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RETURN TO GOD COUNTRY-PART TWO
by gwendolyn Ransom
04/22/04
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"WE DON'T WANT TO GO," CRIED THE SIXTEEN YEAR OLD STEPHANIE AS MICHAEL ENTERED THE ROOM. SHE AND HER TWIN BROTHER ERIC SAT ON THE SOFA, WITH LUGGAGE IN TOW, AS AN ACT OF OBEDIENCE, BUT BOTH WERE DETERMINED NOT TO GO TO GOD COUNTRY THIS WEEKEND.
MICHAEL DID NOT RESPOND FOR A MOMENT, BUT HE MOVED TOWARD THE LOVESEAT AND SAT DOWN. HE LOOKED AT HIS DAUGHTER, HE WAS DETERMINED TO HAVE AN ARGUMENT WITH HIM. BUT HE WAS NOT IN THE MOOD, "GOD COUNTRY IS YOUR HERITAGE. FOR MANY YEARS I THOUGHT THAT I COULD RUN AWAY FROM THE PAST BUT I CAN'T. AND I CAN'T LET YOU."
"BUT DAD, WHEN MOM WAS ALIVE, SHE NEVER LET US GO. SHE SAID IT WAS OUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHAT WE WANTED TO DO," WHINED ERIC, PLANTED FIRM WITH HIS ARMS ACROSS HIS CHEST.
"AND WHY CAN'T WE JUST GO AND PUT SOME FLOWERS ON MOM'S GRAVE, DAD, WE NEVER EVEN DONE THAT?"
MICHAEL SHOOK HIS HEAD, "THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT IS UP FOR DISCUSSION. LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT THE PAST. DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW GOD COUNTRY GOT ITS NAME?"
BOTH OF THEM SHOOK THEIR HEAD.
"GOD COUNTRY IS LOCATED IN THE VALLEY OF DONOVAN, I GREW UP THERE ON THE FARM. MY GREAT-GREAT GRANDFATHER, RAY HUNTER, OWNED THE FARM. HE LOVED THE FARM AND THOUGHT IT WAS HIS LIFE UNTIL THIS OLD COUNTRY PREACHER CAME BY, AND ASKED HIM IF HE COULD HOLD A TENT REVIVAL IN THE MIDST OF THE PLAINS. AT FIRST, GRANDPA WAS RELUCTANT, EVERY FARMER IN TOWN HAD TURNED OL' ERNEST READE DOWN. BUT AFTER SOME CONVINCING, GRANDPA SAID YES. THIS IS WHEN THE TROUBLE BEGAN, MANY OF THE TOWNSPEOPLE GOT ANGRY AND THREATS WERE BREWING EVERYWHERE, BUT AT THE SAME TIME MANY OF THE FARMERS GAVE THEIR LIVES TO CHRIST. THERE WAS AN ANGRY LYNCH MOB LED BY HENRY JOHNS, HE THREATENED GRANDPA AND HIS OTHER TWO FRIENDS, BO MIDDLETON, AND CHUCK BARNES. BUT THEY WERE DEVOUT BELIEVERS IN CHRIST AND NOTHING WOULD SHAKE THIER FAITH. ON THE NIGHT IN WHICH THEY WERE TAKEN AND GAVE THEIR LIFE, GRANDPA WAS WORRIED BUT HE DID NOT LET HIS FAMILY KNOW. BUT HIS DAUGHTER, BRITTANY FOLLOWED HIM TO THE BARN, AS HE WENT TO INSPECT THE GROUNDS AS HE DID EVERY NIGHT BEFORE HE WENT TO BED. HENRY AND HIS MEN GRABBED HIM, AND BROUGHT HIM OUT TO THE PLAIN WHERE THE BIG OAK TREE. CHUCK AND BO WERE ALREADY THERE. THEY HAD BEEN BEATED BADLY. THEY BEAT GRANDPA BAD. NO ONE KNEW THAT BRITTANY WAS AROUND UNTIL HENRY SPOTTED HER, AND USED HER A LEVERAGE AGAINST THEM. THEY DEMANDED TO KNOW THE WHEREABOUTS OF ERNEST READE, OR THEY WOULD KILL BRITTANY. BUT THEY SAID THEY WOULD NOT TELL, THEY VOWED THEY WOULD GO THEIR DEATHS FIRST. THEY STRUNG THEM UP ON THAT OAK TREE, BUT BEFORE THEY DIED, THEY ASKED GOD FOR ONE THING, THEY ASKED THAT THE TREE BECOME A SOURCE OF HEALING, AND THAT WHAT HENRY JOHNS TURNED FOR EVIL WOULD BECOME THE GREATEST BLESSING THAT THE WORLD WOULD EVER KNOWN, AND IT HAS BECOME THAT. WHEN MY NIECE CORTLAND WAS SICK, AND NEAR DEATH, MORGAN TOOK THE LEAVES FROM THE HOSPITAL AND LAID THEM UNDER FOR PILLOW AND GOD MIRACULOUSLY HEALED HER."
WHEN MICHAEL LOOKED AT STEPHANIE, AND AS STRONG AND BRAVE AS SHE USUALLY WERE, SHE BEGAN TO CRY QUIETLY. HE LOOKED AT HIS SON, WHO USUALLY DID NOT SHOW ANY EMOTION, WIPED HIS EYES, "DAD, WHAT BECAME OF BRITTANY HUNTER, DID SHE DIED THAT NIGHT?"
MICHAEL SMILED AS HE WALKED TOWARD HIS CHILDREN AND EMBRACED THEM, AS JOY FLOWED HIS WHOLE BODY, "NO. GOD WORKED A MIRACLE. AFTER THE PRAYER AND THEY GAVE THEIR LAST BREATH, HENRY TRIED TO KILL BRITTANY, BUT SHE CLAIMS AN ANGEL, CALLED MICHAEL, WAS CARRYING A LARGE SWORD WAVE IT AND A LARGE RING OF FIRE SURROUNDED HER. SHE SAID THAT HE TOLD HER TO GO IN PEACE, AND THAT HENRY JOHNS AND HIS MEN WOULD NOT HARM ANYONE AGAIN. A FEW DAYS LATER, THEY FOUND THE BODIES OF HENRY JOHNS AND HIS MEN."
STEPHANIE SHOOK HER HEAD IS SHAME. SHE HEARD OF BRITTANY HUNTER. EVERY FEMALE IN THE JACOBSON-HUNTER LINE HEARD OF BRITTANY HUNTER. IT WAS HER INFAMOUS DIARY WHICH WAS PASSED DOWN FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION. THE LAST SHE HEARD WAS HER COUSIN, CORTLAND READE HAD THE DIARY. HOW SHE WISHED THAT SHE COULD TAKE A GLANCE AT THE DIARY! IF SHE COULD FEEL WHAT HER FATHER FELT. HE LOOKED AS THOUGH HE HAD BEEN THERE.
"DAD, WHY DIDN'T YOU EVER TELL US THIS BEFORE?" ASKED ERIC.
"BECAUSE PHOEBE DID NOT WANT ANY REMINDERS OF THE PAST. SHE WANTED ME ALL TO HERSELF, AND I LET HER BECAUSE SHE WAS SICK. BUT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS CAREFULLY, AND IN TWO YEARS YOU TWO WILL BE LEAVING FOR COLLEGE, I WANT YOU TO KNOW WHERE YOU COME FROM. ALL I ASK IS FOR ONE WEEKEND. WE WILL SPEND ONE WEEKEND AT CRYSTAL LAKE, AND THEN ON TOMORROW, WE WILL GO TO GOD COUNTRY. HAVE CHURCH ON SUNDAY. MONDAY YOU TWO WILL BE BACK IN SCHOOL."
"COULD WE STILL GO AND PUT SOME FLOWERS ON MOM'S GRAVE?" ASKED STEPHANIE, AS SHE AND ERIC BEGAN TO MOVE SOME OF THE LUGGAGE.
"I WOULD NOT HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY."




If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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