The trees and flowers are in full bloom. The Cherry trees blossoms are in their pink and white splendor. The Azaleas are full with a variety of colors as they line the parks pathway.
The birds can be heard chirping and whistling their songs loudly as the sun rises further up toward the sky, streaking it with the colors on a painters pallet. God’s painting splashed across the horizon.
The park seems still as she slowly strolls along the paved path as she soaks up the solitude, peace, and quiet around her. But her thoughts are troubled and she’s escaped to try to find peace. Where is this God everyone talks about? she ponders as she moves to take a seat on a nearby bench.
She looks up at the painted horizon, hears the birds, and a distant frog croaking at the nearby lake. He’s never done anything for me, she thinks.
A Man strolls up the path and as He approaches she starts to stand. “Don’t leave because of Me,” He states gently and adds quickly, “It is beautiful, isn’t it?”
She sits back down and mutters, “Yes,” but awe is showing in her eyes as she stares at the painted sky.
“I hear people say it’s God’s art work,” the Man says, pointing to the colorful sky.
She looks at Him for a long moment in silence. “I’m not sure there is a God,” she finally states.
The Man smiles and asks, “Who do you think created all this?” He then begins a conversation with her. By the time their discussion is ending the sun has warmed the day and puffy clouds have replaced the kaleidoscope of color. The birds continue to fill the air with their songs and the Man asks, “Do you hear the birds?” Before she can answer He says, “If God created the birds and takes care of them, don’t you think He cares for you more?”
Her eyes have filled with tears and she nods her head, yes.
“Let’s walk,” the Man says, and they stand and stroll down the path toward the waters edge. He’s pointing out various flowers, asking questions of her, and giving her little nuggets of information to dwell on.
They finally reach the lake. Small ripples cascade across the blue water as a breeze pushes them gently.
She stops suddenly and gasps at the beauty when she sees three delicate swans lazily swimming near the waters edge. She seems transfixed.
The Man smiles and quietly backs away leaving her to drink in the grace and beauty before her.
(Sue’s version) Matthew 6:26-27
The roar of helicopters fill the air over the jungles as soldiers stomp through the marshes. Their lives are at stake and yet they continue to move forward protecting those within their country.
The sacrifice, they say, is well worth it, as they crawl among the trees and brush. Bullets whiz past and they return fire. So far none in their squadron has been hit this morning. They lift up silent prayers that they achieve what others are unwilling to do.
Back home their families make due on the little the government gives them. Mom’s hold the household together and pray fervently that their loved one will come home safe while others are screaming, cussing, and protesting.
The battle field is treacherous and as one soldier dives towards his fox hole a bullet rips through his body and he falls bleeding in the dirt and mud.
“Dear God, oh Jesus, help me,” he whispers as his life blood stains the dirt. A Man steps down into the fox hole and kneels beside the soldier. The soldier looks at him through the sweat and dirt on his face. “Who are you?” the soldier whispers.
“I am the I Am.”
The soldier whispers, “I give you my soul,” and slowly closes his eyes. The darkness turns to a brilliant light engulfing him in a peaceful dimension of pure love. The Man holds his hand and looks up to heaven.
(Sue’s version) Psalm 31:5
Two children lie flat on their backs in the back yard of their home on the lush green grass. The sky is a beautiful blue with a few puffy clouds lingering about just to entice the children to try to guess what they look like.
Mom has given each a small sack with peanuts so they’ll have a snack while guessing what each cloud looks like. She watches out the kitchen window and chuckles when Timmy yells, “I see a rabbit!”
Sissy looks intently at the cloud her brother is pointing to and excitedly yells, “I see it, too.”
Mom turns from the window with a smile and a chuckle and thinks, “I wish you were here, Honey, to see this.” Her husband had gone to be with the Lord a few months before. Tears fill her eyes thinking of him.
The doorbell rings. Mom quickly dries her hands and places the dish towel on the counter, and goes to the door. A Man stands on the front porch. She’s never met this man before and cautiously asks, “Can I help you?”
“I am the I Am and I’m here to tell you that your husband, James, is so very happy.”
“What? Who did you say you are?” Mom demands as anger flares up at the thought that this is some sort of sick joke.
“I am the I Am. May I come in?”
Unexpected peace suddenly flows through her and she opens the screen door and steps back to allow the Man entry. She offers him a seat and some ice tea but He declines the tea and takes a seat in the chair across from the couch.
They chat for a little while and He tells her that her worries are taken care of. She need not worry that she’ll lose her home or the children will not have enough to eat or the bills won’t be paid.
By the end of the conversation Mom has tears streaming down her cheeks and can’t seem to thank the Man enough.
“May I hug you?” she asks as they stand near the door when He’s ready to leave.
“Of course,” The Man replies and as she hugs Him tight, He whispers in her ear. “I will take care you. I love you very much.”
Then He leaves.
(Sue’s version) Psalm 68:5
As people leave their cars and file into the church the air is filled with conversations and anticipation. The seats begin to fill. There are no drums, guitars, or keyboards. No instruments fill a corner of the room.
Someone is heard telling their neighbor, “The prophet is going to speak this morning. I’m so excited!” A hush passes through the room as the “prophet” walks across the floor and sets two books on the podium. He smiles brightly and says, “Good morning” and all echo their greeting back to him.
Sitting in the back row of the room a Man sits quietly, watching and listening.
The “prophet” opens one book and holds it up for all to see. Then he opens the second book and holds it up. “We will be reading from both,” he tells the people.
He reads a scripture from the first book, the Holy Bible and pauses.
All eyes are riveted to the “Prophet” and all are listening intently. The “Prophet” takes a deep breath and exhales slowly before stating matter-of-factually, “We know this is not true!” He sets the book down.
All heads nod in agreement – except one.
The “Prophet” picks up the second book while stating, “Now we will hear truth,” and reads from it and begins to expound on the words he’s just read to the people. A lady begins to cry, another hands her a tissue and lovingly pats her on the shoulder.
The “Prophet” stops speaking, as the crying lady’s tears turn to loud sobs. When he asks her what’s wrong she chokes back the sobs and exclaims, “My dead Aunt just told me she’s here with us.” Applause fills the room and cheerful conversation fills the room.
The Man stands to His feet and slowly walks toward the front of the room. He looks into the eyes of the “Prophet” and then turns to the people.
People look to each other, some turn in their seats, “Who is he?” is whispered around the room.
He waits. He looks sternly across the group of people.
Someone shouts, “Who are you?”
Murmurs fill the room.
When it quiets down He states, “I am the I Am and I have come to tell you to beware of false prophets. There are many wolves dressed in sheep’s clothes. Be not deceived.” He looks directly at the “Prophet.”
The room bursts into angry accusations, threats, and clenched fists. “Who does He think He is!?” One woman shouts.
The Man pays no heed as He slowly walks to the back of the room and out the door.
(Sue’s version) Matthew 7:15
DOJ Arrests 2,300 Alleged Child Pornographers And Sex Traffickers
“Any would-be criminal should be warned: this Department will remain relentless in hunting down those who victimize our children.”
Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
June 13, 2018
In a press release Tuesday, the Department of Justice announced that it had arrested over 2,300 child pornographers and child sex abusers in the large-scale sting “Operation Broken Heart.”
The DOJ announced in a press release:
The Department of Justice today announced the arrest of more than 2,300 suspected online child sex offenders during a three-month, nationwide, operation conducted by Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces. The task forces identified 195 offenders who either produced child pornography or committed child sexual abuse, and 383 children who suffered recent, ongoing, or historical sexual abuse or production of child pornography.
The 61 ICAC task forces, located in all 50 states and comprised of more than 4,500 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies, led the coordinated operation known as “Broken Heart” during the months of March, April, and May 2018. During the course of the operation, the task forces investigated more than 25,200 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes against children and delivered more than 3,700 presentations on Internet safety to over 390,000 youth and adults.
According to VOA News, federal authorities arrested suspects who were allegedly using the internet to lure children into sex trafficking with some victims being forced over state lines and even sold internationally.
“No child should ever have to endure sexual abuse,” said Attorney General Jeff Session.
“We at the Department of Justice are determined to strike back against these repugnant crimes,” he added. “It is shocking and very sad that in this one operation, we have arrested more than 2,300 alleged child predators and investigated some 25,200 sexual abuse complaints.
“Any would-be criminal should be warned: this Department will remain relentless in hunting down those who victimize our children,” he concluded.
Available: Amazon – Apple iTunes stores – Barnes and Noble
Sue Cass is a woman of profound faith. In The Narrow Road she shares the story of her life and her husband’s, taking us along on a spiritual journey.
Sue’s husband, Brian, must cope with abandonment as a child, rejection, loneliness, and anger. Sue carries the scars of childhood abuse. With God’s help, they learn to trust one another and Him.
The Narrow Road is more than a warm and inspiring story. It is a powerful statement of faith. I recommend this book to all those struggling with issues of faith and trust.
Anna Waldherr –
Author – The Rose Garden
Sue’s unfolding story continues to captivate! Her husband’s struggles with abandonment and doubt. Her journey of struggle, then salvation, healing, and restoration is complimented well in this latest work.
What a joy and a journey as we experience in her, and with her and her husband, the wonderful grace, growth, and maturity that only God can provide. Can’t wait for the next chapters to unfold!
Steve Wood, Lead Pastor –
Mount Pisgah, U.M.C. Johns Creek, Ga.
In the deepest recesses of every heart is the innate desire for a deep, unconditional love. However, that same heart is often disappointed by life experiences such as brokenness, loss, and rejection. The Narrow Road captivates from the beginning with a soul-stirring account of Brian who has experienced significant loss and tragedy in his life. As he navigates circumstances, your heart will leap (as mine did) as remnants of his story unfolds and resembles those of the ones around us. At the heart of it all is our Heavenly Father is the One who can transform the hurt and despair that we’ve felt to redemption and acceptance in Jesus. A story of unwavering grace, love, and hope, The Narrow Road leads us straight to the One offers promise and encouragement to us all. A must read!
Angel B. Pennyman
Experience His Freedom Ministries Founder
The Narrow Road is a story of two people searching for answers..Brian abandoned by his parents at a very young age and Sue’s painful childhood of abuse. The story is Brian & Sue, coming to terms with their pasts and their own faith in growing acceptance. Ultimately through friends they are brought together and grow into a loving relationship resulting in their union of marriage. Sue through her pain, trials and relationship with Christ has helped others overcome their pain from abuse and gain love and understanding along their journey of healing. She has found a relationship with Christ that has led her in healing not only for herself, but for so many others who needed her in their healing as well. Sue has found that “happy ever after” in her relationship with Christ and obedience to Him.
The Narrow Road is an awesome read..one that I fully enjoyed reading and would highly recommend.
Judy Brooks – California
The Narrow Road is a well-written book that will make you laugh, possibly shed a tear, and it will make you think – as well as rejoice. Regardless of our situation in life, there is always hope; when that hope is placed in Jesus Christ.
The Narrow Road is a must read story based on actual events. This is a gripping, passionate, and intense story of a young boy abandoned by his parents – resulting in tremendous heartache. “Brian’s” story is a story of painful trials, many questions and self-doubts. As Brian matures into a man and lives life on his own, he faces many setbacks and challenges – while at the same time meeting supportive and caring people who support and guide him through a sometimes-painful journey. This is a story of love, of meeting a loving God and trusting in Jesus to bring healing and hope.
In the second half of this book, Sue deals with life as a newly minted Christian after accepting Jesus. Sue’s story is a story of courage, of not giving up when the going gets rough. Sue’s new reality of being a brand new Christian with many questions is not only a great story, but also a guide for the rest of us. Whether one is a new Christian, or someone who has known Jesus for some time – Sue’s story and insights are a great help and comfort.
I highly recommend this book; Sue Cass has outdone herself yet again. I read this book in one day! If you are looking for encouragement, a great story, a “God” story – or maybe a true story of love that includes Jesus Christ – you will find it all in this story.
Greg Holt –
Editor and Publisher of The Olive Branch Report and Inspirational Christian Blogs
The Narrow Road is so well written that I felt the pain that “Brian” felt and the trials and tribulations that both he and Sue went through in learning that Christ is faithful to guide and take care of His children. What an awesome testimony of faith and courage! I couldn’t put it down even though my eyes filled with tears at times and other times I laughed until my ribs hurt. I highly recommend this fantastic true story.
Carolyn D. – A Fan
At times we feel there is no hope when we see a country in decline. We pray, we speak out in earnest, and yet things seem to only get worse.
There are times we see a bit of change and our hopes rise, just a bit, but then things turn back to leave us feeling hopeless. Where does our faith come from if not from those times when things seem hopeless?
Every mountain rises up from a desert floor and it is in the desert that faith is built. If there is no opposition then there is nothing to hope for. If there is no healing, then there is no illness. If there is no mountain to climb then how do we reach the stars?
Walking through the desert a Man looks out across the dry arid plains. It is as though nothing can grow in this arid retched land and yet as He walks He sees a small desert flower. He stops. Bending down He fingers the delicate pedal and smiles. There is hope for this seemingly hopeless and dry retched ground.
That is how people must look at what is going on around them. When things look as though death is taking its toll of a country, a family, a school, or maybe a church, look around and there will be a “flower” blooming somewhere that is unexpected.
The hope seen through the eyes of faith can and will search out those things that seem hopeless and will see there is hope in what might be considered the most unlikely of places.
Hope comes from the heart and that hope is instilled through the Man who created it.
(Sue’s version) Romans 5:5