Sunday, July 17, 2011

Like a Flower in a Cage

Probably everybody has the need to express themselves.  I think it is a part of our human nature.  Even as I am typing this post, our Creator is expressing Himself with loud thunder and hard rain drops on my study windows.  

Genesis 1:26 says, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ..."  With that, I conclude that we are okay with expressing ourselves -- with the caveat that we do it in a decent and orderly manner.  

Recently I read an article on the Internet by a strong-feeling Christian woman about blogging, Internet security, manners, abusive comments on the blogs of others, and many other things along that line.  It was lengthy, scary, convicting, and made me want to shut down, erase much of my self-expression, and cautiously peek out from under a rock.  Yes.  

And in a way, that's just what this highly-impressionable gal did.  Erase.  Delete.  Shut up.  

As the days followed, I sniffled a little, wondered what to do with myself now, and felt just odd about a lot of stuff.  

I read more articles (by other people), talked to some real Internet-savvy people, looked for God's direction in my daily Bible study, sat quietly just listening, and wondered.  Had I done anything deliberately wrong, or was I perhaps just guilty of ignorance?  Would it be alright for me to go back to what I had been doing, but perhaps with a wiser, more educated mind?  

Of course.  

In the process of all that, I gave serious consideration to using a different blogging platform (my current one is Blogspot, as you see in my website address, above).  I even took an Internet class from another platform (which shall go unnamed).  

My conclusions came to the following:

1) whatever we do, it is to be only if we believe God allows it and will bless it
2) have a teachable spirit in all things.  We don't know it all and there is always something new to learn.
3) use good sense.

After reading that harsh article, I felt like a caged flower, free to express myself only within  tight confines.  Unhappily, some followers of Jesus Christ can be really narrow in their opinions, to the point of making one wonder if it's sinful to stick one's head out at all.  

But do we get anything accomplished for good if we never stick our head out, take chances?  I look at the example of our Savior.  He didn't take chances, so to speak, since He is God and He already knows the outcome. But He did stick His neck out to do the unusual and sometimes he even did what was unacceptable to the current culture because He had a higher purpose in mind.  

I may have lost you several paragraphs ago.  I've written all this to say that I'm back with blogging. I missed it terribly in the week or so that I was silent.  Blogging is a method that God uses to not only share the message of the Gospel, but also to encourage one another, to keep on keeping on.  Maybe next year blogging will be dated and not the best method for reaching people.  But for now I support wholesome, wise blog-writing for the same reason I support Christian radio stations.  

There are hurting people out there who want help; they need answers. But they either don't know where to turn or they are too afraid to make themselves vulnerable by speaking up. Radio, TV, blogs, books, and many other forms of communication can reach those hurting people with the message of hope they desperately need.  

My blog-writing is not "in your face" but it does tend to lift spirits and at the least give my readers a reason to smile about something silly -- something to lighten their day.  As my husband has told me many times, with all the garbage out there it is good to know there are "safe places" to read on the Internet.  I promise to be that for you.

So again, I'm back.  I'll see you the next time you stop by.  Tomorrow, perhaps?