Sunday, 19 July 2015

Hey you, don't give up!

So it's that time of the week again where I share some thoughts and seek to love those around me.

<insert cheer here>

It's also that time of the week where I think I'd like to be a craft blogger and write about all the nifty little things I make, or a book review blog and share my reflections on whatever I'm currently reading.

So fabulous.

But that's not why I started this blog

I started this blog on a self-admitted whim but with a genuine heart desire to reach out to people and to demonstrate Christ's love. 

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13: 35)

In a short period of time I have been able to connect with people with that same desire. I have admired their way with words and been inspired by their commitment to Christ. There are so many wonderful bloggers and writers (I draw a distinction and place myself in the former category) out there, all with a voice and something to say.

As a small-time indie blogger, who only started a few months ago, it's tempting to feel insignificant and unimportant. But I don't. I refuse to give into that temptation and allow those lies to gain any ground.

We face those kind of temptations on a daily basis. It is with much fervor that I pray the Lord's Prayer, especially these lines: "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one." Oh Lord, deliver us!

There is so much evil in the world, so much injustice.

But before my mind gets into its depressing rut of "so let's all just pack it in and go home then" I want to say, with utmost certainty and conviction, that there is hope

Today at church we read Luke 18: 1-8 in which Jesus teaches us to pray for justice, like the widow pleading her case before the judge, and to persevere in this. Our judge is not the apathetic and godless man presented in the parable but a loving, merciful, perfect Father who cares for His children.

Similarly, in last week's sermon, we looked at God's love in Luke 11: 1-11. To understand the Lord's provision and love for His children we can observe the love earthly parents have for their children, and then times that by infinity!!
Explanation of this meme (because I know a lot of you probably won't get it [and that's ok!]).
The Lord hears our cries for deliverance, for justice and in His love and mercy. He will answer. 

How do you persevere in prayer? What helps you to keep going instead of giving up? 

Photo credit: 
1. Image by Mike Licht. Used under CC license.
2. Image by Mike Licht. Used under CC license.
3. Image by Adam Dachis. Used under CC license.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

IntenseDebate and the Mystery of the Disappearing Comments (UPDATED)

Comments missing or showing up as deleted on my blog? Here's why

Short version 
I made a mistake.

Long version 
I've been having some problems with the IntenseDebate commenting system. I was following this solution from iSophie. In an attempt to recover my precious missing comments she recommended deleting the Blogger form comments and the IntenseDebate comments should reappear...
Yeah, that didn't happen.

So, IntenseDebate comments from several posts are still missing and now all the Blogger comments have been deleted... by moi. And no, you cannot recover deleted comments unless you moderate your comments (I don't) and keep the notification emails.

I'm sure the tech heads will get a good laugh out of this rookie error ;)

From what I've read around the interwebs my changes to the mobile template should stop this problem from happening in the future. However if it continues to occur I will admit defeat and uninstall the IntenseDebate plugin.

So, if your comments are missing or that oh so lovely "this comment was deleted by the blog administrator" is showing up I'm sorry! I'm a blogging newbie and made a mistake.

To be honest I'm just really proud of myself for getting through this whole experience without crying or beating myself up for not being perfectly wonderful at something :)

Happy blogging!


The IntenseDebate comments can now be viewed on previous posts, huzzah! However, I still cannot "un-delete" the Blogger comments I removed earlier. Who knew, deleting something actually, like, deletes it.

The only way I could get back my missing IntenseDebate comments was to tick the "Remove forever" box when deleting a comment. See below.

Removes comment but leaves some details (read more below)

Removes all traces of the comment.
Necessary to regain lost IntenseDebate comments.

Note: In the original post when I said I deleted my comments I did not select the "Remove forever" option. This removes all traces of the comment including the "this comment was removed by the administrator" notice, the commentator's name, etc.

So I'm sorry to all the readers who have had their comments removed. I truly appreciate them and very much enjoy interacting with you all. Please feel free to add your comment again (although of course I don't expect that!).

Ideally this will be the closing chapter to IntenseDebate and the Mystery of the Disappearing Comments.

Photo credit:
1. Image by Public domain (CC0).
2. MB. Comment taken from Josh Duggar and Forgiveness.
3. MB. Comment taken from Josh Duggar and Forgiveness

Sunday, 12 July 2015

God's Stubborn Love

The last few weeks I have been doing my utmost to avoid God, which is a neat trick when you run a faith blog. I also manage to attend church and Bible study, and do my daily Bible reading. I'm going through all the motions without actually connecting.

Because that's what it's about: connection. It's a relationship and not just my "ring and run" prayers and hastily read Psalms. 

But despite all my efforts to hide God still manages to find a way to reach me. Honestly, it's almost as if He actually wants a relationship with me... 

I'll share a few examples with you (for there are many). Psalm 136 was part of my Bible reading a few days ago:
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures for ever.
Give thanks to the God of gods
His love endures for ever.
Give thanks to the Lord of Lords:
His love endures for ever

That's just verse one to three but you may notice a pattern in its construction. By about verse nine or so the words were practically leaping off the page and shouting in my face: HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER. ARE YOU LISTENING YET?

*claps hands over ears* la, la, la, can't hear you! For I am a foolish mortal. 

Another example occurred during church. Putting aside the sermon on our father-child relationship with God (oh it was a doozy. The words were yelling in my face again), there was one particular song that threatened to knock me sideways.

The gentleman who led us in Communion (he has a wonderfully esoteric blog, Like Trees. Like Spears) shared with us from the book of Hosea. Hosea, a prophet in Israel, is commanded by God to marry a prostitute. God commands Hosea to do this in order to symbolise His relationship with the nation of Israel. It was in this context that we listened to Stubborn Love by The Lumineers

She'll lie and steal, and cheat, and beg you from her knees,
Make you think she means it this time
She'll tear a hole in you, the one you can't repair
But I still love her, I don't really care

His love endures forever

I don't believe it is a Christian song but nevertheless Stubborn Love goes some of the way in portraying God's love for us foolish mortals. Do yourself a favour and don't hide from God. He always finds you anyway :) 

Photo credit: 
1. Image by Art4TheGlryOfGod. Used under CC license

Monday, 6 July 2015

Three things I wish I was better at

Despite what you may think I am not perfect. Shocking, I know. On a daily basis I am confronted with this horrendous fact. Oh how it irks me.

Yeah. The sad thing is I'm only sorta kidding. 

So, in an effort to engage in some good ol' self-deprecating humour I thought I'd share Three things I wish I was better at, ideally in a fabulously (perfectly) humorous fashion.

Number one

Painting. I like painting, I enjoy a variety of arty activities but I would hesitate to say that I have a particular talent for any of them. That being said, I also don't work my butt off to produce stunning works of art like abstractedallure, Janis Cox and A. L. Romero whose blogs I all follow.

According to my source image this is a delightful waterfall scene. 
Methinks dad was correct to suggest that I lighten up the foreground.

(It's making me feel slightly ill sharing this with you all. I seriously struggle not being good at absolutely everything in the universe.)

Number two

I almost wrote "photography" because as you can see from my delightful waterfall/forest impressionist (yeahhhh, let's go with that) painting it is not my strong suit. However, I have no particular interest in photography so it doesn't really count. 

Part of me wishes I was better at sport. I live in a sport-mad country and being the book-loving, studious, nerdy girl that I am kicking a footy around isn't my idea of fun. But maybe Phys Ed wouldn't have been quite so torturous if I was better at all this sport stuff? 

Number three

Being at peace. This is actually something I'm getting better at (yay). Unlike my football skills (aww). It's a fairly broad one but I do believe that the more we can be at peace the better off we'll be. Lord willing we will all reach that perfect place of peace one day.

Oh, and, as many of my readers are American when I say "football" this is what I'm talking about:

This is AFL (Australian Football League)

This list could have gone for foreverrrrrrr. But three is the magic number so I'll leave it there. While I would love to be super talented at absolutley everything it wouldn't make people love me any more. In God's eyes, I am His masterpiece and all my shortcomings are covered by the riches of His grace.

What are some things you wish you were better at?

Photo credit:
1. MB
2. Image by Tom Reynolds, via Wikimedia Commons. Used under CC license