Wellness Wednesday-Thoughts on Doctor Last Week

Last Wednesday I had a follow up appointment with my Rheumatologist. It went well and I was pleased with the appointment.

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Finding a good Rheumatologist who takes time to listen is so important for getting a diagnosis especially with something like Psoriatic Arthritis that does not show up on blood tests. I am grateful that after two previous Rheumatology clinics, I went to the one that is my current clinic.

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Getting a diagnosis for any chronic illness is like going through a maze. It can take years. For me it took five years after first seeking help. As I think back, I realize I had symptoms long before I sought help. For example, I thought I had dandruff when I actually had psoriasis on my scalp. Since starting treatment, it has cleared up.

It is so important to be our own advocates. We can do so by keeping a journal of symptoms, asking questions, and seeking a second opinion if needed. I think of the woman with the issue of blood in Luke chapter 8. She pressed in through the crowd to touch Jesus. Those of us with chronic illness need that kind of persistence.

A few more thoughts:

My blood tests came back with good results. I was worried because I did not study for them.

I realized I was born to be an optimist. My blood type is B Positive.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wonderful Promises of Jesus- John Chapter 14

When we make promises, do we keep them? We can be well intentioned and still fail to follow through. Things can happen that are beyond our control. Jesus has all power and his character never changes, so if Jesus promises something, we can rest assured that it will happen. Nothing can thwart the promises of Jesus.

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There are wonderful promises to unpack in just seven verses in John chapter 14. They are John 14:15 to 21. They read:

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

Notice the conditional aspect of the promises. If you keep my commands. What is Jesus talking about when he refers to commands. If helps to look at other verse in John to understand.

In John 6 after Jesus had fed the thousands with a few loaves of bread and a few fish, they followed him around and asked what they needed to do to do the works God requires. Jesus’s answer was:

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

To receive the promises, we need to believe in Jesus.

Jesus gave a new command in John 13:

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

To experience the promises in fullness, we need to love one another.

1st promise- The Holy Spirit

We can overlook the fact that for these men and others The Father sent The Holy Spirit a little over 40 days from the time Jesus was speaking to them in this passage. We learn four things about The Holy Spirit from these verses; 1- he is the Spirit of truth, 2- he will be with us, 3-he will be in us. 4- he is an advocate for us.

2nd promise- Jesus will never leave us.

Jesus promised not to leave us as orphans. I have visited orphanages in various countries. Some are in very sad conditions. Orphans have no hope unless someone comes to help them. They are defenseless. Jesus promised to come to us and not leave us helpless.

3rd promise- We will see Jesus.

For the disciples, they would see Jesus after his resurrection. Jesus only appeared to those who believed in him after his resurrection. For the disciples, this would all transpire in a matter of days from the time of this conversation. For us, we know we will see Jesus face to face one day when we go to heaven.

4th promise- The Father’s love.

If we love Jesus, believe in him, The Father loves us. The love of God the Father is beyond our comprehension. He does not see or hold our sin against us. He sees Jesus when he looks at us.

5th promise- Jesus will show himself to us.

So many ways Jesus shows himself to us. Have you ever suddenly had a verse from the bible come to mind? Have you ever had a song about Jesus in your spirit? Have you ever needed something and without expecting it, a friend is there? Jesus shows himself in many ways while we are in this life. One day he will show himself to us when we go to heaven.

Remember as you read John 14 that what Jesus was talking about was in the near future for the disciples. What a wonder it would have been to see Jesus after his resurrection and then to be in the room when The Father sent The Holy Spirit.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- How You See Me Now by Lydia Laird

What do you see when you look in the mirror? What thoughts about your self run through you mind?

When Jesus sees us, he see someone he loves so much that he died for us. He sees someone he has either made part of the royal family of God or someone he wants to make part of the royal family of God.

If we saw ourselves how Jesus sees us, what a difference that could make in our lives.

I love this video by Lydia Laird because it deals with exactly that-How Jesus sees us.

I hope the song blessed you like it has me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Longing for God

The day after I take medication for psoriatic arthritis I tend to have cravings. Chocolate ice cream with bananas seems normal, but Fritos Corn Chips? I had not eaten them in years. It causes me to reflect on what we crave, yearn for or long for in life.

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There are many things people long for in life such as a relationship, a season of the year, or even little things such a pumpkin spice lattes in the fall- count me out on that one. 🙂

Do we long for God? Long to be in his presence? Psalm 84 says

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

I have been thinking about that. In the midst of the hectic start to a new semester. Do I still long for God and his presence? It is too easy to let being busy get in the way of spending time with God.

In his presence I find creativity flows for me. Yesterday and this morning ideas came to mind as I was spending time with God. Creativity is an indicator for me of how I am doing in my relationship with God. We are all wired differently, so our indicators can vary.

Each day is a new start, so we can shake off the day, week, month, or year before and have a fresh beginning with God. It is never too late.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Barbecue and Deep Conversation with a Yazidi Family

Tuesday afternoon I visited a Yazidi family. The father is my student in my online class. He invited me to join his family for a barbecue.

It was a blessing to meet his family. I discovered his wife was in my Zoom summer school for Family Literacy. His daughter in 3rd grade was fun to talk with. She told that she likes eggs for breakfast, so I asked her a series of questions like- Do you like ice cream on your eggs.

As we were eating, I found out his oldest daughter is in high school. We talked about applications for college, scholarships and financial aid. I will be visiting the family in the future to help her with the process.

Sharing a meal is a great way to get to know my refugee/immigrant friends. It gives me the opportunity to discover how I can be of help. Being genuinely interested in helping them with their lives opens doors to share the love of Jesus.

That was the one social time in my hectic week and it was a wonderful time. The weekend is here and I have a feeling my bed will make me take a few naps. 🙂 I do have a birthday barbecue this evening and church tomorrow, but my bed is letting me know naps will be required.

What are your weekend plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Where Has This Week Gone?

My apologies to bloggers I follow. I have not kept up this week. But the weekend is coming, so there are posts to catch up on.

Where has this week gone?

It has been a week of meetings, prepping my classroom, teaching online, and of course the doctor Wednesday afternoon. A guy could use a nap. lol

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It is so good to be back in the swing of things. There is a fun energy to the start of a school year. I just wish my evening online classes had finished before my morning class starts. 🙂

When my evening online class started, I did not need to have a light on. Sunlight came in my window. Last night, I turned on my light at 7pm. One sign of fall checked off.

When I went to the clinic in Omaha, the coffee shop was selling pumpkin spice lattes. Another sign of fall checked off.

Fall is coming. It is my favorite time of year with my class in full swing, cooler weather, and fall sports.

How has your week been?

What is your favorite season?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.


Story Time- Conversations Yesterday

Yesterday one of my friends took me to my Rheumatology appointment in Omaha. We had a good time of fellowship on the way there and back. It was such a nice day that as we were driving back we had the windows open. We came to a red light and I noticed some construction workers on my side of the car.

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They were Hispanic, so I greeted them in Spanish. They looked at me like they were wondering who the crazy old guy was in the car. One of them responded, so I decided to continue with:

Necesitas comer tamales hoy- You need to eat tamales today.

He told me their work required Mexican power. I answered with Verdad pero necesitas comer carne asada- Truth but you need to eat carne asada.

Before we drove off I told him- Dios te Bendiga- God Bless You.

At the clinic there is a coffee shop. Yes I always find the coffee shop. While I was waiting for my order, I saw a woman from India. I greeted her with Namaste, which surprised her a bit. We chatted for a minute while we were waiting.

It is fun to greet people in their languages, One of my hobbies is to learn greetings in other languages. I can only greet in 30 languages so far. Doing so shows I respect them. It also opens opportunities to share Jesus at times.

The appointment went well yesterday. They even gave me my COVID booster, but no sticker or lollipop. Is that ageism? lol

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- Doctor Day

Today is my follow up appointment with the Rheumatologist at the University Medical Center Nebraska. In June he diagnosed me having Psoriatic Arthritis and prescribed a medication. I have made a pros and cons list of the medication with the pros far outweighing the cons. Progress has been made. I am thankful for the progress and for Jesus getting me through the first months of treatment.

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So off we go into the wild blue yonder to see a doctor who actually doesn’t stress me out. When I saw him in June, after spending an hour with him, my blood pressure came down- A LOT. lol

A friend is taking me there. It will be a good time of fellowship before the appointment. I never know what will be done at the appointments, so an ounce of prevention kind of thing. Also I don’t need the stress of freeway and interstate driving right before the appointment.

Also Hello September my favorite month. I love September because my morning class starts and autumn begins. I would say college football but my once great favorite college team has been terrible in recent years.

So Happy Wednesday-Hump Day.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Do Greater Things Than Jesus Did? John Chapter 14

When I think about the miracles of Jesus, walking on water, healing people. bringing Lazarus back from the dead, to name a few, a statement by Jesus in John 14 seems impossible.

 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these,

If we consider the statement in light of the context, it sheds light on it for us. The context is about being in relationship with and empowered by Jesus.

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First let’s consider Psalm 37

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

If we truly delight ourselves in the Lord, our hearts will change to desire what he desires.

If we have a relationship with Jesus, we change. The context of Jesus’s statement about doing greater works is relationship with God.

First Jesus’s relationship with God the Father. Philip had asked Jesus to show the Father and in response Jesus said.

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 

The Father and Jesus have had a perfect relationship for all of eternity. When Jesus was on earth, he spent time with the Father. It was out of that relationship with the Father that Jesus’s ministry flowed.

Jesus’s statement gave the reason we can do greater works.

because I am going to the Father.

Because Jesus ascended to heaven, he advocates for us, he empowers us through the Holy Spirit, and he intercedes for us.

Jesus also said

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

The purpose of everything we do is to glorify God. When we ask in the name of Jesus, it is not some incantation to bring about a miracle. It is not like rubbing a lamp and the genie appears.

When we ask in his name, we first have to know him. It is out of our relationship with Jesus and spending time in prayer that we ask. When we ask in his name, we are aligned with his will, his purpose which is the glorify God not ourselves. Our relationship with Jesus changes us to become more like him.

About that greater works part. We tend to focus too much on the “miraculous” and lose sight of something. Think of the schools, ministries for orphans, hospitals etc that have shared the love of Jesus. Think of ministries like Samaritans Purse.

Think of the Christians who have been oppressed through the centuries and yet by trusting God the gospel flourished.

Think of the patient Sunday School teacher, the patient youth group volunteer, the person hosting backyard bible clubs,

There is one thing we can do that Jesus can never do. That is to share with others how Jesus changed us, how it feels to be forgiven by him. and our testimony.

Whatever we do in serving Jesus, it is because he empowers us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.