Thursday Matters- July 16, 2020
Everyday Family Van
Our family van has been so challenging on so many different levels, and so one of the times AGAIN I had to ask someone to jump the battery with cables which I carry in the back where the hatch is broken. This guy, Josh, he helped me get my van going and I was thanking him I just thought, you know, I’m gonna ask Josh some questions about his life. And I found out that Josh, he was stuck in a really difficult place. I listened. Because I know for me that I don’t want necessarily a response because rarely can a response make something better but what makes something better is that connection, that understanding.
And in that same way God wants to connect with you; to listen to us, to love us where we’re at and not where we should be, to show us we’re not alone and that there is always hope. And when there is hope and that understanding of His love, His forgiveness, there is freedom…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- July 15, 2020
Everyday Compliment Crazy
“It’s not fair. They don’t deserve my kindness and I’m certainly not going to compliment them on anything because they already tell me how great they are anyway.” Very often those difficult people in our lives are family members. We think; “How can they be so clueless to their own junk and continue to point out mine?” But here’s the deal; we may not think they deserve our love or kindness but neither do we deserve God’s grace and kindness toward us.
The advice given me was; “Debbie, just lavish them with love. Compliment and see what happens in your heart and in theirs.” Guess what it works. Love someone with simply acts of kindness by praising the good of who they are and you’ll be amazed at how God changes your heart and theirs. God tells us in John 13:34; “Love one another as I have loved you.” It’s hard at first…really hard. But the change, the blessing, the beginning of healing in a broken relationship…oh, you’ll be thinking; “Why didn’t I do this sooner…everyday.”
Tuesday Matters- July 14, 2020
Everyday Bedtime Story
I still remember years ago returning home from my son’s skating class and thinking it probably wasn’t a good time to tell my husband Dan that our "check engine soon" light was on again even though the next day I had to make a drip which was 200 miles away. I didn’t tell Dan about the engine light because he was in the basement shop-vacing water due to a plug in our sewer line. My journal indicates that Joey was 7 and he asked again for The Book of Job for his bedtime story. “Irony,” I wrote. But I was immediately struck by Job's response after all his belongings and children are taken away; "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD."
Eventually, I had all four boys in bed and while I was folding laundry I had a peace wash over me as I repeated over and over, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” No matter what happens there is peace not because all that happens is good but because God always is good…everyday.
Monday Matters-July 13, 2020
I always thought that having peace was a feeling and so I thought if I prayed God would give me a feeling about how to proceed. Years later, through prayer and understanding, I realize God’s gives peace in the way of “knowing” rather than just a feeling. This comes by way of the Holy Spirit.
Think how an umpire in a ball game decides if a player is “in” or “out” and in Colossians 3:15 there’s the Umpire of Peace, “Let the peace from Christ act as umpire in your hearts deciding and settling all questions that come into your mind.” We are able to ask God a question and trust the Holy Spirit on how to proceed. I remember my young friend, Rhonda, asking me if she should take an additional job because finances were tough but then again the long hours would affect her family too. At first, my feelings were, “Take the job.” But after we prayed together neither of us had peace. So Rhonda refused the job and almost immediately help came in a different way. Pray with and for peace the “Umpire of Peace”…everyday.
Friday Matters- July 10, 2020
Everyday Believe Truth
Who are you? Do you believe who others say you are or who Jesus says you are? So many of us hurt with this brokenness because we believe the lies the enemy shouts, telling us we’re not good enough. And guess what? We’ll never be good enough but GOD IS good and more than enough. HIS grace IS available for every situation, feeling and circumstance we go through. Romans 8:37 tells us; “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Shame has no place in our lives.
Travel one day at a time and know that you’re not alone. You’re not a mistake and your past doesn’t define you. My life has been turned upside down and inside out. It has taken sharp turns that I never envisioned or planned for and that may be true for you too. But no matter how life tries to shake you, shame you or shock you, the unconditional love of God, with no condemnation, will do the same and make all things new and beautiful…everyday.
Thursday Matters- July 9, 2020
Everyday Clothes Hobby
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? God cares about what concerns you, even it’s a new coat…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- July 8, 2020
Everyday Prayers Working
Something happens when we pray that doesn’t happen when we don’t. Let me say that again, “Something happens when you pray that doesn’t happen when you don’t.” BUT if we don’t feel or see an answer to what we were asking for then we may start to think that God isn’t listening. BUT He always hears. Sometimes the answer is “no” and sometimes the answer is “yes.” I think the hardest reply is to hear, “wait.”
“I don’t get it. It’s not fair and God I’m starting to wonder if You care or even exist.” We all may have had those thoughts at one time or another but don’t give up. God is always on the move. He’s on “it” whatever “it” may be. I love Psalm 27:13, “I would’ve despaired unless I’d believed that I’d see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” There is goodness while on earth even though it’s not our final destination. Waiting is hard but with God it’s worth it…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- July 7, 2020
Everyday Pray for Others
Sometimes when I wake up, wait, who am I kidding, most times when I wake up I think about myself and my problems. So I found, rather than begin with self-pity I'll ask God, "Who do You want me to pray for? Who needs it?" And every time I ask a name comes across my forehead. Recently, a friend I see maybe twice a year opened up on Facebook about a health concern. It’s funny because her name spelled, J-a-n-e-l-l-e came across my forehead rather than the spelling of my sister-in-law, who has the same name but different spelling. I prayed for her health, hope and restoration. Then I moved on to the next person.
I decided to send a message to Janelle to tell her I was praying for her and her response was, “What a pick-me-up to hear from you. I know your prayer is making a difference. And you know what, her response picked me up too. There's nothing we can't face when we have God as our strength and the support of prayer. Trust that others are praying for you…everyday.
Monday Matters-July 6, 2020
Everyday Lord’s Prayer
How should you pray? Looking to the Bible for that answer or any other one is gonna give you a great answer. You can read the Message Bible for its relatable language. I mean look at Matthew 6 telling how to pray the Lord’s Prayer; "Here's what to do: Find a quiet place and just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace.
The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They're full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don't fall for that nonsense. Pray simply: Our Father in heaven, reveal who You are. Set the world right; Do what's best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with You and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You're in charge! You're ablaze in beauty. That’s the kind of sincere prayer that’ll make a difference…everyday!
Friday Matters- July 3, 2020
I came, I camped I conquered. I am not what you call “outdoorsy” so camping in tents with my family of six and another family of the same size, for two days and nights, I think deserves some kinda special “mom award.” It was basic “Camping 101” with a camp stove, and an outhouse bathroom but I did it, sleeping hiking, conversing and playing under the waterfalls. I had fun! Who knew? I still think I’m better suited for “Camp Fancy Hotel” but I made a decision about my attitude before going into the adventure.
I was even sick one of the nights but it was the medicine of my heart that made all the difference. The cheerful heart, which Proverbs 17 talks about, is able to find the good in whatever place we’re in. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. We’re in charge of our attitudes and allowing God’s love to be in charge of us makes all the difference…everyday.