Purity Publications

Saga of Darkness Vision of Light
Chapter Eighteen

Drawn Together

by Dennis R. Cook

Christianity Oasis Ministry

There is a force out there that is attempting to overtake us all; it is Satan. There is another force that is protecting us from him; it is the Holy Spirit. It is a battle for souls. This battle is called Spiritual Warfare, and like it or not, you are right in the middle of it.

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Saga of Darkness Vision of Light
Chapter Eighteen
Drawn Together
by Dennis R. Cook

None of us hesitated. There was little time for thought or argument, just agreement. Indeed, our very lives depended on it. We joined hands and closed our eyes.

"Precious Lord Jesus," Old Blackgoat began, "we are gathered here before you in need of a great miracle. We believe in you. Now, therefore, deliver us from this present evil, as your Word has said. Lord, if you will, you can send us back to my sheep on the mountain..."

Old Blackgoat's voice trailed away as there came a rushing of what sounded like a mighty wind. I lost consciousness.

I don't know how long I was out, but when I came to, I heard excited voices, and someone was calling my name.

"Joseph, we made it. Wake up!" the voice urged.Through blurred eyes I could see Steven standing over me. I couldn't make anything else out.

"Where are we?" I asked groggily.

"We're back on the mountain, Joseph," Steven told me enthusiastically. "We all made it!"

"All of us?" I asked, startled at the revelation. "Even Ketchum and all his men?" I asked.

"That's exactly right," Joseph, Steven said. "Sarah, Old Blackgoat, Prometheus, and yes, Ketchum and all his men."

"How long have I been out, Steven?" I asked.

"Just a few minutes," Steven said. "You haven't missed anything. We've only been here a short time."

"Well," I said, pausing, "guess we better go tend the sheep." I laughed as I rose to my feet.

"I'll go bring my 4X4," Steven said.

The next few days brought a blur of frenzied activity. Harold Yazzie brought his cattle truck up so we could move the sheep back down the mountain to the valley behind Old Blackgoat's church. That wasn't so bad.

Dr. Sheolman's disappearance was. His disappearance brought the Navajo police to our front door. They, of course, had a lot of questions, and we, of course, were their prime suspects for a while.Ketchum, bless his heart, finally convinced them to back off. What a relief! We were all very thankful, but that wasn't the end of our problems.

All of Old Blackgoat's parishioners left him. That's right, left him! The first Sunday morning service after our deliverance from all those things coming on this present world, Mrs. Begay showed up, but only long enough to announce that she, along with the rest of the congregation, could no longer support Old Blackgoat as their pastor. "There are too many rumors circulating throughout the area about the lot of you," she said. "Frankly," she admitted, "we are all scared of you. We don't know any of you any more, and we don't want our lives to be in peril because of any association with you."

We tried to question her further, but she wouldn't say anything else. She left, leaving all of us open mouthed, dumbfounded.

Old Blackgoat took it in stride, though. "You know," the old sage said in his learned, philosophical way. "Sometimes wolves drive sheep from the flock, and you can't find the sheep anywhere. You can search for them for days and days. You know they can't have been eaten because their carcasses cannot be found either.

"I have learned this lesson about lost sheep. If they do not come home to you they have most likely joined another flock of sheep somewhere on the other side of the valley, and that's alright with me."

Sarah, as it turned out, had a similar problem.

In fact, learning of her situation shocked me. Perhaps it was my former chauvinism. She owned a ranch..., that's right, a horse ranch..., made good money apparently. That is why we saw so little of her while we helped Old Blackgoat pursue Dr. Sheolman, and unravel the mystery surrounding the missing sheep on the reservation. It also explained her hurry to return home the night she was kidnapped. She had a business appointment. Small wonder, huh?

But that was only the half of it. After our story became "news," and her good ol' boy rancheros learned of her relationship to Old Blackgoat, well..., she arose one morning to find her hired hands gone. I guess Navajo horsemen are superstitious, too. Small wonder, huh?

As I said, the few weeks after our deliverance from all those things coming on this present world, were a blur, so much so, that I didn't have any opportunity to reflect. When things finally calmed down I realized I had numerous questions that needed to be addressed. For instance, how were we instantly transported from what was most certainly a location in southern California to a mountain in New Mexico several hundred miles away? I had heard testimonies, and read accounts of the Lord's servants being transported from one geographic location to another in the twinkling of an eye, but, did that happen to us? Perhaps, I'm not sure. Could be, our faith tapped the natural ebb and flow of the vortex, and it transported us to safety.

There was one thing for sure I was confident of, we had participated in various bizarre, and quite supernatural events. Our experiences were real, even if our perception about everything we thought we saw, was somehow flawed. Nevertheless, I, personally, made it a point to take a pragmatist's perspective about it all, that is, figure out how I was benefitted by the experiences, remember that, and put the rest behind me.

Here is how I summarized it. God is faithful, so don't give up your faith in Him, no matter what. No matter what your experience with evil in this present world, continue believing in God to the end.

The Holy Spirit added this: "Because men perceive not the need for my love, to give them my love, is to forgive them."

Profound, huh? Not really..., its all in that book we call the Bible. But hey, it is comforting for the Lord to talk to us from time to time, and for me, it was nice to have at least one corner of my life squared away. There were other, more personal matters, I had to tend to.

For example, who was I really? I knew who I wasn't. I wasn't the silver-tongued-whiz-kid from Duke, who, while seated atop the world from his corporate office, devised schemes sales teams could use to advance corporate goal's of achieving greater and greater percentages of sales in the automobile market.

No, I wasn't that guy any more, I was a different creature altogether. From the day I had heard the voice tell me I was saved in Astarte's hacienda, I had become a different person. It seemed, the trial by the devil had served as a circumcision of sorts, for my not-so-pure-heart.

I lost the will to peek at verboten literature, and found a new love in my heart, even for my enemies. It was astounding! I mean, I found myself loving Mrs. Begay, even as she turned her back on us, and walked out the door. I could go on, but you get the picture. I had a new found freedom in love, one that sets you free from the constant bitterness and hassles of unforgiveness and hatred in the world.

So what was I supposed to do with my new life?

I had become a person eager to talk about a simpler, humbler way of living, one, Steven or Old Blackgoat would have said, was more in harmony with relevant ethereal ecological realities. (Not really). They would have paraphrased Paul..., "Walk in the Spirit..., and...

Steven had been right on with his analysis of my condition that day I had visited him with Reverend White back in Palo Alto. Somehow, he knew I would never be satisfied with less than time-honored service in my Father's house, but..., faxing my resignation to Mammonmoto was a hard thing.

I had some doubts. In a way, I felt like the rich young ruler who had turned away from the Lord because he couldn't bear to part with his possessions. He couldn't. His possessions defined him. They were his life, perhaps even his way of life. Had they become mine, or were they still mine? I needed to know.

Could I turn my back on the world and walk away? Could I part with my perfect home, job, and automobile for uncertainty, at best? It was a tough call. I knew that greater men than me had been faced with the same challenge, as I, and flunked badly.

"O.K., Lord," I finally said, "I'll work for you full-time, but I don't know what I'm going to do, or how I am going to make a living, I'm just going to trust you to provide."

And you know what, He did! Sarah's life had changed in a hurry after her rancheros left her. She was desperate for help. She still had a business to run, and she found she couldn't run it by herself. "Granddad," she said, "do you think you could talk Steven and Joseph into bunking up here and helping me for awhile? And Granddad..., could you move your sheep up here? And Granddad, I really could use those strong arms of Prometheus to build fence."

Sarah really turned on the charm, so much so I thought she could have made a rattle snake smile while she turned it into a handbag! We didn't mind, though. We had all become sort of like family.

The transition to life on a thriving horse ranch went smoothly, but after settling into the routine, I still felt something was amiss, and for some strange reason felt the answer had to do with Ketchum.

We had heard a rumor that the G-man had resigned from the force. Seems his superiors gave him a poor performance report because of the way he handled the Dr. Sheolman affair. Seems he was tagged with the reputation of being the only agent in the history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to lose two hundred million tons of evidence. Ironic, huh?

Fortunately, for the sake of my intuition, that wasn't the last we heard of the man.

A couple of weeks after Old Blackgoat, Steven, Prometheus and I moved up to Four Corners to help Sarah run her horse ranch, this Texan, driving a Cadillac and pulling an air-conditioned, livestock trailer, drives up to the front door and marches in like he owns the place...

"I heard some woman here by the name of Sarah was lookin' for a foreman," the Texan began. "Ma'am, my name is William Ketchum. Friends call me Will for short. I have been workin' horses since I was just a pup back in Waco, Texas. I'd be much obliged if you would give me the opportunity to work your herd."

"Might be able to double as a security guard, too," I added, poking my head in through the front screen door.

"Well, Joseph, what in Sam--hill are you doin' here?"

"As if you didn't know, you wily old fox. What do you have up your sleeve, anyway?"

"I just got to thinkin' after I retired from the force, we all made quite a team..., and since you boys made a believer out of me, well, it'd suit me just fine to work alongside you fellas', even if it's just shoveling horse manure."

"We sure have plenty of that," I laughed.

"What do ya' say, Sarah? Can I hang my hat out yonder in the bunk house?"

"Well, you all just make yourself at home right out there," Sarah mimicked, doing her best to let Ketchum know she wasn't nearly the shrew, she, at first, seemed to be.

"So how did Sarah get this ranch, anyway?" I asked Steven later that evening as we were preparing a small wing-ding to celebrate Ketchum's arrival.

"Her mother and father died in a plane crash over around Flagstaff a few years ago," Steven told me. "And in case you are wondering..that's why she's been distant,...just a touch of bitterness. But, judging from the way she responded to Ketchum this afternoon, I would say having a family again has taken care of that little problem."

"The question, Steven...answer my question."

"She inherited the ranch, Joseph, all 3700 acres and everything on it. You see, her dad, Sherman Blackgoat was Old Blackgoat's only child. To hear Old Blackgoat tell it, Sherman's success in the horse business was remarkable, but there's time for that later. We've got to get those steaks on or Prometheus will want to eat the barn door."

"Same old Steven," I thought to myself, as we carried steaks toward the Bar B'Q' pit.

How did Prometheus fit in on a horse ranch? For one thing, he needed anonymity. The ranch afforded him that. We were six miles off the main highway. He loved animals, and animals loved him. He could talk to them you know, and they really appreciated it when he would find just that special morsel they had an urge for.

We continued to enjoy Shep's company, too. She had become part of the family. Old Blackgoat had offered to return her to Harold Yazzie, but Harold laughed, saying, he didn't want to be thought of as an Indian giver. He's still a good friend.

As for Steven and me? We souped up the bunkhouse with the latest in computer technology and went on line looking for any sign someone was in need of our kind of help.

Then, of course, there was the remaining smidgeon of the pure oil of lamb's blood, pure faith, whatever, that remained unaccounted for. We never found the bootblack can containing the supposedly precious ointment. However, if Sarah was around when the topic came up, she put on an "air," if you know what I mean. We all suspected, if she didn't have the stuff in her possession, she knew where to find it. It didn't matter, though, we had learned a valuable lesson from Old Blackgoat. The Word of God is a very powerful weapon against dark forces when acted upon by Spirit-filled-believer-types. It was now our weapon of choice. And we all knew we would wield it again one day, we just didn't know how soon. Nevertheless, we knew it would come soon enough. And it did ...

"I have a message from two genetic researchers desperate for our help," Ike yelled one early Summer morning. "Says their last name is Christman, and they live somewhere off the beaten path in Alabama. What shall I tell them?"

To be continued ...

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