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In early April of 2000 Ron Oja and I had the pleasure of meeting Carlos and Shelli Ricci for the first time. We met through mutual friends who wanted us to share with them the message of the Restoration of All Things from my book, "Creation's Jubilee."
They accepted this teaching with great joy, but a few months later, Shelli was praying, "Lord, you know I believe this message of Restoration, but I'm just one of your stupid children and have been deceived before. Could you give me some confirmation, please?"
About a half hour later, Carlos came up from the basement carrying the early, small version of "Creation's Jubilee." He was white as a sheet, because he had had this book (and never read it) since 1991.
That same evening we went to their home for a meeting, and they told us the story of that book. In 1991 after doing the music for a church in Ilinois, a man walked up to Shelli, handed her the book, saying, "I believe I am supposed to give this to you."
"Oh, I don't want to take your last copy," Shelli replied.
"That's okay, I can get more," he said.
Being in music, Shelli immediately looked in the front to see the copyright date. It read: "Copyright 1991, second printing 1994." Her eyes rolled back in her head. "What kind of a fool is this author? He can't even get the date right!" (This was 1991.) She gave it to Carlos to read. He took it to work, put it on the shelf, and never read it. Then in 1999 they moved to Minneapolis, and the book came with them, packed in a box. He found it in the middle of 2000.
When they told me the story, I asked them when the man gave them the book. It was January of 1991, they knew, because it was winter. The man had given it to Shelli in the cloak room at the back of the church.
Funny thing, though, I finished writing that book on March 18, 1991, about 6 weeks after they received the SECOND EDITION (1994) of the book. The first edition was not even printed until June of 1991.
Who was this stranger? Shelli had never seen him before and never saw him again. She also wondered how the man left so quickly, as he was gone when she looked up. The 1994 copy that she was given was a book before its time.
You know, it would have been much easier for me to write the book if they had sent it to me ahead of time.