Music Mondays- Stayed On Him by Terrian

There’s a world full of mercy and peace
Mercy and peace, waiting for me
There’s a land for the lost and the least
Where they dine with King, waiting for me
Yeah, His holiness fills up the temple
Still He took my sin and my shame
I didn’t deserve to be rescued
But still He has called me by name

I love the lyrics of Stayed On Him by Terrian. No matter happens in this life, the struggles, the problems, the difficulties, we can know that God is with us and will never leaves us. We can also know that in eternity we have a future in the presence of God. So through it all we can keep our eyes on him knowing he loves us.

Her song is based on Isaiah 26:3

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.

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

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

2 Coffee Shops In 1 Afternoon-Life In The Fast Lane

Yesterday was a big day for me. It was a day of living large and boldly going where I have not gone for a year, cue Star Trek theme. 🙂

Life is opening up in my city. Yesterday I went to a coffee shop in the early afternoon to meet some friends. We sat outside because it was such a nice day. That is my state for you. 3 weeks ago record cold temperatures and yesterday it was 70 degrees F, 21 C. I made a new friend named Winston. He is a very friendly dog. 🙂

Then I went to one of my normal hangouts for coffee shops to sit inside, drink some Moroccan Mint Iced Tea and work some more on my book. As I chatted with the manager, she told me she was trying to decide what delivery food to order. A prompting in my spirit led me to go next door and get her an order of nachos. Of course I got one for me too.

When I gave her the nachos, she smiled and said, “moments like this make me think God exists.” I could not resist saying, “He does exist, By the way did you know I am a part-time pastor?” She laughed saying she loved it.

That kind of day would have been a normal Saturday for me before the pandemic. But yesterday felt like I was living in the fast lane. 🙂

How is your weekend?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Can Do A Lot with the Little We Offer- John Chapter 6

I will never forget what Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade, said when he was speaking at a church I visited in Crystal Minnesota. He said, “When it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ, you can never dream too big for God because God’s ability to empower and anoint is far greater than your ability to dream.”

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Jesus showed his ability to anoint and take what little is offered when he fed thousands with a few loaves of bread and a few fish in John 6.

Jesus went to a mountainside and a great crowd followed him because they had seen the miracles he performed. When he saw the great crowd coming, he asked Philip:

“Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 

We read in the next verse:

He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Jesus knows what he can do and will do. He gives us opportunities to look to him in faith for help.

Philip showed he was only looking to what they did not have not to what Jesus can do when he answered:

 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Andrew look at what little they had;

“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

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Jesus took those five small barley loaves and two small fish and blessed them. He had them distributed to the people. The bible says 5,000 men were there. We can multiply that at least by two for account for women and children. After the thousands had enough to eat, Jesus told his disciples to collect the leftovers.

So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

There was way more leftover than they started with. In fact, there were 12 baskets enough for each of the 12 disciples to hold a basket in their hands for a tangible lesson.

When Jesus calls us to do something, do we look to ourselves, what we have and don’t have, or do we step out in faith looking to him?

Do we look to our own ability or the Jesus’s ability?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Hold On To Me by Lauren Daigle

,Hold on to me when it’s too dark to see You
When I am sure I have reached the end
Hold on to me when I forget I need You
When I let go, hold me again

God is faithful even when we are not. Jesus is always with us even when we falter in life. There is never a moment that Jesus will leave us. Nothing can separate us from his love.

I LOVE this new song by Lauren Daigle-Hold Onto Me. No matter what difficulties come in life, God will hold onto us. It reminds me of what Corrie Ten Boom, who suffered in a Nazi concentration camp, said:

There Is No Pit So Deep That God’s Love Is Not Deeper Still

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Hamburgers and Deep Conversation- The Sequel

Last Saturday I shared about a Friday lunch of hamburgers with my friend from Bosnia and our discussion about what we wished we knew before the pandemic hit.

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Yesterday it was back to the same restaurant to meet with one of the pastors from my church for lunch. I ate the same burger, but side note he paid. That always makes lunch taste better. 🙂

As we talked, it dawned on me that due to receiving the first dose of the vaccine Thursday, and scheduled for the second dose in four weeks, it is time to think about restarting aspects of my ministry that have been shut down for a year. The light is on at the end of the tunnel it seems.

When I first met this pastor, he was in elementary school. His father is one of the pastors at my church. I began going to my church in 1994. He has grown to become a wonderful Christian leader and pastor. He is married and has a baby girl. It was great to reconnect after a year of not seeing each other in person.

My ministry is reaching out to and sharing the love of Jesus with refugees and immigrants living in my city. There are also international aspects of it due to my travels in the past and people I have known moving elsewhere such as Brazilian livings in Winnipeg.

I confided in my friend that I have felt guilty at times for receiving my monthly support check without actually fulfilling my ministry due to the shutdown. He reminded me that the same is true of all missionaries. There are some who cannot return to the countries where they have ministry because of COVID.

So the boy I met 26 years ago is now a pastor who ministered to me over burgers. Life changes 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

When God Smiles Upon Us- A Long Awaited Day

Ever have a day where it seems God is smiling upon you? You know, the kind of day when God lines up blessings for you. I had one of those days yesterday. It felt like sunshine was upon me all day.

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I received an email Wednesday that our Country Health Department wanted to schedule people from Cultural Centers in my city for vaccination. I filled out my registration and got scheduled for yesterday at 2:45pm.

Yesterday morning in class I noticed progress by some of my students. My student from Sudan is doing so much better with her writing. Two of my students from Guatemala correctly translated for themselves how we use the have verb. Seeing students succeed always makes my day.

When I came home from my morning class, I checked and saw that I have been approved to be a substitute teacher. I will probably start subbing after Spring Break in March.

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When I went to the place in my city where they are vaccinating, everyone volunteering and working were so positive. I saw some of my colleagues from my job at El Centro de las Americas that I had not seen in person since last April. One of them commented, “Matt really misses being around people.” That is so true. I was almost giddy seeing them again. I also saw some former students who are now working at other cultural centers.

When I left the vaccination site, the sun was shining and it was 54 degrees farenheit, 12 degrees Celsuis, so I walked to my car carrying my jacket. I drove home without wearing my jacket.

When we have a day it seems like God is smiling on us, we should savor the moments like there are an oasis in life. It has been a long year since last March and I am beginning to feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Today is payday for my work with El Centro and one of the pastors from church is buying my lunch. Perhaps today is another day it will seem like God is smiling upon me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Blogs I Follow Part 3

February is Black History Month in the USA and in honor of that, I felt I wanted to share the blogs of some bloggers who are special to me for various reasons. I hope you take the time to check out their blogs if you have not already. This will be a series of posts.

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Sharon of sharonpankey.wordpress.com. She doesn’t post as often but I enjoy her posts. She shares her faith and encouragements.

justpene.com is a blog by a woman who immigrated to the U.S. She shares about her faith and life.

Fay Ann’s blog is The Inspiration Room at fayannswearing.wordpress.com. She shares encouragements and prayers.

Kay’s blog is at kernacj.wordpress.com. She shares writings about her faith and life.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.