What do you for the 100th post on your blog? I feel like it's quite a milestone! Now sure, I've been blogging regularly since August 2008, but the fact that I've reached 100 posts on this blog is still a huge deal to me. While I was blogging away on my mildly (ok full blown) ridiculous 'emuhleem' blog, I had a dream. Sure, I would throw in some religious posts every now and then, but I wanted my blog to be less silly and more spiritual. I wanted to incorporate my Christianity into my real life--not just 'preach' and throw out devotionals every day (which, I'll admit, a lot of days it seems that way on here even still). Regardless, this blog was born and I love it. It has made me more spiritually minded. It has made me look at the Bible in a different way. It has encouraged me to put myself out there and teach others. It has truly been a blessing to my life. So, if it isn't beneficial to anyone else, that's fine, because it's worth it to me.
BUT, for my 100th post, I want to do something special, and so I will do a list (because those are my absolute favorites) of my favorite (favorites are also my favorite) verses and people, and let's be real-- that will probably be all the time we need to spend, since you probably don't want to be reading my post for 30 minutes. So sit back, strap in, and get ready. And thanks in advance for reading it. These are some really important things in my life.
1: My favorite verse. For such a long time (6 years!!) Psalm 34:18 has been my favorite verse. It reads, "The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit." The reason this verse was my favorite was because of what characterized my life: hurt and brokenness. This verse lifted me out of spiritual apathy and into a life dedicated to pleasing God. Had it not been for this verse I may not have gotten out of the mires of sin.
Now, though, I'm not in that place. I don't feel broken or hurt. Instead, I constantly feel the love of God in my life. It helps that I have a husband who exhibits a Christ-like love for me on a daily basis. In which case, a verse about hurting doesn't cut me to the core like it once did. Which is why I've been on a quest to find a new favorite verse. It's been difficult, though, because there are so many to choose from! For the moment, I have decided on 1 John 1:7 - "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."
While I may not be broken and hurting and apathetic anymore, I am still a sinner. On a daily basis I think or say or do something that I shouldn't, or perhaps don't do something that I should. How reassuring to know that, so long as I am trying (and oh, I am), Jesus' blood continually cleanses me. And that's the tense of the greek word: Jesus' blood doesn't just cleanse me when I am baptized--it continually cleanses me as I try to walk in the light and remain in fellowship with Him.
I will never be perfect, but I am oh so thankful for a Savior whose blood makes me spotless and blameless before Almighty God.
2: My favorite people. First and foremost, you have to know that my husband is my favorite person on this planet. Without a doubt, he has made the most difference in my life. From the moment I met him (ok, so maybe a few months later when he actually started liking to be around me), he made me better. He has challenged me and encouraged me and exhorted me since the very early days of our friendship. He has counseled me and comforted me and cared for me for the last five years. Had Robert only made an appearance in my life, my life would have been abundantly better. The fact that I get to spend every single day with him makes me the most blessed girl in all the world. He is my best friend, and the one who motivates me to be the best I can be for God. I would not have the assurance of heaven were Robert not in my life, because I wouldn't be the person I need to be. I thank God daily for the wonderful gift I've been given.
But that just says a lot about who Robert is to me, not who Robert is. Robert is an amazing preacher. He is an incredibly talented graphic designer (hello Light Network logos), and he has such a vision when it comes to doing God's work. Several months ago, Robert came up with the idea of launching a network of podcasts about Christianity. Now, that idea is a reality. What an amazing husband I have, who dedicates his life and his time to doing the most he can for God!!
I'm sure he's shaking his head, disagreeing with all of this praise, but that's only because he's one of the most humble people I know. He has so many talents, and the church at large is beyond blessed because he chooses to use them in God's service. I pray that I can be an encourager to him so that he will keep on in God's Kingdom, because he is truly using all that has been given to him to glorify our Father.
But notice I said favorite people, so obviously this list must continue. I am also so very thankful for the introduction of two remarkable people into my life this year. Chris and Melissa Clevenger are amazing on so many levels. Chris started taping a program for GBN here in Pulaski, and so we got to know him first. But it wasn't until I met Melissa that I really felt the connection to the two of them. They are both such wonderful servants of God, with the tenderest hearts you will find. They are passionate about serving God and telling others about Christ. One of the most encouraging days I've spent with them was when we went to Ironaton to film a campaign, and they took us to a public high school where Chris teaches a Bible class most Thursday mornings. How remarkable to go into a public high school arena and proclaim Christ! I was so encouraged by both of them, and it was at that point that I felt like my soul was knit to theirs. It is so thrilling to work with people who are so like-minded.
On top of all of that, though, Chris is serving as the co-director with Robert at The Light Network. Chris and Melissa are both doing podcasts, and that just goes to show yet again how dedicated they are to doing God's will. I am better for knowing these two godly individuals, and I am encouraged by them daily.
I would also be remiss if I didn't mention my long-lost college BFF Emily Nelson. While we were in college, Emily was my RA (and briefly my roommate). We had our ups and downs, but I know that God's providence was working in our lives. Had we not met (and had a brief falling out) we wouldn't be where we are today, and that is best friends. Emily is such an encouraging, positive person, and her bright and cheery attitude is exactly what I need most days. She is my biggest supporter, and never ceases to shower me with (undeserved) compliments and praise. She is such a beautiful person, both inside and out, and is the most talented writer I have ever personally known. She is one of my role models for sure. She is constantly trying to do what is right, even when it's the hardest thing on earth to do. She is constantly trying to keep her attitude in check and remain positive, even when things are incredibly trying and difficult. She is such a bright spot in my life and I am so thankful that God brought her back into my life. She is the reason that I can teach the teenage girls class on Sunday mornings (because let's be real--a lot of times I steal her material!). She is the reason that I feel like I can make it through trying things, because she is always there to listen and give amazing advice. It is so remarkable to have a confidant, especially in the line of preacher wifedom.
Thanks be to God for the amazing people He has brought into my life. And these are just four of them!! I am blessed immeasurably more than this, with a supportive family, incredible best friends and a loving church family. God has been too good to me.