Everything here is exactly what has been in my brain the last three days. I agree 100% with every single word. It is hope for a dying world—read it and be encouraged!

Power Of A Moment

A text from a  dear friend crashed into my day of Christmas shopping on Friday afternoon.

Her words on my phone relayed the horrifying news of what had happened at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, CT.

The mind reels. How could anyone do  this????

The heart breaks for the shattering loss. Five year olds??? A mother killed by her demented son’s own hand???

The deepest part of the soul cries out for comfort. For justice. For answers that may never come this side of eternity. Why???

I turn on the satellite radio as I drive home, my heart growing heavier as more unfathomable, grisly details emerge.

At one point, I hear a television anchor from one of the 24 hour cable news channels interviewing a pastor whose name I don’t catch. The pastor begins to talk about the pivotal moment of the Fall, when the heart of man became…

View original post 1,159 more words

Advertisements

Because some things need to be read by everyone. I rarely re-blog. Rarely. It’s usually sufficient to just post it to Facebook and email it to the people I think it will most likely impact. But today, I read a post that hit me SO PROFOUNDLY so comfortingly, so Hello-Did-You-Forget-You-Are-Imperfect-AND-Loved, I just had to share it in every way possible. God is a God of profound mercy and grace. He doesn’t ask for perfection—He asks that we be wholly delighted IN HIM, deeply in love WITH HIM. The holiness He commands from us will be birthed in that, and then brought to completion by HIS hand. The Bible says so!!!

If you, like me, needed a fresh reminder that God doesn’t just love you—He LIKES you—read this post. If you don’t need the reminder, read it anyway. It’s joy in a cup, the kind of thing you drink even if you’re not thirsty.

Better Blogging: Things I’ve Learned

1. Preach at yourself. Change those inspirational exhortations from “you” to “I”. Example: “God is present in the little things; you just have to open your eyes” — that sentence is more relatable and impactful when written this way, instead: “God is present in the little things; I just have to open my eyes.”

This is a phenomenal little tip; I don’t understand how it works, but it *does*! Shannon Popkin over at Tiny Paragraphs taught me this, when I submitted to her Yellow Ball feature. It totally goes against the way I write naturally but she is so right—it really does have a more powerful and personal effect when you write in the first person.

2. Keep it short. I actually learned this back when I tried vlogging—videos under two minutes got a lot more views than the longer ones, and as a viewer of vlogs myself, I rarely watched more than the first two minutes. It had to be reeeally engaging to keep me past that point.

Blog posts are the same: if they’re not engaging enough and/or if my readers are short on time, the majority of my writing gets lost. When I write, I assume all readers will be short on time, so I try to write for two minutes of reading or less. Of course, sometimes the subject doesn’t allow for that, but usually, it’s *also* engaging enough to compensate.

3. Don’t try to write if there’s a poopy diaper within smelling distance. That is to say, don’t try to write during distractions! If I can smell a dirty diaper while I’m writing—and worse, if the smell wafts in and out, my thoughts will likely be fragmented, hurried, and inarticulate. I do better if I confront various distractions first and then sit down to write. (Although, as a stay-at-home mom, there are rarely NO distractions; but I can usually minimize them. i.e. “Honey, can you change Bubby’s diaper?” ;))

Have you discovered techniques that make for better blogging? Please share them here or, better yet, write your own post and link me to it—we can hold a potluck of sorts, tips galore! :)

_____
These tips are from Kina at Human In Recovery. I thought they were quite excellent.

1) Add visual interest: Using photographs you’ve taken yourself or make sure you are using “borrowed” pics according to legal fair use and copyright laws, If you have several pics, utilize the embedded slide show feature, or link to a YouTube relevant video, preferably a song that connects to the content in some way. Use spacing and formatting to break up text and give the readers’ eyes a break.

2) If you can’t keep it short (800-1,000 words max) try to break it up into a series of posts. Then you can add visual interest and keep the reader engaged and wanting to come back.

3) Get interactive and involved with your readers. When you notice a comment, like, or follow try to respond in a timely manner. Go visit their site and leave a comment or like of your own (as long as it’s sincere and authentic). If you read something on someone else’s blog that gives you insight, makes you think, or inspires you to write a post of your own, include that information with a link back to their content, don’t just re-blog. Ask questions on your posts that invite your readers to comment. If you receive an award or invitation to participate in a game of blog tag and you aren’t able to play or you feel it isn’t in alignment with what your blog is about, give the one who tagged you the courtesy of a reply. By tagging and linking to you, they just sent their readers to your site.

This post was exactly what I needed today and I’m sharing it in case it’s exactly what someone else needs today. :)

Chief of the least

Your Father knows what you need before you ask him…(Matthew 6:8)

I struggle with prayer.

Conceptually and practically.

Most of those struggles are probably because I put unwarranted credence on my feelings at any given prayer moment. If I don’t feel a tangible groaning, or a burning in my chest, or goosebumps on my neck, then my prayers must have been rendered ineffective. Right? If I voice my prayer simply and without a series of major spiritual manifestations then certainly my appeals never made it past the bedroom ceiling. Right?

Wrong.

I am submitting to the awful doctrine that unless my prayer experience “feels” right to me, then God is impotent to answer them. In a twisted way, that is putting emotional subjectivism on the throne and kicking a Sovereign King off of it.

On top of this, Matthew 6:8 raises a different objection in the conscientious Christian:

God already knows what we will ask, so why…

View original post 602 more words

Becoming Cliche

I love my kids. They’re funny, entertaining, and oh, so sweet. But I am learning that I need at least a few quiet minutes to myself each day in order to be at my best. Whether it’s reading my latest win from Goodreads, writing a bit myself, or just pondering the day ahead, I am a more sane better person if I can get it done without having to remove a lego from a nostril or referee World War Sibling. So I make a point to carve out some quiet time.

.

My first thought was that I would stay up after they go to bed. And that worked until the oldest hit her teen years. I am not exactly a night owl, and most nights I give up and go to bed before she does. Say around 9:30.Did I mention that I am not a night owl? And…

View original post 454 more words