Friday Matters-January 22, 2020
I was stinky. Oh I had taken a shower but I had pride and pride stinks. Pride is difficult to deal with because we don’t think we have it. I notice this stink most when I have zero patience with someone who’s hurt me. In the Bible in James 4:10 I read to ask God to humble me so I can see the other as He does. I know then He will lift me up as He promises. The signs of pride include an unwillingness to admit fault or take responsibility for our actions.
Pride wants to do all the talking and none of the listening. Yeah, I know you’re probably thinking of someone who needs to hear this, but it may be you! God gets you. He sees the hurt. I get you because I’ve been there. Are you still screaming? Maybe it’s time to stop and, “shhhhh… listen.” Humility is a sweet fragrance for everyone to be around…everyday.
Friday Matters-January 15, 2020
Everyday God Comes Through
“I honestly don’t think I can make it through another day. I just don’t.” Ever feel like that? So, the storm in your life is of hurricane proportions because maybe its finances, or failed marriage. You FEEL overwhelmed, like you might drown. Perhaps you have a burning pain in your heart because your child is addicted to drugs or maybe it’s an aging parent who can’t remember who you are. You may FEEL consumed by these fiery trials. Your feelings are valid. BUT the truth is you'll come through. He sees. He knows. He cares.
He speaks a promise from Isaiah 43:2, "When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." And perhaps what you’re going through is not about breaking you but about the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for. God often uses bad things for a later good…everyday.
Friday Matters-January 8, 2020
Everyday Bless You
Jan wrote; “I try to be compassionate and kind with a sense of humor but today I was feeling small-minded, hurt and mean spirited. Jan had commented on my Facebook post about loving others, “When people are less than kind it’s then that I have a hard time 'loving' them.... mostly at work. The office can bring out the worst in people…including me.” Oh, my goodness, I get it. SOOO when someone hurts me I try and pretend their “nasty” aimed at me was only a sneeze and I respond (mostly under my breath) with “Bless you!” and guess what? It works!
God tells us in Luke 6:28 to bless those who curse us. Because if Satan works through a person to hurt us and we end up hating that person back because we’re hurt than the enemy’s job has been accomplished two times over. But if we respond to another’s curse with a blessing then we’ve gotten Satan back and he’ll wish he never laid a finger on us. God bless you…everyday.
Friday Matters-January 1, 2020
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-December 25, 2020
Everyday The Road Ahead
There’s only one road to God? What? But that view is narrow minded. You’re right, it is narrow but through a relationship with Jesus, not religion, it becomes clear that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. There are amazing people who love others but think there are many roads to God and that true spirituality is just to love your neighbor and help the poor.
How then do you know when you’ve given enough to get to God? What about the people who’ve been taught to hate? Are the poor just virtuous? That sounds right, but listen, if a soldier drapes his body over a grenade to save his friends, we recognize it as a sacrifice. Something we honor, but not something we can pay him back for. The same is true with Jesus. We can’t earn our salvation. It’s a gift we have a choice to receive by accepting His sacrifice Christ for our sins. Trust the path He sets and what He’s done for you and then walk-in full freedom…everyday.
Friday Matters-December 18, 2020
Everyday Keep On, Keeping on
Do you have prayers where you cry about all that is wrong and list what needs fixing, it’s not you but everybody and everything else? Yep. Been there…done that. God gets you. It’s okay. He cares about our pain and all that happens to us and knows about it even before it hits us. Sometimes we stop praying and give up because God didn’t answer the prayer like we thought – our sick friend got sicker and the marriage we prayed would stay together ended in divorce. That’s hard.
I’m sorry if that’s been the outcome for you. But remember, GOD WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON YOU. Nothing you do or don’t will cause Him to withdraw His love. There’s something redeemable in your mess and pain right now. Get up, bring a gift to someone this day, a card of encouragement or a muffin, something. Serving someone else will help you focus on hope…everyday.
Friday Matters-December 11, 2020
It’s painful enough when someone we love sins but it’s made extra difficult when their choices result in us experiencing pain and grief too. It’s hard. I’d say now too that the consequences of your own sin affecting others are even more painful. I’m sorry if you’re there in that place right now. You’ve made a mistake; you have consequences but so do others around you. But it’s often in times of conflict that we’re drawn closer to God. His promises are ones of absolute hope and He promises that “all things will work for the good” if we trust in Him. It’s also in the Bible that the words “fear not” are written 365 times. There is grace for each day of the year.
Another promise in Hebrews 13 is God’s emphatic love for us; “He says, I will not in any way fail you or leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not ever leave you or let you down.” God is real. He is the comfort you need from all your fears in a very real way…everyday.
Friday Matters-December 4, 2020
Maybe the reason God doesn’t explain to Job why terrible things happen is that He knows what Job needs isn’t an explanation. Frederick Buechner’s shares this insight from his book; “Wishful thinking.” “Suppose that God did explain. Suppose that God were to say to Job that the reason the cattle were stolen, the crops ruined, and the children killed was thus and so, spelling everything out right down to and including the case of boils. Job would have his explanation.
But Job would still have to face his kid’s empty chairs at breakfast every morning. Having a complete theological justification of his boils, he would still have to scratch and burn. God doesn’t reveal His grand design. He reveals Himself. He doesn’t show why things are as they are. He shows His face. And Job says, I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.” And this is the same God we too can see…everyday.
Friday Matters-November 27, 2020
Everyday Life Choice
My husband Dan and I were on the couch once again having “the talk.” Oh, you know the talk about finances and getting out of debt? Dan proceeded in a serious tone talking about what “we” needed to do but it sounded more like a lecture about what “I” needed to do. I wanted to shout; “If you don’t like the way things are, look at the changes you can make. Don’t wait for me to change.” I even had a verse to go with “my talk”; Deuteronomy 30:19; “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”
But for some reason I sat silently and prayed. And by the end of Dan’s lamentation he actually said, “I guess I need to look at the choices I can make and not put it all on you.” And I think, “Why don’t I shut my mouth more often and simply pray? It’s a life-giving choice to make…everyday.
Friday Matters-November 20, 2020
Everyday Am I Crazy
I know I hear God’s voice but sometimes I feel crazy thinking, “Maybe it’s just me with what I want to hear. But if we have entered into a personal relationship with Christ we then have the Holy Spirit making His home in us. I know…right!? His voice is His Word speaking truth to our hearts and mind and yea, we can actually hear from God.
Proverbs 20:12 reminds us that gifts from the Lord are ears to hear and eyes to see. Yes He gives us physical sight and hearing but He also created us to hear and see spiritually too. Unfortunately our own sin blinds us and deafens us. It’s not because we weren’t created with the ability to perceive in any of these ways. It’s the gunk of sin blinding our vision and clogging our ears. I am so glad we get fresh mercy every morning cuz I use my allotted amount daily. Let’s stop, listen and hear from Jesus who makes the difference in our lives…everyday.