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Monday, June 30, 2014

The Shepherd King Part 4

The Shepherd King
Part 4

The Shepherd King had planted hope in my heart, when I had commited to serve Him for the rest of my life. Fueled by the fires of faith, this hope glowed like a lantern within me. The glow that it made held back some enemies, but signaled others of my presence, and made me an easy target. Nevertheless, we were all to let our lights shine and not conceal them.

Night time was the worst. There were usually demons prowling about. On this night there was no moon, so though I should have searched for shelter, I instead pressed on, wanting to hurry through this difficult path that was laid out before me. Accidently I stepped into a patch of thorns. These brambles and bushes closed in around me, digging into my arms and face, cutting into my skin like needles. The more I struggled, the deeper they cut.

Drawn to the commotion, these black devils - one or two at a time - drew near. Eyes shining – a pale green – and drooling in anticipation of the kill, they drew so near that I could smell the scent of their abode clinging to their scaley and leathery black bodies – the unmistakeable odor of sulpher. Growling and screaming like a hyena, they drew nearer, leaving the sounds to echo behind them.

The thorns - giving off an herb with a paralyzing effect, began to incapacitate me, (though my terror was not dulled). With only moments left until they were upon me, I mustered all the strength I had left and called upon the Shepherd King in a loud voice.

Instantly there was a blinding flash of light, and in that tiny segment of time, demons were blown backwards, cursing and yelling. From the jumble of bodies they retreated back into the night.

A very tall, very large man – well built – with a kind face, brandishing a sword turned towards me and gently started pulling me loose from the thorns. I drifted into unconsciousness. When I awoke, I found myself in a hiding place, not unlike the first one where I had refreshed at the beginning of my journey.

I sat up looking around and saw only some pages atop the table. Curious, I crossed the small room, picked them up and began to read..........

Sunday, June 29, 2014

In the Service of the Shepherd King Part 3

The Shepherd King
Part 3

I turned to see who was there with me, and I saw a man with curly dark hair and brown eyes. He smelled of the outdoors and looked muscular and strong. I knew he was a shepherd when I saw his staff. His robe was secured at the waist, and His sandals were old and worn. He was binding up my wounds and putting a healing oil on each one. This was the same oil that He would use on his lambs and sheep. It deterred flies and gave relief from their bites.

His hands – so gentle yet so strong inspired a great confidence in me. I was safe with Him, and I knew it. His eyes were kind but discerning.

Who are You?”, I asked. He smiled as He said, “I am a shepherd. My flocks are grazing nearby. I was out hunting for a lost lamb.”

Why are you so downcast?” he inquired.

I told him all, this time with the tears that come when someone kind and sympathetic asks what the matter is.

He listened to every word, then after a brief silence, he said, “Sooooooo, you are in the service of the Shepherd King. Some say that He is a hard master. And some say that He is not. But I have heard that any who wish to serve Him may. Does He require total commitment to His rules? I have heard some say that they have never felt so loved and protected as when they joined Him in the fight against the darkness.”

I answered with a smile.
I should be going.” I said.

Let me tell you a secret.” said the shepherd. “The world is filled with darkness and dangerous evil creatures of darkness. But remember that the darkness does not comprehend the light and the truth. Shine and do not hide. Shine and the darkness will flee. Draw near to the Shepherd King, and He will draw near to you!”
I turned to thank this kind shepherd. But he was gone. It was as if he had disappeared. Strangely I still felt his presence.

I went out and found that my shield had been repaired, but I never saw the shepherd do it. My enemies were gone – at least for now. So I started down the path to the town of Parkinson's Disease. I didn't particularly feel like it, but I sang a shepherd's song:

In God's green pastures
feeding by His cool waters lie;
soft in the evening walk my Lord and I
all the sheep of his pastures fare so wonderfully fine.
His sheep am I.
waters cool,
in the valley;
pastures green,
on the mountain;
in the evening
walk my Lord and I.
dark the night
in the valley;
rough the way
on the mountain ;
in the evening walk my Lord and I.

My heart was lifted up even though the way was tough and I had so far to go.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

In the Service of the Shephard King - Part 2

Shepherd King
Part 2

The road I was to follow was set out straight before me, though it was narrow. There was no turning to the right or to the left. But very early in my life of battles, the road narrowed so much that I didn't think it was passable. It had pot holes and rocks with thorns, and from the thick forest of trees - overhanging branches. There were biting flies and gnats, and even snakes. I couldn't believe that this was the way, so I checked out a side road that seemed to have several alternate routes branching away from the main – all very broad and easily traveled. There were even signs that read “Greener Pastures”, “Easy Street”, “Name it and Claim it”, “Just Have Faith” and “Positive Thinking”.

I headed for the easy way, but just as I was to set my foot down, a gate that I had not noticed slammed shut and barred my entrance to every single side road. There was only one way to go.

I looked back at the narrow way, and then I saw it........ On the side of the road, there was a sign. It read: “Parkinson's Disease; 50 Miles”. This did not penetrate my brain at first. Surely I read it wrong. What good could possibly come from going through this dreadful town? I wasn't prepared for this. I decided to turn back and go the way I came to the shelter from which I had come, but at that moment there was an avalanche of gravel and rocks and boulders that I couldn't possible have gotten through. And so with a heavy heart, I sat on a large boulder, trying to calm my fears and quiet my mind.

My shield had been damaged by the falling rocks. It wasn't long before my enemies saw this also. Out of every bush and from behind every turn in the road, flaming arrows whizzed. They began to yell out lies to me: You cannot make it down this road to the end; The King could have stopped this from happening, so He must not love you or be powerful enough to provide another way. The King couldn't be real. He is cruel. You have broken his rules too many times and now you can't be forgiven. You did something terrible to deserve this. It's your own fault.  You don't have enough faith..........

I crumpled down onto the ground, unable to stand.

It was at that moment that someone shielded me from any further woundings from the arrows. He wrapped his body around me so that the arrows hit him instead of me. He lifted me up and carried me to the side of the road where there was a door I had not seen before. And he carried me in, shutting the door behind us.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In the Service of the Shepherd King
Part 1

The battle outside was raging. It's not as bad as it's going to get though. Things are going to escalate. These clashes with the enemy are precurser to the war. I am tired nevertheless, and feeling the need for rest and food, warmth and safety where it seems not to be found.
But our King and Lord – the Good Shepherd - has provided respite in the midst of all Hell breaking loose. He can be found everywhere. The desperate cry of His soldiers always reaches His ears, and brings them into the safety of hidden places – places that the enemy cannot see or find. They are caves perfectly camaflouged and nestled in between the rolling foothills. They are sheepfolds hidden in plain sight in the fields frequented by lowly shepherds - where the King lays His body across the only door. His soldiers are safe within those walls – for now.
I enter the cave and am welcomed by the sight and delicious smells of an early morning feast on a plain table in the center of the room. The room is dimly lit by a warm light emanating from the candles set upon the table. I do not see anyone else, but feel the presence of the Shepherd King's servants. I enjoy the fragrance of coffee freshly made and poured into the mug that warms my hands as they are cupped around it – steam rising....... My hunger is awakened at the sight and smell of bacon and eggs with buttered toast and jam. There is a bowl of luscious fruit in small bite sized pieces that nevertheless drip down my chin as I eat. There are fried potatoes and other delicacies. I eat my fill, and I am refreshed. But I am also sleepy. There is a warm bed in the corner of the room, inviting me to rest.......... I had scarcely pulled the warm blankets up, sinking deep into the feather bed, when sleep overtook me. I think I dreamnt of green pastures and still waters – crystal clear. There were valleys in my dreams but always the Shepherd King led me safely through them.

I slept until my body was strengthened and refreshed – maybe for days. My armor, had been taken from me and shined and polished until it gleamed. Again, I am conscious of the servants of the Shepherd King. They are silent but benevolent. I am helped by these silent giants as I take up my breastplate and shield; my shoes and helmet; my belt and my sword............ Once more the table is set with a wonderful array of food, and I eat. I can feel His warm presence. He quiets my heart and feeds my spirit. He has left a small book for me. In it, the King has left instructions for me. I am to go out while it is still dark. I am to have my sword in hand before I open the door and step out. His words fill my mind. My shield will deflect the arrows that burn. I am to sing praises to Him as I walk. Everywhere my voice can be heard, so goes His light and the enemy dare not approach!