Tears of a Saint

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My heart hurts. The tears flow. I don’t know how to stop the evil in our world. I have begun to doubt that God is really in control. How can He be when the most innocent of innocent are slaughtered at the hands of the most evil and vile of what is known as human beings? How can the Highest of Highest stand by and allow these monsters called intelligent beings rip from the womb the most innocent of His?

My heart cries and there seems to be no answers. I scream, “Come Lord Jesus, come and stop this madness!” Yet I see Him not on the clouds of heaven racing toward earth to save us from the insanity that has crossed this land.

Is He in control? I have to remind myself through faith because He died on the cross to save us. I have to hang  onto the faith that He has instilled within me through His Holy Spirit and the trials and tribulations that He has brought me through. I have to hang on to His promises.

Can I finish this race with confidence that I will see Him in Paradise? Can I rest assured that He will greet me with open arms because my thoughts are so confused and the enemy invades. The doubts, the fears, the anger, and the hope, are all  intermingled with the tears streaming down my cheeks.

There is a Rock and a Life line that I must cling to or drown in this sea of evil, pure unadulterated evil! Can I make it that long? Can I hang on long enough to hear the trumpet sound?

I hope so.

I have to.

I will!

***

Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

***

In every Christian’s life there will be times when we just cannot understand what is taking place within our world. Doubts can and will arise and it is then that the enemy will invade and convince us, or try to convince us, that all we have believed is wrong. That we have been fed a pack of lies and we can no longer trust what is truth. If we allow those thoughts to take root we will lose all hope. We will lose the strength and perseverance that the Lord gives us. We must cling to the Word of God and cling to His promises. Don’t allow a lack of understanding to squelch the truth of God and all that He is and all of Who He is. Stand strong on the faith that has been instilled through the Holy Spirit and lean not on your own understanding.

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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 -“We’ve Been Warned”

We’ve Been Warned

The wind is blowing moving the leaves on the tree branches as though God is blowing a big breath across the land. A Man walks across heavens field and looking around announces, “I am coming. Look up all ye that believe.”

The sound of horse’s hooves echo across the sky and thunder rolls vibrating all that is in its path. The blast of a trumpet resounds drowning out the clap of thunder as streaks of lightning streak down from the heavens.

Gasps are heard throughout the cities. People stop and look up. “What’s happening?” is whispered as others scream in terror. “It is He!” someone shouts and tries to hide behind the corner of a building. Others have fallen to their knees and “Praise be to God Almighty” is heard from reverent voices.

“I am coming” echoes off the mountains, the buildings, the clouds above.

Suddenly people are dropping like flies, graves are flying open, and others are being lifted bodily toward the sky. Thousands, millions, are gathered like swarms of locusts marching toward their heavenly home. Others lie dead, their flesh rotting like stale meat.

“I am coming,” the Man, the Great I Am shouts as His horse tramples the clouds and the sun turns to darkness. Screams, cursing, tormented souls fall silent and an eerie silence fills the land.

The Man steps off His steed and looks about, looking across the devastation of bodies. Tears fill His eyes. He looks heavenward and tells His Father, “I am so sorry, Father. I warned them.”

~~~~

1Thes. 4:16-17 – “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with a voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

~~~~

I don’t know about anyone else but I definitely do not want to be left behind when the Lord Jesus calls His church home. Scriptures are filled with warnings about unbelief, as well as encouragement to seek Christ for His gift of salvation. We have only two choices as to where we will spend eternity. The Lord will not force us to choose heaven with Him nor does He send anyone to hell! That choice is strictly of our own volition.  We choose before that last breath as to whether we will join those who are dead in Christ when they rise from their graves at the trumpets sound or whether we will be left behind to suffer the great tribulation. Choose wisely. Eternity is a very long time.

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Is Anybody at Home?

The leaves have turned to their golden hues, the oranges are bright, the browns deep, and the yellow sends a subdued brilliance across the land. The sidewalks are cleared and the homes luxurious. The Man stops in front of the large home and stares at it’s magnificence.

He enters the open gate and slowly walks the long tree lined brick lain driveway to the front door and reaches for the gold plated door bell. He waits. There is no sound of foot steps so He presses the button again.

He waits.

The third time He presses the button He steps back and looks around. A large dog in the yard barrels around the corner barking furiously and bearing its large teeth. The Man smiles. There is no fear. The dog stops beside Him and wagging his tail licks the Man’s hand. No one comes to the door so the man pats the dog on the head and returns to the street.

As He walks slowly down the tree lined street He gazes at the beauty of the colorful trees and landscaping of the homes. He walks the long circular driveway of another home and steps up to the etched glass door and rings the doorbell.

He hears foot steps approaching and the door is cautiously opened slowly and a maid with her black uniform and white apron asks who He is and what He wants.

“I am the I Am.” the Man replies. “May I speak to the head of the household?”

The maid looks at Him curiously and replies, “Just a moment” and disappears behind the closed door.

The master of the house appears and with a smirk asks, “What can I do for you?”

The Man reaches His hand out to shake the owners hand but the owner just looks at the Man’s hand and doesn’t reciprocate. The Man nods and simply states, “I am the I Am. You need Me.”

Laughter fills the air as the owner stands with his hand on the door knob laughing as though he’s just been told a very funny joke.

The Man waits.

The laughter has turned to a snarl and the owner states emphatically, “Look around you! Look at this home! Do you see the Jaguar in the drive? Do you see all that I have accomplished; the big home, the beautiful car, the magnificent landscaping? You fool, I don’t need anything you are offering!” He steps back and slams the door in the Man’s face.

The Man moves on down the street and when receiving the same arrogant greeting at several of the homes He stops in front of a shack that the neighbors have tried to get condemned.

The grass is overgrown. Weeds line the partially collapsed fence. The shingles need repair, and one window is cracked and barely hanging onto the frame. He walks to the splintered, weather beaten wooden door being careful on the three broken steps and knocks loudly.

“Who is it?” is yelled from the other side.

“I am the I Am.” the Man states.

The door flings open on its rickety hinges. A woman rushes out to meet the Man. She’s dressed in a ragged dress, bare feet, and hair a mess. Her face is lined with life’s pressures and yet her eyes sparkle with tears of joy as she hugs the Man and states,  “Come in, come in. I just made some soup.”

The Man steps inside.

(Sue’s version) Proverbs 11:4, 18:11 – Rev. 3:20 – Matt. 7:7-8 – Luke 11: 9-10

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The Fast Train

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 beside 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 husbands 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. Half eaten sandwiches are set aside and heads bow 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 fast train begins to slow. Some 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 fast 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 fast train roars to life, steam bellows forth, and a  loud clank is heard as the door slams shut and the fast train speeds off down the track for the last stop. The majority remain aboard.

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

(Matt.19:30)

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Thursday’s Pen Tips #10

For you who believe there is no end. For others who do not believe in the Son of God Almighty, there is end to joy that you think you have now.

For those who scoff and follow the one not of Christ – hell fires will deliver you into the coals of hell.

Lift thy hands, thy heart, towards the heavenlies for your Father who art in heaven waits.

He who is on high awaits your plea for His grace. If you do not succumb unto Him, may He who was born this day have mercy on your soul.

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Billy Graham: Judas is a ‘Warning’

By Michael W. Chapman | March 22, 2016 | 3:27 PM EDT

Pastor Billy Graham (Photo: BGEA)

World-renowned pastor Billy Graham said that Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver because of his “unbelief” and interest only in himself,  and that because of his self-inflicted death, whereby he lost everything, Judas “stands forever as a warning of the dangers of stubborn unbelief.”

In a Q&A section on faith, published in the Kansas City Star, a reader asked Rev. Graham, “I’ve never really understood why Judas betrayed Jesus. After all, he witnessed Jesus’ miracles and heard his teaching just like the other disciples, and yet he ended up turning against him. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Billy Graham said, “No, it doesn’t make sense, just as most evil doesn’t make sense. Why deliberately do something we know is wrong, when — if we’d only stop to think about it — we also know it will destroy us? The Bible says, ‘Do not … be envious of the wicked, for the evildoer has no future'” (Proverbs 24:19-20).

“Judas’ real problem was that he was interested only in himself and what he could gain by following Jesus,” said Rev. Graham.  “Instead of committing his life to Jesus, he allowed greed and envy to rule his heart and mind. His unbelief fed his greed, and his greed fed his unbelief.”

“When Jesus’ enemies offered 30 pieces of silver to anyone who would disclose where Jesus was staying so they could arrest him secretly, Judas readily agreed,” said the pastor.

“Judas stands forever as a warning of the dangers of stubborn unbelief,” said Rev. Graham.  “And in the end, Judas lost everything, even his life.”

Artist’s illustration of Judas

betraying Jesus with a kiss. 

(Public Domain.) 

Billy Graham continued,  “Some of the most tragic words in the Bible are these, ‘So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself’ (Matthew 27:5). Make sure of your commitment to Jesus, for he alone is worthy of your life.”

Billy Graham, 97, is one of the most well known and respected evangelical preachers of the last 60 years.  His gospel preaching reportedly has reached about 2.2 billion people worldwide over the years. He has five children and lives, now retired, at his home in Montreat, N.C. His wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in 2007.

This Q&A on the Bible can also be read at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman