Tag Archives: blogging

Happy 8th to The Recovering Legalist

My heartfelt thanks goes out to all of you who read and follow my blog. You mean more to me than you know.

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Filed under blogging, community

Saved from Irrelevance: the MacBook and Me

This morning I was seriously thinking about walking away from blogging for the next 30 days, or so. Last night was just one of those nights when all the emotional energy I had was sapped out of me, leaving me awake this morning with little or no desire to be transparent, much less creative. So, what was one of the first things that came to mind? Walk away from blogging for a while.

Now, the big question is why would I think like that? Well, it’s not really that difficult to understand: I wanted to atone.

Have you ever noticed how sometimes we like to act destructively in order to relieve stress or pain? Some people do it by drinking too much and getting drunk, while others shoot up drugs or watch porn (is this hitting home with any of you?). Many people, if not most, find some temporary comfort in doing something harmful or self-abasing in order to either punish themselves for something they feel they did wrong, or just prove to themselves they are as bad as they feel. Both options are tragic in their own right.

Why am I writing this? Well, what I am doing is the opposite of what walking away from blogging would do – I’m trying to make a difference.

If you have gotten this far I congratulate you. Most people, in my experience, would have tuned out by now, thinking the subject matter of this post is too emotional, depressing, or something. However, I am not writing this for anyone’s entertainment; I’m writing it because I need to.

And if I ramble, that’s because I am writing with no agenda, no editing, just to get this off my chest.

Anyway, last night was one of those nights that drained me, like I said. It was a night full of family drama, the kind parents sometimes have to go through when there are teens and young adults in the family. It’s that parenting thing that can be so hard…and the struggles within a marriage relationship…when multiple people get together, have differing opinions, different communication skills, and struggle to see things eye-to-eye. The single life does have its advantages in that one can just walk away when things get tense or uncomfortable – but not family. Family is hard work, and painful, too.

So, I woke up this morning, ready to quit blogging for a while. It just seemed like a statement I could make that would make me feel better. Really, the truth is nothing more than what I really wanted to have control over something. We can’t control other people (not unless we are tyrants, or something). Life itself is often nothing more than a four-wheel skid in a generally predetermined direction. Therefore, had I just announced that I was going to quit blogging for a while, I would have at least given myself a temporary emotional boost, one that said something to the effect of, “You are in control!”

But only God is truly in control, you know? The best I can do is remain faithful in the life He has called me to live. I will make mistakes; I will do things I regret; I will say things without thinking; I will hurt feelings; I will give advice today that tomorrow I may regret; and that’s because I am human. Even king Solomon, the wisest man on earth, made mistakes; am I wiser than him? All I can do is “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). In a broad application of Ecc. 12:14, God will handle the rest.

I don’t want to walk away from blogging – although I would like my posts to become ever more relevant and impactful. Just like this computer I am using this morning – one that I rescued from the trash – even though I am not the fastest, sharpest, most up-to-date, and all that, God want’s to take what I do have and put it to good use for His purposes. It’s a much better feeling knowing that something I am writing will make a small difference, rather than feeling that temporary gratification of being in “control.”

Lord willing, even thought I am not the best at it, tomorrow morning I am going to be preaching on the topic of prayer – specifically  “Prayer that Works.” Much of what I preach is nothing more than something I need to hear myself, and this will be no exception. And just like this blog post, one that is an attempt to show I don’t have everything under control, but I’m still making it through another day, tomorrow’s sermon will be an example of God using a flawed, imperfect example of humanity to showcase his glory and grace.

So, if nothing else, I’m thankful for this old computer, rescued from the trash heap, for giving me the urge to do a little bit more typing. God knows how He is going to use it. He’s the one in charge and in control, not me.

Our county school system had relegated this “outdated” MacBook to the trash, but I rescued it from the crusher. After a cleaning up and cleaning out, it still works fine, just a little slower than the new stuff – just like me 😉

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Filed under blogging, Christian Maturity, Faith, Life Lessons

Flawed and Loved

Here’s another insightful guest post. I’m so glad God loves me, flaws and all!


Guest Post by: Dorissa Vanover

“Duh!” “How Stupid!” “Dummy!” These words are the words that fly through my head when I’ve made a silly mistake.

I would never, ever talk to anyone else that way, but, for whatever reason, I feel quite free to berate myself soundly at any time or at any place. I simply cannot cut myself any slack – especially when I goof.

I would really like to blame my upbringing. Maybe my parents are the ones who turned this horrible voice on inside my head. No, it wasn’t them. They tried their very best to make me feel good about myself. This voice is one I developed all by myself!

“She’s just being kind.”  These are the words in my head when someone pays me a compliment. If someone says my hair looks nice, I run to the bathroom mirror to try to figure out what my hair has done with itself since I sprayed it this morning – didn’t look so hot to me then.  I love compliments, don’t get me wrong―it’s just that even if I was tempted to believe them, I probably couldn’t see what was worth complimenting. I mean really, my hair looks nice – um – must be something wrong with her eyesight! 

We’ve all probably heard that it takes 10 positives to outweigh one negative. I believe it.  If ten people complimented me on my appearance and one person looked straight into my eyes and said, “You look tired. Are you feeling okay?”,  I would run to the mirror to check out the tired eyes.

I don’t think I’m the only person in the world who looks for the flaws instead of the attributes when I’m evaluating myself. I’m trying to figure out how to stop it before it gets way too far out of hand.

The first step for me is to remember, “God didn’t make any junk.”  I’ve always known that’s true, especially when I look at my husband or my sons and their families. They are absolutely wonderful people and I’m so very proud of them. I need to remind myself that God created me, too. He loves me, even though I’m flawed.

The next step for me is to be as kind and gentle with my words to myself as I am to others. Have you ever tried to list five good qualities about yourself? I could list many more than that for the other people in my life, but to find five really good qualities about myself is a bit of a stretch. I’ll need to work on that.

The best step I can take is to trust that God has a plan for my life. He put me here for a reason or reasons that I may, or may not, get to know. If I stay focused on Him and His goodness, I won’t have too much time to worry about myself and my flaws.

The final step is to realize that the Bible is very plain about loving others as we love ourselves. Well, guess what? If I don’t have a healthy self-esteem, if I don’t value myself, how will I be able to value others? If I’m always looking inward at myself, how will I be able to hold my head high, look into the faces of the people God sends my way, and share with them all the love God has shared with me?

So, for today, my plan is to prayerfully focus on God and His mercy, treating each of His children, even myself, with the love He expects us to show.

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Filed under abuse, Depression, Guest Posts, Love of God, self-worth

Now Accepting Awesome Guest Posts

First Thing

Here’s the first thing I want you to know…my blog statistics for 2017 are looking good! I’m on track for breaking last year’s record!

Oh, I know my stats are nothing compared to bloggers like Beauty Beyond Bones. For crying out loud, she’s got 23,000 more followers than me…so you do the math. She’s also slightly better-looking that me, so… Nevertheless, my numbers are 51% of last year’s total, so I am ahead of schedule!

Awesome, right?

That is why I would like to keep things active, even though the next month or two is likely to be uber-hectic.

Second Thing

We will be moving once again, this time into the parsonage at South Soddy Baptist Church. Now, this old home hasn’t been lived in for years, and it’s in desperate need of some cleaning and repair – not to mention a few upgrades – so a lot of my time will be spent working there before moving in.

Don’t believe there’s work to be done? Here are some pics.

The back porch/laundry room.

The living room with a broken window, no lights, and some floors that need help.

The ceiling in the kitchen. The ceilings in the rest of the rooms aren’t this bad, but they need work.

The bathroom shower was evidently used in a horror movie.

What is the best way to keep out a draft? Evidently duct tape. This is the inside view of the front door.

 

Also, the place where we are now living is going on the market very soon, so there is work to be done here before it sells. All the work here, and at the parsonage, will be taking a lot of my time – time which will also be shared with working as a trainer for new bus drivers, studying for sermons, recording radio programs, doing lectures at the seminary, and doing a lot of visitation this summer.

When am I supposed to be writing for this blog???

Third Thing (the charming part)

Because I am going to be soooo busy this summer (Oh, and my wife and I are going on a paid-for cruise for our 50th birthdays!), and since I want to keep the viewers coming back, I need guest posts!

It’s not something I’ve done very often, but it’s been fun in the past to have guest bloggers contribute to The Recovering Legalist. However, now it’s more of a necessity than fun – I’m going to be too busy to post something brilliant every day.

So, if you would like to contribute entertaining, thought-provoking, God-honoring, award-worthy literature, start writing now and start submitting. Once I get enough I will start publishing them, thereby freeing me up some valuable time.

But I need your posts. Like soon. ‘Cuz I got me sum tings to be doin,’ doncha know.

Otherwise, I’ll never have enough views/stats/hits to justify renaming my blog…”Beauty Beneath the Fat.” 😉

I’m anxiously awaiting your submissions!

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Filed under blogging, Guest Posts

4 Tips for Reading Long Posts

I know, everyone hates them. Even those who write them know that if your readers are actually going to take the time to read through the entire 1500-word masterpiece, it better be interlaced with plenty of eye-grabbing pictures, recessed quotes, and more headers than an Irish bar at lunchtime, or a gathering of hot-rodders, whichever analogy you prefer.

Since my last post was probably close to 1500 words, I thought it might be a good idea to offer some tips on how to get through such large, monumental, brilliant works at the literary genius. 

  1. Skim it. That’s right, don’t try to read every little word, just skim through the post and then leave a comment. 
  2. Only read the points that interest you. Yes sometimes you can just skim through a post and look for the headers that are most interesting. Just read what comes under those and forget about the rest. Then leave a comment.
  3. Pictures and quotes. If reading an entire post is too taxing for your brain, then just look at the pictures and read a quote or two. Then leave a comment.
  4. Re-read the title of the post and make up your own idea for what the post is about. Could it get any more simple? Then leave a comment.

So, there you have it. Four easy tips on how to get through those long, tedious, over-the-top, brilliant, etc. etc. etc., glorious post that are longer than 500 words.

And here’s a picture, just to have one.

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Appreciate the Dandelions; They Are EVIDENCE!

My Katie

Guys (and I do mean that figuratively), you should really get to know my daughter, Katie. She is so gifted by God in photography, music, and even writing. But what most impresses me about Katie is her ability to see the wonder of God in the smallest of things.

Like I said, Katie is a gifted photographer. Her personal blog is called “Shutter Elf,” and features some seriously good photos. I can take a picture of something and it will look like a picture; Katie can take a picture of the exact same thing and it will be art.

Unfortunately, because of college and stinking Instagram, she doesn’t post as much on her blog. I wish she would do more, however. All it takes is a little browsing through her posts and you will notice not only her natural skill as a photographer, but her ability to bring meaning and insight to what the shutter captures.

The Dandelion

Last night, as I was wrapping things up and getting ready to shut things down, I happened to click on a blog post entitled “Overwhelmed.” Just click on the link and check it out.

The author of the blog (I don’t know her name) concluded her post with the following words:

“So today I pray instead for the Lord to show me the value in the dandelions, the treasures to be found hidden in our afflictions, to open my eyes to His blessings safely tucked within the weeds.”

That’s when I had to comment, and the comment consisted of me asking her to do what I’m going to ask you to do…

Read Katie’s post about dandelions! You will never look at them the same again!

Oh, and try to encourage Katie to post more by leaving a comment and subscribing to her blog. 🙂

Click HERE, or on the picture, to read “DANDELIONS.”

Photo Credit: Katie Marie

 

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Filed under blogging, God, Guest Posts, Relationships and Family, Struggles and Trials, worship

Crazy Search Terms and Christian Blogs

Searching

This post took a little longer than I wanted, all because I took the time to peruse the world wide web. Really, there are a lot of things out there I never knew, and the only way I could have found out about them was to randomly “Google” something.

Sometimes I am both amazed and brought to laughter when I read the search terms people have entered which led them to my blog. So, this time I figured I would type some crazy stuff in and see what happened.

The goal: Could I find a Christian blogger at the other end of these search-term rainbows?

10 search terms and their interesting results.

1. Boogaloo and happy hamsters

2. Buggy bumper Bible

3. Myocardial Greek inflection

  • All Greek to me, except for articles in medical journals dealing with hypertension and coffee drinking making arteries stiffer.

4. Blessed are the fish

5. Papaya preacher paints

  • A painting by Isabel Rock, “Papaya Don’t Preach.”

6. Faith and dirt in a blender

7. Gospeltime elephant bladder

8. Gong Show Theology

9. What if Scooby got saved? 

10. Legalistic Ice Cream

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Filed under blogging