Enjoy Chapter One Of My Memoir

Chapter 1

He Will Cause you to Serve Him

 

My mother was urging me. “Go stand in the line, Bonnie, hurry!” I turned and looked back at the many people, young and old waiting.
It was the late 1970’s and I was wearing a long maxi dress. The brightly colored flowers were bursting forth at the seams and my sandals had large buckled squares that draped across my ankles. My hair was sapling bark brown, straight, and hanging down my back mid-way.  In the summer it was glossy satin but come winter, a stringy static mess. I was a young girl, preteen or just above that, and completely naïve of my own beauty or worth. I was self-conscious, scared and a tad pigeon-toed.
The line was now draped around the church’s outer wall, lingering on towards the back doors of the sanctuary.
The excitement in my mother’s voice was charged.
“Bonnie go get in line and see what he tells you! ‘He’ being the prophetic evangelist that was visiting our church.  ‘He’ who obviously had a direct line to the Creator of all.
Again my mother exclaimed, “Go on. He is very gifted and just told me many things only God would have known. I want to see what he tells you.”
I never liked being in the spotlight and shied away from the front of the sanctuary. Certain people had a habit of frightening me as a young child. They sang in languages I had never heard of and spoke in unknown tongues. No one had educated me on the tongues of angels and of men.
Up front stood the pastor, the elders, and the catchers. I knew what the catcher’s job entailed. Catchers were the people that stood behind you in case you fell under the power of the Ruach Holy Spirit. They draped cloths over the women’s dresses after they had floated backward–just in case anything might be exposed that shouldn’t be.
My mother always fell.
She said, “They just barely have to touch me Bonnie and I go down.” As if this signified some level of holiness. She assured me that it didn’t hurt and that she felt as if she had landed on cotton. “Honest Bonnie, it doesn’t hurt at all. It’s the most wonderful experience!” Her eyes twinkled with excitement. I nodded–still unsure of my quest for significance. Did I really want to feel this Holy Set Apart Spirit, and was this really what they were feeling? I knew what I personally felt but wasn’t quite sure it was the same. Unknowingly, this along with many other quizzical moments would one day cause me to study doctrine with binocular vision.
I headed to the back of the line that was becoming shorter and nervously sighed. I secretly hoped I wouldn’t fall on the floor to be draped in a black cloth, while onlookers gawked. What if I became stuck there crying uncontrollably and couldn’t move like some I had seen in the past?
I was doing this for my mother. I wanted to please her, and I wanted to get a good word–one that would mesmerize my mother. I longed to hear how I would do something great for The Father of lights one day. I thought in my underdeveloped brain that if this man told me something spiritually creative about myself, my mother would be very proud of me, and I wanted so desperately to please her. This too would one day cause me great pain.
As I moved forward, I looked at the balding dark headed man who was of large stature and wondered what he would prophesy over me.
There are moments in life that stick with you, like a piece of putty stuck in your conscious mind. This man is one of those plasters that have lingered with me forever.
He placed his large hand on my head and began to pray in the spirit. Then he looked into my eyes and said, “Daughter, the Lord says, He will cause you to serve Him!” He repeated it even louder and with more force, “I said, HE WILL CAUSE YOU TO SERVE HIM!”  I stared at him frozen with fear. Then he motioned for me to go on back to my seat. I was stunned. The women behind me made faces at one another and then looked at me very strangely. This prophet had spoken words of encouragement to many.  Meanwhile, I get a peculiar look and a stern word. Not only that, but he looked as shocked as me that it had come out of his own mouth.
My mother was anxious to hear what this holy man of God had spoken to me. Her ears were standing at attention like a Chihuahua as I made my way down the aisle.
“Well, what did he say?”
I must have looked funny. I’m sure my cheeks were rosy and my mouth was tight.
“Bonnie, what’s wrong?”
I struggled to state the one sentence but finally got it out.
The echo, “He will cause you to serve Him!” Only mine was a whisper.
“He said what? I repeated it hoarsely.
“God will cause me to serve Him.”
“Well, that sure was different. Goodness, what do you think he meant?” Her eyes had lost the glitter and were now wide open. I felt the scrutiny of her eyes upon my soul for a moment. She looked up and down.
“Gosh Bonnie, I don’t know what I would think if he would have said that to me?”
She then stared at me again intently–like the women behind me in line, who had heard his voice boom.
I shrugged my shoulders and sat down, but in my mind, I was asking God a question, “Do I not serve you already?” I had been ‘saved’ at a very young age and loved God. I already felt invisible at home, and I didn’t seem to fit in at school. Now, I was hearing from this man that I was not serving God? He was supposed to hear from the Father. My mother called him anointed.
I went to every church service, and I learned multiple scriptures. I won awards for memorizing the most verses. I prayed and I secretly wanted to do some type of work for God. Why was this happening to me?
I hung my head down. I felt funny inside.
I never forgot this man’s prophecy, and some twenty years later, in the midst of one of my most turbulent lifestyles, He did cause me to serve him. Yes, the man who had laid hands on me years before had heard the voice of Yahweh clearly in his ear.
It was a summer night in 2005. I had gotten married two years prior at the little white chapel in Las Vegas, but never finalized it. There was nothing white or pure about the union. So after drinking and having sex with a man, I called my husband, but like the woman at the well, only lived with, I heard the sound of all the water in the ocean come crashing into me.
The voice spoke only five words, “Get your house in order!”
I catapulted up in the bed and looked out my window at the moon that for the first time in my life looked different. For the first time in my life, I knew that the same voice that just spoke to me had also hung that moon in the sky, along with the whole host of heaven. “God is that you?” I couldn’t breathe.
My heart was beating faster than it ever had and waves of the vibration from His voice were still plummeting into my soul. “Get your house in order!”  It ricocheted through me. I remember thinking, “Could God be trying to talk to me?” Is this voice I just heard that caused me to jump, really God or am I going crazy? I couldn’t get the sudden fear of God out of my mind. My whole body was vibrating. I cannot tell you how I knew this, but suddenly I knew that this voice was THE ANCIENT OF DAYS. This voice was The Great I AM! Every bit of the blood pumping through my veins was confirming it. I don’t know how, but I knew the VOICE I had heard knew all about me and everyone else for that matter. It was an all-consuming voice, but why was He speaking to me? Out of all the sinners in the universe, why did He want me to get my house in order? Was it due to my parent’s prayers? Was he taking me home? Did He have an assignment for me? I didn’t have the answers yet, but I knew something bigger than me was happening.
I did a quick mental sweep of my spiritual house and my natural house, and then my heart sank.
I knew where those scriptures fell in the bible because even in my backslidden state I read His Word daily and wanted to change. One was a king, Hezekiah was his name.
“Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amos went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: PUT YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
Was I going to die? I knew Hezekiah pleaded with the Father and reminded him of all the righteous things he had done, therefore, HaShem gave him fifteen more years, but I had nothing to plead with.
I laid there for what seemed like hours meditating on the state of my conscious mind and what had just transpired. Finally, I drifted off to sleep and in my dream like state, I began to hear the book of Genesis.  “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
This reading of the Word was being narrated to my spirit man in a way the Bible had never been deposited before and it continued. “And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Then I began to hear The Voice again, only this time it was different. It was more of a narrator in my spirit man speaking to me. “Bonnie do you think that I gave you life so you can fulfill it on the lust of your flesh? Do you think I gave you life so you can aimlessly throw it away? Do you not see how I had an order to my creation? Do you not know that I am a God of order?
“Get your house in order.”
I continued to hear scriptures throughout the night and into the wee morning hours.
Something happened the next day that I cannot explain. I awoke with an incredible terror of God.  For the first time in my life, I knew what the scripture meant which said, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
I spent two days staring. I didn’t speak much. I sat and relived the voice.  I could still hear it inside my soul. I didn’t share this experience with anyone but pondered it in my heart.
I had a fear now of a God I had heard about all my life but never knew in this manner. I knew the Sunday school teachings I had learned. The countless services and tent revivals I had been drug to since birth. I knew all the Bible stories and I talked to this God often. I told my children about the God of the Bible, and I hid as much of my sin as I could from them. I talked to God as if He were my friend, and I told Him I was sorry often. I cried and read the Bible and pleaded for Him to forgive me over and over again, but I kept doing what I didn’t want to do. It was just as Paul said in Romans, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” 7:15.
Now, I feared the sound of many waters. He was Holy—kadosh—set an apart. He was omnipotent. I was grass.
“Get your house in order!”
Yes, His voice had penetrated my heart and my soul. He was causing me to serve Him. He was causing me to sit up and take notice of a God that was engulfing the universe and hovering over the waters—the very molecules He breathed into existence. He was all encompassing. He did not just have a title, He had a Name. His name was Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh (YHVH) and it meant ‘Behold the hand—behold the nail.’ His Son’s hands had held those nails for lil ole me and also for the whole cosmos.

Kentucky Book Fair

I have been trying to get caught up with blogs, book chapters, and marketing eBooks. Shortly after the Kentucky Book fair I went to stay at my son’s home for a couple weeks and recuperated after a minor surgery. Before I knew it Thanksgiving had come and gone. So I am just now getting a chance to write about our experience in Frankfort at the Kentucky Book Fair.

First of all, what an honor to be invited and seated in a room full of authors like Wendell Berry, one of my favorite writers. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary McDonough, who played Erin on The Walton’s. She stopped by our table and greeted me on her way to the back. New York Times best-selling author Sharon McCrumb was there, Jacinda Townsend’s, Bobbie Ann Mason, Cheryl Della Pietra, and many other authors who are very well-known for their craft. However, I guess the authors that I came to admire most were the ones that were seated around me.

It was an absolute pleasure to meet P. Anastasia and sit beside her for two days soaking up all her marketing wisdom. She had lovely simple ideas, such as using a fun florescent marker to sign a book with. If you are a Young adult or love Science fiction, you must pick up a copy of her trilogy which starts with book one, Fluorescence: Fire Starter.

When a high school freshman named Alice starts to glow green on her shoulder, she wonders if she is radioactive. Fearful of what the glowing green color emerging from her skin could mean, she hides it from everyone. Alice meets a new student name Brian and touches him, her touch has a jolt of electric shock that destroys his pacemaker but heals his heart. Here is a snippet about book one.

“Fluorescence lives in her bloodstream. It’s unpredictable and could flare up anywhere, anytime, exposing her secret to the world. Alice was a normal teenager until a dying race of aliens chose her and a handful of others to preserve endangered bioluminescent DNA known as Fluorescence. Now she and the others must hide their condition from the rest of the world, while trying to learn the truth behind the living light.”

It was great to see an old friend from a previous book event. Ronald R. Van Stockum, Jr. is a lawyer, teacher, biologist, writer, guitarist, and recently an actor living on his family’s old farm in Shelbyville, Kentucky. He is always inspiring and full of humor. Here’s what one reader had to say about his book Cosmos the Stellar Stalker.

Ronald R. Van Stockum, Jr. author of Cosmos the Stellar Stalker has created characters as memorable as any in the realm of magic realism. Set in Louisville, Kentucky in 1976, the writer recounts what-ifs with spectacular scenes in a rail yard, through hidden tunnels, and in old abandoned buildings. From the beginning when a visitor from another world pops up in a downtown Louisville ad agency, until the spectacular finale, the action ratchets up at a dizzying rate. Prepare to be entertained when looking in on the making of television commercials; prepare to be titillated with descriptions of dancing girls; prepare to be amazed at the scientific descriptions, with a bit of creative physics as the author takes you along for the ride in his fertile mind. In this latest adventure, Van Stockum gives us another unique and interesting journey in to the world of “What if?” – Mary Popham.”

I was also excited to meet a new and upcoming author named Lauren Brandenburg, who like me, writes faith based books and she was able to share some great tips and advice both days with me. Her trilogy is called Boone. Book one is Boone: The Ordinary (The Book of the Gardener.) Here’s what one of her readers said on her mostly 5 star review ratings.

 

I got the Kindle version of this book and wasn’t sure what to expect. As I started to read it, I was immediately captivated. Lauren Brandenburg was so descriptive of the characters, the settings, just everything that I felt I was in the story. I read it to my 5 year old daughter who was so enthralled with it, she would ask me to read it instead of watching cartoons-now there’s a testimony! It was an amazing story that worked on all age levels. It is difficult to find such an inspiring story today, but Lauren has done just that; I was excited to share this with my child. I couldn’t stop thinking or talking about the book. It’s a must read book! We can’t wait for the next installment!”

 

And then there was a very beautiful young lady to the left of me who seemed to light up like a strand of bulbs each time a person stopped by her table. If Elizabeth Fannin Crowe’s book is as captivating as her smile she will sell a million copies! Her book is titled The Proving. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games, you will love this story. Here is an excerpt about the book.

 

“When their leader dies with no warning, the citizens of Ravenna turn to his daughter, Kira Sophosia, for leadership. But before she is able to govern, she must go through the legendary rite known only as The Proving. As she prepares, Kira begins to ask questions; questions that have dangerous answers. When her world begins to unravel around her, Kira must fight to show both the city and herself that she can rise to the occasion. The Proving is the first in a young adult series following Kira as she learns about herself and the mysteries of her city.”

 

Of course there are always people you meet expectantly, the ones who for whatever reason are placed across your path, and that leaves me with my next two introductions. While eating at the hotel lounge on Thursday night, my husband and I decided to step outside and look at the adjoining shops and store fronts. I was on my scooter and still weak. We were assured that the doors were unlocked and we could come and go. So as our food was being prepared we went for a stroll and then went to enter the hotel again, but found we were locked out. There was no way to get back in without going down a couple flight of steps and enter all the way around through the hotel lobby area. With me in the scooter, there was no way for me to get down the stairs and so about the time my husband decided to leave me there and open the door a very kind soul appeared and offered to do that for him.

I am not going to mention this person’s name because I feel they are quite private, but I must say it was such a pleasure to get to know him. He had a great sense of humor, acting as if he was leaving us in the cold, waving with a smile. He asked what brought us to the hotel and where we were from and the next thing we knew we were in deep conversation about Walter the Homeless Man, family, friends and the journey we all take in this life. I felt led to take this kind man’s hand and pray some encouraging words over him. As I was finishing a woman appeared. She had an enchanting accent and a beautiful smile. Her name was Julia. She said, “Were you guys just praying here in the lounge? I love it!” she boomed and laughed and shared. I asked her if she was an author and sure enough she was. Julia Smethurst had just landed in KY all the way from England. It was so great to run into this native Californian at the book fair. Her table was one the cleverest I’ve seen. It was adorned with colorful knitted chicken hats for the little readers of her picture book called Finclucky from Kentucky. Here is a description.

Finclucky from Kentucky is the story of a chicken, his banjo, and a barnyard full of animal friends who form a band. Even the farmer, who is always working, joins in to enjoy the rhythm-and-blues played by Finclucky and his friends. Some folks say the blues were first played in the deep South, but those who read Finclucky will know the truth behind the music.”

 

Friday was a slow sales day for me, but Saturday was good. We sold over thirty books. I was thrilled that several ladies picked up my novels for their book club of the month and several invited me to come and meet with them. I also was invited to a radio show in Lexington and to a small locally owned book store for signings.

 

I want to thank my friend and mentor Dr. Jo Zausch. Jo was able to help me polish up my baby (Jade) in time for the fair. She also made the road trip to see me. I would also like to thank my friend and mentor Charlie Manning for breathing new life into Ellen cotton and other characters. And of course, I must thank my husband who supports my books and holds me up when I am ready to collapse, both physically and spiritually. All and all, I am blessed to have had this experience and hope I am invited again.

Blessings,

Tekoa manning

 

 

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Walter The Homeless Man- Reviews I Love

Most Recent Customer Reviews

I absolutely loved this book! Walter became a family member rather than just a character in a book!

Published 2 months ago by Pat

This book literally grabbed me in from the beginning and didn’t let go. I was constantly wondering will Walter get caught? How will he get caught? Read more

Published 2 months ago by Paige

Great story about life, death, struggles and survival. Learning to trust God in all circumstances He never leaves us and He always makes a way out. Read more

Published 12 months ago by Marty M

Uplifting story that has captivating turns of events and reminds you that you never truly know why someone acts the way they do or does the things they do, until you understand… Read more

Published 14 months ago by for the girls

Great book, easy read. The pages flew by. Many lessons taught here

Published 15 months ago by terri joiner

Walter The Homeless Man is a beautiful story, told from the heart. It’s definitely a story of compassion, forgiveness, and redemption!

Published 16 months ago by ppyluv

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