START HERE

Posts by Elisa Pulliam

Today’s Truth

“If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me” (Psalm 66:19-20, NLT).

Friend to Friend


I stood on the kitchen chair to reach the top of the hutch only to find more than dust. The hidden section was littered with crumpled-up gum wrappers, and I knew exactly how they got there. No doubt my daughter thought she found a way to get past the gum-chewing police. She had braces and knew she wasn’t supposed to chew gum, but thought she could be a sneaky Pete.


I wanted to march up to her bedroom and demand a confession, but instead, I opted for a more subtle approach of stashing all the wrappers in the middle of her planner. I could hardly wait for the next morning to see her reaction. Would she confess? Would she

Read More

Today’s Truth

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NLT)

Friend to Friend


I will never make it as a gardener. I simply don’t have the motivation to endure the back-breaking, never-ending work of weeding nor the mindset to trust the process. From the very beginning, I can’t help but sow too many seeds into pods too small for roots to grow deep and strong. As those seedlings burst forth, I stand in awe like a proud momma but dread the inevitable next step . . . thinning out the weak ones.


I can’t stand being the one who chooses which ones have to go.


It’s not surprising, as I’ve been a softy for the underdog forever. Whether it is a seedling, a teen girl struggling to find her way, or a character

Read More

Today’s Truth

So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. (Hebrews 12:12-13 NLT)

Friend to Friend


I cringed while listening to my professor describe the Remember When assignment, which involved interviewing a parent so that we could write a paper describing our developmental process. Certainly, this assignment wasn’t designed with a middle-aged graduate school student in mind! How could my parents remember back that many decades? Even if they could, I wasn’t keen on a trip down memory lane, especially after all the time spent processing and healing from the abuse that marred my childhood. Maybe you can relate?


I was relieved as my heart softened while listening to my mom recount all the good, like the love my grandparents poured out on me, alongside the hardships, like my numerous knee injuries in high school

Read More

Today’s Truth

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith… (Hebrews 12:1-2 CSB.)

Friend to Friend


As I gazed out the window of my living room on a quiet Saturday morning, only interrupted by the snoring of the dog and the humming of the appliances, I took in a deep breath to savor the moment as my eyes settled on a sight I’d never seen before.


At least a hundred times I’ve looked out this window, but I had never noticed the landscape quite this way. It was like the trees were climbing up the hillside to touch the sunrise. What changed, you may ask? The answer is simple. My focus.


Between my window and those climbing trees are a myriad of power lines traversing back and forth along with the blaring red of a stop

Read More

Today’s Truth

The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor . . . (Isaiah 61:1-2, CSB)

Friend to Friend


Turning to check my rearview mirror, I felt an ever-so-familiar twinge in my back and feared a spasm that would take me down for a day or two. Instead, life came to a screeching halt with doctor’s orders for complete rest. I was in too much pain to resist and I sensed a divine appointment as I remembered a verse I had recently read in Isaiah:


“Only in returning to me  and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.  But you would have none of it.” (Isaiah 30:15, CSB)


I did not want to be like the Israelites to whom Isaiah spoke and “have none of it.” While God offered His children all

Read More

Today’s Truth

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

(Romans 12:2, NLT)

Friend to Friend


There I stood in the middle of my living room, stomping my foot on the ground like a four-year-old who was told she wouldn’t get the gift she wanted on Christmas morning. But I wasn’t four. And it wasn’t Christmas morning. Nope, I was a cranky middle-aged woman decorating the Christmas tree with one snippy word after another escaping from my mouth, a clear sign that my heart was stirred up and needed attention (Luke 7:45).


My eldest daughter noticed and had the courage call me out. To my dismay, I confessed, “I hate Christmas. It brings back the hardest memories.” Her look of disbelief matched mine as she pressed further, “Mom, how is it that the last twenty

Read More

Today’s Truth

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life, (Proverbs 4:23, NLT).

Friend to Friend


A friend asked me the other day, “How’s your heart?” It really struck a chord with me because most of the time people just ask, “How are you doing?” And we tend to tell them what they want to hear. But this friend went deeper into what really matters in life—the heart.


Sometimes we can feel like life is too busy to get real. Pain is often too deep to let even a bit of it creep out. Maybe living on-the-surface with each other feels more bearable . . . even more socially acceptable. But the problem with on-the-surface living is that we’re ignoring what God wants us to give serious attention to – the state of our hearts

Read More

Today’s Truth

I do not get involved with things too great or too wondrous for me. Instead, I have calmed and quieted my soul. (Psalm 131:1-2, CSB)

Friend to Friend


This has been quite the year, hasn’t it? The world feels in chaos . . . relationally, economically, spiritually. How many times have you found yourself saying, “2020 can’t get worse, can it?” Well, the truth is that it can get worse, and we could easily find ourselves wallowing in despair if we don’t know how to process the promise of pain.


The possibility of dire circumstances doesn’t have to be a declaration of hopelessness.


We know that hard is part of life on this side of heaven. Jesus promises us such in John 16:33 (NIV), “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.” We find a similar promise in Matthew

Read More

Today’s Truth

For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. . . Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God.

(Hebrews 7:19, 22 NLT)

Friend to Friend


Do you feel like God is depending upon you to take care of all the needs in your family, work, church, community?


Maybe you feel like God is watching your every move, evaluating whether you’re measuring up to His standard. Maybe you think your performance matters much, even though you might not want to admit it. Maybe you’ve been duped into believing that blessings only come when you “get it right.”


But no matter how hard you try . . .


No matter how determined you are to live out the Word . . .


No matter how much you do for others . . .


It never quite feels like enough.


“All the hard” continues to come your way, pressing upon you

Read More

Today’s Truth

The LORD is near all who call out to him, all who call out to him with integrity. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry for help and saves them.

(Psalm 145:18-19, CSB)

Friend to Friend


Does it feel like the Lord is near to you? Do you feel like you can cry out to Him with the deepest longings, secret hopes, and unspoken sorrows buried within your heart?


Does it feel like God is watching you from afar, neglecting to hear your cry for help? Maybe you feel abandoned by God, as your circumstances rest heavily upon your shoulders.


No matter where you find yourself right now, the reality is that there are times in our lives when we question the nearness of God. We will all wonder whether His promises apply to us, particularly when we are in the middle of a trial.


I certainly have had my fair share of hard days, even

Read More

Today’s Truth

The Lord is near all who call out to him, all who call out to him with integrity. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry for help and saves them.

(Psalm 145:18-19, CSB)

Friend to Friend


Does it feel like the Lord is near to you? Do you feel like you can cry out to Him with the deepest longings, secret hopes, and unspoken sorrows buried within your heart?


Does it feel like God is watching you from afar, neglecting to hear your cry for help? Maybe you feel abandoned by God, as your circumstances rest heavily upon your shoulders.


No matter where you find yourself right now, the reality is that there are times in our lives when we question the nearness of God. We all wonder whether His promises apply to us, particularly when we are in the middle of a trial.


I certainly have had my fair share of hard days, even years,

Read More

Today’s Truth

For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

(James 2:26, CSB)

Friend to Friend


Are you in a season of your work and life being re-defined?


If you’re reading this in the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic that swept our world, my guess is that your answer is “yes.”


We’ve had our “normal” rocked. As I confessed in my last devotion, I struggle to not choose work over everything else, especially relationships. Nothing like experiencing stay-at-home orders to make that tendency all the more evident. How do I balance work with family? How do I walk in faith but steward my responsibilities well?


Maybe your work right now isn’t only your paid job but staying on top of the household needs or getting creative in supporting the ministry you volunteer for that’s struggling with

Read More

Today’s Truth

Be still and know that I am God!

(Psalm 46:10)

Friend to Friend


Just be.


How can two little words hold so much emotion and meaning? On the one hand,


just be may feel like a deep cleansing exhale. A release of pressure. A stepping away from all responsibilities. A surrender of unrealistic expectations.


One the other hand, just be could feel like handcuffs restricting you from that thing you feel compelled to do. Maybe it’s the dream you can’t wait to get started on. Maybe it is putting your hands to something, which gives you sense of security when life spins out of control, albeit that may not be the best course of action.


Yes, just be can feel different for each of us depending upon our God-given wiring and the nature

Read More

Today’s Truth

I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.

(Psalm 119:15, NLT)

Friend to Friend


How well do you know God? Do you see Him as an “out there” being who is gambling with your life? Is He a cranky old judge, ready to dole out an indictment? Or is He kind and gentle, gracious and forgiving?


Who we think God is impacts everything about the way we live our lives.


Growing up in an abusive home made it nearly impossible for me to see God as a loving father. My faith upbringing didn’t help either, as I believed I had to earn God’s love and blessing. Can you see how that might play out in my life, even today? Ahem, control issues. I always saw myself as needing to defend myself and provide for myself, because I didn’t believe

Read More

Today’s Truth

The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours—you created it all.

(Psalm 89:11, NLT)

Friend to Friend


Do you give yourself permission to be purposeless? Unproductive? Playful? Creative? Or do you feel the pressure to make sure everything you do, spend, create, and grow has some greater meaning?


This has been one of the great struggles of my adult life. I grew up in a culture that was bent towards productivity, academic accolades, and financial success. Those values deeply shaped how I saw this world and myself.


When I came to know Jesus as my Savior in college, I let go of the try-hard life but adopted a warped mindset that “dying-to-self” also meant, “dying to everything fufu.” If it doesn’t have quantifiable impact for the kingdom, it must be a waste of time, right?


I became a workaholic for Christ on a mission

Read More

Today’s Truth

“Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”

(1 John 4:11-12 NLT)

Friend to Friend


Have you ever considered how the connection you crave with God may be deeply impacted by the connections you have with others?


Maybe you’ve thought what you have with God doesn’t have to do with anyone else. It’s just you and God – but than again, maybe not.


We are created in the image of our relational God. He invites us to experience a fully connected relationship with Him when we’re adopted into His family by faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. We are given the gift of His presence through the indwelling Holy Spirit.


God designed us for continual connection with not only Himself but also His body.


John wrote, “This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he

Read More

Today’s Truth

It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God."

(2 Corinthians 3:5, NLT)

Friend to Friend


Do you struggle with not feeling qualified? You’re not alone. I think more of us feel unqualified than qualified on a daily basis. It only takes being pushed slightly out of our comfort zone at work or in ministry, at home or in a relationship to feel entirely defeated about our abilities. Maybe that’s why we like to say that “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”


It’s a lovely chant when we desperately need overcome our feelings of inadequacies. But is it truly a biblical statement?


Context is key, my friends. This Christian platitude is likely inspired by 2 Corinthians 3:5 NLT, “It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our

Read More

Today’s Truth

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

(Colossians 3:12-14, NLT)

Friend to Friend


I expected my usually happy teenage daughter to bounce into my office singing VBS songs from her morning spent serving at church. Instead, her sullen face conveyed another story. She was battling feelings of betrayal, insecurity, and jealousy after receiving a message from a friend about something that was happening in a completely different place.


Let’s just say this mama llama wanted to spew more than a few unpleasantries about social media and towards the adult involved behind the scenes. Yet I could feel God urging me to not be so easily offended. I’d been down this road enough times before to recognize what was happening.


Satan was busy writing the story in my head according to his own

Read More

Today’s Truth

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”

Colossians 3:12-14, NLT

Friend to Friend


I expected my usually happy teenage daughter to bounce into my office singing VBS songs from her morning spent serving at church. Instead, her sullen face conveyed another story. She was battling feelings of betrayal, insecurity, and jealousy after receiving a message from a friend about something that was happening in a completely different place.


Let’s just say this mama llama wanted to spew more than a few unpleasantries about social media and towards the adult involved behind the scenes. Yet I could feel God urging me to not be so easily offended. I’d been down this road enough times before to recognize what was happening.


Satan was busy writing the story in my head according to his own

Read More

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8