Story Time-A New Adventure in the Kitchen

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

A friend of brought me some beef and chicken from the store last Thursday. It was very nice of him to do so. It is wonderful to have friends being so helpful.

When my friend brought me the beef and chicken, I looked at the beef, saw it was a three pound roast, and realized I had no way to cook it. I didn’t think I could cook it in my microwave using the popcorn setting. I only have a small pan for stove top cooking.

So what is a boy to do? I went to Amazon and looked up slow cooker, I bought the lowest priced one I could find. It was delivered Sunday afternoon.

Upon receiving said slow cooker, I looked at it and noticed there was no popcorn setting. I began to experience cognitive dissonance. Fortunately Google was there to help me out even though I was lost and confused.

I cooked aforementioned roast with potatoes, carrots, baby bell peppers, and onion. The results were edible but I don’t think it would get raving reviews from a food critic.

Fortunately for us, new developments never cause Jesus any confusion. Nothing catches him off guard. There is nothing that he can”t handle. Jesus said in Matthew 28:

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

Jesus said that after his resurrection. So let’s ask ourselves this- If Jesus can defeat death, can he help us in this time of the Covid-19 crisis?

So who should I visit after this crisis to cook dinner for with my new slow cooker? You can nominate people in the comments. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Simple Acts of Kindness During This Crisis

Yesterday morning there was a knock on my door. I don’t usually have visitors because I am always out and about whether teaching, visiting people. or hanging out in a coffee shop. So when there was a knock on my door, I wondered who it could be.

I opened the door and there was a woman standing there with a bakery box. She was delivering fresh warm gluten free chocolate chip cookies. Friends from church ordered them for me.

Talk about a mood changer 🙂

I am not a morning person. The only things I like about mornings are coffee and teaching my class, but since my class has not been meeting, mornings have been a slow start for me. My breakfast was coffee and two gluten free chocolate chip cookies.

Last week other friends brought me a cheeseburger with gluten free bun and french fries. Another friend brought me two big bags of popcorn.

Friends remembering during this time can mean so much. Simple acts of kindness help us to feel connected during a time of self isolating.

If you have a friend, neighbor, colleague, or family member that is in a group at higher risk, simple acts of kindness can mean so much.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Have Fun With Me to Break the Boredom- Part 2- My Responses

Last Friday I posted- Have Fun With Me To Break The Boredom inviting people to share their assumptions about me. Today I am sharing their assumptions, links to their blogs, and my responses.

It was a fun game to play with my fellow bloggers 🙂

Dawn of drawingclosertochrist.com said- You love trying different foods from around the world.

Yes that is very true. I love food from other cultures 🙂

Beverley of becomingtheoilandthewine.com said- My assumption is that you are a no nonsense kind of guy.My second assumption is that you have a special “liking” for one of your blogging friends 

I guess I do tend to be a no nonsense kind of guy. Special liking? It depends what that means. There are bloggers I follow whose blogs I enjoy following 🙂

Lily of the Valley 777 said-  I assume you’re a good listener, and by listening to others, learn how you can best help them achieve their goals.

I try to be a good listener. I think if we listen we learn more about people.

Kim of fearandoovercome.wordpress.com said- You enjoy your students and love to teach

Yes I love to teach and be with my students.

Jenny of ofprogressandpurpose,com said- Hmm… I assume that you love kids? Is that daring enough? Or too easy?

Maybe it is obvious from some of my posts. I do love kids. They are so much fun too interact with and encourage.

Michelle of apudiem.wordpress.com said – You love music 🎶

I do love music especially worship music because it helps me be in the presence of Jesus 🙂

Alive and Well of enterhispeace.wordpress.com said- You got to be organized to teach as you do.

Organized? hmm- well I have been teaching for a long time so I have many teaching plans in my mind to draw from. My teaching is organized, but if you saw my desk you would think otherwise 🙂

honeybeewhisperer.com said- You prefer microwave to stovetop

Yes I prefer the microwave because it is so much easier especially just using the popcorn setting. 🙂

Tina of pippispoetry.com said – My assumption is that you never assume too much about people. You ask questions and get to know them.

I have learned no to assume about people because people will surprise us. I don’t like putting people into boxes.

Hannah of hannahhibiersack.wordpress.com said- My assumption is your a helper. Your a kind soul and always willing to help others.

I hope I am kind. I do love helping people especially my refugee and immigrant friends 🙂

messybunandgettingitdone.home.blog said- You are a helper and encourager. And, duh ;). Love some Jesus.

I do love Jesus and hope I show his love 🙂

jlp260 of gardenfaith.com said- Hi, my assumption is that you enjoy music and books more than television.

I love music but watch a lot of music videos on youtube so that might be considered television. I love books too 🙂

parkinsonscaregivernet.wordpress.com said- You have more than 5 copies of the Bible right now on your shelves?

Yes I do have more than 5 copies. I have 2 bi-lingual English and Spanish bibles. I have 1 bi-lingual Portuguese and English bible. I have an NIV bible, a NIV New Readers bible, I have a Greek New Testament and a Hebrew Old Testament.

Tracey of traceysworld.com said- Your prefer Pepsi to Coke?

I used to prefer Pepsi, but now I mostly drink water and in the mornings coffee.

nopassingfancy.wordpress.com said- Hmmm… how about…. you didn’t like vegetables as a child? 😉

I liked broccoli and corn but that was about it. If I didn’t life the vegetable, I would dip it in the potatoes and gravy and be sneaky to feed it to my dog. 🙂

Robert of roberlain.wordpress.com said – My assumption is that you don’t love mornings- you hate them! 

You are correct. I have never been much of a morning person. The only things I like about mornings are coffee and seeing my students but if my morning class could start at 11am I would be happy.

Lucas a friend in Brazil said- My assumption is that your favorite foreign language is Portuguese :D. Not talking about the people or culture related to the language, just about speaking the language (not trying to give you a hard time answering!)I don’t have a blog so you don’t need to link anything to me :).

Sim eu amo portugues Eu também amo o brasil O brasil é legal. 🙂

I LOVE Portuguese. That has a lot to do with my Brazilian friends because they are so fun to be with. I love Brazil too. 🙂

I also enjoy Spanish 🙂

Patty of hesaidwhatks.blog said- I assume that you are going to take online cooking classes during this break and learn to love you oven more than your microwave

Sorry but I won’t be taking any online cooking classes 🙂

bigskybuckeye.com said – You don’t like certain vegetables, especially beets and brussel sprouts. If you do, more power to you, but I don’t expect to be eating them anytime soon

I love brusel sprouts. I don’t like beets. Nothing against beets and beets lovers, but I never developed a taste for them 🙂

Deborah of greatisgodsfaithfulness.blog said- I assume you didn’t make a run on the store to buy groceries because you don’t like shopping and you don’t like cooking

No, I did not make a run on the store, but friends have gone for me 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Holy Water by We The Kingdom and Tasha Cobbs

The times are stressful for everyone. Most of us are living under various kinds of limited social interaction due the the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

Do you just want to take a break from it all? This worship song will do just that. Any song that Tasha Cobb sings will do that for me, but this one seems so special at this time. So let me simply share this video with you today and please take time to listen and let it fill you up spiritually.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

What I Miss Most During This Time-COVID-19

There are some things I miss at this time of self isolating due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

I miss seeing people in the coffee shop and hanging out, telling my jokes to the people who work there.

I miss stopping in my favorite deli at Open Harvest to buy a little food and telling them a joke.

I miss interacting in person with my colleagues in the places where I teach.

I miss going to church on Sunday mornings.

But out of those things, it is not like my absence will mean that much or be a source of concern for anyone. Life goes on.

What I miss the most and what concerns me the most is my students and my friends who came here as refugees and immigrants.

I miss visiting them in their homes and sharing a meal, laughter, helping them with things, and being there for them. They are the ones who have been in touch with me to see how I am doing. They are the ones I am concerned about the most too.

My friendship with my refugee and immigrant friends are what gives me so much joy in life. Spending so much time apart from them has made me realize something. I do not want to retire- EVER.

When this crisis is over, the first thing I wish to do is visit my friends and see how they are doing, sharing coffee or tea with them and listening to their stories. That is the purpose Jesus has given me in life. That is how he has designed me to be. That is what I miss the most.

What do you miss?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wisdom In Giving At This Time

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

This passage from Matthew 25 gives us a glimpse into the heart of Jesus. It can also be a guiding principle for us during this time of the COVID-19 crisis. What should our focus be when it comes to giving money?

My little sister Beverley shared a post yesterday I suggest reading. She deals with the issue of people claiming God will bless you if you send money to their ministry. The post is Are We Selling Our Brethern For Profit. It is a good post to read anytime but especially at this time.

Photo by ugurlu photographer on Pexels.com

We should look to give to our local church where we worship together and consider giving to a benevolence fund if our church has one. We should also look out for the needs of those in our local church as we are charged to care for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Do we know someone affected by a layoff due to the crisis?

I do not like to talk about my giving, but realizing that a ministry on my heart, Love Justice, is concerned about the group homes they have for children and young women who were victims of sex trafficking, I made an extra donation yesterday. It wasn’t a big amount but I did what I could.They have group homes in various countries and each country has far less ability to care for the sick than my home country the USA.

Another ministry that is doing wonderful work is Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse set up and is running a field hospital in Northern Italy where the virus has hit hard. Talk about caring for the sick!!!

Let’s be wise and be guided by the heart of Jesus for those who are suffering at this time and guided by the wisdom in Proverbs 31:

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Have Fun With Me to Break the Boredom

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Yesterday I had a flare up with Fibromyalgia. It started with not sleeping well which can be a symptom. I managed to get through an online Zoom meeting about classes restarting online next week even though I had a Fibro headache. The fatigue was such that I took two naps.

The beard trimmer I ordered from Amazon came. It is in the box, but perhaps won’t be used right away. My hope is to perform a script I wrote. It is a drama monologue of Simon of Cyrene the man who was forced to carry the cross for Jesus. As of this writing, I am not sure how it will be performed.

The reality of the first case of community spread in my city causing the restrictions to be extended to May was on my mind. So it is a concrete reality that I will not meet with students in person until next school year. It also means church services will continue to be online until May.

The days are getting boring staying home. Please help me break the boredom by playing a game with me.

So today I would like to have a little fun. I got this idea from lifesfinewhine.com. In the comments write an assumption you might have about me. Something like- You love mornings. In a future post I will reply to your assumption about me including a link to your blog. Let’s have a little fun in the midst of the boredom of social distancing. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless 🙂

Story Time- We Interrupt Our Regular Programming to Bring You………

It is Story Time Thursday in my blog, but we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you laughing babies and dogs. 🙂

Why?

Well actually it has to do with story time.

8 years ago in my Family Literacy class the moms would bring their pre-school children with them to the classroom and wait for childcare helpers to come take them to the childcare room.

One child was an 18 month old toddler. We began communicating by tapping the table. I would tap the same as her for a few minutes and she would smile and laugh. The second year her mom was in the program, her mom would let her watch music videos on youtube on her smartphone. The third year her mom was in my class, she could sing along with the Katy Perry song Eye of the Tiger.

One morning that same year, as the announcements were being made over the loud speaker, she finished the last line before it was spoken. She had learned English.

It was always a joy to see her in the morning and to watch her grow.

Jesus loves children. Matthew 19 records the famous time that Jesus blessed children.

“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”

So to give you a break from the stress of the Covid-19 crisis and give you a smile and to help us remember children are precious to Jesus, I bring you babies laughing with dogs.

Thank you for reading. God Bless and WASH you hands. 🙂

What Is It About Wording?

What is it about how things are worded?

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

When the word- vulnerable– was used to talk about how the virus could affect people, I ignored it. When I heard that word used, my thoughts were:

“I have traveled to other countries solo several times and have walked in foreign cities numerous times. I am not vulnerable”

“I played American football. I am not vulnerable”

“I lived in inner city Minneapolis when I went to university. I am not vulnerable”

The list could go on.

But when I heard at risk, that sounded better and I paid attention. Risk is a word I appreciate. God has seen me through many situations where I could have been at risk such as the time I was walking across a bridge over the freeway in Minneapolis and a couple of young wanna be gang members seemed to try to force me off the bridge. I told them I was going to bible college for class and then they looked behind me frightened of something and ran off.

So at risk sounds much better and I can accept at risk such as I am over 60, I have asthma and chronic illness, so I am at risk. Yes at risk- BUT- God will see me through.

But don’t call me vulnerable. lol

Thank you for reading. God Bless and WASH your hands.

My Oasis Day in the Midst of It All

I have to admit I was going a bit stir crazy due to staying at home. I had not been out of my apartment for a while except for a staff meeting at the place where I teach citizenship classes last Friday. Even then it had an eerie feeling to as we sat 6 feet apart in a large conference room.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Yesterday was a day of blessings kind of like an oasis in the midst of isolation.

It started by driving to the bank drive thru to deposit a check. On my way home I stopped at a small market near my place. I wasn’t worried because it is never busy there.

In the afternoon, some positive news came via email. My morning class will continue online using Zoom. It will be reduced hours but I can stay in contact with my students. I have work to do to prepare for next week. 🙂

Okay here is a shock for some of my readers. I cooked without the microwave. My friends gave me some chicken tenders Saturday. I had some baby bell peppers. I cooked them together and added an avocado. It was edible and let’s just leave it at that. 🙂

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

In the evening my Life Group from church connected via Zoom. It was so fun and wonderful to connect with friends I have not seen for three weeks. There was a lot of laughter. We shared prayer requests and how we were all doing.

Just a slice of life under our temporary new normal.

But what has not changed for me is the blessing of experiencing the presence of Jesus. I spent time in the morning listening to worship songs, reading from the bible, and praying. Before connecting with my Life Group, I spent more time listening to worship music. There is no circumstance, tragedy, crisis, or trial that can separate us from Jesus. In Romans 8 we read:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We can experience the presence of Jesus and his love at anytime and in any situation.

Thank you for reading. God Bless and remember- Wash Your Hands 🙂