I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Man’s Free Will”

 

The wind howls through the mountain pass. Dark clouds roll across the sky. The Man looks up as He takes hold of the long gnarled branch He’s using as a walking stick. He grips it more tightly. The path is narrow and treacherous.

Walking carefully across the rocky path He stops for just a moment and glances up. He sees an eagle off in the distance. His majestic wings spread wide and as though floating on the currents, the eagle glides with the wind.

The Man walks a little further and stops again when He hears the screech of a hawk. He smiles as He watches the bird flutter to a stop at the top of a tree.

Rain begins to suddenly pour from the sky and He lifts His face allowing the large drops to pelt His bearded face. His hair is soon soaked, His beard drips, and squinting His eyes closed He sticks His tongue out to catch the drops of rain.

“Oh Father, what a beautiful and glorious sight,” He whispers. Rain pelts His head, His shoulders, and His back. Soon He is dripping wet. It doesn’t bother Him as He continues to follow the narrow path.

He comes across a man sitting on a stump under the protective arms of a large Oak tree. He walks to Him and says hello. The stranger looks tired but says nothing. The Man offers him His canteen of water and says, “Here, drink. It’s living water.”

The stranger hesitates and snarls, “What’s the difference, water is water?” He suddenly snatches the canteen from the Man’s hand and gulps thirstily.

“I am the Living Water.” The Man replies. “Whoever drinks of My water will never thirst.” The man hands the now empty canteen back to the Man; grunts, swipes a hand across his mouth and beard and stands.

“Thanks for the water,” he states gruffly as he tugs at his pants waist, stretches, and without another word walks on down the narrow path. The Man watches as the stranger approaches a Y in the path. He stops and looks to the narrow path, then the wider path. He runs his hand through his long wet hair as though trying to decide which path to take. He glances back at the Man watching him.

“Father, help him to choose the right path.” The Man whispers. Continuing to watch the stranger, the Man lowers His head, blinks back tears, as the other man steps onto the wide path and walks away.

***

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. ‘Because’ narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

***

God is not a dictator as some seem to think He is. He has given each one of us free will. We are free to choose the path that we will follow through this journey called life. In life there are many paths that we have walked. If the path is narrow and treacherous we naturally tend to avoid it and take the wider paved road because it is so much easier to traverse. But the Lord says it is that wider path that leads to destruction. Why? Following Christ in our walk with Him is not always easy. He leads us in ways of righteousness where the enemy of God, the devil, leads us to hell. It is easy to do what we want to do and more difficult to be obedient to that which the Lord calls us to do; love our neighbors as ourselves, don’t gossip, give of ourselves to others, love your wife as Christ loves the church, obey your parents, and the list goes on. The reward to following the narrow path leads us to forgiveness and His assurance of an eternal home with our Lord and Savior.

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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 -“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 “The Trumpet”

The Trumpet

The moon shines brightly in one part of the land and in another the sun is shining brightly on a beautiful summer day. In one part of the world the workers are in their fields and the other side of the world all sleep, except those with the night shift and those who prowl about.

Some are going about their day without a care in the world. Some have many thoughts and dreams skittering through their minds as they sleep in their beds. Women are snuggled close to their husbands, children cling to their teddy bears, and some are huddled in doorways.

As the sun lowers in the skies the moon rises. On the other side, the moon fades in the distance,  and the sun creeps up in its place. The day and the night are on schedule when the clouds separate. A blast of an angel’s horn fills the air and a white steed tramples the clouds as it makes its way across the heavens.

Cars are speeding down the highways, airplanes are scooting across the sky, and trains are on their tracks filled with sleeping people. No one seems to notice that all of heaven has begun to shake. Oh, a few stop, listen, and then go about their business.

Then it happens.

Planes suddenly fall from the sky, cars run off the road, trains leave their tracks and the thunder of hooves fills the air. People have suddenly left their beds, their homes, their fields, their offices, while others stand gaping at the sky as they watch loved ones filling the air.

The prayers of the saints have been heard.

“Come Lord Jesus, come,” has been answered.

~~~

1Thessalonians 4:16 – “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”

~~~

There are many who do not believe in the church being caught up in the air with our Lord and Savior. They use the excuse that “Rapture” is not in the Bible. On that point they are right. The word, “rapture” is not in the Bible but doesn’t “caught up in the air” constitute the same thing? Throughout the Bible there are many references about heaven and hell. If there were no heaven then why bother to be saved? Why give our life to Jesus Christ if our only hope is a cold grave? Not only that, but He said He is making a place for us, the children of God. (John 14:3) I heard a pastor say on his program in reference to Jesus’ return, “That planes falling from the sky and cars with no driver’s, is poppy-cock! That is just silly teaching.” That isn’t what the Bible says! In Luke 17:34 He states, “There will be two men in bed and one will be taken and the other left” and Matthew 24:41, He states, “There will be two women grinding at the mill and one will be taken and the other left.”

So if what this pastor believes is true, which it isn’t, my question is – will all humanity, worldwide, be in their beds asleep when Jesus comes back for His church? Will there be no planes flying, trains running, buses or cars on the roads, anywhere in the world?

We are to be waiting and watching for the Lord’s return. We are to be praying, reading our Bibles, serving the Lord in whatever He calls us to do, and to be ready spiritually to meet our Savior in a blink of an eye. Get ready, Jesus is coming back. Hallelujah and amen.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Last Stop”

The Last Stop

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 next to 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 husband’s 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. Sandwiches are set aside while heads are bowed 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 train begins to slow. Some of the passengers 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 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 train roars to life, steam bellows forth, and a loud clank is heard as the door slams shut and the train speeds off down the track for the last stop. The majority remain aboard.

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

~~~~

There are some who have said that death begins the moment we leave our mother’s wombs. Life is a journey and as we grow and mature we make decisions each and every day. There is one decision that is more important than any other decision we will ever make in this life; where we will spend eternity. Some take life with a slow motion attitude, cruising along with seemingly no cares, and others feel they are on a fast track and rush around in chaotic furry. At the end of it all it is not what we do or how we do it but what we believe, who we have believed in and who we have served. Do we serve ourselves as though we are God or do we serve the One who is God? Who we serve will determine where our last stop will take us.

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

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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 next chapter.

“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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