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.
Friday Matters-June 14, 2019
Everyday Choose Your Thought Life
I just stared at my journal looking at the verse I had written down from Psalm 139:5, “You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.” I didn’t believe it. I was feeling sorry for myself and God felt far away so I slammed my journal shut.
We have a choice on what we think on and I was making bad thought choices. I felt my circumstances weren’t fair and I was tired of waiting. I know where the “Poor Me” road leads so out of obedience I put on fun music and said the verse aloud, “God I trust You. Your hand of blessing is on my head. It wasn’t an immediate shift in my attitude but the choice to think on what I knew was true and then names things aloud that I was thankful for, made a difference. The truth is, God loves you right where you’re at, no matter how you’re feeling …everyday.
Friday Matters-June 7, 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-May 31, 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 s a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. He can make a way for you and me…everyday.
Friday Matters-May 24, 2019
Everyday Hurt Shared
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-March 17, 2019
Everyday God’s Protection
When feeling lonely or afraid I go to the Psalms for comfort Psalm 91:4 really hit me the other day; “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He will shield you with His wings. He will shelter you with His feathers. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” Imagine God like the Psalm reads-- a strong and majestic eagle Who’s there to shield you with His wings and protect you with His feathers.
When you’re fearful and anxious don’t think about the “what ifs” and other scenarios that will make you more anxious. Instead think about God’s promises like Romans 8:28 where He promises to work all things for the good. Of course not all things are good but God is. I know it takes courage to walk forward in faith despite your feelings but I KNOW you can do it because I know God, the Protector with His covering will be right by your side...everyday