Music Mondays- The Story I’ll Tell by Nightbirde

The hour is dark
And it’s hard to see
What You are doin’ here in the ruins
And where this will lead
Oh, but I know
That down through the years
I’ll look on this moment and see Your hand on it
And know You were here

And I’ll testify of the battles You’ve won
How You were my portion when there wasn’t enough (That’s right)
And I’ll testify of the seas that we’ve crossed
The waters You parted, the waves that I’ve walked

Nightbirde certainly faced dark hours and battles in life. She battled cancer and also experienced her husband leaving her after she was diagnosed with cancer. However, she looked to Jesus and sang about him. The story she chose to tell through song was of Jesus in her life.

Whatever hardship we face in life, we can look to Jesus. He has promised to always be with us. He has overcome the world and has a wonderful eternal future waiting for those who trust in him. The question is what story do we want to tell. I chose to tell the same story as in this song.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Philippians- A Church Born from Suffering

Have you ever experienced disaster, disappointment, set backs only to see God show up and do something amazing? I know I have. Sometimes what seems like a set back leads to a divine appointment. But for any setback I have had, it would pale in comparison to how the church in Philippi got started.

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To understand Philippians, we should first look at Acts Chapter 16 for the backstory.

Paul and Silas were in town. They were looking for a place to pray when they encountered some women. One of them, Lydia trusted Christ. She invited them to visit sometime. Another day Paul and Silas went to pray again, but were followed by a slave girl. In Acts 16:17 we read:

She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 

After doing so for many days, Paul got annoyed and commanded the spirit that possessed her to depart from her. The spirit left her. Her owners instead of being happy for her to be freed, were angry they lost their source of income. Not exactly nice guys. So they dragged Paul and Silas to the town magistrates who ordered Paul and Silas to be beaten with rods and thrown in jail.

The jailer’s orders? Acts 16:23- the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.

Paul and Silas had a response one would not expect from two guys who were beaten and thrown in jail. Acts 16:25:

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 

What happened next would get anyone’s attention. Acts 16:26:

Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 

God moved big time. The doors were open. The jailer having thought he failed in his duty was about to fall on his sword, but Paul stepped up. Acts 16:28:h

But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

The jailer responded in Acts 16:30

He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

After hearing the gospel from Paul, the jailer came to faith. He took Paul and Silas home with him and all of his household came to faith in Jesus. The jailer tended to the wounds of Paul and Silas and fed them.

That is how what we consider the Epistle of Joy was birthed. Not exactly a modern day church planting strategy, but the results were amazing. For two thousand years, Christians have been blessed by the Epistle of Philippians.

So dear reader, when we find ourselves in adverse circumstances, let’s try to remember what God can do through them.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Book Lifted Out Of The Pit/Called To The Nations

There used to be a radio program by a man named Paul Harvey. He would start by saying, “You know what the news is. Now you will hear the rest of the story.: He would then share the story, the background, behind someone famous. Well, I am not famous, but there is the rest of the story behind my book Jesus Understands Trauma.

It is a testimony to the saving power of Jesus who can transform lives. It is about how Jesus reached down and lifted me out of the pit in life, worked to change me and my life, and called me to share his love with people from and in many nations,

When I started writing the two books, I crowd sourced on my blog for input on whether to make them one book or two. Most people responded by saying I should make them into the two books-Jesus Understands Trauma and Lifted Out Of The Pit/Called To The Nations. I appreciated that input and followed that path.

It will be ready for purchase next week. I will do the same thing with this book of donating $1 for each copy sold to a ministry or non-profit that helps people who experience trauma. This month I will be donating to the local chapter in my city of Royal Family Kids Camp which is a ministry that provides a one week summer camp and an ongoing weekly meeting for children who have suffered severe abuse.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Our Heavenly Home Will Come To Earth

Revelation 21:2-4 “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

At times it is good to pause in our hectic lives and meditate on the future that is wonderful beyond words. A day is coming when Revelations 21:2-4 will be realized.

The imagery of God will wipe every tear from our eyes. Think of a good parent who does that for their little child. Think of a husband doing so for his wife or a wife doing so for her husband. Wiping the tears from someone’s eyes is a deeply loving act.

Think about no more death, no more pain. As someone living with chronic illness and chronic pain for over thirty years, it is hard to comprehend no more pain, but I would certainly welcome it.

This is the eternal destiny for all who have trusted in Jesus. It is that eternal destiny of being with Jesus forever that keeps me going because I know it will not always be what life is now for me.

This is my thought for today. There is a glorious future waiting for me that I do not deserve and did not earn. It is a free gift to all who trust in Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Touching Lives Around The Globe-Nightbirde

I am still processing a video I watched because it is connected to one that really struck me a few years ago. A young woman with the stage name Nightbirde auditioned on America’s Got Talent. She was battling cancer and performed her original song It’s Okay.

Two things she said stayed with me and meant a lot to me. I don’t have cancer, but do have autoimmune chronic illnesses and have lived with chronic pain for thirty years. One thing she said that expresses how I feel was, “It’s important that people know that I am so much more than the bad things that happen to me.” The other thing was, “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore to be happy.”

Nightbirde was a Christian. In her music video Fly it shows her being baptized. Her song and story spoke to me. It also spoke to people in many places. She passed away from cancer and entered into her heavenly home but not before touching many lives.

The Mzansi Youth Choir is from South Africa. They were inspired by Nightbirde and her story. Her song It’s Okay has been a source of strength for them. They auditioned on AGT performing her song It’s Okay. She had actually communicated with them and encouraged them to record her song.

I am not a singer. But I can only hope my blog or my books touch someone out there the way Nightbirde’s song touched a Youth Choir in South Africa. I am sharing both videos, Nightbirde’s audition and The Mzansi Youth Choir’s audition. If you have a few minutes, sit back, watch and be blessed.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Book Info- Ministry Donating To

As I shared in my book and previously here in my blog, my plan is to donate $1 for each e book and each paperback book of Jesus Understands Trauma to a ministry or non-profit that helps people who experience trauma.

In May I had a very soft launch of Jesus Understands Trauma and it was only ten days ago. My other book will be out soon, Lifted Out Of The Pit/Called To The Nations, and I plan to do the same with that book. Once both are out, there will be more marketing.

So due to all of that, I have decided to donate all of May’s royalties to Royal Family Kids Camp. I also plan to donate $1 for each book sold in June to Royal Family Kids Camp.

Royal Family Kids Camp is a ministry for children who have suffered severe abuse. They get to go to a one week summer camp and be shown the love of Jesus and treated as children of God. The ministry continues throughout the year with a Saturday group. It is a wonderful ministry. I will be donating to the one in my city that a woman from my church works with. I do not have the final amount yet due to any sales processed today will show up on my repot tomorrow. As of now the total is $55.

The link for the national ministry is Royal Family Kids Camp.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month- There Is Hope-Hold On By Katy Nichole

Life can be difficult and living with depression/anxiety can make it even more difficult. At times the pain can seem unbearable.

The good news is that there is someone who wants to bear that pain with us and for us. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28

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

There is always hope even if we cannot see it. Sometimes we just need to hold on. Sometimes we need to open up and share our pain with someone. We can always pray and share it with Jesus. We can also share our pain with someone else, a friend, a counselor, a pastor.

We do not need to stay trapped in the invisible prison of our mind, our thoughts. There is hope. It is scary to take the first step of seeking help, but that first step can lead to healing and hope. It can lead to a new path in life. It is much better to take that first step than to stay trapped.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Children Are A Blessing and Need Protecting

Sunday afternoon and evening was a time with some of my Mexican friends. One of my former students had a birthday. It was wonderful to see her and other former students. I also enjoyed seeing her family. It has been a blessing to visit their home on other occasions. Her children go to the school where I taught in the mornings for eight years.

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Her husband’s mother is visiting from Mexico and plans to return home in a week or so, but by bus. That means a two day journey on a bus. My student, her husband, and children are planning to go there the third week of June, so I talked with the visiting mother/grandmother three times about going with her son.

Interacting with my students’ children is always fun. The older two just finished the school year, so I joked with them about being sad there is no school for the summer. I told them I can give them homework, so they are not too sad. They just smiled and shook their heads no.

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The youngest is four years old. My student does not want to enroll him in preschool because she wants one more year with a child at home. He is a good boy and likes to interact with me. At one point he was feeding me potato chips. As we interacted, the thought stuck me of the innocence and naivety of a four year old and the need for protection.

Jesus loves children and blessed them while on earth. In Luke 18:15-16 we read:

People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Children need protecting now more than ever in our society. Their innocence needs protecting. They need our prayers covering them too. Children are precious souls to be nurtured and safe guarded.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Memorial Day

It is Memorial Day here in the USA. A day to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. As I think about how I can worship freely in my country because of the sacrifices of so many, I am grateful and humbled.

It also makes me think of the sacrifice of Jesus. As Jesus said in John 15:13

 love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Out of his great love for us, Jesus died for us, for our sins. Because of that, we can receive eternal life and forgiveness.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Keep Focus On My Task

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

This was the verse of the day in Bible Gateway yesterday. It is a theme that has been on my mind a lot recently. At my age, the reality of one day being absent from the body home with the Lord is growing in awareness.

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My main task from Jesus is sharing about him with the nations living in my city and in other countries. I do not know how much longer it will be my privilege to do so, I hope to be like a colleague who passed away recently at the age of 80 years old,. She kept teaching up to the last week of her earthly life.

God keeps connecting me with people and those connections could lead to more opportunities to testify to the grace of God in Jesus. Among those are making videos translated into other languages, getting my book Jesus Understands Trauma translated into other languages, and hopefully more divine appointments.

While there are many issues in our society that cause concern, with my time feeling shorter by the day, my attitude is that of Paul in 1st Corinthians 2:2:

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

There is a hurting world out there with so many wounded souls in need of the healing that only Jesus can bring.

So today will be my Sunday morning group with friends from Brazil, El Salvador, and Venezuela, then worship service and in the afternoon a celebration with friends from Mexico. I would welcome divine appointments today and any day.

What will your day include?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.