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    Entries in Nephilim (2)

    Thursday
    Nov152012

    Adam Finds God Outside the Garden

    *One morning Adam rose early, gazing with tenderness on the girl-woman who slept on in the pre-dawn light.  He had been taught so much about how to manage animals and nature, but how could all that knowledge aid him when he simply needed to keep food in their mouths?  How he wished for Adonai’s limitless wisdom that he had enjoyed in the garden.  He recalled their conversations.  They usually followed a simple line.  He would ask a question and the Maker would answer, sometimes with another leading question, sometimes with a story.

    “How I need You, Adonai,” he intoned without thinking.  “I can’t believe You have forgotten us or didn’t have a plan for our survival here.  You know everything.  You are so kind and good, it is just so much harder to believe in You when I can’t see You every day.  But I know You.  You would not want her to be hungry.  You would show me a way if You could.  I know You hear me, but how do I hear You?What do you need? For God to do some sky-writing or something?

    He recalled the words Adonai had spoken when He had joined them as man and wife.  How did that go? 

    “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.” 

    At the time Adam had not understood the meaning.  Now those words made sense.  He and Eve had finally become true mates when ties with their old life were severed and they were forced to rely on each other.  There had been nowhere to run when their pain had bubbled over.  They were forced to trust each other with their vulnerability and therefore they had melted into one—just as surely as two mounds of precious metal became one when Rapha had placed them in fire. 

    So this was part of Adonai’s plan?  No, Adonai could not intend evil, it was not in His nature, but He had known.  He had known everything that was to come.  He had even known their love would flourish outside the safety and ease of the garden.  So, could Adam surmise that Adonai’s plan was still unfolding according to its purpose?  Could he hope that he and Eve had not completely failed?  Hope warmed him.  Was Adonai so powerful He could even work beauty from their complete failure?

    That thought almost choked him.  Shouldn’t he hold that failure close to remain truly sorry for it?  Wasn’t it his future to dwell in that failure forever?  He could not fix it, he could not turn back time and undo it, but was it possible he needed to let it go?

    He hopped to his feet, pacing as the rim of morning sun blazed out to greet him.  He caught his breath at its beauty.  Overhead a flock of ducks flew east and appeared to be swallowed by its brightness just as a fresh breeze, like a kiss blown from Adonai’s mouth, brushed his cheek. 

    He recalled another conversation with Adonai when he had questioned why the sun appeared and disappeared each day.  “It is a picture of my love, that my mercy is new every morning, that no matter how dark the night may be, a new day awaits and my love is renewed.”

    Those words had carried little meaning for a young man wrapped in the lap of luxury and contentment but now he grasped them like a lifeline.  Adonai’s love was new every morning.  Every day He offered a fresh start—even for a cocky manchild who had to lose everything to realize how much he had.

    Then it hit him.  He felt renewed much like he had after lounging in Adonai’s arms in Eden.  He had asked and Adonai had answered!  All the words from their many conversations were in his heart, just waiting for him.  They were like the seeds placed in the ground, hidden but taking root, growing in secret until finally their meaning broke through the soil of his stubborn mind.  Gratitude flooded his being and he cast himself to the ground.  Adonai was here, unseen but still present, still available to give counsel and comfort. 


    *Excerpt of THE FALL (Rapha Chronicles #1) from the chapter titled "Sacrifice"

    ***********************

    How strange it would be to have total access to God and live in a perfect paradise only to then have to adjust to work and worry and stress.  You know, the kind of lives we live in this modern age.

    But this is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.  This, in the midst of confusion and doubt and circumstances that seem to scream that there is no God, is where true faith can shine like a bright star on the darkest nightOur sweet Hannah-banana having a God-moment at the beach..  Often, though, that moment comes when we have reached the end of ourselves, when we are desperate and truly have nowhere else to turn.

    We try to make such a mystery of prayer that we give up, say it doesn’t work and forego praying at all.  I love the simplicity of Adam reaching for God with all his heart, even though he doesn’t feel worthy and doesn’t even  know for sure if communication with God is possible outside of paradise.  But he is convinced of Adonai’s goodness and has faith in Adonai’s character, that God would at least care about their desperate circumstances.

    Prayer is simply communion, conversation if you will, with God.  There is example after example of God speaking with folks who are not “good enough” in the Old Testament and numerous examples of Christ conversing with the outcasts of his day, so toss aside the feeling of “I’m not good enough to talk to God.”  He’s reaching for you.  Reach back. 

    Silly pic courtesy of my sis-in-law, Terri. Trust me, I never feel "good enough." But God's goodness covers that.

    Chana is a wife, mom of four and author.  She and her family live in southern CA with a menagerie of pets. Fix her a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies and she will be your friend for life. Gush about Jane Austen with her and she will put you in her will.

    Monday
    Jan092012

    Bite 19--Truth Stranger Than Fiction

    (from THE FALL, Ch. 3, pp. 31-33)

    All heaven grieved when descendants of “the gods” began appearing as lords of Earth’s various tribes.  What use did the children of men have for an unseen creator when these glorious beings, a feast for earthly senses, could be worshiped?

    These lords were a diabolical combination of glorified beast and man.  Whatever creature was most feared in a tribe, the lord would appear who claimed dominion over it.  They possessed the physical attributes of man and beast, yet were larger, stronger, wiser.  For one culture the lord resembled man and snake, for another, a man-wolf, while yet another bowed before a man-dragon. 

    Mankind was eager to seek the favor of these gods.  Who else would give them the knowledge and tools of war necessary to survive?

    Thus the leaders of men swore allegiance to these glorious beings.  In return they received knowledge, power, wealth, and the means to destroy the beasts that plagued them.  These “shining ones” received whatever they demanded.  Their requests were simple.  They merely desired earth women as their mates. 

    So Lucifer’s goal was achieved with mankind’s eager acquiescence.  The cities of men became glorious wonders of architecture while commerce, art, and science attained astonishing heights through wisdom handed down from the gods. 

    And the celestial offspring!  Never had there been men of such stature, beauty, and strength.  In that golden age following the defeat of the evil beasts, men knew ease and safety.  Their edifices rose higher, their tables overflowed with the fat of the land and their pride soared.

    But not all were deceived.  Some prophets spoke of catastrophe to come but few listened.  Who would dare oppose the sons of gods?  Indeed, any who tried paid the price of that folly with their lives.

    However, as celestial offspring flourished, mankind began to realize their error.  They watched these saviors become the oppressors; their tyranny, cruelty, and disdain for those of inferior blood established the reigning law of the land:  Might is right. 

    Rapha and heaven’s allies were busy sustaining those who called on Adonai.  From the sprawling cities came a steady trickle of refugees seeking escape and communion with their Maker.  Among these remnants of unadulterated human kind were others, a manipulated and mixed species of beast, human, and angelic blood.  They were a motley crew but they had one thing in common:  a deep desire for truth and love.  There were even beasts of hideous visage who possessed this hunger for purity, as if holiness was an anomaly Lucifer could not predict or destroy.  Finally Rapha understood Adonai’s patient unwillingness to destroy the seeds of goodness along with the wicked. 

    But the bloodbath was inevitable.  When the shining star of earth’s cities sank into the sea and was buried beneath floodwaters, a result of Lucifer’s massive lairs beneath it, Lucifer’s servants fanned the grief and outrage, aiming it toward those who professed belief in the One True God.  “They have been tunneling beneath our cities like rats!” his servants proclaimed.  “They weaken our foundations of unity and power!”

    The faithful sought refuge as Lucifer’s forces gave relentless pursuit, scarring the land with their engines of war.

    When wasting disease swept the land, another result of joining earthly and celestial flesh, it was yet another opportunity to blame the followers of Adonai.

    “This is the judgement of their cruel God!” Lucifer’s hordes screamed.  “His prophets gave warnings, now Adonai has brought His plagues upon us!”  So the hatred for and slaughter of those who professed fealty to the God over all gods raged stronger than ever.

    Finally, no pocket of purity could be found on earth.  Soil, air, water and flesh were corrupt.  The only good dwelt within the hearts of those who sought Adonai.  As these faithful ones endured torture, starvation, and death of all they loved, Rapha and his celestials ushered most of them one-by-one out of their diseased flesh and into paradise.

    It was a wonder creation could resist as long as it did.

    When earth could take no more, the spontaneous collapse was mirrored in all life.  Structure was swallowed in chaos, harmony gave way to strife, and life finally succumbed to death.  The earth, sickened to its core, vomited ash and fumes into the sky.  The sun’s light turned a sickening sepia, then gray, until, finally, choking darkness settled over the land. 

    Through this horror, Rapha and his allies strove to preserve the seeds of faithfulness.   Lucifer too preserved a remnant of his kingdom.  So, in vast, hidden realms, separate yet still sharing earth’s hospitality, seeds of righteousness and evil dug deep to survive.

    Thus the earth’s surface lay fallow while the carnage of battle and catastrophe decayed.  Again, what was of earth was reabsorbed.  But the leavings of immortality remained, an indestructible poison to add to the stores of former celestial corruption.  Down through rock and soil this distilled toxin seeped, transformed but still indestructible.  These caches were hidden but not forgotten.  The day would come when mankind would possess the will and means to draw forth this poison once more.  But that day was far in earth’s future.

    And the earth was shapeless and void

     and darkness covered the face of the deep.  (Gen. 1:2)

    (end excerpt)

    ***********************

    (Do yourself a favor.  Before you decide I'm absolutely off my rocker, start at the first entry to gather more evidence of that fact :)

    There's a wonderful quote from C.S. Lewis where he says, "Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again."

    Perhaps he said this because, if one delves deeply into any course of study with an open mind, one can't help but be struck by mysteries that are truly stranger than fiction--or fairytales. 

    As I grappled with "crazy" ideas birthed, of all places, in prayer, I kept running into legends, myths, ancient writings, even archaeological mysteries that (after panning out tons of dross) would leave me with some nuggets of truth that blew my mind, changed my worldview, and yet... made absolute sense. 

    Sherlock Holmes said, "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"

    First, my idea of "impossible" was shattered.  We live in such a pragmatic world that tries to reduce everything to simple explanations or, if unexplainable, resorts to smug ridicule. 

    What was both fascinating and terrifying was seeing everything I "knew" crumble to dust, then when the smoke cleared, I saw what I thought were fortress walls had only been scaffolding.  I felt like a wide-eyed child gasping in wonder at the "improbable" that appeared to be the only viable explanation of why things are what they are and how they got this way despite a Holy Creator.

    

    THE FALL is my first published novel. Hopefully there will be many more to follow, but regardless, I'm hooked--addicted to the written word.

    Click the link at the top of the page if you would like to order The Rapha Chronicles, Book 1: THE FALL