East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"

East Of Eden

Romancing the ordinary.

On Thursday, my friend Kawania stopped by to pick up a flash drive. She was just leaving her job as an elementary school teacher, and as I opened the door to let her in, I said, "Wow! Is this what the teachers are wearing these days?"

Decked out in a brown, above the knee shirtdress, with leopard print, four inch, peep toe heels, she laughed and said assuredly, "Gone are the days teachers wear long flower skirts and penny loafers." I laughed, too, thinking how cool it would be to find a pair of penny loafers nowadays. But hey, these glasses aren't for show. I'm a true blue nerd.

Kawania began playing with Z, and I slid back over to the dining room table where I had been cutting up peppers, tomatoes and onions for dinner. She looked at...

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Esther: Heroine or Harlot?

Have you heard about Mark Driscoll's sermon series on the Old Testament book of Esther? It's making a big splash on the interwebs, sadly (but not surprisingly) for all the wrong reasons.

I'll just step aside and let Rachel Held Evans take the mic:

"Unfortunately, after two relatively benign sermons on the book of Esther, Pastor Mark Driscoll returned yesterday to a narrative that casts Esther as an immoral woman. In his latest sermon he chastises her for not “fighting back” when “she could have said no.” He calls her a “hypocrite” and “worldly,” a woman who “got herself into this mess.”

As frustrating as these statements may be, I must confess that after listening to Driscoll’s sermon series thus far, I have come to believe...
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A totally awesome life lesson via "The Simpsons".

I was re-watching "A Totally Fun Thing Bart Will Never Do Again", an episode of "The Simpsons" from last season, and I thought, "If only people, especially in our pleasure-above-all culture, could accept this!" Well, maybe not that exact thought, but along those lines. Then I thought, "I've got to put this on the blog!" That, by the way, is an exact thought. So anyway, ENJOY!
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If we have a war on women, this is Armageddon.

Slutwalks. Giant costumes of vaginas. The war on women.

After being bombarded with stories like these, it becomes all too easy to grow jaded. I admit, I had. From Sandra Fluke to Ann Coulter, it seems I've been hearing non-stop chatter of the oppression, or lack thereof, facing millions of women in this country.

Then I got a reality check by way of "Half the Sky", an Independent Lens documentary on PBS.

Shoma, a young woman living in the red light district of Kalighat, in the Indian city of Kolkata, was 13 years old when the man she had married sold her to a brothel shortly after their wedding.
“In the beginning I would tremble and stand there and cry. I was abused and beaten up. They used to tie up my hands in the back and tie up...
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Romancing the extraordinary.

If there is one thing I truly, wholeheartedly miss about attending my former church, it's the praise and worship time. The worship team and musicians were very talented, but it isn't the music I reminisce about. No, it was the little slice of time I could sing out, raise my hands, clap, close my eyes, and pray aloud. Sure, I can do this now, at home, but it's not the same. I love the corporate aspect of it. Jesus said, "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

"Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair." 
-G.K. Chesterton

I'm affectionate. I constantly kiss, hug and hold Z. I force kisses on K. Literally. He's grown so use to my smooch abuse, he worries when I don't try...

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Blog Repost: Single & Committed: The Ever Rising Phoenix

 In about five hours, my friend Cathy will be single no more! She is marrying a wonderful, loving Godly man named Peter. To celebrate, I'm reposting an interview I did with Cathy 2.5 years ago chastity, Godly relationships and romance. Congratulations to Cat & Peter! May God bless your marriage!





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Welcome to East of Eden!


Happy New Year and welcome to East of Eden! After blogging at Far Above Rubies for nearly four years, I've decided to move on. But it's not so much of an end as a transition. Pretty much the stuff I wrote about there will carry on over here. So why the change? Well, for starters, Blogger can be a royal pain at times. I've mysteriously lost whole posts, comments have never showed up, and I was getting hit with too many spambots behind the scenes. I never liked keeping up the comment restrictions, but I preferred it to having my readers subjected to comboxes full of joint cream ads (By the way, why joint cream ads? I can't even join AARP for like twenty years! Geesh!).


Also, I haven't felt totally at home with the title "Far...

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Christian Music suckage.

After I took a stab at romancing the extraordinary, getting some word choice help from Contemporary Christian music (CCM), I stumbled upon this piece by Jordon Bloom at The American Conservative. The part that stuck out the most to me:


"Consider how differently Christian rock functions from church music in the past. Megastars today supply a corpus of interchangeable–with both secular pop and other church music–worship songs. Bach thought he was exploring the mind of God. There was once a sense of aspiration or striving, through which God was glorified; this stuff is so incredibly lazy it almost seems idolatrous. My favorite example is the promiscuous key changes that arrangers sometimes insert for a cheap thrill that, in more...

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 An interesting convo between pro-life activist and Christian ethicist David Gushee and pro-choice former president of Catholics for Choice, Frances Kissling. From On Being:

No issue is more intractable than abortion. Or is it? Most Americans fall somewhere between the absolute poles of “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” A Christian ethicist who advocates a "consistent ethic of life" and an abortion-rights activist reveal what they admire in the other side and discuss what’s really at stake in this debate.
No issue is more intractable than abortion. Or is it? Most Americans fall somewhere between the absolute poles of “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” A Christian ethicist who advocates a "consistent ethic of life" and an...
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Pulpit Free

Did your church participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday yesterday? Yeah, neither did mine. Instead, I listened to a homily on importance of family and showing love to all of God's children. There was also mention of divorce, so it wasn't all easy peesy, but nothing that would trigger warnings from the IRS.

When I first heard about Pulpit Freedom Sunday, I rolled my eyes in disbelief. Then annoyance. I wasn't the only one. From Paperback Theology:

... “Pulpit Freedom Sunday" ... is the creation of a conservative political action group called the Alliance Defending Freedom, formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund (you can read a little bit about them here). The agenda behind Pulpit Freedom Sunday is to entice pastors to openly endorse...
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Trashing Dash


While I was surprised that actress Stacey Dash came out on Twitter in support of Mitt Romney as president, I wasn't surprised by the heated backlash she faced once she did. After all, I've learned from the Mia Love criticisms, people can be disgusting towards those on the other side of the political aisle. It can turn downright vicious when you share the same color. From Twitchy:

Dash called "House Negro," "Uncle Tom," and "Oreo" by Obama supporters

Dash accused of not being Black enough

Dash urged to kill herself

Really? Really??? Okay, so yeah, these comments are coming from random folks on Twitter. Oh, and by the way, Twitter users, please know your 140 characters are not invisible. If you really want to put...

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THE Debate of 2012

... occured last week and featured a candidate representing the left, and one speaking for the right. Neither heeded the moderator much, but did come prepared with conflicting data and viewpoints.

There were slams.

There were laughs.

There was a mobile platform.

"THE" debate was The Rumble in the Air Conditioned Auditorium between Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, and it is awesome! Go here for some free clips. Or pay the five bucks for charity and watch the whole thing.

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Ripping up the brown paper bag.

I was thinking about Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Mia Love and yes, Stacey Dash (now I'm thinking, 'Which one of these do not belong?'). They got me thinking of other Black folks who break rank in their own ways, determining to do their own thing.

For example, while most Blacks in this country are Christian or Muslim, many aren't. Like Shirley Woodard who has been a practicing Buddhist since 1974:

"What attracted me to being a Buddhist was that I tried it and I saw it working in my life. It’s something that I just said, “Let me try.” And once I tried it and I saw how it was something that I could use for my daily life, that I didn’t have to die and go to heaven — ‘cause your heaven and your hell exist right here — it...
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Friday Funny


Pastor and comedian Brodrick Rice on TBN doing impressions of Bishop Jakes, Bishop Eddie Long, Pastor Joel Osteen and more. It's hilarious! Check it out!!

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Keeping women in "our place".

I read an awesome post on gender inequality by Jenny Rae Armstrong, and I had to share:

"... I would never deny that educating girls is crucial to addressing a wide variety of social issues, and to giving women options–options that allow them to live healthy, fulfilling lives and create a better future for their children. But as much of a no-brainer as women’s education is, I am not convinced that the primary barrier to gender equality is ignorance. I believe the primary barrier to gender equality lies in the depravity of the human heart–in the widespread acceptance of male entitlement, in the desire to control, in the prideful love of power, even if that power over another person’s life is candy-coated and reframed as...
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All about elections. Okay, not "all".


On this week's episode of On The Media, the focus is all about elections- from the actual physical discomfort of realizing the politician you support is lying, to how independents are not really so independent, to the deceitful cunning of the late Lee Atwater.

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No, there's no way anyone can see racism here.

From the Daily News:

A New Jersey man who placed a photo of President Barack Obama depicted as a witch doctor in the front of his clothing store says he’s surprised the image has been criticized as racist.
Bill Skuby of Spring Lake, N.J.’s Skuby & Co. said the display simply represents his political position.

He has temporarily removed the Halloween display amid ongoing criticism.
"It always comes down to the race card,” Skuby, 66,told NJ.com of the backlash he's received.
The witch doctor picture shows President Obama naked except for a headdress and loincloth, with a bone through his nose.

“If this is racism, then it’s reverse racism,” Skuby told the Asbury Park Press. “I think they’re as racist as they accuse me of being,” he...
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When the thorn remains.

A few weeks ago, a pastor of another church visited mine and led a special service. It was for the purpose of healing- spiritually, physically, emotionally or whatever. I wound up last in line for prayer. To my surprise, Guest Rector not only laid hands on me but while praying, began speaking in tongues. Of course I know the Charismatic Movement had spread to even the frigid Episcopalians decades ago. It still threw me for a bit of a loop to see a man dressed in fancy schmancy robes and even that little cap bust out like my Pentecostal grandma.

Before he began his prayer, he asked for my request. I told him, and he prayed earnestly. After the "amen", he asked me if I felt any differences. He looked at me straight in the eyes, warmly and...
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Why are people such jerks?

Between the stink of politics, private citizens playing stalkerazzi via Reddit and just all out bad behavior by people who should know better, I've been thinking about jerks a lot lately.

Then I read this piece by Ebony's Michael Arceneaux, and wished people would take his advice.

Take for instance the video of the belligerent 25-year-old woman who was ultimately assaulted by a Cleveland bus driver. It didn’t take long for people to identity both her government name and her Twitter handle. Once people did, her mentions consisted of one crude joke about her beating after another. Feel however you want about the incident itself, make your jokes if you must, but why go out of your way to directly be hurtful? Why...
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