The Write Place- Curtis Bruce Kessler

January 28, 2010

A Short Story

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The Incredible Talented Mr. Riddle
by kess

Part 1

The Riddler has nothing on Mr. Riddle. What the Riddler can only do to Batman Mr. Riddle can do to anyone. Antagonists are usually born out of tragedy, deformity, cruelty, or character flaw. This is not the case with Mr. Riddle. He is who he is and never pretends other wise. As Popeye would say “I yam what I yam and tha’s all what I yam.” While many people wander aimlessly in life Mr. Riddle has a grandiose purpose- be purposely vague, purposely furtive, purposely unclear, and purposely obtuse.

But before you start attaching terminology to Mr. Riddle you must understand something- this ability, to speak in veiled and unclear language, is known as Riddlenomics. Obviously no one will ever find Riddlenomics on the shelf in the Public Library, or in the Hallways of Great Universities, neither will you find it on any search engine on the Wide World of the Internet, not even in Public Schools. You will find nothing, so, save yourself some stress free time looking. No, the reason you won’t discover Riddlenomics is that it is a mental assent system shrouded in dark secrecy, protected by infinitely small creatures called Riddlemites. It would thus be impossible for any one person to discover this entirely on their own accord as Riddlenomics can only be revealed to a select people through a process named Riddlenomedascious.

So, now you know why Mr. Riddle is who he is but here is another secret that you probably have already figured out. Mr. Riddle is not his real name. The world in which Mr. Riddle lives, the one in which he interacts with you, goes by another name. He despises his real name for sure but understands he must use it for the time being. This helps his cause after all. You would be alarmed to realize that you know him well and that his name is one you would instantly recognize. But the name he secretly cherishes, the name you now know as Mr. Riddle, was given to him on his graduation day by the Dean of Riddledoom University as well as being the top rated student in Riddlenomics. Make no bones about it he is a Riddledoom man through and through and has honed his talents as sharp as a Surgeon’s scalpel. He can serve up a riddle faster than you could say “Riddlenomedascious!” or he, out of pure joy of it all, speaks in such veiled and cryptic language that you would walk away feeling as if you had an itch you couldn’t scratch and an irresistible urge to pound the mud out of someone. Who else could carry out this dastardly deed other than the Incredibly Talented Mr. Riddle? The next question is this- is he sitting next to you? Have you succumbed to Riddlenomics? Are you his next victim?

Next- The Incredibly Talented Mr. Riddle meets Mr. Tru. Part 2


January 27, 2010

JAWS “Study 1”

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbkessler @ 10:41 pm
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Judgment, Authority, Wholeness, and Salvation
(Words to Build a Life On)
Matthew 7-8:34

Crocodiles can have between 3000-5000 lbs of biting force. In Matthew 7-8 we find Jesus concluding the Sermon on the Mount delivering Words that are powerful, weighty, and forceful. The bite here will either be inspirational or intolerable.

Jesus touches on a variety of important issues that pertain to judgment, authority, wholeness, and Salvation. You will find these important truths throughout the study of Matthew 7-8, so, please carefully read the passage under consideration then consider my notes and add your comments if you would like.

Study 1

1. Verses 1-5 Self-Judgment (self-examination) is a Daily Decision:

a. Jesus doesn’t say NOT to judge for we all must. Notice he says,”…with what judgment you judge…”
b. Jesus reveals a problem and sets a standard.
c. We must first judge our own hearts:

i. John C. Maxwell in his outstanding book “Winning with People” would call this the “Mirror Principle”.
ii. He states the principle this way, “The first person we must examine is ourselves.”
iii. Maxwell further states, “The question I must ask myself: Have I examined myself and taken responsibility for who I am?” pg10.

1. He continues by adding this, “People unaware of who they are and what they do often damage their relationships with others. The way to change that is to look in the mirror. It’s the same thing all of us must do.”pg.13.
2. I believe John C. Maxwell understands well the fundamental message Jesus teaches here.

d. The purpose behind self-judgment?

i. So we can better serve, help others, and build relationships.

1. We must use this form of daily introspection to serve & help others effectively.
2. Plank (beam) in your eye= 2 x 4
3. Speck of dust in the eye of another.

i. Some people think Jesus never used humor.
ii. Think of how completely idiotic it would be to walk around with a two-by-four protruding out of your eye while attempting to help others. I can just imagine one of the Three Stooges bumbling and stumbling poking people while causing great havoc. It would be comic as well as ridiculous for sure but the thing is Jesus says we’ve all tried it! It would all be funny if not for the implications.

e. This behavior shows an unwillingness to confess and deal with our own sin problems thus we become blinded and so become unable to see clearly how to help others. In this state we are ineffective or at best weakened.
f. Truth is we use different standards of judgment on others but one standard for us.
g. We are more tolerant of our sins than the sins of others. Our sins are sometimes more clear to others than ourselves. Remember 2 Sam.2 David’s reaction to Nathan?
h. This is also about being judgmental. We tend to try to judge intent and not the behavior or fruit of the person as Jesus will later show.

3. Be careful the kind of judgment you administer.

a.. Rabbis- two measures. One was justice and the other mercy. Which one would you want?

4. Judgment begins within. Look carefully into the mirror every day and answer this question,

“Have I examined myself and taken responsibility for who I am?”

a. Be honest. Jesus is helping us remove any obstacles that will hinder our ability to judge fairly, clearly, and properly.

4. Too much is at stake so why continue to judge in any other way other than what Jesus instructs here?

January 24, 2010

God Lives Under the Bed

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbkessler @ 1:37 am

I was studying this evening on the important topic of confessing/confession and in so doing received and gleaned a beautiful truth- that part of this fundamental principle is the idea of praising and celebrating our awesome God. Oh how we sometimes forget the simple truths of God! Here is a true story that brings this home:


I envy Kevin. My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least that’s what I heard him say one night.

He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, ‘Are you there, God?’ he said. ‘Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed…’

I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin’s unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.

He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he’s 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult.

He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.

I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life?

Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.

The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.

He does not seem dissatisfied.

He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work.

He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day’s laundry chores..

And Saturdays-oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That’s the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. ‘That one’s goin’ to Chi-car-go! ‘ Kevin shouts as he claps his hands.

His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.

And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips.

He doesn’t know what it means to be discontent.

His life is simple.

He will never know the entanglements of wealth of power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.

His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it.

He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax.

He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others His heart is pure.

He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue.

Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.

Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God – to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an ‘educated’ person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.

In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.

It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions

It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap . I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances – they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God’s care

Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God.

And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I’ll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.

Kevin won’t be surprised at all!

January 13, 2010

The Evangelism Test

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbkessler @ 1:27 pm

Sometimes we are hesitant to consider doing any kind of evangelistic work for fear we will either say the wrong thing, offend someone, or just appear ignorant. I believe a lot of that has to do with our lack of confidence but also not knowing where we “fit” or what “gifts/talents” we may have to be a success in God’s Kingdom. The good news is that everyone has a least one gift/talent. What is yours? Here is a simple test for you to take to perhaps get you on the right track in the the crucial area of evangelism. Also, look in the area to the right of my blog page under Blogroll and you will find the first study to The Pathway to Righteousness. This is the first in three that walks simply through the Bible down God’s intended pathway to righteousness in His Son. Look it over and use it or adapt it to your situation.

God Bless,

Evangelism Test

January 12, 2010

The Stranger by kess

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbkessler @ 11:57 pm

A stranger arrived and posed a “question”.

Before this “unparalleled event” the people of the Land

Lived and played, daily pursuing, and fulfilling their “desires”.

But presently the people were “shaken” by this stranger’s “question” as it was both “appealing” and “unsettling”.

Many thought the stranger’s “question” was “rude” and “unwanted” some even thought it was “alarming”.

But all agreed that the stranger, even though well-spoken and kind, was unquestionably “challenging” their “way of life”.

Thus many became “upset and frightened” but others, well, began to give him audience listening closely to his every “Word”.

Urgently, top officials quickly moved to “forbid” the stranger from meddling with “the simple folk”.

“Who does he think he is coming in here like this?”

“How dare him!”

“He must be silenced!”

The leaders were “intimidated and furious” that this one stranger could so easily and quickly evoke such “passion” and “havoc” among their people.

With “evil intent and cruelty” they took hold of the stranger to “remove” him and “forever ban” his question.

So, in “furious” rage they “bound” him hand and foot with “chains” laughing as they “inflicted” much “pain”.

Ever so quickly they threw him into the darkest “dungeon” to forever “close the door” on his “probing” and “unsettling” question.

Sadly, in time more people than not began to go back to their “way of life”.

The “question” posed by the stranger was soon a “thing of the past”.

But for others, as they lay awake at nights, the stranger and his question was “irresistible”, “powerful”, and “soul-stirring”.

So much so that it “resonated” and “changed their hearts and minds” forever.

In the dark dungeon chained and bound, bruised, and despised the stranger smiles knowingly and whispers,

“Do YOU love ME?”

January 1, 2010

What will YOU DO for the Lord in the First Month of 2010?

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbkessler @ 7:52 pm

Happy new year!

What an amazing 2009 we had. Just reflect on the many events that have come our way this past year. The first African American elected President, economic upheaval, severe rains, and a White Christmas to end it all.

Here is a picture from our backyard taken this morning. It is still a cold 32 and snow is still on the ground.

In addition to all this from a Spiritual perspective the Lord’s hand was moving on my wife and I, shaping us in ways that in 2008 I would have never imagined. I give the Lord praise for all He did for us and in us in 2009! Our hearts are open to His will in 2010 and look forward for additional spiritual growth and shaping. How about you?

During the beginning of the New Year we are often times asked to be reflective and to make New Years resolutions. There is nothing wrong with that;however, I would like to ask you to do something a little different and ask this instead,”What will YOU DO for the Lord in the First Month of 2010?” Listen to this:

“1 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done. 3 In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the LORD and repaired them.” 2 Chron.29:1-3

Hezekiah had something in mind in the first month of the New Year. What do we have in mind?

All of us can think of something specific, something we haven’t been consistent with or something we haven’t been willing to do, things we just pushed back and simply didn’t follow through with in 2009. Stick with whatever choice you make for the whole month of January 2010, then, either recommit in February or do something different for the next month. Don’t over do it but do at least one thing. Go month to month for the whole year of 2010 and I believe God will bless us in ways we haven’t enjoyed in a long, long time!

Here is an outline to accomplish your new mission.

Year 2010 My Goal for the Month How Often? Was it Accomplished?

May God bless you in this effort and in the New Year.

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