HOW HAS BLOGGING4JESUS2013 IMPACTED YOUR WALK WITH CHRIST IN 2013 & WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FOR YOUR WALK WITH CHRIST IN 2014?
Steven "SALVATION SUNDAY"
Blogging4Jesus2013 has been a huge blessing for me this past year. Through this year, I have learned the importance of working on my priorities and trusting God through it all. Unfortunately, this year I have done student teaching twice this year. I loved both experiences. The first time around I did not have my priorities in check and I did not complete student teaching. I was pulled out and I had to do it again. When this happened, it was horrible for me. It took me forever to share this with anyone. But, I realized that I had to share it in order to keep moving on. When I failed the first time around, I thought well I’ll just graduate without the education major and I’ll find another job. This was me trying to graduate on time and trying to be successful. After talking with God and giving some time to it, I realized that not having the education major was NOT an option. The first theme for me this year was, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11)
This was not the only time that I felt like not doing the education major. During the second time, I was questioning if all the work that I was doing was worth the money that I would be getting paid for in the future. I was really thinking maybe there was another option for myself. And also I had this one lady kept asking me “Are you sure you want to be a teacher?” or “Is there anything that I can say to convince you to not be in this profession?" And honestly, I kept telling her no thank you. And yes I do want to be a teacher. But, I really had to speak those things to her as I was also speaking to my mind and saying what I was needed to do. However, I realized that I really enjoyed teaching and I finally saw that the end result was definitely worth all the work. The students are the reasons I was in the profession. With Jesus and Blogging4Jesus2013, I realized that I had to keep fighting and trusting in God. With God, all things are possible.
Another theme for this year was to trust God and not deny what He has for me. At church, I have spoken several times. However, I would not say that I was preaching or anything of that nature. Even when I preached like 5-10 years ago, I still was denying the thought of being a preacher. And when I had to speak, it would always be me saying “I am going to speak.” It would be nothing like I’m preaching. And my motto was I’m not fully accepting or denying anything. It was a fake mindset of keeping my mind open. It took me the whole year to stop denying what God was calling me to do. Just as one of guest bloggers was saying, I have realized that I have to let go of my plans and trust in God. God knows the plans that He has for us. Therefore, I need to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Unfortunately, it took me about 12 months to actually adopt this. Through Bro Doug, Glen Jordan, Blogging4Jesus2013, and other people from church, I realized that it is time to stop leaning unto mine own understanding. It’s time to trust God and depend on Him FULLY!!!
For this upcoming year, I expect some great things to come. I expect that God is going to open up doors for His people. I believe that for myself I will have some hardships and challenges. But with this, there will be an awesome testimony to come forth. I expect that this movement will do crazy and awesome things and reach new heights. I expect that God will take us all out of our comfort zones and we will walk in our purpose. For myself, I believe that God is going to give awesome revelations and that He will open up doors. Even though things look dismal in the world and in our economy, I know that God is going to turn it for my good. Greater is COMING!!!!
Jael "MERCIFUL MONDAY"
In many ways, Christ collided with me in 2013. God made his grace, mercy, love, and favor apparent in my life at just the right time. From graduating from school in 2012 to moving back in with my parents to beginning my job search (later than I should have) to obtaining and getting acclimated to my new “real job” to my sister leaving for school in Maryland to breaking up with my boyfriend of 3 years, I was drained. My life changed dramatically in just a few months and by the end of 2012 I wasn’t sure which way was up. I was happy at times because I had things to be thankful for, of course—I wasn’t homeless, I had a job (unlike many of my other former classmates) and a family that loved me—but at other times I felt lonely, confused, and as if I was just going through the motions, watching someone else that wasn’t me live my life.
It sounds dramatic, but Blogging4Jesus2013 literally changed the course of my life. When Jamera had the idea to begin this blog something within me told me to just say yes immediately. It wasn’t my idea or my plan. In many ways, this was Christ forcibly coming into contact with me (I couldn’t tell my best friend I didn’t want to help her with the blog when it was a vision from God, right! I had to say yes LOL). At the time, right or wrong I always felt that because I grew up going to church, God always followed me, even when I wanted to be far from him and even when I wanted to do wrong.
Once again, the same thing was happening with this blog. The opportunity essentially knocked on my door, and at that time I did not realize the significance or the magnitude of what was happening. There was no moment of clarity, the heavens did not open, and I did not see an angel before me, I just started DOING because somehow I knew that it was exactly what I needed, and I knew that even if the blog had no readers and no one else was blessed by it, at the very least us bloggers would be. I started brainstorming, working on the website, helping get bloggers, etc.
I knew enough from going to church my whole life that God’s word does not return to him void, meaning it is not empty. It is full of substance and its promises are true. Subconsciously, I knew that I had to give in to God’s truth and stop trying hold on to my truth, but at that time I wasn’t fully aware of this.
So you may be asking, what changed and when? What happened in 2013??
Well…it wasn’t just one thing or one moment that I became aware that I needed to drop my truth and take up God’s, it was a slow process that became a lifestyle.
I became a different person on the inside and it started to show on the outside. I began to read the Bible and pray more often and with more fervor than I ever had. I started praying in the car on my way to work nearly every day. I started to do things for God out of genuine desire rather than obligation. I learned to forgive those who wronged me easier, mending relationships that I never thought would be mended, and necessarily distancing myself from others that I thought would last a lifetime. I now love harder because I learned about love from reading God’s word. I began to tell people about God and give them encouraging words, when in the past it was hard for me to even tell people “God Bless” or “Praise the Lord” and not snicker a little bit. I became a nicer person. I was filled with a joy that I could never explain, but for the sake of this blog I will definitely try—I felt and still feel warm, whole, and at peace. But most of all, wanted and affirmed by someone amazing (GOD). In turn, trivial things have become less cause for worry and anxiety. 2013 was not all roses by any stretch of the imagination, and I am not an angel all of a sudden, but I have found that when faced with problems I feel empowered like never before and I feel a desire to strive to do good.
In 2013 I came to the realization that I am a Christian and I want to aim to live like Christ for the rest of my life. I remember some months ago one of the church elders (who is like family to me) was praying for me and he basically said “you are a child of God so acknowledge it.” That moment was eye-opening because it was then that I realized this was something that I had been struggling with all along. I had a preconceived notion of the person that I thought I was and might end of being, and that led me down a path of destruction. When I decided that I wanted to take on God’s truth and abandon my own, I became someone that in my mind I honestly never saw myself being—this praying “grandma at 23” that doesn’t hit the club every weekend, acts like a lady (most of the time), speaks the truth in love, does kind gestures, and one day wants her own family that partakes in corny cutesy traditions. But now that I’ve accepted that that is THE REAL JAEL, it feels so right! In 2013 I decided and acknowledged that I prefer her, and that I want to serve God until the day I die.
Well here comes 2014, now what?
For my walk with Christ in 2014, I EXPECT TO BE EXPECTANT.
Blogging4Jesus has changed my whole perspective on life. Whenever anything goes wrong I now naturally, without hiccup, without hesitation go before God in prayer. It's not even a second thought. Even the slightest issues/problems/dilemmas encourage me to go kneel before God. In 2012 I can't really say that was the case. I would hesitate to pray and more importantly prayer wasn't my first choice because I would often try to handle my problems by myself. Let's just say I had an issue with allowing God to "take the wheel" in my life. I am just so overwhelmed with joy that God intervened and was in sole control of Blogging4Jesus.
I didn't know what to expect for this year and looking back on everyday that has transpired, I probably wouldn't have wanted to go through this year if I could've seen what would lay ahead. After becoming not only interested in the Bible but fully engaged in these stories of miracles, success, and triumphs, I found it hard to wait until the next day to read. Furthermore, I couldn't wait to BLOG!!! It had become a part of my life. It was becoming too easy -- too free flowing -- too rewarding because I understood that when I wrote it was a word from God. I'll be the first to say that this task ordained by God did not come easy because it tested my faith daily. Whenever I would face a problem I would find myself reading old posts just to get through. Andddd the best part was that I would find myself remembering, recognizing, interpreting, and applying scripture. I was finally becoming closer to God because I was taking the time out to understand who he was by understanding his miracles, his teachings, who he called, his love for me, and his love for US.
Blogging was the best thing that happened for and to me. Unfortunately, my father passed away a little before my birthday this year. It was hard, it was traumatic, it hurt then, and it definitely hurts now--all the time! It's something I didn't see coming and something I never imagined. When it happened I just found myself so angry with God. I would always question him asking "Why now? Why me? Why him? Why my dad if I'm doing all of these things? I'm fasting and I'm praying and I'm reading! Don't you see this God? Don't you see that I'm more connected to you now than I've ever been?" My questions didn't stop until I stopped asking God why and I started thanking him for his blessings. That's when God revealed all of these wonderful things to me. I am so fortunate to have had a father, his love for me has not stopped, he resides in my heart, he's proud of me, and he's with God now, and sooooo much more!
Well I remember blogging for Transforming Tuesday at the hospital, the day before his death, and my heart was so at peace! I remember I read one of the designated scriptures for the day which was Psalms 121 in silence as I blogged. About maybe 30 minutes later I was walking down the hospital hallway and came across my older brother with his Bible open and he was reading aloud Psalms 121. As he read I sat in silence praying when I realized how familiar the scriptures had become. I asked, "Psalms 121?" He smiled and said, "Yea you like that chapter?" I replied, "Yes I do! I just read it." At that moment I knew that God was confirming who he was in our lives. After that, my brother asked can we pray. If you know me then you'd know that prior to blogging this year, I rarely prayed out loud but now for some reason I always pray out loud. Well that day I prayed and I prayed hard. I prayed from my soul, my heart, my lips, my mind. It was effortless. What I prayed for was peace and acceptance in our hearts. After that prayer which lasted for about 20-30 minutes my brother and I just sat back in the hallway chairs and just enjoyed each other's presence even in the midst of uncertainty. I never understood what that prayer meant until the next day -- somehow, someway God was preparing my heart for acceptance and peace, not breaking it (which I had previously thought). Not a day goes by that I don't cry and miss my father, but in those same tears not a day goes by that I don't thank God for his blessings.
So how has blogging4jesus impacted by walk with Christ in 2013? Well now I'm just more hopeful of anything and more spiritually aware. I also no longer have a desire to be in control of my life, because I now understand that this life isn't mine! It belongs to God! When things don't go my way I trust God because I've read what he has done and what he can do!
For 2014? I shared my New Year's Resolution in Bible study. With all that has happened in 2013 (specifically the loss of my father), I just sincerely want God to be the center of my life. I also want to be so stubborn in my faith that I will no longer recognize doubt--I will trust God with everything! It is my desire to be sooooo on fire for God that I will walk full force in my purpose, and that I will not be stopped! I'm looking forward to praying more, fasting more, reading more, writing more, loving more, and serving more. I claim 2014 as THE YEAR OF PEACE AND PROSPERITY IN MY LIFE…John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
In closing, thank you to ALL who have participated in this blog whether it be guest blogging, reading, commenting, visiting the site, sharing the site, and/or praying with us. God has a plan and we're thankful to have been given this vision. We pray this blog has been just as beneficial to you and your life as it has been to ours.
Brittney "WARRIOR WEDNESDAY"
How has blogging4jesus2013 impacted your walk with Christ?
Blogging4Jesus2013 has impacted my walk with Christ greatly! The area of my life which was most affected was my FAITH! If you had asked me in 2012 if I had strong faith I would have said definitely yes! Well, 2013 became the year of testing of my faith. Thankfully taking on the challenge to read the bible in one year and blogging throughout the year helped me endure the tests and trials that I experienced. Blogging gave me the ability to think and reflect over the verses that I have read. In God’s infinite wisdom he presented me with this wonderful opportunity to be a blogger knowing that I would need to read his word in order to be prepared for the challenges that I would face. God is AMAZING J
2013 has been a roller coaster of memorable and trying events. Each circumstance challenged my faith and the question I found myself hearing from God was “do you trust me?”
*A recap of a few events that I faced were:
I was offered a new job that seemed perfect, however, the position fell through and I did not receive the job. During this confusing and frustrating time God asked “do you trust me?” As nice as that position seemed, something in my heart was telling me not to take it. I discovered later that had I taken the position I would have been out of a job within a few months because the company was sold. I can say fortunately now in retrospect, God knew what was ahead and protected me. A few months later, my company shut down the division I worked in for the past 3 years and the question from God “do you trust me?” arose again. I was one of 3 employees transferred to a different facility while others lost their job. The new job is a long drive, the work is extremely stressful, I work long hours and am exhausted after work yet God is asking “do I trust him” The answer is yes! God has a purpose for where he has me. As you may have read I got engaged to a wonderful man, however due to finances my wedding plans have been at a standstill and God is asking “do you trust me?” During those times when I felt like I could not go on anymore I would read the bible and my fellow blogger’s posts which would always remind me of God’s guidance over my life. God reminded me that his “grace is sufficient for me. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. Therefore, I can glory in my struggles knowing that the POWER of Christ may rest upon me!” 2 Corinthians 12:9 - Reading the bible and going through challenges has empowered me through Christ!!!!
What do you expect for your walk with Christ in 2014?
I expect for my walk with Christ in 2014 to grow deeper! I am excited for what I will learn about God in 2014. I am expecting to learn more about myself and become a better person through Christ. I am expecting blessings! I know God has great blessings in store for me and I expect to give a good report in 2014. Stay tuned for my praise report. J Above all I am expecting the Lord to move mightily among young people. I have been praying for a tremendous move of God for many years. I have begun to see signs, but I know there is more to come!
Stay Blessed and Continue Warring for Christ!
Ron "THIRSTY THURSDAY"
Blogging4Jesus2013 was an interesting experience. A ride I didn’t completely want to take but knew I should. My walk with Christ is relatively young and one of my biggest hurdles has been consistency. I would have a solid period of praying, doing the right things, reading the bible then periods of not quite reading or praying etc. It was an unconscious cycle that was difficult to break. Blogging4Jesus helped me break that cycle.
Initially I did not want to be responsible for reading daily and blogging weekly. When fasting was thrown in the mix I was all but ready to gracefully bow out. But I knew being part of this group, having to be accountable not only to myself but to the rest of the bloggers is what would help with my consistency. Reading daily strengthened my relationship with God and helped me gain understanding. The days I didn’t feel like doing it because I was tired or busy or whatever other excuse I may have been able to come up with I thought about the other bloggers and how I didn’t want to let them down. I thought about who ever else may randomly come across the blog on a Thursday needing a scripture to help them through the day, something to motivate them, encourage them, or just comfort them. It was that responsibility, that being a part of something bigger, the feeling of helping more than just myself that helped my consistency and I’m thankful Blogging4Jesus gave me that opportunity.
As the year progressed I found myself not only writing topics about faith, or studying the word or living for God but actually applying it to my life (or at least attempting to). I grew to be more aware, things would happen and I would remember what I read or wrote about, or recall something a fellow blogger wrote and it would help me deal with different situations. I can honestly say I’ve become not just a better Christian but an overall better person because of this blog. There’s still a lot of work to be done and a lot of improvements to be made but Blogging4Jesus is helping me step in the right direction.
Coming into this new year I am expecting to continually grow and become more and more Christ like. There will be hardships, tough times and rough situations but with my foundation set in God I have the tools necessary to overcome whatever may come my way. I expect God to continually move as only he can, for him to touch lives, create opportunities, open doors, bless us and take us further than we could ever imagine taking ourselves. I know we will reach new heights as we do his will and walk in our purpose thanks to his grace and mercy.
Christian "FRIDAY FELLOWSHIP"
This blog has been a blessing. It has helped me to become more transparent and comfortable in being so. I’ve learned that in my transparency God’s glory is revealed. In May, I decided to use excerpts of my blogs and post them on face book, to please God. Most of my life, I covered my walk with Christ, as I sought conformity and approval. The idea of posting on face book brought me fears, and that is the reason I ultimately decided to post. God has been so good to me; I wanted to do something radical for him. Every post caused me to overcome something and it was mainly my image, which I guarded for so long.
Also, these blogs helped me to stay connected to his word and apply what I’ve learned. Actually, this relates to the name I gave Jamera. The name birthed, as she was helping me write my first blog of the year. After it was finished, I was telling her about my school situation and how I didn’t know, if it was going to work out. Jamera then quickly replied, “We know who will work it out,…God. You don’t have to know how, but knowing who is our faith.” I then said, “Wow. That was good Jamera.” She humbly declined the compliment saying, “You just wrote that.” I then reread and realized I did write that, but I wasn’t applying it to my life. She then ministered to me for a few hours and after I was comforted. Appreciative of Jamera, I gave her a nick name. Jamera was like a mirror that night, causing me to see what I hadn’t applied and thus “Jmirror” was born. I learned I can’t just learn or teach, but I must apply. This year brought some tough moments, but reading the daily blog of my fellow bloggers only encouraged me. Thanks to each of you for steadfastly posting, you’ve uplifted me at some point in the year.
2014 is a year my mantra will be “Every step is better”. My expectations in my walk with God, is to be better. My prayer will be better, my knowledge of the word will be better and every step I take with God will be steps to the manifestation of my heart’s desires.
Hannah "SATURDAY SACRIFICE"
Honestly, I can truly say this blog has been a blessing in my life this year, and I’m sure I will see the fruit of this blog not only in my life, but in my fellow bloggers and in yours too (well if you let us know by writing it on the blog or FB page lol=)).
The posts of our bloggers,guest bloggers, and testimonies have made an impact in my life. I realized that I am not alone in my walk with Christ, and it also made me realize how truly Great God is.
In every post I can see God’s work whether just in someone’s personal testimony or someone simply just writing about the insight and revelation they received from reading the verses for the day.
I am sooooooooooooo thankful!=)
I pray that Blogging4Jesus2013 has been a blessing in your life, and has drawn your closer to our loving and mighty God.
I pray that Blogging4Jesus2013 has been a blessing in your life, and has drawn your closer to our loving and mighty God.
Just want to give a shout out to me fellow bloggers, Stever, J, Jamera, Britt, Ron, and Chris!! Thank you guys for your posts, it is truly a blessing. Love you guys!!<3
Stay in God’s Peace, not in pieces=)
Saturday Sacrifice: Hannah