Beautiful Post- His presence — poeticchristian

God is goodNot was or will beHe is good.Goodness is not part of his character, it is who He is.God is goodDespite our why, despite our mood.Even if you are in a bloodshedding battlefield,God is present as a shield.He is still with youSoothing you with his presence. The Lord is goodIn the day of trouble, […]

His presence — poeticchristian

For God So Loved The World/Joy to the World

During one of my visits to a Vietnamese Church to join them in celebrating Vietnamese New Year, I had a brief conversation with an American Pastor who was there. I shared with him that since I started teaching English for the refugees and immigrants from many many countries in my city, that it had given me a new appreciated for John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life

My greatest joy in this life is sharing the love of Jesus with people from other countries. God has blessed me to share with people from many countries living in my city and also to travel to Brazil, France, Mexico and Romania to share with people there.

I was curious about my blog for the past 12 months and took a screen shot of the map in my WordPress of views from various countries. Hopefully the people from the various countries benefited from my blog. Even more so, that they read about Jesus and his love.

That is what we are really celebrating at Christmas. That God so loved the world that he gave us Jesus. That is true Joy to the World.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Whatever Jesus Does for Us Is Better Than Our Best- John Chapter 2

Here in the USA a big part of the celebration after the wedding ceremony is the wedding cake. Can you imagine how distraught the bride would be if the cake was all gone after only half the guests had some?

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Wine was a big part of celebrations when Jesus was on earth including wedding feasts. One day Jesus was at a wedding feast in Cana. A problem arose. They were out of wine.

Jesus’s mother Mary was there and brought it to Jesus’s attention. His response was:

Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

When he called her woman, it was not a sign of disrespect. It can be understood as dear woman. The rest of his response is telling.

By asking Mary-why do you involve me- Jesus acknowledges a change has taken place. He has moved into his public ministry now.

The rest of his response is the first we see of a theme thread through John of- my time has not yet come or the hour has not yet come. Jesus knows he is on a mission to be our Savior. John uses the theme thread many times in his writing.

Mary did not give up. She told the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do. Jesus told them to fill the empty jars with water, Jars that were large enough to hold twenty to thirty gallons of water.

Then Jesus told them to take some out and give it to the master of the banquet. They did so and the reaction of the master of the banquet shows an important lesson for us to remember.

The reaction of the master of the banquet was:

“Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

The custom was the serve the good stuff first and the cheap stuff after people’s senses were dulled. The master of the banquet thought a mistake had been made because the wine Jesus made from water was better the the good stuff.

The lesson I see here is:

Whatever Jesus does for us is better than our best.

The result of this miracle is the second theme thread we see in John 2.

What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

The disciples believed in him. Their infant faith began to grow.

We will see the two theme threads of; my time has not yet come and people believe in Jesus because of miracles as we go through John.

For now, remember:

Whatever Jesus does for you is better than your best or anyone else’s best. 🙂

Beautiful Poem and Important Info About Ethiopia- God — poeticchristian

I don’t deserve your plenteous graceYet I keep receiving grace upon graceYour gifts and calling are irrevocable,Your unchanging truth forever credible.Take my giant problems and make them look small,My void, emptiness, My God You make whole.I have seen you give hope to the heartbroken,I have seen you fulfill what you had spokenThe promises you give […]

God — poeticchristian

Using My Teacher Tools with My Life Group

My Life Group has been meeting in Zoom since March. It has been a wonderful way to end the week on Friday evenings during this pandemic. I have been leading the group through John in the bible since May and we have reached the mid way point of John 14.

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One thing that should be noted is that I am the youngest member of my Life Group and I have a white beard. That should tell you enough. 🙂

Meeting in Zoom presents with challenges that meeting in person does not. While meeting in person, it is easier to notice when a person is about to speak by reading non-verbal signs. But in Zoom that is more difficult.

As with any group, there are those with more vocal personalities and those who tend to be a bit shy.

So I taught my group how to use the reaction button in Zoom to raise their hand electronically. They did very well last night during our meeting in Zoom. Some had difficulty with finding that icon, so I told them just to raise their hand. It was interesting to me to see people in their 60s and 70s raise their hands like my students do in school.

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The saying-You can’t teach old dogs new tricks- obviously does not apply to my Life Group. 🙂

They have learned how to use Zoom, Google Classroom, and now they are using the reaction icon to raise their hands. Not bad for a group of Senior Citizens 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Choses Those He Will Train- John 1

It has been my privilege to mentor and train others over the years who have gone on to become teachers. Nine of my former assistants went on to become teachers. Each of them have different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Each of them needed a different approach from me in mentoring them. It is not a cookie cutter process of trying to force them into a preexisting mold. It is a process of getting to know them and helping them discover skills.

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It is fascinating for me to think about who Jesus chose to be his disciples that he trained to send out to start the church. Most were fishermen which would be like blue collar workers. One was a tax collector despised by his fellow Israelites. They were hardly a who’s who of qualified people. But God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called.

Two of John the Baptist’s disciples heard John call Jesus the Lamb of God, so they left John to follow Jesus. One of them was Andrew the brother of Peter. Andrew went and told Peter about Jesus.

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.

So these fishermen started to follow Jesus.

The next day Jesus came to Philp and said- “Follow me.”

In those days when a boy or young man followed a Rabbi, teacher, they spent their days with the Rabbi. It was part of the training. By Jesus saying, follow me, he was telling them to join him to be trained for a purpose.

Philip went to tell his friend Nathaniel that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah. Nathaniel was skeptical saying:

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

When Nathaniel walked up with Philip Jesus said:

“Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

Nathaniel was surprised wanting to know how Jesus knew him. Jesus told him he saw Nathaniel under the fig tree. Nathaniel responded:

“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

The three other gospels have more information about Jesus calling his disciples. What is interesting in John is how John records it.

It goes from John the Baptist identifying Jesus as the Lamb of God, as the Messiah, which leads to two of John the Baptist’s disciples and then the brother of one them following Jesus, to Philip and Nathaniel. Nathaniel starts to follow Jesus because of what Jesus refers to as a minor miracle when Jesus says:

“You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.”  He then added, “Very truly I tell you,  you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”

In this last part of Chapter 1, John makes a quick line from Jesus being identified thus the calling of some of his disciples to the focus on miracles and signs in which Jesus proves who he is.

The very encouraging part is that Jesus took men no Rabbi would have chosen and mentored them to become men who would go out and start the church and change the world.

If you feel you are not important or feel God cannot work through you, please consider what Jesus did with these men. Remember- God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called. You may also see things you never thought possible.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Touch The Hem of His Garment by William McDowell ft Trinity Anderson

A woman plagued with a health problem for years saw Jesus walking by. She thought to herself if she could just touch the hem of the garment of Jesus, she could be healed. She touched the hem of his garment and was healed.

Jesus walks by us every day. We can reach out to him. If we are feeling isolated, depressed, hopeless, all we need to do is barely reach out to him. He wants us to be with him.

I love this song with the focus on reaching out to touch the hem of his garment. We can do so in prayer. Even the faintest prayer will get his attention. Even if all we can do is say his name. He invites us to do so.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thanksgiving Week Break- What Next?

The schools in my city are taking the full week of Thanksgiving week off. Normally we would only have the Wednesday thru Sunday off, but due to COVID we will have a full week off.

That is due to some teachers being in self quarantine and also a lack of substitute teachers. The hope is that by having a full week off, it gives a chance to recoup a bit and it also give teachers extra time to prep for blended classes of in class and remote learners.

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But it brought back memories of the last time we had a one week break back in March for Spring Break. I left the Friday before thinking we would be back, but we never were. We were 100% remote the rest of the semester.

So I had my in class students take their folders and books home with them just in case the one week out of class turns into the rest of the semester becoming remote learning.

We will be better prepared if that happens. 100% of my students know how to log into and use Zoom. They have also learned how to use other websites for English language learning. It has been a major focus of mine since we came back into the building in early September.

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So I enter this week with the thought in the back of my mind of what next. What is next? Life has certainly thrown its share of curve balls this year. I am grateful for something that I shared yesterday with a person who works at one of my favorite coffee shops.

I shared with her that my hope is not in government or science. My hope is in God. Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful that the vaccine will come and for how the President worked to help remove barriers to making the vaccine available. But even if that was not happening, my hope is in God.

I am also so very grateful for how God provided for me in numerous ways, and helped me gain new skills through a crazy year.

So really my what’s next is what is next with God by my side.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.