Sven Sticks to His Guns

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“So, you’re serious about this?” Stijn asked his younger brother, Sven while they were standing on Stijn’s balcony which overlooked the Hudson River.

“Yes, I am.  I’m madly in love with Nadira and I’m going to ask her to marry her.”

“What about Femke?”

“I don’t love her, Stijn.”

“Does she know that?”

“Of course, she does.  Long before I met Nadira, Femke suspected that I didn’t feel the same way about her.  And when I broke up with her, she was very upset but not surprised.”

“What about Mom and Dad?  You know that they’re going to have a huge problem with this.”

“Stijn, as much as I love our parents, I’m not going to let them interfere in my life.  I’ve made up my mind and there’s nothing they nor you or anyone else can do to change it.”

Stijn put his arm around his shoulders.  “I envy you,” he said.  “You were always very headstrong.  You always went after what you wanted and never let anything or anyone stop you.  You always stuck to your guns.  If marrying this woman is truly what you want, then go for it.  I wish you the best.”

Sven smiled.  “Thank you.  I hope that you will come to the wedding.  It would mean a lot to me.”

Stijn looked him in the eyes.  “If it means that much to you, I will be there.”

Sven hugged him.  “I’d better go.”

Stijn followed him into the foyer.  “Take care, little brother,” he said as he opened the front door.

“You too.”

Stijn watched him walk away before he closed the door.  Sven had guts.  He admired him for that.  He was thankful that, unlike Sven, he had fallen in love with a Dutch woman.

Nadira was lying on the floor, staring up at the ceiling, daydreaming about Sven when the doorbell rang.  Scrambling to her feet, she went to answer the door.  She smiled broadly when she saw who it was and eagerly unlocked the door.  “Hello,” she said as she threw her arms around his neck.

Sven held her against him, his eyes intent on her upturned face.   “Hello,” he murmured before he lowered his head and kissed her.

They kissed for several minutes before she drew back.  “We’d better go inside.”

He released her and removed his denim jacket as she locked the door.  “I have something very important to ask you,” he informed her.

“What is it?”

He responded by getting down on one knee and taking her hand.  “Will you marry me?”

Nadira smiled through the tears.  “Yes,” was her choked reply.

After he slipped the ring on her finger, he got to his feet and cupping her face between his hands, he kissed every inch of her face before kissing her on the lips.  “I love you,” he murmured.

She put her arms around his waist and pressed against him.  “I love you too.”

As he kissed her, his heart almost bursting with the love he felt for her, he asked himself, how could his family have a problem with this?  As long as he was happy, shouldn’t that be all that really mattered?

 

Acceptance

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“Stop trying so hard to impress Ariana,” Stefano told Nora.

“I just want her to accept me, that’s all.”

“Give her time, Caro.  When she’s ready, she’ll come around.”

“Why doesn’t she like me?  Is it my color, my background?”

“Neither.  She’s just not used to seeing me with anyone since her mother and I divorced.”

“Maybe she’s hoping that the two of you will get back together.”

“That’s not going to happen and I’ve told her that many times.  Elena has accepted that I have moved on with my life.”

“I can understand how Ariana feels.”

“She’ll come around.”

“I really hope so.”

 

104 Words

 

This is for the Weekend Writing Prompt by Sammi Cox. For instructions, click Here.

Redeemed

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” – Mark 15:34

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When Jesus was on the cross, He was mocked.  Those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”  The religious leaders joined in the ridicule as well, saying, He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.”  It must have been painful for Jesus to hear them say those things.  These were the same people of whom Jesus asked of God, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).

They had no idea of what was really at stake.  They were mocking Jesus about not saving Himself not realizing that wasn’t His purpose at all.  As He pointed out at the time of His arrest, if He wanted to spare Himself the agony of the Cross, “…do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?  How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” (Matthew 26:53, 54). 

Had Jesus come down from the cross to save Himself, we would all be lost and eternally separated from God.  Love for the Father and us kept Jesus on that cross.  He was the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world.  He was the Savior of the world.  God sent Him to die in our stead so that we could have everlasting life.  John 3:16 puts it so beautifully, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” When God sent Jesus into the world, it wasn’t to condemn the world but to save it through Him (Verse 17, NKJV).  The cross is our salvation and evidence of God’s incredible love for us. 

As much as it pains me to see Jesus hanging from the cross whenever I watch a biblical movie about His life, it reminds me of what Jesus said to Nicodemus.  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (Verses 14 & 15). 

Sin separates us from God.  When Jesus was on the cross, bearing our sins, He was separated from the Father.  That was why He cried out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34).  Jesus became the Sin-bearer and it was that sin that the Father condemned.  Jesus was forsaken for our sake so that we would be forgiven for our sins once we accept His atoning work on the cross.

How terrible it is to be separated from our heavenly Father.  This sobering thought should motivate us not to live any longer like other people in the world do but to live as Jesus did–in loving obedience to the Father.  He was obedient even on to death.

Jesus laid down His life for us to show His love.  How can we return this love?  We do so by obeying Him and having faith in Him.  Today and everyday, let us live our lives for the One who willingly went to and stayed on that cross so that He could redeem us to God by His blood (Revelation 5:9).  Our redemption came a great cost (1 peter 1:18-19).

Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed thro’ His infinite mercy,
His child, and forever, I am – Hymn #338

True Greatness

After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded – John 13:5

 

Jesus Washing feet Statue

Today, I watched the movie, The Gospel of John.  Before Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover on the night before His crucifixion, He did something none of the others expected.  Jesus got up from the table, removed his outer garment, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  He put some water into a large bowl. Then he began washing his disciples’ feet and drying them with the towel he was wearing. 

To say that the disciples were shocked would be an understatement.  They probably felt uncomfortable too.  This was their Master, their Lord, doing the work of a servant.  Imagine Jesus, the Son of God, getting down on His knees to wash their dirty.  

When the apostles got into an argument about which one of them was the greatest, Jesus told them, “Foreign kings order their people around, and powerful rulers call themselves everyone’s friends.  But don’t be like them. The most important one of you should be like the least important, and your leader should be like a servant.  Who do people think is the greatest, a person who is served or one who serves? Isn’t it the one who is served? But I have been with you as a servant” (Luke 22:25-27).  Jesus was the greatest among them but He was a Servant to them.  This isn’t surprising because He said of Himself, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

Jesus explained to the disciples, Whichever one of you is the most humble is the greatest” (Luke 9:48, CEV).  Jesus demonstrated this when He washed their feet.  Still, Peter didn’t understand and when it was his turn to get his feet washed, he asked, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” (John 13:6)

Jesus answered, “You don’t really know what I am doing, but later you will understand” (Verse 7).

Peter’s response was,  “You will never wash my feet!” (Verse 8)

And when Jesus told him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me,” Peter wanted Jesus to wash his feet, hands and head too.  He went from one extreme to the next.  That’s typical Peter.

When Jesus was done washing their feet, He explained why He did it.  “Do you understand what I did for you? You call me ‘Teacher.’ And you call me ‘Lord.’ And this is right, because that is what I am. I am your Lord and Teacher. But I washed your feet. So you also should wash each other’s feet. I did this as an example for you. So you should serve each other just as I served you” (Verses 12-15, NKJV).  

In God’s eyes, true greatness is found in humility and in the willingness to serve others just as Jesus did.

Sources:  Bible Gateway; Blue Letter Bible

Deceived

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After I lost Bill, I never thought I’d ever love again or even want to be in another relationship.  I was an old woman with children and grandchildren.  I was content to live a quiet, unassuming life, puttering around in my garden and swimming.  Then, I met you.  You reminded so much of Bill.  If I’d known you were a charlatan…

61 Words

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This is for the Weekend Writing Prompt by Sammi Cox. For instructions, click HERE.

A Surpassable Peace

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PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

I stand here, staring at the stony path which leads to the gates of the convent and beyond.  A peace which surpasses all understanding fills me.

After living at the convent for ten years, I no longer wanted to cloister myself so I decided to leave the order.  This was after much prayer and fasting.

It feels strange, though.  My head feels bare and I can look down and see my feet from the knees to the ankles.  I feel free, liberated.

I cast one last look around me before I start walking towards my new life.

 

97 Words

This was written for the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields For more details, visit Here.  To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit Here.

A Love Too Strong/Threshold #writephoto

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Photo by Sue Vincent

They searched for the tribesman and the woman missionary.  They combed the beach, and searched the cave but there was no sign of them.  The only thing they found was a note the woman had written.  They gave it to her fiance.

A love too strong for us to deny

We leave this island behind

to embrace a new life out there

Some of you may ask why

would I forsake my own kind.

I love him, would be my reply.

And as long as we are together

I shall have nothing to fear.

The storms, with God’s help, we will weather.

 

Alan, I hope that one day you will find it in your heart forgive me.

Ella 

 

This was written for the #writephoto Prompt – Threshold at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.

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