Scripture for the Day: James 1:26, 27
The bit of wisdom I’ve got insofar as building a blog is concerned (that is, a following—I already have the blog) – is to support others who are writing about things I love and believe in. So in pursuit of blogs I can support, I typed in the name of an author I have enjoyed, Dallas Willard. I seemed to remember a website. When I followed a link, however, this man’s work was being denigrated and his general reputation attacked.
The trouble is, this was not a political rant; it was one Christian attacking another one. As I followed this woman’s posts, I found more vituperation concerning another issue I care about—the role of women in the church. I woke up this morning wondering what to do. I mean, what is the Christian thing to do? I found myself in the book of James, where this author did in fact have some advice. He said to bridle our tongues—keep them under control, in other words, for words are powerful and can cause great damage. Anyone can benefit from that advice. Further, he spoke of “Pure and undefiled religion.” What is it? Care for orphans and widows; in other words, be on the lookout for how we can be kind and helpful. And what else? “Keep yourself unspotted from the world.” Clean up your act, in modern language.
This doesn’t tell me everything I want to know but it helped me get through today. There’s someone in the hospital I need to visit.
So what do we do while we are “watching for God” — that is, while we are waiting for the answer to prayer? Moreover, how do we live in the reality of the abundance Jesus Christ promised when we look all around us and see everything but abundance–poverty of love, poverty of morality as well as economic poverty?
A few days ago I fell into a funk. All I could sense was the great need for health and faith and hope and love in our world, our country and in the lives of people I love. In addition, I have failed to reach some personal goals for myself. I felt myself slipping down into a very scary place.
Several things helped me. I had some places I could go and people I had promised to see. Also, I have books–stories of people who inspire me. I have poetry and I have the Bible. I began to read, and slowly I remembered that even when I can’t see how God is going to work in the various lives I pray for (including my own), I am rich in the knowledge that He does love us. He has not forgotten the world, our nation, my loved ones, or me. In the meantime, I have books to read and people to see. I can truly live rich in a world that sometimes looks very poor indeed.
I awoke this morning set on committing to pay another $6.99 a month to GoDaddy to help promote my web site, “watchingforgod.com.” But as I headed for the computer, I seemed to hear something like, “You don’t have to do this; you can support other bloggers who are doing something similar to what you love and believe in.” I feel like I have been set free. When I teach my workshop on blogging, I’ll be able to teach folks how to get started on the journey. But the truth is, the author of a blog needs help to promote their web site. Some individuals have followers anyway (such as the pastor of a church), and they get the thing going. Others have a good idea but need to get it out there, and that takes advertising one way or another. The field of online marketing, I have found, is a big business.
For myself, this “word” I’ve received is part of my own personal memoir and “watching for God” and I’ll be adding it to this blog as record that on October 4, 2016, I was set free from the business of promoting my own effort. I have already remembered one person involved in helping people write their memoir who also teaches for Nashville Community Education, Deborah Wilbrink. Her site is perfectmemoirs.com. It’s beautiful. She’ll also be teaching a workshop at the Annual Conference of Carnegie Writers in Huntsville, where I’ll be teaching on blogging. There are others that I’ll be following and sharing from time to time.
For now, I’m going to take a walk. The air is crisp and made for walking.