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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/2233743-The-Making-of-a-Preachers-Family
Rated: 13+ · Book · Spiritual · #2233743
This is Book 2 in the series, The Making of a Preacher. Life in a preacher's home is real.
This is the place for me to store all of my materials for NaNoPrep 2020.
October 23, 2020 at 9:09pm
October 23, 2020 at 9:09pm
#996584
The first story in this series, The Making of a Preacher, was told as one large flashback. This second story will be told as a Linear Narrative with the continuation of input from the same fiends, who troubled Matthew Marks in the first story.

Now, not only will Matt have to deal with these unscrupulous enemies as he tries with greater and greater levels of strength to serve the Lord each day, but his two unsuspecting twin daughters must deal with Lazarus Whatyudid and Andy Attelpate, who appear to the girls often in the guise of friendship and mentorship in order to lead them away from the Truth in the reverse of the Bible admonition, "line upon line, precept upon precept."

There will be no emotional and spiritual help from Paul Letras, who passed away, during Matt's years on Earth. Likewise, Straitway Marks was left on Earth, and communication between the planets is virtually non-existent to date. However, the Lord knows, that He's going to give Matt another mentor.

Sadly, Artista Marks is the story's first victim of the corrupt machinations of these two low-level demons, who convince her, that continuing to live is not in her best interest. At the moment of truth, she has a heart attack. While her body is in the care of the EMTs, her spirit stands before the Lord, Who gives her the choice of returning to her family or going on into Heaven with the beloved. She chooses the latter, which is better for her, but which is worse for Matt, whose body starts its slow decline to the end of his physical life.

Overview Outline:

I. The Flight
A. What to do for three years?
B. The Twins
C. Parenting

II. The Arrival on ZoNed4
A. Meeting the Mayor
B. Settling in
C. A New Home to Decorate
D. Learning where to buy groceries and fuel
E. Active Twins to Rear
F. Friendship & Romance to Maintain
G. Seeing the Sights

III. The Twins are Different from Each Other
A. Zenith is sweet and helpful.
B. Aurora is a handful.
C. Teaching John 3:16 & "Jesus Loves Me" to the girls.

IV. Ministry and Adventure on ZoNed4
A. Explosive Growth of the Church in Childhood Fort
B. School Starts for Two Active Twins

V. The Whitewater Rapids
A. Aurora is gone.
B. Zenith shares the news.
C. Matt gives directions and then runs out to help.
D. Aurora is alive, but unconscious.

VI. The Recovery of Aurora and Continued Evaluation
A. What went wrong?
B. What do we do next?

VII. Ministry and a lot of Prayer
A. Why can't Aurora be like Pansy?
B. Zenith works well, but Matt missed her heart.

VIII. The Family Knows Great Togetherness and Ministry for Five Years
A. Aurora Gets Saved.
B. The Twins (Age 15-20y.o.)
C. Matt & Artista Are at Their Best Together
D. Artista Finds Companionship in Myriad Female Friends

IX. Ministry Plateaus & Family Spirals Out-of-Control
A. The Death of Artista
B. Zenith Turns Her Back on God. Has a Same-Sex Wedding with a Marriage Contract.
C. Matt Battles Depression for a Couple of Years, and he Recovers.
D. Zenith still won't Speak to Matt.
E. Aurora works hard to comfort her Dad, keeping him going.
F. Matt Finds Himself Often Alone in Fast-Paced Ministry, While Unable to Keep Pace.
G. Aurora Matures and Ages Under the Weight of Running Ministry Virtually Alone, but
with Help from Leaders in the Church.

X. Matt's Last Days on ZoNed4.
A. Matt Returns to Preaching with a Broken and Much Older Heart.
B. Matt Continues to Reach Out to Zenith.
C. Matt Commits the Twins into the Hands of the Lord.
D. Matt Commits Aurora to Ministry by God's Grace.
E. Matt Asks the Lord to Save Zenith, Getting Her to Heaven One Day.

XI. The Sermon (Matthew 21:28-32, KJV)
A. Matt gives his final best.
B. Aurora is not there. "Where is Aurora?"
C. Aurora comes in late with Zenith.
D. Matt prays a quick prayer and ends the service early.

XII. The Reunion & Matt's Death
A. Now, Restored to Both of His Girls, the End is Near.
B. Hugs & Kisses, Matt passes away to the Pool Next to the Raging River. (See last
chapter of First Book.)
C. Heaven is Just a Step Away.

----------------------------------------------

The typical day for Pastor Matthew Marks starts at 5:00 AM with prayer and Bible study,

Breakfast is sharply at 7:00.

Office at 8:00, Matt works on three sermons for the next week.

Lunch is precisely at noon.

Hospital visitation begins at 1:00 PM.

Walk in the park at 3:00 PM for exercise and meditation.

5:00 PM Matt - Visitation.

Drives home 7:00 PM for supper and time with the family.

8:30 PM, sharp - He tucks the girls in bed.

9:00 PM - Matt and Artista take time to talk.

9:20 PM - Artista's bedtime.

10:00 PM - Matt's bedtime.

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October 22, 2020 at 11:52pm
October 22, 2020 at 11:52pm
#996520
1. Mandy Broadway - Zenith's wife of ten years in their twenties. This is a marriage, filled some much-needed escape for both ladies. Mandy is running away from her father's many sexual advances. Zenith is running away from the many spiritual responsibilities, she has shouldered for many years in her father's ministries.

2. John Lucas - The mayor of Fort Childhood is very much a boy at heart. His mayor's office is a replica of the town's namesake. Though he is able to play and have fun, he faithfully fulfills all of the adult responsibilities of his important position.

3. Elijah Best - Matt's new mentor. The two met on the three-year flight from Earth to ZoNed4. They became fast friends. Elijah is about a decade older than Matt, making him perfect as Matt's "older brother," who is almost a father figure of a mentor. Elijah has know the Lord for most of his life, getting saved and age, four. He started preaching when he was fifteen years old.

4. Hugh Garnet - He's the curator of Primary Rocks. Hugh's main focus is to keep the rocks polished and quite attractive for the visitors. He's a great painter in his own right, but as we might guess, his palette is filled with primary colors.

5. Angela Wordwave - She's the acting curator, mayor, and principal teacher for the town of Library End. Angela is as much a prolific reader as she is an excellent writer. If the town ever runs out of things to read, then she can create more books in a short-short.

6. Lottie Breesta - She's the mayor of Joe-N-Tea. She has gotten so good at making her namesake coffee drink, that she is able to create three excellent lattes at the same time by tripling the amounts of espresso. When it's time to finish the cups off with creamy froth, she "paints" a tree in one, and heart in the next, and a kitty cat face in the last.

7. Timothy Mission - He's Matt's closest ministry friend. They spent time together for fellowship in the Lord, and for planning new ways to reach the people of ZoNed4 for the Lord Jesus Christ.


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October 21, 2020 at 5:27pm
October 21, 2020 at 5:27pm
#996418
1. ZoNed4 - ZoNed4 is the fourth planet in the Zenith Kneelite System of a dozen planets. The similarities with Earth are closer than a cursory glance can gather. The distance between their respective suns is very close with ZoNed4, being approximately 10% farther away and therefore about 10 % colder globally than Earth. It's a slightly larger version of Earth, but it is still inhabitable. The air is thicker and heavier with ionized Nitrogen, but it's still breathable. ZoNed4's primary moon is once again slightly larger than Earth's moon. The trek of this moon around ZoNed4 requires a little more time. This would be 32 days in fact for every month, not just the seven 31-day months of Earth. ZoNed4 is notable for its eight-day weeks. This means that some Earth songs are a reality on ZoNed4 (aka "...eight days a week,") not just hyperbole as intended by the songwriters. ZoNed4 is the fourth planet in the System, being the most hospitable to life, it has the honor of being the System's abbreviated namesake.
2. Rotational Adjustment - The Rotation Adjustment on ZoNed4 occurs once every year for two days in length. This creates a ten-day week, during the annual Rotation Adjustment Celebration. It's the one week out of the year, that has ten days in the week rather than the typical eight, which makes it great for vacations and holidays.
3. Salvation - This is the restoration of fellowship between temporal beings and the God, Who created them. Adam and Eve sinned breaking the perfection of everything and everyone, that was created. Jesus made the restoration possible through His death, burial, and resurrection, outside of Jerusalem two millennia ago. Salvation is applied to all, who receive His Gift of Salvation through the receptive tool of faith, which is also His Gift. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
4. Jesus Christ - Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of all men. He is the Creator of all, that exists. He is the Savior of all, that He draws to Himself.
5. Interstellar Missionary Society (IMS) - This organization was founded on Earth as the interstellar arm of Matthew 28:18-20
6. Warblix - A bird, that is native to ZoNed4, the Warblix is blessed with four wings with claws on its innermost set of wings, and two legs with claws on its underbelly. The Warblix has a beak similar to the human double-chin/double-nose, which makes it a strong digging tool used for reaching little animals, insects, and worms, that hide in tight places. It warbles as suggested by the name with an ending trill resembling the growl of a dog.
7. Square-square (S2) - A uniquely ZoNedian church building, creating as a square within a square to demonstrate the equality of the Body of Christ as well as the Lord's desire, that the closer we draw to Him the sweeter and more intimate the fellowship with Him.
8. Prayer Chain - A group of people, who are connected by word-of-mouth in some way to add strength together in prayer to God for the answer of some need, and for the Glory of God.
9. Baptism - Being immersed (or dunked) in a large container of water for the purpose of showing the new believer's identity in Jesus Christ. Baptism is the public testimony, that one is a Christian.
10. Woolly Milch - These are the only cow-like animals, which are native to ZoNed4. Their heavy fur shows, that they hail from the extremely cold lands of the north. This means, that for those who live in the north, milk from the woolly milch is good straight out of the utter since it already tastes refrigerated. Let the milk of the WM sit out for a few hours in those northern climes, and you have a homemade milkshake. Woolly milch can live in the more temperate climates, but refrigeration of their milk is a necessity since it spoils within a ZoNedian day in warmer temperatures.
11. Day - One Day on Earth is 24 hours long. On ZoNed4 it is 28 hours long.
12. Week - One Week on Earth is seven days long. On ZoNed4 it is eight days long.
13. Year - One Year on Earth is 12 months long. On ZoNed4 it is 14 months long.
14. Sun - The Sun of ZoNed4 is approximately 20% larger than Earth's sun. This tends to create richer and more vibrant hues of color across the spectrum.


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October 19, 2020 at 7:03pm
October 19, 2020 at 7:03pm
#996277
The culture of ZoNed4 has much in common with the cultural divide of America in the 21st Century. However, this Society is quite similar to the society of pilgrims aboard the Mayflower in 1620. Half of the passengers were Christians. The other half were atheists, agnostics, or simply didn't care about the subject of belief.

The earliest explorers of ZoNed4 arrived with Diotrephes Broadway didn't really have any time for God, since they were always exploring, but DB's attitude didn't help. "I have no need of a god. I can make it on my own. Thank you very much!" The foundation of no churches and "no need for God" created a secular culture through the early years of ZoNed4.

Matthew Paul Marks and his spaceship load of missionaries changed the dynamics of this newly-settled planet. Now, ZoNed4 was full of Christians, agnostics, and soon everything in between.

ZoNedians soon found that they were like the Christians and the Strangers of the Mayflower. They needed something to unify and to smooth life around the edges. The two groups of the Mayflower became known by the agreed-upon title of Pilgrims. They drafted the Mayflower Compact as a set of commonly understood and agreed-upon laws, which all parties could accept and live by and live with. The ZoNedians, under the leadership of Broadway and Marks followed the basic tenets of the Mayflower Compact, creating ZoNed4's Intraplanetary Covenant.

1. As a Society at large ZoNed4 has come to accept the probability of God by permission. No one is forced to believe in God. This is maintained by Statute AG8. However, no one is forced to relinquish his or her belief in God, either. This is maintained by Statute Tri-G3. Considering the fact, that these former Earthlings were so far from Home, they universally thought it prudent to be much more accepting of others, even if not their beliefs than the NYLA Accords of 2030 on Earth in which agnosticism became the law and the belief of the country, forcing Christians into hiding, facing daily physical and legal jeopardy.

2. The Christians, who came to ZoNed4 were mostly Protestants and Evangelicals, but some Catholics came as well. They all had worship services, filled with singing and the spoken word. Belief in Jesus Christ as the only Lord and Savior was pretty standard, but how come into relationship with Him as Lord was still as divergent as it was on the Homeworld, that they left. "We don't leave our problems behind. We take our problems with us." (JOT)

3. The laws are based on The Mayflower Compact. This variation on ZoNed4 was dubbed "The Intraplanetary Covenant."

4. To date Diotrephes Broadway has been the de facto "King of the World," but the residents are considering their options, such as President, Prime Minister with a Mosaic of leaders to help the top man to carry the load. This idea is based on Jethro's advice in the Book of Genesis to keep Moses from "wearing out." Since his arrival on the planet, Matthew Marks has been Diotrephes' unofficial advisor, even though he believed, "I don't need one."

5. Much of the technologies, which were available on Earth had the benefit of infrastructure already in place. For many years during the Construction Phases of building infrastructure, ZoNed4 has much in common with Earth of the early 1800s, probably even earlier, since horses could not make the trip to the planet and since vehicles were not easily built from the known elements on ZoNed4, transportation by foot was common.

6. Life was much harder for Matt and his family as well as the rest of the residents since the advancements of 21st-Century Earth was not available to the ZoNedians. They learned to adjust to a more primitive life, which meant that life was forced to be restored to be much slower pace. This was much more conducive to building family relationships and friendships among the residents of ZoNed4.

7. Amusement is lost by and large to the residents of ZoNed4, but this is a good thing since their lives became more thoughtful and relationship-oriented, especially the consideration of God and their lives beyond the physical world, that they presently inhabit.


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October 19, 2020 at 5:58pm
October 19, 2020 at 5:58pm
#996272
1. Breezy Glade is just like it sounds. It is a beautiful valley of grass, that is greener than any grass on Earth.
2. Fort Childhood is a wonderful little community, whose oldest remaining structure is a childhood fort.
3. Major Marks is known for the fifteen or so very deep cracks that run from the top to the bottom of Mount Blue Smoke. The fact that these fissures started on the mountain about the time that Matthew Marks arrived with his little family created an amazing amount of fodder for Mayor Diotrephes Broadway, who loved to quip, "Well, Preacher, you certain Major Marks on this planet, didn't you?"
4. Library End is, as the reader may have guessed, a town that is almost entirely dedicated to books and reading. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Town Hall is located at the corner of Book & Nook.
5. Joe-N-Tea is the hometown of many folks, who are thoroughly devoted to their freshly-brewed drinks. Some like coffee. Some like tea. Yet, all of these dear folks like their cups of fluid comfort to be hot. None of them are bashful about asking the barrista, "Do you mind nuking this for a minute for me? If I've still got hairs on my tongue, then it's not hot enough. Oh, and bring me back a scone when you come, too, please."
6. Primary Rocks is a curiosity. Artists flock to this town due to the configuration of boulders in all three of the primary colors. Others come bringing their preschoolers because they think the town's name refers to the best Kindergarten on the planet.
7. Stable Home is a town populated by equestrians, who tend to have marriages that last 50 to 60 years or longer. Most of the residents are pretty proud of their town's motto, "Horsin' around makes you love longer."
8. Excellent Falls is one of the best nature parks on ZoNed4. It is also one of the few places in the Galaxy to find triple-level falls from a River that makes the Amazon on Earth look small. Excellent Falls has been measured at 2 miles of falls when all three levels are considered.
9. Birch Sentinels Mountain Preserve enjoys the status of being another of ZoNed4's premier vacation spots. Located on the sides of Mount Golden Crown visitors are refreshed every day with cool breezes and brisk nights. Mountain cabins are the preferred accomodations, but the more adventuresome still stake out tents or bivoac one of the sheer cliffs, that drape the first two to three thousand feet up the mountain. There are places among the Birch Sentinels Forest in which the wise tent camper can stake out in the midst of birch trees, that are so close together in a circle formation with a gap at the mouth, that the campers are virtually protected by this fortress of sentinels.
10. Techlahoma provides the comforts of home on this planet, that is three years away by spoaceflight from Earth. Inhabited almost entirely by former Texans and Oklahomans, this unique town's residents were, also, members of Silicon Valley in California before the taxes drove these intrepid techies to the South Central states in the USA, where they started the Silicon Desert, and finally on ZoNed4, Techlahoma, the name, that incorporates all of these locations and their unifying profession.


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October 17, 2020 at 6:00pm
October 17, 2020 at 6:00pm
#996129
ZoNed4 is the sort of place we used to dream about back on Earth. The hues of colors in the blooms of flowers, in every sunset, in the lush green, that accompanies the blues of creeks running through every set of woods, and even the colors of the paint on the wall of every building is ten times more brilliant than anything ever seen on the Earth.

The other day Aurora and I were walking from our house to Breezy Glade, which is a three-mile walk out and back. Not too back for a man, who passed his seventieth birthday a few years ago, wouldn't you say? Along the way, I staggered at the Spectacle Realty Building. It was about the middle of the afternoon, but still far enough away from noon, that the red, orange and yellow rays created screaming gold on the side with a blood-red crown, and at the top the two blue spires had the effect of making the whole building a butane torch.

A couple of miles outside of Fort Childhood is the little of Primary Rocks. We detoured a bit to see this display of creation as we had done so many times before, especially when Aurora was younger. (It seems to make her obstinant tendencies to mellow back then. We were a happy family for a few hours. That was worth the effort all by itself.)

The sight of red, yellow, and blue rocks strew all over the ground in the varying sizes of pebbles, larger river rocks, and boulders took our breath away every time. The three largest boulders were the most unique attraction in town. We approached the red one, which was so red as to make us squint since it appeared to be brighter than the sun, depending on the time of day. Aurora stuck out her left hand to touch the redness, and once, again, her hand disappeared into the cascading rogue. She giggled like the little girl she had been the first time we experienced the "disappearing hand" trick.

You may be wondering how that was possible. It's actually science since the primary colors are created by lichen and mosses of extreme hues, and of thickness, we had never seen in lichens and mosses on Earth. The aroma of this wonderful vegetation was not pungent as I had known them to be on our home planet, but it was a pleasant mixture of a small amount of honey, along with butterscotch syrup, and caramel topping with a hint of chocolate thrown in for good measure.

We all took turns putting our hands in the mossy blanket and pulling them back to our waiting noses, closing our eyes to experience the explosion of aromas, cleaning off our hands with joyful tongues, that danced in dreams of swimming in ice cream sundaes.

For some time we forgot completely about Breezy Glade but as the day grew long, we decided to pick up our pace to make it to our favorite natural playground, still having enough time to return home before dark.

Breezy Glade enjoyed a nearly constant gentle breeze, which ranged in intensity from five to fifteen miles per hour. The lush green, verdant, emerald vegetation seemed to cry out, "Lay back on us. Let us carry you away to a peaceful place where cares are no more." It seemed as though I had just laid my head down on the soft bed of a jade patch when Aurora shook me. "Dad, wake up. You've been asleep for a half-hour. If we don't leave now, we'll never make it home before dark."

The trip home didn't seem as long because we walked into the sun, squinting the whole way, but our steps were lighter on the sea of magenta and clementine with visual smoothings of lemon zest. What a vest for life! We were "Walking on Sunshine" until I found myself ensconced in my favorite easy chair.

What a day!




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October 16, 2020 at 6:38pm
October 16, 2020 at 6:38pm
#996044
The first story in this series, The Making of a Preacher, was told as one large flashback. This second story will be told as a Linear Narrative with the continuation of input from the same fiends, who troubled Matthew Marks in the first story.

Now, not only will Matt have to deal with these unscrupulous enemies as he tries with greater and greater levels of strength to serve the Lord each day, but his two unsuspecting twin daughters must deal with Lazarus Whatyudid and Andy Attelpate, who appear to the girls often in the guise of friendship and mentorship in order to lead them away from the Truth in the reverse of the Bible admonition, "line upon line, precept upon precept."

Sadly, Artista Marks is the story's first victim of the corrupt machinations of these two low-level demons, who convince her, that continuing to live is not in her best interest. At the moment of truth, she has a heart attack. While her body is in the care of the EMTs, her spirit stands before the Lord, Who gives her the choice of returning to her family or going on into Heaven with the beloved. She chooses the latter, which is better for her, but which is worse for Matt, whose body starts its slow decline to the end of his physical life.

Overview Outline:

I. Arrival on ZoNed4
A. A New Home to Decorate
B. Active Twins to Rear
C. Friendship & Romance to Maintain

II. Ministry and Adventure on ZoNed4
A. Explosive Growth of the Church in Childhood Fort
B. School Starts for Two Active Twins
C. Artista Finds Companionship in Myriad Female Friends
D. Matt Finds Himself Often Alone in Fast-Paced Ministry

III. Ministry Plateaus & Family Spirals Out-of-Control
A. The Death of Artista
B. Zenith's Wedding & Departure
C. Aurora Matures and Ages Under the Weight of Ministry

IV. Matt Grows Old Too Early, Leaving Ministry to the Twins
A. Matt's Final Sermon
B. Zenith Returns to Matt & Aurora
C. The Twins are United Again. This Time in Ministry.


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October 15, 2020 at 11:37pm
October 15, 2020 at 11:37pm
#995974
Today's post is word-for-word what I wrote a couple of years ago, when writing my novel, The Making of a Preacher.. I need to spend more time with this world I am creating, since ZoNed4 was merely given a cursory treatment in that previous book.

"ZoNed4 is the fourth planet in the Zenith Kneelite System of a dozen planets. The similarities with Earth are closer than a cursory glance can gather. The distance between their respective suns is very close with ZoNed4, being approximately 10% farther away and therefore about 10 % colder globally than Earth.

Like Earth, ZoNed4 has an aging star at the center of its system. Solaris Rossa Marillo sounds like a Latin American festival on Earth, the name highlights the heavy reds & yellows in its surface coloration.

There are three planets between this sun, (known as "S. R. Maria" or "Señora Maria," the two most used nicknames) and ZoNed4, whereas there are only two between the Sun and the Earth. The three inner planets of the Zenith Kneelite System are Flamos, which looks more like a comet than a planet, due to its close proximity to its sun. This makes Flamos appear to have a tail to any astronomers in the System. After Flamos comes Traxler, the terribly arid planet with absolutely no vegetation. Then, Raldon follows in the third position, but the climate is still too hot and dry to support life, though an apparent misty atmosphere hints at the potential of water on the planet.

ZoNed4 is the fourth planet in the System, being the most hospitable to life, it has the honor of being the System's abbreviated namesake.

As one might imagine the other eight planets of the Zenith Kneelite System are all too cold to support life, even if water is extant on the planets. For the sake of introduction, their names are listed here. They are Phosphers, Iridens, Tribleu, Overantis, Sufeslandos, Zorronarlas, Sinsontazul, and Tenebral12.

The description of ZoNed4 is taken from Chapter #9, "Storms of Joy."

What is ZoNed4 really like? It's a slightly larger version of Earth, but it is still inhabitable. The air is thicker and heavier with ionized Nitrogen, but it's still breathable. ZoNed4's primary moon is once again slightly larger than Earth's moon. The trek of this moon around ZoNed4 requires a little more time. This would be 32 days in fact for every month, not just the seven 31-day months of Earth. ZoNed4 is notable for its eight-day weeks. This means that some Earth songs are a reality on ZoNed4 (aka "...eight days a week,") not just hyperbole as intended by the songwriters.

The eight days of the ZoNedian week have consequences that affect the weather and the seasons. The summers near the Equator, especially the desert countries are much hotter and have much longer summer seasons. Winters in the northernmost frigid zones and even in the temperate climes are much colder (on average 15-20 degrees colder in terms of the Fahrenheit scale,) much longer, and much more taxing on the emotions. (The emotional effects are similar to the experiences of people, who live in the northernmost parts of Alaska and Russia on Earth when the sun is not seen for months at a time.) ZoNed4 has a 50/50 land-sea ratio that intensifies the seasonal extremes, making them at least 15% to 20% colder or hotter on average than Earth seasons are.

The towns of ZoNed4 have been named by the humans, but the topography is completely original with the planet.
Breezy Glade is just like it sounds. It is a beautiful valley of grass, that is greener than any grass on Earth.
Fort Childhood is a wonderful little community, whose oldest remaining structure is a childhood fort.
Major Marks is known for the fifteen or so very deep cracks that run from the top to the bottom of Mount Blue Smoke. The fact that these fissures started on the mountain about the time that Matthew Marks arrived with his little family created an amazing amount of fodder for Mayor Diotrephes Broadway, who loved to quip, "Well, Preacher, you certainly left some Major Marks on this planet, didn't you?"
Library End is, as the reader may have guessed, a town that is almost entirely dedicated to books and reading. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Town Hall is located at the corner of Book & Nook.
Joe-N-Tea is the hometown of many folks, who are thoroughly devoted to their freshly-brewed drinks. Some like coffee. Some like tea. Yet, all of these dear folks like their cups of fluid comfort to be hot. None of them are bashful about asking the barrista, "Do you mind nuking this for a minute for me? If I've still got hairs on my tongue, then it's not hot enough. Oh, and bring me back a scone when you come, too, please."
Primary Rocks is a curiosity. Artists flock to this town due to the configuration of boulders in all three of the primary colors. Others come bringing their preschoolers because they think the town's name refers to the best Kindergarten on the planet.
Stable Home is a town populated by equestrians, who tend to have marriages that last 50 to 60 years or longer, which is an even greater feat on ZoNed4 than the already long tenure on Earth. After all, with approximately 20 extra days per year,60 years on ZoNed4 would be slightly over 63 years on Earth. Most of the residents are pretty proud of their town's motto, "Horsin' around makes you love longer."

One Day on Earth is 24 hours long. On ZoNed4 it is 28 hours long.

One Week on Earth is seven days long. On ZoNed4 it is eight days long.

One Year on Earth is 12 months long. On ZoNed4 it is 14 months long.

The Rotation Adjustment on ZoNed4 occurs once every year for two days in length. This creates a ten-day week, during the annual Rotation Adjustment Celebration. It's the one week out of the year, that has ten days in the week rather than the typical eight, which makes it great for vacations and holidays.

The Rotation Adjustment is a little hard to explain, but it's roughly like a man tightening the payload on his truck with a ratchet. Whereas the seven-day-a-week model of life on Earth remains more or less in a consistent rotational spin, the eight-day-a-week model of ZoNed4 causes rotational "rope" as it were to stretch out of shape throughout the year, until, finally, the once-a-year adjustment tightens the "rope" onto the next tooth of the ratchet.

As a rule, businesses, churches, government offices, and schools take the days off to observe and to experience this unique "hands-on" science lesson. The celebratory atmosphere is due to the way the Rotation Adjustment affects the gravity of the planet. For approximately 48 hours from the end of the eighth day to the end of the tenth day of that unique week, the gravity on ZoNed4 gradually decreases to roughly 10% of normal gravity. The lighter the object or individuals may be the more it or they start to float. Very little actual work could be accomplished on these two days, due to the gravity of the situation.

The good thing about the days on ZoNed4 is that they consistently start at midnight on the clock as do the days of Earth. When the Rotation Adjustment starts people may find themselves waking up on the floor instead of in their beds with the joyful fact that there are no bruises, nor awakings from sleep, that would normally happen when someone falls out of bed.

On the second day of the Rotation Adjustment people often wake up standing on their feet, (even the non-sleepwalkers do this,) though they still feel like they are sleeping horizontally in their beds.

Some folks don't go to bed, until after the Rotation Adjustment is complete on the third night. Going from 10% of gravity to 100% of gravity as the "ratchet-tooth" catches tends to be a bit unsettling. This is so unsettling that a tradition has developed in the past few years of either sitting in one's car with the seatbelt fastened or sitting in one's living room with newly-installed seatbelts keeping the residents firmly ensconced on their couches.

The last hour of the Rotation Adjustment on ZoNed4 is quite similar to the last hour of New Year's Eve on Earth. Whereas Earthlings stand up, raising their hands, and cheering as the Ball drops, ZoNedians secure their seating, toasting with their favorite variety of hot tea, until the very minute when they place their need-to-be-empty cups on the nearest pillow beside each of them, waiting for the rather large THUMP, THUD or BUMP when life can return to "normal" for the next 14 months.

The Sun of ZoNed4 is approximately 20% larger than Earth's sun. This tends to create richer and more vibrant hues of color across the spectrum."

In all reality (or reality-based fiction) ZoNed4 is such a suitable Class-M planet, that we may consider it to be Earth-enhanced.

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October 14, 2020 at 11:51pm
October 14, 2020 at 11:51pm
#995911
Theme: Family is Forever. "Leave no one behind."

Resolution:

1. Matt is sold-out to the Lord. Ministry is everything to him.
2. Artista became a preacher's wife by default. She has never embraced the role with her whole heart.
3. Zenith embraces the role of daughter and the minister's assistant throughout her childhood and early teens because she wanted to be close to her daddy. Matt took her for granted, and ultimately personality of the Pleaser ran out of gas when she turned 21.
4. Aurora had an honest distaste for the role of preacher's daughter from the very beginning. She fought with her life, with the rules, and with the unwanted role as a strong-willed child. At age 15, she had a conversion of the magnitude of the Apostle Paul. Everything changed. She wanted to serve the Lord from the heart because the Lord transformed her throughly.
5. The weavings of loyalties and traitorous tendencies in, around, and throughout the family make the family of Matthew Paul Marks appear to be a mess. Yet, the final result will show a group of individuals, who are truly connected by blood and by the spirit with the desire to "leave no one behind."
6. The family seemed to be of one mind and of one spirit, during the twins' late teenage years of 15-21, since Artista was still alive back then, too. However, the unity was merely on the surface, since Artista taxed her heart severely trying to make-believe, that she was sold-out as the preacher's wife. When she had a heart attack and died in the days, that followed the twins' 21st birthday, the family unraveled, quickly changing from four apparently-dedicated Christians to two believers, who were totally sold-out to Jesus of Nazareth.
7. The next decade aged Matt, markedly, since his dearly-loved wife was now with the Lord as her body occupied a chifferobe in the local graveyard, and one of his dearly-loved daughters had totally rejected him without so much as a word for the duration.
8. Finally, the "goodness of the Lord leads us to repentance." (Romans 2:4) Aurora's persistent attempts at contact paid off. Zenith was completely transformed herself. She and her wife repented of their lifestyle choice, annulling their contract marriage because the wife had been saved, too. Now, during the decade of separation, the two ladies had adopted three children, which meant, that they needed to live close by for the sake of the children. Matt was fine with their continued friendship as long as it didn't include sexual contact since "that is against the commandment of the Lord Jesus Himself." (Matthew 19:4)
9. By the time Matt passed away there were six remaining people connected to the Marks family, who were dedicated to the Lord, and who were committed to serving Him for Time and for Eternity.
10. Families in this life endure many challenges, heartaches, and disagreements, but as The Triune God is made the center of the family one lasting Truth will rise to the surface. Drawing closer to the Lord draws us all closer to each other.


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October 13, 2020 at 11:09pm
October 13, 2020 at 11:09pm
#995834
1. Matthew Paul Marks
Age: 50
Occupation: Preacher
Relation to the main character: Self
Physical Description: 5', 8", Brown hair, blue eyes, athletic build, slightly overweight,
195 pounds.

2. Artista Marks
Age: 45
Occupation: Preacher's Wife, Hair Designer, Artist
Relation to MC: Wife
Physical Description: 5', 4", Brunette dreadlocks, hazel eyes, athletic build, 115 pounds.

3. Zenith (aka Zenni) Marks
Age: 15
Occupation: Student, Ministry Volunteer, Praise Team Singer
Relation to MC: Daughter
Physical Description: 5', 4", long brown hair, blue eyes, athletic build, slightly
overweight, 120 pounds

4. Aurora Marks
Age: 15
Occupation: Student when she wants to be
Relation to MC: Daughter
Physical Description: 5', 4", short brown hair, blue eyes, athletic build, 112 pounds

5. Lazarus Watyudid
Age: Timeless
Occupation: Demon, Second-Class
Relation to MC: A thorn in his side
Physical Description: Often invisible, but appears about 5', 8", jet-black hair, dark
hollow eyes, athletic to the 9s, seems to be 140 pounds.

6. Andy Attelpate
Age: Timeless
Occupation: Demon, First-Class
Relation to MC: Another thorn in his side
Physical Description: Often invisible, but appears about 5', 6", jet-black hair with some
white streaks, one dark purple eye & one dark blue eye, kinda fat & a little dimwitted,
seems to be 200 pounds.

7. Diotrephes Broadway
Age: 48
Occupation: de facto Leader of ZoNed4
Relation to MC: Human thorn in his side, Frenemy
Physical Description: 5', 5", dusty blond hair (thinning on top,) really fat (like the
mayor of Lake Town in The Hobbit 3,) 210 pounds


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October 12, 2020 at 11:54pm
October 12, 2020 at 11:54pm
#995760
Matt's Family provides a heavy load for Matt to bear throughout the novel.

His wife, Artista doesn't really want to be a pastor's wife, but at times she tries very hard to force herself to enjoy the role.

His twin daughter, Pansy, plays the role of the "good girl" supporter of her dad throughout the early chapters of this novel, but at age, 21, she turns her back on her Dad and everything she has ever believed in, becoming his worse critic by offering his the cold shoulder for an entire decade. (Not speaking to a person, like Matt, who is highly relational, is experienced as the death of a loved one.)

His twin daughter, Aurora, plays the role of the "bad girl" antagonist throughout the early chapters of this novel, getting saved at age, 15, becoming his greatest supporter throughout the rest of his temporal life.

Interestingly enough the three dearest ladies in Matt's life play the roles of antagonists and supporting characters as though these parts are "hot potatoes," meaning that no one can hold a role for the entire novel.

Matt soon learns, that his greatest confidant and supporter is the Lord Jesus, Himself and that his greatest antagonist is Satan, who works through his minions, like Lazarus Whatyudid, and Andy Attlepate to affect the lives of Matt's family members to cause him grief at the most inopportune moments of life.

The Apostle Paul said it best in Ephesians 6:12, KJV, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."


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October 10, 2020 at 8:36pm
October 10, 2020 at 8:36pm
#995584
"Aurora, it's time to get up!" Artista shouted from the kitchen. "Sunday breakfast is in fifteen minutes."

"I'm not going to church, today," Aurora said. "I have a tummy ache."

Every Sunday, Artista thought to herself. Will the battles never end?

"Hi, Mom!" Pansy popped into the kitchen, cheery and ready for the day.

Like every other Sunday, it's 7:00 o'clock and this daughter is dressed to the nines. Artista thought and smiled. She said, "You are such a balm, Pansy. Do you think you could help your sister to be up, dressed, ready, and fed in time for the car ride to church?"

"Sure, Mom, I'm glad to help you. Back minute." Pansy took a powder, and in a moment was in her bedroom with twin, mouth agape, drooling.

"Two more different children have not been born," whispered Artista under her breath. "Why couldn't both be like Pansy. Only seven-years-old and she's already a little adult, responsible, cheerful, a real joy to be around. Aurora will be the death of me. Always obstinant, always late, hateful wherever she goes. Why? Why God? Why can't you tell me why?"

No answer. The Heavens are brass. A bubble of grits popped, splattering her glasses. "Really? That's all you can say?" Artista started to boil over.

At 7:15 AM, sharp, Pansy bounced into the kitchen. "Here we are, Mom!" Hands held high, waving, Pansy smiled, ebullient.

A very slow 20 seconds later lumbered in Aurora, squinting, rumpled, and groaning, "Do you really have to have breakfast so early in the day?"

"Glad to see you, too," Artista managed. Been working my fanny off to make you something to eat before a long morning at church, and this is all the thanks I get. "You'll feel better after you eat," Artista's words dripped with syrup like any proper Southern matron. "It's almost time to go."

"I wish you would go, and let me stay home."

"You know I can't do that, Aurora. You're not twelve, yet."

The typical Sunday continued.

Ten-minute drive to church.
9:00 o'clock Sunday School.
10:00 o'clock Church-wide Fellowship with coffee and doughnuts
11:00 o'clock worship service
12:00 Noon scramble to The Eat Wave to take the best seats from the Methodists.

Another ten-minute drive home.
Afternoon naps.
Ten-minute ride back to church.
Training Union, (another Bible storytime for the kiddos)
Evening Worship

Drive home.
Get ready for bed.
Snore up enough courage to live through another week of school days.

My life as a pastor's wife, thought Artista as she laid her weary head on the pillow.

Sundays were thick with responsibilities and activities. Matt focused on ministry with the tenacity of a snapping turtle. Artista and Pansy serve with smiles on the outside and breaking hearts within. Doing the same thing every Sunday for more than 700 in a row (or approximately 14 years) is a wearisome task.

On the twins' 21st birthday Artista looked old. Barely in her 60s, she didn't appear long for the new world they had served for a number of years. As it turned out, she wasn't. One month to the day after the twins' birthday, Artista had a birthday of her own. She died to this life as she was birthed into the Everlasting Day.

The grief of losing her mother caused something to snap in Pansy. "Dad, I'm done. I've served the Lord for 21 years. I smile. I'm pleasant. People abuse me. I'm not going to take it anymore."

"You're grieving, Pansy. Give it some time."

"It's not worth it. Sherry and I are eloping. We're moving to the other side of the planet. Don't try to call. I will not answer you. You're no longer my Dad, and I hate your God." With that Pansy turned on her heel, ran out, and slammed the door behind her.

Matt fell into a heap on the floor. "God, please help me. I've lost my wife and one of my daughters in a matter of a month. What do I do now?"

Shrews are made when they live a thankless life.
Shrews are made when their fathers don't see their hearts.
Shrews are made through neglect on some level.
Shrews are made when they trust their perspective, regardless of their father's attempts to do the right thing.


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October 9, 2020 at 11:00pm
October 9, 2020 at 11:00pm
#995507
I. The Flight
A. What to do for three years?
B. The Twins
C. Parenting

II. The Arrival on ZoNed4
A. Meeting the Mayor
B. Settling in
C. Learning where to buy groceries and fuel
D. Seeing the Sights

III. The Twins are Different from Each Other
A. Pansy is sweet and helpful.
B. Aurora is a handful.
C. Teaching John 3:16 & "Jesus Loves Me" to the girls.

IV. The Whitewater Rapids
A. Aurora is gone.
B. Pansy shares the news.
C. Matt gives directions and then runs out to help.
D. Pansy is alive, but unconscious.

V. Recovery and Evaluation
A. What went wrong?
B. What do we do next?

VI. Ministry and a lot of Prayer
A. Why can't Aurora be like Pansy?
B. Pansy works well, but Matt missed her heart.

VII. The Family Knows Great Togetherness and Ministry for Five Years
A. Aurora Gets Saved.
B. The Twins (Age 15-20y.o.)
C. Matt & Artista Are at Their Best Together

VIII. Artista Dies.
A. Pansy Turns Her Back on God. Has a Lesbian Wedding.
B. Matt Battles Depression for a Couple of Years.
C. Aurora Runs the Ministry with Help from Leaders in the Church.

IX. The Ten Silent Years
A. Matt Recovers.
B. Pansy won't Speak to Matt.
C. Aurora works hard to comfort her Dad, keeping him going.

X. Matt's Last Days on ZoNed4.
A. Matt Returns to Preaching with a Broken Heart.
B. Matt Continues to Reach Out to Pansy.
C. Matt Commits the Twins into the Hands of the Lord.
D. Matt Commits Aurora to Ministry by God's Grace.
E. Matt Asks the Lord to Save Pansy, Getting Her to Heaven One Day.

XI. The Sermon (Matthew 21:28-32, KJV)
A. Matt gives his final best.
B. Aurora is not there. "Where is Aurora?"
C. Aurora comes in late with Pansy.
D. Matt prays a quick prayer and ends the service early.

XII. The Reunion & Matt's Death
A. Now, Restored to Both of His Girls, the End is Near.
B. Hugs & Kisses, Matt passes away to Pool Next to the Raging River.
C. Heaven is Just a Step Away.


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October 8, 2020 at 11:58pm
October 8, 2020 at 11:58pm
#995428
1 - Aurora had been known to try dangerous things before this. She seemed to get a thrill out of watching her parents' expression when they realized what she was doing. The Law of Diminishing Returns kept her trying bigger and bigger risks, until the day she hopped into a raft and headed towards the rapids. Matt's typical approach toward these dalliances (after the initial shock) was to "pray about it. I'm sure it's just a phase."

2 & 3 - Pansy's alarm shocked Matt into action. In a moment he was forced to face something he had been "putting off," while being urged into action by "a matter of life and death." Matt's innate nature of being Blue (aka Relational) caused him to minimize things of concern in order to maintain the status quo. However, boiling pots have a tendency to boil over, no matter how tightly the top of the pressure cooker may be screwed on.

"Issues ignored become issues exploded." This is a sad, but true, axiom of human interaction.

4. Matt will have to spend time learning his daughters' hearts.

In this initial episode, Aurora will be found alive, but barely, having been tossed from her raft onto a large rock above some swirling rapids in a hollow of the rock, that held her fast like the strong arms of God. The EMTs arrived to take her to the hospital for observation, but she regained consciousness the next morning after Matt labored through a night of intense prayer. After some more observation, Aurora was released after 72 hours to go home. She was no worse for the wear, having no brain damage, nor lasting bodily harm. Matt was convinced it was a miracle from the Lord.

Those days in the hospital gave Matt time to get to know Aurora a little better, but why she chose to live dangerously was a mystery to him.

(There are two young ladies of 15 years age, among our friends, who appear to be twin girls, who are very similar to Pansy and Aurora. Though they live miles from each other, and have never met, I think I will keep them in mind, especially as I approach the transition years in the story of ages 15-20 when the girls switch roles from Good to Bad and Bad to Good, from Loving the Lord to rejecting Him and vice versa. At the initial view, Pansy = A & Aurora = M. Names withheld to protect privacy.)

Matt often forgets that actions do not equal heart attitudes.
Matt is busy with church work. Serving the Lord is priority #1 to him.

However, this attitude forgets, that the Lord's first calling on any man's life (aka his first ministry) is the salvation and sanctification of his family members. Preachers can get out-of-balance when the vocation of ministry overshadows the lifestyle of ministry. Ministry is not primarily what we do. Ministry is who we are in relationship to God and the dearest people He has entrusted to us, first. The good actions of ministry flow out of the heart of one, who prioritizes relationships, and then actions, not actions, first, then relationships.

If Matt had stopped doing the work of the ministry long enough at the beginning of his ministry to learn the hearts of his girls, then he might not have had as much heartache when his girls were grown. On the other hand, Matt could have done everything "perfectly" (humanly-speaking,) but his girls might still have left the Christian walk at different times and for different reasons.

What do we do when a young girl, like Pansy, works her little heart to capacity in the church of her childhood because she wants to please her Daddy, but then she leaves the faith as a youth because "no matter how much I do, Daddy never seems to notice me"? From Matt's perspective, he thought Pansy was okay on the inside because she was doing all the right things on the outside. He was shocked when she turned her back on the Lord, marrying her girlfriend because she knew, that Matt preached the Bible's prohibitions against homosexuality.

How could Matt know that a child, like Aurora, was not the "lost cause," that she seemed to be as a small child, but that she would become one of his greatest allies in the ministry during his latter years? Aurora acted out as a child because she just wanted attention, and Matt was always "doing the work of the ministry." The child's greatest heart's cry seems to be, "Daddy, do you see me?" Matt didn't until the Lord brought her to him in a dramatic way.

The twins tried to get Matt's attention as children, though their methods of reaching this goal were vastly different. Matt softened over the years, seeing everyone more clearly, and especially his daughters. He thought he "had one in the bag," but he lost her for many years.
He thought "the other one" really wasn't worth his time, but she turned out to be "the diamond in the rough."

How does a parent salvage life after being shown so vividly, that he or she has lost someone precious, like a child? Is there any way to make amends? Is there any way to restore what has been lost?

Ultimately, the Lord in His Mercy will restore Matt and his girls, even if but for a few moments in this life, because all can be restored in the Presence of the Lord for Eternity if everyone is saved in this life.

Imperfect human beings often grieve about what has been lost in this life, but the Lord sees what He is making from Above. We merely see the tangled threads underneath. The Lord has us. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.


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October 7, 2020 at 11:41pm
October 7, 2020 at 11:41pm
#995327
This family has had as many twists and turns as a hurricane with shifting regions of High and Low pressure.

Pansy started out good but became a flaming liberal and an atheist in her early twenties, marrying the eldest daughter of Diotrephes Broadway at age 21. For the next ten years, she didn't even speak to her father, regardless of multiple letters, email, texts, and phone calls. Matthew's heart was heavily wounded. His greatest devastation was the fact, that in spite of the fact, that he deeply loves both of his daughters, he was rejected by one of them. Bottom Line: Matt would have died for Pansy, even though she rejected every belief he still holds deep in his heart.

Aurora played hooky from school at least a dozen times every year from Pre-K into her tenth-grade year. Any way she could devise to get the boys in trouble with girls in her classes or to get students in trouble with the teacher, she did. Aurora cared about no one, but herself. She cared not a whit for education, for truth, for honor, for God, for family, nor for anything else, that actually mattered in the world God had created for His Own Honor and Glory. Aurora was basically a "bad kid" or a "bad seed," until the Lord Jesus "knocked her off her high horse" (like He did with the Pharisee, Saul, who became the Apostle Paul.) Jesus of Nazareth orchestrated events, that saw Aurora fall off a cliff to the distance of 70 feet down. She survived, but a large pointed rock ravaged the muscles of her low-back, near her pelvis, and narrowly missing her spine. She had a visitation from Jesus Himself, during her weeks in the hospital. Pointedly her asked her as He had asked Saul millenia before, "Aren't you tired of running into all of the obstacles I have placed in your path? Are you ready to serve me? Or do I have to you than just give you the limp of the patriarch, Jacob?" The Lord had made His case, and Aurora served Him faithfully, until the day she died, walking to her last day with Jacob's Limp.

Matthew lumbered through his final years with a heavy heart at the loss of his dearest love on the day she turned 70, and at the loss of his dear daughter, Pansy, who repudiated everything he stood for. However, much was still accomplished, during those waning years of Preacher Marks' life on ZoNed4 with the daily, constant aid of his dear daughter, Aurora.

(From the ages of 15-20 Pansy and Aurora served in the ministry of Matthew Marks as young ladies, who were sold-out to Jesus Christ, loving and honoring their father in every aspect of life. Artista had a thriving art business in town, called Joyfully Dreaded Art. Life was GOOD for the Marks family, until it wasn't.)

As we shall see in the showing and the telling of the life of Matthew Paul Marks, the Lord uses myriad ways to tenderize His chosen vessels, His faithful servants, into the tools He can use in the creation of His Story (aka HIStory) on Earth and now on ZoNed4. Frail bodies do not defeat the purposes of the Lord. "7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
(II Corinthians 12:7-9, KJV)

At the very end of his days when he realized, that time was short for Him, Matt realized it was time to preach one last sermon before the Lord took him Home to Heaven. Matt had been pleading for Pansy every day since he realized there was a reason to plead for her. She seemed like a lost cause, and he entrusted Pansy into the Hands of the Lord. "I've got one more sermon. There are still so many souls to be saved, including my own daughter. Dear Pansy, may the Lord still reach you, bringing you Home to be with me when your days on ZoNed4 are finished.". With this breath prayer, He walked up behind the pulpit, not knowing if he would ever walk down, again.

I don't see Aurora, he thought. This is uncharacteristically late for her, but maybe there has been an urgent need, that required her ministry, and has caused her to be late. Lord, please help Aurora wherever she is, and bring her to the church to be with me, if that is Your Will. In Jesus's Name, Amen.

There was a need. Pansy had called Aurora earlier that very afternoon. Her plane arrived at 5:00 PM, and there was not time enough to get to the church before the service started, but Aurora was determined to restore her family if it was the last thing she could do for her father before he died. Pansy had a visitation for the Lord Jesus, too. Pansy's heart had been changed. The sisters were twins, again, and "the circle would be unbroken."




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October 6, 2020 at 9:52pm
October 6, 2020 at 9:52pm
#995218
The Ordinary World of ZoNed4:

The typical day for Pastor Matthew Marks starts at 5:00 AM with prayer and Bible study,
until 6:00 when he starts breakfast for the family.
Breakfast is sharply at 7:00 with a car ride to school at 7:30.
Back in his office at 8:00, Matt works on three sermons for the next week.
1st he works on the Sunday morning doctrinal sermon, which is heavy on the subject of Salvation.
2nd is the Sunday evening doctrinal sermon, which is heavy on discipleship.
3rd is the Wednesday evening doctrinal devotional, which centers around some aspect of prayer.
Lunch is precisely at noon.
Hospital visitation begins at 1:00 PM and lasts for approximately two hours
when he goes for a walk in the park to meditate on the word he learned in Bible Study the same morning.
At 5:00 PM Matt checks on visitors to the church service as well as new members, rounding out the house calls, he visits people, who don't claim to be saved, and he does his best to lead them to the Lord.
Around 7:00 PM he turns toward home, supper and time with the family before tucking the girls in bed at 8:30 PM, sharp.
At 9:00 Matt and Artista take time to talk, which for Artista usually lasts about 15-20 minutes, then it's off to bed for her, but he usually follows her shortly thereafter around 10:00 or 10:30 because tomorrow starts, again, at 5:00 AM

Here are a few of the unique places on ZoNed4, which Matt loves to visit as he has the time.

(Since the Marks were a pioneering family, they had the privilege of naming many of the settlements.)
----A. Breezy Glade is just like it sounds. It is a beautiful valley of grass, that is greener than any grass on Earth.
----B. Fort Childhood is a wonderful little community, whose oldest remaining structure is a childhood fort.
----C. Major Marks is known for the fifteen or so very deep cracks that run from the top to the bottom of Mount Blue Smoke. The fact that these fissures started on the mountain about the time that Matthew Marks arrived with his little family created an amazing amount of fodder for Mayor Diotrephes Broadway, who loved to quip, "Well, Preacher, you certain

ly left some Major Marks on this planet, didn't you?"
----D. Library End is, as the reader may have guessed, a town that is almost entirely dedicated to books and reading. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Town Hall is located at the corner of Book & Nook.
----E. Joe-N-Tea is the hometown of many folks, who are thoroughly devoted to their freshly-brewed drinks. Some like coffee. Some like tea. Yet, all of these dear folks like their cups of fluid comfort to be hot. None of them are bashful about asking the barrista, "Do you mind nuking this for a minute for me? If I've still got hairs on my tongue, then it's not hot enough. Oh, and bring me back a scone when you come, too, please."
----F. Primary Rocks is a curiosity. Artists flock to this town due to the configuration of boulders in all three of the primary colors. Others come bringing their preschoolers because they think the town's name refers to the best Kindergarten on the planet.
----G. Stable Home is a town populated by equestrians, who tend to have marriages that last 50 to 60 years or longer. Most of the residents are pretty proud of their town's motto, "Horsin' around makes you love longer."

The Impetus of the Call to Adventure:

Pansy and Aurora played in Breezy Glade one morning before two days after their tenth birthday. Pansy rushed through the backdoor of the pastorium after running the entire two miles from the Glade. It was 7:30 AM and time to get into the car for the trip to school, but Pansy blurted, "I couldn't stop her! She got into the boat on Blue Rapids! I told her she was too small, but she wouldn't listen! I couldn't catch her! The boat went too fast! I don't know what happened to her! Is she going to be okay?"

Matt stood in shock. Moments later he blurted out. "Artista call the school. Tell them about our emergency. Then, call Mack at the PD. Ask for help, then get to the Glade as fast as you can. Aurora may still be alive, and I've got to find her."

The rest of the tale discusses family, and the rapids of life. Finally, we reach the eddy of eternal life with Jesus, but not before the ride takes our breath away.

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October 5, 2020 at 11:14pm
October 5, 2020 at 11:14pm
#995145
IN-DEPTH CHARACTER PROFILE

(Thanks, Rosielle, for the template.)
https://www.writing.com/main/forums/action/view/message_id/3298197#3298197

BASIC INFORMATION

Name: Matthew Paul Marks
Sex: Male
Age: 40
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brunette
Ethnic Background: Caucasian
Marital Status: Married

PERSONAL INFORMATION

Nickname: "Matt" (Some poke him with "Thomas" for his propensity to doubt himself.)
Religion/Religious Background: Southern Baptist with some Bapticostal mixed in.
Social Class: Lower-Middle Class
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Education, Master of Divinity
Children: Twin Girls
Health: Runner with a slight paunch
Physical Condition/Disabilities: Wears glasses, needs orthotics, has allergies
Friends: Paul Letras, (mentor, 2nd father)
Allies: Artista, his wife;
Enemies: Both daughters upon occasion; Lazarus Whatyudid; Andy Attlepate; Diotrephes Broadway
Most Significant Other(s):
Community Status: Pastor of the largest Baptist church on ZoNed4, well-respected
Pets: 2 dogs, 4 cats
Languages Spoken: English, some Spanish, and Chinglish (mix of Chinese & English, during ESL)
Intelligence: Above-Average (125 IQ)
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual, although he did explore bisexuality in his youth
Type Of Friends Preferred: Good listeners, people who lead him to the truth, gently
Type Of Lovers Preferred: Completely found in Artista. One is enough.
Name Transmits First Impression To Reader: Matthew Paul Marks is wholly committed to the Lord
Reason/Meaning Behind Name: Matthew & Mark were the first two Gospels, Paul wrote most of NT

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION

Face/Eyes/Jaw/Lips/Chin: Rounded, alert, soft, tense, slight point
Build/Body:. Mesomorph, athletic, but slightly overweight
Distinguishing Marks: scars on his hands from working in the field as a teen
Posture: Erect, head looking straight forward
Appearance: Well-groomed, smartly dressed
Hair: Brunette, almost always combed
Predominant Feature/What Noticed First: squared shoulders
Physical Aids?: glasses
How They Walk: strong gait, short steps, 45 degrees (turn-out like ballet dancer)
Eye Shape/Color:. European roundness, blue
Sensitivity To Others Demonstrated Through The Eyes: eyebrows scrunched in concern

FAMILY BACKGROUND

Father: Carlos Marks
Profession: pastor
Living/Dead: died a number of years ago, train accident

Mother: Noami Mara Marks
Profession: teacher
Living/Dead: died a number of years ago, train accident

Parents' Marital Status: They were married for 40 years
Brothers: Straitway Marks (3 years younger than Matt)
Sisters: He wishes he had had a sister, but he never did.
Home Life/Childhood Experience: Perfect family example in public, shaky in private
Family Relations: Good over-all, but not extremely close. Family of loners, Straitway had friends outside the family
Family History: A dozen preachers in the extended family, many deacons, and Christian business people, and too many teachers to number


PSYCHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS/CHARACTER TRAITS

Morals: Biblical by choice, imperfect in living
Ambitions, Aspirations, Desires: Poetry, Photography, Exploration of places yet unseen
Major Traits: Precise in everything he does, relational (Blue,) Believes the best about others
Minor Traits: doesn't like being alone, but has difficulty trusting others
Outstanding Qualities: He is faithful for life to anyone, who gets past his quirkiness
Character Flaws/Weaknesses: Self-doubts, perfectionism, hesitant to try new things
Character Strengths: Unwavering commitment to his closest friends, and chosen projects
Habitual/Favorite Expressions: "The Bible says it. That settles it. I believe it. That settles me."
Habitual Mannerisms: He visually scans new environments before speaking, walks cautiously
Fears, Anxieties, Hangups: Making mistakes, doesn't like "winging it."
Frustrations: Having to justify his every word to a close confidant. He likes to be trusted.
Complexes: Having his sentences finished by someone close to him.
Temperament: Generally: Melancholy, High-C, Blue. Specifically: Mel-Chlor (Melancholy-Choleric)
Emotions: Even, doesn't show often. He will cry in worship when the Lord touches his heart.
Attitude Toward Life: "Live every day for the Glory of God. Send treasures ahead to Heaven."
Attitude Toward Death: "Be prepared by receiving the Gift of Salvation. Everlasting needs to be with Jesus."
Leader/Follower/Dropout: Consistently a follower, Matt can lead when he sees what needs to be done.
Most Cherished Beliefs/Values: "Jesus is my Substitute by His life, death, burial, and resurrection. I love Him with all my heart."
Worst Habit: Picking his nose
Highest Hope: Full assurance of Salvation for himself and for others
Preoccupations, Worries: That he will let somebody down
Biggest Source Of Pride: That he is a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Biggest Source Of Shame Or Defeat: That he was sexually profligate as a teenager, feels unworthy now
Dialogue: He uses Roberts Rules of Order. Lengthy speeches, when someone talks over him, he gets quiet
How They Talk/Speech Patterns (Diction, Tone, Speed, Pitch): Dialect-free, started school in Oklahoma
Direct Statement Of Thoughts: "The Bible is God's Word. The Father is Absolute Ruler. Jesus is God's Son. The Holy Spirit is necessary for Salvation."
Body Language/Posture: Stands erect, but doesn't look people in the eyes.
Gestures: One or both hands emphasize words and ideas, but rarely uses an index finger
Perception Of Others: "Created by God for a relationship with Him."
Evaluations Of Others: Gives the benefit of the doubt, tries to see good in others
Reactions To Others: "Hurtful people need to be helped. Hurting people need to be helped. Everybody needs to be loved."
Involvement With Objects: As a rule, he doesn't touch things, unless those things belong to him or he has permission to use them.
Attitude Toward Opposite Sex: Respects the younger women as sisters, and the elder women as mothers
How They Handle Crises: "Pray. Choose wisely. Act as quickly as the situation requires."
Memories, Dreams: He dreamed about Hell when he was 3 or 4. He didn't want to go to that bad place. He doesn't want others to go there, either.
How They Protect Themselves: Matt goes to his big walk-in closet to write.
Public Persona: Great speaking voice, receptive to others, compassionate
Daily Habits: Listens to the audio Bible, while making breakfast and washing dishes
How They Dance: Moves back and forth on his legs & feet.
Pet Peeves: Putting glasses too close to the edge of a counter, rolling stops when riding with someone in a car
Ways Of Dealing With Children Or Those In Inferior Positions: Gentle, compassionate
Eating Habits (When, What, How): Grazing all day long, always aware to keep liquids away from the computer keyboard
Heroes: Presidents Washington, Lincoln & Reagan, Dr. Billy Graham, John Calvin
Motivational Patterns/What Gets Them Going: A cup of coffee and fast Christian music
Landscape Observations--We Are A Product Of Where We Live: Matt loves to garden. The plants are many and varied, Calldiums, coleuses, hibiscuses, roses, wildflowers, Wandering Jew, Elm tree, Bradford Pear trees, Sasanqua Camellias, Lantana bushes, etc.
Point Of View (Neurosis, Self-Absorbed, What Noticed First In A Room,
Perspective):
He tried to prevent imperfections (self-absorbed,) but he notices when someone is hurting and in need of compassion.
Degree Of Intensity = Pace Of Life: Often runs flat-out, getting to bed after midnight, and is up by six or seven.
Attention To Detail/Degree Of Concentration: He loves to write. He rereads his compositions at least 3-4 times, checking for errors
Confidence Factor: Fluctuating. Strong when he has to be, but often doubts himself
Generosity: He rarely keeps money in his pocket because his heart bleeds for those in true need. However, if a man says he's homeless but is drinking a can of beer, Matt tends to be skeptical of the need.
Handicaps: He second-guesses himself, but over-all he's pretty healthy
How They Treat People They Like: He often touches and hugs them, praises them.
How They Treat People They Dislike: He avoids them, keeping his distance, not looking their way.
How They React When Angry/Upset: He keeps calm and may leave. When he can speak to the issue, he does so with control.
Self-Value/How They See Themselves: Matt realizes, that God created him with unique skills, that are valuable in God's Kingdom, however, he still feels less-than-usage too often for some reason.
Personality Type: Blue - relational
How They'd Describe Themselves: Loving to God and to others, but not so much to himself
Do They See Themselves As Happy/Satisfied?: "Happy is not that important because it challenges being in control. Satisfied means not being in too much pain. Satisfaction is more important for others. I just want to be basically peaceful."
Do They See Themselves As A Hero?: He sees himself as a workhorse. "It is my job to serve."
Sense Of Humor:. Puns
Most Instructive/Meaningful Experience: He won top honors as a speaker in both high school and college. He has been given multiple speaking awards throughout his years in ministry.
Attitude Toward Sex/Sexual Values: "Sex is to be reserved for the safety and for the honor of covenant marriage with one woman and one man for as long as they both shall live."
Attitude Toward Religion: "Religion is 'Man reaching up to God.' Salvation is God reaching down to rescue Man."
Attitude Toward Politics: "Politics is the tool for protecting the public peace, maintaining the safety of a nation. Politics is wise when it agrees on Earth with the Plan of God from Heaven. Bottom Line: If a politician supports abortion in any form, that politician is unfit for office. If a politician does not support God's chosen people, the nation of Israel, then that politician is unfit for office. The protection of the life of the preborn and the nation of Israel is the litmus test for serving in public office."
Attitude Toward Authority: "Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God." (Romans 13:1, NLT)
Ethnic Considerations: "There is only one human race. All ethnicities are due my respect."
Attitude Toward Money: "All of my money belongs to God. The tithe is to be given to Him at the storehouse of my church. The rest of my money should be spent in agreement with the principles of God and His calling on my life."
Attitude Toward Work: "'His work is honorable and glorious,' Psalm 111:3a. If the Lord's work is honorable and glorious, then our work should be honorable and glorious (or praiseworthy,) too."
Attitude Toward Play: "'Then he said, 'I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.' That's Matthew 18:3, NLT. Play teaches us to be childlike in trusting, in being present with the Lord and friends, and in being close to the original creation before we were made old and stiff by Sin."
Attitude Toward Their Looks: "3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. That's I Peter 3:3-4, NLT."
Opinion As A Soldier/Fighter: "My job is to protect my family as well as my close friends, and anyone else in the world, that I can help, regarding physical needs as much as it is in my power, that I may have the privilege to leading everyone of the people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ for their everlasting protection."
Feelings Toward Family: "Love is the choice the Lord requires of me, first. My family needs my love, my protection, my compassion, my interest in everything, that is the best for that dear, precious soul. Feelings are the caboose, that follows the engine of choice. Choose to be loving, then the feelings will come."
Feelings Toward Friends: "Love is the choice the Lord requires of me, first. My friends need my love, my protection, my compassion, my interest in everything, that is the best for that dear, precious soul. Feelings are the caboose, that follows the engine of choice. Choose to be loving, then the feelings will come."
Feelings Toward Enemies:. "Love is the choice the Lord requires of me, first. My enemies need my love, my protection, my compassion, my interest in everything, that is the best for that dear, precious soul. Feelings are the caboose, that follows the engine of choice. Choose to be loving, then the feelings will come."
Secrets: "When I am called upon the share the burden of some issue, that someone does not wish to be made public, then I have the responsibility to keep that secret unless it violates some law. Again, I am called to do the best for that precious soul."
Philosophy Of Life (In A Phrase): "This life is the womb of Eternity. Therefore, just as a young child grows with abandon in the womb of his or her mother, I must grow with abandon throughout my life of Earth, that when I see the Lord on the other side of my death, (which is actually my birth into Eternity Proper,) I will be ready for everything the Lord has for me there. The perfection of growth is not His requirement. The desire to grow is. He is responsible for making me all I am created to be throughout my eternal service to Him."

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October 3, 2020 at 9:39pm
October 3, 2020 at 9:39pm
#994979
"Lord, You said you wanted me to win the lost and shepherd the saints, but how is that possible, now? Joe Biden won the Presidential Election by a squeaker, and now he's going to shut the country down. I won't be able to talk with anybody, but my own immediate family."

Head in hands, Matt flops on the couch, weeping with abandon. An hour passes without abatement. There is no word from Heaven. There is only distress, lack of hope, lack of peace.

"Lord, now we will be the enemies of Israel, your people. They will be hated by America, the very condition, that You promised to curse. The babies will be murdered en masse, through idolatry, known as abortion. That very sin caused the Tragedy of 9/11. Your servants will, no doubt, be forced to populate prisons and concentration camps, merely because we name Your Name. How could You do this to us, Lord? How could You do this?"

More weeping, more accusations, more "sucking wind" through parched lips.

Tear-ducts now dry, Matthew wrestled with his heavy body in the daily battle to escape the couch's grasp. The wobbly figure lumbered through the front door. Leaning on the porch banister, he listened. Mockingbird's trilled through every page in their songbooks. Crickets chirped, "The Creator still lives." The frogs croaked in harmony, "Wake-up, Man. You haven't croaked, yet."

"That's really good advice, Dear One."

Though disconsolate, there was no mistaking of that voice for Matthew. "Lord Jesus! I was just thinking about You!"

"I know. I had to get out my umbrella."

"Oh, that. I'm sorry about all of the tears, but it doesn't seem fair what You've done to our country."

"Oh, that. Well, have you considered, that everything does seem a little unreal? You might want to wake up from this dream, and look at the daily news. I'll see you on the other side in the land of wakefulness."

The blaring, raspy tone made Matthew fall out of bed onto the cold concrete. "WOW! That was the scariest dream I've ever had."

YouTube was littered with news clips about the ultimate victory of Donald Trump for a second term as President. "After weeks of wrangling, the US Supreme Court certified Donald John Trump as the United States President for four more years." "In a 6-3 Decision, SCOTUS Proclaims Trump President." "Hillary Clinton Was Admitted to Milledgeville in Georgia After She 'Lost It' Over the SCOTUS Decision." "Major Cities are Burning." "Republicans Cheer as Democrats Rage." "President Re-elect Trump Declares the Country Fully Open." "'I survived COVID-19 with the new vaccine,' smiled Trump." "With the New Vaccine COVID-19 is No More of a Threat Than the Common Cold." "Masks Are Not Necessary Any Longer." "Florida State Has an Amazing Turn-Around. Defeats Clemson for the National Title."

"What must I do now, Lord? When I thought the Democrats had won, life was over because Freedom was gone, but now, that I know President Trump has been reelected, the country is in severe turmoil. Is there any hope, even yet?"

"Now, shalt thou see what I will do. Exodus 6:1 is the account of my Strong Hand, that controls the heart of the king, the Pharoah, and certainly the President. You will now see great gentleness in this man because He doesn't need to campaign for election anymore. He knows He has the power I've given him to clean up and to correct many offenses in your nation. Vandals will be jailed. Felons will be forced to clean and restore the very statues they tore down last spring. Abortion laws will be overturned. Repentance and return to righteousness will make great strides as the Leader of the Free World shows this by example."

"Can these things possibly be?"

"Who is God?"

"What can I do?"

"That, which I called you to do at the very beginning, is available to you, now. Bring souls to salvation. Heal the racial divide. Show the atheists, the former abortionists, the people of every social, political stripe of every kind, that I am here to do you good, if you will simply turn from your sins, accept my Gift of Salvation, giving me the opportunity to be better for you than you could ever have imagined."

"Will they believe me?"

"Did Pharoah believe Moses? Did Israel believe Moses? Did the people of the first century A.D. believe the Apostle Paul? Is there ever a case in which all humans believe what they are told to be the truth, regardless of the reliability of the speaker? Your job is to obey me. My job is to deal with the consequences. I will set things right when the time is right. Rest in me, Dear Saint."

"Alright, Lord, then I will."

Later in the day, Matthew saw a group of young men on the courthouse lawn. They looked rather downcase. So, he approached them cautiously. "Good afternoon, Gentlemen. I would like to tell you about Jesus, the Messiah. Have you heard, that He died and rose, again, to save you?"

"Have you heard, that we think you should die, you flippin' preacher?"

This, of course, was nearly the last thing, that went through his mind.


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October 2, 2020 at 6:49pm
October 2, 2020 at 6:49pm
#994866
1. Setting: The bulk of the story takes place on ZoNed4, the new mission field-planet for Matthew Marks and his family. However, chapter #1 could have the feel of the Chris Pratt & Jennifer Lawrence movie, Passengers, but I should take that under advisement, not choosing that route lightly because I don't want to be accused of plagiarism. Something should probably be said about the Marks' three-year journey through space, and since it is a relatively short journey the crew and the passengers, who share the trip with the Marks Family would, no doubt, enjoy the same sort of circadian rhythms as on Earth.

Is the journey on the space ship important?
Could it be written in a sentence or a paragraph?
It might be more important to spend the bulk of the story building the new world in the mind of the reader, focusing on the characters, their lives together, and their preparation for Eternity in much the same way as people on Earth are called upon to consider everlasting life.

2. Protagonist: Matthew Marks, the preacher, who wants to serve the Lord, shepherding the immediate flock of his family, his wife, and his twin daughters to the Lord and through the Lord to the eternal Home of Christ Jesus.
a. Flaws: Matthew has doubts about his relationship with the Lord as a result of his sinful past, and his present, which is overwhelmed at times by his low self-esteem.
b. Goals: To win this new world to Christ, leaving one world in the universe, that is wholly given to the Lord at the time he passes away. Yet, much to his chagrin, he learns the lesson of Noah, that humans carry Sin with them. Even one human and a godly family can sire an entire world, that is eventually, completely given over to Sin.

3. Conflicts: Self-doubt continues to plague Matthew. This is compounded by the fact, that his daughters don't seem to embrace his belief in the One True God at different times in the story. The hope of successfully bringing his family and his world to the Lord Jesus always seem to be just out of reach, like the many cliff-hangers of a Stephen Spielberg movie, specifically Back to the Future. (Again, this needs to be a feeling, not a copy in order to be above reproach.)

4. Antagonists: Artista Carpenter, (Matt's wife,) and Pansy and Aurora, (his twin daughters,) can't seem to decide which side of the fence to be on with Matt.
a. Artista is not completely sure she wants to be a pastor's wife, so she gives her half-hearted support as often as she can "snore up" the courage, but her caustic tongue gets her into trouble as a dragging weight upon the spirit of her dear sold-out-to-Christ husband.
b. Pansy starts out for her dad as a child, but then turns hard against him as an adult. Ultimately, she is saved on her deathbed, bringing great sighs of relief from her dad.
c. Aurora gives her dad many grey hairs as a child but is saved and becomes sold-out to Christ as an older teen.

5. Description: Family is the training ground for true and unwavering faith, since it is a fact, that anyone, who can stand for God at home, can stand for God anywhere.

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October 1, 2020 at 10:56pm
October 1, 2020 at 10:56pm
#994818
Matthew Marks & Artista Carpenter Marks get married, and take flight, literally, to a new mission field. The mission field is on the Planet ZoNed4, which is three years away from Earth by an interstellar airplane/rocket ship.

On the way to ZoNed4, they have a lot of time on their hands, and they become pregnant with twins. Initially, the twins appear to be beautiful reflections of each other, but the first few months, it becomes painfully obvious, that these female twins are alike only on the outside. The personalities of Pansie and Aurora Marks have "dark sides" to them.

1. What if the twins are like a parable, that Jesus told about a farmer with two sons?

"28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
"
(Matthew 21:28-32, KJV)

2. What if Pansy, the "good sister" does everything right as a child, but shows her true colors in her late teens and early twenties becoming and atheist, breaking her father's heart?

3. What if Aurora, the "bad sister" does everything wrong as a child, like reading dark novels, slipping away to dark movies, and learning everything she can about the life of hard-rock bands, wanted to join one when she grows up? What if a visiting evangelist shakes her world, and she gets saved at age, 15, changing the entire trajectory of the desires of her life?

4. What if Pansy, who was married in a same-sex relationship at age, 21, has a terrible accident in an Off-Road Vehicle five years later, and was lingering between life and death until her dad can get there to spend the last few hours with her, finding out if she is settled in her position or rejecting Christ or if she will trust Him, finally as Lord and Savior?

5. What if Matthew Marks has to walk the last two decades of his life alone because Artista has already passed away into the strong Arms of Jesus?

6. What if Matthew Marks learns, that the road to great faith is littered boulders of doubt along the path of life?

7. What if Matthew Marks finds out ultimately that God is Somebody He never expected God to be? What is he finds out that God prefers Grace over Justice, even though His Truth is still Absolute? What if he finds out that God can save someone forever when that person turns a hopeful eye in the direction of the empty cross & the empty Garden Tomb?

------------------------------------------------

Matthew Marks is a 5' 10" 50-year-old of 175 pounds with a fairly athletic build. He has spent the first half of his years on Earth in ministry. In his middle years he takes an interstellar flight to an entirely new mission field. There he finishes his days, until an old preacher in his 90s faces his final breath when he will take the plunge into the Pool of Death, coming out on the other side renewed and forever with His Lord Jesus Christ.

Artista Marks is Matt's wife of 25 years. She is 45-years-old, has been sporting dreadlocks for about four years, now. These brunette dreads compliment her job as a hair designer. She is highly in demand. About 5' 4" in height Artista is slender and athletic in build of 115 pounds, due to the fact that she walks or runs about 4-5 miles every day and uses stretching programs, extensively.

One of the twins, Pansy Marks, unlike her sister, is quite supportive of their dad, Matthew Marks. She may not want to preach like her dad, but she has been saved, since she was six-years-old, and wants to help the orphan children of ZoNed 4, who have so little and virtually no one to care for them. Pansie is 12-years-old with long brunette hair and dark blue eyes like her father. At 5'2" Pansie is a slightly heavy 130 pounds of laughter and joy. Pansie is a sixth-grade student.

The Mark's other twin, Aurora, says all the right things but doesn't seem to have the heart for Jesus that her sister does. Obviously, Aurora is a sixth-grade student like her sister. Since they are identical twins, she sports brunette hair, too, though hers is bobbed to make her "look different." Aurora, also, has dark blue eyes, like "dear ol' Dad." Aurora cares about her music and hopes to be in a rock band when she's older. Aurora is a great singer and even plays the guitar with ease like her uncle.

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