The Face Behind the Mask

I think most people want to give others a good impression of themselves. However, showing the “real you” is sometimes risky business. I have heard people say, “If you really knew me, you wouldn’t like me.” Have you ever said that? Not that I am advocating to “let it all hang out”, so to speak but I am encouraging anyone reading this to allow themselves to be open to someone who will always love you, no matter what you do. And that person is Jesus Christ. In the song, I Am Loved by Bill and Gloria Gaither, the following verses show the depth of Christ’s forgiveness to all who seek it.

I said if You knew, You wouldn’t want me. My scars are hidden by the face I wear. He said my child My scars go deeper. It was love for you that put them there.

There may be things you have done that you don’t want others to know about. Many of us have things in our past that haunt us, torment us or just plain make us feel guilty. It doesn’t need to be that way. I have made some serious mistakes in my past, but my faith in Jesus helped me turn from destructive behaviors to a renewed life through Christ. You may be thinking, “But you don’t know what I’ve done or where I’ve been.” It doesn’t matter because Christ paid the price for your and my sin. He calls for us to come to him with sincere hearts. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 And not only does he forgive but he never will hold it against us! As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103: 12

So, you may be hiding your past from others and that may be a wise thing. But don’t be afraid to be yourself with God, because he knows you, anyway. He loves you, anyway. Jesus Christ wants to be Lord of your life. He didn’t just die on that cross. He rose from the grave, appeared to many, and then rose to heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand, where he intercedes on our behalf. He promises eternal life to all who believe in him and surrender their lives to him. For God so loved the world that whosoever should believe in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 But it’s not just that. Christ promises to come into your heart as the Holy Spirit. He promises to guide you, protect you and help you live an abundant (fulfilling ) life. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 According to Wikipedia, abundant means ” abounding fullness of joy and strength for the mind, body and soul”.

So, if you’ve never asked Jesus into your heart, won’t you do it, today? Now is the time. It is no coincidence that you have read this blog. You are being called to become a child of God, a daughter or son of the King. Just say this prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and that you died to forgive my sins and rose again to bring new life. I am so sorry for some of the things I have done. Please forgive me and be my Lord and Savior. Guide me, Lord, and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name, I pray.

If you have said this prayer, it is important that you find a Bible believing church so that you can learn more about God and what he wants for your life. May Christ redeem and refresh you as you begin to live the life he has for you.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

With so many people against guns, it must perplex some that many people enjoy using guns to “play” cowboy. When my husband and I first married, we were ballroom dancers. We were not the kind that competed, but we spent hours at the studio trying our best to emulate our professionals. Age took its toll and with aching knees and hips we decided to find another hobby we could do together.

A few months later, my husband found this new sport called single action cowboy shooting and asked me if I was willing to try it. I had never shot a gun or even liked guns but I missed our special times so I said, “Yes.” The beginning was rocky. I liked my pistols and rifle, but I was not fond of my shotgun. I missed a lot and it hurt my shoulder to shoot it. After some further research my husband, Steve, modified my gun, which helped, but I still missed shotgun, most of the time. I enjoyed practice. Shooting my pistols and especially my rifle was fun. But going to the matches were a challenge. Not only were we not welcome at one of our clubs, but my shooting abilities were abysmal. Steve did much better and soon discovered another club that was welcoming and helpful.

Little by little, we improved and after taking a class with the famous Half-A -Hand Henry, I was finally able to break the curse with my shotgun and actually started hitting shotgun targets! I wish I could say that it was easy after that, but I had a curse worse than my inability to shoot shotgun. It was my attitude and temper. When I successfully shot a stage (there are usually 6 per match), I was moderately satisfied. But, when I missed too many targets, had a procedural (shooting in the wrong order), or made some other dumb mistake, I became sullen, teary eyed, and went off to sulk, by myself, until I could regain my composure. This was a challenge for years, even though I learned to hide it, somewhat, as I became more experienced. Holding on to self-condemning thoughts and feelings led to more misses and more train wrecks on the range. It took several more years to learn to let go of the mistakes I make on a stage and move forward to the next, with a clear head and a positive attitude. Satan still tries to break my spirit by tempting me to brood over a bad performance, but I am learning to reject those feelings and get back in the game, more easily.

Maybe you can relate to how Satan tries to defeat us by reminding us of our failures, our sins, and our mistakes. He would like nothing better than to see us not accomplish our goals or our divine missions. He is the father of lies (John 8:44) and he comes to steal, kill, and destroy but we have an advocate who works for us, when we choose to put our trust in Jesus Christ (John 10:10). Not that everything will work out the way we may want it to, but with the right attitude we can be a shining light for others to see and follow. A silent prayer and a shifting of attention helps me regain a positive focus and steers me on the right track. Do you struggle with self esteem issues, feelings of failure, wanting to give up? Go to the cross. Leave the discouragement, the failure, and the brokenness at his feet. Let Jesus comfort, heal, and deliver you.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17

My First Blog Post

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

This is the first post on my new blog. I am a Christian wife, mom to three adult children and a grandmother to seven biological grandchildren, nine step-grandchildren, and four step-great grandchildren. I have a background in dancing, singing, and acting but am, presently in church choir and participate in Single Action Cowboy Shooting. My writings are all based on my experiences with a Christian viewpoint.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.