Frankly, On Faith: Cast the First Stone

Frankly, On Faith: Do All Things

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMojo68

Frankly, On Faith.

Frankly, On Faith.

We live in an era that glorifies differences. We’re on one side of the fence or the other, but rarely are we perched atop in perfect balance.

Worse, that fence is not often wire. We can’t, or choose not to, see through to the other side. Our vision is blocked by hard wood or brick, or we’re only allowed a glimpse through holes or slats.

It’s sometimes the same with our actions. We don’t always see how what we do affects others. We don’t always care. We keep heaping our own plates higher and higher, with minimal consideration for “all things in moderation.”

We martyr ourselves in our own minds; believing we have it worse because we feel alone. Unloved. Uncared for. We separate ourselves from our community.

We can’t see the other side of the fence.

It makes it hard to see the other person’s story, to walk a mile in their shoes.

When I’m in a moment of frustration or anger toward someone else, I remember how God forgave me. How He bundled me up, healed my hurts and kissed my forehead. Then, He set me back on my feet and gave me a pat. “Go and make disciples of all the nations.” (Matt 28:19a, NLT).

He didn’t ask me to be perfect, to know everything, or to see the horizon before I took a first step. He just asked me to go. And to do so in a spirit of acceptance and forgiveness.

“They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”
~John 8:7, NLT

Instead of using stones to hurt, or to build more walls, try laying a path.

This week, I challenge to take one step closer, to stretch your hand out farther, and to smile at a stranger. Step outside your thought-box and see things from a different perspective. Give someone the grace you would like returned to yourself.

How will you begin to tear down your walls?

CLICK TO TWEET: Frankly, On Faith: Cast the First Stone

With stepping stones and a peaceful heart,
~Molly Jo

Frankly, On Faith: Cast the First Stone

Frankly, On Faith: Cast the First Stone

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!

Social Media TMI- Finding Balance Between Professional & Personal Online

Social Media TMI—Finding Balance Between Professional & Personal Online

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Edie Melson: Social Media TMI- Finding Balance Between Professional & Personal Online

Edie Melson: Social Media TMI- Finding Balance Between Professional & Personal Online

Hey, y’all. So, check out the awesome circle button on the right side bar. See that? Contributor, The Write Conversation. Yup. That’s me. But here’s the fun part. I get to reciprocate. In bloggy terms, that means while I have a post up on Edie’s site, she has a post up here at FMD. Kinda nifty how that works out, yeah? Okaaay. We may have planned it. But still. It’s cool.

You’ve heard me talk about Edie before. You can thank her for the growth at FMD over the last few years. She’s been a great teacher, mentor, friend, guidance counselor . . . You get the picture.

So check out my post at The Write Conversation, and check out her post, well, now.

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For an author, building an online presence that’s both professional and personable can be a bit of a tightrope walk. After all, we’ve all cringed at some of the intimate details shared in ill-considered tweets and Facebook posts. We want to connect with our readers as honestly and as genuinely as possible. But we also want to present ourselves as the professionals we are. I’ve had a lot of writers ask for guidance on where to draw that line.

The good news is that there are some guidelines you can follow. The bad news is, there are exceptions to almost every rule. Each author relates differently in person and to be authentic, we must carry that personal bent into our online presence.

Things to Share

There are some things we all enjoy sharing, whether or not we’re directly involved. That’s where this list fits. It’s not an exhaustive list, but I’m including enough suggestions so you can get a strong idea of what’s good to share. These things shouldn’t make up the majority of your social media updates or blog posts, but sprinkling them in can make you more approachable and even fun.

  • An engagement or a wedding. This can be yours, or a close family member. You don’t want to take up space about a second cousin once removed, but engagement pictures are always fun to see.
  • New baby or grandbaby. Again, we all like to see this occasionally. New life is a reason to celebrate. But with this type of update, like the previous one, a little bit goes a long way. If you want to post an album of photos, that’s fine, but don’t share photo after photo after photo in your news feed.
  • Pet photos and stories. People love their pets. More than that, they love people who love pets. This type of personal update can give you some good visibility through social media.
  • Exciting news that’s publishing related. This might be a book cover reveal, signing a contract with a publisher and/or agent, even winning a contest.
  • A recipe. Recipes are popular on social media. But if you’re not writing a cookbook, or incorporating recipes in your platform, share sparingly.
  • Prayer requests. I purposely included this at the end of the list because you must be very careful here. First, you need to be aware that people will share what you share, so make sure it’s not confidential and you don’t mind if everyone knows about it. Second, you’re opening a door. Once you share a prayer request, your friends and followers will feel free to share with you. You could be opening a floodgate. That’s not always a bad thing, but it’s a decision you need to make before you share.

Things NOT to Share

  • I hate to even have to say it, but anything that might trigger a gross-out response should always be off limits. This includes everything from descriptions of medical procedures, accidents, trips to the personal facilities and spiders. Yep, spiders. There are a lot of people out there who will freak out at the picture of a leggy arachnid, so post at your own risk.
  • Anything negative about a specific person or company. This doesn’t include rants about generalities, such as taxes. But I’ve NEVER seen an instance where calling someone out publicly ended well for either party.
  • Any update that lets people know your home is vacant. This isn’t something that will offend your followers, but is a danger for you personally. Posting vacation pictures, while you’re still away, is an open invitation to burglars.
  • Any update that shows you checking in someplace. If you want to endorse a place, share why you enjoyed your experience. But for all our sakes, disable location settings that pop up with a map of where you are in your social media feeds.

Bottom Line

Navigating online socially is a lot like attending a large party. All the same rules apply.

  • Don’t hog the conversation.
  • Don’t talk about yourself too much.
  • Don’t share things that make others uncomfortable.
  • Don’t gossip.
  • Don’t bash someone’s reputation.

Trust me, you do not want to be the person everyone at the party avoids. Being personable and sharing bits of your personal life online can enhance your overall image. Staying upbeat, encouraging and positive whenever possible will make you someone people want to know, online and off.

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Like I said, Edie is a font of information when it comes to social media and staying safe online. Check out her other posts on FMD and TWC.

CLICK TO TWEET: Frankly, My Dear…: #SocialMedia TMI-Finding Balance Between Professional & Personal Online @ediemelson @realmojo68

With a Southern drawl and security system,
~Molly Jo

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!