Converting Dollars to Souls?

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(Photo by Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash)

 

This morning was a “monument” moment for me. Where the peace of God led me into thoughts about life that captured my imagination. Most likely this resulted from our prayer time last night. We were praying for that anointing expressed famously by Patrick Henry’s quote, (I am including more of the context of the speech as I think it adds more drama to the actual quote) 

“Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable²and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry was expressing his frustration with British Rule over his life. That frustration had grown to the point of being willing to fight and die to gain freedom from that Tyranny. But, last night we were praying that that level of commitment towards Jesus would be evident in our relationship with Him. Instead of the typical American Church “Just-enough-to-get-by” approach. We were hoping for an anointing from the Holy Spirit that would spark that courage in us, to become the world changers He says we are.

As I type this I realized that yesterday there was also a significant bit of input from our speaker at church. It was all about casting off the tyranny of another kind. That of the tyranny of Money over our lives.

Freedom from the tyranny of Money. Freedom from the tyranny of the world’s expectations for our lives. This is what the Holy Spirit addressed for me this morning.

“Wealth in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is not measured in dollars, pounds, or the renminbi (China’s currency). It is measured in Human Souls!” In other words, Heaven doesn’t operate with the same set of rules/physical restraints that the world does.

So let me take you down a couple of bunny trails with that thought.

I am part of Sentinel Group. Our ministry is to document the places God is moving and transforming cities, regions, and countries. Our research focuses on the difference between a community experiencing a simple revival where many people come to the Lord and church membership grows, and an instance of transforming revival where the entire society is affected and changes in a short period of time. Both are good! But, there is a difference.

One of the thoughts that came to me this morning was that a truly transformed society doesn’t “NEED” money. When one word from the Lord can create wealth…or an entirely new concept of wealth transfer. Thus, the statement that Wealth in the Kingdom is not measured in currency of any kind, but in Human Souls! Wealth in Heaven is not measured in currency. It is measured in relationships. We all know the verses about storing up treasure in Heaven. And, attempting to store up any kind of physical wealth in Heaven is a fool’s errand.

So in a transformed society; capitalism, socialism, and communism are irrelevant. When money (as opposed to wealth) can no longer be used as a tool to manipulate. There is freedom from the tyranny of money over our lives. And, the New Creation walks in freedom.

Does that mean that I think money, capitalism, socialism, and communism would disappear in a truly transformed society? No. That’s just not realistic. That probably would result in people attempting to form the ideal utopia and calling it Transformationalism! But, it would look very different than our secular, dog eat dog, every man for himself, world. And, yes I am talking in abstract terms here. Even the communities that we know are experiencing transforming revival today don’t function like this. Are there miraculous wealth creation events where wealth is needed as a blessing. Yes, there are. But, our “corporate level of faith” in this country is not on the level of Jesus providing loaves and fishes for the five thousand.

But, can our faith grow to that extent where our understanding of wealth is centered in Heaven? Yes, absolutely! Would that result in – in what the secular world would see as – miracles? Where wealth is created like loaves and fishes? Most likely!

Wealth in the Kingdom can be anything of value that extends the Kingdom of Jesus Christ – that brings Souls into the Kingdom. And, to finish my thought about the anointing of courage to be a world changer. To pray and believe about our relationship with money or this world from A Kingdom perspective frees us from the tyranny the enemy of our souls intends by keeping our focus on the things of this earth.

Which led to another thought that I will leave with you and maybe you will get a chuckle out of it.

If we use money (currency) to fund evangelism and the day to day efforts of attempting to build His Kingdom. But, Heavenly wealth is measured by “souls saved”? What is the conversion rate for Dollars to Souls? How would you calculate that? Would Google have a calculator for that like Dollars to Pounds or Dollars to Pesos? Perhaps one of you that are mathematically inclined could figure that out?

 

 

 

 

Eye on the Target

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(Photo by mauro paillex on Unsplash)

Life in the Social-Media age is a challenge. So many platforms, and so many opinions on any subject known to man…in your face 24/7 365 days a year. The cacophony is overwhelming and disquieting to the soul. The remedy is to not listen to the noise but focus on Jesus.

I think we all know this but find it hard to ignore the constant posting of our more social media adept/addicted friends. We all find a certain amount of comfort in some of the positive posts and skim over the negative. Or, block or hide the ones that intrude upon our hearts sensitivity.

But, one kind of post that has my attention these days are the “Prophetic Posts” that tell me that I am going to suddenly be promoted, or my life is going to go from bad to Amazing overnight. And, all of these posts qualify their prophecy by talking to those out there that have suffered greatly over the years. Many people wondering if God is ever going to bless them like the rich people they compare themselves to at church. So there is fertile ground in the hearts of many that wish they were rich like “those people”.

Just to be clear. Those thoughts are in my own heart. I know them very well. Someday – if I am Holy enough – God will bless me with great wealth. And, of course, I immediately begin to list the many things I would give money to if only God would bless me.

Our hearts are in the wrong place.

Lately, my prayers focus on knowing His Voice. Seeing His Face. As I transition into the fourth quarter of the game of life, I realize that the only thing that matters to me is to hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant”. I find myself wanting to be found faithful enough to be “TRUSTED” with the proverbial small thing. But, I find my life as a rich American has qualifies me more for the statement of Matthew 7:21-23, 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

You see we Rich Americans already have the wealth to change our worlds. I want to step into that place where my faith actuates His Joy. Where miracles, signs, and wonders are required to see the Kingdom Come and His Will be done in that moment of time. I want to put myself in that place where only His Presence will see me through.

I want to know Him NOW so that recognize Him Then…Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus. 

I keep my eye on the Target!

 

 

Holy Tsunami! “Chapter One”

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Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

Alisdair leaned into the wind and attempted to squeeze his lean six foot three runner’s body behind the umbrella purchased at the airport. The heavy drizzle coming in off of the North Sea quickly soaked his San Francisco Forty Niner’s ball cap and the fleece lined gray hooded sweatshirt that added bulk to his wiry frame. And as hard as he tried the umbrella wouldn’t find a correct angle to buffer the twenty-knot wind driving the drizzle horizontally into his face. At any moment the umbrella would buckle… and that would fit. Just another dreary moment in a life filled with dreary problems. Fatalistic sapphire blue eyes flashed out from a weather-beaten, old too early, leathery unsmiling face, framed by a high and tight haircut long overdue for a trim. The weather felt like one more opportunity for Murphy to kick him in the stomach. Not to mention the cost of the cab ride from Aberdeen Airport to this godforsaken corner of Scotland. “I left this place just for this reason!” Alisdair thought to himself. Standing next to the Foot Dee war memorial, he stared at the drab grey stone building — at the end of a long line of identical drab grey stone Fittie tract homes — where the family Solicitor Henry Drummond had instructed he meet to discuss the particulars of his inheritance.

 

The driving drizzle made getting bearings difficult, just opening his eyes was painfully difficult. Having done the homework expected of any Recon Marine, Alisdair knew this was a historic district – Fittie or Foot Dee – but, wow this was way out of the way. There behind the monument to the soldiers and sailors of the Allied Forces in World War II flowed the River Dee. Next to the monument was a parking lot for a fancy four-star restaurant half filled with patron’s cars. To the left the restaurant itself and an interesting round tower of a building overlooking the river. The only thing Alisdair couldn’t prepare for was this blasted wind and rain.

 

The sun was out there somewhere behind the wind, rain, and clouds, but it was quickly giving way to the darkening sky and wet slippery shadows as dusk approached. Even with the rain pelting him and soaking the sweatshirt, Alisdair stood and allowed the ambiance of the moment to settle into his mind. “Always get your bearings, no matter where you are dude!” The voice of Master Gunny Jingo echoed across his thoughts.

 

Those thoughts were interrupted by the approach of a vehicle moving to park near the monument. The lights of the sedan shimmering on the wet Aberdeen street while the swooshing sound of the tires caused Alisdair to back towards the monument to allow the vehicle into the parking lot. The movement sparked an urgent desire to be out of the rain.

 

“Best be getting on with this before you get soaked ‘Dair.” Alasdair used the shortened name given him in the Marines and walked across the street to the wrought iron gate just a few feet from the front door of his intended destination. “No lights on…” Alisdair thought, “I hope I got the time correct. Of course, that would be the rule, not the exception. After everything that has happened over the last couple of years, should I expect anything less?” Alisdair stood motionless before the front door and hesitated to knock. Then noticed that the door was open just enough to be noticed. “Not good!” Alisdair froze and the alarms went off, and his body went into adrenaline mode. Sensory feelers from his training went out and muscles tensed. Training is essential to reducing crisis to the smallest components, and this moved Alisdair’s hands and feet as he slowly pushed the door open to allow what light was outside to illuminate what it could of the house. Here in the lee of the wind and rain formed by the house itself, he could hear the water cascading off of the roof and into the small paved yard. Nothing was coming from the inside of the house. It was warm as if someone had been there, but there were no lights, even from the upstairs that rose just off of the front door. Off to the right a living area, nicely appointed with knickknacks and comfortable, lived-in furniture was illuminated by the last light of the approaching dusk.

 

Alisdair stood silent — allowing his eyes to adjust to the darker interior — and tensed for anything that could materialize out of the darkened home. The silence broken only by the talking and frantic running of those that had just parked only a few dozen meters away and now we’re attempting to get to their destination – and out of the drizzling rain – as quickly as possible.

 

Finally – gaining a measure of confidence – Alisdair stepped down the hall towards the back of the house making as little noise as a Recon Marine could make. Towards the back of the home, there was the kitchen, small by American standards, but well organized and extremely clean. Except for the kitchen table tipped on its side and the broken wooden kitchen chair strewn about the floor. And, there in the tile floor of the Back Bay window was an open floor safe. And, to the right of the bay window another door. Only this one was wide open with the rain creating a large running puddle inside the house.

 

Alisdair stepped quickly through the puddle, out the door, and into the small back yard. There were the typical backyard toys. Obviously, there were small children that lived here. A shed was tucked into the northwest side of the yard. And, sticking out of the shed a movement, which looked like a human head rolling back and forth on the rain-soaked ground. Instantly Alisdair ran to the man and found the solicitor Henry Drummond coming out of unconsciousness.

 

Alisdair sat the man up in the shed – he was soaked and bleeding from a nasty wound on top of his head.

 

“Mr. Drummond, what happened? I came to our meeting and found your door open….” Alisdair grabbed an old moving blanket off of the small work shelf in the shed to wrap around the shivering unresponsive man. As the blanket settled around Mr. Drummond’s shoulders, he looked up as if finally hearing Alisdair’s voice.

 

“I – I really don’t know… remember getting your fathers will out of the safe and now here I sit cold and shivery and everything’s spinning around. Is that really you Mr. Robertson? I’d hate to wake up to such a painful reality.” Mr. Drummond lifted his hand to feel the lump on his head and looked up at Alisdair. “Help me into the house. Obviously, I have been robbed. It is time to see what kind of damage has been done.”

 

A noise came from the back door, and Alisdair looked up to see the horrified look of a wife and two middle school kids standing in the open back door. “Henry!” The wife screamed and ran to the shed followed by the two kids. She stopped just short of the scene and looked at Alisdair with suspicion. “And, who might you be?” The wife demanded, not looking at Mr. Drummond.

 

“Stop Gwen, this is the Mr. Robertson that I wanted to have for supper. He’s Arthur Robertson’s eldest. The one that left and went to the States. Augh! Help me up off of the shed floor will you, Alisdair? I need a stiff one and some pain killers for this killer of a headache.” Alisdair picked Henry Drummond up off the floor keeping the man wrapped like a burrito in the blanket.

 

“Henry, that blanket is all full of Sophie’s old hairs from the day we had to put ‘er down. You’ll get them all over the house.” The two kids were slowly backing into the house and now I could see that the lights were on. One of the kids – a boy about thirteen years old – was in a hall closet rummaging in a stack of towels. The other – a girl about eleven – was bent over picking up the remains of the wooden chair used to crack Mr. Drummond over the noggin.

 

“Wendy” Mr. Drummond started when we were near the kitchen. “Please, dear, put those pieces back where you found them. The police are going to want to examine the kitchen. We can’t disturb things here until they are finished. Gwen, did you call them yet?” Mr. Drummond moved very slowly, with quite a bit of shuffling, blanket hugging determination towards the living room. And, it became evident where the man was heading. There near an extremely comfortable leather recliner stood a liquor cabinet. Mr. Drummond reached into the cabinet and came out with a bottle of single malt scotch.

 

Turning to Alisdair and Gwen – who was talking on her cell phone – and held out the bottle as if to say, “I’m going to anesthetize my noggin! Anyone care to join me?”

 

“I’ll have some,” Alisdair replied somewhat curious to see which of the distilleries the bottle came from.

 

Gwen entered the room and grabbed a tumbler for herself and reached into the cabinet for what looked like a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle’s whiskey. Then turned to her husband and said, “The police will be here in about twenty minutes.” She turned to Alisdair and remarked. “One of the perks of living out here in the historical Fittie area.” The sarcasm and bitterness causing shivering Mr. Drummond to wince as he handed Alisdair his tumbler.

 

“I am afraid, Alisdair… can I call you Alisdair… …somehow using formalities at a time like this just seems a bit off kilter. If you catch my drift.” Henry plopped, moving blanket and all into his recliner managing to not spill a drop of his drink. Obviously, a much-practiced move.

 

“Of course Mr. Drummond.” Alisdair moved to a small sofa opposite the fireplace, and Gwen sat in a small overstuffed chair on the other side of the fireplace. “Except that my friends – and I think this kind of thing makes us friends – call me ‘Dair. It’s a Marine thing. Marines are all about shortening things, jobs, and names, anything that can be shortened actually.”

 

“I doubt that is a propensity that is unique to the United States Marines ‘Dair. I did my stint in the Royal Navy. And, I am proud to say that short cuts were my specialty. However, they are not all that helpful in the legal trade. There are just no short cuts when it comes to the law I am afraid. And, to get back to what I was about to say when our names got in the way, whoever broke our kitchen chair over my head it seems has made off with what I needed to share with you tonight.” Henry looked at Gwen, “Did you look inside the safe?”

 

Gwen put her glass down on the small table next to her chair. “No, you told us all to stay out of there Henry. Do you want me to go look…Oh, forget it…I’ll be right back!” Gwen jumped up and quickly headed to the kitchen.

 

“Yes, they cleaned us out, Henry!” Gwen announced as she returned to the living room. “Who would do such a thing? How would anyone even know about our safe? And, Henry what was in there that anyone would want to steal? You did take my mother’s necklace back to the bank safety box like you said you would, correct?” She asked with an “I’m going to add another lump on top of your noggin if you haven’t” look.

 

Alisdair was sitting quietly sipping his scotch watching the husband and wife deal with the trauma of the evening when the Police finally showed up and began investigating the scene, and their forensics team was closely dogged by the two children Eric and Wendy. The evening wore on quickly as the Police work and the Scotch seemed to compact time into a disappearing moment. By the time the police left the night was fully fallen and Gwen had had Straw Hat Pizza – from just down the Esplanade – delivered. And, of course, Gwen would take no excuses or put-offs and Alisdair found himself sleeping in Eric’s room while Eric got to sleep on the short couch in the living room. Tomorrow was looking to be an interesting day.

 

 

 

More than Conquerors!

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Photo by J W on Unsplash

(Derek’s Note: A little detour from posting chapters from “The Lewis List”)

“Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake, we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 35 – 39

I have been pondering the meaning behind the above verse 37. I believe that in a previous blog post I mentioned something about being more than a conqueror. But, it occurred to me that there was another aspect to this that needs to be said. 

We are made more than conquerors by the Love of Christ, not through something we do. It’s Jesus in us that keeps us and gives us victory. But, what does it mean to be more than a conqueror? How do you go beyond victory? First of all the description of a conqueror fits Jesus to a “T”. He is the Conqueror! He has brought all of creation to its knees and eventually every knee will bow and tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. 

As a Conqueror, Jesus has the right to do anything He pleases with those He has conquered. He can destroy anyone or anything that stands in His way…that is the prerogative of the victor in a war. Unconditional surrender is demanded; and – as the vanquished – you better pray for mercy. Ancient history documents what happened to the losers of battles in great detail. Slavery, torture, crucifixion, and many other gruesome outcomes awaited those unfortunate to be on the losing end of a conflict. 

To take that a step further, Jesus could snap his fingers and everything would be gone. Much like Thanos in the Marvel movie. The only difference is that there wouldn’t be slowly dissolving dark grey flakes drifting on the breeze. There would just be nothing left. No memories of lives gone by. Just oblivion. That is the right of an Almighty God whose very Word sparked a Universe we cannot see the end of. It brings reality to the term the Fear of God.

But, back to the idea of being MORE than a Conqueror. How do you do more as a Conqueror? Is crushing then erasing the remnants of your vanquished foe’s society and culture, all that is expected? Perhaps, if you are a human conqueror. But, Jesus chose to die on the cross for His MORE. An ALL powerful, All-knowing, Omnipresent God can afford to be compassionate. His perspective allows compassion to guide His conquest. Our God is not a Human that He gets offended when we fail. And, it takes diligent and intentional blasphemy to spark retaliation from Him.

Compassion and Love are the benefits of surrender to an Almighty God. When we allow ourselves to be conquered, we gain a Father, a Savior, and a Promise. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Unseen Substance of Faith

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(Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash)

 

Hebrews 11:1 – 3; “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” 

(Derek’s Note: a Whole lot of speculating going on in this blog post. Right up front; I am not a science guy. I love reading about it and it sparks my imagination. But, I couldn’t calculate my way out of a wet paper bag when it comes to math. So if I make some egregious mistakes in this post. Or, cause you to snicker at my ignorance. Please forgive me and gently correct my enthusiastic speculations. Deal?)

 

People, in general, seem to have a problem with faith and prayer due to the “unseen” nature of both. It seems there is a need to take action when answers to prayer are not forthcoming in a time frame we are comfortable with. The most common – and excellent – response to that problem is the written Word. Because it can be seen.

We are an impatient people. We demand control of our lives and the time we are given. And, when anything messes with that we become undone emotionally and find ways to manipulate our circumstances to fit our goals and dreams. There is a good and a bad way to do that. But, that is not what this blog post is about. That was merely an illustration of the way most of us struggle with God’s timing for our lives. Or, put differently, with the things of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ that require us to exercise faith. Ask yourself what it feels like to be told…or suggested…to “Have Faith! It will all work out in the end!”

In the above verse, it says that Faith is THE substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. The substance of the Unseen.

Okay, I think most of you reading this are familiar with that verse and probably many have memorized it. But, a connection occurred to me as I was going to sleep that I would like to share with you. Please recognize that I am completely speculating here. Raising an interesting series of questions. 

Lately, I have read a number of articles about how astronomers have begun to discover ways of measuring the mass of the universe. Mathematically, things have not added up. So much so that they have theorized that the bulk of the universe’s mass is made up of what they call, dark matter. Problem is, we can’t see dark matter. It supposedly has mass and has been characterized as the stuff that is propelling the universe outward at speeds beyond that of the speed of light.

Perhaps you see where I am going with all this? Dark matter, the unseen substance of our universe. Powerful enough to push our universe at greater than light speed. Invisible, and yet, holding properties similar to the physical world around us. Could our faith/expectation of God actuate this dark matter? As the “New Creation”, do we have access to the unseen properties of dark matter? Could dark matter be what Peter was walking on when he stepped out of the boat? Is science pointing to a basic realization of the heavenly dimension?

Okay, all my science guys out there. What other events or clues in God’s word can we find that point in this direction. Probably a good reading of Hebrews 11 is in order.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Fifteen “The Lewis List”: Darkness and Light!

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Photo by Good Free Photos on Unsplash

 

“That is indeed the case gentlemen,” Mary answered Sherlock and Challenger. “I would expect that considering your own situation as newborn creatures, that it would not be beyond understanding that I could be alive at this end of history?”

The group of men mostly followed the logic of the situation and shook their heads as if they understood The Mother’s logic.

Sherlock, however, was not so fast to just accept the non-explanation. “I would agree with you Madam, except I for one have always maintained that you and your Son are as Mythical as I was Fictional. So regardless of the reality I, Professor Challenger, and Mr. Savage there find ourselves in. I must maintain a certain skepticism. Label me a modern day doubting Thomas if you will. But, I find it difficult to the extreme to admit that I have been wrong all these years about something so important. And, yes, I realize the importance of that decision. I just have never been presented with any cogent facts in a precise and convincing manner to change my mind.”

Sherlock looked at Challenger and Doc as if to say, “Back me up here fella’s”! Then continued

“However – again – considering the mounting evidence. I…Did you feel that?” Sherlock turned to look behind him as if there were someone approaching with ill intent. Doc, Bass, and Challenger all turned as well. Then Joan of Arc began to sing.

Her voice was strong as a trumpet rallying the troops. She stood before the door of the pub with her arms outstretched and her face to the sky. Jack realized that she was singing the 91st Psalm in an archaic style that evoked images in Jack’s mind of nuns and monks chanting in St.Paul’s Cathedral in London. And, for a moment Jack caught a glimpse of an army of dark creatures streaming down the street. Emerging from the ground, and falling from the sky like dark and putrid coals of brimstone. His attention, however, returned to the young woman and the boundaries between the natural and the supernatural continued to blur revealing Joan encased in a circle of brilliant light radiating out from her body in all directions. And, as she sang the words of the psalm exploded out towards the creatures hiding in the darkness.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life, I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Joan’s words broke the darkness like a strong wind on a foggy day and a sense of peace fell on the street, and the vision changed to one of panicked creatures fleeing from the angels that now appeared behind the words of light.

The vision ended as quickly as it started.

As the peace came over the street it touched the hearts of everyone standing in front of the pub, leaving Sherlock with a profound sensation. For the first time in his short corporeal life, he was clueless as to how to respond. Looking at Challenger as if he might have an answer, he saw that the professor was as lost as he was. Then they heard the trilling sound and turned to look at Doc. The giant bronze man was looking into the sky with that same rapturous look on his face and realized that the strange whistling or trilling sound that was coming from Doc had been harmonizing with Joan’s song. Challenger then grabbed Sherlock and pointed towards where Tecumseh and King Arthur had been standing near Joan. The two men were kneeling and also had the same looks of reverence on their faces.

Challenger looked at Sherlock and remarked, “It seems there is much more to being a human than what our creator has led us to understand. And, considering the fact that Mr. Bronze statue himself seems to understand this, perhaps we should investigate further. Although, I for one despise having to admit my personal conundrum in the matter of spiritual things. I deplore ignorance in any matter much more.”

But, as Joan sang the last verse – and before Sherlock could answer Challenger’s question – she began to run down the street with the butcher’s knife in her hand raised above her head as if it were a sword, her spirit had drawn her attention to the small man at the end of the street holding a cane over his head and chanting loudly.

Everyone except for the mother and the Inklings ran after the young woman. Surprisingly, Challenger caught the teenager and passed her and shouted, “There on the corner! A decidedly evil looking cretin is attempting to flee! After him gents!”

However, as the group arrived at the corner they found their quarry was gone.

“Quite interesting Savage. Don’t you agree?” Sherlock asked. “The man seems to have simply disappeared. Normally, I would ignore such an illogical suggestion. But, considering today’s events, I am disposed to believe that something supernatural may be the most logical conclusion.”

Doc turned to Sherlock and nodded in agreement. “Hard to come to any other conclusion. As there are not any doors near the corner for the man to disappear into, and there are no vehicles on the street in any direction that are close enough to be considered a likely mode of escape.”

Challenger looked at his partners and just shook his head. “I’ve seen some pretty amazing things in my imaginary life. But, this reality business is not what I had imagined life would be…if I had actually been able to imagine.”

Joan of Arc looked at everyone and waved the Butcher knife in their faces. Her petite face glowing with pure warlike aggression. And, since Challenger’s face was the closest to her own, Joan pressed her face up to his and whispered, “He is Devil…Demon!”

 

 

 

Chapter Fourteen the Lewis List: The Cowardice of Evil

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(Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash)

 

The Tilly drove off down St. Giles street with the two Bosniaks under the watchful eyes of the Section D men passing an innocuous-looking character standing on the street about a block away from the action. A small wizened man dressed as a professor stood leaning on an ornate cane topped with a golden apple. His weathered face, sprouting a wispy gray Fu Manchu beard, held small beady eyes shaded by a bowler hat that watched the Tilly drive by. He seemed to blend into the weathered tan plaster side of the building on the corner. If anyone had noticed the diminutive figure they might have mistaken him for an oriental mannequin escaped from a wax museum. His breathing was shallow and controlled as he chanted a quiet incantation. As he chanted; dark forms appeared in his sight, and a powerful sense of superiority rose up in the man’s soul. The demons obeyed his commands to descend upon the group surrounding the King of England.

Imam Sabri Demir imagined himself standing in the place of sacrifice deep underground at the ancient altar built by the hands of Nimrod himself. The most ancient of evils, conqueror of peoples, the hunter of men. Sabri Demir held to the exultation of Satan. He was an adept of adepts. Master of all the channels to the underworld. The Demons answered his beck and call. Isis, Nut, Athena, Minerva, all answered to him. The end would come and he would rule. The ancient rule would again rise up. Hitler was a tool and he would play him like an instrument of destruction. Himmler was his vehicle.

Himmler had been there at the altar in the ruins of Babylon south of Baghdad when the invocations were performed. Himmler believed the ceremony would guarantee the victory of Hitler’s Aryan Empire. But, Demir was following his master’s design and was dedicating Himmler to Satan’s uses. Legion now was Himmler’s eternal partners.

Thousands of years of ritualistic murder and dedication was coming to its conclusion with the wars that were brewing. It was inevitable. Satan would rule this world forever. His power would never be relinquished to that illegitimate child Jesus. Myths! All of the sacred scriptures were myths. The only true power was that of Lucifer the Brilliant One! Demir could hear the war cries of the demonic horde that he had unleashed on the streets of Oxford. The smell of sulfur and the cries of the dammed mingled with their screams of delight as their imaginations played with the thoughts of destruction and death.

As the chant propelled the demons towards the Eagle and Child, Demir raised his cane over his head in anticipated victory. The King of England would die today and his soul would be Satan’s. His exultation continued to rise up and the desire to sing a song of devastation fought with his intention to remain unseen.

As the demonic horde approached the pub darkness began to overshadow the street and as it did, bystanders who had been watching the proceedings began to disappear into their businesses like people expecting a rainstorm.

Imam Sabri Demir began to laugh as his occult trance began to overtake his desire to remain hidden.

 

 

 

Chapter Twelve “The Lewis List”: Reconnaissance

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Doc Savage and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are Trademarks of Lester Dent, Inc.
Characters copyright © Lester Dent or their respective owners. All Rights Reserved.

(Derek’s Note: Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! May you find the peace that comes from His Presence as you gather with family today! A reminder that I am posting these “Rough Chapters” as a blessing and to solicit comments and critique. Please feel free to comment on my blog. And, if you like my writing, you can purchase my first book “Those that Remain” on Amazon Those that Remain )

 

Chapter Twelve – Reconnaissance

Arthur’s dinner suggestion had no sooner been spoken when Mr. Slowey appeared at the door and began to herd everyone to the bar. Arthur’s statement that he was buying was due to the fact that he had brought enough food to the Eagle and Child to feed – seemingly – the entire city of Oxford.

“The Mother recognizes the unique nature of the situation we all find ourselves in and would like you all to know that she is going to take care of everyone’s needs. And, that starts this afternoon with a small token of her appreciation for your participation.”

Mr. Slowey’s wife could be heard in the kitchen giggling and gossiping with Margaret Carter…who volunteered to help cook for everyone…as she prepared the large Lamb roast and all the trimmings. And, Mr. Slowey was pouring his best bitter, scotch ale and stout.

Tecumseh sat at a table close to the door with The King, while the Inklings and William Stephenson stood at the bar watching and talking about Arthur as if he were Aslan Himself. Sherlock and Challenger were deep in a discussion with Bass Reeves about the uneasiness they were feeling with their current situation and the seemingly nonchalant attitude of Tecumseh and Arthur. Joan of Arc sat alone in the center of the room sipping a small glass of Kopkes port as she seemed to be in a state of shock over everything that had taken place. Doc Savage was nowhere to be seen, with his absence noticed only by Bass Reeves.

Doc Savage quickly pulled Mr. Slowey’s great coat over his shoulders and his slouch hat over his head to disguise his remarkable features and disappeared out the back of the kitchen as everyone was trying to get comfortable. “I’m not hungry.” Thought Doc. “There is something going on here that I can’t put my finger on. All my instincts are shouting at me, and I’m not going to discover what that is from inside the pub. And, anyone with a desire for stealth can only mean trouble. Obviously, our unique group has been assembled for a purpose. And, we are being monitored. But, by who? And, what is that purpose?”

Doc emerged out the back of the establishment and turned into the small alleyway. Quickly Doc walked down the alley in the opposite direction from St. Giles street and worked his way around to the north of the pub to a position behind a butcher shop at the end of the block to observe the street. A quick once over showed nothing out of the ordinary. People strolled down the street window shopping or attending to appointments at the various businesses along the street. Many of the buildings held shops on the ground floor of the building and apartments above, and this is where Doc began to focus his attention. Slowly and methodically he began to scan the upper story windows along the street. Some of the windows were obscured by the branches of the trees that lined the street. His instincts were telling him that the most logical place for someone to observe the comings and goings of the Eagle and Child would be from directly across the street in the small pharmacy. And, his patience and observational skills paid off as the glint of a pair of binoculars showed behind the open window of the second story window. Then down the street a few houses down from the pub stood two men dressed very much in a style that Doc surmised to be out of place. They were dressed as longshoremen on the streets of a University town. Most of the people walking the streets were of a much better class of citizen as they were the wives of the professors and staff of the various Colleges that make up the University of Oxford. “Why would two dock workers be standing around on the streets of Oxford?” Doc thought to himself.

Doc walked slowly bending slightly to disguise his height, until he came to the pharmacy. Slowly he turned to see if the two men almost directly across the street were watching. But, their attention was on the front of the Eagle and Child and not their compatriots hiding place. Taking a quick glance through the front windows of the establishment, Doc jumped up and grabbed the edge of the second story window of the room next to where he had seen the binoculars. The window luckily was open and Doc was in the room quickly and silently. He was in a converted store room for the pharmacy as shelves of bottled remedies and supplies lined the walls and a number of tables in the middle of the room designed as work tables for the process of filling prescriptions.

Normal background noises of a home and the quiet hum of the business below accentuated the clinical smells of the chemicals in the room. The door to the room was closed and to the right and where it should lead to a staircase. Doc assumed that the other room was directly across the hall. He removed the great coat and the hat placing them on the window sill. Slowly turning the knob to the door, Doc heard a muffled voice coming from across the hall…speaking Serbo-Croatian. Doc intuitively knew that he was listening to a native Bosniak giving instructions to the men across the street. He hesitated for a moment as the realization of how he would know that after being alive for only the last hour or so, followed by another thought that told him that Doc Savage was the master of more languages than any man currently alive. The thought continued and became louder and insistent, “It’s how your life was written Clark. You have many skills and strengths that you and the others will need to draw upon in the future. Be strong and courageous!”

Doc glanced out the window as he prepared to open the door and noticed that Bass Reeves was now standing outside the pub and had his eyes on the two men down the street, and had gained the attention of the men.

Doc realized that things were going to escalate quickly. So he opened the door and came face to face with the man in the other room. He was a small man in the process of removing a headset attached to a German Army Torn.Fu.d2 portable radio set. He had set up his radio in what looked to be the chemist’s bedroom. The radio set sat on the floor underneath the window sill. Laying on the beside table was a Luger pistol, and leaning against the wall next to the window and radio was an MP 40 machine pistol.

The man took one look at the giant bronze man and froze, which Doc took advantage of and struck like a cobra. Doc’s left arm reached out and grabbed the man’s neck and shoulder applying precise pressure to the baroreceptors on the the right side of his neck and he dropped as dead. Doc caught the man and laid him on the bed unconscious.

Doc stuffed the luger in his pocket and draped the machine pistol over his shoulders then looked out the window, and instantly jumped through the open window with the luger in his hand, shouting a warning to Bass Reeves who would know nothing about automatic weapons.

The two Bosniaks were reaching for their MP 40 machine pistols that had been concealed beneath their greatcoats. Bass Reeves glanced up and to his left as Doc catapulted from the window, and saw the movement of the two men his curiosity had been focused on in his peripheral vision, and muscle memory took over and the Colt Peacemakers materialized in his hands and steadied upon the two targets.

At that moment is seemed as though someone kicked an ant’s nest.

 

 

 

Part of A Conversation with Michael…

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(Derek’s Note: Had a long session in the early morning with The Holy Spirit as He downloaded ideas for my current WIP. This is part of what I received. Please take this as tongue in cheek. It seems the Holy Spirit has a sense of humor.)

Michael the ArchAngel: “Lucifer was my equal in many ways. The most beautiful of all Creator’s creatures. His Music soared through the universe, and we all worshipped along with him.

But, then he lied…

The Creator stripped Lucifer of his great power and left only the lie. Now he is the master of lies, of prevarication, of the grey areas between truths. It’s all he has now. Unless his lies can convince you, humans, to give him your power.

Truthfully, the angels all mock him now. Indeed, his nickname is “Lucy”!

He was given one job to do, the highest honor. He chose to Lie.”