This post will be different from our usual Bible expositions. I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award – which is more of a “nod” than an award – and given the unsought and wonderful opportunity to learn more about some of the other worthy — and sometimes underappreciated — Christian bloggers who pour their effort, thoughts, and prayers into making spiritually encouraging and beneficial content for the whole world.
Romans 12:3a (NET) For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think.
2 Corinthians 10:17 (CSB) So let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.
A FEW DAYS AGO, a fellow blogger at Love and Grace — Ward Pimley — surprised me and honored our community with a nomination for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I’m honored and grateful to Ward for including me in this nomination because it has encouraged me to explore the grace that God has diffused through his body around the world. And as Ward’s post demonstrated such a high standard of Christlike humility and honor that I decided to use his post as the template for my own as I nominate 11 bloggers in whom the light of Christ is displayed to the glory of his grace!
The rules to this nomination don’t allow me to use Ward’s blog as one of my 11 nominations, so I am going to include him as an honorable mention because Ward displays such a refreshing testimony of Christ’s heart on his blog.
- Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to him or her.
- Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.
- Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 questions of your own.
- Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.
Something these nominations have accomplished is to force me to look into other bloggers more and pay attention to what my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are writing and saying. I tend to have my head deep in multiple studies at once, reading pretty heavy works and trying to dig deeper into God’s word, so I don’t spend much time reading blogs anymore.
But since this nomination, I have been reading other bloggers and am encouraged by what I have read so far (be it ever so limited as it may be).
So with that in view, here are 11-bloggers who have encouraged me personally:
- Dee at Sealed in Christ has a burning passion to “shine the light of God’s Word into the hearts of His people in these dark days; that we may be equipped to stand firm in holiness and godliness, as we eagerly await His return”. She is particularly interested in sharing God’s word about the end and our hope in the return of Christ.
- Ian Michael at Jesus Deliverer is a young blogger who writes to earnestly encourage others to “hear the word of God and keep it (Luke 11:28).” I visited Ian’s blog after he stopped by our exposition community and I feel like reading Ian’s posts are like taking a breath of fresh air; from my heart I pray the Lord’s grace would keep Ian and bless him in the presence of Christ.
- Barb Hegreberg at My Life in Our Father’s World has a truly unique blog as she shares her faith and pursuit of becoming a jail and prison chaplain. Her blogs really are about living life in our Father’s world, and she brings together a unique blend of “readings” and “thoughts” that build up, encourage, and enlighten our faith in all kinds of interesting ways as she strives to “show people Christ” in her everyday life.
- Park at Park Linscomb was one of my professors at Bible college and an incredibly faithful minister and servant of the Lord whose blog tackles relevant issues of our day with faithful insights from God’s word in a manner that challenges the reader to examine their faith in light of Scripture. Park doesn’t shy away from unpopular issues, but he also doesn’t use controversy to get more traffic; he addresses the issues that Scripture addresses.
- Wes McAdams at Radically Christian is a fellow minister whose blog is devoted to “nothing but the Truth” and bringing “clear, relevant, biblical teaching about how to follow Jesus”. Wes’ blog deals with a variety of issues in a way that is both forward looking and looking back at the cross.
- Scott McCown at The Morning Drive is another fellow minister whose blog is unique in the sense that Scott weaves his personal experiences and thoughts from his personal study time into posts that I feel are relatable and interesting. Scott likes to collect “old things”, as he puts it, and I love the pictures from his collections that make their way into his blog headers.
- Matthew Benfield at Theologia Viatorum is another fellow minister whose blog title literally means “Theology of Pilgrims/Travelers”, a technical term which refers to our understanding of God in its imperfect state. Matthew’s blog is refreshing and unique in both transparency of faith and openness of heart.
- Ethan R. Longhenry at de Verbo vitae is an evangelist in California whose blog is concerning the word of Life. Ethan’s blog mixes his interest in Latin with a genuine passion for proclaiming the word of life that we all so desperately need. Ethan’s blog is very well organized and easy to use with lots and lots of articles to read.
- Lance Mosher at Topical Bible Studies is a fellow minister whose blog is about the joy and struggle of always being in pursuit of God’s truth. Lance has focused specifically on bringing God’s word to bear on various topics that challenge us to think through the topics presented to us in God’s word. Lance is a very talented teacher of God’s word and is very capable in making his case from God’s word.
- Steven Wolfgang at ἐκλεκτικός is a fellow minister who spent the last seven years co-editing a new hymnal – Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs – and has used his experience to produce an eclectic blog that blends his interests in hymns, history, religion, language, broadcast media, sports, and much, much more. Steven taught history in a state university for a number of years (history of religion, journalism, science and technology, the history and impact of “significant events”). Additionally, Steven also did some news broadcasting (NPR and CBS affiliates). These experiences make his blog a very interesting one to follow.
- Patrick Swayne at Practically Exegetical is a fellow missionary who spent four years preaching in Australia before moving to Singapore to teach at Four Seas College of Bible and Missions until he returned to the USA to begin ministry in the States. Patrick’s blog is devoted to showing people the power of God’s amazing Word.
MY ANSWERS TO WARD’S QUESTIONS
“What is your “Life Verse” or favorite verse and why?”
I’m not sure if I can name one, but one of the texts that impacted my life the most is 1st John 1:5- 2:2. These verses deliver the force and grace of the gospel in a very powerful way that touches me both when I am in trouble and when I am rejoicing.
“Describe briefly a moment of Grace in your life.”
Right before I was diagnosed with MS, I went completely blind in my left eye. I remember laying in the MRI machine when the Lord brought Matthew 5:8 to my mind: “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall SEE God”. I realized then that even as I was losing my physical sight, I was seeing God more clearly, and I did not deserve that blessing because it came to me by the amazing grace of Christ’s blood.
“What is your favorite gift and why?”
My wife gave me a jar of “30 reasons I love you” for my 30th birthday. I’ve kept it with me as we’ve traveled all over the world because it reminds me of one of God’s greatest gifts in my life: my wife.
“Favorite Christian song lyrics?”
Trust and Obey is probably my favorite hymn. It’s simple and yet delivers the gospel LIFE in such a profound way.
“Christian book that you would recommend”
The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer is a book that I think every Christian should read at least once in their life.
“Describe your intended blog reader.”
My blog is intended for people who desire to know God through his word and hear plainly God’s original message. The person who will benefit the most from my blog is the one who will open their Bible and carefully study for themselves the texts that we work through in such a way that they follow God’s word into the presence of Christ.
“Favorite book of the Bible and why? (okay to list two!)”
I’m not sure I can name a favorite, but 1st John has really impacted my life because it delivers the simple gospel in such a beautiful and clean way, and yet there are so many intricate connections that weave throughout the book. I have literally spent the last 3 or 4 years studying 1st John and I feel like I’m just beginning to grasp its message.
“What city or town is your favorite “go to” place and why?”
That’s an interesting question. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it before, so I can’t really say.
“What would you like to change about your life?”
I wish I could go back and change some of the habits I made when I was younger because they created spiritual stumbling blocks in my life as I got older. I didn’t quite realize that small habits can become so hard to break.
“Unmet desire or goal?”
To become entirely fluent in Koine Greek so that I can read my Greek NT in the same way that I read my English NT.
“Share an interesting fact about your life.”
I’m a missionary.
BLESSING TO ALL
I want to encourage these nominees – and those reading this post – to continue diffusing the grace that Christ has given to you into the body by your faithful writing, doing all things to the glory of God in the presence of Christ.
MY QUESTIONS TO THE NOMINEES
To those who have been nominated, here are eleven questions you may answer as part of the Sunshine Blogger Award chain.
- Describe a moment of grace in your life
- What most reminds you of Christ in your daily life?
- Favorite hymn
- Christian book that you would recommend
- What motivates you to blog?
- What Scripture(s) comfort you most in sorrow?
- What Scripture(s) fill you the most with the awe of God?
- What would you like to change about your life?
- Who was the most influential person in your life (outside of Biblical characters)?
- What is your favorite food?
- What’s your favorite Bible Version?