Exodus Cry

For those of you who have been hearing about sex trafficking and have been desiring to do something more than just be horrified from an armchair, people at Antioch Church have put together RunFor1, a 5K run where all the proceeds will go to the ministry, Exodus Cry, aiming to abolish human trafficking and slavery through prayer, education and restoration.

The run/walk is on March 29, 2014. Please, please register and tell your friends to help put an end to this horrible trade.

May the grace and favor of God be over the people involved in these ministries and to those who are affected and/or in captivity. May they be set free spiritually, physically, and emotionally and find joy in Christ, our Savior.

To learn more about the run and to register, click the following: RunFor1

exodusLive Long!

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Beating the Monster

Bang!

The door shook on its hinges and I blinked.  Maybe if I ignore it, it will just go away.  Wishful thinking, I know, but maybe-BANG! BANG!

This time the frame around the door bent, hinges whining in protest of the pressure.  Fear, alive and terrible, climbs from my heart, racing to my mind.  If it reaches my mind, I’ll be lost.

No.  I won’t let it get there.  This time I’ll fight, but I won’t have to do it alone.

BANG!

The door buckles and then explodes.  Shards and splinters fly out and I duck to avoid a particularly large sliver.  A few pieces scrape my arms, but I ignore the stinging because of the thing in the doorway.

He is grotesque.  And huge.  His eyes are red, and saliva drips from his lips.

“I am fear…I am terror…” He doesn’t move his lips, but his voice fills my mind.  I cover my ears with my hands and sink to my knees.  The voice is crushing.

When I finally look up, the monster is striding towards me, a confident grin twisting his lips.  He thinks he’s won, but unfortunately for him, I am a fighter.

I jump up, fake a punch with my left hand and swing hard with my right.  My arm goes numb as my knuckles connect with his face, and the monster snarls, startled.  He was not expecting this.

He reaches for me, but I twist away and place a well-aimed kick to his hip.  He stumbles, but with surprising agility pivots and grabs my by the throat.

His nails bite into the skin at my neck, and I struggle to breath.  He leans in close. “It’s no use fighting.  I can feel your fear.  You are no match for me.”

The horrible sound of his voice echoes in my mind, and I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to block him out.  I claw at his wrists, and while I feel his grip slacken, he doesn’t let me go.

But at least I am fighting.

My foot connects with his kneecap, and he growls in frustration. My knee connects with his stomach, and he snarls, squeezing my neck harder. I think I can feel blood trickling down my neck, but I am too distracted by the change to care.

The monster feels the change, and his red eyes dart around, searching for what it is.

“You didn’t think I would be stupid enough to face you alone, did you?” I rasp, trying to sound confident.

He bares his teeth and roughly shoves me to the ground.  When I scramble to my feet, I see he has part of the door in his hands.  He lunges at me then, door swinging down towards my heart.

I close my eyes, confident that he won’t be able to touch me.

The frustrated howl of the monster lets me know that I am right.  I open my eyes and grin.  The monster is swinging the door at me, but an invisible shield now separates us.  He can’t touch me.

Something catches my eye, and I turn to find whispy figures standing next to me.  They remind me of my friends and family in a way.  “Who are you?”

A misty figure looks at me and smiles wide.  “We’re the prayers!  Those who love you would not let you do this alone.”

A second figure places transparent hands on my arm, and strength floods my body.  Fills my mind.  Calms my heart.  The figure glares at the monster.  “Now we can destroy this monster! He is weakening already!”

I look at the monster, and as his blood eyes look at me and my army, he shrinks.  His muscles deflate, and he moans.  A misty prayer hands me a metallic sword.  “Finish him.”

I grip the sword so tightly my knuckles turn white.  My invisible shield extends beyond me as I walk, and the monster backpedals.  “Too long have you tormented my mind,” I spit fiercely.  “Too long have you held me back.”

The monster snarls and lunges for me, and I bring up my sword, jumping to meet him.

His body slides heavily onto the point and the weight of him is crushing, but I hold my ground.  His hot, sulphur breath waifs over my face, but I don’t care because I’ve done it.  I’ve killed the monster.  He takes a final, shuddering breath, and then vanishes, taking all his fear, anguish, and terror with him.

My shield shimmers in approval, and my misty prayers rejoice.  There was a struggle , of course there was.  But I won.  The monster is beaten and I have won.

Mischief Managed

Spirit verses the Flesh

shore

You enter the courts, ready to bring your praise. Normally you’d stop to take everything in, the beauty of this place. But today, today all that stands before you is nothing compared to the One who sits before you, rightfully on His throne. He, who has been waiting patiently for you to come into His presence, who has been guiding each step faithfully, listening with such love and devotion to His child—sometimes ready, sometimes resisting, desires you to see Him and continue, to come rest in this place.
His throne is magnificent—nothing compared to Him. His light overwhelms the throne, his love pulses through the floors, his presence brings waves of peace. You stand at the shore. You hesitate. How? Where to dive in? You feel it, you want it, but what is holding you back?

“If you dive in, there’s no returning.” You say to yourself. No. That’s not you. You turn to look and are confused. It is you, your body, your Flesh. Yet you stand here at the threshold of the King.
Your Flesh leans in at your shoulder—no, not your shoulder. You don’t have one. You are the Spirit, not contained by limitation of the body. Flesh whispers, “You are comfortable here at the shore. Can’t you just gaze at how beautiful this scene is? The Lord is before you. He sees you and smiles upon you. He loves you. You can feel it from here. This will do just fine.”
You shake your head because somehow that does not seem right. “That’s not enough. He’s given me more than just sight.”
You suddenly remember all the times you’ve stood here, some invisible wall keeping you here. All this time it was your own Flesh resisting, not understanding the plunge was not about Death and Chains but about Life and Freedom. His Power is so much more than just hearing a song and feeling better or being comfortable or seeing beauty on this earth. His power is all that and more.
“For so long I have spent too much time focusing on you, Flesh, and missing the most beautiful thing to ever happen to me. Flesh, you do not define me. For a time we may behave as One, but when you fail, I will live on. Will I live on separated forever from the King, or will I accept this invitation to be in His presence, a friend to the King, an honored position? I can do this now. Why wait?”
Your Flesh, who once stole your identity, says nothing. Any argument against this will not win.
This shore, you understand now, is a step—not an end to the path. You, the Spirit, can go beyond into His Most Holy Place, His presence.
“Flesh, you control me no longer.”

Fighting the Monster

It was almost time.  The wedding party was gathered in the back of the church waiting for the few latecomers to be seated.  She shifted in her heels, annoyed that her feet hurt already, and ran her hands down the front of her black dress.  It was her friends wedding day, so most of the attention would be on the bride, but with her blond mermaid curls and beautiful face, she knew she would hold a few stares.

Saliva pooled in her jaws.  “No.”

“No?” The monster peeled himself from where he was coiled around her insides.

“NO.  Not today.”

The monster raised an eyebrow, a malicious grin distorting his face.  “Yes.”

Before she could react, the monster clutched her heart in a fist, squeezing until she gasped, and beat it against her ribs before shoving the now frantically pounding organ into her throat.  With his other hand, the monster pinched her nerves and veins tight, causing her limbs to go numb and shake.

The girl trembled, praying for relief, but the sound of her heart banging within drowned out her thoughts.

He was overwhelming.

She was overwhelmed.

The monster smiled, relishing in her fear and discomfort.  Her panic was a drug to him.  And it was so, so strong.

Moving sluggishly, she dropped something just to have an excuse to dip her head and get blood to her brain.  

The monster looked up to where her heart was lodged in her throat, and swung a few punches at it.  He knew the uncomfortable banging of her heart unnerved her the most.

Her body was betraying her.

He licked his lips.

He loved it.

She swallowed, still praying, still hoping for strength.  Praying for relief.

And it came.

It came sure and fast and strong, and the monsters smile slipped.

What was this?

A warrior slid through her veins.

The monster hesitated only for a moment. He could fight this warrior.  He pushed against the warrior and was abruptly shoved back.

Now he panicked.

The girl felt the relief from the warrior.  She blinked back tears (can’t ruin the makeup), and whispered her thanks to the heavens.  The warrior was man made, but her confidence was from The Father.

The monster turned frantically, eyes crazed.  Where to go?  The warrior was destroying everything!  The warrior and her confidence.

The warrior reached her mind, and slammed the monsters poison away.  He moved down and caressed her heart as he dislodged it from her throat.  He pried apart her nerves and veins, and felt her relief as feeling returned to her limbs.

The monster was whimpering, watching his masterpiece of destruction fall apart.  He tried to punch through, and overcome with anger he rolled and raged against the warrior.

She could feel him.  She stood at the front of the church, and she could feel the monster.  He was raging; furious at being contained.  A smile twisted her lips though.  As angry as he was, the monster was defeated.  The warrior was helping her.

The warrior looked at the monster finally, and sneered.  He had felt the panic in the girl, and he hated the monster for affecting her so.   The monster lunged at him, fangs dripping, eyes wild, and the warrior threw out his hand.

The monster slammed into a shield.  His snout pressed against the barrier, and he dug his talons against the surface, searching for a chink.  He found nothing to grip onto, and he fell away with a howl, rolling and thrashing beneath the shield.  

The warrior smiled now as he looked down at the monster.  His work was done.  He saved the girl.  He heard her then, and he placed a hand on her heart to steady himself.  She was speaking to him!  He moved to be closer to her mind, and as he passed her heart, he whispered soothing words to it, for the organ still beat fast.  It was bruised by the monster, but not broken.

He reached her mind and could finally make out her words.

“Thank you.”

“You did not need me, you know.”

The girl blinked.  “Of course I did.”

The warrior observed her mind, her willpower, and smiled, shaking his head slightly.  “No.  The monster was destructive, yes, but you are not so weak that he would beat you.”

“I..”  She turned her thoughts inward.  The warrior could almost see her looking at him.  “I am strong.”  She sounded surprised.

“You are.  You did not need me, but I was happy to help make the fight easier.”

The girl considered this.  She could still feel the monster writhing beneath the barrier, but she found she pitied him.  He was a sad monster if he found joy in wreaking others.

He was weak.

He was beaten.

He was nothing.

The girl smiled then.  A real smile.  “Thank you for the warrior, Lord.” her insides murmured, smiling.  

The warrior patted her cheek then, and easily slid down her neck.  As he climbed carefully down her ribs, he considered the monster below.  He was a weak thing.  The girl had seen true.

The girl turned her attention to the back of the church, a true, carefree smile breaking from her as her beautiful friend came down the aisle.  

And the warrior.  He stood over the monster.  Protecting her.  Pitying him.

He stayed until he was called away, and it gave him great joy that the girl did not notice when he left.

 

Mischief Managed

Bluemont: Tales of Apt 2

Monica and I really need to record our memories of living in Apt 2 before old age and senility take over, but that tale is for another time I believe.

Tonight, I want to focus on one thing about living in that apartment. Whilst living in said Apt 2, Katie would come over, and we would come up with racehorse names (like Lady Katauren), drink Rosa and/or put on a movie. Sometimes they were deep movies, like Blood Diamond (Strangely, we were making our Halloween Costumes at the time. I don’t know why that became our ‘background’ entertainment…What can I say, we’re complex people.) Sometimes we watched comedies like Monsters vs. Aliens…and Twilight. But my favorite memories are from watching Mama Mia and Bride and Prejudice because both of those inspired us to get up and flail around the room like we were Broadway stars. What magnificence! What emotion that can be conveyed through the twist and extension of an arm!

I will never forget those nights. So Katie, this next video is dedicated to you:

Live long and dance on!
L

When Friends Text – Hippo edition

Whilst browsing the internet, I stumbled upon a picture of Lauren from her days as a hippo trainer.  The picture won’t display on the blog for some reason but it’s a black and white photo depicting a hippo standing, jaws flung open, while a woman stands next to him, looking very solemn.  This is the conversation that followed.

Katie – I found you! *sends picture*

Lauren – it IS me!!

Katie – Hippo Trainer! hahaha I love it.

Lauren – Yes!

Katie – You’d probably be standing closer to it though.  Leaning against a tusk.

Lauren – I would take one pic inside the mouth.  But not for long because I wouldn’t want to gag Tubby.

Katie – You could lie across it sideways.  Strike a pose.

Lauren – Tubby and my relationship is all built off trust.  Mutual trust. 

Katie – Yeah.  It would have to be I think

Lauren – Gasp.  It?? Tubby is a boy!

Katie – IM SORRY

Lauren – He is sensitive.

Katie – *sends “oops” gif*

Lauren – It’s okay.  He can battle through misunderstandings.  He relates well to the dwarves of Middle Earth and the confusion.

Then suddenly the conversation turned into an interview.  Lauren came on the Katie show to discuss training methods when dealing with Hippos. 

Katie – Wow.  Did you train him to be so understanding? Or is that just in his nature?

Lauren – Well, I would to claim that…but really, it’s Tubby who trained me.

Katie – That’s beautiful.  So tell us, did you find Tubby as a calf, or were you brought together later in life?

Lauren – He had come from a long line of abusive relationships.

Katie – Bless his heart.  So I’m assuming he was very wild and aggressive when you met?

Lauren – It was tumultuous.  At times he was down and depressed.  He’d lost a lot of weight.

Katie – Oh dear.  Was he ever violent?

Lauren – Never towards me.  Well, once he lashed out at me, but it was a flashback from when he was in the wild. He grovelled profusely afterward.

Katie – What was your most successful training technique you used with him?

Lauren – Well we would get in the Missouri River together and swim…so figure each other out.  And then other days we’d go on long walks in the woods.  One day he even let me ride him.

Katie – That’s fascinating.  Do you ride him often then?

Lauren – Some days, but not for show.  That’s between us.

Katie – This is such a beautiful and uplifting story!  What would you like for our listeners to take away from it?

Lauren – Never judge a book by its cover.  And you can overcome your past.  And world peace.

Katie – *sniffs and wipes a tear* Thank you for sharing.   I’m sure you and Tubby will be great advocates for wold peace. And of course people will be inspired to better themselves because of you!

Lauren – No, thank YOU Katherine Cavill doe giving us this segment.  You’re creating an avenue for charge.

Katie – *cheesy grins at the camera*  Join us next week as Monica brings her raccoon to the show and talks about the difficulty of overcoming stereotypes.  Lauren, you are more than welcome to come back for that if you wish.

Lauren – Oh absolutely! Maybe this time Tubby will accompany me.

Katie – We would love that.  He’s welcome any time!

And that’s it, folks.  Hope you learned something from the touching story of Lauren and Tubby!

 

Mischief Managed.

A study in emotion – Sherlock and Watson spend a weekend together.

Over Labor Day, 3P and I spent the most nerdy weekend together and it was the greatest thing.  We’d been long overdue for a reunion and it just so happened that Dragon con was happening the weekend I wanted to come, so we decided it was fate, bought our badges, and partook in some geektastic things.ImageImage

Once we got our badges, we were unstoppable.  On Saturday we donned out geek chic Doctor Who shirts for a photo and a cuddle with the one and only John Barrowman aka Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who.  It was awesome and he’s more fantastic and beautiful in real life.  Photos dull the Barrowman glow.Image

We visited the Walk of Fame on both Saturday and Sunday and got to meet some really neat people.

James Marsters was a treat. It was odd to see him without his Spike-blond hair, but his cheekbones are still amazing, and he’s plenty sassy.  He was really nice, chatted with us for a bit, and told us (3P) we were beautiful. You have to be sneaky when taking photos, so the quality on the rest of these isn’t great.Image

Another fun person to meet was Noel Clarke who plays Mickey on Doctor Who and was in the new Star Trek (1 away from Benedict!).  He was really cool and funny and we managed to convince him to giver us free hugs.  Let it be known that he is a good hugger.

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When I was young, I would watch Star Trek with my dad, so getting to meet Counselor Troi and Warf and see Data and Sulu was amazing.  Marina Sirtis, who played Troi, was the sweetest woman.  We talked for a few minutes and she told me to tell dad he succeeded at parenting (I did and he was really really exited). Michael Dorn, Worf, was also very cool.  I wish I could have met Brent Spiner and George Taiki, but seeing them was pretty awesome.

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I made teenage Katie veeery happy by meeting Ioan Gruffudd.  He is a handsome, handsome man, and props to 3P for managing to even get a picture with the security lady standing next to her.

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Next to Ioan was Kelly Hu who played Deathstrike on XMen.  So it was cool to see her and then tell Bek about it since Bek named her hamster after the character.

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We went to a Dollhouse panel which was hilarious and now I have another show that I want to watch.  On the panel was Eliza Dushku, Tahmoh Penikett, and Miracle Laurie.

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I did Brooke a favor and met Liam McIntyre from the show Sparticus.  I’d never seen it, but she loves it so I decided to be a good friend and meet him.  Lucy Lawless (Xena the warrior princess wooo) was sitting next to him which was cool. But he was really nice and told me to send Brooke his love and give her a hug for him.  She was overjoyed when I told her.

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People watching was the greatest.  There are some amazing/insane/dedicated cosplayers out there.  Here’s a snippet of what we saw.

Leia and her father enjoying some light reading, some Star Wars guys, Merlin, Thor and Loki, a few Doctors, Mario and Catwoman, a small Frodo, Jack Skellington, and a Batman who lead us from one hotel to another.

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And that was Dragon Con.  It was amazing and so much fun.  I fully plan on going again.

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But the nerd fun didn’t end there!  On Monday we took a tour of where the show The Vampire Diaries is filmed.  Unfortunately they weren’t filming while we were there, but it was still really neat to see where everything is filmed.  Covington is a precious little town and has some yummy ice cream.

Chillin at Elena’s house

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And at the Mystic Grill

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And the Lockwood Mansion which was seriously breathtaking.

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And that was it! Nerdiest weekend ever and I loved every minute of it.  Couldn’t have asked for a better companion than my Sherlock and I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

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Mischief Managed