Friday, September 24

Friday Fiction: The Insurrection of Procrastination Nation

Welcome to Fiction Friday!! My story is a little off the chain today, but please bear with me. The Lord is at work in me, and when "Our King" gives an order, this is a little of what goes on inside of my head - embellished for fictional entertainment purposes and your enjoyment.




From: Your Regent, Queen Kathryn,
by authority of Our King

To: All Current and Prospective Occupants of Innerland

Let a decree be heard throughout the realm:

We have summoned soldiers to scour the provinces of Innerland. Armed with the prayers of your Regent, they have been instructed by Our King to take up an official census, and to seek out and record all rogue projects, personal or professional, that have joined the insurrection and defected to Procrastination Nation. Tasks that have crossed the border from their home province of To Do into hostile territory currently under the ruthless control of the Enemy will be reclaimed for the Kingdom and put back into circulation.

We hope you have taken notice of the example made of your “hero”, Index.

As you are likely aware, Index, the most notorious offender, has claimed citizenship on our fair isle of To Do for over a year. Although his defection was not rectified, it did not go unnoticed. We have known for some time of the ulterior motives behind his repeated reassurances. We were not amused.

Last night, we dispatched an advance war party who captured Index and returned him to the control of your Regent. He was relocated to In Progress this morning, and, within three hours, he achieved the status of Complete. He would have already sailed for his next intended assignment, Awaiting Final Product, if not for the unfortunate meddling of our nemesis Missing Paperwork. That minion of the Enemy was stopped post haste, and, tomorrow, Index’s promotion will be complete.

Do not underestimate the power Our King has bestowed upon these soldiers.

We have also requested extra security be stationed in Awaiting Final Product, another weak area in our defenses against the Enemy. He and we constantly wrestle for control of this territory, and soldiers are necessary to ensure fortification. Malingerers will be accounted for and dealt with on a priority basis. We plan to be in constant contact with Our King to assure no gaps form in the hedges of protection.

As individuals, you may not be aware of the consequences imposed by the spreading insurrection. The whole of Innerland has been affected to some degree, as have parts of Outerland and the lands beyond. The scourge known as Procrastination Nation must be stopped before it damages you further.

Occupants of Innerland, take heed and take heart: we are not against you. Our desire is the desire of Our King--to protect you from the Ultimate Enemy. To this end, we are requesting permanent placement of armed patrols among you. Their mission is to defend you from attack.

The swords they wield will never be used against you; nay, their sole purpose is to slay the minions of the Enemy. The shields they carry will extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one so no further projects are swayed to the dark side.

Only when you all follow the same path can we reach our destination. If we allow ourselves to be divided by the Enemy, we risk being dominated by him.

Stand firm, citizens, and be strong in Our King and in His mighty Power. He will never leave us or forsake us.

With highest regards,
Your Regent,
Queen Kathryn of Innerland

Written with our hand, in ink on paper, in the year of our King, Two Thousand Ten

Author’s Note: Inspired in part by Ephesians 6:10-18

© 2010


Our host for Friday Fiction today Is Yvonne at her blog, My Back Door. Click on over and add a link to your own fiction (after reading her story, of course), or just follow the links and read along. Don't forget to leave an encouraging word to let the writers know you are reading!

Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Friday, September 17

Friday Fiction: Outside In

Thanks for reading my offering for Fiction Friday today!!

Call me a rebel if you will, but I'm not posting fiction. The following is a non-fiction essay I entered in the FaithWriters "Think" challenge. As a rule, non-fiction does not do well in the competition, but I didn't enter this one to win. I entered it because God wouldn't let me write anything else. ;)

I hope you enjoy, and I hope it makes you think a little bit.




I hate getting caught outside the stadium when the national anthem starts playing.

When I'm inside, in my seat, I spring to my feet, place my cap over my heart, and add my voice to those of the proud fans surrounding me, at times becoming teary-eyed in gratitude for my freedom.

But outside in the stadium breezeway, among the hotdog vendors, t-shirt hawkers, and souvenir stands, pride in country all but disappears.

You see, whenever I hear those first beloved notes, my ingrained military training rises again, and, no matter where I am or what I'm doing, the command comes unbidden ... "THINK".

Out amongst the crowded masses, however, I can't concentrate on the brave soldiers who carried our banner into battle through the years; I'm too disgusted at the army of my countrymen scurrying to and fro in front of me, ignoring the musical symbol of our nation's freedom.

I can't conjure up an image of six valiant men raising a tattered flag over Iwo Jima, because the spectacle of a mom and dad herding four screaming young boys waving over-sized foam fingers makes me wonder what happened to teaching children respect for their country.

When I try to picture my brothers and sisters in service who made the ultimate sacrifice, all I see are the hundreds of citizens too busy getting where they're going to stop for just a moment in respect of the men and women who secured the freedoms they seem oblivious to.

I should be thinking about the mere children leaving their families and growing up too fast in a foreign land, unselfishly defending the rights of their fellow humans to simply live like humans, but my attention is focused instead on the children in front of me who feel entitled to clamor for more, different, better, and the parents who cater to them.

Oh, yes. Better I stand safely in my assigned place in the stadium thinking my righteous thoughts, oblivious to what remains unseen outside.

Or is it?

© 2010


Our host for Friday Fiction today Christina Banks at her blog, With Pen in Hand. Click on over and add a link to your own fiction (after reading her story, of course), or just follow the links and read along. Don't forget to leave an encouraging word to let the writers know you are reading! (We thrive on that, you know.)

Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Friday, September 10

Friday Fiction: Psycho Semantics

Thanks for reading my offering for Fiction Friday today!!
I'm posting my FaithWriters challenge entry for the topic "Touch". I hope you enjoy.



Zoe didn’t know which hurt worse – the desperate need to be touched, or being touched itself. Dr. Madison was helping her work it out. Trying to convince her that the pain was mental, not physical. All he’d managed to convince Zoe of so far was that SHE was mental. Not that THAT took much convincing.

Ever since the fire and losing her daddy, the horrendously painful skin grafts, and year-long healing process, she’d been waiting for the old Zoe to make a reappearance. It had been one l-o-n-g year. She knew she wasn’t ‘right,’ and Dr. M’s suggestion of “mental” sounded right on.

He never came out and SAID that she was mental, of course. Just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo head-shrinker talk about psycho semantics, but she knew what he was getting at.
She was mental.

So when Tristan walked into her life, you can understand why she was a bit paranoid. First off, he was gorgeous, and Zoe felt that “need” to be touched again – but different this time. It was more than physical. Second off, the first thing he did was reach out to touch her.


Her mom had invited him to dinner. Zoe knew it was a hook-up--even though her mom had told her it was so “the new neighbor boy could ‘meet kids his own age.’”

‘Kids.’ Whatever. I think with all I’ve been through, I hardly qualify as a kid anymore. So when the doorbell rang at 6:00, and her mom and little brothers were (conveniently) nowhere to be found, she was on her guard.

The vision that greeted her was nothing like the pimply-faced geek Zoe had been expecting. He offered his hand, and she hated the hurt she saw in his big green eyes when she gasped and shrank back--and she hated herself for her automatic reaction. But she couldn’t help it – it was automatic.

Zoe mentally (ha ha) rehearsed and practiced the exercises Dr. M had been helping her with. For the first time, she actually had the desire to. A deep breath; pull out a memory of a time when being touched used to didn’t hurt and was connected with good feelings; focus on that and not her fear; another deep breath. Relax.

Zoe opened her eyes, and was embarrassed to realize she had shut them. Tristan was still standing there, gaping at her, more confused-looking now than hurt, and she wanted to die. She pushed her hair behind her ear, and mincingly offered her shaking hand.

Obviously Tristan was no dummy. He didn’t grab her hand, but met her halfway, matching her speed, waiting for her make first contact.

This was an approach Zoe was definitely NOT familiar with, and she didn’t know what to do. So she did Dr. M’s exercise again (quickly), and added an exercise of her own (actually one of her Grammy’s) and said a prayer.

Then she slid her palm under his, wincing involuntarily but not pulling back.

The lack of burning pain startled her and she almost collapsed. A dream. This must be a dream.

Again, Tristan held back and let Zoe make the next move.

Zoe dropped her hand and stepped aside. “Come on in. Everyone’s in the kitchen.”

Lord, what IS this? And I’m not just SAYING the word “lord” this time. I’m really talking to you. And, WOW, I think you’re really listening.

© 2010


Our host for Friday Fiction today is my bffJoanne Sher at An Open Book. Click on over and add a link to your own fiction (after reading her story, of course), or just follow the links and read along. Don't forget to leave an encouraging word to let the writers know you are reading! (We thrive on that, you know.)

Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Sunday, September 5

A Barren Mother

"He settles the barren woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord."
- Psa 113:9 -

For many years I read this verse as a promise to be taken literally, and I waited on the Lord to fill my home with more children. My daughter wanted a little half-brother or -sister, too! However, over the last 10 years or so, this Word has served to alternatively confuse, anger, and depress me. I've even (to my shame) scorned the Lord. "Yeah right."

I've been drawn to this section of the Psalms lately, and the Lord has given me a new revelation.

While I got settled in my new home, God was preparing my church home for me, and me for my new church home.

As I reluctantly gave up on the promise of giving birth again and prayed to understand His will, the Lord was preparing a place for me in the midst of his children, and preparing me to recognize and accept that place.

Today, I read Psalm 113 again, and did praise the Lord. He has fulfilled his promise, but not in the way I thought I wanted, or even expected. Me? Teach children? NO WAY! Or so I thought four years ago.

But He has settled this barren woman in her home at FBC as the happy "mother" (teacher, leader, friend) of many children.

And I couldn't be happier.

Praise the Lord. He is always faithful - lots of time in unexpected and delightful ways.

Here are a few of " my""  many children:

Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)