Realizing The Real Reason For A Prompting

It is Friday evening and after a wonderful day of helping my Ukrainian friends and then enjoying a delicious lunch and great fellowship, I felt led to go to one of my coffee shops. Upon arriving, I thought the reason I felt led here was because I was able to get the last chocolate covered Rice Krispie Bar.

After a little time, I realized I had set the bar way too low as to why the prompting to come here. I was sitting down and started catching up on blogs, after devouring aforementioned chocolate covered Rice Krispie Bar, when McKenzie came in with a friend. I met McKenzie the other day in here. I found out she is a Christian and getting ready to open her own counseling practice focusing on teen issues.

I share with her about my book Jesus Understands Trauma that afternoon. This evening she came to my table to let me know she had bought my book. We exchanged emails and will meet after she reads it so we can discuss it.

Speaking of my book, my friend Alexey and I talked about the trauma Ukrainians are experiencing. I hope to get my book translated into Ukrainian, but also realize that people in Ukraine do not have a lot of money to spend right now, So we will make a video of me being interviewed with translation into Ukrainian.

It was encouraging to run into McKenzie this evening. It was a little signal that God is at work.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Dilemma-What to Do About Coffee Shops?

I am at a quandary of what to do about my coffee shop situation. My original coffee shop has constant wifi issues. My alternate coffee shop has no wifi issues. The baristas at my original coffee shop know my name and get my order ready when they see me walk in. The baristas at my alternate coffee shop are still getting to know me. I have had divine appointments at both.

My original coffee shop holds many memories for me such as writing my books there, writing my blog, and getting to know fellow educators who hang out in the summer there.

My alternate coffee shop is already making memories for me and the manager likes talking with me. In fact she told me I brighten her day each time I come in. Too bad she is 22 years younger than me. 🙂

My original coffee shop has an organic store next to it, for now, where I can buy my lunch from their deli and stay gluten free.

My alternate coffee shop has an ice cream shop next door.

Oh the dilemma. What is a coffee drinker to do?

Perhaps I will spend the extra ten dollars a month to have unlimited data on my cell phone for mobile hotspot, so the wifi thing is not an issue.

What would you do if you were in my situation?

Whatever I do, one thing I know for sure. Jesus will continue to give me divine appointments wherever I go.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

We Never Know Who Is Listening

Yesterday I was at my alternate coffee shop and saw someone who I met at my other coffee shop. We talked for a few minutes catching up with each other. She asked me how my classes are and how my book is coming. She shared with me about two trips she will have in July.

After our conversation, I joked with a young man sitting at the table next to mine that tests are a celebration of knowledge. It was obvious to me that he is a university student who was studying to final exams. He asked me what I teach and I told him I teach English Second Language.

At another table close by a young woman was sitting alone working on a paper. She smiled at me when I got up to get a second cup. After I sat back down, she came over to me and said, “I heard you teach English. Can you look at my story I wrote for my class?”

We talked for a while and I agreed to look at her short story. I also had an opportunity to share with her about my book and what it is about. We will meet this afternoon at my alternate coffee shop to talk about her short story.

We never know who is listening and what opportunities to share will come. It reminded me of 1st Peter 3:15

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

We never know who is listening/paying attention to us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

An Encounter At The Coffee Shop-Book Update

Yesterday I was able to spend time at the coffee shop between my morning and afternoon classes. My intention was to catch up on blogging due to a busy schedule and getting behind on the blogs I follow. That was accomplished. A wonderful “chance encounter” happened for me too.

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As I was sitting in a comfortable booth, a woman who works with a non-profit walked in. I had met her a few times before. The non-profit is I’ve Got A Name. Their work is to help young people and women who have been sex trafficked in my city and state to be free of that and start new lives.

One thing I plan to do is donate $1 from each book of Jesus Understands Trauma sold to a ministry/non-profit that serves people who have suffered trauma. I’ve Got A name is one that has been on my mind to do so with.

Yesterday I had an opportunity to talk with her, share my idea, and let her read part of my book. She liked my idea and we will communicate more after my book is published.

The encounter encouraged me to message with my friend who is Executive Director of Love Justice a Christian organization that intercepts victims of trafficking in various countries. He also likes my idea and I will get back with him once Jesus Understands Trauma is published.

I love how Jesus arranges the details like “chance encounters” to confirm an idea.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

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

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 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.”

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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.