How to Be Content in Any Circumstance

Adele M. Gill “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,              whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”  Philippians 4:12 When Things Go Awry It is easy to walk in fear and dread when things go awry. When things go wrong, we too often focus squarely on the issue at hand, whether health problems, job insecurity, broken relationships, financial challenges, or some other unwelcome situation, that befalls us, leaving us feeling vulnerable. But our perspective and bringing God into it as much as is humanly possible, regardless of situation, can and does, make a huge difference. That is not to say that God causes these things. Actually, many times it is bad decisions that we make that are the culprit causing mishaps and mayhem in our daily lives. Poor nutrition, high risk behavior, a poor work ethic, selfishness in relationships, over spending are just a few examples of using our free will poorly and getting in over our heads. And sometimes it just ‘is what it is;’ there is no one to blame. But consider this… Easy to Blame  It is easy to blame others or even God for what befalls us. And tough circumstances can and often do provoke questions that can rarely be answered: “Why did God do this to me?” “Why is God punishing me?” These questions are sometimes asked by people who are angry when they have serious physical illnesses or...

Prayerful Encouragement

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”    Matthew 5:3 Prayerful Encouragement. Recently, I was approached at the local soup kitchen by three homeless men. Two of them I know quite well. They were eager to tell me about the third man, Vinny, who was newly homeless, and really struggling. It turns out they were very concerned about him. For three weeks he had been drinking heavily and sleeping on the pavement in front of a popular local pub. He was sorely in need of help in every way. He said he hadn’t eaten in four days, and hadn’t bathed or changed his clothes in a month, and I had reason to believe what he said was true on both counts. Never Beyond Help As I listened to Vinny sobbing and talking about his plight, I couldn’t help but notice he continually told me he was beyond help. Certainly to the naked eye, that appeared to be the case, as even his friends who were trying to help him soon agreed with him that he was beyond help.  Vinny presented excuse after excuse as to why he could not be helped. He sobbed all the harder as he picked at his lunch as after going a few days without food, his appetite was greatly diminished.    “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Matthew 25:45   God’s Holy Intervention As Vinny spoke, I prayed asking for God’s holy intervention in his life. I prayed that God would somehow give me the words to comfort, and help...

Not Just Passing Through

Not Just Passing Through Chaplain Adele M. Gill 20 “But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Philippians 3:20-21 As Christians, our citizenship is really in Heaven. Our passport? Love of God and others, and how we use our God-given free-will. Could that be why we as believing Christians, sojourners even, we are set apart to some degree; often uncomfortable here as the world is spinning out of control and away from God’s commands? Could it be that in actuality, we are just passing through this life on our way (by the grace of God) to Eternal Life. Citizens of Heaven Could it be this life is just the audition, the waiting room, if you will, for living the afterlife with God?  We are here on earth for such a short time, and we need to make the most of each day as we are not just passing through this life. We are need to be preparing for Eternal Life. As believing Christians, we are actually citizens of Heaven in process. It is very important not to forfeit ones heavenly passport! Through God’s grace and mercy, and our own free will to love God and others–or not–the choices we make about what we believe and how live our lives set the stage for where we spend eternity. Recently, the topic of Eternal Life has come up in discussion, as has the topic of Hell....

Are You a Child of God?

Chaplain Adele M. Gill   14 “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God… 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:14 Recently a friend asked me “Who are the Children of God?” Certainly there are many diverse answers and perspectives for that question. This is a poignant question posed by both believers and non-believers over the ages. It is my considered personal opinion that we are all children of God by birth—both people of every faith, and those who follow no religion, alike. Yet, we all have the choice to choose to follow God’s commands and ways.   Since I am a student of the Bible rather than a Bible scholar, I turned to the greatest source of wisdom I know to answer this timeless question: Holy Scripture. Though I was quite surprised by what I found, I consider Holy Scripture to be the true and ultimate authority. According to Scripture, God physically created all of humanity through His divine grace. However, the actual identity of the children of God, His heirs by adoption through Jesus, appears to hinge, according to Holy Scripture, on one’s belief, choice and free will—our believing (or not believing) in, and following, Jesus Christ, the Greatest Hope the world has ever known:   Scriptures about the Children of God 26 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you...

How God Blesses His People

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.   Psalm 29:11 Strength and peace. Today’s scripture tells us these are the blessings bestowed upon us by God when we seek Him with all our hearts, and follow Him and His ways. No One Could Convince Him For 9 years, I have been working weekly with a man, I’ll call him George for anonymity, at a local soup kitchen. Each week he has made a point of telling me, convincingly, with a booming voice, “God hates me!” Despite the fact that my best efforts to convince him otherwise have fallen on deaf ears, he has had no peace, but his mantra has been unchanging, “God hates me! If He cared about me, He would not have let me have 3 back surgeries, live at an emergency homeless shelter, and all the other awful things that have happened to me in my life. I’m a good person. But my life has been really hard, and no one can convince me that God loves me. What has He ever done for me?” Then one day recently, something changed… The Awakening One day, as George came into the soup kitchen, he seemed different than he had over the 9 years I had known him. “I have something to tell you,” he said. “I had a bad car accident last week and my vintage Mustang was totaled. Here’s the picture of my wrecked car. I’m Ok. Walked away without a scratch. But there’s more. When I went to get a new car, I was really upset because I knew I...