Laudable Linkage

Before I get to another installment of my bimonthly roundup of recent noteworthy reads on the Web, I wanted to mention Write31Days. The idea is to choose a topic that you can blog about for the 31 days of October. I’ve participated the last few years with 31 Days of Missionary Stories, 31 Days of Inspirational Biographies, and 31 Days With Elisabeth Elliot. I’m still undecided about this year – and October 1 is only a week away! It is a lot of work, and I’m a little afraid of over-burdening readers with so many posts. But I enjoyed and benefited from it before and received positive feedback. So I am still praying about it. One topic foremost in my mind was one I was actually thinking about compiling into a book, and I thought doing it for Write31Days might be a good precursor for that. Then I thought – why would anyone buy a book if the info. is here already. 🙂 So I am still thinking and praying. At any rate, I wanted to let you all know about it in case you might want to participate as well. This year’s Write31Days page gives you the guidelines, a list of categories, links back to previous topics, etc.

On to this week’s links:

Is the Bible Foundation to Christianity? (Short answer: Yes! But here are good reasons why.)

Understanding your Bible—The Big Picture View.

What God Does With Your Sin.

Find a Friend to Wound You.

The Beginner’s Guide to Conflict Resolution.

A Secret to Parenting that No One Tells You: The Strength is in the Struggle.

5 Practical Guidelines for Reading the Old Testament Laws. This is probably the hardest section of the Bible to read – maybe after the genealogies – but these help put them in perspective.

Some Things That Have Helped Me in My Struggle With Anxiety.

Feed My Sheep. I wish I had thought more like this when my mother-in-law was in assisted living and a nursing home.

Christians, Cribs, and Co-Sleeping. I’m linking to this not for the discussion about where babies should sleep, but for how she applies truths here to others areas of parenting and faith and practice. There are fundamentals and then there are secondary issues, and on the latter we need to give each other grace to be different.

Beautiful Books and A Beautiful Book List.

And a couple of videos to give you a smile: an adorable three year old and her dad singing “At Last I See the Light” from Tangled.

And this:

Happy Saturday!

Laudable Linkage

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to share noteworthy reads recently found around the Web. Hope you’ll find some of them interesting as well.

How the Lonely, Invisible, and Unnoticed Can Glorify God.

Taking the Risk With Christian Community.

Ten Reasons Why the Church Gathers.

Don’t Always Follow Your Conscience.

The Bare Essentials: What I Tell My Daughters About Modesty.

The Story of a Male-identifying Little Girl Who Didn’t Transition. “When we begin to tell boys that they must act ‘this’ way, and that girls should act ‘that’ way, and that if they don’t, they are transgender;  we put children in these tiny boxes that create confusion, frustration, and sometimes, lifelong psychological and emotional damage.”

Me, the Lord, Pizza, and Celiac Disease.

A Call For Plodding Bloggers.

The Backside Blessings of Blogging.

Brown Sugar Toast, a new-to-me blog by Christa Threlfall, has been running a series titled Dwelling Richly: An Interview Series on Studying the Bible in which she interviews various women about their time with the Word of God. I’ve just come into it recently, but I have enjoyed catching up with a few from women I know (Claudia Barba) or know of (Mardi Collier, Pat Berg, Jen Wilkin) as well as others I don’t know.

Alicia Reagan, the friend of a friend, shared this video of the new movie “Me Before You,” the trailer of which looks pretty cute, but the ending is horrible and a step backwards for disabled people. Sherry discussed the book here.

And finally, I thought this was really cute: a day in the life of a panda zookeeper. I guess it doesn’t pay to rake leaves with pandas around. 🙂 Love how roly-poly they are.

Laudable Linkage

Unfortunately Delicious.com, where I have been saving links for 8-10 years now, has been down for a week or two now. I hope it gets fixed soon – I would hate to think I’d lost all those, especially some I have returned to multiple times. It may be time to investigate Evernote or a different source. What do you use to save links you want to remember and return to?

Anyway – for now I have just been making a list of them. As you might expect, with Mother’s Day on Sunday, there have been a lot of posts relating to mothers this week.

To My Friends Who Still Have Their Mothers.

This Stage of Life? It’s Hard.

Don’t Blink.

Joy at Rejoicing in the Present has been running a series on moms in different situations. The two that stood out to me were A Letter to the Mommy-Heart Whose Dream Didn’t Come True and A Letter to Moms With Physical Limitations, but there are also posts about losing a child and having special needs children.

Coping With Verbal Abuse when a mom has Alzheimer’s.

And a couple not relating to mothers directly:

5 Question Checklist for Blog Commenting.

40 Most Valuable Toys From Your Childhood.

Susan at Girls In White Dresses is hosting a giveaway for an ESV Family Devotional Bible.

And finally, this cracked me up:

Happy Saturday!

My favorite posts of the year

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Around this time of year, I like to skim back through the year’s old posts to find the ones I especially want to remember. I love the book reviews, weekly recounting of blessings in the Friday Fave Fives, the occasional meme or “stray thoughts” post, but I especially like to look over the posts where I thought through an issue by writing.

Before I did that, though, I received an e-mail from WordPress with some of my “year in review” stats. According to those stats, my most often read post is once again Coping When Husband Is Away from 2011. I had no idea when I wrote that it would hit such a nerve, and while I can’t say I liked the circumstances discussed there, I am glad God is using it to help other women in the same boat.

An odd thing, though, is that none of the top ten viewed posts according to my stats were posts from this year. In fact, the top two written this year, my review of Out of a Far Country by Christopher and Angela Yuan and Elisabeth Elliot In Heaven were way, way down the list of top viewed posts for the year. I don’t know what to make of that. 🙂

Anyway – on to this year’s posts:

January:

Are We Responsible For God’s Reputation?

February:

The Quiet Person in the Small Group.

Finding Time to Read.

How Not to Become An Old Biddy.

March:

“Special” Music in the Church.

Why Listen to Audiobooks?

Is It Nice to Call Someone a False Prophet or a False Teacher?

April:

Praying for the Lost Scripturally.

A very special birthday.

Camouflaging Dirt.

When the Message Isn’t For Me.

May:

Finding Time to Read the Bible.

Spots and Wrinkles.

Dealing With Caregiver Resentment and A Few More Thoughts on Caregiver Resentment.

June:

Is it more important to be nice or to be right?

Elisabeth Elliot In Heaven.

Not a long life, but a full one.

July:

Upcoming surgery is not a favorite because of the surgery or the post, but because of your sweet comments after I bared my heart over several concerns.

Exceeding Abundantly, But Unseen.

It’s ok to say it hurts.

Fallow Hearts.

August: None. Must not have done any deep thinking that month. 🙂 Actually, I was recovering from a procedure at the beginning of the month, then my son was in town for a week later in the month, so I was otherwise occupied.

September:

Middle Child and Other Syndromes.

October was mostly 31 Days With Elisabeth Elliot.

November:

Help For Changing Thought Patterns.

From Depletion to Abundance.

Am I Doing Any Good?

December: Another busy month.

So that’s it for this year! It’s so hard to believe 2015 is about to come to an end. Thank you for reading and for making the blogging experience so enjoyable!

 

Laudable Linkage

It has been quite a while since I have been able to do one of these, but here are some posts I’ve found interesting the last few weeks. Maybe you’ll enjoy one or two of them as well:

Planned Parenthood: Four Ways to Respond.

Explaining the Problem Does Not Eliminate the Problem.

Gentle Selfishness, HT to Challies. Guilty.

How We Do Family Devotions.

Are You Believing This Lie About Love?

Getting Acquainted With God.

The Sunday Worship Killer.

A Right Theology of Fear (and Why You Need It.)

A few on mothering:

Talking to Your Kids About Same-Sex Marriage.

The Beginning of the Sacrifice of motherhood.

How Much Should a Mom Minster Outside the Home?

Hidden. God has a purpose in “hidden years.”

A few on online communication:

How Should Christians Comment Online?

An Embarrassing Week For Christians Sharing Fake News. Yes! Confirm before you share.

Why I Removed Extremely Effective Pop-ups From My Web Site. Yes! Wish everyone would do this!

What Makes Readers Lose Interest in a Blog?

Four Easy Ways to Create Quote Graphics for Facebook, Pinterest, and Your Blog. Do you use any of these, or any others? I’ve used Quozio a few times.

21 Self-Editing Secrets That Can Supercharge Your Manuscript.

In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry For Lions. HT to Challies. A different and refreshing perspective on the Cecil the Lion story.

Someone shared this on Facebook:

Spurgeon - Faith

Amen! Happy Saturday!

Laudable Linkage

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve shared some links that caught my eye. Here are the latest – hope you find something of interest:

As Somebody Somewhere Said. Good reasons to read the Bible as a whole rather than only parts of it.

Hoaxes and Hermeneutics. The need for learning how to interpret the Bible rightly.

How To Complain Without Grumbling. There’s a difference, and I am so glad to see someone finally say so.

Jesus Speaks Out For Marriage.

How the Gospel Ended My Same-Sex Relationship.

Do You Treat Your Husband Worse Than a Stranger?

5 Questions I Wish My Accountability Partner Would Ask Me. I am wary of accountability partner set-ups for several reasons, and while the author still recommends them, he advocates facets that are much more in line with Biblical accountability and relationships that what I usually see.

Twenty Years. A man’s reflection on twenty years of marriage.

Mama, Are You Thinking Ahead?

Teach Your Children to Have Devotions. Wish I’d had something like this to read when mine were small.

It’s OK For Kids to Be Bored During Church.

Why Little Kids Need Big Biblical Words.

Cherishing and Protecting Our Freedoms.

4 Tips For Dealing With Procrastination.

Navigating the Challenges of Real Life Online. “If you share everything, you’re an exhibitionist. If you share nothing, you’re closed-off and unapproachable. If you share too many good things, you’re fake. If you share too many bad things, you’re a whiner.” Jenn discusses some principles and guidelines for finding balance here.

10 Things Photographers Hate With a Passion. I had never seen the dinosaur wedding thing before. Bizarre! I don’t agree with every point – I think some trendy or “as seen on Pinterest” requests are inevitable – but otherwise some good things for us to think about.

And I saw this on the C. S. Lewis Facebook Page.

Lewis

My favorite posts of the year

free-letters.com

free-letters.com

There is something about the end of the year that invites reflection. One aspect of that for me is that I like to look back through my posts of the previous year and remind myself what I have been thinking about. I don’t necessarily look back through book reviews (other than listing the books I’ve read this year and then my top ten favorite books of the year) or Friday Fave Fives (though the top ones of those would probably be when Timothy was born and then when he came home from the NICU 10 1/2 weeks later) or Laudable Linkage or anything like that. Rather, I like to look back over the posts when I’ve been thinking through an issue or wrote about something that affected me or something I felt God was teaching me. So from those posts, here are some of my favorites (favorites not in the sense that I necessarily enjoyed them the most, but they are the ones that impacted me the most):

January:

Christian Fans. “How sad that people will defend at all costs a media personage, even a Christian one, who will never know them or care about them, at the expense of a relationship with someone they know and are supposed to love in their very own church and community.”

February:

Be Still? Or Fight? “Sometimes God will supernaturally win the battle for me while I only watch, but sometimes He gives me victory by handing me a sword.”

The Spiritual Value of a Secular Job.

The Value of Homemakers.

March:

Can We Let God Down?

Strong Women.

YA Censorship. A question about censorship in YA lit led to a further discussion about objectionable elements in any literature.

April:

Trusting God in the Dark.

Helping Parents As They Age, part of the Adventures in Elder Care series.

May:

None. I was spending a lot of time at the NICU that month. 🙂

June:

Eternal Glories Gleam, written after our pastor’s announcement of his terminal cancer diagnosis.

July:

But If Not….Another that grew out of my pastor’s illness: thoughts on the reality that God does not always answer prayer the way we’d like.

When People Say the Wrong Thing.

A Plea to Caregivers, another in the Adventures in Elder Care series.

August:

It was a busy month, so there is nothing in the way of “deep thoughts” except for some book reviews, but I did finally get all of my favorite cookie recipes into one post. 🙂

September:

Absent From the Body, Present With the Lord, on my pastor’s death.

My Ebenezers.

Irritating vs. Irritate-able. My biggest problem is not what irritates me, but my ability to be irritated.

October:

31 Days of Inspirational Biography. This was a series of posts through the whole month: this post contains a list with a link to each one. It did me good to look back over the lives of saints who have gone before and to learn from them.

Why Read Biographies?

November:

No Mere Mortals.

Why Read Fiction and Christian Fiction? I discussed why read at all, then why read fiction, then why read Christian fiction. This was a post that had been in the back of my mind off and on for years, so I was glad to finally get it written down. And, it’s funny, after thinking this would be my magnum opus, I don’t think it made a splash in the blog world much at all. 🙂

A revival of what?

December:

Grieving at Christmas is one I have reposted a number of times under different titles. Each year, sadly, I seem to know someone grieving the passing of a loved one this time of year.

Looking at my WordPress stats for the year, none of the current year’s posts is near the top of the number of viewed posts. The highest of them is 31 Days of Inspirational Biography at #15. The post viewed most this year (almost four times as many views as any other post) is Coping When a Husband Is Away from 2011. I’m amazed but thankful that God is using it to help women dealing with that issue.

Only a few days left of this year! Except for the monthly What’s On Your Nightstand post tomorrow and a book review or two to finish out this year, I am ready to look ahead to 2015.

My 3,000th post!

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It seems that my 3,000th post should call forth something witty or wise or philosophical…unfortunately it is a busy day and nothing along those lines is coming to mind. 🙂

But I do plan on some kind of giveaway later this month to commemorate my 3,000th post as well as my 7th blogging anniversary coming up at the end of July. As soon as I decide what to do for that, I’ll let you know.

Meanwhile, thanks for being there. I write sometimes just to express myself or to work things out in my own mind or to pass along something the Lord’s taught me, and it’s a wonderful blessing when one of those things connects with some of you. I appreciate the blogging friends I’ve made!

A bloggy look back at 2012

I don’t know if this is of interest to anyone but me, but I like to look back through my posts at the end of the year and pick a couple or more from each month aside from the regular Friday’s Fave Fives, Nightstand posts, and book reviews. So here are some of my favorite posts of 2012: some are fun, most are thoughtful. After that I’ll share what my blogs stats say are my top posts of the year.

January:

Happy New Year!

In Memory of Susie Dog.

Thinking about resolutions and words for the year...

Tebow-mania.

Hobbies.

The Winter of Life.

Happy Birthday, Robert Burns! One of my favorite poets. And this post has the distinction of being the first (and only, as far as I know) post a teacher (my friend Ann) used in her lessons.

February:

Women in Ministry.

Submission in Christian Marriage.

March:

Christian concepts that are a little “off.

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light” about proposed infanticide.

April:

Am I doing any good? in visiting my mother-in-law when she is too sleepy or forgetful to know I am there. (Answer: yes.)

May:

Of grace, law, commandments, rules, and effort.

Focus makes a difference.

The real problem with Facebook...

Tension.

Here I Raise My Ebenezer.

Our relationship with God.

Graduation weekend.

If I were to write a book.

June:

When you’re married to a scientist.

July:

Favorite Places.

Discernment.

When God doesn’t deliver.

The surprise at Mary’s prayer meeting.

August:

One who has influenced my life.

September:

Songs in the Night.

As Seen on the Internet”

October:

What grace does not mean.

November:

The Captain of My Fate.

Thoughts about the election.

An adoption story.

Carrie’s Getting to Know You questions.

A Perfect Christmas (repost)

December:

Learning from the Savior’s learned obedience.

What does it mean to magnify the Lord?

It looks like I did a lot more thinking some months than others — or at least had more time to record my “stray thoughts” then.

According to my blog stats, my top 20, most read posts are:

Home page / Archives 17,072
Christmas Devotional reading 8,998
Coping when husband is away 6,368
Thanksgiving Reading 5,571
More button crafts 5,070
Church ladies’ groups 4,274
Quotes on Thanksgiving and thankfulness 4,210
Book Review: Les Miserables 3,469
Kids answer questions about moms 3,282
C. S. Lewis on love 3,225
Book Review: A Tale of Two Cities 2,608
Encouragement for mothers of young children 2,513
Ten free gifts for Christmas 2,462
My desktop free view 2,326
A Perfect Christmas 2,317
Recipe for a happy marriage 2,232
When there is no hunger for God’s Word 2,083
I Corinthians 13 applied to Christmas 1,847
John 3:16 Valentine 1,750
Christian quotes about love

The first year or two I blogged, I posted a lot of seasonal and holiday things (poems, devotional reading, etc.) that I had accumulated over the years from doing a monthly newsletter. Those always get the most “hits” November-December, I guess from people looking for the same thing. But I am pleased to find some of my original posts there as well and hope people are finding them useful. It’s about 40 posts in before we get into any of my posts from this year. Hmm…I wonder if that means the quality of my writing is declining. 🙂 Or maybe it just means those posts have been “out there” a bit longer and show up on searches more easily. I don’t know.

A day or two after I worked on this post, I received a year-end summary for my blog from WordPress. This is only the second year they’ve done this kind of thing, but it is interesting to me. Here is their prepared excerpt::

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 180,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 3 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

I don’t know why they’re going with “helper monkeys”….

Thank YOU for being a reader!