Monday Matters-February 19, 2024
Jealousy is one of the most dangerous poisons which can literally destroy us. It’s challenging because we know we shouldn’t be jealous so we pretend it’s not happening and we find reasons why the other person shouldn’t have success.
A few years ago I watched a video of a woman I was mentoring. I was amazed at the talent and beauty she displayed on screen. But instead of feeling happy for her, I was jealous; “Why her?” I called my husband and said; “I’m jealous.” As soon as I brought my jealousy to the light it no longer had power over me. I was able to congratulate my friend on her success and the poison of envy did not infect me. I have a great friendship with this young woman and I’m proud of her. King Solomon asks; “Who can stand before jealousy?” No one can because it’s as cruel as the grave. Celebrate the successes of others and let God show you the gifts you have to celebrate YOU…everyday.
Monday Matters-February 12, 2024
Everyday Facebook Delete
What? She deleted me on Facebook. What? I thought we were friendsI think most of us who use Facebook have either been deleted by someone or we’ve done the deleting. Sure, reasons to un-friend a Facebook friend like: you're cleaning up your Facebook, you don’t really know a person or someone is malicious; are valid reasons to “delete” someone. However, to un-friend someone because you’re hurt because they didn't meet your expectations, is unkind. It’s kinda like kicking someone and running away. Your intent is to hurt them because you've been hurt. There’s no justification for that.
What is friendship all about? What does God say? Look at Proverbs 17:17; “A friend loves at all times.” And we must all know… “Love is kind.” We also know love doesn’t demand its own way or keep a record of being wronged. Having a good friend is a blessing but being one, I think the blessing might be even bigger…everyday.
Monday Matters-February 5, 2024
Everyday Acknowledge God
Wouldn’t it be nice if every time we asked God a question, we could just randomly open our Bibles and there’d be our answer? But the thing is, our answers are in the Bible and when we spend time there everyday, we begin to learn the ways of God. We also begin to trust God knowing from Proverbs 3:6 that if we acknowledge God in all of our ways, He will direct our paths. Acknowledging God really means to care about what He thinks.
In the Bible in I Chronicles, the Prophet Nathan, told David that he could go ahead and build a house for God. But the next day Nathan got word that one of David’s sons would build instead. What’s cool is that because David had a heart for God, he could praise God for this answer even though he might have been a little disappointed. Acknowledging and caring what God thinks makes a huge difference in how we respond to things and what the outcome is…everyday.
Monday Matters-January 29, 2024
Everyday Bedtime Story
I still remember years ago returning home from my son’s skating class and thinking it probably wasn’t a good time to tell my husband Dan that our "check engine soon" light was on again even though the next day I had to make a drip which was 200 miles away. I didn’t tell Dan about the engine light because he was in the basement shop-vacing water due to a plug in our sewer line. My journal indicates that Joey was 7 and he asked again for The Book of Job for his bedtime story. “Irony,” I wrote. But I was immediately struck by Job's response after all his belongings and children are taken away; "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD."
Eventually, I had all four boys in bed and while I was folding laundry, I had a peace wash over me as I repeated over and over, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” No matter what happens there is peace… not because all that happens is good, but because God always is good…everyday.
Monday Matters-January 22, 2023
Everyday Jesus Change
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. But nothing can replace one on one time alone with Jesus reading His book of hope and redemption. 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-flattering superiority 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 does not believe in Me will be condemned.
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.
Monday Matters-January 15, 2023
Everyday Free Grace
Suzy-Eager-Beaver grabbed her free tickets for the biggest country music event her state had ever seen. She’d been waiting in line since 5:00 a.m. and giveaways began at noon. Later that evening she shared her excitement with Judy and found Judy had received free tickets too but arrived at 2:00 p.m. Somehow it didn’t seem fair. Life is unfair but God is good.
But God’s grace is like that; indiscriminate. His grace gives compassion to the early Eager-Beaver but also to the Grinning-Drunk who receives the same wage ten minutes before closing. We are saved by grace by our faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. We can read in the book of Ephesians about how God’s gift of grace is free and it’s not about our good works but by His good redemptive work on the cross. It’s of great comfort to know that we get fresh mercy and grace every morning. God great love for us is amazing…everyday.
Monday Matters-January 8, 2024
“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.
Sometimes, I just repeat God’s love to me aloud or over and over in my mind for comfort. “I love you, I love you, I love you,” He says. 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.
Monday Matters-January 1, 2024
Everyday Law and Grace
Following the law is a good thing but more importantly it’s following love that makes all the difference. Look at a verse like Romans 7:6; “But now we are discharged from the Law, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under obedience to the old code of written regulations, but under obedience to the promptings of the Spirit in newness of life.”
Knowing Jesus, we also have the Holy Spirit living in us. Let the Holy Spirit lead, guide, and control you. When we submit to His promptings, we experience new of life. The Law only gives us rules and regulations and we feel guilty and condemned when we don’t follow them. I am often a rebel rule breaker. “Don’t cut the top of this box cover,” and I want to cut on the line I’m not supposed to. “No thru traffic,” does that really apply to me? I have to live by the Spirit Who gives the desire to do what is right but also the ability and a passion to do it. Oh, to serve God out of love and not of a sense of obligation is so freeing…everyday.
Monday Matters-December 25, 2023
Everyday Earth Experience
This earth is not our home. Good…because it’s so stinkin’ hard some days. I so often have to look up and find the hope to move forward. Hope is basically the belief that something good is going to happen, there’s something better that’s ahead. We need hope for this earth experience now but we also have an eternal hope when we confess and profess that Jesus is Lord and the only one who can remove our guilty sins.
One of the most helpful things I can do is to go public with my struggles while sharing the hope that I have. When I openly share my hard places and say a promise, say from Philippians 1:6, where God tells us, “He Who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it until the day He returns,” I find that I’m not alone because someone else needed to hear exactly the same thing. The earth experience is hard but God is always good. Keep on keeping on…everyday.
Monday Matters-December 18, 2023
Everyday Christmas Pageant
Yesterday I giggled thinking of the preschool nativity scene at our church so many years ago. I figured little Mary must be suffering from postpartum because she wanted nothing to do with baby doll Jesus and each time the babe was set back on lap by Preschool Joseph, she’d let the doll roll down her little legs where she’d kick Him, irritated that He was in the way. What held her attention were the gifts the wise men had brought, and it was the gold container which she held in her lap. A little boy sheep character noticed the babe, but he too tossed him aside. The audience was all giggling, but a point was made.
Often, we’re the same, only interested in serving God for what He can do for us rather than serving Him for Who He is? Like little preschool Mary we seek His presents rather than His presence in our lives. Jesus came has a baby, fully God and fully man to forgive your debt of sin which you could never earn by your good works. Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and live by what He did for you, and He’ll give you everything you need…everyday.