The Next Post…

The Next Post…

The next post.

This is it … the one following the last one. I sometimes wonder when the next post will be the last post. I’m not there yet, but I sometimes wonder. After 220 posts, is there really anything left to say?

A year and a half’s worth of ramblings has chronicled a full cycle of family birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and vacations. Does any one really need to hear about that stuff again? While it’s all very important to me, I’m not sure it’s important to you.

I’ve divulged most of my “junk” … at least the stuff that’s worthy of print and remains reader appropriate. Recipes, fashion trends, and scrap booking aren’t my thing, although I very much appreciate those of you who make them all a worthy pause in my day. Sex really isn’t my writing forte nor an area of personal expertise; I’ll leave that up to the girls over at Adding Zest in your Nest. And parenting? Well, while I’ve done it for over twenty years, I don’t claim the market on the best technique. I simply parent as I go, and in the last eighteen months, I’ve found a nugget or two to share with you because of that “going”.

Thus, it seems to me the ground has been mostly covered here. What’s left? What more could be written that hasn’t yet been said? What might this next post be beyond the fact that it’s the “next post”? I struggle with this every time the obligatory 2-3 day post-interval cycles around and asks me for my thoughts.

Some of you don’t. Some of you are compelled to keep the ink flowing and do so in beautiful measure. But as for me, I struggle. Not because I don’t want to be here, but because when I am here, I want to say something worth saying. Some words that leave you thinking. Not thinking just about anything, but words that leave you thinking about God. This has always been the purpose behind “peace for the journey”—to pause from the everyday ordinary in order to partake of our extraordinary God.

Yesterday, I listened to an on-line seminar hosted by Sheila Wray Gregoire on How to Launch a Speaking Ministry (the best $10 I’ve spent in a long time and well worth the hour investment for anyone with a heart stirred along these lines). In her talk Shelia lays out some initial, foundational principles about how to shape and hone a “signature talk”, one that directly pertains to our own personal story. We all have one; yours isn’t mine and mine will never perfectly fit into yours. God created each one of us with a story in mind. You are the one best equipped to write its witness.

Sheila also drove home the point that “speaking” isn’t necessarily the same thing as “teaching” or “preaching.” According to Shelia, the goal of a good speaker is “to bring other people to a place where they are open to hearing God’s voice.” And while she was referring to a speaking ministry, I would echo the same for my writing ministry; as for that matter, my life’s work!

To bring others … to bring you … to the place where you are open to the possibility of hearing God’s voice … of knowing God more. If I’m about anything, I’m about knowing my God more. Why? Because knowing God is the benchmark of a vibrant, growing faith. God places a premium on our pursuit therein.

“This is what the LORD says,

‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
Or the strong man boast of his strength
Or the rich man boast of his riches,
But let him who boasts boast about this:
That he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD.’” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

A life verse, I suppose. At least one that has gripped my heart for these past few years. Knowing God and boasting in that knowing is the only worthy pursuit of my heart. Wisdom, strength, and riches are fleeting. But knowing the LORD in rich, intimate measure is the well-spring of my journey. To know God, I must be with God. And one of the best ways I’ve found to be with God is to spend time with him and his written Word—his everlasting witness to his everlasting presence.

As long as I’m there, hunkered down somewhere in between a Genesis’ beginning and a Revelation’s end, I’ll always find a reason to be here. I won’t have to wonder where the “next post” will come from or if it will be a worthy read. Boasting in the Lord is always a worthy use of my words. It may not make me the most popular blogger in cyberspace, but it keeps my Father’s attention. In the end, what’s more important? Man’s applause or God’s attention?

I choose the latter every time because I understand that it is the Latter who holds the keys to my forever and who’ll be waiting for me when my race has finished its course.

The next post.

If the Lord allows me a few more days, it’s coming, and if you’d like to join me in the journey, you’ll find me, along with Jesus, walking Solomon’s Colonnade—a story found in John 10. I invite you to take some time to read its substance prior to my next post. I’ve been there recently, and because of my obedience along those lines, I know my God more today than I did yesterday. I want the same for you.

Wherever you are this night, whatever tugs at your heart and pulls at your emotions, whatever plans you have for this week or whatever struggles await your fretting in the days to come, there is peace to be found in your journey. His name is Jesus, and if you’re willing, he’s more than willing to be known by you, to be loved by you, and to be worshipped by you.

That, friends, is the next post worth writing. Write him well; with God’s help, I will endeavor to do the same. I’ll be back with you on Tuesday to get the party started at the Feast of Dedication; Jesus is there, and wherever he is, a party is sure to follow. At least it should.

As always,

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31 Responses to The Next Post…

  1. It's interesting that this idea of writing or speaking to bring people closer to the Lord has been the topic of other blogs today; one of those was Rebecca, Harlan In of Life and Godliness. I totally agree that should be our main focus.

    I can't imagine that there will ever be a time when you will not have something of value to share with us. I appreciate your writing.

  2. Oh Elaine,

    I didn't quite know why I was breaking my own off-line weekend rule but I've been feeling tuckered and tired as of late and I shared some things on line and then continued to pray and wait and then the LORD sent me to you this evening to read what I needed to be encouraged in and reminded of. I appreciate you and your heart for the LORD. Isn't it all about HIM and sharing Him with others and bringing them to a deeper awareness of Who He is. Amen!

    I draw closer to Him even this moment as I pull the covers up and sip hot tea nursing the continued cold and I smile knowing that HE is with me even still.

    Aww, the next post…may it continue to glorify our precious JESUS!

    I love you friend. I miss a talk with you. One coming soon.

  3. This has been a difficult week of sorts for me and one that has required more hunkering down in the Word in order for me to press through. While I hope that this particular struggle is moving to its eventual demise, I look forward to the peace and direction ahead.

    Thank you for the reminder that my journey is one not made alone – looking forward to the feasting ahead. Goodness knows, I have had enough of my own pity party this week!

    Shalom,
    Denise

  4. I love that God always keeps things fresh for us, whether we blog about it or not. Sometimes I think we have to be silent before our God and sometimes we have to shout it from the rooftops. Great stuff here, Elaine. I think you will always have something to share…but not out of obligation.

  5. Your posts have always encouraged and inspired me! I'm looking forward to studying John 10 with you.

    Now, I'm going to check Sheila's link…thanks for sharing the info.

    Blessings,
    Beth

  6. The Lord will keep giving you more to say, because He will keep walking beside you throughout your journey. You may not have much more to say about what He has already brought into your life, but He has tomorrow packaged up for you. When you unwrap it, you'll find the words hidden in the folds.
    You're a writer. It's in your veins (I can tell, because it shows!)

    Hugs to you,
    Betsy

  7. I'm beginning to see how God is using me to encourage others to blog. To boast in the Lord. As if my blogging itself is not the point as much as my blog sets an example for others…

    And let me say that you are an encouragement and example to me.

  8. I started getting nervous when reading thinking you were done. But I'm glad you are not. AND thank you for the resource. I'll be checking it out.

  9. I, too, sometimes wonder where my next post will come from, but all I have to do is remember how faithful God is to supply. He's asked me to share with others, and He will certainly give me what He wants me to share. And like you said, Elaine — there's always something fresh and worthy going on in the Word.

    Continued blessings, friend…

  10. What a captivating post. The next post is somewhere in me and somewhere in you. The same Jesus inspires us both to reveal His Truth in our lives. Amen

  11. While I may not always comment when reading your posts, I do visit…and you always have great posts…..I'll look forward to the others as well!

    ~Beth

  12. You are always such an encouragement to me! I have loved reading this post — you always make me think about my realtionship with Christ in a deeper way. Thank you for sharing Jesus with the blogging world!

  13. Kick. Scream. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.

    That's Future Me, having a small fit if you don't post the "Next Post."

    It seems I just found you. Don't stop now! 🙂

    I crave the Soul Food served here.

    And you,
    you feed souls.

    Thank you for posting.

  14. wifeforthejourney:

    Looking forward to your continued ministry in blog-land! Love you,

    Billy

  15. Mrs. Elaine, I want the right priorities too. I want to know Him. I want to be in love with Him and know His love for me. Nothing can separate me from His Love.

    Blessings to you,

    katiegfromtennessee

  16. Well, my "next post" has been a long time in coming. Hopefully I will be able to get my head around one and write one more at least before I head to She Speaks.

    so much going on, so much in my head, but just don't know what to write about. I get too distracted when I sit down at the computer… my mind goes off on tangents about what is going on, what I need to do, get ready, and of course the anxiety goes up…. way UP!

    I think more about the prep rather than actually getting there and meeting people. I am not exactly an extrovert, but I can "force" myself to be, even if I come home exhausted from it! 🙂

    Anyway… just this "next post" idea resonated with me, because I have been wondering when the next post was coming for me, and about what!

    God bless,
    Heather

  17. Stumbled across your blog today – really enjoyed your thoughts. I have to agreee – everyone has a story and something worth sharing. Reason enough to keep blogging, right? I'm looking forward to looking back through your 220 posts!!

  18. "To know God, I must be with God. And one of the best ways I’ve found to be with God is to spend time with him and his written Word—his everlasting witness to his everlasting presence."

    His word. Flawless. Magnificent. Powerful. Life-changing.

    His presence. No other place that I'd rather be.

  19. At first I was afraid you were going to say you were done–I was ready to scream but I'm not done with learning from you yet! And surely God will always give you your next post.
    So as I read on, was happy where you took it.
    You are a blessing to me. And today I wondered why I wasn't signed on to the roll to make it easier for me to get here–blaming you for not having it and aha! There is was! My fault:)

  20. Can you feel me wrapping my arms around you and squeezing you tight my friend…if not pause a second and truly feel it…because I know my God will send it for me. I love you, I love your heart…a heart created, formed and be more and more transformed by our Jesus…to know you is to get see beautiful glimpses of Him. Oh what a treasure…you my friend are beautiful. This post has encouraged my heart in SO many ways…thanks for living life with Him and asking, inviting, encouraging others to join you!

  21. I discovered my 'signature' message almost as soon as I began speaking. It is about our legacy as Christian women and it was most assuredly born out of my testimony and experiences as a prodigal. It is a message that I dearly love speaking and I refine it every time I have the privilege to give it.

    Have a blessed day.

    Leah

  22. I had a dream about you early Monday morning….now I can't remember what it was about,lol..but you were in it…I was there also…Believe it or not, you had a top similar to the one that you have in this pic…

  23. As long as The Word dwells among us (and in us), I seriously doubt you'll ever run out of them … "words", that is.

    He uses you powerfully, and I doubt that's about to end any time soon. You've been called for a time such as this, to a place such as this also. Cyberspace is a ministry domain unlike any other, and who knows how far reaching are your words, His words?

    Whether to educate or inspire, to encourage or edify, to challenge or lead, you just keep penning or speaking what He gives you. My guess is that it is, and will be, a bottomless provision.

    Hugs,
    Mama Kathleen

  24. Worship – knowing and loving our Jesus – is KEY!

    I am always – always amazed at how God speaks when I come here to your blog and hear the words He has given you to share.

    You wrote:
    "Boasting in the Lord is always a worthy use of my words. It may not make me the most popular blogger in cyberspace, but it keeps my Father’s attention. In the end, what’s more important? Man’s applause or God’s attention?
    I choose the latter every time…"

    I echo your words and praise. It MUST ALWAYS be about HIM and not us!

    Thank you for sharing your heart!

    Choosoing JOY,
    Stephanie
    [JESUS – the One I THIRST For]

  25. Elaine, as He continues to speak to you, you will continue to write. Your life is such a beautiful read. The Author of your writing compels you, and I'm so thankful you share His Words with us.

    This post has me singing a Steve Green song. The chorus goes:
    "Oh, I want to know You more!
    Deep within my soul I want to know You,
    Oh, I want to know You.
    To feel Your Heart and know Your Mind,
    looking in Your eyes stirs up within me,
    cries that says I want to know You
    Oh, I want to know You more.
    Oh, I want to know You more."

    Longing for Him alone,
    Joy

  26. I find facebook and twitter have impacted the time I spend blogging, both posting and reading other blogs. A quick scan brings a connection, but it concerns me that we are becoming such an instant society. 140 characters in an update does not often touch the heart as your posts do, my friend.

    hugs.

  27. Elaine,

    I truly pray that your own personal pen never goes dry until Jesus calls you home, because Friend, you write with a worthy calling. Jesus is the answer, and He certainly does bring peace for the journey.

    Lovingly,
    Yolanda

  28. Elaine,

    Thanks so much for the kind words about my teleseminar! I'm so thrilled that it helped and encouraged you; that was my prayer.

    And I do think we need to focus more on leading people to a journey with Jesus, not just imparting knowledge. I've had a great time perusing your blog, and that seems to definitely be your heart cry! So I'm glad you're writing this and encouraging so many!

    Now may God just give you that signature talk… 🙂

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