A Day of Being Blessed

After the difficult summer I experienced, and after the recent health struggles, yesterday was a blessing in many ways. Sometimes we just have to hang on until such moments come. God will help us grow in the hard times and take care of us and then a moment or a day comes that is such a boost. Yesterday was such a day for me.

Photo by jonas mohamadi on Pexels.com

Thursday evening I received an email that my ministry support check was ready. That was a week earlier than I expected. In the email. The pastor asked me to call him about it. There was an extra check. I had two. The other one was the amount that is being given to all missionaries my church supports. I picked it up Friday morning. The extra amount has made it possible for me to catch up on some things. My home church has helped me a lot in recent months. It was because of my church and my Vietnamese friends that I made it through a real hard patch.

In the afternoon, I joined a family from Mexico for the Open House where the husband works. It was so much fun to interact with them. The husband gave us a tour of the factory. It is a company that works with metal products. I had met the owner when he came to visit my morning class at the elementary school where I teach moms. I was able to talk with the owner and mentioned that one of my students is married to one of his workers. He came over to the table with me to greet the family. He held their baby for a few moments. I told the owner about how his employee visits my class when they have a day off because his family is important to him. The owner looked at him and said, “We need to have lunch.”

In the evening, I visited a young family from El Salvador.. We ate papusas a food I love from El Salvador. I had an opportunity to practice my Spanish with them and learned a few new words. They have a 16 month old baby. She is a joy to be around. They sent me home with some papusas, so today I will enjoy my favorite recipe of putting food someone else cooks for me in the microwave. 🙂

Yesterday was a day of being blessed by my church, and by spending time with friends. It was the kind of day that one feels their cup is filled.

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Story Time- We Changed It 3 Months Ago Matt

When I was 12 years old, I was sitting in the living room and reading the sports page. I looked up and noticed the living room looked different. I asked the family if thy changed the living room furniture. There were a few rolled eyes and a little laughter.

Photo by Devon Rockola on Pexels.com

The reply was-“We changed it 3 months ago Matt.” It was the same furniture, but they had moved it around. I wasn’t very observant when I was 12. Except when it came to sports. I knew stats for all kinds of players in football, baseball, and basketball.

Fortunately Jesus is much is always 100% observant of what happens in our lives. He notices little details everyone else misses such as when he saw the widow give a few cents at the temple that we see in Mark 12:

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents”.

“Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

God our heavenly father also sees all. He remembers and cherishes everything we do out of love for him. Hebrews 6 says:

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”

Dear reader please remember that God sees you. You are never overlooked by him. He remembers everything little thing you do out of love for him and to show his love. He knows every detail of your life and invites you to come to him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Here We Go Again

I was feeling good after finishing a 15 day treatment of Prednisone for bronchitis. I thought okay the coast is clear for a while. I started to feel a little of something starting up and went to the doctor in hopes of changing my asthma medicine to prevent problems. I got there and, well, something was noticed.

This is how I normally look. I tend to keep my tan on my face all year. I get that from my father who always had a tanned face. The problem with that is sometimes what would be obvious for other people is not so easily noticed on me. But Monday when I went to the doctor I looked like this.

I had a pink rash on my nose and cheeks. The PA didn’t notice until she looked more closely because it doesn’t show as much on me. When she looked closer she said, :”That is a sign of inflammation.” So instead of walking out with a prescription for a different inhaler, I walked out with a prescription for 15 more days of Prednisone. Yippee.

So here we go again. By the time I finish this 15 days, it will total to 35 days out of 40.

But Jesus is giving me strength. I have not missed teaching a class the whole time. I have been able to also be there for my weekend groups,. visit people in their homes, so in other words- Jesus has given me the strength to keep going with teaching and ministry.

Fortunately, Thursday and Friday will be fall break for my morning class, so I can sleep in, get more rest, and be ready to go. I hope. Anyone living with chronic illness can tell you that one never knows how one will be day to day.

The one thing I know for sure is that Jesus is with me to give me strength. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Mystery Blogger Award

I want to thank my little sister Herry of herrychiccounsels,com for nominating me for The Mystery Blogger Award. Herry loves God and it shows in her posts. It is fun to interact with my little sister who lives in Nigeria. 🙂

Put the award logo/image on your blog

-List the rules

-Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog

-Answer the 5 questions you were asked

-Tell your readers 3 things about yourself

-You have to nominate 10 – 20 people

-Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

-Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question

-Share a link to your best post(s)

Best Posts? Hard to say but here are a few:

Jesus Understand Trauma

Jesus Understands Pain

Herry’s questions for me

1) What do you love doing at your leisure?.

I love to visit friends from other countries in their homes, write in my blog, go to coffee shops, and relax at home with Netflix.

2) How has been the faith walk?.

It has been a season of trusting God and seeing him come through for me in unexpected ways.

3) What would you like to say to your younger self? Things you wish you had known and worked on.

I would tell my younger self to pour himself into learning other languages. It was an ability I did not discover until I was 50.

4) Tell me anything I don’t know about you.

Shopping malls make me nervous lol.

5) Your favorite food.

But food other people give me is my favorite. Little sister you made this so hard for me. But I know- I love the food from the deli at Open Harvest and Organic and All Natural Store.

(Aside food that is given by others @ big bro matt )

3 Things about me

  1. I tend to relate things to Lord of the Rings, Star Wars or Start Trek. I have a huge inner geek. 🙂
  2. I LOVE to travel and see other countries.
  3. Jesus is the reason I am still alive. He wants me to share his love.

My 5 Questions for My Nominees 🙂

  1. What is your blog about? Introduce it for first time visitors 🙂
  2. When you write in your blog, where do you like to be?
  3. What is a book or movie that meant something to you recently?
  4. Who are a few people who inspire you and why?
  5. What is your favorite snack food?

My Nominees if they choose to participate. Some are new bloggers so please check them out 🙂

thirsty17.wordpress.com

Happy Dance Cat who shares about life with Endometriosis at sparklywithendo.com

thevel.wordpress.com writes poetry

Ching Morris at allaboutlifeandlessons.wordpress.com

Sharon of sharonbrownphoto.com

Alethea of alethea’smind.wordpress.com

Ali Kerr of mynotsopoeticstories.wordpress.com

Grisele of inspiredgrisele.wordpress.com

divinevoice4women.com

Theodora of amazinggrace8life.wordpress.com

Summer of notyourseason.com

Pallavi of curatingthoughts.blog

Alison of asecretspring.com

Pene’ Pasta for the Soul at justpene.com

floridasafarigirl.wordpress.com

Anna of annalovesjesus.wordpress.com

Amanda of wildandwingingit.home.blog

Music Mondays- Till I Met You by Laura Story

Yesterday the pastor of my church taught about what it means that God is love as it says in 1 John 4. It was a wonderful message. The message basically was:

God is love means that love is part of God’s core being. He doesn’t love because of what we do, who we are, or anything else. He loves because it is part of who he is.

When we come to God, our motives are not pure. We do not bring anything to the table that God needs. God does not need anything from us, but he loves us because it is part of who he is.

We bring to God our failures, our sins, our struggles, our depression, our anxiety, our illness, our doubts. our mess. God loves us. Not because of what we do or who we are. He loves us because he loves us.

I love this video by Laura Story. The lyrics of the song so beautifully express the truth of how God loves us even though we are a mess. I hope the song blesses you as you start your week. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Happy Thanksgiving Day Tomorrow in Canada/Gratitude

Photo by Social Soup Social Media on Pexels.com

Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving Day in Canada. I have followers in Canada, so I would like to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving Day.

In Honor of Thanksgiving Day in Canada, I would like to share a gratitude list.

1- I am grateful first and foremost for my Savior Jesus. I would be nothing without him. He is my reason to keep going.

2- I am grateful for the classes I teach and for my students. It is a joy to watch them learn and advance in life.

3- I am thankful for all of you who read, like and especially comment on my blog.

4- I am thankful for the ministry the Lord has given me to share his love with people from all over the world.

5- I am grateful that I can encourage others who suffer with chronic illness and depression through my blog.

6- I am thankful for recent opportunities to practice Spanish.

7- I am thankful for my microwave because I would be lost in the kitchen without it. 🙂

What are you thankful for? Especially my followers in Canada 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

September Was Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month/October- Lupus Awareness Month

September was rheumatic disease awareness month. That covers a range of diseases such as lupus, forms or arthritis and more. October is Lupus Awareness Month.

This is an issue close to my heart due to living with chronic illness myself. I draw strength from God to face chronic illness. I can’t imagine facing chronic illness without my relationship with Jesus who gives me strength.

The most difficult things for me in living with chronic illness are the pain and fatigue. I think fatigue is the worst. I have lived with pain for over 25 years. I can kind of ignore unless it is a real bad day. But fatigue means even after sleeping 7 or more hours, I am still fatigued and it lingers through the whole day. Maybe that is why I love coffee 🙂

Because these awareness months, I want to share a post with you from a fellow blogger who lives with Lupus and a video by a young lady who lives with Psoriatic Arthritis.

Savannah shared a post yesterday in her blog One Mountain At A Time at savannahwall.wordpress.com about her experience living with Lupus. The post is If You Think You’re Tired of Listening to People Talk About Their Chronic Pain, Imagine How Tired They Are of Living With It. It gives a lot of insight about living with Lupus.

Kristen is a young woman who is living with Psoriatic Arthritis. She shared a video a few weeks ago on youtube about 5 Things Chronic Illness Taught Her. She is a young woman who faces life with a chronic illness drawing strength from her faith and relationship with Jesus. Her video gives insight into what it is like living with a form of arthritis.

I wanted to share the stories of these two young women in honor of Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month. It is an issue near and dear to my heart.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

When Hopeless Meets Real Hope

So many times in my life the situation looked hopeless from a human perspective.

Photo by Maria Tyutina on Pexels.com

There was growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother with an untreated mental illness who was highly manipulative.

There was the experience of getting sick and almost dying.

There was the process of having to rebuild my life after my 3 years of being sick and recovering.

So many other examples from my life that would cause others to think at many times in my life that things looked hopeless.

BUT

With Jesus there is always hope.

1 Peter 1 says:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”

With Jesus, we can have a living hope because he defeated death. Think of it. He conquered death. If he can conquer death, he can help in any situation. There is always hope for us with Jesus.

Ali of mynotsopoeticstories.wordpress.com is a new blogger I follow. She shared in her first post about how Jesus came to her and brought her hope in a beautiful post- Amazing Grace. It is an excellent post to read and be encouraged by.

I know how it feels to feel there is no hope. I also know what it is like to meet Jesus and have him change my life. I know what it is like to have Jesus do the seemingly impossible in my life.

Whatever situation we are in, whatever problem we face, Jesus can and will work in our lives. He is hope because he defeated death for us and he invites us to come to him. n Matthew 11 he said:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

His invitation is for ALL. No one is excluded from his invitation. His arms are open wide.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

World Mental Health Day- October 10

Today is World Mental Health Day.

Living with chronic illness has also meant dealing with symptoms I did not know would accompany two of my chronic illnesses, depression and anxiety.

I will never forget the day that I finally started taking the prescription my doctor had given me for them. It has since changed for one that also addresses nerve pain associated with Fibromyalgia. I did not want to start medication. I was not even sure if it was the right thing for me to do. There is still stigma in some churches when it comes to Mental Health issues.

God spoke to me through watching a movie. The movie was Brain On Fire. It is based on the true story of a woman with a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the brain. She was about to be sent off to a permanent stay at a psychiatric hospital when a psychiatrist tested her for the autoimmune problem. She was placed on a medication for the problem and it cleared up her problems.

After watching the movie, I realized that autoimmune problems can affect our whole body including the brain. I researched it as well. So I went ahead and started the medication the doctor prescribed. Within a week, I felt much better.

I will also never forget the response of the pastor for missions and outreach had when I offered to resign my ministry as a home missionary if taking medication would be a controversy. I have always been aware of the stigma in some churches when it comes to Mental Health issues like depression. His response was, “Matt it is medical. You don’t need to resign.”

Jesus said in Matthew 11:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Jesus wants us to come to him with everything. If we struggle with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, OCD, or any other mental health issue, his invitation is to come to him. 🙂

I wanted to share a bit of my story in case it helps someone. Also in honor of World Mental Heath Day I want to share a few videos.

First a Spoken Word Poem video by Racheal Stevens- Your Story Isn’t Over Yet.

And a music video by Jenn Johnson- You’re Gonna Be Okay.

Story Time- A Tiny X-Ray Tech Had to Catch Me

This is a picture of me when I was about 20 years old. I weighed about 200 pounds due to working out with weights a lot.

One day I started feeling sick and had a fever. It wasn’t the normal flu type sick, so I ended up going to the ER. The ER doctor called a surgeon who ordered x-rays of my stomach. A nurse came in with a wheelchair. She was about 5′ 2″ and weighed maybe 110 pounds. Being the young prideful man I was, I didn’t want a petite woman pushing me in a wheelchair. I told her I could walk.

I had to lay down, stand up, lay down and stand up for the x-rays. The last time I stood up, I began to faint. The poor x-ray tech who was also a petite woman had to try to catch me and guide me to the wheelchair.

When the nurse came back. I swallowed my pride and agreed to be pushed back to the ER room in the wheelchair. I ended up having my appendix out that night.

I am grateful that Jesus has all power. God created the universe. Nothing is impossible for God. Jesus is more than able to catch us when we falter. I often think about what Jesus said in Matthew 11:

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus has all power but he is gentle of heart. He invites us to come to him. If we struggle with depression, anxiety, chronic illness, addiction, family problems, or financial problems, he invites us to come to him. His invitation is for ALL. No one is excluded from his invitation.

The only thing preventing us from coming to Jesus is our own pride just like my pride got in the way in the ER that night.

Thank you for reading. God Bless. 🙂