Archive for the ‘500 Words’ Category

Tierra Colorada.jpg

Walking Alone?

I was a pastor for about 11 years before joining the USAF as a Chaplain. That is a little over a decade. Not a short time to be somewhere.

My first year as a pastor, I hired a a youth minister that lasted about 6 months. He got a better job, making more money at a bigger church. I will always believe that the new church was where he was supposed to be.

What made me sad was the feeling of loss the kids were going to experience.

I knew the transitory nature of ministry. The average youth minister lasted 18 months, the average pastor lasted 2.5 years. The average minister got out of ministry after 5 years.  It was the nature of the beast.

I was told that we tend to make great salesmen.

There was a young girl in our church, a 4th or 5th grader at the time we lost the youth minister. I had gathered the group around me the next Wednesday night, and she asked me a pretty tough, but understandable questions. “Are you going to leave?”

My answer has become blurry through the years. I think I started with, “In ministry, we go where we are called. I can not promise that I will, or will not be any place for a set period of time.” You get the idea.

But, I did finish with this… I looked straight at her and said, “You know, I’ll probably be here longer than you.”

That sounds horrible. I remember thinking that I would see her graduate, and then she would be off to college or something. Well, it didn’t work out that way. She ended up dropping out of the church. I remember it was shortly after her daddy died. It was a hard time.

Well, I’m connected to her on FaceBook, and saw a post. She was holding her brand new baby girl, and promising to never leave her. To never leave her, just like her mother had left her.

I don’t know why I’m writing this. It could be a story about breaking the chains. How someone who had suffered much separation is doing her best to stop it with her family.

I like to think that is it.

Maybe it is a story of someone just trying to make it. She never did college. She ended up moving in with a guy and getting pregnant. Not exactly planned, yet not unwanted either. She is living in the same basic area that she grew up in. That could end up being a sad story, or perhaps one of “blooming where you’re planted.”

Whatever it is, it just is. It is life.

Now, I find myself in a very transitory job. I’ll move bases every 4 years. I’ll deploy every now and then, for 6 months at a time. People will be coming and going all the time. A tough situation when one wants deep relationships with others.

Life is transitory. We must make it count.

WoW can be lonely, and it can be very social. That depends upon us. If you don’t like people in your guild, then join another one. Life is too short to spend it with people you don’t like. People count. You count. Do something that counts.

Make a choice, break a chain.

Love hard, love deeply. There are people around you, or at least there could be. You don’t know when you’ll have another chance.

See what happens.


“Hope is our weapon against the darkness.”

Read Full Post »

Work That Matters

b/c BUUURRRRTTTTT is my favorite sound...

b/c BUUURRRRTTTTT is my favorite sound…

I’ve been thinking about “work that matters.”

I’ve even come to a conclusion that all work matters. Please, let me explain.

First off, every morning when I pray, I thank God for giving me work that matters. What I mean is, I’m thankful for a job that has me caring for other people. In particular, I get to care for men and women of the armed forces. I get to see Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and Airmen every day! I get to sincerely inquire as to how they are doing. I get counsel them. I get to provide for their religious needs. I get to be a listening ear, when they don’t think that anyone else is willing too. These are the men and women that keep my wife and kids safe at home. In this case, they are taking care of things in Central America before they reach our US southern border. I serve them out of a sense of thankfulness.

For me, this is work that matters.

There are some jobs in the USAF that people may assume has no meaning. For instance, new Maintainers may have to literally count bolts. I’ve seen them do it. This is an accountability issue. Based upon previous needs, they carry enough parts (including bolts) to fix the planes when they need a repair. While at home, if they don’t have a part, the plane will be grounded until it comes in. Sure, the pilot may not get his/her flight hours. The plane may not fly, and in that case will have to have extra maintenance done to make sure it can fly later. But, nobody loses a life because of it not flying. However, in a deployed environment, that may not be the case.


My favorite plane is the A-10. Part of its job is to provide support for Soldiers that come under fire. So, when our guys are pinned down, the A-10 comes in to blast the enemy; saving the lives of our Soldiers. If that plane is unable to fly because we run out of bolts (or some other part), then those lives will be potentially loss.

You see, the work of a Maintainer is essential to saving lives; even if he/she is just counting bolts.

Now, what about those folks who just can’t seem to find meaning and significance in their jobs?

Maybe you are a Vegan, and the only job you can find is as a burger flipper at McDonalds.

Every time you look at those delicious fries, you just see hypertension in a box. When you look at the kid joyously ripping into their Happy Meal, triumphantly raising their new toy into the air…all you can think is, “choking hazard.”

First, please find a new job. But if you can’t, I have a question. What does that job allow you to do? Hopefully, it allows you to survive, and your life matters. I hope that it allows you enough money to hang out with your friends and families every now and then. Our relationships matter. Maybe it allows you to provide for that age appropriate toy for your own kid, and his/her smile matters.

You see, work matters because we all have meaning and significance. Work matters because we matter. Even the most mundane of jobs enables you to participate in other things that matter.

I will continue to be thankful for work that matters, regardless of how I may feel at the time. I hope that you will as well.

So tell me, what do you do that matters?


Read Full Post »

The battle for Blade’s Edge wasn’t a complete unmitigated disaster.

Just mostly so.

It started out normal enough. The ogres were beginning to harass travelers. There was even a not-so-successful attack against Mok’Nathal Village.

The idea was to bloody their nose a little bit. They could give the Laughing Skull Clan a good wallop, and they would crawl back into their canyons leaving travelers alone.

At least, that was the plan.

Khesed could have figured out that things weren’t going to go well. He still couldn’t get his thoughts straight, even on the wyvern flight to Mok’Nathal Village.

He would try to center himself. He firmly believed in the “mind-no-mind” concept of battle. Working out of instinct and years of training. He often used the wyvern flights as a time to calm his mind, clear it of distractions, and ready himself for the battle.

Today was different.

He still smelled her.  He still felt her. He still saw her in his mind’s eye.

Everytime he closed his eyes to meditate, he would see her eyes looking back at him.

They landed and imediately went into formation. His squad formed up behind him quickly.  They were a part of a larger group, made up of five squads; twelve combatants per squad.  Each squad made up of two healers, two heavily armored meat shields, with eight heavy damage dealers made up of mages, archers, and explosive melee types.

Khesed and Krum made up the meat shield contingent. Xexell, of course, loved to light people up from afar as a fire mage.

The larger contingent made its way down into the cavern, seeing the Ogre’s huts in the distance.

About five miles out, they broke into their squads, each focusing on a particular area to subdue.  They were to take out most of the leaders they come across, which would end up quelling the Ogre’s attacks for a while.

Of course, that meant looking for the largest, ugliest, utterly disgusting Ogres they could find.

Khesed’s group was responsible for the southern portion, closest to the cave route leading to the Orebor Harborage.

They attacked as they usually did. They start with the “shock and awe,” of fire balls and explosive shots.

“Sneak attack” wasn’t their normal mode of operation.

On top of it, Khesed’s mind never got into the right place.

His reactions were just a second slower than usual.  His normal prayers and spells, which usually flowed from his lips, came haltingly.

Halfway through the fight, with a giant Ogre looming overhead, Khesed found himself flat on his back with a huge club coming down towards his head.

All he could see was a single Draenei face, with a single sultry-quirky smile.

A huge blast of fire brought him out of it, rocking the Ogre back; its club falling away in splinters.  He see’s Krum practically leap forward, as a bullet out of a rifle, shield first, slamming into the chest of the giant beast.  He heard Xexell screaming, “Khesed!”

Khesed vaguely thinks to himself, “Xexell, she must have been where the fireball came from.”

He hears a grunt come from Krum, as he takes the Ogre’s head off at the shoulders with one massive swipe of his sword.

Arising, Krum looks at him, “Khes…what is your problem!? Get up Blood Knight, before I put my everlovin’ foot up your Blood Elf ass!”


Coming to his senses, Khesed picks himself up. Faltering a bit, unsteady on his feet, Xexell comes quickly to his side. Sending off a magical bolt of ice past Khesed’s head, she takes him under his arm. Leaning upon her, they make their way to the back of the line.

Khesed never remembered very much of that battle in days to come. He took some brutal hits, and later found out that he had almost died if not for the healers on hand. The one thing he did remember was a face of a Draenei woman making its way in and out of his consciousness.

When Khesed came fully awake, he saw the huge form of Krum lying in a cot against a far wall of his room. Somehow, they had gotten him back to Shattrath City. Trying to sit up, a gasp escaped his lips. Khesed was sure that he had more than one busted rib. Krum turned over, noticing that Khesed was awake. Sitting up, “How are you doing, Khes?  Feeling a bit better?”

Grimacing, Khesed said, “I’ve seen worse. You would think that the healers would have mended my ribs though.”

Krum smiled a bit, “They wanted to; but the Commander told them not to. He said something about lessons needing to be learned; and the best teacher being pain.”

“Well, aren’t I the lucky one then. The Commander being so worked up over my continuing education and all.” Khesed couldn’t help but smile at that.  He knew good and well that the Commander only cared about battle readiness. If he thought you weren’t going to learn from something, he was just as quick to turn you into a cook than keep you in a battle division.

“At least he thinks I’m salvageable,” Khesed said has he gingerly poked at his bandaged ribs.

Krum looked at him, “Look Khes, I’m don’t know what’s going on. But, you need to take care of this.  You were distracted out there. It almost killed you, and could have killed us as well.”

Giving Khesed a firm nod, “You need to figure out what you need to do concerning this Draenei woman. For your sake, and ours.”

Arising to leave, Krum looked back; “I’m your friend. I’m with you, no matter what happens. Just… Just, don’t be stupid. You damn Blood Elves get so caught up in yourselves. Don’t make me knock some sense into your pointy eared skull. Why you would prefer Spacegoat when there is beautiful, bountiful, wonderful Orc female flesh out there is beyond me!”

Smiling at his friend, Krum took his leave mumbling about needing something to eat.

He was right, Khesed knew it.  He had to come to his senses concerning this Aldor maiden.  Surely he wasn’t falling in love. Oh, by all the ancestors, NO!  But, he had to admit that his inability to concentrate was overwhelming.

He needed to find her…at least one more time.

Trying to get up, he ended up falling back into the bed. The pain in his chest was just to great.  He was too weak for his own healing abilities to take affect. Looked like it was going to be another day of resting before he could get back to the World’s End Tavern to possibly run into her.

Looking towards the far wall, he notices his reflection in a mirror.

“Falling in love with a Draenei, Khesed?  Almost getting yourself killed? Any other great ideas, you dumb bastard?”

With that, he laid back down for some of that rest he so desperately needed.

Read Full Post »


The next morning she was gone with nary a word.  To say they were both embarrassed would be an understatement.  She was Aldor, he was Scryers.  These sort of things just didn’t happen! She made her way out of the room, with but a glance in the direction of Khesed.  Khesed could barely keep his eyes open, due to the headache he was experiencing.  Be could barely get the cleansing prayer together in his mind; and when he was better…she was gone.
He didn’t even know her name!

To think, just a few years ago he would have been one of the Blood Knights hunting down the Draenei refugees that crash landed on Azeroth.

Khesed just shook his head as he left The World’s End Tavern.

On the way to the Scryer’s Tower, he ran into Krum. Krum was a giant of an orc; as one would imagine an orc warrior to be. But, he was also Khesed’s friend. Alongside of him was another of his comrade in arms, Xexell.  She was one of the Blood Elves, as well as one of the Scryer’s mages, and regularly enjoyed harassing the young Lieutenant.

“Hey Krum,” Xexell said loudly as Khesed approached.

“Yes, Xexell,” he replied with a gleam in his eye.

Xexell, very loudly so everyone could hear said, “Don’t we have some regulation regarding bestiality and our officers? I thought only humans and gnomes enjoyed a nightly plate of spacegoat!”

Xexell and Krum literally fell into each other’s arms laughing as Khesed approached with his face turning a bright red.

“Don’t you have something better to be doing right now? We do have orders you know.” Khesed sounded terse, but a small smile began to creep into the edges of his frown.

“Come on you two, we need to get our things and head to the flight path.  We leave for Blade’s Edge in two hours, which means the Commander wants to see us in one.”

Krum and Xexell fell in behind Khesed, laughing and making crude comments about having spacegoat tail for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

All Khesed could do was shake his head.

Krum and Xexell may have believed it was a disapproving shake of his head, but in actuality Khesed was trying to clear his thinking.  He hated to admit it, but he couldn’t get the Draenei clothie out of his head.  While much of it was lost in the fog of alcohol; he still remembered quite a bit.

He wasn’t that drunk.

Damned, if he hadn’t become smitten with the Aldor maiden.

He couldn’t seem to get her out of his head.  Her smile was brilliant in his mind. Her eyes were all enveloping.

Her body… He began to turn red all over again, remembering every bump and curve. He had ran his fingers lightly over every part of her as they slowly made love. He could still see her, still taste her, still smell her.

What was happening to him?!

Shaking his head, he muttered to himself, “Dumb bastard.”

Read Full Post »

500 Words

Ok, so I mentioned the 500 Words thingy. Feel free to click on the pic in the upper right hand corner.

What am I doing?

I want to write 500 words a day for the month of January. I want some consistent writing (on my part) to be done. I feel that I work better in the midst of a “challenge/goal” than me just saying: “I’m gonna write moar this year, YO!”

There goes the white, middle aged, male trying to be hip again!

So, I’m going to be writing 500+ words every day. Which will be around 3500+ words a week.

This does not mean that I’m promising to post every day. Or instance, I’ve written over 1700 words over the last three days, but not for the blog.

It was work related.

If the future holds true to form, it will probably mean WoW related writing at least for Monday and Tuesday. So, I’m thinking there will probably posts up for those days.

That’s about as clear as mud, right?!

Yeah, thought so.

Also, I’m writing this on my smart phone/WP app. Who knows what it’s going to look like when I hit “post.”

That being said, we shall not leave Khesed and his un-named companion to drift. Their story of happenstance, pain and ultimate relief will continue soon.

Until then, give someone next to you a hug. And be sure to duck if they are total strangers!


Read Full Post »

A horrible storm raged around him, forcing Khesed to spend the night in Stonebreaker Hold on route to Shattrath City. Making sure his wyvern was properly taken care of, he headed towards the Inn.

Entering into the establishment, Innkeeper Grilka waived him over.

“Back from the front, paladin? What can I get for you?”

Khesed responded, “A place to rest, something strong to drink. What else does a warrior need?”

Grilka smiled at Khesed, pulling out a skin Sin’dorei wine.

“Something stronger please. I have memories that I don’t desire to entertain tonight,” Khesed said with very little emotion.

Grilka grunted, putting the Sin’dorei wine up and pulling something else out.

“It’s dwarven. Don’t ask me what it is, for I’m really not sure. But, I know it practically eats away paint, rust, and a number of other things. Just don’t ask me where I got it.”

Khesed nods, “I appreciate this greatly.” He places the fee for the drink and bed on the counter with a grateful nod.

The bed wasn’t much. It was more of a hammock attached to the wall and a pole. The walls were animal hides in true Nagrand style.

He didn’t care. What ever this dwarven drink may be, he was sure it would knock him out
before he finished it.

By the nether, it was stout!

It wasn’t that he was afraid to dream. He just preferred to not remember it the next morning.

He could feel it coming on as he drifted into the alcohol induced stupor.

The dream began as it usually did.

Looking up, he sees it. The sign of the World End’s Tavern. He and a number of other Scryers were regulars there. They liked to show up the night before, toasting the future exploits they would have in battle. They would show up when they got back, toasting those whom they lost in battle.

He’s sitting inside now, raising his glass with the others when she walks in. A Draenei woman walks in with a group of Aldor.


Usually, that isn’t a problem. Khadgar’s Servant made it very clear to him that violence would not be tolerated within the city. Also, Khesed really didn’t care about the Aldor. Not that he liked or disliked them. He just didn’t care about them.

She was good looking…for a Draenei.

Soft blue glow to her skin. Petite horns, slightly curving back over her white gleaming hair.  The thin robe she was wearing left little to the imagination.. To say she was healthy would be an understatement. She had both an air of beauty, dignity with a dash of playfulness. There was no doubt that she could easily handle the staff she carried on her back.

He also had to later admit…she had a fine tail.


Eventually the jibes started coming. To be honest, he never can seem to remember how it all began. All he remembers is that he’s throwing sarcastic remarks back and forth with the rest of them.

Again, no one is really angry. No one was stupid enough to pull anything. But, the exchange does get a bit heated, especially with the Draenei female. Maybe it was the way she carried herself. Maybe it was the way she threatened him with her staff. Before he knew it, they went from arguing to their own private room there at the World’s End.

What a dumb move. What a stupid move.

“Dumb bastard,” Khesed mumbles to himself  tossing and turning into the night.


*a great thanks to Askevar for the use of one of her alts as the model for the Draenei in Khesed’s storyline!

Read Full Post »

Flinging himself into battle, Khesed shouts; “May the blessings of our fathers be upon you!”

It seems that every Scryer on the battlefield was enveloped with a holy light. Each one gained strength, quickness, and keener insight.

Having blessed his comrades in arms, Khesed flings himself into the battle.

He runs forward, stepping upon and leaping forward into the air from the back of a foe doubled over from a stomach wound. He lands in the midst of a group of Kael’thas’ Sunfury Bloodwarders, seeming to land with one knee and one hand touching the ground.

“Burn with holy fire,” he mouths quietly. The ground seems to erupt with holy flames, burning every foe within ten feet of him.

He immediately strikes out with his weapon…Foe Reaver it was once called… not only striking the Sunfury Bloodwarder in front of him; but sending waves of holy power around him. Seeming to strike other surrounding foes, pounding into their bodies.

Calling holy energy from within, he strikes a Sunfury Magister a bit beyond the warrior in front of him. He immediately slams his shield into the warrior, as righteous energy seems to double the impact.

The warrior stumbles back, allowing Khesed to grip his sword even tighter; and with a thought sending more holy energy out around him as a holy shockwave.

The Bloodwarder drops, never to rise again and Khesed lunges into the Magister, impaling him upon his sword.

Other attackers decide to ignore their previous targets, deciding that he was more of a threat.

Attacked from three sides, his shield takes one hit; his sword deflects another, and his back plate deflects an attack from the rear.

Spinning in a circle of light, the ground erupts with renewed holy flames around him. Slashing the foe in front of him, he also calls forth the holy energy from within to burn the Bloodwarder even more with holy fire. Khesed seems to be mouthing words, almost as silent prayers with each slash, parry, and strike.

The Bloodwarder in front of him slumps over, taking the full effect of the divine judgment, expending his last breath.

The other two took advantage of Khesed’s concentration upon their brother in arms. One slashed down upon Khesed, beating upon his shield time and time again. The other had made his way around to his opposite flank, lunging for a mid-level strike to pierce his ribs.

While his armor took much of the impact, the weapon did make its way through. Khesed grimaced as the blade pierced his side. Calling forth the holy power, his wound began to mend. Yet, he was still wounded and he knew he had to finish these two off quickly.

Calling forth the holy power of the Naaru, his body seems to glow as a vessel overflowing with light. Letting out a massive surge of power in a holy shock to his enemies; they stumble back in pain. One falls, not getting back up. Khesed leaps towards the other before he recomposes himself. Slamming into him with his shield, then planting his sword into his chest.

Looking up, he sees that the battle is starting to wain around him. The forces of the Naaru drive Kael’thas’ forces back. They’ve secured the area as required, the last Manaforge was finally theirs. Khesed falls to a knee utterly exhausted.

He hates what comes next.

So exhausted that not even the adrenaline rushing through his body can force the thoughts out of his mind.

During the battle, there is no thinking. There is action and reaction. There are forms, immediate spells and prayers…all deeply rooted into his being. He does it all without thinking, one fluid motion of death. Reacting to each stimuli as it presents itself.

But afterwards, when his mental defenses are down, he remembers.

The memories, along with the wave of emotions, crash into him like a personal Holy Shock. Cascading through his body, with just as much pain as the spell he learned to cast so long ago.

His child. His first and only child, disappearing before his eyes in the shaft of Naaru generated light.

Getting up, he pulls his helm down tighter upon his head. People will assume that the tears are from his wound to his side. But, where the holy energy is mending that wound; it can’t do anything for his sundered soul.

He makes his way back to Area 52 with the rest of the formation. From there, a brief meal and then a wyvern ride back to Shattrath City.

This… This wasn’t working. He was going to speak with the Seer, Voren’thal.

Read Full Post »