Wednesday Meet N Greet!

Hey everyone! Hope you all are having a wonderful Wednesday! We’re only a couple days from the weekend (yay!) and for my friends in the eastern hemisphere,  you (probably) only have one day until the weekend 🙂  I love doing Meet N Greets in the blogging world, gives us bloggers and authors and writers a chance to meet n’ discuss.

So grab a cup of coffee, we’re brewing a french press now, and let’s talk. The question I wanted to ask as the theme for today is:

Why did you start blogging? What’s your blogging story? And where do you hope your blogging (or writing work if you are an author) will end up becoming?

I think we all have a variety of answers on this one. I’ll go first. I started blogging wayyy back in the day. I started my first blog back in 2010 on Blogspot. It was called In the Pursuit of God. I started it mostly as a way to share my deep intimate thoughts about life with God. It never took off. In fact, I remember looking at Google Analytics to see my stats and I had only one reader who consistently read my posts. They were from Michigan and that’s about all I know from Analytics because this person never commented or liked any of my posts. But darn it, they read it daily and I ate that up! I only got one comment other than the occasional comments from my wife and it was anonymous.

I took a break for a couple years after entering, enduring and exiting grad school and then started again at blogging. My next attempt was called The Plank Project. It fared a little better. In fact, there’s a couple of you I knew from blogging at TPP before I started In the Desert with Jesus. I gave up TPP when work got kinda crazy. Then I started In the Desert with Jesus and have been here ever since…think it’s coming up on a year sometime this spring? And I’m very, very happy with how it’s going here!! 🙂 I’ve met a lot of incredible people and writers on here, great blogging community and fellow children of God.

I blog mostly because I really enjoy sharing my life and love with God through my words. I think the written and spoken word is very powerful. Sharing our closeness with God with others in words can be very powerful. It has moved world for me.

My latest project is a book I’m working on in the bits and pieces of spare time that I have as a daddy, husband, Greek and Hebrew student, kids church small group leader, and full time senior business analyst. I was hoping to have it done by July, which then became August, which then became December…I’m holding onto the end of year deadline and we’ll see if it tenacity brings it to fruition.

Anyway…that’s my story. Can’t wait to hear yours!


16 thoughts on “Wednesday Meet N Greet!

  1. Joel, I will pray for the Lord’s working for finishing your book, knowing what it takes and the joy of publishing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on blogging. I might be back and share mine. Most of this is on my blog, which I have been doing here since 2011.
    Blessings as you continue to share what the Lord is doing in your life. ~ Fran

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Fran! Thank you so much for praying for me on my book. That is so kind of you. God bless you! I can definitely see God’s light shining through you in your words on WordPress. Bless you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi there. I blog for the same reasons you do 😉
    I began blogging to share my testimony and my journey with stress – and what pushed me into it was the fact that we had to apply to our daughters school and they require a confidential pastor’s letter as well as the family’s testimony. But really, I found it SO difficult to write my testimony on half a page, so I blogged it. Back then my blog was called Stressless with Jesus, because I was at the time recovering from stress. I have now changed it into Wrestling with faith – Dancing with Jesus, because that’s more accurately what my life is 🙂
    Many Blessings and thanks for these meet’n’greet posts. I find them interesting and look forward to reading other’s response. Love to you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh that’s cool Lene, I didn’t know that’s why you started it! Well, I think it was a pretty darn good idea! Love your blogs. Blessings to you too 🙂 I’m so glad you like them! Hope you’re having a good cuppa coffee today!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this post Joel!
    I’ve been blogging off and on now for several years. My first was BusbyBytes on BlogSpot. I started so I could share bits of life with our son while he was in Ecuador (this was just before skyping). I was elated when I fumbled through to see stats. I had dozens and dozens of visits the first several months. 90+% were people interested in vampires.

    Opting for a less questionable name I started posting on Extra@ordinary on BlogSpot and have since move to WordPress at I don’t have but a few readers, but figure that’s just as well.
    My posts were more a means for me to put words to the thoughts swimming around in my head. It was a good “playground” where I could exercise my thoughts and learn to write.
    I love to write! When I write, I feel like I’m synced in to the heart of Father. I learn as I go.

    And for you -Joel, I’m excited to hear of another writer working on your first book!! That’s a huge undertaking!
    GO FOR IT and don’t give up.

    I completed my first draft manuscript in December.
    It took me almost two years just to write random parts (my testimony is my story). I gave myself the freedom to write when I could and didn’t fuss with the order. That got me started without pressure. After that I needed more help.
    So I prayed.

    God answered with a writer friend who asked me if I would like some accountability with the manuscript. I jumped on it!
    We started in January last year and agreed to work towards having a first draft manuscript in hand by the end of the year. My friend called each week. It was incredibly encouraging, and really helped me keep on track. I finished early, but realized I wasn’t really finished.
    And that was good. I read it and revised, read it and revised; added, clipped, tweaked…
    It took me over two months to find a copy editor, but I just turned it over. When I’m tempted to be anxious over how bad it may be -and I rush to Father’s feet where I’m reminded it’s His deal and He’s led me thus far.

    Joel, you can do this! If the Father has put it in your heart and mind, He will see you through it. And as you wrote in your blog post on talents -it’s for a purpose greater than yourself. Use what He’s given you to His glory. Obedience is golden.
    And oh my GOODNESS -the journey is incredible. As I’m sure you’ve found, the Lord works on us as we write with Him.

    For me, the book writing is like climbing a mountain. It looks great a distance away, but when you near it… it’s appears mammoth. It’s uphill and sometimes there are precarious perches that scare the socks off us. But He’s always there. And other writers are on the mountains beside the one your on. It’s great to be able to holler out and say “How’s it going over there?”!

    And it’s seems pretty obvious that you recognize this, but it can’t be said enough; family is so important.
    If writing a book is like climbing a mountain, than the support of your family is like having cell coverage in your back pocket. They’ll travel with you, tracking your progress, praying for you sending care packages as you journey. Be sure on your end to share feedback of your journey. Include your wife in your victories as well as letting her know when you encounter a boulder along the path. She sounds like a great support. Keep that life line strong -and ALWAYS, covered in prayer.
    My husband can’t stand to write a shopping list much less an article or a book -but he’s a part of my writing process. He gives me feedback and reminds me, “Time to go write Shell.” He’s my biggest support and best fan.
    Our spouse’s involvement is essential and each one’s will be unique.

    Joel, THANK YOU for this Meet and Greet. Thanks for permitting me to ramble.
    Other than my 2 writing friends, I haven’t connected in the writing world. I don’t really know how to reach out on blogging and writing so if you have suggestions. I welcome your input! (And please tell me if I took up too much space here -Yikes!)

    Compelled to write -and writing to compel,

    And…Your post on Angels inspired me to write post on an unusual encounter I had. It was too long to post on your comments.

    Shelly B

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Shelly! So first, I had NO idea that your blog was at I clicked on your profile to follow your blog originally and it took me to which is empty, so I had always just assumed you were primarily a reader and not a blogger per se. Now that I know your actual blog address, I have some catch up to do on your posts!! I’m will definitely read your latest post “Unusual Encounter” – can’t wait to check it out today!

      So I read the first few lines of the post, did you and your husband used to live in Huntington Beach? Goodness, that is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. We usually stay at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach for a couple days when we go out to So Cal for Disneyland. Gorgeous.

      That’s hilarious about vampires and your first blog! Hahaha! I can see people thinking that with the title. What you said on, “When I write, I feel like I’m synced in to the heart of Father” really connected with me…I feel the same way. It’s the best joy I get out of writing, and then sharing the joy with others is the icing on the cake.

      Thank you SO SO much for the encouragement on writing. I needed it! I’m excited to meet another writer on here! I had no idea you were one too! So cool! I’ve actually written two books before, it’s been 9 years this April since I last wrote one. It was a different time for me though. I was single, no kids, not a lot of friends, just out of high school and took a couple years off from college to write a book or two. The second book in April 2006 I wrote and completed in 14 days. Now, I’m doing everything I can to keep it under 12 months lol!

      Love that you had an accountability partner to keep working on it. I could use that myself. I have been working on my book after hours when the house is asleep, but at the same time I haven’t been sleeping well even when I’m not writing. So I’m just constantly climbing through this decision tree of, ‘Do I stay up and work or go to bed and try to get the minimal amount of necessary sleep?’ I’ve had good sleep the last couple nights, so I’m going in tonight to get some work done 🙂

      You know Shelly, I really do feel like God has put it on my heart. I have had times lately where he’s told me to go work on it and I’ll start to go to bed and I literally feel like I’m sinning! I turned around really quick and got to typing after that haha! He’s teaching me about resolve and tenacity through this. To not be double minded…Nehemiah wasn’t. He had to get the job done.

      Great advice on family support. My wife is such a great supporter. She gives me feedback, spurs me on. She’s awesome. I like your analogy there, family support is like cell service! Haha, spot on! I’ll definitely keep that life line strong with her. That’s really good.

      Oh goodness, writing a book is SO like climbing a mountain. I’m still working to get over the tree line. But it’s fun isn’t it Shelly? I’m working on a really good scene tonight. I think this one more than the others I am really getting into in that I just really enjoy the story itself. It’s one that I would love to watch as a movie or read with a friend and then talk about afterward. It’s fun!

      Thank you so much for sharing all of this! I love it. I need to hop over to your blog in a few to catch up. Haha always feel free to ramble on my blog. I love talking on here about writing, God, and life.

      I’ll be honest, I don’t know how to find other writers either. The ones I know have just kinda ‘appeared.’ So I give God the credit for the ones I know. I do know one author that I think you might really like. Her name is Heather. Here’s her blog and latest post.

      Comment and get in touch with her. She’s an author, a really awesome Christian, and just finished up her newest book.

      You know one more thing…when I was writing 10 years ago, it was one of the best seasons of my life. Not because anything came of it, each of my books bombed, but the time I spent with Jesus, loving on him, just enjoying and worshiping him all night over coffee, late night trips to Starbucks, 2am jogs to clear my mind, and him being literally my all in all, was the best thing ever.

      Hope you have an awesome day Shelly!! 🙂 Blessings!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Shelly, I saw you stopped by on my blog but I also ended up on an empty page when I clicked on your name! I’ll be visiting your site soon. Although I have blogged for years, I have only just this year started getting connected a little. By the way – thank you, Joel, for sending my info! I’m in Joel’s position where I have to squeeze in the writing in odd moments and places, but God has done it! I’ve finished my manuscript – EXCEPT for some formatting issues i have just learned about. Once I get those hammered out, it will all be in God’s hands, but that’s where it all started. 🙂 Heading over to your page now…


  4. My first blog was on blogspot and went by the same name as my current one: Running the Race. I blog to share my faith, hopefully to encourage other believers, and more lately to offer hope to those who struggle with chronic pain. 🙂

    I sent this to a gentleman I know who has started his own blog with a very, very cool purpose of sharing his faith with young people through using nature study and origami to illustrate Gospel messages! I hope he’ll come by and post his blog soon, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would say that my heart for blogging started with Formspring back in 2007. I had gained a reputation of answering spiritual questions very early on, so heavy questions came flooding toward me. But the questions didn’t shake me; they encouraged to draw nearer to God, to dive into His Word, and to really know what I believe. My replies ended up being blogs in themselves… I may have to share them on my blog someday.
    I started my current blog back in August of 2013, which was the first semester of my senior year of college. Being a political science major, I was bombarded daily with political correctness and the overall depravity of our society and the world, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized the depravity was simply due to one thing; trying to cut God completely out of our lives. So, I titled my blog, Blind Insanity, because, without God, that’s all we are: blind and insane. From the beginning, I wanted to speak (or write) light into the darkness, and over time, I have grown to realize that writing also helps me grow in my walk with Christ.
    For now, I have no big plans of the things I will do, whether in writing or in life. Instead, I am learning to commit my ways to the Lord and trust that He can bring fruit from them and cause them to multiply to His glory. I am also learning the value in taking steps of faith and going outside my comfort zone. I don’t know exactly what my next step will be, but I know that God will go with me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s so cool Sarah! Love hearing your story! Writing helps me grow in my walk with Christ too. I’ve noticed that I’ll learn something from him and then write it down and I learn even more from just writing and sharing it than I did at first.

      I bet political science was an interesting major to have! How did that come about as far as your interests in it and how did you want to use your degree?

      I really like the title of your blog and you integrate that with human insanity apart from God. That’s really good! Hope you are having a blessed day!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All the way through high school, I planned to just go to pharmacy school, because I wanted to make lots of money. But in my senior year, due to a Bible class I was taking, my eyes were opened to the fact that money is not everything. The political climate was also very heated around that time, so I naturally became interested in politics. I saw the need to bring light back into the government, so I intended to major in history and go to law school, hoping to get involved in the law-making and forming process. After one history class, I changed my major to political science. But by the time I graduated college, I realized that I didn’t like school and I also had avoided debt up to that point, but law school would have thrown that completely out the window. Basically, I felt like school restricted my ministry involvement and my life. The liberal arts is also very spiritually and intellectually oppressive, so I didn’t feel like it would be an environment I needed to be in. I was ready to be done and to discover what God had for me right there and then.
        Clearly, my plans and intentions have changed over time, but I am reaping from some benefits of political science; like a greater ability to clearly express my thoughts and to delve into the truth. All students in my senior seminar class were very liberal in their outlook, except for one, so it’s by the grace of God that I stayed in the Word and didn’t let popular opinion sway my hold on truth.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a good story of how you came through college with Christ! What’s funny is I actually did the opposite, I started with my passion, metrology and math, got my undergrad, then with to business school for my masters only to make money…not in a money lust way, but just as a means to provide for my family. We did take out a loan, but the masters paid off in God’s plan and timing and we’re debt free and doing well…all by God, not ourselves that’s for sure!

        My dad has a PhD in psychology and has been in practice for about 40 years. Both he and I have talked about how we would have liked to have gone into law as father and son and have our own firm, for the purpose of fighting for justice. I can definitely appreciate the pull that law school offers, especially for someone zealous for God’s law.

        You make a great point, a lot of liberal arts schools are very liberal. My grad program was the opposite oddly enough, very, very conservative. I’ve found that business and economics in fresh water schools seem to be more conservative and I believe much more liberal in “salt water” schools, especially in Keynesian economics. The hard sciences seem a split to me. Some are liberal, some conservative . And the arts are typically liberal in my experience. It is sad to see though many believers get tested and fail in the college environment.


  6. Hi there! I just found your blog post and love what you’re doing with the meet n greet! I just started my new blog, but have another one (flareuphope) that I’ve been writing on for 4 years. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and shared my journey of diagnosis to remission, and everything in between. I still pop out there occasionally. Right now I’m sharing focused my breakfast adventures and travels with my husband. The diagnosis stole some time away from my life, and showed me how fragile life is. My new blog is my way of finding my bliss and exploring while I can. Good luck on your book writing!!! That’s very exciting and I wish you all the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Thank you so much! I need to start following your blog. My dad has colitis and he’s been through the whole adventure of trying to figure out what to eat and not to. Definitely not fun. I looked at your breakfast adventures blog and it looks super cool! Love it! Thank you so much for the encouragement on the book! It’s slow but it’s coming along. Best to you and your family. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

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