The Holidays and Then ………

It is that time of year. The holidays have come and gone. We are in the THEN part of winter as in the holidays happened and then-just boring winter. I had a reminder of it yesterday as I walked out of the high school where I teach in the afternoons. The door to the parking lot faces to the north, so any winter wind greets us in the face as we exit.

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For a city kid like me there is not much to do in the winter time. If I was an outdoor adventure person, I would probably enjoy ice fishing. My idea of ice fishing is buying frozen fish at the supermarket. ūüôā

It is true that Valentines Day is coming, but being single I don’t care about that day. Yes next Monday is Martin Luther King Day, but that is more of an important day to remember a great person from history, not a day for fun. So it is just boring winter now.

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Have no fear, however, your coffee purist can still hang out at the coffee shop. I am also waiting for my pastor to read the final pieces I wrote for my book Jesus Understands Trauma and for his feedback. There are also my classes to teach and my refugee/immigrant friends to spend time with. So not all is lost.

I am curious how you would finish the sentence- The holidays and then ………

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Happy New Year

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I would like to wish all of my readers a Happy New Year. My prayer is that you experience Jesus and his love in a whole new way this year. None of us knows what will happen in our own lives, the lives of loved ones, the lives of people we know, or people far and near. But we can know Jesus and have a personal relationship with him through trusting in Jesus. Jesus knows the future because he is already there and with us in the here and now at the same time.

Living life with Jesus is a sacred journey. We still have our ups and downs in this life, but Jesus is always with us. I love this song, Sacred Journey, from the 1990s by a group called First Call. I hope it blesses you today.

Happy New Year

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Only Insight About Starting A New Year

As I reflect back on this past year, one thing that stands out to me is the fact that I really have no idea what will transpire in a new year, the people I will meet, the opportunities for ministry I will, the challenges I will face, and more. That is why I love the quote from Bilbo Baggins in Lord of the Rings so much.

‚ÄúIt’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.‚ÄĚ

Last year at this time, I had no idea that I would meet refugees from Ukraine and help them with their new lives in America. I had no inkling that because of generous people I would be able to get a nice vehicle after my 16 year old van died. I had no clue that I would end up seeing yet another kind of medical specialist.

But I do not need to have an idea about what the future will bring. I only need to know the person who knows the future and has all power-Jesus.

Jesus created everything. In John 1:1-3 we read:

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 

The Word, one of the titles for Jesus, created all things. One of those things was time. In Genesis 1:3-5 we read:

And God said,¬†‚ÄúLet there be light,‚ÄĚ and there was light.¬†¬†God saw that the light was good,¬†and he separated the light from the darkness.¬†God called¬†the light ‚Äúday,‚ÄĚ and the darkness he called ‚Äúnight.‚Ä̬†And there was evening, and there was morning‚ÄĒthe first day.

Jesus created time for us to live within, but he is not bound by time. He is eternal. So that means that he is with us now and in the future at the same time. That is most comforting for me to embrace. Jesus our Savior who loves us also knows our future.

So my only insight about a new year is look to Jesus. He loves us, has all power, and knows what will happen.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Christmas- Celebrating The King Who Empowers Us

My Sunday post was Christmas-Celebrating The King Who Brings Healing looking at Isaiah 61. Today’s post looks at more from Isaiah 61 and how the promised one will empower us. Verses 4 to 6 talk about the results of the healing the promised one-Jesus- brings.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
    foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
 And you will be called priests of the Lord,
    you will be named ministers of our God.

Jesus is the King who empowers us to become much more that we could ever imagine. Everyone who comes to know Jesus as their Savior is given a role to play in his kingdom. He empowers us to rebuild ancient ruins-be involved in lives being restored.

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He makes all who come to know him priests of the Lord as 1st Peter 2:9 says:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

He makes all who come to know him ministers of God as 2 Corinthians 5:18 says:

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

I like to put it this way. Jesus loves us so much that he died for us to be our Savior and loves us so much that he receives us the way we are. But he loves us too much to leave us the way we are. He works in our lives to help us grow and change. He brings new meaning and purpose to our lives.

There are so many ways the he empowers us to live for him and serve him. Each is given a role to play in his kingdom. That is who we are celebrating at Christmas-Jesus who heals and empowers us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Noel performed by Lauren Daigle

Come and see what God has done. Come and meet our Savior Jesus laying in a manger. God’s love wrapped in cloths laying in a feeding trough for animals showing us God’s ways are not our ways. Jesus left his throne in heaven to be born as a human baby in humble surroundings.

That is what we celebrate at Christmas time the miracle of the virgin birth of Jesus. We celebrate Jesus emptying himself of his glory to become our Savior as Philippians 2 says:

Who, being in very nature  God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature  of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
 And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
¬†¬†¬†¬†by becoming obedient to death‚ÄĒ
        even death on a cross!

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Christmas- Jesus or The Holiday?

It feels like I blinked and suddenly it is almost Christmas. After spending most of November having bronchitis, and now feeling healthy, tomorrow will be December 1st- as in twenty four days until Christmas. It is not an issue of shopping or decorating for me.

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Shopping for me takes a few minutes on Amazon ordering things to be delivered. I never decorate or have a Christmas tree. So for me it is not about the trappings of the holiday.

What I was not ready for was the focus on celebrating the birth of Jesus. I have never enjoyed the holiday season, but love celebrating the birth of our Savior through writing in my blog, church services, and my prayer time. Inviting my refugee/immigrant friends to Christmas Eve service has always been a highlight for me.

This time of year I seek to be intentional about keeping my focus on celebrating Jesus not the holiday. Focusing on the holiday and its empty promises without focusing on Jesus can lead to depression and other problems. I think of the lyric of the song Have Yourself A Merry Christmas- “next year all of our troubles will be out of sight.” Focusing on the holiday as some magical time of year leads to problems.

Focusing on Jesus and why he was born leads to experiencing God in our lives. Focusing on Jesus is realistic especially when I think of what Jesus said in John 16:33:

‚ÄúI 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.‚ÄĚ

Jesus never made empty promises. He was very clear that this life will be problematic. He was also very clear that he will always be with those who believe in him, so we never face life’s problems alone.

So for me when I say it feels like I blinked and its Christmas time, what I am talking about is that after fighting bronchitis for most of November, suddenly it’s time to focus on celebrating the birth of Jesus and all that means.

Are you ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Chronic Christmas

Thanksgiving has come and gone already. It feels like it zipped on past me quickly. It was nice to spend time with friends last night sharing friendship and delicious food. But it is over now. The rest of the world will be full speed ahead to Christmas, but I am not ready for it. I do not mean about shopping. That is a five minute thing for me on Amazon.

I wonder how many crazy people will wait outside in the cold to be the first ones in the stores for shopping. How many will be sane and do it all online like me. ūüôā

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I feel like calling this year My Chronic Christmas as in chronic illness.. I have a follow up appointment with my GP next week to follow up on my recent hospital stay. I have a rheumatology appointment on Dec. 21st and a follow up appointment with the cardiologist on the 23rd. I also have a MRI sometime before the rheumatology appointment.

So that is four medical things before Christmas. UGH.

The one good thing about Christmas, the best thing, is that it is a reminder that Jesus left heaven to be born as a human baby, so he could be Immanuel-God With Us. I am grateful Jesus is with me at medical appointments.

Are you ready for the whole Christmas holiday thing?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Happy Thanksgiving Day

It had been several days since I last went to the coffee shop due to having bronchitis. With my lungs clearing up and feeling somewhat recovered from cardioversion this week, it was time to go.

With it being the day before Thanksgiving yesterday, as expected, they were not very busy. But still just getting out and about felt good. The coffee mug was appropriate for the occasion with a picture of a cello etched into it. The sound of coffee brewing is the music of my people. ūüôā

So many things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, my classes that I teach, my students, my Ukrainian friends. my Sunday morning Hispanic friends, a good car, opportunities even in the hospital to share Jesus, and much more. God has been good to me.

I would like to wish my blogging friends a Happy Thanksgiving Day. May it be filled with blessings.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- I Am Free Performed by Jared Anderson

Today is Independence Day in the USA. Today we celebrate freedom in this life such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion that we enjoy in the USA.

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But there is a far greater freedom that cannot be corrupted or taken away. That is the freedom we have in Jesus. Freedom from sin, freedom from oppression by darkness, freedom from judgement and much more. Jesus frees us to become what we were created to be which is sons and daughters of God.

Happy Independence Day

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Freedom in Jesus- Happy Independence Day

Tomorrow will be Independence Day in the USA. It is the day we celebrate our freedom and historically when the USA became an independent nation. In the Declaration of Independence , freedom and rights are acknowledged as coming from God with line such as:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

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While I am grateful to live in a country where I can worship God freely and have other rights, it pales in comparison to the freedom we can have in Jesus. In Jesus, we can be freed from sin and judgement. In Jesus, we can be freed from the bondage of the effects of being abused, shame, and victimhood.

The bible says of Jesus in Luke 4:18:


‚ÄúThe Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim¬†freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to¬†set¬†the oppressed¬†free,”

It starts with first coming to know Jesus personally as our Savior. Jesus said in John 8:32:


“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will¬†set¬†you¬†free.‚ÄĚ

and in John 14:6:

Jesus answered,¬†‚ÄúI am¬†the way¬†and the truth¬†and the life.¬†No one comes to the Father except through me”

Jesus is the truth. When he comes into our lives, he sets us free from the snare of sin, our own and the effects of what others have done to us.

Ultimately we will experience it fully when we enter into heaven, but we can know that freedom in our souls in the here and now no matter what situation we find ourselves in.

Happy Independence Day to all of my fellow bloggers and readers in the USA.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.