Joe M (29 Jan 2011)
"The Rapture Express"

                                      THE RAPTURE EXPRESS

   "How do you do, sir?"
   "I'm fine ma'am.  Thank you for asking.  And how are you?"
   "Do you really wanna know," Gloria responded, lowering her head so she could see over the top of her glasses.
   John was momentarily taken aback.  He had been to this mom and pop store many times on his way to or from work, and he'd become quite familiar with Gloria, though not by name.
   "I'm just pulling your leg, handsome," Gloria laughed.
   "I knew that," John said.
   Gloria laughed some more.  She liked to have some fun with her regular customers from time to time.  She also had a pretty good sense about people, and John seemed like a real nice guy.
   Standing outside the store, John used the bottle opener on his key chain to pop open the coca-cola bottle he'd purchased.  'I'm glad they brought these back,' John thought to himself.  They reminded him of his childhood.  Plus, they used regular sugar instead of those junk sweeteners in today's drinks.
   'I can't believe it's 2011', John pondered, thinking he'd be outta here before he turned  50 recently.
   "Afternoon John," Rosemary shouted.
   "Oh, good afternoon Rosemary," John replied, smiling warmly as his neighbor came around her car.
   "I hope they have sausage today," Rosemary stated, walking right past John and into the store.
   "I hope so, too," John whispered as he casually walked back to his car.
   The heat was working good.  "Thank you Lord for heat in my car," John said, carefully backing out so he could finish his journey home.
   John's journey felt like a long one.  Though he loved his home on earth, that wasn't where his heart was.  It was above the clouds to the north, he figured.  That's where heaven was.  You couldn't get there in a car or plane.  They weren't fast enough.  You'd have to take the Rapture Express.  This made John smile.
   The Rapture Express wasn't any ordinary transportation vehicle.  It could make lightning look like turtle heading uphill.  The speed of sound, the speed of light, Jimmy's spitball flying across the classroom, none of those things could dare keep up with the Rapture Express.  This vehicle was made in heaven at the Kingdom Factory.  God himself was it's engineer, and angels worked on it's engine, tuning it up just right for that Great Day in the sky, the day heaven's glory comes down to the earth to pick up the saints and bring them home.  The Lord Jesus was the driver.  In fact, his hand gripped the steering wheel this very day.
   Though John didn't know it, today would be that day.
   'After dinner, I'll go over the emails', John thought, changing his routine slightly.  Normally, he'd do family things and spend time on his computer around 11:00.  But today he felt different, like he should do it early.  His intuition was onto something.  
   Up ahead, the road crested and John took his time, knowing an intersection approached.  "I wonder if CJ's going to post tonight," John whispered aloud.  "Ah, I doubt it.  He usually only posts on Valerie's site.  He's quite a fellow, though.  I like that young man."
   Suddenly, the wind shifted quickly and a loud blast split open the sky above, causing a great earthquake down below.  But John was no longer on the earth, he wasn't even in his car.  He had been pulled up into the sky at an incredible speed.  Chaos struck the earth, but John was unaware of it as he broke through the first set of clouds and met the Lord in the air, along with Michael the archangel who held a trumpet in his hand.  And a host of angels and saints in great numbers appeared all around shouting and praising His name.  "Praise be our God.  The Great God Jehovah!  Praise be the Lamb!  The Mighty Lamb of God!"  And Jesus rejoiced with His people and stretched out his arms around each and every one, carrying His children as he so yearned to do.  The angels and saints cried HALLELUJAH as the Rapture Express streaked through the universe.