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Heaven Bound
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From the Editor -
Corinne Smelker
Heaven Bound
Featured Story
HeavenNew Beginnings
By Corinne Smelker

Kierra wept.

She reached out to touch Luke’s hand – non-responsive now. The doctors said he was in a coma; the brain tumor that had eaten away at his brain had stolen all functions from his little body.

Jesus, it was not meant to be this way. When Dale and I dedicated this child to you at the front of the church I didn’t think you’d take my words to heart! People tell me he’s going to a better place, and they may be right, but his place is here, with me, with us! You gave him to us to be his parents, and now you want him back? Two years is too short a time, it’s not fair!

She realized she’d prayed these words repeatedly over the last few weeks. Ever since they’d received the news of the tumor she had hoped for the best, and feared the worst. Luke never lost his happy demeanor, even when the nurses poked him with needles the breadth of his arm, and he was sick from the chemo. Kierra and Dale had been there every step of the way, holding him, touching him, reassuring him and loving him. And now this. Luke was slipping away, and there was nothing she could do to stop it.

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Letting It Shine
By Dennis van Scoy

It was a cloudy, dismal spring day, the kind of day that left you feeling damp to the bone. Tom and Betty Schlotts got into their car to leave Newark's Oak Haven cemetery, and begin the hour-long return drive to their home in Ridgeville. As they buckled their seat belts and waited momentarily for the traffic to exit the cemetery, Tom broke the silence.

"Boy…I'm glad that's over," he said sarcastically.

"Yeah..." Betty replied in agreement. "I thought those prayers were going to go on all day." She squirmed slightly in her seat as their car began to move.

"And those church people….Pl-l-l-lease." Tom shook his head. "I mean….all that singin' and hand raisin'. It's hard to imagine Uncle Andy turning out that way."

"He sure changed over the last ten years or so." Betty sighed with pity. "He used to be the life of the party, but toward the end there, all he could talk about was God and religion!" She shook her head. "He got so touchy about music he'd listen to…or movies he'd go see."

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HeavenMama, Why is That Man So Ugly?
By Helen Dowd

"Why is that man so ugly, and the mommy so pretty?" Five-year-old Nancy tugged on her mother's arm, and pointed.

"Sh! Sh!" said her mother. "You wouldn't want them to hear, would you?"

"But Mommy, he's ugly. How can that pretty lady stand to look at him?"

The mother glanced toward the couple her daughter was pointing at, quickly taking her child away. But every day during the sea cruise, they saw the couple. Whenever they did, Nancy buried her face in her mother's clothes. "Mommy, I just can't stand to look at him. He is so ugly," she would say.

One day Nancy and her mother, Maria, were on deck, enjoying the sea breeze. The beautiful woman came and stood beside them. She spoke a soft greeting, smiling down at Nancy. Smiling shyly back, while snuggling close to Maria, she blurted out. "Why are you so pretty, and your daddy is so ugly?"

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