Pull up a chair, let me pour you a hot cup of tea and let's get to know each other. I am the author of a fantasy/fiction love story called The Victor but I also write stories for other people as gifts.

They are wish fulfillment's and the person for whom they are written is the star of their story.

If you would like your own story, please email me at: thevictorbook@sbcglobal.net.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Make a Wish

I just wanted to let you all know that my next book, "Make a Wish" will be released sometime after the new year through Amazon.  It is a compilation of over 30 short stories written as gifts for real people, some of which have been posted on my blog, Wish Fulfillment Stories.  Some of the stories are fun and romantic while others are deeply emotional and inspirational.   I have been told by just about every recepient of a story that it made them weep for a good 30 minutes or has deeply impacted their faith and walk with God.
I have created a Facebook Fan Page (click on the book cover to go to the link) and I hope you will stop by and "like" it.  For those of you for whom I have written stories, I hope you will tell your family and friends about it. As far as I am aware, I am the only author who has written custom-made stories for people free upon request.
Here is the link below:

Click on the book cover to go to the fanpage on FB
Click on the book cover to go to the fanpage on FB

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Basket Full of Wishes

I have two children, Chris and Aimee, almost 8 grandbabies (four for each of them). I wish that they all lived close to me so that I could enjoy my babies. My biggest wish is that they be saved and that Chris will find the job that he needs. I would like for my children’s dad to open his eyes and believe that there is a God and to be saved.  I would love to have a major break thru for my book and it becomes a best seller. I would love to find my soul mate. We could go fishing, go hiking in the woods, ride four wheelers and go motorcycle riding, boating and all the things that make life enjoyable.
I have a secret wish that is hard for anybody to understand but I would love to have such an anointing on my life that people could see it all over me and that God would give me the gift of singing in the holy language of the Angels (Singing in tongues) and that people would be saved thru this.  Also, the gift of healing so  I could lay hands on sick people and have them be healed, especially Mary.
“A Basket Full of Wishes”
            Mable sat at her kitchen table, eating a bowl of cold cereal for dinner. There was little point in cooking anymore when she was the only one in the house (other than her pets).  She was tired from her long day at work and enjoyed the peace of quiet of her home, but it sure got lonely a lot. All of her children and grandbabies lived too far away for her to visit whenever she had the whim (which was always). She stared out the kitchen window at the fading light of day and was surprised to see someone coming up the walk carrying a big box.
            Suddenly the doorbell rang. Mable popped up and had it open in a jiffy but the delivery person was no where to be seen. She stepped outside and looked all the way around but could see no one nor any sign of a truck. Well, that was strange!
            She bent over to pick up the enormous box wondering how she was going to lift it much less get it through the doorway but it was very light; almost as if it were completely empty. She managed to get it through the doorframe and plopped it onto the kitchen table so she could get a better look at the return address. She guffawed instantly; this had to be someone’s idea of a joke. All it said was “GOD”. The ship to address wasn’t much better: “MABLE”
            She went out the front door again and this time circled her property. No one was lurking about to watch their little practical joke play out. No cars were loitering on the street.
            “Harumph!” Mable snorted. She went back into the house, got a scissors and sliced the duct tape that sealed the box shut. I bet it’s a bunch of shredded newspaper with fake doggie pooh!  She had the flaps open in seconds. No foul odors greeted her nostrils. So far so good…She reached in and pulled out a large wicker basket. “Oohhhhhhhhhhhhh!” she couldn’t help cooing. It was beautiful. The handle was festooned with raffia and real sunflowers, hyacinth, and snapdragons. The obligatory red plaid tablecloth edges peeked out from under the lid. On the handle was a note with handwriting.
            “ONE AT A TIME” it read. Mable’s brow furrowed. What in heaven’s name did that mean? She opened the lid, reached in and found a single scrap of paper.
            “Open the front door.” It read. Mable put her hands on her hips in disbelief. Now the basket was giving her orders! She reached in to see what the next note would read, hoping it would be something more interesting…like the winning lotto numbers and the winning ticket…”OPEN THE DOOR!!!” This time in all capital letters.
            “Well okay!” griped Mable loudly. Great…now she was talking to a picnic basket! Might as well play along…she went to the front door and flung it open.
            Mable screamed and jumped back. There on the stoop were her kids, Chris and Aimee with their families and all eight of her grandbabies!!
            “MOM! GRANDMA!!” They all tumbled in; taking turns kissing and hugging her. Mable was too overjoyed to question them and ushered them all inside.
            “I wish I’d a known y’all were coming – I would have fixed y’all something to eat! She exclaimed. The moment she turned around she found them all seated around the table that held the basket. The oldest kids began to pull things out one by one. First it was a large Tupperware filled with hot fried chicken. Next came biscuits, then corn on the cob, then a green salad and finally a plate of Angel Fluff brownies. The house became filled with aroma of food. “Where did-“ she began to ask then decided not to. Better to play along and see what happened next. She sat down next to Chris who planted a kiss upon her cheek.
“Mom – I have some good news!” he said inbetween mouthfuls of chicken and biscuit.
            “What is it, baby?” she said, smiling at him in anticipation.
            “I just got a great job and you’ll never guess where the company headquarters is!”
            “That’s right! How’d ya know?” Chris replied, his eyes wide.
Mable glanced at the basket. “Uh…a little bird told me.” She fibbed.
“They’re paying for the relocation and everything! Not only that, but they hired Aimee’s husband too so we’ll ALL be moving back…and just in time for CHRISTMAS!”
A strange feeling began to come over Mable. She felt this overwhelming desire to cry and laugh at the same time. She glanced at the basket again; somehow it managed to look like it was grinning at her.  She enjoyed her family’s company for the rest of the evening, talking and laughing late into the night. Soon they all piled out of the door, several sleepy grandbabies draped over the shoulders of their parents as they called out their goodnights and promises to be all together soon. Mable closed the door, prepared to do a sink full of dishes only to find that all had already been cleared up.
She craned her neck back and looked up at the ceiling, cupping her hand to her mouth. “Okay, Lord…what next?” she shouted. She jumped almost 3 feet off the floor and screamed when a telephone began to loudly ring from inside the basket! With every jingle the entire thing vibrated violently and began to move towards the edge. Mable dived and caught the basket just as it tipped over the edge; the phone inside still ringing madly. She was almost afraid to answer it.
“Hello?” she ventured, wondering whose voice would be on the other end. Jesus? Moses? The Tooth Fairy…?
“Mable?” bawled the voice on the other end inbetween sobs. “Is that you?”
“Junior?” she responded, pulling the receiver away to look at it as though his face would pop out of the ear piece.
“Make it stop! Make it stop!”
“Make what stop, Junior?”
“Those black things flying around my house all afternoon shrieking like the devil!” Get away from me! She could hear him scream to the things in his house. “Mable, it’s like the pit of hell opened up into my living room! There’s now here I can hide! The shrieking is terrible and they won’t stop pinching me! They keep telling me I’m going to die tonight unless you intercede on my behalf and go down into the underworld!!”
Mable stared at the phone again. “Junior – is this your idea of a sick joke?”
His bloodcurdling scream was the only response she got. She heard the phone on the other end fall to the floor and the voice of her ex-husband pleading. Her heart suddenly became very fearful for him. A warm sensation began to build in her throat, rising higher and higher until it filled her mouth. She opened her arms and mouth wide, closed her eyes and gave in the song that filled the house and rocked it on its foundations. A joyous song filled with overwhelming power.  It was so magnificent she couldn’t believe it was issuing from her own vocal chords! The music went into the phone and despite the fact she was no longer holding the receiver to her ear, she could her her ex-husband quietly plainly regain his courage and order the “things” from his home in the name of Jesus. “Keep singing, Mable!” she heard him yell. “Don’t stop! Don’t stop – they shrieking in pain and disappearing! Keep singing!”
Books, vases, dishes, cups and glasses rattled inside the cupboards as Mable’s song grew more and more anointed. Junior kept screaming encouragements until finally, after what seemed an eternity, all evil had been put to flight. He returned to the phone, sobbing like a baby. “Mable?”
“Junior?” Mable clutched the phone, shaking, exhausted and exhilarated all at the same time. “Are you okay? What just happened?”
“You drove them out,” panted Junior, his voice all atremble. “I don’t know where they came from or why but your singing drove them out.” He began to sob. “I’m so afraid, Mable. What if they come back? What am I going to do?” He was absolutely terrified.
“Junior – do you truly want them to never come back? What are you willing to do to make sure they don’t?”
“Anything!” he screamed. “I’ll die of a heart attack and go to hell if they come back! Please, please – tell me what to do!” This is what Mable had been waiting most of her life to hear.
“If you pray with me and repeat everything I say and mean it with all your heart, they will never come back again.” She promised. She could hear that Junior was convulsed with sobs but also that he was listening very closely. After several moments of silence he answered.
“Okay,” he said in a small voice. “I’ll pray.” Mable then slowly and deliberately lead him in a prayer of repentance; unable to resist having him list and name all the things he had done wrong by her and his family.  Junior was in no shape to argue or be prideful anymore. He was convinced that if he did not pray at that moment and receive God’s forgiveness then all the demons would return and this time they would take him down the hell with them! When it was over Mable was completely drained and Junior was exhuberant. “I don’t know why in tarnation it took me this long to come to my senses!” he crowed, jumping up and down.
“Because you were a prideful fool who needed the hell scared out of him!” Mable retorted with a smile. “Junior…it’s been a day. You’re safe now and I need to get to sleep. I’m done in and I have to get up early for my first book signing at Walmart.”
“Okay! Okay!” he said, giggling like a little girl. “I’m going to find my old Bible and start reading, right after I dump out all the booze in the house!”
“You do that!” Mable grinned and hung up. She watched as the basket lid slowly floated down and closed and waited some more. When nothing further happened she shrugged and went to get ready for bed. She slept like a baby that night and rose before the alarm, anxious to see what the basket would do next. She opened the lid but all she found was a punch of black felt pens and several bottles of water and some snack foods.
She quickly got ready, a bit nervous. She had never done a book signing before. Her local Walmart had agreed to let her bring a small box of her books to sell but had done nothing to promote or advertise the event. Mable had invited everyone she could through email and Facebook but no one had RSVPd they would come. She’s give it the college try for an hour, then pack it up and do some shopping. She drove in the early morning towards the superstore and was peeved to run into a traffic snarl about two blocks away. She made a quick u-turn and found the less known way back to the Walmart but still was perplexed as to the line of cars snaking in to find a parking space. The lot was completely filled. Must be having some sort of super giveaway she thought to herself, parking in the employee lot where she had a space set aside for her. She walked into the employee entrance with her box of books, pens, water and snacks, entered the main store just inside the book department and froze. About a thousand pairs of eyes all instantly riveted onto her face and the crowd broke into a simultaneous roar of welcome. Hundreds of camera flashes went off; blinding her.
Everything in Mable’s arms crashed onto the floor while her mouth gaped open like a cavern. There was a line of people snaking in and out among the display racks as far as the eye could see. Posters of her book were everywhere with the words screaming out: “MABLE DOTSON – TODAY ONLY! SIGNING COPIES OF HER BESTSELLER!”  Some of the Walmart employees rushed to gather up her dropped items.
“Good thing you brought a lot of pens!” a young girl smiled at her, placing them back upon the table. “You’re going to need them!”
Mable allowed herself to be lead to the signing table. The young girl even had to put the first pen in her hand before she could utter a coherent word. “I didn’t bring enough books.” She finally managed to observe out loud. The salesgirl smiled at her and gestured to several dozen cartons.
“We’ve got plenty! Believe you me!” she grinned. For the next four hours, Mable did nothing but murmur hello’s and autograph her name to copies of her book. She vaguely remembered taking dozens of pictures with “fans” who bought a copy but she couldn’t remember a single thing anyone had said to her. By the time the last book was autographed; she was completely exhausted. The store manager came up to her and helped her from the chair her butt had been glued to for the past half a day.
“Mable Dotson, I’m a big fan!” he grinned, clutching one of her books to his chest. “I managed to hide one for myself. Would you mind?” Mable looked up to find a good looking middle aged man with salt and pepper hair grinning at her.
“How would you like it autographed?” she asked, unable to tear her eyes away from his baby blues. She glanced down at his left hand…no ring.
“To Sam,” he said as she scribbled upon the page. “…and don’t forget your phone # so I can ask you out for a date! Do you like to do out-doorsy stuff?”
Mable looked up at him in shock and then bellowed with laughter. He was so forward but in such a flirtatiously delicious way that she didn’t mind. She grinned at him and wrote her phone number down in very large print. Sam picked up the book, took her hand in his and kissed her palm.
“I’ll be picking you up on my Harley!” he said then left to supervise the cleanup of her book signing.
Despite her fatigue, Mable felt exhilarated. She walked on air all the way back to her car and drove home, anxious to open the basket again and see what would happen next. When she walked in the door, instead of the basket all she saw was her well used and beloved Bible sitting open on the kitchen table. A scripture verse seemed to be glowing but before she could look at it the phone rang.
“Mable? Whatcha been doing?” came the beloved voice of her close friend Mary. “Darling – you will just not believe what happened to me today!”
“What?” replied Mable, getting her reading glasses onto her nose so she could read the glowing print better.
“I got a message today to call you and ask you for prayer because tonight was the night God is going to totally heal me of all my infirmities and He wants to use you to do it!”
A thrill went down Mable’s spine and she knew the words that Mary spoke were true.
“Well then, let’s pray right now!” she said. When she was done they were both praising the Lord and giving Him glory. Mary had felt as though liquid honey had been poured all over her from the moment Mable had begun to pray. She could feel her kidneys renewed, her stomach come back to healthy life, her esophagus healed and the gout in her leg recede. Her entire body was tingling with new life and they both knew that at long last, after years of suffering, God had finally healed her.
Mable opened her eyes and was finally able to read the scripture from her Bible: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:23-25
“So who gave you the message to call me today?” Mable asked, rubbing her eyes with fatigue.
“It was a note that came inside this crazy picnic basket that some mysterious person delivered to my house today!” replied Mary.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (the fulfillment of my own wish in real life)

This is a true story about how I met my Prince Charming, my husband, Michael.

It was 1978, I was 18 and had never gone out on a date nor had a boyfriend. I wasn’t weird looking but it seemed as though God had put a large “kiss off” sign on my forehead to keep members of the opposite sex away. I was commuting to Los Angeles daily on the public bus to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (“FIDM”) where the chances of meeting a normal, nice Christian male interested in the opposite sex were extremely dismal. I had just become a Christian the year before and was spending my hour long commute nagging the Lord daily about wanting to go out on a date. I was feeling quite desperate!

On one particular day I think the good Lord had had enough of my “kvetching” and while ‘lucky dipping’ through my Bible, the following scripture jumped off the page at me. I could almost actually hear the Holy Spirit yelling the verse at me: “DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD AND HE WILL GIVE YOU THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART!!!” At the same time, a still small voice in my head told me to write a story that would portray my wishes being fulfilled.

I went home that day, uncovered my Smith Corona typewriter and began typing away. The title of the book was: “Jesus Wave-walker, Jesus Joy-giver”, a pretty lame title now that I look back on it but it turned out to be a pretty prophetic tale. I put myself in the story and described how the Lord called me up on the phone to take me out on a date and during that date He “introduced” me to the man He had chosen for me. At this point, I must digress and tell you that the name for my future husband, whoever he was, was always “Michael”. I prayed for Michael by name and even made a list of all the attributes I desired in my future mate: a good Christian, funny, handsome (to me anyway), had a large family, nice friends, a good work ethic, responsible, trustworthy, kind, handy, played guitar….and oh yes…had kept himself pure from women. Whenever I would tell my friends this last one they would shake their heads at me and whisper “Good luck!” under their breath. I finished my short story naming the character of the man he chosen for me as Michael. I then illustrated my book (drawing myself the way I wished I looked) as well as my “dream man”, Michael.

Fast forward four years. I was at my 8th or 9th College and Career Church Retreat in the hopes of meeting a nice Christian boy. In the past 4 years I had left FIDM, gotten a job and moved to Orange County, met my first love, Barry, (who had died 4 months previous from a brain aneurism) and was still grieving even though my feelings for him had been unrequited. I was friends with a house full of Christian men but was still being treated like one of “the guys”. I was quickly becoming resigned to the fact that I was going to die an old maid when I looked across the crowded room of the retreat’s dining room and saw a face that caught my eye (just like that verse in the song “Some Enchanted Evening in South Pacific). He was pretty handsome and I remember thinking that he was probably stuck up because he was so handsome! The next thing I knew, he was sitting next to me.

We exchanged smiles and introduced ourselves.

“Hi,” I said. “My name is Marlayne.”

“I’m Michael,” was his reply.

My ears perked up but I said nothing about his name for fear of scaring him away. Interesting, I thought. We talked politely for a few minutes then said our goodbye’s when breakfast was done. From that moment on I was his shadow. We ended up talking for hours about cartoons, my first love then his first love; the fact that I was a Messianic Jew and on and on until the stars came out and it was time to go to our respective cabins. It had snowed that weekend (despite being April) and we threw snowballs at each other the next day. I didn’t even mind when he put his arm around me and kissed my forehead (which normally would have scared me off). The last day of the retreat I was starting to fret because Michael still had not asked for my phone number. After Sunday morning’s Bible study we would all be going our separate ways and if he didn’t ask for my phone number I would probably never see him again. With that in mind, I asked to see his Bible. He handed it over to me and I wrote my name and phone number inside the front cover and handed it back reasoning that I rather come off as forward than die a spinster.

The following day, back at home I told my roommate about meeting Michael and how we had hit it off. As I left our apartment to visit Barry’s parents, I gave her some very specific instructions: “Now, Theresa, if a guy by the name of Michael calls… don’t say anything to him but call me at the Henriot’s house and let me know.” She agreed and to my delight while I was having dinner with Ruth and Al, she called and sang out: “Michael caaaalled!!”

I was ready at that moment to call him right back (impatient person that I am) but I distinctly felt the Lord instructing me to wait an entire day. If you know me at all you would know what absolute torture this was but I obeyed and waited.

The next day I called Michael back and in a very nonchalant voice said: “Hi! I heard you called yesterday.” (Little did he know that I was jumping up and down for glee at that moment.) Michael then asked me out on a date for the following weekend with his sister, her husband and another couple to go to Westwood to see the rerelease of Fantasia. I went right out and bought myself a whole new outfit for the occasion and when I opened the door of my apartment the following Saturday and saw Michael standing there I couldn’t help but think “Oh my… is he ever handsome!”

After the movie we went to Hamburger Hamlet for dinner as a six-some. Little did I know until several years later that something very unusual took place during that date while I was in the ladies room. His sister’s friend, Tina, who had never laid eyes on me until that night, had turned to Michael’s sister, Debbie and asked her: “Well, what do you think of Marlayne?”

“She seems nice,” had been Debbie’s polite response.

“Well that’s Michael’s future wife.” Tina informed everyone. Michael was instantly incensed. He couldn’t stand this girl and how opinionated she was, so the fact that she had just said this to him instilled the exact opposite reaction. NO WAY NOW! Were his thoughts at the time but God had other plans.

We dated for the next four years but 9 months into our relationship I finally got up the courage to show him my story with his name and face in it. It was a good thing I had waited until he was really “hooked” because if I had shown it to him early in our relationship he would have high tailed it for the hills! Almost five years after we met we were married. I put my prophetic story on display at our reception so everyone could see how God had brought us together – and haven’t seen it since. It simply disappeared.

My list? Oh yes, Michael fulfilled everything I had put on my list, including the last item!!

That was almost 23 years ago and we are still happily married. Michael and I were recently discussing that story and my history of other men avoiding me like they had seen a giant “kiss off” sign plastered on my forehead when Michael said one of the sweetest things to me I have ever heard:

“Well, honey, I didn’t see the words: ‘kiss off’ on your forehead…” he reassured me, planting a tender kiss on said spot. “I saw the words: KISS HERE.”

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Horses & Picnics

My name is Amelia. I am 10 years old. I have five brothers- Harrison, Addison, Brendan, Tate, and Nate. My family home schools and we have started a family business of making videos. We have just finished making our first one called "The Runner from Ravenshead." My family and Mrs.Giron met at CHEA, a home school convention, where we were selling our movie. She was selling her book in a booth right next to us. I have always loved horses, although I have never owned one. One of my favorite colors of horses (although I love them all) is black. My family lives in Albany, Oregon.

Thank you, Mrs. Giron, for taking the time to write a story for me. I enjoyed it very much. Hopefully we can see you again sometime soon.

Amelia sat on her bed reading a book about her favorite subject: horses. Suddenly she heard a strange noise coming from outside her bedroom window. She looked out and there in the front yard was the most beautiful horse she had ever seen. It was all white; so white it looked like it was actually glowing! The horse looked right up at her through the window and neighed loudly as if calling to her. Amelia felt a thrill go up her spine.

She raced downstairs and out the front door, letting it slam open. The horse was standing right there and it almost looked like he was smiling at her! He tossed his head a few times and Amelia understood that he wanted her to climb into the saddle. He was just the perfect size to mount without any help or the need for a stepstool. She climbed into the saddle and with a loud whinny suddenly a pair of gorgeous white angel wings sprouted out of him. The horse leaped into the air and beat his great wings. They flew up, up, up high above the clouds which looked like large wads of cotton candy below her. Amelia giggled and laughed aloud with total joy and with each laugh her horse grew larger and larger. After a short ride he began to slowly descend through the clouds, circling down gently so Amelia would not get motion sickness until they landed in a beautiful meadow. He neighed loudly and suddenly there came the sound of distant thunder; only it wasn’t thunder…it was the sound of approaching horse hooves! Amelia looked over to the nearby hill where suddenly over the rise came a small herd of horses in every color and size you could think of. They galloped near and began circling about her until they all surrounded her. Then…as if on command, they all bowed!! They went down on one knee and actually bowed their proud necks!

Amelia could not believe her eyes and wondered inside why they were bowing to her.

“You are their Queen!” spoke the horse upon which she sat, startling her exceedingly. Amelia practically fell out of the saddle she was so surprised.

“You talk?! She exclaimed.

“Of course, your highness!” responded the horse under her.

“Cool!” clapped Amelia. “What’s your name?

“Randolph, your highness!” replied her horse. “What would you like to do today?” Amelia thought about it for a minute then said, “Can we have a picnic with my best friend, Suzanne?”

“I anticipated just such a request and sent Hercules to fetch her for you.”

A neigh from high above their heads sounded and Amelia looked up to see a beautiful black horse with black wings circling down with her best friend, Suzanne, on its back. Amelia bounced up and down in excitement, waving her arms in excitement.

“Over here! Over here!” she yelled. Hercules landed upon the meadow and knelt down so Suzanne could easily dismount. Randolph did the same and the two girls ran for each other, grabbed each other’s hands, and jumped up and down with glee.

“Behold my ladies,” said her horse Randolph. The girls turned around and there on the grass was a picnic blanket and basket full of their favorite goodies.

The girls sat down and began pulling all the wonderful food out of the basket. Amelia’s face fell with dismay; all the food was stuff she couldn’t eat because of her allergies.

“Randolph, I can’t eat any of this,” she said; her disappointment clear.

“Today is different, milady,” replied her horse. “Today you have no food allergies; you may eat everything to your heart’s delight and suffer no ill effects.”

Amelia squealed with delight and dug into the brownies first, then the sandwiches, punch and fresh fruit. When they were done and their tummies pleasantly full they lay back on the grass and watched the clouds perform a show for them. They formed themselves into dancing bears and knights on horseback. Soon the clouds performed an entire play just for them. When it was over the girls clapped their hands in appreciation and then it was time for a ride!

Amelia and Suzanne each jumped into the saddle of their own horse and they cantered over the beautiful green grass filled with flowers for the rest of that day, giggling and even holding hands at times. The other horses followed along and joined them, weaving in and out and almost performing a dance as they ran alongside. When the sun began to set, it was time for them to say their goodbyes.

“See you tomorrow in the real world, Amelia!” her friend Suzanne said, hugging her goodbye.

“Okay! See you soon!” replied Amelia. They waved goodbye and then Randolph and Hercules took off into the sky and brought each girl safely home before bedtime. That night Amelia drifted off to sleep with a happy smile upon her face, thinking of all the wonderful things she had done that day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mary's Wish

Mary and I have become good friends...sisters actually as a result of the Life and Faith Concert in Richmond, VA where she arranged for me to meet, at long last, Amy Grant. She lost all of her immediately family at a very young age. Her mom and dad both succumbed to cancer when she was only in her teens and then all she had after that was her Aunt Mary Anne and her sister, who died tragically in a head-on collision when Mary was only 18. Mary is now waging her own battle with kidney cancer but you would never know it from talking to her. She loves the Lord and trusts Him like a child despite all the physical and financial trials she is going through right now. This is her Wish Story and I hope it blesses your heart as much as it did hers. She is a wonderful woman and needs your daily prayers.

Mary cuddled her Yorkshire Terrier, Luke, close to her cheek. He seemed her only comfort lately. Things had gone so badly; their finances were a wreck, her health was not looking good and it was a daily struggle to get up and soldier on; keeping her faith intact and trusting in her precious Lord regardless of the circumstances. Sensitive to her every mood, Luke planted doggie kisses all over her face in his attempt to comfort her. Dogs are truly furry angels sent by God,she thought to herself.

She got up from the couch, restless at heart and wishing she knew what to do about all the trials that were confronting her. She opened the front door to go outside and stood blinking in bewilderment. Instead of looking out her front door at her front yard, she was looking into the family room of place that had been very near and dear to her heart.

“Is that you, Mary?” called an achingly familiar voice. A head poked around the corner of the wall and Mary felt her heart clench with joy and shock.

“Auntie Mary Anne?” she whispered; unable to believe her eyes. Her aunt’s full body came into view with arms outstretched to embrace her. Mary didn’t question the how or why; she just flew into the arms of the woman that had meant so much to her over the years and allowed her tears to flow freely. Her Aunt just held her close, rubbed her back and cooed softly into her ear endearments that she had not heard in years.

“Come and sit down, honey,” her aunt finally said, leading her to an overstuffed couch. With tears streaming down her cheeks, Mary allowed herself to be settled down, little Luke jumping up into her lap panting and smiling. “Tell your auntie what’s on your heart.”

It was all Mary needed to hear for the floodgates to open. She had been holding in her emotions so much for so long; trying to be strong but now the “dam had burst”. Her tears came out in a torrent as she unburdened her heart and her beloved Aunt sat quietly, her arms about her, letting her vent. When it was over, Mary felt cleansed and lighter inside than she had been in a long time. Her aunt wiped the tears from her cheeks with a gentle smile.

“I can’t promise that things will get better while on this side of heaven, sweetheart,” she said. “But the Master has heard your heart’s cry and knows all of your burdens and wants you to give them over to Him. In the meantime, He has arranged a little present for you as a sign of His infinite love.”

She swept her arm out and there stood before her the faces of those she had long missed; her sister, her mom, Linda, and her dad who had all been gone for so many years.

They all came forward to embrace her and she found herself weeping and laughing with joy. They all looked young and healthy and had the light of heaven in their faces. Together with Mary and her aunt they all sat down at a dinner table piled high with all their favorite foods and told Mary what they could of the wonders and delights of heaven and how they looked forward to their next and permanent reunion there in the presence of their Redeemer.

“He truly does wipe away all tears from our eyes,” said her aunt, cupping Mary’s cheek in her hand. “Just trust Him, child. That’s all He desires from you; is your child-like trust and in that you have been most faithful.”

“Can’t you all stay here with me?” Mary pleaded, holding her aunt’s hands in hers. “I feel so alone most of the time.”

“My darling daughter,” her mom Linda said, coming over and putting her arms around her. “We have never left you really. We are all with you in our hearts and talk to the Master daily about the trials and tribulations that confront you. You may not see us; but we see you and we love you. One day soon we will all be reunited in our Master’s kingdom and there will be no more sorrow, pain or suffering.”

At that moment, another person entered the room and Mary turned around to find her daughter Linda with a good looking young gentleman. She seemed older and beamed with an inner beauty that bespoke peace and contentment. Mary glanced down and saw a wedding ring on her finger and knew suddenly that this was her baby, Linda, in the future; married and content in heart at last with the man God had chosen for her.

Her aunt stood and slipped an arm about her waist, greeting her daughter and her husband. “My goodness, child, how you have grown!” Mary Anne exclaimed with a laugh throwing her arms out wide. Linda fell into them then introduced her husband to all in the room as if nothing was unusual at all; beaming at her mom with delight and pride. The couple joined them at the table and they talked long into the night, eating and enjoying one another's company.

Finally it was time for the reunion to end. Her mom, dad and Aunt Mary Anne walked her back to the couch, each of them kissing her face in turn and whispering prayers of blessing over her.

“Remember, Mary…we are with you but even more importantly; the Master is watching over you and He loves you infinitely more than we!” With those words of endearment in her ears Mary closed her eyes and when she next opened them she found little Luke sitting on the couch and looking up at a tall stranger, his little tail wagging fiercely.

Mary looked up and for the briefest of moments saw the face of her beloved Redeemer, Jesus, smiling down upon her.

“I am with you always, my dearest one,” spoke His gentle voice, filling her soul with His peace. “Even unto world’s ending. Have no fear.”

My Dream of Heaven

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Very Special Gift for Father's Day

I always thought it was a shame that the Bible had no similar scriptures describing a "Father of Noble Character" like the ones in Proverbs for a wife of noble character and it was this thought that inspired what would be the last Father's Day Gift given to my wonderful Father In Law, Eliseo Giron. It was 2006 and he was not doing well. My sister in law, Debbie, the week before Father's Day commented that she thought this would be the last Father's Day we would had him with us and it was a sobering thought. He had lost the ability to eat because of a form of muscular dystrophy, could no longer read and do his puzzles, or paint and walking was very difficult. Father's Day was approaching and the entire family was getting together to honor him but what do you give a man who needs nothing, can enjoy very little and yet still let him know how very much he has meant to you? I felt closer to my father in law than my own dad. Actually, he was the first person I wanted to see when I learned that my own dad had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. So with 2 hours to go before we were to arrive at his home for what would be our last Father's Day, the Lord put a "light bulb" over my head.I got out my Bible, turned to Proverbs and customized it for my beloved Father in law. We printed it out, rushed to Pottery Barn and framed it, arriving in time. I then stood before him and read it aloud and with tears in his eyes he responded that he would treasure it always. The next time I read it aloud was 3 months later at his funeral. Here below is my version of a Father of Noble Character; feel free to copy it and customize it for your dad; he will treasure it always.

A father of noble character who can find? He is worth far more than gold.

His wife and children have security, shelter and protection and lack nothing of value.
He teaches them right from wrong, the value of sacrifice and a good work ethic and is a role model for them all the days of their lives.
He spares not the paddle (which broketh upon Greg’s backside) and extends a hand of mercy to those who are penitent for bad behavior.
He is like a strong fortress, and a shield against the worries and trials of everyday life so his wife and children can live happy, carefree lives.
He gets up while it is still dark; drives to Huntington Beach to teach the children of others to provide food for his family and is welcomed by his children and spouse at the end of a long day.
He considered a safer home in Fountain Valley and bought it; and out of his earnings, he planted tomatoes, avocados, and chili peppers and maketh play areas for his children to delight in and fixes all their broken toys.
He sets about his work vigorously at the Barbershop; and cuts his son’s hair into funny bowl shapes.
He sees that his career as a teacher is profitable, but still switches off all the light fixtures at the end of the day.
In his left hand he holds the rake and the hoe and in the other he grasps the spatula to flip over his children’s favorite buttermilk pancakes.
He opens his home to the foreign exchange students and provides research assistance to apologetic ministries.
When it snows, he takes his wife and kids to the mountains for sledding and snowball fights and bandages up their bumps and bruises with bandaids.
He causes his children to sit upon his lap and give him numerous besos upon his cheeks.
His children have all grown up to become responsible parents with children of their own and who pass on the legacy of love and faith he has left to them.
He speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction has ever been on his tongue. He presides over the affairs of his household and has never eaten the bread of idleness.
His children arise and call him blessed; his wife also, and she praises him:
"Many husbands and fathers have done noble things, but you surpass them all."
Wealth is deceptive, and youth is fleeting; but a father who fears the LORD is priceless.
Give him the reward he has earned, and let his works bring him praise at heaven’s gates.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Heart of Darkness/Heart of Light

(This is a true story - the names have been changed to maintain anonymonity): John's story is a heartbreaking one. When he was pretty young, his mother began selling his body to a couple of men in order to pay the rent. This went on for several years. His mother is an alcoholic, and she either gave him alcohol or at least didn't keep it away from him, and now he is an alcoholic, too. He had been doing fairly well at staying away from it--he's been through rehab--but all of a sudden, he started back in and some other things started happening in his life--things that really point to demonic activity. His wife and my daughter (who has been more of a mother to him than his own mother by far), tried to get him to go for counseling (and maybe deliverance) with her church pastor and his team. On Wednesday, John went as far as the door to the church with Jane, and she said it was as though someone grabbed him and threw him against the wall of the church. He lay there unconscious for awhile, then jumped up and ran out to the middle of the street and threw himself down in the street (this is in a city). They got him up from there and called for help. Some officers came, supposedly to take him to a mental health clinic to put under a suicide watch, but instead, they took him to a regular hospital. Then they either released him or he walked out on his own and went home. My daughter picked up Jane and picked up the kids from school and went back over to their apartment, where John proceeded to threaten Jane (that he would kill her). My daughter took Jane and the kids to her own home. John called several times with more threats, then yesterday morning called and told her that since she didn't love him any more he was going to move in with his mother (who lives in a nearby city) and from there he was going to go to another state where he will live with a man there. Jane wants him to come back if he will (1) go to church with her and (2) stay away from alcohol. Keep in mind here--John is normally a loving and gentle soul, quiet and happiest when he can stay in the background. These past few days' activities sound so totally unlike him that it's hard to believe it is the same person. I think if he has a wish to be fulfilled (at least when he is himself), he would wish to be free or maybe even to be able to start his whole life over.

John sat upon the park bench staring at nothing in particular. His heart was in shreds and filled with a darkness he could not escape. He was oblivious to the beauty around him; the soft breeze that caressed his face, the warm sunshine, the butterflies that flitted here and there amongst the flowers and the sound of birdsong. He was trapped in a vise of despair and silent desperation that closed ever tighter about him like a boa constrictor; crushing the life from him.

The steady sound of weeping slowly brought him to the surface for a moment and he looked in the direction of the sandlot where a little boy was cowering before two larger boys who were obviously bullies. They kicked him, slapped him and shouted vile things at him. John’s heart filled with rage at the plight of the little boy and before he knew it he was striding towards the bullies who were preparing to do even worse damage from the look of their curled fists.

John caught the first bully’s arm as he swung back to land a crushing blow; his rage at the mistreatment of the smaller boy filling him with a righteous anger. He threw the bully down onto the sand and then turned to deal with the next one. What he saw made him recoil in horror. It was not a boy but a monster disguised as a boy. Its yellow eyes were filled with hatred for both him and the small boy crouching before him in a fetal position, shielding his head from the oncoming blow. John quickly recovered. He would not let this thing hurt the young boy; not anymore! He flung himself upon it and grappled it onto the ground. It shrieked with an ear-splitting scream but despite its’ size it was no match for John’s fury and after a few minutes struggle he quickly subdued it. It ran off along with other one disappearing from sight.

Breathing hard and shaking with the adrenaline coursing through his veins John turned his attention to the small boy. He put a gentle hand upon the lad’s shoulder who looked up at him gratefully with a tear-streaked face. John stepped back a few paces in bewildered shock and fear. The boy looked strangely familiar and it frightened him. The boy reached up both arms to him; wanting to be picked up and comforted after his fright. Despite his unwillingness to do so, John could not find it in his heart to refuse. He picked up the lad in his arms and held him close to his breast. Together they wept; mourning the loss of innocence and the years of childhood stolen and stained by evil. John wept great heaving sobs and the harder he cried, the softer the boy cried then suddenly the boy was gone and it was John who was the little boy and he was being held in the arms of a man that blazed with a light so great he couldn’t open his eyes. His tears became a cleansing flood that washed away the grime and guilt of years past; his shoulders shaking. All the while, the man who held him whispered words of indescribable love and forgiveness into his ear. He felt his spirit healed, his wounds soothed. John’s sobs gradually abated and when he finally looked up he was staring into the eyes of eternity and in them he found complete acceptance and forgiveness.

“Who are you?” he asked in a coarse whisper although he already knew the answer.

“I am the One who loves you,” came the soft reply. “and I am waiting for you to welcome me into your heart so I can restore the years that have been stolen from you. If you will trust Me and give all of yourself to Me; the years before you will be truly blessed.”

John stared at him; he was at a crossroads. Which way would he choose? The way of life and restoration or the path of destruction. He straightened up and placed his shaking hand into that of the Savior’s and was greeted with a brilliant smile that filled his broken heart with joy.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Bride is Writing Love Songs

Written by Judy Pendell

The bride is writing love songs
The time of rejoicing is here
The fig tree puts forth her green figs
The sign that the bridegroom is near

The winter rain is over and gone
The softened soil brings forth bloom
The season of singing has come
The bride hears the call of the groom

Rise up my fair one, and come away
And you shall behold my glory
In the secret place, in the cleft of the rock
We shall sing to each other sweetly

The bride abides in the secret place
Nations rise against nations
Wars and rumors of war abound
And the earth cries out for salvation

The bride sings her songs to her bridegroom,
With the sweet cooing voice of a dove
"Return my lover and take me away"
For I am longing for love

The bride is writing love songs
The time of singing is here
The fig tree puts forth her green figs
The sign that the bridegroom is near.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Little Bayern Goes a Long Way...

Hannah stared at the computer screen before her, chewing on the end of finger while she thought about the graphic image she was trying to create. She knew what she was trying to achieve but just couldn’t seem to make her mind and fingers work together in harmony. She turned her head to look outside her bedroom window, hoping for some inspiration.

The weather outside was dark and stormy; she could hear the distant rumble of thunder approaching. Suddenly she jumped out of her seat with a scream as a bolt of lightning hit right outside her room. It sounded like a bomb going off. The lights went out and all went dark. Then suddenly the light of a fire kindled before her very eyes.

Hannah blinked a few times and looked up to see a young woman staring right back at her with the same look of shock and surprise as she.

“Who are you?!” demanded the girl, raising her hands in a threatening way. In her upraised open palms were twin balls of fire that rotated in a menacing way. Instantly Hannah realized where she was.

“Enna!” she shrieked; launching herself forward to embrace her with wild abandon. The young woman was so startled that the fire in her hands was immediately extinguished. Instead she found herself standing awkwardly as Hannah continued hugging. After a moment Hannah stepped back, feeling a bit sheepish.

“Who are you?” demanded Enna, straightening her forest gown. Hannah stifled a giggle. She found it rather amusing that a fictional character was demanding an explanation from her; a real person!

“My name is Hannah Nicole,” she replied.

“How do you know my name?” Enna continued, her brow furrowed together in suspicion. “Did Finn send you?”

“Nooooooo,” replied Hannah looking about to indicate her bedroom, computer, bed, printer, etc., only to freeze when she realized she was no longer in her room but in a forest. No wonder she was freezing!

Enna looked her up and down and the suspicious look was replaced with a look of compassion as Hannah wrapped her arms about herself, teeth starting to chatter. She removed her heavy cloak and wrapped it about Hannah and took her by the arm.

“Come with me,” she ordered. Hannah nodded obediently; she was in Bayern; and though she was familiar with the realm because of reading the books; being transported into the mythical forest in the dead of night was rather unnerving; no matter how much she had always wanted to be there.

They reached the cottage a short time later and Enna pushed her inside. It was pitch black inside but in a moment Enna had a bright fire crackling in the hearth using her powers. Hannah looked about her in barely contained glee. She was inside one of her favorite stories with one of her favorite characters! She looked up and found Enna glaring at her in a suspicious way which took her aback. She didn’t expect her favorite heroine to be so hostile.

“Are you a People, Animal or Nature Speaker?” Enna demanded. Hannah was at a loss. She looked around the rather shabby cottage and noticed some things.

“I’m a beauty-maker!” she said with a big grin. Before Enna could protest, Hannah began gathering up things she found around the cottage and to arrange them in a pleasing way. Enna watched in suspicious yet fascinated silence as Hannah busied herself transforming her hovel into something very homey and lovely.

Tears filled Enna’s eyes. This girl was a total stranger to whom she had been particularly unkind and here she had done this selfless act of beautifying her homely cottage with just what she found. She covered her face with her hands to hide the tears that began to slide down her cheeks. Her shoulders began to heave. No one had been this nice to her in a very long time.

Compassion filled Hannah’s heart and she went forward and embraced Enna to comfort her. “I’m sorry about what happened to Sileph,” she said. That opened the floodgates. Enna wept terrible deep heaving sobs and all Hannah could do was to pat her back and making soothing sounds. After ten minutes of heavy-duty sobbing Enna looked around, wiping her nose with the back of her sleeve.

“Thank you!” she said, meaning every word. She looked at Hannah’s strange clothes (she was wearing blue jeans and a cute purple paisley smock top) with great curiosity. “These are strange garments,” she observed, rubbing the rayon/cotton blend in her hands. “But these!” she said indicating the blue jeans. “Most unladylike!”

Hannah looked down at her jeans with the carefully created bare patches in the knees. It would do no good to explain and Senna wouldn’t understand anyway.

“Ummmmm sorry.” She said. An awkward silence ensued then a sudden thought froze Hannah’s heart. She was inside her favorite book but how was she going to get back home? The thought of living in Bayern had always appealed to her but now that she was really here she felt totally out of place. Then another feeling made her begin to panic. “I need to use the ladies room.” She said to Senna; hoping she would take the hint and direct her to the nearest bathroom. Senna stared at her for a moment with a perplexed look on her face.

She threw out her arms to indicate the small hovel around them. “This is a lady’s room.” She explained slowly as if Hannah were mentally retarded. Hannah shook her head.

“No, you don’t understand…uhh, I need to uh…well you know…relieve myself?”.

Enlightenment came over Senna’s face and she nodded. She turned about, bent over and picked up what looked to be a pail. She held it out to Hannah with a grim smile. “You’ll need to do this behind the cottage,” she instructed.

Hannah was aghast. She had to do it in a pail? In a dark and freezing cold forest?! What was she supposed to do with it afterwards?

Senna picked up a slender twig and spoke a word over it so it would glow. “You may use this to light your way,” she said, handing it to Hannah, then gently pushed her towards the door. The cottage door opened as if by magic all by itself and the next thing Hannah knew, she was standing in her own bathroom holding a bucket and a twig that still glowed. She dropped both with a shriek which brought her mother running up the stairs.

“Are you okay?” her mom asked, not even noticing the foreign pail or the now smoldering twig. Hannah looked up and nodded, relieved to be back in her own world where there was real bathrooms with indoor plumbing.

“I saw a spider.” She fibbed. Her mom nodded, picked up the pail as if it had belonged in the family for years and without a second glance and went back to her chores.

Hannah slowly turned about her room to reassure herself that she was once again in the “real” world but for a split second, she thought she caught of glimpse of Senna’s wistful and lonely face staring back at her in her bedroom mirror…


Sunday, April 25, 2010

The LA Times Book Festival

This weekend for the first time, I was a participating author in the LA Times Book Fair held at the gorgeous UCLA campus.

I shared a tent with other authors from Premiere Writers, a Ning Social Network site for authors. All of them were simply great people; very warm and engaging. We worked in shifts (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) and in our free time I walked around the campus with my hubby, attracting a lot of attention with my medieval costume.

On several occasions I had complete strangers (mostly college age students) come up to me in groups and ask to take a photo with me. It was so fun! It was the next best thing to being a Disney Princess!

The weather could not have been more gorgeous and though I am exhausted and my house is a mess, it was a really neat experience to take part in. It wasn’t too bad having a picture taken with “William Shakespeare” either!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Storm Chaser - A Poem by Trentina Porter

Trentina and I actually became friends through her dad at Goodreads.  She is 18, in college and an absolutely amazing poet and writer.  I think God really gave her some incredible writing talent. I do not normally like or even appreciate poetry but I really liked this! Let's all encourage Trentina by posting your feedback comments on her poem below and I'll share them with her!

Looking out the wooden panes I see your form;
Twisting, twirling in the image of vibrant leaves caught in the wind.
I run out to find salvation, be embraced by you once more.
The wind is nothing more but your soft breath upon my neck.
Rain falls onto my face, caressing it in slow strokes.
Even the tears I've shed for you can never be forgotten.
Those tears may be yours as well, knowing what might not be.

Looking for the answers my eyes move up, hoping to find you.
Gazing upon the gray, swirling sea of clouds I feel it;
the presence of the power that lays behind your eyes lingers
It stays on me as if I am the pray to your hungry love.
A welcome pleasure, yet that power, strong enough to take over my senses.

Light streaks across the sky, the bright light urging me on.
I walk, sprint to the ending of that bolt of lightening.
That kiss, oh how it must be you hiding in the night!
Sparks flew, lit a fire in my heart that can never truly die.
Nothing there, not even the thunder of our hearts on this night.

As much as my heart pains you are still not with me.
Here I stay in the grass, watching the clouds and wind dance;
lightening raging over the water and land in a heated passion
You're my storm, my hidden fantasy.

What I try so hard to hold, finding only each piece of you slipping from reach.
No matter the trials, the hardships, the sleepless nights I run;
and I will always run, chasing my heart and the power of your storm.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

OC Christian Writers Conference

All of you aspiring authors out there might enjoy this interview with Mick Silva of Waterbrook/Multnomah Press:

OC Christian Writers Conference

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Book Signing at Barnes & Noble in my new Medieval Outfit

This was my third signing at this particular Barnes and Noble and I have to say it’s my favorite bookstore! The manager there is so wonderful and treats me like gold.

Unlike most authors I truly love to do book signings. I love to meet new people and chat with them whether or not they buy a book. Today was a very good day. Twenty-three books in 3 hours but what was the nicest thing was getting to meet so many friendly faces and the families that came with them. So a big THANK YOU to each of you who posed for a photo with me.

It was so nice to meet each and every one of you and I hope to hear back from you after you have read The Victor! Please feel free to email me anytime.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sword of the Spirit

"I am a native Michigander; have lived in Michigan all of my life. I grew up in a home headed by my mother and grandmother. My parents were divorced before I was born, and I did not have a father figure of any kind. I accepted Jesus as my Savior in 1987; subsequently turned my back and went back into the world. I returned to Him in 2001 and will not be going back. Returning to the Lord reminded me of the joy I had been missing. This time, I felt like Peter, who said, when Jesus asked His Twelve Disciples in John 6:67 "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." I am married to the most gentle and wonderful man in the world, Fred, and am the ‘mother’ of two amazing English Cocker Spaniels, Toby (born in 1995) and Shelby (born in 2004, a year before our wedding date!). I enjoy reading, movies, music, marathons, traveling, serving on the Video Tech Team and as a Women’s Ministry Life Group Leader at church and blogging at http://andrealschultz.blogspot.com.

My wish is to be able to put the past behind and live the rest of my life for His glory."
Andrea was dreaming...or so she assumed…for suddenly she found herself standing, in of all places, a blacksmith’s shop and an ancient one at that. She stood and watched in fascination as he worked and slowly became aware that she was not standing there alone. She looked to her side and then up…up…up to find a ten foot tall, incredibly gorgeous angel standing next to her. He didn’t exactly look like an angel…he had no wings and no flowing white robes but someone she knew…he was definitely an angel. Her angel. Her guardian angel. He looked down upon her with eyes full of love and affection and then silently directed her attention back to the smithy.

The large burly man was sweating profusely and hammering away with his hammer and tongs upon a long metal object. Andrea could feel the heat from the furnace but when the Blacksmith plunged the metal shaft into the heart of it, she felt as though it was she. Tears sprung to her eyes and she found herself unable to breath until once again he withdrew the metal and began pounding away on it again, flipping it over and over, tempering it relentlessly. Now she could feel each stroke of the hammer, it didn’t exactly hurt but every time the hammer fell, she sensed it. She began to panic when she saw him readying to plunge the metal again into the white hot fire and the angel put his arm about her. This time she felt only warmth. Slowly she began to comprehend…she was the metal!

At that instant, the blacksmith looked up and straight at her. While his exterior was large, burly and muscular (with rivulets of sweat pouring down him) there was no mistaking his eyes! A tingle rushed up her spine.

Several more hours passed as he worked the metal, alternating between holding it to the fire, beating it down, plunging into the water and repeating the process over and over again. Finally it was done and when he had finished it was a thing of beauty. He had affixed a magnificent hilt bestudded with gemstones and gilded with gold to the end and upon the flat of the blade he had etched a glorious design. Then he carefully wrapped it in a cloth, picked up another shaft of metal about the same size and walked out of the smithy. Andrea and her angel followed along afterwards, walking just behind him as he wove his way up a winding road to a magnificent castle upon a hill. No one seemed to take notice of any of them and he continued walking, crossing through the main entrance and finally into a glorious throne room that no words could describe. Andrea felt herself begin to tremble. Even the touch of her angel’s hand upon her shoulder couldn’t quiet her tremors. Except for the King who sat upon the throne and two knights upon either side, the throne room was empty. The blacksmith knelt upon one knee before him and presented both the tempered sword and the unworked shaft of steel to the King.

He lifted both in his hands then handed one to each of the knights upon either side of him. With a quick bow, they took up the sword and shaft and steel and began to circle each other, moving away from the throne, Andrea and her angel. It was over in seconds. The very first blow shattered the untempered steel into shards which flew in all directions. The pieces passed right through Andrea and her angel as if they weren’t even there.

The knight returned the gorgeous sword to the King with a bow, who held it aloft in his hands and admired its’ beauty. As he turned it this way and that, his smile broadened and with a nod to the worthy blacksmith, he laid it upon his knees.

“The workmanship is exquisite!” said the King to the blacksmith approvingly.

“But what of the other sword, your majesty?” asked the Blacksmith, acting as though the shards were not scattered about his feet.

“Useless.” Replied the King. “Did you not see how it could not bear up under pressure, how it shattered at the least insult? It was not tempered in the fire nor by the forge, therefore it is useless.”

Upon these words the King looked directly at Andrea and beckoned her forward. With her knees knocking, she stepped slowly forward, irresistibly drawn to Him despite her fear. She stood only inches before him and felt his arms go about her in a fatherly embrace.

“You resent and wish to forget the years of your tempering, do you not my daughter?” He said, his eyes kind and understanding. Andrea nodded, her emotions welling up. Her chin fell upon her chest and her shoulders began to heave. Pent up years of hurt, embarrassment and pain welled up inside of her and bubbled over like a gushing fountain. The King’s other arm went about her and he held her close as she sobbed and wailed until she felt cleansed inside and out. His hands then went up to cup her cheeks and his wonderful, penetrating eyes searched those of her own most deeply.

“I know every pain,” He whispered softly. “I have experienced every sorrow right beside you,” Andrea looked at him and suddenly it was the King and it wasn’t. It was the blacksmith and the King and upon his body were the bruises that he had shared with her and also taken for her.

“Only the finely tempered steel is worthy to serve in the army of the King.” He whispered, bending forward and placing a tender kiss between her eyebrows. “Go in peace, my daughter, and never resent nor regret the tempering of thy spirit.”

With those words Andrea suddenly found herself sitting up in her bed staring at the nightstand clock which read 3:00am. Had it really all been only a dream? Suddenly she got the distinct impression someone was grinning at her. She turned her head and practically screamed aloud; almost waking Fred up. Next to her bedside stood her angel and this time he had his wings on and his glowing white robes.

He started dissolving like so much sugar in a cup of hot tea.

“Wait!” hissed Andrea, reaching for him. “At least tell me your name!”

“Rupert!” he responded, solidifying just a bit. “And, yes, I have always been by your side, since the moment you were born.”

“Always?” breathed Andrea feeling both blessed and disappointed at the same time. “Then…why…?” The unspoken insinuation hung in the air, despite everything she had just experienced. Rupert bent down and cupped her cheek in his hand, reminding her again of the King/Blacksmith.

“There are many things I did protect you from, my little one,” he whispered, his eyes full of love and compassion for her, “but you will never know of them and that is as it should be. Let it be sufficient to know that all you have gone through has made you the child of God you are today, a finely tempered sword in the hand of the eternal King!”

Finally it sunk in and Andrea bowed her head in submission. Before he faded away from her eyesight she felt his kiss upon her bowed head.

“We are with you always,” came his faint voice like a sigh upon the wind and with that, Andrea sunk back into a peaceful sleep; her heart much more at peace than it had been in many years.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Clay in the Potter's Hands

"The story below was requested by Donna's close friend, Marian. Donna is currently in ICU on a ventilator and quite depressed.  She is an artist, very bright, outgoing, and very creative.  She has had a difficult life involving divorce and has a son in his 20's who has a hard time with her chronic illness issues. Donna has severe osteoporosis from steoid use in treating her allergies, asthma and lung conditions. She is in her early 50s.   She also has alot of pain due to osteoarthritis/osteoporosis and sequelae. I think her dream would be to have shop when she could work as an artist and sell her artwork/crafts. She draws/paints beautifully and is incredibly creative with decorating and crafts. She makes her own greeting cards when she feels up to it."

The sound of the respirator filled Donna’s ears morning, noon, and all night making it difficult to sleep well. Her chest hurt, actually her entire body hurt and life looked very, very bleak and hopeless.

Donna glanced out her door at the nearby nurse’s station, wishing she could trade places with any of the people she saw standing there instead of having to be tethered to a machine simply to breath. How she longed to be free of her chronic illnesses and to just live and be creative with the gifts God had given her.

It seemed like her life was in a wasteland of limbo and she was worried about her son who had had to put up with a mom who, through no fault of her own, had been chronically ill with respiratory issues most of his life.

Now all the medication she had taken to help her in the short term was taking a toll on her body in the long term.

A single hot tear of frustration rolled down her cheek, instantly dried by the air of the ventilation mask. At that moment she felt a gentle hand brush her cheek and remove the mask. For an instant she panicked, knowing that the removal of the mask spelled big trouble but when she looked up to see who had removed it, her heart nearly stopped. It couldn’t be. Was she dreaming? Did she just die?

The figure half sitting on her hospital bed smiled at her and that smile sent waves of glorious, intense love flowing over her like a mighty river. His eyes gazed upon her with a brilliance of pure, unadulterated love and total acceptance.

“Take my hand, Donna,” said the Savior, reaching for hers. She didn’t think twice but laid her small cold hand inside that of her Redeemer’s. It was warm and the touch of his hand upon hers sent a thrill coursing up her spine. “Come with me,” he said, standing. Donna stood, unable to tear her eyes away from his face, drowning in the pulsating waves of love that flowed outwards from Him and surrounded her in a warm cocoon.

Suddenly she found herself in a different place. She was in an art studio – a studio that made her pea green with envy for it was everything she had always imagined for herself were she healthy and rich enough to have it. It was filled with glorious light and had everything an artist would ever want or need.

“This is all for you,” said the Lord, putting his arm about her shoulders and turning her about so she could see everything.

“Lord,” said Donna, totally confused. “Did I just die? Am I in heaven?”

“No,” He smiled at her. “This is just a little vacation.” He gestured to all the art supplies. “Enjoy yourself and make something for Me.” He said, giving her a wink. In that instant He disappeared. Donna stood in slack jawed amazement and regarded her surroundings again, going from drafting table and then from shelf to shelf to inspect everything more closely. Outside birds sang and the breeze smelled of honeysuckle and orange blossoms. She suddenly jumped up and down in glee, rubbing her hands together. She felt great! No pain, no difficulty breathing, no aches! She had never felt so physically free in all her life! She got out the acrylic paints and a blank canvass and proceeded to paint something beautiful for her wonderful Lord. She soon lost herself in her work and painted with gusto.

After what seemed hours she paused and stepped back to see what her hands and wrought and frowned. This is not what she had been trying to paint! The colors were all different than what she had used and the painting made absolutely no sense. It looked an angry child had taken a bunch of finger paints and used every color there was until it all blended into one large blackish/greenish mess. She just couldn’t figure out what had happened! She set the canvass aside; there was no way she was going to give that as her gift to her Savior! It had turned out hideous!

Perhaps a different medium? She went to the cabinet and found stamping supplies, a heat gun, glitter, ink pens and embossing powders. She would do an elaborate Valentine card to Jesus to tell Him how much she loved Him!

She sat down at a different table and worked meticulously. She didn’t want to over do it and make it look messy and cluttered and she wanted it to express her heart of gratitude for this respite away from her sickbed in the hospital. Hours later, when she felt it was perfect, she looked upon it and cried aloud in pain and disappointment. It was hideous!! What was wrong with her? Nothing she put her hands to do to make for Him was turning out right!

Donna felt like crying with frustration. This surely wasn’t heaven! Heaven was not supposed to be a place of frustration! She looked around the room again.

She would try one last time to make something lovely and meaningful for Him.

She found a potter’s wheel and a lump of clay on it. She had never worked with clay before but since nothing had turned out right in the mediums she was good at, perhaps this time would be the charm.

She put on an apron, sat on the stool before the gently spinning wheel and began to experiment. First she tried a bowl but it came out lopsided. Then she tried a vase but her hand bumped the clay just as she had it almost the way she wanted and the entire thing collapsed into a misshapen mess. Donna was frustrated beyond belief and so disappointed with herself. Somehow she knew the time was quickly approaching when Jesus would return and she had achieved nothing but making a mess of everything she had tried to make Him. Her head hung low with shame and she began to sob hot angry tears of frustration and grief.

“Do not weep, my beloved,” said a gentle voice behind her. Donna half-jumped out of her skin in surprise but was instantly calmed as His arms circled about her and lifted the lumpy misshapen object from the Potter’s wheel to admire it.

“I’m so sorry, Lord!” she said, trying not to sound like a whiny baby. “I tried so hard to make you something beautiful because I love You so much and nothing came out right!”

“I do not know what you mean!” Jesus replied, his eyes looking at her with a knowing smile. “It’s absolutely lovely!” Donna looked from His face to the clay back to His then did a double take. In His hands the clay had become an exquisite long-necked urn with swan-neck handle from which to pour water from. Donna’s mouth hung open…not sure what to say. Jesus turned and went to where her painting sat on the easel, covered with a cloth to hide it’s ugliness. He threw back the cover and admired it with a great big smile. It was a lovely pastoral scene of sheep grazing peacefully in a flower bedecked field under a cloudless sky. “Beautiful!” He said, turning about to smile upon her. He then crossed to the drafting table and lifted the large Valentine card she had made for him. He read her words in silence, closed His eyes in sheer delight and then gave her such a grateful smile it took her breath away.

Donna did not understand what was happening at all! Jesus again reached out his hand to hers and she walked forward into His warm embrace.

Suddenly they were back in her hospital room and He was again sitting on her bed.

Lord, she thought in her head since she couldn’t speak with the ventilator over her mouth, this was a lesson of some kind for me, wasn’t it?

Yes, He nodded, holding both of her hands in His. Even though you think what you created as a gift for Me was a mess, because it was made with love, it was exquisite in My eyes. Now let us take your life…do you think your life is a mess?

Donna hung her head, nodding, feeling deeply again the depression and hopelessness that had been her companion for so many years.

In My eyes you are perfect! Gorgeous. Exquisite! He said, his silent words piercing her dark heart like a beam of sunlight. You are the clay in My hands and though the way I fashion you may seen harsh and ugly, it is beautiful in My sight. I am making of you a heavenly vessel. You may think you have become useless and decrepit but I see you as gold in the refining fire of my love. It isn’t pleasant and it doesn’t feel fair but when you come out on the other end, you will be My treasure. Can you now see what measure of trust I have placed in you to allow you to endure so much for Me?

For you, Lord? Donna responded. But I thought that this was all just bad luck and living in a sick sinful world. I could do so much more for You if only I weren’t sick all the time!

But you already do as much for Me as I would ever want! Said the Savior, cupping her cheek in His hand. Despite all the pain and all the suffering, you still demonstrate child like trust in Me. How could I want anything more than that?

Donna had no come back for that. Suddenly a nurse entered the room to check on her. She took no notice of the Savior sitting on the bed but before leaving, Jesus whispered something only she seemed to hear and she tucked the covers around Donna’s perpetually cold feet and legs and then paused to bow her head and offer a silent prayer before leaving the room again.

Did you give her the idea to do that, Lord?

Yes, of course! Came His gentle response. Every act of kindness, every thoughtful gesture, every visitor who comes to see You to offer their love and encouragement is my personal emissary so that you will know that I am acutely aware of you at every moment of every day. I will send them to you now and then as a gentle reminder of My eternal love and care for you. While I may allow you to have suffering in this life, it cannot be compared to the glory that awaits you in the next. Continue to trust in Me, beloved. I will never fail thee nor forsake thee and when this brief life on earth is over, that art studio you visited today will be waiting for you.

With those words of encouragement branding themselves upon her soul, Donna fell into a peaceful sleep, feeling as though her Savior’s arms were wrapped about her like a warm blanket with His warm cheek next to hers.


Wish Fulfillment Stories