Wednesday Matters- January 22, 2020
Everyday Best Friends
“We’re best friends now!” that’s my “go-to” line when I’ve connected with someone in a significant way. I take a “selfie” with the person too and get their information to stay connected. Gigi and I are best friends now too. I met her at a retreat and like all people she had to story to tell.
Gigi shared her wild child past living in Brazil and as I listened to her I found what is true with so many others, we make harmful choices when we live in darkness and hopelessness. I know that there’s hope no matter who we are and what we’ve been through and that’s what pulled Gigi out of her pit. There was hope, there was Jesus who knew and knows and loves her as she is. Our past does not have to define our future. Our best friends are those who know that the hope is there and His name is Jesus…everyday.
Wednesday Matters- January 8, 2020
Everyday Roll-it Up
My nephew’s playing D1 hockey and enrolled in a tough Ivy League School. Each week I encourage him with scripture and how to apply and persevere. This week’s verse was Proverbs 16:3; "Roll up your works upon the Lord, commit and trust them wholly to Him; and He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and so shall your plans be established and succeed." Here's what I told him I pictured with the verse.
I lay a sleeping bag out on the floor and I put all the things that are weighing me, frustrating me, and making me anxious or depressed. I lay down my issues and then I roll up the sleeping and put it on the shoulders of Jesus. And as I really do this, I mean really surrender, He begins to put in my heart & head the purpose and the plan He has for me. He gives me grace and strength to "let go" so that my thoughts become agreeable to His will. God’s way works as long as I let Him in…everyday.
Wednesday Matters-January 1, 2019
I saw a cartoon once where three women were round a table praying and the caption said, “It’s not gossip if you’re eyes are closed.” I laughed but it also made me think about how I use my mouth. It’s important that what we share in prayer is either done with permission or an understanding that if the person we’re praying for was sitting next to us we’d still feel comfortable.
But sometimes we may have concerns that we share about someone because we need advice and prayer. Nevertheless it’s important that what we share is done in a general sort of way with no specific details. Regrettably, there have been times where I’ve talked too much. Go to God and sometimes we need to go to the person we’ve gossiped about. Ask forgiveness and be willing to let the Holy Spirit guide from Psalm 141; “Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth.” Cover others in love with your words; words which build up and not tear down…everyday.
Wednesday Matters-December 25, 2019
Everyday Marriage Advice
The other day I read this article giving me the “Do’s and Don’ts” on how to get a grip on a marriage gone bad. Some points were good such as; “Do speak honestly of your unhappiness to your partner and don’t bad mouth your spouse to your friends” BUT the “DO” that really threw me was; “Put yourself at the center of your life, go deep within yourself to find your strength.” I said out loud, “Are you kidding me, I’d just get depressed?” But the writer continues, “Who can be the center of your life but you?”
I know the answer! JESUS! He should be the center of our lives! And when He’s not that’s when we have problems, not only in marriage but in everything. I just read some great “DO’S and DON’TS” in Philippians 2: 3 and 4; “DO regard others better than yourself and DO NOT be selfish, thinking only of yourself.” What great advice from the Counselor who has all the answers...everyday.
Wednesday Matters-December 18, 2019
Everyday God Shouts Love in Pain
Do you think that emotional pain is harder than physical pain? I often think it is. I mean I get physical pain from my recovery with scoliosis back surgery and having mono and flu where I never thought I’d leave the bathroom floor. However broken relationships, the loss of a loved one, and the failure of a plan or dream, well … that kind of pain is so much harder for me.
But it helps to remember God uses pain to get our attention. C.S. Lewis wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasure, but He shouts to us in our pain.” Pain is God’s megaphone. We rarely change when we see the light. We change when we feel the heat. But why does it get so hot? I hear ya. The answer is God’s love turns-up, it warms when it all seems so cold and hopeless. God always cares. Proverbs 20:30, “Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.” Yes, God loves you, everyday.
Wednesday Matters-December 11, 2019
Everyday Compliment Crazy
“It’s not fair. They don’t deserve my kindness and I’m certainly not going to compliment them on anything because they already tell me how great they are anyway.” Very often those difficult people in our lives are family members. We think; “How can they be so clueless to their own junk and continue to point out mine?” But here’s the deal; we may not think they deserve our love or kindness but neither do we deserve God’s grace and kindness toward us.
The advice given me was; “Debbie, just lavish them with love. Compliment and see what happens in your heart and in theirs.” Guess what it works. Love someone with simply acts of kindness by praising the good of who they are and you’ll be amazed at how God changes your heart and theirs. God tells us in John 13:34; “Love one another as I have loved you.” It’s hard at first…really hard. But the change, the blessing, the beginning of healing in a broken relationship…oh, you’ll be thinking; “Why didn’t I do this sooner…everyday.”
Wednesday Matters-December 4, 2019
Everyday Prayers Working
Something happens when we pray that doesn’t happen when we don’t. Let me say that again, “Something happens when you pray that doesn’t happen when you don’t.” BUT if we don’t feel or see an answer to what we were asking for then we may start to think that God isn’t listening. BUT He always hears. Sometimes the answer is “no” and sometimes the answer is “yes.” I think the hardest reply is to hear, “wait.”
“I don’t get it. It’s not fair and God I’m starting to wonder if You care or even exist.” We all may have had those thoughts at one time or another but don’t give up. God is always on the move. He’s on “it” whatever “it” may be. I love Psalm 27:13, “I would’ve despaired unless I’d believed that I’d see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” There is goodness while on earth even though it’s not our final destination. Waiting is hard but with God it’s worth it…everyday.
Wednesday Matters-November 27, 2019
Everyday Airport Lady
I was in the airport waiting to board yet another plane. It was all taking too long and it was crowded. I found a spot and sat down and the woman next to me was crying and shaking she was so upset. And as natural as could be I put my hand on her back to sooth her. I leaned in and asked, “What’s wrong?” She 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 was Jesus at work from 2 Corinthians 1; “Comfort those in distress with the same comfort you’ve received from God…everyday.
Wednesday Matters-November 20, 2019
Everyday Unity in Marriage
I was absent one summer, for an extended period of time, and even though I’m not a “flower person” I cried when I came home and saw this large bouquet greeting me on the kitchen table. It was special and apparently so for our teenage son Joey. He seemed to be continually asking me, “Mom, aren’t those flowers from Dad beautiful?” “Yes. Yes they are Joey.” And yes, the best thing we can do for our kids is to love our spouse.
If our children see a crack in the foundation, they often find a way to slip through. Of course we have disagreements and we have had our share of fights but it is how and where we choose to handle conflict, especially with our spouse. It’s important for our children to see unity, not division and so we often have to “agree to disagree” while privately we try and work things out. Jesus tells us that, “A house divided against itself cannot stand. When you’re marriage stands strong so does your family…everyday.
Wednesday Matters-November 13, 2019
Jealousy is one of the most dangerous poisons which can literally destroy us. It’s challenging because we know we shouldn’t be jealous so we pretend it’s not happening and we find reasons why the other person shouldn’t have success.
A few years ago I watched a video of a woman I was mentoring. I was amazed at the talent and beauty she displayed on screen. But instead of feeling happy for her, I was jealous; “Why her?” I called my husband and said; “I’m jealous.” As soon as I brought my jealousy to the light it no longer had power over me. I was able to congratulate my friend on her success and the poison of envy did not infect me. I have a great friendship with this young woman and I’m proud of her. King Solomon asks; “Who can stand before jealousy?” No one can because it’s as cruel as the grave. Celebrate the successes of others and let God show you the gifts you have to celebrate…everyday.