Beating the Odds

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 Beating the Odds. Life is full of surprises, unpredictable, and can, sometimes, even be overwhelming. Yet when your inner foundation is in Jesus Christ, the waves of the ocean of life will ebb and tide, but there is nothing to fear, as he carries you safely on His shoulders through uncharted waters. Like you, when I am “prayed up,” steeped in prayer, and striving with peace in my soul trusting that Jesus is close at my side, I am confident like no other time. I can see the positive possibilities and envision beating all worldly odds. I can take tough medical news, and face the future with peace in my heart, with sublime confidence that all is well, even in the here and now. By the grace of God, Jesus gives each of us the necessary strength to figuratively hop hurdles of ‘what ifs’ and hike mountains of fear to reach to the heights to proclaim the Lord’s Good News for the glory of God in word and print. Feeling ever so blest, while walking in His Light, it is possible to envision healing in mind and body for yourself and others, and to pray for those in most need of His love, grace and mercy.                                                      And that would be all of us!!! For when you believe that your strength comes from Jesus,...

Blueprint for Peace

Practical Christian living requires all of us to try our level best to take the high road at all times, regardless of the challenges or adversity we face. By so doing, with Jesus’ help, we are able to put aside any negative feelings we may have about ourselves or others, take a deep breath, and move forward in peace and harmony. Sounds easy enough, but is it really possible to loose the chains of anger, hatred, and/or unforgiveness we hold towards others as we step onto higher ground, handing Jesus the reigns to take control in every circumstance?   One of the greatest prayers for living a blessed life is found in the Prayer of St. Francis, also known as the Prayer of Peace. In a way, it is a template, a blueprint for peace to live a Godly life. It starts out, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,” and goes on in detail to describe just how to accomplish that ambitious spiritual goal in the simplest terms: Prayer of St Francis Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled as to console; To be understood, as to understand; To be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned; It is in dying that we are born to eternal life....

My Heart Trusts in Jesus and He Helps Me

l Adele M. Gill http://theinspirationcafeblog.net/my-heart-trusts-…-and-he-helps-me/ “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me…” Psalm 28:7 (NIV) Especially at Easter, it is vitally important to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. For as people of the cross, we believe that Jesus is our strength and shield; we understand that it is possible to lay your life squarely in His loving, healing hands. We are better able to navigate the turbulent waters and spiritual typhoons that life sends our way, and especially to see the best in others, with a heart of compassion, even for those people who hurt or offend us time and again.   Belief in the Gospel message, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Savior, is the cornerstone of our Christian faith as we celebrate the Easter Season. For the Bible tells us that if you proclaim with your mouth and believe that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved [Romans 10:9]. Once we do this, life is forever changed for us—inside and out—in all the best ways. In fact, we have new life we become far more able to love the difficult, and the unlovable in our lives, and to help lead souls to Jesus in need of God’s grace and mercy. We can harness the good, the silver linings, in any and every circumstance and relationship, while knowing and accepting God’s help.   “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me…” Psalm 28:7 (NIV) When you believe that Jesus died and rose for your sins and mine, a sort of transformation...

Christmas Hope

 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13 NASB   Christmas Hope. This year, like so many others, we are grateful to be receiving beautiful Christmas cards wishing us well. Actually, more specifically, wishing us peace and joy throughout this holiday season. Glitter abounds, each card that arrives is even more beautiful than the one before, and each has a wonderful message of hope.   However, beyond the glitter sprinkled Christmas cards lies the goodwill of the senders and a yearning for life-giving memories and togetherness. Surely this season is really about hope for many people. Hope that we get the gift we want. Hope that we get to spend Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day with loved ones. Hope that the New Year will bring us blessings of happiness, success and prosperity. And ultimately, for Christians, hope in Our Dear Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.   Yet for some, the Christmas holidays are anything but merry. For some who face uphill battles of grief and loss of any kind, loneliness, untreated trauma, disability and/or infirmity, the revelry of the season may be an annoyance, and the merriment diluted or absent. For such people, the Christmas season can be a time of angst and broken heartedness. It may be difficult to know what to say or do to help someone who experiences sadness or a sort of hopelessness during such festive holidays, but a little kindness and encouragement can go a long way in lifting the...

Christmas Compassion

“Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”   Isaiah 40:13   Compassion. Is that the core of the heart of Christmas? ‘Seems to me year after year that Christmas is a time of great compassion. Compassion for the less fortunate in need, compassion for Our Dear Lord who lived and died for us all. Compassion for those who are hurting. Random acts of kindness.   I sometimes wonder if it is possible for people to embrace the Christmas Spirit all throughout the year. Imagine what it would be like if that were the case. The poor would be regularly fed and clothed, the grieving and despairing comforted. Joy and peace would reign. Basically, those in most need among us would likely have more of what they need to thrive as we endeavor to reach out to others in their time of need. Abundant supply, actually.   This year, let’s all try to do more acts of kindness–random and intentional, Let’s try to listen a little more closely  to those in need of a friend or encouragement. Try to donate our time and resources to charities. It could be as simple as donating clothes to the poor. Let’s pray for those who have no one to pray for them. Let’s give it our best this upcoming year. It will surely enrich our own lives and those around us in our communities, as we strive to bring comfort, peace and joy wherever we go as we give all glory and honor to God!   This kind of giving sets...

Called

Hymnal Lyrics: ‘We are Called’ by David Haas We are called to act with justice. We are called to love tenderly. We are called to serve one another, to walk humbly with God. ************************************************* The above powerful song lyrics to “We Are Called” were sung at Mass today, accompanied by a wonderful homily on humility. In the biblical sense, believing Christians are uniquely called to peacefully walk humbly with Jesus. It’s not that they are so good at it, but it is the striving soul that turns to God when they are hurting. By trying their level best to work for peace, believing Christians frequently forfeit opportunities to strive to preserve their own reputation, avoid having to have the last word, resist the urge to fight back when wronged, and try to restrain from lashing out to others. Instead, they are compelled to turn to God at every turn to restore lost peace, promote comfort, seek protection, and even sublime joy in adversity, despite how they may feel about any given person or circumstance. No, believing Christians are not destined to become doormats, however, they are compelled to embrace the high road whenever humanly possible. Being a believing Christian is not for the faint of heart, or those looking for the popularity or worldly reward. Actually, being a Christian today sometimes involves being surrounded by hostile or lukewarm souls that chide them for their beliefs. Perhaps you have heard the Christian faith referred to as the “Christian thing.” In a worldly sense, it is very easy for people to dismiss the faith of others and try to compartmentalize others...