You know, these days, in America, especially, I've been hesitant to acknowledge I'm a Christian... Not that I am ashamed of following Jesus Christ, but I'm ashamed that there may be people who call themselves Christian, but who are demonstrating to the World, perhaps, something that is not at all like Christ's teachings. Heaven's Open Book takes this issue right to the forefront of each of our lives--by merely telling us stories about people... Some of the people you may recognize through your own experiences. Some may surprise you... But, in the end, God has spoken through this little book--How Can you Tell a Christian? By His Love...
“You could get to do this more often, if church was…” whispered Sandra.
But Clifford barged in, stopping her in mid-sentence. “Don’t start,” Clifford replied, easing her gently on to the sand. “And, remember that this is a wedding, and not your church revival meeting.”
Sandra chuckled. “No difference, Clifford. I keep telling you that anywhere the Christian goes, he’s on holy ground… And please don’t embarrass me today.” She twitched her mouth in the direction of the men. “Many of your ungodly friends are over there.”
“Ok, dear,” Clifford replied, sarcasm wrapped around his lips. “Your little boy will be obedient today.”
He looked at the group of ladies and laughed. Then, turning to Sandra, he said, “Your angel sisters going to give you the shock of your life one of these days, when Bob Marley’s ‘If night should turn into day,’ hit them.”
“Enough of your maliciousness. Wish you could be even half as committed to Christian values as those ladies.” She tugged at his shirt. “Let’s go join them.” The Campbells were a mismatched couple.
But the couple was not always at loggerheads. Twenty years ago, when they were newlyweds, they were youthful party-goers, ‘mashing up the place’ every Saturday night. And even ten years after their marriage, happiness oozed from the relationship.
But Sandra had found ‘a new life,’ and a ‘new lover.’ Her values suddenly took a right about turn, and her tolerance level for ‘the former things,’ was at the lower end of the open-mindedness meter.
Clifford had become ‘the unbelieving spouse,’ who had to be sanctified by her righteousness. But even that, had proven difficult, given Clifford’s insatiable appetite for ‘the things of the world,’ and his frequent criticism of her ‘holier-than-thou’ church brethren.
Sandra drew closer to the group of ladies. Her presence appeared to be the arranged signal for them to split up.
Clifford grinned, and walked past the cluster of silent men, flicking his head in the direction of the ladies. The men followed him.
“How did that boy find his way into Bro Manny’s house, to snatch his only daughter?” asked Hector.
“He must be a magician.”
“Magician my foot,” responded Clifford. “When the girl’s body crying out, you think she need anything else than a man? They believe that Jesus going to wash away her libido, simply by calling his name.” He looked around and laughed. “You hear that the boy got her pregnant, and that’s why they getting married?” The men were animated.
The spicy intimation, suddenly lubricated their quiet tongues. And the resulting blabber, far outdid anything the women could have mustered. But, it was Hector who stole the show.
“Bro. Manny, and his pious wife, operate as if the girl’s strong craving is the Devil’s doing,” he blurted, folding his lips to contain the snigger. “But they’re to be blamed. Clover hear them many nights, urging the Holy Ghost not to bar them out of heaven for partaking lavishly in ‘unchristian-like conduct’.”
“The wedding is a farce,” Clifford said, “‘cause they say the boy is a ‘worldian,’ and going to drag her down to hell. Yet because he’s rich, they going through with it.”
The wedding ceremony was brief, and wasn’t worth the time and effort the guests had sacrificed to attend. But the bride and groom were happy, and were more concerned with the opportunity to taste of the once forbidden fruit, and to revel in the behind-closed-door, ‘unchristian-like conduct’.
Clifford approached his wife. She was the center of attention among the ladies. “What do you want?” Sandra asked, her voice slightly impatient.
“Going to leave with the boys. You can drive home?”
“Crazy? Want me to support you and your friends’ immoralities? I’m already forced to commit to certain aspects of our marriage. But I’ll never support your sinful activities, willfully.”
Clifford chuckled and walked away. “Well, honey, get a ride with one of your unrighteous virgins.” He hissed his teeth and muttered, “We’ll see who has the extra oil...”
There are five different couple stories in Part I. They have a range of emotional issues and sometimes are humorous, sad, but never not...possible.. Only you know how you would react in each situation, so, go ahead, think through each of the stories. Wonder what you'd do? I know I had fun doing it, especially since I'm not married and was an onlooker. But I've met some "unequally yoked" couples as they say, so I wasn't completely without knowledge...
For instance, Clifford, the individual who is now "unequally yoked" to his wife of many years interestingly tells his wife to check with the "unrighteous virgins" to "see who has the extra oil..." I had sung this little song for many years as a child, but later began to wonder: This didn't make sense... So I was happy to see that the author had concluded my thoughts as well...
This leads to Part II, Transformation and Revelations
Meeting the Father, the Son or the Holy Ghost is an individual thing, isn't it? No matter how many times it's happened, we all have a different experience. In Part II, Clifford, one of the main male characters, is transformed...and also dies during the book...
But some of the characters of this book won't be there in Heaven...
The sub-title of this book relates to God's judgment. Well, this book is fiction and talks about many of our own thoughts throughout our lives... The last chapter is called "Reality Check" and we still see Clifford dealing with his daily living... It's an important book if you want it to be...It's also a reminder book if you need that at this time... But's it is indeed a reality check as to where we are in relation to God. It's not a book to be enjoyed, although your emotions will certainly be involved in reading. But I've also mentioned that it is kinda fun to have your values reviewed through looking at the lives of other people and how you'd be in the various situations they get involved with.
It's a time in America where love is not the main emotion that drives our lives. We are going through a government shutdown where millions are being hurt, for no reason, merely by being denied a chance to report to work and get paid for it... We shall be known for our love...Do we all need a reality check? Let this recommended book help!
He is an avid guitarist,enjoys a good debate and gets tremendous satisfaction from his community work in the field of education. He is married and has four adult children and three grandchildren.