|The Plot of Planted by the Rivers of Water
In this section, I have endeavored to go beyond the obvious to explain the spiritual significance behind my characters and plots, or include some teaching from my books.
If you haven't already read the novels, you may want to read them prior to reading through this section as parts of the plot will be revealed.
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Planted by the Rivers of Water: The Plot!
In my first novel, Planted by the Rivers of Water, Rachel Todd, wounded and hurting, retreats to her childhood home, a place of solace and peace, to deal with the pain and humiliation of her impending divorce. Sitting on a hill behind her estate, watching the ocean waves majestically churning below, she bent her head in prayer to God to seek wisdom and guidance. When she opened her eyes, her gaze focused on the old horse stable and paddocks that were situated at the entrance to her property. They had, at one time, been filled with her grandfather’s horses, but that was long ago.
The afternoon sunlight was dazzling, but as Rachel looked at the lovely old building she saw it anew, as if for the first time. She jumped to her feet and quickly ran down the dusty path to the rear of the estate that was her home. She entered the garage and finding the keys for the Chevy Blazer parked there, she drove down the road to the closed-up stable.
This event marked the beginning of Rachel’s spiritual epiphany.
Rachel and Paul Todd were created to be characters that represent traditionally good people, who grew up in church, observed the tenets of their faith, and raised their children to do likewise. Their comfortable lifestyle afforded them many things, but faith and character, which cannot be purchased or inherited, were not guaranteed.
Faced with temptation, Paul Todd succumbs to his lust and begins an adulterous affair with an office colleague. Rachel, seeking answers, turns to God. In doing so she embarks on a new journey with God who begins to guide her down a new and exciting path.
Rachel’s new journey brings her into contact with Christopher Elliott, an Academy-Award winning actor who ultimately falls in love with her.
Rachel’s decision to move back into her childhood home affects her profoundly as she begins to recall the teachings she received there from her beloved grandparents.
Types and symbols:
Rachel and Paul Todd are symbols of us all who once walked through life in darkness, unaware of our inherent need for God and His forgiveness.
Rachel, after her spiritual awakening, represents the church, the bride of Christ, which is made up of all those who have placed their faith and trust in His atoning work.
Paul, an unregenerate sinner, acts as a symbol of all those who, consciously or unconsciously, are controlled by the devil.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. KJV
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. KJV
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: KJV
Rachel’s Grandfather in one way acts as a type of God the Father who continually taught her the right way to live. Her memories of his words act as a type of the Holy Spirit as He speaks to us, guiding, encouraging and teaching us about Christ.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. KJV
Christopher Elliott, who Rachel admires for his likeness to her grandfather, acts as a type of Christ, who loves and cares for all those who have made Him their Savior and Lord.
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
I and my Father are one. KJV
Rachel Todd’s thirty year marriage comes to an end because of her husband’s infidelity, which leads to their divorce. Her life’s ‘fairy-tale ending’ vanishes, but grace and faith enable her to begin again.
The new life she builds for herself she centers on God, and although it encompasses numerous changes, it becomes fruitful, prosperous and fulfilling.
While there are those who seem to go through life unscathed, and those who repeatedly endure one trial after another, we all have one choice to make in how we live and deal with life and its challenges. We may either turn to God, allowing Him to guide and direct the way we live, or we can serve self and live life the way we choose. Ultimately, we will individually all pay the price for whichever course of action we decide to follow.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. KJV
In the first novel, Planted by the Rivers of Water, Rachel is confronted with the betrayal and abandonment of her husband Paul. This novel deals greatly with the issues of sorrow and suffering. Rachel, having been raised by her maternal grandparents after the death of her parents, has triumphed over tragedy before. Once again, her faith in God is put to the test as she searches for answers and seeks to find her way in life.
In The Pilgrimage, Rachel’s journey continues. She has allowed God to heal her and guide her into a new life. She has survived sorrow and suffering and her life has grown in grace and glory.
Both novels have one recurring theme: blessing comes from obedience to God’s law.
The Pilgrimage is based on Psalm 119:54. It says, “Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.” The Psalmist declares what John reiterates in 1 John 5:3, that if we love God, we keep his commandments, and they are not burdensome. They are like songs—a melody to be sung while we journey on the earth.
The word Pilgrimage means, the journey of a pilgrim, the course of life upon the earth. It signifies that we are not lifelong residents here, but only people passing through to another place.
The believer’s pilgrimage has a different focus than that of non-believers. The primary goal in the life of a believer is to glorify God. This is accomplished by walking in obedience, being transformed by the renewing of the mind
Transformation is a process that occurs over time. Once the Holy Spirit has regenerated the life of an individual, this process begins. As the word of God is infused throughout the mind, the believer will begin to think like Christ, and then act like Christ, and eventually he will be conformed to the image of Christ.
On the Mount of Transfiguration, the divine essence of Jesus showed through his earthly tabernacle and he beamed with white light.
As the believer is transfigured, the evidence of the divine essence of God, which lives within, begins to shine through his earthly tabernacle and he too becomes a beacon of the bright light of God, shining in the darkness of this world.
Rachel and her family and friends are only fictional characters designed to teach a series of lessons. Jesus used parables to illustrate moral principles and attitudes; this is what these novels have been designed to do.
While both books have been written to speak to people at various levels of Biblical knowledge, they can be entertaining for people who know little or nothing about the Bible. Hopefully, they are thought provoking as well to those interested in a deeper study of God’s word. The Bible is of course the key to unlocking any mystical passages.
In each novel, Rachel’s beloved grandfather, known as “Papa,” speaks wisdom and gives godly direction through the voice of her memory; just as God the Father speaks to us through the Holy Spirit. Christopher, like Jesus, the manifestation of God incarnate, gives Rachel a new beginning, a new life, and a new name.
Rachel is a character imbued with the essence of God. The living water she gives out refreshes and sparkles. She is courageous, generous and human.
Can we become like Rachel? Yes! Simply fall in love with the Author of The Book she loves.