Music Mondays- Find You Here by Ellie Holcomb

And I didn’t know I’d find You here, in the middle of my deepest fear
But You were drawing near, You were overwhelming me with peace
So I lift my voice and sing:
“You’re gonna carry us through everything!”
You were drawing near, You’re overwhelming all my fears with peace

No matter what we experience, we can find Jesus in the midst of our struggles.. It surprises us when we find Jesus in our valleys of life, but it is actually Jesus keeping his promise. Jesus said in Matthew 28:

I am with you always

There is never a moment, an experience, that Jesus is not with us. In any problem, Jesus is with us. We can look to him in all situations.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- Jesus Understands Inner Turmoil

Being in turmoil emotionally can be caused by many life experiences such as the death of a loved one, family problems, loss of a job, living with anxiety just to name a few.

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When I pray, it is comforting to know that Jesus understands. He understands because he lived in this life and experienced the ups and downs of this life. Inner turmoil, emotional turmoil. is something Jesus understands.

The night Jesus was arrested before he was crucified, he knew what was going to happen, He knew the plan. He was in a garden praying. He asked the Father if there could be another way, but said not my will but your will be done. His inner turmoil was such that before he prayed he told his disciples in Matthew 26:

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

His prayer was so intense emotionally that we see in Luke 22:44

And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

When we are distressed and are not sure how to pray or what to pray, we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus understands inner turmoil and take comfort even more in knowing he can help. We read in Hebrews 4:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need

Jesus understands and wants us to come to him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished- John Chapter 9

The old saying- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished- comes to mind when I think of the conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders throughout John. Chapter 9 is a classic example. No only did the religious leaders have conflict with Jesus, they were also abusive to the man Jesus healed and the man’s parents. Imagine being healed of being blind at birth only to have authorities be abusive towards because you were healed.

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What did Jesus do to cause such a reaction by the religious leaders? He healed the blind man on the Sabbath. I know. It sounds ridiculous but such was the case. The man Jesus healed was brought before them.

Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”

But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.

They had the man’s parents brought in to confirm the man was born blind, but when his parents were asked how the man could not see, they replied ask him he is an adult. The reason they answered this way was fear.

His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.

The religious leaders asked the man again what happened. The poor fellow naively made the mistake of asking them the one question that would infuriate them.

He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”

The religious leaders responded.

“You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”

The poor fellow couldn’t leave well enough alone.

“Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.  Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

His reward?

To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

Jesus talked with the man revealing to the man who Jesus is. The man came to faith in Jesus which we saw last week in Jesus Healed A Man Who Did Not Know Jesus.

Jesus then said.

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

The reaction of the religious leaders was predictable.

Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?

Jesus pulled no punches.

Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”

The contrast between the compassion Jesus showed the man who was born blind and the disdain he had for the hypocritical religious leaders was palpable in John and this passage is one example of that..

Think about the compassion of Jesus. Let it be a prevailing thought for the day. When we come to Jesus in humility seeking help from him, his compassion is overwhelming.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- He Will by Ellie Holcomb

When we experience difficulties in life, a normal reaction is to wonder if God will help, if God cares, and if God sees.

If we take a moment in such times to remember how far God went to provide a way for us to be forgiven and brought into relationship with him, the answer is yes he will, yes he cares, and yes he sees. Jesus died on the cross for us. That is how far God went on our behalf.

Sometimes he works quickly, sometimes we wait, but God works on our behalf.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Happy Mothers Day in USA

I would like to wish a Happy Mothers Day to all of the moms in the USA who read my blog. May your day be blessed and filled with love.

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God knows you and loves you deeply. God sees you never taking his eye off of you. He knows your heart.

I would like to share this song with all of the moms on your day.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- The Purple Evidence

When I was a boy, only blocks away from my home was a small creek that had some wild mulberry trees. In the summer time my friends and I would ride our bikes there with our Boy Scout canteens full of water. We had what each time we thought was our secret mission. The mission? Eat some wild mulberries.

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We would rinse them off with the water in our canteens and have a feast. We would spend a few hours there eating mulberries, exploring nature, and getting into the typical endeavors of 11 and 12 year old boys.

The first few times when I would come home, my parents would ask if I had gone to the mulberry trees. I confessed my endeavors wondering how they knew. I asked them how they knew. They told me my purple lips and fingers gave it away. It was the purple evidence.

Just as I could not hide my mulberry adventure from my parents, we cannot hide our sins from God. Fortunately for us, God still loves us even though we cannot hide our sins from him. Romans 5:8 says

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Sadly the small creek was turned into part of an underground sewer system and the mulberry trees and other trees taken out as part of residential development. God’s love for us will never go away and can never be taken away.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Countdown- 25 More Days

In 25 days I will have my appointment with the rheumatologist. Normally doctor appointments are not something I look forward to but as symptoms progress, I wish I could have the appointment today.

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Funny how small parts of a person’s body can get one’s attention. The fingers on my left hand run the gambit from swollen to back to normal, painful to tingling, and also wake me up at night.

Coffee is one of my best friends as I battle with fatigue. In fact, I look forward to hanging out at a coffee shop after my morning class. They also serve gluten free panini sandwiches that I love,

Naps are a required part of my daily routine now as in power naps. The only question is whether it is a 30 minute or a two nap needed each day.

Even with this going on, I am so grateful for how Jesus has carried me through the most unusual year of teaching I have ever experienced. After today, I have one more week for my morning class until summer break begins. Hopefully by the time next school year begins, a treatment plan will have been in working.

Such is the life of a person living with autoimmune issues. My countdown is not as big of a deal as a countdown for a spaceship launch, but it is a big deal for me. 25 more days.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- My Epic Failure Yesterday

A few of my fellow teachers and I have a countdown for how many more mornings of needing an alarm clock. We do this before each break like Christmas Break, Spring Break, and of course before summer. They are a bit jealous my countdown is shorter due to my morning class ending four days before their classes end for the year.

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When I have a day off from my morning class, I call it a no alarm clock day. When the alarm clock wakes me up on school days, it is a love/hate moment for me. I love teaching my morning class, so I begrudgingly get out of bed wishing I could sleep some more. I can’t throw my alarm clock out of frustration because I use my iPad for my alarm clock.

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So about yesterday and my Epic Failure. I set aforementioned alarm clock for 6:30 in the morning. Much to my chagrin, I woke up at 6 in the morning meaning I woke up before my alarm clock could perform its unwelcome intrusion upon my slumber. I realize this may cause you to worry about my welfare, but let me reassure you that I did survive my Epic Failure.

It helped that I had time for a most welcome event called an afternoon nap. Naps are wonderful and I believe can be a spiritual endeavor. Jesus took naps. He slept in the boat in the midst of a storm. I really need to get the shirt that says0 ‘Jesus took naps. Be Like Jesus.’ 😉

How do you feel about alarm clocks?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday-May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

What ever our struggles are in this life, Jesus wants us to come to him. He wants to come alongside us us. He has promised to never leave us. Jesus gave the open invitation in Matthew 11:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

If we need counseling, he will walk alongside us as we seek it.

If we need medical help, he will walk alongside us as we seek it.

I love this song. It expresses so well the sentiments of Jesus for those who struggle in life.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Healed Someone Who Didn’t Know Jesus- John Chapter 9

Many years ago I was involved with a prayer group that was praying for a pastor’s wife to be healed of cancer. I will never forget some of that things I heard that seemed ridiculous and at times crazy. One example was a person praying to cut to cords of psychological dependence on the pastor’s wife by people who need counseling because the cords were blocking the healing miracle being prayed for, I did not gain popularity after that prayer meeting by sharing that nothing can block the power of Jesus.

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One day Jesus was walking with his disciples and they saw a man who was blind from birth. The disciples asked a question that shows some of the odd beliefs people can tend to have. They asked in John 9:

 “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?

Let’s think through that one. The disciples asked if the man who was born blind had sinned resulting in him being blind. The question is, did the man sin before he was born. Apart from original sin which we all have, how can a baby sin before it is born? Perhaps they thought a baby could sin while in its mother’s womb or that the punishment for a sing God knew he would commit was retroactive to before the man was born. Seem crazy?

After telling them the man did not sin nor his parents, Jesus said:

“but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him”

Then Jesus did something unusual. He spit on the ground and made mud patches to put on the man’s eyes.

Jesus told the man to go wash in the pool of Siloam. The result?

 So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

The man only knew it was the man called Jesus who healed him, but the man had no idea who Jesus really was.

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

“Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

The man had no faith other than to do what Jesus told to do which was to go wash in the pool. He did not know Jesus was the Messiah, the Savior until after his healing.

I believe in praying for those who are sick. However, we need to keep a balanced bible based approach. I love this account because it shows that someone who did not know who Jesus was ended up being healed.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.