Book Review: Confessions Of A Latter-Day Virgin: Part 2

Having a night to sleep on what I just posted yesterday I have some more thoughts regarding the themes involved in the discussion. But, to not get to off subject, I want to say more about the three I mentioned in the last post because those are very necessary to this book.
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First, I will give my overview. Nicole Hardy spans across at least 4 decades of her life from birth to early forties, but primarily she focuses on the bumpy, difficult years of 20 to 30. As well as her thirties. Nicole displays, what one reviewer called ‘Cognitive Dissonance.’ The reviewer wrote: “Cognitive Dissonance is described as: “The term cognitive dissonance is used to describe the feeling of discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs. When there is a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors, something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance.”
She struggles through her twenties with the idea of finding her sole value and purpose in two things: marriage and having children. Rather, she wants to stay true to her dreams and desires. She wants to be a writer and spend her time being creative. I relate heavily to wanting to write and be creative. The first 200 pages are full of Nicole sticking to her convictions and having trouble in all her relationships. She struggles with liking the non-Mormon or LDS(Latter-Day Saints) guys because they want sex after a few dates. And she struggles with the seemingly impaired LDS guys who seem to think that women are a means to an end. That we should be in love, but really I need you to bear me some children.

Nicole has a real crisis of faith at 35, nearing almost 36. She decides to stop caving into the pressure and the boundaries of marriage before sex. She succeeds at writing, at diving in the Caymen’s, and being herself. This is where that cognitive dissonance thing comes into play. How hard is it to stay pure outside of marriage? It is hard and I am not trying to champion what parts of this book I wouldn’t do myself. I said in the first part, that as hard as it is God’s boundaries are there for a reason. And we need to press through the lies of culture and value God’s word above people’s comfort. Doesn’t it say-in the end of the age-men would be lover’s of pleasure, rather than God? She comes to grip with these many tensions. And I greatly appreciate someone opening up about how hard purity can be, but also how confusing the “religious dating scene” can be. I put up quotes cause I don’t know what else you would call it. Dating, just by itself, is not easy. Its not the movies everyone. In the movie the guy is at the party with his bros and he figures out who the best looking girl is in the place and goes for it. Next scene: girl and guy wake up the next morning. And people would say: well, I guess the guy got the girl. No. The dating scene is more like this.”Hey, you don’t look your ChristianMingle picture at all?” Awkward…

She does give in and she does lose the label of “virgin” and then it just ends with her getting published in the New York Times.

Continue reading “Book Review: Confessions Of A Latter-Day Virgin: Part 2”

The Forecast

Its good to be writing some new stuff. I have been posting older reflections(some with weird, obscure formats–sorry about that) but it is because this blog just passed 100 subscriptions just the other day. I say this to say that, I want the new people to enjoy older reflections that have been long gone.

This is a fresh poem written today. I am just taking in everything that I heard this past week at the Onething conference. A whole post dedicated to that will happen. I am still processing but the storm will come in life. Life will be hard; difficult; full of disappointments(as some would say); and full of plenty of time to choose what to believe in. I am holding on to the fact that it will be hard until I die, but my choices will affect as Mike Bickle recently said, ‘the depth of my choice affects the depth of my experience in God.”(not word for word).

So, here’s my reflection..

Weatherman tell me the forecast
Do I have what will last?
Inside is where we should live
But outside the world does hide
Behind that, storms they are
Forming, winds they are coming,
Ears they are humming and
Deafening the voice that speaks
And calms the storm—disaster, once
Was my master and ruled me daily,
Steady was far from me, faithful and
Fruitful did drift away—my dreams
Kept me going, for so little was spoken
Over me—where could this life please
Be, the forecast is dark, dreary, deadly,
Not lively—cloud and loud hang over
Me for the future is full of conflict, full
Of scandal, full of a candle in need to
Stay burning—I ask if I can truly win,
When the world seems to be drowning
In sin, Noah save me from the flood,
From the pain that life brings, from
The things called suffering and
Resistance—forecast me a safe
Life with a good wife and a good
Thing and kids to add to my last
Name—bring me now, all these
Things—but truth be told, the
Weather is cold, a lie, a shadow
To come—for light and love shine
Through the seasons and the many
Reasons for my dedication—clouds
No more stay over me because I have
Given all of me—to this cause, to this
Flame, to this love that takes my name—
And one I know not of waits for me,
Waits for all who see the storm,
See the clouds, rejoice in rain,
Rejoice in the pain—press through
He says this new year, make it clear
Where you stand—that bad weather
Won’t change your stand—stay steady
When you feel uncertain, stay steady
When he pulls back the curtain—for
The one storm I can’t escape will
Come down from the sky miles
High and convert the earth from
Storm to clear, from pain to gain
From a life of suffering to seeing
His face—and that truly is what
Makes me wait—for weather, I ask
Come and stay, through it all, I
Stand—waiting!

Looking Back: The Impact Of The Onething Conference

Its that time of the year. Christmas is over and the the last four days of the year(for the past 10 years) has been spent in Kansas City, MO. I think it would be good to overview the lessons and experiences I have had from a decade of these conferences. I am listening to Mike Bickle preach as I am writing right now and looking for my friends in the audience(which is pretty hard by the way).

2003-04
This was the first time I ever went to Kansas City. Corey Russell had come to my youth group summer 03 and then again in October. After hearing him preach at our Annointed Generation Conference I was hooked. I wanted to know if what I was seeing was the fruit of a place like IHOP, then I wanted to be around that. I hit the road with my friends Jacob and Paul and I remember working on one of my Oscar winning screenplays in the process. This year at Onething was so gooodd. Jason Upton was given a whole day of speaking and a night of worship. His theme was ‘breaking off rejection with a spirit of adoption.’New Year’s Eve I had never seen so many people fit into one place. Delerious did the worship and Martin Smith gave his sweet and sincere exhortations in between all the songs.

All The Years After That

It would take to long to break down every single year but as these conferences have occurred for me each year I have grown in my ‘yes’ for the Lord. I have grown in my desire to go for it wholeheartedly. What I appreciate about Onething is that Mike Bickle and team are committed to saying the same thing every single year. They are calling people to live with all that they have. To live with passion. To live in holiness. To say no to the lesser pleasures of the world and yes to living before the eyes of heaven.

Rita Springer has that song, ‘its gonna be worth it!’ And it is going to be worth it. The Lord would say it is time to prepare. It is time to get ready. It is time to not be distracted by anything that would get in the way of this very special pursuit.

Here are some links to some Onething sermons that have impacted by Corey Russell.

Realize

When did you realize
I missed your sunrise
And came my demise
My downfall was wanting
You at all

I’ve painted this town your
Favorite color to shower you
With red with dead sounds
And leaps around this drama
For the season has changed
And love is not tame,
A safe man I don’t want
To be, a man do I have to
Be,

Would the world notice
My onus to you, my world
To shatter and thoughts to
Scatter, you are my disaster
My beat faster, my alabaster
Only one can have that and
Deserve that, but now tame
Is not sane or part of the game

Loving is a realization that
It can all be shaken in a
Moment so love like its the
Last moment you ever would
Have

Hunger Prayer

Hungry you have made
Me, in this place I cannot
Stand it for you are not
A violent police man telling
Me how I ought to live or
How to be, rather I have
Spent a decade under the
Influence that Holy

Congruence is coming soon
To rescue me and all of
Humanity ,now its been
Rain and years of pain
And I say yes to you still
Tonight touch me and make
My eyes look upon and wait
Upon Holy things, yes I want
That, rest in me tonight

Wonder

I wonder what you will find when I lay it

Bare to a world that might not care,

Winter came with the look in your eyes

With bright colors all around, you looked

Until I hit the ground, dance, dance you

Said and did that been to that, saw that

Smile move away from you it was the

Only clue that I had to get back to you,

Now on the shelf you do keep me

And look at me with apathy, how could

I ever love again after that deep end

I just swam in, how does anyone trust

A life of pain over a life of ease? How

Do I live and feel what is real when

The world out there doesn’t care

What kind of sleep I get at night

Whether I will live at peace at

All?

But I wonder with you to, cause love

Seems to be all that one can do to

Stay sane in a world of pain, so

Yes, yes Lord to the ways of

Suffering, let it never be in

Vain, let me understand

The rain that falls on everyone

That lives fully and wholly for

You

What Am I

I am not asking what am I
To do with my life
I am asking who do I
Want to become

For the proof is in my
Choices and the vices
That splices the good
Part of me and all of me
You do ask and I cannot
Afford to live dead and see
Dead all of my days,

For deep goes to deep
Pain and its terrain in
Me, nothing is free in
This corrupted river we
All swim in,

What will I be in twenty
And plenty of time piled
Up and to know you will
That be me, to know about
You cannot be me, it weighs
Heavy on me now to
Get louder with you,
Red colors like led and
Carries me down

Help me know who I am
And let me understand

Magnificent

Listening to this song by Bon Iver and inspiring me.

I knew I was not magnificent
To you, you wanted the best
Parts of me, I wanted a break
That was a mistake, now I still
Ache and wait for you,

The gray hairs on my head
Enlist me instead, on the
Beard they feel weird, but
Without you is the strangest
Thing I can ever feel for
Now is the time to live
And give all I can have to
Have you,

I just see your youth
As proof that you still
Live inside of me as just
A distant memory and
You burn and burn with
Fire all around me, you
Rarely come around here
Around the pier I do here
And daily swear to the sky
I see you walk by, but now
Seperate we live,

The medicine spills in
And out of me, for because
Of you I am not balanced out
I am without the medicine
And I was not magnificent
To you

I wonder about you
I wonder what to do
For these songs play
On repeat and I think
Only of what is not lonely

Waited

I waited, I waited in
The rain for it to be
Plain with grays and blacks
And attacks of brownish
Shadows but in the color
You shined bright, with
Headbands of bright it
Kept me up at night,

I know, I really know you
Won’t keep me on the shelf
Up there with manuals of
Love and life and the right
Way to live,but no, death no
Cannot be talked about,
For dying I have been
Trying to do,just for you

The memories of those
Days, yes, the sun fades to
Black, you’ve stayed bright
Despite the loss of light
That shined upon us

Covered

There is no clarity
Without purity,
Man is an addict
And negligent to
Pain and suffering has
Become the fix, the thing
To shout out loud,
Decline and downfall
Two words to express
What we address,

Its just a sliver to the
Silver He offers
For darkness covers
The earth and covers
Me, lying is man’s tragedy,
But denying the pain
Covers up the covering
And announces the
Hovering of what to
Resist

So cover me with
Mercy and grace to
Pull my eyes away from
Death and have them
Covered in purity,
So I can have some
Clarity