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:…

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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

What the World Needs Now

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Some songs make me cringe.

It’s not necessarily the lyrics—although cringe-worthy lyrics abound. Often it’s the style of singing or instrumentation. Sometimes it’s an associated memory. For instance, whenever I hear Andy Williams’ voice belt out, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” I can’t help but groan inwardly. I associate it with disgruntled black friday shoppers and unhappy ugly-Christmas-sweater people. I don’t know why…. it’s probably related to some lame commercial. Then there’s Burt Bacharach’s “What the World Needs Now.” The words aren’t bad, it’s just the way it was sung or the melody or… something. Think “nails on chalk.”

And yet… Continue reading

Where were you?

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Tuesday morning dawned, bright and clear. The smell of cinnamon and nutmeg mingled with freshly cooked eggs while a soft, gentle breeze wafted through the open windows. I sat at the dining room table, savoring my freshly cooked scrambled eggs and warm coffee cake. I was home on summer break, very close to returning to college for my junior year. My mom sat across from me as we engaged in some light conversation.

The sudden jangling of the cordless phone shattered the quiet of the morning. My mom rose hurriedly from the table to answer it.

“Hello? Oh hi—-WHAT?!Continue reading

Why we need to pray for GenNext (Part 2)

This is the final article in the series “Raising GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here.

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Yesterday, we looked at why prayer is so critical in the effort to raise GenNext. Remember, GenNext is not just children; GenNext also includes new converts and current Christians. Like Jesus, we long for the growth of those who will follow in our footsteps. The effort to train “replacements” begins today, for today is all we have. As with any endeavor for the Lord, we need to be praying throughout the process.

What specific requests should be included in our prayers?

Continue reading

More than Conquerors (Day 3 of #encourage marathon)

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“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

~ Romans‬ ‭8:35-39‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Welcome to Day 3 of the Encourage Marathon! (If you want to read yesterday’s post, click here.)

Today, someone out there feels like their fighting a losing battle. (It might even be you.)

The human mind is a powerful instrument. It has the ability to aid in triumph or loss. People have lived through unexpected events for no other apparent reason than “the will to live” (and, of course, because God allowed them to).

When we become a Christian, we enter a fierce race. Satan wants to trip us up, knock us down, and shove us out. If we go into the race thinking we’ll never win, then we do not have faith in the promises of God. The Lord promised that those who were His and endured to the end would have eternal life.

Do you believe that?

I do.

Satan can do all he dares to trip me up, but he cannot take me out of the race because I am more than a runner—I am a victor, a conqueror. Is it because I am strong? Nope. It is the love of God gives me the ability to make it to the finish line. He equips me with strength.

The only one who can disqualify me from the race is myself.

Are you getting tired? Feel like you’re gonna lose? Get your mind fixed on two things:

  1. The goal
  2. The guarantee

The goal is eternal life.

That’s where we are headed. The race is the means by which we get there. If you look down at the ground, you’ll soon become part of it and quit. If you keep thinking about your aching feet and sore muscles, you’ll slow to a stop. Fix your eyes on the finish line and keep moving!

The guarantee is victory.

If we are in Christ and we stay beside Him, He’ll get us to the finish line. As the above passage says, we are more than conquerors through Him. If you know that you can make it, you’ll keep going in spite of all the pain, frustration, and weariness. Again, the victory is only guaranteed if we keep going.

You can win through Christ! Keep your eyes fixed on the goal and the guarantee.


I hope you’ll join me on Facebook, Twitter and here at Elihu’s Corner for this marathon. Share this verse on your Twitter feed or Facebook page (#encourage). Take time today to copy down this verse for yourself. Send an email or text to someone you know who would benefit from this encouragement.

Here is a picture of the verse I copied down yesterday for my own benefit:

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[If you click on the link in the above passage, it will take you to BibleGateway.com. From here, you can click a share link which allows you to share directly to Twitter, Facebook or send an email.]

If you missed the original post listing all 26 passages, click here to download the PDF list.