 24, 2022
Everyday “Oh God”
We hear it all the time, the phrase “Oh, my God!” to express a thought or idea that is incredible or unbelievable. But as we grow in a relationship with Christ we need to realize that when we say, “Oh, my God” we’re, in fact, violating one of God’s Ten Commandments; “You shall not use the name of the Lord your God in vain.” (Exodus 20:7)
My husband tells the story, when as a new believer returning to play cards with his buddies, he very intently asked them not to swear using God’s name; if they did he wouldn’t be able to play. There was a stunned silence until one of his friends spoke and said, “Okay, we’ll respect that.” Another guy said, “But can we still say, ‘blankity-blank and blank?’” My husband said, “Sure, that’s fine, just don’t use the name of the Lord in vain.” There’s such power in God’s name. He is Holy. He is Love. He and His name should always be respected and honored…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- November 23, 2022
Everyday Faithful Freedom
God’s love is perfect and He’s perfectly holy too. In His holiness He must punish sin because sin blocks us from having a relationship with Him. God’s love for us brought Him to earth as fully God and fully man to take the punishment and pay for our sins by dying on the cross and then coming back to life. We cannot earn our way to heaven with good works. We now have a choice. Do we accept the sacrificial gift He offers with the hope of heaven where we too will be fully restored physically complete, whole with a purpose or do we refuse His gift and live forever without Him with weeping and gnashing of teeth?
God dearly loves you and so He has a plan of restoration by His grace and in 1 John 1:9 in the Bible it says that when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and He’ll remove all our sins, all our unrighteousness so we can live with hope and freedom now and into eternity…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- November 22, 2022
Not everyone likes me. I know. I believe in the death and resurrection of Christ being God for the forgiveness of my sins. I would be called a Christian, but it doesn’t mean that all Christians agree on the same beliefs. I have friends of diversity with different beliefs and lifestyles and some things we agree on and some things we don’t. I love people. Only people last forever and how we treat others will be the true legacy we leave behind. No matter who someone is I hope to always listen and learn while being kind.
Honestly, I like to be challenged. But I’m not ashamed that I believe John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not die but have eternal life.” This view doesn’t make me popular with everyone, but I try and seek God’s approval. My aim is to show the love of Christ by giving grace and treating others with kindness and respect regardless of our different opinions or beliefs…everyday.
Monday Matters-November 21, 2022
Everyday Genie in a Bible
Do you think about what God sees in you or what others see? It’s often a process to care more about what God sees in you rather than care what others think or see. When our identity and strength come from Him then we have the mindset to ask God, “Where should I go, who should I meet, and “How can I serve?” But how often do we find ourselves making wonderful plans and then asking God, “Bless what I’ve decided is good.” God is not a Genie in a Bible. It’s not about saying the correct verses and trying to perfect behavior. it’s about trusting God’s goodness, promises and faithfulness and when life doesn’t look or feel good.
God doesn’t need me to be heard on the radio, write books or be a speaker. He loves us for who we are and not for what we do. He gives us purpose with the gifts He’s given us simply because He’s good and He loves us…everyday.
Friday Matters- November 18, 2022
Everyday No Greater Joy
I remember the Easter that each of our four sons shared how they knew God was real. Each boy revealed how they talked to God and how He talked to them. It was so reassuring to hear they knew Jesus personally in a relationship, not as a religion. So TRUE is 3 John 1:4; “I’ve no greater joy than to hear our children follow truth.”
In 2010 (tweleve years ago) the local newspaper interviewed our son, Marco about his trip to the Philippines and Marco said; “So, I’ve got a relationship with God and it’s great because when I was younger it was the religion stuff—go to church, memorize verses…but when I really started talking to God, He started talking to me, I got along a lot better. I want to get that through to people in the Philippines. God is a person that you talk to. Not a person really, but God, and you can talk to Him and He’ll talk to you. And it’s not a one way conversation”…everyday.
Thursday Matters- November 17, 2022
Everyday Why Created
Why did God create us in the first place. I don’t have the answer, but I think it’s because He wanted someone in His image to love. In the beginning of creation, He gives His creation a freewill to love Him back too. Forcing someone to love you is not real love.
I like what Pastor John Piper has to say on the purpose of creation being one of the most amazing things about God and without us on His created earth His grace could not be realized. That is why He created us. He knew we would sin, so He chose Christ’s sacrifice before creation - because He wanted to reveal the glory of His grace. This earth experience is hard with hard circumstances like our health and broken relationships and yet we have the hope of God’s promises and in faith we can SEE His grace displayed with love now and in heaven. God isn’t limited by our sin - only we are.” This earth is not our final destination. We have the hope of living perfectly with purpose by the righteousness of God…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- November 16, 2022
I have a hobby or perhaps my husband would call it a problem. I like to self-decorate or costume myself with outfits and in the past this hobby has resulted in me going into credit card debt. A few years ago, before shopping at the Mall of America I wrote in my journal a prayer; “Jesus than You for You. Thanks for things too. Today help me with spending. I ask for a coat that just ‘fits’ me. Help. Amen.”
I went to a consignment store and found a designer coat that had just gone on half price. Then I walked into Target and found a purple skirt that had my name on it. I stayed within my budget. What’s always so crazy cool too is to see that what I’ve read in the Bible on the same day fits too; “Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.” All glory is His. What matters to us matters to God too. But honestly, it’s His presence more than His presents I want…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- November 15, 2022
Everyday His Thoughts
We can’t know the mind of God for as Isaiah 55:8 says; “His thoughts are nothing like our thoughts.” But we can know the heart of God and hope in His promises. 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. Author Walter Wangerin wrote in his book, “The Ragman” concerning some things that are hard to understand, "We chirp theories because we can't stand the silence." I guess that is how it is when we try to fully understand the purposes of suffering. It is better to admit, "We don't understand, but we believe that God loves us and, yes, 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 with a way from Him…everyday.
Monday Matters-November 14, 2022
As a recovering self-addict, I try and focus on what God needs to change in me rather than asking Him to change everyone else and my circumstances that bother me. You see the self-involved person is always seeking a way to avoid pain whereas the God involved person embraces pain and they go to the God of the Bible to guide them through life.
1 Peter 5:10 really offers us hope and encouragement because it tells us that after we’ve suffered a little while, the God of all grace Who imparts all blessings and favor, Who has called us to His eternal glory will complete and make us what we ought to be. He’ll ground us securely, and strengthen, and settle us. Thanking God for difficult circumstances and praising Him in the pain can be hard but in being obedient to His Word I have thanked Him for the hard stuff and it’s amazing the peace and blessings I have from doing so. God is always good even when circumstances aren’t…everyday.