Time continues it’s flow
Soon exchanging red leaves for winter snow
And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.
The wonderful thing about this verse is the promise that, the land in question, after years of being an oppressive enemy to Israel, would have an entirely new purpose. God used a word for coast, that I feel, helps to illustrate this. The word coast, also means a noose of cords.
I remembered today, that a noose and a lifeline have the same shape. One goes around the neck of the accused, and the other around the waste of the one in trouble. Whether stuck on the side of a cliff, or drowning in a boat, they grab for the same shape the condemned dreads to see.
God said that He would turn the sea coast, the former dwelling of the Philistines, into a place where shepherds fed their flock. That same region, not only became a retreat for shepherds and sheep, but a place where Jesus walked.
The very area that Israel’s enemies stemmed from, became a place visited by The One called the Stem Of Jesse. Life replaced death, hope invaded despair, and conviction took the place of condemnation.
One commentary said that pits were dug where Shepherds and flocks could stay to keep cool. In Iceland, former burned areas in the mountains became places of refuge. Today, Christians in general, and Pastors in particular, have faced a wave of battles.
Through them all, they have been faithful, forgiving, and loving. I feel that God has given this to me, specifically for them.
My belief, and my prayer is. That God would take those situations, people, and circumstances who wounded you. That He would turn them from pits of sorrow, into places of strength.
Those things that attempted to burn you out, and destroy you, to be turned to your good. Just as the areas of Israel, which were once the homes of the Philistines, became the places where Jesus walked. God will turn those instruments designed to take your life, to become lifelines, and connections to your future.
They just stared at each other for a moment, calculating the other’s possible moves. Strand had walked out, his security around him. Edward spoke first. “Why does somebody with as many arms as you have in everything suddenly need security?”
First a laugh, then a small barely detectable sneer, masked by another smile was the response. Instead of answering, Strand addressed Mayor Lafayette. “I suppose this means our association is at an end Mayor. I did have such illustrious plans for your eventual demise, now they’ll have to be accelerated.”
Carl was enough of a politician to control hisself enough not to do what he wanted. His first idea had been to hit him in the face with the handle of his gun. Pin had been silent, watching every movement, and listening to each word, but also doing something else.
He knew Strand, even if it was a deceitful version. He knew one thing about him. Strand acted when he was confident of the outcome, and he hadn’t moved. That either meant he was totally at a loss for what to do next, or he was trying to come up with a new plan.
The longer they waited, the more advantage it gave Strand. Pin signaled to Edward to wrap it up quickly. They had discussed the gestures beforehand, so Edward spoke almost immediately. “Everything I know about you, and all Ralph here knows about you, is in a package with the Secret Service. You’re plans are ruined, stand down, and come with us.”
Strand’s laugh this time was genuine. “Is that your plan? I knew about that package a half hour ago. It was never opened, the military confiscated it, and officially, the contents show how corrupt members of Alaska’s local governments are, including one Carl Lafayette. Edward, I’m not worried about you stopping my plans, I thought you were hear to kill me.”
“I’m not a murderer Strand.” “Well, that’s too bad, Strands are. I won’t kill you now, it would be too messy, and too quickly. I want each of you to suffer slow, and painful deaths. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment with the President. He wants to speak to the advisor that his new party chairman so highly recommended.”
It was then that the shot rang out, and Strand went down. The security team pulled their weapons, but it was evident, the shots hadn’t been from Edward’s group. Four bullets were fired, two hit Strand, one in each knee. One broke the glass of a high window of the Adams hotel. The fourth had hit the man beside of Strand in his shoulder.
The police would find out later, where the shot had come from, and what type of bullet was used. Edward could guess about those things, but instantly he knew who the shooter must have been, Harriet. She was smart, she was talented, and she was angry.
Strand wasn’t dead, but at best, he would walk with canes the rest of his life. The man beside of Strand, had been the one who had shot St Louis. The bullet was just far enough from his heart to be extracted. Harriet was not a murderer, this was her only way of being sure to expose them.
The police wouldn’t stop at who shot them, they would want to know why. Those were questions Strand had to answer for, including why his elderly Aunt, had been shot in the leg as well. Harriet had been investigating herself, or rather interrogating her prisoner in the hotel earlier that day, one Artemis Strand.
Look for next week’s exciting conclusion to Alaskan Silver!
Edward Mallory sat on a park bench. Those who knew him felt sorry for him, although they couldn’t risk admitting it. At least not now, after what had happened. Edward had been up against two of the shrewdest operators in the country, three if you count the ghost of Thorn Piper.
He knew it all now, or at least, believed that he did. It seemed they always had another card to play. He asked himself if he should have tried at all, but then, he knew the answer to that.
His Uncle had taught him that, while politics is a hard life, if your ethics and motives dictated your methods, you would be in the right. Now his Uncle was at home in his bed clothes, having not left the house for two days.
Apparently, one of Minerva’s meetings orchestrated his Uncle being removed from the position of party leader, in favor of one of her operatives. Edward’s hero had lost his job because of him.
Worse than that, Pin had been beaten up, and St Louis’ cover had been exposed. He was laying in a hospital bed, clinging to life. Thy had gotten the bullets out, but only time would let them know if he would pull through.
At least Harriet was safe, Edward knew at least part of what her plans were. St Louis hadn’t revealed that she was still alive until they had gotten back to Washington. An only then, because he discovered how entrenched Strand was.
St Louis felt Edward was her only protection. Staying with the Mallory family had probably kept her from being shot that morning. They got him a few feet from his home, hitting him twice. One bullet lodged in his chest, and one in his shoulder.
Mallory couldn’t forget the look in her eyes when he told her. First, fear for her husband, then anger at his assailants, and determination to bring anyone involved to justice. Harriet calmly loaded her gun, disguised herself, and left.
Edward tried, but knew after the tortured, calm look on her face, it was useless. She had suppressed her pain to do her duty. His only fear was her methods, did she have justice, or vengeance in mind?
He didn’t know, and didn’t know, still questioning his own motives. The people that knew him assumed he was feeling sorry for himself in the park. They would have been wrong. Edward wasn’t there out of self pity, no more than his Uncle was depressed.
His Uncle hadn’t changed out of his bed clothes because he was too busy, not having the time to do it. He was spending all of it pulling strings, trying to take his party back. Once Edward knew his hero had decided to fight, he put together a plan of his own.
Edward was in the park, waiting to meet with his rival. The Adams Hotel was right across from it, and he was going to see Edwin Strand. Edward wasn’t stupid enough to face him on Edwin’s turf, that would have been suicide. He would take the same tactic, minus the gun, that St Louis’ would be killers had.
Strand’s men would try to prevent him from talking, but he had backup. A mayor with a revolver, a policeman with two side arms, and a fugitive with a pistol. The park was busy, even this early, so they fit right in, their weapons concealed until needed.
Edward was about to push his enemy and see how well he liked it. There was no more time for games, this was war. Edwin Strand had intentions of conquering Alaska, and America, now a few of her sons were ready to share their opinions.
God walks the dark hills
The ways, the by waysHe walks through the billows
Of life’s troubled sea
He walks through the cold dark night
The shadows of midnight
God walks the dark hills
Just to guide you and me
I love the lyrics to this old song, as well as, Standing In The Shadows You’ll See Jesus. He who is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all, goes into the dark areas that trouble our lives so we can see. He goes into darkness, something completely opposite of Him, just for us, and transforms it, without it ever altering Him in any way. To cap it off with one more song, O What A Savior!
The farmer is glad for his field. It is a place where he sees the result of his labor. Whether tilling, sowing, or reaping, this is the place where investment meets return. Today, I want to encourage the working, you’re not only earning a living, you’re part of something much bigger.
After seven months of being laid off, I can tell you that I have a renewed appreciation for getting up each day, and getting to go to work. It’s more than just a paycheck, it’s a sense of contributing. Both on a moral, and economic level, you are fulfilling a purpose.
Every position, from a pizza maker to a CEO, is adding value to society. In economics, there is something known as the ripple effect. One event doesn’t only make money, it enables other events to do the same.
Take for example, a young man gets hired as a pizza delivery driver. Because of his job, he can now afford a car payment. He buys an older used car. That payment doesn’t only allow him to go to work and school, the commission of the sale, helps feed the salesman’s family. It also allows the young man’s parent to either work additional hours, or frees them up to spend time fulfilling other needs.
Because of one teenager’s willingness to work, two families are made better. They spend time and money, which helps enable other people’s jobs, and lives. No matter what your occupation, you’re doing more than just going to work each day.
You are helping to maintain your family, your community, and even your country. We joke about taxes, and the cost of living, but for those of us blessed to work each day, we are making it possible for others to live. The soldier that is risking their lives to protect us, can trust in the continuing of their country, not only because of their sacrifice, but because of hard working citizens who help to maintain it.
The doctor who cares for sick children can continue to do so because of a stable economy. It’s a shaky world, and there are real problems, but if you’re working, you’re part of the solution. I write this because I know how easy it can be to become frustrated by circumstances.
Maybe you feel overwhelmed, or as if you’re barely getting by. Conditions can affect your outlook, your emotions, and your health. The truth is, there are no unimportant people, or positions. This isn’t to say your only value is in your career, just that your career is valuable.
Perhaps it’s not the job you dreamed of, by all means, responsibly pursue your dreams, but remember this. Your current work isn’t only enabling the dreams of others, it’s doing the same for you. By feeding yourself, and your family, you are supplying the resources that carry you from the present into your future.
We are not helpless creatures of fate, God has blessed us with the ability to create opportunities. Hard work produces experience, and experiences generate knowledge. That knowledge, used wisely, opens new doors. So don’t allow discouragement and frustration to rob you of your worth.
If you are blessed to be able to work, you’re making a difference. If like I was, because of a lay off, or a health issue, you can’t work, that doesn’t mean you’re not valuable either. Today though, I want to encourage the worker who’s asking themselves what it all means.
Maybe you’re not where you expected to be, and there’s value in evaluating your current situation. Only, don’t let where you’re not, cause you to disregard where you are. Evaluate where you are, make plans for the future, but don’t devalue how far you’ve come.
You are earning a living, no matter what the amount, you’re helping to keep your country going, and you are inspiring others that they can also one day feed their family. Thank you to the working men and women of our country, and our world. You are making it a better place, by what you do.
The meeting had been coming for a long time. One was glad it was finally happening, the other, didn’t care for the timing. He was sat in a chair, and tied up, under the threat of a gun. Only it wasn’t Ralph Hearns, it was Pin, and he wasn’t in great condition just now.
His face and body had been beaten, and now, he was looking at one of the men he had sacrificed his future to put away. “Why here cop, why now?” “If I knew I’d be meeting you here, I would have brought a friend or two.” “Pals with bullets no doubt.” “No, teeth.”
A few hours earlier, when Pin saw Ralph Hearns, there was a third man in the shadows. The High Flying Lewzinstra saw the chase. Just after Pin had caught Ralph, he hit him from behind. Lewzinstra’s real purpose exposed, he gave Ralph a choice. Help him and live, or die right there.
Now Ralph, feeling it impossible to escape again, reluctantly went along with the plan. Lewzinstra called in Minerva’s men, and she sent an old acquaintance of Pin’s former life to see him. She wanted to know what Pin knew before he died.
Pin refused to talk one way or the other. They weren’t sure if he knew anything, or if he was just trying to stay ahead of them. They couldn’t kill him until they knew how much, if any, of Minerva’s plot he knew. What they didn’t know was, that Pin had a third option.
When her new husband didn’t return from walking, Estelle got scared. She started to go for help, but then realized that her best help was already with them. Estelle went straight to the wolves, and Francois. They reasoned it had to be someone in the circus, some enemy they didn’t know about. So the wolves began to search for the leader of their pack.
When it happened, it was quick. The wolves burst through the tent, teeth exposed, attacking every threat they saw. Francois fired a shot at Lewzinstra to disarm him. Estelle pointed Pin’s rifle right at the head of the man she had just seen hit her husband.
“Ok, ok, call these monsters off!” Pin looked at his wife grinning. “They’re not monsters, their family, but they’re not your biggest problem right now. If you don’t want my Bride to shoot you, I suggest you come around here and untie me, fast!” The man complied, and Pin thanked him by knocking him out squarely on the jaw.
Ralph Hearns hadn’t resisted the wolves when cornered. He at least knew their motives, nor had he attacked Pin. Ralph was glad they had rescued the policeman, and was ready to stop running. Whatever it took, whatever he had to face, he was ready to stand up and expose Minerva and Edwin Wynton Strand!