To his loving subject, celebrated scientist, Dr. Maiya Miranova, Casimir is excruciatingly handsome. When she lights her candles, dons her ceremonial robe and calls to him, sometimes he's feeling generous enough to grace her with his presence.
When he bothers to speak to her, her heart hammers and her emotions soar in love and admiration for him. She's given herself over, mind, body and spirit to worshipping him ... her trusted and adored spirit guide, Casimir.
Casimir has been the most intimate presence in her life since she first got acquainted with him. They met during some intense meditation sessions, back during her college years. She quickly became addicted to his intoxicating presence and the supernatural gifts he bestowed on her.
The price for both has been high. He's owned her soul ever since.
In the real reality, the one her natural eyes haven't been trusted enough yet to be privy to, Casimir is not even close to being handsome. In fact, he displays ugly at an unholy level.
His real name, his given name, isn't Casimir, it's Mael--so named by his Creator. Once upon a few millenniums ago, Mael wasn't gruesome looking at all. In fact, his appearance was utterly glorious.
Perfectly created, he was a magnificent reflection of God's artistry--a being of flawless and exquisite features from head to toe, wingtip to wingtip.
Unfortunately for many, bad choices brought a change to the very core of his existence when he decided to run with the wrong crowd. At a great price, he renounced his allegiance to his Creator and bound himself to Lucifer, the celebrated Son of the Morning.
As beauty goes, Lucifer was the most beautiful angel of all, until he led the rebellion that got them all kicked out of Heaven and were forced to take up new lodgings in a lesser realm, the one you're reading in right now.
Lucifer is still one of the most powerful of the angel-kind, but all of those who are the forsaken of God are ugly and rotten to the cores of their once beautiful beings. He and his kind have been permanently banished, with no hope of redemption, and none of them are happy about it.
The light of love and grace instilled in them at the beginning is long gone. Now every inch of them is foul in appearance. Their attitudes and actions match their wicked looks.
While they have the time, they're doing everything in their power to crush and destroy the puny humans their Creator loved enough to wrap Himself in flesh for, so that He could die to save them.
That would be you and me and they're determined to take as many of us with them to their final destination, the Lake of Fire, the last stop for the damned.
To fill their nets with as many of us as they can catch and drag down with them, Mael has set up shop and built a fortress to fight from in Arrow Springs, Missouri.
The best laid plans ...
Although Mael may have human subjects and a large contingent of demonic troops at his command, God has not left His children without help.
Often unseen to human eyes, the host of Heaven is afoot, steadfastly guarding the saints and being quick to respond to God's instructions to help them, often at great personal risk and cost.
There are those in Arrow Springs who have dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ. They depend on Him to provide for every aspect of their existence. They're devoted and determined to carry out His will while serving as a living witness of His love and mercy to others.
They may be few in number but God watches over them carefully, even while leading them into dark places and among fearsome company that is not at all happy about their presence.
This might explain why the congregation at River of Life church is feeling troubled in their spirits. They're being compelled to fight against an unseen and misunderstood enemy by kneeling together in prayer. What they can't understand, they're certain God does, and that's where faith must take over to trust Him.
There's a significant reason they're being urged to pray. The lives of everyone in their region are on the brink of destruction. Under the noses of the citizens of Arrow Springs is Mael's science facility and it's literally birthing physical evil in a method that mankind has never seen before. It's an evil made in his own genetics, in his own image.
Under Mael's supervision, an army is being manufactured in the subterranean bowels of this fantastically designed structure. Not only is it fortified against attack, scientists without integrity are producing soulless beings, nearly perfect in physique, that are easily controlled when inhabited by the resident demons in the fortress.
Unlike the previously eradicated giant offspring, those that came about from the physical union of fallen angels and the daughters of man, these beings are without a will of their own. There are no personalities to contend with, no explanations or the forcing of a spirit to submit to their will. The demons simply jump into the bodies and maneuver their way into society, taking over positions of power and influence, setting themselves up for a mass takeover.
From small-town locals to nationally elected representatives, these beings have been at work infiltrating our unsuspecting society for two decades. As their numbers and placements increase, so does their power over the populace.
Ingredients for victory ...
Mael thinks he's got it all sewn up. Victory is surely his. He's got all the right demons (and their human subjects) in all the right places. Soon he'll be able to unleash a longed for assault that will stem from the epicenter of his fortress.
But .... what his arrogance blinds him to is the fact that where two or three are gathered in His name, there is answer to prayer and more than adequate protection from trouble of any kind.
Thankfully for the residents, there are a few more than two or three that have gathered. Even though crucial reinforcements of warrior angels are encountering opposition and being detained from their mission to join forces with the small contingent in Arrow Springs, God is providing strength and resilience as he shores up the defenses of the saints and other folks in the community.
The small angel-troop in Arrow Springs is led by the powerful, dedicated and determined Captain of the Host, Eitan. He's seen destruction at its worst and is prepared to make whatever sacrifice is needed, of himself and his comrades, to ensure that protection is maintained for the people of the city.
Though the number of good guys is tiny in comparison to the legions of the enemies of the cross, God is with them. It's because of His sacrifice on the cross that they're blessed with an unlimited source of help that will not forsake them. They'll have light to see their way even during their darkest of circumstances, which they're about to be embroiled in.
Behind the scenes ...
This awesome story is authored by Robert Roush, an engineer and theologian (fascinating combination, right?) whose multiple talents and areas of expertise are well reflected in this book's engaging plot.
He'll present you with some meaty characters that you'll easily connect with. If you don't identify with many aspects of them yourself, you're probably very familiar with someone, or even several someones, who do.
That's how it was for me when I read the story and I'm confident it will affect you the same way.
This is another of those fantastic reads that you'll want to tell others about or even buy them a gift copy. It'll not only fascinate them, but is very likely to help them through some of their own circumstances.
Interestingly, Mr. Roush left a comment for me on a previous blog in which I was promoting one of Frank Peretti's books, and noted that this story was inspired by the work of Rev. Peretti. As I read In the Image of Man, I found that to be accurate in wonderful way, yet it's unique and not a revamped copy of someone else's work.
I have to compliment Mr. Roush on a personal level for having excellent taste in spiritual and literary mentors. Past that, it's always good to get acquainted with another Peretti fan.
Founded by the author, Hearts of Compassion Publishing was established with a greater purpose than mere literary acclaim. The company website is located at heartspublishing.com and I encourage you to check it out and learn about its mission to help provide for the needs of others through the sales of their books.
The book is wonderful and the author has gone a step further in ensuring the proceeds are being used for an outstanding endeavor. It's earnings are making a beautiful difference in the lives of those in need of something many of us take for granted in having easy access to which is clean water.
Please take the time to visit his website and learn more about how your purchase of his book will be a part of making it possible to accomplish their mission.
My thanks to you for your visit today! After you've read In the Image of Man, please consider giving it a review, if even a short one, on amazon.com. That alone is a big help to writers in spreading the word about their work.
That covers it for this one and hope to see you back again for Thursday's edition of femme's Desk.
'Til then, God bless you, thank you for the read and please don't forget to thank a veteran at your next opportunity!
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