A word about the US elections

November 10, 2012 by edelliott

I have lived and traveled in many countries around the world. I have come to know many believers all over the world who live with governments that are hostile to their faith and values and these people know who God is! They also know the covenant that they live under, who they are in Christ and their rights and privileges they have as a child of God.

I have watched them over the years succeed and prosper by the grace and blessing of God in their lives in spite of the poor economic times or stringent government policies they have had to live with.I know believers who have prospered in hard-line socialist and communist countries. I know people who have prospered under tyrannical dictators. I know one of the wealthiest men on the planet and he has lived under one dictator and one democratically elected president, both of whom have thrown him into jail.  The dictator nationalized his business’s and did everything he could to drive this man into bankruptcy and into despair.  God’s favor was on this man and he started businesses and ran them from prison. He also started a revival in the prison where almost every prisoner got saved. Later, a president tried to break this man and ruin him financially.  The president used the newspapers to slander and attack this man and again had him thrown into prison. Both of these leaders failed, and they failed miserably.  God kept prospering my friend and today he is again one of the wealthiest men in the world. I could literally write a book on the people I have met living under the most oppressive regimes and governments imaginable, who knew who they were in Christ, and understood that their God was not limited by their government when it came to blessing and prospering them.

 

In the Old Testament, God made a covenant with a nation.  The nation could be blessed or cursed based on how they kept their covenant with God. Today, we have a NEW covenant that God’s word tells us is built and established on much better promises. This NEW covenant isn’t made between God and a nation anymore. It is made between God and Jesus; it is an individual covenant not a national one. The believer is blessed because of what Jesus did, not what they did or did not do. This covenant is not weakened or altered by a rogue or ungodly government. It wasn’t made between God and a nation, or nations, but by God and His son Jesus. All those who put their faith in Christ share in all that this new covenant has to offer.

This NEW covenant cannot be broken by the ungodly policies of a corrupt or secular government. This NEW covenant cannot even be broken by the sin of those who have entered into this NEW covenant by faith.  Their sins have been forgiven and provision has been made to handle and restore any failures of those who are in this NEW covenant. The only way that this NEW covenant can be broken is if one of the two who made it, decides to break it. Neither God nor Jesus will ever break this NEW covenant and neither can any believer.

I would implore you to ignore those that are trying to tell you that because of the election God will punish America or He will now allow destruction to come upon America etc. These people are confused and have confused the OLD covenant, which is obsolete, with the NEW covenant that isn’t. Sadly they still believe that God is punishing people or nations for their sins. They reject the fact that Christ hung on a cross and suffered the wrath of God on behalf of all of us and Jesus paid for our sins in full. To believe that we are still paying for our sins is to deny that Jesus has already paid for them.  In the book of Acts the apostles boldly told people that their sins had already been forgiven. Why should we change what they so boldly proclaimed or back off of proclaiming the same. 

Your NEW covenant with God is between you and God and it was Jesus who made that connection possible. This NEW covenant is not made for a nation but made for each individual. The faults, sins and failures of a nation cannot alter or change the covenant you have with God.  A nation’s unbelief in God or wicked lifestyle cannot effect the faith of a believer or any of Gods promises for them. Don’t allow people to use politics, good or bad, to determine how God is able to bless you. Don’t allow people to pull you into their religiously confused world of fear and the soon expected judgment of America because of the outcome of an election. When Jesus already suffered that wrath and judgment for all of us. Remember, what Paul said in Romans 8, that in Christ there is no commendation aka judgment…. Jesus is our peace; He purchased our peace with God on the cross.  Our peace with God has absolutely nothing at all to do with who is or isn’t elected or any type of government policy good or bad, evil or moral.

As a believer, my peace with God comes from knowing and believing in what Jesus accomplished for me on the cross. He is a “personal” savior not a savior of nations but a savior of all people who make up those nations. His Kingdom is one of righteousness, peace and joy; these are truths one experiences after they place their faith in Christ. His Kingdom is not in the White House or some palace or parliament but reserved only for the hearts of people. You see, Jesus is our KING; presidents will come and go, dictators will come and go, forms of governments will come and go but Jesus said, I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you. I have a King that I did not elect but He elected me! He chose to live in the hearts of men and women who will allow Him access by faith. He implements His Kingdom and rules in our hearts regardless of the external governments of the day.  It is my internal spiritually based government, the Kingdom of God that rules my life. My joy and peace come from my knowing who my King is and what He has planned for my life. No elected official or military coup d’état can ever unseat or dethrone the one who rules my heart! And if my heart, is ruled by the King of Kings, than His kingdom will always usurp authority over all lesser kingdoms.  I didn’t vote for King Jesus, He voted for me and it is His vote that really counts because His vote is the majority.

Peace, Ed Elliott aka The Vagabond Evangelist

Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. November 8th, 2012

Date Night and My Boys

June 13, 2012 by edelliott


 

As most of you already know, my wife Laurie and I lived in Africa for many years as missionaries. In the early years, she traveled into the bush with me all over southern and central Africa. We had always talked about having children but our lifestyle was pretty rough, and at times it wasn’t always safe where we worked.  We weren’t sure if bringing a child into that environment was a wise decision, even though we both wanted to be parents. We had been married for seven years and neither of us was getting any younger. The baby opportunity window was closing fast.  

We had been living in huts in the bush for six weeks ministering, and the conditions were pretty tough. We were on our way to our home in Rustenburg, South Africa when we stopped at a very nice hotel in Gaborone, Botswana. We decided to treat ourselves to a couple days of rest and relaxation.

The hotel had a great pool and the rooms were luxurious. It was great to be able to bathe in a proper bathroom with a tub and shower. When you have spent six weeks taking a bucket bath in the bush, a real shower is nothing short of heavenly. That night we had an amazing dinner of lobster thermidor in a very elegant restaurant. The mood was very romantic and we talked for hours. That was the night we decided we would start our family. I am convinced that Eddie was conceived that very night in Botswana and born nine months later in Swaziland.      

As the ministry grew, I hired a young man as my associate evangelist who was a great help. When our first child was born, we traveled all over Africa as a family, but it soon became difficult for Laurie to travel because we were expecting our second child, and also because Eddie was starting pre-school.  The ministry was growing, which required Laurie to focus her attention in our office. Planning crusades, getting permits, visas, and making travel arrangements kept her very busy, in addition to raising our two sons. 

In those days we didn’t have cell phones. Communication was rare when I went off into the bush. Many times Laurie didn’t know when I would be returning home. She usually knew I could be coming home within a ten-day time frame, but I was often gone for six weeks or longer.

As the ministry and the boys grew, like most parents, we faced some challenges having our alone time. Of course, our life was far from being a normal one, so I decided whenever I was home on a Friday night, it would be our Date Night. We started that tradition when my sons were very young, and we have stayed with it all these years.

As missionaries in Africa, our finical support went up and down constantly. Some months were better than others. When finances were tight, I didn’t always have extra funds to take my wife out to dinner and a movie, but we serve a creative God. There are ways to stretch a few dollars and have a memorable date without spending money.

I have always liked to cook. When I am at home, I do most of the cooking. I knew we didn’t have any extra money for dinner out, so I decided to fix Laurie a romantic dinner and I served it on the upstairs balcony, under the African stars and moonlight. I used a small table with a white tablecloth and our good china.

Eddie was home with me and Laurie was out running errands with Chase. Eddie, curious and wondering what I was up to asked, “Dad, what are you doing?” I explained to him that I was going to surprise Mom with a romantic dinner. I said, “Friday night is Mom and Dad’s Date Night, and when you love someone, you like doing very special things for them.”

I explained that mommies and daddies need alone time together, so they can remind each other how much they love one another. Eddie looked at me with a serious look and said, “I understand. Sometimes I like it when it is just Chase and I playing, with no grownups around.”  “That is correct”, I said. “Mommies and daddies like to play alone, as well.”  I left it at that. Sometimes you need to treat children like the military and only give them information on a “need-to-know basis”. 

Well, you know how young kids are when they are told to keep a secret. It is almost impossible for them to do so. Eddie was bubbling with excitement and started helping me get everything ready. I had candles on the table and all over the upstairs balcony and the latest “Pavarotti and Friends” CD was playing softly in the background.

The sun had just gone down when Laurie and Chase came home from running errands. I had a chilled salad already made in the fridge and my grill was roaring hot and ready for the steaks that would soon be sizzling away on it.  The baked potatoes were wrapped in foil, already roasting on the hot coals. Everything was set and ready for a night of romance.

Laurie and Chase came in the house. Eddie was giddy with excitement. He was rolling his hands together and jumping up and down, with a huge Cheshire cat grin across his whole face. Keeping this secret was so hard for him. Laurie knew immediately that something was up by his excitement. Eddie’s wide eyes, giggles and grinning were starting to give away my surprise. He kept glancing at me and back at Laurie, giggling. He so wanted to take her upstairs to show her what we both had been working on.

Chase walked in behind Laurie, rubbing his eyes from his recent catnap in the car. He could tell something was up. Eddie ran over to him and whispered something in his ear. Chase’s eyes opened wide and a smile broke across his face. I could see that Eddie had told him what I had planned for Laurie. Now the two of them were giddy and looked like they were about to pop with excitement. I didn’t know if they would let the cat out of the bag, or not!

We had a wonderful young lady working for us at the time named Amor, who was on retainer for any Friday night I was home. She would come by and pick up the boys and take them to the park, or the mall and sometimes a movie. They were usually worn out and ready for bed when she brought them home.  My boys absolutely loved Amor and so did Laurie and I. She was literally heaven sent to us.

Amor arrived just in time. Before my two boys could divulge “state secrets”, she quickly whisked them away to their own playtime adventure. I suggested to Laurie that she freshen up and change, while I finished up the prep work for dinner. We had a wonderful night. She was very surprised and it couldn’t have been more romantic.

I prepared a number of outdoor, balcony Friday-night dinners over the years. The view was always great. The Lion Park was a mile away, as the crow flies, and hearing the roar of the lions in the evenings added another special quality to our nights.

The boys would help me get ready anytime we did a Date Night at home. They both really enjoyed being involved and they loved surprising Mom. Once I even used them as waiters to serve us. They dressed up in a suit and tie, with their hair slicked back. They poured our drinks and brought us our dinner. It was a lot of fun.

I was preparing to hold crusades in Mozambique and would be away for a few Friday nights. I sat the boys down and told them Dad was going to be away for a while and asked if they would be willing to take over Date Night for me. They smiled, got all giddy and excited and shook their heads, “Yes”!  We discussed the menu they would serve, even down to the music they would play in the background. Of course Laurie was in on this, but she made them feel like they were surprising her.

They did their best to decorate the balcony as I had done. Eddie knew how to use the gas grill and he prepared hot dogs with all the trimmings. Laurie worked in the office, which was connected to our house, while the boys scampered around getting everything ready for Date Night. They even served popcorn with the video they had picked out for the “movie” they would all watch later.

When everything was ready they both got Mom out of the office. They gave her an elaborate speech about how they knew she was missing Dad, and that Dad had asked them to take over Date Night for him.  They took her to a candle-lit table on the upstairs balcony, set with paper plates, plastic glasses and freshly cooked hot dogs in their buns.

A pitcher of lemonade filled with ice was their beverage choice, and I believe “Barney” was playing softly in the background, helping to create the mood. They pulled the seat out for their mom, like they had been taught, and waited on her hand and foot, meeting her every need. They talked and laughed for hours, cleaned up and all fell asleep watching the movie.

Whenever I was out of town on a Friday night, my boys filled in for me on Date Night. Sometimes they had Mom drive them to a restaurant where they would treat her to dinner and then to a movie, with money I had given them.

Over the years, Laurie and I have taught them how to treat a lady. We used Date Night as their dry run for the future. On some date nights, I would include them so they could see exactly how I treated their mother on a date. These times gave us some wonderful opportunities to teach our sons about life, people, values and relationships. We are very proud of the fine gentlemen they have become.

In July my wife and I will have been married for 30 years, and today the tradition of Friday Date Night is still honored, if Dad is home. My boys know that on Friday night Mom and Dad get their alone time. This occasionally gets interrupted by their sporting events or other engagements, but it is something Laurie and I try to keep whenever possible. 

Today Eddie is 22 and Chase is 18. I have passed on my love for cooking to my sons. They are both excellent cooks. Eddie makes spaghetti that is amazing and Chase makes a delicious fried calamari.

Recently I was away ministering on Mother’s Day. I called Laurie early that morning to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day and later again that evening. My two sons had gotten all dressed up and taken Laurie to one of her favorite restaurants for dinner to celebrate Mother’s Day.  I hadn’t asked them if they had any plans for Mom on Mother’s Day before I left town. I was pleasantly surprised to see that, without any prompting on my part, they did something very special for their mom.     

I strongly believe that children will, to some degree, model their parent’s behavior as they grow up. It is the example that they see daily which makes them a product of their environment. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says we should abide in faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these three is love. My wife and I have endeavored to create an atmosphere of faith, hope and love in our home. It is a great environment to live in and to raise children in, as well. 

Before I close this article I would like to point out that I am married to the most incredible and amazing woman I have ever known. For almost thirty years our life together has been simply remarkable, but not without its challenges. When we lived in Africa, I would be gone for long periods of time in the bush and she would be home alone raising two boys. We have had cobras in our house at times. On one occasion, our dogs got into a fight with a big, male baboon and were seriously cut up. A man once threatened to kill Laurie with an axe! What this phenomenal woman has had to deal with, on her own, would make a list that goes on and on.

 

When we moved back to America many of our supporters didn’t understand the transition we were going through. Our support dropped significantly and my ministry partner had to find secular employment to help us pay the bills to keep the ministry afloat. It was a very tough time for us. I was traveling almost full time to rebuild the ministry and was on the road for long periods, and also traveling overseas on mission trips. Laurie was taking night classes so she could get a better paying job, which she did. A few years later, she had to go to school again to get another job. She did all this while I was away, with two boys in school, and still worked in the ministry office.

For all practical purposes, she was very much like a single mom with unbelievable responsibilities on her shoulders. Mercy is God treating us better than we deserve and when God brought her into my life, I was certainly treated in a merciful way.

My boys have had the most incredible mother in the world and believe me they know it. She has never missed any of their games, and if they needed her, she dropped everything to come to their rescue.

She is my wife, my lover and my best friend. We have been through so much in our lives, and I could not have made it without her love and support. She has taught me so very much about God’s love by how she carries herself and loves me.

I would like to dedicate this article to the most amazing and incredible woman I know. I am the most blessed man in the world to have her as my wife!

I love you, Laurie Mitchell Elliott and will, always forever and ever!    

         

 

Journey into Laos

February 27, 2012 by edelliott

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I will be leaving on May 14th to start a seven week mission trip into Laos, Cambodia and if time permits Vietnam. I plan to blog about my travels in that part of the world when I am able and also post a few videos of my travels. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!

In 2009, I purchased a motorcycle and traveled into Laos to make contact with the underground church, for the purpose of training leaders and to do underground evangelism. It is illegal to preach the gospel in Laos and as you read my journal detailing my travels in that nation, you will notice that I wrote them as if I were a businessman on a business trip. They were written this way in case they were intercepted by the secret police.  

The code is easy to understand: “CEO” refers to God, “managers” are church leaders and “customers” are people who respond to the gospel. I posted these reports on my personal Facebook page so all those praying for me would know what was happening, and the challenges I was facing. In over twenty-five years of being involved in missions, I have never felt or seen such incredibly quick answers to prayers and divine protection. I know this was a result of the Facebook family of believers who supported me with prayers constantly, while on this mission trip.

You will read about how I was run off a mountain road at night by a trucker, causing me to tumble down a deep ditch filled with rocks. Miraculously, no harm came to the bike or to me. You will also read about how I had to dodge police road blocks, how God helped me escape a trap setup to catch me. How we came across very large tiger tracks while walking through the jungle, going from one village to the next preaching the gospel, and how God used a small kitten to assist me in escaping a possible prison sentence, when I was arrested leaving Laos.

If you like to know more about our ministry and travels around the world you can visit our website for more information.

http://wordoflife.rbm.tv/http://wordoflife.rbm.tv/

Journey Into Laos

Part 1

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.140806886386.111615.646576386&l=c1cd140564

Part 2

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.142213291386.112021.646576386&l=39f14464f4

Part 3

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.144682011386.112946.646576386&l=3c56eb15ca

Part 4

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.146094341386.113287.646576386&l=1193f97322

Part 5

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.149068271386.113962.646576386&l=a92984bd67

Part 6

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.152069796386.114802.646576386&l=d1ef9ef7ee

Part 7

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.154074376386.115628.646576386&l=bd85edc36d

Part 8

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.157831661386.116689.646576386&l=104baed055

Part 9

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.161364886386.117841.646576386&l=eeff4e9a15

Part 10

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.166125381386.119335.646576386&l=7c48f83540

If you like to know more about our ministry and travels around the world you can visit out website for more information.

http://wordoflife.rbm.tv/http://wordoflife.rbm.tv/

God’s Radical Forgivness

June 25, 2011 by edelliott

The Jesus who forgave the women caught in adultery, the thief on the cross, Peter for denying Him and those who beat Him and drove nails through His hands and feet, is still the same Jesus today. Heb 13:8

We as the body of Christ should represent the same compassion and mercy to those caught in similar situations.  Forgiveness isn’t condoning sin it opens a door for the heart to receive mercy.  God uses mercy to purge the heart of sin. Proverbs 16:6

One’s ability to forgive comes from knowing and believing how God has forgiven them. You cannot give to others what you do not possess yourself and cannot lead others where you not gone.

"I Belong to a Church that throws Parties for Prostitutes" by Ed Elliott

May 25, 2011 by edelliott


When God’s love gets established in your heart as a believer, it will affect how you see and treat people. A prostitute came into a room full of Pharisees and washed the feet of Jesus, the religious leaders saw a sinful woman, possibly even beyond redemption in their eyes but Jesus saw a woman in need of forgiveness and acceptance. The apostle Paul understood it was God’s goodness that leads a person to repentance, Romans 2:4

God’s love will always show you how a person needs to be seen and treated.

This true incident happened to Tony Campolo a few years ago. Tony, who grew up in inner city Philadelphia, is a professor of sociology at Eastern College in St. David’s, PA.

A few years ago Tony flew to Hawaii to speak at a conference. The way he tells it, he checks into his hotel and tries to get some sleep. Unfortunately, his internal clock wakes him at 3:00 a.m. The night is dark, the streets are silent, the world is asleep, but Tony is wide awake and his stomach is growling.
He gets up and prowls the streets looking for a place to get some bacon and eggs for an early breakfast. Everything is closed except for a grungy dive in an alley. He goes in and sits down at the counter. The fat guy behind the counter comes over and asks, “What d’ya want?”

Well, Tony isn’t so hungry anymore so eying some donuts under a plastic cover he says, “I’ll have a donut and black coffee.”

As he sits there munching on his donut and sipping his coffee at 3:30, in walk eight or nine provocative, loud prostitutes just finished with their night’s work. They plop down at the counter and Tony finds himself uncomfortably surrounded by this group of smoking, swearing hookers. He gulps his coffee, planning to make a quick getaway. Then the woman next to him says to her friend, “You know what? Tomorrow’s my birthday. I’m gonna be 39.” To which her friend nastily replies, “So what d’ya want from me? A birthday party? Huh? You want me to get a cake, and sing happy birthday to you?”
The first woman says, “Aw, come on, why do you have to be so mean? Why do you have to put me down? I’m just sayin’ it’s my birthday. I don’t want anything from you. I mean, why should I have a birthday party? I’ve never had a birthday party in my whole life. Why should I have one now?”

Well, when Tony Campolo heard that, he said he made a decision. He sat and waited until the women left, and then he asked the fat guy at the counter, “Do they come in here every night?”

“Yeah,” he answered.

“The one right next to me,” he asked, “she comes in every night?”

“Yeah,” he said, “that’s Agnes. Yeah, she’s here every night. She’s been comin’ here for years. Why do you want to know?”

“Because she just said that tomorrow is her birthday. What do you think? Do you think we could maybe throw a little birthday party for her right here in the diner?”

A cute kind of smile crept over the fat man’s chubby cheeks. “That’s great,” he says, “yeah, that’s great. I like it.” He turns to the kitchen and shouts to his wife, “Hey, come on out here. This guy’s got a great idea. Tomorrow is Agnes’ birthday and he wants to throw a party for her right here.”
His wife comes out. “That’s terrific,” she says. “You know, Agnes is really nice. She’s always trying to help other people and nobody does anything nice for her.”

So they make their plans. Tony says he’ll be back at 2:30 the next morning with some decorations and the man, whose name turns out to be Harry, says he’ll make a cake.

At 2:30 the next morning, Tony is back. He has crepe paper and other decorations and a sign made of big pieces of cardboard that says, “Happy Birthday, Agnes!” They decorate the place from one end to the other and get it looking great. Harry had gotten the word out on the streets about the party and by 3:15 it seemed that every prostitute in Honolulu was in the place. There were hookers wall to wall.
At 3:30 on the dot, the door swings open and in walks Agnes and her friend. Tony has everybody ready. They all shout and scream “Happy Birthday, Agnes!” Agnes is absolutely flabbergasted. She’s stunned, her mouth falls open, her knees started to buckle, and she almost falls over.

And when the birthday cake with all the candles is carried out, that’s when she totally loses it. Now she’s sobbing and crying. Harry, who’s not used to seeing a prostitute cry, gruffly mumbles, “Blow out the candles, Agnes. Cut the cake.”

So she pulls herself together and blows them out. Everyone cheers and yells, “Cut the cake, Agnes, cut the cake!” But Agnes looks down at the cake and, without taking her eyes off it, slowly and softly says, “Look, Harry, is it all right with you if…I mean, if I don’t…I mean, what I want to ask, is it OK if I keep the cake a little while? Is it all right if we don’t eat it right away?” Harry doesn’t know what to say so he shrugs and says, “Sure, if that’s what you want to do. Keep the cake. Take it home if you want.”
“Oh, could I?” she asks. Looking at Tony she says, “I live just down the street a couple of doors; I want to take the cake home, is that okay? I’ll be right back, honest.”

She gets off her stool, picks up the cake, and carries it high in front of her like it was the Holy Grail. Everybody watches in stunned silence and when the door closes behind her, nobody seems to know what to do. They look at each other. They look at Tony.

So Tony gets up on a chair and says, “What do you say that we pray together?”
And there they are in a hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon, half the prostitutes in Honolulu, at 3:30 a.m. listening to Tony Campolo as he prays for Agnes, for her life, her health, and her salvation. Tony recalls, “I prayed that her life would be changed, and that God would be good to her.”

When he’s finished, Harry leans over, and with a trace of hostility in his voice, he says, “Hey, you never told me you was a preacher. What kind of church do you belong to anyway?”

In one of those moments when just the right words came, Tony answers him quietly, “I belong to a church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30 in the morning.”

Harry thinks for a moment, and in a mocking way says, “No you don’t. There ain’t no church like that. If there was, I’d join it. Yep, I’d join a church like that.”

What kind of church do you belong to anyway?

I did not write this story it was sent to me by a friend and has been in my files for many years. It touches me deeply every time I read it.

In Love with God?

February 11, 2011 by edelliott

You are not just loved by God, as a believer you are actually “IN love”. The Bible teaches that God is love. Jesus is not just loving, he is “LOVE” and as a believer you are IN Him! It feels so good to be “IN Love,” doesn’t it?

Forgiveness a Matter of Life and Death

February 9, 2011 by edelliott

The Jesus who forgave the women caught in adultery, the thief on the cross, Peter for denying Him and those who beat Him and drove nails through His hands and feet, is still the same Jesus today. Heb 13:8

We as the body of Christ should represent the same compassion and mercy to those caught in similar situations.  Forgiveness isn’t condoning sin it opens a door for the heart to receive mercy.  God uses mercy to purge the heart of sin. Proverbs 16:6

BEING STONED OR BEING LOVED

November 26, 2010 by edelliott

A candle flickered dimly as it sat on the small, wooden table. Across the room two lovers were locked in a passionate embrace, when the sound of the door being violently forced open, startled the couple.  It was the local high priest!  Storming into the room with a disapproving glare and arm outstretched with a long, boney finger pointing at the half dressed couple, he shouted, “SINNERS! This man is not your husband!” He grabbed the frightened woman by her arm and jerked her so forcefully that she felt as if her arm would come off.  

 

He dragged her out of the dimly lit room into the bright, blinding sunshine of the street.  At the top of his voice he announced her sin to all her neighbors while towing her, stumbling across the cobblestone street. With her free hand, she was busy trying to wrap herself in the sheet she pulled from the bed she was forced to leave.  She was terrified and shook from fear.  She glanced back to see what had happened to her lover, but he was nowhere to be seen.

 

As the priest continued to shout out her sins, she saw many friends and family members looking at her in disgust.  She was too ashamed to make eye contact and hung her head down, trying to cover her face with the sheet, as she wept.  A few minutes later she glanced up and saw they were headed to the temple.  A crowd was gathering, and now she was hearing abusive taunts from strangers and children, as they followed her, holding rocks in their waving hands.  She knew too well what her punishment would be, and she knew she deserved it.  In a moment of weakness, she had given in to the kind stranger and that sin would now cost her more than she could bear.  It would ultimately end with her losing her life.

 

The priest shoved her through the grand, wooden doors of the temple.  As they entered, she could hear someone speaking.  Moving closer to the crowd, she heard his voice… it was soothing and calming, but with authority.  The priest held her tightly; those with him forced their way through the crowd.  His thunderous voice interrupted the speaker: “Master, this vile, wicked sinner has been caught sleeping with a man who isn’t her husband!  She is an adulteress and Moses taught us to kill such a person by stoning them, but we are curious as to how you would handle such a situation.”  The priest turned his head slightly, looked at his supporters and winked.  He knew the trap was set and it was just a matter of time before their prey would be snared.

 

The man they had interrupted kneeled down, and with his finger, began writing something in the sand. The Priest again pressed for an answer and became irritated because he felt he was being ignored.  The woman trembled… her tears made small puddles on the ground as they rolled off her cheeks.  She collapsed to the ground about the time Jesus stood up and looked across the crowd.  He studied the accusers for a moment and then said, “If there is anyone here who has never sinned, be my guest and come and throw the first stone.” 

 

The congregation grew nervous.  The accusers and others started looking around… who would go first?   When the impact of what Jesus had said struck them, there was no one among them who could carry out the sentence.  Jesus wouldn’t allow the guilty to condemn the guilty; no one came forward because no one was qualified.

 

A shimmer of sunlight peeked in as the large temple doors were quietly opened for those who were quickly exiting.  The old guys were the first to realize they were not qualified to throw a stone, because they knew they deserved receiving one.  Those, who minutes earlier were so eager to get to the temple, were now twice as eager to leave it.  In no time at all, the entire place was totally empty… except for two people:  The frightened figure on the ground and the one who had caused her accusers to flee. 

 

She felt a gentle but firm touch as Jesus lifted her up to a standing position. With compassion she had never known, he looked deep into her eyes and said to her, “So where are those who called you a sinner, now?” She lifted up her head as she wiped the remaining tears from her eyes.  She slowly scanned the room from side to side and then, with a bewildered look, she said to Jesus, “I don’t see them; they are nowhere.”

Jesus smiled and said,  “You have nothing to be afraid of… I am not going to stone you.”  At that moment she knew he was the only one in the room who could have thrown the first stone, but he didn’t.

 

Jesus recognized the powerful impact mercy was having on this woman.  He also perceived that even though she had a lover, she wasn’t loved.  Knowing this, he said to her,  “Go home and leave the sin that almost killed you.” A rush of joy and hope suddenly flooded her heart and new tears filled her eyes… but for a different reason.  She almost danced out of the temple!  She was so thrilled to be alive!  She started running home and the joy on her face shone brighter than the noonday sun!  

 

Across the street stood some of her former accusers.  They were angered by her newfound happiness and freedom, but they, too, could have known and experienced the same mercy, if they had stayed.

 

Inside the temple Jesus thought, “It’s been a good day.”

 

My expanded take on John 8:1-9

A true Brave heart

November 3, 2010 by edelliott

I woke up this morning and then quickly fell back asleep. I had a dream and I saw the scene from Mel Gibson’s movie “Brave Heart,” where he speaks to his men before going to battle. In my dream, the William Wallace speech he gave was altered and put into a Christian context. I wrote it down to share with everyone. Enjoy………

P.S. If you can read it with a Scottish accent, it may have a bigger impact. ;)

A true Brave heart


BH = Brave Heart

BH: Sons of God, I am a follower of Jesus Christ….and today I see an army of my fellow believers gathered here in defiance of legalism and religion! You have come to fight as free men and women and free you are! What will you do without freedom? For Christ has set us free and as His followers, we will stand firm in the liberty He bought and paid for with His precious blood and life.

BH: Will you fight?


From the crowd someone speaks,…

Spiritual Coward: The religious and denominations easily out number us, we are few and they are many. No we will not fight! It is better to believe what they tell us so they will not trouble and harass us. It is easier to give up control of our lives to their laws and rules then to live in love with God.

BH: “Yes!” “Fight, and you will be persecuted; men will speak evil of you and some will cut you off from their company. Run from the truth and you will not be persecuted, slandered or spoken evil of but know this, you will never know freedom, peace or true love nor will you walk in God’s courage equipped with His armor fulfilling His divine purpose on the earth. And one day while you lay dying in your bed many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here as a young person and to tell those enemies of the cross who fought against God’s grace that gave us liberty, love and peace that they may take our lives but they will never take our freedom in Christ!


Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12 


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8: 35-39

The absence of condemnation from God

October 19, 2010 by edelliott

by Ed Elliott

“Nether will I condemn you,” said Jesus to the woman caught in adultery in John 8. Jesus tells us in John 5:19 that He only does what He sees His Father doing. Jesus first let this woman know that He would not condemn her, nor would he allow anyone else to, either. It wasn’t until then that He told her to, “go and sin no more.” The absence of condemnation from God is what empowers us to repent and motivates us to turn from our sins.

Repentance does not bring grace; grace is the catalyst that brings repentance. The idea that if we repent, God won’t condemn us is totally backwards to what the Bible teaches. The prodigal was embraced, loved and accepted before he made it home, or even acknowledged he had sinned.

The truth is God does not condemn us. Jesus said He wasn’t sent to condemn the world (John 12:47), and Paul said that there is no fear of judgment for the believer (Romans 8:1).

It is this powerful and life-changing truth that enables one to turn from sin. We have access 24/7 to a throne of mercy and grace today -not a throne of judgment. (Hebrews 4:16)

Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. Acts 3:26