26.2 – The A-Z View

Last year, in my 2011 ‘Reflections’ post, 26.2 A Different View, I likened the A-Z Challenge to running a marathon. Continuing with that metaphor, I admit I had my doubts about my ability to finish the Challenge this year. I had really hoped to write my posts before the Challenge even started. When April 1st arrived, and I only had outlines, rough drafts, and notes for just some of the characters who would be ‘blogging’ @ Bible Bloggers, I thought I was doomed. I was sure I’d hit the wall and collapse before making it to the end.

I’m happy to admit I was wrong. Unlike last year, I trained for this year’s challenge. I read, researched and contemplated possible entries. I may not have written the full posts, but I was prepared to write them when the starting whistle blew. When training for a marathon, I don’t run the full 26.2 before race day; instead, I prepare by gradually building my mileage. Around letter ‘R’ I realized that was what I did for this year’s A-Z. And the training paid off. Every ‘blog’ was posted at exactly 8am every day of the Challenge. There were even some letters I wrote two entries for! And as the miles, um, letters passed, I managed to pick up my pace and get a few days ahead every once in a while.

Of course, like with running, I ran this race mostly on my own. Busy concentrating on my own pace, I only briefly looked around at those running beside and in front of me. Of the new blogs I did get a chance to visit during the Challenge, there are three stand-outs I want to encourage you to visit too:

Inspiration Art and Creativity ~ Amanda’s theme for the challenge was dementia. I found myself relating to her thoughts and feelings and connected with her pain. Despite the painful topic she explored during the Challenge, her blog is full of hope, encouragement and inspiration for the creative soul.

Overcoming Loneliness ~ Jody is an amazingly powerful writer! Her passionate words reached right into my heart and stirred the passion of my own faith.

Here to Find Him ~ Megan is writing her first Christian fiction novel and shares all the ups and downs of the process. As a Christian and a writer, I felt an instant connection with her.

Finally, to this year’s A-Z Team, I’d like to say, ‘Thank you!’

Tossing It Out (Arlee Bird)
Amlokiblogs (Damyanti Biswas)
Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh)
Life is Good (Tina Downey)
Retro-Zombie (Jeremy Hawkins)
The Warrior Muse (Shannon Lawrence)
The QQQE (Matthew MacNish)
Author Elizabeth Mueller(Elizabeth Mueller)
Pearson Report (Jenny Pearson)
No Thought 2 Small (Konstanz Silverbow)
Breakthrough Blogs (Stephen Tremp)
Coming Down The Mountain(Karen Jones Gowen)

Young Isaac’s Blog (A Bible Blogger Extra)

Today an older Isaac shared his blog on Bible Bloggers. I thought it only fair that young Isaac get to share his blog too!

Scripture Reading Genesis 22: 1-19

Blog Title – Child of Promise

Blogging Niche – Christian and Boy Bloggers

About Me – I’m the son of Abraham and Sarah, some even say I’m the favorite son! I like to play outside, help with the animals and hang out with my dad.

Blog Excerpt

 

A Funny Thing Happened On Mount Moriah

So Dad and I went to the Land of Moriah to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Dad and I have offered many sacrifices together before, but this trip was different. Something seemed off. First of all, Dad was quiet. I’d tried to talk to him, but his answers were short, as if his mind was full of other thoughts – thoughts he didn’t want to share with me.

Second of all, we didn’t bring a sacrifice.

“The fire and wood are here,” I said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

“God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” he said.

Cool. I trust in God’s provision. As Dad built the alter, he seemed sad. He put the wood on the alter, and when the time came to offer a sacrifice, I got a really funny feeling in the pit of my belly.

Dad reached for me and began to tie me up. It hit me then that I was the sacrifice! At first panic seized me and terror filled my heart, but almost immediately those feelings were replaced by a peace unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.

Dad was repeating over and over, “God is good. He keeps his promises.”

I believed his words and they surrounded me with calm. As I lay bound on a pile of wood, I felt no fear – only trust in God.

Suddenly an angel shouted from the heavens, “Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Dad lowered the knife he had held over me. He caught sight of a ram and we sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead. Then together we worshiped.

The whole experience was weird, almost like a dream, but too real. I can still feel the wood scraping against my back.

On the way back, Dad was in good spirits again. The whole way home we praised God together! Dad’s unquestioning faith is so awesome! I hope I can always be as faithful to God as he is!

Good Gracious, Goliath! (Another Quasi A-Z Post)

I feel like dancing! Well…not quite dancing. I’m a bad dancer. The first week of the A-Z Challenge is over and I’m still in it. I’m feeling stronger in my writing and creativity. I just might finish this thing after all and it’s all thanks to God’s inspiration.

Just to clarify…well more like to promote, I’m participating in the Challenge at Bible Bloggers, my blog of blogs written by Bible characters, and at 1st Writes, my writer’s group’s blog. Over at 1st Writes, members, even non-blogging members, are sharing meditations on Proverbs. So far I’ve blogged about the letters ‘E’ and ‘G’ – E Is For Ear; G Is For Gracious.

While over at Bible Bloggers, Abigail, Bathsheba, Cornelius, Eve, Faith and Goliath have been busy blogging. By the way, if you like Bible Bloggers, consider ‘liking’ their Facebook page!

Finally, I wish you all a Blessed Easter Sunday!

Photo Credit - VStock

 

A-Z Insecurity Part 2

With the A-Z Challenge underway, my insecurities still abound. I’m second guessing myself a lot.

After last year’s Challenge, I think of the A-Z as a blogging marathon. Right now, I’m only at mile 4 with 22 miles to go and I’m wondering if I have the energy to finish. But that’s why I love Bible Bloggers! All my insecurities and doubts fade in the face of God’s Word. Every character reminds me that if I rely on God, I can do anything! I’m confident enough to publish my Bible Blogger posts because I’m writing them for God’s glory and not my own – just as Deborah recommends on today’s Bible Bloggers’ blog!

Jochebed’s Blog

Blog Title: Mission: Motherhood

About Me: This blog is about my mission from God – motherhood. As a Hebrew slave in the land of Egypt, I’m usually accepting of my lot in life, until it threatens the life of my son. Pharaoh has issued and edict that all Hebrew baby boys be thrown in the Nile. I will not let that happen. I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to keep my son safe, including sending him away. I would rather cut out my own heart than separate from my son, but his life is worth any amount of pain and suffering to me. That comes with the territory of motherhood. Right now my life’s mission is simple: keep my son alive.

Intended Audience: Hebrew slave women and mothers.

Blog Excerpts:

Surprising Results

I can hardly believe what has happened! All day I walked around in a fog of sorrow, not seeing the sun rise, not feeling the rays burn my skin, barely existing. And then Miriam busted in with amazing news!

Pharaoh’s daughter found my son in the basket and has decided to take him in and raise him as her own! My son is safe! He will live! I danced with happiness.

And it gets even better! Pharaoh’s daughter has asked me to nurse the boy for her and she’s going to pay me! Not only is my son going to live; I’m going to be there to see him grow up. I still get to hold him, hug him, kiss him and love him every day!

Thank you, God for your brilliant plan! May I always trust in your ways even when they are painful and heart-breaking! I dedicate my life to raising children who love and serve you above all. May I not fail in my mission!

The Plan

Materials Needed:

  • Papyrus Basket
  • Tar
  • Pitch

My first step was weaving a basket with the papyrus. After coating the basket with the tar and pitch to make it water tight, I lovingly placed my baby boy inside and gently kissed his precious forehead, savoring the scent of innocence and purity. Then with my daughter Miriam, I set the basket among the reeds on the bank of the Nile and said goodbye. My heart shattered into a million pieces. By God’s strength I kept breathing and moving.

A Difficult Decision

Can you imagine hiding your infant son for three months? Well, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Caring for a newborn is exhausting enough without the added threat of discovery. Every day I live in fear that Pharaoh’s men will find my child.

Sleep is a distant memory at this point. If I’m not up with the baby, I’m shooting up out of bed in a cold sweat with panic beating like a drum in my chest. A crying newborn is stressful for any mother, but it’s twice as stressful for me. If anyone heard the cries, well, I can’t even think about it.

Now I know I can’t continue hiding him. He’s growing like a weed and it makes my heart swell with pride and tremble in fear.

I’ve come to a decision. It’s the most difficult decision I’ll ever make. I’ve prayed over it, railed against it, and finally accepted it: I have to let my son go. I can no longer protect him, I have to trust that God will keep him safe.

(Exodus 2:1-8 NIV)

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I ended the challenge with Moses’ wife, so what better way to begin again with Moses’ mother? I apologize because I meant to have this posted on Friday per schedule, but circumstances made that impossible.