Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Joy!

Greetings from the Inspiration Cafe! Today’s blog post: Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Joy! http://theinspirationcafeblog.net/blog/    Then Jesus said: “…I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy…Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”  John 16:22-24 NIV (New International Version)   Trying to win the Approval of Others Don’t let anyone steal your joy! At times, so many of us are people pleasers. That is, we try to please other people through what we say and do. Certainly there are times when we need to try to please others, as is the case at work with one’s employer. That is important to do to succeed in the workplace and keep your job—it impacts your livelihood. But here I am talking about how we deal with personal relationships with family, friends, business associates, acquaintances, communities, and even, at times, strangers. It is in these areas that we spend way too much time and energy trying to conform to and live up to the standards of other people to get their stamp of approval, prestige, affection, respect, and admiration, to our own detriment. By so doing, we are usually frustrated by our own efforts to win the approval of other people as we try to guess what they expect from us, and live accordingly. These approval seeking efforts can be exhausting, even producing self-loathing and resentment, as we often unsuccessfully try to please...

The 7 Promises of God

                                     THE INSPIRATION CAFÉ BLOG                                        http://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...

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....

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...

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...