Chilled

The tall young man shivered as he stood on the porch of his winter cabin that overlooked Lake Spokane, his coat unbuttoned and its hood pushed back. Tears trickled down his face. He wondered briefly if they would freeze before reaching his chin. But he didnt care.

Stephen, Keith spoke from the opened door. You cant stay out here much longer. Youre icing up.

Stephen stood staring out over the white frosted landscape that gave little hint of where water and land met. Silent sobs racked his body.

Getting frost bite wont bring her back, Keith persisted.

No, Stephen gulped. But its where I want to be. I feel close to her here.

Bethany wouldnt be standing out here in this weather.

Bethany should have BEEN here, Stephen replied coldly.

Standing now beside his grief stricken brother, Keith looked over the familiar scenery before them. Past winters with his father and Stephen played before him like icy shadows skipping over the whiteness. They loved winter, the snow, and their hunting vacations. After their father had died eight years earlier, Keith and Stephen continued their annual trips together for another three years守ntil they both married. The brothers vacations ceased, but Stephen and Bethany still came every winter. Keiths wife, Angela, preferred to spend winter in warmer climate so Keith had given his inherited share of the cabin to Stephen and his adventurous wife as a wedding gift.

Of all the things we did together: skiing, mountain climbing, shooting trips, scuba diving… Stephen swallowed. Who would have predicted a tree would fall on her car while she waited at a stop sign.

Stephen, youre freezing.

Its my heart thats chilled.

Keith reached for his brothers arm, guided him out of the bitter wind toward his fathers old rocking chair and made him sit. Snap out of it, Stephen. Its a relief to see you mourn…heaven knows I thought you would never let yourself grieve, but this is ridiculous. Youre chilled to the bone. I want to take you home alive; not in a coffin after you die from pneumonia.

Im already dead inside.

Keith sighed. Well, from the look of those frozen eyebrows and blue lips, it wont be long before the outside of you will catch up with your inside.

Stephen continued to stare beyond the porch. I cant live without her. His voice faltered. Why did she have to die? With his face contorted, a single sob broke loose.

I cant answer that.

Silence fell between them, disturbed only by the howl of the wind and Stephens sniffles.

Stephen didnt budge. Melted snow dripped from his hair and mingled with his tears.

‘Do you recall the winter Dad had an encounter with a bear? Keith said suddenly.

Stephen turned his head slowly to look at Keith.

Keith laughed. Remember? It was his turn to chop and he whined all the way out to the wood pile.

He was chopping wood for almost fifteen minutes before he realized that a bear had been watching him from just ten feet away’, Stephen added, trying to focus on the memory.

Keith smiled. Yeah, and we watched from the window and laughed when that big old bear chased him all the way back to the cabin.

And none of us could understand why Dad wasnt attacked, Stephen finished.

We didnt foresee Dads heart attack three years later either. He was fitter than me and you put together. Keith brushed ice from his younger brothers coat. We may never know why these things happen, but God does have everything in His hands.

Are you preaching to me, Big Brother?

Nope, just reminding you of what you already know. He paused. Stephen, dont let your heart stay chilled for long. The whole of you needs to find warmth in those who love you. Keith had finally gained Stephens attention. Angela and I have been worried about you. Bethanys parents are hurting too, and from what I understand, you havent spoken to them since the funeral. By the look of things, you havent done much talking with God either. We cant bring Bethany back, and no one can help you while your heart is so cold.

Stephen took a deep breath. Ill try. But how?

Youre thawing. Thats a start.

Melted snow began to seep through the front of Stephens flannel shirt. He shivered. It is rather chilly out here. Isnt it?

Keith grinned. You could also try and enjoy this winter圩or Bethany.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Its Time to Grow Up!

Simon! Dad called from the back of the house. Come and fix this mess!

Uh-oh…

Simon stopped at the door of the laundry and watched as bright red foamy bubbles spewed from the familys washing machine. Oops.

Oops is right and youd better clean it up before your mother returns with the groceries. Then, you had better deal with that car of yours. The windscreen looks like the aftermath of a locust plague.

The unusually quiet son entered the kitchen later that day and watched his parents move about to prepare for the evening meal. Steak, onions and potatoes sat ready for preparing. He sat in a chair to watch. Simon was always fascinated and somewhat proud of how they worked together. Being the youngest of five, and at almost twenty-three, Simon knew it was time to give his parents a break and move out on his own but…

Hey, Simon, his mother interrupted his thoughts. Are you going to the young adults Bible Study tonight?

Yeah… Ive even completed this weeks study questions, he grinned.

Dad looked up from chopping onions. Tears ran down his cheeks. Really?

Simon grinned at the voice that didnt match the tears, which were thankfully not related to this latest bit of news. Um…yeah. Were studying Hebrews chapter five. Im守m…finding it quite interesting.

His mother wiped her hands and approached the table. May I ask why?

Dad continued to chop and sniff.

Ill show you. Simon left the room and returned a few minutes later with his New International Version of the Bible. He opened it to where it was bookmarked.

You see, he began, last weeks topic was about “Warnings Against Falling Away”. Verses 11 to 15 says: We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Dad wiped his eyes before joining them at the table. What do you think these verses are saying?

Well, he began thoughtfully. Its like eating.

His parents laughed in unison.

Yeah, I know. Everything with me is related to food, he grinned. But its like the verse says, we have to stop just drinking milk and get in to the steak and potatoes of life地nd onions, he finished with a chuckle.

Dad reached across, pulled the Bible to him and turned it around. Yes, youre right. We need to grow and mature in His grace. He paused and turned over a few pages. Hebrews 10:25-27 also says: Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one anotherand all the more as you see the Day approaching. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.’

Pretty heavy stuff, Simon sighed. But I think Im beginning to understand this whole adulthood stuff. I mean, Im no longer a child, or a teenager anymore. Im supposed to be an adult. Right? Not just as a person, but as a Christian. I cant rely on you and Mum all my life to feed me or clean up after me. In the same way, I need to get into the Word and grow up.

His mother smiled. Even us older Christians need to grow. We can never outgrow the need to grow. But, youre right, Simon. You do need to do this for yourself. She reached out and touched his hand. Is there more to this conversation than impressing us?

Simon took a deep breath. Well, I like my job and doing church stuff, but…

But what? There was a hint of worry in his fathers tone.

This weeks Bible study has had me seriously praying about a few things. Im ready to put away childish things. Ive decided to start adulthood properly. Im going to attend Bible College. I believe thats where God wants me to be.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

 This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

 

GLIMPSES OF HIS GLORY Chrissy Siggee Miriam Jacob, Oxford Academic, Oxford University Press, Reviewer/Co-Author

A big thank you to Miriam Jacob for this review.

Dear friends, please kindly view and read here: via GLIMPSES OF HIS GLORY Chrissy Siggee Miriam Jacob, Oxford Academic, Oxford University Press, Reviewer/Co-Author

via GLIMPSES OF HIS GLORY Chrissy Siggee Miriam Jacob, Oxford Academic, Oxford University Press, Reviewer/Co-Author

Butterfly Cakes and Parenting Skills

NO, and that’s my final word.

Sarah was irritable. Her twin daughters, Lucy and Annie, had been arguing with her for almost fifteen minutes. They had been invited to their best friends Amy teen-theme birthday party the following Saturday. The problem was she would be eight; the same age as the twins.

The girls stomped off to their bedroom just as the telephone rang. Sarah took a deep breath and released it slowly.

Hello. Rubbing her forehead, she leaned against the wall to ease the weariness that threatened to overtake her.

Well, you sound happy. It was Connie, Amy’s mother.

Hello Connie. I’m sorry, sometimes I find parenting a little stressful.

You? Of all people Sarah. You’re a great parent. You always seem to have it all under control.

Well not today. What can I do for you?

I was just checking if the girls are coming on Saturday.

Actually, it was the party we were discussing. I just don’t feel the theme is appropriate for eight-year-olds. Peter and I made the decision a long time ago that they are not to attend a party which goes against our values.

Sarah cringed as she realized what she had said. Connie was a good friend who attended the same church.

Connie sighed on the other end of the phone. Can I be frank with you?

Sure, we’re friends.

It was Amy’s suggestion. In fact, she demanded it. Honestly, I have been trying to keep the peace around here. We received a letter from her teacher last week concerning Amy’s rebellious behaviour.

Sarah made herself busy at the stove.

Connie continued. Yesterday, we went shopping to buy her an outfit for the party. I have never been so embarrassed. Her performance was appalling. She insisted on purchasing the skimpiest pair of shorts I have ever seen and the top barely covered her. There wasn’t enough material to cover her navel. Connie’s voice reached an intense pitch.

Sarah stirred the contents of the saucepan. ‘Lord, why is it so hard to do what is right as a parent?’

Sarah, why does parenting have to be so hard?

I don’t think any parent finds it easy Connie. We aren’t born with the skills either. We all have to learn them’

Connie resumed talking before Sarah could finish. I was just telling my mother yesterday that I remember some of my own childhood birthday celebrations. We used to dress up in our Sunday best and eat those yummy cakes. You know those little ones? The ones you make so well. You scoop out the little piece from the top, and then add just the right size dollop of cream, before cutting that extra piece in half and sitting it in just the right spot on top, then sprinkling icing sugar over them to give it that perfect sweetness.

Butterfly cakes? Sarah smiled at Connie’s description. It almost sounds like parenting skills. You need just the right balance to get it right. She laughed at her own illustration.

Oh Sarah, I just had a marvelous idea. Why don’t I call all the parents and tell them I’ve changed the theme? It will be a good, old-fashion party for an eight-year-old girl. They can all dress in their Sunday best and you could make butterfly cakes. I think it’s about time I initiated some parenting skills. The first thing I’ll introduce is Christian values.

Sarah laughed. All right. I’ll talk to Peter tonight. He should be happy with the change, and yes, I think it’s a wonderful idea. Bye.

Goodbye Sarah.

Sarah was still smiling long after she hung up the phone. She turned to see the twins standing at the door, their arms folded stiffly.
What’s so wonderful? Annie asked sourly.

Well, first of all, go and get the flower-girl dresses you wore to Uncle Tony’s wedding and put them on the sewing table. Then, we need to start on some parenting skills.

What are you talking about? Lucy was totally confused.
I’m going to bake some butterfly cakes, and you two can help. It’s never too early to learn.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace