Human Cargo

Mark 10:42-45 — The Tales & Adventures of John Mark

The-Tales-Adventures-of-John-Mark.jpgIn the captain’s cabin the moon’s faint light bled through grimy panes of a single window. The illumination of a tallow candle cast upon the face of a man seated behind a small table. At first I saw no others in the captain’s quarters. The pair who had escorted me remained in the hallway, chatting in some dialect I did not understand.

For but a moment I could not read the expression of the captain’s face. Then without speaking the captain pulled the candle closer and with the tip of a long, silver reading pointer he studied the scroll before him.

Only when he reached a line mid-way down did he speak. “Take care of Rastus and be quick about it.”

Reacting to the captain’s words, a figure from within shadows stepped forward and approached a bunk bolted to the opposite wall. “And what would you have me do with him, sir?”

From the back window a skittish breeze gathered a rank odor of the newly dead—the stench of bowels and bladder emptied.

The captain returned to examining the scroll. “Cork him up and slip him over when others are not watching. Should the men hear of this there will be no end to the murmuring. Once a crew falls under the spell of superstitions there is no accounting for what they may do.”

The captain’s aid placed a long, wide garment on the wood flooring, then lifted the body from the bunk, and placed the dead man so close I could see the shock of death in his face. A knife of some kind had been thrust in the victim’s chest. An oily, red stain soaked his tunic. I gauged him to be not much older than me. The guards in the hallway were summoned and the pair exited the room with the body. The captain’s aid followed, pulling the door shut behind.

The captain shifted his gaze towards me. “Rastus was my personal assistant. He went before me, stood watch outside my cabin, tasted my food, and checked this cabin before I lay down each evening. More than that, he is my sister’s youngest. How she will mourn when she hears of this.” He shifted in his chair, fixing all his attention on me.”I found him where he lay when I returned from dispensing with those pirates. No doubt that dagger was meant for me.”

I said nothing, merely listened. Did the captain think I had killed his relative? Was he accusing me of murder?

With the back of his knuckles he rubbed his chin. “Your  presence aboard, what am I to make of it?”

“I . . . am not part of those who attacked this ship if that is your implication.”

“No? But you were found attempting to escape from the stern of the ship and not more than a moment later Rastus was found dead in my cabin. My window looks over the rudder.”

“I assure you, this is the first I have been in your cabin.”

“Cast from shore and adrift by accident, were you? Happened upon the rudder of this ship by good fortune, did you?”

“My crime, if there is one at all, is that of a stowaway. I only meant to secure passage to Caesarea.”

“And should you learn that this ship is bound for Rome?”

My heart sank. The girl had assured me I would find my way home if I snuck aboard. Had she deceived me also?

“Our departure this evening was kept secret,” the captain continued. “Not even the crew knew of the hour we would cast off, nor do they know our final destination. And yet attacked were we.”

“Perhaps it is your crew, sir. Could they not be the source of this ill luck?”

“‘Ill luck?’ Man, pirates do not arrive by luck but with planning. A man stabbed in his bed is not ill luck, but also planning. The men who brought you to my cabin, they claim they heard you say your name is John Mark and that you stole aboard to deliver an important message for the owner of this ship. Speak, and I will deliver this message myself.”

“To the owner only, I must speak. It is he who ordered the cargo brought aboard is he not?”

“What business have you speaking to the owner? You are but a thief and from all appearances a murderer.”

“As you well know those who regard themselves as owners of another person lord it over them, treating the poor and slave harshly. This should not be. Such behavior is an afront to Yahweh and men. If you wish to become great you must serve others, not force others to serve you. Whoever wants to be considered great must be slave of all. The Son of Man come for this reason. He gave his life as a ransom for all.”

To open your lips is to reveal your lack of standing. Do you propose to teach me how to command both crew and ship?”

“I only know that anyone who kidnaps another is to be put to death. Even if the victim is sold or still in their possession, the one who steals an individual for the purposes of making a profit from his life and work must die.”

“Justified are you to kill to save a slave? By your very words you condemn yourself.”

“Mine is not a confession to a crime I did not commit but an admission that Yahweh’s ways are higher than ours.”

“Love the slave, do you? Well then a slave you will become. Guards!”

“Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution.” From outside two men rush in, grabbing me. “We are not to rule over our neighbor with harshness but to fear the one who made man in his image.”

“Fear the lash, I say. As for this Yahweh, we shall soon see if he can save you from the penalty of death.”

“There is neither slave nor free,” I continued, struggling to break from of the guards’ grip. “In Christ Jesus we are all one, all the same, all sinners in need of saving. Even you, sir! Even you.”

With a torch light the two guards led me down hallways and ladders and into the belly of the ship. Our route ended before a small door half the height of a full grown man. A guard quickly opened the door and I found myself shoved forward, tumbling headlong into blackness. 

In order to save those enslaved I had become a slave myself.

The Crew of the Mighty Cuda — Read by the Pirate Preacher

A 9-year-old boy’s imagination comes to life in this classic adventure on the high seas when the British Royal Navy battles a powerful pirate ship to free slaves and share recently uncovered buried treasure. Written by Manu Ofrecio

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Act 3: Writing Your Story’s Advent

This week on Reality Coaching for Writers we discuss Act 3: Writing Your Story’s Advent. In this episode we will give tips for how to conclude your story while creating interest in its sequel.

Eddie Jones and Diana Flegal offer personalized coaching for writers.
For more information, check out:

#writinghelp #RealityCoachingforWriters #blogger #articlewriting #writingcommunity

What Is In Your Hand, Writer?

Don't put down your staff / pen!

Don’t put down your pen! What you write CAN make a difference.

Today, Diana and Eddie share 12 books they believe have impacted the world and, in particular, their lives.

The Bible/ William Tyndale
Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret by Mr. and Mrs. Howard Hudson
So Send I You/ Oswald Chambers
The Book of Revelation by John
C. S. Lewis- The Chronicles of Narnia
C.S. Lewis- The Great Divorce
C.S. Lewis- Mere Christianity
Heaven by Randy Alcorn
Heaven (for kids) by Beverly Lewis
Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Shack by Paul Young
Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis/ University of Wittenburg/Germany

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Eddie Jones and Diana Flegal offer personalized coaching for writers. For more information, check out:

20 GREAT Christmas Gift Ideas for Writers / Gifts for Every Writer / Reality Coaching for Writers

It’s our joy to love on and support the writing community. This episode of Reality Coaching for Writers is all about the gifts every writer would like to receive based on the conversations we have had with our published and unpublished writer friends.

From the pricy (registration for a writer’s conference) to the practical: the best books to help with character development, how to craft a bestselling nonfiction title, and the top-selling fine point pen and moleskin notebook (Eddie’s favorite) for recording those moments of inspiration away from your desk.

There are even a few gift suggestions for stuffing the stocking of your favorite author that won’t cost you a dime and just might prove to be their favorite. Writers– share this video with your loved ones and friends. This might be the year you actually get the gifts you can use.

Writers Conferences:

Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference:
Asheville Christian Writers Conference:
Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference:
Florida Christian Writers Conference:
Carolina Christian Writers Conference:
Northwest Christian Writers:
Mt. Hermon Writers Retreat:


Eddie Jones and Diana Flegal offer personalized coaching for writers. For more information, check out:

#writer #topgiftsforwriters #realitycoachingforwriters

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