Romance Fiction posted October 1, 2023 Chapters:  ...29 30 -31- 32... 

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Seth joins Emma's teenage youth group.

A chapter in the book Guided by Faith

Chapter 19 B

by barbara.wilkey

Depend on God in every part of your life, and He will guide, protect, and comfort you. Will God guide Emma's life? If He does, will she listen?
Seth and Emma met 19 days ago.


Seth did his best to hold his temper at bay while Pastor Pat explained Peggy Barton had signed up for the Apostles Creed Class. It's just another attempt at causing trouble. Maybe she'll get bored and only attend once. I can hope.

As people arrived, they sat in the circle of chairs he'd set up. He tapped the book against his palm as he waited.

When it was six o'clock, Seth introduced himself and welcomed everyone.

As he finished, Peggy walked in. "Sorry, I'm late. I couldn't decide what to wear."


Chapter 19 B

Seth ignored Peggy's comment and read the Apostles Creed. After he did, he asked, "Any thoughts or comments?"

A young man, Bart, sitting to Seth's right asked, "Why does it say, 'I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church'? We're not Catholic but we repeat it probably a couple times a month during the church service."

"Good question. The word 'catholic' doesn't refer to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the universal or general church, and refers to the Christian faith that traces its origins to Jesus and his apostles. I agree it's confusing the way it's stated. Does that help at all?" When Bart indicated a partial understanding, Seth added, "I'll ask Pastor Pat to join us next week."

Seth went on to explain the history of the Apostles Creed.

When the class ended, everyone left, except Peggy. She walked up to Seth and used her hand to rub his muscular bare forearm. "I'm glad you let me join the class. I felt I needed to do some repentance for my behavior Saturday night."

He pushed her hand from his arm. "This class isn't a confessional. If that's what you're looking for, you need to look elsewhere."

"Why don't we go to dinner and discuss it?"

"I'm not interested."

Emma rushed into the room. "Seth, could you...Never mind. I didn't know you were busy." She turned and left.

"Goodbye, Ms. Barton. Class is over." He walked toward the door. "Emma?"

Peggy grabbed his arm. "You're leaving me to go after her?"

"Looks that way." Seth saw Pastor Pat in the hallway. "You might check my room. Ms. Barton's still in there." He entered the room where Emma's groups met. "Emma, what did you need?"

"I didn't mean to..."

"Stop. I was looking for some way to get rid of her." He grinned. "Your timing was perfect."

"Glad I could help."

He noticed a fallen free-standing chart. "Is this the problem?"

"It doesn't look heavy, but it is."

Seth pointed. "Grab that end. I'll get this side."

As they set up the chart, the teenagers started to enter, and Seth took a seat.

Emma's eyes widened. "You're staying?"

"I can hide in here," he teased.

At seven o'clock, Emma welcomed everyone, began with an opening prayer, and then said, "I wanted to start with a short song, but my guitar was destroyed in a car accident."

Janie, one of the girls, pointed to a piano. "We have this."

"I haven't played in years."

Ashly raised her hand. "I play."

Smiling Emma said, "Would you mind playing?" When she agreed, Emma said, "Good. Ashly, what song should we do?"

She started playing 'He's got the Whole World in His Hands.'

After singing it through twice, Emma said, "My goal for this group is to address issues you have as teenagers. I believe every issue can be addressed scripturally. So, what I want you to do is to text me issues throughout the week. Next week when we meet, we'll discuss it or them. I promise I won't reveal who texted me an issue." She thought a moment. "I'll get a box for next week, and you can also write down an issue and drop it in the box. Then it'll be anonymous. You might feel more comfortable that way."

Emma wrote her name and phone number on the board. "Along with that, I want you to know if you have a situation, you feel has gotten out of your control, you can call me, and I'll either talk it over with you or come get you. No questions asked."

She relayed part of her graduation party story but left out the names. "I was lucky. I called Dad. He came and brought me home. He asked no questions. After I went to bed, Mom came in. We discussed it and cried together. While in college, I discovered not everybody has that type of relationship with their parents. I want to offer it to you. Call me whenever necessary and I'll come get you. No questions asked. I promise."

Ben said, "Ms. Emma, I use my phone as an alarm, and it blocks all my calls during the night."

"Good point. So does mine. Let me think about that."

Seth held up his phone. "I have a solution. I have my police phone. I get calls on it often during the night. I'll give you that number. I live in the same neighborhood as Ms. Winters. If I get a call, I'll knock on her door, give her your number, and she can return the call."

Ashly said, "But you're the police chief, won't that be a little awkward?"

"All you're saying is you need Ms. Winters. I won't question it."

Emma nodded. "I know Chief Carter well enough to know he's good to his word." She smiled. "With me he's capable of keeping our friendship separate from being the police chief. Matter of fact, he has said, 'Now, I need to take off my friend hat and put on my police hat and ask some questions. He'll do that for you."

Seth wrote his name and number on the board. "I'd put it under Seth, so your friends won't know you have the police chief's number."

They agreed.

Releasing a deep breath, Emma said, "I need to say I'll keep whatever you tell me confidential, unless I feel you're in immediate danger, and then I'll tell Chief Carter. By that I mean if I feel your life is in danger. Understood?"

After they agreed, Emma continued, "Okay, now I want you to know we can have clean fun. Let's hear your ideas, I'll make a list on the board."

The teens started calling out ideas, from white-water rafting, to watching a professional baseball game, to fishing, picnicking, bowling, and others.

"All are great ideas. If something's just a few dollars, you can cover that yourself. The white-water rafting and the ball game will be expensive, so we'll need to do some fundraising."

Theresa called out, "How about a fifty's dance? We can supply food and music. People can dress up in fifty's outfits. I think it'll be fun. If we open it up to the church and community, we can collect a lot of money."

Emma nodded. "I like that idea." She paused, "I was thinking of booths at the July 4th celebration, an ice cream social, and hire a teenager."

"What's that?" asked Brad.

"An example would be a church member hires one of you to mow their lawn. All arrangements will be made through me. I'll collect the money. That way we'll always know where you're at and how much money we have. I'll start a youth group bank account. If our fundraising makes a lot of money, we can do more things. This is a working list, and we can always add to it or delete something." She glanced at her phone. "It's getting late, let's do something fun."

Casey went to a cupboard and grabbed a basketball. "Who's ready?"

Seth stole the ball. "Let's go." The teenagers rushed from the room.

Emma shook her head. "Hmmm? I just lost control."

After the game ended, a closing prayer, and the teens had left, Seth and Emma walked toward the police cruiser.

"How did your class go?" asked Emma.

"Better than I expected." Seth hesitated. "I wasn't thrilled Ms. Barton attended."

"Is that what Pastor Pat wanted to discuss?" He nodded, and she continued, "I hope she didn't cause trouble."

"She didn't until the end. She wanted to go to dinner and discuss her repentance." Emma avoided eye contact. So, Seth continued, "I told her I wasn't interested and if she needed to make a confession this wasn't the right place."

"I see."

"How do you think your groups went?"

"They went well. I'm glad you joined with the teens. Are you planning on becoming a regular?"

"I think so. I enjoyed it, and it helps build a relationship with them."

"I agree."

As they walked, Emma leaned her head against his arm. He glanced down. "Tired?"

She straightened up. "Sorry."

"Not a problem." He exhaled. "Hungry?"

"I'm starving. I was just thinking about dinner."

"Why don't I pick something up?"

"Because I have a lot of leftovers from Sunday, especially ham." She glanced at him. "There aren't any potatoes left. I ate them all."

He grinned. "We'll have ham, but only if you allow me to help."

"The way I feel right now, you can do the whole thing."


Thank you, YouTube, for 'He's got the Whole World in his Hands.' This has always been one of my favorite songs because it accidently changed the direction of my life. My father was the teenagers' baseball coach. I was his scorekeeper. Anyway, his assistance coach had two young boys, about three and five years old. During a practice one of the boys asked me, "You know the song 'He's got the Whole World in his Hands?' I said, "I do." The young child continued, "Did God hold the whole world in one hand or two?" At that moment I knew I wanted to teach young children. Up until then, since Dad wouldn't pay for me to be a veterinarian, I thought I wanted to teach high school Spanish. This child's thinking outside the box influenced my life.

Character List:

Police Chief Seth Carter - hero and Beaverton's Police Chief

Emma Winters - heroine and waitress at her parents' bakery and bookstore, but just graduated college with a teaching degree.

Winters - the bakery/bookstore Emma's parents own.

Carl Jones - Seth's good friend and right-hand man

Susan and Keith Winters - Emma's parents and owners of Winters' Family Bakery and Bookstore

Molly - Emma's almost four-pound Pomeranian

Ace - Seth's German shepherd, a trained K-9

Pastor Pat - Pastor of the Church and Emma's Godfather

Jake Baker - Seth's mentor and Winters' family friend

Ray Hudson - Works at the bakery

Peggy Barton - Emma knew her in high school and is the assistant librarian, she's making a play for Seth

Linda Holton - the town librarian

Mayor Castle - mayor of Beaverton

George Elliot - city council member, from old money, and father of Marc Elliot

Marc Elliot - troubled teenager

Ronald Calhoun - dated Emma her senior year of high school



Thank you google images for the image of a youth group poster, and YouTube for the 'He's got the Whole World in His Hands' video.

Chapter 19 is divided up into two parts. This is part 2 of Chapter 19. I do this so the posts aren't' as long. This post is a little over 1400 words.

I've returned from vacation. I had a great time. I'll be posting the letters to my granddaughters, again. Hopefully, starting Thursday. I have some interesting insight. LOL

I made major changes yesterday, then again as I posted today. I hope I don't need to correct those corrections. Thank you for all your help and suggestions. I appreciate you dropping by and leaving reviews and your support of my writing.
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