Friday, December 24, 2010

Undead Redemption-An Evangelistic Zombie Tale

Warning: Intended for Mature Readers. Content may not be suitable for all age groups.

Date and Time Uncertain: Sinderella Corp Secret Lab

Scientist Zath Whedon stood shaking outside of Rezon Hadad’s personal laboratory. This was no ordinary lab. There were no windows and only one way out. The sole exit was through a steel security door with some sort of kill switch on the right side, four feet from the floor. Zath Whedon wondered what all the fuss was about. He was just supposed to be working on some life enhancement drug called SinTech for his friend, and vice president of the Sinderella Corp, Hadad. What happened in that room was not what Whedon had signed up for. Forty-five of what used to be considered rabbits had all simultaneously changed in front of his eyes. Immediately he knew why all of the security measures had been put in place. These cute little guys were the test animals for SinTech and up until six and a half minutes ago, everything was great. The SinTech had made the rabbits some of the most beautiful animals the scientist had ever seen. That all changed when the first one busted through its cage. A look of horror overcame Zath as one by one the rabbits escaped their cages and their shiny coat of fur was shed to show what SinTech had really been doing to them. Zath bolted for the door, slammed it shut, and hit the kill switch not even knowing what it did. He just knew that he wanted to kill the rabbits. Behind the four inch thick door, the room filled with gas he came to find out later. Zath would have to tell someone what happened here and tell them quick. Sinderella Corp had already been distributing SinTech to humans. Thousands and thousands of humans. That would be a lot harder to deal with without a sealed room and a kill switch.

Dec 29th 2010 20:22 Behind The Twisted Spoke

There was one man who had the cure. One man who could have saved thousands, if not millions, of lives if only he had spoken up when he had the chance. Axel Whiterain would trade anything to go back in time and fix this but that was not an option. In fact, options were not something he had much of anymore. They were limited to his Beretta 9mm pistol that had no more ammo, which he got from home, and a shotgun chambered with his last shell that he took off of a previously brave individual. Not really an option. It would be the shotty and he would take one of the infected with him if they got to him. He caught some movement in his peripheral vision. A shadow darted across the puddle, momentarily blocking out the reflection of the Christmas lights above. He wasn’t sure why a Hell’s Angel biker bar would decorate for the birth of the Savior of the world but that didn’t matter to Axel. The alley behind The Twisted Spoke offered the only place to hide for now. He looked down and noticed some Gospel tracts scattered on the ground. They had probably blown off of the vehicles that were left in the bar parking lot. Religious types left them to try to get “the message” out. The tracts made him think again how he could have stopped all of this if he had just done what he was supposed to do. The sound of arms banging on an alarming car brought his attention back to the situation. The undead horde hated the sound of alarms so they would stick around until they made it stop. Axel would have to wait for the horde to pass and hope they couldn’t smell his fear. He could smell them. They smelled like death mixed with sulfur. “99 cent store potpourri didn’t smell this bad” Axel thought as he tried not to chuckle. As that horrid scent wafted through his nostrils, Axel regained his focus, “If I could just make it to Sinderella Corp (his place of employment for the last 10 months) I might be able to get into the armory”. He, after ten months of wondering, now knew why they had one. Sinderella Corp was the only place that he could go. Hospitals, schools, police stations, even military bases had all been compromised. That was the only place he would be safe. Ironic since that was where the outbreak started four days ago. Definitely not the safest place to be at that time. Thanks to what he knew, Axel wasn’t there when it all went down.

December 25th 2010 21:30 Sinderella Corp Christmas Party

The Sinderella Corp Christmas party played the part of a discrete Ground Zero. A light, non-religious, holiday jingle came from the speakers and the whole place was pristinely decorated with garland and lights. There were several mistletoe hung about the place and there was one giant Christmas tree in the center of the humongous conference room. At the request of the Diversity & Inclusion department, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa were represented as well with a six foot tall Menorah and several men dressed in Dashikis and holding chalices full of Kikombe cha Umoja. At least a couple thousand employees, all except for Axel Whiterain, along with their friends and family gathered to celebrate the year’s successes. Sinderella Corp, whose motto was “All of your dreams will come true”, specialized in a life enhancing pharmaceuticals. Their latest product was called SinTech. SinTech was designed to bring a better life to people through wealth, beauty, relationships etc; all the while enabling them not care about any eternal consequences. A dream come true, as promised by the company motto, for those who wanted to live however they wanted. And, seemingly, it did work for a short while. This wonder drug had only been out since late last year and had definitely impacted the people who had used it for what they thought was the good. The employees of Sinderella Corp could obtain SinTech freely for themselves as well as for their friends and family. They were all having the time of their lives. By the time this Christmas party hit, who knows how many people had tried SinTech. The number had to be in the hundreds of thousands if not millions. All these people were living it up, unaware of the consequences the SinTech would bring. Rezon Hadad, the vice president of the company knew. The only other person at Sinderella Corp who knew about the effects of the drug was Zath Whedon, Hadad’s personal scientist. When Whedon threatened to go to the higher ups with the lab results, Hadad took care of it in his own way. He couldn’t let those above him in on his schemes though they were suspicious. Rezon remembered laughing when they insisted on having an armory put in the basement after rumors emerged about violent, experimental animals. They were on to him. Whedon must have told somebody something. Probably one of the other scientists. It didn’t matter. Zath Whedon was gone and there was no other hard evidence. Anyway, the time was here and it was no surprise to Rezon when the first few at the party started to get sick. One by one each festively dressed member at the party who had regularly taken Hadad’s creation became violently ill. Family members and friends at the party who accompanied them that had never partaken had a look of panic. More and more of the affected people started shaking, their bodies contorting and twisting violently as they shrieked in pain. Finally, those unaffected by SinTech came to their senses and began to run for the doors. It was too late. Rezon Hadad had trapped them in the building. They too would be infected. Within the hour every Sinderella Corp employee, save Axel Whiterain, and their guests would all be infected.

October 19th 2010 19:37 Sinderella Corp Main Hallway

Axel Whiterain started working at Sinderella Corp in February. Landing a gig as the accountant for the largest pharmaceutical company in the Midwest seemed to be the perfect job for him. Axel had worked hard throughout high school to get into the University of Illinois’ school of accounting. They were the best in the nation in that field. Axel was a gamer through and through and fortunately for him he was always able to excel in high school and college in spite of his hobby. Axel preferred hobby over addiction though most of his friends and co-workers used the latter when describing his Call of Duty playing time. Late nights, like this one, at his new job had cut into this time significantly but with Black Ops coming out in November he would have to find a way to work it out. Axel, Mr. Whiterain as his boss Rezon Hadad called him, was making his way out when he heard yelling coming from down the hall. As he made his way closer to the shouts that were coming from the Executive Offices, he was enlightened to their content. It seems that Hadad had not revealed everything there was to know about their most recent drug, SinTech, to the big bosses. Hadad’s lead scientist was named Zath Whedon. Axel had only seen him in passing and only knew what he sounded like now. The first and last time Axel would hear the scientist’s voice, though neither he nor Zath knew that. Neither man knew that Rezon would be disposing of his scientist “friend” as if he were a filthy rag. Axel wanted to leave for fear of getting caught but if this was real he had to find out more. Sitting in the hallway, he was exposed to about a thirty minute dose of reality. Facts came out through the argument about the failed testing of SinTech in rabbits and that the same failed results would occur in humans as well within the next couple of months. The hardest truth to swallow was that there was no cure. No one realized that they needed one. Only Hadad knew the whole truth. Rezon Hadad had promoted SinTech as a life enhancing, cure-all, miracle drug when it was actually a deadly virus. He had them all where he wanted them, even Mr. Whiterain. They had all tried SinTech. From the CEO to the janitor to the accountant. By Christmas they would all be undead versions of themselves and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

December 29th 22:44 Road to Sinderella Corp

When Axel was certain the horde had moved on he ventured out towards the street. He could see a red glow that accompanied the words, “Sinderella Corp”, on the cities’ tallest tower which seemed so far but was only a couple blocks from his location. Axel looked around at all the cars. He could use one of them to get the armory. His conscience surprisingly would not let him take any of the locked cars even though he was sure no one would care. I guess it’s true that God’s law is written on our hearts. “Though shall not steal” Axel mumbled as he looked around. Finally he saw what would be his mode of transportation. A yellow taxi cab with its interior light on was in the intersection at a 45 degree angle. The driver door was open and the driver was lying half in, half out of the car. Axel pulled Minhaal Hussein (the name on the dashboard) from the car. He looked to make sure the keys were in the ignition before sliding in. They were. As Axel started up the car, he wondered if Minhaal had given a ride to any of the undead horde. The cab smelled horrible. Whether they rode in it or not, they got to him somehow. Axel reached under the seat and, as suspected, he found a weapon. A Kimber 45 pistol, fully loaded to be exact. Apparently Mr. Hussein had not had time to grab it before they got to him. Axel placed the pistol in his lap to make sure that would not happen to him. He fired up the car and headed towards Sinderella Corp. With any luck he would make it there witho—“THOMP!” The taxi cab struck the first one then Axel saw the rest of them. He looked back and saw an undead mess rolling off the back of the car, landing with the same "thomp" sound it made when it hit the car. He looked frontward again just in time to see the second one smack the windshield. Axel grabbed the wheel tightly and made sure he was lined up with the rest of the horde. Two months ago, he sealed their fate by not telling them about the cure, now he had to finalize their demise. He wanted to take out as many as he could with the vehicle since a fully loaded Kimber 45 magazine only holds 10 rounds. Conservation would be key when he got to his old place of work in case there was any kind of a remnant. He managed to take out most of the ones blocking the street with the front of the stinky yellow cab and the ones he didn’t hit fell over as a result of being too close to the impact. The gamer in him immediately thought of a zombie bowling game he had played on Steam one time. Zombie Bowl-a-Rama if he remembered right. If he had just shared the cure, he could be home playing the game right now. As he pulled up to Sinderella Corp, Axel saw more than a few stragglers at the bottom floor windows scratching and clawing to try to get back in. They were making a horrible noise collectively. He didn’t know what a VW Bug being dragged by a train would sound like but this could be close. What were they looking at?

April 1st 2010 11:45 Sinderella Corp Break Room

Axel had put off taking SinTech for the first couple of months that he worked at Sinderella Corp. Peer pressure was a tough thing especially coming from the prettiest girl in HR, Marissa Adams. Axel had managed to stay away from drugs, even alcohol, throughout college but somehow this one seemed so harmless. “Marissa seemed to be getting the most out of it”, Axel thought as he reexamined her appearance. Lust is the same as adultery in Jesus’ eyes he reminded himself. After the first few times without success, her tempts were just too much for Axel to bear. Tempted as he was he still had a way out. Saying “no” was the escape but Axel didn’t use it in time. “Look what it’s doing for me”, she added. Axel couldn’t disagree. He looked into her green eyes and, as if in a trance, popped his first dose of SinTech. He felt immediately two things. He shouldn’t have done that, and where could he get more. Only two months in the company and he was letting them affect him and not vice versa. Not how Axel had envisioned it. He had always been the leader, the trendsetter. Now, for whatever reason, the appeal of something that shouldn’t have appealed to Axel drew him away from the truths that until now had been engrained in him. Sure, Axel and his co-workers would enjoy the effects of SinTech for a while but there had to be some sort of repercussions he thought. The thought lasted only a moment as one of SinTech’s effects is not thinking of consequences, eternal or otherwise. Still, this had to be too good to be true but he no longer cared. There was almost nothing now that could change that he liked it and wanted to get some more. All after one dose.

October 19th 2010 20:09 Damascus Street

Axel stormed out the front door of Sinderella Corp after he couldn’t listen to Hadad and Whedon talk anymore without fear of being caught. He thought back to April when he had first tried SinTech. April 1st. Axel wished more than anything that this was all just a bad April fools joke. So many thoughts ran through his head. He tried to fight back thoughts about his body being a temple and being a good steward with what God had given him. The thoughts overtook him. “Why did I ever try this? I had perfect health and what I thought was a great job. I was never short of happiness, only righteousness” Panic started to overtake him. Tears filled Axel’s eyes and he could hardly see the road in front of him. Axel could barely drive anymore when he had to slam the brakes of his 2006 Mazda 3. Out of nowhere a man in a white trench coat stood in the path of the small foreign car. It was all Axel could do to not swear. Swearing wasn’t something that Axel normally did anyhow, especially if it involved blasphemy. He always remembered his dad telling him that “God won’t hold anyone blameless who misuses His name.” Right now Axel was so freaked out by the man in the road that he didn’t even know if he wanted to swear. If he did, he didn’t know if it was because he was mad at himself for taking SinTech or scared because he almost smeared this nicely dressed man all over Damascus Street. Axel jumped out of the car and yelled, “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!?” The man calmly walked around the car to Axel and grabbed his arm. This mysterious stranger began talking. Time stood still. Not a moving car or person walking in sight. Axel could not believe all that this man knew about him. He told Axel everything about himself, including that he was infected with SinTech. Axel was floored. Who was this? Whoever it was knew about Sinderella Corp. He knew about Hadad’s plan. Most importantly to Axel was that the man knew about SinTech. The man handed Axel a bright red pill. He told Axel that he had sold everything he had to find a way to cure SinTech. The man had even lost his son in the process of finding the cure. The pill that this stranger in white gave Axel looked like a ball of shimmering blood but with nothing to hold it in the shape of a ball. Weird. The man said that the pill would cure Axel of SinTech’s effects and that he would be unable to be infected again after the outbreak. Axel reluctantly swallowed the pill. The man left a case full of the antidote and told Axel to make sure that he tells all the people who have used SinTech that he has the cure for the sickness. Axel said that he would tell everyone he knew and that he was grateful for this gift. Axel lied.

December 25th 2010 22:07 Horde on the loose

“Now it’s a party”, Rezon Hadad laughed as he watched the horde make its way out the front doors of Sinderella Corp. Once nicely dressed men and women now clothed with rotting flesh, clawing at each other to be the first ones out of the building. The true effect of SinTech had shown its ugly head. The infected were weeping and gnashing their teeth. They wanted out. Each of the bloodied, decaying party goers were pushing and shoving to get through the door. It was like a bizarre Black Friday and they were the first ones in line to get the best deals on victims. Fifteen minutes after they had all made it out, the city went into chaos. Thousands of people, undead because of the effects of SinTech, were now spread out all over the massive city. They sought out victims of all shapes and sizes, infecting the whole city before the night was over. By New Year’s Eve, the whole country would be infected. Car by car, house by house the horde went. Not one door was left on it's hinges. The SinTech horde went about the city like some sort of undead Gestapo destroying everything and everyone in their path just like the root word in the drug’s moniker….Sin. Rezon Hadad, possessed with power, could not be happier.

December 29th 2010 23:13 Sinderella Corp Front Entrance

“POP, SNAP, CRACK!” That’s not a slogan for a kid’s breakfast cereal. That was the sound made by and undead person’s head hitting glass after being thrown forward by a round from a Kimber 45. Axel had picked the one closest to the door to test out the theory that headshots were the best way to kill a zombie. He never figured any video game would train him for real life situations but the hours Axel put into Left 4 Dead just proved to him otherwise. He was down to nine shots. He had left behind the shotgun so he could have mobility since he only had one shot left anyway. Besides, he was headed to an armory. Axel kept running from the taxi to the front door of Sinderella Corp. The zombies were still looking inside, making his approach easier than he thought it would have been. “POP POP” the two on the other side of the door folded like cheap suits. In what seemed like one motion, Axel hurdled the falling corpses, swiped his access card, then finished off an overzealous zombie that had made its way over from where the first one that Axel had popped was leaning on the glass. Thou shall not kill ran through his synapses. “I killed them the minute I hated them” Axel thought as he slipped through the door. To say that he didn’t hate them in their current state would be a lie. Axel, however, was thinking back to when he could have shared the cure. How much do you have to hate someone to have a cure for death and not share it with them? He realized that he had lost count of how many shots he had fired. He recounted the shots in his head and then as if he had OCD dropped the clip from the weapon and counted anyway. Four shots was what he came up with. The visual check verified it, there were six bullets left in the Kimber. These six shots would have to get him to the armory. He looked around to see what the undead outside were chomping at the bit to get back inside for but he saw nothing. Maybe someone had made it through the Christmas party outbreak unscathed. Axel hoped and prayed that if there was indeed a survivor and they had made it to the armory they didn’t have an itchy trigger finger. He’d made it this far, the last thing he would need is friendly fire.

December 22nd 16:20 Sinderella Corp-Depraved Accounting

The Sinderella Corp Christmas party was now only three days away. It had been a little over two months since Axel Whiterain received the cure for the SinTech Virus. He had his reasons, excuses really, why he didn’t tell everyone he had a cure. One was that he thought his boss, Rezon Hadad, would fire him or worse. Just ask Zath Whedon. Another reason was what if the person just wanted to be happy with what they had? Perhaps nothing bad would happen. Maybe everyone who took SinTech would be fine most of their lives and just die on their appointed day like everyone else. Ten out of ten die anyway. Axel might as well let these people enjoy living it up. As hard as he tried to justify not sharing the cure, none of the excuses sat right with Axel. He knew what he was supposed to do and didn’t do anything. “He who knows the good to do and does not do it sins” was all he could think of at this moment. Yet still he just sat there. Thousands of people could be headed for death by New Years and Axel didn’t care enough to tell them how to avoid it. Everyone in the company had left already with the exception of Axel’s boss, Hadad. Hadad had given the whole company the remainder of the week off before the Christmas party. Axel walked out of the building. He looked back toward Sinderella Corp to see Rezon Hadad staring back at him with a look of sheer evil from the fourth floor window. Axel walked over to the dumpster and threw away the brief case containing the SinTech vaccine. He was saved from the virus, what did it matter now? It was too late for the others anyway, he thought. Axel looked back up to the window and though he couldn’t hear it, he could see Hadad laughing. Axel thought he could see a tail and a pitchfork but Hadad didn’t need either. He was the devil in the flesh and he had won this battle though the war was won long ago. Dejected, Axel went home and started to prepare for the worst. He grabbed his 9mm pistol and sat down on his couch. He played a few rounds of “Sticks & Stones” on the new Call of Duty, and then he drifted off to sleep right where he was at on the sofa.

December 29th 2010 23:32 Sinderella Corp-The Armory

Axel made it to the armory with his six remaining bullets. That was good. Right next to the armory there was a security room with a bulletproof glass window. He heard them coming now. Axel fumbled for his key card. He dropped it once before finally getting it to swipe correctly. Red light. Access denied. He tried three more times before trying his card on the security room just to the left of the armory. Green light. He was in in a flash and he landed four out of six of his remaining bullets for headshots before shutting the door. Axel looked out the window to the left as no less than twenty undead headed in his direction. Leading the way was a less than attractive Marissa Adams. Her skin was badly decomposed and most of her hair was gone but those green eyes were unmistakable. Those were the eyes that helped fool him into taking SinTech to begin with. “What was I thinking?” screamed Axel. As the remnant horde approached the small secure room, Axel saw what they had been after before he had arrived. A small boy, no more than 10 years old stood to the right of the window. There was nothing Axel could do. He was out of bullets. If he opened the door, he and the boy would both be dead. The small boy looked terrified. He ran up to the window and started screaming to Axel, “HELP, HELP, HELP!” All Axel could do was lay down and cry. Axel, the room, and most importantly the little boy were surrounded by the angry horde. Over his own crying Axel heard the boy scream again, “HELP ME, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY, HELP MEEEEE!!!”

December 24th 2010 13:12 Chicago-Oakbrook Mall

“HELP ME, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY, HELP MEEEEE!!!” Axel Whiterain looked up to see a young boy screaming for help. The child, who had been sitting on a bus bench drinking cocoa, was the first to come to Axel's aid. The two of them were surrounded by a crowd of people who had come to see what was going on. Axel had gone downtown to get some last minute Christmas shopping done. He was crossing the slippery Chicago street right around sunset. A car that could not see the red light because of the sun behind it struck Axel and knocked him out for about ten minutes. He sat up, panicked, looking for his Kimber 45. It took Axel several moments to realize that it had all been a dream, a nightmare really. This dream, however, was actually a wake up call for Axel. He had been saved by the grace of God ten months ago by repenting of his sins and trusting in Jesus. Jesus died on the cross for his sins and rose again three days later, defeating death so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Axel had never shared the amazing story of God’s love and grace with anyone since he had received this wonderful gift almost a year ago. As he looked around at all the surrounding people and the ones in the cars and shops and on the sidewalks, they reminded him of the undead horde from his dream. All of them were walking around enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season but inevitably one day they would all die in those sins. Apart from Jesus they would go to Hell. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Axel remembered. Axel knew the cure for sin and death and he had never shared it with anyone. That was all going to change starting now. It took getting hit by a car to realize the importance of the Great Commission for Axel Whiterain that day. Axel was already standing when the ambulance arrived. He had only sustained some minor bruises and a small cut on his left arm but he had a throbbing headache. The ambulance driver asked him, “are you sure you’re ok? You could have died today?” Axel responded, “we all could, where will you go if it happens to you?”

Present Day Anytown USA

Look around you. Your friends, family, and strangers are walking around in a sort of “undead” stupor. They are walking around blinded by Satan to the effects of sin (2 Corinthians 4:4). Are you going to throw their cure away with depraved indifference or will you be obedient and give them the cure that they so desperately need? 150,000 people die every day. Every one of them has either lied, stolen, hated, blasphemed, or looked with lust and will have to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Most of them will die thinking that they didn’t need Jesus because he has been marketed as some life enhancing crutch for those who can’t deal with or are unhappy with this life. The truth is everyone needs Jesus. He was God in human flesh and he took all of our aforementioned sins upon Himself on the cross of Calvary. Repenting and putting your faith in Jesus isn’t going to immediately make peoples lives better. Jesus died because we are not righteous, not because we are not happy. Most people are perfectly happy in their sins. Sin is fun or Satan wouldn’t stand a chance. If you have repented of your sins and put your faith in Jesus, you have a standing order to share that gift of God's forgiveness with others. It’s called the Great Commission. Romans 10:14 tells us How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? This Christmas and this coming year, be that someone. Preach to people. Let people hear about Jesus. Be obedient, otherwise how will they know. The ball is in your court. “Go ye therefore.”

Joy to the Word

Matthew 18:3 And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

'Twas The Night Before Jesus Came'

'Twas The Night Before Jesus Came'

written by Unknown Author

'Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house
Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed.
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.

When out of the East there arose such a clatter.
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray
I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!

The light of His face made me cover my head
It was Jesus! returning just like He had said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;
When He said "it's not here" my head hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without a sound.
While all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but it was too late;
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There's only one life and when comes the last call
We'll find that the Bible was true after all!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Holidays

Most people have been sucked into this politically correct December greeting of, "Happy Holidays". Anything to avoid acknowledging Christ right? In acknowledging his birth they also have to deal with their conscience and the fact that they are not inherently good. This doesn't mix well with them because the last few weeks of doing "good" acts such as shopping for people, having people over to their houses for gatherings and maybe even attending their yearly Mass or Church service only serve to make them feel better about themselves at a time when we all should remember how wretched we are. At a time when we should remember that God came to earth, took on flesh, and absorbed the punishment for all of us on that Roman cross. It's a shame that people have tried to do away with the birth of Christ by not saying Merry Christmas anymore. The problem for non-believers is that He was born and no matter how many thoughtful gifts they've bought this year, no matter how many nice things they have done, they are still not good enough in God's eyes. Isaiah tells us that even our most righteous acts are like filthy rags to God. God gave us Jesus as a gift and we give filthy rags to try to please Him? That's like bringing someone an expensive gift they could never afford and they run to the bathroom and bring you back the washcloth they used to clean up with before you got there. And maybe these people are wonderful all year. That's great in Santa's eyes if you are trying to stay off of the naughty list. In God's eyes, however, one lie makes you a liar and all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire. One theft makes you a thief and no thief will inherit the Kindgodm. Maybe you said OMG when you got a gift. God will not hold anyone blameless who misuses His name. That's just 3 of the 10 commandments. I'd say most of us would be in big trouble if we were to die today or if we were to get hit by a drunk driver on New Years Eve and walk off this planet into judgment. Where does that leave us then? With the greatest gift ever known to man, Jesus Christ. He took the punishment for every lie blasphemy and theft we've ever committed. Every hateful thought and lustful look was cast upon Him on the cross. He got off the cross and three days later rose again, defeating death; giving the gift of eternal life to those who would repent and put their trust in Him. Even at the risk of offending some, He's worth saying Merry Christmas for! One thing you can do is to use happy holidays as a springboard. Ask the person which holiday are they wanting to be happy for themselves. Maybe it's a Jewish person you are talking to. Use God's Law to show them their need for Jesus. Maybe it's an athiest. Stir their conscience a bit. What do they have to be hopeful for this season? What is a store bought gift in comparison with having all your sins washed away by God Himself. If you guys are at gathering, you will most likely have the floor for the obligatory prayer. Make use of it. Mention the birth, perfect life, death and resurrection in the prayer. Share the gospel in that time and end it in Jesus' name. Let's not just take it on the chin this year guys, take the gospel to the world. If you are just doing Christmas for the tree and the gifts, get back on track here. Santa isn't coming to town but Jesus could return any time like a thief in the night. Are you ready? Are your friends? Family? The greatest gift fits in no box, can not be found in stores, and fits under no tree. Hand the gospel out freely this year and, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Day In the Park

The following is a story that I wrote for a christian writing contest. I did not win but the story got good response from those who read it so I wanted to share with you guys. Congratulations to Robert Kelly from VA. His story, "Firefighter's Legacy", won the grand prize.

Alan McManus sat on the park bench on this cold winter morning, looking at the people surrounding him through sad eyes. Sad because he knew their destiny. Sad because he did not have the courage to share with them how to change their eternal fate. They didn’t look much different than he did. They really didn’t act much different. Most of them were actually better people in the world’s eyes. The only difference was the hope of eternal life he had which comforted him through most of adulthood. Now he sat there, holding on to this comfort, unable to give it to people headed for an awful place if they were to die today.

There was a time when he would have shared this good news, no problem. Today was not that time. He just sat there, as if restrained, not able to get the words out. He caught some movement out of the corner of his eye. A small child was wandering toward the street. The bus that was coming didn’t seem to notice or care. That toddler wouldn’t be much of an obstacle for it. Alan didn’t care either. Is this what he had become? Had his complacency for the Great Commission carried over to real-world life and death situations and not just the spiritual? Just as the child reached the curb, a nearby Good Samaritan grabbed the child as her mother ran frantically toward the event. Another life saved by someone doing what they ought. Another life saved, no thanks to Alan. He just sat there, as one escaping through the flames, wishing he was what he used to be.

Alan wanted to get up and leave but something kept him there. He sat wishing that he was the child who was wandering foolishly toward the bus. Did he deserve life after today? Eternal life? How long had it been since he shared? He felt as if he had to do something. The jacket he was wearing wasn’t nearly warm enough for the weather this morning. He wrapped his arms around his sides and tried to leave. He wanted so badly to get up but could not. He looked around to see what was holding him down. Had these leather straps been on this park bench the whole time? They were keeping him from the people who desperately needed him to share the good news. Seemingly good people who were headed for a fiery eternity apart from…Jesus. Jesus. The name that got him where he was at.

Parkwood Mental Institute was the “park” where Alan sat, strapped to his wheel chair and wearing a straightjacket. He had ended up there after the Rapture of the church. The news reported the disappearance of the millions of people from the Earth as alien abductions but he knew better. Alan once thought he walked with the Lord.  He knew about the Rapture, how the church would be “caught up” with Jesus. Alan wasn’t ready when that happened. He was one who had to run back to get oil for his lamp as one of the Parables said. Somewhere along the line, this apparent repentant and faithful man was revealed to be someone who was simply going to church once in a while. Alan knew he had missed this phenomenon spoken of in the Bible. It had happened on a Saturday night. The next morning, he was the only one who showed up in the Church parking lot.

From then on, Alan tried desperately to help people understand what had really happened. Most just shrugged him off or ignored him. Others, important others, took notice and wanted him silenced. They found their chance when he would not receive a mark on his right hand or his forehead. He was arrested and taken in for evaluation. The authorities figured a guy who did not want to have a way to eat or to buy things had to be crazy. That diagnosis sealed his fate and his trip to Parkwood. Every day he sat there wishing he had another chance at his life. Another chance to share with others who might have been saved as well. For now, it’s just a day in the park.