In the Blogging for Beginners WordPress course, my next assignment is to set at least three goals for my Blog.
I will Blog every week, sharing a Bible verse, a devotion, or some spiritual issue I’m dealing with in posts
I will expand my Blog posts to include Bible Verse Images, similar to my Instagram account
I will start a series on key Bible verses and key spiritual disciplines in my life. I’ll call it “The Keys to the Kingdom” posts.
I will look at my photography blog and start a series looking back at my photography work and series in past years. I’ll call it “Becky’s Throw Back” posts.
I can do this! First, I need a plan. Then I need to organize my thoughts and plan several posts to get started. How often will I post The Keys or Becky’s Throw Back? How will I expand to Bible Verse Images? Will I use the same images as are on Instagram?
These are good thoughts, but if they don’t go on my calendar, they won’t happen. So I have work to do!
Why do I Blog instead of keeping a diary? Actually, I do keep a daily journal. I use the App DayOne to keep a record of thoughts during Bible study, favorite verses, quotes, books I’d like to read and things happening in my life. Not all of that is “blog worthy” in my mind!
What topics do I think I’ll blog about? All of my interests, of course. I have several blogs actually, all with WordPress. On my website, I post about photography. I have a blog on my family GENEAOLOGY website. I have a blog about my issues with weight loss. And I have a blog that is more inspirational, Bible focused. So those are the topics I’m likely to blog about, but not all on one blog.
Who would I love to connect with on my blog? Well for photography, I’d love to connect with those interested in my Fine Art Nature Photography, of course. Sometimes, I think I just want to put it out there, for the world to see who I am. But discussions and interactions about the topics I have passion for are high on my list. I wonder sometimes, about a Blog that combine my interests.
If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what do you hope to accomplish? That is an excellent question! I think I need to set some goals. What would I like to see happen? Do I want followers, comments, people to buy my images? I think I need to think about this!
Other thoughts: I read a lot. I could write about favorite authors and books. I know how to Google, which seems to be its own art form. I love to hike, identify birds and fungi, grow in my photography skills, surround myself with Spring flowers in my yard, travel when there isn’t COVID, cope with staying at home when there is COVID. All of these are a part of me. And so much more. I could see a daily or weekly blog of my thoughts about life, seen through all these aspects of my life!
“With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!” Isaiah 12:3 NLT
On New Year’s Eve, I wrote a Psalm. It flowed from a year long focus on Abiding Joy in Bible studies. It summarized all I had learned during the year about Abiding Joy. The verse from Isaiah pulled it all together for me.
“This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength! Nehemiah 8:10b NLT
Abiding Joy, Becky’s Psalm for 2020
I can have abiding joy every moment
if I drink deeply from the fountain of salvation.
Salvation reminds me of the most important thing in my life –
that Jesus is real, he died for me, he is with me,
he has saved me, will save me and I am his.
This brings a sense of awe, a feeling of assurance deep within me,
of my salvation in Jesus.
God alone can make me whole, heal me,
cause me to walk in his ways, strengthen me and empower me.
By his Holy Spirit, I have access to the wisdom of God.
Holy Spirit, open my ears that I can hear. Open my eyes so I can see.
Show me and tell me more about you and your ways.
Give me an obedient and willing heart.
Help me to follow in your steps in every part of my life.
My heart is yours. I can love because you love me.
Help me to love others more than myself.
Rid me of selfishness. Rid me of complacency.
Ignite a passion in me that only you can satisfy.
All this brings abiding joy.
I have confidence you can and will do all that is needed.
I can trust you. I do trust you. With my life, my future.
All that I am. All that I will be.
You alone know the future.
You alone can equip me with all I need today and tomorrow.
Let it be done.
Take care of me and lead me into your path of righteousness.
I want to stand before you some day and see you smile.
On New Year’s Eve, I wrote a Psalm. Not on purpose. It just flowed out of me during Bible devotions!
“With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!” Isaiah 12:3 NLT
Abiding Joy by Becky Jane Davis
I can have abiding joy every moment if I drink deeply from the fountain of salvation. Salvation reminds me of the most important thing in my life – that Jesus is real, he died for me, he is with me, he has saved me, will save me and I am his. This brings a sense of awe, a feeling of assurance deep within me, of my salvation in Jesus. God alone can make me whole, heal me, cause me to walk in his ways, strengthen me and empower me. By his Holy Spirit, I have access to the wisdom of God.
Holy Spirit, open my ears that I can hear. Open my eyes so I can see. Show me and tell me more about you and your ways. Give me an obedient and willing heart. Help me to follow in your steps in every part of my life. My heart is yours. I can love because you love me. Help me to love others more than myself. Rid me of selfishness. Rid me of complacency.
Ignite a passion in me that only you can satisfy. All this brings abiding joy. I have confidence you can and will do all that is needed. I can trust you. I do trust you. With my life, my future. All that I am. All that I will be.
You alone know the future. You alone can equip me with all I need today and tomorrow. Let it be done. Take care of me and lead me into your path of righteousness. I want to stand before you some day and see you smile. Because you were faithful and I was obedient.
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3:23 NLT
There is no leeway in this verse. No exceptions offered. ALL. SINNED. Missed the standard of Jesus. Some of us miss the standard by a lot, breaking all of the commandments. Some, walking with the Holy Spirit, miss the standard by less. But the amount doesn’t matter. ALL have sinned and fallen short of the standard of God. Except Jesus. He is our Standard.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
How do I seek God? How do I become more like Him! How do I learn what to do, how to do it? By reading, soaking, chewing on the Word of God.
It is Passover, where the story of the Passover Lamb is being shared. In the Upper Room, Jesus talks to his disciples. John 16 seems so relevant today. A week after Easter. Grieving with those who grieve recent losses. Remembering my mom.
At the end, Jesus tells us to have peace in Him. That though we have trials, HE HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD!
Some key phrases seemed highlighted to me today in John 16 from the NLT version:
“so that you won’t abandon your faith…
And when he [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment…
..sin is that it refuses to believe in me…
Righteousness is available because I go to the Father…
Judgment…the ruler of this world has already been judged…
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth…
…about the future…
…bring me glory…
The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me…
I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me…
…your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy…
no one can rob you of that joy…
Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy…
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
The song going through my head is “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin.
There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
I will rise
And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
Worthy is the Lamb! He has overcome the grave! He has overcome the world! Victory is His! He will call me home some day. And I will rise and join Him. As will all those who believe in Jesus and receive His salvation, the forgiveness of sins and the life everlasting.
They say clouds have silver linings. I hope so. Yesterday and today were cloudy days for me. For the first time since Mom went to be with Jesus, I had free days. No appointments, no schedule, no pressing tasks to be done. It was the first time I let go. And Life felt cloudy. Fuzzy, unclear, disconnected.
Grief seems to be playing out in my heart in many ways. There’s the grumpiness, short temper way. And the anti-social, leave me be way. The productive, keep my mind off of it way. But today there was no excuse. And my heart stopped being in over gear. And my mind had no tasks to consume it. And my life allowed me to just stop, and be.
And how did I feel? Cloudy, stormy, avoiding life, rebelling in a way. I decided chocolate ice cream would help. Yes, I’m well aware that is emotional eating. But it did get me out of the house.
A storm passed through today. The clouds were very expressive. Dark grays, rain grayness, bright white behind the storm, and everything in between. And they caught my eye, the photographer eye. So I stopped, got out and captured a few images. I truly saw a silver lining, or a brightness directly behind the darkness. So even though I still feel a bit in the dark, hope is kindled and I think, maybe, possibly, there is a silver lining after all.
Cloudy, stormy emotions need the hope of a silver lining.
I’ve been doing two Advent devotions this year. One generated two images a day and the other generated many thoughts about Jesus. Today I’ll share my two Christmas Bible verse images, both using decorated Christmas tress as the background.
Choosing the version of the Bible is important to me. Usually I read the ESV, but one verse I chose the Good News Bible, which is normally for children.
I’m also struck this year by the word “exceedingly” and how it is used in the Bible. I see a word study coming in 2018!