The photo below was taken on our cruise to the Caribbeans. Decided to do a little cartooning of Corinne and myself.
The thing hid behind trees and watched as fresh meat disembarked the yacht. It had been weeks since the last shipment, so the creature could barely contain the blood lust raging within its decomposing body. The thing growled and pulled against the chains holding him in place. Its brain could no longer reason. It only understood his ravenous need for human flesh. The drive was constant, even after it had feasted, it still hungered. It was never fully satisfied. It lunged its body again and reached a skeletal hand toward leaves, wafting in the warm tropical breeze. Only a lone finger-bone escaped the cover of foliage. If the “fresh meat” had looked in the direction, at that precise moment, they would have seen the bony finger with its sagging, putrid skin. Perhaps it would have been their salvation, but perhaps not… as the trees were quite some distance from the yacht.
Four teenagers laughed as they balanced the plank resting upon a weathered pier. It wasn’t as stable as Kimmie would have liked, so she held tightly to Ted’s hand. Ted, sensing her fright, gallantly turned his body to welcome his girlfriend safely into his arms. Kimmie, much smaller than Ted’s athletic frame, felt engulfed within his embrace and she liked the feeling.
Carol, quite the opposite of Kimmie, jumped from the rickety plank and practically landed on Kimmie and Ted. All three fell together to land in a heap upon the graying boards; luckily, each one had managed to avoid a plethora of jagged splinters. The wood was old and so the pier quaked from their sudden weight.
A raucous laughter emanated from the heap, while Mark stood alone on the plank, holding all four backpacks. Mark, feeling excluded, couldn’t help but wish, Carol, to be more like Kimmie. What he would give to have her fall into his arms…
Like that would ever happen… thought Mark angrily.
Carol, boisterously called to him, “Hey pretty boy…get down here, already!”
Mark, shrugged off his anger, slowly smiled, and headed toward the laughing heap. Offering Carol his hand he winked and said, “Yes, I am a pretty boy…and don’t you forget it!”
…to be continued…
[The preceding has been my participation in the Sketch-a-Day event and also the Weekly Horror Tales challenge, of which I host. If you’re a fan of horror, please join me in this frightful challenge. Believe me, it would totally make my day!] [PS- The present horror prompt is as follows: Write a story about a group of party-goers that sets sail on a yacht for what they believe to be a pleasure cruise. Except the captain was paid to scuttle the ship off an island populated by cannibalistic natives.]
5 I can lie down to rest and know that I will wake up,
because the Lord covers and protects me.
6 So I will not be afraid of my enemies,
even if thousands of them surround me.
7 Lord, get up!
My God, come rescue me!
If you hit my enemies on the cheek,
you will break all their teeth.
8 Lord, the victory is yours!
You are so good to your people. Selah
I’m guilty. When things fall to pieces I try to fix them without considering God. Finally, when it all goes to hell, I go to God and ask for His help. As a Christian, why do I do this?
I was guilty of this…again…last night. I stayed up into the wee hours of night constructing “what-if” scenarios inside my head. The more I tried to solve the problem the more I experienced doubt, fear, and depression. It felt like I was drowning and desperately reaching for anything to keep me afloat. Finally, sleep came, but my dreams were riddled with the same doubt and the very same fear. In the morning, nothing had changed. I got up, fixed my coffee and worried some more.
Since, in this blog, I’ve been “walking through the book of Psalms,” I sat down, coffee cup in hand and opened my Bible to next verses upon the journey. In these verses, I find David also caught within desperate conditions facing an uncertain future. Immediately I felt kinship. David, however, handled his problem much different than I had. David, unlike me, found rest in trusting God. The King James Version of this story puts it like this, “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.” And so in the midst of his trouble, David slept well and awoke the next morning refreshed.
As a Christian, I wonder why this basic truth so easily escapes me? I’m saddened by my weakness, but God is never angry with me. He knows I am but human, formed from the dust of the ground. He gently brings me to his Word and assures my heart by saying, “…just as I was with David…I will also be with you. Trust me…your salvation belongs to me.”
What will be the end result? I don’t know. Where will this problem lead? Again, I don’t know… BUT, there are two things I do know…one-I know God loves me and two-I know He will be my help. Time and time again He beckons me, “Cast your every care upon me because I care for you…I love you” (I Peter 5:7)
When I do…He gives me the very same peace He gave to David thousands of years ago.
Lord, I’m afraid, but I give you my fear. I rest in knowing you are in control. I’m sorry, that in my weakness, I lose sight of this truth. Thank you for your gentle reminders. I know you love me and I know you love my family and I know our salvation belongs to you. Thank you for your presence forever within my soul. Amen.
Many are they who say of me,
“There is no help for him in God.”
I actually have christian friends who believe my prayers dead and they never rise above the rooftop of my house. Their reasoning for this…since I’m gay, God does not hear my prayers. The term “gay christian” is, for them, an oxymoron. When I offer to pray for these individuals, I’m usually met with silence.
I know what they’re thinking because I use to be just like them. Because of a fundamental christian background, I believed God would not hear the prayers of those outside of the “true” faith. Of course, the fundamental christian faith was the only true faith.
For example, my grandmother was a devout Jehovah’s Witness; therefore, we as “true Christians” believed God wouldn’t hear or answer her prayers. I loved her, but I believed according to “God’s Word” her prayers where useless and I took no comfort, whatsoever, in the promise of her prayers. Today, this makes me extremely sad. I totally missed out and was robbed of a wonderful blessing, simply because of my judgmental views of the Bible. Thank God, I now believe, God heard her prayers and I’m confident that even now those prayers surround me each day I live. One day, when I see her again, I will thank her for her prayers.
David, the author of Psalms 3, had the very same problem. In verse 2 He writes, Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” David knew there were many who believed him out of God’s will. Of those, the ones that hurt him the most, was his son, Absalom, and his friend, Hushai. Absalom desired to overthrow his father and declare himself King of Israel. (See II Samuel 16:20-19:8) David fled into the wilderness to hide, and out of his wilderness experience came the words of Psalms 3.
Always a tenderhearted man David cried many tears. Betrayal hurts and even more so when they are friends and family. What did David do? In verse 4 David writes, “I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me…”
That’s exactly what God wants us to do too. He will hear us just as he heard David. Only two people can truly know your heart…you and God, so never let anyone judge you and your relationship with Him. If you have peace with God, who are they to judge!
My Prayer: Lord, thank you for knowing my heart. Thank you for the peace you’ve put inside. Help me not to judge others but rather trust you to work in their hearts just as you have mine. Amen.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break, them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.
Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
Do you ever wonder what our conversations will be like in heaven? I mean, what will we talk about? Will we spend eternity only talking of religious matters?
As a kid, I use to think heaven would be boring. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely wanted to go there, because the other place (A-hem)scared the hell out of me, but I had this silly little picture in my head of floating on clouds and playing harps. While, that would be fun for a while, especially if I could play the guitar, after a few thousand years I’m sure I’d be snoring.
Now, as an adult, I know there will be limitless topics to dissect and discuss, once we get to heaven. For instance, I would be completely happy to spend the first ten thousand years learning of science and the universe…the planets…the stars…black holes…life on “other” planets….and on and on…
I’m a huge fan of space! I’m also a huge fan of science, and so when I get to heaven, after I’ve hugged Jesus and spent a couple thousand years with friends and family, I want to learn everything there is to know about space! I’ve got my fingers crossed that God will actually allow us to visit all the planets within all the universes.
Throughout the Bible, we read about many heavenly conversations. I think it would make a fascinating study, However, my present study is taking me on a walk through the book of Psalms. I’ve walked as far as Psalms chapter 2 and it’s in this chapter I hear a conversation between God the Father and his Son, Jesus. Now, of course, historically, this passage is in reference to King David and his rule over the children of Israel; but prophetically, it is about a heavenly conversation-waiting to occur between God and his Son. It will play out something like this:
God the Father is in heaven sitting upon his throne, and Jesus, the son, is seated by his side.
Looking down from heaven they survey a scene taking place within a valley called Armageddon. Psalms 2:1 states that all the evil kings have gathered their armies with the intent to wage a war against God. In essence, the scene portrays the last battle between good and evil. The evil kings are confident they will when this battle because the devil and the beast (Antichrist)(the devil’s “son”) are fighting for them. The devil’s army is in an uproar, and they rage, perhaps, like a roaring lion, pacing back and forth, taunting God to send them his son, Jesus.
Observing the rant, God, the Father, says to Jesus,
“Ask of Me, and I will assuredly give [You] the nations as Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth as Your Possession…You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them [in pieces] like earthenware (pottery).”
How does Jesus answer his Father?
Well, we don’t know because, as recorded here in Psalms, the conversation ends, without Jesus giving his answer. Lucky for us, this same scene can be found the book of Revelations.
In Revelations 16:16 the story continues as, John, the writer, takes up where Psalms left off:
The Father and the Son are right where we left them in Psalms. God is on his throne and Jesus, seated beside, has just heard his Father’s proposition. [Psalms 2:8-9]
John writes from Revelation,
“…the evil spirits gathered the rulers together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”
Then I [John] saw heaven open…
“There before me was a white horse. The rider on the horse was called Faithful and True [Jesus] He was dressed in a robe dipped in blood and was called the Word of God [Jesus]. A sharp sword came out of the rider’s mouth, a sword that he would use to defeat the nations. And he will rule the nations with a rod of iron.”
And so, according to John, Jesus accepts his Father’s proposition by descending from heaven on a white horse to face and to fight the devil and evil. John continues the story:
“Then I [John] saw the beast and the rulers of the earth. Their armies were gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse (Jesus)… Their armies were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse. All the birds ate these bodies until they were full.“
In the end, the war is won by Jesus and all the fowls of the air are invited to feast upon the dead bodies. Quite a bloody picture, John paints! Will the last battle between good and evil play out as such? Well, you have to remember that visions and dreams are full of imagery, but God, always…always…has an important truth he wants us learn.
So what can we take from this vision, God has allowed us to witness? Several things:
I believe the message of King David and John, the Revelator. I believe God will do what he promises. However, in-the-mean-time, we live in a world where evil, often, trumps good.
When I see, hear and even experience the hurts of such injustice I have to cling to the words of the Psalmist to keep my sanity. For sanity’s sake, I have to believe the words of John that Jesus will bring peace.
Until that day, we are all called to follow the example of Christ. We are all called to walk in the very footsteps of Jesus…to do everything we can to make a difference in this world. We are called to remember that we can do all things through Christ. There are many in this world who have no voice…we are called to speak for them.
Even if it be but one…at least that one will be better from having known us.
My prayer: Lord, the armies of hate have gathered and they seek to bring hurt to us and to so many others. Our hearts are broken and sometimes we fall to our knees in the despair. Please fill us with the very spirit of Jesus so we can stand and so we can be Jesus to all that are hurting. Thank you that one day you will bring everlasting peace. Lord, hasten that day. Amen.
This rendering is my participation in the challenge called Sketch-A-Day. Also, it is to promote my new blog challenge: Weekly Horror Tales This challenge invites the writer (hopefully you) to weave a spine tingling tale with a prompt that is posted every Sunday.
The rules to this challenge are near to none, as I don’t want to hinder your creative inspirations. So make it as long or as short as you like and post it by Sunday at midnight.
My first story in this series is called The Book. It’s a creepy tale about a lonely librarian, who’s looking for love in all the wrong places. To read it click on the category entitled Weekly Horror Tales, or just scroll down a little.
Please come and join me on this “horrific” challenge.
My sketching, today, comes from Tales From Watership Down by Richard Adams. I’ve just started reading this delightful book. It consists of 19 folk tales about the mishaps and adventures of a herd of rabbits. The first story, tells the tale of how the rabbit came by their strong sense of smell.
I want to read one book a month and “Tales from Watership Down” is the first. Below is a photo of the books I’ve committed to read for the next twelve months. If you’d like to participate in this book club challenge click on Recycled Book Challenge. It promises to be quite fun! Also, for all you horror lovers out there, I’ve started a new challenge called Weekly Horror Tales. I hope you’ll check it out and join me around a diverse campfire of horror tales. If you’d like to read my first horror tale in this series please click: The Book