The Depth and the Breadth of the Wisdom of Elisabeth Elliot

I just learned that Elisabeth Elliot died today.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2015/june/died-elisabeth-elliot-missionary-author-gates-of-splendor.html

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2015/06/15/elisabeth-elliot-1926-2015/

I had only recently discovered the depth and breadth of the wisdom of this women and had begun to collect some of my favourite quotes from her.

Elisabeth Elliot Quotes

  • “This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.”― Elisabeth Elliot
  • “One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.”― Elisabeth Elliot, Secure in the Everlasting Arms
  • “Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.”― Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender
  • It is a great relief when someone else is in charge. He knows what he is doing and all you have to do is follow directions. You do not reel at his telling you what to do. You are glad to be told. He knows more than you do, knows the best way to accomplish what you want to accomplish and you are sure you are better off with him than without him, happier by obeying than by disobeying.
  • God will never disappoint us. He loves us and has only one purpose for us – holiness, which in his kingdom equals Joy.
  • “I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.”― Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control
  • “God is God. Because he is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what he is up to.”― Elisabeth Elliot
  • “The way you keep your house, the way you organize your time, the care you take in your personal appearance, the things you spend your money on, all speak loudly about what you believe. The beauty of thy peace shines forth in an ordered life. A disordered life speaks loudly of disorder in the soul.”― Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman
  • “If my life is surrendered to God, all is well. Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine!”― Elisabeth Elliot
  • “The way we live ought to manifest the truth of what we believe. A messy life speaks of a messy and incoherent faith.”― Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman
  • “Do you often feel like parched ground, unable to produce anything worthwhile? I do. When I am in need of refreshment, it isn’t easy to think of the needs of others. But I have found that if, instead of praying for my own comfort and satisfaction, I ask the Lord to enable me to give to others, an amazing thing often happens – I find my own needs wonderfully met. Refreshment comes in ways I would never have thought of, both for others, and then, incidentally, for myself.”― Elisabeth Elliot
  • “The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”― Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart
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Tempted into Depression?

We had a guest preacher a couple of weeks ago who was talking about living a godly life. It was a terrific sermon, but he made one comment that I kept circling around in my head. I don’t even remember what he said or in what context exactly but something along the lines of resisting temptation and listing some things you could be tempted into and included not being tempted into depression.

Tempted into depression?
Isn’t a temptation something that you desire?

And who on earth would want to be depressed.

And I had intended to do digging into this a little further.

Can you be tempted into depression?

And this this past Sunday, a different guest pastor was speaking on Breaking away from Fear. It was also an excellent message.

But I caught a phrase he said.

Do not be tempted into Fear.

That sounds a lot like being tempted into depression. Who wants to be fearful?? Why would that even be tempting?

Did these speakers mean tempted to succumb to our fears?
And does that work in the context of depression?
Can you be tempted to succumb to depression, as opposed to fighting it.

The Bible has many verses about not being afraid.
Are there verses about not being depressed?

I’m not sure I have a clear answer to the question yet, my dear friends. But in searching for the answer, I found this beautiful Psalm – psalm 42 that ends with this verse

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

And one of my new favourite songs this week – it is Well by Bethel Music Video

Favourite lyrics:

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name
It is well with my soul

I think the thought I want to remember is that when my soul is downcast, I remember that the one whose name is known by the wind and the waves holds my soul and
It
Is
Well
With
Me.

http://bellefaith42.tumblr.com/post/98919266103/let-go-my-soul-the-waves-and-wind-still-know-his

For the Beauty of the Earth

For the Beauty of the Earth

 

I’m not going to say that Fall is my favourite season, but I sooo love the beauty of the earth that I see around me at this time of year.

My worship pastor commented recently that he had been listening to a new worship song and was just really moved by the lyrics. It’s only after a couple of weeks of listening did he realize the words were from a Psalm!

King David was the original worship leader. So many of his psalms proclaim the beauty of God’s creation. He uses words like majestic and splendor.

I don’t get to travel too much so I am enjoying via social media access to pictures of friends who are currently travelling in Bolivia, Iceland and England.

And I am awestruck by the sheer diversity of numerous sources of splendour on the earth.

Here are a few snapshots from this week – from my neighbourhood to Iceland to England to Bolivia.

Iceland (photo courtesy of H.Lee)
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Iceland (photo courtesy of H.Lee)

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Ottawa River

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England (photo courtesy of K.Gardiner)

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Bolivia (photo courtesy of J.Myers)

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King David’s Last Words – about Leadership

 

When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.

2 Samuel 23 – The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.

“For does not my house stand so with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. For will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire?

But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away, for they cannot be taken with the hand; but the man who touches them arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear, and they are utterly consumed with fire.”

 

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I find it interesting that David’s last words were words of wisdom about leadership.

And interesting reminder of God’s covenant with the Israeli people.

I’m proud that in Canada we have a prime minister does the right things for the right reasons like standing up for Israel.

But these are words of wisdom not just for world leaders but in every small way that we lead others.

We rule justly
We fear God

Simple rules for leadership.

Hands

Came across this passage The Quiet Life at The Life Project last week and I just love these verses.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.

Our hands are a symbol of our work. They represent what we’ve done and accomplished in our life.

Whatever your hand finds to do – do it with all your might.

When God spoke to Adam and Eve in the garden after they had done what He had asked them not to, His curse on Adam was that he would have to work the land with his hands in order to eat and live.

But as usual with our loving God, it comes with a blessing. Our hard work does not go un-rewarded. It brings forth good fruit.

We were created to do the work of the kingdom of God. And when we are obedient, He can use us to produce more fruit.

How do we make the best use of our time?

read the bible runner my desk quizbook on desk

Ephesians 5:15-21 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Youngs Literal Translation says – See, then, how exactly ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil

New Living Translation says – Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.

The Message says – Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness….Make the most of every chance you get.

The Amplified Bible says –  Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), 16 Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.

  • making the best use of time
  • redeeming the time
  • make the most of every opportunity
  • make the most of every chance you get
  • making the very most of the time – buying up each opportunity

Our God is NOT constrained by time.  But he has placed in a world that IS constrained by time.  Our time is limited.  God has work to accomplish through us, and our opportunity to complete His work is limited by time.

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HOW do we make the best use of time?

DO

  • understand what the will of the Lord is (then we aren’t wasting our time on things outside of His will)
  • be filled with the Spirit (v9 says for the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth,)
  • address one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs – (see real life should be a musical – ha ha!)
  • sing and make a melody to the Lord with your heart – more singing and praising and worshiping
  • give thanks ALWAYS and for EVERYTHING to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ – and always – be thankful
  • Submit to one another out of reference for Christ – no matter or age or stage in the journey, we all have people we need to submit to.

DO NOT

  • be foolish
  • get drunk with wine – for that is debauchery

Am I walking in the Spirit today?  Am I taking the opportunity to act as part of God’s plan today?  Am I thankful and praising and worshiping and speaking in psalms?

#preachingtomyself

Pruning Even the Fruitful Branches

I am memorizing John 15 with Hiding His Word.  The timing works out good, because our quizzing season for Romans and James is done.

The verses for this week are:

John 15 English Standard Version (ESV)

I Am the True Vine

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

This verse came to mind last weekend while my youngest daughter and I were pruning the trees in our backyard.  I was teaching her how to cut off the dead branches, and how to prune the back some of the other branches to help the tree go taller. I quoted this verse to her, as it was one of my favourites from when the quizzers did it 3 years ago.

But even though I already knew the verse well, something new struck me as I was working over the words this week.

every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Even the branches that ARE bearing fruit, he prunes.  He wants us to be able to bear MORE fruit.

In the context of things we get involved in, and the various ministries we work in and the volunteer work we do, although they might be good things, could they be pruned?

If there is a project, or volunteer work, or ministry that you are involved in, and it’s not necessarily the thing you are most passionate about, should you cut it off?  or at least prune back, or reduce the time spent on it? Maybe God has another person in mind, whose strengths and giftings are perfect for this role and you are in the way?

If we view things in the perspective of God’s kingdom, as opposed to our own little world, where should we be and what should we be focusing on?

I am not suggesting that every time you volunteer or help out that you question if this is where God wants you to be and if it is your calling in life.  But sometimes we need to look at our busy schedules and do some pruning!

Letting go of things that are good can be hard, but we need to allow God to be able to work in us so that we can bear even more fruit and sometimes that means stepping back or even stepping out.

Summer is a good season to reflect and pray on areas of your life that could use some pruning, so that in the fall, when many programs and ministries start up, you can fully and passionately give and allow God to bear fruit.

If we do this, Verse 11 gives us a promise:

11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

How amazing is that?

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That time when Elijah had a breakdown and God made him rest

My small group of women are doing the Emotionally Healthy Woman study (which is fantastic btw) and last night Geri Scazzero was talking about faulty thinking. And she referred to the passage in 1 Kings 19 where Elijah finds out that Jezebel has vowed to kill him. (After he slew 500 Baal prophets).

And Elijah runs away and cries put to God

Take me now, Lord. They have killed all your prophets, destroyed your altars and I alone am left – and they seek my life!

And the story seems really odd. Like why did Elijah have no fear going up against hundreds of Baal prophets. He never doubted that God would do as he prayed.

And he wasn’t afraid of the king’s wrath at all.

It was Jezebel, a woman.

She vows to take his life and he runs away.

And we wonder what happened to his faith?

But does God scorn him for his lack of faith?

No, in fact it is the opposite!

He sends him to shelter. And he has him rest. Like sleep and sleep. So that an angel has to wake him up and give him food.

And the angel doesn’t just give him bread. The angel gives him cake!!

And he sleeps more. He sleeps and sleeps. And again, the angel has to wake him up to give him more cake and water.

And whatever is in this cake from the angel, it is enough to sustain him for 40 days and 40 nights as he walks to mount Horem where God is.

I really could use some of that cake!

A cake baked on a hot stone and a jar of water.

I checked this verse in multiple translations and they all say cake. I even tried to look it up in my key word study Bible, but it wasn’t listed.

The angel says to Elijah

Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.

Words of tender compassion from an angel.

And it is sustenance for 40 days and 40 nights.

And when he arrives at the mount,

1 Kings 19:9-14 There he went into a cave and spent the night.And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

I alone am left.

Have you ever felt that way?

But God corrects Elijah,

1 Kings 19:18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

7000 men who still serve God. That’s hardly alone.

Elijah was so zealous for the cause. The Hebrew word qana implies a very strong emotion in which a person is desirous of some aspect.

I think we would say that Elijah was so passionate for the purposes of God. He felt so burdened that His people had rejected the one true All-powerful God. He felt compelled to demonstrate God’s power to them and how foolish their obsession with Baal was. He had such great conviction.

Yet once his treat powerful demonstration was over, I think he just felt that it was all for naught. If there were no other prophets or altars to keep reminding the people, then what was the point?

I think he felt he won the battle but the the war was lost.

And I think he was just spent.

He had gone all out for God and now he was done.

And when you are in that place, even the smallest thing can seem insurmountable.

And Jezebel had vowed to kill him.

That was the thing that broke him.

How awesome is it to know that when we are in that place, just too tired, our compassionate God wants us to fully rest?! That he sees us with so much compassion and wants to give us rest.

This was nourishment for my soul this week.

Hope in The Lord

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the Lordwill renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not be faint.

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It is interesting that two different translations use two different words – Hope and Wait, coming from the same root.