Posts Tagged With: Christian Fiction

“The Encounter II”

Due to so many things God is giving me right now, I decided to go ahead and put “The Encounter II” in its entirety on a page of its own. Hopefully it will be easy to print out if you would like to read it as a book in your recliner, for those of us not having the latest technology, or we simply still like holding pages in our hands. ūüôā

I have two series going at this time I want to devote space to, “Playing Your Cards Right”, and “More than a Christian”. I’m also very excited about what “The Encounter III” shall be and can hardly wait to¬†begin writing it, but I will be living it as I do, so expect something unusual, folks.

I’m feeling an urgency in the Spirit right now. Star Wars says there is an awakening happening, and so there is, but what kind of awakening shall it be? Do we want Hillary Clinton as our next President? I believe that is destined to be if we don’t have the right key to upset that applecart. I see Sarah Palin as just the right MockingJay to upset that cart. The sleeping giant, the Church, must wake up, or continue to be the frog in the boiling pot.

You can expect this blog site to challenge your thinking and push an edge. There is a spiritual civil war happening and there are watchmen blowing the Ram’s Horn if you have an ear to hear. This site is not for those who want to keep on sleeping. David and his mighty men were on the move even while King Saul was still reigning. Both the story of Encounter I & II, are meat for preparing in these last days, but only for those intentional enough to read, learn, and be inspired.

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“The Encounter” Chapter Eighteen 10/25/14

It was now Sunday afternoon and Dan was locked away in his den again. The family meal after church had been good, but his weekend was almost over and he still had some things to organize in his mind. He wanted to make some kind of a list. What did this thing look like on paper, to him, in his own words? If it could be put in a priority list, what would it look like?

The blank sheet of paper on the computer screen stared him in the face. He wanted to get this right, but he wasn’t sure how to start? Finally, he decided to take a step of faith and follow his heart. He was surprised at the first words¬†coming to his¬†mind.

“This is not my Home”

1.) Why do I live like this is my home?

2.) I am called to high places with God, to a priesthood, to be an eagle and not a sparrow.

3.) No more will I major on the minors, “a flapper”,¬†but I will recognize what is truly important to my home with God.

4.) My priority list is: “Seek ye “FIRST” the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness…”¬†My priesthood¬†is Priority One!

5.) How will I do this?

6.) A tender heart. My tender heart will keep me in His path. The first step is LOVE. A heart broken for Him.

7.) His presence will be my guiding light. I will love His presence in my life, this is His priesthood.

8.) Anything that causes my awareness of Him to diminish, is my enemy.

9.) Anything that causes my awareness of Him to increase, will be my delight.

10.) In this way will my tender heart draw me to the high places, closer to Him, and we will soar.

11.) In this way will the lives of others be touched by God, through me.

12.) In this way will I live in the supernatural, even now. No more “ordinary” living.

Dan looked at his list and was very¬†surprised. A tender heart towards God was the key to it all. Jesus told one church that they had left their first love. He thought about all the blessings God had blessed him with, and how he let those blessings become the very thing causing him to be too busy for God. “Now that is cold,” Dan thought. “Cold hearted.”

Yes, his list surprised him, but he liked it. His tender heart had led him to a list of greater wisdom than he had known. With this list his eagle wings would grow, and he would never be the same. He was an eagle looking down from the high places. Everything looked so different from here. Already, he could see how much his perspective of truly living had changed, and he felt excitement in his soul. He felt a fire. A warm fire glowing, and a hot fire growing, to change the world. That was what his soul had missed, a holy fire within. Now he had it, and he smiled.

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“Do you have your Gotham?”

Gotham City! A place where crime is high, evil lurks in every corner, and even the police department and government officials are not to be trusted! In the midst of all this, what rises up out of nowhere but one Capped Crusader, to stand against the darkness in the night, and save his city!

Okay, perhaps that is being just a little melodramatic, but have you asked God for your very own personal Gotham City?

Whatever evil happens in Gotham, the Batman takes it very personal. This is his town, and he is here to save it! To protect the innocent, as his parents were when murdered that fateful night. Must we have such an extreme thing happen to us before we see the great need of our times? Because, believe me folks, extreme things are coming if we don’t start making a real difference now!

Have you asked God for your “target”. The eagle sets in the high places and spots his prey from afar. It is true we should be ready to seek and to save wherever we go, but do you also have a specific and very personal target? It should be something very important to you. Is it your family, something connected to a skill or talent you have, or the place where you work? Do you have a specific mission from God, for you to rise up like a Capped Crusader and crusade! Fight evil! Pray! Shine light! Give love! Speak the name of Jesus and come against every Joker, Riddler, Two-Face, and demon that sticks up its ugly head because this is your territory and you’re here to save the city! No one else is doing it, the times are desperate and bless God you’re going to become that person! In time, others will join you, and then your team will fight evil together, seeking to save that which is lost!

My life is in a reset right now, and God has given me some very specific targets. This has been a practice in my life for a long time, but since I am about to do it again, maybe I should share the action as it happens. After my back surgery, I discovered I would no longer be a truck driver. I knew everything was changing, so I went to God for new assignments.

First he had me remodel a room of our house and create “Prayer School”, which we have now changed the name to “Eagle Mountain”. At any rate, it is up and running, and there are some pictures of all that in this blog site, somewhere around April, May, June area. But here are the targets now.

1.) I’m about to go to my very first Writers Conference! Anderson University in Anderson Indiana. The money for the conference was not easy to come by, considering I’m not working, but God provided a wolf dog for me to babysit, (can you believe it?), for $100/week, and we made it! It happens at end of this month.

2.) I’m targeting downtown Indianapolis for my Gotham City! I’ve already done some nighttime runs on the IndyGo bus system, to learn how all that works. (And that was an adventure in itself. I think the “Time Master” tried to do me in, but a short run saved the day!)

I plan to get a job downtown after the writers conference is over, and I am targeting downtown as my main area to seek and to save that which is lost! Holy Cow Batman! I will try to write an article once and a while to let everyone know how this goes. I’m starting from scratch. I have no downtown connections or advantages of any sort to expect any thing special to happen, but that is exactly what I am expecting.

Now listen, if you think I’m making fun, I’m not! I plan to go into this city, highly trained, armed and dangerous¬†against the devil! Light is a weapon against his darkness. Truth is a weapon against his lies. Love is a weapon against his hate. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal! But they are very real! And Satan knows it. Do you target a mission field with your God given talents, anointing, and weapons? If not you, then who?

There may be those who laugh at what I’m suggesting here, but at least I will be one doing something. So if you do laugh, I hope you are¬†at least someone who lives like you’re on a mission for God, otherwise, maybe you should not be laughing?

Selah. (Pause and think about that.)

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“The Encounter” Chapter Fourteen 10/13/14

The clock read 3:00 a.m. as he reentered his den. The walk had been peaceful and refreshing. He wanted to hit the book for a little longer and then retire to bed. His mind already had a lot to sleep on. Dan realized the value of feeding things into your mind and then sleeping on it. He learned this a long time ago, there was something about the stage between sleeping and waking that was a womb of inspiration and genius. The twilight zone, as you lay there floating, not asleep, nor fully awake. He was very anxious what his mind might present during this time, after feeding on so much information, but he wanted to add just a little more. What was the next point this book was about to make?

Turns out it was a reference to Exodus 19:4. Dan flipped his Bible to the location and began reading:

Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians… and how I bare you on eagle’s wings… and brought you unto myself.

The Pastor explained that this was a picture of salvation, and note that God points out three very specific things! #1> “Ye have seen what I did to the Egyptians”.The Children of Israel had become the “slaves” of the Egyptians. They were in hard bondage, building an empire for a heathen people, not even their own. They had no hope. They were powerless to stand up against so great an army. The Egyptians even murdered their male children when born, to keep their numbers within a certain range, and keep them weak. There was no escape, and no hope, until God defeated Egypt for them.

Egypt was symbolic of the devil and being sold into slavery by your sins, with no hope of ever being free unless God intervened, and so he did. The picture continued¬†very vivid as God parted the “Red” Sea, allowing the Children of Israel to escape, but then drowned Pharaoh and his army in those very same waters. God entered in, fought for them, defeated Egypt, symbolic of Satan and the world, and saved Israel. This was salvation through Christ.

Point #2> “and how I bare you on eagles’ wings”. Once again the eagle came into reference as a description of what God had done in salvation! Psalms 91, I shall cover you with my feathers, and under my wings shalt thou trust! Again, God did the heavy lifting, birthed on eagles’ wings and escorted into a lifestyle the eagle is a picture of, but sadly,¬†time and time again, Israel failed to be anything but little flapping sparrows.

Here is what the Teacher particularly wanted the student to see, Point #3, “and brought you unto myself”. Once again, they that wait upon the Lord, shall mount up with wings as the eagle and be brought unto Himself! A gathering of eagles! Reconfirming over and over again how his creation of the eagle was a picture for all those desiring to come unto God! To become one, draw close, live in the high places, and know the powerful life God offers! To which, a bunch of worthless flapping is detrimental, for it is not God’s way and we have not so learned Christ! God wants to draw close to us, and the eagle represents that powerful life in Him.

Dan understood that God fought the devil and defeated him, so he could bare Dan on eagles’ wings, and bring him to Himself. What a beautiful picture, but Dan had failed to value the power of his priesthood, able to offer up spiritual sacrifices that opened portals for God to move. Flapping had been his way as he lived his man-made life, but now things were different, because his eyes had been opened to a much larger world, offering a different way to live. Dan was ready to soar, and wanted nothing less!

The book was not done, but he was too tired to go any further. He glanced at where the Preacher was going and saw something about “youth being renewed”. “Wow, that sounds interesting,” he thought, but weariness was upon him, so he wrote a note to Cathy saying: “Please make arrangements with the baby sitter for tonight. I should be up around noon. I have lots to share, but I want to do it over a nice meal. I love you, and looking forward to tonight.” He left the note where she would see it, and then gently crawled into bed where he swiftly drifted off to dream the dreams of a child of God. No, Dan was not a bird as he had so plainly stated to Cathy before… but he was a child of God.

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“The Encounter” Chapter Nine 10/7/14

It was time. Dan looked at the clock and it was pushing nine p.m.. “Already?” he thought. It was not that late, but it was time to get the coffee going. He did not want to¬†be drowsy while he studied. He leaned back in his chair and rubbed his eyes. Once he started rubbing them, it was hard to stop. Cathy would be putting the kids in bed about now.¬†He leaned forward and grabbed the thermos full of coffee. As it poured into the cup, steam rose up. The extra money spent on a thermos¬†was worth it.

Coffee and peanut butter cookies, that would keep him going for now. The author of the book had opened his eyes to the power of spiritual sacrifices offered to God. They were more than just rituals and religious practices, they opened portals. They opened portals. Did he even believe in such things? He decided he did. Now what was he going to do?

To neglect opening powerhouse portals in the spirit, allowing God to move, allowing the Holy Spirit to flow in, allowing the supernatural to shape the natural, to neglect such a gift seemed ridiculously foolish, and yet that is what most Christians do, according to this teacher. He pondered these things as he chewed on another cookie, the sugar and coffee beginning to do their job.

Long shadows were reaching across the neighborhood¬†while he stared out the window. Another day almost done, and for what? What would this day matter in eternity? The big house, fancy four-wheel drive truck, flat-screen tv, all the hours spent selling pipe as if the world depended on it, just so he could have such things? But they would be gone, and then what? What was a flat-screen worth at the pawn shop in heaven? What kind of trade-in value on the truck? What would be the resale value of his big house? What “would” have value in heaven? So much time spent trying to have a good time down here, when this is not even our home? This is not our home? “Then why do I live like it is?” he had to ask. No answer.

“Why do I live like earth is my home?” he continued pressing. Did he really¬†believe the Bible? Did he believe he was a new creation, never existed before? No longer belonging to this planet, but a Kingdom called heaven? Why did he work so hard trying to enjoy earth, and lay so little up for his real home? In the eyes of God, he was living upside down, and that was why he had this inner struggle driving him crazy. He was living the normal mortal life. The ordinary life, but¬†there was something bigger and better out there, and his soul knew it, even yearned for it.

The Preacher in the book was starting to relate everything to the eagle. This Priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices, was a picture of people who choose to actually practice the powerhouse virtues of their faith, as explained in scripture. The first “eagle scripture” they went to, was the very popular one of Isaiah 40:31. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not¬†be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

First he pointed out that this was a very supernatural formula, showing supernatural results. Dan could see that the Preacher had an obvious point. He went on to say, it is those who “wait”…upon the Lord… who meet the requirement to open this portal of power and blessing. However, then he asked, “What does it mean to wait?”

Dan thought the answer to that was obvious also, but turns out it was not. In the Hebrew, that word translated as “wait”, actually meant to be intertwined like the cords of a rope! “Hhmm,” Dan thought, “that certainly shines a¬†different light on it.” It was a word indicating unity, oneness, harmony, agreement, relationship, time spent becoming one, a unity of purpose and passion. And for those who fulfilled this, a portal opened, the promises of¬†strength renewed, and wings as eagles, run and not weary, walk and never faint. “Wow,” he sighed as he sat back in his chair again and looked out at the darkness.

“What does this look like in real life?” he tried to understand, because he knew he would not grow literal physical wings, and if he ran he would certainly eventually collapse. Could a person really live this? Then he thought about Cathy’s dad, Don. “Yes, we can, and that is what it looks like.”

The pieces were beginning to come together in his head. He was a new creature in Christ, a royal priesthood able to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God. These sacrifices opened supernatural portals, allowing God to do things that only God can do. To him be all the glory. In this process there is a “unity”, a “oneness” that must develop between the Master and his disciple. If he practiced these spiritual disciplines faithfully, the unity of purpose would develop, and powerful portals would open, confirming something that used to be called…“the Anointing!”

But this was only the beginning, there was more.

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“The Encounter” Chapter Six 9/30/14

When Dan walked in his front door, his wife was surprised. “What are you doing home already?”¬†He explained to her what had happened.

As he was ending his sad tale, “I’m surprised it hadn’t happened before now,” he said. “I’ve had some small incidences, but this is major. It’s the first major one in my territory, but it won’t be the last, and word will spread fast.”

“So what’s your plan?” Cathy asked.

“Ha! That’s a good question. What plan? I got nothing. I feel trapped, Honey.¬†And by the very thing I never wanted, to feel like I make my living by lying. I don’t know another company out there that would¬†offer¬†the type of deal Farm Co. did.¬†When Jim recruited me they knew I would not be a part of the wine and dine sales tactics. They accepted me that way and made provisions for it, but Cathy, look what has happened. So¬†I’m not ready to go looking for another sales job yet. There is more going on here than just a career crises, and I’ve got to figure it out. Which leads me to the only plan I have, and it’s not much.”

Cathy waited for more, but Dan was just standing there with a cocky grin on his face. He was waiting for her to ask. She finally gave in,¬†“Well, what is it?”

“You’re going to laugh,” he said.

She wasn’t asking again, but she did give him “the look”.

“Okay, do you remember the book your dad bought me a couple of years ago?”

“I do remember a book, because he bragged about it so much and said it changed his life. Come to think of it, he has been different ever since, but I’m not sure what to think of the ‘difference’. If you know what I mean?”

“Yes. It all happened when he had the back surgery and lost his job. I remember now. He spent time in the book while he was recovering, and we all wondered what he was going to do? He couldn’t drive a truck¬†anymore, and he had no other skills. Most people would have been worried out of their minds, but he said God had it covered. And looking back, it seems he did.”

“If that’s what you call it,” Cathy qualified. “He could make more money as a Security Officer, and he has the background for it, but he said God had given him a ‘target’. Yes, I remember it to this day. And he started riding a Metro bus downtown, got a nine-dollar an hour job in the mall, and he calls it his ‘ministry’. Sounds pretty crazy if you ask me.”

“Are their bills all paid?” Dan asked.

“Yes, but I don’t know how?”

“Does your mom seem happy?”

“Yes.”

“Have you ever seen your dad happier, or more at peace? And look how many people he has led to Christ in the downtown area. He told me that he gave up driving a truck to¬†become a ‘hunter’. Said he always liked hunting anyway, but hunting for God was the greatest! He also talked about living like an eagle.”

“Yes! I remember now,” Cathy said. “I know right where the book is.”

“Well, dear, that’s my plan. I’m home early and I have the better part of three days to spend with that book. Now don’t get worried, because I don’t expect to become a Metro bus rider, or a mall employee. I understand that God has a different plan for everyone, but I need to¬†learn ‘how to know that plan’. And I got a feeling the eagle is just the bird that can explain it to me. Know what I mean?”

Dan saw a light flash in Cathy’s eyes, and a smile come on her face, as she said, “You just hang on there, Lover Boy, I know exactly where it is.” Up the stairs she went, and one minute later she was handing him the book. It felt good in his hands, but he had a lot of doubts. These are long odds at best, he thought, as he faced it towards him and read the title, “Flap Less / Soar More”. With a subtitle of, “Living in the High Places with God”.

“Flap Less,” he repeated. “Sounds¬†perfect. I sure am tired of flapping. I’m a little envious of Blackie. I wish someone would wrap my wings and stop me from flapping for a while. Which reminds me, I want to call Mrs. Parker the Bird Doctor tomorrow, and get a date for when they hope to release Blackie. I want to be there. Maybe we can make a family outing of it, with the kids.”

“That sounds good, Dear. We should definitely do that. The kids will love it.” Cathy confirmed.

“Oh, and one more thing, Honey. Don’t tell your dad I’m reading his book. I don’t want him getting his hopes up. Just in case this doesn’t work for me.”

“Smart move. My lips are sealed,” she agreed.

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“The Encounter” Chapter Five 9/29/14

“Listen here Dan, you stand on that pipe and tell me that’s the same pipe I used to get¬†from you!” John almost yelled. He had a right to be upset. John was a private contractor and¬†an entire line had collapsed beneath a parking lot. A large section was going to need to be dug up and repaved. Farm Co. would share in the loss if it was proven to be faulty pipe, if not, then John was going to be taking a large loss.

“I can’t do that, John. I haven’t been able to stand on our pipe for at least a year now. Our company will have a man out to inspect everything, and we’ll go from there.”

“Dan,” John continued, “It hurts me to have to say this. I like you a lot, and I hope you still come by from time to time, but Farm Co. is not what it used to be. They still expect top dollar from products¬†offering less quality. I’m afraid I won’t be doing business with you guys anymore. And your company better make good on this mess!”

“I hear ya, John. I understand.”

When Dan climbed back in his truck and drove away, the first thing he did was call the company. “Look boss, you got a serious situation here. You’re going to have to send an inspector out. And by the way, it’s Friday and I’m canceling my other meetings. I just took a good butt chewing, and right now I couldn’t sell fire in Alaska. I’m going to need the weekend to get my head together.” The boss knew when not to argue, and Dan was headed home.

Once again¬†he found himself rolling down a black top road…trapped on the road…feeling like he was flapping, flapping, flapping…and no one running to his rescue. He considered John a friend, he had sold¬†him the¬†pipe, and now John was hurt because of him.

“I wish I were an eagle,” he said to himself, thoughts flowing as he drove. He turned the reins loose on his mind to let¬†his thoughts go wherever they would. “I wish I were an eagle, they do less flapping, and more soaring. I could just fly away from all of this.¬†Yeah, soaring…that sounds so good.” He had not been able to get the vision of the flapping black bird out of his head. For days now, every time he looked in his driver’s side mirror, he saw Blackie helplessly flapping on the road.

Dan remembered he had a book at home that was given him by Cathy’s dad. He never read it, but it was some preacher teaching about a supernatural lifestyle. Supposedly, the eagle was a biblical metaphor for what this preacher taught. Cathy’s dad, Don, liked the book so much that he bought a copy for him. That was two years ago, and it still sat on a shelf untouched. Dan liked being a Christian, but he didn’t want to be spooky about it. He had seen Christians like that.¬†He didn’t want to be considered weird. Of course, Jesus certainly was in a category all his own. But that was Jesus.

“I’ve got two days to get my head together,” he considers, “but what shall be the shape of things to come? You can’t keep doing the same old things and expect different results. I’ve got to try something new, and I have no idea what that should be.¬†What does¬†Don mean by, supernatural? Cathy’s dad has always been religious, but he comes across as very sensible. Nothing spooky about him. Could there be another way of living? I thought that super stuff all ended with the Apostles? Or maybe the supernatural does not always mean raising the dead?” Dan knew right then he was finally ready to read the book. Could he find answers there?

He would give it a try, but he wasn’t going to get his hopes up, after all, he wasn’t a bird.

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“The Encounter” Chapter Four 9/28/14

“Honey, I don’t know what came over me?”

Dan was in the process of trying to explain to his wife, Cathy, about the encounter he had with the black bird. The¬† only problem was, he didn’t understand it either, and that was what he wanted her to understand, that he was confused about how this¬†meaningless incident had¬†affected him.

“It was like a spiritual encounter, or something,” he struggled on, searching for words to explain.

Cathy could tell something was bothering him, so she wanted to get to the bottom of this, but how could a bird hitting your windshield be a spiritual encounter? Men are not good at sharing their feelings, so that was only making matters worse as Dan kept trying to explain.

“So there I was,” he said. “I’m just driving down the road on the way to my first meeting and I hit a black bird. So what? Why didn’t I just keep on driving? The next thing I know, I’m running up the road to save this bird!”

“That’s good, honey,” Cathy ventured, “you had compassion on the poor suffering creature. That’s a good thing.”

“That’s not normal, dear. Not for me. I missed a sales call over a black bird!”

“Well, you can make it up, right?”

“Of course I can, but I want to know what really happened?”

“What do you mean?” she questioned, beginning to get more interested. Was her husband having an early midlife crises?

“Well? Even if I did feel sorry for the bird, and I rescued it from the road, but then a bird doctor just happens to be nearby? And some of the things she said about Blackie.”

“Blackie?” she asked, “Who’s Blackie?”

“Oh, that’s what I named the bird.”

“You named the bird? In such a short time, you named the bird? Do you really feel like you both knew each other that¬†well in so little time?” Cathy couldn’t help it, she was about to crack up, she just had to take advantage of such a golden opportunity.

“I know. You can make fun all you want, but that is exactly what I mean. I can’t believe I named the bird, either! And when Mrs. Parker the bird doctor spoke to…”

Cathy totally lost it right there. “I’m sorry…ha ha ha…I can’t take it…ha ha… Parker the bird doctor! HA ha ha ha…you’re killing me! This just keeps getting better! Is this for real, or or are you making all this up? Haaaa ha heheheee…I’m gonna cry!¬† Oh my belly hurts.”

For the next five minutes they both sat there in the living room laughing over and over. When one of the kids happened to pass through they just looked at them like what is wrong with mom and dad, and that caused them to laugh even more. And then mom would ask them if they have heard about Blackie the bird and Mrs. Parker the bird doctor, and they laughed even more as the children slowly walked away shaking their heads.

Ten minutes later, normal conversation had finally resumed. “Cathy, I’m telling you, when ‘the vet’ told me what was going on with the bird, I felt like she was diagnosing me!”

“What?’ she responded, very intrigued.

“Yes. When she said the bird had damage to its wings, and all his flapping was going to keep him from healing, and so he would be restricted from flapping for a couple of months, and then he had a fifty-fifty chance of flying again. For a bird, freedom and survival depends on their ability to fly. I still see Blackie in my mirror, after he was hit. He didn’t know what else to do, so he just kept flapping, even though it was only doing more damage. There he was, still on the road…flapping. And I felt like that was me. I jumped out of the truck, and I ran to his rescue.” Dan paused for a moment before saying,¬†“I think I see it now, but I don’t know what to do?”

Cathy moved over closer to her husband and said, “I don’t know either, but whatever it is, we will get through this together. We will figure this out.”

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“The Encounter” Chapter Two / 9/26/14

When Dan left his home that morning, he had a secret, but he did not want to worry his wife. This had been an inner conflict, and concern, for many months now. He was still on his way to work as he pondered, thinking back ten years, when Jim recruited him that day. He only agreed for one reason, and he still remembered the conversation as he replayed it in his head. Jim had asked him to go out for a private talk, a little coffee shop just up the road. It was close to his lunch break, so they went.

Setting there with coffee and a grilled cheese before him, Jim began sharing about the opportunity at Farm Co, and that he was perfect for the job. Dan let him talk for a while before deciding to explain the reason he could never be a salesman.

“Jim,” Dan said, “there is one main thing that has kept me from ever going into a full-blown sales¬†career.” Dan left this statement hanging in the air, pausing, and staring into Jims eyes.¬†He wanted to make sure he understood where he was coming from.

“Well, what is it?” Jim finally asked.

“I’m a Christian, and I simply cannot lie to people about a product. If it is not the very best, then I can’t tell them so. And I can’t be one-of-the-boys. I’m not ‘one-of-the-boys’. I don’t like dirty jokes, and I don’t go to bars. I can’t wine and dine the way companies like to do to win their customers. I know I have the gift, but I just can’t live that lifestyle. How could I compete against salesmen willing to do those things? I’ve always appreciated you, Jim, because you’re an honest guy and Farm Co has a really good product, but you wouldn’t believe the offers my boss gets from other companies. They come in bragging about their service and product, they take him out to Hooters or wherever he wants to go. We end up buying some of their¬†stuff and it’s second rate at best! But the boss keeps it around because he likes the benefits. I couldn’t be one of those guys, Jim. I won’t be one of those guys.”

Dan noticed Jim take a real long drink of his coffee before he sat it down. He had a big smile on his face¬†when he¬†finally responded, “Dan, that is exactly why you are perfect for this job. As you know, we do have the best product going at a fair price. Quality and fairness¬†are priorities one and two with us, because we have Christian men at the head of this company. If there is any wine and dining that needs to be done, we have people that can do that. Dan, you won’t have to lie¬†for our company, and this would be the place you could finally spread your wings and soar.

The rest was history. Jim talked him into it that day and he absolutely loved it! And he did excel, rising to be one of the top salesmen in a very short time. His regular pay plus commissions proved to be more money than he ever thought he would make, and Cathy was elated. They bought a new house the second year. Then he bought her a luxury minivan just like she always wanted. He had a company truck and didn’t need a vehicle. Life was good! He sold the heck out of those drainage products, because they were the best, and he could sell¬†it with all his heart, and still sleep good at night. Unfortunately, that was no longer true, and therein lie his secret, his conflict, and his problem.

It was a beautiful fall day as he drove down the road.¬†He couldn’t believe he felt so heavy on such a gorgeous day, but he did. It was hard to even appreciate, when you have such dark clouds hanging in your head. He did not understand why the factories had lowered the quality of their product, but they had and there was nothing he could do about it. He used to be able to stand on a corrugated drainage pipe and it would not crush, but this was no longer true, and it¬†wasn’t the weight he had gained, either. He knew the truth, but the¬†conflict was that¬†he liked his level of lifestyle.¬†He simply¬†did not see how¬†they could ever go back to anything less? How would they pay for college for the kids? How could they possibly survive on anything less? Cathy and he¬† were now¬†accustom to the finer things of life. He just couldn’t see any way out, so he told himself to be the good soldier and just keep pressing on. Run harder, do more, make more money until you’re able to leave one day.

As Dan approached the company office he found himself driving right on by. His first sales-call was a contractor in Wheaton, Illinois, about an hour’s drive away. He¬†had everything he needed in the truck, and¬†driving felt good. He kept the wheels of the black four-wheel drive rolling down the road, right along with the thoughts rolling in his head. “What am I going to do?” he asked himself.¬†His sales had already been dropping because he simply would not pitch it as the best pipe out there, anymore. The contractors were discovering the truth, too, and he now¬†dreaded every sales-call.

“What am I supposed to do, Lord? Am I suppose to just quit, and not support my family?” He couldn’t believe he was actually¬†arguing with God. “No one will understand. It will be a horrible testimony, but do I make a living lying? If I don’t get my sales back up, I may not have to quit. Where are you when I need you, Lord?”

Dan used to talk¬†with God a lot while in the truck, but over the years the conversations had become less and less. Prayer had become less too, and he felt a little guilty about asking God where he was when needed. “What’s happened to us, Lord? I just don’t get it anymore.”

Living like a man on a mission kept you busy, and depending on what your mission was…well…? Okay, it was hard to pray and find time to do all the things a Christian is supposed to do. He didn’t want to admit it, but his priorities had been upside down for the past three years, and he had just gotten busier and busier, being successful. He loved being a testimony of the “goodness” of God. Occasionally he was able to help people, when they got in a financial fix, and just needed a hand up. This was his way of witnessing, showing the goodness¬†and prosperity of God, after all, wasn’t that what a Christian was supposed to be? Wasn’t Abraham very wealthy and successful?

Isn’t that what a Christian is supposed to be? The question lingered in his mind. “But what about all the other stuff?” he asked himself. “What about the spiritual side, the invisible things, not the material things we see and touch. When was the last time I actually felt led by an unseen voice to walk in something that was just spiritual, self-sacrificing, based on a kingdom in heaven, and not down here? What about all those things? When do I have time for all those things? When was the last time I spent a day seeking God to find out if I’m even doing what he wants me doing?”

BAAAM!!!

“What the heck?” Dan yelled as he ducked and swerved the wheel! Fortunately, he quickly regained control, pulled off the side and sat there catching his breath. It was so sudden! Something big and black hit the windshield right in front of him. He had reacted as if he were about to be hit, which almost caused him to wreck before he realized what was actually happening. Some big and black bird had smacked his windshield, and now he could see it in his side mirror. It was¬†flopping around still on the road. It could be simply dazed and needing a chance to recover.

Something about that bird called to him, and before he knew it, he popped open his door and began running up the road.

>>>>>>>>>>>>> (End Chapter two. Hope you enjoyed.)

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New Update on Jonah Joe!

We now have two ways of ordering “The Last Christmas of Jonah Joe”! I should have thought of this sooner! Our book continues to be carried in Brown County, Nashville Indiana, at the bookstore known as: “The Book Loft”, and they also do mail order! So if you would like to give them a call at 812-988-0202, they would be happy to ship you the book. I will add this phone number to our side bar information.

This is an amazing time we live in. As a baby-boomer, I do not find all these new technologies easy to keep up with, and as much as it baffles me in many ways, every effort I have made to learn even just a little has been well rewarded! As my wife and I were looking at our new website, and I explained to her that what we were actually looking at was a store! A store that someone can enter into, look around, and decide if they would like to make a purchase? How cool is that?

My little store only has one book to offer at this time, but I have four other books written, and all of this has very much inspired me to work towards getting them on the shelf of my store. What a tremendous day we live in. I’ve already chosen the second book and I am hard at work going through it again, in an effort to get it just right. I don’t know how God is going to do this, because all of this requires a certain amount of money to produce, and we all know how challenging finances can be. So one step at a time, I hope to eventually fill my little store with books that inspire us all to live a little closer to our Lord. Amen.

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