Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Your Burdens in a Backpack

So, I am still waiting on my BFF Lysa to let me know where I need to be to 'open' for her (see previous post). My friend Kellie from this post, got the call from Korea to go and pick up her sweet baby girl, who is also named after me. Well, maybe not deliberately named after me, but we will have the same name, so there's no harm in me calling her my namesake, right? Right.....moving right along. Tonight was the last night of our "Breaking Free" class and in typical Baptist style, we brought food. I mean what kind of gathering would it be without some dips, desserts and other delicious and fattening fare? Call me crazy, (I am sure you have before) but I always feel like it's best to end on a sweet note, so all my Bible studies end with a buffet. After all, what could be better than listening to Beth Moore over some brownies and chicken salad?

In my last post, I mentioned that I would be posting on the subject of people who wear their burdens like clothing. I know that sounds like a strange subject, but let's see if you recognize the woman I am talking about..........I would like you to meet my friend, Rainey..........

Let me set the scene: The alarm sounds. It is 6:30 am on a Monday morning. The sun is shining outside, but inside Rainey's house there is a thick black cloud that hangs over her head.

Rainey sits up in her bed: "Ugh. Another nasty Monday morning. My life would almost be bearable if I didn't have to get up and go to my dead-end job everyday. Lord, why must everything be so difficult for me. Everyone else has it so easy - nobody knows the troubles I've seen. My own kids can't stand me. My husband left me. I have no real friends. Every bone in my body aches, in fact, people keep telling me they are tired of hearing me complain about my health. I am only 35, but I feel like I am 75. If they only knew how tired I am, they would sympathize. I work like a dog, but I don't even make enough to buy anything extra. I am sick of seeing everyone else get new cars and houses while I sit here in this 2 bedroom apartment. I guess I better get out of this bed and get this dreadful day started".

As she slides her feet off her bed, she reaches over and picks up her Burden Backpack. She carries it everywhere she goes. It weighs a ton, but she just cant make herself leave home without it. As she sits there, she opens her backpack and fills it with all her burdens: guilt, shame, hatred, jealousy, anger, and all sorts of other things she would be terrified to leave at home. She slips first one arm in and then the other. Time to stand up and get moving. The problem is that the backpack is so full and so heavy, it makes her stoop over and she can hardly walk.

Do you recognize Rainey? Do you know someone just like her? I do. I know plenty of them. You know the ones I am talking about. The people who claim to be Christians, but carry around a load of burdens, shame and condemnation that even the strongest man couldn't bear. These are the people who when asked "how are you doing?" - they tell you exactly how they are doing and I mean EVERYTHING!

Don't we all have "Rainey" days? There is a little "Rainey" in all of us at times. We are saved, but we act like we are dead women walking. We want sympathy. We want someone to say "It's going to be okay" or "You are doing a good job". We want a pat on the back. We want it to be all about "ME".

But, it's not about me and it's not about you either. It's about bringing glory to God and we cannot bring glory to God when we are trudging around beneath the load of the backpacks we have filled with all our problems. We can't bring glory to God with the "If only..." attitude (if only my husband understood me, if only my kids behaved better...). We aren't glorifying God when we are complaining about the place He has chosen for us. We can't glorify when we are wallowing in self pity. We can't glorify God when we are glorifying and magnifying our problems.

Part of bringing glory to God is letting people see Him in you so that they want what you have. If you are stooped over under a load of guilt or self-pity, NO ONE is going to want what you have (they are going to want to stay far away from what you have for fear that what you have is catching). It is never God's intention for any of His children to live in 'perpetual pity-party mode' - He sent Jesus to die so we wouldn't have to. We are victorious over death -satan is a defeated foe. If you are saved, then you have hope and a future - it might be time to start acting like it. The Bible says His banner over us is love.......what does the banner over you say?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What Time Is It?????

Summertime. (That is a High School Musical reference for those of you who missed the movie and the ice show ;-)

They say that Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer (or is the official start?) and that this year more people stayed close to home because of outrageous gas prices. We stayed so close to our home we were actually in it. That's right folks, we stayed home, but not because of high gas prices (which I will address in a minute), but because we are building this house (those prices are high too) and hubs says we have to stay here until it is done because he has to make sure that everything is being done correctly. The problem is that our normal vacation weeks are the last week of May and the first week of June, so my body thinks its time for vacation while my mind is saying "it stinks to be you". We actually do not go on vacation this year until July 26th. Have I mentioned that I am not good at waiting? Have I also mentioned that I need a vacation? Oh well, at least I have something to look forward to this summer, right?

Since yesterday was Memorial Day, I suppose I should have spent it filling up the pool. Problem is: we don't have one, which is actually a good thing, because if I had a pool I would never get anything done and my skin would look like shoe leather by now. Thank you Lord, for not letting us have a pool.

I downloaded all my old files to my new computer, but I cant find them. I know they are here somewhere........I think I mentioned that we now have Windows Vista on our computer. I am sure it is a fine program, but I just do not see how it is more user friendly. User friendly to me means someone coming out to my house and showing me where in the world all my files are.

I am sure that some of you have noticed that in my comments on your blogs there are a lot of misspellings. The worst part is that it works like my Insert button is on, but it isn't. What? Remember WordPerfect? It feels like I am using it again. The lesson I am learning is that all keyboards are not created equal AND the newest thing is not always the best thing. As soon as I find my pictures, I will put some new ones on the blog. If you all knew how many misspelling there are in this post right now you would laugh your heads off, I mean the whole page is yellow. And when I type the word "dont" with no apostrophe one of the choices to change to is "donut" - that, my friends, is how the devil puts ideas in your mind - he is out to make sure I dont lose weight and he is using my computer against me. Have I mentioned that I hate the devil? (I do however, like donuts).

We have been getting estimates on closet systems (that is a fancy way to say 'them thangs that go in your closet to keep all your stuff in order"). One of the 'bidders' sent a lady to measure and see what we want/need as far as our closets go. As I stood there in the master closet with this lady and my husband, she had the audacity to ask me how many pairs of shoes I have. What? Has she no shame? No sense of discretion? Does she not know that a woman never reveals to her husband the actual number of shoes she owns? Who does she think she is anyway? Why not just ask how much I weigh? After giving her the 'evil eye', I politely said, "I will have to count them and contact you at a later time". What I really wanted to say is "Don't even worry about it, lady, you guys couldn't even make enough of those little cubbie holes to hold all my brown flip flops". The nerve! Another company from Asheville is coming today to give us an estimate. They are sending a man, so I am not going near that place for fear of the things he might ask.

Every year for the past 5 years, I have been the preschool craft lady for Bible School (we call it Super Summer Celebration - guess we think it will throw people off and they will think it is something different than your average old VBS and if I do say so myself, we do a great job with SSC). Anyway, this year we are going against the crowd and doing "Cactus Canyon" (Lifeway). If you all know of any Western, desert, old west, cactus canyon kind of crafts, please let me know ASAP! Normally I would have had the supplies purchased 2 months ago and they would be sitting in my upstairs hallway, but this year I am behind......WAYYYY behind. Way, way, way, behind. Remember these are 2-5 yr olds so the crafts need to be fairly simple and not pricey (there are 100 preschoolers). No idea is crazy - all are welcome and much appreciated.

Now as I stated earlier, I would like to address the fact that gas is $4 per gallon, but since I am a Christian and what I really want to say is not very Christ-like, I will just say this:
Four dollars for a gallon of gas is BEYOND ridiculous. I do not know why we continue to allow the government (that's right, I went there) to gouge our pocket books like they are. Even though the price of a barrel of oil is exorbitant, the government still insists on getting their 'unfair' share in taxes ((this was brought to my attention by my sister Lisa, not to be confused with my BFF Lysa Terkeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries, okay we aren't really BFF's, but she has commented on my blog a few times and I think we could totally be BFF's if we knew each other in person - I would love to speak at one of her conferences (maybe I could open for her?)- we would make a great team - Lysa, call me!)). (Yes, I know I use parenthesis way too much).

Moving right along........The least they could do is let up on the amount we pay in taxes. Our problem is that we have let the "tree hugging, global warming believing, save the spotted owl people" run our country through special interest groups and now we are stuck with tons and tons of oil off the coast of Alaska with no hope of ever being able to extract it. Our country is so misguided that we worry more about saving the whales and tree frogs than we do about saving human babies, we worry about animals more than the needs of the people. If you will notice, the passing of a bill allowing gay marriage is getting much more attention than the fact that poor families cannot afford food because of the price of gas.

Can you tell that it makes me mad to pay $4 per gallon for gas? Not to mention that hubs has a diesel truck. I think we paid $4.55 for diesel last time we filled up. People keep saying "If for just one day everyone would not buy gas, then they would have to lower prices". Hey, I have an idea.......instead of just talking about it LET'S TRY IT! Desperate times call for desperate measures, people!

Okay, it is now time for me to get my blood pressure back in check and get ready to start the day. Pray for me this afternoon as I head to the new house to do what my mother calls "man's work". I am really stronger than I look, really, I am . And don't worry about me, I know this post is somewhat of a tirade in nature, but I mean everything I said in the nicest and Godliest way.............stay tuned, my next post will be about people who wear their burdens like, really stay tuned.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Catching Up

It seems like so long since I have blogged, it is taking some getting used to (or maybe it's this new computer and keyboard). Everything looks and feels different now. In general, I hate change. Not sure why, but change tends to somewhat freak me out. It's okay if you think I am a nut, you aren't the first and you definitely won't be the last. So, for those of you who have changed the look of your blogs while I have been gone (you know who you are - I wont mention any first names, but they rhyme with Bellie, Pamanda, Leg, Sassie and Cran)...I will be sending you a bill for my counseling.

I never realized until this week of being cut off from the outside world (well, okay just the Internet) how much I depend on reading each of your blogs for a lift each day. I had forgotten how much it stinks to wait until 6 and 11 to hear the day's news. I really didn't know how dependent I was until "The Great Computer Debacle of 2008". I suppose for a stay at home mom, blogs are a way to connect with people on my own timetable (does that make sense?). I can read your blogs at 3 am if I want, but I certainly would never call you at that time (well, unless you asked me to in which case I would call you if I couldn't seep).

Some other things I learned from "TGCD of 2008" is that a motherboard is expensive and it is really better to buy a new computer than t replace the motherboard in your ancient one. I realized that hackers and those evil people that spread viruses deserve nothing less than the death penalty. I realized that when I can't check your blogs, I find myself feeling as though I am in "time out" and missing all the fun. I found out that you have lots of bloggable moments during the time you are offline and then when you return, you cant remember any of them. Well, okay, here are two of the thousand from this past week:

On the way out the door the other morning a bee buzzed by Kaden's head and he said, "What's it called where bees live, Mommy? A bee hine?" (Say "bee hine" real fast three times and you will get it).

Then that night Lake came and sat on my lap and Kaden walked over and said, "Hey, that's my woman!"

Where do they get this stuff ???????(probably from their mom - she's a real hoot, ya know)

One story I do have to tell is about a conversation I had with a lady this week. I will keep her name and our connection secret since some who reads this blog may know her. She and I were having a conversation about children - having more or not having more. I told her that I know several people who have adopted children from overseas and then we talked about my friend Kellie, who is waiting on the call to go and get her baby girl from Korea. When I mentioned adoption she said, "I just can't see adopting a child when I can have children of my own". I replied, "But don't you see that adoption is a wonderful picture of Christ? My friend Kellie loves this child she has never even seen in person and she is obsessed with going to get her. This is her child even though she didn't physically give birth to her. She thinks about this child all the time - she is obsessed with her and even though she has never held her, she longs to be with this baby".

At that very moment, a light came on for me and tears stung my eyes because I 'got it', I really 'got it' this time. Jesus loves me that way. He loves me even though he has never physically touched me or had an audible person-to-God conversation with me. He cannot wait for me to be in His presence and He longs to be with me. I am constantly on His mind --He is obsessed with coming to get me. Jesus Christ, Son of the God of all creation, longs for me, His child whom He has never even physically held. He is obsessed with me.

He is obsessed with you too.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Please Pardon the Previous Interrruption....

Kill the fatted calf - the prodigal blogger has returned!!!!

So, I have some good news and I have bad news......

The good news? I have a new computer hooked up and ready to blog on..........

The bad news? My old computer is completely gone and I have to go pay the guy who pronounced her dead (just kidding - he goes to our church and he is a computer whiz - saved me a lot of money by looking at it for me - better than the geek squad)

In other bad news, my new computer is also an HP which means I will be spending lots of time on the phone with Punjab in Bombay.............(I cant understand his Indian accent and he cant understand my hillbilly accent)

Want more good news? I have a new program other than Windows XP

More bad news? We now have Windows Vista and I have no idea how to use new keyboard is so different I cant even type on it!!!!

I have felt so disconnected and alone this past week without my computer....

I have to go to the end of the year party at school now, but as soon as I load the antivirus programs I will be back in business........I might need to ease back into blogging - going cold turkey has been hard so I think it will be best to take things slowly...hhahahahahhaa

I missed you guys!!!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Very much alive but still dead

This is Bethanne's dad and I have her on the phone as I type. She wants all her blogging buddy's to know that it won't be as long as it has been. Her computer died and she is burying it as we speak. She has a new computer and is in the process of getting it hooked up. Should be back on line in couple of days and she too is having withdrawals from not talking to you all. Come to Eddie's place to stay in touch until she gets back on line. Our next subject will be "the rapture question" please visit and let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

High School Musical (Freezer Style) **Updated**

So, we went to see High School Musical on Ice Friday. I was actually impressed with the show. Was it worth $30 a ticket? No, but it was a good show. I was not; however, impressed with the $15 snow cones in blinking HSM cups or the $30 t-shirts. But, I suppose we can chalk it up to making precious memories (or stupidity). We really did have a good time and the sad part is -- I know all the songs and even some of the lines........Pathetic? Maybe. The good part is that my kids are still small enough that they think it is cool that their mom knows all the words to "Bop to the Top" and "Fabulous".

Field Day tomorrow.....sack race, spoon race, three legged race......ahhhhh to be 6 again.....

**Update** No spoon race for us today. Weather is nasty (and cold). I also wanted to warn you guys that my computer is acting very strangely and if you notice my absence from blog land for a while, it will be because my computer crashed. Pray that the Lord miraculously heals my ailing HP.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cyclone Sign and Some Other Stuff

Don't you love that title? Really got your attention, huh? I have really got to work on my title teasers. I need to warn you that this post is definitely 'linkalicious' beware..........

Anyway, another week has come and gone and my life has been pretty ordinary. Nothing earth shattering has happened in my life this week. Yet in Asia up to 500,000 people lost their lives to a cyclone. I have to admit, I really don't really know what a cyclone is (although it is the mascot of the high school my kids will probably attend). I assume it is in the hurricane family-- not really sure what causes it, but I know Who causes it.....someday we will know why (maybe sooner than we think). Five hundred thousand people. Hard to imagine that many people gone from an area. Children were left motherless, some maimed, hopeless, homeless, wandering and wondering why. Only God knows why.

Matthew 24:4-8

Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ, and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains".

I personally think that a cyclone that kills almost half a million people lands in the category of 'increased intensity of birth pains', don't you? Maybe I am wrong, but 500,000 people dying in one day due to natural disaster seems like a definite sign of the end times. Natural disasters are becoming more and more prevalent. If you question that fact, please see here. Jesus said that in the last days there will be earthquakes in various places, wars and rumors of war, and famines. Jesus told the disciples that they shouldn't be alarmed when they see these things, because they MUST happen. He said these things are the beginning of birth pains. I think that is such a funny analogy to give a group of single men, don't you? (What do men know about birth pains anyway?) But what better analogy to explain that the intensity and frequency of these things must increase before He raptures His church. Why did He say 'don't be alarmed'? Because even though these terrible things are happening all around us, those of us who are saved, know that we will be miraculously saved from the worst of it all.

We all say we are ready to go, but I wonder if we really are ready. I am not questioning salvation, but readiness. I wonder if we are ready to meet Jesus and I wonder if our work is done and our hearts are set on our eternal home or on the world. I wonder if we will leave this world with our work accomplished or will we leave it half done (can you enter into rest when you haven't even begun to work?). I wonder if we love Jesus enough to let go of what we love on earth. Are we clinging to tradition instead of the Cross - are we going to church because our parents did or are we stepping out to find our own faith and our own ways to worship? Do we treasure our position and status more than we treasure our God? Do we live like hell on earth and still hope for a mansion in heaven? I wonder if we are fitting the mold made by man (or ourselves) instead of conforming to God's standard of living. I wonder if we are holding so tightly to the world that God can't pry our eyes off of it long enough to make heaven our vision.

I wonder.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

URGENT: Please Read Immediately


Did that title get your attention? It probably piqued your curiosity a little bit since I never mark my posts with the word "Urgent". Those of you who are regular readers of my blog know that I often use the word 'random', but never use the word 'urgent'. Many of you guys have never even seen me in person, but you know enough about my character from this blog to know that the title of this post is not usual for me.

I wonder if we know God that way. We have never actually seen God in person, but do we read His Word enough to know His character? Do we know enough about Him to know what is 'urgent' with God and what is the 'usual'? Let me give you an example......the ten commandments tell us not to lie, not to steal, not to want what our neighbor has, etc, etc. Those things are what God tells us to do daily - they are the usual, everyday things He asks of us. But then there are some things that God has marked 'urgent'.

Ezekiel 14:6 says, "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices! Sounds pretty urgent to me, I mean did you see those !exclamation marks!?. Or what about in Mark 16 where it says, "Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation". I consider a rebuke from Jesus followed by a command pretty urgent, don't you? I'm guessing the disciples considered what He said that day to be very urgent.

In my own life, there are times when I feel the Lord is asking me to do something that He has marked 'urgent' and I don't act on it immediately. (Delayed obedience is definitely disobedience - ask any mother and she will tell you that). Then there are times when I don't act at all. Is it because I don't know enough about the true nature and character of God? Maybe. Is it because I don't study the Word enough? Probably. I am sure that is true of most of us (with very few exceptions). I daresay if we could truly look into the heart of God and see His great love for us, see that He is always for us, always out for what is best for us, that He desires to bless us --- we would never hesitate to act when He urges us to do something 'now'.

God knew that we would be stubborn, He knew we would be slow to act and quick to react, He knew we would place things He considers urgent on our own personal back burner, He knew we would have trouble obeying the 'usual and customary' things He asked of us.....He knew these things long before we were created, which is why He gave us His Word. He knew that if He didn't give us a record of who He really is and how He really feels about us, we would never understand the rigidness of some of His commands. He knew that if He didn't explain that the reason He disciplines us is because He loves us, we would never willingly obey. He knew that without the Bible to lead us along, His sheep would all be wandering aimlessly about being devoured by wolves. He knew that without the Bible we would never know His true character and we would never know about His deep love for us...................

He also knew that some of His people would get so caught up in their lives (and with the world in general) they would neglect His word and therefore miss out on truly knowing Him in an intimate way. He knew that no matter how much He wants to reveal Himself to us, some people would live their lives never knowing who He really is. Our goal should be to know god better and more intimately than we do anyone here on earth. We know the most about the people with whom we spend the most time. I wonder how many of us know more about the character of our fellow bloggers whom we have never seen than we do about the character of God?

Just something to link about, I mean think about............;-)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sugar Coated Witness, A Surprise, and Lake

**Update** My sister now has a blog. Not this sister, but my other sister. The new blogging sister is the mother of my neice and also my OLDER sister (much older - like 6 years older ;-). Daughter of my father. Just wanted to let you know who you are clicking on. My mother's blog will be making its debut very soon...........

Before I get into what I want to say, let ne suggest that after you read this post, you guys may want to check out my dad's blog - his last few entries have been about Jehovah's Witnesses - what they believe and how to witness to them.

Do you have any friends who 'tell it like it is'? I consider myself a "call 'em like I see 'em " kind of girl. I don't usually do a lot of sugar coating when I talk to people. I don't think I am overly harsh, but I try to be truthful when dealing with people. In other words, I have never been accused of being mousy or timid. I prefer to let people know my beliefs and they can agree or disagree. I know this might cause some of you to shudder, but I am more politically correct with my blog than I am in person. (Hope that doesn't make you scared of me). I feel that there are people reading this blog who might not know Jesus and to be so rigid may turn them off. I suppose you could say I am a little reserved so that I don't offend people who may not be saved.

I was thinking about this the other day. Don't we all do this to some extent? Think about it. When someone dies, we don't say "Yeah, John died and went to hell yesterday". No, we say "Poor John passed away last night in his sleep". Or do you ever hear Christians witness to people by saying, "I know you don't know this, but you are on your way to eternal hell where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth". No, we say that people are "lost". When we hear of other churches who operate under less than Biblical standards, do we say "You people need to get out your Bible and study it because what you are doing is against the Word of God"? No, we simply say "We don't believe in placing gay women in the pulpit". We have all kinds of little phrases that are the watered down version of the truth. I am not suggesting that we scare people to death, but maybe a little dose of the truth in plain terms wouldn't be such a terrible thing either.

I wonder if God would be pleased with our little catch phrases and the way we tiptoe around the truth? If you will remember when Jesus spoke with the woman at the well, He didn't sugar coat her sin. He immediately exposed her sin and told her to go and sin no more. That woman came to the well a sinner and left a preacher! She went into town, immediately started telling people about Jesus, and I guarantee you that she didn't say "I saw this ordinary guy at the well today and He said I might be lost so I agreed to follow Him - we'll see where He leads and if He is worthy - then you guys may want to follow Him too". No, she ran as fast as she could and told the people that their long awaited Messiah had just told her all the nasty things she had ever done and He saved her from an eternal burning hell.

What is my point in all this? Well, I am just thinking that maybe we shouldn't be so soft spoken when it comes to our witness. Maybe we should not worry so much about sensibilities and things that might seem distasteful to those who are bound for hell. We definitely shouldn't sugar coat the truth for people who are already believers regardless of whether they are still baby milk-drinking Christians. I don't think there is time for us to worry about etiquette or political correctness......Jesus is coming soon and we want to have our candles trimmed and the flames burning high......and let's just be honest, some of us haven't even lit the match yet.

Now for The Surprise
Okay, this is BIG. This is so fun. This is a wonderful thing: My blogging friend Alana, has been blogging for a whole year now and she has a wonderful surprise on her blog for anyone who wants to participate. I am definitely participating. So, ladies, (guys I dont think you will be interested and if you are, please seek counseling) go over to A Kiss, A Hug and A Squeeze to help Alana celebrate her Boggiversary. If you have never done one of these, this might be the most fun you have all week!!! (have you ever seen so many links to the same site in one paragraph?)

Last night was out children's musical at church. The kids did a great job and thankfully, my good friend Luann brought her digital camera. My husband took a video of Lake's part, but I forgot to bring my actual camera. You can always count on Luann for taking pictures (sometimes that is good and sometimes that is bad - especially when she catches you in a pose that might not be flattering - like while you are singing "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" into a karaoke mic at a Sunday School party - who said Baptists are 'stuffy'?).

Friday, May 2, 2008

Notes from a Novice Blogger

Have you noticed that everyone has a blog? Churches, radio stations, news channels - all have blogs. Remember when people used to send out 'family newsletters'? It was like a page telling what all the family had been up to (usually sent in place of a Christmas card). I always thought those were kind of arrogant. What makes you think we care what the 6th cousins twice removed have been up to this year? Maybe it's just me - don't take offense if you send those out every year (I just recommend sending them to close family because the extended family will probably just turn them over and use them for scratch paper). Nowadays, we have replaced handwritten notes with emails and newsletters with blogs. It is sort of sad that we are so busy we can't sit down and pen a note to someone, but times have changed and it is just too easy to type a note and hit send (not to mention that it saves a stamp - stamps are dern expensive!).

I have said before that the main intention of this blog is to record my thoughts and feelings (kind of a display of my true personality) for my children to read in the future. If Jesus tarries, my children will grow up. You just never know what is going to happen day by day, but in the unfortunate event that I become ill or worse, I want my kids to really know who their mother is, know her character (flawed as it is), know her true heart (the faithful part and the unfaithful part), and know that I know Jesus personally. If I remain healthy, this blog will simply be something they can look back on and smile about, remember things our family did, things we went through together. They will be able to see life through the eyes of their thirty-something mother. I see the blog as kind of a lazy person's scrapbook - no cropping, pasting, and writing sweet little captions under each picture. Blogging is a 'down to the nitty-gritty' journal of life.

When I started the blog, I never dreamed that anyone other than a few would ever visit. Aside from my experience with Worshipping Christian, I had no real idea how the whole blogging thing worked . I just knew that I like to write and that I could forever record who I really am for my kids to see someday. I saw an outlet to write down what the Lord is saying to me or teaching me at the time. I am quick to forget, so I have to write things down or I will never remember them (apparently even if they are taught to me by God - sad, but true). So, when I started getting lots of comments and making lots of blog friends, that was just icing on the cake.

I was talking yesterday with a fellow blogger. This person expressed his concern that people are not really reading their blog. I was quick to reply "Not everyone that reads will leave a comment". The person said that they felt like they were 'typing to themself'. That might be true on some days. There may be days that no one even visits your blog and then there may be days when many visit, but none comment. Such is blogging. I suppose that one must figure out the reason for their blog. Do you blog for yourself? Do you blog with the intention of reaching lots of people? Why do you blog at all?

I was thinking about this last night and it came to me how blogging is a reflection of life. We can apply the same principles to blogging as we do our everyday lives. So for those two of you who have asked me how to build a huge readership, I say, "I have no idea - I will tell you when I get one", but until then here are some things that I think we can all apply to both our everyday lives and blogging:

To make friends you have to be a friend. In other words, if you want people to visit your blog, visit theirs. If you want people to respond to you, respond to them.

You can't start at the top. When you begin work in a corporation, most often times you start at the bottom (or really close to the bottom) and work your way up. Same with blogging. You can't start a blog today and expect to have a thousand hits by tomorrow. Ain't gonna happen. I have been blogging for close to a year and I only average about 15 comments per post. It's okay to have only a few comments. Better to reach a few with your message than none at all.

Be real. No one wants to befriend someone who is perfect (in life or in blogland). You know how dogs (and kids) can smell fear? People who read blogs can smell a faker. Don't try to act like you have all the answers........everyone knows you don't. The thing that makes me leave a blog quickly is when I think someone is painting a perfectly rosy picture of everything. Hidden flaws make for a small readership. Tell people who you used to be and who you really are now. People like honesty. If you portray yourself as perfect, the only one you are fooling is yourself.

Humor is attractive. Wouldn't we all rather spend time with someone funny than someone who is always dull? Of course, be funny and they will come (or is that 'build it and they will come'? If you didn't get that joke, might wanna work on your humor).

If you want to reach people for Christ through your blog (as I believe most of you reading this do), write down what God is teaching you and let Him do the rest. When you tell someone about the Lord, it isn't you who does the convicting, it's the Holy Spirit. Same with the blog. If you have a word from God that someone needs to hear, He will bring them to your blog.

Pictures help. It is nice for people to be able to see who they are reading about. Doesn't matter if you don't look like Ken or Barbie. I like to see who I am reading about, don't you? Gives more insight to the person. You can tell a lot about a person from their picture or their family pictures.

Figure out your purpose. Why are you blogging at all? What is the goal? I have spent lots of time lately trying to figure out the purpose/goal of my life. I am not exactly sure what it is yet, but I do know the purpose of this blog (see above). When you know the purpose of your life, you plow ahead no matter what other people say or don't say. Same with the blog. Know the purpose of your blog and keep typing no matter how many comments you get (or don't get).

Don't do things to bring glory to yourself, do them to bring glory to God. Use your blog to draw people to or closer to the Lord. Haven't we all read something on another blog that made us think about our relationship with God? A Blog can be used to edify each other.
We can bring glory to God through our writing even if it is not a devotional type piece. Shouldn't our personalities bring glory to God? When we show people that we love the Lord and that God's people can have fun and be silly sometimes, we bring glory to Him. People need to know that Christians are not just stuffy old party poopers who sit around and wait for someone to sin so we can judge them for it. Christians need to show lost people that it is fun to follow God, not a drudgery. The blog can help you say "Hey I am a Christian and I have fun with life".

Don't get caught up in the numbers. In life, we worry about numbers all the time. The numbers on the scale, in our bank account, number of friends we have, etc. The numbers don't matter if you are "blogging as unto the Lord". Doesn't the Bible tell us that in everything we do, do it as unto the Lord? Same with the blog. Numbers do not matter - your heart does. God knows your intentions, let that be the only thing that matters.

Let God rule your life, nothing else. I read so many blogs where people say, "I am neglecting my children, husband because of this blog". Remember, this is a hobby for most of us. If it is taking the place of God, your kids, etc......time to cut back. Cut that computer off if you have to. If you aren't being filled with the Holy Spirit, then no one really needs to read what you have to say anyway.

Okay, those are just a few of my thoughts. I hope they are helpful to some of you. I know that some of you will read them and comment and some of you will remain silent. There will be some that will say "How boring" and others will say "Good word". Some will begin reading them and quit after the first paragraph while others will read to the end. Some will agree with me while others will not. It's's all okay. Why?

Because such is blogging and such is life.