Wednesday, January 07, 2009

No Rest for the Wicked: Eighteen

The Green Man left the bad guy in the 'phone box, before returning to the two girls. Sparrowhawk smiled, looking up at his return. The smile was worrying, rather than happy, a sort of savage relish in her expression.

"Did you kill him?" she asked, voice soft.

"You never used to like the idea." The Green Man looked sternly at her.

"Yeah, but that was before," she cooed the words, looking more worrying than before. "If I'm going to be your pal, I..."

"I'm sorry, Sparrowhawk," the Green Man shook his head. "Those days are gone. Time..."

"Like an ever rolling stream, bears all her sons away?" Sparrowhawk turned her back on him. "I know. I guess I know it better than anyone else. I just hoped that, for once, I might be able to hold onto more than just a few fleeting moments. You can't deny that there was something between us, that you cared for me..."

"I can't." The Green Man's voice was terse. "But you were dead for ten years. The world can't stop while you take a few years off, Sparrowhawk."
Sparrowhawk looked down at the ground.
"I know." She sighed deeply. "Once, I'd 've stamped my feet, done the old 'life's so unfair' routine. But I've lived too long, seen way too much. Seen way too many people die. Let's get on with this, shall we?" she spoke the last words savagely.
Ms. Madison was only too glad to see a couple of Land Rovers pull up outside the ruins of the priory. Men in cloaks and robes piled out.
"Action!" the beautiful secretary hissed urgently.
"Swell!" Sparrowhawk pulled the bullwhip from her belt.
"It ends tonight." The Green Man concurred, drawing his pistol.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Sunday Supplement: Preaching ourselves

Sir Richard Arcos writes: Returning after an unexpected absence caused by my one neurotic daughter checking herself into a nursing home, then beating up one of the staff, who was stealing from the patients, I decided to visit a local church, which has recently got a new pastor, of whom we had heard great things. Taking said daughter along, as she really shouldn't be left on her own, I visited the church last Sunday. The morning sermon was on 'preparing for the New Year', so I wondered just what to expect. The preacher, a youngish chap, got up into the pulpit after someone else had led the musical bit. I think he was called a 'Worship Leader'.
Well, when the chap got up into the pulpit, I was a little worried by the fact that he did not give out a biblical text. He began to talk about a vision that he had for 'God's plan for our greatness'. Much of the sermon seemed to be culled from motivational texts and the like. Certainly the stuff about 'good being the enemy of great' comes straight out of a business manual, rather than the Bible.

When he did get to a sort of biblical quotation it was taken from the story of Abraham. Really rather worrying, too. The application was of the 'lessons for life from the Old Testament' variety, and may be summarised as follows: '1. God had a plan to make Abraham great; God has a plan to make you great, too. 2. In order for God to bless Abraham, Abraham had to leave where he was; in order for God to bless you, you have to leave where you are.'
This last part of the message really spoke to my daughter and I. We left the church there and then, and went across to the little Baptist Church in the same village, where we caught a proper biblical sermon and were greatly blessed in hearing it.