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.
Friday Matters-August 2, 2019
Everyday Take Your Meds
“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-July 26, 2019
Everyday Crazy Thoughts
Do you have crazy thoughts? And by that, I mean the kind of crazy negative thoughts that swirl in your mind which come from past hurts or present crazy circumstances. When I have them they seem to creep in when I’m traveling a long distance by myself. BUT I know we can choose what we think on. WE can release God’s plan for our lives by no longer thinking about the things of old and believing instead that God has a good plan for our future.
Since what we think about eventually comes out of our thoughts, we will never get our mouths straightened out unless we do something about our thoughts. We need to stop mentally living in the past and begin to think in agreement with God. Then once we do that we can begin to speak in agreement with Him. We can actually see our own future and think on truth from Isaiah 43:19; “God makes a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. He can make a way for you and me…everyday.
Friday Matters-July 19, 2019
Everyday “NO” is my answer
Hearing our children’s first words are memorable such as, “Dada,” “Nana,” or “Puppy.” The word “NO” is also among those words and it can be harsh. I remember telling our son Joey when I was nine months pregnant, “Joey look at Mama’s belly. There’s a baby inside.” “Ah NO, Mama that’s a ball,” said Joey. “No,” screamed at you by a child isn’t a fun word to hear. Yet I’ve found that the word “no” is one our hearts need to hear when the truth isn’t being told about us. Perhaps there’s ugly and untrue gossip about you and so you need to remember, “NO, that’s not who God says I am,” or maybe it’s “No, I cannot take on another volunteer position at school.”
Jesus mostly used the word “no” when speaking to the religious leaders who were trying to boss everyone around. He came to fulfill the law by His grace, not by giving us more rules. The word “no” is a useful word when guided by God…everyday.
Friday Matters-July 12, 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-July 5, 2019
Everyday Dead Body Friend
Do you have a dead body friend? You know… a friend you can call at 2:00am and say, “I’ve got a dead body at my house. Come help me.” And that person will come over and help you-no questions asked.
It’s great to have friends who encourage and help us carry our burdens through difficult times and it’s especially great to have at least one “dead body friend.” The Greek translation of Galatians 6:2 lived out is that when someone is burdened with difficult circumstances, which are too much for one person to carry all alone, then crawl up under that burden and help carry it. People need your help and not necessarily your words or another scripture verse. They don’t need a reprimand that they’re not representing Jesus well but INSTEAD share God’s grace and how He represents them well. Helping someone with their load is following Jesus and its manageable even with a 2:00 a.m. phone call to carry the load that is needed…everyday.
Friday Matters-June 28, 2019
Everyday Holy God
The earth experience is hard but it’s not our home. And while we are here in hard places let’s be honesty and real with one another.
It’s only by admitting our weakness and humbly changing direction toward God that we are repaired by God’s generous love. In his holiness He must punish sin because sin separates us from God but in His love He cannot punish us. Christ proclaims our infinite worth and His eternal love for us aside from any human standard, even our own. Remember Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” Our temporary imperfection is a quality which actually connects us to others rather than a secret shame which sets us apart. Becoming transparent and vulnerable will set you free and change you as well as other lives around you…everyday.
Friday Matters-June 21, 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.