The Fun House Of Mirrors

sites at the local fair ground - I never liked to funhouse.  But if I was with friends I went in them and rode rides anyway.  Nana

“Step right up, come on in, only a dollar” shouted the carny. He looked right at me and my friends. “Come on in boys, this will change your life” and he winked at me. I don’t know but my gut was telling me something was wrong. My friends wanted to go in and since I didn’t want to be left out, I went in with them.

It wasn’t much at first. A conveyor belt going the opposite direction. Oooh, scary right? We made a tight turn to the right and the floor started shaking. Everyone started to laugh but the feeling inside me was getting worse. It was then the lights went out. We started reaching out, touching each other to make sure we were all still there. We slowly inched forward and hit a wall, promptly piling into each other.  Then the lights came on and that was when the fun began.

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We were looking at ourselves, all four versions of each of us. We looked at each other like what the crap, a couple of my friends used some other choice words. In one mirror there was me, looking as normal as I am now, if you can call that normal. In the second mirror I was a hideous monster. What the heck? The third mirror I was a baseball player, uniform, glove and all. How could this be? I only was wearing the clothes I came in with. The fourth mirror showed me as an old, decrepit old man, all by myself. It was then we realized there was no exit. We did the only thing we could and started to push on the mirrors. The only one that moved was the second one. We all looked at each other and kind of shrugged and took a step through. But we weren’t all together on the other side.

There I was, the hideous monster. I pulled on my skin and clothes to get them to come off but they were me and I was them. It was then I noticed a small light in the distance. I walked toward it and saw it was a cell phone. It had a note on it. PRESS PLAY. What I saw disgusted me and I wish I didn’t have to tell you about it, but I do. It was 15 second clips of my life. There was me eight years old pushing the other kids down on the playground. There was me twelve years old stealing a cassette from the local music store. There was me sixteen years old with my girlfriend. We were in the backseat and she said she wasn’t ready but I said we had already gone too far so let’s keep going. There was me at nineteen at a college party when a bunch of guys took a passed out girl upstairs and I didn’t stop them. There was me at twenty two when I didn’t take the keys from my friend and he drove home drunk, but he didn’t make it. There was me at home instead of visiting my dad before he passed away. There was me watching a movie instead of calling a friend who was home alone, waiting for me to call. There was me ignoring my wife because of past mistakes. Was I really this monster? Is this how others see me?

Then we were all back in the same room of mirrors. We all looked at each other like what was that? No one was laughing now. We pushed on the mirrors again but only the third one opened this time.

There I was, at Wrigley Field, pitching for the Cubs. The crowd was chanting my name. Oh yeah, this is what I was made for. They all love me. I was on the mound, World Series, game seven, bottom of the ninth, two outs, two on, two strikes. One more strike and I bring a championship to Chicago. The wind up, the pitch…and I heard it. My shoulder popped. Then I heard the crack of the bat as it connected to the ball. Then I heard the silence. Just like that it was all over. The game, my career, my life. I was so angry. I was mad at God. How could He bring me to this moment and then let it all go? One pitch. It was all over. What kind of God would do that to me? I shut everyone out. I drank myself to sleep every night. I didn’t know the women’s names I would wake up to. I didn’t care. I went from 60,000 people screaming my name to the deafening silence of my own thoughts.

There we were again. All six of us in the same room of mirrors. Mark said that wasn’t so bad. “Let’s get this over with,” said Scott. We looked at each other and hesitantly stepped into the fourth mirror.

There I was. A decrepit old man. No one there but me. A lifetime of choices led me to here. A lifetime of bad choices. How did I get here? I was a good guy once. I believed in God, once upon a time. I looked in the mirror and the mirror looked back. Was this really me? Then I was gone. There in my casket, all by myself. Honestly, all by myself. No one came to say goodbye. Not one single person! Was I that unlovable and selfish? Was I really that bad of a person? I guess the truth hurts because I must’ve been for not one single person to show up.

We were all back in the room of mirrors. A couple of my friends said how cool their mirrors were. They hope their lives turn out like that. I didn’t have anything to say. This time the first mirror, the normal mirror, opened and we walked through. A couple turns and a few distorted mirrors later we were at the exit.

“Hey boys, how’d you like it? Did you like what you saw?” said the carny. “The mirrors don’t lie boys. If you didn’t like what you saw, you still have time to do something about it.” That was when he looked at me again and winked and gave me something. I was too terrified to look at it so I stuck it in my pocket and left. He turned around and started shouting , “step right up boys and girls, come on in, only a dollar and it will change your life.”

I forgot about what he gave me until I got home and undressed. It fell out of my pocket. A small bible with a note inside. Read this if you want to change your life. Read this if you didn’t like what you saw in the mirrors. It is your choice.

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The Haunted House

Animated Haunted House animated house gif halloween haunted

I have been in the house many times since the first time. The first time was when I was eight years old. I was being teased, called a chicken, and all those things kids say to each other. Triple dog dare. You can’t turn down a triple dog dare. It was the first time I opened the door. I only looked inside for a second but that was enough.  The door had been opened and my future was doomed.

I soon started visiting the house more than I would like to admit. Always by myself of course. I couldn’t let my friends know what I was doing. Each time I went in I would find a new room to explore. It was fascinating at first. All these new things I was finding meant I was also learning more about myself. I thought I was being brave. Anytime something would happen to me I would run to the solitude of the house. Only in the day time though. Never at night.

At night you could always find me in my own house. Safe, warm and comfortable. My parents loved me and I felt safe in my house. Of course you could say as many times as I was visiting the so-called haunted house that it became my home away from home. My place to go to be alone and collect my thoughts. Leave some of my thoughts there. Come out a new person, but I left a part of me in that house each time I went.

It wasn’t long before I was sneaking out of my home and going to my haunted house at night. I couldn’t help it. I loved being the only one there. The only one that knew I was spending so much time there was me. I loved that sometimes when I went there would be a new room or two to explore. I never questioned how they got there. Part of the mystery of a haunted house I thought.

I started to withdraw from my friends so I could spend more time there. I could explore my house for hours on end, always something new but I could also go back and remember. Remember the who, what, why,  where and when of the first time I opened this door or that door. Remember when I was so scared I slammed that door closed, only to peek back in a few weeks later. No door was ever sealed shut. I could visit anytime I would visit the house.

The problem came when I couldn’t resist the house anymore. It just kept luring me in. Like it was calling out to me. Come on in, it is safe here. You don’t need anyone else. Just you and your thoughts, that’s all you need. No one will hurt you in here.

Comfort. I found comfort in that house. I should’ve bought the place and moved in. Saved me from going there all the time. It was on one of these trips that I met someone. A man like I had never met before. He told me to stop going to the haunted house. There is nothing there for me. How did he know was my first thought? My second thought was who cares who he is. This was my world and my house and he was just an intruder. Another person out to get me.

A couple days later I was going back to the house and there he was. Sitting on the front steps. The same steps I first went up when I was eight, except they didn’t look so scary anymore. They almost looked warm and inviting. Anyway, back to my guest. There he was. “How did you get here,” I asked. “I’ve been watching you for years,” he said. What kind of person is this?  I then bluntly told him to leave. He wasn’t welcome here. He told me he couldn’t do that. He was here to help me leave this place, leave it for good.

No way. This is my place. My home. He had no right to ask me to leave it.

But he got me thinking. In my experience, that is never a good thing. I would rather just go to my house and leave my thoughts in one of the rooms.

I walked on by him and he got up and followed me in. “Look at your prison,” he said. “My prison? This is my house,” I corrected him.  “No”, he said, “I have a much better house for you. Want to see it?”

“Not really sure,” I said, “I like this place.”

“Here take my hand and I will show you,” he said. I don’t know why but I reached out for his hand and….all the doors opened. All the doors in my house flew open and everything that was in them came pouring out.

I screamed, “let me go!!” I pulled my hand away and ran. This wasn’t my house. How did all these things get in here? Why was he letting them all out? I tried to shut the doors but they would not close. I fell to my knees and let them overtake me. But they didn’t touch me. They all poured into him. He took them all. All my good and all my bad. All my pretty and all my ugly. They all poured into him.

I watched, mesmerized. It seemed like it lasted for hours but it couldn’t have been more than a few seconds. How could I let all this stuff in my house? I watched as everything flew out. Things I forgot I put in the rooms. Things that kept me a prisoner in my house. Fear, lots of rooms full of fear. Anxiety, worry, hurt all leaving my house. Negative thoughts and lies I believed to numb the pain all gone. Depression, shame, guilt- all gone. Anger and hate, see you later. Regrets, doubts about who I am, lies, distrust, unforgiveness, all gone.

You might ask what was left but you already know. Love was left. A love that told me I didn’t need to live in this house. A love that told me I was forgiven. A love that showed me who I am. A love that told me to unlock those doors and throw away the key. A love that told me my house isn’t haunted. A love that told me I could’ve left that house anytime I wanted. A love that told me I never had to build that house.

Mansion by NF – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF5QE3-ox4o&w=560&h=315]

My Own Prison by Creed – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBBqjGd3fHQ&w=420&h=315]

Empire In My Mind by The Wallflowers – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJdalfe75ko&w=420&h=315]

Demons by Imagine Dragons – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWRsgZuwf_8&w=560&h=315]

Baptize My Mind by Jon Foreman – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Lqn6wtToIE&w=560&h=315]

Change Your Mind by Sister Hazel – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71KdkbT7FKA&w=420&h=315]

Keep Your Mind Wide Open by Annasophia Robb – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYFwJR73R50&w=420&h=315]

Outta My Mind by Anthem Lights – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT9Ieal8TMo&w=420&h=315]

Peace Of Mind by Decemberadio – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T1GLg4a73o&w=420&h=315]

Voices by Sumerlin – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usdmb_32G4g&w=560&h=315]

Hearing Voices by Anberlin –  [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaDziaupqHE&w=560&h=315]

March Out Of The Darkness by Papa Roach – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ9UxY8ENb0&w=560&h=315]

Out Of Mind by Queensryche – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb4Uu9objag&w=560&h=315]

Shadows In The Dark

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I have a story to tell you

It is hard to believe, but I swear it’s true

I hardly believe it myself

But it is a story I must tell

You see just last night I saw shadows in the dark

I swear it’s true, cross my heart

I know you are thinking, “How can there be shadows with no light?”

I say you are correct, but this world isn’t always black and white

So sit down and listen, let me tell you my story

It won’t take long, in case you are in a hurry

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You see I was walking home, it was the darkest of nights

No where could be found a single light

(Except of course from the windows of a few brave souls up that late)

But their light didn’t cast a shadow for this was my fate

The wind ripped through the trees

I was scared, (but keep that between you and me)

I knew deep down in my bones

I just knew I wasn’t alone

I could feel the enemy all around

They made such a terrible sound

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The gnashing and gnawing gave me a fright

I could hear them, but they were out of sight

I had chills up and down my spine

I felt as if I was running out of time

It was right then and there I said a little prayer

God, if you have just a little time to spare 

Even though a lot of bad I have done

Do you think you could help me out some?

It was then I saw the first shadow

He took the lead so I decided to follow

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Soon I saw ten or fifteen more

I felt a peace that wasn’t there before

They told me their names

No two were the same

There was Integrity,  Honesty, Compassion and Loyalty

There was Kindness, Forgiveness, Responsibility and Humility

There was Hope, Love, Faith, Joy,  Courage and Trust

They told me each one of them also lives in us

They told me we are so distracted by the darkness of this place

That we often do not see them, even when we are face to face

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They walked me to where I needed to go

They left before I could thank them though

I am thanking them now by writing this to you

My friend when you are lost and don’t know what to do

When you are in despair

And think there’s no one who cares

Think of something good, something you can not see

No matter the darkness, there is a light in you and me

There is a light that can penetrate the darkest of dark

You just have to believe with all your heart

That in  your darkest of  darkest nights

There are shadows that can only be caused by the light

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At The Corner Of Unicorn Lane

At the corner of Unicorn Lane

Right before you get to Leprechaun Street

There lives a…. I don’t want to tell you it’s name

It’s not something most would want to meet

Some say it’s small, like an elf, fairy or pixie

Some say it’s big, like a Sasquatch, an ogre, or a Nephilim

I have seen it and to talk about it is quite risky

What I will say  is that it doesn’t look like any of them

 

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Some say it’s a hybrid, like a griffin, a Minotaur or a mermaid

Others say it’s a shapeshifter, a werewolf, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

I have seen it and trust me, don’t get in its way

The last person that did has disappeared, perhaps has died

I’ve heard some says it’s a Kirin or a dragon

I’ve heard some say it’s a Chupacabra or a vampire

I have seen it and it’s worse than you can imagine

I can understand that  you might think I’m a liar

Let me continue please

I’m not an expert but it’s important what I have to say

Trust me, it’s for your safety

For it doesn’t matter if it’s night or day

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Some say it is a hideous creature

Others say it looks just like you and me

Some say it has the scariest features

It’s always different for those  unfortunate enough to see

So when you go down Leprechaun Street

And you get to the corner of Unicorn Lane

Please keep walking, I beg you to move your feet

Especially on a cold dark night when it starts to rain

Enough already! You exclaim. Just tell me does it really exist?

I hesitate, not sure if you can handle the truth

Please stop asking ! I can’t say! Oh, why do you insist?

Are you ready? Are you sure? It… it’s…. aahhhh it’s YOU!

 

 

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Immortal

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We rejoiced in another battle won. We have fought many over the last few months but this one was not only of joy but sorrow.  We lost many good men today, and I take the blame.  I am their leader and I did not lead well today. Something was wrong with me.

Looking back on my lifetime, I have fought many battles and I have never, not ever, not even once been nicked, scratched, cut or anything. I have walked away from all those battles unscathed. I have had men die, but they were far and few between. I have fought battles alone and never lost.  The enemy could not touch me.

Some say God must have His hand on me. Some say that I am extremely lucky.  I don’t believe in luck.

I have walked into cities that were destroyed by the black plague and I did not get sick. I have walked into small villages that were so decrepit that stray dogs would not even live there.  In fact, I have never been sick a day in my life. Not a cough, not a fever,  not even a single sniffle.

That all changed three days ago.

A few of my men and I were relaxing and drinking a few at the local bar. We parted ways and I started to go down an alley I had walked down hundreds of times. Immediately, the hairs on my arms and neck stood up. Something didn’t feel right. I drew my sword, prepared for battle. Two demons jumped from the shadows. I easily disposed of the first one. As I faced off against the second one, a thought came into my head. One that I never had before.

You can not win this one.

It came and was gone just as fast but it stopped me in my tracks. And in that second of delay, the demon swung his arm. I ducked but his long fingernails grazed my arm.  I came back at it with an uppercut and then my sword sliced through his neck.  His headless body fell at my feet and I was victorious again.

It was then I noticed I had been cut. My arm was bleeding.  For the first time in my life, I felt pain.

I fell asleep that night and woke in a cold sweat. Nightmares came to me and I could not escape them. I could not fall back asleep. My heart was beating out of my chest and my head was on fire. I tried to get out of bed but my legs would not cooperate. I fell to the floor. I stayed there until the morning light.

Morning came and it was like nothing had happened. I picked myself up off the floor. My heart was beating normal, the fever gone.  My strength was back.  I wondered if it had all been a nightmare. My imagination was running wild.

It was Wednesday. Drill day.  Every Wednesday when we were not in battle, my men and I had drill day. We went through the basic fundamentals of battle. Defense, offense, blocks, attacks, etc.  We also did obstacle runs and uphill runs to make us stronger, to have more endurance than our enemy.  I ran circles around my men. No one could ever keep up.  But today, I had nothing. Halfway through I dropped to my knees, out of breath. Out of energy.  What the heck?  My men teased me until they saw my face. I was pale as a ghost. I fell on my back and grabbed my cut arm. It felt like it was on fire. My heart was racing. My men picked me up and we walked back to town. What was going on?

Then I heard the voice again, you can not win this one.

You don’t know who I am,  I conquer everything and everyone, I replied to no one.

The next day we were attacked like we had never been attacked. So many demons. The battle lasted for two days and I made many mistakes. I could not think straight. I could not lead my men, I had no strength to do so.  I should’ve put my second in command to the front, to lead, but I was too proud. I kept telling myself I can get through this like I have so many other battles.  But this wasn’t like any other battle.  We won but we lost a lot of men.  A lot of good men and it’s all on me.

The fevers kept coming, my head was on fire.  My heart beat irregularly. I couldn’t catch my breath if I walked more than a minute. Yet, I was too stubborn to see the sorceress or the doctor.  Only weak people go to them. But yet, I could not shake what was happening to me.

You can not win this one.

I was getting sick of this voice. But I was getting more worried about the shape I was in. My people needed me, my town needed me. I had to give up and seek help. I could not do this on my own.  I went to the doctor and all their fancy machines, medicine, and spells. I listened closely, the rest of my life depended on what they told me I had to do.

I am slowly getting better, but I have let others lead my men to battle. I have taken a step back so I can take a few steps forward. It is a long road to recovery, but the doctors say I will make it.

I have come to realize that I am only a mortal man. A man who knows I can only be immortal when I pass this from this life to meet my maker.

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As I was writing part of this, I was listening to the new Building 429 cd and this song came on. Funny how God works.

Joy Unspeakable by Building 429- 

Soul’s Anthem ( It Is Well) by Tori Kelly – 

Miracle Or Not by Alisa Turner – 

More Than Gonna Make It by Alisa Turner – 

Long Year by Jackie Lee – 

 

 

I Do Not Fight Alone

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Society wants me to conform. I will not conform.

I have had enough. I could not take It anymore. I had tried and tried but no one would go with me. If no one will go with me, I will do it alone.

I don’t see things any differently than anyone else. They all see the world is falling apart. The difference is I couldn’t sit still and watch it get worse. I couldn’t stay quiet and let the evil keep talking.

You know what they say, there is no God, he isnt here, he doesnt care. If there was a God then why….If there was a God then where was he when….

Well, didn’t we ask him to leave? We took him out of schools, court,  any kind of gathering. We let the minority rule. If one person doesn’t like it then no one can enjoy it. It’s no wonder suicides have increased, opioid epidemic, mass shootings, over the counter meds for anxiety,  divorce.

Nothing is sacred anymore.

I left to face the demons on my own. It wasn’t long before they had gathered to defeat me.

I drew my sword and drew a line in the sand.

I said,  “If you are not a believer, you can not cross this line.”

The demons smiled at me as they approached the line. “My dearest friend, do you not know, even we demons believe.”

The demons crossed the line and I took a step back. The demons drooled and laughed. “So, friend , you do fear us.”

To their surprise, I then took a step forward with a smile on my face.

“I am not your friend.”

I knew what they did not. The demons hesitated for a second but that’s all I needed.

I drew my sword but it was only for a diversion. The demons attacked.

The demons were so consumed with me that they didn’t notice the warrior angels that had surrounded them.

Related imageImage result for 2 Kings 6:17

Walk On Water by 30 Seconds To Mars-  

What It Comes Down To Me Is Me by Mark Bishop- 

Fight Forever by Anthem Lights – 

Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)  by Chris Tomlin – 

Fighting For Us by Michael Farren – 

Shelly Swims Sideways

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It was a new day under the sea. A day just like every other day. Except this was no ordinary day. For today was the day Shelly was born.

Shelly was like every other fish. Shelly could blow bubbles and Shelly could smile. Shelly could talk and Shelly could laugh. Shelly had a laugh that could make you smile from gill to gill. Shelly could get mad and Shelly could get sad. Shelly loved to read and Shelly loved to play with the other fish. Shelly loved to go to school.

But Shelly wasn’t like every other fish. Shelly was born without a right fin.

Shelly couldn’t swim like the other fish could swim. When the other fish played hide and seek, Shelly couldn’t hide in the same places they did. Shelly couldn’t swim straight into hiding places. When the other fish had races, Shelly couldn’t swim as fast as the other fish.

Shelly could only swim sideways.

Some of the other fish accepted Shelly for who she was, but most fish made fun of her. They swam circles around Shelly. They made fun of “one fin” Shelly. They asked her why she wasn’t like them. They told her of all the things she can’t do.

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Shelly’s feelings were often hurt, but Shelly knew she was not who they said she was. She knew she was beautiful and strong. When they told Shelly of all the things she couldn’t do, Shelly thought of all the things she could do.

Shelly learned to be creative. Shelly learned to improvise. Shelly learned to turn her weaknesses into strengths. Shelly taught her friends how to use only one fin to swim. Shelly’s friends learned to swim sideways.

Shelly was in school one day when a giant, hungry shark saw them. The shark swam straight at the school, mouth wide open, ready to eat. The fish that could swim straight could not avoid being the shark’s dinner.

Except the shark didn’t count on Shelly’s quick, creative thinking. Shelly told her friends to all swim sideways as fast as they could. The shark saw them break away from the other fish and became so distracted he swam right into the side of a large rock.

When all the other fish saw what Shelly and her friends did, they were amazed that they would risk their lives to save theirs. Especially when they were so mean to Shelly. That is when they realized that Shelly’s disability was actually a gift.

It was a new day under the sea. A day just like every other day. Except this was no ordinary day. Today was the day Shelly was accepted for her she is. Today was the day Shelly wasn’t different but was unique. Today was the day Shelly was just like every other fish.

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God’s Will by Martina McBride-  

God Doesn’t Make Mistakes by Carolyn Dawn Johnson – 

Who Says by Joshua Micah – 

Pretty by Lauren Alaina – 

Your’e Gonna Rise by Manafest – 

How Far I’ll Go by Alessia Cara –

Shine by Lolo-  

Conqueror by Estelle –