Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bonus- Short Story By Mellow Roc

Hello Grafted In Reader,

Today is October 28 in my corner of blog land. Here in the USA, we have mid-term elections next Tuesday, and below my short story is somewhat a poke at campaigning, campaign ads, and the whole election process in general. It's also a fictionalized tale of classic sibling rivalry. I hope you will enjoy and feel free to make comments if so inclined.
The Scurrilous Squabbling Brothers
copyright: David Russell
Part 1
It was early October and much of the midwest was experiencing an abundance in color from the fall foliage. Rain had fallen steadily for several days and coincidentally began when the Chicago Cubs lost their last game of the major league baseball season. Perhaps an angel with midwest interest was gravely disappointed since this team had not won a MLB World Series since 1908.

Meanwhile downstate Illinois was experiencing a typical pre-election deluge of TV and radio ads for this candidate and that proposal. Two brothers, Herman and Roger Fiedler had become center stage, or remained center stage in their community near the border of southern Illinois and Missouri. In an interview with local media, their parents Thelma and Louis recalled how they were squabbling probably from the time of conception to birth and carried on afterward. The boys were twins.

"Tell him to quit playing with my building blocks," roger stated.
"Tell him to turn off the light. I cannot get to sleep," stated Herman.
"If you take her out I will make you regret it for the rest of your life," threatened Roger. He too had designs on Christina.
"he is always first. I want to take the driver test first for once," declared Herman to their parents. They flipped a coin and Herman was accorded first try.
"The Fiedler boys are awarded two scholarships to the University of Illinois," announced the high school principal at commencement ceremonies.

"If anyone knows why Herman and Rob should not be joined together in holy matrimony, please speak now or hold your peace," announced the clergyperson performing Herman's union to Rob.
In a moment of time Roger stood, silent fore a long second, and then retook his seat in the congregation of the liberal Lutheran church. Popular songs about love for humankind had replaced hymns of the faith. Rob and Herman had as their song, 'Close To You" by the 1970s duo, The Carpenters.

"I am glad you invited me to your PTA meeting. Troublesome times call for tough measures. If you elect Roger as the Mayor, you will be electing someone who wet the bed as a teenager," accused Herman.

"I am pleased to be speaking to this Businessperson Association. We have recovered from the recession of 2008. However, it may return to our community if you elect Herman for your Mayor. In high-school, he used his office as student government treasurer to take his date to a Chicago Bears NFL game and only told me," recalled Roger.
The mud slinging only continued to heighten between the brothers. Accusations of animal cruelty, prank phone calls, one lacking duende, trumped up DUI charges, using the services of an escort, disturbance of the peace, driving over the speed limit with unpaid tickets, supporting the extremists in Iraq, spanking their children as discipline, inability to manage temper, illegal drugs taken in pill form, and so on.

The public were generally amused or entertained by the campaign rhetoric waged by the brothers. Perhaps it was because they were, and had been known in this region of the country for much of their lives.

On election day, a major snowstorm hit this part of Illinois which may mean low voter turn-out. Conditions had turned stormy the night before, and started to lessen during mid-day, but did not completely subside. However, local voting facilities reported steady turn-out.

At about 10 p.m. the results were finalized. The mud slinging had ended, and the weather removed any traces of mud from mother nature that occurred from the previous rainfall just days ago. The election official approached the podium at the local Best Western area, and with microphone in hand stated,
"We had a close election and a very dramatic highly contested campaign between the Fiedlers. We expected as much from Herman and Roger. They have never let us down in their command of the language, and ability to sling mud at each other. I am here to tell you that there is an unexpected surprise with the election results. Your new mayor by write-in vote is ......
and then the speaker collapsed. Hours later death was said to be by sudden heart attack. There was no write-in winner, but Roger Fiedler won the election by 25 votes. His brother Herman and spouse Rob had enough, and months later moved to Arlington, Texas, where they set up a paralegal service providing local law enforcement and attorneys with professional research and lived happily ever after.

Mellow Roc

Monday, October 27, 2014

Somewhere In The Middle by David Russell

Hello Grafted In Reader,
The following short story is mostly based on my experience of life as a person of faith. Reflection mostly, comments welcomed!

"Aunt UJoan lived a good long life. Many will think of her service to others, discipline taken to nurture and raise 10 children, be supportive to her husband who would be seen by most as entrepenurial in the 1960s as he had a few different business start-ups. Yet, God seemed to provide for this family, and none were known to go begging for bread," words by Catholic Priest at Joan's memorial service.

A few minutes later all were standing around, conversing, and one of Joan's nephews engaged the priest in conversation.
"Do you think people have a pull either toward living a holy life, or a pull toward living as they please? Not meant as a trick question," stated Joan's nephew.
"No, I think people generally end in between the two. They may want to live holy, but human desires, wants, foibles, needs get in the way."
"I hate to agree with you but think you are on to something. I occasionally feel a pull toward experimenting with erotic writing fiction, but think the desire might run to rampant if unleashed," Joan's nephew said smiling.
"You may know well in your heart of hearts which is right," the Catholic priest observed.
Nephew's mind said, "Ahhh, be nice instead of give Bible counsel. What about the advisement, Be holy for I am holy. Or, as one thinks so they are. Or, cast off that which is evil."

Joan was laid to rest, the attendees too left the church, but the thought still resonates in nephew's mind as it did when stated some years ago.

The middle is a comfortable reassuring space when shared by those who are supportive and empathic to one.

The middle is a haunting daunting prospect if one is facing undo critique or accusation.

The middle is a scary place for the one living with an acute disease or virus such as Ebula or AIDS, medical professionals tend to him or her and don't themselves want to become affected.

The middle is where our Lord and Savior wants to be day in and day out in Nephew's life, the priest's life, or any life identified as human.

At times we feel alone with our thoughts, fears, imagination,
thinking a hand to hold, a presence felt, an embrace would end our consternation
but we then may ultimately find
cycles to repeat themselves, life both kind and unkind.

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence come to you today in a refreshing manner to quiet our anxiety!
Mellow Roc

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Excerpt Winds Of Change by David C Russell

Hello Grafted in Readers,
Today is October 16, 2014, and the extra day of the Fall Feast of Tabernacles. In Messianic parlance, we celebrate Yeshua as Messiah, and further accept his invitation to abide in his presence, abide in his power, and abide in his teachings. See John chapter 15, New Covenant Scriptures.
-Below is an excerpt from my novel, "Winds of Change" CrossBooks, 2012, which fictionally reflects on this particular feast.
Note: Characters are Seth and Leah Scott, Dan and Rhonda Hansen, Pastor and Mrs. Bentley. Setting is a fictional town in northern Wisconsin, time of year is Fall.

Midway through the Fall, the Scotts and Hansens decided to have a small dinner party, in part to learn more of the Hansens' involvement in a small Messianic faith community. Of course, Rhonda and Leah and discussed this on occasion at work. Dan and Jefferson occasionally spoke of it when they met. Both couples wanted to include Pastor Bentley and his wife who were quite classic in their Lutheran ideology. They agreed on the second Saturday in October, and each would provide a dish that began with the first letter of their last name. Jefferson and Leah spent the afternoon preparing scones and salad. The Bentleys were bringing surloin beef tips, and the Hansens' were providing herbal lightly-steamed vegetable platter. Seth Scott was spending the day and night with a school friend video gaming and such. As the afternoon hours faded into evening, the couples arrived at the Scott home. The Bentleys were the first to arrive. "Oh, Pastor Bob, glad you and your wife Ruth could join us. Just put your coats on the bed in the main beddrom," Jefferson advised.

Over the next 45 minutes, the Hansens' arrived and were welcomed similarly. As the women finished dinner preparations, Jefferson, Dan and Pastor Bentley watched the final minutes of the college football game on TV. Fortunately, Illinois and Minnesota were equally matched in skill, offensive and defensive game execution. In the final minutes, Minnesota managed to pull out a victory with a 35 yard field goal by one of the team's lesser known players. As the couples assembled at the table,Leah asked her friend Rhonda to offer the table grace. As they joined hands, Rhonda began, "Lord God, King of the Universe, we bless you for all you provide. Blessed oare youwho provides bread for the earth and nourishment for our being," all responded with amen. Pastor Bentley was somewhat suprised by this table grace as it did not compare with what he hear from a members home, expecting more a standard grace from liturigcally-influenced Christians. The dinner went on with small talk about work, hospital, school and other trivialites. As dinner included all went to settle in the livingroom as Leah started a fire in their fireplace.

In the pleasant glow of the fire, the conversation turned to the topic of faith. Jefferson began by asking Dan about his recent weekend trip to observe the Fall Festival known as the Feast of Tabernacles. Dan shared that as with the Spring Feast of Shavuot, known to many as Pentecost, they went to Madison to observe this with other believers. This was a day-long convocation, but the theme was the celebration to commemorate God's dwelling with his people in times past, present, and future. "It's all about relationship," Rhonda added. They met in, and utilized the facilities of a Lutheran church near Madison.

"Do you think church people would be interested in this sort of thing," asked Ruth Bentley not really directing her question to anyone in particular, but hoping her husband would respond. "I know a number who already are, but for some reason the church at large seems stuck or oblivous to anything beyond its mode of operations for centuries," said Dan. "Observing Rhonda as a colleague at work has given me the opportunity to note that there is something quite unique about her outlook and faith. Quite frankly, the more I observe the more curious I become," Ledah stated. Pastor Bob remained quiet, but his facial expression was a slight smile mixed with a degree of pondering.

Rereading this with you, has given me the desire to be consistent in my abiding with and living for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords..
-Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be that which attracts us to Him, and we find our innermost cravings and thirst satisfied by He having ongoing fellowship with us.

If interested, Winds of Change can be ordered through Amazon or any major book store. Comments welcomed!
Mellow Roc

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hallelujah, Tanakh and Tehillim - Hebrew Words Deep Meaning

Hello Grafted In Readers,
Last post, "You Are My Hiding Place" I mentioned we would devote the next few visits to considering the Hebraic and/or Jewish roots of the Christian faith. I hope you find these short posts informative and enriching, and can use them in your daily walk.

One site loaded with informations is the ongoing "hebrew4christians" and secondly, "The Ancient Hebrew Research Center". My posts will be drawing from both of these sites and others.

-During Sukkot, Feast of Tabernacles, which is an annual Fall Feast to celebrate the harvest and God dwelling with us, one traditional practice is for the congregation to publicy proclaim the Hallel, from which we have the word Hallelujah. Blessed is He who comes in the Name of Adonai, the LORD. When the Temple existed, people would march around the temple during feast times proclaiming the Hallel.

Tanakh, An acronym describing the parts or sections of the Hebrew Scriptures. Torah, Prophets, writings, poetry.

Below is from www.hebrew4christians.com

The English word “psalm” comes from the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew word mizmor, a word meaning “melody of praise.” The various mizmorim (psalms)were compiled into a collection, perhaps by King David himself, and were later codified by Ezra the Scribe when the canon of the Tanakh was established.

-Kevod Yeheveh, His Presence elicit our ongoing thanks and praise!
Mellow Roc