Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 15: Introducing... My 31 Days Blogger Sisters


We interrupt the regularly scheduled program... to give a shout out to my "31 Days" Blogger Sisters! Today, at the halfway mark of the "31 Days" blogging mission, we have decided to take a break from our respective topics and highlight our fellow 31 Day bloggers. I have thoroughly enjoyed my sisters' blogs. Each lady has obviously committed a tremendous amount of time, prayer and effort to her blog this month. Read along as I speak to the specific posts that have ministered to me personally.

But first, let me say that I truly appreciate authenticity. The sermons, Bible studies, books and articles that most encourage me are the ones where the speaker or author shares candidly about his or her imperfections. And blogs are no exception. The blogs that minister to me most are written by people like me. People who don't have it all together. People who fail miserably at times. People who, like Paul in Romans 7, want to do good, but evil is always with them.

So it's no mystery why I identify with these ladies and thoroughly enjoy their blogs. It's the same reason why I just love Mandisa's song, "What If We Were Real?" To hear this song click here. Here's the chorus:

We keep trying 
To make it look so nice
And we keep hiding
What's going on inside
But what if I share my brokenness
What if you share how you feel
What if we weren't afraid of this crazy mess
What if we were real?
Believe me, these ladies are REAL!

Monique Zackery
I can't tell you how much I appreciate this sister. First of all, the 31 Days Blog is her brainchild. And she was so gracious to let me in on it a week before July 1st.

But I also appreciate Monique's candid and sincere blogs. She breaks the Word of God down like the best of them, yet does so in a way that's warm and sweet. And since she's a good friend of mine, I can say that that flows directly from her warm and sweet nature.

I can't possibly narrow my favorite blogs from Monique down to one. I've loved her explanations of the pieces of the Armor of God found in Ephesians 6. And I loved Day 9, when she talked about needing our belt of truth, lest we go into battle with our pants falling down. Is that great imagery, or what?

But the most moving post was recently on Day 12 when she shared about her past struggles with fear:
"At first I didn't realize that faith and fear had anything to do with each other at all... Little by little, fear crept in... The more I feared the worse it became... Everything scared me and I literally thought I was losing my mind... My journey to freedom from fear {and depression} after that point was not an easy one. Fear taunted me and contended with me often. But through that time, my faith began to grow. And God's promises became real inside of my heart."
Monique has experienced great victory, and I'm praising God that she's not afraid to tell her story! This month, we're reaping the benefits of her faith through her blog. (Click here to visit Monique's blog)

Michelle Discavage



This sister is another friend of mine from my Strong Tower Bible Church days. Michelle has always been a woman of candor, a kind of tell-it-like-it-is sister. And I've enjoyed her blog for this reason. She speaks the truth, but praise God, she speaks it in love. This month I've been challenged to fast, to get adequate rest, to exercise, eat healthily and the one that challenges me the most -- not be too sedentary. Kind of hard for a writer that's attached to her laptop.

Often my comments on Michelle's blog are "Thanks for the good kick in the butt!"

However, the blog that ministered to me most was when she confessed her own failure as a personal trainer. It was July 5, the day after the Fourth of July holiday. That day she shared honestly with us:
"If I am going to be honest with you, and walk honestly through these next 31 days, then I need to confess that to you right now: I ate too much, more than my body needed... Although I began my day with a 4 mile jog, I am confident that calories expended did not make up for the amount consumed. Even those who work in the arenas of health still struggle every now and then... Am I that weak? Yes, I am. It shows me that I am in need of my heavenly Father's help every single day, the days I am feeling strong, the days I feel weak, and the days I am somewhere in between."
 Amen, Sister! (Click here to visit Michelle's blog)

Jennifer Lain






Jennifer is a new friend of mind through the 31 Days Blog. I have enjoyed her blog this month, as she's dealt with the issue of freedom in Christ. I've enjoyed her freedom acrostics and her power-packed scriptures surrounding spiritual freedom.

My favorite blog from Jennifer was posted this week, Day 13. In this post, she shares her past temptation to judge others. Maybe my heart resonated so much over this post because I too spent several years of my Christian life judging others as though I were God. The trickiest thing about being judgmental: that same judgment comes heaping back down on your own head. Believe me, I know.

These words are from her post:
"For me -- I thought that if I was really good -- God would love me and bless me. I lived like I had to earn my way to Jesus and his forgiveness. I truly hid behind a mask of RELIGIOSITY and self righteousness. I was double-minded, I wanted to live for Jesus and let Him be Lord, but the truth was I was God to myself. (James 4)... I spent far too much time focused on the music other people listened to and judging their actions and condemning them instead of loving them... If you have studied Jesus at all, the first thing you will realize about Him is that He was NEVER legalistic or judgmental..."
Thanks for that Jennifer. We can so easily fall back into our legalistic and judgmental ways. May we all grow to be more like Jesus every day, as you are. (Click here to visit Jennifer's blog)

Sheryl Griffin

Sheryl is a good friend of mine from Strong Tower, and I have been blessed to watch her grow as both a writer and a speaker. Sheryl shares very honestly with her speaking and book audiences, and her blog has been no different.

I've enjoyed the scripture-packed blogs that Sheryl has written. Her blog often reads like a daily devotional, as she shares God's path to hope in Him. She is obviously a woman of the Word.

My favorite post from Sheryl was on Day 8, when she shared some very intimate details from her life:
"In 2007 I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, along with panic and anxiety... After two ambulance rides, three ER visits, numerous doctor visits, tests and much prayer, my doctor was correct... With the Lord's help and the wisdom and therapy of my doctors, I have been on a journey that is filled with hope. You see I lived a life full of guilt, shame and fear... It has been a process within the last fifteen years that I have started believing and accepting God's mercy, grace and forgiveness. I am worthy and so are you!"

Thanks for that reminder, Sheryl! (Click here to visit Sheryl's blog)

And thanks to all my 31 Days Blogger Sisters for your words of love, compassion and exhortation. I have enjoyed walking with you towards 31 Days of VICTORY, WELLNESS, FREEDOM, HOPE and PURPOSE!

Purposed In Him,

Carla

5 comments:

  1. Ummm, thank you? You're welcome?

    Happy to be walking these 31 days with you!

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  2. I've totally enjoyed walking with you this month too. August might feel a little lonely in Blog-Land!

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  3. Wow. What an incredible review you did for everyone! Thank you for your kind words, Carla. I totally agree on August being lonely. I promise I'll make some time to stop in and read your posts! :) Lord willing, I'll be blogging from the sweetwater house. Stop in and come with me to Africa! :) our journey doesn't have to totally end after this. :) xoxo

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  4. I think I will join you at the Sweetwater House -- through cyberspace! And with this vision (31 Days) who knows what God will do in the future? We'll see...

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  5. Thank you Carla! I loved reading your reviews! You inspire me and I am blessed to be on this journey with you!

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