Mixed Responses to Jesus Even with all of His Miracles- John 12

Have you ever shared about something Jesus has done in your life that was amazing and you knew it was only because of Jesus, only to have the person try to explain it away?

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Imagine being there when Jesus was on earth performing miracles. He healed the blind, deaf, invalid, and brought Lazarus back from the dead after four days. It seems only logical that all at that time in Israel would have believed in Jesus because of his miracles.

But the response was a mixed bag.

Some would not believe.

Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 

This part is scary. that is from Isaiah 6 written over 700 years before Jesus came.

He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
    nor understand with their hearts,
    nor turn—and I would heal them.”

God hardened their hearts? For some their faith would come later. Some would never believe. They rejected Jesus and continually did so, so they lost out on the opportunity.

Some believed but in secret because they feared the consequences imposed by men and placed more value on what men thought than on what God thought.

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue;  for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

Jesus spelled out for them the nature of his relationship with God the Father and their respective roles.

Jesus came to be a light and show them God the Father.

Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

Jesus did not come to judge but to save. God the Father judges those who reject Jesus.

If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. 

God the Father’s command provides eternal life.

“I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

John recorded the command Jesus shared in John 3:16 which is in a chapter that also deals with the issues of Jesus coming to save not judge but there is a judgement. The command of John 3:16 is:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

What is our response to Jesus?

Do we value the opinions of other men and women more than God’s?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- I Give Up by Laura Story

So when I give up, I gain
When I let go of having my own way
When I learn to see my surrender as a brand new start
To know the fullness of my father’s heart

I love the lyrics in I Give Up by Laura Story. They express so well that following Jesus in this life is a lifelong process of giving up things, seeking the Father’s heart, and having new starts.

I am still experiencing this after rededicating my life to Jesus in 1989. For 32 years, it has been an adventure but not always easy. Even this summer I felt him showing me to give up teaching U.S. Citizenship classes that I enjoyed, but an even better blessing was in story for me.

I hope this song blesses you has you go about your week.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Fell Asleep and Missed the Opportunity

It is a bit humorous for me to remember it. It was late August of 1991 and late in the afternoon that day. I had spent the night before driving from Lincoln to Minneapolis a 430 mile drive . It was also the night before registration day at school. Early in the morning, I went to register for my classes and buy my textbooks for the semester. Other students invited me to a Minnesota Twins versus Seattle Mariner baseball game. I had never been to a professional baseball game before, so I jumped on the chance and went with them.

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To say I was tired is an understatement. I was exhausted. I had driven six hours the night before and had little sleep. Registration was crazy and hectic. There was no online back registration back then. But it was my first ever professional baseball game, so it didn’t matter whether I was a Twins fan or not. It was just exciting for me to be there.

We sat in the hard plastic shell seats which were about as comfortable as sitting in a classroom chair all day. Even though I drank a large coke for the caffeine to stay awake, I fell asleep in the hard plastic chair about halfway through the game partly because it was a scoreless boring game up to that point and mostly because I was EXHAUSTED.

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Suddenly the crowd broke out in a roaring cheer so loud that it woke me up. Kirby Puckett had just hit the game winning home run to break the 0 to 0 tie at the end of the game to give Minnesota the win. I missed it. I missed the only score of the game and the game winning score no less because I had fallen asleep.

The disciples, Jesus’s closest followers, fell asleep shortly after Jesus asked them to watch and pray while he prayed the night he was arrested.

Sadly sometimes I have fallen asleep while praying.

I don’t want to miss opportunities to share the love of Jesus because I am not awake spiritually. My time in this life is growing shorter by the day. We only have a certain allotted number of days in this life.

I love the bible verse Galatians 6:10:

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

My desire is to show the love of Jesus through my actions and to take each opportunity God gives me. I don’t want to ‘fall asleep’ spiritually. What may seem small to us, can seem HUGE to others. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to show the love of Jesus. There is so much suffering in this world and so many people who are searching for someone to show them they care.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.



God Has Already Brought One Change in July

Earlier this month I shared about how God brings changes in my life in July in my post-July Is Here What Will Happen?

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For twenty-one years I have taught in the mornings and evenings with a patchwork of part-time gigs that gave me opportunities to be known among the refugee and immigrant community in my city. Being part-time supported home missionary and teaching part-time has been a wonderful experience, but the problem has been my schedule limiting what I can do with my evenings tied up.

Effective this school year, I will be teaching two Family Literacy classes, the one I have taught in the mornings and a new one in the afternoons at a different school nearby. After twenty-one years of having most of my evening tied up, after my current online classes end in September, I will have my evenings free from now on.

I will praying about what God wants me to do with my free evenings. I have some ideas, but want to make sure they are leadings from Jesus and not my own.

I will continue in my part-time ministry role with my church as well. When I say part-time, I mean financially supported part-time by my church. I spend more than part-time with it.

A nice added change with this is going to be much better benefits for me and my summers free. Summers free to hopefully travel. 🙂

Another nice little extra is by teaching for the public school system and no longer the community college, my breaks will be complete breaks. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Coffee Shop and Deep Conversation

Yesterday afternoon I went to my favorite coffee shop for a few hours. My nephew came for a quick visit from Wisconsin. Due to it being a HOT summer day, I had Moroccan Mint Iced Tea instead of coffee.

My nephew and I covered many topics. He teaches in Wisconsin so we compared notes on teaching during the COVID year. We also covered sports and international travel. He is the one family member who shares the travel bug with me. Once a person gets bit by the travel bug it never goes away.

There were also opportunities to bless the workers with my jokes. 🙂 Although my nephew expressed his condolences to them for enduring my jokes. lol

After my nephew left, a man from Iran who I chat with at the coffee shop stopped at my table. He asked about the classes I teach and then wanted to know how his accent is. When I told him most Americans would understand him, he smiled.

I have been teaching online the past few weeks, so it felt good to get out and about again. Stay tuned tomorrow for my news about the change that happened this July. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Digging Up Clams As A Teen

One summer day when I was a teenager, some of my friends and I decided we should go to a local lake and get clams and have a clam bake like we saw in movies and on TV. So off we went wearing our blue jeans cut offs, sandals, and t-shirts to the lake. We went to a shallow area, took off our sandals and waded in the water.

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We used our feet to feel for the clams. We had buckets to put them in. We spent over an hour digging up clams with our feet and got good tans along with the clams. We filled four buckets with clams and were very excited to have a clam bake.

When we got back to my friend’s house, we showed his dad the clams and told him we were going to have a clam bake and he could join us. He told us, “Fresh water clams from lakes are no good. Throw them out or take them back to the lake.” Our spirits were dashed. We took them back and threw them in the lake.

If in our excitement we had talked with my friend’s dad before we went, we would have know it was not a good idea.

Too often we come up with our own ideas and then pray for God to bless them. It is much better to pray first and ask God for direction and guidance. The best opportunities I have had were after praying for opportunities.

By the way, funny thing is that one year later I worked part-time in a seafood restaurant. I tried clams and discovered I don’t like clams. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless,

Wellness Wednesday- Almost Missed A Blessed Sunday

Missing out on moments in life is a part of living with chronic illness. Spoonies, people with chronic illness, always want to be invited, but also know a flare up could hit at any moment or simply just have zero energy to do anything.

My weekly routine now is take my once a week medication on Thursday, relax on Friday and do a half day on Saturday, By doing only a half day on Saturday, I am okay for Sunday morning and church. But last Saturday I had a funeral in the afternoon and it was important for me to be there. That meant a full day on Saturday.

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The result? I woke up Sunday with no energy and almost canceled my Sunday morning group and stayed home from church. But then I prayed and did my self talk of , “Man up and go”, and got ready. I was drained but went.

Am I ever glad I did.!!! An American friend from church joined and helped with my Sunday class for the first which was spontaneous. The students were delighted. During worship after class, a young Hispanic woman sat next to me. We talked after worship and realized we knew each other from when I visited a Hispanic church when she was a teen. We talked about ways she can help with ministry. Then as I was walking in the church, a woman and two teens were talking. I know the woman and her husband speak Spanish, so I greeted her in Spanish. The two teens said, “we need a Spanish group in church.” That is something I have wanted to do for a LONG time.

After church I came home and enjoyed a three hour power nap full of gratitude for how the Lord worked Sunday morning.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Spoke Publicly He Was There to Die- John 12

Jesus knew why he had ridden into Jerusalem. He knew he was there to die for us to pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus knew the plan all along and long before he rode into Jerusalem. Jesus speaking of the time has not come or the hour has not come is a theme thread in John. After Jesus rode into Jerusalem, he proclaimed.

The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified

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We explored that last week in- What Do We Choose Regarding Jesus?

Jesus did not relish going to the cross, the torture he would endure. In Hebrews 12 we see how Jesus felt.

Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus went to the cross because of his immense love for us, but he despised the shame and did not look forward to the pain and torture. It is so understandable that he would look to God the Father which we see in John 12.

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”

Then something happened that got the attention of everyone there. God the Father spoke.

Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

The reaction of those around?

Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”

The purpose of the voice from heaven was to confirm who Jesus is which Jesus spoke to.

This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake

Jesus spoke of two results of his crucifixion. Satan would be judged and stripped of authority in this world and Jesus would draw people to himself.

 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am  lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.

The people needed no explanation for what lifted up meant. They had seen people crucified and left on crosses. It was a practice of the Romans to intimidate people by leaving bodies on crosses to cause fear. The people were confused. They thought perhaps Jesus was the Messiah and there is a promise about the Messiah being on David’s throne forever. But they did not consider Isaiah 53 and the suffering servant.

He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;

In response to the people openly wondering about why Jesus would say he would be lifted up, Jesus exhorted them

You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may

He was calling them to make a choice. We also need to make a choice regarding Jesus. Will we believe in him, ask him for forgiveness and follow him or will we reject him?

What does it mean to you that even though Jesus despised the shame of the cross, he went there because the joy set before him was anyone who believes in him having eternal life?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Where Is Real Peace Found? — Jaime Luce

Gone are the days of just desiring to live a quiet and peaceful life. A life where you can just freely live, make a living of your choice and raise your family with the values and beliefs you hold dear without interference. Instead, we are daily wakened to the life-draining news and propaganda. Couple that with the onslaught of forced feedings of agenda by social media or any media for that matter.

Where Is Real Peace Found? — Jaime Luce