Thursday Matters- January 21, 2020
Everyday The Answer No
Hearing our children’s first words are memorable such as, “Dada,” “Nana,” “Puppy” or “Ball,” as was the first word of our third son but the word “NO” is also among those first words coming in strong. “Joey look at Mama’s belly. There’s a baby inside,” I told our two-year-old when I was nine months pregnant. “Ah NO, Mama that’s a ball,” stated Joey and he stood by his logical word choice. “No,” isn’t always a fun word to hear from our children but “no” is an important word in being an adult. Maybe there’s ugly gossip about you but you know it’s not true so you need to remember, “NO, that’s not who God says I am,” or “No, I cannot take on another volunteer position at school.”
Jesus mostly used the word “no” when speaking to the religious leaders who were trying to boss everyone around. He came to fulfill the law by His grace, not by giving us more rules. We’re all God’s children and “no” is a useful word when used appropriately…everyday.
Thursday Matters- January 14, 2020
Everyday What is God doing?
I imagine when the future King David is dodging Saul, who’s hot on his trail to destroy him; he’s just like, “Really, can I just get a break here God?” God is on David’s side and no longer on Saul’s because Saul has walked away from God. David gets wind of Saul’s plans to kill him, his men and others in a town if David plans on going there. And I’m thinking as I read the story in 1 Samuel that David can certainly go to the town and then ask God for protection. BUT instead, David FIRST prays and asks God; “Will Saul destroy the town and will the people hand me over to Saul?” The Lord simply replies; “He will and they will,” so David goes back into hiding.
I was really struck by this thinking how often I do the opposite. I decide on my plans and then ask God to bless me rather than asking for God’s direction first. Wisdom is going to God first because He always knows the best plan…everyday.
Thursday Matters- January 7, 2020
Everyday Real Self
I’m pretty sure we’ve all done this; “I’m good. I’ve got this under control,” and performed to some degree. I read that the pursuit of truth is not about us making a moral resolution to avoid petty lying and to stop deceiving others; it’s the decision to stop deceiving ourselves. Rather than admit my own issues I find it easier to find fault with others and compare myself with them. To a certain degree we’ve all tried to cover, avoid, or perform as if there is nothing wrong and we’re certainly not as bad as that other person.
Self-deception is the enemy of wholeness because it prevents us from seeing ourselves as we really are. Ask God to show you what you need to see about your real self. He will show you lovingly and give you His grace and strength to face your issues and walk forward in wholeness so you can love yourself. It’s that kind of self-acceptance and coming to terms with our real personalities which helps us to love others authentically too…everyday.
Thursday Matters-December 31, 2020
Everyday Change Me
Oh that place when you know the only change that will happen is if you God ask to change you. So crying in the middle of a dark living room I asked God to forgive me, to change and mold and make me to be more like Him. I didn’t ask that He change the other person but instead I knew the only real solution was that my heart be changed. And still you can cry, “It’s not fair,” and God gets it.
I often don’t often understand why a particular heartache is happening but it isn’t always for me to understand. Know the answer to the question, “Can God be trusted?” And He can because of His grace and comfort to meet us right where we’re at. Humble yourself by swallowing your own pain and pride and look at Peter 5; “Humble yourselves under God and He will lift you up in due time and then cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you”...everyday.
Thursday Matters-December 24, 2020
Everyday Clear View
Here’s the deal from 2 Corinthians 5:17; "If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here.” However, that doesn’t mean our flesh isn’t at times screaming for what is pleasurable from our old life. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we can truly let the past be the past.
It’s not what we do, but what God does in and through us that sets us free. Our “do” is our choice to listen to His voice and His Word. James 4 tells us that if we choose to be a friend of the world, we take our stand as an enemy of God. Wow. We may say; “I’m a Christian,” but are we really “saved” when we choose to follow what the world has approved but God calls sin? We may still struggle with sin, but it’s important that we ask God to move in and change us. Confess, repent, and stop riding on the fence …everyday.
Thursday Matters-December 17, 2020
Everyday Follow Jesus
I’ve been in Christian group settings where Christians say, “I am a follower of Jesus” instead of, “I’m a Christian,” because of the stigma it may bring. And “yes,” I’ve been one. Sometimes we get bogged down about being right and then putting down others who do “it” wrong. We end up talking issues, rules and programs and what’s missing from these discussions is the simple message of the Gospel with is; love God, love others and do stuff to show His love in action.
Author Carl Medearis writes; “The Gospel is not a ‘what.’ It is not a ‘how.’ The gospel is a ‘Who.’ The gospel is literally the good news of Jesus. Jesus is the gospel.” HE still lives. He claims to be the way, not just show the way. There is an enormous difference in religion and the relationship Jesus offers. It’s not based on what we do but what He’s done. Are you living is such a way that shows Jesus has changed your life …everyday?
Thursday Matters-December 10, 2020
Everyday Keep On
Often our prayers are ones where we cry about all that is wrong and we list what needs fixing. Just so you know, it’s more than OK to do this. God cares about our pain and all that happens to us. But sometimes we stop praying and give up on God because He 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 in a prayer, but please remember this; GOD WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON YOU. Nothing you do or don’t will cause Him to withdraw His love and nothing is too small or too big for Him to take care of. He loves us personally. There is something redeemable in your mess and pain right now and if you can manage to get up and serve someone else who’s having a hard time, you’ll find hope. We all need a cup of it…everyday.
Thursday Matters-December 3, 2020
Everyday Word Power
Lazarus was dead; that was a fact but when Jesus who is the Truth walked up to the tomb and spoke; that truth changed the facts. Throughout the Gospels we repeatedly read of people who were sick and demon possessed who went to Jesus. When He spoke, their facts changed. They were healed, delivered, and set free. We must never magnify the facts of our circumstances above God and the power of His Word. When God speaks things change.
Read Isiah 55:11 and you see that God’s Word does not return to Him empty but always accomplish its purpose. When we learn to speak God’s Word instead of rehearsing how we feel or declaring what we think, we are also releasing God’s power. The Word God spoken in faith from a believer’s mouth can change circumstances. WE may experience negative facts in our lives, but God’s Word is truth, and truth is more powerful than facts. Honestly, it’s gonna help if you say the truth out loud, “I am loved, as I am, right now,” …everyday.
Thursday Matters-November 26, 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-November 19, 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!