PODCAST: Whyte House Family Novels Holiday Edition #74: “I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas” – Chapter 17

Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Novels podcast: Holiday Edition episode #74. Today we are reading chapter 17 of the book “I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas” by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte.

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Early Friday morning before the Nichols household started to stir, Tucker Klipspringer left a message on Rev. Nichols’ cell: “Don’t worry, Rev. We got him on the other side. You shouldn’t have anymore problems.”

“Did you shake him up a little?” Rev. Nichols asked Tucker when he returned his call later that day.

“More than a little. But don’t you worry. He won’t be bothering you all anymore.”

Rev. Nichols knew exactly what Tucker meant so he did not ask any more questions.

“Thanks, Tucker. I owe you one.”

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Rev. Barnett sat in his office at the restaurant to listen to the evening news and to rest his feet awhile. A special news flash came on:

The body of a young black man was found hanging from a noose in the woods behind the Pembrooke Apartments about ten minutes ago. The two teenagers who found the body said they were headed for the creek to swim when they saw it. The police searched the body for any identification and found the name Jake Seymour written on a piece of paper with the letter ‘X’ written under it. The police said it could be anything from foul play, drug related, or suicide. One officer said the style of the noose fits the one they teach military students how to make. The death is still under investigation.

Rev. Barnett sat up in his chair. Jake Seymour. “Hey, Athaliah,” he said after calling his wife up on the phone. “Turn to the local news channel. Keep watching. There’s a news piece about Jake Seymour’s body found hanging in the woods behind Pembrooke Apartments. Listen and see if it’s Jake from the church. Call his parents and see if they have heard from him lately.”

Athaliah returned his call after about five minutes. “The Seymours have not heard from Jake since Thursday evening, but they’ll give us a call as soon as they hear something. I’ll listen in on the news.”

Jake Seymour’s death seems to be foul play, police are saying. Seymour had a busted lip, swollen jaw, and swelling on the back of his head. He was hit on the back of the head with a hard instrument. The police also noticed a bullet wound on his neck. Stay tuned for further updates.

The Seymours called Rev. Barnett. “We’ll be going down to the police station to identify the body.”

Rev. Barnett waited anxiously to receive a phone call from them. He thought about what a good person Jake had been. Jake went to high school with Grant, and was a faithful member of Mt. Shiloh. He was a young man who could be depended on and had a promising future before him. Whatever caused his death is a mystery to me.

The Seymours placed a call to Rev. Barnett expressing their worst fears. “The body is Jake’s, Rev. Barnett,” Mrs. Seymour sobbed. “Like we told the police we have no doubt his death has nothing to do with drugs, and it is definitely not suicide. That boy had Jesus written all over him.”

Rev. Barnett wasted no time calling Grant. Grant could not believe it. “No, not Jake Seymour! He was on the road to success,” he told his dad. By the time they hung up the phone, Grant had no doubt Jake’s death had something to do with the secret visits he was making for him to Cassandra’s house. He shuddered at the thought that that could have been his sister, Carolyn, or even his mother, or possibly his father. After all, Rev. Nichols did say he would sue them for trespassing if they came on his property.

Guilt immediately overtook him. Jake is dead because of me. This thought ate at him throughout the next week leading up to the funeral.

Jake’s death was a shocker to Cassandra as she listened to the news on Friday. “Jake Seymour went to school with us,” she shared with her parents and Prudence. “I wonder what happened.”

Rev. Nichols knew exactly what happened even though Tucker did not fill him in on the details when he told him ‘we got him on the other side.’ That meant it was a colored person who was trespassing. Cassandra’s reaction also confirmed she had no knowledge of what had been taking place. To smother his overwhelming guilt he gave Cassandra permission to attend the funeral when she expressed a desire to do so. “I may even attend myself,” he told her.

“This is a tragic situation,” Rev. Barnett said as he preached at Jake’s homegoing service. “The loss of a life at such a young age. Jake had the world before him. For those of you who may be wondering where Jake is right now, for those of you who may be wondering what happens after death, let me tell you. Jake is in Heaven right now. I have no doubt about that because I had the privilege of leading Jake to the Lord myself. What happens after death? You go to one of two places: Heaven or Hell. To go to Hell, you do not have to do anything; just continue living as you are, ignoring God and doing your thing.

“To go to Heaven, you must believe on Jesus Christ; you must call upon the name of the Lord. As Jesus says in John 3:15, ‘Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ Jesus goes on to say, ‘for God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ Simply believe, folks.”

What was a homegoing for Jake was a homecoming for others as many accepted the invitation to give their life to Jesus Christ. Cassandra and Prudence also rededicated their lives to Christ.

The day following the funeral, Grant gave his father a call. Immediately, he broke into tears. “Dad, I have a confession to make,” he cried. “I could have made it to Jake’s funeral, but I chose not to. I just could not face him or Mr. and Mrs. Seymour, and neither could I face you.”

“What are you talking about, Grant?”

“Dad, I feel responsible for Jake’s death. In fact, I know I had something to do with it.”

Rev. Barnett waited for his son to continue.

“After the conversation we had where you told me not to have anymore contact with Cassandra and just to pray about it and leave it in God’s hands, well, I did pray about it, but I did not leave it in God’s hands. I called Jake up and basically hired him to drop off letters and packages for Cassandra at the Nichols’ house. I told him to do it secretly. He did it as a friend, not expecting anything for it. Dad, I’m so sorry for disobeying you. Dad, please forgive me.” Grant’s voice cracked under the guilt he had been carrying all week. His father listened to him crying for a few minutes.

Rev. Barnett did not know what to say. He prayed silently for wisdom.

“You know, Grant,” he began softly, “I’ve never known you to be an outright disobedient child, but as I’ve shared with you in private as well as from the pulpit, when you reach a certain age, your disobedience is between you and God. I believe God has dealt with you harshly for disobeying Him by allowing Jake’s death. What you did smacks of selfishness; you wanted what you wanted right now. You were not willing to wait, and a lot of life as a Christian is waiting — waiting on God, waiting until God gives the go-ahead or puts His stamp of approval on something you’re involved in.”

“Yes, Dad,” Grant agreed meekly.

“I appreciate your coming clean, and I forgive you, son. I know God has forgiven you. Just don’t do something like this again.”

“I won’t, Dad.”

“Now, understand that even though God has forgiven you and I have forgiven you, there are still consequences for disobedience. As to what that may be, I can’t say for sure. But whatever it is, God will let you know. Anyway, we’ll let the police handle the situation right now until God leads us otherwise. Okay?”

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Thank you for joining us for this episode of Whyte House Family stories. You may purchase a copy of this novel and any other Christian fiction books read on this podcast from Amazon.com.

Now, dear listener, please know that God—the divine Author of all things—wants to write a great story with your life as well. But first you must give Him the pen by trusting Him with the life He gave you and surrendering your heart to Jesus Christ as Savior. Here is how:

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “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.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “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 whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

May God bless you until next time.