How to Be Content in Any Circumstance

Adele M. Gill “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,              whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”  Philippians 4:12 When Things Go Awry It is easy to walk in fear and dread when things go awry. When things go wrong, we too often focus squarely on the issue at hand, whether health problems, job insecurity, broken relationships, financial challenges, or some other unwelcome situation, that befalls us, leaving us feeling vulnerable. But our perspective and bringing God into it as much as is humanly possible, regardless of situation, can and does, make a huge difference. That is not to say that God causes these things. Actually, many times it is bad decisions that we make that are the culprit causing mishaps and mayhem in our daily lives. Poor nutrition, high risk behavior, a poor work ethic, selfishness in relationships, over spending are just a few examples of using our free will poorly and getting in over our heads. And sometimes it just ‘is what it is;’ there is no one to blame. But consider this… Easy to Blame  It is easy to blame others or even God for what befalls us. And tough circumstances can and often do provoke questions that can rarely be answered: “Why did God do this to me?” “Why is God punishing me?” These questions are sometimes asked by people who are angry when they have serious physical illnesses or...

Are You a Child of God?

Chaplain Adele M. Gill   14 “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God… 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 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 8:14 Recently a friend asked me “Who are the Children of God?” Certainly there are many diverse answers and perspectives for that question. This is a poignant question posed by both believers and non-believers over the ages. It is my considered personal opinion that we are all children of God by birth—both people of every faith, and those who follow no religion, alike. Yet, we all have the choice to choose to follow God’s commands and ways.   Since I am a student of the Bible rather than a Bible scholar, I turned to the greatest source of wisdom I know to answer this timeless question: Holy Scripture. Though I was quite surprised by what I found, I consider Holy Scripture to be the true and ultimate authority. According to Scripture, God physically created all of humanity through His divine grace. However, the actual identity of the children of God, His heirs by adoption through Jesus, appears to hinge, according to Holy Scripture, on one’s belief, choice and free will—our believing (or not believing) in, and following, Jesus Christ, the Greatest Hope the world has ever known:   Scriptures about the Children of God 26 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you...

God’s Compassion & Mercy for You

“11As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:10-11 Recently, I had an exacerbation of myasthenic syndrome causing neuromuscular weakness that affected my respiratory muscles making it hard to breathe, and subsequently, garbled, slurred, raspy speech for a week and a half. I have experienced this many times over the past 36 years that I have had this condition. The doctor ordered the usual outpatient IV treatments—3 days in a row, 5 hours per day. The treatments were eventually helpful for returning my breathing and speech, but there was a week long delay before my condition improved. Yes, this scenario has occurred dozens of times in my life, but this time seemed different. What happened next was anything but the usual recovery from a neuromuscular exacerbation… Healing Happens Several days after going for the IV treatments, I attended a healing service at my church, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. My speech had not yet returned and as usual, I was walking with my walker for distance due to poor balance. The healing service was quite an experience to say the least. However, about 3 days after the healing service, my speech and breathing returned. 5 days later, I went to the Mall to walk. Normally I walk there with my walker, but this time I forgot my walker and only had my cane! So I went in the Mall anticipating not being able to walk any distance without my walker as has been...

A Better Way

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” JOHN 15:5 NASB We Are the Branches A better way. In today’s holy scripture, Jesus tells us that we are the branches that emanate from Him, The Vine. One need only prune a spindly vine to see that new life follows masterful pruning. Pruning removes dead debris that is no longer useful or needed. The vine is the foundation of the plant and subsequent growth. It is the very source of its sustenance, bringing much-needed nutrients into every branch, every leaf, into each and every fruit. Without pruning The Vine, there is no fresh new growth. The plant simply remains dormant or withers and dies and does not bear fruit. Pruning is necessary to rejuvenate the branches, and it is important for the production of abundant fruit.   Spiritual Pruning In real life, times of spiritual ‘pruning’ can be difficult. Figuratively, this pruning occurs whenever we ask God to take the reins, to help us conform to His Divine Will for us. Whenever we give him control over our circumstances. It occurs whenever we put aside our own desires in search of the ‘better way,’ the ‘greater plan’ God has for each of us. It comes every time we deny our own desires for the greater good, or reach out selflessly to others in need. But the challenges pruning presents are short-lived, making way for full, unencumbered new growth upon completion. Conduits of Love And so it goes, we as...

Fallen Short & Lifting Up

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 Once I was in the hospital for 5 days and had a seemingly constant flow of visitors. They were quite friendly towards the staff, and lovingly acknowledged everyone from the doctors to the maintenance staff. I had so many visitors, in fact, that two nurses pulled me aside, and commented on how outgoing and friendly my friends were. They both asked me where I met my friends. “I met most of them at church,” I said. “What church?” they asked as they pressed for more information. So I told them. I suspect they saw in my friends what I also saw in them: The love of Jesus Christ. It is often said that church goers are ‘saints’ and everyone else are sinners. But that is far from the truth as we all have the capacity and propensity to sin. Some say arrogantly (and blindly) that sin is what others do. These prideful attitudes are pervasive in our culture, but detrimental to both church-goers and the unchurched. Though we try with all our strength, none of us is ‘good’ all the time. We are all flawed to some extent and only human—we need Jesus to be lifting up all who fall short of the glory of God. That reality only gives us more reason to pursue our faith with fervor to be the best we can be in God’s eyes. The truth is that we are all sinners to varying degrees—all of humanity, indeed, and we sin in a variety of ways through sins of omission...

PART I: The New York Travesty

Life and Motherhood Begin at Conception The Reproductive Health Act abortion bill was just passed by New York legislators. To the dismay of many, this ‘progressive’ state legislation went through on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, on the 46th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, which, in 1973, legalized abortion in the U.S. Tragically, it sets a precedent that will be hard to reverse as time goes on, and it catches on in other states and countries. When will we finally come to understand what science and DNA have already proven: Human life and motherhood both begin at conception?   The Reproductive Health Act, the bill passed in New York this past week is a travesty, one which endangers the lives of both vulnerable pregnant women, and preborn babies, alike. However, according to its name, it is a misnomer. Abortion is, in actuality, an all-out assault on human life that is not about healthcare at all, as it is not health ‘care,’ For decades medical practitioners have taken the Hippocratic Oath, ‘do no harm.’ Nor is abortion ‘just politics’ as many suggest with conventional wisdom, like religion, both topics that ‘should not be discussed.’ Rather, abortion is a life and death moral and legal issue, one relating to end of life decisions, worthy of civil discourse.   What Makes This Legislation Different The Reproductive Health Act is being proudly hailed by some people who think it is ok to take the life of a pre-born baby up until birth. It also allows for anyone to perform an abortion rather than a skilled physicians. This new legislation allows non-physicians to perform abortions...