A Time to Celebrate

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-05-31
  • Publisher: Textstream
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A Time to Celebrate, sequel to Here's an Apple, Sweet Adam . This inspirational novel begins with a glorious wedding between charming Jake and his dependable bride, Lisa, who desire to inspire the world in unique ways. They lose precious Angela and experience unimaginable heartbreak before being molded into examples of great faith. Lisa struggles to survive life's trials in a turbulent ocean while Jake loses his prestigious career as TV news anchor-plunging into a self-centered search for dignity on a houseboat. Creation displays the Almighty's majestic handiwork, with godly parents providing a legacy of unconditional love. The sovereign circumstances prove to be exactly what is necessary for Jake and Lisa Clark to become a brilliant lighthouse of hope and encouragement beyond their wildest expectations.


CHAPTER 1 CELEBRATION While filming a news promo about sky diving for KMOL TV- Albuquerque, charming reporter Jake Clark could hardly resist the obvious temptation. He fiddled with his tawny hair and scratched his forehead as they waited. Equipment was set up, cameras were in place . . . yet all attention diverted to the celebrity jumper, abruptly lured to the side of a hangar by an emergency phone call. A frown on his face, brows peaked at attention, and increasingly dejected posture indicated the conversation was grave. "No go!" he finally yelled to the pilot. In a split second the gig was over. Murmurings among crew members broke the hushed atmosphere. "Wait guys, I can do this segment myself, the whole Megillah—anybody bring a battery powered microphone?" Jake said confidently. His face beamed with excitement looking at Joe Garcia, an experienced production manager for the station. "What do we have to lose?" Joe said in a matter of seconds. "We've already wasted time and money out here for a non-event." Sizzling New Mexico sun beat down while the enthusiastic fledgling reporter struggled to buckle a slippery parachute firmly around his abdomen. Trying to convince his boss to consider new options was becoming an increasingly fun challenge. Wonder what Lisa will think? "Sure you know what you're doing?" Joe asked. Jake winked. "Been up several times." The plane was one his father flew on occasion. No big deal. He had even maneuvered the controls once. Getting a pilot's license would be his next bucket list project. Circles up to ten thousand feet took a matter of minutes. The thrill increased with altitude. Anything good involved risk. His fiancée would be amused at his bravery. Just before the Cessna 182 came into full view, with cameras ready to roll, Joe squinted. perhaps a bit uneasy about his decision. A shadow emerged from the open door dropping through the sky in an initial free-fall, a few hundred feet in only seconds. Jake stretched his arm trying to grab something; surely not to wave. With hushed breath they watched his shoot tangle. Gasps of disbelief followed. The film crew rushed frantically to the brush-covered edge of the airport where the self-confident jumper lay unconscious. When they reached his side, he miraculously started breathing. He rolled over and opened his eyes. "Hope you got that on camera!" Jake said groggily. "Next time . . ." Joe said with a smirk. Jake grimaced as the shiny rescue drove up, sirens blaring. "Maybe this wasn't a good day to learn how to jump." Several were ready to strangle him with twisted cords—once medics untangled his parachute—including Joe who was fuming under his breath. "Can someone grab my water bottle when you pack up? And don't forget my favorite Yankees cap," was Jake's final request. At the hospital, protective Lisa scowled seeing her fiancé bandaged and ready to go home. "How did this happen? Thought you were filming a special report at the airport? You're a journalist Jake, not the object of breaking news! Will you be more careful in the future? How can we inspire the world if you're dead?" Though she never knew what to expect, one thing was certain: Jake was always up to something. Voted most popular in his senior class at Apache High School, Jacob Theodore Clark had dated cheerleaders, all-star athletes, and most of the cute chicks. "Accepting this award in no way means I have eyes for anyone but you!" he said afterward, at the school party. The lead in numerous plays cozied up to actresses and musicians. Life was one continual party. Impulsive, with few cares in the world, his assistance to anyone in need provided an endless supply of pleasure. "Eat, drink, and be merry!" was his mantra. No day excluded affectionate interactions with his adoring classmates. "We love you!" they shouted in unison, as the charmer walked across a stage to receive his diploma. Dried-but-still-gorgeous corsages, ticket stubs, signed programs and score cards, joined other heartfelt gifts in memory boxes to be treasured forever. "Save your heart for me, Jake." One friend wrote in his yearbook. "Yeah, sure," he said. The bumper sticker on his prized Honda read, "God made girls . . . for guys to enjoy!" "There'll be other females to take your place," he said sadly, climbing into a stranger's truck after it died—as they drove off. "I'm an intern for KMOL," Jake shouted, rushing through the door of his parent's home the summer before graduation from the U of A. "My dream's coming true!" In between bites of dinner he discussed responsibilities, the professional wardrobe he needed to procure—for visibility in front of cameras, and the pay he would receive someday as an experienced journalist. He grinned. "Wealth will grow wings and fly from you," his father warned. "Don't fix your eyes on it, or cater to it. Be rich on the inside. Nobody can take that away from you." "You'll do great!" his mother agreed. Days after beginning the internship, Jake had a new sweetheart. Not just any girl! His former neighbor—and first infatuation—worked at the TV station. "Do you remember trying to kiss me through the fence?" Lisa asked. "No! I was too little." He chuckled, knowing it was probably true. Hers wasn't the very first affectionate gesture. "Your sister told me you were determined to win all the girls hearts." "Well, there's only one female that matters now." He proceeded to kiss the top of her chestnut locks, her forehead, and her nose. Lisa giggled. "I don't see a future with either Brenda or Hilary," he said, sealing his fate in her heart. Lisa provided dependability and stability to the relationship. Jake amused with his wit. In front of college friends, he bent on one knee and handed her a little box. "You can't be serious," she said blushing. Lisa whispered in his ear, "Why are you doing this—with them here? Is this why you wanted me to come to Arizona?" Ignoring his girlfriend's uncomfortable predicament and cry for privacy, he insisted she open it. Her breath quickened and hands shook as she peeked in the Tiffany box. A scream pierced the air when a fat bug popped out and slid down her blouse. "Jacob!" He fell on the ground, laughing so hard his face turned red. "Just wanna have a little fun with you," he said, pulling her down on top of him. Embarrassed, Lisa smiled at the crowd watching his antics—then laughed when he tickled her. "If you weren't so much fun, I'd have nothing to do with you," she said under her breath. The next visit proved more worthwhile. Christmas was even better! Waiting for her parents to return home on Christmas Eve, Jake pulled a gift from under Lisa's tree. "Do you think it would matter if you opened this now?" "Not until everyone gets here." "Why not? You prefer private moments with me. You might even want to wear this tonight. It's your favorite color." Convinced Jake was sincere; Lisa pushed red and green tissue paper aside and pulled a journal from the bottom of the bag. "You prankster!!!" She shrugged and then opened it. The inside was cut out and a diamond ring sparkled from the middle. Jake held his hands together like he was begging. "Please, Lisa. Will you marry me?" His eyes looked deep into hers and waited for a reply. He winked. "You stole my heart years ago. If you promise to take care of it forever—yes, I'll marry you," she finally said.

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