A Ukrainian Worship Left His Guitar Behind BUT Has One Now

A few weeks ago I shared about a Ukrainian worship leader who had to leave his guitar behind when Hheleft Ukraine in my post A Ukrainian Worship Left His Guitar Behind. A generous person read the post and donated a guitar for him to have.

Nicolai came here with his wife and three year old daughter. He stayed behind in Ukraine for six months to share Jesus with Ukrainians fleeing the war. He reunited with his wife and daughter come to here.

Yesterday we met at my church’s office for him to receive the guitar. He was thrilled.. He tuned it and played a few songs. A picture if s is worth a thousand words. so here are the pictures of him opening the box and . holding the guitar.

He has a guitar now and can start helping with worship in the Ukrainian church here.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

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.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

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.

Coffee Time-Helping A Woman In Trouble

Yesterday evening after my Friday English class at the Ukrainian church, I was joined for coffee by my friends Alex, Ruslana and their daughter Ester at a coffee shop in my city called Telegraph Mill. The barista who helped us was kind to my friends, so I shared with her that they are from Ukraine. I found out she is an education major currently student teaching at a school that has a few Ukrainian children.

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Pexels.com

While I was enjoying coffee with my friends, the barista came to our table to ask if I speak Spanish. A woman in the coffee shop needed help. I went over the her table and spoke with her in Spanish. The poor woman did not know her address or a phone number to call for family. She seemed confused. My suggestion was to call the police hoping an officer who speaks Spanish would come.

Two officers came but they did not speak Spanish, They asked me to translate. The poor woman had a difficult time tracking with any conversation. They asked me to ask her if they could take her to our People’s City Mission. She agreed. It was a relief she agreed because the People’s City Mission will know how to help her.

Such moments of interaction, of showing a bit of kindness, are part of why I am so grateful Jesus has led me to my ministry and work. It is also why I am grateful he led me to study Spanish thirteen years ago.

Jesus knows our future and how it all fits together. He knows how we are wired. When he prompts us to do something, there might not be immediately visible reasons, but we trust in him remembering the truth of Ephesians 2:10:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

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.

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

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.

The Logic of a Six Year Old Boy

During conversation practice with students, we take turns asking and answering questions. That might be a time my sense of humor comes forth such as telling the students I was born in 2000. Last Friday when I said that along with that I am 22 years old. my friend Azari told me I wasn’t. He told me I am 25 years old.

Azari is a six year old boy who comes to my Friday class at the Ukrainian church with his mom. He knows exactly where the snack box is and likes sharing snacks with the adults. So what was his logic behind thinking I must be 25 and not 22?

In his six year old mind, I have a beard and men cannot grow a beard until they are 25 years old. The color of the beard does not matter just that I have a beard, so I must be 25. I thanked him for his astute observation that I am 25 and gave him some chocolate.

Children are a blessing and valued greatly by Jesus. He blessed children while on earth such as we see in Matthew 19:14:

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 

I enjoy seeing Azari each Friday afternoon, I wonder how much longer he will think I am 25?

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.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

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.

Music Mondays- It Is Well by Kristene DiMarco

Seven years ago I began the experience of what I call being a pinball patient going from doctor to doctor to try to find out what was wrong. At that time, I came across this video by Kristene DiMarco-It Is Well. Since that time, I have listened to it every day and some days more than once, some days several times.

I have shared it before, but felt it would be good to share it again today. Today is a double doctor day for me. I have an MRI this morning with check in at 7am. The MRI is to determine if I have ankylosing spondylitis which is an arthritis that is in the spine. Then at 1pm I have an appointment with an cardiac electro physiologist which is a doctor who does ablations. I need one to correct my heart rhythm.

So I will start my morning, way too early, by listening to It Is Well and praying. It is a video that has blessed me, so I am sharing it in hopes it blesses you as well.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.