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Screwed Up, Beyond Belief -- Part X

By Ex-Pastor Dan ~

Chapter 10 - The “Blessing” of a Lifetime

Standing on the front entry steps of the Oak View Full Gospel Lighthouse, in my polyester suit, lavender dress shirt, 4” wide paisley tie, platform shoes, wire-rimmed glasses, and hair just over my ears, I was the epitome of an early 1970s, well dressed youth leader. But, I would soon need a haircut because that extra ½” of “shag” flowing over my collar was pressing the limits with Brother Mac. Just a couple of months earlier had seen him finally relent on the issue of colored dress shirts being worn by anyone in ministry, and I was flirting with the “sin” of “long hair on a man.” The Deuteronomic covenants and MacManama’s laws were still hammered from his giant, wooden pulpit; except the parts that he wanted to ignore, e.g., eating pork - my how that ol’ Scotsman loved his bacon!

As I stood there greeting the early-arrivers for Sunday Evening Worship, I spied a 1956 Pontiac Star Chief convertible pulling into the parking lot across Oak View Avenue. This vehicle was unfamiliar to my bespectacled eyes and the profile of the driver was intriguing to say the least. It was a young woman, I was sure of it! Young, single males have a way of sensing and instantly checking out young females with the speed and adroitness of a Kung Fu master in a Bruce Lee movie! And believe me, this young beauty did not escape my genetically coded response of sensing, whirling and staring. I won’t elaborate on the other genetically coded response that was stirring in my loins as this long-legged goddess emerged from that two-toned coupe. “Father forgive me for my lustful thoughts,” was the silent prayer that was issued up in supplication as the mini-skirted brunette swept past me and a couple of my best friends - disappearing through the glass entry doors. All we were left with was the lingering scent of Channel #5 and an open-mouthed expression affixed to our titillated mugs. “Who was that?” exclaimed Chuck. “I have no idea, but I intend to find out! It is my duty as youth leader to welcome any new guests!” I said in my most pious tone, hoping he wouldn’t notice the bulge in my pants that I was desperately trying to “re-arrange” and “pray down!” “Yeah, Right!” Chuck said with a wink of carnal knowledge. “Don’t tell me you didn’t notice how short that skirt was, you old horn dog! Maybe you should ask her out, it looks like she needs some ‘sanctifying’!” he said with a wink and a snort. I can’t be sure, but I think I heard him faintly whisper under his breath “…if you don’t, I will…”

As you may recall from earlier chapters in this story, I had taken a vow unto the Lord and hadn’t dated in several months as I waited for God to show me His choice for my mate. I was horny as could be, but figured it was just my old sinful nature raising its ugly head, and I needed more time on my knees. Chuck on the other hand, was one of my best friends, but he couldn’t be trusted with someone as sweet and innocent as Miss Mini-skirt. NO WAY! He was always bragging about his exploits with “the chicks” in other churches. He had already begun preaching around southern California and had met some women who were living a lifestyle of which I would call, “questionable modesty,” in those liberal Assembly of God Churches where he had ministered. Brother Mac was not pleased that Chuck had taken preaching engagements at those “Worldly A of Gs” as he called them. You see, the organization that we belonged to (The California Evangelistic Association or CEA) was launched in the 1930s after two brothers left the Assembly of God organization because it wasn’t holy enough and was getting too “liberal” in its interpretation of scripture. The Assemblies were moving away from fundamentalism and were now “flirting with the devil” by allowing their women to wear make up and jewelry. The organization had really gone off the tracks. They even allowed the church boards to pick and hire their pastors. For Christ’s sake, only God could pick a pastor, and then that pastor (and only that pastor) was the head of the church. Church boards only caused confusion and muddied the waters of finding God’s will and direction for the local body of believers. God didn’t abide any of that tom foolery in His church, and those Assembly-ites had even become ashamed to call themselves Pentecostals. There was no more “holiness” being preached in the A of G Churches, so the Harmes Brothers felt it was time to “come out and be ye separate.”

I headed straight for the prayer room at the back of the church. To anyone watching, I was in prayer and meditation for the evening service. The truth of the matter was that I couldn’t walk into the sanctuary with that raging woody which even now was stretching my double knit slacks! “Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” I loved quoting St. Paul back to God when I was feeling especially carnal and full of lust. It helped knowing that other men of God knew what it was like to suffer the pangs of their Adamic nature and “thorns of the flesh.” I continued to try and pray, but all I could think about was that sweet, young thing (one of our favorite phrases) in a plaid (Catholic School Girl) mini-skirt, green vest, platform shoes, and those long, long…. incredibly long legs!

“Oh my sweet Jesus, is this the one?” I began my query of the Lord. “You know that I have been a very good and chaste young man for several months now, Lord. Is this the answer to my prayers? Could this be my future wife? Is my wait over? Oh, please, please let her be the one, dear heavenly Father!”

Now, you may be thinking that this kind of talk was very sudden, vain and presumptuous of me, but when you live in the delusional world of believing that miracles happen every day, and that I was truly God’s special & chosen one, it seemed perfectly logical. In fact, it was considered righteous to claim these thoughts as “words of Faith.” As I look back now, I shutter in embarrassment and horror at the immensity of my Solipsim and Hubris, but at the time, I felt right at home in speaking these lunacies. The truly baffling thing is that I not only spoke like this, I acted upon it…..In the name of the Lord! Hallelujah, Praise Jesus, nothing was impossible with my God! …Rawm pawm pawm Hippah Shawndie Condamee Oh my shyee Hallomawkaw taunda keedy a kyee Shawndra mawkiteee Racha Shawnda moko todo coooooee……..(yes, I can still speak in tongues. Nothing magical about it. When you hear heavenly gibberish gushing forth as often as I did growing up, it comes as natural as farting)

You must realize that this new, heavenly being; this female conundrum of devilish sexiness, combined with angelic innocence, was every Pentecostal boy’s wet dream, from the time he was 12 years old until, well… until he gave in to God’s will and married one of our chubby, shame-faced, granny-dressed, canckled (a term for legs that have ankles so fat that they look like the calf goes all the way to the foot, therefore - Calf-Ankles = Cankles) accordion players. Obviously this vision of loveliness didn’t come from any of our CEA churches. She was too stylish. She was too sexy. She was too beautiful. She was too…THIN! She was wearing make up and jewelry….OHHHHH MY! And those legs! Did I mention the legs?

But, she was carrying a Bible! I’m pretty sure that I saw a Bible clutched to her bosoms…err…I mean…. bosom. “Hallelujah! She must be a Christian. She must have come from one of those worldly Assembly of God Churches down in Ventura. Yeah, that was the ticket.” The prophetic thoughts were now flowing as if inspired by the Holy Ghost Himself. My head was spinning.

She was probably a frustrated A of G’er who was tired of their worldly ways. “She must be seeking a deeper walk with the Lord,” I mused, as my prayer trailed off and my mind whirled with the excitement of new romance and the prospect of this gift from God in the form of a beautiful and sexy wife! God had heard my desperate pleas. He had sent her straight from heaven and into my waiting arms. “Oh God, I praise Thee in advance! I know that Thou hast brought this young Christian woman into the Oak View Full Gospel Lighthouse for a purpose. Please, oh please, let that purpose be the answer to my constant prayer. Let her be the one, Oh Lord. Let me be the chosen vessel to bring her to sanctification. I beseech Thee, in the precious name of Thy Son, Jesus. Let this be the ’Blessing of a Lifetime’ for me, Thy faithful and most humble servant….Amen and Amen.”

Next time - Patience Rewarded