>Am I A Wrong-Blogger?

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>I’m pretty new to blogging…actually, very new.  I haven’t decided yet if there are right and wrong ways to do it.  I’ve read blogs about blogging, with great hints about how to get more readers, how to keep readers, how to guest blog, and how to organize your blog.

I’ve been told, “don’t talk too much about yourself,” and “just be yourself,” and “only talk about stuff that is important to you,” and “find a topic that people will be attracted to and write about that.”

I’ve heard, “your blog posts should be 200-300 words max” and “your blog posts can be up to 600-800 words.”

I’ve seen blogs on all kinds of topics, from marketing to motherhood, vocations to vacations, gardening to grand-parenting, and leadership to landscaping.

I’ve seen some great gimmicks like “A Photo A Day” and “Seven Sentences” (where every post is exactly 7 sentences long).

My blog is pretty much about whatever is on my mind when I sit down to write, along with the ongoing story of A Girl Named Little.  I have no real topic, no real focus necessarily.  I don’t stick to a set length for each post, and I don’t really do anything fancy to get more views.

I know that I’m called to encourage people to break the ties that hold them back, to reveal the secrets that weigh them down, and to battle the fears that tie their hands.  I’m not sure that my blog is specifically about that, though.

So, am I a wrong-blogger??  (I just made up that term, by the way…just for fun!)  Is there a right way to blog?  Do I need to pick a specific topic?  A consistent length?  Do I need to post less about my own thoughts, and come up with a more “generalized” topic to discuss?

When you first started your blog, how did you decide what to write about? What blogging “rules” do you use?

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>We Are All Worship Leaders

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I’ll admit to you right up front…I stole the ideas for this post from the Worship Pastor at my church (Southeast Christian Church,Parker, CO), Jeff Percival.  Jeff not only led the music portion of the service today, but he also did the teaching, and his words have resonated in my soul all day. 
He used this great quote by Louie Giglio…
“I think all music – not just Christian music – is worship music because every song is amplifying the value of something.  There’s a trail of our time, our affection, our allegiance, our devotion, our money.  That trail leads to a throne, and whatever’s on that throne is what we worship.  We’re all doing a great job of it because God has created us to be worshippers.  The problem is that a lot of us have really bad gods.”
He also used Luke 4:18-19…
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” (NLT)
So, here’s the deal friends…We are ALL worship leaders!   Each and every one of us…believer or non-believer, old or young, those employed in ministry and those employed in secular organizations…we are ALL worship leaders.
Why would I say that?  Here’s why…
  1. God made us to be worshippers, and we all worship something
  2. The life I am living amplifies the value of whatever I worship (if I worship money, my life will amplify the value of being wealthy…If I worship fame, my life will amplify the value of being well-known and recognized…if I worship Jesus, my life will amplify the value of Christ himself)
  3. Others will recognize and resonate with the things that I worship…those things that are amplified in my life.
  4. I am, just by the very nature of what is amplified in my life, leading others into worship of something…I am a worship leader.
So, here’s the question…
Your life amplifies the value of something…what is it?  What is resonating with others when they are with you?  What kind of worship are you leading?

>A Girl Named Little – Part 5

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“I need to tell you something about your grandpa,” Little heard her mom’s voice say over the phone.  Sitting alone in her college apartment, Little’s stomach started to churn, her hands started to sweat.  Mom’s voice sounded concerned.  Could she know something?  How?  Or maybe he’s sick, in the hospital, dead.  Little’s mind sped through a million possibilities in just a few seconds.

“What’s going on?”
“Well, it’s crazy.  These two little girls in his neighborhood have claimed that he exposed himself to them.”
Little felt instantly queasy, lightheaded, short-of-breath. ‘Oh God,’ she thought.  ‘This is it…it’s all going to come out now…and I’m not the only one.’  Anger, disgust, rage, hurt, fear all surged through her simultaneously.  She tried to stay focused on her mother’s words…to act surprised, unaffected.
“Huh,” was the only sound she could get out.
Her mother continued, “They say that they were riding their bikes down the street and he exposed himself through the front window.  These little girls are trouble makers, though.  You know he would never do anything like that.  I have no idea why they are making up such a horrible thing.”
Little couldn’t speak…what could she say?  Should she confess her secret?  Everything in her wanted to say, “No!  You’re wrong!  He would do something like this!  He did this to me, and even worse!”  But she couldn’t…the words were stuck…fear overwhelmed…nothing came.
Finally Little asked, “So, what’s going to happen?”
“Well, this has actually been going on for a little while, but I didn’t tell you sooner because I didn’t want to worry you.  Now it’s going to court, so I thought you should know.  But we have letters from a bunch of neighbors supporting your grandfather.  Those girls make up lies all the time.  I’m sure the judge will see that they are lying and that your grandfather would never do such a thing.”
And Little didn’t tell…and the judge ruled in favor of her grandfather…and those girls were called liars…and her guilt and shame grew.
  • Painful secrets don’t sit dormant.  They are a breeding ground for guilt, shame, self-hatred and doubt.
  • Painful secrets don’t heal themselves.  Healing requires truth and light.
  • Painful secrets don’t only hurt their holder.  They create a wall of fear which separates their holder from truly loving others, and so the hurt spreads.

>Parent Therapy…I Need Help!

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I spent the last few days in Georgia with some of my family.  We were celebrating the high school graduation of one of my nieces.
My middle brother and his wife have 3 kids, ages 20, 18 (the graduate) and 16.  I haven’t had the chance to spend extended time with my nieces and nephew in a few years.  One of the things that I noticed about them during this trip is that they get along SO well with each other!  To be honest, I was feeling pretty insecure about my own kids, so I said to my sister-in-law, “Please tell me that they used to fight with each other when they were my kids’ ages (14, 12, and 10).” 
She thought for a moment then said, “Actually, they didn’t.”   
‘Hmm,’ I thought.  “Okay, I don’t really mean ‘fight’.  What I really mean is more like ‘bicker’.  They did that, right?” 
“Ummm, no.  They really didn’t.  They’ve always gotten along really well.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking…she has just forgotten.  Everyone’s kids fight, or argue, or bicker, or whatever you want to label it.  Or, maybe she just doesn’t want to admit it…maybe she’s one of those moms that acts like her kids are perfect.  But I can tell you this.  I’ve known my sister-in-law for over 20 years and that is just not her personality.  She’s honest about the weaknesses of her children, along with their strengths.  She loves her children dearly (as does my brother), but neither of them are blind to the truth either. 
Then I came home to my kids…who really are awesome kids…but who do not get along nearly as well as my nieces and nephews do.  A few minutes after arriving home, I was looking through my son’s 8th grade yearbook with him, when his youngest sister asked if she could look it when we were done. 
If you had walked into the conversation at this point, you might have thought that his sister had just asked him to cut off his own arm.  He acted so ‘put out’ by the question.  I mean, how could she?  It is a ridiculous request when you think about it…that his younger sister would want to look at this book that means so much to him…that she might actually be interested in something pertaining to him…I mean, it’s ghastly, really.
Someone help me understand what is going on in his mind?  Help me, seriously.  When you have something you care about, and someone else shows interest in it, isn’t your first reaction to want to share it?  Aren’t you excited that someone else cares about it?  Don’t you want to show it off?
Why is this not true for my son with his little sister?  And, how should I handle it?  Do I force him to show it to her?  Do I try to talk to him about why he doesn’t want to show it to her?  Do I try to use reason and logic? 
Help?? Anyone???

>Teenage Attitude

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My 14 year old son is an awesome kid…I love him to death.  He also has his “teenage attitude” moments when I absolutely want to wring his neck!  One of those times happened this evening…just a few minutes ago, actually….and I’m still fuming just a bit.
Since he only has one more week of school, I decided to go online and check his grades.  He has always been a good student with good grades, so I had no significant worries about what I might find.  What I wasn’t expecting was that he has 8 missing assignments.  Eight.  Not just one “oops I forgot” moment.  Eight missing assignments.  That’s not an accident…that’s pure irresponsibility. 
Of course, this little discovery spawned a “conversation” in our household this evening about responsibility, lying, etc…  And here is what my 14 year old son said to me…”I can handle my school stuff on my own.”
If I hadn’t been so frustrated with him, I would have laughed.  “Umm…really?  Really?  Did you fall on your head today?  You have 8 missing assignments!  That’s not how I define someone who can handle his schoolwork on his own!” 
I sent him off to work on his assignments and thought to myself (and I’ll be honest here), ‘teenagers are just stupid…MY teenager is stupid.  He actually believes that we should just step back and let him do what he wants to do (or not do, as the case may be).   He actually believes that, at the ripe old age of 14, he’s got it all taken care of.  But wait until he needs something…a ride, some money, dinner…will I be so unnecessary then?’
Then suddenly I heard a whisper in my soul.  I sensed Jesus saying, with a bit of a friendly smirk on His face (and, yes, I do believe that Jesus smirks!) “Isn’t this, Kim, the way you so often act toward me?  Don’t you often act like a stupid teenager who thinks that she can handle life on her own?  Don’t you often believe that you’ve got it all taken care of?  Until you need something, that is.”
Ouch…it’s true.  Maybe, like my son who thinks he’s older than he actually is, I think I’m more mature than I actually am.  If I’m honest, I walk my faith more often like a stupid teenager than a mature adult. 
But, as always, there is good news.  I still love my son more than life itself…I would die for that stupid teenager!  And Jesus loves me more than life itself…so much so that he already died.

>A Conversation With God About Adventure

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I’m a girl who likes adventure.  If I could, I would sell everything I own and just go…follow God wherever He takes me.  So, I was having another conversation with God tonight (a bit one-sided at first) asking, “Okay God, where, when, how?  I’m bored…ready to go…so, could you pick a place and get us moving??  Oh, and could you get my family on board with the plan as well, please?”
At some point, when I took a mental breath, God started talking…here’s a bit of our conversation.
God what do you want from me?
Tell me now, let me know, make it clear
Show me the adventure waiting in your plan for me
I’m ready Lord, let me hear
I am willing to do great things for You
Travel far distances, sell everything I own
To make a difference in Your name in this world you created
To be sure that Your glory is shown
“I know you are willing, my daughter,” You say.
“To go far and wide in my name”
“But are you as willing, my sweet child”
“To serve where I have put you today?”
“It may not be Africa, India or the Middle East”
“Filled with warfare, injustice, and disease”
“But the place where you live is as precious to me”
“As any place you will ever be.”
“There may not be many exciting adventures”
“In your white-picket-fence suburban days”
“But if adventure is what you are seeking, instead of really seeking Me”
“Then your service will be in vain anyway.”
“If you are really willing to do anything for Me”
“Go anywhere, make any sacrifice.”
“Then choose each day to glorify My name”
“Through your love, allow others to see Christ”
“With your children, with your neighbors, with your friends”
“In your home, at your work, in your church”
“There is work to be done right where you are”
“You don’t have to go to the ends of the earth”
“One day I may send you again”
“To the places that your heart longs to see”
“But for now, my sweet child, be at peace and know”
“That you are right where I want you to be”

>A Girl Named Little – Part 4

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A Bit About Little
“We’re moving.” Little’s mom and dad were sitting in front of her, looking a little bit nervous about what they were saying, worried that Little would be upset. “Your dad has been transferred to Colorado.”

Little had only ever lived in the same small town in California. She was only 9 years old, but her childhood ended 3 years ago when her grandfather first touched her. She had lived an entire lifetime in that small town, and she was ready to leave. She would surely miss her friends, and she was afraid of the unknown that awaited her in Colorado, but the joy of moving away from her grandfather wiped away the fears.

‘It’s almost over,’ Little thought. ‘I can’t believe it’s almost over.’

What Little didn’t realize at her young age was that, although she could run from her circumstances, she could not run from her broken soul. And time does not necessarily heal all wounds.

Little would spend the next 11 years believing she had successfully escaped her grandfather…believing that what he did had no effect on her. Her depression? Insecurity? Fear? Self-hated? Those didn’t come from what her grandfather had done…no…those were her fault. If she only read her Bible more, prayed longer, then she’d feel better.

Little couldn’t see how the tendrils of shame were wrapped around her soul…she couldn’t see how those 3 years had transformed her entire being…made her a different person than she would otherwise have been.

Eventually the tendrils would slowly let loose, one at a time, but not until Little learned to face the pain, admit the truth, and share her secret.

But that’s a story for another day…