The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down (Yada Yada Prayer Group Series #2)

The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down (Yada Yada Prayer Group Series #2)

by Neta Jackson

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The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down (Yada Yada Prayer Group Series #2) by Neta Jackson

A robbery, a lynching, and a mourning mother shake up the Yada Yadas.

I had never felt so violated! The Yada Yada Prayer Group was "gettin' down" with God in prayer and praise one night when a heroin-crazed woman barged into my house, demanded our valuables, and threatened us with a 10-inch knife--a knife that drew blood.

We wondered if we'd ever get back to normal after this terrifying experience. I assumed we would. After all, we'd started praying together at the Chicago Women's Conference last spring, and we'd been through a lot already as spiritual sisters. This was just one more hurdle to conquer, right?

But then a well-meaning gesture suddenly incited a backlash of anger in the group, forcing us to confront generations of racial division, pain, and distrust--and stretching our friendship to the limit. And a shocking confrontation in my third-grade classroom forced me to face my own accountability and learn what true forgiveness really is.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595544407
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 02/12/2008
Series: Yada Yada Prayer Group Series , #2
Edition description: Party Edition
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Neta (pronounced Nee-tuh) Jackson and her husband, Dave, are an award-winning writing team, best known for the Trailblazer books - a forty-book series of historical fiction about great Christian heroes with 1.5 million in sales and Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes (Vols. 1-4).  Neta has collected many honors for her work, including a 1995 C.S. Lewis Award and a Gold Medallion Award.

Read an Excerpt

the yada yada Prayer Group GETS DOWN

a Novel
By neta jackson

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2007 Neta Jackson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59554-423-0

Chapter One

I bolted upright in the bed, soaked in sweat. That face! Caught in my headlights, eyes round with fear. An eternal Second ...

My thudding heart gradually slowed as the bedroom, bathed in early morning light, came into focus. I lay back down, begging the hands on the bedside clock to move because I did not want to close my eyes again.

Denny stirred on the wrinkled sheets beside me and cracked his eyes open mere inches from my face. "You okay, Jodi?" he murmured, slinging a heavy arm over my body and pulling me close. He kissed the back of my neck. "Happy anniversary, babe." Then he roused on one arm. "Gonna be a hot one, I guess. You're sweaty already."

I said nothing. The nightmare was still lurking beneath the surface, threatening to yank me back into its dark embrace. I forced myself to focus: our anniversary. Twenty years.

I'm so blessed. In spite of ...

"I dreamed about the accident again." I wanted my husband to know how it haunted me, but could he ever know? How could anyone know what it felt like to have killed a child?

"Oh, Jodi." Denny pulled me closer against his bare chest. "I'm so sorry." He said nothing for a long while, just held me. And gradually his comfort eased my tense muscles like a long soak in the tub.

We slept again-maybe only ten, fifteen minutes-but this time when I awoke, Willie Wonka, our almost-deaf chocolate Lab, was licking my hand. His polite way of saying, "Don't you dolts get it? I gotta go outside-now!" Peeling Denny's arm off me, I limped out of our rear bedroom in my bare feet-boy, it felt good to walk without those annoying crutches!-circled through the dining room and kitchen, and let Willie Wonka out into the postage-stamp backyard of our two-flat. Sparrows darted and chirped in the trees along our back alley, but the usual crows were strangely silent. The West Nile virus stalking the Chicago area this summer, courtesy of ornery mosquitoes, had decimated the crow population.

Not that I missed them.

I waited at the back door for the dog to finish his business and grinned at the irony of this particular Wednesday. Getting married in mid-August, when the humidity in the Midwest can hover near tropic conditions, ranked as one of our stupider decisions-right up there with scheduling my two-month checkup after the car accident today, on our twentieth anniversary.

Though right now I didn't care. The nightmare had retreated into its dark hole and the day beckoned. I had a surprise for Denny he was going to love.

DENNY TOOK THE DAY OFF from his summer job coaching kiddy sports for the Chicago Park District to take me to my one o'clock doctor's appointment. At first I protested. "Josh can take me!" After all, what good is a seventeen-year-old with a driver's license if he can't chauffeur his parents around? Besides, a park district job doesn't have "personal days"; it's no-work-no-pay, and we were still waiting to hear if Denny's coaching contract at West Rogers High would be renewed for the 2002-2003 school year. Stupid politics.

But Denny just poured himself another cup of coffee and leered at me. "What? Work on my anniversary? Did I work on our wedding day? This family's not gonna starve if I take the day off-not till next week anyway. Besides, I want to hear what the doc says."

I took a long shower, letting the warm water run over my head long after the shampoo had rinsed out. Thank You, Jesus, that I can wash my own hair again! Frankly, I was doing pretty well, considering that I was minus one spleen and had a metal rod in my left leg. I didn't mind the scars on my leg so much-one about an inch long on my upper thigh and another down near my knee. Yet I was still self-conscious about the puckered pink line that ran from my sternum down to my pelvis, especially when Denny and I made love. It made me feel ... damaged. And I still didn't know the consequences of walking around without a spleen. Didn't I need it? But so far I hadn't stopped breathing or anything, though Willie Wonka did look at me funny when I hobbled around the house with my stiff left leg.

And thank You, Jesus, that I didn't end up in prison! Did they have hot showers in prison? Green-apple shampoo? It had never occurred to me to wonder about that before I got charged with vehicular manslaughter. The prosecution tried for gross negligence, but the charges were dropped when no witnesses showed up at the hearing.

Grace. That's what it was. Only God's grace. It was an accident, yes. The boy had run out in front of my car in a pouring rain. Yet God knew I'd been driving angry. I was grateful-oh, so grateful!-that God had offered me mercy, forgiveness, and a legal acquittal, but ... it was hard to forgive myself. After all, Jamal Wilkins was still dead; a mother was still grieving-

"Mom! Hurry up. I gotta baby-sit for the Fitzhughs today." I could hear fourteen-year-old Amanda rattling the bathroom door handle.

I turned off the shower, wrapped myself in a big towel, grabbed the hair dryer, and opened the door. "And happy anniversary to you, too, Mom," I said brightly in my best Amanda voice.

"Oh yeah. Happy anniversary, Mom." The tousled butterscotch hair disappeared behind the bathroom door, and I heard the lock click.

Teenagers. Amanda would be turning fifteen next week and starting her sophomore year at Lane Tech right after Labor Day. Josh would be eighteen next month, a senior. Where did the summer go?

I limped into the bedroom, toweled my wet hair, and pulled on some underwear. I knew where the summer had gone. My whole family-Denny, Josh, Amanda-had spent the last eight weeks getting Mom through surgery, through a court hearing, through recovery. My family ... and my sisters in the Yada Yada Prayer Group.

I studied my reflection in the full-length mirror on the back of our bedroom door as I pulled on a jean skirt and white T-shirt. Who would've thought that motley prayer group from the Chicago Women's Conference last May would prop up Denny and me through the biggest crisis of our lives? Florida Hickman -"five years saved and five years sober!" Avis Johnson-the no-nonsense principal of Bethune Elementary School, where I taught third grade last year, and also the worship leader at Uptown Community Church, where Denny and I attended. Yo-Yo Spencer-ex-con and bagel chef, who was raising her two teenage half brothers. Plus several more "sisters" just as unlikely to end up in each other's living room.

I snorted and grinned as I flicked on the hair dryer. Only God could have put us together-and then kept us together. So far being part of the Yada Yada Prayer Group had been like riding a roller coaster without the lap bar. More than once I'd felt the group was on the verge of spinning off the planet-like when Delores Enriquez's son was shot by gangbangers while we were still at the women's conference. And when Ruth "Jewish Mama" Garfield had a falling-out with Florida Hickman over whether a foster child (Florida's daughter, to be exact) should be returned to her natural parents after such a long time. Not to mention Ms. Full-of-Herself Leslie "Stu" Stuart, a real-estate agent who had a talent for getting on my last nerve.

And then there was Adele Skuggs, big, black, and sassy, who could reduce my knees to Jell-O with one withering quip from her sharp tongue. But somehow God's hand always managed to bring us all back safely to the landing zone. So far.

I put down the hair dryer and held up a lock of limp, brown, shoulder-length hair in front of the mirror. Couldn't remember when I'd last had a haircut-before the accident anyway. Should've gotten a trim or something before my "anniversary surprise" for Denny this weekend. Oh well.

DR. LEWINSKI gave me a pretty good bill of health, but he scheduled me for physical therapy to build back the muscles in my left leg and gave me a lecture about the increased risk of infections now that my bodyguard spleen was pickled in a jar. "Bacteria that can cause pneumonia are normally filtered and killed by the body's defenses in the spleen," he said, peering over his reading glasses, which threatened to slide off the end of his long, thin nose any second. "We keep children under sixteen on prophylactic penicillin to protect them from severe life-threatening infections after a splenectomy, but"-he shrugged-"it's not routinely done for adults."

Hey, I thought. I'm only forty-two. I'm not ready to go quietly with the "old people's friend," which is what my father called the pneumonia that took my grandmother. Dr. Lewinski simply cautioned me to drink lots of fluid and get plenty of rest during flu season, call my primary-care doctor if I suspected any chest congestion, and to "take care of yourself."

I'd given Denny a look. Primary-care doctor? We'd only moved to the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago a year ago, and finding new doctors hadn't been high on our priority list. Fact is, we hadn't seen the doctors we used to have out in the 'burbs for years. Who needs doctors when your kids are healthy teenagers and you're in your prime?

Me, I guess. Now, anyway.

Well, at least that was over. Now we could enjoy our anniversary. I glanced slyly at Denny, who was humming at the wheel of the borrowed car we were still driving while we waited for the insurance to settle on our wrecked minivan. I was sure he would take me out to dinner tonight, though he hadn't said anything about it yet. I hoped so, even though I knew our money was tight. I wasn't about to cook my own anniversary dinner-and besides, I needed a special atmosphere to spring my surprise on Denny.

I knew what he was going to say. "Jodi! We can't afford that right now." And I'd smirk and tell him I was doing sewing projects for some of the working moms at church to pay for it. But if he said, "You? Sew?" I'd throw a buttered roll at his forehead, like David bringing down Goliath.

I was so busy playing out that little scene in my head that I didn't notice we had kept going straight on Clark Street instead of turning off on Touhy Avenue. The street we lived on-Lunt Avenue-was one-way-going-the-wrong-way from Clark, which meant we always had to do this little square dance on one-way streets to get to our house. Instead, he had continued south on Clark Street, stopped, and was backing into a parking space.

I looked around at the plethora of small ethnic shops up and down Clark Street. "What's up?"

"Just be a good girl and don't ask questions." Denny came around to my side and opened the door of the old, rusted sedan.

"Okay," I grumbled, thinking this was way too early to be going out to eat-it was only two-thirty, for goodness' sake!-and besides, I didn't have my surprise along to give him.

He offered me his arm. "Close your eyes and trust me."

Oh, right. But I closed my eyes obediently and took Denny's arm, realized we were crossing the street-not at a crosswalk, because I heard horns blaring as he hustled me across-then walking down the other sidewalk at a good clip.

We stopped. I felt him pull open a door and heard a little bell ring. Where had I heard that little bell before? Yet it was the smell that gave it away-like the Tonette perms my mother used to give my grandmother back in Des Moines. What in the world?

I felt Denny's mouth brush close to my ear. "You can open your eyes."

I flicked open my eyes and jumped as several voices yelled, "Surprise!"

Adele Skuggs-owner and chief cosmetologist of Adele's Hair and Nails-stood smirking from behind the first chair of her shop, her hands encased in thin, plastic gloves. In the chair, Florida Hickman's hair-which for the past four months I'd only seen in perfect cornrows, braids, or tight ringlets all over her head-was sticking straight up like a bush of used Brillo pads, framing a big grin. Avis Johnson-my fifty-something boss-was sitting on Adele's vinyl couch under the front window, a copy of Essence on her lap and managing to look elegant even in her white slacks and embroidered denim shirt. And Leslie Stuart, otherwise known as "Stu"-the only other white woman I could see in the shop-sat in the corner chair next to the coffee cart, holding a mug of coffee and a slice of pound cake from the cake server.

All four of them were laughing at me. "Close your mouth, girl, before you trip over that bottom lip," Florida snickered.

Stu looked me up and down and shook her head. "You're right, Denny. She needs lots of help."

Oh, thanks a lot, Stu. Just what I need coming from Ms. Perfect herself. Stu wore her own straight hair long and blonde.

"Well, she's all yours, Adele." Grinning, Denny pushed me forward and backed toward the door. "Give her the works-hair, manicure, pedicure, whatever-cure. I'm taking her out on the town tonight!"

"You go, Denny!" crowed Florida as I heard the little bell over the door tinkle behind me.


Excerpted from the yada yada Prayer Group GETS DOWN by neta jackson Copyright © 2007 by Neta Jackson. Excerpted by permission.
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.


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The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down (Yada Yada Prayer Group Series #2) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Cindi_A More than 1 year ago
Five Stars times two!! I lost sleep over this one! I could not put this book down. This is the second book in the series and, as much as I loved the first one, Gets Down is even better!! So much happens to the Yada Yada group, and their families, that will keep you glued to the pages. I don't want to give away anything in the story but I will say, READ THIS BOOK. You won't be disappointed. The greatest message that I received from this book is the importance of having God in our lives and trusting Him to see us through. We may not see the reason for things we should do, but we still have to follow His leading. Having fellow Christians praying and being there for each other is vital. I highly recommend The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down.
LP405 More than 1 year ago
these books are just hard to put down love them
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yadayadafan More than 1 year ago
I have just started reading this series but after just finishing the first book, I bought all the rest. I really enjoyed book one and book two. I have taken tips from both and applied them in my life. I look forward to the rest of the series.
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Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
First off, I love love love the Yada Yada book series. I wish I was in a group like this. I love how this book series is very daring in the topics it chooses. Racism is something that most Christian books avoid because it's a touchy subject. Since the book is told from Jodi's POV, it's very easy to take her side on the issue with Ma Dear, Denny, and Adele. You get frustrated with everyone for not communicating with each other, yet at the same time you realize why both sides act the way they do. I also love how the group visits the different churches. It's nice to see them in the setting of a different denominations and have a new worship experience. Again since Jodi is the main character, you feel her pain and frustration. I felt the same way she did about certain issues. Some of the other characters seem a little too perfect at times, like how they are immediately ready to forgive Becky for what she did to them. I know that we should forgive those who hurt us, but It didn't seem realistic that people would be willing to open up their arms like that so soon. Sometimes you feel that since there are so many women in the group, it's hard to keep track of them all. I keep mixing up some of them or I forgot who's even in the group. I think that Jodie herself mentions this issue about whether or not the group is too big to keep close relationships with everyone. But it's really cool how diverse the group is, all races and ages are represented allowing readers of all ages to enjoy the book. If you haven't already read the first book in the series, I definitely recommend it. This series is one of my favorites, the books are page-turners, you laugh, you cry, you get angry, you get irritated, it's like reading a slice of real life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Love the continuation of this great book and their priority of Prayer and Praise to God. Will there be a No. 3 Yada Yada Prayer Group?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just got the book and love it already. I didn't think she'd write another book and you can imagine the joy I felt when I saw it on the bookshelf.. It jumps right in and is good from page one.