Originally I wrote Bhagavad-gétä As It Is in the form in which it is presented now. When this book Bhagavad-Git The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking. Ted Dekker. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any. Ted Dekker is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of more than forty novels, with over 10 million copies sold worldwide. He was born in.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Peretti, Frank E. House / Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. p. cm. ISBN I. Dekker, Ted, – II. 54 books based on votes: Black: The Birth of Evil by Ted Dekker, Red: The Heroic Rescue by Ted Dekker, White: The Great Pursuit by Ted. 'The 49th Mystic' by Ted Dekker is a compelling novel that combines science fiction and fantasy while orchestrating the allegorical tale of a heroine's journey.
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Want to Read saving… Error rating book. He set the phone down on the passenger seat and swallowed, throat dry. He glanced at the clock.
Okay, process. Stay calm and process. Did this really just happen? Of course it just happened! Some madman who called himself Slater just called my cell phone and threatened to blow up my car.
Kevin grabbed the cell phone and stared at its face: Who would really blow up a car in the middle of a busy street over a riddle? Someone was trying to scare the snot out of him for some maniacal reason. Or some sicko had randomly chosen him as his next victim, someone who hated seminary students instead of prostitutes and really intended to kill him. His thoughts spun crazily.
What sin? He had committed his sins, of course, but none that stood out immediately. His pulse pounded in his ears. Maybe he should get off the road. Of course he should get off the road! If there was even a remote chance that Slater meant to carry out his threat.
For the first time, Kevin imagined the car actually filling with a blast of fire. A shaft of panic ripped down his spine. He had to get out! He had to call the police! Not now. Now he had to get out. Kevin jerked his foot off the accelerator and slammed it down on the brake. A horn shrieked.
The Mercedes. Kevin twisted his head and glanced through the rear window. Too many cars. He had to find a va- cant spot, where flying shrapnel would do the least damage. He gunned the motor and shot forward. But how many seconds? He had to assume three minutes would end at A dozen thoughts crowded his mind: Kevin looked around, frantic. He had to dump the car without blowing up the neighborhood. Slow down and think. He ran his fingers through his hair several times in quick succession.
He swung into the right lane, ignoring another horn. A Texaco station loomed on his right—not a good choice. Beyond the gas station, Dr. There were no parks along this section of road; residences packed the side streets. The clock still read It had been Now true panic muddled his thinking. What if it really does go off? God, help me! He grabbed at his seat belt buckle with a trembling hand. Released the shoulder strap. Both hands back on the wheel.
A Wal-Mart sat back from the street a hundred yards to his left. The huge parking lot was only half-filled. A wide greenway that dipped at its center, like a natural ditch, surrounded the entire lot.
He made a critical decision: Wal-Mart or nothing. Kevin leaned on his horn and cut back into the center lane with a cursory glance in his mirror. Now he was committed. Get out! He grunted and swerved into the far left lane. With a tremendous thump he crashed over a six- inch-high median and then into oncoming traffic. It occurred to him that being rammed head-on might be no better than blowing up, but he was already in the path of a dozen oncoming cars. Tires squealed and horns blared.
The Sable took only one hit in its right rear fender before shooting out the other side of the gauntlet. Something from his car was dragging on the asphalt.
He cut off a pickup that was trying to exit the lot. Get out of my way! Somewhere back there it had turned. To his right, traffic on Long Beach Boulevard had come to a screeching halt. Kevin sped past several gaping customers and zeroed in on the greenway. Not until he was on top of it did he see the curb. A dull pain spread down his neck. Out, out, out! The car flew into the ditch and Kevin crammed the brake pedal to the floor. For a fleeting moment he thought he might roll. But the car slid to a jolting halt, its nose planted firmly in the opposite slope.
He grabbed at the door latch, shoved the door open, and dove to the turf, rolling on impact. He scrambled to his feet and raced up the slope toward the lot. At least a dozen onlookers headed his way from the sea of parked cars. Get back! Then all but three turned and fled, screaming his warning. Kevin swung his arms furiously at the others. A siren wailed through the air. Someone had already called the cops. He pulled up and whipped around, panting and trem- bling.
Surely three minutes had come and gone. Was it a practical joke after all? Kevin glanced around. A gawking crowd had gathered on the street at a safe distance. The traffic had stalled and was backing up as far as he could see. Steam hissed from a blue Honda—presumably the one that had hit his right rear fender. Except for the growing wail of sirens, the scene had grown eerily silent. He took a step back toward the car. At least there was no bomb. A few angry motorists and some bent fenders, so what?
And really, there still could be a bomb. Surely they would believe him. Kevin stopped. The car tipped into the dirt with its left rear tire off the ground. From here it all looked kind of stupid. Kevin looked back at a middle-aged man with white hair and a Cardinals baseball cap.
The man stared at him. Kevin instinctively crouched and threw his hands up to protect his face. The bright fireball hung over the car; boiling black smoke rose into the sky. The red flame col- lapsed on itself with a soft whomp. Smoke billowed from the charred skeleton of what was only a moment ago his Sable. Kevin dropped to one knee and stared, dumbstruck, wide-eyed.
The man was well built and walked like a gun- slinger—a Schwarzenegger wannabe with a perpetual frown and blond bangs that covered his forehead. Kevin rarely found others intimidating, but Milton did nothing to calm his already shattered nerves. Someone had just tried to kill him. Someone named Slater, who seemed to know quite a lot about him.
The scene stood before Kevin like an abstract painting come to life. Yellow tape marked a forty-yard perimeter, and within it several uniformed police officers gathered pieces of wreckage, labeled them with evidence tags, and stacked them in neat piles on a flatbed truck to be transported downtown.
The crowd had grown to well over a hundred. Bewilderment was fixed on some faces; other spectators wildly gestured their version of the events. As it turned out, one of the cars Kevin had clipped in his mad dash across the street was none other than the impatient Mercedes.
Traffic on Long Beach Boulevard still suffered from curiosity, but the debris had been cleared. Three news vans were in the lot. If Kevin understood the situation correctly, his face and what was left of his car were being televised live throughout the Los Angeles Basin.
A news helicopter hovered overhead. A forensic scientist worked carefully over the twisted remains of the trunk, where the bomb had clearly resided. Another detective dusted for prints on what was left of the doors. Kevin had spilled his story to Milton and now waited to be taken down to the station.
By the way Milton glared at him, Kevin was sure the detective considered him a suspect. A simple examination of the evidence would clear his name, but one minor fact haunted him. The last thing he needed was for the police to begin digging into his past for some sin.
Dear God, someone just blew up my car! The front edge. He smoothed his hair nervously. Kevin sat on a chair provided by one of the cops, tapping his right foot on the grass. Milton kept glancing at him as he debriefed the other investigators and took statements from witnesses. Kevin looked back at the car where the forensic team worked. What they could possibly learn from that wreck- age escaped him.
He stood unsteadily, took a deep breath, and walked down the slope toward the car. The forensic scientist at the trunk was a woman. Black, petite, maybe Jamaican. She looked up and lifted an eyebrow. Pretty smile. It was hard to believe that the twisted pile of smoldering metal and plastic had been his car.
A badge on her shirt said she was Nancy Sterling. She looked back into what was left of the trunk and dusted the inside lip. Kevin cleared his throat. We always do. Just be glad you got out. She made a few notations on the card and went back to work with her flashlight. Even the smartest make mistakes eventually.
Nancy straightened and looked him in the eye. He wants you alive. Full of himself, maybe. Case like this will send him through the roof. How long you here for, Nancy?
Parson in for a few questions. Half an hour, on your desk. Milton snapped his fingers at Kevin. An officer had fingerprinted him for comparisons with the prints lifted from the Sable, then Milton spent half an hour reviewing his story before abruptly leaving him alone. But in the end he could make no more sense of the call than when it had initially come, which only made the whole mess more disturbing.
He shifted in his seat and tapped the floor with his foot. A man named Slater had mistaken him for someone else and very nearly killed him. They would try to dig into his past. Try to under- stand it. The door banged open and Milton walked in. But Washington sees terrorists behind every tree these days, so they will defin- itely go on the hunt.
What confuses me is why he picked you. A bomb about blew me to pieces! You, on the other hand, have no idea who he could possibly be. He then plants that bomb in the trunk of your car. Right so far? As promised, the car blows up when you fail to solve the riddle and phone it in to the newspaper. The explosion could have caused significant collat- eral damage. So we have smart and we have teed off. You have no idea whatsoever why anyone would want to harm you in any way?
You have no enemies from the past, no recent threats against your well-being, no reason whatsoever to suspect why anyone on this earth might want to hurt you in any way?
What did he accomplish? Who might want to scare you? You want me to just make something up? High and dry. Freak occurrences like this happened to people now and then; he could accept that.
But a deliberate, drawn-out plot against him was unfathomable. He staked you out, wired the car, knew your moves, and blew it with careful deliberation. Slater knew more than even the police knew.
Never been married, no record, college grad, currently enrolled in seminary. You have any other cell phones?
You might have some media attention. Stay focused, capice? The air conditioning kicked in above them. We have a monster out there and that monster has chosen you. We need to know why. That means we need to know more about you. We have to establish motivation. Actually, it made perfect sense.
Use the cell number on the back. Milton stood and walked out. Twenty minutes later Kevin held the keys to a Ford Taurus, nearly identical to the Sable that was no more. Their only son, Kevin, had been with a baby-sitter. He had no memories of his real parents, no brothers or sisters, no possessions that he knew of. As it turned out, he had no need to touch the money until he turned twenty-three, and by that time it had grown into a sum in excess of three hundred thousand dollars—a small gift to help him build a new life once he got around to discovering he needed one.
Now he called her his aunt. Aunt Balinda. Kevin pulled into the garage and stepped out of the Taurus. He waved as the cop drove by, then closed the garage door. The timed light slowly faded.
He stepped into the laundry room, glanced at a full hamper, and made a mental note to finish his laundry before he went to bed. If there was one thing he hated, it was disorder. How meticulous and organized did a chemist have to be in order to understand DNA? How organized had NASA been in reaching out to understand the moon? One mistake and boom. Mounds of dirty clothes reeked of disorder. Kevin walked into the kitchen and set the keys on the counter.
Well, what was he supposed to do? Crawl into the corner and hide? We have faced the enemy and we have survived the bomb blast down by the Wal-Mart. Please, get a grip. Still, in light of the past several hours, it was a blessing to be alive, and gratefulness was warranted. Great is thy faithfulness. Yes indeed, what a bless- ing we have received. Long live Kevin. He stared past the breakfast nook with its round oak dinette, through the picture window that over- looked the front yard.
An oil pump sat dormant on a dirt hill beyond the street. This was his view. On the other hand, there was that hill. Kevin blinked. With a pair of binoculars, anyone with a mind to could park himself at the base of that oil pump and watch Kevin Parson organize his laundry in complete anonymity.
The trembles were suddenly back.
Kevin rushed over to the window and quickly lowered the min- iblinds. He spun around and scanned the main floor. Besides the kitchen and laundry room, there was the living room, the bathroom, and sliding glass doors, which led to a small lawn encircled by a white picket fence.
The bedrooms were upstairs. From this angle he could see right through the living room into the backyard. For all he knew, Slater could have been watching him for months! That was stupid. He was just a kid then. Kevin wiped his forehead with his arm and stepped into the living room. A large leather sofa and a recliner faced a forty-two-inch flat-screen television. What if Slater had actually been in here? He scanned the room.
Everything was in its place, the coffee table dusted, the carpet vacuumed, the magazines in their rack beside the recliner.
His Introduction to Philosophy text sat on the dinette beside him. Large two-by-three-foot travel posters covered the walls in a hopscotch arrange- ment. Sixteen in all, counting the ones upstairs. Istanbul, Paris, Rio, the Caribbean, a dozen others. An unknowing person might think he ran a travel agency, but to Kevin the images were simply gateways to the real world, places he would one day visit to broaden his horizon.
To expand his understanding. Even if Slater had been here, there would be no way to tell, short of dusting for prints. Maybe Milton should send out a team. Easy, boy. This is an isolated incident, not a full-scale invasion. No need to tear the house down yet. Kevin paced to the couch and then back. He picked up the remote control and turned on the tele- vision. He preferred to spin through the channels on the huge Sony picture tube rather than settle on any particular channel for long.
The TV was yet another window into life—a wonderful montage of the world in all of its beauty and ugliness. He flipped the channels, one every other second or so. Football, a cooking show, a woman in a brown dress showing how to plant geraniums, a Vidal Sassoon commercial, Bugs Bunny. He paused on Bugs.
Bugs Bunny had more truth to speak about life than the humans on the tube. He flipped the station. The news. He stared at the aerial images, fascinated by the surreal shots of the smoldering car. His car. I survived that. He will call again. Kevin clicked the tube off. A psychobabblist once told him that his mind was unusual. In fact, if there was a problem—and Dr.
Age normally slowed down the synapses, which explained why old folks could be downright scary behind the wheel. Kevin tended to view the world through the eyes of an adult with the innocence of a child. Which was really psychobabble for nothing of any practical value, regardless of how excited Dr. Swanlist got. He looked at the stairs. What if Slater had gone up there? He walked to the stairs and took them two at a time.
One master bedroom on the left, one guest bedroom that he used as an office to his right, and one bathroom between the two. He headed for the guest bedroom, flipped on the light switch, and poked his head in. A desk with a computer, a chair, and several bookcases, one with a dozen textbooks and the rest heavy with over two hundred novels.
There was once a man who owned a field. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Not to read was to turn your back on the wisest minds. Kevin scanned the fiction titles. She would feel no better about his philosophy and theology textbooks. Brown, brown, green, brown. That was it. He closed the door and walked into the bathroom. The man in the mirror had brown hair and blue eyes.
Gray in bad light. Somewhat attractive if he was any judge, but generally average look- ing. Not the kind of person stalked by a psychopath. He grunted and hurried to his room. The bed was made, the dresser drawers closed, the shade open. All in order. Kevin sighed and peeled off his dress shirt and slacks.
He had to get back to a semblance of normalcy here. He tossed the dress shirt into the laundry bin, hung up his trousers, and headed for the door. A flash of color on the nightstand caught his eye.
A pink ribbon peeked out from behind the lamp. He walked forward and stared at the thin pink hair ribbon. A long time ago. Samantha had given him one exactly like it once, and it had gone missing years ago. He spun around. Had Sam heard about the incident and driven down from Sacramento? But this ribbon was hers! He snatched up the ribbon, ran for the stairs, and descended them in three long strides.
Unless she had come, left the ribbon, and then departed, intending to call him later. Would she do that?
Under any other circum- stance it would be a wonderful surprise. Kevin stood in the kitchen, perplexed. But there was no note. His black VTech phone sat on the kitchen counter.
Number of messages: He should call Milton. Kevin ran a hand through his hair. Milton would want to know about the ribbon, which meant telling him about Samantha, which meant open- ing up the past. The silence felt thick. Kevin looked at the pink ribbon trembling slightly in his hand and sat slowly at the dinette.
The past. So long ago. He closed his eyes. Kevin was ten years old when he first saw the pretty girl from down the street. That was a year before they met the boy who wanted to kill them. Meeting Sam two days after his birthday was his best present. His brother, Bob, who was really his cousin, had given him a yo-yo, which he really did like, but not as much as meeting Sam- antha.
He would never tell Bob that, of course. It was his secret. He always went to bed early. Sometimes before supper. He thought maybe it was too bright with the moonlight coming through the white shade. He liked it dark when he slept. Maybe if he put some newspapers or his blanket over the window, it would be dark enough. He climbed out of bed, pulled off the gray wool blanket, and hefted it up to hook over the rod.
Wow, it was really bright out there. He glanced back at his bedroom door. Mother was in bed. The shade hung from a spring-loaded roll at the top, a smudged sheet of canvas that covered the small window most of the time.
There was nothing to look out at but the backyard anyway. Kevin lowered the blanket and lifted the bottom edge of the shade.
A dull glow shone over the ashes in the backyard. He could see the doghouse on the left, like it was day. He could even see each board in the old fence that ran around the house. Kevin lifted his eyes to the sky. A bright moon that glowed like a light bulb smiled down at him and he smiled back. He started to lower the shade when something else caught his eye. A bump on one of the fence boards. He blinked and looked at it. No, not a bump! A— Kevin dropped the shade. Someone was out there, staring back at him!
He scrambled off his bed and backed to the wall. Who would be staring at him in the middle of the night? Who would be staring at him period? One of the neighborhood boys or girls. Maybe he just thought he saw someone. He waited a few minutes, lots of time for whoever it was to move on, and then he worked up the courage for just one more peek.
This time he barely lifted the shade so that he could just see over the sill. She was still there! Kevin thought his chest might explode from the fright, but he kept looking.
It was a girl; he could see that much. And then she dropped from sight and disappeared. Kevin could hardly sleep. Gone for good.
He thought. Three days later he was in bed again, and this time he knew he had been lying awake for at least an hour without being able to sleep. After a long time he decided that he might be better off with more light. Maybe if he could trick his mind into thinking it was the next morning already, it would be tired after not sleeping all night. He stood, tore off the wool blanket, and sent the shade flying up with a flip of his wrist.
A small, round face had its nose against the window. Kevin jumped back and rolled off the bed, terrified. He scrambled to his feet. She was there! At his window! The girl from the other night was right here, spying on him. Kevin almost screamed. The girl was smiling. She lifted a hand and waved as if she recognized him and had just stopped by to say hi. He glanced at the door. He turned back to the girl in the window. She was mouthing something to him now, motioning for him to do something.
He could only stand there and stare, frozen. She was motioning for him to lift the window! No way! In fact, she was actually very nice looking. Her face was pretty and her hair was long. Why was he so scared of her? Her face was so. Kevin glanced again at the door and then slid back onto the end of his bed. She waved again, and this time he waved back. She was pointing at the window sill, motioning again. He followed her hands and suddenly understood. She was telling him to unscrew the window!
He looked at the single screw that fastened the sash in place and for the first time realized that he could take it out. All he had to do was find something to turn the screw with. Something like a penny. He had some of those. Suddenly energized by the idea, Kevin grabbed one of the pennies from an old tin can on his floor and placed it in the screw.
It came loose. He unwound it until it was out. The girl jumped up and down and motioned for him to lift the window.
Kevin gave his bedroom door one last look and then yanked on the window. It flew up silently. He knelt on his bed, face to face with the girl. Fear replaced excitement. Behind him the house was quiet.
Just crawl out the window. You can just climb back in later and screw the win- dow shut again. As if all mothers were like his mother. What harm would it do? Mother had never actually told him not to climb out of the window at night, at least not in those words. Girls and boys play together. His fingers touched hers and they were warm. Ten seconds later, Kevin was out of the window trembling under a bright moon next to a girl about his own height.
She walked for the fence, lifted a loose board, stepped out, and mo- tioned him on. With one last anxious look back at his window, he followed. Kevin stood beyond the fence shivering in the night, but not from fear so much as from excitement again. Instead she led him away from his house. Your parents are pretty private people, huh? You want to go down there? I was on my way down the other night when I looked over your fence and saw you.
I guess I was spying. Do you mind? She wore a pink dress and pink ribbons in her hair. She stopped her twirling, looked at him for a moment, and then giggled. Would you like that? Kevin laughed. He did like her. He liked her very much. More, in fact, than anyone he could ever remember liking. No one will even see us. I promise. Neither were most of the neighborhood kids. When she grew up, she was going to be a cop like her dad.
She asked Kevin some questions but then backed off when she saw that he was shy. Sam liked him—he could tell. It was the first time Kevin had felt that kind of friendship from any- one.
They squeezed back through the fence and she helped him climb back through his window. No one will know. How could he have done this? He never did things without asking.
Sam put her hand on his shoulder. I like you and I want to be your friend. No way. Sam held out her hand. Slip me some skin. Here, like this. Two nights later she was back. With more butterflies in his stomach and shrill warning bells ringing in his mind, Kevin slipped out his window. Mother would find out. Sam took his hand and that made him feel warm, but Mother would find out.
Kevin snapped out of the memories. A shrill bell screamed. He jerked to the sound. It took him a mo- ment to make the transition from the past.
The black phone on the counter rang. It was a modern contraption with an old-style bell that soun- ded like an old desk phone. Kevin stared at it, suddenly unsure whether he wanted to pick it up. He rarely received phone calls; few people had reason to call him. Mostly telemarketers. What if it was Samantha? Or Detective Milton? The phone rang again. Answer it, Kevin. Of course. Answer it. He stepped over to the counter and snatched the receiver from its cradle.
Did you find my little gift? First a little phone call and then a little boom and now a little gift. And all within four hours. I am your worst nightmare. How do I know you? Tsk, tsk, tsk. The fact that you even have to ask justifies everything I have in mind. God in heaven, save me! Kevin slumped slowly to the floor. Definitely not God. Every single bit is critical if you want to survive this little game of ours.
Do you understand? Anyone but the boy. From now on you answer me when I ask you a question, and you speak only when I say you speak. There are only three rules to our game. Remember all of them. One, you say nothing to the cops about my riddles or my phone calls until after the time has passed. Then you may tell them all Are we clear? Abundantly clear? As soon as you do, I go away. One, two, three. Why are you using riddles? Can I confess without solving riddles? A little riddle scares you?
For that you will pay an extra little price. Guess what? Open the drawer in front of you. Kevin stood and looked at the utility drawer beneath the counter. A small silver cell phone sat in the pencil tray. He picked it up. What else did Slater know? I have good news for you, Kevin. I in- tend to bring someone else down with you.
Her name is Samantha. You should; she called you recently. If you fail me, she dies. Shut up, you foul-mouthed lying punk! Listen carefully. You have exactly thirty minutes to solve it or your best friend will indeed go boom.