Saturday, October 27, 2012

Like A Voter or How Not To Be Super Uncool

Equating innocence and sexual purity with a lame, agnostic political demeanor. 

Dear President Obama,

Thank you for so generously generalizing my choice to guard virginity and treasure purity with being "super uncool". How original of you. Infact, your newly endorsed and paid for advertisement featuring the opinion of the  independent and edgy Lena Dunham compares women "not ready" to have sex to women not voting: lack of sexual activity equals lack of political activity? Hmm. That's not offensive, right?

While I think the class and integrity required from a presidential candidate and a dad of two young girls is missing from your ad... I understand it was not meant for me. I'm not the demographic. And, heck, if you can grab a few votes from the undecided, college-hipsters by playing this tactic I guess it's worth it. But hear me because I AM a young female and an active voting citizen full of political fervor: your new ad is vulgar and borders on bullying (promising young adults the cool, uninhibited lifestyle if they vote Obama).

Are you really that arrogant that you would intimate a vote for you is as precious as a woman's virginity? Ick.

Yes, this advertisement is attention grabbing. Yes, Lena Dunham is a quirky writer/director/actress who certainly has a right to her opinions and to describe her voting experience as she sees fit. But YOU are the President of the United States of America for crying out loud! You funded and distributed this ad. You proclaim over and over again that you are for women and their choices. I'm not sure how feminist the world over can see the piece as anything other than an attempt to make women look promiscuous and sex-obsessed: needing a man to complete the journey into womanhood. Although, I also can't see how feminist the world over don't scream out in defense of the 3,332 children (some of whom I assume are females... wouldn't you?) that are aborted everyday in the US either. Sooo...

But your time is valuable as you are busy trying to keep your job;  let's get back to the ad.

I read that your party is comparing this recent move to Reagan's quote before he swept the 1980 election. Republican Ronald Reagan stated that, "I know what it's like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a democrat myself, and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great."  Ok, maybe that's an innuendo. Maybe it's not. Maybe I'm too lame and puritanical and conservative to tell the difference. It's like once someone points something out you can't help but see it that way...  To be honest, his expression on partisan voting in this manner was inappropriate too. However, Reagan's comment leaves room for the audience to determine for themselves if he is insinuating something more. Dunham makes her intentions clear by informing us that she became a woman after voting for you. That it was an amazing experience; she even lists the requirements to being a good "first" as if all unrepressed women in our nation should agree with these guidelines.

Another thing: Could you please enlighten me on the Gallup polls showing young, American females respond positively to political marketing ploys thinly cloaked in sexual innuendo. Because there must be some rock, solid polls to back your approach. Who on earth in your campaign thought this was a good strategy? Are you going with the whole "sex sells" logic? Don't degrade yourself.

Props to Dunham on the success of her show, which I've never actually seen I'll admit. The promos initially looked interesting but upon closer examination they left me saddened for her character who doesn't seem to see her self-worth much less base it on anything besides romantic relationships. What else is new--those are the "strong" female role models the liberal media believe women need. Still, I haven't seen a whole episode so enlighten me on your opinion (who pays for cable at the White House anyway?). HBO can keep that sort of thing on HBO and let viewers decide what/when to watch. However in an advertisement? For a polictical campaign? For a president?!?!?  And Vladimir Putin is like, "Copy-Cat!" Ya, keep taking campaign cues from a Russian communist, Mr. President. I doubt anyone in this country will notice.

Phew! Now I'm done. And I think the above sounds crankier than I really am. I just wanted you to understand why your new ad is foolish and desperate . My biggest issue: equating innocence and sexual purity ("not ready") with a lame, agnostic political demeanor.  Again, you weren't trying to sway any conservatives here. Perhaps you won a few undecided votes and got some giggles from your fans. Thank you for making my vote 100X more confident. Sorry Mr. President,  I guess you'll just have to get used to hearing NO from this girl.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

All for Him: the closing of a letter...

In my latest copy of Answers in Genesis magazine (a great bible-based, scientific resource), I noted an editorial piece signed off with the phrase, "All for Him". These three words struck me and I felt instantly encouraged and convicted (funny how the Holy Spirit does that, huh?). I like it so much that I too want to adopt this particular letter closing.

In grade school we are taught to end our letters carefully; whether they are formal, persuasive, or even love letters. It seems that how a writer closes a letter can say much about the intentions of the letter and what the writer believes about his audience. Most writing instructors conclude that the closing of a letter is just as important as the opening: the last impression is equally critical to the first.

Ok, that's fine and dandy. But this isn't English Comp. Instead, let us consider: What does it mean to be "ALL FOR HIM"?

As Christians, we often experience a time(s) in our life when we are not living sold-out for Christ. I'm no exception. I have definitely walked the luke-warm path (not a place I want to be: Revelation 3:16). Sometimes this period of dull-Christian living isn't completely recognizable at the time. At other times, we know we are not right! The lack of Spiritual fervor and fire in our lives can feel like a loss of oxygen. But thankfully, the Holy Spirit and God's Word are both active to convict, breathe new-life, and change hearts (LIVES).
Some practical ways to combat and/or overcome luke-warm Christianity--plus live ALL FOR HIM:

1) Pray. Be honest with God (He knows you inside-out but it is helpful to be verbal and turn your cares over to His authority). Ask for His help to specifically lift you from this spiritual valley and restore your passion.  1 Peter 5:7

2) Read the Scriptures. God's word is profitable for teaching and sharp enough to separate bone from marrow. It can start a fire in the most cold, weary soul. Proverbs 30:5   Hebrews 4:12  2 Timothy 3:16

3) Serve. Serve in the church: God commands us to serve and take part in His body. Serve in the community: what sphere of influence has God given you? Look for ways to be a servant and ambassador of Christ to those around you. Let us consider the course of our "normal day" strategically since the world is our mission field.  Galatians 5:13  Matthew 28:18-20 

4) Choose to humble yourself. Have an attitude willing and open to the Lord's direction in your life. Submit to Him your ways. ALL YOUR WAYS. Proverbs 3:6  James 4:10

There is again. Let us live every moment of our lives in light of eternity*! A living sacrifice. Let us be all for Jesus!

"If I find in myself a desire that this world cannot fulfill, the most probably explanation is that I was made for another world." ~ C.S. Lewis

"He has made everything beautiful in it's time. He has also set eternity in the human heart*; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11

I want to use this blog as an outreach of encouragement for those who may read it but also as a way to hold myself accountable and encourage my own spiritual walk. 

When I end my days, let me look back at my life as a love letter to my Savior; a persuasive letter to the unsaved. That I could sign off my life with confidence and joy...

How will you close your life's letter?

All for Him,

Friday, October 19, 2012

Alphabet Fun

I'm jumping on the blog band-wagon today. Why? Because it looked easy fun! Break out your old fridge magnet letters and make one too!!!! 

A. Age: 24. It's a brand new twenty-four but it's fun!

B. Bed Size: Twin. Don't hate. I'm still using my college bed/mattress. And while it's very comfortable, I'm ready to move on...Haha My sweet mentor puts it best when she loving says, "It's time for you to get a big girl bed. Big girls have big girl beds." When I get back from my next Japan work trip a full or queen is on my shopping list.

C. Chore that you hate: Putting away laundry. I don't mind running loads in the washer/dryer or folding but actually putting it away seems aggravating. I also hate vacuuming right now since my poor vacuum is on its last leg.

D. Dogs: One miniature dachshund. His name is Dash and he is cute. My other love is the family dog: a loyal german shepherd.

E. Essential start to your day: Coffee (americano w/ cream please!) and mascara. While coffee is a normal jumpstart to most people's day, I also have a similar feeling about mascara because without it I just don't feel as prepped to face the day. And during the work week mornings, I am usually coating my lashes while the coffee pot brews :) efficiency.

F. Favorite color: A world full of color and I have to choose one?! But this is my blog so I'm picking a few: Sapphire blue, orange, yellow, red and pink. In that order.

G. Gold or Silver:  Gold.

H. Height: 5'3". I'm from a tall family dad and brothers tower over me at over 6' and my mum is considered average to tall height. Hmph.

I. Instruments you play: In jr. High and as a freshman, I played the clarinet and the bass clarinet. But I am not musical. At all. However,  I recently bought an acoustic guitar for my 24th bday and started taking an online guitar class (all part of my plan to become Taylor Swift).

J. Job Title: Naval Architect. My B.S. is actually in Civil Engineering but when I was hired with the DoD  they christened me"Naval Architect". I'm totally ok with this since Naval Architect sounds cool too.

K. Kids: None of my own but someday I want bunches! Lots of kids I grew up baby-sitting, teens from my church, and my friends' babies... I want to claim them ALL as my own! Also see previous "D is for Dogs".

L. Live: Washington. Near Seattle so life is sweet even if a bit grey and rainy. I'm an Oregon girl born and raised; gotta love the Northwest.

M. Mother's name: Janel aka Nellie. She's my favorite :)

N. Nicknames: Kyles, Kyles-Meegyles, Kyky, Kylie Anne, Red, Kylie-bug, and Kylie-Y-yote (think cartoon Wile E. Coyote). I won't share the mean ones my brothers have come up with... 

O. Overnight hospital stays: Never. Except when I was born I guess.

P. Pet peeves: When people don't blow their nose and instead sniff it back. EWww! Gross.

Q. Quote from a movie: Oh heavens. I love movies! Classics, black and white, 80's, new releases! I used to watch tons of them. The faves: Legally Blonde, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't shoot their husbands. They just don't!" and Chariots of Fire, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."

R. Right or left handed: Right.

S. Siblings: Two younger brothers. They are amazing and strong and tall and funny and kind. So blessed to be their older "bossy" sister.

T. Time you wake up: 5:30am. Of course most days there are some hits on the ol' snooze button. I'm not a morning person though so I tend to sleep in till 7 or 8am on the weekends.

U. Ultimate vacation: Europe. All the food, history, and culture. Especially, England, Belgium, France, and Ireland. Another two list toppers would be Israel and going back to Australia.

V. Vegetable you hate: Pattypan Squash. Maybe I'd like it now but when I was little I was forced to eat it was gross.

W. What makes you run late: everything. I suck at getting places on time. I am trying to improve this but I'm seriously a terrible judge of time and some mornings, I swear, when I'm trying to make it to the bus... time actually speeds up.

X. X-Rays you've had: My ankle when I badly sprained it in basketball and also then once after a car accident in college.

Y. Yummy food that you make: I enjoy baking and can make excellent brownies. More recently, I've discovered I like to cook too. Come over and I'll make you a healthy, tasty meal; I LOVE cooking for company.

Z. Zoo animal: Koala. I've even got to hold one in Australia before... Giraffes, lions, and elephants are must sees at the zoo also.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Kings and Presidents

Election year! Does this excite you and get your blood boiling? Or are you sick of all the campaign ads and office bickering on candidates and just can't wait till it's over? Heaven help you if you've ever contributed to a partisan fundraiser before... I bet your phone hasn't stopped ringing.

I have a love/hate relationship with this political season. I enjoy the lively debates and getting revved up to support the causes I believe in.  But no matter what I feel about the candidates, the issues, the state of our economy and the American culture, one thing remains true: I'm honored to live in America. I'm privileged to belong to a nation where I can exercise my vote. And I am blessed to be a citizen of the most powerful country in the world.

Sure you can argue with me on the process of voting and electoral colleges (which gets quite discouraging) but I remain convinced that it's a privilege to live and vote in the United States. At University, a friend described the despair, passion, and anger  in the aftermath of a disputed vote which caused bloody crackdowns on massive street protests . This friend was from Iran. Can you imagine what it would be like to live there right now? I cried when she talked about her family and friends' frustration and experiences. Life in the United States isn't perfect (nothing in our fallen world is) but it's based on the principles of faith and freedom. I praise God that I was born here...

That doesn't keep me from being frustrated with the USA's political situation. There are many issues about which I am deeply passionate. A presidential nominee's view on abortion, for example, may  be the biggest factor in my decision to vote their ticket. My fire for such issues is what rushed me to the court-house on my eighteenth birthday to become a registered voter. That same fire still burns and sometimes, unfortunately, goes unchecked. Here, I must be wise and not let temper or pride over-rule my service to and love towards my fellow man. I'm here to bring God glory not bring glory to a political party.

So let's put this in perspective shall we? The following is borrowed from (my super-hero) Beth Moore in her study on the book of Daniel {Daniel: Lives of Integrity. Words of Prophecy  buy it. study it. cherish it}:

In your opinion, has American culture and its mores risen and fallen dramatically under the direct influence of each president? Yes or No?

From your vantage point, you may have answered the question with a yes, but the steady increase of depravity and godlessness in our nation despite several vocally Christian presidents casts my [Beth Moore's] answer with a no. We can have godly heads of state yet find ourselves nearly engulfed by the waves of godless culture. 
[...] Cultures are stronger than individual human leaders because they are dictated by the masses and cultivated by time. To evoke lasting cultural change a strong leader would require and impressive following and an equally impressive block of time. Cultures are also stronger than human leaders because they are influenced by unseen powers. Invisible principalities. 

When reading the above section in my study I had a difficult time letting go of my initial answer to Moore's question... I had to mull it over and let it sink in.

Just look at the bible, especially the story of Babylon throughout history. Leaders conquer, rule, and overthrow each other but the pattern--throughout time and history--is that God rules. He moves kings and kingdoms to work out His perfect plan (for imperfect people). He has already won the victory and His followers are set free from their sins. From the creation till the end of the world, our earth will bear His signature and fingerprints.

There is not one ruler, dictator, king, president, communist, socialist, capitalist, reformer, Republican, Democrat, libertarian, war, peacetime, culture, country, or movement that will change the outcome of this world. For the outcome is this: He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

"Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory. For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready." Revelations 19:6-7

I'm not trying to discourage you from voting or contributing to political debate and change. Just the opposite! Overall, I want to offer encouragement. Please, PLEASE stand for the issues that convict your heart, vote the Bible, defend the needy, fight for justice and care for widows and orphans. It is a privilege and honor to vote (GET REGISTERED, FRIENDS). Pray for your country AND its leaders NO MATTER WHAT PARTY THEY BELONG TO! This challenge is not just to you but to myself also.

Be a Daniel living and worshiping God in Babylon. Babylon was a kingdom ruled by godless men. But look at the transformation in King Nebuchadnezzar! Only God can author that story!!! Only God can deliver us from the unrest of the earth.

Happy Election 2012! May God stir the hearts of the candidates.


Want to "political-party" like an animal and read up on the differing platforms? Then you're in luck because I included this link:  :)