East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"


East Of Eden

History of Rap, as performed by Jimmy & Justin

 

While they both have their detractors, I like Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. So thanks to Joe's constant tagging me in stuff, I finally got to see their latest rap collaboration. And now I'm going to share them all with you. You're welcome.

 

 

 

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I bind unto myself today.

 

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day, and to celebrate, I made the above green frosted brownie cupcakes, a lovely loaf of Irish soda bread (below), and a pitcher of lemon lime punch (Sprite, fresh lemons/limes, lemon sherbet, and for the adults, a touch of vodka... the recipe called for Irish whiskey, but I chickened out in trying it). I also picked up some corned beef, cabbage and potatoes (my first time eating red meat in a long time).

 

The food was good (as was that drink), just as celebrating Mardi Gras was great. But what makes these little liturgical calendar holidays so special to me is the fact they point to such great staples of the Christian faith. For example, I shared this info about St. Patrick on my blog Far Above...

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Hiding evil.

 

 

Have you ever read something that literally made you sick? I just finished a letter by a young woman who was sexually abused by her minister dad for nearly her entire life. She tried repeatedly to get help, and was repeatedly shamed, silenced and lied on by family and other church leaders. I feel like crying. John Shore shares it here:

 

I was raised Independent Fundamental Baptist; my family lived and breathed it. My mother graduated from Bob Jones University. All of my aunts and uncles attended Bob Jones University. My grandfather is a well-known IFB pastor who is also a graduate of Bob Jones University. From elementary school on I knew that I would attend BJU too, or be literally kicked out of the family on my...

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Declaring God's Glory through Nature

 

 

Daylight Savings Time totally got me this year. Although I'm an early riser by nature, on Sunday, I drowsily awoke to the shock that I had overslept and wouldn't make it to church. Instead, I took my one year old daughter Zoe to a nearby park.

Pushing Zoe in her bright red stroller down a paved path, I stopped to show her the buds growing on the cherry blossom trees. In a few weeks, they'll open to much delight. But I was smiling early. The whole park had that whole early spring vibe. It had snowed a few days earlier and giant, glistening puddles were left behind, making the path alternately shimmery in the sun and brown from mud, The weather was nice enough to skip the heavy coats, but still cool enough to warrant layers...

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Jesus is not coming soon

 

 

(Source)

Provocative title, right? It caught my attention when I saw it over at Faithful Citizenship. Actually, there is a lot of provacation going on at the Progressive Christian Channel at Patheos. Both my eyebrows were raised and my jaw dropped at "Washed in His Blood My Ass"by Kimberly Knight. But back to the first post, which was written by Greg Garret and is really not as crazy as it sounds.

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Another view of gay civil unions... from Christians.

(Source)

 

There was a big kerfluffle back in January on the interwebs when atheist turned Catholic blogger Leah Libresco came out in support of civil marriage for gays. She wrote:

 

Marriage in the Church is about both people making a positive committment to each other, to any future children, and to God.

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That's right ladies: "saved through childbirth".

Me in labor with Zoe. I was saved from some pain by that epidural...

 

 

I always scratched my head (and raised an eyebrow) at I Timothy 2:15. It just seems bizarre. What does it mean anyway? Pop out a bunch of kids and salvation is for the taking? So yay for Michelle Duggar but boo for the fertility challenged?

 

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Ways you can fight modern-day slavery

 (Source)

 

 

Great article from Relevant on how you can fight slavery today. Some excerpts:

 

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Buried in bulletins.

 

Growing up at my grandfather's church, bulletins, or "programs" as they use to call them, were not given out every Sunday. They were saved for special events like Women's Days, Men's Days, and Pastor's Anniversary services. Same, too, for the second church I belonged to. Then, after graduating from college, I began attending a nondenominational church, and within a year, they had pretty much made up for all those years of bulletin depravation. At every service, the ushers were there, happily pushing one into your hand.

 

There was more than one service.

 

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Harlem Shake: Peanuts edition.

 

So there are like a quadrillion Harlem Shake videos out there right now (by the by, Pop Culture is really running out of new ideas... um, I remember Diddy doing it in this video from back when I was a co-ed), but I love this one with the Peanuts crew:

 

 

 

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This is OK?!?

 

 

Sheesh. I'll skip my little opener and get right to it. Thanks to the awesome Mark Shea, I got to read all about how according to Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama has the authority to use drone strikes to kill Americans on U.S. soil. From The Telegraph:

 

Eric Holder argued that using lethal military force against an American in his home country would be legal and justified in an "extraordinary circumstance" comparable to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

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Engraved on His palms...

 

 

I've been getting weekly IVIG treatments for CIDP at home for a year now. After taking a couple of Tylenol and a Benadryl to stave off headaches and hives, my nurse (and now good friend) Melissa ties a rubber tube around my arm and taps, squeezes and works my tiny veins to pop up. She then skillfully inserts a small IV, and if things goes well, over the next two hours, I'll receive my medication.

Of course, things don't always go well. I've had vein collapses and tissue blow ups, and sometimes a couple of site changes are needed. I've also gotten use to blue or green or purple bruises taking shape on my hands and arms. They are my little battle wounds, a kind of visible reminder of my fight with chronic illness.

 

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Music you should hear: The Arrows

 

I've been a fan of the South African duo The Arrows, who combine jazz, pop and their Christian faith to buck trends and create beautiful music, for a few years now. I woke up this morning and felt like it's totally an Arrows type day. :-)

 

Hope you agree and enjoy!

 

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Church (and temple and mosque) hopping.

 

 

While New York City has a reputation of being a secular bastion, one Evangelical Christian, Tony Carnes, and his team of inquisitive reporters are on a mission to change that by visiting all of the thousands of houses of worship throughout the five boroughs.

 

 

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The Calling of Delight

 

On Sunday as I drove to church, I caught part of a great episode of "On Being" hosted by Krista Trippet with Father Gregory Boyle. It was so good in fact, I stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for a cocnut coffee and then parked outside my church and listened to the rest. So of course, I have to share it here. One of the parts that really stuck out for me was his mention of the Holy Eucharist, or Communion, as being a very tacit way to commune with each other. He said:

 

So what could be more sacred than seven orphans, enemies, rivals, sitting in a kitchen waiting for a turkey to be done? Jesus doesn't lose any sleep that we will forget that the Eucharist is sacred. He is anxious that we might forget that it's ordinary, that it's a...

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Healing art

 

 

I found this interview by Miriam Schulman of Helen Hanson interesting. Excerpts:

 

SchulmanArt: When did you decide to be a professional artist?
Helen Hanson: I've been making visual art since I had to quit acting and move away from the city to the country for my health. I was born outside of Philadelphia and grew up on the East Coast. Lived in the Los Angeles area for most of my adult life, now based in the Flathead Valley of Montana. My current environment is suggestive of a mountain resort, which is important to maintaining the peace and solitude I need for art making. However, as I struggle with chronic illness (granulomatosis with polyangiitis, formerly known as Wegener's, a life-altering form of vasculitis)

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Lenten Update #2

 

 

Another week done and I'm still hanging tight on the food fasts. I've made a bunch of veggie dishes I didn't even knew existed until... well, I made them. Including that eggplant/carrot cornbread caserole up there, which turned out to be a surprise hit. When I finally did some Wii time (my first real time since Jos' death), I weighed myself expecting to have put on five pounds. Instead, I loss two. I'm considering making this diet permanent.

 

Unfortunately, my devotional time has been spotty. Like every other day. It's funny how it's been easier to cut out whole swaths of food groups from my diet then to add more prayer and Bible time in my schedule.

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People (and episodes) stack so well.

 

 

Joe has a way of harassing me into watching shows I wouldn't normally view. Sometimes because I'm too busy. Other times, I just don't feel like investing time and energy into a show that may crash and burn (see "Heroes", "Last Resort", "Law & Order:LA", or whatever the heck is currently happening with this season of "Community"). But he wore me down with the Netflix original "House of Cards." Part of what makes it so delicious (besides the excellent and creepy performance of Kevin Spacey and his well-matched "wife" Robin Wright) is the way it was released. All thirteen episodes viewable at one time. No slow wait, just instant gratification. While Joe told me some reviewers were put off by this binge viewing option, I...

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The snack trap.

 

 

Last week in my first Lenten update, I mentioned having a bit of a struggle going without sugar and sweets. After reading this revealing New York Times Magazine cover story by Michael Moss, there's no wonder why. Turns out, there is real science behind the saying, "Once you pop, you can't stop." And the folks behind the biggest junk food makers know that, and with the help of a cadre of chemists, psychologists and "Mad Men" ad men, they're exploiting it. Some highlights:

 

The public and the food companies have known for decades now — or at the very least since this meeting [in April 1999, ADF] — that sugary, salty, fatty foods are not good for us in the quantities that we consume them. So why are the diabetes and...

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Who do you say I am?

 

 

 

"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ."

Mark 8:29

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