Jesus Validated People Others Overlooked

During conversation time with my students in my Family Literacy classes, they are all moms, I incorporate the week’s vocabulary words into the questions we ask each other. Last week one of the words was remember because I was explaining to them about holidays like Martin Luther King Day. I explained it is a day we remember him and what he worked for because he was a very important person in the history of our country.

One of the questions was, “what do you remember about the first time you met the teacher?” I strive to have a class culture of it is okay to say how one feels. One of the students answered, “I wondered where is Kolade.” Kolade was their teacher. He is a kind gentle older man originally from Nigeria. He was my assistant for one year and my friend. He had a stroke and is not doing well now.

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When she shared that she wondered where he was, my response was, “I understand. He helped you a lot and is so nice. He is my friend. I am sad about it too.” By responding that way, it validated her feelings and her sense of personhood. If I had responded any other way, it could have left her feeling less than. It is my hope that the moms always feel they can be honest.

Jesus validated people he encountered. He saw people others overlooked. He treated people with a dignity others would not. One such case for me is one of the healings Jesus did in Mark chapter 10. A blind man called out. “Son of David have mercy on me. Others rebuked him telling him to be quiet. But Jesus told them to bring the man to him. Jesus took note of him and asked:

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

Jesus healed the man others wanted to shun as not being important. Jesus took note of him. Jesus treated the man with dignity when others would not.

We seem to be in short supply of people validating others in our time. So my question for my readers is what is an encounter Jesus had with someone that is meaningful to you as an example of Jesus validating the person?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

His First Days in School-A Boy from Afghanistan

My city has received many refugees from Afghanistan and our schools have had many children from there enroll. My school had a boy from Afghanistan start last week. He is in the ELL, English Language Learners, class next to my classroom.

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I met him last Friday and he seemed happy when I bent down to shake his hand to welcome him. Yesterday I stopped in to say hi to the children and their teacher and I noticed he had his head down on his little desk. I walked over to him and asked him how to say hi in Dari his language. He told me Salam. So I said Salam to him and then looked at the other children and taught them to say Salam and asked them to greet him. All of the other children are Hispanic. When I left the classroom, he was sitting up at his little desk.

Can you imagine having to leave your country abruptly with your parents, coming to a new country, and starting a school where no one speaks your language, at the age of seven years old? It was my privilege to welcome this little boy.

It is important to me to bless children in the morning at school. Jesus thought it was important to bless children. In Matthew 19 we read:

Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

It is a scary time for all children during this time of COVID. Children are aware of more than we think. They need small moments of kindness.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Details of Jesus’s Death and Burial Prophesied About Hundreds of Years Before- John Chapter 19

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah prophesied about the suffering of Jesus over 700 years before Jesus came. These verses are from Isaiah 53.

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Jesus was crucified. He was nailed to a cross and hung on the cross until he died. It was a brutal death that would normally take a few days. Jesus could have stopped it, but he allowed it to happen out of his love for us.

 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

Pilate, who had his doubts about crucifying Jesus, had a sign put on the cross as perhaps a jab at the Jewish leaders.

 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews.  Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 

The Jewish leaders wanted it changed. But Pilate would have none of that.

Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

Even a small detail about the death of Jesus was prophesied about hundreds of years before he came in Psalm 22.

All my bones are on display;
    people stare and gloat over me.
 They divide my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.

. The soldiers at the cross cast lots for his garment.

 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”

This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,

“They divided my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.”

The soldiers came the break to legs of Jesus and the two criminals crucified beside him. They broke the legs of the two criminals, but when they came to Jesus, he had already died, so they pierced his side to let the blood flow out.

But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.  Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 

This fulfilled Zechariah 12:10 also written hundreds of years before Jesus came.

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son”

Even the burial of Jesus was prophesied about in Isaiah 53.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Jesus’s body would have been thrown into a common grave with the two criminals. but Joseph of Arimathea intervened and got a new tomb for Jesus.

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away.  He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 

We see just from these verses that the death and burial of Jesus was in God’s plan all along. It was not some surprise and God had to quickly come up with Plan B through the resurrection. It was intentional on Jesus’s part to come and die for us.

Think about how much God loves you that he had this plan, The fact that details surrounding the death and burial of Jesus were prophesied about hundreds of years before he came is a faith builder.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Break Every Chain- Tasha Cobbs at Passion City Church

There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain. Whatever bogs us down in life there is power in the name of Jesus. We can come to Jesus in confidence to find grace and mercy in our time of need.

There is no power greater than Jesus. He is the name above all names, and he loves us. He invites us to come to him to find rest for our souls. Let’s look to Jesus and not our circumstances. He has all power.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Love Allows No Room for Racism

I like how my pastor always says that the bible is full of stories of real people dealing with real life issues. One real life issue the bible deals with is racism and prejudice. Paul wrote more than once about it in his epistles, letters. to churches. In Colossians 3 he wrote:

 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

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In the early church there tended to be divisions at times between Jew and Gentile. In the Jewish mind at that time, there were only two groups of people, Jews and Gentiles. Jews even the ones who had become Christians, tended to be prejudiced against the Gentiles.

Another division was between slave and free. Slavery was common among all the cultures back then. Slaves would be face being looked down on by the free people and treated as less than.

Paul addressed this issue and what he wrote was a revolutionary idea at the time that in the church there were no Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free. There is only one way to become a Christian and part of the church, which is to come to faith in Christ asking him for forgiveness of sins. We come to the cross realizing our great need to forgiveness. At the cross, we are all equally sinners. It is a humbling thing to realize.

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Paul wrote of how we should treat each other in the church addressing inner attitudes. He sums it up with love saying love binds all of the virtues together. It is a thought Martin Luther King some 2,000 years later emphasized when he said:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”

Imagine the impact on the world if we who follow Jesus lived this out in the church and throughout our lives. We who follow Jesus should be to first to reject prejudice realizing prejudice and racism are sins against our fellow human beings and against God who created us. In our minds, there should only be two groups of people. those who know Jesus and those who out of love we want to see come to know Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- I Forgot My Gum Last Night

Last night I had the urge to stop at a restaurant I like in the downtown of my city to get some food to go. The restaurant is Ali Babas. I had a craving for a gyro plate which comes with steak fries, gyro meat, and is topped with onions, a sauce, tomatoes, and cheese crumbles. It was so satisfying.

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There was a slight problem. As you can imagine, the onions and sauce might have done a number on my breath. I didn’t think about or worry about that when I got the food. My college is also downtown only a few blocks from Ali Babas. When I got to the college, I went to the adjunct office and sat down to savor my delicious food still no concern at all about what the onions and sauce did.

It wasn’t until I reached into my laptop bag that I realized my dilemma. I forgot to bring my gum and had no time to go buy some. Why is that an issue? I am glad you asked.

We have to wear masks in the college, so as I taught for three hours, I was wearing my mask with yes, the onion and sauce still on my breath. I think that is enough said.

Did you know that fortunately for us there is actually something that God will not remember? Isaiah 43:25 says


“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

If we come to Jesus, God forgives us and will not remember our sins against us. What a wonderful gift from God.

By the way, I put a few packs of gum in my laptop bag.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Why I never Watched The Movie Cats

That Broadway musical Cats that was made into a movie is one I never watched and don’t intend to watch. It is the same reason I never watched the Garfield cartoon. I feel it is a very valid reason. What is the reason you ask? Good Question.

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As it just so happens, I am allergic to cats. If I watch the movie Cats or Garfield cartoons, I am sure my allergies will flare up. Allergies are quite an unpleasant thing. Now if there was a movie Dogs, count me in because I am not allergic to dogs.

I also have allergies to tree pollen but they are short lived only affecting me in the spring, so watching Lord of the Rings- The Two Towers was no problem even with the Ents- talking trees basically- because the movie was so awesome maybe it drove out my tree pollen allergies. 🙂

Allergies, animals that don’t get alone like dogs and cats, and more are part of the curse on nature after the fall. Yes my post is an attempt at humor, but seriously all of creation longs for Jesus to return.

Romans 8

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

The question is do we groan, long for, the return of Jesus?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Doctors and More Doctors

I think I will hit my insurance deductible by February. Here we go again. Well might as well get it out of the way. 🙂

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I started Physical Therapy yesterday. They hooked me up to some electric nerve stimulator machine. I had images of Frankenstein in my mind. I will have six more appointments.

In a few weeks, it will be back to the Orthopedic Surgeon for an MRI and a different electric nerve test. That one will involve a small needle. I may end up with an electric personality. 🙂

In February it is back to the Rheumatologist for a follow up appointment. I don’t think anything new will come out of it other than continue current treatment but one never knows.

After all of that I will have met my deductible, so future appointments will be paid 90%. Hey time to go for it with doctors off to the races.

One big downside to these appointments is they have to be in the afternoons due to my schedule. That means no naps until Friday. I got hooked on daily afternoon naps last semester. Hopefully I can make it. 🙂

Such is the life of a spoonie, person with chronic illness, go to doctors who send you to other doctors and they all want to do tests. They all seem to want to move the parts that you tell them hurt. For example, at Physical Therapy, he kept wanting to move my shoulder every which way.

One day Jesus will either return or he will take me home to heaven. Then I won’t need doctors anymore. For now, Jesus has work for me to do here in this life.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Tortured, Rejected, and Sentenced- John Chapter 19

Isaiah 53:7&8- He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth
;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?

Isaiah was written over 700 years before Jesus came. The Jews were looking for the promised Messiah, the king who would sit on David’s throne. Isaiah 53 speaks of the suffering servant. In these verses we see references to Jesus being tortured and eventually killed.

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Pilate’s wife sent him a message we see in Matthew 27

While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”

Perhaps this was on Pilate’s mind as he tried to deal with the situation. The Romans were superstitious people and yet viewed the Jews as being backward and difficult. In an attempt to diffuse the situation Pilate had Jesus flogged.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

They flogged, whipped, Jesus with a cat of nine tails which was a whip with nine leather straps with sharp pieces of rock etc at the end. The soldiers mocked him. The robe they put on him would have stuck on because of the blood from his back. The crown of thorns caused Jesus to bleed from his scalp.

Pilate had Jesus brought out and said:

Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 

But the reaction of the chief priests and their officials was:

As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

Pilate replied

But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

The chief priests answer?

The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

This freaked Pilate out which is not surprising due to the Romans beliefs in many gods.

“Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer.  “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

Jesus finally replied

Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

Pilate tried to set Jesus free but the religious leaders persisted in a peculiar way.

 “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.

Interesting because the Jew despised the Romans and wanted them out of Israel. They had no love for Caesar or the Romans. Pilate presented Jesus to them saying here is your king. The religious leaders who despised Caesar and the Romans answered.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

Pilate gave in and consented to have Jesus crucified.

Think about what Jesus endured. Think about how he suffered. Then think about the truth that he went through all of that, the farce of a trial, the torture, the rejection, because he loves you.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.