Happy Thanksgiving Day Tomorrow in Canada/Gratitude

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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. πŸ™‚

What are you thankful for? Especially my followers in Canada πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

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Happy 4th of July/Freedom

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Happy 4th of July to all of my friends here in the USA. Independence Day represents freedom. A side note is a difference in perspective. In 1999 I visited a friend in England. He gave me and my group a walking tour of areas of London. As we were walking, I saw a statue of Abraham Lincoln. I asked him why there would be a statue of an American president there. He told me, “He was important because he freed the slaves, but you won’t see a statue of your hero of the war of insurrection George Washington.” We all laughed. Here in the USA it is the Revolutionary War but over there my friend called it the War of Insurrection. πŸ™‚

So it is time for picnics, barbecues, watermelon, and fireworks. It is fun to celebrate, but the meaning is more important.

One of my favorite quotes is from the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

The Founding Fathers of the USA recognized that freedom comes from God. They saw freedom as a gift from God. The concept of freedom for all took time to fully develop. My African American friends did not have true freedom before the law until the Civil Rights Acts of 1964. Women did not have the right to vote until 1920. Laws are there to protect but cannot change hearts.

So many men and women have sacrificed their lives since the Revolutionary War. They sacrificed their lives for our freedom in The War of 1812, The Civil War, World War I, World War II, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, the 2 Gulf Wars and in Afghanistan.

There is someone who sacrificed his life for our freedom, Jesus out of his love for us gave his life for us, so we could be free from sin and judgement. Jesus said in John 8: Jesus can change the hearts of people to be free to show his love.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” 

My wish is twofold, for all people to live in freedom from tyranny in our world and for all people to know eternal freedom in Jesus.

Happy 4th of July. πŸ™‚

God Bless. Thank you for reading.

Music Mondays Memorial Day Edition- Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory by Witney Houston

It is Memorial Day today here in the U.S., so today I would like to share a video of Witney Houston singing Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord.

Memorial Day began as a day to remember men and women who died fighting in the Civil War between the North and South in the 1860s. Slavery was being fought over, so at the core the issue was freedom.

World War I many Americans died fighting in Europe. World War I saw the end of the Austrian/Hungarian Empire and also the Ottoman Empire.

World War II is the war that for me exemplifies the reason for Memorial Day, 418,000 Americans died in World War II. As terrible as that sounds other countries suffered even more loss such as Great Britain 480.000 died during the war. Can you imagine what the world would look like today if the Nazis had won in Europe and Japan in Asia?

When I was a child, Memorial Day was always on May 31st and going to the cemetery was important for many families. That was in the 1960s when there were still many World War II veterans alive and many people still alive who had lost a loved one due to World War II. Now Memorial Day is on the fourth Monday in May.

Each Memorial Day I think about how others gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives, so I can have freedom. Then I also think about THE ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of all people when Jesus died on the cross. Jesus gave the reason why he would died on the cross when he said in John 15:

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends “

While we are off to have barbecues, picnics, or other outdoor fun, let’s remember the reason for the day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Mother’s Day Mission

On Mother’s Day, I had a special mission in mind. I wanted to be a blessing to someone I call mi hija-daughter. She is from Mexico and I have known her for three years.

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I believe every girl deserves to be treated like a princess by her father growing up. Every girl deserves to be loved by her dad, protected, and encouraged by her dad. Sadly that is not the case for many girls and women who do not have a loving father.

My special friend, mi hija, grew up now knowing her father’s love. He didn’t treat her the way she deserved to be treated. She grew up with her mom not her dad.

When I met her three years ago, she was shy and did not have confidence. Even though she is a wonderful young mother and wife, she did not have confidence.

Step by step as she achieved in my class, her confidence grew. Now other students look to her for help. Now she holds her head up and doesn’t look down. I am so proud of her.

We share the same faith, so to me she is mi hija in Jesus Christ. I try to encourage her by reminding her:

Eres preciosa a Jesus- You are precious to Jesus.

Jesus te ama. Jesus loves you.

Siempre Jesus es contigo. Jesus is always with you.

So on Mother’s Day, I had a special purpose in mind. Her church had a Mother’s Day picnic. I went to the picnic to give her a Mother’s Day card and one flower to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day.

I noticed one woman is a leader for the church and speaks English fluently. Even though mi hija does not need a translator, I talked with her and the older woman letting the older woman translate. I wanted to brag about mi hija and how special she is to the woman. Maybe I embarrassed mi hija a little, but hey, I feel it is my privilege to brag about her and by doing so it let mi hija know how special I think she is.

That was my Mother’s Day mission. I am writing this because I want to send her the link, so she knows how proud I am of her.

Mi hija yo estoy muy orgulloso de ti. Eres muy especial para mi. My daughter I am very proud of you. You are very special to me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Moms Making A Difference Award

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms who follow and read my blog. I hope this day is a day of blessing for you. Today I want to do something a little different and shine the spotlight on some blogging moms I think other moms would like to check out and perhaps follow. They offer different perspectives as moms at different stages of life.

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So I created the Moms Making A Difference Award for blogging moms. The seven I have chosen are ones I follow and admire. I do not want to make up a lot of rules just a few.

1- Please share a post about being a mom.

2- Please pass it on to another mom or other moms.

Let celebrate moms today and please check out the blogs I have listed if you do not already follow them.

Brenda is a mom whose children are in college. Her posts are fun to read and also uplifting for faith. Her blog is becominghistapestry.com.

Dawn is a mother of whose daughter is an adult. She shares her faith in her blog which I appreciate. Her blog is drawingclosertochrist.com.

Jess is a mom with young children. I enjoy her humorous stories about her kids and what they do. I also appreciate how she shares her faith. Her blog is jesskidding17.wordpress.com.

Christian Mommas is a blog of a community of Christian moms who share posts. I am most familiar with Temi’s posts and appreciate how she shares her faith and about life as a mom. The blog is christianmommas.com.

Denise is a mom in Jamaica who has written books for children about the environment. She also share poems she write in her blog and shares her faith. Her blog is denise421win.wordpress.com.

A mom in the Philippines shares her experience as a single mom of a son with autism. She shares her faith as she shares her experience. Her blog is timecrawlerblog.wordpress.com.

Kavitha is a mom in South Africa. Her daughter recently graduated. I enjoy her post of the beauty in South Africa and her life there. Her blog is sunshinysasite.wordpress.com.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms. Thank you for reading, God Bless.

Feliz Dia de las Madres/Happy Mother’s Day

May 10th is Mother’s Day in Mexico and some other Latin American Countries every year. This morning I will bring a little surprise for the moms in my Family Literacy Class.

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All of the moms in my class are dedicated mothers. They come to learn English, so they can help their children. They add the role of student onto their busy lives making all of them deserving of recognition.

One such mom is one of the moms from Mexico. She has truly been the glue that has kept her family together and moving forward. Her husband had an accident while in a rodeo resulting in a brain trauma. She patiently stayed by his side while he recovered and relearned life skills while she was also taking care of their children.

She started my class the year after her husband’s accident and has been devoted to learning. She comes into class with a bright smile and has been a leader in class. One would never know what she has been through if they observed her in my class helping other moms.

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When she comes into my classroom, I greet her with-“Como estas mi hermanita?”- How are you my little sister. Her faith in Jesus has helped her keep going through life’s difficulties.

All of the moms in my class deserve recognition, but today I wanted to recognize her. She is my friend on facebook and I will share this post with her to let her know how proud I am of her.

Feliz Dia de las Madres/Happy Mother’s Day to all moms today and on Sunday. πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading, God Bless.

Happy Easter- Let’s Celebrate

Happy Easter to all of my followers and readers πŸ™‚

Easter is my favorite holiday because of why we celebrate Easter. Jesus is alive and seated on his throne in heaven. Because he defeated death for us, we have hope in any situation.

Today is a day to celebrate our Risen Savior. It is a day to remember his victory over death. It is good to celebrate to refocus on Jesus, not on ourselves and our problems. So I would like to share two videos with you in hopes they add to your celebration. πŸ™‚

My favorite thing on Easter Sunday is worshiping at church. I love songs that celebrate Jesus being risen from the dead. An old classic song about the resurrection of Jesus is by 2nd Chapter of Acts-The Easter Song. I wanted to share that with you.

Ever since the death and resurrection of Jesus, there have been numerous forces that have tried to stop the message about Jesus from going forth. One such force was communism in Eastern Europe. I traveled to Romania seven times and heard their stories of life under communism, so I am well aware of the brutalities committed against Christians under communism.

In 2011 in Budapest Hungary, a former communist country, a church organized an Easter celebration dance in a public square. The first time I watched the video, I thought about how the older people who joined in would remember when they did not have the freedom to do so. I want to share the video with you.

What are your favorite Easter songs? How do you celebrate?

Happy Easter. Jesus is Risen. Thank you for reading. God Bless. πŸ™‚

Who or What Put Jesus on the Cross?

A question I like to ask when I teach about Jesus is, who or what put Jesus on the cross?

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The Thursday before Jesus was crucified sheds some light on the answer. Before Jesus was put though a rigged trial as part of the conspiracy of the religious leaders, soldiers came to arrest him.Jesus knew what was going to happen, but he went out to the soldiers anyway and asked who they were looking for. We can see the drama unfold in John 18.

“Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, β€œWho is it you want?”

β€œJesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

β€œI am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, β€œI am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.”

When Jesus told them he was the one they were looking for, he manifested his power by knocking them to the ground. He then permitted them to arrest him.

So the conspiracy of the religious leaders did not put Jesus on the cross nor did Pilate and the Roman soldiers. Jesus has all power. He could have stopped the whole thing with a few words just as he did when he calmed a storm by simply saying, “Peace be still.”

Jesus died for our sins but he had no obligation to do so. God has no obligation to do anything for us. The fallen angels rebelled against God too and there is no provision for them to be forgiven.

So who or what put Jesus on the cross?

Jesus gave the answer before it all happened. In John 15 Jesus was talking with his followers and told them they were his friends. He said:

” Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”.

It was Jesus’s love for us that put him on the cross. It was his love for us that caused him to endure the torture before he was nailed to the cross. It was his love for us that caused him to let the Roman soldiers nail him to the cross. It was his love for us that kept him on the cross to the point of dying for us. It was also his love for us that motivated him to take on death and defeat it for us.

So as we go through this Good Friday and Easter weekend, let’s remember that it was the love Jesus has for us that made and let it all happen. He loves us that much. πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Goodbye Dinner for Jesus?

There have been many times that I have said goodbye to people over a meal or coffee.

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Some have been humorous like the time I bought my group of young Vietnamese friends ice cream to say goodbye to a 14 year old member of our group. She got mint ice cream with gummy bears mixed in.

Some have been poignant like saying goodbye to close friends who were international students before they moved back to their home country.

Goodbyes can be wonderful experiences mixed with happiness and sadness. Happy to celebrate friendship and sad to say goodbye.

When it is time to say goodbye, we want to express what is on our hearts. It is time to say important things, so we don’t leave anything unsaid.

Before Jesus was arrested and crucified, he spent time with his closest followers to say goodbye. They shared the Seder meal to commemorate the Jewish Passover.

The Seder is a meal for Jewish people to remember God delivering them from the oppression of slavery in Egypt. During the Seder meal, the cup of wine represents the blood of the lambs that was smeared on the door post and windows, so the angel of death would pass over that house sparing the first born sons.

When Jesus lifted up the cup of wine of the Seder meal, he said:

“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them”

By doing so, he let his closest followers know that his blood shed on the cross would be the basis for a new covenant.

He also told them to, ” do this in remembrance of me.”

He wants us to remember his sacrifice for us. He wants us to remember his suffering for us.

The interesting thing to me is something else he said. It expressed his feelings in Luke 22:

β€œI have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

Jesus was eager to share this last Passover with his closest followers. It was a part of the saying goodbye for now process.

Jesus spent time with his closest followers before he was executed on the cross. He had his “Last Supper’ with those closest to him just like we would if we could.

Next time we partake of communion, let’s remember Jesus instituted it as a way to say, “Goodbye for now, I will come back for you..I died for you. I love you.”

Thank you for reading. God Bless.