Saturday, December 31, 2011

25 New Year's Resolutions

My Hopes and Dreams for 2012

1. Continue to be awesome

2. Get in fabulous shape

3. Learn to drive like Jason Bourne

4. And fight like Jack Bauer

5. Post more regularly on my blog, and write shorter posts that don't make people fall asleep

6. Remain awesome

7. Acquire mad skillz on the guitar

8. Write my mystery novel, which will be epic

9. And which will also be picked up by Christopher Nolan, who will make a movie of it and cast Vincent D'Onofrio, Liev Schrieber, Kiefer Sutherland, and Cate Blanchett in starring roles

10. Meet previously mentioned stars

11. And refrain from swooning

12. Learn to speak French

13. Keep up efforts to be awesome

14. Finally muscle past my loathing and read a Jane Austen book

15. Take a road trip of some sort

16. While being awesome

17. Attempt to refrain from becoming insufferable braggart when  my boss's awesome book with my equally awesome illustrations tops the New York Times bestseller list for three months

18. Find true love

19. Just kidding. That one should have been, "Get over heartbreak after realizing that my true love is fictional."

20. Turn 20 years old

21. Become obscenely wealthy through nefarious means

22. Reform

23. Distribute wealth to deserving charities

24. Stay awesome

25. Oh yeah, I probably should have put something like, "Learn to be more patient," or, "Become kinder and more tolerant." Ah well, there's always next year


Cow and Boy, by Mark Liekness



Friday, December 30, 2011

The Devil Just Loves Public Schools

It strikes me as profoundly ironic that so many fundamentalist Christians place such heavy emphasis on God's ways being mysterious and completely hidden from man

and yet

they are able to tell you with uncanny specificity everything the devil is thinking. 

Beware of those who are on better terms with Satan than with God. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Criminal Minds


     I read a lot about crime. The psychological profiling of criminals interests me greatly. It may sound a bit odd, but knowing how these people’s minds work gives me great comfort. It makes me feel safer, somehow, like I have the upper hand. The offenders in whose psychology I am most interested are the violent ones. It’s not that I like violence, mind. It’s just that these people are so different from ordinary humans that their emotions (or the chilling lack thereof!) are likely to be darkly fascinating. And so they have proved to be. The men I am studying are mostly serial rapists and murderers, or a terrifying combination of both. And I’ve learned a lot. The information has led me to some stunning and unsettling conclusions.

     First I must ask you if you are familiar with the question of whether or not immodesty encourages rape. I have heard, from sources that, frankly, I would not trust as far as I could throw, that it does. And by “sources” I mean websites and speakers who espouse the same twisted teachings I learned in Repentance. Men, these sources would like you to believe, are little more than sex-crazed animals, and all it takes to set them off is a brief glimpse of some indecent girl’s cleavage. In short, if a rape does occur, in many circumstances it would be the girl’s fault because she willingly presented an irresistible temptation.

     I’ll get to the more obvious flaws with this hideous philosophy in a few moments, but I want to stop here for a second to say that the whole thing is downright sickening. It’s utterly despicable that any rational human being would place a shred of blame on the victim of a rape. I honestly cannot put in words the depth

Monday, December 12, 2011

Grace and Guitar


     I’m learning to play the guitar, and I’m actually doing pretty well. I’ve stuck with it for more than one month, which is actually rather a big deal for me. I rarely commit to learning new skills. I get frustrated easily when I make mistakes, and it’s easy for me to give up if I’m not making visible progress. Plus, I’m lazy, which means I don’t practice as often as I should. But I really want this! And I’ve been practicing consistently. And guess what?
     
     I’m making mistakes.

     Many, many mistakes.

     My fingers, usually my staunchest allies, turn against me. They are conspiring, I believe, to make sure I can’t learn certain chords. It’s their way of taking revenge on me for burning them so often while I cook. Also, I’m left-handed, a fact upon which I like to blame every problem I encounter in life. I’m slow. In addition, all the musical instinct I possess could fit quite comfortably in a thimble. These things, combined, do not tend to shoot one toward instant success. Fortunately, my teacher is patient.

     But I did not tell you all this because I thought you would be interested in my quest to become a Grand Master of Supreme Guitar Awesomeness (I so will). It’s because I had an epiphany the other day whilst struggling to play a simple song, which (I thought) any fool should have been able to do. I was making mistakes, you see, and more than I would like. I grew dismal and frustrated. I wailed and gnashed my teeth. I despaired for my musical future and my intellect in general.

     But then I realized…

     Everyone
     is like this.


     I don’t mean that everyone gets frustrated. I mean that nobody just picks up a guitar and plays beautifully straight off. The process of learning is a process because of the mistakes. It's completely natural. Maybe I make more mistakes than others, but that's just how it works. We all have to mess up.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My (Fully Justified) Loathing for Twilight


     I never hated Twilight. Such a thing would have been, I felt, arrogant, since I had never seen the movies or read the books. I felt, at most, an amused contempt at the idea of glittering vampires with strange superpowers (although now I think about it, amused contempt is always pretty snotty anyway). But then I received some information which compelled me to break my vow of abstinence and at least watch the first movie.

     And now I hate it.

     Why on earth, with characters like Jack Bauer and Robert Goren— and one mustn’t forget John Thornton! — out there, has the female American population attached itself to this monstrosity, this Edward Cullen? There is not one aspect of his character or looks that is superior to that of any of the fine gentlemen listed above. And the Bielski brothers! Why have we picked Edward Cullen over the Bielski brothers? It distresses me.

     Ignoring, for a moment, the glaring flaws and complete lack of personality in any of the characters, I shall focus on the more alarming and criminal aspect of the thing. Because there is a definite criminality in about the whole business. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the plot, though I doubt it. Just in case, though— it is, in a nutshell, this: the teenaged Bella Swan must move to a new town in which, it seems, it is perpetually raining, and falls in love with one of the residents, a vampire named Edward Cullen. He repeatedly warns her that his raging vampiric bloodlust may one day become too much for her and he will on that day slay her and drink her blood. Bella, however, believes that their love is stronger than this and vows to remain forever by Edward’s side, although she gets into nasty trouble over it all.


     Is it just me, or is this entire idea unsettling?


     First off, it alarms me that, of all the people I’ve heard say they hate Twilight, not one of them saw fit to mention the fact that

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Peg Boards and Police Officers

     So this post is going to be majorly exceptional in that I will not open it by mentioning my obsession with Jack Bauer or my crush on Robert Goren. Nope, not even going to think about it. But this post will also not be exceptional in any way in that it will open with a reference to some television show half of you either have not seen or care nothing for, and it will discuss some philosophies I picked up at Repentance and my revised views on them.

     Changing the subject, I am always vastly entertained to watch the show Phineas and Ferb. Dr. Hans Doofenschmirtz is the best villain ever, with all his half-baked and semi-evil schemes for conquering or revenging himself upon the entire tri-state area! The best part about him, though, is his Emotionally Scarring Backstories. He always has one to explain the motives behind his latest dastardly deed, because how will you know why the villain is villainous unless he just straight-up tells you? Anyway, I would like to share with you an Emotionally Scarring Backstory from the distant archives of my youth.
 

     When we went to Repentance, I actually had it pretty good. I was always the Good Girl, which was important because gender roles were absolutely rigid. Women were supposed to be quiet, sweet, submissive, and possess an inordinate fondness for housekeeping and an infinite capacity for work. Except for being sweet, I got along fairly well. I have rather a passive personality, I’ve never minded housework, and I love children. I always thought it would suit me grandly to just marry and settle down. Also, I possessed, in great quantities, the convenient lack of any sense of self-worth. Practically the only thing I didn’t do was sew my own clothes. And to be scrupulously honest, I didn’t really feel like I was being forced into any of this. I fit, beautifully, the mold they constructed for a Good Woman.
 

     Now we’re out, I feel so different that I wonder if I was ever a good girl at all. Maybe it was all due less to my own personality than to my very human ability to adapt to social pressure.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ten Days Of Madness~ The Glorious Conclusion


     Sir Glancelot sat at round table with a plethora of admirers, a goblet of wine, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into four triangles. (That's the way that Glancelot liked his sandwiches. He detested having his sandwich cut into squares. His mother had cut them that ways when he was young and he had never forgiven her for it.)
      
     Glancelot had just selected the second triangle from the top (clockwise) and was taking his first, long expected bite when the unthinkable happened. Instead of sinking his glistening pearls into that delectable treat, Glancelot found himself crunching hard bone.

     Glancelot was appalled. "Why," he demanded, "is there a bone in my sandwich?" 

      He didn't expect anyone to reply. People were generally too afraid to talk to him when he was angry. So he was shocked when he heard a gloomy bass voice say, "That would be mine."
 
      More surprising than the voice was the fact that it came from thin air. But no, Glancelot realized when he looked closer, not thin air. It was little more than a slight, gaseous discoloration at first, but the longer he stared at it, the more solid it became. And at last it assumed definite, if rather smoky, form. It was a wraithlike beast. A ghostly dog. 

     “Is this what your mother would have?!” demanded the ghostly dog. “Here you sit with a world of food to explore, yet what do you do? You refuse to eat anything but PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWHICHES!”

      I’m not sure how much of this Glancelot was retaining. The utter shock and surprise of have one’s meal interrupted by an ethereal Labrador robbed him of any faculty of recollection. 
 
     “How many times did your mother try to convince you that there is more out there than this peasant’s snack? On your mother’s grave, a curse to you- a Putty Tongue curse!”
 
     Glancelot's shock gave way to sheer panic as a most inexplicable sensation overtook him. His mouth suddenly became filled with a substance which was by no means familiar: something like an eel and something like raw pie crust and altogether a hideous feeling indeed. Glancelot gasped, the full weight of this sepulchral visitor's words hitting him... Putty... Tongue... Curse. No taste! No speech! No taste!!
 
     "My mother?" he choked incoherently. "She sent you here to curse me? How could she do this?"    
 
     “Were I you,” barked the Labrador, “I’d worry less about my mother’s sense of humor and more about how to break the curse.”
 
***

     Glancelot gazed dejected into the mirror the next morning.
 
     "Wediquwas!" he blubbered. The inside of his mouth looked no different than anyone else's except for a small splinter of bone that was wedged between his back molars. He picked at it, trying desperately to get it out.  
 
     Useless. Not only was the previous night's party a terrible disaster in which he was brutally laughed at, his own servants were sneering at him behind closed doors. His own dear Gwen was no doubt spreading the rumor among her close maids.
 
     "Enoufwpt!" cried Glancelot. "Thith thall not go on for anover moment! I must find a way to bweak thith dwead cuwse!" he continued meditatively.  
 

     The very faint sound of stifled giggles burst from outside his chamber door. He glared severely at the door, wishing intensely to throw some verbal abuse at the unseen mocker. Glancelot turned again toward the mirror, probing at the splinter of bone with his tongue.
 
     "Ow, Muvvah!" he wailed desparingly (but softly), "if onwy your spiwit would guide me again!"
 
     "You could say please," said a familiar bass voice.
 
     "You!" shouted Glancelot.
 
     The ghostly dog nodded.
 
     "Perhapth," Glancelot continued, remembering his manners, "you have a message fwom my Muvvah that will help me?"
 
     "I might. First," demanded the ghostly dog, "Answer me this:  
 
"I am the tiniest bomb, ticking 1200 beats
before dropping the weight of a penny
on some unsuspecting intruder
to my territory.
Who am I?"

     Those words were already nothing more than ghostly echos as the Labrador vanished back into thin air.
 
     "A Widdo!" cried Glancelot. "Just wah I needed! A widdo!"    
 
     Glancelot sat down gloomily on the edge of his bathtub until the servant finally arrived with the bath salts.   
     As the door opened, a tiny object shot through opening, knocking the servant aside.  
 
     "A bird!" said Glancelot. "The tiniest bird!"   
 
     The bird alighted upon his windowsill.
 
      "The answer to the widdo," cried Glancelot. "But wah doeth it mean? And be off with you!" The servant bowed out.
 
      Glancelot turned to the space where the Labrador had been and stared thoughtfully at it, as though it held the answers he sought."A bird," he said again. "Ith thith the message from my dear Muvvah?"
 
     And it hit him. The key to the curse was held in this riddle. Birds... what was it the Labrador has said before cursing him? Something about food, a world of food...
 
      "But wah doeth food have to do with birds?" he wailed. "Oh, Witto bird," said poor Glancelot in dismay. "Is dere anything such a smwall fing could do for my poor dejected self?"
 
      The tiny bird jumped up and began buzzing excitedly around the room. It hovered close to Glancelot's mouth confusing him for more than a moment. Hesitantly, Glancelot opened his mouth and the tiny creature flew into his mouth and, grasping the wedged bone with it's tiny jaws, plucked the bone free. A delightful sensation beyond anything he had ever experienced flooded Glancelot's mouth as his tongue loosed, his lips tightened, and his jaw began to work once again! 
 
     “Huzzah!” he shouted. Such was his rejoicing, he capered merrily about his chambers. “Lollipop! Poinsettia! Candlewicks! Oh, all glory be to heaven! I can speak!”
 
     Glancelot saluted the bird smartly. “Thank you, ghostly Labrador! I see it all now, little bird. Riddles! Birds! A world of food! My dear mother wished only the best for me, and now I am able, I shall order myself the handsomest of omelettes. And I shall not stop there! I shall delight myself in the daintiest delicacies this glorious world has to offer!”  
 
     And so he did, to the end of his days. 


The End

    

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ten Days of Madness~ Day The Eighth

As always, Tina's words are in blue, mine in black.

"First," demanded the ghostly dog, "Answer me this:

"I am the tiniest bomb, ticking 1200 beats
before dropping the weight of a penny
on some unsuspecting intruder
to my territory.  

Who am I?"

Those words were already nothing more than ghostly echos as the Labrador vanished back into thin air. 

"A Widdo!" cried Glancelot. "Just wah I needed! A widdo!" 

 Glancelot sat down gloomily on the edge of his bathtub until the servant finally arrived with the bath salts. As the door opened, a tiny object shot through opening, knocking the servant aside. 

"A bird!" said Glancelot. "The tiniest bird!" 


     The bird alighted upon his windowsill.

     "The answer to the widdo," cried Glancelot. "But wah doeth it mean? And be off with you!" The servant bowed out.

     Glancelot turned to the space where the Labrador had been and stared thoughtfully at it, as though it held the answers he sought.

     "A bird," he said again. "Ith thith the message from my dear Muvvah?"

     And it hit him. The key to the curse was held in this riddle. Birds... what was it the Labrador has said before cursing him? Something about food, a world of food...

     "But wah doeth food have to do with birds?" he wailed.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ten Days of Madness~Day The Sixth


Due to Internet troubles, this installment is slightly late, but I assure you it is no less riveting! Tina's words are in blue, mine in black.



    Glancelot gazed dejected into the mirror the next morning.
    
     "Wediquwas!" he blubbered. The inside of his mouth looked no different than anyone else's except for a small splinter of bone that was wedged between his back molars. He picked at it, trying desperately to get it out.
 
     Useless. Not only was the previous night's party a terrible disaster in which he was brutally laughed at, his own servants were sneering at him behind closed doors. His own dear Gwen was no doubt spreading the rumor among her close maids. 
 
     "Enoufwpt!" cried Glancelot. "Thith thall not go on for anover moment!"
 

     "I must find a way to bweak thith dwead cuwse!" he continued meditatively.
    
     The very faint sound of stifled giggles burst from outside his chamber door. He glared severely at the door, wishing intensely to throw some verbal abuse at the unseen mocker. Glancelot turned again toward the mirror, probing at the splinter of bone with his tongue.

     "Ow, Muvvah!" he wailed desparingly (but softly), "if onwy your spiwit would guide me again!"

     "You could say please," said a familiar bass voice.

     "You!" shouted Glancelot.

     The ghostly dog nodded.

     "Perhapth," Glancelot continued, remembering his manners, "you have a message fwom my Muvvah that will help me?"

     "I might."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ten Days of Madness: Day The Fourth

Ten days of Madness continues! Presented are parts three and four, with Tina's words in blue and mine in black.
     “Is this what your mother would have?!” demanded the ghostly dog. “Here you sit with a world of food to explore, yet what do you do? You refuse to eat anything but PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWHICHES!” I’m not sure how much of this Glancelot was retaining. The utter shock and surprise of have one’s meal interrupted by an ethereal Labrador robbed him of any faculty of recollection.

     “How many times did your mother try to convince you that there is more out there than this peasant’s snack? On your mother’s grave, a curse to you- a Putty Tongue curse!” 

     Glancelot's shock gave way to sheer panic as a most inexplicable sensation overtook him. His mouth suddenly became filled with a substance which was by no means familiar: something like an eel and something like raw pie crust and altogether a hideous feeling indeed. Glancelot gasped, the full weight of this sepulchral visitor's words hitting him... Putty... Tongue... Curse. No taste! No speech! No taste!!

     "My mother?" he choked incoherently. "She sent you here to curse me? How could she do this?"

     “Were I you,” barked the Labrador, “I’d worry less about my mother’s sense of humor and more about how to break the curse.”


Monday, November 21, 2011

Ten Days of Madness~ Day The Second


Parts One and Two! Tina's words are in black, mine in blue.




    Sir Glancelot sat at round table with a plethora of admirers, a goblet of wine, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into four triangles. (That’s the way that Glancelot liked his sandwiches. He detested having his sandwich cut into squares. His mother had cut them that way when he was young and he had never forgiven her for it.)
Glancelot had just selected the second triangle from the top (clockwise) and was taking his first, long expected bite when the unthinkable happened. Instead of sinking his glistening pearls into that delectable treat, Glancelot found himself crunching hard bone."
     Glancelot was appalled. "Why," he demanded, "is there a bone in my sandwich?"
     He didn't expect anyone to reply. People were generally too afraid to talk to him when he was angry. So he was shocked when he heard a gloomy bass voice say, "That would be mine."
     More surprising than the voice was the fact that it came from thin air. But no, Glancelot realized when he looked closer, not thin air. It was little more than a slight, gaseous discoloration at first, but the longer he stared at it, the more solid it became. And at last it assumed definite, if rather smoky, form. It was a wraithlike beast. A ghostly dog.




Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ten Days of Madness

     My friend Tina and I decided recently that our blogs' respective awesomeness would be markedly increased by a collaboration of some sort. What, we asked ourselves, would be the correct method of undertaking such a task? And we (it was Tina, actually) hit upon it in this fashion: we would write a story together. One of us would write a hundred words and pass it off to the other, who would then write the next hundred words. This madness would continue for ten days, upon the conclusion of which one unfortunate author must devise a fitting conclusion, and we would have a complete story! I am that unfortunate author.

     We have two different themes, which we shall weave together. Tina's is knights, and she has temporarily outfitted her blog accordingly. Mine is ghosts, because ghosts are awesome, but my blog is the same right now as it has been because I'm super lazy. I might fix it up later, but I highly doubt this. I have been lazy for nineteen years. 

     So, without further ado, I present to you the first hundred words of what promises to be an entertaining and possibly uplifting piece about ghosts, knights, and who knows what nonsense we'll come up with. This is just coming off the tops of our heads. And you'll want to read this because we are just that awesome.

   Tina wrote them, and you may read them here.
   Oh yeah. This is gonna be good.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mr. Walrus, Said the Carpenter, My Brain Begins To Perk

        The time has come (this writer said) to talk of other things. Of hymns and psalms and worship songs, of cabbages and kings! But mostly hymns.

     Hymns are, in many places, a Very Big Deal. Many (I would say most, but I don’t necessarily have the statistics or anything to back that up) churches view them as a very basic and important part of Sunday worship. Here’s the thing, though. They’re not.

     Hymns are not everything they are cracked up to be. I don’t like them, nor do I have to. Hymns are viewed as superior somehow, to “modern” praise songs, and they are exalted to the point where they are almost worshipped themselves. They may as well be part of the Bible, the way these people carry on. But the way I see it, hymns are really no different from a lot of other music, except that they are really old. But tradition is a powerful force, and it counts (more often than it should) as its own reason for being. We therefore incorporate them into our worship times, in a big way. And because I am not over-fond of hymns for their own sake, I’ve decided to

Cemetary

I wandered in a graveyard
In the silence, in the dark
And read the names
Inscripted on
Each stone that bore a mark

I read their dates of birth
And I read too their dates of death
Those solemn lines
That told the tale
Of stopped heart; stolen breath.

Sometimes I could not read the dates
On some, the names were gone
An empty stone
A nameless ghost
A life forgotten long

A person once, that danced and laughed
And sang and ate and slept
Has now become
A silent thing
A memory never kept

I never saw their faces
I never knew their names
But still these empty
Silent stones
Inspire curious pain

Perhaps one day, my headstone too
Will crumble down or fade
My face will vanish
Just the same
As theirs were snatched away

I'll never know their names at all
And they will not know mine
We'll, all of us
Be only ghosts
From once upon a time

~ © Andrea Grace

I went to South Carolina with the family I work for (who I love), and the history there was just awesome. I wrote this after walking in a cemetary near where we stayed. Also, I decided that I believe in ghosts. Wholeheartedly.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Destroyer

A clever trick, a smiling thief
Will you give me your full belief?

A heart of stone, a charming bell
The weapon of the prince of hell

Assassin of so many dreams
I am a tool for evil schemes

I murder love; I ruin friends
I laugh to see their smiles end

I’m beautiful, with charming ways
Can’t see past my disarming gaze

You’ll love me and you’ll think I care
And follow me through storm or fair

You’ll think my evil heart is good
And all the time, I’ll shed your blood

I’ll ruin you with lies and pain
But you’ll come back to me again

I’ll kill you soon. I’ll watch you die
And you’ll still trust my every lie

Be careful now. You think you’re safe
But stay on guard, or I’ll invade

I’ll snatch you up, ensnare your feet
And you’ll say thanks

To me,

     Deceit.


© Andrea Grace

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shut Your Mouth

     Perhaps some of you read my post Dirty Little Secrets a few days ago. I actually wrote that in response to this post here. You can click the link, but I’m posting the full text of that post on my blog also. This subject, this obsession with secrecy, is a very big deal to me. It’s the reason this entire destructive system of thinking is allowed to continue. It’s one of the cogs that allow the machine to thunder forward. The trapped ones smile and say, “It’s okay.

     It’s not so bad.

     He didn’t hurt me.

     How can anyone know you need help if you are condemned forever to hide the ugly truth?

     It’s a dreamworld they’ve created. It’s pretty on the outside, with the smiling, intelligent families; the close friendships; the simple lifestyle. Perfect lives. But on the inside, it’s a nightmare. The oppression, it’s a living tomb. The dark truth stays locked safely in a box of secrecy and silence.

     Shut up.

     Don’t tell anyone the things your daddy says to you. Don’t tell them how your mom treats you. Don’t tell them how awful your pastor makes you feel. Be loyal. Be honorable.

     Shut up.

     Hide it. Hide yourself, hide the truth. Don’t let anyone see that we’re not all perfect. Don’t let anyone know about the crime and the abuse.

     Shh.

     So I wanted to address this. I wanted to engage this guy publicly, to make the readers of his blog and mine think twice about a destructive philosophy they’ve accepted unquestioningly for a very long time. So I posted a comment disagreeing with his post. To be fair, he did allow that one to be published, and he also replied o it himself. Then Amy replied to that comment, and so did I. But for mysterious reasons best known to himself, the author promptly disabled the commenting feature for his entire blog and hid all previous comments.

     But I have to do something. I’m taking this public.

     Fortunately, I did save the texts of his original comment and mine, and also the ones Amy and I tried our darndest to get out there. So, following will be the text of his original post, a link to my response, and the subsequent comments.

     The point of this post is not to call anybody out. I don’t want to be rude, and I really don’t care what he thinks or does (although if he would like to join the discussion here, I welcome his presence). But the Philosophy of Shutting Up has existed for too long, and it’s hurt too many people. I want to show you all that keeping your mouth shut is oftentimes the worst thing to do. If any of you think it is right or biblical to cover up another person’s sin ten times out of ten, please tell me why. I want to hear your thoughts.

     This is too important to be left in the darkness. 

     Read the whole thing in this post.


Dirty Little Secrets-- I Guess You Could Call It A Sequel

This is the original postCovering Another's Sin. I think it states pretty well what the philosophy is and why people believe in it. 


——————————————————————————————


     Recently I saw a blog where a whiny woman was angry with her father. She took herself to putting all her father's sins on display. Everything he had done against her that she could think of seemed to be put out there for the world to see. Sure, maybe he did some bad things. Maybe they should be taken to the law. I don't know. But one thing I do know is that she's walking around just like Ham who saw his father's sin and then went around telling everyone. Honoring one's parents is very important. It promises blessings. When one dishonors their parents it promises curses. We must be like Shem and Japheth who turned their backs and covered their father's nakedness. They honored him, even though he wasn't perfect. They covered his sin. The exact opposite of what this woman is doing.

     One thing that did surprise me was how many people feel bad for her. Ham's son Canaan was severely cursed for what his father did. Many generations were cursed because of this folly. Maybe the situation is bad. But disobeying the express command to honor one's parents is much worse. Honor takes different forms. Maybe wisdom says to stay away. If they are murdering and raping people on the weekends you are called by the Word of God to be a witness against them. But do we run around laying out their sins for the world to see? No, no, no, no, no. And I pray I never fall into this myself with any of my family or friends.

     I struggle with honor. I like to think I'm right all the time, an intellectual pride. But I need to honor. I feel it's so important. So many lives are ruined by the dishonor of parents. Fornication, robberies, murdering, etc.. Yet we still see the rebellion against authority as a good thing.

     Let's be ones who are honorable. Trustworthy friends that others can rely on should be our goal. It's pretty rare nowadays.

——————————————————————————————

And this is the post I wrote about the whole thing. Dirty Little Secrets.

——————————————————————————————
Andrea's 1st Comment on Covering Another's Sin:
Daniel,

I disagree with this philosophy of covering another's sin. There are many things wrong with it, but I just want to address the practical aspect.
It's dangerous. You said that "trustworthy friends that

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Dirty Little Secrets

     I love crime shows. I love ‘em. Reality or fiction, if it’s accurate it makes me happy. That’s why I love Law and Order. I think it’s pretty close to the truth, procedure-wise. Except that Detective Goren (who I love anyway because he’s awesome and a genius and crazy handsome) fiddles around with stuff at the crime scene before they’ve taken all the photographs, which is breaking practically the first rule of forensic investigation. You don’t. Touch. The crime scene. What was I talking about? Detective Goren’s awesomeness always distracts me. Oh, crime. Crime has always interested me. The thing that always shocks me is when a witness comes forward after ten years and says to the judge, “He told me he was going to kill her. He told me his whole plan.” It’s like, really? And you didn’t come forward with this information before she died because...? I think it’s partly because this witness didn’t want to believe that the murderer was really going to go through with it and partly because keeping your mouth shut is counted as a virtue in some systems of thinking.

     That’s probably three-quarters of the reason the world is so screwed up. People see crime or abuse and they just stay quiet and hope it blows over. Because who wants to point out something like that? Speaking about the wrongdoing associates you with the wrongdoing, and for heaven’s sake we don’t want that. Keeping dirty secrets is viewed as loyalty, as the mark of a good friend; or spouse, or son, or daughter, or whatever. And sometimes it goes beyond being a good friend; keeping dirty secrets is occasionally seen as the mark of a godly person. Guess where I learned that?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Batman vs. God?

     Some of you know that I am a nanny. Or a governess. I can't decide on which title I like better. Anyway, one of the perks of my job is the Theater Room, which my wonderful employers let me use whenever the kids are napping or I am off-duty. I love television. I just love it. Even television that is not 24, I love. I especially like crime shows. Like Law and Order! Ooh, I have the biggest crush on Detective Goren! … Ahem! But none of this is the point. The reason I brought this up was because I was going to tell you a story involving TV and my love for it. My boss, you see, recommended that I watch a show he has on Netflix called Mad Men. He warned me, however, that the characters have highly questionable morals. “Oh, that’s okay,” I replied dismissively. “I decided a long time ago that I love TV more than ethics.”

     I was joking, of course. To signify this, I laughed. I also said, “I’m kidding, I’m kidding.” My boss laughed too. But it kind of struck me as funny on a different level, because once upon a time, I meant it.

     I’m sure you can guess the time. It was during my family’s stay in an abusive church. Most of us in that church did not watch TV. In fact, many of us didn’t even own television sets. Movies were okay (if you had ClearPlay), but TV was from The World, and was therefore evil to the highest extent.

     Ahh, The World! It was our Mordor. Nothing from The World could be godly, and if you even exhibited a vague inclination towards what we called “the things of the world,” it would surely lead you straight down into the fires of Hell.
     Perhaps you would be interested in knowing what the phrase “the world” meant for us. Basically, although I would have denied this at the time, the world was any philosophy or thing, especially entertainment, that came from outside or was not sanctioned by our own organization. Not our denomination. Not even our movement as a whole. Our particular church. Everything that was from the world was evil, tools used by the devil to ensnare us and lead our wandering feet down the paths of darkness. Movies, television, books, music, all of it was wickedness. If it was something that “looked okay,” that was particularly dangerous. I had this vague idea that things like television and books without an overtly Christian theme had this subtle, hypnotic power, and they would turn you into an atheist without your knowledge or permission.

     To illustrate just how far this phobic loathing of the world went, I will tell you that our pastor once

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Giving of Hearts


     I’ve told you, I believe, of my family’s experience in an abusive church, and of the faulty philosophies we picked up there. I’ve told you how easy it is to start feeling guilty about things that really aren’t that bad. Today I shall list another of those things. This one is special, though, because it’s the only thing that ever really got to me.
   

   See, my personality fit beautifully with the ideal. I was a girl who liked to stay home, cook, clean, and watch children. I like history and I read a lot. I was a good girl, so there were few things that I neglected and were thus made to feel guilty about. Anyway, this thing I’m talking about was the one thing that for the life of me I simply couldn't manage. The one thing that every girl was supposed to do or else dire consequences would ensue (hey, I’m a poet!).

   I am speaking, of course, of giving my heart to my parents.
 
    I’m sure you’re familiar with this idea. The Heart is a very big deal, and according to the rules I learned there, no girl is allowed at any time to be the possessor of her own heart. A definition would perhaps be helpful here. The way I see it, the heart that you are supposed to

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Jesus Called Me Daughter

“No, it’s true. I swear. Hand to God, I swear.”
“God doesn’t want to see your hand!”
— Monk

     I don’t know how often this happens to you, but for some reason I keep getting weird songs stuck in my head with alarming frequency. And even though I’m not very good at it, I sing all the time, so my entire family (and, occasionally, the entire grocery store) is treated to the lyrics of a song that runs along the lines of, “Bananas, bananas, they’re sitting on my fridge!” The latest entry in this disturbing lineup goes like this: “No, I don’t wear pants! (Slap those thighs) No, I don’t wear pants! (Don’t apologize) Just take a look at Lance and how he won the Tour de France, no pants!” I could go on, but I suspect that you are already considering leaving my blog and moving on to pursuits more worthy of your time. I only mention it because it was on a YouTube video by my favorite comedian in the entire world, Wheezy Waiter, and in that video was a line that made me think. And, of course, laugh.

      One of his clones (inside joke; long time in explaining) stepped into the room and announced blithely, “I’m not wearin’ any pants!” And indeed, he was not (which, oddly, was not nearly as disturbing as it should have been). Wheezy Waiter grimaced in disgust, commanding the clone to remain fully clothed. “Ugh, gross. Put some pants on. Nobody wants to see

Monday, September 12, 2011

He Little Knew the Vengeance That Awaited Him

     Kids are awesome. They are way smarter than most of us give them credit for. Everything they do is either hilarious or interesting. I was at the playground with the two children I babysit the other day, and this was brought home to me again when I witnessed this little drama unfolding before my eyes.

     The boy was about ten years old, and he was a little different from the other children. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but something about him was just not the same. He was a little slow, and his face bore traces of the lonely and resentful expression of a child that is never quite understood. He liked to shout at the others, and the small ones were afraid of him (with the exception of the two-year-old girl I babysit, who treated him with queenly indifference). I had to tell him off, myself, for yelling at and frightening my small charges. He acted rashly, however, when he scared a little four-year-old girl. She ran off, crying, to seek solace from her older sister and her three friends.

      Well, I could have told him he’d made a mistake.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jeweler

I think a Jeweler made the sky
I think He uses metals bright
He spread Himself an onyx sheet

And placed it over Earth at night

I think He took a crystal clear
And broke into many shards
He poured them out into the black
And we looked up and called them stars


He minted once a silver coin
And hung it out and called it “moon”
But sometimes it’s a pale pink pearl
And gold in months of harvest, too


The sunsets made of rubies red
The Jeweler pours on molten gold
And hangs out clouds of amethysts
As He has done for years untold


When rain falls in the sun’s warm light
I think it’s really diamond stones
They tumble down from up above
From that vast trove the Jeweler owns


And flakes of icy crystal fall
In winter months (we call it snow)
From selfsame clouds whence silver wire
Twists down to strike the ground below


If you lived out on sprawling plains
‘Midst amber waves, the way I do,
You wouldn’t doubt that sapphire is
The stuff that makes the skies so blue


The heavens shine so brightly there
The Jeweler truly knows his art
The emerald streaks in rainbow curves
Are gifts from Him to charm our hearts


~ © Andrea Grace

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Your Weight in Gold

     I remember sermons from our days in an abusive church. I remember the pastor shouting that we were nothing more (and perhaps considerably less) than helpless, disgusting, worthless sinners. I remember that once he used the illustration of Gollum, who was not only hideous and repulsive, but thoroughly evil and murderous to boot. And I remember believing every word. It was never really a problem for me, because I just kind of took it in stride and accepted it without really thinking too deeply about the repercussions. We weren’t there long enough for the inevitable depression to set in, but it was only a matter of time.


     They really do tell you that, you know. That you’re worthless. That you’re nothing more than a savage, brutish, hideous beast. It’s the first step to complete control: tear down your own good self-image, and convince you that you have no intelligent or good thoughts of your own. Then you’re in perfect shape to accept everything they tell you as the absolute holy truth. Because who are you to say otherwise?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pretty Pretty Princess

     After many conversations with Amy and with friends, it occurs to me that I have been shockingly remiss. What is it, I say to myself, that keeps me from fitting in with the crowd of female Christian bloggers? And, after thinking and thinking and thinking, I answer myself, why of course! I have not written a post about modesty yet! How rude of me. I therefore made the decision to leap on the bandwagon with all the aplomb in my feminine soul, and I’m just sorry I got here so late. However, that shameful negligence is behind us now, and without further ado, I shall present, for your inspection, criticism, and erudition, my thoughts on the subject of modesty (many of which, I might add, were thieved from Amy. Yes, plagiarism, the good old standby of the unscrupulous!)


     Modesty, and the definition thereof, has become a very very big deal. It depends on who and where you are, but in the circles in which my family has traveled in the past, modesty basically means

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oooh, This Will Be An Interesting Post

I stole this from Amy. It's what I do. I plagiarize things. But I thought it would be fun, so here we go.


What time did you get up this morning?
The unholy hour of 8:00. I am not a morning person.

What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Taken! I remember it because it was full of awesomeness. And Liam Neeson. 


What is your favourite TV show? 
Ahh, my favorite TV show! It's 24, of course. How do I love thee, 24? Let me count the ways... I could wax lyrical about how awesome Jack Bauer is... and I already have, I suppose.... innumerable times... I guess I'll spare you today.


What is your nickname?
I used to be known as Nerd. Now I am occasionally called E. T., for reasons that I do not fully understand. I am, however, relieved to report that it has nothing to do with my looks. 


What food do you dislike? 
Tomatoes. They are nasty. And horrible. Once I even wrote a story where the villain was a giant tomato. He came to a very gruesome end, as he so richly deserved.


What is your favourite CD at the moment?
Forest, by George Winston. The man is a genius, I tell you. 


What kind of car do you drive?
I don't really drive, actually. I'm learning, though.

Favourite sandwich?
Amy invented a delicious one that had barbecue sauce and Swiss cheese. Yum yum.

What characteristic do you despise?
I have an intense, burning loathing for stupidity.

Favorite item of clothing? 
Do shoes count? Because I have a really awesome pair that's bright green with yellow sunbursts. I'm very attached to those shoes.

What was one of your most memorable birthdays?
Ohh, I don't know. Probably the year I turned 14. My mom and dad had to go to Durango to be trained to own a chocolate store, and I went along to take care of Bobo, who was six months old at the time. It was then that I discovered the joys and wonders of Animal Planet.

What are you going to do when you finish this?
Clean up the kitchen.

Any new and exciting news you'd like to share?
I'm going to be a nanny! Just like Mary Poppins, I am.

What did you want to be when you were little?
I kind of wanted to be a veterinarian.


Who have people said you look like?
Sigh. I don't look like famous people.




Do you wish on stars?
No. I do, however, wish on birthday candles. I never know if my wishes come true, though, because I forget them with astonishing rapidity.

How many traffic tickets have you had?
 
None! Because I am perfect. Also I don't drive.
                                                                                                                                 
If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?
I would be one of those great big ones with
all the colors!

How is the weather right now?
Dark and cool. Lovely summah nights!

What is your biggest “what if”?
I don't really have "what ifs." I don't plan for the future, really. Except sometimes, when I make plans for escaping from undesirable situations, like animal attacks and kidnapping. Yeah, you can laugh. But the joke will be on you when an alligator tries to drag us under the water and I'm the only one who knows how to make him let go.


What is your biggest regret?
I have a lot of regrets. But, thanks to my terrible memory, I can't recall any of them right now!

Last person you spoke to on the phone? 
Allison. I was telling her to make lunch because I wouldn't be getting home in time.


Favourite restaurant? 
It's either Panera Bread or Red Lobster. I love food so much. Too much. 

Favorite toy as a child?
 
I had a Beanie Baby that i loved more than life itself. She was a white cat with brown paws, and her name was Snip. I still have her. Now she is skinny and flat, owing to all the beans having fallen out. Also very dirty. But she is still pretty.                                                       



Coffee or tea?
Tea! I love tea! Not coffee. Coffee is evil evil evil. And naaaasty.


Who was your first prom date?
You know, I never went to prom. Being homeschooled, it didn't really come up. But I probably wouldn't have wanted to go anyway. I don't dance, I don't like fruit punch, and I am far, far too cheap to spend any amount of money on a dress.


Who was your first room mate?
Amy was. 

What was your first job? 
Babysitting, I guess. I've never really had a real job. Tooooo lazy.


Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane?
To the Bahamas! My fahdah's family be deah, chile!


Who is your first best friend?
My first best friend was named Kaitlyn Smith. I met her in first grade. Man, we were like peanut butter and jelly, David and Jonathan, Damon and Pythias. The stories I could tell you about Kaitlyn Smith and me! I wonder where she is now? 


When you first snuck out of your house, who was it with? 
I've never snuck out of the house. 

Who was the first person to send you flowers? 
I've never been sent flowers, but I did get a dozen roses from a family friend. 'Cause I was the star of our church's Christmas play! My character was a bratty little girl named Lindsay. It's okay, though. She turned nice in the end.


Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day? 
My mom. 'Cause she's awesome, that's why.

What do you do when you are bored at work?
I don't get bored. Ever. Boredom is for the weak!


What do you do when you are bored at home?
I fill my time with reading and crafts and work and other things that I forget. Sometimes I watch funny videos on YouTube.


When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? 
"And I hate..... chances."


How much cash do you have on you?
Right now I have five dollars to my name. That is my fortune in all its entirety. 

Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
Oh, I don't know who that number is! Hmm. An oddity.


What does the 5th text message you received on your cell say?
It was Amy asking me for the name of The Inner Circle. She had forgotten it, you see.



Favorite age you have been so far
I remember being really psyched about being 10.


What was the last thing you said to someone? I was telling Abigail that if we left the hose on overnight it would flood the entire earth. It's my sisterly responsibility to shamefully exaggerate the facts.


If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be? 
Uhh, duh! Flight, of course. Because then I could make a million bucks. 

What reality show do you wish you could be part of?
I don't really know. 


When was the last time you cried? 
Crying is for the weak!! I jest, I jest. I don't remember the last time I cried.


What is under your bed?
Boxes that contain old purses, old issues of Cricket magazine, stuff I don't want to throw away because it has sentimental value, some socks, and other things that I don't remember.


What are you afraid of?
You know, I'm afraid of insanity. I'm afraid of crazy people. I'm afraid of going
 crazy. That would be awful. But I'm not afraid of alligators. Except sometimes.


How many keys on your key ring?
Very few, but they are very pretty keys.


All done! Yaay! Very entertaining and deep and profound, I'm sure. But what about you? Leave a comment with your answers to some of these questions.