God’s Timing

It was time this past March to finally let go of it that old winter coat. I had bought it several years before and was using duct tape on the tears in it. It had duct tape on more than one spot. The zipper did not work so well anymore either. So last March, I finally threw it out with the garbage.

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Yesterday it was finally time to get a new winter coat, but what is a person to do when it is Christmas shopping time and the stores are busy. I did what any sensible shopping adverse person would do. I went on Amazon and ordered a winter coat. It will arrive on Friday just in time for the cold weather to come. So far I have been just fine with my hooded sweatshirt, but the temps that are supposed to be coming a coat will be needed.

Finally time makes me think of the phrase in the bible-in the fullness of time. in Galatian 4:4-5:

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Jesus was born into his earthly life in the fullness of time. He was born at just the right time. God’s timing is not the same as our timing. If I had to choose a time to come, it would have been the modern world with all of its conveniences not 2,000 years ago when life was rough. But in God’s timing, 2,000 years ago was perfect timing for Jesus to be born into this life.

It can be encouraging to remember God has his perfect timing when we pray. Sometimes what we pray for is delayed, but then we need to trust that God sees the whole picture, so he knows what is best.

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.

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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.

Music Mondays- Eternal Light by John Michael Talbot

Life today is increasingly stressful. There are so many opposing forces pulling at us each day. As someone who lives with chronic illness and also the accompanying depression, how I start my day is SO important. Starting my day with Jesus in prayer and listening to worship music helps me to renew spiritually for the day. It also helps me to clear my mind of negative things.

There are songs that I love to listen to simply because they help me to focus on Jesus while I pray. They help me to simply experience his presence as I begin time with Jesus in prayer, bible reading, and meditating on scripture.

I wanted to share a song with you today that I love to listen to. Eternal Light by John Michael Talbot has the message of Jesus is the Eternal Light and the message of let’s live as children of the light.

The choral background voices make the song one of beauty and lifts me up into the presence of Jesus.

I hope this song blesses you as much as it blesses me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Blessed with Fruit :)

First before my post, I want to share a picture for my friend at justbacon.home.blog I love her quirky sense of humor, so I want to dedicate this salad photo to her. 🙂

One of the blessings of teaching English Second Language is sometimes my students give me food they cooked from their culture. I love food from other cultures. When a student brings me food, I feel like God smiled down at me. 🙂

So this past Wednesday, a student left a food container at my desk. It was my student from Iraq. I thanked her in her language and looked forward to getting home. Sometimes she gives me kebab and sometimes she gives me dohlma. I love both.

When I picked up the container, it felt too heavy to be either of those. When I got home and opened it, I found FRUIT. She gave me some fruit.

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You might be thinking I was disappointed. But I wasn’t. I was encouraged. I had just prayed that day that I need some fruit. It has been a long difficult summer due to 2 classes being canceled. I haven’t been eating very healthy.

I have fruit to last me until Sunday. With it being soft fruit season, I have felt I was missing out.

It happened on the same day that started with me struggling with depression. Wednesday morning was a rough morning. Summer has been rough and Wednesday morning, I woke up feeling down. Chronic illness has that effect on me at times. I had physical pain, the summer has been hard financially, and I didn’t have the energy to do anything. I did turn on some worship music.

While I was listening to the worship music, the passage in the bible when God talks with Elijah the prophet saying- “What are you doing here Elijah” when Elijah was depressed. Then my stomach started to growl and I felt the Lord tell me- EAT.

The passage in 1 Kings 19 where the angel comes to Elijah came to mind:

“All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” ...

My stomach growled even more. I went to the kitchen, scary thought me in a kitchen, and microwaved some oatmeal. I ate and felt a little better.

That was when I said to God, “I wish I had some fruit.”

So when I came home and saw my student had given me fruit not a cooked meal, I realized God had just smiled down at me.

Now for some bacon salad 🙂

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.