“A Dream is A WISH Your Heart Makes”: An Exclusive “Wish You Weren’t Here” Blog Tour Interview with Allis the Half-Jinn!!!

“A Dream is A WISH Your Heart Makes”: An Exclusive “Wish You Weren’t Here” Blog Tour Interview with Allis the Half-Jinn!!!

*lights appreciative and obligatory coffee-scented Ketterdam candle*

L4G: “Hello, everyone! Today on my blog, we’re doing another special guest interview! Yes, I’m privileged to be on yet another incredible blog tour; this time, featuring the amazing Janeen Ippolito and her hit urban fantasy series, If Wishes Were Curses! We’re all stoked for the new release of the sequel in the series, Wish You Weren’t Here, and, without spoiling, I’ll say we can expect some real twists and turns in this addition (in typical Janeen style, but of course 😉 ), as well as some… super SPECIAL surprise appearances. 😉 But I’ll leave that and your own reading to your own discretion!
Today, we’re sitting down and chatting with Janeen’s MC, Ms. Allisandra, who is snarkily awesome, BA half-jinn ( an urban “genie,” if you will, for those unaware what a jinn is, LOL), half-human. You can go ahead and have a seat there, Allis, or just feel free to teleport whatever you feel like sitting in at the moment, be it a comfy swivel office chair, beanbag, or otherwise. Pull up a seat so we can talk awesomeness.
Now Allis, when just before we really get this show on the road, how do you prefer people introduce you when making introductions (we know you have quite the long name and a title to boot!)? Or do you prefer introducing yourself?
A: *teleports a comfy-looking recliner in from who-knows-where, and plops down into it, across from me* “I’m Allis. Allis is fine. The only time I pull out the title is when I’m trying to intimidate someone, and usually that means they started it. Even then, I’ll sometimes prefer Allis because I don’t really need to impress anyone.”
L4G: *nods* “I love that you get real and kinda personal with people, right off the bat (depending on the crowd, of course). OK, so the next, OFFICIAL first question… Not many in this world know about you (very unfortunate for them, as you’re the coolest fictional person I’ve met, a fave master aside…), so we’ll tell them a little bit more about you. When and how did you first discover your jinn powers, and what did you use them for? Why?”
A: “Most of my magic was locked away with curse-marks on both my forearms until I was thirty-three. I could only teleport myself and objects short distances and read the fears/desires of others. Also, I was more durable than the average human. You might think that’s enough, but I’ve always grown up around the Fae, shifters, Unspoken, etc. So I was mindful that I was the low-powered kid on the block. My full powers didn’t show up until a grizzly shifter tried to kill me in a parking lot near the Strip District. He wasn’t even glamoured! Idiot. I ended up killing him with smokeless blue flames in self-defense. They just showed up on their own, even with the curse-marks.”
L4G: *shakes head* “Those grizzly shifters… I guess we should be glad the dude didn’t have rabies or something. That would’ve taken a nasty turn… But I guess that kinda makes sense, though. After all, three is a magic number (especially in more… traditional jinn culture), and you were only protecting yourself. We also know you’ve been under a TON of stress lately, with all this magic conspiracy and crap, so if you could go ANYWHERE, be it on Earth, the Dreamscape, or even one of the multiverses, for a relaxing or exciting vacay to get away and just take your mind off all the stressful things, where would you go, who would you take with you, what would you do there, and why would you pick that place? (Sorry for the multi-dimensional question!)”
A: “I have no idea. Maybe Russia? My mom came from Russia. But then again, she left in a hurry for America, so maybe there’s nothing to go back to. I dunno. I might just do a poll and see where people wanted to go. Or just teleport somewhere and see what happens. Whoever wants can come along! Cid will be there, most definitely. Maybe Gideon and Jack.”
L4G: “A poll sounds like a fabulous idea… If your author doesn’t put one up soon, I just might, on your behalf! 😉 That sounds like an awesome plan! Take us with you! 😉 Speaking of those who are closest to you, and know you best…onto question four. What do you most have in common with your author, Janeen, and why?”
A: “What do I have in common with my author? Well, we both have Russian ancestry, and I know she loves Pittsburgh. We’re both huge fans of french fries and birds. Although I wasn’t really into birds until I met Cid. Ummm. We both really love our moms? Sure, that’s enough there.”
L4G: “I second the french fries! *to self* Hmm… I wonder if she loves cheesy fries as much as I do… *back to Allis* You know, I had mixed feels on birds for a while, but working in outdoor lawn and garden for hardware retail has changed my mind on that; they’re interesting to watch in th rafters, and they make such sweet, peaceful, cheery, and calming little melodies. Sadly, methinks we must wrap it up… *sniffles* It’s been great having you, Allis. Let me tell you, as a resident of Singleton for a whopping 24 years, I could probably do with a little matchmaking service myself, but we’re here for you and Janeen, not me, so… Last question! In your latest escapades, who is your newest fave person that you’ve more recently met in WYWH, and what do you like about them? Feel free to use any code names or nicknames you or your author MAY deem necessary.” 😉
A: “I like Flashlight. He’s fun. He’s got a lot packed into his life, and I find people with messy, deadly lives fascinating. And we get each other. Plus, he’s a lot of fun to tease.”
L4G: *grins slyly* “I’ll bet he is… Hehehe…
Thank you so much for joining us today, Allis! It was truly a pleasure having you; perhaps next time we can sneak in an interview with your vampire/raven-shifter mate, Cendric! 🙂 And a special thanks to Janeen for allowing me to do all the awesome things on tour, as we do. 😉 Curious about the series? Here’s more!”
I was done with my Jinn ex-boyfriend—but now I’m the only one who can save his life.

I’m already in enough trouble with my magic going crazy right when I’m opening a storefront for romantic crimes consulting. The last thing I need is interference from Kiran Singh, who failed spectacularly as a boyfriend, and now wants me back with some crappy excuse of helping him track down illegal, dangerous love potions. 

Then one of his other exes tries to kill me in a fit of jealous, doped-up rage—and ends up dead herself, with all evidence pointing to Kiran. 

My vegetarian vampire mate, Cendric, is convinced Kiran is up to something. But homicide isn’t Kiran’s style, even if he’s starting to show serious psycho-jealousy of his own. Someone else is pulling the strings, and they don’t care how many people die from fake love.

If we can’t track down the real mastermind, my ex is going to disappear.
And not in the way I’d wish. 

Buy now and enjoy the Steel City Genie series: snarky urban fantasy with a blue-collar genie, a romantic subplot with heat (nothing graphic), and gleeful send ups of many romantic fantasy tropes, plus otter-shifters and coffee addictions.

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And let’s not forget book 1 of this epic series, If Wishes Were Curses:
So I accidentally killed a shifter. On purpose.

With genie powers I shouldn’t be able to use, thanks to my curse-mark.

In my defense, the damn grizzly was threatening civilians and might have been a vampire as well. Pittsburgh is safer without him. Only the Fae court doesn’t believe my story, and the shifters are out for blood.

Now I’ve lost my job as a romantic investigator, and I’m on death row. My only hope is an oddly outgoing vegetarian vampire lawyer who seems strangely familiar. Too familiar. 

Almost like we’ve met before, and this whole thing was a set-up to take us both down.

Wishing won’t get us out of this mess.
But my forbidden wish magic just might.

Buy now and enjoy a snarky urban fantasy that’s Angel meets I Dream of Jeannie and features a blue-collar genie in over her head, a romantic subplot (nothing graphic), and gleeful send ups of many romantic fantasy tropes, plus a fantastic otter-shifter.

IWWCImage
Right now, both are FREE with Kindle Unlimited, so I highly, highly recommend you pick up this fabulous series, which, I guarantee, will be just as addictive as Allis’s beloved coffee from Uncommon Grounds.
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy. For teens and older.
Now, let’s hear it for the other lady of the evening, JAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENNNNNN!!!! (Yes, I always say her name in fun and unique ways. Sue me. … On the other hand, don’t. Janeen only has one lawyer vamp-shifter, and he’s Allis’s hubby.)
About the Author
Janeen Ippolito

Janeen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She creates writing resources and writes urban fantasy and steampunk. She’s also an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, and the editor in chief of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. She believes that words transform worlds and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website: janeenippolito.com .

 

 

All pictures and rights belong to Janeen and/or UUP. Picture credit goes to her, UUP, and Amazon.com, respectively. 🙂 

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Out of the Dark

Sorry it’s been quiet!

These past few weeks have been a little rough– the Sunday before Memorial Day, I woke to being not only squinty-eyed in the morning light, but with an extreme stabbing-like pain in my then-bloodshot right eye. Though painful, I managed through the day, but when it was equally bad on Memorial Day, we went to a MedExpress, one of the few facilities open. They misdiagnosed it as Pink Eye/eye infection, gave me antibiotic drops, sent me on my merry way. Wait, you may be saying, how’d I know it was a misdiagnosis? Well, while the drops provided some pain relief, they did not solve the actual problem– the healing. I needed to go to a proper eye doctor, who rediagnosed it as something completely different, gave me two different sets of different eye drops, and sent me away with great encouragement, strict instructions on the dosage, and advice not to return to retail work for a while.

Some of you may be wondering why I’m going into all this.

Well, when I was more under the apparent hold of Uviritis (I think that’s how it’s spelled?), I could barely open my eyes indoors, under NATURAL lighting. It was far too painful, and was easier and more comfortable to sit alone in the darkness of my curtained little cave (read: bedroom), albeit, inconvenienced to really do anything fun or productive. But this made me think: That’s like humanity’s spirituality. No really– think about it. We live most our lives in spiritual darkness– comfortable, easy, yet so spiritually blind. But when Someone tries to open our eyes, open those curtains, literally shed light on our situation, oh, how it BURNS and STABS us in the eye(s)! The pain is so great most of us prefer to slink back into our caves, to put up with the darkness for a while longer… or perhaps the rest of our lives.

But some choose to be brave. To brave the light, despite the agony and suffering, and push forth. Over time, their eyesight adjusts and adapts easily to the newer environment, and they realize that not only can they see better to properly enjoy life and be productive, but that the pain has mysteriously vanished.

It took a while, but my eye adapted. It gradually grew more and more used to the light. And yes, it was painful at first. There are many moments it is still quite sensitive. But now I am no longer bumping into things with my eyes shut. The Medicine has healed me.

 

Now, I see.

Country Symphony

Birds chirp and cheep;

Frogs croak and leap

From sitting, to orchestrate

Their own melody, lest

It come too late;

 

Bears grunt, creeks babble

As they please;

The lake’s streak’d

With water lines

From a gaggle

Of honking geese;

 

Gnats fly ’round and ’round,

Nearly in a tizzy;

The amount of sweat they feast

Upon

Is enough to make one

Dizzy;

 

Mosquitoes buzz, and crows caw;

Creation itself

Is in awe

Of the Masterpiece its Creator hath

Painted.

 

 

An Average Day of Retail Work

(Author’s note: This does not necessarily apply to ALL retail work, mostly hardware retail, but if you relate at least in some way, like and leave a comment/thought! 🙂 And this is merely meant in playful, witty– but oh-so-truthful– jest. But also SLIGHTLY satirical– no way on God’s Green Earth I’D get that many EPPs or credit card applications in a single day! LOL. )

Sung to the tune of, “12 Days of Christmas.”

Verse One:

“On my average day of retail work, my job gave to me,

An associate on a BallyMore!”

 

Verse Two:

“On my average day of retail work, my job gave to me,

Two mini breaks,

And an associate on a BallyMore!”

 

Verse Three:

“On my average day of retail work, my job gave to me,

Three Cashiers,

Two mini breaks,

And an associate on a BallyMore!”

 

Verse Four:

“On my average day of retail work, my job gave to me,

Four customer lines,

Three Cashiers,

Two mini breaks,

And an associate on a BallyMore!”

 

Verse Five:

“On my average day of retail work, my job gave to me,

Five EPPs!!!

Four customer lines,

Three Cashiers,

Two mini breaks,

And an associate on a BallyMore!”

 

Verse Six:

“On my average day of retail work, my job gave to me,

Six Credit Apps,

Five EPPs!!!

Four customer lines,

Three Cashiers,

Two mini breaks,

And an associate on a BallyMore!”

 

Verse Seven:

“On my average day of retail work, my job gave to me,

Seven customers complainin’,

Six Credit Apps,

Five EPPs!!!

Four customer lines,

Three Cashiers,

Two mini breaks,

And an associate on a BallyMore!”

 

Verse Eight:

“On my average day of retail work, my job gave to me,

Eight caulks a-piercin’,

Seven customers complainin’,

Six Credit Apps,

Five EPPs!!!

Four customer lines,

Three Cashiers,

Two mini breaks,

And an associate on a BallyMore!”

 

Verse Nine:

“On my average day of retail work, my job gave to me,

Nine phones a-ringin’,

Eight caulks a-piercin’,

Seven customers complainin’,

Six Credit Apps,

Five EPPs!!!

Four customer lines

Three Cashiers

Two mini breaks

And an associate on a BallyMore!”

 

Verse Ten:

“On my average day of retail work, my job gave to me,

Ten thoughts of regret,

Nine phones a-ringin’,

Eight caulks a-piercin’,

Seven customers complainin’,

Six Credit Apps,

Five EPPs!!!

Four customer lines,

Three Cashiers,

Two mini breaks,

And an associate on a BallyMore!”

 

Verse Eleven:

“On my average day of retail work, my job gave to me,

Eleven manager overrides,

Ten thoughts of regret,

Nine phones a-ringin’,

Eight caulks a-piecin’,

Seven customers complainin’,

Six Credit Apps

Five EPPs!!!

Four customer lines,

Three Cashiers,

Two mini breaks,

And an associate on a BallyMore!”

 

Verse Twelve:

“One the final day of work, my job gave to me,

Twelve songs on repeat,

Eleven manager overrides,

Ten thoughts of regret,

Nine phones a-ringin’,

Eight caulks a-piercin’,

Seven customers complainin’,

Six Credit Apps,

Five EPPs!!!

Four customer lines,

Three Cashiers,

Two mini breaks,

And an associate on a BallyMore!”

 

 

Love that Bleeds

 

Most of you know already that I am a big fan of Christian contemporary music, but you may not know that I do occasionally listen to secular (non-Christian) music periodically, although it’s mostly at my retail job, over loudspeakers.

One thing I’ve noticed about many (but not all, certainly) secular songs is that most are about some form of romance– break-ups, heartbreak, letting go, seduction, singleness, the way a person makes the other feel (in more than one way 😛 ), etc. One of my favorite secular songs, “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis, does cover an unusual topic– suffering and love. At first glance, some might assume it’s an abusive love, and being Ni (seeing things from all the different perspectives), I can see how they’d think that. However, it could also very well be an analogy for suffering in love, sometimes with the person you love.

I think this song speaks unusually strongly to me, in light of the crucifixion, even though that is likely what was not intended.  I think part of the song could be interpreted as us humans singing, and part of it, Jesus. Here’s an example:

Believers:

“Closed off from love/ I didn’t need the pain
Once or twice was enough/But it was all in vain
Time starts to pass/ Before you know it, you’re frozen
But something happened, for the very first time with you
My heart melts into the ground/ found something true
And everyone’s looking round, thinking I’m going crazy”

(…As many non-Christians do when a believer gets passionate and goes all-out for their faith! 😉 )

This next one, with Jesus, reminds me of the disciples, especially Peter, when Peter attempted to rebuke Jesus for predicting His death and necessary sacrifice (the “get behind me, Satan!” passage). This and the chorus also remind me a bit of the Pharisees and many other Jews at the time:

“Trying hard not to hear/ but they talk so loud
Their piercing sounds fill my ears/ try to fill me with doubt
Yet I know that the goal/ is to keep me from falling
But nothing’s greater/ than the rush that comes with Your embrace
And in this world of loneliness/ I see Your face
Yet everyone around me, thinks that I’m going crazy, maybe, maybe
But I don’t care what they say
I’m in love with you
They try to pull me away/ but they don’t know the truth
My heart’s crippled by the vein/ that I keep on closing
You cut me open and I
Keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love
I keep bleeding, I keep, keep bleeding love
Keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love
You cut me open”
This one in particular is telling:
“And it’s draining all of me
Oh they find it hard to believe
I’ll be wearing these scars/ for everyone to see
I don’t care what they say, I’m in love with you
They try to pull me away, but they don’t know the truth
My heart’s crippled by the vein, that I keep on closing
You cut me open and I
Keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love
I keep bleeding, I keep, keep bleeding love
Keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love
Oh, you cut me open and I…”
This reminds me very strongly of the passage in Scripture that reads, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5,NIV)
By His stripes, by the literal flogging, cutting, and dying of His earthly form, Jesus bled love, physically and spiritually. He suffered an excruciating death, a death the worst criminals, the worst sinners deserved, even though He was completely innocent of any wrongdoing (confirmed by Pilate in Scripture by the earthly authorities, and by God in the spiritual realm). We may think to ourselves, “I’m a good person. I don’t harm anyone else, mind my own business, donate to this charity/volunteer.” Guess what? Being a “good person,” even if you help others, isn’t going to get you right with God (I will not say, “get you into Heaven,” because Heaven is literally just wherever God is. Hell is the absolute absence of God’s presence– hence, its title. It is not someplace you want to be.). God has been devastated, since the Fall, at the separation between humankind and Him, and has since been looking for ways to resolve this problem. He cannot condone sin, as He is by nature holy and sinless Himself, but He still loves us with a deep and everlasting love. So, He sent His earthly form, His Son, Jesus– God in human flesh. He Himself suffered and bled love for us, Jesus is the bridge, if you will, connecting the two cliff faces of us and God the Father while dangling over a chasm, even if that means He gets trampled on every now and then. All we need to do is confess and abandon our sins, accept Jesus’s sacrifice for us, and cross the bridge to the Father. Our Abba.
This Easter, I’d like to reflect on this love that God has for us, the love He literally bled out for each and every person who has existed. I hope and pray with all my being that you do likewise.
Enjoy Easter. And enjoy the candy. But remember what we’re truly celebrating– the resurrection, and the new Life Jesus gives us by dying and being raised.
(Note: When I listen to this song, I literally get teary every time she sings the scars part, because the whack of the wooden instrument reminds me of –lash-by-lash–the flogging Christ received, before crucifixion… the agony He received on our behalf… 😥 )

Fearfully and Wonderfully

Lately, I’ve been having a fairly Punchinello kind of year, folks.

Actually, he’s probably almost my “spirit animal” at this point; I relate to him just that much.

Who, you may be asking, is this mysterious Punchinello? Well, if you have not grown up with the blissfully illustrated children’s books by Max Lucado, I’ll tell you a bit about him.

Punchinello is a Wemmick– a kind of wooden person (sorta like a puppet except NO STRINGS ON ME, plus more free will, etc.) living with many other Wemmicks in a village. Everything and everyone there is made by a local craftsman carver, Eli, who lives up in a large cottage on a large hill, overlooking this village and valley ‘o Wemmicks. (I’m pretty sure most of you get the spiritual allegory in this sense by now, but I’ll get to the really important point soon, I promise)

Each and every day, Wemmicks go about their daily business, doing what they do best– giving out stickers to other Wemmicks from a box. The talented, pretty, intelligent, sparkling Wemmicks are often covered in gold star stickers, literally lathered in praise and admiration for their talents and appearance. Others, however, are not so fortunate– ones like Punchinello. They are either viewed as “ugly,” ungifted, stupid, etc, and are constantly slapped with ugly gray dots as a result. This passage breaks my heart:

Punchinello was one of these. He tried to jump high like the others, but he always fell. And when he fell, the others would gather around and give him dots. Sometimes when he fell, his wood got scratched, so the people would give him more dots. Then when he would try to explain why he fell, he would say something silly, and the Wemmicks would give him more dots. After a while he had so many dots he didn’t want to go outside. He was afraid he would do something dumb such as forget his hat or step in the water, and then people would give him another dot. In fact, he had so many gray dots that some people would come up and give him one for no reason at all. “He deserves lots of dots,” the wooden people would agree with one another. “He’s not a good wooden person.” After a while Punchinello believed them. “I’m not a good Wemmick,” he would say.” (Lucado, 8, 10.)

If it didn’t occur to you by now– the stickers are the equivalent of people’s comments and opinions on you. The stars, of course, are all the nice things they say– compliments, praise, even flattery. The gray dots are the put-downs, the insults, the slander, the gossiping, the cruel, back-stabbing comments.

I may have mentioned my MBTI type, INFJ, but I don’t believe I’ve ever confided my Love Language (the way I feel loved/affirmed by others) with most of you, so here it is: Words of Affirmation. The same as Punchinello’s, by the looks of it.

You see, I am seldom affirmed verbally at home. Most of the time, I would get told off for whatever stupid thing I did, or what I was supposed to do. (My mom’s is Quality Time, and my dad’s is Acts of Service. You see where some of the conflict is?)

It got to the point where my perfectionistic self would mentally scream at me every time I messed up, and those people WEREN’T around to tell me I messed up.

The result? I felt exactly as low as Punchinello, even at college. Even at work. Part of me craved verbal affirmation, longed for it; yet part of me balked at the hope. At the wishful thinking. Sometimes I got pleasantly but genuinely surprised to be affirmed, to be told that I actually did a good job on something; I still do to this day. At one or more of my jobs, I sometimes cower a little, inwardly, if approached by a boss or manager– my first reaction isn’t, “I wonder what they want?” but, “Oh, great. What did I mess up this time?” I feel like I’m stupid, an inconvenience or bother to some. Often, I feel incompetent– like I can’t even do retail right. It’s the terrified, cowering puppy inside me. She wants to be patted on the head, loved on, told she’s a good girl and helpful to at least some, ANY degree, but has been condescended/ yelled at so many times she gets guarded and even defensive. When I realized God was showing me the connection between Punchy and myself, I was actually on the verge of tears. And it takes a lot to get me to break like that.

To continue Punchy’s story, one day he meets a unique Wemmick, one who is apparently resistant to the adhesiveness of either stars or dots. Curious and fascinated, Punchy asks her her secret to being without any marks– not wanting any at all on himself. She states that it’s simple– every day, she goes up the hill to quite literally meet her Maker, Eli, and visits with him. When asked as to why, Lucia simply and mysteriously suggests Punchy should check it out for himself.

Even after many initial doubts, Punchy makes up his mind to go, being sick and tired of people making judgements on each other, holding value in solely each other’s opinions. That evening, he goes to see Eli. He almost loses his nerve, almost turns tail, but is stopped by Eli calling his name; Eli is genuinely pleased to see him, and asks him to come closer so he can have a look at him. Punchinello does so, and Eli thoughtfully notices the dots. Punchy, embarrassed, starts to ramble off excuses about trying so, so hard…

Then, Eli says,

“”…you don’t have to defend yourself to me, child. I don’t care what the other Wemmicks think.”

“You don’t?”

“No, and you shouldn’t either. Who are they to give stars or dots? They’re Wemmicks just like you. What they think doesn’t matter, Punchinello. All that matters is what I think. And I think you are pretty special.” “(Lucado, 20.)

(Will someone stop cutting these dumb onions?!)

Punchy makes more excuses on how he’s a nobody, that no one cares, and asks why he matters to Eli, to which Eli solemnly answers, “Because you’re mine. That’s why you matter to me.” Punchy looks at him in awe, realizing no one has ever, ever said or thought that about him before. Eli tells him that each and every day, he’d been waiting for Punchy. Punchy explains about Lucia, and they discuss the mysterious answer of why the stickers don’t work on her:

“”The sticker only stick if they matter to you. The more you trust my love, the less you care about their stickers.” ” (Lucado, 24.)

Punchy doesn’t understand how the two can coincide, but Eli reassures him that if he comes to see him every day, and let Eli remind him how much He cares.

So, if you’re like the perfectionistic, and/or people-pleasing me, and this world’s got you hanging by a thread… If people are cutting you down verbally, and you think you just can’t take it anymore… If you’ve spent your existence looking for someone Who will not only affirm you, encourage you, but support and be there for you 100% of the way, no matter how far you travel, where your calling takes you, or what others may say about you and/or said calling…

Remember… you are special because I made you. And I don’t make mistakes.”” (Lucado, 26.)

 

And, as Eli says this, Punchy starts to believe it… And a single dot falls off him.

You are special and loved simply because you were created by Someone Who loves you deeply and passionately. He can show you your true value in His eyes, if you’ll only let Him do so. 🙂

_______________________________

Works Cited:

Lucado, Max. You Are Special. Kindle version. Crossway Books. 1997. Wheaton, IL.

 

The Semi-Return of MBTI: How Intuitives and Sensors Fit Into Christian Contemporary Music

Hi, everyone!

So, no, first off, I was not lying when I said the MBTI posts would be on hiatus for a while; I namely meant the ones in collaboration with the MBTIGuy, because he is much more experienced in typing people and figuring out how they work (as opposed to relatively fledgling me. LOL.). But, this is more of a fun and less professional post, so….

I’ve been paying keen attention lately (which can be tricky for an Intuitive, particularly Ni types, since we’re so often in our heads!) to music that I listen to. I notice the lyrics, and if I notice carefully enough, most lyrics convey a sense of what MBTI type the person is, which I find to be fascinating. Si-users refer back to past experience; Intuitives speak of abstract concepts/theories, changing the world, or looking forward to/longing for something better in the future; Se-users focus on partying and having a blast in the here and now. Naturally, many secular artists seem to be Se-oriented, but there are some Ne’s and even Ni’s there, too. But I noticed there seemed to be a heavy amount of Ne, Si and Ni singer/songwriters in Christian contemporary genres (listen to both the complete albums of The Afters, Hollyn, and Jeremy Camp, and you’ll quickly see what I mean), not that there aren’t any Se-users (#LITO is just one example), it just seems like Introverted Sensors and Intuitives seem to be dominating that area of music a bit more.

And the more I listened to Air1, to my Christian CDs, the more the brain cells got to tinkering– each type kind showed a piece of a minor role that type kind was meant to play in society (by God, of course), although not specifically. For instance, Si types like Micah Tyler (“Even Then,” and “Never Been a Moment”– even the past-tense of his titles are indicative of type) are meant, to some degree, to relate to us how God’s helped us and others in the past; He was faithful then, thus, He’ll be faithful to us now and in the future generations as well.

Here’s a bit of this music. Note the distinct past tense, the looking back and reflecting, etc… All clear indicators of an Si-user type:

 

 

Ni-oriented types like to remind us of what is to come– the new earth and heaven, looking forward to being with Abba, etc. They remind us that our current predicaments do not define life as we know it, and to look at our lives as only only small puzzle piece of a much bigger picture. Artists like Jeremy Camp and The Afters tend to be more a bit more Intuitive, reminding us to press on towards the future, towards heaven and God’s kingdom (and sometimes encouraging us to actively rebel against the world):

 

 

Ne types are also big-picture oriented, but tend to be a little like an Se type met and had a kid with an Ni type– they are a perceiving function, yes, but also actively brainstorm abstract ideas and concepts, such as heaven vs. now, theology, etc. They are still innovative, still future-forward thinkers. One thing I have noticed is that this type of artist is particularly dominant in the Christian music industry– if Se’s dominate the more secular music industry, I’d have to wager their Intuitive counterparts dominate (at least, mostly) the Christian music industry. (The Afters may be Ne or Ni, it is not confirmed for certain, which is why I have the two above artists listed as simply confirmed Intuitives. The same goes for Skillet– very likely Intuitive, but there’s also a possibility they are xSTP!) I know for certain that Hollyn is an ENFP (she confirmed it), Danny Gokey is likely an Ne-user (thinking with a side of Si), as is the lead singer of MercyMe, Bart (I’ve seen the, “I Can Only Imagine,” movie, and if he is anything like the actor portrayed him… He is most likely, I would wager, a xNFP type, BIG dreams, spontaneous, initially full of optimism for them). Here are a few samples:

 

 

 

Se-users tend to be focused more on the here and now, in the moment, so what God wants us to do right here, right now, or living our faith out currently for everyone to see, and noticing God currently in the small, everyday details. Toby McKeehan, or TobyMac, is one wildly popular artist who really seems to emphasize this, as does the Christian band PressPlay:

(Notice the FREQUENT usage of more present tense in the song– he’s present, living in the moment, soaking up all the little details of God around him—he notes how God’s in EVERYTHING, literally the song title!)

 

If you’ve any doubts at all whether or not PressPlay is Se, well, they’ve just been erased: “You only live once,” is literally the motto of these Sensory, Perceiving types. They’re living in the moment, loving in the moment, loving THE moment, and worshiping in the moment. Se types teach us to take a step back, and minister to the ones around us, to enjoy worship and God’s goodness around us.

 

I think those are all the major type world-perceiving categories I’ve covered tonight. And again, for some of these, do not take at face value that they are Ne or Ni or Se– do your own research. 🙂 But regardless of type, these groups all share two major things in common: Make a joyful noise, and point everyone around them (and beyond!) to Christ!