Happy 90th Birthday in Heaven to My Earthly Father

January 6th is my earthly father’s birthday. He passed away fourteen years ago, so he is celebrating it in heaven. The fact that I can say he is celebrating it in heaven is a testimony to the grace and love of Jesus. I shared in my post Forgiveness From Me Led To My Father Receiving Forgiveness From God about how my earthly father came to know Jesus in his final months of this life.

After he came to know Jesus while in a hospital bed, each time I would visit he would point to my bible indicating he wanted me to read to him from the bible and then he would put his hand up for me to hold his hand while we prayed. Basically I was his pastor during his final months in this life. I was with him while he was dying reading the bible to him.

His funeral was a Christian funeral with my pastor doing the ceremony. That was a minor miracle in and of itself. I never thought that would happen until the final months of his earthly life. When my earthly father came to know Jesus, the old labels of associated with him being an alcoholic were changed to child of God.

My earthly father’s story is a great example of it is never too late and not giving up hope for those we are praying for.

Happy 90th Birthday in heaven to Gary Kohrell.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Blueberry Returns

It has been a while since we last paid attention to our friend the blueberry. It has not been forgotten. Today I am sharing with you about one of my breakfast specialities that includes our friend the blueberry.

I take two cups of Greek Yogurt, in this case black cherry, and mix in some organic creamy peanut butter. Then our marvelous friend the blueberry tops it off.

I know you are perhaps perplexed and wondering how your cooking challenged friendly blogger could come up with such treats. It amazes me too. 😂

But my amazing discoveries with the blueberry needs to be shared with humanity. 😆

Being serious however, what really needs to shared with humanity is the love of Jesus and the good news of forgiveness from our Savior. That is the most important news.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Negotiating With Their Teacher

Being in the classroom with adult ESL, English Second Language, learners can be fun. My students catch on to the fact that humor is part of my teaching style. One example is when I ask what they did over the weekend. If they answer that they went shopping, my reply is, “I am sorry. Were you scared?”

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Teaching a language is different than teaching a purely academic subject, Teaching a language happens out of relationship. For my students, learning English is a matter of survival in a new country/culture. So I want them to feel I am approachable.

Last night was an example of my students feeling comfortable. They negotiated with me. We had half of our class missing, so I mentioned to them that what I had planned went quicker because of fewer students. As I was preparing to type something for them to copy while using the projector, one of them said, “we can finish if you want.” That started a negotiation between me and the students.

The negotiation ended with me letting them go home early, but by early I mean five minutes earlier than normal. 🙂

Did you know that God wants us to come to him to reason together?

Isaiah 1:18 says:

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

When we come to Jesus with all of our baggage in life, all of our mistakes, all of our sins, he will cleanse us. How is that for a negotiation? We come to him with all of a baggage in life and lease with forgiveness.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

If This Was My Last Post…

I had a thought yesterday of if this was my last post, what would I want it to be about. What would be most important for me to communicate. The answer was in one word- Jesus. But behind that one word, that one name, there is so much meaning for me.

If this was my last post, I would want to make sure to communicate that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the way to having a relationship with God and the way to eternal life. He is the truth. There have been others claiming to be spiritual leaders of sorts, but Jesus is the only Son of God who came to die for our sins, so we can be forgiven by God when we place our trust in Jesus alone.

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There is more to that one word, that one name. If this was my last post, I would want to share that Jesus is more that able to help in any circumstance. He is always with us. He is an ever present help in times of trouble.

If this was my last post, I would want to share that Jesus understands our weaknesses. He is our Sympathetic High Priest who wants us to come to him. There is no pit too deep for Jesus to come to us, help us, and bring healing to our souls.

I don’t think this is my last post, but when I hit a block of what to write, I prayed and the thought came to me of what would I write if I knew this would be my last post. But again, I don’t think it is. We will find out tomorrow. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Ephesians 1- Because of Jesus, We Can Be Forgiven

Becoming a Christian is a humbling thing because we have to acknowledge we have sinned and need our Savior Jesus. At the foot of the cross is the one place where we are all equal, equally guilty of sin and equally in need of Jesus. Jesus himself said in John 14:6:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Because of Jesus, we are not only forgiven when we trust in him, God lavishes his grace upon us. In Ephesians 1 we see:

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding

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It is not a matter of God saying, well you don’t deserve it, but have eternal life because of Jesus. That is not at all what God says and does. He LAVISHES his grace upon us. He LAVISHES his love upon us. We do not deserve it, but he LAVISHES upon us his grace, mercy, and love because of Jesus. He chooses to love us. That is worth more than all the gold in the world.

If we have come to know Jesus and trusted in him, we can say with all certainty, “God has lavished his grace upon me.”

Remembering Jesus’s Death on the Cross

Today we remember Jesus’s sacrifice on our behalf. He died to take on our penalty for sin. He did so out of his great love for us. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s forgiveness. We can only trust in what Jesus has done for us and believe in him.

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Becoming a Christian means to humble ourselves before God at the cross of Jesus. It does not matter what our station in life is. Rich or poor, educated or uneducated, successful or unsuccessful, there is only one way to receive God’s forgiveness and eternal life. That is to humbly come to God realizing we needed Jesus to die for us. The cross of Jesus is truly the most equalizing place. No one is rich, poor, educated, uneducated. successful, or unsuccessful at the foot of the cross of Jesus.

Likewise we cannot earn God’s love. God loves us because he is God. He wants relationship with us. His love is a free gift for any who will receive Jesus. But it came at a great cost, Jesus dying on the cross for us.

Jesus loves us so much, so deeply, it is amazing to ponder.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Time to Breathe

After a hectic week, it is time to relax, time to breathe. It feels like a stay home, do some writing and blogging, and order delivery food kind of day. My week started with an Abdominal CT, then three more days of teaching morning, afternoon and evening, and no visits to the coffee shop.

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I am thinking about doing a series in my blog on forgiveness which will include issues such as retaining boundaries, holding people accountable etc.

More writing ideas keep coming to me for the bible study guide for people dealing with trauma, depression/anxiety, so today will be a writing day.

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Today will also be a time with Jesus day. I have worship music playing while I write this post and will keep it playing while I write more of the bible study guide.

Oh and about coffee, no need to worry. I have some Brazilian coffee brewing right now and of course no cream or sugar in my place. There is no need of such substances for a coffee purist. 🙂

How is your day?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- I Forgot My Gum Last Night

Last night I had the urge to stop at a restaurant I like in the downtown of my city to get some food to go. The restaurant is Ali Babas. I had a craving for a gyro plate which comes with steak fries, gyro meat, and is topped with onions, a sauce, tomatoes, and cheese crumbles. It was so satisfying.

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There was a slight problem. As you can imagine, the onions and sauce might have done a number on my breath. I didn’t think about or worry about that when I got the food. My college is also downtown only a few blocks from Ali Babas. When I got to the college, I went to the adjunct office and sat down to savor my delicious food still no concern at all about what the onions and sauce did.

It wasn’t until I reached into my laptop bag that I realized my dilemma. I forgot to bring my gum and had no time to go buy some. Why is that an issue? I am glad you asked.

We have to wear masks in the college, so as I taught for three hours, I was wearing my mask with yes, the onion and sauce still on my breath. I think that is enough said.

Did you know that fortunately for us there is actually something that God will not remember? Isaiah 43:25 says

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

If we come to Jesus, God forgives us and will not remember our sins against us. What a wonderful gift from God.

By the way, I put a few packs of gum in my laptop bag.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Peter’s Failure/Our Failures Are Why Jesus Came- John Chapter 18

Last week’s post in the study from John was Jesus Healed Someone Even While Being Arrested. Peter cut off a man’s ear and then Jesus healed the man. Peter was impulsive at times. He had a tendency to say the wrong things at times. Jesus had told Peter that Peter would deny him three times.

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Peter cutting off the man’s ear and denying Jesus the third time tie together in John 18.

Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?”

He denied it, saying, “I am not.”

 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?”  Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

Jesus would go on to forgive and restore Peter in front of the others after Jesus’s resurrection.

Peter’s failure and subsequent restoration underscore why Jesus came. Jesus came as a human baby to grow to be a man to become our Savior. Jesus came for us even though we fail, sin, have faults etc.

Jesus chose Peter knowing all of Peter’s faults. Jesus chose Peter knowing Peter would deny him. Jesus knew something else. Jesus knew the whole picture. He knew Peter would regret denying Jesus. He knew he would restore Peter.

Jesus knows our faults. He chooses to love us and chose to die for us to save us knowing we would mess up even after coming to know him as our Savior. But Jesus also knows the whole picture. He knows how he will work in our lives to help us grow. He knows one day we will be in heaven with him and sin no more.

Jesus came to be our Savior knowing our faults because he loves us. Remember that the next time you mess up. We all mess up. But Jesus loves us and walks alongside us knowing our faults because he loves us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.