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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The Potter

As the sun rises announcing a new day to face, the screen door slams as her night guest slips out. Crushing the cigarette into the ashtray and shoving the now empty whiskey glasses aside, the woman shoves her chair back from the table in disgust. She glances around the garbage strewn kitchen and her eyes fill with tears.

Taking a deep breath she walks out to the old shed where her pottery tools lie covered in dust. The kiln sits in the corner with old rags piled high on it’s lid. Her work table has clumps of dried clay stuck to wood. Her potters wheel has cob webs intriguingly stretched across it.

Walking to the shelf she grabs a whisk broom and begins sweeping the cob webs with a vengeance while muttering to herself. She grabs a hand full of rags and furiously dusts off the work table, scraping at the old dried clay.

Once the cob webs are gone, the dust removed, and the rags put on the shelf,  she grabs a glob of clay and sits down on the rickety old chair. In almost a frenzied-like state she begins to shape the clay.

She pounds, she rolls, she furiously punches the gray clay and finally a large round ball is formed and with anger she carves out the face; the eyes with tear drops spilling down the gray cheeks. She smashes the nose and reforms it much smaller. The down cast mouth speaks of great pain and sorrow.

Poking and pulling on the clay she forms ears, then suddenly smashes them thinking they are too big. The clay face staring back at her is how she sees herself; lost, hopeless, no good, the lowest of lowest.

She doesn’t hear the squeaky door slowly open and a Man steps inside. He stands in the doorway with the sun radiating behind Him watching her. The woman raises her fist and with a loud vehement cry she smashes her fist into the clay figure she has formed.

Her head drops to her chest and her sobs rise from deep within her soul. The Man steps forward and places His hand on her shoulder. With great compassion He speaks softly, “I am the Potter and you are the clay. Here, let me show you.”

He gently pushes her aside and takes the seat. With hands of a Master He reforms the clay and in a short time the woman sees before her a new clay figure. The eyes are sparkling, the nose is pert with a smidgen of freckles, the mouth is full and smiling. Where there was a ghastly form of death, the clay figure is now filled with life.

The Man scoots the chair back, stands, and smiles at her. Tears are running freely down her cheeks as she stares at the clay form. The Man reaches out and gently runs His thumb across her tears, wiping them from her cheeks.

“I have come to give you life more abundant.” Pointing to the newly formed clay, He softly tells her. “Because you believe in Me you are a new creation.”

The woman throws herself into His arms and hugs Him tightly sobbing out all her hurt, all the pain life has thrown at her. His beard rubs her cheek and withdrawing from Him she places her hand on her cheek where His beard rubbed, savoring the lingering feeling.

She looks back at the clay form as she swipes at her tears and shakes her head in wonder. Turning back to face Him she softly states, “Only the True Potter could make something beautiful out of the mess I’ve made.”

He smiles, then quietly slips out into the new day.

(Sue’s version) Is. 64:8 and 2 Cor. 5:17

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The Stone lies Dead

“Sin hinders the clarity of the Lord. Ye who walk in the ways of the world, your ears shall be closed to His truth. Eyes are blinded, lips parched, for there is no Living Water flowing from your well.

Let not your hearts be turned to stone for stones reveal only the tides of time. Smooth and cleaned yet there is nothing inside, except a core of cold hard stone.

Appearances may dazzle but the Lord knows the heart. The heart that cries out in love and mercy, the heart that sings and praises the Lord brings joy to the One above.

The stone lies dead in the dry river bed, nothing touches it but the sun. Vultures fly far above and see nothing there to even pick.  The heart of stone closes out all and all who see, for to see would change the heart.

Woe to those who seek, but not the kingdom of God, for the stones shall bring them down. In ancient times stones buried the dead. He laid behind the stone. But in power and love He shed the stone and rose to be the Lord.

Bow before Him all ye sinners. Kneel before Him all you kings. The glory of the Lord shall spread throughout the land and only stones will not be moved.

Have mercy dear Savior for those who fall for they shall never rise.”

By the Holy Spirit – 10-18-06

Scripture Ref’s : Mt. 23:16-17 – Ez. 11:19, 36:26 – Amos 5:24 –

Is. 45:23 – Ro, 14:11

 

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All Shall Bow

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“Blessed be the Name of the Lord, blessed be His Name. All praise, honor, and glory to the Most High God for He is the Mighty One who all shall bow before.

Let not the blemishes of sin encapsulate the heart. Repentance, oh so sweet, when it comes forth from the heart. Let our sins be as open wounds, uncovered. Let the healing balm of Gilead sooth.

The sins of the world lay barren in the desert. The sun brings the vultures from the floors of hell. Kings will fall, lands will perish, for repentance lay dead as a jackal starved of food.

No man shall live with no water, no child born with no milk. All shall perish in the days to come for only One can save them.

Repent all you who desire life. Repent all you who care. Who care that all may see the Light, the Light of eternity.”

By the Holy Spirit 5-6-06

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Jesus on a Stage Coach

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Imagine it. The horses are tethered, they stomp their feet in anticipation of a long trek and snort their disapproval of having to wait. John and Thomas crawl up onto the driver’s seat as Jesus throws open the stage door and takes his seat on the hard wooden bench. John gives a loud whistle as he cracks the whip above the horses and the coach jerks forward.

The day is hot even though the sun has just risen. Jesus leans back against the hard wooden seat. It will be a long ride along the dusty path. The wind blows his hair and reaching up He moves it out of His eyes. He can hear John and Thomas talking and occasionally laughter fills the air. He smiles and closes His eyes and is soon asleep.

A sudden jolt and dangerous tilting of the coach startles Jesus awake throwing Him against the wall. One side of the coach has collapsed and the coach suddenly stops. John and Thomas jump down from their perch and Thomas wrings his hands while groaning loudly. “What are we going to do?” He shouts while pacing back and forth in front of the broken wheel. “Where’s Jesus?” he shouts and spins around to see Jesus carefully maneuvering His way out of the coach.

Thomas runs to Him, “The wheel is broken, Lord, what are we to do? We don’t have a spare. We’re stuck out here!” Sweat pours down his face and he quickly swipes it out of his eyes. Fear has gripped him and Jesus gently places His hand on Thomas’s shoulder, “Fear not, Thomas, I am with you.”

Jesus walks to the side of the stage-coach. He stands studiously peering at the good wheel with John and Thomas close behind Him.

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“Sit!” Jesus says to the two disciples. “I want to tell you something.” They sit down on the ground in front of Jesus. “He’s going to tell us a story in the midst of this crisis?” Thomas thinks. John sits quietly waiting.

“Do you see this wheel?” Jesus asks, pointing to the stage-coach wheel. Both nod yes. “This wheel represents the body of Christ.” Thomas whispers, “Huh?” Jesus smiles then continues. “The spokes are My children.” Thomas moves his hat aside and scratches his head. John nods. “Pay attention, Thomas!” Jesus states. “Each spoke is equal but each has been given a divine purpose. One has a gift of prophecy, another has the gift of exhortation, another is a teacher, another a home maker, another a preacher. All work together to make the wheel, the church, strong.”

Jesus reaches over and takes hold of one of the spokes and gives it a good jerk. “As long as these spokes cling tightly to the hub the wheel will remain strong and sturdy. I tell you the truth, I am the hub that holds it all together.”

“Okay.” Thomas states and glances up at the hot sun shining down on them. “Now let’s go look at the broken wheel.” Jesus states and they stand and walk to the broken wheel.

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“What do you see?” Jesus asks. Thomas is quick to reply, “A broken, crushed wheel and we’re stuck out here in this heat.” “Oh ye of little faith.” Jesus states. “Look at it! I tell you the truth, the body of Christ is broken!”

“Huh?” Thomas says. John nods in understanding.

“My shepherds are not teaching My Word. They are following the dictates of what the people want to hear. They are accepting evil as good and turning good into evil! Instead of loving one another as I love them they are divided. They are accepting the ploys of the enemy to destroy their faith. When one falls away the others are quick to condemn.”

Thomas sits quietly and John asks, “I’m not sure I fully understand. How does this relate to this broken wheel and the circumstances we are in, Lord?”

“Do you not yet understand, John? When one spoke is broken the wheel can still turn, the others offer support. It keeps the wheel from completely falling apart. But when several spokes break it weakens the whole wheel until eventually the wheel can not move forward. It lies dead in the sand.” Jesus points to the broken stage-coach wheel, “Just like that! What good is that wheel?”

Thomas states dejectedly, “Good for nothing.”

“That’s where my church is heading unless the body repents and comes together in unity. If My children will turn back to Me I will hear their prayers and heal their land but they must stop being weak in their faith, silent in the face of evil, and stand up to the sins in the world or the church will be as weak and damaged and useless as this wheel.”

Thomas shifts uncomfortably. He still doesn’t get it and asks, “But what are we to do?” and thinks,  We’re still stuck out here.  

Jesus turns and points to a large stick in the distance. “Have faith! Thomas, go get that long stick over there.”

“What for?” Thomas asks.

“You’ll see. Just trust Me.”

Thomas retrieves the long stick. “Now what?”

“Strike that broken wheel three times with it.”

“Huh? What good is that going to do?”

“Just do it, Thomas!” Jesus states emphatically.

Shaking his head in bewilderment Thomas strikes the broken wheel.

Jesus leans back in His seat as the dust from the spinning coach wheels and the horses hooves billows through the open window, When are they going to trust Me!? He thinks and closes His eyes.

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Blessings to you.

Franklin Graham speaks

To all lesbians, gays, bisexuals, & transgenders—

There are many people who will tell you what you want to hear in this life. I hope you will give me an opportunity to tell you the truth here.

Every person on earth shares one thing in common—we are all sinners according to the God who made us. God created us, and He loves us—even more than we can imagine. But we—all of mankind—have a problem, and the Bible calls it sin. Sin is disobedience to God’s laws, and it has infected the entire human race. It is a disease of the soul. The Bible, which is the Word of God and the standard by which we should live, says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The Bible is also very clear that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Mankind is under a death sentence because of sin—but because of God’s great love for us, He sent His Son Jesus Christ from Heaven to this earth on a rescue mission to save you, and me, and everyone from sin.

Jesus Christ took our sins to the cross where He shed His blood and died for our sins, took our sins to the grave, was buried, and on the third day God raised him to life. He’s not dead—He is alive, and He can come into your heart and your life today if you will let Him. The Bible tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Sin includes anything that runs counter to God’s Word—His standard for our lives. This includes pride, dishonesty, lack of love for our neighbors, using God’s Name in vain, and loving anything more than Him.

There is also sin involving the misuse of sex. God created sex and gave it to us to enjoy, but tells us in His Holy Word that it is to be reserved for a marriage relationship between a man and a woman. Any kind of sexual activity or sexual relationship outside of that is sin. The world would like to redefine marriage and other boundaries for sex, but it’s not up to us to define. Almighty God, the Creator, set the standard at the beginning of time. The enemies of God would like for you to be deceived, but God wants the best for your life; He wants us to know the truth. God wants all of us to be with Him in heaven in eternity—but our sins block the way.

I love you enough to tell you the truth. I’m a sinner too, and my sins are not any “cleaner” than anyone else’s—they’re just forgiven. When I was 22 years old, I repented of my sins and asked God to forgive me and save me. That night I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life and take control of my life. I’m so thankful for His salvation and to be able to live my life knowing that God has forgiven me of my sins.

The Bible teaches, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” What a promise! I want people everywhere to know that we can be forgiven, cleansed, and set free from the power of sin’s control by believing on Jesus Christ and trusting Him as our Savior and Lord! “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

If you’ve never invited Christ into your heart, you can do it right now by praying this prayer from your heart:

“Dear God I am a sinner, I am sorry for my sins. I want to turn from my sins and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son who died for me on the cross and that You raised Him to life. I want Him to come into my heart and to take control of my life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as my Lord from this day forward. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.”

I hope you prayed that prayer today. God bless you, and remember God loves you and so do I.

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Blessings to you.