Part II: Joy Abounds

‘The joy of the Lord is your strength.’ Nehemiah 8:10 Joy abounds. I recently wrote about joy in a blog called ‘Unshakable Joy.’ However, it is important enough to continue on the topic, hence Part II. ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ For Christians, love and peace and joy are central concepts. God-based joy especially has the ability to help us live hope-filled lives in peace. There is no need for despair and/or hatred when you are confident that God is in control and fighting your battles for you. ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ When you believe God is at the helm and in control, you are more able to hop hurdles and challenges that would bog anyone down in their humanness. In fact, joy is a manifestation of God working in one’s life, and is accompanied by a deep, abiding peace. Happiness vs Joy Joy is one of the first fruits of the Holy Spirit. To experience joy in our lives is a blessed gift from God, an enduring treasure. Happiness is similar to joy. However, it leaves us feeling good for a time, then the feeling soon passes, as life presses on with its ongoing issues, challenges, frustrations, and disappointments. In essence, happiness is often a fleeting feeling, but joy is lasting as it stays with us even and especially as we enter into times of adversity. Happiness is dependent on one’s mood, environment, short comings, successes and accomplishments, where joy is more of an enduring internal state found when one experiences the peace that the Holy Spirit of Jesus brings. Joy...

Seeking God’s Light

http:www.theinspirationcafeblog.net ‘When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”’  John 8:12 Light. God’s light. Light is vitally important in both the spiritual sense, and the practical sense. The Bible talks a lot about Light. In fact, it is so central to Judeo-Christian teachings, that it is referenced 263 times in the Old and New Testament. Probably one of the most poignant of all usages of the word light is found in the above scripture when Jesus made His seven ‘I Am’ statements found in the Book of John. A Light Illuminating the Darkness We think about light allowing us to see the path ahead of us with confidence. When we speak about light, we think about warmth and comfort and about it illuminating the way, leading us where we are going, as in a lamp for our feet. A light illuminating the darkness. A light at the end of the tunnel. All things eventually come into the light. Some even say there is something wrong if you can’t shine a light on it. For without God’s light, we are lost and living in darkness. The Light of the World In today’s reading, Jesus says, “I am the Light of the world.” In God’s light, there is no darkness at all. Those who follow Him will never walk in darkness, as He shines His light on every aspect of our lives. God knows everything about us, and His people understand the concept of His abiding Light and Love, despite our short comings....

What Will Jesus Do for You

[Reposted by popular demand] http:www.theinspirationcafeblog.net ‘And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord  my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”’ Luke 1:46-47 What will Jesus do for you? This week is very special. It marks 19 months of remission from needing acute care for myasthenic syndrome, a debilitating condition I have lived with for 36 years. In and out of the hospital, in all of those years, I have never had a remission like this—and there have been no recent medication or treatment changes. The only explanation I have is that God is working a miracle in my life. So what does it mean to have such a medical healing? Well, I’d say it is about trust, hope, and faith in Jesus Christ, our Great Healer, Lord and Savior.   Giving Credit Where Credit is Due Sometimes we all have small and not so small miracles happen in our lives. And we barely notice, or avoid calling it just that—a miracle. Too often we try to explain away miracles without giving God the credit, when in fact we fully know that what has happened defies human logic. Accidents averted, miracles of timing, financial blessings, experiencing capabilities far beyond our abilities. I believe miracles happen every day, but we often fail to recognize them and give credit where credit is due.   A Miracle in Progress: The Healing Installment Plan With this healing I know my prayers are being heard and being answered. I still have a long way to go, as I remain mobility impaired, have occasional garbled speech when fatigued, and am on a respirator...

Top 5 Scriptures for Thanksgiving Bliss

by Chaplain Adele M. Gill Whenever we get together with people, especially with family at Thanksgiving, we all bring something to the table. Yes, you may make and bring your favorite pie or stuffing to share, But we all bring so much more than just food for this annual feast. We may bring memories of all that has gone on since last Thanksgiving; and a deep abiding affection for our loved ones. High hopes for a perfect holiday, and/or anticipation that our favorite foods will be there just as we remember from years past. Sometimes we bring other things to the table that, if left unchecked, can derail even the finest holiday gathering. Things that can cause lasting resentments and strained relationships. Truth is, things are never really perfect because we are all human, and relationships can be challenging at times.   Barriers to Thanksgiving Bliss Difficult childhood memories. Grudges. Political views. Unrealistic expectations. Negativity. Any one of these can easily be detrimental to the pursuit of an enjoyable, peaceful Thanksgiving family celebration. Unfortunately, despite all the preparation and festivities, sometimes people may still choose to disagree on a variety of topics, They may use that day to ‘share’ or defend their disparate views, or try to get the final word. We’ve all heard of families that have experienced arguments and conflict at Thanksgiving dinner, as those in attendance engage in heated conversation about various and sundry things. But there is a better way…   Clearly, as Christians, we all must do our part to make our holiday family gatherings peaceful and enjoyable for all that are there. However,...

Living the Good Life

by Chaplain Adele M. Gill https://theinspirationcafeblog.net/living-the-good-life/  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17  (NIV) To many unbelievers, the Bible is nothing more than an irrelevant and outdated book with vague words written long, long ago that seemingly have no application for our modern daily lives. It is a book that is sometimes passed down from generation to generation, but too often, one that collects dust, as it is put aside, and left on a shelf. But consider this when striving to live the good life… The Bright Candle To believers, Scripture is at the center of living a godly life. It is a bright candle, a beacon of light for the weary, the lost, the last and the lowly. Sustenance for poor and hurting souls in need of discernment, protection, comfort and guidance, the Bible stands ready to address many of the contemporary issues we experience. It is a light to your feet and your ticket to redemption, as you come to believe more and more in Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our guide and advocate who was given to us by Jesus himself at Pentecost. Nothing New Under the Sun The Holy Bible is chock-full of practical knowledge you can  apply to your daily life through word and deed. Relationships, work, times of adversity—it’s all in there. It has been said there is nothing new under the sun. Those words take on special meaning when talking about all...

The Power of Civility

by Chaplain Adele M. Gill https://theinspirationcafeblog.net/the-power-of-civility/ “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6 Like any loving parent, Father God stands in wait for our anguished pleas, for us to turn to Him so He can help us meet our daily needs and challenges.  Though He first loved us, He calls us to love Him, and others, with all our heart and soul. In fact, loving others—especially those who are difficult to love, is one great way that we express our love for God and answer His calling. We need to remember the times we have not been difficult or lovable ourselves, and use that as a starting point to build on in our relationships hence we slip into complacency.   Certainly with this mandate to love, it is important for us to be at peace with everyone in our lives lest hatred, loathing, and unforgiveness take root in us. Yet, what is it about our humanness that leads us to anger and disharmony with others that think and do differently than we do? Perhaps that is a question we’d prefer to answer another day, but there is no time like the present.   Hatred for others has the power to enable people to be ruled by their negative feelings. It can destroy lives, especially those who harbor deep anger, and remove all God given peace and joy in the process making us bitter. Hatred can be insidious, sometimes getting a foothold when we are fully unaware it is happening. When we...