Thursday Matters- August 6, 2020
I did something stupid. I put a cup of hot water in the microwave to heat for tea. When I went get the mug the boiling water spilled on my hand and I had a second-degree burn. After two weeks I still had scabs and it was disgusting. It throbbed with pain the first four days and when I’d look at it, I’d think; “It will always hurt this much. It will never get better.” Of course, it wasn’t true but I felt it.
But time and prayer bring healing. In Genesis 8 God says that as long as the earth remains, there will be “seedtime and harvest.” When you walk in God’s path, you must be patient like the farmer who plants the seed and expectantly waits for the harvest and then looks forward to reaping the harvest. But there is a time between seed planting and harvest. Don’t become frustrated in that process. Galatians 6:9; “Don’t give up.” God’s on it. He knows…everyday.
Thursday Matters- July 30, 2020
Everyday Offense Taken
We can say we trust in God to avenge or defend us but when we take matters into our own hands we aren’t putting a lot of trust in God taking care of our hurt. A big challenge is not to pick up the offense of a friend or family member who’s been hurt. I’m guilty there. But when we take on someone else’s offense we’re sucking the poison of their sin and we become bitter along with them.
I’ve seen this happen when a parent’s anger towards someone passes on to their children. Remember if only one side of the story is presented you don’t have the whole truth and may have a cocktail of lies. It’s the enemy’s plan to ruin relationships. God’s plan is to restore. Follow Deuteronomy 30:19 which tells us to make the choices which bring life so that we and generations to come may live meaningful lives. More is caught than taught and the way your children trust God will have a lot to do with the way you trusted God in relationship conflicts…everyday.
Thursday Matters- July 23, 2020
When we’ve been hurt AND the person who has hurt us isn’t even sorry our flesh wants nothing to do with this person but to reject them. But what does Jesus do?” Jesus never rejects us but He does reject our sinful behavior.
The two greatest commandments tell us to love God passionately and then to LOVE OTHERS as He does. So when someone has sinned against us, whether intentionally or unintentionally, we must actively choose to forgive them and then choose NOT to remember their sins against us. Actively choosing not to remember is different than forgetting. In Jeremiah 31:34 God says He will “remember no more” the sins of His people. This is not memory failure. This is God’s choice to no longer hold our sins against us. God will vindicate us as He promises. I know it’s hard but do what you know is right rather than what you FEEL is fair…everyday.
Thursday Matters- July 16, 2020
Everyday Family Van
Our family van has been so challenging on so many different levels, and so one of the times AGAIN I had to ask someone to jump the battery with cables which I carry in the back where the hatch is broken. This guy, Josh, he helped me get my van going and I was thanking him I just thought, you know, I’m gonna ask Josh some questions about his life. And I found out that Josh, he was stuck in a really difficult place. I listened. Because I know for me that I don’t want necessarily a response because rarely can a response make something better but what makes something better is that connection, that understanding.
And in that same way God wants to connect with you; to listen to us, to love us where we’re at and not where we should be, to show us we’re not alone and that there is always hope. And when there is hope and that understanding of His love, His forgiveness, there is freedom…everyday.
Thursday Matters- July 9, 2020
Everyday Clothes Hobby
When someone says, “I have a hobby” I usually think their crafty. My hobby is that I like to do self-decorate. I create outfits which I call costumes. Sometimes I wear my pajama costume for the day. God enjoys all of us and our unique hobbies. Not so enjoyable is when our hobby causes havoc in the home which it has for me when I’ve exceeded our costume budget. God knows and cares about what you care about. We can always ask Him for help and balance.
I wanted a new coat. I needed one (or so I thought). I prayed about it and as I was dropping off clothes at a consignment shop I picked up a check which just happened to be the same amount as a perfectly perfect purple coat which had my name on it. Isn’t that so nice of God? God cares about what concerns you, even it’s a new coat…everyday.
Thursday Matters- July 2, 2020
Everyday What God?
“Honestly this person has had way too many moments of grace from me,” said Susan. “I know love forgives despite what the other person does and I know about setting boundaries with the person who is still operating in dysfunctional behavior. Okay great but what about really forgiving someone who’s hurt you and making the decision to stop rehearsing the hurt by playing the memory around in our heads everyday. It’s hard.
For the most part Susan had forgiven Steve but some days she was trigged by the past hurt and then any peace she had would disappear. There’s always this temptation to rehearse our hurts and expectations so that’s why there’s a God and He’s not you. The woman prostitute, who anointed Jesus’ feet with costly perfume displayed an act of tenderness and Jesus said this about her; “She loves much because she’s been forgiven much.” I have been forgiven much. Have you? We all need grace just as much as the next person…everyday.
Thursday Matters- June 25, 2020
Generally, I don’t think most Christians think of themselves as superior just because they’ve accepted Jesus into their lives. Religious people…well yea…there may be a superiority factor there. Let’s say; before someone becomes a Christian, they’re always eating but never really filling up, they’re always hungry. But one day they taste and see that the Lord is good and they realize they were actually starving (Psalm 34:8). But once Jesus is in their lives they’re completely filled up. So, I’d ask the unbeliever, “If you saw someone that was starving and you had at one time been hungry and starving yourself would you be superior to that person because you’re not starving anymore?”
A big problem lies in the fact that a lot of people think that Christianity is just another religion of judgment. But Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we could have a religion. He died and rose again so we could be saved and have a real and intimate relationship with Him, one that leaves us filled and satisfied…everyday.
Thursday Matters- June 18, 2020
Everyday His Hand
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 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 that 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.a
Thursday Matters- June 11, 2020
Everyday All of Us
Isn’t it easy to sit back and find the faults of everyone else and build excuses about our own junk that we need to clean up? We’re all sinners. We need to confess our sins, receive God’s grace and walk forward with Christ.
We cannot do anything to merit grace, and yet we look at someone like Mother Teresa and think surely she entered into heaven because of what she did. If we emulate her sacrificial love in some small fashion, we are lulled into a false sense of security that persuades us that we have no need of repentance today. When the little saint humbly confessed her brokenness and her desperate need for God, either we were uncomprehending or we secretly suspected her of false modesty. Yet she got it, and by the love she received, she gave in great amounts to others. Serve up love to the one God puts in front of you…everyday.
Thursday Matters- June 4, 2020
Everyday Jesus Did It
How do you know when you’ve given enough to get to God? You don’t. Yet many people believe that there are many roads to God and that true spirituality is just to love your neighbor and help the poor. What about the people that have been taught to hate? Are the poor just virtuous? That sounds right, but it is not what Jesus said.
Jesus said you cannot earn salvation by taking the executioner's cross yourself. We instinctively know this. 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. In fact to suggest we could pay Him back is an insult to His sacrifice. The same is true with Jesus. He loves us for who we are and not for what we do. The good things we do, like soup kitchens for the poor, are out of our love for Him but no matter what He loves right where we’re at by His grace…everyday.