Elisabeth Elliot on Surrender

“Do the ways of God seem strange to some who are honestly seeking only to be good and faithful servants?  There are strong winds, silent years of stress, deaths to be died.  The One we serve has not left us without inside information as to the why.  All who would bring their souls to God must do so with surrender and sacrifice.  This is what loving God means, a continual offering, a pure readiness to give oneself away, a happy obedience.  There is no question, ‘But what about me?’  for all the motivation is love.  All interests, all impulses, all energies are to be subjugated to that supreme passion.”

Elisabeth Elliot

For more about Elisabeth Elliot see:

Becoming Elisabeth Elliot by Ellen Vaughn–Book Review

Empowered by Catherine Parks–Book Review

Master of Your Own Destiny?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becoming Elisabeth Elliot by Ellen Vaughn–Book Review

Before reading this book, I knew very little about Elisabeth Elliot.  Of course, everyone knows the basics of her story — her husband and a number of other missionaries were speared to death by members of a tribe in Ecuador that they hoped to evangelize.  Elisabeth and her young daughter went on to meet and eventually live with this tribe for a time.

This authorized biography covers only Elisabeth’s younger years — from her childhood until she leaves her missionary work in Ecuador to return to the United States.  A second volume which will focus on her later life is forthcoming, and I will be interested in reading that one as well.

Elisabeth, or Betty, as she was called by friends and family was a devoted Christian from her youth, but she does not come across as a cookie-cutter saint.  She has her trials and struggles — including her own personality (she was a introvert and often came across as very stoic and aloof).  Her marriage was also no fairy tale romance.  She and Jim loved one another deeply, but endured an extended courtship as Jim struggled with the sense that he should remain single in order to follow God’s call as a missionary without family encumbrances.  Of course, she grieved greatly over her young husband’s death, and her time with the Waodani tribe was marred by conflict with a fellow missionary, who refused to allow her to participate in translating the tribe’s language.

This is a story of perseverance under great pressure.  Elisabeth never gave up listening to God and following Him wherever she felt led.  She remained hopeful and faithful amid difficult circumstances.  She was both self-reflective and practical — an amazing role model for all Christians.  I found myself well able to identify with her feelings and her struggles.

VERDICT:  5 STARS.  I highly recommend it.

Empowered by Catherine Parks–Book Review

This book of short biographical sketches would be ideal for teaching youngsters about some of the heroines of the faith.  The author begins by telling us:

“Not one woman in this book planned to become famous or change the world.”

Parker has chosen women of different eras, with different talents and passions, to illustrate how God can work through each of us to glorify Him and do His work in the world.  These women had one big thing in common — they truly knew God and had a desire to follow His will for their lives.  Some of them will be familiar to most Christians (Elisabeth Elliot, Fanny Crosby) while others were less well known (Pandita Ramabai, Phillis Wheatley).  They faced obstacles of different sorts, and overcame them with the help of Christ.

Each sketch emphasizes a different quality such as strength, obedience, kindness or faithfulness, demonstrating how it was lived out by a particular woman.  At the end of the sketch there an explanation of the quality, discussion questions and a Bible verse. This would be an excellent Christian book club choice for older elementary school or middle school students.

VERDICT:  5 stars.  If you work with tweens, especially girls, you’ll want a copy.

For ordering information, follow this link:

Empowered

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

 

Master of Your Own Destiny?

I criticized a book recently in one of my reviews because the author said someone was the master of their own destiny.  The Bible teaches us that God is in control, and we are not.  However, I discovered this quote today that reminds us that we are in control of one thing — our attitude and how we respond to the things that happen to us.

“It is a proverbial saying, that everyone makes his own destiny;  and this is usually interpreted, that every one, by his wise or unwise conduct, prepares good or evil for himself:  but we may also understand it, that whatever it be that he receives from the hand of Providence, he may so accommodate himself to it, that he will find his lot good for him, however much may seem to others to be wanting.”  Wm. Von Humboldt (Prussian philosopher)

Jesus tells us that we will have problems.  The world is infected by sin, and so are we. We can never be good enough or wise enough to avoid the consequences.  Nothing will keep us safe.  However, we can have contentment when we place our trust in Him.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

He has our ultimate good at heart.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28

Elisabeth Elliot, a missionary who went to live with the same Ecuadorian tribe who killed her husband had this to say about our destiny:

“I found peace in the knowledge that I was in the hands of God.  Not in the confidence that I was not going to be killed.  Not in the false sense of security that God would protect me, any more than He protected my husband, the four missionaries, or Honoria (a man who was speared) from the wooden lances.  Simply in knowing that He held my destiny in His two hands what He did was right.”

Expect trouble– and when it comes, don’t trust yourself, trust the one who made you.  He is the master of your destiny.