Afterward {why I decided to quit}


For if Jesus [Joshua] had given them rest,

then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

Hebrews 4:8

Here’s what I’ve been thinking. This time of the COVID-19 has given us cause for much thought. How to readjust life to fit the pandemic. How to live with the new ‘normal’.

The pandemic put many people into circumstances beyond their control. Some of us have lived that way, at least in our minds if not in reality, for many years. For the Christian, life is about submitting control to God. Humility. Looking up from the bottom of something, myself or my circumstances.

Blogging is a way to express oneself publicly, with as much freedom as one gives oneself. Essentially it is either self-centered or others-centered. I suppose my struggle with blogging is my struggle with giving up my piece of life which no one else controls. Do I deceive myself into thinking that I blog for God, while it is really for myself?

These four and a half months of not being physically at church, family members working and schooling from home, wearing a mask in public, limited social exposure and so forth, have given much room for self-examination.

What is my motive for doing what I do?

How long should I keep doing it?

Is it glorifying to God?

Is it edifying to me and the people affected by it?

Does it obey the principles in Scripture?

Specifically as it relates to blogging. 

For the past week God has been impressing on my heart the word mercy and the theology of the mercy seat. I hear it in the hymns, I see it in the Psalms and the Gospels and in the book of Hebrews which I am memorizing. The impression I get is that in general we spend much time emphasizing grace and ignoring the sacrifice which paid for it.

And the tax collector, standing afar off,

would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven,

but smote upon his breast, saying,

God be merciful to me a sinner.  Luke 18:13

The note in the Scofield reference Bible (1967 edition) says the word merciful used here is the Greek word hiliaskomai, used in the Septuagint and N.T. in connection with the mercy seat. An instructed Jew, the tax collector was thinking not of mercy alone, but of the blood-sprinkled mercy seat. His prayer might be paraphrased, “Be toward me as thou art when thou lookest upon the atoning blood.” The Bible knows nothing of divine forgiveness apart from sacrifice.” (end quote)

The writer of Hebrews impels us to come to the throne of grace in order to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (4:16)

The publican (in the parable of Jesus) prayed in humility for mercy because he was not merely asking for what he could obtain. But he was remembering the sacrifice which was paid in order that he might obtain it freely.

Nothing is free. Everything has a price. We remind ourselves that freedom (in America, and elsewhere) is not free. Many paid the ultimate price with their lives that we might enjoy freedom without cost.

Mercy is the same. It is freely given, but not with out great cost to God. When we ask to benefit from this mercy without acknowledging the mercy-giver and the great sacrifice of His Son’s death on the Cross, we miss the point of mercy (and grace).

Asking for mercy for myself is selfish.

Acknowledging the sacrifice brings glory to God.

When asking for mercy , remember the blood of Christ, the price of mercy, and the mercy-giver (God).

In your asking, Glorify God.

Grace is freely given.

Mercy paid the price.

And one of many places in the Psalms where mercy is named as belonging to God:

I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever;

with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 89:1

That being said (that is the end of today’s lesson, (smile) where do we go with this blogging thing?

First, I do not think I am a writer. No one ever encouraged me to write. I like to write, but my lack of audience tells me that is not my thing. Personally I would just as soon write with pen on paper or just for myself.

Secondly, the purpose(s) which I had ten years ago when starting blogging, and the general world of blogging, have changed. Blogging seems to be all business or talking to oneself any more. While I would like to earn money blogging, I do not wish to make a business of what I write. Hence, blogging has no real purpose now.

(The original purpose was to encourage Christians in their walk with Christ with a mix of Bible reading schedule, Bible memorization, book reviews, social media, and New England.)

Thirdly, hanging onto something which takes my mind and energy away from the real world in which I live seems to be a form of rebellion which keeps me from  giving God complete control.

Because of the few faithful readers I will continue the Bible Reading Schedule to the end of the year 2020. The blog won’t be shut down, but the daily posts will end. Decision made. It is time to move on.

In the end I suppose I am using my last opportunity to exercise my control over something. I did not come to this decision easily. For several years now I have wrestled with the lack of peace and purpose in this blog. I have more peace about not continuing than I did about continuing.

Should you wish to contact me, all comments go directly to my email. No problem there. It will be interesting to see if the spam comments slow down at all. Thankful for Akismet. And very, very thankful for the faithfulness and long-suffering of God, as well as for His mercy and willingness to sacrifice His only Son that we might live through Him. That is grace.

Without mercy there is no grace.

For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Chirst, our Savior, that, being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:5-7

 

Taking the Bull by the Horns {SOCIAL MEDIA/pin}


Does your head spin .. with ideas .. struggling to grasp the practical side of the concept of social media?  Taking the Bull by the Horns, in the {Social Media/pin} category, has been on the blog post calendar for too long without follow through.  There’s only one way to learn sometimes .. just take the bull by the horns and see what happens, right?

shaggy-scotland-highland-bull

Pinterest’s reputation precedes itself.  I don’t know about you, but maybe you’re like me and could use some help understanding how it works.  The pinning is the easy part, as is scrolling through millions of images that overwhelm, many with broken links (for the pinner who looks for original sources).  It is also easy to see that Pinterest promotes whichever pins it chooses.

But what about collecting a significant following, say in the thousands, and having your Pinterest boards and pins promote your blog, driving traffic to your hard work? 

Taking the Bull by the Horns .. meaning just go for it, mistakes and all .. may not be in agreement with your personality.  It is not easy for me.  It’s not even easy to say it’s not easy, let alone do, but here we go …

With that in mind, here’s what the pinner should do, at least this is what successful bloggers say you should do.  Yesterday I read some posts on Crystal Paine’s blog Money Saving Mom which tell what she learned in the process of building her blog.  While it was not about Pinterest per se, it is tremendously motivating reading.

4 Tips for Success in Social Media {pin}:

  • Assume a MARATHON MENTALITY – if you want to achieve success, you’re in this for the long haul, and you’d better get your long-distance running shoes on from the get-go.  Blogging is no sprint, my friend.  The race is long, and not easily won.
  • Link up your posts on other blogs.
  • Use Guest posts.
  • Spend as much time sharing your posts as writing them.

Here are 30 Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts from LaunchGrowJoy.

30-ways-to-promote-your-blog-posts

I don’t know about you, but there are many ideas in this infographic that are brand new to me.

What are your favorite ways to promote your blog?

Pinterest is one effective social media platform which bloggers use to promote their posts.  Ruth Soukup has written an ebook How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul , which tells you everything you need to know about blogging for money.  I recommend this book as a resource.  It looks like she’s written and published a few more books since then.Howtoblogforprofitwithoutsellingyoursoul

Ruth blogs successfully at Living Well, Spending Less.  Her backstory is interesting.  She uses Pinterest successfully to promote her blog, also at Living Well, Spending Less.

Crystal Paine is also a successful blogger who uses Pinterest, at Money Saving Mom.  This is the pin which I referenced above which led me to her blog posts about making money blogging.

CrystalPaine

 

Featured Images {chronicle}


Cleaning out my drafts folder this week .. this was written almost a year ago .. Featured Images {chronicle} is an update of a previously unpublished post, with pictures of my grandson.  At the end I’ll add some current pictures of him .. how did he get so big???  Here’s his mother when she was a tad older than he .. with her Gram:

Here’s the old unpublished unedited post:

{sigh}{big sigh}

Has anyone else had the privilege of learning how to use a featured image for a post?  My photo won’t show on the post.  I thought perhaps it was too large, but when I edit it, it won’t save.  Help!

Meanwhile, I learned the simple process {two clicks} of making a photo gallery, which I should have done long ago.  This one is a bit random, from Christmas.  Photos already on the blog.

Learning, ever learning, never ending because there are always new things, things changing, more information, faster, faster…

Learning little by little, overwhelmed much of the time, the rest of the time spent with head in proverbial sand.

Today the learning curve is about Featured Images on WordPress.com blogs.

  • First, choose a theme which allows Featured Images.
  • Next, check your theme to see where it can be used.  The My Life theme (this blog) allows featured images in posts and on pages, but not in the header.
  • Make sure Featured Images is checked off on your Screen Options (top right side of post editing screen).
  • Try it out on an unpublished post.
  • Decide how to best use featured images for the benefit of your readers.

Current update:

Obviously I succeeded in getting the Featured Image to work, as I’ve been using it regularly.

This Christmas is the year of passing the family ornaments down to the next generation.  No pictures of that yet, but it’s very much in our hearts, this first Christmas without my mother, my kids’ Gram.  We have her 1950s ornaments as well as handmade ones which she gifted to us years ago.  Lots of memories, lots of love.

Christmas is the season for family, for remembering the old ones, cherishing the new ones, the young, and making new memories for the future.  It is a time for family traditions.  It is a season of love, of giving, of cherishing what loved ones have given.

Christmas is not about stuff.  It is about relationships, it is about selfless giving to those we love, just as God gave us His only Son that we might live through Him.

 May your Christmas season be filled with memories

and joy and hope in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Now, let’s see if I can remember how to make a photo gallery ..