Sunshine Blogger Award

I would like to thank Rene of Heart Tokens for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Please check out her blog. She shares her faith and also her life in a small town and about her family.

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • List the rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
  • Ask the nominees 11 new questions.

Rene’s Questions for Me

1. What is one of your fondest memories? Teaching English in Brazil in June and July 2015.

2. Who taught you to ride a bicycle/and or a vehicle? I think that was my dad but that was a LONG time ago.

3. Did you have a favorite outfit growing up? If so, describe. I don’t remember.

4. What was your favorite place/ hangout when you were a kid or teen? The neighborhood swimming pool in the summer.

5. Can you remember your favorite pet growing up? Name and description. Definitely. Taffy was a golden retriever. She was my best friend. She slept in my room.

6. Favorite show or movie growing up. Star Trek.

7. Did you like playing outside growing up? What was your favorite? I was outside all of the time playing any sport.

8. Favorite gift you received as a child. My first football

9. What was your personality as a child? Naughty or nice? Did you believe in Santa Claus, tooth fairy, etc? My these questions are making me go WAY back. I was an outgoing kid normally well behaved. Yes I believed in Santa until I was 6.

10.What was the first tooth that you pulled and did you receive any money for it. My wisdom teeth and I still think I should have gotten money for that lol

11. Did you have to learn things the hard way or did you learn by other people’s mistakes? In school I understood things quickly. For sports I learned quickly too.

My Questions for My Nominees

  1. What is your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?
  2. If you could travel in space, would you?
  3. Dogs or cats? If you answer cats, we can still be friends even though it is wrong answer haha
  4. Besides Lord of the Rings, the best movies ever, and Star Wars, tied for best movies ever, what is your favorite movie?
  5. If I was your neighbor, could I visit for dinner? If so, how often?
  6. What is a place where you live that you recommend people visit?
  7. What is a favorite quote of yours and by who?
  8. What does Christmas mean to you?
  9. Why do you blog? What motivates you to blog?
  10. When you write in your blog, where do you like to be and do you snack?
  11. If Jesus knocked on your door, what would you think?

My Nominees if they choose to participate

Deandra

Dawn

Jenny

Deborah

Sharon

Brother Craig

Elisha

Beverley

Temi

Riya

Heather Dawn

Music Mondays- Light of the World by Lauren Daigle

The world waits for a miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel
A child prays for peace on Earth
And she’s calling out from a sea of hurt
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel

Longing for hope, there are so many reasons people can be longing for hope.

Perhaps it is struggling with depression or anxiety.

Perhaps it is illness.

Perhaps it is loss of a loved one.

Perhaps it is family problems.

Whatever the struggles are that we have, a common thing all who struggle share is a longing for hope.

I love this song by Lauren Daigle because it focuses on who brings us hope. Hope was born to us on the first Christmas when Jesus was born. Jesus is the one who can give us hope, light, love, answers. and reconciliation with God.

Jesus is Emmanuel- God with us. Jesus came because he wants to be with us. Let that sink in. No matter how messed up our lives are, Jesus wants to be with us.

I prayed that this song blesses you as much or more than it blessed me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Signs of Jesus Suffering When He Was A Baby

In my morning Family Literacy class, when one of the moms is pregnant, we have a baby shower for her in class. The gifts are all about babies. There are toys for babies, supplies for taking care of a baby, and other items for babies.

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Do you know what I have never seen anyone give at a baby shower? A burial insurance policy for the baby or anything to do with a funeral.

But when Jesus was born, one of the gifts given by the three Magi was myrrh. Myrrh was used for embalming. It was common to present myrrh along with gold and frankincense as gifts for a king. The purpose of myrrh was clear-for burial.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Even through the birth of Jesus, we have a reminder of why he came. Jesus was born as a human, so he could sacrifice himself on the cross for us. He came to die for our sins.

During the baby showers, there is a lot of laughter and sharing of stories. It is a joyful occasion. The moms are all smiles. The expectant mom feels blessed by the friendship shared with her.

When babies are born and presented to friends and family, it is a joyous time.

When Joseph and Mary took the baby Jesus to the temple to present him to the God and others, a man named Simeon held the baby Jesus. He spoke a blessing with a warning at the end. It is in Luke 2:

“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

He prophesied of the suffering Mary would endure. No one understood it at the time, but Mary suffered agony was she stood there watching Jesus die on the cross.

As we celebrate Christmas, let’s remember the reason for Christmas. Jesus left his throne in heaven to become a human baby for the purpose of dying for us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

December Tag

I would like to thank Purple Rose of reluctantpreachersdaughter.wordpress.com for tagging me in the December Tag she and Dollfacedwriter created.

It’s December! This our last monthly tag of the year, Purple Rose and I hope you enjoy participating as we celebrate the most wonderful time of the year!  December is most likely our favorite time of the year and we hate how fast it goes by, so we try our best to enjoy the moment and soak in the joy of the season. We hope you do as well! ”

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who tagged you and link their post to yours.
2. Link the original post so the creators can read them 
3. Use the original featured image and include it in your post.
4. Copy and paste the meaning of the tag into your post.
5. Answer the questions.
6. Tag at least TWO people.
7. Have fun and enjoy the rest of your month! 

Here are the questions:

1. If you could be a character in a holiday movie, who would you be?
2. What kind of holiday shopper are you: Black Friday? Christmas Eve? Yearlong hoarder?
3. What colors are your favorite holiday decorations?
4. Would you rather build a snowman, go sledding, have a snowball fight, or stay inside drinking hot cocoa?
5. If you were Santa Claus, what type of cookie would you want to be left out for you on Christmas Eve?
6. If someone offered you a gift card to any store you wanted, which one would you choose?
7. Name three words that best describe Christmas for you.

1- Joseph the husband of Mary and the earthly step father of Jesus would be fun to play in a movie. He always interests me because of what he experienced. I mean-angels speaking to him in dreams. escaping to Egypt with Mary and the baby Jesus etc.

2. None of them. I should say I hate shopping. I prefer to go to a bookstore and get gifts cards and then I am done. 🙂

3. Green and red are cool. Gold is cool too. But I don’t decorate. I just like to appreciate other people’s decorations.

4. Sledding and then stay inside and drink hot chocolate. 😉

5. It would have to be gluten free and of course- CHOCOLATE 🙂

6. Amazon.com gift card would be best so I don’t have to go to a store. 🙂

7. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.

My Nominees if they choose to participate

From warmer climates where it doesn’t snow, so I can see what they say about snow.

Herry of herrychicounsels.com

Beverley of becomingtheoilandthewine.com

nopassingfancy.wordpress.com

Sarah of My Witness at aymerayd.wordpress.com

Time for Another Blogging Part/Share A Post Event

It’s time for a Blogging Party. Yes another Share a Post Event. I borrowed these terms and ideas from fellow bloggers Brenda of becominghistapestry.com and Phoebe of .phonemd.com. Beverley shares about her faith in her blog and humorous stories about her life as a mom and wife. Phoebe shares about a variety of topics and also has a charity selling sea glass jewelry with proceeds going to help children.

Photo by Padli Pradana on Pexels.com

Here is how it works. In my comment section share a post from your blog, a brief description about your blog, and of course include a link for the post and for your blog.

If you share a post, please also check out the blogs of others who share a post. 🙂

Why am I doing this?

Photo by Řaj Vaishnaw on Pexels.com

To say THANK YOU to everyone who follows my blog. My recently went over 800 followers which is something I never imagined happening when I first started blogging. By opening up a Blogging Party/Share A post Event, it is my way of saying thank you and also paying forward. 🙂

I want to thank the following bloggers for commenting the most on my blog. I enjoy comments and interaction with my fellow bloggers.

Dawn of drawingclosertochrist.com. She shares about her faith. She was also the top vote recipient for who I should cook Thanksgiving Dinner for next year. Congratulations on winning Dawn. 🙂

Herry of herrychiccounsels.com. She shares her faith and life in Nigeria.

Deborah of greatisgodsfaithfulness.blog. She shares about her life and faith.

Beverley of becomingtheoilandthewine.com. She shares about her faith and life.

Tina of godskidspeaks.com. She is my little sister in Jesus and also my fellow Spoonie.

Story Time-What I Learned from Lost Luggage

In December 2005, I traveled to Constanta Romania to speak in a church there for their Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. It was my 7th trip there, so I had no reservations about going, but my flight was delayed leaving my hometown. I missed my original flight to Amsterdam and when I finally arrived in Bucharest 12 hours late, my luggage had not come on the flight.

Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev on Pexels.com

The next morning after four hours of sleep, I took the train to Constanta. I only had the clothes I was wearing which included a sweatshirt that had the letters NU on the front which stood for the university in my hometown.

The only problem was that NU in Romanian means- No.

I went to the church my church partnered with at the time for the college group’s Christmas party. They invited me to a celebration at a Baptist church which included students from diverse churches. I sat in the back hoping to be anonymous because I knew what my sweatshirt meant in their language.

BUT- one of the young people from the church I went to help went to the pastor of that church to tell him they had an American missionary with them. He asked me to share a message. So the first thing I did was explain why my sweatshirt said no in their language.

My luggage came the next day. My sharing about my lost luggage endeared me to the students more so than if I had worn the clothes I would have normally worn for such an occasion.

In so many ways, my trips to Romania underscored for me that our disappointments often can lead to God’s appointments.

The bible is full of accounts of people running into disappointments that were actually God at work to set up something even better.

All a person needs to do is read the book of Acts. In each chapter it seems there is an account of Peter or Paul running into obstacles that led to God’s work.

So when we experience disappointment, perhaps we can first ask God what he wants to do or what he is leading us to.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thanksgiving- A Weekend with Chronic Illness

My Thanksgiving weekend was a mix of ups and downs which is normal for anyone living with chronic illness. It started with a great Thanksgiving Day with friends from church. The food was awesome. I even got to take some home to enjoy my favorite recipe at home which is to microwave food people give me. 🙂

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

Friday was a no energy day, so I stayed home and watched college football.

Saturday was wonderful. After meeting with students at my church in the morning, I enjoyed lunch at a restaurant with a young couple from Bosnia. It was a celebration of the husband getting his green card.

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

Sunday started off well with church and teaching Citizenship class. It seemed like it was full steam ahead, but then a flare up came. Sunday night was a night of little sleep because of pain in every joint. I woke up Monday with a temp of 100 degrees, but went to a teacher inservice anyway. Low fevers are part of living with autoimmune problems. They come and go.

Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pexels.com

Perhaps having no appetite for a few days is good since I am overweight, but it still hasn’t returned. After the inservice, I went home and slept for three hours. Monday evening I started to improve and taught my class.

That is all normal for a Spoonie. Spoonie is what people with chronic illness call ourselves. It comes from a post about the Spoon Theory that explains the problem if fatigue and low energy that comes with chronic illness..

Being a Spoonie means never knowing when a flare up will happen or what the symptoms will be. However, Jesus gives me strength. Monday morning I prayed for help to get through the day. He answered.

So life with chronic illness did not prevent me from teaching English at my church, having lunch with friends from Bosnia, teaching my citizenship class, or even making it to the inservice. That is thanks to Jesus for giving me strength and answering my prayer.

So that was my Thanksgiving weekend. How was yours?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Versatile Blogger Award

The Award:

“When you consider nominating a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, consider the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. Or, of course, the quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them.”

Thank you Pallavi of curatingthoughts.blog. She shares about life as a mom and also writes free verse.

The Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you.
Link to the blog of the person who nominated you.
Share 7 facts about yourself.
Nominate 15 more bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

7 Facts about Me

  1. I celebrated Christmas in Romania in 2005.
  2. I enjoy Christmas decorations but don’t decorate my apartment.
  3. The last time I had a math class Ronald Reagan was President.
  4. I enjoy using my laptop to read the bible using biblegateway.com because I can bring up English, Spanish, and Portuguese side by side and practice languages.
  5. Nurses are okay but doctors stress me out.
  6. I have taught English Second Language for about 20 years.
  7. Last but for me most important- Jesus is my Savior.

My Nominees if they choose to participate.

meanlittleboy2.wordpress.com

lifewithjesus.blog

Riya of worldsofmythoughts2017.wordpress.com

livelovequiz.com

nopassingfancy.wordpress.com

Tangie of tangietwoods.blog

A new bloggers- Amy of siblingmotherslove.wordpress.com

Okay so I know I am supposed to nominate 15 and I only nominated 7, but this week is a bit rough so far, so 7 is good.

Thank you for reading. God Bless

Music Mondays- O Holy Night by Hillsong

O Holy Night is one of my favorite Christmas songs. The message and music are powerful. The message of lyrics like:

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appears and the Soul felt its worth

Speak to me and inspire me every time I listen. The message of Christmas is that God loves us so much that Jesus left heaven to become a human baby, so that as an adult he could die for our sins. That is how much worth we have to God.

Whatever our struggle is whether it is addiction, depression, anxiety, family problems, whatever it is, God values us so much that Jesus came for us.

I thought about sharing this one the Monday before Christmas Eve, but felt I should share it today. I hope as you listen that you will remember how valuable you are to God and how much he loves you.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thoughts About Mary Mother of Jesus

Wow here we are already. We only have 24 more days until Christmas. It is the first Sunday of Advent in traditional churches. My church is not a traditional one, but whenever Christmas draws near, I always think about Mary’s example for all of us.

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

When I think about Mary embracing God’s plan for her to give birth to Jesus, there are a few points that often get overlooked. They have to do with Mary being engaged but not married to Joseph yet.

Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus, but by saying yes to God’s plan, it meant she entrusted her very life to God. In Deuteronomy 22 we read:

“If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death”

Not exactly a verse we think of for Christmas, but so important to remember. The punishment a young woman who was found not to be a virgin before she married a man was death by stoning.

So by Mary saying yes to God’s plan, she was placing her very life in his hands to protect her. That is a huge example of faith for us to follow.

In Mary’s song when she visited her cousin Elizabeth, Mary revealed that she understood that Jesus would be her Savior too. In Luke 1, we see the first words of her song:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior”

Mary had great faith to say yes to God’s plan for her to give birth to the Savior of the world whom she also knew would be her Savior. I can’t imagine the thoughts going through her mind in the days, weeks, months before Jesus was born.

These are the thoughts I have about Mary. She is a woman worthy of respect and a wonderful example of faith. The drama she went through is much more dynamic and full of emotion than what is shared in simple Nativity scenes.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.