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Choices of Life

Choices of Life

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Choices of Life

Länge:
351 Seiten
5 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Feb 24, 2011
ISBN:
9781450296847
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

Michael C. Stone is a God-fearing Christian man whose family was saved and now lives in the glow of Gods loving kindness. Late one night, Michaels phone rings, bringing with it terrible news: Michaels longtime friend, Nathan Parkera gay manlies in a hospital bed, dying of AIDS. Through his beliefs and love of God, Michael witnesses to Nathan, striving to help him to overcome his past demons and find a life worth living that is free of past temptations.

Nathan discovers the true meaning of love, the power of forgiveness, and his true purpose in life. He receives a miracle and a second chance to start his life anew surrounded by Gods love. Even so, along the way he finds himself tempted by his past way of life. He focuses his efforts on helping others to escape the gay lifestyle he used to live, and he is encouraged by friends and family. His life eventually becomes an example for others to follow.

All life is based on the choices we make, both the good and the bad. Nathan struggles to make the right choices and to place his love and faith in God.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Feb 24, 2011
ISBN:
9781450296847
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

John P. Boyce was born in Costa Rica to parents who were missionaries. They moved to New Orleans where he grew up. In 2005, after hurricane Katrina, he moved with his brothers and grandmother to Houston, Texas.

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Choices of Life - John P. Boyce

11/22/2011

Contents

Preface:

Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

Chapter 3.

Chapter 4.

Chapter 5.

Chapter 6.

Chapter 7.

Chapter 8.

Chapter 9.

Chapter 10.

Chapter 11.

Chapter 12.

Chapter 13.

Chapter 14.

Chapter 15.

Chapter 16.

Chapter 17.

Chapter 18.

Chapter 19.

Chapter 20.

Chapter 21.

Chapter 22.

Chapter 23.

From the Author:

About the author:

To God the Father my Creator, His Son Jesus my King and Savior, and the Holy Spirit who comforts me and teaches me all things for it is by God that I can do all things

To my mother Inez Evelyn Boyce and my Grandmother Rose Mary White who raised taught and trained me in the way I should go

To my father John Morris Boyce who kept me in prayer

To my brothers David Thompson Boyce, Jonathan Holland Boyce and my sister Andrea Boyce

To my Aunt Iris and her family thank you for everything

To my family The Boyces, Whites, and Thompsons may God keep and watch over you all

To Pastor Martin and Lenda Jones thank you for your words of encouragement

Preface:

Choices of Life, is an expression of God’s love for mankind and his willingness to forgive sin. As you read this story let it speak to your spirit then I ask you to take the time and ask Jesus into heart. God loves you, He loves all people because God created everything we see and do not see and because of Jesus, He will forgive, if you confess and repent.

God loved you, us, the whole world so much that he gave his only son Jesus to die for our sins and whosoever believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth that Jesus is Lord shall be saved.

Sin is hard; salvation is easy; repent and be saved, find a spirit filled church and seek your purpose in God.

Chapter 1.

Reminisce

The phone rang waking the entire Stone household, which sat on a street called Brookdale Drive in Houston, Texas. The house itself was two stories tall, with a brick chimney, a large yard and a swimming pool in the back; it was the fourth house off the corner. Everyone in the neighborhood was very friendly and watched out for one another’s kids and houses. Most of the people in the neighborhood went to church for one reason or another. Saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost, the Stone family attended a church named Everlasting Faith. When the phone rang, Michael C. Stone answered. Hello- he said yawning, -Mr. Dayson, wait, hold on a minute- Michael sat up.

Baby, who is that?" The question came from his wife Shannon of twelve years; it was twelve thirty-nine am.

He placed his hand over the phone, It’s Mr. Dayson- Go on sir- Oh my God! Alright- No it is no problem, I’ll drive up tonight- okay bye-

Shannon sat up, I know that look, what’s wrong?

He looked at his wife who was wearing his college t-shirt and a pair of shorts. Her hair was a wild mess pinned atop of her head. Her brown skin looked as if she always kept it oiled with baby lotion. That was Mr. Dayson- he replied wrapping an arm around her, -it’s about Nathan. Nathan was a longtime friend and the Dayson’s adopted son. He’s- Michael was nervous and as he began to speak his voice got shaky, -He -ah -He has aids.

Shannon sat up next to him and stared into his brown eyes, My God No! was her shocked reply.

I don’t have any details but he is asking for me-

You want me to come with you?

He kissed her on the cheek grateful she would want to come with him. Their relationship had only gotten stronger over the past five years and her concern for Nathan was evident in her facial expressions. No I don’t want the kids to miss school- He replied.

Don’t be silly- we can drive the kids to mother’s.

No the best thing you can do is be here and pray.

We should both pray- She said and together they knelt beside the bed and asked for God’s mercy and healing for Nathan and his parents. After an hour of prayer, they got up. I’m going to check on the kids. Shannon said, Do you want me to pack you a bag?

I would appreciate that. He replied with a kiss, I have a long ride ahead- I am going to get ready.

Shannon left the room and as she did Michael tried to stand, but he dropped back to the bed as what Mr. Dayson told him really sunk in. Oh my God- he kept repeating as his eyes watered, -oh my God Dear Jesus help Nathan -help me! Michael was finally able to get up to go to the bathroom and start washing up. As he got ready, he thought back to the year nineteen ninety-freshman year of high school. The year he met Nathan, Michael’s family just moved to Houston. His father Charles Stone had taken a new job as general manager over a Ford dealership. After the second week of school, a skinny little girl was running around telling everyone that Michael was her boyfriend. Who knew she would fill out the way she did and become his wife. As for Nathan, Michael met him the forth week of school, it was lunch hour and three boys were picking on the kid. Michael stood watching as one of the boys punched Nathan in the face and that was it for Michael; he ran across the yard and shoved the boy who threw the lick to the ground. He turned and blocked a fist from the second boy, then side kicked him in the stomach, the third boy ran off with the other two limping behind him. Michael was a third degree black belt and hated bullies with a passion. He got a three-day suspension, but Michael and Nathan became the best of friends. In the beginning, Shannon did not like Nathan and only tolerated him because of Michael, but over time, she became a genuine friend to Nathan. Two weeks after they met Michael was inviting Nathan over for the weekend, when Sunday came it was time for church. (My parents don’t believe in God, we don’t go to church-) Nathan revealed that Sunday to Mr. Stone. (Well we do- and I will invite your parents over for dinner next Sunday and we can all sit down and talk.) The Daysons were furious saying, we do not want you filling our son’s head with that Bible non-sense and so on. Mr. Dayson went on for so long Michael thought he would never shut up. Mr. Stone simply responded that Nathan was old enough to make up his own mind and that it would be a shame to break off the children’s friendship just because the Stones believed and the Daysons did not. (Everyone needs a friend-) he said. The fact that the Stones were not preaching down to the Daysons impressed them. Despite their differences, the Daysons and the Stones became good friends through their children and eventually the Stones won them over to Christ. The Daysons joined the same church and attended until Mr. and Mrs. Dayson retired and moved to Florida. As for Nathan, Michael, and Shannon the three of them remained friends throughout high school and college. Michael and Nathan wound up at Caldwell Houston College together. Michael majored in graphic design, while Nathan took up accounting. Shannon went to a nursing college; her goal was to become an RN. Two years after college Michael and Shannon married: Nathan was the best man. Now looking back over his life and friendship with Nathan, Michael wondered what his life would have been like without him.

After a quick shower, he brushed his teeth and got dressed, and then he packed his brush and other bathroom supplies in a bag. When Michael walked out the bathroom Shannon was sitting on the bed holding their six-month-old son Jason, an overnight bag sitting beside her already packed. Michael went to the closet and pulled out a Christmas present he had been holding for the past three years and put it into the bag Shannon packed for him. Thank you. He said to Shannon with a kiss on the cheek.

Call me- She responded, -and tell Nathan I love him and I’m praying for him. She got up and followed him out of the room where Michael junior was standing in the hall.

Dad where ya going? he asked in that way all children did at the age of nine.

Daddy is going to see your Uncle Nate, he is really sick-

Can I come? Junior asked.

Michael knelt down in front of him, No you got school, but I will bring you something back from Dallas. While I am gone you’re the man of the house, help your mom and be good-

Yes sir- They hugged, I love you dad.

I love you to son. Michael went to his daughter’s room and opened the door as quietly as possible. She was still asleep, as he stood over the bed she stirred, Michael kissed her on the forehead and quietly backed out of the room. I will call you when I get to Dallas- He told Shannon, who was walking behind him, he was about to open the door to the garage when a voice came from behind crying, Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! it was their five year old daughter Antoinette running down the stairs. He smiled because she was like her mother, he never could get out of the house without her knowing. I wanna come too- she cried.

Not this time, but daddy will bring you back something as well- okay

Okay! she replied showing all her teeth.

The two of you get back to bed. He gave Shannon a big kiss, Antoinette went ewe while Michael Jr. smiled as his parents kissed each other. Mind your business! said Michael Senior. He threw his bag into the car a 2008 Lexus. He started it then Michael pulled out his cell phone. Yo Tony this is Michael- I am not coming in tomorrow. I have to run to Dallas. I finished the website and loaded it to our site- go over it; if you think it needs something go ahead and change it. If everything is all right go ahead and load it up to the internet; then contact the client- I will call you later. He left the message on his cell phone. Michael met Tony in college; they were the top designers in their class and decided to go into business together six months after they became friends. Stone Davis Graphics opened up three years after they graduated from college. Michael took a deep breath and backed out the driveway, his mind on how he could be there for his best friend Nathan.

Michael was still a little drowsy even after taking a shower, so he turned on the radio and Alabaster Box was just coming on. The song stirred his heart and brings him back to the day he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Michael was nine years old and his family was still living in North Carolina.

Dear God I need you- You told me to be there for Nathan as a friend- I’ve done that- how do I handle this situation? He switched lanes and as he did Michael remembered the year 2001, the month was July. Nathan called him and asked Michael to meet him at Chili’s. During his drive to the restaurant God spoke to his heart and told him, (No matter what he tells you- be there for him as a friend.) Michael had no idea what Nathan was going to tell him, but he could not think of a reason he would want to break off his friendship. When he arrived at the restaurant Nathan was waiting, they ate, laughed, and talked for hours. Then Nathan grew serious, (I have something to tell you- ) he said with a stutter, (-I uh -um I- I am gay.) He revealed in a whispered voice, Michael sat back in his chair shocked at what he had just heard and unable to speak.

Nathan broke the silence, (Say something!)

(What do you expect me to say?) Michael asked.

(I don’t know exactly- I am hoping I’m not about to lose my best friend.) Michael took a sip of coke, he didn’t know how to feel especially since God just spoke to his heart and told him to be there for Nathan as a friend, then something very scary came to his mind, (You’re not attracted to me are you?)

(No, Oh God no, I’ve been seeing someone for a month now.)

(Um- do your parents know?)

(Yeah- I told them last week. Mom did not like it, but she said I was her son and she loved me. My dad, well he gave me a big hug. He did not say much though. I know they do not approve, but at least they have not disinherited me. I had to tell my best friend and I wanted to know will he still be my friend?)

Michael remained silent weighing his eleven-year friendship against what Nate had told him. The scales tipped in favor of their friendship, a line from one of Michael’s favorite movies popped into his head, a line from the Wrath of Khan, (I have always and shall forever be your friend-) they sat there in accepting silence.

(My friend, but you don’t approve?)

Michael sighed, (I am not your judge- all I ask is that you be careful-) they stood at the same time and interlocked arms like a couple of warriors and hugged as they always did. Nathan paid the check and Michael left the five-dollar tip. Over time, their friendship grew stronger as Michael did not preach down to him or flinch in his friendship and Nathan never talked about his sexuality to Michael or flaunted it in his face. Shannon was just as supportive, but concerned about the children being around Nathan. Her concerns were unfounded. Eventually the Daysons retired and moved to Florida. Nathan got a new job in Dallas and moved there with his partner five years later. Even after Nathan moved to Dallas, their friendship continued and Michael learned a lot through reading his Bible and praying.

Michael yawned and turned off the radio, he spotted a motel coming up and decided to check in and get some rest before continuing. Michael had been driving for the past two hours. After checking in, he called Shannon. Are you alright? was her question when she picked up the phone.

I am fine- I stopped at a motel to rest- how are the kids? How are you?

She sighed, Junior. and Ant fell asleep right after you left, but the baby stayed up another hour before he went back to sleep. Ant was the nickname for their daughter.

I didn’t wake you did I? Michael asked.

No I was finishing up the book I was reading- last chapter.

I love you- Michael blurted.

I love you more- dear heart.

Good night- I will call you when I get to the hospital. He hung up the phone, and then called Mr. Dayson. Mrs. Dayson answered the phone. He informed her that he was still coming and asked how she was holding up. She responded by the grace of God and thanked Michael for coming.

Thanks isn’t necessary- I will see you all soon. Michael hung up the phone, and then he prayed before going to bed. It was ten am when Michael checked out of the motel. His cell phone rang as he walked to the car; it was Michael’s business partner Tony.

Mike I got your message- Is everything alright?

Not exactly, it’s Nathan he’s in the hospital.

Why what’s wrong?

Michael sighed, because Tony never actually liked Nathan even more so after he found out Nathan was gay. Tony if you ever in your life believed in God- then pray man.

What is wrong? Was he in an accident or something?

I can’t say right now, because I don’t have all the info- Michael said nothing else hoping Tony would not push him for a more detailed answer.

Alright- I hope he is okay, but I’m the last person God would want to hear from- Michael smiled at his comment, I’ve set up the website so we are a go. I’m meeting the client three pm this evening.

Good I will call you later. Michael started the car and stopped at a Denny’s after three miles. It was eleven thirty when Michael finished eating and got back on the road. Michael stopped to get gas and as he pumped the gas, he decided to call Shannon. Hi beautiful, He greeted her with.

Hi yourself- Mr. Shannon- she replied laughing.

I told you about that woman- How’s your day going?

She sighed, I already miss my daddy bear- other than that my day is fine.

I miss you too- He said

I’ve got to go, but before I do you should know that I talked with Pastor Jones-

What did he say? Michael asked.

He said he’ll be praying. They said their goodbyes and Michael left the gas station. Traffic was light so there was that to be grateful about, after an hour and a half of driving his cell phone rung. He answered using the handless phone. Yeah this is Michael- Tony what happened?

The client was well pleased and I have a balance of a three thousand dollar check. I’m going to have Ellen deposit it this evening- and we have a new account to work on; it just came in today.

Alright email me the particulars-

Mike! Tony cried interrupting. We get to start from scratch designing the logo and all- so I’ll email you the info I have and I’ll get started on some logo designs you do the same. The client wants the logo in one week. Man this is the biggest account we have ever had- The excitement could be heard in Tony’s voice. Okay calm down. You get started on something and so will I as soon as I can. With that, Tony hung up the phone. The time was ten after five and he was two miles from Dallas. It was five thirty pm when he passed the sign that read Welcome to Dallas. When Michael pulled into the hospital parking lot, he got a ticket and went to the elevator. Mr. and Mrs. Dayson met him on the fifth floor. Mr. Dayson was five and a half feet tall with round pudgy face, white hair a stocky Caucasian man, who reminded Michael of a dwarf. His wife was as tall as he was, a slender woman with her black hair going white, a woman of Chinese decent. How is he? What did the doctors say? Michael asked enthusiastically concerned.

The Daysons looked at each other before answering, He- that is Nathan wants to tell you himself. said Mrs. Dayson answering.

You’ll have to sign in first- offered Mr. Dayson, -I don’t know how long you will be able to stay, but we got you a room at the hotel.

I can stay as long as possible. Michael replied following Mr. Dayson to the desk.

He will want to see you alone- so we will wait here. Nathan is in room five-twenty-nine- you’ll have to wear a gown and face mask. The volunteer at the desk offered to show Michael to the back. Every step felt like a step to eternity a stride down a path in life that led to this moment. That is when Michael realized why God wanted him to maintain his friendship with Nathan. The nurse gave him some instructions then Michael put on the gloves, facemask, and gown. He placed his hand on the door taking a deep breath and entered.

Chapter 2.

Confessions of Truth

When Michael entered the private room, the smell of disinfectant was the first thing he noticed. The walls were white with a stripe of beige and a brown handrail going around the room as well. A television sat on a wall mount with a rerun of friends playing. The monitor over the bed read 137 over 80 for blood pressure and a heart rate of 97. The temperature was 99.3 a little high but Michael could tell it was coming down. Several bags dripped from the IV and on the bed lay Michael’s longtime friend Nathan Parker. His blue eyes popped open and he turned his head to Michael and followed as he walked around the bed.

Hi man- what took you so long to get here? Nathan asked in a wheezing voice.

Hi yourself- What are doing in that bed? Michael took a seat in the chair next to the bed, which was low enough for him to see Nathan’s face.

Oh nothing much- just waiting for the grim reaper- He replied muting the TV.

What did the doctors say? Michael asked getting serious.

Nathan coughed covering his mouth, I have full blown aids and two to three months to live.

Michael pushed back the tears and forced himself to ask, Do you have any idea how it happened?

Nathan’s eyes began to water, he had not told his parents, and a part of him was ashamed and embarrassed to say. He took a deep breath. Michael listened as Nathan told him about that night two years ago. He did not go into details about the argument but he did say that; he and Reggy had a fight. Nathan wound up in a gay bar and got drunk. He eventually went home with someone.

I can guess the rest, said Michael interrupting. Why didn’t you get tested afterwards?

I didn’t think nothing of it- then a few months later I noticed something on my skin that made me go to the doctor, but by then it was too late-

What about Reginald?

I think I gave it to him, he left me, cleaned out our account and everything-

And your job? Michael asked.

I don’t know and I don’t care- I don’t care about anything.

Michael felt compassion for Nathan and he was racking his brain for what to say or do to help. Michael asked God in the solitude of his mind for help, but Nathan interrupted his thoughts. So- go ahead and say it.

Say what? Michael asked confused.

What you’ve been dying to say to me all these years.

Michael studied his face realizing what he was saying as part of him grew angry. (-Be angry and sin not.) He thought reciting a scripture to himself. He was finally able to speak, Have I ever judged you?

Nathan rolled his eyes, No not verbally- but I could tell-

I admit I have never approved of your life style, but I have always been your friend and prayed to God He’d turn your life around. Michael was now crying, the tears running down his cheeks.

Turn my life around! This is who I am! Nathan replied at the point of yelling.

Turn your life around so that you become the person God meant you to be. Michael replied in a calm tone of voice.

Feeling bad about the accusation and yelling at Michael, he tried to turn the tables and asked, Have I ever flaunted my sexuality in your face or brought it around your kids?

No and I am grateful for that. Michael replied drying his eyes.

You said you’ve been praying me. Is this God’s way of punishing me?

Michael sat the present down and stood up. God doesn’t work like that. You made a choice and that choice brought you to this.

No one chooses to be gay; it just happens!

No way man- Michael had to pause to keep from getting emotional and took a deep breath before continuing. The day you told me you were gay. I started praying and reading my Bible and more and more this subject kept coming up on TV and in politics- etc- down through the years I’ve been hearing excuses like yours, I was born like this or some other such non-sense. An attempt to justify a lifestyle that deep down inside you know is wrong. God showed me that and some other things in regards to you and everyone else who claims to be gay. Everything in life we face boils down to the choices we make. Nathan could not speak something would not let him and all he could do was listen. Yes things happen in life we can’t control; like you, being abused as a kid. It is how we respond to those events God is interested in or looking at. Some people choose to rise above those things while others point the finger and blame someone else for how bad their lives turned out. When it all comes down to is choices. What you went through as a kid brought you to line thinking and you told yourself you were gay. You chose that life style-

Michael fell silent in order for Nathan think about what he said.

A part of Nathan was angry for what Michael told him; another part had to admit there was truth in Michael’s words. He thought back to his drug-addicted mother who died of an over dose two years after child protective services took him away from her. Nathan was five years old going from foster home to foster home. Nathan was looked down upon and told he was stupid. When Nathan was seven years old, a man whose wife ignored what was going on in the house abused him. Eventually Nathan got the courage to tell his teachers what the pervert of a man was doing to him. The man was sent to jail for life. Apparently, he had been doing this to a number of young boys he had fostered and he had a stockpile of child porn. It was at the age of nine when Nathan was adopted by the Daysons who showed him great love and kindness as if Mrs. Dayson had given birth to Nathan herself, because of Mr. and Mrs. Dayson’s love and Michael’s friendship that Nathan was able to finish school and go on to college and so forth. His attempts at romance had been one failure after another, one too many rejections and finally after a while he met Reginald Case. Reggy as Nathan often liked to call him had a lot in common with Nathan and the two of them discovered they had gone through many of the same things in life. Reginald eventually confessed to Nathan that he had feelings for him. Uncertainty on Nathan’s part became confusion and confusion became curiosity as Nathan started telling

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