“A Bible study for Sept. 11th, 2014… The merciful”©


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If there is any one thing mankind should remember about God… it is His great love for mankind (all of us… all nationalities) and this is tolerance. From difference we find our need for God… from our frailty comes His strength… from our faith comes the trust He knows and desires the best for us. Harm not… love all that love Him. Love all that hate you… for we were once like them ourselves but have found mercy comes from God Himself. There is no other God that has said this… and those that come fully to this knowledge will have come closer to empty themselves of selfish concerns- to find His Will for your life.

Isaiah 46:8 “Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. 9 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. 10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.

Psalm 41:4 KJV I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.

Exodus 34:6 KJV And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

2 Chronicles 30:9 KJV For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.

Proverbs 11:17 KJV The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

Luke 6:36 KJV Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Matthew 5:7 KJV Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Isaiah 57:1 KJV The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

Below an abstract, taken from this link here… at biblestudytools.com- a great resource.

Christ never designed to be the Saviour of the fallen angels, therefore he did not take their nature; and the nature of angels could not be an atoning sacrifice for the sin of man. Here is a price paid, enough for all, and suitable to all, for it was in our nature. Here the wonderful love of God appeared, that, when Christ knew what he must suffer in our nature, and how he must die in it, yet he readily took it upon him. And this atonement made way for his people’s deliverance from Satan’s bondage, and for the pardon of their sins through faith. Let those who dread death, and strive to get the better of their terrors, no longer attempt to outbrave or to stifle them, no longer grow careless or wicked through despair. Let them not expect help from the world, or human devices; but let them seek pardon, peace, grace, and a lively hope of heaven, by faith in Him who died and rose again, that thus they may rise above the fear of death.

Do we know God from our feelings or should our feelings come from knowing God?

Come to know God and His ways… for His ways are not the ways of men or the world. If we say we lean more to feelings of God for man… are they not seen in our actions- loving or NOT?

It is my heartfelt desire for you to know the truth… the truth of God is He sent His Son to become the sacrificial lamb for the sins of men. Jesus was more than just a man… just a teacher… just a Holy man- Jesus was the Merciful God redeeming you from your sins… as only God can do for His own. Are you one of His children… or are you one of the children of disobedience?

John 3:16 KJV 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.

John 3:18 KJV 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.

John 3:36 KJV He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

If we show love is when we are shown to understand love- the type of person that knows love comes from God Himself. If we say we are taught by God… and want to become closer to God, we must then show mercy to all and the same love God has for us is the same we should also share. I pray you will thoughtfully consider these word of love- to prevent you from any unbelief or being stubborn and against God’s truth. I pray you will. (D.V.)

Your Brother in Christ Jesus,


“I have great news for those who don’t like to read… and would like to listen”©


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By now I’m sure you all know I’m a poet, a christian poet (first and foremost), and it is my extreme pleasure to share with you… by the grace of God… my first book will also be (very soon) an ‘Audio book.’ I’d like to share with you two versions of a newly enhanced cover for my first Audio book, see below version one…

God is first... those that have helped me second... and I am last.

God is first… those that have helped me second… and I am last.

and what I’m going to actually use, version two, below…

This one is highlighting the Narrator, my good friend, Darice Strickland... very nicely, don't you think so?

This one is highlighting the Narrator, my good friend, Darice Strickland… very nicely, don’t you think so?

Just click the image to get a clearer view of it. I could not go forward with this project without saying: God is great… the original cover was done by Belinda J. Borradaile (borradaile@yahoo.co.uk), the additional was done by Vivian Gordon ( http://viviangordon.wix.com/justforyou ) and the book will be Narrated by Darice Strickland (of Ada, Oklahoma) (dare_strickland@yahoo.com). I do hope to iron out a few little bugs before I can offer it up as a digital download, still an Audio book, in my eStore. My eStore is… http://www.inkedvocabulary.com… and this is ‘COMING SOON.’

Beyond the eWorld is to go to Hastings once more, as I spoke directly to their purchaser a few years ago, and was told they’d try me out in Arizona first… and go National with any success at all. I could also approach the ALA (American Library Association)… and so much more. This gives me hope to share the faith I have in the living God with people on an outreach basis. If you are a believer… say a little prayer for me, and if you’re not… watch and see that the Lord is in control.

Your Brother in Christ Jesus,


P.S. My next cover, for my second Audio book, will be done by Valerie Kelly (if she’ll be so kind). Find her at the listings below… http://about.me/v.a.kelly … or  http://valzart.me and may you come to know them as well I have. Blessings to all of you.

“Granted peace by grace”©




Where does one find true peace?

Plant your roots by the river…

the river of living waters come

to set His people free, the deliverer,


a joy will be known… to find

the peace you are meant to know,

go to His river, find complete

the view we shall know and show,


have you felt grief or even pain…

go back to the river, find His peace…

He is the source, the supplier of 

joy… it is this to grant you release,


set your roots deep… drink deeply,

joy of His love is for us to learn,

to learn of His unending supply of

that which we need and never earn,


He has paid the debt for our sin…

gave up His Earthly life as the price,

the living God of the universe saves

us by grace (not works) kind and nice,


know Him by the river… living from

this true knowledge comes forth life,

there is to be no struggle in the

storms of life we’ll face, calm not strife,


submit to the living God, not man, or

the fear of life is then yours to know,

grown from the living waters of God’s

river… wherein love shows you to grow.


Song of Solomon 4:15 KJV A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.


Jeremiah 2:13 KJV For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.


Jeremiah 17:13 KJV O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed , and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.


Revelation 7:17 KJV For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

“A Bible study for Aug. 20th, 2014… Eternality”©


When it comes to what some might believe about christians (those who do believe in Jesus  being the Christ) there are many phrases that come to mind. Most of them have to do with ridicule for what they believe. I can accept this, and do, for I’ve been called: ignorant  (for not looking at what the rest of the world does), simple or simple minded (for, seemingly, having a one track mind) or stupid (to believe things as I do). If this is how I am to be perceived… then so be it. If this is what will be thought about me and my faith… for the world calls this “blind faith,” and they have it backwards in their view. Let me explain the truth of the matter to you as best I can.


What the world sees as ‘blind faith’ I see as but a shadow of hope in things to come. The life we all have here-and-now is but a glimpse into what the future actually holds for us. What was implied, originally, was that it was so apparent… even a blind man could tell the truth. See an example of ‘blind faith’ below…


Matthew 9:27 KJV And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.


Matthew 9:28 KJV And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.


I am a broken man, not being perfect, but I can tell you there is more to this life than we might think or see. If I can see this is truth… then you can too. Many are the signs pointing to what lies beyond the life we know- what we have today. Look at the caterpillar as a major point of this reference. They eat and grow until it is time, time to pupate… change from being a caterpillar to a butterfly. In this physical lesson, visible to the naked eye, a spiritual lesson unfolds. The lesson is this, in this life we are to eat (learn) and grow (mature)… with the expectation of hope we have found in eternal life (this is the butterfly part) where there is more to living than we could ever find here. Beyond this life is found true life… a life unending, where life is to be lived to the fullest.


Isaiah 38:16 KJV O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live.


Isaiah 38:20 KJV The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.


Yes, our life is short (here) but it can and will continue on, and it comes down to where we choose to be- with God or without Him! There is an eternity ahead of us… and even Jesus told one of the thieves on a cross of his own the same thing.


Luke 23:43 KJV And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.


Psalm 21:4 KJV He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.


Forever is and has always been the goal… the goal to come to know what God has in store for us- as long as we but place our faith in Him and know it to be true. God is unchangeable and like the sun… the shadows of our doubt come from turning away from Him. Just like the night comes to the Earth by the Earth turning away (revolving) away from the light to give us the darkness of night (an absence of sunlight). The sun still shines but we would not know it unless we are aware of it… and that to be found in the morning light (when where we are on Earth turns again to face the sun).


Jesus Himself told us…


John 14:2 KJV In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.


and it comes down to trusting what Jesus did by dying on the cross for all mankind… and then raising from the grave but we must claim our faith in Him, as God Himself, our Savior from the destruction of the body and the soul. He showed us all He was worthy to be the sacrifice for our sins, and that He alone could do this for us. He paid the price we could not pay… for the cost of our lives- with a debt of His life for our immortality. Our joy to be seen as immeasurable as the sands along the beach… each of us a grain of sand in the scope of eternality (eternity), He showed us life does go on but through Him and with Him is the goal.


Titus 1:2 KJV In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;


Isaiah 44:6 KJV Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.


In all of time, beginning to end, human history tells God’s truth through prophecy and the prophets. By this fashion we can tell the truth from the false… the time to be born and the time to die, the time to sow and the time to reap. The question is are you willing to give up your place in eternity for nothing but a cold grave… thinking there is nothing more to this life than what we can experience while we are breathing? Accept Jesus for the claims He made and the revelations He made clear to all mankind- He that has ears let them hear.


Revelation 3:19 KJV As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.


Can we afford not to be concerned about eternity… knowing life continues with or without Him. I pray you might think on this truth… God’s truth, and that He will open your eyes and soften your heart so you would choose life- beyond this one. You will won’t you? (D.V.)


Your Brother in Christ Jesus,



“The roller-coaster of disbelief… and the strength to endure”©


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If any of you have been following the story of Meriam Ibrahim, knowing she has been held in prison for her christian views, I’d like to offer you a glimpse at what has been happening in the last few days.

Monday, June 23rd, 2014, Amnesty International (UK) tells the world of her release- this as a welcomed event (honestly so). There is a sense of raw emotion to be experienced with the news of this event.

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 (9:12AM) UPI reports of the re-arrest of not just Meriam and her two children… but the entire family. Early reports of this happening, according to live radio I was listening to yesterday (on the way to work) with KVIR, Bullhead City, Arizona 89.9 FM (CSN and the ACLJ) told of this re-arrest taking place in front of embassy officials from the U.S.- which were present with the family at the airport.

A very good friend of mine had this to say on her Blog,”Meriam Ibrahim freed again.” I do trust what my good friend has said and would ask you to continue to pray for a safe trip for her and her entire family to the U.S.- when we can all breath a sigh of relief for them all. Welcome Meriam and her Family to the grace of God on Earth. There may come a time when we all will have our own time for  trial… let us think about the same courage Meriam has shown us.

I would ask you also to continue praying for the Pastor (and Brother) held in Iran, Saeed Abedini… for the persecuted church around the world- our Family and the body of Christ on Earth. To learn more on the ‘persecuted church’ around the world look at the link found here, with Persecution News of Churches Persecuted and Christian Sufferings.

“Sticky thoughts will cling forever”©


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There when the moon is full comes

those times misdeeds come by trigger…

no amount of thought can reason it away

and it buys no time for those who figure

it is just coincidence… a happenstance

subjective, a chance moment and rare,

when normal people are left aghast…

you see, not everything in life is fair,

there are dark things guiding dark minds

and dark deeds done to the unsuspecting…

even those entranced to think their own

way is right, the truth is more frightening,

the door lies open to the threshold of

eternity, forever dark or light… our choice,

to be aware for an eternal day or left in

eternal darkness- maddening echos of our voice.


Did you think suffering was not going to happen to YOU because you say you believe in God… guess again. Bad things happen to good people too, and the reality of this truth is twofold. Two primary reasons for this: there are evil people in the world that do not care who they hurt or harm… and God uses suffering and trials to see if we have learned what He wants us to learn- He is in control. God does not wish to harm you but does want to see if you mean what you say, that you: love Him (no matter our condition), have faith (to show humanity we rely on our God) and mean to stick it out (as Paul said it,”To live is Christ… to die is gain”). Please know it does say in the Bible we will suffer, read below…

1 Peter 4:19 KJV Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

If we will not bear suffering for Christ now, we must bear eternal sufferings hereafter. YOU do have a choice… to live with the pleasures of this life as your choice, and with it what pleasures may come (your own little heaven), or live for God here and know God’s heaven as your home. One temporal and the other forever… your choice.

“A Bible study for Friday the 13th, 2014 [when this was written]… Do you know if He knows you?”©


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There can be nothing worse for a believer of God to think they know what they know… and find God doesn’t know them. If we think about the REASON and the profoundness of this statement is to realize the direct consequences to such a positional stance. It becomes pivotal to either knowing (in truth) the living God, having a relationship with Him… and this is possible to do, or for the living God to acknowledge you- being known personally. I can not believe how many polls have been taken which come back with such misinformation seen and would yield nothing but faulty results… indicative of society not being aware God exists- even to suggest there is no God at all. This tells me the time is close at hand for the world to be shaken to the core… the core of their own values being acted upon that will surely draw and hasten the living God Himself.

All through the Bible, basically a message from God to man… inspired by the Spirit of God, it points to the existence of God. In the Old Testament (OT) God calls Himself,”I am,” a direct statement to tell His people He exists. If God exists then He wants us to know Him… and to know Him better than we do already. To claim His existence is also a direct statement to say He is still in control… and can make a way from no way (sovereign) and will do it as He sees fitting to. Society would have a god in their image… doing what they would want for themselves but in reality it is just the opposite- we must conform to how God would have us to be. To simply say we know God and deny Him His requests for how He would have us: live, believe, act, understand and obey Him… we would not know God at all if we did this. The choice of the living God has always been to have His own do the things He would have us do out of love for Him (as children that love the Father) and to do this willingly- knowing it is for our own good. This is the love God has for all mankind… to know Him for what He has already done for us and on our behalf.

1 Thessalonians 1 (King James Version)

1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 Remebering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 4 Knowing, btrthren beloved, your election of God. 5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: 7 So that ye we ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. 9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

In the scripture above is reference to grace… and grace speaks more to salvation come by way of sacrifice… and the sacrifice was made so deliverance from sin is “Paid In Full.” See below an excerpt from this reference and what we can learn of grace by its narrow definition or the many broader understandings derived from it.

Grace: The word “grace” in biblical parlance can, like forgiveness, repentance, regeneration, and salvation, mean something as broad as describing the whole of God’s activity toward man or as narrow as describing one segment of that activity. An accurate, common definition describes grace as the unmerited favor of God toward man.

The reference to,”the Lord Jesus Christ,” is to understand Jesus was not simply any man… any god, He is the living God… the God mankind will see their deliverance coming from and the cause of our hope in eternal life. Even to bring the tasks of the OT and NT together, where one understanding of Him is the right understanding entirely. Look at this short list of tasks below (from this reference) and think about what it also means to you.

Messiah: Still more expressions of the messianic task were given in the time of Moses; consider the pillar of fire (Christ is the light), manna (Christ is the living bread), the water from the rock (Christ is the living water and the rock), and the lifted-up bronze serpent (Christ is the lifted-up One who gives life).

Could you ever imagine it possible to say with confidence… you are known by God? Even this notion is thought to be crazy but Jesus has this to say about it, see below.

Matthew 25:12 (KJV) But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Luke 13:27 (KJV) But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

Is this the choice mankind is reduced to… to know God or to not have God know us? In a word… YES! It is not what we think that matters… it is what God knows that matters, for it was God that came to Earth as a man… and died for us (the deliverance from sin) that we might have hope in things to come. Since God cannot tolerate… and will not tolerate looking on sin, or things that are sinful, we must be covered by His blood sacrifice for all mankind.

John 5:42 (KJV) But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

Ephesians 1:7 (KJV) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Hebrews 9:14 (KJV) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 13:20 (KJV) Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Revelation 5:9 (KJV) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Revelation 1:5 (KJV) And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.

Can man know truth… personally, I say YES, for Jesus said…

John 14:6 (KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

In 1 Thessalonians 3… it also gives us this reference,”In the sight of God and our Father.” Is this not more an open declaration of the divinity of Jesus… and it is this Jesus we shall come to know? How well do you know Jesus… or more to the point,”How well does He know YOU?” It surely sounds like He has the keys to life and death in His hands, did you know this? Why else do believers say there is an ‘eternal hope,’ and it is this hope we are to cling to?

Proverbs 12:28 (KJV) In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

John 5:24 (KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

2 Timothy 1:10 (KJV) But is now manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

If there is eternal life, immortality, then know it is to be eternally aware. To realize life does continue on is the truth… but it literally comes down to where we will spend eternity, according to what is said in the word of God. I pray you would think long and hard on the precepts of this writing… your eternal soul is riding on the choice you make today- we do not have that much time left to exercise our choice. It is my prayer you will consider the impact of these words… you will won’t you? (D.V.)

Your Brother in Christ Jesus,


“Free speech victory might be short lived!”



Two things have happened within the last ten days that are more than (simply) significant… they are diametrically opposed to one another in context and bear immeasurable weight in and upon themselves. The first is the Supreme Court decision made May 5th, 2014, which has a direct bearing on Free Speech- specifically… religious speech. Find what one Blog says about this landmark case and decision here. The second is in the actions of a group called the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR)… why we should pay particular attention here is where the impact of this group’s actions is heading. It does seem to want to: extract a pound of flesh against the Catholic Church, desires to see pro-life speech considered torture (through pursuits at the UN) and would have it be seen impossible for one to ‘believe in life (by speaking out) and say they are (also) against torture.’

Do you believe this? If they are successful, a person will be either pro-abortion and able to say so… but not pro-life and against torture. Pro-life speech, which stems from one’s religious views, would be illegal… not only on an International level but here in the U.S. as well- knowing an International precedent has already been established and implemented here before. Since it appears the CRR is the legislative arm of Planned Parenthood, both of these groups would benefit and pro-life would effectively (and legally) be tortured by the knowledge they could do nothing about it. Life itself is then emotionally shackled… love for life and the saying so (so to speak) legally gagged.

Do you have an opinion here… sound off before you cannot!

I’m pleased to announce the arrival (very soon) of my second book of Christian poetry


I have had this book complete for some time now but: did not have the right cover, lacked Copyright and finances were not there. This has changed here (for me) and the convergence by God’s own hand is felt as surely as I know I live and breath by His grace. Please take a look at the cover below… and see what you think? I will keep you posted.

The artwork for this Cover is done by:

Shayani Ann Turko


My second book of Christian Poetry (very soon) May 6th, 2014

My second book of Christian Poetry (very soon) May 6th, 2014

“Phyegyas… a boatman’s tale”©


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[A Tale in understanding human drama]

A stranger approaches the boatman on the river Styx with three captives in irons. All of the captives appear to be asleep.

Stranger: Awaken, boatman, awaken. I have three souls for thee!

The boatman lifted his head from the half slouching stance he was in, his gnarled fingers grabbed the steering oar as he leaned forward to a standing position. The stranger stared into what used to be eyes… now only empty sockets.

Boatman: I’ll need six coins for passage. One for the boat, on two I live, but three for homage. That way I’m left alone, you see, and he’ll do me no more damage.

Stranger: Aye, I have your six coins, boatman, for passage of these souls bound for the pits of Hell. When you finish your task at hand, what do you do?

Boatman: I take my fares to their destination, their final trip anywhere and return for the next fare… it doesn’t stop.

Stranger: This is my first drop off of souls. I have associates and I’ve been told you would take care of me and aid in any and all details that need to be addressed.

Boatman: I’ve helped many who came to me with souls for their final journey, beyond that, I’d be glad to help you understand what your associates meant. I’m sure you’ll find your way to my boat.

Stranger: Any and all help would be appreciated.

Boatman: You’re helping me, I’m sure I can help you.

Stranger: That is what my associates said you’d say… every word.

Boatman: That’s good, I feel as though we have good times ahead of us. In fact, I’m sure of it.

Stranger: I had no idea it would be this easy. I had this notion in my head things would be different… harder, based on everything I heard.

Boatman: Not everything you hear do you get a chance to experience and not every experience do you get to hear about.

Stranger: You make a convincing point, boatman, but why?

Boatman: Take these souls for which you paid me my wages. Their experience will be theirs alone and no one else.

Stranger: The experience these souls are going to share can be shared, to a degree, but only if you’re interested!

Boatman: What do you mean?

Stranger: I’d be willing to pay to see what you normally do, when you take your fares, to experience something no one else has and something only people have heard about.

Boatman: Let me think about this for a minute. You’d pay for this?

Stranger: Sure. It would be the chance of a lifetime.

Boatman: How much would you be willing to pay for the chance of a lifetime?

Stranger: What would I pay? Good question! If I say an amount to high I rob myself, and if I say an amount to low I offend you. What would you accept, boatman?

Boatman: For the experience of a lifetime, I’ll say four coins! Two coins taking you and two coins to return.

Stranger: I’ll give you ten coins for your trouble, keep you company and give you more conversation than these three will.

The boatman nodded as the stranger woke the three men, who grumbled a little from being awaken, and all four stepped into the boat. The minute they were all seated, the boatman pushed off from the dock and steadily worked the steering oar.

Stranger: You must tire of this chore?

Boatman: This is what I live for. This is all that remains to existence… to give purpose and meaning, neither punishment or reward.

Stranger: To what would you be punished for if not to labor for an eternity?

Boatman: Labor… this isn’t labor, compared to what others have been subjected to, where these souls are bound. I wouldn’t call it punishment as it’s easier than the life I had among the living.

Stranger: What will you do when there is no more… no more living that is?

Boatman: Then I will spend what I have saved, until there is nothing more to buy or nothing left to buy with.

Stranger: What can you buy, boatman, that you should save for?

Boatman: Respect, I will buy respect and not worry about petty jealousies that go along with it, just like the ones you deal with.

Stranger: How’d you know about that?

Boatman: I know your associates well, well enough to see through them and their greed. It comes down to the details and obligations both sides of the river honor.

Stranger: We’re almost there, boatman, and I see people standing in wait. They have more restraints! This dim light makes it difficult to make out but it looks like three, No… four more sets of chains!

Boatman: They came prepared!

Stranger: Boatman, I only have three souls for you!

The stranger now appears to be nervously sweating, his eyes darting and widened a little at the beginning of a realization… one which comes with the stench of betrayal.

Boatman: But I have four for them. What your associates didn’t tell you was this is a one way ride, but they did say you were conveniently curious. It pays to know the people you put your trust in, instead of trusting you understand the position you choose to put yourself in- of your own accord.

Stranger: Have I not paid you for a round trip… you took my payment for ‘a chance of a lifetime?’

Boatman: I did take your payment and you shall pay. You shall pay dearly… with your very life. You see, for the live ones I make more! Think of it as greed all the way down the food chain… that finally reaches out to you.

Stranger: Have you no conscience?

Boatman: No more than you, stranger, as you come here to gain from another soul’s losses. We are the same… I’m just better at the game!

The words on the gate in the distance read,”Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.”

Matthew 16:26 KJV For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Mark 8:36 KJV For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Luke 9:25 KJV For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?


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