One Day

“Well,” I began after we climbed into the car that Friday night as we headed to the hotel, “that was a good one, too.”

            “Yes,” Felicity agreed. “It was. What a sad view to believe.”

            “Not much different from Post-Trib,” Steve observed. “In both cases, you get to die.”

*                                  *                                  *                                  *

            “There,” Steve said, setting the case in the trunk. “Mama packed an extra set of clothes for today.”

            I nodded my head. “Alright,” I said as I checked to see his fingers were out of the way before shutting the trunk. “Everyone ready?”

            We climbed in the car, prayed briefly for safety today, and started up. Backing the car up,  I put it in drive and we wheeled out the parking lot.

            “This glad morning since the night is o’er/ We’ll drive away,” Steve started our travel version of I’ll Fly Away. The children had one verse so far that they had modified (or murdered—not sure which).

            “We’ll drive away, drive away (Oh glory!)/We’ll drive away/When night’s done (Hallelujah!) by and by/We’ll drive away!” they finished.

            “Could we sing the real song?” Susie asked.

            Felicity began the song in her alto voice, “Some glad morning…”

             We sang all the way to the Martins’, and arrived about three minutes early.

            “Good morning,” Ed greeted us as we walked to his door. Ruth, David, and the twins stood just behind him. Emily and Anna emerged from the kitchen.

            “We take our shoes off,” Ed stated when I caught sight of seven pairs of socks standing around. “Keeps the house cleaner.”

            “That’s what we think too,” I agreed as we took our shoes off. “We take our shoes off at home, too.”

            Just then the Millers emerged from their various locations.

            “Good morning,” Antoine declared. “You all are a little early.”

            “A little, I guess,” I stated.

            “But breakfast is almost ready,” he stated. “If everyone wants to head to the kitchen.”

            We marched our way to the kitchen and sat down. After Ed led in prayer, I glanced around in the kitchen. Six adults: Ed and his wife, Emily; Antoine and his wife, Anna; and Felicity and I sat like islands among the sea of children: my three, Steve, Susie, and Joel; Ed’s five, Anna, David, Ruth, Rachel, and Rebecca; and Antoine’s six, Sharon, Adeline, Luke, Timothy, Lisa, and Esther.

            The breakfast was well done: fried eggs, scrambled eggs (which was a good thing—Felicity and Susie both can’t stand fried eggs), sausage, biscuits, gravy, and hash browns. Condiments included ketchup, mustard, grape, peach and strawberry jelly, and butter. And to wash it down, the Martins had water, juice, or milk (including chocolate syrup—much to Steve and Joel’s delight). All ate well, and there was some leftovers, which, (upon Ed’s insistence), we agreed to take when we got back. Ed read two chapters from Revelation after breakfast.

            After eating and reading, the sea of children (ranging in age from about eighteen to four)scattered throughout the house (and outside), while we adults prepared to leave.

            Once dinner (uh—the noon meal, that is) was ready, Antoine called the children in to finish getting ready. “Remember to get extra clothes so you have dry ones,” Emily instructed. “Oh, by the way,” she added, turning to me, “do you need clothes?”

            “Uh, no, thanks, we packed some,” I replied.

            “Alright,” she smiled. “Just wanted to make sure.”

            After everyone was ready, Ed led in prayer, and then we headed (after putting all those shoes on) to the vehicles.

            We followed the Martins and the Millers all the way to Biloxi, and then all of us drove to the beach. It was somewhat difficult to find a spot, being a Saturday, but we finally did.

            The rest of the day was spent there, with the typical activities. One time Antoine quoted a story I might have heard once or twice before:

            Antoine was helping some of the boys put together a sand castle. After it was finished, he stood up and remarked, “Reminds me of the story about the scientists.”   

            “What’s that?” I asked.           

            “Scientists told God, ‘With all our equipment and technology, we can do anything you can do!’” he began. “God said, ‘Okay, build a man.’ The scientists said, ‘Well, you built a man out of dirt, we’ll build a man out of dirt.’ God said, ‘NOPE! Get your own dirt!’”

            Everyone laughed.

            We ate around one in the afternoon. The Martins had packed lunchmeat, cheese, bread, sandwich condiments, fruit, and Antoine and Ed left briefly to pick up ice cream. Since they offered, I went with them. We picked up ice cream sandwiches at Wal-Mart and returned about twenty-thirty minutes after we left.

            After dinner (uh—the noon meal; well, maybe I should call it the afternoon meal), we played a bit more in the water, and then the children asked for a story. Antoine volunteered and then sailed off into a pirate story that I will try to share with everyone soon.

            As the afternoon became late, we quickly cleaned up and changed our clothes. Then we left for the church, after stopping briefly at the Martins’ house for the leftovers. It had been a great day with fellow children of God, and we all were looking forward to this evening.     

Adoption

Twenty-one year old Travis shut the door and locked it. Checking to make sure it was latched, he turned around and headed home. The building that he just left served two purposes: the lower level was a church and the upper level was the office/headquarters for Anabaptist Publishers, a Christian publishing company that also had a weekly radio and TV show, Baptists on the Air. Every Sunday, Travis or one of the other men led the service, while another one gave the message. Since Travis lived only three blocks away, he decided to walk.

As he neared his home, however, he thought he saw something on his front porch. Arriving at the swing, he noticed a baby carrier, a diaper bag, and a note tapped to the baby carrier handle. He picked up the note and read:

This is Joanna. She is nine months old; she was born in September of last year. I can no longer take care of her. Please excuse the inconvenience. I have included $100 for her care.

Sincerely, Joanna’s mother

Continue reading

“Are You on Death Row?”

Twenty-eight year old Robert Howard paced from one side of the cell to another. He looked at his watch. “Five more hours,” he muttered.

He looked up in time to see a guard walking by. “Hey you,” Robert spoke.

The guard stopped. Turning to Robert, he asked, “Yes?”

“Got a preacher you can bring here?” Robert asked.

“Sure,” the guard replied.

Robert sat down on the cot and waited. Finally the minister arrived.

“You send for a preacher?” the preacher, Bruce Andrews, asked.

“I didn’t send for anybody,” Robert replied.

“The warden said you asked for a preacher,” Bruce answered.

“Well the warden’s wrong,” Robert said sourly. “Maybe it was my forty-four year old mother.”

“Well you can tell your mother that her request has been heard,” Bruce said.

“And how am I supposed to tell my mother? I’m less than five hours away from a lethal injection—”

“Did you send for a preacher?” Bruce asked, when Robert didn’t say anything for a few moments.

“Yeah,” Robert admitted.

“Is there something you want to talk about?”

Robert shook his head.

“Then why did you asked for a preacher?”

Continue reading

A Trip Taken – 140 Years Ago

“Rose, put that crate in the wagon,” Mother Andrews directed. “Paul, does Father need help with the horses and cows?”

“Yeah, me and Robert are going to be herding them along the road,” seventeen-year old Paul replied.

A couple of hours later, thirteen wagons began the long journey west. The Andrews, along with nine other families, were leaving Columbus, Ohio, to settle in the new state of Nebraska. They had between eight and nine hundred miles ahead of them. “We have about fifty-eight days of travel,” Father calculated. “If we average fifteen miles a day, that is,” he added.

The Andrews family consisted of Father, Mother, seventeen-year old Paul, sixteen-year old Robert, fourteen-year old Cindy, ten-year old Keith, eight-year old Rose, and five-year old Emma. Besides the Andrews, there were two other Baptist families: the Mark Yoders and the Andrew Johnsons. The other wagon-train members dubbed them “The Baptist Braves.”

The first day they managed to get seven miles. They rounded up the cattle and settled down for the night.

“Father,” Cindy spoke as the family ate supper, “is that the sounds of a horse—”

“Hello!” someone called.

Father stood up. “Yes,” he said, “someone is coming.”

“Hello there,” Andrew called.

The horseman rode up to Andrew and dismounted. “Good evening,” he said.

“I’m Andrew Johnson,” Andrew said, extending his hand.

“And I’m Jimmy Sanders,” the horseman replied. “Are ya’ll on your way west?”

“Um-uh,” Andrew answered.

“I’m Martin Andrews,” Father introduced himself.

“Jimmy Sanders,” Jimmy replied.

“This is my wife, Martha,” Father answered.

“And this Amy,” Andrew introduced his wife.

The rest of the people were introduced, and Jimmy was invited to stay with them. Continue reading

“Ya’ll Could’ve had One, if Ya had a Wanted One.”

Once upon a time, there were five rescue crews near a great ocean. These five crews included the twenty-seven member Friendship Crew, the twenty-one member Plight Crew, the thirty-three member Modern Crew, the twenty-five member Busy Crew, and the fourteen member Rescue Crew. They operated as follows:

Friendship Crew believed that they had to make friends with the people on the ocean before they rescued them.

Plight Crew would receive a message for help, but then assure the boaters that God saw their plight and would see them through.

Modern Crew has all the modern technology: nice, big boats; brand-new radios, etc. But they believed that someone should come to their meetings, listen to their music, listen to their captain before they rescued you.

Busy Crew was so busy with building projects, careers, projects to improve bays, sport scores, etc. that they would only rescue you IF you fit into their schedule; IF it was convenient.

Out of all the crews on this beach, only ONE did any rescuing. They were the Rescue Crew. The other crews mocked them for their old-fashioned ways; thought that the boats commissioned by King James were too old; that the music wasn’t good enough to attract people; etc. But one stormy night…

It was late at night, about three o’clock in the morning. A storm was raging. Four of the crews had one man near the radio in case there was a message. Rescue Crew, however, had four men on call. These would alert the rest for anything that might happen.

And something did happen. Twenty miles out to sea, a ship, with 2,700 passengers and crew, was struggling for the land. It could fight the waves no longer. It started going down. Continue reading

A Knock on My Door

            Knock! Knock! Knock!

I looked up from my chair where I was reading the paper to my door. Sighing to myself, I got up and went to the door.

“Good evening, sir,” the stranger began. “This is my wife, Tracy, and my name is Keith. We’d like to share a truth with you from the Bible.”

My mental red flag shot up into the sky. Jehovah False Witnesses, I thought. Out loud I asked, “Are you from the Kingdom Hall in town?”

“Yes,” Keith answered.

“Well let me ask you,” I replied. “Who is your final authority?”

“The Bible,” Keith promptly answered.

“Well then,” I said, “take your Bible and turn to Isaiah 9:6.”

“Isaiah 9:6,” Tracy muttered.

“Now,” I said, “the Watchtower Society published the King James up until 1949, so they must agree with it, right?”

“Yeah,” Keith reluctantly agreed.

“Okay,” I said. “So since they agree with it, let’s read Isaiah 9:6:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

“Turn to Isaiah 7:14,” I said, not wanting them to comment. Continue reading

Flight 389

          Cody's Airplane

            Beep! Beep! Beep! Click!

            Jane turned her alarm clock off and sat up. When she remembered what day it was, she was wide awake. It was May 23rd, at 3:00 in the morning, and today was the day she was to leave for Europe. Her parents were going to drive her to Denver, Colorado, where she would fly east to Chicago, change planes, fly to New York City, where the plane would re-fuel, and then fly to Paris, France. She quickly dressed and went downstairs to help with preparations.

After reading the Bible and finishing preparations, the James Yoder family left Cody, Nebraska and began the 364-mile trip to Denver, Colorado. Stopping at Ellsworth to fill up on gas, James continued to Lakeside.

“Good morning, sir,” someone greeted James as the family entered a small diner.

“Good morning,” James replied.

“Where are you from?” the stranger asked.

“Cody, Nebraska,” James answered.

“I’m Robert,” the man said, extending his hand.

“And I’m James,” came the answer.

“Where are you headed?” Robert asked.

“Denver,” James replied.

“Ya’ll Mennonites or Amish?” Robert asked next.

“Not any more,” James answered. “We used to be, but when a little Baptist church started up, we started looking at things and decided to join the Baptist church.”

“So, why are you headed to Denver?”

“Jane is on her way to Europe as a missionary,” James explained.

“I see,” Robert said. “Well, I wish you well on your trip.”

“Thank you,” James replied.

“You said you’re on your way to Denver?” the cashier asked as James paid for the meal a while later.

“Yep,” James replied. Continue reading