"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Winning Gracefully and Never Ceese

      Today's Our Daily Bread dealt with nobility in war. Joshua Chamberlain exemplified grace in victory by honoring the defeated, Confederate forces with respect and kindness.
      Can we as Christ's adopted brethren do less when dealing with Satan's defeated minions? Some believers in Christ are talented in debate. They can stand up to ridicule, thinking on their feet, making powerful arguments in defense of their faith. They can, and most often do, embarrass the opposition with their brilliantly stated logic and subtile, cutting remarks.
      In exercising their superior wit, do they demonstrate the grace of the Savior they verbally defend? Of course not. In fact, their words deny the very grace that saved them. They are hypocrites of the worst kind.
      This week's CFBA post is Never Ceese by Sue Dent.
      Never Ceese takes religious fantasy to a new level, bringing an entirely new Light to a very dark side of fiction, doing a very admirable job to prove that vampire/werewolf fantasy does not have to be evil to be enjoyed.
      The story starts with the classic tale of an English manor owned by Richard, the vampire who righteously is the bain of his neighbor's existence, what with the missing goats and all!
      Then enters Cecelia, better known as Ceese, the young werewolf maiden who's arrived via invitation by Richard's aging companion, Penelope.
      Ceese and Richard would prefer to tear each other apart, literally, but they are drawn together by their mutual love for Penelope. She is dying and has one request...that the two of them love one another.
      This is the overall theme throughout Dent's interesting tale of two who were wronged but learn to work together. Meanwhile they are threatened by an evil stem cell researcher who wants the immortality and power that he thinks their blood will bring him!
      Dent's characters do differ from the stock one's we're all accustomed to in a very important way. They are not mindless, brutal killers. Bloodthirsty, yes, but they are constantly resisting the urge to kill, and, thus, curse another human. Feeding on rodents, goats, virtually any warm-blooded animal helps to satiate the never ending thirst for blood, but how long will they be able to resist that most delicious morsel man?
      There is a chance that their curses can actually be lifted if they can find the strength within to resist their selfish natures and act selflessly toward another. Will they succeed? That same basic choice lies before us all every day...
      A vampire and a werewolf, one determined to, once again, be able to acknowledge what will get her to heaven, the other no so sure he can. A spiritual fantasy designed to spark the imagination, to speak to the heart as well as entertain.

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