Music Mondays- I’m Not Alone by Riley Clemmons

I thought my worth was lost but my worth was not lost on you

If we ever wonder if God thinks we are worthwhile, we only need to stop and think about Jesus. Jesus on the cross was God reaching out to show how much he loves us.

Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Out of all creation, we are what he values most. No matter what pit we are in, depression, divorce, family problems, health problems, financial problems, memories of past trauma or abuse, we are worth so much to God that he sent Jesus.

God loves you. That means you are worth so much to God.

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.

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.

Having Fun with My Hobby

I have been having fun being back in the building for my U.S. Citizenship classes. They are held at El Centro de las Americas which is the Hispanic Center in my city. It has been fun to practice my Spanish.

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In my evening class, all of my in person students speak Spanish. One of them is fluent in English and comes mostly to support her older friend. When I give the students something to work on in class, she finishes quickly and then checks her messages on her phone.

So I began sending her messages in Spanish like:

Yo pienso que tu estas triste porque nosotros no tenemos nieve.- I think you are sad because we do not have snow.

When I sit at my desk, I like to tell my colleague from Cuba:

You no tengo fuerza porque mucho tempo no puedo comer comida de Cuba. – I have no strength because I can’t eat Cuban food for a long time.

One of my summer goals is to improve my Spanish. My summer break is almost here. Ten more alarm clock days and then I have three months off from my morning class.

Summer time is a great time for teachers to enjoy their hobbies. Having a hobby is good for our mental health. What are your hobbies?

By the way, my favorite thing to say in Spanish is- Jesus Cristo te ama. Jesus loves you.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Ahh Rest

Yesterday morning during blogger chat, I asked each person what they were going to do. Hannah of hannahmvandi.com said one word- Rest. When she said rest, it was like a subliminal message to me. My response was to yawn. 🙂

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Resting is beneficial for our health. As someone who lives with chronic illnesses, rest is so important While I do love taking naps, resting can also mean to relax whether it be reading a book, listening to music, watching a movie or a leisurely walk,

There is also spiritual and mental rest. That is the kind of rest Jesus offers to us in Matthew 11:28:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Jesus wants us to give our burdens in life to him. The things we are anxious about he wants us to give to him. 1st Peter 5:7 says:


Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you
.

The reason we can cast all we are anxious about on him is because he cares for us. Jesus loves us.

Today I will relax. Perhaps I will go to a coffee shop for a while after church. Being in a coffee shop is relaxing for me. This morning I will also give to Jesus, again, those things that trouble me.

Have a blessed Sunday and take time to rest.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Understand Family Problems- John Chapter 7

Sibling rivalry can cause problems in family relationships. Jealousy can set in if one sibling gets more attention or has more talent in an area. Now imagine having Jesus as your older half brother. Jesus had half brothers and sisters who were born after he was. Can you imagine being compared to Jesus?

To understand the first part of John 7 we need to look at Mark 3. In Mark 3:20-21 we read:

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

His own family, his mother-Mary, and his half brothers went to take charge of Jesus thinking he was crazy. They did not believe Jesus to be Messiah. Even Mary who had been visited by the angel Gabriel was in on the attempt to “take charge” of Jesus.

Then we read in Mark 3:31-34:

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Jesus did not respond to his mother or half brothers. He corrected the thinking of the people by saying those who do the will of God are his family. I imagine that stung a little for his family.

We don’t have much of a record of Jesus’ half brothers or sisters as far as whether they came to faith other than James. We know Mary did because she was in the upper room with the disciples at Pentecost.

So in John 7:3-4 when his brothers said:

Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.”

It was entirely disingenuous because we also read in verse 5:

 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

Jesus ended up going after his half brothers did without telling them.

This is an encouraging passage for those of us with family problems. Jesus understands dealing with family problems. His own half brothers did not believe in him, mocked him in this passage, tried to take control of him in Mark chapter 3.

Jesus understands and provides relationships and friendships with fellow believers. They can become our chosen family. I shared about chosen family a few months ago- Chosen Family.

If you have family problems, Jesus understands.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month. On Wednesdays this month I am sharing blogs by women living with or dealing with various health issues. The bloggers in today’s post deal with depression, mental health, breast cancer, and caregiving for a loved one with Autism.

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Mrs. Mariposa of alwaysajesusgirl.wordpress.com. She shares her faith and how God helps her with depression.

Eleanor of beurownlight.com. She shares about mental health issues and her faith.

Kel of seekellivewell.com. She shares about mental health and health and wellness.

Abigail of nohalfmeasures.blog. She shares her life with Metstatic Breast Cancer.

Patty of hesaidwhatks..blog. She shares her experiences of life with her Autistic adult son.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- It Is Okay to Ask For Help

Trigger warning. This post deals with suicidal thoughts. If that makes you uncomfortable, please click away.

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As an American I have never understood why the UK keeps a monarchy nor the fascination with the Royal Family.. As someone who is busy with ministry and teaching, I have never been a big fan of talk shows like Oprah. I have always felt I have better things to do with my time. But when I saw a promo clip of the interview with Harry and Meghan, I decided to watch it. My motivation was simply to listen to someone give voice to what so many people struggle with- Depression and what some people struggle with- Suicidal Thoughts.

In the interview she shared that she confided in her husband Harry about her suicidal thoughts and that she needed help. Sharing that so publicly will hopefully help others to share with and confide in loved ones or people they trust.

She also shared that though she asked for help other than from her husband, she was not given help. That is very concerning.

Living with four chronic illnesses all of which have depression and anxiety as possible symptoms, I understand depression. I talked with my doctor and he prescribed medication for me to treat depression and Fibromyalgia. When I confided in one of my pastors, and he said, “Matt it is medical. You do not need to resign your ministry.” it was a moment I will never forget.

My experience has reinforced for me that God does indeed care. Jesus cares and works through other people. God wants us to ask for help.

There is hope for depression and struggling with suicidal thoughts. It is not only okay but wonderful to seek help. If family is not a safe place to confide in, there are school counselors, pastors, mental health facilities. There are hotline numbers.

In the USA-800-273-8255

In the UK- Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)

In Canada- 1.833.456.4566

There is always hope and we can ask for help. If we have depression, we can seek help. Talk with a doctor, a pastor, a trusted teacher, talk with someone. If medication is needed, it is not only okay but important to do so. If suicidal thoughts, PLEASE SEEK HELP.

I love the message in these videos. Stay Another Day and Your Story Isn’t Over Yet.

Wellness Wednesday- Women’s History Month- Part 4

Living with chronic illness has given me an appreciation for those who share their stories of life with chronic illness. During the month of March, I will share blogs by women who live with chronic illness for my Wellness Wednesday posts.

A purple butterfly is a symbol for some chronic illnesses such as Lupus, Fibromyalgia etc.

Wendi of simplychronicallyill.com. Wendi shares about her multiple chronic illnesses and her life.

Vivi of godswhispersoftruth.wordpress.com She shares her faith and about living with the effects of TBI.

Lily of retrospectivelily.com. . She shares her faith. about llving with Friedreich’s Ataxia, books and more.

Tracey of tracyesworld..com. She shares about living with Lupus and other chronic illnesses.

If you check out their blogs, you will find women with the courage to keep going as best they can while living with chronic illness.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- Being A Safe Place for Others

Yesterday I was talking with one of my colleagues at the school where I teach in the mornings. She is a young woman and does wonderful work with the children who have difficult lives. Her grandfather is elderly and in hospice care now. It is only a matter of days until he passes away.

As she was sharing with me, her eyes teared up. She apologized for it. I asked her to not apologize or feel she needs to hide her feelings. I shared with her that I understand what she is going through and if she ever needs a listening ear, just let me know.

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We all need a safe space, safe friends, a safe place especially now during this pandemic. Everything is heightened now for our emotions, stress, etc. We need safe places to land.

Jesus is definitely a safe person for us to come to and confide in about what we are going through. He invites us to do so 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

My hope is to continue to be a safe place, a safe person, for others as we continue to go through this pandemic. We all need connection with others. I love this song A Safe Place to Land. Please listen to it and think about if you can be a safe place.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.