2/5/18: Football is Like Life

•February 5, 2018 • Leave a Comment

In the aftermath of the Super Bowl, whether your team won or lost, I thought it might be a good idea to post a run of devotions about winning as believers. Spoiler: We win because God wins!

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My favorite sports season has now come to and end for this year. I love football and even though my favorite team, the New Orleans Saints, didn’t make it to the Super Bowl this year, I enjoyed the season. (No, I don’t live in New Orleans, but as a Christian, shouldn’t the Saints be my favorite team?) Thousands of football fans spend millions of dollars traveling to games, buying tickets, and purchasing sports apparel, all for the love of the game and a chance to vicariously participate in what will hopefully be a winning season for their favorite team.

The goal of every game is to move forward, and I believe we love football so much because it stands as a metaphor for life. We long to get ahead, no matter what obstacles may stand in our way. We all love progress and success; however, the Bible, not the Saints’ playbook, gives us the ultimate answer to the question of how to move forward. Hebrews 10:36 – 11:1 states, “For you have need of endurance (patience), so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: ‘For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’  But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (NKJ).

Let’s use the game of football as an analogy. First, know how to get to the line of scrimmage, because we will be unable to move forward until we are there. For the believer, the line of scrimmage is where we receive the ball, which is the promise God has for us. Once in possession of God’s promise, our job is to keep moving forward. If we are impatient, we’ll jump off-sides, misread the play, or ignore the quarterback, and fumble. But if we are patient enough to do the will of God first—obeying the plays the Coach (God) has taught us, listening to the specifics detailed by the Quarterback (Jesus), and trusting the Blocker (the Holy Spirit) leading the way—God’s promise will be handed to us. Then it’s our obligation to the whole team to run with what God has given. Then we can move forward. Don’t “draw back.” If we hesitate, we’re liable to be tackled by the enemy. We must just keep our legs moving and faithfully stretch for the goals we are hoping to reach.

Get in the game of life and move forward by patiently doing the will of God. Worship God today as the Play-caller in your life.

________________________

©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.

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  • 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!

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2/4/18: Time to Party!

•February 4, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Webster’s New Word Dictionary defines a party as “any group of persons acting together.” A party could be for the reason of accomplishing a task, being sent out on a mission, or meeting socially for amusement, entertainment, or recreation. One thing’s for sure: we generally enjoy getting together for a party. When we hear the right people say, “Let’s party,” we perk up, pick up our keys, grab our potluck dish, and joyfully head out expecting to have a great time.

Psalm 122:1 reflects the excited feeling we get as we look forward to attending a party. “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the LORD’” (NKJ). What? You didn’t expect for there to be a party at church? Isn’t a party a “group of persons acting together”? At church, we are acting together as we worship our wonderful Lord. Isn’t it a party when we’re together to accomplish a task, to be sent on a mission, and to get together socially? At church, we are encouraged and trained to accomplish the task of fulfilling the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:18-20); we’re fortified to live out our purpose or mission; and we enjoy the fellowship of other believers.

Perhaps we are not glad about going to church because we haven’t understood it as the party it’s supposed to be. Maybe we’ve looked at church as a place to go to just suck out what we need, rather than a place to go to contribute to the needs of others – to “act together.” Maybe we aren’t glad to attend church because we’re waiting for everyone else to crank up the excitement. Or we may not be happy about attending church because we have a problem with the other people who will be there. Excuses.

A party is what we make it; our church is what we make it. Many church congregations nowadays get together for many other reasons besides church service. In addition to the usual fellowship groups of men, women, singles, and married couples, congregations get together to celebrate birthdays, exercise, scrapbook, and even to have a fun potluck as folks enjoy a friendly rivalry over the Super Bowl. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (NKJ). Church is a party of believers, acting together to encourage one another in this life, spurring one another on toward love and good works. Forget all those lame excuses and focus on the reason for the gathering. Go to church. Let’s party!

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©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

(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)

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  • 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!

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

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1/12/18: How to Beat a Hacker

•January 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

My personal email address was hacked. People received an email message from me that asked them to send money in order to keep my HSBN.tv show on the air. Sure, I could always absolutely use money to keep the ministry rolling, but I didn’t send that request. If anyone sent money to the return email connected with that request, it would have gone to a totally different site than my own, and the money would have been collected by the hacker – a thief.

Thankfully, my email connections know me. People started contacting me, all of them realizing that I didn’t send the request. First of all, there were misspellings in the message. I am an author, an editor, and an 34+ year English teacher. My friends know how picky I am about correct syntax. In addition, the tone of the request just didn’t sound anything like me. The bottom line is this: those who read my devotions and other email messages regularly “hear” my voice in my writing. So even though the hacker had my email address and had even copied the “signature” at the bottom of the page, there was a letter off here and there. My friends and connections knew the message was not from me. Their knowledge and familiarity with me beat the hacker.

Do we know Jesus that intimately? When false Christs rear their heads with bogus messages, do our ears perk up and cause us to pay a thief, or are we able to dismiss a hack because we know Christ’s voice so very well? Fake news – a counterfeit – may look pretty good, but it will always be one letter off here or there. John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Our close familiarity with and intimate knowledge of Jesus will beat Satan, the ultimate hacker, every time.

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©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

(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

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Sharon’s other books still available:

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1/6/18: What Have You Done?

•January 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

What have you done? This is a question I’ve asked wide-eyed and with an elevated tone of voice when I’ve been shocked by some phenomenally ridiculous negative action someone has taken. God asked the same question for the same reason to both Eve and Cain. After Adam threw Eve under the bus for tempting him to sin, God asked her, “What is this you have done?” (See Genesis 3:13 NKJ.) Then just one chapter later, Cain got cheeky with God when asked about his brother’s location. Cain knew he had murdered his brother but snidely retorted, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” God came back with, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground” Genesis 4:9-10 (NKJ).

It’s time to ‘fess up. What have you done? What have you not confessed that you should be honest with God about? Until we face our issues, we cannot allow God to forgive and fix them. Man up or woman up and be ready for the consequences, but know that even with the possible and probable punishment will come the open door to move forward. Cain’s family went on to do great things, and Eve was granted another son (Seth) through which to continue the line of humankind.

So here at the beginning of the year, let’s do some personal soul searching. What have we done? It’s time to be up front with God. “Lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJ).

________________________

©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

(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

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Sharon’s other books still available:

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1/1/18: Welcome to 2018

•January 2, 2018 • 1 Comment

How do you feel about the dawn of 2018? As with most of us, 2017 held both high and low points for me. The absolute highest point was the birth of my precious granddaughter, Jordyn Marie, on July 4th. The devastatingly lowest points were the transitions from earth to heaven of some very special people: my sister-in-law Jean, our friend Cliff, and my friend Diana’s sons, Christopher and Jonathan, among others. The past year also left many of us with memories of relationship challenges, financial worries, physical illnesses, and employment woes. Many dreams did not come true, many plans did not pan out, and many 2017 resolutions fell flat.

Now what about 2018? I’m honestly tempted to allow the perils of 2017 to cause me to be sarcastic about the positive possibilities of 2018. But then I remember something. It is God who has welcomed us to 2018. As Job said to his wife when she suggested giving up on God, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity” (Job 2:10)? And James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (NIV).

So okay 2018, here we come, then, not knowing what you have in store, but not backing away from whatever that might be. We’re going to walk more closely with God so that we’ll be strong enough for anything these 365 days will bring. In addition to reading these Sanewriter’s A Heart for the Word devotions, I invite you

to join Closer Walk 2018. Obtain a copy of 366 Glimpses of God: Getting to Know the God Who Knows You (see the link below). Also, start following my new blog that accompanies the book – http://www.closerwalk2018.wordpress.com. We’ll watch as God reveals Himself to us in brand new ways.

We’ll rejoice and be thankful during the high moments, and we’ll grow and be comforted during the low ones. We’ll trust (as the popular gospel song says) that our good days will outweigh our bad days. And we’ll watch as our daily closer walk with God produces a sweeter disposition in each of us.

So again, what about 2018? Welcome 2018! We’ll walk more closely with God, deepen our relationship with Him, and give Him glory for who He is every day. Happy New Year!

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©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

(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

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Sharon’s other books still available:

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11/29/17: The Shepherd’s Evaluation

•November 30, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Every year in most jobs, employees must go through an annual evaluation. This is a time when the boss or supervisor sits across the table from the employee and talks with him or her about the performance that has been exhibited throughout the year. Generally speaking, if the employee has done her job well, the performance evaluation will be favorable, often leading to a bonus or a raise in financial compensation. However, if the employee’s performance has been below par, a wide array of negative consequences could ensue, from a warning, to disciplinary action, to a demotion, or even to being fired.

Well, God does performance evaluations too, and He likes to start at the top with management. All through Scripture, shepherds and sheep are spoken of symbolically representing the leader or pastor and God’s people. God holds the position of a shepherd to an extremely high standard. After all, the shepherd is directly responsible for the welfare of the sheep. When the shepherds of Israel messed up, God did not mince words. He told them exactly what they had done wrong, enumerated the results of their mismanagement, and pronounced His judgment. Listen in at Ezekiel 34:2-10:

* … “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them.

* “So they were scattered… they became food for all the beasts of the field… My sheep wandered… no one was seeking or searching for them…

* “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand…” (NKJ).

        The checklist evaluation of what a shepherd of God’s people is supposed to be doing is right here in this passage. It’s not our job to judge God’s chosen leaders; God is perfectly capable of doing that Himself. However, it is our responsibility to place ourselves under leadership that is reliably following God. Are our pastors concerned with:

  • Strengthening the weak?
  • Healing the sick?
  • Binding up the broken?
  • Bringing back those who have been driven away? and
  • Seeking the lost?

Those called to be pastors and church leaders (shepherds): there’s the evaluation of your motives. Those called to be sheep: there’s your prayer list for your shepherd.

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Let’s get a head start on making 2018 great by coming together in unity. Rally around the word of God through Closer Walk 2018. Join the virtual devotional group with one goal in mind – getting to know God better. Go the the “About” page of the Closer Walk 2018 blog for the easy information about joining. Our initial goal being ready to start by January 1, 2018 is 10,000 “walkers.”

Come on. Start the new year with an easy goal which is bound to produce nothing but positive, eternal results.

Become a “walker.” Click here to join in: https: https://closerwalk2018.wordpress.com/about/

______________________

©2017 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

(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! www.LifeThatMatters.net

11/25/17: Make 2018 Great

•November 25, 2017 • 3 Comments

We have heard a lot lately about making things great; however, 2017 was not a great year for many people. This past year was filled with weather-related catastrophes, shootings at concerts and in churches, accidents on the road, mistrust of political leaders, illnesses, financial setbacks, deaths, and the ever-present danger of terrorism hovering over everyone. Next year has got to be better.

Let’s get a head start on making 2018 great by coming together in unity. Rally around the word of God through Closer Walk 2018. Join the virtual devotional group with one goal in mind – getting to know God better. Go the the “About” page of the Closer Walk 2018 blog for the easy information about joining. Our initial goal being ready to start by January 1, 2018 is 10,000 “walkers.”

Come on. Start the new year with an easy goal which is bound to produce nothing but positive, eternal results.

Become a “walker.” Click here to join in: https: https://closerwalk2018.wordpress.com/about/

______________________

©2017 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

(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! www.LifeThatMatters.net