Preview of Caleb Had Another Spirit

CHAPTER TWO: CALEB WAS ADOPTED AND HE WAS CHOSEN
For you as a young person learning about the life of Caleb and how it could apply to your own life with Jesus, it’s important to realize that Caleb was not born a Jew, a Hebrew. He was born into the family of Kenaz, who was outside of the people of God.
We do not know how or why Caleb was adopted into the tribe of Judah. Perhaps he was a young person left an orphan by war. Perhaps he saw the Hebrew people, and like other outsiders, saw something about them that made him want to be one of them.
This is just like living for God. Even if you are born into the church, at some point you have to receive God’s Spirit and become “adopted” by Jesus through the Holy Ghost, becoming a part of His people. The Bible tells us that we were strangers to His people, but we were adopted and are now are part of the people of God.
Perhaps like Caleb, if you were born outside the church, you saw people who lived for God and wanted to be like them, people who knew Jesus and showed you that being a part of the church, and having Jesus was a better life than what you had known.
If you were born in the church, it’s important to realize that there will come a day when you will need to serve God on your own. Even as a young person, you can serve God through prayer and through worship. I’ve seen young boys who love to run and worship God. God sees that, and will build you up one day to a greater service for Him. Keep worshipping!
And even young children can pray. I have seen children as young as three praying at the altar. The Spirit of God can do powerful things through the prayer and worship of children, because they have an open heart toward Him.
As a member of the church, you will experience your own adoption by Jesus Christ when you receive the Holy Ghost, His spirit within you. And as a member of the family of God, you need to let your light shine so that others also can be adopted. Don’t ever feel that just because you are a child, you can’t do something for God.
Caleb was chosen by God’s prophet. He was chosen for a particular purpose, to give a report on what he saw in the land. What do you see in your life that you can tell people about? Do you have a good mom and good dad that live for God and give you a godly life? Perhaps you only have one parent—that’s ok! If you have a parent who sets you a good example and teaches you about living for Jesus, that is the best thing you could have!
Perhaps God has given you a lot of blessings. Perhaps unlike children outside of church, you have things they do not. You can share your blessings, even if it is just your friendship, your kindness and caring to others, that can touch others and make them want to be a Christian.
Perhaps you have talents, even as a young person, that would be of help to others. Young people have done great things, from lemonade stands to doing things for older people. Just being an example of courtesy and kindness can help people. Young boys, opening doors for people at church, get your pastor or song leader water, offer to do some task for someone. These things are all ways that you can “give a good report” of what being a Christian and being in the church is about.
The most important thing though about giving a good report is telling people about Jesus. I knew a young girl once that would tell people as they went to the supermarket that they needed Jesus in their lives. Believe me, that can be a powerful thing when it comes from a child. Don’t ever be afraid or think just because you are a kid that people won’t listen to you.
Maybe you can say a prayer for a friend at school or a family friend. God hears the prayers of children, and don’t think because you are young that God does not hear you!
Caleb was chosen by Moses to go out and his spirit was to follow God with his whole heart. Because of that, he came back with a good report that they were able to do what God had promised and called them to do.
Set your heart to follow God with your whole being. The first and greatest commandment is to follow God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. God wants your heart, He wants your love from your very soul, and He wants your thoughts. Always try to think on good things and not bad things. Think on the things you have heard in Sunday School, in church service. Think on the songs that have been played. Think on other ways God has shown He is real to you. When you fill your thoughts with these things, it will build you up in your faith. Yes, a young person can have faith, and just like a grown-up, you have to build it up so that you can be a son or daughter of God.
Caleb was chosen, even though he was not born into the family of God. If you were not born in church, but you are now, you can also be chosen by God to do things for Him. I have seen leaders, pastors and pastor’s wives, ministers, teachers and worship leaders that were not born in the church who started out as children. Perhaps a friend brought them to church, perhaps they rode the church bus, perhaps their parents were saved after they were born. It doesn’t matter how you got there, but if you are in church now, God chose you to be a part of His church.
Every member of the church was chosen by God to be there. The Bible tells us that God puts people in the body, that is the church, as it pleases him. Imagine a puzzle, and one piece is missing. The puzzle then isn’t complete even if one piece is missing. So each person who is in the church plays a vital part to the whole. You are part of that picture, and so you, even as a child, play your part, whether it is worship, prayer, helping others, giving a good report of what being a Christian is all about or supporting your mom and dad.
YOU ARE ADOPTED AND YOU ARE CHOSEN
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Caleb Had Another Spirit

I am sidelining my project Heroes for the meantime as another project has taken centerfield.  I began to write a children’s book for a friend’s son, and the subject matter has ministered to me greatly.

The person of Caleb in the Bible represents a spirit of faith that God is able to deliver on His promises.  Moses sent out spies to survey the land of Canaan and among them was an adopted son, Caleb, son of Jephunneh, the Kenizite.  The spies returned with a bad report except for Caleb and Joshua, who followed and believed God for all that He had promised to them.

I am working on this through the weekend and then next week will be doing some extended prayer and fasting.  Once the New Year’s begins, I will work on it.  Hoping I have all the text complete by the 2nd week, and then will be working on some illustrations.  Praying that the Lord will use this book to minister to others.

JOSIAH and Heroes project

After a couple of weeks rest, I am working on a couple of projects.

The first is the book about King Josiah from the Bible that I had promised my grandson.

The second is a book about a returning Vietnam Vet and his experience with the shame and degradation heaped on him by an ungrateful, unfriendly nation.  With the help of a Christian friend, he finds new purpose in Jesus Christ.

A Two-Edged Blade

This is an excerpt that a future project that I am doing which will take off from A Wounded Heart.  Rick Sartori is a former street kid who is training to become a preacher/youth leader.

 

Rick kept his gaze on Jerry Cruz.   As Jerry wielded the switchblade against him, Rick recalled many a time he had done the same thing, including against his teacher Sam Treadwell.  He hoped Jerry would get the same rude awakening he had.   Rick’s life on the streets had hardened him, but it took Jesus to put him on his knees.

“Jerry, please put that away.  Man, I know where you’re coming from.  I’ve been there.  But just because you don’t like my words, you’re going to come against me?  I will tell you the same thing someone told me Jerry—you need Jesus in your life.  Now if you don’t like that, do your worst, man.”

Jerry Cruz continued to hold the blade for what seemed to Rick a long time and then he lowered it.    His eyes were clouded by hot tears, the tears of anger and anguish.   Angry because his girl had left him for the church; angry because Rick was stirring up things on the street, angry because the only life he knew was the gang.  They were his brotherhood, not these wimpy Jesus guys.  He had known Rick since they were kids, though because he was an Anglo, they weren’t friends.

Now, as he looked at Rick he wondered what had happened to him.  Oh sure, he knew Rick said he got Jesus.  But he wasn’t ready to believe that.  He went to Mass, he knew all the teachings of the Church and he did them, for his Mama.  But in his inner core, Jesus seemed so far removed from his everyday world, a world of violence and survival, of proving oneself man enough to get through it all.

He turned and walked away and Rick sighed, saying a quick prayer and thanking God for His protection.  He knew many of the Latinos, as well as the other gangs did not like him spreading the Word through the streets.  But they needed it.  They needed to hear the same message of power and love that he had heard within a jail cell.

As he leaned against the graffiti-filled wall, he thanked God for bringing him to a place where he had to face himself, to face what he had done to Connie, but overall, just to face that his anger and his hate were taking him nowhere.    Jesus had seen beyond that to his deep inner need for healing his brokenness and sent him Sam Treadwell.   Sent a man to pick him up, and pull him out of the pit he had made for himself.

As he recovered himself, he walked down the alley and turned back to Figueroa Street, walking toward home and to the woman he loved.  He was so thankful for Connie’s love which had helped to heal his life.  It was because of her that he had been able to accept Jesus.  She was such a sweet lady.   Together they had turned away from their past life and embraced the change God had made in them both four years earlier.  He decided he would stop by the florist on his way home and pick up some roses to give to her.  He couldn’t show her enough how much she meant to him.

Once he reached their apartment, he skipped up the steps until he reached the 2nd floor where they lived.  He opened the door, and Connie was sitting on the couch, knitting.  He looked surprised, as she didn’t do that often, but she looked up and smiled broadly at him.

“Rick, sweetheart.  I’m so glad you are home.”  She went to give him a hug, and then brought him a nice cold pop from the refrigerator.  He took the cap off and sat down on the sofa beside her.
“Dinner is ready, dear.  Would you like to eat?”  She got up to go in the kitchen of their small apartment, and he took her hand.

“I’m not hungry yet, Connie.  I just want to sit with you for awhile.  I brought you something.”  He handed her the box with the roses in it, and she opened it, smiling at him.

“Rick!  They are lovely.  Thank you, sweetheart.”  She gave him a hug.   She couldn’t believe sometimes the changes in him.  If anyone proved you became a new person in Jesus, it was Rick.  He simply was not the same as the young man she had known in high school, a man torn by inner torment.

She smiled, her eyes twinkling as she set the roses aside and took his hands.  “Rick, I went to the doctor today.”

“Yes?”

“Rick, I…we are going to have a baby.”

He looked in her eyes as his heart was overwhelmed with emotion…joy, that must be it.  He knew how happy that would make her, and it did him as well.  He had sensed since their marriage her longing for a child, and he knew her heart still hurt for their baby back east, little Samuel.   Samuel had been born before they were married, because of their past, because of their relationship at the time.  They always held the hope that they would be able to bring him home to live with them.

He reached out and embraced her and held her.  “Are you ok, Connie?”

She laughed.  Why did men always ask that?  “Of course, I’m ok, Rick.  I’ve been waiting all day to tell you, and I thought I would start knitting some things for the baby.  We just need to start saving for the doctor bill, and of course for things for it.”

Rick nodded.  His job as a mechanic was going fairly well.  God had taken care of all their needs.  “Connie”, he said, thinking aloud mostly, “Perhaps this means we should bring our baby home.  Once this one is old enough. Of course, I don’t want it to be too much for you, but if we are going to start having a family, we should include him in it.”  Rick knew what it was like, not having a normal family, and he wanted his son to be a part of theirs.

Connie nodded, surprised.   He was so considerate now, so caring.  It made her so happy that he had not forgotten about little Sam.  Her heart had ached for him so at first when she had to leave him, but at the time, it had been best to leave him with her aunt.  But Rick was right.  Now it did not make sense not to bring him home.

“Yes, sweetheart.  As soon as we can afford it, we’ll bring Sam home.”  She added, “Thank you, Rick.  Thank you for not forgetting him.”

He smiled at her.   Since the day God had given him his Spirit, things had begun to be restored in his life, and though he and Connie had taken their time, he knew she was the woman he wanted to marry.  She had seen him when he was a wretch and had loved him.   He hoped he could do the same with his son and be a real dad to him.    He would put the things of God in his life, teach him about Jesus, just as he would this new child.  Things his father had never taught him.

“Connie, I hope to put into our children the things I never had.  A love for God, a real family.  And I know you will help me to do that.”  He kissed her forehead, and then said, “I think I’m ready for dinner now, dear.  I can share with you some things that happened to me today.”

She nodded and went to the kitchen to retrieve him a plate of the pasta dinner she had prepared for him.  Rick always complemented her and said she made pasta like his Mama used to make.  She always did her best to make things the way he liked them.  She tried to give him the life that neither of them had had as young people, and thanked God that He had given them that.

Wounded Heart near completion

A Wounded Heart and time off

A Wounded Heart is getting very near to completion. I have one more editing to do, and then a quick read through for grammar, punctuation, etc.
 
This has been a very busy month! I will probably take a couple of weeks off before starting my next project, a children’s book on King Josiah for my grandson Josiah.

Liberty’s Promise–editing complete

I completed the final editing on Liberty’s Promise and will be doing one final read-through before submitting it for publishing through Amazon.

Next I will be starting editing on A Wounded Heart and further outlining of Josiah book.  I’m in the process of learning to illustrate, which I will do once the actual text is complete.

My feeling at this point on Across the River is that I may write the prologue and then write remaining chapters as they come to me.

I’m praying about another project which would be a work of non-fiction, a book on Brokenness and Healing within a Christian context, aimed at educating others on the experience of sexual abuse/sexual assault.   With the whole #metoo campaign, and some other connections I’ve made in my church group, I feel the Lord leading me in this direction.

 

Liberty’s Promise and Josiah project

I’m on the 2nd edit of Liberty’s Promise and hope to have the final edit done by weekend or early next week.  This novel went really smoothe and I don’t foresee a lot in the finally editing stages.  Hopefully by month’s end will have it out on Amazon.

Have outlined my next project, Josiah: the Young King Who Served God, and plan to start doing some writing soon as well as learning how to illustrate it.   A couple of things I need to research is: average length of book for 2nd graders (the age of my grandson),  word usage, as well as how to put some biblical language into language that is appropriate to the age.  Josiah cleaned out a lot of filthy things from Israel, and some of these things are so despicable one has to sanitize it a little for little eyes.

I think I’m falling into a pattern of writing my next project while editing the previous, which seems to be working well.

I’m also looking into Audible books.  One person asked me if my books were in an audible format, and I see I can do this.  One thing that holds me back is, my voice tends to be high and childlike.  Would need to think about whether I can train my voice to an appropriate tone to do this.