Memorial Day

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What good is a memorial if we’ve forgotten its purpose?

In the United States, we set aside the last Monday in May as an official memorial to honor the fallen.

Since most people are given the day off, it’s usually used to kick off summer, have a barbecue, and hit the beach.

For others, it’s a trip to the military cemetery to sit with the remains of a husband, wife, father, mother, brother, sister, or friend.

Today is a time to reflect on those who died to make us a free country, to end slavery, to deliver the oppressed, and to make the world a better place.

Take time today to remember. Tell your children what today is for so that it’s purpose will not be lost.

 

Forgetting God

This is Part 3 of the Series “The Effects of Knowing God” For the previous post, click here.

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[God] established a testimony in Jacob…
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them…
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
and that they should not be like their fathers…
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.

~ Psalm 78.5-8, ESV

How would it feel to be the generation that ruined it all? If the United States collapsed within the next 40 years, the fault could not be laid exclusively at the feet of millennials. At least 3 previous generations would also bear the blame for our slow slide toward destruction.

But… What if there had not been a slow slide, but a completely foolish string of choices confined to one generation? Can you imagine witnessing the destruction of your country, knowing your generation was responsible? Continue reading

Got Writer’s Block? These 7 Tips Will Help.

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I’m writing this piece because I have writer’s block.

Seriously.

Well… I’m also teaching my kids how to write, so this has been crowding up my brain lately.

“My paper is due tomorrow!”

“I have a sermon to preach!”

“I don’t know how to give this presentation!”

“I haven’t posted for a week! What should I write about?!?!”

“My editor needs this draft tomorrow!”

At some point in life, whether you are a writer or not, you’re going to face that blinking cursor drumming, “Dead-line! Dead-line! Dead-line!”

IT’S… WRITER’S BLOCK. [Cue Beethoven’s 5th]

Continue reading

To Boycott or Not to Boycott…

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About a week ago, the internet exploded as Bill Condon, director of Beauty and the Beast, alluded to an “openly gay moment” in the upcoming film. Social media spiraled into a frenzy. An Alabama theater refused to show the movie. Conservative groups screamed for a boycott. “Progressives” patted themselves jubilantly on the back. Continue reading

What I Learned From Being Quiet

A few years ago, I found this acrostic on Pinterest: “Before you speak, THINK: is it True, Helpful, Important, Necessary, or Kind?” There is wisdom in choosing our words with greater care.

The following is an excellent article from a fellow blogger on being more purposeful in our everyday speech. I would add that we need to also be careful in what we “say” with our keyboards!

Enjoy!

Samaritan's Song

I am in the middle of a ten-day “word fast” – fasting from certain kinds of speaking for the length of ten days.  The idea came from the appropriately-named Ten-Day Word Fast available for the Bible app on my phone, and the premise is simple: abstain from complaining, criticism, judgments, sarcasm, and gossip for ten days.

There’s a little more to the fast than that, and the definition of the words are carefully drawn out (i.e. “criticism” as it’s used here is made distinct from authentic and honest admonishment given in love).  But I’ve been working with the first two so far (complaining and criticism) and not complaining or being critical has taught me a lot.

Most importantly, what it’s taught me is this: I often complain and am critical to avoid being direct.

If I have a bad day, for example, I have a tendency to complain about it:…

View original post 419 more words

God’s Love is the Greatest Love

God's love is everlasting

We long to be loved, don’t we?

Unfortunately, we tend to spend most of our time “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

We expect our best friends to manifest their unwavering loyalty, only to be wounded when they seem to have forgotten us. We seek approval on social media, and inevitably come up short. We long for our spouse to love us with fervent devotion, but illness, stress, and apathy so often weaken the intensity of their love.

Human love is capricious, but the love of God endures forever.

The words in the above verse, “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” are spoken by the only One who can speak them with absolute truth and confidence.

In your daily bible study, take note of the countless times God demonstrates His love. Commit such verses to your heart. Write them down and memorize them. When dark times come (and they will come) you will be armed with the assurance of His presence, your heart shielded from the piercing darts of despair.

 

Are you afflicted by pangs of loneliness, overwhelming grief, or crippling anxiety today?

Have you suffered betrayal from a spouse or friend?

Do you feel ignored? Forgotten? Misunderstood?

Be comforted, my friend: Your Heavenly Father, the Eternal and Omnipotent King, sees you and loves you with His incomparable and unfailing love.


Next week, while the U.S. is celebrating the Hallmark-holiday of Valentine’s Day, we will be turning our thoughts to the nature of God’s Love. I hope you will join me for this little miniseries!

“What It’s Like Explaining Depression Meds to Many Christians” by To Save a Life

img_2605Hello dear readers!

I am in the middle of working on some upcoming blog posts for this week,  but I saw a great post today that ties in beautifully to the past several posts regarding invisible illnesses. I’m including one of the graphics, but you’ll have to click the link to see the rest:

 

http://tosavealife.com/mental-health/depression/what-its-like-explaining-depression-meds-to-many-christians/

May the peace of God dwell with you today and always.

Do Your Plans for 2017 Include God?

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Today is January 4, 2017.

I’ve seen more people out jogging than usual. My Facebook feed is full of “New Year, New You” stuff—whole 30, exercise tracking, etcetera. (For tips on goal-setting, click here). I haven’t seen much on Bible reading plans or daily prayer, but I realize such things are of a more personal nature. Nobody wants to be perceived as boastful; none of us want to be grouped with those self-righteous Pharisees…

However, as Christians, our lifelong goal should include growing closer to God and endeavoring to love others as Christ loved us. To achieve these broad goals, the training of the mind is essential.

I’m going to share two of my 2017 goals with you and I hope they enhance your own endeavors. Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving

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I am thankful for all of you who take time to read my work, make comments, share posts, and offer encouragement. The exchange is stimulating and edifying, particularly in the midst of a world that rejects Christ. I am thankful to have had discussions with Christians both here in the states and in other countries. This blog has been such a blessing to me in countless ways, but it would merely be archived dots and pixels without all of you.

I hope you are able to take a few moments today between cooking and family to say a few words of thanks to our generous God, from whom all blessings flow.

May you enjoy a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

– Elihu