Helping a friend in time of need

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Everyone goes through difficult times at some point in life. Those who notice a friend going through a tough spot and reach out to help are good friends. 

Acquaintances may rub shoulders with you day in and day out. Other friends see you. They check on you. Some supernaturally perceive your tough time and reach out. 

It is always up to you to receive the help or not. 

I've been the friend receiving and giving the help.

Receiving help when you are going through a tough spot can be humbling. I remember going out to what I thought was a casual coffee conversation. I came to find out that God touched my friend's heart to check on me and encourage me. The encouragement I needed came in the form of tough love. There I was, feeling super sorry for myself. My friend listened to me. She gave me the firm affirmation I needed from God. I forgot who I was in Christ. I forgot I had real help in the form of real people. I never forgot that conversation. I permanently changed the way I looked at the trial I encountered. God is indeed greater. He saw me and He cared for me in the form of a friend. It took humility to both open up and accept help. 

God alerts me of friends and people in need in various ways. So varied are his nudges that I decided to live in a position of alertness to his call. The other day, I was making a business phone call. The person on the other side of the line was struggling. When I heard "pray for me" I did it in the name of Jesus. This week, I met that person for the first time. The person was grateful for the prayer. I was even more grateful to see that God heard and answered. I'm glad I was paying attention to the Spirit's move that day. 

God alerts me to check on friends through my thoughts. The person will simply appear in my thoughts. I've learned to immediately pray. I also learned to let the person know I prayed for them. I often tell them about what type of prayer I prayed. Some tell me "Thank you" and life goes on. Others give me quick updates on their lives. Either way, my goal is to obey God and be a blessing to His children. 

I try to keep a lot of these interactions between God, the friend, and me but I wanted to extend these experiences with you just in case you experience these things - or you want to be a blessing in this way. 

I realized that I can live for myself or I can be open to being used by God to intercede for others. 

I do not always know when a friend is struggling. When they open up and tell me they need God's help, I often see it as an open door to pray until we see God's answer. 

I sometimes have dreams about people. When I wake up and I have a feeling the dream is from God, I pray for the person. I don't always tell the person about the dream. I only say something if I sense God wants me to do that. I realize that sometimes, intercessory prayer is between me and the Lord. The person going through the difficulty is already carrying a heavy burden. They don't always have to know I am praying. Sometimes, they do want to know. I find comfort in knowing others are praying for me. I also realize that others are very private. God also knows this because He created them uniquely and marvelously. I believe He considers that when I pray for someone without informing them about my divine assignment. 

Offering and giving help to a friend, in my experience, has to be to their level of comfort. I tried to act to my level of comfort and my help has not always been well-received. Please consider the person's level of comfort when trying to help. The easiest way to figure out a person's level of comfort is to pray and to ask the person. Some may welcome physical, practical help. Others are so overwhelmed that pray from a distance is all they need. Offering help in the name of the Lord is never about me and my preferences.

I hope you are encouraged to do the following:

• Pray for your friends when God brings them to your awareness;

• Reach out and help if it is something God wants you to do;

• Remember that serving is unto the Lord. We glorify Him through humble obedience;

• Receive the help God is sending you. He is Sovereign. He also uses people to help us in our time of need. 

Read More

Fall Tune up

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

I hope you enjoy this episode! I thought about myself and those who want to really accomplish great things this year.

Read More

The best podcasts you are yet to hear

Monday, September 18, 2023

I remember living in a world where we would listen to two, maybe three sermons a week. Now that digital media is on steroids, we can spend every second of the day listening to them. I believe that those who are planted in the house of the Lord flourish. I pay close attention to my church's Sunday sermon. I'm planted there. If anything goes down, my pastor is the one who will come see me. The dear people I listen to on the internet don't know who I am. There is a place for listening sermons online. I believe I need to use wisdom when listening not just to sermons but podcasts in general. 

When my kids were little, I developed the habit of listening to Bible Study while I was doing chores. Merry Ministries was and will always be a point of reference for my growth. I was so blessed to be able to be there in person. I'm grateful the lessons are available online. When I have questions about a book or passage, I often listen to the lessons. I am grateful for the way digital communications help the spread of the good news of Jesus. You can access these messages here

Last weekend, as I was cleaning and decorating my home for Fall, I listened to one of the best series I've heard on marriage. This series applies to everyone. If you are not in a relationship but you want to make an informed decision, this series is really good for you. If you have been married but no longer find yourself married, you will enjoy this series as well. 

This series is old yet relevant because it is based on the inventor of marriage. Start with the first one and keep going. Let me know what you learn. 

Read More

Listenbee Kitchen this Week

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Planning my menu helps me eat better

I can't remember when I decided that food planning is a good idea. I know that the better I plan, the better we eat. 

This week the kids did me a huge favor and helped me with buying groceries for breakfast and lunch. I was able to stay home and finish getting ready for the week. This week is more like a usual Fall week for us with school, work, extracurricular activities, and church services. Here is the plan for dinner. 

Monday: Shrimp pasta - I make this recipe often. The pasta seasoning is olive oil with garlic and onions. Simple and delicious. 

Tuesday: Galinhada - I'm sure I ate aversion of this recipe as a child. I have all the ingredients so we'll have Galinhada!

Wednesday: Out (church dinner) - I'm grateful for Wednesdays. There is a variety of foods for everyone and the price is so affordable. 

Thursday: Ground Turkey Casserole - I haven't had ground turkey for a while. I want to try this new recipe hoping everyone will enjoy it. 

Friday: Out (family outing) - I'm excited about going out at the end of a busy week and enjoying a yummy dinner at a local restaurant. 
Read More

Sunday Seven


1. Learning a new skill is a great thing for the brain and heart. I took a screenwriting class recently. It opened up a whole new world to me. I'm eager to learn and practice as much as I can. 

2. This week we rolled up our sleeves and worked on re-entering our lives after the holiday season. Usually, it is not a fun experience. We are learning that with love, understanding and mutual encouragement it is possible to make something good out of a week that could be challenging. 

3. I hosted a dinner party for friends this week. There is nothing like having a relaxing and encouraging evening with a great group of friends. My heart is full! 

4. Nature is a great place to be when you need to unplug. The kids and I grabbed dinner to go and we went to a beautiful park and had dinner there. The views were gorgeous. The place wasn't full so the silence was a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the previous week. I received a call from a dear friend who is going through deep grief. We talked and we prayed. Afterward, the kids and I took a short walk near the water. When we got home we watched quite a bit of a movie together. It was a good day. 

5. I spent a good part of my weekend catching up with my One Year Bible reading. I was deeply encouraged by the words of life. The funny thing is that I had to read a book I don't particularly enjoy reading in one sitting. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I learned. The Bible is a wonderful thing. My job is to make myself read it, whether I like it or not. I find the words I read to transform me every time. I'm grateful.

6. I was really tired on Sunday yet I decided to prepare myself for the following week. I'm glad I did. Monday arrived with an appointment running late. Because I was prepared for the day, I was able to move calmly to the next thing. The will to succeed really is lacking without the will to prepare to succeed. 

7. It took a while but I was able to get all caught up with my One Year Bible reading. Our church is reading the New Testament in 90 days. I'm late with that reading too but I'll catch up on it next. 

Read More


Tuesday, September 12, 2023

I miss home. Most of the time, I do not talk about it. Most of my conversations about home have to do with other people. Few really want to know about me and my feelings about the place. 

I understand it is more interesting to talk about an exotic place and all the perceptions one has about it. If they went there for any length of time, it is natural to speak about their experiences as well.

Home is more than a physical location. My hometown is so big, it is difficult to miss the entire place. I trained my heart to think about the people who make the place. 

Family. Friends. Friendly strangers. I miss that about home. I also miss God's beautiful creation. I miss looking at the beautiful architecture and being surprised by the smell of the sea, just a few miles down the street. 

Recently when people bring up negative things, I just listen. Depending on how open they are, I might give my opinion. This one guy one time, gave me a whole exposition on the political sphere of my home and compared it with his. I stood there and I did not interrupt him. I smiled and waited for the monologue to end. That particular individual was looking for someone to listen to him and admire his opinion. He was not really trying to have a positive exchange of ideas. 

When people ask me about home, I listen. When they walk away, I go back to treasuring all the memories I hold in my heart. 

Read More