In Transit

Yesterday I went to the DMV to get my car registered and the license plates for it. Fortunately the line was not long and I did not need to stand in line very long. After almost four weeks, my car is no longer In Transit. That term In Transit makes me think about this life.

For as long as I am in this life, I am In Transit myself. This is not my permanent home. Hebrews 11:13-16 says:

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.  If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 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.

So this life is temporary. I am glad it is temporary. I would not want an eternity of living with pain, living with the problems of this world. There is an eternal home waiting for me.

Just as while my car was In Transit I gladly gave people a ride, my hope is to bring people with me to my eternal home-heaven. The only reason I am still here in this life is to share the love of Jesus and the wonderful message of salvation in Jesus, so others can have a blessed eternal future.

The road of this life might get bumpy, there will be times of driving through adverse weather, but hop on in the In Transit vehicle knowing Jesus is steering it and is always with us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Groaning But Keep Going

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,  because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

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This passage from 2nd Corinthians 5:1-5 came to mind yesterday after Craig of Poetic Perspectives at brocraigblog.wordpress.com replied to me asking how he was in my comment section, “I am about the same physically, but have lately felt more blessed and closer to the Lord, spiritually, which is the most important thing. He is ever faithful and loving toward His own and we truly cannot even begin to comprehend the extent to which this is true! Thanks for asking!” Craig lives with chronic illness as do I.

Yesterday I groaned a lot. I missed the bus that would have taken me the mile and half distance from the school where I teach to my coffee shop. Problem is the bus system here is terrible. The bus comes only one time each hour. So instead of waiting for one hour, I walked to the coffee shop. As I walked, my left foot and ankle reminded me that psoriatic arthritis has struck there. My right knee spoke up too not wanting to be left out. By the time I made it to the coffee shop, it felt like I had finished a marathon.

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Living with autoimmune issues like psoriatic arthritis and also with fibromyalgia means I feel like groaning all the time. I am looking forward to the day I am in heaven with no more pain. But to be here in this life, even living with chronic pain, means opportunities to share Jesus and his gospel with people from diverse cultures.

One of the first things I will do after I get a different vehicle, thanks to people being generous to donate, will be to join a club again that has an aqua track, It is a walking track of warm water, It is great for people with arthritis.

I will be more mobile again, so visiting refugees/immigrants will be part of my routine again too which is the best part for me. 🙂

So here is to more ministry even though I am groaning.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Wonders God Has for Us in Heaven

Last night as I was driving home from class, the moon was full and looked so close in the sky. It was bright and one could see features of it. But then a veil of clouds crossed its path in the sky. The moon was still somewhat visible, but its features not clear. It was blurred behind the veil of clouds.

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It caused me to reflect on what Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 13:12:

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

Until Jesus comes or takes us to home to heaven, we do not see clearly what God has in store for us, how wonderful heaven is, how wonderful God’s presence is. and how blessed we are.

As Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 2:9

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Think of the most awesome worship experience you have had and then think about how it pales in comparison to being in the presence of Jesus in heaven. Think about the best moments in your life and then think about how they pale in comparison to what you will experience in eternity with Jesus.

We can get bogged down in life, so we need to zoom out and think about the whole picture for us which includes the marvels of being in the presence of Jesus for all eternity.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Reflections from Teaching A Citizenship Class

I started teaching a U.S. Citizenship class a few weeks ago. My students come from various countries and hope to become U.S. Citizens. It intrigues me that I could go live in another country, say France for example, live there, learn the language and culture. maybe even take a citizenship test to become a citizen, but I would never really be considered French. Yet people come from other countries and become Americans, and many experience the “American Dream”.

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Whenever I go to a Citizenship ceremony, I am grateful for my friends becoming a citizen because I know what it means to them and for their lives such as being finished with immigration services, being able to register to vote, and being able to get a U.S. passport.

It also makes me think about something else. There is an eternal citizenship that is not based on knowing a language, a person’s ethnicity or race or any other consideration other than coming to know a person.

Philippians 3:20 says:

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ”

When we come to know Jesus, we are automatically granted citizenship in heaven. It is one of the numerous blessings Jesus pours out on those who come to know him as their Savior. At that moment, even though we are still in this life, we become aliens or strangers in this world looking forward to realizing our eternal home as we see in Hebrews 11:

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 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.”

We also become representatives of our eternal home hoping to bring others with us as we see in 2 Corinthians 5:

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God”.

I am genuinely interested in seeing the lives of my refugee and immigrant friends improve here in America. I rejoice with them at important occasions such as when they become citizens. My hope is that by helping them achieve their dream, I also show the love of Jesus in the process and it leads to them receiving citizenship in heaven too.

Thank you for reading. God Bless. 🙂

Journey Together While Blogging-Spotlight on a New Blogger

This week it dawned on me. It is unusual for me, so it sneaked up on me. I am healthy this week.

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I had the worst Fibromyalgia flare up I ever had the first week of September and then I had bronchitis for four weeks. This week I am breathing normally, well for someone with asthma, and my pain level is low only maybe a 3 out of 10. For me that is a healthy week. Healthy is kind of relative term when living with chronic illness. Nonetheless, I am calling this a HEALTHY week for me. 🙂

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I wrote a post in August about how looking to Jesus helps me while living with chronic illness. It was-Jesus Understands Pain. Mornings are so important for me. Some mornings my prayer and worship time is deep and meaningful Some mornings it is a time to barely manage a prayer of please help me through this day while I listen to worship music. Either way, Jesus sustains me and gives me strength.

A new blogger I follow is Bro Craig. He recently wrote a post that I think captures the experience of someone living with chronic illness. His post was In Between My Fears. It is an excellent post to read.

I appreciate other bloggers who are willing to share struggles with health or with depression/anxiety. I remember when I first started to share about my struggles with both. I wasn’t certain about the response. But I felt as someone who has been a Christian for many years and as a person in ministry, if I would be willing to share about living with chronic illness and the depression/anxiety that are symptoms of 2 of the chronic illnesses I have that perhaps it would help others. My hope is also to be a small part of lessening the stigma.

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One thought I have about this blogging community is that for those of us who blog, in a way we are walking with each other to home. In this life we are strangers in a foreign land looking forward to our eternal home in heaven as Hebrews 11 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.”

But our journey in this life is a marathon not a sprint. We can journey together as fellow Christians who blog. Writing a blog is something I can do even on my down days with chronic illness. I appreciate my fellow bloggers and look forward to seeing more of your posts.

It is my privilege to share about new bloggers. Please check our Bro Craig’s blog.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.