Back To The ER?

Pericarditis is swelling and irritation of the thin, saclike tissue surrounding the heart (pericardium). Pericarditis often causes sharp chest pain. The chest pain occurs when the irritated layers of the pericardium rub against each other. Pericarditis is usually mild and goes away without treatment.

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I found out yesterday that .8% of people who have cardiac ablations for irregular heart rhythms develop pericarditis. Guess who developed it. If you guessed me, you would be correct. The fact that I developed something that only .8% of people develop makes me think I should buy a lottery ticket. 🙂

The pain was intense, so off to the ER I went. The nurses were wonderful. One nurse felt I should stay overnight because she saw my discomfort but the doctor’s orders were for me to go home.

I had worship music in my spirit and prayed while I was alone in the room. Yes Jesus is always with us even in the Emergency Room.

They gave me medicine to take and it started helping. I managed to sleep last night.

Hopefully there won’t be anymore surprises for a while. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

God Shows He Is With Us Through Others-Surgery Update

I had my outpatient surgery yesterday and there were a few nice surprises. God showed me he was with me through others. I checked in 5am all blurry eyed and a short time later had my first surprise.

I found out Friday that one of my colleague’s mother is a nurse at the hospital. I joked with her to tell her mom to give me ice cream. The nurse who came out to bring to the waiting area to bring me to the prep area started off by asking me what kind of ice cream I wanted. She is my colleague’s mom. That started my day off with a laugh and a smile. she took great care of me.

The next one was the anesthesiologist who prepped me. I did not recognize him at first because of his mask, big glasses, and cap, He is a friend from church. It was reassuring to chat with him while he prepped me.

Jesus definitely showed he was with me through others!!!

Everything went well and I was back home about 2:30pm. That was followed by a four hour nap. Naps are part of my recovery plan, personal one not doctor’s guidelines. 🙂

I have proof cheeseburgers, fries and ice cream are healthy. I asked for them for my lunch and the hospital have me two cheeseburgers-no bun, fries and a chocolate ice cream for lunch. Therefore they must be healthy. Completely logical in my mind.

Thank you to all who prayed for me.

Music Mondays- Healer by Kari Jobe

We can trust in Jesus the one who laid down his life for us and defeated death for us. He is our creator and Savior who loves us deeply. We can look to him in every situation.

This song seemed appropriate for me as I head out to the hospital for minor surgery to correct my heart rhythm. Jesus has been with me and seen me through so much in my life. I am grateful for his constant presence in my life.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Wishing I Could Move

Yesterday in my afternoon class, I asked the students if they prefer winter or summer. When they asked me, my reply was that in late July and August I prefer winter because I am tired of the heat and in late January and February I prefer summer because I am tired of the cold.

Where I live, we can have extreme winters and extreme summers. It is not every year, but they do happen. In the summer we can have heat waves with over three weeks of 100 f/38c every day.

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In the summer of 2010, it was one of those summers that every day from June through August was miserable. We had not only the heat but also high humidity. So when I got off the plane in San Diego California on my way to Ensenada Mexico for a ministry trip, and felt the perfect 72f/22c weather with no humidity, you can understand why I wondered if they needed teachers there. San Diego has beautiful weather all year.

When I returned to my city, I Googled apartment rentals in San Diego and quickly realized I could not afford to live there on a teacher’s salary. Too bad, so sad lol.

Regardless of where we live, we long for a place that does not have the problems of daily living. We will never find such a place in this life, but there is such a place to look forward to. Hebrews 11:16 says:

“Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”

God has a heavenly city prepared for us. In heaven there are no problems, no heat waves, no artic cold fronts. no crime, no pollution, no corruption. The glory of God permeates heaven.

I still wish I could afford San Diego in this life though. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Each Day A New Day with God

As I was scraping the frost from my windshield yesterday, I thought about how the first few times I have frost on my windshield in the fall, it is a joyful occasion because it means the end of fall allergies. But by November, having frost on the windshield has gotten tedious and means just one more thing to do before work.

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The first hot day of summer has the same feeling for me. I enjoy the heat on my arthritic body, but by July the summer heat is something I look forward to not having.

Anytime I buy something electronic, the newness of it brings me happiness. But after a few weeks, it has become old hat and not a source of excitement.

Fortunately the goodness, mercy, and compassion of Jesus are fresh every morning. They never cease to amaze me.Lamentations 3:22-24 says:

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

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The love of God, his compassion/mercy, are new every morning. God is eternal and creative. He has new ways to get our attention that are custom made to get our attention. May you experience that today.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Peace of God in a Crazy Day

Yesterday was a whirlwind of activity with doctor stuff. The day started off with an MRI my rheumatologist wanted me to have with check in time for it at 7am. To put that in perspective, I usually wake up at 7:30 🙂 MRI machines are loud even with the earplugs in, but it was no big deal.

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Then I stopped at the school where my morning class is to do a few things. Mondays I do not teach. It is the day that we have a speaker come to share with the moms through a translator. I was there for a few hours.

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Then the big one my appointment with a cardio electro physiologist about an ablation. It looks to be a simple procedure. I will have the ablation next Monday with a check in time of 5am.

After a refreshing nap, it was time for conversation practice with a Brazilian friend.. She lived in my city for one year several years ago. She is back in Brazil, so we meet in Zoom. Yesterday I met her boyfriend while we were talking. We do entrecambio-exchange- speaking in English and also some Portugues.

The day capped off with teaching my online class for the college.

What was the common theme that wove all of that together? Jesus.

Philippians 4:7 says:

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Throughout the day there was a calm in my spirit because of Jesus. Starting a day with an MRI could be an unsettling experience, but the peace of God was with me. Seeing a cardio doctor could be unsettling, but the peace of God was with me. The peace of God was with me because of Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Ukrainian Worship Leader Left His Guitar Behind

Last night I visited the Ukrainian family I have gotten to know quite well. They invited me for a borsch dinner which is a delicious soup in their culture. The children greeted me with hugs, I joked with the wife about having dinner outside in the snowy night, and the husband and I talked about our ‘dream’ of the wife and one of the daughters opening a bakery and the two of us being the greeters sitting there drinking coffee.

They had other visitors who are family friends from Ukraine. They are a family of a husband, wife, a an ever so cute almost three old daughter. They just arrived here from Germany two weeks ago. The wife and daughter fled Ukraine to Germany first with the husband staying behind to share Jesus with people victimized by the war. Then the husband left Ukraine to join his wife and daughter in Germany leaving his guitar behind in Ukraine. Refugees fleeing war bring only bare necessities.

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He was a worship leader in Ukraine. He led worship in his church in Ukraine and after the war started he would go out to the city center and play worship songs and then share Jesus with the people who stopped to listen.

After dinner we sat in the living room and shared worship music videos. It was a wonderful time of fellowship.

So my new project is to get an acoustic guitar for him. Please pray for me to find one for him.

Thank you for praying. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Let The People Rejoice by Tasha Cobbs Leonard

No matter what happens in this life we have reason to rejoice because of Jesus. We can rejoice because Jesus has opened the way for us to come to God, have relationship with God, and have eternal life.

When I have a high pain day, I can still rejoice knowing it is temporary and a wonderful eternity awaits me in the future. When problems arise in life, we can still rejoice knowing Jesus is with us and will never leave us.

God has blessed those who follow Jesus, trust in Jesus, with every spiritual blessing. God has not held anything back from us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Our Attitude in Serving Jesus and Others

I have been reflecting on the unprofitable servant Jesus spoke of in Luke 17 as it relates to other truths Jesus revealed. I find it interesting Jesus would speak of unprofitable servants when in John 15 he says I no longer call you servants but call you friends. So how do these reconcile with each other?

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In Luke 17, Jesus is not calling us servants. He is teaching about our attitude. The disciples had just asked him to increase their faith. In response Jesus taught about the faith of a mustard seed and doing great things. That is when he pivots to speaking of unprofitable servants.

Jesus is getting at our attitude by speaking of unprofitable servants in a parable. There have been countless people in the history of the church who Jesus has called to do wonderful things. What should our attitude be when Jesus calls us to do wonderful things?

No matter what we do in serving Jesus and others, we are only able to do so because Jesus empowers us through the Holy Spirit. The attitude Jesus is teaching through this parable is humility.

Our identity in Jesus is that of friend, child of God, royal priesthood and more. Out identity in Jesus is a gift from God not something we have earned just as our salvation is a gift from God not something we have earned which is why Ephesians 2:8-9 says:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Serving Jesus, following Jesus, is not anything we can boast or brag about. We should give glory and credit to Jesus out of humility and gratitude that he involves us in his work.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Being Part of God’s Family

Last week at my appointment with one of the cardiologists, she tried to put me at ease by saying, “we are all one big family here” in reference to the heart unit at the hospital. My first thought was, “”a family I do not want to be a part of.” Side note- my heart is in good shape just out of rhythm.

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Growing up in a family with abusive parents, I had the same thought about my biological family. I did not want to be a part of it. That is a big reason why what Jesus said in reference to Mary and his half brothers coming to ‘take charge’ of him resonates with me so much. In Matthew 12:48-50 we read:

He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”  Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

When we become Christians by trusting in Jesus and his death/resurrection for us, God adopts us as his children. We become part of a new family.

I have friends at my church who are my go to people. They are the ones I confide in, seek advice from, and want around when things are not going well for me. They are the ones I have mutually encouraging relationships with. They are the ones who are a safe place to land. They are my chosen family.

It all begins with believing in Jesus. John 1:12-13 says:

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The cardiologist was trying to communicate to me that the ‘family’ in the unit will help me with healing for my heart. My brothers and sisters in Jesus help with the healing for my soul.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.