Opportunities In The Midst Of A Hospital Stay

“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.” John 16:33.

This verse has a promise in it for those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus. But what exactly is the promise? Jesus is not saying we will be immune to problems. The promise is that no matter what happens in this life, we can rest in knowing Jesus has overcome this world and all of its problems. Jesus lived in this life, so he is our perfect Sympathetic High Priest we can come to in prayer any time.

I had such a time this week already, actually this past week. but Sunday and Monday were the culimnation.

Due to dealing with having bronchitis, I felt like doing absolutely NOTHING including no energy for blogging this past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening I had pain in my ribs from all of the coughing. So after consulting Dr. Google and finding what what the pain could mean, I decided to go to the ER thinking they might stick a needle in my side to draw out some fluid.

Once I was hooked up to the machines, the Physician’s Assistant said something about not liking where I heart rate was at- beats per minute. I didn’t realize how seriously it would be taken. Next thing I knew Cardiology was involved. The Cardiologist ended up telling me I was in a version of AFIB and that they wanted me to stay over night to have my heart shocked back into rhythm. I agreed to do so and ended up staying over night.

It was what transpired that transformed the situation into three divine appointments. It started with the young woman who was my nurse overnight. We had conversations every time she came into my room. I got to know her and her life story. At one point after realizing she is a baby Christian, I asked her to pray for me. She shared that she did not know how to pray, so I told her to just pray from her heart. She prayed for me.

In the morning, a student nurse was handling my case. She went with me for the cardioversion, shocking my heart back into rhythm. She was with me most of the time in the morning. I was her only patient. I got to know her and her life story. We talked about Jesus and the church she goes to. We laughed a lot. I was part of her education.

When she left around 11am, a nice young woman took over. She had a tattoo that simply said, Jeremiah 29:11. I quoted Jeremiah 29:11 to her which got her attention. I got to know her and her life story. She is a baby Christian as well. We shared a lot and at one point I asked her to pray for me. She told me she had stage fright about praying in front of people. I shared with her she could simply pray from her heart and not worry about how it sounded to others. After she prayed, I shared Romans 8 26-27 with her.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

I shared with her that no one knows how to pray but we do not need to worry about it because the Holy Spirit helps us as we pray translating between God and ourselves. When it was time for me to go home, she gave me a hug.

So three young women who are nurses, one big unexpected turn of events in the hospital, and me asking Jesus to get me through it, turned into three divine appointments to encourage and strengthen new believers.

I am feeling better and after coming home, took a four hour nap.

By the way all three of them brought me chocolate ice cream. 🙂

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.

Another God Appointment at the Coffee Shop

Yesterday I spent some time at the coffee shop. In the morning, I had prayed to be able to have a God Appointment. God came through in a marvelous way.

A 14 year boy has been hanging out a lot at the coffee shop this summer. I have talked with him a little bit. When I saw him Thursday, I told I would play chess with him the next time he sees me in the coffee shop. Yesterday he came in and the first thing he did was get the chess set. He replaced the pawns for his pieces with little Marvel action figures.

While we were playing, I had a chance to get to know him a little,. He lives with his grandmother because both his parents are dead. He mom had a seizure and hit her head. His dad died of an overdose. While we were playing, I had a chance to share with him that Jesus loves him and wants a relationship with him. He told me that he and his grandmother are looking for a church. I shared with him about mine and the YouTube channel for our worship services.

I was especially grateful for the opportunity to share with him. At times, I wish someone had taken time to share with me when I was a 14 year old boy and confused about life.

Please pray for him. Jesus knows his name.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Easing Into It

In a few weeks, my schedule will be back to full and busy. But God is arranging for me to ease into it a bit. My evening classes began in July and the next two weeks, I will be subbing an afternoon class. Perhaps easing back into it is a good thing for someone who has spent the summer hanging out at the coffee shop, aka my office. 🙂

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

One nice part of subbing the afternoon classes is that they are in Zoom, so after each class finishes, I can make the executive decision of whether to go to my office, aka coffee shop, or take a nap.

I have been receiving emails about my class that begins in a few weeks. For me, they are also a sign of fall is coming a time when I do not spend my days going from one place with air conditioning to another place with air conditioning like I do during the heat and humidity of summer.

During Amazon Prime Days, yes I know that was two weeks ago, I ordered a printer, so I can print out the pages of the two books I am working on. It came a few days after I ordered it. I guess it is about time I set it up, so I can print out the pages for editing. Realizing the school year is about to begin for my Family Literacy Program is motivating me to wrap up my books.

My summer has been meaningful and filled with writing, divine appointments at the coffee shop, and time with my Sunday morning group. Each season brings different blessings and opportunities from God. I hope your summer has been meaningful.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Coffee Shops by Your Coffee Coach :)

At the coffee shop Sunday, they gave me a mug to use that is symbolic of something that my blog posts about coffee have done. A fellow blogger, Cynthia of The Godly Princess at cynthiaswarroom.home.blog. messaged me that she has begun to have fun going to coffee shops because of reading my coffee shop posts. So the mug is truly symbolic. 🙂

My preference is locally owned coffee shops. Starbucks in my mind is the evil empire that I only patronize if there is nowhere else to go. By hanging out at locally owned coffee shops, it makes for a more personal feel to the experience and also helps the local economy.

One thing I love about hanging out at the coffee shop is when God arranges a Divine Appointment for me to have a conversation with someone. A few weeks ago for example. I had a meaningful conversation with a young woman who grew up Catholic and is now agnostic. At the end of our conversation, I encouraged her that if she wants to know if Jesus is for real, she can ask him to show her. I have been praying for her every morning since for God to bring someone across her path in life that will talk about Jesus.

I realize many of my readers embrace the fufu fluffy drinks that are in reality repurposed sodas like the frappes, lattes etc. As for me your coffee purist, dark roast black coffee is the way to go no milk or sugar.

So take it from me, if you want a relaxing afternoon or evening on a weekend or weekday, head to a locally owned coffee shop.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

I Got Out Of Bed :)

This weekend the Cornhusker State Games are happening in my city. It is a week long event that has various sport events by age group. People come from all over the state to participate in things like 3 on 3 basketball, running, swimming, golf, tennis etc.

I participated in an open water swim during the games in 1989. That was my only time to participate mostly because in the summers after that I was busy with ministry in 1990 and 1991. Then there was whole getting sick, almost dying, recovering thing.

Yesterday in the games someone set a world record in axe throwing. I read about it this morning and thought, “well I got out of bed.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Saturday is the day after methotrexate for me. The day after is something those who use the medication refer to as methotrexate hangover day. One wakes up, gets out of bed, and the realization hits of- ‘oh not today.’

But I did get out of bed, spent time with Jesus, and now am contemplating a trip to the coffee shop. We will see. I have a new Chromebook to set up and try out. My old Chromebook kept getting messages of no longer supported, so I ordered a new. They are not expensive.

Got out of bed on a day like this sometimes implies I will get back in bed for a while 🙂

Images of a blueberry with a cupcake attached are in my mind. Each time I go to the coffee shop, I hope to have a divine appointment. I also have some new jokes to share. So perhaps I will make it. 🙂

I know a message like I Got Out Of Bed is not an inspiring rally cry, but it makes me smile.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Another God Appointment at the Coffee Shop

Yesterday I shared about a young woman coming into the coffee shop with her emotional support dog and our interaction. She happened to come in while I was writing a bible study guide I feel Jesus wants me to write for people dealing with depression/anxiety/PTSD. That post was A God Appointment in the Coffee Shop.

After I met with my friend from Venezuela yesterday, I returned to the coffee shop with the intention of writing some more. I sat down at a table, ate my lunch, caught up on blogs, and then was ready to write when a woman came to the table next to mine. I noticed the two books she had with her and commented on them. A conversation followed.

I found out her husband struggles with depression. She is a Christian and was looking for info about nutrition that might help. As we talked, I found out her husband had an appointment with one of the pastors at my church. We discussed many aspects of mental health in our conversation. I gave her my phone number to give to her husband. Hopefully we can connect.

Two days in a row I went to the coffee shop to write and two days in a row God brought someone across my path dealing with the issues I hope to help people with.

God is always at work around us if we will just pay attention.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Troubled Woman Meets Her Savior Jesus- John Chapter 4

John chapter 3 ends with proclaiming Jesus is the Son of God and has all authority. The first three chapters of John show us that Jesus is the creator, is God the Son, is eternal, and that he came for us.

In chapter 4 we see the first account by John of Jesus interacting with someone desperately in need of God- a Samaritan woman.

Samaria was an area that no self respecting Jew would walk through. Jews thought of Samaritans as being unclean half breeds and Samaria as being a place one would be defiled just walking through. Serious Jews would walk around Samaria to avoid it.

The closest we come to it in the USA would be the days of whites only and colored sections in restaurants. The division between Jews and Samaritans ran so deep.

Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Pexels.com

So what did Jesus do? He went into Samaria one day and sat down next to a well waiting for the person he knew was coming, a Samaritan woman with a dismal track record with men and relationships.

She came to the well and Jesus spoke to her:

“Will you give me a drink?” 

This simple request sent shock waves through the woman. She knew Jesus was a Jewish man and she knew her “place” in life. She knew Jews did not interact with Samaritans and she knew women were not valued. She replied:

“You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”

Jesus steered the conversation to the reason he was waiting for her- to offer her forgiveness and relationship with God. He used the physical water to begin to speak of spiritual matters:

“If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

Living water, the Holy Spirit living within us because of knowing Jesus is what he is beginning to offer her, but she did not understand yet was trying to grasp it:

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?  Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?

Jesus shared with her that he was speaking of spiritual water and eternal life:

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

She asked Jesus for the water he was speaking of but first Jesus let her know that he knew about her life saying:

“Go, call your husband and come back.”

After she replied that she did not have a husband, Jesus let her know:

“You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

Jesus knew this fallen woman had a series of broken relationships with men. We do not know if some died or if they left her. We do not know if she left them. We only know she had a string of husbands and was then living with a man not married. And yet Jesus spoke with her offering her eternal life.

She tried to change to subject by talking about where to worship. Jesus corrected her thinking about worship by saying:

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

The woman began to understand something about Jesus saying:

“I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

She wondered if he was the long awaited promised one from God- The Messiah.

Jesus confirmed it for her:

“I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

The woman became the first Samaritan to share with others about Jesus when she ran back to the village saying:

“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 

No matter how far we have fallen in life, no matter what others think of us, Jesus loves us and will come to us just as he did the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus will give us relationship with him and eternal life if we will believe in him. We cannot earn it just as the Samaritan woman could not.

Not only that, Jesus will do his work through us just as he did with the Samaritan woman.

Out and About and Book Update

Yesterday after Blogger Chat, it was time to get out and about to run some errands. One of the errands was stopping by the place where I buy CBD oil. My fellow Spoonies will know about CBD oil.

The last time I was in that store, I had to opportunity to chat with a young lady who was working there. We had a great chat about many issues. One of the things she brought up was human trafficking. I shared with her about how I support Love Justice an organization that fights human trafficking in many countries.

That time I also shared with her about my short story- Jessica’s Encounter At The Harbor Coffee Shop. She wanted to read it, so I emailed a link to her.

Yesterday she told me she read it. She also told me she loved it. We talked some more and I shared with her the name of my church and the website for it and suggested she watch the service online. It was one of those divine appointments God sets up for me at times.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

After talking, I felt encouraged to write some more. It felt great to write some more. I am nearing the end of the first draft. After finishing the first draft, it will be time to put my language skills to use and go over it with a fine tooth comb to edit for mistakes.

Progress is being made. It might be slow, but it is progress lol. 🙂

By the way, it was a blessing to have a new person join our blogger chat. Alicia of forhispurpose.blog joined us. We also sang Happy Birthday to Vanessa of braveblessedandbeautiful.com.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Sharing God’s Comfort

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

These verses from 2 Corinthians 1 have become theme verses for my life in recent years. God has helped me with many difficulties. The principle is God helps us, so we can in turn help others.

My ministry is focused on refugees and immigrants, but God has opened up new areas for me to share his love. Living with chronic illness and depression/anxiety as a result of chronic illness I have experienced God’s comfort. Yesterday I had the opportunity to share some of God’s comfort with others.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

I stopped by a deli I get some of my favorite food from and saw a young woman I met this past summer while she was working. The first time we met I noticed she had a semi colon tattoo, which indicates a person has thought of suicide but decided not too. Yesterday she confided in me about a recent difficulty. I asked her to promise me she will be okay. We pinky promised on it. When we pinky promised, her eyes filled with tears. Hopefully we will connect later today to talk.

Last night a friend I helped a year ago asked if her friend could contact me. He is struggling with anxiety. We talked on the phone and I sent him some links for some videos to watch. We made an appointment to meet Sunday afternoon.

While my ministry won’t be changing from being for refugees and immigrants, I am grateful God gives me opportunities to share his comfort with anyone struggling with depression.anxiety.

There are hurting people all around us each day. If we are open to being led by the Lord, we can have opportunities to share his comfort with others.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.