The Unexpected Guest

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

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The “Prophet”

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.

He waits.

Someone shouts, “Who are you?”

Murmurs fill the room.

He waits.

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

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One Little Flower

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

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A Hidden Agenda

The trees are full, the flowers are in bloom, the birds are chirping their happy songs and off in the distance one can hear the sound of a woman in pain.

The neighbors have complained because of her raucous behavior. The police have been called numerous times but no one seems to be able to stop the woman from her rantings.

She stands in her yard and screams at people as they pass. Children are ushered quickly into their homes, and the adults shake their head in disgust and frustration. Hospitalization helps for a time. The medications render her a zombie leaving her walking in a daze. She stops taking them.

The diagnosis has been deemed to be a mental illness and with proper medication she seems fine. But beneath the surface something else is at fault but no one wants to address it.

She stands at the edge of her yard and screams profanities and suddenly stops when she sees a Man approach. He looks at her intently. Her ranting ceases.

The Man takes a step closer to her, she fearfully steps back. A hidden part of her knows who this Man is and is afraid. The hidden  part is what causes her problems.

The Man addresses the hidden part and with all Authority given to Him by the Father, He commands, “Come out of her!”

Her mouth opens and the evil spirit pleads with the Man. “We know who You are. Don’t make us leave.”

“Come out!” The Man forcibly demands and the woman is suddenly shaking violently and drops to the ground.

(Sue’s Version) Matthew 9:32, Matthew 8:28, Luke 9:37-42, Luke 8:29

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The Search

For years the girl searched. She walked the streets, made numerous phone calls, scanned the newspapers, and talked to people, all to no avail.  She feels dejected, alone, without hope of ever finding what she’s looking for.

Wandering through the park she finds a secluded place and sitting down in the shade of a large Oak tree she sobs her heart out. With her head lowered on her folded arms resting on her knees she suddenly feels a presence and quickly swipes at her tears and looks up.

A Man is standing a few feet away and in a gentle, loving voice asks if He may join her. “Maybe I can help,” He states and she nods her head yes.

The Man sits down on the grass and leans against the tree trunk. “You have much pain,” He states softly. She asks how He knows that and wipes more tears off her cheeks.

“I am the I Am,” the Man states. “Tell me why you’re upset.”

The girl looks at Him for a long moment and something deep inside her wells up. She senses she can trust this Man like no one she has ever trusted before.

“I was adopted when I was a baby and I’m looking for my father. I found my biological mother but she doesn’t want me. She said she should have had an abortion and now I would be a scourge to her reputation and sent me away. Maybe my father will feel differently.”

The Man places His hand gently on her shoulder. “Where are your adoptive parents? They must love you very much for they chose to raise you as their own.”

“They were killed in a car wreck five years ago.” Tears fill her eyes and run down her cheeks. The Man gently wipes His finger across her cheeks wiping her tears away. “You are very much loved and you are never alone.”

“Yes, I am alone! I have no one.” She begins sobbing and the Man gently pulls her toward Him and lets her cry into His shoulder. When her tears have abated He releases her.

“My child, you have a Father that knows your pain, knows your every desire, and loves you deeper and greater than any earthly parent can ever love you.  Your mother and father left you but this Father will never leave you. You will never be alone. Trust Him and He will guide you, soothe your hurts, fill you with His joy, and you’ll traverse this life with a peace beyond your own understanding.”

The Man rises. The girl sits fingering a blade of grass while in deep thought. When she looks up, the Man is gone.

(Sue’s version) Psalm 27:10

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Stand Strong

The Man travels from city to city checking on His children. He sees a child playing in the park and the sound of her laughter fills the air.  He kneels down and gently cups her cheek. “You are so loved, little one,” He states and moves on.

In the next town He sees statues. One of a Civil War veteran that had called out to Him with his last dying breath. On down the street He sees a woman sitting on a bench eating her noon meal. She glances up at Him, smiles, and waves. He knows the pain she’s hiding.

Walking into the area known as the ghetto He sees poverty. Children playing stick ball in the trash strewn streets. Mothers peeking out the dirty window of an apartment filled with cock roaches. He shakes His head sadly.

Moving uptown with the tall buildings, traffic noise, and aroma’s of various street vendors, people are rushing, bumping into each other and curses are heard from passing taxi cabs. No one notices Him.

He travels to a rural area where a church is being built. It’s almost completed. He sees the pastor and approaches. “A beautiful church,” the Man states.

The Pastor turns and states, “Yeah and you wouldn’t believe the trouble we’ve had in building it.”

“What do you mean?” The Man asks, knowing full well the obstacles they have encountered.

“First the county said they didn’t want another church. Then a bunch of non-believers started picketing. We had to fight tooth and nail to finally get the permits. I was ready to give up!”

“But you didn’t. The Father heard your prayers. What are you going to call it?”

The Pastor rubs his chin and grins and then states, “You won’t believe this and we’re going to really have a fight on our hands when we put up the sign, but the Lord spoke to me in a dream and said to call it the ‘Christ’s True Gospel Church.'”

“Why do you think there will be a fight?” The Man asks.

“Are you kidding? We aren’t allowed to make any reference to Christianity or  make any reference to Jesus!” The Pastor exclaims.

The Man walks to the building and looking inside He sees a large cross on the front wall of the sanctuary. “That’s a beautiful cross.” The Man states, pleased.

“Yes, it is. One of the locals made that cross from one of his trees on his property. An atheist group saw it being carried into the building and filed a lawsuit stating its offensive and has to come down. We have one for the roof, too and they’re really having a fit over that one. But we just keep praying for God’s divine intervention.”

The Man turns to the Pastor and places His hand on his shoulder. Looking directly into the Pastor’s eyes the Man states, “I am the Great I Am and your prayers will be answered.”

(Sue’s version) 1Thes. 5:16-18

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The Purse

The evening has been beautiful and the two ladies have enjoyed the play very much. As they walk toward their cars they are enjoying the moon lit sky, the stars, and the warm evening breeze as they discuss the finer points of the play.

Reaching their cars they give each other a quick hug and wish the other a blessed night. Sarah steps into her car, closes the door and pulls the car out onto the street.

Mary has lingered beside her car for a moment to gaze up at the moon and stars. She is unaware that someone has been watching her and her friend.

Whispering, “Thank you, Jesus for this beautiful night,” she reaches for the car door handle and is suddenly hit from behind, knocking her to the ground. The assailant grabs her purse and runs off into the darkness.

A Man races towards her. Her evening gown is torn and her elbow and hands are skinned from hitting the pavement.

“Are you okay?” the Man asks gently as He helps her to her feet.

“He stole my purse!” Mary states as she brushes the dirt from her dress and hands.

“Let Me see,” the Man says as He gently takes her hands in His.

“He stole my purse! My driver’s license, my credit cards, everything is in there!” Tears fill her eyes.

The Man gently rubs her hands and Mary doesn’t notice the scrapes are suddenly healed. Her focus is on the loss of her purse.

“He has stolen my identity!” she jerks her hands away in frustration.

“Mary,” the Man states. “He cannot steal your identity. He only stole some paper. Who you are is not what is on those cards. Your identity is in Me for I am in you and you are in Me.”

Mary swipes at her tears, looks at her healed hands, gasps, and grabs the Man in a hug.

(Sue’s version) Romans 8:17 – John 15:4-5, 14:20 – Gal. 2:20

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