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

 

THE DUDE

It’s 1864 and the stage coach has just rolled down the dusty street. The horses whinny as the driver on top pulls on the reins and yells, “Whoooo.”

The curtain covered door opens and reveals a lady dressed in a fine black and gold silk dress. Her breasts crest the low bodice and the wide slit up the side reveals her net stocking leg. She carefully steps down out of the coach. Her large black velveteen hat has a soft feathery peacock feather swishing in the breeze. Her black high top boots draws attention to her slender, shapely legs as she stands on the dusty street. Her bags are lowered from on top of the stage-coach and she smiles seductively and thanks the driver.

Stepping out from the saloon doors is an unsavory-looking dude. He smirks and saunters over to the lady, “Here, let me get your bags,” he offers.

Hours later, as raucous laughter fills the smoke-filled room, the lady is passed from hands to hands and laps to laps of the men. The lady has been their entertainment.

The unsavory-looking dude watches with glee for a while but then decides it’s time to claim his prize. He asks her to accompany him outside but she refuses. He grabs her arm and snarls and then drags the lady out the saloon doors while gripping her arm tightly. She’s struggling but cannot break his hold.

A door opens and a Man steps out. He stands watching for a moment as the unsavory dude pushes, yells, and finally slaps the lady. “You’re mine!” He growls and starts to drag the lady down the dusty street toward the hotel.

The Man steps out into the street and faces the unsavory dude. “Let her go.” He states. The unsavory dude is shocked to see the Man but refuses to let her go.

There’s a stand-off in the street, the Man against the unsavory dude. The unsavory dude hisses, spits, and yells insanely. The Man stands, legs spread and His hand posed at His side.

The unsavory dude takes his stance and glares at the Man.

The sidewalk has filled with people lining the street. An ugly fight is expected. “Get him, dude” someone yells. Women stand behind the men peaking around them.

“Loose her!” The Man demands. His Authority fills the air.

The unsavory dude suddenly drops his hold on the lady and turns and runs down the street leaving the town behind him.

The lady runs to the Man and is thanking Him profusely.

The Man looks at her with love in His eyes and gently states, “Go and sin no more.”

The disappointed crowd disperses.

***

John 8:11- “And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

***

This story is a bit different from the one in John 8 in that the woman in that story was caught in adultery. She was to be stoned to death for her transgression. We all sin and there are those of us that are washed in the blood of Christ because we have asked Him to be our Lord and Savior. Our death penalty has been paid when He died on the cross and rose again. Regardless of what sin we may commit Christ will not condemn us when we ask His forgiveness and repent of the sin. The enemy, the “unsavory dude” is the devil and he will stand nearby to entice us. When we refuse his sly invitations he can and will get quite nasty and try to strong-arm us into doing what he wants. We also have a Savior who will step out and rescue us from the strongholds of the enemy. Satan lost at the cross and we Christians need to remember that we who are in Christ there is no condemnation. Go and sin no more.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Man’s Free Will”

 

The wind howls through the mountain pass. Dark clouds roll across the sky. The Man looks up as He takes hold of the long gnarled branch He’s using as a walking stick. He grips it more tightly. The path is narrow and treacherous.

Walking carefully across the rocky path He stops for just a moment and glances up. He sees an eagle off in the distance. His majestic wings spread wide and as though floating on the currents, the eagle glides with the wind.

The Man walks a little further and stops again when He hears the screech of a hawk. He smiles as He watches the bird flutter to a stop at the top of a tree.

Rain begins to suddenly pour from the sky and He lifts His face allowing the large drops to pelt His bearded face. His hair is soon soaked, His beard drips, and squinting His eyes closed He sticks His tongue out to catch the drops of rain.

“Oh Father, what a beautiful and glorious sight,” He whispers. Rain pelts His head, His shoulders, and His back. Soon He is dripping wet. It doesn’t bother Him as He continues to follow the narrow path.

He comes across a man sitting on a stump under the protective arms of a large Oak tree. He walks to Him and says hello. The stranger looks tired but says nothing. The Man offers him His canteen of water and says, “Here, drink. It’s living water.”

The stranger hesitates and snarls, “What’s the difference, water is water?” He suddenly snatches the canteen from the Man’s hand and gulps thirstily.

“I am the Living Water.” The Man replies. “Whoever drinks of My water will never thirst.” The man hands the now empty canteen back to the Man; grunts, swipes a hand across his mouth and beard and stands.

“Thanks for the water,” he states gruffly as he tugs at his pants waist, stretches, and without another word walks on down the narrow path. The Man watches as the stranger approaches a Y in the path. He stops and looks to the narrow path, then the wider path. He runs his hand through his long wet hair as though trying to decide which path to take. He glances back at the Man watching him.

“Father, help him to choose the right path.” The Man whispers. Continuing to watch the stranger, the Man lowers His head, blinks back tears, as the other man steps onto the wide path and walks away.

***

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. ‘Because’ narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

***

God is not a dictator as some seem to think He is. He has given each one of us free will. We are free to choose the path that we will follow through this journey called life. In life there are many paths that we have walked. If the path is narrow and treacherous we naturally tend to avoid it and take the wider paved road because it is so much easier to traverse. But the Lord says it is that wider path that leads to destruction. Why? Following Christ in our walk with Him is not always easy. He leads us in ways of righteousness where the enemy of God, the devil, leads us to hell. It is easy to do what we want to do and more difficult to be obedient to that which the Lord calls us to do; love our neighbors as ourselves, don’t gossip, give of ourselves to others, love your wife as Christ loves the church, obey your parents, and the list goes on. The reward to following the narrow path leads us to forgiveness and His assurance of an eternal home with our Lord and Savior.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Transported”

 

Transported

Trees whiz past and the wind ruffles his hair, as the young man flies down the hill and approaches another steep grade in the road. His legs begin to tire as he peddles his bike up the hill. It has been a time of reflection and he isn’t at ease with his thoughts.

He peddles harder.

Finally cresting the hill he stops and gazes out over the beautiful meadow stretched out over what seems to be miles. The grass is a rich green dotted with wild flowers. The few trees reach high into the sky, and a lone bird swoops past.

He takes a deep breath, glances up at the sun, and places his foot back on the bikes peddle.

Pushing off, he coasts down the hill without the effort of having to peddle. The wind rushes through his hair, his eyes water from the force of the wind, and taking his hands off the handle bars he raises them high in the air and loudly shouts out of sheer joy.

The front wheel suddenly twists as it hits a rock in the road and flying through the air the young man hits hard as he lands several feet away from his twisted and mangled bicycle.

He lies unconscious as a Man slowly walks across the meadow toward him. The young man, in his unconscious state is unaware that he has entered another dimension.

The Man is talking to him and telling the young man he needs to get straight with God. “Only my children can enter heaven and the only way to do that is through me,” the Man states.

The boy, in his altered state, looks at the Man standing before him and says, “Everyone says that Jesus isn’t the only way.”

“I am the way, the truth, and the life,” the Man states. “There is no other way. I am the only way to the Father.”

The young man’s eyes begin to flutter slightly and gradually he shakes his head to shake off the fuzziness of his clouded mind. Slowly he sits up and sees his mangled bike.

Then he remembers.

“I am the only way.”

***

John 14:6 – “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

***

Television celebrities, some pastors, and people in general have been very misled as to how we get to heaven. Many think that being a “good person” is the key. So many times we hear people proclaim, “I haven’t robbed, stolen, or killed anyone. Of course I’m going to heaven.” And the lie the enemy of God, the devil, uses the most is, “A loving God will not send people to hell.” Television is a media that reaches millions of people worldwide and to hear a known celebrity speak out and proclaim that Jesus is not the only way, is a travesty. How society has been deceived! Throughout scripture Jesus and His disciples make it quite clear that Jesus is the way. Jesus Himself states that He is the only way to the Father. False religions rely on the ignorance of people to God’s Word. If only we would read, believe, and trust what God, through His Son, tells us. There is only one way to enter the kingdom of heaven and that is confessing, and believing, Jesus Christ is Lord. That He is God’s Son and He died and arose for the forgiveness of our sins. Then, and only then, will we spend eternity with Him.  Without Him it is literally hell!

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Risking it All”

 

The moon is partly hidden in the dark sky. The crew is sound asleep after a hard day’s work. Snores fill the fire fighters rooms and dreams flicker through their minds.

The blare of the fire alarm brings all snapping to attention and jumping from their bunks they don their gear quickly and with much practice. While slamming a helmet on their heads they race 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 nearby fire hydrants 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 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 cry of a child can barely be heard over the roar of the fire. Visibility is almost nil and the Man shouts, “I’ve 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.

***

Philippines 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

***

“I don’t need God!” “I can do this myself!” These are a couple of common statements that many make without thinking. We as humans do not realize that we can do nothing without God. Every breath we take is because He has ordained it and can take it away at any second of any day. We may not be fire fighters that risk their lives rushing in to save someone in a burning building, or a police officer that stands in the line of fire every time he or she steps out of their vehicle, or an Emergency Medical Technician that can contract who knows what from treating someone on the side of the road. We all need Christ by our side helping us through the decisions and tasks of everyday living. If you haven’t asked Him to be your Lord and Savior, do so now. Your next breath may be your last.

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Who cares about the date!?

Was it in February? Did it happen in June, or September? Maybe it happened in December, nobody except those that were there know the exact date and time.

I was born in February and only the Doctor and my mother and father know the exact time and date and yet if my birthday falls on a Wednesday this year and it is inconvenient to have a birthday party during the week, we decide to have it on the Saturday before, what difference does it make? It really doesn’t matter if the party is exactly on the day and time that I was born, now does it?

I’m not sure anyone knows the exact time and date of when Jesus was born and yet we celebrate Christmas on December 25th each year. Does it really matter? There are many who refuse to celebrate Christmas using the excuse, “He wasn’t even born December 25th!”

How sad, to hear such lame excuses for not celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior. How sad that so many miss the entire point of Christ’s birth and what/Who we are celebrating!

Christ, God, came as a baby into humanity to save us from eternal hell, to forgive us our sins, and to guarantee us a place with Him in heaven for all of eternity, and yet, “He wasn’t even born on December 25th.”

Does a date really matter? Does celebrating my birthday on Saturday, rather than Wednesday, really matter? Or are we celebrating the birth of a child, someone who is loved, cherished, and can grow to be a great man or woman of God.

Are we celebrating the birth of the King of kings and the Lord of lords or are we turning away because “He wasn’t even born December 25th?” It makes me wonder what these people are celebrating.

Christmas is about Jesus Christ! Not a Christmas tree, not Jingle Bells, and Santa Clause. It is no more about those things than Easter is about rabbits and eggs!

My prayer is that as we celebrate our Savior’s birth that we do it in humility and honor of our Lord and Savior, and that those who focus on all that is not about Him this Christmas will find the true meaning of this time of celebration.

Without Jesus Christ in the manger there is no such thing as Christmas! It’s just an empty, dirty, and stinky feed troff in a smelly old barn.

Merry Christmas and may Christ bless you even more abundantly with His love, peace, and Joy in 2019.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Last Stop”

The Last Stop

A whistle breaks the silence, wheels speed across the tracks, smoke billows filling the air with white steam as the train speeds along the tracks.

There’s only one car to this train and only two stops. It’s filled with passengers from all walks of life. A lady, dressed in fine silk, jewels dangling from her ears, neck, and wrists. Her fine feathered hat sits proudly on styled hair. Her husband sits next to her typing on his laptop computer, paying no attention to her constant babble.

Families sit together with their children gaping out the window at the scenery as it speeds by. The scowl of a mother catches the Conductors eye. He smiles but she snarls under her breath and digs an elbow into her husband’s side. He grunts and ignores her.

A few teenagers, with their multi-colored hair, nose rings, tattooed bodies, and slouchy pants, sit slouched on the benches discussing the latest horror movie and Rap song with its lyrics of back to back cuss words and condemnation of all that is good. The Conductor stops beside them. They don’t acknowledge Him.  He states, “Follow Me.” They ignore Him. He rubs the dust off His shoe on His pants leg and moves on.

As He approaches another group tears threaten to spill. Women in ragged dresses, men in torn dirty shirts and infants in dirty diapers fill a corner in the back of the compartment. Sandwiches are set aside while heads are bowed in praise and thanksgiving as the Conductor steps among them.

The Conductor touches the shoulder of a lame man, “Be healed,” the Conductor states. The man immediately jumps to his feet and runs in a circle shouting, “Praise God, I can walk!”

The Conductor moves to a woman with an infant with a cleft lip. He smiles down at the infant and with compassion, looks heavenward, whispers a prayer, and places His finger on the child’s lip. It’s instantly healed and the baby smiles brightly. The mother cries tears of joy and thanks Him.

None of the Conductors actions have gone unnoticed. Some begin praising, others shout, “Hosanna,” and yet others raise a questioning eyebrow and announce, “It’s a trick!”

The train begins to slow. Some of the passengers begin gathering their fine leather bags, others pick up the toys of their children while others kneel in praise and thanksgiving for the blessings of a meager meal and the warmth of the compartment.

The train stops and the door slides open. The Conductor stands beside it and as one passenger after another line up to exit, the Conductor announces, “Many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”

He points His finger at the ragged group in the back of the line and states loudly, “You, My children, step forward. For those who believe shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Angry shouts fill the compartment, some try to shove their way through the door. Many stand quietly waiting to be called forward. As the line moves forward, the Conductor instructs some to return to their seat, others, He smiles and tells them they have been “good and faithful servants.” Each child is given a loving hug as He tells them to be careful stepping off the train.

The engine of the train roars to life, steam bellows forth, and a loud clank is heard as the door slams shut and the train speeds off down the track for the last stop. The majority remain aboard.

~~~~
John 3:3 “Most assuredly I say unto you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”

~~~~

There are some who have said that death begins the moment we leave our mother’s wombs. Life is a journey and as we grow and mature we make decisions each and every day. There is one decision that is more important than any other decision we will ever make in this life; where we will spend eternity. Some take life with a slow motion attitude, cruising along with seemingly no cares, and others feel they are on a fast track and rush around in chaotic furry. At the end of it all it is not what we do or how we do it but what we believe, who we have believed in and who we have served. Do we serve ourselves as though we are God or do we serve the One who is God? Who we serve will determine where our last stop will take us.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short stories – “Been There-Not Going Back”

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BEEN THERE – NOT GOING BACK

Her fingers are cramped, her back hurts, her eyes burn, and her neck feels as though its frozen in place as she sits slumped over the legal pad as her pen skirts across the paper filling page after page as it writes the next chapter.

“Take a break, child.” The Lord whispers in her ear. “Go lie on the couch and rest for a while.” He gently adds. She lays her pen down and standing, flexes her fingers, groans, and stretches her back muscles. Taking a deep breath she slowly walks to the couch and stretches out giving a long sigh of relief. The pen has been writing furiously and now she can take a time out.

Her head has barely touched the pillow when suddenly everything turns to black. Black, as no other black can be described. Her body has suddenly been transported from the comfort of her couch to a place that is so dark she can’t see her hand in front of her face. She’s scared. Her body begins to shake and she sense’s Someone has stepped up behind her. Peace begins flowing through her like a gentle wave. No words are spoken.

The blackness is so black there’s nothing for her eyes to adjust to. It isn’t like walking into a dark room where some light peeks in and one can see at least a shadow. No, this is so black it can’t be described! Suddenly faces begin to appear in the darkness. She sucks in a breath as they come closer and closer to where she’s standing. Men and women, teen-age girls and boys, with expressions of fear, anger, shame, confusion, and some with hatred written in their eyes and across their faces as though in large dark ink. She takes a step back. Somehow these people are not allowed to touch her but they have. They’ve touched something deep within her.

A woman, with her head thrown back, screams a bone chilling scream as she furiously twists her long hair and pulls frantically. She screams an agonizing scream, yet no sound comes from her mouth. As she watches in horror a man leans toward her and pleads “help me,” yet no words are spoken. His face is a horrible mask of agony like nothing she’s ever witnessed.

Face after face appears and pass before her with torture written on them, eyes filled with emptiness, screams of pain and desolation. A man’s face appears and comes toward her with his face contorted with absolute hatred and his eyes meet hers with a putrid violence. She jumps back bumping into the white robe behind her. “You’ll be okay, My child” is whispered in her ear as gentle arms wrap around her from behind. She feels His beard on her cheek and the comfort of His arms.

She turns her head to look at Him and asks, “Who are these people?” His eyes fill with tears. “Those who have rejected Me,” He replies with sadness. “But can’t You help them?” she asks. “No child. They chose this place. I gave them every opportunity but they chose this as their eternal home.” She wants to scream! She wants to beg Him to take them out of here! She wants to run from this horrible place. The comforting arms drop from their hug and He takes a step back.

Suddenly the faces are gone and she’s standing as stiff as a telephone pole. Red hot flames have encircled her; orange, red, yellow, flares up on all sides of her. Only her head and eyes move as she looks around. Furious fire engulfs her, yet not one spark touches her.

The Man is beside her. “You’re safe” He says. The flames grow hotter, taller and she can’t believe she’s not even feeling the heat from them. “I am with you,” He says. The flames lick at her but don’t touch her. They grow hotter still and looking skyward she can see the flames are all around her and above her. There is no escape! “I am always with you, even in the fires of life,” is gently spoken.

Poof, the flames are gone!

She’s standing in the total blackness again. Her mind is whirling. She has a million questions she wants to ask but suddenly her attention is drawn to a white building appearing out of the pitch blackness. It’s a small country-style church. It begins turning. The whole building is slowly turning counter-clockwise on its axis. It begins to turn faster and gradually it begins to spin faster and faster and faster until it spins off its axis and flies out into the darkness and disappears.

Suddenly she’s jolted from the darkness back onto her couch with the blare of the telephone ringing. Confused and disoriented, she can barely speak.

~~~

Joshua 24:14 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you shall serve.”

~~~

This story is not an imaginary story that popped into my mind. It is a true account of the Lord transporting me into hell through a vision. I was wide awake when He chose to allow me to experience, in part, the real hell.

Hell is a very real place and Jesus refers to it many times throughout scripture. We have to make the choice before our last breath on this earth as to where we will spend eternity. We only have two choices. Heaven is our place of peace and everlasting love. Hell is the place without love. It is the place of eternal torment. Romans 10:9 states that if we “confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” If you would like to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, pray this simple prayer. Where you spend eternity rests on your decision.

I come to you Lord Jesus and ask that you forgive me of my sins. I believe in my heart that you are God’s Son and you died on the cross and arose for the forgiveness of my sins. I am giving you my life. Please come into my heart now and fill me with your Holy Spirit. In Jesus Name, Amen

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