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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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, β€œGet 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 theΒ LordΒ came back a second time and touched him and said, β€œGet 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 πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

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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 πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Why I Don’t Worry About Stats

When I first started blogging, I obsessed too much about stats such as views, likes, and comments. After time and watching stats being a bit like a roller coaster, I realized a few things that helped me to not worry about stats.

1- Followers post at different paces. There are bloggers who post every day, bloggers who post a few times a week, bloggers who post once a week, bloggers who post a few times a month. There are also the bloggers who post occasionally. So one day can be a spike up because all the different kinds kind of converge on the same day but a few days later there is a dip because only daily bloggers are checking in.

2- My posts cover various topics. My posts cover a range of being about my faith, being about my life with autoimmune, about mental health issues, and about my experiences with other cultures. Not every follower will be interested in all of those topics. But it is important to me to write about them.

3- FOCUS on the long term not the short term. One example is last week. One day I hit a spike of 230 views. The next day I had 60 views. If I only looked at the short term of those days, it would be discouraging the day that was much lower. However, if I compare this year at this time to last year at this time, there is significant growth in my blog.

4- I write for an audience of one hoping it blesses others. I hope to honor God in my writing, so he is my audience of one. My hope is that as I write, God blesses others through my writing.

I just wanted to share these thoughts for newer bloggers. Please do not look at stats and get discouraged. If you interact with other bloggers, be consistent for posting schedule, and stay with it, your blog will grow. πŸ™‚

Hope this helps. Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- I Always Use Popcorn Setting on Microwaves

Sunday afternoons I am part of a Life Group at church. We meet for bible study, prayer, and fellowship. One Sunday afternoon my friend Tim was talking about cooking in a microwave. I shared my profound cooking wisdom with him. I told him, “Just press popcorn. That’s what I do for everything in the microwave.”

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My friends in my Life Group burst out laughing. They didn’t see the wisdom in my cooking advice. πŸ™‚

It seems funny that I can speak three languages, I can meet people from diverse cultures, learn about them, and form friendships with them. I can write drama scripts, act, and direct. But there are things in life that seem to elude me.

When I step into a kitchen, it is foreign to me. Recipe is not one of the languages I know. Strange things happen when I am in a kitchen.

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So I have found the best thing to do is to keep it simple. That is why I use the popcorn setting for everything I cook in the microwave. It is simple and if the food isn’t done yet, I just push popcorn again.

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We all have our different gifts, talents, and abilities. Jesus gives everyone who comes to faith in him spiritual gifts to serve others. He has given me an ability to teach and share his love with people from diverse cultures. He has given wonderful gifts to all of his children. Those gifts are not for us to selfishly enjoy for ourselves. They are given to us to bless others.

I think perhaps I will not try to share food I cook with anyone, That is my gift to others.

But there is the popcorn setting πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God bless.

Decisions Decisions

DECISIONS

That word decisions can bring up varied responses. For me it depends on what the decision is about. One thing I have noticed as my experience living with chronic illness has progressed, some decisions are automatically done for me, some decisions are easy, and some are complicated.

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Because I have Celiacs Disease, when it comes to food, my decisions are simple. If it is gluten free, yes. If it is not gluten free, no.

A bit of an aside, but I tend to get in a routine when it comes to what I order at restaurants or buy at the store. I like to keep it simple, so when I go to one restaurant, for example, I always order the same thing- Bison Burger on a gluten free bun. πŸ™‚

But also being a spoonie, having to think about energy level, some decisions mean taking into account how it will affect my energy level. It has been humbling when I pray to admit to Jesus that I am not the man I used to be and ask for strength.

A few years ago, I began to experience panic attacks. I didn’t know what was happening. Anxiety would hit full force and thoughts would battle in my mind. I found out that due to two of my chronic illnesses, Fibromyalgia and Celiacs, I also have depression/anxiety disorders. I got the help I needed and most days are back to normal. But when presented with a major decision, it is like hundreds of possibilities flood my mind. I am so thankful for prayer and meditation on the word and on Jesus to quiet my thoughts.

In a few weeks, I might be presented with a major decision. Yikes. But I will pray and seek the Lord. πŸ™‚

When it comes to decisions involving serving the Lord and showing his love, it comes automatic. I gladly accept opportunities to share Jesus and his love.

The one decision that I made that I will never regret was the decision to dedicate my life to Jesus in July 1989. I was already a Christian. I believed in Jesus. But at that moment, I gave my life to serve Jesus. There have been ups and downs, twists and turns in the path, hardships and struggles. But they all led to my present life and ministry. Because of that decision, I can have moments like last Saturday evening visiting a Yazidi family for the first time and sharing with them about Jesus having been a refugee during his early earthly life.

For a fun ending to my post today, I am trying to decide which look is better concerning a beard. I will post pictures and you can comment 1, 2, 3 or 4for what you like. πŸ™‚

Picture 1- No Beard

Picture 2- Short Beard

Picture 3- Full Beard

or #4- Short Beard most of the time but a Santa look for Christma

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Random Acts of Kindness Award

Thank you to Mr, Holliman of A Happy Life at greathappyliving.wordpress.com for thinking of me for this. In his blog he shares his faith and also some recipes that I wish I could make πŸ™‚

The Random Acts Of Kindness Awards Rules:

  1. Tell who nominated and why
  2. Copy and share the picture that shows the award, posted above
  3. Share a paragraph of something that impacted your own life in the way of receiving kindness or how you extended kindness to someone else
  4. Nominate anyone or share to your own page. If you choose to participate. Tag or pingback to the original person who nominated you, or the original post

In 1994 I had returned to my city from the school where I was studying for ministry because I was sick. I had also changed denominations due to not being able to agree with a few major teachings in the denomination I had been in. It was a time in my life of thinking I was going to die, leaving behind what I had thought I was called to, and a time of upheaval in my life.

One Sunday morning, one of the first Sundays, at my home church I went up to thank the pastor for his message. I didn’t plan on anything but saying thank you. He looked at me and said, “Let’s have lunch, Call my secretary and schedule lunch.” He took me out for lunch that week. God worked through that lunch to give my a lifeline so to speak.

Taking time out of our day for simple things such as a lunch or meeting for a cup of coffee can mean so much to others. Pastor Mark gave me the gift of time out of his busy schedule. It was because of that one hour that I stayed at the church Jesus had shown me he wanted me to go to, which led to me having a ministry reaching out to show Christ’s love to people from many cultures.

One hour out our lives can make a difference in the lives of others. Follow Pastor Mark’s example and give the gift of time πŸ™‚

My Nominees if they want to participate πŸ™‚

drawingclosertochrist.com

deandrahurst.com

plantingseedsingodsgrowinggarden.wordpress.com

thevine.blog

theontimeone.wordpress.com

quietmomentswithgodblog.wordpress.com

herrychiccounsels.com

joycottage.blog

africaboy.home.blog