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    000 years ago, God had sent his only beloved Son into the world to save mankind from their sins. The works of the devil have been destroyed, and Satan was defeated when Jesus died for the sins of mankind. Despite his defeat, the devil still deceives the children of men. In the late year of the 2000's, there is a large academy hidden to most mortals, and there is a gathering of witches, and they are having a discussion.
    These witches were heavily demonic influenced, and each was a mouth beast for a demon, but the leader of this academy was as pale as snow. Her teeth were as black as night, and her eyes screamed evil. This witch had a shadow that seemed almost touchable. This witch's name was Dezath.
    "These Christians have been a spike in my side for too long. They openly mock our master and deceive others to fellow their weak god. We need to think of a plan to deceive the foolish." Her voice had many voices, and it was like the voices of demons. The voice was deep, and dark like it is from the pits of hell.
    One witch decided to rise from her seat, and said unto her fellow witches." Let us make a new deception. Beyond, we can send fellow witches, and warlocks out in the world to bring them under the influence of our master's power. Let's send our mages to the celebrities, and have them cast miracles that they may worship our master."
    There was, even more, chatter between the witches, and one proposed." We have the Catholic church to deceive the masses. Let's spread a lie that repentance is not needed and that you just need to believe in God. We shall tell them that they can keep on sinning." 
    Afterwards, the witches brought up their suggestion to their master who is Satan, and Satan traveled up to the third heaven and approached the throne of God. Around God was like some light that even Satan had to stop, and maintain his distance.
    God said unto Satan." Where does thou come from?" His voice was as smooth as water, and there was authority in his voice.
    Satan responded to God saying."  Going across the earth to see who I may devour. I am the god of this world, and your foolish creation loves to worship me. Even if I show myself fully until them, they will bend their knees to me for I am a god!" There was nothing, but hatred in the voice of the devil.
    God responded to Satan." Very well, go into the Earth, and bring a strong delusion that they will believe a lie, and be damned. Satan immediately left and returned to the Earth.
    While Satan and his demons were running wild on the Earth, there was a young teenager running, because she was pressed for time.
    "Please Jesus, don't let me be late." The wins blew her beautiful brown hair, and she lost her footing and fell head first into a puddle of mud. The mud got on her beautiful hair, and onto her shirt, and a small part of her pants.
    "Dang it! Now, what are people going to say about this? I will look like a complete mess." Sarah said out of annoyance, and worry.
    However, a red-headed female that was about her age came running towards Emily, and decided that she will help her up." Sister, take my hand, and it seems that you made a mistake." This redheaded female said as Emily grabbed her hand, and rose up to her feet.
    "Thank you very much, but what am I going to do with these clothes?" Emily said as she was still worried, but the red-headed had a surprise for her.
    "Sister, come with me, and we can get you fixed up." The red-headed said in a calm tone.
    The duo traveled together until they arrived at a well, and other girls and boys were soon arriving as well. The well seemed to be made of brick, and by it was a bunch of buckets of water that seemed to multiply. The size of the wall was quite large, and water seemed to overflow from it, despite there already being buckets of water. On the brick, there was a bible verse that said. "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you."
    The red-headed said unto Emily." Sister, I will wash your feet, and your entire body will be clean." Emily was confused at first, but then remembered then that Bible verse that was on the brick repeated itself in her head.
    Emily's eyes had widened a bit, and she realized what she had to do. So, he took off her blue sneakers, along with her white socks, and placed them on the side, and as she was about to lay down on the ground, a chair appeared under her, so that she would sit in the warm wooden chair. 
    The redhead brought a bucket that was full of cold water, and the water seemed clear like crystal."  Let's get started, my sister." The redhead said as she grabbed one of Emily's foot, and brought it over the bucket.
    As she started to wash Emily's feet, Emily felt that the water was so cold that she even shivered a bit. However, as the red-headed finished washing her feet, the mud that was on Emily immediately disappeared, and Emily seemed to glow with a small degree of light, and a peace came over her. This peace was out of this universe.
    "This was a test of humility huh?" Emily asked her with an eyebrow raised up.
    The redheaded girl with black eyes replied with a wide smile." Yes, it is, I thought I was the only one who figured it out by the power of the Holy Spirit.
    Emily nodded, and decided to wash the redhead's feet, and decided to ask." What is your name?"
    The redhead said unto her." My name is Victoria,  and what is your name?"
    Emily responded with a smile saying with a eager tone." My name is Emily, and it is a pleasure to meet you."
    The other children each had their own responses, some were too prideful to wash the feet of another, some were hesitant, and some were extremely humble, and did it immediately.
    After Emily washed Victoria's feet, the duo gathered to the gathering of students who were humble in this test. They proceeded to take out their Bibles from their bags, and said in a loud, and unified voice." Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength, and mount on the wings of eagles!"
    Immediately, large eagle wings appeared on the backs of the humble students and carried them off into the air, and towards the location that they will be their final destination.
    "This is it, I am finally going to Deus Academy. Please, Lord Jesus, give me the strength to do well, and please you, my Lord."

    Hannah K. :)

          If serenity could be captured in a picture, the scene of snow falling gently onto the ground would be a good candidate.

        If only their lives had been that calm these past two months. Waking up in a hospital room not knowing who he was, watching the woman who called herself his wife burst into tears when he’d said he didn’t know her, and the kids’ faces when they were told their daddy couldn’t remember them . . .

        Oliver, as he’d been told was his name, peeked inside the baby’s room, where he spotted Natalie rocking . . .Lily? Laila? 

        He frowned. He’d remembered his wife’s name, but not his daughter’s. He stepped inside, and Natalie looked up as he approached. “Are the other kids in bed?” she asked. 

        “Almost,” Oliver replied. “One of the boys is still brushing his teeth. I think it’s . . .um, it’s Ethan?”

        A ghost of a smile appeared on his wife’s face. She nodded, tucking a strand of red hair behind her ear. “He goes by EJ though,” she said. “To avoid confusion because we named him after my dad.”

        “Oh. Okay, that-that makes sense. What's the 'j’ for?”

        “John. After my paternal grandfather.”

        “Okay.” Oliver glanced at the baby. “Her name starts with an L, right?”

        “Yeah. It’s Laila.”

        “Thought so,” Oliver said, starting to back out of the room. “I’m, uh, gonna say goodnight to EJ.” He turned from the doorway and had barely stepped into the next room when he heard EJ’s voice pipe up.

        “Dear God, thank you for today, and for the snow. We’re gonna have a lot of fun tomorrow playing in it! And maybe I won’t fall off the sled this time!”

        He must be talking about last year, Oliver thought, as the snow outside was the first of the season. He peeked around the door frame, where he spotted the eight-year old, kneeling in front of his bed and with his red hair sticking up on all sides.

        “I know I’ve been saying I want my two front teeth back for Christmas,” EJ continued. “But I don’t care about them anymore. Now all I want for Christmas is for Dad to have his memories back, so he can remember us.”

        Oliver swallowed, though it did nothing to dissolve the growing lump in his throat.

        “Thank You, Jesus. Amen!” 

        Peeking inside, Oliver spotted EJ climbing into bed. “Hey,” he said. EJ looked up, and a wide grin spread across his face. 

        “Hi, Dad!” He said.

        Oliver came inside, and sat on the edge of the bed. “Did you brush your teeth real good?”

        “Yeah,” EJ said. “I brushed ‘em for two minutes! Just like you and Mom taught me!”

        “That’s good,” Oliver said with a small smile. “You, um, glad you didn’t have two extra teeth to brush?”

        EJ thought a moment. "Kind of," he said. "But I don't really care."

        “Okay, well . . .” Oliver sighed. “Goodnight, I guess.” He stood and looked around the room. The other two boys were already fast asleep. He started moving towards the door, and asked, “Do you want the door closed?”

        “Yeah,” EJ said as he burrowed under his covers. Oliver stopped at the doorway. Something was missing . . .something he needed to say?

        “Love you, Dad,” EJ said. 

        That must be it. “L-love you too,” Oliver replied. He closed the door, and peeked inside Laila’s room. Natalie was putting her in the crib, and when she finished and came out, Oliver said, “EJ’s in bed.”

        “Did he brush his teeth for two minutes?”

        “Yeah. Just like we . . .taught him.”

        A moment of silence passed between them, her bright blue eyes meeting his dark brown. “Goodnight, Oliver.” Natalie said, brushing past him. 

        “Goodnight.” He watched her disappear into their room at the end of the hallway, then leaned against the wall and looked up. 

        “I . . .” He swallowed, and ran a hand through his medium brown hair. “I need my memories back. Not-not just for my sake, but for Natalie's, and the kids' sakes.”

        He glanced between the doors in the hallway. “She needs her husband and they need their father,” he continued in a near-whisper. “Please, please, let me remember. I just want to remember.”

        He lingered for a moment more, then went off to bed. 

    Donald James

    Donald James

    By Donald James, in The Reading Room,


    Seek the Lord (A Prayer for Sutherland Springs)
    Seek the Lord
    in the darkness.
    Do not let the shadows
    define your journey.
    Lean on His wounds
    when anger tells you to strike back.

    Seek the Lord
    when the world says
    there is no reason for doing so.
    Kneel and pray
    for the holy ones
    and the sinners.

    Seek the Lord
    when deep voids surround you.
    He stands in the light,
    risen from an empty tomb.
    The saints of Revelation
    bask in His glory,
    evil is crushed
    under His foot.

    Seek the Lord
    in the darkness.
    Do not let the shadows of this day
    change the course of your journey.
    Cling to Him
    when it is most difficult
    to see His light.

    copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr

    Jean Chamblee

    Morning word.... "Don't be afraid to allow God to turn up the heat in your life to bring about the change He needs to move you forward into His plan for you.  Stay at His feet, embrace the heat, and let Him have His way. His ways are always for our benefit and He loves for us to grow and not stagnate. You have a destiny."

    Christine Mitchell

    When love touched my heart, it was wholesome and clean
    Reaching the places that no-one had been
    Melting the wall that had kept me secure
    Protecting emotions I’d suffered before.
    When love touched my heart, I was no more condemned
    But offered forgiveness ~ given a Friend
    To comfort and guide me, to show me the way
    To give me assurance that helped me to pray
    When Love touched my heart ~ Hope said “Arise
    I never will leave you; open your eyes
    For I’ll be your everything ~ no need to fear
    Just call My Name ~ you’ll find I am near.”
    Though dreams had been shattered and life re-arranged
    When Love shone its light ~ everything changed
    This Love was Jesus ~ my heart was won
    Just knowing that, for me, God gave His Son.
    My heart then responded and this is my story
    Christ ~ my Captain, my Saviour, my glory
    I opened the door ~ and Jesus came in.
    All-perfect is the love that  I found in Him.
    © 2015  Christine V Mitchell
    Thank You Lord

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