I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “A Ruined Reputation”

Note: I won’t be posting any more of my “I Am – Devotional Style Short Stories” due to the fact that I will be submitting the full manuscript to my publisher tomorrow. I hope you have enjoyed the sampling I have given and will look forward to the book when it comes out.

***

A Ruined Reputation

            Its Memorial Day week-end and people are honoring the military men and women who are serving and have served, and those who have given their lives for the freedom of the country.  The pools are filled with children laughing and splashing. Grills are filled with meat cooking and the air is filled with the joy of families and friends in back yards playing in sprinklers and tossing balls.

            Bertha has been gone for the day visiting with her family and returns in the late evening. As she slowly passes by the old widow’s home she notices three big pick-up trucks parked in her driveway and wonders who would be visiting the widow.

           She slowly drives on, making sure to notice each and every home and what might have been going on in each during her absence. She’s known as the neighborhood gossip and people are well aware of her vicious and deceptive words.

           The next morning is Sunday and rising early she’s dressed and ready to head off to church. She always attends church and is the first to let everyone know what a good Christian woman she is.

As she drives past the old widow’s home she slows her car to almost a stop as she gasps out loud. “Well I’ll be!” She exclaims. Two of the big pick-ups are still parked in the widow’s driveway and two men are getting into the trucks. As they start their engines she stomps on the gas and speeds away before they can see her.

Entering the church she immediately grabs her friend, Gertrude, by the arm and drags her off to the side away from others.

“Gerty, you won’t believe what I saw this morning!”  She looks around and lowers her voice. “You know the old widow that lives in my subdivision?”

“Yes, You’ve mentioned her before. What about her?”

“Well! You’re just not going to believe this!” She leans in closer to her friend.

“She had, I don’t know how many, men spend the night with her last night!”

“Whaaat?” Gerty exclaims.

“Shhh, not so loud! When I passed her house this morning coming to church I saw men getting in their trucks, right there in her driveway!”

Bertha reaches up and straightens the bun at the back of her head and exclaims, “Well, I never! She had to have an…” She stops and frantically looks around and then cups her hand next to her mouth and whispers, “A regular orgy in that house!”

Another woman walks up to the two women and asks, “What are you two whispering about?”

Bertha quickly checks the surroundings to see if anyone is listening and then expounds on what she witnessed at the old widow’s home. Before long, there are several women gathered in a corner of the room and the story is told over and over. Of course the details are expanded on in each telling.

Sunday school class is let out and as the widow walks down the hall to join the worship service she notices many of the women discreetly point at her and whisper as she walks past. Not being aware of what was told previously she merely shrugs and keeps walking.

Her close friend approaches her and pulls her to the side. “I need to tell you something.” Her friend says and proceeds to tell her the “orgy story” that has quickly passed through the women’s group.

The widow bursts out laughing and laughs so hard tears come to her eyes. Her friend is confused. “This is horrible! How can you laugh?”

The widow cannot contain her laughter and rushes to the ladies room. When she comes out of the stall her friend is waiting by the sink. The widow chuckles and washes her hands.

“Are you going to tell me what this is all about!?”

The widow then explains that her neighbor had several people over and rather than block the street with so many cars he asked if some could park in her driveway and she agreed. A couple of out-of-town friends came and left their trucks parked in her driveway overnight.

She bursts out laughing again and when she can contain the laughter she says, “Oh my! At my age? If I had one man it would be a blessing, but an orgy?” She bursts out laughing again and rushes back into the stall.

 

**

James 1:26 – “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”

**

There is a game, and I don’t know the name of it, but several people stand in a line or in a circle and a story is told to the first person in the line. That person then tells the story to the next and on down the line the story is told. By the time the story reaches the last person in the line one would never know the original story told.

That is exactly how gossip is! Someone sees or hears something without knowing the facts of the situation and then tells it to someone else. By the time it gets around to others the story has been so distorted that it can, and many times, will destroy the person it has been told about.

As Christians we are to keep our mouths shut and our ears closed to gossip! It is hurtful, it is damaging, and it is sin! Had the woman in the story been a fragile personality it could have destroyed her and her fine reputation.

If you don’t have the facts, if you were not there, it is not your business! Walk away and keep your mouth closed!

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New Book by our Blogger Friend – Greg Holt

Spiritual Darkness is Destroying America and the Church

Review by Sue Cass –

Author of “The Narrow Road”

What has happened to America and Christ’s Church? That is the question many of us have asked and Greg Holt, in his first published book, answers that question and many more in, “Spiritual Darkness is Destroying America and the Church.” How did this happen and what role has the church played, if any, in the seemingly demise of our country? Greg answers this and much more with candor, honesty, and scripture. Greg writes with boldness and does not “soft-peddle” his answers as he covers topics many churches refuse, or are afraid of offending, to preach about; gay “marriage”, transvestite, abortion, what is sin? is only a few that he discusses and what God says about them.

Greg states, “The church was a place of refuge, a hospital for the spiritually sick, a place of hope, a place of love, and a place dedicated to Christ and the advancement of Him.” What happened to those churches and how has America and the church been changed now versus those from long past days, or have they? Find out the answers that may, or may not, surprise you.

I highly recommend this candid and thought-provoking book to all American’s and especially those who call themselves, “Christians.”

“Wake up America!” is a vast understatement!

Available at:  http://www.amazon.com. (Kindle edition.)

 

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Spirit’s Alive”

Cars line to enter the already packed parking lot. The sun is bright and hot but it has not detoured the saints from coming. People are already standing at the doors waiting to enter the sanctuary and the women fan themselves as the men wipe sweat from their brow.

Music can be heard sifting through the rafters and seeping through the walls. The vibration can almost be felt in their feet as the excitement grows and suddenly the doors are thrown open and thousands rush to find a seat.

The music reverberates through the room and hands have already started to clap, bodies are dancing between the rows of seats, and others are doing little jigs as they walk down the aisles.

The music softens just a bit and through the loud speakers, as stragglers search for a seat, a voice roars, “Are you ready to worship the Lord?” The crowd roars, “Yes,” and the drums, guitars, and key board roars over the crowd.

Praise songs are sung, the music is ear-bursting loud, but nobody complains as they dance at their seats, raise their hands high in the air, and give the Lord their praises through the words of the songs.

The Man isn’t seen but He’s watching and listening.

The devil runs as the room is filled with His glory.

The drums quiet, the keyboard softens, and the voices fill the room in hushed reverence. Tears are filling eyes, heads are bowed, and the sound of “Holy is our Lord God Almighty,” is being sung softly.

A Wind blows across the room and suddenly the heavens are opened. Standing before the King is a choir of thousands and their voices are joining with the saints in this room.

Shekinah glory fills the room. Heavenly light flows through the room and some fall under the Power, they cannot stand, and yet they worship.

As the song ends, Jehovah Elyon’s eyes fill with tears of love and joy.

He has been magnified.

***

Psalm 34:3 – “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”

***

When we magnify the Lord we are coming before Him and exalting who He is. We are glorifying His Name, we are honoring God Almighty and what He does. We are giving praise unto the King of kings and Lord of lords. No human can die for another and be saved and yet the Son of God chose to die so that our sins are forgiven and we have eternal life with Him in His heavenly kingdom. Have you asked the Lord Jesus to forgive you of your sins? Do you magnify Him through your thoughts, words, and actions? Magnify Him today through prayers of praise and songs of worship. Show your gratitude and love for He died that you may have life everlasting with Him.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “Go and Sin no more”

 

Go and Sin No More

The night has been long and sleep has evaded the woman. She has tossed and turned, kicked the blankets, and stuffed the pillow over her head. It was a long day and even though she enjoyed the time with her friend, her actions have haunted her. There were no hurting words, or complaining, or condemnation. Her heart was right but her actions got out of control.

Tossing the blankets back she slowly leaves her bed and flipping on the light, she goes into the kitchen and starts a pot of coffee. A silent prayer is lifted to heaven as tears stream down her face. Grabbing a tissue she swipes at them, takes a deep breath and plops down on a kitchen chair. Head in hands she prays, “Lord forgive me. I think I moved in like a drill sergeant and I ask for your forgiveness. I repent, Lord, help me to ask for my friend’s forgiveness.”

There’s a knock on the door and surprised, she quickly dries her tears and opens the door. A Man is standing there in long white robes and sandals strapped to His feet. He smiles and asks if He may come in.

Stepping back to allow His entrance she is in awe and yet very surprised. She recognizes this Man but never thought He would appear at her door. She finally finds her voice and asks if He’d like some coffee, and He accepts.

Lingering over the hot coffee at the kitchen table, she isn’t sure what to say and suddenly bursts out crying. His love fills the room. “I know for what your tears are,” He states.  “You think you have hurt your friend.”

She nods, while blowing her nose.

“Oh My child, your heart was right. So many times people want to help others in ways that are not necessarily the right way. Bulldozing someone is not the way. Commanding they do this or that only accomplishes heartache. It is the love in one’s heart that speaks louder than any words. It is the life you live, the testimony of what I have done in your life that rings out to others. Shed no more tears for you are forgiven. You’ve learned a valuable lesson. Go in My peace, child, and sin no more.”

The door slowly and quietly clicks closed as the woman’s tears drip onto the table.

***

Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

***

We hear people use the phrase, “Beat them over the head with the Bible.” In so many ways we may do that to others without actually wielding a literal Bible. “You just don’t have enough faith!” That’s a blow. It is condemnation and judging where someone else is in their walk with the Lord. “You must have really sinned.” Or, “If you’d go to church more often…” All are beating the person up with the Bible in ways that only hurt, not help. As Christians we are to lift people up. We are to encourage them, not condemn them. Yes, if we see a brother or sister in Christ sinning we are to bring it to their attention but not in a way that beats them down. We do it out of love for them. Notice I didn’t say, “in love.” We sometimes get that messed up, too because we can use that as a means of gossip, condemnation and hurt. “I’m only telling you this because I love you” or “we really need to pray for …. he’s really messed up in the head.” Hurtful words are spilling out of our mouths. The Lord will convict us of those wrongful doings and it is up to us to ask for forgiveness and repent of whatever it was we said or did. He is always there to accept our plea and He will remember it no more.

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

The Intercessor

It’s been a fun day for a mother and her grown daughter. They’ve spent the first part of the day wandering through the shops at the Mall and as they sit on a bench laughing the daughter states, “I’m hungry! Let’s go to the Food Court and get some lunch.”

They place their orders at the Chic Filet counter and carry their trays and packages to an empty table the daughter has pointed out. Bowing their heads in prayer they ask the Lord to bless their food and thank Him for a day spent together.

A Man sits near by and is listening. He’s pleased.

“Mom, I had the weirdest dream last night.” The daughter states after taking a drink of her ice tea.

“Oh? What was it?”

“It’s really kind of scary. It was so vivid, like I was really there!” The daughter answers.

“Well, what is it?”

“There’s a court room and God is the Judge and Jesus and Satan are there. Satan is throwing out all these accusations against me!” She takes a bite of her sandwich and after chewing she continues. “I was sitting in the area where people sit to watch the proceedings. I was the only one there.”

The Man listens closely.

“The devil kept making all these accusations against me! It was horrible! And Jesus just stood there listening. He didn’t say anything! Nothing!”

“Did you expect Him to?” the mother asks.

“Well, I guess so. I mean Satan was really getting wound up!”

The Man chuckles, coughs, and takes a drink of His drink when the two women realize He’s listening.

“So what happened?” The mother asks leaning closer over the table.

“Well finally, finally, Jesus speaks up!”

“What’d He say?” The mother excitedly asks.

“I don’t know! He must have been talking in Arabic, Hebrew, or something, because I couldn’t understand a word He was saying, and then the Judge raised His gavel and……

I woke up!” she almost yells in exasperation.

The Man bursts out laughing and stands. He walks over to their table and says, “I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation.”

The two women look up at Him with questioning expressions.

“And who might you be?” The mother asks a little perturbed at His boldness.

“I am the I Am.” He turns His attention to the daughter. “What you were being shown in the dream is how I intercede for My children. You were observing the accuser, the intercessor, and the Judge….”

The daughter abruptly interrupts. “It was my trial and I didn’t get to defend myself?”

“I am your defense against the enemy!” The Man responds firmly.

“Praise God!” The mother shouts, throwing her hands in the air. “My daughter needs to be defended.” She laughs and then states, “I love you child but you do some pretty crazy things at times.”

The Man walks away when the two women begin reminiscing about some of the daughter’s pranks and laughing.

***

Romans 8:34 – “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”

***

It is sad to hear someone state, “God never did anything for me!” How wrong they are! God is at work all the time whether we realize it or not. We all sin and He is our advocate and continually intercedes to the Father on our behalf. Satan is the accuser and is the father of lies. He will convince us not only to commit sin but then tell us it’s okay. Once we do the sin he’ll laugh and tell us how horrible of a person we are.  Jesus defends us against the accusations and lies of the enemy. If you have Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior and “mess up,” which we all do, Jesus takes that sin to the Father when you’ve asked forgiveness and the gavel is slammed down with a loud, “Not guilty!”

Did you notice the non-nonchalant attitude of the women with the Creator of the world standing there? What would you do if the Great I Am walked over to your table?

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Guilty

 

The sun shines bright but the day is cold. Bitter cold has invaded the country and people go about their business bundled in heavy coats, hats, scarves, and boots. The snow is deep and pure white as the sun reflects off the icy snow.

A business man hurries toward his car that’s parked across the street from his office. He has a date with his mistress and dinner guests are expected at home this evening. His wife will be furious if he is late. His mind is occupied as he reaches his gloved hand for the car door handle.

A Man steps up and asks, “May I ride with you for a short distance? My battery is dead on my car and there’s a repair shop a few miles from here.” He blows warm breath on His cold bare hands. The business man looks at him and hesitates for a moment. He can see the Man is cold but He looks innocent enough so he says, “Sure, hop in.”

Music is playing softly on the radio as the business man drives slowly down the snow covered street. The Man looks over at the driver and states, “It’s beautiful when it snows.” The driver smirks and replies, without taking his eyes off the road, “Yeah, it is pretty now but when it starts melting its ugly as sin.”

The Man chuckles and replies, “Yes, sin is certainly ugly!”

“That was just an expression I used. It has nothing to do with sin.”

“Ah, but it has everything to do with sin,” The Man states.

“How so?”

“Man sees something beautiful, like a beautiful woman. Gradually he becomes acquainted and before long there’s an adulterous affair taking place. What began as beautiful has suddenly turned quite ugly.”

A guilty groan escapes the driver before he can stop it.

“Sin always has a consequence and it always affects more than just the one who is sinning.” The Man continues as He looks over at the driver.

The driver squirms in his seat and speeds up. “What’s the name of this repair shop you want?” The driver asks in a perturbed tone.

This conversation is not what he expected or wants.

“David’s Car Repair. You know, like David in the Bible that had the affair with Bathsheba?”

“Who are you and what do you want!?” The driver angrily demands as he jerks the car to the side of the road and stops.

“I am the I Am. You have a beautiful wife that loves you very much. Go and sin no more.” The Man opens the car door and steps out into the cold and watches as the car fishtails on the icy road  when the driver guns the car and speeds off.

~~~~

(Sue’s version) John 8:34

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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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