Beware Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

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Wayde Zane Slocumb was a counselor at Alabama Psychological Services, until he was arrested for possessing and distributing child pornography.

I was reading about this case on WHNT.com, which got me thinking about similar arrest that have accorded in this area.

A police officer in Huntsville was arrested a few months ago on sexual assault charges.  A youth minister at a Baptist church was arrested for similar charges.  Also, several teachers have been arrested for having sexual relationships with their students in the last couple of years.

These are just the stories of the people that got caught.  There are many other predators out there that go undetected.

I wonder can you ever really know somebody?  I also wonder who can you trust or should you just never trust anybody?

The world is full of wolves in sheep’s clothing and unfortunately they blend very well in our society.

My Extra-Terrestrial Friend (A Short Story)

My name is Dr. Haley Armstrong and I have an extra-terrestrial friend.

It all started in 2147, while I was working at the Mars Research Laboratory (Site A).  The lab was old and rarely used, so I was alone that day.  A massive storm was raging on the planet, so all I could see was clouds of red dust swirling around the facility.  That’s why I never noticed the small spacecraft approaching the launch bay.

The first time I actually got a glimpse of Triad was on the security camera.  I am not ashamed to say, I almost fainted.  Triad walked down the corridor and bypassed the security code on each door, as if it was child’s play.  He was tall and slender.  His skin had a distinctive greenish tint, but the funniest thing about him was his attire.  He was dressed like a 20th century hippy.

Triad reached the door outside my room and looked into the camera.  He asked if he could come inside the room to talk to me.  It’s not like he needed my permission.  There was nothing I could do to stop him.

My body was trembling with fear and I wanted to hide.  However, I also longed to meet this strange individual at my door.  After a few tense moments, Triad smiled and said, “I understand.  I will wait out here until you are ready to talk to me.”

He seemed so polite and didn’t look threatening at all.  I opened the door, even though my brain was screaming for me to stop.

Triad introduced himself.  He was an anthropology student and specialized in galactic studies.  He was working on a research project and was given strict instructions to never make contact with any Earthlings, because we are irrational and have violent tendencies.

For some reason, Triad sensed I was different.  He was taking a great risk by coming to meet me.  If he was captured by unscrupulous scientist, he would probably be killed and dissected for the purpose of scientific research.

If his existence became public knowledge, it would lead to wide spread panic and destruction.  However, Triad believed in my peaceful nature and in my ability to keep our friendship a secret.

I just stared at him.  I was completely at a loss for words.  My mind was spinning, as if a tornado was jumbling up each thought and I couldn’t even manage to say my own name.

Triad paused for a second and laughed.  He said, “I know my appearance is rather shocking.”

After what seemed like an eternity, I was finally able to introduce myself.  There was a gleam of happiness in Triad’s eyes.  He extended his hand saying, “I believe your people grasp each other’s hand as a sign of friendship.  Is that correct?”

I was finally starting to relax, so I reached out and took his hand.  His skin was warm and silky smooth.

We talked for hours.  He told me all about his planet and his people.  They are a peaceful bunch.  There hasn’t been a war in just over 5 millennium.  Their life span is on average 250 years.

Triad was 82, but still was not old enough to teach at the educational centers.  He recently completed his mandatory studies and would spend the next 15 to 20 years conducting field research.

I asked Triad about intergalactic space travel.  He tried to explain it to me, but it was way beyond my comprehension.

I told Triad about my family and my future aspirations.  We talked about life on Earth and what it was like to work at the Mars research laboratory.  It was a great privilege; only the best scientist are allowed to work on Mars.  We spend one year on Mars and then return to Earth for at least two years.

Triad decided to try some of the food I had with me, but it literally made him vomit.  He was so embarrassed and apologized profusely.  Now, it was my turn to laugh.

The storm was starting to clear and Triad said he must leave.  He didn’t want anyone in the other laboratories  to see him or his spacecraft.

I stammered a few words that didn’t make much sense, even to me.  I desperately wanted to continue talking to Triad.  He looked at me with understanding and said he would also like to communicate with me in the future.

Triad handed me a black device, about the size of my thumb.  The front of the device had three red lights and each side had a button.  The back of the device was covered in tiny writing that looked like some kind of crazy mathematical equation.

Triad asked me, “Do you know Morse code?”

I looked at him with astonishment.  I told him, “It’s an antiquated form of communication.  Nobody uses it.”

Triad learned Morse code as part of his studies.  He created a cheatsheet for me, so I could learn it too.  Then he taught me how to use the device.  I could use it to send Triad messages in Morse code and he would respond back in kind.

If someone accidentally found the device, it would look like random light impulses that can be used for relaxation or meditation.  I would be the only person able to understand the messages created by the flashing lights.

As Triad turned to leave, I screamed “Wait!”  I rushed over to him and grabbed him in an embrace.  Tears were pouring down my face.  Between each sobbing breath, I managed to tell Triad how grateful I was for his trust and how much I looked forward to communicating with him in the future.

Triad was surprised by my display of emotions.  He responded by saying, “Now I know, I have a true Earth friend.  I hope one day, I will be able to see you in person once again.”

Triad left and I haven’t seen him since that day.  However, we send messages to each other frequently.  Triad is my extra-terrestrial pen-pal and a true (all be it strange) friend.

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Faith in the Love of Jesus

The other day, I was reading Matthew 15:21-28.

21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyreand Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. (ESV)

I started thinking about the Jewish society of that time.  It was extremely prejudicial, and a person’s worth or cleanliness was largely based on race and ethnic origin.  As a Canaanite and a woman, she would have been viewed with disdain.  Also, the statement made by Jesus echoes that sentiment.

However, the woman trusted Jesus.  She believed him to be fair and loving.  She trusted him to not judge her based on superficial things.  Her trust in the love of Jesus was not misplaced.  Jesus healed her daughter and commented on her great faith.

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Great Things From a Little Faith

Matthew 13:31-32

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.  It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” (ESV)

God understands human frailty.  God uses our faith and efforts to change the world, even if our faith is small.  With God, great things can come from a little faith.

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Faith of a Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13)

While in Capernaum, a centurion approached Jesus.  He asked Jesus to heal his servant.  The servant was paralyzed and suffering horribly.

Jesus agreed to heal the centurion’s servant and offered to go to his home.  However, the centurion told Jesus he was not worthy of having Jesus in his house.  Instead, he asked Jesus to just say the word and his servant would be healed.

Jesus was impressed by the centurion’s faith and responded, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.” (ESV)

Jesus then told the centurion his servant was healed.

Throughout the gospels, people ask Jesus to touch them to be healed.  They want to see Jesus do something to help them believe in his healing power.  However, the centurion was different.  He didn’t need to see Jesus do anything.  He simply trusted in the word of Jesus.

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