El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Dean Kellio

It has been said that when a nation begins to decline, that morality, respect for others and virtuous living become absent or nonexistent within their population.

The nation of Israel went through this same cycle over and over again. When their situation in life worsened they would call upon their high priest to make intersession for them through sacrifice and prayer. Unfortunately, before they came to this point they would often turn their backs, falling away from the God of all creation.

The sun was just coming up over the mountains as a steady stream of droopy-eyed customers repeatedly opened the swinging door into the coffee shop. Outside, tables were being filled with various groups who were busy discussing their kid’s soccer games, what they watched on TV last night or the latest gossip circulating around town.

Off to one side, the Ridge Lake Christian men’s group was meeting for early morning prayers and devotions. Hot coffee and cranberry scones were being devoured as fast as the waitress could haul them out.

Everything was peaceful as I watched another set of waves break against the shore.

So far, today was going exceptionally well as we were able to find a parking space near Law Street public beach access, several semi-clean, open bathroom stalls as well as a small patch of unclaimed sand that was surrounded bya mote of kelp. Sand flies attracted by the rotting kelp seemed to sense a better meal had arrived and immediately began to devour me from top to bottom.

I pushed on the heavy revolving glass doors and quickly stepped into the space created as they turned us slowly out into ninety-degree Portland weather.

Elise was patiently waiting curbside as my wife and I carried our carry-on bags atop our roller-equipped suitcases.

The car was completely packed. My daughter had followed my instructions to the last detail. Everything had been neatly and perfectly packed into the Japanese commuter car I had asked her to rent for our trip.

Demetrius begged his owner “I just want to be your bond servant. I give back my freedom, my freewill to you; please allow me to serve you all the days of my life!”

Moshe chopped up the cilantro, garlic and jalapenos for the salad.  His style of cooking was spicy as well as a bit on the hot side. The church’s kitchen was small and there was very little space for more than one cook. Sofia was a wonderful woman who had taken over the preparation of the church’s fellowship dinners for the past two years. She was extremely stressed as she kept trying to work around Moshe who had a cutting board, several sharp knives and salad fixings spread out over most of the kitchen’s limited counter space.

Let us think about the task of producing a working watch for a moment.

Our first step would require planning, design and blueprints. Only then could we design and create the machines to forge and produce each individual part needed to assemble a watch.  All of the miniature springs, gears and movements will have to be designed and built to extreme tolerances. Now supposing we take all these brand new parts and throw them out into a field. How many millions of years of evolution would go by before they accidentally assemble themselves into a functional watch?

Jake stepped off the stage and away from the podium. His eyes were like a flame of fire and the passion in his voice filled the room like rays of sunshine at daybreak. People were sitting anxiously, waiting to hear what God was going to say to them. They were waiting for hope to come in any form, they were ready to soak it all in and be refreshed by the message that was stirring Jake’s heart.

Sometimes I think the world could be fixed if we just had a roll of duct tape large enough. If we were marooned in the wilderness with only a bag containing a roll of tie wire and Velcro we could probably survive for years. Throw in a Swiss army knife along with a can of WD-40 and we could, maybe, live comfortably for decades.

Although these items would come in very handy, the only thing we really would need in that bag was a bible, the inspired word of God.

It turned midnight as the last pot was washed, rinsed and placed back up on the galley rack that hung above the grill in the kitchen. The head chef, sous chef and prep assistant also hung up their aprons on the hooks by the door before switching off the lights and locking the door to the kitchen.

There had been a good turn out that night, the poached salmon, sautéed leeks and garlic sorbet had been a great hit and sold out within the first few hours of the evening meal. Although the head chef had not anticipated this, he had a backup plan to serve pasta ala nirvana.