Tag: Philippians 4:8

Therapeutic Writing

I enjoy writing. My self-imposed schedule of once a week articles, once a month devotionals, frequently updated Bible studies and always working on a book keeps my mind occupied. If and when adverse circumstances come along, I have discovered that because I have a writing schedule, I can keep thinking positively instead. Not all stress is bad. The tension that comes from having to write something at least once a week is a good thing.

120px-Computer_keyboardAs a result of this writing schedule, I view things a little differently than before. Even something trivial – a stepping stone, sunrise, walking through the woods or poison ivy (not so trivial when you have a reaction to it) or something more substantive like working with my husband on a project or becoming interested in Chinese New Year because I now have a granddaughter adopted from China – all these are potential subjects for articles.

I created a blog in order to interact with others, but the benefits I have received from being faithful in writing it have far exceeded even the potential of what it might do for anyone else. My blog is titled One Focus. It has done just that. It has kept my mind focused on what is really important.

SB19 (2)The fact that I am constantly thinking about something to write has saved me from other distracting thoughts. Each of us experiences self-talk – talking to ourselves in our minds. What dominates our thoughts eventually comes out in our actions. Choosing to think constructive thoughts will prevent the negative thoughts from crowding in.  Or so it has for me.

The beauty of writing a blog is that you can do it from practically anywhere. Even though I travel a great deal, my laptop is always with me. If I have an idea, I can start on a post even when the internet is not available. In fact, I seldom sit down and post in one sitting. I need to mull it over to make sure I am communicating what I really want to say.

I have come rather late to writing, blogging and maintaining websites. There is always something new to learn about putting your thoughts out there on the web. It is a wonderful medium, however, when used to help others.

Whether you share your thoughts with others or keep them to yourself, your thoughts define who you are. You are not the only one engaged in the conversation that goes on in your mind – God is as well.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect…Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things… for the righteous God tries the hearts and minds (Romans 12:2, Philippians 4:8, Psalm 7:9 NAS).

Twitter, Facebook and Blogging: Thinking Out Loud on the Internet

I do a lot of research using Wikipedia or websites specific to the topic I am interested in. If I want a personal perspective, though, I check out the blogs. I appreciate those who are willing to share their expertise in a field. Some of the blogs I follow have to do with writing.  The publishing world is changing so fast that the best way to keep up with it is to read an expert’s blog on what happened in the industry yesterday or even today.

I view life from a Christian perspective, so I also research the people posting the blogs. That doesn’t mean I only read blogs posted by Christians. It means I evaluate what I read by their experience in their field, and take their spiritual state into account as well.

If you follow the news, as I do, you know you should be careful what you post on Twitter, Facebook or your blog. What you say reveals who you are. Politicians and other public figures have discovered that posts are definitely not private: “your sins will find you out.”

The tools the internet provides has allowed me to feel connected even though I am not in one place for very long. On Facebook, I might discover a relative has been in the hospital, a friend I haven’t seen for a long time has a birthday, another friend had a death in the family or another one needs prayer.  In an instant, I can send an appropriate comment.

Blogs give bloggers an opportunity for even more individual expression than Twitter and Facebook since the words are limited only by the blogger’s desire.  I follow one person who intentionally writes a 1000 word blog every Thursday. Others are of various lengths, but research has revealed that most readers quickly scan a blog, so one of no more than 500 words has more of a chance of being read.  Short paragraphs, breaking up text with bullets, and using proper font make it easier to read. If there are no comments on your blog, don’t despair. Experts say over 90% of readers don’t leave a comment.

One blog I follow is a daily blog on prayer. My friend who writes the blog told me, “This is really hard. I am always thinking about what needs to go in my devotional on prayer.” Well, honestly, how cool is that? His thoughts are always on the subject of prayer.

The internet has given us the opportunity to think out loud in front of a worldwide audience. What we think eventually comes out in what we say, and for those who are in our real world (not just our world), they know what we think shows us in our actions as well.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8 ESV).