Ponder

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By Brian Waple

“Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure” (Proverbs 4:26, ESV). Cindy mentioned this verse to me the other day, and as I think about it, I believe God is showing me that I need to spend some time reflecting on what it means. For the longest time, I’ve been trying to determine what God’s will is for my life. Let me be clear: I’ve been trying to determine what God’s will is for my life. Notice the emphasis on what I’ve been trying to do. What I haven’t been doing is humbly coming before Him in prayer and seeking His will.

I think that’s what Solomon is saying when he uses the word “ponder.” To ponder means “to consider something deeply and thoroughly.” As believers, we are called to give ourselves and our lives over to God, both deeply and thoroughly. In doing so, we bring Him glory and honor, which is what true worship is all about. And, it is only in seeking God, and purposefully living our lives in alignment with His will, that “our ways will be sure.”

I was reading something the other day that said “our deepest belonging is to God; all other belongings in life flow from that.” In pondering the path of our feet and the journey we all take, we must begin with God and seeking where God would have us to go. Where we flow from that will be bathed within His will. And that will make all the difference.

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What Does It All Mean?

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By Dan Amos

“I’m not sure you know who we are,” I said to our visiting district superintendent. He had come to help the Elder Board process leadership and direction for the new year. I’d just set the stage for him with where we had come from in the last couple of years and where I think we are heading, particularly in organizing for the growth we’ve been blessed with. Instead of staying on the topic of attendance, however, he challenged us to forget about all that and focus on making disciples.

Discipleship has been an emphasis at Elim, but it hasn’t been directly talked about as much recently. Instead, I see it practiced in the actions of people like Beau, Shauna, Dave, Fran, Bob, Jackie, Stan, and so many others. But, in processing it with the Elder Board, it was clear we still don’t have a unified vision of what it means.

Is discipleship a formal process of mentor and mentee meeting together for Bible study and prayer? Or can discipleship also mean processing life together with fellow believers, seeking wisdom, encouragement, challenge, and rebuke in the context of biblical truth? Is it building on the teaching we receive when we come together corporately and in small groups? Can it be all of these things and more?

At the annual meeting, we as a body will wrestle with practical application of discipleship and cast a vision for infusing it throughout Elim. We’ll also consider what this looks like as we meet the challenge of growth that we’ve been given. Whether you’re a member or new to Elim, come join us on January 27. It will be a great time in the life of our church.

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Dash Between the Dates

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How old were you in 1977? How old are you now? How old will you be in 2043?
This Last Word is being written January 3, 2013. Life is a funny thing, because it seems to fly by so fast … yet we are in control of how we spend our time. I did a coaching assessment a while back and one of the exercises it had me do was to guess the age I would die. Then it asked me to map out what I would like to do between now and the time of death. It showed that in a perfect world my time on this earth is getting shorter and shorter. So how am I investing it?

I seem to be bad at investing. I too often allow myself to become unintentional and unproductive in the way that I am living for God. The enemy likes us to be unintentional and unproductive for God.

For me, it’s everyday life that gets me derailed from living for God. What derails you? It could be work, friends, sports, school, or even family. It could be that life is not what you thought it would be. God has never promised us an easy life, but in the midst of the good and bad of our life He has asked that we stay focused on Him, that we bring glory and honor to His name by being intentional and productive and living for Him.

Now, in my opinion, productivity is surrender. As we surrender our life and give it over to God, He uses us to bring glory to Himself. I like to get in the way and try to do it myself without surrendering.

As you look at 2013, ask yourself: “What is derailing me from fully surrendering my life to God? What is derailing me from bringing glory and honor to Him?” This is the time of year to reflect and refocus. Set some goals and get into community with others who will help you live as God has called you to live.

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