Music Mondays- The Trumpet Shall Sound Performed by Phil Driscoll

I love Handel’s Messiah. I absolutely LOVE it as it weaves together Old Testament prophecies about Jesus with the birth of Jesus. The trumpet shall sound is a powerful reminder of what the ultimate culmination is for us.

One day the trumpet will sound in heaven and Christ will return for us. The dead will be raised and then those who are still alive will be changed to glorified bodies. God’s redeeming work for us will be completed when we our bodies are resurrecedt into glorified bodies just as Jesus was.

The whole reason Jesus was born as a baby was not so we could have warm fuzzy moments at Christmas time, though they are nice. The reason Jesus was born as a human baby was to become our Savior. Through him we can have forgiveness of our sins. Through him our lives can be transformed. Through him we can have eternal life and through him not only will our souls/spirits enter into heaven when we die, one day in the Father’s timing our physical bodies will be resurrected and changed into incorruptible bodies.

This is the great hope Jesus offers to anyone who will receive Jesus. This is the solid hope we can have in the midst of this crazy life. One day the trumpet will sound. Nothing can stop it.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Cleans Up A Mess- John Chapter 2

Years ago a friend of mine called me to ask for help. His wife had been out of town for a conference for several days and was going to return home the next day. The problem was that his house was a disaster partly because he had been sick for some of the time she was gone. He did not want his wife to be disappointed when she came home. He had done so many things to help me at times, so I gladly went over to help him out. After a few hours the place looked much better.

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One day Jesus came to the Temple. He saw how the Temple had been turned into a market place with people selling things and exchanging money. Out of righteous indignation, he made a whip of cords and chased the people out of the Temple saying in John 2:16:

To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”

When we come together to worship, we should be mindful of our motives. Later in John, which we will see in a few weeks, Jesus said that those who worship God must do so in spirit and in truth.

The religious leaders asked what sign Jesus would do to show he had authority to do what he did. Jesus replied:

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

They thought he was talking about the Temple building, but Jesus was talking about his earthly body, his death by crucifixion, and his resurrection. His disciples understood this after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Jesus stayed a while and performed some miracles. It was during the time of the Passover Feast one of the most important religious observances for the Jews. People believed in him because of the miracles he performed, but Jesus did not entrust himself to them. In John 2:24-25 we see:

But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.

What happened at the Temple, while an actual event, is also symbolic of us and how we mess up our lives. We need to be cleaned up. Jesus knows what is in us, but the good news is that because he loves us, he died for us for our forgiveness, and when we trust in him, he will help us clean up the mess of our lives.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Last Injection….. for now

I just got back from the Orthopedic Surgeon’s office where I had the last of three injections in my knee. The injections were of something that sounded like hydraulic fluid, so I think the injections gave me a lift 🙂

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Since March 2017, I have seen eight different specialists, had most of my body x-rayed, umpteen blood tests, and other stuff I won’t go into. So this series of injections was easy to experience. It would be cool if they could give me bionic legs 🙂

Specialists, tests, x-rays etc. are all part of the life of a Spoonie, a person with chronic illness.

I can’t imagine going through all of this stuff without Jesus. I can’t imagine living through this pandemic without Jesus.

When I think about people who are facing this pandemic or any hardship and only have their government and science to look to, it causes me to realize this is a very scary time.

While I appreciate what the government, science, and doctors are doing, my hope is not in them. My hope is in Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Glimpse into the Week of A Teacher During COVID

Currently I teach for two different jobs. I teach Family Literacy in the mornings for our local public schools. It is a class of moms learning English at the school where they children attend. I also teach U.S. citizenship classes for a local center.

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My week began Monday with a series of meetings in Zoom. I had an In Service, an Instructors meeting, a Staff Meeting, and a meeting to discuss the new U.S. Citizenship class and what that will entail. Six hours later it was time to plan for the next day. Six hours in Zoom. One note about Zooming from home is that I can wear a dress shirt and sweat pants because only my head and neck are visible. 🙂

Because of what was discussed in the meetings for my morning class, I scrapped my lesson plan for technology the week and made a new one to include what we discussed. That is the nature of teaching during COVID. It is a fluid situation.

Each day I drive to the school for my morning class. I actually feel safe from COVID there because of the protocols we follow. After spending the morning there, it is time to drive home and teach in Zoom. I am thinking about getting a recliner to sit in while I teach in Zoom, but wonder if it would be so comfortable I would fall asleep while teaching.

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Each Wednesday morning, I introduce a tech tool for my students that we will practice in subsequent classes. One week that was using quizzes I made using Google Forms. I try to lower their stress by using humor when we practice new tech stuff. For the quizzes, we did class quizzes first with questions like- Do you want the teacher to cook in your kitchen. Answers to choose from- Yes, it would be funny, No, I don’t want the fire department to come.

I try to make a week long overall lesson plan and go over it with my assistant for my morning class, but each morning before class it has to be modified due to so many different reasons.

As fluid as the situation is teaching during COVID, there is something that has not changed and has become even more important for me. My day starts with spending time in prayer while listening to worship music and drinking coffee. That is how I invite Jesus into my day.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

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.