Music Mondays- Getaway by Taya

And you can say what’s on your heart
I already knew it all
Doesn’t matter what you say
Come and getaway with Me
I know where you are
Where you’ve been, what you’ve seen
Doesn’t matter how you come
Come and getaway with Me
Getaway, getaway with Me

I love these lyrics in Getaway by Taya. They remind me of what Jesus said in Matthew 11:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”

Jesus wants us to come him. He wants us to give him our burdens. He wants to partner with us as we journey in this life with all of its up and downs.

We can be honest with him about where we are at, how we are feeling, everything, because he already knows and loves us deeply. He came to die on the cross and defeat death for us because he wants us with him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

God Remembers Us/See Us

A verse in the bible that has meant a lot to me over the years is Hebrews 6:10 which says:

 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them

God remembers everything we do serving others and showing his love. Even if others do not recognize our service, our ministry, God always remembers.

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That was the verse of the day last Wednesday in Bible Gateway. Wednesday just so happened to be my last day at the school where I taught in the mornings for eight years. Children from the ELL Level 1 class made cards for me. A few people wished me well. But overall it was an unceremonious ending to something significant for me. God was reminding me that he remembers.

Last Thursday I had a coffee meeting with a pastor from a Ukrainian church in my city and the lead pastor and pastor for outreach from my church to talk about possible ways my church can come behind the efforts of the Ukrainian church. The lead pastor from my church came her almost three years ago. I sent him a message thanking him for joining the meeting and expressing that I was glad he could see a bit of what my ministry has been. His reply was:

Matt… thank you. I loved it. Know this… I love you man… you have nothing to prove… God is using you and He sees and knows… and I trust you

Another reminder that God sees us. God remembers us. No one is insignificant to God. No deed done serving God’s people goes unnoticed by God.

God sees you. God notices each time you share his love with others. No deed is small or insignificant in God eyes.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Biblical Affirmations vs The Secret

It has been on my mind recently to write about the difference between Biblical Affirmations and things such as ‘manifesting’ and things like The Secret. Yesterday I read a wonderful post by my little sister in Jesus Alicia of, In her post yesterday she shared-22 Biblical Affirmations. She also shared about her journey of seeking healing in her life. The affirmations she shared are wonderful for all of us.

So how do Biblical Affirmations differ from The Secret or things like it? It all has to do with what they are based upon in the first place.

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Biblical Affirmations are based on the Word of God. They are based on what God has already told us such as if we believe in Jesus, we can say we are a child of God. Isaiah 55:11 says:

so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

When we remind ourselves of what God has said by using Biblical Affirmations, we are basing them on God not ourselves. Therefore, they are eternally solid.

People who use The Secret or things similar are basing it on themselves putting something out into the universe to basically summon the universe into action on their behalf. It puts themselves at the center not God. I am not saying it won’t work at times. but we must be careful about who is behind it. We need to remember that Satan and his demons work through deception and want nothing more than to distract us from Jesus or to misdirect those who believe in Jesus. It causes the image in my mind of rubbing the bottle for the genie to grant wishes/

When we remind ourselves of Biblical Affirmation, we are basing them on God and what he has already revealed. When we pray in faith, we are basing that on God as well, but trusting him for the results. When we pray, we also remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:

 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

When we pray, we do so knowing that God already knows what we need, what our problems, are etc. We pray to our Father in heaven who loves us passionately, not to some impersonal universe. God is deeply relational and personally involved in our lives.

I would encourage every one to read Alicia’s post and remind themselves of the wonderful Biblical Affirmations she shared.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

What A Wonderful Way to Start Summer Break

Yesterday was the first day of summer break from my morning and afternoon classes. Wednesday was a bit draining having final meetings and saying goodbye to children I have connected with, so I was wondering about first day of break.

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God gave me a sign right at the start. I went to meet two pastors from my church and a pastor from a Ukrainian church to talk about how we can work together. When I got to the coffee shop, there was a woman sitting outside at one of the tables with her golden retriever. Her dog Norman came to me to greet me. I spent a few minutes petting him and chatting with her. Why is that a sign? I had a golden retriever when I was a boy. I LOVE golden retrievers.

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The coffee meeting went great and I made plans to teach new arrivals from Ukraine English at the Ukrainian church. We will also work on other joint endeavors and as they develop, I will share more.

I know this will be hard to believe, but my next stop was at my favorite coffee shop where I was able to tell a few jokes and enjoy a cup of coffee.

So one aspect of summer has begun. More to come 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Little Girl Had Anxiety- She Will Be Okay

I shared back in February about a little girl at school who had anxiety in- A Little Girl Had Anxiety. She had anxiety because she was a beginning English learner and school felt daunting to her. She is only in 2nd Grade. After speaking with her in Spanish, she began to visit me in my classroom, which was next to hers, each morning. I shared about that in-Being A Safe Place-My Special Visitor Each Day.

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She made a lot of progress to the point that when I would ask her-“Sientes Nerviosa?”, do you feel nervous, she would say no. She has made little friends in class and has been doing well in school. But yesterday when I told her it was my last day at school, she did not take it well at first. I reminded her that she has friends in school now and is doing well. As she hugged me, I told her she will be okay and that Jesus is always with her.

I went into her classroom to give the children cookies, When I went in, she hugged me and cried. I held her for a few minutes while she cried, and reminded her again that Jesus is always with her. After I left, her teacher helped the students in her class to make cards for me. The little girl, Maria, made this one for me.

As I left the school, I saw her having fun playing with the other children during recess. She will be okay. I am glad I could be a small part of helping her adjust to being in a new school in a new country in a new language.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Goodbye and Hello

This morning I will say goodbye to the school I have been at for the past eight years. I will continue with Family Literacy at a different school next school year. I actually said goodbye to people already but will be in the building for a meeting this morning. I have been at the new school already having taught in that program too, so that is not the hello I am referring to.

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My summer break begins tomorrow and beyond that I will have a bit more time freed up for whatever God has planned for me. The summer will be spent writing books and also reaching out to refugees and immigrants in my city.

It seems that God is calling me to new adventures. I have a few preliminary ideas and if they start to shape up, I will share more on them. The hello part of this post is saying hello to new opportunities that God will show me.

It reminds me of what Good said to Abraham when he first spoke to Abraham in Genesis 12:1

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

God basically told Abraham get going and I will show where to go as you go. No itinerary, no map, no just get going and trust God.

So for me it is a day of Goodbye and then Hello to whatever it is that God has planned for me that he has not given me the details of yet.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.