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.

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.

Can We Talk About It? – Death

When I was a child and a life insurance commercial would come on TV, I would wonder at the futility of it. In my childhood mind it made no sense to have life insurance because they could not guarantee people would not die. I did not quite grasp the whole taking care of loved ones financially thing yet.

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Death is part of everyone’s life. It is unavoidable and uncomfortable to talk about. For us it is a somber moment when we attend a funeral. What if we look at it from Jesus’s viewpoint?

Psalm 116:15 says:

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.

Jesus knows that at the moment of our deaths that we enter into eternity. For those who know Jesus, it is the moment that we leave this life of suffering forever and enter into heaven where there is no pain, no danger, no sickness, no suffering.

Jesus wants us to be with him. He wants to share the wonders of heaven with us. In John 17:24 he said:

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

The longer I live with chronic pain and chronic illnesses, the more I appreciate that one day it will end and because of his grace, I will be in heaven. Don’t get me wrong, I do not look forward to the dying part, but I do look forward to the glorious wonders of heaven.

So while life insurance cannot guarantee we will not die, Jesus can guarantee eternity with him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Unexpected Test This Morning

I had planned a different post for today but one phone call changed that. My cardiologist wants me to have a test before the ablation procedure. The hospital called to schedule the test. The woman I talked with suggested having it this morning, so at 9:30 off I go.

Getting to the heart of the issue, sorry couldn’t resist the pun, we are all on a temporary basis in this life. The urgent issue is whether we are reconciled with God. Have we come to Jesus?

The verse of the day on Bible Gateway yesterday was fitting. I had read it before the phone call. It was from John 14:1-3:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

Jesus has a place for me in heaven already because of his grace, not because of me.

I am confident I will be around for a while longer in this life and that Jesus has much for me to do yet, but knowing Jesus has a place for us is most comforting when life throws the unexpected at us.As I thought about that truth, I remembered a song from long ago called Mansion Builder after the phone call. I am sharing it today.

My post I had planned on for today will wait for tomorrow.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Life Lesson From World Cup Soccer

It is a phenomenon that most Americans do not understand. It happens every four years. I have observed it many times over my years of working with refugees and immigrants. What is it? It is the obsession with World Cup Soccer-or as the rest of world calls it- Futbol.

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It happened again yesterday. I met my friend Luis from El Salvador for lunch at a Hispanic restaurant. Sure enough the match between Holland and Ecuador was on the TV. During our whole lunch time, Luis was mesmerized by the match on TV. It consumed all of his attention. I am not sure if he will remember any of our conversation.

The only thing that might compare in the USA is college football as it pertains to the team one cheers for. I used to plan my weekends around the games my team played in. But if my team was not playing, my interest was not so strong.

I should mention that El Salvador does not have a team in the World Cup. Nevertheless, Luis was completely enraptured by the match on TV.

It made me wonder what would happen in my life if I was as enthralled by time with Jesus as Luis is with World Cup Soccer. What if I watched and prayed like he watches the soccer matches. What a difference it could make in my life.

I like to joke with soccer fans that soccer is in the bible and then show them Philippians 3:14:

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Press on toward the goal-as in soccer goal. Okay I hear that groan. 🙂

But the principle of having that kind of passion for Jesus is my point. He defeated death for us. He died for all of our sins. His love for us is eternal. God has called us to follow Jesus. There is no greater honor or calling.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

In Transit

Yesterday I went to the DMV to get my car registered and the license plates for it. Fortunately the line was not long and I did not need to stand in line very long. After almost four weeks, my car is no longer In Transit. That term In Transit makes me think about this life.

For as long as I am in this life, I am In Transit myself. This is not my permanent home. Hebrews 11:13-16 says:

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.  If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 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.

So this life is temporary. I am glad it is temporary. I would not want an eternity of living with pain, living with the problems of this world. There is an eternal home waiting for me.

Just as while my car was In Transit I gladly gave people a ride, my hope is to bring people with me to my eternal home-heaven. The only reason I am still here in this life is to share the love of Jesus and the wonderful message of salvation in Jesus, so others can have a blessed eternal future.

The road of this life might get bumpy, there will be times of driving through adverse weather, but hop on in the In Transit vehicle knowing Jesus is steering it and is always with us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Heaven Come by Jenn Johnson

So many times the presence of God has sustained me in times of pain, lack of sleep, and more. Being in the presence of God is a place that many times I do not want to leave, but he calls me to share his love with people from many countries living in my city.

There are times that his presence is a taste of heaven and I admit I long to be there, but he has work for me to do in this life first. In his presence there is healing for our souls and spirits. In his presence there is wisdom given, encouragement and reassurance. In his presence is the most beautiful place to be.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Reason to Celebrate- God Is On The Throne by We The Kingdom

Even though there are difficulties in this life, we still have reason to celebrate because God is on the throne. Jesus is on his throne in heaven and his resurrection has guaranteed a place in heaven for us. In Isaiah 61:3 we read:


and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

The context is about the Messiah, Jesus, bringing salvation and restoring us to what God has created us for, which is eternal relationship with him.

So while yes in this life we have problems, difficulties, sickness, we can take heart because of Jesus and our eternal destiny as Jesus said in John 16:33″

“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.”

It is good for us to celebrate that truth. I love this video by We The Kingdom because it shows God’s people celebrating in his presence. We can have the garment of praise instead of despair because of Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Groaning But Keep Going

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,  because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

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This passage from 2nd Corinthians 5:1-5 came to mind yesterday after Craig of Poetic Perspectives at brocraigblog.wordpress.com replied to me asking how he was in my comment section, “I am about the same physically, but have lately felt more blessed and closer to the Lord, spiritually, which is the most important thing. He is ever faithful and loving toward His own and we truly cannot even begin to comprehend the extent to which this is true! Thanks for asking!” Craig lives with chronic illness as do I.

Yesterday I groaned a lot. I missed the bus that would have taken me the mile and half distance from the school where I teach to my coffee shop. Problem is the bus system here is terrible. The bus comes only one time each hour. So instead of waiting for one hour, I walked to the coffee shop. As I walked, my left foot and ankle reminded me that psoriatic arthritis has struck there. My right knee spoke up too not wanting to be left out. By the time I made it to the coffee shop, it felt like I had finished a marathon.

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Living with autoimmune issues like psoriatic arthritis and also with fibromyalgia means I feel like groaning all the time. I am looking forward to the day I am in heaven with no more pain. But to be here in this life, even living with chronic pain, means opportunities to share Jesus and his gospel with people from diverse cultures.

One of the first things I will do after I get a different vehicle, thanks to people being generous to donate, will be to join a club again that has an aqua track, It is a walking track of warm water, It is great for people with arthritis.

I will be more mobile again, so visiting refugees/immigrants will be part of my routine again too which is the best part for me. 🙂

So here is to more ministry even though I am groaning.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Wonders God Has for Us in Heaven

Last night as I was driving home from class, the moon was full and looked so close in the sky. It was bright and one could see features of it. But then a veil of clouds crossed its path in the sky. The moon was still somewhat visible, but its features not clear. It was blurred behind the veil of clouds.

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It caused me to reflect on what Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 13:12:

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

Until Jesus comes or takes us to home to heaven, we do not see clearly what God has in store for us, how wonderful heaven is, how wonderful God’s presence is. and how blessed we are.

As Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 2:9

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Think of the most awesome worship experience you have had and then think about how it pales in comparison to being in the presence of Jesus in heaven. Think about the best moments in your life and then think about how they pale in comparison to what you will experience in eternity with Jesus.

We can get bogged down in life, so we need to zoom out and think about the whole picture for us which includes the marvels of being in the presence of Jesus for all eternity.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.