...everywhere a comment, comment.
Old McSharon had a blog...E, I, E, I, O.
Yup, today I'm going to do something a little different.
But first, a little introduction.
Every now and then I take some time and ponder the whole cyberworld that is Blog Land. And I continue to be amazed that I am part of it.
You see, my entry into blogging started rather inauspiciously. In April of 2010, I attended a writer's conference with a friend of mine. She encountered another woman from her church in the bathroom (which is a whole blog post in itself!), and this woman joined us for the day, and soon became a fast friend.
So, there were keynote speakers at this conference, but there were also "breakout sessions" on particular subjects. In the afternoon, there was a session on blogging. Both of my friends were very eager to attend this one. I told them that I had absolutely NO interest in blogging, so I was going to take a break.
When I rejoined my friends, they were super-hyped about the idea of blogging. I, being the social media rebel that I am, had no intention of ever joining the new blogging craze that was rapidly sweeping the nation.
Never say never unless you really enjoy a hearty meal of crow!
I'm not exactly sure how I arrived at my conclusion that I was going to give blogging a try. I think the Holy Spirit had a little something to do with it!! But, two months later, at the end of June, I became an official blogger.
I did hate the sound of the word *blog* - as it sounded so cliche to me - "Hi, I'm Sharon. I just love all things computer. Like, it's so cool to like, talk to people on a screen. So, like yeah, I have a blog. So, what's your sign?"
So, that's when I came up with my rather catchy (if I may say so myself) tagline:
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"
It's at the bottom of every post, and it also serves to remind me of why I'm out here in Blog Land at all. It's all about God. Has to be, or it's for naught.
My story, His glory.
Now, I also happen to think that being a member of the Blog Land community comes with a certain set of responsibilities.
Sure, I'm like all of you - I LOVE COMMENTS!
They make me feel good. There, I said it. Comments make me feel like my writing is valid, that my thoughts are making a connection, that I just might have something to say, that the Lord is using my gifts, that I'm not alone.
But, the responsibility is this: I also feel that I am in Blog Land for the sake of others. Therefore, I take very seriously the importance of reading and commenting on other peoples' blogs. It's important to encourage others, and I feel strongly that this is a big part of what blogging is all about.
OK, so that was a big introduction.
But, I thought it was important to let you know how I feel about comments.
So, every now and then, something I say in a comment to someone else makes me think about my own words. I love how the Holy Spirit does that with me - how sometimes words come out before I really think them, and then those very same words get me thinking!
That's why today I am doing something different. I'm going to list some comments that I've made on other blogs in the last four years. Hopefully something will strike a heartstring, and we can all ponder some more.
1. "This is not the end of the story."
Not only is that incredibly comforting, it's also amazingly hopeful. I heard this Truth in my heart, as if it was echoing down through the millennia from that dark and dismal Friday at Calvary. Not the end, not by a longshot. And because of that day, which was truly the beginning of our story, God is writing a new story that will never die.
One day we will be released into the final chapter that never ends – in which we all live happily ever after. Truly.
2. I think for me, as one who has always felt "not enough" and "unworthy", I had to finally understand this one thought. In the whole scheme of redemption, I truly was not and never could be "worthy" of my salvation. Never. However, God loved me. And HE deemed me worthwhile - worth the cost of His Son on the cross. I have found blessed release in letting go of the constant need to be worthy, and learned how to bask in the glow of being worth the Lord's eternal LOVE.
3. "I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord...who summons you by name."
I love that verse - treasures to be found in darkness, the hidden riches only found in secret places. I have taken that verse and applied it to my life when I am in a period of discouragement. I am finding out that when I have nothing left to give, when I am burned out, when I am dry and despairing - that that is when God teaches me something about Himself so personal and intimate that I scarce can take it in.
I am learning who He is in ways I could not unless I was walking in the valley.
4. I loved what you had to say about the Real Power Source - the Holy Spirit. How often I forget that I am not called to live the Christian life on my own. On my own, I'm a very faulty, fading flashlight. But, with the Spirit's power, I can shine as bright as the SON!
5. Yes, we are called to unity in the Body of Christ. I am reminded of that phrase, "They will know we are Christians by our love." As I ponder that, it occurs to me that our unity across cultures, languages, races, and any other earthly thing that might cause division, is a huge testimony of faith. What else could account for such unity other than the resounding and unifying power of a Savior?!
May I strive to be a wall-breaker - and not waste my time on adding bricks.
6. I found myself pondering that very weighty question that Jesus asked: "Do you want to get well?" At first glance, it seems like the answer would be easy. Well, of course! But, sometimes people get very comfortable in their *sickness* - sin can be quite familiar, and we can easily become complacent. Do we really want to be cured? For sometimes, the cure can only come through pain. Sometimes healing requires brokenness. Sometimes getting well means we have to face our *sickness* straight on.
When we ponder this question, we do well to count the cost of discipleship before we answer. If we say yes to Him, we will never be the same.
7. God's plans are often much bigger than my dreams.
8. After all, the appeal of Jesus is not that He makes us perfect, but that He makes us whole.
9. I truly believe that our enemy speaks lies to us – he tempts us to be complacent when action is required, but he also makes us resist (or not, and then to feel guilty about it) when we need to rest. Jesus Himself took time away on a regular basis. I believe He understood the very human need to rest, restore, and revive.
10. Tending to focus on the worries and troubles, I sometimes miss the miracles.
11. I truly believe that the most insidious lie of the enemy, the one lie that began in the Garden, the one lie that ruined us was this:
"Is God really good?"
I am reminded of this exchange in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – when Lucy asks Mr. Beaver about Aslan, the great and mighty lion of Narnia:
"Is he—quite safe?"
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good."
I am thrilled by a Savior who isn't tame, but whose goodness knows no end.
12. You know, most of the time when I hear that word [perseverance], I think of trudging along in spite of circumstances - mostly with an exhausted spirit, and a disgruntled attitude. However, I think you're right. Perseverance is a process. And rather than a destructive windstorm that serves only to erode us, it's more like a chisel in the hand of a master sculptor. God uses our perseverance to work on our character. And so, the longer we persevere, the more we'll look like Him. That IS a lifelong process, but worth it for the joy that awaits.
13. After all, much of God's will is all about making me like His Son. And that can happen anytime and anywhere because it happens in the heart. Even in a heart that is whining...
14. The enemy doesn't just drop bombs on us, he also likes the incessant attack of darts.
15. I know that I am not alone in this struggle. This desire to be known. Part of it stems from God-given desires, a true wish to be used by the Lord for His purposes. But most of it just gets filtered through self-pride and enemy lies. I know that David must have had MANY battles against his own flesh, and against the enemy of the Lord. And yet, he continued to pursue God with all of his being, and God called him a man after His own heart.
So, above all the riff-raff that is me, I want God. First. Foremost. Forever.
16. "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope..."
Sometimes, when we're downcast, hope is a conscious choice, a willful re-focusing on the Truth of God's great love and tender mercies, a determination to remember His faithfulness.
17. It isn't the *outside* things that proclaim what we believe. It is the inner transformation of the Spirit - and that is most reflected in how we love people - even our enemies. For perhaps it is then, when it is most difficult to love, that we most resemble our Savior.
18. Sometimes I wonder if the needy can see God more clearly. I pray for His help in remembering the neediness inside of me.
19. Hope is what makes our faith soar.
20. Oh, how deep is that desire to be known completely, understood implicitly, and loved unconditionally. And how the enemy perverts that God-given desire into a frantic striving to be known by other people - recognized and, perhaps, a bit famous?
I am asking God daily to help me be completely satisfied and content to be known by HIM, and to realize how much The Audience of One cheers for me.
That's all, folks.
Leave good footprints...
...for we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses.
"Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
(Exodus 4:12, NIV)
"...do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." (Matthew 10:19-20, NIV)
"...for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said."
(Luke 12:12, NLT)
"For I will give you words and wisdom..." (Luke 21:15, NIV)
"...and I will open your mouth among them. Then they will know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 29:21, NIV)
"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 1:3-6, NIV)
"So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence." (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9, NIV)
Which thought struck you today and why?
(SIDENOTE: I sincerely hope that no one thinks I'm touting myself by listing some of my comments. Truth be told, I'm dry of ideas this week!!)
(IRONIC SIDENOTE: And I do realize that I'm asking for comments about comments. But, I always appreciate your thoughtful and thought-provoking input. E, I, E, I, O!)
Linked today with:
Kelli at UNFORCED RHYTHMS
Laura at PLAYDATES WITH GOD
Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY
Jen at SOLI DEO GLORIA
Hazel at TELL ME A TRUE STORY
Kathy at TITUS 2 TUESDAYS
Jen at UNITE
Rachel at WHIMSICAL WEDNESDAYS
Tracy at WINSOME WEDNESDAY
Judith at WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY
Beth at THREE WORD WEDNESDAY
Holley at COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART
Rosilind at A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS
Jenifer at WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY
Bonnie at FAITH BARISTA JAM
Lyli at THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY
Crystal at THRIVING THURSDAY
Mel at ESSENTIAL FRIDAYS
Elizabeth at WHATEVER IS LOVELY
Wanda at THE FRIDAY FIVE
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
Barbie at WEEKEND BREW
Sandy at STILL SATURDAY
Julie at FELLOWSHIP FRIDAYS
Lisha at GIVE ME GRACE
Janis at SUNDAY STILLNESS
Shelly at RECOMMENDATION SATURDAY
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"