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! :)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Five Minutes to Midnight!

It's 10:54 am. Probably be later by the time I finish writing this. Thirty (yes, thirty - I was counting) thirty Peppa Pig episodes later, I carry my finally sleeping (yes, I know, Mr. S, OYANers. Adverbs.) Okay, I'll stop interrupting myself cause it's getting annoying.

Thirty Peppa Pig episodes later, I finally carry my sleeping nephew upstairs to his bed and tuck him in, praying desperately under my breath that he will not waken.

Today's not been a good day from start to finish...woke up late, accomplished little and what I did accomplish wasn't what I'd particularly aimed to do.
People I wanted or hoped to talk to, things either went wrong in the conversation or else, as with tonight because of babysitting, I didn't get online until a few moments before my friend went offline - so we were able to exchange goodbyes.
It's also one of those terrible days when I lose words. When I can't really pry deeply into someone's heart or attempt to reach out because words have simply - gone. Mentally, fingerly and otherly. :D

I made a promise to my siblings that with the family problems going on at present, I would be available at any conceivable point possible to babysit their children for them. However, I didn't anticipate New Year's Eve. It's not much, but I like to be on my own and/or pray for people at midnight. And to make New Year...not resolutions, but...prayers to do better, I guess.

My poor sister-in-law wasn't anticipating it either and didn't want to go out. I'm hoping she's having a better evening than she'd planned for.

As a result, I've been rather down all day...something else I didn't anticipate on New Year's Eve. Don't you just hate it when things never go to plan?

You know what?

I'm not going to be depressed. Not about restarting work in two days, not about an irritative skin disease, and not about turning 20 this coming year and those multiple grey hairs that mean - OH NO! - I could prove the fact right and be grey in my thirties (which is ten years away!!! HELP! :D)

Oh! There was something I've been wanting to post for a while about the eczema. :D I have...a rather bad scar on my leg from six months ago. Nothing's healed it up. But when the eczema reached it - oh, God is AMAZING! - it healed a lot of it back together so there's only a faint red line for most of it now! Isn't that great? And here I've been complaining!

Well, I admit, restarting work is not my life's joy...nor is the fact I'm still in danger of losing the job. But God gave me this job, and this year coming I'm really going to try and do my best for Him. Work means I can support my family, reach out to others for the Lord and also (God willing) go back to the USA. :D (And Ireland. I haven't forgotten. :P)

Twenty has to be a scary age. I remember when I turned ten, skipping through the Cumbria Wild Animal Park, teasing my twin brother (cause of the half hour difference) that I was in double figures and he was still in single. I had no idea of all the changes that would turn my life upside down since then.

My parents' marriage began breaking down three years later. I turned suicidal and then God brought me back to Himself in a way that has never left me since. Two years more and I properly joined the online community after registering with the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum and forum. That has been such a tremendous blessing - to my writing and to my life. I would never be where I am now if God had not brought me to them. God bless the Schwabauers! And all of the people who have so richly blessed me and touched my life. Thank you - for being willing to be used of God. For your eager hearts and love and service and constant pursuit of Him. And thank You, Father, for putting that longing within them. Bless and protect those who are no longer in my life and those that are.

I joined the Air Training Corps in that same year - another life changing move. I end my career with them in this coming year. When I joined, I never saw myself staying out the remaining five and a half years of service. And - God willing - I have.

Ten years ago. A happy little kid in a world of church (and church politics. Pastor's daughter is an interesting occupation), homeschool and family. Ten years later. Moved homes, broken family, broken person, work, traveller, dreaming big dreams, and...brought closer to God in a way I never could have been if I'd stayed where I was.

Yeah...looking at the bigger picture. And to look at the smaller one, George (my nephew) turned into a happy baby as soon as his Mom had left (thank God! I don't think I could've coped with the screaming!) and we spent a happy time laughing and cuddling until he dropped to sleep in my arms.

I'm alone on New Year's after all. As it's approaching 11:30 as I start to wind up, I can begin to pray for those I love and those that are alone (unhappily so) as they enter 2012. Those starved and hungry for love and kindness. Those who are abused and beaten. Those who are so terribly, terribly alone.

God is good. Even in the darkness, there are mercies on Heaven's track to be found. As Michael Card says, "The windy winter wilderness can blow the self away." And, "We search for the beginning, for an exodus to Home; we find that those who follow Him must often walk alone."
Don't flee the trials. Look for God's Hand in them.

Something else I want to mention as I wind up. Often I feel like I'm writing my blog all about me, and I don't want to do that.
But I'm not good at providing Spiritual expositories like Jay or C'rissie or Rebeka, nor at providing food for thought and intellectual stuff like Daniel or Kyle.
I know God's letting me go through stuff though, and things that like that I found bless others. That's what I want to share.
I might seem big headed and proud and arrogant and know-it-all and I know my family thinks me so (and so do I) but I honestly don't want to appear like that. I want my posts to show God shining through my life.
I post the odd one or two funny posts or "reposts", but the majority is shared stuff from my life.

So if you don't see that in my posts or my blog, and you see me glorifying me and not shining the glory to God, or you find God-honouring material lacking, please point it out. I'd rather close my blog down than be producing a gossip network or a self-promoting agency.

It's 11:40. Not quite "one minute to midnight", but not far to go. :)

Father, I place into Your Hands my past, present and future. You Who know what a fallen, sinful, self-centred human creature is capable of, reach into my life and change and transform me for You. I give You myself - break me, purify me, do with me as You will. I give You my life, my future, my family, my work, my home, my friends, my love, my passions, my dreams, my uncertainties, my worries, my electronical equipment, my sins. May my music, my writing, my every day activities, glorify You and You alone. Teach me where to go!
Touch the lives of those I love. My family. My friends. Bring healing and restoration, gentleness and passion, correction and Love. Show them Your Way incontestably. Let not Your Truth be seen as the opinion of men, as legalism and as nonsensical law, but let Your Truth be Your Truth and those Truths not shown in Scripture but applied individually to our lives as You lead us be shown and shone forth in magnificence.
I pray for the leaders of both church and state in the coming year, that You will reach down, touch and break hearts, mold and make governments and leaders as will most glorify Your Name and purify Your church - bringing Christian liberties back across the land, or bringing persecution - whichever, Father, will drive us into Your arms as Your people. Only give us grace to endure.
I pray You will banish hatred and evil from my life and give me grace to love.
I pray that You will bring Yourself very near into the lives of my family and friends this year. That You will touch and pour Yourself into them with the intense passion that only You can give.

Father God, this is just the beginning of my prayer. You said that anything we asked in Your Name would be granted to us for the sake of the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. As I pray that You will guide my prayers tonight, and the prayers of those praying in the New Year across this tiny wonder of a globe, the speck of dust that is so large and so beloved of You, as I pray that Your Holy Spirit would plead before You in words that are mightier than those poor ones that we form, oh Father, hear our prayers. Hear my prayer. Use me. Use them. For Your glory alone. Now and ever.

God bless you - yes, you, you individual special person reading this right now who feels that these words cannot possibly apply to you. God loves YOU. No matter what you've been, where you've been and what you've done. He forgives. Oh, I _know_ He forgives.
God bless YOU. Lean on Him. Turn to Him. Trust in Him.

In Christ,
Now and always,
Mademoiselle Siân Garner-Jones

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Will the Darkness Win?

Will the Darkness Win?

I’m lying here in bed where I’ve been most of today – my only day completely free this week. I’m ill. Stuffy nose, banging headache, short sharp pains all over my body. I don’t think it’s just mere exhaustion. I haven’t eaten a proper meal (admittedly I was snacking earlier today :) ) or had more than one drink today and I don’t really want to.

Some...recent family happenings and listening to my brother’s music playing downstairs means that every desire I have to get up is totally extinguished. There seems to be nothing around apart from the darkness.

Some people would say a lot of this is my fault. And a lot of what’s going on and my pain and trouble over it is to do with my legalistic views on things. That I should be more open and charitable and forgiving. But every word that I hear, I hear confusion apparent. Although apparently consciences are clear.

I don’t know. The night is dark. Literally and spiritually.

There’s something inside which is telling me to get up, get showered and dressed, put my light on, start tidying, emailing, sorting Facebook out.

And there’s a tear rolling down my cheek...both of them...for no comprehendible reason.

I’ve been asking God for a favour recently – that most of you would condemn me for. Most of you would tell me God hasn’t finished with me yet. My answer is, He can use someone else. I’m done.

I could backslide, and the choice is very easy to be made. But the consequences and subsequent separation from the presence and Spirit of God (even though I’m not that close right now anyway) is agony even before I start, although the mental relief at the beginning would be considerable. Done it too many times before and I know the long term results.

Even if I didn’t go for the conventional backsliding method, there’s the past addictions Satan’s throwing in my face that I know will numb the pain. But if the pain drives me closer to God, how can I flee from it?

But God is there. God is here. In the night. In the darkness. Even if I go down to Sheol, He won’t leave me. (Psalm 139).

Maybe I am having a pity party. Maybe a lot of it is in my head. I don’t know...I hate the confusion inside my mind.

But one thing I know – God loves me. He won’t leave me. And His intent is not for my light to go out in this darkness, even though doubt and fear and shame and tears are surrounding and closing in and choking it. He’s sending me the oil, the oxygen of His Word and prayer to keep going.

So yeah, Siân. Mademoiselle Siân Garner-Jones, the new girl with the new name. Get up and march on.

In Christ,
Jane

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Queen's Speech

Taken from a post by Google Plusser Hannah R.:

I submit that the heart and soul of the Christian faith is not forgiveness, but this coming from Her Majesty is nonetheless heartening.

"In this past year my family and I have been inspired by the courage and hope we have seen in so many ways in Britain, in the Commonwealth and around the world.

We've seen that it's in hardship that we often find strength from our families; it's in adversity that new friendships are sometimes formed; and it's in a crisis that communities break down barriers and bind together to help one another.

Families, friends and communities often find a source of courage rising up from within. Indeed, sadly, it seems that it is tragedy that often draws out the most and the best from the human spirit.

When Prince Philip and I visited Australia this year, we saw for ourselves the effects of natural disaster in some of the areas devastated by floods, where in January so many people lost their lives and their livelihoods.

We were moved by the way families and local communities held together to support each other.

Prince William travelled to New Zealand and Australia in the aftermath of earthquakes, cyclones and floods and saw how communities rose up to rescue the injured, comfort the bereaved and rebuild the cities and towns devastated by nature.

The Prince of Wales also saw first-hand the remarkable resilience of the human spirit after tragedy struck in a Welsh mining community, and how communities can work together to support their neighbours.

This past year has also seen some memorable and historic visits - to Ireland and from America.

The spirit of friendship so evident in both these nations can fill us all with hope. Relationships that years ago were once so strained have through sorrow and forgiveness blossomed into long-term friendship.

It is through this lens of history that we should view the conflicts of today, and so give us hope for tomorrow.

Of course, family does not necessarily mean blood relatives but often a description of a community, organisation or nation. The Commonwealth is a family of 53 nations, all with a common bond, shared beliefs, mutual values and goals.

It is this which makes the Commonwealth a family of people in the truest sense, at ease with each other, enjoying its shared history and ready and willing to support its members in the direst of circumstances.

They have always looked to the future, with a sense of camaraderie, warmth and mutual respect while still maintaining their individualism.

The importance of family has, of course, come home to Prince Philip and me personally this year with the marriages of two of our grandchildren, each in their own way a celebration of the God-given love that binds a family together.

For many, this Christmas will not be easy. With our armed forces deployed around the world, thousands of service families face Christmas without their loved ones at home.

The bereaved and the lonely will find it especially hard. And, as we all know, the world is going through difficult times. All this will affect our celebration of this great Christian festival.

Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas. Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: 'Fear not', they urged, 'we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

'For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.'

Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves - from our recklessness or our greed.

God sent into the world a unique person - neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.

Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God's love.

In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there's a prayer:

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin
And enter in.
Be born in us today.

It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

As a child, my parents raised me minus Father Christmas, believing that a) it detracted from Christ being the centre of the celebration and instead focusing it on a man who gives presents, and b) that it teaches a child to trust in a falsehood and then later, when knowing the truth, realises they've spent their entire early years believing a fairy tale.
A lie.
How much trust - and faith - does that inspire?

Our church therefore taught against Santa (Satan?) Claws - oops, Claus...and every year my twin brother, our friend Rebekah Morris and myself would sing as a trio a song, written off Buddy Davis's (from AiG) song, I Don't Believe in Evolution, by Rebekah's father, Adam, called, I Don't Believe in Father Christmas. Following this, my Mom would read out this to the assembled parents. Believe you me, my brother and I found the end part HIGHLY amusing.

So - I give you an engineer's perspective on our dear Father Christmas...or rather, Father of the other side of Christmas. Merry Christmas and God bless you, everyone!



Santa Claus: An Engineer's Perspective

I. There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau).
At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per house hold, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

II. Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second --- 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

III. The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the "flying" reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them--- Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

IV. 600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance --- this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake.

The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.

Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accellerating from a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500 g's. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Raising Godly Children: Duty of Fathers

Was debating posting the whole thing on here, but I think it's best people read the post for themselves.
Yes, it's aimed at fathers, but I think women can also take this into consideration - both in raising sons and in their closer relationships with their daughters.

Taken from "Raising Godly Children"; an excellent site which covers way more than raising children. :)

Raising Godly Children: Duty of Fathers: If you fail, father, to teach your son to fear God, the devil will teach him to hate God. If you fail to teach your son to guard his min...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Digging Dinner

I'm presumin' we're going to be eating these for Christmas dinner. :D

Mom and I have looked after these potatoes since Uncle Peter planted them for Mom. Mom's becoming quite a gardening person again now. :D

Mom's done the majority of the caring. I've watered them a couple of times, done the hoeing (to my knowledge) and for the past six weeks have been trying to find time (in daylight) to dig them up.
Reasons being, I work 9-5, Monday to Friday. It's dark when I leave home at 0730 and dark when I return at 1820. Saturdays I've been out with cadets or doing something else. And Sundays is church or something else.

Today, I got a half day's paid holiday from work. :D So from 3 (when I got home) til 4:30, I dug up two of the three rows of potatoes. :D

This is me swinging the hoe into the dirt. I swung it so hard a couple of times that sparks flew off the rocks...yeah, it surprised me, too! :D



The rocks and the potatoes looked so alike at times I got confused!



My method of testing which is potato and which is rock?



Look at de potties!! :D



The potatoes, the hoe, the rows, the dirt and me. :D



Hope you enjoyed! :D

Newly Posted - Incoming!

One of my favourite things to do is to post a new post. And then, to share it. On Facebook, on Twitter, and on various chats.
Then I sit and watch for a couple of minutes with my finger on the refresh button.

I love Feedjit. :D It's so fun to watch the visitors start coming!!

"New Bern, North Carolina"
"Woodbridge, Virginia"
"Belfast, Northern Ireland"
"Moscow, Russia"

Within minutes of posting. O.o My mother saw her grandfather once before his death. George Edward C was born in c. 1889.
What would he have thought, I often wonder, if he could see his great granddaughter "slamming up blog posts", "Facebooking and tweeting", "emailing", "using a laptop", "typing" on something that wasn't a typewriter, talking about "gigabytes"...and what could a "website" possibly be? FLYING in a "jumbo jet" to a country that took months to sail to...flying's just been invented in his lifetime and only rich people can afford it.

And here I was complaining about 11 hour flights...!

So, George Edward, Great Grandfather, this blog post is to you. Except...post to you, would be snail mail...which isn't made of snails at all...and a blog...?
May visitors from Moscow and China come in a moment to pay their respects...maybe you would've enjoyed that. :D

Love y'all!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Deeper Touch

There's many times that people ask me,
"Don't you wish you could live your life over?"
"Don't you wish your life was easier?"
"Wouldn't you have rather had a normal life?"

I think about it a lot.
In fact, as days pass and pain increases and it becomes so intensely hard to find new things to praise Him for, to trust Him and lean on Him and stop leaning on my own strength, to collapse into His arms and through faith alone trust Him to carry me through and not stoop to my own pain-coping methods...to not doubt and despair and turn back into the darkness...
I even sometimes start to say those things myself.

Some people even doubt that I have a capacity for feeling pain. Some people have asked me, even after seeing me working with tears streaming down my face, how it is that I am so happy all the time.
I know people think I'm a happy-go-lucky fly-me-by butterfly who dances through life on a whim. I know people can think me intensely childish, depending which side they see.
People who know me best have seen the darkness and the pain, and know that I don't just ride over it but that it goes deep. That sometimes I can't cope with it, but it doesn't mean I don't feel it. That sometimes I have to switch down to cope with the intense level of feeling it raises.

During one point in my backslide, I reached a height of pain to the point where I determined I wasn't going to let myself be hurt any more. For about two-three days, I succeeded in my emotions being completely dead. It was strange. It wasn't right. I was an automaton.

I can't remember much of those times, except for a dark haze of pain and confusion and facts along the way - along with strong emotion associated with those facts, here and there.

This year has been a year of pain, for my loved ones and for me. God has stretched me to an extent I never ever ever would have conceived possible.
I look back and again, I don't remember everything. But I see facts, and I remember strong points where God has reached down gloriously and carried me through by revealing a new aspect of Himself or one of His blessings.

Each day is like living in a raging tsunami. I don't even realise until the end of a struggle and look back and wonder how in the world I'm alive after the mound of depression swallowing me every few days. Literally, it's like going into a swell, coming out, taking a deep breath and going under the next one - and clinging all the time to what feels like a feeble piece of bark to keep me going. Except I know that the Hands of God are underneath me. As long as I choose to see His Hand in this, I won't go under, because He has got me.
Prayer, praising and Bible reading are essential to floating me through the increasing current of pain. I go under without them. Quite literally.

The choice to know the presence of God around me is also dire need. To not switch down and concentrate on something in the world that would at least take my mind off the pain or replace it for a few moments is very hard, but I know without that I won't be relying on God.
The pain drives me to Him. I need that. Even though I'm screaming, and I can't cope. He can.

Do I want a different life to this? Would it have driven me to the Lord and be changing me into His likeness? Would the Refiner's fire be as hot and burning and scorching and intense with heat and pain if I had another life? Would I choose a mediocre life of serving the Lord for one with less pain?
Answer in the long run - no.

Do I want a normal life? Would I be serving God to maximum potential? Would He be able to use everything that I am and have? Would these unusual trials, where very few people understand the deeper reasons and strong beliefs I am making some of my decisions on, even exist there?
Answer - no.

Am I a masochist? I used to wonder. Now I know. I'm not. I hate pain. I want a normal quiet life with a normal quiet family and be able to do what I'd love to do, singing and dancing and making things and going for long daily walks alone and sketching and music and writing, to have a normal quiet relationship with a normal quiet guy, to have a normal quiet marriage and a bunch of normal not-quiet kids.

It's normal.
So am I.
God calls us to be sojourners, strangers, in this land for Him.
He asks us to stand out.
To be conformed to His image.
To live different.
To act different.
To dress different.
To talk different.
To have different lifestyles.
Yes, to stand out.
Why? Because when we stand out in a positive, God-fearing, anti-worldly way that doesn't tear them down but only what they believe in, then we are glorifying God.

So God's asking me to step out.
To live a strange life.
To live a painful life.

I'm only in the birth pangs of what He's got for me. Right now, I'm so blinded by my surroundings and this intense pain I can't see more than a very hazy blur that He's preparing me for something I don't know about yet. One day I'll see it. Right now, I haven't got the faintest clue.
That's one of the hardest things, to endure pain and fear when you've no idea why you're going through it.
But God does. And that's where trust and faith in Love come in.
Unlike so many others, He won't leave.

So yep. I'm a pretty normal person. Just called to live an unnormal life.

Expect great things from God? Attempt great things for God.

Be willing to accept what His Hand metes out. Be it pain or happiness or terrible suffering or laughter or calmness or tears. You'll find peace in that. And joy, even in the worst.
Keep seeking His Hand. Keep searching for Him. Keep striving to find ways to praise Him. And I do not promise that it will be easy. It'll be anything but.

But He is there. He is God. He is mighty to save. There is none like Him. He has everything orchestrated to the finest detail.

Let your lamps shine!

God bless,
Mademoiselle Sian

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Darkness

Darkness filled the street even as she gazed, crawling on and over everything in its path. It struck her, eliminating her shadow, filling her with chilled air.

Goosebumps rose on her skin, and she gasped, feeling as though evil pervaded the night.

Why was it this night felt so different to any other? She raised her gaze to the castle window once more...and the light flickered, and died.

Had it died? Or had another, more evil hand dealt a blow to the King?

She scrambled to her feet and ran towards the castle. Fleet of foot, swift as an arrow shot from a bow, but not hasty enough to escape six coal horses that galloped after her, hidden by the wings of the night.

They surrounded her, visors unclosed, dark armour glistening by the light of a lantern that one held above his head.

“One step too far, young Critak,” a creaky voice said.

She looked up, eyes black and unreadable, standing out in her white face.

“Not a moment too soon, Ahkrid” she answered.

His horse sank on its knees with a strangled cry.

“Wha-” he began with an angry cry that turned into a scream as the horse rolled over on top of him.

At the same moment the other horses started to foam at the mouth and rear.

She smiled, a brief flash.

“Traqlin,” she waved the handkerchief in explanation at the chief leader as she skipped over the bodies of the now silent horses and their pinned owners.

He cursed her as she ran, once more, towards the castle.


Word race with Miriam. :) <3 Miriam beat me.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Quoting Flt Sgt Rowley

Here's a quote from my friend Scott Rowley's Facebook page, regarding my home town. How very true! *chuckle*:

"Loves the way Walsall can promote itself, lol.

Walsall

The filthy streets, the unwashed masses, the charming local accent that makes us sound as though we were born retarded and have been drinking turpentine every day since then… These are the best aspects of Walsall.

There’s a new art gallery, grey and shaped like a box. Clearly a great deal of thought went into making it look as appealing from the outside as it is enjoyable inside.

And a new bus station. Cost a small fortune to build, looks absolutely revolting, has slowed down traffic for miles around because the entrance is tiny and buses have to queue past the exit to get into the entrance — so a traffic jam can last theoretically until the end of time. Best of all, they didn’t realise until after it was built that it wasn’t big enough for all the buses.

The crowning glory of Walsall, though, is its people. They will happily kill you with an axe while you wait outside the local chippie for a deep-friend Mars bar. (This actually happened. An axe.)

Matt Harvey"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spiel of Random Thoughties

A smile can change the world. At the very least, a person's day.

When I dress to please Sian, guys watch and I smile and it's flirting all the way. When I dress to please the Lord Jesus Christ and Jane, then I smile and a guy is watching my face and smiles back - and it's completely innocent and pure. There's glory in that.

When I smile dressed for Sian, girls and women aren't happy smiling back. And they...act different. When I smile dressed for Jesus, they smile back and it's lifting their faces and a smile into their eyes.

I was watching with active interest the things around me earlier, and suddenly started laughing...
God is so amazing!
A year ago, I was so wrapped up in my pain I wasn't noticing anything, just breathing from day to day. All I can remember is darkness and facts...and the first time I noticed the glory of autumn leaves that year. When He started to pull me out of it and Jay and C'rissie were telling me to focus on other things and start to praise.
Wow. Lord God Almighty, Thou art incredible...

Never, ever ever say you're alone and friendless again, when you get home to find an expensive parcel from the USA containing two letters and a handwritten journal of over 100 pages written full of Scriptures and songs and notes and quotes, over time, just for me. I cried.
I love you, Anjelica Childs. God bless you! God bless you.

Macdonalds' hot apple pies taste good. Really good. Ignore what everyone else says. :D

Choosing to sing God's songs over the world's songs when you are conscious of people listening draws you infinitely closer into His presence.

Apparently my boss is a "stroppy homicidal mermaid" that kills to heal...as I have a black spot on the back of my hand. O.o She doesn't even WATCH Dr. Who. I showed Stephen who was sitting opposite me (he's even worse than my Yanks - he won't marry a girl unless she likes Dr. Who) and he was like, "Oh dear...first the Silence and now this!"

Also, I'm being constantly tracked by the Vashta Nerada. I was walking under multiple street lamps towards the bus stop earlier and noticed I have a light shadow and dark shadow. Therefore, if I vanish, be worried. :D

God is a God of total miracles. I'll write on today's praise and thankfulness post in a minute. :D

In EVERYTHING give thanks, literally means EVERYTHING. In the darkest shadow of the Valley of Death, there is STILL something to thank Him for. Lean on His Hand, ask Him to teach you and diligently search for it - and be willing to want to praise Him!

It's easier to depend on your physical appearance to be liked than for your personality. Personality takes work. Appearance just adds paint.
Which lasts?
Which is worth it?

Do hard things!

End of random childishness.

With love in Christ,
~Mademoiselle Siân

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

God at Work

Literally. These two quote are from yesterday. (Began 22-10-11 or 10-22-11)

I put my little orange Testament from Texas on my desk yesterday and walked away to get some water. Ryan, my coworker, said as I went by: "Is that a Bible on your desk?" Me: "Yes, it's a Testament. Are you a Christian?" *hopefully* Ryan: "No, I like to call myself an atheist. But it's good to see some people have faith."

--

I went to the water fountain and stepped aside to let coworker Becca go first. She responded by wriggling with helpless frustration and said, "Ohhhhh! I really don't like you!" Another coworker waiting laughed and said, "Well that's nice first thing in the morning!" Becca answered, "It's because she's so NICE! Always opening doors for people, etc." I walked away and grinned. Maybe, maybe, MAYBE, God is shining through!! :D

--

Kushan is a Hindu. He worked next to me for a day or so. I was having a good day on the surveys, and he asked if it was a Bible I had on my desk. (My little orange testament.) On my completing another survey, he reached over and took it off my desk and put it on his own, saying that I'd had enough luck, and now it was his turn! I was killing myself laughing.
We - as usual - ended up discussing our religions (or my faith and his religion), and he asked me about the Lord's supper. "I thought it was nice that Jesus gave food and wine to His disciples." I tried to explain, and then he asked about whether it was really bread and wine or flesh and blood. So I explained that it was symbolism, and that it was the difference between us and the Roman Catholics, that they believe in transubstantiation and we don't. (No, I didn't use that word. :P). He asked where it was in the Bible, and I marked it up in my little orange Testament.

He still hadn't read it by the end of the day, so I offered him to take it home. He refused, as he hadn't got anything to keep it dry (it was raining). He said to leave the paper where it was and he'd take it home the next day. "As we're Hindus, we worship many gods, so I'll put it on the shelf next to my god, and worship both together, so I'll be worshipping Jesus at the same time."
I did attempt to explain that it didn't work that way, but it didn't come out too good.

Anyway, he took it with him the next day. I haven't seen it since, and I don't know if he's read it or not. I'd like prayer for that, please...that he reads it and doesn't worship it or just worship it...but that God would open his eyes and plant hunger in his soul.

For two reasons, I'm going to buy him a Bible pretty soon. I'll try and write a note of explanation at the same time. See how that goes. Please pray!

--

Of course, Inti and I still have the occasional debate over Christianity vs. Islam. He's not biting as much as at first though. Please continue to pray for him. :)

--

Jack Davies, my colleague, and I end up sitting next to each other a lot. Jack's a good friend, quite posh and highly amusing as well as highly intelligent. Recently, we were discussing my decision to give up the RAF (for now) and it lead onto the woman's role in life. We ended up talking about the "women being subservient to men" idea, as opposed to the Biblical standard of women submitting, not being subservient. He gave me permission to raise a discussion on Facebook between him, me and Jay Lauser, so that should be interesting! I think he'll respond. :)

--

Today was preeeetty interesting. I walked downstairs at the 15:30 to 15:40 break, to find a discussion on religion going on between a bunch of new recruits. A couple of whom I'm already friendly with...
It was between a Muslim, another Christian (YAY! PRAISE THE LORD!) and...a white witch. Whoa, this could be really interesting! I didn't quite chime in as I had to go back upstairs, but I did go over and introduce myself to the older Christian lady. Praise the Lord!!

--

So, there we have it! One small, two-storeys-up room, hot and frigid by turns, stuffy, packed with atheists, Muslims, Catholics, Hindus, a white witch and two Christians.

I hate this job. I seriously loathe it. The stress and pressure is really high, and my body isn't taking the toll of that too well.
But I can't help believing, each time something else like this crops up, that God has me there for more than just teaching me to be content in a bad situation and to serve Him cheerfully and patiently there. I don't think I'll stop hating it, and I don't think I'm going to hesitate to jump out when He opens the door, but until He provides the way, I'll try and stay.

Please pray for my new little missionfield. :)


God bless!

~Jane
(Completed 16-11-11)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blogs or Vlogs?

Posted blogs or video blogs?

Both have something going for them.

For video blogs, you see a person. You hear their voice, watch their mannerisms, observe their surroundings, recognise emotion, faint at accents, recall memories.
It puts pressure on for instant thought, creative speech and expressive body language.

In short, it contains a lot more of the physical person in a small confined space of time and image.


Written blogs, however, can be long - as long as you like. They require extensive and interesting patterns of thought, creative writing and usage of words to carry the reader through to the end. Painting pictures with words and imagery is completely necessary to carry an idea or a thought that you wish to share.
You use eyes and ears and heart to read into what a person is saying through their words. You use fingers to type it out.
People feel much freer to express themselves when they aren't visually exposed.


In short, writing blogs is supported by the mastery of conversant literature.
Video blogs are for those who can communicate well with body language and voice. Written is for writers. Video is for talkers. Of course, either can do either. :P

Video is a challenge to those who are not very good talking out loud, for developing body language and verbal communication skills. And written is a place where one can more easily pour out one's heart through words, and learn to grapple with the beauty of words and their meanings, and the use of them to express oneself.

Either or, it's a personal preference. Listening to Addison Lucchi's vlog earlier, and knowing my own preference is to write, I figured I'd write a blog comparing the two. I'm almost tempted to dare Addison to vlog on it. ;)

Anyways. Closing down my written blog post, here is a video and much applause to Addison's first vlog post!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Buy Me a Poppy

They sold them every year. People in green and brown clothes and people in blue, smiling, with a box around their necks or in their arms, full of small red paper flowers. Other people came up and put some money in the buckets they had on their arms, and walked away with a little red flower that they'd put on.

'Course, not everyone did it. My family was something Daddy called "pacifist", and he hated the people in green and blue. Every time he saw one of them, he'd call us together and herd us past them as fast as he could. Still, that didn't stop my sister and I looking.

In the end, Marissa stopped looking. She said that Daddy was right, and it didn't really matter. After all, it was just a paper flower that people wore a few days and then forgot about. It didn't seem to matter that much to them, so why would it to us?

I didn't care about what everybody else did. It was the people in green and blue that I watched. And they were there, year after year. They never gave up. And then on Sundays after three weeks of selling poppies, they marched in a fancy poppy parade thing. At least, everyone there wore poppies. Daddy was drunk and asleep that morning one year, so I sneaked the TV on low and watched it.

My school told me about it. Almost everyone wore one at school. Well, the teachers did. The children mostly didn't, unless they were caught and made to by their parents. They didn't think the poppies were that important either.

I wished I could wear a poppy, but I knew Daddy would be very mad if I did. I'd asked for one once before and Daddy had shaken me and told me that it was one of the stupidest things in the world, people wearing poppies, and I was never to ask for one again. Poppies were to do with war, I knew that, and Daddy said that war was a silly thing and that if people stopped fighting, everything would be right in the world.

I knew that wasn't true. After all, there's always bad people in the world, and as long as bad people are there, good people need to fight to keep good things good.


This year, I met a pretty lady in a blue uniform. She was selling poppies, and she smiled at me. I gazed at her solemnly, then looked at the poppies, long and hard. Blood red. So pretty. I wished I could have one. Just to wear once. But Daddy didn't give us money, and I couldn't buy one.

We went into the shop, and Daddy bought this week's shopping. Marissa was acting all grown up as usual and asking for silly girl things she doesn't need. Daddy bought her some makeup. But he won't buy a poppy. I noticed he bought lots of alcohol. I kind of easily asked him what he was doing this weekend, and he said he was going to make a night of it. That usually means he's going to knock himself out drunk Saturday night, and he won't wake up til gone 1 on Sunday afternoon.

I'd always wanted to go to the poppy parade. We lived near the end of the street which the parade came down. Maybe this year, I would get to go. But I didn't have a poppy, and I didn't want to go without a poppy.

Marissa and I went down the other end of the store to get her makeup. Marissa was wearing a pink rose flower in her hair. Why could she wear roses and I couldn't have a poppy?
We passed the nice lady with the poppies again, and she smiled at me. I stared at the poppies, wishing one would land on the floor that she wouldn't want. No such luck.

After about 20 minutes, Marissa decided on her makeup and we headed back to Daddy. The lady had moved on. Daddy was ready to go, impatient, tapping his foot. We decided to go through the self service checkout. Daddy was in a kind of good mood today, and he said we could have lunch in the cafe, and Marissa and I were to go and pick out the menu - a cheap one.

We started down the back of the tills, and there she was again - the pretty lady with the poppies. I looked at her. She looked at me. Then she smiled, reached into her box, pulled out a poppy and held it out. Marissa hadn't noticed and carried on walking. I held my breath. Really? I moved close as we walked past and slowly, hesitant, held out my hand. Am I dreaming? I took the poppy from her as she smiled again, and carried on walking. I held my breath, gingerly cradling the poppy in both of my hands, peeking down at it.

I had my poppy. And come what may, I was going to that parade on Sunday.


This young man grew up to become one of the top pilots in the RAF, and later in life, the Marshal of the Royal Air Force.
Such is life, and the small things that define our existence.

***

I met a small boy today while selling poppies. He passed me three times, each time staring longingly at the poppies. On occasion, I give them to children, as more often than not, the parents will give money for the children's poppies.
I took one out of the box and handed it to him. I still remember his hesitation as he took it, the quick butterfly brush of his fingers against mine as he took it, and the way he walked off looking down at it. He must've been somewhere around 6-8.
This story came from that.

Eleventh Hour, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Month

11-11-11, whether British or American.

Armistice Day. Veteran's Day. Remembrance Day.

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, on the eleventh month, the Armistice was signed in 1918, "officially" bringing an end to the First World War. Since then, at 1100 hours on November 11th, two-three minutes of silence are held to remember the fallen who died that we might live today, and those currently serving and dying in foreign countries - whether we agree with the wars or not.

The past three Saturdays I've been involved in selling poppies to the general public. The Poppy Appeal is part of a nationwide group that makes and sells poppies to the public, calling them to remember - and never forget.

Across Britain, perfect strangers are united with one bond - a splash of red on their lapels or tops, calling them to remembrance. Tough biker jackets, upper class dainty scarves, a grubby child's little jacket; all share one common feature - the poppy.

There's some coats that don't have that red mark, though. Some people that don't care enough to choose to remember.

It's slightly amusing and sad to watch the reactions of some people on seeing us there with poppies. Heads down, they hurry past, or else deliberately turn away. Some will quickly flash a smile and then guiltily look away, and others stride past, heads forward, pretending not to see us there at all.

You know, if they hadn't given their todays, you wouldn't be here to have the freedom to run past at top speed and pretend that poppies don't exist because you don't agree with the war in Afghanistan - or because you simply don't care enough, since it doesn't affect your self-centred little bubble. Think on that, next time you see someone selling poppies (which, by the way, is a donation and we get anything from £0.02 to £20.00) and you pretend they aren't there. They died for you to have the freedom to forget them.
It's your choice not to.

Join us as, hand and heart, we unite today across Britain and the Commonwealth, on Remembrance Sunday, to commemorate those who, for our tomorrows, gave their todays. Don't be one of those too selfish to recall. Remember them.

"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."

"Never was so much owed, by so many, to so few." ~Sir Winston Churchill

"Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour." ~Sir Winston Churchill

We will remember them!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Two Miracles Today

I wasn't sure I'd put my bus pass in my bag this morning. I'd had to go back into work already to check with my "big brother" Mat whether he'd got the photo I was meant to give him, and then stopped to chat briefly with Chris (who I'll tell you about in the next couple of posts). So I was tearing across the road helter-skelter with my eye on the X51 (the bus I catch from work) when it pulled out of the bus stop. And it was raining.
Oh well, more time to sing...
The 51 pulls in. It takes about 20 minutes longer than the X51 to get into my town. Oh well...then I can't find my bus pass. Lord, You know I need to get home early because of cadets! I look up at the driver and shake my head, then sigh in exasperation as I walk over to the seats and scrabble through my handbag, trying to find my new bus pass - instead of the old one I pulled out twice. I pull it out...just as the next X51, not due for 13 minutes, pulls in. (13 minutes is a lot of difference in rush hour traffic!)
I laugh as I walk to the doors of the bus, shaking my head, and feel the presence of God coming close.
"Do you still doubt I'm looking out for you?"
"No, Father...it's impossible when I see You do tiny things like this."
"Then trust Me with the rest..."


Thinking and praying on the bus earlier, once again I asked God, "Teach me how to love..."
God: "Are you prepared for Me to pour something radically new into you?"
Me: "God, it's love. What can be radically different about it?"
God: "Look at Me. I am Love. And I am new every morning."

The total truth of that shocked me into awe. It's true. And since I chose love over running, God has opened doorway after doorway to teach me how to love in and through and because of this love. It wasn't that I forgot that...just that I am so limited by human blinkers that I can't see how much more amazing it can get than this...

How does love stay alive? Yes, by choices. Yes, by something - or Someone - stronger and way deeper than anything emotional. But also by refreshing. And when God is in control of our love life (in more ways than one!) then it is refreshed every day. The more He teaches us to love Him, the more we love those He has given us to love. New every day.

Love in every way brings pain. Every fresh growth always hurts. But for the caterpillar to emerge as a butterfly, there's a struggle. For the gold to be made pure, it must be burned. For the Christian to become like Christ, there is going to be pain, as sure as heaven and earth will pass away. But to become like Him, no matter what He takes, it's sure as Heaven worth it!

~Mademoiselle Sian

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Welcome to My Paradoxical World

I'm nineteen years old with a fairly unusual past. I have two names and two personalities (no, I'm not schizo).

I'm British (half Welsh, 3/8 English and 1/8 Irish with a dash of Scots), redheaded and passionately love my country to being willing to die for her.
I love America and Americans dearly to wanting emigrate there. America is "the Promised Land" in spite of its failures, as Britain is "the Land of Hope and Glory" to Americans.

I'm independent and very dependent. I'm silent and talkative. I love CCM rock and choral orchestral pieces. I'm crazy about the Royal Air Force, a member/cadet of the Air Training Corps and planning to join later as an officer, but I want to marry and have loads of kids. (As an ex-feminist to a degree, God's done really well on that one!!)

I adore military drill, both narrowly watching it done, learning it in depth and performing it with precision.
My soul overflows into music and song, both listening to, singing (operatic soprano style :P) and playing the organ and accordion (and slightly violin) by ear.
I want to go on Britain's Got Talent and sing, and I've also been invited to play the organ on the night at the little church we've started attending. Not because I play exceptionally well, but because my heart goes into it when I play and somehow it becomes beautiful. Still puzzled on that one.
I'm passionate about dance...always wanted to do it, but was told I wouldn't be good at it. The ball in Oregon freed me. I now dance random and different dances to various songs. And I want to learn to dance properly. (It's always been a dream to dance with the man I marry. And no, I'm not going to learn just to get a guy who likes dancing. :D)

I also love to write, although with my busy life that appears to have taken a backburner. Poetry and novels both, words when genuine are the most important things in the world to me. I love to create with words and pen - or keyboard.

I'm a Market Research Call Centre Telephone Interviewer, which is probably one of the least enjoyable jobs in the working world. :P God gave me a fire to serve Him, and I want to reach out and help girls that are emotionally damaged with troubled or traumatic pasts, and rescue kids from being aborted and adopt unwanted children and love them.


I'm Siân Garner-Jones. Had a lot of trouble accepting that. Jane Johnson was my pseudonym for both author purposes and internet protection for two years (online, offline 8), before I broke my silence on my real name. When I backslid, Jane became the good little side of me, the one I hid behind. The monster was Siân, who did all sorts of things good little Jane would know was wrong and hate. To my online friends, I persisted in trying to be called Jane. Of course, it didn't bother me offline, where I'd been known all my life as Siân.

My birth surname is Jones. I changed my name after staying with a family in America this year for a month, who took me in, accepted me, loved me and helped me unconditionally through some of my grieving process. With their permission and to try and show a little of how much they mean to me, I added their surname to my own.

More and more people come to call me Siân. The Garners said they would call me Siân to try and teach me to accept myself like that. That I didn't need a mask with them. That they'd love me just the way I was. Several other friends of mine do it for that reason too. (With the ensuing confusing result of half of one family I visited calling me Jane, and the other, Siân. :P)

I'm 19. Young, confusable, struggling, learning, growing, and leaning on the mighty Hand of God or I wouldn't be alive. Thank You, Father. <3

Yeah, that's me. Siân Garner-Jones. Welcome to my world.

Funny!

Me: The next time they offer for me to visit, can I?

Mom: Why on earth are you asking me? You tell me what you're doing nowadays.

Me: That's only, like, with work and cadets. I ask about the rest of it, cause I know how you flip out - and don't ask me for an example, cause I can't think of any. I just know you do.

Mom: Like what?

Me: I don't know. :P

Mom: You're nineteen, you've been to America and Ireland. What do I fret about now?

Me: Well, you won't let me come home at night on the bus. :D

Mom: That's something else.

Me: *dies laughing*

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Starting With the Man in the Mirror

A friend and I were chatting this morning about the pink blouse I was wearing.

Friend: "Jay would flip if he saw you in that top!" (Yes, I do talk about you guys to offline people :P)

Me: *winces* "Yeah..." And my thoughts sail back to the time I spent with the Lauser family and how...simple and innocent and safe it felt. And how something inside looked at their contentedness and ease in their style of clothing, and how I envied it. And also, how their clothing made them stand out as a simple, happy and obvious witness for Christ.

Then ensues the conversation about how it wasn't about the amount of skin you showed, but the attitude of the heart, and that we can't really help the clothing that's issued us by today's society...

Yeah, that's all right, but there's something more...

I by no means dress immodestly, but some of my clothes could call for a higher standard - although I also by no means ever intend to go burqa crazy. But the girl who used to jeer at the loose and high necked, almost-ankle/ankle length clothing (from the girl who also used to wear them until 16/17 years old) seems to be changing once more. I'm not there yet, but I know it's coming.

I've tried to write this second part for a while, but not sure how to. My music is going to change too. For a while, now, I've not been listening to many musicals, and not too many non-Christian songs.
I love musicals, and I love The Fast Food Song. But I've been thinking...the reason I used to object to non-Christian music was the fact that most of it was rock/jazz/pop etc, and that the lyrics weren't glorifying to God.
The style of music has zoomed out of the window with the advent of CCM in my life, and the lyrics? Well, I was listening to musicals...happy songs...that never mentioned God...

I'm sounding legalistic, I know I am. But I'm not CONDEMNING them. I'm just saying, at some point in the near future they aren't going to be right for me - and I don't know if that conviction will always be there or not.

There's a couple of songs it's going to be pretty hard to give up - musicals, Hairspray and oh boy definitely, the Sound of Music and The King and I...Memory...Tomorrow...Ever Ever After.
Non-Christian songs? Well, they've been going down the quickest, but I'm still listening to "Man in the Mirror", "Just Haven't Met You Yet", "Just the Way You Are" and one other that I can't remember for the life of me. :P

I'm hesitating changing because I know the reactions from most people around me...and also because I'm not quite ready to give it up yet. But anyway, there's a quick update from me and some of the things that are changing in my shapeshifter life.



Yeah, I'm gonna start with the man in the mirror and ask him to change his ways. God changes us, then changes the family, then changes the church, and THEN will the church be able to reach the world - when the church and we stop concentrating on being as much like the world as we can be, and start fleeing the grey area for the pure white.

"And no message could've been any clearer, if you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make the change."


God bless!

In Christ,
Jane

Friday, October 28, 2011

Loud and Clear

Okay, I'm going to settle a little problem here, right here and right now. This is to prevent any further talking behind my back.

I am busy. Very, very busy. In fact, most nights I'm so busy I'm actually falling asleep online. The other night, I even fell asleep in front of my mother online. Woke up until she went to bed, then fell asleep again until about 2am, when I finally gave up in despair and crawled off to bed.

Most days, I get up somewhere around 6:30am and don't stop until 10:30pm. The times that I don't, I'm frantically rushing about online trying to sort out things like emails, and blog posts, and the S4C website. (The only thing I've been wasting time on is watching Dr. Who, and yes, I intersperse that with chatting.)

I'm falling asleep a LOT online. I am very tired and constantly on the run. It's not that I don't want to talk. It's not that I'm ignoring you and leaving you in the past. It's that I'm very busy, and I'm very tired.

Once again, for those complaining about the lack of chatting, (not those that want and merely express a wishful "I wish we could chat more!" before you sensitive people judge yourselves as that), I have and am opening the door to both emailing and letter writing. Please feel free to message me or leave a comment or post in regard to either aspect, and I will get back to you.


My days at the minute run as follows:

Monday: Work, home (get home for just after 6), Squadron (got to be there for 7/7:15), get back around 10. Go online, and then I'm dropping off to sleep around 12 and can wake up anywhere from 1-3, then go to bed.

Tuesday: Work, home, Bible study (leave home at 7), get home around 10, online, same procedure, bed.

Wednesday: Same as Monday.

Thursday: Work, home, night off (until I'm going to be helping 196, my old Squadron).

Friday: Work, home, out for spinning club at 7, home around 10.

Saturday: Cadets, mostly, bedroom tidying, trying to do stuff around the house or babysitting.

Ie. I'm busy.

Re: a decision I made recently, for everyone to hear, since most of you seem to be involved or else I've been discussed by everyone involved. I was supported by both of the other people in the case in my decision. THERE WAS NO OTHER REASON THAN WHAT I STATED. I am not a habitual liar, nor do I make painful and emotionally damaging (to myself as well as others) decisions just for the fun of it. Neither do I sit around wasting my time for people who do not change, when I have precious little of it as it is.

Also note, because of my arrogance and bossiness and self opinionated ways, I do not need looking down on, pitying or a further load of consolatory messages and an "oh-we-wish-we-had-the-old-Jane-back" going on behind my back. Nor do I need babying or mothering, except in the ways God is showing me and I am turning to responsible young and older women for as God moves them into place in my life. If you're not in one of those spots, that doesn't mean you aren't responsible. Just that God doesn't necessarily want you in a position of responsibility in my life. Hopefully that is also clear.

This isn't just in response to one message, it's directed at many chats and comments and slips in conversation that have occurred in the past several weeks. And also at the character of at least one person I know is involved in some of this.

Remember, I also have been caught up in the pity-puddle mode, and I know that part of it is simply sharing a burden which usually ends up in talking about how another person is treating you bad.

Well, it's not intentional. I'm being very blunt with this. And I'm sorry if it hurts. I'm also tired of people talking about my "withdrawal" behind my back, and being insecure (which I know I shouldn't be) anyway, the last thing I need is people discussing me out of earshot. I'm not "withdrawing", I simply have more of a life offline. And I can't get you involved with all aspects of it, simply because some of it is family private. Me private (to some degree) I share, and as much as I choose to share, you get, which has also been condemned as more than it should be. So please stop wishing to get at the rest of me. We all like to have a bit of privacy. I don't care to lay everything I've got over the floor for people to stare at, comment on and then walk away from - intentionally or unintentionally.

Hopefully that, too, is clear.

Finally, I'm directing this paragraph at everyone who is going to jump on the bandwagon to condemn this post.
You ask for honesty, you get it in broad daylight. I have nothing to hide. I haven't got time to sit down and write a long email to every single person in the big entangled circle who is going on about this.
All the people who read this and feel or know that it is directed at them, you're either going to shrink away and hide from me for fear "you've lost Janey's love" or "Janey's mad at me" or shake your heads pityingly or decide to "try and remain her friend because it's the Christian thing to do, loving people who hurt you" - one, I don't give love lightly, so I'm sorry if you think I'm that flippant with my affection; two, I greatly appreciate your friendship, and I'll work with you over the rough spots.

Two things you need to know about me; I don't take friendship out of pity, and I don't take pushing. Don't try and push your way in. Wait.

And all those who are stronger than they make out to be - get a thicker skin. Friendship hurts. Learn if it's worth it.

I AM sorry if this hurts anyone. It's something I've been feeling for a long time needs to be said.
And yes, I'm well aware my "friendship circle" could be half diminished by the time some people reach this point.

Take care and God bless you.

~Jane

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thankfulness at Work

PRAISE HIM!

1 - Surveys given.

2 - Things to laugh at.

3 - Friendly colleagues.

4 - A good boss who likes to debate.

5 - Chances to witness - rather frighteningly - to my Muslim colleagues.

6 - Names to chuckle over! (John Milton, Pixy Greathead, Tofuzzel Miah!)

7 - A pork pie per day!

8 - Money coming in!

9 - Being able to sit outside, eat lunch, feel the presence of God and listen to my MP3 and sing praises.

10 - A view where I can look out the window over Birmingham and watch the planes in the sky...

11 - Writing out Scriptures and putting them in my keyboard.

12 - The promises of God to keep me faithful and serving while I'm waiting.

13 - Being able to spend more time with my sister and see my niece every day.

14 - Break times to read the Bible in.

15 - Bus travelling! Over an hour to listen to music and read the Bible while standing up travelling home.

16 - Learning that buses make you people friendly!

17 - Morning prayer and praise walks from home to my sister's.

18 - The beauty of the morning sky!

19 - Spending time praying for the people closest to me.

20 - Singing a prayer hymn every day, "Be Thou My Vision", slightly edited, for the best man in the world.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Singleness Is Willingness (2)

Okay, I'm going crazy here. :D

From my impulsive decision to launch S4C tonight, this afternoon, and sending a scrambled email around to the other team members, to throwing together hastily the advertising suggested by my website creator and manager Kyle Johnston, I've been really nervous all day.

For advertising, I've blogged, tweeted, FBed, Buzzed, chat statused and posted on the Rebelution Attic thread and on OYAN's RD thread.

Four registrants have joined the forum - a warm welcome to Stephy, Lady_Adrienne, Haitch and Butterfly!

God moves in mysterious ways - Attic Moderator (also S4C editor and my big sister) Carissa Mann visited the Attic Greenhouse Thread and she hadn't in ages...found my topic, told me where to edit it and then posted it live.

It's starting a startlingly lively discussion on OYAN, too! It's also being reshared out across Buzz, Facebook and Twitter. I'm so thrilled! God is moving and blessing it! Praise the Lord!

I'd like to ask for wisdom and guidance as it launches for the S4C team and myself on how to guide it during the first rocky weeks, particularly so that people recognise it as not for promoting singleness as promoting the usage of singleness - for God. Not for pining after a husband, but not to stop people praying for any future spouse they may have.

And...please pray, that excited as I may be and AM about seeing this project launch, that whatever may and will come of it - pain, joy, despair, discouragement, encouragement - all of it will be left in the Hands of God. And that I won't ever see or try to control this site as mine (another part of the reason it's got a team) (and yes, I am a bossy and controlling person, before anyone reminds me), but that I'll always see it as what it is - God's idea, God's plant, God's fruition, God's growth, God's blessing, God's Hand. That I'll constantly give it back to Him.

Now, three things.

One, avatars. I'm attempting to get those sorted at the minute, but as yet, I'm completely unsure and not very hopeful about avatars being available, unless you sign into S4C with your own WordPress account.

Two, usernames. If you attempt to register with any spaces between characters, it may say that you use unrecognised symbols or numbers. Use an underscore _ in the stead of spaces.

Three, changing usernames. You cannot change your username after you have chosen it. Be careful what you pick. However, you CAN type in a nickname and use that instead of your username.

Note: We have no objections to any usernames chosen, as long as they are in the regions of understandability. :P Like, "TheGoldenHind", but not "20200202".

Second note: No blasphemy, swearing, bad language or conotational language is permitted on the site. Any such will lead to disciplinary action.


Scary things over, here are some of my excitedly bouncy tweets.

All right girls, registration on S4C http://singlenessiswillingness.tk/ should now be open! First person to register, let me know!

Note to those (if any :P) trying to register on S4C: do not use spaces. Use _ instead of spaces. Any username within reason is accepted. :)

Re: S4C -- @LoriElanor: "I hope you don't mind the questions! I thought they'd be good!" Me: "Course not, it's not a dictatorship!" :P

First unassisted registrant on S4C! Adrienne from OYAN!

Tee-hee. I just realised, I'm wearing my DO HARD THINGS Rebel with a Cause 1 Tim 4:12 t-shirt on the day I'm launching S4C. :P

‎*really wants to throw a birth-day party for Singleness4Christ*


God bless!
~Janie

Singleness Is Willingness

Hello!

I've not been an official Rebelutionary that long, but some of you know me...
Recently, the Lord laid on my heart that while there are many websites and books out there preparing girls for marriage, there aren't that many dealing with the single years.

Not long ago, I saw a post on Facebook where a girl had a dream of helping children and becoming a missionary, but of course, she "couldn't do that until God gave her a husband." So she was going to sit around and do nothing towards what she believed God had called her, because she didn't think she could do it without a husband.

I believe in the goals of serving the family at home before marriage, for young women, but a lot of young women seem to think they can't use passions for God before they marry. I think we can.

I've been praying for someone to start a website for young single women, to encourage them in God, to support and encourage regular Bible reading and prayer, to discuss Scriptural principles, and our passions and how we can use our single years for Christ. Then I felt that God wanted me to do it...so I did.

It's a blog and forum combined, and there are five team members. The site is http://www.singlenessiswillingness.tk

It was supposed to be officially launched over a month ago, but it hasn't yet.
I'm looking for suggestions and ideas.

What do you think of the idea of a site like this?

What do you expect from such a site?


Thanks!
God bless,
Jane

Job + Cadets + Busyness!

Sooooo. I'm not online very much any more, and I'm encouraging people to email me or even - yes, I'm opening the doorway! - WRITE to me - rather than chat me, so I can clear my emails, tweets and Facebook notifications, work on the S4C website and blog in the relatively short time I have online now, apart from weekends.

Of course, if you need to chat me, I'm around mostly on Saturdays and Sundays.


I now have a 9-4:45 job on Mondays - Fridays as a market research telephone interviewer. You know, those horribly annoying people that ring your phone and ask you to spend some time on an interview. I always turned them down, politely and pityingly. After all, I could imagine how hard it was for them.

Now, I KNOW how hard it is for them. Their job - my job - hangs on getting those surveys. So remember that, next time you turn them down. :P
I should be getting 6-9 surveys a day, depending on the quota set, and at the minute, I'm roughly getting 3-4. If you don't make those, you have to get a minimum of 35-40 calls an hour, and if you don't work to the target, you're fired. At the moment, I'm getting something like 70 calls in 3 hours. They're just starting to really sift out those that they'll keep from those that they'll fire, so I really need prayer to try and get my call rates up. People have been fired already. I'm not slacking, but I'm not dialling as quickly as I need to be, obviously.

It's not a very interesting job. Sitting at a desk all day with just over an hour's break, picking up a phone, waiting for a response, mostly meeting with a refusal, putting the phone down with your ear ringing, noting the objection/refusal or booking an appointment and moving straight on to the next one. And I always hated offices.

But you know something? God provided a job in answer to so many people praying for me to get one as soon as I got home. It's £6.50 an hour. It passes time fairly quickly. It's honest work. And with so many people struggling to get into the workforce, I'm very grateful to have a job. I can support my family to a degree with the money I'll be earning. It enables me to spend time with my sister.

There's even things to laugh at. Like the amusing lines the other day. In the comment box, you're supposed to put date, time, and contact name. This info I received for one of my calls simply read, "Mr. Dixon is the man." XD! And then another one was an automated machine voice saying, "This number knows you are waiting." Um...numbers have minds? Then beautiful names. Like this following - "Tofuzzel Miah" and "Pixy Greathead". How stunningly awesome is that! :D

I'm starting to click with the guys I came in with, and a few others who know my sister and therefore are kind to me. Mikel, Jack, Priya, Ripa, Ffiona, Gemma, Mohammed, James are all part of the group I was recruited with. Most of them are agency - signed on and required to actively find a job. A few of us are independent, though, like me. I got along well with all of them. Charlene was also one of us, but she was fired. Now, there's only Mikel, Jack, Priya and me left from the original group. Another Charlene and Simon, and later Luke and Mosheid, were later added to our group.

My boss's name is Intikhab, and he is a solid Muslim. When he and my sister used to work together, he always used to be asking her questions - like, really good questions you have to search back on. Now he's transferred that to me. :D He's a really nice guy though, and a good boss. His pointed questions are very interesting, because he won't just ask to see what I'll believe, but he'll double back on me to see if I really believe what I'm saying. There's been a lot of religion talk amongst my Muslim colleagues at work recently, particularly as there's been a book going around called "The Glorious Qu'ran". I'm keeping my mouth closed, though it's hard, because God opens the opportunities, not me. And He is.

Not only there, but the fact I am a Christian is slowly starting to circulate. Pamela and I walked to the bus stop a few weeks ago, and I told her a small section of my background history. She appears to have a "belief" in God, although she very much doesn't appear born again. Kassim and Inti both were discussing some points about Islam and Christianity the other day. Their main point seems to be our common links; our only difference is the Divinity of Jesus - that Jesus is the Son of God, and the truth of His death on the cross. My goal is to show the fundamental difference - that the Lord's divinity and His death make ALL the difference in the world - enough for an eternity between Heaven and hell. Pray for God to use me. I can't do it.

On a lighter note, here is my desk at work! :D



Normally on here will be a glass of water, a bottle of Coke (yes, Andrew, COKE), a stack of papers, my Bible, three stones from Jay and my little orange Testament that goes everywhere with me, from Texas.


Now, for cadets.

Monday and Wednesday nights I attend my new Squadron. Things are...very interesting there. I've had some good discussions with the cadets, one started by my purity/promise ring, of all things! Daniel B is probably the person I get along with there.

Being an ex-corporal hasn't helped things a lot. Half of the cadets still think of me as a corporal still, but in-waiting, and the other think I'm an upstart little nobody from another Squadron who isn't and shouldn't be an NCO.
There's a chance I may get my rank slides back soon, but it will cause some problems if I do. Oh well, I've been pushed before and this time I know what's coming.

I'd really like some prayer for the swearing and stuff going on on the Squadron. It's really getting to me.
The Squadron padre is a good man, and a real Christian. There's a friend of the Boss's whose name is Chris Bates; he's the padre at one of the highest Squadrons in the Wing, and he's also a real Christian.
I met a girl cadet through my little sister Shannon, and when she added me on Facebook, I found out that she was a Christian too! :) Sometimes it's good to know I'm not alone.

This Squadron is more active in a way than 196 ever was - although 196 is home as it can never be. But it's good there. Really good.
Trying to balance it in with work is a bit tricky, so I'd appreciate your prayers there. :D

Just to cover myself, the next two months are going to be packed full of cadet stuff. At the end of October/beginning of November, we'll be doing bag-packs for the Poppy Appeal, parades, maybe even a concert where the Sqn band will be playing and I will be singing! I'm really hoping that works out. :D


Most of all, please pray for God to work through me so as to witness for His Name in both and all places.
And please pray for next year, as I'm not only attempting to come over to OYAN again, but also to bring my family over for a visit. Not sure if that will work out, but with God, all things are possible!

In Christ,
Jane

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fascinating Facts the World Knows That I Don't About Me!

There's an app on Facebook called 21 Questions. Recently, I found out someone had answered a question about me. In fact, LOADS of people have! Here are all the fascinating things I discover that people know about me, that I mostly didn't. Wow!


Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones is a good driver?
A: No.

Comment: Minor explosion inside. Although I'm sure that right now, they're pretty accurate. :P

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones has smelly feet?
A: No.

Comment: Angelic smile beaming forth. I love thee, nice personage. XD

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones is tone deaf?
A: No.

Comment: Inner radiant glow beams forth upon that person. You're wonderful. YOU LIKE MY SINGING! - maybe. Unless that response was off my siblings, who KNOW I'm not tone deaf and DON'T like my singing! XD

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones spends more than an hour on facebook everyday?
A: Yes.

Comment: Someone knows me too well. V_V

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones can run a mile without stopping?
A: No.

Comment: Someone unfortunately also knows my athletic capabilities - negative. :P

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones has ever skinny dipped?
A: No.

Comment: Much appreciated.

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones has a deep dark secret?
A: No.

Comment: Someone doesn't know me very well...thank God.

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones has ever gone to a strip club?
A: No.

Comment: Thank you, Ieasha! <3

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones has ever smoked?
A: Yes.

Comment: ...seriously? I may have backslid, but not that much!

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones has ever had stitches?
A: No.

Comment: Quite right, but it came jolly well close in Kansas!

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones is a virgin?
A: Yes.

Comment: Praise God for His grace alone.

Q: Is Siân Garner-Jones crazy like Ron Artest?
A: No.

Comment: ...um, thanks! :D

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones likes to sing karaoke?
A: Yes.

Comment: Umm...I don't know what it is but I sing a lot of stuff? :P

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones is a good kisser?
A: Yes.

Comment: O.o How would YOU know? Matter of fact, how would I know?!

Q: Is Siân Garner-Jones smarter than oprah?
A: No.

Comment: Thaaaaaaaaaaaanks. XD

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones would look good in a mini-skirt?
A: No.

Comment: Thank you, thank you! *bows* Much appreciation.

Q: Do you think Siân Garner-Jones wants to get married someday?
A: Yes.

Comment: You'd have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to notice that. :P

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones likes to dance?
A: Yes.

Comment: Thou knowest me. I am affrighted.

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones puts 'hoes' before 'bros'?
A: No.

Comment: You sure? I love gardening - 'speshully hoeing the potatoes. And I DON'T always love being around my brother. >:D

Q: Does Siân Garner-Jones dress poorly?
A: No.

Comment: You have taste!

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones has ever kissed a guy?
A: Yes.

Comment: Is this the same person that thought I was a good kisser? And if so, I MUST'VE been sleepwalking.

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones should NOT have children?
A: No.

Comment: I think I'm complimented. Or else you don't know me.

Q: Have you ever had a crush on Siân Garner-Jones?
A: No.

Comment: Hallelujah Chorus or Praise the Lord? :P

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones has ever prank called someone?
A: No.

Comment: *angelic complacency spreading over my face*....no, I haven't. You're right. Boring, what? :P

Q: Do you think that Siân Garner-Jones knows what a fist pound is?
A: No.

Comment: I suppose I'm TOTALLY secluded and ignorant of the modern things... :P

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Passion and Purity

One of my most favourite books of all time has to be Elisabeth Elliot's Passion and Purity.
Elisabeth Howard Elliot Leitch Gren has to be one of the most inspirational and amazing women out - especially in the guidance area of relationships. The story of her husband, Jim Elliot, is legendary. However, less well known is the love story of Jim and Elisabeth.
Embodied in the book Passion and Purity, it contains pain, hope, peace, struggles, tears, timeless God-given love and prayer. It talks about the concepts of releasing back to God, waiting on God, emotional battleground - in fact, pretty much every area that one could struggle with in relationships.

This blog post is for Calleigh, Kiehl, Carissa, Rebekah, Anjelica, Kay and Holly, and Miguel, Nick, Matt, Jay and Miles from Passion and Purity.
I’m including some of you not because you necessarily have relationship problems, but because you may find some of it a blessing in your own personal lives right now.

Chapter 12: Holding Pattern.

"I began to learn to wait. Patient waiting does not come naturally to most of us, but a great deal is said about it in the Bible. It is an important discipline for anyone who wants to learn to trust.


June 9, 1948 - 'Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day.' Psalm 25:5

To wait on the Lord is to stand perfectly still....Can we two trust His words, 'Is not the Lord your God with you? and hath He not given you rest on every side?....' 1 Chronicles 22:18

Last night I read chapter 43 in WINDOWS by Amy Carmichael: 'Bare heights of loneliness...a wilderness whose burning winds sweep over glowing sands, what are they to Him? Even there He can refresh us, even there He can renew us.'


It was on the evening of the same day, June 9, that Jim and I walked out to a cemetery and sat down on a stone slab. I told him I did not think it would help us much in discerning God's direction if we started right in on a heavy correspondence. Wouldn't it make more sense to 'cool it'? Not that we used that expression in those days, but it says what I meant. To allow for the perspective that both distance and silence could give might help us to see the whole thing with cool reason.
Jim thought that over for a few minutes. Then he spoke of the story he had read in his Bible study that morning - the study of Abraham's offering up of the most precious thing in his life: his son Isaac. 'So I put you on the altar,' he said.
Slowly we became aware that the moon, which had risen behind us, was casting the shadow of a stone cross on the slab between us.
We were silent for a very long time, pondering this undeniable sign. What Abraham did was the ancient prelude to the full revelation of the love of God. The readiness to give up his son and the rewards promised because of it - again, the central truth of the Cross was brought to us in a strange and mysterious manner. When the silence became heavy, Jim said, 'And what is to be done with the ashes?' Time would show.

A girl wrote to me recently, 'It seems that time and patience are such key elements to following the way we were intended to go. I think with a good deal of awe upon the fact that you and your first husband waited so long in such careful seeking of obedience, and I wonder, with a lack of knowing inside, whether that is what is required.'
I could not tell her that the same duration of waiting was required of her. She will have to take Christ's yoke upon her and learn of Him. I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts. It is easy to talk oneself into a decision that has no permanence - easier sometimes than to wait patiently.

Truly my heart waits silently for God;
my deliverance comes from Him.
In truth He is my rock of deliverance,
my tower of strength, so that I stand unshaken...
Trust always in God, my people,
pour out your hearts before Him;
God is our shelter.

A roof over our heads. A hedge. A windbreak. A warm coat. Shelter from the fear of loss of this precious thing called love, from the fear of a life of loneliness without the one person I believed I could ever love. Shelter from attack - from onslaughts of doubt that God would take care of everything if I would simply trust Him - what if He didn't?
Waiting silently is the hardest thing of all. I was dying to talk to Jim and about Jim. But the things that we feel most deeply we ought to learn to be silent about, at least until we have talked them over thoroughly with God.
In Idylls of the King, when King Athur asked Sir Bors if he had seen the Holy Grail, Bors said, "'Ask me not, for I may not speak of it; I saw it,' and the tears were in his eyes."
Luke tells us in his Gospel that, when Jesus was teaching every day in the temple, He went off to spend every night on the Mount of Olives. The words He had for the people came out of prolonged silence on that quiet hillside, away from the city, under the silent stars.
Three days before my graduation, Jim and I spent the afternoon in a little park in Glen Oak, Illinois. We talked very little, enjoyed the sun, flowers, lake, birds and insects. I am sure my heart was full to bursting with things I wanted to say (things like, "I love you, I can't live without you. How can you do this? I can't bear it," and all the rest of the desperate phrases women always want to say). I refrained, but it was all I could do. I am sure it was good for me to refrain. "Never pass up an opportunity to keep your mouth shut" is a good rule that harmonises with Scripture, "...Keep your mouth shut and show your good sense." "...The man who talks too much meets his deserts." and "When men talk too much, sin is never far away; common sense holds its tongue." Finding a mutual appreciation of sun, lake and birds was a safe kind of communication for us that afternoon. God's time for further revelations of the heart might come later. Tomorrow was not our business; it was His. Letting it rest with Him was the discipline for the day, and it was enough.
"Do you think God will let me know once and for all whether He is going to give me a husband? I'm in a holding pattern, it seems, and I'd like to know how long it's to go on." That is from a letter I received in 1982, but it could've been written by me in 1948. It's exactly how I felt. "If only God would let me know." But then, of course, there was the possibility that He was not going to give me a husband. Did I want to know that? Was I ready for it? Perhaps it was better to hope than to know. The "holding pattern" seems to describe a very important aspect of waiting on God. Most of us who travel by air have experienced this. The flight is nearly over, the plane has begun its descent toward the city of destination when you feel it pull up again, bank, and begin to circle. An announcement comes over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Due to heavy incoming traffic, the tower has assigned us a holding pattern." People groan. Babies cry. You look out and see the same scenery you saw fifteen minute earlier. You think of the person waiting at the airport for you. You look at your watch and try to figure what will happen if you don't make your connection or appointment. You hope the captain will tell you exactly how long it will be before landing. How long is this circling going togo on?
S.D. Gordon, in his Quiet Talks on Prayer, describes waiting. It means:

Steadfastness, that is holding on;
patience, that is holding back;
expectancy, that is holding the face up;
obedience, that is holding one's self in readiness to go or do;
listening, that is holding quiet and still so as to hear.

How long, Lord, must I wait?
Never mind, child.
Trust Me.



From Material for Sacrifice:

God gives us material for sacrifice. Sometimes the sacrifice makes little sense to others, but when offered to Him is always accepted. What was the "point" in God's asking Abraham for the sacrifice of his beloved son, Isaac? The story has often been attacked as "pagan" and has been grossly misunderstood. Our offerings to Him may very likely be seen as senseless or even fanatical, but He receives them. Jesus received the precious ointment from the worshipping woman, although those present thought it a foolish waste. It is a lesson I understood very dimly in 1948, but it has become clearer and clearer the further I go with God. I have tried to explain it sometimes to people who are lonely and longing for love. "Give it to Jesus," I say. The loneliness itself is material for sacrifice. The very longings themselves can be offered to Him who understands perfectly. The transformation into something He can use for the good of others takes place only the the offering is put into His hands.
What will He do with these offerings? Never mind. He knows what to do.

From What to Do With Loneliness:

"Be still and know that He is God. When you are lonely, too much stillness is exactly the thing that sems to be laying waste your soul. Use that stillness to quiet your heart before God. Get to know Him. If He is God, He is still in charge.
Remember that you are not alone. 'The Lord, He it is that doth go with thee. He will not fail thee neither forsake thee. Be strong and of good courage.' (Deut. 31:8) Jesus promised His disciples, 'Lo, I am with you always.' (Matt. 28:20) Never mind if you cannot feel His presence. He is there, never for one moment forgetting you.
Give thanks. In times of my greatest loneliness I have been lifted up by the promise of II Corinthians 4:17,18, 'For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.' This is something to thank God for. This loneliness itself, which seems a weight, will be far outweighed by glory.
Refuse self-pity. Refuse it absolutely. It is deadly thing with power to destroy you. Turn your thoughts to Christ who has already carried your griefs and sorrows.
Accept your loneliness. It is one stage, and only one stage, on a journey that brings you to God. It will not always last.
Offer up your loneliness to God, as the little boy offered to Jesus his five loaves and two fishes. God can transform it for the good of others.
Do something for somebody else. NO matter who or where you are, there is something you can do, somebody who needs you. Pray that you may be an instrument of God's peace, that where there is loneliness you may bring joy."

The important thing is to receive this moment's experience with both hands. Don't waste it. "Wherever you are, be all there," Jim once wrote. "Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God."

...Something I wrote to Jim once must have revealed my resentment, for he wrote, "Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living." That was exactly what I had let it do.

...The painful thing was that other folks had not only heaven to look forward to, but they had "all this and heaven, too," "this" being engagement or marriage. I was covetous. When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Roman Christians about the happy certainty of heaven, he went on to say, "This doesn't mean, of course, that we have only a hope of future joys - we can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troubles." Even when I'm feeling most alone - on that moonlit night, in the middle of the candlelit supper, when the phone call and the letter don't come - can I be "full of joy, here and now"? Yes. That is what the Bible says. That means it must be not only true, but possible, and possible for me.
"Taken in the right spirit these very things will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will never disappoint us."
Taken in the right spirit. These are the operative words. ...The effect of my troubles depends not on the nature of the troubles themselves but on how I receive them. I can receive them with both hands in faith and acceptance, or I can rebel and reject. What they produce if I rebel and reject will be something very different from a mature character, something nobody is going to like.
Look at the choices:

Rebellion - if this is the will of God for me now, He doesn't love me.
Rejection - If this is what God is giving me, I won't have any part of it.
Faith - God knows exactly what He's doing.
Acceptance - He loves me; He plans good things for me; I'll take it.

The words "full of joy here and now" depend on the words "taken in the right spirit." You can't have one without the other. Taken in a spirit of trust, even loneliness contributes to the maturing of character, even the endurance of separation and silence and that hardest thing of all, uncertainty, can build in us a steady hope.


May you be blessed, open to and fulfilled by Him.
~Jane Johnson