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.
Friday Matters-September 27, 2019
Everyday Accepting Who You Are
Sometimes I get disgusted with myself. It’s when I’m in this place of self-pity and I feel stuck. The way to peace begins with accepting the truth of myself—the whole truth. My struggle to cope with certain people has a simple explanation: they represent to me precisely those things that I have refused to acknowledge and accept in myself.
To accept the truth of my brokenness is unbearable if not impossible, without turning to Jesus. If my vision of myself is not purified by the mercy and compassion of Jesus, I have to get dishonest, camouflage my warts, and present to you a self that is mostly admirable, fault free, and superficially happy. When I accept the truth of me, shipwrecked and saved, and give it over to the person of Jesus, I am at peace even if I don’t feel it. The peace that comes from God and surpasses all understanding, (Philippians 4:7) was provided by Christ on the cross and doesn’t depend on our shifting feelings …everyday.
Friday Matters-September 20, 2019
Everyday Enemy Alert
There’s evil in the world but often we don’t really think it’s something we have to be mindful of in our everyday lives. Oh but we do. The Garden of Eden was a perfect paradise God created for Adam and Eve until Satan got them to doubt and distrust God. The devil is still on the move working because he knows that the only way he can overcome a believer is through deception and intimidation. In the Bible in 1 Peter we’re told to be alert because the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he will devour. Notice the verse doesn’t say “irritate” or “frustrate” but “DEVOUR!”
A lion often scares up its dinner by roaring. Its prey freezes in fear simply due to fear thus becoming an easy meal for Mr. or Mrs. Lion. That is what we face. God is the king. The devil is an imposter. We have the power from God to tell him to get out of our face…everyday.
Friday Matters-September 13, 2019
Everyday JOY when kids know JESUS
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 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 REAL. 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.” What joy to hear that news…everyday.
Friday Matters-September 6, 2019
Everyday Sick Day
A few times a year I take a “sick day” and I stay in my pajamas all day. I feel alone. I have issues and even though I KNOW better I don’t feel better. I put my head under my covers and wondered how long I could stay in bed. I talk to God. He reminds me of Hebrews 4:15 telling me He understands everything I’ve been through because He went through it too AND He doesn’t condemn me for our feelings.
Sometimes when we feel closed in we think God is disappointed or mad at us. But He’s not. He loves you and me and He cares about what we care about no matter how distressed we may be. He hears our hearts and He knows what we’re thinking even before we speak. Give it all to God. Tell Him your heart and receive the peace He has for you no matter what or where you’re at…everyday.
Friday Matters-August 30, 2019
Everyday God Shouts IN PAIN
Emotional pain is harder than physical pain? Can I get an “Amen?!” I mean I get physical pain from my recovery with scoliosis back surgery and having mono and flu where I never thought I’d leave the bathroom floor. However broken relationships, the loss of a loved one, and the failure of a plan or dream, well … that kind of pain is so much harder for me.
But it helps to remember God uses pain to get our attention. C.S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasure, but He shouts to us in our pain.” Pain is God’s megaphone. We rarely change when we see the light. We change when we feel the heat. But why does it get so hot? I hear ya. The answer is God’s love turns-up, it warms when it all seems so cold and hopeless. He’s always aware and He always cares. Proverbs 20:30, “Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.” Yes, God loves you, everyday.
Friday Matters-August 23, 2019
Everyday Offense and Hurt
We can say we trust in God to avenge us but as soon as we take matters into our own hands and try to avenge ourselves or someone we love we obviously aren’t putting a lot of faith in the power of what God promises. I think a big challenge is not to pick up the offense of a friend or family member who’s been hurt. I’m guilty there. But when we take on someone else’s offense we’re sucking the poison of their sin and we become bitter along with them.
I’ve seen this happen when a parent’s anger towards someone passes on to their children. Remember if only one side of the story is presented you don’t have the whole truth and may have a cocktail of lies. It’s the enemy’s plan to ruin relationships. God’s plan is to restore and He will avenge you and those you love. Follow Deuteronomy 30:19 which tells us to make the choices which bring life so that we and our descendants may live meaningful lives…everyday.
Friday Matters-August 16, 2019
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.
Friday Matters-August 9, 2019
The message of Jesus is to LOVE and forgive others, which you can only do once you have seen your bad self and accepted His forgiveness. There’s this past, so many people carry around, that you cover because it’s filled with shame from harming yourself by “cutting,” an eating disorders, an affair, alcohol, abuse AND it’s all yuck. I read that 80% of memories are shame based. People carry shame because they think once they’re fully exposed or “discovered,” they won’t ever be accepted or loved. But when someone’s identity is solid then they’re stable. Jesus sees all of you and loves you. There’s no shame in Him.
Psalm 91:1 is my 911 verse and it reads; “She who dwells in the secret place of the Most High will remain stable.” It means that when I stand still and let myself be exposed, God covers me. He covers my shame and my fear AND replaces all that I’m not with all that He is. God can see the real you and He loves you as you are, no matter what…everyday.