The Mistletoe

Christmas decorations line streets and the shops are filled with people.

The morning air is cold as the two women set out for the hour and a half drive on a narrow two-lane country road to visit a relative in the country.

“I think we need to head back, I don’t want to get in work traffic,” the daughter announces and stands to leave the relatives home. Hugs and Merry Christmas is offered and the two women leave.

Driving the same country road the mother is looking out the window at the tops of the trees. “There’s mistletoe in all of these trees!” she exclaims.

“Yes, it’s pretty common down here.”

“I want some of that mistletoe!” the mother exclaims.

“Mom, it’s in the top of the trees.”

“Stop, stop, stop. There’s some that is low down.” The mother shouts.

The daughter jerks the pickup to the side of the road and stops. “Where?” She asks.

“Back up. It’s right back there.”

The daughter backs up and pulls the truck next to a tree her mother is pointing out. On a lower branch a clump of mistletoe hangs enticingly.

With the mother’s excited prompting the daughter tries to climb the tree but can’t. She climbs into the bed of the pickup and tries to reach the mistletoe. Her mother hands her a long stick but it doesn’t reach.

“Grab that limb, you can climb the tree from there!” the mother insists.

“I’m not going to try to climb this tree, Mom!”

A car pulls up behind them and a Man steps out and approaches. “Can I help you ladies?” He asks and smiles at the daughter standing in the back of the pickup swinging a stick at the clump of mistletoe while trying to keep her balance.

“I want that mistletoe!” the mother replies emphatically while pointing to the clump of mistletoe.

“Let me see if I can reach it for you,” the Man says while climbing into the bed of the truck.

He tries and can’t.

“Here, get on my shoulders and you’ll be able to reach it,” the Man tells the daughter.

“Are you crazy!?” the daughter exclaims, but He talks her into it and precariously she balances on His shoulders and grabs the clump of mistletoe.

The mother is shouting and clapping in glee after laughing hysterically at the sight of her grown daughter on the shoulders of a strange Man.

The truck’s interior is filled with laughter as the two women drive home with a large clump of mistletoe safely clasped in the mother’s hands.

“I think God sent that Man.” the mother states eyeing her treasured prize.

~~~~

(Sue’s version) Phil. 4:13

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The Hunters

Winter has set in and the mountains are clothed with their winter coats. The birds are resting comfortably in their nests and the animals are hunkered down in their dens for warmth. Deer roam the meadows in search for food with their winter coats thick. A slight wind blows across the mountains leaving an even deeper chill.

Three hunters are bundled in their warm hunting clothes and slowly maneuver the deep snow. Their rifles are loaded and hopes are high for bagging at least one buck. They’ve seen the deer tracks and are following in silence when they spot a large buck. His thirteen point rack tells them he’s ripe for the kill. They aim their rifles but suddenly a doe and a small fawn appear out from behind a clump of trees. The family of deer is beautiful, even to the hunters.

“We can’t shoot that buck.” One of the hunters whispers and lowers his gun.

“It is a beautiful sight.” Another interjects, lowering his gun.

They kneel in awe for several minutes watching the deer family graze.

A fourth Man steps up beside them and slowly kneels in the snow. He says nothing while gazing at the deer.

“Where did you come from?” One surprised hunter asks.

“Heaven.” The Man whispers.

A quiet chuckle is heard from the hunter.

All is quiet as the hunters and the Man watch the deer graze.

Suddenly a shot rings out across the snowy land and the deer jump and with lightning speed dart into the cover of the trees.

The hunters jump to their feet searching the woods for whoever shot.

The Man stands calmly as the hunters search. The solitude of the mountains has been breached.

The Man asks, breaking the silence, “Had that shot not been fired would you have killed the deer?”

“That’s what we’re out here for!” One of the hunters sarcastically answers.

“Were you not enthralled by their grace and touched by the beauty of the family?”

“We weren’t going to kill the doe and fawn.” Another of the hunters replies.

“Ah, but when the father is removed the entire family suffers, much like a shepherd with his flock of sheep,” The Man states.

The third hunter turns and looks intently at the Man. He weighs his words carefully before speaking and then quietly states, “You’re not really a hunter are you?”

“I am the I Am and yes, I hunt for my lost sheep when they have gone astray.”

The hunter suddenly falls to his knees at the feet of the Man, as the other two stand gaping in amazement.

~~~~

(Sue’s version) Luke 15:3,4

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Guilty

 

The sun shines bright but the day is cold. Bitter cold has invaded the country and people go about their business bundled in heavy coats, hats, scarves, and boots. The snow is deep and pure white as the sun reflects off the icy snow.

A business man hurries toward his car that’s parked across the street from his office. He has a date with his mistress and dinner guests are expected at home this evening. His wife will be furious if he is late. His mind is occupied as he reaches his gloved hand for the car door handle.

A Man steps up and asks, “May I ride with you for a short distance? My battery is dead on my car and there’s a repair shop a few miles from here.” He blows warm breath on His cold bare hands. The business man looks at him and hesitates for a moment. He can see the Man is cold but He looks innocent enough so he says, “Sure, hop in.”

Music is playing softly on the radio as the business man drives slowly down the snow covered street. The Man looks over at the driver and states, “It’s beautiful when it snows.” The driver smirks and replies, without taking his eyes off the road, “Yeah, it is pretty now but when it starts melting its ugly as sin.”

The Man chuckles and replies, “Yes, sin is certainly ugly!”

“That was just an expression I used. It has nothing to do with sin.”

“Ah, but it has everything to do with sin,” The Man states.

“How so?”

“Man sees something beautiful, like a beautiful woman. Gradually he becomes acquainted and before long there’s an adulterous affair taking place. What began as beautiful has suddenly turned quite ugly.”

A guilty groan escapes the driver before he can stop it.

“Sin always has a consequence and it always affects more than just the one who is sinning.” The Man continues as He looks over at the driver.

The driver squirms in his seat and speeds up. “What’s the name of this repair shop you want?” The driver asks in a perturbed tone.

This conversation is not what he expected or wants.

“David’s Car Repair. You know, like David in the Bible that had the affair with Bathsheba?”

“Who are you and what do you want!?” The driver angrily demands as he jerks the car to the side of the road and stops.

“I am the I Am. You have a beautiful wife that loves you very much. Go and sin no more.” The Man opens the car door and steps out into the cold and watches as the car fishtails on the icy road  when the driver guns the car and speeds off.

~~~~

(Sue’s version) John 8:34

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The Ransom

With a quick kiss on the cheek the husband leaves for work. The kids have stepped onto the school bus and the breakfast dishes are tucked into the dishwasher. With a sigh she pours herself a cup of coffee and sits down at the table.

The morning news is playing on the T.V. and something being said catches her attention. She grabs her coffee mug and quickly walks to the remote and turns the volume up. A woman is shown. Her hair is in disarray and her dress has dirt on it. As the camera closes in on her face she tells the reporter that she was kidnapped.

“I told the guy I had no money and I have no one who has any money. They said they took me for a ransom.” Tears slide down her face.

“Do you know where they took you?” The reporter asks.

“I’m not sure, but it was an old cabin in a wooded area. I kept telling them I am alone and nobody is going to pay a ransom for me! But they wouldn’t listen!” She shakily swipes at a tear.

The camera turns to the reporter. In the background are heavy woods and he points to the woods. “This is where Sara was found, at the edge of those woods. The police are searching the woods as we speak.”

Turning back to the woman, he asks, “How did you escape?”

“It was really rather strange.” The woman replies as she pushes a clump of hair off her face. “A Man showed up. He seemed different from the others.”

“Different, how so?” The reporter asks.

“He was clean-cut. He had a beard and what took me by surprise are His eyes. They were soft and He was so gentle and I saw compassion in them.”

The reporter excitedly asks, “Did He say anything? Do you know who He is?”

“He held out His hand and took mine. He said not to be afraid. His touch, His touch is so loving. He told me I am never alone and that He paid my ransom. I was free to go.”

The camera focuses on the reporter as he exclaims, “Ladies and gentleman, this is a very strange story! This woman has been kidnapped from her home, held in a cabin in the woods, and a strange Man tells her He paid her ransom and sets her free. Unbelievable! We will follow-up on this very strange story and keep you updated as more details come in as to who this strange Man is! For now, this is Rob with CNN in the field.”

~~~~

(Sue’s version) 1Timothy 2:5-6

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Now That’s Faith!

 

The sun is beating down. Sweat pours down men’s sides, down their faces, rags are dug out to swipe the sweat from their eyes as the crowd closes in closer and closer and closer.

A woman leaves her chair and with disgust she thinks, “This has got to stop and I’m going to do something about it right now!” She peeks out the window and can hear the crowd and see many gathered together.

Leaving the comfort of her home, in pain she crawls slowly toward the crowd. She has to stop and crouches over as pain rips through her body. Taking a deep breath of determination, slowly she claws her way through the legs, around robes, and ignores the stench of dirty feet.

She looks up and moves robes to the side and with a sigh crawls the next few inches to where a Man is standing. With her last bit of energy she reaches up and grabs the tassel hanging from His shawl. She wants to cling to it with all her might but is thrown back as though lightning has struck her as soon as she touches it.

The Man turns suddenly and shouts, “Who touched Me?” The woman lies sprawled on the ground at His feet.

“Who touched Me? I felt My power leave my body.” The Man states.

The crowd goes crazy and someone shouts, “With all these people how do we know who touched you?” The Man looks down and sees the woman sprawled on the ground. He kneels down and gently lifts her up and cradles her in His arms.

Now He knows who touched Him.

Her eyes flutter open, she sighs as she gazes up at Him.

Her infirmity is healed.

 

(Sue’s version) Matthew 9:21

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An Unexpected Trip

The T.V. is turned off and having gone to bed the woman sighs loudly, stretches, lies back, and suddenly remembers she forgot to brush her teeth.

She rises with a groan while throwing her feet off the side of the bed. She was so looking forward to collapsing into a peaceful night of sleep that would leave her refreshed and feeling renewed in the morning.

Before returning to her bed she suddenly finds herself on the floor with the room spinning violently. What is going on? She is suddenly hit with a bout of vomiting that is so violent that it stands her on her head.

“Call an ambulance,” the Lord whispers in her ear as she violently retches and the room spins at top speeds. The phone is clear across the room and she isn’t sure she can get to it.

The room continues its spinning, the retching slams her against a wall but she manages to slowly crawl across the room with a trash can held close.

The woman is kneeling on the carpet clutching the trash can and the cordless phone lies next to her when the ambulance arrives. She can’t explain what happened, the dizziness is too much, the vomiting too severe.

She hears the siren blast suddenly and thinks, “Oh crap, this is serious.” Everything suddenly goes black.

She isn’t aware of the siren or the E.M.T. stating, “Her heart has stopped!” She isn’t aware when she is rolled quickly into the emergency room or the doctors working on her.

She has suddenly been transported to another world and while others are trying to save her life she stands in the most beautiful green pasture with translucent flowers bordering its fringes, having a discussion with the Great I Am.

Suddenly she awakens to a Doctor telling someone, “Get her a room. We’re keeping her.”

Scripture ref: 2 Corinthians 12:2

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Injured at Sea

The anticipation is high and the drive is long as the two friends head for the beach. There’s been hurricane watches along the Eastern coast but the hurricane is still out to sea far enough for no warnings being warranted.

Checking into the hotel and donning their swim suits they grab the beach umbrella, small ice chest with their bottles of water, sun screen, and towels.

The wind is blowing, the sun shines brightly, and the sea gulls are swarming near a couple flipping pieces of potato chips up into the air.

One lady smooths sun screen on her arms, legs, and chest while the other spreads their towels, pops the umbrella open and shoves the pole into the sand. They’re ready to play in the salty water and let the waves slap at their bodies.

The day has been filled with sand, sun, salty water, waves beating their backs, perusing a gift shop, a dinner of crab legs, a stroll along the beach, and a night of much-needed rest.

The next day is filled with the same anticipation of playing in the ocean. The waves are meaner and the water churning, but no restrictions have been ordered.

Being cautious the one lady, who does not swim, stays in the shallower water while the other one wades out deeper.  She jumps up to avoid the bigger waves knocking her over. She laughs joyously as a wave smacks her in the back and rolls over her head.

While swiping the salty water out of her eyes a large wave sneaks up behind her and smacks her, full force. It hits her hard. She is thrown forward, down and under, the sea churns around her and fighting to keep from drowning at the bottom of the sea she struggles.

Her knee suddenly twists, pops, and she tries not to scream as she claws her way along the sandy bottom fighting the churning water that’s trying to drag her back out to sea.

On wobbly legs she stands. Swiping at the water in her eyes, coughing, and taking deep breaths, she limps her way toward the sandy beach.

Standing at the water’s edge is the Life Guard watching her. The Man asks, “Are you okay? I saw that wave hit you.”

She coughs and then laughs nervously and replies, “That one hurt!”

“Are you sure you’re okay?” The Man asks again with concern written across His face.

She rubs her knee and states, “I think so, but I don’t think I’ll be going back out there for now. Thank you for checking on me.”

The waves rage on.

The next morning the beach is closed to swimming. The hurricane warnings are up.

~~~~

Scripture reference: Isaiah 41:10  ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

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