Thursday, November 7, 2013

Notebooks

I just love the look, feel, and smell of a fresh, unused notebook! It has no mistakes in it, no blotted out words, no improper spelling or grammar. It can hold it's head high unabashedly! (Metaphorically speaking, of course). Then we come along and write, or draw in it, and the new crisp look, feel, and smell all go away quickly. The notebook enters a new stage in it's existence, a stage when it gets utilized. So many different things can be written or drawn inside it! What it will contain all depends on the owner of that notebook. Maybe it will be used as scratch paper for math, maybe it will be used for quickly jotted down notes (after all, it is a notebook!). Maybe someone will use it as a journal, and it will hold the secrets, dreams and daily life. Or, a writer might make an outline of a story in it! The mystery of what the notebook will hold can only be known one page at a time. Poetry? The thought of someone spilled out on paper? Or just a plain shopping list?! The notebook has so much potential. The notebook might not know what it will hold, but it will hold something. Every notebook has something different written in it. No two are exactly alike! They could be used for purely practical use, or just the musing of a imaginative person (guilty as charged!). Despite the numerous ways each notebook could be used, they all start out more or less the same. Blank, lined pages, waiting to be filled. They may have white pages, yellow pages, purple pages, pink pages, any color of pages. They come in different sizes: big, small, pocket sized, and extra large! They come looking different, yet the same. Every one of them will have something unique from any other notebook inside of them. Some of them maybe used for similar purposes, but they will all have at least slightly different contents. When the notebook it all used up, they will tell a different story when you look inside of them. That brings me to the third stage in the notebooks existence: when all it's pages are filled. What happens to it then? The notebook either gets put in a place of honor, forgotten about, stored away to look at again sometime in the distant future, or is pitched. If a notebook has been put in a place of honor, then we can safely assume that it has something inside it that is extremely valuable to whoever owns it. If the notebook is just forgotten about, but not thrown-away, then we can assume that it has something of importance in it, but not of enough importance to merit keeping careful track of it. If the notebook is being kept someplace where it's easily accessed, but isn't actually accessed that often, then we can assume it's contents are valuable, but not necessarily something that one would want to be reminded of every day. Lastly, if the notebook is just discarded, then one can assume it has nothing of importance in it, and the notebook was pretty much a waste.


Okay, so, sorry if I bored you to death with that blabber up there, but I do love notebooks. Of course I have a reason for going to such lengths to discuss notebooks, (if I had no other reason to discuss them other than to convey to ya'll my love for 'em, then I probably wouldn't be posting about it...I might though, lol). Maybe some of you have caught on to what I'm going to say here, but for those of you who haven't, here I go. I want to liken these notebooks to us humans. We all start about the same. Sure some of us will have lighter or darker skin, some of us will be bigger, smaller, shorter, taller, but, really, there isn't much of a difference with us yet. Eventually others start to see our unique personalities, as they start to show through as we get a little older. All our lives, our physical appearance will probably stay mostly the same, we may be scarred, but in the end, we have a human body, and no matter how malformed it may become, it is still just that: a human body! It is what is inside that body that counts (and of course I'm NOT talking tissue, blood, bones...yeah, you get me). All of us will have very different lives, some of us may have similar things happen to us, but, in the end, each of us has a individually unique experience of life. No one has had the same exact experiences as you, or I, and no one ever will. Each one of our notebooks of life, holds a different story. The primary question then is: what is the story? Is it something others will want to look on, something that will be put up in a place of honor? Will you be well known everywhere, someone who will be in the history books? Will you be remembered as someone who made a difference? Will people who know you, see your life and examine themselves because of you? Will you inspire people to become better? Will you be a reflection of the most high God? Will people you know look back on your life, and use it as an example of how they should be living theirs? Will your life be remembered?
Or will your life be one that was wasted
You can't control everything that goes into your notebook, but you can decide how you'll respond to everything, and how you respond is what people will remember. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Letting God In On The Little Things

John 13:4-8
"4He [Jesus] riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel and girded himself. 5After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, 'Lord, dost thou wash my feet?'. 7Jesus answered and said unto him, 'What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter'. 8Peter saith unto him, 'Thou shalt never wash my feet.' Jesus answered, 'If I wash thee not, thou has no part with me.'"

Generally, when looking at this particular passage, what is addressed is Jesus' servant like behavior, despite the fact He was the Son of the living God. That is a beautiful truth, that cannot be overstated, but that is not what I'm planning to talk about. Rather, I'm going to look at Peter's response to Jesus doing this small, and rather demeaning, task. No other disciple is recorded to have said anything about the Lord's actions, but Peter is, what seems to me, horrified that Jesus would lower Himself to such a minuscule task, after all, He was the Christ! Peter doesn't want to let Jesus wash his feet, it's too personal, and just not a thing that Jesus should be doing. I see Peter's words as and indicator that he thinks that Jesus should not be wasting His time on the lowly disciples who serve Him, but rather on the "big" things that matter more. On first thought, I totally agree with Peter, what is the HOLY Son of God, doing washing His disciples feet? It's totally out of the sphere of what someone of His station should be doing. Waaiiiitttt. What did I just do there? I just put God into a box. Peter did the same thing when he didn't want to let Jesus wash his feet. It was too personal, not something that the creator of the universe should be doing. The Messiah, washing HIS feet?! Peter didn't want Jesus getting to "comfortable" you might say. He had put Jesus into the "only for big important things" box, like so many of us have done! Peter wanted to keep Jesus from lowering Himself to the minuscule, humiliating, gross even, job of washing the feet of the disciples. Sometimes I put God into that box to, and I've seen many other Christians who have as well. We seem to think that God should only care about that BIG things in life, not the little ones, like help finding directions, His hand in helping kids behave, help when you're trying to find the keys, or navigating through traffic, patience when someone is getting on your nerves, the list could go on forever. But the truth is, we miss out on so much when we have this attitude, because it means we can't have a truly intimate, personal relationship with God, that He wants to have with you! Putting God in the "Only when I really need it" box puts your relationship with Him on a much more stiff, un-personal basis, and that is not at all the way it should be. This passage itself is proof of the fact God wants to be intimate with you, He wants to help you in everything, including cleaning your dirtiness.

1 Corinthians 6:16-18
"16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, 'I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people'. 17'Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,' saith the Lord, 'and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you' 18 'and will be a father unto you, , and ye shall be my sons and daughters', saith the Lord Almighty."

Let's start with verse 16: it says that we are the temple of God, that God dwells within us. Not only does God dwell inside us, but He says that we are His people, and that He is our God. That can't just be talk, when God possess someone, you can't just ignore it and think  can keep God at a distance. If you're a born again believer, than you have the God of the entire universe dwelling inside you, He knows EVERYTHING about you, better than you even know! This means that even if you don't think God should be bothered with all the little things that bother you, you can't help Him knowing about them, He's living all your experiences with you. What's up to you is if you're going to let Him help with the little things you are going through.
Verse 17 doesn't have much to do with the topic I'm covering, but I'll touch on it briefly. God calls us to be separate from the world, not to touch the uncleanness that is all around us. Do you think that we could do such a thing without the constant help of God? Yet another proof that we need God in everything.
And finally verse 18: What can be more obvious of God's want to be near to his people, than declaring that they are His children? His sons, His daughters, that is what those who have believed on Jesus are to Him, His children. A father, at least a good father, wants to be part of their children's lives, not to be there just to be asked for things when they're absolutely desperate. Not to be the last resort, no, this father wants to be the first resort to everything we face in life. Not just the big things, in all the little things in life too. Not just the things that are a burden to you either! God want to share in your joy as well was your sorrow. He wants to be told about your happy moments, the times when your contented, the times you're lifted, up, He wants to share in your appreciations of the world around you, and the people that He sends your way. God wants to be sharing every moment with you! There is no better companion to have, because God loves you like no one else can. He loves us, and wants only the very best for us! That is why you should let Him into your daily life. God shouldn't be a one-day-a-week person, He should be a everyday person, who you talk to. God isn't just a good father, He's the best friend that you've ever had, or ever will have, you just have to let Him be! He died for you so that you could be with Him, not so that you could hold Him at arms length and only ask for things when you really need something.

Philippians 4:8
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Think about that. We are to think of things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, things of virtue and praise, and only those! All of those (and more!) are summed up in one person: Jesus Christ. In these verses, we are basically commanded to think only of God, and things of Him. That literally
 is saying "God should be your every thought, breath, action, everything". That means EVERYTHING! Even the little things, like your thoughts.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
"16Rejoice evermore. 17Pray without ceasing. 18In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you. 19Quench not the spirit."

Verse 16: Rejoice evermore. Short and sweet. Rejoice evermore. What are we to be rejoicing in? The Lord Jesus and all His wonders. Rejoicing means to be glad, to be joyful, to dwell in happiness, to worship in thanksgiving. Websters 1828 dictionary defines rejoice as this: To experience joy and gladness in a high degree; to be exhilarated with lively and pleasurable sensations; to exult. Pretty powerful stuff if you ask me. To experience gladness in a high degree. To be exhilarated with lively and pleasurable sensations. To exult. I don't know about you, but I think rejoicing seems like a pretty awesome thing, to be so filled with joy that you're just exhilarated? Wow! Now for the second word in the verse: evermore. Again from Websters 1828 dictionary: Always; eternally. Well, that's just as short and sweet as this verse itself! Rejoice, be happy, be exhilarated, always! Forever, eternally, never stop rejoicing. That's what this verse is saying! This is pretty clear to me, worship God, praise Him, rejoice for every moment, in everything.
Verse 17: Pray without ceasing. Pray, keep praying. Remember, praying isn't just about asking for things from God either, it's a form of worship to God, pray and rejoice without ceasing. The words "without ceasing" mean without stopping, with no end, keep going! Always be praying and rejoicing in the Lord.
Verse 18: In everything give thanks. In everything. Be thankful to God for everything. Not just the big important things, in everything. Whether you perceive it as good or bad, thank God for everything: for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you. God wants you to be rejoicing, praying, and being thankful to Him for everything always, for evermore, without ceasing.
Verse 19: Quench not the spirit: Quench not, do not stop the spirit from working on you, do not stop the Holy Spirit from helping you in everything. Do not put the spirit into the box of "only when I need it", do NOT quench the spirit! Putting God in the "only for the really bad times" box is in direct conflict with what this verse is saying: don't quench the spirit! Let Him strive with you, instead of you suppressing Him. Quenching the spirit will disable you from becoming the person God meant you to be, it will disable you from fulling the other things we have talked about. We could never rejoice, pray, or be thankful for very long if we're shoving away the one thing inside us that could help us do so! By ourselves we could never even come close to completing the commandments in these verses, but the Spirit of God can help us do that. Though we often will fail, we never will succeed at all if we are disallowing God from helping us!


All these verses point to what I'm trying to say: God wants to be involved your everything. Not just the "big things" but everything. He wants to be thanked for what He's doing in you, He wants you to rejoice with Him, He wants you to pray to Him for strength, for comfort, about things that bring you joy, talk to Him! Always, evermore, we are expected to do these things. Now, don't think of this as some kind of "you're a horrible person if you don't do this 'religious' thing every day", because that's not at all what it is. I by no means want to imply that anything WE do could ever would make God want to just let us into Heaven. The only way that we can get to Heaven is by accepting Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. But if you've done that, than God wants you to be happy, and the only way any of us can be truly happy in this life is by following God's will for our lives. Now I don't pretend to understand what God's plan is for my life, but I know that a start would be to follow some of the basic things that He asks us to do. And the thing is, it's not a chore! God commands us to be happy! Not to be sad and in the dumps because He's asking us to do something hard, but to rejoice in the things of Himself! It's not a bad thing in the least, it's amazing, liberating, and you can't be happier any other way.

So, don't shut God out. Don't put God into the "only for big important things" box, talk to Him about everything, and I mean everything! It may seem odd that God would care about the little things, but He sent His only Son to die for YOU, so that He could have a deep personal relationship with you, not so that you could hold Him at arms length and only talk to Him when you really want something. So let Him into the little things, the big things, in every moment, every circumstance, in everything. He'll be there for you when no one else is!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

More Thoughts

I hate the thought of putting my thoughts out for the entirety of the world to look at, I feel so stinking vulnerable, susceptible, and weak. I want to know what each person thinks of me. Do they think I'm a total weirdo? I probably am, but it scares me so much what  people around me think about me, that I let it control like...everything. All the time, every single second, there is fear. Fear of failure, fear of what people will think, fear of judgement, etc, etc. I have a horrible fear of what people think about me. I hate to think that someone thinks poorly of me in anyway. I have always had a low self esteem, and I base my worth on people thinking good things about me. And for some reason, I trust the judgement of random strangers more than the judgement of those who know me best, or even know me at all! I seem to care more about what the random person in the grocery store thinks of me, than what God thinks of me. I have some pretty obviously messed up priorities here! Here I am, worrying about what everyone will think of me if I do something maybe slightly incorrect, (incorrect by what standards?).
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
- 2nd Timothy 1:7
 God calls us to let go of that fear - of any kind of fear actually - He is our strength, our life, our light, He is faithful in all things, and yet all we do is sit around and be fearful! So, I've decided: who cares about what the world thinks of me? NOT ME. I'm only (or at least I'm gonna try...) going to care about what God thinks of me. I've let people I don't even know control so much of my life, it's really sad. No more, they can think what they think, and I'll just be over in my little corner doing my thing: following God.  No longer will what others think of me control my self worth, my happiness, or (almost) anything I do. No more masks, I'm not going to conform to what ever the next person thinks I should be, I'm going to be me. So much of the time I'm hiding behind these masks, and I'm tired of acting how I think people want me to to act. I don't care anymore (well, I do care, but it's not going to control me anymore). They don't control my happiness, God does. He thinks I'm great, so great that he died for me. If the creator of the entire universe thinks I'm worth dying for, I guess I'm just going to trust Him, and let the world's opinion sink to the bottom of some deep dark pit. My joy will come from God. It doesn't matter what I am going through, I am going to be joyful. This world almost had me beat a while back, but various things recently have reminded me that life is so much bigger than me. I'm not really that important, but God can use me to bring glory to himself. After what God did for me by sending His son to die for my sins, it is nothing in comparison for me to live a little longer on this earth and try to bring others to Him.
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?"
-Psalm 27:1
"They mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and they faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds." 
-Psalm 36:5
God has given us the tools to not have any need for fear. If we'll surrender to Him, he leaves that option open for us all the time. But instead of just trusting Him, we sit useless, crippled by fear. If we let God put His strength, His life, His light into us, then we have absolutely no reason to fear anyone. We have the almighty God of the universe on our side! He will put the right words in our mouths, and even if those words come out imperfectly, that's what God would have us to do for Him.

"And now , Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee."
-Psalm 39:7

YOLO

This currently insanely popular acronym for "You Only Live Once" is so very true. But contrary to what most think when someone says something like this (as it is made to imply that you should go and party while you can) I want to take a different perspective. You only live once. Think about it. Let it sink in. You only live once. You've got one shot at this...ONE. God isn't going to give you a second chance at life once you die. Make your decisions carefully, you can't correct them later; you only live once. You don't know how much time you're going to have on this earth. You could die today. You could die tomorrow. You don't know, and you only live once. You could leave this earth at any moment. So, what are you going to do with your life? Party? Are you going to spend it pretending to be something you're not, hiding behind a mask? Will anyone remember you for anything you did, or will you fade away like so many others? You only live once, so everything you do, what does it mean? If you only live once, do you want to spend that time not being yourself, hiding behind a fake identity? Do you want to spend it in a way that effects only a few select people, and them in an insignificant way? God has a plan for your life, this life that you only live once. His plan for you will be fulfilling, your one life will be used in ways only God can see.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Thoughts

You know, if I died today, what would people remember about me? What have I done that is exceptional in anyway? Nothing. So far my life has been a rather wasted piece of work I'd say. Sure, hasn't even been two full years since I accepted Christ as my Savior, that does not give me any excuse to not be living each day to the glory of God. I'm sure that many would have kind things to say about me, but that's true of just about everyone. I don't believe I've ever done anything actually worth remembering. Nothing. How empty is my life? I'm always rushing from one thing to the next, but do those things truly have any meaning? I'm officially tired of the superficiality of everything. What is it with so many christians not building, or challenging each other? Why don't we? Because we're too lazy. What ki9nd of excuse is that? Do we really want to stand before God one day, giving the excuse that we just didn't feel like it that day? De we want to stand before the creator of all the universe, who died to save us from our sins, and use laziness as a reason we did not reach out to the people around us?
"I'm too busy"
"I'm too tired"
"But I want to do this instead"
"I'm watching a movie right now"
Snap out of it people! The society we live in is falling apart all around us, and we're just "too busy" to do anything about it! Why so many complacent christians?
"But it makes me feel awkward"
Not to disrespect you or something, but is your personal comfort MORE important that the eternal living soul of the person you just passed on the sidewalk? I'm completely guilty of this, but I am challenging myself, and you to step out of your comfort zone, and go and talk to people about God, and their eternal state. Let's get our priorities straight people! Go minister to God's people, go preach the gospel to the unsaved.

Smile

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Josh Eddy

I didn't know him. Actually, I didn't even know about him until a month after he died, but his story has changed mine. A year ago today, Josh Eddy's life came to a sudden end when he fell into a river. No one was expecting it. He and some friends were hiking up at Rainie Falls, he was trying to take a picture, when he slipped into the icy river. I try to imagine what it would be like to watch one of my best friends drown. I shrink at the very thought. Today, a year after Josh's earthly life came to an end, must be a incredibly hard day for so many who knew him. I've been praying for those who were closest to him all day, those who were with him the day that he died, those that only came in contact with him a few times, I can't imagine the pain that they all must feel. I feel badly enough about it, and I didn't even know him. At the same time though, I am so incredibly happy for Josh, he's with his Savior now, living in complete and utter joy! I pray that despite all the pain in missing Josh his family and friends feel, they can appreciate how much joy he has come into after his earthly journey was over.

I said that Josh's story has changed mine. Let me explain that a little: I first became aware of Josh's story a month or two after he left this earth. A friend had written a blog post in which he was mentioned. I watched his memorial service, I cried. His sister wrote the lyrics to a song that made me weep. The words his family said about him brought on more tears. Josh had a love for God and others that was so intense, his legacy has continued to live on. Josh's influence on others in the things of God has continued. Reading his blog was like having thunderbolts going through my soul. Josh's love for God, life, and others has inspired me, among many others I am sure. My life is by no means perfect, in fact I often feel like it's not worth living. Josh has helped me to realize that life is about so much more than MY circumstances. No matter what things I may go through, I can always be joyful in the Lord. I can always help others. I can always live for God. God can use me to help others through what hard things they are going through. God has used Josh even after his earthly death. I cannot say for sure, but I think that perhaps, Josh has influenced even more people after his death than in life. I don't know if I would have ever known about him, or read his inspiring blog posts had he not been taken from this world. I know that through Josh's death, God has used him to influence me.

My condolences to all who knew him, my prayers are with you.

I would encourage all who read this to watch his memorial service, and read his blog. Links are below.

His blog: http://joshyeddy.blogspot.com/

His memorial service (service begins 15 minutes in): http://joshuaeddymemorial.com/

Friday, May 3, 2013

My Thesis Paper


My British Literature course has come to it's close. I finished my final paper on Monday! I'm sad, but kinda glad to have that off my list of things to do. I thought that this paper was relatively interesting, and since you peeps haven't heard from me in like forever and a half, I thought I'd share a little of what has kept me away from you for so long ;). Hope that you enjoy it!



Disclaimer: I don't necessarily believe all that is said in this paper, but I had fun writing it! It's about that subject I mentioned before, about Satan and Eve's similarities. Very interesting stuff! And, it's pretty lengthy, about 8 pages long double spaced.


_________________________________________________________

Eve’s Influence On Woman Characterization
By Rebekah Perkins
Throughout medieval literature, women characters often seem to be characterized as different kinds of evil; especially if they have a significant role in a storyline. One reason for this recurring theme is that the first of woman to appear in literature brought on the downfall of humankind. This of course begs the question: who was this woman? The woman who has influenced the perception of women throughout the entirety of recorded time, is Eve. Regardless of religious beliefs, Eve has affected how women are treated, viewed, characterized, and written about. Because Eve fell to the temptation of wanting to be like God and was the first to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Eve is viewed as weak, susceptible to temptation, and even as a seductress as she convinced Adam to eat the fruit too. Eve’s actions have given women reason to be thought of as untrustworthy, among other unattractive traits.
“Do you not believe that you are (each) an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives on even in our times and  so it is necessary that the guilt should live on, also.” -Tertullian (A Woman’s Apparel Chapter 1.)
So why have Eve’s actions so radically affect how women have been viewed for centuries? Consider this: Eve’s actions, have direct parallels to the actions of the Devil himself, Satan. Though perhaps an unconscious association, these parallels between Eve and Satan would cause people to be biased against Eve, and her descendants, women. The parallels between Eve and Satan have caused centuries of women being characterized as weak, simple minded, or evil.

There are three main parallels between Satan and Eve which will be focused on: Wanting to be God/like God; Jealousy/Replacement; and the Need to Bring Others Down with them. If one is familiar with the story of Satan’s, Adam, and Eve’s downfall, than the first of this list should be evident. Satan’s downfall was caused by his belief that he was equal with God, and that he should have a throne in heaven along with God.

“...His pride had cast him out from heav’n with all his host of rebel angels, by whose aid aspiring to set himself in glory ‘bove his peers he trusted to have equaled the Most High if opposed, and with ambitious aim against the throne and monarchy of God raised impious war in Heav’n and battle proud with vain attempt.” -Paradise Lost, Bk 1. Lines 36-44

This quote from paradise lost sums up the downfall of Satan in a neat and concise way. Satan was a prideful archangel, who believed he was equal with God, and more worthy than his peers, the other angels. After attempting to set his own throne in heaven, a war rages, in which God and the angels who had remained faithful to Him, win, and Satan and his followers are cast down into Hell.
“‘Is this the region, this the soil, the clime’ said then the lost archangel, ‘this the seat that we must change for heav’n, this mournful gloom, for that celestial light? Be it so, since He who now is sov'reign can dispose and bid what shall be right. Farthest from Him is best whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme, above His equals’...” -Paradise Lost, Bk 1. Lines 242-249
Here we see Satan after his fall, taking in his surroundings. Satan is disgusted with the place, but concludes that living in such a state is better than living in heaven where he believes he is being treated unfairly: at least here he has supremacy. Of course after this Satan would seek revenge against God, and when God created earth, and it’s inhabitants (Adam and Eve) this opportunity was not one he would pass up. Satan though, when he visited earth, was overcome with jealousy when he saw all that God had done for humankind.
“Revenge at first though sweet, bitter ere long back on itself recoils. Let it! I reck not, so it light well aimed (since higher I fall short) on him who next provokes my envy: this new favorite of Heav’n, this man of clay, son of despite whom us the more to spite his Maker raised from dust. Spite then with spite is best repaid” -Paradise Lost, Bk 9. Lines 171-178
Here it is evident how Satan feels about the new creatures on earth: he’s jealous of them. Satan’s words “new favorite” indicate that he feels as if he is being replaced by the new creation, that God is replacing him and his followers with the newly created human race.
“Which to his eye discovers unaware the goodly prospect of some foreign land first seen, or some renowned metropolis with glistering spires and pinnacles adorned which now the rising sun gilds with its beams. Such wonder seized (though after heaven seen) the spirit malign but much more envy seized at sight of all this world beheld so fair.” -Paradise Lost, Bk 3. Lines 547-554
Satan is not only jealous of the humans themselves, but the entire world that God had created for them. Of course the Devil being jealous can only mean that he will act even more swiftly, as now he feels the need for revenge against God, and these humans who have replaced him. Satan’s jealousy leads him to feel the need to bring Adam and Eve to the same fate as himself.
“But neither here seek I, no, nor in Heav’n to dwell (unless by mast’ring Heav’n’s surpreme) nor hope to be myself less miserable by what I seek but others to make such as I, though thereby worse to me redound. For only in destroying I find ease to my relentless thoughts. And him destroyed or won to what may work his utter loss for whom all this was made, all this will soon follow to him linked weal, or woe: in woe then, that destruction wide may range!” -Paradise Lost, Bk 9. Lines 124-134
Here Satan declares that he does not want to go back to heaven, or be less miserable, but only wants to make others miserable along with him. Satan claims that making others as forlorn as himself is the only way that he can find peace from his “relentless thoughts”.
“All hope excluded thus, behold instead of us outcast, exiled, His new delight: Mankind created and for him this world. So farewell hope and with hope farewell fear! Farewell remorse! All good to me is lost. Evil, be thou my good. By thee at least divided empire with Heav’n’s King I hold by thee, and more than half perhaps will reign as man ere long and this new world shall know.” -Paradise Lost, Bk 4. Lines 105-113
Satan has no desire for good, he asks evil to become what he would consider to be good. Satan is so enraged and eager to bring down Adam and Eve, that if complete evil is the only way to divide heaven’s empire, than that is what he will do: he will embrace all evil and relentlessly bring on the downfall of humankind.

For Satan to bring on the downfall of humankind though, he must get close to them, and find out their susceptibilities. Satan discovers that Adam and Eve are forbidden from eating of a certain tree in the Garden, called the tree of knowledge. Satan sees the potential in this, and sets off in determination to convince either Adam or Eve to eat of the fruit. The opportunity that Satan had been waiting for came quickly when Adam and Eve decided to do their gardening separately in order to be more efficient with their time. At this point Satan possesses a sleeping serpent, and slithers into the Garden undetected by the guardian angels. In the form of the snake, Satan proceeds to find Eve where she is gardening, he sits a while and admires her beauty, but then proceeds with his task and strikes up a conversation with Eve. Eve is caught off guard when the snake begins to speak, as she and Adam were the only two newly created creatures who had been given the ability to reason and speak. The devil is very beguiling, he unabashedly admires Eve, and tells her she is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen. Eve eventually asks how it was that he had come to be able to speak, and so Satan in form as the snake, tells her that he had been wandering around, thirsty and hungry, and had come across a tree. The snake relates how he had slithered up into the branches and partaken of the delectable fruit on it. Satan goes on to claim that after eating the fruit, he had been blessed with the ability to reason and speak, and once he had this newly found reason within himself, he went to find her, because she was the one worthy of worship due to her beauty. Eve of course asks the serpent to take her to this tree, and he readily obliges. When Eve arrived at the tree the serpent had led her to, she immediately recoils and declares that she is forbidden from eating of that fruit, or she will die. Satan was of course ready for this reaction, and proceeds to try and convince her that the tree can only be good. Eve, being naive, believes him: it would seem evident to her that it was good for the animals, as it gave them the ability to reason and speak just like she.
“Goddess humane, reach then, and freely eat!” - Paradise Lost, Bk 9. Line 732
Satan tells Eve that she will become like God, she will know all things. To Eve the evidence is clear, the fruit did the snake gigantic amounts of good, and if it did so much good for him, surely it would do good to her also.
“In plain then, what forbids He but to know, forbids us good, forbids us to be wise? Such prohibitions bind not!” - Paradise Lost, Bk 9. Lines 758-760
Eve demerits God’s warning against the fruit, saying that prohibiting them from eating it so that they would not become wise was not a binding reason not to proceed with eating.
“What fear I then, rather what know to fear under this ignorance of good and evil, or God or death, of law or penalty? Here grows the cure for all: this fruit divine, fair to the ey, inviting to taste, of virtue to make wise. What hinders than to reach and feed at once both body and mind?” - Paradise Lost, Bk 9. Lines 773-779
With these words, Eve has fallen into the first of the parallels between herself and Satan: wanting to be like God. Eve partakes of the fruit, and so brings on the downfall of humankind. After eating the fruit, Eve confides with herself.
“But what if God hath seen, and death ensue? Then I shall be no more, and Adam wedded to another Eve shall live with her enjoying, I extinct. A Death to think!” - Paradise Lost, Bk 9. Lines 826-830
Eve comes to the realization, that God could still sentence her to death. Further than that even, Eve realizes that if she were to die, then God would likely replace her with a second Eve. The thought of being replaced by another fills Eve with jealousy towards this hypothetical woman. The second of the parallels is fulfilled, Eve is now jealous, and feels replaced, as did Satan; and Eve, again just like the Devil will not just stop at feeling jealous, she must do something about it.
“Confirmed then I resolve Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe. So dear I love him that with him all death I could endure, without him live no life” - Paradise Lost, Bk 9. Lines 830-833
Eve’s motives for bringing Adam down to the same degraded level as herself are more than just being jealous and feeling replaced, she claims that she does it for love also. Regardless of motives, Eve has completed the last of the three parallels between herself and God’s nemesis, Satan.

Both Satan and Eve have fallen to the temptation of wanting to be like God; both have felt jealousy over being replaced; and both have felt the need to bring others down to their degraded level after their individual falls, but now, how does all of that tie into woman characterization?
“Do you not believe that you are (each) an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives on even in our times and  so it is necessary that the guilt should live on, also. You are the one who opened the door to the Devil, you are the one who first plucked the fruit of the forbidden tree, you are the first who deserted the divine law; you are the one who persuaded him whom the Devil was not strong enough to attack. All too easily you destroyed the image of God, man. Because of your desert, that is, death, even the Son of God had to die.” -Tertullian (A Woman’s Apparel Chapter 1.)
In other words, all women are held accountable for what Eve did. For the last two thousand years or so, Eve has represented the fundamental character and identity of all women. Through Eve's words and actions, the true nature of women was revealed; her story tells men what women are really like. Even without the parallels between Eve and Satan, Eve represents everything about a woman a man should guard against. In both form and symbol, Eve is woman, and because of her, the prevalent belief has been that all women are by nature disobedient, guileless, weak-willed, prone to temptation and evil, disloyal, untrustworthy, deceitful, seductive, and motivated in their thoughts and behaviour purely by self-interest. No matter what women might achieve in the world, the message that Eve sends warns men not to trust women, and women not to trust themselves or each other. Whoever she might be and whatever her accomplishments, no woman can escape being identified with Eve, or being identified as her. Imagine then, how much more this must be magnified due to the similarities between Eve and Satan! Many may not even recognize these similarities at first glance, but they are there nonetheless, and are a cause for even more bias against women. This perception of Eve has endured with remarkable tenacity, and persists today as a major stumbling-block in attempts by women to correct gender-based inequalities between the sexes. Consciously or unconsciously, it continues to serve as the ultimate weapon against women who wish to challenge male hegemony. It is so deeply rooted in the socio-religious psyche of civilization that attempts to discredit it, or dismiss it, or simply ignore it as self-serving patriarchal fiction and myth-making have met with little success. Women were seen either as saints capable of rejecting their sexuality totally or as the very embodiments of temptation. The cult of the Virgin Mary grew alongside the view that, although child-bearing was an unfortunate necessity, sex was not really a good thing and women were dangerous temptresses. The courtly love tradition might be seen as giving women an elevated status. Few women however had the status of ‘lady’, and some of those who did were rather ambiguous morally: the great romances of Lancelot and Guinevere, or Tristram and Isolde, were based on what were essentially adulterous relationships, that resulted in personal or social tragedy. Shakespeare’s plays even tend to have a bias against women. Romeo speaks much more than Juliet. There is also an unusually high proportion of single fathers in the plays. Shakespeare’s later heroines definitely have more to say for themselves. Interestingly, some of them are most articulate when disguised as men, e.g. Rosalind (As You Like It), Viola (Twelfth Night), Portia (The Merchant of Venice). Eve has influenced literature and culture for hundreds of years, and even today women can be characterized badly because of her.

All of this brings things to the originally stated conclusion: the parallels between Eve and Satan have caused centuries of women being characterized as weak, simple minded, or evil. Both Eve and the Devil fell to the temptation of wanting to be like God, both felt jealousy over replacement, and both had to bring others down with them. Due to these similarities, consciously, or unconsciously, women have been characterized in many unflattering ways. Whether in literature, or in the culture, Eve’s actions have been the cause of much division between the male and female sexes.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hello Again :)

Wowsers. The last couple months have been whirlwindy to say the least! Debate season wrapped up, TeenPact just got done, been going crazy with SKIT stuff, Brit lit is wrapping up Monday, (thesis paper is currently looming over my head....), and it's just been generally hectic. Not all bad of course, 'cause I like doing lots of stuff, it's just I wish I could take a moment and clear my head sometimes! Oh, and I've lost my voice, and our show opens next week! AH! Scary. All I can say is, I need duck tape to put over my mouth so I'll stop straining it more than it already is! 

Clearing my head. Clearing my head. That's what I'm trying to do now. You know, this week of TeenPact has reminded me about how important spending time with the Lord every day is. I do pray, a lot everyday, but I've realized that my prayers are mostly just asking for things, blessings, courage, patience, etc etc. I haven't been taking the time to really talk to God, I've just been using him as a crutch to help me get by. That's scary the more I think about it! My relationship with the creator of all the universe should be SO much more than my constantly asking him for things. I'm not saying that asking God for blessings is necessarily a sin, but when it's the ONLY thing I'm talking to my Savior about...that's when it becomes a problem. I'm reminded of a analogy I have been told, and I've told to others: if you had a friend, all all they ever did was ask you for stuff, they never said thank you, or just talked to you about anything other than what you could give them, do you think that you'd stay friends very long? NO. But God doesn't just give up on us, and walk away like us humans would do. He patiently waits for us to come back around, sometimes it takes longer than normal, but hopefully we do come back around. And it's kinda interesting, it takes SO much pushing to get us to come back to Him, but when we get back, we realize that we've been feeling so incomplete and empty since we left! He is the only thing that truely satisfies. No pleasures on earth can compare to the joy and peace that He can give us! He can give us joy day by day, every morning, every noontime, every evening. He is the life of the world, and the only source of true and complete happiness :)



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Read The Bible In Three Months



1st Month
1. Genesis 1-11
2. Genesis 12-26
3. Genesis 27-39
4. Genesis 40 - Exodus 4
5. Exodus 5 - 17
6. Exodus 18 - 31
7. Exodus 32 - Leviticus 4
8. Leviticus 5 - 16
9. Leviticus 17 - Numbers 3
10. Numbers 4 - 17
11. Numbers 18 - 30
12. Numbers 31 - Deuteronomy 6
13. Deuteronomy 7 - 19
14. Deuteronomy 20 - 31
15. Deuteronomy 32 - Joshua 9
16. Joshua 10 - 21
17. Joshua 22 - 12
18. Judges 13 - Ruth
19. 1 Samuel 1 - 13
20. 1 Samuel 14 - 28
21. 1 Samuel 29 - 2 Samuel 12
22. 2 Samuel 13 - 24
23. 1 Kings 1 - 13
24. 1 Kings 14 - 2 Kings 3
25. 2 Kings 4 - 10
26. 2 Kings 11 - 17
27. 2 Kings 18 - 1 Chronicles 3
28. 1 Chronicles 4 - 16
29. 1 Chronicles 17 - 29
30. 2 Chronicles 1 - 13
31. 2 Chronicles 14 - 25
2nd Month
1. 2 Chronicles 26 - Ezra 4
2. Ezra 5-Nehemiah 6
3. Nehemiah 7 - Esther 7
4. Esther 8 - Job 10
5. Job 11 - 24
6. Job 25 - 37
7. Job 38 - Psalm 9
8. Psalm 10 - 21
9. Psalm 22 - 33
10. Psalm 34 - 45
11. Psalm 46 - 57
12. Psalm 58 - 69
13. Psalm 70 - 81
14. Psalm 82 - 93
15. Psalm 94 - 105
16. Psalm 106 - 118
17. Psalm 119 - 129
18. Psalm 130 - 141
19. Psalm 142 - Proverbs 3
20. Proverbs 4 - 18
21. Proverbs 19 - 31
22. Ecclesiastes
23. Song of Solomon - Isaiah 6
24. Isaiah 7 - 18
25. Isaiah 19 - 30
26. Isaiah 31 - 42
27. Isaiah 43 - 54
28. Isaiah 55 - 66
29. Jeremiah 1 - 16
30. Jeremiah 17 - 29
31. Jeremiah 30 - 42
3rd Month
1. Jeremiah 43 - Lamentations
2. Ezekiel 1 - 14
3. Ezekiel 15 - 27
4. Ezekiel 28 - 39
5. Ezekiel 40 - Daniel 3
6. Daniel 4 - Hosea 4
7. Hosea 5 - Joel
8. Amos 1 - Jonah
9. Micah - Habakkuk
10. Zephaniah - Zechariah 10
11. Zechariah 11 - Matthew 7
12. Matthew 8 - 22
13. Matthew 23 - Mark 6
14. Mark 7 - Luke 3
15. Luke 4 - 17
16. Luke 18 - John 6
17. John 7 - 21
18. Acts 1 - 12
19. Acts 13 - 22
20. Acts 23 - Romans 8
21. Romans 9 - 1 Corinthians 8
22. 1 Corinthians 9 - 2 Corinthians 6
23. 2 Corinthians 7 - Galatians
24. Ephesians - Colossians
25. 1 Thessalonians - 2 Thessalonians
26. 1 Timothy 1 - Philemon
27. Hebrews 1 - 13
28. James - 1 Peter
29. 2 Peter - Jude
30. Revelation 1 - 13
31. Revelation 14 - 22

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

More Brit Lit Talk

Okay, so I'm doing fine with the whole writing my paper part...it's just that I just have waaaay too much to say! UGH! I need to get done, but I want to go far far into depths of examining Lady Macbeth's motives...which takes time. MUST CONTROL URGE TO DIG DEEP. Sad. I should just save this for my thesis paper at the end of the semester...of course...I want to go into the details of Eve and Satan's similarity...BAH. I just have too many theories on things.

Oh Dear...

So, we read Macbeth by Shakespeare in Brit-Lit a few weeks ago, we were supposed to write a short response (teacher had given us prompts to use) and turn it in on the 28th of January...well, I am a procrastinator, and I work better under pressure, so I hadn't even thought about starting until a couple days before it was due...and then I got seriously sick, and couldn't work on it. So, thankfully, my teacher is very understanding about working better under pressure (she says she does the same thing), and since I had got sick, she gave me an extra week and a half. I'm supposed to send it in today. I haven't started. I AM SO STUPID. Thank goodness I work good under pressure, but seriously...I wish I had at least a little more time! Hopefully I can concentrate and get it done, and it will be amazing ;). And now off I go to work on my Macbeth assignment! I'm glad I like Shakespeare :P.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Paradise Lost Assignment for Brit-Lit

This assignment was fairly interesting and short, so I thought I'd post it on here.

Paradise Lost was written by John Milton, and was originally published in 1667 in ten separate books. Our assignment was to take a small portion of the text (any part from books 1, 3, 5, or 9) and translate it into modern English, and then write a little about it, ( i.e. analysis time!). This was also a surprise assignment, and mostly for fun, so Grace (my teacher) let us cash in our artistic licence, and have fun withe the translation process. I (of course) decided to make mine rhyme, and below are the results. Listed first is the original version of text, and then below that is my version of the same text, and what I had to say about it. Let it be noted I don't *actually* think that the fruit had a mind of it's own, I just was having some fun with it. Hopefully it's not horribly boring ;).

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Original (Book 9 lines 780-801)

So saying, her rash hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the fruit, she pluck’d, she ate;
Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat,
Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe
That all was lost. Back to the thickets slunk
The guilty serpent, and well might; for Eve,
Intent now wholly on her taste, naught else
Regarded, such delight till then, as seem’d
In fruit she never tasted, whether true
Or fancied so, through expectation high
Of knowledge, nor was Godhead from her thought
Greedily she ingorg’d without restraint
And knew, not eating death. Satiate at length
And highten’d as with wine, jocund and boon,
Thus to herself pleasingly began.

Bekah’s Version (Book 9 lines 780-801)

Persuaded, her hand stretched forward, in that dark hour,
Reaching for that deadly fruit, biting, unleashing evil power
This earth felt the wound, as did Nature from her place,
And sighing, Nature through her works, showed her woe,
Knowing that all was lost. Back to the bushes to hide his face
That guilty serpent slid, and so he should, no more the light to know.
And Eve, consumed with the flavor of the fruit in her hand,
Was oblivious to all else, the taste being so grand
She thought she’d never tasted so delicious a fruit before,
This may be true, or just Eve’s imagination due to high expectation.
In her thoughts God was not absent, but she chose to ignore,
As she greedily gorged herself without hint of hesitation,
Not knowing she was eating death itself. Eventually satisfied,
Drunk with the fruit’s juices, and happily gratified,
Eve with herself began to confide.


The fruit in this piece of extracted poetry, holds an extraordinary amount of power. The fruit holds the power of good and evil, one bite from it brought chaos to an otherwise perfect world.

“...biting, unleashing evil power,
This earth felt the wound, as did Nature from her place,
And sighing, Nature through her works, showed her woe,” Lines 781-783
Though it would seem Eve was consuming the fruit while she was eating it, if the reader looks more closely, they will realize that rather, the fruit was consuming her. Eve even says herself earlier in this epic that this fruit would feed both her “body and mind”, a clear sign that this fruit’s nature was already penetrating into Eve. Once Eve had began, she couldn't stop eating this enchanting fruit, the fruit was the only thing Eve could focus on, she was obsessed with it. Eve believed she had never tasted anything as wonderful as this fruit, due to the fact that this fruit’s evil nature had already been making it’s way into Eve’s consciousness, and causing her anticipate the taste being more marvelous than any before.
“And Eve, consumed with the flavor of the fruit in her hand,
Was oblivious to all else, the taste being so grand
She thought she’d never tasted so delicious a fruit before,
This may be true, or just Eve’s imagination due to high expectation.” Lines 786-789
As said above, she was oblivious to everything but that which was in her hand at that moment, another sign of the fruit’s power over Eve. Eve was so obsessed with this fruit, that she was immune to the prods of her conscience as she filled herself hastily with the fruit of death, that had consumed her thoughts so wholly.
“In her thoughts God was not absent, but she chose to ignore,
As she greedily gorged herself without hint of hesitation,
Not knowing she was eating death itself...” Lines 790-792
The unholy might of this fruit is hard to explore in such a short passage, but it is clear that this fruit holds an extraordinary amount of power. The fruit had begun to consume Eve before she had even eaten any, causing her to be unmindful of the consequences of her actions might bring. Eve’s conscience was ignored because of the potency of the fruit, and after she had taken the bite that brought on the downfall of humankind, the fruit fully consumed her.