Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Novels podcast: Holiday Edition episode #33. Today we are reading chapter 7 of the novel “Shaking The Gates of Hell” by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte.
One day, after a rare, bitter argument with his wife, Pastor Grant said, “Marlene, I shared with you before what Pastor Johnson told me. Around this time of the year, the gloomy, cold weather causes some people to develop a negative attitude and spirit. Some people get so down-in-the-dumps that they feel they cannot shake themselves out of it. That is what’s happening to you. You have to keep your spirit and attitude in check.”
Sister Grant tried to get in a word, but her husband continued.
“There is a medical term for it. It’s called SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder. There is also a biblical term for it: Spiritual Warfare. It’s real and you have to fight against it. I’m doing all I can to help you through this time, and that is to pray with you and for you and to read the Word of God with you, especially those verses dealing with spiritual warfare. Don’t feel like you’re the only one who’s experiencing this negative feeling; many in the church and many around the world are going through this,” Pastor Grant said. “Baby, don’t give the devil the victory. He will try to use that negative spirit to his advantage. Solomon tells us, ‘He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.’ If you don’t control your attitude and spirit, the devil will come in and use your negative spirit to cause havoc in our family. We can’t afford that at this time.”
The Saturday before Holyween, after dropping his wife and children off at home from all day soul-winning so they could get things going in preparation for Sunday services, he went back out to check on two of the single men of his church who were still babes in Christ.
His first stop was at Brother Biggins’ apartment. Brother Biggins had been struggling with ending a relationship with a recently divorced woman, Sister Maudlin. Sister Maudlin was almost ten years older than he was and had four girls with her former husband. Three of the girls were already in their teen years.
“Brother, you don’t see what’s happening because you are so in love with Sister Maudlin,” Pastor Grant said. “She’s just using you. She sees you as a nice, kind person who finds it hard to say no. I can’t believe you actually drove her and her daughters up to another state to drop the girls off at their father’s place. She’s just using you to say to her husband, ‘See, I got me someone too.’ I’d hate for her to use you and then drop you as soon as someone who knows how to handle her comes along.”
“Pastor, you don’t quite understand. That is not going to happen,” Brother Biggins said. “Those girls need a man in their lives—someone who can be a father figure to them. Apparently, their father must not think that is important or he would still be living with them.”
Pastor Grant shook his head. “I have known these girls’ father for years now. He is a great father and these girls love him. You won’t be able to replace him as a father. I hate to tell you that. Also, from all accounts he has been a good husband—loving, but firm—and that is what Sister Maudlin needs. She was not willing to submit herself to her husband and he was man enough not to put up with her rebellion. That is why they divorced.”
“Pastor, I’m sure she’s learned what to do and what not to do from her first marriage,” Brother Biggins said. “And, I am not trying to be these girls’ father; I just want to be like a father to them.”
“Can you relate to teenage girls whom you had nothing to do with while they were growing up?” Pastor Grant asked. “You are like a stranger to them. I have seen how they treat you. They see you as their sugar-daddy. I heard one of them addressing you by your first name, and—”
“Their mother already corrected that.”
“Okay,” Pastor Grant said. “Anyway, I see how they disrespect you. They treat you like you and they are the same age. On top of that, Sister Maudlin has had experience with men; she was married for almost fifteen years. You haven’t had any experience with married women. I’m afraid you’re just setting yourself up to get hurt.”
“I appreciate your concern, Pastor Grant, but I can handle her and the girls. They tell me often how much they love me, and are always asking me to do things for them. By the way, I do have experience with married women. I was married once before.”
Not for fifteen years, Pastor Grant thought. “That’s another thing I wanted to talk with you about. Did you ever get your former wife to sign and turn over the divorce papers to you?”
Brother Biggins looked up at the ceiling and sighed. “Pastor Grant, I don’t have the papers. She told me she has not signed her part yet. I’ve tried to get my lawyer to push it forward, but she won’t budge.”
“As you know, I cannot marry you unless your divorce from your former wife has been finalized,” Pastor Grant said, “and I must see the papers for myself.”
“Pastor, can’t you just marry us until I get it taken care of? My ex-wife and I are through. We have not spoken in five years. On top of that, she is all the way out in California. Who will know?”
“I’m sorry, brother, but I can’t, in good conscience, perform the marriage ceremony at all. I mean, I’d be marrying you both into an adulterous situation,” Pastor Grant said. “It’s refreshing to see a young man like you with such zeal for the Lord, but the devil has his eyes on you. He’s blinded you to the danger of continuing this relationship with Sister Maudlin.” Pastor Grant put his hand on Brother Biggins’ shoulder. “I hope you make the right decision. Let me pray with you then I have to go see Brother Udell.”
As Pastor Grant made his way to Brother Udell’s apartment, he prayed, “Lord, I don’t know what is wrong with these young men. Why would they want to set their lives back by having a relationship with a woman who has two or three children by some other man? Here I have two young men, new babes in Christ, who were doing strong for You, but now they are having their minds blown away by these single mothers in the church. On top of that, these mothers are way older than them. Please give Brother Biggins wisdom in his situation. Remove the blinders that the devil has placed over his eyes. As for Brother Udell, let him see the danger he’s placing himself in. Give me the words to say to him. Amen.”
“Brother Udell, I just stopped by to pray with you and to encourage you to be out early for services on tomorrow. You do plan on coming, don’t you?”
“Yes, sir, Pastor Grant. I’ll be there early,” Brother Udell said.
“Have you thought any more on the conversation we had about you and Sister Falcon?”
“I’ve been thinking about it.”
“I can tell you still don’t see it all clearly,” Pastor Grant said. “Sister Falcon has two small children. She’s told me that their father still wants to be able to visit them whenever he desires. She’s open for that. You even shared with me once that you were visiting her when the father showed up. I don’t know what came out of that, but like I’ve shared with you, if he’s worth anything, he’s not going to take too kindly to another man taking care of his children. I don’t care how much Sister Falcon tells you it’s over between them. It’s never over until it’s over,” Pastor Grant said. “Just be careful, brother. My advice to you is still the same: cut all ties with her. Don’t let the devil fool you into thinking you need to feel sorry for her or help her out by taking care of her children. That’s the devil setting you up for a mess. Just pray about it and don’t make a move until you get a solid answer from God.”
As Pastor Grant made his way home, he felt a strong urge to pray. The feeling was so much stronger than normal that he began to pray immediately, even though he was only a few blocks from his house.
As he turned the corner onto the street where he and his family lived, he caught a blurry glimpse of blue speeding towards him out of the corner of his eye. He turned his head to face the blurry motion and realized it was what he had previously thought was a parked SUV. The middle-aged female driver was talking excitedly on the phone and looking at the houses on the opposite side of the road as she drove toward him. Pastor Grant stepped on the gas pedal in a last second attempt to get out of the way. His car lurched forward, but it was too little, too late. The SUV slammed into the passenger side of his car.
“That’s why I was prompted to pray,” Pastor Grant told his family as they gathered for their evening prayer time. Even though his car would need major repairs, Pastor Grant had walked away from the accident uninjured with only a few cuts on his right arm and the right side of his face. “The devil is really out to get us,” he continued. “Let’s all commit to praying harder. Holyween is only five days away. We can’t get sidetracked now.”
Thank you for joining us for this episode of Whyte House Family stories. You may purchase a copy of this novel and any other Christian fiction books read on this podcast from Amazon.com.
Now, dear listener, please know that God—the divine Author of all things—wants to write a great story with your life as well. But first you must give Him the pen by trusting Him with the life He gave you and surrendering your heart to Jesus Christ as Savior. Here is how:
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
May God bless you until next time.