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Unlikly couples part six 

Pastor becky was a united Methodist minister. She grew up in. A baptist circle.she abadoned Christianity but came back to it. Instead of going to fundimental baptist, she went to the evengelical mainline prostinent . she found something endearing about him. She found the more times she ran into him, the more she really liked him. 

She did not want to define there relationship, at least not this early on.so when he mentioned it, it threw her for a loop.  She panicked. 

For a while,she shut down.she decided she wanted a break. She needed time to catch her breath. He gave her a while. He decided to stop by on the way to see her. 

At first she did not want him to come by. He had this ability to melt her heart. She knew how she felt about him.  

He had a good weekend.  He enjoyed spending time at his old church. He enjoyed spending time with his family. He felt like he got to relive his childhood.  He was glad to have some time to recharge his bateries. 

He hoped she would call.  She did not.he wanted to call her. He knew he had to give her space. She needed time.  He missed her. He could not deny that. 

That sunday becky decided to preach at her church. Then she headed for craig’s family church. She was nervous.she considered heading back but she did not. She did want to see him. 

She arived in the early afternoon.  It was before they had a dinner. She saw pictures of the church. Sadie saw her. ” hi i did not know you were coming?” she said.” i did not know myself. ” she admited. 

“Does craig know your hear?”she asked. “No not yet. It was kinda on impulse i gues. So is this craig as a kid?”becky asked her. “Thats him. He was six when the church was started. I was a baby then. ” sadie said.

“He looks like he had a lot of energy back then?”becky asked. ” he did. Thats what i have heard. He was not hyper. He just had a lot of energy. ” sadie said. “Have you two always been close?” she asked.  “Prety much yea. I think the age difference was an obstacle but yea we have been prety close.  ” sadie said. 

” i like this pictute. ” becky said. “That was the five year anniversary.  He was 11. ” sadie said. 

During the diner the pastor prayed. Everyone started to go though the line. He saw her. “Beck what are you doing hear?” craig asked. ” i wanted to be hear. I know this is importent to you. Plus i think Its my turn to come see you. ” she said. ” i am not counting.  I am glad to see you. I missed you. ” he said.

“I missed you too.” he said. They sat down. They sat next to his parrents. “Mom and dad. I would like to meet becky granger. This is my parents pastor greg and jeen wallice. ” he said ” it is good to meet you. ” becky said. “It is good to meet you.” pastor wallice said. 

“I enjoyed seing early picture of the church.  ” Becky said. “Alot of these pictures were colecting dust. It was fun looking though old pictures. It brought back a lot of memories.  ” mrs wallice said. 

“So do you go to craig’s church?” his dad asked. ” no i go to a different church.” she said. She realy hoped they did not ask follow up questiones. 

During the afternoon,  he talked to his mom.” so is becky your girlfriend?”his mom asked. “We have not defined it yet. I hope so someday. I really like her. ” he said. “Your dad and i were prety sure you did. “She said. “I had no idea she was coming. It was quite a suprise” he said. 

They had a felowship time in the afternoon.  At night there was a service. After he and becky sat on the steps of his parents house. “I am so glad your hear bec. “He said. “I am glad i came. ” she said.

” i am sory i shut down. I just needed time. ” she said. ” i know.  I wanted to give you that time. It was hard but i knew you needed some space.  ” he said. “I did.  I like how you gave me space but also made it clear you were available.  Thank you. ” she said. 

“I am not trying to change you. I am not. Trying to turn you into a baptist or turn you into me. I love spending time with you.  I love being with you. I feel like i can be me around you. That is my only motive for being with me. ” he said. 

“I am beginning to realize that. I gues one of us will probably have to give up our dram for the other person.  I am not sure we can both pastor abd be maried. Im assuming you want to mary me!” she said. 

“I do. Are you open to marying me bec?” he asked. “Yes i am open to it.” she answered. He took her hand.”we have some hard decisions to make.  Lets talk about it. Lets work on her together. We can figure it out togerher. We dont have to solve everything now. I know i have been waiting for you.  There has never been anyone else not really. I have been wating a long time for you. “He told her. 

“I have dated before. There was a few that i thought was serious. Not like this. I got to warn you i going to drive you completly batty?” she said.

“I might do the same with you. I orginize my Sox draw several times until it is perfect. ” he said. ” that might drive me batty. ” she said. He chuckled.  

“Do you realy think this could work?” she asked. He squeezed her hand.”i think love is an emotion but i also think it is a choice.  It is a one tine choice folowed up by little chioces. Can you imagine spending the rest of your life with me? Would you be happy about it?”he asked. 

She had a good imagination. She was good at visulizing things. She thought about there life together.  It caused her to smile. “Yea i think i would be happy about it. ” she said.

“I think your an amazing person bec.i really do. ” he said. “I did not think i was your type. ” she said. “So what is my type?” he asked in a playfull tone.

“Damure, submisive no independent thought. Shy. Barefoot and  pregnent. Someone who cooks and cleen. “She said. 

“Really?  No that is not my type. I am steriotypical typical independent baptist but i am not at the same time. Most fundamental baptist dont fit the steriotype. The steriotype is more hyperbole then reality. That is my type. ” he said 

“Well then pastor wallice what is your type?” she asked in a playful tone. “I dont want a clone of myself or an echo. I value intelligence.  I vailure wisdom.  I value different perspectives.  I have never been afraid to have my views chalenged. I dont believe i am right on everything’. I dont want to be arrogant.  I am sure i can be. I want someone who is smart,who can provide counsel.  I dont want damure.  I want someone who is submisive in the fact of not working against. Someone who is on the same team. Someone who may have strong opinions but is wiling to trust me. Someone who is wiling to give me the final authority.  I have never believed i have all the answers. I would hope to be able to earn your trust. As to barefoot you barly wear shoes for more then five minutes.  ” he said.

She laughed.  “True.  Trust is hard for me. I like being in charge of me. I know i am not realy in control. I know that as a human i am not realy in control.  As a Christian i am definently not in control.  I do want to control everything.  I know i cant but i would like to. To yield by choice.that does not come easily to me. I dont want a power strugle. It might me be easier for me to mary a united mathodist man who is damure himself.  ” she said.

“You would get bored eventually.  It might take time years.  You would tire of it. As would i with the wife you discribe. Mayby oposites do attract.  You and i do have similarities.  We are not as different as it apears. I think we may have more in comon then we believe.  ” he told her. 

“You could be right. This is so scary. If this does not work. We could realy hurt eachother. We could mess each other up. The damage could be irreparable.  I am afraid. I want this. I want you and i. Perhaps some things are impossible.  Some mountons cant be climbed. ” she said. 

“You could be right. There are limits. Some things aren’t ment to be. Some things are.  I dont believe this is impossible.  ” he told her. 

“I was miserable. This break did not work out. I was mad at first when you came. I was glad to see you. “She admited.

“Can we be a couple?  Can we date court whatever title you want to give it?” he asked.  “Ok. I will be your girlfriend. ” she said. “Awsome!” he said.

“By the way that eliphent reallt was riduculous. It take up half my living room. ” she said. “Yea it was an impulse gift. I probably should have put more thought in it. ” he said.”i loved it. I am going to tease about it incessantly but i loved it. Becky wallice does have a nice ring to it “she said.  “You meen reverend becky granger wallice? ” he asked.  “Funy!” she said.

She drove back to her house. They decided that he would stop by on his way to drop his sister off. This was a turning point for them. She called him when she got home. 

To be continued.  

 

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Unlikly couples part four

The next day,pastor Becky arived at the church. She went to her office. She saw a series of flowers on her desk.  “Whats this?”she asked. “Oh. It is for you.”her asistent jill said. She looked at the card. “To pastor becky. Hope this britghens your day. You have brightened myine. ” it was singed pastor craig. She chuckled.  

“Something you want to tell me becky?”Jill asked. ” he is a freiend?”she said.  “So is he the reason you went to hagervile?”she asked.  “Yea. He was the one that came to our church a few weeks ago.”Lilly said.

“Are things serious between you two?”jill asked.”i dont know. We did just meet. He is a fundy. I meen hatd core. “Lilly said. “Oh! He has not run for the hills?”jill asked. “Quite the opposite.  “Lilly said.  “You have not run for the hills?”jill asked. “No i have not. Should i?”lilly asked. 

“I have never seen you like this. ” remarked.  “I have not felt like this i. Some time. ” lilly said. “Your bot afraid it cant work?  You two are destened for dissaster?”jill asked. “No i am woried about that. ” lilly asked. 

“Why are you not runing for the hills?”jill asked. “Becuase i dont want you.” lilly said.  “I figured. Well i hope it works out. I really do. “Jill said. Lilly did not say abything but she hoped that too. 

Later on in the day. Craig called her. “Hi craig!”she said. “Did you get the flowers?”he asked. “I did. Thank you so much. They were beautiful.  It was very thoughtfull. “Lilly answered. “I hoped it was not too soon. ” he said.”no! Your timing was perfect.  “She said. 

She wondered what he ment by two soon. Was he thinking that they were a couple or would be someday. What was he thinking? Did he think that they had a future together. Did he want them to? 

“I’m glad. Your not alurgic. I almost asked you but. I did not want to give away the secret. ” he said. “I am definently not alergic to flowers.  ” she said. “I am glad you like them. ” he said. 

She found that he had a way of calming her. She liked that about him.he knew how to sooth her. The more she got to know him the more she came to love him. She admired him. She found him to be kind and gentle. 

Though she was known as a strong leader at her church.  She was confident and competent.  She coukd be forcefull. She has wisdom and was good at stratigy. He had goals and had a plan to bring them to fruition. To outsiders she seemed to be all bussiness all the time. She was a workahilic. 

She seemed to be all work. She had no real social life. When not involved in church activities she was involved in comunity and civic events. That was not the real her. Craig started to see a different side of her. 

They rearanged there shudule so they could get tohether on saterday. Saterday morning they got ready for sunday. Saterday afternoon they would spend the afternoon together.  It was his turn to come see her. 

She made chicken salid sandwitch. She made a chese cake for desert.  She brought chips. She liked to bake . she did not do it much. She was constently on the go. 

He met up her at a park. They usualy did not engage in hardly any public display of affection but she hugged him. “How is the surmon coming?”she asked. “Really good. I am preaching on finding peace with God. My primary text is Romans. 3:24 but i am going to go though several ddifferent. verses.  You have it easy.  All you do is follow the lectionary. ” he said.

“Yes the topic is assigned.  I can have the fredom to take it where i will. I put my iwn personal touch. It is usualy a bit vaugue. ” she said. “If the topic or passege of scrupture is assigned mounths in advance by some luturgical body somewhere,where does work of the holy sprit come in? I dont know how many times my entire surmon has changed sometimes minutes before the surmon begins.” he said.

“God is a God of order. Lectionary is a tool that can keep a preacher from avoiding rabit trails. By designating the pasege it reduces the risk of preaching a pet peve. ” she said. 

“I am careful not to go on a rabit trail. I dont know if i could never get use to having my surmon topics assigned every week. At bible colege i waa asishned to preach from seccond chronicles 7:14. I believe that was for the original readers not directly given to twenty first century america. The professor felt differently. I avoided the promise and dealt with it in the context of israel. I delt with getting right with God and his restoration while avoiding the promise aspect. I got good comments from the proof. He felt i should have tied it to america. Oh well!” he said. 

“I take it you are big on independence of the local church?” she asked. “Yes. I believe that local churches shoyld be self governed.  I dont believe that churches should be islands.  I meet up with area fundamental pastors. My dad is a pastor and i stay in touch with him. I keeo acontible with an area pastor i should consider a sprituel farther.i do believe in acontibility. ” he said. 

The picnic was a huge success.  He loved the chicken salid sandwitch.  She did not realize he could eat. He was thin . Almost too thin. He did eat. She wore a gray shirt and green skirt.she had removed her flip flops. The day was going great. Then he had to say it.

 “What are we? Are we dating?” he asked. “No! Lets not go there!”she said. She seemed nervous,agitated. “I dont understand “he said. “I dont want to go there yet. We realy enjoy eachothers compony. I know i love being with you. I think you enjoy spending time with me. ” she told her.”i do. Very much so. “He answered.

“Once we try to figure this all out then its gets complicated. We have to deal with the eliphent im the room neither one of us knows how to. I know we are going to have to deal with all of this but i dont want to yet.i dont know if we can sort all of  this. “She said. 

“Im sory. I did not meen to upset you. Your right.  I probably should have waited to ask. I got curios. “He said. “Its ok. This is a fantasy isn’t it. Your a separatist Baptist,i am a welcoming united Methodist.  We are entranced in our denominational ideologies. It is crazy to think we can make this work.  One of us would have to leave there world and embrace the other. I dont think it could work long term without it. ” she said. 

“You believe for our relationship to work long term,one of us has to give up our dream?” he asked.  “Dont you?” she asked. “I gues your right. “He said. “You would want me to be the one to resign? You dont see female ministers as legitimate.  Of course i should be the one to quit. ” she said. 

“I dont believe bibilicaly women should be pastors.  God is creator and redemer, he gets to decide how his church is governed. God designed men to be in leadership even before the fall. “He said.

“I disagree.  Yes it does say the bishop is to husband of one wife. That is an example.  There is no explicit command that a pastor must be male.”she said. “That is a bit of linguistic gymnastics. “He said. “I dont think so.  How do we make this work? Can we realistically? “She asked. 

“I dont know!”he asked. “I figured. “She said. “I am sory i brought it up. I did not meen to upset you.”he said “its ok. I know that. Why did you show up a week later? You could have gone back to hagervile and we could have never seen eachother again. Why risk it all?” she asked. 

“I dont believe my stoping at your church was an acident.   I was not lonly or inconplete or any of that before i met you. At least i did not think so. I did not perposly remain single during the last few years.  I believe i needed to focus on the ninistry. Focus on establishing the church and establishing myself. I believe God work on the best timing,his timing not ours.  Meeting you was the highlight of that whole trip. I could not stop thinking about you. I dismissed it at first but i knew there was more going on. ” he said.

“I will never be your dream wife. I am not exactly independent fundimental Baptist.  I could not get out of that world. You can take me out of the pastorate but i wont be your kind of wife. Thats just not who i am.  You would not be happy as a united Methodist pastor’s husbend?” she said. 

“Is that you want? Me to resign from gospel Baptist  and be a pastor’s husband? ” he asked. “I could not ask that of you.you believe that this is God’s caling in your life.  I would not want to undermine that. So where does that leave us? A masive stand still. ” she said. 

“Would you rather have had me not come back a week later?” he asked. “It might have made life easier. It would have been simpler.  No i wouldn’t. That would have made me sad not to see you again.  ” she answered.

They tabled the conversation for a while.  There was a voly ball net set up. They played for a bit. They each won three games.  He decided he should head back. She made him promise he would call when he got home. She worried until he called.

 “Hi bec. Im home!”he said. “Good im glad. I did have a good day with you. I love spending time with you.” she said. “I had a good time with you.  I love hanging out with you. ” he said.  

Things were complicated between them. They both knew it. Neither one knew how to solve it.  Perhaps there was for another time.  

To be continued.  

“Unlikely of couples” 

I was on my home from a conference at ambassador baptist college.  When on the road, i try to stop at a church . i stoped at a church   i been to before. I parked my car 🚗 at the parking lot. 

It had been a while sence i had been to the church. The church was free Methodist church. It had become part of the united methodist denomination. I did not know this.if i had i probably would not have come in to this church. 

 The church was far more liturgical then i was used to. There was a perade of shorts. The pastor wore a robe and sash. It was a lady. A young lady. I had come to a church with a female pastor. 

I gues i could have walked out but i did not. I was not sure why i did not. I did not end up staying though thr whole service. I was not sure if i should have or not but i did. 

The music was a combination of hyims with some ccm as well. The pastor was an avid listener of k love.she and her 🎵  music director introduced it alongside the old hymns. 

Her surnon was prety good. It was short. It was based on a text from the gospel. It was on jesus reading from isaiah in the temple. It was a good mesege. She focused more on earthly practical intetpretation of the text. 

I would have taken a different tract with it. I have as i have preached on this text. It was fairly good. After the service i planed on heading right out. I did not want to get back home. 

I got up to leave. I was sitting towards the back of the sanctuary.  I. Moved towards the door. People started to talk to me. I had spoken to many.  Then i got to the exit. 

She was young. She was in her twenties. “Hi welcome to christ united Methodist church. I am rebbcca Morrison but most people call me pastor becky.” she said. 

I tried not to cringe. I am a strong belever that pastors and deacons should be male. I believe that the bible teaches male leadership. I tried not to be disrespectfull. I was in her turf. I tried to be respectfull. 

“I am craig wallice. ” i said. “What brings you hear?”she asked. “I am heading back to hagervile.i was at a bible confrence . i wanted to attend church on my way home.” he said. 

“Are you united Methodist? ” she asked.  “Ah no! I am baptist. ” i said. “Are you one of those? ” she asked. I acted coy. I knew what she ment but i devided to feign igborence. “One of them?” i asked in a slightly sarcastic tone. 

She chuckled. “Your a fundy!” she said.  “I dont know if i would put it in that term but yea. I perfer independent fundamental baptist. “She said. 

“I am suprised you came hear.” i remarked. ” i used to come hear quite often. It been a while. The last time 🕙 i was hear, it was stil free Methodist. Pastor ottis was stil hear.” i told her. 

“Oh! Things have changed sense that.  Pastor ottis died a few years back. The church numbers dwindled.  The united Methodist took it over.  They united Methodist send pastors. In this case me!” she said. 

“I see. ” he said “so you probably would not have come had you known that it was united Methodist or had a female pastor?” she commented. 

I had to admit that was true. “No to be honest i probably would not have. ” he said. “Well do be offended but i am glad that you did not know. I am glad you came. ” he said. “It is good to meet you.” he said. 

“Did you always want to be a pastor?” she asked. “As long as i can remember. I wanted to be a race car driver too but that did not endure it as long as my desire to be in the ministry.  What about you?” i asked. 

“Not as long. I wanted to be some kind of professional.  I wanted to be a nurse or doctor. I went to school to be a social worker but decided to go into ministry. ” she said. 

“I see. ” i said. “You dont approve of me being a pastor?” she asked.”i do disagree with women being pastors or deacons. I believe men should be in positions of authority in a local church. I believe the bible clearly teaches male leadership.” he said.

“Well! I do not share that view. While example in sctipture are for males,there is no command that pastor and deacons be male. “She said.

“A pastor should be the husband of one wife. First timouthy 3:2. That is prety clear. Paul made it clear that he beleved that women shod be silent in the church. ” he said. 

“That is an example not a command.the women at the church in ephasis were uneducated for the most part. Many may have been new believers.  It became a free for all. Today women are educated.  Most people alow the pastor or teacher to teach. “She said. 

“Jesus is the same yesterday today and foever. God is a God of order. The plan has always been male leadership. This goes all the way back to adam. I dont see any reason to alter it. ” i said.

“So do you see my pastorship as illegitimate? ” she asked.”i am not hear to judge you. ” he said. ” a little bit of diplomacy?”she asked. “I am a guest hear?”i remarked they laughed. 

“We are a welcoming church. All are welcome even cantankerous baptist!” she said. “I sm not that cantankerous!  A little bit of a cammugin! “He said. They both laughed.  

“You know we are the only ones hear?” she said. “We are. We probably shod not be alone together. ” i said. We both quickly left the church building.  She locked up.

” do you go out for cofee?” she asked.”ok! Do you usually ask out new visitors?” i asked. She chuckled.”no i dont. ” she said. 

I followed her car.  My car did not have hardly any bumper sticker. I only had one. It was an i love 💘 my beigle. She had several including one for the united Methodist church. 

We went in. I paid for both of ours.she had a mocha swirl ice cofee with a turbo schot of mocha. I just had mocha. “You did not have to pay for myine. I go a little nuts. Thank you i apreciate it.” she said.  “No problem. ” i said.

“So. Tell me about yourself pastor becky!”i said. “Well i grew up in Wisconsin.  I grew up independent fundimental baptist. I kinda rebelled and planed on becoming a social worker. I stil beleved. I decided on less rigid denomination.  The pastor encouraged me to become a minister. I transfered my credets. Hear i am.”she said. 

“What do your parents think?” i asked.  “They are glad that i returned to the faith. We have become close despite our doctrinal differences. They stil hope i will get over this. Get it out of my system. ” she said. 

“I see.is this a phase you will get out of?” he asked. “You never know !”she said. I laughed. 

“So what about you? ” she asked. “I was born in south carolina. We moved to a church in indiana. Then he started a church in anderson. I went to ambasador and then worked at my dads church then started the one i am at now ” i told her. 

“Is your church new blood or disafected people from orther churches?” she asked. “We have a lot of new converts. We have some who were disillusioned at other churches.  My passion is to reach the loss and to deciple new belevers who will go out and impact there community.  I am not trying to sheep steal but it does happen. ” i said. 

I could not believe i was pouring my heart 💙 out to a complete stranger.this was not like me at all.i was pouring my heart 💙 out to a female united Methodist minister. What was going on? Was i totally out of my mind? 

“I will have to visit your church some time!”she said.  “Definently. I would love 💘 that. ” i said. I had no idea if she ment it or not. 

I felt like she was an old friend. I felt like i have known her for years. I lost all track of time. 

“Wil you admit you know me?”she asked.  “I think i will. I am not totaly sure. ” i said. She chuckled. 

“I realy should be heading back. ” he said. “Ok. You probably should.it was good to meet you. ” she said.”it was good to meet you pastor Becky! “I said.

“You really dont have to call me pastor becky. Becky fine.”she said “i like calling you pastor becky. ” i said. “I noticed. ” she said.

I walked her out to her car. “Have a safe trip home craig. ” she told him.”thanks. Have a great night. ” i told her. 

We got in our car and went out seperate ways. It was funy i had a great time at the confrence. I ebjoyed being at my colege. What i remember the most from that trip was attending that church.

Becky and i later decided that was out first date. Really it was. We just did not know it.i think i lnow that Becky would one day become my wife. 

End of part one. 

Word from the Lord part 13 

What Derrek and Katie did not know was that they were being watched. “It’s funny.i seam to recall another ministerial student siting at another parsnege steps. With a young lady.”the older pastor Carlson commented. “I have no idea what your talking about dad.”Bryan Carlson said. 

“I never thought I would say this but I believe that God is going to use those two for his glory. “Anna Carlson said. ” I was sceptical when I heard that she was penticoastal . I must confess I am beginning to suspect that the Lord has a plan for there lives. ” The older pastor Carlson said. “They are a sweet couple.i am excited for them. “The older Mrs Carlson said. 

“I probably should be getting back. “Katie said.”yea. It is getting late. I am going to miss you. “Derrek said. “Lord wiling it won’t be that long before we see each other again. “She told him.”I know that. Look kaetels I am not sure about the whole word thing but I don’t think that it is implosible that you were created for me. I would like to think that I could have been created for you.”he said. 

Katie started to smile in a way she had never smiled before. She hugged him.”I definitely believe that you were created with me in mind. I have no doubts about that. “She replied to his comment.”I am glad you feel that way.”Derrek said. 

They held hands as they went inside. “I am going to be heading back. Thank you so much for inviting me. “Katie told her future mother in law. Anna hugged her.”I am so glad you came! “Anna told her. “Katie said goodbye to various family members.. then Derrek walked her to her car.

He opened the door for her. “Your really starting to accept the possibility of us are you not? “She asked. “Yes I am hunie.i really am.”he told her.”I can tell.”she said. She hugged him. “Have a great night. “He told her.”you too”she said. 

He started to walk away. She stopped him. She stopped him.”hey Derrek! “She said. He stopped. ” I love you! “She told him.he turned around. ” I love you too” he said. She drove off. He went inside. 

He walked inside. “I am really glad that your grandma and I got to meet Katie.”his grandfather told Derrek. “I am glad you got to meet you. “He said. “We really like her.” His grandmother said. 

“We are expecting a wearing invite any time now !”Nancy said.”no pressure “Denise said. “OK!”Derrek said. Derek was happy with everyone’s reaction. He was quite encouragd by all of this. 

That night he told the Lord that he was ready to dedicate himself and Katie and whatever children they might have to the Lord. By faith  he would accept Katie as his wife. He was nervous but he would trust that this was the Lord will for his life. He was ready for the next step. He was ready to ask katie’s farther for permission to date her. 

Katie had seen a difference in Derrek. He was more relaxed. She had not seen him like this. She loved meeting her family. It seemed right. She was happy that night. She eagerly anticipated the future. 

The next day Katie got up. Her phone went off. “Hello. “She said.”Katie. It’s Nancy.Denise and I are going to get away. A kind of girls day out. Would you like to join us? It is a lot of fun but I have to earn you that we get a little silly. “Nancy said.” I would love to ” Katie said. ” Great is 11:00 OK?” She asked. 

Derrek came to breakfast. “You ok Rick?”Bryan asked. “I am a little nervous. “He said. “Why is that? “Anna asked.” I am going to call kaetels dad and ask him for permission to date her ?” Derrek said. ” I remember calling Nancy’s dad.i was very nervous to say the least. “Robert said. 

“Just be relaxed and respectful. I am sure it will be fine. “His dad said. ” You probably should not refer to her as kaetels when you called her dad.”Sarah said.”I should probably call her Katelyn. ” Derrek said. ” I think that is safe.”his dad said. ” 

“What do I call kaetels dad? Normally I would call him pastor graves. Katie told me that he does not like to be called pastor graves. I consider it a sign of respect but he takes it the opposite. Almost as a sign of disrespectful.” Derrek said. 

” What do people at church call him?” Rob asked. “Pastor Mike. I find that very disrespectful. “Derrek said. “If that is what he prefers,I think it is OK to refer to him that way. You need to set aside your values for this occasion.” Nancy said. ” I agree.”Derrek said.

” The key is to show genuine respect. “His farther said. “I will do that. I do feel that it is important to honor him. I will endeavour to do that. “He said.”that is important!”his dad said.” If you honor him in your heart the way the Bible says you will have no trouble communicating that.out of the abdundence of the heart the mouth speaks. “Robert said. “I know that.”he said. 

“So do I call it datingor courtship. What if I accidently use an ice silver terms? To some the word dating caries the connotation of world dating.to others it is just a word. Some view courtship as the biblical method ,others do not.”Derrek said.

 Courtship is probably a safe term. You plan on involving both sets of Perents any ways?”Nancy commented. “Absolutely!”Derrek , answered. ” Your over thinking this. You don’t want to sound fake or that it is scripted.you have to sound genuine. You have to be genuine.”Rebecca said. “Don’t treat this like an obligation. It should not be. Perental involvement is part of God’s plan.its positive.”Derek said.

“We noticed that you have been. A bit skidish about you and Katie. You seamed to be staying your feet. You tended to want to slow things down . Now your rushing right In full speed. What changed?” His dad asked.

“She had elevated a lot of my fears.i feel like I have been able to see her character. I have come to see that she can be trusted. During devotions and prayer I feel free to proceed. “Derrek said.

“Your mom and I are definitely supportive of you moving forward. I think it is time to Persue it “pastor Bryan Carlson said.” Thanks dad.that means a lot.” Derrek said. ” “We are excited for you.”Anna said. “Thank you.i am too”Derrek said. 

“Derrek does Katie know that your going to talk to her father?” Nancy asked.” No I have not. I wanted to surprise you. It will participate her christmast time. Well asumung he says yes. “Derrek said.” I think she will be surprised and thrilled.” Anna Carlson. Said. 

Katie had no idea what to expect in her interaction with with Derek’s family. She had no real prior experience with the independent fundimental Baptist movement. She had known some Baptist but they were more evangelical. When she and Derrek first met ,he presented the I.f.b as strict and rigid. She figured that he was trying to discourage her from Persuing him. At the very least to curb the enthusiasm. She had no idea how they would react. 

Nancy had really tried to welcome her. Nancy and Katie would become very close.they would keep in touch on the phone and on social media. They often referred to each other eas best friends. The friendship would bring Derek and Rob closer as well.

Derrek and Rob had had a report.derrrk liked Rob. He admired him.he looked up to him. They had not been very close. Rob was quite a bit older then Derrek.they did not have a lot in common. Derek did follow in Rob’s footsteps in Manny ways. There views are very similar. They still did not seam to click. Rob still saw Derrek that hyper kid that zapped him with a laser gun while he was trying to do trigonometry homework. Derrek never got pass Rob having no interest in him when 

Jason was almost exactly like Rob. Jason always had time for Derrek. Jason not only put up with derrek’s youthfully furvolities but sometimes joined in. Nancy and Katie encouraged the two to become closer.botg wives Insisted they interact. They did open up with each other. 

Denese,Nancy and Katie became a kind of three amogos or three sturges if you asked there husband’s. They looked forward to spending time together.denese and Nancy arrived a little before 11:00. Katie went out to meet them. “Good morning ! “Katie said.”morning!”they said. 

At the restaurant. ” I am surprised you too are friends!” Katie remarked.”oh we are. It friends!” Nancy said I. A sarcastic tone. “Not at all. “Denese said.”they did not know what to make of Tom and denese at first. My in laws were glad that Tom was active in church. I was new to the family. I did not know Tim well. I did not have the same bagege that the rest of the family did. We just hit it off from minute one.”Nancy said.

“I knew a very different Tom then his family did.When went,he was very active in our church. I had no idea he went though a sprituel droubt as he called it. I had a totally different view of Tom. I was so nervous about meeting Nancy but we bit it off. Nancy helped bring both Tom and I back into the fold.”denese said.

“I appreciate the kindness both of you have shown me. I really feel welcome. “Katie said.”I am really excited to see you becoming part of our family.”Nancy said.”I am glad I won’t be outnumbered any more.” Denese said. 

“Get to know Anna she is amazing lady. ” Nancy said.” She really is. ” Denese said.”I can see that. I really like her.”Katie said. “,I can tell that she really likes you.”Nancy said. “I am going to marry into a special family am I not?”Katie asked. ” You really are. I am excited for you.”denese said. 

“I am probably getting too far ahead of myself. We are not even officially dating.i can’t help but be excited.”Katie said.nancy tried not to react. She wished that she could say something. She was shown to secrecy. 

“I would not be woried about that. The way he looks at you. I know that it will all work out for you. ” Denese said. ” I think so too. ” Katie said. “You are his kaetels.”Nancy said. ” You know about his Nick name. “She asked.”yes. It comes with the territory. “Denese said.”Tom gave you a nickname?” Katie asked.”yes he did.nessy.” she answered. “Like the lockness monster ? “Katie said.”I don’t think that was his Intention but yes.it had grown on me.”denese said.

“Rob calls me many.its OK.”Nancy said.”,it could be worse.”Katie said.they laughed.” Do you mind being called kaetels?”Nancy asked.”,it’s fine.i kinda like it.”Katie said. They laughed.

Derrek was really nervous. He made the call frombis father’s den. He took a breath and then made the call. He heard the phone ringing.katie’s mom answered the phone. “Hello”Mrs .Graves said.” Hello is pastor Mike there?” Derek asked.” Yes he is. May I ask whose calling?”she asked.”this is Derrek Carlson. I am a firend of Katelyn. ” He answered.”,oh hi. I will go get him.” Valerie graves said.

Micheal Allen graves or pastor Mike as he was called wasin his office. Valerie came into his study. Dear. You have a call .It’s Derrek he is a friend of Katelyn. “She said. “Thanks Val”he said. Pastor Mike took the phone.”hello this is pastor Mike.”he said. ” Hi I am Derrek Carlson”he said.”hi. Katelyn told me a lot about you. “He said.”I am calling to ask your permission to formerly court your daughter. “Derrek said.

  • Derrek waited with batted breath. The pastor smiled and squeezed his wife hand.” From everything I have heard about you I do not see any reason why you cannot court my daughter. You have my permission.”pastor Mike said.”I look forward to meeting you in person. “Derek told him.”as do I!”the pastor said. “I would like to surprise her.coukd you not mention that we talked?”he asked.”I won’t mention it to her. I totally understand. I know that she will be very happy and surprised.she has told her mom and I slot about you. She is  very excited about the prospect of a relationship with you.”hesaid. “I am excited as well. Your daughter means a great deal to me.”Derrek said.”I can tell. “The pastor said.
  • After a  while, the phone conversation was concluded. “Did he ask you permission to court Katelyn?”,Valerie asked.” He did. I said yes.,”he said.,”I thought you did. “She said.”,he seams very polite. “,Mike said.
  • “So are you are prepared when he asked permission to propose mariege?”Val asked.” Well no. I am not ready for my little girl to get married but I think they will make a good couple. “He said.” I am supportive of this as well,”she said. 
  • When Derrek turned off the phone,his heart started to return to his chest. He could breath a again . It was like time had stopped. Now time had resumed.he serviced. 
  • He went back to the living room. “Did you talk to katie’s dad? ” Rob asked. “I did. He said yes. “Derek replied. “Congratulations. I am really happy for you. ” His farther said. “” His farther said. ” Can you wait until Christmas to tell her?”his mom asked.”that is my plan. I think I can wait until then” Derrek said.
  • End of part 23. 

Matt and Abby the long road back

Abby knew that by coming over , she would have to face him eventually. She hoped maybe that She would be gone before he came. She saw Kathy. ” Matt is back. Do you want to see him?”Kathy asked.
“Did he seam upset?”Abby asked .”no he wants to see you. ” Kathy asked. “Ok !” Abby said.
She walked downstairs. She saw him. She was really nervous. He ran to her . he hugged her.
“Are you upset with me?” Abby asked. “A little but I will get over it. My love for you, not so much. ” he said . “your ridiculous. You know that?”she asked.
“I can imagine that.you want to go  out to the steps to talk? ” he asked. “Ok. “She said nervously . they walked to the steps.
” I missed you ab. These last couple of weeks have been tough. ” he said. “We don’t have a thing in common ? We are so different.  We have different interests different ways of swing things .how can we ever hope to make this work?” she asked.
“Its going to be heard ab . we will have to work at it. We are going to disagre on alott.as you know I was ready to call it quits .I could int. The truth is I really did not want to. Abby I like you during the first date. I just was afraid to admit it. I did not think that it was feasible . I really liked you.” Matt said.
“I liked you too. I thought you were little strict and a little nutty. I did like you. ” she said.
“Ab I want you in my life.  I hate when your not in my life. “He told her. “If it were up to you, would you have me give up training to be a minister?”she asked.
“That’s not a fair question. I am not a dictator. Besides I don’t want you to make a decision under duress.it has to be your decision. ” he said.
“You would perfer it if I did?”she asked. “I can’t make that decision.you have to be fully persuaded in your mind. ” he said.”I doubt that you can be a baptist pastor if I am a u.c.c pastor. At least in your current lane of Baptist.” she told him.
“That thought has crosed my mind. ” he said. “What if you can’t have both? What if you can’t have ministry and me?” she asked. “Well I have to chose the Lord over everything else. He has to have prempminence. I have to chose him over everything else. I have to. I don’t know if that will be the case. Abby we are not there yet. You are the seconds most important thing to me next to the lord. ” he told her.
“More then your fanily?” She asked.”You are my family. For this cause shal a man leave his farther and mother and Cleve unto his wife “He said.
“You believe I will cave don’t you? You think I will give up trying to become a minister? If you did not you would be running for the hills. ” she said.
” I don’t know what you wil decide.” he said. ” if you could would you tell me to quit ?”she asked. ” Abby I am not your enemy. I want to on the same team.” he said. “Its not fair matty.I am smarter then you. I have worked hard to get where I am. ” she said. “I know your smarter then me. ” he said.
“We have never been able to figure this out. We have tried. We can’t. “She said. ” I know . “he said.
” if we had not met that night our lives should be so less complicated. Everything made sense before that night. ” she said.
“I don’t want to go back .  do you ab? Just because something complicated does not necessarily mean you should give up. Riskier the road the greater the phriohet!” he said. She laughed.
“I don’t want to go back. I don’t really want to not have met you. I am so afraid that this issue is going to destroy us. If we can’t make it why try. Lets just call it quits . let’s not prolong the inevetible. ” she said.
“I am not going anywhere ab ” he said. “How can I be sure? ” she asked. ” I wish three was a way I could I could convince you. ” he said . ” I wish there was a sign ” she said. “We could try the fleece thing. ” he said. ” funny. ” she said
“I thought so. ” he said. ” I want to trust you. Give me your high school class ring. ” she said. He started to pull it off. He chuckled. “Why do you want my class ring?” he asked as he gave it to her.
“I have never seen you not Waring it. “She said. “I  think I have sense I got it. “He said. “You will get this back when the pastor I assume your dad declares us husband and wife. I got to warn you that if you break up with me ,your never getting this back. ” She told him.”ok. ” he said.
She took off a necklace. She put the ring on it. He put in on her. She hugged him. She held on to him for a bit. “I love you so much.” She asked ” I don’t understand. ” he said “I needed to know how in you were. I gues I know that.  Thank you. ” she said . ” I am in all the way. We will make this work. ” he promised her.
“I’m sorry I should not tested you that way. “She said. “Did I pass?” he asked. “Yes you paused. ” she said. ” good. ” he said. ” it was wrong of me to test you like that. I am sorry. ” she said. ” it’s fine ” he said.
” if you want your ring back you can have it ” she said . ” I Will get it back. On our wedding day. I want you to have it. ” he said. “Your sure? ” she asked. “Yes i am sure. ” he said.
“You have not exactly caught me at my best lately.”she said. “Let me gues that a star trek quote isint it?”he asked. “Yea it is. ” she said.”I know there a lot of unanswered questiones. We will get though it together. ” he said.
They kissed. “You kissed me that time!” she said. “No way.you initiated that one. ” he said.” I am certain that was you. ” she said .they laughed.
“You really liked me that first date?”she asked. “I did. “He said. “I thought you could not get out of there fast enough. ” she asked.”I was deeply divided. ” he said. ” I had no idea. ” she said.
That night she held on to his class ring. She fell asleep with it in her hand.
He did not mind not having it . he told his parents. They were ok with it. They understood. He felt like they had come to an understanding. This was a big breakthrough for them.
To be continued.