A Hallelujah Celebration-The New Generation Gap

Wednesday, October 31, 2012.

Several church members had arrived and were readying the fellowship hall for the Alternative to Halloween celebration. It was known as the “Hallelujah Celebration.” Several men were manning the barbecue pits just outside the fellowship hall where they were grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. Some ladies were in the kitchen of the fellowship hall baking cakes and cookies. One lady was preparing some homemade chili.

Several children were running around as their parents kept their eyes on them.

There was youth sitting around a table and playing with their tablets.

Young adults were sitting at another table with their laptops. There was a young married couple and another equally young engaged couple. Zachary held Tiffany’s hand and walked her over to the table of the young adults, introducing her to them. First, he looked at the young married couple and said “Anthony and Kandice,” paused, then looked at the engaged couple and continued, “Damian and Juniper, this is my girlfriend, Tiffany Taylor.”

“Well hello, Tiffany,” Kandice said, then continued, “Zachary is such a sweet guy and he has been praying for quite a while that God will send him someone to love. I’m sure he will make you very happy.”

“He definitely does make me happy.”

Anthony then asked, semi-jokingly “Are you sure you want to be with him?”

“Yes. I am wholeheartedly sure. I’ve never met anyone like him!” Tiffany replied with confidence.

“Y’all do make a very cute couple,” Juniper added in.

“Thank you!” Tiffany said as she blushed.

“Yes, now I know there is someone for everyone after all,” Damian concluded.

Anthony looked at Damian and said, “So, with that being said, when are you and Juniper going to tie the knot?”

“Really, Anthony?” Kandice said.

Juniper replied, “When we can find a minister who will perform the ceremony without making us sign a marriage license.”

“Y’all wrong for that!” Anthony remarked.

“Well, it’s none of your business anyway, Anthony! You think that because you screwed up your life, everyone else’s life should also be screwed up.”

Anthony replied, “I’m glad my life was messed up because it made me realize my need for Jesus. You obviously need Him as well, whether you like it or not.”

Tiffany became very uneasy and began to show a look of nervousness.

Zachary hugged her and whispered in her ear, “I apologize for what you just saw sweetheart. Sadly even in a wholesome church, there is the potential for conflict to still arise if we are not careful.”

Kandice added in, “Excuse my husband. He means well but he puts everything out the wrong way. I hope you would still want to come to our church.”

“Yes. I would.” Tiffany said, then continued, “I recently came to Christ and I need to be in church. So, since Zachary goes here and Pastor Timmy is so nice, I still want to come here.”

“What do you do for fun?” Kandice asked.

“I’m an aspiring artist,” Tiffany replied.

“Did you tell that to Pastor Timmy? He’s been looking for someone to paint some Biblical scenes around the church.”

“Yes. He said he would hire me to do it.”

“That’s awesome. I work in the nursery a lot and I cannot wait to see what you will paint for it.”

“You’re really nice, Kandice. I hope we can be friends.”

“Of course, we can. Would you like my phone number?”

“My phone is turned off at the moment and will be off indefinitely. I ran away from my abusive parents and my phone service is in their name.”

Zachary then said to Tiffany, “I intend to purchase a new phone for you this Friday. I had reconciled my budget and I have more than enough to get you a decent model and make your monthly payment as well.”

“How old are you, because if you’re not yet eighteen, you can get Zack in a lot of trouble.”

“I’m nineteen and will be twenty this April.”

“Where are you staying?” Kandice asked.

“With Zack, but I was told an older widow at the church might take me in, at least until Zack and I could marry.”

“Yes, that’s Mrs. Judy. She’s such a sweet lady.”

“Why can’t you stay with your parents?” Anthony asked.

“Because they beat me and they burn my paintings. One time my dad burned my paintings because they depicted a young couple on a picnic and so much in love.”

“If your paintings are anything like the stuff that Zack writes, I can’t say I blame him.”

Zachary grew irritated and asked, “What exactly is wrong with my writing?”

“You know exactly what is wrong with it and I refuse to discuss this at church.”

“Anthony, don’t start that drama again.” Kandice sharply barked.

Tiffany looked at Zachary and said, “Bae, your stories are beautiful. I know the message that you’re conveying through them and it is one of the reasons why I am falling for you so much! And just so you know, it’s not the only reason!”

“Thank you, sweetheart! What you said means the world, the moon, and the stars to me! Furthermore, you do remind me of the good female characters in the stories I write. That’s likely the reason why I was so captivated by you the moment we met. And just know that I am falling equally for you! “

“Y’all are so sweet!” Juniper added in.

Pastor Timmy then stood in front of everyone with a microphone in hand and began to speak, “I want to welcome everyone to our Hallelujah Celebration, especially Miss Tiffany Taylor. I am well pleased to announce that she has put her trust in Jesus Christ earlier today and she has now passed from death to life! We have some gifts for her. Everyone now please bow your heads and join me in prayer,” Everyone bowed and Pastor Timmy continued, “Dear Heavenly Father we ask that you bless tonight’s gathering and all the people here. We thank you for the time to fellowship with the Saints of God instead of doing what the world is doing at this very moment. We thank you for the food that we are about to eat and ask that you bless all who prepared it and bless it for the nourishment of our bodies for Your service and glory! In Jesus’ Name, we make these prayers to You. Amen and Thank You, Lord!” Pastor Timmy finally said, “Ladies and children eat first, then the men.”

Tiffany, then asked Kandice, “Can you come with me while I make my plate?”

Kandice replied, “Sure thing, Tiffany.”

They both stood in the food line.

Tiffany continued, “Thanks. I feel awkward serving myself because of the weight I struggle with.”

“I struggle with my weight too, but I know they won’t judge me in church.”

“My dad always made comments about my weight and it made me feel awful.”

“Well, in case you didn’t know, Zachary always liked bigger ladies. I know I am married, but I thought he was so sweet when he said how much he wanted to be with a bigger lady.”

“Why he never asked you then?”

“Because he respects my marriage, even though I’ll admit it’s not the best. But don’t worry it’s more than that. I’ve never seen him look at me or anyone else the way he looks at you. He’s crazy about you and he is really sweet, so I hope you only have good intentions with him.”

“Wow! I’m glad you told me that because I am just as crazy about him. He’s cute as can be. He’s sweet. And he’s very generous with his affections towards me. He just makes me so happy and I know I just met him, but I can’t wait to marry him!”

“That’s wonderful. I will pray for you and Zack because I believe y’all are meant to be!”

“Thank you, Kandice! You’re a true friend.”

“Don’t let my husband intimidate you. He gets so zealous at times, but he was once so worldly that he could never make Heaven, now he’s so heavenly-minded that he’s no earthly good.”

Kandice and Tiffany served their plates and then went to sit down. Juniper wasn’t far behind them.

Afterward, Zachary, Anthony, and, Damian all served themselves.

They all sat at the table and ate.

The children and youth later performed while everyone else watched.

After the Hallelujah Celebration, Pastor Timmy met with Zachary and Tiffany.

He spoke, “I’m sorry that I was so busy this evening will call Mrs. Judy tomorrow and see if she will be willing to take you in Tiffany but I am sure she will.” He then looked at Zachary and said, “It is admirable that you want to honor God with your relationship and as long as you continue, He will honor you as well.”

Zachary then said, “Can you please pray over us that we don’t give in to any temptations tonight? I know it is not God’s ideal, but it is better than her being with her parents.”

“Most certainly, let’s hold hands,” Pastor Timmy said, then continued, “Heavenly Father, we know it isn’t your ideal that Zachary and Tiffany are spending the night under the same roof tonight, but we ask that you give them the grace not to give in to their fleshly desires tonight. Please enable and compel them to present their members as living sacrifices and to forgo any sinful behavior between them tonight. Please bless their relationship and allow it to continue. We pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Pastor Timmy then hugged both of them and presented Tiffany with a gift basket.

“We will be here Sunday, Pastor Timmy!” Zachary said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing both of you,” Pastor Timmy replied.

Zachary and Tiffany then walked to the Cobalt. Zachary opened the passenger door for Tiffany, to which she kissed him and stepped in.

Zachary then entered on the driver’s side.

He started his engine, the prayed, “Dear Heavenly Father, please grant us safe as travels, and just as Pastor Timmy also petitioned you please give us the grace to not give in to our fleshly desires, to present our members as living sacrifices and to forgo any sinful behavior tonight. Please keep us together and compel us to treat each other with kindness loyalty fidelity and reverence. In Jesus’ Name, we pray, Amen!”

Zachary then drove home.

Tiffany said, “My body wants to snuggle with you all night long, but I don’t think it would be right.”

Zachary replied, “Then you take my bed and I’ll take my futon.”

“You’re such a gentleman Zack.”

“You’re making me blush.”

“I am tired, so I’ll go right to sleep. We did plenty today and I am a big girl.”

“That is probably an escape route to prevent us from sinning.”

“Wow. You’re probably right.”

Zachary and Tiffany pulled into the parking spot then Zachary stepped out and opened the passenger door for Tiffany. She kissed him then they walked up to his unit, locking the door behind them.

Zachary extended out the bedding portion of his futon then Tiffany walked to the bedroom.

“Can you at least tuck me in, bae?”

“Of course, sweetheart.”

Zachary and Tiffany stood by the bed as they exchanged several hugs and kisses. Then Tiffany climbed into the bed and Zachary planted, even more, kisses on her face.

She smiled up at Zachary and said, “I thank God for you, Zack.”

“Likewise, I thank God for you as well Tiffany. I pray that he keeps us together forever.”

“That is my prayer as well!”

They kissed once more and then Zachary retired to the futon in his living room.

Back to “The New Generation Gap”

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