Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Safari in the Mist - Thanks for Reading!




Thank you for reading this story. I hope you enjoyed it.

If you liked it, would you please review it on Amazon and/or Smashwords? Thanks.

If you didn't like it, well, what's not to like? Give me a shout on the Author page.



The legal stuff...
This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. All Rights Reserved. This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


For my brother Barry, an overcomer.
and a booming Happy Birthday shoutout to him,
since today is his 55th birthday -
and it's on a Wednesday, which is the 
day he was born,
early in the morning.
I didn't plan for this to finish on this day,
but here it is.



As always, thank you, Lord.


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Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Bible Challenge

In order to understand Christianity, the coming of Jesus Christ to the world to save us from our sins, you must believe that the Bible is the word of God.

Let's not argue details right now.

Can you believe simply four words of the Bible?

Here's a challenge for you.

For one week, only one, as life beats you up and you struggle with your day to day existence, ponder these four (first) words from the Bible:

In the beginning, God...”

Truly, fully believe for one week that there is a sovereign, everlasting, infinite and all-powerful God that existed since the beginning.

That could change your life.

Try it.


If you want more...

Detractors will pick a Bible story and point out how it cannot be accurate.

At one time they espoused the belief that Pontius Pilate existed in the Bible as a composite form of conquering Romans. In 1961, Dr. Antonio Frova excavated a limestone block in Caesarea Maritima with Pilate's name on it.

Okay, so that was real.

The Bible certainly created King David as the composite Israelite. Yet in 1993 Israeli archaeologist Avraham Biran discovered a stone referring to the “House of David.”

Yeah, but that Samson guy couldn't exist, except as an archetype, like the Greek Heracles. (I would argue that Heracles also existed.)

Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands, he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.” (Judges 16)

The Bible story of Samson contains no moral imperatives, yet is the story of a man who used his God-given strength for his own amusement, finally turning back to God at the end of his life. Why would Bible authors include it in Judges - unless the story refers to a real person?

Archaeology supports the story, finding Philistine temples with two main load-bearing pillars.
So historicity has credence in Biblical stories.

There's the story of Jonah in the fish. The sad story of Job. The heartbreaking tale of Hosea, a minor prophet.

Yeah, those are tough.

I won't argue with people who tell me God couldn't create the world and universe in seven days. Geology tells us the world is millions of years old, they say.

Okay, God could create everything in seven days, seven minutes, seven seconds or a blink. If He couldn't then He wouldn't be God.

That's not the message.

I'll tell you what.

Choose the New Testament, the Gospel, the Good News.

Read it before you criticize the Bible or those who actually read it.

Not the people who pick and choose Bible verses to beat you up, cheer you up, promise you riches...

Look for the people who read the Bible and pray to God for guidance, not riches. They pray for God's grace on you without asking for money.

Those are the ones who truly read the Bible.

Read the New Testament.

That's the second challenge.




Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Safari in the Mist - Part 18



How they survived is really no mystery, since Vic and BA von Crapp are hard to kill. It involved spear points driven into sheer ice and a slowed descent to the bottom of the crevasse. It also involved finding a shattered skeleton with fragments of a hide bag and dozens of blue and red gems.

Weeks later the brothers were sitting in their castle in the land known only to them. Both were comfortably seated in oversize leather chairs, BA reading a paperback and Vic writing in a small, leather-bound book.

Vic put his book down and picked up a mug of Earl Grey. "Well, brother, that was quite the adventure. Quite fortunate that we had a chance to search the bottom of the crevasse for the gems left by that old priest in Haggard's novel."

BA didn't even look up from his book. "Even better that we found the gems, I'd say!" He put the book down and picked up his mug of Earl Grey tea. "Everything considered, we did quite well on that adventure, Vic. We even managed a profit on the stain-resistant clothing business."

Vic sipped from his own mug. "Just had to change the advertising a bit." He looked over the top of his mug at BA. "Perhaps we should celebrate with a trip somewhere quiet and entertaining."

BA grinned. "The annual Running of the Bulls in Pamplona is coming up again in July." He put his feet up on the ottoman in front of his chair.

Vic laughed. "Perfect. And," he pointed at the new white crocodile skin boots on BA's feet, "I really like your new boots."

"He was big enough to make two pairs of boots and a couple nice hat bands. Your boots are upstairs." BA grinned. "Along with your shares in the new company."

"What new company?"

BA reached to the floor on the opposite side of his chair and lifted a small clay flask. "Our new stain removal company. I had the lab boys analyze the composition of the old lady's stain remover and we can now go into full production."

Vic laughed, grinning at BA. "And you tested the stain remover."

"Thoroughly," said BA, laughing. "I even used a load of crap."

###



Come back next Wednesday...

Author commentary (if I have one)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Safari in the Mist - Part 17



Vic addressed Kobo. "We'd like to leave, but we understand the problem. You'd like to assure the Council that you killed us and you need some sort of proof."

Kobo frowned deeply. "Yes, this is true. My esteemed Mother, who is on the Council, truly wanted in your pants, Vic von Crapp."

Vic's eyebrows shot up and his eyes widened. "What?"

"Did I say that wrongly?" Kobo frowned as his son whispered in his ear, then he laughed, his entire body shaking. BA laughed right along with him. "I meant to say…" Kobo wiped tears from his large brown eyes with the back of his hand, but his smile didn't lessen. "I meant to say, she wanted your pants for her own and desired to wear them."

Vic grinned, a look of relief flooding over his face. "Well, that's easy enough." He started removing his pants.

Kobo nodded. "You would trade your pants for your lives, Vic von Crapp? That is very wise."

Vic, standing in his boxers, took his belt from the pants and handed them to Kobo. He pulled his boots back on. "No, Kobo. I trade my pants for your lives." He looked at BA, who simply stood there shaking his head. "Give me one of those hides, BA."

From one of the pockets in his vest Vic pulled a fishhook and some fishing line and quickly sewed the belt to the edge of one of the hides. He buckled it about his waist.

BA looked at him critically. "Really? A kilt?"

Vic shrugged. "Not exactly a screaming fashion statement, I'll grant you that."

"You cannot go back through the village. We will all keep your secret and let you escape, but the council cannot see you alive." Kobo frowned. "The only exit is over the crevasse but the ice bridge used in Haggard's book is truly gone."

Vic looked at the crevasse and did some quick calculations in his head. "I think we can make it, BA."

BA shook his head, still watching Kobo and his son, as well as making sure the others didn't stir. "I don't think so, Vic. That's a long jump and I don't think we can get the speed."

Vic grinned. "We use our thermal blankets as sleds. It should work."

Kobo looked at his men. "My son and I will explain that you tricked us and escaped. But you must go before my men awake."

A minute later Vic and BA were riding down the glacier on their thermal blankets, steering desperately for the most narrow part of the canyon ahead of them.

"I don't think we'll make it," yelled BA, using the spear point as a steering rudder behind him. Tears flowed from his eyes because of the cold wind.

"Adventure is always risky, brother." Vic steered with his own spear, ten feet behind BA. "But I have to say, this kilt is mighty cold!"

They hit the edge of the glacier and were suddenly airborne. BA started laughing madly. "We are so not going to make it!"

They disappeared over the edge, the sound of BA's laughter booming up the side of the mountain. Then there was only silence.

Nolo turned to his father. "The von Crapp brothers were truly magnificent, Father," he said in their own language. "They were Adventurers indeed. It is too bad they died."

"It is a shame," replied Kobo, tossing Vic's pants over his left shoulder. "We might have had two pairs of pants instead of one." He looked at his men. "Let us awaken my men and we will return to our village as victors."
<>




Next part, next Wednesday.

Author commentary (if I have one)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Safari in the Mist - Part 16



"There are nine of us here." Kobo waved his free hand toward his warriors.

"A few new ones, I notice. Nice looking fellow there, for instance. A bit short." BA pointed toward one warrior, younger than the rest and a few inches shorter than Kobo.

Vic spoke up. "He looks a bit like you, Kobo."

"My eldest son, Nolo, of whom I am very proud. He is not only a warrior, he is a great scholar and speaks many languages. His English is much better than mine." Kobo puffed out his chest. "I am the best among the city, except for him."

Vic smiled at the young man. "Let me be perfectly clear. We don't want to fight you. We simply, at this point, desire to leave your city. If we write about it, the stories will be fiction, so you face no danger from us."

Kobo frowned at the two shorter men. "This I would be happy to do, Vic von Crapp. The Council of Elders desires that you must die, and I must do as they say, as must my warriors."

BA grinned at him. "Too bad. I don't want to kill any of you, especially your boy there." He pointed at the six foot tall young man, who looked shaken.

Vic rolled his eyes. "Please, BA. Don't kill them." He looked at Kobo. "Please don't make us do this. You're entirely unprepared for this fight."

Kobo started to speak and BA interrupted him. Looking at Kobo's son, BA growled. "Look, kid. Let me give you a free lesson in fighting." He gestured at the giant warriors and their spears. "The spears are great for some types of fighting, but not for just two guys. They're too large and there are too many of you." He looked at the young man. "You getting this, Nolo?"

Nolo nodded, a nervous look on his face. "I hear you well, BA von Crapp."

BA nodded. "Good. Then pay attention… That man grips his spear too tightly." BA pointed to the warrior on the left side of the group. "Now if I were going to kill you all, I would start with him and twist the spear from his hand. I might break his thumb, but it wouldn't matter, because I'd swing the spear in an arc and crush his head with the shaft while I cut the throat of the man next to him using the point." Nolo looked at the men, puzzled. Kobo started to signal his men to change their positions. BA sighed. "It takes too long to explain…"

BA charged the man he pointed at, yanking the spear from his hand. The man yelled as his thumb gave way and the other men started to bring their spears down and point them at BA. BA twirled the spear above his head, hitting the first man in the back of the head and slamming the shaft into the forehead of the second man. They both started to drop, unconscious.

BA swept the spear downward, knocking the feet of the third man out from under him. BA continued to twirl the spear and hit the fourth man behind the head, then reversed the spear and hit the falling man between the eyes.

BA moved back to where he stood before, the spear held lightly in his right hand, the shaft touching the dirt. The two warriors on the left were both unconscious. Vic von Crapp stood next to BA, twirling a spear in a rapid pattern in front of himself.

"Quit showing off," BA growled to Vic.

Vic leveled the spear point at Kobo, whose face registered surprise.

BA smiled at Nolo. "That's what I was trying to explain." He shrugged. "Of course, it's harder not to kill them, but…" he looked at Vic. "I've had practice." He motioned to the two fallen men on the left. "Oh, and never take your eye off an enemy. You watched me the entire time while Vic took those two down."

Nolo stood like a statue, staring at the von Crapp brothers. "I understand the lesson, BA von Crapp. I now question whether I will be allowed to use this knowledge in my future."





Next part, next Wednesday.

Author commentary (if I have one)