MEMORY OF DREAD – Part Two

a short murder mystery for the Christian reader – Part 2

The gate slammed behind Brenda, causing her to shudder. The sounds of prison still echoed in her mind.

Frank Davies reached for her elbow to steady her.

Its all right, Frank. I have to do this sooner or later.

They walked down the autumn leaf-covered pathway that led to Brendas home, still ribboned off by the authorities. A uniformed police constable stood with his hands behind his back in the opened doorway, blocking their way. The badge showed his name to be Hoxley. Frank handed the thirty-ish Hoxley a copy of Brendas bail conditions, one of which she could collect personal items from the bedroom of the crime scene under the supervision of her lawyer.

Hoxley tipped his cap to Brenda. Im sorry, Mrs Stanton. Please accept my condolences.

Brenda nodded and tried to smile and wondered at the thought of how strange a statement it was, made by one of those who had arrested her.

Frank led her into the front entry toward the stairs but Brenda froze and her head involuntarily turned toward the opening that led to the study where she had last seen Charles. Another police officer stood to the side of the wide double doors. An outline of Charles body had been drawn on the carpet. A darkened dried bloodstain remained in the beige plush pile they had chosen together when they refurbished after their fifth wedding anniversary. Brenda shuddered and forced herself to look away. She felt Frank nudge her gently forward snapping her out of her nostalgia.

Part way up the stairs she paused to glance over the rail and beyond to the kitchen. Her chin lifted slightly and her nose wrinkled before she proceeded up the steps to the bedroom. Frank stood just outside in what seemed an attempt to Brenda as an unspoken gesture of privacy.

In the bathroom, Brenda reached for her make-up bag. Her eyes fell on Charles razor and the aftershave bottle that she had purchased for him on a recent trip to Hawaii. The familiar scent lingered on Charles robe that hung behind the door. Silent tears flowed as she forced herself to pack a small suitcase she had placed on the bed. Theres no time for memories right now, she pondered while shoving some clean nightwear and underclothing into a zipped section inside the suitcase. She methodically continued to pack, stopping briefly to fold Charles bathrobe around their wedding photo.

Brenda closed the bag and zipped it. Looking around the room, she considered tidying up the mess the police had made searching for who-knows-what.

Are you ready to leave? Frank asked, approaching her quietly and reaching for her suitcase.

Yes. Yes, please lets go.

She turned and walked promptly to the landing where she stopped suddenly. Her head jerked downward.

Frank moved quickly to her side. What is it?

A slight thump beneath caused them both to move to the railing and look over. The officer that had been by the double doors had drawn his gun and was rushing in the direction of the kitchen.

You heard that, right? Brenda whispered.

I think we all did, he replied, nodding toward Hoxley who had rushed into the front entry hall.

But what was it? Its the same sound, the same色 She sniffed. The same odour.

Frank sniffed too and then shrugged.

They continued to the stairs and began the descent. Partway down Brenda stopped again where she had paused earlier. She sank down onto a step and touched her forehead with the palm of her hand.

Are you all right? It was Hoxley.

Yes, thank you. I thought I saw something她r at least remembered that I had seen something.

A gunshot sounded, then nothing. A few minutes later the other police officer returned.

Theres something definitely strange going on here, he said to no one in particular before he replaced his gun into its pouch.

Brenda looked down at him. W安hat?

Young Hoxley dashed toward the kitchen generating strange looks from both Frank and the other officer. Brenda just let her head droop slowly forward to fight off a moment of dizziness.

It seemed to Brenda that Hoxley had just materialized in front of her a few steps down. He placed a glass of water to her lips.

Thank you, Brenda said after a few sips and taking the glass from him.

What do you mean by theres something strange going on here? Frank suddenly demanded. Shouldnt we take a look? Who were you shooting at? Whats going on around here? Shouldnt I匈色

The other officer rushed up the stairs before he could continue. He grabbed Franks elbow and pulled him roughly down the last few steps and out of Brendas hearing.However, she did notice the signal for Hoxley to stay with her.

Brenda thanked Hoxley again and gave him the glass before attempting to stand, but he gently placed his hand palm-down on her shoulder to keep her seated.

I know I heard something that night, she began, and I saw something. I just cant remember what.

Its all right Maam. Well get to the bottom of it. Leave it to the authorities. Inspector OMalley has had two officers here since day one keeping an eye on things. A few things dont fit, but were working on it. Hoxley sat beside her and took something from his shirt pocket. In the meantime, you may like to get some help地nd maybe some other answers. He handed her something that looked like a business card and Brenda took it distractedly.

At that moment Frank returned. He appeared exasperated but Brenda didnt know him well enough to read him. Although he seemed to be a good lawyer, he was also a very strange man with not much in the way of compassion.

Brenda gave her thanks again to Hoxley after he helped her into the car. He smiled through the side window and returned to his post by the front door. The thump of the closing boot lid startled her and she watched in a daze as Frank opened the drivers door and got in.

Whats that? Frank asked, peering over the driver seat at Brenda.

She stared at a small card in her hand. She wondered momentarily how it got there. City Central Family Church, she read aloud.

Ah宇hats not far from my own church. If you want, I can take you to either one on Sunday. I havent been for months. I never get the time these days. At least not since my wife up and left with the kids.

When Frank turned the corner the tree lined street disappeared from sight. His one-sided conversation seemed to fade into a haze of an all ready confused dream. She studied the front of the card and then the back. There was a phone number for a Peter and Cheryl Hoxley.

God and church had never been a priority in their busy lives. The only times they had gone to church were for weddings or funerals. If there is a God安hy would he let this happen?She whispered.

Placing her hands in her lap she looked out the window barely aware of Franks constant chatter.God, help me. Help me to remember. Help the authorities find Charles killer. Please God色

Frank? Brenda finally interrupted as his pristine restored Cadillac pulled to a stop at the motel. What did that other police officer have to say to you that I couldnt hear?

The engine silenced along with his chattering. Sergeant McDougal? Um好othing for you to worry about. It um地ppears the police have some new leads. Thats all I should say for now.

With the short conversation ended, Frank led her to the motel lobby. He was about to place the suitcase down to wait for the elevator when reporters and cameramen rushed toward them. Thedingof the elevator announcing its arrival had them rushing in before the doors opened fully. Brenda whimpered as the doors closed. Frank pressed the button for the fifth floor.

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

MEMORY OF DREAD – Part One

– a short murder mystery for the Christian reader – Part 1

The steel doors closed behind Brenda Stanton with a clang. It was only a few nights ago that she and her husband, Charles, had celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary. A few hours later he was dead, killed by his own revolver at close range. Thats what the coroner had said.

A prison guard stepped ahead of Brenda. Move along. Dont dawdle.

Brenda moved one foot in front of the other, oblivious to the handcuffs that dug into her wrists.

The guard unlocked another heavy door. Your lawyers here to see you. You have half an hour. Dont waste it.

The door opened with a creak and Brenda entered. A table and two chairs were the only furniture in the small room. The door slammed. She shuddered with the echo.

Frank Davies spoke solemnly as he stood to greet her. Brenda, please sit. You look pale. He sat opposite. Im sorry about this. Im working on an appeal for bail.

Why am I here, Frank? Her eyes stung but no tears came. I I want to go home. I want to go back to the way it was before, she gulped.

You know that cant happen. Hes gone. If you didnt do it, please, let me find out who did. You have to talk to me.

Frank sat with his right leg crossed over his left; his face expressionless. He just watched her. Waiting.

She shivered. Nothing seemed real to Brenda except the coldness of the interview cell.

My lifewascomplete Frank, before I found Charles lying motionless on the carpet soaked in blood. She covered her mouth with both hands and dry retched.

Franks face contorted and handed his client a large handkerchief. Take a deep breath.

He sat back and waited again.

Keep going, Brenda, he said calmly and took a pen from his coat pocket. You havent told anyone anything. Not even the police. Tell me what happened before you found Charles? What happened after you found him? I need to know everything. Its important I have all the facts.

Brenda wiped her mouth and tried to gulp away the lump in her throat. The handcuffs bumped her chin while trying to blow her nose. She stared momentarily at the metal bracelets on her wrists and the chain that hung between them.

Taking a slow deep breath she finally continued. I dont think I want to really know myself. I just want色 Again, she breathed deeply. Charles got a late night telephone call. It was unusually late, but it does happen with international clients. She paused and looked up at Frank.From what I could understand from Charles side of the conversation, a contract fell through.

All right, back up a bit. Do you remember the time of the call?

Yes, we had just arrived home. I remember because we both looked at the clock when the telephone rang. It was almost ten minutes after one.

Who answered the phone?

I did.

Did you recognize the caller?

No. But it was a man. He was impolite and demanded to speak to Charles.

Frank wrote in his notebook before looking up. Did you stay in the room while he talked on the telephone?

Brenda looked at a spot on the wall behind her lawyer and concentrated before speaking again.

I had answered it at the bottom of the stairs in the entry hall. Charles nodded and pointed to the study. I waited until Charles picked up before I hung up. Charles turned to face me, smiled and signaled me to go upstairs and blew me a kiss.

Brenda sniffled quietly before continuing. When I got to the top of the stairs, Charless voice raised something awful. I waited a moment but he seemed to have calmed.

And you didnt hear anything more?

Nothing. I shut the bedroom door and put some music on.

Frank tapped the notebook with his pen. How long was it before you realized he hadnt joined you upstairs?

Well, I had a shower and oh wait, I think it must have been almost two. I had just set the alarm clock for seven. Charles had a meeting at nine. She paused and studied her wedding ring. I didnt wait any longer. I just went downstairs.

After the incident, the police said you were covered in blood and your fingerprints were on the gun. How can you explain that, Brenda?

Brenda bowed her head and pushed her fists into her stomach. I saw Charles. I saw blood and the gun near his hand. I just froze I couldnt speak. Her voice faded. I just wanted him to be alive.

And after you realized he was dead, Frank pushed on. You called the police?

No. Not immediately. I guess I should have. I didnt want Charles to leave me. I tossed the gun aside and held him. He was gone. His eyes were open staring.

Suddenly the floodgates opened and Brenda sobbed uncontrollably into her hands.

Frank closed his notebook with a snap. I believe you. Ill get your bail organized. He packed up his notes and placed them into his briefcase.

Sniffles replaced sobs. Brenda tried to wipe her eyes and nose on Franks soggy handkerchiefwithout success. Looking up at her husbands solicitor she apologised for not remembering much more. What happens now? Will the authorities believe me?

Frank nodded. They will.Well find answers and get you cleared.

I just want to go home, Frank. I just want to climb into bed, pull the covers over my head and hope I wake up from this horrible dream.

She drew her feet up onto the chair and put her cuffed hands over her knees. It was only then Brenda realised she was still in her bedclothes and bathrobe.

Frank stood and picked up his briefcase. Im sorry things wont be as they were before but I hope you can move on.

He walked quickly around the table and stood behind Brenda, hesitated momentarily, then placed his hand on her shoulder.

Everything will be OK, his voice almost a whisper.

With the interview over, Frank Davies called the guard.

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.

A note from the author:I hoped you enjoyed Part one, a short introduction to Memory of Dread. -Chrissy

Archived in
Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are色

Darkness had become Emmas life since the accident. The impact had left her permanently blind. The loss of her only child was the greatest burden to bear. Nothing would console her aching heart. No one could help relieve her pain. Not even James, who had sat by her bed through all the weeks of recovery, could comfort her.

True, it was not her fault. Emma had pulled to a stop at the intersection when the lights had changed from amber to red. She could still hear three-year-old Kate singing her favourite nursery rhyme from her child safety seat in the back of the family car. The truck had come through the red-light opposite and swerved to miss a motorcycle. The truck had lost control and veered directly into Emmas car, slamming it into the car behind. The collision had also crushed her car into a van parked beside her, near the kerb.

There wasnt much she could remember of the accident itself, except for the melody of her childs song resounding in her ears. Emma hadnt even been aware her sweet young daughter had been laid to rest until she awoke from her coma three weeks later. It had been the same distressing morning she had discovered she would never again, gaze into the eyes of her beloved husband. Her heart ached so much she thought she would die.
It must have worried James to see her this way. Even after weeks of counseling and rehabilitation, she never smiled. One Sunday after the sermon, her mother led her to the Sunday School hall where coffee was being served. James told Emma he needed to speak to their pastor and it was some time before he returned to take her home.

The following morning James stayed home a little later than usual.

‘Im waiting for a delivery,’ he explained to Emma over breakfast.

Emma heard the doorbell first and edged her way to the front door, using her cane along the walls to guide her. James came to her side, and with an arm around her waist, he directed her to the front door.

‘Its here. Where do you want us to put it?’

Emma didnt recognize the cheerful voice. She assumed it was a just a delivery man. James led her to a chair in the lounge room so she would not be in harms way. James kissed her briefly, preventing her from asking any questions. ‘Wait here a moment, honey.’

‘This way!’ James called.

Emma could hear furniture being dragged across the carpeted floor. Muffled sounds came closer as James gave directions into the room. It was obviously no small package.
Excitement crept into Emmas emotions. ‘What is it James? Please tell me.’

A few moments later, James thanked the delivery men and closed the front door.

‘James?’

Without answering, James led Emma across the room to a long, flat stool and gently pulled her down to sit beside him. He reached for her hands and placed them gently on the keyboard. Her hands drew back.

‘A piano?’ Emma was puzzled.

‘Play for me?’ he asked softly.

‘But how can I see what I’m playing?’

James helped her adjust the stool so she could comfortably reach the keys. Gently lifting one of her hands, he helped her strike the keys. They both laughed and together they played a melody using two fingers. The words came easily.

Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are色

Emma began to cry and hugged her husband closely. She knew he had been conscious of her the pain. It would be the foundation of her healing; a healing of the heart.

Emma continues to play her piano. She is a songwriter and sings at their family church.

A new melody echoes in her heart. A melody of Gods grace and love.

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.

[Author of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star: Unknown Public domain]

Archived in
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two part poem: Of Those Who Persecute & Response by the Persecuted

Of Those Who Persecute
Hatefulness reigns
Nastiness and lies
Destroying reputations
Oblivious to their own fate

Seeking revenge
Persecute and curse
Fictionalizing rumours
Humiliating their own lives

Response by the Persecuted:
Forgiveness reigns
Tested and tried
Imminent challenges ahead
Continuing firmly in truth.

Finding courage
Inner strength we find
Trusting in our Fathers plan
Hope for tomorrow safe in Him

穢 Chrissy Siggee – 2019

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.

 

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.

Archived in:
Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

THEY CRUCIFIED MY LORD!

Beaten and humiliated,
they led my Lord away
to the mount of death
He was nailed and hung
on a wooden cross
Naked and shamed
like a common thief.

They mocked
They cursed
They laughed

Bleeding head hung low,
nails ripped hands and feet
A body slashed and torn
Blood flowed down
onto the rugged ground
Pain and dread
painted on His face.

Shame
Sorrow
Shunned

Blamed and disgraced,
all purity discredited
Guilt and sin He bore
My beautiful Jesus,
You did this for me
You bled and died
So I could live.

They seized His clothes
They pierced His side
They crucified my Lord!

穢 Chrissy Siggee

They Parted His Garments

And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. Mark 15:24

This stripping of Jesus was so appalling that it was referred to in all four Gospels.

Matthew, who observed that this occurrence was a fulfilment of Psalm 22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Mark, who himself fled naked from the mob in the garden.

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

John also refers to the Psalm, as Matthew did, but also gives the most detail and accurate description of the whole agony of the crucifixion.

The Christ lived in purity and dignity of manhood. Almost all pictures of the crucifixion give us the view of a dignified Jesus. But one gospel records the scene They stripped Him, John said. Naked He came from His mothers womb, and naked He hangs from a tree.

Adam experienced the shame of nakedness in Eden because of his transgression. So too, the Son of God took our sinful flesh and the shame of our nakedness upon Himself.

I believe there were two elements to the crucifixion; one of the physical and the other of the mental suffering. Jesus was despised and rejected, even by His own friends. He was oppressed by sinners, held in contempt by the soldiers, cursed by men and stripped of His garments.

His garments. His seamless robe. A garment fit for a king. His clothing wouldnt have been a beggars rags.

But when I read Psalm 93:1 The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. It puts a put a whole new perspective and horror to the story. They parted His garments and cast lots

穢 Chrissy Siggee

Scripture Verses used are from the King James Version of the Bible

Archived in
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Days Remaining – Poetry Book Giveaway

I have a signed copy of Glimpses of His Glory to give away to one of my Australian followers…

OR

for an Australian family member/friend of an overseas follower.

ONE BOOK ONLY for this giveaway.

Must be an Australian address.

Glimpses-of-His-Glory-SquareAll you need to do is write in the comment box below why you would like a copy.If you would like a copy to give as a gift, tell me about that too.

The winner will be announced next month when I respond to your comment with CONGRATULATIONS! I will also post the winner’s blog on April 3rd Sydney time!

You will need to claim your signed copy by sending me your postal address to my email address which I will give after the winner is announced. I will acknowledge your name (or person it is gifted to) with my signature in the book.

Chrissy Siggee

Poems from the Heart of Our Mum – the book

Poems from the Heart of Our Mum

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The author Ruth Barrington (nee Lawson) had written poems most of her life but she had never had the opportunity to published them. Chrissy introduced her mothers poems by publishing six of her mothers favourites inGlimpses of His Glory. After her mothers death in 2011, Chrissys father expressed his desire to have more of Ruths poems published. Chrissycommitted herself to the task of publishing her mothers writing for her father and the rest of the family. Chrissy and her three siblings also contributed a poem or brief article dedicated to their mother.

Please note, except for Emmaus Way, only minor editing has occurred to Ruth’s Poems. These are her thoughts, her words – from her heart. Making huge changes would make these poems the editor’s poems and for this reason, Ruth’s work has not been altered.

Order Now: Poems from the Heart of Our Mum

Hope in the City

DELIVERED– A Peculiar People Collaboration

Amongst the group of writers I can claim to have written just one chapter but yes, I wrote Chapter four.

320_4654160An immigrant and her young daughter, struggling to reach their dream地 special needs child, searchingfor hope地 newly released ex-con, seeking forgiveness. They have one thing in commontheyre about to be touched by God in a way they never imagined. All through a simple postcard. Brought up in a strict Muslim home in London, Sulafa has recently experienced the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Now, despite fear of discovery and its consequences, she knows she has to spread the good news. In an act of bravery, she sends out postcards with a single message: Let me pray for you. Her simple request impacts lives and brings hope in the midst of hopelessness.

The second of many anticipated books from Peculiar People, Delivered is a collection of short stories that intertwine to deliver a single message. It is the work of twenty-five authors with one united voice, proclaiming the power of God to transform lives and His ability to do the miraculous in the most ordinary of circumstances.

Amongst the group of writers I can claim to have written just one chapter but yes, I wrote Chapter four.

Chapter Four

Hope in the City –by Chrissy Siggee

Seventeen year old Sarah stepped down from the train and looked around. Haunted eyes stared out from a gaunt face. She looked around to gather her bearings. Commuters pushed and shoved their way past, almost causing her to stumble under the heaviness of her backpack. The warped wheels of her worn suitcase flip flopped behind her as she followed the crowd. Shed come to Sydney for a new life. No one here knew of her former years, which she wanted to forget…

from the book: DELIVERED– A Peculiar People Collaboration

Available now from Amazon

Taste and See

O taste and see all things He has done
theres nought but good in our LORD,
His gentleness touches every life
and took our place on the cross for us.

He takes the shame when we yield to Him
all sin and grief is buried from sight…
He speaks to hearts and calms all fear,
and stood in our stead and bore our sin.

Do not grieve nor hold to your guilt and sin,
but leave it all at the cross of the Fathers Son
Jesus gave His life, His all, for you and me
and lives forever and reigns on high

You can take joy in what I tell you here,
for the LORD will hear your every plea
His sons and daughters, yes, we are His heirs
and takes us by His hand to lead us home.

Trust in this LORD, our God and King,
for no one can match His worthiness
Take Him for what He says He is
and know He is the LORD of lords.

Psalm 34:8
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (KJV)

穢 Chrissy Siggee January 10th 2010

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.

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 marvellous 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.

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Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace