Love Is!

love is blind. Love is blind. Love Is blind. Love Is Blind! Let that sink in for a bit. Let the revelation of it make you go…hmmmmmmm. (I will wait!).

Okay so now that you know that LOVE IS BLIND!! Did you know that it is true. Love is one of those emotions that are wonderful and fulfilling. Love makes you feel giddy and alive. Your world turns brighter. It comes alive. Without love, life is a slight drab. Now with that being said, to some a life without love is just fine for them. They have fun and enjoyment well until they see their friends in love. Being in love is one of the best feelings in the world. But, yes of course there is a but. Love is felt tenfold when it is coupled with the love of God!

We say that love is blind but it’s not.  We say we will love forever, we don’t. We fall out of  love for whatever reason. Maybe because we are tired of getting hurt or the love we once felt is no longer the same. It has mellowed. It faded and as hard as we try, we can’t get it back. But there is a secret to keeping your love alive.

The love of God can keep the earthly love you have alive. God’s love is unconditional. Believe it or not, our love is not. We set conditions on it. If you loved me and so on and so forth. We say that cause no matter what, we are not secure in the love we have for each other! But the love of God never fades or fails. It is always secure and we can revel in it. Bath in it. Swim in it!

If both of you are in the Love of God then the love you have for each other will be stronger. Does this mean that your love for each other won’t be tested. Won’t be stretched. Nope. Sorry but we are not God, we are human. We are nowhere near perfect. God’s love is perfect and true.

Jeremiah 31:3

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Where the love we have for our spouse is a human love, prone to failure, we sometimes just don’t feel the same way anymore. “I love you but I am no longer in love with you.” is a true statement and it happens for whatever reason. We fall out of love. It happens in Christian marriages as well, but it is worth the work and the fight. Let God in and He will help you.

“Keep Looking Up! His Coming Is Nigh!”

 

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God Loves YOU!!!!

God. The Great I Am. Jehovah. The God Of Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Jesus Christ. He created this world and the entire universe that we live in.

Genesis 1:1-5

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”

6 days it took Him to create this universe and the ball of dust that we call home. 6 days to create all the things on this ball of dust. 6 days to prepare it for His greatest creation. Man. He created us perfect. We were set in a garden with everything that we needed. We were able to commune with God at any given time. He would walk the garden and take care of us and talk with us. All we had to do was obey Him in one thing.

Genesis 2:15-17

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

That was it. No big deal right. No problem but alas there was a problem. The devil had come into the garden and tickled Eve’s ear. He whispered sweet nothings in her ear and she listened. She listened and the devil smiled. Now understand this, the devil is not a god. He is not a demi-god. He is a created being just like us. God created him!

(Ezekiel 28:11-19)

11 Again the word of the Lord came to me saying, 12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God,

“You had the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 “You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The ruby, the topaz and the diamond;
The beryl, the onyx and the jasper;
The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald;
And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets,
Was in you.
On the day that you were created
They were prepared.
14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers,
And I placed you there.
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 “You were blameless in your ways
From the day you were created
Until unrighteousness was found in you.
16 “By the abundance of your trade
You were internally filled with violence,
And you sinned;
Therefore I have cast you as profane
From the mountain of God.
And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub,
From the midst of the stones of fire.
17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground;
I put you before kings,
That they may see you.
18 “By the multitude of your iniquities,
In the unrighteousness of your trade
You profaned your sanctuaries.
Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you;
It has consumed you,
And I have turned you to ashes on the earth
In the eyes of all who see you.
19 “All who know you among the peoples
Are appalled at you;
You have become terrified
And you will cease to be forever.”’”

 

You think that for the garden and being looked after, they would be thankful and obey God. They would be content to live in perfection but alas no. Eve listened to the snake and of course Adam listened to Eve. Eve bit of the apple and found that it was good and so she convinced Adam to do the same.

The Snake knew what he was doing and he did it with perfection. He had convinced them to eat of the apple. He was thankful. He had corrupted the only two on the planet. He had done his job well. He had gained two new followers or at least he thought he did.

So God is walking through the garden and calls out of Adam and he does not answer. He calls again and still no answer. Finally Adam answers.

Genesis 3 is the story of the fall of Man. It is too long to put in here so I will leave it to you to look it up and read it.

Man learned about good and evil. He also learned that he was well..stupid! He listened to the Evil one. He let himself be fooled. So where does that leave him. Ashamed and scared. He never noticed that he was naked before. But now he does. He never realized that he could loose everything. Now he does and he does loose everything.

God came walking through the garden to commune with Adam but they hid in fear. God called out to him and Adam replied.

“I heard the sound of You in the garden and I was afraid.”

“Why were you afraid?”

“Because I am naked and did not want you to see me that way.”

“Who said you were naked? Did you eat of the tree I told you not to eat from?”

And so begins the idea of “passing the buck“.

Adam replied

“The woman that you gave me gave me the apple and convinced me to eat of it.”

God replied

“What have you done? Did you do this awful thing?”

Eve replied

“The serpent deceived me and I ate of the apple!”

So God curses the serpent to move along the ground by way of his belly.

That is the simple retelling of the fall of man. It can also be boiled down to this one line. “The fall of man is because of a chick that didn’t know a line when she heard one and a dude that didn’t know how to keep his mouth shut!”

All kidding aside. God created man for what purpose.  “God put man on the earth to reflect His image and to rule over the creation (Gen. 1:26, 28).”  Why create a universe if there is no one to do anything with it. It would shrivel up and die. So God created man to rule over the land, the see and all the animals.

God created the world for His greatest creation. US. We were given the keys to the kingdom and instead of treasuring them, we trampled them into the ground like rocks. We sinned a great sin and God could have destroyed us right then and there, but He didn’t. He did however “curse us”. We had it made and we tossed it away.

Genesis 3:16

16 To the woman he said,

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
    with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.”

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”

20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

 

Now understand this, God is God. He could have destroyed them but he didn’t Why, because like any Father, He is patient with his children. So he did the following.

Genesis 21-24

21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

God is a God of love. Some say that He is a god of anger. The fall of man story says otherwise. If God was a god of anger, He would have destroyed Adam and Eve and the devil and started all over again. But he didn’t. Adam started fresh only now instead of having everything handed to him on a silver platter, he had to work for it.

God loves us. He loves us for we are His creation. People say that “God Hates the Sinner” that is so not true. God hates the SIN but loves the SINNER! and if you would like Proof…read Genesis 3!

“Keep Looking UP! For His Coming Is Nigh!”

 

The Long Road Home

I Just finished the National Geographic Docu-series based on the book “The Long Road Home” written by Martha Raddatz.

First thing I have to say is that it was wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. So much so that I will have to go read the book now. It brought back the fact that even though these were American soldiers and that battle took place, that it could have been any country in the same situation.

I am a Canadian living in the US and I want to say to those men that fought in that battle, that I thank you for your bravery and your gallantry. You fought a battle that was harrowing and vicious and through it all you showed compassion when the need was given.

To all the countries in the world that fight for the freedom that we so take for granted, Thank You! For my Canadian brothers that are doing the same, Thank You! You fight so  that we don’t have to. You fight so that we can enjoy the freedom that we have, and we as I said before, take for granted.

Martha, if I may call you that, thank you for writing this book. Till I had seen the series, I had not heard of the battle. I was moved to tears at times and cheering at other times. I saw men that were brave and vulnerable at the same time. The kept their heads for the most part and weren’t afraid to show the pain and the suffering that they went through. I applaud you and say again thank you.

To the 1st Cavalry Division, thank you also. Through it all, you took on the enemy, fought with courage and bravery. I have never been in the military. I was not “good enough” due to medical problems. I don’t know what you went through. I don’t think I could have done it. Thank you for your service.

Miss Raddatz, I don’t know how to get a hold of the service men that fought then. I am hoping that you will pass this on to them and offer them my thanks.

To the folks that are reading this, please Thank a Veteran. No matter what war they served and no matter what country. They all deserve our thanks and appreciation. I have two brothers that although they never saw battle, did serve in the military in Canada. My brother Robert “deseased” (Army) and Leyton (Airforce). So say thank you and shake their hand and if they will allow it, a hug.

“Keep Looking up. For His coming is nigh!”

Merry Christmas!

Christmas, a time for presents, family, indulgence and parties. When we over eat, over drink and over everything. We tend to forget what this day means. Is it all about gifts and parties and over indulgence or is it about the baby born in a manger all those years ago.

To some it is just about family. The holidays are a time to get together and maybe it is the only time that they see family at all. It’s a time to get all gussied up and go to church for the first and probably only time. To some it is a time to avoid every one and be a humbug.

To me it is family, feasting and the child born in a manger. For aside from the child, there would be no Christmas. Sure there would be the Winter Solstice that celebrates the new sun but to me and as important as that is, it doesn’t deserve a celebration.

I think Linus from the Peanuts gang said it best.

Peanuts Christmas

Isaiah  prophesied about Jesus and was very direct.

isaiah 96

Micah predicted the birthplace of the Messiah.

Micah52

I could go on and on but alas, I don’t have all day. So let me say this.

Jesus Christ, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Fairest of Ten Thousand! Was born to die. He was born so that man (male and female) could be saved from the evils of this world. That is what this day is all about. The birth of a child who would be the final and greatest sacrifice that man has ever made. Even if you don’t worship him, acknowledge who He is. Because you see, even Santa knows the reason for the season.

Santa Reason

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Have a wonderful holidays and enjoy your family and friends. Treasure them for they will not be around forever. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

“Keep Looking Up! For His coming is Nigh!”

Regrets!

Regrets, we all have them. Sometimes they are things that you should have done or didn’t get done. Sometimes they are things that we said or did. We all have regrets, even those who say they have no regrets, they have them.

What are some of yours. As we get older they pile up, like a pile of newspapers that we don’t want to toss out. We let them hang around hoping that one day we might actually do them and yet we never do. No matter how many times you try to ignore them, they always seem to mock you and make fun of you. There are those regrets that you never will deal with for they are too painful. They hurt every time you think about them or they don’t do anything at all cause you have closed them off but they are still there mocking you.

Some don’t have any regrets at all. They did what they did and have no qualms about them. These are the regrets that sit idly by and wait to pounce and worm their way into the brain and eat away slowly without you even realizing till it is usually too late.

I have a ton of regrets. They are stacked around just like the aforementioned newspapers. They haunt me like a ghost that is lost in the ether and can’t find it’s way out. Here is a list of mine. Some are self-afflicted and some are ones that I can’t change no matter what I try to to do.

I regret a lot of things. Some I keep to myself and others people know about. I have regrets that eat at me and others just sort of sit there more as a reminder of what I could have been. Regrets of things started but never finished.

My biggest regret is not going through the adoption process when my first wife Rose was diagnosed with leukemia. It bugs me to this day. I could have been the dad that I always wanted to be but I chose to end it. I just didn’t think that it was fair to bring a child into a situation where she had lost one mom just to loose another!

I have always wanted to be a dad and bring a child up with the same values I have. (Oh lord, that poor child). But I didn’t do that. I chose to think of Rose and the child instead of myself.

I regret not being there when my Mom died. I unfortunately could not afford to come back. I miss her and know that I will see her when I get to heaven.

I regret not being around when my other Mom died. Karen was the only one that got away with telling me off. I loved her so much and miss her just as much.

I regret not pursuing my dream of singing or acting. I just never got around to doing it. I guess God had other plans for me.

I regret not getting my novel published. Always thinking it is not good enough! I have written three of them and I just don’t think they are good enough. They sit on a data card and wait while I get up the guts to send them to whomever will read them.

One of the few things I don’t regret is marrying Rose or Jeanne. They have and are my soulmates. Most only get one. I got lucky, I got two. Some said that my marriage to Rose would never last. We had 14 wonderful years. They all said that moving to Oregon was a big mistake. 19 years later, we are still together.

The one thing I do not regret at all is falling in love with my First Love! For those who don’t know who that is, that would be Jesus Christ! He is my First Love because He first loved me.

Let me make one thing clear, regrets are not failures. Regrets are just that regrets.

We all have regrets but it depends on what you do with them. Some you can’t stop because it is too late and normally because the reason is no longer in or part of your life anymore. Some you can deal with if you can reach or deal with the problem at hand. Some you have to lay at the Lord’s feet and let Him deal with them.

 

“Keep Looking Up! For His Coming Is Nigh!”

 

 

Thank You!

Thanksgiving. The time to give thanks for all you have. To gather with family and enjoy their company, whether we like them or not. We gather to see what has changed. Who is with who and who has split up with who.

We give thanks for family and friends. We give thanks for events that happen in our lives. Our children, our job, our health. But in some families, thanks are never given to the One that made it all possible.

Being thankful for something is so important for so many reasons. To show that you are so appreciative of the items your given. To acknowledge the giver and show them respect. Being thankful is not a reason to boast about how much money or how much you have succeeded and how much you have. It’s about the little things. It’s about family.

I keep saying family.

Family is important. Family defines us. Makes us what we are. Sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. Family makes us realize that no matter what, we are accepted as we are at least somewhere. Maybe it is blood and sometimes it is not. Sometimes that family is a bunch of strangers that have come together for no other reason than a need to belong. They get to know each other. Their quirks and their habits. They depend on each other, just like a real family made of up of parents and siblings.

Sometimes a family is made up of people in a virtual world that may never actually meet ever and yet they see themselves as family. Husband and wife. Brothers and sister, aunts and uncles, sons and daughters. Even family friends. Loved by each other and cared for by each other. Sharing each others pain and good times. Celebrating when things go good. When someone wins a bike race, or an award for good work. Rejoicing in the love that is there for each other, virtual or real.

Venting at each other and yelling. Calling each other out and convicting them, cause they know you or they did wrong. Walking away knowing for better or worse, they  love you no matter what. They bust you for something that you did then turn around and trust you. It is love they are showing.

I have that kind of family in Second Life. We may never ever meet but they have become such an important part of my life. I would not be the same without them. When we are together, which doesn’t happen as much as I would like, I am thankful for each and everyone of them. They are part me, not only in SL but also in my real life. We share our pains. We know when things are going on and who is hurting. We send out prayers for each other and when we say “i love you” we know that it is a real love.

Family is wonderful thing. Be thankful for the family that you have. Real or virtual or both. Love them with a never ending love. Love them with all their warts and scars. Their ugly faults and their wonderful pluses. You only get one family.

What am I thankful for? I am thankful that I have a wonderful wife who loves me no matter what and gave me my life back. I am thankful for my siblings, even when they are a pain in my butt. I am thankful that I have a place to live and food in my stomach. For there was a time when a van was my home for a while or a tent or a nursing home floor was my bed. Most of all, I am thankful that I have a God that loved me enough to die for me.

Jesus didn’t have to die for me. He could have just walked away from it all and said “nope, you are all on your own!” but he didn’t. He laid down His life for me and you and all of mankind. He did so cause he wanted to. He did so to fulfill the Father’s plan. He spread his arms and died so that I might have eternal life. I am thankful for that.

Folks, be thankful for something this Thanksgiving. Even if it is only a little thing. Love your friends and your family. Love them with an unconditional love that knows no bounds. If you need friends, then go make some. If you are not sure how, then a simple handshake is a good start.

I will start. If you are in Second Life and need a friend, IM me and send me a friend request. Ask anyone (but her and her and her and her and him and her and her and him) I am a real nice guy.

Lastly, be thankful for the life you have. It may not be much or it might be a lot. Be thankful nonetheless. Give thanks to God for all you have, no matter the God that you serve. If you can, share some of what you have and give someone else a reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving!

 

“Keep Looking Up! His Coming Is Nigh!”

Who Am I?

Who am I that the King of Kings would come down to save me from my sins.

Who Am I?

I am a sinner.

I am the foulest of men.

I am covered in sin.

I am bathed in it.

I am flawed!

I am a fading flower.

A speck of sand that gets blown around by the wind.

A dandelion silk seed that weaves and bobs to the current of the wind.

I am an animal that is ruled by the brain and not by the heart.

I put my trust in the tangible not the unseen.

I am but a child who eagerly seeks his Father’s warm touch.

A seed that is waiting to be bathed in my Lord’s love so I may become what He wants me to be.

I am an old man who has walked with his Lord for 40 years and still, even though I make mistakes, seek Him.

I am flawed and dented covered in scars yet my Lord loves me still.

I am loved not because my Lord has to but because He wants to.

Does that sound familiar. Did you think of yourself when you read that. If you did then remember this.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Isaiah 53

The Suffering Servant

53 Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To all on Him.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

10 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

Jesus died for you. He doesn’t care about your flaws or your scars. He cares about you. You are special to Him. He loves you like no other. His love is perfect.

If in reading this blog post, you find that you want to come to Jesus then it is the easiest thing you can do. Talk to Him, take Him as your own and declare Him as your Lord and Saviour.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. As Christians, we are here to show you the way but to do so in a loving way. Not to shove Jesus down your throat but rather present Him in such a way to show you who He is and that He is who He said He was.

If you come away with nothing else other than “Jesus loves you” then the seed has been planted and we will pray for you!

 

“Keep Looking UP!”

Where the Thunder Roars

This story is inspired by the song “Where The Thunder Roars” recorded by the Christian Band White Heart. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Where nuclear snow falls the thunder is close to follow.  For almost a decade nuclear winter had had a strangle hold on the world. Anything left alive now cried out for death to come.

Ten years ago or there abouts, four nuclear bombs were dropped on North America. Two on Washington D.C., one on Ottawa, Canada and one on Mexico City, Mexico. All over the world nuclear bombs were being dropped in other capitol cities. Small countries nearby were left alone. The blasts from neighboring countries were enough to destroy the small countries. Millions upon millions of people died. Innocent children and adults died before they even knew what happened.

The war started three years to the day that the United States invaded Iraq. A year into the war, civil war broke out. The U.S. military were driven out but the U.S. would not leave. They insisted on staying.  The president at the time was bent on a democratic Iraq no matter what the costs were. Lives were lost. Bombs were dropped. The U.S. military were all but wiped out. The President was not happy.

More military were called. The draft was re-initiated. Thousands upon thousands of boys sixteen or older were drafted. These same boys would sent home in body bags. More boys were called up and even girls were drafted. The more that were sent, the more that were sent back in body bags. The Americans were loosing more then just people. They were also loosing friendly countries. Soon out of nowhere came a country no one had thought about.

 This country sat between Iraq and Israel. They were an Islamic country but were friendly with Iraq and Israel which was unusual. The country was called Palmyra. During the civil war in Syria had caused a split. What was once one country was now two? No one took notice of the civil war in Syria because of the situation in Iraq.

 It didn’t take long for Palmyra to show its true intent. Soon bombs were dropping everywhere. Palmyra started dropping bombs for no apparent reason. It didn’t take long for the world to become something that it should never have been.

 Now ten years have passed and countries no longer mattered. What was once a planet of several billion now was a planet of several thousand. Millions up millions died from the bombs. Millions upon millions died because of the fallout. Millions upon millions more died from radiation poisoning. Even more died from all the unrest and laying blame and countries fighting and destroying each other. When the final tally was added up, billions of people had died.

 Race didn’t matter. Religion didn’t matter. Adult or child didn’t matter. Nuclear destruction is an indiscriminate killer. Nothing mattered. Even the very country that set the bombs off was not immune.

 Now the dust fell. The thunder roared and snow drifted to the ground. What once was a beautiful oasis of wonder, Las Vegas was now just rubble. The lights that once shone brighter then the stars were now dead. There was nothing but silence now. No one roamed the streets, for if they did the disfigured animals would get them or the things that use to be human would. But one would.

 Day One

 His name was William Smith but he liked being called Smitty. Smitty stood six feet tall. His black hair trailed down his back in a long ponytail. His steel gray eyes always looked at the person he talked to. It was almost as if he could see right into their souls. He always carried his bible around. Most people thought he was nuts but he didn’t pay them no mind. He knew they didn’t know any better. Maybe he was. Smitty would sit in his bunker and talk to the Lord. He almost always did it alone. Sometimes he would have a rat or the occasional insect as company.

 All the bomb shelters weren’t exactly bomb shelters. They were actually the subway system. Not the upper ones but rather the lower ones. Yes Vegas had a subway system. It wasn’t very big or had it been used but it was there. Since the bomb the tunnels had increased. People dug more and more trying to find privacy when privacy was a luxury. Rooms had been carved out of rock and families huddled together. They huddled to keep warm and to stay alive. It might not be the best life but it was life.

Smitty sat in his own little area. He did the same thing he did every day. He read his bible. He had read his bible so many times that you could tell just by looking at it that his bible was well loved. The elastic bands that held it together was a dead give away. Smitty closed his bible and then began to pray. 

“Father in heaven, I come to you. Not only as your child but also as one who lives in this hell we have created.

“Lord Jesus, I bow before you and worship you. I glorify your name. You are the Master of all. Be with me this night as I sleep. Be with me as I wake and guide my steps. In Your precious name I ask this. Amen.”

Smitty opened his eyes and spied a little girl. She was standing off to one side trying not to be seen. He had seen her the last few days. She crept a little closer every day. He smiled as she walked away. He closed his eyes and was asleep in no time.

Morning came the same way it always did, wet and dreary. Smitty opened his eyes and looked right into the eyes of the little girl. He smiled up at her and she smiled at him.

 “Hello little one, what is your name?”

 “My name is Shelagh, what is yours?”

 “My name is William Smith but you can call me Smitty. Where is your mommy?”

 “She is not feeling well, could you come look?”

  Smitty nodded his head and took Shelagh’s hand. They walked towards the end of the subway track. Finding the hole that Shelagh and her mother lived in, Smitty stepped right in. He could tell right away that her mommy was dead. He turned towards Shelagh.

 “I’m sorry sweetheart, but your mommy is dead. She has gone to be with God.”

 Shelagh began to cry, her hands covering her face. She cried harder. Smitty took her into his arms and she melted into them.

 “Come with me. You can stay with me. Is that okay?”

 Shelagh nodded her head. She clung to Smitty as they walked back to his home. When they got there, Smitty let Shelagh lay down. She fell to sleep almost immediately. Smitty left her to sleep as he went on packing. He finished up and then sat down to watch her sleep. Shelagh stirred and moaned. She was dreaming. Smitty sat down beside her and stroked her head. She seemed to calm down. He wondered what she was dreaming about.

 When Shelagh woke up she found herself curled up into the crook of Smitty’s’ arm. He was snoring softly. She got up and found a place to go to the bathroom. She came back and picked up his bible. She didn’t know what it was but she at it anyways.

Shelagh read words that she had never heard. She read about how God loved us and that He sent His only Son to die for us. She didn’t understand, but she would ask Smitty about it. She looked up to see Smitty looking at her. She quickly put down the bible. She wasn’t sure if she had done something wrong or not. Smitty held up his hands.

 “No, please look. I have another that you can have. This one is mine but you may look at it.”

Smitty got up and found the other bible. He passed it her and took his own. She took the other one and opened it. She looked up at Smitty.

“Who is God?”

“God is the creator of all. He was before there was anything else. He always has been and always will be.” Smitty replied. 

“Who is Jesus?” Shelagh asked.

Smitty smiled at her. He sat down beside her. 

“Who is Jesus? That is not an easy question to answer but I will try my best.

 “Jesus is the Son of God. He came to be the sacrifice for our sins. He did it because He wanted to not because He had to. If He had done it because it was expected of Him then His death would have meant nothing. But because He willingly died, it means we have right to be called the children of God. I know for a little girl, it doesn’t make any sense but in time it will.”

Shelagh nodded and the put down her bible. She looked into the corner of the room. She pointed to it. Smitty looked where she pointed.

“I’m going on a trip. I am going above ground. It has been ten years since the bombs dropped. The dust is still falling but I want to find out if the air is breathable.” 

“How do you know the dust is still falling?” Shelagh asked. 

“I was up high enough last week to see it. I didn’t go way up, just far enough to see the dust.” 

“Can I come?” Shelagh asked.

“I don’t know what dangers are out there. There could be animals and other things. Mutations from the nuclear fall out.”

“I’ll stay close and do what you say. I promise.”

Smitty nodded his head. Shelagh smiled.

“We will leave in two days. I am going to have to find more supplies. A warm coat for you and some boots too. Tomorrow we can go up and the things you need. The clothes might be a little big as will the boots but at least you will be warm. So let’s try to get some sleep.”

Smitty let her have the bed and he curled up in a sleeping bag. Both were off to sleep in no time.

 Day Two

The morning came softly. There was no big bang or major revelation. No bands played and no one saw the sun rise. It just came. Shelagh was already awake. She sat reading the bible that Smitty gave her. She didn’t understand it but she knew that Smitty would explain it best he could. She didn’t know why she trusted Smitty but she did. Everyone did. He was the only one they ever trusted. Maybe it was because he was so gentle even though he was so big. He never said an unkind word or made fun of anyone.

 Smitty stirred but didn’t wake up. Shelagh looked at him. She had always seen him around but never got up the nerve to say boo to him. Her mother spoke to him often. She never heard him talk about Jesus. He would help with anything that needed to be done. He never tried to get payment for any of the work he did. He seemed so odd. Any of the other men around always wanted payment. Normally it would mean her mom having to do something that was so degrading. Smitty wasn’t like that.  Her mom would offer but Smitty would always say no. He would go on his way then be available to help again. Shelagh saw Smitty stir again. This time he opened his eyes slightly. He smiled when he saw her. Sitting up he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

 “Good morning. I see you are ready to go. Let me get ready and then we can go.”

 “I’m hungry.” Shelagh said.

 “Yes I know. We will have to see what the Lord can give us. He will supply.”

 Smitty got up and changed his clothes then came back out. He looked in the wall and found a can of peaches. He opened it and poured some into a throwaway bowl. Finding a plastic spoon, he passed the bowl to Shelagh. They ate quietly then tossed away the garbage. He took her hand and started on their way.

 Shelagh stayed close to Smitty. It was dark and the way was hard to see. Smitty had his flashlight but it needed new batteries. It did little to light the way but it made Shelagh feel better. Suddenly someone jumped out of the shadows.

 “Give me the girl. It’s been a long time for me. I haven’t had a girl in a very long time.”

 Smitty glared at him, “No, you can’t have her, she is mine. Now be gone.”

 The man brandished a knife. He showed it to Smitty who did nothing. The man lunged at Smitty and he pushed him away. The man swung wildly and caught a glancing blow on Smitty’s’ arm. Smitty could feel the blood start to pour.

 Smitty felt a rage that he had not felt in many years. The man lunged at him again and Smitty caught him square in the face. Shelagh had moved back but not so far that she could not see that was going on. The man went down but was up almost immediately. He lunged again but Smitty grabbed him by the throat. Smitty pushed him up against the rock wall. Smitty was smiling. The man was struggling.

“The girl belongs to me! No one else can have her. I will do with her what I will.”

 “I want the girl. She looks so innocent, so tasty. I want her!”

 The man tried to fight but Smitty pressed him harder into the rock wall. The man brought the knife up and tried to bring the knife down into Smitty’s’ chest. Smitty’s’ arm blocked him. Smitty felt the knife tear into his shoulder. He didn’t scream in pain. All he did was pull the knife from the wound. He forced it down and plunged it into the man’s stomach.

 Smitty stepped back as his attacker sank to the ground. People had gathered around. Smitty looked at them. They all looked down. One woman walked up and brushed his face with her hand.

 “Thank you mister, that piece of trash is the same man that had violated our children. You did right by killing him and protecting your daughter. “

 Smitty nodded and tried to speak. She put her hand on his mouth and then spit on the dead man. She smiled and then with the rest of them, she walked away. Smitty turned to see Shelagh standing in the shadows. She walked over to him.

“Why did you have to kill him?”

 Smitty looked at her. “Well if I didn’t then you would be his slave. Now is that what you wanted. He would have used you for sex and who knows what else and when he was done with you; he would have thrown you away like you were yesterday’s garbage. Is that what you wanted?”

 “No!” Shelagh cried.

“Then it is good that I killed him. Child this is not the world of old. This is a new world. The old world that you have heard about was relatively safe. This world is not. This world may look like the old world but it is a lot more dangerous.”

Shelagh knew he was right. Even though she did not know the old world, she had heard stories, about how people, for the most part, could walk out in public and be safe. How people lived in houses not holes in the ground. She had never seen a flower except in old magazines. She shook her head.

 “Can we go now?”

 “Yes.” Smitty said as he smiled at her.

 They made their way up to the next level. There were very few people around. Most people stayed underground. It was too bright up here. Plus people were afraid of the fallout and nuclear radiation. Smitty knew different. Shelagh looked up at the light. It was bright, so bright she had to shield her eyes. Smitty smiled and passed her a pair of sunglasses. She looked at them and put them on. She giggled. She was still young enough that she didn’t mind wearing piggies on her face.

 They arrived at the first store. Smitty took her hand. She gasped when she saw the first skeleton. There was still a little bit of hair left on the head. It wore dirty white pearls around its neck. Shelagh stared at it with morbid fascination.

 Smitty pulled her arm, “Come let’s go. We need to find clothes for you. We have lots of time. They don’t come out till dark.”

 “They?” Shelagh asked.

 “Yes, they. We will discuss it tonight.” Smitty replied.

 They made their way to the children’s section. There were lots of clothes here. Shelagh had lots to choose from. They quickly chose the clothes for her. They moved over to the shoes. Finding lots of boots and shoes, they chose two of each for her. Now it was Smitty’s turn. Smitty didn’t need much. Just some heavy wool socks. He found some but they were women’s but he didn’t care. They would keep his feet warm and dry and in the end that is all he cared about. Next he went looking for supplies. They would need some where they were going.

 Shelagh lallygagged as they went. She looked at all the pretty rings. Smitty found her a nice purple one. She placed it on her finger and then hurried along to catch up with Smitty. Shelagh found him looking in the canned goods. He was choosing cans at random. There wasn’t a lot there, but he did find some good things. He looked for fruit and found lots of canned peaches. Smitty hated peaches but took what the good Lord gave.

 Shelagh came to him with an unopened can of ground coffee. It had been a long time since he had a cop of coffee. Black no sugar was the way he liked it. He saw that she had three and put them in his bag. He looked for canned juice for Shelagh but all he could find was pineapple juice. It would have to do. He smiled then picked up the bag.

 “Time for us to get going, it will be dark soon and we do not want to be out when that happens.”

 He started walking towards the door then looked back. Shelagh had not moved. She was holding something shiny in her hand. He walked back and looked at it. It was a sterling silver cross. She smiled at him.

 “You gave me the ring so I thought I should give you something. I want you to have this.”

 Smitty nodded and smiled. He took her offering and slipped it around his neck.

 He modeled it for her.  “How does it look?”

 “Wonderful!” Shelagh replied.

 “We must go now. Come along.” Smitty said.

 They arrived back to Smitty’s with no incidents. Smitty took the food and divided it up into days. It was going to take five days  to get to where they were going. He looked in on Shelagh to find her sound asleep. He covered her up and went back to work. After he had packed all the backpacks and sled, he covered them up and the climbed under the covers.                                                      

Day Three

Smitty stirred first. His internal alarm clock went off. He quickly got dressed and then took his bible and began to read.

 “For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 Smitty put down his bible and then looked right into Shelagh`s eyes. She smiled at him and he smiled at her.

 “Good morning, are we ready to go?” Smitty asked.

 Shelagh nodded her head, “Yep, I am ready. Not sure where we are going but I am ready.”

 “Good, cause I want to be gone before sun up. When we get to the store level, we will wait till the sun come up. It isn’t very bright but it will be bright enough to get along. We will only travel by day. It is too dangerous to travel at night. Do you understand?”

 Shelagh nodded her head, “Yes, I understand. I will do as you say.”

 Everything was gathered together and they headed out. Smitty carried the bulk of the supplies. Shelagh carried what she could. Anything else was pulled on a small sled. They got to the store level without incident. Stopping to rest, they each had a drink of juice. They didn’t talk.

Smitty picked up his backpack and motioned for Shelagh to do the same. It was getting light out. The monsters that roamed the night world would be heading into their lairs. Smitty smiled and then led Shelagh up the stairs then stopped.

 At the top of the stairs stood a monster, it looked like a man but it also looked like something from a nightmare. It stood at lease six feet tall with long dangly arms arms. At each end of the arms were claws. They no long looked like hands. The skin was charred and oozing with puss. What little hair on its head was wild and short?  Its eyes burned like fire. It glared at Smitty.

Smitty pushed Shelagh down the stairs. . The monster advanced. Smitty stood his ground and pulled out his guns. He didn’t take careful aim, he just started to fire. Most of the bullets missed but some of them hit their target. The monster went down to one knee and Smitty took careful aim. He fired sending the bullet into the monster’s head. It fell to the ground and thrashed around for a few seconds then stopped.  Smitty looked down at Shelagh.

 “Stay there. Do not come near.”

 Smitty moved up towards the monster. It moved and Smitty shot it again. He motioned for Shelagh to come up. She started to come up and then stopped. The monster moved. She pointed at it and Smitty put another round into the body. He kicked at it to show Shelagh that it was dead. She passed by then sat down and cried.

 “Sorry for crying. I was scared.”

 “No need to be sorry. Truth be told, I was scared too but it is gone now.”

 “Will there be more?” she asked.

 “I suppose but we will worry about when the time comes.”  He pointed at the monster, “That is why we travel during the day. They only come out at night. There are things that are out during the day but for the most part they will not even look at you. Ignore them and they will ignore you. Now come. I have to get some more ammo. I saw a gun shop downstairs not far from here. Let’s go.”

 They quickly ran down the stairs to the gun shop. Smitty smashed the glass and then quickly found what he was looking for. He even found some rounds for his Luger. He picked up another one and all the ammo he could carry. He looked around and found another backpack and put all the extra ammo into it. He slung it over his shoulder. He took Shelagh’s hand and then they rushed into the daylight. Shelagh put her sunglasses on and Smitty followed suit. He looked around. Nuclear winter was such a bummer.

 Shelagh looked at all the buildings. Ten years of ash and neglect really showed. She didn’t know what to think. She looked up at the horizon. She could see the red sky and see the lightning. It was faint but she could just make out the sound of the thunder. She looked at Smitty and pointed to the mountain.

 “Is that where we are going?”

 Smitty looked at the mountain then back at Shelagh. He smiled at her and then nodded his head.  She looked at him.

 “Why?”

 “Because I believe that is where I can find God. I believe that is where I can finally be with my Lord and Master Jesus Christ.”

 Shelagh nodded her head. She let the matter drop and said nothing more about it. She just smiled.

 “Where to now?”

 Smitty pointed to his right. He knew where to go for now. After a bit he would be going on gut instinct.  He started walking that way with Shelagh in tow. They walked through the streets. The buildings were falling apart. The corpses of automobiles were scattered like cord wood. Shelagh peeked in one and saw a skeleton. She jumped back. Smitty joined her. He pointed to the silver cross around his neck.

“No worries that poor soul is not going to hurt you. He died during the fallout. Probably a year or so into it I suspect. He might have been a Christian or he might not have been. A lot of people wore crosses then but didn’t believe in God.” Smitty explained.

 “Why would anyone wear something that means something you don’t believe in?”

 “Because that was the way it was. It became a fashion statement to wear a cross. It became not a show of faith but rather a show of vanity. It was a spit into the eyes of God. That is what happens when you take Jesus out of the equation. Put Him up on a shelf where He can’t bother anyone and then go about your daily life as if He isn’t there then when the need arises; claim Him as your Savior and Lord. Come let’s get going. I have something I want to show you.”

Smitty took her hand and led her down the street. They passed by old destroyed stores. She saw the remains of dresses and other items. She saw jewelry all over the ground. She bent down to look at it then walked away. She caught up with Smitty and took his hand. After an hour of walking through dust and ash, they got to where they were going. It was the ruins of an old church. Shelagh could still see the cross standing tall against the ash and duct. She stared at it. It seemed to shine in the dismal light like a beacon, almost as if to say that God had not abandoned the world. Smitty found the remains of a door and opened it. Shelagh walked in before him.

 The pews that still stood were beautiful. The intricate scroll works on the sides were signs of a master’s hand. They were made of the finest oak and a deep rich brown. Some even had the original plaques on them from when people paid for the pew. One read The Miller Family, Nineteen Eighty Five. She looked at the others. They also had names and dates. Smitty pulled her hand gently.

 “Come with me into the bottom level. That is where we will stay for the night. There is no one there so we can leave our stuff and then go back outside and look around.”

 They went downstairs navigating the rubble carefully. Smitty reached the bottom first and moved a rock out of the way. They were still a few supplies there from the last time he had been here.

“You have been here before?” Shelagh asked.

“Yes, I was here about a year ago. I spent two days here trying to find God. As you can see, I found Him.”

 “So this place is safe from the monsters?”

 “Yes, we are fine. They consider this place taboo so they won’t come in. Our supplies will be safe. Let me stow this stuff and we can go.”

Smitty quickly got the guns and some ammo. He rolled the rock back into place and then after sliding the guns into his belt and the ammo into his coat pocket, he motioned for Shelagh to follow him as he made his way back up through the rubble. They returned outside and saw the cross again. Smitty scanned to his left, right and in front of him. He pointed to his right and they headed off that way.

 They trod through the dust and the nuclear snow. As before the remains of rusted out cars were everywhere. Store fronts were destroyed. Looting had happened but those who had done the looting were dead before they had the chance to enjoy their booty.

 As they turned the corner they could hear screaming as if someone was being attacked. They followed the sound to see monsters attacking a woman. Smitty pulled his guns and pushed Shelagh into the doorway. The girl was pretty badly beaten. Smitty walked over carefully all the while keeping his eyes on the one that had his back to him. Holding the gun firmly in his hand, Smitty brought it down butt first and knocked the thing down. Smitty watched for any notice from the other two.

 The girl slid down the wall of the building that supported her. She had blood pooling on the ground. Smitty raised his gun and fired. The shot rang out and hit one of the monsters in the head. He quickly fired again and hit the other in the chest. Smitty ran over and put two more rounds into each creature.  She watched him through bloodied eyes and cringed. Smitty walked back over.

 “It is okay. Do not be afraid. I will not hurt you.” He said as he held out his hand.

 The girl took his hand and got up on her wobbly legs. She started to fall and Smitty grabbed her. He helped her over to a place to sit. She sat down and looked at the bodies.

 “What is your name child?” Smitty asked.

 “Moriah is my name. What is yours?”

 “You can call me Smitty. What are you doing out? It is not safe.”

 “I was coming out to see what the world was like. It has been so long since I had seen it. It is not as I remember it.”

 Smitty looked up to see Shelagh coming closer. He motioned for her to come She looked over at the girl. She was bleeding. Shelagh ripped a swath of material from her shirt and dabbed some of the blood off the girls’ face.

 “There that is better….”

 Shelagh saw the instant fear in the girl’s eyes. She turned around to see the monster rising from the ground. She looked for Smitty but he had gone off to get something. The creature moved closer. Shelagh looked for something to protect herself with. She found what looked like a large stick. She struck the monster with all her might but the stick shattered. Moriah started throwing rocks but it did not stop it.

 “Smitty, help!” Shelagh cried out.

 Smitty came running. He had his guns out. He fired above the monster. It turned towards Smitty and spit venom. Smitty dropped behind an old car and looked at the monster through the broken window. He aimed carefully through the same window. He squeezed off a shot and hit the monster. The bullet whizzed through the air and hit the leg. The monster sank to the ground. The girls got up and ran. Smitty got up quickly and advanced on the monster. It lay on the ground clutching its leg. Smitty looked down and opened fire. He emptied two full clips into it. By the time he was finished, there was nothing left. Smitty turned towards the girls.

 “Are you two alright?”

 Shelagh and Moriah both shook their heads. Smitty dropped the guns and then sat down. He was sad and tired. He didn’t like killing but had no other choice.  Moriah came up towards him.

 “What are those things?”

 “They are mutants. I call them troglodytes. They came into being a year or so after the bombs were dropped. They normally don’t come out during the day. Night time is their time to roam and feed on what is stupid enough to come out.” He replied.

 Smitty looked up at the sky. The shadow of the sun was high in the sky. It was afternoon and darkness would be coming soon. They needed to get to cover.

 “Come we must be going.” He looked at Moriah. “Do you have a place to go?”

 “No. My place of hiding is far away from here. I would never make it back in time.”

 “Very well then, you can stay with us for the night.”

Moriah nodded her head. She glanced at Shelagh and smiled softly. She looked so young and tender. She glanced at Smitty and grinned. He must enjoy her a lot.

 “Is she yours?” She asked pointing at Shelagh.

 “What do you mean mine?”

 “Is she your, you know?”

 Smitty opened his eyes wide. He knew what she meant now. He thought about what to say. He had to protect Shelagh. She was only ten after all, far too young to be used for sexual perversion. He stopped and looked at Shelagh then motioned for her to come to him. She did so and curled up into his arm. He smiled at her like a father would at his daughter. Smitty always told the truth and this time was no different.

 “No she is not mine in the sense that you speak of. She is my daughter and under my protection. Does that explain it?”

 “Yes it does. I shall not bother her. Where are you traveling to?”

 “We are headed to the where the thunder roars.”

 “Why go there. There is nothing but death there. No one and nothing lives there. I am told it is because of the heat.” Moriah said.

 Smitty looked at her. He made it clear with his face that he would not speak of it until they were in a safer place. He took Shelagh`s hand and pulled her gently along. Moriah followed close. They made their way back to the crumbling church. Going downstairs, Smitty moved the rock and pulled out the supplies. He opened a can of peaches and spit it between Moriah and Shelagh. He took a small can of mixed fruit and ate it slowly. He said a quiet grace as he ate.

“I am told that God is at that mountain.” Smitty said.

 Moriah looked at him. Her grey eyes seemed to mock him. She tossed back her blonde hair. She smiled a mocking smile.

 “If God has any brains, He won’t be up there. He will be somewhere safe and warm. Nothing against God but He would be a fool to go there.”

 Smitty smiled. This was a girl that had been to the mountain or at least very close to the mountain. That meant she knew how to get there. He had to find out from her how.

 “So am I to assume that you have been to the mountain?”

 “Close enough to know that it is bloody hot.” Moriah replied with a nod.

 Smitty nodded his head slowly. He slowly rubbed his graying beard. he looked over at Shelagh and smiled. He got up and placed a blanket from the bags over her. It was going to get cold tonight. He looked over at Moriah.

 “I will help you get to where you want to go.” She said as she laid her head down.

 Smitty closed his eyes and said a quiet prayer. Soon he too was asleep. All three slept peacefully though the night. Morning came to rain and cloud.

 Day Four

Smitty woke up first. Moriah and Shelagh slept. He said his morning prayers and then made coffee. He made a small fire and heated some water. He drank his coffee before anyone else awoke and while he read his bible. Moriah stirred first.

 “You have coffee?”

 Smitty nodded and then tossed her a plastic mug.

 “Yep and the water is still hot. Help yourself.

 She smiled and then made her coffee. She sipped it slowly trying not to slurp. She had gotten use to black coffee and sipped it slowly.

“Are you a bomb worshiper?”

 “No.” Smitty replied.

 “Do you worship the goddess or any of the other gods?”

 Smitty turned around. He looked at Moriah and smiled. She asked all the right questions just not in the right way. He didn’t mind her ignorance. Those who did not know the Lord God were not wrong in doing what they did. They had probably never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and therefore were ignorant of Him.

 “No, I do not worship the goddess or any of the other gods. I do not worship a bomb nor do I plan on it. I worship the One True Living God. Not a bomb or an idol made by man’s hand but the only God that is worthy of my praise. His name is Jesus Christ.”

Moriah smiled softly but her eyes said otherwise. She was taught that the goddess taught tolerance but she was not so tolerant. If he would not worship the goddess then he deserved to die.

 “I see. I worship the goddess. She teaches tolerance.”

 “I understand.” Smitty said through a nod. “We can learn much from each other I think.”

 Shelagh stirred. It was getting light out and they needed to get going. They had far to travel and little time to do it in. Smitty opened a small can of peaches and handed them to Shelagh. She ate them down and then quickly got dressed. Smitty got the supplies out and arranged them into the knapsacks. With a third person more could be carried. He passed one to Moriah, a small one to Shelagh and the other two he took himself. They started upstairs then stopped. Smitty passed Moriah a gun.

 “You do know how to use this right?”

Moriah nodded her head. She took the pistol and the half dozen clips. They continued their way upstairs. The sun was up high enough that the troglodytes should be back in their dark lairs. Smitty headed for the door first. He looked out and saw nothing. He motioned for the girls to join him.

 “It is early and the sun is up. High enough I think to make the troglodytes go back to their lairs but one never knows. We must be wary.” Smitty looked right at Shelagh. “You stay between me and Moriah. Do not leave, get distracted. We must get as far as we can before sundown.”

 Shelagh nodded her head. She watched Smitty take the lead with Moriah bringing up the rear. She felt like a sandwich and she was the tasty filling. She kept pace as best she could. Sometimes she was too fast and sometimes too slow. Smitty kept look out for trouble. Moriah did the same. Suddenly Smitty heard the sound of a bullet flying by his ear. He could actually feel the faint whoosh of air as it flew by him.

 “Hit the ground.”

 Shelagh did as she was told. She did not have to be told twice. She crawled towards a burnt out car and waited She could see Smitty pretty well but Moriah was nowhere to be found. She looked to find Smitty again.

 “Smitty, look out!” Shelagh screamed.

 Moriah came running around the corner and shot. The bullet flew through the air and caught Shelagh square in the chest. Blood splattered outwards and she sank against the car. Her body quivered then stopped as her life ebbed from her. Smitty heard her scream too late. He quickly swung around and caught Moriah as she looked at the dying girl. The evil grin on her face was testament enough for Smitty. He caught her ankle with his leg and watched as she came crashing down. He punched her once. She still breathed.

More bullets whizzed by him. One caught him in the shoulder as he looked towards Shelagh. She was pressed up against a car. He looked back to see another bullet hit him in the other shoulder. He scrambled behind a car and looked for Shelagh. She was still pressed against the other car. She was looking at him. He could see her fear.

 Moving towards her slowly, the pain was almost too much to bear. He commando crawled along the ground. The pain from his shoulders was bad enough that he winced. He got to Shelagh and saw the blood. She had been shot in the chest. Her eyes did not move when he called her name. She didn’t hear him. He closed his eyes and said a quiet prayer all the while holding back the anger that was building.

 While he was in prayer, Moriah started to stir. Smitty didn’t see her but he did hear her. He stayed still and waited for her to get closer. He suddenly stood up and hit her full force on the jaw. She started to go down but Smitty caught her. He dragged her back to the ruined church. Night was falling as Moriah started to stir. Smitty guessed that he had hit her a little too hard. She sat up on her elbows.

 “Why did you hit me?”

 “Because you were going to kill me just like you killed Shelagh.”

 Moriah looked at Smitty and wry grin crossed her face. She didn’t even try to hide her surprise. She hissed at him venomously.

 “Yes I killed her. I would have killed you too if that brat had died the way she was suppose to. But no, she had to use her last breath to warn you.”

 “Why, for the love of God?”

 “Why, because you dared to come out into our territory. You dared to go to the mountain of the goddess. There is no God. You worship a false God. Only the goddess is worthy of praise. The girl was yours. I wanted her. The goddess wanted her. She would have pleased many men as she was passed around. The goddess wishes…”

Smitty watched as Moriah fell to the ground. She moaned as she slid down the wall. She hadn’t even seen Smitty’s fist coming. He quickly tied her up and then gagged her and dragged her outside. He knew it would not be long before they would come looking for her. He grabbed his guns and ammo and ran. He left the supplies behind.

 Running as fast as he could, he left everything behind. He tried not to cry but the tears came anyways. Shelagh was gone and he was alone. Moriah had betrayed him and he was alone. He tried to think that he liked it that way but he knew it was a lie. He loved that little girl like a father loves a daughter. Smitty stopped and fell to his knees. He cried out to God as the tears flowed undaunted.

 “WHY?” He cried. “Why did Shelagh have to die? She was close to coming to you!”

 Smitty got up off the ground and stood still a moment. He waited t0 hear from the Lord but heard only the crunching of his feet against the dust as he began to walk. He looked back but he kept moving forward. The mountain was his goal. He started his journey to the mountain again but this time he wanted answers.

 He had walked for hours and noticed that it was getting dark. He needed to find shelter. He had walked a fair distance. The glow from the mountain was closer. He looked around and found a store that had been boarded up.

 “This looks as good a place as any other place.”

 The door opened easily. Smitty shone his flashlight slowly. No one had been in here for quite a while. He slid down the wall and dropped his guns on the floor. Looking at the door, he found no lock but he didn’t care. He looked around and found the place empty. He tried not to think about the events of today. Tears started to flow. Except for earlier, he had not cried for years.

 “Why? She was so young. She didn’t deserve to die. She was on her way to you. God, tell me! Explain to me why she had to die!”

 His tears flowed and he cried himself to sleep. He didn’t say his evening prayers like he normally did. He didn’t read his bible. He ignored God. He was mad like a little child that had had his favorite toy taken away from him. Sleep came quickly. He tossed and turned. Sleep was restless. He dreamed of pain and suffering. He dreamed of Shelagh’s mom and the way she died. Smitty saw her face and the way it was contorted in pain. He didn’t want to look anymore. Suddenly he heard a voice.

“Jesus loves you Smitty. He loved you enough to die for you, love him enough to realize that I already took Him as my own. I am with Him and you can be too but you have to quit acting like a child. You have to finish what you started. You have to go to the mountain. Go and see what He has in store for you.”

 It was Shelagh’s voice. He smiled. The dreams stopped and he fell into a fitful slumber.

 Day Five

 The morning light filtered its way down through the dust turning it from a bright yellow to a dingy gray. A slight beam hit Smitty on the face. It warmed him enough to wake him up. He sat up and wiped the sleep from his eyes. He still had a smile on his face. He looked around the store to find canned goods galore. He spied a can opener on the floor and grabbed a label less can. He quickly opened it.

 “Peaches again!”

 Using his fingers he quickly ate them and then gathered up his guns. He found a backpack and threw a few cans into it. He threw in the can opener to. Picking up the knapsack, he opened the door and started on his way to the mountain. He knew that he had far to go and little time to get there.

Smitty walked and walked. He didn’t talk to anyone. He saw no and saw nothing but destruction and more destruction. He came upon a burnt out church. He stopped to rest and saw burnt bodies. He looked away and prayed. Soon afterwards, he stood and resumed his travel. He pulled out his bible and began to read.

“Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings of eagles. They shall run and not get weary. They shall walk and not faint.”

 Smitty read it and felt his soul liven up. He walked with a purpose. He knew that he would get to the mountain. He would stand in the heart of the storm and feel the power of the Father, the Creator.

 Smitty walked for hours. He didn’t stop to rest nor did he stop to eat. His feet rose and fell in time. Seconds turned into minutes and minutes turned into hours. He looked up into the sky and saw the setting sun. The building appeared out of nowhere. He would have sworn it was not there a moment ago. He quickly ducked in and took refuge.  He sat down and opened his sack. He took out a can of peaches and after opening it, ate them down. He laid his head down and was asleep in a matter of moments. He did not dream.

 Day Six

 Smitty woke up slowly. He sat up and wiped the sleep from his eyes. He looked around and found that he was sitting in an abandoned mosque. The bombs hadn’t cared about religion. They were an indiscriminate killer.

 Smitty stood up and looked for a place to do his business. He finished up and then covered it. Grabbing his pack, we walked out the door. Strained sunlight hit his face. He didn’t fail to notice the heat. He looked around and saw the mountain. It was closer then he thought or he had walked a very long way yesterday.

 He moved towards the mountain, shedding clothes as he walked.  Soon he was down to his shorts and an undershirt. He walked up the mountain. He saw people standing around and they were waving at him. Some he knew and others he didn’t. Shelagh came running up to him.

 “Smitty!” She cried.

 She jumped into his arms and hugged him. He didn’t understand. He was sure he had seen her dead.

 “Hurry! Taste and see that the Lord is good!”

 Smitty started walking up the hill. It was steep but he did not seem to mind. He reached the peak and stood in the heart of the storm or rather he stood with The Heart of the Storm. He looked right into the eyes of Jesus. He fell to the ground and cried. Jesus reached down and picked Smitty up.

 “Well done good and faithful servant. You came to me and here I am.”

  Day Seven

 The store was quiet. Not a thing moved. Smitty was lying right where he had the night before. The empty can of peaches sat where he had put it down when he drifted off to sleep. Suddenly there was a light in the room. Two men walked in and rummaged around for food. They came upon Smitty. One of the men kicked at him. When they saw that he didn’t move, he reached down to search him. He found nothing but the guns. He pocketed them and continued to search.

 The other man found the knapsack. He emptied it out. He looked at the cans and put them aside. He tossed the clips for the guns to his partner. He took the Bible and tossed it aside.

 “Don’t need that rubbish, didn’t do this slob any good.”

 The two men gathered up their treasure. They looked over the scene one more time to make sure that had everything. They walked out never to look back.

 The bible had landed on Smitty’s chest when it had been tossed. The force of the landing had caused the left hand to bounce. It landed on the bible. The two men had never noticed the faint smile on Smitty’s face. It would remain there.

 End

Gabriela

The little girl sat on the couch. She giggled at the picture of her parents kissing. Her eyes were wide, bright and full of life. She giggled louder when she turned the page and saw another one of them kissing. He daddy’s hand was up held in a fist with his thumb sticking up. He looked so happy.

 “And what pray tell are you doing?” someone asked.

 She didn’t look up as she giggled. “You and mommy kissing.”

 He walked over and sat beside his daughter. She was and always would be as pretty as a picture. He looked at the picture and laughed. Those were indeed good time but those times were over and done with. There was no going back.

 “Daddy why were you so happy then?”

 “Well sweetheart, because mommy was happy and God had given me the one woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with. My soul mate.”

 “Why aren’t you happy now? Were you happier before we came along? Did Payton, Tristan and I do something wrong?”

 “No you children are not to blame. You are the only good things that came out of this marriage. As for the rest of the reasons, you are not old enough to understand.”

 They looked at the pictures together. He laughed and cried with each one. Angel giggled with each one specially the ones of her parents kissing. She had kissed her daddy once when he had shadow and it tickled. When they got to the last page, she looked at her father and kissed his hairy face. She closed the book and then held his hand.

 “I’m gonna pray to Jesus every night that you and mommy get back together.”

 “If you wish. He doesn’t seem to listen to me anymore.”

 “Sure he does daddy. You just have to listen.”

 Mario was about to say something when Angel jumped down and ran into the back yard. She reached the yard and turned back towards him.

 “Bye daddy. I’ll be back later.”

*******************************

 Angel Rocha was eight years old. She could be like all children, little devils. But sometimes she could be wise beyond her years. Her long blond hair hung down to her lower back. Her blue eyes shone like fine blue sapphires. She turned around and was gone from sight.

 He waved at her but was too late. She ran into her brothers as they were playing. Mario went to the door and watched them. He watched them hug and then run into the makeshift fort that he had helped them build. He saw Angel look at him as she went in. She held up her hand with a raised thumb and smiled, then she went inside the fort . She sat down and looked at her brothers.

 “We have to pray to Jesus.”

 “For?” Her older brother Payton asked.

 “So that mommy and daddy will get back together.”

 “But daddy doesn’t believe anymore.” Tristan replied.

 Angel looked at him and then smiled. She reached over and stroke his cheek softly.

 “Sure he does, he just doesn’t realize it. He is hurting and needs help. We have to start on him first.”

 Tristan looked at Payton. They shrugged their shoulders then nodded their heads in unison. They each took one of Angel’s hands then grasped each others. They bowed their heads and Angel spoke slowly.

 “Jesus, please help our daddy to believe again. We know that you love him and so do we. Oh and God, help our daddy and mommy get back together again.”

 Tristan peeked at his sister and slowly nodded his head to himself. Not bad, he thought. He spoke slowly also.

 “Dear God, please help our daddy. We know that he still believes in you but that he blames you for mommy leaving. We know that it isn’t your fault and we want him to know that too. Also God, help our mommy and daddy get back together again.”

Payton kept his eyes closed and nodded his head in agreement. He was the oldest and he was almost thirteen. His short brown hair was cropped close to his head. He liked it that way. He spoke softly as if it were a private prayer rather then a public one.

 “Father God, I agree with Angel and Tristan. I ask for the believing to come back to dad. I love him so much and I know he needs to come back to you.

 “Lord Jesus, I bring my mom to you too. I love her too and I want her and dad to get back together. I know he misses her. I can hear him crying at night. Help them to come together and at least talk things out.

 “Lord, be with us as we continue to pray for mom and day. Encourage us to set things in motion and Lord if we can’t then please Jesus, step in and get things moving. In Jesus name. Amen.”

 Payton opened his eyes to see Angel and Tristan looking at him. He raised his hands.

 “What?”

 Angel crawled over and hugged him and then kissed his cheek.

 “What was that for?”

 “Because I love you.”

 Payton smiled and then pushed her away. “Get away from me ya mutant.”

 The laughter grew louder until it spilled into the yard. Mario looked out the door and saw the children come running out and into the house. The phone rang and Angel was the closest one to it. She picked it up.

 “Hello, Rocha residence.”

 “Hello my angel.”

 “MOMMY!” she cried.

 “Hello my baby. Is daddy home?”

 Angel looked up at Payton and then shoved him the phone. She ran through the house calling for Mario. Payton put the receiver to his ear.

 “Hi mom.”

 “Hello Payton, how is my big boy?”

 “I’m okay, I wish you would come home. We all miss you. Dad misses you the most.”

 “I know baby, but your father and I have a lot to talk about before that can happen. We will see. How is Tristan?”

 Payton handed Tristan the phone and watched as his little brother spoke into the mouth piece.

 “Hi mommy. I love you!”

 “Hey honey, how is my little guy?”

 “I miss you mommy.” Tristan started to cry and almost hung up. He felt the strong hand of his father on his shoulder as he took the phone.

 “Hello Linda, did you call to bust my chops again?”

 “No, I called to let you know that I have to go away for a few days. Some conference and I have to go if I want to survive. I need you to say it is okay if they stay with you till I come back.”

 “No Linda it is not a problem. They are my children too. Enjoy your conference.” Mario hung up the phone and then sat down.

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  Mario Rocha was a proud man. He was proud when his children were born and he strutted around like a peacock. He was proud of his Italian heritage and that he had, even though people said he shouldn’t, kept his native language. He loved his children and would give his life for them. He loved them so much that he had them tattooed onto his back.

 Back when he was an angry young man and he was on the brink of prison, he had met Linda. She brought him from the brink of destruction. She loved him for who he was. She didn’t care about what he had done all those years ago. She had become his world and she was never to leave it. It had been her that had brought him back to Christ. She had been so patient with him. All those years ago then he had to lash out at her a few months ago and she left him.

 He was so proud when Payton had been born. It was so hard to believe that a man with such anger could produce such a good thing. He was even prouder when Tristan was born. Then Angel came along. She was the one that was not suppose to be. She was their miracle baby.

 After Tristan had been born, he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer. He won the battle but had been told that he would never father another child. Then months later Linda said she was pregnant. He questioned it but when he saw her he knew that this little child was his own. There was no mistake. The doctors were wrong or it could have been the Lord that made it happen. He didn’t care, all he knew was that she was his blood.

 Now his life was in shambles. His marriage was over. He had lost his first love and didn’t know how to get it back. He didn’t even know if he wanted it back. The only reason he existed was for his kids. His life was empty and he liked it that way. He stood and walked away from the phone table. It was quiet and he walked into the playroom. Payton was playing on his Xbox and Tristan was reading. He looked for Angel and found her curled up with her huge teddy bear, using the stomach as a pillow, sleeping soundly. He looked at each one of them then walked away.

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 Linda Rocha sat at her desk. She glanced at the pictures of her children and the one of Mario. They were her lifeline. They would be her lifeline while she struggled to kick her habit. She had struggled all of her life. She just couldn’t shake the drugs. They mocked her when she tried to get clean. They whispered in her ear and said awful things. She cried and cried and every time she gave into them. She didn’t call out to God because she felt that what God wouldn’t want her as one of His children.

 She, although hard, she stayed clean throughout her marriage and when she had found out that she was pregnant with Payton, she gave them up totally. She stayed clean with Tristan and Angel. Then things exploded. That’s when the drugs reared their ugly head again. She fell into the trap all over again. She tried to hide it from Mario but he knew that she was having a hard time. He tried to hide it from the children and act like everything was okay but his patience ran out. He lashed out at her and she left. Left her children behind and made the drugs her best friend.

 Linda wasn’t a bad person. She wasn’t misunderstood either. She knew what she was doing and that it was bad for her. She knew that she had no one to blame but herself. She understood that she was an addict and that it was her fault. Linda had believed in God once. There was a time that she would have run to Him with the slightest problem. Now she tries to hide those problems from Him.

 Linda had not told Mario the truth. It was not a conference that she was going to. Rather a court appointed detox to clean out her body. She had tried to sell herself to get drugs. She tried it with an undercover cop. She had had a choice. Either go to prison and spend five years there or take the detox. She had a choice and she chose the detox. For the next five weeks, she was going to be guarded by prison guards. Not allowed to leave the premises nor was she allowed any visitors. She could only talk to the other patients. She would be watched like a hawk and she would get clean. It was not going to be a walk in the park. It was going to be hard. The hardest thing she had ever done.

 Linda sat on the edge of her bed. She took the pictures of her kids and the one of Mario and put them into her bag. She pulled the one of Mario out and kissed it softly. She wept silently and whispered.

“I am doing this to win you back.”

 With her bags packed and she was ushered out to the car. She was off to the center to do her time. She was alone now or at least she thought she was.

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 Green Hills Rehab was not a new business. They had been around for decades but it was a new building. They had all the same equipment that all the posh rehab center’s did except for the fact they didn’t cater to the rich and famous. They charged far less and were not afraid of taking government money. They accepted all the medical plans that were available. They even took a pro-bono case from time to time. There were no movie stars here. The people in Green Hills had real problems not made up ones.

 Linda was ushered into the main seating hall. Every new member had to listen to a message from the founder. It was a taped message for the founder had died many years ago. She found a seat and got comfortable. Two women sat beside her and they both looked at her and grunted.

 “God works in mysterious ways. God does things that seem impossible to the mere mortal but to Him they are not all that impossible but then again God is the God of impossibility. He will do the same for you is you let him.”

 The tape stopped and a woman stepped up to the microphone. She looked out around the crowd and smiled softly. She moved closer and then spoke softly.

 “My name is Mrs. Gwendolyn Myers. I am the administrator at Green Hills. Some of you have been here before and know the speech that I am about to give. Some of you have only heard it once while some of you are new and have never heard it.

 “Let’s get one thing clear. There is a zero tolerance policy enforced here and there are NO exceptions. There are no drugs here unless you have been prescribed them by your doctor. You will not find your drug of choice here. There is no smoking, no alcohol, no sex and certainly no swearing tolerated here.

 “You will be each assigned a caregiver to attend to you. She or he will be with you at all times. They will keep a daily journal about you. Everything you do, say or act upon will be jotted down. Every night the journals will be read by me and then the necessary actions taken if there are any to be taken.

 “Let us be brutally honest here. You are all addicts. You have a drug of choice. It may be cocaine or heroine. It might be pain killers or speed. It might be alcohol or methamphetamine’s. To say that I don’t know what you are going through would be a lie.”Mrs Myers lifted her arms and pulled down her sleeves to show her tracks on her arms. “My drug of choice was cocaine and then it became heroine. I know what you are going through. I went through it. I spent my time in here as well.

 “It’s not an easy road to kick a habit. It takes time for your body to become accustomed to being clean of the drugs you are on. All the staff, even the chaplain, know what you are going through. They are all recovered addicts. They are here to help.

“Lets move on to other topics. Some of you are here by your free choice. Some have been signed in by family while others are here under the government plan. I am the only one that knows which one you are. No one else knows not even the rest of the staff. It is up to you to get clean. We can not help you. We can guide you and comfort you but you MUST be the one willing to do it.

“There is no such thing as recovered addict. Once an addict always an addict. There isn’t a day that I don’t think about getting high and forgetting about the world and all the problems I have in it. But then I remember all the time I have put into get clean and it brings me back to earth. So what does this mean to you out there. Well it means that you are not alone. WE all know what you are going through. You are not alone.

“Now it is time to get you to your rooms and get unpacked. We are having a late lunch and then you will go into your groups. If you don’t know which group you are in, ask your caregiver.”

Linda stood up and looked for her caregiver. He walked up to her and smiled.

“Hi, my name is John and I am your caregiver for the next few weeks. If you need to talk or you need anything then just come to me and I will see what I can do.” John turned around and then turned back. “If you follow me, I will show you to your room.”

Linda followed him and looked around as she followed. He opened a door and then watched her enter. He closed the door and then left her to settle in. Linda looked around at the bare room and then plopped down on the bed. She was finally alone. Her hands came up and immediately covered her face. She rubbed it softly then started to unpack. She laid down afterwards and took a nap. She slept softly, her mind going over the events of the day. She woke up to see a woman sitting in a chair.

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Angel sat at the table and watched the birds at the feeder. She wondered if God loved them as much as He loved her. She looked at her dad and smiled.

 “Daddy, does God love me as much as He loves the birds?”

 “I suppose.”

 “And does He love me as much as He loves Mommy?”

 “I suppose?” He said looking up at her. “Why are you asking such questions?”

 “Cause.”

 He looked at her. “Cause is not an answer.”

 She nodded her head softly. “Yes daddy. I want Jesus to help mommy. I want Him to heal her so that she can come home. Do you think He will do that for me?”

 “All you can do is ask.” Mario replied.

 Angel got down off her chair and ran over and kissed Mario on the cheek. “Thanks daddy.” He smiled as she ran off and he went back to his paper. He stopped reading when he heard her words wafting out of the playroom.

 “Dear Jesus, it’s Angel again. You must be getting awful tired of hearing from me. I pray all the time and yet you never complain. Well you just might this time Jesus. I want you to do something for me. I want you to get in there and heal my mommy. You have to do something for my mommy. If you love her as much as You love the birds, then you have to get in there and do something.”

 She stood up and went out to the back yard and played on the swings. Payton rushed into the house and after grabbing an apple, ran outside to join Angel. Tristan came running out next and sat on the grass.

 “We need to pray for mommy.” Tristan said.

 “I have been, almost all day.” Angel replied.

 Payton bit into his apple and then after swallowing the chunks he looked at them both. “We have to pray for dad to ya know.”

 Angel nodded her head just as Tristan did.

 “We know. We have been and we know that Jesus has been looking out for daddy. He’s safe as long as we pray for him but mommy needs more prayer.”

 “Why do you say that Angel?” Payton asked.

 “I don’t know. I just know that she needs more prayer then daddy does.

 They gathered together on the grass and held hands. They felt two more hands come into the little group and heard Mario’s voice.

 “Can I join in with you?”

 The three of them nodded their heads and then watched as Mario sat down. He settled in between Angel and Payton then he started to pray.

 “Dear God, I don’t know if I believe anymore or if this is an attempt to get back into your good graces. I know that I have been struggling with my faith and I also know that it will take baby steps to get back into the swing of things. The one thing I do know is that I love you and that I love my children and that I love Linda. I don’t know what she is doing right now but I want her to know that I love her and that she needs your help. I need your help Lord. Please help me and help my beloved…….”

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 The room sat quiet as the words filtered up. The man who sat on the chair listened intently. His head bowed as he listened. He shifted a little and there was a scar on his side. He lifted his hands and you could see the holes that no longer bled but reminded Him of what he had done. He heard the prayers from the three children and the father and then stood up. He walked out into a large area and then headed up to the throne area.  The veil was torn away. The remnants left to remind everyone the sacrifice the Son had made. He smiled as he looked at them then entered the room.

 “Yes My Son.”

 “Father, I have had a special prayer come to me this morning.”

 “From Angel again I suppose.”

 “Yes Father.”

 “What do you wish to do?”

 “I promised my brothers and sisters that if they ask anything in my name that I would give it to them. I wish to grant this child’s prayer.”

“Who do you want to send?”

 “Gabriella.”

 The Father smiled and nodded his head at his Son. He moved from the room and found an angel.

“Find me Gabriella.”

 He sat down and waited. He watched as people moved to and fro caring for each other and caring for their homes. He listened silently as the choir sang of His glory and he bathed it in. He opened His eyes to a girl kneeling in front of him.

 “Stop that. Get up already. I do not want your nonsensical platitudes. I am not like the other gods of this world. I want my little ones to come to me freely and to know that they will get the answer they want. I also want them to know that I love them and that they are my only concern. No sacrifices and no  incense. I want nothing from then but their love and devotion. Now get up.”

 The girl stood and looked at him. She stroked His face and then spoke.

“Sorry Father.”

 “Yes Lord Jesus. You called for me?”

 “Yes, I have a job for you. Remember Clarence?”

 “Yes Lord. He earned his wings by showing that man that his life was not as messed up as he thought. Who do you wish me to save?”

 Jesus sat down and motioned for Gabriella to do the same. “I have a similar job for you but it is not a plea from a man but rather a little girl. Listen to this.”

 He motioned slightly and a sound echoed through the room.

 ‘“Dear Jesus, it’s Angel again. You must be getting awful tired of hearing from me. I pray all the time and yet you never complain. Well you just might this time Jesus. I want you to do something for me. I want you to get in there and heal my mommy. You have to do something for my mommy. If you love her as much as You love the birds, then you have to get in there and do something.”’

 Jesus looked at Gabriella. “The plea from an innocent child. Go and help the mommy that she speaks of.”

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“Hello.”

 “Hello, who are you?” Linda asked.

 “My name is Gabriella. I am your new roomie.”

 “No no. I was told that I would have a single room with nobody else in it. You can’t stay here.”

 Linda went to the door and went to open it. Gabriella stood up and held up her hand.

 “Wait, this is only going to be for a few days. I was told that this was the only bed available and they didn’t think that you would mind all that much.”

 “Well I do mind but if it is only for a few days, I guess I can live with it.”

 Gabriella smiled and then waited for Linda to speak.

 “What are you in for?”

 “My drug of choice is cocaine, laced with heroine and morphine. A lovely little cocktail that will get you up and keep you up for a while. That’s the good side and of course it does have a bad side. The coming down is murder.” Gabriela smiled. “You?”

 “Drugs and alcohol. I want to get clean this time. I want to go home to my kids and husband.”

 “I understand that. I tried so many times to stay clean. I kept slipping and now I am back in here. I want to do it right this time. But it is hard to do. Drugs are such a demon. They get into your soul and then stay there even after you get clean and then, sorry to say, not even god can help.”

 Linda nodded her head and then laid down. She closed her eyes and was asleep in no time. Gabriela watched her then silently left the room. She made her way to the chapel and sat down in the first pew. Bowing her head she started to pray.

 “I have made contact Lord Jesus. As Simon did with Imia Wilson. Help me to get through to Linda Rocha. Help me to lead her back to you. I sense Lord that it is not going to be an easy road.  She knows you Lord but the demon has taken control of her. I need Your strength to break through and free her.

 “Lord, she knows You. I can sense that. She has not let go of You yet she is ashamed of what has happened and is afraid to confront you for she fears you will be angry with her. She has backslidden so far Lord that I fear that if something is not done soon, she will be of no use. I know you love her Lord and that your love for her will heal her.

 “Lord, I beg forgiveness. I lied to her. Well not lied so much as bending the truth. I told her things that were true but not anymore. I am not the person I was before. I am a new creation in You. When I died, I took you as my own and you changed me and made me clean. You have given me the chance to present you to a woman that already knows you. She has just lost her way. Lord Jesus, help me bring Linda back to you. In Your Name I ask this, Amen.”

 Gabriela sat with her head hung low. She didn’t move a muscle. She waited for the answer that she wanted. She worshiped silently. She heard foot falls coming up from behind her. She looked to see the priest sitting across from her. She smiled softly at him.

 “Are you alright child?”

 “Yes I am. Who might you be?”

 “I am the priest here. My name is Father Williams. Is there something I can council you for?”

 Gabriela got up and slowly walked away. She smiled quite nicely and then walked away. She looked back at him.

 “I am alright Priest William.”

 The priest stood up and looked at her. “That would be Father to you.”

 Gabriela smiled. “No it wouldn’t Priest Williams. I call no one Father but the one who created me.”

 He continued to look at her as she walked away. “Wait, why do you say that?”

 She turned around and walked up to him. Reaching down she grabbed a bible from the pew and gave it to him. She smiled quite nicely again and whispered in his ear.

 “Look up Matthew 23:9.” She said as she walked away.

 Father Williams looked up the verse and read it aloud.

 “Do not call anyone on earth father. Only one is your Father, the one in heaven”

 The priest put the bible down and then went about his business. Try as he might, the words stuck with him and wouldn’t let him go. He knelt down in  prayer, speaking the words silently. He stayed kneeling waiting for an answer.

 <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 

 Mario Rocha sat at his desk. He looked out onto the sales lot. Cars weren’t selling right now. He didn’t have to worry though, he got paid weekly. He didn’t do commission work on a regular basis. He watched as the lot manager came in. He waved at Mario and then headed into office. Mario waved back too late. Michelle walked into his office and placed his paycheck in the in box. He picked it up and then opened it. His raised an eyebrow and then folded it and slipped it into his pocket. He would Mr. Stone about it later.

 Going back to his paperwork, he signed some forms requiring parts for different vehicles they had in getting repaired. He whistled softly some tune and from time to time answered phones about parts required. He looked up at the clock and saw how late it was. He picked up the phone and spoke to Mr. Stone.

 “Sir, might I come in and have a word with you?”

 Mario put the phone down and walked to Stone’s office door. He knocked and then entered in. Stone looked up at him.

 “Yes Mario, what do you need?”

 “Well Sir, I was looking at my pay check and noticed an extra thousand dollars added to my regular pay. I was wondering if it was a mistake?”

 Stone looked at him. “Nope, no mistake. You sold the mustang and you deserve the commission.”

 “But sir, that was Paul’s sale.”

 Stone put his pen down and looked up at Mario again. He smiled softly. He was a very patient man. He never was quick to blow up or yell or scream. Mario always thought that he looked a lot like that Shannara writer.

 “Mario I understand but I don’t play favorites. Never had and I never will. I was watching. Paul got called away and the buyer was about to leave. You walked up and kept him on the lot. You sold that car to the buyer. It might be Paul’s name on the contract but it was you that sold the car. So it is only fair that you get the commission. When Paul comes to me, and he will, he will be told the same thing. Do I make myself clear?”

 “Yes Sir.”

 Mario walked out of the office and saw Paul go in. He could hear the yelling and the screaming. Paul was cursing up a storm. He heard the door open and heard Stone’s voice.

 “Clean out your desk. I have told you before about the language. You’re fired!”

 Mario watched Paul walk away. He didn’t didn’t look at Mario instead just cleaned out his desk. Mario couldn’t help but smile and then stopped just as quick. Mr. Stone had been looking for a reason to fire that jerk. Today had been the day.

 Paul Stubbs had been a marine. He was use to yelling and screaming but even he knew he had crossed the line. He pulled things out of his desk and shoved them into a box. He looked up when he heard footfalls. His face was full of disappointment when he saw it was Mario.

 “What is it Rocha?”

 Mario passed him a check and walked away. Paul looked at it and then went into Mario’s office.

 “Why?”

 “Because you deserve it. You were the one to grease the wheels. I just got him to sign on the dotted line. You deserve the money. It was your sale after all.”

 “No, that is where you were wrong. He wasn’t going to sign or even consider signing. He wasn’t interested yet you were the one that sold him that car. So you deserve the commission. I over reacted and paid dearly for it.?”

 Mario watched him tear up the check and then walk away. Mario felt good and went to Mr. Stone’s office. He was in there for quite sometime. He opened the door and caught Paul as he was about to leave.

 “Paul, before you leave, Mr. Stone wants to talk to you.”

 Paul put the box down and then went into Stone’s office. Mario was about to leave but was told to stay. Stone looked at Stubbs.

 “Well it seems you have a guardian angel Stubbs. Seems at least one person likes you. Seems Mr. Rocha has taken it upon himself to plead for your job. I on the other hand would just as well be done with you, but I will allow you to stay on one condition. You will stay in my employ as long as you curb your language. There is no swearing allowed in this place of business. Am I clear mister!”

 Stubbs shook his head. “Yes sir, I understand sir, Thank you sir.”

 “Don’t thank me, thank Rocha.”

 Paul walked out of Stone’s office and right into Mario’s. He extended his hand and Mario shook it softly.

 “Thanks man. You saved my life.”

 Mario nodded his head and Paul left. Stone walked right in after him.

 “What is it with you? Why help out someone who is always making fun of you? I don’t understand?”

 Mario looked at him, Stone’s graying hair was short cropped. He like Paul Stubbs had been a marine. He had a kind face and yet could be mean. Not mean in a violence way but in the way he did business. With all of that, Terrance Stone was a fair man.

 “Well I thought about it and wondered two things. What would your father, Jackson Stone do? I think that he would have had him stay. Yes he is a loud, foulmouthed human being but he is the best salesman you have. Beside that, he makes fantastic coffee.”

 Terrance Stone nodded his head and walked away. He knew that Mario was right. He turned around to address all the employees.

 “Listen up all of you. I will not tolerate any oneupmanship. I will not tolerate swearing of any kind. What you do in your own homes is your business. What you do and say here is another story. This will be your only warning.”

 Terrence Stone walked away into his office. He heard the grumbling from outside. He liked being in charge. He sat at his desk and began working again. He chuckled softly. He needed to give Mario a raise.

  <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 

 Linda sat in her chair. It was big, comfy and made of black leather. She liked black. It was an all consuming color. It suited her mood right now. She listened to everyone speak and found out that she really was bored. That was until she heard Gabriela.

 “My name is Gabriela. My father sent me here. He thinks I am nuttier then a fruitcake. I’m not ya know. He just doesn’t understand.”

 “Doesn’t understand what, Gabriela?” the Doctor asked.

 “That I am an angel!” she replied.

 “You mean a real honest to goodness angel, with wings and everything.” someone said.

 “Well no. No wings yet. I have to earn them.”

 “And how do you earn them?” Linda asked.

 “By bringing a lost sheep, or in this case, two lost sheep back to the fold.”

 The other women, except Linda started to laugh. Gabriela sat back down and listened to the laughter. She fought back the tears. It was the same everywhere. Even the angels laughed. She looked at all the women hearing their continued laughter. When she looked at Linda, she heard a still small voice.

 “She is your mission. She is one of the lost sheep. Bring her and the other back to Me and you will get your wings.”

 “Yes Lord Jesus.”

 Taking Linda’s hand Gabriela whispered. “Let’s get out of here.”

 Together they walked out. Linda looked at her as they sat in the common area. She wanted so much to ask her about what she said in group. Gabriela looked at her.

 “Go ahead, you can ask.”

 “Well either you are nuts or you really do believe what you are saying.”

 Gabriela looked at her. She had a small grin on her face and her blue sparkled. They gave away the fact that she actually did believe the things she was saying. Linda cocked her head slightly unsure of her new friendship.

 “Well I am nuts. Not the nuts that everyone thinks about. I believe what I say. Some say they know the way to heaven and how to get through this life, but I can tell you that they don’t and that they are very wrong.”

 Linda looked at her and took her hand. “Oh and I take it that you do.”

 “Yes I do. You do to. You have not fallen so far that you can’t come back. I watch you at night and you say your prayers. People that have fallen so far as you think you have have no need of prayer. You on the other hand pray.

 “Linda, you don’t need doctors or the groups. You need only one thing and you know what that one thing is. I heard you once say in your prayers that you had lost your first love. If that was true then you wouldn’t be praying to him.”

 Linda had noticed that a small crowd had formed. They seemed transfixed by what Gabriela’s words. They seemed quite interested in what she was saying. Gabriela ignored them and spoke only to Linda.

 “Do you understand who your first love is? Do you know his name? Do you?”

 Linda nodded his head. “Yes his name is Jesus but what would he want with me. I have sinned to bad for Him to have anything to do with me!”

 “Oh sweet lady, you are so wrong. Most people say that when things go bad, they fall and then they sin and suddenly they think that God wants nothing more to do with them, but that is so not true. Truth be told, these are the times He begs for us to reach out to him.

 “You have to understand, God loves you and hates the sin. It isn’t God hates the Sinner and the sin. Linda, somewhere deep down inside you, there is love for Him. He still knocks at your door. He is still your first love and he always will be. You just keep the door closed and stop him from coming in.”

 Linda looked at her. “How do you know that?”

 “As I said earlier, you lifted prayers up to Him. What really convinced me was that you put your family first. You spent a very long time on each one of them but very little time on yourself. You have not forsaken or lost your first love.”

 “How do I get Him back?”

 Gabriela looked into her eyes and smiled. “Just ask him.”

 “But how, I have done so many things wrong and yet you tell me that he still loves me. I forsook him and I closed the door on him. I told him not to come in.”

 “What, you think God is just someone you can close a door on and he will just walk away. Sorry but it don’t work that way. He knocks and knocks and knocks till you open the door. Some will never open that door but those that are his, hear his voice and open the door.  You are his. You know that.”

 “What do I do, say I’m sorry and then all is settled. I get a clean slate.”

 “Well not exactly but close. I can lead you through the sinner’s prayer. Linda, time is running out.”

 Linda sat and thought about it. She thought about her children and Mario. She wanted to be out of this place and be with them. Together again as a family and one in Christ. She nodded her head slowly. Gabriela looked up and smiled and saw the crowd that had gathered were also nodding. Linda bowed her head the other women followed.

“Repeat after me.

 “Father God, I come before you as a child. I come before you in fear and trembling. I come before you in awe and wonder. Most of all Lord Jesus, I come before you in need. I come before you in need of forgiveness. I have sinned mightily and only through your blood Jesus, can I get that forgiveness.

 “Lord Jesus I need you. I need You in my life. I need you most of all in my heart. Lord Jesus I give my life to you. As I open the door, come in and sit on the throne in my heart. Make me into the creature you want me to be. I love you Lord Jesus and I want to follow you. I give you all the glory and honor and power. I ask this in your precious name Jesus. Amen.”

 Linda looked at Gabriela. She had a soft glow around her just as the other women did. Gabriela smiled softly.

 “No wings.” Linda noticed.

 “Nope, my job is not done yet. I have one more person to see.”

 Gabriela stood up and then walked out of the room. All the other women came in and sat with Linda. She smiled at each and everyone of them. She smiled softly and then they all started talking.

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 Gabriela stood at the altar. She knelt down and looked up at the empty cross. She smiled softly and then waited. Her eyes never left the cross but her lips moved silently. She closed her eyes and then opened them again to find herself in God’s presence.

 “You are not done yet child.”

 “I know Father, but did you see what I did. I brought more then just Linda Rocha back to you.” Gabriela replied excitedly.

 “Yes I did child. I am very proud of you but you must remember your mission little one. The prayer of a little child. “

 “I remember Father. Can I go tell Jesus now?”

 “Yes child but He already knows.”

 Gabriela smiled then kissed God on the cheek. He giggled softly as he watched her run out.  He sat and thought about all the angels with no wings and found that she was his favorite. He loved his children all the same but Gabriela seemed to bring out that little bit more. He saw the door open and she was in Jesus’s arms.

 Jesus laughed and tickled her. Jehovah looked a them. Jesus was always so gentle.

 “Father, Jesus thinks it is great that those ladies came to him too.”

 Jehovah motioned for Jesus to put her down. She looked up at both of them and then she was gone. The smiled at each other.

 “She is a fine angel.” Jesus said.

 “Yes she is.” His Father replied.

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 Mario Rocha sat quietly. He turned the television down and listened for noise. He could hear sounds coming from his daughter’s room. He quietly went upstairs avoiding the squeaky one and then went silently to her room. He listened at the door.

 “Mommy came back to Jesus?”

 “Yes she did. So did a few other women. Some might have come to him for the first time.” Gabriela replied.

 “Then why are you here?”Angel queried.

 “To answer the second part of your prayer. You asked that your mommy and daddy come back to Jesus.”

 “You can do that?”

 “I am gonna try.”

 Mario considered going in but chose not to. He walked away leaving Angel to her imagination. He went back downstairs and went back to his quiet. He picked his bible and  started to read again.

 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 He put the bible down and then looked out the window. He looked up to the sky.

 “If you are there, send me a sign.”

 He looked around and grinned. “Just as I thought.”

 Upstairs Gabriela sat talking with Angel, She smiled softly then kissed Angel softly on the nose.

 “I have got to run. Your dad just asked for a sign and that is my cue to bring him back to Jesus.”

 Gabriela disappeared and then Angel could hear her downstairs. Gabriela was talking to her dad. She ran downstairs a little and sat listening.

 “Hello.”

 “Who are you?” Mario asked.

 “My name is Gabriela and I am the sign you asked for.”

 “You are joking right? Where are the cameras?”

 “Not at all Mr. Rocha. You asked for a sign just a minute ago and I am it. Usually the father doesn’t send angels like this but this is a special case.”

 “Why is it special?”

 Gabriela glanced over at the stairs. Angel sat transfixed waiting for an answer. Gabriela smiled softly and then turned back to Mario.

 “Well the answer is really quite simple. Your daughter, Angel, prayed for it. She prayed that you and your wife, Linda, would get back together. She also prayed, in her childlike way, that you would both come back to Jesus.”

 “I understand that but her childlike ways aren’t gonna help.”

 “Not true. The Father sent me down here to facilitate the prayer of a child. Well here I am. Your daughter loves you so much, in fact all your children love you so much that for days they have prayed for you every chance they get. They send out their pleas to the Father to help you.”

 Mario chuckled. “I don’t believe in god anymore!”

 “Sure you do besides it doesn’t matter cause truth be told, He still believes in you.”

 “How do you know that I still believe in god?”

 “Because you see, when someone lifts a prayer to the Father, He looks down upon their hearts. He looks to see if there is any belief lift in them, no matter the amount. If He sees belief, then He sends an angel down to show the way. If He doesn’t see any belief then he answers the prayer in another way.

 “In your case He knows you still believe. He knows your heart Mario. He knows you blame Him for your marriage going south. He knows you blame him for your wife leaving you. He knows that you blame Him for her getting back into drugs. I am here to tell you that it is not his fault. Your wife is the one that chose to get back into drugs. It is the fault of both of you that your marriage went south. It is the both of you that caused the split to happen. You didn’t go to the Father. You stopped lifting your prayers to Him.”

 Mario sat down on the couch and held his head in his hands. He whimpered softly trying not to be heard. He was a man and needed to show strength but he had run out of strength.

 “I know and I want her back.”

 “What about the Father? Do you want him back?”

 Angel heard those words then leapt up and ran down the stairs. She flew into her father’s arms and wept in his shoulder. She looked up at him and cried.

 “Say yes daddy. Jesus loves you daddy. I love you daddy and I want my daddy back. I want mommy back daddy and that can’t happen till you get Jesus back.

 “Daddy, I heard you praying the other day. You said you would do anything to get mommy back. You have to take Jesus daddy. Mommy will come back then daddy.”

 Mario took Angel’s face into his hands. He kissed her forehead softly then looked into her eyes. They were bright and full of tears. He smiled softly and then looked at Gabriela.

 “What about my first love, will I get that back?”

 Mario looked at his feet. He so wanted his first love back. He needed it to be able to go forwards. He sat in silence then heard a knock on the door. He looked to see a man standing, patiently knocking at the door. Mario thought it was strange but got up anyways and went to the door.

 “Yes.”

 The man looked at him. “I never left, you just pushed me aside.”

 Mario looked at him. He saw that scars on his wrists and then scars on his forehead. His mouth dropped open. The man looked at him.

 “May I come in?”

 Mario moved aside and watched him walk in. The man wore a white robe that flowed behind him and seemed to barely touch the ground. His long brown hair flowed down over his shoulders. He had the nicest eyes and the nicest smile. His eyes sparkled with love and forgiveness. He looked at Mario and all he could do was shrink back a little.

 “You asked for your life back. You asked to get your first love back. You asked for a sign. Mario you asked my Father, The Great I Am, to give back something to you that has never been lost. How can one get something back that has never been lost.

 “First you asked for your life back but your life is here. It has gone nowhere. Your life exists in these precious children. They give you the life that you crave so much.

 “You asked for your first love back. I am your first love because I first loved you. I didn’t go anywhere, you just pushed me aside. You chose to ignore me and chaos happened. Your life fell apart but I promised that I would never leave you nor forsake you and I meant it. Even though you ignored Me, I was the silent visitor. The unseeable guest. I was always there watching over you.

 “Just a little while ago you asked for a sign. So I sent you one. I sent my special angel Gabriela. She came down to show you that I was listening but you chose to ignore it. So I had no other choice to come down Myself.

 “Mario, you remind me of Thomas of old. He was so much a ‘see it first’ person. He wouldn’t believe it unless he saw it first hand. You are just like him. So see this.”

 Jesus stuck out his wrists. Mario saw the scars and touched them. He could still, even after all the time had past, put his fingers in. Jesus lifted his robe and Mario saw the scar on his chest. He put his hand in and it came out bloody. He looked up to see drops of blood dripping from Jesus’ head. Mario reached up to feel the still warm blood. Mario tried to stop it but tears welled up in his eyes. He fell to his knees and cried out “MY Lord and My God!” He crumbled and cried openly.

 “You didn’t leave me. You are my first love. I left you and I am so sorry.” Mario cried out.

 Jesus lifted him up and held Mario in his arms. Mario wept still and Jesus cooed him. “No need for sorry. You have come back to me and all is forgiven.”

 Angel had been sitting on the couch. She watched the scene but had not said a word but rather was intently watching the interaction. She felt a tear flow down her cheek as she saw her daddy come back to Jesus. She ran out to the backyard and grabbed Payton and Tristan. They came running in and the boys jaws dropped in unison. Jesus looked at them and smiled.

 “You did a very good thing for your parents. You and your brothers.”

 Mario looked at Jesus. “What about my wife?”

 Jesus looked at Mario and raised an eyebrow. He wanted to help him but it was up to Mario to get her back.

 “Linda has, as you have, come back to me. You need to work things out with her. Through prayer and compromise, the both of you can get back together.”

 Mario watched as Jesus turned towards Gabriela. He looked at her with a smile that was wider then the whole of his face. Her face shone with a brilliance that no diamond could ever equal. Gabriela watched as Jesus turned his head to the others.

 “Witness the joy!”

 Jesus kissed Gabriela on the forehead and she could feel something happening. She could feel something growing out of her back. Angel was clapping and making bird motions with her arms. Gabriela giggled.

 “Really!”

 Angel nodded her head as did Payton and Tristan. Gabriela smiled and looked to Jesus.

 “Well my child, you did well. You brought the two people back to me as you were told to. You brought a few more along with you. I am very proud of you.”

 They started to leave when Mario spoke up.

 “Wait, now how am to get Linda back? I don’t know how.”

 Jesus took his hand and smiled. He stroke it slowly then stroked his head as father would a child’s.

 “Lift your need to God and trust He will answer. Remember God, the Father, is a God of Promise. He told the Israelite’s of old, IF YOU I WILL, God will answer your prayer.” Jesus turned back to Gabriela. “We must go. Her work is done here. She has done her job well but now it is time for them to work on it on their own.” He looked at Mario. “Do so in prayer and forgiveness. Talk, do not yell. Discuss not argue. Include those closest to you, your children. They have a say as well.”

 Mario nodded and took angel’s hand and his sons hands. They watched Gabriela and Jesus walkout the door. Angel looked at Mario and smiled. Mario wiped away the tears. He leaned down to kiss each one of his children’s foreheads. He looked out the window and they were gone. Angel jumped when she heard the phone ring. She picked it up.

 “Hello.” Angel said.

 “Hello baby, is daddy home?”

 Angel passed Mario the phone.

 “Hello.”

 “Mario, I want to come home.” Mario fell to his knees and wept openly. Angel looked at her brothers.

 “Mommy.”

 The boys smiled wide.

 “Yes, Yes, come home. We will come pick you up then we can talk.”

 Epilogue

 “Good morning Jesus, this is Angel. I wanted to let you know that it has been three years since Mommy came home. Things have been great. They don’t fight like they use to and they go to church every chance they get.

 “Jesus, the best part about it is that, you are gonna love this, is that they gave me a baby sister. When they were choosing a name, they chose Gabriela. I gots to go Jesus. Mom is calling and breakfast is ready. One thing though, let the baby mommy is carrying be a girl. He he he. I love you Jesus, talk to you soon.”

 FINI

Spiritual Baptism..Does It Save You!

What is Spiritual Baptism? Is it different than Water Baptism? Will it save your soul? Well let’s break each question down. Try to understand the difference and how it works for a Christian. Let’s start with something easy. Who is the Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity. The three in One. The Spirit was with God when He created the world and the universe. (Let Us). Now some will say that is not what it means. That it means it was only God and no one else. Now if that were true then it would read “I will” but it doesn’t say that. It says “Let Us” meaning more than one.

Genesis 1:26

26 Then God said, “Let us make man[a] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So there we have it. Let US make man in OUR image. Pretty simple. See God put into place the Trinity way back then. It was always the Three. Nothing was done without the Three.

The Spirit is the same Spirit that came down upon the disciples when they were all up in the upper room. The same Spirit that came upon Christ when he was baptized by John. The same Spirit that came down and struck all the Assyrians when Sennacherib mocked the Lord. (2 kings 18-25). The Spirit is through out the bible. Not always called the Spirit but is nonetheless.

BAPTISM!

God instituted Baptism for one reason and one reason only. An outward sign for cleansing of sin. Even when John roamed the earth, it was two system thing. “Repent and be baptized.”

We weren’t saved in spots so why should we be baptized in spots. Some people say that we should be sprinkled. Ever noticed that in the Bible, baptism is full immersion rather than sprinkled.

Baptism is a commanded by Jesus.

Matthew 28 :19 -20

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Notice that Jesus says make disciples of all nation (bring them to Jesus) and then baptize them. Yup, dunk em!

What does this all mean. You need to be baptized in water after you get saved. There is no other choice. Becoming a Christian is a two fold process. Taking Christ, being washed in the blood. You get baptized in water to be cleansed of your sin.

SPIRITUAL BAPTISM!

1 Cor 12:13

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[d] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

So what is Spiritual Baptism. Well it was predicted by John The Baptist.

Mark 1:8

“I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

John baptized in water. He knew that you have to be cleansed before anything else could happen. Jesus himself predicted Spiritual Baptism.

Acts 1:5

Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So here we see Jesus say the same thing. After baptism in water, then baptism in the spirit.

But still what is Spiritual Baptism? Well basically it is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (in a nutshell). It happens after we have been saved and baptized. When does it happen? Well that is up for debate. Some get it when they get baptized in water, some get a a day or two later and some, like the apostles, some 50 days after Christ’s ascension, were baptized in the Spirit.

Do you need to be baptized in water to be baptized in the Spirit. No you don’t. There are many examples in the bible when they were filled with the Spirit and they were not baptized.

Luke 1:5

“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.”

Luke 1:41

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”

There are many more. So many more that I will just put the Book, Chapter and Verse down.

Luke 1:67, Acts 2:4, Acts 4:8, Acts 4:31, Acts 9:37, Acts 13:9, Acts 13:52 and Eph 5:8

Being baptized or baptized in the Spirit will not save you. The only way to be saved is through the Acceptance of Jesus and taking Him as your Personal Lord and Saviour.

 

“Keep Looking Up!”