Opportunities In The Midst Of A Hospital Stay

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

This verse has a promise in it for those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus. But what exactly is the promise? Jesus is not saying we will be immune to problems. The promise is that no matter what happens in this life, we can rest in knowing Jesus has overcome this world and all of its problems. Jesus lived in this life, so he is our perfect Sympathetic High Priest we can come to in prayer any time.

I had such a time this week already, actually this past week. but Sunday and Monday were the culimnation.

Due to dealing with having bronchitis, I felt like doing absolutely NOTHING including no energy for blogging this past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening I had pain in my ribs from all of the coughing. So after consulting Dr. Google and finding what what the pain could mean, I decided to go to the ER thinking they might stick a needle in my side to draw out some fluid.

Once I was hooked up to the machines, the Physician’s Assistant said something about not liking where I heart rate was at- beats per minute. I didn’t realize how seriously it would be taken. Next thing I knew Cardiology was involved. The Cardiologist ended up telling me I was in a version of AFIB and that they wanted me to stay over night to have my heart shocked back into rhythm. I agreed to do so and ended up staying over night.

It was what transpired that transformed the situation into three divine appointments. It started with the young woman who was my nurse overnight. We had conversations every time she came into my room. I got to know her and her life story. At one point after realizing she is a baby Christian, I asked her to pray for me. She shared that she did not know how to pray, so I told her to just pray from her heart. She prayed for me.

In the morning, a student nurse was handling my case. She went with me for the cardioversion, shocking my heart back into rhythm. She was with me most of the time in the morning. I was her only patient. I got to know her and her life story. We talked about Jesus and the church she goes to. We laughed a lot. I was part of her education.

When she left around 11am, a nice young woman took over. She had a tattoo that simply said, Jeremiah 29:11. I quoted Jeremiah 29:11 to her which got her attention. I got to know her and her life story. She is a baby Christian as well. We shared a lot and at one point I asked her to pray for me. She told me she had stage fright about praying in front of people. I shared with her she could simply pray from her heart and not worry about how it sounded to others. After she prayed, I shared Romans 8 26-27 with her.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

I shared with her that no one knows how to pray but we do not need to worry about it because the Holy Spirit helps us as we pray translating between God and ourselves. When it was time for me to go home, she gave me a hug.

So three young women who are nurses, one big unexpected turn of events in the hospital, and me asking Jesus to get me through it, turned into three divine appointments to encourage and strengthen new believers.

I am feeling better and after coming home, took a four hour nap.

By the way all three of them brought me chocolate ice cream. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Grateful for A Car with Heat

The past four winters my old van had a problem. The heat did not work. Not a big deal, it was more a nuisance. This morning I turned the heat on in my new vehicle and was grateful it works. It is interesting how a small thing like that can change a person’s mood.

I was already looking forward to seeing my Ukrainian friends this morning, but as the heat warmed me up, the realization hit me that for the first time in years winter will not be an issue. Driving around in temps below zero at times in the winter can be a fun adventure.

I realize that having heat in the car is a first world problem and does not compare to the hardships people experience in many countries, but as 1st Thessalonians 5:16 to 18 says:

Rejoice always,  pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

So I rejoice my car has heat now.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Happy Thanksgiving Day

It is Thanksgiving Day here in the USA. So this is a simple post today to say I am thankful for my fellow bloggers who read my posts and bless me with their posts to read.

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For those in the USA, Happy Thanksgiving Day. May it be a blessed day for you.

For those around the world, may this day be full of blessings for you and your family.

Happy Thanksgiving Day

Thankful for Over 2,000 Followers-What I Have Learned

I am thankful that this past week my blog went over 2,000 followers. I appreciate all of you who have followed my blog, read my posts, liked and especially the ones who have commented on my posts. I wish I could follow everyone back but realistically that would be impossible.

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I thought I would share a few things I have learned in regards to blogging. I hope they are helpful for you in your blogging journey.

Be Patient

It takes time for a blog to grow. It took four years for my blog to go over 2,000 followers. It is extremely rare for a blogger to be an instant success. Give it time.

Be Consistent

If you blog once a week, do it on the same day. If you blog twice a week, do it on the same days. By being consistent, you help your followers know when to expect a post from you.

Be Communal

Interact with other bloggers through comments. Comments that connect to the content of their posts not just a quick spammy type comment like great post, Comments that connect to content and being consistent with them are a great way to get the attention of a blogger.

Be Open to experiment

Give yourself permission to try new ideas in your blog. When I first started sharing about chronic illness, I was hesitant but felt Jesus wanted me to do so. I started a series Wellness Wednesdays where I share about chronic illness and mental health. Some of those posts have been some of my highest viewed ones.

Be True to Yourself

If I tried to write lifestyle type posts, it would not go over well. I am a single guy who lives cheaply. I share what I know about or have truly experienced. That is my voice.

Be Kind

Yes some bloggers grow their blogs by being part of the debate society seeking to argue points. It can work. But for me, I would much rather be remembered as someone who encourages others and seeks to build up. There have been bloggers try to engage me in negativity and I simply delete their comment and block them.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to share tips in the comments.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

July 4th- Thank Day in the UK

Hannah joins blogger chat with us most Saturday mornings, afternoons her time. She has a bright smile and beautiful heart for Jesus. Her blog is at hannahmvandi.com

She shared with us in blogger chat that July 4th in the UK this year is Thank You Day if you click on it you can read about it. It sounds like a wonderful celebration.

So I want to thank my followers in the UK and wish them a Happy Thank You Day. I enjoy your blog posts and appreciate you following and reading my blog. I hope this day is special and meaningful for you.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.


Thankful for an Injection?

One thing I am thankful for is having an injection in my knee yesterday. That may sound a bit crazy but my hope is it delays surgery. I will have two more injections one each of the following Tuesdays.

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They even gave me an early Christmas present too. I now have a brace to wear. Not one of those cheap ones a person buys at Walmart. This one is a serious brace. But it was not wrapped with a bow on it. 🙂

I had the opportunity to tell some jokes to the women working the front desk, the P.A. who gave me the injection, and the young woman who fitted me with the brace. As they read this, bloggers who join me for blogger chat on Saturdays might be rolling their eyes. They have been blessed with my jokes every Saturday morning. 🙂

All in all it has not been too bad of a year when it comes to doctors. I only saw two specialists and of course appointments with my GP. Any spoonie will tell you that a year almost free of seeing specialists is a good year.

So today I am thankful for injections in my knee. What are you thankful for?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thankful For A Day of Writing

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Yesterday my team lost again. It is a long slow rebuild for what was once one of the most dominant college football teams.

Each time I checked my Facebook yesterday there were posts by people about the election. I ended up either unfollowing them or snoozing them for 30 days because that is not what I want to see on Facebook which is only about socializing for me, NOT politics.

So one would think it was a dismal day for me.

O Contraire!!!

I spent most of my time writing while listening to worship music. I wrote my notes for John chapter 12 for my Life Group which took about 2 hours. I wrote some more in my book. And of course, I wrote this post.

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Writing notes for bible study, writing a book that my hope is will help combat trafficking of children and young women, and writing my blog, all while listening to worship music, is an act of worship for me. My hope for writing is to glorify Jesus. When I write, I feel a connection with Jesus.

I am thankful Jesus wired me this way. He created me to be a creative person. It is expressed through writing, acting, and directing. Not artwork. I can barely draw stick figures 🙂

I am thankful for time for writing.

What are you thankful for today?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Finding Gratitude in the Midst of Hardship

The past several weeks have certainly seen upheaval in life. It could be a depressing time for me if I did not have God helping me. In my prayers the past few weeks I have been thanking Jesus for how he has helped me during this COVID-19 crisis. I thought I would share some things I am grateful for in the midst of hardship.

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Hardship- class canceled for a few weeks and starting again online.

I am grateful that I have work and can still have income. I am thankful for being able to help my students learn new skills studying online that can help them with their futures. Yes, I miss seeing them in person, but I can see them in online class and stay connected.

Hardship- I am in 3 at risk groups so going to the store is not for me.

I am thankful for friends who bring me food. They have been a blessing. I can also order food for pick up curbside at some supermarkets here who have set aside time only for people in high risk groups.

Hardship- I live alone and can’t see friends at church, see my students, see people at my coffee shop hangout.

I am grateful for online services from my church. I can also see my students online. I have had video chats with friends in Brazil.

Corrie Ten Boom was in a Nazi concentration camp. She saw her sister die in the camp. Her story reminds me that what we are living through now is not as severe as what she endured. One of her quotes is one of my favorites.

“There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”

I am so grateful that because of Jesus I can have a relationship with God. I am thankful for Jesus waking me up with a song in my spirit.

What are you thankful for at this time?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- I Am Not Going to Kick the Bucket

I started going to my home church in April 1994 after having to leave Minneapolis where I was studying for ministry. I had to leave because of my health. I never told anyone at my home church how bad off I was because I thought God was calling me to pray for the church while I died.

Pastor Scott was one of my first friends at the church. He had a prayer meeting before the worship services at that time. I went to the prayer group when I was able to get up and get to church during the year of June 1994 to July 1995. In July 1995, the doctor finally diagnosed my problem and got me started on the medication I needed. In August 1995, he told me I was coming out of it.

The following Sunday, I went to the prayer group and said, “I am not going to kick the bucket” meaning I am not going to die. I had not told them how bad off I was, but they probably guessed it by looking at me.

Pastor Scott and I have been friends since that time. We went on a mission trip to Romania in June 1997. I have watched his children grow and now his son is a pastor and his daughter is married and helps lead worship.

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We are polar opposites in personality. Pastor Scott is a planner. He has overseen many things for the church over the years. He likes to bring order to what is unorganized.

My personality is that of one who likes adventure, the unknown, and who likes to step out in faith to see what God wants to do. When a new people group comes to my city that no one knows much about, I love to spend time with them and learn about them to see what God is doing.

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Over the years as I have been out among the new people groups. Pastor Scott has been a person I could count on to kind of be a lifeline or anchor. He has been the recipient of many emails from me that are- “I have an idea” emails.

Pastor Scott is changing to part-time status which essentially means semi retired. When I think about our friendship, I think about how each of us is gifted differently, but Jesus is the one who blesses.

In the church, we are not all gifted the same and I am thankful for that. If everyone was an adventurer like me, there would be no organization. If everyone was an organizer like Pastor Scott, there would be no new ideas or efforts. Jesus gifts us differently and brings balance to it all.

As 1st Corinthians 12 says:

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work”

I am so thankful that God has blessed me with friendships, like my friendship with Pastor Scott, that are friendships with people who are different than I am. There is no need for competition in the church. We have different callings but the same Lord.

So this story time post is my way of saying thank you to Pastor Scott as he transitions to a new role.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time-Thanksgiving Day Edition- Grandpa Had to Cut My Food

Thanksgiving when I was 12 years old was something I looked forward to because it meant my Grandpa Charles and Grandma Eve were coming. The only downside was that it was the year I injured my elbow playing football. The injury first happened in the third game of the season. After a few weeks, I pretended that it was better because I wanted to play in the last game that was for the city championship in my little league. In that game, I made several tackles but aggravated the injury.

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So when Thanksgiving Day came, I couldn’t even hold and use a knife to cut my food. 12 old boys don’t want moms doting over them. Grandpa Charles sat next to me and since he was Grandpa, it was okay if he cut my food since I couldn’t. He cut my turkey for me, so I could eat one handed.

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Interesting side note, Grandpa Charles and Grandma Eve were Christians and prayed for a grandchild to be in ministry. It still amazes me that God answered their prayers through me.

As we sat at Thanksgiving Dinner, it felt like everything fit together just right to have Grandpa Charles sitting next to me and that he cut my food for me since I was injured and could not do a simple little thing like cut my food.

We have a Heavenly Father who is always sitting with us, walking with us, and is eager to share his kingdom with us. With our Heavenly Father, everything fits together just right. It pleases God to share his kingdom with us. In Luke 12 we read:

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”

Just as Grandpa Charles saw me as his little grandson when I was 12, Jesus and our Heavenly Father see us as their beloved family, sons and daughters of God. They are pleased, happy, to share the kingdom of God with us.

The only question is if we want Jesus and our Heavenly Father to share their kingdom with us. Jesus shared about it in John 3:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

On this Thanksgiving, I am grateful foremost for the gift of eternal life that God our Father provides for those who trust, believe in, Jesus. I am also grateful for two grandparents who prayed for me, my brothers and sister, and my cousins.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers in the USA.

By the way, Deborah was lead the votes last Thursday for someone that I should cook for. Congrats Deborah. This week’s vote, who should I cook Thanksgiving Dinner for next year? The nominees are; Dawn of drawingclosertochrist.com, Rene of hearttokens.home.blog, and Beverly of becomingtheoilandthewine.com

Thank you for reading. God Bless.