A Quiet Wood

A Quiet Wood

Friday, February 8, 2008

Yes, Well...

God bless you, gentle friends and lurkers. God bless any of you who endure chronic disappointment and loss every time you check my quiet blog. Behold, I live, yea I thrive! That's the problem. Thriving seems to bring with it few hours to spend on the information superhighway, or if an opportunity arises it is only long enough for a brief lurk on the sites of others. Anyway, enough with the excuses! Enough, I say! Sorry, it seems to be a night for exclamatory sentences. Yipe!

I sit here this fine Friday evening in my Chair of Power in the Dean of Women's office. The lounge has quieted since most of the student body rushed off campus to enjoy the hours of freedom that the weekend affords. Close to 11pm it will once again ring with the sounds of their merry voices. Then we shall make our way to the gym for some late night volleyball and basketball as is the Friday night custom. *oh, goody* Somehow, late night volleyball just doesn't do for me what it once did. I would much rather be in my jammies. *I love my jammies* However, due to our dress code, jammies and the gym don't mix. So, I shall have to wait until after the evening frolic is over. I am loathe to recall that it sometimes lasts until 1am. *loathe, loathe* Anyway, all loathing aside, it is a good evening in the office and has provided me this wonderful opportunity to reconnect with you, my faithful and forebearing friends.

The big news of the week was my privilege to speak at our annual Student Development Day. My "sermon" was on sexual purity. I have been so incredibly burdened lately at the skewed view our society and even our churches have regarding sex. Society thrives on the twisted, marred image of sex that it accepts as reality. Every day we are pounded with these lies by the culture around us. As a result, the church reacts by categorizing sex as "dirty". If they mention sex at all it is with negative connotations. If there is any dialogue with their youth, it is simply, "Don't have sex until you're married!" They often neglect to mention the fact that God thought the whole thing up, that He created it to feel good, that His rules about timing bring incredible blessing, that sexual desire is God given but must be saved for the proper time, that sex God's way is the absolute best. It is as if the church believes that Satan created sex, and God somehow redeemed it enough for children to be born - certainly not enough for it to be enjoyed. Now, I realize that I'm making HORRID generalizations. I know there are ministries out there that are doing a fabulous job, that good books have been written, and that some parents are instilling incredible values into their kids. But I also see lots of kids here on the Hilltop that simply don't have a clue. They know they shouldn't have sex, but a simple "shouldn't" doesn't carry much weight when your hormones are raging and you are completely, blissfully "in love". I've seen too many young people with major regrets and too many lives sidetracked to believe that we are doing an adequate job of educating our youth. As you may well imagine, I was pretty blunt (as is my wont). We went everywhere from male/female differences to STD's to the "stupidest forms of birth control" to the beauty of doing it God's way. It was incredible to sense the blessing and help of God as I delivered my heart, and I don't know when I've received more positive feedback. Maybe it seems weird that a single female is lecturing on sex, but one does what one must when it is needed. :) And when God gives a task, He is incredibly adept at preparing us for it.

Anyway, life is good. The evening is quickly waning, and volleyball fun awaits. *whee* My prayer for all who read this blog is that we may truly learn to listen to our heavenly Father. I've been reading Jeremiah lately, and I have been struck as over and over the Almighty God foretells the destruction of His people because they "did not listen". Over and over He tried to wake them, offered them opportunities to repent but they "did not listen". I have been asking God to help me to listen with a willing heart; a heart that is ready to obey the moment it hears. May that be true for all of us!


Toots said...

Amen, sister! May God bless you for speaking the truth and having a heart of concern for the young people! I pray they'll WANT the truth! If they will only realize that the God who made them gives them the "guidelines" which bring the most joy, the best results, the deepest love, the happiest life.
Those college years are such critical years, and there seem to always be so many misconceptions...I remember.
Bless you, my friend!

GodSeeker said...

Amen and amen! You go girl! A voice crying in the wilderness, or er, the hilltop!! Thanks for blogging! :o) And thank YOU for being open and honest, and for caring in the first place. May Jesus give you wisdom to both listen and speak from your heart. . . Love you!!

Liz said...

Wow...I have always had the same thoughts and opinions on this issue but never quite had the words to express "properly" how I felt. It does seem looking back on our "teenhood" that sex was always talked about in a negative way. Now that I think of it I never remember a message or sermon preached on it in a positive light or explaining why it would be better God's way.(oh the memories of uncomfortable youth camps where negative aspects were the main topic of discussion for the week!!) I wish I could have heard you speak.

Becky said...

I know you don't know me, but I appreciate you speaking out on sex. It burdens my heart to see the young people these days taking this so lightly. I recently was talking to someone very close to me, about getting involved with someone. I had to tell her to be careful on the physical attraction, and her response to me was "but He is not a bad person." I told her that they don't have to be a bad person to have that physical attraction. I just wish that we had more people like you speaking out on this.

Becky Bell

Kimberly said...

I truly love and admire your listening and willing heart, my dear friend! And I honestly DO think you are a shining light!

Now that I've been sweet, I will say that this sermon put me in mind of the one you delivered on the creekbank of our baptism...I had to smile!:) (that's me smiling!)You are "wont" to give a good sermon!

And (not that I'm an expert or anything), I do think it's high time this subject is approached with truth and honesty...not fear and misinformation. Maybe you're just the one to do it for the wee youth of today in your neighborhood.

I do wish you were here, too!!! We've had a good visit so far. Love ya!

Cindy said...

Sonja Joy,

As usual, you've outdone yourself. While I don't envy you the task of speaking to young people about sex, I do admire that you let God use you even in uncomfortable circumstances. And I could be persuaded to listen to you speak just about any day...no matter the topic!

Well, hope late night v-ball didn't keep you away from your jammies and green chair unduly long :) Love you girl, and will try to call you soon.

Anonymous said...

I am proud of you for following God with this. It is a huge issue now days! You have no idea how many women I have "counseled" about sex, after they were married. Sometimes women who have been married longer than me! It is unbelievable how twisted their thoughts are on sex but more than that how ostracized the word "sex" even is in our holiness circles. Trust me this needs to be discussed with college kids! You have no idea how many horrible marriage problems can arise over the simplicity of sex. It is simply misunderstood and looked at as a very evil, vile act. I can't give you enough kudos for doing this! Satan has been able to get his claws into fine Christian families, sincere spouces, who are misguided indeed! I will stop now, but I agree with, you are very right! Besides that, millionares are not the only ones that can talk about money! So, who cares that you are not married yet, don't let that bother you. That is satan trying to stop you from helping many couples out in the future! :-)

jenny said...

Good stuff, friend...as always.

Interesting you are in Jeremiah. I was able to hear Phil Vischer yesterday...and that, of course, made me think of Brent (I think he'll like the mental connection). He was really challenged reading Jeremiah by the verses about praying for the "peace and prosperity" of the city that holds you in exile. Anyways, said all that to say, it made me want to read Jeremiah, too.

I am about 25 pages shy of finishing Augustine. Our book club got rescheduled for later this month due to a snow cancellation. It has been a bit of a "plow read" of late. Much to be gleaned...but needing time to think on it.

Char said...

Wow -- when you update your blog you really UPDATE!!! Actually, the "Bookstore Lady" has been hearing many positive comments as a result of the Development Day topics. Much needed and I applaud you and Brother Miles (heartily clapping - and standing no less!)

As to the "loathing" of late night - I understand and feel your pain, however, I do get to wait in my warm flannel jammies with a cup of coffee until my "little munchkins" arrive home at that unheard of hour of 1:00 AM!!!! What am I thinking??????

As always, blessings on your ministry my dear friend.

Tara said...

It is ALWAYS with a smile and giddy anticipation that I see you have a new blog posted! It makes my eyes happy indeed.

No exception this time. What good stuff! Sounds like you did a marvelous job tackling a big, tricky topic. I say amen, and amen! Sex is not prohibited because it is "BAD"...it is saved because it is indeed so "GOOD"! God's way is always the best way, no matter which area we're speaking of.

Mary Ellen said...

Way to go Sonya!!! I'm sure you did a great job, especially if it was even remotely as good as this blog you just wrote. I know you are touching many hearts and blessing many lives in your role. I've often thought that if I were in a girls dorm I would love to have you for a women's dean!

CharleneOwensMomof2 said...

Girl, we needed one of those talks back when we were all in high school. It may have helped many a hormonal teenager back then as well Very good stuff and I bet you delivered it better than anyone else I can imagine!

Anonymous said...

Many blessings to you all for your kind words. Believe me, I leaned heavily on the prayers of those close to me, and I really did feel the help of our Heavenly Father. I always find that when I offer myself for His use and do my very best, He makes up the difference. Without His part of the equation, I'm not sure it would have been worth much. :)

Thanks again for being the supportive friends that you are in my life. Everyone should be this blessed!

Juwah said...

Sonja I'm shocked that you used the "S" word in your blog. What is this world coming to? Next thing you know you'll be preaching about other really practical things. :)
Seriously, good for you and good for those kids. History should tell us that ignoring something doesn't make it go away. So good to address the topic of sexuality in an open, honest, and sane way.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I, along with others, pleaded and begged for your words of wisdom and we end up with powerful wisdom (and tons of laughs from all of the exclamatory statements and the reality that we have to agree with you on those statements due to we are all around the same ages!) I was sitting here in my office reading your update and thinking how correct and right on the mark you are with your thoughts of sexual purity and how it is viewed nowadays. It is sad how society has started looking at this.

Meanwhile, I started chuckling at the thought of you having to be pulled and drugged to the gym (not that you stated it, but we could tell in your wording that you were "so looking forward to going"! LOL!!) by the students needing your chaperoning from your Chair of Power! Luckily for them, the chair of power isn't a Lay-Z-Boy!! Isn't it something how fast we seem to grow old (ok, I know we are getting older, but I don't like to have to admit it yet do I?)and no longer be able to enjoy the late night fun of volleyball, basketball, etc. (pretty much anything that keeps us up much past 9 PM ok... maybe 10 or 11 (with the help of caffeine.. LOL!)) Anyway, what a powerful "sermon" it sounds like you gave! I have no doubt that God really used it to touch the hearts of those who heard it!! Now to address the excuses at the beginning of your words of wisdom, though reluctant I am, I must as that is what friends are for!! YOU CAN'T TAKE THE TIME TO READ ANYONE ELSE'S BLOGS! (That is in the fine print of the blogging agreement you signed... didn't you see it? LOL!) Just think of your blog as homework and reading everyone else's blogs as playtime. Don't you remember what our parents always used to say about getting our homework done before we could have any playtime? Well, welcome to the world of adulthood and blogginghood (hmm, wonder if that is a word... doubt it, but doesn't it sound good? Ha-Ha!) Now that we are adults and you are a blogger you have responsibilities to keep those of us who are hungry and desperate for powerful words fed. Otherwise, our only option is that we will have to start sending you our therapy bills due to the chronic disappointment and rejection we are forced to endure every time we come to this humble beggar site and it has no new word for us!! LOL!!!

Ok, Enough I say, Enough!! (Oh, my...I think I have picked up on your exclamatory sentences!!) Anyway, I'm glad to know you are thriving in Cincy and that the Chair of Power is still going well for you!! (You might see about making that Chair of Power a Lay-Z-Boy though, as it would make life so much more relaxing... wouldn't it? Ha-Ha!)

Keep on thriving for Jesus on the hilltop! (and if you decide to make that Chair of Power a Lay-Z-Boy, make sure it doesn't have wheels underneath, otherwise you might 'um roll down off the hilltop!!... would that then make you what they call a holy roller? Ha-Ha! (Ok, I'm done!! Well, at least till your next words of wisdom!!)

Thanks for the powerful truth!!

Twila G. said...

Hi Sonja, Talitha's sis here. I really appreciated this post. I am so glad God is using you to touch the lives of young people for Him. I too have been reading in Jeremiah and have been so burdened about the sad spiritual state of many of our young people who have been brought up in Christian homes. This verse really got a hold of me and convicted me.. Jeremiah 2:19NIV Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children....
I too am burdened for our young people and children. I will be praying for you as you minister there.

Anita said...

You go girl! I'm proud of you speaking on this subject. I once managed a DQ and most of my employees were teens who were very sexually active. They knew I was saving the good stuff for the big day and I think I proved to them that it could be done with much needed help from above. I explained to them that just because I wasn't sexually active didn't mean I wasn't tempted. Oh the times I had been tempted. But, God is faithful to give a means of escape. I got married around the same time one of my friends at work did. She had been living with her boyfriend for a year before they tied the knot and there just wasn't any big deal...just a white dress with a big party. Me on the other hand did not come out of our honeymoon cabin for the first five days because we were just having soooooo much fun. :)

Judith Atnip said...

Good job!
I am upset when I hear an older lady talking about how all her husband ever wants kind of thing is sex. She should be happy that he loves her and wants to express it in such a personal wonderful way, instead of putting him down and acting like sex is a bad thing.
I thought it was kind of weird this week at the Clinic when one of the female Doctors described Victoria's Secret's clothes as racey. Trust me, my husband likes that stuff. :-) I liked one of the comments here that says sex isn't bad, it is so good that you wait for it. That is such a great way to put it.

Judith Atnip said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ronda p said...

I have to agree with Juwah, I was quite surprised you used the "s" word. :)
Seriously, the church people young and old needs more speeches like this.
Keep shouting this message on the "hilltop" and maybe more people will hear you.:)

Allana Martian said...

Kudos to you for standing up for the truth and indeed gift wrapping it up and handing it to those who needed to hear it and in a way it can be understood. It's always good to know the truth about something. No matter how "touchy" the subject. Ignoring something doesn't make it go away. It just makes the truth harder to find. Kids should never be left in the dark about life issues!

Sharlyn said...

Howdy! Just wanted to drop by and say hello! I thought I had commented on this post but I guess I didn't. Anyway, great job on a tough topic! There is an excellent resource, shall we say, on this subject. It's called "Sex Has A Price Tag" by Pam Stenzel--available in various formats...It is a great investment. It's not all negative and it has funny parts to keep it light. You can email me if you want more info. I borrowed my copy or I would just loan it to you. Keep on keeping on, sister! Love ya! Hugs, Shar

Anonymous said...

I know my comments made earlier weren't completely serious focused, however, you know me, that's just how I am at times. Doesn't mean I'm not serious, just means I'm a fun-loving Christian man who likes to have fun with friends. Sometimes I have to read the words of wisdom and let them soak in a bit to ponder them before I can give a serious comment.

From all of the comments given by the women (which I wonder why all the guys who read your blog don't comment?) you definitely hit on a really important and powerful topic. Many people in the Christian community nowadays seem to wimp away from being open and talking about sex and many marriages are going down the drain because men and women aren't communicating about their needs and/or feelings to each other. They also are not willing to admit when they have problems, so they stuff their feelings deep inside and pretend they don't exist. But those feelings grow stronger and deeper and before long they are involved in things that they wouldn't ever have thought they would have turned to. I heard a really good quote the other day. It is "Feelings buried alive, never die. They must continue to be fed."

I don't know the pastor Judith is talking about, but my heart really goes out to him and his wife. If it has gotten to the point where other women (and I’m guessing men) know about his needs and his own wife doesn't or isn't admitting to it, this should be a major red flag to those people! I feel a caring couple (husband & wife) need to very lovingly and carefully take this pastor and his wife aside and talk to them about this known issue, Christian friend to Christian friend. If it comes out that he has taken the time to tell this very personal information to someone else and his wife possibly doesn't realize it, she could be very hurt even destroyed emotionally.

Judith, I don't know you, but I will be praying God will raise a husband and wife up to be able to help this pastor and his wife. So they are able to realize just what they have happening in their marriage. Otherwise, it is my fear the devil will claim another victory for destroying yet another marriage and a pastor’s marriage at that.

Sonja, I'm proud you were willing to speak on this topic and say what you did, but better yet that you talked about it here on your blog! So many times, nowadays, single people (no matter what age) are made to feel like they should be quiet about things like this due to they aren’t supposed to talk about these things, when in fact, if our single people would take more of an open stand and be willing to talk we wouldn't have all of the teens, college kids and young adults sneaking around doing things sexually when they should be waiting till they get married.

Keep standing for the right!! Also, I apologize for the long comments. Sometimes when I get on a roll I have a tough time stopping! Anyway, I’m working on getting my own blog up and running so I will let you know once it is out there. Keep up the good work!!

I’m proud to call you my friend!

Anonymous said...

Once again, thanks everyone for your input. I seem to have touched a nerve. Who knows what God may have in store?

Should have another blog coming along shortly. We'll see...