Day of Reckoning: Chapter 1

(Click here to read Prologue 1 & 2)

 

Chapter 1

Captured

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Portrait of The Burlap Mask- from Grim Stitch Factory

 

Amy opened her eyes to total blackness.

She was confused.

She tried to rub them thinking she could rub away the dark but her hands were bound behind her back.  A wave of panic surged though her body.  She tried to scream but could only mew like a kitten.  Her mouth was sealed with a sticky substance she knew to be duct tape.  Her breathing came hard and ragged in and out of her nose.  The sudden loss of carbon dioxide brought her to the break of hyperventilation.

She tried to slow her breathing but cold fear tightened around her neck like the grim reaper, threatening her life.  Fearing death immenent, she made herself concentrate on each breath until it slowed

Again, she tried to move but to no avail, except for a slight sway back and forth.  To Amy’s horror she realized she was hanging upside down.  Warm liquid, she knew to be blood, ran down her legs from her shackled ankles.  The shackles that bit hard into her flesh had been tightened by a horrific man with super human strength.  The pain was almost unbearable and Amy did the only thing she could…cry.  Silent tears dripped to mix with the blood and cold earth below.

Tonight, Amy’s naked body hung helpless like a piece of meat awaiting the butcher’s saw.

***

 

He was confident she wouldn’t be able to escape.  The shackles he used were old but solid, and he had added a bit more force when clasping them to her ankles.  He smiled beneath the mask and whispered… “There’s no way the bitch can get out of them.”  He hadn’t wanted to leave her alone in the root cellar but there were things to do…items to prepare before they could spend their first night together.

It had to be perfect.

The cabin was cold and full of cobwebs but that didn’t bother him.  He busied himself making a fire in the old stone fireplace and unzipping the mummy sleeping bag that would serve as embryo for Amy’s naked body.  He placed it close to the fire…after all he wanted the womb to be warm and life-giving.  As he tidied the place of birth, his stomach growled with hunger pains, but he cursed them knowing eating would have to come much later.  He knew Amy would be hungry as well, but what did he care…after all it was her soul he was trying to save and not her body.

Her body was beautiful…he would have been an imbecile to not notice her womanly curves and toned physique.  He knew she would be fit even before he took off her clothes, after all he had spent hours watching her and her friend run every morning at 6 am.  Amy was a creature of habit and that had made his job so ridiculously easy.

When he thought of how careless she was it made him angry, but he was a teacher…so he would teach, and she would learn.  Would she learn the easy way or the hard way?  Well…that was entirely up to her, but he hoped for the latter because he was prepared for the challenge.  He glanced at the freshly polished tools lain neatly beside the sleeping bag…oh yes…he was prepared.

He had practiced and practiced a lot.  All the other girls had been unworthy but necessary.  After all he had had to learn, and learn he did.

Amy would be his masterpiece.  Of this he was certain.

***

 

Amy floated in and out of consciousness as she hung in the dank root cellar.  Exhaustion and pain, from gravities pull on againist her own body weight, made even shallow breathing near to impossible.  The vessels in her brain bulged heavy with blood, so no matter how hard she willed herself to stay awake, she eventually could do nothing but surrender to the darkness.

In those short waking moments, she tried to remember what had happened to bring her to this place of hell.  Memory came and went in flashes, and the very moment she thought she understood, darkness clouded her mind and once again she fell into unconsciousness.  At first this was frustrating, but then, in a sick sort of way, it became a game of cat and mouse.  Amy conditioned herself to capture, hold, and tuck away every memory from each awakening moment.

Conscious once again, Amy began to sort the snippets of memory she had collected…a cabin…a phone call…Rudy…barking and growling…utter fear and confusion…

Slowly, ever so slowly, the pieces fell into place and Amy was able to remember the sequence of events that had led her here…

 

(six hours ago)

Amy and Rudy finally arrived.  The snow storm had made the roads treacherous, so the two-hour trip had turned into four.  Amy, checked her phone for a signal, and was relieved to see at least one bar, so she called Sky, not wanting her to worry. 

Sky’s voice greeted her after the third ring…  

“Hello!  Unfortunate for you I’m unavailable, but if you leave your message, “yours truly” will call you back…if you’re lucky!  Beep Beep!”

Amy rolled her eyes.

“Okay…the greeting is getting a little old…why don’t you change it already…”

“Listen,” Amy continued, “I didn’t want you to worry.  The roads were hellish, but Rudy and I made it to the cabin in one piece…errr…maybe I should say two pieces.” She looked at Rudy’s hassling pink tongue and smiled.  “Anyway, we’re here, we’re safe and sound.  Try to be good while I’m away.  I know for you, that’s quite the challenge!  Call me when you get a chance.  I love you, babe…bye.” 

In spite of herself, Amy smiled, and tossed the phone into her handbag.

Rudy, eager to escape the confines of the car, licked the closed window.  Amy reached for the passenger’s door handle, “Poor baby, how dare mama keep you cooped up for so long…”

Rudy jumped into the undisturbed snow and rolled vigorously.

Smiling, happy to see her golden so excited, she gathered her handbag, suitcase, and easel and trudged through the deep snow towards the log cabin, she and Sky had built together. 

The musty air, that had been trapped inside for months, assaulted her nose, causing her to pause for a moment, but Rudy nonchalantly padded past her and went inside.  He busied himself sniffing here and there, as Amy opened windows to let in the fresh air.   A cold snowy breeze rushed in and Amy breathed it deep into her lungs. 

Looking around at the rustic walls, she felt a peace she hadn’t know for a long time.  Secretly, she thanked Sky for insisting she take this week to rest, recover, and perhaps begin a new painting.  God knows she needed recovery, after barely surviving the horrors of the previous months… Immediately her mind began to replay each horrific scenario; the letters, the calls, random gifts…the home invasion.

“Stop it Amy!”  She chastised herself and willed her mind back to the present.

Rudy, sitting on his haunches, stared at her and shifted his head sideways trying to understand what, “Stop it Amy” meant.  Amy noticed his quizzical look, laughed and ruffled the golden locks atop his head.  All at once his confusion dissipated.  He gave her hand a quick lick before padding away in search of stinky new smells. 

The cabin, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, was so isolated that cell phone reception was hit and miss, and often became the dream that never came true.  So, Amy, a lover of antiques, had purchased an old rotary phone, from a local flea market; and hung it on the wall, beside the entrance that opened into a small but modern kitchen. 

The entire cabin was small; other than the kitchen, it contained one bedroom large enough for a king sized bed and dresser, a bathroom with shower and double sink, a cozy den with a plush sofa and huge stone fireplace with cedar mantle that covered an entire wall, and a front deck complete with hot-tub and many pots that would filled with ferns and flowers come Spring.  It was a perfect weekend get-a-way for her and Sky.  With only a two-hour drive, the cabin became the magic elixir needed to de-stress from the cities rat-race that dominated their lives.  Their goal was to eventually live here, but for now their jobs kept them tethered to the city.

Rudy barked, startling Amy.  He anxiously scratched at the screen door that led outside.  Thinking he had to pee, Amy opened the door to let him outside.  Simultaneously the phone hanging on the wall began to ring.  Amy knew it was Sky returning her call.  She picked it up on the fourth ring and immediately said into the receiver, “Hey babe!  It’s beautiful here!  You should see the snow!”

The voice on the other end replied, “Amy, listen to me…lock the door!”

Amy recognized Sky’s voice, but Rudy’s incessant barking garbled the message.    

“Damn it, Rudy, hush up!”

In response, Rudy’s barking deepened with guttural growls, making it impossible for Amy to hear Sky. 

“Wait a minute…let me see what the hell Rudy is barking at. I’ll be right back,” she said into the phone and laid the receiver down and walked toward the screen door.  Amy didn’t hear Sky’s voice begging her to lock the door.  

The screen door squeaked when she opened it.  Amy stepped outside to stand on the deck.  Rudy, only a few feet from her, crouched low and snarled baring his sharp canines.  Amy felt a wave of uneasiness, for she knew Rudy…her happy-go-lucky retriever, rarely growled.

Amy scanned the edge of the woods looking for anything that would explain her dog’s vicious transformation.  Seeing absolutely nothing, she knelt and began to coax Rudy to come to her.  “Come on boy…it’s okay…”

A shadow, flickered quickly past her peripheral vision, before she could turn to see what it was, Rudy lunged in her direction.  Gnashing teeth, unbearable pain, and a deafening BANG were last things Amy remembered.

Afterwards, came the darkness.

Afterwards came hell.

 

***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day of Reckoning: Prologue 1 and 2

Prologue 1

img_3765-3

 What’s the phrase?

“Looks can be deceiving…?”

Yes, that’s the one.

From a bystander’s point of view the cabin looked innocent enough.  It had its walls, windows, rooms, and door, but that’s where the similarity ended.  This cabin was old…ancient, and it held within its walls secrets…many bad secrets.

No one knew the cabin’s origin.  Old mountain folk claimed it had always been there just sitting and waiting and waiting and sitting.  Of course, the locals knew better than to enter, but every once in a while, out-of-towners made the mistake of thinking it a nice place to set up camp.  They entered through its only door, the front door, and they were never seen again.

Superstition past down from generation to generation claimed the cabin was the epi-center for a demon virus that infested the surrounding forest.  Everyone took the long way around…it was a gamble no villager was willing take.  In fact, the fear of the cabin seemed to be intrinsic to each child birthed within the area.  There was never a need to say, “Stay away from the cabin.”  No, somehow…somehow, they just knew.

Of course, many a ghost story was spun down through the years.  They were told by the light of a campfire, and always barely above a whisper for they feared the wind would carry their voice to the haunted forest and deliver it to the cabin.

One such story tells of a father who is distraught that his son has caught “the fever.”  In that day there was no cure for the fever, and most who caught it died.  The father makes plans to take his son to an old hag that slept in the cave located on the other side of the mountain.

The old hag, known as Old Mad Molly, spent her days foraging for plants, that others tossed into the fire, to be burned as weeds.  The sanctimonious, and “good people” of the village shunned the old woman.  They called her witch by day, but at night, under the cover of darkness, the very same took their sick and begged her to heal them.

The father held his son close to his chest, and set out into the night for the old woman’s cave.  The path led to outer reaches of the forest that surrounded the cabin, and when the father realized this he stopped.  He could go around the cabin and its god-awful forest, but there was no time as his son was near to death.

Fear gripped the father’s heart like a vise, and his knees buckled beneath him.  He was paralyzed, afraid to move.  He called out to Old Mad Molly; his cries echoed long into the night.  No one was certain if the old hag had heard his pleas, but everyone knew she never came to help.

The father looked down at the dying son in his arms, and he listened to a tiny voice pleading, “…papa please…I don’t want to die.”  But the father was too afraid to go any further, and so he held, and rocked his boy until the cries for help ceased.  Like a zombie, the father rose, and took his son’s lifeless body home.

The father laid the pale body on an old cloth.  The boy’s eyes were open in death and they stared at the father as he rolled his son into a sarcophagus of burlap.  He placed the body inside of the hole he had dug and began to cover his son with the freshly unearthed dirt.  With each shovel full of dirt, the father heard the ghost of his son begging, ‘…papa…no papa its cold…please papa help me…”

When the last shovel of dirt was tossed, the father went home and hung himself.

Now, the old folk claim on certain nights when the wind blows just right the boy’s cries can be heard screaming within the haunted forest.

“Papa it’s cold down here…papa…papa…”

 

(Fast Forward to Present Day)

 Today, the cabin was hungry.  It had been long since it had eaten the bones, and drank the blood of a fresh kill.  The hardwood floors were dry and cracked and ached with thirst.

The cabin, like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, was in desperate need of a Renfield.  Renfield, Dracula’s insane but loyal servant, guarded his master’s coffin by day, and at night brought tasty treats to satisfy his master’s blood lust.

The cabin was confident it had finally found its Renfield within the body of the abomination.  The abomination had worked diligently to prepare the cabin.  Today he completed the finishing touches by polishing the silver “tools” and laying them neatly beside the chair he had bolted to the floor.  The leather straps at the end of the chairs arms and legs were crisp and new.  They needed breaking in, he thought…his mind went to his prey and he smiled.

He walked slowly to the bathroom and looked at his reflection in the mirror.  He watched his face disappear as he pulled the mask over.   The sinews of the burlap snaked their way over and around the contours of his bony white face…the jagged slits fit perfectly over the red eyes that stared back at him.  The burlap was so old its tattered places were stitched from the hide of pig that had been slaughtered years ago.

The abomination smiled beneath the mask.  He was happy with his new face.

Another pair of eyes, hidden behind dusty rafters, had witnessed the transformation.  It blinked and refocused its black eyes upon its Renfield, and then a rotted smile split its face.

 

Prologue 2

 The Abomination

The abomination grunted and almost fell beneath the weight of the naked woman he carried over his shoulder.  She was drugged so her body hung like a rag doll…her dead weight made heavier by gravity’s pull. The forest floor was littered with amber, red, and yellow leaves, and dried branches and acorns crunched harmoniously underneath his black boots.

Finally, he reached the sacrificial spot so he dropped the woman and postured her in a sitting position with her back against an ancient oak tree, and her legs he crossed Indian style.    A rope was tied tightly to each of her wrists and pulled snug around the tree like a pair of shoestrings, and tied together with a double fisherman’s knot.  Her head hung limp between her breasts, and her long blonde hair acted as a cover to hide her nakedness.

The abomination sat crossed legged in front her…his face so close to hers that their noses would touch if she lifted her head.  There was nothing left to do but sit and wait until the drugs wore off.  As he waited, he adjusted the burlap mask so the eye holes were in perfect position.  He wanted his view unobstructed because he knew the fear on her face would be delicious and he wanted to relish every second.  He sat in front of her patiently waiting for over an hour in which time he never blinked even once.  When he finally sensed the faint stirrings of the woman his lethargic heart quickened, and his pants tightened with the beginnings of an erection.

The woman moaned and his pants tightened even more.  Semi conscience she rolled her head left and then right.  She wondered why her shoulders ached and why her world was black.  Her mind grasped for any sense of reason and as the cobwebs began to clear she realized her world was black because she had yet to open her eyes.  Ever so slowly she began to open them.  At first the view was blurred with hues of brown and red.  She blinked several times to clear her vision…with the last blink she let them fall open.  Only inches away two red eyes, glared at her.  They were so close she could have licked the burlap that shrouded them. His glare bore deep into to her reaching the inner most part where she hid her soul.  Her soul filled with horror and it tried to escape with the scream that parted her lips.  The scream was so deafening the birds scattered; however, throughout the duration of the scream his soulless red eyes never blinked but grew wider in excitement.  Finally, the woman’s lungs begged for air, and so her screams turned to raspy gasps desperately searching for her lost breath.

The abomination waited patiently until the woman gained some sort of composure.  With his red eyes-only inches from her blues, he recognized what he had longed to see…her surrender.  He watched as her eyes welled with tears of acceptance, and he knew that she knew it was over.

“There now,” a sinister voice spoke from underneath the mask, “…isn’t it better when we agree?”  The woman knew this was not a question to be answered but rather a proclamation of his victory statement, and so she remained quiet, resigned to her fate.

“We both knew the day of reckoning would come.”  He chided.

“The Reaper has been waiting, and he’s anxious to begin.”

 

(Click Here To Go To Chapter 1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lenten Fast 2020- Day 6

Hello Friends!

As many of you know I am on a Daniel Fast for this years lenten season. This fast is a way to deepen your relationship with Jesus through prayer, meditation, reading, and listening for his voice. Instead of eating the foods your body craves, sugar, bread, caffeine, animal based foods, etc, you forgo these pleasures in order to dedicate your body, soul, and spirit to a higher calling.

I thought this would a difficult task, but God has helped me every step of the way. When I suffered headaches from caffeine withdrawal I went to Him, instead of coffee for my relief. When I wanted to snack all night while watching tv I went to Him for strength, and grabbed a banana or an apple instead of donuts and potato chips.

On this the sixth day of the Daniel Fast I can honestly say I have no craving for coffee or sugar. I’m enjoying the flavors of the food itself. It’s like for the first time I’m actually tasting the foods because I’m not covering up their flavors with meat, sugars, artificial sweeteners, and such. The flavor of the strawberry reigns all by itself. It’s the same with blueberries, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, beans, wheat, oats, nuts…

Through the Daniel Fast I’m tasting each grain, vegetable, nut, and fruits God given flavor, and I’m loving it! Since I’ve cut out sugar it’s amazing just how sweet the bananas, oranges, and apples have become!

I’m constituently looking for new ways to experience these flavors. The following recipe is an example of this endeavor.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll continue to join me on this journey.

Fasting Banana Oatmeal

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup of Old-fashioned Oats
  • 1 cup of Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pat of Earth Balance butter
  • 1 Banana
  • Chopped pecans (optional)
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • Silk coconut milk

Directions:

  • Mix oats, water, and salt in a microwavable safe bowl and cook in microwave for 2-2 ½ minutes. 
  • Stir inEarth Balance butter until melted.
  • Stir in one sliced banana.  
  • Add pecans and cinnamon if using.
  • Pour in coconut milk to your desired consistency.

***

Notes: This recipe is transient in nature. Feel free to add or substitute ingredients to suite your taste. If I were not fasting I would add brown sugar and substitute regular milk for the coconut milk.

The Ultimate Misfit


One Christmas morning I was up before the birds and all in the house was quiet as a mouse. I was sad, rejected, a misfit because there were certain relationships within my family strained and almost nonexistent. My children and I were were separated by many American miles. As I sat in the silence of that Christmas morn I read God’s word from John 1:11… and this is what God said, “He came to his own and his own received him not.” As I finished that verse I felt Jesus whisper to my heart, “I know how you feel.” Jesus, I realized was the ultimate misfit and I knew I would never be alone.

***

His voice when you least expect it.

I’ll Vote for Mickey Mouse

Friends, an innocent man does not hide.  An innocent man does not shun the opportunity to present his case to the powers that be.  An innocent man does not ignore subpoenas ordered by America’s Justice system.  An innocent man does not take his case to the Supreme Court in order to keep his tax returns private.  My question is this:  What the hell is he trying to hide?  

I admonish you to take a moment to contemplate this:  

What if Hillary Clinton, like Trump, had refused to testify? I think the Republicans would have spontaneously combusted!  (Instead she was grilled for 11 hours straight in the Benghazi case against her) (like the end result or not…she did her duty and showed up)

In the past I thought such blatant double standards rare, however, not in today’s America.  In today’s America it is acceptable for our Commander and Chief to ignore the Judicial system.  In today’s America it appears our sitting President is above the law of the land.  I fear that in tomorrow’s America democracy will be a thing of the past. 

The evidence is overwhelming and non-disputable that Trump used his power as president to coerce a foreign country to do his bidding for his personal political gain.  Let’s take a quick look at the evidence:

(The following from New York Times)

Witnesses who have provided
evidence in the inquiry

Fiona Hill/Former Trump adviser on Russia

Dr. Hill quoted John Bolton, the national security adviser at the time, as saying, “I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” referring to a back channel of Ukraine policy that sought to exchange a White House meeting for investigations sought by Mr. Trump. She also sharply denounced a “fictional narrative” embraced by President Trump and others that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

David Holmes/Political counselor to the United States Embassy in Ukraine

Mr. Holmes provided details about an unusual call he overheard between Mr. Trump and Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, in which Mr. Trump asked Mr. Sondland if the Ukrainian president planned “to do the investigation.”

Laura K. Cooper/Deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia

Ms. Cooper revealed during her public testimony that Ukrainian officials may have been aware that security aid had been cut off as early as July 25, the day Mr. Trump pressed Ukraine’s president during a phone call to investigate Democrats.

David Hale/Under secretary of state for political affairs

Mr. Hale publicly answered questions on Nov. 20 about the hold on security aid and the ouster of Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine who was targeted in a smear campaign by Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer.

Gordon D. Sondland/Ambassador to the E.U.

Mr. Sondland testified publicly that there had been a clear “quid pro quo” at the highest levels of Mr. Trump’s government linking a White House meeting for the president of Ukraine to investigations that Mr. Trump wanted. He also amended his initial testimony to say that he had “presumed” the release of foreign aid was also tied to the investigations, and that he had communicated that to Ukrainian officials.

Timothy Morrison/Former Trump adviser on Russia

Mr. Morrison testified that Mr. Sondland had told him that the military aid for Ukraine would not be released until the country committed to investigating Mr. Trump’s political rivals. He also said that while he did not think the president’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president was inherently wrong or illegal, he had been concerned about its political implications.

Kurt D. Volker/Former special envoy to Ukraine

Mr. Volker testified before congressional investigators and provided text messages revealing that Mr. Trump’s envoys had made clear to the Ukrainian president that he would need to agree to Mr. Trump’s requests for investigations before visiting the Oval Office. He has said that he did not know that the investigations were focused in part on the Bidens.

Jennifer Williams/Foreign Service officer

Ms. Williams, who serves as a national security aide to Vice President Mike Pence, testified behind closed doors and in an open hearing. Ms. Williams was among officials who listened in on a July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman/National Security Council official

Colonel Vindman told impeachment investigators that he had tried and failed to restore key details that the White House had removed from a transcript of the call between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian president. He also testified that he was not aware of any security official who supported the freeze on aid to Ukraine.

Mark Sandy/White House budget official

Mr. Sandy, who signed a legal document directing the freeze of aid to Ukraine, appeared before congressional investigatorson Nov. 16.

Marie L. Yovanovitch/Former ambassador to Ukraine

Ms. Yovanovitch testified that she felt “threatened” by Mr. Trump and that he had personally directed her removal based on “false claims.” During her public testimony, Mr. Trump railed against her on Twitter.

George P. Kent/Deputy assistant secretary of state

Mr. Kent, who oversees U.S. policy toward Ukraine at the State Department, appeared before impeachment investigators against the White House’s wishes, telling them that Mr. Trump’s inner circle had cut him out of Ukraine policymaking. In his public hearing, he denounced a “campaign to smear” American officials working in Ukraine.

William B. Taylor Jr./Top American diplomat in Ukraine

Mr. Taylor told impeachment investigators that Mr. Trump had withheld foreign aid and had refused to hold a White House meeting with Ukraine’s leader until he publicly announced that his country would investigate Mr. Trump’s political rivals. In his public testimony, Mr. Taylor provided new information about a phone call between Mr. Sondland and Mr. Trump that was overheard by one of his aides.

Catherine M. Croft/Foreign Service officer

Ms. Croft, who worked on the National Security Council, said that she had received multiple calls from Robert Livingston, a lobbyist and former Republican congressman, who told her that Ms. Yovanovitch should be fired.

Christopher J. Anderson/Foreign Service officer

Mr. Anderson, who served as an adviser to Kurt D. Volker, the former United States special envoy to Ukraine, helped fill in details about Mr. Volker’s earlier testimony.

Philip T. Reeker/Acting assistant secretary of state

Mr. Reeker, who serves at the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, told House investigators on Oct. 26 that he had tried to rally top State Department leadersbehind Ms. Yovanovitch as she faced a smear campaign orchestrated by Mr. Trump’s political allies.

Michael McKinley/Former adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Mr. McKinley told congressional investigators that he had resigned because he was upset that the Trump administration had wrestled Ukraine policy away from career diplomats. He also told investigators that he had urged Mr. Pompeo to come to the defense of Ms. Yovanovitch.

Joseph Maguire/Acting director of national intelligence

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, shared the whistle-blower’s complaint with Congress weeks after he was mandated to provide it. In testimony on Sept. 26, he defended the whistle-blower’s actions, as well as his own handling of the case.

***

I am flabbergasted at the support this evil man has from Republicans and evangelical Christians. I use to wonder how in the hell so many Germans stood by and let Hitler commit the horrible atrocities done to “the least of these.” I wonder no more, for I see it unfolding right before my eyes here in America.

My guess is that this whole Impeachment process will end just as everything else…Trump stinking high to heaven but once again exonerated. 

Friends, I fear the only way to be rid of this monster is for him to be voted out of office. 

This is a call to ALL democrats please VOTE!  

History has proven when there are large turnouts to vote democrats win.  You may say, “I don’t really like anyone running against Trump so I’ll just stay home this go around.”  If you do this Trump will win!  Mickey Mouse would be a better president than Trump!  We must band together and vote.  

Please Vote!

***

The next steps in the Impeachment process:  

(compliments of BBC news)

FOWC- Rare

Yes, I am in a Relationship

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…”  Hebrews 12:2

Growing up I was so afraid of hell, that I actually wished I’d never been born. Daily, I was tormented with the thought of the rapture, and being left behind.  

I knew God’s promises but for some reason they didn’t apply to me.  It was none of God’s fault but all of mine.  I knew and believed what God said about salvation, and about his promise of eternal life. 

And yet, I felt sure I would, somehow and some way, mess up my part of receiving His free gift.  What if I believed too hard thus turning my faith into work?  For God says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith…NOT by works…” 

So, what if I put my trust in my faith instead of Jesus?

What would happen then?

Would I be saved?

I was religiously taught the Roman’s Road to Salvation.  This step by step process is found in the book of Romans (of course).  This Road begins with chapter 3 and verse 10 and continues as follows:  Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9-10, and Romans 10:13.  After each step has been faithfully taken, the sinner, saved by grace, is taken to I John 5:13 to seal the deal. 

I was so afraid I’d screw up one of the steps, and if I did would I be condemned to hell?  

I’m not saying the Roman’s Road is wrong, and if you have come know Christ through this path, I say a hearty Amen!   But for people like myself there is a danger in teaching the Roman’s Road. 

For us salvation does not equate to, “take these steps and get a ‘Get out of Hell Free’ card.”

For those like me there is no wrong or right way to salvation.  We come to know Christ through many paths, and for us salvation is a relationship, and any faith that we have is given to us by Christ.  Therefore, in essence, our salvation depends upon nothing we do but all in what Christ has done.  

So, the question could be asked… “At what point does salvation actually occur?”

To that I say, “I don’t know, and not knowing is okay.”  

I don’t have to know if I’ve dotted all my I’s or crossed all my T’s because I have nothing to do with my salvation…it belongs to God.  

And in that I rest. 

receive love. give love. repeat. 

***

Indulge yourself in Peace.

Beer-Battered Baby Squash & Blooms

I could wait no longer!

I had to have them and nothing would deter me.

Standing by my little garden I salivated as I gazed down upon the treasure; and so putting an end to my hesitation, I bent down and picked six baby squash, one with a lovely bloom intact.

That was the beginning of a delicious ending I’ve chosen to call, “Beer-Battered Baby Squash & Blooms.”

And so, to quote Paul Harvey… “Here’s the rest of the story…”

Ingredients

Baby Squash with blooms if possible

1 Bottle/Can Lite Beer

1 cup Self-Rising Flour

1 tsp Garlic Powder or Onion Powder (or both)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Fresh Mozzarella (or your favorite cheese)

Fresh Green Onions finely chopped

Vegetable Oil for frying

Mix flour, garlic/onion power, salt & pepper, and beer until it resembles thick pancake batter.

Remove the pistols from flowers. Blanch for 30 seconds and then put blossoms in a cold water bath for 5-10 seconds. Lay on paper towels to absorb water. Mix cheese and green onions. Carefully stuff squash blossoms with cheese, drape petals over cheese and twist the ends to seal. If the blossoms are frail and difficult to handle put them in the fridge to sit about 15-20 minutes. I totally skipped this step.

Dip stuffed squash blooms and baby squash into the batter to completely coat. Drop into hot oil (375 degrees) and fry for 1-2 minutes.

When they are golden brown, remove from oil and lay on paper towels.

Take a bite and enjoy the scrumptious soft middle surrounded by a light and airy crust (thanks to the beer). It’s truly the best “homemade homework” I produced in quite a while.

Friends, these are simply delicious!

I hope you get the chance to indulge this summer!

***

Today’s Word: Homework

What If You Could Pick?

In this life change is inevitable. From the moment we wake to the setting of the sun, our bodies and emotions continue to evolve. One could argue that we possess the power to alter the severity of these changes through prayer, meditation, exercise, and diet; however, this one thing is certain: we cannot stop change. If you’re reading this and breathing you’re on your way to the end. Hopefully that doorway is far into the future.

Ben Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Well, Mr Franklin, you’re right about the dying part but not so right about paying taxes. Obviously, your crystal ball failed to reveal the Donald Trumps of this present world, and large corporations like Amazon and Netflix. But I refuse to talk politics. It’s a subject that has cost me family and friends.

BUT…

What if…what if we were allowed pick some of those changes?

I’ve borrowed the following scenarios from one of my favorite blogs, This, That, and The Other. ( https://fivedotoh.com ). It is a set of “What if we could change” questions. I thought it would be fun to venture into Neverland, and post my answers here on Redhead Reflections. If you would like to share your answers to these questions please leave them in the comments section. I always seek to better know my readers.

So, here we go…

Rory Asks About Loose Change

Right now, right this minute, what could happen that would change your life totally for the better?

Healing for someone I hold dear to my heart.

How well do you handle changes in your life, to your life, or to your regular routines?

Well, it depends on the type of changes, of course. Obviously, if I won the lottery I’d be doing cartwheels, but in general, I’m not very good with change.

If you could jump into a pool of something odd [not water] what would it be?

Rice pudding, but only if I could carry a spoon.

What would be so much better if you could simply change the color of it?

My lily-white skin. (heeeheeeeheeee)

If you had a time machine, would you go back in time or visit the future and would you change anything?

I would go back to creation and chop down all the apple trees.

Do you prefer dogs over cats or cats over dogs?

I consider cats my spiritual avatar, but, that being said, I have 3 dogs and I love them with all my heart. (Is that dodging the question?)

How would you react if you were unexpectantly changed into a frog?

Well, I sure wouldn’t eat a fly! I’d probably take advantage of my jumping ability and do somersaults in the wind.

Write a random sentence about blogging without using the letter G.

My site, Redhead Reflections, is almost 6 years old!

If you could change the world over, what would you change?

Kindness would be innate.

Why did you do that?

So mankind could truly live out the golden rule.

If you could disinvent something, what would it be and why?

War. War would never be an option. Without war, perhaps we could live in peace, where no one is taken advantage of regardless of gender, race, religion, wealth, or sexual orientation.

You have been gifted an elephant – you cannot give it away, donate it, or sell it – what are you going to do with your elephant?

I’m going to hug him, kiss him, pat him, and name him George.

What are your values with regards your life?

To be kind and help others. (sounds “cheesy” but it’s genuine)

Who do you prefer to spend the most time with?

As an introvert, I love my alone time. I find I’m a better person to all those around me when I’ve had enough me time. When I’m recharged I love spending time with my wife, children, sister, my three dogs, and two cats.

Which is worse, falling over or not getting back up again?

Not getting back up again…no explanation needed.

If the currency was happiness and goodwill, what job would you perform?

I’d be a farmer.

You have lost your Interney connection for ten days, there is no internet connection within 50 miles of where you live. It matters not about what you use to connect, it simply isn’t happening – what will you for those ten days?

Read, eat good food, and be outside.

…and that’s all folks!

Feel free to leave your answers in the comments! Thanks for reading!

***

Todays Word: Pick

This, That, and The Other

Cooking The Goose!

Is it possible that mean people are a blessing in disguise?

I’m not talking about evil people…certainly those that abuse and hurt others are never a blessing! I’m making reference to those people who “rub us the wrong way” or “get under our skin.” You know the ones…forthright, and tactless. Their words are sharp and hurtful, and they never use their tongue to uplift and edify, instead they use it to tear down and debase.

No one likes to be around someone like this. In fact, we go out of our way to avoid them.

But… Perhaps we shouldn’t.

You see, our patience is put on trial every time they grace us with their presence. Our patience literally gets a “work out” just as our muscles do when we exercise.

The apostle James writes in his book, chapter 1, verses 3 and 4, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

Trials are never fun, but sometimes they can be beneficial in the growth to become a better person. I love the way Joyce Meyer puts it:

“Learning to walk in love with unlovely people and learning to be patient in trials are probably the two most important tools God uses to develop our spiritual maturity. Believe it or not, difficult people in our lives help us.”

Yes, mean people suck, but let’s “cook their goose” by allowing them to make us better!.

FYI:

Idiom- “Cook Your Goose”

Just for fun: “Use Your Noodle”

***

FOWC Forthright

Word of the day: Noodle