Category: JJ Day

School is out for me.

I am done with Bible college and I am looking toward a future of attending more school.  I need to get that law degree that’s in dream land someday! However, just after school was out, I was walking through the mall and found myself touching anything that shined. I wondered when everything I wanted in life became somewhere between $50.00 and $200.00.

Shoes that would look grand on me, at $65.00.  Sun glasses, the fancy ones, come in around $175.00.  I touch a $100.00 dress and finger the fabric.  My heart swoons a little at a shirt, but it’s $30.00 and all I want in life? Just to be 22 years old and attractive.  But when it comes down to it, I still don’t make much per year and I can’t have my cake and eat it too.

I just want to be and look put together.  I want to smell good and wear the good kind of perfume that’s priced at about $75.00.  I am thinking about getting a haircut and I could get a $30.00 haircut or a $15.00 one.  At the MAC makeup store I could spend hundreds of dollars on just face make up or go waltz into Walgreen’s and spend $45.00 on what I need.  I am car shopping right now and I could probably get a big loan, but I am sticking with what I’ve saved and spending around $2,500.

However, as I weigh the shoe in my hand at the mall and sigh a little, I can remember the mission trip to Peru I just took.  My priorities are so shifted because I need to go to school and I’d like to do another mission trip in a year or so.  I set the shoe down, take a brave step back and realize I want to be the kind of girl who thinks about what she spends.  As Dave Ramsey says, “If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

Then I am facing school and all that cost.  I’ve just had a few conversations that go like this, “Oh, nobody gets through school without a student loan.”  So there I face plunging into debt and I’ve heard from someone else, “It’s like buying a house, you are investing in your future.”  To be completely honest? I absolutely wish I didn’t have to go into debt for school.  I wish I could find a job, or win the lottery (that I don’t even play) and pay for school right out. Or find some giant scholarship for random girls in America like me who don’t particularly stand out, but has a good heart and outlook on life.

You know, “The Girl Next Door Scholarship.”  Heard of it? Let me know.

How does this post fit into The Civic Arena? Because it’s a Biblical worldview blog. And I just wanted to show you what an average American young adult is facing and what the world looks like for them.  I am just giving a glimpse of how I am viewing the world today.  My choices today could mean being well off in ten years with just student loan debt and maybe a mortgage.  Or it could mean thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of credit card debt, an overwhelming student loan and a car that’s being taken away from me because I can’t afford it.  The point is? Is that - sometimes it’s a battlefield, but I am up to the fight.

- JJ Day

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Shouldn’t Men be Manly?

I am quite interested in men’s fashion lately.

I find there is a trend that I keep seeing.  It’s not all that bad, but I wonder where these styles came from.  I am twenty-two and I am interested in fashion in an average way. This blog is a worldview blog and I think our worldview reflects how we dress just as much as it affects everything else in our life. However, I am wondering lately about low v-necks, skinny jeans and colored pants. Not to mention when a guy styles his hair more than I do, I get a little uncomfortable and wonder if I am not enough of a girl or he’s not enough of a guy.  I am not even saying that I dislike these trends, but I do wonder where they came from and why they are here.

Some people think social roles are wrong or bad. However, I think that if you were born a girl, then darling, embrace the girl in you to the best of your ability. Personally, I would rather play in the mud than go to a ball in a big dress. But then again, I understand that I was made by God a certain way and so I also enjoy curling my hair, wearing women’s clothing and generally being feminine. Girls are supposed to attract, be pretty and have some sort of softness to them. (And yes, be intelligent, be able to hold a job, and be strong in their own way… etc.  I am not just a damsel, but being saved by a boy sounds fun to me too!)

But men? They were made to protect, provide and work hard.  I live in Idaho, where I am not surprised to see cowboys here and there. My grandpa was a milk truck driver and so I came across farmers growing up.  To be honest, as a girl and in a very pure Christian sense, I appreciate when a man has a bit of muscle going on.  He doesn’t have to be Hercules, but it’s nice to know that he is walking around a bit stronger than me and can outwork me in a physical sense.  (And yes, he’s intelligent and can be kind too, etc.)  When I get married I’ll be looking for masculinity, because I want to be the feminine one in our relationship. Girls want to feel safe, protected and provided for – those things take strength!

It seems to me nobody really stands up and claps for the cowboy anymore.  Nor do we cheer on the hunter very much or admire the quiet hard worker guy, and we don’t encourage the father. (Just look at all our sitcoms on T.V.).  We do cheer on the the ultra-sensitive musician (or the metro sexual worship leader) and we think the graphic designer guy is super cool.  We young twenty-somethings check out the dude with the neat necklaces that hang just above his deep v-neck shirt and our eyes travel down to his colored pants and his canvas Toms and say, “Oh… so that’s where we are going? That’s the future?” ()

To be honest? All those tight clothes are what women are supposed to wear… right? And even I’m careful about how tight my clothes are to honor the men around me. Now, now, I don’t want to bash the way the guys my age dress and I am not even totally against it.

Me? I just wrote a post to chew on.

What do you think about young men’s fashion these days?

- JJ Day

(, , and Credits)

Water Cooler Talk: Religion and Politics

He completely disagrees with me.

I completely disagree with him.

He hates America, I adore America.  He violently attacks Christianity, I sweetly offer it to anyone who is willing to listen.  He’s into the darkest things, I wait for the morning so I can dance under the light of day.  He’s water and I am oil.

So then, how do we have the best weekly conversations about religion?

I’ve done it. I’ve shoved the gospel down someone’s throat.  I have pushed my political viewpoints right in front of someone and arrogantly said, “Take it or leave it.” But then, I realized this was not the way to do it! Sharing the gospel is not about holding up a sign and saying, “You’ll go to HELL if you don’t believe!” (Which, to be bluntly honest, is what I do believe).  However, that’s not really attractive and even I call that person crazy.

However, personally speaking, the most success I have had with the gospel is when I’ve prayed for someone and when I’ve showed them I really care.  To be really specific, I’ve had the best times of seeing someone convert to Christianity after a church service when the music played and they’d heard the pastor preach and they were there at church to seek God in some way anyway. Softly I have asked dozens of times, “Do you want me to go with you down to the people who can lead you into Christianity? It just takes one prayer to begin and then we can talk about what God is doing in you after that….” I’ve had so many people nod and I’ve taken their hand and led them to Christ. In those instances, I was not pushy and I just held open my own hands and asked.

I’ve also had many conversations about politics that were successful too.  The million dollar answer to that one is: Humility! Humility. Humility. Humility. To sit there patiently and listen to what they have to say (not sitting there waiting for them to finish so I could refute quickly).  Another great way is to ask a question, “What do you say to the argument that a pencil can’t write a sentence, the person does, just like a gun cannot shoot someone, a person does? Do you think maybe focusing on gun education and improving good citizenship in our schools might be better than banning all the guns in the world?” Then calmly listening to their answer.

Do you have tactics to arguments?

What has worked? What hasn’t?

Why do you discuss religion and politics?

Why don’t you?

 

By JJ Day

The Truth About Leprechauns

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (And Happy Birthday to my mom! Love you!)

Currently, I work for a Learning Center.  I was walking around the large play structure during their recess time when a kindergarten girl ran up to me and started gushing about leprechauns.  I listened, I always get a little uncomfortable inside when I come around these kinds of holidays.  (You know, Easter Bunny, Santa Clause, demons and stuff around Halloween, etc).  This is because I am uncomfortable lying!  I just am.  Around the time I was sixteen I had a good conversation with God about not being a liar and so I’ve tried so very hard to not lie to people. (Even when those little lies slip out, I go back to the person and apologize!)

When the little girl asked, “Miss Jessica! How long do leprechauns live?”

I almost blurted a random answer, but I hesitated and guilt hit me.  Why?  Because I really wanted to be honest with her and say, “Darling, leprechauns don’t exist.” But that was not my authority.  Her parents might get mad, my bosses would get mad and her teacher’s work of convincing her that leprechauns existed all that day would have been ruined. So I mumbled, “Um, I don’t know.  Are you playing tag with those girls?” She ran off.

In my very sincere and humble mind I ask, “What is the benefit of lying to kids when it comes to holidays?”

Do you remember when you found out Santa wasn’t real? (Sorry if you still do. I totally just ruined it…) I remember! I was around the kindergarten age.  At first I was shocked.  Then mad.  Finally, I was disappointed.  After that I felt pride in knowing a secret my younger siblings didn’t know and I got to stay up every Christmas and wrap the presents and set out Santa’s presents with my parents.  It was a tradition that I got to have as the oldest sibling.

When I got saved at fifteen, Christmas changed completely for me. What?!  Why didn’t anyone tell me the awesomeness of what Christmas was really and originally about? It’s a huge worldwide birthday party for baby Jesus?  Sign me up for that fun!

I suppose all I can really do to spread the news that leprechauns aren’t real, is write out my heart and questions about it in a blog about worldviews.  Then, I can dream about my own kids and how I’ll tell them what Christmas is all about:  Jesus.  Or that Easter isn’t just about a silly bunny rabbit bringing plastic eggs with chocolate in them, it is also about Jesus.

Someday I’ll get to sit them down and explain that St. Patrick was an amazing man who lived an incredible life! I will tell them how St. Patrick was brave when he was enslaved, escaped and then had such a deep burden to help those who enslaved him that he went back to help them!  Who did St. Patrick live his life for? That’s right:  Jesus.

Click the link to read about St. Patrick and who he really was:

And that’s the truth about leprechauns.

Question: What is the value of lying to kids about holidays?

By JJ Day

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College Baby! I am 22.

Here’s the scenario:

I decide to be smart, decide to open up an article about politics/worldviews/etc. and I read the first sentence.

Okay, look up three words in that first sentence.

Alright, that wasn’t so bad. I can do this. I am interested in this stuff. I am 22, college baby, that’s where I am at. I read on, it’s talking about some department with some acronym, and some guy in is in charge of it and he’s in trouble for doing something wrong.

What?

Then I just go ahead and nod to myself and go back to Facebook again. After all, I am only 22… college… I am only there right now. Not all that smart, really.

Is there anyone with me here? Who is young and uninformed and a little overwhelmed sometimes when it comes to politics? Nor do I feel like I have time for it…

*Gasp!* I can hear you say, “But JJ! You started a blog about called The Civic Arena! What are you talking about?”

I’d look back at you and say, “Um, I started The Civic Arena because I wanted to learn and discuss politics.”

You see, you can Google anything in the world and find an opinion on it. You can get lost in the world of politics. What is politics? Is it the economy? Two old white men arguing? Pro-Life? Gun safety? How do you navigate it? I do it like I study the Bible. Line upon line. Precept upon precept. Day by day. Article by article. Conversation by conversation with a person I trust. Blog post by blog post. Topic by topic. A little here and little there. Then I randomly find people who will talk about it with me.

So how do you want to start? Start here!

Click here to read how I process politics. (It’s the first post I ever put up here on the blog!)

Click here to read about gun stuff. (I personally found this really cool and information – because I am a girl and gun stuff is not naturally my interest. There is a great discussion under the post in the comments that I enjoyed reading.

You can learn why the pro-choice view is not logical.  This was a series; favorite pro-choice arguments were torn down and labelled: Argument #1 or Argument #2 or Argument #3 or Argument #4 (These are really great for the university student or young person who meets these arguments in academia. Or anyone who has a pro-choice person in their life!) Another REALLY GREAT post on life is one we have here called “Our Choice” – it’s gripping!

Or read a quick post called “A New Era of Politics” and get inspired!

Just join the conversation. Just step into the world with your toe. Then, you’ll realize the water is great and you’ll find yourself ankle deep. It’s when you are knee deep that the passion starts to hit you. Soon you’ll be fully under it, that’s when you realize politics isn’t just for politicians and “smart people who like politics,” but for everyone. Then you’ll see everyone should be informed… plus you’ll have something to talk about at the water cooler when you are out of college and working full time at that great job with the boss!

- JJ Day

Sojournor Truth “Ain’t I a Woman?”

When I read this, it gives me the chills for some reason…

“Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man — when I could get it — and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them. Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.”

- Delivered 1851 Women’s Convention, Akron, Ohio

“Ain’t I woman?” Mind you, I am a very white girl who has experienced nothing compare to the pain of this amazing woman.

Yet, this challenges me to dream, to face the harsh tides of those who disagree with me, and to work harder to change the world.  The amazing thing is that she went through the work of small things — plowing, starving, and working.  She did all of the quiet little things and then she had something to say.  Ms. Truth gave up her children and because she sacrificed (even if it was forced sacrifice) she had a message.

What in the world am I doing?

What in the world are you doing?

I am writing in honor of Black History month, because the message of people who have suffered is a powerful message.  What they did in their generation was incredible. But what could we do in our generation? Could we overturn Roe vs. Wade? Could we inspire married people to stay married? Could we give meaning and purpose to children and teenagers? Could we raise up our voices in prayer and beg God to help us and our economy?

I’ll put my hand to the plow- will you join me?

By JJ Day

(Photo Credit)

Here is What People are Saying about ‘See You in a Breath’

 

Here is what people are saying about Stephanie’s book, See You in a Breath:

“I had the honor of walking with Stephanie, Chris and baby Evelyn during her short days on earth. In a culture awash in theories and clinical experts, those of us broadsided by tragedy and suffocating on life’s most agonizing difficult questions find our hearts famished for love that is unshakeable. Stephanie’s honest and raw courage is a strong hand of help to those facing a hard walk, and struggling to process grief and unquiet thoughts. If only we had many more books as brave, rich and true as this one, our culture might fear less and heal faster.”

By Andrea L. (Bay Area, California)

See You in a Breath is a tender, beautifully crafted account of hope, loss, and the pilgrimage of grief.  For anyone who has lost a baby, this book offers healing through tears and a powerful reminder that you are not alone. “

By Adina S. (Coeur d’Alene, ID)

Kindle-cover

See You in a Breath is an e-book that will be available next Saturday, February 23 for purchase through both Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook for $2.99.

Don’t have a Kindle or a Nook e-reading device?  No problem!

to download a FREE Kindle for PC app.  Your laptop or desktop can act as an e-reader and so can your smartphone!  All for free.  

to download a FREE Kindle for iPad app.

to read more about why Stephanie wrote this book.

When We Have Dreams

Dreams -

You know, the real ones that matter and mean something, they are difficult to accomplish and seemingly impossible along the way. There are obstacles, threats and so many other discouraging things.

Yet, achieving greatness and being a history maker is more than worth it. Standing up for something awesome is not only a personal thrill, but when it changes the world for the better, it can arguably be one of the greatest things in the universe.

What do you stand for?

What greatness are you pushing?

Whether you’re the leader or just marching in the crowd, it means something and it matters.

So stand up, we at The Civic Arena will stand with you…

Sometimes it’s a battlefield, but we’re up to the fight.

For the Defenseless, 

JJ Day

What is The Civic Arena?

Sometimes it’s a battlefield, but we’re up to the fight. 

The Civic Arena does not believe in limitations.  We are not afraid to be openly Christian in the midst of hostility from others in the political world.  Our goals have to do with bringing a message of hope and to offer a balanced worldview.  We want to see our world impacted in a real and physical way.

TCA has two main purposes:

1. To offer a message of a hope. We offer this message through fashion, literature, and song.   TCA believes in the nuclear family.  We believe in increasing the value of the child, empowering the woman to do all the God has called her to do, and to bring honor and lift up the of role of the man.  We love the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, and we adore America.

2. To make money for the advancement of good in the world.   The Civic Arena wants to put money into the community.  Not by a government means, but because we see the need in the world and how financial aid could help out.  We dream about giving money to our local community, building youth centers and schools, and someday we want to help orphans and build places of care around the world.

TCA began in JJ Day’s private prayer time, where she heard a challenge from God to do something great for her community, nation, and the world.  She understood she was only one person, and quite young (she’ll be the first to admit she doesn’t know everything!) And so she enlisted three other women to help her start The Civic Arena.

It began with Stephanie, Kaylee and Stacey.

Stephanie offered all the wisdom and cautions as JJ tried to charge on, and helped form The Civic Arena into an organized system. Today she maps out TCA’s blog and book publishing dreams.  Look for her book in February 2013.

Kaylee brought the hard truth, but she brought it in love and has begun to spearhead Sonder.  She has all the talent and connections to help TCA’s band go from dream to reality.

Stacey brought the fearlessness to express TCA’s dreams.  She laid the foundation for speaking up about how big The Civic Arena could be, and made our hearts soar toward an exciting future! Her passion helped us to get to where we are today. While she has taken a break from The Civic Arena, she promises to guest write on our blog and we are excited to see her efforts in the fight against abortion, sex trafficking and the pursuit to bring value to abstinence in young women.

Today TCA is finally ready to go from just blog to begin to show the world what we are really all about! We are excited to bring on three new members:  Stephanie Lasater, Jane Pinkerton and Robyn Graff.

Stephanie and Jane are coming on as blog authors and they are ready to write to impact readers in unique ways.  Stephanie comes with a philosophical edge and will make readers think about why they do what they do.  Jane has passionate messages that she can’t wait to write out and offers a balanced, but fierce worldview.

Robyn, our fashion director and stylist, comes in to spearhead TCA fashion.  Her heart is to dress women of all ages and sizes and to inspired them to do all that God has called them to do and to do it in style.

The Civic Arena is excited to announced these things! If you are interested in helping, donating or have any other questions about The Civic Arena, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Keep an eye out!

The Civic Arena’s aim is to change the world.

Thanks for coming along and doing it with us!