Labyrinth – Six Sentence Story

The easiest way to get out of a labyrinth is not to go in. They’re all dead ends anyway with monsters seeking someone to devour. Guard your heart and train your imagination to stay focused on better things.

Every time Jeremy got lost in a labyrinth he realized his father was right. He’d promise, should he be given the insight to find his way out, that he’d focus on better things, but times would get easy and he’d get lost again.

The final time Jeremy got lost the monsters found what they were looking for before he found his way out, but at the moment when those beasts gloated in triumph he cried out and saw his father run toward him with open arms.

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Denise offers the prompt word “labyrinth” to be used in this week’s Six Sentence Stories.

Luke 15:20 – “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” (KJV)

Morning Light
Morning Light

Focusing On Composition

Dale offers the theme “focusing on composition” for this week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge.

I see composition as a harmony between overall elements although I am not sure what it is.

In the first photo there is the curve of the hill contrasting with the tall trees. In the second there is the circle of the gate focusing attention on the leaf, brick wall and light from the shaded window. In the last photo there are horizonal lines made by clouds, water and sky to provide the harmony.

Tennessee
Tennessee Rest Area on the Interstate
Patio Through Iron Gate
Atlantic Ocean, Clouds and Boat
Atlantic Ocean, Clouds and Boat

Exploration 100 – Masoretic or Septuagint Old Testament?

The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Psalm 110:4 King James Version

It amazed me recently to see how much of Hebrews is about Melchizedek, his priesthood and covenant. The Old Testament contains only two references to him:

  • Melchizedek offered bread and wine to Abram after his victory and Abram gave a tithe of the spoils to Melchizedek in Genesis 14:17-20.
  • David referenced Melchizedek in Psalm 110:4.

Since Hebrews 7:3 makes much of him as “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” (KJV), one way to discredit Christianity would be to make sure Melchizedek was someone with a father, a mother and a limited lifespan. One popular candidate has been Noah’s son Shem, but didn’t Shem die long before Abram was born?

In Genesis 11:10-32 there is a genealogy from Shem to Abraham with the ages of the fathers when their heirs were born. Oddly those ages in the Hebrew Masoretic text (MT) differ by exactly 100 years from the Greek Septuagint (LXX). The MT offers the possibility that Melchizedek in Genesis 14 could have been Shem while the LXX does not. Did someone change the MT to discredit Hebrews? These differing manuscript traditions can’t both be right.

The shorter MT dates also provide problems for creationists. The MT compresses the time between the global flood and the tower of Babel to about 100 years. This might not be enough time for a large enough population to come from the eight survivors on the Ark for them to consider building a tower. It also makes it difficult for the Egyptian pyramids to have been constructed after the global flood.

Nathan Hoffman has an informative video promoting the ages found in the LXX and showing the problems that arise by accepting the ages in the MT. The creationists Lita Sanders and Robert Carter, however, criticized Hoffman’s position siding with the MT. Others such as Douglas Petrovich, Steve Rudd and Henry B. Smith sided with the LXX.

I think Hoffman is right. That means the time since creation is perhaps 6650 years rather than about 6000 years. Admittedly some think the world is much older. I no longer share those evolutionist views. The upper bound I now use when thinking about the age of the world is 7700 years.

This concern over the textual variations between the MT and the LXX also means that it is helpful knowing both Greek and Hebrew to better understand what the original autographs actually contained.

Although the MT lost (in my view) to the LXX on this variation, there are other questions such as how long were the Israelites in Egypt – 215 or 430 years or some other amount of time? On that question Douglas Petrovich sided with the MT, but that is another story.

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Weekly Parashah Readings
Parashah: Chukat, 10 Tammuz, 5782 – July 9, 2022
Torah: Numbers 19:1-22:1
Haftarah: Judges 11:1-11:33
Brit Chadashah: Hebrews 9:11-28; John 3:10-21
Resources: Chabad, Hebrew4Christians, Weekly Torah Readings, Calendar

Two Fish
Two Fish

Strike – Six Sentence Story

Miriam’s mother, Jennifer, answered the doorbell to find Snaky, a dragon from the Land of Wormy Delights disguised in a tailored suit, asking her if he could borrow her daughter as a sacrifice. In a loud voice Jennifer called to Miriam, “There’s a nice-looking, young man here who would like to borrow you as a sacrifice to his lord of the 33rd something-or-other (degree) degree…lucywoosi (Illuminatus) illuminatus…?… (Illuminati) latiwhati…(palm slap)”.

As soon as Miriam heard the word “sacrifice” she grabbed the can of Dra-Gone! dragon repellant, the brand with the slogan You never know when you’ll never need it, and rushed to protect her mother shaking the can to charge it for a direct strike onto Snaky’s snout. As soon as Snaky saw the can he ran.

That stuff must really work, thought Jennifer, wondering if they might squirt just an itsy-bitsy bit of it as a test in the street in spite of multiple warnings on the can to never – ever – even think of doing something like that. After the two adventurous experimenters took deep breaths and Miriam gingerly touched the sprayer to release an itsy-bitsy bit they ran back inside gagging, bolting the door, sealing the frame with duct tape while the neighborhood dogs went bananas.

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Denise offers the prompt word “strike” to be used in this week’s Six Sentence Stories. This story is a continuation of Eruption – Six Sentence Story.

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I am grateful to Sammi Cox, editor of Whispers and Echoes, for accepting my very short story Confusing Confetti.

Morning Silhouettes
Morning Silhouettes

Exploration 99 – The Tears God Wipes Away

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelation 21:4 King James Version

At the end when God makes everything new He will wipe away all tears as the former things pass away. At this point where might those tears come from?

Perhaps they will come from realizing our missed opportunities to praise and give thanks. Perhaps they will come from finally seeing how our wicked ways wasted our brief time here. Perhaps they will come from knowing how we failed to see our brothers and sisters filtered through loving hearts.

In Chapter 11 of Living in the Balance of Grace & Faith, Andrew Wommack offers another possibility. If we are born again he states that in our spirit, not in our body nor emotional nor mental states, we are “full of the glory of God” (page 102). We will weep when we stand before God because we will finally see what we had all along.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24 King James Version

While we still have time may we ask the Lord to know our hearts, test our thoughts and show us those wicked ways that will bring tears to our eyes when He comes again. While we still have time may we ask Him to lead us on the way everlasting.

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Weekly Parashah Readings
Parashah: Korach, 3 Tammuz, 5782 – July 2, 2022
Torah: Numbers 16:1-18:32
Haftarah: 1 Samuel 11:14-12:22
Brit Chadashah: Romans 13:1-7
Resources: Chabad, Hebrew4Christians, Weekly Torah Readings, Calendar

Eruption – Six Sentence Story

Gerald answered the doorbell and recognized Snaky that dragon from the Land of Wormy Delights who had earlier tried to kidnap his wife standing in front of him with a sheep-eating grin. Snaky’s acquaintances at Wormy Delights suggested to him that perhaps it was impolite not to ask the husband before running off with his wife and so Snaky asked Gerald, “Can I borrow your wife as a sacrifice to my lord and 33rd degree master, Illuminatus Illuminati, Lucy Satanus, Supercilious Serpent Maximus, et cetera, et cetera?”

Gerald played along asking, “Will you bring her back in one piece?”

Although Snaky knew that lying was a great way to blow up the sanity supporting rational communication, he feared that such an eruption right now might diminish the value of the sacrifice in some mysterious way only those in a higher pay-grade could comprehend. So, to be safe, to make sure the super serpent he served wouldn’t kick his butt later, Snaky took the sheep out of his mouth to respond without mumbling, “No.”

“Then, no, you can’t borrow her,” Gerald said.

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Denise offers the prompt word “eruption” to be used in this week’s Six Sentence Stories. This dragon tale continues from Stroke – Six Sentence Story.

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I am grateful to the editor, Sammi Cox, of Whispers and Echoes for publishing my very short story Detour on the Merry-Go-Round.

Black Paint on White
Black Paint on White Paving Stone With Green Stuff on the Side

Nature in Black and White

Dale offers the prompt “nature in black and white” for this week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge.

I forgot how to take a colored photo and completely drain all the color from it, but then I realized I had pictures that naturally looked black and white without any modification.

So here are two photos of sand on beaches around Miami Beach. Hopefully they look black and white enough and the man-made beaches look natural enough to count.

Wave Coming in on South Beach, Miami Beach

Well Traveled Beach

Exploration 98 – Michael Rood’s Chronological Gospels

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

Isaiah 61:2 King James Version

Michael Rood created video presentations featuring his book The Chronological Gospels. He made a claim that the ministry of Yeshua (Jesus) lasted only 70 weeks which is a little over a year rather than the three and a half years often quoted. The motivation behind both of these time periods is for Yeshua to fulfill Daniel’s 70 week prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27) in one way or another. When Yeshua read Isaiah 61:2 he stopped at “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:17-19) rather than read the whole verse.

In Season 1 Yeshua comes as the Suffering Servant and fulfills the Spring festivals of Passover, Unleavened Bread and Shavuot. This series presents the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Season 2 is on the “fifth gospel”, Revelation. Here Yeshua comes to fulfill the Fall feasts of Trumpets, Yom Kippur and Succoth. I like how Rood paraphrases Yeshua’s overall message to the seven assemblies:

“We either do it my way or we do it my way, but it will be done my way.” This was the message for the churches in Asia Minor and this is the message for the church today.

Michael Rood, Purging the Doctrine, Season 2 of the Chronological Gospels (about 1:00)

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Weekly Parashah Readings
Parashah: Shlach, 26 Sivan, 5782 – June 25, 2022
Torah: Numbers 13:1-15:41
Haftarah: Joshua 2:1-2:24
Brit Chadashah: Hebrews 3:7-4:1
Resources: Chabad, Hebrew4Christians, Weekly Torah Readings, Calendar

Leaves Dark and Light
Leaves Dark and Light

Stroke – Six Sentence Story

Gerald caught up with Snaky, the dragon who kidnapped his wife, Miriam, and told him to gently, very gently, open his mouth and set her down. After Snaky did she went to Gerald’s side putting her hands to her hair to stroke it back in place and then wiping off the dragon slime so they could both pay full attention when giving Snaky a piece of their minds, such as, What has gotten into you?

Raising his chest with snorts of pride and showing grotesque teeth and dragon boogers dripping through his nostrils’ steam, Snaky bellowed that he wanted to rip their hearts out squishing them slowly, very slowly, as sacrifices to his lord and master of the 33rd degree, Illuminatus Illuminati, Satánus Luciferus, marked with the 666 seal, the Supreme Serpent for whom he’d gladly lay down his dragon bones and die.

After pausing to permit this to sink in Gerald and Miriam looked at each other and laughed leaving even Snaky erupting in spooky grunts at his own expense. Pointing out to him that he had unintentionally rubbed his bottom in what looked like dragon-itch poison ivy Gerald and Miriam figured it was time to leave before they started itching as well.

As they turned from the deluded rainbow kingdom of mischievous enchantment, ever troubling the visions of misguided youth and the dreams of the witless old, it faded exposing an underbelly of demented fantasies and wormy delights.

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Denise offers the prompt word stroke to be used in this week’s Six Sentence Stories. This is a continuation (and hopefully the conclusion) of Key – Six Sentence Story.

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I am grateful to Sammi Cox, the editor of Whispers and Echoes, for publishing one of my very short stories, Ever Simmering Fluid.

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