Friday Matters- February 3, 2023
Everyday Furnace Faith
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are three teenagers we can read about in the Bible who refused to bow to a golden idol and their punishment landed them in a furnace heated seven times hotter than usual. But think of the courage they had in responding to King Nebuchadnezzar; “Our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us. But if He doesn’t, let it be known that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”
They stood strong in their faith and as the king himself said; “These men were delivered by their God for they believed in, trusted in, and relied on Him!” Our faith shouldn’t be dependent on whether we see all that we want to see in our lifetime, or whether our dreams come true or we’re free from pain. Let our faith stand on the belief in God’s Word whose purpose for our lives will be accomplished in His perfect way and timing...everyday.
Friday Matters- January 27, 2023
Everyday Race Running
It’s not always good or healthy to say “yes” to everything that seems good and godly. But sometimes God calls us to minister in seasons that are challenging and keep us very busy. What’s comforting to me is to know that if God asks us to do something He’ll always give us the grace and strength to do it.
So, it kinda bugs me when people step in and offer solutions to my busyness, even if they mean well, by telling me to stop what I’m doing, especially when you know in your spirit that God’s asked you to do something and you’re feeling overwhelmed what you need is encouragement to run your race. So, let’s cheer each other on from Hebrews 12:2; “Keep going and persevere. You can do it, keep your eyes on Jesus. Your faith will sustain you!” It won’t always be easy but there will always be strength, grace and even JOY when we’re running for Jesus…everyday.
Friday Matters- January 20, 2023
Everyday Change with Jesus
Attending a retreat or conference to learn more about Jesus can be a great way to grow and connect with others and our shared humanity. Jesus calls us to Himself, “Abide in Me, dwell in Me, come to Me.” Significantly, Jesus doesn’t say “Come to a day of renewal, a retreat, a prayer meeting, and a conference. But “Come to Me.” Could this be self-flattery of a crazy person? Yes, if He is not the Savior of the world. He is either a lunatic or the Risen Lord who must be proclaimed as the world’s only hope. Who else would dare to say, “I am the way, the truth and life. Whoever believes in Me will have everlasting life; and the one who doesn’t won’t.
This is a pretty powerful claim and one to not take lightly. To be sure there are a lot of great events to attend but nothing is better than attending to a relationship with Christ…everyday.
Friday Matters- January 13, 2023
Everyday Tired Mom
Last week after attending a “mom’s group” a friend wrote and said, “I realize my strength is in God and I know the verses I should apply but sometimes I just need to vent about how tired I am in being a mom! I wanna scream, ‘My joy is being robbed!’”
I’m so glad she felt safe enough to share her heart and vent! She didn’t want a solution or a string of Bible verses from me. What she needed was a friend who had been there too. She needed to be heard. That’s it. And how many times has God told me, “Sometimes Debbie the best way to love someone is for you to keep your mouth shut!” This is the advice from Ephesians 4:2; “Be completely humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love.” Communicate love for a friend by simply letting them know you’re there for them, ready to listen, ready to pray.
Friday Matters- January 6, 2023
Everyday Spousal Foundation
Katie was so excited telling her dad about her new boyfriend; “He’s just about perfect, Dad! He’s good looking, has a great sense of humor and we’ve so many of the same interests. He’s smart, outgoing and he really cares about me. I’m so happy!” “But you said, ‘just about perfect,’ what’s missing?” “Well, he believes in God, but I don’t know if he has a relationship with Him.” “Well,” said dad, “Remember when we were looking at buying a house for you and there was one that seemed just about perfect? The size was great, super landscaping and not only was the outside beautiful but the hard wood floors, tiled kitchen, and every painted room was amazing. But the foundation was cracked and so it wasn’t an investment you were willing to make.”
When looking for a spouse the best blueprint to follow is found in Ephesians 2:20 finding someone whose foundation is built with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone so you can build a strong marriage…everyday.
Friday Matters- December 30, 2022
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 with Christ. 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- December 23, 2022
Everyday Ask God
I imagine when the future King David is dodging Saul, who’s hot on his trail to destroy him; he’s just like, “Really, can I just get a break here God?” God is on David’s side and no longer on Saul’s because Saul has walked away from God. David gets wind of Saul’s plans to kill him, and his men where they plan on going. And I’m thinking as I read the story in 1 Samuel that David can certainly go to the town and then ask God for protection. BUT instead, David FIRST prays and asks God; “Will Saul destroy the town, and will the people hand me over to Saul?” The Lord simply replies; “He will, and they will,” so David goes back into hiding.
I was really struck by this; thinking how often I do the opposite. I decide on my plans and then ask God to bless me rather than asking for God’s direction first. Wisdom is going to God first because He always knows the best plan…everyday.
Friday Matters- December 16, 2022
Everyday Difficult Person
There will always be people in our lives who are difficult. And I also fall into the category of being a difficult person. Oh, but for the kindness, the grace of God, how can I live without Him? We must realize that the Holy Spirit according to 1 Peter 1:22 is the One Who purifies our hearts so we can allow the sincere love of God to flow through us to others.
Walking in the love of God is the ultimate goal of Christianity and should be the primary pursuit of our lives rather than trying to get even with others. Jesus came and pronounced that all other commandments are summed up by loving God and loving others. When I think of what I can do for myself or how I can get others to bless me I'm filled with ME! But when I think of other people and how I can bless THEM I find myself filled with the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of love…everyday.
Friday Matters- December 9, 2022
Everyday Change Me
Oh, that place when you know if change is gonna happen it first has to happen with you. So, you cry out to God, “Change me!” I found myself at night in a dark living room asking God to forgive me, to change me to be more like Him. I wanted to ask Him to fix the other person who was hurting me, but I knew the real solution was my heart needed to change. God knew I felt, “It’s not fair.”
You and I often don’t often understand why a particular heartache is happening, but it isn’t always for us to understand. The question for us is, “Can God be trusted?” The answer is, “He can.” His grace and comfort meet us right where we’re at. Humble yourself and swallow your pain then look at 1 Peter 5; “Humble yourselves under God and He will lift you up. Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” I’m in. Are you? Let’s do this this life well with His grace…everyday.
Friday Matters- December 2, 2022
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.