Saturday, February 22, 2014

Avoid Using the Word 'Very'

So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys - to woo women - and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.

~Dead Poets Society, N.H. Kleinbaum

Thursday, February 13, 2014

To Be Saved By No Other Mean

I pray you all, good Christian people, to bear me witness that I die a true Christian woman, and that I do look to be saved by no other mean, but only by the mercy of God, in the blood of his only Son Jesus Christ: and I confess, that when I did know the word of God, I neglected the same, loved myself and the world; and therefore this plague and punishment is happily and worthily happened unto me for my sins; and yet I thank God, that of his goodness he hath thus given me a time and respite to repent. And now, good people, while I am alive, I pray you assist me with your prayers.

~Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen of England, in her last words before being beheaded for treason on February 12, 1554.

Yesterday marked the 460-year anniversary of the death of Lady Jane Grey.  I'm not going to write much about her-- she was a Protestant who was put on the throne through the machinations of those sympathetic to the cause of the English Reformation.  Her much older cousin Mary, eldest daughter of King Henry III and a staunch supporter of Catholicism, felt the crown rightly belonged to herself, and thus raised an army and was able to remove Jane from the throne.  Mary appeared to be sympathetic towards her teenage cousin, but when Jane's own father led a rebellion against Mary, Jane's fate was sealed, and it was off to the beheading block for her.  Mary encouraged Jane to convert to Catholicism, which may have have saved her life, but Jane remained committed to her faith until the very end, as evidenced in her last words above.

What I love about what she says is her explanation of and reliance upon the Gospel.  She "looks to be saved by no other mean... but the blood of... Jesus Christ."  She expresses that her actions on earth (loving herself and the world) merit punishment, and yet God in His goodness and mercy has rescued her.  Her words and spirit are noble and confident in God's everlasting mercy even as she looks into the face of death.  She was quite a remarkable woman.

I've been away from my blog for quite some time.  Was it really October when I last posted?  Let's hope that this post is the beginning of me writing again.

And, my sixteen-year-old self would be disappointed with my too-old-to-tell self if I failed to mention that this week also marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.  Somewhere deep inside is a girl who still loves those mop-top-sporting fellas.