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.

Photo by Nathan Cowley on

This passage from 2nd Corinthians 5:1-5 came to mind yesterday after Craig of Poetic Perspectives at 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.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on

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.

Photo by Dids on

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.

Greeting In Heaven

One of the things I love about teaching an ESL class at the college is what happens before class and during the short break we take. It is an opportunity for me to walk around and greet students from all of the classes in their languages. Interacting with them is such a blessing and has allowed me to learn to greet people in thirty languages.

Photo by Maria Tyutina on

Perhaps in heaven I can have a job as a greeter for new arrivals greeting them in their languages. There won’t be a need for a missionary since everyone in heaven will know Jesus already. There won’t be a need for a language teacher.

Sometimes I think how cool it would be to greet someone upon their arrival in heaven in their language. Can you imagine entering heaven and someone greets you in your language?

Of course we have little understanding of what our eternal lives will be like other than it will be way way better than the best life we could have in this life. But I still like to entertain the thought at times.

This morning I am going to church where we will have a fellowship time in Spanish with friends from Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Venezuela with some Americans as well.

Hope your Sunday is blessed.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Burgers with Fabi- “Really A Dream Come True”

Yesterday evening I had the privilege of having dinner with my filha Fabi. Filha is daughter in Portuguese. She was my assistant in my morning class five years ago and we have kept our friendship over the years. She calls me Papa Bear.

We had not seen each other for quite a while because of the pandemic. She went to Brazil early in the pandemic to be with her family. She is back in my city working on her Phd. We had a great time catching up and eating burgers.

The quote in the title is from Fabi. After sharing about her grandmother dying while she was in Brazil, she commented that she remembered me saying I did not want to be too old to do anything and that I would rather go to be with Jesus before I got to that point. Then I shared that perhaps the best way to go would be in my sleep and waking up in heaven. That was when she said, “that would really be a dream come true.”

Waking up in heaven would be awesome. But for now, Jesus has a purpose for me in this life. The older I get, the more I appreciate what Paul said in Philippians 1:

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!  I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;  but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

Burgers and friendship are a wonderful combination.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

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.

Photo by fauxels on

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. 🙂

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on

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.