Crown of Rejoicing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Tracy Coquette, a one-piece-swimsuit-attired seductress, has a date with a man who is, to her dismay, a born-again Christian. And this good man did not flirt with her; instead, he witnessed to her about the Saviour Jesus Christ. And in the end Tracy repented and got saved from her sins. Having led her soul to salvation, this man thereby earned the crown of rejoicing, waiting for him in Heaven


Crown of Rejoicing

(By Mr. Morgan P, McCarthy)


“Does this make me look desirable to men, do you think, Jenny?” asked Tracy, holding up her one-piece swimsuit in both hands before her. It was a sleek and slinky one-piece swimsuit, all black and with wide V-stripes running down the front, alternating black V’s and stonewashed colored V’s top to bottom. In back was a scoop back and strings that were to crisscross diagonally across the back and with hooks and eyes to fasten the strings onto the sides of the maillot back there. “I bought this one at K-Mart. And this one is my best one,” she said.

Jenny, her roommate, corrected her and said, “You mean to say that it is your favorite one.”

“Best, favorite, same thing to me, Jenny,” said Tracy.

Jenny asked, “Do you have a guy coming over again tonight, Tracy?”

“I will wear this one just for him,” Tracy Coquette bragged. “And yes, I have a guy coming

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over again tonight. And he had better be cute, or else.”

“You have not made up your mind if he’s cute or not?” asked Jenny Penny. “Is this a blind date?”

“I saw the guy, but I didn’t see him,” said Tracy. “I can’t remember his face right now.”

“Is this mystery date a saved fellow?” asked Jenny Penny with hopes.

“I don’t know. I forgot to ask,” said Miss Coquette. “I hope he’s not. You’re plenty too much saved for me as your roommate all by yourself, Jenny.”

“Jesus saves,” Jenny praised the Lord.

Tracy then set her little maillot upon the arm of the sofa, picked up her half-eaten mango from the sofa cushion, took one last bite of it, then tossed it right into an empty paper bag in the corner of this living room. Tracy bragged to her roommate and said, “Wasn’t my idea a great idea? All of these large paper bags for garbage all over everywhere throughout our apartment? There are so many of them that wherever we may be in here, to throw out garbage, we can toss it from anywhere, and we cannot miss getting it into one of those bags.” Then Tracy complained and said, “When I was still living at home with Mom and Dad, they made me have to carry my mango leftovers all the way into the kitchen and have to put them into the wastebasket under the counter; I even had to open the lid

to set them in, Jenny. No more of that for me now that I am living on my own.”

“Tracy, you think like a man,” said Miss Penny.

“I am irresistible to men,” said Miss Coquette.

“Who is the man coming over to see you this evening?” asked Jenny.

“I do not remember his name,” said Tracy. “But I do know that he is our new neighbor—either down the hall to the right or down the hall to the left.”

“When is he coming?” asked Jenny.

“I want him to be here now,” said Tracy. “I don’t like to have to wait, you know.”

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“I’ll leave you two alone when he comes,” said Jenny.

“I told him to surprise me,” said Tracy.

“Does that mean that he might come anytime?” asked her roommate.

“I would hope he comes when I’m ready for him,” said Tracy.

Pointing to her little one-piece swimsuit still on the arm of the sofa, Jenny Penny said, “Maybe you better get ready real quick, Tracy. You don’t want him to see you in your cashier’s uniform.”

To this, Miss Coquette complained, “Stupid work smock. Stupid work pants. Stupid work socks. Stupid work shoes. Stupid work!” Then she grabbed up her precious K-Mart maillot and went into her bedroom to dress for her date for the evening. And not long later, the coquette came back out of her room, dressed as a desire of men. “How do I look now, best friend?” asked Tracy.

And her best friend said, “You look like a siren of Odysseus.”

“I hope my man of the night says that to me, too, Jenny,” said Tracy.

“But what if your man friend prefers blondes?” asked Jenny.

“Brown hair rules,” said Tracy about her brunette self.

“What if he doesn’t like women in glasses?” asked Jenny.

“Glasses rule,” said Tracy despite her nearsightedness.

“What if he thinks that you would look better in a two-piece swimsuit?” asked Miss Penny.

“You know what I say to that statement,” said Miss Coquette.

“One-piece swimsuits rule,” said her roommate.

“One-piece swimsuit women rule,” said Tracy Coquette. Just then a knock came upon their apartment door. The two women looked at each other. Tracy’s countenance glowered at her Christian roommate, and she said, “Never mind what I do with my men when I dress like this, Jenny. I know what you are thinking about me now that my guy is here.”

“Tracy, it is not good what you do with men when you put on your swimsuits every night,” said

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Jenny Penny. “God sees everything you do, and He does not approve.”

“Guys like to have fun, and gals like to have fun,” said Tracy.

“Tracy, you’re pouting at me,” said Jenny.

“I only pout at you when you start preaching at me, Jenny,” said the coquette. “And besides, this is only a frown at you this time.”

“Do you need me to leave the apartment again this time?” asked Jenny in deference.

“No, you can stay in your room this time, if you want,” said Tracy in assertiveness.

“I’ll be alone with God in my room the rest of this night, Tracy,” said Jenny Penny. And the born-again Christian woman left wanton Tracy alone with her date.

There came another knock on the apartment door. Tracy said, “Whoever you are, here I am!” And she opened up the door to the guy. And there stood her date, kind of short and kind of built and kind of cute. The coquette liked what she saw...except for the suspicious big black book he held onto tightly with both hands in front of him. “Neighbor?” she asked him to make sure of this being her date.

He nodded and said, “Yes, your neighbor. You asked me to come over. I am Flanders Nickels, and you are Tracy Coquette, my date.”

“Flanders,” she said, savoring his masculine name on her tongue, “my date for the night.” Then she said, “My, what a big book you brought over today, Flanders.”

“It is a good book,” he said. “The Good Book indeed, O pretty Tracy.”

Though Miss Coquette was offended at his bringing this Book to their date, his calling herself “pretty” made it all okay for her. And she liked him a lot for having said this. She then asked him, “Flanders, do you like my one-piece swimsuit that I have on?” And she spun in place, shook her hips, and cocked her head to the side, all three in great feminine wiles and gladness for her own womanhood.

And the man Flanders Nickels went ahead and said to her, “You are a one-piece swimsuit goddess, woman!”

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“Woo! Flanders, that is even better than what my best friend called me,” said Tracy.

“What did she call you, Tracy?” he asked.

“She only called me a siren of Ulysses,” said Miss Coquette.

“That’s pretty good,” he said.

“Is it pretty true, too?” she asked, “my swimming suit.”

“Yes, it is,” said Flanders.

Then she asked, “That’s a real Bible you have, isn’t it?”

“The King James Version,” he said. “The only true Bible out there.”

“My roommate tells me that same thing all the time about her Bible,” said Tracy the truth about


“She sounds like a good woman,” he said.

“You cannot see her tonight, Flanders. Tonight you can see only me. If you want to see her later sometime, you have to wait until tomorrow. Your date today is with me. If you want to date her next, you have to wait until tomorrow,” said Miss Coquette.

“Today I am all yours, Tracy,” he said.

“That’s more like it,” she said. “Do come on in, Flanders.” And the wanton young woman began a date with a fellow with a Holy Bible.

And the first thing Flanders said when he came into her home was, “’…; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.’ Job 23:12, pretty Tracy.” Once again, his calling her so surely “pretty Tracy,” made her drawn to him despite his Bible words he had just spoken to her.

And with ingenuousness to his Scripture verse, Tracy replied, “Are you hungry then, Flanders?”

“Jesus once said, ‘My meat is to do the will of him that sent me,…,’” said this man with the Bible. “John 4:34.”

Still simpleminded about Scripture, yet admiring this man, Tracy asked, “Are you full, then,

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And he said, “This is God’s love letter to mankind,” and he held up his Holy Bible.

“Oh,” said Tracy, uncharacteristically at a loss for words.

“Would you let a man share the Bible with you tonight?” he asked.

“My roommate tries to do that to me all the time, Flanders,” said Tracy. “Just don’t forget, though that this is a date, and this is my date.”

“I won’t forget, Tracy,” he said. “Where shall we sit?”

“How about at my dining room table?” she asked. He nodded. And before he sat down, he pulled out a chair for her.

“Oh, a gentleman!” said Miss Coquette.

“Just a sinner saved by grace,” he said humbly. And they sat down together in the dining room.

“We are across,” Tracy complained. “We need to be alongside.”

“Oh yes,” he said. “You did say that this was your date.” And he took his chair and came to her

side of the table and sat down alongside of her.

He looked for a place upon the table in which to set down his Bible. Miss Coquette said, “Never mind the crumbs, Flanders. I had butter toast for breakfast this morning, and I never use plates for toast, and Jenny did not wipe the table yet.” With a quick decision, Tracy wiped the toast crumbs off of the table and onto the floor. And Flanders then set his Bible upon her table.

“Well, Tracy, where should we begin?” asked Flanders. “The books of the law, the books of history, the books of poetry, the books of the major prophets, the books of the minor prophets, the books of the gospels, the book of the history of the church, the books of the epistles, or the book of prophecy at the end?”

“Flanders, where are all these books you talk about?” she asked. “You brought only one Book with you on our date.”

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“No no, Tracy, all those books are in this Book,” he said. “What I was talking about was the nine sections that the Holy Bible is partitioned up into in its sixty-six books.”

“Oh, you were asking me then where in the Bible would I want you start our date with tonight, weren’t you?” asked Miss Coquette.

“Yes,” he said.

“Well, then, where in that Good Book does it say something good about myself?” she asked the born-again believer.

“It truly does say that you were created in the image of God, O Tracy Coquette,” he said.

“Yikes, I do not even know God, Flanders,” she said. “You and Jenny know God very well.”

“The Bible also tells us bad things about ourselves, too, Tracy,” he did say.

“But not about you and about Jenny,” said Tracy.

“But yes, Tracy,” he said.

“Then about me, too, Flanders?” asked the loose young woman.

“Yes, about you, too, Tracy,” he said. “It is found in Romans 3:23, and it is about all three of us and about all people everywhere, Tracy.”

“I don’t think that I want to hear you read this verse to me right now, Flanders,” she said.

“Would you read it for me, Tracy?” he asked.

She thought for a while, then said, “Okay, Flanders. I can do that for you, even though this was supposed to be a fun date.” She dared bring her godless eyes into God’s Book, and she read this verse out loud for her and her boyfriend of the day: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

“Well, Tracy, do you believe that verse?” he asked.

“That verse is me all over,” Miss Coquette said right out.

And he went on to say, “Sin is coming short of God’s glory. Sin is missing the mark. Sin is

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rebellion against the glory of God. Sin is breaking any of the commandments throughout all the Scriptures. It can be a sin of commission—doing a ‘thou shalt not’ in the Bible—when you go and do something you should not do. It can be a sin of omission—not doing a ‘thou shalt’ in the Bible—when you go and not do something that you should do. Sin comes about when give in to the temptations of the flesh or of the world or of the Devil. Sin can come from the ’lust of the flesh’—perverting natural desires—or from the ’lust of the eyes’—you see and you want and you take—or from the ‘pride of life’--you want to be the God of your own life. And there are three main types of sins, and they are sins of thoughts and sins of words and sins of deeds.”

“Why, Flanders, all of those things I do everyday,” said Tracy. “Jenny once told me, ‘Tracy, you are a bad woman.’ I think now that maybe she was right.”

“Tracy, Tracy, hearing you say that gives me hope for your soul this night,” said Flanders.

“I am bad,” said Miss Coquette. “You are good. Jenny is good.”

“Nay, Tracy. I am bad,” said Flanders. “My only goodness is Jesus Himself. The same with your roommate.”

“But you both are born-again Christians,” said Tracy. “Who is better than a believer like yourselves?”

“The Bible says that our righteousness is as filthy rags, Tracy,” he said to her.

“Did you do a sin, too, Flanders?” asked Tracy.

“Just this morning I stubbed my toe on the leg of my chair, and I sinned and blamed God for having let that happen to me,” he confessed.

“Why, Flanders, if that had happened to me, I would have yelled at God with a bad word and would have picked up the chair and thrown it into the wall. And then I would ‘give’ God a kick.”

“Whoa, a feisty girl who tempts God indeed,” he said.

“Do you still like me, Flanders?” she asked.

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“I like you a lot, Tracy,” he said. “You’re spunky. And you’ve got spirit. But I do ask you not to give me a kick.”

“Don’t worry. I won’t kick, Flanders. And I promise not to throw a chair at you,” she said.

“And the yelled word?” he asked.

“If I yell a word at you, it will be a good word. I promise, Flanders,” she said. Man and woman

laughed together.

“We Christians are not sinless, but we do sin less,” he summed up.

“We non-Christians can learn much from you Christians,” she said in flattery of her cute man friend of this evening.

“So great salvation I have prayed for you the other night,” he confided.

Confusion upon those first three words filled her comely features, and she pondered in her mind what such a thing could be and if it were something she needed very much. She spoke not right now. Right now she wanted him to speak again; she wanted to hear his masculine deep and nasal voice read to her from the Bible again. Flanders’s eyes met her eyes, and he turned one page in his Bible, his understanding matching her understanding in their look.

And he read the next Bible verse that he thought that she needed to hear right now: “Romans 5:8, Tracy: ‘But God commendeth his love for us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’” Then he asked, “Would you like to see it?” She nodded and leaned her head toward his head

and looked down upon the Word of God and did read it for herself.

A fast learner, she asked, “Flanders, is this God in the beginning of this sentence and this Christ at the end of the sentence...are They both God?”

“You are exactly right, comely Tracy,” he said. “The first one is ‘God the Father,’ and the second one—Christ---is ‘God the Son.’”

“Is there also ‘God the Holy Spirit’ in the Bible?” she asked.

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“Amen, Tracy!” he praised this young woman who did not yet know God.

“I learned that from Jenny,” confessed Miss Coquette.

“I pray that this night it can be said, ‘Jenny planted; Flanders watered; and God has given the increase,’” said Flanders Nickels, looking up toward Heaven.

“What does that mean, Flanders?” asked Tracy.

“So great salvation,” he said to her again, and she became all the more curious about what he had to say to her this night about God on her date.

“Would you tell me all about what the rest of that verse means about God and Christ, Flanders?” she asked about that Romans 5:8.

And he preached more to her inquisitive ears, saying, “The love that the Lord has for all of us, Tracy, is perfect love. Christians call it ‘agape love.’ It excels love of a mother for her newborn. It excels love of a Christian for his brother-in-the-Lord. It excels love of a groom for his bride. It excels love of a best friend for his best friend. It excels love of a roommate for her roommate. It excels love of a boy for his dog. It excels love of a boyfriend for his girlfriend; and of a girlfriend for her boyfriend. It excels love of a pet for his master or mistress. And it excels love of loved ones in a happy family.”

“Why, Flanders, if that is true, then nobody loves me more than God does!” exclaimed Miss Coquette.

“Praise God for such love, Tracy, for that perfect love sent Him to the cross for us. Christ the Lord loved you and me so much that He willingly laid down His life for us,” said Flanders, animated in the Spirit.

“Then God did die for me,” confessed Miss Coquette.

“And not only that, Tracy Coquette,” said Flanders, “but also He died for us while we were still

completely reprobate with rampant sins.”

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“So you’re saying then that this Lord Jesus died for all people while they are still like I am right now, Flanders,” said Miss Coquette in spiritual discernment.

“Christ loves the sinner, but hates the sin, Tracy,” said Flanders.

“Then that must mean that both you and Jenny were not always saved like you both are now,” said Tracy. “Is that true then?”

“No man and no woman is born saved,” said Flanders. “Both your roommate and I were also unsaved for a great part of our life, before we found Christ, Tracy.”

“Then Christ died for all of us bad people,” said Miss Coquette.

“There is none that doeth good, no, not one,” he said.

“The Good Guy died for us bad guys,” said Tracy.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” quoted Flanders Nickels.

“I could maybe become one of Jesus’s friends,” said Miss Coquette. “I never thought that I would see the day where I would say something like that, Flanders.”

“Do you mean it, Tracy?” he asked.

“I’m not real positive about that. But who knows?” replied Tracy.

Her handsome and good boyfriend went on to show her her third Bible verse in that book of Romans that she needed herself to read, and she read it out loud: “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

“Romans 5:9,” said Flanders.

“Christ bled, didn’t He?” asked Miss Coquette.

“More so than any man,” said Flanders.

“Ouch! Ow! It hurts just to hear how He hurt, bleeding as He did so much, Flanders,” said Tracy.

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“’Being justified by His shed blood, Tracy,’ this ‘being justified’ means ‘just as if you never sinned,’” defined Flanders the doctrine of justification.

“You’re saying that His shed blood can make me clean?” she asked.

He quoted again, saying, “…; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

“Jenny told me more than once that this Jesus let wicked people nail big spikes through both of his hands and through both of his feet, when they put him on the cross, Flanders,” said Tracy.

“That is called ‘the crucifixion,’ Tracy,” he told her.

“She told me that it happened at Calvary,” said Tracy.

“Right outside the city walls of Jerusalem,” said Flanders.

She again looked into his Bible at this Romans 5:9, and she said, “All of this, it says, saves me from wrath. What is ‘wrath’ in the Bible, Flanders?”

“’Wrath’ in the Bible means ‘eternity in the lake of fire,’” he answered her.

“That’s Hell, isn’t it?” she asked.

“Even worse,” he dared say, much to her fear and incomprehension. She could not know of any thing worse than Hell.

“I fear this wrath of God,” she said. And she said, “What can be worse than Hell, Flanders?”

And he said, “That which comes upon the damned after Hell and time end and when the lake of fire and eternity begin.”

Now, for her first time, the coquette greatly feared God and Satan and hell and fire and damnation. She spoke now and said, “Flanders, you’re frightening me.”

In compassion, he said, “Fear is a great reason for a person to get saved.”

“I have to admit that my favorite movie is Risky Business with Tom Cruise and Rebecca de Mornay,” she confessed. “He played a wild young man named ‘Joel.’ She played a call girl named

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‘Lana,’ He became the client of this prostitute. And they did it on a choo-choo train. That is what got me started in my own sinful life with my one-piece swimsuits like what I have on tonight for you. I am both a fornicator and an adulterer who is now afraid of going to Hell for her many and bad sins.”

“You put on that pretty maillot in order to seduce me, Tracy?” he asked.

“But this time I change my mind, Flanders,” she said. “You’re a man of God just as Jenny is a woman of God. Now I do not want to play ‘Lana’ with you.”

“What did I get myself into, coming over tonight to try to get you saved, Tracy?” he asked.

“I’m sorry, Flanders,” she said. “I want you to tell me more about God now, instead.”

“I forgive you, Tracy Coquette,” he said. “But I shall have to watch out with you, now that I know why you wanted me here in the first place.”

“I stand rebuked,” said the coquette ashamed and repentant.

“Do you still want me to tell you more about God?” he asked.

“I need God,” she said humbly and penitential. In her conviction of her sin, she proved her change of heart by standing up from being right next to him, and she got around to the other side of the table, and she sat back down, now across from him and not so close now as to cuddle against him.

His friendliness returned to his countenance and showed itself in his abruptly raised shoulders upon her confession now lowered once again upon her repenting thus. He said again, “I forgive you, pretty Tracy.” And all was good again between her and her date this evening. And Flanders Nickels went on to read her her fourth verse from Romans, “It is written, ‘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:’ Romans 5:12.”

“Who is this ‘one man,’ Flanders?” she asked.

“It is Adam,” he said, “and his wife Eve.”

“Oh, you mean as in the Garden of Eden,” she said.

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“And the snake in the garden,” he said.

“And the apple tree and the apple,” she said naively.

“We do not know it to be an apple tree and an apple,” he said. “The Bible calls it ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ and ‘the forbidden fruit.’”

“The snake said, ‘Eat it,’ and God said, ‘Don’t eat it,’” said Tracy, having heard this from Jenny.

In a fuller narrative, Flanders said, “Yes, Tracy. God told Adam and Eve, ‘Thus saith the Lord,

“Do not eat of the fruit of this tree, or you will die.”’ Then the Devil came along in the form of a talking serpent, and he said to Eve, ‘Yea, hath God said, “Do not eat from this tree?” God knows that if you eat from this tree, you will be wise, and you will be like gods, and you will know good and evil.’ The Devil caused the woman to doubt the Word of God. And Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and she convinced Adam to go and do the same thing.”

She reached for his Bible; he slid it over to her, and she looked into this Romans 5:12. She said then quite adeptly, “That then must have been mankind’s first sin. They willingly disobeyed Almighty God, and because of that sin of disobedience, they were no longer immortal. And we people all have to die, because we people all do sin.”

In a little sermon thus, Flanders said, “Because of that first sin in the Garden of Eden, seeds of decay came upon Adam and Eve, and they began to age, and the day came when they did die. And their sin as humankind’s first parents was passed down, generation to generation, throughout the whole human race ever since.”

“So then it is their fault that I sin,” said Tracy somewhat artlessly.

More wisely, Flanders said, “It is our own fault that we sin. We people sin, because we choose willfully to sin. Sin is a decision—not just an inheritance.”

“I don’t like to think about death,” she said. “I’m still a young woman who was an old girl just a couple years ago.”

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He went on to quote more impromptu Scripture, “Tracy, ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’”

“You were saying something a little while back about Hell and about a place worse than Hell,

Flanders,” she said.

“I shall explain that to you right now, Tracy,” he said. “First let me tell you about what the Good Book says about ‘the first death’ and ‘the second death.’” And he went on to say to her, “The first death is what most people know about; that is when a loved one has passed away, and his body is in a coffin, and all pay their respects to the deceased at his funeral. His soul has left his body. And the second death happens only to those who have died in their sins. That is, the wicked man died and went to Hell for the rest of time. Then time ends. He leaves Hell to be judged by Christ at the Great White Throne for all of his sins in his temporal life. He is then sentenced to the lake of fire, the fiery heat hotter for all of his judged sins. And eternity begins for him in this new place, the lake of fire hotter and more tormenting than Hell. And he is eternally separated from God.”

Her knees and her elbows shaking, she said, “Flanders, the way I stand now with God, I have no


“Fear not, Tracy. You are still alive and well here in this life. And your boyfriend of this evening has high hopes for you now,” he said to her.

“How come?” she asked.

“That I can show you in the next verse,” he said.

“Show this lost wicked sinner that verse,” she said,

His Bible open before her, he recited, “Romans 6:23, comely Miss Coquette, ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’”

She quickly went on to read this verse out loud right after he had spoken it. Then she said, “I

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can see that that first death and that second death is the wages of my many sins. But God has a gift for me. The Bible verse says that this gift is eternal life.”

“Also called ‘everlasting life,’” he said.

“Through the Lord Jesus,” said Tracy. She ruminated. Then she said, “That means ‘Heaven,’ doesn’t it, Flanders?”

“Heaven is a gift, Tracy,” he told her.

“A present!” said Miss Coquette. “Then Heaven is free for me.”

“Right now, O Tracy, the Good Lord is holding out for you His present of Heaven. It is like a big box wrapped in wrapping paper and adorned with ribbon and a bow and with a tag that reads, ‘To:

Tracy; from: Christ.’ What do you need to do to accept this free present? Do you work for it? Do you pay for it? Do you try to earn it?”

“Why, no,” she said. “All I need do is to reach out and accept it and say, ‘Thank You, Lord,’ and it is mine,” said Miss Coquette.

“Tracy, you are close to becoming a born-again child of God,” he said. “This is getting exciting for me.”

“I’m getting excited, too,” she said. “I’m getting excited about God. Jenny calls Him ‘her personal Saviour.’”

Just then a knocking came upon the apartment door. And a coarse man’s voice called out, “Yo, Adrian!” It was her Rocky movie fan, the man that watched all those Sylvester Stallone movies with her all night long last weekend.

“Proffery?” she asked, knowing it was he, but not ready now to let him in. “Jenny, could you get the door?” asked Tracy.

Jenny called out from the other side of her bedroom door, saying, “I can’t right now. I’m still praying.”

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Then the knocking came again, this time louder and with more knocks, and the voice said, “Tracy, I’ve got a fork, and I know how to use it.”

“Last time it was a spoon,” she said to Proffery.

“Next time it will be a butter knife,” he said. “Let me in, woman.” And he knocked louder and faster, like unto the noise of thunder.

And Flanders got up to open the door. Behold, a monkey of a man. He stood scarcely to Flanders’s neck, and Flanders was a short man. He looked to be part Caucasian and part American Indian. He had on a black top hat. Over his right eye he had a monocle. Over his left eye he had a black patch. He had a mustache that covered his teeth. And he had a beard that could not cover his chin. And he brandished a metal dinner fork in his hand before Flanders. “Who are you?” he asked Flanders.

“What do you want with Tracy?” Flanders asked this Proffery.

“I had a date with her tonight right now,” said Proffery. “Who are you?” he asked again.

“I am her date this night,” said Flanders.

“Silly me,” said Miss Coquette, “I forgot.” She then said, “I remember now that I had asked Proffery out for a good time here, Flanders.” She looked at her kitchen clock. “You’re right on time, Proffery,” she said.

“It looks to me that I am too late, instead, Tracy,” said the rough fellow. “Shall I take him out for you?” Proffery pointed his fork at Flanders.

Flanders said to Proffery, “Little man, you best put down your little fork.”

“Tracy is mine tonight,” said Proffery. “She and I agreed on that yesterday.”

The two men looked at the one woman. She said, “I did. We did.” Then she said, “But not now, Proffery. I need to get myself saved and to quit doing the things I do with boyfriends like you.”

“What does this guy have that I don’t have?” asked Proffery belligerently.

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“He has Jesus,” said Tracy, standing up for Flanders and for God.

“He has Jesus?” spat out Proffery. “Tracy, is a girl like you getting religious on me?”

Flanders declared, “I am a born-again Christian, and Tracy and I were sharing Christ, Proffery.”

The idyll-partner huffed in scorn of God and goodness, and he said, “Tracy, you’re becoming weird to me. You’re different from how you used to be. You would be no fun in your one-piece swimsuit for me with this queer talk about God. I’m out of here!” And with another huff of disdain at

her, he threw down his fork, slammed the apartment door shut from outside the apartment, and stomped his feet down the stairs hard all the way down.

From her bedroom, Jenny called out, “What’s going on out there?”

Flanders could only say, “Wow. Wow.”

And Tracy said, “I’m sorry, Flanders. I seem to have so many boyfriends that I lose track of them, when they’re coming and when they’re going.”

“That’s all right,” he said. “The important thing right now is your eternal soul, Tracy.”

“I will stop having so many men coming and going,” she promised sincerely.

“That’s a good start,” he said to her.

They then sat back down at her table with the Bible. And Flanders continued the Lord’s work on her soul. He turned another page in his King James Bible and he read to her her sixth and her seventh verse from the book of Romans: “’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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’ Romans 10:9-10.”

She then once again looked into his Bible to see these words for herself for better understanding. And she said, “These two Bible verses tell it all, Flanders.”

“That they do, Tracy,” he said. And he preached these two efficacious salvation verses to her:

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“’Confessing with your mouth the Lord Jesus’ means that you sincerely and in faith confess the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. This is the Gospel, which alone has the power to save. Another definition of the Gospel is that Christ died for our sins and rose again the third day. And where those Bible verses speak about ‘believing in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead,’

that means, O Tracy, that you must believe in the resurrection not with mere head knowledge, but with heart feelings. You know how the real Easter is all about the miracle of Christ’s resurrection. Think upon the real Easter miracle now, fair Tracy—what gloriously happened that third day—and move it from your head down twelve inches into your heart. Only pray; only believe—and you are saved, Tracy.” He then continued testifying upon these two verses: “’Where it says there ‘with the heart man believeth unto righteousness,’ that means that you must make this Saviour of the world also your own personal Saviour. That means also that you must believe that Jesus died and arose for you personally—and not just for everyone in general out there. That means also that you must believe the Gospel with

Holy Ghost wisdom as heard from His still small voice. And where it says in those two verses, ‘with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,’ that means ‘humble yourself; confess the cross and the resurrection unto God; and you are saved.’ Again, Tracy: Only believe; only pray—and you are saved from your sins.”

Pensive thought came upon this maillot girl’s eyes. And she said, “I remember now how a man a lot like you had given me a couple of religion booklets just a few years ago. I was a high school cheerleader at the big football game that evening. The game had not yet started, and he came up to me at the little low fence. I was in eleventh grade then. And he looked to be thirty-something years old.

I think he kind of liked me, Flanders. But he gave me those two tracts, and we talked about his Jesus for a while, and then he left. I can’t remember all that he said. I was kind of rude and kind of not listening to him as soon as he told me that he was a born-again believer. But later on that week I went ahead and read those two little booklets. The one was one of those salvation booklets; it had a picture

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of a sun at dusk reflecting off of the waters, and it was entitled, ‘What shall I do to inherit eternal life?’

It talked about Heaven and Hell and lots of what that guy was probably trying to tell me about. And the other one was a white booklet, and it had a cover page that read, ‘You are invited.’ It was an invitation booklet to his little Baptist church. As you can see, Flanders, I forgot about those two booklets very soon after, and I never did go to that older guy’s church. But now I can see that he was right and that I was wrong. God had sent him to tell me about the Saviour. And God had sent Jenny to tell me about the Saviour. And now God has sent you to tell me about the Saviour.”

“Tracy, Tracy, what are you going to do now about the Saviour?” asked Flanders Nickels, her time right now for so great salvation.

“I am a bad one-piece swimsuit girl, Flanders. I am on my way to Hell, where I do belong. I cannot keep myself from going down there. But God shed His blood for me anyway. He loves me, even though I had never loved Him. Despite myself, He willingly died for me on the cross long ago.

And death could not keep him dead. He came back to life one Easter long ago three days later. He made getting saved easy. He did all the hard part. I am sorry to God for how I have turned out. I want to change my ways now, and I want Him to help me do this. I want to confess Jesus. I want to tell Him now, ‘I believe.’ And now I do believe. And my time has come now in my life to become a born-again Christian so that I can go to Heaven when I die and be with Him Up There. I want to be just like you,

Flanders. And I want to be just like you, Jenny. There, I went and said it. And I mean it. What happens now?” said Tracy in true and humble and sincere repentance.

“It is written, O beautiful Tracy Coquette,” he recited the eighth and last verse of the Romans’ Road, “’For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Romans 10:13.”

Without looking down into his Holy Bible, Tracy Coquette reiterated this salvation verse, “’For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Romans 10:13.”

“Let us begin,” Flanders Nickels said. “I shall lead you through the prayer that will make you a

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saved woman, a born-again believer, a daughter of God.”

The maillot woman caught sight of her provocative colored V’s running all the way down her front of her swimming suit. The loose young woman had always thought that these V-stripes were like arrows pointing right down to where she was most a female right there. And she suddenly felt too dirty to pray to God now. And just like that Miss Coquette abruptly stood up at this other side of the dining room table, and she said, “I cannot do that right now, Flanders.”

In alarm, Flanders said, “Oh Tracy, how come? What happened all of a sudden?”

“I am not dressed decently enough in a women’s one-piece swimsuit in order to come before God in prayer right now, Flanders,” said Tracy.

“We must all come before God as we are when we ask Him for salvation, Tracy,” implored her

wannabe soul-winner.

“I feel all of a sudden immodest in my little maillot, Flanders. I’m not sure why I feel this way

after all these years,” said Tracy. “I am hardly dressed for prayer.”

“Right now, O Tracy, here so close to you getting saved, Jesus is not thinking about what you have covering your female form. Right now, O Tracy, Jesus only wants to hear you say, ‘Please save me from my sins, Lord.’ He sees your heart. It is ripe for salvation. Please, if you would, sit back down here. I can say a line of that so-needful prayer, and you can say that line after me. And it can all be done in just a few lines. Then you can take off that one-piece swimsuit and dress in something more

complete,” urged Flanders in the exigency of this moment.

“Flanders, why do you panic?” asked Miss Coquette. “What I need to do will only take a couple minutes. I promise that I will come right back. I just have to go to my bedroom now and do my one last thing before I get saved—I need to change my outfit right now to honor the God Who will save my soul when I come right back here in this dining room. Don’t worry about me, O Flanders.”

“Tracy, Tracy, it is written in II Corinthians 6:2 to you right now straight from my heart and

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from what I have seen and to the battle over souls in the war between God and Satan: about praying that sinners’ prayer that you need to pray in order to get saved, ‘…: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.’”

“What?” she asked. “Are you saying that something might happen in the couple minutes that I change my clothes, Flanders?”

“With the Devil seeing tonight’s work of God on your heart, something as innocent as what you feel you need to do might make later never come for you to pray the prayer,” he said.

“I might die?” she asked.

“You might change your mind,” he said.

“Something might suddenly come up?” she asked.

“Now is the accepted time. Now is the day of salvation,” he said.

“Do you think that God would not be offended if a skimpy one-piece swimsuit woman were to pray to Him?” asked Tracy.

“He wants that one-piece swimsuit woman to pray to Him,” said Flanders.

“Maybe the Devil does not want the one-piece swimsuit woman to pray to God,” said Miss Coquette, now understanding her boyfriend’s fears for her. “The Devil would probably throw a monkey wrench into my plans to pray with you in that one brief delay where I change in my bedroom. That sounds to me now just the kind of thing he would go and do to me, now that I am so close to finally getting right with the Good Lord. Now is the time for my salvation.”

“You must come to Jesus just as you are, comely Tracy.”

“Just as I am,” said the maillot gal. “That is the name of a hymn that I hear Jenny singing all the time--’Just As I Am.’” And the K-Mart swimming suit girl sat back down at this dining room table.

And there Flanders led Tracy line-by-line through the prayer, and this what what she said in paragraph form: “Dear God the Father in Heaven: I come before you a very bad girl who does very

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bad things with very bad young men. I have a strange and unnatural fetish with all these maillots I have in my closet. And I am like a prostitute who sells her services for free for every immoral man who comes along. I promise to never violate my twenty-year-old female form like that again, Lord.

Help me, O God. Forgive me, O God. Keep me, O God. I thank You for Your Son Christ Jesus laying down His life on the cross of crucifixion for me and because of me. And I thank You, Jesus, for having suffered that cruel cross in the first place. I thank you, Father, for raising the Saviour of the world back to life. And I thank you, O Saviour, for rising again from the dead in the first place. And I thank You, O Holy Spirit, for sending this good and godly man from down the hall to speak to me about my sins.

And I thank You, Holy Spirit, for having convicted me of my sins and for showing me my need for a personal Saviour. Jesus, I am asking You—and You alone—to save my lost soul. Save my eternal soul right now so that I can go to Heaven and not go to Hell, when my time comes to leave this Earth. Thank You, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I pray this in Jesus’s name. Amen.”

Miss Tracy Coquette had now become a born-again Christian. “I have just come to Jesus for salvation just as I am, Flanders.”

“Tonight the Devil has just lost a soul,” said Flanders in joy of the Lord.

Jenny Penny quickly came out of her prayer-room, and she knew what had just happened, and

she said in rejoicing in the Spirit, “O Tracy, tonight the Lord has just gained a soul.”

“I feel like singing your hymn now, Jenny,” said the maillot woman in Christ.

“I, also,” said Jenny.

“And I, as well,” said Flanders.

And three children of God sang together the hymn “Just As I Am”:

“1. Just as I am, without one plea

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bidd’st me come To Thee,

O Lamb of God, I come! I come!


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2. Just as I am, and waiting not

To rid my soul of one dark blot,

To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,

O Lamb of God, I come! I come!


3. Just as I am, tho tossed about

With many a conflict, many a doubt,

Fightings and fears within, without,

O Lamb of God, I come! I come!


4. Just as I am, poor wretched, blind--

Sight, riches, healing of the mind,

Yea, all I need in Thee to find--

O Lamb of God, I come! I come!


5. Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

Because Thy promise I believe,

O Lamb of God, I come! I come!”


After this, Tracy said, “Thank you for caring enough for me to lead me to Christ, Flanders.”

Jenny said, “Flanders, you are a mighty soul-winner.”

Yet Flanders said very quickly, “In fact, Tracy, you are my very first one.”

“Really?” asked Tracy. “You wrestled with the Devil himself when you preached to me tonight.”

“I have indeed witnessed to many other lost people as you were before, Tracy,” said Flanders Nickels. “But you are the first one I got to lead to Christ.”

“I am your first soul won for Christ,” said Tracy, feeling extra special with this extra special and

handsome guy.

“I have now earned a reward waiting for me in Heaven, Tracy, because you let me lead you to salvation,” said Flanders. “And when I get to Heaven, I can give it right back to my Jesus, Who had everything to do with it tonight.”

“A reward, Flanders?” asked Tracy. “What kind of reward do you get to have in Heaven from what happened here in my apartment with me?”

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“It is a crown,” he said.

“What kind of crown is it?” she asked.

“It is the soul-winners’ crown,” he said.

“What’s it called?” she asked.

“It is called ‘the crown of rejoicing,’” he told her.

“Is this crown of rejoicing anywhere in the Holy Bible, Flanders?” asked Tracy Coquette.

And he recited from memory, “It is written, O alluring Tracy, ‘For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are

our glory and joy.’ I Thessalonians 2:19-20.”

“Do I get to see your crown of rejoicing when we all three get There?” asked Tracy.

“You will be There,” said Flanders.

“And your roommate will be There,” said Jenny Penny.

“Your new boyfriend will be There,” said Flanders Nickels.

“And a one-piece swimsuit goddess will be There,” said Tracy Coquette.

And all three reveled in so great fellowship in the Lord.










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Submitted: April 28, 2019

© Copyright 2022 flanders nickels. All rights reserved.

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