Chad stopped dead still. His feet rooted themselves to the broken pavement as he turned his ear toward the sound, straining to assure himself he had heard it. The only sound now was the dim ambience of passing traffic coming intermittently down the alley. Chad’s jaw clenched. He looked about for some means of defense. He stooped. Old Faithful, the rusty trashcan lid. Of course. As he lifted it, the lid fell away and dropped with a clang to the ground, leaving the weather-beaten handle in his grip. So much for Old Faithful. Chad dropped the handle to the ground.
Then he heard it—that haunting laugh, muﬄed behind the mask, that had dogged his steps day in and day out. Chad whirled toward the head of the alley, then back again, peering intently into the shadows. His gaze darted up the walls of the high-rise buildings that towered up on either side. There was no sign of his antagonist. His mind must be playing its cruel games with him again.
Then Chad remembered why he had entered the alley in the ﬁrst place. He listened, a little perplexed, but he couldn’t hear the small weeping voice any more. Cautiously, Chad moved farther into the shadows.
“Hello!” he called as loudly as he dared. “Anyone here? Do you need help?”
A couple more steps into the dark. “Hello? Anyone?”
Still no answer.
Then he heard the sound again—a low whir. This time there could be no mistake. He was here. The Masked Player had come. Chad crouched, unsure of his best defense. He craned his neck this way and that, trying to catch a glimpse of his assailant in the dark. The street at the head of the alley was at least a hundred feet away. He preferred not to make a dash for it until he knew the location of his enemy.
Suddenly, he heard the muﬄed manic laugh again, but this time it was closer, as if it came from directly above. Half by instinct, Chad dove aside.
Jake Pendleton, known by his pen name JakePen, is a talented young Christian writer from North Carolina. His passion is high fantasy (also known as epic fantasy), and he has been crafting his upcoming novel entitled The Darkness Rises for nearly 5 years. JakePen loves sports, music, books, church, and fun times with friends. And he’ll never turn you down on a chance to go to the theaters. He plays guitar and piano, and writes songs in a variety of genres, including film scores. While primarily interested in fiction, JakePen will write other styles in a heartbeat, and he has an amateur interest in filmmaking. JakePen writes a blog, which includes a couple fantasy short stories, at www.jakepenwritesfiction.com. His Facebook fan page iswww.facebook.com/jakepenbooks. Happy reading!
Cameron Vaux is losing his memory. It started out as a small annoyance—forgetting he’d written himself a note five minutes ago—but now it’s become a big problem—losing memories of his wife, killed two years ago. The creepy thing is, Cameron’s late father predicted this would happen. And when it started, his father told him to find the Book of Days.
Desperate, Cameron decides to fulfill his father’s wish and go look for the Book. A lead takes him to a small town in Oregon where he realizes dark secrets are at work. One man knows more than he’s telling. Others are seeking the Book and will stop at nothing to get it. And they’re closer than Cameron ever imagined.
Book of Days was a great book. It was easy to read with well-rounded, likeable characters, surprising plot twists, and moments of humor that made me laugh. It did lag a bit in the middle but not too badly. It was definitely worth reading. The theme of letting go of past hurts and stepping into the life God has for you in the present was woven throughout the book.
A couple loose ends didn’t seem to be quite tied up for me but they were small, definitely not big enough to bug me to insanity and make me dislike the book.
Overall, I’d give Book of Days four out of five stars. The only reason I’m not giving it five stars is because of the slow spot in the middle. Other than that, I recommend it for good characters and an interesting plot that kept me turning pages.
My name’s Danielle Dodge. I’ve found it’s a hard job to summarize fourteen years of life into a small paragraph so I’ll just mention a few things. I’m an avid writer and reader. I love to write young adult fiction/fantasy novels and devotionals. I’m a ballerina, a violinist, an amateur photographer and an amateur horseback rider. I like BIG words, bright colors, cats, and of course, chocolate. And if you didn’t guess already, I’m a born again Christian, follower of Jesus Christ.
“My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. …” The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God. (Daniel 6:22-23 NLT)
It was Easter Sunday. At a church in West Africa, the congregation was absorbed in worshiping God and giving glory to him for his sacrifice and resurrection. They had no idea that danger had entered their village.
That danger came in the form of a lioness. Wild and angry, she entered the village, killed several livestock animals, and two people. As she approached the congregation, they realized what was happening and shook with fear. But their pastor shouted, “Don’t be afraid! The God that saved Daniel from the lions is here!” And with that, a lightning bolt shot out of the clear blue sky and struck the lioness, killing her instantly. When the police showed up to investigate, all they could say was, “The God of these people must be a God of miracles.”
God is a God of miracles. And he’s not afraid to use his power to protect his people. I think though that his people could do a better job trusting him. Here in America, we think we’re pretty self-sufficient. We have our own houses, jobs, multiple ways to make food in even the tiniest kitchen, places to exercise, to relax, to hang out with friends. Maybe in all this luxury, we forget that the entire universe is held together by God’s hands alone and that we are entirely dependent on him. God made this world perfect all the way down to the last oxygen molecule so earth would be safe for human life.
Human beings really can’t do anything independently. Everything we do relies on God in someway. We just don’t realize it.
Take time today to tell God you trust him. Take time to remind yourself that you are not truly in control of anything but you know the One who is. When tough times come, we don’t have to be afraid because God is on our side and He has the power to make miracles happen.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. (Romans 14:17-18 NIV)
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12 NIV)
What’s big, tall, embodies sunshine, and brings a smile to anyone’s face? A sunflower! My mom loves sunflowers, so, of course she grows a lot of them. A funny thing about sunflowers is that the seeds spread. Every summer, bright yellow flowers pop up in unexpected places, like along the sidewalk, next to the front porch and in the pumpkin patch.
Did you know that the tallest sunflower ever was grown by Hans-Peter Schiffer in Germany in 2009? It was 26 feet and 4 inches tall. The largest head of a sunflower was 32 ¼ inches in diameter and it was grown by Emily Martin in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada in 1983.
I think God must have really enjoyed creating sunflowers, because even though they’re plants, they express a bit of God. They’re so cheerful and joyous with their brilliant colors. I believe God has a sense of humor and loves to smile and have fun. After all, if we humans like to laugh, then wouldn’t our Creator love to as well?
It’s also pretty funny how sunflower seeds spread out and the plants grow in different places. It’s a bit like joy. Joy is infectious and can’t help but spread. If you’ve ever been talking to someone who is smiling and joyful and you start to feel their happiness rubbing off on you, you know what I mean.
We can get pretty wrapped up in life sometimes and life can be awfully serious. Now and then we need to remember to smile. Can you remember the last time you smiled in the last 12 hours and were really, genuinely happy? If not, do it now! And even if you don’t feel cheerful, sometimes just smiling at yourself in the mirror or making funny faces can make you happy.
God loves His children and wants us to be joyful in all things. That must be one of the reasons He made sunflowers: to remind us to smile!
Danielle Dodge is a fourteen-year-old girl who lives in Missoula, Montana. She’s in love with writing and reading. She also enjoys playing the violin, dancing, and horseback riding.
Maybe because when I was little, it seemed that change only brought bad things. Change brought stressful jobs to my dad. Change moved me away from my best friends. Change was a little bit scary. And change hurt.
Then I grew up (not necessarily matured, just sayin’,) and realized that change could also bring good things. Change brought a better job to dad. Change moved me to new friends. Change wasn’t so scary anymore, and sometimes it could even be fun!
Then I grew some more and realized that God always has a plan or my life, and He uses the change to bring good things from it.
Always. Every time. Maybe not instantly, maybe not anything that we can see, but we can be assured that He will bring… Read the rest of this article at Real Teen Faith!
By RTF Staff Writer Shannon Meiers
Shannon Meiers is a 16 year old home-schooled sophomore in high-school. Shes an aspiring writer, and is currently working with the special needs ministries at her church. Shannon, or Shan as her friends know her, is constantly learning new things about God’s grace, forgiveness, and unmeasurable love. Shannon came to know Christ at the age of 5, and has been striving to live for him ever since!
Now this may sound greedy, but let’s be honest: we all want money, we all like walking around with some spending money in our pockets. But summer is for fun not work, at least in my mind it is. So I’ve come up with a solution: jobs we like to do!
In school when picking electives, teachers advise me to pick classes that relate to what I want to grow up to be and major in while in college, but I think that we should have the same attitudes about the jobs we hold. If flipping burgers is your only work option then hey- if opportunity knocks don’t turn it away. But say you like to work with people, then perhaps apply for a retail job or a position as a restaurant host.
It’s been said that as teenagers we can’t be too picky about the jobs we get, we’re notorious for asking: Read the rest of this article at Real Teen Faith!
by Staff Writer Stephany Mendia
DO NOT TEXT and DRIVE.
Do NOT Talk on your Cell Phone and DRIVE
DO NOT glance at your phone to look for new messages or updates.
DO NOT DO anything that will distract you from driving.
Our pizza delivery guy, a teenage driver, was distracted the other night AND going 40-45 mph in our neighborhood. I always see him speeding through like a speed demon. Our street is only 25 mph for a reason. He got distracted–probably by his phone, and hit a parked car in front of my house. Never had time to even brake. He pushed the parked car on the sidewalk and flipped his car landing upside down. If he hadn’t had his seat belt on he would have been killed. DO NOT get distracted when you are driving. I don’t care who is in the car with you and making fun of you–just drive safe. If you don’t get killed or seriously injured or don’t injure or kill someone else, you still have the aftermath of an accident. The emotions, fear, anger, trouble, blame, and cost.
Ever in an accident? That sound the other night was freakish. I was in my living room when it happened. Don’t let this happen. Be safe.
This is the car being righted up. Sick sounds when they aren’t on TV.
“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” ( Psalm 37:3 NIV )
“Dwight, quit being a back-seat-driver.” Eddy was tired of being harassed. “I know where the exit is!”
Eddy had just gotten his license. By saving every bit of cash that he could, he bought a car. And, by taking a Driver’s Ed, getting insurance on his own became affordable. Eddy was set.
Dwight and Paula were sitting in the back. Nathan was up front with Eddy. “Eddy, that sign said Exit 286 is only three and a half miles ahead,” Paula warned as they sped past several highway signs.
“I’ve got plenty of time to get over, Paula. The left lane moves faster. You two in the back need to cool it.”
Nathan smiled and put the radio up louder. “Hey Eddy, here’s that song I told you about! It’s awesome!”
Eddy pounded on the dash as Nathan belted out the screaming lyrics. Eddy was into it. So into it, he ignored several road signs. Suddenly, he saw the sign for Exit 286. “Oh man, I’ve got to get off.”
“We passed three signs already, but you wouldn’t listen to us ‘back-seat-drivers’!” moaned Paula.
Eddy tried to remember all the rules for changing lanes and exiting the highway as he turned the steering wheel. Underestimating the wheel’s sensitivity at a high speed, he lost control and the car ended up across three lanes of traffic. Screeching tires and crashing seemed to last forever before they came to a stop. Eddy’s miscalculation resulted in a pile-up of seven cars.
Eddy’s car was totaled. He walked away with scratches and bruises and Paula ended up with a concussion. Dwight wasn’t so fortunate. His leg had been pinned under the wreckage and eventually had to be amputated. And Nathan, probably Eddy’s closest friend, never had a chance. He was killed instantly.
Eddy now supports a program called “Graduated License.” No, you don’t “graduate” after passing a driving test. Instead, you must drive with an adult the first six months, drive during the daytime only for a year, and remain ticket and accident free for two years. Only then can you get a full license.
Seem unfair? Not to Eddy. He wasn’t ready to drive responsibly. Failing to pay attention to the road signs led to tragedy.
It’s like that for Christians. Today’s story applies to driving responsibly, but it illustrates looking forward to Jesus’ return. Does it seem complicated to get a driver’s license? You have to be prepared to read the signs. Seem complicated to be a Christian? Just trust Jesus. He’ll point out the signs for you!
“I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17 NIV)
Climbing in the driver’s seat for the first time made my heart beat faster and my smile grow wider. At age fourteen, I could barely see over the steering wheel, but with my permit in hand, I was ready to hit the road.
My mom sat beside me in the passenger seat of the green ’92 Honda equipped with a manual transmission. After she explained how to press and release the clutch while giving the car gas, I took my first shot at taking off in first gear. However, I did not give the engine enough gas and I let off the clutch too quickly, causing the car to lurch forward.
With the sudden lurch, my foot uncontrollably hit the gas pedal, giving the car another leap forward. Like a domino effect, the car kept lurching and my foot kept hitting the gas, causing yet another jerk forward. By the time I was finally able to stop the car, my sister, sitting in the middle of the backseat, was laughing hysterically—more than I’ve heard her laugh before.
Soon my mom and I burst into laughter too. That was enough for my first driving lesson, so I traded places with my mom and let her drive the rest of the way home.
When it comes to the driver’s seat of our lives, we need God to be in control. When He directs our paths, sets our speed, and determines our pit stops, we experience the freedom of trusting Him and enjoying the ride.
Ashli Roussel, a nineteen-year-old sophomore at Harding University, is passionate about sharing the truth and love of the Lord through writing. She loves camping, running, playing the piano, and participating in missions. Most of all, she is passionate about knowing, following, and serving her Lord and Savior. Without Him, her stories would mean nothing.
Ashli has battled and overcome an eating disorder, which God used to teach her great truths about who He is and how He is involved in our struggles. Now she desires to comfort others with the comfort that she has received from God. Keep an eye out for Ashli’s regular articles on iBegat.com! (read more…)