Do Your Plans for 2017 Include God?

Very well-written and practical blog post right here!
Thank-you Elihu for your helpful insights and encouragement on goal-setting for 2017. I pray that as a Church Body, we may all draw closer to God through reading, meditating and applying His Holy Word!
Peace and God Bless to you all, brothers and sisters in Christ!

Elihu's Corner

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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.

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What You Don’t Know

This is so true, especially in the society within which we live today. Sadly, the content being released by news publications are almost entirely based on what will maximize their readership, thereby their bottom line. Creditability as well as the reliability with the authorship of news publications and other communication channels is pointedly limited nowadays.

LeadToday

I don’t watch a lot of television and though I really like watching 60 Minutes (A news weekly in the United States) I rarely take or make the time to see it.

But I really enjoyed the live show on Christmas evening. I was absolutely fascinated watching Mike Wallace interview Mark Twain. I guess it was live because it was Christmas but whatever the reason it was truly amazing watching two living legends going back and forth talking about a major topic of the day.

Fake news!

One of the more profound things that Twain said was “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

His point was that much of what you read on the internet just can’t be believed. He also added that sadly, today it’s just not just the internet you can’t believe, sometimes…

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The One Thing I Hate to Do

Thank-you for writing this timely blog entry! Gotta love God’s Providence! Jesus’ crucial message of denial to self is truly the cost of discipleship. I pray and hope that more preachers would deliver sermons on such key topics within Christian Living.
Walking-out our Christian faith is all about the denial of self, and dying to ourselves daily so that Christ through His Spirit can then fully reign within us.

Elihu's Corner

This is part 2 of the series “Do I have to carry THAT cross?” To read the original post, click here.

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“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. or what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

Matthew 16.24-26, ESV

I am a selfish creature.

I do not make the statement with pride, but rather confess it, to my great shame.

Like most humans, I enjoy my own particular flavor of comfort. I love sipping my homemade iced chai, surrounded with whatever music suits my mood. My favorite find is a book to get lost in. I warm with pleasure when I find myself in a…

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Do I have to carry THAT cross?

Beautifully written post with an immensely important message, particularly for the materially-abundant West, where we have watered down the Gospel Message so much!

Elihu's Corner

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There’s an old hymn we sing once in awhile entitled, “Nearer My God to Thee.”

Nearer my God to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross
That raiseth me.

Still, all my song shall be,
‘Nearer my God to Thee!’
Nearer my God to Thee—
Nearer to Thee.

~ Sarah Flower Adams, 1841

As with anything worth having, nearness to God is costly. Many claim to want a relationship with God, but have no desire to make any sort of sacrifice to achieve it. What about me? Am I willing to be “raised on a cross” in order to gain a closeness to the Lord that could not be attained otherwise?

More often than not, the conversation in my head goes something like this:

Does it have to be that cross? Why can’t I have his cross over there? It looks a bit smaller than mine…”

Or…

“Why don’t…

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God Wants To Surprise You

Certainly, our God loves to lavish His blessings onto those Who simply listen and joyfully obey His Holy Word thereby walking in in faith not by sight. As evidenced within the highlighted text  (Deuteronomy 28:1-2), God delights in rewarding those walking in obedience often through delivering unexpected, personalized gifts to His children intended to help display His boundless love for us.

FAITH BOOSTER: God Wants to Surprise You [April 21, 2016]  WORD OF FAITH: “If you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I c…

Source: God Wants To Surprise You

Don’t Magnify Your Problems

Thank-you for this incredibly encouraging and inspiring blog post!
May God continue to bless you and your ministry!

Boosters, Prayers & Confessions

dba2bc8d684e1f9566bbadb833dbf5b5.jpgFAITH BOOSTER:

Don’t Magnify Your Problems [Mar.13, 2016]

WORD OF FAITH:

“…Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”(1 Samuel 17:26, NIV)

 Did you know that when David faced Goliath, he never called him a giant? Other people did, but not David. He didn’t brag on the enemy’s power. He didn’t magnify the obstacle. He did just the opposite. He called him an “uncircumcised Philistine.” Not only did he NOT acknowledge who Goliath was, or his strength, his power, his experience, he took it one step further and diminished him.

When he said, “He’s an uncircumcised Philistine,” he was saying, “This man is not in covenant with my God. He’s not in covenant with Jehovah.” In other words, “He doesn’t have the favor on his life that’s on my life. I know the favor of my God keeps my enemies from…

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Obedience Brings Blessings

Thank-you for writing this beautiful and well-timed post. I like how you connected and related obedience to our faith in God. May God embolden His followers to pursue more godly risks even when they may not make sense at the time!

Boosters, Prayers & Confessions

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FAITH BOOSTER:

Obedience Brings Blessings [Mar.09, 2016]

WORD OF FAITH:

“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession…”(Exodus 19:5, NIV)

Sometimes God asks us to do things that don’t make sense. It doesn’t seem logical. It doesn’t fit into our budget. It doesn’t line up with our schedule. “God, You want me to go back to college? I’m 40 years old.” “God, You want me to give them a gift? I was saving those funds for my own dreams.” Or, “God, You want me to leave this secure position that I’ve had for years and start my own business?” Too often we over-analyze it. We debate it. Look at it only in the natural. We end up making excuses, talking ourselves out of it, “That couldn’t be God.” But if you’re going to reach your highest…

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Why do other people have it so easy?

Great post!
Thanks for sharing!
This is an area in my life which I commonly wrestle with so I can certainly relate with this post.

Elihu's Corner

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Marla stood in the doorway, her arms wrapped around herself like a shield, gazing bitterly all the shiny happy people in the building.

To her left stood an attractive young blonde in a stunning red dress. Her highlighted hair was neatly curled in the latest style. She looked as though she had just stepped out of the cover of Vogue. Nice dress. She thought. Katy always has nice, new clothes. I’m always rotating the same three or four outfits.

Her eyes wandered over to Mike and Jamie, a lovely young married couple surrounded by ladies with their eyes alight, all focused on a little bundle of pink. The ladies were waiting for a chance to hold the pink bundle that was, at the moment, nestled quietly in Jamie’s arms.

Ah, yes. Whispered the bitter voice in her head, They just had a baby. A healthy baby. No infertility issues…

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Our Best Hope for Peace

As calamities, atrocities and disasters of all kinds continually emerge throughout different parts of the world, the need for peace becomes progressively amplified. The inescapable truth is that the same peace which humanity has sought repeatedly throughout the last two millennia is still not found in anything under the sun. In fact, as mere mortal beings we are utterly incapable of ever attaining this life-transforming peace because we ourselves are spiritually-depraved. Like Romans 3:10 tells us,Fallen short.jpg

There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.

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Cliff Notes: The Lost Art of Bible Study In the Church (Part 2)

Thank-you for writing this much-needed post.
I agree with your thoughts and I really appreciate your insights.
Particularly within Western Christianity, it is very simple to adopt a supplemental-focused mindset in place of spending quality time in the Bible. Because it is God’s Breathed Word, it is final and authoritative which makes it absolutely rock solid for Christians to rely upon. As Christians, God calls us all to be discerning, which can only be accomplished through being Biblically-literate, through intentionally investing time in the Scriptures.
God Bless!

Samaritan's Song

“Some is better than none at all.”

I’m pretty sure my dad feels this way about pizza.  After having a quintuple bypass five years ago, he dutifully made the change to a heart-healthy diet – and that meant sacrificing the anything-goes pizza he used to have for a few meager slices of the healthiest kind available.  A sacrifice?  Sure.  But he doesn’t mind – he’s just glad he still gets to have pizza at all, even if it’s not quite the same.

I imagine that some Christians take the same attitude with Bible study.  Strapped for time and desperate to feel close to God, they swap out time with the Word for a ten-minute devotional, a chapter of a Philip Yancey book, or the latest study guide written for their small group.  Some time with God is better than none at all, they reason, and anyway, there are Bible verses

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