How do I blog? Simple question, feel free to respond…

I’m just going to throw this out there to any experienced bloggers, I am quite new to the bloggers world. Yes I have wrote blogs and had responses but where does a blogger go when there are so many things to write about? As a christian I love writing about faith and teachings of Christ; as a poet and song writer I love writing songs and poems, and as someone who genuinely has interest in the things of life I just love to write about life in general. Yet I realize that you cannot write in every area and have great success in a blog right? People who search for blogs are looking for consistency in what is wrote and something that interests them. So I want to approach this blogging world humbly and ask you, what are the best ways for successful blogging? How can we draw a following and invest well in this? How can a blog become something more? Like a platform for a business or a structured work of art. Something like this takes time and investment, but it’s worth discovering how to make this investment worthwhile.

So, fellow bloggers, what tips do you have? Any advice is much appreciated. After all, we bloggers are all in the same boat right? 

Thank you for your input!
Dmz

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Immerse yourself – the Heavenly principles 

Reading the bible without putting it into practice is like going into a gym without lifting the weights. You go in, see whats there, but leave unchanged. You become a spectator of the word of God rather than a participator. Spiritual fitness can never improve by spectating. It improves when the word is not only head knowledge but becomes heart knowledge. When what we know lies within our hearts instead of our heads it becomes a part of who we are. Once something becomes a part of who we are our character begins to transform. God is in the buisness of transformation, he is the master at shaping character and he can use whatever is necessary to do it.

Immerse: involve oneself deeply in a particular activity. Dictionary definition

What do you enjoy most in life? Anyone who enjoys something or someone will spend as much time with that person or doing that thing as they possibly can. Almost every person on the planet has a passion for something, whether for good or for bad, it then becomes a matter of how much we immerse in that passion.

The word immerse does not occur much in the bible, however the meaning of the word is throught all of it. In the old testament the Israelites were called to immerse themself in the commandments of God. Jesus was 100 percent immersed in the will of the father. Baptism means to be fully immersed in water, this identifying with the death of Jesus and the ressurrection when we come up out of it. These are just a few examples from scripture. What if the church was as immersed in God and his will as Jesus was? The church would be passionate to get out of bed and go to church. We would find it hard to go a day without telling someone about the hope in jesus. We as a church are not at this point yet. The ironic thing about the church of Christ is that it grows in the places where the gospel is most difficult to preach, it grows in the places where evil appears to reign. The reason? When we are faced with evil there is no longer a middle ground, you either immerse in the evil around you or you immerse in Christ. The western church can still stand on middle ground right now, but if one day we have to make the choice, I pray all of us would immerse in Christ.

How did Jesus do it? When Jesus came to earth he gave up all his divine privelages to identify with the human race. One thing he did not give up was his heavenly principles. He never lost sight of the eternal perspective, even when faced with the cross. Remember it was the joy beyond the cross that helped him endure and go through it Hebrews 12:2. It was his immersion with the father and heaven that gave him his daily strength. We have the same father, the same principles and we too trough Christ are going to Heaven. The difference is how much we allow these truths to guide our lives.

How much do we think of Heaven? CS Lewis said, ‘if we aim at Heaven we get earth thrown in, if we aim at earth we get neither’. Where are we aiming? When we begin to take on the principles of heaven, you know, love the Lord our God and our neighbour as ourself Matthew 22:27, 28, and do unto others what you would have them do to you Luke 6:31, things begin to change. This is not changes in a small way, these are huge changes that show the world who we belong to and where we are going to. It is atttractive to the un-churched world when they see christians take on these principles. This is what draws people to Christ, by the love that we have for each other John 13:35

So, what, or who are you immersing in today? Is it going to help change you and the world around you for better?

1 Timothy 4:15 practice these things, immerse yourslef in them, so that all may see your progress.

DMZ

Who am I? Christdentity


Its hard to keep going with this tank running on empty, ‘give up, turn back’ the Devils tryin to tempt me. I feel like an emotional wreckage at times, ‘dont give up, keep doing good’, ‘I know friend Im trying. Alone in the mid-night our crying, ‘God are you there? I feel like Im dying’. ‘Why is life such a struggle? Lord I have done the best I can but still get in trouble. It’s not trouble from the law of the land, it’s with the law thats in Heaven where no one can stand. Who am I? one day I’m happy, the next I am sad. Some times I feel like a warrier, others I feel life’s a drag. I sometimes get stuck in an identity crisis, listening to those wrong voices trying to determine who I am. The bible tells me what my identity in christ is, the devil loves to remind me of my sins and tries to disrupt your plan. So I sit before you in the darkness, sometimes kneel down on this carpet, and I ask you God to show me who I am, show me what your heart is. Then maybe I will rest well and gain strength to face tomorrow, then my face will shine with your glory instead of bowing low in sorrow.

‘My son, let me tell you something. Remember in the beginning I made the world out of nothing? The devil tells you that your nothing, but thats a lie from hell! You know who you are in Christ, so listen to me now’. ‘You are a new creation, in your new birth I seperated, now go forth and tell the good news to the nations. You are forgiven, I give you life to the full so start living, you have a heart of flesh, life after death, a hope and a future because now you are blessed. Listen to me son, I am a good father and you belong to me, Satan will only keep you in bondage but it’s me who sets you free. Trust in my goodness, trust in my son Jesus, trust in the cross and never stop believing. This life may seem hidden like the inside of a cocoon, but take heart my child, Heaven will be upon earth soon. Hades may break out for a time, all may seem to be lost, but nothing is ever lost for ever because of the victory of the cross! Remember I love you, what you face can never change this, your identity is found in my love not in the approval of strangers.’

Cover image: soul searching – identity in Christ (google images)

DMZ

The danger of comprimise 

Faith, belief, purpose

We have all had times where we have an important decision to make. Its when we are asked to go to a night club or volunteer at the local youth service. Its when we have a choice to go to church or stay in bed, when we are asked to indulge in sin or go to a prayer meeting. We all face times where we can comprise our faith. We choose comprimise when we put other priorities above God himself, when we choose to put God on a shelf asif he is an idol from the old testament. We choose this when we are busy pleasing people instead of God, we dont want to ‘let them down so to speak’ so we carry on and do what we know is wrong. Sometimes we do this and dont realize each time we do this we are putting our faith on the line. Think about it, why go out clubbing and get drunk when you could go to a prayer meeting and pray for them. Maybe next time God will call you to go there to minister to people.
We live in a generation of comprimising. We comprimise our friendships when we show off to others or choose to lie to our friends. We comprimise trust when we allow temptation to lead us in the wrong direction. “Lets let our hair down, its just the one time”. Then that one time turns to the next and so on. Years ago when I started drugs I thought the same way, its just the one time. Then in time the drugs got more heavy and expensive and my life began to slip away from me. That one time could have cost my life, but thankfully God has a rememdy for our one time mistakes, the cross and a new life in Christ. Jesus took the cross, just one time, this was enough for the exchange of our wrongs for his perfection. If Jesus had comprised his purpose and allowed temptation or that one time to take him, then we would have no cross and no hope. So Jesus took my one time mistake and cleansed me through grace. Thankfully, grace is there to rescue us from our mistakes and addictions and makes us new.

Comprimise is dangerous because a time may come when we will not have a chance to reach out to grace because its too late. I have questioned things that could have comprimised faith, but thankfully God sent his people to help me see the dangers and correct me, even rebuke the evil spirit behind it that tried to drag me away. When it comes to faith, whenever comprimise is involved there will always be a wrong spirit at work. Pray for wisdom in how to deal with it. Sometimes our decision to follow Christ may cost friendships or even family members, but God is good. Pray for those you may loose, pray for salvation if they are lost and that God will work good through it, then in Gods timing watch the miracles happen.

Your faith is more valuable than comprimise, and God will always honor a decision to follow him. When you choose him, you are showing your love for him! This is our faith, it is precious so look after it like a precious jewell.

DMZ

City Life.1 #Lisbon – Portugal (Part 1 of 3)

Welcome to the historic beautiful European city of Portugal. Flying in from the Atlantic and gazing upon the deep blue next to the smorgasbord of colours coming from the city its self can make anyone feel like this is a place of belonging. As someone who has lived in this city, I can say first hand that even as a resident it does not dissapoint. 

Star points: Next to the city lies the magnificent river tejo, a deep blue that stretches across to Barreiro and other towns and cities. A 20 minute boat journey for the cost of no more than 4 euros for a visitor is all it takes. Tourist boats cover the waters, all shapes and sizes as they are captivated by the view of Lisbon as the stunning overview of the city stands proud, welcoming the boats to the docks. Or why not enjoy a ride accross one of the 2 of Lisbons servant bridges. The first being ‘ponte 25 de Abril’. This bridge was constructed in 1966 and a train was added in 1999. The bridge is named after the carnation revolution on the 25th april 1974. (More information on wikepedia) picture below.

Beautiful views
Looks like Golden gate bridge in San Francisco

Or how about the 2nd bridge ‘Ponte vasco de Gama’. The length of this one is mind blowing, it stretches a whopping 7.1 miles making it the largest bridge in Europe. (More information on wikepedia) So if you want to ride accross 25 april, which without traffic will take about 5 mins, or take the other bridge which is a longer drive but gives more time to enjoy the views. Picture below.

The longest bridge in Europe

Travelling in Lisbon: Lisbon is full of the old and the new in the form of travelling and sites to visit. Of course we love the good old trams for the experience and it’s rugged look. You can take the old yellow trams or the bigger modern ones. Prices are the same but the experience is different. Enjoy the views of the river and the city as the trams pass through the key places of Lisbon. Terreiro do paço, Baixa-chiado, Balém and more. See pictures below:

Or, if you prefer fast travel without traffic then the metro is recommended. This underground system covers all of Lisbon through 4 lines. Red, blue, yellow and green. For those who arrive at the airport, you will need to catch the red line into the city. Avoid early hours  (07-10) and late afternoon (16-19) these hours are city rush hour and metros are packed with people. There’s not much to see under the ground though so I wouldn’t reccomend this journey every day of your visit.

Last but not least in the form of travel are the tourist experiences. You can catch the Lisbon tour bus with its on board tour guide, this will lead you round key areas of the city as the speaker informs you of its history. For a more intimate journey with your partner or family then catch the tuk tuk. This will take you to whatever spot you want. Want to go on land and sea? Then take the hippo tour trip. This vehicle will ride around Lisbon and upon the river! There’s also segways and other fun travel experiences. You will not get bored so get on board! Pictures below:

The tuk tuk
Segways
The tour bus
Last but not least the hippo bus!

So here is the first part of discovering Lisbon. Part 2 coming soon… sites to see!
DMZ

Understanding brokeness.. A different perspective 

I have been a broken human being spending time with people who appear to be fixed and have it all worked out. The hardest place to be when broken is in a museum of righteousness, you feel out of place as if you do not belong. As a christian I understand belonging, but this does not mean I have not known brokeness or have it all worked out. Only one has it all worked out and only one is truly righteous, all though through that one who we know as Jesus, many are made righteous. The most difficult people to be with when feelings of brokenness set in are those who are high in confidence and are not phased by anything. The reason why is because this makes a broken person seem inadequate and out of place. All though the confident person will encourage you and say all the right things, you just feel that you can’t be like that because inside you are hurt and feel alone. This can cause jealousy, anger and frustration which only makes brokeness worse. The confident person will tell you to be strong and courageous, God will say the same as we see many times in the bible. Yet sometimes, we feel so broken that being ‘strong and courageous’ seems almost impossible.
Types of brokeness include things such as; depression, loneliness, anxiety, inadequacy and a lack of zeal for life. Causes can be things such as; Many years of disappointments or failures, broken relationships, trauma, difficult childhoods, family problems and insecurities. These are common types of brokeness that most people will struggle with at times. 

The advantage of brokenness: This blog post is not written to shine a light on the ugliness of brokeness, it is written to see it from a different perspective. Most of us know the negative implications of a bad childhood, traumatic experiences and relationship troubles. We know these can have an affect on character and break confidence. This then has a domino affect on our lives as these things can hold us back from pursuing our goals. Yet through these things something incredible happens to us, we develop what is called empathy. This is a feeling that you understand and share another persons experiences and emotions  (oxford dictionary). Now this is not the case for all people, some become bitter and take on a victim mentality, others become empathises who are deeply concerned with the well being of others. Why are responses different with certain people? It is a matter of perspective.

We can live life as a victim of brokeness and set up our tent in the land of self pity, I have done this and it’s a lonely camp site! Or we can be full of empathy as we learn to understand the brokeness of others through our own brokeness. If you are a christian reading this and have brought into the lie of the sugar coated gospel that once you know Jesus you will no longer struggle with brokeness, I’m sorry to tell you but this is not true. You only need to read a bit of the bible to discover this.  Sometimes God allows brokeness in order for our hearts to be softened and filled with love and empathy. Jesus himself was broken for us, this is my body broken for you 1 cor 11:14 Father if you are willing, take this cup from me Luke 22:42 Jesus wept 11:35. If the son of God was broken for mankind in orded to identify with us, why would we not experience the same? 

In the western world understanding a loving God who allows his children to be broken is difficult. This is because for so many years God has been painted with the same paint brush. Come to Jesus and he will protect you from being broken; Come to Jesus and life will be easier; Come to Jesus and he will fix all your problems. Elements of truth are in these sentences but it is not the whole truth. Come to Jesus and he will give you rest mat 11:28 this does not mean life is easier,it means that whatever you are facing, when you face it with Jesus he will give you rest (rest of the mind, body, soul and spirit) We are overcomers, we overcome him Satan by the power of Christ and our testimony.  We cannot be overcomers if we have nothing to overcome. Yes Jesus calls us to take heart because he has overcome the world. We however, still have times of difficulty that we need to overcome. We overcome by going through not going round, so the easy way is not always an option. God will meet all our needs according to his glorious riches in christ Jesus phil 4:19 Notice that it says needs and not wants. ‘Oh God I wish you would sort out Joe Bloggs attitude because it stinks’. You want Joe to change in an istant but forget how long it took you to change. Have you ever looked back and saw that what you have been trough has made you stronger? Why? Because you went through it and that takes strength! God has eternal reasons for why sometimes he performs a miracle in an instant or why sometimes he lets things be for a while. 

So which one are you? Are you a victim of brokeness that allows it to shape you in a negative way? Or are you an overcomer of brokeness that overcomes it in a positive way? You can look at the wall of brokeness 2 ways.. you can either look at it and let it intimidate you, or you can take all the tools you need (the armor of God) and get through it. You cannot keep running from the wall, you must face it one day. Yet through the otherside you will develop empathy, grace, strength, endurance and love! This is how brokeness can be a blessing, when we allow it to make us even better people. We are overcomers though Christ Jesus who loves us!

The biblical definition of empathy: Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 

DMZ

The future..which road shall I take? (a poetic expression)

There comes a time when we can no longer use our past as an excuse to define us, when we keep looking back it’s like looking out the window with blinds down. There’s a beautiful view out there but we can’t see it because what we are focusing on temporarily blinds us, so we need to wind up the blinds and allow the sun to shine on us. Would we walk down the street looking behind us? That would be dangerous, we could walk into a lampost or a car, train or bus.

The future is ahead, its like a one way system, you can only keep moving forward in one direction. Yet many roads are on this one way system, it’s up to us which one we are selcting. Gods way? My way? Or the highway? If I choose my way I wonder if one day I could change lanes? Hum, that way could possibly lead to fame, that way would be insane! Or maybe I should stay on the road I know so that nothing will ever change. 

What would future me say to present self? What would present me say to past self? Present me would have said make the most of those school years, your education is important for your future, listen carefully to your tutor. Present me would have said, don’t listen to those who only say bad things to you, keep doing the right thing. because this is right to do. If only I took present me’s advice, then I could have avoided so many dark nights with no head lights.

You cannot expect future you to speak to present self, if we know the right choice to make today then we needn’t live in doubt. Look forwards not back, read the signs and stay on track. The future is every moment, not just in many years time. So let todays choices make a better tomorrow… message to all mankind.
DMZ

The encourager 

‘You can do it, keep going… don’t stop!’ they shouted as the finish line approached. Sweat dropping off the tip of the brow, the sun beating down, those last few hundred metres always seem the hardest. The legs are tired now, so close to caving in, yet the roar of the crowd as the finish line approaches somehow gives a strength beyond imagination. ‘Yes I can do it’ the runner thought, ‘and I will do it’!. The finish line was crossed, the race was over. Looking back… ‘how was that even possible’? I thought I would give up’. The reward, a nice bag of goodies such as sugary sweets and drinks and other luxurious goods. Any reward after a half marathon appears luxurious. 
If you have ever ran a long distance, been in other sports events, or just gone for an interview for a new job, you will know what difference encouragement makes. Encouragement holds a power of its own, a power that can give strength beyond imagination. It is difficult to continue when weariness sets it, when there are obstacles to overcome, when we are injured. Thats when we need those words, ‘take heart, don’t give up and be encouraged, your doing well’. Even before Jesus began his mission  on earth; before the race began, the father said, ‘this is my son, with him I am well pleased’. This was all Jesus needed to begin the race set out before him, the race that will enable many others to join him. It can be tiring to keep going without hearing words of encouragement, that’s why we need to develop our own encouragement. ‘Yes I can do this, yes I am strong, I won’t give up’. After all if we hear others say this we will accept it and gain strength, funny how it’s harder to accept ourself saying it. We are quick to accept self pity, ‘this is too hard, I give up, Im not good enough’. Yet when it comes to self-encouragement it is harder to believe, maybe this is due to self-doubt. 

Our greatest encourager has already finished the race that was marked before him. He took up his cross and he finished the course. Jesus calls us to take up our cross and follow the course set out before us. Yes it is difficult, sometimes we won’t hear the encouragement we want as it is drowned out by other sounds. This is why encouragement needs to dwell in us not just around us, ‘take heart’ Jesus says, the finisher has completed the hardest course. Your course is easier and the burden is lighter, but when we listen to those wrong thoughts and words we carry around with us a weight that we are not meant to carry. Try running a race with a bag of weights on you, it’s practically impossible! So take off the weight, be encouraged because at the finish line, when Heaven is in sight, eternal luxuries await for the finishers. Saty the course, keep the faith and run the race.
DMZ

The unkown…

It can be a scary place… the unkown. We all must go there sometime. I hear you calling me, how do you know my name if I don’t know you? 

I look over to the distance… the future is calling me. That’s how you know my name right? One day you and me will be acquainted, no longer the unknown but close friends.

I see the distance between us right now, even Mo Farah would struggle with that. Yet I’m not phased by distance, because from now until then is the exploration time.

Yes you wait there in the distance…I will be there soon. Wait… am I not already there? If your the future then you are not just in the distance, your right there in front of me. 

Time only ticks forwards, that means that every tick is a glimpse of the future. So I already know you, yet you still seem so unknown. 

So this is a parallax, you change whenever I move position. One moment you seem so far away, the next we can have a staring competition. 

So close yet so far… yes you are. Sometimes I see far ahead like a light shining through the dark, yet sometimes I can’t see the next step, there’s not even a spark.

It’s a strange but wonderful thing… the unknown. It is a place that takes courage to reach, a place where some won’t take the next step. Yet, how can the unknown become known if we never take a step?



DMZ

Stepping outside the ‘comfort’ box

How limitless are the thoughts for you’re future? Or should it be said, how limited? Is the glass half full or half empty?
Many people deny the potential they have simply by believing they have no potential. They fall at the first hurdle and throw in the towel, ‘this is too hard’ they will say. ‘There’s no point, I give up”. Many people think this but never say it, many people say it but never do it, still many people say it then do it. They give up. The key to this lesson in life is to remove the option to quit. All will start with the thought and that’s where it should stop, sadly if it doesn’t stope there… well you know what happens. If you have a plan, or better yet believe in a God who has a plan for you, then here are a few steps to success… 

  • Remove the option to quit. 

A bodybuilder aiming to be the worlds strongest man would not expect to be in shape after a few gym sessions. It takes time and dedication, it is a commitment that he would ritually follow through as often as possible. The same for the buisness person that wants to set up their own buisness, they need to learn how to run a buisness and maintain it. The same for the athlete, the musician, the actor or the parent that wants the best for their children. One simple factor that makes all of these people heroes in their own way, they would never give up. Winston Churchill said this, “success is the ability to move from one failure to another without loosing enthusiasm”. So hang in there, don’t you quit.

  • Never stop believing 

Remember the excitement you had when you discovered what you wanted to achieve? Or when God himself cast out his vision to you? You were invigurated and full of passion and enthusiasm for this vision. Yet it was much harder to keep that when things didn’t go to plan. You couldn’t get that big place for your business so you settled for a smaller one. The team you started with has changed and they are not quite what you expected. You have worked many hours and not seen much fruit for your labour. Yes these are the challenges that face every person that wants to step out the comfort box. In these times it is about keeping your belief and making the most out of what you do have. So your team has changed, teach them and help them to grow. You didnt get the big place then make the most out of this one until you get a bigger one. Not seeing fruit for your labour? Keep planting seeds and watering what you have already planted, you are guaranteed a harvest if you don’t quit, its the law of sowing and reaping. How strong we believe in what we aim to achieve will be our anchor through every wind of change. This is how we keep stable in a world that seems to be toppling with the pressure and demands of life.

  • Never loose focus

So you have made a choice not to quit, you have your belief now all you need to do is remain focused. Writing this from a christian perspective and on a journey in this gift called life, the most important aspect for me is to keep eyes fixed on Christ. Focus is how you pay attention to detail, it is what could get you out of that financial difficulty or guide you to what step to take next. We live in an age of billboards, video games and social gatherings that can easily lead us the opposite way of where we need to go. We need what can be termed as ‘tunnel vision’, you see the light, you know where you need to go, neither look to the right or left and keep focused. Of course life may throw tragedies at us, we may have to take a break to recuperate. These things are extremely important to bear in mind when wanting to achieve goals and accomplish Gods will. Rest is important, social times are important, you are important! So don’t let your vision crush the person you are, if God has given the vision he knows how to take care of both the vision and you so pay attention to his leading. Even with all these things and possible set backs and failures, we can still remain focused. Keep planting, keep watering and keep watching, you will see the fruit when the season comes.

Sometimes we need to step out our comfort box and explore beyond those walls. It is when we take this risk that we discover how capable we are, how mighty God is, and how the future has endless possibilities. You cannot see all that when you live in a box, step outside and watch the world transform around you, and watch how God transforms you once you’ve took a leap of faith

God bless

DMZ