Jun 292013
 

blogIt’s all yours today…

  58 Responses to “Open Blogging”

  1. In the town where I grew up, the water came from a spring outside of town. It was a large natural spring and the water was pure and delicious. A creek flowed from the spring through the town, and the town just ran a pipe from the spring to a tank and fresh water was available for everyone.

    I was thinking about that and this story is the result. I’ve never written a story before and I wanted to try this out. It is pretty long, so I’ve broken it into chapters and I’ll post each one individually.

    OK?

  2. The Living Water

    Chapter One

    I’ve always loved the water. I remember the first time, I must have been four or five years old, that my father set up the sprinkler on the little strip of grass behind the house. I was only wearing a pair of shorts and no shirt or shoes. I would run through the sprinkler and laugh and laugh and laugh. My father would sit in his chair and watch me with a smile on his face and a twinkling in his eye.

    My father was a tall and slim man and he smoked a pipe. He always had a smile on his face and he called me “sonny.” He was a strong man and he was wise and just. When I did something that he didn’t approve, he would reprimand me and explain why it was wrong and what he expected of me. But, even after disciplining me, he would take me in his arms and hug me and tell me he loved me. I always knew that he would be there to protect me and to comfort me and, most important, to love me.

    I lost my father when I was eight years old. Gone was that smiling face and loving arms and all I had left was the sprinkler in the back yard. All summer long I’d be out there running in that sprinkler and looking at that empty chair. I felt something had been taken from me. There was a void somewhere in my chest where something was missing. I tried to fill that void. It was always about the water, my thirst, my unquenched feeling in my heart.

  3. Chapter Two

    I started riding my bike down to the swimming pool. I was a natural swimmer. Never took a lesson in my life. I’d be waiting when the pool opened and spend all the long summer day at the pool. Our city pool was surrounded by grass and that was good too. I’d lay in the grass and let the sun dry the water, but then the thirst would set in and I’d have to jump back into the pool.

    I had such a thirst, such a desire to fill that emptiness in my body, and water was what I chose to fill the void. But it was only temporary. I always had to go back for more. The thirst would return. I started every morning with a tall glass of water. That became a ritual for me. As soon as I got up every morning, I’d head to the kitchen and fill a big glass with cold water out of the tap and sit at the table and drink it down. I always had water with me. I would fill a plastic jug and tie it to a string around my neck or hanging from my belt. I’d drink and drink, but, no matter how much I drank, soon I would be thirsty again.

  4. Chapter Three

    The summers were the best. I’d go to the pool, or, when I got older, I would go down to the little stream that meandered through our town and my friends and I would float down the creek on inner tubes. I would dip my hand in the cool water and put it to my lips. It helped, but always the thirst would come back. When I grew older I learned to water ski, and in the winter I’d snow ski because snow is water too. My life was about seeking something; something, I didn’t even know what, but water was always the symbol and the reality for me. I sought to fill the emptiness with water, but the thirst kept coming back.

    In high school I was on the swim team and I also played hockey on the ice, frozen water. I was a natural athlete and the competition helped me focus on something else besides the emptiness inside me. I wore a letterman’s jacket with my name embroidered on the front and everyone in town knew me and called out my name. We won the state championship and my picture was in the newspaper. Yet, every morning, I woke up with a feeling that something important was missing from my life. I could not quite figure out what it was. I would drink a tall glass of water to start the day and to fill the void. However I was too soon thirsty again.

  5. Chapter Four

    After high school I moved to southern California and took up surfing. Out on those waves I felt peace. I would paddle out and sit and stare at the breakers as they rolled onto the beach and think about what I had lost when my father died. Only the water could fill the gap left. That salt water taste in my mouth, much like tears, helped, but again I would grow thirsty and want more. The water would carry me into the beach on its crest, but I would paddle out to do it again and again seeking to complete my life in the effort and beauty that is the dance upon the waves of water and the gentle rocking of the swells.

    I became very good and eventually famous as a surfer. I started to travel and surf in contests. I won a lot of prize money and soon had corporate sponsors. My fame spread around the world and my bank account grew fat. I tried to focus on being the very best I could be in international competition, but still the water called me and the emptiness grew. I always traveled first class and the flight attendants would bring me water in elegant crystal stem glasses.

    I learned that, in other countries, the water often came in bottles. Sometimes it was carbonated and sometimes it had a lemon flavor. I sought out all sorts of variations, but I still started each morning with a tall glass of water. Sometimes it was tea and sometimes it was coffee. I also sampled other beverages, but strong drink just clouded my mind, so I quickly returned to the simple beverage of cold, clear water. Eventually I tired of the competition and even the sun and the waves could no longer bring me peace and satisfaction.

  6. Chapter Five

    I returned to California and got involved in the party scene. I was invited to expensive homes and always wore my swim trunks under my pants. All these beautiful homes had big swimming pools and parties included young girls in skimpy swimsuits. I’d sit on the edge of the pool with my feet in the cool water or I’d dive in and swim underwater clear across the pool. I had a marvelous tan and everyone said how I seemed to look so natural in the water, like I was born to it. I didn’t lack for female companionship, but they didn’t know what I was seeking. Something was missing from my life and I could not identify what. The water helped, but the next day the emptiness would return and I was always thirsty.

    Many of these beautiful homes had special pools built on the hillside overlooking the city and the valley. They called them “infinity pools” and they seemed to just be nothing but water floating in the sky. They filled my heart with happiness, at least for the time I was in them. I built my own magnificent house with the money I had won, and had the largest infinity pool made installed in the new home. Now each morning I could go out to swim in the natural setting of beautiful nature and enjoy the sky and the water. I spent all day in the pool and watched as the stars came out at night. My servants would bring me drinks by the edge of the pool, and I thought I’d just stay in the water forever, but the thirst returned.

    I invited friends and we would eat and drink by the side of the pool, jumping in and pushing each other into the pool and enjoying the light and the air; but, the next morning, I’d wake up empty again. I threw myself into pleasure and the joy of friendship, but still the emptiness would return. Everyone was happy to be with me and to attend my parities. I was the center of attention and big on the social scene. Eventually I realized that something was missing. Even my riches and all my friends could not slack the thirst, so I sold everything and gave up the house and pool.

  7. Chapter Six

    I took to traveling around the country on a quest for water. I would climb the high valleys of the Rockies seeking out the lakes. I became a fly fisherman and waded into the mountain streams. I’d buy topographical maps and hike to the hidden lakes and ponds, and I became a photographer. I would camp out under the stars and at the edge of bubbling brooks or serene lakes. The natural beauty of the places I saw did touch my soul, but it wasn’t enough.

    Soon I was traveling the world again seeking out the water I so thirsted for. I made a living selling photographs of ocean beaches and lakes and rivers, and I became a spokesman for the “Wild River Coalition” and spoke about removing dams and freeing the rivers. I became well known for my esthetic tastes and enchanting images. My photographs were published in the finest magazines and books.

    I was even featured in news magazines as a champion of water, and I began to focus on bringing clean and pure water to small villages in third world countries. Now my need for water was being shared, and I became known as the “water boy.” My fame spread, but it didn’t fill the void like the water could. However, even after I had drank my fill, I would soon be thirsty again. It was a good work and I helped many people get pure, clean water. I was known as a selfless person, and I tried to find satisfaction on all the people I could help. I was happy to assist others and glad for the fame and congratulations, but still there was a void.

  8. Chapter Seven

    I was joyed to be able to help people and water was the center of my life, but I still had the void in my chest, my heart, my soul. Something was missing. I buried myself in my work and became surrounded by a group that took me as their leader. Together we were making great impacts improving society. I toiled to provide drinkable water to remote villages. I helped build simple water treatment plants, irrigation systems, and even waste disposal solutions in poor countries. Every day in the hot sun with only my bottle of water and my co-workers at my side, I dug and tilled and planned and built. The sweat would roll down my face and I’d taste the salty water on my lips. My eyes watered in the hot sun. I taught people the benefits of pure water, how it could prevent the spread of disease and make crops grow. I showed them how to prevent waste and conserve the precious liquid that was the center of my life.

    I was tireless in my efforts and my leadership and the gathering of admiring people helping in my work brought me joy, but the emptiness was always present. My work brought me fame and accolades, but didn’t fill the gap in my heart and the void in my body. Something was missing, and I tried to fill it with water and good works. I accomplished much. It helped for a short time, but always the thirst would return.

  9. Chapter Eight

    I left my philanthropic work and traveled to the far reaches of the world and met with gurus and wise men seeking their wisdom to fill my emptiness. I climbed the high Himalayas searching out the lakes and streams in that hidden country. I prayed and I meditated and I recited chants. I drank and drank, but still I became thirsty again.

    I gave began to wander. I traveled by foot down dry dirt roads with nothing but a cup to receive the water for which I would beg. Some times the water was sour and filthy and possibly full of germs, but I didn’t care. I gave up everything, money, friends, recognition, fulfilling work, fame, all the worldly distractions. But the life of an ascetic didn’t fill the void either. This too didn’t bring me satisfaction.

    Eventually, I left that life of self-denial and returned to the United States where I bought a pickup truck and began traveling from state to state and seeking to fill the void with experiences and new sights. I decided I would travel and record my thoughts. I felt that, by publishing my experiences, I could find the relief I sought so desperately. I had tried to fill the gap in my life in so many unsuccessful ways, yet, in each of these paths, I always sought the water. Maybe the telling of the story of my life would bring me lasting satisfaction?

    I drove and journaled and soon my blog was one of the most read in the entire “blogosphere.” I was interviewed and written about by other bloggers and was often recognized when I arrived in some small town or hamlet. Some would come up to me and offer a cool drink of water and many would give me a full canteen or jug to send me on my way. Always I kept searching.

  10. Chapter Nine

    Then, one day, while driving through the countryside on a small rural road, I spotted a group of people out in the the field around a small lake, really more of a pond. There was this little body of water with a small beach and a dock for swimming. There were trees and tables and quite a crowd was out there enjoying the sun and the water. Almost automatically as if in a trance, I parked my truck at the side of the road, climbed the barbed wire fence, and walked over to see what was happening. I had a bottle of water on a cord around my neck and shorts and flip-flops on as I approached the crowd.

    They saw me coming and called out for me to join them. They invited me to jump into the water and to join them in a meal. “Come in,” they said. “The water is fine.” I dove off the pier and swam around a while. Then I climbed out and dried myself off and approached the crowd.

  11. Chapter Ten

    Everyone was shaking my hand and patting me on the back and inviting me to join them. They kept saying the water was fine as I joined them at the beach, wading into the cool water and splashing and laughing with them. After a while I climbed out, and I was eating a piece of chicken that someone had put in my hand when a tall man came up to me. He was dressed in a white robe. He had long brown hair and a short beard, but it was his eyes that caught my attention. They were deep and untroubled. He had a hint of a smile on his lips and reminded me a bit of my father. He asked how I was doing. I told him that everyone seemed so friendly and happy and that the water was fine.

    Then he said something I didn’t understand. He said that this water was different. It was special. He told me to drink from it and I would never be thirsty again. Then he handed me a cup that he dipped out of the pond and I drank it down. It didn’t tasted different, and I didn’t understand what he meant. He said it was “living water.” I did understand about being thirsty and drinking my fill only to be thirsty again later. How could this water quench my thirst. How could this water fill that gap in my heart. I just didn’t understand what he was telling me and I asked him to explain.

    He smiled and said, “Those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” With that he walked away. I thought about the words, but it didn’t make sense. How could there be a bubbling spring within me? Yet that seemed to be what I had been seeking all my life. I finished the cup he had given me and noticed the people were starting to leave. I set the cup the tall stranger had given me down on a nearby table, and I walked back to my truck.

  12. Chapter Eleven

    I drove to a campground and spent the night like I’d spent so many others, looking up at the stars and trying to figure out what was missing in my life. The strangers words kept coming back to me. I soon fell asleep and, upon waking the next morning, I drove into the little town just down the road. There was a small diner and I went in for a breakfast. When the waitress asked what I wanted, for the first time in my life, I didn’t ask for a glass of water. Odd, I wasn’t thirsty. I thought that was strange and ordered some eggs and toast. As I was eating I noticed the other people in the small diner seemed dressed up. The men were in suits and the ladies in dresses. I asked the waitress what was going on and she said it was Sunday and these people were on their way to church.

    I went outside and followed the crowd down the street toward a little country church. As I got closer an unusual sight filled my eyes. There was a great crowd outside the church filing into the big double doors. The variety of people and dress was amazing. It seemed to be people from every country in the world, and I recognized a lot of the local dress from my travels. There were black people in brightly colored robes. There were Asians, some in silk garments. There were tall blond people and people with dark skin and shining black hair. There were the people from the small lake I had met the day before. There were young children and couples and they were laughing and smiling as they drew near. Some were dressed formally in what I would call “their Sunday best,” and some were in shorts and tee shirts and some didn’t even wear shoes. There were so many I could not understand how they would fit in the little church, so I joined them and entered the double doors.

  13. Chapter Twelve

    It was darker inside after being in the bright sun, but the room was lit up by the colored light through the large stained glass window behind a small podium in front. Oddly, there didn’t seem to be as many people inside as I’d seen entering, and I easily found a seat on a wooden pew. Soon music started to play and everyone rose to sing. I found the songs strangely familiar and began to sing along, even though I was sure I’d never heard these songs before.

    I was surprised at the sound of my own voice loudly singing along with the gathering. It brought a strange feeling to me. I felt a pressure in my chest and my eyes began to water. I had never felt this way before, except maybe, long ago, when I was a small boy and my father would watch me running through the sprinkler in that little back yard that seemed so far away now.

  14. Chapter Thirteen

    Then the music stopped and a man stood behind the podium and delivered a message. I was so filled with my own thoughts that I didn’t even hear what he had to say, but then, near the end, he said it was time for the cup and the bread.

    That caught my attention. All the people began to move to the front of the room and I joined them in the line. I looked to see what the others were doing. I saw each one approach a small table that had a loaf of bread and a large silver cup. Each person stepped up to the table, tore off a piece of the bread, and dipped it into the cup. Then they put the soaked bread into their mouth.

    The looks on their faces interested me. Some seemed troubled as they approached the table and some limped or held their hands or arms in an odd way, as if they pained them. I realized these people were old and their very bones ached. The weight of the world was upon their shoulders. But, when they took the bread dipped in the cup, they seemed to change subtly. I can’t quite describe it, but they seemed to move more freely with less pain and less worry. You could see the trouble lift off their bodies and they seemed renewed.

  15. Chapter Fourteen

    Soon it was my turn and I tore off a piece of the bread and dipped it into the cup. I put it in my mouth and swallowed. There was a change that I could not quite identify. It wasn’t something big or miraculous, but somehow I felt different. It seemed that the void that I’d had in my chest all these years was starting to be filled with something, something peaceful and rewarding. I felt as if I was a cup and someone was pouring out water into me. I became a vessel filled with a golden liquid. Somehow my worries and cares were being lifted off me and my spirit was being renewed. I didn’t understand and stumbled back to my seat in the pew. There was a short, final prayer and everyone got up to leave.

    The service was now over, and, as I filed to the exit, people began greeting me and shaking my hand and many hugged me. I felt someone slip something into my coat pocket ,but I was too busy introducing myself and accepting the greetings and well wishes that I didn’t have time to think about it. I went outside and headed for my vehicle. I felt quite odd, not sure what to make of my experiences in this little town, at the church and at the pond it. I especially thought about the tall stranger I had met and his words about living water and never thirsting again.

  16. Chapter Fifteen

    Soon I was back on the road and headed for the Interstate. Just at the entrance I saw a young couple hitch hiking and I picked them up. It was a warm day and, as we drove down the Interstate, the couple asked if I had something to drink because they were thirsty. I said I always carried a jug of water in the back, but then I realized I had forgotten to fill it with water that morning. That had never happened before. I always carried water because I was always thirsty. Yet, this morning, I wasn’t thirsty. I had not filled the jug. The void seemed filled and my thirst was quenched.

    I saw a rest stop coming up and said I’d pull in and they could get a drink. As we stopped and they got out, they asked me to join them for a cool drink. I realized I wasn’t thirsty at all, and this was the first time in my life I had felt such satisfaction. I declined their offer and stayed in the truck while they went in to get a drink. As I sat in the pickup waiting, I felt the object in my pocket and pulled it out to examine what someone had given me.

  17. Chapter Sixteen

    It was a small book. There was a cross on the cover. I opened it to the first page and read “The Holy Scriptures.” It was a Bible. I opened it to some place in the middle, a little more to the end, and started to read. It was open to the book of John, and I read, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

    That tall stranger had spoken of the living waters, I thought. Just then the couple returned and got back in the car. As we started to pull out, I asked them if they had found the water. They said there was a cold fountain in the rest area and it was very refreshing, but they knew that soon they would be thirsty again. I thought about the empty jug in the back and wondered if I should have filled it, but then I thought about what had happened to me in the last twenty-four hours, and thought not.

  18. Chapter Seventeen

    As I drove down the road, I began to sing the songs I had heard in the church. Soon the couple was joining in. They said it was strange, they didn’t know the songs, yet the words seemed to come to them. I said I understood just what they were saying and that I had a book with me that we should read together that might explain it. We pulled off the Interstate and I parked under the shade of the tree in a small town. We were at a little park and there was a fountain that spayed water up into the air. Little kids were dancing in the water and laughing and giggling just like I had so many years before.

    I started to read to them from the book, and now I knew that I had found my Father again. He was looking at me with a slight smile, and I no longer felt thirsty, nor did I feel some absence in my heart for my heart had been filled with a Spirit. I had become a vessel filled with the living water. I knew I was to have a meeting with those living waters. It would be soon, and I would let those waters close over me like death and then arise, reborn as a new man. As I read from the book of John these thoughts came to me.

    Now you know my story. You, too, need never thirst again. Just take of the living waters. Your body will be filled with the Spirit and you will never be thirsty again. Come on in, the water is fine.

  19. Well, that’s it. I love symbolism and find that Jesus often used it as he explained things to his apostles and to us believers. Jesus often spoke of water. Here in the arrid West, water is life. Yes, water IS life.

  20. J U,
    This is a good work of fiction. It’s filled with interesting details and feel-good situations. Are you trying to get it published?

  21. Music is up for the week. Drop by and listen to some nice songs. Have a great/cool Saturday!!

    https://morethancoping.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/praise-worship-june-28th-2013/

  22. I think Alex just lost the top spot for most comments in a row. 😉

  23. BTW, J.U., that was not meant as anything against you. Hoping to have time later on to come back and read your chapters.

  24. JU,
    Had to skim–quick question though:
    Are there cats, and in your analogies you compare them to Todd Bentley?

    🙂

  25. JTK,

    That was funny… 🙂

  26. JU,

    Thank you for sharing that here…

  27. Posted 5 free ebooks and five cheap ebooks on my blog. Got works from Spurgeon, Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Moody, Bonar and Tozer.

    The most expensive in the cheap section is $1.70.
    All are from Amazon.

    http://ruminationsonlife.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/5-free-ebooks-and-5-cheap-ebooks-saturday-june-29-2013/

  28. Derek,

    I downloaded a couple of those and retweeted your tweet. 🙂
    Good stuff…thank you!

  29. Thank you, I really am not worried about traffic on my blog. I share here and on tumblr with the few people who follow me there and it makes me happy.
    I love sharing stuff that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and is good.
    I have the cheap kindle, but I have it overflowing with books.

  30. Derek,

    There is so much out there in electronic format that people are unaware of…you do us all a service by letting us know.
    I rarely buy paper anymore…

  31. Wow, JU that was pretty good!

  32. I’m not sure what an asshat is, but I think the shoe fits.

  33. Scott @32… oh my! Unbelievable!

  34. Can you imagine? The overt abuse and YET the seats are probably full every Sunday with people dropping cash in the offering plate.

    That’s what I was asking the other day, when are the people (adults with a brain) filling the seats, just as culpable as the guy abusing them?

  35. Scott, I love that video! I’m guessing that they receive their tithes and offerings at the beginning of service because no one would give at the end of that message 🙂

  36. covered, I wonder if the “Pastor” packs heats somewhere in the pulpit?

  37. Finally rented Les Mis’erables yesterday wondering if I’d like it being a musical and all. I ended up really liking it a lot and was glad I chose to watch with captions. A truly beautiful story.

    If you have Netflix try out “Faith Like Potatoes.” Based on a true story I found it to be excellent although some might find some sort of fault in it. Lately I’ve been watching faith based movies for the positiveness (is that a word?) they convey.

    My wife is up north with four of her sisters. One of her sister’s husband passed a few years ago and she’s had a tough go of it financially and emotionally. She just moved into an apartment having had to give up the home she and her husband had shared for over 30 years. They’re up there helping her settle in and to provide support. Imagine five AARP eligible sisters spending time in an apartment for several days together! So many believers do things like this all of the time with no fanfare or recognition. I think God notices.

    Didn’t Mick Jagger sing “What a drag it is getting old” about 50 years ago! 🙂

    What door will Dwight Howard choose? And what about Yasiel Puig? I have been following baseball only about 30 years less than MLD but I haven’t see a rookie hit at this clip right out of the box ever. I sure hope he stays healthy to see what his future holds.

    Honey Boo Boo has been out of the news recently. Is this a good thing?? 🙂

    I’m on FB which is no big deal. I post stuff regularly and it seems mostly women respond to what I have to say. Should I be concerned?? 🙂

    Blog life is interesting to say the least.

    I miss our Grandson terribly. I was with him every day for three and a half years. I never realized how much love you can have for a Grandchild.

    Lots of Christians on street corners around us holding huge signs at intersections. Saw some today near Knott’s Berry Farm at the intersection. Not sure those signs accomplish much….

    I’m done.

  38. What if it’s not just a hissy fit but business as usual? Some people like to be berated.

    erunner,
    I couldn’t take the raunchy singing of the new musical version. I really like the one with Liam Neeson. And I believe Jagger was singing “What a drag it is getting ugly”.

    Doctor, please, more Botox please
    and Collagen, please once again
    What a drag it is getting ugly.

    And what was that other movie? Couch-Like Potatoes? What fault would I find with it? How about Blue Like Jazz? I tried to get offended but was hardly.

    How about positivity?

    My Gram loved Knott’s.

  39. I was thinking about the supreme court decision this last week concerning a very critical issue that I think is paramount to the foundation of our republic. For far to long in this history groups have been bullied, set apart, and mocked. They have been called immoral for just being who they are. It troubled me. I was really sad that the Supreme court struck down some aspects of the voters rights act of 1965.

  40. Brian,
    There is another group of people who get bullied more than gays. And they far outnumber gays. When will they get their rights?

  41. I am not talking about Gays in particular though I am sure there are members in these groups that are gay. I am talking about minorities in general which the voting rights act of 1965 helped to protect among them were people with disabilities and mental illness so they to can vote. African Americans, Latino Americas and so on. Though I do agree with the issues of demographics brought up in the case it was still a hatchet job to an important piece of civil rights legislation.

  42. Gary which group were you referring to if I might ask. Thanks.

  43. Gary,

    Too funny——about feeling like one of Job’s retarded friend.

    When Jesus returns, all that He has promised will be given to us for His namesake and for His glory. 🙂

  44. The ones I’m thinking of are those who bullies go after- small, shy, frail, wimps, easily manipulated, etc. Unlike gays who have come out, this group has no choice in being bullied.

  45. Hi Uriah. I do feel like that often.

  46. Thanks Gary I agree. The Voting rights act in my opinion though flawed and at times abused helped vulnerable population groups by giving them a foot in the door.

    A little story being bullied was common in my life, smacked, tied up, locked in closets and other fun sports were not uncommon, even being shot in the head with pump pellet guns. I lacked the physical strength to fight back, but I lacked the will. I will tell you a story I am ashamed of. I was being slapped around by some guy and my brother came to defend me, not to defend me but to just slap this other clown around. Even at that age I went to the underdog and stood up to my brother against the guy that was smacking me around. I was infected at an early age in that way. Trust me there are times it disgusts me I should be a man and kick blank all the time. My brother and myself reconciled and so people dont thing I was some helpless victim I was a professional martyr and often looked to get beat up just to feel persecuted. I hold that out to no one else but I have to admit I was like that at times, not always but at times. I was a messed up kid but always I had this sense of God, even when I tried not to believe in Him.

    He kept putting situations where I would be attracted to the “least of these”. I pretend to celebrate these pastors that get rich and other such nonsense. God stuck me in a job where I see Jesus everyday and still I rebel, I often wonder why he just does not blow me off. Its hard to admit these faults but they were / are part of the brokenness I struggle with. I think even the way I posted the last comment was to try to hook people in to the Doma decision to try to score some apologetic points. It was not my original intent but I have to admit it came out that way. Of course you answered with class, thanks for being a mirror. I hope that makes sense.

  47. Erunner’s 38: Excellent!

  48. Brian,
    Maybe God put you there cuz you need a daily reminder of how much He values you. That’s what I think. For every day you were hurt there’s a new day where He reminds you that He places high value on you.

  49. “Maybe God put you there cuz you need a daily reminder of how much He values you. ”

    I thank you for your kindness I would never do such a thing, I am worthy of only one thing His Holy Wrath. That is one lesson I learned well and will never forget. But I thank you for your kindness.

  50. Thanks to those that read my little story, or maybe not so little. I was at work yesterday from noon to midnight, and could not respond.

    My personal theology is that we were created with a need for a connection to God. But sin has broken the connection and separated us from God. We are broken and many sense the broken-ness and spend their lives looking for the connection.

    I like to explain it with analogies. One is the example of the television. Its purpose is to present entertainment. But, if it isn’t connected to the cable or the satellite or an antenna, the TV can’t properly perform its function. Some TVs don’t realize that and try to act like a television even though they are not connected. But without a true signal, all a TV can do is display static and noise. Only by being connected to a signal source does a TV function in the manner it was intended by its creator.

    Or take the example of a cell phone. They were created to communicate by voice or text. But without a plan from some carrier such as AT&T or Verizon, they don’t function properly. You can charge up the battery and play games or maybe use the calculator, but without a phone plan, a cell phone is not able to perform the function it was designed for.

    Now imagine the TV or cell phone were conscious. They would be vaguely aware that they have a purpose, but without a signal or a phone plan, they could not perform as intended by their creator no matter how hard they try. Would they seek out the connection and try all kinds of crazy things to fill the void of missing function.

    That is the problem the protagonist in my story has. He knows something is missing. It is not just that he lost his father, although the idea of an earthly father and a heavenly father are connected in how we are built or “wired.” He knows something is missing and his life is spent in pursuit of something to fill the void.

    The reason the story is so long is that I wanted to represent all the different things people do to try to fill the void from athletic competition to wealth and fame and sexual companionship to good works and even trying to fill the void with nothing by shunning all possessions. But none of these things work until the main character finally finds the living waters.

    I wanted the end to be somewhat mysterious because the process does contain mystery. Just how we are filled with the holy sprit and the meaning of communion is a mystery. I even included a little evangelism and hinted at baptism. Water certainly is a good vehicle or analogy to tell the story. After all, those are Christ’s words about water.

    It was just a fun little experiment I did in some free time. I work and go to school and usually don’t have much free time. There was a brief vacation from school this last week and I wrote up this story that had been forming in my head for a while. I finished it on Friday and waited anxiously for the Open Blogging to share it. I thought this audience would find meaning in the story.

    I don’t plan to publish or sell the story. I think the idea is good, but I’m not a good writer and it is very repetitious as I beat the reader over the head with the “thirsty again” theme.

    I don’t think it will be another “Blue Like Jazz” or “The Shack.” It was just fun to write and fun to have other people read. I don’t know if I broke Alex’s record for the most consecutive posts or not. I knew it was long and imagined posting a few chapters at a time and having people read and comment like it was a serial from the old Saturday matinee movies. But I had to get to work at noon, so I just dumped it all on the blog and ran.

    Hope some of you found time to read it and enjoyed it. At least it was fun for me.

    – John

  51. Not just kind words, Brian. I may be a simp but this is what I believe. You are a genius trapped in a terribly painful past. God is doing love therapy on you. As you have compassion on those you pity He is healing you. Who shall deliver you from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ.

  52. I agree with Gary @ 52. Brian, I’ve been here since 2006 or 07. I sometimes have a hard time reading your posts because I am no where near the man that you are. I wonder if you know how loved and respected you are here. Which would beg another question…

  53. Jim I often struggle with your fist point am I a man, I even struggle with am I even human. A gift from my former limited experience. I had grown so use to hearing how we, all of us, were Hitler Jr’s in the waiting and we were so horrid we would kill at the drop of a hat. I get the reason for this, we need to emphasis our depravity, so that we dont get uppity and even cross the line that we might commit the most vile of sins, we might hope. I had a long diatribe replete with rhetoric and other such nonsense. I just want my family to be saved and those I worked with to have eternal life, I agree that is selfish and even pathetic but it is the hope I long for. Basically I just want our Father to love us. No Jim I am not the man you are, I admire you and want to echo you in my life.

  54. Brian,

    I’d be happy to share my uglier traits, although many are self evident. I’m not sure what purpose it would serve, so I get we’ll just keep admiring one another.

  55. Be careful. You could get shot down.

  56. Gary,

    Who?

    How?

    What???

  57. If a gay man was celibate he would be sexually pure. I don’t believe such a person exists.

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