Pandemic Peace

by Adele M. Gill  “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice…                       Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7   Pandemic peace?  Some days when I wake up in the morning and remind myself that the world is still in quarantine. I can hardly believe the pandemic continues to be upon us, affecting every aspect of our lives. And, like most, I think it’s been here way too long. If I let myself travel along on that path of thinking beyond a passing thought, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, isolated, fearful, alone, angry, sad, even disappointed, because it’s not over yet. When I am able to better monitor my thinking, I soon recognize that I need to have a positive attitude adjustment to start my day off right. I try to remind myself that we all get to choose the thoughts we entertain.   Like weeds in a beautiful garden, negativity and fear can take over our thoughts and control your day, if we let them. At that point, we need to weed the ‘garden of our mind,’ so to speak, lest our negative thinking overcome us, dictating what kind of day we will have.   So we have to choose between a positive attitude and optimism; negativity and fear, even and especially, in times of adversity, like now. It is a choice we have to make each and every day. Truth is, negativity drags us down, zaps our energy, disrupts relationships, and can even make us...

Gifts of God Are Irrevocable

                      “For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.”                        Romans 11:29 The gifts of God are irrevocable; that is, He does not take them back. When God gives you a gift, he does so freely through His unconditional Love, and divine grace. When He does that, He enables you to use that gift for good. As with Moses who had a speech impairment, Mary Magdalene who Jesus healed of 7 demons, and David who was an adulterous wanderer before becoming a strong leader and king, God used and often uses flawed, struggling people to accomplish His greatest work. ‘Truth is, He can and will use absolutely anyone, believers and non-believers alike, to lead souls to Jesus Christ, and hence to Heaven’s gate. God Waits fro Us With patience and persistence, God waits for each of us to recognize the gifts He bestows upon us, embrace them, and share them with others. All the while equipping us to use His gifts to enrich our lives and help others using those gifts. God’s precious gifts, such as the gift of faith, help us to clean up our lives, to forge ahead, and seek Him, and His Son Jesus, with great fervor, and all our being. God’s blessings and gifts are most often given for the benefit of building up His Kingdom, and are irrevocable—That is, they cannot be taken away. Even if through our free will, we choose not to use the gifts God sends, He still does not remove them. However, they may sit dormant waiting for...

Wherever You Go

By Chaplain Adele M. Gill    “Be strong & courageous…Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 God will be with you wherever you go. In today’s world, it takes radical faith to be able to believe in Jesus and stand up in faith for one’s Christianity. It takes great strength and courage, especially in times of adversity, to seek God’s help, and hand Him the reigns. But when we realize that He is with us wherever we go anyway, and is fighting our battles with us and for us for the asking, we can strive to follow Him to higher ground. It is when we believe that we are sons and daughters, heirs of God, in fact, empowered to follow Jesus and do His divine will, that we can rest assured we are not alone in this turbulent world—Jesus is with us. Beyond self-esteem, this understanding helps us know our worth in the eyes of God.                                               “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 8:17 Somehow, when we consider that God is with us everywhere we go, guiding, comforting, protecting, healing and saving us, it makes it easier to endure things....

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...

Are You at Peace?

Are You at Peace? “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you,                                                 live at peace with everyone.”  Romans 12:18 Are you at peace? What a blessing it is when we are at peace. At peace with ourselves, at peace with our circumstances, at peace knowing we did our best, at peace with others—those we love and those who are difficult to love. When we are at peace, life just seems to run more smoothly. However, sometimes perfectionism, fear, challenges beyond our scope, or difficult people can throw a wrench into our best laid plans, leaving us unsettled, even reeling. It all makes such good sense to strive to be at peace each day. Yet, it is hard as we strive for peace, the operative word here is, ‘strive.’ As the Winds Change Sometimes peace can be elusive. Left to our own devices, being at peace may be dependent on our mood, the challenge at hand, or even the erratic behavior of others. As the winds change, there goes our peace. Yet, most agree peace is worth pursing all the same. Sometimes, we are ill-prepared to embrace peace, and we let another person make it seemingly impossible to attain that goal; so we let them steal our peace and joy. Good Reason to Find Peace There is ample, good reason why peace and joy are two of the first fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. They are two of the nine manifestations of...

5 Ways to Allay Stress

“Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”   Mark 5:34  New American Bible (NAB) by Adele M. Gill Stress is just a fact of life. We need to know how to allay stress. When we are in the thick of things, it is easy to get distracted by our circumstances, and forget to pray and ‘invite God in.’ When things are going smoothly, we often have little use for prayer. However, truth is, when we are in the thick of things is when we need God the most, but easily forget He is in our corner. That is when He is the closest to us–in times of suffering, strife, and yes, even times of stress. Here are 5 ways to allay stress and place God first in your life: Pray and invite God in before things seem to get out of control to allay stress. Ask your Christians to pray for you in stressful times, especially when you cannot pray for yourself. Thank God for all the blessings that He has showered upon you. Gratitude to God opens doors to His grace. Give credit where credit is due. When you pray and God ‘shows up’ to help you, be sure and thank Him, and tell others about what He is doing in your life. Prayer and gratitude are the keys to a deep, abiding inner peace and subsequent joy. Read the Bible daily for practical, spiritual direction. The Power of Prayer Is Strong Some people say faith in God is a waste of time, nothing more than a sign of weakness. But there is much they do not understand...