- Charles G. West
|the huge belly of the biggest among the planes ready to drop fire retardant|
The window panes vibrated loudly and the house shook briefly for a few seconds. My son and I were keeping an eye on a ravaging inferno up on the hills as we breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing his dad/my husband arriving on the driveway. The biggest firefighting airplane hovered so low among tiled rooftops that shook everything on its path as it aimed and positioned itself to target the tallest blaze. There were also numerous smaller planes and altogether, were in unison as if they were dancing, making a pass one after another, to try to douse the hot and dangerous flames. With the strong, gusty winds constantly blowing, my son and I knew better... Those planes were also dancing with death.
We kept calm as we held hands together and asked for help from the Greatest Firefighter. We knew His help was needed for the scant resources battling numerous fires at the same time in different places. The fire wasn't threatening our place but my son led me to gather the important things we should pack in case there would be an order to evacuate. The forceful breathing of the atmosphere was unpredictable to which direction it would blow next. The fire got smaller after an airdrop, only to grow twice bigger when fanned by gusty winds.
The house shook again. I saw a neighbor ran out to the backyard and with fear on her face, scouted for what caused the shaking in her house. She took her hose and started wetting the house and around it.
After four hours, with the planes hovering nonstop, the thick, black smoke slowly became whitish and lessened in volume. The owners of those visible houses on top of the hills must be relieved to see they were spared from the fiery beast so close to them. Those firefighters, whether the ones maneuvering the planes or the ones on the ground did an exemplary job.
What is shaking your foundation? Illness? Loss of jobs? Imminent divorce? Death knocking at your life's door? Addiction to illegal substances?
What are you holding on to that is worth saving? Or do those things have a hold on you?
|rows of Persimmon trees|
|freshly-picked Fuyu persimmons|
|Done for the day!|
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: Life Application Bible]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].