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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Life or Death?

High school is difficult in some ways. All the parties, keeping up with homework, and not disappointing the peers with their high expectations.

Dating is fun but who knew what was expected to be popular with the guys. The new girl at school is pretty with her tanned body, long brown hair, and pretty, but shy, smile.

She learns pretty quickly what is expected if she’s to be in the “in crowd” and is convinced by those “in the know” this is the only way to  be popular.

After months of emotional turmoil and pressure from parents and friends, she sits in the waiting room filling out the forms. A woman stands by making sure she doesn’t leave. She’s been told sweetly, “This is the right thing to do. It’s in your best interest, and your whole future is ahead of you.”

She places her hand on the area where she feels movement. Maybe a foot has pressed against her belly. Or maybe it was a hand reaching out. A tear slides down her cheek. She suddenly stands to leave and the woman grabs her arm to stop her. “You can’t leave!” the woman demands.

The door opens and a Man enters. He stands quietly and says nothing. The young girl looks at Him with pleading eyes. He steps up beside her and gently sits her down. The woman leaves the room thinking its the boyfriend here to talk sense into her.

The girl leans into the Man and sobs tears of fear, shame, and sorrow. His hand gently strokes her back and He whispers, “This child you are carrying, I knew before he was conceived. I formed him in your womb. Bless this child and call him David, for he will be a mighty man of God.”

The woman returns as the Man stands. The girl grabs His arm. He gently helps her stand and they start to walk toward the door. The woman screams, “You can’t do this! We need that kids tissues!”

Fury rises in the Man, He spins around to face her and with anger and all Authority He states emphatically, “Get behind me Satan!”

The woman slithers away.

(Sue’s version) Jeremiah 1:5

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The Tree

Fred has had a rough life. His childhood was filled with hurt, pain, disappointment, betrayal, and abuse. Mom and Dad didn’t know the Lord and made fun of those “high and mighty do-gooders.”

As the years came and gone he was bullied in school, made lower grades than the other kids, and wore out-of-style clothing. He hid his hurt and anger but never understood why life was just so hard. “Life’s not fair,” others would tell him but it didn’t ease his anger.

As an adult his anger has turned to bitterness. He growls at people in response to their attempts to show him kindness. He pushes others away in his self-imposed prison. The lesson of “trust no-one” runs hot through his veins.

Sitting on a bus bench, waiting for the bus to carry him to his menial job, the pain hits him like a train. He falls off the bench in a crumpled ball groaning and screaming.

In the ambulance he is in and out of consciousness and the scream of the siren sounds far away. He isn’t aware when the gurney speedily rolls him down the halls of the hospital into the operating room.

Slowly his eyes begin to flutter open and he see’s a Man with a white coat, a stethoscope around His neck standing next to his bed. With confusion, blurred vision, and a mouth feeling like cotton, he asks, “Who are you?”

The Man looks at him and replies, “I am the I Am. You’ve just had surgery.”

“Surgery!” He growls. “Surgery for what? What did you do to me?”

Lowering the surgical mask from His face, the Man replies seriously, “You had a huge tree inside you. The roots ran deep. I removed it.”

“What!? What do you mean a tree and roots!?” Fred demands. He tries to sit up in the bed but can’t.

“You have had much hurt and disappointment. You have let your past take control of your life and it became a giant tree of hatred and anger with very deep bitter roots. You forgave no one but now you are free to do so.”

The Man turns and leaves the room leaving Fred shedding tears of understanding and relief.

(Sue’s version) Hebrews 12:15

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Invisible Protection

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The young lady giggles as she swings her boyfriends hand back and forth as they leave the sandy beach walking side by side. They stop at a window in the side of a building and buy a slice of pizza each. Finding a bench under a tall Palm tree the young man says a quick thank you to the Lord for their food and they take big bites out of their pizza.

Sitting in the shade they chat about the world’s problems and finish eating their pizza. “There isn’t much we can do about what’s going on in the world,” the girl says.

“Sure there is!” the boy replies.

“What? We’re only two people, how can we solve the world’s problems?”

“Well, we can’t solve the world’s problems but we can take a stand with others. You know the Lord said ‘where two or three are gathered in His name, He is present.”‘

“Yeah, but…”

The boy cuts her off. “If we got a bunch of kids together at school and started a prayer group I’ll bet we could make a difference.”

“But what would we pray about?” The girl wipes her face with a napkin.

“I don’t know. Maybe angels around our school. God has warring angels, I’ll bet they’d guard us!”

The girl laughs and stands. “The school won’t let us do that, silly!”

“But don’t you see? That’s where we can make a difference!” The boy states enthusiastically.

She looks at him for a long moment, and begins walking toward the beach.

“Well, what do you think?” He asks and quickly walks up beside her.

“Whatever,” she states and keeps walking.

“God said we have guardian angels and I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be asking around and see if we can get enough kids to join in.”

Reaching the water, the girl laughs, shoves her boyfriend playfully and darts out into the water “You do that,” she yells, and dives into a wave.

A Man has heard them and grins His approval.

(Sue’s version) Psalm 91:11 – Matthew 18:20

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