Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas ~ The Year of Our Lord 2015


On Tuesday, I was privileged to spend an entire afternoon and evening attending a fellow church member’s funeral. A husband, a father of eleven children, a grandfather, and a friend of many, he was a man flawed and imperfect -- saved by the grace of God in Christ alone -- and humbly and faithfully using his gifts for the strengthening of the body of Christ. It’s incredible to spend over three hours at a funeral service while family member after family member and friend after friend is sharing about, grieving, and celebrating the valleys, the mountain tops, and the heritage of a race well run.

And it’s Christmastime.


The merriment of Christmas does not gloss over the pain-filled voice of the widow crying out to her God, or the aching tears of the now fatherless. Christmas does not deny the darkness and terror and death pervading God’s good creation. Christmas is because of it… because of the suffering, the violence, the sin. Our sin. 


On that very first Christmas there was emotional travail and the physical discomfort of travel and the pain of a girl in child labor and then the murder of three hundred innocent children. 


To quote from The Christian Imagination, edited by Leland Ryken, “To many North Americans… Christianity seems soppy. That is because they have not seen the real goods. True Christian imaging meets violence head-on, mine and the world’s, but also God’s. The Christian imagination… must face the reality of Job’s cry, the cry of God’s crucifixion, and of our participation in it. Once this is recognized, faith becomes not only possible, but necessary; it can never again be rose-water belief in Santa Claus.”


In John 11:35, outside Lazarus’s tomb, we read, “Jesus wept.” The famous, shortest verse in the Bible and one that can be both puzzling and ambiguous. Was He weeping out of sympathy with all the present mourners? Yes, surely that, too, but (more properly translated) the Greek word would be “raged.”

In the words of B.B. Warfield: “Inextinguishable fury seizes upon him (Christ)… It is death that is the object of his wrath, and behind death him who has the power of death, and whom he has come into the world to destroy. Tears of sympathy may fill his eyes, but this is incidental. His soul is held by rage: and he advances to the tomb, in Calvin’s words… “as a champion who prepares for conflict.”…What John does for us in this particular statement is to uncover to us the heart of Jesus, as he wins for us our salvation. Not in cold unconcern, but in flaming wrath against the foe, Jesus smites in our behalf. He has not only saved us from the evils which oppress us; he has felt for and with us in our oppression, and (with those) feelings has wrought out our redemption.”


Our Warrior, our Kinsmen Redeemer, coming in the flesh, coming to give Himself over to pain and agony and death, coming and advancing on the foe in a white hot heat of passion for His chosen ones. 


Fighting through the tearing thorns and waiting darkness, our Great Prince has woken His Sleeping Beauty. 

Our St. George has come, tearing His bride from the ripping jaws and fiery flame of the dragon. 


This is grace.

We’re warriors on the verge of battle -- taking a breath in the trenches -- and our merriment’s no gilded bauble. Joy springing from the deep laughter of God -- that deep laughter shaking the depths of the oceans and upending the world -- it’s both a weapon and an uncontainable joy. 

Merry Christmas!!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

New Cinderella Titles!


Thank you all SO much for your wonderful excitement about the Cinderella party and a tremendous thank you to all of you who have been posting and sharing buttons, etc! Per your splendid suggestions, I've added quite a few fascinating new books and films to the list. :) There are still quite a few titles open (including a number of books that might be fun to read the week of Christmas between the 25th and New Year's), so be sure to share the list with any friends and fellow story lovers you think might be interested! You can see the original/updated post HERE

I hope you're all having a wonderful last-two-days till Christmas. :) We were out all day yesterday and now (though I'm working through somewhat of a foggy cold), I'm busy finishing up some packages and enjoying this blustery, sunshiny day.

Tell me! Are you all ready for Christmas?


Monday, December 21, 2015

Short Christmas Story Contest!

Happy 4th Monday in Advent everyone! 

This is a quick post to let you know Melody is hosting a Short (Short) Christmas Story Contest over at her beautiful blog Regency Delight. Between Christmas coming up and edits for my Sleeping Beauty story and working on the Cinderella party, I'm personally fully booked at the moment, but the contest looks like great fun so I wanted to make sure you all knew about it. :)


You can visit Melody's post HERE for more details! (P.S. And isn't her button delightfully cute and festive? :))


Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Coming of the King


An Advent reading/quote from today I wanted to share with you all!

"The Lord Jesus was born in 4 B.C., which was the year Herod the Great died. He was the tyrant who had the children slaughtered in the region of Bethlehem because of what he heard from the wise men, and so obviously, Jesus had to have been born before Herod died.

"...Dionysius the Insignificant was a Scythian who moved to Rome around A.D. 500 and was the first to propose the change of calendar to mark the years since the Lord's birth. Given the resources available to him, he did remarkably well, but nevertheless he was still off by four years. What this means is that (at the time I write this) it has now been 2,016 years since the arrival of the Son of God among us. It has been about 1,983 years since he died on the cross and rose again, ascending afterward into Heaven. From the right hand of the Father, He has continuously ruled the world since that glorious time.

"Two thousand years into that reign, that four-year glitch should not trouble us. But if any secularist brings it up as a taunt, we may simply observe that this just means that Jesus has been reigning four years longer than we thought." ~ from God Rest Ye Merry: Why Christmas is the Foundation for Everything by Doug Wilson


~     ~     ~

I'm getting so excited for Christmas this year I can hardly stand it. ;D I hope you're all having a marvelous time preparing as well!


Tell me! What's an upcoming Christmas festivity you're looking forward to?



Monday, December 7, 2015

Grand New Year's Party Reveal!


So... what say you all to ringing in the New Year with a Cinderella party? :)

It'll be a combination party/blogathon and I'd be thrilled to have you join me! Starting January 4, there'll be a short tag, some super exciting giveaways (here on The Brandywine and elsewhere), and lots of other fun Cinderella-ish posts. :)

Now here's for the blogathon part. Below, I've included a list of books and films you can pick from to review on your own blog during the party week! (Note: I'll be filling in and highlighting various titles, but I left my own name off so as not to be confusing.)

But first (since I know you've all been most eagerly awaiting them ;)), here's for our sparkly, swirly, deliciously blue buttons! Pick your favorites and use them on your sidebar, in posts... wherever you like. :) In short, have lots of fun with them!!







Film Titles for the Blogathon


We can most DEFINITELY have multiple reviews for each title if several people want to do one, but it would be really nice to have at least one for each film. Also, I've seen about half of these. To the best of my knowledge/according to my research, the ones I haven't seen are all pretty family friendly content-wise, but if you run across anything absolutely horrendous, do let me know! ;P 


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Aschenputtel (2010 German Cinderella)
I've only seen bits of this, but what I saw was absolutely delightful!
(It's available in full HERE and with English subtitles HERE.

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(Apparently, this one's available inexpensively for streaming on Amazon.)

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La Cenerentola - 2011
(This contemporary, Italian version of Rossini's opera 
is 
available HERE with English subtitles.)

Anna S. @ A Glass Star in an Iron Galaxy

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Cinderella with Mary Pickford - 1914

(You have to Google this... Seriously, look at her dress. Just LOOK at it! :D)

Hamlette @ Hamlette's Soliloquy

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Abigail @ Castles in the Air
Natalie @ Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

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(PG)

Abigail @ Castles in the Air
Naomi @ Wonderland Creek
Natalie @ Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens
Melody @ Regency Delight

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Awdur @ The Pen of Awdur

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Cordy @ Write On, Cordy

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Broadway version

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Carissa @ Musings of an Introvert

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Cinderfella 1960

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(PG)

Jenelle @ Jenelle Schmidt
Olivia @ Meanwhile in Rivendell...

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(PG-13)

Anna S. @ A Glass Star in an Iron Galaxy
Natalie @ Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

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Éowyn @ High Noon

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Poor Cinderella 1934 - Betty Boop cartoon

Faith @ Just Way Too Boss

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(PG)

Olivia @ Meanwhile in Rivendell...

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Faith @ Just Way Too Boss

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(NR, but I'd say similar intensity to Ever After)

Éowyn @ High Noon

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Cordy @ Write On, Cordy

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Three Wishes (aka Three Nuts) for Cinderella
(A European classic, I've seen most all of this and wow it has 
an unusual and beautiful setting!)


It's available HERE on Youtube with English subtitles

Rose @ An Old Fashioned Girl

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What a Girl Wants 2003 - PG

Faith @ Just Way Too Boss

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And... do you have any other wonderful suggestions?


Note, as Cinderella can delightfully cover a huge spectrum (part of the deep running splendor of the story!), here are a few guidelines for any nominations for our particular event: 

First, any PG/PG13 titles must be notated as such and no R-rated content.

And (for our current purposes), I'm defining a Cinderella adaptation proper as:

1. The relationship between the Prince and Cinderella has to be central to the story
2. They have to come from different "worlds," so to speak
3. Over the course of the story they meet each other, lose each other, and are reunited
4. There needs to be a ball scene involving some sort of iconic moment (i.e. her coming down a staircase and/or her lost slipper, etc.)


Book Titles ~ allowing for a little wider/metaphorical interpretation

(Again, I haven't read ALL of these, so let me know if you run across anything iffy. :) And this is a starter list, so feel free to suggest lots more titles!)



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Ekaterina

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Olivia @ Meanwhile in Rivendell...

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Blessing Counter @ Counting Your Blessings One by One
Livia Rachelle @ Rose Petals and Faerie Dust

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Jessica Prescott

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Livia Rachelle @ Rose Petals and Faerie Dust

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Naomi @ Wonderland Creek

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Hamlette @ The Edge of the Precipice

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(available here)

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(Various favorite Cinderella picture books)

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You can leave the title/s you'd like to review in the comments (along with the name of the blog you'll be reviewing on) and I'll officially put you down for them on the post here. 


Now remember to grab some buttons and -- if you're able to share about the party (which would be marvelous!) -- just make sure to include a link back to this post somewhere in yours. :) I can't wait to hear what you all think!


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