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  • The Reading Room

    Articles, devotionals, short stories, and other written expressions by ChristianWriters.com members


    As You Are

    By joysounspeakable, in The Reading Room,


    She envies their fair skin and wants their curls;
    He strives for those abs to woo the girls.
    She drowns herself in brands to boost her pride
    but she aches from the scars on the inside.
    His arms are now strong and his muscles tight, 
    But his heart is weak from the inner fight.
    My daughter, 
    why are you hiding my work of art?
    oh with so much makeup?
    just to be number one on the chart.
    When will you stop dreaming and wake up?
    And remember…
    Yes, all this matters to the world.
    But the truth is revealed in my Word.
    Beyond your beauty and your charm, 
    beyond the silver and gold on your arm, 
    I see deep into your weeping heart, 
    and I love you just as you are.
    My son, 
    who are you trying so hard to be?
    With your perfect body and fancy car?
    Just stop a while and listen to me, 
    how can you forget who you really are?
    Just remember…
    Yes, all this matters to the world. 
    But the truth is revealed in my Word.
    Beyond your beauty and your charm, 
    beyond the silver and gold on your arm, 
    I see deep into your weeping heart, 
    and I love you just as you are.


    When you trust God, you are putting your faith and submitting your life in the hands of a God who created this entire universe out of NOTHING.
    Genesis 1:1‑2  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
    There was absolutely nothing to begin with and God by his great power created EVERYTHING we see today from NOTHING. Notice how hard we find it to begin a work without any source and we always need a base. God did NOT need a base. Every creature, every plant, so carefully thought and designed by him at a time when NOTHING existed. Do you not believe that a God who created EVERYTHING out of NOTHING, can do miracles in your little life?
    Even at this stage of creation, God knew you,chose you, loved you. You don’t have to have anything for God to work from. Just as you are, broken, with what you have, go to him, he WILL change your life. Many a time you may have caught yourself saying “I need to have something that God can work with.” What can you give God that he should work with ? All God needs is your trust.You are trusting in a God who made the IMPOSSIBLE into POSSIBLE.The lives of many characters in the Bible, shout this out:
    Joseph became second in command
    Esther spoke and the king actually listened
    Paul broke from his misery and rejoiced
    TWELVE loaves were left over after feeding 5000
    Lazerus was brought forth back to life.
    These are just five of the numerous incidents. God wanted these stories in the Bible so that when we read it, we believe in his power, in his ability to do great things in our lives. Instead many of us drown in the pool of our anxiety.
    Philippians 4:6:  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
    God really doesn’t leave you any option. He does NOT say “Try not be anxious” or “You could by prayer and petition…”. This is a commandment from God to NOT WORRY. Our human nature does fail us to fall into the pit of worry, but it is in those weak moments that we need to seek God’s strength to stay firm in our faith and believe that you are putting your trust in the SAME God that worked in the lives of all the people mentioned in the Bible. In the end, look back at your life. Has God ever let go of your hand? Hasn’t he always given you what you needed?Your past is proof that God will continue to be by your side, listening to your every prayer, working in ways you cannot see and in his time giving you what you need.

    Nemo Noone

    Organized Crime

    By Nemo Noone, in The Reading Room,


    It is just past seven in the morning. The phone rang as the desk sergeant arranges the documents
    “34th Precinct” the desk sergeant announces.
    “They took my carts!. They took my carts?” the disbelief is obvious in the male voice in the headpiece
    “Hold on, what carts?” the sergeant asks
    “My mall trolleys. They took them”
    “Who took them?”
    “I don't know. Some homeless people. They took my carts”
    “Who am I speaking too?” The sergeant inquires.
    “Patrick I am a superintendent from the Build-It Mega store”
    “Please give me your contact number” the sergeant t is very methodical
    “555-5567” Patrick replied “They took my carts”
    “OK Patrick How many did they take?”
    “A lot. At least forty”
    “Forty!!” The sergeant was flabbergasted. One or two or maybe five, but forty!. This is serious.
    “OK Patrick I will get someone on it right away. We will get to the bottom of this asap” This sergeant was definitely old school. When something is amiss call the police.
    “Thanks a lot but you must hurry before they get away” Patrick is very concerned
    “Will keep you posted. In the meantime please wait for the patrol They will be there soon”
    “Goodbye Patrick” Now the sergeant is patiently patronizing
    “Goodbye” The voice was very hesitant.
    The sergeant cuts the connection and reaches for the microphone on his desk
    “Unit 43 where are you?”
    “Corner of Hubbard and Schwartz” the reply comes booming over
    “How's Mo's coffee” the sergeant asks
    The silence is chainsaw thick.
    “Ah sucks, Sarge we just arrived”
    “Yea Yea. Get your butts over to Build-It asap There has been a crime committed”
    “What a real crime?”
    “Don't wisecrack Your are still rookies but I am confident you can handle such a major incident”
    The sergeant smiles at himself
    These new out-of-the-box rookies need to be sternly guided. They must learn not to be coffee shop lizards
    The police vehicle pulls into the partly filled parking lot at Build-It
    It is still very early and the mall has just opened.
    Inside the two uniformed men is so conspicuous that a figure targets them immediately
    “Come let me show you. Come quick” the concerned Patrick motions them to follow him
    He takes them to the space where the trolleys are stored
    “Here's where it happened”
    The two cops are stunned. Where is the crime? There is just trolleys here. Is this a joke.
    They look at each other.???
    “Sir what happened here?” The blonde cop asks
    “They took my trolleys. Just took them.” Patrick respond
    “Trolleys???” The cops are confused as if they expected something more
    “Yes, you have to find them before my boss finds out”
    The two look at each other. The sergeant got them on trolley theft!!!
    “No worries, mate” says the non-blond cop with a fake Australian accent and an air of bravado
    After taking Patrick's particulars and statement, the two officers drive down the streets keeping a lookout for stray carts as they continue their patrol.
    “Mike, you know the sarge has a funny humor. He makes us think this is a big case but in reality it is a minor disturbance.”
    “Hey, Pete, check this out!” Mike exclaims.
    They are standing at an intersection, waiting for the traffic light to give them right of way.
    On the far side of the street one homeless person is exchanging a loaded trolley for an empty one from another homeless person. It was innocent enough except that on both trolleys there is a sign that read:
    ' Build-It - - You friend in construction'.
    “That trolley is full of wine bottles” Pete exclaims.
    “Looks like we are witnessing something more than trolley theft” Mike says
    “Yea, may be they are robbing a liquor store” Pete observes
    “Let's check out where they are taking it” Mike puts the vehicle in motion and turns the corner in the direction the full trolley is going.
    “Man look at that man move!” Mike exclaims
    “There is another one coming” says Pete
    To their amazement the two cart pushing individuals meet and exchange trolleys. Each turning around and going back the way they came with different trolleys. Dumbfounded Pete and Mike follow the full trolley. They witness the same ritual every city block or so. They have never seen homeless people work so hard, ever.
    “Looks like we have an Olympic relay team here” Pete grins.
    “Yea but it will not be funny if that wine is stolen” Mike frowns
    They negotiate the corner following where the full trolley go
    Some buildings further down street, the trolley enters what looks like a recycling site
    They stop at the entrance and enter the yard on foot.
    What they behold is a huge pile of empty wine bottles. On their left there is a scale with a full trolley and two persons checking what seem the weight. A row of trolleys waits to be weighed.
    On their right there is an elderly lady with a table and as the empty trolleys come by she puts a plastic bottle of water and what looks like a sandwich in each.
    The two officers go up to the scale where the trolleys are weighed. The bottles are really empty, pity.
    “Who is in charge here? Pete asks
    “Oh he is at the other end” comes the reply from one of the young men taking the readings.
    “Haven’t I seen you before?” Mike asks
    “Maybe, I am Billy from the shelter down at West Street”
    “So what up Billy? Mike is intrigued
    “Well we are selling this load of bottles that we acquired in aid of the shelter. And at a very agreeable price too” Billy adds
    “And you say the guy in charge is at the other end”
    “Yea it's only down Main street. You can't miss it. Just follow the line”
    “We will do just that, thanks” and with that the two officers got back in their patrol vehicle.
    “I am sure something is a miss. Let's get the store guy so he can identify the goods before we arrest the lot” Pete says
    As they followed the long line of moving trolleys they realize that it these guys are really in a hurry moving to and from between the destinations
    After collecting Patrick at the store they arrive at the dispatching end of the queue
    There another sight of activity greets their eyes. Patrick is dazed
    He watches as the carts roll by at relatively high speed.
    In and out, in and out they go in a continuous stream
    They get out of the vehicle and walk up to a solitary gentleman standing a little distance away.
    “Mister Govender, what are you doing here?” Patrick recognizes one of the biggest if not the biggest customer of Build-It.
    “Hi, Patrick. You can ask that again. Isn't this something?” Mr Govender responds
    “What do you mean, Sir” Pete asks
    “A couple of days ago I was standing here looking over the site for the new development project. When that old man over there asked me how much I am willing to pay to have that mountain of bottles removed. I looked at him and asked how long he would take. In a day he responded. I thought: man you must be loco. Two of my trucks and a front end loader would take half a day to get on and off site and half a day to move it. How is he going to do it in a day with that cart of his.
    I did not expect this. It is now 11: 15 and the heap is more than half gone.
    So the joke is actually on me. I guess I will have to pay him the five grand I offered” Mr Govender continues “And they get paid on the other side for the bottles. That is what I call an entrepreneur with a Capital E. He gets paid twice. I can appreciate that” Mr Govender is clearly admiring the setup.
    “Well one thing is for sure they are very busy. But these carts were taken without the owners permission and that is theft. So your five grand is safe.” Mike says
    “Have you ever seen these guys work so hard for five grand. Are you really going to stop this now?” Mr Govender concerned
    “Sorry they stole the carts from Build-It and Patrick will testify to that.” Pete responds
    “You sure?”
    “We have to. The law is the law “Pete responds hesitantly
    “They stole the trolleys and most probably get them damaged in the process “Patrick is deeply concerned
    “That will add damage to property to the charge as well” Mike says “In any case we have to stop them and all this becomes evidence until the court decides what to do”
    Mr Govender responds “You mean I have to leave everything like this until the court decides. That could take weeks if not months!” He is silent for a moment then Mr Govender says: “Just give me a moment, please.”
    He walks a little distance away, dialing and speaking on his cell phone.
    He, after a rather lengthy conversation and much laughter, returns
    “This is for you” and he holds the phone towards Patrick
    “Hello” says Patrick hesitantly
    “Hello Patrick” The voice on the other side was definitely Mr Rowe the owner of Build-It. Patrick knows that voice too well
    “Hello Mr Rowe.” Patrick is all ears. He listens for a while then turns to the police officers.
    “Sir” he says to Pete “I am sorry I made a mistake. I will not lay any charge against them”
    “May I ask why?” a visibly relieved Pete asks
    “Well you see Mr Rowe the owner has agreed with Mr Govender, here, that Mr Govender may use the carts. Mr Govender will make good any damages to the carts”
    “I also challenged your boss to match me on their income from this, coin for coin. A donation to the shelter.” Mr Govender intervenes “We should not take something good away from them. They are homeless not hopeless”
    The two officers look at each other.
    “That’s that then” Pete says
    The two officers take their leave and together with Patrick proceed back to the Build-It premises.
    On the way Pete reflected:
    “This is something is it not?”
    “Yea” says Pete and continues
    “Clever man, this Mr Govender. He realized that there is possibility that the bottles will be evidence if there is a trial. That could delay the removal for at least a couple of weeks. Then he will still have to get the loader and truck to finish the job any way. That will influence his project target. So he turns the problem into an opportunity. On top of that: To prevent Mr Rowe from pressing charges, he ropes him into a challenge. Clever!!”
    Mike responds “He also take the responsibility of damages. So he keeps progress on line. At the same time he do some good in the lives of these people and the shelter ensuring some financial relief. A good man indeed”
    “Yea, maybe that is why he has such a large business. He is clever” Pete says admiringly.
    “But they still stole” Patrick squeaks
    “You still don't get it????” the two officers said in unison.
    “Mike, lets put one on the Sarge” Pete says with a grin
    “How?” Mike is puzzled
    “Watch. Unit 43 to Control. Sarge we need some backup here. There are too many culprits to arrest. Please send backup quick.”
    “Control here, What you already solved the case?”
    “Yes, Sarge but the culprits will get away. Backup can meet us at the corner of Main and West”
    “How many accused?”
    “About forty.” Pete has to be consistent
    “OK you wait there. Control out” The sergeant is quick to respond.
    A sort while later a black panel van with S.W.A.T written in big white lettering drives up next to them.
    The commander of the S.W.A.T. team leans out the window
    “Control says you guys need some help”
    “Yea “Pete, looking apprehensive, responds. Maybe he overplayed his hand.
    At the same time the van from the local radio station pulls up and the reporter approaches them.
    Pete explains the situation to the commander.
    There is a lot of bantering from inside the truck about a trolley marathon and homeless relay team etc.
    The commander seem annoyed but seeing the reporter his attitude changes
    “Since we are here how can we help?” He asks with one eye on the reporter. He wants to create a good official image in front of the press.
    Pete is expecting a really serious reprimand from this more senior officer.
    “It would help to have your men at the intersections where the carts have to cross. That way the situation would be resolved more quickly” he says lamely. He expected other traffic officers and vehicles not S.W.A.T.
    “OK men you heard the man. Let's do some good and humane for a change..” and with that the officer takes charge of the situation.
    The van drove off dropping a member at each intersection along the route.
    What a strange site. S.W.A.T. members directing traffic
    “What is happening here?” the female reporter asks
    “The commander turns to her and before Pete could answer says:
    “Well you see Miss this race is in aid of the homeless shelter and we are here to assist and make sure that everything runs smoothly”
    He then proceeds to elaborate on the event, emphasizing how his team is assisting in it.
    “I see they are using carts from Build-It Hardware. Is Build-It organizing this event?” The reporter queries
    The commander looked at Pete. Pete look at Patrick.
    Patrick is lost. He does not know what to answer
    “Oh, he is over at West Street” Patrick responds “Build-It only supplied the carts”
    The reporter turns to her crew member. They go on the air.
    “We have just arrived at the site of what seems to be a very interesting event. It seem like a relay race with a difference. What we have here is a bunch of homeless people earning some much needed income, instead of the usual begging for it. It is commendable that they have taken the initiative to fend for themselves in a positive and productive way. We have here with us representatives of the city traffic dept and the police department. We also have with us a representative of Build-It Hardware. Sir, can you please explain you involvement in this event to our listeners?”
    Patrick is somewhat confused. He recovers.
    “Well you see they needed some way to transport their goods and Build-It was willing to help. They are just homeless not hopeless” He quotes Mr Govender
    The reporter speaks into the microphone “ It seems that Build-It is not only there to make a quick buck. It also have a heart. And a kind heart that is too. We will now go to City Hall where we will interview the Mayor on this event. In the meantime folks, let us give these homeless people a break. They are homeless, not helpless thanks to Build-It Hardware. Let’s show a little kindness and let them pass”
    The reporter and her crew of one then proceeds off to City Hall
    “Now do you get it “Pete says to Patrick.
    “Life is not always for taking. One sometimes have to have mercy too. “Mike says
    “Justice should be tempered with mercy and righteousness.1” Mike interjects.
    “Amen to that “The commander is solidly hooked.
    At City Hall the reporter and her escort rushes up to the Mayors office. Just as she enters the Mayor comes through the door of his office.
    “Mr Mayor will you please explain to our listeners what your views are on the use of city resources “
    This reporter do not mince around
    The Mayor taken aback, asks in typical political stance to the media: “To what particular instance do you refer?”
    Just then some other reporters also burst on to the scene and hears the question.
    With the Mayoral election billboards all over the office the Mayor is very sensitive to bad publicity.
    He squares his shoulders and raises his chin a notch higher.
    “The trolley relay race downtown where officers of the city is being utilized at this moment, for example” the reporter is adamant the other reporters is not going to take her story.
    The mayor is silent for a moment.
    “The City council has always been to the service of the people of this city. We utilize whatever resources we have to facilitate the smooth operation of service delivery to our citizens. “
    “But using an S.W.A.T team to direct traffic? That surely is not in their job.” the reporter was tenacious
    “Law enforcement is at the heart of our policing service. Directing traffic is one of the events that every law enforcing officer encounters at some stage when performing his or her duty. Even for S.W.A.T teams. I think it is commendable that they did stoop to do a duty that is considered below their stature. It shows that they are capable in any situation.. It shows that they have character. We only employ the best quality people in service of our city. Their involvement gives visibility to effective policing. You have to excuse me now, please”
    With that the mayor retreats into his office. He was not getting into a 'miss-managing-city-resources' argument in public.
    “Find out what is this all about. Now!” he says to his secretary over the telephone
    Minutes later he has the explanation.
    'If Rowe is involved I must be careful. He wants to be Mayor. He can easily hijack this for political gain. '
    He picks up the phone dials
    “Hi Rowe I hear that you got some very effective advertising today.”
    “What do you mean” Mr Rowe recognizes the voice on the other side
    “Well it is you carts that parades up and down the streets today.”
    “Oh that, It is all Govender's doing. He hogtied me into sponsorship for the shelter as well. Nothing I can do.”
    They chatted a little longer. The mayor put the phone back. He stood pensively.
    “Mary get my car, now. They are not going to get away with this” he says to his secretary over the phone. After making a couple of calls, he leaves his office.
    The reporter now rushes over to the construction site on West street where the line began. However she only finds Mr Govender there. The site is deserted. The pile of bottles is gone..
    “What really happened here? What is the story behind the story? How did it began? “she asks
    “I am not sure “Mr Govender is still somewhat flabbergasted. He the proceeds to tell her his version.
    “Well, that's all I know, But go to the shelter maybe you can find out more there.” He ends.
    The reporter and crew drives to the shelter. There they find everybody in a festive mood.
    “Weeee did good today” A dirty haggard person with missing teeth says proudly.
    “Who is in charge here” the reporter asks
    “Oh that is Billy over there.” the answer is followed by pointing to the back of the room.
    The reporter go up to Billy.
    “I hear you guys did good today” she greets him.
    Billy notices the microphone in her hand.
    “Yea but it is not because of me.”
    “Who then? “she asks
    “I do not really know. The old man just came in and asks if we could help. He did not ask me directly but sort of put the question to all that was here at the time. The next moment nearly all volunteered. Before I realized I was involved. It is all very strange. Sort of not real. Sort of funny-ha-ha.”
    “Where is he now?” The reporter was smelling another story.
    “I don't really know. I have seen him before but I am not sure. He did return here to the shelter for his portion of the takings, though.”
    “How much was that?” The reporter asks
    “Same as everyone else.” Billy replied. He did not want to disclose anymore than necessary.
    “That was very lucky. This must seem like a miracle to you”
    “Yea, but that was not what the old man said”
    “What did he say?” The reporter is intrigued.
    “He said that there are no coincidences in life. His father provides opportunities. We must take initiative and make them work. When the reward is reaped, we must not forget his father's 10%”
    At that moment a hush fell on the crowd in the room. Billy looked at the door.
    There stood the Mayor.
    Billy and the reporter moved towards him.
    After the introductory greetings the Mayor, with his eye wandering to the reporter and back, announces:
    “Billy, it has come to my notice that you have some difficulties in service supply from the City. I am therefore, on behalf of the city declaring your debt to the council paid in full. Furthermore form now on the shelter will have exempt from fees from the council. That means free water, electricity and other services and no taxes. All this because of the good work that you are doing in providing for the our homeless with such empowering initiatives.”
    Billy and the reporter was stunned to say the least
    “That is very generous of you Mr Mayor.” Billy said softly. not believing his ears.
    “There you have it listeners., The mayor has just voided any debt that the city council had on the shelter. On top of that the city will provide free services and no taxes to the shelter. With
    Mr Rowe and Mr Govender matching today's takings coin for coin the shelter has some financial relief. This story is truly is amazing. A miracle perhaps? We still have good people in this city.
    It shows that the people of the shelter is not always as we view them They do try to fend for themselves.”
    Turning to the mayor she says:” Mr Mayor, this shows that the Council cares for all the citizens of the city. Not only have you given relief to the shelter but the city police force provided safe passage for the carts during the event. Do you not think that the men in blue showed that they are not always there to enforce the law to the letter. That they have a helping hand too?”
    The Mayor was trapped.
    “Of course they deserve to be commended showing the public the humane face of law enforcement.” he responds
    “Thank you Mr Mayor for your comments. And now my dear listeners, there is still a mystery: Who is the man that started all this? Where does he come from? And why? More importantly where is he now? Stay tuned to find out more as we try to track this individual. This is Sally May for WTCZ. Thank you for joining me on this amazing event. Back to you Darrel in the studio.”

    Agbele idowu Emmanuel

    Defining the kind of people that stays in your life is very important to your fulfilment in life..... Not everybody is needed in  your life to stay......... Many have opened their life to different kind of relationship which have brought thrm pains and sorrows......
    Building relationships takes time that people often  aren’t willing  to devote, partly because time is a limited resource for us all. Most of us have at one time or another, spent a lot of energy, time, and effort investing in relationship that show little return. I don’t neccesarily mean finacial return. I mean advancement, growth, or alignment with your vision. I would rather prefer you to waste my money than waste my time... I earnestly believe that you must quantify the time you spend in relationship that may not be destructive but may be counterproductive to what you are trying to accomplish.....
    Many years ago, i decided  to be brutal and intentional about the kind of relationships that stays in my life. The true barometer to help you evaluate the relationships to invest in must center on this significant question: How does this person fit into my destiny and purpose? Until that question can be answered  good people will leave you because they cant live in the clutter of your indecisiveness!  Priorites can require us to find new friends and associates... Be selective and determine your associations carefully. Prioritize the persons with whom you will spend time and know why they are in your life.  Sometimes youmightneed to intentionally break away from unhealthy people and relationships.
    The first thing to in deciding what stays in your life and what goes out is to determine what nourishes you and strengthens you. While it is scriptural to be a giver, many are trying to help while they are not capable pf standing strong themselves.... Making decisions that invest before you make decisions that withdraw is critical for survival, whether in finances or relationship or time management.....ultimately, we want to be sucessful so that we can make difference in the lives of others, but before you van be sucessful, you have to be survivor yourself.....
    To move from survival to success, we must begin by investing in what invest in us. Pour into relationship that pour into you... This might sound like common sense, but it is not that common.. You have got to have somebody who can feed you so you can feed someone else.... Deuteronomy 25;4  says : ‘’ Don’t muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads the grain... It simply means feed  what is feeding you.. If you are feeding those who cant feed you, its only a matter of time before that constant feeding will begind to drain you, Don’t keep feeding the same people for years and years, Be intentional about people you are connected to......
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    Njoku Vivian Chidinma

    Greatness is not measured by trophies, a great man is one who has conquered himself. No matter how expensive a cup is, no one wants to drink from it if its dirty.
    David is a canvas on which I paint,he overcame many battles, he was strong and anointed but he had a weakness for beautiful women that he slept with another's wife. Everyone has a kryptonite and I do not have an exemption card.
    Apostle Paul's kryptonite was the death of Christians but when he met grace, he did not reduce from killing 20,000 Christians to 3,000, he stopped entirely.
    Peter's kypronite was fear to stand on his own and when Jesus was away he denied him. But when he met grace at the upperroom, boldness took over and he preached in the open.
    Lord in 2018 give us the grace to rise above that kryptonite. HAPPY 2018 LOVELIES!

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