The Enduring Word

 

I have lost pieces of my writing down through the years. Poems, parts of manuscripts, and short stories. Once a house fire slightly damaged the pages of an early manuscript of mine. Another half-finished novel was lost for a few days(if I remember correctly), due to losing my computer on the side of the road. And the latest loss of words occurred when my work in progress was wiped clean from the computer because I hadn’t backed it up properly.

Thank God that my carelessness and absentmindedness didn’t result in total loss of every chapter, paragraph, and sentence. The majority of my WIP is still safely tucked away in notebooks and e-mails. If you’re a writer, then imagine how happy and relieved you’d be to learn that all your labor in filling empty pages was not in vain.  His mercies and compassion are new every morning…and His faithfulness every night.

God help us to not be careless  and absentminded with your Word.  Ultimately nothing else is going to matter because the ‘Gospel of Truth’ endures forever and it is the power of God unto salvation.

Men such as  Wycliffe, Tyndale, and Hus  labored, suffered, and sacrificed their lives to translate, protect, and share the Holy Bible.  Some were burned along with the pages of the Bible they had helped to translate into English for the common people. Yet, His Word lived on and spread like a wild fire in the hearts of believers everywhere. And it continues to fervently burn today and always.

I have read of  persecuted believers in foreign countries who were given just one page out of a Bible and they guarded it as though it were their most precious possession. And I have seen college teens  who were gifted with a pocket New Testament. Ten seconds later they threw it in the trash! How can this happen in America, a country where many of our forefathers honored God’s Word in government and public life?  For a little history on the use of the Bible in the early school system go here.

God has been merciful and long suffering to this country but scripture teaches us that we will reap what we sow.  Our Christian morals have been turned upside down. Hedonism, atheism, socialism, terrorism…has helped to produce one of the most ungodly generations since the beginning of the United States. Abortion to them is a right or choice-not plain out murder of innocents.  Lawless people declare homosexuality is right and natural. If anyone disagrees they’ll be sued or silenced.

One day soon they may burn our Bibles but they can’t take away the truth burning within us. So let’s make certain that it is engraved in the ‘tables of our hearts’. Don’t be or become careless and absentminded with the Word of God. It is the road map to eternal life. It reveals the true and living God whose name is Jesus Christ. The King is Coming Soon!

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11

“But he answered and said,  It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. ”  Matthew 4:4

 

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.  I Peter 1:23-25

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness   II Peter 3:0-11

 

How can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? (Hebrews 2:3)

 

Savannah’s Room-A vignette

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BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD

 

The following paragraphs are one of the first vignettes I have written for my work in progress-Alley Rose.

Ellie

Savannah never had much confidence in her talents, let alone her looks. So when Kate beat her out of the art contest that first year she decided she’d be better off giving it up. I tried to convince her that she was way better than Kate at drawing  or painting, but she didn’t believe it. The first time I saw her room I knew she had an eye for color. The lemon yellow curtains with violet flowers on them. A chenille, violet bedspread. Plus the round yellow shag rug at the foot of the bed. That’s where we used to play board games on the nights I’d get to stay over. 

But that orange, black, and red poster of a rocket ship that said ‘I need more space in my life’-well that was an eyesore. I never told her that though. And I never told her how I felt when I saw the poster of the sunrise hanging on the wall above her bed. A black script font read, ‘BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.’ For a moment I felt like I was in church. It was a rare thing  for me to see because God’s Word was forbidden in any form at my house.  Savannah was shocked to the core when I’d told her we didn’t have even one Bible.

Almost every time I went into her room, I had anxious thoughts my dad might somehow find out about it and ban me from ever visiting or staying all night with Savannah. My mom wouldn’t care but she’d never disagree with my dad. A Monkees Band poster hung over a small desk in the corner by her bed. And on the desk was a record player and small rack with about ten 45 records. Mostly Monkees hits. We used to watch the reruns of their show every Saturday that I spent at her house. She never got into the Beatles music. I asked her why she didn’t have any of their records. She said it was because of all the bad things John Lennon had said about Jesus and Christianity. And then I remembered hearing my parents talking about it to some of their friends one time. Of course my dad thought Lennon was cool for saying it. 

 

Vignettes are sort of a new concept for me. I have never focused much on them in the past. The one above gives a general description of Savannah’s bedroom. It also gives an impression of her personality. What’s more, it indirectly reveals her friend Ellie’s feelings and thoughts about various things.  In the future I plan to write more vignettes with figurative speech and some symbolism too.

 

 

A Heavenly Foretaste

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Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

I hope you like this poem I wrote decades ago. I’ve revised it a little since then. I believe for the better. Still yet, the essence is the same.

 

Heavenly Foretaste

 

My heart is in a far away country, far away land, far away world.

A city which never can be seen with earthly eyes

Its splendor leaves nothing more to be desired

I breathe the air of this land into my soul, and

I know my heart is home.

 

Though now I am bound to this lower world

By the chains of time-day by day I will climb

On silver wings I will soar, till I reach home

Where time shall be no more.

 

I smell the freshness of that new morning

When we arise with the Son

And taste true life just begun

With a hungry hope I await…

To hear the opening of  Heaven’s gate.

 

 

You can read my post related to this at my other blog truelighttreasures.

 

 

 

 

 

Return To Evergreen

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If you like critiquing writing, feel free to comment on the first chapter of  a half-finished manuscript of mine- ‘Return to Evergreen’. (working title).

CHAPTER 1

Why am I doing this? What’s it going to prove-that I’m a masochist? I’m a liar already. Why did I lie to Gabe when I said I was going to a bookseller’s convention? He seemed so trusting too. But I have to know if I can take living in this town again after…Alex.

The deep blue, September sky was shrouded by a hazy fog that hid most of the evening sun’s rays and cast a shadow over the neighborhood homes and the gently sloping mountain ridge behind them. She stood staring bewilderedly up at the two-story wooden frame house ten feet in front of her. Except for a few golden and scarlet colored leaves being rustled by a soft wind, the sidewalk leading to the front porch was free of debris.

Why had she come here today? What possible reason could there be? From that devastating moment onward, all previous happy memories had been wrenched out of her soul and exchanged for the pain and loss that ensued. It was as though joy became a foreign concept to her –some ethereal feeling from another time or dimension that she could never hope to reach.

Slowly, methodically she retrieved the key from her pants pocket and climbed the concrete porch steps. As she reached for the weather worn screen door, a piercing scream echoed in her memory. Suddenly, before touching the handle, her hand froze in mid-air. Peering through the glass of the front door she saw another door beyond, near the back of the house. It was painted dark blue with a large football stenciled on it. How could she have imagined she would be willing or able to cross the threshold and relive such agony? Wasn’t the aftermath enough to have to endure?

At that instant she heard a car door shut in the distance. Turning around she saw that her old friend and former neighbor was approaching. Descending the porch steps she met up with Lillie Coffey, a plump woman in her fifties with a dark shag haircut and deep brown, luminous eyes. “Hi Lillie. It’s been so long…too long. You’re looking well.” She gazed beyond to Lillie’s driveway and noticed a dark blue van with green and yellow lettering on the side. “That’s a beautiful vehicle. It’s about time you got a new one for your business.”

“Yea. Well it’s mostly used to taxi my grandkids around to parks and different places. I take them on my day off from the café.” Looking slightly hesitant Lillie continued, “Come on and give me a hug Keokee. It really has been a long time.” After they warmly embraced, she asked, “So are you all moving back?”

Feeling transparent, Keokee replied, “Uh, it’s not definite yet but probably. I guess you heard that Gabe may be taking over as pastor at the church. He feels like it’s meant to be,” she finished with her voice trailing off as she averted her friend’s gaze.

“What about you? Do you think it is? Or do you want to come back?”, Lillie spoke earnestly.

Deliberately avoiding her gaze, Keokee faintly shook her head and replied with false cheerfulness, “There’s a reason for everything. Every day there’s a new opportunity around each corner. Makena says she wants to leave Lenoir. Says the school’s too big and the kids are too snobby for her. So that’s a positive I guess. How’s all your kids doing?”

“Pretty well I guess. Aubrie seems to be having things the hardest right now. She’s still trying to get over the divorce.” she shrugged. “The others are about the same.” There was a tense silence and then she quietly asked, “Will you be moving back here or somewhere else?”

The heaviness in Keokee’s chest increased as her mouth became dry. Attempting to speak, she had to clear her throat before answering, “Not here. Since the Henderson family moved out of it, Gabe is in the process of renting it out to some of his kin people from Cracker’s Neck. Their house was hit by the tornado that came through there last month. I came by here to…to just make sure everything was in fair shape. Of course, I guess you know his friend Marvin has been looking after the place since…,” she stopped in mid-sentence, a look of utter anguish displayed on her face. Quickly she glanced back at the house and then waved her hand nervously in Lillie’s direction as she rushed to her parked car. “Why? Why did I come here today?” she muttered to herself as she pulled out of the cul-de-sac too fast and almost hit a mail box.

Lillie Coffey, still rooted to the front yard, stared after her in disbelief. In the distance she heard the cranking of an engine and then a moment later her oldest son Landon pulled up in a riding lawn mower. “Mom, who was that peeling out of here like a maniac?”

“It was Keokee. She’s coming back home.”

“Home? Really?”

“To Evergreen Gap.”

Thanks for reading. Comments and critiques are welcome!

P. S. Hopefully I’ll have an update on ‘Alley Rose’ next time.

Watch Out For These 3 Narrators of Make Believe!

Atheist- a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods : one who subscribes to or advocates atheism

 

As narrators Atheists have much to say and yet nothing that makes sense. Their narrative is full of holes and without logic. They don’t believe in the Bible but the Bible mentions them. (Psalm 14) What’s ironic is that many of them seem so angry at a Being they claim doesn’t exist. Their denial of God only proves their willful ignorance. Many attempt to use science and the theory of evolution to prove their case. Ultimately, true science proves them wrong. Atheists are like secular humanists. Both believe they are their own god. They honor man and turn a deaf ear and blind eye to a living God.

 

If there were no God there would be no atheists.- G K Chesterton

 

An  ineffably holy God, who has the utmost abhorrence of sin, was never invented by any of Adam’s descendents.- A. W. Pink

 

It was the evidence from science and history that prompted me to abandon my atheism and become a Christian.Lee Strobel 

 

“Now that I am a Christian I do not have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable.”-C.S. Lewis

 

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:Romans 1

 

Hypocrite-

1: a person who puts on a false appearance of  virtue or religion

2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

If you’re interested in hypocrite or lying narrators from fiction you can find some here.

The Bible reveals a few well-known types of hypocrites. Some of the Pharisees of Jesus’ time were prime examples.  In Matthew 23, seven times he calls them hypocrites for various sins they continually committed. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” What’s more hypocrites were found within the midst of the early Christians. Anaias and Saphira held back money they had promised to the church.  Afterwards, they lied in public about the amount they were supposed to have given. You can read about it here.

We can’t just hear or teach the Word without obeying and then expect the blessings of God.

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 1

Peter, who preached the great message on the day of Pentecost, also had a problem with hypocrisy later. When he arrived at Antioch he ate with the Gentile Christians. But after the Jewish Christians came, Peter separated from the Gentiles because he feared the Jews. (Galatians 2)

No matter the excuse for hypocrisy- whether it is pride, desire for power, greed, or fear -God will judge the hypocrite.

 

False Prophets/Teachers

The Bible (both the Old and New Testament) has plenty to say about these narrators of a fake gospel, fake dreams, fake humility, fake faith, fake love, fake miracles, fake preaching, fake prophecy, and so forth. Below are just a few verses that describe these wolves in sheep’s clothing:

Continue reading “Watch Out For These 3 Narrators of Make Believe!”

The Unreliable Narrator in Your Life

 

Are you familiargirlsadbook with the literary term ‘unreliable narrator’? Here’s the definition.

Synonyms for ‘unreliable’ are-undependable, untrustworthy, irresponsible, reckless, fickle, capricious, irregular, erratic, unpredictable, inconstant, mutable, faithless, untrue, flighty, slippery

The first-person narrator is the ‘gatekeeper’ or guide to the story. We see whatever they choose to show us. And sometimes we believe whatever they want us to believe. Even if it isn’t true. It’s important to know what kind of character the narrator depicts. Why? Because that can hint at the reason behind their unreliability. Might it be a child who has a limited understanding of events?(Think-Huck Finn) Could it be a mentally challenged person with certain weaknesses that make them vulnerable to misinterpretation of facts? (Flowers For Algernon) Or is it a criminally minded person who has a special purpose in deceiving other characters -or you as the reader? (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd)

Unreliable narrators can come in various forms as well as from different places. Below are 3 books with unreliable -supposedly nonfiction-authors which inevitably create unreliable narrators.

‘The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” was a best selling ‘Christian non-fiction’ book in 2010. Alex was a young boy who was seriously injured in a car accident with his dad in 2004. As a result he became a quadriplegic. The boy made up a story about seeing angels and visiting heaven. It seems that his dad, Kevin Malarkey embellished the story more and then decided to write the book to make some money. Two years later Alex denounced the story, saying the “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” was ‘one of the most deceptive books ever.’

Author Clifford Irving, along with other cohorts, contrived a scheme convincing a large publishing company that he had been hired by the reclusive millionaire, Howard Hughes, to ghost write his autobiography. Later Hughes declared over the phone to several journalists that he didn’t even know Irving. The scandalized author went to prison for 17 months. In 1981 Irving wrote ‘The Hoax’, a book about the events surrounding the fake autobiography conspiracy. It was made into a movie in 2006. Irving was displeased with much of the character depiction.(Somehow ironic)

In 2003 James Frey wrote a book entitled, ‘A Million Little Pieces’. It was the supposed memoir of his drug addiction and recovery. And it was listed as an Oprah book club selection. Later Frey was discovered to be a fraud because he had created and exaggerated much of the contents of his memoir. He and the publisher were berated on Oprah’s show for their deception. ‘A Million Little Pieces’ is now promoted as ‘a work of literature’ containing facts and embellishments.

The first unreliable narrator(liar) in the Bible is Satan who in the form of a snake deceived Eve with half-truth. Cain was the first human type mentioned in the Bible. God asked him where his brother was. “Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” Also, the book of Job contains three unreliable narrators-Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. As Job’s friends they come to comfort him in his time of loss and sorrow. Instead they end up accusing him of sinning and tell him it’s the reason for his suffering. Ultimately, his fourth friend-the reliable narrator- Elihu reveals the truth in his speeches.

An unreliable narrator may inadvertently deceive you because they lack knowledge of the situation. Possibly a result of their naivete or misperception. However, the criminal or evil type narrator has ulterior motives for misleading you. Perhaps they are attempting to hide their guilt by convincing you to suspect another character of the crime. Or maybe they’re narcissists and get amusement from tricking others by messing with their minds.

Whatever the reason for the deception the truth is still hidden. And that can stir up serious conflict in stories, news, novels, and reality. If you have an unreliable narrator in your life then you understand the problems they may propagate. It could be a family member, friend, co-worker, or stranger. They could use one or many devices in an attempt to keep you away from the truth. The falsehood might come in the form of gossip, hearsay, negative judgments, or even flattery.

A froward man soweth strife:
and a whisperer separateth chief friends. Proverbs 16:28

And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
Isaiah 11:3

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24
Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. Psalm 78:36

Reading a story or novel with an unreliable narrator can be fun, exciting, and a good learning experience. The same cannot be said for a true to life one. Let’s not be found trusting in a liar. What’s more let’s not be or become the liar.

Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. Proverbs 12:22

The most dangerous ‘narrators’ are those who call themselves minister’s of God’s Word but are deceivers. The Old Testament contains several stories about them. Jesus warned us of them many times.

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:11

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.  II Corinthians 11

Satan is the ultimate ‘unreliable narrator’ who has one reason for deceiving you. He hates God and His holy character. Therefore he hates all His creation-especially His children who seek to worship and love Him in spirit and in truth. He may whisper in your ear “God hates you. That’s why you’re suffering so much.” He will say things like “God is sick of you-He’s given up on you because you’re worthless.” Anything that you hear, feel, or think must be filtered through the Word of God.  (To be continued..)

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