Wednesday, December 12, 2007

UNabridged Me

I have been writing a post about thankfulness for about a month now. It is far from being done, so I might save it until next Thanksgiving. My mind has been very active and a lot has been happening, so I am going to write. I am not going to edit, give disclaimers or organize it in any way. This is a look into the mind and happenings of Jaclyn in the last few weeks.

- I am incredibly busy at work. Since I have never been in this position at the end of the year I had no idea what the realities were of the year end processes for payroll. Let me tell you- it is insane.

- I have been reading a book called, "Getting Ready for Getting Married." The title is deceiving, but Part One was amazing. Hopefully I will have a post on it later, but for now I will say a few things. 1. Why aren't the elligible, Godly, single men that SAY they want to get married pursuing the elligible, Godly, single women? 2. Since the elligible, Godly, single men are not pursuing the elligible, Godly, single women, the women are feeling desperate, depressed and are taking leadership. Bad news. If you want to get married, men, then marry! There are a million girls out there who are waiting... and 100+ years ago it was seen as immature and (to some groups of people a sin) for a man to delay marriage. 3. Since marriage is being delayed, we have raised a generation of women that are career minded, money seeking and abandoning the home- they are trying to find security and worth somewhere. 4. Not to mention the best childbearing years are passing most of us very quickly... and a woman's true delight and feminity is seen in having children.

- I love driving in snow, as long as it is not with a million people stuck on the interstate who, over the summer, somehow forgot how to drive in snow.

- God has been teaching me that longing for His good gifts is not wrong, unless I place them above Him.

- I want an iPod.

- I said I wasn't buying Christmas presents and that I was going to do something really creative and fun. Ha. I am buying presents.

- How can it be that we who profess to follow Christ actually love the things He hates? Who deceived us and said we could delight in what is evil and yet we do not even call it evil because we are so blind?

- How does a follower of Christ look to the world? How should we look?

- Missionary taxes are complicated.

- In the winter food is abundant and I wonder where it is the other 11 months of the year.

- If God is my true delight and treasure, I would be willing to do anything for Him. I had a conversation with a dear friend a few weeks ago and he said something that has made me think. He told me that God is not out for behavior modification and that He looks at the heart, not behavior. Now, that statement is true. The context of the statement, though, makes the statement false. I cannot do anything I want. 1 John says that if we love Him we will do what He commands. If I am doing what He commands, then my behavior will change. I will want my behavior to change. I cannot say that I love God and then do the opposite all the time just because I know God loves me. That is trampling the grace of God and not true faith. But, I do not change my beahvior to try to earn or gain salvation. I cannot. I will never be perfect, but I am called to perfection. Jesus is my righteousness and He purifies me from all sin. And I have to be willing to say that sin is sin. I cannot cover it up with an "I love Jesus and He loves me" sitcker or a "God's grace is enough" bandaid. If God hates a movie- or all movies- do I treasure Him more than they? If God begins to purge thoughts, actions and attidudes, will I obey? As I draw closer to God I am seeing the world differently. It is hard because so many people- mostly people who profess to love Christ- do not see it the same way. It appears that they go on, as they always have, doing the things they do, wasting time, wasting money and goinging to church. The more I love Him the more I want to do for Him... to show His worth and to be like Him!!!

- I'm going back to work now.


ceichy said...

The food thing is SO true! Why is it only in November/December that we have more than we can even eat? Hmmmm.

Augustinian Successor said...

I don't understand ... I'm sure there're plenty of eligible, godly, handsome men in your area ... how come they are not pursuing a LADY like you, Jacklyn?

Andrew said...

I'd have to say that from my perspective, as a man who hopes he is striving after and maintaining Godly eligibility, I have a difficult time reconciling 1 Corinthians 7:32-34a, Philippians 4:6-8, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, and the Great Commission.

Having spent time with two very qualified ladies, it came down twice to missions as the divisive issue.

Just how much of my time should be devoted to searching (or becoming eligible) for "the one", when I find my qualities so lacking before God Himself? The days are evil, and we ought to occupy them for His glory, not our own. Perhaps we misunderstand our own wants for needs, when His purpose is greater than our plans. (James 4:13-15)

Galant said...

With regards to the issues facing men, I'd suggest and ask for you and all other women to pray for us, for men. For those you know, those you hope for, and for all Christian men.

Women have a right to be upset, but I would also say consider their battles, carefully, and pray for them, for us. With regards to marrying and being a godly man, I think a lot of men struggle because they simply feel unsure of themselves. I mean, how do you be a godly man? Many are growing up without such role models, and whilst the Holy Spirit works within us and teaches us, still, it's a difficult battle when it seems it's a battle you're fighting on your own, with the weight of everything on your shoulders. There's so much you hope to be, desire to be, and wish you could see in yourself, but so often it feels as though there's no one to cheer you on, or give you a clue if you've picked the right battles, and are doing the right things, or even, just doing well. And then - become a husband? More often, the godly ones want to do well by a deserving wife. A lovely, beautiful godly woman whom they hold in high esteem, and I wonder if a lot of men wonder if they're up to it. If they don't feel the responsibility of being godly before Him, on their behalf, but also having what it takes to lead a woman, and have a family.

Especially, I think, when a man knows that he's been fighting battles with and within the world, and felt he's lost a lot of the time, and then he has to go back into that arena, that glaring enemy, now to work and to do well for a family. I think what a lot of godly men need is support. Is encouragement, is praise. They need that from other men, and from women also. Godly women to tell them they think highly of them and are proud of them. Because I think a lot of guys feel ashamed, weak or failing, and that's not the best place to start when thinking of having someone looking up to you or depending on you.

Yes, there's been a gap the enemy has created where something that should have been passed down to boys and men hasn't. God can make that up, I'm convinced, but pray for us. Pray for that. Pray for whatever that lost aspect is, that something, that it will be found, it will be given. And pray for men as they fight against the world who tells them these days to just play. Our natures would like very much for that to be the reality. So that doesn't help. Just pray for us. Please. And if God leads you, consider encouraging a man or two around you. I think some effort in that way would do a lot.

Just some thoughts.

God bless.

Jaclyn said...

Galant, Andrew and Jason-

Good to hear from the three of you. :-) Instead of commenting I am going to respond in a post in a few days. I like your thoughts and have a few reponses... from a girl's perspective and some things you may have not thought of before.

And, I do pray for you all. More on that later too!


Augustinian Successor said...

You know what my thoughts are, Jacklyn? Women everywhere are the same ... they are flaky, self-righteous, hypocritical, prejudicial, materialistic, and so on and SO ON ... they tend think to like feminists, especially here in Asia, unlike in the States where the only avenue men have is not frank and open discussions like in the West about women notwithstanding the PC climate, but where the topic about women are a taboo in the sense that it's all white-washed. So, the alternative for so-called Christian men in Malaysia is either manipulation, behaving like the world in a cocky, arrogant, snobbish way or get PC'ed into a kind of docile, obsequious, where *he* ends up being a tomboy to the girls. I know I'm generalising, but bloody heck, people come across like that to me anyway ... those are my thoughts ...

Augustinian Successor said...

And yes, women can be downright CYNICAL too ...

Jaclyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaclyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaclyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaclyn said...

Jason- I agree with you if you are talking in generalities, BUT I know quite a few women that are seeking after Christ and are not, characteristically, what you mentioned. They are not perfect either. :-)

Men, too, in a sinful state, can be downright, well, sinful. Just like women. (I think it is because we are humans.) :-)

Praise God for His mercy and grace! My desire is to encourage both men and women to be more like Christ so that when people see us they say "WOW, you are different than most men/women." And then we can say..."It's all Jesus in me."

Have a great day!

Galant said...

Augustinian - my thought is that perhaps one extra alternative is to treat them like Christ. He was something of a champion for women. Take a look. It seems to be the case that they felt valued, protected and free around that Man. How He treated them and saw them and made them feel is a challenge to all of us men. The imitation of Christ in the approach to women is perhaps one of the larger neglected areas with men. Sometimes we don't even pay attention to Him, but for all we're worth, we should and should see the strength of Christ lived out in us.

May we work hard enough and one day see the day that women are able to feel around us as they felt around Christ. He went there, who will dare follow Him?

When we start to follow Him there, and we should start, women become, if they aren't already, the most committed, faithful, enduring supports and blessings that one can have in life. That has been my experience.

Augustinian Successor said...

"BUT I know quite a few women that are seeking after Christ and are not, characteristically, what you mentioned. They are not perfect either."

I'm not perfect either, but it seems to me that men like ME do get judged on a higher standard that the woman/women judge others or themselves. Funny isn't it? You know what? Sometimes it's probably better if women are treated as inferior as in Islam, and then maybe they would know their place, so to speak. BUT then again, I'm not a Muslim and I have a different mentality. I don't like women who are subservient. I like women who are argumentative. I just don't like women who starts treat me with contempt, lack of respect, prejudice, etc. That's the whole point, you see. And I would have thought it obvious. After all, don't people want to be treated NORMALLY??? Maybe this is the Cross I have to carry ...huh?

Augustinian Successor said...

"When we start to follow Him there, and we should start, women become, if they aren't already, the most committed, faithful, enduring supports and blessings that one can have in life. That has been my experience."

Yez, yez ...... but we live in times when the church is so much like the world. FEMINISM and feminist thinking is too pervasive, too overbearing so much so that even so-called godly women aren't aware of the fact that they THINK like feminists. It's what I called abuse of Christian freedom. Women can get away with pecadilloes. Of course in Islam, for example, there's no way any man is going to take shit standing. Maybe that's why many of the Muslim women I have come across (I live in Malaysia, a Mohameddan country) are much better behaved than Chinese women (church or not) since the latter are much more Westernised in thinking and outlook, i.e. secular AND materialistic. So ...

Augustinian Successor said...

You know what *I* think, Jaclyn, I think women ought to care and be concern for the men around them ... in CHURCH, that is. I don't see that happening. I SEE women in CHURCH more concern and caring for men OUTSIDE the church. What, this is evangelism? And then even when they do care and are concern for men IN the church, I don't detect ANY good influence at all ... I see these men coming to church to meet their needs, not to have their sins forgiven. That's what I have always been thinking, am thinking and will think.

Augustinian Successor said...

"my thought is that perhaps one extra alternative is to treat them like Christ."

I know, I know, but fact of the matter is that when *I* treat them as they should be treated, AS sisters-in-Christ, you get the impression that they are laughing in your face ... the cynicism just pops up ... when I show an interest in a sister-in-Christ, I get accused of being overbearing, intense, desperate, and like epithets.

Dear me, what kind of attitude is this? IT STINKS!

Augustinian Successor said...

"Praise God for His mercy and grace! My desire is to encourage both men and women to be more like Christ so that when people see us they say "WOW, you are different than most men/women." And then we can say..."It's all Jesus in me."

Keep up the good work.

Galant said...

I hope Jaclyn doesn't mind my responding.

If the women, or anyone, we know are responding badly when we try to love as Christ commanded and honour Him and them, then we still have to continue in the best way we know. We pray, we love, we serve, we honour, and then we give it to God. It is Him we are serving and because of His love we are loving.

We don't choose to be godly because it's fair but because He died for us, loved us first, while we were still sinners, and because we desire to love Him and serve Him. And in loving Him we seek His heart. We ask for His heart.

If a poor response continues, perhaps consider asking God if there is something different you can do. Some other way to be. We must also respond to the people and situations around us. Love requires flexibility. It could be that to love these people requires for you to go an extra mile or two further. Be encouraged in Christ that He never gave up His Father's call for His life because people despised Him. He went the whole way to love us, even though we, you and I, spat in His face, and saw Him sent to the cross. We sinned against Him, He loved us and served us.

So then we too, I encourage you in this, should seek to be patient, forgiving and kind to others, blessing them with all we have.

A question that is a good one I ask myself is - what does it mean to love? What is love for one another? What does God require of me in relation to other people?

It gets hard at times, but we have to remember not to judge others, but forgive them. And look to ourselves, to honour Him.

What's more, as guys, and I don't know if this is an issue where you are, but it could be, as guys, we have to remember that we have a strength and a presence that can be intimidating to women. It can be oppressive.

Learning to serve women is one of the trickiest things to learn I think - and women to men. As men we should take up that responsibility to see that we are serving them well. A lot of times it is wisest, if a girl has some issue or other, to let other girls, godly women, deal with it. If it isn't being dealt with and seems of concern and to persist, I would approach a pastor or leader or godly woman close and gently bring it up. See what they might say, and leave it with them.

We have to treat women well - with all honour and care and respectfully. All women. Many times as guys we just need to leave it alone, but if it seems of issue, pray about it. Give it to God. And as a man, a godly man, seek the highest form of service, and respect for them and around them.

And if somehow they feel you're creeping them out, them leave them be, give them space and don't worry about it.

In communication if the message we are trying to send isn't the message that's coming through, then the wisest thing isn't to stand one's ground but to change one's way of speaking, and sometimes, the only way that works is to leave it and not speak at all, continuing in the faith and in truth and respect that one's good works and love generally will speak for themselves. :)

I hope you don't mind me going on so long. Just trying to help.

It can be stressful - but there is a way!

Those two questions are good for thinking over:

What does love require of me?

How, exactly, did Jesus treat women? That's my goal.

God bless.

Galant said...

Augustinian, I mean no argument, just trying to find the truth. Jaclyn, forgive me if I've gone on too long.


Augustinian Successor said...

Yez, yez ... we are ALL searching for the truth. It is that I suppose our experiences are DIFFERENT but I am sure we share the same concerns.

Galant said...

None of what I've said is helpful...or at least addresses the issue?

Augustinian Successor said...

Indeed, your input is helpful, and will always be helpful. I can assure you of that.

Augustinian Successor said...

"I like your thoughts and have a few reponses... from a girl's perspective and some things you may have not thought of before."

QUESTION: Seriously, when are you to enlighten the readers of your charming blog about a lady's perspective and some things which men may have NOT thought before ... as they say, TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE? Amen, Jaclyn? Yes?