Thursday Matters-October 15, 2020
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 as I memorized Zephaniah 3:17 to teach the verse that God’s main point is the constant, never ending love He wants us to know and experience. He delights in us as His child with such gladness.
He knows me, my pain, my ache from the loved one I lost, the cancer that came to my Dan, my anxiety attacks and depression, the lie that spread and my dream of stardom on Broadway— 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.
Thursday Matters-October 8, 2020
Everyday Airport Lady
I was in the airport waiting to board yet another plane. It was all taking too long. I sat down and realized the woman next to me was crying and shaking she was so upset. I didn’t think about it; it was as natural as could be to put my hand on her back and begin rubbing it. I leaned in and asked, “What’s wrong?” The woman replied, “No hablo Ingles.” So I did the other thing that seemed natural, I prayed aloud still rubbing her back while she leaned against my shoulder. I recited the name of Jesus over and over because there’s such power in His name. The woman stopped crying and walked on the plane. A gentleman asked if we wanted to sit together, “Oh,” I said. That’s okay, I don’t know her.” “Oh, I thought Y’all was together?” Nope. The woman departed the plane before I saw her again. This is Jesus. 2 Corinthians 1:4, “Comfort those in distress with the same comfort you’ve received from God…everyday.
Thursday Matters- October 1, 2020
Everyday You Are Not Alone
Do you feel rejected by a friend or family member? Let me tell you...YOU ARE NOT ALONE. James 5:16 is a verse that is helpful to apply because it says when we confess our own sin, and pray for one another that we will be healed and THEN our prayers will have tremendous power. Most often I need to confess my own sin and hurt of wanting the other person to hurt because they’ve hurt me. We need to pray to see others as God sees them. Let’s stop inserting into your head that sad CD which plays back all the hurtful things caused by broken relationships. When Jesus forgives us He clears us of all unrighteousness.
Our righteousness is not based on what we do but by knowing who we are in HIM! He asks us to forgive; not as a rule to earn favor with Him but for the purpose of being set free and reconciled. That’s why He came…everyday.
Thursday Matters- September 24, 2020
Everyday Law Discharged
“Hey Dan,” I called my husband. “I’m getting ready to head home from a conference,” so I was expecting Dan’s usual request to “drive safe” and wear my seatbelt but instead he offered, “Make sure you don’t wear your seatbelt and use your road rage if you have to.” I couldn’t put my seatbelt on fast enough. Maybe I shouldn’t be proud to be called a rule breaker, but I am proud that I am free from the old testament rules—rules to show us that no matter how well intentioned or hard we try—we will never measure up.
When Christ died He took that entire rule-dominated way of life down with Him leaving us free through His resurrection. Not to use our freedom to sin but to be live free with a light yoke and an easy burden. “Wear the seatbelt knowing there’s a huge difference of being under the law and being free when Jesus takes the wheel…everyday.
Thursday Matters- September 17, 2020
Everyday Feet Washing
Nancy felt she had forgiven her friend but every time she drove past her girlfriend’s home, the resentment and pangs of hurt would surround her. She prayed. God answered. He told her He wanted her to picture Him washing her feet everyday thus showing her how much He loves and forgives her. She spent this time with Jesus and then the day came when He said, “Now I want you to wash your friend’s feet, “Okay but make sure the water is scalding,” she thought. It startled her that this was where her heart was but she obeyed.
She prayed and let the Holy Spirit change her as she mentally washed the feet of her friend. Nancy still not in a restored friendship but she no longer has deep hurt when driving by her friend’s home. I am not there either with letting go of some deeper hurts but I know God knows and His love continues to work in and through me…everyday.
Thursday Matters- September 10, 2020
Everyday Grace Giving
“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 triggered 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- September 3, 2020
Everyday Jesus Changed Everything
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.
Thursday Matters- August 27, 2020
Everyday Marriage Hope
My friend Kelly struggled early on in her marriage and years after we met I asked her, “What was the beginning like,” thinking they were in love. “You kiddin’ me,” said Kelly. Early on I felt I was in a disaster pit so I filed for divorce but not before screaming to God; ‘Fix my husband!’ I thought I was the perfect wife and couldn’t understand why my husband wasn’t apologizing for his horrible behavior. With only a few days before the divorce was final God stopped me. I was reading; “A Woman After God's Own Heart,” and God was clear; “You let me worry about your husband. You and I need to talk.”
“Remember, he married a sinner too” the author wrote. Stop looking at all that is wrong with your husband and starting at looking what you can change. That realization and marriage counseling brought Kelly and her husband together and he actually owned up to his part too. It will be humbling but major change happens when we die to self. It’s not easy but worth it. Let God change you…everyday.
Thursday Matters- August 20, 2020
Everyday There is an Enemy
I have to constantly remind myself who the enemy is. It’s not other people like we so often think (not that the enemy doesn’t use people because he does) but he’s the real enemy. Satan’s everyday goal is for our destruction to break up relationships, friendships, families and marriages. God tells us in Ephesians 6 that our armor isn’t gonna just jump on us but that we have to put it on. So let’s look at what it is:
1) Helmet of Salvation-We are covered by Christ’s blood & we need to protect our thoughts
2) Belt of Truth-To combat the lies of the enemy
4) Shoes of Peace-We can receive peace no matter what
5) Shield of Faith-Holding on to God’s promises in faith no matter what happens
6) The Sword of the Spirit/The Word of God-This weapon is defensive & offensive.
Put on the full armor of God and you will have victory and be able to overcome the enemy because God is greater…everyday.
Thursday Matters- August 13, 2020
Everyday Choose Your Thought Life
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 thought 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.