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King Jehovah, the king of Heaven, rules the land with a loving heart and just judgment. One day, he decides to ask his people to venture over to the land known as Earth where the people are enduring plenty of modern-day...
King Jehovah, the king of Heaven, rules the land with a loving heart and just judgment. One day, he decides to ask his people to venture over to the land known as Earth where the people are enduring plenty of modern-day issues. When they get there, they find that a factory owner, Joe Bedinger, has just watched his business go up in flames; Eve is unemployed and desperately searching for somewhere to work; and Adam is stuck in his dead-end grocery store job, cleaning up after other people's messes and stocking shelves. Jehovah comes up with a plan to heal the land of earth and give these people additional resources and citizenship of his kingdom of heaven, but it's not all that easy as he finds his own subjects oppose his plan. Jehovah sends his son as an ambassador to the people. Is that enough for the people of Earth and Heaven to live in peace? Or is there a war on the horizon?
"Gabriel!" the King called out.
A strong man with short, blonde hair stepped quickly to the throne and bowed to one knee. "Yes, my Lord?"
"My kingdom is small; there are many others that I would like to see saved from despair. I seek to bring salvation to all the kingdoms of the land, but first you must go and tell them what it will take for them to survive in this kingdom. Give them this scroll; let them know that I am here for good and not evil."
"Yes, my Lord!" Gabriel bowed before his King and took his leave, walking down the stairs to the right.
"Satan! It is your turn; tell me of the Kingdom of Earth. What have you found there?"
A short man stepped out of the shadows; he had long, dark hair that covered his face, and he walked carefully with a small limp. He knelt at the throne like Gabriel, and told the King, "I have seen the kingdoms, and they will not follow your commands, sir. They are consumed by their own interests and the kings of their lands. You should keep your kingdom as it is."
"Thank you, Satan, but I will continue to seek their allegiance"
"If I may ask, my Lord, why do you care for these people so much?"
"I care for all the kingdoms; these people of Earth are very dear to me. They are to be my people, and I pray they survive long enough to find greatness."
"Your people, my Lord? Do you not have enough of us to take care of?" Satan asked. "Surely you are aware of our limited resources? We must not let them wear thin. I think it would be better to kill the earthlings off and protect what resources remain in this land."
"No, Satan; we have more than enough in the way of resources. Continue to scout out the Kingdom of Earth. I appoint you to be the Prince of Earth. Keep it safe for me until my son comes. You may have your leave."
"Yes, Lord Jehovah," said Satan as he rose to his feet and walked off to the stairs on the left. He continued to limp on his way out of the throne room.
"Now, my guards! It is time for the last great feast! Gather my people, and let us dine with fine wine and plenty of food! When next we feast, we shall have added many people to our kingdom, so we must prepare for them after today. Let us celebrate our future!"
The guards dispersed in different directions, some towards the right staircase while others made their way to the left. The stairs on the left led to the kitchen and an exit towards the homes of these men, where their wives patiently waited for their return. So it was in this kingdom; the men worked outside planting many different seeds, while the women would gather the fruits of the seeds and cook up a magnificent meal. When the meals were completed, each household was to make an extra dish for the servants of the King and bring it to the castle together. This way, there was plenty of food for any wandering strangers who might enter the Kingdom.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!! screamed his annoying alarm clock, telling him he had to get up now, or else. He whacked the snooze button again. Still thinking about the dream, Adam slowly opened his eyes and looked at the clock: 7:15 a.m., just like it always said. He rolled over to face away from his window and the sun, planted his feet on the ground, and slowly rose to stand. He wasn't excited to be getting up for work, but at least he didn't have too far to go. Just a quick 15-minute bike ride and Adam would be at the grocery store. His shift today started at 8 a.m., so he had to hurry and get ready.
He took the few steps needed to get out of his room and started walking down his plain white hallway to the kitchen, which was again a plain and boring white. He had intended to get the kitchen painted, but he never could decide on what colour, so white was the colour it remained. Adam popped some bread into the toaster and started to pack his lunch. Knowing today was an eight-hour shift, he had made his lunch the night before so that all he had to do was put it together. He grabbed the sandwich out of the fridge, opened the cupboard to the right of the stove and grabbed a couple granola bars. From underneath that cupboard, he picked up an apple from the fruit bowl on the countertop and stuffed it in his lunch box. Still needing a drink, he had to walk back up the hall to the closet where he kept his pop. Root beer was on the menu today, so he reached for the bottom shelf and yanked one out of the box. Last one: Looks like I'll need to go drink shopping tonight. Yippee?
And so it was; Adam's regular morning routine never changed. He had it perfectly timed; it was now 7:25 and time to head down the stairs to his bike. He lived on the third floor of a 15-story apartment building, paying a moderate amount for rent and rarely using the elevator. In his opinion, boarding the elevator was a waste of time and involved more people than he cared to talk to after eight hours of customers. He finally reached the ground floor; there was his bike, still locked up in the bike rack outside. The apartment complex only had one bike rack, and his was one of three hooked up there. He had always assumed the lack of bikes was because of all the people driving to work now. It didn't bother him any; he was happy riding his bike each morning. He unlocked the bike, walked it down the sidewalk so that he could get on safely, hung his lunch box over the right handlebar, and began to pedal.
As the young man pedaled his way down the street and into the distance, a young woman watched from her seventh-floor window. She was still too nervous to say hello; she barely even knew him, except for the fact that his name was Adam and he lived in her building. She had grown used to his routine now and woke up just to see him go to work. Maybe today I'll talk to him. If only I had the courage to say more than "Hi! My name is Eve!"
The young 20-year-old girl sunk back into her chair. She always got really nervous whenever she saw Adam; she wondered if maybe he could be the one. She felt a mix of fear and joy that made her body go completely numb, and she struggled to stay on her feet. He seemed like a nice guy; he said, "Hi" and opened doors for her. Maybe he liked her, too? She didn't consider herself ugly by any means; Eve had a cute face with curly brown hair. She stood about five feet, four inches tall and was of pretty average stature. She was nothing special, but she was also certainly far from ugly.
Eve pondered what excuse she could come up with to visit the store today. Eggs? Nope, I have plenty. Milk? No, no, I just got that yesterday! What about bread? Do I have any? Yupp, still the two loaves I bought last Thursday. Gahh! Maybe I can just buy some junk food and pretend I have some friends coming over Friday. Hmm, chips, then? But what kind? What if he thinks I have bad taste in my chips? He'll never like me then! Umm, cookies might work. Everyone loves chocolate chip, right? Gosh, Eve! You're overthinking everything again! Stop worrying; you'll run out of food eventually, and then you'll HAVE to go back! Ugh, but I want to see him today!! Fine, I'll just grab some veggies; at least then I won't look like a fat pig.
She stopped worrying about the grocery list she was making in her head and grabbed the TV remote. She turned it on and started flipping channels, trying to find something good on that didn't involve children's TV. Eve found a news channel; the images crossing the screen portrayed a factory that had exploded in the middle of the night. The building had a large mushroom cloud of smoke erupting into the sky as the narrator began to talk about the wreckage.
"The Lumbar Door Factory exploded last night, delivering a huge blow to its already dangerously low stocks. The explosion is said to have been caused by a technical malfunction, but company president Joe Bedinger is convinced there was some form of sabotage on the machinery. Investigators are warning people to restrict their judgement until they find the true source of the problem."
"Truly a tragic story, Julie: so very thankful nobody was hurt in the blast," began the male news anchor. "In happier news, a woman has turned 105 years young today! Mrs. Betty Smith is celebrating her birthday today with her family in Sanakar. Mrs. Smith is currently the oldest woman in the state after the death of Sally Janssen last September."
Eve turned the TV off. It was amazing to hear about the Lumbar Door Factory; she had sent her application in for consideration just last week. She was still without a job, and from the sounds of things, they wouldn't be hiring her anytime soon. Money was starting to run tight on her; any job she could get would be most appreciated. She just didn't know how much longer she could survive on her school loans from last year. They were going to be asking for the money back in the next month, so she knew that she better find something soon!
She started to feel tears welling up in her eyes again. She fought them back and went to her small bedroom. Time to get dressed, Eve! Won't be getting any jobs by sitting in front of the television all day!
Paul grabbed his keys and ran down the steps of his three-story house. He was running late again, and he didn't have any time to waste. He ran to the driver's side door and pulled on the handle, not realizing he hadn't unlocked the car yet. "Stupid car! Why do I even bother?" he yelled at his blue Mercedes Benz, which had been bought for him by his fairly wealthy and widowed mother. He hit the unlock button on his key fob and heard the locks click. Slightly embarrassed at his outburst, he sheepishly slipped into the black, leather-covered seat. He took a moment to collect himself then put the key in the ignition and started the car up. He shifted into reverse and squealed backwards out of the driveway, having a near-miss with an oncoming Ford Focus whose driver responded with a long horn blast and a showing of his longest finger.
In his rushed state, Paul didn't even bother looking at the driver as he raced off in the other direction. He wasn't too worried about stopping at stop signs in his neighbourhood. He slowed down at any precarious signs, but most of them he just drove right through. He finally reached a main street and picked up speed, going 90 through the 60 zones, weaving through the multiple cars and cutting off several of them. Driving dangerously was getting to be a routine for Paul. He constantly woke up late for school and had to rush so that Mr. Nelson wouldn't lecture him on tardiness. Paul knew he deserved the lectures, though.
Finally reaching the street where his school was, he screeched into the parking lot, hopping the curb in the process. He continued to race until he found a parking spot, just barely missing the car beside him: a red Ford Focus that looked fairly familiar after his encounter this morning. He didn't contemplate that thought for too long; instead, he opened his door wide, and it slammed into the car beside him. Not taking the time to assess the damage, he ran off through the front doors of Terra High School. Continuing on to room 115, he slipped into class right as the bell rang. He took his seat quietly while receiving a glare from Mr. Nelson. There were no words exchanged, but Paul knew he was not in the good books today.
"All right, class, today we are going to have our first lesson in trigonometry. Has anyone learned anything about this before?"
Paul was going to put up his hand; his uncle was a math teacher as well and had taught Paul last year. He thought better of it, though. He didn't think it was wise to raise his hand and risk hearing another lecture from Mr. Nelson.
"No? All right, let's start with the basics ..." Mr. Nelson drew a right triangle on the board, complete with the small square in the corner identifying the angle as 90 degrees. "Here we have a right triangle, but how do we know it's a right angle?"
Esther's hand shot up before the question had even finished. "Because of the square in the corner, sir."
"Thank you, Esther. Let's say we know the length of these two sides, and we want to know the distance between these two points here. How do you propose we calculate the length of this line?" Nobody volunteered the answer, so he continued. "This line that we want to find the length of is called the hypotenuse, and in order to find its length, we need to use Pythagorean Theorem. First, we take length A and square it, then we add B squared, which will give us C squared, or the hypotenuse squared. Finally, we take C squared and find the square root of that number. Now, let's do some practice questions and see if we can move on to the next part of the lesson."
Mr. Nelson began to write out page numbers and corresponding question numbers on the board. These questions were the homework, but he always let the students work on it in class. Usually they didn't finish the questions, but sometimes he was nice enough to give them fewer questions and less homework. Today was not one of those days; the list seemed endless as the teacher assigned nearly three pages filled with questions.
"Psst! Hey, Paul? You coming tonight?" Paul felt a nudge in his side from the eraser end of a pencil. He turned to see his friend Barney.
"Yea, man, of course! I can't wait to see the look on their faces! This is going to be the greatest prank ever!"
"Did you get the stuff last night? It won't work without those balloons."
"Yea, yea. Don't worry about it."
"Sounds like fun, boys; what are the balloons for? Or is this a secret meeting happening in my class?" came a loud voice from the front of the class. Practice time was over; Mr. Nelson was up at the front of the class again, with an equilateral triangle on the board. "Listen up, or your grades will fall below 0.500, if you catch my drift."
The two boys sat back up in their seats and continued to listen to the teacher. They could talk about the prank after class. Paul was certainly excited for this one.
The man replaced his helmet and go this bike started up again, heading right into the heart of the city in hopes of discovering the culprit behind this sabotage. Following the curves of the road, he eventually made it to Main Street and right up to the scene of the crime. Plenty of yellow police tape guarded the burning building while firefighters sprayed the fire with their hoses. News crews stood just outside the police tape barrier while filming and narrating the story of the burning building behind them. Gabriel took the sight in again. Looking over at one of the news crews, he saw a man in a black suit being interviewed. He assumed this man was the manager of the company, so he walked over and waited for the interview to be finished.
Excerpted from Kingdom by Scott M. Davis Copyright © 2012 by Scott M. Davis. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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