Monday Matters-April 12, 2021
Everyday Life Is Hard
Life is hard. An unexpected death of someone you love is hard. Yep. I’m a Christian because I am convinced that only in Jesus Himself is there any adequate, calming useful, clear explanation of any of life’s tragedies. When a friend loses the life of a loved one, what can we offer? I’ve found simply sitting beside them to grieve the loss, the shortness of life or perhaps how it all feels unfair, is best. But surely our Savior has earned the right to say to us, at the open graves of our loves, “Let not your hearts be troubled.”
The Savior who has been there and back safely, who died and rose again and now can fully assure us. To say a person died because of some sin in their lives is not only unrealistic, distorted thinking for a Christian, in whom “the light of the world” lives, but is an insult to the forgiving heart of the Father. Love others as He does. Share the hope…everyday.
Monday Matters-April 5, 2021
Everyday Personal Connection
I’ve lost weight and I’m overall toned and fit. I feel healthy too. I’ve no more debt and even an excess of money (after donating to special relief funds) so I was able to buy some adorable new outfits. My marriage is perfectly perfect, and our four sons know exactly God’s call on their lives.
Don’t you feel better knowing how great I’m doing? Probably not, so here’s the truth; I can’t fit into my everyday jeans, it’s a hard road getting out of debt, my marriage takes work, and our sons are all in places making decisions about their future. NOW, I bet you feel better because you can probably relate on some level. God’s real and He wants us to keep it real too. Pain is personal and Jesus is personal so sharing our pain is a way to help others know they’re not alone. When we enter into community, we can find the one who needs to know Jesus personally too. Ya know, others may fail you, but Jesus never will. It’s a promise from 1 Corinthians 13…everyday.
Monday Matters-March 29, 2021
Everyday Best Friends
“We’re best friends now!” is something I seem to be saying a lot lately.
Everyone has a story and I find myself taking the time to listen to people’s stories. I always take a selfie afterward too. This fall is Gigi, who is originally from Brazil. She loved this whole concept of “best friends in 30 minutes or less” because when you ask questions and listen to the heart there’s this wonderful joy that turns to love as you begin to fully know a real person and not a performer or poser.
Gigi shared her wild child past living in Brazil and as I listened to Gigi, it was fascinating to hear about her life. For many seasons she lived in darkness, making harmful choices and yet, because of her relationship with God, she has not let her past define her future. She is fully known by God (I mean Jesus knows the good, bad and ugly), loved and redeemed, which enables her to be a huge blessing as a friend, wife and mom…everyday.
Monday Matters-March 22, 2021
Everyday In Love
I believe God is crazy in love with us because He’s thinking about us all the time and wants nothing but the best for us! But I had someone write who asked; “Why does using the phrase ‘in love’ when referring to Jesus’ love for us seem a little inappropriate to me? ‘In love’ always makes me think of the kind of infatuation feelings you get in Jr. High or something.”
And another friend on Facebook responded; "It's uncomfortable because we only have one word for all three kinds of love which in the Greek is explained clearly; Eros (romantic), Phileos (brotherly love) and Agape (Godly love). God has the purest kind of love for us-Agape. It's interesting too that true love between a husband and wife doesn't really happen if they are stuck in Eros- they have to expand to the other two higher levels to really love each other unconditionally. God doesn’t love us romantically, but He is totally crazy in love with us …everyday.
Monday Matters-March 15, 2021
Everyday Be Like Him
"How do we love and accept difficult people?” Someone asked me that question. I know…right? God loves us ALL and we are all created in His image. The ONLY way to love others genuinely is by the love God gives to us. 2 Peter 1:9 really made me think,” For whomever lacks the genuine quality of love is blind to what they have been given from accepting Christ. Jesus has wiped off, erased from the books, our own sinful lives.” He has cleared us. We’re free.
I KNOW it’s hard. You’re hurt. It’s unfair. The “other person” has the problem and not you. BUT love covers. God covers you; He sees and knows all the stuff you shouldn’t have done and the things you should’ve done, and He still loves you. THAT IS the kind of crazy love He wants to show you so you can give it to others! He calls us, command us to love and forgive others just like He loves and forgive us…everyday.
Monday Matters-March 8, 2021
Everyday Remembering No More
Think how amazing it is that God chooses not to remember our sins. He chooses never to bring them up again. In Isaiah 43:25 God tells us; “I am the One who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins."
When you read Hebrews 11, you see a list of the great men of faith; Abraham, Moses, David, etc. yet none of their sins are listed even though they were sinners. This is because God chooses not to recall the sins that He’s already erased. Now travel to Ephesians 4:32 where Jesus tells us to forgive as the Father has forgiven us. I know…right? That means when we choose to forgive someone, we must choose to not bring up that offense again; to them, others or to ourselves! The hardest thing is to not allow our minds to rehearse the hurt over and over again. ONLY through the Holy Spirit’s strength is this possible and required for freedom to live free…everyday.
Monday Matters-March 1, 2021
What does mean to be righteous? Well, it means we are in right standing with God and that means we know who we are in Him…. loved, redeemed, not a mistake. Greater self-effort and determination will never liberate you. Shifting your focus will. This means letting God lead you and not your flesh.
Again, in the Bible, Ephesians 5, tells us not to be drunk with wine but instead to be drunk with the Holy Spirit. When a person is drunk on alcohol, they feel, think and act differently. I’ve been there, done that. But the exact same is true when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we feel think and act differently. The Christian life is not the result of trying to act like a Christian; that’s only frustrating. The secret is developing our relationship with God empowered by the Holy Spirit. As God's Spirit fills us, we better understand who God really is. Our lives are changed from the inside out and good behavior is the end product…everyday.
Monday Matters-February 22, 2021
Everyday His Home in Us
Life is hard. The earth experience is hard. It is not our home. Hard stuff for us all is stuff like forgiving those who never apologize or a health report that is terminal. Yet we can live free because the moment we receive Christ we are filled with the Holy Spirit with the potential to live a life of victory over fear, and struggles like forgiving others. This potential is released by faith as we surrender control of over our lives. Look at 2 Timothy 1:14…. the Holy Spirit makes His home in us and will lead by peace and wisdom as He speaks to our hearts.
In the Old Testament (in Ezekiel), God’s promised the day would come when He would give people a new heart and put His Sprit within them. Under the old covenant, the Holy Spirit only came upon people for special purposes, but He did not live inside them as He does when we know Him personally. Amazing. I’m in for His control in my life, are you…everyday?
Monday Matters-February 15, 2021
In life’s journey we all want to be known and loved and Jesus knows us better than anyone and still loves us. I remember teaching Zephaniah 3:17 and God’s main point is the constant, never ending love He wants us to know and experience. He delights in us as His child.
He knows us, our pain, the ache from the loved lost, the cancer that came, anxiety attacks you may have along with depression, the lie that spread— He knew before I knew. HE IS here, waiting to make creative, redemptive use of what has happened. He is always on the move. He isn’t wasting time thinking about all the trouble He has with us or how awful we feel about where we are with ourselves and our troubles. God is not mad at you. He grieves for wrong choices or things done to us but He loves us madly and deeply everyday.
Monday Matters-February 8, 2021
Everyday Rachel & Leah
I’ve always felt so bad for Leah from the Old Testament because Jacob loved Rachel best, she was the more attractive sister but he’s tricked into marrying Leah first. Oh, the insignificance Leah must have felt based on her looks. It’s a battle which girls face from the earliest of ages—the message that beauty is what the world tells you it is—instead of what God says it is.
In the Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones I am drawn to the story of Leah. She thought no one wanted her, only to find that God indeed loved her. He gave her the ultimate fairytale come true story: He made her a princess—one of her children’s, children’s children would be a prince; the Prince of Heaven and Earth. The final redemption for eternity is Jesus who came from the lineage of Leah. The fairy tale really does come true. The Hero comes back for His lost treasure; the Prince comes back for the one He loves. And “the ending of our Story is Joy …everyday.