First Draft of Gypsy Prophecy. Ignore.
THE GYPSY PROPHECY
Written by Rick Archer
As the crack of
dawn approached, I was happy and sad at the same
time. I had the worst fear Marla would leave
me. This fear, of course, made no sense.
After all, Marla had just spent the past two hours
in my arms. With her head placed against my chest,
she sighed with contentment. I was thrilled,
of course, but I was also sick
in my stomach with anxiety.
Even though Marla was in my arms, I had no guarantee she would
ultimately choose me over Chris.
As far as Vegas
odds were concerned, I definitely held the inside track.
But this wasn't Vegas. When Fate is involved,
the overwhelming favorite does not always win.
Just ask Goliath. In particular, Marla's
story about Patrick had me shaken. As Marla
described him, Patrick had it all... nice guy,
bright, beautiful house, good-looking, lucrative law
profession plus she knew he really liked her.
And yet Marla had returned to Chris, the man who had
imposed a suspicious three-month time-out on
To me, Marla's decision to pick Chris
over Patrick did not make a lick of sense.
However, no one ever said that Love had to make
Daybreak arrived, Marla would have to choose between Rick and Chris. Would
God allow me to keep Marla or would I lose her to
Fate? God knew
perfectly well that I wanted to keep Marla. So
what? Not all prayers get answered, even when
Jesus is doing the asking.
well-known story from the Bible took place the
night before Jesus was to be crucified.
Knowing the ordeal he was about to face, Jesus
went to the Mount of Olives to pray. As usual,
His disciples followed close behind. Upon
reaching his destination, Jesus turned and told them
to wait. Jesus suggested the disciples spend their
time praying to avoid the dangers of temptation,
then left them behind.
be alone, Jesus found a private spot, then knelt
down to pray.
if it is your will, take this cup of suffering
away from me. However, your will must be done,
-- Luke 22:42, God's Word Translation
FIRESIDE CHAT 01: ORIGIN OF THE
MAGIC CARPET RIDE
a good time to hit the Pause Button and have our
first of many 'Fireside
Chats'. The Magic Carpet Ride
is written by two people, my Younger Self and my
Older Self. With a
nod to Franklin Roosevelt, my all-time hero, the 'Fireside
Chat' is a twist I will use to give voice to my Older
Self. Currently Rick, age 50, is telling
the story of how I met Marla. However, Rick,
age 70, wishes to step away from the story to have a heart to heart
a good time to explain why I
decided to write my book. Once upon a time, a series of
unusual events led me to the door of a dance studio.
Due to my acute loneliness, the stakes were a lot
higher than they should have been. With my love
life in shambles, I had decided dance lessons might
be my last best chance to help
crawl out of this Epic Losing Streak.
Unfortunately, something bizarre took place in my
first lesson. Afterwards, I was so upset
I could not drive home. As I sat there
trembling in my car, common sense suggested I should
quit. Clearly I had no aptitude for dancing. Despite my
despair, I suddenly got the feeling that God wanted
me to continue. Considering how badly things
had gone in my first dance lesson, this made little sense.
However, the feeling was so strong, I decided to
return the next week.
I could not imagine WHY God wanted me to do this, I just knew this
how I felt.
I ended up taking dance lessons for the
next three years based strictly on a hunch God
wanted me to do this. Who am I to argue with
God's Will? Then one day out of the blue I was handed a dance studio.
I never saw it coming, but look what just showed up
on my doorstep. Overwhelmed, unprepared, inexperienced, I would
have pegged my odds of success at somewhere around 1%.
Nonetheless, overnight my studio became an instant
smash hit. Bewildered
by my unexpected
achievement, I concluded I had succeeded
simply because God wanted me to. You
don't believe me? Read the book. It's
Thirty years later, I was
retired when out of the blue I was handed another
dance studio. This business opportunity was so
lucrative it seemed like the Divine equivalent of 'make
him an offer he can't refuse.' I suppose
the religious term is 'Temptation'.
I accepted the opportunity because I believed God
wanted me to do this. To my utter shock, I
failed miserably. This made no sense.
Based on the spectacular success of my previous
studio, I had pegged my chance of success at 99%.
Nevertheless, I had failed due to a series of very
curious bad breaks. Bewildered by my
unexpected failure, I reached the conclusion I had
failed because God wanted me to.
I was hurt. This
made no sense whatsoever. Despite giving this
project my best effort, I had gone down. Why
would God want me to fail? Hey, this was His
idea in the first place! I could have sworn God wanted
me to do this. Did I
somehow misread the tea leaves? After all, the
initial omens were so positive that I assumed the
Universe wanted me to resume my previous path.
Well, obviously I had guessed wrong.
Meanwhile, this series of bad breaks troubled me
greatly. It had not been my idea to make a
comeback. I had only accepted the offer
because I believed God wanted me back in the game.
I am serious about this. I was quite
comfortable in retirement. After all, I had
once created the largest dance studio in the
country. I had left on a high note at age 60
with no need whatsoever to continue. But when this new
opportunity fell in my lap two years later, I had a very strong
feeling this is what God wanted me to do.
Well, if that's what God wants, I will get back in
the saddle. At the
start of my Comeback attempt, I had
been so sure of success. But now I was startled. It wasn't that I
failed, it was the way that I failed. I did not
fail for lack of trying. I did not fail due to
any stupid mistakes on my part. Everything I
had control over went smoothly. It was the
things I did not have control over that went crazy. I failed specifically because
every possible thing that could go wrong did go
the final two events that put the dagger in.
Both events were so unusual I added them to my List
of Supernatural Events without reservation. In
life, there is bad luck. I get that. But
"Supernatural Bad Luck" is different.
To me, that indicated God was making this happen for
a reason. This
situation was the exact reverse of what had happened
to me long ago when I received one lucky break after
another. Whatever happened to that Hidden Hand which had once
come to my rescue time and again early in my dance
career? Now it was just the opposite.
After being hit by one bad break after another, I
felt like the cards had been deliberately stacked
should I make of this strange turn of events?
Putting things into perspective, this particular
failure was not a tragedy. Actually it was more of an
embarrassment than anything else. Yes, I lost $5,000 and wasted
six months of my time. However, compared to 32
years of wonderful times at my first dance studio,
this was a drop in the bucket. As opposed to
the life-altering events of this past, this comeback
flop was more like a wrist slap, a rebuke to my
pride. Mr. High and Mighty One-time Owner of
the country's biggest dance studio falls on his
face. Stunned and feeling abandoned by God, I went into hiding.
nursed my wounded pride with long walks in the
woods, I wondered if there was a message here.
There had to be. My failure was just too weird
not to carry a message. What exactly was the
purpose of this?
Then one day
I ran across an Arabic saying about Fate.
If it is meant to be,
God will move two
mountains to make it happen.
If it is not meant to be,
you will never
taste it even if it is placed between your lips.
I felt goosebumps when I read that. This
unusual proverb was a direct parallel to my life
story. In a sense, God had once moved two
mountains to deliver my studio. Now by
placing what seemed to be deliberate obstacles in my
path, God had seemingly ripped success from between
my lips. If God means for me to succeed,
I will. If I am not meant to succeed, I will
not. God's Will, not Rick's Will.
upon a time I led a charmed life, now I was jinxed. So what
message? I believed God
had scolded me for taking too much credit for
the success of my first dance studio. Over the
years, I had grown so proud of what I had accomplished, the lucky breaks
of the past had sort of slipped my mind. Hmm. Maybe
I needed to rethink this. Yes, I had the Talent to
run a dance studio. My past success was ample proof
of that. But where did this Talent come from?
It was a God-given Talent!
When I disrespected God by assuming it was
Rick's Talent, God removed that Talent to teach me a
lesson. Whoosh! You could hear the sound of my
it all made sense. I could
have all the talent in the world, but unless I
followed God's Will, I would never succeed on my own
merits. In a flash, I became very humble.
I was ashamed of myself, but grateful as well.
From now on, all glory would go to God. However, if teaching
dance is no longer my Destiny, what does God want me
to do instead? Take a quick guess what crossed
Instantly I had
the same feeling about writing my book as I had
prior to my two dance studio opportunities.
Just to let me know I was on the right track, I had
barely written two sentences when an interesting
thought popped into my head. Can Failure also
be a Miracle? With a nervous laugh, it sure
seemed that way. The circumstances behind my
recent failure were so extraordinary that I was
positive this situation had been deliberate. And now
this Arabic Proverb about Fate pops up. The
connection was impossible to ignore. My instinct
told me God wanted me to write a book about Fate,
but first he had sent this important
lesson to deepen my understanding.
gave me an idea. Over the
years, I had collected a list of every event I had felt
was out of the ordinary. I called it my 'Supernatural
List'. The list was very extensive, close
to 100 entries. I went to a cabinet and pulled
it out. To be honest, this was like visiting
an old friend. I had not seen this list in
years. That is because the fireworks
had taken place early in my life, then came to a
crashing halt about thirty years ago.
first thing I did was add the two recent events that had
'supernaturally' derailed my comeback to the
List. Then I took a long look. As I reviewed
the various events, I was staggered by the total.
Gosh, over the years, there sure have been a lot of weird things
that have happened to me.
Is it possible my
life is stranger than the average person?
could there be a reason?
to me that I had lived a strange life because it was
my Fate to write a convincing book about the
existence of Fate. By sharing these observations, I believed I
FIRESIDE CHAT 02:
ARE EPILOGUES AND FIRESIDE CHATS
second Fireside Chat, I would like to explain the
importance of Fireside Chats.
Magic Carpet Ride is a
collection of true stories which demonstrate how
Fate has weaved its thread throughout my life.
To make certain points, I need to
step away from the narrative to discuss aspects of Fate in a theoretical way.
A Fireside Chat allows me to give an overview of how
I arrived at certain concepts such as Cosmic Blindness and
why I think Coincidences are important.
In addition to Fireside Chats, there are 'Epilogues'.
was a classic TV show that always ended with an Epilogue to
recap the evening's show and offer insights into the
troubled mind of Richard Kimble. I love those
epilogues because they emphasized Kimble's desperation and
what he was thinking after his latest narrow escape.
It brought closure to each episode.
"Life can only be
understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards"
the Kierkegaard quote suggests, a book about Fate
must include Hindsight. Many of my so-called
Supernatural Adventures did not seem remotely
supernatural at the time. I was so busy coping
with problems that the unusual nature of certain
situations went right over my head. It was only
later when I reflected on the event that its impact
came into focus. A perfect example would be
the decision to blindly follow my instinct that God wanted
me to continue my dance lessons. However, it was not
till three years later when I was mysteriously handed a
dance career that the impact hit me. This is why they
say "Time Will Tell".
Here is my problem.
Frequently Event One makes little sense until we know Event
Two. If I were to tell a chronological
story, any Hindsight gained through time would appear in a
much later chapter. By the time I got around to explaining what I
learned, the Reader would have
forgotten the details of Event One long ago. What I
needed to do was give voice to
my Younger Self and Older Self in the same chapter. A
simple solution was to offer an 'Epilogue'. In
this way, I could link the story of an unusual event and the
impact I gained through Hindsight together.
My Younger Self could explain what I
thought as I lived my life forward and my Older Self could
explain what I thought as I lived my life backwards.
How else can Fate truly be understood?
FIRESIDE CHAT 03: SHOWING
RESPECT TO THE READER
At one time I
referred to my 'Observation List' as the 'Supernatural
List'. I have changed the title out of respect
for the Reader.
I resent the tendency of some
religious writers to assume every Reader is a True
Believer who will automatically take their word that
their interpretations are sent from God. That
righteous attitude makes me very uncomfortable.
We all know
there can no such thing as CERTAINTY regarding
the events of this book. This is a book about
the Unknown, it is highly unlikely I will be correct
in every conclusion I reach. That is why
it would be an insult for me to insist my Readers
believe what I say. Make up your own mind.
going into detail, let me offer an example.
Although I have never
seen a ghost, I know a lot of people who claim they
have. I once met a psychic who said the
ghost of a friend was apparently standing right in front of me. This friend had
died recently in another city, but only I knew that.
Was there really a ghost standing there? I stared as hard as I could, but I could
not see, touch or sense the ghost in any way.
However, since the psychic had no way to know about
my friend or his departure prior to this event, I took her word for
it. Later I dutifully wrote this experience
down on my List as a DEFINITE Supernatural Event.
But then I started to have my doubts. I
spent an entire summer wondering what really
happened. How much I
could trust the psychic's word? In other
words, if I myself was dealing with considerable
doubt, what business did I have expecting my Reader
to ignore his or her own sense of doubt?
to sharing unusual stories such as mine, there can never be
Certainty, only conjecture. However, in my
case, as the body of observations accumulated, one
day I had a Leap of Faith. Yes, it was hard to
believe that all these coincidences had been caused
by Fate, but the day had come when it was harder to
believe in anything else. That was the moment
I believed in God with more assurance than any other
time in my life.
That said, I don't feel a
belief in God is necessary to appreciate this book.
I invite any skeptic to read along and debunk each
Observation to your heart's delight. I respect
that everyone has a right to their own belief.
Furthermore I have no desire to
argue with anyone about which one of us is right.
Experience has taught me that no argument on this
controversial subject can possibly end with everyone
in agreement. However, I met people who
will argue till they are blue in the face. I am deeply
bothered by their insistence. I am even more
upset with the people who use physical intimidation
and the threat of death as a way to spread their views. That is unacceptable. As far as I am
concerned, far too many people have died in God's name.
Regarding the 100 Observations
I cover, I have listed 60 events as
'Suspicious'. This is another way of
saying they are strange, but hardly
out of the ballpark weird. As
for the 40 'Serious' Events, these are
extraordinary. Still there will always be a small shred
of doubt. This is why I make copious
use of words like Possibly, Potentially, Perhaps,
Alleged, Maybe, and so on. If you want
CERTAINTY, Fate is not the right subject. On
the other hand, if you are comfortable with the word
PROBABLY, you have come to the right place.
No one wants to be told what
to think. For this reason, I would rather not be a
Preacher who offers a heavy-handed sermon to his
Congregation. Instead I prefer the technique the Quakers call 'Friendly Persuasion'.
Using the courtroom as my venue, I see my Younger
Self as the Witness and my Older Self as the
Lawyer. As for the Reader, you are the Jury
hearing my case.
In the tradition of
Scheherazade and One Thousand and One Arabian
Nights, I will entertain you with some very
unusual stories. I invite you to join my
Carpet Ride as I show you how each story
acted as a stepping stone on my Path.
warning. You will undoubtedly undergo a sense
of unease as my stories repeatedly challenge your
sense of Reality. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm
wrong. You decide.
FIRESIDE CHAT 04: INTEGRITY
For this book to be of value,
I must convince the Reader of my Integrity and
Accuracy. Trust cannot be demanded, it must be
earned. Considering many of my stories are
pretty far-fetched, any suspicion on the part of the
Reader that I cannot be trusted ruins the book.
As an example, the 1993 movie Fire in the Sky tells the alleged true tale of a young
man who was abducted by aliens. Personally, I
enjoyed the movie. Although I have never seen
a UFO or met an extraterrestrial that I know of, I remain curious
about such things. In particular, the alien
abduction scenes were highly effective. One
critic applauded the "stunning, gut-wrenching
realism" of the abduction scenes. Only one
problem. According to Wikipedia, the
scriptwriter admitted the executives found the
victim's book account of the abduction 'boring',
so they insisted on upgrading the suspense.
Gee, maybe there's a reason we can't trust
Hollywood. For that matter, how much can we
trust Rick Archer and his stories?
Are my 'alleged'
embellished? No. In my case, I
could care less how many books I sell. Since I
am too old to enjoy being rich for long, I would
much prefer to get my message across. For this
reason, I do not
jazz up my stories. Nor has any detail of importance
been omitted. I have been careful to add every
important detail because I know the Reader will want
to know WHY I decided a particular incident was
worthy of being added to my Observation List. It is my hope that by
sharing the intimate details of my unusual experiences, the Reader will become curious enough to give the existence
of God and Fate some serious thought.
How accurate are these
descriptions? Even at my
advanced age, I recall every event. Due to the
unusual nature of each event, they had a way of burning
themselves deep into
my memory. Not only is my memory intact,
I was able to reconstruct the
sequence of long ago events with great accuracy
thanks to an abundance
of journals, letters and notes saved from each period. That
said, I can only say my book is 99% correct. I
there are small inaccuracies
due to the gap of so many years.
Although the fog of time has no doubt dulled
my memory on various details, I doubt the discrepancy is
enough to matter.
How accurate is the
dialogue in the conversations?
expect my conversations
to be word for word perfect. Because I am
able to recall the topics and results of important
conversations, I am able to offer my
reconstruction of what was said. Fortunately, my
dialogue of past conversations is close enough to
what was really said to get the point across.
Are the people who
appear in these stories Real?
of course. However,
changed many of the names for legal reasons.
Unfortunately, in order to enact my promise of
accuracy, I had to share details that cast people in
a poor light. Given no choice but to throw some people under the bus, it would be
naive to expect these people to necessarily agree
with everything I said. For example,
a person might wish to contradict my claim that their
actions were caused by a case of Cosmic Blindness.
I have no problem with that. They have a right
to their opinion and I have a right to mine.
The Reader must always keep in mind
there are two sides to every story.
FIRESIDE CHAT 05:
COINCIDENCE, AND GOD
"Coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous"
-- Doris Lessing
It is extremely
important to point out that not all Coincidences
are equal. In fact, the majority of
coincidences are absolutely meaningless. They
are so boring that over time many people get in the habit of
On the other
hand, once in a while a Coincidence is so dramatic
people to wonder if they have just witnessed an act
of God. In my case, my Observation List is
sprinkled with dozens of unusual Coincidences.
In fact, one of those Coincidences is remarkable enough to be
considered a miracle.
I started my
Observation List in college. Things were
not going well at all. Deep in depression, I
the existence of God. However, I was deeply
coincidences and three 'Suspicious' coincidences
spread over a short time. One of those
coincidences was the life-altering miracle while two
others carried a Probability somewhere around one in
a million. Unsettled
by the weirdness of these coincidences and alarmed
by my doubts about God, I began
a search for the Meaning of
The rational side of my mind
said these coincidences proved nothing.
However, every time something weird happened to me,
I instinctively wondered if the Hand of God was
involved. After reading a book written by
Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, I decided my
Coincidences did have value. That is when I
decided to keep a close track of each one by making
At age 21 I
was able to recall 20 incidents. Some were Serious,
Borderline. One incident by
itself could be dismissed, but twenty events was a
definite eye opener. For the next few years I ran
across one incident per year. That
changed dramatically in 1974. Due to a sudden
flurry of lucky breaks, my total went from 24 to
50 events overnight. The influx of 26 new
events in a span of four years was startling.
In particular, Event Number 50
was a doozy. A man I had never met in my life
offered me a job as a dance teacher. This
life-changing event was an unexpected answer to a
prayer, but it was so weird I began to tremble. I did not
apply for this job, I did not have the dance ability
to deserve this job nor did I have the experience
necessary to be any good at this job. So what?
Someone had just quit and this guy needed a
substitute immediately. My only qualification
was that I was standing there at the right time and
I knew a couple of line dances. That is how I
got the job. Kind of a lucky break, huh?
The luck breaks did not stop
there. Against all odds, I hit a phenomenal
Lucky Streak which helped me succeed as a dance
instructor despite my glaring lack of experience. Sometime your gut knows the
truth before your head can figure it out.
Three years earlier my gut had told me to keep
taking dance lessons based strictly on the hunch that
God wanted me to do this. Did I think there
was a career in store for me? Of course not.
I was just hoping I could become a good enough
dancer to catch some girl's eye.
irony. During these three years, not once did
those dance lessons pay off. Continually
wandering in a fruitless search for a
girlfriend, anyone else would have ditched the
unproductive dance lessons. Not me.
Several times I wanted to quit, but the
instinct that God wanted me to do this was too
strong. And now without a shred of
warning I had just become a dance instructor.
I was thunderstruck. Not once did I see this
coming in all three years, but now it made sense.
Time will Tell!
Thanks to the gift of
Hindsight, it was apparent I had just spent the past
three years preparing for my eventual
career. To me, the link between the
lessons and the career could not be an
accident. This moment was by
design. This was the moment I made my Leap of
Faith. I was certain this job offer proved the
existence of Fate. Furthermore, now that I accepted the existence of Fate, I
concluded only an
all-knowing, all-powerful God
could create such a complex universe. So, yes, it was my
belief in Coincidence that led me to my belief in Fate.
And it was my belief in Fate that led to me to my belief in God.
And it is my belief in God that led me to write this
FIRESIDE CHAT 06:
THE CHURCH CHOIR
the Reader knows why I take Coincidences so
seriously, in the coming chapters I will lay out my
case for the Existence of Fate. Before we
begin, I have a question. Are you
confident the way you view the world is the way
it really is? Can you
think of an important coincidence or strange event
in your own life that is difficult to
explain using the accepted laws of Reality? Do you ever ask yourself if it is
possible important events in our lives are
manipulated beyond our awareness?
Although I ask
these kind of questions all the time, I don't
claim to have the answers. I am not psychic.
I don't hear voices. I don't have visions.
I don't see the future. The only thing that is
unusual about me is that I ask a lot of questions.
My bet is if the Reader underwent experiences like
the ones I write about in the book, you would ask a
lot of questions too.
"Coincidence is the word we use when we cannot
see the levers and pulleys."
-- Emma Bull, Bone Dance
the questions I ask is how Fate works.
Although I firmly believe in Fate, I have never
quite figured out how Fate is administered. What is
the mechanism? When Marla and I met in the Disco at
the Stroke of Midnight, that was an important coincidence.
Just exactly how was that meeting arranged with
split second timing? Did God
do all the work? Or did God have assistants?
According to the Mystics, there is a Hidden World
right in our midst. This world has never been revealed
to me, but I don't find the idea
of a Hidden World totally far-fetched. I know that dogs
can hear things I cannot.
I know that microscopes and telescopes reveal things
I can't see. And what about ghosts?
Although I have never seen a ghost, there are many
who claim they have.
my point. Just because I cannot see the Hidden
World does not mean it is not there. Perhaps
the Hidden World is the Realm of Angels. Or
gremlins. Or fairies. Or leprechauns.
Or pixies, elves, sprites, gnomes, trolls and
hobbits. Personally, I have no idea what the
Hidden Realm consists of. Like most people, I
am completely dependent on legend and mythology for my ideas.
first-hand knowledge about how Fate is administered, my best guess
relies on the Christian concept of invisible
Guardian Angels. Folklore suggests we all
have a specific angel charged with the
responsibility of protecting us. Given that the concept
of Guardian Angels has such wide acceptance in the
public mind, I sometimes wonder if Guardian
Angels are the ones using the levers and pulleys.
Although I believe Divine Intervention is part of our daily
life, I assume we remain unaware because God is very
subtle. However, once in a while, God tips his
hand and does something too unusual to ignore.
To illustrate my point, I offer the shocking story
of the Church Choir.
CHURCH CHOIR COINCIDENCES
Back in 1950, a
strange story appeared in the March 27th issue of Life Magazine.
Titled 'Why the Choir was Late',
this event consisted of a peculiar series of
mundane delays that saved the lives of seventeen
story took place in Beatrice, Nebraska, a small
agricultural community 450 miles due east of
Denver, Colorado. The
population in 1950 was around 5,000 people.
If you have any doubt as to
the story's authenticity, visit the Internet and
decide for yourself.
1950, was a
bitterly cold day in windswept Beatrice, Nebraska. Reverend Walter Klempel knew that the evening's 7:20 pm choir practice would be quite
uncomfortable unless he heated the church ahead of
time. Therefore, out of consideration, Reverend Klempel visited West
Side Baptist Church that afternoon to light the
furnace and unlock the door. This way anyone
who arrived early tonight could come in out
of the cold. Klempel then returned home to change clothes and
pm that evening, as was his custom, he rose from reading his
Bible to drive to the nearby church five minutes
just as he was about to leave home, his oldest daughter Marilyn Ruth, 18, cried in dismay when she
discovered her dress was soiled.
mother said not to worry; it would only take a
few minutes to iron another dress.
Klempel, Mrs. Kempel and Marilyn Ruth
would be late that night.
PEOPLE ARE DELAYED ON THEIR WAY TO CHURCH
Vandegrift, a high school student, did not want to leave until
she finished a nagging geometry problem. This knotty
problem had really gotten under her skin. Ordinarily Ladona was the most punctual member of the choir.
In fact, she was typically early for choir practice.
But not tonight.
Tonight would be the FIRST TIME Ladona had ever been late
for choir practice.
Klempel, Mrs. Kempel, Marilyn Ruth
ARE DELAYED ON THEIR WAY TO CHURCH
was ready to leave on time. However, to her
dismay, her car wouldn't start on this cold Nebraska
sister Sadie suggested they call their neighbor Ladona
Vandegrift for a ride.
relief, a phone call revealed she
was still at home despite her reputation for punctuality.
Although they were pleased to
catch her, they were surprised when Ladona asked them to
wait just a bit longer. Ladona would come pick them up
once she finished her
problem. Ladona's geometry problem would make all three ladies late.
Klempel, Mrs. Kempel, Marilyn Ruth, Ladona
plus Royena and Sadie
PEOPLE ARE DELAYED ON THEIR WAY TO CHURCH
Since Mrs. Leonard
Shuster was among the most prompt of the choir
she and her small daughter Susan would have been on
However, Mrs. Shuster had received a
last minute phone call from her
mother asking for a favor. This forced Mrs. Shuster to
make an unexpected detour over to her mother's house to help her
mother get ready for a missionary meeting.
caused Mrs. Shuster and Susan to be late for choir
Klempel, Mrs. Kempel, Marilyn Ruth, Ladona, Royena, Sadie,
plus Mrs. Shuster and daughter Susan
EIGHT PEOPLE ARE DELAYED ON THEIR
WAY TO CHURCH
Herbert Kipf was
a lathe operator. He was late to choir practice that
night because he wanted to
finish writing a letter. When asked later
why finishing the letter was so important, Kipf replied, "Funny
you should ask. I can't
Klempel, Mrs. Kempel, Marilyn Ruth, Ladona, Royena, Sadie, Mrs. Shuster, daughter Susan
ARE DELAYED ON THEIR WAY TO CHURCH
Ahl got distracted. His wife was away, so he was busy
watching his two boys that evening. Mr. Ahl was
planning to take the two boys with him to choir practice, but
ended up playing with his sons. In the process, he lost track of time.
By the time
Harvey Ahl looked at his watch, to his surprise he realized
he was already late.
Klempel, Mrs. Kempel and Marilyn Ruth, Ladona, Royena, Sadie, Mrs. Shuster, daughter Susan, Herbert
Harvey Ahl and two sons
PEOPLE ARE DELAYED ON THEIR WAY TO CHURCH
Marilyn Paul was
the choir pianist. Due to her importance, Marilyn planned to arrive half an hour early to
practice her songs for the evening. However,
was feeling tired, so she decided to take
a nap after dinner. Marilyn fell into a deep sleep.
At 7 pm,
Martha Paul, Marilyn's mother, awakened her.
However, Marilyn fell right back to sleep. At 7:15 pm,
Mrs. Paul was annoyed to see Marilyn was still asleep.
She was forced to awaken
her daughter a second time.
Mrs. Paul was
fit to be tied. As choir director, she was adamant
that everyone be punctual. Now her own daughter
had made them both late. Mrs. Paul was embarrassed they weren't setting a very
Klempel, Mrs. Kempel, Marilyn Ruth, Ladona, Royena, Sadie, Mrs. Shuster, daughter Susan, Herbert
Kipf, Harvey Ahl, his two sons
plus Marilyn Paul and Mrs. Paul
PEOPLE ARE DELAYED GOING TO CHURCH
Jones and Dorothy Wood were best friends in high school.
They were also next door neighbors who rode together for choir
Lucille had a
strong reputation for punctuality.
However on this night she had become mesmerized by a
radio program. The 7:00-7:30 pm program of This
is Your Life featured the life story of Edgar Bergen,
the famous ventriloquist and puppeteer. Lucille
simply could not tear herself away from the program
until she knew the complete story.
Dorothy waited patiently as Lucille stayed glued to her
Klempel, Mrs. Kempel, Marilyn Ruth, Ladona, Royena, Sadie, Mrs. Shuster, daughter Susan, Herbert
Kipf, Harvey Ahl, his two sons, Marilyn Paul, Mrs. Paul
Lucille Jones and Dorothy
PEOPLE ARE DELAYED ON THEIR WAY TO CHURCH
It was a
cold March evening indeed. As the stiff Nebraska
winter breezes stirred the trees outside, stenographer
Joyce Black dreaded facing the cold night air.
Although Ms. Black lived right across the street from the
church, for some reason she could not
force herself to go outside in the cold for the short
walk. Just thinking about the brief three-minute walk made her shiver.
Short on willpower, Joyce
Black delayed leaving her cozy warm house till the last
possible moment. Finally her conscience kicked in and told her to
get moving. Glancing at her watch, it was 7:25.
Since Choir practice started at 7:20 pm, Ms. Black was
asked about it, Joyce Black replied she was feeling "just
Klempel, Mrs. Kempel, Marilyn Ruth, Ladona, Royena, Sadie, Mrs. Shuster, daughter Susan, Herbert
Kipf, Harvey Ahl, his two sons, Marilyn Paul, Mrs. Paul, Lucille
Jones, Dorothy Wood plus Joyce
separate delays caused SEVENTEEN PEOPLE to be late to
At 7:25 pm, Joyce finally made herself face the
It was really cold that night. Fortunately,
since the church was right across the street from
her house, Joyce didn't have far to go.
moment Joyce opened her door to cross the street,
the night lit up in fire!!
screamed in shock as a massive explosion rocked the church.
turned scarlet in a violent burst of flames. Joyce was
knocked off her feet by the sudden shock wave.
stunned to get up, Joyce
covered her mouth and shook her head in terrified despair. Right before her eyes, the West Side Baptist Church
had become a burning inferno. Joyce stared in
horror at the overwhelming sight. No one could
survive a blast like this! Someone
had surely been killed, more likely the entire
church choir. Joyce knew this for a fact.
These people were never late!
inspectors would later discover, the entire building
instantly demolished by a gas leak that caught fire. After the supporting
walls were pushed outward, the heavy wooden roof had come crashing down.
Joyce Black felt
sick. The combination of the fire and collapsing roof
would be fatal to anyone inside. There
was no escape possible in an explosion of this magnitude.
practice was scheduled for 7:20 pm. The
church had exploded at 7:25 pm.
who made it to the church on time would surely be dead.
At the exact
moment Joyce Black was staggered by the explosion,
thanks to the various delays, seven different cars
carrying sixteen people were late getting to the church.
Every single person had been saved from a
fiery death because they were still on the road.
Moreover, they weren't just late, the entire group was at
least ten minutes late. How fortunate to have this
roar of the explosion was so loud that it was heard in
every corner of Beatrice. Consequently each choir
member arrived in a panic. All sixteen people had
distinctly heard the loud roar as they drove to practice.
Adding to their fear, the sound of the blast had come from the
direction of their church. If it was
true the roar had come the West Side Church, the sound
had been hurt, maybe even killed.
At the time of
the blast, two cars were
close enough for the people inside to witness the event. One woman said she was so shocked she
nearly drove off the road. One by one, the rest of
choir members arrived at the burning church to
behold the crimson
flames. Shocked and fearful, it crossed their minds how
fortunate they were to have avoided a fiery
death. Grateful to be
spared, their thoughts quickly turned to their friends
at risk. They were certain someone
had lost their life in that fire. The only
question was how many.
need not have feared. Through a very strange set
one person perished in the flames.
For that matter,
no one was hurt. Standing in the parking lot
despite the cold, they huddled together and kept
count with each new arrival. Once the entire choir
arrived, the individuals were stunned to realize every
single person had been spared.
A profound sense of eeriness overwhelmed
each individual. Tears of gratitude poured out and so
did the goose bumps.
As their nerves recovered, the members of the choir
began to compare stories. It became apparent
that each reason for lateness was quite ordinary and
completely unconnected. When viewed separately, the
various delays were quite unremarkable.
Yet when each
reason was laid side by side with the other reasons, a strange hush
came over the group. They were in awe as they
tried to grasp the enormity of this weird series of delays. Typically one person in
four was late on any given night, but never all 17. To
have everyone be late on the same night was one in a
million. Or maybe one in a billion. No one had
any idea how to calculate the likelihood. All they
knew was this was an unbelievable event. Everyone in the group was
convinced these weird delays had been an "Act of God."
Although it is hard to believe in
Luck and Coincidence,
sometimes it is harder to believe in anything else.
This crazy chain of mishaps
is a perfect example of how a weird Coincidence can make people shake
their head and wonder if there is more to this world than meets the eye.
In my opinion, the
story of the Church Choir offers a compelling argument for
the existence of external mind control. A review of the
nine delays shows that each person was distracted in some way at the
last minute. Moreover, not one distraction was even slightly
suspicious. No one would ever suspect their mind was being
manipulated except for the fact that their lives were spared.
The concept of Guardian
Angels assigned to protect and guide a particular person
offers a possible explanation. Could it be that
Guardian Angels planted telepathic messages in the minds of the
various church members? I realize the existence of ESP is in
dispute, but I disagree. I have witnessed several experiences where
ESP was the most likely explanation.
In the case of the girl
whose car would not start, is it possible a Hidden Hand disabled her
vehicle? I believe physical things can be
manipulated from the Hidden World.
There was an event in my life where my car would not start. The
impact was so disastrous, I became suspicious. The car had
previously given me no trouble nor did it give me trouble later. I
was convinced this strange mishap had been manipulated by a Hidden Hand.
The story of Church Choir
Coincidences demonstrates the possible link between Coincidence and
Fate. By themselves, each of the nine events can be ignored.
However, once they are linked
together, this event defies realistic explanation. When seen as a
unified whole, a strong case for the existence of Fate emerges. The
same came be said for my Magic Carpet Ride observations. Seen alone,
any one of the hundred Observations can be dismissed. But when seen as a
of events, a clear Path I call 'Fate' emerges.
next chapter, we return to my story. Marla has
a decision to make.