Please Pray for Her- Alisa Turner

My favorite song is My Prayer For You by Alisa Turner. She has suffered terribly from Lyme Disease for years. While she was doing better, she recorded her album Miracle or Not that my favorite song is on. It is the only CD I play in my car. There have been times that I repeatedly play My Prayer for You on days that are rougher for me living with chronic illness.

I first heard My Prayer for You after I was diagnosed with Celiacs and had to deal with all that included. No offense intended to anyone with Celiacs, but for me it has paled in comparison to Psoriatic Arthritis. When asked by a doctor about my pain levels, I always answer something like- a 5 to 6 on a good day. Then if asked how many good days I have, my answer is about half the time. That means at least half of my life is spent with days that pain ranges anywhere from a 7 to 9. I also have those days that it is a full blown ten.

That is why My Prayer For You is playing so much in my car, The lyrics, written by someone who suffers from a chronic illness, speak to me. Lyrics like:

For anyone who’s prayed a thousand prayers
And still can’t find the answer anywhere
Fighting off the lie that no one cares
For anyone who’s out there losing hope
Feeling you’re forsaken and alone
Clinging to the last strands of your rope

May God give you eyes to see, He’s still greater
Courage to rise and believe He’s able
May God be your peace in the fire you’re walking through
This is my prayer now
This is my prayer for you

So when I saw her post about her need for medical treatments and her current struggles, it hit home for me. Please pray for her. After watching her video about needing medical treatments, watch My Prayer For You. You will be glad you did.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Prayers Were Needed/Prayers Were Answered

About a month ago, I shared a post- Prayers Needed that was about an email I received letting me know my current position would not have enough hours to keep my benefits and then my van died beyond repair. The past four weeks have been a valley time.

This week in a span of two days, it turned around. On Thursday thanks to generous donors, I bought a Hyundai Tuscon. Then yesterday I found out I did not get the position I applied for but my hours were expanded so I can keep my benefits. Even better, my current position pays two dollars an hour more and is what I actually enjoy doing. I had only applied for the position to keep benefits.

As Christians we are not immune to life’s problems, but how we handle them can be a testimony. If we give things to God and seek him through the down times, God works through us.

I am grateful I had more time with my friend Luis from El Salvador. He gave me rides home on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and rides to church on Sundays. Because of the extra time, he opened up about what happened to him in El Salvador when a drug gang tried to force him to join. That led to sharing about how Jesus understands trauma. That is one example from the past four weeks.

But now it is on to new adventures like the English conversation group that is starting at the Ukrainian church today. We will have many Saturdays together of having lessons and sharing life. I love helping refugees with their new lives in America and this group will be at a church that will share Jesus with them.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Coffee Shop- Praying for People I Meet There

Yesterday afternoon I stopped in at the coffee shop I spend time at during the summer. Over the course of this past summer, God has blessed me with many divine appointments there. It happened again yesterday when I chatted with a young woman named Payton.

She is working on her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. When she told me that, I shared with her about the book I will be publishing soon. That led to a conversation that let me know how to pray for her. She is open to Jesus and Christianity, but her view at this time is like that of many young people. She doesn’t go to a church. She wants to focus on being spiritual.

The prayer need most on my heart is for Ty the teen boy who I met this summer. We planned to meet on Tuesday afternoons for a time to study. My desire is to help him with school work and share Jesus in the process. Yesterday he did not come. I received a text message from his grandmother letting me know he never showed up for school. She reported him to the police as a runaway. He has had a troubled life with multiple traumas, the death of both parents and being the one to find his grandfather had died. He is also very small for his age. I think of Luke 15:3-6 when I think about Ty.

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders  and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’

Melanie is a young woman I met and only saw one time there. She is working on her Master’s Degree in Sociology. She is an agnostic who grew up Catholic. I told her I would pray for Jesus to show her that he is for real. I pray each day for God to bring someone into her life to share Jesus with her that day.

God connects us with people for a reason and after that connection, it is a privilege to pray for the person.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Remember Step by Step

One thing I encourage people who feel overwhelmed to remember is step by step. When we experience difficulty, it can seem like the whole thing hits us in the face all at once making it feel overwhelming. Especially those of us who might struggle with depression and anxiety. By breaking down what can seem too big into smaller steps, it breaks it down for us. Yes, I practice what I preach. 🙂

Another aspect that helps with that negative self talk is to remind ourselves each day, maybe more than once during the day, of the steps we have taken. Negative self talk can lead to self defeating behavior. By reminding ourselves of positive steps taken, it helps us avert negative self talk.

One important step is to remember to ask God about it. I love the truth Jesus shared in Matthew 6:8-“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” God knows what we need each step of the way.

I also include asking others to pray for me and asking others who know more than I do. Case in point when my van died.

Setting up my Go Fund Me was an idea I had and one others encouraged me to do. One thing I readily admit to is that I have no mechanical ability. So when it comes time to look at vehicles, I have friends I can ask to come with me. They know what to look at. Involving others in the process who know more is always a good idea.

Thanking God for each step taken is part of step by step. God does not need that from us, but we need it. It helps us stay connected with God through the process.

The books I am writing are something I have included in my own step by step. Yes, I am the one writing, but I have asked others to read the google doc and share their response. I met with a friend of mine who understands finances to ask him to review what is involved for the business part of it with Amazon to self publish. I hope to have them published in September. The delay has been due to God giving me ideas of sections to add.

When we are faced with adversity, let’s remember-step by step.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The School of Jesus

Matthew 9:36-“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

A prayer of mine long ago was to ask Jesus to give me his heart for people. Before I rededicated my life to Jesus in July 1989, I did not have a heart for others. As I read through the gospels and how Jesus treated people when he was on earth, it spoke to me so much that I asked him to give me his heart for others.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

How he answered that prayer was to take me through the school of interacting with those who have suffered in life. It began in October 1989 when I came home one evening and felt his presence so much that I fell to the floor. He gave me images in my mind of hurting people and impressed upon me that wherever I go, he would connect me with someone who is suffering.

That ramped up a great deal as I began to teach English Second Language and meet refugees. Hearing their stories of suffering and helping them with their new lives in America while sharing Jesus with them changed me. Their stories are ones of escaping war and danger, oppression, and suffering.

That is how the school of Jesus works. He calls us, places us in situations to teach us, and changes us. As Ephesians 2:10 says:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

The process of being created in Christ Jesus for good works is not some poof instantly equipped thing. It is a life of being discipled by Jesus through the school of Jesus in real life experiences that change us. It is not easy. It can be heartbreaking at times. But it is so worthwhile.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Dealing with Depression

When I say depression, it is more than the normal feeling sad. We all have times of feeling down and have our valley moments in life. Depression is a persistent thing that a person doesn’t just snap out of. When a person is depressed, the inclination is to isolate because the feelings we relate to are ones like numb, hopeless, disconnected, lethargic, foggy, empty.

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Being a Christian and knowing the bible verses people tend to quote as a quick fix can actually make it worse. It’s like rubbing salt into a wound.

A therapist once told me the antidote to depression is to not isolate which goes against every inclination one with depression has. Getting out and being with others can feel like it will zap any energy we have, but it is so important to be with others.

Finding a counselor we can connect with is so helpful. Confiding in a few friends we trust is helpful. Confiding in a pastor can be of great help as long as we are in a church that does not stigmatize mental health issues. If we are in such a church, it is best to find a different one.

Some may need medication. If we think about it, the brain is a physical part of our physical bodies. We would not hesitate to take medication for other issues like diabetes or asthma. If we need medication for depression, it is a medical thing and not something to feel inferior about.

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Depression can affect our relationships including our relationship with God. The good news is that God knows all about us including struggles with depression and loves us deeply even if we can’t feel it. Jesus invites us to come to him in Matthew 11:28

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

We can be honest with Jesus in prayer. We can share with him how we are doing. We can rest in knowing he loves us and trust him to bring healing for our souls and spirits.

There is hope for those who struggle with depression.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

When Hard Times Come- Being Resilient

As I shared yesterday in my post Prayers Needed, I had two things hit within a few days. Adversity is part of life in this world. It is how we respond that counts. Living with more than one chronic illness, each of which can cause depression, means that I need to be more vigilant when it comes to how I respond.

Photo by Kristin Vogt on Pexels.com

So when gut punch time comes, and it has more than once in my life, some things that have helped me to not give up, give in.

God– for me it all starts with seeking God. He already knows how it will turn out. Spending time in worship at home such as Paul did while in jail. Lifting up our needs to God, He knew my needs before I asked which is what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:7

For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him

Prayer– God knows what we need, but we need prayer. We need to connect with God to help us remember we are not alone as we face difficult time.

Share– Sharing the situation, asking others to pray, seeking input from those we trust.

Positive Steps– Prayer is always a positive step as is sharing the need. Other positive step examples- On Monday I updated my resume, wrote a new cover letter, and applied for positions in the school district. I had an online meeting with the Director which was scheduled before I found out the news about my position being reduced to two hours short of qualifying for insurance. It was during that meeting I learned of one opportunity.

Self Talk– It is important to watch how we talk to ourselves. Reminding ourselves that God is with us, and of the positive steps we take each day, can help stave off that feeling of wanting to give up.

I have found that when I do these things, seek God, pray, share, positive steps and watching how I talk to myself, that I helps me to do what Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:13

and having done all, to stand

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Prayers Needed

The message on my coffee mug at home is so true right now. I just had one of those weekends when everything hits at the same time. Prayers are appreciated.

It started with an email about my position with the schools, It would not have enough hours to keep my health insurance. Then on Saturday my 16 year old van died as in beyond repair unless I have a new engine put in.

So I have already applied for other positions with the school, Due to my city having a terrible bus system, I really need a difference car. Problem is that after spending an average of $500 a month on medical things, there is not much in the bank. I need a different vehicle for work and ministry.

So prayers are appreciated

Thank you for reading. God Bless

Music Mondays- Take It To Jesus by Anna Golden feat Kari Jobe

When your questions don’t have answers and you just can’t understand it When your mind just won’t stop running and the tears just keep on coming You don’t have to explain it He hears you before you can speak Come with me, let’s take it to Jesus

I love the lyrics of Take It To Jesus. We all have those moments that we just can’t seem to be able to put into words what is going on. We can feel overwhelmed and confused. When we have such moments, the best thing we can do is Take It To Jesus.

This song blessed me a lot, so I wanted to share it today in hopes it blesses you as well.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Writing Process + A Blogging Tip

When I think about the writing process, or any creative process, the first thing I think about is God. Why? Because God is highly creative. It is the first thing the bible reveals about God in Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Think about the creativity of God to come up with things like stars, the moon, all of the animals, and us human beings.

So for me the writing process begins with prayer and listening to worship music. Many writing ideas come to me during the time I spend with Jesus. Sometimes they are serious posts and sometimes they are humorous posts.

There is another aspect to my writing process that I don’t think I would wish on anyone. An idea comes to mind but it isn’t quite ready yet, so I put it on the back burner so to speak. When that happens, it often means I will wake up at some greatly unfortunate time like 2am or 3am and need to write. The idea wakes me up.

One blogging tip is to use the Preview button. It is next to the Publish button. I click on Preview and it helps me to see typos that I need to correct. First click Preview then Preview in New Tab and it brings up another tab that lets you see how the post would look if you published it. I find it to be helpful to catch those pesky little typos I missed.

What is your writing process?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.