The Shadow I want to Run away from

I tried. I tried separating myself but my shadow still follows me. I tried outrunning it but it was still there. I don’t know what to do. How can I separate myself from the shadow that still follows me?

We have that part of ourselves were we try to constantly change and improve. We have that dark side (that shadow) that seems to follows us because of our past. We know that we are a new creation because of Jesus Christ but still, we see bits and pieces of our old self. It frustrates us. It discourages us when we feel we gave so much effort already but it’s still not enough – I still can’t seem to overcome this struggle.

As I continue my reflection on Hebrews 12, I want to focus more on verses 4 to 13 where the book is talking about God disciplining His children. When we hear the word discipline we immediately draw the conclusion that we might have done something wrong that’s why we are being discipline. But the discipline that is being talked about in Hebrews 12 is related to hardship, as verse 7 stated “endure hardship as discipline”.

Therefore with whatever hardship and trial we encounter that can be considered as God’s discipline. But Hebrews 12 doesn’t pin point hardship as discipline only without any reason why we are experiencing it. The answer is in verse 6, 10 and 11. We experience this hardship (discipline) because God loves us and wants what is good for us. The good that He wants for us is not necessarily how we envision it: a good job, a car, a house or even a relationship. He has always been more concerned with our character. That is why in verse 10 mentions about us sharing in His holiness and in verse 11 about us having a harvest of righteousness as a result of the discipline.

My shadow (struggle), which I have been trying to separate myself from, is part of my hardship. I can decide to be frustrated and quit trying to be a better person or I can look at it differently. I choose to respond properly. I hold on to his word that this hardship is because he loves me and he wants the best in me. He has been working in my life and continues to. He continues to push me to become a better person, man, and leader. I want to embrace that. I want to grow and produce a harvest of righteousness in it.

I pray that if you are going through hardship as well, you will find peace in Hebrews 12:4-13. I pray that together we will be able to say.

I will strengthen my feeble arms and week knees. I will make level paths for my feet  (a response to verse 12 and 13).

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Google Guidelines 01

Maintaining a crawler-friendly site is the basic foundation of any website sensitive to the application of seo practices and there is no other reliable source of reference other than google itself where I was able to read a webmaster’s guideline article.

There’s three guideline areas you need to consider:

  1. Design and Content – Here you need to ensure that the design of your website has a good flow of information, content is very rich and relevant to your identity. Title tags, alt image text, and sitemaps are just one of things you need to be guided in this area. For more information on the basic terms you need to consider in SEO you may refer to my other article.
  2. Technical – I am not that knowledgeable yet regarding technical matters. But one thing that really caught my attention would be to use tools to monitor site performance since Google aims to provide their users good experience. Therefore, if your site is performing well (ex. has a good page speed) then it can affect the ranking of your website.
  3. Quality – I really believe in the use of quality link building strategies and using white-hat techniques. There is no easy or fast way to build ranking other than following the proper guidelines without any form of deceptive linking schemes.

There you have it! Most of the things I have learned is accessible via Google’s own articles. As the bible mentioned:

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

What I have learned I just write down to be able to document and internalize it.

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From a search engine to other tools – Google has it!

Does Google really have all the information we need? It directs us to the proper websites containing the information we need but I have just realized we can also utilize it’s tools available (for free!) to help us manage our own website.

Here are just a couple of tools I was able to tinker around:

  1. Google Analytics – A very comprehensive tool that will help us understand the traffic sources of our website, value of the advertisement we have, content analysis, and a lot more!
  2. Google Webmaster Tools – Do you want to rank well in google’s search result pages? Definitely this tool will help you go through the basics of what Google requires.
  3. Google Page Speed Analytics – Site page speed contributes to your ranking in Google. This tool will help pin point what areas you need to tweak to improve your page speed.

The biggest question in my mind right now: are there other google tools we can use to help us in our SEO efforts? I want to explore and learn more!

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