Fall Book Club: Check-In #2

Hello Greystone readers! We hope you are still loving Ellie Holcomb’s book Fighting Words (we sure are!). So many of you have reached out to let us know you are reading the book and telling us how much you are loving her devotions. It often feels like the exact devotion you need to read just happens to be the one you read that day, doesn’t it? I love that! Today, we are going to look at some of our favorite devotions from the second month of reading Fighting Words together to see how Ellie’s devotions so closely relate to camp life. Let’s go!

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Using Your Words for Good

The devotion on Day 33 details one of my favorite stories that Ellie tells, and if you have heard her play at Greystone, my guess is that you have also heard this great story. Ellie reminds us that our words matter, and she uses a story from when her mom was in middle school to drive the point home.

Our words are powerful, and Ellie encourages us to remember that our words come from our heart. Ellie tells us that our words “have the power to bring about life and light, and they have the power to bring about the opposite of that.” Isn’t that so true? She also reminds us that what we meditate on, or are thinking about, really shapes who we are, and in turn what words we then speak. Are the mediations of our hearts pleasing to God? Are we bringing life and light?

At camp, we get to hear so many great devotions during Morning Assembly, and one that I remember from when I was a camper was about the “end product” – what comes out in the end. The person giving the devotion used this example: if you put ketchup into an empty bottle, and then turn it over and squeeze it out, you’re going to get ketchup. It is not going to miraculously have changed into maple syrup or whipped cream. You get out what you put in.

I can remember this example from my camper days because it was so obvious, but also so true, and it reminds me of what Ellie is talking about in this devotion. Ellie asks at the end of the devotion, “What does your heart tend to meditate on throughout the day?” A great question that relates to our “end product” – when we are feeding ourselves with God’s truth, then what comes out will be a byproduct of that. It can make our words even more powerful!

Becoming a New Creation

As we have just started a new year, and so many of us have probably mapped out some New Year’s resolutions, the devotion for Day 41 felt extremely relevant. Ellie reminds us that we are a new creation; the old is gone and the new has come. God sees us as his child because we belong to him; we can celebrate this new life we have!

At camp, we talk about new beginnings a lot, and it reminds me of JimDaddy’s goal setting series at Breakfast Club. He would ask that we all bring a piece of paper and pen to breakfast, and then give us the steps to successfully set goals. It always started with writing your goal down. Then, you’d assemble a team, set a time frame…and then the plan would continue. These tangible steps helped many a Greystone girl set and achieve goals during camp and then at home. Setting goals is a great way to go from old to new in a very tangible way during the year.

So whether you have grand plans to set and achieve some New Year’s resolutions this year, or if you’re simply looking for a new start, as Ellie reminds us, God can take us from being an old creation and changing us into a new creation just because of His great love for us!

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Cultivating Thankfulness

One of my favorite parts of Fighting Words is how Ellie isn’t afraid to talk about how life can be very hard; it makes her devotions so relatable! On Day 44, Ellie encourages us to live a life of thankfulness and gratitude, but reminds us that, “gratitude doesn’t negate hardship or pain…In fact, this verse says to give thanks for everything.”

The verse she is talking about is Ephesians 5:19-20: “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ellie reminds us that God is asking us to give thanks for everything, not just the good stuff. “Thankfulness doesn’t always change our circumstances but…it invites in a bigger perspective and connects us to who our Lord really is.”

We talk about thankfulness at camp all the time, and Jimboy is the true champion of this thankfulness way of life. How many of you remember the final devotion he gives on our last full day of camp? The devotion about the lepers, and only one returning to thank Jesus when he was healed? Jimboy reminds us to be people that exude thankfulness even in difficult situations; it makes a difference to show appreciation, even when things may not go exactly like we hoped.

Ellie asks at the end of the devotion if we ever give God thanks for difficult circumstances; as we go into the new year, what a great thing to try out. How different our lives could be if we spoke words of thanks even when things are hard!

That wraps up our second month of our book club; it is hard to believe we are almost halfway done with Fighting Words! We would love to know what stood out to you or what you’ve been thinking about as you’ve been reading. Let us know in the comments below! We will be back soon with another recap of these great devotions. Happy reading!

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