A Life of Words: @kristinemac

Name of blog:  Kristine ReMixed 
 

Your Name:Kristine McGuire  

Your Twitter: kristinemac

Your Facebook page:  AuthorKristineMcguire

Why did you pick that name? 

My husband, Thom, suggested it. He used to be a nightclub DJ. He would take various pieces of original music and “remix” it to create something new. As a re-dedicated Christian I have been “remixed” by God (a Christian who was restored to Him after eight years spent in the occult). Therefore I am now—Kristine ReMixed

What prompted you to begin blogging? 

I kept my testimony to myself for two years. Frankly, I thought other Christians would be unkind about my testimony. However, during those two years I heard people talk of how they wanted a deeper connection with God. I saw how mysticism and interest in the paranormal was gaining momentum in our society. I decided it was time to share my story but wasn’t sure how. I already blogged on Myspace (just daily life stuff) so when Thom suggested I start a real blog (and offered to help set it up) I decided to go for it.

What kind of blogs did you first write?

I started with typical “Christian life stuff”. It wasn’t until October I began addressing occult issues with a post about a movie called “Paranormal Activity”…and my readership exploded.

What mistakes did you make when you first blogged?

Not including pictures  (with links to the original source), making the font too small, and not paying attention to the length of the post.

What was your worst blog post in the beginning? Your best? 

I have no idea because it can be subjective. There are posts I slaved over and believed were awesome which nobody read. There have been “throw away” posts I’ve written in a few minutes which people loved and shared.

Why did you begin blogging? 

Officially? August 2009.

What are your top 5 favorite blogs to read?

www.sarahmae.com, www.sarahmarkley.com, www.faithbarista.comtolovehonorandvacuum.com, and of course yours. :)

What inspires you to blog? 

God, life, stories I see on TV, other blog posts…sharing what I’ve learned over the course of my life (even the stuff that really hurt).

When do you write your posts and how long do they take? 

It depends on when I get inspired. I’ve been known to create a blog post as early as 6AM and as late as 11:45PM.

What is your brand?

My name and that I’m a Former Witch, Medium, Ghost Hunter. This has established me as an “authority” on occult matters for Christians.

What was your worst comment?

When I was accused of sharing my story so I could “make millions of dollars.” That truly hurt because I feel a profound burden to share God’s truth about the occult with anyone who will listen.

Your best?
The person who found peace with the past, knowing God will always forgive if we truly repent.

When your first comments came and they weren’t family or friends, describe that feeling.

Over the top excited. I may have done a happy dance. :)

Why do you blog now and how has that changed from your very beginnings? 

The motivation remains the same. God has put words on my heart which I put out there in the hope someone will be encouraged in their faith or challenged to turn their eyes to Him.

Do you have any comments to add for people who want to start blogs? Any advice?

Keep your posts to a reasonable length. If it’s going to be long, break it up into several parts. Be prepared to write something every day—even if all you do is admit how uninspired you feel or how boring life is that day. And practice your craft. A good blogger should be a good writer.

How many times a week do you post? 

I try to post something every day. When life gets busy I shoot for three or four times a week.

Are you a believer? If not, what religion do you believe in? If a believer, what denomination do you attend?

I’m a Christian. My faith community is Resurrection Life Church in Grandville, MI.

Do people at your church or work know about your blog? What is their reaction?

My church is very large but I do know there are people from there who read my blog. Everyone has been very supportive and encouraging.

What was your family’s reaction when you wanted to begin blogging? 

As far as I know my family does not read my blog but they are supportive of my writing so I assume they’d like it.

Did you ever write a blog that made someone feel hurt? How did you reconcile that or resolve that? 

The people who might feel hurt by my posts are usually involved in the occult. I never set out to be hurtful but I also do not mince the truth when it comes to the gospel. I do try to let people know they are valued and loved whether we have the same belief or not.

What can we pray about for you? 

God’s gracious favor as my book hits the market in September, and more open doors to minister to people. Daily inspiration for the blog. And as always His strength.

How many hours do you social network and/or blog per week? 

Oh goodness, probably 20 hours or so.

How many readers do you get a month?

Over 10,000

Anything else you’d like to share about your blog?

I’m blessed and humbled to have the opportunity to share faith and life with people through my blog. Thank you. :)

Note from Nikki: The purpose of this series is to show the heart behind some of the many blogs I read. Most of them might be Christian, but some of them aren’t believers. On June 24, we featured Lori Heyd. With all the great articles out there about social networking, building your brand, and marketing ones self in the world, I wanted to put a different spin on things. This series will make an attempt to get at the heart of the blogger. I’m not asking for submissions. So please keep your comments to prayers for Kristine, questions for her, or encouragement for her as she fulfills this calling. As Bonnie Gray once said, your comments are a gift.

A Life of Words: @beingrudri

Last year I began a series called, A Life of Words. I wanted to talk about the heart of social networking instead of the mechanics of it. Today I am featuring a good writer named Rudri. I enjoy her blogs whenever I can find the time to read them. Her blog name is easy to remember. You can read the rest in the series here. Meanwhile, enjoy this interview that Rudri has graciously granted.

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www.BeingRudri.com                

Your Name:   Rudri               

Your Twitter: @beingrudri

Your Facebook page: Being Rudri

NH: Why did you pick that name?

BR: I wanted a short blog title that included my name and reflected ideas and thoughts that were unique to me.

NH: What prompted you to begin blogging?

BR: This blog is my mechanism of coping with life’s changes. I lost my father from a 4 year battle with cancer in 2009, I moved to Arizona after living in Texas all my life, and my mother moved in with us. Life is full of changes, mostly unexpected, so this blog is my perspective on life and everything in between.

NH: What kind of blogs did you first write?

BR: My writing, from the inception, focuses on my personal observations. The subjects that are most important to me are: loss, grief, love, and gratitude.

NH: What mistakes did you make when you first blogged?

BR: I tried to compare myself to other writers and realized that was a futile exercise. I now focus on one criteria: embracing my authenticity. When my writing is genuine, the emotion is palpable.

NH: What are your top 5 favorite blogs to read?

BR: I enjoy reading many blogs. Paring it down to five is difficult. Here are some of the blogs that I regularly frequent:

A Design So Vast, Kitchen Witch, Motherese, Only You, & Ivy League Insecurities, First Sip & Happiness Project.

NH: What inspires you to blog?

BR: Daily observations about life, my relationships, the pendulum swing of sorrow and happiness prompt my blog posts.

NH: When do you write your posts and how long do they take?

BR: I usually write my posts during the evening. My posts usually take about 20 to 45 minutes to write.

NH: When your first comments came and they weren’t family or friends, describe that feeling.

BR: Affirmation and excitement!

NH: Why do you blog now and how has that changed from your very beginnings?

BR: My blog is still about coping with loss, gratitude for the present moment, and understanding the uncertainty between happiness and sorrow.

NH: Do you have any comments to add for people who want to start blogs? Any advice?

BR: Know your voice. Determine why you want to blog. Write for yourself. Be persistent. Write back to those who comment. Enjoy the writing process.

NH: How many times a week do you post?

BR: 2 -3 posts a week.

NH: What religion do you believe in?

BR: I practice Hinduism.

NH: Do people at your church or work know about your blog? What is their reaction?

BR: Yes. Most people are quite expressive and let me know if a particular blog entry touched them in some way. There are many readers that never comment and are reluctant to let me know how they feel.

NH: What was your family’s reaction when you wanted to begin blogging?

BR: Very supportive. My husband and mom are my biggest fans.

NH: Did you ever write a blog that made someone feel hurt? How did you reconcile that or resolve that?

BR: Yes. I wrote a post that advocated walking away from toxic relationships. Even though I never mention names, the person whom I talked about figured out I was ending our relationship. I tried to talk to her prior to my writing the post, but it was not met with any resolution. I gave closure to the relationship by writing about it.

NH: How many hours do you social network and/or blog per week?

BR: I try to write 3 blogs per week.

NH: How many readers do you get a month?

BR: It varies month by month.

A Life of Words: @MonicaSharman

Name of blog: Know-Love-Obey God (http://monicasharman.wordpress.com)

Your Name:  Monica Sharman       

Your Twitter: @monicasharman

Your Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/monica.sharman.5

NH: Why did you pick that name?

MS: My deepest desire is greater intimacy with God, and I think “Know-Love-Obey” is a good way to summarize that intimacy.  It’s a kind of whirlpool cycle that feeds on itself: Knowing God leads to loving God.  I show I love God by obeying God.  Obeying God leads to knowing God better (and the cycle goes on).  I wrote about this in more detail here: http://monicasharman.wordpress.com/intimacy-with-god/

NH: What prompted you to begin blogging?

MS: It was a desire to participate in the poetry community I found at High Calling Blogs (now The High Calling).  Also, a friend said I should. :)

NH: What kind of blogs did you first write?

MS: My first posts were poetry (see above) and also thoughts that I transferred from my private quiet-time journal that I write when I spend time with God in His Word.  Eventually I added community writing projects and book clubs (with The High Calling or T.S. Poetry).

NH: What mistakes did you make when you first blogged?

MS: I was embarrassed to be a writer.  I didn’t even tell my husband about it until later.

NH: What was your worst blog post in the beginning? Your best?

MS: My worst posts from an internal perspective are always the ones that I write with the motive of gaining attention or being appreciated.  Similarly, my best posts are the ones I write with un-selfconsciousness and eyes fixed on Christ (instead of myself).

NH: What are your top 5 favorite blogs to read?

MS: I read blogs for community, so I like to read blogs of people I know.  It’s hard to mention “top” choices, but here are five that I subcribe to (either via email or Google Reader):

aholyexperience.com

gettingdownwithjesus.com

lauraboggess.com

simplydarlene.com

alittlesomethin.wordpress.com

NH: What inspires you to blog?

MS: Poetry prompts and personal Bible reading/study times.  Lately, our experience in the Waldo Canyon fire disaster inspired a few posts.

NH: When do you write your posts and how long do they take?

MS: Often, I directly transfer entries from my private (handwritten) journal that I write when I read the Bible.  Other times, I write with pen and scratch paper as I’m waiting for my sons’ swimming lessons or piano lessons.  Sometimes I write while backpacking.  Really, it’s whenever I have a pen and paper with me (which is almost all the time!).  I never know how long each one takes, but I often let a post sit for weeks or months before I look at it again and post it.  Except for the poems, every post was written several days (or longer) before I posted it.

NH: What is your brand?

MS: Uh-oh, I’m not sure what this means. :)  If it means “what defines me,”  then the blog title is my brand.  Truly, my greatest desire is to know God more.

NH: What was your worst comment? Your best?

MS: My blog visitors have been so gracious and generous with their words.  I don’t think I have a worst comment.  My best comments are the ones in which the commenter calls me “friend.”

NH: When your first comments came and they weren’t family or friends, describe that feeling.

MS: I was startled to realize the possibilities of global connection.

NH: Why do you blog now and how has that changed from your very beginnings?

MS: Poetry remains a primary reason.  Also, I blog to maintain relationships with the community I’ve connected with and to remind myself of some of the things God teaches me.

NH: Do you have any comments to add for people who want to start blogs? Any advice?

MS: Funny, someone recently asked me for this same advice.  I’ll just directly copy a portion of the email I sent her:

“I would suggest making your blogging purposes public (like on an “About” page or a “Why I Blog” or “Purpose Statement” page, or simply make your first post about it). This would 1) inform readers what you’re doing and why, 2) help keep you accountable to the God-directed purpose, 3) guide your every post so that the blog doesn’t become what it’s not supposed to become, 4) serve as a reminder to yourself, … (etc.)Write your posts carefully, prayerfully, and thoughtfully, knowing that anyone can read them. But at the same time, write without any expectations or assumptions that people will read them. Write as if no one but God is going to read them.”

NH: How many times a week do you post?

MS: About once a week.

NH: Are you a believer? If not, what religion do you believe in? If a believer, what denomination do you attend?

MS: I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ!  Though I don’t particularly attach myself to a denomination, we are part of a fantastic church (1freechurch.org) in the Evangelical Free Church of America.

NH: Do people at your church or work know about your blog? What is their reaction?

MS: Only a few, I think, although I rarely get comments from people I regularly see in face-to-face.

NH: What was your family’s reaction when you wanted to begin blogging?

MS: Undramatic. :)  They know about it, but it’s not a regular part of our conversations.

NH: Did you ever write a blog that made someone feel hurt? How did you reconcile that or resolve that?

MS: Oooh, I sure hope not.  If so, I hope they would leave me a comment so that I can repair any relationship damage.

NH: What can we pray about for you?

MS: Wow!  Really?

Pray that I will be alert to God’s direction and that I will walk in His ways.  I often pray through Jeremiah 6:16 for myself:

Thus says the Lord,
“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is,and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls

NH: How many hours do you social network and/or blog per week?

MS: In the morning before breakfast, and here and there throughout the day.  I do a lot less during the school year.  (I teach home school for our sons.)

NH: How many readers do you get a month?

MS: My site stats don’t show the number of unique visitors, only the number of visitors.  I would guess somewhere in the 300-500 range.

NH: Anything else you’d like to share about your blog?

MS: Blogging has been a great way to receive gems from others.  I try to make sure I’m spending more time listening (reading others’ blogs) than talking (writing on my own blog).

Note From Nikki: The purpose of this series is to show the heart behind some of the many blogs I read. Most of them might be Christian, but some of them aren’t believers. On July 27, we featured author, Linda Yezak. With all the great articles out there about social networking, building your brand, and marketing ones self in the world, I wanted to put a different spin on things. This series will make an attempt to get at the heart of the blogger. I’m not asking for submissions. So please keep your comments to prayers for Monica, questions for her, or encouragement for her as she fulfills this calling. As Bonnie Gray once said, your comments are a gift.

A Life of Words: Linda Yezak @pprmint777

Name of blog:   777 Peppermint Place

Your Name:   Linda Yezak

Your Twitter: @pprmint777

              Your Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GivetheLadyaRide

NH: Why did you pick that name? 

LY: The triple seven symbolizes the perfection of my Savior, and Peppermint was my CB handle back in the day. I figured I’d put them both together for an address where my friends can drop by and visit.

NH: What prompted you to begin blogging? 

LY: Like so many other authors, I started because I was told I was supposed to for marketing and promotion purposes. I’ve been at it for four years, and it does help. For a while, I blogged on Newsvine so I could spout my political frustrations to a bunch of folks who weren’t listening anyway, and I blogged on VibrantNation, aimed at women over 50, until I got too busy to care that I’m over 50.

 NH: What kind of blogs did you first write? 

 LY: I wrote and still write about writing, editing, publishing, and whatever else suits my fancy.

 NH: What mistakes did you make when you first blogged? 

 LY: Thinking that I was invisible led to some real killer mistakes. Let me put it this way: I found out about Google Alert the hard way. Twice.

 NH: What was your worst blog post in the beginning? Your best?

LY: Though it wasn’t too early in my blogging career, my worst post (tying in with question #5) was when I wrote about the new agent I’d just landed. Weirdest week of my life. I got and lost an agent within a few days of querying her. I was telling my readers that I’d been accepted by an agent, but didn’t know a thing about “the woman.” This was soon after Mike Hyatt wrote his post about asking questions of your agents to be sure you were getting someone you could trust and work with, and I was trying to come up with some questions to ask. Well, next day there was an email in my box. “Maybe you should hold out for another agent,” or something similar. Oy vey!

 So, lesson learned: You’re not as invisible in cyberspace as you may think.

 NH: Best post?

 LY: My favorite is “Yeah, I Deserved It” about another time I managed to walk around with my foot dangling from my mouth, but according to my stats, “Trippin’ with Mom” attracted a lot of attention from folks who were probably disappointed to discover that “trippin’” didn’t mean what they thought.

Although my posts about writing, editing, and publishing do okay, the posts that seem to do best are the ones about me. Just plain ol’ me . . . Someone needs to explain that one.

NH: What are your top 5 favorite blogs to read?

LY: Tough one, because I have so little time to read blogs, but I like K.M. Weiland’s “Wordplay,” Billy Coffey’s “What I Learned Today,” Duane Scott’s “Scribing the Journey,” Sandra Heska King’s “Deep See Diver,” Keith Wallis’s “Word Sculptures,” and Cindee Snyder Re’s “Breathe Deeply.” Whoa–that’s six. Oops. Still, I probably ought to include my other blog, a collaborative effort named “AuthorCulture.”

NH: What inspires you to blog?

LY: Life in general. I’m not deeply philosophical on my site, but I love to tell stories about what’s going on or about something that happened in the past. As long as I can get folks to laugh–or cry, sometimes–I’m happy.

NH: When do you write your posts and how long do they take?

LY: I’m terrible. I write my posts at the last minute, usually around four in the morning. How long they take depends on how inspired I am by my idea–if I have one at all.

NH: What was your worst comment? Your best?

LY: My favorite came from Bill Brohaugh, author of Write Tight, who found a post of mine in which I used something he’d written as an example–and it wasn’t too flattering, either. This was my other lesson about Google Alert, but it ended well. Still, to understand the comment, one would have to read the article, “Write Right.” Mr. Brohaugh let me off the hook easy.

One of my least favorite comments came from a sweet-hearted Christian who probably intended to make me feel better, but slapped me in the face with a guilt attack instead. I’d written a post complaining about something that had gone wrong, and what it was I needed to make it go right again. She commented, “As long as I have Jesus, I have everything I need!” Well, yeah, me too. What could I say?

 NH: When your first comments came and they weren’t family or friends, describe that feeling.

LY: Well, other than Brohaugh’s visit, the one that tickled me the most really was from family, because nobody from my family ever acknowledged my chosen career. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have family support, and while I’ve managed to gain it now that I’m published, it was hard to come by. So maybe you can imagine my surprise when my step-daughter left a comment on “Road Rage and Preparation H.” The real surprise came when she told me, “Yeah, I’ve always read your blog.” Huh???

 NH: Why do you blog now and how has that changed from your very beginnings?

LY: The reason hasn’t changed. I still write to entertain and enlighten–and because I’m supposed to. The main change is that now I have a book I’m pushing and a couple of businesses, The Canopy Bookstore, and Triple Edge Critique Service, although the bookstore doesn’t get much post space since it’s part time.

 NH: Do you have any comments to add for people who want to start blogs? Any advice?

LY: Advice? Do not follow my example. Seriously, that’s my advice. My readership shifts all the time. I have folks who love my personal stories, and folks who love my writing/editing/publishing posts, and if I spend too much time with either, I lose half my readers. Come up with something that your blog can be about, that will serve your readers well, and stick to it. Mine is just about as successful as its ever gonna get. But I’m not complaining.

NH: How many times a week do you post? 

LY: Three.

NH: Are you a believer? If not, what religion do you believe in? If a believer, what denomination do you attend?

LY: I’m a Christian, and a member of the Baptist church. Although I’ve been a believer all my life, I wasn’t raised in church. I was raised by a woman who taught me the “precept method” before anyone had even heard of Kay Arthur. So, sometimes, you’ll find me not being especially Baptist-like.

NH: Do people at your church or work know about your blog? What is their reaction?

LY: My Sunday class knows I write a blog, and a few other people. We’re primarily old folks. My friends have better things to do than hang out on the computer all the time. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

NH: What was your family’s reaction when you wanted to begin blogging?

 LY: Not particularly impressed. Mom loved it, though. She was born a generation too late. She would’ve loved the computer age, but now she can’t see worth a flip and can’t use it. Sad.

NH: Did you ever write a blog that made someone feel hurt? How did you reconcile that or resolve that?

LY: Yep–that was when I lost my agent. Never was resolved to my satisfaction, because I don’t know whether she ever accepted my apology.

NH: What can we pray about for you?

LY: Just pray for me when you think about it. God knows what my needs are, and when you bring my name to His throne, He’ll know what to do.

NH: How many hours do you social network and/or blog per week?

LY: Too many, but I’ve been cutting back. Social networking will suck ya dry of time if you’re not careful.

NH: How many readers do you get a month?

LY: Just under a thousand a month on average.

NH: Anything else you’d like to share about your blog?

LY: I welcome visitors, so drop by 777 Peppermint Place and leave a note for me. I’d love it!

About Linda:

Linda W. Yezak holds a BA in English, a graduate certificate in Paralegal Studies, and a bucket list as long as her arm. Among the things on the list is owning a stable full of horses, and since that’s not likely to happen any time soon, she includes horses in each of her novels, from her contemporary western romance Give the Lady a Ride and her current work, The Cat Lady’s Secret, to her work-in-progress, a contemporary western romance series tentatively called “Family First.” Until the day she can retire with her husband to their land in Central Texas and ride to her heart’s content, she’ll continue with her writing and freelance editing careers.

Note From Nikki: The purpose of this series is to show the heart behind some of the many blogs I read. Most of them might be Christian, but some of them aren’t believers. On July 23, we featured Lisa Notes. With all the great articles out there about social networking, building your brand, and marketing ones self in the world, I wanted to put a different spin on things. This series will make an attempt to get at the heart of the blogger. I’m not asking for submissions. So please keep your comments to prayers for Linda, questions for her, or encouragement for her as she fulfills this calling. As Bonnie Gray once said, your comments are a gift.

A Life of Words: @LisaNotes

Name of blog:  Lisa notes

Your name: Lisa Burgess

Your Twitter: @LisaNotes

Your Facebook: HideHisWord—my scripture memory group with Do Not Depart

NH: Why did you pick that name?

LB: Because I write to note where I see God, and my blog is the place I keep these notes. Thus, Lisa notes (“notes” working as both a verb and a noun—I should mention I’m a grammar geek, although I’ll delightfully break any grammar rule as needed).

NH: What prompted you to begin blogging?

LB: I was fascinated to discover a venue online where I could store my writings and share good things I was reading about God. I had then and still have now an inner urge to put into words things I feel strongly in my spirit. I process my thoughts better when I write them out.

NH: What kind of blogs did you first write?

LB: Short quotes from books and Bible passages, followed by a little commentary.

NH: What mistakes did you make when you first blogged?

LB: I wasn’t personal enough. I hesitated putting myself too “out there” and boring people to death with me.

NH: What was your worst blog post in the beginning?

LB: Those where I would cram too many random thoughts from my daily Bible reading into a single post, like this: http://lisanotes.blogspot.com/2008/08/pour-on-salt.html

NH: Your best?

LB: Still searching for that elusive one. I personally benefited by the posts I wrote journeying through my dad’s death and my mom’s Alzheimer’s. I pray those posts help others as well.

NH: What are your top 5 favorite blogs to read?

LB: I have so many favorites in my Google Reader. As an information junkie, many favorites are those that are gateways to even more information, such as:

Challies

Take Your Vitamin Z

The Gospel Coalition

Desiring God

For writing/blogging tips:

Copyblogger 

ProBlogger

Daily Blog Tips

And I try to keep up with all my friends’ personal blogs (too many to list!). Oops—I’m way over five.

NH: What inspires you to blog?

LB: Seeing God reveal his grace in so many wonderful ways.

NH: When do you write your posts and how long do they take?

LB: I wish I had a set schedule; maybe in my next season. For now it’s random—I usually write when I can’t hold something in any longer. It can take 30 minutes up to however much time I’ll allow myself. The goal is to keep it to an hour or less, but I always long for more.

NH: What are your favorite comments?

LB: I’m blessed when readers say they’re encouraged by what I’ve written, and when they leave encouragement for me when I write about hard times. Just a few words here and there can make such a difference.

NH: When your first comments came and they weren’t family or friends, describe that feeling.

LB: Weird! Strangers will take time to read what I say?

NH: Why do you blog now and how has that changed from your very beginnings?

LB: I started sharing thoughts mainly from other authors. But now I understand blogging connects all our stories. Our blogs become gathering spots to establish genuine friendships and to encourage each other to hope in Jesus. So I’ve grown to include more personal stories on my blog and to read my commenters’ stories on their own blogs as often as I can.

I also have favorite memes that I participate in regularly, such as Soli Deo Gloria and Spiritual Sundays, and reading challenges like What’s on Your Nightstand and Spring/Fall Reading Thing. I love the friendships that arise out of these communities.

NH: Do you have any advice for people who want to start blogs?

LB: Blogging is a great journey!

1. Start now. Don’t wait until you get everything perfect (you never will). Just pour out what you’re thinking—and feeling—and publish.

2. Be kind. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want a particular “somebody” to read—you never know when your post may be forwarded to that very person.

3. Make it shorter. Mercilessly cut what might seem irrelevant to your readers. Stick with one main point per post.

NH: How many times a week do you post?

LB: Lately, 2-3 times a week, which is the lowest frequency since I started blogging in 2008 (I used to somehow post daily—and loved it). Ideally, I’d like to post 4-5 times a week. I hope to return to that schedule soon.

I also contribute a few posts a month at Do Not Depart. My favorites there are our scripture memory challenges (a new one will begin in August!).

NH: Are you a believer?

LB: By God’s grace, most definitely. I believe in Jesus as the Son of God and my rescuer. I am alive thanks to his mercy and am indwelled by His Spirit.

NH: Do people at your church or work know about your blog?

LB: Several of my friends tell me they read my blog, which both greatly encourages me and amazes me. I’m grateful. It also helps keep me accountable.

NH: What was your family’s reaction when you wanted to begin blogging?

LB: They had no clue (neither did I!) of how important it would become to me. Now they predict “This will become a blog post!” when we’re out and about. They accept my blog as an extension of who I am.

NH: What can we pray about for you?

LB: I never turn down answering this question! Please pray that I find and maintain a God-glorifying balance between writing, reading, and staying in the moment. If I fail to honor the Lord, I’ve wasted it all.

NH: How many hours do you social network and/or blog per week?

LB: I’m scared to count. Less than I used to, more than I need to, but I do enjoy it all. I’ve developed a love for many of my fellow-bloggers; they’re as real as the friends I see in “real” life so I like to spend time with them.

NH: How many readers do you get a month?

LB: More than I deserve. I try to avoid keeping track of the numbers.

NH: Anything else you’d like to share about your blog?

LB: I want it to be an instrument of God’s grace for all who stop in. Isn’t our journey easier when we help each other see the Lord? He gets the glory and we get a stronger faith, a win-win.

Thanks for asking, Nikki!

The purpose of this series is to show the heart behind some of the many blogs I read. Most of them might be Christian, but some of them aren’t believers. On July 19, we featured His FireFly. With all the great articles out there about social networking, building your brand, and marketing ones self in the world, I wanted to put a different spin on things. This series will make an attempt to get at the heart of the blogger. I’m not asking for submissions. So please keep your comments to prayers for Lisa, questions for her, or encouragement for her as she fulfills this calling. As Bonnie Gray once said, your comments are a gift.

A Life of Words: @HisFireFly

The name of my blog is Flickers of a Faithful FireFly

Your Name:  Karin Fendick

Your Twitter: @HisFireFly

Your Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Flickers-of-a-Faithful-FireFly/114779225220036

NH: Why did you pick that name? 

KF: Early on in our courtship my husband began calling me FireFly – he claims that the Lord prompted him to do so because he believes I reflect God’s light.  I fell in love with the nickname and have used it ever since.  I added “His” to become HisFireFly to share to Whom I belong, the upper case H for His but also lower case ‘h’ for Rick’s.

NH: What prompted you to begin blogging?

KF: I began my blog to record and remember our experiences in Uganda as part of a short term mission, building a home for Watoto Childcare.

NH: What kind of blogs did you first write?

KF: My early posts were taken from my Uganda journal, much like a travel log

NH: What mistakes did you make when you first blogged?

KF: I designed my blog with a black background which many found difficult to read.  I placed pictures all over the page leaving the space looking cluttered and chaotic

NH: What was your worst blog post in the beginning? Your best?

KF: I can’t pin-point the worst, they were all bad, small pictures, limited text and likely not at all interesting to anyone but my husband and myself!

One of my favorite early posts was written for the children of Gulu, Uganda.  Instead of travelogue style I released my heart.

NH: Why did you begin blogging?

KF: While I was finishing my posts on Uganda I tripped over the Christian Women Online site and links to many other blogging Christian women.  I was inspired to continue writing in this new way, sharing my faith with who ever might stumble by.

NH: What are your top 5 favorite blogs to read?

Emily Wierenga at http://www.emilywierenga.com/

Emily has a profound sense of what it means to walk broken yet redeemed in the world

Jennifer Dukes Lee at http://www.gettingdownwithjesus.com/

Jennifer shares a life lived with senses wide open to the moving of our Lord

Sandra Heska King at http://sandraheskaking.com/

Sandy has opened her heart to dive deeply into whatever places God leads her

Billy Coffey at http://www.billycoffey.com/blog/

I simply cannot resist Billy’s easy and compelling way of sharing truths through stories of the everyday

The High Calling Blogs at http://www.thehighcalling.org/

A wide variety of writers share their hearts and their craft here.

NH: What inspires you to blog?

KF: I am inspired by numerous sources – the beauty of the words of others challenges me to continue to search for my own creative stream; the comments from others who have been touched by something I shared right at the moment they needed to hear it; and there is also the burning of words within me that long for release much like Jeremiah spoke of:

“The words are fire in my belly, a burning in my bones. I’m worn out trying to hold it in. I can’t do it any longer!”  Jeremiah 20:9 The Message

NH: When do you write your posts and how long do they take?

KF: I usually write in the mornings.  Typically my posts are short, often poetry or broken prose.  Most often words come quickly or they do not come at all.

NH: What is your brand? 

KF: I haven’t paid much attention to branding.  I suppose I would be seen as a writer, a poet and a lover of Jesus.

NH: What was your worst comment? Your best?

KF: Perhaps my worst comment was on a post called Sewing Buttons where I shared a snip of a vision and word from the Lord – I received this spam comment likely due to using the word “buttons”  It was obvious to me that the post had not been read.

“Hi there. Nice blog. You have shared useful information. Keep up the good work! Your blog is really interesting and provides good details.” Garment Buttons Manufacturers

This is perhaps one of the comments I liked most, knowing that someone else needed to read the words I was prompted to post –

“Oh… did I need to hear this tonight… reflect on this tonight. You’ll never know how God used you in a mighty way for me… I am desperate to hear the Lord speak and do His will… your post spurs me on to deep listening. And your life and prayers and decisions for the future inspire! Alls’ grace”

NH: When your first comments came and they weren’t family or friends, describe that feeling.

KF: I think my first reaction was shock, I was humbled that others would actually choose to read my words and respond.  My heart did skip a few beats thinking that someone out there was paying attention.

NH: Why do you blog now and how has that changed from your very beginnings?

KF: I blog as a creative tool and outlet, to connect with other artists and encourage thirsty spirits.

I have a greater sense of audience these days but need always to remember that I am writing to please my Lord.

NH: Do you have any comments to add for people who want to start blogs? Any advice?

KF: Write. Write. Write.  There are so many bloggers that you will admire and you may covet their style and feel lost in their shadows.  Allow your own voice to emerge.  God has chosen you to say things in a way no one else can.  Trust that.

NH: How many times a week do you post?

KF: I try to post about 5 times each week, sometimes more if I have book reviews to share.  I used to worry about posting something new each and every day.  I have chosen a more relaxed approach lately.

NH: Are you a believer? If not, what religion do you believe in? If a believer, what denomination do you attend?

KF: Yes.  A solid, unashamed YES!  Jesus is the centre that my life rests on.  We currently fellowship at a Baptist church, not for specific theological or doctrinal reasons but for the love for Christ and each other we have found there.

NH: Do people at your church or work know about your blog? What is their reaction?

KF: The best answer to this is that a link to my blog has been added to the church website!

NH: What was your family’s reaction when you wanted to begin blogging?

KF: My husband, in his usual loving way gave me his full support and became my biggest fan.

NH: Did you ever write a blog that made someone feel hurt? How did you reconcile that or resolve that?

KF: I have never been told that my words hurt someone, and I pray that if there was silent pain or offense it would be brought forward to be reconciled.  Surely my intention is not to harm but to heal.

NH: What can we pray about for you?

KF: Pray that I would continue to listen to the voice of the Lord and not the call of the world.  Pray for the strength and courage to continue to be obedient to whatever He asks of me.

NH: How many hours do you social network and/or blog per week?

KF: My social networking is hindered by a scandalously slow internet connection (28k – yes.. that is “k”).  I haven’t been able to use Twitter much at all except for automated posts when a new blog publishes, and watching video blogs or listening to audio posts is impossible unless I’m on the road with hi-speed access.  I don’t want to venture a guess at how many hours I spend in front of the screen.

NH: How many readers do you get a month?

KF: As of today, blogger tells me I have 173 followers and about 2500 pages views each month.

NH: Anything else you’d like to share about your blog?

KF: Think of Flickers as a place to sit and rest awhile.  I pray that as you linger, you will hear the voice of the One Who loves you, whispering words of life and light.

The purpose of this series is to show the heart behind some of the many blogs I read. Most of them might be Christian, but some of them aren’t believers. On July 16, we featured Mama’s Empty Nest. With all the great articles out there about social networking, building your brand, and marketing ones self in the world, I wanted to put a different spin on things. This series will make an attempt to get at the heart of the blogger. I’m not asking for submissions. So please keep your comments to prayers for Karin, questions for her, or encouragement for her as she fulfills this calling. As Bonnie Gray once said, your comments are a gift.

A Life of Words: Mama’s Empty Nest

Name of blog:  Mama’s Empty Nest

Your Name:   I keep my blog anonymous

Your Twitter:   I don’t tweet! 

          Mama’s Empty Nest Facebook page

NH: Why did you pick that name?

MEN: I’m the mother of three adult children.  When they were growing up and even into their college years,  their friends congregated at our house  and called me Mama [my last name].  As our last child graduated college and headed out on his own, our home, which was a bustling center of energy before, became quiet and empty and my life became so different.  The change was drastic when Mama’s nest became empty.

NH: What prompted you to begin blogging?

MEN: I’ve always been a writer and found it easy to put my feelings and thoughts into words since I was a child.  But as a busy wife and mom raising children, running a household, doing volunteer work, and eventually working at a part-time job for a non-profit organization, writing wasn’t a priority.  I actually started a blog seven years ago when I was recuperating from cancer surgery.  But once I recovered, I stopped writing in it.   After my nest became empty, I finally had free time on my hands – and peace and quiet  – to start blogging once again.  That time, writing helped me express the emotions of all the major life changes I was experiencing.

NH: What kind of blogs did you first write? 

MEN: My early blogs were strictly personal about what was happening in my life, the cancer diagnosis and treatment I was undergoing, and sometimes just whatever came to my mind.  I didn’t really have purpose in writing them.

NH: What mistakes did you make when you first blogged? 

MEN: One mistake I made was not considering that complete strangers may read my writing.  It never crossed my mind that people who didn’t know me might be interested in what I had to say!  The second was  trying to be light-hearted and almost silly instead of being true to who I really am and writing about what’s important to me – my faith, my family, and life’s lessons. 

NH: What was your worst blog post in the beginning?

MEN: Probably my worst blog post was in my earlier blog and was just a compilation of things that had happened during a couple months’ time frame.   It was just like reading a diary of dates and events.  Can you say ‘boring?’  ;-)

NH: Your best? 

MEN: I haven’t decided which was my best.  I really liked a four-part series I wrote called ‘Home Sweet Home.’  It was very cathartic and helped me put some of the grief and unsettled feelings I had into perspective.

NH: Why did you begin blogging? 

MEN: As I said before, I started blogging while I was recuperating from cancer surgery because I needed something constructive to occupy my time.   But I discontinued writing as life became busy once more.   I initiated a new blog on WordPress in 2010 because I was struggling through significant life events like my last child graduating from college and moving to another state for his new job, my last parent dying, and this feeling of being disconnected that I just couldn’t shake.

NH: What are your top 5 favorite blogs to read? 

MEN: It’s hard to choose only five because I have a long favorites list.   But I never miss reading these bloggers:  Homestead Ramblings, Georgette Sullins Blog, Writing for Daisies, Grace For My Mess, Virginia Views, and I never miss your blog, Nikki, either.   For gorgeous photography, I also check Montana Outdoors and These Days of Mine every day.

NH: What inspires you to blog? 

MEN: Lots of things inspire me to write….sometimes it’s just a photograph I take or see, sometimes it’s an every day item that comes across my mind or to my attention and causes me to see a new perspective on it.  Often it’s a thought or idea I believe the Lord plants as a little seed.  Or it may be a scripture or a quote that prompts my imagination to soar and brings a story to mind.

NH: When do you write your posts and how long do they take? 

MEN: Since I work part-time, I usually write in the mornings on my days off work or in the afternoons after work.  I try to reserve evenings and weekends for spending time with my husband in our empty nest.  Sometimes I can churn out a post in an hour or so, often it takes a couple of hours.  I’m a real stickler for editing and proof-reading so I pore over my posts for errors and improvements.  It also may take extra time searching for a photo to accompany the post.

NH: What is your brand?

MEN: Hmmm,  I don’t think I really have one.  Once someone told me I had a very poignant style of writing, but if I had to choose what was my brand, I’d say it’s Life  — I write about life.  Once upon a time before children, I was a newspaper writer/editor,  so as a former journalist I tend to write about  true stories and real life events,  hence, I write non-fiction.

NH: What was your worst comment?

MEN: Oh my! I once had a comment from someone who I believe was a ‘troll’ who said very unflattering things about me and my family,  told me I wrote “drivel,” but worst of all, he attacked my belief in God.  I deleted it as I felt he was just trying to incite anger and argument from me and my readers.   My blog, my rules.  You may insult me and my writing all you want, but not my beliefs or my Lord. 

NH: Your best?

MEN: You know what?  I LOVE comments!  Any comment from my readers touches my heart just to think that they read what I wrote and took the time to have a conversation with me.  But there have been a couple of comments that truly made me grateful because a reader shared that my writing made a difference in his/her world that day.

For example:    1) “I read your blog every day and every time I read it I come away feeling blessed and touched by your words. The gifts that you share with us are uplifting and always food for thought and reflection.”   2) “I loved today’s entry and have been so blessed by many others as I have been reading to “catch-up!” Thank you for your encouragement! I’ll just bet you had no idea the effect your blog would have on others, but I have been truly lifted up and blessed!”  Comments like these mean the world to me!

NH: When your first comments came and they weren’t family or friends, describe that feeling. 

MEN: Shock, disbelief!  I couldn’t imagine why anyone who didn’t know me would truly want to read what I wrote and keep coming back for more!

NH: Why do you blog now and how has that changed from your very beginnings? 

MEN: I still blog from a personal point of view about my life and the things I perceive or God reveals to me, but my purpose is to share my faith, my life experiences, and lessons learned in order to encourage and uplift others.

NH: Do you have any comments to add for people who want to start blogs? Any advice?  

MEN: Don’t be intimidated by other writers, just be yourself and say what you have to say.  Find your own voice instead of trying to copy those who may be getting tons of readers.   When I first started my current blog, I thought the ultimate thrill was getting featured on WordPress’ Freshly Pressed.  It was exciting when that happened to me,  but I soon realized pursuing that “prize” shouldn’t be my goal.  For me, blogging isn’t a popularity contest; it’s about being real, sincere, and genuine and making a connection with other human beings whether you make them laugh, cry, or just give them something to ponder.   Another piece of advice I would suggest is to keep a notebook handy at all times to jot down ideas.  With our busy lifestyles, ideas can easily be forgotten or put so far on the back burner they get lost.

NH: How many times a week do you post? 

MEN: I usually post three times a week – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays – sometimes less, sometimes more.

NH: Are you a believer?

MEN: Absolutely.  I’ve been a Christian since I was a young girl.  My faith In Jesus Christ has grown and developed over the years and that relationship with my Savior is what sustains me through difficult circumstances.

NH: Do people at your church or work know about your blog? What is their reaction? 

MEN: Yes, some people at my church, work,  or in my circle of friends (from near and far) do know I blog and several of them read my posts.  They tend to comment about my writing on my personal Facebook page not my public page or my blog.  Or sometimes they tell me in person (now, there’s a novel idea!) how much they enjoy reading my blog.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised by their reactions and suggestions to get my work published in a devotional or something similar.

NH: What was your family’s reaction when you wanted to begin blogging?

MEN: My oldest daughter is actually the one who suggested I initiate my first attempt at blogging.  She is an excellent writer herself and also wrote a blog at the time.   My husband, my three children, and my sisters all read my blog and have been very supportive and encouraging, and I think my husband is my biggest fan!

NH: Did you ever write a blog that made someone feel hurt? How did you reconcile that or resolve that? 

MEN: I sure hope not.  If I have done so, I’m not aware of it.  But if I happened to hurt someone’s feelings through what I wrote, I would personally contact them, apologize, and make some kind of reconciliation.  It is in my nature to resolve differences; that’s just who I am and what I feel called to do.

NH: What can we pray about for you? 

MEN: I’d covet prayers for my family as we maneuver more changes in our lives — all three of our adult children are getting married this year!  I would also appreciate prayers for wisdom, joy, and inspiration to continue blogging. 

NH: How many hours do you social network and/or blog per week? 

MEN: I’ve cut back on social networking a lot.  I found it to be too much of a  ‘time-sucker.’   Now, blogging, that’s a different story! I enjoy reading other bloggers and have a lengthy blog roll.  I honestly haven’t sat down to figure out how many hours I’m in the blogging world because I’d probably be aghast at the total!

NH: How many readers do you get a month? 

MEN: Last month, I had a whopping 6000+ hits, but how many of those actually read my blog, your guess is as good as mine.  Usually, I average around 3500 hits per month, but WordPress tells me I have 355 followers/subscribers.  I honestly don’t know what to make of those stats. What’s important to me is the connection I feel to a number of readers who have become my friends in my own little blogging community. I never expected to be given the gift of friendship through blogging!

NH: Anything else you’d like to share about your blog?

MEN: I take most of my own photos for my blog and that has been a source of fun and enjoyment for me as well.  I’ve included one of my favorites. As I travel down life’s highway, I’m thankful that God has blessed me in ways I never dreamed through my blog.

The purpose of this series is to show the heart behind some of the many blogs I read. Most of them might be Christian, but some of them aren’t believers. On July 9, we featured author, Michelle Gregory. With all the great articles out there about social networking, building your brand, and marketing ones self in the world, I wanted to put a different spin on things. This series will make an attempt to get at the heart of the blogger. I’m not asking for submissions. So please keep your comments to prayers for Mama’s Empty Nest, questions for her, or encouragement for her as she fulfills this calling. As Bonnie Gray once said, your comments are a gift.

Life With Words: Michelle Gregory

Name of blog: beautiful chaos

Michelle Gregory

Your Twitter: trying to stay away from Twitter

Your Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Michelle-D-Gregory/240386576394

Why did you pick that name?

I felt like it described my life at the time I started this particular blog. I still do. Life can be beautiful and chaotic all at once.

What prompted you to begin blogging?

Back in 2005, my first blog was Life in the Midst of Writing. It began as a way to express myself and share part of my life. It turned into a way to share the progress on my novel as I participated in NanoWrimo that year.

What kind of blogs did you first write?

I just had the one blog and it was mostly random.

What mistakes did you make when you first blogged?

I thought I had to blog every day and keep readers happy.

What was your worst blog post in the beginning?

I tend to delete the bad posts. Why keep them around?

Your best?

By far my favorite is Dancing with God (http://michellegregory.blogspot.com/2008/11/dancing-with-god.html ) I posted it back in January 2007 on the old blog and have re-posted it several times on my current blog.

What are your top 5 favorite blogs to read?

That’s hard because I read so many, and I have an eclectic list – from writing encouragement to writers’ blogs to paper arts. When I have a limited time for blog reading, the five of the blogs I make sure to visit are:

Kelly Kilmer Artist — http://kellykilmer.blogspot.com/

Inky Girl: Daily Diversions for Writers — http://inkygirl.com/

Pitch Slapped — http://februarywriter.blogspot.com/

Write First, Blog Later — http://thewritershole.blogspot.com/

The Brooklyn Scribbler — http://thebrooklynscribbler.blogspot.com/

What inspires you to blog?

My main intent is to encourage. I’m not trying to build a platform or get more readers.

When do you write your posts and how long do they take?

Unless I’m writing a post for the Insecure Writers’ Support Group (started by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and which I absolutely love participating in), I usually write them on the spur of the moment, or when I have some spare time. The length of time I spend on one depends on how long the post is and how much I want to tweak it.

What is your brand?

I don’t have a brand, but my tagline on the blog header is: a place for this writing mom to rant, write, and encourage.

What was your worst comment?

I try to not dredge up the worst comments, but I count any comment where the reader misunderstands my intent as a worst comment. Sometimes I even delete those.

Your best?

Any comment that encourages me, or lets me know that a reader connected with something I said is a best comment.

When your first comments came and they weren’t family or friends, describe that feeling.

It was nice to know someone other than friends were reading my blog. It made me feel like my influence was expanding.

Why do you blog now and how has that changed from your very beginnings?

I continue blogging to encourage, or share random stuff about myself, or to mention books or bloggers that I think are worthy of my readers’ time. I’m learning that I don’t have to suffer from “blog guilt” (not blogging every day), or that I have to conform to some “blogging formula” to get more readers, or that I have to promote my book on a regular basis. I try to be myself, and let my blog be what it is.

Do you have any comments to add for people who want to start blogs? Any advice?

– Let your blog be what it is. That will probably change over time.

– If your only blogging intent is to promote yourself, don’t blog. There are too many people out there saying, “Look at me. Buy my book or my product.” After awhile, your readers will get tired of it.

– Don’t feel like you have to blog every day.

– Be yourself.

How many times a week do you post?

I can post as often as two to three times a week, or as little as once a month. It depends on what’s going on in life.

Are you a believer? If not, what religion do you believe in? If a believer, what denomination do you attend?

Yes, I’m a believer, and I don’t belong to a particular denomination.

Do people at your church or work know about your blog? What is their reaction?

Not many of them know.

What was your family’s reaction when you wanted to begin blogging?

I’ve never asked, and they’ve never said anything.

Did you ever write a blog that made someone feel hurt? How did you reconcile that or resolve that?

I do my best to not hurt anyone or be pushy. I’m never snarky. But I’m also not shying away from posts that could be considered controversial.

What can we pray about for you?

That the ideas for my story will continue coming, and that I will find time to write amidst the craziness of moving again so I can finish the book this year.

How many hours do you social network and/or blog per week?

Too many.

How many readers do you get a month?

I average about 2000. I’m always amazed at where they come from, or how they find me.

Anything else you’d like to share about your blog?

I try to be real and honest and kind. I hope that comes across.

Note from Nikki: The purpose of this series is to show the heart behind some of the many blogs I read. Most of them might be Christian, but some of them aren’t believers. On July 5, we featured Kristine McGuire. With all the great articles out there about social networking, building your brand, and marketing ones self in the world, I wanted to put a different spin on things. This series will make an attempt to get at the heart of the blogger. I’m not asking for submissions. So please keep your comments to prayers for Michelle, questions for her, or encouragement for her as she fulfills this calling. As Bonnie Gray once said, your comments are a gift.

A Life of Words: @kristinemac

Name of blog:  Kristine ReMixed 
 

Your Name:Kristine McGuire  

Your Twitter: kristinemac

Your Facebook page:  AuthorKristineMcguire

Why did you pick that name? 

My husband, Thom, suggested it. He used to be a nightclub DJ. He would take various pieces of original music and “remix” it to create something new. As a re-dedicated Christian I have been “remixed” by God (a Christian who was restored to Him after eight years spent in the occult). Therefore I am now—Kristine ReMixed

What prompted you to begin blogging? 

I kept my testimony to myself for two years. Frankly, I thought other Christians would be unkind about my testimony. However, during those two years I heard people talk of how they wanted a deeper connection with God. I saw how mysticism and interest in the paranormal was gaining momentum in our society. I decided it was time to share my story but wasn’t sure how. I already blogged on Myspace (just daily life stuff) so when Thom suggested I start a real blog (and offered to help set it up) I decided to go for it.

What kind of blogs did you first write?

I started with typical “Christian life stuff”. It wasn’t until October I began addressing occult issues with a post about a movie called “Paranormal Activity”…and my readership exploded.

What mistakes did you make when you first blogged?

Not including pictures  (with links to the original source), making the font too small, and not paying attention to the length of the post.

What was your worst blog post in the beginning? Your best? 

I have no idea because it can be subjective. There are posts I slaved over and believed were awesome which nobody read. There have been “throw away” posts I’ve written in a few minutes which people loved and shared.

Why did you begin blogging? 

Officially? August 2009.

What are your top 5 favorite blogs to read?

www.sarahmae.com, www.sarahmarkley.com, www.faithbarista.comtolovehonorandvacuum.com, and of course yours. :)

What inspires you to blog? 

God, life, stories I see on TV, other blog posts…sharing what I’ve learned over the course of my life (even the stuff that really hurt).

When do you write your posts and how long do they take? 

It depends on when I get inspired. I’ve been known to create a blog post as early as 6AM and as late as 11:45PM.

What is your brand?

My name and that I’m a Former Witch, Medium, Ghost Hunter. This has established me as an “authority” on occult matters for Christians.

What was your worst comment?

When I was accused of sharing my story so I could “make millions of dollars.” That truly hurt because I feel a profound burden to share God’s truth about the occult with anyone who will listen.

Your best?
The person who found peace with the past, knowing God will always forgive if we truly repent.

When your first comments came and they weren’t family or friends, describe that feeling.

Over the top excited. I may have done a happy dance. :)

Why do you blog now and how has that changed from your very beginnings? 

The motivation remains the same. God has put words on my heart which I put out there in the hope someone will be encouraged in their faith or challenged to turn their eyes to Him.

Do you have any comments to add for people who want to start blogs? Any advice?

Keep your posts to a reasonable length. If it’s going to be long, break it up into several parts. Be prepared to write something every day—even if all you do is admit how uninspired you feel or how boring life is that day. And practice your craft. A good blogger should be a good writer.

How many times a week do you post? 

I try to post something every day. When life gets busy I shoot for three or four times a week.

Are you a believer? If not, what religion do you believe in? If a believer, what denomination do you attend?

I’m a Christian. My faith community is Resurrection Life Church in Grandville, MI.

Do people at your church or work know about your blog? What is their reaction?

My church is very large but I do know there are people from there who read my blog. Everyone has been very supportive and encouraging.

What was your family’s reaction when you wanted to begin blogging? 

As far as I know my family does not read my blog but they are supportive of my writing so I assume they’d like it.

Did you ever write a blog that made someone feel hurt? How did you reconcile that or resolve that? 

The people who might feel hurt by my posts are usually involved in the occult. I never set out to be hurtful but I also do not mince the truth when it comes to the gospel. I do try to let people know they are valued and loved whether we have the same belief or not.

What can we pray about for you? 

God’s gracious favor as my book hits the market in September, and more open doors to minister to people. Daily inspiration for the blog. And as always His strength.

How many hours do you social network and/or blog per week? 

Oh goodness, probably 20 hours or so.

How many readers do you get a month?

Over 10,000

Anything else you’d like to share about your blog?

I’m blessed and humbled to have the opportunity to share faith and life with people through my blog. Thank you. :)

Note from Nikki: The purpose of this series is to show the heart behind some of the many blogs I read. Most of them might be Christian, but some of them aren’t believers. On June 24, we featured Lori Heyd. With all the great articles out there about social networking, building your brand, and marketing ones self in the world, I wanted to put a different spin on things. This series will make an attempt to get at the heart of the blogger. I’m not asking for submissions. So please keep your comments to prayers for Kristine, questions for her, or encouragement for her as she fulfills this calling. As Bonnie Gray once said, your comments are a gift.

Introducing: @loriheyd (Life of Words Series)

Name of blog:  Lorisprayercloset.blogspot.com                     

Your Name:  Lori Heyd

Your Twitter:  @LoriHeyd         

Your Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/lori.heyd

Why did you pick that name?

About a year or so before I started my blog, I started having a regular prayer time in my little shed in the early morning hours. During these times of prayer and reflection I discovered there was an overflow of thoughts that I felt the Lord prompting me to share with others; it was a way I could bless and encourage them by sharing how God had blessed me and how He could bless them too. I thought about the stones along the roadside when Jesus was coming into Jerusalem. It was like my thoughts were those stones that couldn’t keep silent.

I have always been intrigued with the idea of having a physical prayer closet such as the Bible describes; a place to go in the quiet and just be alone with the Lord, without interruption. From that came the idea that I could do the same thing in a blog. I wanted to create something like a little online Chapel; a little place of peace and reflection, a stopping place along the way. Our lives are all so busy, and I think it is more important than ever to slow down and create a little space, a little reflection time not just on the day of worship, but little moments throughout the week.

What prompted you to begin blogging?

I started blogging because I was writing some things that friends and family wanted to read and share. I figured blogging was the perfect vehicle to share that writing because several people could access it at once. So many people now are logging onto their computers first thing in the morning, as part of their daily devotional. I had also started to read some blogs on a daily basis that became very meaningful to me, so I figured, who not start one myself? I had some great encouragers in the beginning, my best friend and some of my co-workers, and many others. I think as someone who loves to write, it is a natural progression to blog. And also, physically, I could no longer write for long periods of time, my right hand would ache from a job I had in the past.

What kind of blogs did you first write?

I actually had some things laying around and online that I printed up and posted, along with some photos I found from different sites. Some days, I would post a favorite poem if I didn’t have anything to write about.

What mistakes did you make when you first blogged?

Oh, I had many technical mistakes, not doing spell check and having to do endless editing and reposting. The worst trouble I had was doing my own header. I am not a techie and was clueless about how to go about it. I had to go through many tutorials to find out how to do it. It was frustrating but worthwhile when I finally figured it out. Also, a couple of times I used quotes from authors still living and I didn’t realize that was taboo. I actually got a nice note from Athol Dickson, one of my favorite fiction authors who liked what I posted about his book. That was a big surprise, I was actually afraid to read what he wrote, I thought I was going to be scolded.

What was your worst blog post in the beginning?

It’s been awhile, not really sure about that one.

Your best?

The most response I have had was from one I actually did a few weeks ago on Bibledude.net. Duane Scott was kind enough to ask me to write something as a guest and I wrote about caretaking and learning to love the ones who don’t love you. Instead of posting on my own site that day, I linked to that site. The response was very good, I think because I was writing out of my own personal experience and something I am dealing with right now. Many people responded because they are dealing with the very same issues.

What are your top 5 favorite blogs to read?

Oh boy, I have had some favorites “come to me” and I like to think that we all find each other for a reason, but here are the ones I go to, or at least try to, every day: Holy Experience by Ann Voskamp, Scribing the Journey by Duane Scott, Graceful by Michelle DeRusha, Peace for the Journey by Elaine Olsen, Sparrowgrass by Debra Smith, Getting Down with Jesus by Jennifer Dukes Lee, Reflections on the life of a Christian by Dusty Rayburn to name a few and of course, your own Hunting Lodge because of my love for books and your wonderful reviews, and issues of faith…… These are not the only ones of course, I list all my favorites on my sidebar, but I have a feeling I have only touched the tip of the iceberg. There are so many others out there. I don’t want to leave anyone out. I feel like they are all my friends.

What inspires you to blog?

My love of writing and my desire to share what God is doing in my life. If I can help or encourage someone else on their spiritual journey, then the rewards are tremendous. And there is a wonderful fellowship that you get with other bloggers that comes when you start exchanging words back and forth. Like neighbors visiting across the fence, we exchange information, our stories and our lives. As part of the family of God there is so much value in sharing our experiences. It strengthens us as believers when we realize others are going through the same things, or maybe they can share something that has helped them. I have also recently started getting into photography and I was getting tired of running into copyright protection issues when I tried to photos from the internet.

 When do you write your posts and how long do they take?

I sometimes write them over the course of a day going back and forth into the site as I think of something else. Sometimes I sit down in the morning and post after my prayer time. If there is something God lays on my heart to write in my prayer journal, something that turns into a post. It never really happens the same way day after day. I always pray before I write because I don’t want it to be me, I want the Spirit to flow through what I write and I want what I write to be honest.

What is your brand?

Not sure about that.

What was your worst comment?

The most negative one came after I posted about the book.

Your best?

Every comment is appreciated and I don’t want to single anyone out as being the best comment because I count them all having a huge value. Just the fact that they stop and read, even if it is a two word comment, means the world to me. Anytime someone says, you encouraged me, you helped me……that means everything.

When your first comments came and they weren’t family or friends, describe that feeling.

Oh, it was so gratifying, really. You want to think that is not why you write or blog, and it’s not. But the reality is, we do feel good when people respond don’t we? I used to get all upset when I didn’t get any comments, but now I try to let God handle that. When I start to write for comments or the praise of people, that is when I have to step back and get humble before God again. That keeps me on track.

Why do you blog now and how has that changed from your very beginnings?

I don’t think it is much different. I have added more of my own photos so that part has changed, but the reason why I blog is much the same. To join with the community of believers and share what God lays on my heart, in hopes that someone might be blessed by how God has blessed me. The best thing so far about my blogging experience is the people I have met that I never would have met any other way. That is something I didn’t really expect and the most rewarding thing so far. I really consider them friends. I think it is also important to spend time visiting their sites and commenting on their blogs. I try to go down my list once a week and go blog hopping.

Do you have any comments to add for people who want to start blogs? Any advice?

I would encourage anyone to start blogging. It is so easy to start one now, websites used to be so complicated, and now there are great resources and instructional videos to get started. I have never regretted it one day since I started. Take anything you love to do, and blog about it. You will be blessed beyond measure.

How many times a week do you post?

Usually about 4-5 times a week, when time allows. I feel like if I do any more than that, my posts get dry and kind of mechanical, and I want to keep them real and honest, and really say what God is directing me to say. Sometimes when I feel I have nothing much to say, I will use that. I will post about just resting in the quiet……

Are you a believer? If not, what religion do you believe in? If a believer, what denomination do you attend?

I am a Christian……Have been for about 40 years now, since I was around 13 years old. I went forward in the Baptist Church where I grew up soon after a Billy Graham crusade came to town. Since then I participated in several different denominations and really, they have all blessed me in some way, and helped to diversify my Christian worship experience. I have been in more liturgical churches, the Episcopal Church for a while, and after that I worshiped for a few years in a church I loved, Capital Christian Center, an Assembly of God congregation in Sacramento, California. After that I settled in a little non-denominational church where the Pastor had been the music director where I attended before, and more recently and a church I loved very much was right here in Mesa, Word of Grace Church with Gary Kinnamon as Pastor. Currently I attend Spring of Life Church, which is Non-denominational as well.

Do people at your church or work know about your blog? What is their reaction?

A couple of people at church know about my blog and they were moved by some things I had written about the Extraordinary Life class I volunteer for at church.

What was your family’s reaction when you wanted to begin blogging?

Oh my parents were thrilled, everyone really has been so supportive and happy about it. My Mom shares things regularly with her Bible study group and with my Aunts who don’t have computers. And my Dad keeps wanting me to print more posts out since he can’t always get online……They were my first encouragers in life and they have been reading my scribblings since I was very young. And my best friend was instrumental in encouraging me to start blogging because she believes in me more than I believe in myself.

Did you ever write a blog that made someone feel hurt? How did you reconcile that or resolve that?

Yes, an early post was about a book I had read called “I Sold my Soul on Ebay.” And some of the comments, especially one said that I really need to practice some humility, after all, he said, “how could I or any other Christian or religion for that matter, say that we were the only ones who had the market cornered on Heaven?” He went on to say that this was his main problem with Christianity and Christians in general. I tried my best to comment in what I hoped would be a reconciling way, but there is only so much you can say to someone without also compromising what is a basic part of my own belief system. After all, Christianity has some very definitive ideas about Heaven and hell…..we got them from Jesus!

What can we pray about for you?

That my blog would continue to be a blessing for others and that in reading it, they can be introduced to a God who loves them very much and wants a relationship with them. Also that I keep my focus on Him and not on myself, and comparing myself to others, just do what God wants me to do.

How many hours do you social network and/or blog per week?

Oh, I would have to say I spend about 2-3 hours a day on social media and blogging. I don’t watch a lot of TV so this is what I do in place of that.

How many readers do you get a month?  Anything else you’d like to share about your blog?

It has been such a blessing to me, and it helps to keep me accountable and focused on the Lord. When I know that people are logging in and checking out my posts, it makes me feel good, but most of all, it makes me happy they are reading about how great God is, and if my little blog can shine a light out there in the darkness, I am doing what God created me to do. It humbles me and fills me with gratitude to know that God has sent people to read it. And I thank you very much for doing this project, Nikole, maybe we can encourage others to start their own blogs!

Note from Nikki: The purpose of this series is to show the heart behind some of the many blogs I read. Most of them might be Christian, but some of them aren’t believers. With all the great articles out there about social networking, building your brand, and marketing ones self in the world, I wanted to put a different spin on things. This series will make an attempt to get at the heart of the blogger. I’m not asking for submissions. So please keep your comments to prayers for Lori, questions for her, or encouragement for her as she fulfills this calling. As Bonnie Gray once said, your comments are a gift.