Battling Laodecia

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The Wide Road: Battling Laodecia

As a new author, I got my first big taste of criticism and boy was that a slap in the face! Now, I expect unbelievers to hate my book, but Christians? Yes, Kim Balogh, even some Christians!

The Lord commissioned me to write the story and so I did. Not claiming to be the greatest writer going, and in fact with a handy cap of being dyslexic, I started to work. It took many years to complete due to many different factors, but I never gave up on what the Lord asked me to do. There were other challenges to face as well; being a first time writer and writing on controversial topics. Who would ever publish it?

In a time when Laodicea reigns on her throne of apathy, my book comes out! She does not like it! Should I be surprised? No! But I was! Yes, I did not consider that Laodicea ruthlessly will rise up her minions to try and crush any one that would try to expose her. Ah, Laodicea, I should have known.

You see, I have encountered her before; when I tried to start evangelism outreaches in churches and her minions would tell me, “That is just not our vision,” and when I brought in the poor and needy to eat at our church diner. (We had so much food and were blessed beyond words that I knew we could spare a few crumbs for the homeless and hungry.) Laodicea, however, sent her minions to shut me down! “How dare you try to make our church into a soup kitchen? We are not a homeless shelter!”

When will I ever learn, that Laodicea will never give up, trying to go for my throat! God is good however, because he always has a way of making the burden light. When I found out that I am not the only one Laodicea, the dark lord, and the do-gooders society, try to destroy with their evil power, I was honored.

Don’t you know Kim that you are in good company? These hounds from hell go after anyone with a message revealing Laodicea and her dark lord’s evil schemes! People like Frank Peretti! Yes, it seems some people don’t like his book either, and a lot more authors as well, who expose the darkness!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/637979.This_Present_Darkness?ref=ru_lihp_nsup_cr_3_mclk-nup5021221190

So, I will not be discouraged, and keep on writing and Laodicea can cry all she wants! If you want to find out more about Laodicea, the dark lord, and the do-gooders society, you can get my book!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Wide-Road-Kim-Balogh/dp/1502881799

I pray that you also will rise up against Laodicea and her minions! Don’t stop speaking the truth or writing the truth for the Good Shepherd is with you, leading you and providing for all your needs!

Sincerely, Kim Balogh

Kim Balogh’s Book, The Wide Road, UPDATE

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Kim Balogh‘s Book,The Wide Road, UPDATE, in regards to my last post concerning Kailey Bradley booksformks.

Kailey Bradley booksformks has now rectified her mistakes by putting the cover of my book on Goodreads, which I did not however, give her permission to do. Also, she has re-written her caption of my book which I also did not give her permission to do, (She was to write her opinion on her web blog exclusively and for her audience, not the WWW.)

However, she still maintains her negative attitude about my book, which is being circulated on the net. (Appreciate prayers)
My book is being professionally edited for any over looked spelling and grammar errors. So I do apologize if you found a spelling mistake in my story, if you bought the book. However, I am sure that most people would over look a flaw in order to receive the spiritual food given throughout the story.

Kailey Bradley booksformks, obviously has made a judgment call without all the information, probably because she has not read the book. (read 20 pages)  If she had then maybe, and I say again maybe, she would have understood that the book is a metaphor, uses prose, and expressive words for the purpose of making it a satire, in order to show the silly mind sets of the lost.

My book is also filled with humor and parables showing the ideologies of this world. Maybe if she had read the book, she would have understanding of why I have used what she calls “the use of verbose and redundant words.”

I will be examining carefully both chapter one and two of my story in upcoming blogs so please stay tuned. I will be looking at such “verbose and redundant words” like carnal nature, moral conscience, the deceitfulness of sin, pursue with rigorous fervor, worldly endeavors, land of Self-seeking, out of nowhere sprung up from the cracks of the hard cold ground, vines, which began ever so craftily to wind themselves about the traveler of the wide road’s feet, free from the ensnarement of the cares of this life, this deceptive valley, etc.

My personal opinion, and again I say my personal opinion, is that if some of the “avid readers” of today are used to reading the very short, non expressive, quick reads in print, that do not feed your soul, then my story probably will not be liked by them.

After all, not many people, even those calling themselves Christians, want to take a good look at their heart condition. However, I wrote this story with its “verbose and redundant words,” to show people what is in the unregenerate heart!

If you really don’t want to get convicted and shown the absolute horrific, sin stained, godless, idolatrous, hardened, stone like, perverted, state of the human heart, without Jesus Christ, well, it’s really best that you just close your eyes, go back to sleep, and whatever you do;  DO NOT buy Kim Balogh’s book, The Wide Road!

Kailey Bradley booksformks Self Professed Critic Exposed.

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I am not one to get upset over people’s opinion, after all as an apologist this happens to me all the time and in particular from non believers. However, when one is attacked by a person calling themselves a Christian, and it is done deliberately, then I have a problem with that. So, I have decided to bring a rebuttal to Kailey Bradley booksformks, the self professed Critic.

She has decided to trash my book, well fair enough,that is her right, to have an opinion BUT is it her right as a Christian to deliberately post my book on a book site (Goodreads) without my permission and without the proper cover and with false information? I don’t think so!

Since Kailey Bradley booksformks the self professed Critic, calls herself a Christian, therefore I will follow Biblical protocol in dealing with the matter. I did email her privately and got no response. So I decided I would forget about it and let the Lord deal with it BUT it seems that Kailey Bradley booksformks, the self professed Critic, went even further, she blasted my book deliberately on a book site and went out of her way to do this. Therefore, I feel that this is a vindictive action and probably demonically inspired.

If the person will not hear you in private then one must go public, to the church, which I am doing. I am posting my side to the church, publically. It grieves me to have to do this but what choice do I have? Who knows what evil she will conspire next? Satan is a devious devil and will stoop to nothing to see that the word gets stomped on.

As a dyslexic writer I find editing difficult, and paying for an editor too costly for me, I made Kailey Bradley booksformks, aware of this. I told her that if there was a spelling error then she should have emailed me and I would have fixed it, since it is a print on demand book.  She did not do this! After reading 20 pages she felt qualified to give an opinion that was very negative. Fair enough, BUT she based her opinion on false information. Now, that is partly my fault, as the back of my book does not give a summary of the story. I have rectified this and the new cover will be out soon.

First of all my book is NOT a Pilgrim’s Progress book! It is about an unsaved man, not a Christian, at least not until the end of the story. The redundant exaggerated words are done on purpose and have symbolic meaning; after all it is a metaphoric satire.  I wanted to set this straight. The book is quite convicting in many respects and may be too hot for Laodicea to handle, therein may be the problem.

If you base your opinion on another person’s opinion, according to scriptures, this is not very wise. I do hope that you will read my book and let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart! So, what about Kailey Bradley booksformks the self professed Critic? I have her on my Face book prayer group which consists of 24,000 people. We are praying for her salvation because nobody who has the love of Jesus in their heart would be so deliberately cruel.

Just so you know, I have a good review from a man who is a Christian author of allegories, you can find it on my face book author page. (Kim Balogh) Also my book is being translated into an Indian dialect and given for free to people in India. Below is the summary of my book which will be put on the back cover soon!

Blessings in Jesus!

Kim Balogh

I have used apologetics, in allegory form within this story to reveal the mind sets of men and how they need Jesus! This book is a satire which uses humor, irony, and exaggeration to expose the mindsets of the unbeliever.

Learn how the devil uses people to try and stop the knowledge of the gospel truth from going forth and how the Good Shepherd seeks out his lost sheep! Travel with Joel on his journey down the wide road as he meets the gospel messengers, Wisdom and Grace who all help lead him to salvation.

Watch the power of God; defeat the fools, the proprietors of the wide road, the dragon, James Doubt-Field, and religious zealots. For more information about my book and future books, follow my page on Face Book or check out my web site!

https://www.facebook.com/kimbaloghchristianfiction

http://kimbaloghchristianathour.com/

WIDE ROAD CHAPTER 2 Crooked Paths

                                                                            Crooked Paths

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“He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.” Proverbs 10: 9

The grassy field adorned with purple clover, surrounded Joel’s raven black head as he lay upon their bed of ease and comfort. “What a delightful spot.” Joel mused in his heart as he lounged among the carefree clovers. Just as he was beginning to feel somewhat secure and without reservation in the deception he had created within his carnal mind, a loud crashing sound occurred and startled him to instant sobriety. “What the……..”

Hardly being able to blurt out his cursing, Joel watched fearfully as great bolts of thunder and lightning began to crash around him and beat vehemently upon his head. The wind which suddenly occurred, as if out of nowhere, blew with such a force that it violently picked up the traveler of the wide road from off of his feet and flung him face down into the dirt of his debauchery. Unable to stand because of the winds of adversity which beat so heavily upon him, Joel lay in despair, crushed beneath the trials of life.

After a time, Joel slowly picked himself up from off of the hard ground and reeling to and fro like a drunk man he tried once again to continue on in his journey of self-seeking. After stumbling and groping for something to hold onto through the insecurities of life, the traveler of the wide road managed to cling in desperation to a superficial branch of worldly wisdom. “I am safe at last!” he sighed with relief, “Now where shall I go from here?”

Following rebelliously the crooked path of the wayward, the traveler of the wide road walked mile after mile in stubborn determination, until he came to another field over ridden with rambling Balaam bushes. Since the road that he was traveling on led through the bushes, Joel braved his way through the field to get to the other side. Trying with a ruthless persistence to pull the traveler of the wide road into their clutches, the rambling Balaam bushes lashed out tenaciously at Joel’s flesh. Frustration and fatigue brow beat the traveler of the wide road as he continued through the briars in spite of the weakness of his wounded flesh.

Looking intensely into the affairs of this life, Joel saw through the thicket of rambling Balaam bushes a glimmering object, a rare jewel with faucets that danced brilliantly in the sun’s rays. To his amazement, Joel saw cashmere blue sapphires intertwined within the thorns of the bushes. Imbedded in the rambling Balaam bushes were also sparkling diamonds with intense light and deep burgundy rubies that lay seductively in the bed of spiky foliage.

Burning with covetous desire, the traveler of the wide road tried to put his hands into the nesting place of the worldly treasures and by trying to bring them into his bosom he was pierced by the thorny spikes with many sorrows. No matter how hard that Joel tried to reach the covetous desires of his heart, he failed miserably to bring the jewels into his possession. The traveler of the wide road soon realized that he had been striving endlessly in the thorny bed of covetous desire without any profit and after a very long time he finally gave up on that worldly pursuit which was really getting him no where anyway.

Sadly, Joel turned his face away from striving for that which has no good end and began battling fiercely with the deadly spikes of the rambling Balaam bushes. The traveler of the wide road got quite torn up and after a tremendous struggle he finally managed to get free. Great welts started to swell up from the wounds in his flesh and in bitterness of soul, Joel continued to press onward in order to reach his heart’s longing, the pleasures of this life.

Taking another crooked path led Joel to a clearing wherein lay another false tranquil habitation. With outstretched arms a deep sensual valley beckoned to the traveler of the wide road with its false peace, bidding him to come and rest his weary heart among its scenic beauty.

A lush green carpet of grass-covered the valley and springing up from that velvet blanket grew wild crocuses with scarlet tunics and smiling daisies which welcomed the traveler of the wide road with their friendly warmth and happy salutations. The air Joel breathed in this valley seemed peaceful and sweet. He then began to relax in the false security by stretching out his long legs to rest in the blindness of this present world, under a large willow tree. Putting his trust in the strength and vitality of the willow tree’s sturdy trunk the traveler of the wide road took refuge from the heat of the day at the foot of the tree whose roots went down deep into the hard dark ground.

Joel watched with his mind veiled to the truth, the many different kinds of birds that were singing their chanting melodies from high perched branches. He smelled with his heart hardened by the cares of this life, the flowers and the grass until contented with self-absorption he nodded off into a deep slumber of more fanciful dreams.

As Joel slept on in his false tranquility, he was unaware that his life was as a vapour, here today but gone tomorrow.  It was not until he was awakened by the sorrow of this world that he began to realize he had been deceived into thinking that all was well on the wide road.

Woe, woe, woe,’’ the baritone voice of the willow tree, under which Joel slept, groaned with sorrow. Startled to alertness the traveler of the wide road rubbed the sleep from his eyes and looked up in amazement. He found that the willow tree in great big sobs was crying tears which had withered the grass into a dingy looking yellow and faded the beauty of the flowers beneath.

Woe, woe, woe,” the tree moaned. “Woe, woe, woe, there is no rest for the wicked.”

The bending branches from the willow tree reached out pleadingly to the traveler of the wide road and beckoned him to turn from his wicked ways. “All day long his hand stretches out to you,” The willow tree continued to cry in earnest, “and still you will not hear.”

Joel sprang to his feet in a terrible fright and tried to run away from the voice of worldly sorrow but the willow tree held him fast. “You strive and you fight but you have not.” The willow tree moaned and cried. “You desire and you covet but there is no profit. Why oh why do you want to die traveler of the wide road?”

Striving desperately to get away from the grip of the strong-arm that held him tightly, Joel bellowed in a loud voice. “Let go of me. You can’t hold me here.”

You are doomed. Doomed, doomed, doomed!” The willow tree shook the traveler of the wide road until he almost lost consciousness. “Your judgment is sure, traveler of the wide road.”

Lying limp as a rag doll in the arms of the sobbing willow tree and in utter helplessness, Joel cried out in desperation “Some one please save me from this terrible death!”

It was at the exact moment of Joel’s self abandonment that it began to rain. Soft drops fell from the sky at first with gentleness and tender mercy landing one by one upon Joel’s dark countenance as he lay near death in the grip of the willow tree. Mercy called to him with her sweet voice. “Turn from your wicked ways and be saved!” she cried.

“Help me, for I am perishing!” the traveler of the wide road moaned with worldly sorrow.

Slowly the willow tree began to loosen its grip for Mercy always triumphs over judgment. Then it began to rain harder, in swift soft drops upon the head of the traveler of the wide road, for where sin abounded so much more did grace abound.

The drops of cool refreshing rain soon began to fall in torrents and it continued to rain and to rain over Joel’s flesh until finally out of self perseverance he jumped up and began to run away from the rain, which had tried to awaken the traveler of the wide road’s heart. Joel ran with all his might down the darkness of this present world into the dead of night.

Walking for miles Joel sought for a place to rest his weary head but he could not find any. He walked and he walked until his feet could walk no more. Down one crooked path and into another, Joel walked down the wide road, until leanness formed its way into his soul. Eventually he became so famished that a great rumbling in the pit of Joel’s stomach occurred in which no delightful fare of this present world was able to satiate.

It was then that Joel began to realize just how dangerous the wide road could be and in particular to an inexperienced traveler like himself. With cautious steps Joel moved away from the crooked path. Rather than finding a place of security he ended up in an even deadlier way; a way which seemed right in his own eyes. Walking over stumbling stones of ambitious and prideful endeavours, the traveler of the wide road eventually arrived at the village of Magniloquent which was adorned with much self-exaltation and vain glory.

Singing its own praises, Magniloquent, displayed its deeds to all who passed them by and made public spectacles to anyone who would listen. This caused a lot of hubbub on the wide road. Situated on a very high and lofty pinnacle Magniloquent could be heard from afar like sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. Joel was drawn by the noise, to venture into Magniloquent, wherein dwelt high browed folk who lived in stately manors.

These high browed folk lived at ease in the cares of this life congregating with the sycophant which drew many disciples after them. Joel soon began to hobnob in Magniloquent with the stiff-necked and to dine at their opulent tables laden with delicious dainties, strange fruit and strong wine. He engaged whole heartily in worldly conversation with the stiff upper lips and frequented the pompous gatherings of the Magniloquent, societal associations.

“We are very pleased with ourselves!” said Mrs. Do-right to Joel as he puffed out his chest, walking among the proud, in his new suit which he had purchased in a prestigious shop in the society of Magniloquent.  “Our grandiose municipality is certainly bringing a new reputation to the wide road, with our extravagant lifestyle. We do hope, traveler, that you will join our wonderful Magniloquent, society. Be sure to follow the Magniloquent, bandwagon as it moves to and fro in our social standing and you will fare very well, traveler.”

The altitude was very high in Magniloquent which made Joel’s nose pinch up tight and his eyes look down on all that moved beneath him. With great pride Joel frequented many of Magniloquent’s places of honour and it wasn’t until the traveler of the wide road took a step out-of-place that he became perceptively aware of the large gap between the Magniloquent privileged few and the unfortunate who lived on the other side of the track. Joel then took a step back to examine his way.

It all started when Joel forgot to put his white carnation in his lapel at a banquet in honour of Mrs. Do-right who was retiring from her office as chair person for the Grandiose Society of Magniloquent. The traveler of the wide road soon began to feel icy glares accompanying him at his every move.

When rolling eyes and whispered voices began to make him feel exceedingly uncomfortable, Joel soon realized with much disappointment, that in Magniloquent; mistakes, failures, weakness, and unfortunate events could carry the price of displeasure. One could easily find himself being put on the outside of the circle where the disapproval of Magniloquent could engulf the entire person, gobbling up all their personal dignity.

The traveler of the wide road decided after that experience to leave off the way of vainglory and continue instead to follow a well beaten path on the wide road until it turned into another crooked way which twisted and turned in one direction and then the other. To Joel’s disconcertion that crooked path eventually led him from the pinnacle of Magniloquent into a slippery slope in which he would fall straight down into another false way.

Arriving in the country side, Joel came across a stately manor surrounded by several gardens. There was a white garden with lilies, camellias, and white lilacs and a rose garden with climbing roses on trellises, as well as shrub roses growing along curved walkways and along high arches.

There were also floribunda nestled in cosy beds which gave off an enticing aroma along the path that led up to the manor door. As Joel stopped to admire the well manicured landscape of the estate, he was surprised to hear a voice come forth from an intercom that was attached to the entrance of a high security gate, surrounding the country manor.

“Come in, come in, dear fellow. I have been expecting you,” a very loud and boisterous voice beckoned to the traveler of the wide road from the intercom. “It is almost time for dinner and we are most exited to hear of your adventures down the wide road.”

“I think sir, that you must have made a mistake.” Joel answered nervously through the intercom feeling somehow that he was intruding where he did not belong. “You see I was just passing by.”

“You are a traveler of the wide road are you not?” the voice asked with a nasal accent.

“Yes I am but….” Joel found to his surprise that he was suddenly cut off by the sound of a buzzer signaling the wide gate to open. Shrugging his shoulders the traveler of the wide road began to follow the cobble stoned pathway that led up to the house. Bright red bricks inlaid perfectly into the ground led Joel through another garden with elegant roses growing admiringly on green shrubs; Amber flush, Bourbon blooms, Angel face, Burundians, Brilliant pinks, all were blooming profusely in high beds around the front of the manor and crawling up the trestles of the walls were red, white and yellow roses.

The sight of their lovely pedals prompted Joel to reach out and touch one. Sniffing the aroma of the rose made Joel gasp. Instead of smelling the familiar sweet fragrance, he found to his dismay that the smell coming up into his nostrils was devastatingly horrible. What can only be described as part ragweed and part ammonia filled Joel’s nasal passages, turning his face a deep shade of green. He began to cough and to gasp for breath while his watered eyes searched desperately to find something to lean upon.

Reaching randomly for the nearest solid object with his watering eyes that stung like the bite of a hornet, Joel found nothing on which to put his flaying hands. Finally in desperation he fell face down upon the superbly manicured lawn and grasped the fresh green grass between his fingers. Holding on for dear life, Joel breathed in and out with short rasps until the oxygen finally penetrated his lungs, bringing the relief he so desperately needed.

The beauty of the roses on the estate had captivated the passionate desire of the traveler of the wide road’s eyes and wanting ever so much to hold them dear to himself he had almost lost his senses. Embarrassed by his lack of self-control, Joel found himself in a position that the supercilious in this present world find their selves in sooner or later, and all he could do was humbly lift himself up and continue on.

                                            

                                                 

CHAPTER ONE OF THE WIDE ROAD. “The Cross Roads”

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The Cross Roads

Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness. Hebrews 3:7, 8

Joel stood at the crossroads of life. His dark shaggy hair fell over his youthful brow, shadowing the piercing of his deep grey eyes that were staring intently into the valley that loomed before him. A fierce inner struggle was taking place in the young man’s heart so that he groaned from deep within. “Which way should I choose?” he cried.

The Good Shepherd watched the young man who stood halting between two opinions and like the soft gentle rain falling from heaven, he began to speak softly into Joel’s heart. “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

After contemplating the narrow way, Joel found that he just could not bear the thought of carrying that heavy cross through the gate of life and down the narrow road. Being quite aware of the story told to all travellers of how narrow was the way of the righteous, he cringed at the very thought of it. Joel knew that the narrow way led to persecutions and tribulations for the word’s sake and he sure did not want to be burdened with that.

Looking into the Narrow way, Joel realized that he would never be able to walk down such a narrow path and still be encumbered with the cares of this life. To his dismay he saw that cross at the door of Hope and there was just no way of getting around it. “You don’t want to take that narrow road do you?” Joel’s carnal nature balked as Joel pondered the narrow way. “Come on give me a break! That way is for losers, the simple-minded who need a crutch to get through life!

Joel’s moral conscience that wanted to obey the written law rather than the Spirit of life, also cried out at Joel’s peering into the narrow way. “Don’t take that road! You won’t be able to obey the law for righteousness!”

Considering the voice of his moral conscience which tried to persuade him to walk in self-righteousness and his carnal nature which pulled him towards vice and vanity, Joel turned aside from the way of life and began his journey down the wide road.

Filled with his own ways, Joel was enticed by his carnal nature, to pursue after the pleasures of this life. With delight he traveled the wide road experiencing the most tempting sensations that he could possibly imagine. Revealed before him in all their arrangement of wonderful and tantalising fare were the pleasures of this life conceived from the inordinate desires of the hearts of men.

By choosing his own way, the traveler of the wide road at once began to pursue the passions of his wayward heart.  Having resisted the gentle wind of conviction that blew over him at the cross roads of life, Joel’s heart soon became hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. By rejecting the way of truth, he was soon filled with the error of his own ways and it was not long before his journey down the wide road led him through the deceitful weeds of wicked intentions. In Joel’s ignorance, he began to pursue with rigorous fervour, worldly endeavours and being tempted by the dark powers of this present world who ruled the wide road, he soon became entangled with the affairs of this life.

The Good Shepherd who seeks out those who are lost and without hope on the wide road, continued to watch over the young man on his journey with great compassion. For Joel was a chosen vessel called by God for his eternal purposes and even though he would go through a time of great darkness, the Father who knows the beginning from the end would draw Joel and call him out of darkness into his glorious light.

Traveling through the weeds of wicked intentions that lead through the thorny spikes of worldly sorrows, Joel in stubborn determination continued in his own way until he came to the entrance of the land of Self-seeking.  At the entrance to the city he saw a sinister looking man sitting in a booth by the wayside. Dressed in black attire and wearing a devilish grin upon his face the man motioned for Joel to come towards him. As he did, Joel saw a sign hanging over the booth where the man was sitting, that read; “Welcome to the Wide Road. All travelers required to exert self will and worldly ambition. Have a pleasant journey.”

The man at the booth, who was eyeing the traveler of the wide road rather impertinently with an all-knowing look upon his face, caused Joel to become rather annoyed. With an impudence of his own, he decided to confront the man head on. “What seems to be your problem?” Joel asked not bothering to cover up his quite blatant aggravation. The man at the booth just ignored him and with a mischievous grin sighed, as if to say, “I have been here so many times before and you are just another number of the many who are going their own way down the wide road. ”

Holding out a pair of dark glasses for Joel to take, the man at the booth began twisting his thin moustache, and said with a smirk on his face. “Here, friend, you will need to wear these if you want to continue in your own way down the Wide Road.”

“What are they for?” Joel asked as he held up the dark glasses to the sun and peered curiously through them.

They are your blinders,” the man grinned again mischievously. “All our travelers must wear them, you know, they keep out the light.

“How will I ever be able to see with these things on?” Joel asked the smirking man in bewilderment.

These blinders will not obstruct your vision in any way, traveler, but serve only to keep the messengers of the gospel from penetrating your understanding. You do not want to lose your own way do you?” The man grinned with a look of glee.

“Why, of course not,” Joel balked. “who are these messengers of the gospel anyway?”

Bothersome creatures and quite fanatic I’m afraid.” The man at the booth sighed with resignation. “They try to hinder your journey down the wide road and will even stop it if they can, by preaching that foolish gospel which claims only one way to salvation. You don’t believe that stuff do you?”

Joel shook his head quite vehemently. “No, I do not!”

I didn’t think so or you wouldn’t be here.” The man at the booth laughed uproariously. “Who could believe such a tale? Did you know that those goody two-shoes are always trying to keep our travelers from enjoying the pleasures of this life?”

Wrinkling his nose with displeasure as he fastened the dark glasses on his face, Joel declared with pride, “I intend on enjoying the pleasures of this life and no pesky light creature is going to take off my blinders of that you can be sure!”

The man at the booth twirled his handle bar moustache and grinned even more at Joel’s wilfulness. “Well so long. I guess I’ll be on my way now.” Joel said as he turned around to continue his journey down the wide road. “I’m off to search for the pleasures of this life.”

The man at the booth then yelled after Joel, “Remember; don’t let those messengers of the gospel take off your blinders. You could get saved from the pleasures of this life and change over to the other side if you are not careful.”

“I’ll be careful.” Joel yelled back.

The wide road which at first was filled with ease and comfort gradually became cumbersome for the traveler and very unpredictable. Joel soon found himself being led down one dead-end and then another. Finally, after going down many bends and curves, the traveler of the wide road became quiet exhausted and he fell down into a crumbled heap on the cold and stony ground.

Just when Joel was drifting off into a deep slumber, from out of nowhere sprung up from the cracks of the hard cold ground, vines, which began ever so craftily to wind themselves about the traveler of the wide road’s feet. Clinging to his weak flesh the vines of vanity held on to Joel tenaciously, keeping him firmly fixed to the cares of this life.

Awaking with a start, the traveler of the wide road found to his dismay, that he could not in his own power break free from the intense grip that the vines of vanity had upon him. Creeping up his pant legs the vines of vanity had found their way to the traveler of the wide road’s heart, where with a death like grip they squeezed on tightly to his high-minded imagination that was being nourished, and fed upon the wisdom of this world.

At the point of absolute despair, Joel cried out, to God or a god, whoever would listen and come to his aid during times of trouble. To his surprise, once again Joel heard the familiar still small voice calling him to the narrow way.

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his own soul? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?

Struggling with his carnal human nature that desired after that which perishes with the using, the traveler of the wide road found himself becoming more and more bound up in the vines of vanity. The more that Joel tried to get free from the ensnarement of the cares of this life, the more entangled he became. It was not until Joel completely reached the end of his own self-exertion that he finally began to be able to bend his leg inward just enough to straighten out his own way and get part of himself free. At the sound of the Good Shepherd’s voice whose mercy spread over Joel like the wings of an eagle, the vines of vanity eventually began to loosen their grip.

It was just enough for the traveler of the wide road to find a way of escape. Then with all his might Joel forced his way out from the vines of vanity which had grown in abundance on the hard cold ground. But like an ox going to the slaughter, the traveler of the wide road once again returned to the pathway of wicked intentions that he hoped would lead him eventually to the pleasures of this life.

Winding and winding, the way of self- seeking seemed to be getting Joel nowhere, until just before he was about to give up on ever finding his own way, he saw before him a lush valley spread out in the not too far distance. It was a wonderful discovery for the traveler of the wide road to be able to finally find a place to satisfy the longing of his empty heart and rest his weary troubled soul from the trials of life that he had just experienced.

In this deceptive valley on the wide road grew many trees, worldly and wise. Hanging from their branches were passionate fruit that was soft and juicy and blossoming among the enlightened of this age were flowers adorned with vain beauty; tempting tulips in a variety of colors, Chrysanthemums adorned with pompous pompons, peonies tall and tantalizing, roses with spiky thorns, daffodils trumpeting clusters of hearsay as well as many other kinds of wild flowers growing wild and wondrous.

The traveler of the wide road, with pleasure partook of the forbidden fruit of worldly desire as he frolicked among the wild flowers whose fragrance intoxicated him with euphoric pleasure, so much so that Joel soon became completely over taken by the love of this present world. Eventually, even the air in which Joel breathed became so enticing that he could scarce keep awake and alert to moral danger. Having his mind controlled by the sensual lure which had captivated his heart and dulled his perceptively, Joel was aroused exceedingly to the cares of this life.

Having his heart filled with the intoxicating aroma of worldly passions and the wisdom of this world, Joel closed his eyes and fell into a deep slumber, at the base of a huge willow tree that was filled with the strength and might of the gods of this age. He slept in self-confidence and snored aloud in his apathetic slumber.

Flooding the traveler of the wide road’s dreams were fanciful feasts of delicious dainties and delightful passions that tantalized his imagination. This caused him to sleep on and on without feeling any immediate consequence for his selfish motives and wilful deeds in which he pursued life.

When Joel finally awoke from his sensual dreaming his head was groggy from the heady aroma of the bouquets that surrounded him in the deceptive valley. Stumbling to his feet, with the worldly wisdom still lingering on his soul, the traveler of the wide road began to move ever so slowly through the valley and into a very crooked path which overflowed with the love of this present world.

Making his own way down the crooked path, Joel, was not quite able to shake the conviction of having resisted the still small voice. With concerted willfulness he hardened his heart and set his will once more towards traveling down the wide road in search of the pleasures of this life.

Like the sound of many waters, whose waves flowed back into the ocean, the still small voice became only an echo in his memory, with the words, “Come follow Me.” whispering ever so quietly into his heart.

By following the crooked path, Joel was led to many more crooked paths with each of these having their own particular bend. Some were muddy and cumbersome, while others were dusty and dry. Still others were lined with hewn stones formed by the ways of man having a hard path which reflected the hearts of all travelers who sought after their own way. “They have made for themselves crooked paths,” the Good Shepherd sighed as he watched Joel journey in his own way, down the wide road, “Whoever goes in that way shall not know peace.”

The crooked path led the traveler of the wide road towards all things askew and horribly deformed. The right way was maligned and evil spoken of and the narrow path mocked with contempt. After stumbling over many stumbling stones, Joel decided to rest in a grassy field on a crooked path, misleading in its delusive deviation from the truth.

PROPHETIC WORD JULY 2015 Kim Balogh WITH THE GOSPEL OF GRACE MINISTRIES

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“In the Desolate Places’. Wide Road excerpt

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The Good Shepherd looked on with delight as Joel entered the desolate land. It was to be a time of trouble and great darkness, for Joel. It was a day of gloom and of trepidation. Joel would find in the desolate places, that his frame was only dust. In astonishment he would become a hissing byword and a curse; for in the wilderness a man learns that without God he is nothing.

My novel is now available in book form or kindles e-book. The story is about a young man who chooses to take the wide road of life. The Good Shepherd eventually leads him by his grace to the cross over to the narrow road after many adventures, which teach him that all is vanity in this life without God.

To order: “The Wide Road.”

http://www.amazon.com/Wide-Road-Kim-Balogh/dp/1502881799/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414440434&sr=1-3&keywords=the+wide+road

“Hiding Among Caskets of Old Wine.” Wide Road excerpt.

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When the next ship made Port on the island, Joel crept on board. He hid in a dark place, among caskets of old wine, and barrels of frothy mead leavened to the brim. As he sat in darkness, Joel wondered. “How shall I ever know when I have reached the end of myself? How shall I really know?”

It was then that the still small voice spoke into Joel’s heart, “All that the Father gives to me will come to me and he who comes to me I will never cast out.”

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My novel is now available in book form or kindles e-book. The story is about a young man who chooses to take the wide road of life. The Good Shepherd eventually leads him by his grace to the cross over to the narrow road after many adventures, which teach him that all is vanity in this life without God.

To order: “The Wide Road.”

http://www.amazon.com/Wide-Road-Kim-Balogh/dp/1502881799/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414440434&sr=1-3&keywords=the+wide+road

“Strange Fruit” Wide Road excerpt

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When the ship made Port, Joel was relieved to find that the island, in which he was let off at, had many palm trees bearing all manner of strange fruit. Ripe for picking, the juicy delights tasted foreign and yet vaguely familiar to the traveler of the wide road. Having his taste buds tantalized with excitement, Joel decided that this place was worth checking out a lot more thoroughly. Who knew what kind of adventures, that his stirred up flesh could find to indulge in, here. The more of the strange fruit that Joel ate, the more that he craved, until his over indulged sinful nature began to get gravely ill.

Like my Face book page.

https://www.facebook.com/kimbaloghchristianfiction?pnref=story

To join my email list kimbalogh4jesus@gmail.com

My novel is now available in book form or kindles e-book. The story is about a young man who chooses to take the wide road of life. The Good Shepherd eventually leads him by his grace to the cross over to the narrow road after many adventures, which teach him that all is vanity in this life without God.

To order: “The Wide Road.”

http://www.amazon.com/Wide-Road-Kim-Balogh/dp/1502881799/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414440434&sr=1-3&keywords=the+wide+road

“Laodicea” Wide Road excerpt

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Laodicea boasted, that she was attired in a garment adorned with gold, jewels of every kind and precious pearls of worldly wisdom. However, Laodicea in fact was quite naked! Yes, completely bare, in plain sight for everyone who had eyes to see. She ruled in dominion over a false kingdom of greed and was blinded by her great wealth. So blind in fact that she did not see her own nakedness. Many who lived on the wide road, snickered at Laodicea’s foolishness, for they could see who she really was.

Like my Face book page.

https://www.facebook.com/kimbaloghchristianfiction?pnref=story

To join my email list kimbalogh4jesus@gmail.com

My novel is now available in book form or kindles e-book. The story is about a young man who chooses to take the wide road of life. The Good Shepherd eventually leads him by his grace to the cross over to the narrow road after many adventures, which teach him that all is vanity in this life without God.

To order: “The Wide Road.”

http://www.amazon.com/Wide-Road-Kim-Balogh/dp/1502881799/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414440434&sr=1-3&keywords=the+wide+road

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