Story Time- Setting A Goal Yesterday

My classroom is a shared space from noon to the end of the school day because my class is an AM class. Sometimes it is used for an IEP meeting-Individual Educational Plan. IEP meetings are for children with various special education needs.

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Yesterday as I was finishing up with my end of class work on the computer, the Speech Therapist, the Special ED Coordinator, an Occupational Therapist and a Physical Therapist came into the room for an IEP meeting. In such meetings they discuss plans for a child with special needs with the parent/parents.

I joked that maybe they should do an IEP for me. The Physical Therapist asked what goals I would set. I said, “eat a cheeseburger three times a week,” She told me that is a reasonable achievable goal.

So based on the input of such specialists, I have concluded my goal of eating a cheeseburger three times a week is a good idea. 🙂

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The best life goal I can think of, however, is what Paul wrote in Philippians 3:

 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

The best life goal is to follow Jesus, live for Jesus, with eternity in heaven always in my mind. Knowing that Jesus gives the gift of eternal life and desiring to live accordingly is the best goal I can think of.

But today I still think a cheeseburger is called for.. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- For All My Life by Taya

The paradox for us is that eternal life begins the moment we trust Jesus as our Savior. It does not begin when we die and go to heaven. It begins in this earthly life when we come to trust in Jesus. However, we are still in this world full of problems. We trudge along in this life knowing there is something far better ahead for us.

We journey along in this life hoping to being others with us. We journey along in this life looking forward to our eternal home and yet still experience the troubles of this life. Hebrews 11 puts it this way:

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.

I love this song For All My Life by Taya. It beautifully expresses our experience in this earthly life.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

In Memory of My Earthly Father

My earthly father passed away thirteen years ago today. I was with him reading the bible to him. He was unresponsive, but knowing he might be able to hear me, I read from 1st Corinthians 15 to him.

Jesus blessed me with the experience of sharing with my father about Jesus and praying with him 14 months before he died. My father had his share of problems during his earthly life. He lost a business and found out he was diabetic in the same year. He struggled with alcoholism. He never wanted to hear about Jesus from me until that day in February 2008.

I shared about that experience in Forgiveness From Me Led to My Father Receiving Forgiveness from God.

He breathed his final earthly breaths as I was reading this passage from 1 Corinthians 15:

But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”  How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.  Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.  There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another.  The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;  it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

After he died, I realized how fitting it was that he died while I was reading about a seed that falls into the ground and raised a spiritual body. My father was an avid rose gardener,

In his final years, there were other blessings. We finally began to reconnect. When he was in the hospital one time, he saw my hobby of learning greetings in other languages become evident. As nurse assistants and housekeepers came into his room, all of whom were from other countries, I greeted them in their languages. It surprised him.

It is never too late to reconnect and we do not lose hope for loved ones. He is in heaven now having received the free gift of forgiveness from God. One day because of God’s grace, I will see him again.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Ancient Gates by Brooke Ligertwood

Jesus is on his throne in heaven and one day we can be there with him. That is the guarantee we have because of his death and resurrection. One day we can join the heavenly throngs in worship.

We can join them while here on earth too. We can join in worship of our Savior. Jesus is worthy of our worship because he is our creator and our Savior. He sacrificed himself because of his great love for us and defeated death for us.

Jesus is the one who was, who is and who is to come. He is the eternal I AM and he loves us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Defeated Death and Will Share His Victory

It is Easter Sunday my favorite Sunday of the year. Today we remember that Jesus defeated death through his resurrection. He took on that which we fear most, death, and defeated it. Jesus is alive and on his throne in heaven.

Jesus’s resurrection also shows how completely he saves us. He died for our sins, so we can be forgiven by God and have eternal life. But our eternal life will not be only our spirits. Jesus will share the victory of his resurrection with us.

1sr Corinthians 15:

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”

 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

and 1st Thessalonians 4:

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Because of Jesus, we can look forward to eternity with resurrected bodies completely saved mind, spirit, soul and body. Because of Jesus, we can see our loved ones again.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Imagine Seeing The Miracles of Jesus Firsthand- John Chapter 21

John concludes his book with these words in John chapter 21.

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

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John had front row seats to most of Jesus’s miracles. He saw Jesus turn water into wine. He saw Jesus walk on water. He saw Jesus heal countless people. He saw Jesus bring Lazarus back from the dead. He saw Jesus die on the cross and saw him after his resurrection.

Try to imagine being there and witnessing all of these things. Now try to imagine being in heaven in the presence of Jesus. It is difficult for us to imagine heaven because it is a realm of existence so far above us, but we can know for sure we will be there if we trust in Jesus and ask him to become our Savior.

This post concludes my series on John. I hope it was helpful.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Revelation Song ft Kari Jobe

Jesus suffered in this life and endured the hardships of this life, so he is fully able sympathize with us as we struggle in this life, but that is not the whole story for Jesus or for those who trust in him.

Jesus conquered death and ascended to heaven where he is preparing a place for us. When out time comes to be with him in heaven, he will wipe away every tear from our eyes. He will share the glories of heaven with us. That is our future hope that is guaranteed.

Jesus is with us in this life and he awaits us to share his glory with us. That is our greatest blessing.

Today lift your eyes to Jesus. He invites us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- A Thousand Hallelujahs by Brooke Ligertwood

I watched the back story to this song A Thousand Hallelujahs by Brooke Ligertwood. She was in a church in California and thought about all of the people who had worshipped there over the years. It caused me to think about something.

When Jesus calls me home to heaven, there will be millions of people who arrived there before me. There will be millions who will arrive after me. There will be all of eternity to meet them.

Many people will say they want to meet Paul, Peter, Mary Magdalene etc. While I do look forward to meeting them, I also look forward to meeting the ones who are not famous. The ones who were faithful under harsh conditions and faced severe persecution.

I also thought about how all over the world right now, there are millions of people following Jesus. When we go to our own churches, we are joining with people all over the world to worship Jesus.

The amazing thing is that Jesus knows each one by name. His eye is always on us wherever we are.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Chris Tomlin-Noel Featuring Lauren Daigle

Son of God and Son of man
There before the world began
Born to suffer, born to save
Born to raise us from the grave
Christ the everlasting Lord
He shall reign forevermore

I love these lyrics in the song Noel. Jesus came to earth from heaven born as a human baby for one reason- to suffer, die and defeat death for us.That is the hope available for all who will receive him.

This life is temporary. Any suffering we endure in this life is temporary. I do not make light of suffering. I know the pains of chronic illness all to well since I live with more than one. Each day it is not a question of if I have pain, it is a question of how much. But knowing an eternal home with Jesus in heaven awaits me, makes it easier to cope with the here and now.

Jesus is Immanuel-God with Us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Why Jesus Came- John Chapter 17

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One verse in John 17 reveals to us why Jesus came. What the end goal of his being born as a human baby was. Why he left his glory in heaven to be born a human baby.

He wants us to be with him for all eternity. John 17:24 says:

“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.”

Jesus wants all who will believe in him to be with him forever. He wants us to be with him in heaven and enjoy eternity with him. But we should not think of this as merely a ticket out of hell and into heaven. He wants relationship with us an eternal relationship. In the last verse of John 17, Jesus said this:

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you  known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

He makes God the Father known to us not a mere head knowledge but rather intimately knowing Jesus and God the Father. Jesus wants an eternal relationship of love. He wants God’s love to be in us. He wants us to be part of the family.

That is why Jesus came. That is why we celebrate Christmas. Jesus loves us, wants us to be with him as part of his family forever.

I am sharing the video What A Beautiful Name because one line from the song conveys it so well- You Didn’t Want Heaven Without Us, So Jesus You Brought Heaven Down.

The question is do we want relationship with Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.