Saturday, August 13, 2011

Me and My Kid Playing around in 2006

This is from a blog me and my son, Tim, did back in 2006. We called it The Adventures of Dr. Daniel and Phantom. Following this is an excerpt of the kid's writing today.

Hello, my name is Dr. Daniel.

Hey, I'm Phantom.

Dr. D:We are sharing this blog because we work together. I work for the government. I am an interdimensional traveller and my asignments can take me anywhere from a different spot on our time line, to another planet in the sixth dimension.

Phantom: I'm a pilot and robotics expert. I keep the Doctor's gadgetry working.

Dr. D: Tomorrow we have to go to Sucomuno, the 12th planet in the Hertofor solar system.

Phantom: Why are we going there?

Dr. D: A weather report. We need to see what the effect of a double sun has on a planet very similar to ours.

Phantom: A weather report? Why don't we just build a model here and let me sleep in tomorrow?

Dr. D: Well, you'd miss church.

Phantom: But I can tell you what the weather is like on Sucomuno right now: they have two suns. It's hot.

Dr. D: But there are some things that can only be known if we go and see them. Up close and personal.

Phantom: Yeah, it's the personal that gets me sometimes.

Dr. D.: Get some sleep, Phantom. We've got a lot to do tomorrow.

Phantom: Sounds good. Nice meeting you folks out there! Things get a little hairy when we're on the road, so bear with us. But tomorrow should go pretty well....Yeah, I like dimension hopping. It rocks! See you!

Dr. D: Night all!

posted by M. L. Archer at 7:41 PM 7 comments

Right now he writes under the pen name, Mike Olmsted. They grow up way too fast.

How He Loves

By: Mike Olmsted

I saw my first demon today.

My name is Mark Handley. I’m seventeen. Pretty normal guy, got a regular life, school, work. At home it’s me and my mom. And church. Yeah, church. I’ve been going forever and have heard all about demons and devils. But learning about them and knowing you’ve actually run into one…I better explain.

I go to this little Pentecostal church where I sing in the worship band. One of the songs we were doing that Sunday was Dave Crowder’s, How He Loves. I listened to it on You Tube while I was getting ready to go and I happened to hit a version where they swapped out the line, “Sloppy wet kiss,” for “Unforeseen kiss.”

I know I made a face like someone tossed a rotten egg in my room. I see things like that as a sign the little old lady brigade got hold of someone and commenced arm twisting till that someone yelled, “Uncle.”

Now don’t get me wrong. Little old ladies are just fine. In fact, if you’re my age and never sat down and spoke with someone 20, 30...60 years older than you, heck, do it sometimes. Those guys are cool. I’m telling you, they know things.

But there’s always that minority who place their attention on performing an ethnic cleansing your brain cells until you meet their standard of perfection. Annoying, but I let it go, since I was singing ‘Sloppy wet kiss,’ anyway.

Had an okay service. My mom told me when I joined the band that, “Your first job is to lead people into worshiping God, not your ability.” She doesn’t sugar coat much. But she’s right. So I do my very best to make that happen. But today when I was on the platform, I felt like something was watching me. Like some dark cloud had hissed through the church and every eye seemed critical.

I have to admit, I felt bad because I thought it meant I had let myself obsess over that stupid song line to the point where I wasn’t doing my job. Yeah, me the guy that said, ‘Jesus, I’m your man. Just tell me what you want done and I’ll do it…if I don’t completely screw up, that is.’

So I sang my song the best I could and was glad when it was over.

When church let out, I was outside the sanctuary, hanging around with my wingman, Jimmy Wilson. He’s a big guy, football player, the kind of guy who greets you with a shove and a name. My left shoulder took the greeting this time as he said, “What’s going on, dork?”

I regained my balance and gave him a quick back hand to the chest with an added, “You’re the dork.”

You’d have thought a mosquito landed on him. He stood there laughing like, “Heh-heh…heh-heh...”

And then all hell broke loose. I mean it.

Sister Jabez, a blue-haired, stern faced, matron barged forward, calling my name. Her heavy wooden cane thumping on the sidewalk.

“Mark Handley! I saw that! I heard you!” a gaggle of senior ladies followed behind. For an older hobbled woman, she sure got in my face right away.She stuck a finger an inch from my nose while her friends gathered around like an octogenerian Gestapo. My heart sank as I realized I was trapped by the real little old lady brigade. I could see it: Mark Handley met his end today after being pummeled by old ladies with canes and walkers.

My jaw dropped.

Sister Jabez sniffed, “I think we’re all a little tired of watching the boys your age engage in so much tom-foolery. Why pushing and shoving, you could have knocked someone over. And you, especially, you’re supposed to set the example. You on stage and then afterwards calling people names like that. You should be ashamed! You make me sorry I had to hear those words and I want you to apologize to me and all my friends right now! This is church!”

I’ve often heard the phrase, “Just wait for a Word from God.”

But the only word in my head at that moment sounded like, “Whu-huh?” So I didn’t say it.

I paused and in those few seconds I think a thousand idea’s ran through my head. Two years ago I would have tossed my hands in the air, said, “I didn’t do ANYTHING!” And stormed off. Not now. My first thought was to apologize and say I was sorry for disturbing her. That would have been a nice thing to do.

But not the best.

I stared at her, still dumbstruck. Her eyes narrowed. More than ever in the glare of sun light her face appeared as relief map of wrinkles and worn in an expression made even harsher by the way her lip curled wolfishly as she glared.

My mind raced through every encounter with this lady and nothing added up to this kind of outburst.

But maybe she had had a bad day. Car trouble, benefit of the doubt…go with it. I could do that.

Except I looked into her eyes again.

Her arms folded, her head tipped upward. “Well?” she snapped. “We’re waiting. Apologize. Apologize now.”

Once, I asked my mom how you can tell if there’s demon causing problems. She just looked at me and said, “Biggest demon tag I know: when everything stops making sense.”

This made no sense at all and Sister Jabez’s eyes explained everything else. For a moment I saw their blue-gray color retreat. A mocking intelligence peered from behind as they darkened to black. I felt a rush of shock; I was with something inhuman. It was the first time I ever knew something wanted me dead. In my minds eye I could see this evil sprite, cavorting against a black sky, and it’s death head rushed to my face as it cackled, “Yes, boy, bow to me.”

But it all felt just like imagination. I had a verse spring into my head, but if these were the wrong words, if this really was my imagination, she’d be crazy angered, and there would be meetings with my mom and the pastor and I’d be told to maybe take a break from the worship band while the church healed…and on and on…

But then I could also hear my youth Pastor, when he told my group, “God is talking to a lot of you guys even now. At some point you have to decide whether or not you really believe He’s got your back.”

I knew what I believed, I knew what was happening, so I said the verse, “Get thee behind me, Satan.”

Sister Jabez's response startled everyone. She doubled forward in explosive coughs. I yanked some change from my pocket and told Jimmy to go buy her a ginger ale. I took her arm and lead her to a nearby bench where the coughing continued for several minutes. Jimmy brought the can of soda and I sat by her, offering it to her as I lightly patted her back.

She drank. The coughing slowed and I asked, “You okay, Sister? Didn’t mean to startle you.”

He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am the tree, bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.

Her eyes were no longer black, the darkness replaced with tears. Her face, soft, kind.

When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affection is for me…

“Oh, Mark, I’m so sorry to snap at you like that. I have just so much on my mind, I really do think you’re good boy. I’m just a snappy old woman sometimes. You don‘t think I‘m Satan, do you?”

Oh, how he loves us…

A picture flashed into my mind of Sister Jabez in her fancy house and plenty of money, still wondering, still afraid if everything would be okay.

We are his portion and he is our prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in his eyes. If His grace is an ocean we’re all sinking.

“Of course not. In fact,” I smiled and gave her a wink. “Let’s do lunch. I’ll pick you up on my motorcycle.”

Sister Jabez threw her head back and laughed more joyfully than I’ve ever heard her laugh before. I mean, c’mon, if something wanders in one ear and out the other, doesn’t mean you stop loving that person.

“Oh, my!” she laid a hand on her chest while the rest of her friends joined in her merriment. And all of a sudden, I knew I was going to help this lady realize that God really does have her back.

I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us…

“This old bag of bones racing down the highway?” she said with a laugh. “I don’t know, but you if you promise not to laugh, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to ride one of those.”

I sat up. “Really? I could give you a ride now.”

She waved me off . “No, no, I’m in a skirt. But on Wednesday, I could wear slacks. If you promise not to go very fast and stay right in the parking lot.”

Oh, how He loves us, How He loves us all.

She wasn’t a bad lady, just scared. Yeah, I could help.

I told her it was a date, which made her friends giggle. And all was well with the world again. The ladies gathered themselves up to leave, and I knew would climb onto my motorcycle and head for home, but not before Sister Jabez gave me a hug and planted, right on my cheek, a sloppy wet kiss.

Could it have ended any other way?

And He loves us, Oh, How He loves us...

Oh, how he loves us...

How He loves us all...


Joylene said...

This is great, M. Your son is following in his mother's footsteps, nice.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

SteelSoldier888 said...

WOW. Thats good writing. You've got the touch.