I Am- Devotional Style Short Stories – “Patience is a Virtue”

The weather has turned cold, dreary, and raining. The vehicles on the roads are at a standstill while an accident ahead is being taken care of. The ambulances block the road, the fire trucks are parked horizontally across the lanes blocking all oncoming traffic.

A Man stands beside the road watching and praying. His Father in heaven knows what is happening and the Man is merely doing what the Father has called Him to do. A woman sits bleeding in her car. Another person in another car is unconscious as the paramedics tend to his wounds. The big rig that slammed into a pickup truck is twisted in the middle of the road. Car parts are scattered across the pavement and two bodies lie lifeless on the side of the road with blankets covering their bodies.

Impatience grows with the lined cars down from the wreckage. It’s been an hour and still there is no movement of traffic. A young man in a souped up Trans Am yells out his window, “Let’s get this thing moving. I have things to do and people to see!” An elderly man shakes his head in disgust and comments to his wife, “These young people think the whole world revolves around them.” She agrees.

Two hours have passed and as the Man watches He’s aware of the young man becoming more and more impatient. He finally walks toward the Trans Am as the young man stomps beside his car swearing and shaking his fist.

“Patience is a virtue,” the Man states as He walks up beside the young man.

“Who are you!?” the young man demands.

“I am the I Am. You need to settle down for the things of this world are temporary.”

The young man laughs. “Oh, you’re one of those Jesus freaks. My Mom used to preach that garbage to me.”

“You should have listened to her,” the Man states.

The young man turns his back and yells more profanity. The Man touches his shoulder and suddenly the young man drops like a rock to the ground. He doesn’t know what hit him and lies lifeless on the pavement.

The cars begin to inch forward and the Man looks down at the young man on the ground. “I give you my peace, as soon as you wake up.”

***

Ecclesiastes 7:9 “Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.”

***

We all have times when our tempers seem to take control but we have the power and authority in Christ Jesus to be able to control any out bursts that may want to spill forth. When we allow the flesh, our humanness with its sin nature, to control our attitudes and thoughts, as well as our behavior, we are falling into the traps of the enemy of God. There is righteous anger and there is what we humans refer to “as flying off the handle.” When we walk in the Spirit we are leading others by our actions. Don’t be fooled into thinking that non-believers are not watching believers. They are and are looking for anything to convict them of their own disbelief. By curbing our outbursts we are leaving an imprint not only to those around us but also in the heavenly realms, for all we do and do not do have an eternal affect.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Heavenly Courtroom”

 

The Heavenly Courtroom

No jury sits in this court room. No spectators fill the room. You won’t hear whispers echoing across the aisle. The silence is almost deafening.

Only four people will be in this trial. At one table, facing the Judge is the Defense Attorney and the accused. To their left stands another table with the prosecutor facing the Judge. He has a stack of papers lain neatly in front of him. The Defense attorney’s table is bare.

The Judge sits high above the rest of the room. His eyes focus on the defendant. The defendant’s hands are locked together in front of her and her knees knock together slightly. Her Attorney leans over and gently bumps her shoulder with His. He gives here a wink and then focuses back on the Judge.

The accuser stands straight, cocky like. His eyes are fire and his hand rests on the stack of papers. He glances over at the defendant and shivers shoot up her spine. With an evil smirk he has an expression of confidence.

A voice booms across the room, coming from the Judges bench. “State your case Satan!” God’s voice is so powerful the defendant’s knees almost give out from under her. Jesus gently takes her by the elbow to steady her.

Satan picks up the stack of papers and begins reading the accusations. “This is a contract her grandfather signed! Before she was born she was mine!” He slaps it on the table and raises another. “This is the promise her father made before she was even out of the womb!” He slams it down and rattles yet another.

She nervously glances at her Attorney.

Satan doesn’t stop. One paper after another he waves in the air and shouts what his claim to her is that’s stated on each of the contracts.

This is more than she can bear. She had no idea that people make contracts with the devil and literally give him and his demons legal rights to control that person. She needs to sit down!

Her Attorney listens quietly. He’s as cool as a cucumber. He leans toward her and whispers, “Trust Me.” Trust Him? Oh she does, but she also wants to climb right up under those long white robes and hide.

Satan is screaming and demanding that she is his. “Here are the contracts to prove it,” he hollers as drool and slobber splatter out of his mouth. The Judge looks intensely at the defendant. Her mouth goes dry.

Satan begins to yell, “She’s mine!” Jesus leans a bit in front of her and points his long index finger at Satan, “Enough!” She wants to hug Him, She wants to cheer and dance over to Satan and slap him! The Judge looks at her and compassionately says, “What do you have to say about all this My child?”

She swallows at least 10 times in order to get the words to come up out of her throat. Finally a squeak comes out and she clears her throat and speaks. “Father God, Your Majesty, on Oct.3, 1993 I gave my life to Jesus. I believe He shed His blood for my sins, I believe He died and arose and is Your Son. I asked Him to be my Savior and to come into my heart and my life. I have tried to be as obedient as I can be. You said that if we confess our sins and believe in our heart that Jesus is Your Son then we are saved. I believe that Father, I mean God, I mean your Honor.”

She swallows hard and takes a deep breath then continues. “I didn’t just ask Him to be my Savior I gave Him my whole life to do with as He pleases. I gave Him me! I know I still sin and I’m sorry but I…” She senses her Lawyer looking at her and when she looks up His radiant smile and the compassion and the love shining in His eyes leave the rest of her words stuck in her throat. She shuts her mouth.

Looking at her Attorney, hoping she hasn’t screwed up her case by babbling, tears stream down her face. Jesus reaches over and with His thumb gently wipes the tears off her cheeks. Satan has started dancing from one foot then the other. Then he begins waving the stacks of papers and begins sputtering unintelligible words.  He begins accusing Jesus.

The Judge holds out His massive hand and says, “Give those papers to me!” He commands. Apparently Satan thinks he’s won. He fairly scoots across the floor happily to the Judges bench and hands them to Him. Father God holds the stack of contracts out in front of Him and without looking at them, begins ripping them in half then ripping them again and again. Satan is screaming. He’s going ballistic.

Father God commands him to back off and shut up. Satan does. The Almighty Judge looks at His Son, “My Son, do you have anything to say?” Jesus looks at His client, smiles, places an arm around her shoulder, and replies, “My child is not guilty by reason of I love her more than she’ll ever know. My blood was poured out for her. My blood washed her sins away. She is in Me and I am in her. There is no question she has been redeemed.” Jesus gives her shoulder a soft squeeze.

God leans forward. His eyes are intense. He first looks at Jesus, then at Satan, and finally at her. He picks up the large gavel and suddenly slams it down. “Not Guilty!” booms across the room rattling the windows. Satan goes into a fit of rage but as soon as Jesus turns toward him and points that index finger at him Satan stops hollering and slinks out the door.

~~~~~

Job 1:6  – “One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them.”

~~~~

There really is a spiritual heavenly court. I have been in it three different times with Jesus defending me against the legal rights my grandfather gave to Satan before I was conceived. Almighty God is the Judge. Jesus Christ is my Defender and Satan is the accuser. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, Father God will find you not guilty every time Satan accuses you!

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Hard Lessons

Four young men stand gaping up at the mountain. One is determined to climb while the others try to talk him out of it, telling him he is inexperienced and will never make it.

The young man takes a deep breath and states, “I’ll go alone if you aren’t coming!” and hikes up the heavy backpack on his back and heads determinedly toward a narrow path that leads part way up the mountain. I can do this myself. I don’t need them! He thinks.

The others watch while shaking their heads. “He has a real death wish,” one boy states.

The young fellow climbs and climbs and before long he looks to be a small speck on the side of the mountain to those watching below.

He grabs at the crags in the rocks. He slowly pulls himself up another inch or two. Sweat drips down his face. His hands are already bloody and blisters form on his fingers.

Another six inches and he stops, breathing hard. His backpack feels fifty pounds heavier.

He finds a narrow ledge just wide enough for him to sit down and rest. He slides the backpack off his back and it suddenly drops over the edge falling hundreds of feet until the lad can no longer see it or hear its crash.

Out of the corner of his eye he sees movement and quickly twists his head to see what it is. Much to his surprise a Man appears at the other end of the ledge.

Clinging to the ledge, breathing hard and scared out of his wits, he yells, “Can you help me, Mister?”

The Man slowly makes His way to the young fellow and sits down beside him. He offers him some water from His water bottle and the boy thanks Him, then takes a long gulping drink.

The young fellow swipes his arm across his mouth and hands the now empty water bottle back to the Man. He scoots back a fraction of an inch to press closer to the rock wall.

“We all have mountains to climb,” the Man states. “But we don’t have to climb them alone.”

The boy looks at Him and asks, “Who are you, and how’d you get up here?”

“I am the I Am and mountains are my specialty.”

“Huh?” The boy replies.

“There are mountains and there are valleys. Lessons are learned in both. It’s how well you traverse both and how well those lessons are learned that will determine your journey.”

The young fellow slowly slides his back up the rocky wall and stands cautiously. “Well, I’ll climb this one!”

His foot slips sending loose rock over the ledge.

The Man grabs him.

“You have much to learn.” The Man states, and helps the young man to the next ledge.

(Sue’s version) Prov. 29:23, 16:5, 11:2

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Sweet Aroma

The child stands at the edge of heaven. She’s curious about what goes on below and stands quietly while pondering all that she sees.

Waves of strife waffle up to her, streaks of stress zip past, anger thunders through the clouds, and as she is about to turn and walk away, The Man appears beside her.

She looks up at His face and with furrowed brows asks, “Is there no love there?” He kneels down beside and places His arm around her small shoulders. She nuzzles up closer to Him.

“Listen with your heart,” He tells her. She cocks her head a little and  scrunches up her face as though that helps her to tune into her heart.

“I don’t hear anything” she finally states.

“Close out the sounds of anger, hate, and dissension.” He whispers.

She tries again.

A sweet aroma engulfs her and she suddenly jumps away from Him and excitedly shouts, “I hear it. I feel it, I can smell love!”

“When we focus on God’s aroma we will escape the foul smell of sin.” He replies.

He leans over and gently kisses her on the cheek.

(Sue’s version) 2Cor. 2:15

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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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Be Still

The beach is crowded on this bright sunny day. Families are on vacation and slathered with suntan lotion they sprawl out on lounge chairs and blankets. Umbrella’s are opened protecting from the sun’s bright rays.

Children’s laughter and innocent screams are heard as they romp in the shallow water. Men and women splash each other as their laughter rings out. Gentle waves caress the sandy beach as they splash and play.

Parents watch attentively from their blankets under the umbrellas. Snacks are in baskets and drinks cooling in coolers. The day is perfect, or so it seems.

Suddenly a scream is heard and people run to the water’s edge. A Man appears and wades out into the chest deep water and dives under the wave reaching a lifeless, limp gentleman that has gotten sucked into the undertow.

The Man pulls the lifeless body to the surface and leans forward  breathing a life-giving breath into him. With that one breath the gentleman spurts water and begins to thrash about violently.

“Be still and know that I am God,” the Man states.

The gentleman relaxes and stops thrashing.

Peace and tranquility has returned to an almost perfect day.

(Sue’s version) Psalm 46:10

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Risking it All

 

The moon is partly hidden in the dark sky. The crew is sound asleep after a hard days work. Snores fill the firefighters rooms and dreams flicker through their minds.

The blare of the alarm brings all snapping to attention and jumping from their bunks they don their gear quickly and with much practice. Sliding down the slick pole they run to the big red fire truck.

Kevin jumps behind the wheel and the Man slides in beside him. He flips a switch and the air is filled with the scream of the siren as Kevin maneuvers the big rig out onto the street.

They scream through the silent dark streets and arrive at a house engulfed in flames. The crew rush to pull the hoses out of their compartments, others hook them to the nearby fire hydrant and truck tanks, commands are shouted, and men go about their task of saving a home as best they can like busy ants on an important mission.

People have come to stand on their porches clad in night gowns and pajamas. Someone shouts, “There’s a baby inside,” as the mother screams and tries to get to the inflamed door of her home. The heat pushes her back and she falls to her knees sobbing.

Kevin sucks in a deep breath and shouts, “I’m going in!” The Man grabs his arm and states, “I’m going with you!” Kevin nods and the two of them rush into the burning inferno.

The cries of a child can barely be heard over the roar of the fire. Visibility is almost nil and the Man shouts, “I got your back. The baby is over there.” Kevin crawls through the dense smoke toward where the Man pointed and finds the child. Together they rush through the room and down the stairs just as the roof caves in inches behind them.

The crowd cheers as the mother screams and runs full speed toward Kevin and the Man as they exit the blazing house. She grabs her coughing, crying baby as the E.M.T. places an oxygen mask over the baby’s face.

“Thank you Jesus,” she cries while placing her baby on the ambulance gurney.

The Man looks at her and smiles, “Your welcome,” He states and gives Kevin a high-five.

(Sue’s version) Phil. 4:13

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