One morning during my prayer time, I heard the Lord say, “Go to Rhema,” so I wrote that in my journal. Knowing the word Rhema meant “the Word of God,” I figured He wanted me to read the Bible more, so I beefed up my reading schedule. About a month later, a friend said, “You guys ought to go to Rhema.”
I asked what “Rhema” was, and she told me it was a Bible School in Oklahoma. It seemed like an enormous step to take, but I did write for information. John hated the restaurant business and would have gone to Alaska to work on the pipeline if it would have gotten him out of administration and serving food. However, selling the restaurants, the house, and moving to Oklahoma made him think twice. Giving up my involvement in my church work made me think twice. We asked the Lord for a confirmation.
In early spring we got away for a weekend in Santa Rosa to visit some friends and attended their church. John and I agreed in prayer, asking the Lord to give us a confirmation that very day. We waited all through the church service, anticipating some sign from God and nothing happened till the closing prayer. The Pastor stuttered, unable to speak straight, and finally blurted out, “Oh, Lord, just let Your Rhema settle in their hearts.” Confirmed, we went home and convinced Bob it was time to put the restaurants on the market.
A month later, however, John’s application for Rhema returned in the mail. John has a sarcastic, mocking tongue. When I first met him, I found that attractive, now I winced with every snarling word, and apparently, Rhema joined me. An entry on the application asked when he had had his last alcoholic drink (alcohol is forbidden at this school), and he had written, smartly, “Last night.” The school wanted to know what that meant.
To his own amazement, as John responded to their inquiry, he realized his last drink had actually been that night, and that he had not had alcohol since then. The Lord also took wine away without John asking. We understood that as further confirmation, God wanted us to attend Bible School.
Soon afterward, Bob and his wife came for dinner as we were planning Isabelle’s 80th birthday in May. Even though we were preparing to leave in August, the restaurants had not sold. Bob owned the lion’s share of the business. Having finished the dinner, I served coffee; Bob stirred in his three teaspoons of sugar and said, “Do you still think you’ll leave in August?”
John didn’t say anything, so I said, “Yes.”
“If you leave me with the restaurants to run, you’ll get nothing.”
“Bob, they’ll be sold by then.” I affirmed.
“I’m just telling you, I’ll run them into the ground before I give you a red cent.”
“Bob, the Lord wouldn’t call us to Bible School if He weren’t going to provide.”
“I’m just warning you.” Bob said and then he changed the subject.
This little bit of conversation terrified me. John’s brother, the All-Star Controller, would follow through on his threats. Bob and his pal Bernard had fenced goods for thieves since their teens, run floating crap games and I don’t know what else, but if they had played dirty with other people, what would prevent Bob from playing dirty with us. John blew it off. “My brother is not going to dump me. I don’t care what he says.” We proceeded with our plans.