7-16-18: A New Understanding of “To Grope”

•July 16, 2018 • Leave a Comment

For several weeks each summer, I have the happy experience of spending several weeks in New Orleans with my youngest son Mark, his beautiful wife Tabatha, and my adorable grandchildren Dallas and Jordyn. My love for Mark and Tabatha has not diminished in the least, but as Nana to those babies, I am laser focused on them and just can’t get enough. Since one of my main heart’s desires is that my grandchildren actual know me, not just know about me, while I’m with them, I spend as much time as possible hugging and cuddling. They love to hug and cuddle too, so we’re a perfect trio. We all just love to be close. We touch. We hold hands, cradle each other’s faces, squeeze each other around the neck, kiss each other’s cheeks, and pat each other on the back. In a real sense, we “grope” each other in all the appropriate Nana/grandbaby ways.

 

Imagine my surprise when I read Paul’s use of the word “grope” in the Bible. While at Athens, Paul encountered a bunch of so-called philosophers who “spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21 NKJ). The town was filled with idols, even one with the inscription “To the Unknown God” (Acts 17:23). As Paul explained that “God, who made the world… and has made from one blood every nation of men” was this unknown God, he went on to say that God did it so that men “might grope for Him and find Him” (Acts 17:26-27). The Greek word “pselaphao” means “to handle, touch, feel; mentally to seek after tokens of a person or thing.”

 

It looks to me as if Paul is recommending that we do with God what I do with my grandchildren: grope. As we “handle” God through reading His word, “touch” God through prayer, and “feel” God in praise, worship, and meditation, we will come to know Him, not just know about Him. And isn’t that our heart’s desire?

 

________________________

©2018 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

Links you won’t want to miss: 

  • Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: 
    • Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
    • A View from the Upper Room

from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv  and on HSBN’s You Tube channel.

(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)

img-life-that-matters

  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Join the movement! Closer Walk 2018(c) https://closerwalk2018.wordpress.com
  • 366 Glimpses of God: Getting to Know the God Who Knows You.
  • Start every day of your new year with one of these thoughtful devotional readings that will focus your attention on our amazing heavenly Father.

http://www.hsbn.tv/_store.html#!/366-Glimpses-of-God-Getting-to-Know-the-God-Who-Knows-You/p/77442498/category=15564996

  • Pick up copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

Trouble copy 2

Boomerangs FrontCover

Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk

Unknown-4

Sharon’s other books still available:

Unknown   Unknown-1   Unknown-3Unknown-2   Unknown-5

 

Advertisements

6/28/18: Turn the Conversation

•June 28, 2018 • Leave a Comment

The CFO of Queen Candace’s kingdom in Ethiopia was returning home from worshipping in Jerusalem. He was sitting in his chariot reading the Scriptures when the Spirit of God sent Philip him. When Philip heard him reading a segment from Isaiah, Philip asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The man said that he didn’t, he needed someone to help him, and he invited Philip to join him up in the chariot so they could sit together and read. The part of the Scripture the man was reading was this:

“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation?
For His life is taken from the earth” Acts 8:32-33 (NKJ).

Most of us could have done what Philip did after reading this. The Bible tells us, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him” Acts 8:35 (NKJ).

When I was a teenager, our youth group used to play Bible and Christian living games. One of the games we played was to practice how long it would take us to turn any conversation to a discussion about Jesus and salvation. The interaction between Philip and the Ethiopian man reminded me of this exercise.

This is a good habit to continue and I find myself still doing it pretty regularly. Almost any answer about my life involvement will lead to Jesus (writing Christian books, broadcasting on a Christian station, going to church, teaching at a Christian school, preaching, teaching at Christian conferences), and then I can segue into questions about their involvement with God. If they are talking first, I can always find something that reminds of some spiritual issue and then I can turn the conversation to Jesus.

I challenge you today to turn the conversation. Speak with someone in line at the grocery store or the bank. Strike up a conversation with the lady on the other end of the park bench as you both watch your toddlers play in the sandbox. Talk with the person at the next table during your lunch break. You never know. You could be the one to answer their ultimate question, “What must I do to be saved?”

________________________

©2018 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

Links you won’t want to miss: 

  • Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: 
    • Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
    • A View from the Upper Room

from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv  and on HSBN’s You Tube channel.

(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)

img-life-that-matters

  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Join the movement! Closer Walk 2018(c) https://closerwalk2018.wordpress.com
  • 366 Glimpses of God: Getting to Know the God Who Knows You.
  • Start every day of your new year with one of these thoughtful devotional readings that will focus your attention on our amazing heavenly Father.

http://www.hsbn.tv/_store.html#!/366-Glimpses-of-God-Getting-to-Know-the-God-Who-Knows-You/p/77442498/category=15564996

  • Pick up copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

Trouble copy 2

Boomerangs FrontCover

Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk

Unknown-4

Sharon’s other books still available:

Unknown   Unknown-1   Unknown-3Unknown-2   Unknown-5

 

6/27/18: Write That Book!

•June 26, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Okay Budding Authors,

It’s your last chance to register for this weekend’s AuthorizeMe Seminar! Don’t miss it. If you feel God tugging at your heart to write the message He’s given you, stop being disobedient. God told the prophet Habakkuk to “write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it” Hab. 2:2 (NKJ). If God’s given you a vision to write, it’s time for you to make it plain (nowadays on paper and/or as an ebook), so that someone who needs your message can read it and run with it.

It’s simple to register.

  1. Go to http://authorizeme.net/index.htm
  2. Click “The Seminar” tab.
  3. Click “The Latest Schedule” – Make note of the June 29-30 date and address. The seminar will be held at Brand New Life Christian Center, 1110 W. Taft Ave., Orange, CA 92865 – Friday evening 5pm – 9pm, and Saturday 9am – 6pm.
  4. Click the “To register online” link that says, “click here.” Fill out the form.
  5. Click “Submit” and you will be sent to the PayPal Online payment page. Submit your payment. You may also pay in cash or by credit card at the beginning of the event on Friday evening, but please submit your registration form and send me an email to that effect so I can be prepared with your supplies. I also want to send you a welcome letter with additional information. (Email: http://www.AuthorizeMe@sbcglobal.net)

At the writing of this reminder, there was still room in the seminar. I need to know TODAY, Wednesday June 27, that you will be attending, so get your registration form and payment in right away. If you have any questions, you can call or text me at 310-508-9860.

If you cannot make it this time, or you do not live in the Southern California area, but you want to attend a seminar, host one in your area. Have seminar, will travel. I will come to you. Besides California, I’ve taught the seminar in New Mexico, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Texas. I’m eager to add more states to this list. It’s easy to be a seminar host:

  1. Secure a suitable location and date – This is your first responsibility. Many times, your church has a multi-purpose room that would be perfect for an event like this and many churches wouldn’t even charge you to use the room. If your church lends us the room, I allow the pastor or the pastor’s wife to attend free, and I give an offering back to the church. You can also host the seminar at a school, a hotel meeting room, a park’s multi-purpose room, etc.
  2. Help to spread the word – I supply you with official flyers and a written announcement. Print out as many of the flyers as you may need and send the flyer electronically to all your contacts. I will give you marketing ideas like sending flyers to writers’ groups in your area, making verbal announcements at church or other meetings, and having your friends pass out flyers and make announcements to their circle of contacts. The goal is to attract 35-50 attendees, but I will come to teach the seminar if your seminar does not meet that goal. To thank you even more, for your first 10 paid attendees, you as the host attends free! Such a deal!
  3. Work with me on travel and lodging arrangements. If the seminar is not within an hour’s driving distance from my home, we need at least 15 or more paid attendees for me to pay my own travel and lodging.
  4. Suggest close restaurants and/or fast food establishments near the seminar site for lunch on Saturday.
So register for this weekend’s AuthorizeMe Seminar or contact me so we can plan a seminar in your area.

6/22/18: Honorable Mention

•June 22, 2018 • Leave a Comment

When we receive “honorable mention” in a contest, it usually means we did not win first prize. In fact, we didn’t get second or third place either, but the judges thought enough of our entry to say one more thing and at least award us a ribbon.

In Acts chapter 5, we see the disciples giving honorable mention to Jesus although it looked like they were not winning. The apostles were spreading the word about Jesus all over town and the religious leaders were sick of how many people were signing on to follow Christ. Those leaders were also afraid for their own skins. They even said, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us” Acts 5:28 (NKJ). Peter and the other apostles answered, “We ought to obey God rather than men” Acts 5:29. Then even though they were continually threatened and even beaten, they were excited that they were “counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” Acts 5:41-42.

We can take a clue from the disciples. We may not be in first, second, or third place, but Jesus deserves honorable mention. When was the last time you worked your faith into a conversation? Regardless of persecution or backlash, the apostles mentioned Jesus daily, whether they were in the temple or at someone’s house. I mentioned my faith to the mailman the other day and talked of Jesus with my hair stylist the last time I sat in her chair. Let’s use every opportunity to give Jesus honorable mention.

________________________

©2018 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

Links you won’t want to miss: 

  • Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: 
    • Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
    • A View from the Upper Room

from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv  and on HSBN’s You Tube channel.

(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)

img-life-that-matters

  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Join the movement! Closer Walk 2018(c) https://closerwalk2018.wordpress.com
  • 366 Glimpses of God: Getting to Know the God Who Knows You.
  • Start every day of your new year with one of these thoughtful devotional readings that will focus your attention on our amazing heavenly Father.

http://www.hsbn.tv/_store.html#!/366-Glimpses-of-God-Getting-to-Know-the-God-Who-Knows-You/p/77442498/category=15564996

  • Pick up copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

Trouble copy 2

Boomerangs FrontCover

Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk

Unknown-4

Sharon’s other books still available:

Unknown   Unknown-1   Unknown-3Unknown-2   Unknown-5

 

6/21/18: Half Right?

•June 21, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I’ll admit it. I like being right. And I’m not by myself. I don’t know anyone who likes being wrong. We like being right so much that we’ll settle for being half right rather than admit the wrong that is our part of the problem, conversation, or situation. I thought about this as I read Proverbs 19:11. It says, “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression” (NKJ). The New Living Translation renders the verse this way, “Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” You see, I have no problem with the “slow to anger” part of this verse. In that respect, I’m in the right, but the “overlooking wrongs” part is another story. So I’m half right. I want to see wrongs fixed, and when others insist upon “wronging” me, or holding onto grudges, etc., that just gets my goat. I cannot look at them with the same level of respect I once had until the burr under my skin is relieved. And for me, that relief comes through a conversation in which I feel I am totally heard and respected, one from which I can depart knowing my views were seriously taken into consideration.

Although I struggle with one of the two aforementioned concepts, God talks about being slow to anger and overlooking a transgression in the same breath. Our inner ability to control our anger makes us sensible people, and that sensibility and discretion has an outward manifestation, which is the ability to overlook wrongs. We then gain the reputation of respectability. In other words, we lose respect when we do not demonstrate that we have overlooked a wrong. And we hold onto wrongs because we have not let go of our anger about being wronged in the first place.

So upon further inspection, I’m not really half right when I say I’m slow to anger but I find it hard to overlook wrongs. In truth, I may be slow to anger, but once I’m angry, that’s it, baby. I’m holding that person in the vice of my anger until the conversation can be had on my terms to get things right. So my failure to let it go cancels out any gain I may have received for being slow to get angry in the first place.

Letting go means extending forgiveness and restoring relationships. Wouldn’t we rather be all right with God than half right, or even none right, with our spouse, kids, other family members, friends, and co-workers? We’re fooling ourselves if we believe that we can forgive without restoration. God’s forgiveness of us was for the sole purpose of restoring us into a right relationship with Him. And He tells us we are not forgiven and restored to Him unless we forgive and restore others. Matthew 6:15 is clear, “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (NKJ).

With whom do we need to make amends? We’re better together. You be the one to make the first call. That will make you 100% right.

________________________

©2018 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

Links you won’t want to miss: 

  • Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: 
    • Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
    • A View from the Upper Room

from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv  and on HSBN’s You Tube channel.

(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)

img-life-that-matters

  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Join the movement! Closer Walk 2018(c) https://closerwalk2018.wordpress.com
  • 366 Glimpses of God: Getting to Know the God Who Knows You.
  • Start every day of your new year with one of these thoughtful devotional readings that will focus your attention on our amazing heavenly Father.

http://www.hsbn.tv/_store.html#!/366-Glimpses-of-God-Getting-to-Know-the-God-Who-Knows-You/p/77442498/category=15564996

  • Pick up copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

Trouble copy 2

Boomerangs FrontCover

Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk

Unknown-4

Sharon’s other books still available:

Unknown   Unknown-1   Unknown-3Unknown-2   Unknown-5

6/19/18 Tell the Stories

•June 19, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I love telling the stories about what my grandchildren do and say. Yes, I am a proud, doting Nana. Dallas, now age 3, and Jordyn, almost 1, are dazzlingly cute and unbelievably smart, and they are doing amazingly cute stuff all the time. (I hope I don’t run out of adverbs!) Read my Facebook posts and you’ll soon come across something fun about those pumpkins. It’s like I just can’t keep myself from letting the joy they bring me spill out to be shared by everyone else I know and love.

So I can appreciate Peter’s and John’s enthusiasm about sharing all that Jesus said and did with everyone they met. In Acts chapter 4, the two apostles were pulled aside after performing the notable miracle of healing the 40-year-old lame man who everyone in town knew had been lame from birth. The Sadducees, “rulers, elders, and scribes, as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem” Acts 4:1, 5-6 (KNV). These leaders were incensed because of Peter and John’s boldness to continue to go through town spreading word about Jesus. First of all, the Sadducees did not believe in resurrection, so Jesus’ resurrection posed a huge problem to their whole philosophical system. Then, it was these very religious leaders who had called for the murder of Jesus to squash His message, yet here were these guys, not only claiming that Jesus had risen, but continuing to gain followers in His name.

The problem the rulers had, though, was what even they had to admit. They said, “For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it” Acts 4:16 (KJV). The only thing they could think to do was to call Peter and John in and they “commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus” Acts 4:18 (KJV). But Peter and John responded, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” Acts 4:20 (KJV).

Peter and John, I hear you. That’s the same way I feel when sharing about my grandchildren. You see, sharing about them is simply an extension of sharing about the goodness of God, for it is God who gave them to me.

Tell your stories to someone else today about the goodness of God. What is it that you just can’t keep to yourself? Go ahead and speak the things which you have seen and heard of Him.

________________________

©2018 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

Links you won’t want to miss: 

  • Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: 
    • Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
    • A View from the Upper Room

from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv  and on HSBN’s You Tube channel.

(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)

img-life-that-matters

  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Join the movement! Closer Walk 2018(c) https://closerwalk2018.wordpress.com
  • 366 Glimpses of God: Getting to Know the God Who Knows You.
  • Start every day of your new year with one of these thoughtful devotional readings that will focus your attention on our amazing heavenly Father.

http://www.hsbn.tv/_store.html#!/366-Glimpses-of-God-Getting-to-Know-the-God-Who-Knows-You/p/77442498/category=15564996

  • Pick up copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

Trouble copy 2

Boomerangs FrontCover

Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk

Unknown-4

Sharon’s other books still available:

Unknown   Unknown-1   Unknown-3Unknown-2   Unknown-5

 

 

6/14/18: But the High Places…

•June 14, 2018 • Leave a Comment

First and Second Kings and First and Second Chronicles are books in the Bible that tell us about the kings of Israel and Judah. Unfortunately, many times, the record tells us that those kings “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” However, every now and then, a king would get into the job and do what was right in God’s sight, but sadly with most of those guys, we have to read another sad epithet informing us “the high places were not removed.” For example, such was the case with Jotham, the son of Uzziah. His story says, “…Jotham the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem… And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord; he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done. However the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places…” (II Kings 15:32-35 NKJ).

Another example of keeping the high places up is in Second Chronicles 15. Here we read of the very honorable king Asa. When he became king, he was told by the prophet “The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you (verse 2), and to “be strong… for your work shall be rewarded” (verse 7). So King Asa removed the idols from all the land, restored the altar of the Lord, led the people in an oath about following God, an even kicked his own mother out from being queen mother because she had made an obscene image of a false god. After cleaning house, King Asa looked pretty good until we get to verse 17 which reads, “But the high places were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days.”

These and other examples of the failure of the good kings to remove the high places gave me pause. Are our hearts right and loyal, yet are we failing to remove the “high places”? What high places have been erected in our lives or even in our family history that we resist tearing down? What actions, beliefs, attitudes, or habits do we refuse to release to the transforming grace of God?

Who is that one person with whom we just won’t reconcile? It’s on us to start the conversation and tear down that high place.

What is that one act we insist to hold over another’s head? It’s our move to let that person know we are releasing him/her from our vindictiveness and tearing down that high place.

Why are we adamant about doing that one thing our way instead of God’s way? We must buck up and turn that thing over to Jesus in order to tear down that high place.

From generational curses to bad eating habits, God wants us to take a closer look at ourselves. Let us allow God to launch a full inspection through every area of our lives so He can show us our high places and begin their demolition.

________________________

©2018 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

Links you won’t want to miss: 

  • Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: 
    • Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
    • A View from the Upper Room

from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv  and on HSBN’s You Tube channel.

(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)

img-life-that-matters

  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Join the movement! Closer Walk 2018(c) https://closerwalk2018.wordpress.com
  • 366 Glimpses of God: Getting to Know the God Who Knows You.
  • Start every day of your new year with one of these thoughtful devotional readings that will focus your attention on our amazing heavenly Father.

http://www.hsbn.tv/_store.html#!/366-Glimpses-of-God-Getting-to-Know-the-God-Who-Knows-You/p/77442498/category=15564996

  • Pick up copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

Trouble copy 2

Boomerangs FrontCover

Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk

Unknown-4

Sharon’s other books still available:

Unknown   Unknown-1   Unknown-3Unknown-2   Unknown-5