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.
Thursday Matters- May 28, 2020
Everyday I Want Love
I remember a discussion with girlfriends’ right out of college and the advice was given, “Love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.” Another friend, who had been through a few relationships added, “You become who you choose to spend the most time with. Choose wisely.” Girlfriend added, “I mean, if I line up all my ex-loves in a row, I can see the flow chart of my mental illness.” Advice taken.
In life’s journey we all want to be known and loved, and Jesus knows us better than anyone and still loves us. He knows me, my pain, my ache, my disappointments, my shame, anger at myself and the part of my heart that hasn’t fully forgiven others. He knows. HE IS here, waiting to make 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 loves us unconditionally…everyday.
Thursday Matters- May 21, 2020
It’s been ten years since Brenda’s best friend, Susan, became ill and needed a kidney transplant. Brenda was a fitting donor and chose to donate one of her healthy kidneys to Susan even after doctors said her chance of survival was only 30%, and that there would be inherent risks to Brenda’s health as well. So imagine the joy of Brenda getting ready to drive to her best friend’s wedding where she would be her maid of honor as Susan married the love of her life. Susan happened to meet her Prince at the hospital ten years ago when she received her transplant.
Proverbs 13 tells us that when a longing is fulfilled we have life. The “what ifs” never get us anywhere. It’s like one of my favorite posters which reads; “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.” What gets us somewhere is living life with a transplant of hope in believing there’s something good coming…everyday.
Thursday Matters- May 14, 2020
I don’t want to be like Rebekah who said to Isaac in Genesis 27:46; “What good will my life be to me if Jacob takes wives such as Esau did with these Hittite women (women who didn’t know the living God)?” Once my husband Dan began a relationship with Christ he didn’t see the point in dating so he prayed very specifically to God for a wife. Three years after this prayer, God answered and Dan got me! Because God knew both our hearts He matched us together perfectly. I know, without a doubt, that the prayers of my great grandfather and other family members played a significant part in bringing my husband Dan and I together.
When our four sons where young, before school I made it a practice to put my hand on each their heads and pray for their future wives. I want them to also have the assurance that God chose someone specifically for them to spend their lives with…everyday.
Thursday Matters- May 7, 2020
Do you know how exciting it is to finally realize that this life on earth is just a shadow of the life and adventure that is yet to come? In the book, The Last Battle which is the final book in the Narnian Chronicles by C.S. Lewis, he paints a picture of heaven which makes me get why in 2 Corinthians 5; we should all be groaning and longing to be living in our heavenly dwelling.
On the last page of this final book it reads, “And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” Oh my, sign me up for this…everyday!
Thursday Matters- April 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- April 23, 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- April 16, 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- April 9, 2020
Everyday Until I See You Again
Trisha and Ben were excited to deliver their second child but the day before their child was due the doctors couldn’t find a heartbeat. So Tishri was induced and gave birth to baby Brendan, perfectly formed, but already in the arms of Jesus.
The following Sunday their pastor brought a message of hope from 1 Thessalonians: “The grave isn’t the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will certainly bring back to life those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.” Jill, a friend of Trisha decided to write a song for all the women who know this kind of loss.” The words go like this:
“Now I lay you down to sleep,
Oh, my baby, sweet and fair,
Until we're caught up in the clouds,
I take your hand, and we meet God in the air.
Until then, I'll miss you.
Until then, I'll love you.
I can't wait to see you.”
Imagine what a reunion that will be…everyday.
Thursday Matters- April 2, 2020
Everyday Sins Forgotten
When we’ve been hurt AND the person who’s 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 because it hurts something fierce but do what is right rather than what you FEEL is fair…everyday.