Don't Forget To Vote
I recently returned to blogs4god to look around, and clicked on my stats page... and someone actually gave me a ONE. Dude... that's harsh. So I've decided to put the little voting thingie on here to find out just what people think of my blog. So be sure to vote. It's down there in the bottom right corner. Have fun. Ok, g'night!
Welcome back, Jack!
Goodness, it's been a long time, hasn't it? Sorry, things have been even more hectic than usual, and I've been having a little technical difficulty with my computer. Little sucker's been acting out---I think it wants more attention. Heh, kinda like a two year old I know... ugh.
Tate has officially hit the terrible twos...and with the mother of all vengeances. Egads, my child is so manipulative. Throws a fit at the slightest provocation--real or perceived. It's totally confounding me. I feel like a terrible mother. I don't know what to do... the only thing I can come up with is to just ride it out. Does it get better?? Please tell me it does. And while you're at it, pray for LOTS of patience for me, because my patience tank is below "E".
Doing better with quitting smoking. Had less than 10 each of the last 2 days--which is about half my normal intake. My health benefits kick in at work soon, and I'll be able to find a doc and get on Zyban. I tried my dad's prescription once (shhhh, don't tell!) and it actually started working the first day. But I felt guilty and stopped, lol.
Yeah, I just realized I've never actually told y'all what I do now. I'm pretty much a pharmaceutical rep. I work for a compounding pharmacy (which means we don't just sell the drugs, we are licensed to make them). But we also offer a host of peripheral services. One of the major ones is monitoring patients on long-term regimens. For instance: we supply a lot of Hepatitis C patients with their meds. It's a combination therapy with a lot of not-so-nice side effects, one big one being major depression (a small but startling percentage of Hep-C patients on the combination therapy commit suicide if not closely monitored). One of the services we offer is to keep in close contact with them, calling and checking up on them, seeing how they are with side-effects (it's not unusual for our Patient Care Coordinators to be calling the cops on the other side of the country to prevent a patient suicide). The best thing of all is that all our peripheral services are no-fee. Since we can "compound" the medications (make them in our labs), we save a MASSIVE amount of money in providing them. For instance: say you've got a manufactured drug that costs $65/pill. We'll compound it, say for a cost to us of $5/pill, and sell it for $40/pill. The public is saving $25/pill, and we've got $35/pill to spend on providing patient services at no fee to them.
I LOVE that we do that. It's awesome. We get letters all the time from doctor's offices and patients saying how we've saved their lives and livelihoods and all that. It's such a good feeling to actually HELP people, really and truly HELP. I'm hoping to get transferred in the next few months into the Patient Care Coordinator department, so that I can call and check up on patients, fight with other departments to make sure my patients get what they need, etc... it's never dull over there. But I was hired in as a Patient Care Advocate (which is basically sales), so I have to sit tight for a bit and prove some stick-to-it-iveness.
My job is to talk with doctor's offices and market our drugs, as well as get them to refer patients to us (mostly Hep-C, AIDS, Cancer, etc) so that we can handle their drug loads. We have a much higher success rate for compliance (patients staying on their meds and finishing treatment) than doctor's offices do, because they don't have the resources to be able to give the constant personal attention. It's really rewarding to be involved in something like this. It sure beats a lot of other jobs I've had.
Ooooooh, and I have such a pretty compensation package... yay! Two weeks paid vacation, sick days, personal days, paid holidays... it's wonderful! God has been SO GOOD to me, y'all, you have no idea. He's just awesome. Y'know, it's easy to throw out phrases like "God provides..." but man, He really does!! It's so amazing...
Anyway, I've rambled enough, because I'm sure you care deeply about the intimate details of my job...Ha! I'm gonna go defrag my hard drive and hit the sack. I'll talk atcha tomorrow, probably.
Love God, love others, love life--and live it OUT LOUD! Live and leave a legacy that points straight to Him. I know I say that alot, but every word of it is good advice, every time.
Impending Hallelujah Chorus
Hey, just wanted to let y'all know that I've finally gotten around to starting that picture and info sight I've been meaning to start... heh. Sorry for keeping you frustrated with that dad-gum "picture" testlink for so long. It will actually lead to something soon.
Just got back from the company Christmas party... yeah, I know, real Christ-centered and all. It was ok. I was completely dreading it. Not real sure why, just didn't want to be there.
Ok, here's a question (we'll keep it rhetorical for simplificative as well as applicative purposes): You're at work, company party is coming up... and "Nice Looking Flirty Guy" from another department seeks you out and then "casually" asks if you'll be there. You've been avoiding NLFG (a bit like the plague) for the most part because he's extra flirty with you, and you suspect he'd love nothing more than to ask you out--and you just don't want to be in that situation (primarily because you have a significant other). You give a non-commital grunt and go on about your day... So, do you avoid the off-site party or go be a sport and take one for the team?
That was one of the reasons I didn't want to go. I didn't want him thinking he was the reason I was there... and the way he asked, it probably would have been taken that way. So I spent most of the night trying to avoid eye-contact with him. Then there was the sweet married guy in MY department who seemed to have trouble not touching me in some way or another.
Don't get me wrong, I'm very affectionate and think human touch is essential, even in non-romantic relationships, but you always know how you're being touched, and this was very non-threatening but still rather possessive.
Is it just me or do others of you have trouble discouraging people? I don't mean that I openly encourage, I just don't know how to discourage advances without hurting people. Do I turn around and say "Mr. X, you're so sweet. Don't touch me again." Or "Hi, Mr. X. Yeah, I so didn't come here so that you could monopolize my time. But, hey! Merry Christmas!" I think I'm going to go buy myself a ring and wear it on my ring finger. The thing is, even if I wasn't in love with someone, I still don't think I'd want this--I certainly didn't before. But I was in a more clear cut situation... almost everyone I worked with was either openly gay or was a sex-crazed god in their own little world. It was more obvious to them that I was different. I don't know... I don't even know what I'm trying to say... I'll just shut up now.
Keep it real, folks. And keep it upward bound. It's all that really matters.
Insecurity And It's Big Ugly Head
I'm working on it. I so desperately seek approval from other people. Why is that? If you have any ideas, let's hear 'em.
It is not a bad thing to want to please other people, to want to serve others and make them happy and help to fulfill them. But when their attitudes and opinions and feelings toward me become my measuring stick of self-worth, then I have a problem--right? God calls us to die to ourselves and to serve others... that is no problem. But my motivations for doing it are NOT always Godly. This is not good.
I'm just sort of starting out with this whole process, so it'll crop up from time to time, just to warn you.
Sometimes, though, I get really sick of internal examination of self. Sometimes I just think to myself "Ok, Jack, enough of this junk--would you stop thinkin' about it so much and just go LIVE for God already?" I know that these processes can and often do help tremendously, but so does action. I'm just notorious for over-analyzing nearly everything in life or in my head (real or perceived), and I get tired of it... and I know other people get tired of it too...
Ok, see, there I go--that last sentence was a direct manifestation of analyzing a personal assumption that other people even CARE about my analytical excess, let alone are bothered by it... see what I mean?? If I don't think, then I'm not insecure. It's when I start thinking and analyzing and overanalyzing and overanalyzing some more that I start feeling uncertain and then insecure. And it almost ALWAYS deals with other people's feelings about me, or at least my perceptions thereof. Dude. What is my DEAL? ugh...
Did any of that make sense at all to anyone? LOL, reading back I can see how it might not... All I can do is hope that it does, and that someone has an insight or two to share.
Take care, folks... and be secure in God's love.
Poor Little Blog
I've been neglecting you, haven't I? I used to post so often... lately I just stick my head in every few days. There, there. I'll do better, I promise.
And I've been neglecting my readership as well! Thank you all for your emails and comments. It's so encouraging! Y'all are great, and I'm so blessed to have you in my life. It's amazing how God can use the internet, isn't it? Hmmmm, does that mean He's adaptable? LOL, whatever. I'm just glad He's there... (and here... and over there... and right there)
Scott seems to be doing well with his renewed commitment to a more active role in his sexual purity. Keep it up, Scott - your examination of self is an inspiration, and I'm so glad that you share it with others. It's pretty much the reason we're here, isn't it? It's why I'm here anyway. I'm a screw-up, and God loves me anyway. So I'm going public with it, in the hopes that it can help someone else. Anyway...
I've got more to talk about, but I don't want to do another 7-mile-post. I think I'll take a break and think a bit. Here's some food for thought, though: how readily do you accept true unconditional love? Do you trust it? Let me know...
And Then There Was Joy
I am in SUCH a good mood, I tell ya! Doing things for other people is just plain AWESOME. And it's like an extra kick of delight when they don't know!! It's like you've got this happy little secret. I just love it. God's so awesome like that. I'm so grateful that He's given me the ability to take pleasure in selfless acts.
I wonder though, is it like that for everyone? I've known some people who have just plain hated even "doing the right thing" if they perceive that it costs them even the slightest bit, let alone going above and beyond... Are they the exception? Or am I? Something to think about.
I've started the BEST book. Ok, I know, I say that about all the books I like, but seriously, this book is REALLY great. It's called Each For The Other (Marraige As It's Meant To Be) by Bryan Chapell. It's all about sacrificial love, basically. It's based on Ephesians 5:21 - 6:4. I tell ya, reading this stuff, and focusing on God's design for marraige... I can hardly wait for Him to give me away.
Aaaaaannnnnd... since that's about as good a segue-way as I'm going to get (and I didn't plan it, either), I suppose it's time to tell y'all what's going on down there in my previous posts. Ok, where to begin?
I've been talking about South Korea a lot on my blog... well, ok, I haven't been talking much at all, but you know what I mean. At any rate... I've mentioned "Mac" a few times... Ok, how come I feel like such a nervous schoolgirl right now? LOL I can't believe I'm actually nervous. I feel so silly!
Ok, Mac and I have been talking... a LOT... and um... well... yeah, ok, I'll just say it. I've fallen head over heels in love with him. He's just PERFECT, it's unbelievable. He's everything I've ever looked for, he's more than I ever let myself hope for. I could list hundreds of things (but you probably don't want to hear about it, lol). Y'know what the greatest thing of all about him is? Ok, aside from his love for God... it's that he loves my love for God... HOW GREAT IS THAT?? It just floors me! In every other relationship I've ever been in, I've had to downplay my passion for God, my delight in His works, my eagerness to serve Him... And that's Mac's favorite thing about me! He said it actually excites him, gives him butterflies and all that. YAY!! I'm just so thrilled... wow...
Yeah, so in regards to the my-heart-has-been-crushed/love-doesn't-work-for-me post, it was basically a misunderstanding that I took out of context (because I'm grossly insecure like that). My knee-jerk reaction was to crawl back in my little hole and rue the day. But he didn't let me do that. 'Cause he's...AWESOME. Yeah, he's awesome. Y'all are gonna get real sick of me saying that, aren't you? Heh...
So anyway, I guess I have a boyfriend, lol. It sounds so funny saying that when you're an adult. "I have a boyfriend..." "I have a manfriend..." ok, no. "I have a.... I'm seeing someone" ok, that doesn't work, since he's on the other side of the planet. Oh, whatever: I'm in love.
So now I'm learning trust. Real trust. Not "play it by ear" trust that bails at the first little hint of trouble, but true trust. I have made a promise to God and to Mac (and to myself) that no matter what the consequences or how I feel, I'm going to trust him. I'm going to believe what he tells me and not what Satan is whispering in my ear. And in trusting him, I'm also trusting God and being obedient to Him.
It's an amazing experience to be involved in something that God has designed and planned and is executing, especially a relationship. We know that God brought us together and has His hands all over this. It's really, really exciting. To know that God is not only involved but that He's the focus. It's a powerful thing. It's something that is completely new for me (though I'm none too proud to admit that). But oh! What a glorious feeling!!
God is just so unbelievably awesome! Totally and completely unfathomable, the same and yet new. I know He loves me, I'm secure in that love. But I never dreamed He would show me in such ways! I mean, not only has He dropped me in the [digital] lap of the man I've always dreamed of, but He's gone infinite steps further. Point in case: I've always been frustrated by my "facial structure" so to speak. I have a very "strong" jaw, etc. I've just always hoped to find someone who can "see past that" and still find me beautiful... "Well, hi Jack. I'm God. Move over and watch this." Guess what Mac finds the most physically attractive about me. That's right: My Jawline. HELLO. Talk about exceeding my dreams! I mean, c'mon, how crazy is that? I just love it. God is so GREAT. He takes my insecurities and just completely vaporizes any perceived need I have for them.
I tell ya, I'm totally on cloud nine today, can you tell? Heh... Sacrificing for others just plain rules. I just wish I could see the look on the other person's face. But imagining it works just as well.
Ok, people, I've probably blabbed at you quite enough for one post. I think I might have to rethink my blog template, especially for times like these when I just go on and on and on. I need to rework my box so it doesn't seem so overwhelming. Ok, I'll just hush.
Go do something for someone--and be sneaky about it!! It's really fun! And remember that God longs to give you the desires of your heart. He loves you so much more than you could even fathom!!
Um... Yeah... About That...
um... don't mind me... i'm just learning to trust. lemme tell ya though, it is not, in fact, a painless process. k, yeah, just trust me on that.
i'll probably explain all this in a couple of days...
Ok, I'm Just Plain Stupid.
WHAT was I thinking? Did my mind just completely escape me? Did I actually believe that I could ever be good enough for him? Did I forget my past? Who I am? What I've done? Apparently so, and it's not fun when I'm reminded...
Ouch... really big painful heartwrenching ouch. You'd think I'd learn my lesson one of these times... but no, Jack just keeps on setting herself up. No more, people, no more... Jack thinks it's time to just set herself up to fly solo permanently... Love just doesn't seem to fit. And trying it on just hurts way too much...
Wow... I can't even describe what this feels like... I can't believe I let this happen... and it seemed so perfect. Maybe that should have been my first warning signal. But it just seemed like it came straight from God... I think that might be what hurts the most...
Special Report: Massive, Ugly Cold Bug Sweeps Through Jackville
Yeah... Tate's sick... I'm sick... heh... looks like the whole of Jackville. Anyway... Tate's been running a pretty hefty fever, but lucky for me, my body gave up on such trivial immune-system triggers as the fever like 15 years ago. So I just have the cough and stuffed up head. Yay.
They actually SENT ME HOME from work this morning. I arranged for my sister to watch Tate and everything (since daycare barricades the doors against germ-toting vermin like us). I get to work, I'm there five minutes, and my supervisor pats me on the head and tells me to go home and get some rest... I'm thinking "Um, I thought they only did this in the restaurant industry when you're 16. Real people tough it out! Yeah!" But, apparently no. They get sent home. So I went home... spent the day moping around with Tate. But I DID get a little shopping done before I came home from work...
See, since mom's not really up to it, she's giving us all money and making us shop for ourselves for Christmas, then bring the purchases and receipts back to her for her to verify (cuz i'm known for spending money like that on bills and groceries and she gets all mad... anyway). So I went to Long's Christian Bookstore... Man, I need a chaperone when I go there. I got about a gazillion books, AND I GOT THE HILLSONG "HOPE" DVD and SONGBOOK!!!! WOOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOO!!!! I'm so totally excited. I also picked up the "For This Cause" Songbook... I'd like to get "Blessed" eventually too... oooh, and "You Are My World". Anyways, I had lots of fun.
Ok, this post is going nowhere... I think I'll just end it. Maybe, if I garner some focus, I'll post again tonight.
Love God, love others, love life--and live it OUT LOUD!! LIVE and LEAVE a legacy that points straight to HIM!!
Today is an AWESOME day
We got him!!! Woooo-hooooooooooo!!!! YAY!!!!
AND, I got a major major major hand with my finances... unbelievable... i'm still trying to close my mouth... Sometimes God just has to push you down and out of His way so He can show you how much more capable He is of taking care of you. He's so cool like that.
THANK YOU SO MUCH, GOD!!! Thank You for delivering our enemies into our hands. Thank You for running my life in spite of me. You are so amazing, Father, and I am so glad that You watch over me, even when I try to do it all myself.
Keep loving Him!!
Still Depressed But So Grateful
Things have not yet eased... as well I suppose they shouldn't have, since it's only been about 25 hours and God, as much as we'd like Him to be, is not a power-hungry, success-driven, modern American. He takes His sweet time, which is fine by me, since after all it is His game.
I just wanted to take a moment to tell you all how much I love you, and how grateful I am to have the amazing encouragement that you all afford in my life. I am humbled that you would even take note of me, let alone reach out and uplift me... God is so wonderful. I am blessed, and He is honored, by your love and devotion to Him and His Word... you glorify Him with your compassion, and with your determination to exhort His children, your brothers and sisters. I am not worthy of being called His child, and yet He claims me, and sets me in His family, along with all of you, to minister and be ministered to, to bless and be blessed. Thank you so much for loving your Father... for through loving Him you have loved me; and in showing love to me, you show Him your love and devotion to all that He is. My gratitude is endless, as are my praises...
How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD , for he has been good to me.
WARNING: Depressing Post
Ok... I am totally and completely broken... wholly despairing... utterly shattered... at my wit's end... stressed beyond belief...
It's too overwhelming to even write out. It's not mom, though she's not doing well... it's everything else in my life aside from Mac and my mom. That pretty much describes it. Tate. Work. Money...or significant lack thereof. My stress levels are through the roof.
Ok, God, I'm right where you want me--at my lowest. You. Can. Have it. I'm obviously doing a VERY poor job with it all. PLEASE take it, I can't handle it. I really truly can't... please, God... help me...
You Be The Judge
Ok, in an effort to get a clear picture of what is going on, I'm going to submit to you the email messages I've referred to in my last few posts. I'll first present my initial email, and then the principal's response. You give me your interpretations.
--Before we begin, I'd like to state my total and complete embarrassment at having "put myself out there" quite so enthusiastically. I now wish that my email to him had been a bit more reserved, but then that wouldn't have been me. My passion and enthusiasm are a part of who I am, and he needs to know it's part of the package. Anyway...--
My email is contained in the next post, followed by his response in the one after that (was going to do it all in one gargantuan post, but y'all probably wouldn't like that, and neither would blogger). Leave your perceptions in comments if you like (that way y'all can play off each other), or feel free to email me.
Can't wait to hear your take.
You Be The Judge: My Email
Dear Mr. Xxxxxxxx:
I truly hope this letter finds you wonderful and well. I know that you don't know me from Eve, but I'm hoping to filch a few minutes of your time. My name is Jessica Smith (though everyone calls me Jack, so feel free) and I've taken a keen interest in your school.
I've recently become acquainted with your Athletic Director, Mr. Aaron Xxxxxxx, through the marvels of modern technology, and he has, since our very first conversation, succeeded in piquing within me an avid interest in the work and ministry of ICS-Pyongtaek. You see, Mr. Xxxxxxxx, I've been praying fervently for an opportunity to go into full-time ministry.
I was raised in a Christian home, attended Christian schools, and belonged to one church family or another all of my life (we moved around a bit when I was growing up). I began leading worship for my church when I was 17, and have been heavily involved in 2 church plants. I experienced a few very rough years, during which I was divorced, and am now raising my two year old son alone. In the last two years, God has shown me His mercy and grace in countless ways, and set me once more in His family. He has reset my focus and restructured my priorities. I long to fulfill His purposes for my life, and in the last year I've felt an increasingly strong calling to be involved in full-time ministry of some kind, to work for God rather than man. My passion for worship and desire to serve God cannot be contained, and this is what brings me to you. I know that my qualifications leave something to be desired, but my enthusiasm and determination will not allow me to go on living and working for the world instead of for my God.
I began coursework at the University of Toledo, in Toledo, OH and accrued somewhere in the neighborhood of 115 credit hours as a Business and Theater Major. When I moved to Florida, I lost a large chunk of those credits and now only have an AA to show for it. I'd love to return to school, to complete my Bachelor's and perhaps attain a teaching certificate, but I am also a divorced, working mother. As such, it's difficult to find the means to do so in a non-forgiving, secular environment. To be quite honest, Mr. Xxxxxxxx, a degree means nothing to me--I just want to live moment by moment for God. But if having a degree is what it takes to be used in ministry, then that is what I'll do.
In the meantime, I offer you my services, in any capacity that you see fit--and I do mean any. For lack of a more succint way to accomplish it, I'll list a few things that might be of use to you:
- I love God with everything in me and desire to show my love for Him by loving, serving, and nurturing His children, whether or not they know Him personally. My greatest ambition of service is to stir up passion around the world for worshiping Him
- I am a professional theater actor and singer
- I adore children (and have one of my own--a 2 year old boy), and I have a special passion for our young people, to see them become the men and women God intended them to be, to raise up a new generation of leaders.
-I am creative, passionate, and enthusiastic. And I love to stir up the same in others. If you use temperament testing, I am an "Idealist Teacher" or "Idealist Champion".
- I am extremely intelligent, as well as adaptable
- I "student taught" my biology and chemistry classes in high school (Science fascinates me--I play around with Punnet Squares for fun; I maintain a long-standing "love affair" with the English language and can teach that as well if you have need). I was in advanced Math, Science, and English programs in school
- I serve on the worship leader team in my church
- I have previous management experience which includes running an inner-city pool (requiring supervision of large numbers of children)
- I have an accomplished school-associated athletic background, including Junior Olympic Swimming and All-star volleyball, Presidential Fitness Awards, and lettering in every athletic venue my school offered
- I've been an assistant coach for an organized girl's volleyball team
- There is nothing of myself that I will not offer for service
I am rather like a Jack-of-all-trades, Mr. Xxxxxxxx, and I pray that you can find use for me in your school. If you need a janitor, and will have me, I will come. If you need a daycare worker, I will come. If you need a personal assistant, drama teacher, volleyball coach, hall monitor, science teacher, choir director, anything... if you'll have me, I will come. I just want to help and minister to others, to serve the body of Christ, to stir up passion for worship, to go out into the world and spread His awesome and life-changing news, and I'd love to do it with you and the others at ICS-Pyongtaek.
Please, if you have any questions or comments at all, or you'd just like to talk to me personally for any reason, do not hesitate to call me at any time day or night. My home phone number is: 407 / xxx - xxxx. My cellular number is: 419 / xxx - xxxx. I look forward with excitement to hearing from you. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my request. I continue to hold up in prayer yourself, your family, your work, and those you work with.
All of my love in Christ,
Jessica "Jack" Smith
xxxx xxxxxx Drive
Altamonte Springs, FL
Remember: Love God, love others; love life, and live it out loud. Live and leave a legacy that points straight to Him.
You Be The Judge - Principal's Response
I am having some trouble with hotmail. I hope you get something with this one!
I wrote you to say that there is one very major hurdle to you coming to Korea. To get a work visa (E-2) from the Korean government you must have a four year college degree. This is not a school requirement but one of the Korean government. They feel that they have lots of their own people that can work as "janitors" or whatever so they only allow foreigners into the country to work who can do things that a Korean person can not ...such as be a teacher at a foreign school. I also believe the expense of child care in combination with our low "missionary" pay would make finances tight for you. Finally, my first preference for a teacher is that they also have a teaching credential and some experience.
I know this is not what you hoped to hear but I wanted you to know the reality of the situation.
The Diplomatic Brush-off
Sorry for the cryptic nature of my last post. I just wasn't able to go into details at the time. Let's just say I was momentarily raw, emotionally.
I got a reply from the principal. I perceived it as a diplomatic brush-off. Mac isn't so sure about my perceptions. I guess we'll see. Basically, the principal cited three "hurdles". The tone of the message was such that he thinks the obstacles will make me walk away. Part of me is hurt, part of me is insulted (though I am loathe to feel that way, knowing he is a brother in Christ), part of me is saying "well, I'll show him, then"... heh. Basically, last night I was fully despairing.
The first thing I did was turn my eyes up and worship God. It was all I could do. I turned my volatile emotions over to Him, and told Him how much I love Him, how wonderful He is... I told Him that I know He will put me where He wants me. And that right now, I am precisely where He wants me.
Heather left a wonderful comment for me the other day, when I posted about S. Korea. She left me some amazing Scriptures (they all are, though, aren't they? :-) ).
I often seem to forget that we must have faith. I don't mean faith in God. Rather, I forget to have faith that He will give me what I ask. I'm always telling myself that I have no right to ask things of God, He has given me SOOOO much already. I'm unworthy of what I have now, so how can I possibly ask for more? But our Father longs to give us the desires of our hearts. It would be silly of me not to ask my Father to clear the way for me to give up serving the world and devote myself to serving Him. It is what He wants for me--He has placed this longing in my heart. The Enemy is desperate to stop me, for He knows the power that will come from a life devoted fully to God and His purposes. Satan is terrified of what a single heart longing to further the Kingdom of Heaven can do to his plans.
In talking with Mac, it was wonderful and inspiring to see how God cleared the way for him to be in S. Korea. After I heard back from the principal, my head was in a spiritual state of confusion. I thought "Ok, God cleared the way for Mac. He's not clearing it for Jack. Take a hint, Jack." And then I wondered if I really was supposed to take the proverbial hint, or if I was supposed to view this as an obstacle to be overcome.
With a little time, a lot of prayer, and some talking with Mac, I'm beginning to realize that this is indeed an obstacle. I won't go into all the reasons right now. I know that God is with me, and He wants me to fulfill the purposes He has set forth for my life (sidenote: i REALLY HIGHLY recommend reading The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren). Everything will turn out just the way God wants it.
I'm gonna stop for now--gotta go get Tate dressed and out to tour the daycare he'll be attending come Monday.
Oh yeah, forgot to tell you: I got the job with Axium!! It's a great base pay that will meet all my needs and I get commission on top of that. Yeah, I'm kindof a pharmaceutical rep, now. It's a little more complicated than that, but it will suffice for now. PRAISE GOD!!! He meets all my needs, He's so awesome!! Ok, catch y'all later.
Psalm 4:3 "Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him."
Apparently We Were Mistaken...
You see, it can indeed hurt... Quite alot, actually... Later.
I'm so unbelievably desperate!!!!
... to go to South Korea, that is. Ok, for those of you who've been asking what this is all about, I'll try to explain in my own phrenetic way:
It all sort of started in a roundabout kind of way with Hillsong's tour in the US a few months ago. Good grief, when was that, exactly, anyway? Ever since I moved to Florida (March of '02), God has steadily been working in my life, namely to bring me back to Him. I've become increasingly hungry for His presence, His word, His will in my life. So anyway, back to the Hillsong worship event here in Central Florida... God made it plain to me that night that He wants me working for Him. No longer for man, no longer for myself. Only for Him. He's effectively lit a fire under me, and I am powerless to stop it's growth--rather, I find myself fanning the flames... as most of you know, I'm really really really passionate about worship. I want to stir up passion for worshiping our God all over the world. I want people to overflow with enthusiasm in every moment of their life, and be unable to contain their praise to God. I feel called to do this. I prayed a LOT and talked with my family and my pastor and all that, and it seems like God is pointing to HILC, to prepare me for what He has placed on my heart to do. To get there, a number of things must be accomplished, first of which would be to pay off my debts. (Sidenote: this is important to me anyway, because the Bible states that we should not owe anyone money. **Rom. 13:8**) Well, my last contract just expired, as most of you also know, and I am currently jobless (though I think I may have one tomorrow, Axium really liked me--anyway!). Six months ago, I would have been completely flipping out over the fact that I don't have a job. But as I grow closer to God, two things (actually a TON of things, but 2 KEY things) are happening as a result: I come closer to understanding His ways and His timing, and I am becoming more and more filled with His peace. So basically, I'm not seeing this as a major problem--I'm seeing it as an opportunity. An opportunity to evaluate my life and it's direction, and opportunity to turn it around and head the way He wants me to... God will show me where He wants me to go... and He is showing me in an increasingly loud way.
A while back, I told y'all about BigChurch. Well, a few weeks ago, I stumbled on another similar site, after having some difficulties with BigChurch. ChristiansConnecting is a great site where I have met quite a few Christians (one of them being the Pastor Scott y'all see me talking to, heh). One of them is Aaron, or "Mac". Mac is such an awesome man of God, and he has answered God's calling to serve. He is now the Athletic Director of ICS-Pyontaek. ICS-Pyongtaek is "International Christian Schools - Pyongtaek, South Korea". It's a school that gives an English speaking, American Styled education to students in foreign countries. They have "military brats" as well as native Koreans attending the school, and in a nutshell, they prepare students to attend Christian colleges in America.
When Mac first emailed me, I almost didn't email him back. I thought to myself: "What on earth? The guy is in S. Korea? What am I supposed to talk about with some random guy in S. Korea?" Then the Holy Spirit took over in His gentle way and said, "um, Jack--tell Me again why I had you sign up for this site in the first place?" and my sheepish reply was "yeah... um... because I wanted to meet and establish lasting relationships with other Christians, to strengthen my spiritual family... etc..." and He patted me on the head and said "That's right, dear... so what are you waiting for?"
And thus, I replied to Mac. Let me tell you, it's probably the single smartest move I've EVER made. EVER. In my WHOLE. LIFE. From our very first conversation, I heard that still small voice whispering to me... telling me that it really is possible to serve God, in the ways I have dreamed of doing. Not just doing community work, but actually going out into the world, and LIVING 24/7 for His purposes. DUDE!! I am so incredibly fired up!
When Mac found out my current (or "then current") vocation, y'know what he said to me? He said, "Are you really? No way! The kids over here have been dying to have someone come teach them drama. We've had several prospective parents and students touring the school asking about drama programs, and we just have to tell them we don't have one at this point." It is at this point when God was like: "Babe, can't you see? I'm totally all over this." And thus, Jack was all agog.
So I started doing some heavy-duty looking into ICS. You need a teaching certificate... hmmm, don't have one of those. Sometimes they make exceptions for people who don't have one... like if you have a bachelor's, etc... well, almost had one of those, but in my brainless wonderment, I transferred to a 2 year school to complete an AA so that I was guaranteed admission to any state school I chose regardless of enrollment issues... and WHAMO, my credits got SERIOUSLY butchered.
Hmmm... so I report back to Mac.... heh, "Jack went back to Mac"... lol, sorry. So I tell him what's up, and he says to just email the principal. It can't possibly hurt. So basically I'm waiting to hear back from the principal now, while exploring options to get a BA REALLY fast, i.e. testing out with CLEPs and GREs.
So yeah, basically I'm fanatical about going there now... I no longer think of it in terms of "if I get to go"... it's all "When I go" etc. I know with certainty that God will show me the way. I just hope He doesn't make it too difficult, lol. It's like I told the principal: "If you need a janitor, and will have me, I will come. If you need a daycare worker, I will come. If you need a personal assistant, drama teacher, volleyball coach, hall monitor, science teacher, choir director, anything... if you'll have me, I will come. I just want to help and minister to others, to serve the body of Christ, to stir up passion for worship, to go out into the world and spread His awesome and life-changing news....."
So, in conclusion, I hope I've been relatively clear, or that you can at least make out what on earth I'm talking about. Please pray for this situation. PLEASE. I'm so desperate to go...
One of the coolest things about all this is that I know that HILC and S.Korea are both in God's plans for me... you see, S. Korea will actually help me get to HILC (giving me service experience and bringing me ever closer to Him, obviously, but also with finances. You get paid a small amount, but the cost of living is ridiculously low, and I'll be able to send the rest back to the states to pay off loans!!!)
Ok, I'll end this insanely long post now... let me know if you're still confused, lol.
Worship Him, ALL the time!
Ok, start praying riiiiiiiight.... NOW
Alright, I just sent out an email to the principal at the school in South Korea, expressing my interest in serving there... START PRAYING!! This would be such an unbelievable opportunity... I'll keep you posted. Gotta run.