The Parchment

The Parchment

November 20, 2009

New Book: Green by Ted Dekker

Followed by the books Black, Red and White, Green begins and ends Dekker’s circle series. Our Hero: Thomas Hunter, common man in modern time, leader of “The Circle” in an alternate future. Our Villians: Ba’al (future) and Billy (modern). Green is an interesting, but sometimes confusing story of good and evil.

With vivid description and multiple characters of interest, Dekker paints a new and frightening world. A bit edgy and disturbing in places, hopeful and encouraging in others. Aside from the battle between good and evil, Green does bring to mind the matter of second chances. Do we all get them? Do we realize it when we do? Do we make the same mistakes?

While I think that Green may wrap this series up well, this was my first acquaintance with Ted Dekker's work. By default, Green represented the beginning of the circle for me. Unfortunately, I think this was the wrong choice. Apparently so much had gone before, that I was unable to get an accurate picture and found myself confused at points. In Lord of the Rings style, there were new terms to learn and a new world to understand. Mixed in were chapters and references to a time in the not too distant future. In order to really appreciate Green, it seems beneficial to read it as a conclusion. It does seem that this book could begin the series again, just reads as an awkward first time beginning. IMHO.

October 26, 2009


Love is:
~a verb.
~an action.
~a feeling.
~a belief.
~a reason.
~a many splendored thing.

How many people have tried to define love? How many philosophical and impassioned discussions have there been on the subject? Too many to count I'm sure.

I don't have an answer and I'm not trying to stir up another discussion.

I just have a few comments to make.

There are some people that I like. Some that I tolerate. Some that I may never have more than a passing acquaintance with.

Then there are some people that I genuinely love.

Sure, there's my family.

But there are friends for whom I have a deep, platonic love for.

A love birthed in fellowship.

{Fellowship -
{1. the state of sharing mutual interests, experiences, activities, etc.
{2. a society of people sharing mutual interests, experiences, activities, etc.; club
{3. companionship; friendship

I recently had the priveledge of gathering together with a group of friends that I love. It was a group that hasn't assembled for about 5 years. I've seen some of them off and on over the past few years, but this was a special time.

We shared joy together. We laughed. We shared trouble together. We prayed.

Truly this is a group that I share Koinonia with.

{Koinonia -
{Christian fellowship or communion with God or with fellow Christians;
{said in particular of the early Christian community.

I don't tell them often enough how much I value them. Honestly, the depth of my feeling for each of them doesn't in anyway make light of my other friendships and relationships.

But I read something today that I felt applied specifically to this group:

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 1:3-6

I love you guys.

October 8, 2009

Two Hits & A Miss

So, as I mentioned before, I'm a big reader. But I've been taking a break over the last month or two. Busy life yields little time for the library. I did however, manage to sneak a quick trip in last Sunday. All three books I brought home were by authors I didn't really have a previous acquaintance with. Hit or miss, right?

Thankfully, two of these turned out to be gems.

The first, Gone to Green by Judy Christie, is about a big city editor who gets stuck with the ownership of a small town paper. Committed for a year to small town Louisianna, Lois Barker has to figure out how to fight prejudice and inject change into both the paper and the town. Great read. I look forward to picking up the sequal.

The second book was by author Kristen Heitzmann. Now I had read Halos before, and though enjoyable, it didn't really leave me with a strong affinity for her work. This book changed my mind. Finally, a good Christian author who doesn't try to wrap things up in a tidy package of 250 pages or less.

A Rush of Wings tells the tale of a woman on the run.

From something.

About picking up her life.


About her personal journey.

Oh, yeah, and her romances.

Though, I must say at the end, I was thinking, "But what happens to the other guy?!?"

Thankfully, I've discovered she wrote his story too. That's on my list for the next drive by at the library.

Oh? You want to know about the third book? Well, I've struggled to get through the first chapter. It just hasn't grabbed me yet. I may give it another try. Or it may go back for some other lucky reader to snatch up.

September 27, 2009

The Reminder of a Promise

Last Wednesday, I was driving into town when I noticed a sliver of a rainbow of to the right. "How beautiful," I thought and kept on driving. The farther down the road I got, the more I noticed the rainbow. The clouds began to break and I realized that I was seeing a glorious range of colors that spanned the road.

Below, a picture I tried to take while stopped at a light.

On turning to another highway, the clouds dissipated and the rainbow grew clearer. Absolutely beautiful. I had to wait until I parked to get this picture, so the trees got in the way. But imagine a full rainbow, like one you'd see in a cartoon. :-)

"Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,
I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.
Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life."

Genesis 9:14-15

September 16, 2009

An Unexpected Conversation

Here I am in my friendly, neighborhood bookstore mega mart. Trying to get out of the house and take advantage of free wi-fi while I do a little work.

It looks as though there are several others doing the same. Laptops, ipods and text books seem to be the order of the day. Who knows? Maybe I sit among industrious college students or those with the freedom to work virtually. Perhaps I sit with the unemployed masses, searching for jobs over the world wide web.

Either way, I was delighted to look up from my screen, take out my earbuds and greet a dear friend.

An hour later, I'm encouraged. Our conversation was serious, though there were laughs aplenty.

There's something to be said for sharing from the heart. The emotions and feelings that can be trusted to a dear friend. Knowing that whatever is said will be taken solemnly. Knowing that prayers will be offered in earnest.

Thanks for taking the time to talk, friend.

September 15, 2009

September 10, 2009


In 1924, a ten year old boy could walk the marshes of Charleston and find all kind of treasure. If he happened upon a soft shell crab, it was a treasure indeed. The kind that could be sold to the chef at The Francis Marion Hotel for $.75.

How do I know? My grandfather was one of those young boys. He told me all about the entrepreneurship of his youth a few months ago. It was a good memory for him.

Of course over 96 years, not all of the memories are good. Some were sad, some were repentant, some were blissful.

I am blessed that my memories of my grandparents are all good. I'm sure that my parents, aunts and uncles have a few that they would rather not pull out. Truthfully, there are some I'd rather not hear about.

I've always been an optimistic realist.

Regardless, today I have the privilege of celebrating 96 years of a man's life.

Happy Birthday Grand-Daddy.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
~Romans 8:38-39

August 31, 2009

A Week of Good Byes

Have you ever really thought about what it means to say "Good Bye?"

The dictionary says that Good Bye is:
1. An acknowledgement at parting.
2. An act of parting or leave-taking.

That pretty well sums up the last week for me.

On Wednesday, I "acknowledged at parting" a friend who was moving back to her home country.

On Friday, I participated in the "act of parting or leave-taking" after four years of working at an awesome company.

Today, I said "Good Bye" to a dear woman of God who passed away over the weekend.

Some good byes are inevitably sad, but some are more along the lines of "see you later."

Christine, I hope to see you later.

MM, I'll see you soon.

Sis. Sylvester, I'll see you again one day.

Good Bye for now.

August 25, 2009

Consuming Fire

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,
let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
for our "God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 12:28 & 29

August 21, 2009

More about Frogmore...

By popular demand:

Frogmore Stew

PS - add about 6 lbs of crab legs when you add the shrimp. It's just better that way. :-)

A New Generation

You may remember the story of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea on dry ground. If not, take a minute and read about in Exodus 14:10-31. After this miraculous crossing, these same Israelites saw God move in many ways, but because of a lack of faith, they all died before they could enter into the promised land, the land that God was giving his people.

A new generation was prepared to go wherever God sent them. First step, cross the Jordan River. Now, check out the following:

"He said to the Israelites, "In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them, 'Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.' For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.""
~Joshua 4:21-24~

Do you see what God did? The very same thing he did at the Red Sea, he did at the Jordan River. Why? So that a new generation would know that he is the same yesterday, today and forever.

What does that mean to me? That God, who did everything the Bible says he did, can do the same thing for me today. That God, who carried my great-grandparents through the Great Depression, will carry me through this year and next.

He's the same. Yesterday. Today. Forever.

August 17, 2009

Start With Worship

A favorite band, a favorite song, a favorite way to start the day. With Worship.

August 15, 2009

Getting your hands dirty

Ever gotten up from a meal with dirty hands?

I'm not talking sloppy joe messy. Not fried chicken messy. I'm talking you ate with your hands, messy, greasy, sloppy all at the same time.

That was my dinner tonight.

Frogmore Stew.

A delicious meal of crab legs, shrimp, corn on the cob, potatoes and smoked sausage all boiled together in one flavor filled pot of water.

You can use a fork for the potato and sausage if you like.

Otherwise, this is a hands on meal.

With drawn butter and cocktail sauce.


Messy? Sure.

Worth it? Absolutely!

August 12, 2009

Summer Storm

"What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm..."
~Job 38:24-25~

August 11, 2009

I won't deny it.

I am a reader. Not just a casual reader. A voracious reader.

As such, I am constantly searching for the next great read.

Now, before you go making suggestions, there's something you should know.

I read G, with the occasional foray into PG, books only.

No graphic scenes.

No obscenities.

You get the picture.

Sadly, this limits the selection.

So yesterday on my way home from work, I stopped by the book exchange and picked up a few quick reads from the Love Inspired line.

I was pleased to find Crescent City Courtship by Elizabeth White to be an execellent story with fully developed characters and story lines.

When I finished the book, I read the author's notes. (I don't always do so, which should be indicative of how much I enjoyed this.)

What did I discover? That this story was written as White's thesis for her Master's in Creative Writing.

That brings a whole new perspective to writing a thesis for the intent of publication.

August 10, 2009

Back to work.

"Work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun."
~Colleen C. Barrett
It's back to work for me today. No more vacation. No more rest.
Thankfully, I'm blessed to have a job that can be fun.
Of course attitude does make a difference.
Today's attitude:
"Hey guys! I'm back!" 
"How are you? Tell me about your vacation."
Oh, yeah. Let's get some work done while we chat.
Ahhh. It's good to be back.

August 5, 2009

The best laid plans...

Vacation is half way over. So sad.

On the other hand, it's been INCREDIBLE so far. There are plenty of stories.

Tonight, we tried to make a trek to Busch Gardens for a couple hours of shows, rides, etc.

Sounds like fun, right?

It would have been great.

Except for a couple of things.

We walked all the way to the boat landing, hoping for a river cruise.

It closed 30 minutes before we got there.

We tried to ride the skyline to the other side of the park.

It closed due to an approaching storm.

We tried to go to FestHaus for the German oompa-loompa show.

The last one had already played.

So, one ride on the carousel and 30 minutes in the Land of Dragons later, soft drinks in hand, we were trying to beat the afore mentioned storm out of the park.

Question of the day: When a storm is approaching and you hear an announcement about "inclement weather" coupled with instructions to "seek shelter," how do you react?

A) Walk calmly to the nearest exit, hoping to make it to your car before the bottom falls out.

B) Run quickly to the nearest building and wait it out.

C) PANIC! Run! Where's the car? Who has the keys?

We chose option A. Sadly, the majority of people in the park were caught up in option C. Really people? It's a little rain. Pretty sure none of you will melt.

That being said, we fought to stay upright in the tide of humanity rushing to the exits and shelter. And finally made it to the car. Were we a little wet? Sure. A little cold? You bet.

But all in all, nothing a little hot chocolate and a warm blanket couldn't cure.

July 30, 2009

Can't Stand It!

I'm leaving for vacation in just a few hours.

I. Can. Not. Wait.

Yippeee! Woo-Hoo!

July 29, 2009

On a budget...

"Due to the economy, I am cutting back."

That's something you haven't heard before, right?

Ah, well. This takes different forms for each of us.
For me, food expenditures needed serious time with the red pen.

Conclusion: More groceries, fewer restaurants.

Plan of Action: Coupons!

For those of you in the South, check out Southern Savers.
It's great advice stocking the pantry with the best deals.
Some coupon links are included.

Let me know how you do.

As for me, I'm headed to Publix to get:
Pop Tarts for $.75/box
instant oatmeal for $.94/box
pasta for $.32/box

July 28, 2009

Just saw/heard this for the first time. AWESOME! What a way to start the day.

Thanks for the link Sonia!

July 27, 2009

This blogging thing...

Online Journal 4Web Log 4weblog 4 blog 4 ?




About a year ago, I made a tentative move to join the blogging community. I was faithful to write once every week or two for about 2 months. Yeah. Add that up and you get about six posts.

That few people read.

Of course, it was a small social networking site. Made up of people of like faith.

Now here I am. Making another tentative move into the blogging arena.

Motivation? Peer pressure.

But that's a whole other topic. Too deep for this initial post.

I can't tell you what to expect if you follow along. I can't tell you what I expect this to become.

I'll just say hello and leave it at that for now.