From Facebook to Blogging

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This past week and through the weekend has been very spiritually and emotionally taxing on me.

I have been stretched spiritually to examine what I believe about the Word and why and then defend it publicly.

I have become aware of the emotional challenge I am up against when coming face to face with the fact that almost everyone I know and love disagree with me. Not just a little bit. Vehemently.

There is no other time in my life I can compare it to because even when I became a believer in Messiah, I didn’t have any backlash. Being a “Christian” is still socially acceptable in most non-liberal circles (and I do use the tag Christian very broadly there.)

I guess being a follower of the entire Word is a different story to people. I get it. We are programmed to think if you are a Christian, you MUST believe this and reject that. It is drilled into us. The problem is, the more I read the Bible, the more I see the stark contrasts between what we are taught and what is actually written.

Up until now, I have posted things on Facebook regarding these discrepancies because Facebook is where I get most of my social interaction and where I keep in touch with basically everyone I know. I have gotten a few different reactions.

  • There have been some people that are offended that I would talk about things other than what I ate for lunch, what zoo animal is giving birth or my outrage at the weather patterns in northeast Ohio. (Note to these people: I am sorry for bringing real life to the time wasting realm of social media.)
  • There have been people who want to prove to me why the literal words and context of Bible are wrong and begin to twist it to fit their preconceived notions. (Note to these people: I understand. It is easier and a lost less scary to keep doing what you’ve always done. Remember though… the path is wide that leads to destruction. I encourage you to look for the narrow way.)
  • There have been people who seem genuinely concerned that I am going off the deep end. (Note to these people: I am certain that many Jewish followers of Messiah had well meaning family and friends who thought they had lost their minds also because they (their loved ones) couldn’t see what the believers saw. I am not succumbing to a movement or a teaching of men. I am searching the Scriptures and letting the Spirit lead me into obedience to them.)
  • There have been many people who have said nothing at all and just read through (and hopefully thought and prayed on what they read). (Note to these people: Two things I have learned on this journey so far: Read your Bible and test everything. You don’t have to engage in conversation to be changed by God. I pray for the “phantoms” on my page quite frequently)

 

Now, I want to make sure (in case you haven’t read my other posts) I am clear in this: I don’t know everything. I don’t think I know everything. I don’t think I am smarter or more enlightened than other people. I am a work in progress. The grace and mercy of God are the only reasons I see what I see and respond in obedience. My prayer is that through documenting this process, I will be able to get others thinking and digging into His Word as well.

I have decided to stop sharing my journey on Facebook and focusing solely on sharing through posts here at the blog for three reasons #1. I can share more here (instead of a tiny screen shot of a verse), #2. These posts will be here and easily accessible (FB posts disappear and are hard to find after awhile) and #3. People seem to think if something is posted on Facebook it is put there as way to start a commotion (that is not, nor has it ever been, my intention.) My posts are not about foolish things like what song to sing or how fancy our church clothes should be or what color the carpet should be. They are about the very Words and commands of God. This is not a vain controversy. This is important stuff that should concern us all.

The discussion is open here as it was on Facebook. As long as no one is hateful or derogatory, they are free to share what they believe and why.

Be sure to follow the blog to be alerted when something new is posted.

 

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Renewed

RENEWED

It’s not enough to have a “word” or a theme for the year. In order for real changes to happen, goals need to be set. Measurable, practical areas of growth and transformation. I have identified five sections of life that can use some rejuvenation.

1.Faith

~My relationship and understanding of YHVH and what I do in response to this knowledge.

2.Marriage

~Being a better wife and growing a closer relationship with my husband.

3.Children

~Parenting, intentionally getting to know my kids better, homeschooling, discipling, etc.

4.Reach

~This will include my friends and neighbors, relationships with extended family and outreach into my community.

5.Self

~Personal health and wellness are important and often take a backseat to caring for others, but it is so  critical to be my best so I have the ability to give to the rest of my list.

 

I will be making small, attainable goals and posting about each individual area over the next week or two. I hope you will join me in making 2017 the year for real RENEWAL.

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Deeper

As the end of each year approaches, I start to get introspective about life.

What have I accomplished this year? What have I learned?  What have I taught? How have I changed? How have I become more Christ-like?

I also start to pray over the coming year.

What do I hope to achieve? What do I want to strive for? What does God want me to focus on? How can I grow?

Several times I have chosen a theme for the year. A word (and many times, a verse) to sum up a central idea to keep my eye on while pursuing the goals I lay out.

After hearing a sermon that included the idea of “are your relationships a mile wide and an inch deep?”, I knew that the Lord was calling me to some new depths. So, my word for 2016 was DEEPER.

Oh my, did YHVH deliver on that vision.

When I prayed over the year and the focus of depth (deeper relationships, deeper knowledge and understanding, deeper belief) I never imagined the plans He had for me. This year has held some of the most intense changes I have experienced in my adult life. All because He has unveiled my eyes, thawed my heart and renewed my understanding of Him.

It was my intention to blog through this process more so that I had a record of my journey. Life, obstacles and laziness got in the way of that. There are more changes coming in 2017 and hopefully it will afford me the time and focus to do a better job at this.

I have my word for 2017 and I’m praying through it and discerning a verse. I will share it here in the next couple of days. In the meantime, what about you? Do you do anything like this? Special goals, resolutions, etc each year? I would love to hear about it!

 

 

Transparently Me

It’s been a long time since I wrote. I mean, REALLY wrote. When I was younger, I used to write every day. Poems and stories and letters. I was convinced I would be an author when I grew up. Or a journalist. When I was 12, I got published in a book of poetry after  entering through an ad in a magazine. I thought it was my beginning. Then someone informed me that they publish every piece that is sent in and mine wasn’t anything special.

In 9th grade, I took a creative writing course followed by a journalistic writing one. I loved them both. My teacher saw my potential. I aced both of them with the highest grade in the class. Then someone (not the same person as above) convinced me that those classes were known as “easy A’s” and there was no big deal about doing so well.

I share those stories to give a little insight into why I am hesitant to write a blog. I have blogged before, but very sparsely. Never really putting myself out there. Never having anything to lose. When my husband suggested to me that I try my hand at writing online as a way to satisfy my longing for a way to bring in a little money, get more social (beyond Facebook and weekly park days) and build more of a network….well, I was more than a little timid (for those of you who know me, this word is NOT what you think of when you think of me!)

As the idea set in a little, I decided to do read up a little on what exactly it means to be a blogger. I bought “How to Blog for Profit: Without Selling Your Soul” from Ruth at Living Well, Spending Less. I have been a reader of hers for a long time so I knew she would have great insight. As I read through the ebook (it only took 2 days!) and took notes, I started to feel my heart change about this idea. I started to get excited. I started to feel confident. After talking to a couple of friends during a park play date, I felt like “Maybe I really can do this!”. So here I am.

I’m still figuring out what this looks like for me. I have so many ideas swimming around in my head. Ideas for posts. Ideas for pictures. Ideas for promoting.  I want this page to be an interactive one. I want to really get to know the people who are reading (that’s YOU!) and how I can help you, inspire you, get to know you.

Why “While Everyone Is Watching”? The very first spark that came to my mind when I began considering this was “I’m just trying to figure it all out while everyone is watching”. Aren’t we all? We all have friends, family, children, even critics– who are watching us while we feel our way through this world, doing the best we can with what we have and know. I guess now my platform is just a little more public. Thanks for joining me.