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! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Teens and Porn: 10 Stats You Need To Know

WARNING: NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNG (INNOCENT) READERS.

(I doubt I have many, if any, following me. Therefore I post.)

Teens and Porn: 10 Stats You Need To Know

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vent

Vents, like most things, can be used for good or ill. They can let out good smells or bad smells. Good thoughts or bad thoughts. Praises or rants or - frustrations.
Yet sometimes, the bad product can be turned into good on the way. So here's to hoping the frustration rant turns into a productive praise. If not by posting time, shortly afterwards!

As usual, I'm lying back on my bed here looking I'm not doing anything. Which is something that highly annoys me about computers. Or maybe it's just laptops. *pats Lapina* No offence, girl.
Sometimes it makes me feel like I'm doing nothing too. Or like I'm wasting time. I mean, I deliberately cut out on things that are time-wasting, like, say, playing Facebook games or watching non-productive films (okay, I do make time for Doctor Who as a de-stresser :P), to take part in more productive things, like chatting to/mentoring people, updating blogs, emails, FB posts, Twitter, website. I'd even like to attempt writing again. In short, looking to proclaim Christ actively online. Except tonight I watched forty-five minutes of Oklahoma and felt as guilty as someone skipping school. Or work. Why? Because I've got other things to be doing and that's not on the schedule. Like I've even got a schedule. That was just to put a curveball in to prevent insanity or dementia descending. :P

So...why does it feel like I'm doing nothing? This laptop has been on for nearly two weeks solid (yes I know, Drew, it's very VERY bad for my computer) in an attempt to try and catch up on emails and FB statuses.
I'd be heartbroken if I didn't have them to do. But I seem to get around to doing them so little! And the important emails, like the ones where the people I mentor pour out troubles and problems, seem to get delayed responses - like LONG delays. Which is...rotten.

My room is a mess. Yes, it's true. I'm not the tidiest of people. As soon as I get it tidy, though, it shouldn't be too much of a problem since I'm out 7-6. I was going to cut chat and divert to email, but too many of the people that need to chat start pulling away. They find chat easier to express their feelings. And I...admit I need to talk to people too.

Pray. And the Bible. I can't. CANNOT. do one without the other. That's becoming more and more incumbent on me - and the sense of distance, loss and guilt when I do one and not the other. Like yesterday. I had a long prayer walk of a good forty minutes. And I failed to read the Bible. Today I read part of 2 Timothy. I struggled to read and then failed to have in-depth prayer.

Some of my friendships are a mess, as I fail people, let them down, discourage, break, tear at them. It grieves me beyond belief...yeah, keep off that. But I can't sort this out.

Not failing to mention that I seem to have small active part in my mother's and brother's lives and...have...no...idea...yeah, we'll leave that subject too.

This is ridiculous. *glances up at her nine tabs, one chat (!) and an open folder and .doc* I'm even trying to cram more things into my life - singing and dancing lessons - because I don't feel I'm doing anything. I'm looking for a second job because I want to go to the States so bad, and unless I'm constantly physically moving it feels like I'm being a waste of space and useless.

*sigh* I daren't post this on Facebook, where it would get the most viewers, because I know the responses of some of...the people on there.
So whoever gets this gets this. Don't be afraid to lecture me. I'm looking for something of the kind, I suppose. How is a lecture when I'm already down supposed to make me feel better?! Masochist. :P

Just...keep it short so my very muddled brain will take it in. :P

~Sian

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cadet Corporal Sian Jones

I have been waiting on this to post, as I'm not sure how to write it. But since my cadet status - and my corporal status consequently - have been blazoned across the internet, I feel I need to update you all.

The promotions we were waiting on happened the other night at my new Squadron. Four good, hardworking cadets were picked. I was not one of them.

The only reason I am aware of is because of the facts that a) I don't mix very well and b) I have six months left in the Corps and it's not worth their while to promote me.

I'm sitting here considering whether to change my Twitter background from corporal's stripes, and I am changing my computer username from Cpl. S. Jones to Mademoiselle Sian - and my personal picture from corporal's stripes.

I can't deny that it's made me feel like a failure, particularly knowing the internal reactions of some people in the Corps. However, I earned it once, and nearly had sergeant. I think I'll be proud of that and let the rest go.


My intentions are not as present to enter the RAF. I'm also changing my last six cadet months to MY six cadet months. Without bragging, I'm a good cadet as a general rule and I won't change that. But I will go to events I want to go to that are convenient for me, I won't study what I don't want to study, and so on. My cadet life hasn't been the best and as such, I'll fit the last six months for me to enjoy.

So. Jane Johnson. Cadet Corporal Sian Jones. Mademoiselle Sian Garner-Jones.
Which will stand the tests of time in the end, I wonder?

God bless,
Ex-Cadet Corporal Sian Jones

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pain and Peace

Pain at the physical, mental and emotional stages are almost at the highest point that I'm aware of on their gauges. Spiritual level has closed down so much I'm aware of nothing but unvoiced, mere thoughts of prayers and now and then, the presence of God here.

It's not lack of sleep and this isn't a stage of exhaustion. Apparently I look half dead - laboured movement, laboured talking, etc. I forced myself to sing at the second song this morning at church; never had to force myself to sing but once before in my life. Singing is my love.

The entirety of everything that's bringing this down forced me to one point this morning. I opened my eyes and saw neither one of the addictions I normally run to, but the cross of Christ. At the foot of that cross I am clinging and aware that God's Hands are beneath and upholding me to take the weight.

My body is collapsing and my mind is blanking down but if one were to draw a picture of what life currently looks at, there would be dark portraits all around but a golden cross beaming out of the centre.

It is the Man Who has been before me Whose shoulder I turn to weep on. Whose strength I draw on. Whose protection I claim for those I love. Who I trust above all else to sort out the darkness, to use me feeble as I am where He can, to change. I asked Him for three things at the beginning of this year. I believe He will grant them.

Faithful One. So unchanging.

I look into Your eyes and I see the world.

It's funny. The pain is so great there is peace. I don't think I can withstand the constant level but if this is what it drives me to, I'm _glad_. The peace here is indescribable. The darkness, the things that normally wound, are just bouncing off or just being accepted.

Love is an amazing force. The power that drives me to carry on. The choice at work when I look at the phone and the screen and think I cannot dial another number and that I will scream down the phone and start smashing the monitor and the harddrive. That makes me pick it up and dial and speak cheerfully to the person on the end. That shows the promise of a future instead of the darkness of a now.
It's the central point in the cross that I see in the darkness. Love is Divine. Love is God. Love dares all things.

I'd better stop there because I can never describe it right. It just leaves me in tears and speechless. I can't wait to see what He's going to teach me through trust when He finally breaks me on it. :)


I chose numbness for a while when my older brother left for a month. Chose to harden and build a wall so I didn't get hurt until he came back. Then Wednesday I realised as He's shown me before that I couldn't carry on like that. I got to Squadron early and walked onto the field on the back to have a pray-and-cry time with the Lord. And asked Him to break me - whatever the cost.

That is...one of the hardest prayers to pray. Because if you pray with trust in God, you KNOW that He will do it. And that it will be painful. But it's better to choose that than it is to stay stagnant and drying out. I've been in both and I know I'd rather be in pain and know that He will change me than to stay stagnant and feel His presence becoming more and more distant.

Some of the things He's doing through this turn at the moment is creating more and more of a passion for prayer walks. More of a driving passion to become closer to Him.
And the other thing is fixing my gaze on the cross in the centre of the pain. That's never happened before. And my joy at it is overwhelming.


Something I want to say before I sign off here. Everyone who's coming to me for friendship, trust, accountability, help, please don't go away because of this. I want you there. I need you to be there. You will never know how much God uses you to bless me through changing you and through changing me by talking to you. When He speaks through me to you, it teaches me too. Things you say teach me. You. Are. Blessings. To. Me. Don't deprive me of that. :)

And to break the seriousness, I'd just like to inform you that Mom, Jose and I can listen to Winnie-the-Pooh and practically recite the script along with it. :D

Have a great evening and a blessed year ahead!
Mademoiselle Siân x

Sunday, January 15, 2012

OYAN/Reb/Yank Post

This is a big topic of small importance...

I attended the OYAN Summer Workshop 2011 last year (well, obviously last year). And loved it and everything to pieces. (I think you were still intact when I got home though... *glances at her trident*)
I spent two months in the States. 2 weeks in Kansas, 2 weeks in Oklahoma, 1 week in Oregon, 1 week in Texas and 2 more weeks in Kansas. June 15 - August 16. I am not a millionaire and family circumstances were such last year that it is a total miracle that I even got there, much less to travel that extensively. My families took care of me and loved me and God bless them very, very much. Thank you.

I fell in love with America while I was there. I'm a passionate British patriot, but I feel two totally different ways about both countries. America and Britain are not perfect - but America is a new land. A beautiful land. A new life. A fresh start. And chock full of my friends and people I love. Long and short of this being, due to my family's situation and my brother's medical (and mental) condition, it was suggested by several people that I attempt to bring my family over to the USA. Emigration - and immigration.

I've looked into it, emailing some friends of Mother G's and also an emigration solicitor. I could go over there and work for five years if there was someone that was willing to hire/sponsor me. But with my scanty qualifications, even though they're some of the highest in Britain's schools....
I'm not specialised. So no one would have me. Also, that would require leaving my family behind. The chances are very slim. I've no idea how to gain influence with anyone of importance in the US.
With Jose close to being on the list, it's even lower.

I was chatting one of my friends last night and he made a suggestion. I've no idea if this would work, but if it would, how many of you would be willing/interested in writing to your congressmen or something?
If I were free to move on my own it would be less of a problem, but I have my Mom and my twin brother to think about.
I'm willing to work and learn and do anything, really. I just want to start again and help my family start again.
I know you're praying...just wondered how many of you'd be interested or willing to do this.

God bless!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Verbal Post

Here's something I chatted into my MP3 when walking home from Walsall after work about a week ago - or less.
Enjoy my British accent, and I pray the thoughts will bless you!
Apologies for random comments and words though...and the interruptions!

They cover modesty, music and trust, and the old and new nature. Things God's trying/starting to teach me. :)

Learning and Changing


God bless!
~Mademoiselle Sian

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Parenting

It's interesting when I'm talking to some of my friends regarding some of their troubles.
Time and again, I ask, "Why don't you talk to your parents?" Not that I don't want to share their burdens, just that - the older I get - the more I realise that parents have been there before. Because I have.
And as I share my experience with my girls and my friends, my heart aches as I watch them argue against it the way I did once and watch them turn aside into the mistakes I've made.
Mistakes are good in a weird sense. But they are heartbreaking. Perhaps even more so for the one who stays in the pain and yet can see all sides and what could've been if the person hadn't made that mistake and kept themselves safe from unnecessary pain. (Yes, I used the adjective for a reason.) Makes me aware of what God must feel like us - as He lives in us and has borne the burden and carried the punishment for what we're doing and the pain of it with us. Way more than we humans do, and sometimes we think the way is too hard and the pain is too great - even when it's someone else's and outside of ourselves.

It's a rather unique perspective being halfway between child and adult. You see both the child's point and the parent's more and more clearly. As I grow to the stage where one day, God willing, I will have children of my own, I understand more and more clearly the fears and the worries that the parents have watching over their children, the frantic desire to protect, the desperate longing to do right by them and the fear that they can't, the insecurity that lies in the bosom of every human by human nature. The great sense of overwhelming failure that surely must come when children - also by stubborn human nature - close off and go their own way.

Yes, peoples...it's all true. And by seeing your parents as human, gives you in no way leeway to treat them as equals or pals. God placed them over you by nature and by authority - respect that. But don't expect them to be infallible. And yes - they are human. And feel and think and have been the same place as you. They were kids once - yes, that's true too. :D

The one major excuse/reason I hear off kids is "I don't trust them." "They yell at me for the smallest things." "They'll take me offline." I'm not denying it. Some parents do punish for tiny things. Some will take their kids offline. And I'm certainly not denying that there is a lot of emotional abuse going on out there that parents who are scarred by their own pasts don't even realise.
I ache for those kids. And I ache for those parents. And I try and help the kids without diminishing the role of the parent.

But what about me...? I think of my past, and wonder, is my uncontrolled rage likely to show up in a stressful moment with loads of screaming kids and an untidy house and a hungry husband due home with the tea burning? How am I going to minister to the needs of all? What about my drop in passion to keep going when the pressure rises high? Am I going to be able to meet all my kids' needs?

It would break my heart to watch my kids going around in confusion and realising that somehow, somewhere, I don't touch all their hearts the way I want and pray to. Ministering to other kids the way I feel called to (abused and abandoned) will mean nothing if I can't minister to my own children's hearts.

You know...I'm gonna fail. Big time. I'll lose battles. I'll lose my temper. Some days I won't want to get up and clean the house. I'll miss out on some emotional ministry when I'm trying to work on the physical needs. I'm human.
But I believe in a God Who can make me into the woman and wife and mother I need to be. I believe that God can give me the hearts of my children if I pray and keep my heart on following Him into their hearts. They are His children, after all, before mine. And He is the Creator of the family and the Healer of wounds.

I see so many parents fail. So many faults. And I know that I'm going to be - that I am - packed full of faults too.
One thing I know is that my kids aren't mine, they're God's. And I pray, pray, pray that God will give me my kids' trust.
Not only that, but that I will be teachable, humble, ready to listen, quick to forgive, easily understanding, wise and trustworthy.

That in everything, I will seek God. That He will change and purify me and I will be open to His touch, His change and His will.
Not matter the price. No matter the cost.
I know I'll fail. I know He forgives. And I know, I know, that He makes beauty out of ashes.
That He will heal my mistakes. That He can heal broken parents and broken children and broken trust everywhere if we are ready to take the step of faith - towards Him. Maybe it involves one party exposing themselves to the other to heal - maybe. But be fully aware, fully focused that every step that takes you forward takes you towards God - no matter who else is there. And that every step towards someone else, when in His will and His strength, is taken in faith in Him and for His glory and to grow in Him.
God is worth everything. He gave everything for us. No matter the pain. The price. The cost.


Thoughtfully,
Love in Christ,
Mademoiselle Siân

You Never Marry the Right Person - Timothy Keller

You Never Marry the Right Person
Timothy Keller
Thursday, 05 January 2012

How our culture misunderstands compatibility.

In generations past, there was far less talk about “compatibility” and finding the ideal soul-mate. Today we are looking for someone who accepts us as we are and fulfills our desires, and this creates an unrealistic set of expectations that frustrates both the searchers and the searched for.

In John Tierney’s classic humor article “Picky, Picky, Picky” he tries nobly to get us to laugh at the impossible situation our culture has put us in. He recounts many of the reasons his single friends told him they had given up on their recent relationships:

“She mispronounced ‘Goethe.’” “How could I take him seriously after seeing The Road Less Traveled on his bookshelf?” “If she would just lose seven pounds.” “Sure, he’s a partner, but it’s not a big firm. And he wears those short black socks.” “Well, it started out great ... beautiful face, great body, nice smile. Everything was going fine—until she turned around.” He paused ominously and shook his head. ”... She had dirty elbows.”

In other words, some people in our culture want too much out of a marriage partner. They do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation, a “haven in a heartless world,” as Christopher Lasch describes it. Rather, they are looking for someone who will accept them as they are, complement their abilities and fulfill their sexual and emotional desires. This will indeed require a woman who is “a novelist/astronaut with a background in fashion modeling,” and the equivalent in a man. A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low- or no-maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you. Simply put—today people are asking far too much in the marriage partner.

You never marry the right person
The Bible explains why the quest for compatibility seems to be so impossible. As a pastor I have spoken to thousands of couples, some working on marriage-seeking, some working on marriage-sustaining and some working on marriage-saving. I’ve heard them say over and over, “Love shouldn’t be this hard, it should come naturally.” In response I always say something like: “Why believe that? Would someone who wants to play professional baseball say, ‘It shouldn’t be so hard to hit a fastball’? Would someone who wants to write the greatest American novel of her generation say, ‘It shouldn’t be hard to create believable characters and compelling narrative’?” The understandable retort is: “But this is not baseball or literature. This is love. Love should just come naturally if two people are compatible, if they are truly soul-mates. “

The Christian answer to this is that no two people are compatible. Duke University Ethics professor Stanley Hauerwas has famously made this point:

Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become "whole" and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person.

We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.

Hauerwas gives us the first reason that no two people are compatible for marriage, namely, that marriage profoundly changes us. But there is another reason. Any two people who enter into marriage are spiritually broken by sin, which among other things means to be self-centered—living life incurvatus in se. As author Denis de Rougemont said, “Why should neurotic, selfish, immature people suddenly become angels when they fall in love ... ?” That is why a good marriage is more painfully hard to achieve than athletic or artistic prowess. Raw, natural talent does not enable you to play baseball as a pro or write great literature without enduring discipline and enormous work. Why would it be easy to live lovingly and well with another human being in light of what is profoundly wrong within our human nature? Indeed, many people who have mastered athletics and art have failed miserably at marriage. So the biblical doctrine of sin explains why marriage—more than anything else that is good and important in this fallen world—is so painful and hard.

No false choices
The reason that marriage is so painful and yet wonderful is because it is a reflection of the Gospel, which is painful and wonderful at once. The Gospel is—we are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared to believe, and at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope. This is the only kind of relationship that will really transform us. Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. God’s saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us. The merciful commitment strengthens us to see the truth about ourselves and repent. The conviction and repentance moves us to cling to and rest in God’s mercy and grace.

The hard times of marriage drive us to experience more of this transforming love of God. But a good marriage will also be a place where we experience more of this kind of transforming love at a human level.

Excerpt from THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE © 2011 by Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller. Published by Dutton, A Member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Excerpted with permission from the publisher. All Rights Reserved.

Read the original link here.

CNN Article - Why Young Christians Aren't Waiting Anymore

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) –True love doesn’t wait after all.

That’s the implication in the upcoming October issue of an evangelical magazine that claims that young, unmarried Christians are having premarital sex almost as much as their non-Christian peers.

The article in Relevant magazine, entitled “(Almost) Everyone’s Doing It,” cited several studies examining the sexual activity of single Christians. One of the biggest surprises was a December 2009 study, conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, which included information on sexual activity.

While the study’s primary report did not explore religion, some additional analysis focusing on sexual activity and religious identification yielded this result: 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they have had sex - slightly less than 88 percent of unmarried adults, according to the teen pregnancy prevention organization.

The article highlights what challenges abstinence movements face. Movements such as “True Love Waits,” encourage teens to wear purity rings, sign virginity pledges and pledge chastity during public ceremonies.

Yet many of these Christian youths eventually abandon their purity pledges, Relevant’s Tyler Charles concludes in the article. Tyler talked to people like “Maria,” an evangelical woman who said she wanted to wait until marriage to have sex.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

But she said she started having sex with her college boyfriend when she turned 20 because nearly everyone, even most of her Christian friends, were having sex.

Maria:

It seemed everyone in my life, older and younger, had “done it.” In fact, I waited longer than most people I knew and longer than both of my sisters, even though we were all Christians and came from a good home.

Relevant theorizes about why it’s so hard for so many young Christians to wait, including the saturation of sex in popular culture, the prevalence of pornography and a popular “do what feels good philosophy.”

Yet the article also asks a question that rarely comes up in discussions about abstinence movement. Relevant notes that in biblical times, people married earlier. The average age for marriage has been increasing in the U.S for the last 40 years.

Today, it’s not unusual to meet a Christian who is single at 30 - or 40 or 50, for that matter. So what do you tell them? Keep waiting?

Scot McKnight, author of “The Jesus Creed,” and "One.Faith: Jesus Calls, We Follow," acknowledges that young, single Christians face temptations that their counterparts in the biblical age didn’t face.

He tells Relevant:

Sociologically speaking, the one big difference – and it’s monstrous – between the biblical teaching and our culture is the arranged marriages of very young people. If you get married when you’re 13, you don’t have 15 years of temptation.

So what should a Christian parent or youth pastor do? How do they convince more young Christians to wait until marriage, or should they stop even trying?

John Blake - CNN Writer

Read the article here. The comment discussion at the bottom unfortunately got rather vitriolic.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Uncle Sam Wants...

Facebook and Twitter post:

In demand in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Oregon, North Carolina, and Oregon. O.o Goodness...


Matthew L: And Washington, though close enough to Oregon it might as well be the same. :P

Arielle B: And Virginia!

Miguel F: You forgot Florida *gasp*

Mrs. Beals: What happened to Oklahoma?!

Gracie G: Heck, just tour the whole USA.


XDXDXD!

In The Wilderness - A Fool?



2010-2012

The parade marshall, Mr. B., and I were good friends. I gave him a Christmas card, and he gave me one in return and also a Christmas present which I still treasure and wear when I'm struggling to remember there are kind people in the world.

The Christmas card read something to the point of, "Hoping that this coming year will be as good as 2010 was for you."

I remember three months into 2011, half laughing, half crying, I turned to Mom and said, "If anyone sends me a card like that for 2012, I'm going to rip it up, burn it and send the ashes back!"

2010 and 2011 have been two of the most blessed years of my life. I fell into the deepest sins and backsliding; as a result I have seen God's greatest grace extended. I've seen Him reach out and touch a heart of stone into one that's broken and eager for His fulfillment. I've seen the world, I've seen the emptiness, I've been with the lowest of the low, and I've seen the incredible fresh glory of God in a way I've never seen it before. God is truly...beautiful. More glorious than a diamond are the many, many ways in which His Light is shown and shined.

God gave me forgiveness. Gave me love. Gave me grace. Gave me a promise of a future. Gave me mercy. Gave me a goal. A passion. A purpose. A new song in my heart; fresh praise on my lips. Friendships. Mentors. Blessings. A trip to the United States when the world seemed to stand in my way. New sight to see His incredible blessings in the midst of pain. He walked alongside my stumbling sinful self-willed path and snapped me out of it.

If God gives me a year of suffering once more, by His grace I will praise Him. It has been one of the most uniquely, tremendously blessed years of my life.

Thank You. So very, very much.

In pain, we find blessing.
In tears, we find joy.
In the storm, He brings peace.

Words that I knew. Words that now, I live. And how - beautiful, gloriously and indescribably beautiful, is that.

In Christ,
~Mademoiselle Siân Garner-Jones