CW3: Brer Rabbit’s Giant Table

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Creative writing assignment: write an original Brer Rabbit story using colloquialism, repetition, things coming in threes, the harmless trickster Brer Rabbit who always wins, etc. This was a stretch for me, lol! Enjoy!

Brer Rabbit was off his knocker, or so his friends said. He’d created a giant table in his rabbit hole and invited a gang of rabbits and foxes to come for a party to celebrate his birthday.

“Bring yer favorite food to the table so we c’n all take a bite!” he wrote on the invitation.

Brer Fox thought the idea so strange that he almost didn’t come at all. “He thinks we can all be friends—foxes and rabbits alike?”

The sour fox knew of only one thing he wanted on his table—that rascal Brer Rabbit.

And so that Brer Fox rounded up his old fox pals and they all agreed that Brer Rabbit had no business trying to get the foxes to be vegetarians. And they most assuredly agreed that this too-friendly rabbit would make a fine feast for them all.

“We’re gonna turn the table on ‘em!” Brer Fox laughed. He meant it in more than one way, so his pals laughed, too.

So on the night of the party, Brer Rabbit sat in his old hole and greeted the guests that came in with bundles of grass and leaves to feast on. Soon each rabbit he’d invited had arrived, but not one fox had made his appearance.

The rabbits began feasting happily on the vegetation, when Brer Rabbit suddenly looked up to see Brer Fox arriving. The rabbits stopped their chatter and watched him come in with their jaws dropped wide.

Brer Fox brought out a pitcher and set it on the table.

“Welcome, Brer Fox,” Brer Rabbit said politely. “What have ya brought to share with us?”

The fox sat down in a chair. “A pitcha’ of water—and how are you, Brer Rabbit?”

Brer Rabbit ignored Brer Fox’s toothy smile. “Will ya pass me the pitcher, please?”

The rabbit guests handed the pitcher to Brer Rabbit, who poured himself a cup.

“Looks a little reddish to me, Brer Fox,” said Brer Rabbit.

Brer Fox gave a toothy smile and turned in his chair. “Oh, yer just seeing the beet juice I added for more color.”

Brer Rabbit’s eyes opened up real wide. “What’s that on your fur, Brer Fox?”

Brer Fox looked at his arms and legs and all over himself but couldn’t find a thing.

While Brer fox and his pals were puzzled as could be, Brer Rabbit set the cup aside on a fireplace and took a sip of another drink and gagged. “What did ya put in that pitcher, Brer Fox?”

Forgetting about his puzzlement, Brer Fox turned in his chair and gave a toothy smile. “Oh, yer just tasting the salt I added for more flavor.”

Brer Rabbit’s eyes began to water. “It’s stinging my eyes!” he cried.

Brer Fox whistled and his fox buddies came rushing into the rabbit hole with nets and knives in tow.

“Beat ‘em, boys!” Brer Fox shouted out to his crew.

The foxes turned that giant table over with all the good vegetation the rabbits had been feasting on. Then they tied Brer Rabbit up and scared the other rabbits straight out of that rabbit hole.

“What did ya put in that water, Brer Fox?” Brer Rabbit moaned.

Brer Fox chuckled. “Jest some poisonous root I found—you should be out in a minute or three.”

“You c’n chop me, you c’n fry me—do whatever ya like to me! Jest don’t eat or drink from my new table. After I die, my nephew inherits it, and I don’t want nothin’ spilt on it!”

Brer Fox eyed him curiously. “Don’t want us to have a little drink at yer table, eh?” Then he had his fox buddies push that giant table back up so it stood tall and proud again.

Brer Fox found a cup full of a juicy-looking drink that had outlived the fox’s raid since it was sitting away on the fireplace. Tipping it to his mouth, Brer Fox drank it and spilt it right on that giant table. One by one he made each of his old fox buddies drink from that cup and spill some of it on the table, to mock poor Brer Rabbit.

But Brer Rabbit didn’t get scared. He watched as one by one, each of the foxes dropped to the floor like wilting tulips.

Well, then that Brer Rabbit cut his ropes with one of the knives a fox had dropped and began dragging each fox out of his hole one by one. He knew the poisonous root would only put them to sleep and they’d be awake soon enough.

Brer Rabbit grinned at himself in the dead silence of his old rabbit hole. He’d switched those cups around and Brer Fox didn’t even know it this whole time.

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CW4: The Magpie and the Squirrel

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(Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash)

Another assignment in my Creative Writing class– to write a fable similar to Aesop’s fables!

Once there was a Magpie who collected shiny objects for his nest in an oak tree.

Whenever a traveler spent the night in a nearby clearing, the Magpie would swoop down and collect the treasures found in his sack. The Owl who lived in the same oak tree as the Magpie would watch the Magpie do this each time.

One day, the Owl said to the Magpie, “Every time a traveler comes this way, you steal the treasures found in his sack. Why do you do this evil thing, Magpie?”

The Magpie grew very angry and declared, “What right do you have to spy on me, Owl? My business is my own; it is no concern of yours!”

With that, the Magpie proceeded to move his nest along with his shiny treasures to another oak tree nearby.

It turned out, that in this new oak tree, a Squirrel resided in a hollow. The Squirrel was known to be very kind and honest to all.

On a moonlit night that a traveler rested in the clearing, the Magpie thought to himself, “If I can get Squirrel to help me steal from this traveler, I can get more treasure than ever before!”

So he thought up a plan to deceive the innocent Squirrel into helping him rob the traveler.

The Magpie asked the Squirrel, “Do you want to help me collect shiny objects? There is a stream in the clearing that has gold and silver flowing through it, but no one but me knows about it, because you can only see it by the light of the moon!”

Unaware that the Magpie meant to steal these shiny objects from a traveler, the Squirrel agreed. And so, the two proceeded to the clearing.

The Magpie passed the shiny objects to the squirrel, who scurried to deliver them to their oak tree and then ran back to receive more treasures from the Magpie. The Squirrel had poor eyesight, so he never saw the sleeping traveler or the sack that the Magpie was stealing from.

Meanwhile, the Owl watched from afar, and when the Squirrel returned with treasure for the third time, the Owl met him at the Magpie’s oak tree. “What are you doing, Squirrel? Why are you helping Magpie, when he is a fool, stealing from an innocent traveler?”

The Squirrel shrank back at the Owl’s words. “Stealing? I didn’t know we were stealing. The Magpie told me we were collecting them from a stream that had gold and silver flowing through it!”

“There is no such thing, Squirrel!” the Owl declared. “You may not have seen it with your poor eyesight, but I advise you to stop doing this evil deed at once, friend!”

The Squirrel agreed. “Thank you, Owl. I wouldn’t have seen what I was doing if you hadn’t told me so. I’ll forever be indebted to you for showing me the evil I was taking part in.”

“Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you.” – Proverbs 9:8

J4: His Power Made Perfect in my Shyness

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(Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash)

When you’re born an introvert, everyday conversations with people can be extremely difficult. Today I’m going to share with you what God has taught me through my struggles. 

It all started in the shaky, red-faced years of middle school. When I looked at people, I thought of what was going inside their minds. When I tried to think of what to say, my mind blanked. When I decided to talk to someone, I suddenly shrank back in fear I wouldn’t know what to say or that they wouldn’t want to talk to me. For the first time in my life, I realized like a blow to my face, that I had been born with a crippling shyness that tucked me inside a safe shell, which, unbeknownst to me, was a scarier place than outside of it.
Even today, trying to shine through the real me is a constant struggle (though to a lesser extent). If people didn’t label me as shy, maybe it would be easier for me to open myself up to them. But I don’t expect people to view me differently than what I appear to them; I can’t change how they view me, but I can change how I view me.
And, what I’ve honestly discovered, is that there’s no precise way to view yourself, because truly “being yourself” involves a total losing of yourself. A total surrender to God, a total desire for Him to take over. I will always be labeled as an introvert, but I must often remind myself that though God has created me to be more on the quiet side, my silence is not what defines me. He defines me.
Now before I meet people in social situations, I’ll often remind myself that my purpose is simply to glorify God. I’ll ask Jesus to give me strength to fulfill that purpose, rather than focusing on myself so much that I tuck back in my shell again. Time and time again, He has given me that strength.
I’m still quiet compared to most people, but that’s okay. It doesn’t really matter how many words I speak. My focus is not quantity, but quality; my focus is on loving people as Christ would love them, not trying to say as many words as I can.
But yes, that simple decision to center my heart on Jesus can be one of the most difficult decisions an introverted Christian must make in their everyday lives. I’ve failed too many times, squandering the social hour away with my petty doubts and fears. Thank God for His grace that constantly fills me up again, whispering to me to keep on going and to never give up. He has pointed me to opportunities to love people and shine His light, and I try to take them; I try to not hide away when there’s so many beautiful friendships to make and meaningful conversations to have.
And even if I can’t find the words to speak to the person in front of me, I can always cry out to Jesus with the silent language of my heart. He’s right here with me as I go through this. He knows exactly what I need to say, and He will give me the courage to say it. I’m thankful now for my introversion, because God has taught me to rely on Him through it. Without Him, I honestly don’t know how I’d survive the dreaded social life introverts must face. With Him, He is emboldening me with more and more confidence every day, strengthening me in the area of life I most feel weak.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Cor. 12:9
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2b (emphasis added)

J3: We Can’t Hide This

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What does it mean to be lights of the world? How should Jesus living inside us affect us?

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Jesus tells us that we are lights of the world, meant to shine through, penetrating the darkness of night and revealing the glory of the Father. That applies to any of us. No matter what we’ve done in the past, God wants to use us now to share a part in bringing His Kingdom down to earth. From the rulers of the world to the very least of us, God desires each one of us to ask Jesus to break open heaven’s gate and let us in.

God’s truth radically meets us right where we’re at. One day we’re dead lanterns but the next He lights us up with a single flame. We can’t hide this. The truth is too real, too crucial for a meaningful life–for an everlasting purpose and joy. So rather than hiding under a bowl, let’s place our lights on a stand for all to see, showing the world there’s a HOPE worth hoping in, a LOVE that triumphs over fear, and a TRUTH that shatters all lies.

C3: All Glory to the Father

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The assignment was to create different metaphors relating to being the salt and light of the world. Let’s think more deeply about these verses. Who are we, really?

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16
You are the bread of the world. Breads’ softness and nourishment is needed by all. People do not leave bread out to become stale, but they tie it in a bag, ready to be eaten by all. But if you leave bread out, it will become stale and be torn apart and thrown out to the birds. Tie up the bread in a bag, so it will not become stale, but will remain soft, ready for anyone to eat. In the same way, let the whole world see your good works, so people may taste the goodness of the Lord and glorify the Father in heaven.
You are the apples of the world. Apples’ sweetness is cherished by all. People do not leave apples on the trees to fall and rot, but they pick them so they can be eaten before their time is gone. But if an apple falls from a tree, it quickly rots and is no longer fit to eat. So instead, pick apples before they fall. They must allow the world to taste their sweetness before they rot, just as you must show the wonderful things God has done for you before you die so people will glorify the Father in heaven.
You are the soil of the world. Farmers need soil to plant crops for people to eat. Soil cannot be hidden. But if soil lies dormant in a box, what use is it for planting seeds? Its usefulness is gone; the farmer must lay it out in the sun for all to see in order for it to be any use. So don’t hide soil away from the sun; bring it into the light so it can nourish and grow crops. In the same way, stand in the light so the world will see your usefulness and glorify the Father in heaven.

C2: Your Song Divine

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The assignment was to write a poem with a synonym of a word in each verse. I chose “song”!

God has filled me with a song
that I will sing for all my life.
Radiant is His face to me;
my lips will sing a melody.
All the earth rejoices in His salvation;
the world makes music to praise His name.
Cry out to Him when you’re afraid;
He’ll hear your song and He will save.
Every anthem He hears, every desperate cry;
the Lord will hush with peace and life.

Christ died for us that we should live;
He brought the lyrics to our lips.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound”—
the hymn of hope, of love profound.
You shower us with mercy;
You overflow us with a melody when we lack everything.
Love You give to my weary heart;
a verse on my lips forevermore.
Open my eyes and ears to You,
so my psalm to You will never end.
Reason my anxious, aching mind,
Set me free with Your song divine.

J2: Comfort Me

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Reflections on my favorite verses in Psalm 119.

“My eyes fail, looking for your promise; I say, ‘When will you comfort me?’ Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your decrees.” Psalm 119:82-83
Some nights I feel overwhelmed with Your goodness and tender love, but there are nights of sorrow, too; nights where restlessness sets in, nipping the edges of my soul, a little at a time, slowly destroying me. I look in the dim light of this valley, but the fog covers You from my view. Where are you? Why can’t I feel Your presence soothing my soul? Just as a wineskin in the smoke will spoil, so will my heart and my flesh fail me. And yet here You are beside me; You will never fail me. Tonight, my eyes cannot see you, but I reach out for you in the darkness—comfort me, Lord, for I will never forget Your precious word.

A Whisper from God

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Have you ever heard a whisper from God? Have you ever paused to consider that the God of the Universe sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins, in order that we might have His Spirit living in us? The Eternal God gave us His own Spirit to live and breathe and work intimately within the deepest canyons of our hearts, but so many times, as Christians, we fail to see the wonder of God’s gift to us.

Unfortunately, some Christians try to put God in a box, and they don’t believe that the Holy Spirit can speak to us through anything but the Bible. (But yes, God also uses the Bible to speak to us in this present day, and that is one very powerful tool we should use to seek Him!)

Just last week, I was listening to a biblical counseling podcast about God speaking to us solely through His written Word. Basically, they believed you couldn’t find Him in the silence of a whisper, in songs, in conversations, or in nature. They believed that God couldn’t speak to us through anything but the Bible because of an absence of anything in the Bible saying He could speak in those ways.

That broke me, because a belief I had just assumed was true my whole life about how God can speak to us was in a few minutes shattered by “biblical truth.”

The whole day I felt depressed. I didn’t entirely believe what they’d said, and yet I didn’t entirely believe my previous assumptions either.

I knew what I had to do: talk to my amazingly wise Dad. He told me that the Bible does tell us other ways of hearing from God. The Holy Spirit lives inside of us, so that we can hear from God.

I was so unbelievably relieved. My Dad showed me John 14 and 16, as well as shared what else he knew the Bible said about God’s voice being active and personally involved in our lives even today. (But the Bible does tell us we must test the spirits always, to make sure they are from God.)

Now I understand more than ever: the Holy Spirit truly is our Advocate who teaches us all things! God is with us, inside us, empowering us, and speaking to us every day, through His Word, as well as His Voice.

It is not a one-way conversation with God–it’s two ways, because God is always with us.

He’s already showed me a million little times after Dad helped me–my King Jesus is right here. He knocked on my shoulder to get me to help someone, He encouraged me with friends, and He radically shifted my view from myself to the people around me.

God is so good! And He is with us today, just as much as He was with us when He lived in the flesh on this earth.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” – John 14:26 (NIV)