This Blog’s For You

About This Blog: As the title says, this blog is for you. It’s filled with messages to you. How you use the messages is, well, up to you. They could be messages of encouragement, hope, comfort, even healing or they could be prompts for writing, meditating, contemplating, studying, even debating.

You may be wondering who the messages are from. These words to you are from God. So is this God’s Blog? No, don’t be silly. God doesn’t have the time to blog.

Our world is changing. Information is literally at the tips of your fingers and so is the word of God. Times change, but His words do not. Kingdoms rise and fall. Governments succeed and fail. Technology advances and recedes: Snail Mail gave way to email which gave way to texting. Through it all, God’s words remain fixed. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35 NIV).

Intended Audience: Anyone and everyone.

Blog Excerpt:

new giveaway


the prize

An eternity in heaven!

 

deadlines

Varies depending on person –but the sooner you enter the better!

 

winning

Immediately!


mandatory entry

Admit you sin (“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23NIV]).

Realize the consequences of sin (“For the wages of sin is death…” [Romans 6:23 NIV]).

Accept that Jesus died to save you (“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” [Romans 5: 8 NIV]).

 

additional entries

  • Love  with sincerity. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
  • Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
  • Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
  • Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
  • Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
  • Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
  • Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
  • Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
  • Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
  • If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
  • Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.
  • On the contrary:   ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’
  • Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

(Romans 12:9-21 NIV)

These are not required to win, but will enrich your life just the same.

Good Luck!

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I have to give credit to Pam at Encouragement for Christian Writers for the idea to use ‘You’ for my ‘Y’ post. She also pointed me in the direction of the scripture verses in Romans. I could have pulled scriptures from other books in the Bible but decided that each post in This Blog’s For You would be focused on one book from the Bible.

This was one of the more difficult blogs to write. However, I’ve been trying to fit in the giveaway aspect of blogging through the entire challenge and I think it works here. Or maybe it doesn’t; you tell me! This is a blog for you after all!

Character X’s Blog

Blog Title: Nooks and Crannies

About Me: I’m a simple faithful woman. I work hard, but never miss an opportunity to spend time with my friends and neighbors. I believe there are treasures all around us. We just need to look for them.

Intended Audience: This blog can be enjoyed by all women.

Blog Excerpts:

Lost and Found

After a hard day’s work, I counted out my wages – 10 silver coins. As I returned the coins to my change purse, I counted only 9. Where had the other coin gone? Now I had a choice to make. I could forget about the lost coin and just figure it turns up or I could search for the coin until I found it. I couldn’t just sit back and wait. And as Proverbs states,

Lazy hands make for poverty,
but diligent hands bring wealth (10:4 NIV)

So I retraced my steps for the evening: coming in, shutting the door, putting my bag on the table. After that is when I first got out my change purse. The coin had to have fallen on the floor. So on my hands and knees I looked. I got out the broom and swept under and around the table, but did not uncover any gleaming silver.

With lights blazing, I carefully walked the perimeter of my house searching for a glint of coin all to no avail. After a cursory glance, I decided to give my house a thorough cleaning in the hopes that I would find the missing money. Rather than think of it as a chore, I imagined a treasure hunt.

Two hours and one allergy attack later, I found the lost coin! It had wedged itself under the leg of the table. Of course it was in the very first place I looked. But the important thing was I had found it!

I was so excited I called up my neighbor and best friend to celebrate my discovery. I invited them over since my house was nice and clean! I shared the whole story and they shared similar incidents in their own lives. Laughter echoed off the walls of my small home.

What a fuss we made over so little! Yet that tiny piece of silver was worth rejoicing over and so are we! God never turns his back on us. We turn our back on him, but He never abandons us.  Just as a shepherd rejoices at finding his lost sheep, or a father rejoices at the return of his son, so God rejoices and celebrates when we repent and dedicate our lives to him.

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So do you recognize Character X?

Women at Jesus’ tomb

Blog Title: Testifiers to the Tomb

About Us: This past Sunday our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead just as he promised. We witnessed his empty tomb and wish to share our experiences with the world and proclaim that He is risen!

Contributors:

Mary Magdalene

Joanna

Mary the mother of James

Intended Audience: Those searching for eye-witness accounts of the Lord’s empty tomb.

Blog Excerpt:

My Account

by Mary Magdalene

It was early in the morning, just after sunrise,  when I met Joanna and Mary to visit Jesus’ tomb. We had prepared spices and planned to anoint his body when we arrived. Silence hovered heavy in the air around us as we walked. Even nature was quiet and still, as if it too was in mourning.

“How will we roll the stone out of the way?” Mary finally broke the silent spell.

“We’ll…” Joanna suddenly stopped and stared straight ahead. Mary and I turned to look as well and discovered what had made her speechless.

There before us was the tomb with the stone already rolled away. My skin tingled. The air pulsed with buzzing energy. I swallowed hard as fear and excitement warred within me.

For the longest time, or maybe it was just a few seconds, I’m not sure; time ceased to matter. The three of us stood in awe, unsure whether to enter the tomb or not.

Cautiously I took a step forward. My companions followed. Carefully we crept into the tomb, curious but vigilant. Once inside, we collectively held our breath. Before us stood two angels in gleaming white. Immediately we fell prostrate before them.

Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ (Luke 24:5-8 NIV)

I felt ashamed for forgetting my teacher’s words.  Here before me was proof that he had risen from the dead –a tomb empty except for mere strips of linen and the cloth that had been wrapped around his head.

Of course the other women and I rushed to share our discovery with the others, but they originally didn’t believe us. Actually, they dismissed our words as woman’s ‘nonsense’. I forgave them because the news was unbelievable and because after they saw the tomb for themselves, they had to eat those words!

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I based Mary’s account mostly on Luke, but with some influence from Mark.

Vashti’s Blog

Blog Title: Vashti’s Voice

(The Book of Esther 1:1-22)

About Me: I’m newly divorced and surviving singlehood one day at a time. I was married to a complete and utter fool who kicked me to the curb the first time I told him ‘no’. I didn’t have a voice in my marriage; I’m trying to find it now.

Intended Audience: Divorcees will especially relate to this blog, but all women will find something of value.

Blog Excerpt:

A Woman’s Place

I know a good wife is subservient to her husband and does as she is told. But what happens when a good wife is married to a dope? Don’t get me wrong. My ex-husband was not always a complete dolt. In fact, he’s in a very powerful position, but he also overindulges when it comes to drinking and tends to make rash decisions.

Living with my ex meant living with a specific set of rules, which was fine. Every relationship has rules –reasonable rules. When my ex asked an unreasonable request, I refused and paid dearly for it.

It all started with a party. My ex is well-known for grand celebrations. The guests were all very important people and my husband happily basked in their praise and admiration. As for me, I was playing by the rules and entertaining the women away from the men.

During the ‘women’s party’, I received a summons from my husband. He wanted me to come to him wearing only my crown. At first, I was sure I had misunderstood. The request was outrageous! Unfortunately it was also legitimate.

My cheeks burned with embarrassment and fury. How dare my own husband ask me to parade around nude in front of a drunken crowd of men. There’s no telling what kind of chaos that would cause. Is that what my husband wanted or was he too darn drunk to think straight?

Regardless of his reasoning or lack thereof, I had to refuse. I would not obey such a despicable order no matter the consequences, which were quite harsh. My ex threw me out and refused to speak with me about the incident or anything else.

I won’t lie; I was hurt. I thought that once my ex had sobered up, he would have second thoughts, but obviously his pride and reputation were more important than I was.

The whole situation has raised many questions about my place in my marriage and in any future relationships. For example, should a wife obey her husband even if it puts her own life at risk? Should a wife obey her husband even if it means going against everything she believes in? Scripture makes it clear that the man is the authority in a marriage; punishment for Eve’s bite of the apple:

I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband,  and he will rule over you (Genesis 3:16 NIV).

However, if a man is the leader, or ruler, in a marriage, doesn’t he have the responsibility of leading with intelligence and compassion? Doesn’t he have to concern himself with the well-being of his wife? And if he doesn’t, does the wife still have to follow him?

I’m not sorry I said no to my ex. I do sometimes miss the extravagant lifestyle, but not enough to justify sacrificing my principles, my dignity and making myself an object for men to lust after. There comes a point in a woman’s life when she has to decide whether to raise her voice or stay quiet. I’m choosing to raise my voice.

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I’m considering this the prequel to Queen Esther’s Blog

Should I have referred to Xerxes by name in this entry?

Uzziah’s Blog

Blog Title: New King in Town

About Me: 16 years old with a license to rule!

Intended Audience: Royal and regular dudes.

Blog Excerpt:

Super Cool Plans for the Kingdom

  • Take out the Philistines
  • Build towers
  • Build an army
  • Build an irrigation system

There’s a new king in town and I’ve got big plans for Judah!

First, I’m going to finish what my father started and take care of the Philistines once and for all. Once I’ve dealt with them, I am going to concentrate on making Jerusalem bigger and badder than any other city in the world.

To start, we need to fortify this city. Raise an army – organize, train and equip them for battle. I was even thinking about this cool idea for a machine that shoots arrows and hurls giant rocks from the top of a tower. Imagine flinging boulders 50 feet! How awesome will that be?

Don’t believe me? I’m being straight with you guys. My advisor Zechariah has had visions from God about the glorious possibilities for our great nation! Under God we will prosper!

Follow me!

facebook

I’m the king and I’ve been verified.

Timothy’s Blog

Blog Title: Running the Race

About Me: My name is Timothy. I’m not much of a writer, but some friends of mine have blogs, so I started one to keep in touch.

Intended Audience: Paul, Barney, Prisca, and Aquila. And anyone else who cares to take a look.

(Would Barnabas go by Barney?)

Blogroll:

Sun of Encouragement: Illuminating God’s Glory

The Road to Damascus

Happily Ever After

Blog Excerpt:

In Training

Recently Paul wrote to me-

Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops (2 Timothy 2:3-6 NIV).

This passage illustrates why Paul is an amazing writer. He really knows his audience. God has gifted him with keen insight and the ability to relate principles of Christianity to our everyday life.  And as a result, Paul successfully converts non-believers.

Of the three, the most interesting metaphor to me is the athlete. While neither Paul nor I approve of the Olympic games being held to honor the Greek god, Zeus, we can’t help but be impressed by the participants. So impressed that after witnessing a foot race during the Olympics, we were inspired to try running ourselves.

At first, we only did short sprints. Eventually we would run for several miles at a time. During these longer runs, Paul and I rarely engaged in conversation. We were concentrating on the road ahead and each pounding footstep. Once when I glanced over, I caught Paul smiling. It was contagious.

Something about the movement of our bodies, the quickening of our hearts and the heaviness of our breath, caused a feeling of extreme well-being. We shared a deep appreciation for the human body. What an amazing gift God has given us!

It wasn’t long before Paul connected the act of running with the act of being a good Christian. After Paul pointed it out, it seemed obvious. I find myself using the comparison a lot now. I used it as the title of this blog as a reminder that every challenge thrown in my path is a chance to exercise my faith. Like a muscle in the body, faith gets stronger when it is tested.

And just as God equipped us with a body to train for running a foot race, he has equipped us with the tool we need to train and strengthen our faith.

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 NIV).

During the course of my race, I will spread God’s word, teach, correct, and encourage the racers beside me with patience and careful instruction. In every twist and turn on my course, I will turn to God for guidance. Racing forward, one step at a time, eyes straight ahead, focused on one goal – to finish the race with God at my side.

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I never considered doing a blog for Paul (aside from guessing at his title) because there is no need to speculate on what Paul may have blogged about; the New Testament is filled with potential entries.

I decided to do a blog by Timothy for two reasons: Paul’s running metaphor delights me; I enjoy writing about exercising our faith.

For now, I’ll call it complete, but only because soon it will be Sunday and I will not stumble this late in the challenge.

I’m sorry I got behind. Tomorrow afternoon I should have plenty of time to catch up on all of your blogs!

Blessings to all and wishing you a beautiful Easter Sunday.

Samuel’s Blog

Blog Title: A Dedicated Life

About Me: I’m just a typical teenager who happens to have been dedicated to the Lord at a very young age. Right now I assist the priest Eli in the  house of the Lord at Shiloh. Maybe I’m not so typical after all, uh?

Intended Audience: Other teenagers or anyone younger than Eli!

Blog Excerpt:

Late Night Call

Snoring. Coughing. Grunting. Throat Clearing. Sleeping next to a man as old as Eli means I never have a peaceful night. Last night was no exception, but it was different because there was a new sound –a voice.

“Samuel!”

At first, I thought Eli was calling me, which was a little unusual, but the more his eyesight faded the more he needed help. Groggily I moved towards his bed. “Hear I am.”

But Eli rolled over and said, “I did not call you. Go back to bed.”

Sighing I went back to bed. But then I heard the voice again.

“Samuel!”

Once again I headed sleepily to Eli’s side. “Here I am,” I yawned, only slightly annoyed.

“I did not call you. Go back to bed.”

Okay. Was Eli playing a trick on me? That would be completely out of character. Eli didn’t know the meaning of the word fun. So I went back to bed.

“Samuel!”

This was getting a little old. Someone was calling my name! Eli was the only other person in the sanctuary. “Here I am. You called me,” I stated positively, leaving no room for denial.

This time Eli said, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening’.” (1 Samuel 3:9 NIV)

Well, at least he didn’t deny calling me. I still wasn’t sure about the Lord calling me. Why would God call my name? I wasn’t anyone special.

It was the early morning hours when night’s power was fading and the Lamp of God had not yet gone out. There was complete stillness around me as I lay down. Then He called again.

“Samuel!”

So I answered just as Eli had instructed. Now I knew the voice of the Lord. He told me about change coming to Israel, about Eli’s sinful sons, about Eli’s failure to punish his boys, and of their removal from the priestly line.

Great! I couldn’t wait to tell Eli all of this – NOT!

Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep and soon Eli will be awake and asking me questions. How do I tell the man who has been my teacher and mentor for years that he has angered God? No point in trying to hide it from him. Knowing Eli, he’ll force it out of me one way or another. Never could keep a secret from the old goat!