Christian

How A Prayer Journal Can Enhance Your Blog

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” 1 Peter 4:10 NLT

I love to write my prayers in a Prayer Journal, and I’ve noticed that doing this has many benefits including making my posts more personal and timely. As a Christian blogger, there is nothing sweeter to our ears than these four words: “I needed that today!”

Because isn’t that what we desire? – to move our blog to a higher level of ministry – to touch hearts and encourage our friends, new and old?

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”

Unknown

Benefits of a Prayer Journal

  1. I hear God’s still small voice more easily when I’m writing in my Prayer Journal. I begin by reading my Bible. Usually, something I read sparks a specific prayer and I follow that leading. Sometimes it turns into a blog post.

2. When I write my prayers, they are more conversational and informal. They get right to what’s on my heart. For example, writing in my Prayer Journal one morning, I prayed, “Lord, I am so excited about my new Study Bible!” I wouldn’t have said that if I were speaking my prayers, which tend to be more formal and structured.

3. That intimacy sometimes leads me to understand what God wants me to write about. For example, on 7/29/19 something I read in my Bible reminded me of Barnabas (whose name means Encourager). I wrote in my Prayer Journal, “Teach me, O Lord, to be an encourager like Barnabas.” When I looked back at my blog posts today, I saw that on 7/30/19 ( the next day), I posted the blog, How To Write An Encouraging Blog. It has already moved up to #2 on my Top Ten Most Popular Posts!

4. Another day, I went outside to pray early in the morning. I don’t consider myself a poet, but watching the birds stirred my heart to write a little poem that I jotted down in my Prayer Journal. That prayer became the inspiration for my 6-29-19 post, My Morning Prayer of Thanks. I think the Lord likes it when we write Him poetry! In Psalms, it is written,

My heart is stirred by a noble theme
    as I recite my verses for the king;
    my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1 NIV

5. One time a Blogger Friend of mine shared a personal need. That need was heavy on my heart and I prayed for her. In turn, that led to a specific post meant especially for my friend: BITTERNESS: This Heart Condition is Worse Than You Think

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a writer, too. Do you write your prayers in a journal? If not, try it, and see if it leads to better, more personal writing. Let me know. My prayer is that we all become better writers and ministers of the Gospel, encouraging one another daily!

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you, today. Comments are welcomed and appreciated.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

realchristianwomen.blog  

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?


		
Christian

Mono Made Me Do It!

I was very sick and couldn’t get out of bed for two weeks. It was mononucleosis.

While I spent my days (and nights) in bed, a song I learned as a child kept playing in my head. I hadn’t thought of it in years. Maybe you know it. It goes like this – “This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine… Hide it under a bushel? NO! I’m gonna let it shine!”

God had my attention. But what did it mean?

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel … Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 KJV

That’s when it hit me! “I’m a closet Christian!” My light is hidden under a bushel!”  All the wonderful things God has done in my life were meant to bring glory to God. 

I was convicted in my spirit for being silent, a Christian who kept her light “under a bushel.”

Feeling convicted about my mostly private relationship with the Lord, the idea to write a blog crept into my mind. I had heard of blogging, but I knew nothing about it and had never thought about reading one, much less writing one.

Before long, I was convinced. The Lord was giving me a compelling desire to write about my Christian journey. 

Determined to end my silence, I proclaim the name of Jesus. I write to encourage real Christian women who have real-life problems, women who (like me) are far from perfect. I want to proclaim the Lord’s love, faithfulness, and mercy to all who will listen.

I blog, to share the unfathomable love and mercy God has showered on me, a sinner, undeserving, and saved by grace.

“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-18 

Love, Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

Christian

When Will I Pray??

Spend an hour in prayer every morning? Not likely!

Whether you’re a teacher like me, or a busy mom, things can get hectic once school starts! God showed me something about this that has given me peace and encouragement from Matthew 14.

When Jesus heard about the beheading of John the Baptist, he wanted to get away and talk to His Father. His heart must have ached with sadness. Can you imagine how you would feel if someone you loved was treated with such cruelty? I would want to be alone.

Jesus didn’t get to be alone or pray because thousands of people had followed Him and wanted Him to heal their sick. Imagine that! Thousands of people wanting/ seeking Him/ needing Him.

All day, Jesus ministered to the people and healed their sick. When evening approached, Jesus fed all the thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish.

Jesus sent the disciples away in a boat and dismissed the crowds. Can you imagine how exhausted He must have been both physically and emotionally? But this was the only time He had to pray, so He went up on a mountainside by himself to talk to His Father. He stayed there until the fourth watch of the night (between 3am and 6am).

I guess I always thought that early morning was when we are supposed to pray if we’re serious about prayer and knowing Him better. But if Jesus can pray after a long day, so can we.

This is what God showed me in His Word: He will meet me in the late afternoon, in the night, or in the morning. He will speak to me when I am fresh and rested (in the morning). But He will also speak to me when I am exhausted (after a hard day at work).

So all of you teachers and busy moms, listen. If you don’t have time to pray in the morning and your prayer time is in the afternoon or evening when you are exhausted, it’s OK.  Jesus understands. Your work place is your mission field – your place to let Jesus shine. That’s important.

I have 32 students with special needs. I know what it is to be tired after work. But the Lord assures me that He is with me. I need Him everyday, all day. And He has promised to be with me.

We may have seasons of rest. But for most of us, real ministry to real people doesn’t take place in church or prayer time. It takes place when we are about our lives and our work.

I would be very happy to spend all my time in prayer, reading my Bible, and writing my blog. But the Lord has made it clear that, although that pleases Him, He wants me out on the “battlefield”, aka at work, making relationships and showing God’s love and compassion. That’s why we’re here.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Matthew 14:3-21 NIV

Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.

On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

realchristianwomen.blog 

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Christian

God’s Purpose For Your Blog

The best thing about becoming a blogger is the community of friends I have come to know. I know some of my blogger friends (BFs) better than the friends I actually live around! I sincerely love them and care about them.

I always thought God’s purpose for my blog was to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ.  But it might be something more than that.

Maybe God’s purpose is for me to develop relationships. I know that He gave me this desire to write a blog and He has put love in my heart for followers I have come to know. When God calls you to love and pray for someone you never met, well that’s God’s love in action.

I know some of my followers well because they have shared their lives and their hearts with all of us. I could know someone my whole life and never find out some of the things I know about my BFs including their battles and their weaknesses.

I started collecting pictures of some of my BF’s to help me keep everyone straight in my mind. When I receive a comment or read their blog, I refer to their picture.

God is putting in my heart a desire to build relationships all through my life – at school – in the community – and on WordPress.

I hope you will join me in an effort to pray for and support people we come to know and love through our adventures in blogging.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

Christian

Fan Into Flames the Gift of Writing

Paul was languishing in a cold dungeon, chained like a common criminal, and he knew his death was near. “This ancient prison could have been called the “House of Darkness.” Few prisons were as dim, dank, and dirty as the lower chamber Paul occupied. Its “neglect, darkness, and stench” gave it “a hideous and terrifying appearance.”¹

This is where Paul wrote these words, Fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.” 2 Timothy 1:6 NLT

I can’t keep reading. I have to stop and read his last letter with the realization that the Apostle Paul used his waning strength to pen these words. I want to understand it fully.

Have you ever been on a camp out and couldn’t get a fire going? Maybe you get a little spark, but it goes out. If you blow on it just right it starts to catch. You carefully add more kindling and fan it some more. If you keep fanning it, eventually you will have a bon fire!

This is the metaphor Paul used to encourage Timothy to develop his ministry.

Do you know what gift God has given you? Is it to proclaim His glory through the written word? Has He put a desire in you to write about what He has done?

I don’t mean: Are you a gifted writer? I mean: Has God put a deep desire in your heart to write and share what He has done for you? Has He asked you to “comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God?” 2 Corinthians 1:4 NIV

If you aren’t a professional writer, your efforts may start like that little spark, but eventually you will see the bonfire you desire. How? Practice, learn, do, never give up. You’ll keep getting better!

I have only published 73 blogs so far, and I know I still have a lot to learn. I spend a lot of time studying the craft of writing. I certainly haven’t “arrived”, but these are the things that have helped me most:

  • “The aim of writing is to move the reader to tears or to laughter, and to a new point of understanding.”
  • “People want inspiration and application.”
  • Study the writing of an author you admire. I get inspiration from https://fracturedfaithblog.com
  • After I write the first draft, I rewrite, rewrite, and edit ruthlessly.
  • Focus on the message. Don’t ramble.
  • Look at each sentence. Can I say it in fewer words?
  • Did I use the active voice?
  • 2 books every writer needs: The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White; and On Writing Well by William Zinsser
  • Use no more than 15 categories and tags combined. If you do, you will not make the “Reader” section on WordPress. (I just found this out!)
  • When you think it’s perfect, wait and read it again the next day. If you’re happy with it, then you can publish.

Now go fan into flame the gift God has given you!

INSPIRE! ENCOURAGE! TEACH!

SHARE THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST WITH THE WORLD!

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

¹Historical Background of Paul’s Final Imprisonment, by Derrick G. Jeter, Insight for Living Ministries, August 14, 2017

Photo by Arnau Soler on Unsplash

Christian

Why Do Good Blogs Go Bad?

A Fractured Faith always hits a home run!

Fractured Faith Blog

Have you ever poured your heart and soul into a blog only for it to sink without trace amidst the plethora of competing posts that flood your timeline? It’s disheartening isn’t it? You stare at your pride and joy and try to process how 99% of your followers haven’t the slightest interest in this latest literary gem. Then the voice in your head pipes up – ‘Well if they won’t read a 500 word blog then what makes you think they will want to read that 120,000 word book you have been droning on about for the last six months?’

It’s little surprise then that many bloggers raise the white flag and go AWOL. Fellow writers who you corresponded with every day suddenly vanish without explanation and you think ‘I wonder what happened to so and so?’ Blogging can be a brutal business. Don’t expect to become an internet success…

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Christian

What’s Your Story?

“Our stories matter … Your stories matter … for you just never know how much of a difference they make, and to whom …” Caroline Joy Adams

God teaches me through the many stories I read on WordPress. Recently, God showed me how easily I can misjudge someone. (Ouch!)

I made an assumption about a blogger, only to find out later that the exact opposite was true. How? By reading her story. This taught me something important about myself that I needed to know: Don’t think you can size someone up based on outward appearance.

Over the last year, God has been teaching me about judging others. We can not influence someone if we are judging them.

God’s Word says, “The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Thank you, Sue Love, for sharing your story.

As we share our hearts and our love for Christ through our blogs, may God use our words to bring encouragement and love to those who need it most.

This is Day 1 of my 3-Day Challenge. I would like to nominate Emeka Ofili. Emeka  shares inspiration, teaching, and music, but most importantly news stories about the persecution of our brothers and sisters in Christ that you won’t read about in the news.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

photo credit: eye for ebony on unsplash