Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Battle and The Strategy

Hello Readers, 

I read a word last night that I had never seen before as I was reading my daughter to sleep. It was the word "cacophony." How many of you have ever read this word before?

To be truthful I read the same paragraph 4 or 5 times thinking to myself "what in the world could this word mean?" Was it meant to be catastrophe instead of cacophony? That would have made sense in my mind, so I went with it.

Well, today I googled "define cacophony" and it came up with several options for synonyms and a definition that made more since than the word catastrophe. One word to define cacophony could be the word "disharmony."   Now that makes complete since to me...

Here is the quote I am talking about...

"Listen to the love song that I am continually singing to you. I take great delight in you.. .I rejoice over you with singing. The voices of the world are a cacophony of chaos, pulling you this way and that. Don't listen to those voices; challenge them with My Word.Learn to take minibreaks from the world, finding a place to be still in MY PRESENCE and listen to MY VOICE."- Jesus Calling

You can't tell me the first time you read this quote that you understand it all, but when the unknown is understood it changes the quote completely. At least I think so...

While thinking about this quote I was reminded of my post "The Puzzle" last month, but I won't go into that one again at the moment. It seems that there is something else that we are being taught through this. Something that is vital for us all to understand, The Battle Field.

We all know that there is an ongoing battle between good and evil taking place at this very moment and that there are times in our lives where good wins over evil and then other times when evil wins over good. It's part of the circle of life so to speak. The message this quote delivers, at least as far as I understand it, is what we need to know in order to assist in winning The Battle Field.

It is a reminder that Jesus is continually by our side and that he takes great delight in us, but it is also reminding us that the world can be a huge distraction to us and that it will pull us in every direction it can, to drive us off the battle field. In the end we are given a challenge (or a strategy) to help us remain. "challenge them with My Word... rest in My Presence... listen to My Voice...

We must continually seek out time to rest in the presence of God and to listen to his voice. As the beginning of the quote states the presence of God is already there, we just need to seek it out. Yes, it's true that sometimes we aren't sure what's what and if God truly is speaking to us, but that where being in THE WORD and in HIS PRESENCE will teach us how to hear HIS VOICE. It's not easy by any means but if we are to stay the course and fight the battle we are all in (whether we know it or not) we must make the time to do these things....

Who's with me?

Thanks again for visiting "The Gathering Room"
Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV),

Friday, March 7, 2014

Reflections; The Journey- March 2014

Thought I'd share the newest article I wrote for my churches newsletter. I think I have more to say on this topic but this should be good for now :-)

Greetings in Christ and Welcome to “The Journey,”

The other day I received a facebook message from one of the children I worked with a few years ago and she asked me the following question, “How would you explain God’s grace?” What a powerful question to ask. I began to think about this question and it took me several days to respond to it.

How many times do we say a word like grace in the midst of a conversation without thinking about the meaning behind it? I know I do it all the time. As I thought about how I would explain grace, I began searching for different definitions and found some really good ones, but none of them were my personal definition of the word.

With that in mind, I sat in silence thinking about God’s Grace. Finally the question came to mind, can you really define the word grace in the spiritual sense? My answer was the following, “The definition lies in the experiences that we have of God’s grace.” I kept thinking about this and came to the same conclusion.

God’s Grace is something that touches the deepest part of our spirit; it fills the hole of longing within our very souls and fuels our desire to be a representation of God’s awe inspiring love.

In the end, I discovered that the only way we can truly define God’s grace is by sharing the experiences we have with God and how that experience has changed our life with others. So here is my word for this month, take a look at your experiences with God’s Grace and share at least one experience with another. 

Continue the Journey,      

Matthew J. Elliott
Director of Family Ministries