Friday, May 31, 2013

The Judgment of Osiris -- kindle specfic fiction by Theresa Crater

The Judgment of Osiris [Kindle Edition]

Theresa Crater


  • File Size: 227 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Scribes Books (May 21, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CXWEMPM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled 
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled 

  •  “The ancient gods of Egypt reach through time and claim Owen as their next sacrifice. On the last day of the tour he leads, Owen accepts a gift from a rival tour guide Simon. The miniature sarcophagus contains a mysterious white powder that takes Owen into the mythic Egyptian underworld. Will resurrection come for him as it did for his namesake Osiris?”

    Theresa Crater grew up next to an old Gothic mansion in North Carolina. All the kids in the neighborhood were sure the brain surgeon who lived there was making a Frankenstein-monster in the basement. That turned out not to be the case, but making up stories got to be a habit. 

    Theresa has published two paranormal novels in the Power Places series, Under the Stone Paw, an Egyptian adventure, and Beneath the Hallowed Hill, set in Avalon. She's also published several short stories, most recently "The Judgment of Osiris" and "White Moon" in Riding the Moon.

    Currently, she teaches creative writing and literature at MSU-Denver. Her first serious job was teaching meditation. Theresa's fiction blends lost civilizations, ancient temples and secret societies with myth, metaphysics and just plain good adventure. Her husband, Stephen Mehler, is an independent Egyptologist who has three books out and leads tours to Egypt.

    Theresa lives with Stephen, their two cats, in Boulder, Colorado, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and all its wildlife. 





    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Travelling Blog Tour: Shades of Fantasy

    This month's blog tour is called Shades of Fantasy -- a perfect title, I think. Because what is shading, exactly?

    There are shades of evil, shades of humanness, shades of power, shades of the psyche, shades of communication, shades of spatiality, shades of time, shades of intelligence and different kinds of intelligences, shades of sexuality and gender, shades of cultures, shades of life and non-life. Each shading can bring us closer to the darkness in the universe or in humanity. It can also bring us closer to the light.

    Depending on the writer, any of these shadings can be explored. A good fantasy book will show its reader so many shadings of its theme that the book and its issues will forever linger in the reader's mind. For better or for worse or for all the shadings in between.

    Today's host is Deborah J Ross. Here is her bio


     I began writing professionally in 1982 as Deborah Wheeler with JAYDIUM and NORTHLIGHT, and short stories in ASIMOV'S, F & SF, REALMS OF FANTASY and STAR WARS: TALES FROM JABBA'S PALACE. Now under my birth name, Ross, I am continuing the" Darkover" series of the late Marion Zimmer Bradley, as well as original work, including the fantasy trilogy THE SEVEN-PETALED SHIELD. I'm a member of Book View Cafe. I've lived in France, worked for a cardiologist, studied Hebrew, yoga and kung fu, and am active in the local Jewish and Quaker communities.

    Check out her website to see what the rest of the writers on our tour have to say about the Shades of Fantasy/





    Theresa Crater has published two contemporary fantasies, Beneath the Hallowed Hill & Under the Stone Paw and several short stories, most recently “White Moon” in Riding the Moon and “Bringing the Waters” in The Aether Age:  Helios. She’s also published poetry and a baker’s dozen of literary criticism. Currently, she teaches writing and British lit in Denver. Born in North Carolina, she now lives in Colorado with her Egyptologist partner and their two cats. Visit her website athttp://theresacrater.com 

    Andrea K Höst was born in Sweden but raised in Australia.  She writes fantasy and science fantasy, and enjoys creating stories which give her female characters something more to do than wait for rescue.  See: www.andreakhost.com

    Warren Rochelle has taught English at the University of Mary Washington since 2000. His short story, "The Golden Boy” (published in The Silver Gryphon) was a Finalist for the 2004 Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best Short Story and his novels include The Wild Boy (2001), Harvest of Changelings (2007), and The Called (2010. He also published a critical work on Le Guin and has academic articles in various journals and essay collections.
    http://warrenrochelle.com


    Sylvia Kelso lives in North Queensland, Australia. She writes fantasy and SF set in analogue or alternate Australian settings. She has published six fantasy novels, two of which were finalists for best fantasy novel of the year in the Australian Aurealis genre fiction awards, and some short stories in Australian and US anthologies. 




    Monday, May 27, 2013

    YES, the proof for The Constant Tower cover just came in



    Isn't this lovely? I kinda had to ask the artist to tweak it a bit though. Initially, the person in the foreground definitely looked African and was wearing African clothing. Not something Psal (my main character) does. I would've liked the tower to be shown in two ways -- one side showing the way Ephan sees it and the other side showing the way Psal sees it. But hey, you can't have everything. In this version, he gave Psal the staff, which is very important because Psal limps.

    So, finally, here it is. This is just a lovely cover. 

    Monday, May 20, 2013

    Silly and in need of mental help

    If one keeps tracks of the general insults thrown in one's directions, one gets a consensus of what exactly bothers folks about you. So... let me do a mini-survery: Generally, the snide comments I get are: "You're a silly woman or "you are in need of mental help."

    Well, that's good. No one calls me a bitch. Or a liar. Or a cheat. Or a gossip. Or incompetent. Or an adulteress.

    So, what is "silliness" anyway? And why is "silliness" an insult and who is the kind of person to call another person "silly"?

    Silliness is brainlessness, I think. It implies someone is lacking in good sense, is somewhat frothy, is a bit of an airhead, has flaky priorities, is saying or doing something that "everyone else knows" should not be said or done in public.

    The person who calls another person "silly" is therefore someone who believers herself to be worldly wise and who believers herself to be aware of all the proper way of thinking and being. The person who calls another person "silly" is either not silly or is careful enough not to be transparent about her silliness. The person who calls another person "silly" also esteems herself above the supposed silly person. She doesn't consider anything else going on in the person's life and has reduced that person to being a symbol of childish stupidity or flakiness.

    Before I go on to a few Biblical verses, I want to ponder transparency. Are we not all confused and wounded? Are we not all like sheep having no shepherd, even if we are ultra-educated? Are we not all equally wounded? Is life not a wounded thing? Even if the person deemed "in need of mental help" were to have the money and wherewithal to get the best of psychotherapists, would that person ever be really healed? And would that person not carry some scar which hints at previous woundedness? And should that person -- after their mental help has been achieved-- go about pretending to be sane and healthy in order to appear acceptable to those who judge them?

    Jesus said, if anyone says to anyone, "You Fool!" they are in danger of hellfire. Now, let us ponder that. Why is such a comment worthy of hell?

    "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Matthew 5:22

    Well, let us consider our personal God for a moment. That's the trouble with a Personal God; HE has a personality. And in this case, we have a God who chooses the foolish.

    Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brothers, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 1 Corinthians 1:27

    Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? James 2:5 

    The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have? Jeremiah 8:9 

     who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, Isaiah 44:25

     What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 1 Corinthians 2:12

    Essentially, the citizens of earth have a God who prizes a certain kind of foolishness. Not all, mind you. But worldly wisdom is not something that impresses Him. There is apparently the world's way of thinking and being, and there is God's way of thinking and being. Sometimes they merge and work well together, but often they are at odds.

    So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 2 Corinthians 5:16

    Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Philipians 2:3

    Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10 

    You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. John 8:15 

    We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God's grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you 2 Corinthians 1:12

    Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. James 3:15 

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, said the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8,9

    According to the Bible, human understanding can only help us so far.
    We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6 

    "My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place. Jeremiah 50:6 

    O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps. O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing. Jeremiah 10:23,24

    Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law does he meditate day and night. Psalm 1:1,2

    Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. Romans 14:4

    Therefore, the one who calls another person "silly" or "foolish" has compounded sin upon sin. First, she believes herself capable of judging others. Secondly, that person is judging by the world's confused standards. Thirdly, that person is judging another by that person's "apparent" behavior and subtly demanding hypocrisy and the hiding of the true self. Fourthly, the judger is hiding her own self-deception in not admitting that all humans are confused, silly, and wounded. 

    Saturday, May 18, 2013

    On Friendship with kings and gods

    I think today my examiner article will be about friendship with Christ, God the Son. Maybe even friendship with God the Holy Spirit. Friendship with God the Father is another issue entirely.

    Yes, yes, I know they are all three-in-one but still.....

    As a kid, and even now, I loved Shakespeare. One of the main things I loved about His plays --especially Hamlet-- was how near royalty was. Sure Hamlet was a Prince, but Horatio was his pal and we were in on their relationship. Same thing with Prince Hal and his pals. They kidded around with him but they also called him "My Lord." A fine line to walk, that.

    I often feel that way when pondering just how to address and befriend God, the Father. There is protocol, after all. "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise." Royalty is not to be met with a glum face. Was it Esther or Daniel or Nehemiah or all three who could not enter the king's throne room while grieving? And Esther, wife of the king, had to get permission.

    True, the life we live we live because of Christ's righteousness, and Christ's faith, and when we stand before God it's not our prayer God sees but the holy spirit's praying through us and it's not us God sees but Christ in us....but still the idea that I'm coming to a king, even an adopted father king is daunting.

    I'm sure it's daunting for everyone but I really do have issues. I have rejection issues up the wazoo. So even when I think "It's okay, God made you" I still feel as if I'm intruding. I remember how long it too me to realize and accept that although Yahweh was Israel's God, He didn't see me as some Gentile stranger. Thank you St Luke for healing me. (Yes, I said I had rejection issues.)

    Anyway, so lying on my bed. Sometimes I want to just chatter. To a heavenly Father and all. But what do I do? I remember He is God and then the nervousness and the protocol pops up. Weirdly, I don't do this when I talk to Holy Spirit, cause Holy Spirit is pretty sweet, cool, and near. I don't do this with Jesus either, because Jesus is understanding. But the Godhead....yeah, it's a problem.

    I realize that when I write fantasy, I often write about kings in a very "familiar" manner. My characters are either friends of kings or kings themselves. Am not sure  why kings abound. Shakespeare? The Biblical books of Kings and Chronicles? Too much PBS and Masterpiece Theater?  Or maybe it's just the basic inner human knowledge that really we humans are all royalty deep down.

    But for whatever reason, my kings are accessible. As God is accessible. And yet... yeah, there's the old protocol thing. It's a weird dance for one with rejection worth issues. We begin prayers with Our Father, acknowledging that God is our daddy and that we come into His presence as representatives for all, and with concern for "all" then we immediately are thrust into realizing that we are speaking to a Creator, "Let your name be kept holy." Then we realize we are talking to a great king, "Let your kingdom come to earth as it is in heaven." Then we move to God being our provider which is basically Daddy again (but powerful daddy) "Give us this day our daily bread." Then we move to God as judge "And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who trespass against us." Then it's God as restrainer from evil, strengthener, and deliverer, "And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." Then an acknowledgement of  his kingship, his authority, his godliness, and his otherwordly eternal existence and uncreatedness. "For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever."

    Seriously, this kinda friendship --with a being who is God and king and father-- can be quite complicated. 

    Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    The Brick Bible: The New Testament A New Spin on the Story of Jesus by Brendan Powell Smith

    Yes, the Bible as told in lego blocks!


  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620871726
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620871720



  • Here's the blurb:
    The New Testament as you've never seen it illustrated before!
    From the author of the highly praised and somewhat controversial The Brick Bible: A New Spin on the Old Testament comes the much-anticipated New Testament edition. For over a decade, Brendan Powell Smith, creator of popular website thebricktestament.com, has been hard at work using LEGO® to re-create scenes from the Bible. Now, in one volume, he has brought together over 1,000 "brick" photographs depicting the narrative story of the New Testament. From the life of Jesus--his birth, teachings, and parables--to the famous last supper scene and the crucifixion; from the fate of Judas to the adventures of Paul; and culminating in the powerful book of Revelation, this is the New Testament as you've never experienced it before!

    Smith combines the actual text of the New Testament with his brick photographs to bring to life the teachings, miracles, and prophecies of the most popular book in the world. The graphic novel format makes these well-known Bible stories come to life in a fun and engaging way. And the beauty of The Brick Bible: The New Testament is that everyone, from the devout to nonbelievers, will find something breathtaking, fascinating, or entertaining within this impressive collection. 1,000 color photographs



  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616084219
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616084219
  • "The Good Book" meets "The Brick"
    Brendan Powell Smith has spent the last decade creating nearly 5,000 scenes from the bible--with Legos. His wonderfully original sets are featured on his website thebricktestament.com, but for the first time 1,400 photographs of these creative designs--depicting the Old Testament from Earth's creation to the Books of Kings--are brought together in book format. The Holy Bible is complex; sometimes dark, and other times joyous, and Smith's masterful work is a far cry from what a small child might build. The beauty ofThe Brick Bible is that everyone, from the devout to nonbelievers, will find something breathtaking, fascinating, or entertaining within this collection. Smith's subtle touch brings out the nuances of each scene and makes you reconsider the way you look at Legos--it's something that needs to be seen to be believed. 
    1,400 full-color photographs 

    (This product is not sponsored, authorized, or endorsed by the LEGO company.)

    About the Author

    Brendan Powell Smith is the author of Noah's Ark: The Brick Bible for KidsThe Christmas Story: The Brick Bible for Kids and books for older readers, including The Brick Bible: A New Spin on the Old Testament. He has produced over 5,000 illustrations retelling over 400 stories from the Bible. Visit his website at thebrickbible.com.


    The Brick Bible comes in different forms:
    New Testament, Old testament, The Complete Set. It also has mini stories such as The ten commandments, Noah's Ark, the Christmas story.





    It can be bought on kindle, in print, and in kid versions








    The Brick Bible: New Testament






    The Brick Bible: Old Testament


    The Brick Bible: Complete Set





    Friday, May 10, 2013

    Petition for stay of execution of William Van Poyck from Death Row execution on June 12


    I got this because I belong to the PEN prison writers' fellowship and am a mentor to prisons who write. 
    While I don't believe that a person is good simply because he can write a good novel, I DO believe the death penalty is unfair and until all racial and class issues in America are resolved, then we shouldn't be using the death penalty. 

    I'm not really sure if the petition will help but it's worth a try. Anyway, here is the letter from PEN prison fellowship. 



    Dear Friends, 

    We know many of you have already advocated for William Van Poyck, who after twenty six years is scheduled to die on June 12. If you haven't, might you be willing to click on this blogspot address:  


    There is a simple electronic response in a box to the right, where we can add our names to a petition for a stay of execution. Below is an email that was recently sent to us by his writing teacher.  Remarks could also be addressed to Governor Scott. Also, feel free to forward this message.  

    Many thanks,  

    The PEN Prison Writing Committee   

    Message:
    Hi, PEN,

    Are you guys aware that William Van Poyck, a PEN prison writer, has been sentenced to die on June 12? What is the mechanism for getting this information out to PEN members in an effort to achieve a stay of execution? Bill was my writing student through PEN for many years and I would like to help. Thanks

    Elea Carey


       Born and raised in Miami, FL William spent his early youth climbing trees and exploring limestone caves, swimming in lakes and canals, and catching turtles in the cabbage palm and palmetto brush woods that made up post-war, pre-boom, semi-tropical South Florida. Possessed with an incorrigible, rebellious spirit, at age 11 he was locked up in Youth Hall.  At 12 he was confined in Kendall Children's Home and at age 14 he was shipped off to the notorious Okeechobee Boys' School.  In January 1972, at age 17, William was sentenced to life imprisonment for a Miami robbery, even though no one was hurt in the crime.  He spent the next 15 years touring and escaping from Florida's ever-expanding prison system, becoming a certified legal aide and renowned jailhouse lawyer in the process.

       In 1988, William was sentenced to death for his part in the 1987 botched attempt to free a friend from a prison transport van in downtown West Palm Beach, during which a guard was shot and killed by William's accomplice, Frank Valdes.  In 1999 a raft of Florida State Prison guards murdered Frank in his prison cell.  In the subsequent investigative furor, the governor ordered William transferred to Virginia's death row.  There, he penned and published his first novel, The Third Pillar of Wisdom, then the sequel, Quietus, and finally his award-winning autobiography, A Checkered Past, which won first place in Writer's Digest 2004 International Self-Published Book Awards.  William has also published and won awards for his short stories, including the PEN American Center's "Fielding Dawson Special Citation for Outstanding Achievement" in 2004 for his body of literary work.

       In 2008, William was transferred back to Florida State Prison where he currently resides. His mailing address is:

    William Van Poyck  034071
    Florida State Prison
    7819 NW 228th St
    Raiford FL  32026-1160

    Wednesday, May 08, 2013

    Does God work by compassionate?


    It always troubles me when I hear Christians say "God isn't moved by your tears. God doesn't react to tears. He only reacts to faith." I'm not sure about that. First because I tend not to accept any trope or theological doctrine simply because it's trending in the christian world. Second because some folks treat faith like works. "Having faith" is something folks work at or can boast of having. But primarily because the Bible says so often that Christ had compassion and healed people. Or that God sees our tears. True, sometimes some folks were healed by their faith, but others were healed because Jesus had compassion on them. Personally, I think so many physical illnesses are rooted in the feeling of feeling/being unloved. It seems to me the height of holiness to heal someone else by compassion. Just my 0.02 cents.


    Whether there are tears or not, if the heart is grieving there is a merciful compassionate God. IF someone has tears and has faith, that is good. IF someone has tears and has no faith, God sees their heart and it is God to decide not some cold theology that takes away his mercy. If the Bible says at least five times that Jesus healed them because of his compassion, we have to be careful what we say to people. Unless JEsus has changed and his compassion no longer applies. IF Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever...then He heals today because of faith, because of compassion, because of faith and compassion. In my experience, I have seen so many people with great faith who were never healed. I've seen people with faith who were healed. I've seen people without faith who were healed. And I've seen people who had faith who were not healed until they realized God had compassion on them.

    It's just silly unsubstatiated unBiblical theology I dislike. The Bible says it is the goodness of God that calls men to repentance. Many people are healed on the mission field by the mercy of God before they even have faith in Jesus.

    I think what people miss is that God is a Person, a Being. He's not a computer which needs a series of buttons pushed in the right order. A Personal God can do whatever He wants and can make decisions that please him. Paul wrote that "Without faith it is impossible to please God." But Paul didn't say "without faith it is impossible to be healed." He wouldn't write that because that would totally go against the missionary healing ministry. I know some folks say that "Well, God is different on the mission field. He heals people to show the truth of the gospel. But He's different when you're in the church." But it seems weird to me that God should treat his own children like that. I really think that it's the flaky theology Christians get hammered into them that take away our faith in God's love, power, willingness, and ability to help us. And we have to keep our minds alert to the stuff that steals our faith. As Jesus said, "Take heed what you hear." As Paul said, "Be not conformed to the world but ye transformed by the renewing of your minds." And from what I've seen in Christian circles, there are some heavy-duty WRONG theological strongholds that make the words of God of none effect.

    Monday, May 06, 2013

    Shame and betrayal

    Aaargh! I hate it when I f*ck up! 

    So, over the weekend I decided to make my fiction collection (Spirit Fruit) and my religious Bible study (How NOT to read the Bible) be free on kindle.

    I went all out to let everyone know about the fiction antho but didn't so much as mention the Bible study. 

    Then I noticed that for ages, I have had only my fiction and not my Bible study in my email signature.

    Am I ashamed of Christ?

    IT really does take a lot of bravery for me to talk about God on facebook or to tweet something religious. Whenever I watch something religious on youtube sometimes I don't click "LIKE" because I don't want my twitter followers to know I've watched it. 

    I'm feeling now way worse than Peter could've felt when he betrayed Jesus. (Although I'm not really weeping bitterly.) The slide toward ignoring Jesus is a subtle downward slope apparently because I could've sworn that I was being brave and faithful. Major bummer.

    Ah well. Consider all that God has done for me, how did I screw up like that?


    A bit of my testimony:

    One: "You, God, see me."
    Two: "My times are in your hands."
    Three: "The Lord knoweth our thoughts."
    Four: "God's sheep hear his voice."
    Five: "You will hear a voice saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'"

    So, yeah, the Korean godwinks. A few of my friends are aware of this: ever since I started the novel My Life as an Onion, which has a Korean-French main character, the word Korea would pop up almost everyday while I wrote it. So much so that I got to expect it daily. It was as if they were encouraging me to finish the story. Or maybe they were just encouraging me by telling me that God was with me. Either way there they were...on an almost daily basis.

    What do you mean? I hear you asking.

    Well, let's see.
    I'd get up and turn on the television to the news. Then I'd sit at my computer to write then I'd decide at no exact time and for no real reason to stretch my legs or to see what is on television and I'd start flipping through the remote. Then I might stop at some stupid little sitcom I never ever ever watched because I felt like stopping and after about a minute -- sometimes after only about ten seconds-- someone on the show would mention Korea.

    When it first started, I'd smile and say, "Thank you, Lord! You're so funny! Okay, you're aware of me. I'll go write."

    But the godwinks continued... DAILY. It was totally as if I had a coach/comforter always beside me. I'd be waiting on a supermarket check-out line and someone would come up behind me and she'd be talking to someone else and suddenly one of them would say, "Oh, I'm trying to make this Korean dish." OR "I'm going to Korea for vacation." For the eight or so months of writing, it happened everyday..and Korea wasn't even in the news back then.  

    There was one day I decided to get up and go into the kids' room. I listened to a religious music video on gospelmusicchannel by then I started flipping through the channels. I saw an old movie on AMC or TCM called "Period of Adjustment." I'd never heard of it and was on my way up to SyFy channel, USA, and Spike TV to see what was on. But I figured I'd pause and check it out. When I read the details of the story, I see: "Two sets of honeymooners struggle with being newly-married" ugh! Not in the mood to see some fifties movie about honeymooners." But even so, there I was watching it.

    About a minute into the movie, one female character says, "I don't know what's the matter with X. All he does is shake, shake, shake." The male character replies, "Oh? He's doing that again? That started in Korea."

    I heard it but I didn't really hear it. I said to myself, "Oh, this movie was made after the Korean war? It doesn't look that modern. It doesn't look interesting. But I suppose I'm watching it for some reason. Maybe I'll get a godwink about Korea or something. I'll just wait until I get a sign or something because there's gotta be some reason I'm watching it. Maybe a nice Bible verse of something."

    Then I heard the holy spirit say to me: "But I HAVE given you a sign." I heard this sooo clearly. 

    I start to think... and SUDDENLY it dawns on my peanut brain: KOREA!!!!! Yes, the wife just said the illness started in Korea. 

    So I burst out laughing. I couldn't stop laughing.

    The funny thing about that one is that I had totally missed it. I even had noticed the Korean comment but had only thought of it as a key to when the movie was made. So yeah, even when one gets a sign, one needs the holy spirit to tell one that a sign has been given. Then one needs the holy spirit to jog one's memory to tell one what the sign was. B

    Of course this could mean I should be praying for Korea. I mean, this might have nothing to do with me at all. That is: it is a sure sign but the interpretation is unsure or wrong. But to me, it just makes me know that God is very playful and very aware of me.

    I heard a Christian nurse say something like: The most under-repeated unknown news are the stories of God's miracles merciful kindness and dealing with humans. Because for some reason that stuff is never heard on television. How near and humble our Lord is...to stay so near us, to play with us, to reassure us... on a daily basis.But it's so hard to see sometimes. 

    When I told my friend Marvin Katzoff about this (Marvin used to be a child actor back in the day on a really cult TV show) he responded with this:
    "I think the best way to deal with any doubts that these are godwinks from God is through a prayer that “covers all the bases”. If I were experiencing something like this, and had any doubts about the source, I would pray to God, something along the lines of “Dear God, may these be signs coming from you, for some good purpose. If they’re not from you but from some evil source, please turn them into something good.” And of course, a prayer for Korea can’t hurt.

    I'm a religious nut but I'm generally unintrusive, except on my blog where I ponder and meditate and discuss my spiritual walk. I think it's been easy for me to be religious because God just has always been present with me. When I was a baby, my mother had a dream that she shouldn't bring me to the hospital for vaccination. Her friend went anyway. The friend's baby died. Turns out the vaccine batch was tainted. And when I came to the US, my mother took us on a trip to Bear Mountain (which is apparently the mecca for Brooklynites going to the boonies for vacation) and my sister and I were running all over. Suddenly in the middle of running from my sister as we dashed about playing and chasing each other, I was suddenly stopped by a strange invisible brick wall. It was very odd and weird. When I came to myself, I walked a little ahead, and there was a sheer drop. I would've fallen over. Oh my gosh, there was also the time a lightning bolt almost hit me. I've had so many weird incidents that I am convinced I have some weird wonderful thing to do in the world.  I even saw the world open up, and a demon walk through it toward me. But the greatest was when I was a kid and saw an angel. 

    When I was only 16, I was studying the Bible.  During those times, I had horrendous nightmares of being pursued by a “Godfather” type figure who seemed intent on harming me. C.S. Lewis wrote that many people don’t believe in God simply because they do not want to have another Father.  But then it hadn’t occurred to me that my inability to trust in God was rooted in the fact that I had no real father.  Nor did the fact that the nightmare “Godfather” might be the same Person I referred to in my prayers as “God, Father in Heaven.”

    But there I was, reading the Bible and lying in bed when for no reason at all, I turned towards the wall.  That was when I saw a being standing there.  To say I was surprised is an understatement. The being whom I saw was a far cry from the typical angel one might see in greeting cards.  There were no feathers, for instance, no wings. The being was plain and simply made up of light. It was as if someone had taken a fine-point pencil or chiseling tool and drawn a pencil sketch on the wall. Except that instead of dark still lines, what I saw was living moving light, a fine-featured being finely-etched like a drawing but quite real.  The being wore a crown and except for a smile did not seem to move.  And it is this smile that I will always remember. 

    It was a smile that seemed to say he understood everything about me– good and bad– yet loved me anyway.  I don’t think I can adequately describe the feeling of intimacy and personal attachment that this person seemed to feel for me.  It was as if we were old friends, as if he had always been there with me and would always be there with me.   Here was a being to whom I was completely known and completely loved.  A being with complete good humor and a sweet conspiratorial kindness in his eyes.  All I could do was smile at him, as if to say, “Oh, it’s you!”.
    The funny thing was that this angel did not say anything.  He didn’t tell me any great spiritual truths about my life or the world.  But his very presence showed me that there was a world where good and love and God existed.  During the following years, I have endured several trials.  During these times I have asked myself, “How could God allow this to happen to me if He still exists?” I have asked God to send his loving angel to me several times to comfort me.  That request has not been granted and the angel has never reappeared.  But, with the help of the Bible, this visitation has healed my past fatherlessness and has been a healing balm to the lovelessness of my earlier life. Whenever I am about to fail under the strain of the trials in my life, I remember the sweet sweet smile of that being from another country. The memory of a person I have yet to truly meet has stayed with me.  And every thing in me longs for that wonderful loving country that is and has always been my Home.   

    For me, it is this incredibly wonderful feeling that I am so so so loved by the One who made me. He's not only very close to me but very personal. I've always wondered why the air is so thin in some folks' lives...how some folks see and feel God so easily and others not at all. My son once had an angel warn him about a fire in the house. He got up in time to put out the fire. But he says he'll wait til he gets older to serve God. I prayed and prayed for hubby to see an angel but all he ever saw was a ghost as he walked in Depew Park. I asked God, "And what the heck was that for?" I didn't get an answer but I suspect it was to show my husband that the supernatural exists..because now he believes that. I suspect God is a force, definitely but He is also deeply intensely quirkily personal. 

    You don't have to worry. No more religious flakiness from me. I know this kind of weirdness can bother some folks. <3 div="" nbsp="">

    Oh one last thing, when my older son was about three, I dreamed of two neighbor kids beating him horrible with a yellow rope. Such a strange dream out of the blue. When I got up, who should drop by but these two neighbor kids? Little Tony and his cousin Andrew. They had a little yellow ribbon. They said, "We were playing cowboys and indians and we want to tie Logan up. Just for fun" They were about 13 and 17. One of them gently allowed the ribbon to flow over my arm: "See, Carole, we won't hurt him."

    Sufficeth to say I didn't allow them to. Little Tony did well in the world. Andy....well, let's just say he turned out quite badly. I don't know what entered into them to get their weird idea ...or if they would've started playing and gotten murderous. Only my dear sweet Personal saving God knows what would've gotten down. But am glad I listened to the guiding dream this personal God gave me. 

    So then...how could a woman who has had such a faithful God slide into a position of letting herself be ashamed of him, and of hiding her faith? It's easy, apparently. Aaargh..so ashamed of myself.  Gotta go fight against this shame by posting the link to this post and the link to my Bible study and tweeting. I'll be cringing while I do that, of course...which is shameful. I shouldn't be cringing. Nor should i fear the mean-spiritedness of atheists who like picking on Christians. Will see how brave I actually am.. 

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