Thursday Matters- February 22, 2024
Everyday Love and Trust
Is trusting and loving someone interrelated? Well, we can love without trusting. We can and should love someone imprisoned for theft as Hebrews 13:3 points out; “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” That does not mean we have to give them access to our bank account just to prove we “love” them. We show compassion for an alcoholic by offering our help. We also show compassion by not “enabling” the alcoholic by protecting them from consequences for their bad actions. Many times, consequences are the “severe mercy” that is needed to get their attention. The caution is to make sure we have not elected ourselves their jury and judge.
It's the Holy Spirit who guides and directs us in how we should move forward in love which might be setting a boundary or not continuing in conversation with someone when they repeatedly spew out garbage to us. Trust in God who loves us no matter what…everyday.
Thursday Matters- February 15, 2024
Everyday Good Fruit
What kind of fruit do you like? I like bananas but only if they’re slightly green. In the Bible we can read about bearing good fruit in our lives which is delicious like the fruit of love, joy, peace and patience. But how is this fruit developed and how does true change in us happen? Fruit only grows quickly in time-lapse photography.
Truth needs cultivating and it actually starts with us knowing and playing “the CD of truth” in our minds until it becomes more prominent than the old negative CD we were all born with. “God loves me right where I am and not where I think I should be.” I don’t have to earn His love.” Play that repeatedly in your mind. Christ proved His love and acceptance ONCE on the cross by His death and resurrection. We have that same power available to us now, through the Holy Spirit. WOW! We can bear good fruit that will change us and those who come in contact with us…everyday.
Thursday Matters- February 8, 2024
Everyday Be the Church
I love people. I love traveling and meeting new people in everyday random places like gas stations. You can have church anywhere, a gathering of others and sharing the grace of God. Cuz when church stops being about us, it can be about God again.
Church is meant to crush our selfishness and church without God does none of that. Often our evangelism becomes winning people to our doctrine or our denomination instead of reaching the people next door who have no direct access to freedom in Jesus. As I travel speaking, I get a reality check every “church person” would benefit from. Our job is to get people to know Jesus personally. People need God desperately and not in a Pollyanna, “it’s all for a reason” sort of way. Jesus came to save the lost by letting them know they are loved right where they are at and not where they should be. Don’t just go to church, be the church…love without conditions…everyday.
Thursday Matters- February 1, 2024
Everyday Accepting You
Sometimes I get disgusted with myself. It’s when I’m in this place of self-pity and I feel stuck. The way to peace begins with accepting the truth of myself—the whole truth. My struggle to cope with certain people has a simple explanation: they represent to me precisely those things that I have refused to acknowledge and accept in myself.
To accept the truth of my brokenness is unbearable if not impossible, without turning to Jesus. If my vision of myself is not purified by the mercy and compassion of Jesus, I have to get dishonest, camouflage my warts, and present to you a self that is mostly admirable, fault free, and superficially happy. When I accept the truth of me, shipwrecked and saved, and give it over to the person of Jesus, I am at peace even if I don’t feel it. The peace that comes from God and surpasses all understanding, (Philippians 4:7) was provided by Christ on the cross and doesn’t depend on our shifting feelings …everyday.
Thursday Matters- January 25, 2023
Everyday Help to Forgive
“The fact is, I need God to help me love God. And if I need His help to love Him, a perfect being, I definitely need His help to love other, fault-filled humans,” this is wisdom from Francis Chan. In order for genuine love for God to grow in our hearts the Holy Spirit has to move in our lives. Lately I’ve been talking to God and asking for His Holy Spirit to move in me. I haven’t been able to really let go, like God, and forgive completely.
Sometimes it helps to think about Corrie ten Boom’s who personally forgave the Nazi officer at the Concentration Camp she and her sister were held. She said, “The will can operate regardless of the temperature of the heart.” We can choose to forgive even though our anger and hurt make us feel like we can’t. The truth of Philippians 4:13, “We can do all things through Christ’s strength.” Let’s pray, “Jesus’ help. By Your Holy Spirit give us the strength to let go and forgive…everyday.
Thursday Matters- January 18, 2023
Everyday Offense Taken
We can say we trust in God to avenge us but as soon as we take matters into our own hands and try to avenge ourselves or someone, we love we obviously aren’t putting a lot of faith in the power of who and what God says. I think a big challenge, for many of us, 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 garbage 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 our descendants may live meaningful lives…everyday.
Thursday Matters- January 11, 2024
I remember my husband explaining to our four sons’ what forgiveness really is and I loved his explanation. When we forgive someone who’s sinned against us the barrier in the relationship is removed. The power to forgive someone who’s maybe not apologized can only come from the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Once forgiveness is given, we can again see the person as God sees them rather than looking at the hurt of the sin every time we picture or see them. God doesn’t ask us to forgive others to earn any favor with Him. There’s nothing we can do to earn His love. He loves us as we are. And when we realize it’s an act of our will and a choice to forgive rather than something we let our feelings decide it can make the process a whole lot easier.
I know from experience that it’s my anger and hurt that makes me FEEL like I can’t forgive, or I’ll never see justice. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can I let go and trust God to work in me to truly forgive and avenge me as He says He will…. everyday.
Thursday Matters- January 4, 2024
God often chooses the underdog. Think of David in the Bible who is the youngest of his brothers, a shepherd boy and was made King. And then there’s Gideon, who was threshing wheat at night and God tapped him and said, “Gideon you mighty warrior.” He was used to conquer the fierce and large group of Midianites. Jesus chose everyday people for most of his apostles and hung out with “sinners” more than the upper class.
We most often look on the outside and judge a person’s success based on what we see on earth. Our real success is not here. It’s in eternity. Matthew 19:30 says, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” One of the simplest instructions from God is one of the most challenging from Mark 10; “Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you’ll have treasure in heaven.” It really means to completely surrender everything to Christ and then follow Him. Walking the narrow road as Christian is hard but life is hard. Yet, through Christ we really can walk securely and hopefully…everyday.
Thursday Matters- December 28, 2023
Everyday Fervent Love
The enemy will never leave us alone, but we don’t have to let him bother us. That means we don’t react to unkind or bad behavior of others by hitting back or seeking revenge. Love is our highest calling but some people are so annoying who continue with bad behavior with no sign or willingness to change. Well, it is not love to ignore that behavior either. 1 Peter 4:8 tells us to above all things have intense love--to have a “fervent love” for one another. The Greek verb form of “fervent” when translated means "to be hot, to boil."
Growing up my mom cooked and baked for eight on an old-fashioned blue enamel cook stove and even a fly knew not to land on the stove when it was hot. When our love is “HOT” or “boiling over” for those around us, it is also too hot for the devil to destroy. To fervently love someone means we are intent on giving out love to others from the love God’s given us…everyday.
Thursday Matters- December 21, 2023
It’s exhausting trying to run the treadmill to perfection. I got off it. It goes nowhere. Most of us, to some extent, need to be delivered from the fear of people and from caring too much about what others think. People who always need the approval of others desperately want everyone to look at them from head to toe and say, “Perfect.” In everything they do-the way they look, the things they say, every action they take—they want people to say, “Perfect.” If we try to be perfect, we’ll be disappointed. You and I are imperfect human beings. Attitude change is where change happens even though I told my husband earlier; “Today I feel like complaining and blaming someone else.” THAT’S always easier than taking personal responsibility but certainly not healthier.
We need to be confident that God accepts us with our imperfections because of His perfect redeeming power. He will continue to work in us but we don’t have to struggle to win His approval or the approval of others. God is for us…everyday.