Woes and Hope — Pippi’s Poetry

Winter Woes The dark and dreary days of Winter Oft they leave me cold and blue Waking bereft of warmth and gladness  Longing for a different view. Where hath gone my joy and wonder? Where are all my skies of blue? Lord, have mercy  The way is murky My soul is weary My song’s out […]

Woes and Hope — Pippi’s Poetry

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Becoming A Pastor Part 1- A Decision and A Book

I have been in the process of trying to become a substitute teacher in my city. There is a shortage of substitutes due to COVID. To teach Adult ESL a person only needs the college degree, but to teach K-12 a person needs teacher certification. I have taught ESL for adults for over 20 years.

During a phone conversation with someone at the State Department of Education, I said, “I should have gotten certified to teach.” She replied, “Why didn’t you?”

My reply was, “Well I was studying to become a pastor. A funny thing happened on my way to becoming a pastor.”

I shared that with the librarian at the school where I teach Family Literacy She encouraged me to write about it in my blog, so here goes. This will be at least two parts.

A Funny Thing Happened on my Way to Becoming a Pastor Part 1- The Decision and a Book

In the late 1980s, God began to do a work in my life to draw me to him. I was an Office Furniture Rep for a top 50 dealership in the U.S. actually located in my home city. He began bringing people into the store that were Christians, in ministry etc. Through that series of “chance” encounters, Jesus brought me back to himself and I rededicated my life to Jesus in July 1989.

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God became so real in my life and my pray times were so deep. I would lose track of time in the prayer room at my church. In that prayer room, God changed me on the inside to where my desires in life matched his. In 1990, I visited a bible college in Minneapolis with my pastor. The decision was made that I should indeed go to that school to study to become a pastor.

In 1990, I also read a book- Tortured for Christ by Rev, Wurmbrand. He was a pastor in Romania during the brutal communist dictatorship of Ceausescu. Rev, Wurmbrand was imprisoned for his faith but was allowed to leave the country. He eventually came to the U.S. and started the ministry Voice of the Martyrs.

When I read that book, an overwhelming thought struck deep within me, “I must go to Romania.” I just simply knew God wanted me to go to Romania for some reason.

In 1991, I left my home city, my career as a sales rep, and moved to Minneapolis to study to become a pastor. But a funny thing happened on my way to becoming a pastor. More on that in Part 2.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- Dealing with Doctors

“I don’t know why while I take prednisone my joints feel much better and as soon as I am off prednisone, I have such intense pain.” I shared that with my then GP. His response was to ignore my comment and focus only on what he wanted to go over.

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That is called Medical Gaslighting. It is when a doctor downplays a patient’s concerns, ignores them, or tries to convince a patient it is imaginary or due to something else.

Anyone who has lived with chronic illness has probably experienced this at least once.

“I don’t want an autoimmune illness. I am not a hypochondriac, but these things run in my family. My older brother has M.S., my older sister has Psoriatic Arthritis, asthma runs in my family, I have relatives with Type 1 diabetes.” I told my current GP that a few years ago. After I told him that, he began to take me seriously.

An excellent book for anyone about dealing with doctors was written by a doctor whose blog I follow. Phoebe Chi is a doctor and her blog is phoebemd.com. Her book is Being Empowered,,,, for a healthy heart. Just the first chapter on being an empowered patient makes the book so worthwhile to buy and read.

After reading her book, I changed how I approach doctor appointments. I kept a symptom log including how often, when, triggers etc. I also began asking more questions during appointments. I became an informed and empowered patient.

Since 2017, I have seen 2 different rheumatologists, a gastroenterologist, two different dermatologists, two different orthopedic specialists, two different physical therapists, spent half a day being x-rayed, seen an ophthalmologist, had so many blood tests and more. In only 3 years, I have been diagnosed with Celiacs Disease, Fibromyalgia, Degenerative Disc is my neck, and Sjogrens. That is on top of the Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid and asthma I already knew I had.

I share all of that just to let you know that I KNOW the frustration of dealing with many doctors.

What has helped me?

1- I pray before I go to a doctor. I invite Jesus into the process. This helps me to focus and also asks the Great Physician to come along with me.

2- I keep a journal of symptoms such as when I have a low grade fever and for how long, rashes, pain, etc.

3- I let each specialist know that various autoimmune problems run in my family.

4- I ask questions.

5- I read information from reputable sources such as Web MD, Mayo Clinic website etc.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Troubled Woman Meets Her Savior Jesus- John Chapter 4

John chapter 3 ends with proclaiming Jesus is the Son of God and has all authority. The first three chapters of John show us that Jesus is the creator, is God the Son, is eternal, and that he came for us.

In chapter 4 we see the first account by John of Jesus interacting with someone desperately in need of God- a Samaritan woman.

Samaria was an area that no self respecting Jew would walk through. Jews thought of Samaritans as being unclean half breeds and Samaria as being a place one would be defiled just walking through. Serious Jews would walk around Samaria to avoid it.

The closest we come to it in the USA would be the days of whites only and colored sections in restaurants. The division between Jews and Samaritans ran so deep.

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So what did Jesus do? He went into Samaria one day and sat down next to a well waiting for the person he knew was coming, a Samaritan woman with a dismal track record with men and relationships.

She came to the well and Jesus spoke to her:

“Will you give me a drink?” 

This simple request sent shock waves through the woman. She knew Jesus was a Jewish man and she knew her “place” in life. She knew Jews did not interact with Samaritans and she knew women were not valued. She replied:

“You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”

Jesus steered the conversation to the reason he was waiting for her- to offer her forgiveness and relationship with God. He used the physical water to begin to speak of spiritual matters:

“If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

Living water, the Holy Spirit living within us because of knowing Jesus is what he is beginning to offer her, but she did not understand yet was trying to grasp it:

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?  Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?

Jesus shared with her that he was speaking of spiritual water and eternal life:

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

She asked Jesus for the water he was speaking of but first Jesus let her know that he knew about her life saying:

“Go, call your husband and come back.”

After she replied that she did not have a husband, Jesus let her know:

“You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

Jesus knew this fallen woman had a series of broken relationships with men. We do not know if some died or if they left her. We do not know if she left them. We only know she had a string of husbands and was then living with a man not married. And yet Jesus spoke with her offering her eternal life.

She tried to change to subject by talking about where to worship. Jesus corrected her thinking about worship by saying:

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

The woman began to understand something about Jesus saying:

“I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

She wondered if he was the long awaited promised one from God- The Messiah.

Jesus confirmed it for her:

“I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

The woman became the first Samaritan to share with others about Jesus when she ran back to the village saying:

“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 

No matter how far we have fallen in life, no matter what others think of us, Jesus loves us and will come to us just as he did the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus will give us relationship with him and eternal life if we will believe in him. We cannot earn it just as the Samaritan woman could not.

Not only that, Jesus will do his work through us just as he did with the Samaritan woman.

Hide — Ruelha

Oh God, please hide me. Somewhere, anywhere. Let me rest and be. In you bosom and care. The world seems to be. Crumbling all around me. And suddenly everyone, Has forsaken me. I think I know what’s right. But, I don’t have tomorrow planned tight. All of these questions. Seem like interrogations. Everyone who cares. […]

Hide — Ruelha

Music Mondays-I Need Thee/Great Is Thy Faithfulness Featuring Terrian

I love love love this video of Terrian and friends singing such rich hymns-worship songs.

How I need Jesus always and especially during these times of turmoil. Each morning I pray before I go teach knowing that I do so in the midst of a pandemic. I ask Jesus to help me be a blessing to the teachers, staff and students at the school.

God has indeed shown me how great is his faithfulness during the pandemic providing for me through his people.

Truly I need Jesus every hour as the song I need thee proclaims.

I hope this song blesses you and much or more than it has me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Children Need Blessings Now More Than Ever

As I was walking in the school where my morning Family Literacy Class meets, two children greeted me because they know I teach their moms.

They are both in 2nd Grade. The mother for one of them was in class last year. Her husband would join on Fridays. The little girl said hi to me. I greeted her in Spanish and asked her to tell her parents I said hi.

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The other little one said, “I see you talk with my mom in the mornings when we come to school.” I told him yes and that his mom is a good student.

Brief interactions with the children of the moms in my class are always a blessing not only for them but also for me. The classic one for me was when a boy in 5th grade once asked me if I was a teacher, I told him yes. He asked me what kind of teacher I am. I told him I teach moms who have children in the school. He asked me if his mom was in my class. I asked him her name. He told me and I let him know yes she was in my class. Then he asked, “Is she doing good in class?”

Children need blessings especially now in these turbulent times. Even little affirmations of a teacher talking with them and recognizing them can lift their little spirits.

I am often mindful of what Jesus said of little children when the adults tried to keep them from “bothering” Jesus in Mark 10 in the bible:

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

Notice the attitude of Jesus towards the people trying to keep the children away- indignant. Jesus then blessed the children.

During these times of turmoil, let’s remember the children are aware something is wrong. They are wearing masks in school, social distancing, some remote learning. Imagine the stress on them.

Let’s bless the children like Jesus did.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Contrast of Citizenships

I began to notice the subtle shift in my thinking about teaching U.S. Citizenship classes last year during the election. It really hit full force this week and it is a HUGE contrast to how I feel about sharing about Jesus and citizenship in heaven.

I have helped and taught refugees and immigrants for over 20 years. I have been to many U.S. Citizenship ceremonies and watched as my friends/students proudly became citizens of their new country. Those were such special moments for me.

But as we went through last year with all of the looting and burning down of cities, an election that I am still not sure of, and what transpired this week in Washington D.C., I noticed it yesterday as I taught Citizenship test prep classes.

I no longer believe in what I am teaching. I have lost that pride of being an American. I was only going through the motions of teaching but my heart was not in it. Corruption is rampant on both sides of the political aisle.

BUT

I most certainly believe in Jesus and the eternal citizenship in his kingdom that he offers freely to anyone who will believe in him. Jesus is not and never will be corrupt. In Jesus there is no darkness at all.

I am not certain if I will continue teaching U.S. Citizenship classes.

I most definitely will continue to share about Jesus and the heavenly citizenship he offers freely. His kingdom is not of this world but one day his kingdom will be fully realized on earth when he returns.

Until then I am called to be his ambassador, to represent him, in a world so full of turmoil.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.