Friday, October 17, 2014


                That old road... that old road down yonder... is just about as long... as it is long..." Luke drawled, took sip of wine, burped.

                The cancer of stale cigarette smoke and sour beer ate dim lit air.  On a tad too sticky bar a cockroach used feelers to test tepidity of beer mug condensate; but before quenching thirst scurried away at the movement of Luke's hand, as he laid it on the shoulder of bewildered man.

                Lonesome tear drifted down stream, water-falled from weathered cheek, rippled pool of headless beer in bewildered man's drink. "I just wish... I could be happy all the time," he near wept.

                "Ya know," Luke paused, "I once knew a man with only one leg, and he was hoppy all the time."

                "That is not funny," bewildered man chuckled cry.

                "Tha point be," Luke addressed issue, "not to make fun of such folks, but to help you understand that you need to be careful what you wish for.  If you get nothing else, get this... there is only one sure way to cure them honky-tonk blues... get out of the honky-tonk... get into Jesus..."

                "Luke, you been comin' round this here bar for nigh forty years.  I neva' took ya for no Jesus freak!" Bewildered man eyebrow raised.

                "True, true, I'm a sinner just like you.  Except I been forgiven, even saved." Luke smiled.

                "Good grief, stop afore you violate my political correctness.  Next thing you know, you'll probably bring a Bible in here or sump-um."  Bewildered man raised mug, took hearty chug.

                "The B-I-B-L-E, this is the book for me." Luke popped Bible from shirt pocket.

                Bewildered man choked on his beer, forced it down hard, wheezed in a few short breaths. "I don't need no condemnation," he gasped, "I just need my gratification."

                "Jesus did not come to condemn, but to save." Luke smiled, "Ya see, its not Jesus, but folks that rush to a lotta things they shouldn't: judgment, condemnation, intolerance, all being favorites. And ya might say condemnation is the tyranny of the intolerant; but here in the good old U.S. of A. we got one equally as bad: political correctness, the tyranny of over-tolerance even unto abiding evil, even to taking away our right to freedom of speech, or as I like to call it... the rush to caution."

                "But one man's sin is another man's fun." Bewildered man to sin so clung.

                The shaking under their feet was barely perceptible, until the structure of the building began to rattle... until the front door burst open... cue balls on pool table blew to table end... empty chairs scooted along floor... drinks spilled... a table flipped over... a woman screamed... bewildered man's cap flew from his head...

                As Luke's long hair slapped at his face, he smiled, he said, "Like dust in the wind... so is caution without care..."

                The white knuckle grip bewildered man had on the bar was slipping.  About to be blown away, bewildered man cried out, "Jesus... save me..."

                The wind ceased... through opened door the light returned... a great calm entered the bar... fresh smell of cleansing rain filled the air...

                Jesus loves me," said no longer bewildered man.

                "Happiness is a relative thing... especially when one becomes a relative of Jesus... Yet many wonder why... til they look the Spirit in the eye..." Luke took sip of wine... and began quoting, "That old road down yonder is the Roman Road to Salvation found in the Holy B-I-B-L-E." And Luke from his Bible read the how and the why, the very signs on that Roman Road: Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9; 10:10; 10:13; 5:1; 8:1; 8:38-39.

                A quote or two from the perfectly not politically correct, Jesus: the book of John 3:16-18 KJ, "16)For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17)For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18)He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." And... John 8:12 KJ, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."



Tuesday, September 30, 2014


                Gone but not gone, like a contrary pet hiding under the house, amnesia had been missing for quite some time.  "Funny," Cheryl laughed, "how that nonexistent hammers the brain; hammers relentlessly, yet not quite savagely enough to destroy the tissues containing memories. so very funny." Her dry eyes hurt to blink.

                Across kitchen table, Mercie yawned, took sip of black coffee.  "Ya know, Cheryl," Mercie yawned again, "if you were anybody else who knocked on my door at 4:15 in the pitch dark morning," the eyes of Mercie narrowed, "I'd a greeted ya with a 44 magnum slug."

                "Mercie, you always are a tad cranky, especially in the A.M." Cheryl giggled.

                "Four A.M.!"  Mercie grumbled.

                "Oh, its later than that," Cheryl reasoned.

                "A lot later than you think."  Mercie did not blink.  "Lord help me, my name may be Mercie, but I'm just a little girl, well, medium, er large sized old girl.  Help me!"

                "I am so sorry."  Through eyes of Mercie, Cheryl caught glimpse of her own selfishness.  She leaned on table to rise and leave.

                "Not so fast, little missy!"  Mercie grabbed Cheryl's hand before it left table. "Sit!" Mercie growled. "Seeing as how the fact is that your insomnia is not just your own, but mine also; I have decided to cure you, yes, even heal you... before I kill you!"

                Cheryl giggled, although a tad nervously, "Perhaps I might come over a bit later... in the day... maybe?"

                No, its healing time, sister!  Enough already!  You been whining over that Jack McMorron guy for over ten years."  Mercie took sip of coffee, sat it down not lightly.

                "His name is Jokull Moraine and its only been a year and a half." Cheryl whined.

                "Seems closer to twenty." Mercie half chuckled, then sort a fazed out in blinkless stupor, coffee mug half way to lips.

                Over rim of coffee mug the eyes of Cheryl smiled.  These too early in the morning soul searches oftentimes required the rebooting of Mercie.  Cheryl rose, retrieved percolator carafe from stove top, stood by Mercie, rested hand on her shoulder, asked, "Need a refresher?"  She poured coffee.

                "Truth be told... truth be told... would be refreshing."  Mercie blinked, as if message received from above.  She took sip of coffee. "It would seem that if only you could find amnesia, you, my dear Cheryl, beloved friend, might find rest.  But is that really the answer?  The big picture involves more than just letting go memories of that McMorron guy."

                "His name is Moraine." Cheryl cringed; just the thought of no more Moraine made heart ache.  Carafe of coffee still in hand, Cheryl collapsed in chair next Mercie,

                Mercie gathered Cheryl's hands in hers. "Finding amnesia is not the answer.  Finding Jesus is.  Move forward with Jesus; worry bout nothing, but pray about everything.  Ask in Jesus name of our Heavenly Father... and his peace which surpasses all understanding shall keep your heart... Let us pray together..."

Our characters take a bow:

Mercie:  mercy, grace, clemency, charity, favor, compassion, forbearance, price paid.

Cheryl:  dear friend (Welsh)

Jokull Moraine:  glacier of ice (Scandinavian);  stone rubble deposited by a glacier (French)

Heavenly Father:  The Living God - The Creator.

Jesus:  His Son - our Savior.

                                         Matthew 11:28-30;  Philippians 4:4-7



Thursday, September 18, 2014


                "Flightless," Bernie Fetter mumbled daily lament, "wingless in bird land.  Why was I born this way?  Why was I hatched at all?"  Emu like legs propelled Bernie through needing a mow grass toward newspaper.

                "Hi Bernie," from lily lined walkway, widow Mattie Freer waved paper.

                "Why is her paper always on the walk and mine eternally in the dew?" His festering brain complained, but he said, "Good morning, Mrs. Freer."  Morning ritual complete, Bernie turned back toward front door, oblivious to the fact that Mrs. Freer's early greetings had increased in occurrence over recent months.  But oblivious he was not to the rising sun revealing silhouette of long legs through house coat. "Long and beautiful," Bernie thought, "unlike my bird legs."

                And so went morning in-idyllic.  While one preened, the other squawked.  While one danced, the other plodded.  While one moved on, the other ground in.  Till one faithful day...

                "Hi Bernie." Mattie waved paper.

                "Good morning Mrs. Freer." Bernie averted eyes from rays of sun passing through house coat; it only reminded him of how ugly he perceived himself to be; and "I shouldn't," he thought, "be admiring Sonny's wife at all.  Sonny Freer was the closest thing to a friend I ever had.  Lord, I miss him."  Bernie headed back to earth bound nest.  Door knob in hand...

                "Bernie, Bernie." Mattie Freer interrupted his doom of gloom trance... "Bernie, can you come over here, perchance?"

                Bernie cracked open door to nest.  Got a tad more than one foot in...

                Bernie, don't you dare act like you don't hear me!" Mattie clasped hand over mouth. "Oh well," she giggled, "no turning back now." She removed hand from mouth. The veins in her neck puffed out as, "Bernie!!!" escaped lips.

                "Be right there," Bernie answered, sighed, tentatively slinked back out nest door, like a bird from under cover after thunder storm..

                "Bernie." Her palm cupped his cheek, lifted his face to hers.

                His spindly legs turned limp spaghetti. "Your hand feels so good."

                "Bernie," Mattie in all tenderness said, "how are you ever going to see me with your eyes closed?"

                Eyes clamped shut, Bernie confessed, "I didn't look.  Well maybe a little yesterday, but not today.  I'm so sorry,  I..."

                "Shush, just shush, Hon," her hand still cupped his cheek. "Open those pretty brown eyes," Mattie cooed.  The eyes of Bernie met dove eyes.  "Bernie, you need coffee," Mattie chirped.  Her hand departed his cheek; found his hand; did not turn loose till she had Bernie perched at garden table.  "I'll fetch that coffee now.  It's fresh brewed," Mattie smiled promise.

                Round garden table hummingbirds flitted from honey suckle to lily, to flower, to all about; buzzed each other and Bernie alike in territorial flight to stake claim to sweet water feeder Mattie had hung out.  Near kitchen door, over shoulder Mattie asked, "Cream and sugar?"

                "Yes Ma'am," Bernie sighed.  His eyes followed sweet Mattie curves till she disappeared into kitchen.  To self he wondered, "Why is such a lovely dove even bothering with me?" Bernie bent knees, tensed legs, prepared to take flight.  But as if by intervention divine, designated hummingbird landed squarely on the tip of his nose.

                Bearing tray, Mattie returned to find Bernie cross eyed and frozen in place by hummingbird perched on nose.  "I see you have a new friend," Mattie laughed, more a sweet laughette.  She sat tray on garden table; and so cued, hummingbird accomplice flew to wisteria vine, where in lavender flowers he sat as culpable witness.

                From tray Mattie sat out not two, but three cups of coffee.

                "What is happening?" Paranoid Bernie brain neared critical mass.

                Garden gate opened. And lo, into garden strode crow dark clad man, verily the villainous reason for Bernie Fetter's self loathing.  Bernie began to shake.  His nose dripped blood.  Mattie rounded garden table, tilted his head back, pressed napkin to nose, hugged him to her.  "Be strong Bernie.  I promised Sonny before he died to do this for you.  He loved you, Bernie."

                As specter of dark remembrance  neared; Bernie clamped eyes shut, whimpered, "No, please no, don't hurt me." And then he heard... the steps of darkness stop... felt strong male arms embrace him...

                ...Heard just a man, named Mike, weep with him, "I am so sorry, Bernie.  I should have apologized to you years ago.  Your life most certainly would have been better without this jerk harassing you every day at school."

                "Every single day for years!" Bernie howled pain.

                "If what if... could be what was... then we'd all what if today," Mike spoke from the heart, took seat at garden table. "For many years the pain, that I inflicted on you and others, unleashed torment upon me.  How could I have been so evil?  How could I hurt you like that?  More than a few sleepless nights your tears, your fears became mine.  Alcohol and drugs only made it harder to cope with the guilt.  I could not live with myself.  Death seemed the only fitting punishment.  One drunken night alone in bed, I stuck a gun in my mouth.  Finger on trigger, I heard so clearly the word this wicked world despises most, a simple 'No'.  Whether angel or not, I know not, but I knew, that I was not alone.  That morning I found myself in a church pew.  I found God's grace and forgiveness and salvation through his son Jesus.  But Bernie, I never forgot you, just did not know where you moved after Shackleton High School."

                Mattie explained, "Before Sonny passed, he heard Mike had become Pastor Mike in another state.  I promised to get you two together."

                "I am so very sorry, Bernie.  I pray that in your heart you might forgive me and receive peace," Pastor Mike hoped.

                With napkin Mattie wiped tears from past victim's face.  Bernie looked into her soft dove eyes.  He turned to Pastor Mike and spoke, "So, Mikey needs mercy.  Where was the mercy when Mikey boy, Mr. Super Jock, Mr. lets slam Bernie's head into the locker, make him beg on the floor with boot on face, then kick him in the groin, where was the mercy then?  Where was it Mike?  Maybe I should give you a taste of your own medicine?  Maybe... maybe..." Bernie quieted, saw tears well in Mattie's dove eyes, saw Mike hang his head and weep.  Marty stood, took step toward Mike, said, "Or maybe I should just grow up, get a grip, get over it, thank Jesus, and give a new friend a hug?"

                And dove eyes smiled...

                          ... Be no longer wingless in bird land...
                                     ...Be set free by Jesus...

...Jesus, who even from the cross, said: Father forgive them; for they know not what they do...

                     Luke 23:24;  John 14:6;   8:31-32;  1st John 4:17                    


Monday, September 1, 2014


                                                            FROG IN THE FOG

                "Wake up, Larry," Karen whispered, "Someone is at our window."

               "Ugh,"was followed by Larry roll over.

                "Larry," Karen shook him, "Larry, go see what it is."

                Larry let out mid nightmare moan.

                The unseen thumped window screen.

                "Get up!" Karen pinched his posterior.

                "Mommy!" Larry screamed, "Tha crabs are eating me!"

                "I'm not your Mommy!  I am wife, scared wife.  Someone is breaking into our bedroom window," Karen huffed.

                "What?" Larry raised head, rubbed rear, listened.

                Thump! "Brrrrooookkke!  Brrrrrrrooooookkke!"

                "Its just a frog singing and catching mosquitoes," Larry yawned, crashed head back to pillow.

                "No you don't.  If it is, just a frog, how can I sleep with that green, that thing, ripping through the screen.  Get up and get it away from me, or the crabs will eat Mommy's little boy!" Karen jabbed pincer.

                "Okay already." In the dark Larry hung legs over mattress edge, stood, felt around on night stand for flashlight, knocked it off squarely onto little toe toenail. "Ou-ou-ou-ouch!" He whined.

                "Quit goofing around, Larry!" Karen growled.

                "Lord remind me why I love this woman." The thought accidentally found path to his lips.

                "What!" Karen fumed.

                "I'm going. I'm going." Larry stepped, the flashlight rolled under foot, Larry's legs flew up over his head, head hit floor, his lungs compressed.  Silence...

                "Larry?" Karen turned on reading lamp.

                "Am I dead?" Larry gasped.

                Thump went the window screen!  "Brrrrrrrooooookkke!"

                "Larry, paaa-lease get out there and do something!" Karen seethed through teeth.

                Larry grabbed flashlight, crawled to feet and stomped out bedroom to front porch door. Unlocking, he muttered, "At least I can let Muffin back in; another thing I should-a already done." He opened the door.  Not even the flashlight penetrated the night fog.  "Great, just great," Larry complained.  He flicked on the porch light.  The fog reflected it back as blinding light.  Larry turned it off.  "I guess a little light from the flashlight is better than no light at all," he groaned.

                Something rustled in the wife's flower garden off to the right of the porch and right under bedroom window. "No doubt Muffin is stalking the wife's nemesis as well," Larry deduced.

                The frog in the fog thumped the window screen, again barked warning, "Brrrrrooookkke!"

                The rustling under the window increased.  Larry stepped off porch directly into potted begonias.  Struggling to extract foot from pot, Larry spied the black and white silhouette of Muffin in the fog.  "A stroke of good luck at last," Larry sighed, scooped up his precious kitty.  He rose, brushed the frog in the fog off window screen and headed back in. "Victory at last." He praised self. "After all, finding a black and white cat in night fog is no small feat.  So glad I found you little buddy."  Larry hugged Muffin.  Muffin hugged Larry's neck, rubbed soft furry cheek on his chin and began to purr.  "Love you too little buddy," Larry added, "Let's go cheer up your Momma."

                Triumphant and loved, Larry entered bedroom and strode up to mattress edge. "Say hi to Momma... Muffin..."

                The volume of horror on Karen's face was only exceeded by the decibels of her scream...

                It was then that the startled skunk began to spray...

                Thump went the window screen...  "Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrooooooookkke!"

                                             ...What does the frog say...

                                   ...If it ain't brrrrrrooookkke, don't fix it...

                                     ...What a deep pit, burning lips dig...        

                               ...As the shrill voice reeks,so the skunk stinks...

                                   ...Why stir up trouble where there is none...

       ...Let singing frogs in the fog sing and catch mosquitoes like the LORD designed them to...

                            Proverbs 16:21 & 27; 10:14; 30:33 and Matthew 6:34

                Like that old Pharaoh of ancient Egypt, as recorded in Exodus, focusing on the frog as an idol or as a plague is just misplaced focus.  Focus on what matters, The Living God and his son Jesus...  








Monday, August 18, 2014


                                                         Cat On A Cool Tile Floor

                Twixt Paw Paw Land and Territory of Cooter Cat feline, twas no fence nor borderline.  For all that saw that old Paw Paw and that Cooter Cat agreed in shake head lament, "Now that old man is Cooter Cat bent."  And all went swimmingly well, in the home where the Paw Paw and Cooter Cat did dwell; til once upon a rhyme, granddaughter Autumn came to spend some summer time.  With pet carrier Autumn came to stay and play; and with new puppy dog brought to that poor Cooter Cat near total dismay.

                Now each and every blessed and precious night, it was tradition for Cooter to rest upon Paw Paw chest till morning light.  Then with, "Pffrrrtt-purrr-meow," rub furry cheek to bewhiskered chin and the Paw Paw awake, announcing time for kitty-cat food to partake.

                So twas one such morning that purring tween Paw Paw feet the Cooter Cat lay on the cool tile floor, as granddaughter Autumn cast a tad of frowny face distaste from the kitchen door.  And as Paw Paw opened cat food container, he and that Cooter Cat sang a well rehearsed duet complainer: "I'm hungry and you know it; feed me now.  Meow! Meow!  I'm hungry and you know it; feed me now.  Meow! Meow!  I'm hungry and you know it... Meow, meowww.  So why don't you come and show it... Meow, meowww.  I'm hungry and you know it, feed me now... Meow! Meow!"

                Oh did that granddaughter shake head and accuse from kitchen door, "Bad, bad Paw Paw!  You are supposed to love me more!"

                Paw Paw sighed, "What can one man do, when no one he loves wants to be number two?"  And realizing the eternal gravity of present time... Paw Paw's mood shifted from one of rhyme...

                Paw Paw dished out sustenance to Cooter; turned to Autumn and hugged her tight.  "True, Cooter is my courageous little buddy, fearless in watching over our home, even risking life defending Grammie's chickens and ducks from predators.  When Cooter almost died from wildcat bite, this old skinflint spent mucho dinero at the vet.  And once home, when he was too weak to eat and drink, Paw Paw sang to him that little song you just heard and its comfortable familiarity stimulated Cooter to eat.  No matter how many times I had to clean and dress his wounds, no matter how many times he threw up...  Cooter spent every night and every day in my lap.  I prayed and cried out in the name of Jesus asking the LORD to heal him. So, does this old Paw Paw love his little Cooter?"

                Autumn looked up into the face of Paw Paw, "Yes, but you still shouldn't love Cooter more than me!"

                Paw Paw just kept on a hugging granddaughter.  Autumn's angel face returned to his chest; and Paw Paw uttered the word of Jesus, "Consider the birds of the air, who neither sow, nor reap, nor store up grain; yet they worry not about what to eat, for our heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not far more loved by Him than them?" Paw Paw kissed her forehead, added, "You know how much I love Cooter.  How much more do I love you?"

                Autumn relaxed in his arms, but still registered a tad feather rumpled, "Humph!" Asked, "But who do you love first, Paw Paw?"

                Paw Paw rubbed his cheek in Autumn's hair; rocked her in his arms side to side; answered, "Jesus commands us to above all love the LORD THY GOD with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; and second to love thy neighbor as thyself."  Paw Paw smiled, sighed, "Love GOD first and he provides all our needs; even a special little granddaughter... named Autumn."

                Living joy fell from Paw Paw eyes; then he breathed, "In Jesus name, thank you Father above for my precious little cat on a cool tile floor... but thank You for all my family all the more... Truly You have surrounded me with love..."

                                                      Matthew 6:26 & 22:37-40


                Mark 10:44 - Whoever wants to be first, must be the servant of all.

                Psalm 37:4 - Delight in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.






Wednesday, July 23, 2014


                                                                 MISSED KISS

                "To dream, perchance to be in body or in spirit, here yet there, I know not," Paul wondered, more wished not true that moment most hoped for, most dreaded.  He looked down.  The tightness of the roller blade laces round ankles testified to the here as now, as did the vibration of not so smooth town pavement beneath.  The sigh of his breath hung in the cool evening air.  Cassie was there, attached to him palm in palm, breathing in unison, slowly skating to nowhere.

                As for Cassie, she too pondered, feared the answer to the question she came to bear.  What damage had thirty years without her carved into his heart?  Would Paul forgive her?  Did Paul still want her? Would his answer be sharp, perhaps coarse?

                Skating somewhere on the ungentle slope of Veritas Lane, Cassie stopped.  She did not let go his hand.  She pulled Paul round to face her.  And face to face she dared ask, "So, how have you been?"

                Paul avoided her eyes, looked over her shoulder, saw on Veritas Lane corner the Church spire, the cross, pointing to heaven.  Light snow began to fall.  He followed solitary flake down to the tip of cute pug nose.  Paul looked into Cassie's amber eyes.  "God, she is so beautiful," escaped his lips.

                Cassie blinked.  What Paul said and how he said it had both flattered yet unsettled her.  "Thank you, I think?" Cassie smiled; asked again that same caring, more probing question, "So Paul, like really, how are you?"

                For more than a tad of a while Paul gathered her into his eyes.  Her hair was shorter, darker, coarser; her right eyebrow only partially hid a not long ago scar; and her neck, well her neck was as remembered, slim, soft, inviting... "I love my wife," he answered.  "I love her no where near as much as she deserves.  She is beautiful, even at our age, she is still beautiful.  A sweeter soul upon this earth, there is none.  She is a good mother, a better grandmother.  She loves Jesus.  She even loves me."

                Cassie ponders all these things, but her heart knows reason that reason knows nothing of... She pulls herself close to him.  Her body presses against him.  Her head tilts.  Her eyes near closing.  Her lips part.  Paul breaths in her familiar sweet breath.  He hugs her tight...

                ...And whispers in her ear, "Every day, every night, for so long I prayed to be with you... Now I pray for you... So many years... I missed your kiss... and so shall I miss your lips to the day I die..."

                ...And they wept...

                As the pure white snow increased flow, Paul looked again unto the cross atop Church steeple; and began witness: "Cassie, Jesus teaches us to  pray in this manner: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread. and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever." Cheek resting in her hair, with all his heart Paul added, "And Cassie, God loves you so much that he gave for you his only begotten Son, Jesus, that if you believe in him, you will not perish, but have abundant life forever."

                "Jesus," Cassie wept into the chest of Paul.

                In a rush the gentle snow swirled about them... and for Cassie the skating to nowhere... became a walking to somewhere... with Jesus...

                Matthew 6:9-13 KJ; John 3:16; Romans 10:13; 1st Corinthians 10:13   



Monday, July 14, 2014


                Knuckles kneading temples, Anida Knapp strained to squeeze out tears.  Her elbows ground into kitchen table as knuckle vise ratcheted tighter.  No tear welled, yet drop fell, crimson drop fell from nose, spattered table top. "Another nose bleed!  Why me?  Why?  Why?" Anida's voice cracked.

                Toting groceries, daughter Serena entered kitchen door, quickly assessed all too familiar Mom meltdown. "Take a chill pill, Mom." Serena sighed, set groceries down, plopped into seat next Mom. "And why the bloody Nile nose?  Could it be as usual, like Pharaoh of ancient Egypt, you just can't let go?"

                "Don't you start with that religious garbage!  I'm not in the mood!" Anida barked.

                "Just because you are not in the mood doesn't make it any less true.  And as for religious garbage, that was Pharaoh's worst flaw.  Except for the Jewish folk, who actually had a relationship with our Creator, Pharaoh and the Egyptians were drowning in a religious sea of animal, nature and stone idol worship.  Now what could possibly go wrong with worshiping the creation rather than the Creator?" Serena would have continued, but...

                "So they did their own thing!  It's got nothing to do with me!"  Gloss of table top mirrored Anida's bloody Nile nose nearing flood stage.

                Serena to the rescue got up, unrolled paper towel, moistened it under faucet, "Mom, tilt your head back." Serena applied cool wet towel to Mom's nose, instructed, "Hold this on your nose and gently pinch."

                "Oweee!" Anida yelped.

                "Gently, Mom, and keep your head tilted back," Serena cooed.

                "I gonna bled ta dead!" Anida dramatized.

                "Now Mom, you are not going to... Well yes, Mom, you are going to die," Serena changed tune.

                "Whad?" Anida squawked!

                "Yep, deader than a charioteer chasing God's chosen people through the collapsing walls of the parted Red Sea.   Because you can't let go..." Serena smiled.

                "Ooh ar obsessethed!" Mom accused.

                "Really?  And what, may I ask, set off my Mom's bloody nasal drip this fair morning?  Did Dad run away?  Did Muffins the cat die?  Home foreclosure?" Serena wondered with purpose.

                "Nud ud doods!" Nasal clog was setting in.  And with head tilted back Anida struggled even harder to enunciate, took deep breath through mouth, poured forth the morning's tragedy, "Da coffee maka brokeedid."

                "So, not only are you obsessed with trivial inconvenience... but possessed by a possession," Serena observed.

                "Bud ed mud coffee furfect!" Anida whined.

                "Mom, you suffer from the ever popular religion of possessions or O.P.D., obsessive possessive disorder, better know as... YOU JUST CAN'T LET GO..." Serena cast a one eyebrow arched stare.

                "Bud I doh wanna et go!!  I... I wad ta fix ed!" All too elusive tears began to flow down Mom's cheeks.

                With loving hand Serena wiped Mom's tears away, soothed, "As Pharaoh learned too late, when you just can't let go, the hardened heart beats destruction.  And Mom, as far as our lives go, there is no such thing as self cleaning... We all need Jesus..."

                                       ...Why be a Pharaoh of what not to be...

                                              Exodus: Chapters 1 through 15