I seem to lose track of time when my life gets in the way of my blog writing. I really don’t have an excuse. It just gets put on the back burner.
Where to start to get you caught up. My Granddaughter and her husband are living with my husband and me to help us and them. Livie is growing by leaps and bounds inside her mom, so come November we will have a new Great Granddaughter. One of her cousins already has her nicknamed Liver. There’s something inside of me that hopes that does not stick. Her full name will be Olivia Margaret Elizabeth. Margaret Elizabeth is named after my mother.
Lee’s cancer is gone and his voice is back to normal, praise God. It has been a long road but he went through it like a trooper. I have to admit there were times I could have cheerfully removed his head from his shoulders but we both managed to persevere. Now he has to have a scan ever so often to make sure cancer stays away.
My book, Thomas Gomel Learns About Bullying, is still with the publisher. I have not heard a solid date when it will be published. I am hoping by the end of this month but I have to remain patient. I have had a couple of very good prepublication reviews. I will get them posted before long.
Now I have to say something that bothers me to my soul. This has to do with our government and how they are treating the children and others at the border. This is nothing to do with whether they should be here or not but the fact that they are. It matters not what side you have placed yourself on, but the fact the children are not getting what they need. They are treated like livestock instead of people. I have visions of the Oklahoma feed lots packed with cattle waiting to be loaded up and hauled off to the slaughterhouse.
As a Christian, I find this heartbreaking and can’t understand how any man or group could treat people especially innocent children in this manner. I will continue to say a prayer for the children and the government that God has mercy on them.
Why does life have to seem so hard? It appears, we go from one battle to another. I can’t say life is bad because it isn’t. It is just a struggle, more at times than other times. I know it is not just me, because I have been around long enough to know everyone has their struggles, and their problems that seem insurmountable at times. I was once naïve enough to think there really were household’s like Ward Cleaver’s home, or Donna Reed’s. I think it was a dream everyone wished they could have. It would have been nice to have all the problems solved in a thirty-minute time span.
Some of my struggles are so mundane I can’t even remember them. Some are so painful I couldn’t forget them if I tried. I can put them out of my mind for a while, but they are always there. Maybe they are there as life’s lessons. I have to say, I didn’t like those particular home work assignments when I had to go through them. I have to say in all fairness, I would not be who I am if I had not gotten through them.
I have heard people say “Eve did this to me. She caused all the problems by eating the piece of fruit which God told her not to eat.” So I question myself, did Eve really do this to me? I think not. I now believe she had the help of her man, Adam.
God’s word tells us man fell, not just woman. So today if I am going to blame anyone, I am going to put it all on Adam’s back. When we marry and take a life partner, we are seen as one. Except of course when it is convenient, or politically correct to make sure we are separate sexes.
We are made as one but life happens because of two. Even with science, it takes two. It takes an egg and a sperm put together to create life. I know in the creation, us poor misguided women were taken from a man. Clay was put around a rib bone, and woman was created. Something like that anyway. I know God, no matter which way he did it, created Eve.
Adam was instructed by God not to eat the fruit from the tree of “Good and Evil,” as well as Eve. I have never figured out why this turned out to be totally Eve’s fault when they both knew the plan, and they knew the consequences if they did eat the fruit. The bottom line, they both had the same job description.
Eve is wandering around in this gorgeous garden without a care in the world and hears this voice, which we believe is male, (go figure), enticing her to eat the fruit from the tree of life. What does she do? She calls her man, “Come here honey, there is this thing that keeps talking to me, and trying to make me do something I know I shouldn’t, (sound familiar). Tell me what you think, please.”
The best I can remember, Adam comes over to the tree and says, ”Hum, let me have a bite of that fruit. It looks really good.” He didn’t say, no sweetness you can’t have that, or he doesn’t take it, and throw it away. He just eats it with her, and now we have troubles.
So from my way of thinking, I am now totally convinced that Adam is the one who is at true fault. He did not do his job as head of household. He ignored God when he knew he shouldn’t. He failed to protect his woman. So now I know why I can officially blame the male species for what goes wrong in this world, and I will continue to tell them they are at fault or as I told my kids, “it came from your father’s side of the family”. It was not Eve, it was Adam.
Here is the 50 million dollar question – will there be a Rapture of God’s saints before the Tribulation, or will all of God’s people living at that time have to go through the Tribulation and possibly be martyred for their faith?
I am going to go ahead and give you the main verses from Scripture that deal with the possibility of a Rapture. There is major divided opinion in the Body of Christ right now as to whether or not there is going to be a Rapture.
Each one of you will have to come to your own conclusion on this issue per your own interpretation of the Scripture verses I will list below. I will give you my opinion on this subject, along with pointing out key words and phrases in the following verses.
As you will see in the following verses, I believe there is very strong evidence from Scripture that there will be a Rapture – and that it will occur before the Antichrist starts the persecution of God’s saints, and before God starts to pour out His wrath upon the earth during the 7 year Tribulation. In other words, it will be a pre-tribulation Rapture.
1. This first verse is very interesting. You already know that one of the names of the Antichrist is the “lawless one” per the Scripture verse I gave you in my first article. This verse is definitely talking about the Antichrist. Here is the verse:
“And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8)
You know the lawless one is referring to the Antichrist because then the verse says that Jesus will destroy him when He comes back for the second time.
But look very closely at the phrase, “only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed …” The “H” in the word “He” is a capital H in the New King James Version of the Bible. This means “He” is either referring to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit.
Since God and Jesus are in heaven right now, the “He” has to be referring to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has always been referred to as the One who restrains evil from getting out of control on this earth.
It says that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until “He” is taken out of the way. Since we know the Holy Spirit still has to be down here even if there is a Rapture, then who is “He” referring to?
If there is a Rapture, there still will be a multitude of people who are going to get saved and then martyred. If they are saved, then they are sealed with the Holy Spirit, which means the Holy Spirit is living on the inside of them like He is with us.
I believe the “He” may be referring to the “Holy Spirit operating through the Church.” This means that the Body of Christ, the Church, will be what is taken out before the Antichrist can be revealed.
Think about this. The Antichrist is going to be very easy to spot once he starts to enter onto the world scene. All of the Scripture verses I gave you on the Antichrist and 7 year Tribulation spell out exactly what is going to occur, and there will be more than enough astute Christians out there who are going to be able to pick up who he is once all of these events start to occur.
With some of the powerful TV ministries that we now have in place, I am sure that the Body of Christ will be shouting from the rooftops once the Antichrist is spotted.
The word would be spread very quickly and it would then become very hard for the Antichrist to rise to the kind of power that the Bible is foretelling.
I believe the Church has to be taken out as the above verse is stating before the Antichrist can be revealed to the rest of the world. And the above verse states that the Antichrist will not be revealed until “He” who is restraining him is taken out of the way!
Once the Body of real believers are raptured off the face of the earth, there will nothing left that will be able to stop the Antichrist from rising to full power. The rest of the world is going to be easily duped into believing in this man – especially with all of the false signs and wonders that will be performed on his behalf by the False Prophet.
I believe the above verse alone is very strong Scriptural evidence that there will be a Rapture of God’s saints before the Antichrist actually rises to full power.
2. This next verse talks about those who are “alive” will be “caught up” to meet the Lord in the “air.” Here is the verse:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
This verse really seems to be implying that there will be a group of saints who are going to “caught up” or pulled up to meet the Lord in the air while we are still alive! These words spell possible Rapture to me.
3. The next verse tells us of a “mystery” – that not all of God’s saints are going to “sleep” – and that this group is going to be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and that this event will occur at the last trumpet.
I believe the Last Trumpet is God’s last call to His people, and that it implies that whoever is saved and born again when this trumpet sounds off will be raptured and spared from having to go through the horrors of the 7 year Tribulation.
I believe the word “mystery” is being used to let us know that God is keeping the possibility of a Rapture a secret and a mystery to the rest of the world. This is why many of the Scripture verses pertaining to this event do not perfectly spell it out. However, there is enough of a hint in these verses for God’s own people to pick it up, but not the rest of the unbelieving world. Here is the verse:
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” (1 Corinthians 15:51)
I believe the words “last trumpet” tells us this event will occur at the end of times. The words “shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” really do describe what could be a Rapture – the immediate vanishing and disappearance of God’s people from the face of the earth in the snap of a finger.
4. This next verse is coming direct from Jesus Himself out of the Book of Revelation. Here is the verse:
“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 3:10)
This verse could be literal interpretation – that Jesus will keep His Body of believers who are living at this time out of the hands of the Antichrist. He obviously will do it by either rapturing them off the face of the earth, or by providing them with some kind of physical protection if there will be no Rapture. My guess is that He will do this by rapturing them off the face of this earth.
5. Here is another verse from Jesus stating that we watch and pray that we be counted worthy to escape all the things that may be coming our way in the end times.
“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)
This verse really seems to be implying once again that God is going to allow His own to escape or be prevented from having to go through the horrific events of the Tribulation.
6. Now here are some additional verses that are not quite as strong as the above verses, but do suggest the possibility that God will keep us from these horrific events.
“… and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:10)
This verse either means Jesus will deliver us before the wrath comes, which would line up with a Rapture, or it may mean when He comes down for the second time at the battle of Armageddon to put an end to all of the carnage with the Antichrist.
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
This verse could be implying that His Body will not be appointed or be subject to the events of the Tribulation – or the wrath could simply be pointing to people going to hell for refusing to accept Jesus and His gift of eternal salvation.
If there is going to be a Rapture, I believe that God will rapture His believers off this earth sometime before the start of the 7 year Tribulation.
I do not think He will wait to the midpoint of the Tribulation where the Antichrist seats himself in the Temple proclaiming himself to be God and then starts the persecution of God’s saints.
I believe the Antichrist will be fully revealed to the world near the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation when he enters into a peace treaty and covenant with Israel, and then allows them to start rebuilding their Temple so he can eventually get into it at the midpoint of the Tribulation to proclaim himself to be God.
And remember the very first verse above, that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until “He” is taken out of the way. And when “He” is taken out of the way, then the Antichrist can be fully revealed to the rest of the world. And the “He” in my opinion may be the main Body of believers who are living at the time of these events.
The other reason I think the Rapture will occur sometime before the start of the 7 year Tribulation is that the Antichrist is going to need some time to set things up.
Once the Church is taken out, he will be free to start operating at full throttle.
The first thing he is going to do is convince and persuade the rest of the world to follow him, and I feel he will first do this by trickery and deception. If he starts the mass persecution too early on those who will not accept and take his mark, he will risk not being able to gain full control of everything.
I believe he will first suck everyone in by peace and diplomacy and the promise of a better world.
Then once he has enough of the nations on his side and the Jewish Temple has once more rebuilt, that will be the time he will then go for all of the marbles. He will seat himself up in the Temple at the midpoint of the Tribulation, proclaim himself to be God, kill anyone who will not accept his mark, and will then seek total world domination and control.
Think about this. This one man, through the power of Satan, will get a chance to have more power and more control over the entire world than any other man has ever had during the entire course of our human history. This will be the ultimate ego trip for a power hungry human being.
I believe that the last three and half years of the Tribulation are going to be the last and final history lesson from God to us.
With the Church being taken out of the way so Satan and the Antichrist can operate at full throttle, I believe that God is going to show all of us how much terror, death, and destruction humans and demons are capable of committing if given half the chance without God directly intervening.
In three and half years, Satan and the Antichrist are going to cause so much death and destruction on this earth, that Jesus Himself says that had these days not been shortened by God the Father Himself – that no flesh would have been saved! I really feel that Satan, if he knew he had the chance, would set up the entire scenario with the Antichrist to destroy the entire world through nuclear weaponry.
Satan already knows he is defeated. He already knows he will eventually end up in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone for all of eternity. He knows that this will be his last chance for mass destruction and terror.
If God would allow Satan anymore time than these three and half years, I really believe Satan would set the world up for mass destruction through nuclear weapons. He would then have the satisfaction that he literally destroyed the entire world before he goes to his final fate.
But thank our God, He will not allow this scenario to go this far. But God is going to allow it to go far enough to teach all of us a lesson that we will never, ever forget.
He is going to show us how quickly humans can be deceived by Satan and his demons, and the only thing that has kept this world in one piece throughout human history has simply been the power and restraining force of God the Father Himself operating through the Holy Spirit.
Bottom line – there is only maximum life with God or maximum death without Him.
The last three and half years of the Tribulation will show us what maximum death will really be like when God removes His Church off the face of this earth, and then allows the Devil and the Antichrist to do what they want with the power that will be given to them.
After we watch and see all of these horrific events unfold, we will never, ever want to forsake our God again. We will come to the full realization that without God in our lives – we can never have true happiness, joy, love, peace, or fulfillment in our lives.
Without God in our lives, there is only eventual maximum death – and the last three and half years of this Tribulation is going to prove that point once and for all to all of us. It will be the greatest history lesson that the world will ever receive – and something that we will never, ever forget for the rest of our eternal lives.
Will there be a Rapture?
You will each have to decide for yourselves on the way the above Scripture verses are being worded. My own personal conclusion, after putting all the above verses together like pieces to a jigsaw puzzle, is that there will be a Rapture, and that it will occur sometime before the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation.
I believe the Rapture is a “mystery” from God and that it is “hidden” in the above verses. God does not want the rest of the unbelieving world to have full access to this mystery, otherwise people will be accepting His gift of eternal salvation for the wrong reasons – to escape the coming horrors of the Tribulation and not with a true, repentant heart to want to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior for the sinners that we all truly are.
Again, you may want to put this article on the shelf in the event that we start to fast approach end time events in our lifetime. This article will make for good debate with other Christians who may not believe in the Rapture.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey. From the online dictionary thank·ful
Pleased and relieved: “they were thankful that the war was finally over”; “I was very thankful to be alive”.
Expressing gratitude and relief: “a thankful prayer”.
grateful – appreciative – beholden
Most of us are now working to achieve our desires. Jim Rohn, inspirational speaker said his key phrase is “Learn to be Thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.” We must learn the lesson of being thankful for what we have if we are to be a success in our life. Without being thankful no doors or windows will open for you. I am a beleiver in God and without thankfullness, I truely beleive that no blessings can come our way.
Think about what you have to be grateful for, your parents, your spouse, your children, your job, your car ect. ect. Even those that think they have very little can find something to feel grateful about. Do you have good health? Are you thankful for your health? What would it be like if you didn’t have it. Maybe you are very ill, you can be thankful you have another day with your family and friends.
This is an article by Jim Rohn that sums up thankfulness for him. If nothing else it should give us all something to think about.
To appreciate the uniqueness of our own experiences that has brought us all here, together. For the countries we represent; we have freedom and liberty. These are extraordinary times, about eleven years ago the walls came tumbling down, in Germany, and it started a wave of democracy and freedom like the world has never seen before. We as a country and as a world have so much to be thankful for. Always start with thanksgiving; be thankful for what you already have and see the miracles that come from this one simple act.
Now thankfulness is just the beginning; next, you’ve got to challenge yourself to produce. Produce more ideas than you need for yourself so you can share and give your ideas away. That is called fruitfulness and abundance. Here’s what I think fruitfulness and abundance mean – to go to work on producing more than you need for yourself so you can begin blessing others, blessing your nation and blessing your enterprise. Once abundance starts to come, once someone becomes incredibly productive, it’s amazing what the numbers turn out to be. But to begin this incredible process of blessing, it often starts with the act of thanksgiving and gratitude, being thankful for what you already have and for what you’ve already done. Begin the act of thanksgiving today and watch the miracles flow your way.
The video is Where are you Christmas? with some tough pictures to look at, but it is a reminder of how thankful we should be for the life we have.
It’s hard to believe this is the last day of 2012. This year has gone by so fast for me. My mother told me many years ago that it would happen. At the time I didn’t believe her but I have since learned she knew exactly what she was talking about. The older you get the faster the time goes.
I think back when I was small and would ask how old I would be when I got out of school and just when that was going to happen. Then I couldn’t wait to turn 16 so I could drive a car legally. Since I lived in a very rural area, I started driving dirt roads when I was twelve. I was really big stuff once I got my licence. Then the next time I couldn’t wait for, was turning twenty-one. I wanted to be old enough to party with my friends.
Once I made it past twenty-one things began to speed up. I was married with two kids and time began to pass by too quickly. My children grew up at a great rate of speed. Now my grand and great-grand children are doing they same thing, but it seems even faster.
I now know that each second we have on this earth is precious. I may not be here in twenty-five years or as far as that goes, I may not be here tomorrow. The New Year makes me very reflective of my life and all of my blessings. I’ve met a lot of very friendly, kind and wonderful people through WordPress. I’ve been able to share my writings as well as my thoughts on different topics. It has been a blessing to me to be able to share a part of me and my life as it is now.
I’ve also figured out that bad times happen, but it’s what we do during and after those times that matter. Through the grace of God I’ve made it so far and I’m going to see another New Year, if God leaves me here one more day. My hope and prayer is for everyone to have a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year. Until next year. Shirley
Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here it is the day after one of the worst election campaigns that I have witnessed since I became old enough to actually pay attention to the television. Thankfully it is finally over and we have put our country in the hands of the President for a second term. There has been a lot of faith placed in him that he will continue to bring this country forward out of the quagmire we’ve been in for far to long.
He has a big job to do and I wouldn’t want to change places with him for anything in this world. It’s an extremely thankless position with nice perks and a place to live. He is essentially the fall guy for both parties. As a Christian I have to place him and this country in the hands of God with prayer to back him up. That prayer is for him to do what needs to be done here at home and abroad.
I would encourage each Christian and other God-fearing faiths to pray. The biggest thing for me right now is Israel. I spent this past weekend at a conference that explained that Israel does not belong to the people but to God and he does not want his land divided. Any country that goes against Israel and helps to divide the land will be judged by God. From my understanding both President Obama and Gov. Romney both want Israel divided in two for the cause of peace.
The other thing which was said about Israel is they will be in war with Iran in the first part of this next year. They were waiting to see the outcome of this election before deciding on a date. That’s another pressure put on the USA. The President said during the debates he had Israel’s back, which if this country wants to stay on the good side of God is a good thing. The problem is a lot of suffering is going to take place.
I know I don’t usually blog about politics or religion, but I felt I had to do this. Please pray for our country.
Today, I’m going back to story telling. This is a short story from my book Shirley’s Shorts and Flashes. I’ve decided to ebook publish on Amazon. I may put it in book form at a later time, just because I like to hold books. There is something about the smell of a book that you can’t get from a Kindle. I hope you enjoy this nonfiction story. Have a blessed day.
I Found It
The day I found it, I knew beyond any doubt, He was real. That profound piece of knowledge was shown to me repeatedly through my life.
I am a mother of two children, now grown. I’ve been an RN for thirty-two years. Before I became a nurse, I spent years trying to survive and take care of my two young children as a single mom. I lived on food stamps and in public housing, and I hated every minute of it.
I’d always wanted to be a nurse and in fact started college right out of high school. I decided at that point I wanted my man, and put love above my education. I was married to my children’s father for nine years. He decided he wanted to play. I’m a selfish woman, I don’t share well. My marriage ended.
I lived in Vernon, Texas when my marriage ended. My parents lived in Oklahoma. Everything about my world crumbled around me. I didn’t have a job, I had two small children, and I was an emotional wreck. I wasn’t dealing with my failed marriage well. I had my children wanting their father, and my family telling me the children needed their daddy. I actually swallowed my pride and asked my husband to move back home. I met him at the door, when he moved back. He gave me a kiss and I knew with that kiss something was missing. His being home lasted four days. He couldn’t stay away from his play toy. There was too much pain to handle. I packed up and moved back home to McAlester.
The subsidized housing we lived in was not bad, but the neighborhood could get rough. At that point, in time, which was in the mid 1970’s I, felt as if I were the only caucasian in the complex. My apartment was broken into a couple of times and once I made the mistake of leaving my month’s food stamps on the end table. They disappeared.
I rejoiced when I received a five-dollar increase in my welfare check. Every five dollars in my pocket helped. The rejoicing didn’t last long. The housing authority raised my rent by six dollars a month. It was a losing battle. There was no way to win.
We never had enough money to buy the non-food items we needed, such as laundry soap, toilet paper, and dishwashing soap. Times got so bad, my children would go to a service station and steal toilet paper for us to use.
Towards the end of the month, we would run out of food. Weekends and summer were the hardest, because the kids didn’t get their breakfast and lunch at school. I was blessed enough to have a mom and dad who let me and the kids come to their house for supper when we needed to. I felt like a failure from beginning to end. I couldn’t do anything right. I was supposed to have stayed married, and raised my kids with both a mother and a father. Instead, I felt like a moocher, even though I know they didn’t feel that way. The guilt I felt was eating me up.
I finally got enough of my mind back that I decided to go back to college and fulfill my dream of becoming a nurse. I couldn’t continue to let my children live the way they were living. My mom was so supportive. She encouraged me every chance she got. She wanted me to get the education she’d always wanted for me. I had to be able to take care of my children and myself.
My uncle teased me about not needing an education, because I now had two diplomas, Allan and Stephanie. He’d tried to talk me out of quitting school to marry my kids father, but of course being young and in love I didn’t listen.
Using Pell Grants, I moved to Wilburton and began college at Eastern Oklahoma State College. I made application to their nursing program and was accepted. The two-year program, which I took three to complete, was tough. I took all of my prerequisites one year and did nursing the next two years.
The kids and I lived in a two-bedroom house trailer on campus for the first year. I had a car but didn’t drive much except to go back home to see mom and dad. Mom would usually give me money for the gasoline. The problem of living in Wilburton and being in school, I no longer qualified for food stamps, because I received too much money from the Pell Grant.
We still had to eat and pay bills, so I took a part time job at a local nursing home working as an aide. Since my family owned nursing homes, I was well qualified. I’d done everything from cooking in the kitchen to the laundry room. The down side to the job, it didn’t pay much more than minimum wage, and I had to pay for day care. It didn’t leave me much money. I worked whenever I could.
Through God’s grace, we made it through the first year. Due to almost freezing to death in that trailer, I found a walk-up apartment I could afford to rent. The kids’ day care was down the road from us about a block, and I could drop them off on my way to class without having to drive out of my way.
My second year of nursing school was the toughest. I couldn’t work many hours because of my clinical schedule for school. It got to the point one time when there wasn’t even milk for the kids in the refrigerator. I had nothing. I cried and I prayed and cried some more. I’d finally cried all the tears I could and I needed comfort.
Something made me pick up my Bible and I began reading in my favorite book of Isaiah. I felt comforted, as I always did. After my divorce, I slept with the Bible close to me. God was my comfort and my strength. When I turned, the page, what I saw astounded me. I began crying all over again, except this time with joy.
Stuck inside my Bible was a crisp, new ten-dollar bill. I didn’t put it there, which made it a miracle for me. It would let me buy food until my payday from work rolled around in a couple of days. I fell on my knees and began praising God. I knew then I didn’t have anything to worry about because He was with me. You know what, He still is. I worry very little because I know God has my back. I have failed him many times, but He has never failed me.
Times remained hard while I was in school, but I received my nursing license and my world turned around. I know I made it through with God’s help and the help of my family.
Hello everyone. I hope all are well today. I’m staying close to the airconditioning with this 112 degree heat today. We need rain here in Oklahoma as well as surrounding states. Put your prayer caps on and place it before God. Besides that I have a question concerning your Spam folder. Do you consider everything that goes to spam as bad? When I read some of it, it sounds sincere. I’ve been deleting all of it without responding. Please let me know what you do with your spam.
Since I’m so slow with my next chapter of Sally’s Warning, I am posting a short story called Be Care of What You ask. As I have learned personally, you may not really want it. Enjoy
Be Careful of What You Want
Rebecca Jenkins gets off the bus and begins her block long walk, grumbling with every step.I don’t know why that had to be in the tallest building in Atlanta. I don’t like elevators and I sure don’t like heights. The gynecologist is on the fiftieth floor of the Bank of America (BOA) Building. I don’t know why he didn’t go to the top since it’s only fifty-five floors to start with.
Finally arriving at the BOA building, she goes though one set of six revolving doors. The temperature outside is in the upper nineties, so getting through those rotating doors into the lobby felt like heaven. Her natural curly, chestnut colored, hair is fuzzy because of the high humidity. Looking around the lobby, she spots the bank of elevators. I didn’t know one building could have this many elevators.
She pushes the up button on the elevator and stands back to see which door might open. Five other people are standing, waiting for an elevator. Rebecca always thought herself good at sizing people up. I wish I had more time to talk to these people and find out if my first thoughts of everyone are accurate. Well at least right now, I know there’s a nun in the group. She’s hard to miss in that black habit, Sally thought.
The elevator bell goes off and all six of the people began looking at the arrows at the top of the elevators to determine which one is ground level. The door to the middle elevator on the right side opens and the six walk on with the door closing behind them. Sally stood next to the buttons, so she asks what floor the other want. The Nun and a teenage girl say fifty and a woman holding a white tip cane whispers, “Forty-five, please.” The two men are going to fifty-three and fifty-five.
The elevator begins its climb with a bell sounding at every floor. Sally feels her anxiety building as the elevator climbs. I should be grateful this isn’t one of those glass elevators that go up the outside of the building. I know I couldn’t handle that kind at all. The silence is thick in the elevator. Everyone has their head down, but raises it with each ding of the bell.
The elevator ding sounds at the thirty-eighth floor and continues climbing. The elevator begins to shake and stops. “What happened?” Rebecca asks.
The mousy looking man with the black rimmed glasses begins talking “I can’t believe this shit. Excuse me, Sister. for my language. This isn’t acceptable. Lady, get on the emergency phone and get us some help. I have to pick up my son’s medication at his doctor’s office. They close at 4:30 pm.”
The nun speaks up, “Everyone please try to stay calm. I know we’ll be getting help very soon.”
“Did God tell you that information, Sister?” The teenage girl says in a sarcastic tone.
“Not this time, but he’s never failed me, so I’m not worried.”
Rebecca backs into the right front corner of the elevator. Gosh, I hope this thing hangs tight. At least we have a light. It would be completely terrifying if it were totally dark inside this thing.
The others don’t notice that she’s hung the phone up, except the good looking man that looks so angry. “Hey, what did they say? When will they get us out of here?” The good-looking man asks Rebecca.
“No one answers the phone, sir. I’ll try again in a couple of minutes.”
“Here, let me try”, the mousey man says. He pushs Rebecca aside and picks up the phone. It rang and rang, with no answer on the other end. He slams the receiver back onto the hook. “What a crock of shit this is, first we have a jacked up elevator and now no one will answer the emergency phone.”
“Let’s please stay calm,” the sister says. “Why don’t we talk and tell each other some details about ourselves and time will pass a little faster.” Everyone looks at her as if she no longer has good sense. “I’ll start. My name is Sister Margaret. I am with the Sisters of the Rosary, at Saint Michaels Convent. I have been a nun for almost twenty-six years. I certainly never thought I’d be in an elevator this afternoon with five other people. Okay, young lady, why don’t you take your turn.”
The teenager looks at Sister Margaret, “Okay, Sister, you got it. My name is Angie and I’m fifteen years old. God ain’t done one thing for me, so he’s done nothing but let me down.”
“Oh Angie, you just can’t see what he’s done for you, but I assure you he loves you and is with you every step you take,” Sister Margaret says.
“Is that a fact, Sister? Then I guess he was with me the night those three thugs raped me and left me for dead. In addition, to top that off, now I’m carrying a bastard baby. I’m sure God was right there with me the whole time.”
You can hear everyone suck in their breath when she speaks. Sister Margaret, gets down on the floor next to the young girl and takes hold of her hands. “I’m so sorry, Angie. I don’t know why bad things happen to good people, but they do. I know you’re angry at the world right now, but know I will help you any way I can. What about your parents, how do they feel?”
“That’s another good thing. My parents are dead. I live in the home for Girls on Piedmont. Yep, I can sure see where God is with me every step. Get up, Sister, and don’t worry about me. I can take care of myself.”
Sister Margaret continues to hold Angie’s hands. “Remember, I will help you. You don’t have to go through this alone. In fact, the convent has a very nice home for unwed mothers. It is a big improvement over the state run home on Piedmont. Just think about it and let me know when we get off the elevator.”
Letting go of Angie’s hands she stands and then bends over and touches Angie’s hair. As soon as Sister Margaret’s hand strokes her hair, Angie begins to cry. Tears run down her cheeks, falling onto her pink blouse.
Everyone stands quietly for the next five minutes while Angie cries.
“I hope you feel better, dear, now that you’ve cried. It always helps me,” says the woman with the white tipped cane.
“When are they going to fix this elevator? I’ve only got twenty minutes to get to my son’s doctor.” The mousy little man shouts out. Sister Margaret looks at him and asks, “Why don’t you tell us a little something about yourself.”
The mousy little man is shaking, agitated, and seems to have problems standing still. When he first begins to speak, you can hear his voice shaking. “Ah, my name is Arthur, and I work in this building for BOA as an accountant. I’m married with a six year old son who has been diagnosed with ADHD. That’s the reason I’ve got to get to the doctor’s office.”
“Mister, you look like you’re strung out. Are you sure you not taking your son’s drug.” Angie looks him straight in the eyes. “Your eyes are even twitching. Don’t bother lying, because I can recognize the symptoms. A couple of girls at the home are always strung out on something.”
“Shut your mouth you little bitch! You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“That’s what you think,” Angie says.
“Please tell us more, Arthur,” Sister Margaret says.
“I don’t have anything else to say. I’m going to try this phone again. Maybe they’ll answer this time.” He picked up the phone, but still no answer. He slams the receiver down again, and begins screaming help.
The good-looking man steps over to him and places a hand on his shoulder. Leaning in, he whispers in
Arthur’s ear. Author immediately backs up into the corner and nothing moves except his quivering eyes
The good-looking man steps back. “Since I have everyone’s attention, why don’t I tell you about me? My name is Stephen Taylor, and I’m a Federal Supreme Court Justice taking a few days off to take care of some business. I’m married right now, but won’t be for long. I now have evidence my wife of twenty years is having an affair with my best friend.”
Sister Margaret spoke up. “Mr. Taylor, I’m so sorry for your troubles. I know it has to be hard on you right now, but don’t be too hasty in what you do. Give yourself some time to cool down before you make any decisions. I’ll pray for you and your wife.”
“That’s very kind of you, Sister. I can use all the prayer I can get. I’m afraid my wife has already made my decision for me. She left for Vegas this morning for a quickie divorce and plans to marry Martin as soon as possible.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, but you both will still get my prayers.”
The woman with the white-tip cane spoke up. “I guess I can take my turn now. My name is Candy Cross. As you can see, I’m blind and have been since birth. I was very angry about my blindness for a few of my teen years, but I got over that. Actually, I’m doing good. I own my own braille printing business and do very well. I’m not married and I do live on my own not too far from here. I’ve got a good life.”
Everyone speaks their congratulations, except Arthur. He’s still standing in the corner twitching. Then it is Rebecca’s turn.
“Hi, my name is Rebecca and I don’t like tall buildings or elevators, but here I am. I’m twenty-two years old and I’m working on my master’s degree in psychology. My home is in Lubbock, Texas, but I’ve been here for almost five years. I have to tell you that before I got on this elevator, I wished I’d had more time to spend with you, so I could find out about you. It’s my thing to try and figure people out. You surprised me, except for Sister Margaret. I’ve learned a little about each of you and a lot about myself. I don’t read people as well as I thought,and also be careful for what you ask for, because you might get it.”
The elevator lights flicker and they feel the elevator start down the shaft. Everyone cheers and pats each other’s back. They know their rescue is happening.
On Friday May 7, 2012, I posted a blog titled “Squatter Equals Headache.” Today I want to post and tell you what a whining, non-tolerant person I turned out to be. If you would go back and read that post you will have a better idea of what I am talking about.
Basically, we bought a house that we couldn’t move into because the man who had lived here for over ten years, was left behind by his geriatric girlfriend of eighteen years. She loaded her belongings and moved to California. Friends of their’s finally loaded this man up and put his things in storage. Since he agreed to it, we saw this as a good thing.
Long story short we made the man homeless. He is 87 years old and walking the streets of Sapulpa. He has dementia with a servere case of Sundowner Syndrome. It broke my heart to realize what was happening to the man. He lost everyone and everything in his world. He’d received ten ousand dollars from his girl-friend for the sale of the house. He had that less than twenty-four hours before he lost it. His truck was impounded by the police and he had no idea where it was.
My husband and I were fighting because I wanted to bring the man back to the house and take care of him but my family through a fit. They considered the man a danger to himself and others. Oh, did I leave out the fact he kept a pistol on him all the time.
I began praying that somehow the man would be helped. The wonderful news is he was. I found out our neighbor called the girlfriend in California and told her excatly what was going on. I am thinking her own guilt got the best of her, because in two weeks she was here. She got the man, took him to the doctor and then back to California with her. I have no idea what will happen now, but I know he is better off. As far as all of his belongings, everything was auctioned off at the storage facility for unpaid storage.
You never know how something you do will affect another human being. Never in a million years would I have thought I would have any part in making a person homeless. I can’t say that anymore. All I can do now is thank God for answering my prayers, and leave the man in God’s hands.
I like flash fiction. I didn’t know how much I would enjoy it when I started writing two years ago. I’ve had people tell me how much they enjoy reading flash fiction and then I’ve had a few that couldn’t get past the shortness and crispness of the story. I believe they are the one’s who are the flowery writers. They use lots of adjectives or whatever it takes to add description. I figured out many years ago, I’m not a flowery writer. Maybe that’s why I like Flash Fiction, because it is very straight forward.
An example would be, “Walking down the stone strewn path, I can smell the wonderful aroma of the large honeysuckle vine. It’s vines turning and wrapping themselves though the spaces in the fence.” For flash fiction you could write something such as “Walking down the path, the odor of honeysuckle filled the air. The vines wrapped themselves around the fence.”
The first example had twenty-nine words in the two sentences. The second example had eighteen words. They are very concise, and crisp. Flash Fiction uses limited words. I’ve written from 100 word stories to a 1000 words and it still be termed Flash Fiction. Any number you use requires a complete story. Sometimes it’s difficult to do.
Three days ago I wrote a Flash Fiction piece and entered it into a contest on FanStory. It’s called “The Letter”. I won the contest and I want to share it with you. This is the instuctions I was given.
Write a scene in which your main character receives a strange looking letter beat up with stains on its cover. The letter has no return address. What’s in it? How does your character react to the contents once it is opened and why? This story should not be any longer than 1000 words but no shorter then 800 words.
France, June 16, 1944
Rifle shots are randomly going off around Dan as he sits in the bombed out building. He’s writing a letter that he’s put off writing, because he knows it will break a girl’s heart back in Oklahoma. If you were to see his face, you’d think he’s about to cry tears. His heart is heavy.
Dear Janell, I really don’t know how to start this letter, but it is something I have to do. Sitting in the middle of this rubble, which was once a small town, probably a lot like our home town of Stuart. I’ve spent many months here, crawling through the mud and blood, and thinking of you and getting back home.
Two months ago, the French underground put me into hiding. There was a girl there by the name of Angelique. I called her Angel for short. I have to tell you, we have fallen in love, and I’m going to marry her. You know I never intended to hurt you, but I have to follow my heart. I only wish you the best with your life.
“Mama, would you like a cup of hot tea and a muffin? You haven’t eaten a thing since we got back from the cemetery this morning.”
“Sally, I’m not hungry. Just leave me alone.”
“You have to have something. How about that cup of tea? I’ll get you the tea, then walk down to the mailbox and get the mail. Maybe there’s a letter from Aunt Hattie. She always cheered you up when you read one of her letters.
“Mama, here is some Earl Grey. It’s hot, so let it sit a couple of minutes. I’ll be right back.”
The mailbox was sitting at the intersection of the two dirt roads that ran by the house. How many times had she walked to this mailbox over the years? Today was different because she helped bury her father this morning.
When she opened the mailbox it contained one letter.
The envelope was yellow with age, and had a couple of dark brown spots on the front. The strange thing was the name on the envelope. It’s addressed to mama using her maiden name, Janell Griffin. You couldn’t tell who sent it, because there wasn’t a return address. This is a mystery, Sally thought. I wonder who sent this.
Janell, sitting in her rocking chair, with her eyes closed and a slight smile on her face. She’s remembering the first time she saw her Daniel. We were at a church picnic and began talking. It was if we’d always been together. We spent all the time together we could. In 1943, Dan joined the Army and was shipped overseas. He was there over a year. The letters came regularly at first and I answered each one promptly. I tried to write about everything going on and the people he knew. I knew his loneliness would be terrible. Then the letters stopped coming. I thought he’d been killed. Several months passed with me mourning the loss of my love, Daniel. I went to the drug store for Mother one Saturday morning. When I came out of the drug store, the Grey Hound bus was unloading passengers at the depot next door. When I looked at the unloading passengers, I saw a solider with a cane step off the bus. I screamed and began running and yelling Daniel at the top of my lungs. Daniel was alive and home. I was hugging him and kissing him with tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t believe my love was alive and home. He acted very strange at first. It was as if he wasn’t expecting me to hug and kiss him. He felt stiff when I touched him. He must have been through hell.
“Mama,” Sally called out as she came through the door. “Wait till you see what we got in the mail.”
Janell opened her eyes, stopping the thoughts about her beloved Daniel. “What do you have?”
“It looks like a very old letter. It’s addressed to you but using your maiden name.”
“My maiden name! I haven’t used that name in almost sixty years. Let me see it.” Janell straightened her glasses as well as herself in the rocker.
“It’s post marked from France and I can see the number forty-four.”
“Well, let me see it.”
Sally handed the old letter to Janell. When Janell looked at the envelope, she began to cry.
“Mama, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
Janell sat very quiet holding the letter in her hands for a few minutes. When she was able to speak, she put the letter up to her heart and looked up at her daughter. “Sally, this letter was written by your father. I would know his hand writing anywhere. He was in France during the war. I actually thought he’d died, but God sent him back home to me. I can’t believe I got this letter on the day we buried him.
“Open it up and see what it says.”
Janell slowly opened the envelope with her arthritic fingers. She unfolded the paper and read the letter. She folded the letter and placed it back in the envelope.
“What did it say, Mama? Was it from Daddy?”
“No dear, it wasn’t meant for me. I think I want another cup of tea and I’m going to fix it. Would you like one?
“Yes, I would.”
“Sit down and I’ll call you when it’s ready”. Janell walked slowly to the kitchen and directly to the stove. She turned on the front burner for the tea pot and the flame started. She stuck the corner of the letter into the fire watching it burn and dropped it into the cast iron skillet sitting on the stove. While it burned to ashes she spoke softly aloud, “It wasn’t for me.”