Monday, August 27, 2012

SEO copywriting advice for weary creatives

Veteran copywriters might consider creative SEO writing an oxymoron. I’ve heard this rant before.
As business has evolved, copywriters have been forced to adapt in many ways since the time of Mad Men-style creative work.

They’ve had to accept creative limitations imposed by corporate brand guidelines, structured banner ads and email marketing along with other intrusions on their creative sensibilities. This has often been met with much weeping and gnashing of teeth. Add to this the requirements of copywriting for SEO (search engine optimization) and you might start hearing declarations about the death of creativity.
But let’s not be hasty. SEO writing does not have to inhibit your Web content creativity.

What is SEO copywriting?

Let’s start with a definition from Wikipedia: “SEO copywriting is textual composition for web page marketing that emphasizes skillful manipulation of the page’s wording to place it among the first results of a user’s search list, while still producing readable and persuasive content.”

As a copywriter you should be relieved by the use of words like skillful wording, readable and persuasive. As a right-brainiac creative thinker you will need to exercise your left brain a little more as you work through the new rules of writing SEO content for the Web. But once you become familiar with them you will start to see opportunities to write creative, compelling and persuasive online copy that is also search optimized.

Those pesky SEO writing rules

SEO is critical to content marketing success. There is ample research to show that after email, search is the most common online activity. So yes, there are SEO rules you must follow in order for your content to be found.

Many creative people rebel at the idea of rules. A lot of breakthrough ideas come from bucking convention and breaking the rules, so creatives are naturally inclined to bristle at following them. Here is a short list of SEO copywriting rules they might find most constricting to the flow of creative juices:

Keyword density. Telling a writer which words to use is a little like telling Babe Ruth which baseball bat to take to the plate. Telling a writer how many times to place a word or phrase into content is like telling Babe Ruth how many swings to take.

Headlines. “Here is the key phrase you need in the headline. Keep it under 65 characters. Oh, and make it punchy.”

Subheads and heading tags. Similar to headline challenges, subheads also need to synchronize with keywords in the title tag. For SEO best practices there should be an H1 and an H2 heading on each page.

Linking. Incorporating links to other Web pages with keywords in the anchor text is one more SEO writing rule to tax the copywriter’s creativity.
This is not a comprehensive list, but you get the idea. There are numerous words and elements already established before the first word is written. Writing around these requirements can make for a challenging assignment. The good news for cranky copywriters is you can still produce search-optimized content that is creative. Really.

How to make SEO copy more creative

First, it’s important to remember that copywriting formulas are not new. There have been direct marketing best practices formulas used in advertising and sales letters for decades. There has always been room for creativity within them. The same holds true in copywriting for SEO. You just need to get comfortable with the context and the rules.
Within the context of SEO writing rules you can apply some of the time-honored creative approaches that will work in any platform – print or digital. Answer the applicable 5-Ws:
  1. Who you are writing to? Who is your website visitor? Who are the decision makers?
  2. What are they searching for? What question are they trying to answer? What must they know to make a decision?
  3. When do they need an answer? When are they going to reach a decision?
  4. Where are they? Where do they need to be to reach a decision? Where are you?
  5. Why should they choose you over other options?
Another classic formula you can build into your SEO copy is the AIDA marketing model:
  • Attention: attract attention and create awareness in your web visitor
  • Interest: build interest by focusing on advantages and benefits
  • Desire: convince your web visitor they want you to satisfy their need
  • Action: tell them what to do with an effective call-to-action

5 Tips to jumpstart your SEO copywriting creative

  1. Write the headline first. Your headline is the set-up for the entire page. It makes a promise and offers a preview for what the reader is expecting. Nail that down and the rest will flow much easier.
  2. Write the subheads next. They provide an outline of idea chunks that flow from your headline. You’ve also cleared the hurdle of embedding major keywords, which will free you to think creatively about the rest of the content.
  3. Brainstorm keyword variations. Think about different combinations of key phrases, and plural and past tenses that will lend variety to readability while still optimizing your Web content.
  4. Group ideas into chunks. Readers and search engines scan online information in chunks, so use bullet and numbered lists and other formatting to enhance creative and search optimization.
  5. Don’t let the rules distract you from applying the fundamentals of persuasive writing. Don’t forget what works.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Giving Despite Being Weary of Doing So

In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Hebrews 6:12  
Memorize This Verse: Psalm 103:2 
Afterwards Talk About This:  The faith and patience spoken of in Hebrews 6:12 we need to inherit financial promises. 
Something To Do Before Next Time:  Make a list of the times God has blessed you financially.  
Written Diploma Work:  Write one side on why a person's financial harvest may be delayed. 
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse:  Psalm 25:13

This section about giving during the tough times will consider the need to keep on giving despite being weary. The vast majority of Christians who regularly give will experience times where they see no apparent harvest for the financial seeds they have sown. It is during these times that doubts come against faith, discouragement sets in and the temptation arises to stop giving altogether. If you are going a time where you are tempted to stop giving as you have sown much but not seen a harvest, then this chapter is for you draw encouragement from the scriptures that will be looked at. 

Primarily in a situation where someone has faithfully been giving but has yet to see a harvest, it must be emphasised they have a right to expect a harvest. It doesn't matter if a black man or a white man, a man or a woman, an American or an African has sown financial seed - God is no respecter of colour or gender or nationality anyone who sows shall reap. 

The laws of sowing and reaping are not like the laws of gambling where you may or may not see a return - anyone who has obeyed and believed God with their giving will receive from God. Consequently it is not a question of someone waiting years wondering if God has seen their giving and wondering if he will decide to send a financial harvest their way. It is not a case of if a harvest comes but when it comes - if you have been honouring God financially you can boldly and confidently expect a harvest.   

Moreover not only is it the case of when, not if, the harvest will come but another large factor to be considered is that the harvest will come in God's timing and nothing and nobody can speed up their harvests. No farmer would sow seed on Sunday and look for a harvest on Monday morning yet many Christians give in the offering plate on Sunday evening and expect a cheque in the post on Monday morning. 

Galatians 6:9 says, 'For at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up' and no amount of spiritual warfare, pleading and prophesying will speed up the harvest. Relax in the knowledge of God's wisdom and love and that he will release your harvest to you at the right time - surely he will not let you down. 

It has been argued previously that the timing, form, method and quantity of any harvest is solely in the determination of God and we simply cannot tell God when, where and how to bless us doing so could well lead us to miss out entirely on the blessing of God. 
In his infinite knowledge God will seek to bless us in the best way possible but this sometimes doesn't fit in with what we think he should be blessing us! Remember that the bible speaks of God holding the oceans in the palm of his hand - God is massive, awesome and Lord of all and this same God is not unaware of those who have been honouring him with their finances and those who haven't. 

The previous scripture from Galatians 6:9 leads onto a very serious point about giving when you still haven't seen a harvest namely, that we have the capacity to loose our harvest the scripture says 'We will reap a harvest if we do not give up'. Consequently the question arises - what is the evidence that someone has given up in their faith and has stopped believing God for a financial harvest? 

Surely one of the evidences is that they will stop giving financially because if you no longer believe that God is going to bless you financially, then you will have no desire or motivation to give financially. It is therefore tremendously important that you keep on giving despite being weary of doing so and despite not seeing a harvest keep your faith alive by choosing to keep on giving. 
Keep on praying and saying and believing that the harvest is coming keep on giving and don't become weary of doing so. The devil is out to devour your harvest - as you choose to keep on giving in the tough times you will shield your harvest and shut his mouth with it's doubts and discouragements. 

Sadly not only is there a tremendous need to carry on giving during the tough times but all too often Christians will give up and stop giving and stop believing about 5 minutes before their harvest is due - a good example of this is the story of the miraculous catch of fish in Luke 5:1-11. After toiling all night the disciples are tired and weary yet the voice of the master encourages them to put their nets out one more time even tough they are weary they obey the voice of the master and they receive a net breaking catch of fish. 

Perhaps you too have been toiling in the area of your finances and you have been giving until you have become weary of doing so - has not the voice the voice of the master also come to you, encouraging you to keep on giving? It could be that your harvest is only weeks, days or even hours away - perhaps you only have to give a couple more times and that will trigger God's flood of blessings into your life - DO NOT GIVE UP! - KEEP ON GIVING. 

Finally, a very good exercise to do when you have been giving for a long time without seeing a harvest is to put yourself in remembrance of your previous harvests and meditate on the goodness of God that you have already seen in your life. Psalm 103:2 says, 'Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits' unfortunately, so often we focus on the fact we have been waiting for a while for a harvest that we completely forget all the previous times God has blessed. 

If God has blessed you previously he will surely bless you in the future so let your previous blessings encourage you to persevere and keep on giving in order that you may experience even more. All Christians who give will go for periods where they see no apparent results but all the time they have been giving it could be the angels of God have been at work in the unseen spirit realm preparing a harvest for them which will be released in God's perfect timing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Feeling Weary?

10 Tips to Increase Your Job Satisfaction and Combat Weary Feelings

Are you weary? No matter how much you love your job, love your employer, and love your life, sometimes you just feel weary. In recent years, work has expanded as fewer employees work harder and longer. Employer expectations have escalated as competition increased. The pace of change is relentless and growing. You struggle to maintain work-life balance while increasing your job satisfaction and efficacy. These ten tips will help you combat weary.

Do Something That You Love Every Day

Combat Weary: Do Something That You LoveNothing overcomes weary and increases job satisfaction like doing something that you love to do every day. My heart would wither without the opportunity to write every day. Discover small things about your job that make you happy. Make sure that these activities or tasks are on your agenda every day. Hard pressed to find something that you love to do at work? Make sure you combat that weary feeling with an external activity to balance this lack. But, certainly, there is something that you can identify that you love to do on your job.

Hang Out With Positive Coworkers

Spend Time With Positive Coworkers for Job SatisfactionNothing will impact your job satisfaction and make you weary faster than hanging out with people who wallow in a sea of negativity. There is plenty to make you weary in every job and workplace. Why spend your time with people or groups that you know will only make you feel worst – about yourself and your job.
Schedule a conference room for lunch if the lunch room overflows with dissatisfaction. Or, confront your coworkers with your desire to create a more positive environment to increase everyone’s job satisfaction. Hang out with the coworkers who share your positive outlook; the others will only bring you down. Don’t go there.

Eat a Light, Nutritious Lunch to Combat Weary Feelings

A Light Lunch Combats Weary FeelingsNothing makes you feel as weary as a heavy, stomach busting lunch. The excess food makes you tired and sluggish when you need a second wind for afternoon effectiveness. Drinking at lunch – does anyone drink at lunch anymore? – is equally affecting. To battle weary feelings, instead bring healthy snacks to nibble on to maintain energy all day long and eat a light lunch.

Do Something That You Are Good at Every Day

Doing What You're Good at Doing Combats Weary FeelingsNothing makes you feel better than to competently perform a task or create a desired outcome. Combat your weary feelings by doing something that you excel at doing every day. Success breeds more success and employees who are pushed or who push themselves to achieve and excel, experience increased self-confidence and self esteem. It's a welcome employee satisfaction and employee engagement cycle. Do what you do well - do well - experience the joy of doing well. Repeat every day. See what I mean?
Focus on Growing Your Strengths | Develop Strengths With Deliberate Practice - Not Weaknesses

Develop a Supportive Relationship With Your Boss

A Positive Relationship With the Boss Increases Job SatisfactionYou're in charge of your relationship with your boss. No one will ever share as much concern as you do that the quality of the relationship helps you achieve your goals. At the same time, your boss has information that you need to succeed. He can't do his job or accomplish his goals without your help. So, your manager shares a critical interdependence with you.

If you don't accomplish your work, your manager will never shine for his or her overall responsibilities. You won't progress without the information, perspective, experience, and support of your manager. Feeling weary? Sit down with your boss for interaction and feedback. Looking for more job satisfaction? Negotiate deliverable and outcomes with your boss. Need resources? Ask.

Become an Instigator: a Force for Change

Increase Job Satisfaction By Instigating ChangeKnow something that makes you weary at work and subtracts from your job satisfaction? Do something about it. Work with your manager to eliminate the culprit from your job. Maybe another employee would enjoy the activity or task. Ask for expanded and enriched job responsibilities. Consider a transfer to expand your knowledge, experience, and options.

Join the activity committee to plan fun and motivating workplace events. No activity committee? Start one. Join a work-sponsored sports team. What, no team? Start one. How about brown bag lunches or employee lunch and learns? Every workplace would benefit. Want to read and discuss recent business books? Start a book club at work. Combat weary by instigating workplace events and work processes that add to employee job satisfaction - your own and others.

Ban Weary: Create Positive Job Satisfaction

Stop Doing Whatever Makes You WearyOn some level, you are responsible for feeling weary. Right? But, get over that quickly. The more important pursuit is how to prevent weary feelings and create job satisfaction for yourself. You can combat that weary feeling by creating a workplace that soothes your spirit and enriches your life. Your workplace can teem with laughter and humor. At Zappos, many employees make $10-12.00 an hour, but they build a culture for employees that makes work fun and exciting. They appreciate employees in countless ways that make employees excited to come to work.

You can do this for yourself, too. Feeling blue? Take a quick break. Bored? Pick up a task you like to do. Feeling neglected? Seek out a fun coworker at break. Feel like an underachiever who never does anything right? Combat that weary feeling: make a list of everything you've accomplished this week. You'll be amazed. You get my drift? Right? Combat every weary feeling with a positive, uplifting task, emotion, or behavior.

Overcome Procrastination to Increase Job Satisfaction

Choose a Path for Job SatisfactionHear that whooshing sound? It's the sound of your plans and dreams, your hopes and schemes, your goals and resolutions passing by as you wallow in the quagmire of procrastination. Don't sink there. Nothing adds to weary like the little voice in your head that is not happy because you're not completing work you promised, by deadlines required. The anthem grows louder when you attempt to drown out the voice with excuses and blames.

Whatever the reason for your procrastination, it is one of the worst work habits that negatively impacts job satisfaction. In fact, you can spend more time on excuses and blame, and new resolutions and promises to yourself, then you do on completing the task. Combat feelings of weary with contribution and fulfillment, not procrastination and excuses. That cycle would make anyone weary.

Take Frequent Small Breaks at Work to Combat Weary Feelings

Coffee Break to Overcome WearyStretch your legs, do desk exercises, walk around the office. Break up the strain of sitting or standing in one place all day long. Take deep breaths and use stretching time to think and plan. Squeezing a small ball or putty in your hand is surprisingly relaxing and keeps your fingers nimble for typing. Just walking around the office will make you feel better. Have something you need to share with a coworker? Instead of IMing or emailing, walk over and talk. Just walking around the office will make you feel better. And, periodic, positive face-to-face communication is uplifting.

Achieve a Couple of Goals Every Day to Increase Job Satisfaction

Achieve a Goal a Day to Overcome Weary FeelingsNothing picks up weary like a feeling of accomplishment. Break your big departmental and personal goals down into manageable pieces that you can accomplish in a day. Checking the accomplishments off on your daily list will put a spring in your feet and joy in your heart. You deserve to feel as if you accomplished and contributed every day.


Thursday, June 28, 2012


What a boundless, fathomless ocean!
Eternal love moved the heart of Jesus to relinquish . . .
  heaven for earth;
  a diadem for a cross;
  the robe of divine majesty for the garment of our nature;
by taking upon Himself the leprosy of our sin.
Oh, the infinite love of Christ!
What a boundless, fathomless ocean!
Ask the ransomed of the Lord, whose chains He has dissolved, whose dungeon He has opened, whose liberty He has conferred — if there ever was love like His!
What shall we say of the ransom price? It was the richest, the costliest, that Heaven could give! He gave Himself for us! What more could He do? He gave Himself; body, soul and spirit. He gave His time, His labor, His blood, His life, His ALL — as the price for our ransom, the cost of our redemption. He carried the wood and reared the altar. Then, bearing His bosom to the stroke of the uplifted and descending arm of the Father — He paid the price of our salvation in the warm lifeblood of His heart!
What a boundless, fathomless ocean! How is it that we feel the force and exemplify the practical influence of this amazing, all commanding truth so faintly? Oh, the desperate depravity of our nature! Oh, the deep iniquity of our iniquitous hearts! Will not the blood-drops of Jesus move us? Will not the agonies of the cross influence us? Will not His dying love constrain us to a more heavenly life?

Lean hard!
"Cast your burden upon the Lord — and He shall sustain you." Psalm 55:22
It is by an act of simple, prayerful faith that we transfer our cares and anxieties, our sorrows and needs, to the Lord. Jesus invites you come and lean upon Him, and to lean with all your might upon that arm that balances the universe, and upon that bosom that bled for you upon the soldier's spear!
But you doubtingly ask, "Is the Lord able to do this thing for me?" And thus, while you are debating a matter about which there is not the shadow of a shade of doubt, the burden is crushing your gentle spirit to the dust. And all the while Jesus stands at your side and lovingly says, "Cast your burden upon Me — and I will sustain you. I am God Almighty! I bore the load of your sin and condemnation up the steep of Calvary; and the same power of omnipotence, and the same strength of love that bore it all for you then — is prepared to bear your need and sorrow now. Roll it all upon Me! Child of My love! Lean hard! Let Me feel the pressure of your care. I know your burden, child! I shaped it — I poised it in My own hand and made no proportion of its weight to your unaided strength. For even as I laid it on, I said I shall be near, and while she leans on Me, this burden shall be Mine, not hers. So shall I keep My child within the encircling arms of My own love. Here lay it down! Do not fear to impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of worlds! Yet closer come! You are not near enough! I would embrace your burden, so I might feel My child reposing on My bosom. You love Me! I know it. Doubt not, then. But, loving me, lean hard!"

The flaming sword of justice quenched in the holy, loving bosom of Jesus!

"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree!" 1 Peter 2:24

The most significant and appalling demonstration of God's holiness that the universe ever beheld, infinitely distancing and transcending every other — is the sufferings and death of His only and beloved Son! The cross of Calvary exhibits God's hatred and punishment of sin in a way and to an extent which the annihilation of millions of worlds, swept from the face of the universe by the broom of His wrath, could never have done!

Behold the most solemn display of God's hatred of sin! Finding the sins of the Church upon Christ as its Surety, Substitute, and Savior — the wrath of God was poured out upon Him without measure! Finding the sins of His people laid upon His Son — God emptied upon His holy soul, all the vials of His wrath due to their transgressions! Go, my soul, to Calvary, and learn how holy God is, and what a monstrous thing sin is, and how imperiously, solemnly, and holily bound, Jehovah is to punish it, either in the person of the sinner, or in the person of a Surety. Never was the Son of God dearer to the Father than at the very moment that the sword of divine justice, flaming and flashing, pierced to its hilt His holy heart!
But it was the wrath of God, not against His beloved Son — but against the sins which met on Him when presenting Himself on the cross as the substitutionary sacrifice and offering for His Church. He gave Himself for us!
What a new conception must angels have formed of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, when they beheld the flaming sword of justice quenched in the holy, loving bosom of Jesus! And in what a dazzling light does this fact place the marvelous love of God to sinners! Man's sin — and God's love; the indescribable enormity of the one — and the immeasurable greatness of the other; are exhibited in the cross of Christ as nowhere else.
Oh, to learn experimentally these two great facts: sin's infinite hatefulness — and love's infinite holiness! The love of God in giving His Son to die; the love of Christ in dying; the essential turpitude and unmitigated enormity of sin, which demanded a Sacrifice so Divine, so holy, and so precious!

Plunge into this fathomless, boundless ocean of love!

Christ is wonderful in His love. Love was the first and eternal link in the golden chain lowered from the highest throne in heaven — down to the lowest depth of earth. That Christ should love us was the beginning of wonders. When we endeavor to comprehend that love, measure it, fathom it, scale it — we learn that it has heights we cannot reach, depths we cannot sound, lengths and breadths we cannot measure! Such love, such divine love, such infinite love, such everlasting love, such redeeming, such dying love — is an ocean whose eternal waves waft into our fallen world, every wonder of God and of heaven.
That Jesus should love such beings as us — that He should love us while we were yet sinners — that He should set His heart upon us, choose us, die for us, save us, and finally bring us to glory, knowing what we were, and what we would prove to be — oh, this is wondrous love indeed!
Plunge into this fathomless, boundless ocean of love, O sin-burdened one! It will cover all your sins, it will efface all your guilt; it will flood over all your unworthiness — and, floating upon its golden waves, it will gently waft you to the shore of eternal blessedness!
How often have you wondered why Christ should set His heart upon such a one as you! And is it not a wonder that, amid all your fickleness and backslidings, and cold, base returns — this love of God towards you has not chilled or changed? But do not rest, do not be satisfied with your present limited experience of Christ's wonderful love. It is so marvelously great. This ocean of love is so fathomless, boundless, and inexhaustible — that you may plunge, with all your infirmities, sins, and sorrows, into its fullness, exclaiming, "O, the depth!" The well is deep! Drink abundantly, O beloved!
"May you have the power to understand, as all God's people should — how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully!" Ephesians 3:18-19 

Love suffering, and bleeding, and expiring!

The love of Christ! Such a precious theme! Of it, can we ever weary? Never! Its greatness, can we ever know? Never! Its plenitude, can we fully contain? Never! Its depths cannot be fathomed, its dimensions cannot be measured! It passes knowledge! All that Jesus did for His people was but the unfolding and expression of His love.
Traveling to Bethlehem — I see love incarnate!
Tracking His steps as He went about doing good — I see love laboring!
Visiting the house of Bethany — I see love sympathizing!
Standing by the grave of Lazarus — I see love weeping!
Entering the gloomy precincts of Gethsemane — I see love sorrowing!
Passing on to Calvary — I see love suffering, and bleeding, and expiring!
The whole scene of His life — is but an unfolding of the deep, and awesome, and precious mystery of redeeming love!
"May you have the power to understand, as all God's people should — how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully!" Ephesians 3:18-19

It is I!

"Take courage! It is I! Do not be afraid." Mark 6:50
Listen, then, to the voice of Jesus in the storm!
It is I who raised the tempest in your soul — and will control it.
It is I who sent your affliction — and will be with you in it.
It is I who kindled the furnace — and will watch the flames, and bring you through it.
It is I who formed your burden, who carved your cross — and who will strengthen you to bear it.
It is I who mixed your cup of grief — and will enable you to drink it with meek submission to your Father's will.
It is I who took from you worldly substance, who bereft you of your child, of the wife of your bosom, of the husband of your youth — and will be infinitely better to you than husband, wife, or child.
It is I who has done it ALL!
I make the clouds My chariot, and clothe Myself with the tempest as with a garment. The night hour is My time of coming, and the dark, surging waves are the pavement upon which I walk. Take courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.
It is I — your Friend, your Brother, your Savior! I am causing all the circumstances of your life to work together for your good.
It is I who permitted . . .
  the enemy to assail you,
  the slander to blast you,
  the unkindness to wound you,
  the need to press you!
Your affliction did not spring out of the ground, but came down from above — a heaven-sent blessing disguised as an angel of light, clad in a robe of ebony.
I have sent all in love!
This sickness is not unto death — but for the glory of God.
This bereavement shall not always bow you to the earth, nor drape in changeless gloom your life. It is I who ordered, arranged, and controlled it all!
In every stormy wind,
in every darksome night,
in every lonesome hour,
in every rising fear,
 — the voice of Jesus shall be heard, saying, "Take courage! It is I! Do not be afraid."

The personal attractions of Jesus

Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!" Song of Songs 5:16

The personal attractions of Jesus are all inviting and irresistible!

His love wins us.
His glory charms us.
His beauty attracts us.
His sympathy soothes us.
His gentleness subdues us.
His faithfulness inspires us.

He is the "altogether lovely One!"

Jesus is all that is tender in love.
Jesus is all that is wise in counsel.
Jesus is all that is patient and kind.
Jesus is all that is faithful in friendship.
Jesus is all that is balmy, soothing, and healing.

The heart of Jesus is ever loving towards His children.
The disposition of Jesus is ever kind towards His children.
The nature of Jesus is ever sympathizing towards His children.

Jesus is your Brother, your Friend, your Redeemer.
As your Brother — He knows the need of His brethren in adversity.
As your Friend — He shows Himself friendly.
As your Redeemer — He has redeemed your soul from sin and hell.

Jesus has ascended up on high to take possession of
heaven on your behalf, and to prepare a place for you!

Upon His heart He wears your name as a
precious pearl in the priestly breastplate.

There is . . .
not a moment of your time,
nor an event of your life,
nor a circumstance of your daily history,
nor a mental or spiritual emotion of yours —
in which you are not borne upon the love, and
remembered in the ceaseless intercession of Christ.

Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!" Song of Songs 5:16

For you!

"The Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me!" Galatians 2:20

Is Jesus precious to your heart?

Is He the object of your supreme admiration and delight?

Does He have your warmest affection?

Do you love Jesus?

You must light your torch of affection for Christ — at the altar of Calvary. You must go there, and learn and believe what the love of Jesus is to you: the vastness of that love; the self-sacrifice of that love; how that love of Christ labored and wept, bled, suffered, and died for you!

Can you stand before this love — this love so precious, so great, so enduring, so self-consuming, so changeless; and know that . . .
  for you was this offering,
  for you this cross,
  for you this agony,
  for you this scorn and insult,
  for you this death —
and feel no sensibility, no emotion, no love to Jesus? Impossible!
Do not be cast down, then, in vain regrets that your love to Christ is so frigid, so fickle, so dubious. Go and muse upon the reality and the greatness of the Savior's love to you — and if love can inspire love, while you muse, the fire will burn, and your soul shall be all in flame with love to Jesus!

Friday, June 15, 2012

I’ve had a busy week. Some things I had planned; other things interrupted my plans and redirected my efforts and energies. In the course of the week, I encountered so many folks with overwhelming problems. Some were mourning the loss of loved ones. Some struggled with physical ailments; others dealt with job losses. One faces surgery to remove his larynx due to cancer. Another has terminal cancer and been told to get all his financial matters in order. I thought how small my difficulties are in comparison. I felt so helpless. My little interruptions paled in comparison to those around me. How do I pray for them?

Ever been so weary and burdened you wanted to just give up? Ever wonder which way to turn? When we face these situations day after day, hour after hour, our strength grows weak. It is nothing to be ashamed of; there’s no need for guilt or despair. Our bodies are telling us to rest. Our spirit is telling us it needs refreshment. Our minds need to rest from racing and chasing solutions.

“Come unto Me all ye who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 
Matthew 11:28

The problems we have create mountain after mountain that seem impossible to climb. We need Jesus. We need His comfort and strengthening power. Ask for it. Give Him your worn spirit, your tired body, your broken heart. Let Him take it from you; surrender it all and let Him restore the joy of His salvation. Fear not, for He is with you, even to the end of the age.