Christian

How To Write a Better Blog

Set Goals!

If you are satisfied with your writing style the way it is, that’s ok! But if you want to keep growing as a writer you must set goals. I want to be a better blogger, so I need to be a better writer. I have 7 writing goals that I believe will make anyone a better writer/ blogger.

1. Keep a lazer focus.

Ask yourself, “In one sentence, what is my message?”. For example, your message might be: “Effectual prayer”, or “Do not fear”, “We need God’s grace”, “Love one another”, “Don’t complain, Be thankful”, etc. There are millions of good ideas to write about. Once you identify your message, make sure you stay focused on that message. Don’t get side-tracked. Everything you write should contribute to your message. Don’t ramble.

2. Make your blog inspire and apply to real life.

Readers want to be inspired and they want to read something that they can apply to their life. Some ideas that might add a little inspiration are a personal story, an anecdote from someone else’s life, or a quotation by a famous person. We are inspired by other people’s achievements and the trials they have overcome.

Develop a relationship with other bloggers by commenting on their posts. Try to relate to those bloggers. What do you think they might want to read about? I posted pictures of my favorite bloggers over my desk. When I read their blog or they comment on mine, I refer to their picture. I feel like I know these people!

These are just a few in my photo collection, 36 and growing!

3. Move the reader to tears or laughter, and to a new point of understanding.

My goal is to move the reader to tears, laugh out loud, or smile. I want to move the reader to a deeper understanding. I don’t want them to think “blah blah blah…I know that.”

4. Learn the elements of style. (Write well.)

This is BIG! It also takes time. There is a lot to learn about writing that you didn’t learn in school. I have a writer’s notebook that includes things like power words, active voice, catchy titles, synonyms, overused sayings, quotations, etc.

I recommend these books: The Elements of Style Book and Workbook by William Strunk and E.B. White,Writing for Emotional Impact by Karl Iglesias, On Writing Well by William Zinsser, and On Writing by Stephen King. You’ll learn more than you can imagine!

5. Show it. Don’t tell it.

I have a list of quotes taken from blogs I follow. For example, I recently added theses quotes by Julie Dibble. https://juliedibblewrites.wordpress.com/2019/01/11/are-you-looking-for-hope/

“Was His hand gently lifting my chin toward heaven?”

Isn’t that so much better than saying, “I felt better when I looked at the sky.”? Her sentence makes me feel comforted myself. Not to mention, it put a smile on my face. Here are two more from Julie:

“May your faith in few be the glue to tie you tighter to Jesus.”

“… to disable pride in my heart…”

Here’s one from Stephen at Fractured Faith Blog. https://fracturedfaithblog.com

“Some days the words just refuse to flow and you have to drag them kicking and screaming out of your imagination and onto the computer screen.”

Compare that to this: Sometimes I don’t know what to write about.

Stephen’s writing is just plain fun to read. It makes you want to read more. And that is what makes an exceptional writer! I’m hoping that if I read his blogs enough, some of that will rub off on me!

6. Control your word count.

I try to keep my word count under 600 words MAX. 500 is even better. When I think it’s finished, I go back through and make sentences more precise. I usually find several sentences that can say the same thing in half the words. Rewriting is critical to writing well.

7. Read and study your Bible.

Last of all, but most important, if you want to bring a spiritual message, read and study your Bible daily. That way you can recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit. He might cause you to think of a certain Scripture. Obviously, you’ll have to be familiar with God’s Word to recognize His voice.

Once the Holy Spirit brought this Scripture to my mind:

“In humility value others above yourselves…” Philippians 2:3

It came out of the clear blue, but it was the answer to my dilema, and it was Biblical. I eventually wrote a blog about this entitled So You’re Angry.

In Closing …

These are my goals. Do I do them all well? Not yet! But I’m working on it. I know where I’m headed. I know where I want my writing to go. Set your writing goals and your writing can only get better and better!

“Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men …” Colossians 3:23 AMP

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 

Bible, Christian, prayer

Holiday Blues

Do the holidays trigger thoughts of what should have been instead of what is? Are you feeling lonely? The strange thing about depression is that it seems to take your mind captive. You may think you can’t stop the downward spiral.

The next thing you know, you’re driving to the grocery to buy food for the holidays and tears begin to well up in your eyes. You hate it. You don’t want to be sad!

I know all about it because I experienced this yesterday.

I prayed. I asked the Lord to help me.

Just a few minutes later, my daughter called. (You should know, she loves to cook. I mean really cook, like they do on TV Cooking Shows. I, on the other hand, look for the easiest and quickest recipe possible.)

Chris: “Mom, would you get me a butternut squash while you’re at the store?”

Me: “Do you mean like a real vegetable butternut squash?” (I’m thinking does that come in a package?)

Chris: (starts laughing hilariously) “Yes! A real vegetable butternut squash!!”

We both cracked up and had a good belly laugh! It felt so good to laugh!

Guess what? My mood completely changed right then

I learned a valuable, yet simple lesson yesterday about holiday blues.

  1. Always go to the Lord in prayer.
  2. Find a way to laugh!

“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Mathew 6:8

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

A book could be written on this subject, and I know that, but this is what happened to me. Sometimes a person needs a word of encouragement, not the whole book.

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving . . . Psalm 25:1-2

Merry Christmas Everyone!

(And laugh a little today!)

This is, My Journey Unscripted.

With Love, Cindy

IF YOU HAVE NEVER ASKED JESUS TO BE YOUR SAVIOR:

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   JOHN 10:9-11

realchristianwomen.blog 

 

Bible

Our Role As God’s Ambassador

Do you sometimes feel like you don’t fit in? You may need to remind yourself that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, this world is not your home. Your home is in heaven and you are an ambassador for Christ in a foreign land.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV

“Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” 1 Peter 2:11-12 The Message

An ambassador is a “diplomatic official of the highest rank sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative”.¹

We must remind ourselves that this is our role. We are ambassadors sent by God. I think it helps us to live a life a worthy of our calling when we think of ourselves as an ambassador.

“But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him]” 2 Corinthians 5:18 AMP

An ambassador is sent to a foreign land to reflect the official message of his country. God has sent us into the world with the message of reconciliation.

“… we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel [that tells the good news of salvation through faith in Christ…” 1 Thessalonians 2:4 AMP

However, actions speak louder than words. Talking about Jesus is important, but how we live speaks louder than our words. Caring about others is vital.

 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ…” Ephesians 5:2 NLT

 

With Love, 

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

This is My Journey Unscripted.

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

¹ Dictionary.com

Photo by Bewakoof.com Official on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog 

 

 

Bible

How To Relieve Stress AND Boost Your Mental & Physical Health

Did you know that LAUGHTER has emotional and physical health benefits? It relieves stress, improves your mood, eases anxiety, and more!

I tend to be very serious and analytical, but I am learning more and more how important it is to laugh every day. At the end, I will share some of the sources I go to when I need to laugh. 

First, check out these research findings from Harvard Medical School and HealthGuide.Org.

Physical health benefits of laughter

  • Boosts immunity
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Prevents heart disease

Mental health benefits of laughter

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and tension
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Strengthens resilience

The Bible says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” Proverbs 17:22 KJV

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, …” Galatians 5:22

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them’.” Psalm 126:2

Laugh a Little!   

  • If you’re a teacher, like me, or a parent, you will laugh out loud at Elementary School Principal Gerry Brooks. Click here to visit his YouTube channel. 
  • You can laugh while you learn God’s Word with Bible Teacher Beth Moore. This is one of my favorites. 

I pray that your day be filled with laughter and joy.

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 

Bible, Christian

Promises That Will Encourage You To Keep Praying for Someone You Love

Is your heart heavy because someone you love rejects Jesus as Savior? Perhaps he(she) calls himself an atheist. Or maybe, he just refuses to search for Truth and instead stands stubbornly in the darkness, clinging to “intellectual” arguments that support his atheistic beliefs.

If you’ve been praying for someone for a long time, don’t give up now. Be encouraged and strengthened by the promises of God.

Galatians 6:9 (NIV) says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” 

For a long time, I have been praying faithfully everyday that Jay would accept Jesus as Savior. Becoming weary, my prayers have been reduced to “God please help Jay. I don’t know how to pray for him. I don’t even know where he is. You know, Lord.” That is the prayer of someone who is weary in prayer.

After searching God’s Word for encouragement, I was not disappointed. This is what I learned. It is not meant to be a “formula” for prayer, but rather, an encouragement that you are praying according to God’s will and being led by the Holy Spirit. So don’t give up!

Following Paul’s example, simply pray that he will be saved. “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.” Romans 10:1 NIV

Pray that the Lord will send Christian workers into his life. God uses people to accomplish his will.“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:5-6 NIV

Pray that God will give him spiritual understanding and that the Lord will lead him to repentance. ” … in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:25-26 NIV

Pray that God will open his heart.  “The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul” Acts 16:14 NIV

Pray that God will give him spiritual sight and make His light shine in his heart, as He did yours.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” 2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

Continue to pray with perseverance. God has called you to pray for this person. As you pray, remember to thank God for His love, mercy, kindness, and faithfulness. 

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” Colossians 4:2 NIV

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1 NIV

Pray with the knowledge that his salvation is God’s will.  

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  2 Peter 3:9 NIV

(Where did we get the idea that God should be on our time table?) 

Therefor pray, “your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” Matthew 6:10 NIV

 Pray with confidence, remembering that our God is a God of mercy, love and faithfulness.

“The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].” James 5:16 AMP

 Your prayer for someone’s salvation is most definitely a spiritual battle. Do not listen to the devil’s lies. Of course Satan will try to discourage you and make you give up. Instead, obey God’s Word and keep praying.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:10-12 NIV

From this study, here is what I have learned: God hears my prayers. It’s not that He isn’t answering them or that He doesn’t hear me. (The devil will try to tell us that!)

My “assignment” to pray for Jay has not ended. The battle is not over. In fact, I am in the heat of the battle. I will keep praying.

When I am praying God’s will, I know He is working even though I haven’t seen the final result yet.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 NIV

God’s Word encourages me and strengthens my faith! It will do the same for you.

 

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

The Power of a Smile

Never underestimate the value of a person who can make you smile. Smiles are powerful. They evoke happiness, hope, and well-being. When you smile, you instantly feel better. A smile is a powerful thing that that can completely turn your day around.

Let me tell you about someone who always made me smile.

Mr. Galloway was an older gentleman in my church, whose job was to sit at the information desk on Sunday morning. But, he did a lot more than provide information. I didn’t know him well, but I looked forward to seeing him every Sunday.

When I entered the doors, he would look me straight in the eye, his head always crooked a little to the side, and with enthusiasm and a big smile say, “What-a ya know?”

This would always start a conversation, and even if I was running late (which I usually was), I would stay there and talk to him for a while, unable to pull myself away from all this attention.

“How’s your daughter?” he would ask with enthusiasm and genuine interest.

I would tell him about my daughter’s latest adventures. After all, who doesn’t want to talk about their kids?!

After a few minutes, I would drag myself off to where I was supposed to be. He never failed to brighten my spirits and put a smile on my face.

One Sunday morning, I came through the doors and no one was sitting at the information desk. Later, I found out that Mr. Galloway had suddenly passed away. I was shocked.

I couldn’t believe that someone so full of life, was suddenly gone. Even though I barely knew him, I cried when I found out. There is no one sitting there now. I don’t think anyone will be able take his place entirely.

What part are you in the Body of Christ? Even if you think you are only a small and insignificant part, you are necessary for the body to function properly.

The Bible says, “God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be …  Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” 1 Corinthians 12:18 & 22 NIV

I doubt that Mr. Galloway thought he was indispensable, but I did.

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 by Kyle Loftus on Unsplash

Christian

A Dream Planted By God

“When the dream in our heart is one that God has planted there, a strange happiness flowers into us. At that moment all of the spiritual resources of the universe are released to help us. Our praying is then at one with the will of God and becomes a channel for the Creator’s always joyous, triumphant purposes for us and our world.” Catherine Marshall

Did you ever stop to think about this? That you are working and praying for something that God Himself put in your heart!

This is my desire, that my prayers would be at one with the will of God, and to know that I am praying according to His will.

“Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 TLB

What is your dream?

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 

1st Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash