Saturday, 22 December 2012

Why I celebrate Christmas

I haven't been a Christian long, but long enough to recognise a leading question. Like, when somebody who doesn't share my beliefs asks why I celebrate Christmas, I'm fully expecting a detailed explanation of how Jesus wasn't born in December and Christmas trees are just something we carried over from the pagan festivals and blah blah blah whatever.

To which, my response is a resounding 'So what?' If we didn't celebrate the birth of Jesus in December, we'd just do it in June or some other date that someone decided was as good as any. And so what if we have kept on a few old traditions. If you want to celebrate Yuletide or the Winter Solstice or Hogmanay or me and animal's anniversary, knock yourself out. I choose to celebrate the birth of my saviour at this time of year.

So, to answer the question: I've celebrated Christmas all my life; it's just what we do. In this country we need a bright spot in the middle of the depressing wet winters we usually get, and Christmas is it. It's an excuse to get together with loved ones, and at least be civil to those we don't love quite as much. And that's good; peace and good will to all man is a good thing, whatever you happen to believe in, God-wise. Family get-togethers are... well ok, they can be a bit fraught, but it's once a year. If I only saw my sister once a year we get on far better I expect...

So Christmas is a good thing, and I don't have any issue with non-Christians celebrating it. After all, I celebrated 24 myself as a non-Christian...

But, dates aside, as a believer it obviously has a deeper meaning now. And it doesn't matter that Jesus never said 'celebrate my birthday'. He didn't say don't celebrate it. Why would the event be described in such detail in the Bible if it wasn't important?

I've posted this here before, but this song pretty much sums up the religious reasons why I celebrate Christmas:
I don't know if that answered the question, but there you go. That's me done blogging for 2012.

Merry Christmas, and I'll be back next year.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy Anniversary...

...to me and Animal.

Yep, it's two whole years since I booted my flatmate out for the night and invited my drum teacher round for a good home cooked meal.

Two years since I took a wild chance and pounced on the poor bloke under some strategically placed mistletoe. (Not that I put it there specifically for that purpose. Oh no...)

Two years, and I've gone from 'happily single' (ie not looking for a man) to 'happily married' (and still not looking for a man).

Two years since... hang on, I don't think I've had a drum lesson in two years! Oi! Animal, get yer kit out, I'm over due a lesson!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Gay Marriage: A Rant

So, I posted a few months back about how I didn't really care whether people wanted to be gay, bi or metrosexual, but I was beginning to think that gay marriage was a bad idea.

And, as the nation awaits the government's new plans for the introduction of gay marriage, I find myself leaning even more this way. I am, however, somewhat conflicted.

You see, in theory, the protection of religious freedom should allow gay couples to get married in a church which is happy with that, whilst not forcing other churches to carry out gay weddings if they believe this to be in contradiction with their beliefs, should come as a sensible compromise position. I should be applauding this proposal.

However... I can't help thinking that, somewhere along the line, the only gay couple in the village are going to find they can't get married in their quaint local chapel, and, fuelled by righteous outrage, they will mount a legal challenge and force the church to marry them, regardless of the curch's position on homosexual relationships.

But what really ticked me off was seeing a gay couple on the news recently, saying 'Neither of us are religious, but...' And as a Christian, that's what worries me. This whole debate is going to lead to a place where people can say 'I'm not religious, but I want churches to do things my way'. It's about government trying to push a secular agenda into the church. It's about non-believers telling the church what it should believe, and what is should practice. And surely that can't be right?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Happy Anniversary

Some moments in life just need to be marked. Birthdays, weddings, baptisms, that sort of thing.

Today is not the anniversary of any of those, but of something that is, to me at least, equally important. Two years ago today, The Cute Drummer From Church ended up partnering me at a barn dance, and then bought me a drink. That was probably at about 9pm; we were still chatting at 3am, by which time I felt comfortable enough with him to share all my darkest secrets, and he was still talking to me...

Amazingly, he still talks to me now :)

Love ya sweety x

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Name of God

I've been trying to get this post finished for weeks, and I guess it's finally here, finished or otherwise.

It came from a conversation I had with someone whose basic problem with religion was along the lines that if there is a God, he must be so far beyond our understanding that giving him a name (or a gender for that matter) is somehow constraining God.

My issue with that point of view is that, basically, it's true. I have met religious people who believe it's their purpose to understand God (that's for another post), but I'm not sure I'd want to worship any deity that could be fully understood by some chick with a couple of mediocre A-levels, none of which are in theology.

Yes, God is outside our understanding. Of course he is, he's God. But just because he doesn't fit into our human ideas of gender or indeed anything else we may try to use to describe him, does that mean we stop referring to him? That doesn't seem to make any sense. Any conversation about - or with - God, by definition needs a term for God. We need a name for Him, it's as simple as that.

Aside from the practical issues, God wants us to speak to him. I don't know how many times in the Bible he urges people to 'call on my name', but I bet it's a lot. And he gives us plenty of names to use - but that, too, is for another post. I suppose it's something of a quandary: God knows we cannot fully understand Him, but neither does He want us to constrain Him in any way. He doesn't expect us to understand Him (except in as much as He reveals of Himself in the Bible or personal experiences) but He longs for us to know him.

And I think that's what I came away from that conversation with. Maybe there is no name that can really encompass who or what God really is, but there is a name that he invited me to call him, a name that he loves to hear from anyone who will use it.

God just loves it when I call him Daddy.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Musical Monday: Cliche

The official video for the new single from one of my fave rock chicks of the moment, Eowyn. It's kind of a fun video, but the song is about how sometimes as Christians we just go through the church/bible study/prayer routine the same way every week until it loses any real meaning... and we become a cliche.


Monday, 17 September 2012

Musical Monday

Just because I didn't want it to end, and to celebrate the awesomeness of Team GB. Again.

And because it's an awesome video to a classic tune, naturally!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Snog Marry Avoid?

Confession time: I think I'm getting a tiny bit addicted to this particular piece of trash TV.

For those with sufficient taste to have avoided it so far, the basic idea is the Personal Overhaul Device (POD) hunts out ludicrously over the top girls (and occasionally boys) and turns them into 'natural beauties'.

Sometimes I do wonder whether these people are for real, like Charlene who was on last night - the most tanned woman in Scotland:

Never mind avoid, I couldn't run away fast enough! She looked like she didn't so much apply fake tan as colour herself in with a Crayola Supertip. Seriously, if you must use that much fake tan, at least learn to apply it evenly!

But the thing that really surprised me last night was after Charlene's makeunder: 'What the crap?' I exclaimed. 'She is properly gorgeous!'

And I guess that's why I like the show. Sure, some of the girls - like Charlene - are such outrageous caricatures of the girls I saw in my clubbing days (not that long ago, you sniggering at the back!), that I wonder if the fakery isn't at least exaggerated for TV, but it does make the point: you look terrible. You're better than you think you are. You don't need to show your bum or your boobs to get attention.

On the other hand, the other girl on the same show, Lacey Cakes, whose Daddy paid for all manner of tarty outfits to display Teeny and Tiny to best effect (a whole new level of messed up going on there that I'm not going to touch!), actually looked sad, if unsurprised, that 100% of people wanted to avoid her with her original look, and genuinely moved by some of the comments afterwards....

Yeah it may be trash TV, but it's worth it just to hear Lacey say the words 'covering up is still sexy'.... Amen to that sister!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Musical Monday: Velodrome

Just because I'm gonna miss it now it's done its job for London 2012... Oh, and by the way, sorry it's been so long!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

How awesome is this?

Who knew Great Britain would actually turn out to be so... Great?

OK, I may be slightly biased, but from where I'm looking Team GB totally dominated the velodrome over the last few days. Queen Vic is totally my hero! And the rowing for that matter - we don't just win these things, we own them!

And who the heck is Greg Rutherford? Didn't see that one coming!

But, congratulations to Greg, whoever you are, but Super Saturday surely belongs to one person.

When you look up 'inspirational' in the dictionary from now on, it'll simply say:

The sheer dedication it must take to be that good at seven sports boggles my mind, but wow, what a role model, what an example to every one of us.

And you gotta love the crowd.... not that you can blame them, I was on my feet cheering her on too! But the way they cheered her home, and Mo Farah too.... Right now, I just love being British :)

Monday, 30 July 2012

Olympomania #2

So, I got to cheer Cav and the team on on Saturday :D

I'm not sure whether Animal has quite forgiven me for getting him up at 5am, driving for 2 and a half hours, camping out at the road side for another two hours, cheering like an ecstatic banshee for 30 seconds and then driving for another 2 and a half hours, but, well, tough. For better for worse and all that malarkey eh? Besides, we're not going to get a better chance to see the Olympics, and it'll be something to tell the little Sadimals about some day won't it?

At the moment the two groups came flying past me - about an hour or so into the race - the gap was worringly big, given that Team GB were in the second group, but they should have had time to pull it back. And indeed they nearly did,but I think there was just too much expectation on Cav, and the other teams just didn't want to make the effort to compete, so our boys ended up wearing themselves out to no avail.

So, gutted for Cav, still no Olympic medal, but Vino was a deserving winner, and of course: Yay Lizzie!

And if I see any empty seats in that velodrome next week, I'ma gonna kick somebody's backside....

Friday, 27 July 2012

Olympomania!

Yes, it's true, I have come down with a serious case of Olympic fever - or as I'm sure I heard Bozza Jozza refer to it earlier, Olympomania. (Honestly, that man couldn't be a better charicature of a politician if he was literally a muppet.)

I know there are some people out there who think its a big white elephant and a waste of taxpayers money and we should never have even attempted to host the games and blah blah blah.... well take your humbugginess somewhere else, and be sure to keep quiet while the rest of us enjoy the atmosphere.

After all, hasn't it been great being British this year? Apart from the monsoon anyway. And those 100 anti-monarchists that went out to protest against the boat thingy (I think Liz 2 won that one by several thousand). I can't be the only one who thinks so, given that you can buy anything from pork pies to nappies to condoms with Union Flags emblazones on them (or possibly just the packaging, I don't buy any of those things myself, patriotic or otherwise).

Me? I'll be having an opening night party - beer, pizza and non-humbuggy friends, enjoying the ceremony and hoping it doesn't embarrass our nation too much... Not too much beer for me though, cos I'm getting up at stupid o'clock tomorrow and heading for Surrey to catch a glimpse of the road race. Yes, I know, it's a little extreme just to catch a flying glimpse of some guys in lycra of the world's greatest cyclists in one of the world's greatest sporting competitions, (which reminds me, having completely overlooked blogging for the entirety of le Tour: Yay Wiggo! Yay Cav!) but I didn't actually get any tickets :( and I want to enjoy the aforementioned atmosphere.

So hopefully I'll make up for my oversight during le Tour by remembering to at least mention how awesomely we're doing during the Olympics, at least in the cycling.

Now, I have a party to prepare for!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Metric Musical Monday: Youth without Youth

The latest rock chick to be a regular on my playlist...

Friday, 13 July 2012

Filth on Friday: Confessions of a porn producer

Christopher Gregory was a producer for Hustler for about five years. Now he's left, and some of his subsequent revelations about what went on at his erstwhile employers makes interesting reading:

Drugs and alcohol is used by ALL. No exceptions. It's not out of the realm to have a drug dealer come on set and 'hook' women up. It simply happens all the time.

I've seen boyfriends bringing their girlfriends to set bruised up, forcing them to perform simply to get a check.

It was not uncommon for girls to get pregnant from a set shoot and then paid to have an abortion.

In the studios eyes women are nothing but meat. They are literally slaves, with the illusion of fame and fortune, but take it from me, they are not free moral agents in most circumstances. Nobody goes into this business for the "fun" of it.

I don't care what anyone tells you, 17 is the starting age of many girls in this business. The younger the more money it makes Hustler, Vivid, Wicked, Playboy and they know it too.

That's just the tip of the iceberg really... there are plenty of stories out there from people who've left the so-called adult entertainment business that say much the same, but I think having it confirmed from behind the camera is a lot more powerful.

Read the full interview with Christopher Gregory at thepinkcross.org.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Filth on Friday: Mummy porn - a rant

I don't think I need to mention any names do I? I'm counting myself as one of those Christian readers who will be avoiding that book because, well, that kind of stuff serves no purpose in my life, and I have no wish to add to the already completely out of control publicity machine.

Also, having not read that book, I am admittedly not in a position to comment upon it, but I do feel the need to comment on the genre which has, rather grotesquely, I think, been reborn as 'Mummy porn' largely off the back of that book.

There seems to be a bit of a love-hate thing going on with this book, right across society, including among Christian readers. Yes, there seem to be some professing Christians who find this sort of thing somehow acceptable. Apparently that book has a redemptive story. I guess you couldn't find one of those that didn't have a truckload of unmarried, violent sex before the actual redemption then?

But I wasn't going to comment on that book was I. while we're there though, let's deal with this fact: the author of that book thinks women are reading it (and by extension other erotic novels) because it allows them a 'holiday from their husbands'. What the crap? Seriously, if you need that kind of holiday from your husband, you have the wrong husband.

And the other good thing people have to say about this book? 'It's revived our marriage!' Really? Well, if you'd let your husband try some of the things he saw in those porn movies your marriage wouldn't need reviving now, would it?

What's that you say? That's different? Well, newsflash girls: no it ain't.

Guys get turned on more by pictures, girls by mental stimulation (ie reading). The end result is the same: tittliation, arousal, sexual feelings that don't involve your spouse. And I don't know about anyone else, but I don't want my man thinking he needs something else - a warm up act - to get him in the mood to make love to me. If I'm not enough for him, porn is not going to be the answer, and the same works both ways - if he's not enough for me, then reading about someone else's bondage fantasies (or whatever) isn't going to address whatever underlying issues there might be, is it?

Marriage guidance might cost more than a paperback from Tesco, but I'll bet it will have a longer lasting effect.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Musical Monday: Halfway Down the Stairs

Indulge me for a day while I have a short girlcrush moment, would you?


You can sit on my stairs any time you like Amy. I don't suppose Animal will mind...

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Horrible Histories

So, I bumped into an ex at the weekend. Thankfully it's not like I've got hundreds of them, and certainly not many still in the same area, but meeting this person again kinda threw me. We were only together for one summer a few years ago, but if you'd asked me at the time, I might well have said it was for keeps. Such deep feelings don't go away easily, and I realise now that those feelings are sealed in a very deep and possibly permanent way by sexual intimacy.

Having a history... complicates things. I mean there was the awkward moment when I realised my mother-in-law had assumed I was a virgin, but really that's the least of them. Um, well, I think she got over that...

For me, the worst thing about having a history is this: I think about it.

I don't mean in the sense of comparing Animal to any of my previous lovers; it's a matter of blogosphere record that Animal is the best sex I've ever had, and I stand by that assessment absolutely. But still, the fact is that I have a sexual past, and there are things in that past that I enjoyed, but which I have to leave in the past. And that's hard. Thoughts about someone I cared about hugely and had great sex with, but who is not my husband, are awkward for me. They are hard to dismiss, because they are good thoughts, but to dwell on them would be to fantasise about someone else, and that would be wrong.

So what am I to do with these feelings? Well ultimately, I think, nothing. It's just a temptation, and there is nothing wrong with being tempted. I think rambling about it here is my way of getting it all out, so I can let those temptations go and move on from them.

But at the same time, all experience has a lesson to teach us; and this has been a very real reminder to me that what I've heard so much since moving in Christian circles - that sex brings with it an emotional bond that goes far deeper than the physical act itself - is true. If I search my feelings, I know this to be true; I have given pieces of myself to several people before I met Animal - the ex I met the other day was a recent and local one, which made the whole thing so hard, but it could have been one of a number of people. Which complicates things, but it also saddens me, because I got all of Animal, and will never be able to give him those bits of me that I gave away earlier.

That's one of the reasons I now believe that sex is intended to be shared with one person, for life. Unfortunately I figured that out several people too late, but maybe, just maybe, I'll get the chance to pass that figuring on to someone else before it's too late for them :)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

What if...

I think my brain just melted.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Musical Monday: Arms of Grace

Just lurrrrve this song that we sang in church yesterday, so I thought I'd share it :) I love the imagery of being welcomed home, the truth that He always takes me back, the look in the drummers eyes when he gets lost in giving his music to God... Ok, maybe that last point was a little of topic, but honetly, I was right there with him, this is one of my favourite worship songs (although I do have an increasing number of 'favourites!')

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Want!


It's M C Escher's Relativity in Star Wars Lego. Seems obvious when you put it like that...

Here's the full story and some top detailed pics!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Musical Monday: Mr Blue Sky

Call me optimistic, but I'm feeling summery. And there's something about Lily Allen - her cheery don't give a fig voice, the cheeky cockney accent that she sings in - that just makes me think 'Sod it, it's summer, throw your cares away and have some fun!'

And in that spirit, here's a summery cover version you might not have come across yet (but should).

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy Father's Day

Just a quick shout out to any Dad's who might happen by. You guys rock!

I have to admit I didn't always see eye to eye with my dad, but who does? Looking back now, as an adult with my own set of responsibilities (albeit none of them parental), I can see that he was just an ordinary, imperfect guy doing the best job he knew how. When he screwed up at being a dad, I know he didn't intend to, and that he certainly never would have deliberately hurt me, or my sister.

I think it is fair to say, however, that when I screwed things up - and I did that quite a bit as a teenager and later - he was always there, helping me pick up the pieces, and trying to fix them with superglue and sticky tape in that way dads have.

One way or another, I've also learned a lot about the importance of a good father figure, especially in a girl's life. I'm lucky enough to have had one, and to have found someone who I'm sure will be at least as good a father to my kids some day.

And of course, I'm lucky to have met my heavenly Father, who turned my life around and is busy showing me who I am supposed to be.

Happy Father's Day, Dads of the world!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Dressing like a wife

It's not like me to jump on a bandwagon (or even to blog, lately), but when I heard about Kate Moss and her flippant comment about 'dressing like a wife', I thought I'd try and climb on, what with being a new wife and all.

Because, I tried to do that. Just before the wedding I went and looked for the 'Wife' department in Top Shop and Dotty P's, but I couldn't find it. There's not even a Wifeswear department in Debenhams, as far as I could make out.

So what is a girl to do? Is it, Ms Moss, even possible to dress 'like a wife' in this country? Or do we have to be on a supermodel salary and go to those posh Wife Boutiques they have in London Village?

So, of course, I resigned myself to dressing exactly as I had before I got married, much to the consternation of my husband, who wants me to dress like a wife and not a rock chick. Which makes no sense to me, because it was, after all, the rock chick he fell in love with and agreed (indeed, asked) to marry, without explaining the 'dress like a wife' rules in detail. Still, I did promise to love, honour and obey, so I will continue to try and dress in a suitably wifely manner.

In all seriousness though, Kate Moss did make one good point: maybe women (and men) should cover up a little more. I used to be guilty of this myself - the sun would come out, my hemline would go up. It seemed normal. And, yes, partly it was to look good, to look sexy.

I have toned down the way I dress over the last few years, but not because my husband expected me to. And not because, having found a husband, I don't need to look good any more! (Maybe that's what Kate thinks dressing like a wife means - not caring what you look like?)

No, I toned my dress down because I came to realise that dressing to be 'sexy' - showing some leg and/or cleavage, depending where God blessed you - was kind of self-defeating. Yes, those short skirts attracted attention from the opposite sex, but not always the attention I wanted. It is possible to get to a point, with all this skin on show, where you're saying 'look at me!', and beyond that, implying 'come and get me!'. I am a person, not a plaything to be looked at and pawed. It took a while to realise that I could get attention other ways, and really, anyone who was just interested in what I looked like was not likely to give me the right kind of attention - attention which is given respectfully.

So I started to dress in a way that showed I respect myself, but still looked good. Sexy, but not slutty. Yes, it is possible girls!

The other point to note - and this I have learned from my husband - not all guys like having their attention drawn to a pair of legs or breasts that don't belong to their own significant other. I hadn't really thought of that, but by dressing 'sexily' I may be tempting some other husband to look away from his wife. That's not what I want, so I don't intentionally dress to be sexy.

Well, except for my husband ;)

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Gay Marriage: For better or for worse?

I've been hearing and reading a lot just lately, on the internet and in real life, about gay marriage and whether or not it's evil. And that sort of follows nicely from my rant the other week about intolerance.

So I figured it would be timely to set out my stand on such matters, and my stand is this:
I don't care. I don't give a dingo's kidney who is sleeping with who and in what position. It's none of my business, and I'd like to keep it that way, and I'm sure most of my friends would be fairly happy with me keeping my nose out of their bedrooms.

That said, I do know some people who identify as gay or bisexual (we don't have many in these rural parts, but I know them both) and they're perfectly nice people. They don't 'identify' by wearing rainbows or gay pride t-shirts; they don't force their sexuality on innocent bystanders, they are merely true to themselves. I don't think they would want to be primarily identified for who they have sex with anyway, they would rather be identified as funny or kind or good at her job or whatever else it might be. Except by virtue of being married, I don't identify myself as 'straight', and to me making a point of the fact that you're not 'straight' is to highlight the difference and scupper the equality you probably claim to want. Just shut up about which gender you find attractive and get back to the business of being a well-rounded human being, then maybe you'll be treated the way you would like.

Which brings me back to the start, and gay marriage. Now, I can see the argument that whether or not same-sex marriage is allowed doesn't affect my marriage, but I have to admit that I'm coming round to the view that actually, it kinda does.

That's not because I'm anti-gay; far from it. You want to be gay, knock yourself out. I do believe that homosexual sex is biblically wrong, but if you don't subscribe to my religious values, it would be unfair of me to judge you by them. If you are claiming to be a gay Christian, then maybe that's a different matter, but I'll leave that between you and God unless you ask my opinion.

No, I'm not anti-gay, but I am pro-marriage. Gay couples can already get the bit of paper; they can enter a civil partnership which gives at least some of the legal benefits of marriage. Why do you need more? I needed more because I wanted my union with Animal to be blessed by God; for me, the bit of paper, the legal stuff, wasn't as important as the Christian ceremony. Similarly I know straight, non-religious couples who would be just as happy with a civil partnership as with a marriage.

Anyway, I came across this blog post recently which sums up the way I am thinking much more eloquently than I ever could. Here are the highlights, as far as my view on gay marriage is concerned:

The fact that we need the qualifer, “same-sex,” shows that in the minds of those discussing marriage, there’s a distinction between marriage and same-sex marriage.

If a societal institution like marriage can be redefined once, why not twice, three times, or as many times as we want? So in five years (or sooner), someone will want marriage to include a man and multiple wives or a woman and multiple husbands. Why not a man and his dog? Or how about a man or woman and a consenting child? Who is to say that these can’t also be considered marriage if marriage becomes a fluid term?

I hadn't actually thought of that argument, but it's an interesting point! Looked at that way, same-sex marriage, polygamous marriage, or any other variation of marriage, devalues the model that God intended for us, of one man and one woman.

If I've offended or angered anyone in the process of writing this, go ahead and tell me why, that's what the comments are for. There's much more I could say to defend my point of view, but I'm sure I've said enough by now!

Monday, 14 May 2012

It's Musical Monday, dummy

You know that moment when you hear a song that you've been aware of for ages but it suddenly starts to mean something? Well I heard this one on tv a while back, when I hunted it down, I was pretty blown away by the lyrics....

All that stuff about being tired of playing, of being a 'tempteress', and leaving the other girls to play? That was me a couple of years ago. Then Someone gave me a reason to love Him, and I was unchained, I got a new frame of mind... and a real man, who isn't afraid to cry sometimes.

For that was the beginning of forever, and ever...

Friday, 4 May 2012

May the 4th Be With You

What started out as a little geeky in-joke has, it seems, become something of an internet craze, with people who don't even like Star Wars posting 'Happy Star Wars Day' comments and pictures on facebook and the like (apparently; I have so far resisted the lure of the big f, and intend to keep it that way so that when facebook eventually implodes I can sit back and go 'ner-ner' to the rest of the world).

So much so that one of my colleagues has suggested there will be a backlash before too many more Mays have passed, on the basis that Star Wars Day serves no useful purpose beyond glorifying a film trilogy whose creator has gone on making money by giving us increasingly bastardised versions of what was already a cinematic classic.

</rant mode>

And he has a point. By mentioning Star Wars I'm pointing people towards a fictional mythic spirituality rather than towards Christ. Star Wars Day will not cure cancer, or bring down the porn industry, or do any number of good and 'worthy' things that I care about. In the US it's National Mental Health Month; Star Wars Day could be seen as taking attention away from something that tries to raise awareness for good reason.

Whose side am I on? you may be wondering. Well, any minute now, I'm going to sit down with Animal and some of our friends, and enjoy some beer, some takeout, and a Star Wars DVD marathon; you work it out.

I have nothing against raising awareness of cancer, porn, depression or any number of other things, and maybe days for those have a place on the social networks of the intertubes. But Star Wars Day is just a bit of harmless (if geeky) fun, and sometimes a little bit of fun can be just what's needed.

Happy Star Wars Day everybody, May the 4th be with you.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Twenty-six

And I was so nearly born on Star Wars Day! Stupid non-geeky parents... I'll try harder when me and Animal decide to have kids.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Filth on Friday: Ex Porn Star Neesa


Wait, what? The orgasms are all fake?! I thought I was the weird one 'cause I didn't make that noise...

You can read more of Neesa's story here

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Intolerance and judgmentalism

I sometimes whether some people I meet have actually met a Christian before. I've always had at least one or two Christian friends, and I've never found them to be judgmental even when they knew I was leading a far from 'Christian' lifestyle.

Sure, there are Christians who lean more towards the views of my cartoon friends here; there are those in my church I would withhold certain details of my story from, but thankfully not many, and I may indeed be doing them a disservice - judging them, even - in assuming that because they are from a different generation and background to me, they would look at me differently if they knew the whole truth.

Judgmental, intolerant Christians - specifically those who are quite vocal about their opinions - are, in my admittedly limited experience, vastly in the minority.

And yet, now I come to look at things from their side of the fence, as it were, it seems that certain people expect a degree of judgmentalism from me. Some even try to provoke it; ironically, the subject of these conversations is often (though not exclusively) some aspect of sexuality. Some know that I used to be quite flirty and seem to want me to feel bad about that. Others seem intent on starting me gay-bashing, whether to catch me out as a bad Christian or to justify their own homophobia I may never know.

Well, you're all wasting your time. I know I'm not perfect, but I do know that if my oldest Christian friends had judged me instead of loving me, they wouldn't be my friends, and I wouldn't be the person I am now. And I happen rather to like me.

And if, by any chance, you are one of those people who expect Christians to be intolerant and judgmental: isn't that a little judgmental of you?

(Illustration from asbojesus.wordpress.com)

Friday, 20 April 2012

Filth on Friday

I can't quite work out, is this trying to fight fire with fire, or is it becoming all things to all people?


The girls, if you were wondering, are professional dancers, not hookers. Stop the Traffik, the group behind this little stunt, works to raise awareness of human trafficking, rather than prostitution specifically. I have no idea if the crowd on the street were all genuine passers-by or not, but I'd like to think at least some were window shopping, and that the stunned silence at the end was actually the sound of thoughts being provoked.

Whatever you think of the ethics of using scantily clad dancers to make a point about prostitution, I think it's safe to say the internet coverage if not the actual event has raised awareness of the issue.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

This is not a sex blog, but...

...I do like to throw the subject in now and then, for the ratings, you know.

Plus, of course, it would be terribly remiss of me not to extol the virtues of marital sex at this point.

Married sex is AWESOME!!!!!

Ok, I guess we can move on now... What? No? You want more? You want details? Tough :p

Well, as it happens, I sort of wanted to write something about it, because that first time - the wedding night sex - was quite possibly the best sex I've ever had. No kidding. I mean, technically speaking, it was terrible. Possibly the most clumsy and awkward sex I've had in... well, possibly ever. But it totally blew my mind.

Obviously there was the anticipation; I'd been waiting to get naked with Animal for almost 18 months, so finally being able to was a great release, apart from anything else. On the other hand, the anticipation, the sense of expectation of this great life-changing moment, probably made Animal rather more nervous than was strictly necessary, adding to the clumsy awkwardness...


Moreover, there was the raw emotion of the thing. I don't think I've ever been as emotionally connected with a person before without having a similar physical intimacy. In fact, I think the lack of physical intimacy allowed us to concentrate on the emotional and spiritual sides of our relationship... I expect that's why God would have us do it that way round.

Clumsy sex aside, it was a hugely emotional experience - more so for Animal, who (don't tell anyone this) cried after giving up his virginity. For that moment alone, the sharing of a literally once in a lifetime event with the person I love most in the world, I'm glad we waited. It would have taken something special from the day if we hadn't.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Misplaced Worship

At the risk of being controversial, I saw this, and thought of some of my Muslim friends, whose beliefs I totally respect, but who sometimes seem to have a slightly skewed view of how important the book is, compared to God. I have tremendous difficulty debating faith and religion with such people because to them the book is everything, and because my personal experience of God cannot be demonstrably more than a dream the book always wins.

Obviously this is not just a Muslim attitude; I guess I'm lucky in that the Christians I spend most time with and am learning most from are not that way inclined, and like me see that the Bible is only part of the story.

I think this just nicely illustrates my view of Bible worship as opposed to God worship.
Illustration from http://asbojesus.wordpress.com/

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Awww bless him

Animal cried too, soppy thing. Not quite when I expected it, but it was a lovely moment. :)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

I always cry at weddings

I can't even begin to say what an amazing day it was. Spring had sprung and it was just a beautiful day to be doing anything, and so finally marrying my soulmate was just perfect. The service was lovely, and so nice to be surrounded by my lovely family and friends (old and new) for the whole day (although, truth be told, it was nice getting away from being the centre of attention afterwards!). It might not have been the biggest or flashiest wedding ever, but I was treated like a princess for the entire day, and isn't that what every girl wants? (Yes, fellas, it is!)

And yes, obviously I cried.

One thing we didn't quite plan for though, was the wedding night being an hour shorter than it should have been. Really should have seen that coming... Still, I can assure you we made up for the missing hour, even if we do still have a lot of time left to make up!

Somebody managed to pull a string somewhere and got our seats upgraded on the flight out to Italy too, which was a bonus; but maybe I'll go into the honeymoon a bit more some other time.

For now though, as it's Musical Monday, grab yourself a bucket, I want to relive one of those classic wedding party songs...

Yes, we danced to that (although not quite as well as in the video) - so sue me! It seemed a wholly appropriate song for Mr and Mrs Animal to depart on, and never a truer word was sung. I couldn't have hoped for a better wedding day; and I still feel like the luckiest girl alive.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Beautiful Bride

No, I'm not here, I'm a bit busy just at the moment. I actually scheduled this weeks ago, because I thought it would be fun. And because this is an awesome song by Flyleaf. I wonder if the DJ will have any Flyleaf....?


Anyway, I'm off skiing tomorrow, Mrs Animal will be back to blog all about it (maybe) in a couple of weeks.

Friday, 23 March 2012

So, this is it then.

Welcome one and all to this most historic occasion: my last blog as a single girl. Yes, I know, I haven't really been at this long enough for it to be that historic, but just go with it for now.

I suppose I should use the occasion to reflect on singleness, and look forward to marriedness, but I think I'm just too excited to put coherent thoughts together like that at the moment. So, despite being too excited to sit still, I'm going to just ramble for a bit :)

It is a weird phenomenon, but this whole wedding thing seems to have taken an absolute age to get here, but at the same time it seems like only yesterday that I first met Animal... The truth is somewhere between the two; it's fifteen months, almost to the day, since I first plucked up the courage to grab him under the mistletoe and plant one on him. (Poor lad didn't know what had hit him... wonder how he'll cope with the wedding night?) And it's been about ten months since he proposed... scarily whirlwind when I put it like that, but when it's right, it's right!

And now, it's all over bar the actual getting married bit. I've done my stint in the beauty salon ;), we had the big both families together meal last night, and the next time I see Animal he'll be waiting nervously at the altar, praying that I'm going to turn up... (I'll be there sweety - I'd have been there ten months ago if I could!)

So tonight I'll be relaxing with my family, spending my last single night at my folks house and then.... the craziness of hairdressers and florists and bridesmaids and Bentley drivers all descending on the place over the course of a few hours, until finally, finally.... I can be Mrs Animal.

And with that, this is Miss Sadie W saying goodbye, forever.... but Mrs Animal will be back on the blog in a couple of weeks. Until then, have fun - I certainly intend to!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

On sex and celibacy

Time, I think, for a somewhat personal reflection. There were always going to be these, and that's why I've retained a degree of anonymity here (so don't expect to see wedding photos, sorry!).

Let's not make any secret about this, I am looking forward to the wedding night. I've pulled out all the stops to make sure Animal has a memorable experience too, but.... I don't have any real expectations. Whatever happens on Saturday night, happens. If it doesn't, well so what. There's always Sunday. Why put extra pressure on yourselves? Ok, maybe the pressure would be on Animal more than me, but that's still not what I want. I love sex, and I'm looking forward to having sex with Animal like you wouldn't believe, but if at the end of it all, we just end up crawling into bed and actually sleeping together, well that's ok. Frankly it will be a relief not to have to worry about overstepping the boundaries we made for ourselves. And it will be so good to finally be naked in his arms....

Ahem, anyway.

You know, I am actually going to miss some things about the whole celibate period of my life. It's a fact on internet life that if you chat on line there's always going to be a percentage of guys - and some girls (although more guys pretending to be girls, but that's another blog post) - who just want to know how good he is in bed. Presumably because they are better endowed, or more talented, than he is, but whatever. And in a weird way, even though most of those guys usually end up getting ignored, I'm gonna kind of miss those conversations.

I'm not sure what response people expect to get to the question 'What's he like in bed?', but I can pretty much guarantee 'I have absolutely no idea' is a long way down the list. But - as of today - that is the answer, and on occasions, when the enquiring party has not just wandered off to find someone of looser morals to quiz, some good conversations are to be had. Celibacy is not the only thing that defines my faith - far from it - but in the internet chatting world, it's a place from which to start discussing it. Not only that, but sexuality on the internet is a thing that I believe needs to be discussed (this is sounding like a Filth on Friday post now!) and so it will be a bit of a shame to be losing that unique selling point.

In the meantime, I'll have to find out the answer to the new question: 'What's your husband like in bed?'

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

They must have known!

Nice of the people at Sky to show the final two episodes of Battlestar Galactica this week... saves me the trauma of waiting two whole weeks for the finale! Not that it wouldn't be worth it under the circumstances of course...

Of course, there will be the ongoing dilemma of what to do for that hour on a Tuesday evening after this week, but I'm sure something will come up (fnarr!)

Anyway, BSG is on live pause, and there's a hot guy at the door with a cute pizza, so, time to go and enjoy three of my favourite things :)

Monday, 19 March 2012

Musical Monday: Yet More Wedding Music

Last time, I promise! After all, next Monday it will all be over...

So here is the background music that will play while we sign the register and do the official stuff. It was a tricky decision, because although the music sounds wedding-friendly, I wasn't entirely sure about the words. But in the end we decided that it does in fact reflect the way that our love for each other is centred in our love for Jesus. And that's an important thing to me, because although some people may claim they could spend their lives with someone who doesn't share their faith, that doesn't sit right with me. That would mean my heart was divided, whereas both Animal and I are Christ's and His alone, and Animal has done nothing but strengthen my faith (as, apparently, I have strengthened his). I guess this song is my prayer that we both will continue to love God first and foremost, then each other, and put ourselves and our own needs after that.

Failing that, of course, having personal meaning for the bride should be good enough reason to play anything :)

And then there is the first dance song, and running a close race with the Snow Patrol track, is this:

Don't read anything into the rocket launch imagery in the video though..... ;)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Being a submissive wife

Of course I didn't phrase that title for google's benefit! Although if you did just surf on in having googled the confessions of a submissive wife, feel free to stay a while. Sir. ;)

Seriously though, I wanted to add some clarification to last week's post.

Being submissive in marriage is not about blindly obeying what your husband wants or asks of you. It is about putting his needs before your own - basically, being selfless out of love.

For instance, if Animal got a high-flying job in London Village, or felt called to be a missionary to Peru, I would listen to his case and give the idea some careful consideration. And the chances are I would go; not blindly out of mindless obedience, but out of love and respect for his needs or his calling. And because I know that he has promised to love me selflessly, I know that he wouldn't force the issue; he wouldn't even ask if he thought it would actually harm our marriage.

Or (for those of you googling kinky submissive wives) if Animal should want to try some sex act that I'm not comfortable with, I certainly wouldn't let him have his way just because the Bible says I should submit to him. As with moving to Peru, I might well think about it, but at the end of the day there are some things that I'm just not going to do. And he will accept that - which, frankly, I would expect just out of simple respect anyway, but the point is that the husband's role of sacrificially loving his wife means that he will not make unreasonable demands and expect her to simply agree out of Biblical submissiveness.

And as a final note, a reminder that the submitting goes all ways. We are all, as Christians, called to
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)

And that doesn't mean we're all walking round being doormats, doing exactly as we're told by other 'well-meaning' 'Christians'; it just means we're not selfish, we treat each other with respect, and try to consider the needs of others before our own.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Musical Monday: More Wedding Music

Because at this point in my life, I am a wedding. So I might as well bore the twelve of you with the details, right? Well, if you're intertested, the traditional bridal procession music will be The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from Handel's Solomon.

And the slightly less traditional (and much more... me) recessional music, is entitled The Throne Room, by some composer called John Williams. And it goes a little something like this:

I know, too cool, right? I'll almost be sad to have walked out before the end of that piece of music.

Almost.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

To love, honour and obey?


It seems to be the question on everybody’s lips: will you promise to obey Animal?

Well we haven’t finally agreed on the vows, but they’re going to be pretty traditional. And whether or not the word ‘obey’ is used, the gist of it will be….

Yes.

Wait, what? I hear you say. That’s right girlfriends, I’m gonna submit to my man. And I’m gonna stand up in front of these here witnesses (and God) and jolly well promise to do it too!

Have you lost your mind? I hear you say. They took the obey bit out in the 50s didn’t they? In the Episcopal Church it was 1922, according to Professor Wikipedia, but what the heck. They didn’t take it out of the Bible, and that’s what I’m basing my marriage on.

Actually, that’s not quite true. What the Bible says is:
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)

It doesn’t actually say wives should obey their husbands anywhere in the Bible. So I guess the technical answer to the question at the top of the page is ‘no’, but that wouldn’t have been controversial enough to get you this far down.

So yes, I will be submitting to my husband. I believe this is the attitude God wants me to have towards my husband and our marriage; I also believe it is part of the way men in general are made, they need to be in a position of authority and honoured by others.

That does not mean, however, that it is a one-way street. I am not promising to be a doormat. Animal will be promising to love and cherish me – the Bible goes on to say:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25)

Sure, I hope it won’t come to that, but I think giving your life up for someone is a little more extreme than letting them have their own way now and then.

Similarly though, this is what women want (are you paying attention boys?): we want to be loved with literally everything our man has to offer, right down to his life. We don’t want our man to die, obviously (PMT notwithstanding), but something in the heart of a woman wants to know her man is willing to, if called upon.

All of this, the submitting and the loving, it is one partner doing something difficult, to give the other what they need, deep down. And, of course, it goes both ways: I will (and do) love and cherish Animal, and he will also submit to me, because that's Biblical (Ephesians 5:21).

Maybe next week I'll think about how that will work practically for our marriage... or maybe I'll wait until we're married and get a more realistic view!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Musical Monday: Wedding Songs

Three weeks time, and I shall be living it up in the Alps as Mrs Animal :D.... but in the meantime, we have the tricky final touches to put to this wedding thingy. So we've spent a bunch of time this weekend picking songs with the band, given the sound guy the CDs for the bride's entrance and the happy couple's exit (one of which will be more traditional than the other!).

Only one musical dilemma remains though: the First Dance.

Neither of us is really into the kind of music that lends itself to slow dances, so we spent a pleasant evening listening to a variety of love songs on Spotify, desperately trying to find something appropriate that wasn't horribly cheesy.

You see, I love I'll Stand By You by The Pretenders, but it starts off 'Why do you look so sad?' and if either us looks sad by that point, something has gone drastically wrong. I think Make It With You by Bread is pretty cool too (if somewhat ancient), but possibly a little saucy for the some of the church crowd (yeah I know, what do they think we're gonna do when we leave, play Star Wars Monopoly?). Some smartarse suggested Lady In Red, but he got taken off the guest list as a result.

At the moment, we're looking at either slightly cheesy 80s songs or slightly predictable motown ballads. There are a couple of slightly cooler alternatives though; here's one that looks like it could be a contender:

Any more suggestions for a non-cheesy, romantic tune suitable for the first dance? Something a bit unusual would be nice - no Westlife! Feel free to drop us a comment with your suggestions :)

Friday, 2 March 2012

Filth on Friday.... sort of

I know, I've been neglecting the bloggy goodness lately. I will get back on it soon (probably), but there's been lots of weddingy goodness going on just lately (23 days, for the record :D ). If you enjoy my rants and rambles, drop me a comment or something so I know it's worth carrying on.

Anyway, here's a little something in place of a Friday porn-related rant, but which is sort of related, being about slavery. Yeah, that thing we abolished 200 years ago.

Twenty-seven million. That's a lot of people involved in something that doesn't go on any more, right? And it fits in with Filth on Friday because a lot of sex workers and porn starlets are trafficked women. Modern day slaves.

I don't care whether you like the song or not, if you have a conscience, please go and download it, from amazon or iTunes, and help raise awareness of this issue. Proceeds from the download will go to the A21 Campaign to help fight slavery.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bible Musings: Creation

Yes, I'm going for the big subjects again, but I’m going to make my position on this clear at the outset: I don’t give a fetid dingo’s kidney how or when the world was created.

However, I have on numerous occasions since meeting Jesus, been taken to task over the apparent conflict between Genesis 1 and what we now understand of geology, evolution, astrophysics and whatnot. Like being a Christian is somehow the same as having been there. Well, I’m not a theologian or an astrophysicist, so don’t put too much trust in my beliefs and opinions on the matter, but here they are for what they’re worth.

1. The Bible is true.
This is fundamental, it has to be. This is not, however, the same as saying it is literally true from start to finish. This is most true of Genesis 1, which I believe does tell the essential truth about the formation of the Earth, and God’s and man’s respective places within that, but not necessarily the literal truth about it.
It is also not the same as saying that science is untrue; it could be that God just planted all the fossils underground to trick us, but that would be a bit silly.

2. What science says.
As I understand it, the scientific order of events in the creation of the Earth goes something like this:
  1. The earth was formed out of the accretion matter from the solar nebular.
  2. Water was brought to the proto-planet by comets and asteroids, eventually forming clouds and oceans.
  3. Early life forms appear: microbes, algae, and plant-like creatures like sponges and coral. 
  4. More complex life forms evolve – starting with trilobites and other marine animals, and then the evolution of fish into amphibians and land dwelling animals. 
  5. Evolution of animal life culminating (arguably) in mankind.
Genesis would have it that the sun, moon and stars were created after the earth was sufficiently formed to support plant life, and indeed, after the creation of light itself; however it could be argued that the solar system was still chaotic, that volcanic activity and continuing meteorite impacts may have obscured the sky for some time whilst allowing sufficient daylight for life to begin.

3. What the Bible says. 
The Genesis account of creation breaks down like this:
  1. A formless, empty earth; day and night. 
  2. Water – the seas, and clouds. 
  3. Plant life. 
  4. The sun, moon and stars. 
  5. Aquatic life and winged creatures. 
  6. Animals, culminating with man.
Before Moses put pen to papyrus, it is likely that the Genesis accounts were carried orally from generation to generation. That may account for some of what we may now call poetic licence, to allow the ‘big picture’ to be remembered and retold easily. When written down, this still works as a literary device, with three days of forming followed by three parallel days of filling.
But that aside, I think Genesis 1 follows, in a much simplified way, what modern science now tells us about how the earth developed. Not bad, given that it was probably first written down in the 15th century BC.

4. What the Bible doesn’t say. 
The Bible does not say the world was created in less than a week.
The word ‘day’ as used in Genesis 1 may mean simply ‘a period of time’, and as the Bible tells us: ‘With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day’. These events could easily have taken 6,000 years, or 6 billion if you prefer.
I think the context makes it clear that rather than being literal, this is God using a creation account to encourage his people to take a day for rest and worship after six days labour.
Certainly, there is no logic for it meaning six 24-hour days, if there was no sun by which to measure the first three days. (Literalism can be its own worst enemy sometimes!)
It also doesn’t say that this happened, or finished happening, 6000 years ago. You can get to that figure by using the various genealogies found in the Bible, but given that those in Genesis are made up of ten or seven names, and it is known that genealogies were often abbreviated by omitting unimportant family members to achieve a desired length (often a multiple of 7, the number of completeness), the accuracy of such calculations is debatable.

So that's my thoughts on the origin of the universe. As I said, I find it weird that I never had an opinion on the subject as a non-believer (although its existence was no less real or relevant to me) but suddenly I’m expected to have a full and detailed knowledge of the matter.

But as I said at the outset, it doesn't really matter. There are probably as many theories on the creation as their are Christians, and that's the great thing about the Christian faith: it's bigger than these things that we can't quite agree on. The Bible is not about the creation of the world, it's about the salvation of the world, and to miss that because of geology or astrophysics - or Biblical literalism gone mad - would be to miss a gift far beyond your imagination.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Valentine's Day

With apologies to my single friends, I like Valentine’s Day. Maybe it does help having a fiancé who wants to take me out for a romantic meal, and on our first Valentines together sent me flowers at work (this year he brought them to me at home in person – arguably less romantic, definitely less embarrassing!).


But this year I came across an entirely different phenomenon: The Conversation About V-Day Sex. Now it does take a certain kind of bluntness, or the anonymity of the internet, to start that conversation, yet I did find myself having it a couple of times yesterday. And you know what? That’s fine. It is, after all, the last time I’ll be able to have The Conversation, so why not go for it.

So how come, 5 weeks before getting married, I didn’t get any on Valentine’s Day? Well, if you just googled your way in here looking for Valentine’s Day sex, it’s probably 2013 by now. But what the heck, if you still want to know why I didn’t get any last year, despite having a gorgeous fiancé, feel free to ask. I’m not shy about having that conversation.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Musical Monday: Our God

No rock chicks this week; one of Animal's favourite worship songs instead. He really gets to work out his frustrations on the drum kit during this one!


Despite it being a favourite for both of us (me mainly for seeing a lush drummer losing himself in his solo... <3) I vetoed it from the wedding playlist. No groom of mine is gonna be air drumming at the altar!

Friday, 10 February 2012

How the hell did that happen?

It's been sort of looming in the future for months now, something I've been simultaneously longing for and dreading, but then, all of a sudden, it hits me:

I'm getting married next month!!!!!!!!

 

Monday, 6 February 2012

Musical Monday: Bring Me To Life

I don't have a girlcrush on Amy Lee. Not at all. Nope. Not me.

Well alright, a little one. ;)

Friday, 3 February 2012

Filth on Friday: Inside Lara Roxx

Hot on the heels of the recent news about condom porn, here's a story about why it's a good thing.

In April 2004, a male porn star in L.A. tested positive for HIV, which lead to positive testing of three women who had performed unprotected scenes with him. Lara Roxx, a young, naïve Montreal girl, had only worked in the industry for two months but was the first woman diagnosed.


This year Lara Roxx will be the subject of a documentary, Inside Lara Roxx, following five years of ups and downs as she tried to reinvent her life post-porn. Roxx returned to L.A. and Vegas to reconnect with the industry, attempted to establish a foundation for the protection of sex workers, and fell into crack addiction followed by rehab.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Cute

I haven't been feeling myself for the last few days, so I'm not rambling on loads this week. But since no-one's reading, it hardly matters. Here's a picture.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Musical Monday: Maria

This, as far as I can recall, was the moment. Seeing this song performed live on TotP and the like made me realise: Rock Chicks are hot as!

Debbie was 50-something when it came out. I was 12, and I just loved her attitude! I think I was one of the many new fans Blondie made when they came back.

The other thing I remember about Blondie back in '99 is that, while some long established female pop stars continued to try and look half their age, Debbie managed to dress like a woman of 54 should dress, and make it look a hell of a lot sexier than Madonna (ten years Debbie's junior) in her leotards and nonsense. I think at some point she paid a surgeon to mess up her face, which is a shame, because otherwise she had dignified, age-appropriate sexiness down to a tee!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Filth on Friday - Put A Hat On

Pornographers in Los Angeles will now be required to use condoms while filming, under a new law signed by the city mayor this week.

Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation which has campaigned for a law of this kind for six years, said it was “a great day for Los Angeles, a great day for the performers and a great day for safer sex.”

More facts, to back that up:

  • 66% of porn performers have Herpes, a non-curable disease.
  • 2,396 cases of Chlamydia and 1,389 cases of Gonorrhea have been reported among performers since 2004. 
  • Chlamydia and Gonorrhea among performers is 10x greater than that of LA County 20-24 year olds.
  • Over 100 straight and gay performers have died from AIDS. 
  • 26 cases of HIV have been reported by Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM), since 2004.
  • 70% of sexually transmitted infections in the porn industry occur in females according to County of Los Angeles Public Health. 

The Pink Cross Foundation, a faith-based charity offering help and education to those in the sex industry and struggling with pornography addiction, sees this as a step towards shutting down the industry. I really hope and pray that someday that happens. Is that realistic? Depends on your point of view. Pink Cross is run by amazing women (and men) of God, and I ain't gonna be the one to say what God can or cannot do through them.

On the other hand, the consumers, the producers, and some of the performers don't like condoms, which obviously leads me to wonder: Will it work? I mean, from a practical point of view, how are they going to enforce this? And whatever else they may be, pornographers are clever. If there is a loophole, I bet they'll find it. Or failing that, just move. A more cynical blogger may wonder whether the mayor would really want that...

Worst case, of course, the whole porn industry goes right underground, and what 'controls' there currently are disappear entirely.

I guess I have mixed feelings about the end result of this, but if nothing else the passing of this law has raised public awareness of goings on in an industry that many of us would, I imagine, happily pretend doesn't exist.

Sources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16712744
http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/01/25/mayor-villaraigosa-signs-porn-condom-ordinance-into-law/
http://www.shelleylubben.com/porn-industry-statistics

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Fotoshop by Adobé

This commercial isn't real, and neither are society's standards of beauty.


It's funny (sort of) because it's true... Pro-pixel intensifying fauxtanical hydro-jargon microbead extract ftw!

Nicked from jesserosten.com.
Full post and behind the scenes vid here.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Bible Musings: the Son of God

Oh dear, should I be doing this? Another Bible study, another awkward question I've been asked a few times: Why do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?

I'm not sure I can put the whole answer to that in one reasonably sized post, but let's make a start anyway; and let's start with the negatives.

Jesus is not the Son of God because of the virgin birth. The Son of God was not conceived at a specific moment within the body of a virgin. Neither did God have sex with Mary in any way we would understand it (look up the definition of 'virgin' sometime). Jesus, the human, was conceived supernaturally to be the vessel for the pre-existing Son of God.Jesus was the son of God before the virgin birth - in fact, before anything:
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. (John 17:5)


Jesus is not the Son of God because of anything he did or said. He did and said those things because he is the Son of God. And no, he didn't run around Galilee going 'Look at me! I'm the Son of God!' - if he had done something that stupid he would have gotten himself killed.
For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:18)


So if he didn't say it, why believe it? Well, when my car breaks down (and it does) and I call the RAC, and within an hour a big orange van with the RAC logo all over it pulls up behind me, and a man in RAC overalls gets out, calls me by name, fixes my car, and gets me to sign that bit of RAC headed paperwork that they always give you a copy of but you never know what to do with, I don't need him to say 'I'm the RAC bloke'. A person's actions demonstrate who they are.

What do you mean Jesus didn't have an orange van and a uniform? OK, if you want more, here is why I believe Jesus is the Son of God:
But the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; his kingdom will never end.
How will this be, Mary asked the angel, since I am a virgin?
The angel answered, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:30-35)

When all the people were being baptised, Jesus was baptised too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased. (Luke 3:21-22)

A voice came from the cloud, saying, This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him. (Luke 9:35)

The angel Gabriel said he was, and God himself said he was. Twice. Well that's good enough for me anyway.

There are plenty of verses I could point to where Jesus basically does say he is the Son of God without using those words, but it seems rather superfluous to start adding those into the mix.

So, why do I believe Jesus is the Son of God?
Because he said so.
Because the angel Gabriel said so.
Because God said so.
Because he is the way that God relates to us, and we relate to God.
Because somebody needed to take the rap for all the bad stuff I've done.

Because God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Musical Monday: Captivated

Animal is a church music geek. Me, I just know what I like - and what I love. And one church songwriter I love is Vicky Beeching. I expect regular visitors (do I have any yet?) will hear more from her on Mondays, but for now sit back, relax, and enjoy this...

Friday, 20 January 2012

Filth on Friday - some facts about internet porn

Well that might drag some visitors in from Google anyway :)

As it seems to have been Sex Week (or No-Sex Week) on this blog, Inow seems a good time to start my new weekly column about pornography. Now, you may have the impression from this blog that I'm an average, clean living Christian girl. You may have the impression that I'm some kind of ultra-feminist. Either way, you may be surprised to know that I've seen porn. It's a sad fact that most people these days have - with over 4 million pornographic websites out there, it's almost hard not to.

However, I am not talking about a hijacked site or an ill-advised click from some spam or dodgy link. I have been among the 68 million daily search engine requests for porn. I thought it was harmless fun. I thought it would spice up our sex life. And, for a while, it did. But I'm not here to talk about my past sex life; I'm merely making the point that my opinions on porn are not based on religion or feminism, but from having watched and enjoyed it myself.

But all that - and why I stopped enjoying it - is for another week; first, let's take a look at those facts about internet porn.

The Stats on Internet Pornography
[Source: OnlineMBA.com]

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Sex, marriage, purity and being a BarlowGirl

This is a question I ask myself more than other people ask me: why would a reasonably attractive, healthy woman in her 20s suddenly give up sex? It certainly wasn't because I didn't like it!

Neither is it because I believe sex is in some way evil, or sinful in itself. On the contrary, I believe God made sex to be fun, something for us to enjoy.

So, I ask myself, why not enjoy it? Why torture yourself with this born-again virgin stuff?
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (Gen 2:24)

'One flesh' is a symbol of the inseparable union God intended for husband and wife, and in the act of sex, it finds its physical expression. I believe God intended sex to be fun for one man, and one woman, within the confines of an inseparable union - marriage.

The same is clearly reiterated throughout the New Testament:
But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. (1Cor 7:2)

Precisely because sex is so much fun, us weak humans are often tempted to abuse it. Marriage is held repeatedly to God's ideal for sex, and the way to avoid that temptation.

But why marriage? You're as committed to Animal now as you will be in 66 days time, why wait for a bit of paper?

Well yes, I am as committed to him now as I ever will be, but I am not his wife. For us, marriage isn't about a bit of paper and a ring, it's about having a big party committing our relationship to God, and receiving his blessing. It's God that will seal the marriage, not a registrar.

But let's not forget that although sex is fun, it makes babies. It seems obvious to me that well-balanced children need the influence of a mother and a father. (I'm not judging single parents here; they're doing a tough job under imperfect circumstances, and the ones I know deserve nothing but respect for how well they do so.) God intended from the outset for us to go forth and multiply, and for children to be brought up within that family setting.

And let's not forget the other potential side-effects of extra-marital sex - after all, a baby is the nicest thing you can catch from having sex.

But what if he's rubbish at it? I'm trusting that we'll be compatible. He's my soulmate, a gift from God in every other way, so why would a loving God (who invented sex to be fun, remember!) leave me wanting in the bedroom? What I am certainly not going to do is take a test drive. We'll learn as we go along.

And what of purity? This may seem weird, but Animal's virginity means a whole lot to me - I wish I had treated my own with as much respect. I think this celibacy thing would be a whole lot harder if we both knew what we were missing, but more importantly, he's willing to share with me something he's never shared with anyone else. How can that not be special?

Final thoughts:
  • It breaks my heart that the one thing I treasure most in my fiancé is the one thing I can never give him back.
  • Although being a born-again virgin is not easy, it is possible with God's strength. And I have no doubt that it well be worth it in the end.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Musical Monday: Barlow Girls

OK, so BarlowGirl is a Christian pop-rock girl band, best known (by me, but I'm almost totally ignorant on such matters) for my favourite version of O Holy Night.

But it seems that before they were famous, another Christian pop-rock girl band met these sisters - Barlow's their last name, ordinary girls they don't live in the fast lane, they don't rate with the guys that score 'cause they don't flaunt what the boys want more - and wrote a song in tribute to them and their stand on purity (that 'God has one perfect man already chosen for us; therefore we have no need to worry ourselves in searching for him. When the time is right, we know God will bring us together').

You may want to ignore the slightly icky and ill-advised line about their Moms, but I gotta say I love the sentiment of this song:
No girl should feel she has to trade
Her body for love or be an old maid


And yes, there are guys who are willing to wait - just ask this BarlowGirl on her wedding day ;)

My only question to the world is this:
Why the hell did nobody play me this song in 2001?