Monday, February 29, 2016

A Call to Return to the Light (Election 2016)


I have argued with myself over posting this for about a week now (and while I still have my reservations) here it is. Many of you know from social media outlets that there is a very important event planned for tomorrow, Super Tuesday. In the past I have stayed out of politics for the most part but this year the elections have weighed heavily upon my heart.  I am very fearful of what the outcome may be if we do not stand by our convictions as Americans and for those that are devout Believers.

I am by no means planning to endorse any particular candidate for the race this year, (nor do I believe such an endorsement would make a lot of difference) but I do feel compelled to encourage each of you that will be voting tomorrow (and in the coming weeks) to really take a look into who you're voting for.  By the time the votes come our way there may already be a nominee from each party, but this will not keep me from choosing my preferred candidate.

Don't vote with just your heart or with just your mind.  Take some time to think about whom you will be casting your vote for tomorrow. Set a side a few moments to simply google the candidates and truly seek out which candidate you feel is the right choice with both your heart, and your mind together. So often we act with one and not the other and that leaves us with only part of the truth that lies with in our souls. Don't let those around you determine who you will vote for. It is your choice and your choice alone. This election will change the face of our country even more than it has been changed over the past 7 years with the current administration (whether you believe that to be good or bad change).

From my perspective, I will be praying that the heart of God is revealed to this nation and the foundation it was built upon will stand.  Honestly, a part of me is terrified that our great God has turned our country over to its sinful desires. Whether you stand with what I believe or not, we have strayed away from the country we were meant to be and if we continue down this path we will have to face the consequences.  Darkness has covered our land and the lights that shine upon the hill are slowly beginning to hide themselves under that bushel. In the end, I know that there is a plan for everything that will take place in the coming weeks (whether I like the end result or not). But I must encourage you all to decide for yourselves whom you believe is the best choice for the future of America. Scripture tells us in Joshua 24:14-15 ESV...

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

We must choose this day whom we believe will serve our country with the right intentions and with the right motivations.  I truly believe the light that once shined from the mention of our country has begun to diminish. It is our choices in the coming months that will determine whether we continue down that path or if we fade into the darkness. Do not vote out of dependence on the candidates, vote out of dependence on God. Step forward into that light that once shined so brightly and vote for the candidate your heart, your mind and your soul determines is right, for this is our time to break free and to throw those bushels into the wind.

My heart goes out to all of you that will be casting your vote tomorrow and I pray that you will not be mired by the media, by those around you, or by the bushel that hides our light from this world. May you determine with your heart, your mind, and your soul who you will vote for tomorrow.

Blessings in Christ and thanks again for visiting "The Gathering Room"

Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV),


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Are you a Busy Bee?

Have you ever had one of those moments in which you felt like the world around you is just way too busy?

My wife and I have been having conversations like this recently and to tell you the truth it really does feel like the rest of the world we live in is just so much busier than it should be. It’s actually kind of unsettling when you think about it.

We have so much going on right now that if often feels like we don’t really have any time to just slow down and simply relax for a few, even brief, moments. Don’t get me wrong here; we have plenty of time to spend with our children and other aspects of our lives. The truth is we are all very happy right now even with how busy we’ve been with everything that we are working towards, we just don’t really have any quiet time. 

As I was thinking about this I began to think about how that question can apply to our spiritual lives. What came to mind how the busyness of the world often times keeps us from taking the time we need to grow in God.  We get so wrapped up in trying to accomplish so many different things that we forget to stop and give God the glory for all that he has given us.

Recently, my wife and I took some time to watch that new movie, War Room.  At first, I didn't really know where the movie was going but as I got into it I began to realize a lot of things about my life. For one, I really don’t pray about as much as I should. Truthfully, I have a tendency to act before I think and that usually gets me in trouble. If I took the opportunity to pray first and then move forward. Life would be at least a little bit different. 

Another thing I realized was that the devil really is out to get me, and all of us for that matter. That realization knocked me down a few pegs. Overall though it reminded me that God is bigger than anything I, or my family, will have to face while we are here on earth.  It really is kind of unsettling to think about a lot of these things, but they are thing that we need to make time to think about.

Satan wants nothing more that to steal, kill, and destroy what God has for us and he can use many of the things of this world to do so.  It is us to us to prepare ourselves for those moments in which Satan may get the upper hand. We can live as busy bees or we can make the time each day to give God what he deserves, our undivided attention. 

Marchiano Ministries
When you get to the point in your life that you are so busy that you have to let go of that time God longs for, that is the moment you have lost who you are. Everything just seems to last a long time when it is done in God's timing instead of your own. The question that remains now is simply this "Are you too much of a busy bee?"
Blessings in Christ and thanks again for visiting "The Gathering Room"
Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV),

Update on the Elliott's

Greetings Everyone,
It's been a while hasn't it? For that I'm sorry, it's been a crazy month for us. So much going on....

This last month has been a whirlwind of finishing writing projects, developing our vision for our ministry, taking on more at my job, trying to raise two toddlers with my wife and finding out that we are expecting our third child. Yes, you read that correctly. We were just as surprised as you are but we are blessed that God has given us this gift and are looking forward to the day that that precious angel make their debut. On to other things though.

With the days of whirlwind still upon us, It seems more and more common for Traci and I to have less time to simply relax and enjoy a little rest. Life as we know it is only going to get busier but the idea is kind of intimidating. On the flip side though we have been seeing so many wonderful things take place. I realize that it has been a while since I’ve posted one of my devotional blogs so I thought I'd make it a point to get a few out for you. I haven't had a lot of opportunity to write one of my Devotional Blogs with all of this going on and I wanted to give you an idea of what's been going on.

Recently, my writing contracts have been more involved and I am very grateful for that.  One of my biggest projects since we moved here to Dana Point has been Cosmic; A Rise into Greatness. This is a project that tells someone’s life story from the spiritual perspective.  It has been a very intriguing and educating project and I’m sure that once it is finalized it will bring many some well needed encouragement or at least open their eyes a little more. 

Another project I have been really excited about is a Devotional book for Men. This book will feature 7 devotions about faith that I was contracted to contribute on.  It may not seem exciting to some but for me it opens a door and has given me some interesting ideas for a book for our ministry once it gets off the ground.

These are just two of the projects I am currently involved in and other projects are still on the table but I don’t want to simply focus on me. God is doing great things in our life as a family as well.  We have very unexpectedly begun to feel at home here in Dana Point, at least for a while, and are really enjoying being close to Traci’s family. They are a gift from God when it comes to our two toddlers. 

I can hardly believe it but we have a 1 year old, a 3 year old and another one on the way. It is amazing how fast time has gone by. Many times when I put my Daughter down to sleep I wonder what ever happened to that little lovable Leyla.  She’s still lovable, but she sure isn’t so little any more :-). Caleb isn't so little either. They are such a joy and I will never understand why God gave us these little rascals.
 All in all though, we've been living here just about a year now and we have made some really great memories.  We just struggle with finding down time, much like many of the other young families we know. However, the reality is that if we don't make time now when we are young, there may not be time to do it when we are older. I have more to say on this particular subject, but for now I will leave you with Adieu.

 Blessings in Christ and thanks again for visiting "The Gathering Room"

Stand Strong and continue to believe the teachings given to you... (2 Thes. 2:15b NCV),