When I Woke Up This Morning Chapter 3 – Awakening
Chapter 3 – Awakening – When John woke up this morning, his memories returned one by one in rapid succession. The apartment was cold and crisp, just like John liked it. He swung his feet from the bed down to the cold floor. His morning smile turned to a frown when all the details from yesterday came back.
John’s first stop was usually the computer before moving on to coffee. John sat down at the desk to check his email. John wrote Mike an email to confirm he got his message. Once John started typing, he wouldn’t stop until he told him about his promotion, forwarded Mike his research on giants, and lamented about Tim and Brent.
An email from Matthew arrived. Brent would be available at ten o’clock to talk with him today. John emailed Matthew with a confirmation that he would be there and thanked him for the notice. John sent his father a copy of the reply as well, better safe than sorry, John thought.
It was getting late; John sprang into action and showered. The soft water landing gently on his face was relaxing, his mind drifted back to a day when giants ruled the Earth, before the flood. It wasn’t a pretty picture; the giants quickly consumed all of Earth’s resources and turned on the humans.
“Why have I never heard anything about this in history or Bible College,” John said? Instead, John discovered their existence from a random email. He found pictures, expert articles, and theories to back it up. “It makes me wonder, what else gets covered up?”
Chapter 3 – Awakening – John dressed professionally today in dark blue slacks and a white dress shirt, but he packed his hiking boots and cold gear for a quick change. John ground some fresh coffee and started that brewing when the phone rang, great it’s Mike.
“Hello, who’s calling?”
“Hey, cut that out,” Mike said, “What’s going on this morning? I got your email a few minutes ago, giants, UFO’s, oh my.”
We both laughed at Mike’s wit this morning. “I’m glad to see that you’re coming around to the truth. The truth that has been hiding for thousands of years,” Mike said.
“So you don’t have any problem with the material I sent you, Mike?”
“Heck no,” Mike replied, “you’re just peeling back a layer of the onion. Let’s do some studying this weekend, and I will peel back the rest of the layers if you want to know what is going on.”
“I have been studying this for the last few years on the Internet, and it is fascinating, John, what’s out there. Just remember to pack your bags; we’re going on a mind trip. Also, a slight change of plans on our location for this weekend. We have a new destination. I will tell you more when I pick you up at your apartment. Bring your laptop, a Bible, and PDF copies of Enoch, Jashar, and Jubilees from the Internet.”
“Okay, Mike, understood, I’ll get all of that together. I’m running late because of an interview I have to do with our outreach Pastor. It appears he had an affair with an eighteen-year-old new convert. I honestly don’t know what I am going to say to Brent. The elders want me to talk with him since I am the Senior Pastor now. He has a lovely wife and three lovely children, and everything is shattering in all of their lives now.”
“Wow, that’s tough, John; but remember, there are forces at work here that many people do not understand. Remember Ephesians 6:12 John “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
“Christians don’t talk about this much. But we are being told who the battle is with and who is causing us grief. The evil spirits are what we are battling. I have wanted to talk to you for a while about this. Can I offer some assistance in dealing with Brent?”
“Please, Mike; I can use any advice that you have.”
“When you talk to him, take your time to find out what happened. Try to find out why he got distracted from his family, God, and out of touch with his life.”
“John, do not fire this man if you sense involvement from an evil origin. The primary reaction of many Church members would be to fire and excommunicate all involved parties, but this serves to help the enemy reach its final goal”.
“That goal John is to fracture the Church into two groups and start them fighting against each other. Since you’re the new Senior Pastor, put Brent on paid leave immediately and send him off to find God again, and hopefully, some healing for him and his family, have him stay out for that time, like a sabbatical. Congratulations by the way on your promotion, you sure picked a good time to start.”
“Thanks, Mike, that sounds like some excellent advice. It makes for an interesting start to a new career, don’t you think?”
“I do John, and it is the Christian thing to do because, in the end, Brent and his wife are both Christians and are both children of God. It’s been a long time since we got together.” Mike laughed.
“I hope you have the same opinion of me after this weekend. See you later, John.” Mike hung up, and John settled in for a hot cup of french roast coffee, a bagel, and a little more research before heading to work this morning.
Chapter 3 – Awakening – John opened a web browser, and in the search field, he put ‘aliens are demons’ to see if the random email he got last evening had any research behind it. The search returned about 19,900,000 results, John’s auto-suggest feature in his web browser had it as the number one recommendation.
“Looks like I am going to need a little time to go through this,” John said. He sipped his coffee and ate his bagel. He read a couple of short articles that all said the same thing; aliens are not an extraterrestrial event at all. They are evil spirits or fallen angels, and apparently, John’s the last person to figure it out. John chuckled.
John searched for the books of Enoch, Jashar, and Jubilees that Mike mentioned and found them readily available in PDF for free download to his computer. “Enoch, that’s Noah’s Grandfather, right,” John said? The one the Bible said was taken away because he pleased God. John was being deluged with information faster than he could process it. At that moment, John remembers praying for wisdom in all things the night before.
John wondered if this is where the saying ‘Be careful what you ask for’ originated. John looked at the time. “Darn it; it’s 9:15, I better get going”. John shut his laptop and placed it with his binder in his backpack. “This is going to be an interesting weekend,” John said. He stopped everything and got down on his knees to pray for Brent and his family. And the wisdom to discern.
Chapter 3 – Awakening – The sky was very dark and an ominous shade of black on the drive to work this morning. It’s warmer than freezing at the moment; a freezing fog blankets the area. John pulled into the parking lot without incident today. He parked in the Senior Pastor spot since Austin left it open for him. The darkest clouds were directly over the Church. Today is an amazing day, indeed.
When John walked into the office, Janet was waiting for him.
“Good Morning, John, congratulations on your new promotion,” Janet said.
“Thank you, Janet, I’m going to drop my jacket in my office real quick.” “John, please let me take your coat for you; we’ve already taken the liberty of moving you into your dads’ old office. We did our best to make you feel right at home.”
Janet was more professional today, and frankly a little curt for John’s taste. “Please go ahead and check out your new office if you like and I will be down in a few minutes to bring you up to speed, would you like some coffee John?”
“Yes I would please Janet, thank you very much for offering.”
John’s footsteps echoed down the long hall.
“Wow,” John said as he entered his new office, fantastic! Everything decorated as John would have arranged it himself. John’s desk moved over by the fireplace, where they were talking just yesterday. The office overlooks the lake and woods. John was admiring the view when a large thud came from under the desk. “Excuse me, sir, it’s David from security. Sorry to startle you this morning,” David said. He was bumping his head under the desk.
Chapter 3 – Awakening – David is in charge of security; the Church gets its share of trouble running a national ministry. John extends his hand to help David to his feet. “Nice to meet you, David, we’ve seen each other, but I’ve never said hello, my apologies. What’s going on under the desk, David?”
“I was installing a silent alarm under your desk as part of the security upgrades we are going through. If you ever get into trouble press this silent alarm, if anyone on staff cannot respond to you in 2 minutes or less, the alarm calls the police and announces that there is a situation. They respond in ten minutes or less is my understanding after meeting with the chief of police.”
“Thanks for the run down, David; I wasn’t aware that this was the type of job where we needed this level of security.”
“I never thought it would come to this either,” David said. “But if you have any trouble, press the button. Also, John, here is a portable trigger for your key ring; in case you are away from your office.”
“I’ll need you to choose a passphrase John; you’re a celebrity now. You have a unique vantage point, and the security team needs to know when you’re in danger.”
“How about infiltrator,” John said?
“Agreed John, when the security team hears infiltrator, they’ll deploy to protect you.”
“Even during a Sunday worship service, in front of the congregation?”
“During the service is the only time we think you’ll need the keychain, John. We live in a weird world these days, you know? We all carry concealed weapons and wear suits, as you know. After all of the Church shootings, one can never be too careful.”
“And John, if you ever need anything, just let me know.”
“Thanks, David, we’re in the spiritual business here, and the enemies are not always apparent. I need to know that the security team can protect me in case a Church leader is the security risk or some other unforeseen circumstance where my life is in danger?”
“John, no one has ever asked me this before, are you suggesting we might have to move against someone who is a member of this Church,” David said. “I’ll let you know,” John said, “and you’ll be sure because they will be using a weapon of some sort. We never use any theatrics or drama in our service, so it should be pretty straight forward.”
“Okay, John,” David said. He shook John’s hand; “we’ll protect you to the best of our ability here.”
As David left the office, he met Janet at the door and told her the introduction was complete. “Thanks, David,” Janet said. “Please contact the alarm company to secure John’s home as soon as possible.”
Chapter 3 – Awakening – Janet brought John coffee on a large silver platter. “When will you be returning from your camping trip, John?”
“I’ll be back before Sunday morning Janet; could we do the install later in the week?”
“As you wish, John; I must tell you I’m very nervous about this weather and that you make it back on time, you will be back on time?”
Janet set the coffee on the table by the fireplace, “Your father will be in to see you in a few minutes, and you might get a visit from Matthew. Matthew sends his apologies if he is unable to make it back in time to meet with you. He is meeting with the lawyers’ downtown over this issue with Brent.”
“It’s just terrible, don’t you think,” Janet said? “I do,” John said. “This is one heck of a first day.”
“John, everything will be fine,” Janet said, “you have twenty minutes before Brent arrives.”
“Thanks again, Janet,” John said. Janet left the office and shut the door behind her.
John poured a cup of coffee; the aroma had been teasing him for the last few minutes, excellent,” John said. Austin knocked and walked right in; it reminded John of being thirteen again.
“Good morning Son.”
“So, are you looking forward to your camping trip and seeing Mike?”
“Yes, I’m looking forward to this getaway; we have had it planned for a while. Please have a cup of coffee with me real quick, Dad?” John poured Austin a cup of coffee.
“I’m proud of you, Son. How are you planning on handling this situation with Brent?”
“Well, I was planning on listening to what Brent had to say, and to try to understand what caused him to follow the path he did.”
“Do what your heart tells you, Johnny. Do you realize that Matthew is meeting with the lawyers this morning? If Brent admits guilt, you understand the pressure will be to let him go, and to excommunicate him from the Church, correct?”
“I realize that is the traditional way Dad, but let me ask you this. Does it make sense to throw a person away, possibly helping destroy their lives, and at the moment they need you the most? That doesn’t make sense to me.”
“So here is my plan; I’m going to listen to Brent and see what in the heck happened. If Brent just had an affair, that’s fine, and I’ll fire him. But here is what I suspect; Brent has been set up by the powers of evil to split the Church. If I get a reasonable suspicion of evil playing a role in this, I’m going to send Brent away on paid leave, a sabbatical, while I sort this all out, can I do that, Dad?”
“Sure, John, the elders will have to meet to overrule your decision as head of the flock, but this will buy you some time for now, and I think that’s what you need. Be careful with Matthew, but don’t be afraid of him either. Tell him what you told me; it’s a good point that he will not refute immediately.”
Chapter 3 – Awakening – John thought to himself how wise his father had become. John smiled. “I’ll see you soon, Johnny; you’ll do fine.” Austin sat his empty coffee cup down and showed himself to the door.
Next, Janet knocked on the door and let herself in. She brought John a stack of reminders for members that had missed three weeks of Church in a row. “John, this is how I have always done this, so let’s start with this, and if you want to change the process later, I am open to ideas.” Janet also presented the daily prayer list; “it’s customary for the Senior Pastor to pray for everyone on this list personally. When you have finished, drop it in your outbox. I will pass along to the elders and the prayer teams.”
“Next, John, sign the stack of reminders to encourage these members to return. The ministry software generates the missing list weekly and prints these message reminders. Just sign them all please and leave them in your outbox. I will be back to pick them up later. Thanks, John, I’ll send Brent down at ten o’clock.” Janet closed the door behind her.
“How impersonal,” John said. Does a software program decide when I need to interact with a member? John signed all of the reminders and placed them in the outbox for Janet. He looked over the prayer list and prayed for some to be healthy, for some to find jobs, and for some dealing with sick and dying loved ones, and some praises for prayers answered.
The intercom beeped, distracting John from his prayer. It was Janet; “Brent is on his way down, John,” Janet said.
“Thank you, Janet.”
John prayed again, asking for God to give him wisdom and understanding while talking with Brent and thanked Him for all of the blessings. A knock came to the door. “Come in,” John said. It was Brent; John stood up and walked over to meet him. Brent looked terrible; he hadn’t showered in days. He just stood there with his head hung in shame.
John didn’t know what to say right away, but when he saw the tears running from Brent’s eyes, he knew he was suffering terribly. John threw his arms around Brent; Brent hung on to John with everything he had. It was apparent to John he already knew he had lost everything.
“Come over and set down by the fireplace and let’s talk,” John said, gently leading Brent. “Have a seat and take a moment to think about what it is that you want to say. I understand that you had an affair, but I am not here to judge you about that. I am here to help you if I possibly can.”
Chapter 3 – Awakening – Brent was choking back the tears. “Lisa kicked me out John, I don’t have family here, and most of my friends are in the Church. I have nowhere to go and nowhere to turn. It’s all a setup I tell you, John.”
“What do you mean, Brent, when you say it was a setup?”
“John, you have to believe me: I never meant to do anything like this. I love Lisa and my family so much,” Brent said.
“What led to this happening?”
“I was working the college outreach program last week that was sponsored by the Church. Kara approached me; she wanted to get to know Jesus. She is an orphan who had just started college. Kara told me she needed guidance because of the passing of her parents.”
“John I taught her about Jesus, and she responded to the Gospel and told me that she asked Jesus into her heart. Of course, I was very excited to see our outreach program making a difference in the lives of people, but with Kara in particular. She seemed so interested in God’s word, and I spent half a week working with her every evening after work at her apartment.”
“Brent, how could you put yourself into this kind of situation? Why didn’t you use the Church instead,” John said.
“John, after two or three evenings, she started opening up to me about her life and some of the things she had done in her life. I felt like I was helping someone breakthrough and bringing them to Christ. At the end of Kara’s third visit, she fell apart in tears and asked me to hold her, which I did. I was crying with her about her parents, her trials, and her conversion to Christ, and it was at that moment when I thought I had finally made a difference that everything changed for me.”
“I had become aroused by the hug; I’m sorry, John, I’m human. I tried to leave, but Kara told me she would never believe in God if I left her at this time of need. Kara looked deep into my eyes while holding my head, and I stared into her eyes. I became powerless, she kissed me John, and I swear that it sent electricity through my entire body, I couldn’t move. I tried to speak, to say the word no, and couldn’t get it out.”
“I was under a spell, I didn’t want anything to do with this, but I was powerless to say no. I just lay there in a state of paralysis while Kara made love to me. I can’t say that I was making love to her as I was not in control, not until it was underway. And I couldn’t stop, an appetite awakened inside of me. I don’t know; I already thought I blew it with the family. So it didn’t matter anymore.”
“After it was over, Kara told me to look into her eyes, which I did. Her eyes were endless, and I got lost in them – this time, I grabbed her and threw my arms around her. The chemistry between us was so strong that the hair on my arms stood up. For the rest of the evening, I forgot who I was for the most part as I made love to Kara over and over. Nothing has ever felt more real to me, John. I can’t compare it with anything else in my life.”
“I went home and slept on the couch that night and had terrible nightmares about my decisions. I avoided Lisa in the morning and quickly got dressed and went to work. After work, I went to Kara’s apartment to talk with her about what happened last night. But she was already gone John; the apartment was vacant, all of her furniture and personal effects were gone. I have ruined my life.”
“What happened next,” John said?
“The next thing I know Kara has an attorney, and I get a call from Matthew, he tells me that I have to talk with Lisa before he does and gives me a deadline of the end of the day. Not knowing what to do, I talk with Lisa, and she flew into a rage and kicked me out. I have been living in my car ever since, and I have been praying. It seems like God isn’t listening to my prayers right now.”
“And here I am at the end of my rope fully expecting to be fired, excommunicated, all when I need the Church more than I ever have in my life.” Brent broke into tears, and John embraced him while he cried.
Chapter 3 – Awakening – It sure seems suspicious that Brent was unable to say no. But it does take two; was Brent tricked into this situation? While I do find fault in what has happened, there are enough unknowns to warrant an investigation before ending Brent’s career,” John thought. John stood up and looked into Brent’s eyes; a lost man stared back at him.
Chapter 3 – Awakening – John reached into his pocket and took off an extra key he had made for the apartment and gave it to Brent along with all the money he had in his pocket. “This is the key to my apartment; you can go there after I leave for my camping trip late this afternoon. There is a spare bedroom on the right. Make yourself at home.”
“Shower, relax, and get your head together. You’re on paid leave until this is all sorted out. Leave now and don’t talk to anyone on the way out. Dodge Matthew, like your life depends on it and Brent; God bless, I will be back before Sunday.”
Chapter 3 – Awakening – Brent hugged John and left quickly. “I need to get ready as well,” John said; he packed his backpack and headed for his car.