Story Time- Mistaking Cardashians

When I first heard of a certain family being on TV, it was a case of mistaken identity for me. As a Star Trek fan, the name immediately brought to mind an alien race with the same name-Cardashian. The Cardashian aliens were a hostile alien race that was at war with the Federation and oppressors of the Bjorns.

Then I discovered the Cardashians being talked about were a human family famous for nothing but a “reality” show on TV. I wondered why anyone would waste their time watching such a show, but the show persisted and the family became more famous.

I never watched that show, but would still watch Star Trek at times. The human family still seems alien to me. 🙂

I share this bit of mistaken identity to intro a thought, which s what comes to mind when we hear certain names specifically the name Jesus.

When we hear the name Jesus, what do we think of? Do we think of our Savior who loves us? Do we think of a judge ready to pounce on our mistakes?

I often think of Philippians 2:5-11:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

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—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus loves us so much that he left his glory in heaven to become a human, so he could become our Savior. When I think about Philippians 2, Jesus is definitely someone I want to know and want to have in my life.

As for the human family, they seem more fictional to me than the Star Trek beings. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- My Accomplishment with Gloves

It is an achievement I never thought about before mostly because it seemed so unlikely. Yet it has been reached nevertheless. You will be astonished by it I am certain of that. 🙂

What is this feat that has happened? I am glad you asked. Perhaps you should sit down before reading on.

Somehow I have managed to not lose one of my gloves all winter. The first time in memory that this has occurred. By this time I normally have lost one glove and had to buy a new pair and some winters that has happened twice. Not this year. This year I have the same pair of gloves that I bought in late October.

I am sure you are impressed and perhaps wonder how I accomplished the rare feat. I wish I knew myself. I have no secret to pass on.

Perhaps you are thinking I have too much time on my hands staying home most of the time the past several days due to recovering from pneumonia, too much time to think and end up imagining of this post. Perhaps you are right. I have been cooped up at home. But I have been sleeping the past four nights, so perhaps not. lol

Anyone who has lost one glove, knows the feeling of searching for it. That of course is nothing compared to the desperation of searching for misplaced cell phones or car keys. The frantic search that ensues is consuming.

Nothing can compare to how Jesus feels seeking us. The lengths he went to to become our Savior by dying for us on the cross and defeating death for us through his resurrection. How he is always at work now through the Holy Spirit wooing people to faith in him. Jesus will not stop seeking us until the day he returns to earth. Jesus said in Luke 19:10:

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Think about the love of Jesus to seek you.

By the way, I am not concerned about jinxing myself by sharing this story before winter is over. I won’t need them much longer. I am about to make the switch to light weight driving gloves for early spring. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Wishing I Could Move

Yesterday in my afternoon class, I asked the students if they prefer winter or summer. When they asked me, my reply was that in late July and August I prefer winter because I am tired of the heat and in late January and February I prefer summer because I am tired of the cold.

Where I live, we can have extreme winters and extreme summers. It is not every year, but they do happen. In the summer we can have heat waves with over three weeks of 100 f/38c every day.

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on

In the summer of 2010, it was one of those summers that every day from June through August was miserable. We had not only the heat but also high humidity. So when I got off the plane in San Diego California on my way to Ensenada Mexico for a ministry trip, and felt the perfect 72f/22c weather with no humidity, you can understand why I wondered if they needed teachers there. San Diego has beautiful weather all year.

When I returned to my city, I Googled apartment rentals in San Diego and quickly realized I could not afford to live there on a teacher’s salary. Too bad, so sad lol.

Regardless of where we live, we long for a place that does not have the problems of daily living. We will never find such a place in this life, but there is such a place to look forward to. Hebrews 11:16 says:

“Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”

God has a heavenly city prepared for us. In heaven there are no problems, no heat waves, no artic cold fronts. no crime, no pollution, no corruption. The glory of God permeates heaven.

I still wish I could afford San Diego in this life though. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time-My Countryside Experience

This past Sunday I had an adventure out in the countryside. My Sunday morning group was invited to have lunch in the home of friends who live outside the city. As I share about my adventure, I am sure it will amuse my fellow bloggers Gary of and Alicia of Gary is such an outdoorsman that he could have his own show about outdoor adventures and I am sure he would have made a good mountain man if he had lived in the 1800s. Alicia lives outside a small town and plays with coyotes.

.Going to my friends’ home. I drove five miles outside the city on a paved road and then a mile on a gravel road. However, returning to the city I needed to take a different route because I was going to the Ukrainian church for their Youth Group Christmas Program. So I drove on a different road. It was a gravel road. I drove on it from 190th street to 140th street where it changed to be a paved road the rest of the way. That means I drove fifty blocks on a gravel road.

As I was driving, I kept looking for deer that might jump out. I also wondered if I might see coyotes or even a mountain lion. It was a real outdoor adventure for me. You will be glad to know I made it safely back to civilization. When I reached the paved part of the road, that was my thought, “back in civilization”.

I know you might be wondering how it is that a man who has been on eleven ministry trips to other counties could feel a bit overwhelmed by the drive on a gravel road. In my defense, those trips were all to other cities in other countries. They were in civilization too just in a different country with a different language. In such a setting I am in my element.

Photo by Jessica Lewis Creative on

My gravel road adventure gave me a new appreciation for the journey Joseph and Mary would have taken from Nazareth to Bethlehem that first Christmas. They would not have even had a gravel road to journey on. The setting of the birth of Jesus was primitive by today’s standards, even countryside standards. Our Savior, the King of the Universe, chose to leave his throne and glory in heaven to be born in very primitive and humble surroundings.

By the way, I need to wash my car but it has been so cold this week that I can’t because the doors could freeze shut. That will have to wait to next week when it warms up.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Selling That Ugly Chair

Many years ago in what seems like another lifetime to me, I sold office furniture. During my first week, one of the senior sales people told me, “remember Matt ugly sells.” I wondered what he meant by that.

There was a chair on the display floor that I thought would never sell. It was UGLY at least to me. I realized what that senior sales person was talking about during that first week on the job. A married couple walked in and after seeing that ugly chair excitedly expressed, “what a beautiful chair.” The chair was already marked down with a ‘final’ price which they eagerly paid. I was happy to have the sale, but wondered about their taste.

The worth or value of anything depends on what worth or value we place on it. For me that ugly chair was not worth the asking price. For that married couple, that ugly chair was a bargain at its clearance price.

As we celebrate Christmas, part of that is celebrating the worth or value God places on us. God values us so much that he sent Jesus to be our Savior by being born as a human baby for the purpose of growing to be man to die for us on the cross. Romans 8:32 puts it this way:

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

The classic Christmas song O Holy Night has a lyric that expresses it as:

“Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth”

If we ever wonder what we are worth to God, we only need to think of Jesus leaving heaven to come as a human baby to become our Savior. As the acronym says:






Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- 2 Words I Hate in the Winter

In the winter there are words I love to hear connected to the weather such as no school. It is rare but we have snow days that result in no school which means I can stay home and watch movies. Above average are two words I love to hear when it comes to temperatures in the winter.

Photo by Pixabay on

There are two words I hate in the winter. They are Wintry Mix. Where I live in Southeast Nebraska we seem to get stuck with Wintry Mix while the rest of the state gets snow. What is Wintry Mix you might ask? Good question.

Wintry Mix is a combination of freezing drizzle and light snow. Basically when one hears Wintry Mix where I live it means that everywhere one walks one will need to be careful as to not slip and fall. It also means cars sliding out of control. When they say Wintry Mix, it means a miserable day.

Wintry Mix seems like an attempt to put a positive spin on a bad deal almost like the weather people are trying to sell a used car no one wants.

Jesus never misled people. He was very clear that there could be a cost for following him when he said things like, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first:” in John 15:18. That’s not exactly a positive spin on following him. We want to hear things like your best life now. Becoming a Christian in some places in the world can mean putting one’s life in danger. For those of us living in the West like the USA, that is a reality we have not had to face.

Tomorrow we might have that miserable weather called Wintry Mix. It might be time for a “sick day” 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time-Where Are Those Gloves?

Where I live, we are going to have a big cold front come through dropping our temperatures from 68f/20c today to 34f/1c tomorrow, so it is time for my annual game of-Where Are Those Gloves?

Photo by Dom J on

Those sneaky gloves like to play hide and seek with me. Some years they are so good at it that I end up buying another pair of gloves and when I do, that’s when the old pair of gloves suddenly reappears. My search today will probably result in me going to buy another pair anyway.

My Lord of the Rings hoodie is ready to go. I washed it the other day, but I think I may need to wash some sweaters today. I don’t break out the winter coat until it is much colder than it will be tomorrow. I still have that coat I bought several years ago that has a rip in the side. We will wait and see if I need another one.

Back to those sneaky gloves. I have a feeling they might have been hiding in my old van that I had towed away. But I will look around one more time. If I find them, I will rejoice because that will mean I won’t need to go shopping. If I do find them, I will update you so you can rejoice with me. 🙂

Jesus talked about the joy a person has in finding lost things in Luke 15 and used that to share about how angels rejoice when one person comes to know Jesus.

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- In Search of Pumpkins

This week I am on a search for pumpkins for a fall festival at the school where I teach in the mornings, so if you were hoping my post today is about Linus from Charlie Brown looking for the Great Pumpkin, sorry. 🙂

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on

Because of COVID, starting in August 2020 my church has been doing First Free Loves LPS-Lincoln Public Schools. We have done various things to show support for teachers and schools. So when I was asked if my church could help with money for the fall festival, I gladly asked. The answer was yes,

The problem? Somehow that also has meant the task of finding 60 mini pumpkins and 20 regular ones has fallen to me, to me the least likely person one would select for such a mission. Shopping ranks below doing laundry and is equal to going to the dentist in my mind.

The regular pumpkins are still plentiful to find, but those mini ones not so much. I will make one more valiant epic effort today to find some.

My search brought to mind what Jesus said about us in Luke 19:10:

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Jesus left heaven to be born as a human baby to grow to be a man to die for us, That is the extent Jesus was willing to go through on our behalf. Jesus seeks us out of his great love for us.

My search will continue today. Perhaps a rescue team will be needed to find me as I go out into that realm called shopping.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time-My Student Needed A Book

My schedule is a little tight between my afternoon class and my evening classes. My afternoon class finishes at 6pm and my evening classes start at 6:30 pm. Fortunately it is a short drive from the high school where my afternoon class meets to either my home for my Monday/Wednesday Zoom class or to the college for my Tuesday/Thursday class.

Yesterday afternoon my class finished a little early because the students had a placement test for English level. Having the extra ten minutes, I had the time for a mission.

One of my Zoom students needed the book for class, but she is a new arrival from Ukraine having come to my city two months ago. She works but is dependent on the bus There was no way for her to be able to go to the college downtown to get her book. I picked one up for her Tuesday evening, but was not sure how I would get it to her. Having the extra ten minutes did the trick.

I drove to the main bus stop downtown to see if she was there and sure enough, she was. I drove up, rolled down a window to my car and called out her name. I handed her the book. She was surprised that her teacher pulled up to give her the book and was all smiles.

It made me think about what Jesus said about the lost sheep in Luke 15:

“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.”

I was happy to go look for my student and even happier that I found her to give her the book. That pales in comparison to Jesus and the lengths he went to on our behalf. He left heaven to come to earth to seek us out and save us. He wants to put us on his shoulder. He rejoices when we come to him.

My student was glad to see me drive up. Are we glad that Jesus came for us?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Student Confused by the Word Fix

English can be a confusing language to learn. A fun example is a question a student had the other day. They saw-fix breakfast- and wondered why it said fix breakfast. They asked if breakfast was broken. Side note that could be true if I was making breakfast, but I digress.

Photo by Anna Shvets on

I explained that yes English is crazy sometimes and that Americans also use fix to mean make when it is about breakfast, lunch, or dinner. My student shook her head. I did not go into that in the South people will use am fixing to to mean am going to.

Jesus often confused people when he spoke in parables. We have the benefit of having the whole bible and still might get confused. One such word that confused people when Jesus spoke that is humbling to think about is the word-sheep. Jesus used the word sheep in reference to people. Matthew picked up on this when he wrote in Matthew chapter 9:

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Sheep are not very bright. They get lost easy. They wander off easily and they cannot protect themselves. That is how Jesus sees us. It is humbling to admit that we wander, get confused, and need his help.

It is also humbling to admit that sometimes when I cook the results need to be fixed. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.