I apologize for not updating as often I'd like the past two weeks, but I ran into the buzz saw of exams and assignments and a new job, which left little time for some of my other passions. :) I'll be updating three times a week again from here on out.
Year End Observations Part I:
i. I've noticed that I get more emails now than comments. It isn't good or bad, and I love responding to you all, but don't be afraid to drop a comment either. When you notice the comment section is empty, it doesn't mean the section is empty, if you get my drift. The reason I sometimes advocate comments is because I want to encourage you all to be as transparent as possible. Posting allows others to see what you feel, what you're going through, and encourages them to do the same. This is the type of community we all should be striving towards. We all struggle, we all hurt, and when we share our pains and joys with one another, we exist in the manner God intended for us, I think.
ii. I generally have more women readers than men. I've added things to appeal to more guys, but this idea of women being more religious oriented than men has existed for a very long time. As far back as the time of Abraham and the Torah. In the OT, it becomes pretty clear with any careful reading that women tend to be more 'religious-minded' than the men. Early this year I wrote quite extensively about the need for church to gear itself towards men. I still believe that, even more strongly than I did.
iii. There is a strong interest in the evangelical community about the status of women, and the role of women. Some traditionalists (Complimentarians)believe that the role of women is clear and limited. Biblically, they're wrong, and yet they continue to receive strong support, espcially from other women. I heard one woman say on a radio show (Focus on the Family) that her role was "ducking" so that the Holy Spirit could speak to her husband. They ran marriage seminars. I can't think of anything more disturbing than that. Ducking? This woman felt her place was not to talk to her husband when she had problems, but merely to pray. My face just about fell off when I heard that, and so when I mention the status of women as being important, this is why. (For some of you more liberated folks)
The other problem is that too many churches are using the Old Testament to back up their ideas about women. What they don't know is that in the torah, women had more rights than they actually had in Jesus' time. When I say Jesus was a feminist, I'm not being funny. He was. We must interpret Paul through Jesus, and understand that the things Jesus did were completely outrageous. (Receiving support from women for his ministry, talking to the woman at the well, healing the women who touched him) Completely! The OT is continually misrepresented by self-serving men and women who are afraid to take control of their own lives. Forgive me if that sounds harsh, but the Bible isn't always easy. (For those who would like more of a breakdown, send me enough comments/emails and I will write about it)
iv. The dating world is ridiculous. My gender is disgusting and rude, and too many women are going after jerks, thereby rewarding these jerks for their behaviour. There have been moments these past six months where I've sorely wished that I had the gift of singleness, that I didn't want a family, but I do, and so I have become witness to an unbelievable amount of ego and vulnerability and stupidity and meanness. The absurdity of humanity is manifested in the dating world, let me tell you. For those of you who have someone or who are married, STAY THE COURSE! Believe me, you do not want to go back there...
v. The power of "how are you?". Having moved away this past September, I have been both saddened and encouraged by the people who have stayed in touch and those who haven't. They say that all it takes is a move to reveal who your real friends are. And that's true. A number of people never bothered to drop me even a quick email, to see how I was doing, and I can't say it doesn't hurt. It does. But I've been guilty of that in the past as well. I know I've done it. People have moved into new lives and I didn't even think about it. It is amazing, especially when you're in a new environment, what a simple "how are you?" can mean. Our lives are disjointed enough, aren't they? Everywhere we go we see people texting or talking on the phone with one another, and yet the gap of loneliness remains huge. This Christmas, I encourage you to send out five cards or emails to people you haven't talked to in a while, and simply ask how they're doing. I think you'll be surprised how much it means.