God Lifted Me Up

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.  He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God (Psalm 40:1-3).

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Sometime ago I had a rough week.  At one point I felt as if I were drowning.  I was so overwhelmed that I came close to quitting my job but God gave me the strength to carry on.  On my way home from work on Friday afternoon, I felt drained.  My tiredness was like a heavy burden weighing me down.

When I got home, I played some of my favorite Gospel CDs and I felt the heaviness lift.  I sang along, my heart filling with joy.  I was singing praises to the Lord and as I focused on the words I felt my self lifted up.  I became energized.  I was no long tired.  I played several CDs and read a couple of quotes and sayings from “God’s Little Instruction Book for Women”.  It was a wonderful way to usher in the Sabbath.

God lifted me out of the pit of despair and placed my feet on solid ground.  God lifted me up when I lifted Him up.  The best pick me up is singing praises to God.  The next time you feel low, pick up the Bible and read a psalm that praises God, put on your favorite Gospel CD or sing a few hymns.   One that comes to mind is Sing praise to God.

Sing praise to God who reigns above,
the God of all creation,
the God of power, the God of love,
the God of our salvation.
With healing balm my soul He fills,
and every faithless murmur stills;
To God all praise and glory!

What God’s almighty power hath made
His gracious mercy keepeth;
By morning glow or evening shade,
His watchful eye ne’er sleepeth,
Within the kingdom of his might,
Lo! all is just, and all is right:
To God all praise and glory!

The Lord is never far away,
throughout all grief distressing,
an ever present help and stay,
our peace and joy and blessing.
As with a mother’s tender hand,
He leads His own, His chosen band:
To God all praise and glory!

Then all my gladsome way along,
I sing aloud thy praises,
that men may hear the grateful song
my voice unwearied raises:
Be joyful in the Lord, my heart!
both soul and body bear your part!
To God all praise and glory.

Devastating News

240_F_43342280_9fhJmIlVeQ5Zo89BgyO4mMkrzhXYj3UjSo, dinner with Marcus was amazing.  I had such a great time.  As I do my work, my thoughts take me back to that Saturday evening.  He came and picked me up at my place at exactly seven.  He looked very handsome in his expensive looking tan colored jacket and white shirt.  His eyes traveled over me in my red dress with the cap sleeves and flare skirt.  I had washed my hair and it fell in wavy curls about my face.  I could see the admiration in his eyes and I was thrilled.  “You look amazing,” he said quietly.

I smiled.  “Thank you,” I replied as I preceded him into the hallway.  After I closed and locked the door, we walked to the elevator.  The Hispanic woman who lived opposite me was coming towards us.  After she greeted me, I saw her eyes shift to Marcus and the way she looked at him.  I glanced up at him but he was looking straight ahead.  He was probably was used to women admiring him.  I can just imagine that a lot of his female students had crushes on him.  It made me feel great that I was the one he was taking out for dinner.  Nervous excitement filled me and soon we were on our way to the restaurant.  He drove a Bentley.

On the way, we talked about all sorts of things.  I learned that he was a Seventh-day Adventist like me.  The rest of the family was Baptist.  “What made you switch?” I asked.

“When I started studying the Bible, I realized that there were some major doctrinal misunderstandings of the Baptist church such as the secret rapture of the church, immortality of the soul, eternal torment, Once saved always saved, Sunday sacredness and the law being done away with in Christ.  There were Bible texts which refuted all of these teachings.  An Adventist colleague of mine invited me to an evangelistic series which I attended.  My life changed after that.  I left the Baptist church and became an Adventist.  What about you?  Were you always an Adventist?”

“Yes and I’m thankful for that.”

We reached the restaurant which such a warm and friendly atmosphere.  I loved it and the food was out of this world.  I loved being with Marcus.  He was so much fun.  I felt as if we had known each other for ages.  I could tell that he enjoyed my company too.  I felt that I was on cloud nine and I didn’t want the evening to end.  As we were having our dessert, he said to me, “I once had someone ask me if God only saves vegans.  The person asked me that question because he was told by a vegan member that those who are still eating flesh food will never see Heaven.”

“That’s ridiculous,” I exclaimed.  “What did you say to the person?”

“I told him that we are saved by Christ’s grace and His righteousness and not by our own works. We can’t earn our way to heaven by being vegan or vegetarian, nor do we choose to not eat meat because we believe that by doing so we will be saved.  It’s like what Paul said when the Jewish Christians were saying that the non-Jewish Christians had to be circumcised in order to be saved.  Being circumcised or not doesn’t save anyone.  We are saved by faith alone and not by works so that none of us can boast about how good we are and how much we deserve to go to Heaven.  Salvation is for everyone once they accept Christ.”

“I can’t stand it when people have issues with me eating fish and poultry even though these are considered clean.  Jesus Himself wasn’t a vegetarian.  He ate fish.  When the Lord visited Abraham with the two angels, didn’t they eat Veal?”

Marcus nodded.  “Yes.  It’s a shame that diet is the bone of contention in the church.  Eating meat became part of the diet after the flood and unless God Himself tells me that I should become a vegetarian or vegan, I will continue to eat fish and white meat.”

“Amen to that.”  The rest of the evening we talked about other things and then it was time for him to take me home.

When we were standing outside of my door, he said, “I had a wonderful evening.”

“So did I,” I was quick to let him know.  I wanted to say that I wish it wouldn’t end.  I couldn’t invite him inside because of what could happen.  As Christians, we had to be mindful of how easily we can become tempted to do things we know we ought not to do.  If we didn’t believe in the Bible then, we would not have thought anything was wrong with him coming into my apartment for a nightcap or spending the night.

“When can I see you again?”

“Anytime you wish,” I was happy to tell him.  Every single day would suit me just fine.

“Tomorrow I would like to take you to Napa.  I can pick you up in the morning and take a scenic drive.  It takes about an hour and forty-one minutes to get San Jose to there.  Once we get there, there are several fun things we can do.  What do you say?”

“I say yes!”

“Good, I’ll see you tomorrow.  I will call you.”

I smiled up at him before I opened my door.  I turned to face him.  “Good night and thank you for a wonderful evening.”

327_16843_17“You’re welcome, Abi.  Good night.” He reached out and gently squeezed my arm.

I leaned against the door frame, watching as he walked away.  My heart leapt in my chest when he stopped and turned to look at me, a slight smile on his face before he continued down the hallway towards the elevators.  I waited until one came and I heard the doors close before I went into my apartment.  For the rest of the night and all morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about Marcus.

The next day, he took me to Napa and the first thing we did was go for a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards.  It was an exhilarating experience.  Marcus told me that the next time we would go early in the morning when it’s even more spectacular.  Next, we went Olive Oil tasting, we had lunch a very nice Spanish restaurant called Zuzu.  Afterwards we went to Sterlings’s where we stomped grapes.  The grapes felt so yucky between my toes and my feet had turned purple but we got free tee shirts.

Before we went bowling, we wandered for a bit in downtown Napa with its shops, cafes and chocolatiers and visited the Oxbow Public Market where we treated ourselves to organic ice-cream.  It had been a long time since I had an ice-cream so it was a big treat for me.  After we finished our ice-creams, we headed to the bowling center where we spent the rest of the afternoon.  I never had so much fun in my life and I thanked God for bringing Marcus into my life.  As we drove back to San Jose, we made plans for our next date.  And we have been dating ever since.

The ringing of the phone brings me back to the present.  I stare at the display.  I don’t recognize the name.  I pick up the receiver.  “Hello?”

“Hello Abiyomi.  This is Philip Jennings.  We met at the barbecue.”

“Oh, yes, I remember you now.  You’re married to Bobby’s sister, Nicole.”

“Yes.  I called your mother and she gave me your work number.”

I could sense that something was wrong.  “What’s the matter?” I asked.

“It’s about Bobby.”

My heart was pounding now.  “What’s happened to Bobby?”

“He died this morning.”

I began to tremble.  “Died?  But how?” As far as I knew Bobby physically fit.  He hardly got sick.

“He took his life.”

Source:  Perspectives-Adventist; Seed Time; A Passion and a Passport; SFbaytripper; California Dream Big

Singing

I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me – Psalm 13:6

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Ranan means to sing, shout, cry out.  Ranan is often used to express joy, exultation which seems to demand loud singing, especially when it comes to praising God.

Isaiah 12:6

Proverbs 8:3

Psalm 32:11

Shir calls people to express their praises to God in singing

Psalm 96:1-6

 

Who sing?

Believers

Ephesians 5:19

The Redeemed

Revelation 5:9

 

When to sing?

Times of victory

Exodus 15:1, 21

Imprisonment

Acts 16:25

Times of Joy

James 5:13

 

Why Sing?

Thanksgiving

Psalm 147:7

Joy

Psalm 27:6

Gladness

Jeremiah 31:7

 

What to Sing about?

God’s power

Psalm 59:16

God’s mercies

Psalm 89:1

God’s righteousness

Psalm 51:14

 

What kind of songs?

Triumph

Judges 5:12

Spiritual joy

Psalm 119:54

Physical joy

Genesis 31:27

Deliverance

Psalm 32:7

Singing/songs help us to stop wrestling with negative thoughts.  It shifts our focus away from our problems to God.  King David sang to the Lord in Psalm 13.

Do you wake up in the morning and find yourself humming a song that keeps playing in your mind throughout the day?  What about when you are going through a tough time and a song that is just right for your particular situation comes to mind?  I have had the experience where I was going through a rough time and suddenly, out of nowhere, the words, “God will take care of you” started to go through my mind.  I could hear the tune.

I went and got my hymnal to see if there was such a song.  I was surprised when I saw it.  I wondered if it sounded like how I imagined it to be.  One day I got my answer.  When the hymn was sung in church the chorus was exactly how it played in my head.  Singing and songs have lifted my spirits, strengthened, given me hope, comfort and encouragement.

Two years ago a group of us went on the Great Controversy tour and we visited a place called Torre Pellice in Italy where the Waldensians hid from the Christians who were persecuting them.  We went into one of the caves where men, women and children hid.  It was cold, damp and dark.  We had to be very careful when we crawled in and we had to have torchlights, which those people didn’t have at that time.  We stood there in the cave and we thought of the people who had be flee into the wilderness and hide in caves because they would not compromise their faith.  We started to sing “Turn your eyes upon Jesus” Singing this song gave us the strength and courage and helped us to appreciate these brave men and women who ended up dying for their faith.  One of these days, we will meet them and together we will sing the song of the redeemed.

Abiyomi Meets Marcus

© Copyright 2012 CorbisCorporationI’m trying really hard to concentrate on my job but it’s tough.  I couldn’t stop thinking about Marcus Kincaid, my friend, Bobby’s very handsome and charming uncle.  He was at the family’s barbecue. I was thrilled to see him.  From the moment we met which was about a year ago, I was smitten with him.  Bobby told me that women are always throwing themselves at him.  He said that his uncle seems quite happy being a bachelor and he didn’t think marriage was in the immediate future.

I wasn’t dating.  The last relationship I had ended two years ago after my boyfriend and I had a heated argument over the Once Saved Always Saved teaching.  He was emphatic that a person could not lose his or her salvation but I told him that when we accept Jesus, our names are written in the Book of Life but since they can be removed, it is possible for those who once accepted to reject.  He insisted that I was wrong and that once a person comes to Jesus they can never lose their salvation.  He told me that I was confused about a lot of things in the Bible and that I needed to get my facts straight.  He became very livid and ended up storming out of my flat.  The next day he called and broke up with me.  The fact that it didn’t take me long to get over him made it clear to me that I wasn’t in love with him.

I decided that I would put dating on hold.  I had my work and church to keep me busy.  I didn’t mind being single.  And then, I met Marcus.  He was was sitting at one of the tables outside with a couple of people when Bobby took me over to meet him.  He was wearing a white tee shirt which hugged his muscular body and a pair of navy blue slacks.   He was wearing sunglasses so I couldn’t see his eyes but I knew he was watching me as Bobby introduced me to the other people at the table first.  There was a slight smile on his face.  When it was turn, he stood up, towering over me and held out his hand.  It swallowed mine and it felt nice and warm.  “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he said.

I smiled shyly up at him.  “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.  Bobby has told me so much about you.”

“I’ve heard a lot about you too.  Wouldn’t you join us?”

“Sure.  Thank you.”  I sat down in the chair adjacent to his which he resumed.

Bobby didn’t join us.  He went off to help his father with the burgers.  The people who were at the table excused themselves and went off.  Marcus leaned back in his chair and studied me.  I was nervous but tried to appear relaxed.  “How old are you?” he asked, startling me.

“Twenty-five.”

226158_mww“Really?” he sounded surprised.  “I could have sworn that you were Bobby’s age.”

“You’re not the first person to tell me that I look much younger than I am.”

“I’m 50 years old, you know.”

It was my turn to be surprised.  “Really?” I exclaimed.  “You look like you’re in your late thirties.”

He laughed.  “You flatter me,” he remarked.  “I guess I owe it all to keeping fit and eating well.  Tell me, are you dating anyone?”

Again I was taken aback by his question.  “No.  Work and church keep me busy.”

“What kind of work do you do?”

“I’m a Graphic Designer.”

“Sounds very interesting.  Which area do you work in?”

“I do visual branding for companies, such as logos.”

“Do you enjoy what you do?”

“Yes, very much.  What about you?  Bobby told me that you’re a professor of Classics at Stanford.”

“Yes, I love teaching and have always been fascinated by Greek and Roman literature, art, history and culture.  My course deals with how those two ancient civilizations have globally influenced the societies we live in.”

“I love Greek and Italian food,” I said and he smiled.

“There’s a new Greek restaurant called Evvia Estiatorio.  I’ve never been there but I’ve heard that it’s even better than the restaurants in Greece.  If you’re not busy next week Saturday, I’d like to take there for dinner.”

After I recovered from my shock, I managed to say, “That would be nice,” rather breathlessly.

We spent the rest of the afternoon together and when I was leaving, Bobby said to me, “I knew that you two would hit it off.”  I didn’t tell him that his uncle was taking me out for dinner.

And that’s what’s occupying my thoughts now.  Tomorrow’s Saturday and I can’t wait to see Marcus.  Now, I just have to figure out what I’m going to wear so that I will wow him.

Sources:  Youth Employement; Stanford University;

 

Stop Making Excuses

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When God calls us to serve Him do we make excuses?  Moses did.  When God asked him to go and tell the Pharaoh to let the Jews go, Moses protested, “O Lord, I’m just not a good speaker. I never have been, and I’m not now, even after you have spoken to me. I’m clumsy with words.”  So God asked him, (Exodus 4:10-12) “Who makes mouths?” the Lord asked him. “Who makes people so they can speak or not speak, hear or not hear, see or not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go, and do as I have told you.  I will help you speak well, and I will tell you what to say.”

Moses protested but in the end, he led the people out of Egypt.  He became a great leader.  After his death, it was written that, “There has never been another prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. The Lord sent Moses to perform all the miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and his entire land.  And it was through Moses that the Lord demonstrated his mighty power and terrifying acts in the sight of all Israel.” (Deuteronomy 34:10-12)

We have to trust God and believe that He will equip us for the work He calls us to do.  He used the staff Moses carried to perform great things and He equipped Moses to become a leader.  When it became too much for Moses to handle the many responsibilities, God impressed Jethro, Moses’ father in law to give him this very good advice, “You’re going to wear yourself out-and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. Now let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing him their questions to be decided.

You should tell them God’s decisions, teach them God’s laws and instructions, and show them how to conduct their lives.  But find some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes.

“Appoint them as judges over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten.  These men can serve the people, resolving all the ordinary cases. Anything that is too important or too complicated can be brought to you. But they can take care of the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. If you follow this advice, and if God directs you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.” (Exodus 18:18-23)

Moses learned how to delegate and that too makes for good leadership.  God does not expect one person to do everything and that is why leaders in the church and in the world have people working with them.  Jesus taught this when He called twelve men into His ministry.  He could have done it all by Himself but He chose not.

Jeremiah was a youth when God called Him to service.  He shares the experience which must have been overwhelming.  “The Lord gave me a message. He said, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.”

“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”

“Don’t say that,” the Lord replied, “for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Jeremiah 1:4-8)

When God calls us, He doesn’t send out to do the work and leaves us on our own.  He is with us every step of the way—instructing, guiding and helping us.  I used to be shy and didn’t socialize easily.  Since I allowed God to use me, I am not shy anymore.  He helped me to gradually get over my shyness.  I started with small things like scripture reading, poetry reading and then I graduated to telling the mission story, sharing my testimony in front of a large audience and making announcements.  He called me to be the leader of Singles Ministry.  I didn’t know anything about being a leader but I trusted that He would help me to do my best and He did.  He accomplished a lot through me.  Now, I am comfortable being a leader and I delegate like Moses was encouraged to.

Is God calling you to serve Him?  Don’t use your age or gender as an excuse not to answer His call.  David was a boy when he was anointed king of Israel and Josiah Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years.  He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn aside from doing what was right. (2 Kings 22:2)  God accomplished great things through women.  Deborah was a judge, Miriam was a prophetess and Dorcas was a disciple and community worker.  God can use you.  Stop making excuses and allow Him to do marvelous work through you.

Lavinia and Franco

curvy3Lavinia was standing outside of the office building waiting for the courier.  He had an important package for her boss and she wanted it to be given to her directly.  It was a mild afternoon.  As she waited,  Teresa, whom she couldn’t stand walked up with her boss, Franco, one of the company’s directors in tow.  They were returning from one of their lunches.  He was a gorgeous man and Lavinia couldn’t deny that she was attracted to him.  Their eyes met over Teresa’s head.

“Waiting for someone?” he asked.

“Yes, the courier.”

“Aren’t you cold?” Teresa demanded, eyeing her critically.

“No, I’m not,” Lavinia replied shortly.  Why should it matter to her that she wasn’t wearing her coat?

“I hope you don’t have to wait long,” Franco said.  The expression on his face made her mouth go dry.

She smiled.  “I hope not too.”

He held the door open and his gaze lingered on Lavinia before he followed Teresa into the building.

Lavinia couldn’t shake the feeling that he was attracted to her too but what about Teresa?  Just then, the courier came and after signing for the package, she went up to the office.  She went straight to her boss, Mitch’s office and handed him the package.  Then, she went into the kitchenette to fix herself a cup of Herbal tea.  She was just about to return to her desk when Teresa walked in, her expression thunderous.

“I saw the way you were looking at Franco a few minutes ago when were standing outside.”

“I don’t know what you think you saw.”

“Forget it, Lavinia.  You aren’t his type.”

Lavinia’s mouth tightened.  “And I suppose you are.”

Teresa flicked her glossy black hair over her shoulder with a well manicured hand.  “Yes.”

“Why, is it because you look like those half-starved bundles of twigs who call themselves fashion models?”

Teresa’s eyes flashed at her.  “There’s no need to get nasty because Franco prefers his women to be slim instead of being heavyset.

Laconia bristled.  “For your information, I’m curvy NOT heavyset.”

“You’re still not his type so you need to stop throwing yourself at him.”

“Girl, you’re out of your mind.  I have NEVER thrown myself at Franco.”

“Whenever he leaves his office, you’re always there trying to get his attention.”

“I don’t have to try to get any man’s attention.  And for your information, he’s the one who strikes up a conversation every time I see him.  Maybe you should be telling him to stay away from me. Excuse me.  I’ve got work to do.”  She turned and sauntered away before Teresa could say anything.

Lavinia went back to her cubicle and sat down at her desk, fuming.  If she weren’t a God fearing woman, she would have accidentally on purpose spilled her tea on Teresa’s Dolce & Gabbana blouse.  What Franco saw in her, she had no clue.  Granted she was stunning and smart but she was vain and impossible to get along with.  None of the women in the department liked her.

Her phone rang and her heart leapt when she recognized the extension on the display.  Taking a deep breath, she picked up the receiver.  “Yes, Franco.”

“I know that you’re probably busy but can you spare a few minutes?”

“Sure.  I’ll be right there.”

After she hung up, she stood, smoothed her dress and her hair before she headed to his office.  She had the pleasure of walking past Teresa’s desk and straight to Franco’s door which was slightly ajar.  She smiled when she saw the other woman’s miffed expression as she closed the door behind her.

MitiaFranco was sitting behind his desk.  He had removed his jacket.  The white shirt he wore accentuated his swarthy complexion.  When she walked over to him, she saw the way his eyes traveled slowly and deliberately over her and she tried to ignore her body’s response.  She stood in front of his desk, looking down at him.  “You wanted to see me?”

He leaned back in this chair, placed his hand over his chin.  Did he have any idea of how delectable he looked at that moment?  “Have dinner with me tonight.”

After she recovered from her surprise, she replied rather breathlessly, “I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t make it a habit of going out with another woman’s man.”

He frowned.  “What are you talking about?”

“You and Teresa.”

“What about us?”

“Don’t play dumb with me.  I know that you and she are in a relationship.”

“Yes, a business relationship.”

“But I’ve seen the two of you go out for lunch several times.”

“Those were all business lunches with other clients.  There has never been anything personal or romantic between Teresa and me.”

“Maybe you should make that clear to her.”

“I will.  Now, will you have dinner with me?”

“Sure.”

He grinned making her heart flutter.  “Good.  I’ll pick you up at seven.”

She reached for the one of the sticky pads on his desk and she wrote her address and number before tearing the sheet off and handing it to him.  When he reached over took it from her, he deliberately let his fingers touch hers.  Her eyes flew up to his face and what she saw there made her heart skip a beat.  “I–I’d better go,” she stammered.

“What’s the hurry?” he asked as he got up from the desk and walked around to where she stood.

“I-I have letters to type, photocopying, filing and–” She was nervous now.  This was the first time she had ever been alone with him.

He touched her face, making her breath quicken.  “Eres una mujer muy hermosa.”

It was the first time she had heard him speak Spanish and it sounded very sensual.  “What-what did you say?”

He moved closer.  “I said that you’re a very beautiful woman.”

“Thank you.”  She wondered what Teresa say about that.  “I didn’t think I was your type.”

“You’re exactly my type.  You’re beautiful, sexy and highly intelligent.”

“I thought Teresa was more your type.”

“Teresa is a very attractive woman but she doesn’t do anything for me.  You, on the other hand, drive me crazy…” He reached out, caught her by the waist and pulled her against him, making her gasp.  His smoldering eyes raked her upturned face before his mouth found hers.  Her eyes fell shut as his lips moved passionately on hers and her arms wound themselves about his neck.  She couldn’t believe that she was standing there in his office kissing him.

The knock on the door jolted them and they broke apart.  He leaned against the desk, breathing heavily and she frantically straightened her clothes and ran her trembling hand over her hair.  After he managed to compose himself, Franco called out, “Yes?”

The door opened and Teresa walked in.  She stopped half way, her gaze shifting from one to the other.  “The Board meeting is about to start in ten minutes,” she said.

Franco reached for his jacket and pulled it on.  “Thanks, Teresa.  I will head over now.”

Teresa lingered for a few minutes and then she left, leaving the door ajar.  Lavinia turned to face him.  “I really should get back to my desk.”

“I’ll see you later,” he said before he leaned over and kissed her on the side of her neck, making her tremble.  When he drew back to look down at her, his face was flushed.  He walked past her and out of the office.

She leaned against the desk for a few minutes, her mind whirling, trying to catch her breath and then, she left.  As soon as she sat down at her desk, Teresa was standing over her, livid.  “What were you doing in Franco’s office?” she demanded.

Lavinia raised her head and looked her calmly in the face and said, “That’s between Franco and me.  Now if you will excuse me, I have work to do.”

Teresa flounced away.  When Franco returned from the meeting, he called her into his office.  Since that day, there weren’t any more confrontations between Lavinia and her–not if she wanted to keep her job.  And Franco signed her up for the Getting Along in the Workplace course.  After their dinner date that night, Lavinia and he officially began dating.