Thursday, May 26, 2005

How the Bible Marker Club Began - Star date 2033

We’ve opted this month to introduce an adventure story which our family has been working on. The goal is to raise the issue: why do we need to study the Bible thoroughly?

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The Bible Marker Club: Beginnings

Copyright 2005

Support and More, LLC

Star date: 2033.1.24

After the time the time of reconstitution, the old-fashioned region formally known as U.S.A. was transitioned to the region of EverLand. The states were changed to districts. This is the story of how a group of kids discovered a banned book and the Bible Marker Club was born.

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“Jimbo! Mom says we gotta get back home before dark or Daddy will be worried about us!” Squeaky was shouting up the winding attic staircase, the last place she’d seen Jimbo.

“O.K., tell her I’m coming. I just know Grandpa left us something up here and I’m gonna find it!” yelled Jimbo.

Squeaky climbed the stairs slowly and lowered her voice, “What makes you think Grandpa left us something ? We haven’t been allowed to see him since we were little.”

“Don’t you remember the last time we saw him? He said that if anything ever happened to him there would be something we needed waiting for us at his house.” Jimbo was talking quietly too. It was as if they both knew mom wouldn’t approve of this kind of talk about Grandpa.

The two of them began opening old boxes and bags of junk. After awhile they could hear mom calling from downstairs. Her voice didn’t sound very happy.

“We better give it up and try to come back some other time” whispered Jimbo. As they tiptoed their way to the little attic doorway, Squeaky tripped her feet up on a loose board.

“Jimbo, let’s go. I almost fell through the ceiling and mom’s already mad.”

“Wait a minute! There’s something under this floor.” Jimbo pried the boards loose carefully until the corner of a well sealed box began to show.

“Hey look! It says, “For Squeaky & Jimbo from Grandpa” he yelled as he pulled the box out from under the flooring. “I knew Grandpa never forgot us, no matter what our prompters say!”

Mom’s loud voice at the bottom of the stairs jolted them back to reality. “What are you kids doing up there? For the last time, it’s time to go!”

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As their hover-van floated down the airspace, mom snapped occasional words over her shoulder. “What’s in the box? Didn’t I tell you we don’t have room for any more junk?”

“There was a note on it from grandpa. He left it for US!” Squeaky chirped.

“Well, your father may not be very happy about it considering all we’ve been through lately.” Their mother was being intentionally misleading since the children were not old enough to understand the modern laws and were better off thinking that their grandfather had a heart attack.

“You’d better open that box now, before we get home.” She scolded.

“Wow, look at this! It’s an old-fashioned prompter!” Jimbo whooped, as he tore open the box.

“They called those ‘laptops’ when I was a little girl.” Mom offered the information in a condescending tone, “They aren’t powerful enough for anything much nowadays. Just to be sure, we’d better let Daddy take a look at it when we get home.”

When they arrived, Jimbo went straight to his bedroom and turned on Grandpa’s gadget.

The screen immediately lit up with a message.

“Kiddos, congratulations on finding my gift. I have worked on setting this machine up for you for many years. Since I can’t be sure who might get their hands on my project I have built in a password protected area so that the machine looks like a normal computer until you log into what I call the ‘Reticulator.’”

“Reticulator is a fancy name for the part of the brain which helps you to concentrate on something. It relates everything you see to the subject you are thinking about until you have all the answers you need on that topic.”

“The following password hint will disappear, along with this greeting after you answer the following question: what was the name of the dog I had around the farm when you were little kids?”

“Type in the dog’s name and I will be praying that God will guide you into all truth as you experiment with the Reticulator. I have missed you terribly but have total trust that God will take care of you and bring you to Himself. I love you with all my heart and remember that the Lord Jesus Christ showed His love for you by His death on the cross.”

Jimbo quickly typed “Leroy” into the password slot and the screen went blank. A voice which sounded like it was inside the laptop said; “Please use the headset supplied to insure privacy. Welcome to the Reticulator! The Reticulator responds to voice or keyboard. Please enter or speak your name.”

“Where is my Grandpa?” Jimbo quickly typed on the tiny keyboard.

“The Reticulator responds to voice or keyboard. Please enter or speak your name.”

Jimbo glanced at his bedroom doorway and tested the machine. “Leroy,” he said.

“Unrecognized login. The Reticulator responds to voice or keyboard. Please enter or speak your name.”

“Jimbo.”

“Login verified. How can I help you Jimbo?”

“Where is my Grandpa?”

“The Reticulator was programmed by James L. Means for the use and protection of his grandchildren, Squeaky and Jimbo Means. Granpa means is at an undisclosed location. He is counting on your prayers for his safety and he is praying that you will discover the truth of the Bible hidden inside the case of this device. Please shutdown the Reticulator and remove the Bible quickly before the machine becomes overheated.”

The machine was quickly shutdown and a pocket-knife was used to remove the screws on the bottom. Tucked on top of the hard drive was a slim book with the words “Holy Bible” on the front cover.

After restarting the machine, Jimbo logged in and persisted with his question, “Where is my Grandpa?” After receiving the same answer several times in a row, Jimbo decided the Reticulator did not have the artificial intelligence abilities which his prompter at school had. He was just about to ask, “Who is the Lord Jesus Christ? and What is a Holy Bible?” when Squeaky bounced into the room with a loud, “Whatcha’ doing?” and a sandwich in her hand.

“Ssshhh!!! This isn’t just an old-fashioned school-prompter we have here, Grandpa set up this thing especially for me and you and it sounds like he is in trouble somewhere.”

Squeaky looked at the screen and scrolled the pages back and forth for awhile. “Hmmm, have you tried talking to it?” she whispered.

“No, I’m afraid to get mom in here. She has always said that Grandpa was a little kooky and she will take it away if she finds out what it’s for.” Jimbo looked at the door again. “Close the door and we’ll try the voice-activation.”

As soon as the coast was clear, Jimbo quietly spoke into the headset, “I want to know where my Grandpa is.”

“At the time of the last Reticulator update, James Means was aware that those who do not love the Lord Jesus Christ were searching for him. If you are reading this he is either with the Lord or in government custody at this time. The best thing you can do is to pray for him and to make sure you find everything God has for you in His Word.”

The words seemed cold and dry but Jimbo had used school-prompters enough to know that they were only designed to give the answers that were programmed into them. That meant that these words were not an educated guess of modern computer logic but an actual message from his grandfather to him and Squeaky.

“What’s all the God stuff about? Squeaky’s voice brought Jimbo out of these deep thoughts.

“Umm… I don’t know. I was just about to ask when you came in. I’m thinking Grandpa really must’ve put some thought into programming this thing for us and there must be some message he’s trying to get to us. The first thing we’ve got to know is what to do if mom and dad find out about this.”

He typed hurriedly, “Mom and Dad taught us that Grandpa had some strange ideas. How can we use this machine if they find out what it’s for?”

The screen slowly typed, “Press F12 to switch to normal mode from Reticulator mode. Press F12 to return.”

“Wow!” Squeaky yelped, “Grandpa thought of everything!”

Suddenly the door burst open with a bang. “What are you two up to in here? Your mother has been calling everyone for supper. Say, what’ve you got there? An old laptop! Was this out at the old house? Better let me take a look. Grandpa had some mighty strange ideas and we don’t need you filling your heads with any nonsense.”

Mr. Means was a professional software engineer and his hands flew over the keyboard.

Start>Run>RegEdit>Find>religion

Find>Jesus

Find>sin

Start>Run>Command

C:\>grep *.god

C:\>grep *.jesus

C:\>exit

“I guess it’s just an old Windows system. Won’t do much. All it has is the barebones tools on it. It’s a harmless toy for you guys to play with. Just let me know if you find anything weird on here, O.K.? Now let’s go eat!”

Jimbo breathed a sigh of relief that he had been able to press the panic button just in time.

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In order to rest our reader's eyes, the story has been serialized into separate blog postings.

Select the next chapter from the main blog menu.
This adventure story is in the process of publication. Your comments are solicited.

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