Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

January 25, 2005

Blogroll Browsing: The Diarists

Now we come to the Diarists on my blogroll. These people do something far more valuable than simply list the quotidian details of their days. They humbly seek to relate their daily experience to the "big picture" of the Scriptures. This is what makes a fine diarist-blogger, in my opinion. Their blogs are personal, often anecdotal; their posts are letters to friends. In reading them, we come to know them. And care for them. And pray for them.

All forms of blogging come with particular temptations. There is the temptation to impress with one's erudition, or to inveigh endlessly against the world; or, in the case of diarists, to turn so completely self-referential, to keep one's eyes so glued to one's daily circumstances, to turn one's gaze so relentlessly inward, as to lose sight of the out there God who is above all our circumstances. But the diarists on my blogroll are delightfully capable of placing their lives, whatever they seem to be going through, in the context of God's providential will. This is not to say they don't struggle, of course. They struggle big time. But the reader is always impressed by their persistent humility, love, and good-humor.

Do you want examples? Deb, at Abiding (from my homestate of Pennsylvania, btw) has written a personal letter to her son, Ben, on his eighteenth birthday. Quote:

Ben, you are amazing. I am so proud of you. This year, I want to give you the gift of open arms so you can become the man God intends you to be. I want you to know that my arms will remain open so I can catch you if you stumble, hug you if you’re hurting and most importantly, lift you in prayer.
Next up, another Deb, over at As I See It Now. She, like me, was moved to poetry by the recent East Coast blizzard. Her recent post, The Brittle Years, is a fine example of working through the personal details of one's life to see them finally in the broader perspective of God's always benevolent will. Quote:
Step by step by step...Forward moving on Humility Street. There's a checkpoint there where they check your bags for pride and know-it-allness. Those things set off alarms in the scanner, so you have to leave them behind. If you refuse, you have to turn back.
Marilyn Griffith. I think hers is a very special voice. Like the estimable Lisa Samson at Author Intrusion, she is a writer in the old-world sense (you know, paper, ink, etc.). She is impassioned. She is the right stuff. Can you tell I admire her greatly. Read Choose Life and see why?

Ragamuffin Diva
is very much in the same vein. Passionate. Real. Pulling no punches, holding nothing back. Oh, and she writes poetry (always a plus in my book).

GraceReign. Her posts are never merely throw-aways, never easy, always memorable. Choose any number of them, read them, dwell on them, admire them, and praise God for what he is doing in this woman. Take, for example, her latest post, The Lie. It's a powerful examination of the process of overcoming the lies of the evil one by God's grace. Don't miss it.

Ah, the list goes on. There's Proverbial Wife, who's sincerity shows through every line. There's Feeble Knees, who is a friendly neighbor, and Susan at What a Beautiful Day!, who is just back from a return trip to China, and has a story to tell; and relevantgirl, who blogs devotedly (and devotionally) from southern France. Then there's Vicki at Windows to My Soul, whose eyes are always turned Godward, post after post.

In fact, that phrase, "windows to my soul" captures the essence of diary blogging. Sometimes it will simply be the stuff of daily life. Sometimes God will guide them into a word of wisdom or comfort: Soli Deo Gloria, Rustling Leaves, Promptings: The common denominator of them all is the freedom to reveal their hearts in blogging. I admire them for it.

I have definitely NOT saved the best for last, but I've saved the MEN for last. You may have noticed that the diarists among us are mostly women. I suppose there's an explanation for that, but I ain't goin' there. Nevertheless, the guy-diarists on my blogroll are a hearty bunch indeed. Greg Burnett is involved in the establishment of a house of 24/7 praise and prayer. His blog is salted with wonderful links, great pictures, and Spirit-filled words. Paul at Hill Country Thoughts has come through "the valley of Baca," and discovered joy on the other side. And Rich at nearlydaybyday, who writes with transparency about his own struggle to walk the walk. Here's a sample:
I looked toward the crucifix suspended behind the altar and wondered why He did it. Why did the God of the universe empty himself of unfathomable glory and clothe himself in inglorious human flesh? Why did He subject himself to hunger, cold, pain, thirst and a hundred other afflictions common to human frailty? Most of all, why did He permit himself to be mauled, whipped, spat upon, and finally nailed to a splintered cross?

Scripture tells us why. From the earliest hours of creation to its final curtain at the end of the age, God's love for us is woven into the fabric of human history.

Because He so deeply loves us, we have reason to remain focused on the journey. Because God stands beside us at every turn, every failure, every heartache, we can keep our eyes fixed on His Son on the cross. We can continue our journey because the Christ of the cross became the Christ of the empty tomb. And the Christ of the empty tomb promises everyone who loves Him the power to stay the course until the journey's end.
Finally, I should draw your attention to two Diarists who do their blogging in a very dangerous place. Tim at Christian Soldier is a Navy doctor, stationed in Iraq. It looks like he'll be coming home soon, thank you Lord. Training for Eternity, an Army chaplain also stationed in Iraq, unfortunately hasn't posted since December 30 (I pray that he's okay); read his Christmas post, Front Line Family, for a big slice of reality-pie.

And there you have it. I have tried to do them justice, but in truth blogs are only properly understood and appreciated when returned to frequently, over time. I urge you to pick one or two of these diarists that are for you new discoveries, and read them often. You won't regret it.


Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks, Bob. You've given me lots of good places to explore. Peace.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Bob--that's the highest compliment I could get :)

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...'s Marla, Proverbial Wife, here!

9:18 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

Thanks, Bob. I already enjoy relevantgirl, Mary Griffith, ragamuffin diva, and Lisa Samson (author intrusion). They are wonderful writers, all. Now I'll look into some of these others you've mentioned. Already, I know you have good taste...Blessings.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Thank you Bob for your very kind words.

10:56 PM  

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