The Princess

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
Tracy Lawry August, Flanders's princess among the cheerleaders, consents to going out on a date with him and to rider their ponies to her secret place that is like Heaven to her, They arrive. And it is a flowing creek under a countryside bridge. She says that Heaven is all about splashing around in the river of life in Heaven. He says that Heaven is all about seeing the Good Lord Jesus. She is lost. He is saved. And he tells her her need for the Saviour. And he leads her to salvation there at that bridge.

Submitted: February 26, 2019

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Submitted: February 26, 2019

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The Princess

(By Mr. Morgan P. McCarthy)

Her name was Tracy, and her beauty of visage exceeded even the beauty of her cheerleader uniform. Her name was Tracy August, and her features were of an august grandeur. Her name was Tracy Lawry August, and her name was as resonant as a Christmas carol from the hymnbook. There was a Christian man whose name was Flanders, and this man carried a torch in his heart for her. When he thought about her, he referred to her as “my Princess.” When he prayed for her, he was saying to God, “You’ve got to save her!” And when he saw her cheering at all the home football games, he could not believe that a girl could dress so excitingly. He was saved from his sins, and she was lost in her sins. He had the Saviour, and she did not. He was on the road to Heaven, and she was on the road to Hell. And ever in his life did this Flanders alone in his time with God romance this cheerleader girl’s soul with intercessions and short-story writing and hymn-tape listening and daydreams about herself getting saved like himself. But he had never asked her out for a date. And now it was the next year, and Miss August was no longer a high school cheerleader. And in this year after, she was nineteen

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years old; and he, thirty-four years old. He had watched her cheer for three years in those especial days. And he had an ode he did dedicate to her in ardor, and it was this: “Tracy L. August; class of 1995; De Pere High School; varsity football cheerleader.”

How did Flanders discover his Princess? It was September 1992. Flanders wanted to go and see the cheerleaders again just as he had in his old days before Christ. The Holy Spirit did not say, “Nay,” to him. All of his life, cheerleaders were his favorite class of women; their outfits were the most attractive of all outfits that women wore. (In his days before Christ, this same Flanders had “the day of his life” when he, at twenty-nine years old, had gone trick-or-treating, dressed in a cheerleader uniform he had ordered just for himself and Halloween not too many years ago.) He stood there before

the game started; behind him was a span of cement and the bleachers; before him was a three-and-one-half-foot tall chain link fence and a running track and the football field. The cheerleaders in maroon and white and some blue were all right there on the track just on the other side of this low fence. Delight of delights! This was going to be fun! A whole group of princesses! This evening was kind of cool right now. And many of the cheerleaders were putting fall jackets on over their cheerleader sweaters. Bad! Bad! He could not see the cheerleader sweaters that way. Behold, a tall and slender cheerleader standing there who did not compromise her uniform with a jacket to stay warm. She kind of had a pretty face about her. And she had a kind of silly grin about her teeth. And her glasses were kind of too big for her head. And her brown hair was kind of too short. But by the time he left to go back home, this goofy-looking girl was to him “the pretty cheerleader.” And not long later, the Christian man Flanders daydreamed about inviting this pretty cheerleader over for cocoa and fellowship. He didn’t of course, their ages so far apart as they were. This was Tracy in tenth grade.

But a marvelous thing was going to happen to this pretty and goofy girl. She was soon going to become a young woman, and she was going to transcend merely “pretty” in her pulchritude. And Flanders found out in the De Pere Memorial Day Parade between Tracy’s sophomore year and junior

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year in high school. This parade went down North Broadway Street right in front of the front door that

led up to his home. And of course, his only reason to see parades was to see the cheerleaders. Cheerleaders in this De Pere parade came three months after the basketball cheerleaders in the gymnasiums and three months before the football cheerleaders at the football fields. So, this parade was like a halfway point for him in his diversion. And the De Pere High cheerleaders came. Their uniforms were different now. The skirts with box pleats were now new styles of skirts with knife pleats. And cheerleader vests replaced cheerleader sweaters. And the uniforms were now all maroon throughout. But the girls were still dressed as princesses. Whoa! Was that Tracy there in this new outfit! Her brown hair was now long. Her glasses were the prettiest glasses in Wisconsin. Her face was now quite august, abounding in stately dignity. This older girl had now blossomed into a younger woman. Tracy had now officially become “the Princess.” And, in a highlight to this magical day for Flanders, when he stood there in front of his home after the parade was done, this same Tracy ran by in the other direction from the parade’s direction, going right past him where he stood. Behold a cheerleader running! What a gal!

Then came her junior year as a Redbird football cheerleader, his second year as her secret admirer. In ardor for her soul and knowing how eternal that all souls are, this man dared to attempt to witness to her. This was the first cheerleader that he had ever given a salvation tract to. And this was to be the most exciting that witnessing ever got for him. And he would soon after call that special little booklet, “the most important tract I have ever given out.” (Despite these three premises, she had not gotten saved that day; but this was his “day of days” with the cheerleader girl.) Still unsure in his witnessing life at that time, he began his work for God this day by calling out to her from behind this little fence before the game by saying, “Tracy, I wonder if I could bother you for a moment.” Fie, fie,

young Flanders, telling a lost soul about the Saviour should never be referred to as ”bothering” her.

At least she came up to the little fence to see what he had to tell her. Her pretty face regarded his face,

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and his face regarded her pretty face. His tongue spoke to her listening ears. And her tongue spoke to his listening ears. Her five feet eight inches stood right across the fence to his five feet eight inches.

And he and his Princess talked for their very first time. He gave her two little booklets—the two little booklets that he and Pastor always gave out on Thursday Evening Visitation when they went out knocking on doors. One was a salvation tract that read on the cover, “What shall I do to inherit Eternal Life?” which had a picture of a sunset on a sea. And the other was a little church invitation to Flanders’s Blessed Hope Baptist Church with the words, “You Are Invited,” on the cover. This Princess gave forth a sense of not being impressed, of not being concerned over her soul, of a certain aloofness, of borderline rudeness, to this stranger Flanders. She was not excited over Jesus as he was.

She was lost before she accepted these two booklets, and she was still lost after she accepted these two booklets. As one could tell, she rejected the Saviour, never went to Flanders’s little church, and never saw Flanders coming up to her at the game to speak to her again. This was Miss Tracy August in eleventh grade. And Flanders was there, looking at her throughout the rest of football season faithfully.

Then Tracy became a senior. And she changed her looks once again—yet again into something beautiful. Her long brown hair was now straight with bangs. And she no longer wore glasses. And her

eyes were now the prettiest eyes in Wisconsin. And it was Parents’ Night that one evening for the parents of the football players and of the cheerleaders. The cheerleaders were each given a red rose.

Miss August was given a red rose. Now the man Flanders never cared about flowers. And roses were to him just another flower. He never got excited about roses. Until he saw the rose that Tracy held in both hands! The red rose matched the maroon cheerleader’s apparel that covered his Princess. This was one exciting rose! It was Tracy’s rose. The rose in her hands, this Tracy L. August walked up the steps of the bleachers that Flanders was sitting in. She went past him, and their eyes met; she did not recognize him, of course, but he would never forget her. Nor would he give up on his most fervent and effectual prayers for the salvation of her lost soul. And Miss August graduated from De Pere High

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School. Twelfth grade came and went for her. And her high school cheer-leading life was over for him. And the spell and the enchantment of Braisher Field left Flanders Nickels. None of the other princesses were like unto his Princess. Tracy was no longer there.

And here it was, the first year after. The year was 1996. And this month was August. And this special girl was here with him, both of them riding ponies. He had dared finally to call up this Tracy and to ask her out on a date—despite her dad there at home with her, a man with a temper and with lots of guns in the house. The words that Flanders first spoke to her on the phone—this second time he dared to address her—were much bolder in the Lord than were the words he had first spoken to her at the low fence—that very first time he had addressed her. What he had said to the woman this time on the telephone was, “Tracy, if you were to die today, where would you go?” That most thought-provoking question was what Christians called “the eternal question.” Soul-winners who went door-to-door, spreading the good news of the Gospel, like Flanders Nickels, always asked such a question to those who answered the door. And when Flanders, mighty in the Lord, asked this to his Princess on the

phone, it was she who asked him out on a date with her. Her reply to his query was, “Could we talk about it on a date, Flanders?”

And here they both were together, she riding her pony, a stallion named “Neigh”; and he riding his pony, a mare named “Whinny.” They were going to a special place that she knew about in the country somewhat north and west of their De Pere, maybe twenty miles or more away. She said that it was in the town of Kunesh in the township of Pittsfield all by itself in the countryside. “What’s there when we get there, O Tracy?” he asked.

“It is my place that makes me think all about Heaven, Flanders,” she confided to him in all manner of trust and openness and humbleness this time. Though he was thirty-four years old, and she was fifteen years younger than he, she, being nineteen-years-old, now. did not seem to make too big an age difference for a date to talk about the Saviour with.

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Flanders adored how she was dressed for him on their first date this day. His Princess was dressed in a cheerleader uniform he had never seen on her before. Covering her torso was both an inner long-sleeved white cotton shirt with a collar and an outer deep maroon sleeveless sweater vest with a V-neck; covering her loins was a deep maroon cheerleader skirt with six box pleats with glistening white pleats between; and covering her shins were deep red knee socks with a wide white stripe near the top; and covering her feet were maroon saddle shoes. “Where did you get that?” he asked her about this most fascinating of cheerleader outfits.

With an understanding of him on their first get-together like unto having dated many times already, she replied, “You might have seen this outfit before sometime, Flanders. Guess.”

He guessed, “Is it the cheerleader outfit of the Green Bay East Red Devils?”

“Guess again,” she said.

He guessed again, “Is it the cheerleader uniform of the Pulaski Red Raiders?”

“Those are red; this one’s maroon,” she said. “Guess again, Flanders.”

“Are you a college cheerleader now, Tracy?” he asked.

“I’m not going to college,” she said. “Try to guess again.”

“Are you a technical school cheerleader?” he asked.

“I don’t go to technical school,” she said. “Do they have cheerleaders at technical schools?’

“I don’t know,” he said.

“One last guess,” she said.

“What’s in it for me, if I guess right this time, Princess?” he flirted.

She flirted back, “You get to put this on and wear it!”

“Yes! Yes!” he said. “My guess is that it was your De Pere Middle School cheerleader uniform some time ago, Tracy. Am I right? Am I right?”

“I guess I have to keep this on,” she said.

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“Am I wrong? Am I wrong?” he asked.

“The correct answer is, Flanders Nickels, that this one I have on now was the old De Pere High varsity football cheerleader’s outfit from before my days in high school,” she told all.

“Where did you get it, Tracy?” he asked.

“First tell me that you like it,” she said.

“I love it,” he said.

“I got it in the gym that day that my high school had a special day for selling old-time Redbird sports uniforms and old-time Redbird cheerleader uniforms there,” she said.

“Love that skirt,” Flanders whispered in his pony Whinny’s ear.

“Thank you,” the Princess said in gratitude.

“You heard that,” he said to Tracy.

“He heard that,” Tracy whispered in her pony Neigh’s ear. Whinny whinnied; Neigh neighed. Boyfriend and girlfriend snickered wily. And they continued their journey to “her place like Heaven.”

After a while, they turned north from one country road onto another country road. “We are almost there now, Flanders,” she said.

“The sign said that this road is called ‘Brookside Drive,’” he said.

“Uh huh, Flanders,” said the Princess. Soon they came upon a little countryside bridge. “See this bridge?” she asked. He nodded. She said,”This bridge is not my place. It is all dry rocks underneath at this time of the year. Only in the Spring thaw does water flow by underneath. This is the first bridge on this road.” They continued side-by-side down this brave new road. Then they came upon another little countryside bridge. “See this bridge, Flanders?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said. “This is the second bridge on this road.”

“Well, Flanders, this bridge is my place. A paradisaical little creek of flowing waters flows by underneath this bridge,” she confided.

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“We are there??” he asked.

“Better put, boyfriend, ‘We are here,’” she said, dismounting her he-pony.

He dismounted his she-pony, and both stood before the little cement wall of this bridge and looked down upon the rustic creek below. “This bridge makes you think about Heaven,” he said in incomprehension and in great fascination.”

“Down there makes me think about Heaven, Flanders,” said Tracy August. “Being down there in the creek is like being Up There in Heaven.”

Feeling with her and discovering her wonder to be his wonder about this place, he walked and looked about this bridge. He saw those two signs on either side of the bridge—those rectangular little signs that had alternating black and yellow diagonal stripes running down them. He saw two man-made low cement walls on both sides of the bridge. And both sides of this road had steep and deep slopes down to the flowing waters that Tracy loved for some reason.

In delight of delights, the Princess put her arms akimbo, kicked up her right leg, and cheered a cheer before him, “Dooby-dooby-dooby-do! Uh oh uh oh! Uh oh uh oh!” Her arms still akimbo, she kicked up her left leg and cheered the cheer again before him, “Dooby-dooby-dooby-do! Uh oh uh oh! Uh oh uh oh!” Then she said, “Follow me!” and she scampered down unto the pastoral little creek below. And she without hesitation stepped into this creek to the top of her knee socks without regard for the dryness of her cheerleader’s outfit upon her. “Come in,” she said. He carefully descended this slope, stood before the edge of the creek, and stepped into it up to his knees in his blue jeans. “The water’s warm,” she said.

“This is fun, Tracy,” he admitted.

“This little creek is called ‘the Suamico River,’ Flanders,” she said. “I found that out one day when I was looking over Mom’s quadrangle maps of this area.”

“I think it should be called ‘the Suamico Creek,’ Tracy,” said Flanders.

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“Yeah. I know,” she said. “But it’s not.” She then stepped out onto the cement floor underneath the bridge. Here the water was only to her ankles. And the ceiling of this bridge, just beneath this road above, was higher than the cheerleader’s head. The width of this passage beneath was broader than it was high. And the cheerleader’s words echoed in this passageway of concrete and water, “Watch a grown woman have fun like a little girl, Flanders!” And the Princess began to prance in cheerleader dance out to the other side and then back to this side.

“I can see, Tracy, how this can make a person think about Heaven,” he said. He then said, “Let me show you how a football player can have fun down here under this road.” And he made like a running back with his penny loafers in this ankle-deep waters under this bridge to the other side and back, purposefully stamping his feet hard upon the waters as he did so.

“You got your pants all wet, splashing around like that,” she teased him.

“And you your skirt, having skipped and hopped about as you did, Tracy,” he replied.

She quickly looked down upon her cheerleader skirt, and began to lift her pleats between her thumb and index finger in scrutiny. “Yep! That I did,” she said. And she spun in a pirouette and laughed merrily. Then she said, “You said that this makes me think about Heaven. But I think that a better way to put that from my understanding is that this is what will be in Heaven for me.”

Himself, with a certain chemistry in his new romance like unto the chemistry of many years with this girl, he went on to say, “You want to splash around in all the creeks in Heaven, don’t you, girl?”

“Oh yes, Flanders,” his Princess shared the divine dreams of her heart. “And not just all the creeks in Heaven, but also all the rivers in Heaven and all the lakes in Heaven and all the ponds in Heaven and all the seas in Heaven. I want to wade down them all Up There. I want to frolic in them all Up There. I want to float down them all Up There. I want to share them all with a boyfriend Up

There. I want to be in all of them forever Up There, O Flanders Nickels.”

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“Heaven has most celestial waters,” he said in daydreaming about what awaited him as a born-again believer after what she just told him.

“It’s in the Bible, Flanders,” she said.

“It is?” he asked, curious.

“It really is,” she said. “I saw it. I read it. I believe it.”

“Do you remember where you saw that, Tracy?”

“It talks about a certain ‘River Of Life’ Up There,” she said. “My best friend Jenny is a Christian just like you. And it was she who showed me this verse. I even went ahead and memorized it, but I do not remember what the reference is. Can I try to recite it for you?”

“I want to hear it,” he said, most eager.

And Tracy L. August spoke the only Scripture she had ever seen: “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Then she said, “There it is, Flanders. I got it right. What do you think?”

“Ah, Tracy. Revelation 22:1. I know that one, too. I remember now,” he said.

“Isn’t it real neat, Flanders?” asked his Princess. “I can’t wait until I get There. I’ll have come here as many times as I can until I get to wade down the River of Life for real There.”

“I’d like to be there with you—in our own little spree in the River of Life,” he told her in reverie.

Then Tracy August said, “We cheerleaders get to go to Heaven, too, just like you born-again Christians get to do.”

And suddenly all dreams were emptied out of Flanders’s heart for her. He suddenly remembered that this cheerleader of cheerleaders was not a born-again Christian like himself. And he almost choked on unspoken words this moment. He knew from the Holy Bible that only born-again believers came home to Heaven. All who were not born again came home to Hell in their time. His

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dear Tracy was lost in her sins and going to Hell. God had brought them together this day that he tell her about the Saviour of the world. He must tell her about the Saviour of the world. And he knew what

he must tell her now. “Tracy,” he began to witness to her now.

“Yes, Flanders?” she asked.

“Cheerleaders do get to go to Heaven, but they must be born again cheerleaders,” he testified.

“A cheerleader who is one of them believers?” she asked. “Is there such a thing?”

“I would think so,” he said.

“I never want to become one of them,” said the Princess.

“Then you will go to Hell,” he said in great gravity.

Tracy pouted. Then she said, “That’s not a nice thing to say to a woman.”

Sorry, but in praise of God, he said to her, “There is no nice way to tell a pretty girl that she is going to Hell, Tracy.”

“You talk like it is the truth, Flanders,” said Miss August.

“It is the truth, Tracy,” he said.

Offended, but a little unsure, she said, “Prove it to me, Flanders.”

And he said, “In your talk about Heaven, you mention waters to splash around in, but you do not mention any thing about Jesus There, Tracy. Do you think that the Lord is not There?”

“Oh, Jesus is There. And I suppose the Lord is There, too, But Jesus and the Lord are not the same—either There or anywhere,” she said.

“Now who told you such things?” he asked, incredulous.

“It’s just what I believe, Flanders,” she said. “I believe that Jesus is not God. Jesus is, to me, the world’s greatest Christian. But mankind has made Him now two thousand years later much greater than He really is. Humankind has elevated Him into this Deity, Flanders. Jesus does not want that. Jesus has never wanted that. And right now, as I speak, this Good Man is wringing His hands in

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Heaven Above in great consternation and in utter regret at what all people everywhere have made Him out to be. He sorrows in eternal vexations for inadvertently having become the great Impostor.”

“Tracy, no man and no woman can get to Heaven without believing that Jesus Christ is Lord and God,” preached Flanders sound doctrine.

“Okay, Flanders, if the real Heaven is not all about my future in the River of Life, then what is the real Heaven all about?” challenged the Princess.

“The real Heaven is all about always seeing the Lord Jesus’s face, O Tracy,” he said in his wisdom as a Christian.

“Okay, then...What did Jesus do for me that I would want to look into His face, Flanders?” she

asked.

“Why, He died for your sins, Tracy,” he said right out. “The nail prints in His hands and in His feet will always be there upon His Person in Heaven for eternity to come as proof of His perfect love for you and for me.”

“Go ahead and tell me about it. I heard lots of this from my friend Jenny,” said Miss August

on the offensive.

He told her, “It all happened on the old rugged cross of Calvary, Tracy. My precious Saviour willingly allowed wicked men to nail him to the cross with spikes. My precious Saviour willingly shed

His blood and suffered like no other man suffered because of you and because of me. And my precious Saviour willingly laid down His life so that we could go to Heaven instead of have to go to Hell.”

Slyly, Tracy said, “Jenny said that God is a Trinity—Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Is that true?”

“Yes, that is true, Tracy,” said Flanders.

“And Jenny also tried to tell me that this same Jesus—the Son in this Trinity—is also called ‘the only begotten Son of God.’ What do you make of that, Flanders?” said the Princess, hoping to set her

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boyfriend up in his words.

“The only begotten of the Father,” he proclaimed.

“Just as all believers like you and Jenny go around saying,” said Miss August. “Well let me tell you the mistake in believing all that about your old rugged cross, Flanders. What I always think about that is this: ‘Why would God give up His only begotten Son like that for mankind, for one species of many species of one planet of many planets of one galaxy of many galaxies?’ What do you say to that argument, Flanders?”

With a ready answer. Flanders Nickels replied, “I would say to all unbelievers who ask such questions, ‘The truth hurts, doesn’t it?’” So steadfast was Flanders in his most succinct rebuttal that proud Tracy August was at a loss for words. She herself did not know of any life in outer space; maybe

outer space was just for the glory of God. And she did remember how her best friend Jenny always told her what the difference was between people kind and animal kind among Earth’s species—that only man was created in the image of God. Jenny often said, “Remember, Tracy, we two have souls;

animals and plants have no souls.”

Stubborn and proud, the Princess said, “But don’t you think it arrogant of you Christians to go around and tell everybody that Jesus died for you Christians?”

“Nay, O Tracy,” he said with another ready answer. “Jesus did not die only for Christians. He died for all the people of all this world. And when we born again believers think upon the great sacrifice that God did make on the cross, it fills us not with pride, but rather with most penitential humbleness. It is us who should have died, but God died for us in our place. That makes for most sincere humility before God Most High.”

“Oh,” said Tracy August one word.

“He is Lord,” proclaimed Flanders Jesus Christ.

The cheerleader was silent for a while, then said, “I do not think that I like to hear that quite yet,

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Flanders Nickels.”

“You are not yet convicted,” said Flanders. “You are yet still offended, instead.”

“Are you talking about my attitude toward Christ?” the cheerleader asked.

He nodded and said, “If you were convicted by God’s Word, you would be turned upside-down with the truth of Jesus, and you would change your mind about Him, and you would ask Him for salvation. But, seeing that you are offended, instead, by God’s Word, you are turned upside-down with the truth of Jesus, and you have become angry and rebellious against Him, and you refuse to ask Him for salvation. God wants to convict you of your need for the Saviour, but Satan wants you to be offended at your need for the Saviour. God does things for good; Satan does things for evil, Tracy.”

Not knowing what else to say in this interim of hurt feelings, Miss August said to him, “You make quite a preacher, Mr. Nickels.”

“I may be stepping on your toes, Tracy, but I am reaching for your heart,” he did say.

“All right,” she said. Then she said to him, “Would you preach to me some more then?”

“I have just the Bible passage that I can answer your questions about this offense at the Good Lord Jesus,” said Flanders.

“I am offended, you know,” said the Princess.

He recited Scripture of a four-verse passage to her, “Pretty Tracy, it is written, ‘Wherefore also is is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:’ I Peter 2:6-9.”

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Tracy understood this Bible verse passage, and she summed it up from her heart its nine main words: “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”

And he preached the essence of these nine words spoken by his cheerleader, “Which Christ the Saviour is in the eyes of the lost.”

“Yeah,” confessed his cheerleader. “That’s I.” She went on to tell more of how unsaved people felt toward this Christ Jesus, “He kind of bothers me inside, and yet He bores me just to think about Him, also.”

“Disturbing and not exciting both at once,” summed up Flanders Nickels, remembering his life before Christ long ago.

“Stone of stumbling...rock of offense…,” repeated Tracy L. August. “Maybe all my ideas about

this Saviour God are instead wrong, Flanders.”

In great personal exhortation, Flanders said, “Tracy, Tracy...your offense at Jesus...it is not worth going to Hell for.”

“All my life I always said, ‘Jesus is not God.’ Now I am beginning to think that maybe Jesus is God,” confessed Miss August.

“Would you allow me to show you scripture that says that here at the bridge and the creek and the shade trees, O Tracy?” asked Flanders.

“Do you know some such verses to show me, Flanders?” asked his Princess sweetly and sincerely.

“Ooo, Tracy, I know lots of such verses that say that, and I would love to show them all to you.”

he said.

“Ah, show them all to me, handsome Flanders,” agreed pretty Tracy, avid now for the Word of God from her boyfriend.

“Let us come now out of this creek and find a dry place to sit down together, and we can talk,”

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said Flanders.

“Where would you like us to sit, Flanders?” asked his Princess.

“How about up there on our bridge, Tracy?” he asked.

“Our bridge and not my bridge?” asked Miss August, flattered.

“I think that I have fallen in love with this creek as you have, Tracy,” he said.

“Our creek and not my creek, boyfriend?” she asked in affection.

“Our creek, Tracy,” he declared.

“I love you, boyfriend,” said the Princess. And he went back up by the ponies, and she followed him. The Princess said to her pony, “I think he loves me, Neigh.”

And Flanders said to his pony, “She said that she loves me, Whinny.” Then he sat down upon the low cement wall of this bridge, his feet and legs dangling over the edge toward the flowing creek seven feet below. He beckoned her to join him at his side with a couple pats of his hand upon the top of this wall here. And she likewise sat down beside him upon this bridge above the rural creek below.

“The deity of Christ, Tracy,” he began, and he pulled out two little red books out of his shirt pockets. The one was bigger than the other, and he said “I have a pocket New Testament here and a pocket Old Testament here. They are King James Version Bibles. The K.J.V.--and Christ—are both called ‘the Word of God.’” And he searched the Scriptures for the verses which he would read and show to the cheerleader gal. And he began, “’For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6.”

“This is the famous Christmas verse, Flanders,” said Tracy. “This tells of the baby Jesus born in Bethlehem. And it says that His name shall be called ‘The mighty God.’”

“It does. It does,”said Flanders. And he continued with two more Christmas verses—one from the Old Testament and the other from the New Testament: “’Therefore the Lord himself shall give you

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a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.’ Isaiah 7:14.

And again, ‘Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.’ Matthew 1:23.”

The Princess said, “Why, His very name is defined ‘God with us.’” She knew that she was talking about this same baby Jesus.

Flanders continued his work for God upon her, this time with two verses very near each other: “’But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.’ Hebrews 1:8. And also, ‘And Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:’ Hebrews 1:10.”

Tracy August said, “These two verses are both about the Son, and He is Christ. And, lo, in one verse, this Christ is called ‘God,’ and in the other verse, this Christ is called, ‘Lord,’” She pondered in secret whether maybe the Son of God were also God the Son as well.

Flanders Nickels continued his work for her soul: Searching the Scriptures he found that three-verse passage he knew all about: “’For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ Acts 2:34-36.”

Tracy repeated, “The Lord said unto my Lord,” and “God hath made that same Jesus...Lord...”

“What do you think that the Bible is saying here, Tracy?” he challenged her.

And she answered wisely, “It looks like in the first one, God the Father is speaking to God the Son, both referred to as ‘Lord.’ And I can see that in the second one, it says that God the Father declares Jesus to be ‘Lord.’”

“Does God lie, Tracy?” he asked.

“God cannot lie, Flanders,” said Tracy.

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“Does the Holy Bible lie, Tracy?” he asked her.

“No, Flanders,” said the comely cheerleader. “The Holy Bible cannot lie.”

The man Flanders continued opening up the Scriptures to this girl now searching for truth: “’Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:’ Philippians 2:6, Tracy. This verse, too, is talking about Christ Jesus.”

And the Princess went on to say, “Who else can be equal with God unless He already is God, Flanders?”

“Amen, woman. You are not far from so great salvation this day,” he said.

“That’s a good thing, isn’t it, Flanders?” she asked.

“It is the most good thing you could have, Tracy,” he did say. He resumed his Bible verses with her, “’And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father..’ Philippians 2:11.”

“Why, this time everybody will be saying that this Jesus is Lord,” said the Princess.

“Indeed, Tracy Lawry August, just as you are getting saved you must say that this Jesus is Lord, and for the rest of your saved life on Earth you will be saying that Jesus is Lord, and for eternity in Heaven, you shall be worshiping and saying that Jesus is Lord.”

“Then all of that must be true, Flanders,” said Miss August.

“He is absolute truth incarnate,” said Flanders Nickels.

“But yet, Flanders,” interjected the cheerleader in maroon and white, “in all of these verses I see

everybody say that this Saviour Jesus is God—everybody, that is, except the Saviour Jesus. I do not see Jesus in any of these verses say that He Himself is God in His own Words. If you can show me a Bible verse where this Christ says, ‘I am God,’ then I will become a believer to. If there is no such verse, I will doubt you.” He paused. He hesitated. He wavered. “I’ve got you, don’t I?” said his Princess thinking to have a victory in this sudden turnabout in her heart this while atop this bridge wall.

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He looked out across this creek deep out into the woods. She had him. He knew of no verse right now where Christ Himself said, “I am God.” He grew red with embarrassment. He thought to have lots of answers from God with his Bible knowledge to rescue his damsel in distress from her sins. He began to turn pages about throughout his Holy Bible with no where to go and with nothing to find. A long and awkward while passed thus; then he shut his K.J.V. Bible, himself feeling unworthy of it. And he

looked back out toward the creek deep into the woods. And the Holy Spirit began to put God’s thoughts into his heart. Maybe his Bible knowledge may not yet have all the answers. But the God Who wrote his Bible had all the answers. He knew that he spared not to read his Bible daily. And he knew that he spared not to pray nightly. If he were not able to answer this one last question put forth by his Princess with his Bible alone, then surely he must pray now and ask the Holy Spirit Himself to answer this one last question put forth by his Princess. And he dutifully gave forth now a spontaneous

verbal prayer, saying now to God, “Show me the answer to my cherished cheerleader’s question somewhere in my Bible if it truly be there, O Lord.” Acting on faith, the born-again Christian held his King James Version Bible closed before him and God, put his hands to both front and back covers, and opened it to where the Holy Spirit had him to read. His eyes first landed up a short little verse of red letters. Red letters were words that Jesus spoke for real in the days when He walked this Earth throughout the Holy Land. These six words in red did read the following: “I and my Father are one.”

Praise Thee for answering my prayer, O Good Lord Jesus!” he prayed another spontaneous prayer up to Heaven.

He showed his precious Miss Tracy August this verse, and she read this verse out loud before him and before God, “I and my Father are one.” This was John 10:30.

He then said with bated breath, “Tracy, do you now believe?”

And she said with a taking of a breath, “Flanders, I now believe. Jesus is the Lord God Himself.”

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Then Flanders Nickels asked a most gilded question, “Tracy, would you like to get saved now?”

And his Tracy answered with a most gilded reply, “Flanders, I would like to get saved now.”

It was time now to lead his Princess down the Romans’ Road of salvation verses and to preach so great salvation in Christ to her from these eight verses of the book of Romans. Among verses whose

words and references he had memorized and mastered in his many years of love for the Scriptures, these verses he would share with her now he knew best of all. Instead of showing these Bible verses to her and reading them to her at the same time, he chose instead to recite them to her by erudite memory

and to have his two pocket Testaments back in his two shirt pockets. And this he did. And thus he began, her lost soul now ripe for so needful salvation:

“Tracy, it is written in Romans 3:23, ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;’

What that says is that all of us human beings have committed sins in our lives. Our God, Whose chief attribute of deity is holiness, hates sin more than He hates anything else. Sin, by definition, is ‘missing the mark.’ If a person commits three sins a day throughout seventy years of life, that person will have done well over seventy thousand sins before he dies. And yet sin is so bad in the eyes of our holy Maker that even if that same person committed only one sin in his whole seventy years of life, he

must still go to Hell and never get to Heaven—to pay for just that one sin. And we human beings are slaves to sin.”

Next he said, “And, Tracy, it is written in Romans 5:8, ‘But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ This tells us that God loves all of us dirty rotten sinners so much that He sent His Son to die for us. He did this for us even when we were all

ugly and stinky and loud with our sins. Christ did not wait for us to clean up our lives, before He died for us. Christ had come to seek and to save those that were lost in their sins. The Perfect God died for

us imperfect people. The sinless One died for us sinners. The Creator died for his creation. He did this for all mankind and womankind and children-kind. This perfect love which only God has is

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called ‘agape love.’”

Next he said, “In Romans 5:9 it is written, ‘Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.’ When a believer says, ‘Jesus saves,’ he is also saying, ‘Jesus’s blood saves.’ This is called ‘the blood atonement.’ His blood, being the blood of God, was the perfect blood of the only Man on Earth Who never sinned. He gave His body to a crown of thorns on His head and to a cat-of-nine-tails across His front and His back and to spikes through His hands and to

spikes through His feet and to a spear into His side. He shed a fountain of blood so that we can be saved from wrath—that is, so that we can be saved from Hell. And ‘being justified by His blood,’ the word ‘justified’ herein means ‘just as if we never sinned.’ Jesus ‘took away’ my sins the moment I turned to the cross for my own salvation. He can do the same for you, if you ask Him to, Tracy.”

Next he said, “Further, it is written in Romans 5:12, ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:’ That tells us why we all die—we die because we sin and because there is sin in the world. Adam and Eve, the father and mother of out human race, committed this creation’s first sin. God said to them, ‘Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.’ But both of them went ahead and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This sin brought seeds of decay upon their bodies, and they began to age,

and in time to come they passed away. And our first human ancestors’ sin nature has been passed down

throughout the generations since upon all people everywhere. And though you and I sin by nature, you and I also sin by choice. And sin is always our own fault. Thus you and I must someday die, Tracy, because of that. That is the worst part of the curse upon nature brought on by the fall of man that day back in that Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.”

Next he said, “But it is written in Romans 6:23, though, ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ Take note, O Tracy, that this death is not just ‘the first death,’ the kind that funerals are about. This death here is also ‘the second death,’ which is

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eternity in the lake of fire. God saw fallen mankind and wanted to redeem him from damnation and bondage to sin. This is why Jesus came. God sacrificed the Lord Jesus on the cross as a love-gift to his creation. When Jesus hung there, dying, He declared, ‘It is finished.’ And He died. Thus His work of salvation was done. Going to Heaven was now freely offered to all who would ask for it. None of humankind needed now to have to go to Hell.”

Next he said, “And now, Tracy, it is truly written in Romans 10:9, ‘That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.’ The eternal truth in the Scriptures is that Christ died for your sins and rose again the third day, Tracy. This is called ‘the Gospel.’ What this verse here says is to take this Gospel that you know about in your head and move it down one foot into your feeling heart. If you do this and pray for it, then you will be saved. That’s how easy it is. The devil wants to make this easy thing a hard thing.”

Next he went on to say, “In the next verse, in Romans 10:10, it is written duly, ‘For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’ Again,

to get saved, only believe and only pray. How can a young woman move this Gospel down from her

head to her heart? Think upon how Christ died for you if you were the only person in all the world.

Or think upon how Christ died for you if you were the only sinner in all the world. Or think upon how Christ died for you if you were the only one with an eternal soul in all the world. So would He suffer the cross in deed and in truth for you were any of these premises so, Tracy.”

Last, he finished up his preaching on the Romans’ Road to his Princess by declaring, “And in the last verse, it is written therein in Romans 10:13, ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”

Tracy L. August spoke up now and said, “I believe. I believe.”

“I rejoice in great joy to hear that, O Princess,” said Flanders Nickels.

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“And now I want to pray and get saved,” said Tracy L. August.

“This is the happiest day of my life since I myself found Christ,” said Flanders.

“What does a cheerleader say to God in a time like this?” she asked, not quite sure of the right words to say to God yet to become born again.

“I shall guide you,” he said in compassion and in ardor.

“You mean that you will say the words that I need to pray right now, and that I say those same words right after you in my prayer, Flanders?” asked his Princess.

“Yes. Line by line. I shall lead you through the prayer that will get you saved from your sins.”

he said.

“Yes!” she said most eagerly.

“Let us pray together, Tracy,” he said. The cheerleader saw her mentor put both of his palms upon this cement wall on both sides of himself and close his eyes and bow his head. This cheerleader went ahead and did likewise. And he began to lead Tracy August to salvation now upon the top of this bridge far above the flowing creek beneath.

Flanders said, “Dear God in Heaven, Father among the Trinity:”

Miss August said, “Dear God in Heaven, Father among the Trinity:”

He said, “Your cheerleader here is a dirty rotten sinner.”

Tracy said in humility, “Your cheerleader here is a dirty rotten sinner.” Her head began to feel a little peculiar way up here like this with her eyes shut.

He said, “I am sorry for all of those things that I have done in my life that were bad.”

She said, “I am sorry for all of those things that I have done in my life that were bad.” Up here high above the creek and her eyes steadfastly closed, Miss August felt as if her still head were instead moving slowly upon her neck.

He said, “I ask for Your forgiveness for all of my sins.”

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She said, “I ask for Your forgiveness for all of my sins.” Up here like this, honoring prayer with bowed head and closed eyes, Tracy began to feel the darkness in her head become more dense. Was she becoming just a little dizzy?

He said, “I confess that I was wrong when I said that Jesus in Heaven was an impostor.”

She said, “I confess that I was wrong when I said that Jesus in Heaven was an impostor.” Suddenly her head jerked up with a sudden motion. She would not open her eyes from prayer. She brought her head back down in this prayer.

He said “I now confess that Jesus in Heaven is the Lord upon His throne.”

She said, “I now confess that Jesus in Heaven is the Lord upon His throne.” In these distractions in her head way above the flowing creek, the girl thought that this dizzy sensation were real and not make-believe.

He said, “Christ really is God.”

She said, “Christ really is God.” Her dizzy spell was no longer subtle inside her head.

He said, “Your Son died on the cross of Calvary for me.”

She said, “Your Son died on the cross of Calvary for me.” Inside her dark head, this strange dizzy fit began to feel pretty good for her.

He said, “And Your Son rose again the third day.”

She said, “And Your Son rose again the third day.” At this time the cheerleader’s consciousness

was being overcome with this pleasant dizziness. Tracy remembered how fun it had been for her as a little girl to make forward somersaults and backward somersaults and to get dizzy in doing so. It was getting like that now as she sat.

He said, “Come into my heart.”

She said, “Come into my heart.” Her head of prayer began to roll about upon her shoulders.

He said, “Live within me.”

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She said, “Live within me.” Her awareness was rife with the euphoric disruption of the balances in her ears. She remembered with delights all the logrolling she had used to do in the green grass of the yard when she was a little girl.

He said, “And help me to repent.”

She said, “And help me to repent.” She thought that she felt her form bending down forward where she was sitting. How good it had felt to have done all those rollings she had used to do upon her bottom and with her outstretched hands upon the ground. It all was coming back to her now in a giddy

reminder.

He said, “Please become my Saviour, and give me everlasting life in Heaven.”

Her eyes closed very tight, still everything around her was spinning around in happy circles.

And in this most important part of the sinners’ prayer, the dizzy Princess found herself instead giving way to laughter and apologizing, saying, “My head, Flanders.”

With worry in his tone and with no cognizance of what she had meant by saying, “My head, Flanders,” he spoke and said again in this prayer, “Please become my Saviour, and give me everlasting life in Heaven.” He then opened his eyes to see if she were not all right.

Behold, the girl began to fall off the bridge! She felt it. He saw it. She opened her eyes now.

He tried to reach out and grab her. She shrieked in panic. His hands missed her. And the cheerleader plummeted down toward her destruction into the shallow creek way below. He began to run down the steep slope toward her, his tongue praying for her survival. And when he got to the bank of this little creek, behold, his Princess standing in the middle of the knee-deep flowing waters, neither dead nor unconscious nor injured. He cried out, “Tracy! You’re all right!”

“I think that I’m okay, Flanders,” she said. “I guess that I kind of fell like a clumsy ditz, but I can see that I landed like an agile cheerleader.”

“Praise God. Tracy! You scared me like that,” he said.

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“You thought you were scared,” said the Princess about her own fright.

“What happened, Tracy?” he asked.

“I remember all about it, Flanders,” she said. “I’ve got something wrong in my ears. It seems that when I am up in the air and I close my eyes for a long time, that I get disorientated in my head.

If I am up in the air and do not close my eyes, I am okay. And if I am on solid ground and do close my eyes, I am okay then, too. It’s a little something wrong with my sense of balance.”

“My girlfriend the dizzy blonde,” he teased her in nonsense.

“Your girlfriend the dizzy brunette,” she teased back in good sense.

“Are you really okay?” he asked her. “You must have fallen nearly ten feet, woman.”

“I feel good to go, Flanders,” she said.

“You and I have a sinners’ prayer to finish, girl,” he said.

Still standing in the creek, the Princess asked, “Shall we do that in here?”

“Let’s, Tracy,” he said, and he stepped out to join her in the middle of this creek. And he said,

Please become my Saviour, and give me everlasting life in Heaven.”

And she said, “Please become my Saviour, and give me everlasting life in Heaven.”

He said, “In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.”

And she said, “In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.”

His Princess was now saved.

She said, “There, Flanders, I went and did it. Didn’t I?”

“Yes, you did,” he said. “You became a born-again believer now.”

“A cheerleader can make a good Christian, Flanders,” said Tracy August.

To assure her of her salvation, he went ahead and asked her, “Now, Tracy, if you were to die today, where would you go?”

“I would go straight to Heaven,” she said.

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“And how do you know?” he asked her in confirmation.

And she answered, “Because I prayed and asked the Lord to save me.”

“And what is Heaven all about?” he asked her.

“Heaven is all about seeing the Good Lord’s face,” she replied.

“I am so happy for you, O Tracy,” he said.

“You think you are happy,” said Tracy. “I am more happy yet.”

“Indeed all of the saints in Heaven are happy for you now, Tracy,” he did say to her.

Just then Neigh and Whinny gave forth nickers. “Our ponies are happy for me, Flanders,” said the Princess.

“It’s getting late,” he said.

“It is about time to go back home,” she said.

“Would you honor me with a rendezvous sometime, Tracy?” he asked.

“Your cheerleader would be honored with a rendezvous, Flanders,” she said.

“Is right here again okay with you?” he asked.

“It would be great with me, Flanders,” she said.

“Same time next week, my gal?” he asked.

“Same time next week would be fun,” she said.

And in the midst of this creek, the waters up to their knees, the Princess leaned her pretty face toward his handsome face, and they gave in to a quick little kiss.

“Oh, I did it this time,” she apologized. “I shouldn’t have done that to a Christian guy.”

“We both did it,” he said in romance of the moment. “And your Christian guy liked it as you liked it.”

“I liked it, too,” she did say. “Being a Christian girl is fun.”

“I think that my feet are getting cold,” he said.

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“Mine, too, now,” she said.

“Our stuff is still there on the ground back there,” he said.

“My saddle shoes and my knee-socks,” she said.

“And my penny loafers,” he said.

“It’s a good thing that our ponies have saddlebags,” she said.

“I had a great time with you today, Tracy,” he said.

“And I had a great time with you today, Flanders,” she did say.

Boyfriend-and-girlfriend-in-the-Lord got out of the water, picked up their appurtenances off the bank, and came back up to Neigh and Whinny and put the appurtenances into their saddlebags. Flanders stroked Whinny down her mane. Tracy kissed Neigh upon his head. And they mounted their little ponies to go back home. And they left this bridge for now till they would come back to it again next week.

On their ride back, Flanders said, “Tracy, you know how much I love to hear hymns and Christmas carols.”

“Now I do,” she said.

“That’s right,” he said. “We got to know each other just today. But, yes, my favorite music is hymns and carols from the hymnbook. But there is a third kind of song that I like just as much.”

“What kind of music might that be, Flanders?” asked the Princess.

“It is the songs of the cheerleaders, pretty Tracy August,” he said.

“A cheerleader chant?” she asked.

“A cheerleader chant indeed, Tracy,” he said.

“Would you like your girlfriend to sing a cheerleader’s song for you right now?” she asked.

“I would so like that, Tracy,” he said.

“Would you like to hear a long one, Flanders?” she asked.

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“Yes! Yes! Let’s hear a long one,” he said eagerly.

And his Princess sang him a cheerleader’s cheer as they rode their ponies in this countryside:

Freshmen, what’s your number? What’s your number? Freshmen, freshmen, what’s your number?Ninety-nine! Ninety-nine! Ninety-ninety-ninety-nine! Sophomores, what’s your number? What’s your number? Sophomores, sophomores, what’s your number? Ninety-eight! Ninety-eight! Ninety-

ninety-ninety-eight! Juniors, what’s your number? What’s your number? Juniors, juniors, what’s your number? Ninety-seven! Ninety-seven! Ninety-ninety-ninety-seven! Seniors, what’s your number? What’s your number? Seniors, seniors, what’s your number? Ninety-six! Ninety-six! Ninety-ninety-ninety-six! Redbirds, what’s your number? What’s your number? Redbirds, Redbirds, what’s your number? Number one! Number one! Number number number one!”

“Tracy,” he said in fervor, “would you sing that cheerleader chant for me when we get to Heaven—you and I?”

“I surely shall, Flanders,” said his Princess. Then she asked, “When we both get to Heaven,

would you like to go out on dates with me and we can wade down Heaven’s creeks and rivers and ponds and lakes and oceans together, the both of us?”

“That I will be glad to do with you, Tracy August,” he promised. “And the River of Life, as well.”

“Yes! The River of Life,” said Miss August. Then she said, “And we can and visit the Good Lord Jesus up there on lots and lots of pilgrimages, especially.”

“We two can walk and talk with God,” he said in thoughts of Paradise with his so-pretty cheerleader.

Tracy then said, “Praise the Lamb for sinners slain.”

And Flanders Nickels then said, “Praise the Good Shepherd that giveth His life for His sheep.”

“Amen, my prince,” said the Princess.

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“Amen, my Princess,” said the prince.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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