MyPraize blog section
There is a lot of complaining about the weather this year. I know we folks with a touch or two of arthritis tend to want our warm weather so we don't hurt as bad, but we are forgetting the big picture here. So sit back in your chair, your bed, your couch, where ever you are and close your eyes a moment going back in time a little over 2000 years ago. Jesus was not born in December, he was born in early spring, sometime in March. So picture this: Let's say we live in that time and in that place put yourself there. You're living in a mud hut with thick cool walls. During the winter months you have to take rags and place them over the windows to keep the wind and cold out. You have an inside fireplace that doubles as a cook stove and heater. It's tax time and census time- all the public facilities are full so some of the local people are allowing out of towner's to rent space from them. Late that night this young couple comes into town with a pack mule carrying a young pregnant female guided by a weary young man. He stops at inn after inn only to find they are all full. He even stops at some of his kin folks houses to find them full. He was almost out of options and saw one last house. He stopped there to find a kindly old innkeeper who offered him room in his stable for no charge. He gave them blankets and pallets to lay on and an oil lamp to help them see. As they got settled in Joseph said to Mary, "It's snowing, yet I can see the stars." Mary told Joseph it must be a sign. They laid down to rest and as they nodded off to sleep, an angel came to Mary and told her that it was time for her to deliver. Mary said to the Angel. "Here? Now? In THIS place?" The angels told her that God had brought them to Bethlehem for a reason that they would find the answers out later. As Mary began feeling the urges of Labor she awoke Joseph who ran out to find someone to help his wife. Soon they held their newborn son in their arms and the Angels were sent out to proclaim to the world the birth of God's son. Mary and Joseph rested with Jesus as much as they could during the night and day. The skies were perfectly clear, all the stars were extra radiant that night. It was as if God had his angels working double time polishing them in the heavens before his son was born. All of the sudden in the eastern sky appeared this new huge bright shining star that appeared to be coming from right over where Jesus laid.
So why am I telling the Christmas story in February? It's the snow. The snow represents purity. It snowed that night to purify the sky and the earth for the coming of the new King. Stop and think to yourself what the arrival of the Christ child was. God sent HIS only son to earth and He took OUR sins upon his shoulder and died for us. When I look at the snow, I see it as a reminder of the birth of a King. Not an ordinary King, but a King who changed the world and the WORD. We should see the snow today as a reminder of God's way to purify the air, to keep us inside with our family, make us slow down and spend family time together. In these days and times family time is practically non-existent. Yes, there is still the TV, internet, gaming devices, etc. But a parent should take charge and say everyone, let's do something different. Go outside and build a fire and roast hot dogs, make smores, hot chocolate, snow angels, snow forts, have a friendly snow ball fight. OR, play board games inside that have the entire family playing. Better yet, pull out the Good book. Yeah, the one you tend to only put out to impress the preacher when he comes to visit. READ it to your family. Challenge your family to read it out loud and individually. A family that reads the Bible grows stronger together.
While the snow purifies the outside, let it purify you personally. Consider the snow as a challenge of rebirth and growth.
Avery. 18. College freshman. English major. I live in Michigan.
Recently went through a horribly bad breakup, and am very traumatized by it. I still love him.
Music is the best therapy.
ADTR, Pierce The Veil, Citizen, Modern Baseball, Transit, Defeater, The Wonder Years, Manchester Orchestra, Brand New, Two Door Cinema Club, Basement, Seahaven, etc... are examples of my favorite artists.
I'm a book nerd and John Green fanatic.
I snapchat, so ask me for my name. c:
I've met many people over the years on this site, and most of them are gone now. I don't intend on making any new friends, but I keep this account in case anyone comes back.
So, that's about it. Ok, bye.
Looking in the downstairs bathroom mirror, David collected himself, but just as he thought it passed, tears began to flow. Looking up, he whispered "Mike, if only you could see your little girl." He had many moments like this since his brother died and did this to keep up an appearance to Crystal so as not to worry her.
What he didn't know was that she knew about these emotional bursts. Standing outside the bathroom, ear to the door listening to him sob. They hadn't been as serious in the last two or three years. But it made her feel worse listening in on him. But this was his twin brother and closest friend.
Crystal left before he came out. She had to get her books for school and meet Andi outside her house. Later, after school she began to work on her piece for the showing next month. She chose to do a sketch of her grandmother with charcoal. Crystal had talent for most mediums. Paint, sketches, collage. When she was in 5th grade, she had a collage presented at the State Fair as part of a collection from her school district. Somewhere that collage was in the house in storage.
It was becoming more difficult to hide this whole thing from her ever observant best friend. But Crystal knew Andi was becoming suspicious, as was her personality. Andi was hoping to be a detective or a lawyer after graduating high school.
The training was going along well, at night she would cover herself in black just to practice the flying. She was getting better at that, and the fear that she could have an outburst at the least likely moment eased. Daniel had drawn on his years of experience to teach her what he did to so many before her. And he was proud of it, his most promising pupil....
"It may be time for her to get the uniform." he thought. But not until he gets the orders to do so, though she is close. Today he chose to dress like a typical kid Crystal's age. He was to observe and blend in with the crowd she hung out with. Knowing he was being seen by the mortals, Daniel kept noticing the girls looking over and hearing how good looking he was.
He did appreciate the compliments and went about his business. Sometimes he actually did think about how they see him in a physical form, but he also knew the part of them that lusted after the body in some.
This was a big school all right. All the midnight blue and white splashed everywhere. And banners for the big Homecoming game in the next two weeks against the Eastside Commanders. By what he had heard, it was always a big rivalry between Grant High and Eastside. All these centuries and it still fascinated him about how competitions could run rampant. Sometimes forging deep friendships between groups.
As him and Crystal visited the park after class let out, trouble began. Some demons decided to have some sport with the two.
Even in class, Crystal was distracted. After waking up floating in air, what if the same happened in front of everyone? Her cover would be blown and the other kids would look at her like some of the characters in her comic books. That was the main thing, being found out.
"Miss McAllister, what is the answer to this equation?" Mrs. Johnson asked her in fifth period Algebra, pointing to what was written on the board. That woke her up in a heartbeat. Crystal managed to figure it out and apologized. She was known for being strict.
By the end of the day, she was stressed because of this possibility. She had to tell someone. Might as well be Pastor Rich. He referred her aunt and uncle to a really good counselor after her parents and brother died. His office was always open and was support whenever she needed it. Crystal knew he would be in and she would just drop in for a few.
Ms. Nance was at the reception desk, filing some papers. She looks up and sees her and flashes a large grin. After a minute of catching up, she calls Pastor Rich and lets him know Crystal was there. Almost always he made time for his flock, especially for her.
Pastor Rich was a tall gentleman, about 6 feet, 2 inches. Grey was starting to show in his hair but still had the energy of a college kid. But the eyes were his most drawing feature for her. Something in them attracted her to him. He married and they had 4 kids.
She began to spill it all to him. The angel, the training, and even what she's seen nobody else could. Crystal couldn't read his face. He must be thinking she's crazy or something with all this rambling. After a minute or two of silence, he finally spoke.
"I knew about this from Mr. Jackson and the previous pastor. Every city with someone like you the pastor knows. I am what is called a Pastoral Counselor for the Order. Mr. Jackson must have known you were special when we had our conversations. Now I know who was to be his successor." Then he went into how he came into this group as an outsider.
"You have my word, what is said here will never leave this room. And I will never spill the secrets of who you were meant to be by the Father." He grasped her hands and then he prayed over Crystal. The meeting was then over.
She went home and told her uncle (Aunt Marty was on a trip with a friend so it was just her and Uncle David) about meeting with the pastor for a support session to help deal with the stresses of school.
David McAllister looked at his niece like his late brother would. Michael was the older, more responsible of the two of them. Seven minutes apart, they were never apart. Until that day seven years ago. Michael, his wife Mary, and their newborn son Stephen were killed in a head on collision by a drunk driver who walked away with a broken arm and bruises. It was like a part of him literally died.
Him and Marty were named godparents to his brother's kids. It must have been uncomfortable for her to look at her uncle knowing it would remind her of Dad. Emotions began to swell up inside and had to leave the table to collect himself.
Soon Crystal had mastered the fundamentals. Daniel considered teaching her some more challenging techniques, considering she was so young. He consulted with his supervisor and they agreed because of the time constraints. The Enemy was up to something.
In one of the night dream training sessions, he began to show her how to fly, yes, fly. "It's kind of like that story you loved so much as a kid, 'Peter Pan'. The writer had the right idea. Only it's trust and faith in God the Father."
Daniel now knew his problem. He taught like a 70 year old college professor droning everyone in class to sleep. In all his time training Order fighters, he never had one complaint about his old style. Except that one from the 1400s. With that thought, he realized something familiar about Crystal.....
Suddenly, Crystal snapped out of her sleep. Looking around her room, the blanket was sliding off of her. And for good reason: What she was doing in the dream, she wakes up to the same awake. It scared her, yet excited her at the same time. She fell back on the bed with some noise.
After a few minutes, she managed to calm down. Why did this happen? Had to have been something she ate earlier. Sometimes weird dreams can be triggered by food. Daniel calmed her down and she went back to sleep. "Sometimes when the session is interrupted, the effects transfer to your world."
Nobody the next morning said anything. That was a relief. Maybe her aunt and uncle thought the noise was her walking the 10 feet to the bathroom.
Andi came on over for breakfast with her mom. They did this at least once a week. Her mom was a beautiful Lumbee Indian who married a Cherokee man against her family's wishes, but warmed up to him. She looked like her mom but had Dad's eyes and grin.
He died 3 months before she was born and named Andrea after her dad Andrew. That's why they were so close. Andi never knew her father and was there when Crystal lost her parents and brother. She knew the pain of losing a parent.
Then there was school. A group, dressed in black and paper white faces, stood around the front trying to look so dark. Crystal now could see the shadows swirling around some of them, enjoying some sport. When they saw her coming, they cower in this crowd and try to sway them to move away. She heard the whimpers as she approached. The goth group in turn, reacted by walking away.
That night while sleeping, Crystal woke up in a white room. Daniel was there, waiting. She looks down and finds she's in a different outfit. A shirt and shorts with sneakers. He helps her up and brushes her off.
"Welcome to the Training Chamber. The lessons are only part of it. This is where I show you how to deal with the Enemy. This is all a dream, so if your aunt and uncle check in on you, you're safe." With a snap of his fingers, the room became like a dojo in a martial arts studio. Reminded Crystal of that movie with the computer world resistance fighters.
Now she was dressed in a karate uniform. Daniel in an obvious master's garb. "Now the lesson begins." With that, he starts with a unexpected punch. She dodges it, trying to remember her lessons from way back when. Her reflexes were still good. "Not bad, maybe that was wrong to do that. Let's try it like this..." He began to move and she followed.
It was natural, Crystal also had to have a crash course in how the Holy Spirit works. Also, how some like herself, have a genetic marker to manifest it more intensely than the average believer. She had to develop hers and fast. What she didn't know was that it would come in handy sooner than she thought.
After a week and a half, she was tired, mentally and physically. Having to keep all this under wraps along with school and Andi was very observant. It was really difficult to keep things from her best friend. They shared everything, secrets, inside jokes, the usual girl stuff.
And her aunt and uncle....that was a pain. Hopefully, she can hold them off. It was like a comic book, the excitement of developing this newly discovered gift. That night in the alley still lingered. The sights, smells, those eyes boring into her soul. But the emotions were the most intense part, that creature screaming into her ear, insulting her family and God.
Then there was the burning stone. All she could recall was that she was dying and in a last ditch effort, grabbed it. Doing what the voice told her to say. It was more like Crystal wanted to get even in a righteous rage. The fire that engulfed her when she awoke renewed her. Then the sword that came out, that surprised her most of all. Sometimes, it almost was too much for her just recalling it.
Also, her art began to reflect her emotions. Mr. Kyle was impressed. "You exceed my expectations. I knew I made the right thing by allowing you in my advanced class." He mentioned in his English accent, which Crystal always enjoyed. "There's a junior art show just before Homecoming. Would you like to submit something for that?"
Usually on Saturday morning Crystal would sleep in until around 9:30. Not today. Her sound slumber was interrupted by the alarm she didn't recall setting the night before. Daniel was in a coach's sweatsuit complete with hat and whistle. It was 8am and she was in dreamland somewhere on the beach and now is jostled into reality to the sight of this.
"Now it begins, time is of the essence." were the first words out of his mouth. "Can I get 5 more minutes?" Crystal moaned from under the covers. Daniel had a book and a writing pad in one hand. "I know that I was harsh starting out, but now I may be able to help you relate better." Opening the book, a hologram projected out of its pages. Crystal was in awe. "Give me an hour and we can do this." They could smell breakfast cooking. Hash browns, eggs, turkey bacon, and sausage. The usual Saturday breakfast.
Aunt Marty was setting up the table for three and Uncle David was reading the paper sipping coffee by the time Crystal showered, dressed and went down. The aroma of food tickled her nose. Memories.
Not long after, Crystal and Daniel went out to the park not far from the house. Daniel changed his sweatsuit for a casual flannel and jeans. In a secluded area of the park, he started to show her the history of the Order in a hologram form using the book he had earlier.
"The archangel Michael presented himself to a simple monk in what is now called England in the year 1234AD. The monk was given the gift of peering into the spiritual realm and fighting the forces physically. Also, to find others through the Holy Spirit, who are called to do the same. The two dimensions, this plane of matter and the plane where I come from, collide more often than most of you think."
Crystal watched as he began to explain the last part. Drawing a picture, Daniel showed her how the two dimensions meet. "Everything here on Earth is a reflection of what's in Heaven. Everyday since the beginning of recorded time, we angelic have fought the fallen ones. All believers can fight the enemy, but sometimes a few are gifted with physically going toe to toe with demonic creatures."
"Wait," Crystal interrupted him, "So I have this gift, all because I helped an older gentleman and he died in my arms? This would be a great plot for one of the comic books Uncle David sells in his shop."
She then looks at Daniel. "Don't tell me, Mr. Jackson was the one of you, right?" He looks at her and says, "Yes, he was. The day you encountered him in that alley, he was on his last assignment. He was being led to his successor. And it just so happens to be you."
After learning a little more history, they left to pick up Andi. She had been worried since coming over and finding out Crystal was awake and gone. The rest of the day was them at the mall, hanging out and having some fun. She was tired by the time she got home and relaxed by putting the finishing touches on her latest work of art.
That night Crystal had a dream that was awfully familiar. Again it was the scene with the man burned at the stake. The bishop asked him if wanted to repent. The man refused. This time she understood what they said, before it was in a foreign language. "I will never give up. This body may end, but one with my blood in their veins, will rally us together and stop you spirit once and for all." He had a smile on his face saying this. A white lock of hair flopped over his left eye.
"They will have a mark to show...." Before he could finish, Crystal woke up to Aunt Marty shaking her. "I have to go see my father. He's had a heart attack and may not make it." She looked like a mess, her hair all over and still in her pajamas and robe. Kissing Crystal on the head, Marty then gave her some instructions for tomorrow. Aunt Marty's father hadn't been in good health since last year when he had a stroke that rendered him paralyzed. Mr. Galbert was always good to Crystal.
He lived in a senior facility since the stroke on the outskirts of town, so it wasn't very far. Though it was 3 in the morning, she just said a prayer and tried to get to sleep. Try as she might, Crystal couldn't get back to the dream.
Despite the sudden late night waking, Crystal managed to get through the day. Andi had accompanied her when they got to her house and Aunt Marty sat in the living room crying. He had passed just before eleven in the morning, her father was too weak from the stroke and passed. Lived just long enough to see the kids be there for him.
Mr. Galbert was a favorite of the neighborhood kids. "Grandpa Bob" as he was called. Aunt Marty was the one out of the five kids and favored him the most. Crystal remembered all the times she would go over and played horsey on his knee and his stories of the old days. A little over the top, but fun.
Now he was gone. But he was old and his health was failing. He's now with his bride of 50 years again. Aunt Marty told Crystal he left this world with a smile on his face. The funeral would be in the next few days, just as he left it in his will.
Still, Crystal went on, mourning but going on with life. She never could allow herself to withdraw like she did when her mother, father and brother died.
Daniel had to start her training, no matter what. Time was of the essence. But he had to make it where she can understand what's going on. He was in the doghouse with her about being dull and boring. Looking around at the fiction books on the shelves, even the e-books on the electronic devices, he got an idea....
luke 9:13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.
You have to wonder what it was like being one of the 12 disciples. They saw Jesus turn water into wine and doing other miracles from healing people to casting out demons. We really don't know what was in the minds of the 12 disciples. Jesus had just given the 12 power to do miracles from sending them out to heal the sick to casting out demons. The reason for this was to preach the gospel (Luke 9:1-3) I would think that they had the power as long asd they stayed in/with Jesus.
I wonder if Jesus was testing to see where the 12 disciples faith was. They had just come back telling Jesus all they did and Jesus asked, "you give them to eat". Could have this been a test to see what they would do. Imagine if they had tried what Jesus did, how surprised Jesus may have been. Well they answered as any logical man would do.
I think the problem was is they just figured that Jesus would always be with them and were not in a process of learning. I guess they did not understand what was going on when Jesus told them he would not be with them in the future. They did not realize that this time was a time of learning so they could do what Jesus did. It is like when you are under some leader, you just do your job but never expect to take the leaders job. Example, like being a child and mom is cooking dinner; the child just goes along for the ride rather than learning himself. One day the child will grow up and have to cook for themselves.
Jesus said," Give ye them to eat." This statement also applies to us today. We are to preach the gospel, show Love and allow Jesus to shine in us and through us to reach others for Him. Are we just riding along and just being content being saved or are we learning so we can also do what Jesus did?
We have been given the authority to do the same works Jesus did on earth. The only question we have to ask ourselves is are we willing to take the steps in Faith, to put our self in situations where God can work? Something to think about.
Ye give them to eat.
(Joh 15:5) I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
(Act 4:13) Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
The next day, training began. It was a Sunday morning and it was after church. Pastor Rich took Crystal aside and asked her to come in. They had to talk. This was not unusual for they met from time to time for counsel since she lost her parents seven years earlier.
Once they reached his glass enclosed office, he moved a side table to show a hollow where a safe was hidden. Opening it, he removed a small box, "This was left in my keeping before your mother died." and he handed it to Crystal. Opening it, she was shocked to see the beautiful crucifix Mom wore when she was younger. She remembers how pretty it was around Mom's neck and how it glittered in the light with the stone in the middle. She remembers asking where it came from and Mom telling her it had been in her family a long time.
"She wanted make sure this would get into your hands in time. Wish she could have passed it on herself." Pastor Rich wiped a tear from his eye. He had been newly appointed the new pastor at Resurrection when Mary McAllister came by and simply asked to keep this for her.
This made him think, did she have a premonition of what was to come? He promised her he would and finally fulfilled her promise.
Crystal felt like she was holding a part of her mother with this. A silver cross with a gemstone in the center, she saw something that she had never noticed before. On the back, there was a saying that she couldn't translate.
Tears began to fill her eyes and soon Crystal was sobbing like a child. After a few minutes, she wiped her eyes, said her thanks and left. Uncle David saw what she had and just wrapped his arm around her. "I loved that necklace when your mom wore it. She would be proud to finally see her family heirloom returned to her child."
Later, Daniel began to teach Crystal the art of spiritual warfare. Starting with a lecture from the Bible. Crystal, being impatient was asking, "When are we going to kick some demon butt? This is SO boring!"
Then he notices her mom's necklace still in the box on the desk beside her. He picks it up and holds the silver necklace so as it glitters in the light of the lamp on her desk. "After all this time, the emblem of the Order has hardly changed. Even the motto is the same." Placing it back in it's box, he places his hand on hers lets her go to bed. It was already 9:45 and she had school tomorrow. Two tests along with a sketch for an upcoming art project. This was a good start and he could finish tomorrow.