Friday Matters-September 13, 2019
Everyday JOY when kids know JESUS
I remember the Easter that each of our four sons shared how they knew God was real. Each boy revealed how they talked to God but what was so significant is they shared how they heard from Him too. Their testimonies revealed they had a personal relationship with God. They didn’t give Christian “cookie-cutter” responses. 3 John 1:4 says; “I’ve no greater joy than to hear my children follow the Truth.” Exactly.
In 2010 our local newspaper interviewed our son, Marco about his mission trip to the Philippines and Marco said; “So, I’ve got a relationship with God and it’s great because when I was younger it was the religion stuff—go to church, memorize verses…but when I really started talking to God, He started talking to me, I got better. God is REAL. Not a person really, but God, and you can talk to Him and He’ll talk to you. And it’s not a one way conversation.” What joy to hear that news…everyday.
Thursday Matters-September 12, 2019
Everyday Hard Places
Ya know how sometimes you get physically sick, like the flu and it's not because you're not reading the Bible enough or doing enough acts of service, you just get sick. Well sometimes you get emotionally sick and it’s not because you’re a “bad Christian.” There can be all kinds of factors that play into all kindness of sicknesses like lack of sleep, an infection, a damaged relationship and sometimes we need medication to get well. It’s okay.
We’ll go through challenging seasons where it doesn't make sense but it’s in the hard places where we grow. God tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “that His strength is perfected in our weakness. “ Sometimes the hardest thing to do is just let go and let God take care of us or by asking someone for help or taking medication. He works in many different ways and through many different people. In every place and time He wants you to know how much He loves and values you…everyday.
Wednesday Matters-September 11, 2019
Everyday God Shouts to us 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.
Tuesday Matters-September 10, 2019
Everyday Pain Praising
I hate being in a state of fear, especially the intense, paralyzing and irrational kind known as an anxiety attack. I haven’t had an attack for a very long time so I was very alarmed when one Friday night my body froze in fear, my heart was beating rapidly and my body was sweating like crazy. I know God is there when an attack happens but my feelings usually tell me otherwise. Because I said; “God help,” quietly and nothing happened. Because I have made it an exercise to memorize scripture I remembered Psalm 116:17; “Offer up a sacrifice of praise and call on the name of the Lord.” So even though it seemed weird I began to Praise God. At first I just whispered, but gradually I began praise God louder Him and after about two hours… I was good.
Praising God in the pain is one of the most powerful ways to throw the enemy off his course who tries to attack us with fear. Praise and thanks first and everything else seems to fall in place…everyday.
Monday Matters-September 9, 2019
Everyday Jesus Loves You
God’s not mad at you. He loves you. You know when you’ve crossed the line into making bad choices or you’re in sinful behavior. And most often you’ll feel convicted and think, “God has turned from me because I’ve turned to doing wrong.” But there’s the deal, JESUS STILL LOVES YOU no matter what you do or don’t do. It's called grace, unconditional love. He loves us not because we're good but because HE IS.
Jesus welcomes us ALL to the table, He pulls up a chair for us, in love, and does not condemn. However, His' love for you says, "Go and sin no more,” whether it's the sin of dishonesty, stealing, fornication, or whatever. He has the best plan out of love for us to follow and obey His ways. The Bible is not a buffet table to pick and choose what "works for what you feel is best and can justify." To love God is to love His ways and TRUST Him over our feelings. Jesus loves you…everyday.
Friday Matters-September 6, 2019
Everyday Sick Day
A few times a year I take a “sick day” and I stay in my pajamas all day. I feel alone. I have issues and even though I KNOW better I don’t feel better. I put my head under my covers and wondered how long I could stay in bed. I talk to God. He reminds me of Hebrews 4:15 telling me He understands everything I’ve been through because He went through it too AND He doesn’t condemn me for our feelings.
Sometimes when we feel closed in we think God is disappointed or mad at us. But He’s not. He loves you and me and He cares about what we care about no matter how distressed we may be. He hears our hearts and He knows what we’re thinking even before we speak. Give it all to God. Tell Him your heart and receive the peace He has for you no matter what or where you’re at…everyday.
Thursday Matters-September 5, 2019
Everyday Close Your Mouth
There’s no way I can have any victory in my life when I don’t surrender everything to God…like my mouth. Defeat comes when I open my mouth and express all my thoughts and feelings without checking in with God first. I need Him to help me sort out and filter my thoughts and emotions so that when I do speak Psalm 19:14 rings true, “that the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart are pleasing to God and everyone else around me.” When I wait on God for His wisdom, on how and when I should speak (especially in a difficult situation), that’s when I really do experience victory in most any situation.
God love us. He’s on our side. Wait and think, pray before you speak especially if it’s something you’re emotional about. Words can tear down or build up. Most people remember the bad and it takes 10 good things to erase the negative. Let’s speak words that bless and not burn…everyday.
Wednesday Matters-September 4, 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.
Tuesday Matters-September 3, 2019
Everyday Flowers from Husband
I still remember the “just because I care” flowers from my husband sent a few years ago. I had called my husband at his office to lament about some unresolved drama that I had so Dan told me to come to his office. I did. But… then out of nowhere a “stress arrow” hit my husband and he began speaking from his book of Lamentations. He began talking about our finances, his work load, and health stuff. It was unusual for me but I sat SILENTLY and prayed while tears ran down my cheeks.
I left the office with a hug and knew that this is life and it would be okay. An hour later a beautiful bouquet of flowers arrived and a card from my husband saying; “I love you.” At the same moment a dear friend called and said, “I was praying for you and thought you might need to talk.” That’s JUST like God, supplying what we need when we need it…everyday.
Monday Matters-September 2, 2019
Everyday Loving Christians
Ya know that song that goes; “They will know we are Christians by our love.” . We all know people who profess to be Christians, attend church, they know the rules. However we know an authentic Christian by way they live their lives, by the fruit they bear. God’s not asking us to trust someone who doesn’t take responsibility for their part in a big mess but He does command us to LOVE “that someone.”
In Mark 21:21 God says that we have the ability to move mountains by putting our faith in Him. Usually we talk ABOUT our mountains but God tells us to talk TO our mountains. Here’s the application to talk to your mountain as an authentic Christian by following Mark 11:25; “Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive them and let it drop, and your Father will also forgive your failings and let them drop. Real Christians really love by really forgiving…everyday.