Music Mondays- Revelation Song ft Kari Jobe

It is so easy to get bogged down in this life as we focus on concerns we have. It helps me to remember that this life is temporary. This life is but a whisper compared to what awaits those who have come to trust in Jesus.

I love worship songs like Revelation Song that focus on the majesty of Jesus and the wonders surrounding Jesus as he sits on his throne in heaven. Songs like that lift me up and help me keep going.

May this song lift you up today and this week and help you to focus on Jesus being our all powerful Savior who loves us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Chinese Buffet and Practicing Spanish

August is here already. In only a few short weeks it will be Back to School time for the children. I will be at the school doing things to prepare, but my class begins the Tuesday after Labor Day. Are you ready for Back to School?

Yesterday after my Saturday morning group at church, I went to lunch with two friends from Cuba. We went to a Mongolian Grill/China Buffet. I like the Mongolian Grill because I can choose the ingredients and not worry about gluten in the soy sauce.

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It surprised my Cuban friends that I can eat with chopsticks. A person learns little things like that spending time with diverse cultures 🙂 During group at church, we spoke English, but during lunch it was all Spanish. I loved it. I enjoy practicing Spanish and learning new words.

At the end of our group time at church, we prayed for Cuba and for my friends’ families there. Cuba is in turmoil due to government crackdown against freedom protesters. It is the same reason I am trying to spend more time with my friends outside of group just to be a supportive listening ear.

Our server was someone who knew me. She is the niece of one of my former students from Guatemala. She has a good memory. She has only met me a few times but recognized me right away. The man cooking at the grill is from El Salvador. So I practiced Spanish with my server and the man at the grill.

Eating Chinese food and practicing Spanish is a wonderful combination. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Back to School? Well for 1 Week

How do we view children? Do we see them as ones that Jesus loves deeply? Do we see potential in them even though they act out?

This past week was a fun week with children who will start Kindergarten in a few weeks. The school where I teach in the mornings had Jump Start to give children coming into Kindergarten an opportunity to see what Kindergarten is like before all of the school returns.

It was such a blessing to interact with the children and hopefully I was helpful for them preparing for their big change. Helping with the program also gave me the opportunity to get to know a few teachers better and to meet parents. It was a great week.

One of the little girls made this drawing for me.

She also asked me how she could write my name.

There was a little boy who told me he was nervous the first day. I told him it is okay to feel nervous. He talked to me some more and told me he lives with his grandma because his mom and dad live somewhere else. I noticed be was being a good friend to a boy who has a prosthetic leg, so yesterday morning I told him I was proud of him for being a good friend. At recess he would not let his new friend out of his sight.

As I interacted with the children whose families are from other cultures, I was able to help the teachers understand a few things that might help the children in the classroom, for example why some of the children would see the letter i and it is e because in Spanish and Portuguese i makes a long e sound.

Spending time with little children always makes me think about two things Jesus said about children. In Mark 10:

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

Jesus wants the children to be free to come to him. Notice what Jesus did when the children came to him. He took them in his arms, hugged them, and blessed them. Children need blessings from us.

Matthew 18

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

For those who harm children, there will be a day they come before Jesus and be judged. This shows how strongly Jesus feels about children being protected.

Yesterday I told the teachers I will miss the little ones and they told me to stop by anytime. I think I will do that from time to time.

Now if I could just get that song I Can Follow The Rules out of my head. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

How to create a list of Christian affirmations [40 affirmations included!] — Made of Still Â®

This post is about how to create a list of Christian Affirmations. What is an Affirmation? Before we start on the list of Christian Affirmations, lets understand what an affirmation is! The word “Affirmation” comes from the root word “Affirm”. Let me also point out that Affirm is a verb (doing word) that means the…

How to create a list of Christian affirmations [40 affirmations included!] — Made of Still ®

How Jesus Would View Simone Biles

Negative reactions to Simone Biles withdrawing from the Olympics has much more to do with how messed up values are in our culture than Simone Biles withdrawing. The one question I ask myself is how would Jesus view her?

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Here is a 24 year old woman who has spent the majority of her life training. She has already captured six medals in previous Olympics. But she is also a young woman who is a sexual assault survivor. She was victimized along with other young women by someone teen girls should be able to trust, a team doctor. She had the courage to come forward along with some of the other victims. That kind of trauma stays with a person. She pursued her love of gymnastics even while carrying that trauma in her spirit.

As a Christian, I am mindful of how even Jesus experienced being praised by people and then rejected and scoffed at by some of the same people during his Passion Week when he was crucified. Jesus views Simone Biles the same as he would any woman who has been victimized as Biles was. He views her as a young woman in need of healing for her soul and spirit and in need of his compassion.

That is the only way Christians should view her, as a young woman who has suffered at the hands of not only the man who assaulted her, but also at the hands of those in Team USA who sought to cover it up. She owes us nothing. She deserves compassion, understanding, and respect for having achieved as much as she has while dealing with trauma.

Thank you for reading God Bless.

Story Time- My Strangest Wake Up Call Ever

I have awakened to strange things in the past, a rooster crowing in Lyon France and seagulls in Constanta Romania to name a few. But this past Sunday was the strangest wake up call I have ever had.

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My Spanish speaking friends could not come to my Sunday group due to working. They told me the night before, so I decided to stay home and get some sleep and watch the worship service online. I had taken some medicine that causes drowsiness, so I was sleeping peacefully until it happened.

I woke up to the sound of a man yelling hello in my apartment. Not outside, inside my apartment. I peaked out of my bedroom only to see two police officers with my door open. Needless to say it was quite a surprise. lol

I was somewhat confused as to why they were there. I haven’t broken any laws. They were smiling and quite friendly and let me know someone had called out of concern if I was okay because I was not at church and when they stopped by they saw my van and I did not answer the door. My doorbell hasn’t worked for a long time which I like because living in an apartment building, I don’t have to worry about anyone’s late night visitors ringing the wrong doorbell.

They asked me if I needed an ambulance, I assured them I didn’t. They left and I went back to sleep.

After the police officers left, my first thoughts were along the lines of, “I have walked the streets of cities in many countries I can take care of myself,” and “maybe I need a new church.” But then I calmed down and realized it was out of concern the call was made.

One day there will be a huge wake up call when Jesus comes back. 1st Corinthians 15:


in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

That is a wake up I am looking forward to.

But I still do not plan to get my doorbell fixed. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- Progress Being Made

Currently I am halfway through my first prescription for the medication I take for Psoriatic Arthritis. The common wisdom is that it can take up the three months to see results. I am six weeks into taking it and have seen improvement already. I realize each person’s experience differs and at times a lot.

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When I first started it, I could barely walk across a room without having back spasms. Now I am walking four to six blocks a day which would be longer but that one knee ugh.

What really caught my attention was standing during worship as we sing at church. I had not done that for a long itme.

I still have cravings the day I take it and the day after. Chocolate ice cream with bananas is one. For some reason Fritos Corn Chips is the other. That one is surprising because I hadn’t eaten those in years.

My hope is to make so much progress that I resume my international travels next summer. 🙂 But I am also realistic knowing flares can come unexpectedly.

It seems longer ago than only seven weeks ago that the Chief of the Rheumatology Department at the University Medical Center I went to in June told me, “You present us with an interesting situation.” Words no one wants to hear from a doctor. lol

Whether more progress occurs or not, the main thing to me is to do as Paul wrote in Philippians 3:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

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.