Thanks for all the prayers and support while I participated in the Summer Intensive Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Program at Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, FL. It was one of the most rigorous things I have ever done in my entire life. The program was from June 5 to August 17, 2017. Time flew by, two of my dear friends were my host families as Tampa is 2 and 1/2 hours away from Lehigh Acres, FL, one way. Special thanks to them for their generous hospitality as this allowed me the ability to not have to commute daily, which would probably have been impossible. God just worked it all out from my acceptance into the program along with five peers, a fabulous supervisor and management team, and, even down to my husband being in agreement with me on this endeavor.
I shared with some but not all that I took the time as a hiatus. So my apologies to those of you I did not communicate this fact. My last post was July 12, 2017 which was a status update. In the meantime, I was selected for the CPE Residency program, on becoming a board certified Chaplain, at Florida Hospital Tampa, FL. This program is for one year and began yesterday. Its from September 5, 2017 to August 3, 2018. Please pray with and for me on this spiritual journey as I do for you all. The new program will allow me an opportunity to recommit to Fast Wednesdays. I pray you will join me and we will have some lively discussions, conversations, etc. Please feel free to invite others to the blog online, email or whatever manner is appropriate.
This week I am delighted to share with you the topic “God is Bigger Than the Storm.” Family, friends and our nation have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey recently in Houston, TX, Hurricane Irma is bearing down on us as she leaves devastation in the Caribbean and right behind her is Hurricane Jose and Tropical Storm Katia. Beyond these physical storms there are many emotional, spiritual, and other storms raging in people’s lives. (Note: I had a feisty friend and mentor named Irma Foster from Grace Baptist Church. To have a storm with her name brings up some great and sad memories…RIP Mrs. Foster).
What causes you to lose hope in the storms of life? Ask a few friends or family members to share with you about a difficult time and what brought them through? From an interfaith perspective, reflect on times that God, Adonai, Allah, Jehovah, brought you through? Build a well of experiences you can dig from in your mind so you have “positive” food for thought when a storm wants to destroy you…
I must give credit to my prodigy, Nicole S. Fuller. She shared with me sermon notes from her church this past Sunday. This makes my job so much easier this week. I thank God for sending her to help me. May God ignite her with Fresh Wind/Fresh Fire for him.
With so many varied Storm(s) Raging Literally & Figuratively, Thought I’d Share Some Notes.
Luke 8:22-26 / ‘Where Is Your Faith.”
22 Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.
23 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.
NOTE: How We View God Should Align With How We View Ourselves.
- His Intentions Are Bigger Than Our Storm – Phil 1:6 KJV – 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
- His Interpretation Is Bigger Than Our Storm – Luke 8:25 KJV “What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.”
- His Inclination Is Bigger Than Our Storm – ‘ He Arose and Inclined Himself Toward You.” – Psalms 34:17 KJV 17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. a) His Inclination Is To Hear Us b) His Inclination Is To Help Us
- His Intervention Is Bigger Than Our Storm – Romans 8:28King James Version KJV 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Closing Thoughts: Psalm 34:19 KJV 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers – Encourage Yourself https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbEaftzaFWA
Abba Father, as the physical, spiritual, and mental storms of life approach, help us to be like the eagle. Let us be aware that the storm is approaching long before it breaks. Help us to fly high above the storms. Hide us under your wings. Help us to learn how to use the storms of life to lift us higher. When the storms of life are raging around us, let us rise above them by setting our minds on you, God. The storms do not have to overcome us. Let us allow your power to life us above them. Enable us to ride the winds of the storms that bring sickness, tragedy, failure and disappointment in our lives and soar above them.
We ask for your protection with the physical storms that have come and devastated many communities. And we pray for the people who will be impacted by other storms that arise. Give your people wisdom to evacuate, make adjustments to their schedules, rebuild or do whatever it is your will for them. Help us who are not impacted to help those who are. Remind us that we are our brother and sister’s keepers. We know you are a God who can dissipate any storm. We love you, we thank you, in advance, for answered prayers and praise reports. Amen.
Debra J. Fuller Ellis
Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!
The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.” Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (email@example.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog.