Friday, May 26, 2017

The Petros Journals- The Account of the Healings


Here is another glimpse at my newest project, The Petros Journals. This glimpse was meant to be posted yesterday to honor my late mother who passed away in 2009, to honor her on her birthday, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow. So here it is today. Check out the healing of Peter's mother-in-law and several others....


Growing up, my mother was important to me. She always made it clear to me that regardless of how I felt about it, that it would be my duty to honor and respect the parents of the woman I was to one day marry. Sadly, she didn’t get to see me do this herself. However, the lessons she taught me about the way my beloved’s family should be treated, stayed with me and still do today, even in my old age. I loved my wife, and I also loved my wife’s parents as if they were my own. 

My wife and I had taken her mother into our home in her old age to ensure she was taken care of; the reality though was that she was taking care of us. We loved having her there, but she had taken ill, and her illness was taking its toll on us. It was hard to see someone who was once so full of radiant, glowing life, stuck in bed waiting to die. There were many times in which we thought we’d lost her.

The day Jesus came into our home was very unexpected, and it brought my mother-in-law back to full strength; She was basically on her death bed and Jesus offered her life. I don't think I will ever forget what he did for me, what he did for my family that day. Some remember differently than I do and others only wish they could have seen the incredible miracles I saw that day, but the thing that I will remember the most was my mother-in-law’s response to Jesus after the healings took place. 

As I saw Jesus reach for her hand, help her up and finally speak healing into her spirit, I was indeed amazed, but seeing her get up and serve us all as if nothing had ever happened, really spoke to my heart. I can’t imagine doing anything even remotely similar if I were in her shoes that day. Her example was a beautiful display of gratitude and service. It was a great reminder to me that I needed to be willing to do the same.

The healings didn’t stop there either, as the day began coming to its end and things finally started to calm down, something even more unimaginable began to take place. As my Mother-in-law and others had just finished serving Jesus, the rest of us were helping with the cleanup. It had been a memorable day for all of us, especially my mother-in-law. It was getting dark, and we wanted to get out of Capernaum without being noticed. 

Galilee had proven to be a difficult but promising time, and while the decision had been made to move on, we had no idea what was about to happen. Just as we were about to head out to gather what we needed for our journey, crowds of people started showing up at my doorstep. I had no idea why they were there at first, but then I began to notice that they were all waiting to see Jesus.

At first, it bothered me that these random people just started showing up, I mean we were trying to get out of there without causing too much distraction for a reason, but they just kept coming. It was quite inconvenient, pretty soon, our once quiet evening had turned into something a lot more. Immediately, my thoughts were to send these people away, but something about that just didn’t seem right in the end. As soon as we saw the way Jesus responded to all these people, my heart started pounding with excitement. 

People were being healed from some of the worst diseases and even from demon possession. It was unlike anything I’d ever witnessed. It was almost as if I was seeing a magic show, but something here was incredibly different. All I could do was watch on as Jesus placed his hands on the men, and women, that had come, pray over their spirit and say, ‘go forth and be blessed.’

I was utterly amazed at all that I was seeing. In the end, it didn’t even matter that these people had waited until the last possible moment to come forth and ask Jesus to heal them. Honestly, I was speechless and didn’t understand everything that was going on, but I could tell that these miracles were just the beginning. Something inside my soul started stirring that day. 

I knew that I was already becoming a part of something I would never forget, something that would change me forever. What I didn’t know is how much, or what it would mean to the world that I live in today. 

Blessings in Christ and Thanks again for visiting us at "The Gathering Room."

"Times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord." 45.3.20

M.J. Elliott

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Petros Journals- The Account at The Fishing Dock


Here is another glimpse of The Petros Journals; Memoirs from the Apostle Peter. This was the beginning of everything, the first encounter with Jesus. While Peter, Andrew, James, and John knew of Jesus, it was this story that became the first calling, the first step in a new direction for all four of them. 

Please feel free to share any feedback...


It was a day just like any other. I and the others were out and about doing things just as we’d done for quite some time. Fishing was our livelihood. We’d spent most of the night and early morning out in the boat trying our very best to gather the fish we needed to meet our quota for the day. It’s strange though, unlike the day before we simply weren't catching anything. My brother and I stood confounded. We had no idea where the fish had gone. It was the most unusual thing we’d ever experienced. I mean, we’d had our bad days before, but nothing like this. 

We kept throwing that net over the side of the boat with nothing to show for it. Our hard work was getting us nowhere. The day felt like it had been wasted and we were all ready to give up on our attempts. In fact, we had pulled back to the fishing dock and were mending our nets. We were giving up. Just as we were about to do this, a strange man came to the shoreline. The number of people following him was phenomenal. 

In an instant, he got into our boat and asked us to pull it out onto the water. It was a strange request, but Andrew, my brother, and I were curious. Once he was on the boat, we pulled out, and he started teaching everyone. After a few moments, he looked over to my brother and I and told us to take the boat even further out and then to cast our nets over to the other side. 

My first thoughts were, “are you kidding; this guy must be insane. Why on earth would I not have tried that already?” Of course, at the time, I had only my assumptions as to who this man was, but at that moment, I was infuriated. This man had come onto our boat and was telling us what to do. Anyone would feel as if this man were trying to interfere. 

Truthfully, my brother and I wanted nothing to do with him after that. I would never admit this to anyone when I was younger but, to be honest, one of us might have been tempted to throw him overboard. Thank the Lord we didn’t, because it was this moment that changed our lives. It was this moment that introduced me to the life that I was meant to experience.

If the four of us had not been there when this took place, our lives would have been missing a great deal. When Jesus asked us to go back out into the water, we were tired; we’d been out most of the night and early morning, working harder than ever to get the fish we needed. This guy just says to throw the net over to the other side, like we hadn’t tried that already. 

Who was this guy to think he could tell us how to do our jobs? The man continued to speak out to us, “Throw your net on the other side.” Low and behold, after a bit of reluctance, we did as this guy suggested and the result was just unfathomable. It was nothing short of a miracle. 

As we continued hauling the nets over the edge of the boat, the fish just kept coming. Nothing we could do would slow them down. When we finally emptied one net, another filled up again. It was enough to overturn the boats we were fishing in. 

Stunned, I looked over towards this strange man who’d been teaching in the crowd and all he did was stand there with the biggest smile on his face, just watching everything unfold. Who was this guy? At first, I wanted to smack the man, his smile was just too much, but something about him seemed different.

He wasn’t like everyone else, and the smile on his face wasn’t one of pride or arrogance, it was one that echoed a spirit of love and compassion.  From what I could tell at that moment, he genuinely looked as if he wanted to help us. I would never really say this to anyone else, but I was instantly drawn to him like I would be towards my brother. The compassion in his eyes and the love that came from his smile truly made me pause for a moment. It was only a moment, but the moment was there. Whatever it was that caught my attention that day never actually disappeared. 

This man had something I wanted in my life. To be honest, I couldn’t see what it was at first, but over time my desire to have what he had would grow. The one thing that I will always remember about my experience on the lake that day was what he did in the aftermath. Once we’d finally gotten back to the shoreline, I couldn’t help but come to him. 

My brothers and I were so taken by what we’d just seen that all we could do was- come. I’d heard much about this man we later learned was named Jesus, and honestly, I didn’t believe it. We went to him and just listened, he taught for what seemed like hours, and something began to spark in my spirit.

In the moments leading up to the last words he spoke to me that day, my mind wandered back and forth. My humanity struggled with my spirit, and my prideful ambition was beating me up from the inside. At first, we wanted to throw this man overboard because he was trying to tell my brothers and me what to do, but once we stopped and listened, we knew we wanted to follow him. 

In fact, once I realized who Jesus was, I fell to my knees before Him and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me, I’m such a sinful man.” I was awestruck by the number of fish we had caught, as were the others. I wanted to know what he was offering, and I needed to be a part of whatever he was doing.

 I still hear the last few words he spoke to us that day as clear as I heard them those many years ago and they are what I remember the most. “Don’t be afraid; from now on, I will teach you to be fishers of men.”

Blessings in Christ and Thanks again for visiting us at "The Gathering Room."

"Times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord." 45.3.20

M.J. Elliott

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Petros Journals- The Account of Fish and Bread

Greetings Everyone, 

Tonight's glimpse from The Petros Journals comes from earlier on in The Gospels; The Fish and Bread. This is a beautiful story that is shared in all four gospels. One of the amazing factors about this story is that it actually happened more than once. But, who am I to talk Theology at a time like this, LOL.

Feel free to share your feedback, Enjoy the day...


It was late one afternoon after we had been out ministering to the many people that have begun to follow us. Jesus wanted us all to head off to a quiet place and rest for a time. We had just taken off from the shoreline, and while we thought we had gotten away without anyone noticing, many people recognized us.  At first, it seemed as if we were going to be okay, but then the people started running ahead of us. While we were sailing in the boat, they were running as fast as they could to get to the other side before us.  To be honest, we were really looking forward to some down time. Nonetheless, the people continued to come. It wasn’t surprising to me, Jesus had become very popular, and people were following him everywhere.

There was nothing we could really do to avoid those that had come to love His teaching.

As Jesus stepped off the boat, he saw the crowd, and just started teaching them.  His compassion for the people really got the best of him quite often. I never really understood why, but Jesus really did seem to care about those that followed him.  Often times they ridiculed him and the things he taught. Other times, they just laughed.

It was never really easy for us to understand the love he had for everyone that came to him during our three years together. He would often refer to them as if they were sheep without a shepherd.  Some of the others, along with myself, were always trying to get the people to leave us alone. We weren't trying to be selfish by any means, truthfully, we thought we were looking out for his best interest.

Later that afternoon, a few of the other disciples and I came to Jesus and suggested that we send the people home. I mean it was getting late, and none of us had eaten.  I imagined that those that were listening to Jesus’ teaching were getting pretty hungry. I know I was. I thought it was a great suggestion, I suggested it because it would have given us the quiet time we all felt we, and He, needed, and the people would get their own nutrition. To my surprise, Jesus told us to feed them. Without thinking, I responded, “With what?”

Today I laugh about that, but when we were experiencing it, I was really curious as to how we were going to feed all these people. Honestly, there were more than 5,000 men present that day. Moreover, this did not include the women and children, so as you can imagine, we were oblivious to anything Jesus could have done.

Shockingly, Jesus sent us out into the crowds of people to search for food. At first, I was appalled. “Why would we be asking those that are following our teacher for food. Shouldn’t we be the ones taking care of them?” It just didn’t make any sense to me at the time. Regardless of how I or the others felt, Jesus still sent us out.  

After what seemed like hours, we finally found someone who was willing to offer their supply to help support the cause, so to speak. A small boy offered five loaves of bread and two fish. This little boy gave everything he’d brought with him to help us feed those that were with us.

He gave not out of selfish desire, but out of love for someone he’d also come to look up to as a teacher. I didn’t want to take it from him, but he insisted. I knew that five loaves of bread and two fishes wouldn’t feed everyone, so why on earth would we take what little this young boy had known this?

When we took the young boy's offering and presented it to Jesus; my brother Andrew, our friend Philip and I were still hesitant to believe that anything could be done with the offering. What happened next was unbelievable; Jesus looked up to the heavens and blessed the food that had been offered. As I watched on, it seemed as if the heavens themselves had begun to part the cloudy sky above.

As the clouds began to break apart, if even for that moment, a single ray of sunlight broke through and landed upon the loaves as Jesus lifted them above his head. As he began to break the loaves of bread, a graceful smile came upon his face. He then started to hand out the food to those that had followed us to the other side of the shoreline. It was simply a miracle. The beauty of this moment has forever engraved itself into the forefront of my mind.

What I saw as he passed the bread to us, was more than amazing, it left me speechless. We were able to provide as much food as everyone needed and the people were blessed. I was blessed. Once, the bread had been handed out, Jesus did the same with the fish. The blessing had done the same thing as it had done before.

Everyone was able to eat to their heart's content. I couldn’t believe it, people were stuffed, and they were all happy to have been fed. We all ate for a while and then Jesus continued to teach. As my brother, Phillip and I went around to collect whatever may have been left, we heard many great words of encouragement for our teacher. They were mystified at what Jesus had just done, and none of us could explain it. Once everything was said and done, to our surprise; there were twelve baskets left over.

I couldn’t believe it. My brother and I were so amazed at what we had just witnessed we couldn’t wait to share it with everyone we saw. Jesus had just done the impossible, thousands of people were hungry, and because of his compassion on them, we witnessed one of the most compelling events that would ever be recorded in history. We used this story many times to reach out to those we were sent to witness too. It was a miracle, indeed, and it was a memorable one.
Blessings in Christ and Thanks again for visiting us at "The Gathering Room."

"Times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord." 45.3.20

M.J. Elliott

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Petros Journals- The Account in Gethsemane

Hey Everyone, 

It's a great day to share a bit more from my upcoming project, The Petros Journals, Memoirs from the Apostle Peter. For today I thought I would share a bit from the Garden of Gethsemane.  This was the moment in Jesus' human life in which he struggled the most and it is a powerful testimony of who Jesus is.

Feel free to share your thoughts and spread the word.


The night as cold, we'd just finished our meal with Jesus, and many of us were thinking to ourselves, "what did he mean someone would betray him." We had spent a good portion of the evening walking down the streets of Jerusalem, and Jesus was teaching many things. To be honest, I didn't understand a lot of what he was saying, but he was there, and he was teaching us something.  We were sure that eventually, he'd explain it in the form of one of his stories or something, but in that instance, he did not.

It was as if his entire demeanor had changed. His generally joyful personality was now one that seemed full of despair. His once beautiful smile now appeared to be a little softer.  His stature now echoed that of a man with the weight of the world upon his shoulders, instead of a man filled with joy and general happiness. As we journeyed further into the city, Jesus continued to teach. "What was he talking about, where was he going with all this talk of death and glory?" None of it made any sense. However, we listened, and the aftermath would be indescribable.

Moreover, that night would be present in our thoughts for many, many years to come. Even in my old age, I can still remember most of the details from that dark and miserable night. Everything that took place still haunts me today. My actions throughout that entire evening were unbecoming of a "Fisher of Men, " and I have often pleaded with God in prayer over the agony I still feel on occasion. Many times I endeavored to share these memories with others, only to hold them back. This night, in particular, is one that I knew needed to be shared, if only I had the courage to do so. That night, regardless of my weakness. 

At one point Jesus took the sons of thunder, James, and John and me away from the others and he lead us up to the garden.  It was a dark place, at this point in the evening the shadows played many tricks on anyone who came near. As the four of us traveled up to the garden, Jesus was quiet.  He was mumbling under his breath in words we could not understand. Nonetheless, I could tell something was bothering him. Alas, I did not dare to ask. I dare not ask, because of what He'd told me during our meal together earlier that day. 

It was a humbling response to what I meant as a supportive statement to Jesus. He'd warned us that one of the twelve would betray him tonight and I responded by telling Him I would never do such a thing. What he said next broke me, "You will deny me three times." I couldn't imagine doing such a thing, and yet soon after our experience in the garden, I did just that. 

I didn’t want to believe that I would do something like that, but now that I think back on that evening, I still had my doubts, I held myself back. As we entered the garden, It was dark, it was cold, and there was a presence I’d never felt before. My heart like many times before was racing faster than normal.  I knew something was going down, but my body was utterly exhausted. 

I could tell that Jesus was uneasy about something, I didn’t know what, but it was there. With each step we took towards the center of the garden, his posture weakened. With each step he took, I could see a strain upon his shoulders. The brothers and I questioned this, but Jesus left us for a few moments. “Stay awake and watch over me,” he asked. 

We sat under a few trees and Jesus prayed. “Father, if it is possible take this cup from me.” As he prayed, I watched on, barely able to see him, as he lay on his face weeping. We were okay for a while, but the three of us were tired. We tried, but in the end, we simply could not stay awake. After what seemed like a few hours Jesus returned. “Why are you sleeping, stay awake and pray, my soul is in anguish, pray that you will not fall into temptation,” he asked again. 

Jesus went back to pray. Again, I only heard a few words before my body could no longer endure its restlessness. I noticed him come to us for a moment and then leave once again. I wish I had known then what I know now about what and why he was praying. I wish that I had listened to his words more intently and stayed with him as he prayed. Maybe then things would have turned out differently than they did. Again he returned, “Can you not stay with me for just a few hours, rest later, the time has come.” 

At that moment, my soul wavered. I could see Jesus’ sweat as it fell from his face, I remember it distinctly as it became like great drops of blood as it hit the ground. I knew he wanted us to support him in his time of need, but I didn’t understand why he needed us.I didn’t understand what was going on, all I knew was that we’d had a long day and I needed some rest. I was selfish and in the moments following my selfishness took hold of my heart.  As Jesus looked on, he seemed more calm. 

In the distance I could see a man we all knew and loved, coming with the Priest's men. It was Judas, then I remembered what Jesus said while we ate our Passover meal together. I remembered that Jesus had pulled Judas aside and whispered to him. I had just assumed it had something to do with our financial state since he was in charge of them. It was only later that I realized that Jesus was telling him that he would be the one to betray him. 

Judas came near and stood before Jesus, in many ways it seemed as if Judas was going to do the unthinkable.Instead, I saw as Judas kissed Jesus on the cheek. Jesus quietly replied to Judas’ gesture, “Would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” I watched as the soldiers tried to take my Jesus away from me and I thought this was my best chance at showing Jesus that I would never deny him.

One of the priests, men went for Jesus, I knew I had to do something to stop this. Jesus had done so much for me, and all I could think about was those words “You will deny me, Peter.” I couldn’t bear the thought of it anymore. “Lord, we will fight.” I pulled my short edged blade out and in an instant, without even thinking a man’s ear had fallen to the ground. The blood was everywhere and my thirst, if even for a moment, was gratified. 

I had done what I thought needed to be done to prove I would not deny the Savior. But then, the unexpected happened. Jesus healed the man. “Why, I asked, what is the purpose behind his motivation. All I remembered was these words, “Put your sword back, shall I not drink from the cup my Father has given me?” I honestly, didn’t understand.

Blessings in Christ and Thanks again for visiting us at "The Gathering Room."

"Times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord." 45.3.20

M.J. Elliott