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  • The Reading Room

    Articles, devotionals, short stories, and other written expressions by ChristianWriters.com members

    Chaela
    shortstory

    Come and listen to my story. I am a sling. No, not the kind you wear on your sprained arm! I am a piece of leather that you use to fling rocks with. Now what could a lowly piece of leather have to say that would make you want to listen? Ah, but I have a great story to tell!
      I first came into being out in the fields. A young shepherd boy made me one day while out watching the sheep. He took great care to get me just the right shape and size. The first time I was used, a stone was slung at a scraggly bush. We didn't hit the bush every time, but when we did, the shepherd boy would holler with pleasure! For a few weeks we would practice, then I would get to listen to the shepherd boy sing and play on his harp.
        One day a huge lion took a lamb. The shepherd boy hurriedly tucked a stone in my pouch and whirled me around in the air, let go of my strap and the stone whizzed toward the lion. Thunk! It hit the lion right on the skull. The lion dizzily sank to the ground. The shepherd boy ran to the lion and grabbed the lamb from his mouth. The lion wasn't happy about that! He lunged at the boy, intent on killing him. The shepherd boy grabbed the lion by the beard and sliced him with his knife. The lion gave a great roar, but the shepherd boy didn't give up. He attacked the lion again and again, until the lion once more sank to the ground. This time, he didn't get up.
        Another time the shepherd boy had to fight off a bear. I won't tell the whole story, as it happened pretty much the same as with the lion. I will add, the shepherd boy always gave praise to his God for keeping him safe.
        One day, a servant came running to tell the shepherd boy that his father wanted him at home. I was tucked into his belt as the shepherd boy ran through the fields. When he got home there was a prophet waiting on him. This prophet of God said the strangest thing. He said that my shepherd boy would be king. Can you imagine that? A little shepherd boy becoming the king of all Israel - surely there was some mistake! My shepherd boy was chosen above all the other men standing with us. The prophet anointed the shepherd boy with oil. Some of the oil ran down on me, too. I didn't mind though. Somehow, it made me feel special.
        Not too long after the shepherd boy was anointed king of Israel,  King Saul sent for him. He wanted to hear the music that the shepherd boy played. When King Saul was in a bad mood, he would calm down after hearing the music.
        Word soon came that the Philistines had gathered together for battle at Shochoh. King Saul’s army was on the other mountain, ready for battle. The shepherd boy’s brothers had gone to battle, so he went home to care for the sheep. A few weeks later, his father sent him to see how the brothers were doing. Oh, but there was such a wealth of food in that carriage. I got thrown in on top of the cheeses that were being given to the captain. It was a bumpy ride, but we got there just fine. All of a sudden, I heard a great noise! It was so loud, it felt like the ground was shaking. The shepherd boy grabbed me and stuffed me in his belt, running toward the sound. While speaking with his brothers, a giant came out. He was so big, he blocked the sun. His voice boomed out, “Choose a man to fight me! If you win, we will be your servants, but if I win, you will be our servants. I defy the armies of Israel! “
        “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he defies the army of the living God?” asked the shepherd boy.
        “Why are you here, David?” snarled the older brother, lip curling in disgust. “Did you leave your few little sheep alone in the wilderness so you could come watch the battle?”
        “What wrong have I done, Eliab?” Sadness etched the shepherd boy’s voice. “Is there not cause to fight this giant, this mocker of the living God?”
        The shepherd boy turned to speak with the other men. Presently, word came that King Saul wanted to see him.
        “O King, tell your men not to worry about this giant. I will go fight him.” The shepherd boy's voice rang with an unearthly confidence.
        “You can't go fight the giant!” came the incredulous reply. “You are no more than a boy - the giant has been a man of war since he was young!”
        Grunts of agreement could be heard around the room.
        The shepherd boy began to tell the king about killing the lion and the bear. He ended by saying, “The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”
        “Go, and the LORD be with you.” Resignation tinged the voice of the king. “But at least wear my armor!” The king had his armor brought and place on the shepherd boy. My, but it was heavy! The coat of mail pressed into me until I felt I would be torn in two.
        “I can't wear this armor! I have never used it before. It will only be a hindrance to me.” The shepherd boy slid off the bulky armor. Pulling me out of his belt, he grabbed his staff and started toward the Philistine camp, stopping by the brook to select five smooth stones. As he drew near the camp, the giant came out. A great, raspy laugh rang through the air. “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” The giant cursed at the shepherd boy. “Come to me and I'll feed your carcass to the birds and the beasts!”
        “You come at me with a sword, a spear, and a shield,” answered the shepherd boy, “but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you defy. Today, the LORD will deliver you to me. I will kill you and take your head. The birds and beasts will feast on the flesh of your army! All the earth will know that there is a mighty God in Israel. The battle is the LORD’s!”
        With a mighty roar, the angry giant leapt toward the shepherd boy! Unafraid, the shepherd boy ran to meet him, hastily shoving his hand in his bag to grasp a stone, loading it into my pocket. He whirled me around in the air, faster, faster, faster! Swoosh! He turned my string loose and the stone slung through the air, right into the giant's forehead. The giant never knew what hit him. He slammed forward into the ground with a great crash. The shepherd boy swiftly shoved me into his belt, sprinting to the giant. As the dust settled around the giant, you could see the youth standing over him, wielding a massive sword. With one quick blow, he cut off the giant's head. Such a shout arose from the Israeli armies! Their foe was defeated. Pandemonium broke out as the Philistines fled, cries of fear ringing through the air as the Israelites charged after them. The living God of the shepherd boy had triumphed over the giant. He truly IS an awesome God!

    Njoku Vivian Chidinma
    devotionals

    Wealth creation is the potential to create the monitory value. We will examine Biblical laws of wealth creation.
     
    Many labour night and day to live in abundance, others use their brains to make money, some where born into abundance, others live in abundance at ease. Our is on  biblical principles of living in abundance at ease.
     
    2 Corinthians 8:9 states; Christ was rich, yet for your sake he became poor in order to make you rich. In another word; He left the benevolence in Heaven, the gold streets to walk on streets made with soil to lift us to His standard.

    We were made rich by the poverty of Christ. 
     
    The question most unbelievers ask is why are some Christian poor? Evangelizing to them have become so difficult because they fear, they will become poor if they accept Jesus.
     
    Some Christians are influenced by wrong doctrines and spread the wrong message of contentment. Though we are not called to be lazy, we are also not called to be possessive. We are to rest in the finished work of Christ.
     
    What does it mean to rest in the finished work of Christ?
     
    1. GIVE GOD YOUR BEST: 
     
    John 14:2; Jesus said in my Father's house there are many Mansions. The Lord used the term Mansions, not a one bedroom flat, two or three bedroom flats. He did not say there are boy squatters or duplexes, the Lord used the term Mansions. He is giving us the best, we should then give Him a Mansion service.
     
    Abel gave his best because God deserves it and he believes Jehovah is the giver of all entrusted to him. But Esau said to himself I worked hard for all I possess, why should I give God the best, I deserve the best for myself. He believed his efforts enriched him so when Abel and Esua brought their offering before the Lord. The Lord looked at the heart and rejected Esau's offering (Genesis 4). 
     
    We need to realize that the fruit we grow does not belong to us at all, but to God. God gave Adam dominion over the plantation not ownership. We are called to be managers not possessors.
     
    The parable in Luke 20:9-19; a man planted a Vineyard (God) and rented it out to tenants (Man), at harvest time, the owner sent his servants (Prophets) to the tenants for their returns. But they maltreated the Prophets and killed the owner's only son because they wanted the inheritance. This parable told by Jesus points out that this world is not ours. People die and are born because the world is on lease.
     
    It is God who provides the correct weather and environment for the fruit to grow. Without God there will be no fruit.
     
    The first and one of the most important step to spiritual and physical wealth creation is to know, God owns all, enabled growth and we should be willing to give Him the best of every produce.
     
    BIBLE VERSES: Number 5:9, Exodus 23:19, Matthew 6:33.
     
    PART 2 Continues.

    Sunny

    Mortified

    By Sunny, in The Reading Room,

    shortstory

    The clouds swirled around about me as I could hear the radiation of the surface bubbling up. I groaned as my back cracked. My body felt as though it was melting away. Blood was my only comfort. Many times had I thrown myself to the ground of this prison. I could feel the anguish of my broken heart. I regretted every second of the day because of my foolish act. How could I be so stupid of being part of a wicked act? They lied to me and swore to me that I was doing the right thing.
     
    I laid on my back and staring at the darkness that still compassed me about. My nostrils widened as I could smell the misty rugged air above and my masters' dinner of old rotten flesh. I ached for my freedom but I knew I could never find it. I ripped every shred of clothing of mine and tore it like an animal. I questioned myself that if these years of suffering have caused me to transform into a monster. My mouth widened as blood dripped down my body. The old scars of torture had returned once again.
     
    The day I was captured, was like no other day. Curly black rags dangled down my head. My cheeky behavior was usual for young boys. My poor old mother would never understand. I always doubted my mother's stories and warnings in life. Believing in my stubborn heart. I was soon able to escape my mother's rattling tongue. She had continually told me of a book that my father read to me. I hated that book but now I wished I knew about it more than ever before.
     
    The door creaked and could see the light and smell the sweet scent of the sleepy sun. I didn't turn back and ran into the woods. My mother wished nothing else than her only son to disappear into the woods. I had believed that my mother would never find out because of her recent amnesia. I guessed wrong. The day I got captured. I could hear the ravens crying out in the distance. I could also hear my mother moaning for her dear son. Aching for her child's innocent body. She would never see me again. Fearing the woods and all the secrets within.
     
    I was pierced by sheer curiosity as I continued to explore the dark woods. The treetops were dark and broody. I could feel the curses my mother told me. The air divided by light and darkness. As the sun disappeared, I only hoped that the lightning bugs would help me. My heart sank because I could hear the creatures of night howling their first hunting cry. I would never return homeward. Too afraid for my own life.
     
    I stumbled over something and fell to the ground. Crawling by my knees, I felt something rough and rigid. I wiped the dirt away from the ground. I gasped and realized that I fell over a tombstone. I could hear the rustling of trees and a screech of owls in the distance. I remembered how my mother spoke of the curses of this land. She would be right with this noise and this place. A graveyard was a sheer sign of death.
     
    I was about to run from it but stopped as I hear someone or something weeping in the distance. My eyes could barely see as the place was pitch black. All the bugs of light disappeared and wished no part of helping me. I used my ears and feet to find the person. I stopped at the entrance of a tomb. I saw two pairs of glowing red eyes. My spine shivered and I knew that they looked familiar like the stories my mother told me.
     
    It seemed as though something was pulling me closer to them. I asked them, "What's wrong?"
    They shook their heads and ordered me to leave. I ignored them and tried to help them. They grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me to the ground. I didn't escape or fight but listened to them. I was glad of what they spoke and ventured into the woods for them. When I returned, they smiled at one another and looked beyond. I knew something was up. I could barely see them. Within me, I could feel their hearts racing toward me. They had a great desire for me that I knew not what.
     
    I turned around as I heard something. The shadows opened up and I saw more of them. They threw themselves on me. I didn't even argue. I told myself. I was doing the right thing. I thought my mother would be proud of me but I was wrong. She would have been mortified if she knew what I had done. Her only son was gone.
    Now I knew my masters desired only my strength. I fell into the greatest pit of all. I knew I would never return back to the light. It felt as if life was a lie but it was I who believed in it. I had thrown my life away.
     
    I pulled myself together and covered myself with the old broken bark and fallen leaves. I stared at the pit. I tried once again like many a day to escape. I crawled up the walls only to tumble back down. No noise came from my masters. I believed that I was safe for now. I jumped up and grabbed the roots of the trees above. Pulling myself up, I left my tomb and explored the woods looking for the horizon and hoping to see my mother again.
     
    Many times, I thought I saw the light of the horizon. Within seconds of seeing it, I would disappear and be pulled back into my cradle of doom. My masters would torture me. Chains that brought only hatred to myself. Years I tried to escape the sufferings that I made for myself, but none came close.
     
    I had just received news by my night howler that dawn was soon upon us. I ached for the longing of my beloved. Hoping that today would be the day I would meet her. I had tried several times but none were successful. The wind blew my long grey hair toward the crooked trees. Owls hooted their last messages to their loved ones. The wolves rustled through the leaves. They chased the last prey of the night before returning to their dark pit. I knew that time never stopped even when the first shimmer of light arose.
     
    I walked past the bubbling streams and twisted nightmares. I looked up and my heart jumped for joy as I saw the sunrise. I ran with hope in my heart. Trees fell to the ground as I passed them. I finally had entered the light. I stopped as I looked down. I was withering away once again. I begged him to see her. I ran and tumbled to the ground. My heart mourned as I disappeared.
    My eyes rose as I looked up. Someone had placed its hand on mine. My eyes sparkled as it was she, the morning. She lifted me up from the bottomless pit. My hands shivered and I was ashamed. I looked down to the ground and stared at her feet. I wore black rags and a robe not worthy of a king. I envied her clothing. She wore clothing that would have been praised among the highest. She wore a seamless dress of new spread leaves. Her hair was like the dawn. Fresh dewdrops formed her adornments. She wore newly picked daisies around about her head. I hated myself and wished I never came.
     
    She lifted my head up with her woundless hands and smiled. Her smile could make the day last a lifetime. I wanted to kiss her. She placed her hand on my heart. I tried to pull her close to me but I knew my life was coming to an end. It would be meaningless. Why would anyone care for a monster that I am?
    She swirled around about me. I watched as buds arose from the ground. She waved to me asking me to follow her. I backed away knowing that light was against me. She ran toward me and swirled me about. I pulled back and shook my head. She was confused and walked toward me. I turned and ran.
    I turned my head toward the horizon and she looked at me. Tears fell from her sweet tender face and she danced no more. She smiled at me and I frowned back. She asked me once again. Instead of replying, I ignored her. The one mistake I regret. I turned back to my pit of misery. Back to the tomb I once called home.
     

    Tracy Vorster
    devotionals

    "And God said "My spirit shall not contend evermore concerning man because he is flesh; besides his days are shall be a hundred and twenty years."
     
    At some point my bible study will strengthen my relationship with Christ and He will vanquish my enemies.

    Alley
    devotionals

    Psalms Chapter 1
     
    Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

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