Music Mondays- Noel performed by Lauren Daigle

Come and see what God has done. Come and meet our Savior Jesus laying in a manger. God’s love wrapped in cloths laying in a feeding trough for animals showing us God’s ways are not our ways. Jesus left his throne in heaven to be born as a human baby in humble surroundings.

That is what we celebrate at Christmas time the miracle of the virgin birth of Jesus. We celebrate Jesus emptying himself of his glory to become our Savior as Philippians 2 says:

Who, being in very nature  God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature  of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
 And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Christmas- Celebrating The King Who Brings Healing

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

There is no Lord or King like Jesus. Jesus left heaven to be born as a human baby to become our Savior. Isaiah 61 shows the purpose of Jesus our King coming to earth. Consider these aspects- proclaim good news to the poor, bind (strengthen) the brokenhearted, freedom for captives. comfort all who mourn.

Jesus is the Lord of Lords. He is Lord of all. He has all power and is intentional about bringing healing to our souls and spirits.

The real meaning of Christmas is Jesus leaving his throne in heaven to become a human baby to become our Savior and bring healing to our lives. He has promised to always be with us. The King has come and he wants to bring healing to our lives if we will receive him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

December Is Here

December is here and bring on winter. I am ready for snow, I want to see what it is like to drive in the snow in my new vehicle that is a SUV. I am ready for snow days off from school, so I can stay home and watch movies.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

December is here and goodbye to November. I do not want to go through a month like last month again. I had bronchitis most of the month and then there was that short hospital stay.

December is here and bring on Christmas Break. I am so looking forward to having a few weeks with nothing to do except meet with refugee/immigrant friends and do some writing.

December is here and hopefully it brings opportunities to share Jesus with my refugee/immigrant friends, The best part of Christmas for me is the way it opens opportunities to share Jesus with friends from other cultures who are curious about Christianity.

December is here. Are you ready for winter, Christmas, and a new month?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Christmas- Jesus or The Holiday?

It feels like I blinked and suddenly it is almost Christmas. After spending most of November having bronchitis, and now feeling healthy, tomorrow will be December 1st- as in twenty four days until Christmas. It is not an issue of shopping or decorating for me.

Photo by Todd Trapani on Pexels.com

Shopping for me takes a few minutes on Amazon ordering things to be delivered. I never decorate or have a Christmas tree. So for me it is not about the trappings of the holiday.

What I was not ready for was the focus on celebrating the birth of Jesus. I have never enjoyed the holiday season, but love celebrating the birth of our Savior through writing in my blog, church services, and my prayer time. Inviting my refugee/immigrant friends to Christmas Eve service has always been a highlight for me.

This time of year I seek to be intentional about keeping my focus on celebrating Jesus not the holiday. Focusing on the holiday and its empty promises without focusing on Jesus can lead to depression and other problems. I think of the lyric of the song Have Yourself A Merry Christmas- “next year all of our troubles will be out of sight.” Focusing on the holiday as some magical time of year leads to problems.

Focusing on Jesus and why he was born leads to experiencing God in our lives. Focusing on Jesus is realistic especially when I think of what Jesus said in John 16:33:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus never made empty promises. He was very clear that this life will be problematic. He was also very clear that he will always be with those who believe in him, so we never face life’s problems alone.

So for me when I say it feels like I blinked and its Christmas time, what I am talking about is that after fighting bronchitis for most of November, suddenly it’s time to focus on celebrating the birth of Jesus and all that means.

Are you ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Everything Is Possible by Philippa Hanna

Whatever situation we find ourselves in, everything is possible with God. As we enter the Christmas season, the birth of Jesus itself speaks of the power of God to make the impossible possible. Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit. No man was involved.

God is the God of the impossible. In Jesus lives are turned around, breakthroughs happen, people are transformed. When we pray, we are praying to the One who has ALL POWER.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Chronic Christmas

Thanksgiving has come and gone already. It feels like it zipped on past me quickly. It was nice to spend time with friends last night sharing friendship and delicious food. But it is over now. The rest of the world will be full speed ahead to Christmas, but I am not ready for it. I do not mean about shopping. That is a five minute thing for me on Amazon.

I wonder how many crazy people will wait outside in the cold to be the first ones in the stores for shopping. How many will be sane and do it all online like me. 🙂

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

I feel like calling this year My Chronic Christmas as in chronic illness.. I have a follow up appointment with my GP next week to follow up on my recent hospital stay. I have a rheumatology appointment on Dec. 21st and a follow up appointment with the cardiologist on the 23rd. I also have a MRI sometime before the rheumatology appointment.

So that is four medical things before Christmas. UGH.

The one good thing about Christmas, the best thing, is that it is a reminder that Jesus left heaven to be born as a human baby, so he could be Immanuel-God With Us. I am grateful Jesus is with me at medical appointments.

Are you ready for the whole Christmas holiday thing?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays-Wherever You Lead (Acoustic) by Kristene DiMarco

Two of John the Baptist’s disciples were present when John proclaimed Jesus to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world and that Jesus is the chosen one.. One of them was Andrew, Peter’s brother. Andrew and his companion heard what John the Baptist said and started to follow Jesus. Jesus took note and asked them what they wanted. The conversation is in John chapter 1.

When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

Come and see. Jesus invited them to continue to follow him. They had no idea of what was ahead of them, the adventures, the miracles, the dismay as Jesus was crucified, the exaltation as Jesus defeated death, and the problems they would encounter serving Jesus. They chose to follow him.

Saying wherever you lead is something we may experience, or the desire to say, when we have encounters with Jesus in life. The test of that is whether we still say-wherever you lead- when we are in the midst of difficulty.

Wherever you may lead is a continual decision we make. We might falter at times under the pressures of this life, but we can be refreshed and continue on. The one thing we can know for sure is that choosing to follow Jesus will ultimately lead to blessing.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Breathing

It was no exactly the way I would have chosen to get some sleep during fall break, but at least sleep was on my agenda for Monday and Tuesday as in sleep A LOT. Over the weekend, I developed bronchitis again, so Monday it was off to the doctor to get antibiotics and prednisone. Both Monday and Tuesday, I slept about twelve hours and laid around watching shows.

The moment came Tuesday late afternoon when breathing came easier. That magical moment of being able to breathe again. It made me think of the song-This Is The Air I Breathe.

Here it is Wednesday the middle of the week. May I suggest taking a breather, pun intended, and listen to that song taking in the presence of Jesus?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

How You Can Join with Me in Helping Ukrainian Refugees in My City

It is exciting for me to be able to help Ukrainian Refugees in my city. This will be at least a one year endeavor of blessings for me.

Photo by Mathias Reding on Pexels.com

I arranged for a young woman from my church who is a paramedic to come next Saturday to meet a young woman from Ukraine that was a paramedic there. It ties in with a theme I have with new refugees who are high school or college age-“You Dreams Are Not Over.”

If you would like to be a part of my ministry with Ukrainian Refugees, there are two ways.

PRAYER- Please pray for me for wisdom, energy, and empowerment by the Lord. Please pray for the new refugees I meet from Ukraine for their new lives here and for open hearts to hear about Jesus.

Another way you can be involved is my Amazon Wish List. The name is Matt’s Ukrainian Ministry. I have set it up for all items to be delivered directly to House of Prayer here in Lincoln NE. I will update the list as needs arise, but have the initial items needed on the list now. The link- Matt’s Ukrainian Ministry. Shipping Address- Matt/House of Prayer Church 1333 Morton St. Lincoln NE 68521

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Healing Light?

I had heard that sunlight can help psoriasis, so yesterday I tried an experiment. My afternoon class went to a nearby park for fun on our last day of class. So as I sat in the sun, I held my arm for the sunlight to hit it. I have had a new psoriasis plaque on my right arm that I want to go away before I see the rheumatologist in a few weeks.

Photo by Jonathan Petersson on Pexels.com

The results? I did see slight improvement for it, so I think I will try some more sunlight this afternoon.

As I was sitting in the sun for my arm, I thought about a different light that brings healing to our souls. Jesus said of himself in John 8:12:

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Sunlight from the sun helps our bodies produce Vitamin D which is good for our health. Sunlight from the sun brings us warmth and helps plants to grow.

The light that Jesus gives brings healing for our souls, gives us guidance, and helps us grow spiritually.

Just as I placed myself in the sunlight for my arm yesterday, we need to place ourselves in the light of Jesus. It begins with first trusting in Jesus as our Savior. The healing and growth continue as we daily place ourselves in the light of His word.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.