Do You Have a Thorn?

  Have you ever cried out to God to remove a ‘thorn’ from your life? Even St. Paul experienced ongoing some human weakness, which Scripture calls ‘a thorn.’ Though we don’t know the nature of his condition, it may have been depression, anxiety, a relationship, infirmity, disability, etc…, Scripture tells us that St. Paul reportedly prayed to God 3 times to remove it, but God’s answer to him was this: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”   2 Corinthians 12:9 Be strong. Avoid weakness… The world tells us in so many ways that showing human weakness is not an option, especially to succeed in any area of life. Yet, the Bible has a completely different take on weakness and vulnerability. Sure, we all have times in our lives when we experience various forms of weakness due to medical infirmity, disability, mental health issues, grief, loneliness, relationship issues, financial challenges, or other adverse circumstances. The truth is, we all experience times of weakness, which is just part and parcel of our being human.   Certainly we all have thorns at times that annoy us, distract us, and derail us, from our life-mission to serve God with all our being. A thorn can affect your comfort zone and even leave you feeling alone and devoid of God’s love—even abandoned. Yet most of the challenges we face can bring us closer to God if we let them. Obstacles can enable us to choose between becoming bitter or better. Make no mistake about it, perspective is a conscious choice. We get to choose what we think about, and...

PART I: Telltale Signs of Childhood Trauma

Adele M. Gill http://www.theinspirationcafeblog.net Adapted from the new inspirational self-help book entitled, ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You,’ by Adele M. Gill and Dr. Verna Benner Carson.  _________________________________________ Clinical depression is on the rise in the US, with over 21 million Americans diagnosed with depression each year. Most people are able to get treatment that is readily available, including medication and/or psychotherapy. Many come to understand the origin of their depression over time, however, sometimes they only have a vague idea as to why they are experiencing persistent clinical depression, sometimes combined with what I call ‘the trifecta: Depression, PTSD, and a neuro-autoimmune condition, such as MS or MG or fibromyalgia, which often go hand-in-hand. For those individuals who don’t know the origin of their depression, looking back on their childhood may be extremely helpful.   Understanding the negative effects of untreated childhood trauma can be life-giving, even life-saving, especially when depression affects ones physical health. Here is my story involving the telltale signs of childhood trauma in my own life:   Having endured physical, sexual, and mental abuse in my youth, I came to doubt my own existence, and self-worth. Though resolved, the truth is that my self-esteem was always an issue as I grew up in poverty with my abusive schizophrenic mother, and my father who was involved in the Mafia, who took me with him while doing ‘business.’     In my youth, and later into adulthood, I felt depressed, anxious, and ‘less than’ more often than I care to admit, which colored the way I looked at myself, others, and the world...

Anyone Can Change 

 http://theinspirationcafeblog.net/anyone-can-change/ ‎   As we grow in our Christian faith, many come to understand that anyone can change for the better at any time. For many people, that belief if one of the most controversial parts of being a Christian. After all, some mistakenly think, people living in sin are not deserving of God’s love. But that could not be further from the truth.   The world is filled with people who have lived sordid lives, only to have their lives turned completely around 180 degrees by God to live blessed lives in keeping with Holy Scripture. Surely we know some—you may even be one! That is exactly what happened to St. Paul and also St. Augustine who reportedly lived a rather extravagant, elite lifestyle and went on to have a great conversion to the point of choosing to give away his significant wealth to dedicate his life completely to Christianity.   As Christians, we are not only called to love and embrace all people, we are called to love them into a relationship with Jesus Christ–What an adventure in faith-filled living! Family, friends, strangers, and enemies alike, we are to somehow find a way to love and care for others, even if our humanness tells us otherwise about the unlovable. It may involve reaching out to someone you’d rather avoid because you have a ‘history,’ whom you find offensive or uncomfortable to be with, or someone you are lacking in affection or respect for. In essence, we must put aside our feelings and differences, and reach out to others, especially to those in most need.   When we get...

Great Anticipation

Great Anticipation   Commitment with great anticipation. Every day we have a series of commitments. Commitments to goals, our jobs, other people, to ourselves. Yet, what does it mean to commit your way to Jesus? In essence, to commit your way to Jesus is a weighted commitment that stands apart, far above all the rest…And your life is never he same. It is the commitment that supersedes all others, as it is based on a faith-filled bond between an individual and their triune God—Father, Son, Lord and Savior, and the Holy Spirit.   When you commit your life to Jesus, you are laying before Him every aspect of your being: Your desires, your character, your intellect, and emotions, and of course, most notably, your free will. You are opening yourself up to both the Lord’s scrutiny to make you a better person, and his protection, comfort, compassion, mercy and grace which He lavishes on all who seek Him in earnest. This form of commitment far exceeds commitment to a job or another person. In fact, it opens you up to personal growth, the likes you may have likely never seen before in your life. And it all starts with trust: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust that He will act…”    Psalm 37:5 Trust is the foundation of one’s commitment to Jesus Christ, the Greatest Hope the world has ever known. Trust is the basis for praying with great anticipation that one’s prayers will be answered in due time with the best possible outcome. It also has a stabilizing effect on the people who pray, as it enables...

Series: How to Go From Broken to Blest

Everyone has a past, a present and a future—No one is exempt. Yet sometimes we need to look at our past to get our bearings in the present, and be able to live in peace and plan for the future. Going from broken to blest in your life may sound like a lofty goal, but clearly, it is possible! For many, all it takes is recognition of your brokenness, prayer, and a strong desire to rise above your circumstances. It is not as difficult as it may seem, but it takes some level of resolve, and focus to move forward from whatever it is that is holding you back. A lot of times, forgiveness of others and one’s self is key to healing from the brokenness we experience in life. Sometimes we are not fully aware of what is holding us back when we feel broken. Many people living with depression, and/or PTSD may be experiencing the effects of untreated childhood trauma—and not fully be aware of the root of their sadness. When we don’t know why we are stuck in the muck and mire, so to speak; sometimes it can seem impossible to find hope, peace and happiness. It is during those times that praying for clarity can be most helpful. This life is a journey…perhaps it’s time to make it an adventure and step away from whatever it is that is holding you back! Here are 7 ways to go from broken to blest for a blessed life: Step 1: Acknowledge Your Brokenness Step 2: Invite Jesus to Come Into Your Life Step 3: Evict Negative Thoughts...

How to Go From Broken to Blest

Going from broken to blest in your life may sound like a lofty goal, but clearly, it is possible! All it takes is recognition of your brokenness, and a strong desire to rise above your circumstances. It is not as difficult as it may seem, but it takes some level of resolve, and focus on moving forward from whatever it is that is holding you back. A lot of times, forgiveness of others and ourselves is key to our healing from the brokenness we experience. However, sometimes we are not fully aware of what is holding us back when we feel broken. For many people living with depression, and/or PTSD that may signal untreated childhood trauma—experiences that we are not fully aware of. When we don’t know why we are stuck in the mire, so to speak, sometimes it can seem impossible to find hope and peace. It is those times that praying for clarity can be most helpful. This life is a journey…perhaps it’s time to make it an adventure and step away from whatever it is that is holding you back! Here are 7 steps to go from broken to blest for a better life: Step 1: Acknowledge Your Brokenness Step 2: Invite Jesus to Come Into Your Life Step 3: Evict Negative Thoughts about Yourself and Others Step 4: Reach For Forgiveness: The Key to Health and Happiness Step 5: Accept Your Own Imperfections & Those of Others Step 6: Learn to Look For Silver Linings in Adversity Step 7: Embrace the Healing That Awaits You Many times we try to run away from whatever is...