God Has A Sense of Humor?


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We had a cold snap here the past few days. We had a little snow and the temperature was below freezing for a few days.

My morning class is comprised of all moms who are learning English in the school where their children attend. Yesterday morning I shared with them that my beard keeps my face warm in the winter. Then I asked if any of them wanted a beard if they could grow one. All of them said NO and were emphatic about NO.

The moms are doing the best they can under difficult circumstances. Some came here as refugees from war torn countries. Others came here for economic opportunities for their children. Whatever the reason they are here, learning English is stressful. So I use humor to try to help reduce the stress.

My morning classroom is often filled with laughter. It gives me joy to see my students smile and laugh and enjoy learning.

Did you know that God has a sense of humor?

In Psalm 2 we read:

“The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them”

Psalm 2 is about rulers on earth and people who say there is no God. Think about it from God’s point of view. He created everything there is. Our very lives depend on God providing air, water, land etc. It must be very funny to God when people say he isn’t there or when people say they know better than God.

I love a saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

When I read the accounts of Jesus after his resurrection, I see the sense of humor Jesus had. In Luke 24 we can read about Jesus coming to the disciples on the Emmaus Road. They did not recognize him and Jesus played along asking them questions.

Sometimes I think God gets a kick out of watching me try things to serve him such as when I tried to be a wedding coordinator for a family from Ukraine.

Did you know that laughter is from God? It is part of his design for us. Psalm 126 says:

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

The Lord did a great work for the his people and the result was their mouths were filled with laughter.

There are times that we need to be serious and thoughtful. But there are also time for us to enjoy life, have fun, and yes even laugh.

I hope you experience joy in your life this week.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Share Your Passion

I want to thank Purple Rose of reluctantpreachersdaughter.wordpress.com for nominating me for the Share Your Passion tag. I enjoy her blog where she shares about her faith and her life.

Rules of the #ShareYourPassion Tag:

  1. Repost the #ShareYourPassion logo (above) on your acceptance post.
  2. Tag the blogger’s site that nominated you.
  3. Share a bit about your passion(s): Hobbies outside of blogging that keep you busy in your free time. What would you like to accomplish with these things? How could you use your passion(s) to be a blessing to others and show them the love of God?
  4. Nominate ten other bloggers and spread the joy!

I wrote in a previous post for Share You Passion about my hobby of learning phrases in other languages, That is my main hobby. I would like to share about a change in my life and ministry.

I have lived with chronic illness for over 25 years. Until the summer of 2018, I never blogged about it and did not say much to anyone. Maybe it is a carry over from the days I played American football when I was younger. I played fullback and linebacker. My mentality was just keep going and do not acknowledge if there is pain.

I felt the Lord call me to write about my experiences with chronic illness and the resulting depression.anxiety in my blog. Since then my blog has grown much more than it did before. It has opened up more opportunities to encourage others.

This has carried over into my daily life. The Lord keeps bringing people into my life who struggle with these issues to encourage them.

My nominees if they choose to participate are:

Beauty from Ashes at beautyfromashesca.wordpress.com

Logan of Justified Freely at distractedfreelybyhisblog.wordpress.com

Michelle of The Mimosa Blossom at apudiem.wordpress.com

Keziah of keziahe.home.blog

Tim Roberts of Everlasting Focus at everlastingfocus.wordpress.com

Terese of Hope for Today at teresbelme.com

Dale Ann at jesusdid.home.blog

lclionscross.com

Melissa of The Climb to my Lighthouse at theclimbtomylighthouse.wordpress.com

Loved by the King of Kings at plantedbylivingwater.wordpress.com

Music Mondays- Faithful by Sarah Reeves

Even when I cannot see, You are moving
Even when I cannot hear, You are singing over me
Even when I can’t hold on, You won’t let me go
You are faithful, You are faithful

I love the lyrics to Faithful by Sarah Reeves. So many times in my life I thought I could not hold on, but Jesus never lets go of us. He is always with us. He will never leave us.

Singing over me? Where do we get that from? In Zephaniah 3 we read:

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing”

Jesus rejoices over us with singing. Have you ever seen a mother sing over her child? God is our father who sings over us. That is how precious we are to God.

When we can’t see the way out of a situation, a problem, a trial, God is at work. He knows the outcome because he is there and with us now at the same time. I experienced that recently. Last summer was dismal for me and put me behind financially, but God was at work. First my dear Vietnamese friends helped their old teacher. Then three weeks ago I received an extra missionary support check. Last week I received anonymous letters with money. Now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

God is faithful. He is faithful even when we are not. Whatever we face in life, he is with us.

Struggle with depression/anxiety? Jesus is there for you.

Struggle with chronic illness? Jesus is there for you/

Financial problems? Jesus is there for you.

Uncertain about the future? Jesus knows your future and is already there. He is there for you now and in your future at the same time.

In the worst moment we can think of which is death, Jesus will be there for us waiting to welcome us into heaven if we have accepted him as our Savior.

He is faithful!!

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Why Gratitude? Spotlight on a Fellow Blogger

In the play Peter Pan, the fairy Tinkerbell was dying because she drank a poisoned drink meant for Peter. She tells Peter if the children believed in fairies she could get better. Peter tells the boys to clap if they believed in fairies.They clap and Tinkerbell recovers.

Photo by kendall hoopes on Pexels.com

Why am I writing about Tinkerbell? To draw a contrast.

Throughout the bible we are instructed to Praise God, to express our gratitude to God, to worship God, clap our hands, raise our hands etc.

Why?

God created the heavens and the earth. He created all of the stars we see in the sky, all living things on earth, and us. God defeated death for us through the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus has all power, God has all power. If God wants something, he can simply make it happen. God does not need our praise, our worship, our gratitude. God does not need us to clap our hands for him.

Photo by Shelagh Murphy on Pexels.com

The reason we praise him, worship him. thank him, clap and raise our hands to him. is because WE need it. When we praise God, it helps us to remember how great he is. When we thank God, we remember what he has done for us. We need to praise him and thank him because we are living in a fallen world full of difficulties. When we praise God and worship him, it focuses our attention on the one who can help us. Praising God and worshiping God strengthens us in our faith, it does strengthen God. God does not need to be strengthened.

In Isaiah 61 we read:

“and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor”

Hannah is a blogger I follow. Her blog is Grace to be Imperfect at gracetobeimperfect.com She has shared about her struggles with anxiety. She shared a wonderful post yesterday – The Power of Remembrance. It is a wonderful post to read and be encouraged by. In the post she shares about what helps her overcome anxiety.

God calls us to worship, praise, and gratitude for our benefit. He is not egotistical like people tend to be. He knows that we need worship, praise, and gratitude to help us stay connected to him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Christmas Gift Ideas That Will Benefit Others

I know it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet in the USA and Christmas is far away. Yes, I am one of those that wishes Christmas Ads would not start until after Thanksgiving Day. But I wanted to share a couple of ideas for small gifts that also benefit people who are suffering in the world.

Love Justice is an organization that fights human trafficking and sex trafficking in various countries. It also has group homes for children who cannot return to their home countries and a school. Love Justice has a store you can order online from for items like coffee mugs, shirts etc. The link is store.lovejustice.nog. All of the proceeds go to help fund their effort.

Phoebe, MD: Medicine & Poetry is a blog I follow at phoebemd.com. She started Pendants for a Cause selling pendants made from sea glass. The proceeds go to fund projects like supporting victims of a hurricane. Her website for Pendants for a Cause is pendantsforacause.org

Check out their websites. You might find a gift idea and help those less fortunate at the same time 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Sharing God’s Comfort

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

These verses from 2 Corinthians 1 have become theme verses for my life in recent years. God has helped me with many difficulties. The principle is God helps us, so we can in turn help others.

My ministry is focused on refugees and immigrants, but God has opened up new areas for me to share his love. Living with chronic illness and depression/anxiety as a result of chronic illness I have experienced God’s comfort. Yesterday I had the opportunity to share some of God’s comfort with others.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

I stopped by a deli I get some of my favorite food from and saw a young woman I met this past summer while she was working. The first time we met I noticed she had a semi colon tattoo, which indicates a person has thought of suicide but decided not too. Yesterday she confided in me about a recent difficulty. I asked her to promise me she will be okay. We pinky promised on it. When we pinky promised, her eyes filled with tears. Hopefully we will connect later today to talk.

Last night a friend I helped a year ago asked if her friend could contact me. He is struggling with anxiety. We talked on the phone and I sent him some links for some videos to watch. We made an appointment to meet Sunday afternoon.

While my ministry won’t be changing from being for refugees and immigrants, I am grateful God gives me opportunities to share his comfort with anyone struggling with depression.anxiety.

There are hurting people all around us each day. If we are open to being led by the Lord, we can have opportunities to share his comfort with others.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Sharing Firsts With My Students

Last week we had our first snow in my city while I was teaching my morning class. It wasn’t much and didn’t accumulate, but when I noticed it was snowing, I opened the blinds so the students could see.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For one of my students, it was her first time to ever see snow. She is from a country that never has snow. She was excited to see the snow, so she came over to the window. We stood there as she looked at the snow and asked me questions about it.

Things that are commonplace for anyone in their home city are often a new experience others find fascinating.

In January 2017, I helped with a group of students who came from Brazil to study English for three months. Out of all of the things I showed them during their time here, the thing they took the most pictures of was walking on a frozen lake. It was such a novelty for them to see a frozen lake especially that they could walk on it.

Photo by Riccardo Bresciani on Pexels.com

Earlier this year, I was studying with a student from Vietnam at a library. The study room has windows. A squirrel ran across the grass. She was surprised and excitedly asked me what kind of animal it was.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Such moments are a fun part of what the Lord has called me to do, which is to teach, help, and share his love with people from all over the world living in my city.

When I experience such moments through their eyes, it helps me to keep a sense of wonder about the world God created for us to live in. Even in our fallen world, there is much beauty to appreciate.

I am grateful that I can experience my city and life here through the eyes of my international friends. It keeps life interesting for me and helps me to not take commonplace things for granted. After my friend marveled at seeing a squirrel, I see them differently now.

So today I want to thank God for his creation and seeing it through the eyes of others.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- When I Took Over The World in Social Studies Class

When I was growing up, my older brother and I did a lot of things together. I spent a lot of time with him and his friends playing sports, cards and board games. In the summers, we would play a game called Diplomacy which is similar to the game Risk only with diplomacy sessions between each round.

Photo by Emiliano Arano on Pexels.com

Playing sports and games against boys two to four years older than me helped me to improve my skills more than if I had only played with boys my age.

When I was in 10th grade, I had a Social Studies class called U.S. Foreign Relations. It was a quarter class that was for ten weeks. The first week of class, the teacher introduced a game very similar to the one I played with my older brother and his friends in the summers. He divided the class into groups with each group representing a country in Europe Pre-World War 1.

Photo by slon_dot_pics on Pexels.com

My group elected me the leader which was rigged because most of the group were my friends. With their consent, I declared myself the king. Our country was Great Britain. We made deals with the other groups exchanging our military protection along strategic borders and ports in Europe for agricultural goods. On the 5th day of the project when it came time for each leader to give an update, I stood up and said, “I declare we have now taken over all of Europe.” My group finished was was supposed to be a 3 week project in 1 week.

The teacher ran the project again but excluded me from it. He gave me an A+ and had me go to the library to do extra credit research.

My older brother taught me many things. I improved so much more from hanging out with him than I did kids my own age.

We have a brother who is always with us. Our brother always seeks to empower us, teach us, guide us, and help us. In Hebrews 2 we see:

“Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
    in the assembly I will sing your praises.”

Jesus makes us holy through his death on the cross. He calls us brothers and sisters. He is our eternal big brother. We grow, improve, learn, and develop new abilities because of Jesus.

But Jesus doesn’t want us taking over the world 🙂

He will do that when he returns. Our job is to go out and show his love and share him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

When God Surprises With Blessings

This past summer as I was hanging on, barely, through one of the worst summers I have experienced, I could have never anticipated what would happen the past several days.

I also could not have anticipated how he would answer my prayer one day as I listened to Lauren Daigle’s song rescue and said to Jesus- I need to be rescued. That was how I felt after a summer of lost income and also of dealing with chronic illness flare ups.

First it was the help my Vietnamese friends gave me that got me through August/September. Then there was an unexpected extra support check from my church for my ministry last month. Then something happened starting late last week.

I never look forward to checking the mail, snail mail, as in from the post office, because my mail always fits into one of two categories- junk mail or bills.

But last week I checked the mail and one day there was an envelope with no return address and handwritten addressed to me with a note inside; I opened the envelope and found this note:

Inside the note was some cash. When I saw the amount, the first thing I did was thank Jesus over and over.

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

The next day, there was another envelope with another note and more money. On Saturday there was another envelope and yesterday the final one. All 4 had notes of encouragement to me and money. The amount I won’t specify, but it paid my rent, utilities and other monthly bills for November. It helped put me in a much better position financially. For a home missionary, that is HUGE.

The four notes with the gifts inside were a BIG shot in the arm for me. They confirmed for me that God wants me to press on in my ministry. Nothing like this has ever happened for me before from an anonymous donor. I am praying for God to bless my anonymous donor claiming the verse in Matthew 10:

“Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.”

No that I am a prophet, but the principle of helping a home missionary is similar, so I am claiming that verse as I pray for my anonymous donor just as I have for my Vietnamese friends who helped me the past two summers.

This past several days God has breathed new life into me spiritually, confirmed my ministry for me again, and encouraged me through my anonymous brother in Christ.

I am not sure if my friend will see this post or not, but I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU!!! I am praying for you.

Thank you for reading.

God Bless.

Matt

Mystery Blogger Award

The Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion. – Okoto Enigma

I would like to thank Sarah of My Witness at aymerayd.wordpress.com for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award. I appreciate Sarah’s blog where she shares her faith and life. I recently found out we both like a favorite food of mine- Briyani. 🙂

Here are the Rules:

  • Put the aware logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mentioned the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  • 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 you nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question
  • Share a link to your best post (s).

Sarah’s Questions for Me

1. What accomplishment are you the most proud of?

What I am most proud of is not my accomplishment. It is what Jesus did for us by leaving heaven to come to earth to be born as a human baby, dying on the cross for us, and defeating death for us.

2.Who is your hero?

Jesus is my number 1 hero. I also admire people who have lived for him such as Corrie Ten Boom, Billy Graham, Martin Luther King Jr.

3. What would you say best sums you up?

I am an imperfect person who is trying to follow Jesus and share his love. I enjoy doing so through teaching and through being creative in writing etc.

4. What are you absolutely determined to do in life

I am determined to finish well. I am 61 years old and do not want to rest on my laurels. I want to finish strong and help as many people as I can and share God’s love with as many people as I can.

5. What is a lesson that you have learnt in life so far?

I have been through a lot in 61 years. The greatest lesson for me has been that Jesus is always with us and loves us.

3 Things About Me

  1. I love writing whether it is for my blog, drama scripts, or starting my first book.
  2. I love spending time with people from other cultures. 🙂
  3. I wish I could speak more than 3 languages.

My Posts

Jesus Understands Trauma

Forgiveness From Me Led to My Father Receiving Forgiveness From God

My Questions for My Nominees

  1. What is a song that had meant a lot to you?
  2. What is a book that you enjoyed?
  3. If I were to visit your city, what should I see?
  4. What inspires you to blog?
  5. What is your favorite snack food?

My Nominees if They Choose to Participate

RDuncan of Heart Share at heartshare.blog

Arta of Notes from Albania at myblogalbania.com

Keziah of keziahe.home.blog

Thomas of The Happiness Nerd at thehappinessnerd.wordpress.com

Tracey of traceysworld.com

Nameera of nameerasheikh.home.blog

Melissa of theclimbtomylighthouse.wordpress.com

Made of Still at madeofstill.com

Alison of A Secret Spring at asecretspring.com

Deborah Marie of greatisgodsfaithfulness.blog