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Walking with God

Walking with God

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Walking with God

Lunghezza:
217 pagine
3 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 23, 2011
ISBN:
9781458042453
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

What if you could walk with Jesus, talk to Peter, and witness the miracles that Christ performed over two thousand years ago? Rachel Rosenfeld does just this. The Gospels come alive as she learns the power of grace, the miracles of faith, and the limitless love of our Lord.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 23, 2011
ISBN:
9781458042453
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Ginni Otto is ready to take the world of Christian fiction by storm. "Walking with God" is the first in a series with the second book already in the early stages of production. Ginni is an Associate Minister at Bloomfield United Methodist Church, is married to Jerry and they reside in Des Moines Iowa with their Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Logan.

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Walking with God - Ginni Otto

Walking with God

By Ginni Otto

Copyright 2011 Ginni Otto

Smashwords Edition

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ®, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

This novel is a work of fiction. However, several names, descriptions, entities and incidents included in the story are based on the lives of real people.

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank the people who have helped make Walking with God a reality. First, I want to thank my brother, Jack, and my sister, Cheryll. You two always believed in me and knew that I could do it. Also, to Nora Maly and Linda Amis who read Walking with God in its infancy and gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going.

To my husband, Jerry. You are my soul mate and my biggest fan. I love you for your gentle prods to keep me going and to keep me at my computer.

To my sister, Tessa. How can I thank you? You read Walking with God chapter by chapter as it was being written. Always building me up, always helping me see Rachel and her surroundings. You are there for me always. I thank God that you are my sister.

Most of all, I want to thank God my Father for giving me the words and the insights to allow Walking with God deliver a message to those who are searching.

Chapter One

"Enough! I have heard entirely enough out of you! Such blasphemy coming from my own daughter’s mouth!"

Papa, Rachel cried, please listen to me. I just said that what I was learning was interesting and, well, believable. The last was spoken softly, so softly her father had to lean forward to hear her.

"Believable? You take all the lessons you have learned at Temple for the past ten years and in one part of a semester you throw it all away? Is this what I have spent my money on? For you to turn your back on your faith? Abraham’s voice was progressively getting louder as he went along. I will have you out of that class, Rachel. Now!"

Rachel tried hard to hold her temper. She hated it when she and her father got into arguments like this. Papa, if you would just calm down and listen to me you would…

"You will not tell me what I should or should not do! I am the parent here. You will do what I say!" He punctuated his words by stabbing the air with his index finger.

Rachel turned and stomped out of the room. Then she did what she always did when she and her father butted heads—she went in search of her mother.

As was usual for this time of day, she found her in the kitchen.

Julia Rosenfeld was a slender woman with black hair that had just started to gray at the temples. She was short, just over five feet, but she could hold her own with her husband, Abraham Rosenfeld. Rachel had seen the evidence of this all her life.

Mama, please, you have to talk some sense into Papa. He’s talking about making me quit my Religion class. Just because I brought up some ideas that I learned in class he’s ranting and raving all over the place! He raised me to have a mind of my own, but when I use it, he blows up!

Julia looked at her daughter. How like Abraham she was—stubborn and strong willed—just like him.

Rachel, don’t be so hard on your father. He loves you very much, you know. She sighed, then continued, I have been watching the two of you butt heads since you were a toddler, and I have watched him give in to you on many occasions, but this, she shook her head, this is different. This is the core of his being that you are attacking. It is our religion, Rachel, our nationality—our life. Is this class that important to you?

Mama, I know that what I am learning is in conflict with our beliefs. But don’t you think that we could be wrong? What would be the harm in just listening to what I have learned? Professor Lazar makes the whole life of Jesus Christ seem true and so—real somehow. Rachel sat down on the stool at the end of the counter and rested her forehead in her palm for a second. Mama, I took this class because it was required for my degree, that’s all. It isn’t like I was going out and looking to change my beliefs because I didn’t agree with our teachings. Why, I never expected even to be able to stay awake through it. This is the fourth religion that I have studied since I started this course two semesters ago. The rest of them meant nothing—some didn’t even make any sense. But this one, I don’t know, this one is different. It isn’t like reading history. It’s like, Rachel hesitated, searching for the right word, it’s like a manual for living. In our Bible, there are many prophecies about the Messiah. In the New Testament you can see where these prophecies are fulfilled.

Fulfilled by this man that lived for only thirty-three years? Rachel, think about what you are saying. I am sure that he was a good teacher, maybe even a prophet. But the Messiah? No wonder your Father is threatening to make you quit! Now please, be a good girl. Let’s have a peaceful dinner and no more talk about this nonsense.

But it isn’t nonsense, I—

Rachel, her mother said as she picked up a platter of chicken, I mean what I say. No more now.

Without a word, Rachel took the platter from her mother, knuckles showing white at the fierceness of her grip as she walked into the dining room. She knew better than to argue when her mother used that tone of voice.

Dinner was strained at best. She was sure the food was wonderful, her mother’s dinners always were. But tonight she barely tasted it. Rachel’s mother tried to keep the conversation going, but eventually gave up to the stony silence of Abraham and Rachel’s tight, stubborn lips.

If only Professor Lazar were here, Rachel thought. He would know the words to say—the right words that would convince Papa to at least listen and read. If only I knew more! Maybe then, Papa would listen to me and not think I am just a silly child! Rachel closed her eyes at the thought. She opened her mouth to speak. Papa—

Rachel, her mother interrupted, if you are finished with your dinner, why don’t you help me clear the table and then we will have dessert in the living room. Again, her mother’s voice held a note of warning that Rachel couldn’t miss.

Yes, Mama, Rachel said.

She looked at her father. He didn’t even look in her direction. Wow, he must really be mad, Rachel thought. They had argued many times over the years about various things but had always come together before the day was done. It didn’t look like he was willing to budge at all this time.

When it came to women, Abraham could definitely be a little old-fashioned at times. She looked down and the long skirt she had on, simple cotton of pale green that fell to her ankles. Her blouse was the same color, had long, puffy sleeves and a scoop neck. It was loose and worn on the outside of her skirt. She had shown up for dinner just once in jeans. Never again. What a row! You would have thought she had committed a major crime the way Papa had carried on. Not only that—he had refused to sit down to dinner until she had changed! If that was his reaction to jeans at dinner, what had she expected with this?

This, however, was not something on which she could just give in. Couldn’t and wouldn’t. It was too important. I must make him listen, she thought, and entered the family room with conviction.

Abraham, her mother started the storm outside is getting nasty. As if to emphasize her words, a loud clap of thunder shook the windows, making Rachel jump. You don’t have to go to the synagogue this evening, do you?

No.

One word, Rachel thought, one word. Well, this evening obviously can’t get any worse, so what do I have to lose? A thought came to her that she could very well lose her home, but she pushed it aside. This was something she had to do.

Rachel put down her dessert and walked toward her father. Putting her hand on his arm she said, Papa, we have to talk.

Why, have you come to your senses? Are you ready to apologize for your behavior earlier?

Abraham, Julia started, but was cut off by Abraham’s voice.

Julia, stay out of this. I have let you talk me in to backing down many times—including letting Rachel choose her college and major. Abraham almost spit the words out. Now we see the results. Do you see, Julia, do you see where it has lead? Abraham’s voice got louder the longer he talked, so that by the end, his voice was rivaling the thunder that continued to boom through the night sky.

Papa, stop it! This is not Mama’s fault and you know it! You are just too bullheaded to listen to anyone that might disagree with you on—on anything! Rachel and her father were staring at each other—Rachel breathing heavy and her father shaking, he was so angry. Rachel closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and made herself soften her tone. Please, Papa. Just listen a little. It won’t compromise your position to just listen a little, will it?

Rachel could tell that it was taking all her father’s inner strength to calm down. She knew he loved her, and loved her a lot. After all, she was his only child, and he had doted on her all of her life. But she also knew that she was walking a very fine line. If he felt she was attacking the Temple and his beliefs—daughter or not—she would be out on her backside.

No, Abraham said in a strained voice, "it would not compromise my position, nor would it shake my beliefs. But understand this. I will not have you blaspheme God in my house! I have read about Jesus. I don’t know what kind of nonsense this professor is telling you, but believe me, he was not the Messiah! Don’t you think that they would have recognized him back then? Do you think the Jews back then were stupid? They grew up with the prophecies; they knew what had been written. If this man had been the promised Messiah, they would have known!"

Maybe not, Papa. Maybe there was a reason they didn’t. Maybe—maybe it wasn’t meant to be so obvious, maybe they were just afraid. I don’t know. All I know is that the more I read and study, the more convinced I am that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God!

Julia gasped in dismay and unbelief—anger flared brightly in Abraham’s eyes.

He stated at her without making a sound for what seemed like a very long time. When he spoke, his voice was low and calm—too calm. This scared Rachel more than anything. She swallowed hard.

I warned you, Rachel. I warned you that there was to be no more blasphemy in this house. Now, get out, Abraham said in that cold, calm voice. You are no longer my daughter, and you are not welcome in this house!

Abraham, no! Julia cried. Don’t do this!

Papa, Rachel said, you don’t mean that, she said cajolingly, but one look told her he did.

I do mean it. Go! With that, Abraham turned his back to her and stared into the fire.

Rachel reached out and put a shaking hand on his arm. Tears were streaming down her face now and her voice shook. Papa…

Abraham shook the hand away and without looking up from the fire, said one last word, Go!

Rachel ran to her mother. They clung together in disbelief. Mama, I’ll call you. I love you—please always remember that. With that, she ran out the door.

Rain sliced down in blinding sheets. Lightning forked to the ground, thunder crashing close behind. The rain mingled with Rachel’s tears as she stumbled down the sidewalk to the yellow Volkswagen Bug parked across the street. She heard her mother call to her from the front porch, but she didn’t stop. She had to get away; she had to—before she gave in to him.

Rachel turned as she heard the squealing of tires. Headlights blinded her. From somewhere, she heard her mother scream, and then everything went dark.

Chapter Two

Slowly, cautiously, Rachel opened her eyes. A mere slit, then she shut them again quickly to block out the bright light. Where was she? The hospital? Odd, she thought, it doesn’t smell like a hospital. A deep breath brought the scent of warm crushed grass.

Again, Rachel opened her eyes, squinting. The bright light was not hospital light at all, but rather, sunlight! How could that be? She knew it had been night when she ran out of the house. She couldn’t still be in the street. She turned her head—all she could see were fields. Fields? What was that sound? No, it couldn’t be—she listened closer—but it was! It was sheep! She was lying in a field with sheep nearby. Long blades of grass tickled her ears. Was this a dream? It must be a dream! The last thing she remembered was running out of the house, crossing the street, hearing that awful scream of brakes, smelling the burning rubber, and seeing the twin lights rushing up to meet her.

Slowly, Rachel sat up. No apparent broken bones. What a relief! Wait, if this is a dream, I wouldn’t have the broken bones, would I?

She took in a deep breath, filling her lungs. The freshness of the air was a surprise. She couldn’t recall the air smelling like that before. New York was exhaust fumes, hot concrete, and asphalt, not this wonderful freshness. Well, from the looks of the landscape, I’m definitely not in New York, she thought to herself. Rolling hills carpeted with lush green grass dotted with trees and—yes, there they were…the sheep!

"Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore," she muttered aloud.

Are you all right? a voice said from behind her. Is someone lost? Who is Toto?

Rachel jumped and twisted around to find the source of the voice. What was the language? Oh! It was Greek! Not just Greek, ancient Greek. Rachel had always loved learning new languages and could never get her fill. Along with French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Italian, she also had learned Greek, modern and ancient, and Hebrew, modern and ancient. Ancient Greek…she had never heard it spoken outside of class, but here was this girl and the way she was speaking it, Rachel knew that this was her language. Well, she thought to herself, not only do I not know where this is, I don’t know when it is!

Are you all right? the girl said again. Should I go and get some help?

Oh, sorry. I am fine, and no, you don’t need to get help. I’m just confused. I don’t seem to know quite where I am. Rachel was shielding her eyes against the sun.

The girl squatted down next to Rachel. You are in Cana of Galilee. She gave Rachel a quizzical look. How is it that you do not know where you are? Have you been hurt?

Galilee! She thought. Galilee? She looked up at the girl who was waiting for Rachel to answer her. I—it’s—well, it’s a long story, and I am not sure how to explain it. Rachel wanted to change the subject, and quick. May I ask who you are?

The girl grinned. I am Leah. I live just over there. Leah pointed across the field toward a small town. I know. I will take you to my mother. She will know what to do. My mother always knows just the right thing to do. Rachel saw the girl looking at her clothes. Your clothes are different. Where are you from? You said you weren’t in Kansas anymore, where is Kansas?

Rachel laughed. It was just a saying from where I live, which is a very long way from here. If she thought these clothes were strange, imagine what she would have thought if she had been wearing jeans! Silently, Rachel said a thank you to her father.

Rachel got up and followed Leah. What else could she do? Cana in Galilee, she thought. Galilee was in Israel, of course, but the town… It sounded familiar, but why? There was something about the name of this town that... Oh, why can’t I remember?

I’m sorry, what did you say? You speak the right words, but they sound different. Maybe that is because you are from so far away?

I am sure it is, Rachel replied. She had not even realized she had spoken aloud. Wait—Leah said that the words were right. She heard me in Greek. This is all

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