Monthly Letters

Monthly Letters

A Spinning Fox – A Letter From Jim

Dear CCW family, Please read the poem. It isn’t what you have ever been called perhaps — “a spinning fox.” But it may describe you at times. Demons are real and they are spirits that have the nature of their father, Satan. Like that father, they are riled by righteousness. They cannot help this; and, they will never reform. Like their father they wish to destroy you in every way they can. Jesus called Satan “a liar and a murderer”…

How and When Will All Israel Be Saved? – A Letter From Jim

Dear CCW Family, Israel has been on the minds of most of us these days. It seems appropriate to revisit an article I wrote 10 years ago addressing the phrase, “And so, all Israel will be saved” (Rom 11:26). Here is the way I see this: How and When Will All Israel Be Saved? This phrase has often stymied students of the New Testament, and has been a verse with many interpretations. I offer mine. To adamantly conclude that I…

The Anger of Another

Dear CCW family, Hear the story of a person troubled by the anger of a friend: Sitting outside on the front stoop, the warmth of the sun cloaked my chilled frame. The house conditioned my bones all morning like a drafty stone Reformation chapel. In all my concentration, I hadn’t reckoned with the cold until that moment. I was now fixed to the warm concrete step with a sweet heaviness that tiredness, an uninvited argument, and a surprising and sudden…

The Way We Look – A Letter From Jim

Dear CCW family, It is an exercise in self-abnegation for me to show my driver’s license or passport, and I have to do it quite often. I am still hoping for somebody to say, “Wait, this doesn’t look like you!”  When comedic author Erma Bombeck handed her passport over for renewal, the man glanced at the photo and said: “Any person who looks like this is too sick to travel.” Paul had this to say about the way we look:…

Vain Salvation – A Letter From Jim

Dear CCW family, A well-loved Christian conference speaker once posed this question to me after his message: “Is there any sin in trusting God?” Strange question, isn’t it? The answer has to be, “No.” I know that. You know that. The man who posed the question knew it also. He only wanted to emphasize that the best action all the time, regardless of the circumstance we might be in, is to trust God. But . . . is that what…

How We Use Our Statement of Faith

Churches have historically used confessions or statements of faith in order to summarize and clearly identify what they believe. Many historical confessions have been preserved, and are used by churches to this day. Instead of adopting an historical confession, we have chosen to use the following summary of biblical doctrine, entitled Holding Fast the Word of Life, as our statement of beliefs. Listed below are several important things you should understand about the purpose of our statement of faith, and…

Always Present: A Letter From Jim

Always LordAlmighty Jim Elliff O God, my ever present helpIn floods of pain and trouble,You are my refuge and my strength,Though earth’s foundations crumble.Always present, Always helping,Always Lord Almighty! O God, in You I cannot fear,Though mountains fall around me,Though waters of adversityThat roar and foam surround me.Always present, Always helping,Always Lord Almighty! O God, while kingdoms rage,My secret doubts may overtake me.But You are here; I will not fall;At break of day You’ll save me.Always present, Always helping,Always Lord…

A Severe Darkness: A Letter From Jim

Dear CCW family, All people without Christ walk in darkness, but few perceive it. Some do however. To them, the story below will seem abstract yet real. Here is that person’s testimony: I went to the subway as I had been told. I rode to the far east of the city, to the last stop. I got out. The train left, and I felt along the moist wall until I found the opening I had been told about. I stepped…

Fifty-five Years: Your Letter From Jim

Dear CCW family, It was 55 years ago that I first read the book, George Muller of Bristol, by A. T. Pierson. I remember where I sat to read it. It was my sophomore year at Ouachita Baptist University. I had borrowed the book from my father’s library and was sitting in the sun outside of my apartment. As I read the words and imagined the actions of Muller, I was moved deeply. Muller had fed and clothed over 10,000…

Lofty Grosart : Your Letter From Jim

Dear CCW family, Like many of you, we are aware of the battle for the mind. We are especially concerned that those who profess to know Christ do indeed know him. As we write and speak, we are always aware of deception. “These things I have written to you about those who are trying to deceive you,” John said in the epistle of 1 John. Paul told Timothy about those who were deceiving and being deceived (2 Tim 3:13). This…

I Cannot Believe I Did That! : Your Letter From Jim

Some of you will know that Pam and I have often been inspired by reading Francis and Edith Schaeffer’s works. I’ve been thinking of them again today. I believe we have read most if not all of their published works and also watched “How Shall We Then Live” numerous times over the years, plus heard various interviews and teachings online. We have been guided in some key ways by “the Schaeffer apologetic,” like so many others, mainly because his approach…

Cain Did Worse: Your Letter from Jim

Dear CCW family, Several years ago, I watched two angry yard workers in my front lawn screaming at each other. One man got into such a rage that he threw his machete directly at his adversary. He missed, but it came way too close. Then, just as the assailant jumped in his truck to escape, the second man slammed a baseball bat against his truck’s windshield, shattering it. The driver burned rubber as he took off. The man with the…