Short Stories

Validity of a Vow

photo credit: Philippe_ <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/12346585@N02/36815099536″>Alliances</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

 

“I Adam, take you Eve, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish from this day forward until death do us part.”

The groom swooned over his bride and tried not to reveal his confusion about the vows he had made.

How could it get any better than this? What is worse?

I live in paradise and every day is sublime!

God provided all his needs: he walked in the midst of riches, fruits and even gold was easily gathered. He never even gave a thought to being poor. He enjoyed perfect health and had never been a witness to death.

“Eve, I take you as my bride.”

Eve remembered that commitment and wondered how she could have been so naive as to believe the serpents lies. Eve would experience worse than she could have imagined. God banished them from the garden, Adam toiled endlessly, food was scarce, and labor pains in birth for two sons were nearly unbearable.

She craved more of Adam’s love.

The love for Adam, Cain and Abel sustained her. As both wife and mother, she felt needed. God had promised death for disobedience; what was death?

She learned death was the cruelty of Cain, the victimization of Abel, blood crying out from the ground and an emptiness even the love of Adam could not fill.

Eva placed a bookmark in the Genesis chapter, closed the Bible and placed it on the nightstand next to her bed in the cramped Nursing Home room. She had been daydreaming again.

The characters in scripture were as real to her as the nurses who kindly cared for her. The Bible was not merely history; writers shared details of lives of real people. She had empathy for Eve.

Her own heart had felt the joy of becoming a bride and the wedding vows still rung in her ears though she could hardly hear a rap at her door.

Eva slowly turned her head to the left and saw her mate of over 65 years with his head slumped over on his chest. He was asleep setting up in his wheel chair, in front of the window, where the nurse left him. .

He had paid no attention to birds outside and little to Eva during the last three years. The doctors diagnosed him with Alzheimer’s disease and he slipped away to a world of his own. To Eva, the walls of separation were formidable. She felt the heartache of death long before any preacher would share a eulogy.

Preacher Gray knocked on the open door, entered and greeted Eva with a smile, saying, “Good morning Eva. What have you been up to?”

“I’ve just been reading from Genesis, thinking about Adam and Eve, the vows a man and wife make to each other during their wedding service and how little they understand what they mean. It seems like just yesterday… “I, Eva take thee Charles.”

Her vow trailed off across space and time.

The squeaking of a small movement of a wheel chair broke the silence and preceded Charles’ faltering voice declaring, “Till death do us part.”

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Missions, Salvation

The Great Compelling

photo credit: Trevor Butcher – Artist <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/27888428@N00/15765141041″>Jesus Cross</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

 

The Great Commission…

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:18-20 KJV).”

What is my reaction, my response?

Am I compelled to obey by a sense of compassion and urgency?

Has the Great Commission of Jesus become the great compelling need?

“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled (Luke 14:23 KJV).”

Christ followers are commissioned, called to go, to share the gospel.

I can’t help but notice the opening and close of the Great Commission.

It opens with “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18 KJV).”

The passage closes with “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ Amen (Matthew 28:20 KJV).”

Jesus is the authority behind the commission. He provides His presence and power to carry it out.

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals

Horseshoes Superstition

photo credit: TravelBakerCounty <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/38506525@N04/30172049264″>Baker County Tourism – basecampbaker.com 26371</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The superstitious believe that horseshoes bring them good luck.

I’m not superstitious; I don’t believe in luck (good or bad). In case you’re wondering; I don’t have a horseshoe hanging over my door.

I do believe in blessings.

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

The Lord bless you, and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’

So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them (Numbers 6:22-27 NASB).”  

Blessed by horseshoes?

No; yet, my feet are shod with the gospel of peace.

Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:14-15 NASB).”

 

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Redemption, Salvation

We hide; He seeks

photo credit: Lili Vieira de Carvalho <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/49052514@N00/3505349701″>Peekaboo</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>  

 

Ready or not, here I come!

Most have played the childhood game of hide-n-seek.

God found Adam and Eve in their hiding place.

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’

So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself (Genesis 3:7-10 NKJV).”

Why hide from the LORD?

He seeks to save. 

“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.  But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.’

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.’

And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:5-10 NKJV).”

 

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Prayer

The Intercessors

photo credit: David Paul Ohmer <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50965924@N00/10464291346″>Cincinnati – Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum “Praying Hands”‘</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

 

Solitary confinement…

Do you feel confined?

Those who are shut in and home-bound often become powerful prayer warriors. True; there is strength in numbers. Yet, alone we draw close to the LORD. He seeks intercessors.

“He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;
And His own righteousness, it sustained Him (Isaiah 59:16 NKJV).”

All people need our prayers of intercession.

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men (1 Timothy 2:1 NKJV).” 

We must persevere.

“… praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Ephesians 6:18 NKJV).”  

As we pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession  for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26 NKJV).”

We are weak; yet, we’re conquerors through the intercession of Christ.

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 (Romans 8:34b NKJV).”

 

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Redemption

No Fishing!

photo credit: Au Kirk <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/64441474@N06/28028288265″>No Fishing Sign on a Pier Dock</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

Discovering areas are off limits to us; we are restricted or refused entrance in certain places.

‘Keep off the grass.’

‘Keep out’

Land owners set property boundaries.

‘Posted: No Hunting or Fishing’

Authorities and private property owners make the point very clear; we are not welcome there.

If we choose to ignore the warnings the law is on their side; we could be arrested.

Does God post an invisible ‘No Fishing’ sign?

As His children, we might decide to disobey His restrictions.

Our confession of sins is followed by His generous forgiveness.

The merciful Father removes sins and the weight of guilt.

“He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea {Micah 7:19 NKJV).”

Deep sea fishing is outlawed.

I refuse to take the bait of Satan’s accusations.

No fishing!

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Christmas, Devotionals, Redemption, Salvation

Son of the Highest

photo credit: Prayitno / Thank you for (12 millions +) view <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/34128007@N04/32513795737″>(25 March ) The Annunciation of the Lord</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

God sent…

“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women (Luke 1:26-28 KJV).”

Troubled…

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be (Luke 1:29 KJV).”

Favored…

“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God (Luke 1:30 KJV).”

Conception…

“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus (Luke 1:31 KJV).”

Son of the Highest…

“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:32-33 KJV).”

How?

“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (Luke 1:34 KJV)?”

The Holy Ghost…

“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35 KJV).”