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About the Author
She has been handicapped since she was five, but shes never let that get her down. When the local kids played baseball, she used her crutch as a bat.
She graduated from college and she worked almost eighteen years as one of the first two handicapped people in the nation to work as an officer in a county jail. Shes lived an interesting and busy life. Shes a needle crafter, makes jewelry, crochets, tats, embroiders, and loves learning to do new things. She has three things on her bucket list: to ride in a hot-air balloon, to swim with dolphins, and to see the Earth from outer space (that one she probably wont make).
Read an Excerpt
HEAVENLY ANGELS UNAWARE
I huddled in a doorway, torn coat on my back, worn shoes on my feet.
I couldn't remember when I'd last had something to eat.
Then, I saw a little girl standing in the freshly falling snow, crying as if her heart was breaking. I went and knelt down beside her.
"What's the matter, Little One?" I asked.
"I'm cold and I'm losted and I can't find my Mommy." She sobbed.
I tucked her inside my ragged coat. "Where did you last see her?" I asked.
"At the grocery store. She went to get something for supper and I saw a little puppy. I tried to catch it but it got away and now I'm losted and I can't find my way back." She began to cry harder.
"Shhh-h-h. There's no need to cry. I think I know right where she probably is." As I picked her up, she laid her head on my shoulder and put her arms around my neck. "God loves you, Jacob." she said.
How did she know my name? I didn't know her and I hadn't told her who I was so how did she know my name?
I knew there was a little grocery just around the corner and about half way down the street and she couldn't have run too far. I could see the little footprints, that were slowly being covered with snow, led that way. I hugged her close, trying to keep her warm. Then, I could see the lights from the grocery and I carried her inside.
She ran to a woman, standing by the counter, who scooped her up and held her close. "Where were you? I was so worried!" The child pointed toward me and said, "I was trying to catch a little puppy but it got away and I got losted. I told him I couldn't find you but he said he thought he knew where you might be so he picked me up and brought me here. Isn't he wonderful, Momma?"
Her mother, with tears in her eyes, ran to me and hugged me tight. "Thank you, thank you!" she exclaimed. "Something terrible could have happened to her! Here, take this. You look like you could use something to eat."
She pressed a ten dollar bill in my hand but I didn't want to take it. I hadn't helped the child for money but because she needed me. When I protested, she smiled and said, "Please take it. You deserve it for your kindness." Then she picked up the child and headed toward the door. "God loves you, Jacob." She said as she went outside. How did she know my name? The child hadn't told her.
I bought some bread, bologna and milk and, when I went to check out, the clerk smiled and put a package of doughnuts, in the bag. "Enjoy." He said. I thanked him and went out the door.
Then, I saw an old man sitting on a bench under the street light. He was shivering because he didn't have a coat. I took mine off and wrapped it around him. "No! No!" he exclaimed. "I can't take your coat!"
I just smiled and said, "Don't worry, I'll get another one. Are you hungry?"
He looked up and then lowered his head as if he were embarrassed. Then, he nodded. I sat down beside him and asked if he'd like to give a blessing. He raised his head and smiled, his eyes sparkling as if my simple question had made him very happy. We bowed our heads and he gave a short, simple thanks. Then, we sat and talked and shared the bread and bologna and milk. I didn't have any kind of cup so we drank out of the carton. We laughed and joked but it was starting to get dark so I stood up to leave. "Do you have some place to stay?" I asked. "Yeah, I got a good place. You?"
"I've got a pretty good place, too." I didn't tell him it was a packing crate near a heat vent and I had a piece of old carpet to put over me. As I started to walk away he said, "Here, you better take your coat."
"I'll be fine. My place is warm and you just have a shirt. It's not much but you need it more than I do. Oh, and keep the rest of the food. I'll have breakfast at a place I know. Take care of yourself." We shook hands and I turned to leave. That's when I heard three voices say "God loves you, Jacob". I turned back and saw three figures dressed in white and softly glowing; a woman, a child and an elderly man. They came and put their arms around me and I felt loving warmth and a sense of peace. Then they stepped back and slowly faded away into the soft glow of light. As I stood completely astonished, another man dressed in white came toward me. His eyes were gentle and his smile so sweet. He held out his hands and I saw nail scars. I dropped to my knees, tears streaming down my face. "I know you. I know who you are!" I sobbed. He gently lifted me to my feet, smoothed back my hair and wiped the tears from my face.
"And I have known you from the day you were conceived. I was there when, as a small boy, you knelt and asked me into your heart. The angels sang, with joy, that day. I watched you when you were in school and you helped others who had problems with their lessons. Then you stayed up half the night doing your own work. I was with you when you worked at your first job until the store closed and you were living on the street. I saw you work at any job you could find, no matter how little it paid, and then you gave most of what you had earned to those who had even less than you. You comforted the lonely, helped the sick and I saw when you found an injured dog that you took to a veterinarian and then worked, free to pay the bill. I know that your Bible is in the crate where you live and you pray every night, not for yourself but for those around you. Your faith and kindness has earned you a place in Heaven."
"Are you here to take me with you?"
"No, my child. You have an important mission here and you will bring many to me in my Heavenly home."
"When will it happen, Lord"
He smiled and touched my cheek. "You will know when it comes to pass. Remember, I will always be with you."
He slowly faded away and I just stood there.
"Young man." a voice called. I turned and it was the store owner. When I walked over to him, he said. "I saw what happened out there. "The Bible speaks of 'entertaining Angels unaware". My name is John Casey and I'm getting too old to stock the top shelves. I need someone young, strong and trustworthy. I've hired several different people but they never seem to work out. I think you are just the person I need. Would you like a job? I can only pay minimum wage but, maybe later, I can pay more."
"You want to give me a job! I can't thank you enough but you wouldn't have to pay that much. Would you let me take part of it out in food so I can help some of the people I know who are in need?"
"Son, you can spend what you earn any way you want to as long as it's legal."CHAPTER 2
Well, I'd worked there for five years stocking shelves and waiting on customers while Mr. Casey did the bookkeeping and ordering. The street was becoming more and more run down so Mr. Casey bought the empty store next door and turned it into a soup kitchen. He finally got to do what he had always wanted. He loved to cook and he had only kept the grocery because it belonged to his parents. Now, he could cook to his heart's content. The street people, I knew, came in and he served them with a smile and a joke and they came to love him for it. The food was always good and plentiful and if someone wanted seconds, they were welcome to it.
His next project was to turn the upstairs into a shelter but the men had to keep both themselves and the shelter clean and there was no smoking, drinking or drugs allowed. He even took them to the second hand store and bought them new clothes. Joe, Ray, Jim and Brad felt so good about themselves that they got jobs and their own apartments but they still came for Mr. Casey's cooking, now and then.
He bought the vacant store, on the other side of the building and turned it into a woman's shelter. A couple of them had children and they called Mr. Casey their Grampapa. The women cleaned and dusted and polished until the place looked like new.
There was an alley between the soup kitchen and the grocery store so his next project was a small chapel behind the grocery store where people could come and just sit to talk to the Lord. I often sat there feeling the peace. I was there when Terry, one of the street people came in and sat down. He seemed so sad I went to sit beside him. "How are things going?" I asked. He shook his head and said, "'bout as usual. I like this place. It feels good when I'm in here." "That's because the Lord is in this place." I said.
He just sat there and then he turned to me, with tears in his eyes. "Is it really true that He forgives you even if you've done bad things? I been on the street since I was a teen. Ain't got no education. I tried lots of times but cain't get no job. I took things just to get by but I never hurt nobody. I never smoked or did any kind of drugs but I stole a bottle, now and then, and got drunk but it was only when things got real bad. Then, I heard 'bout gettin' forgiven for them things and I couldn't believe it was true. In here, though, I feel it but I don't know how to get Him to forgive me."
I went to a table where we kept Bibles for those who wanted them. I handed it to him and said "This is a Bible and if you read the New Testament, it will tell you anything you want to know about your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
He didn't take the book. He just sat with his head bowed and twisting his hands together. Then he gave a sob. "I cain't read. I never learned how. My teacher said I was too stupid to read. I can pick out a few letters, if they're big, but that's all."
I put my arm over his shoulders and said, "I'll read it for you and I'll teach you how to read. Would you like that?"
He looked up as if he didn't believe me. "You would? You really would? I'd like that a whole bunch but when can I get forgiven and what do I have to do?"
I took him by the arm and led him to the little altar. "You kneel here, put your hands together, bow your hear and pray."
"I never prayed before. I don't know what to say."
"Just tell Him what's in your heart and things you've done that you knew were wrong. You don't have to use fancy words, just talk to him the way you talk to me. And if things happened to you, when you were younger, tell Him about that too. He will always listen. He will be the best friend you've ever known in your life. Then ask Him to take away all the bad things and heal you soul. He will always be with you."
I knelt beside him and prayed that he would find his way to the Lord. Then, I watched as he poured his heart out. He told about a childhood that made my heart break. He talked about being on the street, taking shelter wherever he could find it and giving it up because someone else needed it more. He told Jesus all the things he had done and, with tears running down the creases in his face, begged forgiveness. I found myself crying as he pleaded for the hope and peace only salvation can bring. At last, he stopped, laid his forehead against his hands and said "Thank you, Jesus. I feel a whole lot better now. I promise I'm only gonna do good things, from now on."
He stood up and we both wiped the tears from our eyes. "I want to learn lots more about Him. When can you start reading to me and teaching me how so I can read it by myself?"
"How about after I close the store, every evening. We'll come in here and I'll read to you and point out the words. But first, you said you could pick out some letters so we'll see if you can pick out some of the ones I read."
"I can only pick out letters that are big, not little ones like in this book." He said.
"Let's try something. Can you pick out the words on the front of this book?" He hadn't taken the Bible from me so I knew he hadn't seen the cover and I had a suspicion about why he had never learned to read.
He pulled the Bible up close to his face. "H-uh-o-lie Bib-lee."
"This letter is a y but sometimes its pronounced e." I said. "With the first word, say the first letters together and then the last two letters and say them like an e. With this next word, say the first two letters together and the next two letters together but don't say the last letter. Want to try again?" He nodded and brought the book up close to his face again.
"Ho-le-Bi-bl. Hole Bibl. I know it! I know it! Holy Bible! That's what it says, ain't it? I did it! I read it!"
"You sure did. Have you ever worn glasses or been to an eye doctor?"
"No, but I found some that had been throwed away. They were in pretty bad shape but I could see a little better out of one eye 'cause they only had one glass. Then they got broke. But I ain't seen no doctor. I wish I could see better then I could get a job like I want."
"What kind of job do you want?"
"I want to learn to cook like Mr. Casey. I done a little bit, some times and I really like it but you got to know how to read the recipes and not just make things up." "Let's talk to Mr. Casey." I said. "He could probably use some help. You're strong and you could get heavy things down for him. I think he'll be glad to teach you about cooking. But, before I start teaching you how to read, I'm going to take you to see an eye doctor."
He was so excited, he danced around the chapel. "Can we go see Mr. Casey, now? I'll work real hard. I promise I will."
He was so overjoyed, he almost ran to the kitchen. Mr. Casey welcomed him, wiTha big grin and a twinkle in his eyes. "Guess what, Mr. Casey! Guess what! I was in the chapel 'cause I felt real sad. Then, Jacob came in and he showed me how to get Jesus to forgive me and he says he's going to read the Bible to me and teach me how to read. I got down on my knees and told Him all about me and now I feel real good. Then I told Jacob I'd like to learn to cook good as you." "So you want to learn to cook, do you? It can be hard work but, if you really try, it can make you very happy. You'll have to keep yourself really clean and we need to make you look like a cook." Mr. Casey took a chef's apron out of a drawer and tied it around him. "Now, Terry, you see those pots, scrub them clean and then we'll start cooking. Okay?"
Grinning from ear to ear, Terry hurried to do the job. Then, Mr. Casey turned to me. "Son, what you've been doing is making a big difference wiThthese street people. I've never seen Terry look so happy."
"He was in the chapel wanting to be forgiven. Mr. Casey, he knelt and took the Lord. It was wonderful. He can't read and I told him I'd teach him but, first I'm going to make an appointment to have his eyes examined. I don't think he can see really well and that may be why he has a reading problem.
The week after he had his eyes examined, I took him to get his glasses. When he put them on, it was as if a light bulb had lighted him up. He grabbed brochures and looked at them and then he went around looking at the names of the various types of glasses. "I can see the words, Jacob! I can see the words! Now you can teach me how to read".
Just about then, the Doctor came from the back. "What's all the excitement?" I told him about Terry's situation and how he'd been told he was too stupid to learn to read. An angry look came over his face. "I'll bet they never tried to find out what the problem was. A poor kid from a poor neighborhood and no one thinks he's worth helping. I was a poor kid, from a poor neighborhood but I had the good fortune to have people who cared about me. That's how I became a Doctor. Terry, come here a minute. I have something to tell you." Terry went to him with a worried look on his face. "Terry, I want you to come and see me once a year. I'll check your eyes and if you need new glasses, you'll get them free. As long as I'm a Doctor, you'll be taken care of absolutely free. No one is ever going to tell you that you're too stupid to learn to read. No one! Not ever again!"
Tears ran down Terry's face as the Doctor put a hand on his shoulder. "Try hard to learn and make me proud." "I will! I sure will. I'm gonna learn to read a lot of things. Thanks so much. You'll be real proud of me!"
As we left, I looked back and the Doctor gave me a big grin and a thumbs up. I went to the book section and bought several children's books to give Terry a head start. He carried them proudly back to the shelter and showed them to the men sitting there. "I got glasses now and I can see the words. Jacob is gonna teach me how to read 'em and I'll be able to read the Bible all by myself. Then I can read lots of other books." The men whistled and whooped and gave Terry a thumb up. Then Bob put his arm around Terry's shoulder and said, "Sometimes Jacob is real busy so how about I help too? I like to read and, between the two of us, we could have you reading in no time." Terry turned to me. "Would that be okay, Jacob?" "I think it would be wonderful. When you have some free time, from Mr. Casey, you could be studying." Just then, Mr. Casey came out of the kitchen. "What's all the hullabaloo?" he asked. When he found out, he gave Terry a slap on the back and said, "Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful but first let's get supper ready and everything cleaned up and then you can get to your books." Terry hustled into the kitchen and Mr. Casey came to me. "Do you really think he can learn to read?" "I'm positive. I think he's a lot smarter than people think he is."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Heavenly"
Copyright © 2018 Patricia Rogers.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter Two, 6,
Chapter Three, 16,
The Paintbox, 19,
Chapter Two, 22,
Chapter Three, 24,
He Lives, 29,
Once Upon A Time, 33,
Freedom From The Darkness, 35,
The Hitch Hiker, 37,
How Blessed I Am, 43,
Not Gone, Just Forgotten, 45,
The Angel WiThThe Jeep, 47,
Resting In The Bosom Of The Lord, 51,
Have You Ever Heard God's Voice?, 53,
Foot Prints In The Sand, 55,
Was God There, That Day?, 57,
Old Dog And Me, 61,
By A Rocky Garden Wall, 65,
The Hummingbirds, 75,
Two Thousand Years Too Late, 77,
The Day The Roses Cried, 79,
The Storm, 87,
Lord, We Need Rain, 95,
Crossing Jordan, 97,