To God’s Children Everywhere, may you be blessed by what this book has to offer and may it bring Glory to His name.
In Memory of Deborah Elliott, my mother, you are the one who always believed that one day my passions would make a difference in this world. This book is part of your legacy and the beginning of a Journey that we will never forget.
We release this book on May 25^th^, 2015 to honor that Legacy and in Memory of the day He gave you life.
In Honor of our Beloved Children Leyla Annelyse and Caleb Jeremiah… without you we would never have been able to know the true meaning of ‘Ahavah’ and how deep the Father’s ‘Ahavah’ for us truly is.
Part One 6
Part Two 25
Part Three 37
About The Author 44
Prayers of Thanks for all of those who have been a part of shaping my life, and especially to God, who gave me the gift of caring for others and the desire to see others grow closer to Him in their own Ahavah Journey.
Greetings in Christ,
I share these writings with you this day in the hope of imparting something truly wonderful: a deeper walk with our LORD. I thank Him for each person who may read this book because He has a special journey for each and every one of you to embark on. Life has shown us ALL many things, much of which includes hardship and suffering. I remind you today that you are not alone in your struggles; that many have faced similar struggles before and have overcome them.
At first you may wonder “who is the author writing to?” or “How does the author know this person?” Understand, this book is meant as an encouragement to all and is therefore written to all. There may be something written that doesn’t apply to you in this specific moment of your life, but others can benefit from its content. Knowing this, I ask that you read this book with the understanding that many of its pages were written with the reader in mind. Certain parts of this book may remind you of someone who has mentored you in your journey with God or of someone you personally mentor today. Either way, I pray that God speaks to you in a mighty way.
Remember that your life is its own *journey._ [[*]_] is a Hebrew word for Love, thus making this book “Love Writings for the Journey.” This is to remind us all that LOVE is what it all comes down to, because without it, we have nothing. The only way any of us can embrace this concept of Love is to begin embracing God’s glory in our lives more every day.
1st Letter: Shine Brightly
You are so special to our Lord and to me. It is a wonderful blessing to know you. Through knowing you, I have seen many wonderful things and learned much from our conversations. As I was praying the other day, thoughts of you came to mind and I had no clue why, until now. The life you have lived has not been the easiest one to endure and I have seen both the good times and the bad. God has given you so many wonderful blessings. I am so grateful for that, but humanity has not done the same. In fact, humanity has, in many ways, done the opposite. The struggle to find the balance between the two has weighed very heavily on you and it saddens my heart to see where that struggle has taken you on your Journey with God. I remember the first time you and I truly met, the love for God that I saw glistening from your eyes and the way you looked at the world around you was something amazing. I knew then and there that we would have a great friendship, and I am so blessed to still have that relationship with you.
Through the years, as I have kept in touch with you, I have seen your once beautiful light fade. I long to see that light shine brightly again. It was such a beautiful light and I know that life has not given you the best of circumstances. But life isn’t about reacting to those circumstances; it’s about giving God the glory and letting your light shine in the darkest of places. I encourage you to seek God and strive to experience His presence with all that you are. Humanity can do some pretty terrible things, but God can take those things and turn them into so much more. He wants to take those horrible experiences you’ve endured and make them beautiful. I know it’s hard to let go, but once you do, you will never regret it.
“For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ”
(2 Corinthians 4:6 NLT).
*3*rd Letter: Stop and Pray
I have been thinking about you a lot in my recent encounters with God in prayer, and felt as though the Lord wanted me to give you some encouragement. The struggles you are facing in this present moment are not your fault.
Many times life can place us in situations that we don’t really anticipate will ever happen, and this can keep us from focusing on what is truly important: giving God the glory for all things. God deeply desires to reveal Himself to others through us and He wants to do so in the most unimaginable ways. I can’t count the times I have been blessed when God has done this in my life. I have learned the hard way, though, that it all must begin with time spent quietly in Him. He has given us a wonderful example in the life of Jesus to follow. His entire life was all about showing us how important it is to stop and pray when life begins to take us down a path we are unsure about. I encourage you, dear one, to think about what Jesus did in the midst of every intense situation he ever faced: “… but he would withdraw to desolate places and pray” (Luke 5:16 ESV). This is a wonderful example for us to live by.
When we stop and pray through the situations we face in life, we begin to focus more on making sure we have given God the priority instead of someone or something else. It is a constant reminder that we do not have to face life on our own. As others see this in our life, they begin to want it in their lives as well.
In the end, I strongly believe that taking time to stop and pray will bring you and others closer to God’s heart. The example we see in Jesus through the Scriptures is the same example we are asked to duplicate in our lives today. So I encourage you again, dear one, in the midst of what you are facing, to take the opportunity to stop and pray. Not really for others this time, but for your sake and your journey with God.
*6*th Letter: The Harvesters
It occurred to me the other day in my time with the Lord that you may be struggling with accepting the calling God has given you. You are not alone! I have felt this in my own life on occasions. It was only when I trusted God with that calling that it became clearer to me. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the message God gave me as I struggled with my calling in life.
Jesus once said these words to his followers and I believe He has spoken these words to me for you today: “…The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37 ESV). This was no surprise to me because I had seen this scripture before and known about it for some time. What I hadn’t realized, was that I needed to do something with this particular passage. You see, knowing God’s calling for you and accepting God’s calling for you are two completely different things.
I know that sometimes it can be hard to discern the difference between the two, but I was encouraged to stand up and be the harvester that God had called me to be. Your struggle may be a harder one to work through right now, but know that God is truly with you and that He can give you the strength you have desired for so long.
Sometimes the responsibility alone can be very stressful and hard to deal with, but reaching out to those around you is always more rewarding than letting the opportunity simply pass you by. Each and every one of us has a part to play in God’s divine plan, and we need to be willing to stand up and work the fields of the harvest throughout the world and in our own back yards. I will caution you though, if we lead, we must be careful to also have been led ourselves. Yes, you are called to lead, but you are also called to have another person lead you.
I encourage you, dear one, to believe with all your heart that you are called to be a part of something bigger than yourself and embrace that belief. If you don’t, you will never feel complete and will never lead or be led the way you were meant too.
*8*th Letter: Complete Devotion
After our conversation the other day, I wanted to take time to write out my thoughts in more detail for you. You are very close to my heart and I want you to be able to look back at this time in your life and know that God was with you. My desire has always been that you would know the Lord so deeply that you would never doubt His glory again.
You are struggling in your journey so much and I want you to know that my prayers often turn their focus to you and your family. I cannot begin to understand the details of how your faith became as it is today, but I can share with you what I’ve learned and what I have shared with others.
It is extremely important to remember that you, dear one, cannot devote your life to both God and to something else. When you do this, your heart will become divided and unfocused. This is not something that anyone should ignore. A divided heart is not a heart that brings God glory. A divided heart only brings glory to itself. I encourage you, dear one, to examine your life today and to ask yourself: “Whom am I truly serving with my life?”
Scripture says, “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” (Psalm 86:11 NIV). This does not mean that we cannot pursue the desires and passions that we have; it means that we should pursue them with our heart completely devoted to serving the one and only true Master in our lives.
I can tell you, though, that this scripture is not always an easy one to live your life by, because it will force you to look deeply within your soul and ask the tough questions. Once you’ve asked the tough questions, it will also force you to look deeply into the depths of your heart to truly seek the difficult answers.
Whatever is on your heart today, dear one, don’t let it get the best of you. Think about what it means to serve with complete devotion. Take time to ask God: “What can I do with the situation I am facing to help me rely upon you more?” Instead of spending so much time trying to figure out the answers on your own, give it to God. Tell Him, “Lord, I will not let me get the best of me. My life belongs completely to you and only you.” I promise that when you begin to do this on a daily basis, things will change and it will no longer be as complicated as it has become. All that matters in this life is to completely devote yourself to His ways, because they are always better than ours. Give your heart completely in love and in undivided focus and surrender it all to Him. He will take it from here.
*9*th Letter: A Willingness to Listen
Your wisdom has always been something I have admired and I often refer to it in my time of need. I remember how often I came to you when I was young and really had no clue what I was doing with my life. I know that these times weren’t always easy for you to be a part of, but I am grateful for all that you have done to remind me of the calling that has been placed upon my heart.
Patiently, just as God takes time to listen to us, you often took time out of your day to talk me through the struggles I was having. It is such a wondrous feeling to know there are people who are willing to listen and talk us through the struggles in life. So many times it can seem like we are talking to an empty room, and that is never helpful. The realizations of faith that came from our time together have forever changed my life and have reminded me of God’s love for us.
God loves us so much that He often places people in our path to help us along the journey we are on. All He asks of us in return is that we seek to listen to those He places in our lives and most importantly seek His direction in all things. You have always modeled this in your life and I will always be grateful to you, dear one, for the difference your example has made for me in our time together.
*13*th Letter: The Open Door
I have seen your struggles in recent days and want you to know that I have often prayed for God to give you the desires you seek. God has so much in store for you and all He wants from you is your loving and compassionate heart. I know these past few months have been extremely hard for you, but remember God has promised that He will lead you through it. Scripture says, “I know what you do. I have put an open door before you, which no one can close. I know you have little strength, but you have obeyed my teaching and were not afraid to speak my name” (Revelation 3:8 NCV).
It is not always easy to face each day as you have, with all that has been taking place, but know that God is truly with you. When you begin to feel as though you can’t take it anymore, that is the perfect opportunity to embrace God’s presence more in your life. Doing this will give you the strength you need
to continue on and will lead you through the open door placed before you.
Life in itself will never give you the easy road. Truthfully, the easy road is never as rewarding as the road God has chosen for you. When you learn to embrace the open doors placed before you, big and small, God will begin to show you many wonderful things. I cannot wait to see where those doors will lead you.
*17*th Letter: Trust God’s Timing
I have thoroughly enjoyed our times together speaking about the work of the Lord in your life. Our talks have brought great joy to my heart and I will always be grateful for our time together in the Lord.
For a long time I have felt as though I have been incomplete and that I have not been serving our Lord in the best way. Through our gatherings, I have found renewal and purpose in how I should be serving our Lord. We have spoken about many things, dear one. I pray that you have taken what we have spoken about to heart and that you have grown closer to the Lord.
I would like to encourage you more deeply with one of our recent conversations. One of the more amazing ways God speaks to us is by giving us little glimpses into our future that are meant to be taken to heart, and then left alone for a time to wait for His perfect timing. I believe that this is what He is doing in your life right now. It isn’t always easy to understand why He gives us these little glimpses only to make us wait before developing them in our lives. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5 ESV). When you do this you give God full control over when that little glimpse becomes a reality. God has shown you something amazing, and I am excited to see where that glimpse will lead you.
While you wait for that little glimpse to blossom into a reality, it will be important to trust that He will give you what He has shown you. At times, dear one, it will be very hard to keep waiting for God to work, and you may want to leave everything behind in pursuit of the future He has promised. Do not give in to this temptation. God’s timing will be a vital part of the future you have begun to see. It is okay to begin making small changes in your life to pursue what God has shown you, and the time will come when you will need to make some big decisions. For now, though, and before anything else, I encourage you to give God praise for what He has shown you, and then let Him bring it into reality when the time is right.
22nd Letter: Enduring Pain
I have heard of the pain that you have been going through in this present moment and I know that it seems as though it will never be gone. I have been there many times and have felt the same way. Pain can be a very difficult thing to bear as one makes their way through the day. I have often wondered why we have to bear the feeling of pain in our lives. For a while I thought that I was being punished for something I had done wrong in the eyes of the Lord. As I have grown in my journey with Him, I have learned that this is not necessarily the reason behind the pain I have endured.
I have often been reminded of all that Job went through in his life and wondered why he had to go through all the pain he felt, both physically and emotionally, in his time on Earth. It occurred to me one day, as I argued with God about the pain I have had to bear, that I had not done something wrong, but that as a human being in a fallen world, we all suffer in some way or another. We humans aren’t perfect, are we? No, we will never be perfect until the day we walk through heaven’s gates, but that does not mean that every struggle we go through is a result of sin.
Pain is not something one should take lightly. It does not disappear overnight. I have fallen into this deception many times, learning the hard way that I must take the time to work through it. I know that your heart’s desire is to simply overlook what you’re going through and hope it will disappear, but I must encourage you to stop ignoring it and to begin finding ways to work through it. Then to find the solutions you so desperately need in this present moment.
I know bearing pain can be very difficult. I am bearing some even now as I write to you that has caused a lot of frustration, anxiety, stress and worry. It has only been recently that I have begun to find ways to work through it and embrace healing measures. I encourage you, dear one, to do the same, because pride never makes your pain go away. In many cases it can make it even worse. I know in time, if you truly begin to find ways to work through the pain you bear, great things will happen and eventually it will indeed disappear.
Paul the Apostle spoke in the book of Second Corinthians about “the thorn in his flesh” and it has been a spirited debate as to what that “thorn” actually was. However, as I have written to you today, dear one, I have been reminded of what God said as Paul prayed about it: “…My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:9a NKJV). I hope that today you will find comfort in these words and will continue to pray for God to bring healing to you.
The following section of this book has been set aside for devotional thoughts. Many of these devotional thoughts have been seen on my devotional blog, in church newsletters, or our personal newsletter,_ [_, and on the website] . While the previous section of this book focuses more on open ended thoughts and letters, this section is more direct and focuses on a teaching I have found encouraging as I have grown in my faith.
Each thought has been placed in the pages of this section so that those who read it can have an understanding of where my passion for writing began. Over the years my writing style has changed as my relationship with God has grown deeper and these devotional thoughts are meant to reflect that. My desire for those that read this section of is to know that each and every one of us has a beginning, and that we are always growing and changing as the Lord leads. So, as you read this section, remember that God is always working in your life whether you realize it or not. There is no specific order to this section so I have dated each devotional thought shared (though they have been revised since those dates).
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope that we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
(Hebrews 10:23-24 NIV)
It is interesting that I came to this passage today, since I have often referred to this verse as one of my life verses. From the first time I read this, I have loved sharing it with others and I am happy to share it with you now.
What does it mean to hold unswervingly to something? Can it be said another way? Maybe something like this: “Let us grab on as tightly as we possibly can.” It makes a lot of sense to put it that way doesn’t it? We need to grab on to hope as tightly as we possibly can.
Hope is a very important concept to have in our lives. The Scriptures say that hope, faith, and love are the only things that will remain. Granted, love will always be the greatest of the three, but hope is right up there with it! That tells me that it is a vital part of our Christian walk.
My mother once told me that, “Without hope there is no faith and without faith it is impossible to love.” I never really understood what she meant, but in recent years I have been learning the meaning of her message. I believe she was saying that the three form a continuous circle in our lives.
It starts with a slight nudge of the heart that tells us, “There’s something more out there.” Then, that nudge begins to grow and we begin to believe that there is something more. After that, the nudge is so big that we cannot help but form an attachment to God, a belief in Him. This is where we begin to love. Finally, because of that love, we find ourselves hoping for more. This leads to a belief that we can become a part of something bigger than ourselves. Accepting this belief in our heart produces faith in the unknown. As we grow in this faith we become more like Christ who is love, thus continuing the circle.
Thus, hope is the start of it all! Once we have hope and begin to hold on to it, we learn to grow deeper in faith and in love for the God we serve. He has promised us many things, and He simply wants us to believe that He can provide what He promises. Along the way, we are challenged to encourage one another in love and in good deeds. By doing this, we begin to open the door wide for God to move in our hearts and to help us grow. He loves it when we encourage others and those we encourage like it too—whether they admit it or not!
Our lives can be full of despair and trials of many shapes and sizes, but when we hold on to the hope God has promised, we will get through them and be better off because of what we have faced. Hold on to hope.
“[[You will seek me and find me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations…”
(Jeremiah 29:13-14a NASB)]]
When we think of Jeremiah chapter 29, the verse we typically think of is verse 11: “For I know the plans I have for you…” But, I think that we have missed the point behind that verse. Sure, God knows the plans He has for us and they are good, but how do we find them? Verse 12 says we must call on Him, pray to Him, and He will listen. In verses 13 and 14, an even deeper statement is spoken. It is sort of like this: Seek Me, My dear child, and you will find Me, search for Me with all your heart and you will find Me.
This is where the message lies. Sure, we can take verse 11 and hold on to it, but the peace that 11 speaks of will never occur if we are not applying the other verses to our lives on a daily basis. How many times in life have we found ourselves searching for answers and never finding them? Typically, well at least for me, we begin to over-analyze the questions on our hearts and worry way too much. Because of how much we over-analyze the situations we are faced with, in the end we find ourselves with twenty more questions, no answers, and a brain that just will not quit thinking. So, where does that leave us? Possibly with a very bad headache that simply will not go away and a restless night without sleep!
So the question comes to mind: Where did we go wrong? It is another simple answer. Without realizing it we often begin searching for the answers in the wrong places. We take what verse 11 states, repeat it over and over and over again, and seek our answers in every place but the one place we should be looking: in the arms of God.
The Bible states we must seek Him, not something else. It states we must find Him, not something else. It states we must search for Him, not something else. We must do these things with all our heart (Three Hims, 1 heart. Interesting, isn’t it?). So the next question that I think of is: How do we get past our analytical approach to solving our life’s issues?
The answer is simple, “Take it to the Lord in prayer,” as the song, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, states. Let us take a chance and look to that one place we tend to overlook first; let us go to God, give it all to Him who is able, and then simply wait. Even if our answer does not
come as quickly as we would like, it will come. All we have to do is SEEK HIM, FIND HIM, and SEARCH for HIM with ALL OUR HEART.
“But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want and, it will be granted. When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”
(John 15:7-8 NLT)
I have to say, this is an interesting passage. Verses 7-10 are placed in the midst of Jesus’ sermon, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” It is important that we realize and understand that. When we look at these four verses we can easily misunderstand the purpose behind them. For the longest time I thought that verse 7 simply meant that God would give me everything I wanted if I just asked Him. I was wrong. There is so much more that we can grasp from this passage.
You see, all I was looking at was the second part of verse 7, “you may ask anything you want and it will be granted.” The connection was never made to the first part of that verse or its surrounding verses. The most important part of this passage does not refer to getting all that we desire; it refers to the challenge of remaining in Him.
Life is full of its ups and downs. I know I have faced many of the downs even in the past two weeks. There have been some ups, but sometimes it is going to seem like there are many more downs. This is just part of life. The thing we need to remember is that while things seem to be heading the wrong way, God knows the outcome. He promises that it is wonderful, but only if we apply the first part of verse 7 to our lives, “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you…”
Apart from Christ, our efforts are unfruitful. Therefore, without Him at the wheel, we can ask for things from Him, but that does not mean we will get them. We must let Him work in our lives first. We must let Him take up those burdens that we often carry and surrender completely to His will. Giving our lives over to His will does not mean we will always abound or that we will always get what we want here on Earth. It only means that one day God will fulfill the desires of our hearts, as it says in Psalm 37. Remember this: our purpose in life is not to get all that we ever wanted, but to embrace a life that strives to remain in Him and to let His words remain in us. This means that we must work in all aspects of life to remain in the love of God and to share that love with others. We do this by embracing Him as our true motivation. Once we are able to recognize this, all we will ever need is to grow in the grace that God gave through the gift of His son who died for us. In the end, doing this will bring God more glory than we will ever be able to comprehend.
There is a story in Acts Chapter 8 that has been on my mind lately and I thought I would share it with you. It is an interesting tale, to say the least, but it has a powerful message that I believe can be an encouragement to us. It begins with, “A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem…” (Acts 8:1b NLT). The believers were forced out of the city into the regions of Judea and Samaria. A man named Saul traveled around with one goal in mind: Destroy this new church. Interestingly enough, wherever the believers scattered, people heard the news about Jesus and the life He lived.
One man named Phillip, whom many considered to be the first evangelist, was forced into the city of Samaria. His story is the one I have been thinking about lately. He confidently shared the good news with the people in Samaria and they listened in awe of the stories he was teaching. He performed miracles, healed the sick and drove out many evil spirits. In the end, “…there was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:8 NLT).
This one verse made me think: Is our church making this kind of impact on the city we live in? The New Testament church impacted people wherever they went. No matter what they were going through, lives were continually transformed and multitudes were saved on a daily basis. Is this a trend most churches set today? I encourage you to reach out to those around you today!
As I have written the words in this little book I have received many insights about the beautiful God we serve as believers in the way, the truth and the life. It has been a wonderful adventure weaving them into the messages I have shared with you. I will forever be blessed to know that at least something in this book has spoken to you. I wanted to offer you a few more words to take with you throughout your day.
The last section of this book is meant to be a guide for you as you seek to glorify Him in everything you do. It is meant to give you little insights of your own into the many blessings God has to offer all of us. It is meant to show you that no matter what you may be dealing with in your own journey with God, you are not alone and we are ALL still learning and growing in Him. I cannot guarantee that any of my personal reflections will speak to you, but I still offer them with all my heart, so that you will know that God is still working in the lives of everyone He loves.
The reflections I have shared here have given me great joy and encouragement along my own journey as I have come to accept them. The great thing is that God can renew these thoughts in our hearts every day. No journey will be made complete without the revelation of God’s heart to us. It is my hope and prayer that you will be able to take these reflections and apply them to your life so that you, too, will receive great joy and encouragement from them. God speaks to all of us and it has always been His desire for us to reflect upon Him in our own Ahavah Journeys.
Reflecting on His Timing
Remember to choose joy in your life. God may not always answer you instantly when you express your desires to Him, but when you rest in His presence, the answers will be revealed to you. Trust in His timing and patiently wait for Him to move.
Reflecting on Prayer
Prayer ushers in God’s presence. The more you embrace the joyful reality of this in your life, the more He can prepare you for the days ahead. Continually seek His presence. He longs for you to embrace a faith that will produce an inward peace in your heart that is undeniably something special. When you do these things, your life will shine brightly for His glory and will bring you that much closer to His heart.
Reflecting on His Blessings
Depend on God and trust in His wisdom. Recognize that He is always present. His love is continuously flowing into you through the many blessings He desires to give you. He wishes to give you many of those blessings and keep you close to Him.
Reflecting upon the Journey
Your Journey has proven to be a long one. God knows it has been hard, but He wants you to know that, through it all, He has been placing His thoughts within your mind and upon your heart. Continue to trust in His strength rather than your own. He is developing a faith in you that exhibits a pure love for Him that echoes a life of continuous worship. He knows you are growing weak, but remember that He is directing your path and that He will bring you the strength that you so desperately long for. Your journey with Him will be the most wonderful adventure this life will ever offer you. The rewards are endless.
Reflecting upon our Worries
Release your worries to God, dear child. Allow His voice to speak truth into your very soul. Trust that He will move mountains to shower you with many blessings. Through your weakness, He is producing indescribable joy and unimaginable strength. Great things will soon be upon you, but you must give Him your worries so that He can take care of them. Doing this will open the door to a future that will reveal so much more than you will ever be able to comprehend.
Reflecting upon His Fulfilling Light
God wants so much to fill you with His abundant grace and blessings so that your life will be the embodiment of His glorious light. Do not be satisfied with brief moments of worship alone, for He has so much more to offer you than brief encounters with His presence. He has looked deep within your very heart and has seen the emptiness that lies there. Jesus is offering to fill that emptiness with His immeasurable love. When you are struggling, know that this love He offers you will make you complete. Remind yourself that the more you focus on embracing His presence, the more you will see that He is with you always. Rest in Him as often as you can. Never forget that His light shines brightest in the darkest of places, and that through Him, yours will do the same.
Jesus once told his disciples, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8b NKJV). When God speaks to us, we often want to share the joy of that word with others. I believe this is the heart of this book. Matthew has always enjoyed sharing with others what he has studied and learned during his time with the Lord. What better way to reach more people than to write it all down in a book!
Matthew and I hope that this book will serve as an encouragement to all those who read it and that it will help you draw closer to the Lord. In the same way, I encourage you then to take what you learn and share it with someone else in his or her ‘Ahavah’ Journey! May God bless you and speak to you as you seek Him, and may He give you the courage to bless those around you.
In Christ’s Love,
Traci E. Elliott
Matthew was born in Bartlesville, OK and has served in ministry since the age of 14. Most of his experiences in ministry have focused around Missional Outreach, Children’s Ministries and Worship.
Matthew (or Matt) holds a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in Christian Education, Worship, and Pastoral Care from Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Traci (Matt’s wife) holds a Bachelor of Science in Global Studies from the same university. They met at OWU, fell in love, and married in September of 2010. Together they have two children. Their daughter, Leyla, was born in December of 2012 and their son, Caleb, was born in October of 2014. Both children bring great joy into their lives.
Writing is both a passion and a hobby for Matt. ‘Ahavah’ Writings for the Journey is his first book. Matt is very excited to see what God will do with this book and has really enjoyed putting it together.
Much of what is in this book is from Matt’s devotional blog:
Matt’s prayer is that this book will minister to believers in love, equip them better for service in God’s Glory, and build the body of Christ in edification through the encouragement and grace they have been blessed with.
Copyright © 2015 Matthew J. Elliott
All Rights Reserved.
Scripture marked (ESV) is taken from ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Scripture marked (NASB) is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. ()
Scripture marked (NKJV) is taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
God has taken my life and made it something truly wonderful. Growing up I went through so many things I shouldn't have gone through but every step of the way God was with me. I was blessed beyond what I could ever imagine, not in the way you would guess, but in the way of experiences that I have been able to use to reach others. 'Ahavah' Writings for the Journey is the result of those experiences in my life as well as in the Family God has blessed me with. The purpose in sharing these writings with you is simply meant to be a bit of encouragement to all those that read it and to remind us all that our 'Ahavah' (Love) Journey with Christ is indeed a continuous journey. God’s promises are so wonderful and they are always anew. As believers God promises us that he will be faithful to us, all we have to do is trust in Him for guidance. It is my hope that this book will help you, the reader, do so.