“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

In Eight Days...

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a "new Christian." In a lot of ways, I still feel like one. What right does Joanne, who's only been saved one-quarter of her life, have to teach others about God, about forgiveness--about anything of eternal importance? Why, I still have a lot of learning to do! Maybe I should be soaking in instead of spreading out.

Yet, I also know I have been called to write--to write this blog, fiction articles, a non-fiction book. And when I write, I teach what God has taught me.

Maybe I need to stop looking at myself as a "new Christian." Maybe I should purposefully seek others to help, rather than always looking for others to do the same for me. Maybe I'm not a baby Christian anymore.

On Tuesday, February 17, 20009 I will celebrate my tenth "re-birthday." I still remember sitting on the living room couch (not 20 feet from where I am sitting right now) reading Isaiah 53 and having it all click: understanding, truly, that Jesus is the Messiah, and that by His wounds I could be healed. And then I was.

Double digits. I remember how impressive that sounded when I was a kid of seven or eight, and how excited I was for my tenth birthday. I was "double digits."

And here it comes again. Maybe I have to admit to being a mature (or at least maturer) Christian: knowing I still have much to learn, but accepting that others can possibly gain from my experience under the Father as well.

At least I've got eight days to admit it. Right?

Heavenly Father, thank You for saving my soul just shy of ten years ago, and for all the ways I have grown in Christ since that day. Help me to continue to seek You, to strive to be more like You, every day. But also, Lord, help me to share what You have already taught me with others, including those who have yet to know You. Be with me, as you have been since February 17, 1999. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen


  1. I'm grateful for your obedience to God's call on your life.

    I'll be rejoicing with you!

  2. That is AWESOME, Jo! What a birthday celebration it will be! Woohoo! Party at Jo's house! Ready for us? LOL. You aren't a baby Christian, for sure, Jo. You touch so many lives. Love you lots!

  3. Wow! A decade with Jesus! I love that you came to understand through reading Isaiah 53. It's one of my most favorite portions of Scripture. I also love your enthusiasm...something many Christians lose as they grow into older Christians. I'm glad you're using your gifts enthusiastically. I'm sure God is well-pleased.

  4. Jo, Happy Birthday! You are such a blessing. I'm so grateful that you are obeying God's call in your life. I think you can safely say you are off the bottle now! :)

  5. smile... You have MUCH to share! God uses all of us in our own way. Thank you for what you've taught me.

    I wish I could remember the exact day that I was saved. I only know that I was 6 yrs. old. That makes me... 44 reborn yrs. old. (I'll let you do the math.)

  6. Ya gotta remember--it's not just years, it's the growth that's occurred in those years!! Some of us have been saved much longer, but our growth rate hasn't been as exponential...

    And welcome to the double digits! ;o)

  7. Oh, sweetie, I'm so excited for this celebration! Lemme tell you, us old timers in the faith have soooooo much to learn from newer Christians. Believe me. I learn so much from you every day. God is using you, dear one.

  8. What a great day to celebrate! As soon as I think I'm maturing in areas, I found out just how far I have to go. Ha.

    God bless you and I'm happy for you!

  9. Happy Birthday in Christ! You have such a tender and loving spirit, Jo, and I, for one, am so glad you answered His call on your heart! I celebrate with you that your soul was found and healed by our Savior 10 years ago!

  10. One thing that us "older Christians" need to remember is the love we had when we first got saved - otherwise our hearts grow cold... So focus on Him and His love and you will keep growing and always continue to have wonderful things to share even as you do now.

  11. Oh, I've felt this way too! 6 years ago I had a head on collision with the power of God's Word, and while I've been a Christian most of my life, I felt so grieved about the time wasted.

    God doesn't wait for our "perfection" to use us. He uses us as we go along in our journey with him. Ours is a growing faith and awareness of Him as we continually and obediently seek him in our day to day. I know that you are a woman of such substance, and I celebrate your double digits with you, friend.

    The power of your testimony is that God doesn't need a bunch of bells and whistles and emotional frenzys to reach us. His Word (Isaiah in your case) is powerful enough all on its own.

    Praise his name for bringing you into the fold! He is using you in mighty ways, friend. I so appreciate your positive presence in blog land.

    keep to it...



Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!

My One Word: 2016 and 2017

Most who know me know I am a very goal-oriented person (in fact, I already shared my goal wrap-up for 2016 and my new ones for 2017 on this...