Build A Windmill?

Yesterday morning before other bloggers joined for blogger chat, I had a short conversation with Pastor Chuck of lakeside4jesus.wordpress.com. We talked about the Chinese government blowing up and destroying church buildings recently and yet how the church continues to grow in China. We talked about how throughout history various rulers have tried to stop Christianity, but to no avail.

I shared with him about how Holy Spirit is always at work but we can’t see him. yet we know when he is around. I mentioned that Holy Spirit like the wind cannot be stopped. A person can make a private barrier to refuse the work of Holy Spirit in their own lives, but Holy Spirit cannot be stopped just like the wind cannot be stopped.

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Pastor Chuck made a great comment- “If there is wind, it is better to build a windmill to work with the wind.”

God is always at work. He cannot be stopped by any force of humankind. Chuck’s comment is a fun reminder that it is better to let God work in our lives and cooperate with his work.

Our Blogger Chats each Saturday are fun and encouraging. It only began because of the shutdown and a prompting from Holy Spirit. If you want to join sometime, leave a comment.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Faithful by Sarah Reeves

Even when I cannot see, You are moving
Even when I cannot hear, You are singing over me
Even when I can’t hold on, You won’t let me go
You are faithful, You are faithful

I love the lyrics to Faithful by Sarah Reeves. So many times in my life I thought I could not hold on, but Jesus never lets go of us. He is always with us. He will never leave us.

Singing over me? Where do we get that from? In Zephaniah 3 we read:

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing”

Jesus rejoices over us with singing. Have you ever seen a mother sing over her child? God is our father who sings over us. That is how precious we are to God.

When we can’t see the way out of a situation, a problem, a trial, God is at work. He knows the outcome because he is there and with us now at the same time. I experienced that recently. Last summer was dismal for me and put me behind financially, but God was at work. First my dear Vietnamese friends helped their old teacher. Then three weeks ago I received an extra missionary support check. Last week I received anonymous letters with money. Now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

God is faithful. He is faithful even when we are not. Whatever we face in life, he is with us.

Struggle with depression/anxiety? Jesus is there for you.

Struggle with chronic illness? Jesus is there for you/

Financial problems? Jesus is there for you.

Uncertain about the future? Jesus knows your future and is already there. He is there for you now and in your future at the same time.

In the worst moment we can think of which is death, Jesus will be there for us waiting to welcome us into heaven if we have accepted him as our Savior.

He is faithful!!

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

1 Grateful Person Tag

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How often do you lift up your arms to heaven just to say to God- Thank you? This has been on my mind for a while. I have been thinking about if I show enough gratitude to God. This week I have been thanking him for the meaning and purpose he has given my life.

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Jesus expressed his dismay over the lack of gratitude by 9 lepers he healed in Luke 17:

“Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

“When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.”

“One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan”

“Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Of the ten, 1 was a Samaritan. We can assume the others were Jews from the response of Jesus when he said-“except this foreigner?”

Perhaps the other felt entitled to being healed. Perhaps they were excited to get back to their families. We don’t know why they failed to come back and at least say thank you.

Samaritans were outcasts even when healthy. That might explain why the Samaritan felt overwhelmed with gratitude to throw himself at the feet of Jesus to thank him.

Imagine being healed of a disease that meant being totally ostracized from family and society. One would think that gratitude and a thank you would not be difficult to express, but only one person returned to thank Jesus.

When I think about what Jesus did for me, it is overwhelming. First of all, he died for me. No way did I deserve that. He has completely changed me and my life. He has blessed me with a ministry of showing his love to refugee and immigrants from all over the world.

He gives me strength to teach and spend time in ministry even though I live with chronic illness. On my bad days, I can feel his presence.

So today I would like to introduce the 1 Grateful Person Tag. Here are the rules:

The 1 Grateful Person Tag is based on Luke 19 and the account of Jesus with the 1 out ten lepers he healed who came back thank him. Let us aspire to be like the 1 who thanked Jesus and not the 9 who did not.

1- Share what you are grateful to Jesus for.

2-Share a passage from the bible about gratitude that means something to you.

3- Tag whoever you wish to.

4- Please share a link to my original post. 1 Grateful Person

5- Use any picture in your post that expresses gratitude.

6. Share the intro

I am tagging:

Dawn of drawingclosertochrist.com

Jenny of progressinbloom.com

Beverley of becomingtheoilandthewine.com

Herry of herrychiccounsels.com

Amanda of wildandwingingit.home.blog

Gail of gaillovesgod.blog

Yonnie of yonnieinhiscare.wordpress.com

Elisha of africaboy.home.blog

Joy of joycottage.blog

Music Mondays- Till I Met You by Laura Story

Yesterday the pastor of my church taught about what it means that God is love as it says in 1 John 4. It was a wonderful message. The message basically was:

God is love means that love is part of God’s core being. He doesn’t love because of what we do, who we are, or anything else. He loves because it is part of who he is.

When we come to God, our motives are not pure. We do not bring anything to the table that God needs. God does not need anything from us, but he loves us because it is part of who he is.

We bring to God our failures, our sins, our struggles, our depression, our anxiety, our illness, our doubts. our mess. God loves us. Not because of what we do or who we are. He loves us because he loves us.

I love this video by Laura Story. The lyrics of the song so beautifully express the truth of how God loves us even though we are a mess. I hope the song blesses you as you start your week. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

September Was Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month/October- Lupus Awareness Month

September was rheumatic disease awareness month. That covers a range of diseases such as lupus, forms or arthritis and more. October is Lupus Awareness Month.

This is an issue close to my heart due to living with chronic illness myself. I draw strength from God to face chronic illness. I can’t imagine facing chronic illness without my relationship with Jesus who gives me strength.

The most difficult things for me in living with chronic illness are the pain and fatigue. I think fatigue is the worst. I have lived with pain for over 25 years. I can kind of ignore unless it is a real bad day. But fatigue means even after sleeping 7 or more hours, I am still fatigued and it lingers through the whole day. Maybe that is why I love coffee 🙂

Because these awareness months, I want to share a post with you from a fellow blogger who lives with Lupus and a video by a young lady who lives with Psoriatic Arthritis.

Savannah shared a post yesterday in her blog One Mountain At A Time at savannahwall.wordpress.com about her experience living with Lupus. The post is If You Think You’re Tired of Listening to People Talk About Their Chronic Pain, Imagine How Tired They Are of Living With It. It gives a lot of insight about living with Lupus.

Kristen is a young woman who is living with Psoriatic Arthritis. She shared a video a few weeks ago on youtube about 5 Things Chronic Illness Taught Her. She is a young woman who faces life with a chronic illness drawing strength from her faith and relationship with Jesus. Her video gives insight into what it is like living with a form of arthritis.

I wanted to share the stories of these two young women in honor of Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month. It is an issue near and dear to my heart.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Cravings

White Cheddar Popcorn

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That is what I was craving BIG TIME while I was taking Prednisone for bronchitis for most of September.

I don’t know why but every time I take Prednisone for bronchitis, I end up craving something different. This time it was white cheddar popcorn. I could eat a whole bag in a short time. Not microwave stuff either. I was craving “Organic White Cheddar Popcorn”.

I seem to crave something different each time I go on that medication One time it was fried chicken, which I can’t eat anymore due to Celiacs. Another time it was chocolate ice cream.

Craving is a feeling that can consume us. I couldn’t stop thinking about white cheddar popcorn. Now I am off the medication and that craving has stopped.

What we crave in life can become our focal point in life.

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Jesus said in Matthew 6:

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

What we value in life is where our heart is. Jesus used the example of earthly treasures, but the principle applies to anything we desire. Whatever we desire most, will control our lives.

Some things can be good such as wanting to stay healthy. Taking care of ourselves is a good thing, but if it is all consuming in our lives, it can get out of control if we sacrifice relationships to pursue fitness.

It is fun to have a favorite sports team, but that can get out of hand. I have seen basements of people who have spent thousands of dollars collecting memorabilia about their favorite sports team.

We all need clothes, but if someone has 50 or more pairs of shoes, that is a lot of money spent on things we won’t wear that often. That is not a problem for me. I only have 2 pairs of shoes. 🙂

Some desires end up becoming harmful addictions that take over our lives such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, and even the internet. The good news is that Jesus can set us free from addiction.

Jesus spoke of the remedy for the problem of things controlling our lives. He also said in Matthew 6:

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”

God knows what we truly need and he cares about us. The problem is not the things we want, it is putting them first in our lives and letting them control us. If we seek God first, we can be free to truly experience life, friendships, love, and the things of this life will become less important. It is all about keeping things in their proper place with the right perspective, so they do not control us.

By the way, there will be no white cheddar popcorn for me today. Today I will enjoy my favorite recipe which is to visit a friend from another country to eat lunch with them. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

When God Answers :)

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a coffee shop when I noticed two young women playing chess. One seemed to be teaching the other one how to play. I walked by and asked who won. The one who was learning said, “she did.” I found out they are cousins. We talked for a little bit and I found out the one teaching chess has lived in India and in Germany and has experience with learning language and a little experience teaching. She is a recent college grad who wants to be a Fullbright Scholar to teach English in a university in another country. The light went off in my head 🙂

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I needed a new assistant for my morning class that will start September 3rd. I had just prayed about it earlier that morning. I told her about it. She was interested, so I explained how to apply. I already knew I wanted her to be my assistant, but she still had to go through the process. Yesterday we interviewed her and hired her. I am so excited. I enjoy mentoring young people and seeing them gain new skills.

Sometimes God answers prayer quickly and sometimes it can seem like a slow boat. I am grateful he answered this one quickly.

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This experience was a great reminder for me of how God connects the dots for us. I went to the coffee shop at the same time my new assistant was there with her cousin. She was looking to get experience with teaching ESL because she wants to be a Fullbright Scholar teaching English in a university in August 2020. I enjoy mentoring young people. It is a good fit.

With God there is no such thing as coincidence. 🙂

A follow up to my question yesterday- Most popular was picture #2 of me with a short beard. No beard was second. However, I still think I will let it grow long for Christmas for the Santa look. Maybe I should do a drawing for which follower to embarrass by sitting next to them at their church for Christmas Eve service with a long white beard with Christmas ornaments attached. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.