Welcome

Welcome to Lamb Cottage. It's a real place, and this is where I live with my dear husband. We even have lambs. This is a personal blog, especially concerning life as an American expat in Scotland, life as an over-50, life with lambs, and life as an Orthodox Christian. You're most welcome to come and visit awhile. I hope we can be friends!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Simplicity :: Muse

Well, what can I say about simplicity?  It is THE thing that everyone is seeking these days.  It's a hard thing to find and to hold on to in a world where there is an abundance of everything.  That is, for most of us who live in the West.  The truth, of course, is that more people than not live simple lives not because they are on some quest to do so, but because they live in poverty.

The Commonwealth Games just finished here in Scotland.  They were held in Glasgow.  Now, I have nothing at all against humongous athletic competitions like that, or the Olympics.  But what I have noticed over the course of my 50-some years is that these games have become a huge entertainment racket costing millions of dollars or pounds to produce.  Two things about this really distress me:  (1) Most of the world is struggling to find clean water and food, so couldn't that money spent on the entertainment and "wow" factor of these international games be better spent helping those who wouldn't have a hope in the world of ever seeing something like the Olympics or Commonwealth Games?  and, (2) The beauty and majesty of real, true athletics is lost among all the glitz and glamour of a major Hollywood-scale production.  Frankly, I think it's shameful.  The athletes are not the stars; the celebrities are.  And the money spent creating this spectacle is, ultimately, a huge waste.

No simplicity there.  There can be no simplicity when people are constantly trying to out-do one another or out-do the previous event.

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Muse.  That is the writing prompt for today.  Well, if I'm to speak about writing muses, I would say mine has been on vacation for awhile!  I don't have a muse.  I am inspired (or not) daily, by different things.


I wouldn't call this a "muse" exactly, but I have been reading a LOT of early 20th century literature for girls and women lately.  I find that I am inspired by the values and standards lifted up in these books.  This is something almost completely lacking in contemporary literature.  At least, that has been my experience.  So much so that I was appalled at a reading list required by the masters program in Highlands and Islands Literature at the University of the Highlands and Islands.  I was enrolled in this program a few years ago, and finally had to resign because of the appalling, profane, trashy crap that I was supposed to read and regard as literature.  Long story there.  Maybe someday.  I came away with a post-graduate certificate rather than a degree.  That was my penance for sticking to my faith and convictions.  So anyway... I guess, in a way, my Muse these days comes in the form of this wholesome, uplifting literature I have discovered.  YOU can read it, too.  I get all these books for free HERE.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My Secret, Atmospheric Home!

You will notice that I have missed three writing prompts in a row!  Oh, the shame!

So, I'm combining them, thus:  my secret, atmospheric home.  Because, as it turns out, that is what we have.  Outside, our home is like a million others, I'm afraid.  Originality and style is NOT a strong point in recently-built houses in the UK.  Can you say BORING?  We're working on making the outside of our home more interesting, but, as with most things, it takes money.  Sigh.  But INSIDE, well, that's a different story!

Our home and home life are very important to my husband and me.  We work hard to maintain an atmosphere of peace, quiet, calm, and stability.  It's darned hard when the world is always trying to get in.  We also work hard to maintain our home church.  And, we try to make our home a hospitable place, and a haven of warmth and Christian love.  We do not always succeed with these ideals, mind you.

But ultimately, we have created / are in the process of creating a lovely home environment with all kinds of interesting nooks and crannies, prayer space, beautiful colors, and places to rest and play.

And so I would just say:  if you want a lovely, "secret, atmospheric home" you don't have to have a lot of money, nor do you have to have a big, grand, interesting home.  Whatever you find in a grand home, you can recreate in your own home, on a smaller scale.  Your home really is your castle -- and you can be the Queen!

Oh, and the secret part:  well, it's YOUR home.  You should be creating a sanctuary for you and your family, and don't worry about Better Homes & Gardens, or what others think.  Contrary to what popular culture wants you to think, your home is NOT a status symbol.  It is the family nest and the domestic church.  Forget about what others are doing and concentrate on your own home life!

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

OLIVINE

Someday, Olivine was going places.  She was going to get out of this backwards, nowhere, back-of-beyond place and make a name for herself.  And it wasn't going to be Olivine, either!  When she was little, she used to like to hear Mamma tell the story of how Olivine got her name.  She thought it sounded dramatic and romantic.  Mamma would talk about the handsome young man who came from far away.  He showed up one day with a pick axe and some other tools, and asked Mamma for directions.  He told her he was a geologist.  Whatever that meant.  He said he was looking for Olivine.  And he showed her the most beautiful green jewel Mamma had ever seen.  He and Mamma became good friends, and then they even talked about getting married.  But one day, he just up and left.  Mamma ended up with Daddy, and they had me.  And Mamma said it was just our secret, that I got my name as a reminder of that man who had been her friend... that man who had come here to the back-of-beyond, from someplace far away, looking for Olivine.  Well... I'm here, thought Olivine.  And she wished someone would come looking for Olivine again... and take her away from this place.


OLIVINE:  Olivine is a magnesium iron silicate which is also called Chrysolite or Peridot when it has gem quality.  I think Olivine is quite pretty.  OLIVINE is the writing prompt for today!

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Friday, August 1, 2014

MODEST

...That's the first writing prompt for August, all of which can be found HERE.

What does it mean to be modest?  When I first looked at the prompt, my initial response was, "oh, an archaic word!"  Of course, it's not.  And actually, the idea of modesty and being modest is near and dear to my heart.  I am deeply grieved, almost daily, when I see how immodest we have become as a global culture in the West.  It is doing nothing but harming us.  I cannot understand why a woman (or a man, for that matter, but for me, this topic pertains to womanhood and girlhood) would choose to purposely expose herself to strangers.  And that is what is happening in this immodest culture where self-centeredness is the driving motivation for most people, and things like "selfies" are the norm.

To embrace modesty... to BE modest, to me, means viewing yourself as worth protecting, worth guarding, and most of all, as a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Modesty, while definitely about dress and so-called fashion, is more an attitude of the heart.  The dress will follow the attitude of the heart. And the modest heart is not interested in what the media says is "okay", normal, or fashionable. The modest heart is interested in pleasing God.

Of course, clothing is the outward sign.  I have NO idea what the Duchess of Cambridge is like, as a person, but her clothing style exudes modesty.  I appreciate that from her.  I have heard British women repeatedly say that they think she is too dowdy.  Well, to that I say, I think British culture (and the West in general) is way too promiscuous and immodest.  Kudos to Kate for displaying modest attire.  Would that the average girl or woman would take a clue from her.

So, for this first writing prompt (about which I could go ON AND ON), I am including a collage photo of the Duchess of Cambridge [which, by the way, I took from THIS SITE, and is NOT my own material]:


I have to add, the idea of cleavage as a "fashion statement" is not something I came across until I moved to the UK 7 years ago.  Frankly, I think that is appalling.  And this is just another sign of how sexually-oriented and aggressive we have become as a society.  

The last thing I'll say about being modest is this:  Aggression is not modesty.  As a retired school-teacher, I am often in the habit of just observing young people -- teenagers in particular.  It's an occupational hazard, I guess.  Well, can I just say, I have never seen such aggressive teenage girls as the ones I encounter here in the Highlands.  It is not pretty.  Looking mean, acting brash, using foul language, pushing oneself onto someone of the opposite sex, taunting others, playing cruel jokes upon one another... this is not attractive or desirable in any way.  This is the opposite of modesty, and it cheapens these young ladies.  They appear to have no self-respect, and no respect for others.  The end result:  no one will treat them with respect, either.

I doubt very many folks read this blog, and that's okay.  I'm one of the "mediocre bloggers" I read about recently on another woman's blog (I'm sorry, I can't remember whose!), and I don't pretend to be an expert on anything.  But if one young lady sees this post and thinks about it, then well and good.  

How I would love to see the young girls and women out there take back their self-respect and do it in a gracious, kind, and gentle way... a way becoming of a lady.  

My dear husband has often made a remark which is funny, but sad, whenever he sees or encounters one of these angry, brash, mean-looking girls or women:  There goes another bulldog chewing a wasp!  Oh, how I wish we would not see any more!

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Little Rituals: Bedtime Music

One of the things that is given in our household is the presence of little rituals.  Both my Dear Husband and I believe that a happy home life can be found in the little things.  We have lots of little rituals that we adhere to, to a greater or lesser degree:  how we do meals, especially dinner; how we do prayers together; the observances of holidays and holy days; and lots of other little things that we can count on pretty much every day.

Something that we've recently started is playing specific songs as we get ready for bed.  To me, this is one of the wonderful things about technology:  searching tens of thousands of songs and creating your own playlists.  Our nighttime / bedtime playlists include 3 or 4 songs.  The list gets changed whenever we feel like it.  Sometimes it plays through only once; sometimes we set it on repeat. Sometimes it plays before prayers, sometimes after.  But it is a ritual we use to unwind from the day and set our hearts and thoughts on good things.

I try to include an old-fashioned song, a lullaby-type song, a beautiful choral song, and a hymn. Here's a sample:

  • Home Sweet Home Waltz (Henry Bishop) -- I cannot find a YouTube video of this or any decent recording, really.  I am using a free download I got from HERE.
  • When You Wish Upon a Star (my favorite version is the Linda Ronstadt / Nelson Riddle Orchestra recording)



  • This Marriage (the Eric Whitacre choral piece)
  • Come, Bless the Lord (Orthodox Hymn)
Again, no YouTube video for the glorious hymn.  So, go HERE, and click on Track 25, and be uplifted!  You can purchase the whole track as a download from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. I never grow tired of this hymn.

I have fun choosing the pieces; my husband loves to share in whatever I have come up with.  We both really enjoy having our special songs for the end of the night.  

I'm working on Morning songs, too.  It's a little harder because our mornings are very early, and my Dear Husband is out the door in a hurry.  But I've got some ideas...

I would love to hear your little rituals in the home.!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Beginning, Again

Things are not normal here yet, but I'm trying each day to add back a little something to make life move a little more smoothly.  HA!  As if I have any control over it.  It's just a little illusion of security that I like to attempt.  I'm an organizer, and trying to control life is one of my issues.  And it is with thanks that I acknowledge God as the Controller.  I'm just playing at it!

Part of what keeps me from posting regularly on here is the knowledge that what I have to say is not all that interesting, and probably even less so if you're not me or my husband.  I'm trying to overcome this.  Everybody and their brother has at least one blog, so why not I?

AND... (and this might be refreshing these days), I am NOT an expert at anything, nor do I claim to be.  Read this blog at your own risk!

So, here is where I'm starting.  I have stumbled across this site / blog which offers monthly writing prompts, free to use as you choose.  This is the Write Now woman.  I'm probably the last person ever to find her website and blog.  These are the prompts for August, and I'm going to attempt them:

Yes, I know I attempted a daily project once before (a daily photo challenge).  But this doesn't require a good camera!  And, it looked interesting.  It's worth a try, anyway.  Why don't you join me?

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Very Slowly

Okay, so I'm not coming back very quickly.  I have okay days, and very NOT okay days.  I have given in.  I'm going to the doctor on the 17th.

Meanwhile, a few odds and ends kinds of thoughts...  I am trying to fill my heart and mind with lovely, pure thoughts.  This is not always easy in a troubled world, and when things go awry, as they so often do.  I guess I'm trying to count my blessings.  I have loads, I know!

This lovely graphic was available on Little Birdie Blessings (see sidebar link).  This is a wonderful blog, worth a long, comfy visit!

Another thing that is a blessing and which I am enjoying immensely is downloading and reading wonderful old books from Gutenberg.org.  I have mentioned this before.  This site is a treasure trove. At the moment I am thoroughly immersed in the lovely books of Laura Elizabeth Hope Richards.  I have read the whole Margaret series, The Merryweathers, and am now happily immersed in the Hildegarde series.  I cannot recommend this highly enough!  And, I have downloaded absolute loads of old classics, literature, and young people's stories that I should have read by now.

Laura Elizabeth Hope Richards


And, I have been listening to the most wonderful classical music.  I have always been a fan of much of classical music, but sometimes, when I am in a trying period in my life, I don't listen to music.  I find it too painful.  But I have forced myself to listen to beautiful music, even if it makes me cry.  The Church Fathers say there is no salvation without tears, anyway.  Well, I've plenty of tears!  Some of my favorite composers:  Aaron Copeland, Edward MacDowell, Mahler (it seems you either love or hate Mahler -- I don't know why!), Gabriel Faure, Elgar, Samuel Barber, Ralph Vaughn Williams, and oh, lots of others.  I love choral music, too.  And of course the biggies:  Mozart, Handel, Beethoven, etc. Such a lot to choose from.  And opera!  I love opera, especially Puccini.  

Image taken from Google Images

I also love ballet.  And art ~ classic art styles.  Definitely NOT modern art or abstract.  I just don't get it, I guess.  I sometimes think I am an old curmudgeon, and I do not understand how things like blobs and swashes and dots, and graffiti, can be art.  I absolutely abhor things like Banksy and things like wrapping an island or a tree or whatever.  Also, I do NOT like the recent trend in cities to have something absurd placed all over the city and painted garishly by modern "artists" -- like cows and pigs and clowns and whatever.  Lambs made out of bananas.  Pianos.  You know what I mean.  And well, I guess I'm entitled to my opinion!

Photo of the Russian Ballet, taken from a Facebook Page about Russia

So... I am plodding along, but trying to keep positive, keep in prayer, keep reading and listening and looking at lovely things, doing a little stitching (just for myself at the moment -- my needlework business is sitting on hold till I have some more energy), getting outside and caring for our little flock.

Shermy

Baby Snowball enjoying a scritch from Dad

And, I am happy to say that my Dear Husband is liking his new job.  It is quite a change for us, with completely different hours, and a commute.  We are still adjusting.  Fortunately, he is adjusting much better than I!  I will catch up, eventually.

A thing to look forward to:  My sister and her husband are coming from Florida to visit us!!  I have not seen them since 2010.  They are coming in November, of all months (!), but I can't wait!

Finally, I just wonder... I see so many absolutely wonderful blogs by women.  How do they do it? How do they have the time, the energy, and the material?  I am so impressed.  I hope I can one day get my blog up to speed.  Meanwhile, I hope you all are well and happy.  May God richly bless us all (and He does)!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Slowly Coming Back

Christ is Risen!
Truly, He is risen!
They don't seem to do Easter Lilies here in Scotland.  I've never seen the plant in the stores the way you do back home as Easter approaches.  We did manage to get a lovely bunch of white lilies, though, to have on our Easter / Pascha table.  They had a bit of a pale green tinge to them, as well, and they were really beautiful.

So, I am still struggling with an illness.  A thing which seems to be manifesting a bit like Bell's Palsy, and may actually be.  I'm just not sure.  It all began last September.  I went to the doctor and it was diagnosed as BP, and I was given steroids and some other high-powered thing--an anti-viral, I think. Well, the side effects from the 2-week course of meds were almost worse than the thing itself, but I stuck it out.  And, it all seemed to go away fairly quickly, within a few weeks.  But, I have to say it, I am NOT impressed with the NHS or socialized medicine.  And you hardly ever see the same doctor twice.  At least, that's how it is where I live.  So no one really knows (or cares?) about your medical history.  Anyway, I do not think the diagnosis was correct.  And the thing returned, mildly, in late February and through March.  But by Easter, it was becoming quite severe.  Then, for the past three or four weeks, it's just been really difficult to eat / talk / swallow / blow my nose (!) / spit (which makes brushing teeth a challenge).  I've been doing a LOT of research.  And I've discovered that the more rest I get, plus the more I try to reduce stress, the more the symptoms ease off.  

But, we've just gone through a MAJOR transition:  My dear husband got a new job, one that he likes much better, and one that took us from an awful nighttime schedule to a normal daytime schedule.  We also went from weekly pay to monthly pay!  The whole thing, good as it is, has been very stressful. The car keeps breaking down.  We have a big oil bill to pay.  And so, it's a challenge to de-stress.


It helps to have Lamb Hugs!  This is Snowball, giving me a hug, on a sunny and warm day this past weekend.  Lamb therapy is always good.  

Meanwhile, I'm working on trying to improve our nutrition and general health, trying to get gentle exercise, trying to do healthy, wholesome things during my days, as I also try to rest, and get well. Anyone have any stress-reduction ideas?  Or little "for your health" things they do that they would like to recommend?  I'm all ears!


I am working on my gratitude, too.  I have always believed in the power of thanksgiving, or gratitude, to God.  And so now I'm taking extra special care to notice and be grateful.  The trees have all been in a wild profusion of blooms the past few weeks.  As a Florida girl, I'm still unfamiliar with the flora here, but I know beautiful flowers when I see them!


And I would know by the scent alone that these are lilacs!  Absolutely gorgeous, and one of my favorite scents.  In fact, my lilac-scented Yankee candle jar (from my good friend Pam back home) is burning as I sit at my desk.


More Lamb Therapy!  One of our flock especially loves going into the little wood nearby their field.  He just runs and skips his way into the forest like a little sprite.  That would be Doodle.  He just gets more Doodlish every day!

I hope everyone had a glorious Pascha / Easter, and is having a lovely May.  I know some places back home, in the northern states, are still having horrible weather.  I hope Spring comes soon for you!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Till We Rejoice...




I am taking a break until after Pascha.  I wish you all a meaningful and special Great Week, and a blessed and joyous Pascha!

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lazarus Saturday

It is Lazarus Saturday.  My dear husband is at work, and we long to be in the church.  Sigh.  Hopefully this time next year, God willing.

We made it through Great Lent:  and we learned how very weak we are.  We sorrowed and struggled and failed a great deal.  And God loved us through it.  

Now, on this Saturday, when the Church commemorates the resurrection of Lazarus (about which there are many excellent commentaries on lots of good Orthodox blogs), we transition from the period of Great Lent into Great Week, or Holy Week.  Two feast days come in between:  Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday.  And so, we are on our way up to Jerusalem with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It's awe-inspiring and frightening and glorious, all at once.  

NOTE:  I took all of these photos from a beautiful Orthodox blog called Orthodox Way of Life.

This week coming is the center upon which all of the Orthodox Church and lives of the faithful revolve.  We are eagerly waiting for the Paschal Light.


The thing which is most appealing and most difficult about becoming Orthodox:  it is completely and totally counter to the culture of this world.  This is a good and beautiful thing.  It is sometimes hard when you are not wrapped in the arms of the Church and don't have that support.  But it is coming. God's timing, not ours.


Meanwhile:  PRAY!


Glory to God!

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Holy Week Special Edition Of Orthodoxy Live - Ancient Faith Radio

Holy Week Special Edition Of Orthodoxy Live - Ancient Faith Radio



Okay... attempting to turn positive again.  This podcast from Ancient Faith Radio is a 2-part series about Holy Week and Pascha.  It is EXCELLENT!  I can't recommend it enough.  I'm going to listen to it again.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wanton Destruction


Are you going to tell me there was no other way to clear out a SMALL drainage ditch than with a HUGE digger?  And that the digger had to rip everything out in its path (I should say, the MAN driving the digger)?  What is it with men who feel the need to destroy everything they touch?  If they can't destroy it physically, they'll destroy it mentally or emotionally.  There are a lot of women out there who will attest to this.

I think the following photos speak for themselves.  It is absolutely heartbreaking to see the huge path of wanton destruction that this "person" has left...all because he was behind the controls of some stupid piece of machinery... machinery which was way too big for this job and totally inappropriate.

For those of you who think the Highlands of Scotland are peaceful, untouched, and beautiful...think again.  You have to get away from the people to find anything like that.  And chances are, nowadays, you will be faced with some big, ugly, INEFFICIENT windmill.


This is obviously the work of someone who (a) has no concept of God, and so (b) thinks he can do whatever he wants with God's creation.





How sad is it to see our one lamb, on the right, staring into the ditch below?  There used to be a little wood all along here, and we often got our water for our lambs from this ditch (which we were told was a burn [creek] when we brought our lambs here).  Now, the water is filthy and putrid, and we are having to carry water from home every day. 

Do NOT talk to me about people in the UK or Scotland being "green".  In fact, don't be surprised if you see a few more photos of all the trash and torn up land around here.  It's time someone said something.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Random Thoughts on a Bad Monday

Where is everyone, and why can they not EVER return emails and phone calls?  Is this a British thing? I don't get it.

Why I struggle with certain kinds of farmers and landowners:  We go out to our lambs' field today and what do we see?  A huge digger, not just clearing out the drainage ditch, but ripping through all the trees and shrubs and God's own beauty, completely wantonly and with no care for anything or anyone, especially the animals and plants.  So much for wildlife habitat.  So much for green space.  So much for a sheltered field for our lambs.  And this crazy country thinks it's so green?  Give me a break. There's trash all over the roadsides.  I have witnessed people umpteen times tossing their beer bottles and soda bottles and IrnBru bottles out the car windows.  There are ugly windmills dotted everywhere because every farmer from here to kingdom-come gets a payout from the government if they stick up another eyesore.  People leave huge mounds of rotted, rusted garbage in their yards here.  There's a family on our street that has 2 adults and 5 cars.  Yeah, right.  Ya'll are real "green".  NOT.  Oh wait, I forgot.  There was some idiotic story in The Guardian about some British "celebrity" woman who thinks SHE'S green because she doesn't take very many showers and just "washes her bits and gets on with it."  Um.  That's not green.  That's just gross.  And Europeans wonder why Americans think they stink?  Uh, it's because most of you do.  So...environmentally friendly?  I think not.

Why do grubby dirty old men with Land Rovers and berserk border collies think everyone's business is THEIR business?  Who the heck is that man that drives around in everyone else's fields, anyway? What is going on?  Am I on some alien planet?  I think so.

Who are these people who are so wrapped up in television shows that they blog about them and post about them on Facebook?  What kind of life is that???

Why in the world do all the delivery companies think the Highlands are actually islands, and either (a) don't deliver up here, or (b) charge an arm and a leg?  Have these people ever looked at a map?  I have never had to put my car on a ferry to get to anywhere up here:  north, south, east, or west.  Again, I say, what the heck is going on?

Why on earth does everyone think that all of the Highlands can easily get to Inverness, or even WANT to get to Inverness, and if they just put whatever it is their putting in Inverness the rest of us will be happy?  I am not happy.  And frankly, I hate Inverness.  It's a smelly pit of a city.  Here's a newsflash for the Highland Council:  Spend more money on your city and less on your stupid bilingual Gaelic / English roadsigns.  I mean, come ON.  We don't know ANYBODY who speaks Gaelic only, or, for that matter, Gaelic AT ALL.  Not in this part of the Highlands.

Oh, and to the ignorant, smelly man who came by our lambs' field today with his stupid "odd job" van: You need to take a course in social skills.  You were unbelievably rude and ignorant.  I hate to inform you, but grunting went out with the Neanderthals.  Wait... I forgot... not all the Neanderthals are actually extinct / evolved / whatever.

And to all the people up here who are constantly sick and hacking:  try washing your hands, for crying out loud.  A shower or bath wouldn't hurt, either.

This was the short version of today's rant.  You can ask my dear husband if you want to hear about the open-air, long version.

Sigh...

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Halfway There, Springtime...and a Small Rant

We are halfway through Great Lent.  We are keeping the fast, but more than that, learning a LOT, including the fact that the food aspect is only one part of the fast.

I am stitching away on my Christ Pantocrator, a saint, and a tiny Easter Egg freebie.  (This will be available as a PDF download on my blog:  Fearn Abbey Needleworks.


Spring is arriving!  The daffodils are really starting to bloom, and we've had a few lovely, warmish days with glorious sunshine.



I recently heard an American Orthodox priest say that being a Christian means living an "intentional life for the Kingdom of God".  I believe that.  Which is why I'm feeling a bit worn out.  I'm so tired of the constant bombardment by all forms of media, all telling us that bad is good and black is white and there is no such thing as sin, evil, demons, or hell.  To which I respond:

The very appalling state of Western culture (I am only familiar with American and British culture, so that it what I'm basing my opinion on) is proof positive of the unholy deception that is taking place on all levels of society--popular culture, media, government, the church, and the insanity that is the public or state educational system.  And that deception comes straight from the pit of hell.  In our home, we do not have a television, nor do we listen to popular radio stations, nor do we consume popular magazines or newspapers.  And still, I feel the constant bombardment, like a never-ending jackhammer, pounding on our hearts and heads, trying to convince us that wallowing in the pigpen and imbibing filth is good, normal, and totally fine.  

And the most amazing thing of all, to me, is that the so-called secular society, or whatever it likes to think of itself as, actually believe that Christians should keep mum, remain out of the public square, and have no brains or opinions.  As if we should sit by and let the government make pronouncements of morality.  It is laughable.  It is insane.  When I first moved here, I went through a LOT of emotional and mental abuse dished out by the inhabitants of the first village we lived in...all because I am a Christian who has an opinion and did NOT feel the need to keep it to myself.  Meanwhile, it was totally fine for the Wiccans and pagans and heathens and whatever all else to prance about the streets and proclaim their wonderfulness and liberality.  In the beginning, I was intimidated.  

Now...not so much.  And I am no longer ashamed to say that I think popular Western culture is not only amoral and indifferent but immoral and militantly aggressive about it.  It may be with trepidation that I attempt to move forward and to proclaim the Gospel, the Truth, the love of Christ, and to denounce the immorality of society...but I agree with the priest:  We should not be silenced, and it is our duty to live out our faith, publicly.  Christ told us not to hide out lights under a basket.  I believe this also means to not let our faith be diluted by the absurd philosophies of the "post-modern" world.  

Fellow Christians:  speak out and don't be ashamed!


Live the redeemed life, and share it with others.  It's getting harder and harder in this world. Christianity is now the most persecuted religion in the world.  Stand fast!

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