On Monday I introduced you to six bloggers I follow—out of the 200-plus million blogs on the internet. Today I’d like you to meet the other seven of my baker’s dozen. (This post grew a bit long; you may wish to break it up and read it over several days.)
Three Way Light (www.threewaylight.blogspot.com) is hosted by Jody Collins, a teacher of the Seattle, WA area. She often accompanies her rich text with equally rich images of her own photography.
On Monday, Jody wrote: “I am weak and broken and needy and healed and failing and falling and healed and over and over it goes. Jesus continues to peel off the layers of my shell of protection so He can get to the parts of me that need His touch.”
Did that last line speak to you as it did me? Jody never fails to give me food for thought and sustenance for my spirit.
A Devoted Life (www.boyslumber.wordpress.com) offers “Practical Daily Devotions for the Real World” from JD Blom—husband, father, pastor, and athlete.
Recently JD used mountain-climbing as a visual image of the Christian life. We’re created to climb, he said, to take on the challenge for the glory of God. Jesus makes ascension possible. However, Jesus did not come to…
…remove the difficulty of the route.
…eliminate the hurdles.
…chisel an escalator into impenetrable holiness.
…lower the glory of God down to the realm of man.
…diminish the elevation of righteousness for the unrighteous.
“Jesus came to create supernatural climbers. We are new creatures in Christ. IN Christ, we are supernatural climbing freaks.”
I like that image of supernatural climbing freaks–passionate, persevering, focused freaks. YEAH!
Redemption’s Beauty (www.redemptionsbeauty.com) has blossomed from a child of divorce and alcoholism. God redeemed Shelly Miller, and she is now a clergy wife raising two teens.
Two of Shelly’s outstanding attributes are honesty and humility, strongly apparent on October 11th, when she wrote:
”I’ve turned joyfulness into legalism, allowing it only in instances of the extraordinary and the accolades of good fortune. I don’t fit into the rules I create for it. I’m not extraordinary enough to be the object of attention, someone’s artistic gift.
Which I know in my head, isn’t the truth.”
A bit later she quoted Brene Brown, from The Gifts of Imperfection:
“Joy isn’t an unreachable standard, a goal attached to a list of rules to follow. Jesus chose us, not because of our extraordinariness, but because His extraordinary life lives in us.”
See? From the pedestal of her vulnerability, Shelly shares heart-touching wisdom. It happens often.
Strength Renewed (www.strenthrenewed.wordpress.com) is not only the title of Tresa Walker’s blog, but states the objective as well: that her thoughts might renew our strength for the circumstances we face.
One afternoon, this teacher/writer, and mother of two grown children, suddenly remembered she needed cupcakes for a gathering—in two hours. No quick trip to the store would solve the problem–the local grocery was closed. And no cake mixes sat perched on the pantry shelves either. If Tresa was going to keep her promise, the cupcakes would have to be made from scratch.
She began searching for the ingredients. Shortening? The can held precisely the ½ cup required. Baking powder? Just enough. Eggs? The exact number needed.
Tresa recognized a life-lesson in her experience. God sometimes provides exactly what we need rather than what we want.
She says, “Maybe when it seems our needs aren’t being met, it’s because God is giving us the opportunity to trust Him to provide the things that we truly need.”
She has me thinking.
Wings of the Dawn (www.heidiviars.wordpress.com) includes poetry and prose by Heidi Viars. She is gifted at both, as well as photography.
Recently she included breath-taking shots of sunbeams casting ethereal ribbons among tall trees. She wrote about turning around during a walk recently and discovering sunbeams had been lighting up the road behind her.
Heidi’s insight: “Even when we can’t see Him work, we can trust Him to do His work in and through us. Sometimes it’s not until later, when we get a chance to turn around, that He reveals to us that He has been the Light on our path all along.”
My heart responds, “Oh, yes, Heidi. And surely such moments are glimpses of His ethereal glory– just like those sunbeams!
Horizons of the Possible (www.horizonsofthepossible.wordpress.com) is hosted by Russell Smith, pastor of the church where our older son and daughter-in-law attend.
On October 8th, he wrote on the topic “People Are Not Projects.”
“We see the powerful, the accomplished, the athletic, and the beautiful and we easily see glory about them,” Russell says. “What about all the rest – the misfits, the oddballs and the awkward? What about the weak and the needy and the not-quite-right? Unfortunately, we tend to think of them as projects to be worked upon. Or we see them as objects of charity who need our help, but have little to give us.”
Then Russell reminds us of Psalm 8:5. “You made [human beings] a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”
Every person has great worth, because he/she bears the stamp of Creator God. He values each one; we can do no less.
(in)courage (www.incourage.me) is a team effort, sponsored by Dayspring. Twenty-eight women contribute one post per month. Lisa Leonard recently wrote “Showing Myself a Little Kindness.”
Her car was dead, probably because she had left the lights on the night before. After all, she had been exhausted. But instead of treating herself with kindness and understanding (as she would if the situation had happened to a friend), Lisa berated herself and even called herself names!
While waiting for AAA, however, Lisa was treated to a glorious sunrise. And she noted:
“…how imperfect life is, and how there is still beauty to be found. I am flawed and yet, I can show myself kindness. I make mistakes, but there is forgiveness.”
Lisa is right. My spirit breathes in deep her statement: “I can be kind and forgiving of myself.” And with that realization comes peace.
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Thank you, Father, for inspiring these writers. I delight in their giftedness and insights! Thank you that day after day they minister life lessons and encouragement to me and many others. Bless them, I pray, with your favor and protection, and with your joy and peace. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
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