Thursday, 5 May 2011

On being blessed by 1 Thess 5:11 friends

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing" - 1 Thessalonians 5:11

I thought it was about time I posted something to share how much I have been encouraged, exhorted, and inspired in my faith by my blogging friends and their articles. This group of online friends has been a Godsend to me, I have been blessed beyond measure through them and their faith, and the way they have pointed me to Him! I’ve had great fun going back through the archives of my favourite blogs, to pull out those articles which have really made an impact on me and my walk with God in this last year.

Where to start? Well, for me, it started just over a year ago when I heard the sweet southern accent of Christine Blackerby Pack as she was interviewed on a radio show about her involvement in the New Age and mysticism, and how God saved her out of that. Greatly encouraged by the testimony of this lovely “rascally Yank” as she calls herself, I sent her a friend request on Facebook – and what a blessing her friendship has been to me, for the loving care she has shown in so many ways. My life has been influenced by Christine in so many ways - from the music I listen to, to the books that Harry reads, to my understanding of positional and progressive sanctification (I get it now!!). I've also been following her blog, Sola Sisters. This is a great site for articles on all the errors of teaching which are creeping into the church. I learn so much from reading these articles. Christine writes with great clarity, and also posts devotional articles. This one in particular made a big impact on me, for its sheer honesty and heartfelt cry of love for God.

Whilst having a discussion on Facebook with my new friend, Christine, a lady called Elizabeth chimed in, we got chatting, and I found she too had a blog, finding the motherlode. Elizabeth has simply become one of my dearest friends. Spending time with someone who is able to see God's redemptive purposes in situations which initially look pretty bleak to me, is a sheer joy. She has pointed me upwards and onwards and inspired me so much in my walk of faith. Reading her articles, which like the best meals take their time in the cooking, is like partaking of the chef’s special at your favourite restaurant - you know you can trust the chef to serve up something which will always delight your taste buds. I absolutely adore this post. Ever since reading it, I’ve just been longing to sit in Elizabeth’s home and watch as she teaches her sons. And via Facebook my hunger between meals is abated as this lady posts some of the most profound short statements on a daily basis.

Petra Hefner blogs over at Penned Pebbles, and we met via Elizabeth. A writer and poet whose work is soaked in scripture, married to Rick, a talented musician. Artists both, using their gifts for His Glory. Petra’s talents seem to know no bounds – she recently completed an A-Z daily devotional series which included the letters X and Z ;) and also wrote a poem in a minute and a half! One of Petra’s poems really inspired me. I remember reading this and thinking I have never even considered the possibility that a dewdrop might quiver in praise of God. I was challenged to review how I looked at nature – and I am so thankful that now when I walk in the woods I can see the trees standing in reverent praise to their God, and I hear the birds singing their praises to Him, and lakes dance to the glory of God – all thanks to the challenge from dear Petra :)

Petra invited me to a tea-party hosted by Diane Bucknell, over at Theology for Girls. Diane has proven to be a good friend in many ways to me, not least in her passion for the Truth of the Word, which shines out from her blog. This lady certainly knows her theology, and she regularly dispenses wise counsel. I have been particularly blessed by her Sunday Hymnology series, and have been introduced to many new hymns by her. This hymn, which I didn’t know until Diane introduced it to me, has become a favourite of mine. These words in particular express a significant breakthrough in my spiritual walk last year:

And then I cried, "Dear Jesus,
Come and heal my broken spirit,"
And somehow Jesus came and bro't
To me the victory.

Via this tea party, I met 2 other delightful ladies. The beautiful Christina Langella, who blogs over at Heavenly Springs, charmed me with her first comment on my blog: “So, I had to visit your blog because I have seen your name on other blogs and ALWAYS say to myself, "I LOVE her name!" I think Diana Lovegrove is one of the most beautiful names I have ever heard!” For some reason, this endeared her to me straight away :) Christina longs and aches for the return of our Lord, and this post sums her up. Christina is a great encouragement to me, her comments always make me smile, and she posts such great devotional articles on her website which never fail to point me to Him. And her writing skills were used to their best advantage recently when she wrote one of the best summaries of the doctrines of grace that I've read, in the recent Doctrines in the Kitchen series.

And via Diane, I also met dear, sweet Teresa from Music from Broken Chords. The name of her blog utterly captivated me. And this post  is one of the most moving pieces I’ve ever read, and just fills my heart with hope and encouragement. We may have only known each other a few months, but Teresa has been such a blessing to me both through her blog and on Facebook, and I cherish her friendship immensely. There have been a number of occasions when she has spoken a word of encouragement to me to help to steady my soul. This lady speaks from the heart, I adore her honesty, and the way she leans upon Christ is an inspiration to me.

Elizabeth introduced me to another blogger too – the vivacious Becky Pliego from Mexico – Hola! Again, I have known Becky only a few short, precious months, but she and her blog, Daily On My Way to Heaven, have rapidly become an important part of my life, especially over the last month with her truly inspired Doctrines in the Kitchen series. When I am around Becky, my heart is filled with delight! The post that Elizabeth directed me to has a special place in my heart. This review by Becky of chapter 2 in Sproul’s Holiness book is absolute gold-dust. And really, this sums up my spiritual journey over the last year – being absolutely undone by the Holiness of God, but still longing to see Him face to face.

“One day, if He has called us into His family we will SEE HIM!
What a promise!
What a joy! Not only His back, but His face!
Not to find a judge but a Father.”

And this is Who I found in my spiritual walk over the last year – my Heavenly Father.

My heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you. I love you all. Amazing how much blessing and edification can spring from one simple Facebook friend request! And for any reading this who don’t know these blogs, I urge you to check them out, I know you will be blessed as I have been.


  1. What a sweet tribute to these wonderful Christian women!

  2. What a lovely article, Diana. I have been inspired and edified by many of the people you speak about as well. I will check out the blogs of those I wasn't aware of that you just mentioned. I had considered cancelling my FB account a little over a year ago but then met our dear mutual friend Christine...then Elizabeth...and you...and so many other wonderful Christian women. I have been very blessed by these friendships as well! Thank you for sharing your spiritual walk over this past year. I have learned much from you!

  3. Wow - a bit overwhelmed by your sweet post, sister. This is lovely, lovely company to be in. I am so blessed as well, Diana, by knowing you and some of the other ladies mentioned. May we continue to exhort, encourage and stir each other to good works by God's grace and his power ♥

    (And would this be the part to insert how much I miss Ruthie getting online??)

  4. Trisha - I've never enjoyed writing a post as much as this one :)

    Ruthie - I can't tell you how relieved I am you didn't cancel your FB account for your friendship has been a sweet blessing to me too!

    Christine - I agree with you about missing Ruthie online!

  5. What a beautiful post! Oh my goodness!!!

    I don't think that there are words to express how blessed and touched I am by this sweet tribute! I truly hope you know that I am every bit as blessed by you-- your heart and your passion for Truth! You are such an inspiration to me my dear friend! And, I am so with you in that I have been blessed beyond measure by so many friendships I have made online.

    Thank you for being such a wonderful sister and friend!

    Love you dearly!!!

  6. Christine and Diana :) Thank you, dear friends, for your sweet comments! You are very dear to me and I miss both of you too. What a wonderful way to end my night with thoughts of dear sweet Christian friends in my head and the hope that we share in Christ Jesus!

  7. Christina - ♥ You just made me smile again :)

  8. Diana
    When I was nodding in agreement reading about all these precious Sisters in Christ that God has blessed us with. Thank you so much for including me, I am humbled and so blessed to know you my dear friend! I value your friendship so much, you have encouraged me, made me laugh and I often think of how wonderful it would be to be able to give you a jolly big hug and be able to chat with you in person, and I feel the same way about all of these wonderful ladies. I wish I were able to be online and be able to interact with each one of you more often and I pray that I will be able to more in the future. I often think that the Lord has blessed me with such loving, beautiful Sisters and I in no way want to take that for granted. Love you Diana, you brought a little sunshine to my grey cloudy day today!

  9. Teresa - you have no idea how much I want to give YOU a "jolly big hug" and chat with you in person - one day, God willing, we will soon! ♥

  10. Dear Lady Edith Whisky-Whinmoor,

    I must apologize, my ladyship, but Elizabeth is feeling a wee bit shy at the moment to acknowledge such overwhelming accolades over the internet. However, she absolutely adores all of you, and as she would never want to come across as demeaning or boorish, she's asked me to step in for her and extend to you her kindest regards.

    Yours sincerely,

    Lady Anne Bingo Espie

  11. My dear ladyship - it is my deepest honour to accept Elizabeth's kindest regards from you, although I very much look forward to seeing the blushing countenance of our mutual friend at her earliest convenience.

    Lady Edith Whisky-Whinmoor.

  12. Oh Diana,

    I've been behind on my blog reading lately due to circumstances, but I am soooo blessed by this sweet sweet post! You are just too kind! And YOU, my dear friend as always are such a GREAT blessing and encouragement to me, as you already know!! :)

    This post is almost making me want to reopen my FB page! I feel like I'm being left out of the "other party" hahaha! I don't know Ruth yet! Hi Ruth! :)

    Now, the next step is a SKYPE party! Did you know that with some skype plans you can have up to 30 on a conference call? How fun would it be to set that up. This morning I was actually thinking about yours, Becky's and the rest of our time zones - seriously let's think about it!

    Much love to you my friend. You and our other friends are the main reason I keep blogging. I would miss that unique fellowship we all have sooo much! What encouragement you all are to me!!

    And as Tiny Tim would say,
    "And God bless us everyone"

  13. My dear friend,

    Thank you! thank you! For this gift of love.

    I am grateful for your life and the life of the ladies you mentioned. I love the online community God has brought to my life.

    I am grateful for each one of you, my dear "real life" friends!

  14. Diane, meet Ruth, Ruth, meet Diane :) I know you two will get along just famously :) Yes, Diane, you must reopen your FB page, you're halfway there with the Doctrines in the Kitchen FB page now ;)

    As for Skype...mmm, this keeps coming up lately...

    Becky - welcome back from Canada :) Missed you x

  15. Diana! How sweet!! I'm sitting here somewhat guilty (at 1:30am) to catch up on some of my neglected blog readings (I had to take a cyber break after that A-Z challenge), and I find this beautiful gift of your heart! Thank you for your friendship and your sweet gratitude, and linking to all your blessed friends! Love and hugs. I'm going to bed with a smile on my face and a prayer for you! :-)

  16. Yay Petra,now I have a complete set of blushing friends, my job is done :) Love to you :)

  17. What a wonderful group of ladies you've met. I've met many of them myself, and they are a blessing to me as well.

  18. Hi Melissa! Pleasure to "meet" you. Glad you've been blessed by many of these ladies too, they are all lovely! I shall be checking out your blog now too :)

  19. Diana, how funny that while I was surfing the blogs this morning (whilst on my Facebook break) I clicked the link on my favorites to your blog and this article is where I landed. My devotional this morning was "The impact of Right Relationships" how amazing. I love you sweet Sister, all these Sisters and reading this helps me to realize that God has been go gracious to me, he's brought sweet fellowship through our online connections, and even with facebook. While I find the perfect balance in all of this I just wanted to say thank you for writing this and also just for being my friend. love you loads mate!!!

  20. Love you loads, too, mate! And don't spend all your "free" time from Facebook surfing the blogs now ;) Did you see you wrote "whilst" - was that deliberate or have we Double Agents infiltrated your brain.....

  21. It was deliberate, but my brain was infiltrated a long time ago...even more so now!