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...

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,...