Longing for God

The day after I take medication for psoriatic arthritis I tend to have cravings. Chocolate ice cream with bananas seems normal, but Fritos Corn Chips? I had not eaten them in years. It causes me to reflect on what we crave, yearn for or long for in life.

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There are many things people long for in life such as a relationship, a season of the year, or even little things such a pumpkin spice lattes in the fall- count me out on that one. 🙂

Do we long for God? Long to be in his presence? Psalm 84 says

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

I have been thinking about that. In the midst of the hectic start to a new semester. Do I still long for God and his presence? It is too easy to let being busy get in the way of spending time with God.

In his presence I find creativity flows for me. Yesterday and this morning ideas came to mind as I was spending time with God. Creativity is an indicator for me of how I am doing in my relationship with God. We are all wired differently, so our indicators can vary.

Each day is a new start, so we can shake off the day, week, month, or year before and have a fresh beginning with God. It is never too late.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A 5 Year Old Versus 2 Adults :)

I helped with Kindergarten Jump Start at my school a few weeks ago. It gives incoming Kindergarten students time to experience what will happen in school. I survived a week of Kindergarten. 🙂

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One little girl pretended that she did not understand English. She acted shy and would not join in. I spoke Spanish to her and she became clingy with me. My heart went out to her as she seemed to struggle with understanding simple things like where to sit on the rug.

The information for the children who had been in preschool the year before was not uploaded until Friday of Jump Start week. When it was, the classroom teacher for the little girl noticed something. The little girl had been in preschool the year before. There was a note- she is defiant at times with following directions.

So this little five year old girl had fooled the classroom teacher and me. We had a good laugh.

Children are a blessing. They keep life interesting. They can be quite amusing too. But they are vulnerable. I came away from that week with more prayer concerns and a fresh perspective on Jesus blessing the children.

During this time of COVID and concerns in various places, lets remember to be praying for the little ones. They need it now more than ever.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Chinese Buffet and Practicing Spanish

August is here already. In only a few short weeks it will be Back to School time for the children. I will be at the school doing things to prepare, but my class begins the Tuesday after Labor Day. Are you ready for Back to School?

Yesterday after my Saturday morning group at church, I went to lunch with two friends from Cuba. We went to a Mongolian Grill/China Buffet. I like the Mongolian Grill because I can choose the ingredients and not worry about gluten in the soy sauce.

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It surprised my Cuban friends that I can eat with chopsticks. A person learns little things like that spending time with diverse cultures 🙂 During group at church, we spoke English, but during lunch it was all Spanish. I loved it. I enjoy practicing Spanish and learning new words.

At the end of our group time at church, we prayed for Cuba and for my friends’ families there. Cuba is in turmoil due to government crackdown against freedom protesters. It is the same reason I am trying to spend more time with my friends outside of group just to be a supportive listening ear.

Our server was someone who knew me. She is the niece of one of my former students from Guatemala. She has a good memory. She has only met me a few times but recognized me right away. The man cooking at the grill is from El Salvador. So I practiced Spanish with my server and the man at the grill.

Eating Chinese food and practicing Spanish is a wonderful combination. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Digging Up Clams As A Teen

One summer day when I was a teenager, some of my friends and I decided we should go to a local lake and get clams and have a clam bake like we saw in movies and on TV. So off we went wearing our blue jeans cut offs, sandals, and t-shirts to the lake. We went to a shallow area, took off our sandals and waded in the water.

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We used our feet to feel for the clams. We had buckets to put them in. We spent over an hour digging up clams with our feet and got good tans along with the clams. We filled four buckets with clams and were very excited to have a clam bake.

When we got back to my friend’s house, we showed his dad the clams and told him we were going to have a clam bake and he could join us. He told us, “Fresh water clams from lakes are no good. Throw them out or take them back to the lake.” Our spirits were dashed. We took them back and threw them in the lake.

If in our excitement we had talked with my friend’s dad before we went, we would have know it was not a good idea.

Too often we come up with our own ideas and then pray for God to bless them. It is much better to pray first and ask God for direction and guidance. The best opportunities I have had were after praying for opportunities.

By the way, funny thing is that one year later I worked part-time in a seafood restaurant. I tried clams and discovered I don’t like clams. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless,

What A Difference 90 Miles Makes

I have a friend, fellow blogger, who lives in Florida. She and her family just completed an RV trip to California and came home with two new puppies. They are living a good life.

Sadly just 90 miles from Florida the scenario is horrifying. The Cuban government is killing and imprisoning freedom protestors.

90 miles from where I live are two small cities where the greatest concerns for the population as a whole are severe thunderstorms/possible tornados this time of year and whether the university football team will be successful this year.

90 miles from Florida hospitals are run down and dirty, people lack basic necessities, and a terribly oppressive government.

I have students and friends from Cuba living in my city. They have families in Cuba. They are worried about family and friends back in Cuba. Recent events underscore why so many were willing to risk 90 miles of sea in risky boats or whatever else they could use just to come to America when we had the one foot on dry land policy for people seeking asylum from Cuba.

All I can do is pray for my fellow Christians in Cuba for their faith to stay strong, pray for an end to the genocide being committed by the Cuban government against Freedom Protestors, and for peace in Cuba. The only other thing I can do is be a listening ear for my Cuban friends.

What a difference 90 miles makes.

Storms in Life

Do you like thunderstorms? I have to admit I do. I like to watch the lightning and hear the thunder. Thunderstorms rolled through my state last night bringing cooler weather for the weekend. It was 97 F, 37 C, yesterday and will be 76 F, 24 C, today. Where I live, thunderstorms often bring change in our weather.

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It caused me to think about how what we consider storms in life and how they can bring change in our lives. Many times we do not see the change after the storm, but God does. Our part is to trust and seek God during the storms of life.

Elijah heard from God after three manifestations of power, a strong wind, an earthquake, and fire. Each of those three it says God was not in them. When God spoke to Elijah in 1 Kings 19 we find:

and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice. When we seek God during the storms in life, we need to quiet ourselves so we can hear his still small voice It can help to step back, take time to be alone, and spend time with God in prayer.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Encouragement from Fellow Bloggers

This week some of my fellow bloggers encouraged me regarding two different things. The first might cause concern for some and the other was confirmation of an idea.

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Kerna of Kay’s at kernacj.wordpress.com in my comments asked about my jokes. I shared a few and she gave me this comment- Nice. You should compile them, if you haven’t already.

Brenda of becominghistapestry.com left me this comment- Yes, we do leave impressions on those we meet, haha 😂 you are a funny one

Alica of forhispurpose.com left me this comment-Love your jokes, laughter is such a wonderful gift!! She hears my jokes each time she joins blogger chat on Saturday mornings.

Perhaps much to the chagrin, notice how that word has grin in it?- I was encouraged to continue with my brilliant humor 🙂 Some might be thinking what Pippin said to Merry when Treebeard the Ent-tree shepherd- began talking. Pippin told him- Don’t encourage it Merry.

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A bit more seriously. I had the idea on Sunday of writing a book of short stories. Tangie of tangietwoods.blog commented on one of my short stories in my other blog encounterswiththeancients.com – “Wow. You are a great writer and should publish a book of short stories if you have not already done so. I will definitely buy a copy.” Her comment felt like confirmation of the idea I had while praying.

What can I say. It is often the case that my life and ministry has me in some fairly deep conversations, but sometimes this guy likes to show up.

I would also like to thank my fellow bloggers who comment they are praying for me for my ministry and regarding my life with chronic illness. Those comments are encouraging.

Genuine interaction whether light hearted or encouragement is what this can be- A Blogging Community.

So after I finish my book Jessica’s Encounters, should I write a joke book next or a book of short stories? hmmm.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Heaven Come by Jenn Johnson

God is calling us each second, each minute, each hour of every day, Jesus calls us to be with him. He always wants us to come to him in prayer to spend time with him.

We do not need to worry about our failures, our past, our feelings of guilt or shame. He treasures us and time with us. We can start new and fresh with him every day shaking off the day before.

God is calling us to take time with him. He knows all about us and wants us to be with him anyway. He wants to help us shake off yesterday’s mistakes and start anew.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

1st Dose No Problem- Yet

This will teach me to not spend so much time watching YouTube videos by people with the same chronic illness I just started treatment for. Each one I watched talked about how rough the medication is the first few times taking it.

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So I went out and bought ice cream and Greek yogurt to be ready for easy eating. I cleared my schedule for the day to be able to stay in bed. I planned out shows to binge watch.

Then I woke up this morning feeling normal-normal for me. I had no side effects. I think it helped that people were praying for me.

So since there are no side effects, can you guess what I will do with a cleared schedule today? If you guessed go hang out at a coffee shop, you are right. 🙂

My goal for today is to stay in the air conditioning. It will be another hot day but not as hot as yesterday. Yesterday we go up to 107 F, 41.6 Today it will only be 95 F, 35 C.

What are your Friday plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.