My Monday Morning Cup: A Look Back

As we near the midpoint of the year, I want to take a look back at the most popular posts of 2018 so far. Starting with number 10 and leading all the way to the most popular post of the last 6 months, this post will reflect back on the posts readers engaged with the most.

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  1. Day 8339: Continuing to Face the Challenges of Living Life in Recovery

In the post Day 8339, I presented a transparent glimpse at the challenges recovering addicts face even after years of sobriety. We make a conscious choice to live clean and sober today, free from the chains of hurts, habits, and hang-ups. The story of our lives could have been interrupted, but by the grace of God we have been delivered and live a life redeemed.

  1. Psalm 90: In God We CAN Trust

Part of our Psalm Saturdays series, Psalm 90 struck a chord with readers. Believed to be one of the oldest recorded psalms and ascribed to Moses, Psalm 90 examines how the Lord is a trustworthy God.

  1. Blogging Isn’t All PJs and Coffee

Just like anything worthwhile, blogging takes time and commitment. While it may seem easy, even glamorous, blogging is hard work that demands intentionality and creativity. Blogs don’t grow without the blogger’s willingness to devote time, talents, and resources to them.

  1. The Seven Wonders of God

In my post “The Seven Wonders of God,” I recall a sermon given by the late Reverend Billy Graham about the wonders of God.

  1. Writing After 50: You Can Do It!

Writing is hard. Writing after 50 is even harder. The window of success appears closed, but it doesn’t have to be. There is really no reason, other than preconceived notions, that should prevent you from finding success as a writer after the age of 50. You will need to put in time and effort to develop your craft and have the discipline to commit and invest to your writing passion.

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  1. Remembering My Dad Ten Years Later

This past March marked the 10th anniversary of my Dad’s death from the complications brought on by a massive stroke. I reflect on what was, what is, and what is yet to come.

  1. Happy Easter! He Has Risen!

My Easter post seeks to celebrate the goodness and glory of God and the gift of eternal life He gave us through sacrificing and resurrecting His son.

  1. Why Good Friday Matters

This post looks at what makes Good Friday a significant holiday that Christians all around the world observer annually.

  1. My Mom is my Hero

In this post, our 2nd most popular post of the year so far, I celebrate my Mom and all the great things she has done and continues to do in her life.

  1. More of Him. Less of me.

Perennially the most popular, most read on my blog “More of Him. Less of me,” takes a long hard look on our relationship with God and to God. Are we humble enough to let God be God?

2018 has proven to be a year of tremendous growth at The Devotional Guy. I encourage you to continue sharing this blog with your family and friends. I am genuinely grateful for the wonderful things the Lord has done and continues to do through this blog.

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Psalm Saturday: Psalm 142

Suicide has been on my mind a lot lately. No. Not like that. I’m not thinking of killing myself. But like you, my news feed and social media pages have been filled with stories and insights about suicide in light of the recent high-profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Me and Sweet T even watched “13 Reasons Why?” —both seasons–last week. Based on the Jay Asher novel of the same name, 13RW follows a teenage girl named Hannah and the people, primarily her classmates, left dealing with the aftermath of Hannah taking her own life. The Netflix series has received praise and criticism for its depiction of a tough subject. According to the peeps who track those kind of stats, suicide is on the increase. Did you know that 22 military veterans commit suicide every single day? In recent weeks, only days apart, I had conversations with two different men who were contemplating taking their own life.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

How does someone get to the point where they want to kill themselves? I’m no expert. Just a lifer like you. I imagine that overwhelmed with despair or overcome with an unending fear, someone decides there is no point in going on. They get to the point where they believe that life is not worth living or that the world would be better off without them in it. They feel hopeless. They come to believe that the value of living is no longer greater than the solace of dying. The pain of things remaining the same, or perhaps the fear that things won’t ever change, overwhelms their innermost being–crushing their soul…causing them to end it all.

Psalm Saturday Psalm 142

Like many subjects we deal with in life, Scripture has a lot to offer us regarding facing despair and the loss of hope. There are many psalms that lament the dire situations and difficult circumstances of life, similar to ones we face, and often times, even worse.

The title of Psalm 142 identifies that David wrote it when he was hiding “in the cave,” most likely while Saul and his men were pursuing him (1 Samuel 22 & 24). The psalmist speaks as someone who has lost all hope except for the help that God himself can provide. David, likely the psalmist, shares with us how he prayed during this dire situation. He prayed out loud, most likely hoping that God would be more certain to hear him. David poured out his soul, crying to God about his blight. He emptied himself, totally and completely. David could not the path he needed to take to reach safety, but God did. God wasn’t caught off-guard by David’s current circumstance. To David, the road out of his present situation was booby-trapped, leading to certain capture or possibly even death. He knew Saul desired to kill him. David felt alone, forsaken by all his human friends. The fact that David found himself in trouble did not mean the Lord had forsaken or forgotten him, anymore than God forget Adam and Eve at the time of the Fall (Genesis 3).

We see David pray to God with confidence, believing that the Lord would defend and deliver him. God was all he had. He begs God to help him escape from his enemies. He knew that if God delivered him that people, including David, would thank the Lord and sing praise to him because of the Lord’s abundant goodness. God is a good Father. He is our defender. He is our ally. He is for us, not against us. God is able to deliver His children even if no one else is willing or able to help.

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Psalm 142

A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.

1 With my voice I cry out to the Lord;

with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.

2 I pour out my complaint before him;

I tell my trouble before him.

3 When my spirit faints within me,

you know my way!

In the path where I walk

they have hidden a trap for me.

4 Look to the right and see:

there is none who takes notice of me;

no refuge remains to me;

no one cares for my soul.

5 I cry to you, O Lord;

I say, You are my refuge,

my portion in the land of the living.

6 Attend to my cry,

for I am brought very low!

Deliver me from my persecutors,

for they are too strong for me!

7 Bring me out of prison,

that I may give thanks to your name!

The righteous will surround me,

for you will deal bountifully with me.

Are you despondent? Do you feel like life is hopeless and you have nothing more to live for? Do you think this world would be better off with out you? Know that you are not alone. There are people who understand what you’re going through and that desperately want to help you.

If you’re considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or click here.

You matter. You have value.

There are people who love you, just as there is a God who loves you.

Suicide is not the answer.

Blessings.

To learn more about suicide among military veterans visit 22Kill.

You can make a difference.

 

Peeking Behind the Curtain: Blogging as a Lifestyle

Blogging is a global phenomenon. Over one million blog posts are published every single day. Recent estimates calculate the number of blogs that exist at nearly 200 million. While there are many blogs that are dormant and cluttering cyberspace, the competition among the best blogs online today remains fierce as the audience, hungry for relevant and helpful content, continues to grow.

Blog is short for weblog, a term credited to American blogger and editor of Robot Wisdom Jorn Barger in the late 1990s. Barger’s Robot Wisdom is an early influential blog that launched in 1995 and featured essays and resources on James Joyce, artificial intelligence (AI), history, Internet culture, hypertext design, and technology trends.

A couple years later after Barger introduced the term, Peter Merholz shortened weblog to blog. Before the beginning of the new millennium, it became common to use the term blog both as a noun and a verb.

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What are blogs?

Basically, blogs are discussion or informational websites that feature content written, created, and curated by individuals or teams of people focusing on a set of topics. Prior to 2009, almost all blogs were the work of individual bloggers. In 2010, multi-author blogs(MAB) began to develop and surface in greater frequency on the World Wide Web. Businesses and institutions now account for a growing number of blogs, often marketing companies, services, or opportunities.

What kinds of blogs are there?

Blogs differ in types and content as well as in how the content is delivered, written, and created.

Personal blogs are generally written by an individual, sharing their observations, thoughts, and commentary on a topic or series of subjects. Personal blogs generally have a smaller reach and limited audience, unless an influential person writes them. However, a small number of personal blogs have garnered immense popularity and attracted lucrative advertising sponsors. In an increasingly digital world, bloggers can acquire a level of notoriety and fame in the real world, as well as online. My blog, The Devotional Guy, is an example of a personal blog. BeautyBeyondBones, Unleashing the Next Chapter, and Seth’s Blog are a couple of other examples that I enjoy reading frequently. There are many others in addition to these, like FitRecovery, RabBits, and The Recovering Legalist are couple of others I read regularly as well.

Multi-author blogs

Multiple-author blogs first surfaced in 2010, and as the title indicates, feature more than one author. Multi-author blogs tend to focus on one overall them like technology, politics, or advocacy. With the advent of smart technology, multi-author blogs have benefited from the increased ease of collaborative work. People like to work together with other people for some common purpose or greater good. No doubt, the pooling of talents and treasures makes maintaining a popular site simpler and often translates into a bigger audience. The Huffington Post’s HuffPost is an example of a multi-author blog.

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Microblogging

Microblogging features short, spontaneous posts that help people keep in touch, coordinate business meetings, create flash mob events, and a host of other things, limited only by an individual’s imagination. Twitter and Instagram are notable examples of this type of digital content.

Business or Organization Blogs

Businesses, non-profits, and government agencies make up an increasing number of new blogs communicating in cyberspace. Company and organization blogs can be private and used for internal purposes only. They can also be used to market, communicate, and promote companies and organizations. Coca-Cola’s “Unbottled” is an example of a corporate blog. You can find additional examples of corporate blogs, here. Your church may produce a blog that features content written by your pastor or other ministry leaders. Examples of non-profit blogs include John Hayden, Nonprofit Quarterly, and the GuideStar blog. You can learn more about non-profit blogs here.

That’s just a few examples of the different types of blogs that populate cyberspace.

Want More?

Here is a list of the most popular blogs in all of cyberspace for the month of May 2018.

If you’re a writer, checkout this list of popular author blogs.

Until next time…keep blogging!

Blessings.