Friday, November 25, 2011

Death Threat*

The older twin vowed to kill his brother, a rotten cheat and a liar. The swindling brother ran. He stayed away in faraway land for many years.


There, he himself became the victim of another rotten cheating liar. The swindled swindler wrestled with God and learned to trust him. He changed his ways. He returned home, though he feared for his life.

As soon as the older brother saw him, he rushed him with all his might. He grabbed him by the neck, and hugged him, and kissed him and cried.


When the way we live pleases God, he turns our enemies into friends. Proverbs 16:7


*This little story is based on Genesis 29-33

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Prayer from Psalm 15

Lord, I want to be received into your tent, and I want to dwell on your holy mountain.

Help me to walk with integrity and obey your laws. Help me to do what is right and always speak the truth. Guard my tongue, so that I do not say evil things about people behind their backs, spread gossip, or harm others with my words.

Make me to admire godly people and to sincerely lose all respect and admiration for those who walk the path of evil.

Let me be a man of my word, even when it means I will be poorer for it. Help me to be generous and anxious to help others for no personal profit. Keep me from selling out, taking bribes, or letting money influence me.

Hold me to these good things, Lord, and I will never be shaken.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Endsley – Chapter 1 – part 1

0The world is not so old as people think. A lot can be forgotten in a short amount of time. Who remembers the twelve kingdoms of Endsley, the Great Betrayal, or even one of those mighty cathedrals that crumbled to dust? In fact, no one would have ever remembered...
But a box was found, and we have all been taught a new, old chapter of our history...

. . .
“You turned it down?” Davenport shouted in disbelief. He opened the door wide and propped a rock against it. The old monk's study needed a good airing out. It often smelled of dust and strong oil. The old man had a habit of reading late at night.
“Of course I did, lad. Have you not learned anything?” Brother Dellan was a small man. He was far from handsome, but had a tender smile that made people comfortable. Though he still had a full head of hair, his body had grown soft over the years. His limp was barely noticeable. “Just as I told you. There is nothing to be gained and nothing that can be changed.”

“But this would be your chance to influence so many people; to teach the whole kingdom what you've taught here. What greater position is there?”
Brother Dellan took the heavy bag from the his apprentice, opened it and carefully laid out each of the books on the desk. He folded the bag and put it away. He then filled a copper cup with water and placed it beside the work area. “I have taken the greater position,” he replied, bowing. The young man sat down. “Now, Devan, your assignment.”
The student pulled some papers from the stack and handed them to his mentor. “I've translated this one from Hebrew to Latin and to English.”
“Very well, I will correct it later. Now, use your voice.”
Davenport picked up his parchments and began to search for the text to translate.
“No!” Brother Dellan interrupted. “If you have to read it you don't know it. If you don't know it you can not teach it. Tell it from your heart.”
Cum autem esset Iosue in agro urbis Hiericho,” he began.
The old man sighed. “No one understands Latin anymore. Do not be so formal about it, Just tell it to me plain.”
“Joshua was near Jericho. He looked up and saw a man standing there in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. So he approached him and asked 'Sir, are you on our side or are you with our adversaries.'
'I am neither for you nor for them,' the man replied. 'I am the commander of the armies of God, and I have come.'
Joshua fell to his face in reverence and said 'I am at your command, my Lord. What word do you have for me?'”
“Excellent!” Brother Dellan clapped his hands in amusement. “You will do fine.”
For as long as Davenport could remember Brother Dellan had lived in the wayside chapel, spending most of his time with the Testaments. He opened the chapel for a special service on the Lord’s day and any other time people could gather. Occasionally someone down on his luck would come by looking for help. The Brother would receive him for three days and then introduce him to a local landowner looking for hired help.
Brother Dellan was well respected throughout the countryside, but even more so at the High Cathedral. It was well known that the council had a unanimous vote waiting for him when the time to elect a new High Priest of Endsley. Even the king himself wanted Brother Dellan in this position. This is why it was such a surprise to Davenport when Brother Dellan declined the offer.
It was a surprise to everyone.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Little Boy – part two

Read “The Little Boy – part one”
Part Two

Three days later, the stranger returned. The children gathered again, hands out. People watched in the distance. The stranger shook his head.

“No!” He shouted. This will not become habit. He pulled out his pouch, removed ten small copper coins, and closed it again. “Ten. No more!”

Hands out, grabbing and pressing. Ten right hands. Ten hands that found coins. Children shouted, begged, pulled.

“Go!” he stomped one foot. They ran.

The stranger wasted little time. He had come for water. He sat at the well. There was no maiden today, only the miserable heat. He lowered the bucket, drew the water, and filled his skins. He drank, then emptied the rest over his head. A refreshment.

The stranger closed his eyes and felt the wind on his wet face. “Thank you,” he said. “You do great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count. You give rain to the earth and send water to the fields.”

Opening his eyes once more, the stranger saw the little boy. He looked to the boy’s hand. His was not one of the ten. He had received nothing.

The boy was near one of the taverns eating a piece of old bread. He looked into the doorway, suddenly. His head shook as though he were answering a question. Immediately, he jumped up and ran off, just as a bottle came crashing to the ground where he was sitting.

The stranger noticed, but did nothing. “Miserable useless men,” he thought. “At least the boy will learn not to return there.”

Seventy-eight steps. Out of the gates. Gone.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Little Boy - part one

When the stranger entered the village, dozens of children came running. Each one was holding out his hand and asking for a coin. The stranger felt compassion in his heart and removed his pouch. One coin for each right hand. This was the way he would not pay a clever child twice.

“That’s all.” He shouted with a deep timbre that dispersed the crowd instantly.

The pack of children disappeared as quickly as it had formed. One young boy in a tattered shirt and a with hole in his shorts, stopped in mid flight. He turned back and took three small steps towards the stranger. He smiled.

“Thank you, sir.” Then he was gone.

The stranger walked into the village and observed what he could.   No fine garments. A humble town. People working, so there was work to be had. A few bars and taverns, with customers… wasteful men, drinking in the mid-day.

The market, was a hot street, where merchants selling everything. He wanted nothing, except to be refreshed. He sat at the well and a young woman drew some water. She said nothing, as she set the bucket on the bench.

“Drink, sir.” She broke the silence. “You are thirsty, and you are kind. Let me repay kindness to you.”
“Kind?” the stranger replied.

“The angels are not the only ones that observe what you do.”  She smile, but looked down and away. “People watch. People talk. Everyone sees. Nothing is hidden.” She looked up briefly “Drink, sir, and fill your skin.”

The stranger drank. “Thank you.” He took water for the journey, then turned to go. He did not look back. She was right. Everyone sees. He saw too. She was beautiful.

Out of the city gates. Gone.

He would return.

Vanity of Vanities

“What is the way to happiness?” He pondered on this each day.
In all his wisdom, all his knowledge he could not find the way.

“How can one be happy?” He just couldn’t understand.
“I’ve got more gold, more silver, than any in the land.”

“I will make myself happy! My patience is wearing thin.
I shall indulge in many pleasures, even those of sin.”

He had a thousand lovers. More than any man that’s true,
but still he was unhappy, and his hatred for life grew.

Devastated, spirit torn, in anguish and defeat,
the master cried “O Lord, dear God, my life’s just not complete!”

… Still trying to remember an old poem I wrote in 7th grade. This is about half of it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chairs, Sadly, Darkness

Chairs filled the auditorium. There was no light except for the spotlight on the stage. Sadly no great crowd had gathered to see her speak. The chairs were mostly empty and there was an eerie echo bouncing off the back wall.

Her voice shook as she tried to remember all it was that she was supposed to say. She hated reading her speeches because of the way her voice when into a higher pitch like that of a cartoon character. It was not her own and it was not serious.

Maybe it was a good thing that the crowd had not showed up. Less people to see the debacle this would be. Now, where were those words.

“Parents, Teachers, and students. It is my pleasure to introduce you to this year’s revolutionary mega theme. Paperless books. E-textbooks for every student.”

A smattering of applause. About 30 claps. Mostly from 2 people. She gulped as she tried to remember the benefits of her proposal.

So, that was my 5 minute writing exercise. The title is the three words I was given to work with. I didn’t watch the clock, so that may have been only 3 minutes. The idea was that you can create a story quickly if you just start writing and write fast. 

It started off okay, but not sure where it was going. I may try one of these again another day. I guess I never used the word “darkness” either. I did say “no light.” Does that count?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Abram’s Journey

One of Noah's descendants through his son Shem was named Terah. The Bible tells us that he lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. During this time, it was common for men to marry wives from within their own tribes, often step-sisters or step-cousins. 

This is the account of Terah and his descendents:

Terah himself fathered three sons. Their names were Abram, Nahor and Haran. His son Haran also had a son named Lot. They were all living in Ur of the Chaldeans. That was their home. Haran died there while Terah was still alive.

Abram's wife was called Sarai. She was unable to have children. Nahor's wife was called Milcah. She was one of Haran’s daughters, along with Iscah.

Terah took Abram and his wife Sarai, along with his own grandson Lot, who was Haran’s son, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. When they came as far as Haran, they settled there, not continuing on to Canaan. Terah lived to be 205 years old and died there in Haran.
The LORD spoke to Abram and said, "Leave this land where you are living, leave your relatives, and your father's home. Go to the land that I will show you. There, I will make you a great nation, I will bless you. I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you, I will curse. Through you every family on earth will be blessed."

So Abram left, just as the LORD had told him to do. Lot went with him. This happened when Abram was 75 years old.  That is when he left Haran. Abram set out for Canaan. He took his wife Sarai with him, along with his nephew Lot, and all the possessions they had accumulated and the servants they had acquired in Haran.
When arrived in Canaan, Abram traveled through the land to the oak tree belonging to Moreh at Shechem.  The Canaanites lived there in the land at that time.

Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "I will give this land to your descendants." So Abram built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him. -Genesis 11:27 - 12:7 

A Loneliness Poem

Like man in the desert, miles from the sea,
thirsty and dreaming of ice cold tea.
Broken and weary he drops to one knee.
He rubs his eyes to wipe the sand free.

Through teary-eyed focus, he looks up to see
a desert oasis and wild palm tree.
Enraptured with joy, he jumps up with glee.
He runs to the fountain. At last, he is free!

Alas. He discovers, it was never to be.
(insert a name here), you are a mirage to me.

"A mirage is something that you see that is not there, or something that is not there that you do not see." --Oliver Hardy

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