When Hard Times Come- Being Resilient

As I shared yesterday in my post Prayers Needed, I had two things hit within a few days. Adversity is part of life in this world. It is how we respond that counts. Living with more than one chronic illness, each of which can cause depression, means that I need to be more vigilant when it comes to how I respond.

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So when gut punch time comes, and it has more than once in my life, some things that have helped me to not give up, give in.

God– for me it all starts with seeking God. He already knows how it will turn out. Spending time in worship at home such as Paul did while in jail. Lifting up our needs to God, He knew my needs before I asked which is what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:7

For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him

Prayer– God knows what we need, but we need prayer. We need to connect with God to help us remember we are not alone as we face difficult time.

Share– Sharing the situation, asking others to pray, seeking input from those we trust.

Positive Steps– Prayer is always a positive step as is sharing the need. Other positive step examples- On Monday I updated my resume, wrote a new cover letter, and applied for positions in the school district. I had an online meeting with the Director which was scheduled before I found out the news about my position being reduced to two hours short of qualifying for insurance. It was during that meeting I learned of one opportunity.

Self Talk– It is important to watch how we talk to ourselves. Reminding ourselves that God is with us, and of the positive steps we take each day, can help stave off that feeling of wanting to give up.

I have found that when I do these things, seek God, pray, share, positive steps and watching how I talk to myself, that I helps me to do what Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:13

and having done all, to stand

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Prayers Needed

The message on my coffee mug at home is so true right now. I just had one of those weekends when everything hits at the same time. Prayers are appreciated.

It started with an email about my position with the schools, It would not have enough hours to keep my health insurance. Then on Saturday my 16 year old van died as in beyond repair unless I have a new engine put in.

So I have already applied for other positions with the school, Due to my city having a terrible bus system, I really need a difference car. Problem is that after spending an average of $500 a month on medical things, there is not much in the bank. I need a different vehicle for work and ministry.

So prayers are appreciated

Thank you for reading. God Bless

Music Mondays- Still God by Anna Golden

Life can change so suddenly, but God never changes. When we experience struggles in life, we can look to God knowing that he is still God.

That is not a cliche for me. I have had many unexpected twists and turns in life, health problems, financial problems, etc. But through it all God is still God and he has shown that to me time and time again.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Messages on My Laptop

I have noticed many young people use stickers to decorate their laptops and the stickers usually mean something to them, so since I am an honorary young person, I decided to do the same. I believe the stickers I chose exemplify me. So let’s do a tour. 🙂

On one side are two Lord of the Rings stickers. Lord of the Rings the best movies ever and the books even better. If there is a snow day and no school, I watch the three movies extended release for about 12 hours of enthralling entertainment,

On the other side are stickers about two things I love, coffee and teaching. I like the on at the top- coffee, teach, repeat. 🙂

In the middle are stickers about my faith. One says faith forming the cross with the words. The other two say God in the middle with the message being God is greater than the ups and downs of life.

Of course if students get a bit restless, I can always point the one that says- Don’t Make Me Use My Teacher Voice. 🙂

Tattoos are a common form of expressing oneself these days, but they are not for me. I am not anti tattoo. I just think doctors stick me with needles enough and also with psoriasis it isn’t a good idea.

What do you think of my laptop stickers?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Coffee Shop Appointment-International Youth Day

This afternoon I met with the teen boy I shared about in Another God Appointment in the Coffee Shop. This afternoon I met with him and his grandmother who has custody of him. We talked about school starting next week and our plans for me to tutor him. It seems fitting that we met today which is International Youth Day.

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International Youth Day is a day to raise awareness about issues troubling youth around the world. One issue that concerns me greatly is human trafficking/sex trafficking of youth. That is why I support I’ve Got A Name an organization that works against trafficking in my home state. It is also why I support Love Justice and organization that works against trafficking in various countries.

I am glad Jesus connected me with my young friend. Today I had him repeat with me, “I have hope” after showing him Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

Millions of children and youth need hope in this world, the hope that Jesus gives.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Wonders God Has for Us in Heaven

Last night as I was driving home from class, the moon was full and looked so close in the sky. It was bright and one could see features of it. But then a veil of clouds crossed its path in the sky. The moon was still somewhat visible, but its features not clear. It was blurred behind the veil of clouds.

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It caused me to reflect on what Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 13:12:

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

Until Jesus comes or takes us to home to heaven, we do not see clearly what God has in store for us, how wonderful heaven is, how wonderful God’s presence is. and how blessed we are.

As Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 2:9

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Think of the most awesome worship experience you have had and then think about how it pales in comparison to being in the presence of Jesus in heaven. Think about the best moments in your life and then think about how they pale in comparison to what you will experience in eternity with Jesus.

We can get bogged down in life, so we need to zoom out and think about the whole picture for us which includes the marvels of being in the presence of Jesus for all eternity.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- A New Use for Blueberries?

Stop the presses!!! Breaking News!!! A discovery that needs to shared with all of humanity about our friend the blueberry!!!

Yesterday I went to the organic/natural food store that is next to my office, aka coffee shop, to buy some food. I had a craving for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I checked and saw there was one gluten free bread left, made out of oat flour, so I got the bread. Next was the creamy organic peanut butter, but wanting to eat healthier, well actually because I need to lose weight it has nothing to do with wanting to eat healthier, instead of jelly I went to get some organic bananas for peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I also got some blueberries that I like to mix with yogurt.

A funny thing happened on my way to the bananas. I got distracted by talking with someone. Who would have guessed that could happen? When I got home, I realized that I did not actually buy the bananas. They say necessity is the mother of invention, which is where my friend the blueberry comes in.

I said to myself, “self blueberries are a fruit. What if you made a peanut butter and blueberry sandwich. That is exactly what I did. So without further ado, I present to you the amazing peanut butter and blueberry sandwich.

I realize this may revolutionize culinary skills all around the world, so I will not seek a patent for my amazing discovery. It should be shared freely with all humanity. 🙂

What is next you might ask? I am glad you asked. There are possibilities such as blueberry’s distant relative the strawberry. Perhaps a peanut butter and fresh strawberry sandwich. But whatever version is attempted, we owe it all to the blueberry.

Whenever a new creation for food is successful, because 99.99% of the time mine are not, I think about how we can become new creations in Jesus. 2nd Corinthians 5:17 says:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

We can have a fresh start in life and change when we come to Jesus.

I wonder what else can be done with our friend the blueberry. Perhaps more to come. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God bless.

Burgers with Friends and Book Update

Sunday after church, some friends invited me to go out for lunch. We went to a fun place called Honest Abes a local burger restaurant. They have normal burgers/cheeseburgers and also some interesting combinations. The one I ordered had BBQ sauce, bacon and cheese.

My friends have a ministry for people from the Middle East living in my city, so we have a lot of common interests. They had just returned from an East Coast trip to visit family and supporting churches. Our lunch was a time to catch up lunch after a summer of not seeing each other for a while.

When I shared with them about the books I am finishing, particularly the one Jesus Understands Trauma, the husband looked at me and said, “you will have a lot of people who want to talk with you.” My reaction was that I hope so.

Speaking of my books, I printed out the pages for Jesus Understands Trauma, so I can read over it for a final draft. That is my project this week. The finish line is getting closer. It will be published through Amazon and available through print or Kindle.

Having printed out the pages necessitates one thing. A visit to the coffee shop is on my agenda today to sit down and do some editing while empowered by coffee and hopefully a gluten free cupcake. A person needs brain energy after all. 🙂

So after my therapy appointment this morning, and perhaps a nap, it is off to my office aka the coffee shop.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Chess and Jesus

In the days of my summer break winding down, God has blessed me by bringing a fifteen year old boy into my life, He is the one I shared about in Another God Appointment at the Coffee Shop. I saw him again yesterday,

We played chess with him using some of his Marvel figurines as pawns again. He comes from a background with a lot of brokenness. Both of his parents died by the time he was in Kindergarten, so his grandmother took him in. While we were playing chess, we talked about Jesus too.

We talked about Romans 8:28:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I shared with him that God can take all of the things we experience in this life and work it for our good including the sad times, the bad things, our mistakes, and work them for our good. Then I gave him a homework assignment. His homework was to pray to Jesus and ask Jesus to show him Jesus is for real.

I spoke with his grandmother on the phone last night and set up a time to meet with her and my young friend Friday afternoon. My thought is to meet with him once or twice a week during the school year.

God is always at work even during a teacher’s summer break. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.