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A few devotional thoughts from a student of Jesus.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Flight of the Conchords - Feel Inside (And Stuff Like That) [NEW]

Believe it or not... all the lyrics come directly from conversations with children. Check out the full length video with kids interviews... TOTALLY brilliant!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Lost Race - V.Rough Draft Chapter 1 - By Grace Schienbein

     Six months ago I would have told you it is true, that in this modern age, there is no land on earth that is undiscovered. Satellite mapping has revealed to us even the smallest islands in the vast oceans.

    However, there is much land that has yet to be explored, and that is my work; I am an exploration scientist and anthropologist-- A modern day explorer. I studied at Harvard and went on to teach exploration science in Oxford.
    Six months ago I taught that, in regards to humanity, there are no more surprises. There is nothing left to discover. Based on location, and topography, the anthropologist can accurately hypothesise on the nature, language group and culture of newly discovered tribes on any continent.

   But that was half a year ago. A lot can change in half a year.

   It was a Thursday, which for me meant a light class load. And like many Thursday afternoons I was playing with google earth. That particular Thursday I was "exploring" islands in the Pacific when I noticed an anomaly. There was an area of water that looked distinctly different from the water surrounding it. I could tell by the scale that it must be a stretch of at least 200 miles, east to west, and almost perfectly square; Unlike the water surrounding it it had no white caps, in fact, seemingly no waves at all.   At first I thought that perhaps the page didn't load properly, and so I refreshed it. In fact I did that several times and each time the same patch appeared.  Then I thought that perhaps Google had a faulty image and had created a patch, Although, why they would patch with a piece that so clearly didn't match made no sense. Unable to leave it alone, I went to my colleagues office and found the location on his program. (One he had developed while working for NASA) There was the same square in the waters of the Pacific with no waves. Curious, I emailed the photo to a friend, who in turn sent it on to a friend and so on. No one could adequately explain to me what could be the cause.

   I had a large amount of vacation days and a fat bonus from my book, "The Known World", and my itchy feet got the better of me. Even if it's nothing, I told myself, a few days soaking up the sun in the South Pacific would be good for me. And so I embarked.

    I had thought the trip to this "glitch" on the map was an adventure. Nothing seemed to go right, from cancelled flights and emergency landing, to a fire in my hotel... but that was nothing compared to what awaited me when my boat nearly reached the spot. It wasn't still waters, or an oceanic fresh water lake that greeted us,  but land. Land with what appeared to be a glistening city.  How it could be missed by the satellites confused me. The buildings, built right up to the Sandy shores glimmered in the midday sun.

    My mouth dropped open and my heart pounded. I turned to my guide and Captain, practically jumping up and down with excitement, and saw that she too was dumbfounded. She stared, unblinking, and let our boat run aground.

    It is hard to describe what I saw, because it is so unlike anything I have seen or experienced before. I would like to say that it was like all the buildings were made of stained glass, because they had colour and form and even substance, but were also transparent. And yet, on later inspection we found that the substance was neither hard nor soft. The buildings had no doors or windows because you could move through them freely at any point. I would perhaps say that they were like force fields out of science fiction. They did provide relief from the sun. And the air, although it could move through the substance, was slowed to the gentlest of breezes.

     We could immediately see the land was populated, although, at first glance it seemed as though it was inhabited by shadows. A shiver ran up and down my spine. The shiver gave way to relief when a man approached. Yes, a man, not a ghost or a shadow as I first (irrationally) supposed, but a living, breathing, human being. To be honest, I was not altogether certain he was human at the beginning. I was never one to believe in aliens, but I had never met a human being with purple skin and red hair. I say purple and red, but neither of these colours are accurate descriptors. His skin was dark, very dark, and leathery; like many that spend much of their lives in the sun. I would even venture to say that he was tan, but his skin was also almost the colour of eggplant. (Perhaps more red or mahogany than a true aubergine but it was not any shade of brown.)  And his hair, cropped short and very curly was almost a flame red.  His nose was wide, much like and African nose and yet the nostrils were narrow and made me think of the delicate features of the Scandinavians. He was tall, at least four inches taller than myself (I am six foot, four), and slight but muscled.

    His clothing was loose and light, but cut close to the body, and had an iridescent quality, much like a black pearl.

    He observed us almost as long as we observed him, and then he started to sing.  The song lasted only a few moments and when he finished he looked at us expectantly. Katherine, my guide, whispered to me that I should say something. As soon as she spoke he sang again; only this time the song had a quick nervous rhythm and seemed to be about something surprising.

   In a low calm voice, and for some reason in English, I introduced myself and Katherine. And she, awkward and uncertain or how to react or what to do, curtsied.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


The above title fills me with a strange mixture of forboding and hope. 2012.
There are so many things we have now, in 2012, that seemed to me so futuristic that they would never be seen in my lifetime. Things like flat screen 3D televisions. (How these have superceded flying cars I don't know... have you seen "The Jetsons"? We have way better televisions then they do, but we sure aren't flying everywhere in spaceships.) Video chat. I remember PeeWee Herman's video chat booth, and thinking that would be so cool. Now I do it all the time and it's almost common place.  Siri = seriously futuristic. You just talk and she understands... generally anyway. And gives helpful answers. AMAZING!
Cars that can parallel park themselves!  Awesome! But I still wished they at least hovered or something.  I just can't get past my disappointment in our lack of flying automobiles.
iPads, Blackberry Playbooks... any tablet really. These things are just getting started and they are pretty fantastic. We are enjoying some technology that even the ever inventive Sci-Fi writers didn't imagine... and many of the things they did. 
All that is incredibly cool... however, (Isn't that a horrible word sometimes... However... so ominous.) There are some ways in which are world has changed that I would not, could not, nor wanted to imagine.  I thought my highschool experience in the mid 90's was difficult enough. But there are so many new ways for kids to hurt and abuse one another. This makes me so sad. I work with youth, have for many years... in some ways you can see yourself and your friends in each new generation that comes along.  But these days there is no rest from "friends" when they go home. They don't disengage, even for an evening, from their peers. Their peers have replaced their parents, when it comes to seeking direction, sharing secrets, and planning for their futures.   I think we all are pretty saturated with anti-bullying promotions, so I won't turn this into one of those rants (although, I kind of want to)... so let's move on.
I think all of this new culture, plays perfectly into prophecy. There is a verse, that says... Sin will be rampant everywhere, the hearts of many will grow cold. (Matt 24:12) Don't you see this happening? I do. Take movies for example... the shock comedy, isn't so shocking anymore. It takes more and more to shock and so they give it to you. People, believers and non believers alike are drawn to Vegas, who advertises themselves as a city for secret sin. "What happens in vegas, stays in vegas" and "Sin City" is their brand!! People joke about it... but still embrace it.  The internet is rife with porn. I mean, I googled "Christmas" images the other days and tucked in amongst Santas and nativites, and families in sweaters, was out and out nudity.  I realized, I had gotten to the point, that I wasn't that shocked. Internet = porn, everyone knows that, right? UGH.  And that is just the blatant stuff. I haven't even started on the less obvious stuff like gossip, slander, etc... all "growth industries."
So... back to the hope. My hope is built in Jesus. The author and perfector of my faith.  He can "sensitize" me again. He can fill my life and heart up with love again. Love that can be poured out to those around me. His spirit in me can testify the truth.  And He has... after a lot of years, of just going with the flow... not exactly stagnating in my faith, but not exactly rushing forward either, He is doing a new thing.  My joy is back. My hope is increasing. I see it not just in myself either, but in many of my friends and family. There is a growing excitement for Christ to come again. And to be found faithful when he does. More and more, I see friends sharing verses on facebook and twitter. More and more, I see them asking for prayer and offering to pray. More and more I see them reaching out in love to an increasingly disconnected culture.  It's beautiful and exciting... and it's something I want to remain a part of.

On a more personal note.  I guess 2012, will also be exciting for my family, as my baby sister is due to have her first baby!! I almost can't wrap my head around it. AND My little niece Adi, keeps growing more lovely. She is such a blessing. So happy and mischeivous. I can't wait to see her again. It's hard to live so far away from my family that are having babies. I think we have been pretty baby starved for so long that now we can't get enough of them. I wish all my siblings would get married and start having babies!

AND, I'm still plugging away on the screenplays. Still blessed with an editor who has challenged me and kept with me, even when it is slow going. I wish, I could quit my day job and devote more time to writing so I could really charge through it... but I would probably miss working in the school too. 2012 - Only God know's what it will bring.    

Monday, November 14, 2011

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2011

Such a lovely one... you can't help but smile.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pure Joy

I have, with the help of my sister-in-law. Been compiling a list of "Joyisms" aka, stuff my sister says.  These are pure gold in my opinion. Little nuggets of pure brilliance. ENJOY!

"I wish I lived back in the coon ages, life was simpler then."

Joy, reading a "humorous" t-shirt. 'A diastolic walks into a bra? I don't get it."
Dave - 'it's "dyselxic"'
Joy - 'What is?'

"Someday I'm gonna buy myself a calendar, so I can stick a pin in all the places I've been."

Joy - How are you this fine day?
Ethan - huh?
Joy (to the group) I speaketh in terms that are unoriginal to him.
(she meant unfamiliar of course.)

To me, Re: the filipino man serving her coffee... "I think it's disrespectful to call them caucasians... it's gross."

J.A. - You have a booger in your nose.
Joy - Naw, I never have boogers in my nose. That's a snack.

"You know those people with only one arm? I think they're called Shriners... they're pretty lucky cause they can do that trick."

"Oh I know how sink holes happen! There are these little platelets under the ground..."

"...So I told her I don't think it's right to get married outside of wedlock."

"That woman changes clothes like she changes her hair!"

Joy - Why do I keep playing with this herpes thing on my foot?!
We all look trying to figure out what she means... it is a donut shaped "hemeroid pillow".

Joy's friend "My brother and I are so much alike, if we were born on the same day we'd be twins." ... she comes by it honestly.

"You may think I'm gross, but that's just science." - yup, she said it... still don't quite know what it means, but I don't think I have to.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why I'm not writing.

I really miss blogging... even if it IS going the way of the dinosaur. I miss reading peoples musings and not just their status updates. BUT, lately I've barely blogged a thing and I'll tell you why.  I'm writing. Writing in the hopes of getting paid for my efforts. Blogging is great, but if I can sell a screenplay it would be even better.  I've finished one. Did I mention that yet?  Finished the third draft of a Rom Com actually.
Like most things I do, I probably would have given up ages ago if it weren't for my editor. She is fantastic. I totally reccommend her if you are a screenwriter and are looking for someone to tell you the truth and be "harsh but fair."  Not only does she do a great job on the editing, but she has mentored me in a way... suggesting books and movies and screenplays that I would benefit from reading/watching/taking notes on. She also seems to email and offer encouragement at just the right times in the process.  So, if any of you out there are looking for a script editor sometime check out Lara Moon. Her site, is ukscriptdoctor and it's well worth googling her.
So,  like I said... the third draft is done and I have a little time while it is being edited, so I thought I would send out a quick hello. Someday when this one is done and while I wait with baited breath to see if I can sell and keep myself fed, clothed and sheltered while I write, I will catch up with all my missed blogging and this site will once again be loaded with brand new musings and favorite things.  Until then... I will check in once in a while and check up on you ;P
kisses, Gracie-poo.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I want to learn to play the Ukulele.

So sweet, makes me want to learn to play the ukulele... is that how you spell it?