Night Lights in the Forest – 11

Eryndir raised his hand and the group halted, lined up flush against the barn, weapons at the ready with eyes focused on him. Emmy, outfitted in the same green camo outfit as the rest, was nervous and holding her breath waiting for Eryndir’s next command.
Eryndir peeked around the edge of the barn and then looked back at the team and made a circular motion with his hand. Most of the team took off, crouching low, weapons at the ready. Eryndir leaned over to her and whispered, “we’re going to establish a perimeter around the house.”
Straightening up and touching his earpiece, Eryndir said quietly, “Roger that, advance to the exterior of the objective and stand by.” He then leaned back toward Emmy and put his hand on her shoulder. “Alright, lets move in toward the house. Please be very alert. We don’t know if the Fae have attacked here or not. We don’t yet know all that they are capable of during a lunar cycle.”
Emmy gulped and nodded. The whole idea of sneaking up on her own home seemed surreal to her. This was her home, her safe place. It was where she had grown up. Her world had changed completely since last night. It was now much more frightening. Looking into Eryndir’s eyes she said, “Ok, I’m ready.”
Together they ran in short bursts toward the house, stopping to hide behind the power pole, a wagon and then the car. Eryndir turned back to look at her, “Ready for the door?” Emmy nodded. They stepped out and began running for the back door when the screen opened. They froze, Eryndir quickly moved Emmy behind him with his left arm while raising his weapon with his right.
Regan stepped out onto the stoop, looked directly at Eryndir and Emmy and said loudly enough for the whole team to hear, “Ok everyone, olly olly oxen free. There’s no one here but us chickens. Come on in the house for some sweet tea and biscuits!”
Emmy broke from behind Eryndir and ran into her father’s waiting arms. “Oh Daddy, I’m so sorry!”
Regan just held her and said, “That’s ok baby girl. This, or something like this, was bound to happen sometime.” Then he released her and stepped back from her slightly and cupped her face in his big hands. “We’ll deal with it. We’ll get your sister back. I see you’ve already found our Elven family, and they’ve taken you in. Let’s go inside, your mother’s gonna want to know you’re all right.”
Eryndir spoke to the rest of the team and, one by one, they carefully approached the back door and entered the house.
Pat had most of the contents of the refrigerator laid out on the table plus the warmed up pancakes and biscuits from earlier that morning and several pitchers of sweet tea ready for them as they entered.
“Daddy and Momma, I want you to meet Eryndir. He kept me from being captured by the Fae and told me a lot about how we came to be here.”
Regan reached out and shook the boy’s hand, “I believe I know your mother, Galalithe. Is that right? I am Aranhil, and this is my wife Aegliriell. I can see you have already met my daughter Miluiel.”
Emmy’s mouth hung open at the sound of her own and her parents Elven names.
Eryndir winked at Emmy and smiled at Aranhil and said, “Yes sir. She is our Chief Commander now and authorized this mission.”
“Good, we’ll be anxious to have a mutual briefing session.”
Eryndir then introduced the other members of his team, and once everyone had eaten, everyone pitched in to help clean up the kitchen.
Aranhil announced, “It would be good it everyone went outside now so we can finish closing up the house. Miluiel . . . Emmy is there anything you want to take with you or that your sister might want? We won’t be coming back here.”
Miluiel thought for a second, ran up the stairs to her room and came back with her journal and Gigi’s teddy bear.
“Aegliriell? Anything?”
She smiled and said, “No, all I need are the two of you and for Gigi to be rescued!”
Miluiel smiled and said, “And we can’t do that standing here. Ok, we’re ready, let’s move!”
Once out in the yard in front of the barn. Aranhil stood in a circle with Aegliriell and Miluiel, closed his eyes and un-cast the magic that had made them appear human. Their bodies tingled, but changed only slightly. Their features became more angular like the other elves and their ears took on the slightly pointy shape that distinguished them from other humans and other elves. Miluiel’s awareness and perception of her surroundings changed too. She could now hear and smell things well that were only faint for her before. The camo suit she wore, which fit oddly before, now fit her comfortably.
Once this change was complete, Aranhil made sure the animals were released from the barn and asked everyone to stand together while he pulled an object from his pocket and used it to cast a spell that caused the house and all the buildings and equipment to fade from view.
Miluiel spoke, “What was that? What just happened?”
Aranhil put his arm around her shoulder, “It’s a safekeeping spell. Everything is still here. But it’s like it’s all asleep. No one can see it or touch it, and it won’t change for as long as we leave it this way. It was all here from a long time ago, and we woke it for our use when we had to flee from the Fae.”
Miluiel looked up and said, “So you’ve just put it back like you found it?”
“More or less. Let’s get going now, we have far more pressing matters to deal with. Eryndir, you and your team, please split into two squads, one ahead and one behind our column. Aegliriell, Miluiel and I will take our place in the center of the column.”
Eryndir ordered his team to assemble as Aranhil requested and they moved out quickly.
Within twenty minutes they were in the underground command center. They proceeded immediately to a conference room where Galalithe stood to greet them. “Ladies and gentle elves, may I present our Lost Elders!” Then Galalithe and everyone around (including Eryndir) bowed deeply at the waist. Emmy blushed at the sight but felt a new pride in her parents.
For the next two hours, Galalithe briefed Aranhil and Aegliriell with Aranhil asking questions or making comments occasionally. Miluiel sat next to Eryndir enthralled and somewhat bewildered by what was going on.
“So to conclude,” Galalithe said, “we have about three weeks time to plan, outfit and train a rescue expedition. We can only pray and hope that Gigi will be safe until we can execute the plan. Gwyn’s threat must be taken seriously. We have seen what he is capable of. Anyone else?”
Aranhil stood and looked over those in the meeting room, “It has been a long time since I have addressed a group of my fellow elves, but this needs to be said. We must remain extremely vigilant in our monitoring of the barrier between the exile dimension and our own. Gwyn has demonstrated that they can bridge the barrier to break through and capture one of our own during the peak of the lunar cycle. He was also able to send a holographic transmission directly to that location when he knew I was there. We do not know what else they are capable of. Monitoring the barrier for intrusions will be our only defense until the team is ready to travel through a reverse bridge vortex and mount a rescue of Gigi or Gianna which is her Elven name. Will you allow me to pray to the Father-Creator for his grace and blessings on our efforts?”
Murmuring and shuffling filled the room. Some, folk looked confused, others shrugged their shoulders.
“Ah, I can see that such things have fallen into disuse. Please allow me the privilege of re-establishing the practice as is my right and responsibility as Elder of this clan. Please bow your heads—Father-Creator we, your children, plead with you for your mercy in an hour of need. At your behest, we fought with and cast out the Fae from this land. My family, in order to prevent further attacks on the others, went into hiding and have now returned during a time of crisis. Please bless us as we prepare to do battle once again with the enemies of your people. Make us strong and remind us daily of our reliance on you for our lives and abilities. Thank you for the provisions you make for us each day. As you have spoken, so shall it be.”
The group responded haltingly with “As you have spoken, so shall it be.”

Night Lights in the Forest – 10

Galalithe stepped forward, took Emmy by the arm with one hand and Eryndir with the other. “Both of you, my office, now! The rest of you, back to work. We have an important mission to mount. I want status in fifteen.”
The three of them walked quickly. Galalithe, still gripping their arms, walked them into an office with what looked like glass walls. There were small torch like lights mounted around the room, just below the ceiling creating a diffused lighting effect. The desk was the same grainy wood as those in the larger room, with the same leafy wires leading to monitors on the windows. She released their arms. “Sit. Please.”
Eryndir spoke, “Commander Galalithe, Mom please, I…” Galalithe held up a hand like a stop sign and looked at Emmy. “Young lady, do you know who you are? Better yet, have you even a clue as to what you are?”
Emmy looked back and forth between Galalithe and Eryndir sputtering, “I am . . . who? What?”
“It took me a few minutes to figure it out, but your face is so much like hers.”
Emmy scooted forward on her chair, “My face?”
Eryndir sucked in a big gulp of air, “Oh my!” He looked at Emmy and then Galalithe and then back at Emmy. “I thought you looked familiar! They were all supposed to have died! They were lost!”
Galalithe leaned on the edge of her desk between Eryndir and Emmy. “Right, we thought that Gwyn had captured and destroyed them. We had given up hope.”
Emmy stood up, “Hold on, stop the train, and back up the bus. Who, or what are you talking about. I am completely lost and confused, but all I care about is getting my sister back from those faeries who kidnapped her! So, can we concentrate here on what really matters and not whoever or whatever you think I look like that’s long gone and dead?”
Galalithe smiled and looked at Emmy, “We will, trust me, people out there are working on a plan as we speak. But you also need to understand why your sister was kidnapped. They almost got you as well. May I ask you some questions?”
Emmy shrugged, “As long as we get to the important stuff soon, ok.”
Galalithe leaned forward, “Do the names Aranhil or Aegliriell mean anything to you?”
A tiny chill caused Emmy’s neck hairs to flutter, “Uh, no. Should they?”
“How about Eruraina or Miluiel?”
Emmy got that chill again, a bit stronger this time. “No…”.
Galalithe stood up and walked over to one of the glass walls, touched it and spoke. “Show me the Lost Elders.”
A rectangular portion of the wall darkened, and a set of pictures displayed showing a group of twelve Elven men and women.
“These are our ‘Lost Elders.’ We had a terrible war with the Fae and had to hide some or our Elders in order to keep from losing them to the Fae.”
Galalithe, using her fingers moved and enlarged a portion the picture so that two of the group were visible.
Emmy gasped. “That’s . . . they . . . they are my parents! They look different and are dressed differently. But, oh no! That’s ridiculous. They’re just normal people, like me.”
Emmy fell back into her chair.
Galalithe squatted next to Emmy’s chair. “That would have been the whole point. To escape detection, murder, or capture by the Fae. The last two remaining Elders would have to appear as normally human as possible. They would need to take deep cover, to blend in completely. Their two daughters would have to never know their true heritage.”
Galalithe stood and returned to the screen. “Show the ending of ‘The Final Battle’ and mute sound and other sensory experience features.”
“What are the sensory experience features?” Emmy whispered to Eryndir.
He leaned over and whispered into her ear, “We call it smell-o-vision. It’s a nice feature, but trust me, you don’t want it for these scenes.”
“Oh, okay.” Emmy said as she focused her attention on the screen again.
The picture on the wall showed a panoramic view of a completely devastated landscape, bodies scattered everywhere.
“We lost nearly everything, but the Fae were banished from the earth to another reality to keep them from conquering the earth. That was a thousand human years ago. We have spent that time rebuilding our society, strengthening our defenses, preparing for the day when they might try to strike back.”
She touched the screen again and swiped those pictures away.
“Show incursions of the Fae on earth over the last hundred years.”
The screen lit up with a rotating darkened globe showing specks of light at various locations.
“Notice the significant concentration of incursions in the area around this location. We believe that they have discovered our underground headquarters. We now also believe they suspected that the ‘Lost Elders’ were located somewhere close by. Those lights you saw near your home were faery manifestations designed to attract attention.”
Galalithe stood silent for a moment and then turned to face Emmy.
“I now believe that they were designed to attract human attention. The Fae may believe that capturing human children, draining their life force, may give them the power they need to overcome the magic that had kept them banished.”
Emmy spoke, “So that’s why they tried to capture me but got my sister instead?”
Galalithe nodded, “There may be more to it than that. They may have actually suspected who and what you were and targeted you specifically. There is no way to know that yet.”
She moved back to the screen, “Re-display photo of Lost Elders.”
The picture re-appeared and Galalithe cropped it to show her parents again.
“We believe that these two, the last of the elders are your parents.”
“But, if those two are elves . . . ”
Galalithe moved to Emmy’s chair, squatted down and touched Emmy’s shoulder, “That is right. You, my dear, are also an elf. You are one of us and a descendant of the royal family. That is why the workstation out in the command center responded to your presence even though your appearance has been magically altered to appear human.”
Eryndir added, “Then that would also explain why the command center door unlocked and opened when you touched the entry panel!”
Galalithe stood, “Where are your parents? Are they nearby?”
“Yes, they were still sleeping when I left home.”
“How close is your home? If the fae kidnapped your sister, they must know who and what she is by now. They will also know that your family is near. We need to get to them and bring them safely down here as quickly as possible! They could be in mortal danger. Can you show us where the house is?”
Emmy gulped, “Yes, of course.”
“Excellent! Wait here.”
Galalithe quickly moved out of the office, called out some names and huddled briefly with a group in uniforms.
Returning she addressed Eryndir, “Take Emmy and get her suited up for an op. Take her and your strike team, get her parents and bring them here.”
Eryndir stood, snapped to attention and saluted, “Yes, ma’am. Right away. Come on, Emmy. Let’s go get your parents and bring them to safety.”

Night Lights in the Forest – 5

Eryndir returned the look, opened his mouth partially as though he was going to say something, paused then turned and headed for the door saying, “Follow me”.
Emmy hesitated just a second, but Booger followed him immediately. She had to hurry to catch up.
Eryndir was heading down a long hall decorated with pictures of Elves in action against the same faeries that attracted her to the forest. At regular intervals, there were torches mounted on the walls that provided light. At first, Emmy thought they were lit with fire, but then she noticed that there was no flame. They just glowed.
The passageway they followed seemed to be twisting and turning and descending. Occasionally, they would go through sets of doors. After about ten minutes of quick walking, Eryndir stopped at a set of double doors that had metal hinges and framing. There was a lit panel on the right side with the outline of a hand.
Eryndir turned to Emmy, “Getting your sister Gigi back will be both hard and dangerous. Are you sure you want to go along?”
“Are you gonna try to stop me?”
“Me? Nope. If I read that look in your face right, wild horses couldn’t stop you.”
“Are right then, why are we standing out here?” Emmy impulsively put her hand onto the panel. It lit up, began to make a whirring sound and then, the doors clicked and began to open inward.
Both she and Eryndir backed up a couple of steps.
“Whoa!” they said in unison.
Eryndir turned and stared at Emmy, “That should not have happened! This door is coded to only open for high command staff and . . . and . . . the royal family.
Emmy shrugged, “Must be broken. I’m not even an elf.”
Eryndir looked at her. “Well, I’ll . . . report it to maintenance.” Then he pushed the doors open the rest of the way.
On the other side of the doorway was the biggest room Emmy had ever seen.

The Surprise – Part 2

The fire back at the shack finally went completely out and was now filling the place with smoke. “I just can’t sit and wait for Jacob to come back. I need to go out and find some wood or something to burn.” Anna said to herself. She folded up her blanket, put on her heavy coat over all of her sweaters, put on her hat, pulled it down hard so it would cover her ears and headed out the door of the little shack, careful to close it hard to keep the wind from blowing it open again.

Anna struggled to make any headway against the wind but, finally she made it to the street and grabbed onto a lamp post and stood for a minute trying to figure out exactly which way Jacob might have gone. Not knowing he had gone left, she decided to go to the right toward the docks and the waterfront. She and Jacob had gone down there often with their Pop when he worked building and repairing boats. Maybe Jacob had found a stash of scrap wood left over from someone’s boat repairs down there.

Jacob’s eyes opened to light so bright it hurt his eyes and to the worst headache he ever had. He rubbed his head and moaned while he tried to get his eyes accustomed to the light and to focus.

“Well, boy. So you thought you were gonna get away with my wood? Ha! Ha! Ha!” said a raspy voice so loud it hurt Jacob’s ears. “No one gets my wood, boy!”

Jacob’s head was throbbing as he turned in the direction he thought the voice came from. He tried to see who was talking, but his eyes still couldn’t focus.

“No sir, I didn’t know it was anybody’s wood. My sister and I ran out of wood, and we are so cold.”

“I don’t care if you freeze to death, boy” the voice thundered, “it’s my wood, and now you’re gonna pay for tryin’ to steal from me!”

Anna stayed close to the side of each building she walked past on her way down to the docks in order to stay out of the full force of the bone-chilling wind. Each time she felt the full force of the wind, she pulled her coat tighter around her small, thin frame.

When she got to the place where her Pop used to work, she saw a light on in his old workshop. She looked carefully through the window and couldn’t believe her eyes! There was her father, Aloysius, working on what looked like a large cage.

Anna ran around to the door  and tried to go in, but it was locked with a big chain and a padlock. She banged on the door and yelled, “Pop! Pop! How do I get in?”

Frustrated, she began to cry. Then a thought popped into her head. She ran back around to the window and knocked as hard as she dare.

Aloysius, startled at the loud sound, turned and looked in the direction of the window. At first he looked shocked, then surprised, and then very frightened. He started waving at her to go away when a loud voice came from behind her. “Hey, girlie! What do you think you’re doing here?”

Anna turned around to the sound of the voice to see a very tall, brutish looking figure. Thinking quickly, she noticed a piece of wood stacked against the building, grabbed it, held it horizontally, and ran under him and through his legs. The piece of wood knocked his legs out from under him, and when he fell he hit his head. After that, he lay still and silent.

“Oh, he’s out cold!” she said to herself. “I’ll just grab the keys hooked onto his belt. Maybe one of them will fit the lock on the door.”

Abram Goes to War – Part 6

Final installment of this story.

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The next morning they headed back toward Sodom to return Lot, his family and his good back home.

When they got near to Sodom, the king of Sodom came out to meet Abram in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.

The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered.” Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I solemnly swear to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you. Otherwise, you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ I will accept only what my young warriors have already eaten, and I request that you give a fair share of the goods to my allies—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre.”

Kenan had watched all of this with great interest. He thought to himself, “I would like to learn more about this God of Abram. He answered my prayer the night I was attacked by the wild boar, maybe He will answer me again if I ask for something.”

Kenan thought for a minute and then looked up into the sky and said, “Lord, God of Abram, I would like to follow you like Abram does. Please let me go with him to Hebron instead of back to Sodom with my master Lot.”

Now he began walking with purpose to find Abram. He found him talking to his nephew so he stood by quietly and waited for an opportunity to talk.

After several minutes, Abram noticed him standing there, reached over and put his arm around Kenan’s shoulders and said, “Lot, I’ve become very fond of this young warrior. Would you mind if he came with me? I will pay you a fair value for him.”

Lot looked at Kenan and said, “Uncle, I couldn’t accept payment for him. Let me give him to you as a gift for rescuing us from our enemies.”

Abram smiled and said, “I accept. We were glad to be able to help. We had a nice little adventure, didn’t we Kenan?” Abram smiled broadly.

“Yes, my lord, we did”

Kenan thought to himself that Abram was right when he said, “God is faithful, just you wait and see.”

Kenan looked up into the sky and whispered a prayer, “Lord God of Abram, I take you as my God now too. You have shown me that you are faithful and to be trusted. I am yours to command.”

Kenan continued the trip back to Hebron with a spring in his step and a broad grin appeared on his face.

Abram Goes to War – Part 4

It seems that overnight Abram had assembled a small army of over three hundred trained fighting men from among his own people and his allies Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. He was preparing for a mission to rescue his nephew Lot and his family. One of the men standing near Abram noticed Kenan standing there said something to him and then pointed in Kenan’s direction. Abram turned, looked in his direction and then called him over and said, “Kenan my boy, we are going to rescue my nephew and his family. With all that you’ve been through in the few days, are you interested in coming along?”

“Yes, my lord” Kenan responded quickly. “How soon do we leave?”

Abram laughed and slapped him on the back, “That’s what I like to hear. We leave within the hour. Get yourself some food, pack up your gear and meet us here when you are done. And wait, one more thing. Hagar?”

A pretty young girl came running, “Yes master?”

“Get our healer to take a look at this young man’s leg and get him ready to travel.”

The girl looked at Kenan, smiled and said, “Yes my lord, immediately.” She then grabbed Kenan by the hand and pulled to a large multicolored tent.

When they got inside, Kenan saw an old man seated at a table with a large number of branches and leaves hanging upside down above it. The old man seemed be crushing some dried leaves.

The girl spoke loudly, “Uncle Javan, father Abram wants you to take care of this man’s leg so that he can travel with the rescue party.”

The old man turned around, looked at Kenan and said, “Hmmm, he’s got quite a nasty gash there. Is that from a sword, young man?”

“Yes sir, it is. I was in a battle several days ago.”

“Sit here and let me take a look at it. Hagar, you’ll have to let go of his hand now.”

Hagar quickly released Kenan’s hand, stepped back and looked embarrassed.

The old one laughed and then spoke to Kenan, “I’m afraid she’s taken a liking to you young man. Now, let me take a look at that leg. Oh, it’s not as bad as it might have been. You washed this out didn’t you?”

Kenan replied, “Yes sir, I did. I camped near a river a couple of nights ago.”

“Well I’ll make a poultice from these leaves here and bandage you up. You’ll be as good as new in a few days.

As soon as Javan was done applying the poultice and the bandage he said, “There you go young man. You’re healthy and you’ll heal quickly.”

“Thank you, sir!”

Kenan turned to go and caught a glimpse of Hagar peeking into the tent. She quickly pulled he head back when he saw her. As soon as he got outside he looked around and couldn’t see her anywhere, then he took off running to get his things together and get some food. No sooner had he arrived back at the rendezvous that they left.

Abram Goes to War – Part 2

Abram seemed to have a sense of purpose while Lot just seemed to go along with whatever happened to him.

Abram exuded a kind of peace that surrounded all who were with him. That stopped when he and Lot went their own ways.

Sodom was a wild and wooly place to live. The life they shared with Abram was safer and more secure. Kenan wondered if all of that had anything to do with Abram’s God. Lot had no god at all. Actually he had lots of them, but they didn’t seem to help him any.

He made a small fire to heat some water to make some broth from the dried meat and also to use to wash his wounds. He could hear some animals in the forest as the sun went down so he stoked up the fire to last as long as possible to keep them away.

“I ought to keep my belongings close to me in case of wandering thieves,” Kenan thought to himself, “especially my sword and my knife.”

So while he covered himself up with a blanket as he lay down, he put his knife below his pack with the handle sticking out. He also laid his sword alongside his body just in case he needed it.

Kenan fell asleep wondering about what Abram’s God was like.

He slept fitfully that night as his leg kept throbbing with pain. Sometime during the night as the fire began to die down, he was awoken by a rustling sound in the bushes behind him. Reaching slowly for his knife, Kenan got the handle firmly in his right hand and grabbed his sword by the scabbard with his left and jumped up to face whatever was behind him.

His quick action startled a wild boar that was rooting around for some food and caused the animal to rush at him just narrowly missing his injured leg with its tusks. Once across the clearing the beast turned around and charged him again. Kenan swiftly tucked his knife into belt and drew his sword. As the animal came toward him, Kenan offered a quick prayer. “God of Abram, protect me.” Then he stepped out of the path of the charging boar and drove his sword into the beasts head. The animal ran headlong into a tree with the sword sticking out of his head and then fell over dead. He piled some more wood on the fire and sat down to figure out what to do next when his leg began throbbing again to remind him of his injuries. He had forgotten about them during the excitement. He also remembered the quickly uttered prayer to the God of Abram. He looked up into the night sky at the stars, smiled and said to himself, “Thank you. Maybe there is something to Abram’s God. I think He just answered my prayer.”

Kenan got up, hauled the dead animal down toward the river to get it away from his camp, returned to his makeshift bed, put his weapons back in their places and, worn out from the excitement, fell soundly asleep for the rest of the night.

Abram Goes to War – Part 1

I have been absent for the last few weeks as I considered and reconsidered where to go with my current writing projects. That dilemma is nearly resolved so I want to continue sharing my older stories. It is an adaptation of a Bible story from early 2010 that I wrote to tell the boys in AWANA. I hope you enjoy it.

Abram Goes to War

By: God

Adapted by: S.C. Mathisen

Kenan opened his eyes and was immediately blinded by the sun. Struggling to prop himself up on his elbows he began to look around him. As his blurred vision cleared, all he could see around him were bodies of soldiers and blood, lots of blood. When the smell finally registered in his brain, he began to feel sick to his stomach. It took several minutes to remember who he was, where he was and how he came to find himself the apparent lone survivor of a massacre.

Kenan struggled to his feet only to remember that he himself had lost some of the blood on this battlefield. There was a long cut on his left leg, another gash on his right arm and a bump the size of a pomegranate on the back of his head.

He tried to remember what had happened to Lot and his family and then the sight of them being tied up together and being pulled behind King Kedorlaomer’s conquering army like cattle. That was the last thing Kenan saw before he blacked out from that knock on the head.

Standing alone in the battlefield he thought to himself, “I’ve got to get to Lot’s uncle Abram! He’s rich and powerful and wise. He might be able to help my master.”

Kenan began looking around for anything that might make the trip easier. He figured that it would take at two or three days to get there, longer if he had trouble with his leg (which was still bleeding slightly).  Looking around at the bodies strewn across the field of battle, he found on one body a sword (complete with scabbard), on another a dagger to stick in his belt. He also added a bow, a quiver full of arrows and a couple of half-filled canteens, an equipment pack and bedroll that the soldiers used on their forced marches including  several pouches of rations dried meat, some sort of dried meal cakes and a quantity of dried dates before he was done. He could re-fill the canteens in the river that he must cross on the way toward the hills of Hebron. He felt well equipped for the journey.

Kenan loaded all of his equipment and supplies and began his long journey. Taking a look at the sun and the shadows of the early afternoon, Kenan headed northwest toward the home of Abram. His injured left leg was somewhat swollen from the cut and ached slightly with each step. He planned to wash it thoroughly in the river when he got to it.

At the edge of the field where the battle had taken place he stopped to turn and take one last look at the carnage. His unsettled stomach took another turn for the worse so he turned his back on it and headed into the coolness of the forest determined to find the river, refresh himself in it’s cool waters and find a place that he could cross it.

It was a long, steady climb to get to the river and Kenan reached it as the sun was setting beyond the tops of the hills he was climbing. As he settled down for the night, he began to think about what he had just been through and his life as one of Lot’s men. Things had been very different when they were with Abram.

 

 

 

How to be a Godly Giver – Part 2 – The End

Stanley plopped back down on the steps again, “I didn’t think about it that way. Ok, I’ll give some to the orphans in Mexico.”

Stanley’s eyes lit up and he smiled really big. “I know what I can do. When we are in class next Sunday and Mrs. Hoffner asks if anyone brought money for the Orphans in Mexico, I’ll stand up really fast and say really loud that I am going to give one whole dollar. That way God will know what I am doing and so will the whole class and then God will give me a reward when I get to heaven.”

Susie put her hand on her brother’s shoulder and said, “Stanley, that’s not how Jesus asks you to give. Isn’t that right Johnny?”

Johnny had just finished putting the last of the cookie into his mouth so all he could say was “Yeth, thatth righp.” Johnny then took a big drink of his milk.

Susie pulled her little pocket Bible out of her back pocket and said, “In fact I was just reading a verse about that they other day, where was that?”

Susie had opened her little Bible and was turning pages back from her purple ribbon bookmark.

“Here it is! It’s in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6 verse 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it. In fact, it says a little later that you should give quietly, because when you make a big announcement so that people notice what you are doing, that’s all the reward you are going to get. If you give quietly, then God will reward you in heaven for being a cheerful, godly giver.”

Stanley turned around and sat back down on the steps and said, “I’m a little confused. What should I do with this money? How much is 10% of $5, Johnny?”

Johnny had finished swallowing the last of his milk and cookie by this time and could speak clearly, “50 cents, Stanley. That’s not really a lot of the five dollars when you think about it.”

Stanley held out his five dollar bill so that he could look at it. “How often do you guys think that those orphans get cookies and milk?”  He asked.

His sister Susie leaned over closer to him and said, “Probably not as often as we do, Stanley.”

Stanley thought about that for a minute. Then he stood up, put the five dollar bill in his pocket and ran inside looking for his mother. When he found her, he asked her for an envelope. After she gave it to him, he ran upstairs to his room. Then he got out a piece of paper and a pencil, wrote a short note and put it and his five dollar bill in the envelope and sealed it.

That next Sunday, when the Sunday school teacher asked for donations for the orphans in Mexico, she noticed that there was already an envelope in the jar.

How to be a Godly Giver – Part 1

How to be a Godly Giver

By: God

Adapted by: S.C. Mathisen

 

“Woo-hoo!” Stanley shouted as he ran around in a large circle in the Johnson back yard.

“I got five whole dollars for my birthday! Wow! What can I do with all this money?”

Stanley stopped and looked at the crisp five dollar bill in his hands, “I know, I can buy candy, lots and lots of candy!”

“Hang on there, little brother.” His sister Susie said from the back porch of the house. “What else should you do with that money?”

Stanley stopped and said, “Huh? What do you mean? Money is for spending, right?”

“Not always, not all of it anyway,” said Susie.

“That’s right.” said Susie’s friend Johnny who had followed her out of the back door with a half eaten Oatmeal Raisin cookie in one chubby hand and a glass of milk in the other.

“Ok, what should I do with it? Stanley asked.

“Isn’t your Sunday school class doing a coin drive to raise money for those missionaries taking care of those orphans down in Mexico?” asked Susie.

“That’s right”, spoke up Johnny as he took a big bite out of the cookie in his hand.

Stanley walked over to the steps going up to the porch and sat down looking sad.

“You mean I should give away my birthday money to the orphans in Mexico?” he moaned. “I don’t want to do that. I want to buy candy for me, not those orphans in Mexico I don’t even know.”

Susie leaned over and roughed up Stanley’s hair, “Not all of it Stanley. Most people say that we should give back 10% of what we get back to the Lord as thanks for what He gives us.”

Stanley stood up, turned around and looked his sister in the eye, “But God didn’t give this money to me. Grammie Susie gave it to me.”

Johnny leaned on the back porch railing and said, “Stanley, God gives us everything that we have; even the stuff that we get from our parents and grandparents. God made everything, He owns everything and so everything that we have comes from Him.”