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Archive for December, 2008

A Christian Nation … A nation can never be a ‘christian.’ The legal entity called a ‘nation’ is not a being. The head of a ‘state’ is not that ‘state’ either. A nation or the state was not made in the image and likeness of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; nor can they ever be. A nation can however be made up of christians, and the governance of the same by christians.

Therefore, for a nation to be christian its citizen membership must be christian. And for its citizen membership to be christian they must be examples of the Christ who is Jesus, son of Mary, son of God, Messiah as prophesied.

To understand what the above two paragraphs mean, one must understand what is a ‘christian.’ The Judeo-Christian Bible states that it was in Antioch that those who followed Jesus the Crucified and Resurrected Christ were first called ‘christian’ – from the Greek, one who is like the anointed.

From a slur to a badge of honor, the moniker ‘christian’ has stuck as a name to all of those who follow Jesus Christ as savior and as lord.

To follow after Jesus truly, one must walk with Him to the cross and die: die to sin, die to self. After the cross came life. All those who believe accept in their heart that at the cross their every sin [acts of separation from God the Father] were put on trial, condemned to death, and laid upon Jesus who took on our separation and just punishment that we might live. Jesus took upon himself our sin, our shame, our just punishment, and died that He might overcome sin, death, and the grave to be Lord of All. On the third day He arose in His flesh, resurrected mortal flesh to put on immortality. He ascended to the Father to finish the sacrifice and to take His place in Heaven. He returned to Earth to confirm His witness that all of these things had been done just as the prophets of old had said. He walked among us 40 more days then was ascended to His place at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. He did not leave us orphans but gave us His Holy Spirit at Pentacost – a baptism of the Holy Spirit and of Fire.

To each who walks in the fullness of what Jesus sacrificed all to give, to them has been given the power to save the nations for Christ Jesus. To them has been given the power to change nations one person at a time until the whole nation walks with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. To them has been given the power to convert nations into a Christian Nation. Amen.

[Also posted at the group A Christian Nation here.]

© 2008 Dave Doc Rogers

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Here’s Your Breakfast, Mr. Poe
By Dave Doc Rogers
Wordcount: 3583

Lightning flashed and thunder tore through the roar of the waves crashing, crashing against the base of the cliff. The angry storm spent its wrath against the lone castle overlooking the boulder strewn base of the cliffs. Pale yellow light shone weakly from the windows of the upper hall. Rain drenched and miserable a horse team was driven hard as it pulled a coach through the thickening mud of the track leading to the remote and forlorn castle. The passengers within were jostled and slid with each malformation in the poorly maintained cart track. The hooded young lady tried incessantly to comport herself without goodly success. The rake of a merchant’s son could not help his poor breeding and often laughed to her ridicule. The attending matron bore all with dignity and distaste. At every outburst of laughter from the young man a look of contempt was thinly veiled. The magistrate took it all in and digested it. With increasing contempt he snorted his displeasure at the absurdity and inconvenience of having to make this yet additional trip to this remote, frontier keep.
Jostled without respite, the coach persisted in its journey. A brilliant flash followed immediately by a hair tingling crack filled the air within the coach. The young lady screamed in her fright. The matron quickly clutched the young woman to her breast. A vacant look of laughter mixed with fright washed across the face of the young merchant. The magistrate only jumped and pulled his valise closer to himself. The coach lurched from side to the side as the horsemen worked to control the team. Moments of terror added to the inconvenience of their travels together. The soaked horsemen managed to regain their charges and slow the team to retake the track. Looming ever closer the castle seems to watch their approach.
The drivers brought the team to a halt in front of the gatehouse. In painful and aching movements, the older of the drivers dismounted the coach and sloshed his way toward a door in the side of the gatehouse. He slapped the door with his open hand several times. There was no answer from within. The other driver still on the coach shouts down to look for a bell rope. The older man cast about looking for anything that may appear to be such. At last in a corner to one side of the gatehouse he spies a rope. In just a few splashing steps he was near it and pulled. In the distance an iron bell sounds. The old driver pulled again. The bell sounded again in the distance. He looked to the coach. The other driver waved him back. The rain continued its onslaught as the older driver took his seat.
Several minutes pass. The rain continued unabatedly. The four passengers within the coach looked to one another in awkward silence. The chill of the air and the constant weather have put a strain upon them all. Barely heard above the storm voices are raised in conversation. The coach unexpectedly lurched forward. The young merchant nearly slid from his rearward facing seat to the floor of the coach. The magistrate’s valise did fall to the floor spilling its contents. The older man quickly fell forward and begins collecting the loose papers. The muddied and wet floor did not overly spoil the documents but the look of dissatisfaction was clearly evident upon the face of the magistrate. The young lady is nervously fearful. The older matron seemed unconcerned. And the young merchant poorly hid his smile finding the magistrate’s situation amusing.
The rain abated momentarily as the coach passed through the gatehouse into the bailey. The incessant drumming of rain drops on the roof of the coach returned. The young lady found herself looking to the roof as the sound of the rain made its way across the top of the coach. A momentary distraction as the coach bounced evenly and slightly across the cobbled way leading through the outer bailey. It seemed only moments had passed before they are under the cover of the inner gatehouse. There was movement from outside as the drivers dismounted from the coach. A door to the coach swung outward and the face of the younger driver peers in.
“Begging your pardons, Messigneurs et Mesdames. There is no cover against this rain in front of the main entrance. His lordship has requested you depart here for your convenience. His man will show you the way out of the weather.
“Herbert and I will bring your effects along directly.”
The driver spoke directly but the expression on his face asked permission. The magistrate answered for them all, “That will be fine. Aid me,” he commanded holding out his hand.
One by one the driver assisted his passengers from his lordship’s coach. The wind and the weather continued to splatter everyone in attempts to get them wetter than they already were. They turned in unison as a side door opened in the gatehouse and an elderly man peered out. He held a lantern out in front of him. He looked at them through squinting eyes.
“His lordship has been expecting you,” he croaked with an old voice. “He trusts your journey was not too uncomfortable.” The old man turned without waiting for an answer and began walking into the interior of the gatehouse.
The interior of the gatehouse was drab. The old man did not wait for them to fully take in their surroundings. Walking quickly, he began to disappear down a long hallway. The young lady looked nervously to the matron for assurance.
“Let us go quickly, Lady Marguerite. We need to get you to warmth soon,” the matron gently pushed the young lady in the direction the old man took.
The magistrate pushed passed both women and followed quickly after the old man with the lantern. The young merchant followed nervously after the women, not wanting to be left behind. He continuously looked around afraid of every shadow.

***

“He is a curious subject. He is constantly in a state of delusional schizophrenia.”

“Do you have a history on him, Doctor?”

“Sadly, it is insufficient, Doctor.”

***

They sat in the main hall in various chairs along the walls. No one sat at the main table. Their host had not yet arrived and there was no food laid out as yet. They simply waited. The young merchant tried to strike up conversations with young lady and her matron. They only politely answered his queries. He was unaware of his station and they were being too polite to point it out to him. After having no success, the young merchant attempted conversation with the magistrate. The surly, disapproving looks made it certain to the young merchant that he was not interested in conversation. The young merchant took to inspecting anything else that might be interesting. He walked along the walls closely examining portraits of relatives long since dead, suits of out dated armors, and heirlooms of no real intrinsic value. It occupied his time.
The magistrate returned to fussing over his papers, inspecting seals, and rereading drafts. He ensured he looked rather important and too busy to be bossed with the others.
The young lady sat pleasantly bored counting and recounting everything in the room. It was an exercise in managing boredom on the inside while appearing pleasantly amused on the outside. The matron just watched her and politely reminding her of her station whenever she forgot herself only slightly.
“Is there a bell rope or something?” asked the young merchant in exasperation. “Where is our host and might we have some wine or some other refreshment?”
Three sets of eyes turned to him. Three sets of eyes looked upon him with disdain at his outburst. Three sets of eyes agreed with him but said nothing.
The storm that had raged for so long during their travels seemed to have finally spent itself. The crashing roar of waves hurling themselves at the base of the cliffs died down to a mere crashing as the tide turned to the sea. The rain filled clouds gave way to breaks in the clouds. The young merchant having grown weary of art and armor took to watching the clouds for breaks to catch glimpses of stars or the moon.
A door opened. No one entered. The young merchant looked to the others. Their faces showed only questions. The young merchant strode over to the door and peered through. There was no one there. As he turned to inform the others of his findings, a flicker of light caught his eye.
“You there! You with the light! Hold one moment!”
The flickering light retreated further from view. The young merchant stepped into the hallway and proceeded after the retreating light source. The remaining three in the great hall stared at one another unsure of what next to do.

***

“Who should I see about his file?”
“Go back to the nurses’ station. Mattie will be able to help you.”
“Thank you, Doctor. I will do that now.”
The orderly followed the younger doctor to the door and led him down the hallway to the nurses’ station. The older doctor took out his pen and made additional notes on the papers he shuffled in his hands.

***

“Ah, Monsigneur Martin. It is good to see you finally.”
The young man froze in mid step. He had become so focused on following the retreating light that he did not take note of his host standing so near.
“Ah, uh, um,… your lordship, I … uh…”
“All is well, Monsigneur Martin?” The look on the younger man’s face showed he was clearly startled. “If you would be so kind as to follow me.”
The Viscount was not exactly what he was expecting or had heard from his father. The man before him did not appear demented nor fragile. On the contrary, he was tall, well built, and intense in carriage. The dark reddish brown hair was shoulder length and well maintained. His house cloak was well maintained. No, his lordship did not look weak or fragile. He lord turned quickly and began to walk away.
“Monsigneur Martin, I wish to settle accounts with your father and your family’s dealings with me.” He spoke without turning around or looking back. “Please follow me that I might address them appropriately.” The young merchant looked around him. The only light in the passageway was from the lamp carried by the Viscount. He had no choice but to follow. They came to a tapestry that the Viscount pulled back exposing another passageway. He turned to the young man and smiled indicating he should go through, into the passage. As he stepped through the Viscount followed then quickly took the lead again. The new passageway intermittently would turn into a stairway that would spiral in upon itself. At the base of the stair, they came to a seating area upon a decorative carpet. There were two chairs, a decanted wine, and two glasses. The Viscount offered a chair to the young merchant. He then sat opposite him and poured them both wine.
“To debts paid, Monsigneur Martin.” He lifted his glass and sipped.
“To debts paid, m’lord,” he echoed nervously and followed suit.
The young merchant became aware that his head hurt painfully. It was as if he had been struck or had too much wine. He did not know where he was. He could not see. His eyes were open. He blinked several times. It was very dark. He tried to bring his hand up to touch his head. His arms and legs had been restrained. He struggled until exhausted. Sweat ran from him in rivulets. As he began t calm his breathing he could hear footsteps coming nearer. He tried turning his head toward the footfalls.
“Ah, Monsigneur Martin. I see you are awake now. Good.”
The Viscount’s voice drifted to him from somewhere behind him but continued to draw closer. As he came into view he was hold two candles. One he sat on a small table underneath a rope. The hemp began to blacken immediately. The young merchant looked back to the Viscount. A smile slowly formed across the face of the lord.
“Your father’s debts to me are … were exorbitant. In a little while those indiscretions will be absolved. I shall return to see how you like my negotiating skills.”
As the Viscount slowly retreated from view, the young merchant’s eyes went back to the only light left in the room. The candle. It slowly starting burning a hemp rope. With the little light available, the young merchant tried to follow the rope until he lost it in the darkness.

***

A large, older nurse came into the ward followed by a young woman dressed a nurse. The apron of the younger woman was striped vertically with red stripes. She looked nervous and stayed close to the older nurse.
“Matty, did the new resident find you?”
“Yes, Doctor. He went to the lounge to review file.”
“Excellent.” As an after thought, “And who is this, Matty? Is she qualified to be in here?”
“Yes she is, Doctor. This is Margaret. She will be interning with me this semester.”
“Very well. Keep an eye on her.”
“I haven’t lost one yet, Doctor.” She smiled to the doctor.
“Good, good. I’m going for a coffee. I’ll return in another hour to check on Mr. … our patient.”

***

The three remaining in the great hall continued to look to one another nervously. The young merchant had left and did not return. They did not know what to think. As they sat pondering motion at the still open door caught their attention. The older man from earlier was standing their holding the same lantern in his hand.
“His lordship will see you, Magistrate. If you will follow me.”
The old man turned and walked away. The magistrate quickly collected his papers and notes and followed after the old man. He nodded politely as he passed the too women still seated as earlier. Once to the door he looked down the hallway to a light fading at the end of the stair. The magistrate made the best haste his large form could make. He always seemed to be just at the edge of catching up to the old man. The light would always fade around the next corner. Exasperated, the magistrate thought he had lost him. There was no light in the passageway. Slowly he made his way along the direction he thought he should go. He was lost, he was certain of it. As he walked slowly along he noted a dim light coming from a side chamber. Peering in he saw a candle on a table. There were two chairs, two glasses, a decanter of wine, and cleared space. He looked in and saw no one. Stepping further in he allowed himself the luxury of taking a seat at the table. A few moments had passed. Looking around after his moment respite, he poured himself a glass of the wine. He checked the nose of the wine. He fancied himself a connoisseur of the grape. It had an unusual aroma. He took a sip and let it play around his mouth.
“I took the liberty of letting you retain your letters, Magistrate. I do not recognize your authority within my county. Your accusations shall remain with you.”
The black fog that had been his world was slowly lifting. Groggily he blinked his eyes several times. He tried to bring his arms down but they were tied to sconces on either side of a small storage room. As his eyes came into focus he could see before him a low wall being built. He looked up a bit more. His eyes met the smiling face of the Viscount.
“I have been advised to reinforce my outer walls. These minor store rooms really do not provide real value.” He laid another brick into the wall and tapped into place. “I need to let these settle first. I will be back to finish the work.”
The magistrate opened his mouth to yell for help. There was a hoarse rasping sound but nothing more.
“An interesting side effect of that particular varietal mixed with certain apothecaries is the stealing of the voice. Do not worry. It will come back in a few hours. The wall will be up by then. It will be well.” The Viscount smiled slowly and viciously. He stood up from his work, dusted himself off slightly, and then walked away. The darkness slowly surrounded the magistrate as the only light source left with the Viscount.

***

“Okay,” she said passing the tray into the hands of her new intern,” you have to get his attention. Once you have that, then you can feed him. He is harmless.” She looked into the face of this young, naïve little student. Will she be able to pull this off, she thought.
“Okay,” she said nodding, not exactly sure of herself.
The young intern turned to the table where the patient sat. He appeared to be transition from typing to doing odd motions with his arms, as if he was doing something completely different.
“Ahemm…. Robert…” No response. “Robert, it’s time to eat.” No response.
“Try they name he answers to,” suggested Matty.
“Edgar… ahem… Edgar…”
The fragile man in the sterile white jumper looked at the young nurse’s intern.

***

The old man and the lantern retuned to the open door of the great hall. “Madame, his lordship would have a word with you regarding the dietary needs of m’lady.”
The matron stood slowly. She turned toward the young lady and curtsied with a slight nodding of her head. The young lady remained seated but nodded in return. The matron stepped back a few paces then turned to meet the old man at the door but he had already progressed into the hallway. She followed.

***

“Mr. Poe?” He nodded slowly. “Here’s your breakfast, Mr. Poe.”

***

Servants came into the great hall. They offered the young lady hors d’ouvres of various spiced meats, fruits, and nuts. She daintily sampled the dishes offered. She observed the table being set with only two place settings. She kept quiet about her observations. After a flurry of comings and goings the four servants had set the table with several covered dishes and a largish one which was brought in last. This one was set to the center between the two place settings.

***

The candle’s flame had burned slowly through the rope. Quickly the final strand was burning through. In horror of the unknown result, the young merchant stared as the final strand gave way to the weight of its burden and the candles flame. The rope flew away into the air. A loud click was heard to come from somewhere above him. A flash of something metallic whisked by overhead. Click. Whatever it was flashed past again. Click. The clicking continued several times. The poor light of the candle’s flame did not aid the young merchant’s vision well. Click. Whoosh. He saw it. Click. Whoosh. A large curved blade. Click. Whoosh. Over his middle. Click. Whoosh. Closer still. Click…

***

“Mr. Poe? Your breakfast?”
The man stopped typing. He stopped doing the odd little things with his arms. He stared down at the covered dish in front of him.

***

She stared down at all of the covered dishes. The little hors d’ouvres were nice treats but she was famished. She had not eaten anything of significance all day. She longingly looked at the dishes on the table before her.
“I am truly sorry, my dearest lady Marguerite.”
She jumped slightly at the voice. She turned and curtsied to her host. She lowered her eyes, which she was taught was protocol.
“Arise, my dearest lady. You are my honored guest. This night I have addressed three grievances long held. It was a most productive evening. …”
He swooped into the room with flourish. His one sided conversation continued as he showed his young guest to her chair, taking the privilege of seating her himself. He sat at the head of his table. He talked excitedly of false accusations that have finally been closed up to be forgotten shortly. A mere memory. And of business dealings where they thought to cheat him but he out smarted them all. He promised her that he would slowly cut to the heart of the matter. He smiled as if carrying a secret. She became nervous. Where was her guardian?
He spoke excitedly of his great nemesis who kept him from his dearest of prizes. The thought of such efforts to thwart him would eat at him, he said. Now, it was his turn to turn the table … so to speak. Then he started laughing. The young lady began to fear something terrible could occur.
He rang a bell at his table. The servants appeared and began uncovering dishes and began serving portions. The last was a roasted pig, splayed before her. Her eyes traveled to the head. She dropped her fork and screamed.

***

He could hear the thumping all over again. The eye that stared at him. The thumping that would not stop. His head darted quickly to the window. A large black bird rested there. It tapped upon the window with its beak.

“Mr. Poe? Your breakfast?”

© 2008 Dave Doc Rogers

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