Friday Fiction - Be Ye Steadfast

It unnerves me when something I write becomes relevant later on. I wrote this story about eight years ago. I know that there are many Christians around the world who risk their lives when they meet to worship, but I pray that it will not become true in our country.




BE YE STEADFAST 


“Sh-sh-sh” Tom crouched in the shadows, pressing me against the cold bricks. Footsteps echoed in the empty street. I held my breath as the soldier passed, his AK-47 reflecting the street light. 

My wrist device beeped the hour and new day, 24:00:00…09/17/23..; its LCD glowing in the darkness.

“Shut it up!” Tom hissed.

I fingered the tiny buttons; PHONE OFF, WIFI OFF, POWER OFF.

I followed Tom around the dumpsters and abandoned cars, trying to keep his dark form in sight. I also wore a black shirt, pants, and hat; our faces smeared with grease. We slipped between a pizza shop and bar. A neon light flickered in the window. Tom glanced back, behind me, before tapping on a steel door, camouflaged in graffiti scribbles.

A crack appeared, and a deep voice whispered, “Identify yourselves.”

“Maranatha.” 

The crack widened, and a whiskered face eyed me. I could feel the doubt in his gaze. A siren screamed down Washington Avenue, and Tom glanced about nervously.

“He’s safe; trust me,” he whispered to the eye at the door.

We entered a damp passageway and climbed some narrow stairs. At the third apartment, Tom knocked and repeated the password. 

We entered a crowded room, darkened with black curtains and one dim lamp. I counted ten or twelve others, also dressed in dark clothes. A mumble of voices greeted us, and I fidgeted under their stares. 

After we squeezed along the back wall, a man continued reading from his tattered book, illuminating the pages with a flashlight. “And ye shall be hated…”(Mark 13:13 KJV)

Tom whispered to the one beside him, “How long has Pastor Smith been here?”

“Since five o’clock yesterday. There have been dozens of believers, coming and going, all day long.”

I leaned closer to catch the holy words of prophecy. “…nation shall rise against nation…”

Suddenly, the door banged open. Four soldiers burst in, thrusting the door guards into the center of the room. One slammed the door shut, and the leader growled, “No one move!” 

After the initial gasp, then silence, I began to hear soft whisperings of prayer. Mingling with the fear, there also was a sense of peace and trust. 

“There will be no assemblies under the laws of Haranidama! You must disperse! Show your ID chips!” He pulled a portable scanner from his belt. 

I fingered the hard lump in my palm, the chip that everyone received at birth. A young girl sobbed. I could feel my pulse pounding in my ears.

“Show your chips!” 

He grabbed the wrist of the closest believer and turned the palm upward, sliding the machine over it. Hearing a negative beep, he tried again. With a frown, he shined a light at her palm. A red scar marked her skin.

“Raca!” 

Palm after scarred palm he twisted and searched, his curses growing louder. He stepped closer and closer to me, and I slowly slipped my hand behind my back. In desperation, he slapped Tom across the cheek. “Where is the teacher of Jesus? I know he is here!”

No one spoke; no one moved. Whispered prayers floated about the dark corners of the room. 

Swinging his rifle in their faces, he roared, “Tell me, or you die!” 

In awe, I watched them, even old women and young children, face its barrel with confidence. How can they be so calm? Will I be as brave to defend this new-found Redeemer? 

One young man, Jonah, shaking and sweating, broke under the pressure. “It’s him!” he said, pointing to Pastor Smith. “He’s the teacher.” 

The soldier swung around to face Pastor Smith, his comrades quickly handcuffing the preacher. 

“Take him away."

“What about the others?” one asked.

“With their teacher gone, they’ll run like scared mice!”

Cries and pleas for mercy for their pastor filled the air, some to the unrelenting soldier, some to their Almighty Lord.

Pastor Smith turned tearful eyes to his flock, and looking at the bowed head of Jonah, he gently said, “Be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord….”
(I Cor.15:58)

Then they were gone.

The remaining ones clasped each other in comforting embraces, and tears flowed down many cheeks. Philip, an older man, wrapped his arms about my shoulders. I heard him whisper, “Sunday . . .  27 Hudson Street.” 

 ~ # ~


Do you have this faith? 
Do you know the God who forgives sins? 



Daily Abiding with Granny - Ceaseless Prayer




DAILY ABIDING WITH GRANNY
"Ceaseless Prayer"


"Pray without ceasing"
 (I Th 5:17)


Granny talks herself and Cinnamon, her cat, and Shadow, her dog, but she also talks to her God. Sometimes she speaks to Him aloud, as if He were in the room, but we soon learn that there is a constant conversation between Granny and the LORD in all her waking hours. 

Is God so real to me that I feel His presence? Do I hear His voice? Do I turn to Him first for guidance and companionship? Is He my best friend? 


"Surving Winter"

Most Sundays, when Reverend Hermon wasn’t in town or Zeke wasn’t there to hitch up the sleigh, they spent a quiet day together. They didn’t spin or knit or even churn butter. Granny still held it as the Lord’s Day, even if she couldn’t get to meeting. They would sing some hymns, and Granny would quote some Scripture and teach it to Phoebe. “Blessed is the man  . . . ” Maseppa listened from her chair in the corner of the kitchen, near the fireplace.
Maseppa noticed that except for the change in chores, every day was the Lord’s Day to Granny. She was always singing hymns or quoting Scripture or talking to God as if He lived right in the house with them. At first, Maseppa looked around to see if Granny was speaking to a guest, but she soon realized those frequent comments spoken to the ceiling were prayers. After a while, she got used to it, and gained comfort knowing that Granny’s God was always nearby.  

"Phoebe Greets Spring"
             Zeke grabbed his coat again. “Did Maseppa cross the creek? She may have trouble getting back on account of the rain.”
            After scurrying around for a blanket and a lantern, Granny said, “Be careful, Zeke. I’ll be praying.”
           “Thank ye much, Granny.” He smiled. “Was there ever a time that you weren’t praying?”
            Phoebe watched the lantern bobbing down the hill toward the creek. Soon it disappeared into the stormy darkness.
            “It doesn’t do any good to fret, Child. Come, sit down and work on your shawl.” Granny went back to her knitting. The clock in the front room cuckooed seven times. Sometimes Granny hummed. Sometimes her lips moved silently. 


Join me here as we study Granny's ability to live her life, 
daily abiding in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Love and Prayers,
Yvonne                 


If you haven't read A Home for Phoebe yet, 
you can order it on Amazon
or you can contact me for a signed copy.




Also, the sequel Going Home with Phoebe is now available.
You can order it on (Amazon)    
or you can contact me for a signed copy.

Daily Abiding with Granny - Grateful for Everything



DAILY ABIDING WITH GRANNY

"Grateful for Everything" 

Philippians 2:14
"Do all things without murmurings and disputings."



Granny has a way of making the most miserable days easier to endure. When Phoebe has had enough of the cold winter and difficult chores, Granny shows her how to look for the blessings in the midst of hard times. 

Sometimes I find myself complaining about things, but I know it's wrong. I try to use Granny's advice and find something to be thankful for in every situation. Here's where Phoebe learns to be thankful - 


"Surviving Winter" 
When the wind blasted from the north, woolen petticoats and stockings and shawls and bonnets still weren’t enough to keep them warm, even in the house. They did all their daily activities huddled close to the kitchen fire.
           Phoebe slammed the shed door as she returned from feeding the chickens. “I hate winter!” She clamped her hand over lips, but not soon enough.
         “Phoebe!” Maseppa paused in stirring the stew. "You not be angry. You not slam door. You not say you hate things."
         “I’m just tired of going to a cold outhouse and thawing snow for water and eating soup everyday. I only got one egg. Even the chickens are freezing cold! I hate winter. I'm tired of being cold.”
         “Shame on you, child!" Granny tisked. “Every time you speak that word, I want you to bring an armload of wood from the shed. Perhaps hard work will teach you to guard your tongue.”
         “Yes, Ma’am.”
Granny plopped in her rocker and closed her eyes. “Line upon line, precept upon precept.’ That is how you learn the ways of the Lord.” She sighed. "‘Tis true that life is harder in the winter, but it is still from the Lord. He gives us difficulties to teach us patience and make us strong.” She creaked back and forth in her rocker. "Instead of murmuring, like the children of Israel in the wilderness, look for things to be thankful for. You can be thankful for strong arms and legs to fetch wood and for a warm fire to cook our food.”
            Phoebe took a deep breath. “I reckon I could be thankful for the soup, even if it does have cabbage in it. It’s better than eating hay like a cow!”
              “That’s the spirit! Now what else can we be thankful for?”
             “I’m thankful for Cinnamon and Shadow, because they are soft!”
              “I will be thankful for the sheep who give their wool to keep me busy,” added Granny.
              “I’m thankful for you and Maseppa and Zeke.”
                “I’m thankful, too, for you and Maseppa ‘biding with me this winter.”
               Maseppa hadn’t been playing the game with them, but looked up at the sound of her name. It be good to be here with Granny. She teach Phoebe many things. She teach me many things, too.
             “I’m thankful for fresh cream,” continued Granny. “Even if it’s not very much. Maseppa, if you fetch me a bowl of fluffy snow, I’ll show you how to make a nice treat.” 

 Join me here as we study Granny's ability to live her life, daily abiding in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Love and Prayers,
Yvonne                 


If you haven't read A Home for Phoebe yet, 
you can order it on Amazon
or you can contact me for a signed copy.




Also, the sequel Going Home with Phoebe is now available.
You can order it on (Amazon)    
or you can contact me for a signed copy.




"I'm Going to Name Him Gimpy"



Phoebe always seems to find the critters that need help. Who ever heard of a caterpillar with a gimpy leg? He'll be fine. He's in good hands with Phoebe.

On a chilly October morning, Phoebe waited for Matthew to catch up as they hurried to school. As they passed the place where they picked strawberries last summer, Phoebe noticed some milkweed plants. She couldn’t wait until the pods dried and cracked open and the fluffy seeds floated away on the breeze like snowflakes. She noticed some yellow and black striped caterpillars on the plants and picked up one. She let him hump up her arm. Matthew found one too.
“Ewww… he tickles!” Matthew moved it from his arm back down to his palm where it wasn’t so ticklish. 
“Don’t you love their yellow and blacked striped pajamas?” Phoebe held hers up to eye level. “I think I will name you Gimpy.”
“Gimpy? That’s a funny name.”
“He’s a funny caterpillar. Besides, I think something’s wrong with one of his feet. He wobbles when he crawls, like one isn’t working right.”
Matthew put his caterpillar back on a milkweed plant. Phoebe put hers in her pocket and picked a few leaves and added them to her pocket too. “You’re not going to keep him, are you?” Matthew asked.
“Why not? Besides, I think he needs me.”

(exerpt from chap 8, Going Home with Phoebe)



You can order Going Home with Phoebe on Amazon
or
you can contact me and receive a signed copy for $20.


or you can get both books for $30.

Daily Abiding with Granny



Is Granny a real person?

Heaven t'Betsy! What put that notion in your noggin?

I've had many people ask me if my characters in A Home for Phoebe are real. They're not. They are a combination of people that I've met through my life, but they're not real.  . . . although, sometimes I forget that I made them up - especially Granny.

Granny is the type of woman I hope to be. I admire her resiliency. She suffered the loss of a child, her husband, and her sight, but yet she thanks the Lord for His blessings. Granny keeps herself busy, not in selfish pride, but to have enough to give to others. Granny lives each moment, every breath and action, in prayer and worship to her God,  I want to be like Granny.

(excerpt)
              Phoebe tipped her head back and looked up into the sightless eyes. “Granny, why can’t you see?” 
            “Heavens t’Betsy! I guess the Good Lord took away my sight because He wanted me to understand things in a different way. Sometimes I see better by listening with my ears and feeling with my hands.”

Join me here as we study Granny's ability to live her life, daily abiding in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Love and Prayers,
Yvonne                 


If you haven't read A Home for Phoebe yet, 
you can order it on Amazon
or you can contact me for a signed copy.




Also, the sequel Going Home with Phoebe is now available.
You can order it on (Amazon)    
or you can contact me for a signed copy.

         

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