The Worry Curse, Part Twenty-Seven

Pounding footsteps and silhouettes raced past the sheet-curtained alley windows. A battery of obscenities rattled in their wake. The crunch of flesh triggered groans. Laina crept toward the window. "I think someone's getting hurt." "Best stay clear of the windows after dark." Arden took an empty margarine tub from the shelf and…

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The Worry Curse, Part Twenty-Six

Laina took a shaky step into the luminous circle around the pillar candle on the floor. The amulet lay just beyond the light puddle. The flame's reflection flickered in its emerald stone. "Why isn't it over?" She bent and stretched her hand toward the medallion. "Don't touch that." Arden fetched a bar rag…

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The Worry Curse, Part Twenty-Five

Candlelight gilded Arden's scarred cheek and drove the shadows over his shoulder as he bent over her. "Laina, do you ..." His voice washed over her in mumble-squelched waves. "... and submit your life to Jesus Christ?" Her breath croaked and clenched. She forced her chin to dip in a slight nod.…

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Happy Easter

The Last Supper, also known as Maundy Thursday:   "When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, 'I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds…

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The Worry Curse, Part Fifteen

"Don't be afraid." The detective laid his hand on her shoulder as a door opened in the adjacent room. Beyond a pane of smoky glass, a troop of surly men marched onto a platform. Laina slid her icy fingertips inside her collar and itched under the medallion chain. "Like we told…

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Haven in Uncertain Waters

"Some . . . were merchants . . . They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;     in their peril their courage melted away. . .     they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,     and he brought them out of their…

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Tripping Over My Feet

"Some became fools through their rebellious ways     and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.  They loathed all food     and drew near the gates of death.  Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,     and he saved them from their distress.  He sent out his word and healed them;     he rescued…

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Risky Myth of Secrets

“'Am I only a God nearby,' declares the Lord, 'and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?'” - Jeremiah 23:23-24 Padlocked journals. Receipts tucked into a sock drawer. Deleted files. Disguised flasks. Shredded evidence. What happens in Sin City . .…

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An Inclusive Father’s Day

Cakes, red meat, and fresh neckties fly off the shelves this week. I'm grateful for the ease with which I could choose a card for my wonderful dad. But many struggle with this weekend's holiday. I heard a comedian wish aloud for a card without overstated accolades, reading something like, "Well,…

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Promises for the Grateful

“Sacrifice thank offerings to God . . . and call on me in the day of trouble;     I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psalm 50:14-15). Heels bouncing. Arms upraised. Palms waving. I did the happy dance today. Full-on, Snoopy-style. A long wait sweetens good news, and I had waited over a…

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