Calm in the Storm

Calm in the storm: Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;        knock and the door will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9   Rough Seas and Cruise Turbulence: 3 Hurricanes Recently, my husband and I went on a cruise. In the works for 10 months, unfortunately, we did not realize it was hurricane season, but it was. We went, together with 10 family members, to Bermuda and the Bahamas anyway. Day one and day two, we found ourselves in very turbulent waters with 30 foot tall ocean swells. It was scary, and hard to even stay upright while walking on the ship as the ship was being tossed about in the ocean. The drawers in our cabin, and even the latched, heavy bathroom door were swinging open and closed with a loud bang day and night, and I remember wondering how long it would last, praying I would not fall or roll out of bed. At the end of the cruise, the Captain told us over the PA something we had not known:  He admitted he had never before dodged three hurricanes on one cruise! All I can say is that I am so glad I didn’t really understand what was all around us. After the storm calmed, the islands we visited were beautiful, though powerlines were down and there was debris everywhere in both Bermuda and the Bahamas. The rest of the trip was smooth sailing. Jesus: Gatekeeper & Captain of Your Ship This experience was a reminder to me that Jesus is the one who gives us calm in the...

How to Have Your Plans Succeed

“Entrust your works to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”          Proverbs 16:3 (NABRE: New American Bible Revised Edition) https://theinspirationcafeblog.net Hoping Your Plans Will Succeed? Hoping your plans will succeed? Every plan needs goals, and a firm foundation to grow on, to build on. Sure, you can go about doing all the planning and implementation and hope for the best outcome. The world tells us that hard work is all that is needed to succeed in this life. True, hard work is necessary for anything we embark on to succeed. But that is just part of the story.   A Team Approach Certainly, we also need to depend on funding and finding the materials and resources to do the job. Often times our plans include other people, as well, so you will want to identify and surround yourself with honest, skilled people to help. Depending on the job at hand, many plans include building a team approach to tackle and implement all the details that you have laid out for the goals you have set. You’ll likely try to find the brightest minds, those with the highest skills, and backers with the appropriate financial assets. With all that in place, the stage is set for success as you stand at the helm of every project or job that comes along. There is nothing else you could possibly need…Or is there?   Learning to Depend on God The above scripture from Proverbs 16:3 tells us simply to, “Entrust your works to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” It does not say we have all the answers and everything we...

The 7 Promises of God

                                     THE INSPIRATION CAFÉ BLOG                                        https://theinspirationcafeblog.net  ************************************************* The 7 Promises of God Chaplain Adele M. Gill “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go…                             I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”   Genesis 28:15    The 7 Promises of God. It really is such a blessing to know that God, Our Creator, is with us wherever we go; that we are not on our own! We are never beyond his view, and he is there with us to love, comfort, guide, and protect us in our daily lives. No one could ever know us better than God, and His love for each of us is unmatched, unconditional, and never ending! Sometimes when we pray, it seems like no one is listening. It feels like a futile attempt to reach out to a God who is not listening. Yet, other times, it seems that the heavens open up and we are profoundly blessed with answers to our prayer. However, we must not lose heart when our prayers are not answered straight away, as God continues to work out all of details  we are unaware of. It is important to pray with great anticipation and trust that God will do what He has promised according to Holy Scripture. No, that does not mean life will be perfect, but...

3 Steps to Everyday Freedom

“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Thessalonians 5:9                                New International Version (NIV) Enjoying Freedom Everyday freedom. As Christians, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to enjoy everyday freedom like no one else. We have the freedom to walk away from our sins and failings. The freedom to trust in Jesus, who is with us always through it all. We can forgive and be forgiven. Build bridges by building others up. We even have the ability to forgive ourselves for things we have done and not done, sins of omission and commission. We have the freedom to lead others to Jesus so that they, too, can walk in the everyday freedom that comes through Him alone. We have the opportunity and freedom to pray for ourselves, and others, with confidence, and to anticipate God will hear and answer our prayers as we seek to emulate Jesus. Perspectives Each of us has our own idea of what God is like. For some, He is a wrath-filled, angry task master; for others He is the very definition of Love, kindness, mercy, and compassion. How we see God has everything to do with how we see Jesus, and visa-versa. When you know Jesus, you know God, as He took human form while on earth. Surely our relationships with our parents can influence how we see God. Harsh parenting can lead one to conclude that God is punitive. Conversely, loving parents can...

Endurance, Perseverance & Patience

Endurance. Endurance and perseverance are so central to finishing any race. When blended with patience, these qualities often propel people to successfully complete the journey they embark on. These qualities make possible what God has asked them to endure. Endurance and perseverance, when blended with patience, are necessary to complete any task one sets out to complete—even and especially, healing. Two Brave Friends I have two friends who are fighting breast cancer bravely right now, with all their strength. The sheer courage these two have shown to all who know them is nothing short of miraculous. Even in this time of suffering, these women are faith-filled witnesses, shining examples of what happens when one serves God with all their strength despite adversity. The poise and grace they present to all who know them is clearly a testimony to the love of God, as they forge ahead with major surgery and cancer treatments that would challenge even the strongest among us. What makes them so special is the fact that they give God all of the credit for helping them and being by their side through every bend in the road. They lean heavily on His mercy and compassion. Perhaps more heavily than if they did not have such a need for healing. Cancer treatment is not for the faint of heart, but they credit God with the strength they embody, and the progress they make, in fighting their cancer. I’m sure they have asked “Why me?” at times, but their focus has stayed squarely on the healing power of the mighty God we serve. Surely these good women have...

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...