I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Clicker”

 

Carrying the clicker in her hand she enters the room. Several people fill the room and a clank, clank, clank is heard. A whispered groan is heard nearby. Placing her purse in the appointed cubby hole, A Man greets her with a smile.

Her nerves are on a bit of an edge for she knows this is going to hurt, at least she thinks it is. She glances in the direction of the clanking sound and groans under her breath. She’s familiar with what’s causing the sound.

The Man gives her directions and within a moment in time she’s grunting and pushing.

Click One – Click two- Click three- Click four – Click five, she presses on until she reaches thirty.

She gives a long sigh of relief and looks up. The Man is standing in front of her smiling and pointing to the next area she’s to go to.

She sucks in a deep breath and as she hobbles to the next station He tells her she’s  done great. She struggles to follow His instructions that will help in her recovery.

Ahhhh yes, recovery. Her damaged knee is hurting and yet she knows she must endure. She looks about the room and feels a bit guilty. Shoulders, knees, hips, feet, and arms are all being worked on. Many worse than what she is enduring.

Click one – Click two – click three – click four.

As the weeks pass she has come to jokingly call this place the “torture chamber.” Her recovery exercises has been increased in intensity and now she wants to sock the Man. He stands beside her as she presses on; encouraging her, laughing with her when she raises a fist toward Him with a threatening look.

She sits on the table as He presses, at times gently, and not so gently at other times, while He messages “goo” on her injured knee. “I am the I Am,” He states, with a twinkle in His eyes, as she threatens to lay Him out flat, “Trust Me and you shall be healed.”

She lowers her fist.

***

Jeremiah 30:17 – “For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord.”

***

Jehovah Rapha is another name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It means, Lord, my Healer. As we go through the physical pains from injuries or illnesses we can choose to trust not only a Doctor, a physical therapist, or a nurse, but more importantly we are to trust Jehovah Rapha, our Healer. He promises to heal those who trust in Him and that healing can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. It is not always easy and we must do our part in our healing process and allow Him to do His part. We turn our pain over to Him and trust His promises to bring healing. The small counter; “clicker” as I call it, really helps if you like to chat while doing the exercises in physical therapy.

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Fishing For Men

 

The day began bright and sunny with few clouds floating across the blue skies. Simon and a friend decided it was a good day to go fishing but was concerned that maybe it was the wrong time of day.

Backing up their pickup truck they latched the trailer with the john boat to the back hitch and grabbed their water bottles and fishing poles. The ice chest was filled with drinks and sandwiches, ready for a day on the lake.

Simon grabs the starter rope and giving it a quick mean jerk, the engine fires up with a billow of smoke. He steers the boat away from the launching ramp as his friend slowly drives the truck up the ramp and parks in the marked parking space.

Simon turns the boat facing the clear blue waters as his friend wades through the shallow water and crawls aboard. They smile, raise their hands to heaven and at the same time yell, “Show us your favor Lord. The wives want fish for dinner,” and they speed off to deeper waters.

“This looks like a good spot,” Simon announces over the roar of the engine. He cuts the engine off and tosses the anchor overboard. Placing bait on their hooks each sits quietly waiting for the sudden jerk on their line.

It doesn’t come.

Hours are spent, drinks are gulped, sandwiches wolfed down. No bites. Discouragement takes over and as Simon suggests they give up and go home, something happens they’ll neither forget.

Simon gasps.

His friend’s eyes pop wide open and he can’t speak.

A Man approaches. He isn’t in a boat! He’s walking across the water as though He’s on dry land.

They both gulp and begin to stand. “We’ll jump to our deaths.” the friend whispers.

“It’s a ghost.” Simon croaks out.

The Man speaks, “Oh sit down. It’s just Me, Jesus.”

With a sigh of relief the men slowly take their seat while staring at Jesus standing on the water, right next to the boat. “Ya’ wanna’ catch some fish throw your lines on the other side of the boat.” Jesus states confidently.

He steps into the boat, takes the last sandwich and takes a bite. He watches the two men as they struggle with their thoughts.

“Well, Are you going to trust me or not?” Jesus asks while chewing a bite of sandwich.

The men make no comment but cast their fishing lines on the other side of the boat. In seconds they are hauling in the biggest fish they’ve ever caught. They can’t bait their hooks fast enough and in no time the boat is overloaded with fish flopping around in the bottom of the boat. They shout and laugh, not believing their good luck.

Jesus stands, steps out of the boat, turns and grins at the two men. “Told ya’ so! Next time you’ll be fishing for men.” He states and saunters off across the water.

“Huh? Fishing for men? We gonna be looking for dead men out here?” Simon asks as he removes the hook from yet another large fish.

(Sue’s version) Luke 5:3-6

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I Should Know Better!

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The night was long with everything under the sun running rampantly through my mind. The pillow didn’t feel right, flipping from one side to the other side my body was taking a beating. Sitting up, laying down, wanting to pull my hair out and scream, rebuking the devil, sleep finally comes.

The new day has dawned all too quickly and dragging my weary body to the edge of the bed I ask the Lord, “What would You have me do today?” I’m hoping He’ll say, “Oh My sweet child, you’re so tired just roll over and go back to sleep. You need your rest.”

Sitting there hoping upon hope, I await the sweet words of the Lord. “Do what I told you to do yesterday,” was His reply. With a groan I go about showering, getting dressed, and shoveling a bowl of cereal down my throat one spoon full at a time.

Grabbing the long list of items I need to get at Sam’s I make my way to the car. “You forgot the C.D.’s” the Lord says. Hands on the steering wheel, motor running, garage door up, “Oh I’ll take them some other time.” “Take them now. You’ll be close to her house.”  You see, I had some C.D.’s and a D.V.D. I needed to return to my friend who lives just a couple of miles from Sam’s, which is a 20 minute drive for me.

I spend a couple of hours in Sam’s gathering up the supplies I need. Those things that are essential for every day living; huge packages of toilet paper that won’t require my making another run to store any time soon. No-siree, I hate shopping so to be able to buy in bulk makes me quite happy. Grabbing the big bundle of Kleenex with several boxes all bundled together pleases me to no end and the family size bags of potato chips last so much longer than the regular size. Essentials you see, and lots of them. With the cart piled high I go through the cashier and head straight for Sam’s hot dog stand. I’m hungry and tired. I plop down at one of the tables and delve into the hot dog and big cold drink. I love their big hot dogs.

I’ve purchased several, quite heavy, 40 count bottles of water and by the time I wrestle those and everything else into the back of my van I’m worn to a frazzle. Pulling out of Sam’s parking lot I glance down and there on the seat lay the C.D.’s and D.V.D.

“Ohhh, I’ll take them some other time. I’m tired,” I say out loud to no-one, since no-one is in the car with me. Or so I think. “No, take them now.” There’s that voice again. My immediate reply is, “I’m tired, I want to go home and get this stuff un-loaded.” “Take them now.”  Irritation is rising within me.  I pull into a small strip mall and grab the cell phone. It rings and rings and finally the voice mail picks up. Happily I leave a message, “Hi, I’m leaving Sam’s and I was going to drop off these C.D.’s but since you aren’t home I’ll do it later,” and hang up.

Backing the car out I’m at the intersection where I turn right towards home or left toward my friend’s house. “Take her the C.D.’S now!”  Slapping the steering wheel and angrily stating, “Oh for crying out loud she isn’t even home!” Whipping the car into the left turn lane I’m fuming. Okay, so I can still act like a child having a temper tantrum. I would like to assert my free will some times! No, lightning didn’t hit me.

Turning into my friend’s driveway her garage door is open, her car backed in part way, and she’s unloading boxes from the back. I don’t apologize to the Lord. She and I stand in the shade of the garage and during our short conversation she tells me something the Lord had just told her that morning.

As the conversation continues all of a sudden she almost yells, “Thank you! I really needed to hear that!” Immediatedly I know the Lord wasn’t insisting on my returning those c.d’s just because I was close by,  but was using me to give her the confirmation that she needed. We had a good laugh, when I wasn’t choking on the words, as I told her about arguing with Him about coming to her house. “You know better!” she laughed.

So many times we think we’re on the same wave length as the Lord and think we know exactly what He is up to. I thought He was sending me there, since I was so close, and was saving me gas and time of having to return later, only to learn that in my selfish desire to go home I would have missed Him using me to give her what she needed right then.

Anyone who has read my book, “Laying Down my Net – A Walk of Faith” is saying, “Sue, you know better!” And yes I did apologize while driving home.

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Blessings to you.

 

 

Where’s our Linen Belt?

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In Jeremiah 13:1 the Lord instructs Jeremiah, “Go buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch the water.”  Now isn’t that kind of a strange request? Put on a linen belt but hey, don’t get it wet. Maybe because linen is a type of material that when wet will squeeze the daylights out of Jeremiah or become really itchy like wool. After all it was considered an “intimate” garment. It was worn like our underwear. But on the other hand maybe not. Maybe He had some other reason.

Jeremiah does as he’s told and then the Lord tells him to take the belt off and go bury it in Perath. Jeremiah had to be wondering what in the world is the Lord doing! First He has Jeremiah put the belt on, then take it off, and then go hide it! What? But Jeremiah again does as he’s told and carries the belt to Perath and buries it. Now you have to wonder what Jeremiah is thinking on his treak to Perath.

As the days pass Jeremiah forgets about it and goes about his business when the Lord shows up again some time later and says, “Hey Jer. go get the belt you buried.” (my translation) He goes all the way back to Perath and digs up the belt only to find it is ruined and absolutely useless! Now what? Jeremiah must be really wondering if the Lord has imbibed on a little too much wine.

God knows what Jeremiah is thinking so explains as Jeremiah stands holding the ruined and dirty belt looking puzzled, I’m sure.  “In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah (Let’s replace that with America) and the great pride of Jerusalem. (America) These wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt – completely useless!” (v.10)

Ohhh that had to be back then. We don’t serve other gods! Is that what you’re thinking? What about the god that we place above our family and children that we leave at 6:00 or 7:00  every morning to go to? The job! What about the god of being independant and “I can’t have this kid! It will interfere with my plans?” What about the god of lust, for the same sex or for my neighbors wife or husband? The love of money? The need to be better than the Jones? Oh America, we have a whole bunch of god’s and sadly the gods of the world have attracted us so much and so fervently that we are turning our back on the one True God. The Almighty God that created heaven and earth and everything in it.

God told Jeremiah, “For as a belt is bound around a man’s waist, so I have bound the whole house of Israel (America) to me,’ to be My people for My renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.” (v.11)

God has called the Jewish people His people for many, many years but He has called the gentiles, too. (That’s non-Jewish people) He has offered the same redemption and the same blessings as He offered, and still offers, the Jewish people to us. He took America under His wings because we are a Nation under God. We looked to Him, we prayed, we sought His wisdom, and even made our Constitution from His decrees.

He had His linen belt around our waist, holding us close, but we have removed that belt and thrown it in the dirt, replacing it with pride! Pride has thrown prayer out of schools, “Gay Pride,” “We don’t need the Ten Commandments,” “It’s my body,” say the name of Jesus and see how mouths start screaming, we have elected government officials that say they are a Christian and in the same breath condemn and mock Christ followers, and the list goes on. Until America wakes up we are as dirty and as useless as the belt Jeremiah dug up and the Lord cast aside!

America may be pushing God out of the picture but God still loves us in spite of our stupidity and has been sending His warnings; Katrina, 9-11, earthquakes, Sunami’s, AIDS, Ebola, ISIS!

“But they have not listened.”  

~~~~~~~

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Blessings to you.

“But Lord, You said….”

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Over the years the Lord has put my faith to some really big tests. When I first became a Christian He knew I was used to being told what to do, not asked if I would kindly do something. Because of His grace He speaks to us in the ways we are used to.

In 1998 a big test was put before me. “Sell your home and move where I’m sending you.” He didn’t bother to tell me exactly where that was until shortly before I was to hop in the car and cross the country.

That started what I call the “five year odyssey.” As I drove across the country He finally notified me that I would be there for eighteen months. Don’t you just love it when the Lord only tells you what you need to know for that moment and nothing more? He kept telling me, “Trust Me.” It got very frustrating!

I was there for eighteen months and then the surprise came for the next location. “You’ll be here a year.” I thanked Him. It was only at each step that He would tell me what I was to do while I was at each of these locations.

I was learning to trust Him and to be obedient without question. Believe me that was not an easy journey! I learned distrust from a very early age and to just say, “Trust Me” wasn’t flying very well with all I had learned for years.

More moves came about. The third move He said I would be there for two years but suddenly told me I would be moving again. “What? You said I’d be here two years. This is six months early?” “Trust Me.” More hard lessons were learned.

On the fourth move I find myself leaving boxes packed because I have no idea where He will send me next. “You don’t have to move any more” the Lord said as I stood trying to decide which boxes to unpack. When I’d hesitate to hang a picture He’d tell me the same until finally I unpacked everything and set up my “nest.”

Five years later –

“I want you to move to…” came the familiar voice. I couldn’t believe it! “But You said I didn’t have to move any more!” I screamed. I was devastated! Satan quickly slithered in and convinced me that Christ was a liar. That I couldn’t trust Him and I needed to walk away from Him. The enemy had me convinced that God Almighty had betrayed my trust. I confess, I listened. Not to the Lord but to the father of lies. I came within a hair of turning my back on my heavenly Father who loves me, accepts me, and wants me to be all He created me to be.

I rejected the prayers of others. I didn’t want to hear them in my hurt and anger. I cried. I stomped in a fit of rage. I refused to listen to or speak to my Creator. Oh Satan was doing a really good number on me. He had a hold on me that was firm and he was determined not to let go.

Remember the verse that says we are in God’s hands? That nothing will separate us from His love? I don’t remember how long I was in the grips of the enemy. I felt deeply hurt and that God had betrayed my trust. I was hurt, angry, and confused but I had a choice to make. Was I going to be obedient or stay put? I started packing.

Did God change His mind? Did I hear wrong when He said I don’t have to move any more? No, I heard right. He said, “You don’t HAVE to move any more.” He said, “I WANT you to move to…” In other words, I had a choice. I didn’t have to obey His request. I could sit back comfortably (oh right!) and stay in my nice nest or I could go through the rigors of packing up and leaving to who knew where for reasons only Christ knew.

There have been three more moves since then. In another move He said I’d be there two years but had me move in a year and half. Did He change His mind again? Does He change His mind? In Exodus 32:14, Moses was pleading with God to not pour out His wrath on the people. “So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.” It sounds like a change of mind to me. What do you think? Does God change His mind?

If we are true followers of Christ we are to trust Him completely. If we trust Him we will be obedient no matter what He calls us to do. The enemy, Satan, has one goal; to rob, steal, and kill. He will rob you of your joy, he will steal your faith, and kill all hope……………….if you let him.

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Published 2008  Learn the whole story.

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Blessings to you.