Friday Matters- December 8, 2023
Everyday No Greater Joy
I remember one Christmas that each of our four sons shared how they knew God was real. Each boy revealed how they talked to God but what was so significant is they shared how they heard from Him too. Their testimonies revealed they had a personal relationship with God. They didn’t give Christian “cookie-cutter” responses. 3 John 1:4 says; “I’ve no greater joy than to hear my children follow the Truth.” Exactly.
In 2010 our local newspaper interviewed our son, Marco about his mission 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 better. 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- December 7, 2023
Everyday Strong Will
I have a strong will. I’m sure someone listening right now can totally relate to the fact that while our spirits may be strong and willing our flesh fails us time and time again. Jesus tells us we do not "watch and pray". The flesh does not conquer the spirit. The flesh is weak - as Jesus said - and the flesh is a stumbling block to our spirit. I want to go to church on Sunday mornings but I’m tired so my flesh gets its way and later I have regrets. I have to pray and set my mind and will the night before to get up in the morning.
My prayer is often this simple, “God You’re stronger and You live in me. Help. Amen.” Sharing areas of weaknesses, with someone, also helps for accountability and strength too. You can overcome. Jesus is there. He’s never mad at you and when you do fall He will help you get back up. He loves you and He’ll never give up on you. Don’t give up on yourself…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- December 6, 2023
Everyday Change Me
Oh, that place when you know the only change that will happen is if you God ask to change you. So, crying in the middle of a dark living room I asked God to forgive me, to change and mold and make me to be more like Him. I didn’t ask that He change the other person but instead I knew the only real solution was that my heart be changed. And still, you can cry, “It’s not fair,” and God gets it.
I often don’t understand why a particular heartache is happening but it isn’t always for me to understand. Know the answer to the question, “Can God be trusted?” And He can because of His grace and comfort to meet us right where we’re at. Humble yourself by swallowing your own pain and pride and look at Peter 5; “Humble yourselves under God and He will lift you up in due time and then cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” ...everyday.
Tuesday Matters- December 5, 2023
Everyday Hard Places
Ya know how sometimes you get physically sick, like the flu and it's not because you're not reading the Bible enough or doing enough acts of service, you just get sick. Well sometimes you get emotionally sick and it’s not because you’re a “bad Christian.” There can be all kinds of factors that play into all kinds of sicknesses like lack of sleep, an infection, a damaged relationship and sometimes we need medication to get well. It’s okay.
Remember that no matter what emotional or physical state you’re in, God loves you as you are. We’ll go through challenging seasons where it doesn't make sense but it’s in the hard places where we grow. God tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “that His strength is perfected in our weakness.” Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is just let go and let God take care of us or by asking someone for help or taking medication. He works in many different ways and through many different people. In every place and time, He wants you to know how much He loves and values you…everyday.
Monday Matters-December 4, 2023
Everyday No Recall
Listen! God not only forgives your sins completely but He chooses not to recall or remember your sins. And it’s not memory failure on His part because HE’S GOD! Because sin is a barrier in having a relationship with Him, He chooses not to ever recall your sins, EVER. His promise in Isaiah 43:25 says; “I am God who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins."
In the Bible, great men of faith, Abraham, Moses, and David have none of their sins listed even though they were great sinners. God chose not to recall their sins. I know that others, including myself, like to recall my own past but God wants us to let go and receive His forgiveness. He also asks us to forgive others as He does which means not recalling the sins of others who’ve hurt us. It’s a challenge. Yet, by God’s grace working in and through us, it is possible…everyday.
Friday Matters- December 1, 2023
Do you think it’s our job to clean up the lives of others? Well, it’s not, that’s God’s job. I believe our “job” to live a life of love and find a connection with people and love them wherever they’re at in life. Like ah…. does really anyone want to be preached at?
The Bible has all the answers for getting cleaned up but if you don’t trust the One who loves and gives the answers, you’re probably not gonna be that interested in following Him. How’s this for a catch cliché’, “Be ye fishers of men. You catch em’--He’ll clean em.” Once someone trusts, receives and hopes in God’s unconditional love they’ll want to read what He has to say with the heart that says; “I get to read the Bible” and not, “I have to.” Believe me I’ve started implementing this type of fishing program with telling and showing everyone, I meet that God’s love is an awesome, never-ending love… everyday.
Thursday Matters- November 30, 2023
Everyday Bumper Stickers
A guy and his car are standing at the pearly gates. The car is covered with Christian bumper stickers. The guy is trying to talk his way into heaven, but Peter won't budge. The guy says, "But look at my car!" Peter finally compromises and says, "OK, your car can come in..."
Much of the time people don't realize what forgiveness truly means in their lives. They really believe the sin that separates them from God in the first place, is worth it. And sometimes they look at forgiveness as a license to keep on living in the flesh while expecting God to jump through hoops they’ve set up. When we have a relationship with God, we get the Holy Spirit living in us and THAT is what keeps us from staying comfortable in our sins. You look at Paul talking to the Romans, and he says, “I sometimes fall and do what I don’t want but with Jesus I don’t have to stay down.” We can walk and drive in freedom when we let God’s forgiveness change us…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- November 29, 2023
Everyday Well Loved
Amanda felt that no matter what she did she could never remove the stain from her past mistakes. She felt she was constantly trying to prove herself and even though her past mistakes where behind her and she had been sober for years she couldn’t shake her feelings that she was really loved but still judged. Jesus met a woman at the well who was a sinner, but He didn’t condemn her. He met her thirst. So, she ran back into town to let others know, that despite her past, Jesus accepted her where she was at. He hasn’t changed.
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 us, our pains and our past. HE IS here, waiting to make creative, redemptive use of what has happened. He “gets us” and loves us unconditionally…everyday.
Tuesday Matters- November 28, 2023
Everyday Grocery Carts
The first time I saw the cart lady she was pushing close to 15 carts back into the grocery store. I was surprised I’d never seen the cart lady since my small town only had two grocery stores and I visited this particular one at least three times a week. This woman in her 70’s watched me carefully as I left the store with my cart and after my groceries were in my van, she, without a word took my cart to return it. I stopped her, “Do you work here?” “No,” she replied, “but I figured better get some exercise than sit and watch TV all day.”
Last week she noticed me and without a word, helped unload my groceries. As she walked away pushing my cart, she turned grinning, “I like what I do.” Jesus calls us all to love and serve those He puts before us. I think He knows that real contentment comes in giving more than receiving …everyday.
Monday Matters-November 27, 2023
Yesterday a police officer was stationed at the state courthouse. This afternoon the judge finalized a case in which a 3-year-old boy was officially adopted by his late mom’s best friend two years after the boy’s parents and grandparents died in a car accident. The boy has been living with his mom’s best friend ever since the accident and he treats her as if she is his real mom. Once the adoption was approved, everyone in the courtroom was smiling. But before the judge had a chance to slam the gavel and dismiss everyone, the boy ran up to the judge and asked if he could do it.
The judge laughed and nodded yes. So, smiling ear to ear, the boy sat on the judge’s lap, looked up at everyone in the courtroom, slammed the gavel, and finalized his own adoption. Are you lost? Maybe you’ve always felt alone and like you never belonged. Here’s the good news. God adopts you in when you say “yes” to Him. He chooses and loves us …everyday.