Saturday, September 30, 2006

the christian's response to beauty

Dani and Nix, in the previous post, raised some interesting objections to my explanation of why I wear make-up (lol ... which if you look at my pics, isn't very much at all).

As an artist and visual-oriented person, I'm interested in what my readers' thoughts are on aesthetics.

What IS beauty?

What ought the Christian's response be to physical beauty?

What does Scripture have to say on the subject?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

why i wear make-up

"But I've got to wonder, this pressure doesn't seem to *actually* be from the guy's side, but rather *perceived* to be 'our fault'."
~ Mark

lol ... I was JUST telling a girlfriend of mine this morning that "guys don't seem to get it." We don't wear make-up for men. At least I don't. If anything, it's for ME.

THAT picture wasn't my first try. Probably the last out of 8 or 9 shots. Notice the darker lighting. When I do wear make-up, I do so to enhance, not to cover ... well, except for maybe under the eyes. Think of it like an accessory ... a hand-bag that matches the outfit, if you will.

It's a wonderful thing to affirm a woman of her beauty with and without her make-up. But this idea of whether or not to encourage her to get "gussied up" ... if it is a way for her to express her love to you by (in her mind) making herself attractive for you ... do NOT discourage her.

Every morning I wake up and get ready (after i've said "good night" to Michael) and I try to make myself attractive ... whether it's doing my hair or applying little blush and mascara.

Why? Michael's not here, what does it matter?!

It matters because I'm Michael Jolly's girlfriend. I want people to see me and have a better impression of him because of me. No one here knows him ... but they know me.

How does that apply to the Christian?

Christ is not here. But the world's perception of what Christ (apart from reading Scripture) is like is derived from the Christian.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

he loves me anyway


I have been dared to go the entire day without a smidgen of makeup. How did this come about?

"Christine, you look different somehow this morning."

"That's because this morning I'm Theresa and not Christine."

After a while it finally occured to Mike what the difference was.

"You don't have any make-up on."

"Nope. Do you love me anyway?"

"Ha ha ha ... you're beautiful! Of course I love you. I tell you what ... I dare you to go without makeup all day."

"Sigh ... whenever I do that I get some comment like ... 'Christine, are you okay? You look sick or tired."

"And you know what you tell them if they ask you that?"

"um ... That Michael loves me anyway?"

"Exactly!"

Saturday, September 23, 2006

a remarkable conversation ...

... is occuring here, sparked by the observations below.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

are modern women too independent?

My girlfriends and I are often flabbergasted at the beautiful, strong, intelligent, witty young women we see around us who desire marriage but are devoid of prospects. We are utterly clueless and unable to understand how scores of godly young men are not clammering for their attention and devotion. For a long time I did not care about my own relationship status, but I was bewildered by the others ... still am.

But a revolutionary thought came to me. Could it have something to do with man's need to be needed? Do they see these talented young women and think ... "Why would she need me? She has it all together"? Then my mind went back to all the girls in college that I had observed: the cute, bubbly type and at times the maiden-in-distress. I scoffed at them before ... but when you think about it ... they were the ones with the boyfriends.

Hmm.

Last week, my pal Jiri, showed me an article from the new periodical Salvo titled "Strike Up the Bond: A Man's Need To Be Needed". Dawn Eden, author of the soon-to-be-published book The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On(Read an exerpt here), describes the phenomenon of rock stars and their groupies. She writes of band members who will often have a different woman waiting for them in each city.

"You can want a man completely, utterly, desperately, longing for him from the depths of your loins. But if you want him to be attached to you, you must require of him in return. For a man to develop a bond, it's not enough that he's adored--he has to be appreciated.

"For all the advances that the feminist movement has created for women in the working world, it's created a terrible damage in the area of relationships. Women are told that self-sufficiency means refusing to allow men the opportunity to do things for them.

"A good man does admire self-sufficiency in a woman. But he admires it even more when that self-sufficient woman has the modesty to admit she needs advice, a shoulder to lean on, or just someone to carry her loaded-down backpack." (p. 45)

Hmm ... I became curious. Was there any truth to this? So I googled the phrase "men need to be needed" (or a similar variation thereof). I came across a number of articles that concurred with such a conclusion. Here is a smattering:

Dateless Women Need To Soften Up

Guys Need To Be Needed

What Men Really Think About Successful, Independent Women

The Different Needs of Men and Women

What Makes a Man Happy In Marriage?

Smart women can intimidate prospective mates

What are your own thoughts or experiences with this phenomenon?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

happy dance

Read this and find out why Mark is my new friend! I enjoy it when people think through these sort of things.

Ooo ... which reminds me ... I need to get a copy of an article from Jiri about men and their desire to be needed! Good stuff!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Tasmania


Dave, Mike's brother, helped me find this site. Click on the titles to see the places I want to see.

If I get to go visit soon, Joel, their flatmate, promises to go to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory with me and show me the best trails for hiking. Dave promises to show me around the coolest cafes. And Mike ... well, I won't get into mushy stuff on this post.

*picture is from Amy's recent trek

Monday, September 11, 2006

you should blog about that


As I jabber on about who knows what kind of topics in "real life" I often get the comment ... "You should blog about that!"

I got a couple of those moments today.

1. Mike and I this morning:

I was going on and on about how one should counsel people in a godly, Bible-based manner ... you know ... Tripp's method of Love, Know, Speak, Do ...

"You should blog about that!"


2. Hangin' with the guys at Cassey and Jiri's (minus the Cassey):

Adam looking closely at my head.

"It's a leaf, Adam."

"Did you mean to put it there?"

"Nah, I was just being goofy."

"But I like it ... doesn't she look like an elf?" At which point all the other Settlers of Catan and DandD nerdos (I mean that in an affectionate way) turned and affirmed that I was indeed quite elvish looking. "Can't you see her with a bow and arrow ... or pulling out a couple of swords!"

(I miss you, Cassey! come back!)

Later, Jiri brought up Mike's post about men leading. And suggested that (from a married bloke's point of view), leading one's wife is more sacrificial than *pound fist on table* "This is how we will do things!" ...

which led to one of the guys bringing up feminism and another guy responding ... "Well if guys would just do ..."

I squirmed.

Jiri: "Christine, what are your thoughts?"

"I think one could go round and round in circles pointing fingers. Men, ought to do what they ought to do. And women ought to do what they ought. Read your own mail. If my husband doesn't show me that he loves me, does that mean I don't have to respect him. If I don't respect him, does that mean that he doesn't have to love me. Peter writes that a woman ought to obey even if her husband does not, with the hope that her obedience with lead the husband to repentance and faith."

to myself: (hmm ... I should blog about that)


3. Late night conversation with Nixter:

Me: And then I pull out a house plant from my bag as I dig around for my mobile (which sounds like an old fashioned telephone ... Brrrrrrrringggg!)

Nixter: Oh, pardon my coat stand ... I love Mary Poppins.

Me: I hate Mary Poppins.

Nixter: Why?

Me: I watched it everyday when I was three years old. Then ten years went by ... I watched it again and was struck by Mary Poppin's arrogance and conceit (Practically Perfect in Every Way ... give me a break!) and THEN ... OH, THEN!!! ... the deceit and lies and mind games that she played on the children! What a happy, joyous time they had together at the park ... and at the end of the day they jumped up and down on the beds in excitement and Mary says ... "It never happened!" Wicked woman! When I was studying art in college, I chose to draw a woman feeding birds as one of my projects. While working on it, people would walk behind me, take a peak, and start singing ... "Feed the birds ... tuppins a bag ... tuppins, tuppins, tuppins a bag" ... CRINGE!!!

Nixter: You should blog about that.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

i give up


... you can use LYNX deodorant ... if that's what it REALLY does to the chicks.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

my mid-midlife crisis


I was completely unfamiliar with the concept of mid-midlife crises until I turned 25 and Mike asked me if I was experiencing such a phenomenon.

"There is no such thing!"

"Sure there is!"

"Did you have one?"

"Yup."

Well, I may not have bought marshmallow cream (a delicacy my mother never let me enjoy) and smothered it over a whole loaf of soft nutrient-free white bread but I have been wondering about the idea of mid-midlife crises a lot lately.

Research shows that society does not consider individuals to have reached adulthood till they reach 26 years of age. At some point around this age, I'm convinced individuals face a crisis of direction and purpose. They look back on the last part of their life and see how it measures up with their dreams or others' expectations of them. Some try desperately to hold onto their slipping adolescence with one last adventure only to realize afterwards that it's all frivolous and time to put away childish ways and embrace their adulthood. Some relocate in an attempt to "find themselves".

I did a combination of all the above.

I was a leaf caught in a whirl of wind flitting about in a dizzying string of adventures with no direction ... no purpose ... no companion. I was in love with my ideals and spun around in a brilliant array of color mystifying all ... laughing at their attempts to pluck me out of the air. I took a secret holiday to California. I played with the idea of becoming a diplomat traveling to exotic lands and overwhelming my senses with new sights, smells, and sounds. I freely shared my ideals influencing many young minds, challenging the norm, and waking them up to new possibilities.

But like all whirlwinds that fizzle out ... my wind died and I floated to the ground ... I had just returned to my parent's home from living in Prague and I was asked this question:

"What will you do now?"

My wind had escaped me ... I floated precariously to the ground below and lay there on the green grass staring up at the sky above me.

What was real? and What was merely ideal?

Breathing heavily, heart racing, I stared wide-eyed at the world around me.

I had no direction ... no purpose.

What was it exactly I wanted?

Could I even be honest with myself to answer truthfully?

I ... I want ... a family.

I trembled at this.

Years of being alone and "liking it" I finally admitted my desire for love, home, stability, and safety.

I shook my head to remove the thought from my head. Useless to dwell on something I had no control over.

What about direction ... purpose? What had God equipped me to do? What passions had he given me? Where was it exactly I wanted to go?

I ... I want to do diplomacy ... don't I?

Do I?

Do I really want to represent the United States of America? Or ...

no ... my true desire was to represent the Kingdom of God unhindered by bureaucratic red tape and enable women outside of the Christian-media-saturated world to study the Scriptures for themselves and train them to be theologians ... to love and know their God.

GASP!

Now what did I need to do to move in that direction?

I needed training ... so I applied for seminary and received my acceptance letter one week before classes began.

I had a purpose and was moving in a direction. I returned that October to visit my parents and help their ministry for a week. My eyes were open to so many areas of ministry that could be useful to the church there and hated to leave knowing that I could be of some good there. When I returned to my studies, I became incredibly restless for the need to minister and put my learning to use.

This led me to the Pacific Northwest this past summer, putting into practice some of my developing theories of ministry ... and to a loving relationship with a very supportive young man, who himself knows what it's like to experience a mid-midlife crisis.

And now ... I am no longer a lone leaf flitting in the wind.

*pictures from the time during my crisis click on My Pictures and peruse my Monterey/Prague/Wolfsburg pics.

For research purposes:
Did you have a mid-midlife crisis? What happened? What decisions did you make as a result? How did your life change?

intimacy v. isolation and other theories

I'd like everyone's imput about a project I am currently working on. I am researching the social and emotional needs of 20 to 40 year olds and will present my findings in the form of a presentation.

Questions to answer in my presentation:

• What are the developmental theories that address the social and emotional needs of 20-40 year olds?
• What are the strengths and shortcomings of these theories?
• How does a Christian worldview shape your understanding and application of these developmental theories?
• How would you apply these to church/family ministry?
• What are some relevant issues in current events or society that affect his age group?

What are some concerns you have with how the church ministers to this age group?

What are some socio-emotional phenomena that you notice in 20-40 year olds?

Two that come to mind already are prolonged adolescence and mid-midlife crises.

I need everyone's thoughts ... especially since most (if not all) of you find yourselves in this age group.

DISCLAIMER: this is not a way of slacking off and not doing the research. I have already done quite a bit ... but I'd like to plug into the brilliant minds of my readers who each have insights that I'd like to glean from. I'd like to interact with you and then publish my findings in a week or two.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

anyone care to explain?


I was completely baffled by watching Australian style football (but not more so than watching Cricket). I think it was the basketball-like tip-off that really threw me off ... and what about the combination of kicking/tossing the ball?

Monday, September 04, 2006

a friend of Mike's


Get this video and more at MySpace.com

the right path?


Since I have been studying here I have encountered numerous students of theology who have a high regard for God's sovereignty. They affirm that God indeed has a plan for their lives that he formulated before the beginning of time. Because of this, they tend to wait for a clear instruction from the Lord through Scripture before they make any major life decisions. They hesitate at the crossroads for fear that they will choose the wrong path ... a path that is not part of God's plan ... thus frustrating God's eternal purposes.

Henry Blackaby of Experiencing God fame asserts that one can know God's will by remembering that

"God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways."

What are some practical applications of this?

How do you make major decisions in your life?

What of "callings"? How do you know you are "called" to be a missionary doctor in Honduras?

How do you know God's will?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

what the heck, Nixter!

What's up with the stick dance?! ... and don't you laugh, Aussies ... just before this dance they performed a South Australian dance not too different from the one here.



(loving the white guy with the fake dreads!)

ok ... so maybe I didn't study today ... what of it?!!




Laura is a bit more demure at the art of dining than I am.


Don't scoff at me for finding seminaries ... i mean ... cemeteries ... beautiful!


... but I'm not sure.


Ah ... Nixter ... there was only one fella at the International Festival parade from your homeland.



Yes, Mike, you can watch your footy on TV. But I watched a couple of the guys playing and honestly ... I don't get it. But then again ... I have a feeling these guys weren't pro's.

Friday, September 01, 2006

proud, pt. 2

Mike describes his path to leadership.

proud

... but, seriously, can you blame me? Maybe this time they will listen to her ... I planted, Carmen watered, but God gave the growth.