Archives For Elisabeth Elliot

When tragedy blindsides us, we cry out, “Why?” Our faith wavers. We beg for some explanation of the purpose behind life’s pain. Don’t let well-meaning friends or life’s busy-ness silence those doubts and questions. Take time to seek the answers from God. He’s equipped some of His most faithful servants to help us make sense of suffering and cope with tragedy. Here’s a list of their books. May they give you hope.

books tragedy websiteOn Asking God Why: And Other Reflections on Trusting God in a Twisted World by Elisabeth Elliot. Elisabeth Elliot’s first husband was martyred on the mission field during their newlywed years. She lived many years as a single mother. Her second husband died after a painful battle with cancer. Her book is a collection of meditations that confront the many issues we must deal with in our daily lives.

If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil by Randy Alcorn. Suffering and evil beg questions about God. Why would an all-good and all-powerful God create a world full of evil and suffering? How can there be a God if suffering and evil exist? Best-selling author Randy Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief, and brings a fresh, realistic, and thoroughly biblical insight to the issues these important questions raise.

When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada. After more than thirty years in a wheelchair, Joni Eareckson Tada’s intimate experience with suffering gives her a special understanding of God’s intentions for us in our pain. In When God Weeps, she and lifelong friend Steven Estes probe beyond glib answers that fail us in our time of deepest need.

The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis. Why must humanity suffer? In this elegant and thoughtful work, C. S. Lewis questions the pain and suffering that occur everyday and how this contrasts with the notion of a God that is both omnipotent and good. An answer to this critical theological problem is found within these pages.

One Minute After You Die by Erwin Lutzer. This book opens a window on eternity with a simple and moving explanation of what the Bible teaches about death. Lutzer brings a biblical and pastoral perspective to such issues as: channeling, reincarnation, the justice of eternal punishment, the death of a child, trusting in God’s providence, and preparing for your own final moment.

This week I’m linking up with Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Soli Deo Gloria, The Better Mom, Covered in Grace,Rachelwojo, Modest Mondays, Raising Arrows, A Mama’s Story, Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesdays, Just Write, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Tuesdays Unwrapped, Tuesday Tips, What I Learned This Week, Heart and Home, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Word-filled Wednesday, Thankful Homemaker, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Little Things Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Hearts for Home, Legacy Leaver, Favorite Things, Faith-filled Friday, Womanhood with Purpose, Weekend WhateverYour Sunday Best, The Sunday Community, Heart Reflected, and Fresh-brewed Sundays.


heart puzzle post“Keep your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the issues of life.” ~Proverbs 4:23~

Step one on the path to heart-healthy living is realizing we need to trust God with our hearts. Once we’re convinced that trusting Him is our only hope, we must invite God to work within us and pledge to follow His regimen—even when the first thing He prescribes is heartbreak.

Often the things we have mistakenly set our love upon become entrenched in the very fabric of who we are. Separating us from those loves requires radical surgery. But God, our great physician, can be trusted to wield the knife.

As Hebrews 4:12 reminds us, His Word is “sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Elisabeth Elliot explains the need for heartbreak this way, “Because our physical and emotional hungers are so strong, we easily imagine them to be our deepest hungers—until they are met, at which point we know that there is a bottomless one!

He harrows our souls, making us long for something we cannot have in order to reveal to us what He wants us to have, which in the long run is far better.” (Click here to tweet these wise words to your tweeps!)

One who harrows ground employs whatever tools are necessary to make that hard soil soft enough to support growth. Some ground, marred only by small stones and a few rough spots, can be prepared easily. But in less giving ground, the tools need to be sharper, more powerful, able to pulverize any rocks, stumps, and old roots that stand in the way.

Just so our wise Heavenly Father must harrow or break our hearts—before our wrong desires break us. But we can trust Him in this: He wounds us only enough to heal us.  (Click here to tweet this quote.)

heart to resize 2

How is it with your heart today, my friend? Have you wisdom to share from a past heartbreak? Or do you need prayer because you’re in the midst of one? Do you have a “heart-healthy” Bible verse to share with us? Please do!

Breaking News: Winner of the $10 Amazon Email Gift Card from Come to the Table, our once-a-month blog link up, is LeAnn. Congrats, LeAnn! Email me!

This week I’m linking up with Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Soli Deo Gloria, The Better Mom, Covered in Grace,Rachelwojo, Modest Mondays, Raising Arrows, A Mama’s Story, Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesdays, Just Write, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Tuesdays Unwrapped, Tuesday Tips, What I Learned This Week, Heart and Home, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Word-filled Wednesday, Thankful Homemaker, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, This and That Thursday, Little Things Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Hearts for Home, Legacy Leaver, Simply Link, Favorite Things, Faith-filled Friday, Womanhood with Purpose, Weekend WhateverYour Sunday Best, The Sunday Community, Heart Reflected, and Fresh-brewed Sundays.

As for God, His way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
He shields all who take refuge in Him.
~Psalm 18:30, NIV~

~And from The Message~
What a God!
His road stretches
Straight and smooth.
Every God-direction is road-tested.
Everyone who runs toward him
Makes it.

(Click here to Tweet this Jim Elliot quote to your friends.)

Photo Backstory: Missionary Jim Elliot’s short life of service and sacrifice lend credibility to his calm assurance that we follow a God who He always has our best in mind. Jim’s quote seemed fitting to grace these lovely trees from my niece’s yard. That red color had me pulling out my iPhone camera to snap a pic. Of course, this was several weeks ago and pre-Hurricane Sandy!

I wrote about Jim and Elisabeth Elliot here: The Most Remarkable Woman I’ve Never Met.

And here: The Most Remarkable Woman I’ve Never Met, Part II.

This week I’m linking up with Word-filled Wednesday, Thankful Homemaker, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, This and That Thursday, Little Things Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Hearts for Home, Legacy Leaver, Beautiful Thursday, Simply Link, Favorite Things, Faith-filled Friday, Weekend WhateverScripture and a Snapshot, Your Sunday Best, Still Saturday, The Sunday Community, Heart Reflected, and Fresh-brewed Sundays.

****And now for some breaking news about COME TO THE TABLE, the blog link up for my wonderful bloggy friends!

When I started a blog link up, I was hoping to create a place where blogs would receive more visibility. So I encouraged folks to visit their link up neighbors and make new friends.

But visiting neighbor blogs takes time, and some folks had trouble visiting around. So I will try the hop one more time—as an END of the MONTH blog hop. I will post the hop during the last week of November. Bloggers can link any favorite post (or posts) from the month.

What do you all think? Any input? If there is not enough interest, I will move on to one of my other blogging ideas!

Oh—and the winner of the Amazon Gift Card from the last hop is Brittany! Congrats!

Thanks for stopping in today! Blessings, Friends!

***Right now my blog theme can’t handle those cute social sharing buttons that make life so easy. But here’s a quick link to Facebook if you want to spread this quote around. And I know you have a Pin It button by now!

The inner fire

Renee Ann Smith —  October 19, 2011 — 20 Comments

“In everyone’s life, at some time, the inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner fire.” ~Albert Schweitzer~

C. S. Lewis

Corrie ten Boom with Billy Graham

Darlene Deibler Rose

Jim Elliot

J. R. R. Tolkien

Elisabeth Elliot

Amy Carmichael

Who would you add to this list?

I’ve been re-reading Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot along with my junior high English class, and TGOS is also the May selection for Julia’s Heroes of the Faith Book Club at Dark Glass Ponderings.

This book tells the story of five young missionaries who accomplished what every Christian aspires to—they lived and died for Christ. However, their brief time on earth and the way God took them home have left an indelible impact on generations of Christians.

In 1956 Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, and Roger Youderian lost their lives in an attempt to bring the Gospel to the Woadani or Auca tribe of Ecuador. There is so much that could be said about these brave men and their wives. I’ve already posted about them several times at the links listed below. So today I’d like to focus on one lesson the book brought home to me.

Words Jim Elliot wrote while in college








The story of these five men reminds me how perfectly God matches a life path to each personality He creates. When I was young, it seemed like Christians who dedicated their lives to Christ were immediately forced to go to some faraway outpost or jungle setting where they had to give up civilized life in order to be holy. I feared that a life of service might mean the same for me and balked at the idea. Nate, Jim, Ed, Pete, Roger, and their wives are a good reminder of what I eventually learned about God’s leading in our lives. God’s purpose is uniquely suited to each of us. He wants us to be happy and fulfilled doing what He created us to do. Since God is the one who made us, who knows better what will please us?

He tells us this again and again. We just need to trust His Word . . .

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11~

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will [shape] the desires of your heart.” ~Psalm 37:4~

“For you created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” ~Psalm 139:13&16~

The missionaries in this book chose the jungle and enjoyed everyday life among the simple people there. They were pioneers at heart and loved rough, outdoor adventures. Even the actual film footage of their last days—when the five men were camping out on the beach—features them joking, laughing, singing.

And the photos and film of the men’s first meeting with the Auca people show how exuberant they were to have finally made contact.

Reenactment from End of the Spear

The guys did not consider their lives to be filled with sacrifice. In the jungles of Ecuador, they felt they were fulfilling their purpose. 

Quote from Journals of Jim Elliot








Through Gates of Splendor not only relates the details of the men’s jungle adventures, it also shares excerpts from the letters and diaries that reveal their hearts. As I read their hopes, dreams, doubts, and fears in their own words, I realized they were exactly where they wanted to be doing exactly what they’d dreamed of doing.

Each of the guys had been raised in homes that taught their children how to have personal relationships with Jesus Christ. Their parents read and discussed Scripture with them, brought them to church, showed by example how to live for Christ each day, and encouraged their children to discover God’s purpose for themselves. Most of the men and women involved in this story had felt God calling them to be missionaries since they were very young. So the Lord had been getting them ready to go to the Aucas for their entire lives.

What’s your purpose? How has God worked in your life to bring you this far? Have you ever felt God making an adjustment in your life when you’ve gotten off track? Feel free to share!

For more readings about the folks from this story, follow the links below:

Have you ever felt like you weren’t doing it right? Life, I mean. And maybe you’d like to shadow someone older and wiser to see what they’ve discovered that you’re missing? If so, have I got a group for you! It’s the Heroes of the Faith Book Club.

This group was started by faithful homeschooling book reviewer/writer Julia, who blogs at Dark Glass Ponderings. (Here’s the link to her original post about Heroes of the Faith.)

Now, I know some of you might be thinking, “She just finished featuring one book club I didn’t have time for, and here she is introducing another.”

But this one’s different! Let me give you a quick rundown . . .

  • You’ll have an extended period of time to read each book. (60 days for this first one.)
  • Each book will feature a true-life inspirational story.
  • You’ll have the chance to discuss the book with others who have read it. (We’ll begin our first book discussion on April 30th.)
  • Sometimes there will be prizes 🙂 (I’m giving away prizes that go with this first book.)
  • You’re more than likely to be greatly changed by the time you finish the book.

Julia’s book choice for our first discussion is Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot. Here’s how the Book Angles review site describes the book:

Through Gates of Splendor can safely be called a Christian classic. It is a powerful, close-up look at the lives of ordinary people who loved God first and foremost, desired His will, and trusted Him. There is much to inspire the reader to abandon fear and live every moment fully for God’s purposes. The accounts, often in the missionaries’ own words, may well inspire young readers to reach the unreached and/or to obey God with the same discipline and wholeheartedness as the book’s main characters.”

Chuck Swindoll also endorsed the book, “I would say, without hesitation, God used this book to change my life.”

Through Gates of Splendor has been in print long enough that there are many places for you to obtain a copy. First, you may want to check with your public library.

Another great place to grab the book is on I found many copies of the book there for 75 cents. Once you add shipping and handling, that will bring your price up to almost $4.00, but that’s still a great price for a Christian classic. Follow this link to view copies of the 2005 edition at This is the link to copies of the 1995 edition. Both editions are bargain priced.

The book is also available both new and used at and for $5.99 at

Here’s how to participate: 1. Buy or borrow a copy of the book. 2. Read it over the next two months. 3. Come back to Doorkeeper and Dark Glass Ponderings for a book discussion on April 30th. Simple, right?

According to the Bible, Paul encouraged the Christians he’d been mentoring to take a good long look at his life and then pattern it. Philippians 4:19 records his words, Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you.” That’s the verse I’m claiming for this special book club. I want to take a good long look at the lives of some Heroes of the Faith, and then find a way to duplicate their devotion, passion, and impact in my own life!

I hope some of you will consider joining us in the Heroes of the Faith Book Club. And if you do, also consider leaving a comment on Julia’s blog post as well–just to encourage her. Again, the link to her post is here.

To whet your appetite, here’s a short clip from the documentary version of Through Gates of Splendor. In this section of the video, the wives of the missionaries and the remaining Aucas (also called the Waodanis) share their first impressions of each other. Also, the ladies talk about the preparation for Operation Auca:

Don’t you love those old photos and videos? It’s a great story!

Follow this link to read my post about Elisabeth and Jim Elliot.