Ahh Yesterday-Burgers and Coffee Shop

It was a double blessing day yesterday with two different cultures. It was the kind of day that filled me with gratitude for Jesus calling me to my ministry and work.

After a LAZY start to my day which included a NAP, I met with my friend from Bosnia to have some burgers. We hadn’t gotten together for a while because he has been working extra to save up money for him and his wife to travel to Bosnia. Burgers always taste better when meeting with friends. šŸ™‚

Then it was off to my favorite coffee shop where I spent time blogging and reading. I also got some writing done. As I was getting ready to leave, two young men came in who were speaking Spanish. I went over and introduced myself in Spanish and ended up sitting with them for an hour practicing my Spanish. We added each other on Facebook so we can meet again. One of my summer goals is improving my Spanish.

To top it off, in the evening I received an email from my therapist telling me her verse of the day was James 1:12 which made her think of me. It was a nice little icing on the cake for a lazy, fun, summer break day for this teacher.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trialĀ because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of lifeĀ that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Today is methotrexate day, so downtime is in order, but have no fear, the coffee shop is on my Saturday list. How has your week been?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Unexpected Blessings

Yesterday we had an oasis kind of day with the weather here. It only got up to 80f.26c. When I stepped outside to go to the coffee shop, it was a very welcome unexpected blessing after some very hot days.

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Unexpected blessings are what I call blessings that seem to come out of nowhere. Ones that there is no way to anticipate them. Like a seeming chance encounter with someone we have not seen in a long time that happens just when we need it.

Sunday morning a friend at church I had not interacted with for a while stopped by the room I teach in and said hi. That was nice but what happened about an hour later was something I did not see coming. He came up to me before worship service and handed me a check because with the way the economy is going, he wanted to make sure I would be okay. It was a huge blessing for me because as per usual for me, I hit the deductible on my insurance in March which means I have already paid a few thousand in healthcare costs.

Last week a niece I have not heard from in a long time messaged me on Facebook. We have started connecting again. I did not see that one coming either.

Last week a friend I had not heard from for a few years messaged me and wanted to meet for dinner. We had dinner and a chance to catch up. I found out that she, in her words, is really a Christian again. She also shared with me that she remembered some things I shared with her while she was in Brazil during the pandemic.

What’s behind all three? God at work. The blessings were expected by God because he was at work in all three. What is unexpected by us is planned on by God. They are ones that God gets our attention and we can stop and thank him for what he has done and appreciate that Abba Father has once again shown us He is with us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

God Remembers Us/See Us

A verse in the bible that has meant a lot to me over the years is Hebrews 6:10 which says:

Ā God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them

God remembers everything we do serving others and showing his love. Even if others do not recognize our service, our ministry, God always remembers.

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That was the verse of the day last Wednesday in Bible Gateway. Wednesday just so happened to be my last day at the school where I taught in the mornings for eight years. Children from the ELL Level 1 class made cards for me. A few people wished me well. But overall it was an unceremonious ending to something significant for me. God was reminding me that he remembers.

Last Thursday I had a coffee meeting with a pastor from a Ukrainian church in my city and the lead pastor and pastor for outreach from my church to talk about possible ways my church can come behind the efforts of the Ukrainian church. The lead pastor from my church came her almost three years ago. I sent him a message thanking him for joining the meeting and expressing that I was glad he could see a bit of what my ministry has been. His reply was:

Matt… thank you. I loved it. Know this… I love you man… you have nothing to prove… God is using you and He sees and knows… and I trust you

Another reminder that God sees us. God remembers us. No one is insignificant to God. No deed done serving God’s people goes unnoticed by God.

God sees you. God notices each time you share his love with others. No deed is small or insignificant in God eyes.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

What A Wonderful Way to Start Summer Break

Yesterday was the first day of summer break from my morning and afternoon classes. Wednesday was a bit draining having final meetings and saying goodbye to children I have connected with, so I was wondering about first day of break.

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God gave me a sign right at the start. I went to meet two pastors from my church and a pastor from a Ukrainian church to talk about how we can work together. When I got to the coffee shop, there was a woman sitting outside at one of the tables with her golden retriever. Her dog Norman came to me to greet me. I spent a few minutes petting him and chatting with her. Why is that a sign? I had a golden retriever when I was a boy. I LOVE golden retrievers.

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The coffee meeting went great and I made plans to teach new arrivals from Ukraine English at the Ukrainian church. We will also work on other joint endeavors and as they develop, I will share more.

I know this will be hard to believe, but my next stop was at my favorite coffee shop where I was able to tell a few jokes and enjoy a cup of coffee.

So one aspect of summer has begun. More to come šŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Thank You Jesus by Hillsong

My fellow blogger Euyadeen of quietmomentswithgodblog.wordpress.com shared this last week. I loved it, so I wanted to share it with you today.

For me it is a good reminder that no matter happens in this life, I can be thankful for Jesus, his love, his grace and mercy. Jesus came to rescue us from from being eternally separated from God. He came to become our Savior.

The message of this song fits so well with what Christmas is really all about. Jesus came to be our Savior. That is why he was born as a human baby.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Happy Thanksgiving Day

It is Thanksgiving Day here in the USA. So this is a simple post today to say I am thankful for my fellow bloggers who read my posts and bless me with their posts to read.

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For those in the USA, Happy Thanksgiving Day. May it be a blessed day for you.

For those around the world, may this day be full of blessings for you and your family.

Happy Thanksgiving Day

Gratitude from the Heart of a Child

Little moments during this crazy 2nd year of teaching during a pandemic can be encouraging. Yesterday the moment came from a little girl in 2nd grade. Her mother is in my Family Literacy Class which is for parents who want to learn English and connect with their child’s education.

Part of the Family Literacy Program is something called PACT Time-Parent and Child Together. The parent goes to the child’s classroom for one hour twice a week to see what their child is learning. The classroom teachers welcome this and usually give the parent something to do with their child.

My student went to PACT Time in her daughter’s 2nd grade class. She came back to my classroom because her precious daughter wanted to give me a Thanksgiving card she had made, I think with the help of her mom.

She wrote a message for me inside the card.

She thanked me for teaching her mom.

She was smiling when she gave me the card. I thanked her for the card, which is now pinned up in my classroom. I talked with her for a few minutes and let her know she can be proud of her mom because her mom is a good student in my class.

The heart of a child thanking her mom’s teacher for teaching her mom. Cue the sighs. Cuteness factor off the chart.

Moments likes these remind me of why Jesus said things like;


Jesus said, ā€œLetĀ theĀ littleĀ childrenĀ come to me, and do not hinderĀ them, forĀ theĀ kingdom of heaven belongs to such asĀ these.ā€

and

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.Ā And he said:Ā ā€œTruly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children,Ā you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.Ā Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.Ā And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes meĀ ā€œIf anyone causes one of these little onesā€”those who believe in meā€”to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.Ā 

Children are precious to Jesus and need nurturing, love and protection.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

When A Former Student Helps The Teacher

Yesterday morning I was having a little trouble with the Macbook Air Pro issued to me by the school. I couldn’t log into the system and kept getting an error message. Normally I seek out the librarian because she is our school’s teach wiz. I went into the library and saw a former student of mine. He is one of the Yazidi refugees I had the privilege of teaching in the evenings at the community college.

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He now works for computing services for the school district in my city. He came to my classroom and within two minutes he had the problem fixed though I am not sure how.

Each time I see him come to my school to work on something it is a blessing to know he has experienced success in life. After he finished, he spoke briefly to my two Yazidi students in their language. I am not sure what he said, but the moms were smiling at me.

Considering all my Yazidi friends experienced in their lives in Iraq, seeing them experience good things here makes what I do so worthwhile. Being a small part of them building their new lives here is a great blessing. It is moments like yesterday that cause me to be grateful God led me to this work and ministry.

What are you grateful for today?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Grateful Jesus Led Me to Study Spanish

In June 2010, I was in Ensenada Mexico with a group from my church. We were there for a missions trip One morning while I was praying during that trip, I felt Jesus show me that he wanted me to learn Spanish. My church paid for me to take Spanish classes for one year.

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Over the years it has been a blessing in ministry and teaching, but yesterday a whole new aspect was realized. I was in my classroom getting ready when the phone rang in my room. It was from the front desk. A woman from Mexico needed help and the liaison was not in the building. They asked me if I could help. I went down to see if I could help. She needed another copy of a paper for her doctor to fill out for vaccinations for her daughter. I translated for her with the school nurse. It was the first time I translated for the the school.

Having that experience yesterday motivates me to practice my Spanish even more. Having that experience and being able to use Spanish to help my beginning level students in my afternoon class fills me with gratitude that Jesus showed me he wanted me to learn Spanish eleven years ago.

What are you grateful for today?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thankful for our Veterans

It is Veteran’s Day here in the USA. Veterans Day began as Armistice Day to celebrate the end of Word War 1, but became Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all Veterans living and dead who served.

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I am thankful for our veterans because of their service we can enjoy our freedoms. My post today is my thank you to all veterans for your service.

I would like to mention two fellow bloggers who are veterans, Dawn and Temi. Please check out their blogs.

Dawn of drawingclosertochrist.com shares her faith in her weekly blog.

Temi of christianmommas.com shares her faith and about motherhood.

So to all veterans thank you. I hope you feel honored today and every day for your service.

Veterans Day being the day we honor those who served for our freedom causes me to also think about Jesus because he came in the from of a servant so he could be our Savior. His sacrifice gives us freedom from our sins and gives eternal life to all who receive him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.