I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “True Freedom”

 

True Freedom

The roar of helicopters fills 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 do 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, come and 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, blood, and dirt on his face, “Who are you?” The soldier whispers.

“I am the I Am”

The soldier whispers, “You came. 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.

***

Psalm 31:5- “Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.”

***

When we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we are assured through His promise that we will spend eternity with Him in heaven. True freedom comes in knowing that whatever happens we are in His care. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Death had its Grip”

Death had its Grip

The air is deathly still and the sun beats down in waves across the dry, barren desert floor. The Man stands gazing out across the parched land. He reaches back and lifts His hair up off His neck and gazes up at the sun.

He drops His hand and turns to gaze at the distant mountains. A vulture squawks as it circles above a short distance ahead. “Be gone!” the Man demands and the vulture flies off toward the mountains.

Walking in the direction where the vulture had hovered, He stops next to a desert shrub. The rattle of a rattle snake fills His ears and looking down he sees the snake coiled and ready to strike. He points His index finger directly at the snake and says nothing. The snake suddenly uncoils and slithers off in the opposite direction.

Continuing ahead He sees what appears to be something lying on the desert floor. He can’t make out what it is at this distance but His Spirit tells Him that whatever it is needs help. He rushes across the hot cracked ground toward the object and upon arriving He sees it is a man lying face down.

Kneeling beside the man He places His hand on his neck and detects no pulse. The Man stands, looks toward heaven and prays. Sweat rolls down His back as He leans over the dead man and with all Authority given to Him by His Father He commands the dead man to rise.

The man lying on the ground takes a deep breath and slowly rolls onto his back. His eyes slowly open and with blurred vision He sees the Man kneeling over him. He raises a hand above his eyes to block the sun’s glare.

The Man offers him a drink of water from His wine skin and the man greedily grabs it and begins to drink. “Go slow,” the Man tells the stranger. “What is your name?” He asks as the man takes another swallow of the water.

“Jethro.” The man answers. “Who are you?” He hands the wine skin back to the Man.

“I am the I Am.” The Man answers.

“Where am I am?” the man asks as he tries to sit up.  His hands are scorched, his face sunburned, and sweat has soaked his clothes.

“You are in the desert. You were lost but now you are found.”

The man looks around at the vast desert that surrounds him and states, “You saved me. How can I repay you? How did you find me?”

The Man looks at him intently and states emphatically, “I want your life!”

“What?! But you just…”

“I just saved your life for a time. But believe in Me and you shall never die.”

~~~

John 11:26  “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

~~~

All of us have an appointed time on this earth. We work, we play, we raise our children and many of us never think farther than our hope of retirement.  In this scripture Lazarus has died but as you read the story, it isn’t the end. We mourn the loss of friends and loved ones but are they only gone for a time, like Lazarus? If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we will see our loved one again, providing they, too, have Jesus as their Savior.  As Christians we will never die. We merely shed the flesh, step into glory, and live on for all of eternity with our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Do you believe?

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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 -“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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I AM – Devotional Style Short stories – “Been There-Not Going Back”

This story is from a past post but this time the commentary is added. I hope it blesses you and is an encouragement in your journey.

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BEEN THERE – NOT GOING BACK

Her fingers are cramped, her back hurts, her eyes burn, and her neck feels as though its frozen in place as she sits slumped over the legal pad as her pen skirts across the paper filling page after page as it writes the chapter about her visit to hell.

“Take a break, child.” The Lord whispers in her ear. “Go lie on the couch and rest for a while.” He gently adds. She lays her pen down and standing, flexes her fingers, groans, and stretches her back muscles. Taking a deep breath she slowly walks to the couch and stretches out giving a long sigh of relief. The pen has been writing furiously and now she can take a time out.

Her head has barely touched the pillow when suddenly everything turns to black. Black, as no other black can be described. Her body has suddenly been transported from the comfort of her couch to a place that is so dark she can’t see her hand in front of her face. She’s scared. Her body begins to shake and she sense’s Someone has stepped up behind her. Peace begins flowing through her like a gentle wave. No words are spoken.

The blackness is so black there’s nothing for her eyes to adjust to. It isn’t like walking into a dark room where some light peeks in and one can see at least a shadow. No, this is so black it can’t be described! Suddenly faces begin to appear in the darkness. She sucks in a breath as they come closer and closer to where she’s standing. Men and women, teen-age girls and boys, with expressions of fear, anger, shame, confusion, and some with hatred written in their eyes and across their faces as though in large dark ink. She takes a step back. Somehow these people are not allowed to touch her but they have. They’ve touched something deep within her.

A woman, with her head thrown back, screams a bone chilling scream as she furiously twists her long hair and pulls frantically. She screams an agonizing scream, yet no sound comes from her mouth. As she watches in horror a man leans toward her and pleads “help me,” yet no words are spoken. His face is a horrible mask of agony like nothing she’s ever witnessed.

Face after face appears and pass before her with torture written on them, eyes filled with emptiness, screams of pain and desolation. A man’s face appears and comes toward her with his face contorted with absolute hatred and his eyes meet hers with a putrid violence. She jumps back bumping into the white robe behind her. “You’ll be okay, My child” is whispered in her ear as gentle arms wrap around her from behind. She feels His beard on her cheek and the comfort of His arms.

She turns her head to look at Him and asks, “Who are these people?” His eyes fill with tears. “Those who have rejected Me,” He replies with sadness. “But can’t You help them?” she asks. “No child. They chose this place. I gave them every opportunity but they chose this as their eternal home.” She wants to scream! She wants to beg Him to take them out of here! She wants to run from this horrible place. The comforting arms drop from their hug and He takes a step back.

Suddenly the faces are gone and she’s standing as stiff as a telephone pole. Red hot flames have encircled her; orange, red, yellow, flares up on all sides of her. Only her head and eyes move as she looks around. Furious fire engulfs her, yet not one spark touches her.

The Man is beside her. “You’re safe” He says. The flames grow hotter, taller and she can’t believe she’s not even feeling the heat from them. “I am with you,” He says. The flames lick at her but don’t touch her. They grow hotter still and looking skyward she can see the flames are all around her and above her. There is no escape! “I am always with you, even in the fires of life,” is gently spoken.

Poof, the flames are gone!

She’s standing in the total blackness again. Her mind is whirling. She has a million questions she wants to ask but suddenly her attention is drawn to a white building appearing out of the pitch blackness. It’s a small country-style church. It begins turning. The whole building is slowly turning counter-clockwise on its axis. It begins to turn faster and gradually it begins to spin faster and faster and faster until it spins off its axis and flies out into the darkness and disappears.

Suddenly she’s jolted from the darkness back onto her couch with the blare of the telephone ringing. Confused and disoriented, she can barely speak.

~~~

Joshua 24:14 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you shall serve.”

~~~

This story is not an imaginary story that popped into my mind. It is a true account of the Lord transporting me into hell through a vision. I was wide awake when He chose to allow me to experience, in part, the real hell.

Hell is a very real place and Jesus refers to it many times throughout scripture. We have to make the choice before our last breath on this earth as to where we will spend eternity. We only have two choices. Heaven is our place of peace and everlasting love. Hell is the place without love. It is the place of eternal torment. Romans 10:9 states that if we “confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” If you would like to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, pray this simple prayer. Where you spend eternity rests on your decision.

I come to you Lord Jesus and ask that you forgive me of my sins. I believe in my heart that you are God’s Son and you died on the cross and arose for the forgiveness of my sins. I am giving you my life. Please come into my heart now and fill me with your Holy Spirit. In Jesus Name, Amen

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Surprise?

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 horses hooves echo across the sky. 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 eery 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.”

“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.” 1Thes. 4:16-17

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Unrest Within

There’s a stirring in my soul. A heaviness I don’t fathom. Are the heavens in disarray or am I delusional? I can’t put my finger on the depth, but it feels deep. Lord, what is happening within me? The gloom seems overwhelming. The tears tiptoe at the edge yet will not fall.

My heart hurts, not with pain but with something I don’t recognize. A sadness for all that are lost, those who don’t know you and the depth of their loss is not just for now but forever more. How can they refuse to see? How can mankind live in a world so filled with hate and evil? You are King of kings and Lord of lords yet the earth seems to be vibrating with hatred and strife.

Is that what I feel, the earth being tilted off its axis? The deep groaning of a lost world? I don’t know how to change that. I cannot hold the world in my hands and sooth it back into righteousness. I am only one and yet you are great, you are Holy and Almighty. Can you not fix it?

The depth of the groan, Lord, is more than I can bear. It is the growl of the evil that prevails in our land. The groan of the saints as they seek your face and yet seem to go unheard for the evil out-shouts them.

Help O’ God for we are your children crying out from the depths of your love. Help us to see you in the midst of all the mud. Help us to focus on the One who knows all and will bring redemption to all who ask.

My heart cries out – ASK! but it falls on deaf ears. ASK! and we’re shot down like clay birds on a shooting range.  O’ God open the ears of the deaf. Open the eyes of the blind for our days are short and many are lost. Help us O’ Lord, for we can not reach them all.

~~~~~

Am I alone with this?

 

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