April Snippets

This post has been in the drafts for quite a while.  When I realized that the end of April is TOMORROW! I decided to throw together some snippets for you.  

From various works-in-progress:

"As long as this world exists, there will always be a Light to fight the Darkness."
[penned by ME! (I really like this.  Sounds like something Valtiramiir would say...)]

      Until her father received the phone call.  A call from the secure, cellular phone, used only in receiving a new mission and the time during that mission, after which it is disposed of and destroyed.  Chess' heart sank, but she was careful to hide her disappointment.
[untitled project (currently called "Chess")]


“Mint Chocolate Chip on a cone, two scoops – no more, no less – and have the scooper squish it all the way down into the cone.”

      “But come on, Chess. What are you hiding? You have an academic level way above that of this school. It seems at times you should be teaching. Every single test you're given you breeze through as if it's nothing, and come up with a perfect score. Is it even hard for you? I mean, do you even study?”
      “Okay, okay, you got me. It turns out I'm the nerdy girl, not the popular one,” she replied, forcing a smile.
[Ben, Chess]

      “You turned Jack Sparrow into a parrot?” Chess grinned at him.
      “That's not all I can do,” she replied mysteriously...

      They faced West, where the early afternoon sun was only now beginning its journey home. To the North lay the majority of the country – villages, small towns, and the two castles of Charan's Council elders, belonging to the lords Brépau and Ponte, of which Safia's uncle Lord Damien made the third member. If one traveled northwest, from their current position, they would eventually come to the mountain castle of the Charian king and queen, Turante and Mishelle, located on the country's largest mountain, Bravor Montan, so called the Mountain of Valor, where the great battles of the Dead Age were fought. The last 300 years has been known as the Âge de Paisonie, or the Age of Peace.

      He continued. “Her father died in her arms from wounds acquired in a sea battle.  Her adopted brother and the whole of her father's crew were slain as well, making her the sole survivor.  All she has known for many years is now gone.
      “But she is a Rouseau, and she will be treated as one.  Welcome her with open arms.”
[Lord Damien, Safia]

      “How do you say, 'Please pass the ham,' in Norskan?” Aldric asked. The other boys gave him a look.
      “What?” Safia laughed and replied.
      “Bittë vinma ad porti.”
      “Whoa. It has a bold sound,” remarked Payton. Safia chuckled.
      “Yes. As does its people. You have never known the word 'brave' until you have seen the Skahmen of the North,” she added, with pride. 
[Aldric, Payton, Logan, & Safia - in Safia]

Thanks for reading!

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What's in a Name?

The Colosseum in Rome, Italy
Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Roman Mythology
Pronunciation:  RAWN-yǝ-lǝs (English)

Meaning & History
Simply means "of Rome."  In Roman legend, Romulus and Remus (brothers) were the founders of Rome.

Gender:  Masculine & Feminine
Usage:  Indian
Pronunciation:  AHR-yah, AHR-yee-ah

Meaning & History
Means "honorable, noble" in Sanskrit.

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Biblical, Hebrew
Pronunciation:  MAWR-dǝ-kie (English), MORE-dǝ-kie (English)

Meaning & History
Means "servant of Marduk" (pro. MAHR-dook) in Persian.  In the Old Testament, Mordecai was the given name of the cousin and foster father of Esther, queen of Persia.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Biblical, English
Pronunciation:  jǝ-MIE-mǝ (English)

Meaning & History
Means "dove" in Hebrew.  In the Old Testament, this was the given name of the oldest of Job's three daughters.

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All in a Day's Work [PART 4]

Part 4: Mine Enemy, Now Friend

      After leaving Valtiramiir and Peder, Keighvyn and Jaron set a course for the riders. The white dragon descended lower, gliding over the tops of the great trees.  
      They have heard us and are increasing speed.
      “Very well,” said Jaron. “Let us teach them the meaning of the word.”
      With pleasure. 
      In a mighty burst of energy, Keighvyn sped ahead of the riders below. Through gaps in the canopy of branches, Jaron caught glimpses of the four, fear was evident in their pace.
      Breaking through an opening in the trees Keighvyn and rider dove, landing before the horsemen and startling their beasts. Each creature reared in fright, throwing their riders. Three of the four men fell from the saddle and scrambled to their feet, their features a mixture of anger and fear.  One man managed to stay in the saddle. 
      “Where is your master?” addressed the Elf, his voice loud and strong.  It was then they first noticed him, engrossed as they were with the sight of the dragon.
      Impertinent, the remaining rider rallied his courage and spat a remark.
      “Who wishes to know?”
      Jaron shook his head at the man's idiocy and calmly replied.
      “A Captain of the Guard.” There was an audible gasp from one of the footmen, for the reputation of Gondoa's elite fighting force was far-spread. Even the self-proclaimed leader gulped.
      “I repeat,” demanded Jaron, raising a massive long bow, arrow notched. “Where is your master?”
      Still, the men did not respond. Two held swords, unsheathed, the others recurve bows, which were more convenient than the longbow when riding.  The mounted man carried a recurve in his left hand, a quiver of arrows on his back.  His fingers twitched.
      “Well, my friend,” said Jaron softly in Keighvyn's scaly ear. “Mayhap they need a dose of persuasion.”
      The great dragon lowered his regal head and softly growled in warning, chilling each man's blood. Still, they remained stubborn.
      What could frighten a man more so than the threat of a dragon? thought Jaron.  Keighvyn answered his thoughts.
      Perhaps to these men, death is welcome. In Jaron's mind, the dragon's voice saddened.  Their Light has been smothered.
      Elf and Dragon were quiet, staring at the men.
      "Let's finish this," muttered Jaron.  Keighvyn's foreclaw swept through the air...

* * *

      Scrambling to his feet, Peder lunged only to be blocked. He parried a thrust, spun on his heel and blocked another rush. Breathing hard, both men backed off and, once again, began circling each other warily. Though the air was cool in the clear evening of the wood, sweat drenched the two warriors. Peder was careful of where he placed his feet in the soft, mossy earth.
      Feinting a lunge, he swung his sword, connected with one of the two daggers and dropped to the ground, thrusting his left leg out in a sweeping movement, mimicking his opponent's earlier move to knock him off his feet. Again, he backed off to catch his breath as the man struggled to his feet, weapons still in hand.
      By now, both men were out of breath. Peder stood with sword aimed in the thief's direction, gasping for air. He noted with a bit of satisfaction that the other man seemed to be doing the same.
      However, taking a deep breath, the man charged. Inwardly, Peder groaned. Dodging the attack, he charged with one of his own, moving in close. Blocking a move and giving his opponent no chance to back away, he spun and swung a left fist to the man's jaw.
      The thief grunted but retaliated with the hilt of a dagger to Peder's side.
      Peder doubled over but followed through with a somersault, rolling forward and coming to his feet while avoiding the swipe of a blade. The two men stood panting, a decent distance apart.
      “You know what you're doing, I'll give you that,” Peder muttered, he didn't care if the other man heard. He glanced at their surroundings, which had grown darker with the coming dusk. With a jolt of surprise, he realized they had fought for nearly two hours! It was time to end this.
      He rushed with a roar, startling the other man and giving himself the few seconds needed to close in. Ferociously, he swung his long sword, battering the tired man's defense until both daggers lay in the soft grass of the meadow.
      Breathing hard, Peder stood in a ready stance, sword point aimed at the man's chest.
      Slowly, the thief fell to his knees, too tired to care what would happen next.
      Moments passed. Still wary, Peder stared at the man before him. At last, he dropped his sword to the trampled ground. Puzzled, the man looked up, a confounded expression on his worn features. His shock of damp, brown hair clung to his neck and face as if he had dunked his whole head in a barrel of rainwater. Peder, himself, didn't look much different. The young Guard stuck out his hand.
      “M' name's Peder, friend. Yours?”
      Reluctantly, the other man shook the offered hand and replied, rather hoarsely.
      “Well met, Slannin,” said Peder, plopping himself down beside the bewildered man. “I've never met a more worthy opponent. You really should consider a career change, I would feel much better if you were on my side,” he added with a tired chuckle.
      Slannin stared at him in disbelief, but was far too exhausted to question anything. He moved to a sitting position and looked at Peder, who now lay stretched out in the grass.
      “My friend tells me you are a troubled man,” Peder began, clasping his hands behind his head. “I can help you, but in return I need a certain valuable something from you.”
      The man called Slannin continued to stare at Peder, who acted as if they were old friends enjoying the quiet of the woods. He surprised himself by joining his former adversary on the soft blanket of moss and meadow grass.
      “I don't have it,” he said suddenly in a low voice, knowing what reaction was to be expected after hearing such a statement.
      It took a moment for Peder's tired mind to register what Slannin had said.
      He sat up suddenly.
      “You don't have it??” he exclaimed, looking at the other man, who shook his head.
      Again, Peder lay down, resuming his previous position.
      “Oh,” he repeated, shrugging. “Well, that could be a problem.”  Peder cleared his throat.
      “So... would you mind explaining why you don't have it and where it is?”
      The man was quiet for a moment, then he sat up, leaning on his arms.
      “In the stables,” he answered, staring into the dusky sky.
      Again, Peder sat up. His mouth opened as if to speak but he closed it again.
      “In the stables,” he repeated, matter of factly. Slannin remained immobile, avoiding his eyes. Peder waited.
      “It slipped from my vest when I ran into the stablemaster. I saw it fall to the dust, and kicked it to the deeper shadow and fled. The men who hired me would use it for their means only, and part of me decided long ago I was done with that kind of work. I decided to go through with the original plans and somehow come away with the payment due to me.”
      Peder listened quietly as he spoke, intrigued by this man, whose accent was strange, neither Gondian nor Ardish. Cropped brown hair, bright green eyes, and strong hands were the first qualities Peder noticed in his observation of the warrior. The man was well-built, though not overly muscular, and stood a good inch over six feet, equal in height to Peder himself. He bore his weight easily and moved with a grace as if he were a physical part of his surroundings. The young Guard made a note to watch this man, drowning his pride enough to think he could actually learn a thing or two from him.
      “You mean to tell me the papers are still in the castle? This isn't some ruse to trick me to lay off chasing you and leave?”
      Slannin shook his head.
      For a moment, they were quiet. This time, it was Slannin who broke the silence.
      “You said you could help me. What did you mean?” Peder looked at the young man before him.
      “Valtiramiir sensed a... searching in you,” he replied, rubbing his neck. Slannin looked confused.
      “Valtiramiir? Who is that? A wizard with power of the mind?”
      “No. Just a friend, who possesses a great gift of discernment.”
      “Is he with you? Here?” Slannin's eyes flicked from the shrubbery and massive trunks of the forest floor to the limbs of the great trees. Peder chuckled.
      “No. You actually met her earlier today. I believe she has gone ahead to meet with your buddies.” The other man was silent. Peder cleared his throat. “Anyway, she believes you are a troubled man, seeking refuge and purpose. But not physical refuge. Rest for the spirit, as my father used to say.” Slannin looked away. “In a sense, we are all searching for purpose in this dark world. Some find it in wealth, others in family, and still others, maybe in labour or work they have a passion for.”
      “And you?”
      “My rest is in my God, Eliadan, the Master-Maker. He alone gives me a purpose. A hope to press on.”
The two men lay silent in the meadow, content for the time being. His heart had only just begun to calm down.
      “Peder?” said Slannin suddenly. Exhausted, the young Guard lifted an arm in acknowledgment from his position on the soft meadow ground, happy to lay there forever.
      “Do you believe a man can change?”
      This time Peder looked up, only lifting his head and neck, to look at his unlikely companion laying opposite him with arms outstretched. The words, coming from the low voice of the rugged man, sounded strange for his apparent character. Peder sat up.
      “Yes. Without a doubt.”
      Slannin raised himself to a sitting position and ran a hand through dark hair, visibly relieved.
      “Good,” he whispered.


Click here to find:

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I've Been Tagged!

I apologize, dear friends!  I was supposed to have posted the fourth part of Peder's story... YESTERDAY.   But, alas, due to farm work, which consisted of picking up rocks in the field (we always have an abundant crop of these things every year) all morning long, and a fellowship night with friends, obviously, that did not happen.

I had this post ready.  So, to appease your demands, not that there has been any... I decided to publish this one, while I finish Peder's.  =]

I was tagged by the lovely Storyteller!

1. How would you describe your style?
     Comfortable.  And cute.  I like cute.  ^__^
     Color is another thing, I love color!

2. What are your wardrobe staples?
     Skirts, cardigan, blouse, and ballet flats. 
      Now, when I'm out and about on the farm, that's a different story.  I have been seen in overalls, farm boots, and cowboy hat.  Or, in summertime, shorts, tank, and farm boots or flip-flops -- depending on what we are doing, working hay or garden...

3. Most expensive clothing item you own?
     Oh, my.  That would have to be my medieval dress.  A deep red, full gown I purchased from Etsy.  Love it!  I spent $150 (yes, I know), that I had saved up.  I wore it on a Daddy-Daughter Date, when my daddy took my sisters and I out for dinner and a show.  I admit, there might have been some staring...

Pictures coming soon!

4. Most wanted item?
     Oo! It would have to be the Pointe Shoe Flats (to your left).  So cute!  Though, I never had pointe lessons during the few years I took ballet, I love these!  (Yup.  Found on Pinterest.) But I can't find them anywhere...

5. Favorite designer?
     Erm.  Don't have one...

6. How much do you spend on clothing?
     Typically between $2 to $20, with the exception of a certain medieval dress... 

7. Favorite places to shop?
     Goodwill!  That's where much of wardrobe comes from.  I say "my wardrobe," but in all actuality, my sisters and I share one.  =]  And I love it!

8. Favorite Fragrance?
     Hmm.  I love the smell of Honeysuckle in summertime.  But Japanese Cherry Blossom cuts in pretty close.  And I'm using my knowledge of Bath & Body Works fragrances to decide...

9. Favorite way to do your hair? 
     Double French Braid Bun.  At least, that's what I'm gonna call it.  It's almost a mouthful...  I do two French-braids, then twirl and pin into a braided bun at the nape of my neck.

10. Most prized possession?
       Probably the dress my sister made me for Easter Sunday.  I love the pattern!  
       Pictures of this one coming soon!  (Can you guess? I'm wanting to have a photoshoot, in order to update some pics...)

And now, it's my turn to pass this on!

I tag these ladies:
Jen & Ju (my sisters) =]

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Book Review [Discipline: the Glad Surrender]

Discipline: The Glad Surrender
Elisabeth Elliot

Rear Cover:
"We have come to imagine that discipleship is somehow an 'extra.' ...Yet to be a Christian in New Testament terms is to be a disciple. There are no two ways about it."

* * *

With honesty and grace, beloved author Elisabeth Elliot guides you to a deeper understanding of discipline.  It is not merely self-improvement or developing specific routines.  Discipline defines the very shape of the believer's life.

This book explores areas of discipline that you may not have considered before -- the disciplines of:

  • body
  • mind
  • place (honoring others)
  • time
  • possessions
  • work
  • feelings

Being a disciple means answering yes to God's call, gladly surrendering yourself to the Master's orders.  Discover how to place every aspect of your life under God's authority and find happiness and freedom there.

I really enjoyed this book, as I have others of Mrs. Elliot.  She speaks plainly and honestly, from her own experiences and the example of others.  Each chapter centers on one of the themes above mentioned, breaking down definitions and grounding them in Scripture.  

"Discipline is the believer's answer to God's call."  (pgs 15)

One of my favorite illustrations she uses is an excerpt from C.S. Lewis' novel, Prince Caspian, in Chapter 3 of her book, on the subject "How do we know we are called?"

            "Now, child," said Aslan, ..."I will wait here.  Go and wake the others and tell them to follow.  If they will not, then you at least must follow me alone."
            It is a terrible thing to have to wake four people, all older than yourself and very tired, for the purpose of telling them something they probably won't believe and making them do something they certainly won't like. "I mustn't think about it, I must just do it," thought Lucy.

Mrs. Elliot continues: "She does it, and eventually they follow her... For Lucy, believing was seeing.  The others could not at first because they would not.  It is always thus.  The believer alone will be able to hear the call."  (pgs 20-21)

We must be available to listen.

The Discipline of the Body (Chapter 7)
This is a biggie.  At least, it should be.

"Discipline, for a Christian, begins with the body.  We have only one.  It is the body that is the primary material given to us for sacrifice.  If we didn't have this, we wouldn't have anything.  We are meant to present it, offer it up, give it unconditionally to God for His purpose.  This, we are told is a an 'act of spiritual worship.' The giving of this physical body, comprising blood, bone, and tissue... becomes a spiritual act." (pgs 43)

We are the body of Christ.  His temple.  Should we treat His body as nothing more than trash?  Feeding it a daily diet of junk food, exercising only when we feel like it?

No.  He freely offered Himself as a sacrifice of grace and mercy on the cross, torn and broken, and yet, we were on His mind!  O the deep, deep love of Jesus!  How can we do any less?

"What sort of body is this?  It's mortal.  It will not last.  it was made of dust to begin with and after death will return to dust.  Paul called it a 'vile' body, or one 'belonging to our humble state,' a 'body of sin,' a 'dead' body because of sin.  But it is also a temple or shrine for the Holy Spirit; it is a 'member' of Christ's body.  It is, furthermore -- and this makes all the difference in how we should treat it -- wholly redeemable, transfigurable, 'resurrectable.'" (pgs 44)

Oh, dear.  I could go on and on, and eventually end up posting the whole book... You don't know how hard it is to summarize when you think of ALL the quotes you jotted down intending to share.  I will do my best, but you might as well find this book and read it yourself.  =]

Chapter 8 on Discipline of the Mind, was especially good.  

"'Reality' is often evil.  There is a common belief that a frank expression of what one naturally feels and thinks is always a good thing because it is 'honest.'  This is not true.  If the feels and thoughts are wrong in themselves, how can expressing them verbally add up to something good?  It seems to me they add up to three sins: wrong feelings, wrong thought, wrong action." (pgs 63)

In this chapter, Mrs. Elliot takes the subjects of justice, human rights, abortion, divorce, masculinity and femininity, and compares these to the currently popular opinions versus Scripture.

"On abortion: which arguments in its favor would stand if the thing disposed of were called a baby instead of 'tissue' or 'the product of conception'? Are we permitted to ask whether it is a human being? Is our answer from God or from man?
"On divorce: how many would seek one if it was the happiness of the other they desired above their own?
"On masculinity and femininity: how many discussions about roles, equality, and personhood would grind to a halt if sexuality were seen not as a biological question, but as a theological one, a glorious mystery of two complementary beings who bear the image of the invisible God?
"If we take each question, doctrine, problem straight into the presence of Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and ask, 'Which way to the Kingdom of Heaven?' the answer will be there." (pgs 68)

Do you truly understand what is going on in the abortion clinics?  Have you heard of the Gosnell trial?  (A word of warning should you wish to visit the Gosnell link.  They tell it as it is.)  It is beyond saddening to hear and read the reality of these murders.  There are no words to describe what I feel when I read of them.  

Moving on.  Chapter 10: The Discipline of Time.

"Time is a creature -- a created thing -- and a gift.  We cannot make any more of it.  We can only receive it and be faithful stewards in the use of it." (pgs 93)

I cannot sum up this chapter any better than that. 

The few remaining chapters: 
- Chapter 11: The Discipline of Possessions
-Chapter 12: The Discipline of Work
-Chapter 13: The Discipline of Feelings
-Chapter 14: Exchange: My Life For His

... are, again, so good.  I wish I could share with you the rest of the points that really stood out to me, but alas, I must let you find out for yourself. 

In conclusion, I will end with this:
"He offers an exchange: His life for ours.  He showed us what He meant by giving Himself.  The overwhelming fact of the Son's obedience to the Father -- hell itself harrowed by the Infinite Majesty -- does it not call us far out of ourselves, far beyond the pitiful, calculating, cowardly, self-serving, self-saving pursuit of what the world calls happiness?
"He offers us love, acceptance, forgiveness, a weight of glory, fullness of joy.  Is it so hard to offer back the gifts that came in the first place from the wounded hands -- body, mind, place, time, possessions, work, feelings? ...
"When discipline becomes a glad surrender, 'Every day, we experience something of the death of Jesus, so that we may also know the power of the life of Jesus in these bodies of ours.'" (2 Cor. 4:10, NEB)

My rating:

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A Word, Guv'na?

Today's word is one whose definition has been largely undermined in the last few decades.

Does anyone honor their parents these days?  Do they even know what the word means?

U.S. Navy Medal of Honor
Webster's 1828 Dictionary
noun  1. the esteem due or paid to worth; high estimation  3. dignity; exalted rank or place; distinction  4. Reverence; veneration; or any act by which reverence and submission are expressed, as worship paid to the Supreme Being.  5. Reputation; good name  6. True nobleness of mind; magnanimity; dignified respect for character, springing from probity, principle or moral rectitude; a distinguishing trait in the character of good men.  8. Any particular virtue much valued; as bravery in men, and chastity in females.

verb  1. To revere; to respect; to treat with deference and submission, and perform relative duties to.  2. To reverence; to manifest the highest veneration for, in words and actions; to entertain the most exalted thoughts of; to worship; to adore.  3. To dignify; to raise to distinction or notice; to elevate in rank or station; to exalt. Men are sometimes honored with titles and offices, which they do not merit.  4. To glorify; to render illustrious.  5. To treat with due civility and respect in the ordinary intercourse of life. The troops honored the governor with a salute.

Elisabeth Elliot states in her book, Discipline: The Glad Surrender, that...

"Honor means 'respect, high regard, recognition of worth.'  A Christian sees all men as made in the image of God.  All are sinners too, which means that the image is marred, but it is a divine image nonetheless, capable of redemption and therefore to be held in honor." (pgs 77)

"Honor is given.  It is not taken."  (pgs 79)

"Christianity teaches righteousness, not rights.  It emphasizes honor, not equality.  A Christian's concern is what is owed to the other, not what is owed to himself."  (pgs 81)

"The submissiveness of a wife to her husband is the appropriate form of honor that she pays hims.  She offers it just as she would offer it to Christ."  (pgs 84)

Scripture tells us to "honor the Lord" with our wealth (Pro. 3:9).  Wisdom is said to hold honor and riches in her left hand (Pro. 3:16).  Proverbs 3:35 says, "The wise will inherit honor, but the fools get disgrace." 

I could go on and on.  =]

"If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me.  Where I am, there My servant also will be.  If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him."
(John 12:26)

"Show family affection to one another with brotherly love.  Outdo one another in showing honor."
(Romans 12:10)

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All in a Day's Work [PART 3]

"I Will Do What is Necessary"

      Again, Peder was given the chance to soar above the clouds.  This time, however, he didn't allow himself to enjoy it quite as much, angry as he was.
      Peace, young Peder, said the voice of Valtiramiir.  'Tis not fitting a man a your status to hold your anger inside. 
      He sighed.
      “You're right.” The red dragon chuckled.
      Of course! The wisdom of a dragon is not often wrong, she replied cheerfully.
      “But it has been wrong?”
      Nonsense! I said 'not often', that does not mean we are not always right. Peder laughed.
      “I believe you!”
      Suddenly, the she-dragon turned serious.
      Change of plans, Peder.  It seems you may find a way to vent your anger.  Keighvyn has alerted me of a group of riders trailing your thief.  
      “And the plan?” Peder waited as she asked for an answer.
      Catch him, before they do.
      “Aye! Good plan.”

      “Peder!” Both dragons were flying side by side now.  Jaron's call reached Peder's ears despite the roaring wind. “Keighvyn and I will fly ahead.  I have a bad feeling about the riders. You are to take the thief. He is not to reach them.  Understood, soldier?”
      “Aye, aye, Captain!” He answered. Jaron's mouth twitched in a half-grin.
      “Think you can handle it?”
      “You wait and see, Elf!  Wait and see!” Peder saluted his captain with a fist to his chest, as the dragons split.
      Peder's grip on the saddle horn tightened as he felt Valtiramiir begin to descend closer to the trees.
      There is a clearing ahead.  We will land there and confront this master-thief.  Peder acknowledged her statement and stretched in the stirrups to see the lay of the land before them.  At their current height, he could see Keighvyn and rider already a dot on the horizon.  Soon, he caught sight of a gap in the trees indicating the meadow.
      He loosened the strap on his sword.

      Peder was surprised at the delicacy in which Valtiramiir landed without a sound.  He would never cease to be amazed at these creatures.
      Dragon and man stood in the quiet, grassy meadow deep in the old forests of Wyndor.  Peder moved to the center, hand on the hilt of his sword.  Resting on her haunches, Valtiramiir looked noble in the afternoon light.  At some distant sound, she became alert, then relaxed and laid her head on her foreclaws.  She spoke again, aloud, her voice soft and low.
      “This is your fight, young Peder.  I shall not interfere.”
      “Aye, Lady,” he grinned, looking at her over his shoulder.  “But if things go badly, you'll give my regards to the wife, eh?”
      “To be sure, if you were so blessed,” she answered with a low chuckle.
      Were it not for the gentle sounds of forest life, Peder would have found the wood eerily silent.
      “He is a troubled man, Peder,” remarked the red dragon suddenly.
      “How do you know?” He kept his eyes trained on the border of trees lining the meadow.
      “We dragons smell more than gold, food, and human flesh.  Emotions play a large part of our world.  Contrary to legend, perhaps we feel more than even your kynd.” Now Peder turned to her, puzzled.
      “Wait. You mean you can actually smell emotions?  Happiness? sadness? fear?”
      “Hmm, yes.  The smell of fear is usually strongest.  However, it is not just emotions we notice.  To our eyes, Light or Darkness radiates from each being we come into contact.  You, for example, Man-son, have a glow of Light that I can clearly see.  This, I know, comes from your service to Ichaldar.”
      “Fascinating,” Peder said, truly impressed.  But his muscles tensed abruptly at the sound of nearing hoof-beats and he turned to face the trees, refraining from drawing his sword. “I would wish to know more, when this business it finished,” he said, vaguely aware of the quiet stillness in the air.
      At that moment, the man burst into the meadow at a trot, his horse blowing, nostrils flaring.  Balking at the sudden sight of the dragon, the frightened beast reared, throwing his rider and fleeing at a gallop, as far as his exhausted legs would carry him.
      Despite his jarring fall to the ground, the man was on his feet, a dagger in hand.  Peder had to give him credit – he wasn't one to give up.
      “We meet again, master thief,” he called across the meadow. “I must say, I didn't appreciate the gift you left me earlier today.” Gently, he rubbed the tender spot on his scalp.  The man did not reply, but stood quietly in the shadows.
      “Look,” said Peder. “I'm willing to avoid a fight if you will give up the bundle.  However,” he continued, his tone dead serious. “I will do what is necessary to protect my kingdom.  If that means I must take what belongs to Gondoa over your dead body, so be it.” 
      Still, the man did not speak.  Peder realized he was looking at Valtiramiir, who remained prone with her head on her foreclaws.  Though she was still as a stone, her eyes were wide and bright.  Her voice reverberated in Peder's mind.
      Peder.  This Man-son has a faint Light surrounded by a Darkness threatening to overcome it.  You must help him break free from that which means to overtake him.
      The young Guard considered her words and acknowledged with a slight nod.  Moving away from his dragon friend, he called out once again, assuring the man he was safe from the red lady.
      “My friend will not interfere should you choose to fight.  On the other hand, if you manage to defeat me... I cannot promise you safety in the future.”
      Half in the shadows, the man released his cloak, somewhat reluctantly, and allowed it to fall to the ground.  He drew a second dagger with his left hand and held it with the blade pointing behind.
      “Very well,” Peder muttered, dropping his cloak and drawing his sword.  Eliadan, give me strength.
      The man charged.
      Both men met in the middle of the meadow and the resounding clash of weapons echoed in the quiet forest.  Peder was surprised by the strength of the slender man, though they stood equal in height.  There was no doubt of the sinewy power contained in the well-built, wiry frame of the man before him.  Peder suddenly realized he couldn't be but a couple years older than himself.
      Swinging his broadsword, Peder's longer weapon connected with the man's two shorter blades, crossed in a block.  Locked in place, they held.  Guard and thief.  Blue eyes glared into the bright green of a man searching for purpose.  They broke and circled, weapons always at the ready.  Peder focused on the man's hands, deftly testing their grip on the twin daggers.  He knew from now on he must be careful.  This man possessed a steady grace in his carriage.  A grace, and yet, a cold, measured acceptance. It was the acceptance that puzzled Peder, something that made him believe the man no longer cared what happened to him.  So why did he fight?
      Cautiously they fought, each testing the other's skill.
      Whirling his daggers, the man rushed, thrusting a left, feinting right, and thrusting again.  Calmly, Peder met each offensive attack, though he feared his heart would leap from his chest for fear of making a serious mistake.  Dodging a lunge, he blocked the follow-up and pressed forward, forcing the other man to back up.
 They continued for who knew how long.  Peder was beginning to tire and despite the other man's show of stamina and endurance, he knew his opponent was wearing down as well.
      He glanced at the spot Valtiramiir had occupied, but she was gone.  He didn't have time to dwell on this before his feet were swept from under him. Landing hard on his back, he grunted and rolled to the left just as a blade stabbed the ground.


Part 2
Part 1

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God Answers Prayers - A Musical Tag

Oh my.  I saw this post from my new friend, Lauri, and just had to do it!  It is a musical tag, and as she said, that's been floating around the blogging world in all its randomness.  I wasn't officially tagged by anyone, but it sounded like way too much fun to ignore.

So, here we are!  Hope you get a laugh!

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag 20 friends. (Since this is an old tag this doesn’t really apply anymore, but if you’re reading this you’re absolutely welcome to steal it as well! Please do!) 5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing.

If someone says "Are you okay?" you say… 
Laetatus Sum, Gradual in Mode 7 (Liber Usualis No. 560, GR 139) by Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos
Am I okay?  Evidently not...  I think that means "to be glad" or "to be of good cheer"...

What would best describe your personality? 
Peace Will Be Mine (with Wonderful Peace) by the Christ Fellowship Choir [Bigger Than Life]
Hmmm... Peaceful, I guess.

How would you describe yourself? 
Say Goodbye by Skillet
... O.o

What do you like in a guy/girl?
Love is the Answer by Chris Sligh [the Anatomy of Broken]
Um.  Love your neighbor as yourself!

How do you feel today? 
Curiousity Killed the Cat by Jason Gray

What is your life's purpose? 
Remember to Smile by Patrick Doyle [BRAVE - OST]
Okay.  I can do that! =]

What's Your Motto? 
Body and Wine by Jars of Clay
I dunno, what's the motto with you?  Haha!  I know that song title sounds weird but it's a great song about the Lord's Supper.

What do your friends think of you?
Jesus Freak by Newsboys [Born Again]
Hopefully, everybody knows I'm a Jesus Freak!  

What do your parents think of you? 
Only You Can Save by Chris Sligh
Don't worry, my family, I can save you!!! Actually, this probably isn't me.  I've been known to run from a ladybug... Honest.

I think this is Simon...  He's one of our Holstein steers.
What do you think about very often? 
Cows by Sandra Boynton [Philadelphia Chickens]
*guffaws outrageously*  Well, I do live on a farm...

What is 2 + 2? 
Everything I Own by Jason Gray
Good gravy!  You don't know how true this is!! (As in money in the pocket... Haha, if I opened my wallet and moth may fly out...) 

What do you think of your best friend? 
My Name is Jesus by Mark Bishop
My best Friend is Jesus!

What do you think of the person you like? 
Rocky Top (traditional)
(Yes, I'm a Tennessean.  And proud of it!)
But wait... he's a hillbilly, hometown, country redneck???

What is your life story? 
Stand Up For Jesus (hymn)
I'll stand for Him!

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
Father Christmas [Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe (OST)]
*laughs hysterically*
Bahahaha!!! Not really...

What do you think when you see the person you like? 
A Walk in the Woods by Martin O'Donnell  [Halo: Combat Evolved]
Don't ask.  I've never played Halo in all my years, but love the music!
As to my thoughts when I see the person I like... Well, I don't know, don't really have a "like."  But I'm pretty sure "a walk in the woods" wouldn't be first in my mind...

What will you do at your wedding? 
The Rose performed by Floyd Cramer
Erm.  I think playing the piano is out of the question.  The only thing in my piano knowledge is just a few notes to a tune about a frog...

What will they play at your funeral? 
Miracles by Newsboys [Born Again]
Will I come back to life?!?!?  But what if I don't want to?  I think I'd rather stay in heaven. 

What is your hobby/interest? 
My Deliverer by Rich Mullins
Jesus is my interest.  He is my Deliverer!  What else should interest me?

What is your biggest fear? 
Tropical Sand by Sandra Boynton [Rhinoceros Tap]
Oh, but no!  I want to go to the beach so bad!!  So, sand really wouldn't be my biggest fear.

What is your biggest secret? 
Wandering [Spirit Earth]
I wander?  But... "Not all who wander are lost!"

What do you want right now? 
Teach Them by Philip & Jessica Morlan [Seeds of Character]
To teach?  Well, if it was to teach dance, sure!  I love to dance.  ^__^

What do you think of your friends? 
Dueling Banjos performed by The Original Wildcat Jass Band [Rhythm Street]
They are... musical? and like to duel? 
But hey, this is an awesome version of this song.  Tuba and Banjo.  What could be better than that?  And performed by my uncle! (on the tuba) =D

What's the worst thing that could happen? 
Darwin's Origins/Two Sets of Glasses by Vision Forum [Mysterious Islands (OST)]
Sadly, it's already happened... 

What is the one thing you regret? 
Danny Boy by the Starlite Singers [Irish Favorites]
Hmm... War.  Yup, I guess so.  

What makes you laugh? 
Swing Low by Brandon Heath
Not really.  That's a serious song... Good.  But serious.
I love to laugh!

What makes you cry? 
The Precious Blood by Sovereign Grace Music [Valley of Vision]
TT_TT  Yes, the Precious Blood that was shed for me.

Will you ever get married? 
Lift Your Eyes - A Creation Hymn (Part 1) by Lilyfields (CD bought at the Creation Museum!)
What? Is he here?!?!
Seriously.  My ma is trying to set us up with a waiter at Crackerbarrell... (which is a restaurant, by the way)

What scares you the most? 
Genevieve's Waltz by Green Linnet Records [25 Years of Celtic Music]
Aw.  But that's a pretty song!

Does anyone like you? 
Surrender All by Sovereign Grace Music [Worship God Live]
What does this mean?!?

If you could go back in time, what would you change? 
You Made Me Love You by The Original Wildcat Jass Band [Rhythm Street]
Ooo... this sounds worse than it is... Honestly, I did not choose this song!  Grr! Uncle K! You and your songs!!!

What hurts right now? 
My Own Native Land [Irish Roses: Women of Celtic Song]
Oh, wow.  Yes.  It breaks my heart.  Where is the America that was founded on Christianity?

What would you want to say to the person who tagged you (if you were tagged)?
Gesu Bambino by the Regency Singers and Orchestra [Noel]
Um.  That means "Baby Jesus," by the way.  

What will you name this post? 
God Answers Prayers by Answers in Genesis VBS [Kingdom Chronicles]
Well, He does!



But it seems I have a lot of explaining to do.  I didn't realize this post would reveal the contents of my music library... heheh... Not that I have anything in there to be ashamed of, no!  

For your information, dear readers, the songs by Sandra Boynton (Cows and Tropical Sand) are from a set of children's CDs that my Aunt J had for her kids.  The songs are so very humorous, and as I love to laugh, she lent them to me to copy to my computer.  She also happens to be the wife of Uncle K... Love 'em both!!!

My family and I are very musical, if you haven't guessed.  We love movie soundtracks! among other genres like classical, jazz, and contemporary Christian.  I'm actually surprised nothing from the Hobbit soundtrack popped up... Blunt the Knives would have made a great random answer for one of the questions!  Also, as mentioned above, I've NEVER played any of the Halo games... But I must say, the Opening Suite song is my favorite.

My sisters had to hear the answers to each question and so we got a huge laugh from this.  I hope my answers brought a smile to your face!  

Remember?  My purpose in life is to smile.  ^__^

Don't hesitate to copy the questions and try it yourself!  If you do, leave a comment so I can check it out!

Have fun!

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