What is an Emberok?
The answer to that question is twofold.
First, there are the works of art, the sculptures that came from the mind and the hands of Carmen Martin. Carmen’s description of their genesis:
“Emberoks came to life one evening as I was working with a ball of clay. Initially, I was inspired by the genius of J.R.R. Tolkien and his Hobbit, but I felt the need for boots and beards. There were no Hobbits to be found with boots and beards, and of course I didn't want to attempt to duplicate Tolkien's work. I had to decide what exactly my creation was. He wasn't a Hobbit, and because of his facial features and personality, he wasn't a dwarf either.
One night, while I watched embers float above a campfire, I came up with the notion that he should be called an Emberok. Rock-born-of-fire captured their growth from malleable clay to an enduring, kind and true character.
As I shaped the Emberoks, I was intrigued by the emergence of their personalities from the clay. I decided to incorporate crystals into their story. They treasure these stones for the exotic beauty of the light shining through them. Some Emberoks keep crystals in velvet-lined boxes, and they all share the treasures with their friends.
Their preferred habitat is the deepest of forests and they love a moonlit night as much as their closest companions, the owls.
I was very pleased that when my brother became acquainted with them, they also became special to him, and that he told their story.”
My version of the above as spoken in the oral traditions of the Emberoks:
In the beginning, after the fall of human, another lump of clay began to take shape. Skilled hands molded that soft rock into a caped figure awaiting the fire that would harden it into rock. EmGen 1:1
My sister had done a number of clay sculptures of these creatures who so cherished crystals. On July 4, 1984, at an Independence Day Festival where she was selling her art work, I told her she needed a book like Gnomes, which was popular at the time, and told her I would write her a children's picture book about her sculptures. This is where the seed was sown for the novel, Emberoks.
Several years later I made good on my promise and sat down in my attic with the newest in technology, a word processor, better known as a glorified typewriter with a memory, and started to crank out the text for a 25 page children’s picture book. In that attic I discovered a story. It was not planned or intended, but swept me along for over 200 pages. I simply joined the quest and got to know the characters as the story progressed.
Here is what I know of Emberoks.
They are the Earth Wards, the keepers of nature until man is made right and takes up his stewardship and serving dominion of the True One’s natural creation. They interact with humans only in the rarest and the most dire of circumstances. They are nocturnal. Their eyes glow reflecting any external light source, but just as often seem to shine from some internal source of light.
They can communicate with and control the animals under their charge, but never dominate them and so are loved, respected, trusted and readily obeyed by those creatures. Owls have a special place in the hearts of Emberoks as companions, sentries, messengers and even as winged steeds for some of the smaller Emberoks.
Emberoks vary in size. Some are small enough to ride larger owls. Others can be as large as the largest man. They all have capes which can serve a variety of purposes. Mainly they are used for cover providing a place of hidden repose during daylight hours. When they cover they appear simply as a rock or a small boulder.
Finally, Emberoks have developed a technology using crystals that seems like magic to us. They use condensing water molecules and crystalline seeds, actually components in their skin, to produce numerous temporary crystals which they store overnight in various places. For the traveler, the crystals are carried in the linings of their capes. The crystals have numerous practical uses such as light sources, aids in healing, weapons, just to name a few. But their beauty is their main source of value for Emberoks. According to their law they must restore the water before sunrise each day and so give up their most cherished crystals daily. We see the outcome of this in the early morning dew.
Emberoks serve the True One faithfully, awaiting the Day when He rises in the hearts of all men. For they will then be allowed to walk in that Day light with humans.
It is likely that many of the stories of elves and fairies, of hobbits and dwarves, of angels and nephilim may have some root in a human interaction with Emberoks.
Emberoks was simply a family story. There were a couple of submissons and rejections for publication, but not much of a concerted effort. Finally about six years ago my older children decided to help me self-publish Emberoks.
And finally, we now have a hard back copy. For anyone interested, you can buy Emberoks at a 40% discount at Lulu.com. through Cyber Monday.
Storm clouds boiled over the hills and rushed down toward her with unearthly speed. Claudia barely had time to brace herself before the dark wind swept over her with deafening thunder and blinding bolts. The sunlit meadow became a black abyss beneath her feet. Another flash cracked and parted the sea of darkness at her feet and she looked down upon a centurion as if from above. He held a blood tipped spear as rain washed his face. No. Not rain, but tears. She saw the weeping soldier from behind and over the shoulder of someone between them, someone he saw face to face, a man hanging limp upon a cross.
Wind, rain, and tears blurred her vision as the scene before her swirled and that lone cross multiplied into hundreds filling the Roman Circus before a jeering and mocking crowd possessed by vengeance and hatred. Claudia reeled as if swept by a whirlwind as the crosses remained but the location transported to the walls of Jerusalem and the jeers turned to wails of mourning. From somewhere within that lament, a voice pierced the wailing of the wind and the mourners,
“Woe, woe to Jerusalem! Woe, woe to Jerusalem! Woe, woe to Jerusalem!”
A blaze of fire snatched Claudia's attention back to the victims whose crosses had now become stakes, pitch covered torches with human fuel providing light for Caesar's garden. As victim after victim burst into flame, a new storm engulfed her dark visions with a conflagration consuming the City of Rome. As it burned, she heard the strums of a lyre and an eerie voice lamenting the destruction of Tyre. The tsunami of flame mercilessly devoured the old city, moving toward a strangely familiar temple that did not belong in Rome. As the firestorm surged over the structure she realized she was back in Jerusalem witnessing the total destruction of the Jewish Temple. In the midst of the flames she saw her husband, his face perplexed, anxious, angry. He called for a basin of water into which he plunged his hands to wash them of responsibility, guilt, shame. He tried again and again but each time his hands came up out of the water blood stained. He looked at her helplessly as an angry mob shouted,
“Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
She screamed to her husband, “No!” shaking her head violently in warning. She sat bolt upright in her bed, the morning sun flashing her awake as her dream scream became a barely audible whisper. In the courtyard below she heard the angry mob calling for crucifixion.
Rushing to avert the portents of her dream, she hastily scribbled out a note to her husband, Pilate,
Have nothing to do with that innocent man. I have suffered greatly as a result of a dream about him today.
“Antonio! Antonio!” She had been calling her servant before she had left the bed but had no time now for reprimands. “Upon your life make sure my husband gets this without delay!”
Bowing his apologies he took no time to respond, but for a nod, and sped away.
Claudia paced the hours-long, passing minutes awaiting Pilate. She knew that he would come to her as soon as the ordeal was over. Then she heard the unruly mob crying out the name Barabbas over and over. Her husband must have raised his hand for the shouting subsided and in the lull she heard his voice, and though she could not make out the words, she knew it was a question. The response was immediate,
“Let him be crucified! Let him be crucified! Let him be crucified!”
Claudia was stunned, confused. Barabbas could not have been the man in her dream. A murderer, a thief, an insurrectionist. Maybe Pilate had found a way to avert the tragedies her dream foretold. No one, Jew or Roman, would have any pity on Barabbas. It would be a victory for both Jew and Roman to be done with the man. Pilate's countenance as he entered her chambers crushed the hope that had begun to rise in her.
“Have you freed him?”
“I had him scourged,” he said through clenched teeth.
“And then you freed him? You offered them Barabbas, did you not?”
He half smiled at her perceptiveness. Had she been a man, she surely would be his equal. He knew he would not evade the full force of her scorn, when he finally confessed. “I did.”
“So the righteous man is free?”
“They chose to free Barabbas.” He still could not believe it. She flinched as if he had slapped her face.
“And the righteous man?” She could only be at peace when she heard him say the explicit words she needed to hear. He was too much the politician otherwise. “Tell me the truth.”
He looked away from her through the window toward Golgotha, the place of execution. Truth, he thought, just cannot get away from truth, but he said, “I am free of him.”
Her patience was gone. Her voice intensified without a rise in volume, each deliberately distinct word hit him like the mallet that would drive the nails through flesh of the man he had failed to save, “What did you do?”
He faced her and said, “I washed my hands of his blood before the multitude..”
“They took his blood upon themselves and their children.”
Finally, just as in the courtyard moments ago, he had been pushed to the brink and there was nothing left but the plunge, “I delivered him over to their will.”
He could not read the emotion on her face which had gone to stone, but the disgust, the horror, the shame, the fear in her voice made him shudder, “Do you realize what you have done?”
He stood in defiance of her dreams and his fate and made the angry defense, “I quelled a riot. I saved that rabble from a Roman massacre. I saved my career and,” pulling down her curtains, sweeping the golden candle sticks from her table, then turning the table over, “and your luxurious manner of living.”
His anger broke against her like surf against the rocks and with as little affect. In the same voice, though now a mix between a wail and a whisper, “You have brought destruction upon us, and upon this people and upon this city.”
A concerned young boy, crippled from birth, hobbled through the door fearful for his mother, but halted in fear at the room's disarray and and his father's face contorted by shame and anger. Claudia walked over to him, knelt, and wiped away the tears that had escaped his eyes brimming with terror. She took his hand and walked from the room leaving Pilate to the servants rushing to the commotion.
Pilate, knowing the accuracy of his wife's uncanny gift of dreams, straightened the crumpled note he had held clenched in his fist throughout their conversation and read it again with trepidation. He knew his trouble had only begun. He looked up at the bewildered servants at the door, “Well clean up this mess!” As they began he let the note drop to the floor and gave another command, “And bring me a basin, I need to wash.”
41And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,
42saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
43For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side
44and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
Inspired by the screenplay for an upcoming movie, Roar, The Jaws of the Lion, concerning the events of 62 AD to 70 AD.
What I Know
God is good/love.
Nothing will stop God.
God’s purpose is good/love.
God’s pleasure is good/love.
God’s presence is good/love.
Evil is the absence (experiential)
or the ignorance
or the forgetting of this.
Sin results from and results in evil.
Evil is “not Live,” is Dead, is Death.
Evil is temporary, it will cease eternally.
Faith is the remembering
and the relying upon the
Truth of God’s goodness/love.
results in salvation
results from rebirth, spirit birth
happens by God’s Good (Holy) Spirit
happens through encountering Jesus – God with us
leads to renewing and
leads to righteousness
The Cross -- where evil meets good and dies
where the forgetting is removed
where we see, remember, know God as He is
know God is good
know His power
know His love
know His giving to the utmost
where He convinces us through His Holy/Good Spirit
of Who and What He is
of who and what we are
of who and what He wants
for us to be.
The shed blood of Jesus
The broken body of Jesus
The Risen, Restored, Returning Body of Jesus
is our communion, our remembrance
of His love and His power
towards us and in us.
is the basis of our confidence in Him
our faith in Him
our trust in Him
This is the faith that results in righteousness,
results in pleasing God,
results in the righteousness of Jesus,
faith righteousness that will continue eternally.
To better understand the how, I would first like to explain my why.
No, I am not physically Jewish. No, I am not bound in any way by the Jewish Law. Yes, I am spiritually Jewish, Abrahamic by faith, circumcised in heart, grafted into the Vine. For me the scriptures do not in themselves have life, but, rather they point to and testify of the Life. And this is why I observe a spiritual or grace Sabbath. I am not legalistic about it. I see it as a routine blessing in my life, as are meals, sleep, fasting, exercise, work. When I do miss it, I feel a loss.
The command to remember the sabbath includes the command to work 6 days as well as the command to rest from that work. I just heard a rabbi describe how the Romans considered the Jews lazy because, in addition to all of their festivals, they took a day of rest every week (sounds like some Americans, the workaholics.)
As with waiting, rest does not mean inactivity, nor does it mean not working. Jesus, when accused of violating the Jewish sabbath said, “My Father is working until now, and so I work.” He also asked the rhetorical, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath?” and stated, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” We, also, are working still and sabbath is crucial (from “cross”) to working out what God is working in us. It is a dying to and releasing of the illusion of control, of the thought if we don't do it, it won't get done, of trusting that he is able and knows best, and, that in resting, we are trustingly entering into and looking forward to the Rest we both now have in part and will one day have in full.
So this is how those things translate practically for this Gentile, adopted Jew.
Maintaining the Jewish idea of a day beginning at sunset, I start at 6:00ish Saturday evening and go until 6:00ish Sunday evening.
I tend to listen to music that reminds me of Whose I am and who I am. I have a variety of reading material that, along with the scriptures, also directs me to remember what God has done and is doing for me.
This carries through Sunday morning worship/communion and into Sunday afternoon recreation with family and friends. It includes everything from spiritual discussion and sermon reflection to playing and watching games.
When done correctly, it is bathed in prayer. It is not perfect, that is why I practice it.
Reflection and remembering lead to to a refreshing and rejoicing rest and re-creation, a renewing of the body, mind and spirit in prayerful preparation for the week ahead.
Linking to The Giving Place
Wanting to contribute to what I consider to be a very good idea, I thought I would take a stab at this. (See the button below this post)
How I write anything at all is actually a mystery to me and that I write anything at all pretty much astounds me. So I don't know how coherent or helpful this will be.
I have always heard that writing is rewriting, something that is not in my nature in a conventional sense. My writing is pretty much what the title of my Blog says, just “Thinking Out Loud.” I am a hunt and peck typist. So, often I write with paper and pen/pencil to keep up with the flow of thoughts. Then I rewrite and rearrange as I type my masterpiece into a digital and legible form. I have many such scribbles to yet be transferred to the cyber world.
Most of my best stuff never makes it to the paper stage because I write a lot in my head before I drift off to sleep. I call it my best stuff because no one can find fault with it and I know it was perfect, but just... could... not... manage... to... get... up... to... zzzzz.
I apologize that this is not all that helpful, but I did not know what I was going to write when I sat down. I am not usually that good at completing an assignment, especially when it calls for reflection on myself. Age is not that fond of mirrors. Maybe honesty is not always the best policy? Or maybe this is just a warmup and future posts will be better.
In the final analysis, for me, the key to writing is to write, and write a lot, hit save often, and keep the circular file nearby, but use it sparingly. You can never get back what you throw away, and, if you are like me, you can never satisfactorily reconstruct what you originally wrote.
What Christians Want to Know website posted an interview today concerning Emberoks. You can find them on my Resources page. In that interview I mention that my children (and my nephews) were the sources for my human characters' names, though not necessarily their personalities.
Kristofer's sister, Elise, and his brother, Jeremy are deceived and captured by Seraph who has appeared to them as an angel of light. Kristofer's mission is to rescue them.
The real life Elise, Elise Hurd, is also on a mission and it is all about being rescued. Elise's mission is to share her real life rescue from how fundamentally she, and we, have misunderstand the True One, how we see Him as an Intruder, a Taker, a Demander, a Killjoy.
Through her blog, The Giving Place, also on my Resources page, Elise brings us home to our Father, the Giver. Through relating everyday life circumstances that any reader will connect with, she draws you into a lesson that will either make you laugh out loud or, men be warned, make you wipe away your tears.
Her blog inspires me regularly and is enough to be recommended on its own. But emulating her Best Friend, she gives even more. She is offering a free ebook on her website, Listening Prayer, in which she shares how she has learned to hear God speak to her and how the reader can also.
The first and most essential thing is to know and believe God wants to give us, above all else, Himself. But I will end there, as she does a much better job in her book.
And did I mention it is money back guaranteed. It is free, people. But, yes, you can return it if you are dissatisfied. Enjoy.
Once I thought that I thought deeply,
thought I was a philosopher, a poet, smarter than most, at least as smart as any I would meet, take any side in an argument and win, might be able to even best myself. (ages 16 to 55)
At some point in taking inventory I realized :
I can't think more than a couple of moves ahead in chess. I am easily distracted. I can't grasp relativity, string theory, expanding space, dark matter/energy, multiverses, 10 dimensional reality, or chaos theory. And, I will never understand estrogenese.
Now I think most are smarter, or at least as smart. But that no longer is a goal for me. Not because I achieved it, or did not, or could not. I just no longer consider it that important. It has ceased to be my identity.
Now I tilt toward stream of consciousness, flow, not mindless, just more immediate. (Maybe just early onset Alzheimer's)
As I have begun to read some on church history, it has occurred to me that this periodic inventory taking is probably a healthy thing applied on a larger scale as well. Paul no sooner left one ekklesia to establish another, than he had to write letters back to the first as they started to go off the rails.
Evangelicals, amongst whom I claim membership, are wrong on some issues. To think otherwise is a whole other level of blindness, the kind that results from arrogance.
What are our blind spots? What kind of letter would Paul, or Peter, or John write to us? Where are we erring, straying from the truth, failing to follow the PERSON who is TRUTH? “You search the scriptures because you think in them you have eternal life, but they testify of Me.” (Jesus)
In future posts, I will propose various thoughts for consideration.
For now I invite you to consider:
It seems to me with all our talk of GRACE and SPIRIT there is still a strong tendency towards Phariseeism/legalism, preferring WORKS and LETTER to SPIRIT and LIFE, preferring condemnation over mercy, preferring religion to relationship, preferring theology over experience, preferring “right” doctrine to word and deed Spirit led and empowered service of obeying love, preferring the scriptures to the person of Jesus, to the person of the Father.
Any comments, amplifications, refutations (if you disagree), remedies (if you agree) are invited.
Next post will be an introduction and recommendation of one of my resources.
Thoughts, Comments, Advanced Readings, and more...
Check this blog in the coming weeks to read new articles from Andrew Duncan. He will be sharing his thoughts and selections from his books, poems, and essays as well as highlighting the work and words of some of the people and organizations that have impacted his life.
Want to see some of the people and organizations he is highlighting right now? Head over to the Other Resources page and take a look!