Thanks to one of my biggest encouragers in the WordPress community, Cathy, I am honored to be nominated for the Family Blog Award, which emphasizes the concept of community that proves blogging is more than just a passing fad.
Longer ago than I care to remember, I studied anthropology as well as English at the university. For one graduate class, I was able to combine the two disciplines in a paper that used the theories on how cultures change espoused by anthropologist Frank Turner to analyze the poetry of my writing mentor, a great poet named Walt McDonald.
One of Turner’s main principles about social change is that it begins on the outskirts of society, in what he calls the realm of anti-structure. In this environment of anti-structure, the outcasts exist on equal footing, actually finding more successful “solutions” to the “problems” in the conventional way of doing things. The bad news? Eventually, the anti-structure itself becomes structured, and the process begins again.
We can apply this principle to the way Christ exacted change during His time on earth. He and the disciples definitely worked outside of the structured rules of the Pharisees. When Christ rose again, the early church continued this tradition. Remember the early monasteries, where the brothers shared all things equally? Eventually, though, these brotherhoods became institutions. Martin Luther, working on the outside of church thinking, sowed the seeds of the Reformation. The cycle began again.
Now, I’m not saying that blogging on Christian faith will lead to a revolution in church thinking or doctrine, but I do look upon my blogging as a way to spread the word of what I pray the Holy Spirit has given me the skill and the insight to say. Reading the blogs of other writers on the subject of Christianity, I feel that I have found a community of believers out there who feel the same way. Some of you may be very active extroverts in your churches or communities. Many of you, like me, may be more introverted, tending to view the world from the edges, but still having so much to say that the outlet of blogging has been a real blessing.
The rules of this award including nominating fellow bloggers whom you feel have helped you in your WordPress journey. I believe you are supposed to shoot for ten other people. Being a strong believer in anti-structure, I will likely fail to get ten listed :), but here are some bloggers who have helped me feel a part of a growing community of believers who are speaking so that the rocks have no need to cry out:
From biblical-based advice on living a more God-centered life to honest reflections on the challenges of daily living (including the ever-dreaded visit to Wal-Mart!), this blogger means what she says and says what she means–and she takes the time to give others encouragement with personal comments, too!
This blogger’s daily devotionals are deep, insightful and end with a great prayer to get you started on a God-filled day. I appreciate getting to read such good writing that is also obviously prayerfully considered.
This young blogger has been given a real talent by God that she is openly struggling to find the best use for. Honestly, I see a lot of my own struggles in her posts. Some, I have overcome. Some, I still struggle with. But, it always helps to know that we are not alone in our feelings. I appreciate her honesty and openness.
Encouragement in this writing life can come from many places. It might be awards like this one, where you get to take a moment and reflect on the fellow writers who have helped you grow your own skill. Or, it may come from stranger places. Flipping through radio channels this week in my car, I happened on a Glenn Beck interview. I don’t really know that much about Beck. I don’t keep up with politics. But in this interview, he was discussing a book he’s written. What struck me was that he spoke about the Holy Spirit as a kind of muscle that we need to exercise if we expect to be able to use it with any effectiveness. We can’t just let it lie dormant in us once we have accepted Christ and then expect it to work wonders when we’ve been walking around as if it weren’t even there.
For a person who has been trying to grow her faith and lessen her fear, what a wonderful analogy to hear! God is so powerful. It was nice to be reminded (as I was heading to yoga to do some exercise for my body) that I need to keep up the work I have started of exercising my Spirit muscle as well. Blogging is one way I exercise that Spirit.
What have you done for your Holy Spirit muscle lately?
Thanks to all of you bloggers for the words that fill spaces you don’t even know exist each week in people’s lives. Let’s keep encouraging each other and strengthen our walk by faith.