10/31/2012

Another Old Writing Assignment

I've been asked by a friend of mine to put together all of the 'scenes' that ended up getting deleted from Warrior's Fury before it was finally published. But as I was going through old notes and documents to do that, I found this short story about Zeegan I had written in 2009 for yet another class assignment...

Anyway, I thought it was kinda funny and everyone I've shown it to has at least not hated it, so I thought I'd post it ;P :D   

(NOTE: I only did some cursory editing, so it may not be 'perfect' as far as that goes ;)


Dream or Nightmare?

Written by J D White
November 17, 2009


“And then there’s ‘I don’t eat bacon – but I do like the flavor of shoelaces.’ Man, I’m tellin’ you, that is gonna be the greatest rock hit of the century when me and my sophomore buddies get a record deal.”
            It was taking all of Zeegan’s willpower not to start screaming and ripping the fur out of his head. He was pretty sure it had only been an hour since he had met Jared, but already he was convinced the boy was insane.
            Zeegan should have been all comfy-cozy in his warm bed aboard the Giou-Zeeganzy with his wife. But no, here he was trudging through inch deep snow in nothing but a pair of short cut pants, headed down a mountain towards a lake that he hoped would reveal a way home, followed by an insane sixteen year old boy who claimed that they were in the western region of a mountain range called the Sierra Nevada.
            Suddenly Jared started singing some horrible melody with a voice that Zeegan was convinced would attract every carrion eater for miles – not to mention all the other animal’s that would most likely come to smite him just to stop the atrocious din.
            “Jared!” Zeegan screamed as he spun around to face the boy. “Will you PLEASE, shut up? I am trying to concentrate on the source of the nayrl.”
            “On the source of the what?”
            “There is an energy source near that lake down there–”
            “Hey, that’s Red Lake.”
            “Realy? That’s amazing. I believe I will find a way home down there.”
            “Awesome man . . . Hey I’ve been meaning to ask you, what planet are you from?”
            Zeegan sighed and turned away from the boy, continuing on down the slope towards the elongated lake. . .

            He guessed it was about half an hour later when they came to the shore of the lake. Jared sat down with a muted ‘grunch’ in the snow and leaned back against the trunk of a tree, while Zeegan knelt down at the shore to cup some of the cold water into his mouth.
            Something wasn’t right here. The wind had died and there was no sign of the animal life that had been prevalent when he first awoke higher up on the mountain. Zeegan stared out over the lake in the waning light of twilight, trying to determine where the disconcerting stillness had originated.
            A rustle in the sparse underbrush behind him brought Zeegan slowly around on his heels. Close to where Jared sat was a group of bushes that rustled ever so slightly.
            “Jared!” Zeegan hissed as loudly as he dared.
The boy opened one eye and looked over at him. “Whuh?”
“Don’t move.”
“Why?”
Zeegan pointed at the group of bushes and Jared slowly turned his head to look at them. The branches began to move about once more and Zeegan felt his uneasiness grow.
Suddenly, out of the bushes popped a small creature with a long snout and a black mask around its eyes. It looked like it weighed about twenty pounds, its bushy gray fur made its body look like a big fluff ball, and it had a bushy tale with black rings.
“Ah, come on man, it’s just a raccoon.” Jared said grinning and leaning towards the creature. “And it’s a cute one too. Come’ere little buddy, come on.”
Zeegan’s face screwed up in a grimace of concern. “Jared, get away from it!”
But the boy was ignoring him. When Jared got within a few feet of the raccoon, it suddenly stood on its hind legs and hissed, white foam fizzing up around its mouth. Its ears were now drawn back flat against its skull and it looked thoroughly violent.
Jared apparently finally got the hint, he screamed and tried to jump back but was far to slow. The insane raccoon leaped right at Jared’s face and latched on, still hissing. The boy leaped to his feat and swung his head around violently, trying to shake off the beast.
Zeegan leaped forward and dashed to help Jared. Grabbing hold of the vicious raccoon he yanked it off the boys face and threw it away with all his strength. The beast hit the ground on its feat and skidded to a stop half a dozen yards away.
“Run man, come on let’s run, go!” Jared was in a veritable panic.
“Calm down will yu’, its not’n I can’t handle.” Zeegan said, holding up his hand to show that it was now covered in a glowing hazel-yellow, semitransparent, gel-like mass of energy.
The raccoon was charging back at them at full speed. Zeegan balled his fists together and went into a crouch. Focusing, he willed the mass of energy in his hand to glow brighter and move to float in front of his fists as it solidified. Then – thrusting his hands forward with all his might – launched the mass of energy directly at the crazed creature.
The solid mass of semitransparent energy screamed through the air and would have torn straight through the raccoon – that is of course, if the raccoon hadn’t leaped up and smacked the center of the projectile with its front paws and sent a wave of counter energy through it, causing it to blast apart in a harmless explosion of dissipating energy.
Both Zeegan and Jared’s jaws dropped open at the thoroughly baffling sight. The raccoon landed on its hind legs a few feet away and hissed at them again.
“All right, running sounds good now.” Zeegan said. . .

For the next ten minutes Zeegan and Jared ran as fast as they could along the shore of the lake, screaming at the tops of their lungs as they attempted to escape the rabid raccoon.
Zeegan snatched Jared’s wrist and pulled him into a cave. Pushing him back against the dark wall, Zeegan stood next to him and waited – trying to quiet his breathing.
He heard the creature scamper frantically by still hissing violently, but it did not turn into the cave-mouth.
“Good, it didn’t see us come in here.” Zeegan whispered breathlessly. “No doubt it’ll realize it’s not behind us any more and back track, though. Let’s go.”
Jared whimpered and nodded, following as Zeegan headed deeper into the cave.
“Any particular reason we’re going into this cave?” Jared asked eventually, once he had sufficiently calmed down.
“The energy I detected is this way.”
They turned a corner in the dark tunnel and found a large door at the end. Two massive torches sat in heavy brackets on other side of the door, giving off a sputtering orange glow.
When they got within a few yards of the door, a massive hulk of a man fell through the stone ceiling and landed in a crouch before them. Rising to his full seven foot height, he held a round shield in his left hand and a short sword in his right. He was dressed in a light armor chest plate, a strange skirt-like garment, and a pair of sandals.
“I am Leviticus Claudius.” He said in a deep voice that rumbled from the depths of his massive chest. “I have served my lord Caesar as the guardian of this doorway to another world for twenty, of my forty-five years.”
Zeegan and Jared stared, trying desperately to keep hold of their individual sanities. Unfortunately Jared’s grip slipped.
“Great, first a giant alien-porcupine-wizard, then an evil, mutant raccoon, now we got a freakin’ gladiator that can travel through time’n’space!” Jared started laughing hysterically and jumping up and down in circles. Suddenly he disappeared in a poof of inability to accept stupid, impractical situations.
Zeegan blinked as tiny bits of dust drifted to the ground where Jared had stood and scratched his head furiously in confusion. A hissing from behind warned that the raccoon had discovered their trail and was close behind.
Zeegan looked back down the dark tunnel and wondered if he shouldn’t just let the vicious little creature tear him apart. A heavy hand fell on his shoulder and he looked up into Leviticus’ dark brown eyes.
“Go, little man.” The hulking man said. “I shall do my duty and guard this door to the end.”
Zeegan just nodded with a blank look in his eyes and opened the large door, praying to the Almighty Creator that this was just an insane dream and he would awake from it soon. . .

Once Zeegan had closed the door behind him, Leviticus turned to face the demented, foaming-at-the-mouth raccoon.
“Thou shall not enter here, foul beast.” He whispered as he swung about his short sword.
As if in answer the raccoon roared and charged for him. Bellowing a war cry, Leviticus also charged. . .

Zeegan nearly tripped when his surroundings turned from the dark cave to a bright forest filled with creepy, rainbow colored, elastic-like bears jumping about singing: “Gummie bears – bouncing here and there and every where. . . .
Finally Zeegan could not take it anymore; he clamped his hands over his ears and screamed at the top of his lungs to drown out the horrible noise–––and lurched into a sitting position when something bashed against his nose.
“You awake now, Gy’doht?” Biyon asked from where she sat on her knees on the other side of the bed, a book held nonchalantly at her left shoulder where she had apparently decided to rest it after hitting him in the face.
Rubbing his nose with a rueful grimace, Zeegan nodded and thanked his wife for waking him from the bizarre nightmare. . .
_________________________________________________________________

Let me know what you think :)

10/24/2012

Manners

I was asked to give a talk on 'manners' to a group of kids.

Obviously once you actually start to 'speak' what you've written down, it kind of evolves to fit the specific circumstances - but I thought I'd post what I wrote anyway :)

Manners


^ Just because it was relevant ;P :)
Some practical examples of ‘good manners’ . . . We are to show respect and deference to our seniors – both those who are senior as in elderly or grandparents and parents’ age – in standing when they enter a room, giving them our attention when they speak (in proper deference to their wisdom or greater experience), offering them our seat, assisting in carrying things.

The same type of thing applies for boys or men in relation to girls or women in that our 'gentlemanly' duty would be to offer the same kind of assistance in opening doors, carrying heavy objects, pulling out chairs, assisting in putting on a coat or taking one to hang it up, etc. Though some or all of these sorts of ‘assistance’ may not be needed in either case on many occasions, it is still a part of proper etiquette that shows respect and kindness. . .


So, keeping in mind these things that have been listed to give you a practical basis for good ‘manners,’ I want is to ask a question: “What exactly are manners?”

Well, first, your ‘manner,’ is generally the way in which you carry yourself – your method, or way of performing or executing things in your day to day life. It is essentially the way you conduct yourself.

So let’s look at a proper (or ‘archaic’ – some would say) definition of the term ‘manners.’


Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
Manners
1. Deportment; carriage; behavior; conduct; course of life; in a moral sense.
     Evil communications corrupt good manners. 1 Cor. 15
2. Ceremonious behavior; civility; decent and respectful deportment
    Shall we, in our applications to the great God, take that to be religion, which the common reason of mankind will not allow to be manners? South.
3. A bow or courtesy; as, make your manners; a popular use of the word.

Good-manners
n. Propriety of behavior; politeness; decorum.


According to Webster’s definition above, manners as a whole are not merely ‘being polite or civil in a situation among our seniors or other people.’ They display your character, the very essence of your moral and ethical beliefs.

There is Scripture that would suggest the same – consider Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians about how they should live: 
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. ~ Philippians 1:27-30 ESV
. . . which he continues in the twelfth verse of the second chapter:
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. ~ Philippians 2:12-16 ESV
 – And consider also Paul’s words to the Colossians: Colossians 1:9-10 . . . something that Jesus said that would suggest something of the same would be Matthew 7:12 (Note that we do not do this with a guarantee of reward). . .

So there is no doubt that God has provided us with many exhortations and commands in his Word that should effect how we treat or interact with the people around us – especially in considering James’ exposition on how ‘faith without works is dead’ in James 2:14-17. More examples of specific passages can be found in much of the Old Testament – especially the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5) and the books of the law – or in Jesus’ summation of the two tables of the law in Matthew 22:37-40. 

(Other verses of note that apply to this subject - 1 Peter 1:14-16(Lev 11:44 + 19:2), 1 Peter 2:1, 1 Peter 2:12, Ephesians 4:1-3, Galatians 5:13-15(16-26, 6:1-10))

Now, after pointing out all of this, we must ask another question: what is the reason or even the motivation behind all of this? And I would like to supply an approximation of both.

First, the reason. . .
There is an excellent ‘blanket statement’ of a reason for everything that we do in First Corinthians.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV (Note the next two verses also ;)

Every little thing we do, be it showing good manners by opening a door or whatever, we must be compelled by the sole purpose of bringing glory, honor and praise to our God and Savior. And He has given us the most perfect and ultimate example of this in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. . .
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:11 ESV

Here is a quote on Jesus’ example from Charles Haden Spurgeon, taken from a sermon he gave entitled Christ About His Father’s Business…
“…You never find Christ doing a thing which you may not imitate. You would scarcely think it necessary that he should be baptized; but lo, he goes to Jordan's stream and dives beneath the wave, that he may be buried in baptism unto death, and may rise again—though he needed not to rise—into newness of life. You see him healing the sick, to teach us benevolence; rebuking hypocrisy to teach us boldness; enduring temptation to teach us hardness, wherewith, as good soldiers of Christ, we ought to war a good warfare. You see him forgiving his enemies to teach us the grace of meekness and of forbearance; you behold him giving up his very life to teach us how we should surrender ourselves to God, and give up ourselves for the good of others. Put Christ at the wedding; you may imitate him. Ay, sirs, and you might imitate him, if you could, in turning water into wine, without a sin. Put Christ at a funeral; you may imitate him—"Jesus wept." Put him on the mountain-top; he shall be there in prayer alone, and you may imitate him. Put him in the crowd; he shall speak so, that if you could speak like him you should speak well. Put him with enemies; he shall so confound them, that he shall be a model for you to copy. Put him with friends, and he shall be a "friend that sticketh closer than a brother," worthy of your imitation. Exalt him, cry hosanna, and you shall see him riding upon a "colt, the foal of an ass," meek and lowly. Despise and spit upon him, you shall see him bearing contumely and contempt with the same evenness of spirit which characterized him when he was exalted in the eye of the world. Everywhere you may imitate Christ.”

As far as motivation goes, what more do you need than that reason for the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the ways in which we conduct ourselves? God, the Son – the Word become flesh – dwelt among us to live a perfect and holy life as an example for how we are to walk, and then died – was crucified – upon a tree and bore our sin, that we may be forgiven and redeemed. Is that not enough motivation? Is that not enough to make you adore and love our God? Our Savior and Redeemer? Our holy holy holy LORD and King?
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. ~ Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” ~ John 14:15-21 ESV

…We should have such a love for God, that we are compelled to do all that which is good and right, and brings honor and glory and praise to our almighty Creator and Redeemer, not only in the little things, but in every single aspect of our lives.

I realize I’ve gotten very serious on you, but Christ and what he did on the cross – despite all the wondrous joy it provides for those whom He has saved through the free gift of His Grace – is serious business, and we should tremble at the very thought that we have been offered the chance to glorify God by striving to follow and obey His commands – and are still forgiven and covered over with the righteousness of Christ by the Grace of God when we fall horrifyingly short of the standard… (Romans and Hebrews are the best places to go to have a better understanding of this...)
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. ~ Philippians 3:7-4:1 ESV
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. ~ Philippians 4:4-9 ESV

~ J D White
10/10/2012

10/10/2012

Great Upcoming Conferences

The 'White Unto Harvest 2012 A Great Commission Mega-Conference' is something I just found out about today . . . but there's still enough time before it begins (October 25-27) that I thought I may as well include it in this post anyway :)

But I've actually been looking into the G3 Conference for January of next year . . .

There is a great lineup of speakers for both conferences; Paul Washer (speaking at both conferences), Voddie Baucham (G3 Conference), and Conrad Mbewe and Kevin Swanson (White Unto Harvest Conference) to name a few. . .

I'm not sure if even the G3 Conference is doable for me . . . but I thought I'd spread the word! The Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, is something we can all use a constant reminder and more in depth knowledge of... After all, it is the 'power of God unto salvation' (Romans 1:16)

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:18-20
Soli Deo Gloria!

10/08/2012

Art from Friends, Part 3

Still working on some posts that I hope to put up in the next couple of weeks (lots going on right now :P ) . . . But for now, I'll post another piece of art that yet another friend did after reading my book, Warrior's Fury...

~ This is an illustration of a scene in Chapter 71 done by Sean
(He did this on his own using some form of inking pens. Thanks, Sean, glad you liked the book! :)

10/03/2012

Art from Friends, Part 2

I was goofing around one day and did a quick sketch that I ended up forming into a decent drawing...


~ The monster is a Rinvot, and the guy he's jumping on is supposed to be Rim...
(the light up in the corner is because I used a camera instead of a camera to move the image to the computer ;P :)


Anyway, I showed it to a friend of mine, Noah, and he wanted to put color to it...
~ And the result is a more dramatic Color Pencil version :)
(Thanks Noah :D )

The concept for the drawing comes from a scene in Warrior's Fury where Rim is infiltrating a fortress on a stormy night and is jumped by a monstrous sentry...

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