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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)

TITLE: The Power of Praise
By Terry R A Eissfeldt


Sunday morning arrived in as foul a mood as Faith woke up in. Church, she thought, great! How am I supposed to praise God? Unforgiveness had arrived as soon as her husband had left. He snickered to himself. His leathery black wings closed tighter around Faith’s body, encasing her arms in heaviness. Bitterness, his best friend, reached a little further into Faith’s mind. His scaly claws squeezed out the last recess of peace.

Although the demons had made an inroad into Faith’s life, old habits die hard. Despite the fact she knew everyone would be looking at her, wondering how she was coping with the betrayal of her husband, she got out of bed.

Burnum was the first to see the blue Honda arrive from his perch high atop the little brown church. He was relieved to see Chizboa on the roof. The mighty cherubim’s presence was keeping the larger demons, Hatred and Death, at bay. Bitterness and Unforgiveness will be dealt with soon enough, Burnum thought.

As Faith entered the humble building Chizboa joined his comrades on the roof. “It gets under my feathers to allow those two foul creatures entrance into the congregation,” he complained.

“Yes, my brother, but we are bound by the rules of engagement. It’s up to Faith now. Her will dictates the outcome today,” Burnum stated solemnly. “Rajat, go to Faith. Stay with her.”

A mighty cherubim, tall with mahogany wings, bowed and silently slipped through the roof. He descended and landed behind Faith. Bitterness clung tighter. Faith felt an overwhelming desire to run.

“Faith,” Pastor Kechnie called out. “I’m so glad you came.” He enfolded her in a fatherly embrace. Rajat unfurled his wings and surrounding the humans protectively. Bitterness and Unforgiveness screamed, “Get off! Get off!”

Faith felt her heart grow cold and her body went rigid against Pastor Kechnie’s words and touch. What’s wrong with me, she thought, I know he really cares. I just feel so dead.

Rajat’s wings receded with Pastor Kechnie’s arms. “Courage, my sister.” He looked deeply into her dull eyes. “Father, strengthen my sister today by Your Spirit.”

That was all Rajat needed. He grabbed Unforgiveness’s batlike wings and pryed them off. At least her arms were free. Faith felt the effect of Pastor’s prayer. Hope was rising. Yes, she thought, I was right to come.

The worship team took their place. With the first strum of the guitar the air became electrified. As the bass, keyboard and drummer joined in, the angelic host, sprinkled among the congregation, drew their swords. Those on the roof gave a mighty shout letting the enemy know the battle was at hand.

“From the four winds flow Heaven’s melody,
celestial singing rises up from the seven seas.”

The congregation joined the worship leader in praise.

“The eastern sky is breaking out in all Your glory,
the western lands are shouting, telling Your story.”

Father, Faith cried out from her deepest part, help me to praise You.

“Zann!” Burnum shouted in joy, “Go!”

A shimmering, ivory-colored cherubim sped through the roof like a bolt of lightning. Bitterness shuddered at his approach.

“All praise to the Righteous One,” the congregation sang.

Zann reached tenderly for Faith’s face. He traced gently around her lips coaxing them to move.

“All power to the Risen Son,” the song continued.

Faith mouthed the next phrase, “Glory, glory to the Holy One”.

Bitterness felt Zann grab his scaly hands.

“Hallelujah, to our God!” Faith sang out.

Bitterness screamed as Chizboa, who had sneaked up behind, dispatched the inky enemy with his flaming sword. Faith let tears of relief flow freely down her face. Zann was ready with the bottle to catch them.

Father, Faith prayed as the worship continued, help me to forgive my husband. I choose to forgive him as You have forgiven me.

“Now Cailean! Join Chizboa,” Barnum ordered. Brilliant red feathers fell through the roof like a flame.

Unforgiveness knew his time was up. He ran at the approach of the two mighty cherubim.

Faith felt the release that only forgiveness brings. She eagerly joined back in the worship raising her hands high.

“Breathe, oh breathe in new life.
Fill me, fill me one more time.
I need, I need to be revived.
Oh, breathe Your breath of life.”

Every wing beat in response. Faith was flooded with the wind of Heaven. A smile erupted on her face just as the sun exploded from behind the clouds.

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Member Comments
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Julie Arduini03/16/07
This reminds me of Frank Peretti's earlier work. I thought this was well done, what a battle it truly is to praise Him. You captured that well.
Joanne Sher 03/19/07
Excellent portrayal of the spirit world - I agree with Julie - this does remind me of early Peretti. Great job!
Jacquelyn Horne03/20/07
Wonderful story on the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a healing balm to the soul. Good job.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/20/07
This was a very good story reminding us of the battle going on today in the spirit world around us.
Myrna Noyes03/21/07
Great message in this story that reminds us a battle for our minds and souls is going on each day between the darkness and the Light! Thank you for reminding us to be aware of this and to stay focused on God our Deliverer.
Sara Harricharan 03/21/07
Oooh! I like this. Great look at the struggle between the real and 'supernatural'. I especially liked reading from this POV and I'm so glad that Faith finally returned to the arms of her Heavenly Father. Great writing! ^_^
Betty Castleberry03/21/07
What a wonderful reminder that forgiveness is truly for us, and not the ones we are forgiving. This is well-written. Kudos.