East Of Eden
Is it discriminatory and degrading for toy catalogs to show girls playing with tea sets and boys with Nerf guns? A Swedish regulatory group says yes. The Reklamombudsmannen (RO) has reprimanded Top-Toy, a licensee of Toys"R"Us and one of the largest toy companies in Northern Europe, for its "outdated" advertisements and has pressured it to mend its "narrow-minded" ways. After receiving "training and guidance" from RO equity experts, Top-Toy introduced gender neutrality in its 2012 Christmas catalogue. The catalog shows little boys playing with a Barbie Dream House and girls with guns and gory action figures. As its marketing director...
Recently, someone emailed me a photo of this billboard[.]
My first thought was, “Do you know why Jesus misses hearing you say Merry Christmas? Because no one said it to him in the Bible.”
It’s true. When Joseph held the sweet baby Jesus in his arms, he didn’t say, “Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.”
The wisemen didn’t get down off their awesome camels and say, “Here are some Christmas gifts.”
K and Z this summer in Netcong, NJ.
... I read a book by an Evangelical author with whose work I was unfamiliar. She writes about her experience of God in a sacramental way — that is, how her experience of the beauty of creation awakened something in her, and brought her closer to God through her awareness of His presence in the natural world, and in the world of things His people have made to His glory. It’s the kind of thing that’s an ordinary part of Catholic and Orthodox theology and spirituality, and I thought she wrote beautifully about this awakening.
I read an interesting post by Rod Dreher that got me thinking about Evangelicalism, nature, the Arts and mysticism. He writes:
Joscelyne's Memorial Service
Thursday was Joscelyne's memorial. It was a beautiful service and I guess a good 200 people came out. I didn't cry and I believe a large part of that is due to the presence of those 200.
My former boss, Nancy, and her husband. My heart leaped at seeing her face. She was my boss when I was 19, working part time mentoring freshmen.
Tamara, one of my oldest friends. We use to make mud pies in my backyard when I was 7.
Carly, my friend of 15 years who I hadn't seen for over one.
"For in that sleep of death what dreams may come."
Hamlet, Act III, scene 1, line 66
I pulled into the driveway, and put the car in park. It was a risk, just showing up like this to see my sister, but I missed her. I pulled out my cell and hit her number on my contact list.
After two attempts and nothing but voicemail, I called her husband, Manny, who was at work.
"Hey Man, she is home, right?"
"Yeah, Li, she is. She doesn't have the car, and it's what, 11? Where else would she be?"
So I did a post about Contemporary Christian Music's (CCM) supposed suckage in the minds and ears of quite a few. It went up, but the views for it didn't. At least that is, until the very cool Matt at The Church of No People kindly retweeted the link.
Quite suddenly, a bunch of peeps in the Twitterverse let me know, in no uncertain terms, that CCM is, if not awesome, at the very least, the opposite of "suckage". At first, I got scared. Really. See, I've found myself cornered by anonymous folks on the Interwebs in the past, trying to converse to no avail. So when I saw all those "@alishadefreitas" comments... I felt a chill.
But I warmed quickly when I actually read through the replies. There was no attack on me, just...
When I sat in that doctor's office over a year and a half ago, being told I should consider terminating my Zoe because I might have a genetic condition that I may pass on to my daughter, I knew deep in my heart, she was- and is- a gift.
I knew that even if some cold, detached doctor did not, could not, would not see her value, she deserved life.
And when she was born, a beautiful, squiggly girl of seven pounds and seven ounces and a long twenty inches, the precious gift I was blessed to carry for thirty-eight weeks entered the world, full of curiosity, attentiveness and hunger.
Zoe Lyne Hope. Zoe means "life". Abundant life.
The first time I held my precious little Zoe.
The thing is, while I had all the hope in the world...
Me after the 8AM service on Sunday. All these pics are of my church, taken by me.
Despite being Unapologetically Episcopalian... well, liking it on Facebook, I've been feeling something like sorrow for the denomination to which my church belongs. It seems every other day there's yet another story about it's decreasing numbers and entire parishes breaking off to become Roman Catholic or join up with other theologically conservative Anglican communities.
And little by little, I've been feeling out of step, too. There was the little devotional that left me at a loss for words. Then there was this post based off of last Sunday's Liturgical Gospel Readings. It was written by David Henson who is currently undergoing training to become...
I don't get very many invites these days, so it's very striking I managed to get three for events all on the same day, May 19th.
Three parties celebrating three very different occasions. But all for beautiful women who are about to experience life-changing events.
Candace has been my friend since before Dawson and Pacey but after the Macarena. We were both transfers to a now-shut down Christian school, new girls in the eleventh grade.
She was-and is- everything I'm not. Tall, thin, charismatic and adventurous. We clicked immediately.
After college, she moved to Miami, preferring the heat and sun to Jersey's cloudy gray. She's traveled the world- London, Port of Spain, Acapulco- with aplomb. So it makes perfect...
We sat, mouths slightly agape, staring. We were shocked and hurt, K and I. We had just been counseled briefly that the child inside me might be genetically "defective". And then asked flatly, if we would like to consider terminating the pregnancy?
Six weeks ago, K and I left work early to go the hospital where I plan to have Z, named after an early Christian saint and martyr evoked at times when peace is needed.
We sat in the full waiting room with other expectant parents, waiting to be called. After an hour, a doctor assigned to be our genetic counselor came out and said she needed five minutes to review my file. I suppose she hadn't expected the additional medical records I had...
I'm sitting in the local diner writing this on my laptop, the diner being every good Jersey girl's version of "The Max" that Zack and Slater hung out in "Saved By The Bell." But I'm by myself, sans Lisa and Screech, so I guess this would be like a deleted "Jesse studies alone” scene that wouldn't even make the DVD collection. Of course, circa 2010.
I've got "Eat Pray Love" with me, which is pretty sad because I've been lugging this now worn book around for a month and Liz is just in India. Considering I typically devour books the way I just devoured the tuna triple decker I ordered, quick and easy, my inability to read this book straight through is beyond strange. I mean, I got through 3 Hemingway novels in less time than this...
This is how the Lausanne Theology Working Group, Africa chapter, defined the prosperity gospel at its consultations in Akropong, Ghana:
“We define prosperity gospel as the teaching that believers have a right to the blessings of health and wealth and that they can obtain these blessings through positive confessions of faith and the "sowing of seeds" through the faithful payments of tithes and offerings.”...
No, no, no, not "The Secret Life of Bees". The Secret Life of B****es! No Dakota Fanning in this category. I think.
I've worked with quite a number of men and women over the past ten years, and unfortunately, a few... how shall I put it? Well, I had the dishonor of working for some major b****es. Yes, although those are asterisks, you all know what I mean. Nasty tempered, mean mugging, snotty, back stabbing, lying rhymes-with-witches people. And I say people, because plenty of guys aren't just dogs, no they are b****es.
Now, if I offended some with my use of letters and symbols to clearly communicate a bad word, my apologies. You can stop reading and go pray for me. Then click the tag on the homepage for "Christ the King". Or...
What's going on with all the nakey celebrities? Is April National Nude Month? I know it's National Poetry Month, but I'm missing the art in seeing all this celeb skin.
A few weeks ago, neo-soul hippie Erykah Badu bared it all on the streets of Houston for the controversial video for "Window Seat"- controversial because she shot it without bothering to get permits and actually got naked... no pasties or anything. In the video, she walks about a block and a half to the location where President John F. Kennedy was shot, all the while stripping (you can see a number of stunned bystanders, including CHILDREN as she saunters over to the infamous grassy knoll). I've watched the video a few times now (K gave it one viewing before dismissing it as...
I finally found a little complaint-laden blog I wrote in 2006 and posted on MySpace about my experience working my first full time job out of college (be forewarned class of '09, the real world ain't pretty). I figured I'd share it with you all... enjoy!
“Right now, this is just a job. If I advance any higher in this company, then this would be my career. And uh … well, if this were my career, I’d have to throw myself in front of a train.” ~Jim, from the “Health Care” episode of “The Office”
Over the weekend, the hubby and I were watching the 2007 installment of VH1’s “I Love the New Millennium” which pondered such great questions as why did Rihanna add so many syllables to the word “umbrella” (“UM-BRELLA-ELLA-ELLA-EH-EH-EH”), and I started thinking of all the fads and trends that emerged in popular culture this decade. Thankfully, many of the whoops corrected themselves (like, say for instance, the TMI-revealing combo of low rider jeans and thongs, which admittedly, I was guilty of wearing in 2001), and I hope they never return. Following is a list of things K and I did not love about the new millennium:
“Dying” to get married? You might have more in common with this man than you think.
I couldn’t blame my girlfriends. The girls, who upon learning of my impending nuptials last fall, reacted with varying degrees of annoyance and anger. Yes, I was disappointed, but I understood. I had been there too, excited for your friend but feeling desperate because of your own single status. Like Katherine Heigl in “27 Dresses”, there’s only but so many weddings a girl can attend before she starts to feel exhausted, aggravated, irritated and yes… alone.
My own cracking period began a few years ago. I had been to a few weddings during college- they were mostly small affairs for my cousins and were pretty fun. Then came...
What’s in a name? Everything to some, based on a number of critically biting comments I’ve received since changing my name to “De Freitas” after tying the knot last autumn. It might not be the new millennial, pro-women thing to do, but I had always known I’d do this since I was a little girl. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I was well aware that it was no longer a societal requirement to do so. There were plenty of women who opted to maintain the name they had since birth. Some did so because they were established in their profession and had become well-known by their maiden name. Others had adapted a more modern feminist stance that they didn’t need to shed their name for a man’s—despite the fact that most had their...