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,

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. 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 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