Special Deliveries Yesterday

Sitting at home is boring. It is funny how when life is going normal for me, I am so busy that I wish to have a day at home. But now freshly out of a hospital stay and with Thanksgiving Break, staying home is the last thing I want to do. 🙂

I am thankful for two special deliveries yesterday. The first was a drop off by the director of the Family Literacy Program I teach in. The students in my morning class made me get well cards. One of the students also made a plate of food for me. The director stopped by to drop them off for me along with a gift card to my favorite burger place in town.

Yesterday evening my new friends from Ukraine, Alexey and Ruslana, dropped off some food for me. I only told them I was sick without going into details. It was great to see them even if only for a few minutes. They are new grandparents with their first grandson being born last week here in my city. I am not sure if I will let my Ukrainian friends know I was in the hospital to have my heart shocked back into rhythm.

Cards made by hand, food so I don’t need to cook, and friendly faces are nice. However, I think I am feeling good enough for a visit to the coffee shop today. I had my day at home. It is time to get out for a little while. 🙂

Tomorrow I am invited over to a friend’s home for Thanksgiving. I like the start time of 4pm I can sleep late. If you are in the USA, what are your Thanksgiving Day plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Startled At The Coffee Shop

Yesterday afternoon I was enjoying time at a coffee shop with Ukrainian friends when it happened. We went to a coffee shop with a nice outdoor seating area and enjoyed our last afternoon of warm weather before the sudden cool down arrives tomorrow. We were having a wonderful time of fellowship and coffee to celebrate the birthday of the husband when a car sped by on the street, gunning it, that had no muffler.

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The noise was loud and came suddenly. It startled the wife. She jumped a little from her seat. Then she laughed but perhaps not because it was funny as much as to release the emotion of it all. It was more of a nervous laugh.

She had just left the war of Ukraine in March making her way with her family through sounds of war to safety. Sudden loud noises are a trigger for many refugees.

Without letting her know what I was doing, I did a few things to help bring her back into the present. I held up my hand and asked her jokingly, “how many fingers do you see?” Then I touched my nose and asked if she could do that and she did. Then I waved my hand and asked if she could do that and she did. She did not know why I was doing comical little things like that, but they brought her back into the present moment.

We continued on with our fellowship over coffee and I learned more about Ester the girl who received a violin. She told me that she plays music by ear as well as with written music. She told me she learns better by ear. I used YouTube to show her the song You Raise Me Up because it has beautiful violin music. I explained that the war and fleeing the war was a trauma but Jesus is raising her up. My friend Clark, Director of the Youth Symphony in my city and a viola/violin player, suggested that after she has practiced and feels ready that she could play with the symphony. We also talked about the two of them playing a duet.

Her mother was blessed to hear all of this. She recovered from being startled shortly before that. Such moments can bring healing to the souls and spirit of refugees. We will go out for coffee again this evening after our afternoon class. Hopefully no more loud noises.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Turning Over A New Leaf?

At my coffee shop they gave me a mug with leaves on it, which might indicate turning over a new leaf. When it comes to coffee, may it never be. I remain your coffee purist only drinking my coffee black. None of the fancy repurposed soda, aka latter, frappes etc, for me.

However, with only two months left in the year, I am amazed by the new things Jesus has brought into my life this year. He has brought new Hispanic friends into my life and into my Sunday morning group. One year ago, I had no idea I would meet some wonderful Ukrainian friends. I love being at my new school in the mornings.Also thanks to generous people, I have a new car.

One thing I started the other day with a bible verse that was the verse of the day on Bible Gateway, is letting Jesus show me a writing prompt. I don’t know how long I will do it, but it feels fun. That post was- True Lasting Legacy. So while it lasts, the time I post will vary, I will wait for the prompt. Today it was the coffee mug. 🙂

Why am I doing this? I do not want to become stale in life. I want to keep looking for newness that God brings to us. As Isaiah 43:19 says:


See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

God can do a new thing in our lives no matter what our circumstances are. Even the most desolate lives, he can bring newness and restoration. We can look to him in every situation.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Saturday Is Here :)

It got down to 27f/-2c last night and I feel like celebrating. I realize for those with flower gardens such news was not welcome, but for those of us with allergies in the fall, it was the night we were waiting for. The nasty weeds putting all of that pollen in the air will start to die off.

It may be time for me to buy a chef’s hat. This morning marked three days in a row of not burning my eggs. I am beginning to think I could teach a cooking class. 🙂

This morning I will see my friends at the Ukrainian church. Our numbers might be a bit smaller because the high school age ones might be at their youth retreat. I love seeing whole families learning together on Saturday mornings. It is wonderful to see my Ukrainian friends smile and laugh in my class knowing what they have been through. They lost their homes and everything they know because of the war there. I love that the class is connected to a church that loves on them and shares Jesus with them.

This afternoon I will have lunch with a fellow blogger. Gary of garyfultz.com is driving past my city on his way for some outdoors adventures. We will meet up for burgers.

This afternoon I will also catch up with my fellow bloggers. It has been a busy week of teaching and ministry, so a visit to the coffee shop is in order to drink coffee and blog.

That is my Saturday. What are your plans today?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

October Is Here

October is here. It is the month that brings us fall colors in northern places, cooler temperatures, and oddly enough something called pumpkin spiced lattes. Pumpkin spices lattes do not seem to have a place in coffee shops, but coffee shops are businesses, so they want to make money. Have no fear your coffee purist will not allow such a concoction to pass through his lips.

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It was in October 1989 that the beginnings of what God was calling me to happened. I visited a different church to see a Billy Graham Ministries movie- Caught. It was about an American drug addict in Amsterdam who came to know Jesus through a man from India who was there for the Billy Graham world convention for evangelism. At the end of the film, it showed Billy Graham saying, “and do the work of an evangelist.” When I heard that, it felt like spiritually an arrow had pierced me.

I came home after the film and when I walked in the door, the presence of Jesus felt so strong that I dropped to my knees and then laid down on the floor. I kept seeing people who were lost in life. Jesus has given me so many opportunities to share him and his love with many lost souls from many countries since then.

It happened again yesterday at the Ukrainian Church. It was my first Friday offering a class there. We had a mother and her 15 year old daughter join us. The daughter is not a Christian yet. I shared a devotional thought with them that because Jesus was a refugee during his childhood on earth that he understands what it is like to be a refugee.

So welcome October and the opportunities to share Jesus, but you can keep those strange pumpkin spiced lattes. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Friday Kind of Vibe

Having survived my first full week of teaching, five mornings, three afternoons, and four evenings, when I arrived at the school for my morning class, I walked around saying, “Friday. Coffee,” to the amusement of my colleagues. Why do I have such a schedule?

Teaching ESL is my springboard into meeting people from diverse cultures. It is a patchwork of part-time teaching gigs, not a get rich deal, but it has allowed me to be known among the many people groups living in my city. It has opened many doors of opportunities to share Jesus with the world.

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So Friday afternoon is here and guess where I am. If you said the coffee shop, aka my office, you were correct. It is time to wind down, refresh, and get ready for weekend ministry. Tomorrow morning will be my time with my Ukrainian friends. Then I will go to our annual Latino Festival in the park. Sunday morning will be church and my time with my Hispanic friends in my Sunday morning group.

God has connected me with some new Yazidi friends from Iraq. My city is home to the largest number of Yazidi people in North America. They were oppressed in Iraq due to not being part of the majority religion. One of the first things I tell Yazidi friends is how much I love having Yazidi students. I might also happen to mention how much I love their food. 🙂

Before I came to the coffee shop, I did something for me. Now that I have reliable transportation, I joined the one fitness place that has an aqua track in my city. Aqua tracks are great for people with arthritis. My schedule will allow me to go there four or five times a week.

But now I am in my coffee shop, my coffee mug is full and so are my heart and soul. How is your Friday?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Coffee Shop- Praying for People I Meet There

Yesterday afternoon I stopped in at the coffee shop I spend time at during the summer. Over the course of this past summer, God has blessed me with many divine appointments there. It happened again yesterday when I chatted with a young woman named Payton.

She is working on her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. When she told me that, I shared with her about the book I will be publishing soon. That led to a conversation that let me know how to pray for her. She is open to Jesus and Christianity, but her view at this time is like that of many young people. She doesn’t go to a church. She wants to focus on being spiritual.

The prayer need most on my heart is for Ty the teen boy who I met this summer. We planned to meet on Tuesday afternoons for a time to study. My desire is to help him with school work and share Jesus in the process. Yesterday he did not come. I received a text message from his grandmother letting me know he never showed up for school. She reported him to the police as a runaway. He has had a troubled life with multiple traumas, the death of both parents and being the one to find his grandfather had died. He is also very small for his age. I think of Luke 15:3-6 when I think about Ty.

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders  and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’

Melanie is a young woman I met and only saw one time there. She is working on her Master’s Degree in Sociology. She is an agnostic who grew up Catholic. I told her I would pray for Jesus to show her that he is for real. I pray each day for God to bring someone into her life to share Jesus with her that day.

God connects us with people for a reason and after that connection, it is a privilege to pray for the person.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Groaning But Keep Going

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,  because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

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This passage from 2nd Corinthians 5:1-5 came to mind yesterday after Craig of Poetic Perspectives at brocraigblog.wordpress.com replied to me asking how he was in my comment section, “I am about the same physically, but have lately felt more blessed and closer to the Lord, spiritually, which is the most important thing. He is ever faithful and loving toward His own and we truly cannot even begin to comprehend the extent to which this is true! Thanks for asking!” Craig lives with chronic illness as do I.

Yesterday I groaned a lot. I missed the bus that would have taken me the mile and half distance from the school where I teach to my coffee shop. Problem is the bus system here is terrible. The bus comes only one time each hour. So instead of waiting for one hour, I walked to the coffee shop. As I walked, my left foot and ankle reminded me that psoriatic arthritis has struck there. My right knee spoke up too not wanting to be left out. By the time I made it to the coffee shop, it felt like I had finished a marathon.

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Living with autoimmune issues like psoriatic arthritis and also with fibromyalgia means I feel like groaning all the time. I am looking forward to the day I am in heaven with no more pain. But to be here in this life, even living with chronic pain, means opportunities to share Jesus and his gospel with people from diverse cultures.

One of the first things I will do after I get a different vehicle, thanks to people being generous to donate, will be to join a club again that has an aqua track, It is a walking track of warm water, It is great for people with arthritis.

I will be more mobile again, so visiting refugees/immigrants will be part of my routine again too which is the best part for me. 🙂

So here is to more ministry even though I am groaning.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Coffee Shop Kind of Day

It’s a coffee shop day and I am looking forward to meeting a few people. It will start off with Todd my friend from childhood. Then my friend Lina from Mexico will meet me to help me practice Spanish. My third appointment will be with the teen boy who I will be tutoring this school year. I shared about him in Another God Appointment in the Coffee Shop.

Fortunately the bus that stops a few blocks from my home has a bus stop one block from my coffee shop. Otherwise there would be no coffee shop day.

I am going to set up a Go Fund Me to try to raise money to help me to purchase a different vehicle. That is one of my projects for the day after my appointments at the coffee shop. The other is to finalize my two books or should I say begin to finalize. I hope to publish them within a month.

The reason for setting up a Go Fund Me is due to living with chronic illnesses medical expenses take up a chunk of my monthly budget especially the first five or so months of the year due to deductibles. Well that and the fact that my two teaching positions are part-time, Those and my home missionary position support combined come out to less than $2,000 a month.

I am grateful to be called to what Jesus has me doing because it has allowed me to share Jesus with people from all over the world. My city is home to refugees/immigrants from many countries. That is why the title of one of my books is Lifted Out of the Pit/Called to the Nations.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Prayers Needed

The message on my coffee mug at home is so true right now. I just had one of those weekends when everything hits at the same time. Prayers are appreciated.

It started with an email about my position with the schools, It would not have enough hours to keep my health insurance. Then on Saturday my 16 year old van died as in beyond repair unless I have a new engine put in.

So I have already applied for other positions with the school, Due to my city having a terrible bus system, I really need a difference car. Problem is that after spending an average of $500 a month on medical things, there is not much in the bank. I need a different vehicle for work and ministry.

So prayers are appreciated

Thank you for reading. God Bless