Friday, December 27, 2013

Overcoming Deceit

“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”

Last night, during a re-read of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I was particularly taken by the scene in which Edmund first encounters the White Witch. The Witch happens upon Edmund when he first arrives in Narnia, and questions him, wanting to know if he is human, and whether he may be part of a prophecy fortelling her removal from the throne of Narnia. Once she discovers that this is probably the case, she begins to seduce Edmund with his favorite, Turkish Delight. When he finishes, Edmund wants more, but cannot figure out why. Lewis explains it in this way.

“The Queen knew quite well what he was thinking; for she knew, though Edmund did not, that this was enchanted Turkish Delight and that anyone who had once tasted it would want more and more of it, and it would even, if they were allowed, go on eating it until they killed themselves.”

Sin is the same way. It’s delicious. It feels right. Others often validate it. It seeps in the dark places when you least expect it. It lies to you, until you are someone you barely recognize. Edmund trades his family and ultimately, almost trades his life grasping for the “feeling” he got eating the Turkish Delight.

I chase after sin in my own ways, usually by believing lies and emotions over what I know God says about me and about Him, but knowing that my heart is wicked is a comfort. I can choose to tell myself the truth. God’s way is better. It isn’t easy. It isn’t intuitive. It’s often less “fun.” But I know that I am being protected from the destructiveness of wanting more and more and more of what my heart wants to try and heal itself. Different translations of the Bible say that the heart is “beyond cure.” I am never going to cure my sin with what my heart wants – more sin! Jesus is the only cure.

For me, that is a very settling proposition.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dear Pandora,

As a faithful consumer of your online radio service (and a huge fan of the wide variety of Hanson, Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty songs that can be played in such fabulous succession), it is such a shame that I have had my ears assaulted by your choice of advertisements.

This afternoon, as I sat at my desk, grading essays on the various manifestations of racism in To Kill a Mockingbird, and listening to the gritty fabulousness that is Rob Thomas’s voice, I was startled by a sultry woman’s voice coming from my computer speakers. Had I accidently broken my school’s no porn filter and come across some sort of sex site? Was the voice there to deliver a message? No. It was your ad for “’s Big O gel.” As much as I am in favor of the pursuit of sexual satisfaction within marriage, I am not married, and thus, do not need, nor want to be pursued by photos of scantily clad women enticing me to purchase some sort of foul stimulating gel. Not to mention, that in my role as an elementary school teacher, it would be extremely inappropriate for anyone to come upon me in my classroom listening to or viewing such filth.

I understand targeted advertising and its use of “cookies”, and, were I visiting filthy sites on my work computer, the appearance of this woman’s “cookies” would be more understandable. However, as that is not the case, I would like a detailed explanation for how I was chosen. Am I listening to songs about “bitches and hos?” No. Is my Pandora station the all-Ludacris channel? Negative. Enlighten me, please.

Please remove me from your list of “dirty people.”

Kisses, Julie Cunningham

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Oh my blessed, it's Sean Lowe.

I love The Bachelor. Like really, really love it. As you all know, I have . . . lovingly teased (?) the show for a long time. Season 24 (brought to you by the Bowflex), premiered last night, and let me just say, it looks promising, even if there is no way that the girls pushed Tierra down the stairs like the producers would like us to believe.

Without recapping the whole show, here are some highlights of the premiere:

1) Sean and Arie's bromance. Clearly, if they filled five minutes of airtime with this little segment, the girls must not be that crazy, which is too bad, but these two totally made the best of their producer-penned script. "Will YOU accept THIS rose?" Sean practices to an approving Arie. I may not get a rose, but I would accept a reality show focusing on these two (Listen up, E!)

2) There were four black girls among the pickings. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the lawsuit concerning the lack of diversity on the program that Team Bachelor dealt with over the summer. *Exaggerated wink*

3) 50 Shades Girl. Serious kudos to whoever found this wacko. In her pre-cocktail party segment, we see her reading 50 Shades of Grey under her covers (on the nose, a little, producers?) and declaring that she is going to welcome Sean into her room of pain or something. Well, at the cocktail party, our budding boudior queen gets 50 shades of wasted, and not only starts shaking her butt while Sean is talking up another girl, but also makes him uncomfortable enough to mention that he brought his rape whistle for just such an occasion. Good call, buddy. I only hope he brought some hand sanitizer and maybe some Valtrex after that little display. Not shockingly, she gets eliminated, which is, "a bit of a bumski," but I'm sure she'll live to see another night of debauchery on Bachelor Pad 4.

4) The Rose Ninjas. Sean broke away from tradition a bit, and handed out the roses throughout the night rather than in a huge processional at the rose ceremony, which, of course, everyone hated. But I loved the way the roses kept getting magically refilled, elves and the shoemaker style, the minute the camera cut away. Side note: I wonder how many roses they keep on hand to make them all look so bloody fresh?


"I can't use 'It's not you, it's me,' because it's obviously going to be them." - Sean

"Tierra walked in with a rose, and it was literally, like, an animal attack on the eyeballs." - Catherine

"I've got balls!" - wedding dress girl "Well, I hope not." - Sean

"Honestly, I wish I was more sober right now" - wedding dress girl

"That Ken doll missed out on 100 percent of this Barbie a**!" - 50 Shades Girl

And off we go on another journey! Who is in?