Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stumbling

I was...and probably am going to attempt...a blog post called, Dismantling the Princess View today.

Last night, I was...once again reminded of my very frail humanity and my great propensity to fall. I've asked God's forgiveness but am very uncertain as to whether I will be able to stop myself next time. In fact, I won't, but the question is whether I will lean on God's grace implicitly or ignore what I know I should do for the sensual pleasure of the moment. (And knowing what's coming up on Thursday, I'm terrified).

It's kind'a strange...ever since God brought me back to Him, He's taken on one issue after another. I haven't even dealt with one and there's another staring in my face.

Started off with idolatry...I have a major battle with not switching my computer on before spending time with God each day.

Then Sunday events and the row with my dad constantly over them...I want to end up surrendering from a Christian point of view, not because I can't take the stress.

My temper and bad language being another thing that needs control...

The fact that I've learned to switch down on pain and run away from anything that hurts - I need to actually learn to deal with pain to empathise with people, to identify with them as Christ would.

Modesty - trying to get my standard of dress back up to where it will glorify God.

Now, the purity issue that He graciously ended for me when He brought me back to Himself is obviously under test to see if it's truly surrendered to Him. WHY, Lord? You know that I work off sense and emotion and I don't even stop to think properly about what I'm doing?!

Poema ~ Steps

Why is God bringing all of these on top of me right now? I'm three weeks back and I have this to deal with. Certainly He's brought them one at a time, but I haven't finished dealing with the one before He's shown me another!

Maybe it's because of the fact that it's my second backslide...and He's trying to bring me back to where I was before and is making up for my stupid waste of time...I don't know.


There's one interesting thing that appears to be coming out though. He may not have finished working on an area in my life - very definitely not! - but He seems to be waiting until I surrender an area of my life to Him and am helpless to change and made willing for Him to take over in it, and then showing me another.

This is almost extraordinary; I don't remember it happening before. But then, I was focussing almost exclusively on reaching the Squadron for Christ, to concentrate on being made willing to become more like Him.


Anyway. I just wanted to say...I wanted to blog Dismantling the Princess View, but I'm afraid of looking and being a hypocrite for doing so. I did want to clarify kinda what was happening so I wasn't being deceitful. Please...please pray for me.

God bless.

~ Jane

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wild Flash

Hee. I'm going to spend one of those lovely random moments sitting here thinking out loud to a screen.

You don't have to read if you don't like random. Logical people rarely like random, and I pick up a lot of logical people. Hang on...that doesn't make sense. If they're logical and don't like random, why do they like me? True, I'm not as random as I could be, and as other people are...did I REALLY say that...?

Hm. Anyway. You really, really don't have to read this. Cause I'm just wondering about me and humans in general. Nothing inspiring. Nothing intellectually burning. I can see one or two people switching off and going to something worthwhile right now...and one or two others grimly setting their teeth and ploughing through my verbosity, simply cause it's me that's writing it.
Another nonsensical thing. You're ploughing through the very stuff that makes me me. Come out of your head and enjoy mine a minute. :P

Well. That was what one could call the prelude. I'm sorry if I'm kinda distracted...I'm trying not to remember that I have a phone and contact lenses to hunt down in "The Tip", a phone call to make which will deposit me on the statistics of the nation's unemployed, a uniform to iron, a room to hastily straighten (wonder of wonders...!) and that I have to be out at 5:10...in uniform...for a great evening...with my great friends...in my great gang of 196. :P
And also, I'm listening to One Life to Love ~ 33 Miles and Strong Enough to Save ~ Tenth Avenue North (how I love that band!) intermittently while typing. I should really type which one I'm listening to every time it changes....that would look funny.
"Now I'm thinking, (Strong Enough to Save)..." Three minutes later, "well, I wish to draw to a (One Life to Love)." Ah well, I really shall stop my unintellectual babbling this time!

Most people go through life and present a calm and stoical front. Sure, they have interests that, if you hit on, they flare up in excitement. Pulling that cord in people always has the most interesting results...and usually develops quite a friendship, if it's something you can actually respond to in a hearty, animated, or at least, interested manner.

I do it too. *solemn faced nod* In fact, the wild, bubbly, merry Jane you all know on screen just isn't me in real life. Well...Andrew Beals could probably argue that point, so I'll say - rarely, unless you put me in the right company. The solemn, withdrawn, staid, "boring nonentity" who can actually hold an intellectual (to a small level) conversation in real life would probably shock you.


Yet underneath, there is a wildness. Is it the Celtic blood in me, I wonder? That makes the flash of temper, the sparkling eye, the toss of the red hair; that's for certain. Most Celts are known for their fiery tempers, and I'm no exception. But I'm wondering...what is responsible for the deep yearnings and strange flashs? The part of me that loves the deep crimson red of a flower or a dress? (Though I can't wear red. Makes me look like something dragged out of a mud puddle.) That adores the elusive delicacy of a rainbow; that is attracted by the multiple facets and uses and beauty of words, of language, of letters, of phrases.

What is the wild spark that at times flares up to an intense ache within me that I cannot run out of a home in the hills and run, and run, and run, and fling myself on the ground and stare up at the clear, sparkling night sky with clean air? What is it that makes me want to jump in a time capsule and shoot back roughly 200 years and sail into a Victorian ball, in a dress floating like a cloud, and spend all day waltzing with a gentleman - or several? What is it about the magic of dance, the glory of nature, the clearness of a stream tumbling over huge rocks? Why do I want something more than to be in a little room, with my friends in a little box, in a little town, aiming for a career that is the only thing that will open a broad horizon, and even that, within a certain area?

What is the fiery burning, the passionate ache, the longing desire that could set me running and never stop until I had to?

Why does the event I described a while back - riding with my head out the window - why do things like that, like the crashing roar of violent waves and the forceful gale of the wind set off that wildness?


And yes...I don't think I'm the only one with that flame. Why do we all curb it to fall in with society and the ordered regime?

*sighs* I know the flame must be curbed because we all have to live a life that is acceptable. Even though we only have the one. I wonder...I wonder...I wonder...is wondering the start of the fire? I wonder how many people actually are aware they even have that wildness, or whether it's sat on so that they're only aware of some disturbed little uneasiness when they ignore it.

Maybe one day...there will be a time when we can all follow the flame, rather than quench it to follow the norm.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Desires of My Heart

I am confused. I have three deep desires, longings, dreams, whatever, within my heart. And they appear to be completely incompatible.


The first is the remnant from what I used to be before my last backslide. I had and have still a passionate desire to serve God and my country. I love my country with all the patriotic fire I possess and I would willingly die to serve her.

As an Air Cadet Corporal, growing and developing within the Air Training Corps organisation, my passion, interest in the Royal Air Force and the strong stand God enabled me to make at my Squadron for His glory seemed to point to one thing.

I was and am aware it will be an extremely hard life, that my desire to serve Christ and my passion for my country may sometimes seem at odds; my antipathy to men, attitude towards marriage, and the result of my first serious backslide left me convinced that singleness was for me – as well as the fact that it is a higher calling than marriage and I wanted – and want – to reach the heights of living in Christ. I also wanted a challenging lifestyle; not a kind of life where my fire would be dampened by submission to a man rather than flaring into the path God had created for it. In the natural (still struggling with all that has gone on, but I think the flame will come back when I am at peace and ready to carry on again), I love challenging myself – physically and mentally.

I wanted to show the Christian prim-and-proper world that there was a life to live and a love and passion outside of the path Christian women have beaten for years. I wanted to be different – to make a change – to inspire others – to reach my limits and still reach further – to set a standard – to lead – to go where most women in my circle fear to go.

I thought – and I still think – that the RAF can give me this. I can give it myself, my passion, my fire, my love, my service and let it take the place of family, husband and children to me, throw my all into it and gain invaluable things back.

The ATC conquered my shyness. The RAF will do far more.


On holiday in Devon, two years ago, we went into a little church while touring. Cold, cool and empty, beautifully decorated inside and out. Of course, it is not a church that would preach sound doctrine, but as we all know, that still does not prevent the presence of God where His followers are.

Towards the rear of the church was a section devoted to the memorials of the War dead. Poppy wreaths lay on the floor; name plaques were in the wall, candles to one side. Also engraved on a plaque was the saying repeated every Remembrance Sunday: “They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”

My parents had just left the church, my brother was leaving. I was, at that time, in the middle of one of my most severe battles at the Squadron over indecency.

There was a presence there...a sudden resolution formed in my heart, I knelt down and half whispered, half prayed, “Lord, if it be Thy will, help me to repay the debt we owe to them. Help me to serve You.” (I can’t remember exactly what I prayed, as it was two years ago.) And I resolved that I would enter the Royal Air Force.

Beautiful, what? A fire and passion and devotion that has carried me through two years. Still burns in my heart now. So, you ask, why the hesitation?


I have two other desires. Both are new. And both conflict, rather severely.


Second of my longings is something I have refused to entertain, as it most harshly opposes the first calling.

I want to be single, yes. Why?

Firstly, the conviction was borne in on me; during my first backsliding, I fell in love with a guy many years my senior. God delivered me from that in an amazing way, the same as He delivered me from my last stupid mistake. After that, I decided that God had let me taste of love so that I knew its sweetness, but that His plan for me was singleness. (Love? I wonder. Did I taste agony and heartbreak as sharply as I have the last twelve months? Maybe. 14 year old hearts can love as intensely as 17 year old ones – to their own level.)

This seemed to be confirmed by preachers talking one after another for several weeks about the blessings and advantages of singleness. One preacher said that marriage was the highest calling for a woman – except for singleness. Singleness is higher. I decided to aim for that.

That wasn’t my only influencing factor. Considering the persons of several of my readers, I will simply state that I have lived around six or seven unhappy marriages. Some end up in divorce – the ones that do not, feel that they have to stay together – and believe me, that is the worst viewpoint ANYONE could have! They should split up. It’s better than hatred.

Also, I have a deep distrust of guys in general. Rarely does a guy get into my proper trust friendship level. If they do, one false step results in me lashing out to get them away from me.

Is singleness best? I have no idea. I will admit to a dose of cowardice in that I will not admit that I don’t want to risk leaving myself that vulnerable. I have seen two of the women closest to me who are very vulnerable and that vulnerability being despised, trampled on and used by uncaring boyfriends/husbands. I have seen them starving for love and not receiving it. I have seen their hearts and their love wither and die. And I am terrified of exposing myself to that too.

But as most other women, I do have an innate longing for a family. For children. For the protecting love of a good man. (If I believed in good men.)

To feel a soft, helpless, vulnerable, fuzzy little bundle in my arms...to know that it is part of me and the one I respect and love...to feel awed that God has trusted me with such a precious gift...to feel the fierce instinct of protective motherhood...to raise children to love and serve God...to be an example to my sons and the closest friend of my daughters...to feel humbled by the trust God has placed in me by giving me such gifts and a desire to strive to be the best I can be – for them...to joyfully serve a man I can respect...to be able to light the lovelight in his eyes and to know I am second in his heart and help him to keep his eyes on his First Love...

Okay, girlies, stop dreaming. :) I know you’re feeling the same emotions right now. :P

But seriously. That...those feelings...do lie very deeply in my heart. But the others lie between. My desperate fear and mistrust. The knowledge that I need to help support my family. And my first calling – where everyone admires me for going, encourages me to go, supports me...and it was a calling. So – I crush this. Smash it. Cover those dreams. And while right now I dream...in the next year, I will be called to finish the battle between those two. Do I know how it will end? No. Honestly. But I know where I NEED to go.


Thirdly...prayer.

This passion is actually compatible with both of the above, although probably more so with the first calling than the second.

I have a fascination with the power of prayer coupled with faith. I was going to do a separate blog post on this and I may yet, but I need to put this in here for now. :)

There are two extremes people take on this issue. The first are the name-it-and-claim-it. “God wants us to have a good life. All we have to do is pray ‘in the Name of Jesus!’ (magic formula) and He will give whatever we want to us.” The second are the majority of true Christians who have shied completely away from the heart of prayer in fear of being classed as one of the previous heretics. In fact, while some shy away, I think that some Christians have actually forgotten that there IS a fine line between the two. Oh, the way Satan pushes one extreme or the other on EVERY ASPECT of our Christian lives! The first blasphemes God. The second denies His power.

There is a fine line to draw between the two. I have by no means developed my beliefs on this subject, and I am willing and open to be held up to correction – Biblical correction. So feel free to leave a comment if you think I am wrong. You can pray in the name of Jesus and...demand needs in His Name...accepting that what He does in the end is for the best. I dare to use the word demand, yes. My meaning behind it: not a screaming and kicking fit to get the desired result, but simply reciting His promises and claiming His fulfilment.

When one is close to God, He directs prayer life, showing us more and more clearly what is in His will. Recently, I have been completely fascinated by the life of Rees Howells. And again, I strongly recommend the book about him, “Intercessor – Rees Howells” written by Norman Grubb, to all my readers.

This was a man who for three years prayed, asking God to let him give back himself completely to “repay” the immeasurable gift of Christ’s death and resurrection for us. (Death and resurrection...there’s another rant, only it would be too short for a blog post...;) ) After three years, the Holy Spirit gave him the choice of carrying on the way he was, being the average Christian, himself with God influencing him, or of letting himself go completely – letting the Holy Spirit enter him and indwell him, taking every piece of him away.

After a long and hard battle, Rees was given the grace to let go of himself and God’s Holy Spirit came in and indwelt him, and he became an intercessor. The histories of what God did through him are fascinating. He was very influential in the Welsh Revival. During the Second World War, his prayers and those of his team turned the tide of the war, by diverting the bombing raids and calming the sea for the Dunkirk evacuations – to name two examples. Not his prayers, as such, but I think you know what I mean.

What he had to give up of himself is also amazing. He used to lock himself up for days...when interceding for Britain...no food, no nothing. The things he had to do because the Holy Spirit told him to for specific reasons...dress and behave like a tramp. Not wear a hat when he went to visit an upper class house (everyone wore hats then). When he interceded for the consumptive woman and God gave him the chance to die in her stead...and he was totally dependant on God for everything. Literally, everything. He wasn't allowed to claim any ownership on anything - money, time, self. All had to be spent as God dictated.

To be lost in the presence of God like that...I envy him. I don't imagine God will use me to turn the tides of a war or move a country, but I...I want what happened to Rees Howells to happen to me. I want God to use me, I want to see His power, I want to trust Him, and I want God to dwell in me like that. I know I don't know quite what I'm asking for, and as yet, I'm afraid to consistently plead for it, because I am afraid of what I may have to give up and do. Yet I know in my heart that it will all be worthwhile, if only I can be made willing. I want to be willing. God, give me the grace to be willing!

How will this fit in? I do not know. These are the calling, the dream, and the desire of my heart.


God do with them and me as He will.

~ Jane ~

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Beyond the Camp, Broken Bondage, Bound Beyond Power...

WARNING: EXTREME ADULT CONTENT AHEAD. IF YOU ARE YOUNGER THAN 16, IT IS ADVISED THAT YOU DO NOT READ FURTHER.





This shot into my head earlier. I don't really know why, but after a nightmare last night, followed by a hint from the co-authored book Raraavis/Shayna and I are doing with the problems I am working on with several friends right now, I think that's probably the reason.

Those titles in the headline must have caught your attention. I confess, they were rather a strain to think of. Because the original title in my mind was "Stripper". Shocking, ja? Yeah, instant recoil off all of you. I can see it right now. Don't judge yet.

My story idea is as follows. A young and pretty Jewish girl gets arrested and carted off to the camps. During the selection process, she is taken by the officers to serve as a whore for them. She fights to survive physically, although dead within. After the war, she is treated as an outcast by all of her people, and, refused a job, resorts to the only lifestyle and job she has known. She becomes a stripper. Eventually, she finds her Messiah.

Rough outline, yes, I know. Many would probably think I shouldn't be writing this kind of book. Well, I've had the emotions, lost the innocence and been there in a tiny way. It shouldn't be too hard to go the extra yards.

Why do I want to write this book? I don't know. Partly because of what it involves. Maybe somehow I can reach those out there who have been involved in something like this...

God bless!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Response

I typed out so long a comment to my sister Samills's post, "My Kind of Modesty", that I decided to put it into a blog. :)

*faint smile*
1 - I understand this type of view too well.
2 - ....how stereotypical of the modern Christian's viewpoint that old ways won't change the world.
3 - How in the world is the world supposed to tell that you're any different if you look, talk and act their fashion? Isn't that called...compromise? Or worse...being a chameleon Christian?

W: "So what's your name?"
MC: "Ellie."
W: "You're pretty cute. You free on Sunday?"
MC: "Na, actually I go to church. Free afterwards though."
W: "Oh right, you a Christian or something?"
MC: "Yeah."
*slight pause*
MC: "Say, you know the latest song out? I think it really hits the mark."

Umm. Okay. Before I'm judged (for being judgmental, pardon me). That might not be exactly the kind of conversation, but I'm willing to bet it's something like that.

A young Christian girl (using Carissa for a model :P) in a shop, with buttoned up loose blouse and long skirt.
Her unusual fashion causes many people look after her...guys with a vague sense of something clean having gone by, girls with an inner, unrecognised longing for the difference. A jealousy, almost.
A helping hand as she goes out of her way to pick up something a careless shopper knocked over. The friendly smile lifts the tired shop assistant's spirit.
As she goes out, a man gets up to hold the door for her.

Okay, I'm not saying that the modern Christian isn't friendly, sweet, polite and helpful. Just, as Samii pointed out so helpfully in her post, clothes do matter. And clothes do make a point about what you are. If you dress like a whore, expect to be treated like one by the wider public. If you dress like a lady (yes, I'm using the old-fashioned word), then expect to be ignored by the wider public obviously, and respected by them, albeit unwillingly, in private.

4 - Samills...you never found me boring. >.<

Hmm.
Oh, and.
Lying to myself about why I wear something? No. I'm being perfectly honest, and it is NOT easy to choose to wear a high, loose blouse and a long loose skirt when I know I've got a nice figure and it would be flattering to my vanity to wear something that shows it in every extreme.
If you'll excuse me, it takes far more guts and courage to make the difficult stand than to hide in the crowd.
So what if there's a stereotype? Maybe we can be the ones to break it. Certainly we won't be breaking it by joining the crowd!
And maybe it's better to look like it - AND act it.

AND. It IS possible to dress modestly and with style. *points at Mom and self* (Although we aren't ALWAYS on the better end of the extreme scale. :P ) :)

And isn't it judgmental to judge old-fashioned Christianity with a stereotype of all of us being boring? :P

Anyways...I think that's all I can think of for now. And this will probably spark a fiery enough debate. I just hope debate is all.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thankful in the Small Things

Ignoring combats*, which I hate because 1- they aren’t smart and 2 – they are army clothes, there is one piece of my uniform which I hate. Not with a passion, as I do camos*, but I really don’t like my RAF jumper. It’s one of the biggest ones on the Squadron, about four sizes too big, with a neck that gapes around my collarbone, sleeves that need to be doubled up, and a hem that also has to be tucked under as it reaches to my knees. It’s a good, thick blue grey wool, with a pocket on the sleeve for a pen as well as having the blue-grey shoulder patches with epaulettes for brassard and rank slides/flight tapes. In the icy blasts of winter, it provides a wonderful warmth.

But for all of its serviceable self, most 196 girls – definitely myself, any rate, and my mother – hate our jumpers. Why? Because they literally hang like feed sacks. They don’t give a hint of a shape or a figure, and when you’re used to walking round in a smart blue shirt with sleeves rolled up, a belt around your waist (well, for female NCOs anyway) and a shorter, smart feminine skirt – basically, looking smartly feminine, wearing a thick, fattening feed sack jumper is not the most...comfortable feeling in the world.

With the modesty plumbline starting to hang in front of my nose, I’m beginning to think twice about that jumper. All right, I don’t like looking like a roll of kitchen towel dressed in a uniform. But still, it hides me. So instead of feeling insecure and disliking it, maybe I should start giving thanks for my jumper every time I pull that scratchy woollen feed sack over my head! ;)


~ Janie


* Army clothes are generally known among us as cabbage kit, greens, camo, combats or DPMs. (Displaced Pattern Material). So now you know what I’m talking about if I mention any of those. ;)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Bouquet of Flowers

I know this isn’t a usual way to regard sisters. :P The average are considered to be pains in the neck. But as usual for me, washing my hair this morning provoked an idea, inspired as it was by my story that I started once – ‘A Bouquet of Flowers’ – and my thoughts dwelling on my sweet sister Kiehl.

I have had many sisters over the years I’ve been on OYAN as well as one in real life. I haven’t compared them all to flowers, and my apologies to those I haven’t mentioned. Seriously, this is not detrimental to you in any fashion, and I love you dearly ~ Steph, Samii, Janae, Lindi and Lydsie. I need to learn my flowers a little more before I compare you. ;)


However, the ones who I have got to know very well recently – personalities and otherwise – this is my tribute to one of the sweetest gifts God has ever given me – my own bouquet of flowers.


Kiehl is a violet. Sweet, shy and retiring, giving admiration and tribute to others but not seeing her own beauty and worth in the eyes of God and others.

Carissa is a lily. Upholding purity strongly in a dark world, she points ever upwards to her Maker.

Alexis is a sensitive plant. A rough word or cold look on this delicate plant will cause it to wither away. This plant needs transplanting to a glorious Sonshine on a strong Rock. Still praying for you, sweetheart.

Aimee is a daisy. Sometimes trampled on, with not many people stopping to admire the transparent beauty, she tenaciously clings on, striving to reach upwards to glorify her Saviour.

Jess is a rose. Wild, strong and free, yet shedding sweetness, support and God’s love to those she comes in contact with.

Laurale is an apple blossom. Pink and delicate, she is firmly attached to the Tree of Life, giving glory to God and yielding perfume from Him to refresh the world around her.

Rachie G is my poppy. My writing sister, as I have so often called her. In her stories fixed to one purpose, she longs to glorify God through her pen. She brings back everything to reflect in the glory of God.

Shannon is my glowing rosebud. How I wish that I could transplant this flower from the refuse heap to the Rock before that sweetness of scent and freshness of innocence withers away under repeated batterings of this world!


With all my love to some of the dearest friends God has given me.

~Janie

Being Readable

I told Jay I was going to blog up on this. *crossly* In the past week, three people have said that I am readable. An open book. Predictable. Or blatantly obvious through my behaviour patterns of what I say or think.

Eeep. Have you any idea how sad that is? It basically means that a person is boring. I have flattered myself – wrongly – that I can actually hide some of what I say or think. That part of the real me, the me that makes me me, isn’t obvious to the open world.

Of course, as with most things, there must be some plus sides as well as down ones. This could be one of the reasons that people learn to trust me fairly quickly. They know who I am, what I am and that there’s no darker side to me that could turn on them sooner or later – unless they turn on me. (I won’t deny that I can be very nasty if I have been betrayed in any way – even childishly so.)

But it is incredibly annoying and disturbing to find that people can predict me easily. And that I am open. And what’s even worse is, I have no idea that I am so, in what way, and therefore have no idea how to change.

It is horrid to discover that that could be the reason why people use me to lean on for a while/have me as a friend for a while and then drop the friendship. It means they are growing more mature, and I am not. That once they have learned how to read and predict me, I soon become boring and they move on to a new person with depth of character.

I feel like a little girl for even bothering to blog this. *groan* I’ve got to change me somehow! How in the world can I stop wearing my heart on my sleeve, being such an...immature person/little girl, and build up walls to stop myself becoming hurt again?! I seriously don’t know how to go about it. :(

I know fixing my eyes on Jesus will take my eyes off myself, but is that going to change my personality to stop being such an emotional, otherwise boring nonentity?!

~ Janie

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Battle with Modesty

WARNING: I'm not sure about the appropriateness of this for guys...so if you think it's bad, stop reading. Okay?

I read Jay Lauser’s excellent post on A New Kind of Modesty (which you really, really, really should read, though I won’t post it up seven times like my big sister C’rissie :P) yesterday, and thought I would like to blog my struggle and weakness in that area for...encouragement? General opinion? Not quite sure, although it certainly wasn’t out of self consideration. :P

Then I read C’rissie’s post connected with Jay’s, A Rant on Modesty ;), which you can read here.

And decided that I felt too embarrassed after reading that, because they were both so good and covered the ground enough, so I wouldn’t. Well, this morning, I changed my mind. (Although after rereading it again just, with all the comments, I feel quite small about posting this...*hits send before I rethink*)


It’s not too often that I gain a victory over my worldliness to be happy in the clothes I’m wearing. This morning, I had one of those sadly rare times when I could walk along the street triumphantly, smiling innocently at the girls who stare wide eyed at me, passing the boys gawking with a firm and friendly face, ignoring the girls who walk past tittering and the guys who stay just out of earshot in a group behind me, whispering and laughing, and yes, even find it in myself to laugh at their narrow minds and pity them for it. I’m not even wearing the more extreme style in clothes; just my old blue cardy-jacket, zipped up all the way, and a nice, mid length (between ankle and knee) very loose and swirly blue grey skirt WITH POCKETS. (If you know me quite well, you will know that I LOVE pockets in my clothes, and that the attachment developed with the frustration of being constantly in a uniform with no pocket in the skirt, two in the working shirt that you’re not really supposed to use, and absolutely ZERO in the best blue blouse – to the boys’ two in trousers and two in working AND best blue.) My hair is plaited back (yes, plaited. Horrors.) from my forehead and then plaited into a bun. And although I’m not extremist, I have been the only girl of my age (give or take ten/twenty years) that I have ever seen dressing to my level in my home town. Actually, when walking around other cities, there is only the rare one or two, and they are Mennonites.

Do you know what was nice about it? I was walking along with a jaunty step, listening to my tape of Relient K and Tenth Avenue North (oh, and my best friend Kyle’s rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon D. Mustn’t forget that. :P ;) ) and feeling – safe. Yes, safe. Everyone’s eyes were actually directed where I want them to be. At my face. Not going up and down me. And I’m sure the joy I felt in my security and in actually standing out FOR CHRIST showed in my face. I wish it would all the time. I was thinking about what Jay and Carissa had both written, and praying that somehow God would use me to bless someone, to encourage someone to take a stand. I have no idea if that was answered or not; but that’s His business, not mine. The way the guys behaved was interesting, too. Not the younger ones; they ignored, gaped or whispered. But the older ones stood aside, spoke to me politely...I even had one lady in a shop call her son to serve “the lady”. *laughs*

And so today’s lesson for me? Walk like you own the world, for you own something far greater. Not just modesty, and not just purity. But the gift of God’s salvation and blessing, and if you’re living in the former two, how much more likely it is that the latter will be blazed out to the world.


Umm hmm. Happy story, and the way it’s meant to be. A victory in Christ. But I don’t live it every day.

My parents didn’t bring me up this way. Although I used to wear dresses and that when I was younger (oh yes, I had my lovely supply of smocks and dainty frocks for Sundays ;)) I also had my large supply of two or three culottes and a drawer full of shorts. Short shorts, and all. My Mom wore jeans, day in and day out. Apart from Sundays. Then at some point when I was about eight or nine, perhaps a little younger or older, Mom changed her heart and style and she wore skirts every day. Never did she insist that I wear them, but when I reached nine or ten and started to outgrow my shorts, the length of leg exposed began to embarrass me. I never had a prejudice against skirts in the slightest; I always loved the feminine look and the individuality they expressed, but they were not practical for my favourite activities – rolling round the mud with my twin brother, playing snail races up the wall, hiding in bushes, crawling round the floor playing with a toy train set. :P (Actually, the last time I did that, I was 13.) However, I began to change my activities (not to my brother’s happiness, I confess) and got into skirts day in and day out. It’s never been a change I regret, as I am not a fashion girl and dress in my own style. Even during my two backslides, skirts have never been a problem for me...the shortest skirt I own is my uniform skirt, which actually transgresses the standard for uniform in that it is a little below my kneecap instead of just on it.

Length of skirt has never been a problem. Looseness of skirt – has. I don’t wear things that cling to every inch – not just counting the modesty standard, it’s blooming uncomfortable to walk around in something that feels like a second skin! Unfortunately, I have been cursed or blessed (depending on a – way of looking at it and b – my use or misuse of that advantage) with what the world terms a good figure. And I have deliberately worn things that use it to my advantage. Modesty protests were quelled with the fact that it’s a skirt and it’s not as bad as what the rest of the girls wear. And it wasn’t all that tight, either. However, by God’s standards...? Yeah, I have to flinch and duck. Some items in my wardrobe still need weeding out, I confess.

By the way. Have you ever noticed how freeing it is to wear a loose skirt? All right, it doesn’t make you feel powerful and on top of the world. I find I feel safer in Christ hiding in a shroud (and yeah, dying to self) and standing out than I do by blending in with the world. :P

At college the other week I was wearing a lovely, long, flowing black skirt and a t-shirt that I confess...isn’t modest by the highest standards. Yes, I was wearing a modesty panel. Yes, it covered every inch of skin that shouldn’t be seen. (I am not debating necklines – not in the mood and I think it’s a person’s own decision, up to a point.) The material was stretchy elastic. I think now and then that I really should dispose of it, but it was a gift off my sister and is unfortunately quite a pretty top – black with a pattern of silver roses and leaves delicately draped over the front. Guys don’t seem to notice as much when I’m in worldly clothes – I know that that sounds like a contradiction, but if I am in a dark mood and simply want to blend in, I will wear that or something like that. Not only does it make me feel more...powerful? And more attractive, but since the guys don’t seem to bother me when I wear stuff like that, there’s hardly any encouragement not to. I’m blending in clothes-wise, and it’s way more comfortable.

Tops have always been a problem for me. Unless I did wear a feed sack, there is no way I could hide I’m a girl. I don’t wear blouses every day. It is not practical in the slightest, as all of mine are fancy and I would wreck them. T-shirts are favourites...but the problem with t-shirts is that...most of them...aren’t...the best kind of clothing in the world. :P Modesty panels (and boy, I’m so thankful that my parents got me some! I can now wear tops I couldn’t wear before) help a great deal with sharp v-necks, but then there’s the question of watching material, patterns, etc. I don’t like looking like a freak with a v-neck that ends in a weird way, or with horizontal stripes – and believe me, I have three or four t-shirts that make me look like a freak. :P But the others I wear have a line between being attractive and overly so. However, being the problem that t-shirts are for me, I confess I don’t watch them closely enough. How closely I need to watch them, I have no idea, so I usually go by how I feel when I go outside the front door. If I get the definite urge to hide in a coat...well, it’s probably not decent enough. Whether I do go and grab another t-shirt, cardy, jumper or coat usually depends on my mood, and usually my mood is in a don’t care mode. No one else cares, so why should I? I don’t look or feel like a freak, I’m decent (ish), my parents don’t mind, and while I still have my own fashion, I’m not standing out so far from the crowd that everyone’s going to start gawking.
That’s partly why Jay’s post was so encouraging. It does matter to the very few if we stand to make a difference. And although I can’t promise that I’m going to always make a stand and try to be as radically different as I know I should be, I will definitely put a bit more effort into it. For Christ’s sake, and for His servants. God grant me the strength.

Oh, by the way. (I nearly used the slang btw then! Grrr. *glares at self*) Please don’t get the idea I’m condemning shorts or trousers. :P I use trousers at least once a week to clean out the chickens (even though they’re the sort of trousers that makes me look twice to make sure no one’s around before stepping out the front door :P) And I also use combats when doing a greens exercise or a cleanup with cadets, and occasionally uniform trousers (yech – they look horrid. Literally. Gem and I both hate them.) when going gliding or flying. Just – I prefer skirts. Although I try to be like a guy in some things, I do like hiding behind my girlishness in that way. :P

Hope this has been of some interest! Although it is not, I misdoubt me, the post that Jay was expecting when I said that his had sparked me off to want to do one. *laughing*

God bless!
~ Janie

Women I Admire

Women I admire. This has long been a subject I wanted to cover, but I haven’t done it ‘cause I’m scared of missing one. :P


There are women who I admire simply for their singing talent. Like Julie Andrews, Charlotte Church, Susan Boyle, Celtic Woman (music group), Barbra Streisand. And there are women I admire for their dedicated single purpose of mind and devotion to God and/or a cause, even to the sacrifice of the opinions and regard of family and friends, and that of their heart’s dearest wish.


My list so far comprises not only of dead women, but one fictional. I will blog more on her later.

Florence Nightingale: A high society girl, Florence did not use her influence in society to become an empty-headed doll looking for an advantageous marriage, but went totally against the accepted rules of her class after her heart turned towards God, forsaking the comforts of her well-to-do life, training herself and other women as nurses and serving British troops in the Crimea. She never married, although she guided, mentored and mothered many, and left a lasting legacy in society by having changed the whole face and procedure of nursing.

Clara Barton: Wow. Yes. I DID choose an American. Clara Barton could be the American counterpart of Florence Nightingale, minus the high class upbringing. Clara nursed the soldiers in the American Civil War. Her tribute was given her by the soldiers; all who she tended grew to love her. God supplied the absence of husband and children by blessing her for her faithfulness to His calling with the love of those she served.

Gladys Aylward: Gladys followed the world until she was in her late 20s/early 30s, when God saved her and placed a call on her heart to China. Gladys gave everything she had to get to China, even sacrificing her life and her dream of marriage and children in the end, knowing where God wanted her and what He wanted of her. God rewarded her faithfulness by blessing her richly, and giving her well over a hundred Chinese children to love and care for.

Deborah: Judge of Israel, a position of authority which technically a woman shouldn’t be in, God gave her the wisdom because she had the heart to seek after Him and live in His ways. Barak himself turned chicken, declaring that he wouldn’t go into battle unless Deborah went with him, believing the presence of God rested upon Deborah rather that the power of God was with him as He had promised. In return for his cowardice, God through Deborah told him that the victory would be given to a woman - Jael. Little is mentioned of these women’s husbands. It is generally understood that Heber, Jael’s husband, was a collaborator, and as for Lapidoth, there is only one or two mentions of him in Scripture. Was Deborah being unwomanly? No. Did she have an issue with the fact that God’s calling was on her and not on her husband? I don’t know, but I should imagine she struggled.

Lydia: Another independent woman who sought to serve God and His disciples and apostle. Again, there is only one mention of her family; she made her own living selling purple fabrics, which was an extremely well paying cloth in those days. She gave her little to God after the blessing of salvation He had given her, and He blessed her for it.

Yentl: In a time where education, books, Talmud and study are forbidden to women, a single Jewish girl, only child of one of the village rabbis, turns down every offer of marriage as she is useless at household matters and only thirsts to learn. In the end, forced by her father’s death to run away, she dresses up as a boy and goes to a yeshiva to study. A series of events force her to flee again; in the end she must choose between love and marriage or her yearning to study and learn more and more. She chooses to follow her heart and journeys on to a place where she can study in freedom.


These are my favourite women. If I find another, I shall add her to the list. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Woman's Answer to a Man's Question

I first read this poem in Joshua Harris's brilliant book, "I Kissed Dating Goodbye". Having fallen in love with it then, I simply want to share it with you now.


A WOMAN'S ANSWER TO A MAN'S QUESTION.

[Written in reply to a man's poetic unfolding of what he conceived to be a woman's duty.]

Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing
Ever made by the hand above—
A woman's heart, and a woman's life
And a woman's wonderful love?

Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing
As a child might ask for a toy,
Demanding what others have died to win,
With the reckless dash of a boy?

You have written my lesson of duty out,
Man-like you have questioned me;
Now stand at the bar of my woman's soul
Until I shall question thee.

You require your mutton shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirt be whole;
I require your heart to be true as God's stars,
And as pure as heaven your soul.

You require a cook for your mutton and beef;
I require a far better thing.
A seamstress you're wanting for socks and shirts;
I look for a man and a king.

A king for the beautiful realm called home,
And a man that the maker, God,
Shall look upon as he did the first
And say, "It is very good."

I am fair and young, but the rose will fade
From my soft, young cheek one day,
Will you love me then 'mid the falling leaves,
As you did 'mid the bloom of May?

Is your heart an ocean so strong and deep,
I may launch my all on its tide?
A loving woman finds heaven or hell
On the day she is made a bride.

I require all things that are grand and true,
All things that a man should be;
If you give all this, I would stake my life
To be all you demand of me.

If you cannot do this — a laundress and cook
You can hire, with little to pay,
But a woman's heart and a woman's life
Are not to be won that way.


~ Mary T. Lanthrap

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fellowship

What exactly IS fellowship?


Last night I stood in church next to my dad, who was sadly saying that my sister was lacking fellowship. I turned away and walked over to the window, to think that I would like to blog that comment.


My sister is not deliberately not coming to church; she holds down two jobs to her husband's irregular one, is heavily pregnant, and has to deal with his verbal abuse when drunk, too. She still reads the Scriptures and listens to sermons, and there is still a marked change in her life.


My mother is also heavily depressed over the fact that she feels she has failed my twin brother at the minute. She is sick and tired of people and their condemning judgements and well-meant, bad-timed advice. She is not coming to church, but also still reads her Bible, seeks after God, prays...


My dad makes a marked effort to attend church on Sundays...to the point of condemning me if I do church parades with the Air Cadets or even if I don't go. The whole idea of going to church seems to be to go to church, to present oneself there to fulfill a duty, to spend ten-forty minutes afterwards holding conversations that can be anything from the price of eggs to pious reflections on the sermon...and that is called keeping the Lord's Day holy and having fellowship. Sometimes even with people you don't want to be in the same room with.


Please don't get me wrong. I'm not condemning church for the sake of condemning church. God commands that we spend time in worship of Him. And yet I think the attitude towards "having fellowship" needs to completely backtrack.


First, the attitude towards worshipping God needs to change. It's not a performance once a week on Sunday, or twice counting Wednesday, to pacify God, to perform a duty, to hoodwink God or to expect Him to give a nod and therefore turn a blind eye to all of our actions in the next week. It has to come from our heart, daily, as we come before Him in reading His Word and praying. Until we change the mindset that it's church, neighbourhood, world, family, personal back into personal, family, church, neighbourhood, world, we really won't be able to do a thing.


Secondly, our attitude towards the people we worship with needs to change. Sure, it's pretty hard if they're living two cities away and you aren't in the same neighbourhood. But! I was thinking about this the other day...there needs to be a chosen bonding with them. Going around telling everyone that we need this kind of sappy love one to another, being nice to their face and backbiting under the guise of "Christian concern" as soon as their backs are turned, isn't the right idea. Sorry, but that is generally what you see in churches today. I was in one for two years. And I'm sure most of you can sympathise.

We need to actually be full ourselves of the love of Christ, to be completely focused on Him and lost in Him and not even catching the slightest glimpse of ourselves in the mirror, to be able to perform the kind of action I'm talking about.

We need to focus on each one of those people, to try to see what God sees in them, and to love them for who they are in Christ. We need to choose to bond with them, choose to let our hearts go out to them, choose to develop that love for them.

This is something I have to choose myself. I get along with the dear elderly ladies at my church...Auntie Ruth, Auntie Elsa, Mrs Wilmot, Enid and Sheila (I hug them but I don't really know their other names, and I actually don't call them by any)...though getting along isn't really the term I want, I can't think of a better right now...I fit in with David and Christine, and their disabled daughter Sarah...as soon as I reached out to her after two years, which was a matter of putting self to death, Christine's chilliness to me vanished, which was a matter of thanksgiving. I tease Martyn Pearson - Mr. Pearson, and he teases me right back, sometimes even jokingly using me as an illustration from the pulpit, and his wife, Amanda is lovely. But there is one couple...never mind names...I get along with the husband, but his wife is wishy-washy and almost...fluffy. Although she is quite a nice person, something within me rebels at even attempting conversation. I know she doesn't mind talking to me, but there is absolutely nothing I can find in common to talk about...if I pass a comment on something, she'll smile and go, oh, yeah...and maybe the conversation will float onto some other line. If I come back with a flip-quip, she laughs and looks at me as though wondering where on earth I came from. I almost feel like I'm superior or on another planet, and I don't like that. I like to try and feel equal, to find something in common.

How am I to try and form a bond? I don't know. Maybe that's where prayer comes in. And effort, not just sitting back and praying.

Of course, there's also the people that come into our churches with dodgy doctrines. But that also isn't a cause to base personal dislike off, and is no excuse for our behaviour towards them.

So yeah. What IS fellowship? What does Christ say about this?

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Under the Call of God

Two encouraging pieces from two books I am working through at present...I believe they will bless both my followers and my teammates.


Evidence Not Seen ~ Darlene Deibler Rose


Darlene Deibler was a remarkable American missionary, who God granted the strength to "be a good soldier for Jesus Christ" throughout the hell of WWII, locked into a Japanese concentration camp in New Guinea. At this particular time, she was in the headquarters of the Japanese secret police on death row. Here is some of her story in her own words.


"...Though grateful to God for my deliverance, the terror of the night and the gravity of the watchman's situation were too critical to allow sleep. The burden of my intercession was on behalf of the watchman, that God would protect him and obliterate from the memory of those lecherous, malevolent reprobates all recollection of the events of that night. Thank God, Saartje and the others from death row had returned to Kampili, for their sakes as well as mine. Though he must have known I was aware of the ruckus and the part he played in my deliverance, the watchman never acknowledged my thank-you whispered from the transom as he passed beneath. Perhaps he trusted no one either. His was a courageous act that put him in a position of extreme peril.

The twenty-seventh Psalm was a great comfort to me that night. I had committed it to memory at Benten Tinggi. Every verse was apropos, but especially verses three and eight. 'Though an host should encampe against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this wil I be confident...When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.'

In the soft light of the early morning hours, I repeated these verses aloud. I had spent a restless night wondering if the drunks would reurn. I knew that without God, without that consciousness of His presence in every troubled hour I could never have made it.

'Lord, don't ever leave me or forsake me. Your wonderful presence has made this cell a place of beauty, a sacred place like a chapel lighted by Your presence.'
Quite suddenly and unexpectedly, I felt enveloped in a spiritual vacuum. 'Lord, where have You gone? What have I said or done to grieve You? Why have You withrawn Your presence from me? O Father -' In panic I jumped to my feet, my heart frantically searching for a hidden sin, for a careless thought, for any reason why my Lord should have withdrawn His presence from me. My prayers, my expressions of worship, seemed to go no higher than the ceiling; there seemed to be no sounding board. I prayed for forgiveness, for the Holy Spirit to search my heart. To none of my petitions was there any apparent response.

I sank to the floor and quietly and purposefully began to search the Scriptures hidden in my heart. 'Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee' (Psalm 119:11). God's Word had always been 'a lamp to my feet and a light to my path' (Psalm 119:105). I was aware that if I regarded iniquity in my heart, He would not hear me. I knew of no unconfessed sin in my heart. I believed I John 1:9, that 'if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' I knew my sins had been blotted out, not to be remembered against me (Isaiah 43:25). Did not I John 3:21 state that if our hearts do not condemn us, then we have confidence toward God? My heart did not condemn me, and my confidence was in the Person of my Lord, Who never lies, Who is faithful to His Word. I quoted Numbers 23:19: 'God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He not spoken, and shall He not make it good?'

'Lord, I believe all that the Bible says. I do walk by faith and not by sight. I do not need to feel You near, because Your Word says You will never leave me nor forsake me. Lord, I confirm my faith; I believe.' The words of Hebrews 11:1 welled up, unbeckoned, to fill my mind: 'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' The evidence of things not seen. Evidence not seen - that was what I put my trust in - not in feelings or moments of ecstasy, but in the unchanging Person of Jesus Christ. Suddenly I realised I was singing:


'When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.'


I was assured that my faith rested not on feelings, not on moments of ecstasy, but on the Person of my matchless, changeless Saviour, in Whom is no shadow caused by turning. In a measure I felt I understood what Job meant when he declared, 'Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him' (Job 13:15). Job knew that he could trust God, because Job knew the character of the One in Whom he had put his trust. It was faith stripped of feelings, faith without trappings. more than ever before, I knew that I could ever and always put my trust, my faith, in my glorious Lord. I encouraged myself in the Lord and His Word. *"


"*This was as valuable a spiritual lesson as the war taught me, and made even more meaningful by Dr. A. W. Tozer, with whom I shared the experience. I had been reluctant to relate this incident after having Psalm 66:18 thrown at me several times with this added jewel of wisdom: 'No, there must have been some hidden sin or you would have been conscious of His presence.'

'Girl, we have some spiritually ignorant people today,' Dr. Tozer commented. 'We are engage in a spiritual conflict. Do these people not realise it took the Lord twenty-one days to get the answer throught to Daniel because of the opposition of the Prince of Persia, Satan? God sent Michael to fight against and overcome the enemy. It is vital that we understand that Satan has accelerated his activities as prince of the power of the air because he knows his time is short.'"


Copyright (c) 1988 by Darlene Rose



Intercessor (Rees Howells) ~ Norman Grubb

"...When I went home , my friend who had accompanied me to the meeting, but had seen nothing in it, seemed so rough to me. Everyone who was not born again seemed rough. The Saviour became everything to me. He was not only the fairest among ten thousand, but fairest among millions! That love of His had always been there, but before I saw it, there was no response from me; but He had plenty of response after this. Everything of this world was rough, but everything about Him, so holy, pure and beautiful. I changed altogether. None of my old friends could understand what had happened. I had no fellowship with natural things. It wasn't a point of doctrine I saw; no, it was Calvary. It wasn't giving a mental assent; no, the veil was taken back, my eyes were opened, and I saw Him. That night I saw this world as a cursed place, and the thought came to me that I would never touch it again.

The love of the Saviour was revealed to me. You can't explain what a revelation is. I saw that the Saviour and Father, before I should suffer, would rather suffer for me. No natural love is in the same world as His love. It was not merely that the Saviour helped me outside Himself; no, He took my place. I saw every other love so rough in comparison. Self was the motive of it. But I could see that love enduring through the countless ages of eternity. When you receive the Saviour, you receive the love of God. That love flooded my being, and it has flooded my being ever since. I saw that by His coming in to me, He would love sinners through me, as He loved me. It would not be forcing myself to love others, any more than the Saviour forced Himself to love me. No person could be an eney to me, because I had been an enemy to Him before I was reconciled. If I live in the realm where He is, I live to have mercy, and to be kind, to love others. Could the love of God in me do harm to anyone? I had left the world and its folly, and had been born into that Kingdom where there is only the love of God - the most attractive life on the face of the earth."

~ Rees Howells

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Text Slang

I have no objection to text slang in moderation. However. It gets pathetic when almost the whole part of a conversation is carried on in txt slg. Half of the time spent with that person is in trying to figure out what they have just said.

I don't know about you, but if I'm talking to a person who I wish to put off talking to me, or who I do not wish to talk to, then I will use text slang in the thickest abundance. What does that say about the use of text slang? Should I be taking the same understanding of the usage in relation to everyone else?

Per example:
M is Me. P is Person.

P: Hlo
M: Hiii
P: Wuu2?
M: Nm, wbu?
P: Same.
M: How ya doin?
P: Fine ta, u?
M: Ok ta.
M: Had a gd day?
P: yh u?
M: Yup ta.
P: lol

That is a typical example. I'm giving myself less credit than due, though; I rarely use that amount of text slang in one given conversation. I just wished to demonstrate the abominableness* of "txt slg".

It seems to be that any vowels in a word can be chopped to shorten it, to make it easier to type. Words, prefixes and suffixes, ie; to, two, too, for, four, fore, ight, ate; can be replaced with such meaningful shortcuts as 2, 4, yt, and 8. Though can be typed as tho. Thought as thort. Contractions without even the necessary apostrophes are being used consistently. Can not becomes can't, and can't, cant. Or even at an extreme, cnt.

I find that young people today have no idea where to put an apostrophe, if they even use them at all! One begins to see a slight comparision between today's textspeak and the Newspeak used in George Orwell's 1984.

One has to wonder what is going on with our beautiful and beloved English Language. Although I stoop to using some of the contractions and abbreviations where vital, ie, on Twitter, where there is a word limit, and also, as before mentioned, when I have trouble talking to/wish to put someone off talking to me, I consider myself as obliged to uphold the English language in its vitality and beauty where necessary and possible. You don't need an English O Level or A Level to do this. Just make an effort to stop using those horrible chop-up phrases which are destroying our language!


* I give myself the right to invent words, as opposed to cheapening and diminishing them.