Shameless Persistence

5 “Then, teaching them more about prayer, He [Jesus] used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6 ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ 7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ 8 But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.” 9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:5-10 New Living Translation (NLT)   In today’s contextual Scripture reading, a parable, Jesus talks about shameless persistence. That is, praying for what you need, against all odds, with sublime fortitude and perseverance. You have to ask God for what you need to receive it in His special time and way. This parable tells us that we need to knock on God’s door through prayer, and in His time, He will give us what we need through His grace and our persistence. That does not mean we get everything we want or desire, but rather that God will provide according to His Divine Will for each of us....

3 Steps to Growing in Gratitude

Adele M. Gill http://www.theinspirationcafeblog.net/3-easy-steps-to-grow-in-gratitude/ For me, I find that growing in gratitude involves the excitement that comes in the quiet knowing that God is in control and that “all is well” in my own life because of Him, despite any unwelcome adversity or uncomfortable, unforeseen circumstances.   I have a friend who tells me she gets pretty sentimental each New Year’s Eve. Like so many people, looking back over the year – and looking ahead at the upcoming year – she has a blend of both nostalgia and anticipation. Nostalgia for all the good times, successes and memories of the past year, and anticipation of good things to come in the New Year. I am so glad she put it into words for me, as that is very close to how I feel on New Year’s Eve each year as well, beginning on Christmas Eve. I find that reminiscing is a really good way to briefly look over what was and to look forward to what is to come with child-like excitement.   In my own holiday experience, I find that I am in awe of what God is doing in my life on a daily basis; and in that vein, I often try to take a few minutes to reaffirm in my heart and mind, through prayer, that Jesus Christ is, indeed, at the very the center of my life. Because the pressing truth is, as Christians, all that what are, all that we can do, and all that we have is truly a gift from God. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be...

2017: 5 Easy Ways to Start Anew

The New Year is upon us and with it we get all get to start anew. What better way is there to start the New Year? It is a great time to look ahead to see where we want to be this time next year and switch gears to meet our new goals – new plans, new perspectives, new goals and new faith building practices.   The New Year is the perfect time to take stock of who we are and where we are in our lives – we get a start fresh with a clean slate to better ourselves to be our very best. Beyond the usual annual list of New Year’s resolutions that we all make that go unheeded, perhaps it is a good time to get a little more serious about the changes we would like to make in the New Year. To do so, here are 5 tips to realizing a better you in the New Year: Write down your strengths and weaknesses. Make a list of personal changes you would like to make this year for a better you. Begin to initiate these changes the first week in January. Assess the progress you have made monthly to try to stay on track. Make adjustments as necessary to stay on track and meet your new goals. All of us have strengths and weaknesses we need to try to change. Focusing on your strengths will help you meet or exceed your goals to improve your areas of weakness. It can be very helpful to pray for discernment from God regarding the areas you need to work...