Friday Matters-December 13, 2019
Everyday Get in the Van
“Mom, why do we have to go to church? I don’t want to. Jesus loves us. Can’t we skip?” Years ago, getting four boys to Church on time with my husband and all buckled into the family van, was not on my “Favorite List.” I had similar complaining thoughts too. Church is people and people can be super irritating. And often when we get to church we begin judging; “Is the music good, the sermon effective, is Sunday school taught right, and what about the format in general, is it inviting and engaging?
Yea, sure maybe those are good questions but the point is, thank God that He loves us right where we’re at and not where we should be. We need to remember we’re all gathering as sinners in need of a Savior and His grace. So when church complaints began on a Sunday morning I came up with this simple mantra, “Love God, Love others, and Get in the Van.” Church is not about you. It’s about God’s grace which we all need to receive and give…everyday.
Friday Matters-December 6, 2019
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.
Friday Matters-November 29, 2019
Everyday Sharing Our Hurt
Believe me I know what it means to hurt. The recovery from my scoliosis back surgery was horrendous both physically and emotionally. And I was surprised at how the issues resulting in my parent’s divorce of 44 years affected me emotionally and physically too. Hurt from someone you love is pure pain. But I’ve noticed that the more I open up and share my heart of pain the more people respond to share their own hurts of an unfaithful spouse, abuse, absent love from a parent and the pain from their own children. Oh, the sins of others have such painful consequences for so many of us.
So more than ever I’ve been holding on to Zechariah 9:12 by returning to Jesus my stronghold of security and prosperity as a prisoner of hope; believing that God will restore double for my trouble. Real hope is a constant positive attitude that in trusting my Redeemer, and despite what may happen, things will change for the better…everyday.
Friday Matters-November 15, 2019
Everyday Carry Burdens
“Debbie, how do you apply scripture to your life and live it out?” This was a questions asked by a teenage friend who wanted to know how to live out God’s Word. Anna had shared how she was feeling so exhausted all the time but then it dawned on her she was trying to do and fix everything on her own strength. So she decided to surrender all her burdens to God. It was only a matter of days before a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders. So I said, “Anna you’re applying God’s Word from Matthew 11:28. Jesus said, "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."
God won't give you more than you can bear although it can sure feel like it. You were carrying more than you needed. But you released the load that you weren’t meant to carry. Christ truly gives the right amount of grace every morning for what He calls us to carry…everyday.
Friday Matters-November 8, 2019
My husband was explaining to our sons what forgiveness really is and I loved his explanation. When we forgive someone who’s sinned against us the barrier in the relationship is removed. We can again see the person as God sees them rather than looking at the hurt of the sin every time we picture or see them. God doesn’t ask us to forgive others to earn any favor with Him. There’s nothing we can do to earn His love. He loves us as we are. And when we realize it’s an act of our will and a choice to forgive rather than something we let our feelings decide it can make the process a whole lot easier.
I know from experience that it’s my anger and hurt that makes me FEEL like I can’t forgive or I’ll never see justice. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can I let go and trust God to work in me to truly forgive and avenge me as He says He will….everyday.
Friday Matters-November 1, 2019
Steve is an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran. Upon arriving home three years ago from his final tour to Afghanistan he found out that his wife had been cheating on him and had spent or stole almost all of their money. Steve had nowhere to stay, no phone and was suffering from severe anxiety problems. One of his close friends from high school, Shawn, and his wife, took Steve in and let him live with their family of five. They’ve helped him deal with his divorce and get his life together. Since then, Steve’s moved into his own place, opened a diner, and his friend’s kids call him Uncle Steve when they see him.
This is the love of Jesus’ unconditional love. We’re His kids and no matter what mess we’re in, He’s there, ready to make redemptive use of our mess. Even on our worst days God stands with His door wide open and says; “Come in,” everyday.
Friday Matters-October 25, 2019
“I just hate to pretend like everything is okay when it isn’t. I’m in a hard place and I’m just so tired of it all.” Have you ever had those thoughts? There are some real problems with projecting the perfect image. First of all, it’s simply not true—we are not always happy, optimistic, in control. Second, projecting the flawless image keeps us from reaching people who feel we just wouldn’t understand them.
The more I share my own missteps and failures the more I’m able to share the hope of Christ. When you’re hurting you don’t need a person saying, “You should do this.” What you need is the person who can say, “I’ve been there and I understand. I love 2 Corinthians 1:4; “There is God who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the same comfort we received.” The mature Christian is a person who has failed and who has learned to live with their failure, share it and walk with hope…everyday.
Friday Matters-October 18, 2019
Everyday Your Significance
I’ve been going through what I describe as a “stripping away” from titles that made me feel important. I chose to step down as an artistic theater director, a spokesperson for a noble organization but I didn’t realize how important these titles made me feel.
When Jesus said, “Become like a “little child,” He meant we’re to be willing to accept ourselves as least in importance. The least is a symbol of those who have the lowest places in society; the poor and the oppressed, and the prostitutes. But Jesus concern was that these should not be despised or treated as inferior (Matthew 18:10). He was well aware of their feelings of shame, and because of their humility and His compassion they were of REALLY great value. God’s grace falls on us not because of our titles in society, but because it’s His good pleasure to love us just as we are…everyday.
Friday Matters-October 11, 2019
“It seems in life when it rains it pours, and in the downpour I can no longer see my blessings. That’s what Becky, a listener, wrote. I get it. “I feel like the disciples who were overcome with fear and concentrated on the storm instead of Jesus. I don't plan on giving up but it sure seems like a daily struggle to hang on.” I’m sure we’ve all been in a storm we thought would never let up. We’ve all been in the middle. In Mark 4:35 Jesus told the disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side” and yep they got to the other side.
Sometimes we can’t SEE how we will get there but by FAITH we can know and trust that God will bring us through. We need to hang on with our faith and not our fear. And even though our storm may be of hurricane proportions like the disciples had, Jesus is right there with us, fully aware, fully awake and ready to bring us through…everyday.
Friday Matters-October 4, 2019
“Lisa,” I wrote; “I know exactly where you’re at. You’re not a “bad Christian” because you went on medication for your depression. God doesn’t think that. He loves you where you’re at.”
I went on meds for anxiety. It was hard. I felt; “Maybe I wasn't reading the right scripture, praying right or maybe I didn't have enough faith. We live in a fallen world with sickness and disease. The enemy wants us to believe we’re a failure when our sickness is mental but it’s a lie. We’re sick. We need healing and stability and we limit God when we say He can only work on way. It was pride that kept me from wanting to take meds. I wanted to say; “God healed me without medication." Instead He provided a way through meds. It’s a mind battle. It helped me to hear National Speaker Chonda Pierce dealt with meds and depression. She taped a message to her prescription bottle which read; “God loves you Chonda. Take your medicine.” Don’t lose hope. You will get better…everyday.