Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Number 10 in My Story

     Part 10---Fearless Trust in God

     Sheila had finally woken up at around noon.  She felt sluggish and saddened by the fact that no one back home knew she was alive.  They all went down to Turn The Page and went in the back for some coffee and brunch, after saying hello to Mrs. Bartholomew.  Mr. Bartholomew was a bit cheerier today.  He still had gruffness in his voice, but at least he smiled.  "Good afternoon.  How are you young people today?", Mr. Bartholomew asked.  They all greeted him back with "good" and "fine", and asked the same.  Mr. Bartholomew told them he was having a great day and asked them what they wanted.  Sheila tried to hide the fact that she felt alone because of the thought that no one back home knew she still existed.  Drew cocked his head towards her, with a questioning look.  Sheila ate quietly, then excused herself to the bookstore.  She loved old books and went browsing in the antique books.  Drew let her go, without a word.  The others didn't notice at first.  Pastor Manuel looked at Drew, then toward Sheila, and kept silent.  Drew and Manuel didn't know what was bothering her, but they knew she needed time alone...to think.  Sheila looked at all the books in awe.  As she was looking, she got tears in her eyes.  She remembered Psalm 27:10, "For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up".  There was no abandonment issue as far as her parents leaving her, but they had no clue where she was and it seemed they gave up hope of her being alive...and it hurt.  But then she thought of Drew and how, because of drugs, his parents did abandoned him.

     She saw Mrs. Bartholomew coming up to her and she smiled at her.  "Hey, Mrs. Bartholomew, these books are amazing!"  She tried to hide her tears, but Mrs. Bartholomew saw right through Sheila.  "Can I help you with something?  Anything...at all?", she asked Sheila.  Sheila tried to hide her feelings, but it wasn't working.  "What is the oldest book in your collection?", Sheila asked.  She carefully looked through her books and found the oldest she had.  "Here it is.  1599 Geneva Bible", Mrs. Bartholomew showed Sheila.  Sheila looked astonished at her and opened it carefully and turned to Psalm 27.  Mrs. Bartholomew noticed and smiled.  "The Psalms are my favorite.  My husband and I read them together every night before going to sleep", Mrs. Bartholomew shared with Sheila, hoping to open her up and talk about what was bothering her. "Is this the original?", Sheila asked.  The lady nodded.  Sheila's eyes widened and she smiled.  "I've been studying Psalm 27 for some time", Sheila admitted.  Sheila read Psalm 27 from that Bible.  She was amazed at verse 10.  In this verse it said, "Though my father and mother should forsake me, yet the Lord will gather me up".  Sheila was comforted to know that the Bible was indeed timeless, and God has not changed.  "Thank you, Mrs. Bartholomew".  Sheila couldn't very well confide in Mrs. Bartholomew about what was really going on, but she knew that the lady would listen.  And it was good to know that she was a Christian.  Mrs. Bartholomew spoke again.  "We go to the little Baptist church right there on the corner", as she pointed down the street on the west side of her shop.  "Come join us Sunday", she invited.  Sheila smiled.  "We will, thank you".

     Sheila went back to the coffee shop.  The guys were just about ready to look around the bookstore, when Sheila arrived at the table.  Drew asked, "Are you OK?"  Sheila smiled.  "I'm better", she told him.  Sheila shared with her friends of Mrs. Bartholomew's faith.  Then she looked at Drew with compassion and asked him, "How do you go on, knowing that your parents have abandoned you?"  Drew was surprised at the question.  He thought for a minute, and remembered Psalm 27:10 also.  He quoted it to her, then asked, "What is this all about?  You haven't been abandoned".  She told them what she shared with Mrs. Bartholomew.  Drew had not thought about the abandonment in a couple of years, but he was all of a sudden saddened.  They drove to the motel and talked about it.  Drew wondered about the fact that his parents didn't care enough about him to stop doing drugs.  When he was younger he wondered also and his aunt counselled him.  The pastor asked him, "Have you forgiven them Drew"?  He didn't know for sure.  But Drew also didn't understand why Sheila felt abandoned, even though she explained.  Anger welled up in him, that Sheila or Kyle had never seen in him.  "How can you feel abandoned, when your parents took care of you?  They haven't left you"?!, he shouted.  He then realized what he was doing and began to sob.

     The pastor and Sheila held on to him, as Kyle and Ben watched with compassion.  "I'm sorry Sheila!  Why would anyone choose something, other than God, over their children?  Aunt Rita and I have talked about this, but I really still feel very angry.  I don't know what to do"!, Drew admitted.  Pastor Manuel shared with all of them about forgiveness at that time.  Sheila also mentioned that she wanted to stay until Sunday, and go to church with the Bartholomews.  They all agreed.  Drew realized he needed to let go of what his parents had done and forgive them.  Pastor Manuel went straight to the source.  "The cross".  He told them all that had happened leading up to being nailed to the cross.  The bloody beatings, the accusations, the spitting and the mocking.  And what did Jesus do?  He forgave them.  They all laid hands on Drew and prayed.  Drew cried like he had not cried since he was little.  He struggled with it and continued sobbing.  Sheila wept too because her situation was not like his, but she felt like he feels and empathized with him.

     Drew stopped sobbing and praying.  He got up and paced around the room, as they all carefully watched him.  "OK, Lord!  You think I should forgive a person or people who treat me like I'm nothing?  Fine!  But I can't do it without You!  Please help me to forgive"!, Drew cried out.  Everyone was looking at Drew, concerned.  They waited for his sobbing to stop.  A few minutes later, Drew stopped crying, looked up to Heaven and thanked God.  He smiled at all of them and they hugged him.  It was such a great relief to know that he could forgive and feel the release of pain, through His Lord.  They had to sit down and make a plan.  It was Saturday.  Tomorrow they were going to visit the Baptist church with the Bartholomews, then they had to decide what to do next.  The news was buzzing loudly around town about the missing kids.  They discussed whether to stay in the happy hollow until they could fix the situation, or run again.  They were all tired of running, and they all wanted to call home.  That night, everyone slept soundly, knowing Jesus was taking care of them and showing them the way.

Part 11 will be coming soon.  Thank you for your patience.  I am writing when I am able, though not as often as I'd like.  God bless.  




Friday, July 5, 2013


Based on Psalm 27

     They drove to another small town, to another small and homey motel.  They were all getting tired of running and were very discouraged.  It was 1p.m. and they hadn't eaten lunch yet.  They had to wait a couple of hours to check in at the motel, so they went to get a bite to eat and sight-see a little, for a little bit of relaxation.  They went to a sandwich and ice cream shop for lunch and a little dessert.  The town looked like something out of the Old West.  There were few cars parked on the street and even less people on the sidewalks.  They ate their meal and went looking in the bookstore next door.  Turn The Page was the name of the store.  They had antique collectible books to new and modern books.  You could take books in and sell them to the store.  The lady was very nice, a Mrs. Bartholomew.  She was about 50 years old and very soft-spoken.  Kyle thought she must have been a librarian at one time, because of the hushed voice she had.  "How may I be of service to you?", she practically whispered.  Sheila answered, "Thank you.  We're just browsing".  There were books, still in rather good condition from the 19th century.  They were all amazed to carefully browse through them.  "If you have any questions, just ask", Mrs. Bartholomew told them softly.

     In the back of the bookstore, there was a coffee shop, and Mr. Bartholomew ran that part of the store.  Sheila, Drew, Kyle, Ben and Pastor Manuel got a table and ordered their favorite coffees.  This coffee shop had exquisite service.  Instead of standing in line, Mr. Bartholomew and his waitress, Kelly came to the tables and took their orders.  "What would you like to drink today?", Mr. Bartholomew asked in a pleasant but gruff and booming voice.  He was a total opposite of his wife, though, both were very friendly.  "Are you new to the area?", Mr. Bartholomew asked.  "We're just passing through", Pastor Manuel answered.  "Oh!  Travelers!  Wonderful!  Welcome to our neighborhood!", Mr. Bartholomew greeted them.  They were kind of uncomfortable because he came over and wanted to talk.  They didn't want to give him too much information, but they also didn't want to seem rude.  They all ordered something to drink and Mr. Bartholomew, in his booming voice, want to chat with them.  "Where are you from?", he asked.  They all said, "California".  He told them all about the town and how long him and his wife lived there, and how long they had the store, then asked, "How long will you be staying in this fine town?"  They had no idea, so Drew came up with an answer.  "We're all taking a road trip through Canada.  We're all friends who had vacation time.  We have three weeks to travel, so we're only staying the night", Drew lied.  They all were conversing with him, then he had a few more customers to tend to.

     They left and continued down the street, looking at all the different shops.  It seemed as though people were staring at them, and their suspicion arose.  They were hiding and felt like everyone knew it.  At 3p.m. they went to the motel and checked in.  There was a big screen TV in the lounge, across from the front desk, that had on the international news.  They froze at what they saw.  All of their pictures were plastered on the screen.  Though they changed their appearances to some extent, they still had panic inside.  Drew remembered Psalm 27:9, and prayed that verse to himself.  Do not hide your face from me, do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation".    Drew asked Pastor Manuel, "What do we do?"  Manuel had no answers, except to trust God.  They again got rooms and grouped up as usual.  The rooms were like the old country look.  They had all kinds of toiletries and towels and supplies at arms length.  They had a coffee pot, microwave and refrigerator.  Two beds in each room.  They again gathered in Manuel and Sheila's room for devotions and prayer time.  "Father, grant us safety, that we might further Your gospel", Pastor Manuel prayed.  They continued in Psalms, chapter 27.  Verse 9 came up, and Drew smiled.  He was relieved to know that God was listening.

     They discussed the Bible passages and discussed how to work out their plans to stay away for awhile, but they soon had to return.  Manuel called his wife a day ago and the kids and her were worried.  Drew thought his Aunt Rita would be beside herself by now.  Kyle didn't know how his dad would handle this, with losing his wife, now Kyle, his son missing.  They grieved together.  Ben also grieved for his family, even his dad, and especially his Christian mother.  He had hoped that when this was all over, he might have the chance to bring Christ into his dad's life.  The faith in all of them grew each day, and they knew that without this trial in their lives, it wouldn't have been possible to have this much faith.  Pastor Manuel even knew that his faith was very weak until he met Drew.  They talked for two hours.  It was now around 6p.m.  They turned on the news and found that the story was still being told, and all of them had a little bit of fear.  The newscaster for CNN now claimed that they all, including Sheila, who they still think is dead, were kidnapped by the same people, but didn't know the connection with the pastor and the rest.  Drew, Kyle and Manuel were still presumed alive and the FBI were looking for some kind of connection with all of these victims, to find them soon.  The Puerto Rican police were investigating this as well and questioned Pastor Manuel's family.  They were terrified they would end up telling the truth, just out of fear.  Thankfully, the police left their home with no idea.

     Sheila was afraid, but not terrified like she had been, and that was thanks to the rest of her friends, especially Pastor Manuel and Drew.  She didn't know if she could have survived without them...and Jesus.  She might not have.  They all took a walk around the town after dinner.  There was snow of about 6 inches, but they didn't care.  It was cold, but crisp, and they enjoyed the scenery.  Nothing could be better than this, they thought...except to be with their families again.  They went to Pastor Manuel and Sheila's room again for a bit.  Pastor Manuel, Drew and Ben had all thought to stay a couple of more days here.  It was pleasant at this motel, the town was nice and the people were very friendly.  They still weren't certain why they all got stares from people, but Pastor Manuel pointed out to them that it just might be they were curious about tourists in their small town, and nothing more.  They all sighed in relief at that.  They watched a little TV together, before going to sleep for the night.  Sheila missed her parents and had another nightmare during the night.  She woke up screaming, which she hadn't done in a few days.  Drew, Kyle and Ben heard her, and of course, Pastor Manuel got up to console her.  It was around 1a.m. and Drew was knocking at Sheila's door.

     Pastor Manuel went to the door and let them in.  There were several people who peeped out their doors, not very happy.  Sheila was crying out for her parents.  It had been over 3 months since she had seen them, and now Sheila was presumed dead.  She told them she had to call her parents.  Ben wasn't sure.  He knew Hernandez, and if he found out, they would all be dead.  Pastor Manuel knew that as well and discouraged it, but they also saw how upset Sheila was.  No one knew what to do, including Sheila.  "They have to know!", Sheila pleaded.  The rest of the group looked at one another with concern.  Drew looked at Pastor Manuel, then took Sheila's hand and reassured her.  They went inside the room, while the other motel guests calmed down and went back into their rooms.  "Sheila, we have to be brave and hold out on telling anyone right now.  When your parents find out you're alive, and all this is over, we will all celebrate!", Drew calmed her.  She shook in his arms and sobbed.  They all stayed up with her that night until 5:30a.m., when she fell asleep.  Drew wondered how they would get out of this.  He wondered how they would finally let the authorities know, without retaliation from Hernandez and his gang.  They needed to be put to justice, but how?  No one had the answer.

     *I will continue with Part 10 soon.  My blogging and writing life has been cut back a lot due to health issues.  I will, from time to time, catch you up on how things are going.  Hopefully Part 10 will be done this coming week.  God bless you all!




Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Part 8-Fearless Trust in God

*Note: My writing has dwindled a lot with life's up and downs and busyness.  I will try my best to be more consistent with my blog.  Take care and God bless!

This story is based on Psalm 27

     They arrived at the Canadian border with their fake passports and IDs.  They all were a little nervous about all that was going on.  They were nervous about crossing the border, but even more so, that they would get caught by Hernandez' men.  They waited in line for an hour, which seemed like an eternity.  A big burly, bald man was standing at the border crossing.  "Where do you come from?", the man asked.  They told him California.  Ben made sure they had fake licence plates when they traveled.  "Where are you headed?", the man asked again.  They told him Ontario.  He let them through, saying, "Have a nice visit."  They all let out a deep breath of relief.  They felt bad for lying, but didn't want any suspicion by anyone.  They continued to drive north, and didn't have a clue where they were going.  Sheila slept in the back, behind the front passenger seat.  Pastor Manuel drove, with Kyle next to him.  Ben and Drew were behind them.  None of them have ever been to Canada.  This was a new adventure for them all.   Kyle had no idea what to tell his dad about being gone.  He left a note for him, saying, Dad, went to a friend's house for awhile.  Don't know when I'll be back.  He didn't know what his dad would do.  He was going to miss so much school that he might not graduate.  But that didn't bother him at this time, considering the other option...death.  Drew thought about his Aunt Rita, and Pastor Manuel thought of his family as well.  Ben was glad to be away from everything bad that he had done.  He was content.  Sheila continued to sleep.  Drew was worried that she was emotionally weakened by all that had happened to her.  She was vulnerable.  She hadn't been the same Sheila he had met.  She was afraid and paranoid of every little thing that came up.

     They came to this little cafe about ten miles or so from the border.  They didn't know what town they were in, but they stopped to eat.  Drew nudged Sheila as gently as possible.  "Time to eat", Drew told her.  "Are we in Canada yet?", she asked.  He told her yes.  A sigh of relief came over her.  Drew and Sheila walked, with their arms wrapped around each other.  The place was called Moose Eatery.  Strange name, they thought.  It was a real nice atmosphere and the waitresses were very welcoming.  This time they waited to be seated, but they waited no time at all.  A woman name Fern was their waitress.  "Hi there!  My name is Fern.  What would you like to drink?", she asked.  They all ordered the same drinks as they did previously.  "OK, coming right up!", Fern told them.  The cook was Fern's husband, Rick.  He didn't seem too friendly.  He just grunted a lot.  Fern was in the back with him, telling him to straighten up and be nice.  Rick grunted louder.  They all got a chuckle out of their entertainment.  They all tried moose burgers just to see what they were like.  They had fries, onion rings and cole slaw, between them.  Sheila, Drew and Pastor Manuel liked the moose meat.  Not so much for Ben and Kyle, but they swallowed it down anyway.  Two Mounty Policemen drove up, and Drew got very suspicious.  They all looked at the police.  The two policemen came in.  "Hi Bill!  Hello Carl!  How's business?", Fern asked.  "A little slow today, thank heavens," Bill said.  They looked around.  All tables were full and there were to other waitresses working them.  Officers Bill and Carl gave their order to Fern.  Drew got even more scared.

     The two policemen welcomed them to town with no suspicion, so Drew and the others were relieved.  They all said their good days and good byes and Drew and the others went to find a place to stay.  They all had the same room arrangements and they gathered in Pastor Manuel and Sheila's room at a nearby motel.  Pastor Manuel prayed and read Psalm 27:8, "When You said, 'Seek My face', my heart said to You, 'Your face I shall seek.'"  They all knew what that meant, but the pastor reassured them that day.  They were all scared, including Pastor Manuel, but they knew.  They knew they had to seek God's face in every situation they came upon.  Sheila was getting stronger physically, but mentally she still struggled.  Spiritually, she was gaining strength, which surprised them all.  She read aloud to them James 1:2-4, "Count it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have it's perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."  It was difficult for her but the Lord was giving her the strength and faith that she never thought she would ever have.  They got some rest, and for the first time, none of them had nightmares.

     Were they free and clear now?  It was morning and they went to have their continental breakfast.  There were eggs, ham, bacon, pancakes, french toast and waffles, with real butter and syrup.  There was milk, coffee and orange juice.  They also had out some cereal and different muffins and fruit.  Their meal was delicious and the coffee woke them up.  It was 7 a.m. when they ate.  No one could call their families, so no one knew where they were.  Were their search parties out for them?  Should they call?  They were unsure.  Pastor Manuel's family knew they were going to hide out in Canada, but no one else had any clue to where they went.  They all kept seeking Jesus' face in all their troubles.  Then, they saw the midday news, later that day.  By now, the search for Sheila made international news.  And today it came to an abrupt end.  They were now considering it a recovery effort.  And then there was the news of the rest of them.  They panicked because they did not want the recognition.  They left the hotel and gathered together for another plan.  They not only needed to change their names, but their entire identity, hair and eye color and such.  They had to move fast for fear of being noticed.  Then amidst their panic, they all started laughing, realizing that all they needed to do was seek God's face and not worry.  They still had no time on their hands and had to move quickly, but their panic subsided as they went on their way.

     They went to this out-of-the-way hair salon in a smaller town than where they had left.  They got hair cuts and their hair dyed.  Sheila had long blonde hair to begin with and got it cut very short for the very first time in her life.  She also had her hair dyed red.  Her eyes went from green to blue, later on, and they all got various colors of contact lenses.  Drew had light brown hair and got it a different style with a darker tone of brown.  Pastor Manuel had his head shaved and Kyle got a military cut with a little darker brown than Drew...almost black.  They went to an unsavory place in the neighborhood to get new ID's made.  This made Sheila a little nervous, but they got out with no one suspecting a thing.  Sheila had all kinds of questions for Pastor Manuel about all the deception they were doing.  She knew lying and deceit were wrong, and she wanted to be a good Christian.  Pastor Manuel told her the account of Rahab lying to the authorities about the spies that were sent by Joshua in Joshua chapter 2.  He told her they had no other choice to survive and that God would use them in a great way.  But they had to hide for awhile under assumed identities for their safety.  Sheila didn't know what to make of all of this but trusted Pastor Manuel.  Later that day, they managed to buy another car to hide even more.  Ben always had a plan in getting financed for these situations.  It was a used 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser, priced at $20,000.  Ben paid cash and the guy just stared at the money kind of suspicious, but gladly took it.  This, again was way too easy, they all thought, and maybe it was...

Stay tuned for Part 9, next time.  




Friday, April 26, 2013

Part 7 of Fearless Trust in God

Based on Psalm 27

     Hernandez' men were looking for Julio, Ricardo and Ben.  None of them answered their cells.  By the time they found Julio and Ricardo cuffed to Sheila's bed, the three escapees were 30 minutes ahead of them.  Sheila was hungry and dehydrated, so they cautiously stopped for eat and drink at a gas station.  Ben and Sheila were grateful to be out of that hell.  They were especially grateful to Jesus for redeeming them.  Ben got gas and they drove north.  They were heading for the Canadian border and they did not know how long they would have to be in Canada.  They had to drive 400 miles.  Hernandez had his men looking for them.  They had GPS' in each of the vehicles and tried to track them down that way.  Ben didn't know how far they'd get before Hernandez' men would catch up.  They were out near the mountains again.  They had to go back into town and get rid of the vehicle and find another mode of transportation.  Did they lose the goons by coming out this far?  Was it safe to go back?  Drew thought of Kyle.  He could borrow his friend's truck for awhile.  He didn't want his friend involved in this mess, but they needed new wheels.  They didn't have much time before Hernandez' men found them with a GPS detector.  Drew called Kyle quickly.

     Drew got off the phone with Kyle and ten minutes later, Kyle drove up.  They abandoned Hernandez' vehicle and just drove wherever the wind blew them.  The men got to Hernandez' car that had been abandoned, about an hour later, and Hernandez was very angry.  They saw the second set of tire tracks, but once the road began, they didn't know which way the other vehicle went.  They didn't even have an idea of what make the vehicle was.  Kyle drove to the next state.  They got hotel rooms under assumed names.  Ben made sure they would all have fake IDs.  They checked in at the Holiday Inn Express as Ken Driscoll (Kyle), Benito Alvarado (Ben), David Cisco (Drew), Mario Suarez (Manuel), and Shelly Wilson (Sheila).  Sheila didn't want to be alone and felt uncomfortable sharing a room with Drew, so Pastor Manuel  stayed in her room.  Kyle, Drew and Ben shared a room.  They all ate at the restaurant nearby, they watched a movie, then they slept, waking up at 6a.m. the next morning to get to the next state.  It was a long drive for them.  Sheila was in tears, worried they'd be found out and killed.  She cried out, "Hear me Lord.  Please answer my prayers to get us out of here."  Drew quoted Psalm 27:7 to her.  "Here Oh Lord, when I cry with my voice, and be gracious to me and answer me".  They sang a song of praise as they drove down the road and Sheila wiped her tears.

     Sheila was still terrified, so Pastor Manuel comforted her with the Word of God.  He told her that God is with all of them and that nothing happens without God allowing it.  That gave little comfort to Sheila though.  She thought to herself, then why do bad things happen at all?  She was afraid to ask that question out loud.  She took the Bible and read through Psalms.  She thought about how David was in such turmoil, from what sins he had done, and the turmoil from his enemies.  She wondered where he got all that faith to praise God in spite of his trials.  Pastor Manuel looked at Sheila with a questioning look.  "You look like you have something to ask".  Sheila shook her head and kept reading.  "OK, when you're ready, we'll be here for you," the pastor told her.  "Thanks", she responded.  All but Sheila shared the driving.  Drew was at the wheel now.  They drove and watched closely for Hernandez' men.  Ben knew where they were, but now, Hernandez' men had no clue where they were...thankfully.  "We're about 10 minutes from a place to eat," Drew announced.  Thankfully, Kyle's truck had a big back seat.  Kyle was sitting shotgun next to Drew and Manuel, Ben and Sheila were in the back.  They had about 200 more miles to go to get to the Canadian border.  Too far for anyone's comfort.  Drew and the rest all kept to the speed limits, not to attract attention to the police or anyone.  Drew continued while Pastor Manuel chatted with Sheila and Ben.  Kyle was elated that his best friend and his new friends were all Christians.  He had also been praying for Sheila when praying for Drew.  He knew for sure that God was faithful.

     Kyle was thinking about what Drew quoted earlier and remembered that night at church when Drew came for the first time.  It looked as though Drew was really listening to the pastor that night, but he also knew that Drew was skeptical.  When Drew told Kyle that he memorized Psalm 27, Kyle was surprised.  He never knew he was that interested that he memorized 14 verses in Psalms.  They pulled up to this old diner, Mama's Family Diner.  A real home cooked meal they all thought.  They got out cautiously looking for their enemies.  They went in and got to sit anywhere they wanted.  This place was drabby, but at least it was clean.  Drew ordered Dr. Pepper.  Sheila ordered the same.  Pastor Manuel and Kyle ordered coke and Ben ordered water.  They waited 5 minutes for the drinks and another 10 minutes for the waitress to take the order.  There were 3 tables full.  It didn't look very busy but they still were slow in serving.  Ben was uncomfortable waiting so long and tried to hurry them up.  "Hi!  My name is Kelly.  I'll be your waitress.  What would you like to order?," the waitress announced.  Sheila ordered a cheese burger with sweet potato fries.  Ben ordered a BLT with cole slaw and fries.  Kyle ordered a roast beef sandwhich with chips.  Pastor Manuel ordered a chef's salad and split-pea soup, and Drew ordered the chef's special, Chili and Southern cornbread.  they ate, left the tip, gave their thanks to the waitress and took off for the next state.

     About 2 hours later they pulled up to a Best Western, under their assumed names.  Again, the pastor and Sheila shared a room.  Shelia had nightmares of her captivity and how they treated her.  She woke up screaming 3 times.  She was still weak from the bad treatment she endured.  She finally slept about 3 good hours and they all got up again at 6 a.m.  They were again on their way.  They had their continental breakfast and took off for the border.  Pastor Manuel prayed out loud before they left.  Sheila felt more at ease, even after those nightmares.  Each time she woke up, the pastor prayed with her.  Peace surrounded her this day.  "We're almost home free," sheila exclaimed.  They all said their "amens".  Ben had questions too about his new found faith.  As he drove, the pastor and him talked.  Sheila listened intently.  Ben asked the pastor how God could forgive a murderer.  How God could love someone who had done so many wrongs.  The pastor explained that any confessed sin is forgivable, that Jesus has wiped all sin away with His shed blood.  Ben was still feeling guilty and the pastor explained there was no reason to anymore, that his sins were covered.  Ben had killed 5 people in his life.  He was suppose to kill Drew, Sheila and the pastor the night they left.  He didn't share that bit of information with them...just yet.  He had to find the right time.  Ben thought about Psalm 27:7 also, and wanted God to answer all of his questions.  God would, in His time.

Next time, Part 8 will continue their journey to a new country.  Stay tuned for more of Fearless Trust in God...

Thanks for being patient and waiting for each portion of my story.
God bless you all!





Thursday, April 18, 2013

Part 6 of Fearless Trust in God

Based on Psalm 27

     Drew and Manuel thought right.  The exchange was too good to be true.  It was 11 p.m. and they were at the old antique building.  Hernandez was waiting...impatiently.  His goons were all armed and ready for anything.  Drew was scared again.  Pastor Manuel was a little uneasy as well, but they both prayed...for a miracle.  Hernandez was rapping his fingers on his right hand, on the table.  His gun was next to his left hand.  Poppi and Fernando were behind Drew and Pastor Manuel pointing their guns at the both of them.  "Who is this?", Hernandez asked, referring to Manuel.  "He's a friend," Drew answered, scared as all get out.  "Didn't I tell you to go alone?", Hernandez asked impatiently.  "Yes sir," Drew answered.  He heard Sheila in the back and she screamed.  It startled both Drew and the pastor.  Hernandez began to laugh.  All his men began to laugh also.  Then he looked angrily in Drew's eyes and asked him.  "How much do you love your precious Sheila?"  Drew swallowed hard and responded with, "With all my heart."  Hernandez just stared at him with a puzzled look.  Drew had no idea what would happen next.  "Then why would you put her and yourself, and your 'friend', in such grave danger?", Hernandez questioned.  "I...I...don't...know," he said with his head down.  "Sit down, friend.  Go on...sit!", Hernandez demanded.

     Drew sat and couldn't make sense of Hernandez' actions.  Neither could Pastor Manuel.  "You sit too," Hernandez told the pastor.  Pastor Manuel cautiously sat to the right of Drew.  They looked at each other, then both looked at Hernandez.  Hernandez just smiled.  They sat in silence for about five minutes.  Drew became more and more anxious as the clock on the wall ticked incessantly.  Hernandez laughed again, and asked, "Are you scared?"  Drew answered, "Yes".  "You should be very scared indeed," Hernandez told them.  "Now tell me who you are and what do you have to do with this young man?", Hernandez asked Pastor Manuel.  "I am Manuel Lopez, nephew of the late Samuel Lopez," Pastor Lopez responded.  Hernandez had that puzzled angry look again.  Hernandez asked sharply, "And am I suppose to know him?"   The pastor answered him, "You may have heard of him.  He was a drug dealer.  I took over after he was killed."  He looked at the pastor and said, "Never heard of him."  Pastor Manuel was not only surprised but relieved.  That meant none of these goons knew the truth...that he was now a pastor.  "Where's the money my friend?," Hernandez asked Pastor Manuel.  He handed over the case.  Hernandez counted the money.  It was all there.  Hernandez smiled.  "OK."  His goons grabbed both of them and handcuffed them and took them to where Sheila was.  "Now I will decide what to do with the three of you.  I'm not sure I want this much blood on my hands all at once," Hernandez said.

     They threw Drew and the pastor into Sheila's room.  She was handcuffed to a small bed.  There were no windows and barely enough light to see.  The room smelled dirty, like a mixture of mold and sweat.  The stench was almost unbearable.  The only saving grace was Drew seeing Sheila.  They hugged and tears flowed from Sheila's eyes.  All she could say over and over was "I'm sorry."  Drew didn't understand.  All three were cuffed to the same bed.  Drew held Sheila as she sobbed.  Drew knew.  He knew they wouldn't be killed.  But both the pastor and Sheila thought differently.  Drew counted on Psalm 27 to get him through, and remembered Psalm 27:6.  "And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord."  Drew wondered how God would save them, but he knew God would.  Drew told Sheila about his "change" and the pastor also shared his testimony with her also.  Sheila then confessed to Drew what she was into.  Sheila had gotten into some trouble with some drug dealers.  She was buying and selling coke.  She never let a soul know.  When she started going with Drew, she wanted out, but couldn't escape.  Drew cried for a moment, then smiled and forgave her.  He told her it would be alright.  She didn't understand Christianity, but wanted to know more.  That elated Drew and Pastor Manuel.  

     They were given a little bit of food and just one glass of water, then the lights went out.  Drew and the pastor were to sleep on the hard, cold, concrete floor.  None of them could sleep that night.  The food they ate was just crumbs of what Hernandez and his men ate that night, and the water was dirty.  There were mice and roaches in the small room and they only let Sheila shower twice a week.  Her hair was tangled and in disarray, her clothes torn and dirty.  Drew about came unglued at seeing her this way, but held his composure for her sake.  Drew gave Sheila his Bible to read.  She started on the Psalms.  She cried as she read.  When she finally got to chapter 27, she broke down completely.  The guard at the door heard her read all of Psalm 27 aloud.  He was interested in what she read.  The guard remembered hearing that passage before, but couldn't remember where.  It was about 3:30 a.m. and the guard came into the room.  This startled the three of them.  The guard held his gun at them and grabbed Drew's Bible out of Sheila's hand.  He put his right index finger up to his mouth, telling them to be quiet.  He read Psalm 27 with tears in his eyes.  There was puzzlement mixed with hope in their three sets of eyes.  "My name is Ben.  My mother is a Christian.  I never understood her belief, until now," the guard announced.  Drew shared the Gospel with Ben and Sheila, still letting Ben believe that Pastor Manuel was a drug dealer.  Ben was 23.  He went to college but couldn't find a job in his field.  He studied education and there were so many cuts in the last several years that he couldn't find a job, so he got hooked up with this "family".  His father was a gang member in the area and got him hooked up.  His mother was divorced from his father and then became a Christian soon after.  She prayed for Ben ever since.

     Ben asked questions and so did Sheila.  They were still uncertain, but they did realize Drew was the real deal.  The pastor went along posing as a drug dealer and asked questions too.  Neither Drew or Pastor Manuel knew if this guy Ben was legit or not in being interested in Jesus.  He might turn on them all at any time.  Drew was a believer now for only a few days but shared the Gospel like he believed for years.  Pastor Manuel was impressed.  Ben heard Sheila's story how she tried to get out of the drug scene and was wanting a way out too.  Here was his chance, but would he be killed?  The other guards got suspicious and checked on Ben.  A guard by the name of Julio came in and asked if Ben was OK.  Ben answered, "There was some trouble here but I took care of it.  They won't act up again.  I'll be out in a moment, go on!", Ben ordered.  Julio and Ben were best friends since joining the "family".  Julio was 22, a high school dropout.  Julio was cautious around Ben, not trusting his motives at all.  Julio waited at the door.  "We'll talk later," Ben told them.  He came out of the dank room acting all tough.  Julio raised his eyebrow at Ben.  Ben shooed him away.  "I've got this.  No problem," Ben assured Julio.  Julio was suspicious, but couldn't pin down what to be suspicious about.  Julio and another guy by the name of Ricardo, kept an eye on Ben all night.  Ben was uncomfortable with the two guys watching him.  He had no idea what to do next.

     Sheila was crying uncontrollably and Drew didn't know how to help.  She was trembling and it wasn't just from the cold.  Drew tried so hard to calm her down.  Ben heard her wail, as did the other two guys.  Ben went in to "take care of them".  Julio and Ricardo didn't think much of it.  They just thought that Ben was going in there because the girl was throwing a fit.  But they watched Ben as he went in.  Ben went in to see if he could help.  He was thinking of a plan for all of them to escape.  He wanted out of the business.  He wanted Sheila, Drew and Manuel safe, and...he wanted to know more about this Jesus.  He played the game well.  "Quit your crying or I'll...", Ben pretended to threaten.  He went in like he was going to kill someone.  "What I really want to know is more about your Jesus", he whispered to them.  Sheila stopped crying.  All three of them smiled at Ben.  Sheila was still unsure, but was happy that maybe Ben was on their side.  Drew told him more about Jesus and they opened the Bible and read.  Ben was amazed, as was Sheila.  Ben and Sheila asked several questions about God, Jesus, the Bible, and salvation.  They were both a little skeptical, but saw something in Drew.  Sheila now knew about Pastor Manuel, but Ben didn't.  Sheila and Ben both, felt a tug at their hearts and they both began to weep.  Julio and Ricardo were out of hearing range, thank goodness.  10 minutes later, Ben and Sheila both gave their lives to Jesus and Ben had a plan to get them out.

     Ben quietly looked out the door.  No one was around.  His gun was in his belt and ready to be used.  He motioned for them to be quiet and left the room.  He ran down the hall yelling at Julio and Ricardo to help him.  "What happened?", Julio asked startled.  At the same time, Ricardo asked the same thing.  "Hey you two!  Where have you been?  I've got a big problem with the three prisoners!  Come!  Quick!", Ben spouted off.  They scrambled in the direction of the room.  They came to the door.  "Quick!  Julio!  Go in first!", Ben shouted.  Ricardo was motioned to go in after Julio.  On the shout of Ben telling the other two to go in, Drew and Pastor Manuel were suppose to stage a fight, and they went at it.  "Hey you two!  Knock it off!", Julio yelled.  Ricardo and Julio were trying to pull the two men apart when Drew, Manuel, and Ben, attacked the two men.  By the time they realized what was happening, Ben and the pastor gagged them, and Drew handcuffed them to the bed.  They still had to get past the others, but there was a door which no one guarded, so they went out that door and got away.  They all got into one of the vehicles and Ben drove them away.  They sang and gave praise to Jesus, but they also knew that those who were in the building would soon figure out the plan, and come after them.

Stay tuned next time for Part 7





Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Part Five: Fearless Trust in God

A short story based on Psalm 27

     A man stood, about 6 feet tall, with black hair.  He touched Drew's shoulder.  Drew got his gun ready for the attack.  "Excuse me, are you OK, son?", the man asked.  Drew looked back into the man's kind eyes.  He was speechless.  "Can I help you?", the man asked again.  "I am Pastor Manuel Lopez.  I am the senior pastor here.  I am checking to see if there were any visitors tonight."  Drew was relieved.  "I...I'm Drew...Drew Baker, and I'm in trouble," Drew told him.  Drew got up and turned towards the pastor to shake his hand.  The pastor looked puzzled by Drew's statement.  "What kind of trouble, son?"  Drew explained the situation about Sheila's kidnapping and his impending drug deal.  "What can I do to help?", the pastor asked.  Drew's hands were shaking with fear.  His whole body started to tremble, and he almost passed out.  He stumbled a little and the man caught him before he fell.  "Hold on, son.  It'll be OK."  The pastor helped in sit in the pew and he sat down beside him.  Drew completely broke down and sobbed.  The pastor held him while he wept.  "You can stay here as long as you want to Drew. I can even get the police involved."  Drew panicked.  He told him he didn't want the police involved at all, that getting them involved would get Sheila killed.  The pastor shook his head.  He asked Drew if he could pray for him and his girlfriend.  Drew said yes.  They prayed and Drew told Pastor Manuel that he had just became a believer.  Pastor Manuel slapped him on the back and welcomed Drew to the family of God.

     Drew told the pastor about Psalm 27, and how it has helped him in his time of trouble.  The pastor shared how that passage helped him when he first got saved as well.  Drew's eyes widen as the pastor told him.  He was amazed how similar each story was to the other.  Pastor Manuel grew up an orphan and was adopted by his Uncle Samuel Lopez.  He was a drug dealer who used Pastor Manuel to traffic drugs, when the pastor was a kid.  Pastor Manuel grew up tough, but realized, when he was 19 and in jail, that his life meant nothing, and that there was no way out of his life.  He was in jail for dealing heroin.  His uncle died in a shoot out, by rival dealers.  He died when Pastor Manuel was 18.  He had to make a living for himself, now that his uncle was gone.  When sitting in the jail cell he thought about God, out of nowhere.  He never grew up going to church in the least.  He did however, watch a sermon by Charles Stanley one Sunday when he was about to do a drug deal...the day he was arrested.  The sermon was on The Fearless Trust in God.  The same as what had happened with Drew his first time at church.  He watched all of it but laughed and shrugged it off, then he went to his business at hand.  The drug deal went bad.  He was duped by an undercover cop.  He was arrested and his trial was waiting.  Three days later, he thought about killing himself.  Then he thought about Psalm 27.  Pastor Manuel went on to say that at that time, he met a cell mate, who went to Bible Study on Tuesdays.  He invited Manuel to go.  Still in jail, 3 months later, on the day of his trial, he accepted Jesus into his life.  6 months later, he was out of jail, in school and studying to be a pastor.  Drew was amazed at this. 

     Drew thought, maybe there is a way to get out of this.  He had hope once again.  He had about 3 hours before he had to go for the drop off.  They talked for another half hour about Jesus, Sheila, Kyle and Aunt Rita.  They also talked about Pastor Manuel's family.  He had a wife, Sylvia, and four children, Benito, 15, Yolanda, 12, Fredrico, 9, and Amelia, 6.  They also had Sylvia's parents, Pedro and Rebecca Santos.  It was a tough life for all of them.  The ministry didn't pay much.  Sylvia worked as a seamstress for a rich old lady, who paid her pittance.  The two older children worked on a local farm as harvesters.  The grandparents took care of the two younger ones while their parents were working.  The grandparents were in their late 60's and their health wasn't good, but they had to help raise the children.  Drew found all this amazing and interesting.  He was in awe.  "I met my Sylvia in college, married her a year later, then we got pregnant 3 months later with Benito."  Pastor Manuel continued.  "She lived with her parents until we got married."  He went on.  He stopped. He looked at Drew, square in the eyes and offered to help him in whatever way he could.  He told him of an idea he had, but would it work?

     It was risky and he had a family at home to take care of but he was willing to help Drew.  He showed Drew his gun inside his coat.  He told Drew that he never went anywhere without it, and smiled.  None of Juarez' or Hernandez' men knew of Pastor Manuel.  They knew of a Manuel Lopez, who was a drug dealer years ago.  Pastor Manuel and Drew went to the drop off address a little before 8 a.m.  "I'll go in with you, as Manuel Lopez the drug dealer.  You'll just tell them I am here to help get the money safely back to the states."  Pastor Manuel told him.  "Just as long as I'm not a police officer, we'll be fine."  Drew was nervous and sweating because of nerves.  He wasn't sure of this whole thing, but went along with it.  When they got to the old building there were two vehicles out in front.  Two black SUV's.  There were two guards with guns at the door, and they waved them in.  A man was sitting in an old worn recliner, while watching a 50" flat screen TV on the wall.  He was definitely a soccer fan.  He was Chilean and Chile and Mexico were playing.  He heard Drew and Pastor Manuel come in and turned the game off.  "Well, well, who did you bring with you?  You were told to come alone!"  Drew's sweat ran down his face and he wiped it off with his sleeve.  "I am Manuel Lopez.  I came as a favor of my friend here.  I mean no harm."  The man looked puzzled at him.  "The Lopez boy that ran his uncle's business?"  the man asked.  "Si."  Manuel spoke in Spanish.  "Aha!  I see..."  "Oh, let me introduce myself.  Excuse my rudeness.  I am Ramon Valdez.  Let's get down to business.  You must be Drew.  Do you have my package?"  Drew started to hand him the package, but Manuel stopped him.  "The money?"  Manuel asked.  "Aha!  Smart man."  Senor Valdez handed him a briefcase with hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Drew opened it to verify it.  Manuel nodded at Drew.  The exchange was made with ease, almost too easy both Pastor Manuel and Drew thought.

     Pastor Manuel made arrangements to go to the mainland of the United States.  He said goodbye to his wife, children and his in-laws.  They all cried and hugged each other.  They all prayed together, then the pastor and Drew went back to the hotel to meet Poppi and Fernando with the money.  The two men were angry that this guy, Manuel Lopez, came with Drew, but allowed him to fly back with them to the states.  Fernando had his eye on the pastor the entire flight while Poppi flew them back.  All Drew could think about was what God had told him...to minister to His people.  He thought about Psalm 27:5 for a moment.  He remembered the words in his mind.  For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.  Drew was troubled by this for several hours.  He prayed and read his Bible the whole way.  Pastor Manuel prayed as well in silence.  Fernando sneered at Drew and wondered about Manuel knowing Drew.  Fernando thought to himself, how can this kid know this drug dealer and pray to God?  Drew looked up at Fernando and gave him a smile that startled Fernando.  It was like Drew knew what he was thinking.  It gave Fernando a chill.  The plane landed.  Drew knew what he had to do after this whole ordeal was over.  He had to become a minister.  He could not bear the thought of ever leaving God's sanctuary.

Stay tuned for the next part of the story coming up soon...I hope.  Leave comments on my blog and let me know what you think.  Thank you all very much and enjoy!





Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Part Four of Fearless Trust In God

It took me a little longer this time, but the fourth installment is here.

My story based on Psalm 27

     He landed in San Juan late that night.  He took a pair of jeans, his favorite t-shirt, a jacket and of course personal clothing, plus his toiletries.  When he left to get his stuff at home, they gave him his pistol back.  He took that and his cell also.  His Aunt Rita was leaving for work when she asked, "Where have you been?  I've been worried!...And now where are you going?"  Kyle didn't answer and just walked out and got into his jeep and took off for the out-of-the-way air strip that Juarez had.  There was just the pilot and one of Hernandez' men, Poppi and Fernando.  Poppi, age 37, got his pilot's license in Brazil.  Born and raised by South American terrorists, he got his pilot's license at age 13.  He came to the United States illegally to work for his father's best friend, Raphael Hernandez.  Fernando was 20 and buff, about 6'2". His parents were Baptist missionaries from Mexico.  They were serving in Columbia when Fernando became their prodigal son and left for the United States to work for Hernandez.  He knew the Bible in and out, but decided he didn't want the safe life.  He wanted to experience the wild life, and he did.  He murdered, he robbed and he smuggled drugs since he was 15.  Both men looked like they would kill you if you looked at them wrong.

     "We will be waiting in the hotel in room 124 until 11:00 tomorrow.  The drop off is 8.  Be back or we will find you and kill you, and Hernandez will kill the girl," Fernando ordered Drew. Drew answered back, OK, OK, don't sweat it, I'll be back.  And I'll bring your money too."  Drew took a deep breath and got into a Cadillac and drove off to the same hotel in room 224.  He put the address of the drop off in his GPS.  He tried to sleep a little, but couldn't without having nightmares, so he turned on the TV and watched a movie or two.  He was getting up at 6:30 in the morning and it was going to be a long night without sleep.  He tossed.  He turned.  The TV was a distraction, but the only entertainment for his insomnia.  He wanted to see Sheila again.  His heart ached for her.  The thought of her being held captive and possibly killed, tortured him.  He brought a New American Standard Bible that Pastor Ron gave him last week. It was a tan leather-bound Bible, with Drew Baker 2013 on the spine of the Bible.  He opened it up to the first passage he was introduced to.  Psalm 27.  He read verse four.  One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple.  He knew what he had to do then.  He had to find a church, but at 3 a.m.?

     He grabbed his Bible, cell and pistol.  His wallet was in his back pocket with only about $5 in it.  He had never been out of the 48 states, and was very nervous being in a strange place.  The hotel was lavish, owned by Juarez' mafia.  Everyone that worked there was "owned" by Juarez, so Drew had to quietly leave without notice...the back way.  He got out of there with no one noticing and went to his Caddy and drove to find a church...any church.  He came to this old church that was several hundred years old.  It was St. Baptista Iglesia.  He stopped and went to the stairway of the huge church.  He went to the top of the stairs and stood facing the two doors that was the main entrance.  He was in awe of the sculptures of Jesus and angels.  He noticed how beautiful the stained-glassed windows were.  There was a cross, just above the doorway, in the center.  It was gold and very spectacular.  He was almost in tears.  It looked like the doors were slightly opened.  He looked and quietly walked in.  It was magnificent indeed.  There was a 40 foot wooden cross on the back wall of the church, with bloodstains and a cloth around the horizontal beam, with a red rose where the two beams meet.  He'd never seen anything like it in his life.  The sanctuary sat over a thousand people, at least.  He went to the third row from the back and knelt down.  He bowed his head in silence.

     He told God that he was afraid and that he was sorry for all that he did wrong in his life.  He was ready to trust Jesus with everything.  He prayed and poured out his heart to God for several minutes.  He repented and asked for forgiveness.  He now belonged to Jesus.  He felt a rush of adrenaline as the peace came over him.  Kyle had walked him through the plan of salvation several times, so he had an idea of what to do.  He didn't even plan doing it tonight, but God lead him to such desperation that it was the only thing he felt compelled to do.  And he meant every plea.  He sobbed, but with in at the fact that God was so merciful.  He wanted to call Kyle, Sheila and his Aunt Rita with the news.  He'd call Kyle to thank him and share that they were now brothers in Christ.  He'd call Sheila and Aunt Rita because he wanted them to know Christ.  Drew thought about all Kyle and Pastor Ron taught him, about Christ and the ministry.  He gave their words some thought just then.  God, what do you want from me?, he prayed silently.  He sat in silence for an answer.  He waited.  Nothing.  Five minutes went by and God whispered to him, Minister to my people.  He cried out, "But how, Lord?"   He was confused and yet at peace.  He thought maybe he should talk to someone about it...if he would get out of this mess alive.

     He looked at his watch.  It was now about 4 a.m.  He heard several suspicious noises out in the corridors of the expansive church.  He heard a door creak in the south wing of the church.  Then he heard footsteps coming his way.  He grabbed his gun, ready to shoot anyone who would do him harm.  His phone rang and luckily was on vibrate.  It was Kyle.  He wanted to take the call, but couldn't at this time.  He had to defend himself at the moment.  The footsteps stopped.  Another door creaked and Drew freaked...on the inside.  He had to keep his composure and stay quiet, for fear his assailant would find him.  His heart was beating a hundred and twenty times a minute it seemed.  He heard papers rustling in the footsteps' direction.  He crouched down in the pew aisle to wait for his death.  OH LORD, PLEASE!, he cried inside himself.  What would he do now?  He was bent down with his head resting on his knees, almost crying.  OK, Lord, I'm going to trust you.  You'd better have a plan...please, he asked God.  The footsteps started again.  He heard someone breathing.  The footsteps stopped about six inches from Drew's body.  The assailant put his hand on Drew's shoulder.  What would happen next is a mystery you'll have to wait to find out next time...






Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pt. Three of My Continuing Story

An original story based on Psalm 27

     Drew was now out in the open and didn't know what to do next.  He knew he had to get away, but where?  Wes and Jose were now running after him.  Jose called in several of their compadres and the next thing Drew knew, about five more enemies came upon him, three in a jeep and two in a helicopter.  He was fumbling for his iPhone and was able to call Kyle.  "Hey Drew!  Where have you been?  Everyone is looking for you!  You're Aunt Rita is beside herself with worry!", Kyle told Drew.  "Some dudes are after me Kyle!  I'm near the mountains in the foothills!  I need help!  It has something to do with Sheila's disappearance!", Drew sputtered.  "I gotta go!  Get help!", Drew exclaimed.  He was on foot and the jeep was coming at him, with bullets flying past him.  The helicopter was hovering, trying to get a shot at him.  He was almost out of the foothills, back to his Cherokee.  He dodged bullets and tried to start his jeep, but it didn't start...not at first.  He finally was able to rev up the engine and take off back into town.  If I go back to town it may draw some attention, he thought.  Or at least keep the helicopter from honing in on me.  He thought back to that Youth Night.  Psalm 27:3.  "How did it go?", he asked himself.  He quoted it out loud.  Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war rise against me, in spite of this, I shall be confident.  He thought for a moment with a little confusion.  He questioned God again.  "How, God?"  No answer this time.  Panic set in again.  He cursed.

     By this time it was one in the afternoon.  The traffic was thick and his attackers had backed off, in the jeep as well as the helicopter.  His cell rang.  Unknown number.  Another call from the nut with a kids song fetish?  Not this time.  It was SHEILA!  She was sobbing and he tried to calm her enough for her to cry out, help me!  He also heard a number and a street location.  He got the street, but couldn't pick up on the address.  776 something, Somerton Ave.  He was practically in tears, when a man's voice came on the phone and told him to go to 7765 Somerton Ave...alone.  He gulped in fear.  He put in the address into his GPS and drove.  He reloaded his pistol and got more ammo for back up.  He thought to call Kyle, but knew he would be putting his best friend in danger, so he squashed the thought and went on.  He knew he couldn't even tell Kyle what was happening.  It was now two o'clock.  He had fifteen minutes to get to the address.  It was an old theater, where back in the 1920's they did vaudeville.  It hadn't been used since the late '30s.  The roof was collapsing and the blue paint was worn.  Windows were broken and graffiti was spread across it like wild fire.  He froze.  He knew what this was used for, and he knew he should have known what was happening when he came across the South American...it was a place a drug ring hung out.  The South American mafia ran out of there.  Drew knew this because of the news.  He saw it on the local ten o'clock news one night three months ago.  In fact...oh no!, he thought.  Sheila called in reporting a certain drug dealer who was snooping around the high school.  She had several friends get hooked on drugs from this guy by the name of Estavez, Jorge Estavez.  He was a drug dealer who was in the South American gang, Las Serpientes.  Translated in english is The Snakes.  He thought to himself, This is why Sheila was taken! 

     He came to this steel black door in the back of the antique building.  It wasn't part of the original architecture.  This was put in in the 1990's, when Las Serpientes came to make their first visit.  He then recalled that night on the news.  Senor Raul Juarez was the mafia drug dealer and Jorge Estavez was his third man in the ring.  He was a bad dude that got kids as young as ten to try anything that they had brought over from Columbia.  Drew cringed and cocked his gun, ready.  He rolled the door open.  It was quiet except for a faint cry way in the back room, where another steel door, obviously not original, was locked.  He heard two gun shots and ran toward the crying.  He realized he had to play it cool and quietly walked to the door.  A tall, muscular South American man walked out with a machine gun and looked straight at Drew.  He called out to Drew, "Senor Hernandez is waiting, please step inside."  Before he was able to enter the man searched him head to toe and confiscated his gun.  He thought, Oh no!  Not good!  Both men entered and Drew had a machine gun aimed at his head from the back.  Two more men with muscles and guns were on both sides of Hernandez.  "Come in," he demanded in a soft but firm tone.  Senor Rafael Hernandez was a man of only 5'6", but was the second most powerful in Juarez' mafia.  He didn't look threatening, but his voice boomed strength and evil.  "Glad you made it.  Come.  Sit down and have some tequila," he demanded.  The only problem with that is that Drew never drank tequila.  But it was demanded.

     He took a sip and about gagged.  He still remembered Psalm 27:3 and somehow knew God would take care of him.  He was surprised by that, nevertheless.  Senor Hernandez spoke again.  "I have a deal for you.  In order to get your girlfriend back, I need a favor of you."  Drew took a deep breath.  He was glad he wasn't going to be killed...just yet.  "What do you need me to do?", Drew asked with a shaky voice.  The man put his hands together with his fingertips, under his chin, and just stared blankly at Drew.  Drew didn't know what would be next and that scared him.  The man slightly laughed.  Drew asked again, "What do you want me to do to get me and my girlfriend out of here?"  The man hesitated, then stated, "Patience, my boy!"  He motioned for one of his men that had a package.  The man brought it to Hernandez.  Hernandez looked directly in the eyes of Drew and said, "Take this package to San Juan, Puerto Rico, at 555 La Roca Calle."  It must be drugs, Drew thought.  And Puerto Rico!?  Hernandez got up and went over to Drew and put his hand on his shoulder.  "I will send a plane tonight at 8.  Get what you need at home and be back here at 7:30.  We will be watching you!", Rafael Hernandez ordered.  Drew walked out, hearing the cries of pleas from Sheila.  He held strong and confident.  He would only do this for her, because he loved her.  It can't be that bad.  I'll get over there in secret, and leave in secret.  No one will know, he thought to himself.  Oh God, if you have never helped me before, please help me now, Lord.  He looked back at the building as he was getting in his jeep and leaving.  He looked up and prayed he'd find the confidence David found in Psalm 27.

I had been planning to write more often, but life got in the way.  Stay tuned for Part Four in a couple of days.
God bless,

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Part 2 of Fearless Trust in God

A story based on Psalm 27~Part 2

     Before he knew it, it was 6 in the morning the following day.  He couldn't tell night from day in the cave, but when he woke, he looked at his watch.  He must have gotten 4 or 5 hours of sleep that night, which was a relief.  He always carried a jug of water in the back of his jeep for emergencies, along with power bars ans some crackers.  He managed to take the food and water with him when he left his jeep.  He took a survival course last year because he liked to go hiking in the mountains with Kyle.  It worked well for him now.  He drank and ate little, just enough to get him by, because there were only a dozen bars and crackers and a gallon of water.  He thought, thank goodness I filled it up Monday morning!  He wondered how long he could hide in the cave, and if anyone would be able to rescue him.  No one may not know where he is.  He looked out the entrance of the cave.  The sunlight was just touching down on the trees and the rocks around the cave.  He squinted from the brightness of the light and peeked out carefully to see if anyone was hunting him.  He had the pistol in hand and walked out of the cave.  The light was too bright for him since he had been in the cave for a couple of days, where it was dark.  He noticed an eagle soaring in the east, near the pines on the top of the mountains.  It was a beautiful sight in the midst of Drew's horror.  He saw the snow covered trees and rocks.  The was an owl in the distance.  He thought to himself, I could spend the rest of my life out here, just as long as I had food, water and no one trying to kill me.  The sunlight kept him from shivering as he did last night.  His peace subsided when all of a sudden he heard crunching in the snow.

     He quietly ran back into the cave without anyone seeing him.  He then heard a couple of male voices, one was an American and the other voice seem to have a South American accent.  He heard muffled voices when he entered the cave.  They were talking about Drew and he heard his name.  He went into a panic.  He listened quietly and intently as the strangers talked to each other, but couldn't make anything out.  He was terrified.  They suddenly stopped talking and it was deathly quiet out there.  No voices.  No crunching snow, just dead silence.  His fear grew.  What was next?, he thought.  He pulled out his Aunt Rita's pistol to be ready for a fight.  He didn't cock the pistol, for fear that the men would hear the click.  He heard crunching snow and voices again.  He sat on a rock and prayed.  This was only the second time in a matter of days.  He was getting quite use to praying now.  He learned from Kyle to give praise to God, even in the worst of times, so he praised Him silently.  He remembered a song from Youth Group, on his first night at church.  It was Shout to the Lord.  He wanted to shout, thinking of that song, but only shouted inwardly.  He felt a release of joy at that moment.  There were men out to kill him and yet he felt joy, just thinking about Jesus for the moment.  He shook his head in unbelief.

     He stopped for a moment when he heard the two men talking about him again.  He noticed them calling each other by their names.  He heard one guy call the other one Jose, and Jose called his partner in crime, Wes.  Jose had short dark-hair with a pencil-thin mustache.  He was muscular and was 6' tall, probably age 30.  Wes was a skinny runt of a kid at 5'9", with reddish-brown hair that was down to his shoulders.  He was just a kid at around 19.  The crunching of the snow came closer and the voices became louder.  The joy that Drew felt 5 minutes ago was now turned into fear.  He readied his gun as quietly as he could and braced himself for the worst.  "Let's look in here Wes!", Jose ordered.  Drew wondered if Jose was the leader of the two.  He still didn't understand why Sheila was taken or why he was running for his life.  He thought back to what Pastor Ron was saying that first night at church and then he remembered Psalm 27:2, "When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies stumbled and fell".  Drew thought, "Would God defeat these thugs?  Would I escape this?"  He felt a little hope in that verse and wondered what was happening to him.  He never once gave God or the Bible a thought until he went to church with Kyle that first night.  Aunt Rita was an agnostic and gave no notice to God either.  She was bitter because of her brother and sister-in-law being so wasted on Meth, and not taking care of their son all those years.  She was also angry at God for that same reason.  Drew thought of that at that moment and was sad.  He wasn't still quite sure about God, but deep inside wanted his Aunt Rita to have the same experience.  He'd hope to tell her someday...if he had another chance.

     Just around the corner of the cave, Drew peeked and saw a tall South American man walk in slowly, looking around carefully.  Right behind him was the skinny kid with him.  Drew swallowed hard.  "If we don't find him tonight Jose, Senor Juarez will kill both of us!", the skinny kid piped up.  "Shhh!", Jose demanded, not wanting to let Drew know they were near, if he was.  Drew thought for a minute.  Senor Juarez?  Who in the world was Senor Juarez?"  Sheila never mentioned any of these three people, Jose, Wes or Senor Juarez.  I wish I knew what was going on, he thought to himself.  Luckily, where Drew was standing was very dark and no one would be able to see him, even if they walked by him.  He only hoped they wouldn't hear him breathe or hear his heart racing.  He knew this was it.  Either he had to beat them or die right then and there.  They were breathing distance from him and he froze.  The darkness saved him from certain death, but was also a hindrance to him as well.  He realized suddenly that they may have flashlights.  If they turned them on, he was surely a goner.  He tried to get away from there before they turned on the flashlights, without making one sound.  He held the pistol tightly as sweat ran down his face.  What was next for him?  He made a dash for the opening of the cave.  The men were startled and trampled around in the dark.  Thankfully for Drew, they didn't think to carry flashlights, since it was broad daylight.  Jose and Wes stumbled and fell over each other.  Drew was outside the cave and saw them trying to get up and he thought it was ironic, considering the verse in Psalm about the psalmist's enemies stumbling and falling.  He got a little chuckle out of it, then he ran for his life.

     This part took a little long to publish and I apologize for that.  Stay tuned for the next part of the story.  I hope you enjoyed it so far...




Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Part 1 of Fearless Trust in God~An original short story by Sabrina Yeager

A story based on Psalm 27 Part 1

     Drew was trapped in a cave, hiding from the ones who were out to kill him.  He didn't understand it at all and he was scared.  He was just 17 years old, getting ready to graduate high school.  He had a girlfriend named Sheila, who was 16 years old, and they took her one night.  She had been missing now for 3 months.  He couldn't figure it out, why they had taken her.  He dreaded each day without her.  He called the police on November 27 to report her missing.  It was 6pm, when he called and the police might as well had just laughed at him, he thought, because they just dismissed his report.  They had told him not to worry about it.  The police just thought it was an argument between the two.  Three days later, Mr. and Mrs. Wharton reported their daughter missing.  It was Thanksgiving break and Sheila was suppose to spend time with her cousin, Freda Wilson, who lived down the road.  Drew was suppose to meet the both of them for a double date, with Freda's boyfriend, Max.  Drew went to The Coffee Bean on Richmond Drive and they never showed up.  He ordered a grande White Chocolate Mocha and waited and hour, then ordered a Caramel Macchiato to go.  He called Sheila, then Freda, and no one answered.  Three days after Drew called the police, Mrs. Wharton called Mrs. Wilson.  Sheila never showed up on that Monday when she was suppose to.  Mrs. Wilson was confused because Freda said she was going to her friend Rhonda's house in the next town over.  Mrs. Wharton panicked and called the police.

     The cave was dark and the thought of Sheila startled him.  He had been hiding out for 2 days now and the cave was cold.  It was the end of February and the snow on the ground made it difficult to keep warm.  He had been attending Atonement Fellowship Baptist Church with his best friend Kyle Rutheford for 2 months now.  He wasn't sure what all this God stuff was really all about, but after what was happening, decided to finally go with Kyle one Wednesday night to Youth Group.  Kyle was the same age as Drew and they had been best friends since kindergarten.  Kyle lost his mom to cancer when he was 11 and his dad started taking Kyle to church two months later after his mom's death.  Kyle rebelled for a few years and then gave his life to Christ when he was 14.  Drew was never was interested in the least.  Drew grew up without parents available to him.  He lived with his Aunt Rita Baker, Drew's father's oldest sister.  She was a nurse who worked in the local hospital on the midnight shift, so Drew was pretty much on his own at night.  He got himself up everyday for school and got himself breakfast and a shower and grabbed his books everyday since he was 15.  Drew's parents were both hooked on Meth since Drew was born and the state gave him over to his aunt permanently when he was 2 years old.  Drew never really thought much of God until the night he went to church with Kyle, and never gave Him much thought after that night, until tonight.

     Drew, frightened and cold, remembered that night at Youth Group in December, just before Christmas.  The youth pastor talked about how the Lord was our light and our salvation, and taught on Psalm 27 that night.  Of all the scriptures Pastor Ron Keller could talk about, he chose Psalm 27, and that night, Drew was drawn in.  Now he was running for his life from enemies he never met and he thought of Psalm 27:1, "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?"  It kept going and going on in his head and couldn't get it to stop.  He didn't quite understand it all and was very frustrated with that verse.  He couldn't understand why God wouldn't want him to be afraid, he just might get killed after all!  He did relate to Psalm 27 very well, with everything that had gone on in his life, but how could he not be afraid of those who were going to kill him?  And how would God step in and save him?  He just didn't know the answer.  On Monday night, two nights earlier, he had enough.  The police had no leads, because all the witnesses to Sheila's disappearance were ending up dead.  The case was becoming as cold as that February night.  He grabbed Aunt Rita's pistol and took off looking for clues.  He was going downtown late Monday night and two masked guys in a black SUV drove up to his red Jeep Cherokee and took two shots at him, while he was getting out of the jeep to grab a bite to eat at the Subway.  Needless to say, he jumped back into the vehicle and sped down the road, running every red light until he came to  the edge of the mountains.  He ditched the vehicle and ran for the caves that weren't far from there.  He barricaded himself in a small, dank cave and looked down at his right hip in horror.  There was blood.  It didn't even hurt until he saw the blood.  He realized what had happened.  He'd been shot.

     He stumbled, landing his butt on a large rock and quickly looked at the damage.  It was only a graze.  Nothing that was life threatening.  He gulped with relief.  He wondered if he was being followed.  He had sensed danger as he plopped on the rock.  Was he alone?  Or did he lose those thugs?  He thought back to January 14, when he got a disturbing phone call.  It was a recording of a children's song, "Little Bunny Foo Foo".  The person or persons calling called three times and hung up after the recording.  He got the first call at 8pm, the second at 9:30pm and the last call at 11pm.  He got a chuckle over it the first time they called.  Then it got a little disturbing.  He thought to himself while sitting in the cave, "Who was it that called that night, and why that song?"  A note came to him in the mail a week before that read, Don't follow the rabbit trail."  It was signed in blood, Peter Rabbit, with a picture of a dead rabbit.  He gasped when he looked at the picture for the first time, and he gasped at the memory while in that dark cave.  Dread came over him as the feeling of danger crept closer.  Was it his imagination running amok or did the two masked thugs catch up to him?  He looked at his watch and noticed it was almost midnight.  He had gone 2 days without sufficient food or water, and hardly any sleep.  He thought he would either die at the hands of his enemies or would die of thirst and starvation.  He did something for the very first time in his life that night.  He prayed.  Lord, I'm scared and feel alone.  Help me please!  A sense of calm came rushing through his body.  This was very foreign to him.  For that moment, he was at peace.

      There will be 14 parts to this story over the next several days.  I hope you will continue to follow it.  Stay tuned...