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.

Realizing The Real Reason For A Prompting

It is Friday evening and after a wonderful day of helping my Ukrainian friends and then enjoying a delicious lunch and great fellowship, I felt led to go to one of my coffee shops. Upon arriving, I thought the reason I felt led here was because I was able to get the last chocolate covered Rice Krispie Bar.

After a little time, I realized I had set the bar way too low as to why the prompting to come here. I was sitting down and started catching up on blogs, after devouring aforementioned chocolate covered Rice Krispie Bar, when McKenzie came in with a friend. I met McKenzie the other day in here. I found out she is a Christian and getting ready to open her own counseling practice focusing on teen issues.

I share with her about my book Jesus Understands Trauma that afternoon. This evening she came to my table to let me know she had bought my book. We exchanged emails and will meet after she reads it so we can discuss it.

Speaking of my book, my friend Alexey and I talked about the trauma Ukrainians are experiencing. I hope to get my book translated into Ukrainian, but also realize that people in Ukraine do not have a lot of money to spend right now, So we will make a video of me being interviewed with translation into Ukrainian.

It was encouraging to run into McKenzie this evening. It was a little signal that God is at work.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Moving Day?

Moving day? No, not for me and also I won’t be doing the lifting either. 🙂

My Ukrainian friends were so generous donating used furniture for one family before the family came here that they had more than they needed. So off to my church to get the church pick up this morning. It will take two, maybe three trips, to take the furniture to a donation place. I will only be the driver. The teenage sons will load it and the donation place will unload.

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What will be my pay for my labor today? Lunch at my friends’ home after we are done. I am looking forward to some delicious Ukrainian food for lunch. That and knowing my friends will be able to use their garage.

The fellowship during lunch will be my reward as well. This family is the one I know the best out of the Ukrainian families I have gotten to know. Then it will be time for English class at the Ukrainian church. It is a Ukrainian Friday for me.

Tomorrow afternoon will be a time to hang out with some Brazilian friends. Sunday morning will be a time with my Hispanic friends and Brazilian friends.

3 different cultures, 3 different languages in 3 days means more than just having fun. It means sharing the love of Jesus with the world.

What are your weekend plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thankful Prayer Is Not Like Internet Connection

Yesterday one of the main internet providers in my city had a major outage that lasted several hours. So what started as a humorous intent for a blog post of what to do about coffee shops, ended up being fortuitous. I had added unlimited data for my cell phone for mobile hotspot thinking of my coffee shop unaware that it would be needed to be able to host my Zoom class last night.

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Technology is great when it works, but when it doesn’t, it can really mess up plans. I am thankful for technology in the classroom such as the computer cart that connects to the projector, My handwriting is terrible, so I use the computer/projector to type for students to see.

Zoom allowed classes to continue during the shutdown in 2020, but for some students it was a bit tricky. Internet connection is so important in our daily lives now, it could make one wonder how people survived before the internet. 🙂

Thankfully our connection with God in prayer does not depend on the internet. Jesus opened the way for us to pray and nothing can stop our prayers. There is no buffering, slow connection, or any such thing when it comes to praying.

The only interference in our prayer lives is ourselves. At times I can feel lazy, or let things that happened hinder me from praying. Satan can try to hinder me from praying but that only works if I allow it. The interference is never on God’s part. He always wants to hear from his children.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month- Loneliness

I watched a video by a young woman on YouTube titled- I Have No Friends So I then typed the title into the YouTube search bar and found there are numerous such videos. Loneliness is at an all time high in this social media age.

My therapist Dezi repeatedly would tell me that isolation is an aspect of depression, so that is why we need to get out and not be isolated. But a person can sit in a place like a coffee shop and still feel alone.

That is why I arrange to meet people in coffee shops such as this afternoon I will meet with my friends from Ukraine Alexey and Ruslana. We will meet at my alternate coffee shop. It will be good to sit in the outdoor seating area and talk. I also meet with my friend Todd at a coffee shop about once a month and other friends at other times. I still like sitting alone in a coffee shop to write, but make it a point to also have times I meet friends.

Having been a member of the same church since 1994, I have seen so many people come and go. But there are some who have been there the whole time that I interact with every Sunday and at other times. I value those friendships.

The friendship I value most is with Jesus. Jesus calls us friend. He said so himself in John 15:15

 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you

The creator of the universe wants friendship with us. That is so incredible and a truth we cannot fully fathom, but can accept by faith.

Jesus has also given us the church, his family, a place where we can meet people and connect. I am thankful for my friends at church.

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In this age of social media, people are feeling more isolated. Seeing people posting photos of the great times they are having when we are feeling low makes it worse. Getting off our cell phones, tablets, etc,. long enough to interact with others is so important.

What are your thoughts on loneliness?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

By Consensus Dilemma Solved-Update On Book Translation

A few days ago I posted- My Dilemma- What To Do About Coffee Shops, sharing about trying to decide what to do, which one to choose.

Crowd sourcing the problem with my fellow bloggers led to a decision. It was unanimous among the responses to continue with both coffee shops by alternating. Pure Glory asked me if $10 is in my budget for the unlimited data for mobile hotspot which caused me to realize I was being too stingy. 🙂

So both coffee shops will remain on my agenda. How the time will be divided I think will depend on my mood each day or even better on how Jesus leads that day.

It is already in process. A friend from the Ukrainian church I work with ordered a copy of my book Jesus Understands Trauma. He is one of the pastors and is fluent in English. After he reads it, we will talk about translating it into Ukrainian and perhaps doing a video interview with a translator. Another friend has offered to help me with the Spanish translation. There are other languages Jesus has placed on my mind.

This afternoon will be nap time due to it being the day after methotrexate. I injected yesterday and still have the after taste in my mouth. A nap will be needed before teaching this evening.

How is your day?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Second Chances by Iveth Luna

God never runs out of second chances for us. We cannot earn a second chance. We can only receive them by God’s grace and mercy and returning to God.

If we have made mistakes, he is there to help us pick up the pieces and start over. If obstacles overwhelmed us, he is there to help us overcome. If we are in the midst of a trial. his grace is there for us.

We do not need to dwell on our failures. We can come to Jesus and ask for help and then focus on the here and now not the past.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.