I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Free Entrance”

In the distance music softly fills the air as two teenage boys are walking down the street. They hear music and cannot figure where it is coming from. They continue to walk toward where the music seemingly is coming from when they see a church as they round the corner.

One boy approaches the front door. “I’m going to peak in,” he states and puts his hand on the door knob.

“You don’t want to do that! It’s just a bunch of old people singing those religious songs.” The other boy announces.

The boy tries to turn the door knob but it doesn’t turn.

“Come on. Let’s get outta here.” The other boy states while tugging on his friend’s arm.

A Man walks up to them and the boys turn in fear that they have done something wrong. The Man smiles and says, “It’s okay. I’m glad to see you want to enter My church.”

The boy removes his hand from the door knob and asks, “Are you the preacher?”

“You could say that. I am the head of the church, or I’m supposed to be.” The Man replies.

The other boy tugs on his friend’s arm and snarls, “Let’s go!”

“Why can’t I get in?” The boy asks, jerking his arm away from his friend.

The Man looks at the boy intently and states, “In order to be a part of the body of Christ you must have a key. Do you want the key?”

The boy looks to his friend, then back at the Man. “Yeah, I think so.”

The Man hands the boy a large key. The boy looks at it and printed in large letters across the key is “Faith.”

***

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God.”

***

There are many that fill the pews of a church and listen to the Word, mouth the songs, and glance at their watches wondering when it will be over. God has given us grace to journey through this life.  He assures us He is always with us yet many do not cling to that promise. It is by faith that we can walk with Him. If we do not believe His promises, if we do not receive the grace He offers, we have become our own gods. To trust Him is to believe He is the Creator, the Lord and Savior, and that He died for our sins.  He states that His grace is sufficient and it is through faith that we learn it is.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Transported”

 

Transported

Trees whiz past and the wind ruffles his hair, as the young man flies down the hill and approaches another steep grade in the road. His legs begin to tire as he peddles his bike up the hill. It has been a time of reflection and he isn’t at ease with his thoughts.

He peddles harder.

Finally cresting the hill he stops and gazes out over the beautiful meadow stretched out over what seems to be miles. The grass is a rich green dotted with wild flowers. The few trees reach high into the sky, and a lone bird swoops past.

He takes a deep breath, glances up at the sun, and places his foot back on the bikes peddle.

Pushing off, he coasts down the hill without the effort of having to peddle. The wind rushes through his hair, his eyes water from the force of the wind, and taking his hands off the handle bars he raises them high in the air and loudly shouts out of sheer joy.

The front wheel suddenly twists as it hits a rock in the road and flying through the air the young man hits hard as he lands several feet away from his twisted and mangled bicycle.

He lies unconscious as a Man slowly walks across the meadow toward him. The young man, in his unconscious state is unaware that he has entered another dimension.

The Man is talking to him and telling the young man he needs to get straight with God. “Only my children can enter heaven and the only way to do that is through me,” the Man states.

The boy, in his altered state, looks at the Man standing before him and says, “Everyone says that Jesus isn’t the only way.”

“I am the way, the truth, and the life,” the Man states. “There is no other way. I am the only way to the Father.”

The young man’s eyes begin to flutter slightly and gradually he shakes his head to shake off the fuzziness of his clouded mind. Slowly he sits up and sees his mangled bike.

Then he remembers.

“I am the only way.”

***

John 14:6 – “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

***

Television celebrities, some pastors, and people in general have been very misled as to how we get to heaven. Many think that being a “good person” is the key. So many times we hear people proclaim, “I haven’t robbed, stolen, or killed anyone. Of course I’m going to heaven.” And the lie the enemy of God, the devil, uses the most is, “A loving God will not send people to hell.” Television is a media that reaches millions of people worldwide and to hear a known celebrity speak out and proclaim that Jesus is not the only way, is a travesty. How society has been deceived! Throughout scripture Jesus and His disciples make it quite clear that Jesus is the way. Jesus Himself states that He is the only way to the Father. False religions rely on the ignorance of people to God’s Word. If only we would read, believe, and trust what God, through His Son, tells us. There is only one way to enter the kingdom of heaven and that is confessing, and believing, Jesus Christ is Lord. That He is God’s Son and He died and arose for the forgiveness of our sins. Then, and only then, will we spend eternity with Him.  Without Him it is literally hell!

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “IS ANYBODY AT HOME?”

The leaves have turned to their golden hues, the oranges are bright, the browns deep, and the yellow sends a subdued brilliance across the land. The sidewalks are cleared and the homes luxurious. The Man stops in front of the large home and stares at its magnificence.

He enters the open gate and slowly walks the long tree-lined brick lain driveway to the front door and reaches for the gold-plated door bell. He waits. There is no sound of footsteps so He presses the button again.

He waits.

The third time He presses the button He steps back and looks around. A large dog in the yard barrels around the corner barking furiously and bearing its large teeth. The Man smiles. There is no fear and the dog stops beside Him and wagging his tail licks the Man’s hand. No one comes to the door so the man pats the dog on the head and returns to the street.

As He walks slowly down the tree-lined street He gazes at the beauty of the colorful trees and landscaping of the homes. He walks the long circular driveway of another home and steps up to the etched glass door and rings the doorbell.

He hears footsteps approaching and the door is cautiously opened slowly and a maid with her black uniform and white apron asks who He is and what He wants.

“I am the I Am.” the Man replies. “May I speak to the head of the household?”

The maid looks at Him curiously and replies, “Just a moment,” and disappears behind the closed-door.

The master of the house appears and with a smirk asks, “What can I do for you?”

The Man reaches His hand out to shake the owners hand but the owner just looks at the Man’s hand and doesn’t reciprocate. The Man nods and simply states, “I am the I Am. You need Me.”

Laughter fills the air as the owner stands with his hand on the door knob laughing as though he’s just been told a very funny joke.

The Man waits.

The laughter has turned to a snarl and the owner states emphatically, “Look around you! Look at this home! Do you see the Lambro Deni in the drive? Do you see all that I have accomplished; the big home, the beautiful car, the magnificent landscaping? You fool! I don’t need anything you are offering!” He steps back and slams the door in the Man’s face.

The Man moves on down the street and when receiving the same arrogant greeting at several of the homes, He stops in front of a shack that the neighbors have tried to get condemned.

The grass is overgrown. Weeds line the partially collapsed fence. The shingles need repair, and one window is cracked and barely hanging onto the frame. He walks to the splintered, weather-beaten wooden door being careful on the three broken steps and knocks loudly.

“Who is it?” is yelled from the other side.

“I am the I Am.” the Man states.

The door flings open on its rickety hinges. A woman rushes out to meet the Man. She’s dressed in a ragged dress, bare feet, and hair a mess. Her face is lined with life’s pressures and yet her eyes sparkle with tears of joy as she hugs the Man and states, “Come in, come in. I just made some soup.”

The Man steps inside.

***

Proverbs 11:4 – “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.”

***

The Lottery lines are long when the jackpot rises to millions of dollars. Thousands of people stand in line with fancy dreams floating through their minds. “If only I can win, then I’ll…” is the dream. Casinos are loud, smoky, and filled with hopes and dreams of “hitting the big one” and many walk away disappointed for their dream was not fulfilled. Men and women work day in and day out to climb the corporate ladder to gain the success they feel will put them on top only to find the internal emptiness is still there. In our quest for “the good things of life;” that large house, new car, expensive silk suits, and fine jewelry, we often times forget that there are no moving trucks allowed in heaven. All the work, all the sacrifices we make, are left behind when we take our last earthly breath. When that last breath is exhaled we will find ourselves in one of two places; heaven or hell. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy but riches will not buy us a ticket into heaven! Christ will hand us the key to His kingdom freely if we reach out for it. Riches might satisfy for a time but they will only bring us great torment and sorrow and lead us into Satan’s domain if we rely on our wealth and not on faith in Jesus Christ. Eternity is a very long, unending time, and no amount of money and wealth can keep us from spending eternity in eternal torment and agony, or spending it in great love, peace, and joy.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Manifestation”

The day is over cast, no sun has shown through as the young man speeds down the road. Traffic has been light on this Sunday morning. He’s not worried about being  late for church. He grew up in church but his buddies has convinced him, “You don’t need some fantasy God anymore.” He’s rushing to the lake to meet them for some fishing.

Entering a small country town he slows for a child on a bicycle and then romps on the gas pedal as soon as he passes the little boy. He quickly glances to his right as he speeds through the intersection and before knowing what has hit him his car careen’s, flips, and rolls several times slamming into a telephone pole. His body is lifted up, out, and through the heavy glass of the windshield as it shatters, leaving him cut from head to foot.

Lying in a pool of blood he’s barely conscious of a Stranger coming to his aid. The Stranger kneels beside him and tends gently to some of his wounds. The young man glides in and out of consciousness and isn’t aware of the scream of the ambulance siren.

In the hospital the doctors and nurses tend to him. His surgery is considered a success and upon regaining consciousness he’s told, “If it hadn’t been for the Man at the scene you wouldn’t be here now.”

“What Man?” the boy asks.

“We were told a Man saved your life and suddenly disappeared. The driver of the other car didn’t make it.”

The young man lies quietly for a long time trying to remember and suddenly a picture of a Man kneeling beside him, tending his wounds and praying over him plays out in his mind.

He searches his mind trying hard to remember more when the words, “A drunk driver hit you. I’m here to save you. I am the I Am and you will be fine. Go back to church and sin no more,” fill his mind.

Tears flood the young man’s eyes and he whispers quietly, “Yes, Lord.”

***

John 14:21 – “He who has My commands and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

***

It is such joy to walk past a Sunday school room filled with children and hear them singing, “Jesus loves me this I know…” Their little hearts are full and we can be proud of God-fearing parents that introduce their little ones to God’s great love. As these same children mature and enter public schools those same children are influenced by peers, teachers, and administrators into non-belief. Prayer, Bibles, and anything relating to Christian beliefs are now banned from schools. Children are being indoctrinated into non-Christian values. The worlds values! It is sad and discouraging to watch as our society turns back to the evil ways of the world leaving those generations behind us to flounder with no Godly boundaries, morals, or Godly hope. As adults it is our responsibility, not only to our children, but to God, to teach our children about Jesus Christ and His saving grace. Without it we will see the future generations decline into a Hellenistic world.

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I AM- Devotional Style Short Stories -“We’ve Been Warned”

We’ve Been Warned

The wind is blowing moving the leaves on the tree branches as though God is blowing a big breath across the land. A Man walks across heavens field and looking around announces, “I am coming. Look up all ye that believe.”

The sound of horse’s hooves echo across the sky and thunder rolls vibrating all that is in its path. The blast of a trumpet resounds drowning out the clap of thunder as streaks of lightning streak down from the heavens.

Gasps are heard throughout the cities. People stop and look up. “What’s happening?” is whispered as others scream in terror. “It is He!” someone shouts and tries to hide behind the corner of a building. Others have fallen to their knees and “Praise be to God Almighty” is heard from reverent voices.

“I am coming” echoes off the mountains, the buildings, the clouds above.

Suddenly people are dropping like flies, graves are flying open, and others are being lifted bodily toward the sky. Thousands, millions, are gathered like swarms of locusts marching toward their heavenly home. Others lie dead, their flesh rotting like stale meat.

“I am coming,” the Man, the Great I Am shouts as His horse tramples the clouds and the sun turns to darkness. Screams, cursing, tormented souls fall silent and an eerie silence fills the land.

The Man steps off His steed and looks about, looking across the devastation of bodies. Tears fill His eyes. He looks heavenward and tells His Father, “I am so sorry, Father. I warned them.”

~~~~

1Thes. 4:16-17 – “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with a voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

~~~~

I don’t know about anyone else but I definitely do not want to be left behind when the Lord Jesus calls His church home. Scriptures are filled with warnings about unbelief, as well as encouragement to seek Christ for His gift of salvation. We have only two choices as to where we will spend eternity. The Lord will not force us to choose heaven with Him nor does He send anyone to hell! That choice is strictly of our own volition.  We choose before that last breath as to whether we will join those who are dead in Christ when they rise from their graves at the trumpets sound or whether we will be left behind to suffer the great tribulation. Choose wisely. Eternity is a very long time.

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Unsuspecting

The stream runs high. The trees are green, the grass lush, and the birds sing their songs. Along the bank a snake lies beneath a rock waiting for the nearest prey to come near.

A shadow falls across the rock and the snake coils. A foot lands close by. Without knowing the danger that is coiled and ready to strike the Man turns. He senses something but hasn’t put His finger on quite what it is. He takes a step and hears the hiss.

Looking down He sees what made the noise and begins to laugh. The snake uncoils and looks at the Man. “Why do you laugh?” the snake asks perturbed.

“Because you have no power where power is not given,” the Man states. He chuckles and takes a step.

“Wait!” The snake yells.

The Man stops and turns to look down at the snake.

“There are those who do not believe and those who are weak. Leave me to my tasks so I may inject my venom.” The snake states.

“It is written that man may choose whom he will serve. Go.”

The snake smiles happily and slithers off through the grass to a group camping nearby.

(Sue’s version) Joshua 24:15

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The Fast Train

A whistle breaks the silence, wheels speed across the tracks, smoke billows filling the air with white steam as the train speeds along the tracks.

There’s only one car to this train and only two stops. It’s filled with passengers from all walks of life. A lady, dressed in fine silk, jewels dangling from her ears, neck, and wrists. Her fine feathered hat sits proudly on styled hair. Her husband sits beside her typing on his laptop computer, paying no attention to her constant babble.

Families sit together with their children gaping out the window at the scenery as it speeds by. The scowl of a mother catches the Conductors eye. He smiles but she snarls under her breath and digs an elbow into her husbands side. He grunts and ignores her.

A few teenagers, with their multi-colored hair, nose rings, tattooed bodies, and slouchy pants, sit slouched on the benches discussing the latest horror movie and Rap song with its lyrics of back to back cuss words and condemnation of all that is good. The Conductor stops beside them. They don’t acknowledge Him.  He states, “Follow Me.” They ignore Him. He rubs the dust off His shoe on His pants leg and moves on.

As He approaches another group tears threaten to spill. Women in ragged dresses, men in torn dirty shirts and infants in dirty diapers fill a corner in the back of the compartment. Half eaten sandwiches are set aside and heads bow in praise and thanksgiving as the Conductor steps among them.

The Conductor touches the shoulder of a lame man, “Be healed,” the Conductor states. The man immediately jumps to his feet and runs in a circle shouting, “Praise God, I can walk!”

The Conductor moves to a woman with an infant with a cleft lip. He smiles down at the infant and with compassion, looks heavenward, whispers a prayer, and places His finger on the child’s lip. It’s instantly healed and the baby smiles brightly. The mother cries tears of joy and thanks Him.

None of the Conductors actions have gone unnoticed. Some begin praising, others shout, “Hosanna,” and yet others raise a questioning eyebrow and announce, “it’s a trick!”

The fast train begins to slow. Some begin gathering their fine leather bags, others pick up the toys of their children while others kneel in praise and thanksgiving for the blessings of a meager meal and the warmth of the compartment.

The fast train stops and the door slides open. The Conductor stands beside it and as one passenger after another line up to exit, the Conductor announces, “Many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” *

He points His finger at the ragged group in the back of the line and states loudly, “You, My children, step forward. For those who believe shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Angry shouts fill the compartment, some try to shove their way through the door. Many stand quietly waiting to be called forward. As the line moves forward, the Conductor instructs some to return to their seat, others, He smiles and tells them they have been “good and faithful servants.” Each child is given a loving hug as He tells them to be careful stepping off the train.

The engine of the fast train roars to life, steam bellows forth, and a  loud clank is heard as the door slams shut and the fast train speeds off down the track for the last stop. The majority remain aboard.

Most assuredly I say unto you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” John 3:3

(Matt.19:30)

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