Biking with Jesus

Biking with Jesus

By Gary Piper

(Author’s note: I mean no disrespect to Jesus Christ by referring to him as JaySee my intent it to portray him not just as the Messiah but also as someone we can relate to as a close friend. I think one of God’s reasons for coming to earth as a human wasn’t so he could relate to us but so we could relate to him on our terms with the plan of eventually we could relate to him as God on his terms.)

Walking to the coat closet, “And just where do you think you’re going mister?” Patti ask me.

“It’s a beautiful warm spring day it’s been a long boring winter so I am going for the first bike ride of the season,” I replied, reaching in for my baseball hat.

“You haven’t been on a bike since last August and with the surgery in December you don’t plan on going very far are you?”

“Patti, you worry too much…”

Interrupting me, “You always try to do more than you should, Gary and besides someone has to worry about you and that someone is me.”

“Honey bunch, I may try to do more than I should sometimes but I never take chances especially when it comes to my hips. You don’t need to worry I’m just going to ride around here maybe up Lakeshore to the point and around that block. Besides there’s a picnic table up at the Townships Hall I can rest on.”

“I just don’t want anything to happen to you that’s all. I’ve a whole lot of living to do and I don’t want to do it without you,” she replied.

“Well what about getting started out today? I’ll get your bike out pump up the tires and we can go together.”

“You know we can’t leave my mother alone, Gary.”

“Oh yeah, that’s right your mother thing. Don’t worry about me I’ll be back after awhile.” I shut the door before she could say anything else. As I walked back to the shop where I kept my bike I silently asked Jesus to forgive me for my sour attitude toward life the last month or so. While I can’t be sure but I thought I heard a voice say, “we’ll talk later.”

A couple of minutes later my nice blue bike was sitting outside the shop for the first time this year. After checking the air pressure in the tires and adding a little air to both I grabbed a clean rag and began wiping off the winter accumulation of dust. Then just before walking it through the gate I added a little oil to the chain and around the wheels.

I thought about walking it to the driveway before getting on and riding off but the notion hit me of the possibility of falling and if I was going to fall I sure didn’t want her to see me. So I mounted back by the gate. Gave myself a shove and sure enough the bike started to fall but I caught myself. “Well GP, let’s try this again,” I said to myself. Seconds later I was heading for the end of the drive way. When I came to the end of the driveway I turned right making sure I was on the right side of the white line marking the side of the road.

A minute or so later huffing and puffing I was pulling into the North Port Party Store which is about the length of a football field from our house. “You sure are out of shape, GP,” I said to myself, “you better get back on and ride by home and call it a day.” Then just as I was about to follow my own advice my never-give-up-personality spoke up, “Are you really going to give in Gary? What has the winter done to you, turned you into a quitter, or something worse?”

“What could be worse?” I asked myself.

“You don’t wanna know,” I answered myself.

“Okay let’s forget it. I’m going in there and get myself a diet red pop and we’ll go for a ride. I’ll show you and the whole world I’m no quitter.” After realizing I was still talking to myself I sheepishly looked around to see if anyone was watching me. I breathed a sigh of relief when I discovered I was still alone.

Several minutes later with a 24 oz diet Faygo Red Pop sitting in the bottle carrier on my handlebars I was off on a new and exciting adventure. For me every time I grab my two-wheeler-me-powered-vehicle and ride is a new and exciting adventure. And even though I would only be around half mile from my house it was still and adventure. I think one of the most important attitudes we can use and develop is the double team attitude of expectation and anticipation. While they sound similar (and they are in some ways) they each have their own function at least as I understand them. When I leave our driveway on my bike I expect to find a new adventure and with each turn of the wheel I anticipate discovering and experiencing it.

May I suggest you try it the next you go anywhere. You may even find shopping becomes an adventure, or even going to church can become an adventure.

Anyway, by the time I rode up Lakeshore to the point where Lakeshore and M-25 meet I was beat and I sure was hoping no one would be there or at least sitting on the table outside. My legs were screaming at me, “We need to rest we can’t take you any further. Please sit for awhile.” I breathed a sigh of relief when the parking lot was empty as was the table. I slowly and painfully dismounted walked the bike to the sidewalk lowered the kick stand grabbed my red pop and walked to the table and sat down.

As I shuffled my bottom around getting comfortable the thought of a nice soft foot rest would really go great right about now. One of the things I like about sitting here is I can be alone yet I can still see the world speeding by because M-25 gets pretty busy with traffic at times and for some reason it seemed busier than ever. Sometimes I’ll watch a car coming from the north and follow it until it passes me and I wonder what’s going on in the life of the car’s occupants. Then for several seconds I’ll whisper a short prayer asking the Lord to be present with them.

After several minutes in the distance I noticed a bike rider coming toward me. It has always been a goal of mine to ride north on M-25 and go as far as the County Park on Metcalf road but 25 is way too busy for me and while there’s a wide shoulder to ride on I’ve seen too many cars cross the white line to pass a car on the right side. And it would be my luck that someone would swing to the right to pass a care making a left turn and WHOP! I’d be road kill! And while I have periods of depression I don’t have a death wish. Riding south on Lakeshore which I do all the time is dangerous enough for me. I wonder if not getting hit by a car could be seen as an adventure?

As the biker came closer I noticed it was a he. Since he was riding against traffic he turned off M-25 and stayed on Lakeshore. Seconds later I lost sight of him because of the building. I turned my head in order to pick him up as he passed the building but the next thing I knew he was getting off his bike and parking it next to mine. “Howdy neighbor,” he called out, “mind if I sit and rest awhile with you?”

His sweatshirt was the first thing I noticed from what I could tell it had a picture of Jesus, or someone who looked like Jesus, riding a bike. And under the graphic were there words, Bicyclist’s Ride With Jesus. “No I don’t mind at all come on sit and watch the world go by,” I replied. After several minutes of silence, “I like your sweatshirt,” I broke the silence. “Thank you, I designed and made it myself. How are you doing, Gary?” he asked me.

I didn’t pick up at first he called me by my name I don’t know how I managed not to but I did, “Oh, for the first time since last August on my bike I’m not doing too bad but don’t ask my legs they’ll tell you a different story.” We both chuckled. “Do you like bike riding?” the stranger asked. “Love it,” I replied, “I have two artificial hips and walking any distance is out but I can exercise the same muscles riding a bike.”

“Is that why you are riding that style of bicycle?” he asked.

“It sure is,” I replied, “I can’t get either leg up high enough to swing it over the seat so with a girls style of bike I don’t need to.”

“I guess a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do,” he replied. “I take it you’re a red pop fan.”

“You’re right on both accounts. By the way I’m Gary, Gary Piper and who might you be?”

“I’m JaySee, not the letters J and C but J-A-Y-S-E-E all one word. How I come to be given that name is a long boring story and I always do my best to avoid telling it,” he replied, with a grin on his face.

“I am glad to meet you Jaysee and don’t worry I won’t ask about your name. I know you said you’d designed the sweatshirt yourself but I’d be interested in knowing if it’s a one of a kind or you’ve made it available for others.”

“Sorry Gary, it’s a one of a kind I painted the picture myself and added the lettering as well. I never thought about anyone else liking it that much. I am sure with your ability with computers and software you can design your own.”

It suddenly dawned on me that for never have met him how did he know I was familiar with computers and stuff. I then remembered when he first pulled up he called me by my first name. “Would it be okay if I asked you a question?”

He flashed me a smile, “You’re going to ask me how I knew your name and how I know so much about you.”

When he said that inside I began to tremble a little bit and wondered what to say next. I didn’t have to say anything, “What if I told you I was Jesus would you believe me?”

There was no way this guy was Jesus. I am not sure where I got the courage to answer him back but I found myself saying, “What if I thought you were crazy?”

Breaking out in loud laugher, “I’d say that your right is to believe anything you’d like to believe in, but there are times when our beliefs deny the truth.”

“So you’re telling me you’re Jesus, the very same Jesus that was crucified, buried then rose from the dead on the third day. Is that what you’re telling me to believe?” However, after saying that I began hoping the stranger wasn’t Jesus because if he was indeed the resurrected Messiah and I called him crazy I was in a heap of trouble.

“Gary, I would never tell you what to believe you’re a big boy and have a good head on your shoulders. The only point I am trying to make is what you believe may not be the truth.”

By this time my mind was running faster than the cars were moving past where I was sitting. I repositioned myself so I could look him straight in the eye, “Are you Jesus we call the Christ?”

At that point I was not really sure what answer I wanted to hear. If he said he was Jesus I’m not sure what I’d do next. If he said he wasn’t I would breathe a sigh of relief and try to discover who this nut really was and how he knew so much about me. I tried as hard as I could to remember if I’d seen him before maybe an old co-worker, an old school chum, or a member of the church I was a member of.

“The question is not who I am because I already know who I am nor is the question who do you want me to be the real question is who do you say I am.”

Deep inside I was sure he was indeed Jesus but what would Jesus be doing riding a bicycle and why would he want to talk to me. In the back of my mind I knew there’s not a Christian alive that didn’t want to see Jesus face-to-face. I know he made reference to who I wanted him to be and in all honesty Jesus is who I wanted him to be. “I know you said the question was who I believed you to be yet I want you to be Jesus called Christ. Yet deep inside I am sure that is who you are.”

In the silence that followed I expected him to break out in laughter and say, “April fool’s day!” However there was no laughter, no shout of about the day being April first. Instead, “Why do you want me to be Jesus?” he asked.

I wasn’t quite ready for that question because I hadn’t really thought about it. I had wanted a one-on-one relationship with him for years. And lately I’d been pestering (without luck I may as well add) him to meet me in my imagination but I’d never really given any thought to why. I thought it was so I could gather stuff for a story or something but as I began thinking about my reason for wanting the stranger to be Jesus was it so I could boost my ego, after all how many people do you know can tell you they’ve been one-on-one with Jesus? He must have known what I was thinking because, “Let me ask the question in a different way. What do you hope to obtain if I truly am who you want me to be?”

WOW! That was like a burden had been lifted from my shoulders the only thing I really wanted from Jesus was a deeper more intimate relationship with him. I wanted to know him, to talk to him, to learn from him, to depend on him, to trust him, to live my life through him. Suddenly before I could verbalize my thoughts, “That’s more than one thing,” he commented.

When he said that there was no doubt in my mind he was indeed Jesus the Christ. Then all of a sudden my mind shut right off. It was like something or someone sucked the life out of me and I was left floating in some meaningless abyss or something. And then instantly there was a blinding flash of pure white light and I felt a sudden explosion of peace envelope me such as I’ve never even come close to experiencing. As my eyes began readjusting to the natural sunlight suddenly a thick dark cloud settled over head blocking the sun and somehow the man sitting across from me wasn’t the same man. Instantly, “What happened and who are you?” I managed to utter.

“You were nearly sucked in by our old adversary, the devil. You don’t think for a minute that Jesus would really ride a bike do you?” the new stranger said, with a voice that sent chills up and down my spine.

I can’t explain how I knew but deep inside the man sitting across from me hadn’t come from heaven to warn me about getting sucked in by the devil. “I don’t know who you are but I think you’re the one trying to suck me in. So I think I’ll just get on my bike and ride home and stay there for awhile,” I commented, with my voice still trembling. Instantly I was sitting alone there was no other bike standing next to mine.

Immediately I shifted my weight to stand up when suddenly, “Gary.” When I heard my name there was no explosions of light there was no angelic chorus there was only a simple yet profound intense flood of oneness not only with the man who called himself Jaysee but with myself and all of creation it was like everything converged into oneness. In response I could only say one word, “Jesus?”

I am not sure how long the experience lasted probably only a matter of seconds but it seemed like a lifetime and as I sat by myself sitting at the picnic table. As the sounds of passing cars replaced the silence deep inside I heard a faint whisper, “We will ride again.”

A minute or two later I walked over to where I’d left my bike opened up the pouch got out my journal and recorded everything I could remember which brings me up to the point I am at now. To be completely honest while I know what I experienced there are times when I find it hard to swallow primarily because why would Jesus single me out to appear to rather than other more qualified theologians or church leaders. However, I know what I experienced and it was real when I suddenly felt the cold claw of Satan it was real and when I experienced complete Peace it was real.

About 20 minutes later I walked into our kitchen, “You weren’t gone very long, Gary.” Walking to the fridge to put the remainder of my pop in it, “I told you I wasn’t going far for a first time out. I told you, you worry to much.” Putting dish down she was washing she looked my way, “That’s gotta be a first then. Anything interesting going on out there is the big messed up world?” She asked. “Naa! Just another day in the sun,” I replied trying not ot smile, “Just another day of fun in the sun.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Conversations Around the Campfire… Part Three

By Gary Piper

Camefire 2014.11.15

One of my favorite summer time things to do is to sit around a campfire roasting marshmallows or cooking hotdogs. It’s truly amazing the variety of topics and conversations that arise as we all sit in a circle watching the flames rising into the night sky. It’s was always a challenge to see who would be the evening smoke eater. Not only do I cherish the conversations, the jokes, the campfire songs but I also cherish the time when our voices would fall silent and the snapping and crackling of the wood burning would serenade us.

I can’t provide any proof that Jesus and the disciples sat around a campfire at night while they traveled from one village to the next. In my imagination I can see the thirteen of them sitting by a fire discussing a number of different topics. I’d be willing to bet their conversations were not always serious in nature. Join me as I turn back to calendar and turn up our imagination and join Jesus and the Twelve around their campfire and listen in on their conversation.


As another day’s end approached, Jesus and the twelve settled in for another night on the road. After James had the campfire going and they had all settled down they ate their supper each one was enjoying the quietness of the evening.

“Master today I thought the Pharisees were going to have you stoned. Why do you provoke them? You teach us to love all people equally, yet you constantly call them hypocrites and deride them? Do we love them or not,” John asked, breaking the silence.

Jesus slowly turned his head to look at John, “I have come to confront all people with the Father’s truth for some the truth sets people at peace for others it sets them at odds with themselves and the Father. Sometimes at night when all the noise has died off I can hear the prayers of the Prophets of old praying for the Pharisees. Then my heart becomes heavy and troubled because God sent me as an answer to their prayers yet they remain blind to his revealing light. Do I love them you ask, very shortly I will die for them, and I will die by them.”

“You keep speaking of dying, and now you tell us the Pharisees are going to kill you. We don’t want you to die, we need you,” said John.

“John, my loving friend I have come into this world that I may give my life so all people will live and they will live eternally. Your vision is limited now but the time will come when it will be opened and you will behold that great and marvelous work that the Father is doing. The time is coming when you will need the powers of my Spirit more than you will need my physical presence. You must never live in the shadow of yourself doubt live only in the light of God.”

Jesus continued, “The Father commands us all to love all people that does not mean we should love what they do, love the sinner and despise the acts of sin. It is the acts of sin that lead to separation from God. The farther and farther one gets from God the brighter and more powerful the acts of sin become.”

“But why do the Pharisees seek to kill you, Lord?” Jude asked.

“Some people are comforted by the Spirit of God and others are confronted. When the Pharisees, and people like them are confronted with the truth, the truth becomes their enemy then they seek to destroy the truth. And in so doing the separation between them and God becomes more complete. In spite of what they do to you must pray for their salvation. Love them and if you cannot love them ask God to love them for you. Remember if people attack you because of the truth in you they are attacking me so I will be with you and you will be strengthened by the Father and the truth will become a greater part of your life no matter what happens to you,” Jesus finished and sat down. “Master if you die at the hands of the Pharisees I don’t know if I can love them or not. But I will try,” John replied with tears in his eyes.

“That’s all that is required of you then let God do the rest.”

“Master tell us about the future, what will the world be like,” Judas Iscariot asked as the little group sat around the campfire.

“Yes please Jesus, we know you have the vision of the ages can you share some of it with us, what will the people be like?” asked James.

“Why do you wonder about what is yet to happen,” Jesus questioned them?

“We are curious,” James replied.

“You must be careful with your curiosity about the future because the lure of what is to be can rob you of the here and now. One looks to the future for a better life and a better world, but a better life and a better world begin now. You can do nothing about the future unless you begin in the present,” Jesus responded.

“I am sorry Jesus if I gave you the impression I was not satisfied with the now because I am. I have been with you enough to know that the future belongs to God. But as I looked up at the stars I know they will still be there thousands of years from now and I wonder what kind of world will be looking back at these same stars,” Judas replied.

“Lord, doesn’t it make sense that sometimes when our spirits are down that if we think about the future and its possibilities God can bring comfort to us?” John asked.

“Indeed it can, John,” Jesus replied, “But the danger is in not living in the present. You cannot leave the present and live in future because then the present can never become the past. The circumstances of life must be dealt with in the present so they can become the past. You cannot and must not run away from the present. You must plan for your future and you must make goals for your life, but those plans begin in the present and those goals can only be accomplished as the present becomes the past.”

“Knowing the future might inspire us to work harder now, or might at least help us determine what we should be doing,” James interjected.

“James, there is some truth in what you say. But don’t confuse your plans and goals for the future they are only desires and possibilities. If I were to tell you that the world would end tomorrow what would you do?” Jesus asked him.

Searching for an answer James replied, “I don’t know.”

“The future belongs to God and those who work in the present and who are willing to become good stewards over what God has entrusted to them. The future holds many people who will respond with the talents God gives them to improve life. It also holds many people who will abuse those talents and will bring near world destruction and much human suffering. The work that I am entrusting to you will carry on and many will believe your words. Seek to build the Kingdom of God in yourselves now.”

Jesus continued, “Much of the future will be beyond your ability to understand because the lifestyles will drastically change. But the basic needs of people will not change. The things you learn now and apply to your lives will last forever.”

Jesus then waited for a few moments so everyone had enough time to think about what he had said. He wanted to tell them about the near future and what would happen to each of them but he knew that only the present would prepare them to live through difficulties they would face. Pausing again briefly he silently prayed that they would be granted strength, insight, and foresight.

“If the Father thinks you need to see events that may transpire in the future he will provide you with a vision for them, however many scriptures contain writings about the future, learn them, but trust in God because in him the future will end. I have given you much to think about this night. Judas, the man of the future will be a lot like you,” Jesus paused, “a lot like you.”

“Master?” Judas asked. “I understand that you are telling us to not worry about the future. But I am also concerned that our movement is not going anywhere. Your message is so important to our people yet you continue to talk about your death.”

“Judas, our work and our people are in God’s hand don’t worry, no one will ever defeat God he will reign victorious. The day will come when you will play a very important part in the future pray for strength,” Jesus finished and walked off to pray.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Conversations Around the Campfire… Part Two

By Gary Piper

jesus-and-disciples

One of my favorite summer time things to do is to sit around a campfire roasting marshmallows or cooking hotdogs. It’s truly amazing the variety of topics and conversations that arise as we all sit in a circle watching the flames rising into the night sky. It’s was always a challenge to see who would be the evening smoke eater. Not only do I cherish the conversations, the jokes, the campfire songs but I also cherish the time when our voices would fall silent and the snapping and crackling of the wood burning would serenade us.

I can’t provide any proof that Jesus and the disciples sat around a campfire at night while they traveled from one village to the next. In my imagination I can see the thirteen of them sitting by a fire discussing a number of different topics. I’d be willing to bet their conversations were not always serious in nature. Join me as I turn back to calendar and turn up our imagination and join Jesus and the Twelve around their campfire and listen in on their conversation.


“Master, please tell me, I know I am not suppose to get depressed because you are with me but I still do. Is there something wrong with me or my faith?” Thomas asked Jesus.

“I get depressed too Thomas,” said Bartholomew, “And no matter how hard I pray the depression seems to never go away. Jesus what is the answer?”

“I never get depressed,” Peter said confidently.

“Never?” Thomas asked.

“Never,” Peter replied!

“Lord, what’s wrong with us?” Bartholomew asked.

Jesus looking toward Thomas, “There is nothing wrong with either of you or you faith. Peter you must very careful to validate your feelings. Do not deny what you feel. The time will come when you will become so depressed you will want to take your own life.”

“What do you mean Lord?” Peter asked.

“To mask or hide what you feel will deny you the opportunity to be healed from them. You must always acknowledge what you feel, and then discover if those feelings are real or imagined. If they are real then you will have validated them and you can then go on and have them healed.” Jesus continued, “When you hide or deny them eventually they will begin to destroy you.”

“As I watch you Lord I try to be just like you, I see that you are never depressed so I must never let myself become depressed. Are you saying that you get depressed?” Peter inquired.

“In all aspects of life there will be a struggle between good and evil, positive and negative. One looks at the night sky and sees the stars in the cold and darkness of the night. Another looks at the night sky and sees the stars as points of life and hope against the darkness of sin. The same scene, two different views, two different people,” Jesus continued.

“But Lord, what does this have to do with depression,” Peter wanted to know.

“Patience Peter. Depression is a negative emotion, it is something we feel in response to something we experience. Experiences are points of growth and points of confrontation they are like forks in the road of life. One way leads you closer to God, the other leads you to loneliness. Do you understand?” Jesus asked.

Thomas spoke for the group, “We understand Lord, but tell us how to overcome it. When I am depressed it’s like I’m falling down a deep, dark, hole with nothing to grab in order to stop or even slow down. It never ends it’s just down and down, deep and deeper, dark and darker, cold and colder.”

Jesus continued, “Your emotions are also a reflection of your spirit. A troubled spirit will lead to troubled emotions whether those emotions are depression, discouragement, or fear. So many times people try to heal emotions rather than the spirit. Can you understand so far?”

After a few moments of silence Peter spoke up, “I think I understand. We become depressed when our spirits become troubled so instead of trying to heal our spirits we try to fix or deny our depression.”

“Very good Peter, there is hope for you after all.” (Everyone enjoys a few moments of lighthearted laughter.) “The struggle between good and evil occurs in the spirit not in the flesh. What so ever you stand in need of ask the father in my name and it will be given you.” Jesus finished then sat back down.

“If I pray that I would no longer be depressed will the experience causing the depression and the depression go away?” Bartholomew asked.

“Do not pray that experiences go away remember they contribute to our development. They are opportunities to see God at work in your life. If you will pray for the Light of God to light your experiences you will see the right path to take. You will discover that your experiences will not have power over you but you will have power over them. Remember my friends the peace I give you will lift you above your depression not out of experiences causing it.” Jesus concluded.

“How will I know that I will be lifted above depression, Lord?” Thomas asked.

“Thomas, Thomas do you believe in me?” Jesus asked.

“Yes Lord, you know I believe in you, how can I not believe in you after seeing all the miracles you have done,” was Thomas’ reply.

“Thomas my friend, do not always believe what you see. Believe in what you feel inside. If you feel the peace I give in your spirit no matter what you see with your eyes your depression will no longer have power over your emotions or spiritual wellbeing. If you have faith in me then do not just believe in me but experience me as well, I will never abandon you,” Jesus turned then walked away to pray by himself.

After walking for minutes Jesus found himself in a clearing. Then looking into the clear warm summer sky he beheld the beauty of millions of points of light against the blackness of space. Then in an instant each star was replaced by a face dropping to his knees with tears forming in his eyes he began praying. “Father, I approach you this night with a heavy spirit and share it with you so that it may be lightened. My time with my disciples is coming to an end and they have so far to go. The things I have been teaching them seem to be beyond their ability to comprehend. I pray, thee Father, that you would bless them with understanding, that you would open their minds, hearts, and spirits. I also pray that I may teach them in simple ways.”

“As I observe the faces of countless people who will depend upon their testimony of me and your love I stand in awe and tremble. The task is so great and the people to whom we give the responsibility are so fragile. I pray with all that is within me for strength for them. I pray for a deepening awareness within them that alone they will suffer defeat yet united with us they will win. I pray for a deepening awareness within them that no matter how great the task we will lift them above it.”

In the stillness of the moment Jesus looked again into the night sky. Only this time the stars and the darkness were gone there was only light. Then the image of a tree began to form, it was the tree of life from the Garden of Eden. As quickly as the tree formed 11 of the 12 disciples walked to the tree picked a piece of fruit and begin eating. As they finished Jesus observed millions and millions of people approaching the tree (He saw you too). Each disciple then began picking fruit giving a piece to each one. (Did you get yours?) Then the image of the tree changed to the image a Jesus dying on a cross. Then the vision disappeared and was replaced by the night sky.

“Thank you Father,” Jesus said getting to his feet.

Walking back into the light of the campfire Jesus notices that John is the only on awake. “Everything all right Master,” he asks yawning?

“It is now John, it is now,” Jesus replied as he laid down. That night he dreamed of the glorious reunion awaiting him in the not to distant future.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Glory Seeds Week of July 28, 2014

 

11 - Glory Seeds

Glory Seed Devotional 07/28/2014
A Planting of Faith Seeds for the Glory of the LORD

Surrender, who me?

“…Be confident, and never be afraid of anything or get discouraged. The Lord my God will help you do everything needed to finish…” (1 Chronicles 28:20, CEV)

Life is more than winning and losing. Jesus made that very clear when he said, “What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself or waste your life?” (Luke 9:25, CEV) Paul gives us some insight into what life is really all about, “I have fought well. I have finished the race, and I have been faithful.” (2 Timothy 4:7, CEV) There’s a “dirty twelve letter word” that is one of the major factors when it comes to never being afraid, getting discouraged, and finishing the “race” – the word?

Surrendering!

However, as important as surrendering is it is equally important that we not quit. On the surface it may seem that surrendering and quitting go hand in hand but in “God’s Book of How to Live in Life” they are not even close! When it comes to surrendering who or what we surrender to is most important. The Apostle Peter and James offer this insight into surrendering. “Dear friends, you are foreigners and strangers on this earth. So I beg you not to surrender to those desires that fight against you.” (1 Peter 2:11, CEV) “Surrender to God! Resist the devil, and he will run from you.” (James 4:7, CEV)

Surrender to God!

Let’s take a look what the “race” may be. Of course there car races, foot races, bike races, boat races, airplane races, swimming races however when it comes to finishing, the word “race” opens itself up to much more. Are you having difficulty making sense out of what has happened or happening in your life? Surrender to God! Are you thinking of quitting something you’ve really need to complete? Surrender to God! Are you having difficulty in finishing a book your writing? Surrender to God! Have you been told you there’s a chance you’ll not survive the illness that is claiming your life? Surrender to God! Are you at the point in your life when you just don’t want to take another step? Surrender to God!

Jesus once said, “Surrender to me and I will give you rest.” He didn’t say it quite that way but he did say, “If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30, CEV)

Believe it! Experience it!

Grace and PEACE!

Gary

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.” (Psalms 54:4 ESV))

Note: Should you want to go back and review this Glory Seed or if you’d like to subscribe so you can receive them in your email you can do so by clicking on this link: http://gloryseeds.wordpress.com/.

Scripture marked CEV are taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission.

Scripture quotations marked ESV “Are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.



Glory Seed Devotional 07/29/2014
A Planting of Faith Seeds for the Glory of the LORD

The Lord opens our understanding…

“The angel showed me a river that was crystal clear, and its waters gave life. The river came from the throne where God and the Lamb were seated.” (Revelation 22:1–2, CEV)

The life you and I are living is God’s life! I am not suggesting you and I are God or even like God what I am saying is the life we are living comes from God to us as a returnable gift. And when this “clay vessel” that encapsulates the life God has trusted to us no longer works we will return to God. However, while no one really knows the day or hour when that will happen we’ve a whole lot of living yet to live!

In order to ensure we have every chance available to live a blessed and glorious life God came to earth in his own “clay vessel” just like yours and mine to show us how it’s done. And the Mighty God even goes one step further to ensure we have every chance to live a blessed and glorious life he gives us each other. Somehow by Divine Design and through the all encompassing ministry and blessings of the Holy Spirit we have been brought together at varying levels to support each other as we make our way through life.

One of the most powerful promises God has given us that applies not only to his “words” but the life he has given us as well is found in chapter 55 of Isaiah. “Rain and snow fall from the sky. But they don’t return without watering the earth that produces seeds to plant and grain to eat. That’s how it is with my words. They don’t return to me without doing everything I send them to do. When you are set free, you will celebrate and travel home in peace. Mountains and hills will sing as you pass by, and trees will clap.” (Isaiah 55:10–12, CEV, emphasis mine)

The blessings God has in store for those who truly, deeply, and intimately love him are as numerous as the stars in the heavens but for those who for whatever reason are unable to accept the life God has given them may be in for the surprise of their life. I don’t know about you but I cannot see myself living without God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit nor can I see myself making it through life on my own so in spite of my human frailties I know I am and will be truly a blessed person!

Believe it! Experience it!

Grace and PEACE!

Gary

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Turn to the Lord! He can still be found. Call out to God! He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6, CEV)

Note: Should you want to go back and review this Glory Seed or if you’d like to subscribe so you can receive them in your email you can do so by clicking on this link: http://gloryseeds.wordpress.com/.

Scripture marked CEV are taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission.



Glory Seed Devotional 07/30/2014
A Planting of Faith Seeds for the Glory of the LORD

“Follower of Jesus/Batter UP!”

“Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God’s throne! So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won’t get discouraged and give up.” (Hebrews 12:1–3, CEV)

“Batter up!” the umpire calls out. And the batter steps into the batter’s box, takes a few practice swings, then settles in focusing his complete attention on the pitcher who is now in his windup. In the background you can hear someone calling, “Come on batter, come on batter,” then the pitcher let’s go of the grapefruit size yellow softball and another voice sounds off, “Swing batter, swing!”

Believe it or not the batter standing in the batter’s box waiting to hit the ball and the follower of Jesus have much in common. How you may be wondering? Because of two artificial hips I haven’t play softball in over 30 years but I will never forget what it takes to be a success at the home plate putting the ball into play. To be a follower of Jesus there are no health limitations, no age requirements, no gender preference but like the ball player standing at home plate waiting to put the ball into play it requires 110% commitment.

Batters are told to keep their eye on the ball at all times, follow the path of the ball with a keen eye. However, that’s not enough the batter needs to follow the path of the ball not only with keen eyes, but with a keen mind as well. The batter needs to push out of his mind the idea of hitting a home run, or what kind of a pitch the pitcher is throwing. The batter is not there to hit a home run, a single, a double, or a triple the batter is there to hit the ball! When the batter is waiting for the pitch there should be only one thing on his/her mind –the BALL! Whatever the pitch will be or won’t be doesn’t matter – the pitch will be (and every upcoming pitch) will be what it will be and that is what the batter needs to deal with. That is what it means to being 110% committed to getting a game changing hit.

The writer of Hebrews writes, “We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete… So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won’t get discouraged and give up.”

Enough said!

Believe it! Experience it!

Grace and PEACE!

Gary

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Turn to the Lord! He can still be found. Call out to God! He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6, CEV)

Note: Should you want to go back and review this Glory Seed or if you’d like to subscribe so you can receive them in your email you can do so by clicking on this link: http://gloryseeds.wordpress.com/.

Scripture marked CEV are taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission.



Glory Seed Devotional 07/31/2014
A Planting of Faith Seeds for the Glory of the LORD

Peace and Security are Spelled – G-O-D!

There are times when life becomes like an out of control merry-go-round moving faster and faster turning life into a mixture of runaway emotions wrecking havoc on our search for peace and security we so passionately hunger for. Our first inclination might be to reach for the brass ring in hopes of regaining control of our lives but deep inside is a faint voice calling out with unmistakable clarity and authority as we tune out the noisiness of our runaway emotions we hear…

“The Lord says, “If you love me and truly know who I am, I will rescue you and keep you safe. When you are in trouble, call out to me. I will answer and be there to protect and honor you. You will live a long life and see my saving power.”” (Psalm 91:14–16, CEV)

The morning of November, 4, 2013 my wife and her best friend Bonnie left to spend some time personal shopping together. Shortly after they left I began to experience pain in my chest and shortness of breath. Little did I know I was having a heart attack. I remember thinking at first it wasn’t a heart attack after all I’d just had bypass surgery to prevent a heart attack. Thinking it was just a delayed reaction to the surgery I began taking the medication I was given to ease the pain I also sat down and tried breathing exercises.

Nothing worked!

Several hours later (at least it seemed like it) Patti and Bonnie returned home minutes later I was on my way to the hospital. A short time later the ER doctor told me I was having a heart attack and suddenly life became an out of control merry-go-round. I remember Patti asking me what the doctor told me and with tears welling up in my eyes I simply said, “He said I was having a heart attack.” Minutes later while not really acquainted with the 3 verses above the Holy Spirit brought them alive and I then felt the presence of the Jesus and knew instantly God was looking after me.

There’s a excellent chance your circumstances differ greatly from mine but one thing will never be different and that is the blessings and promises of Psalms 91:14-16! So if you are now where I was last November think long and hard on these words and don’t reach for the brass ring instead reach out for the extended hand of Jesus.

“The Lord says, “If you love me and truly know who I am, I will rescue you and keep you safe. When you are in trouble, call out to me. I will answer and be there to protect and honor you. You will live a long life and see my saving power.”” (Psalm 91:14–16, CEV)

AMEN!

Believe it! Experience it!

Grace and PEACE!

Gary

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Turn to the Lord! He can still be found. Call out to God! He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6, CEV)

Note: Should you want to go back and review this Glory Seed or if you’d like to subscribe so you can receive them in your email you can do so by clicking on this link: http://gloryseeds.wordpress.com/.

Scripture marked CEV are taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission.



Glory Seed Devotional 08/01/2014
A Planting of Faith Seeds for the Glory of the LORD

The Journey of a Robin

The journey of a robin began before the concept of time ever came into being; it had its beginning in the mind of the Creator. But before the robin journeyed on the earth the Creator first had to prepare a place for its arrival. So he took a dark formless void and filled it with the earth. Next he brought forth thick green forests, peaceful meadows covered with grass and wild flowers. Then he brought forth on the face of the earth all creeping things, bugs, and flies and other things to sustain the life of the robin. The Creator saw that the earth was ready for the robin, and thus began the journey of a robin. But he couldn’t stop with the robin for his greatest creation was yet to come. Seeing that all things he created were good he began the final phase of his plan and he brought forth humans to take dominion over all that he had created, and so it was.

The real journey of the robin would lie unseen from eyes that are always open yet do not always see. One sunny afternoon many centuries later on a crowded hill as a young man was speaking to a large gathering of people the journey of a robin was re-visited. Because somehow through the process of time the ways of life set down by the Creator in the Garden of Creation had been lost. And the Creator had sent his only Son into the world so the world would be able to once again walk the way of the Garden, to once again place its hand in the hand of the Creator.

“Look at the robin with its beautiful red breast, it does worry its life away, it does not sow, reap, or store food it depends solely on the Creator to provide everything it needs to live. When the storms of winter come and the robin can no longer stay it then follows the wings of the Spirit to places of safety where it waits for spring to return. And when the warm winds of spring bring life back to its home the Spirit leads the robin home, home to fulfill its destiny,” the Son of God paused briefly and then continued.

As he paused he was carried by the timelessness of the Holy Spirit into the future to once again point out the journey of a robin to someone who was not on that hill long ago. That person is you, sometimes on your journey through life worries build up that can cause you to lose focus on the one from whom all your blessings come. Suddenly the worries become so heavy and so dark the journey becomes unbearable and the Light of Life is no longer seen. And recklessly you wander through life blind to the Creator, searching in vain for the power to bring all your worries to an end.

On and on you go until suddenly from out of nowhere a robin comes into view and you hear a still small voice saying, “Look at the robin with its beautiful red breast, it does not worry its life away, it does not sow, reap, or store food it depends solely on the Creator to provide everything it needs to live. When the storms of winter come and the robin can no longer stay it then follows the wings of the Spirit to places of safety where it waits for spring to return. And when the warm winds of spring bring life back to its home the Spirit leads the robin home, home to fulfill its destiny. Bring your worries to me and with the light of heaven judge them against eternity and put them at peace with me.”

Amen!

Believe it! Experience it!

Grace and PEACE!

Gary

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Turn to the Lord! He can still be found. Call out to God! He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6, CEV)

Note: Should you want to go back and review this Glory Seed or if you’d like to subscribe so you can receive them in your email you can do so by clicking on this link: http://gloryseeds.wordpress.com/.

Scripture marked CEV are taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Little Writer that Did!

Written by Gary Piper

I am participating in the “Writing Contest: Overcoming Writer’s Doubt” held by Positive Writer. – See more at: http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-doubt/#sthash.SRfe0XsT.dpuf.

The Little Train that Could

I am not sure at what age I was when the story of the Little Train that Could became a part of my life and eventually a bigger part of my writing career but it has. And over the years it has been source not only of inspiration but also a letter-by-letter, word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence, paragraph-by-paragraph, page-by-page, never-give-up motivational slap in the back of the head keep writing message.

I keep trying to remember exactly when my desire/dream of being a writer became a reality but there are times when I think I was born with the “Writing Worm” waiting for the day when it would become a Butterfly and take me on a wonderful never ending journey to places, doing things, and become what I could become only in my dreams. One day at work I was sharing my dream of being a writer to my co-worker then suddenly she said, “But Gary, you are a writer the only question that should concern you is what type a writer are you going to be.” And suddenly deep inside I could feel a cocoon bursting open and up, up, and away I flew enjoying a dream come true.

It would be great if I could end my story on that note but no such luck because what or who goes up invariably will come down and beginning with my retirement in 2009 my “Butterfly Writing Career” began a series of lengthy nose dives known un-affectionately as writers block. Had it just a couple of episodes of writers block I probably would have been okay but somewhere around the middle of 2012 I began to see myself as an ex-writer.

My greatest asset as a writer has been my imagination. Prior to my retirement in 2009 the doorway to my imagination was wide open however, it was almost as if when I drove home the day I retired someone or something slammed the door to my imagination locked it and threw away the key. Since then I haven’t written anything new requiring the use of my imagination. And now I find myself living in a self fulfilling prophecy. I believe the very thought of failing as a writer (or anything for that matter) will eventually create a failed writer. And right now as these words appear on my computer screen that is what I am – a failed writer filled with more doubts than a novel.

I one thing I have going for me as a failed writer is I am still a writer. I am the same person today as I was on the morning of April 17, 2009 when I reported to work for the last time. While my imagination may be locked it is still there and it still work I know this because there are times when the door opens for short periods of time.

I don’t know why there are times when the flight from success to failure goes unnoticed. There have been many times when I sat at my computer looking at a blank MSWord screen wondering what happened. That is especially true when I am going through previous writings for current uses. On the other hand I don’t know why the flight from failure to success not only is noticed but also very difficult to get off the ground. In addition to still being a writer another thing I have going for me is the challenge and anticipation to write. While I believe having an open doorway to the imagination is an absolute must for any writer of equal importance is the challenge and anticipation to write. And even though my imagination remained behind a closed door the challenge and anticipation to write have never been more powerful.

I am a Christian Writer therefore I am a firm believer in the bible. The key for me what will not only unlock the door to my imagination but will also be instrumental in my journey from grounded butterfly to one in flight is found in chapter 17 of the Gospel of Luke. “…If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you!” (Luke 17:6, NLT) The question I face isn’t, “Gary, how will you overcome writers doubt?” The question I MUST answer is, “Gary, do you have enough faith to overcome writers doubt?”

Of course my answer is YES! YES! YES! I have enough faith! Not only do I have the faith to overcome writers doubt but I also have hope. Not hope in its “wishful thinking” mode. But hope in its “once was therefore it will be again” mode, hope in this mode becomes prophetic thus setting the stage for another self fulfilling prophecy. However, having said that I also know I am in for more than just a few battles because failure (doubt) never gives up without a terrible battle. And it is a formable adversary, but so am I.  

My story has been one about writers doubt but it is a story with many scenarios. Speaking not just as a writer but also a Christian you are a miracle of God, a one of a kind never to be repeated miracle, one of your greatest assets is your uniqueness. Allow those attributes along with your hopes, dreams, challenges, and anticipations to empower you, strengthen you to become the Overcomer you’re destined to be.

 

Believe it! Experience it!

Grace and PEACE!

Gary

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jesus’ Last Ride

Jesus’ Last Ride

By Gary Piper

Palm Sunday1

 

Tossing and turning Jesus tried over and over to go to sleep but he couldn’t shut his mind off. The more he tried to calm himself the faster it raced. Had he done enough? Would his message be remembered? Would the disciples be able to carry on where he left off? Would the raising of Lazarus over shadow the meaning of his own death? On and on his mind raced faster and faster.

Suddenly the sounds of the night and the sight of twinkling stars formed a symphony of peace and his thoughts began slowing down. The warm spring breeze blew across his face taking him beyond time into realms of eternity. Gazing heavenward he recalled He and his Father forming and shaping each star. Stars are like people he thought each one is different, each one has it’s own story, each radiates it’s own light, yet each star received it’s power from the same source, the Creator.

One of the disciples stirring in his sleep broke Jesus’ concentration. Coming to a sitting position he breathed a sigh of relief as he saw his Heavenly Father gently touch each one. However, there were only eleven he slowly started looking for the twelfth one. Seconds later against the starlit horizon he saw the silhouette of the missing disciple. He instantly recognized him as Judas then without warning suddenly a cold wind swept across the camp. As the wind chilled him, Jesus heard a familiar voice, “I will win Son of God, you will die and I will win then I will be the Son of God,” he recognized the voice from his temptations.

Silently Jesus prayed for Judas about half way through his prayer he was stricken by a stabbing pain shooting through his heart. He had suspected Judas would be the one for some time because he was most vulnerable to Satan’s trickery and treachery. Judas was a faithful follower but in mind and body only not spirit. Softly and tenderly the Mighty Starman, the Creator, the Son of God cried for his friend. “Father, please forgive him,” he prayed as the pain of the coming crucifixion weighed on his heart.

In one of the far corner’s of his spirit he heard the words of another familiar voice, “Do not worry my Son all heaven prays for you and awaits your return.” As the pain rapidly faded Jesus smiled at his sleeping friends and said aloud, “It will be good to be home again Father.” Minutes later he fell asleep.

Later…

As the borrowed donkey clip-clopped down the road toward Jerusalem. Jesus sat tall in the saddle made of cloaks from people walking with them. Questions were fired at him from all sides, people who were ill cried for help. A couple of times the disciples had to push back the crowd. But Jesus sat silent, almost as if he was miles away. Occasionally his eyes would meet someone else’s and he would break his concentration temporally to say a silent prayer. The person would then shout, “Thank you, Jesus I’m healed.” But for most of the ride Jesus sat in silence, his mind was thinking of times past.

He remembered learning from and working with his dad in the carpenter shop. One day as they were building a plow somehow a nail jumped into his hand and Joseph hit it with a hammer. Even now his face winced as he looked down at the scar. He wondered if the pain would be the same when they nailed him to the cross.

He remembered hearing stories in the market place about the coming Messiah. “Israel will rule the world,” they would say.

“No power on earth will ever be able to make slaves of us again,” another would say.

“I wonder when he will come, things are getting worse and worse,” someone else shouted.

“Why can’t we tell them mother?” Jesus would ask.

“Because the time is not right. God will choose the time and hour for you,” she would always say.

Jesus smiled when he recalled the wedding where she had him do his first miracle. “God’s time indeed,” he laughed. His mother sure was proud of who he was. Tears began rolling down his cheek as he thought about what all this was doing to her.

“Your spiritual growth Jesus must be the most important part of your life, you must grow in spiritual stature and spiritual wisdom,” he recalled his parents saying over and over again.

He remembered asking, for the first time what spiritual growth meant. “To grow spiritually means to experience God in every aspect of your life as well as the lives of all of God’s people, and in world,” was their answer. Then he smiled to himself as he remembered his forty days in the wilderness when he and his Father in Heaven really got to know each other.

As he looked around at the ever growing crowd he thought how each one was walking in his own wilderness. Tears, again began running down his cheek as he saw God seeking them. His heart ached because they only experienced the moment.

For the first time since he set out for Jerusalem he was starting to get depressed. Then in less than a heart beat a face flashed across the panorama of his vision. It was an ordinary face, a face in pain and without hope. The face became covered with an ugly black veil and died. Then he was suddenly transported to the cross and he saw the same face but this time the face was covered by a pure white veil, it was alive. Gone was the pain, gone was the hopelessness. Somehow He felt the power to keep going coming from the face and his depression was replaced with a renewed resolve to keep going. “That face will live only if I keep going,” he said to himself. Then another strange thing happened time seemed to stop and the vision began repeating itself each time with a different face yet with all the same characteristics. And each time he grew stronger and stronger. Millions and millions of faces later it stopped. And the last face lingered for a little longer than the rest. “These are the reasons I must go on,” he said to himself. (Oh, by the way the last face he saw, was yours.)

On and on he went and with each step of the donkey he became stronger and stronger, in fact never had he ever felt this much strength. One after another the experiences of his life filtered through his mind. Once in awhile he would stop and turn one over and over and relish it.

A few days ago he asked the disciples who he really was. It seemed like forever before they answered, but suddenly Peter shouted out, “You are the Son of God.” As Jesus relived the moment, he spotted Peter in front clearing the path. He began praying, “The events of the next week will take Peter to the edge of destruction, so I pray for him, Father. Hold him fast in your heart and give him the strength he will need to go on.”

By now the crowd had grown by many people all shouting, “Hail to the King! Hail to the one who had come to free us. Long live the Messiah.”

Suddenly he felt someone touch his leg, “Master, you must get the crowd to quiet down. Please talk to them, they are drawing to much attention and there are enemies in our midst,” said the voice.

Jesus turned and recognized the man as one of the Pharisees who had started to believe in him following the raising of Lazarus. He also knew that the events taking place this morning must happen. In one way the words were like the stones Elijah used to build an alter. And on the other hand they were like the stones used to stone people to death. “I can not,” came his reply, “For if I did all the stones would cry out. I have come into this world for this purpose, and for this purpose I must leave this world. For I fear not fulfilling my purpose more than I fear my enemies.”

A short time later Jesus began to feel the presence of someone he knew well. Their last face to face meeting happened shortly after Jesus left the wilderness. He turned and came eye to eye with Satan. “Son of God,” Jesus heard Satan say, “Your reign will be short lived, the time is coming when I will be the Son of God. All these people will be shouting for me, because you will be dead.”

“You will never win, I have come so that these people may have eternal life,” Jesus replied.

Satan continued, “In a week you will be in the grave which is my domain. For all eternity I will have power over you just has I have power of all these people. Even if you raise yourself from the dead, as you say you will you will die again just as Lazarus will. I will win, in fact I have already won.”

To the casual observer Jesus just appeared to be riding as he has been for quite awhile, no one knew of the conflict he was already waging for their lives.

“You are not the keeper to the keys of life and death. You will have no claim on the grave, you will have no claim on death. Life began the instant God breathed into these people his breath. Death began when people choose to expel that breath. I have come so that man can once again experience the breath of God. At my death there will be a wind that will blow on the earth that has not blown since the day man was created. If these people so choose to inhale that eternal breath, death will have no power over them. If they choose not to they will spend all eternity with you, now be gone Satan,” Jesus commanded.

“I will go for now, but you and I will meet again and then you will see I will be the victor,” and he was gone.

As they approached the city Jesus thought about all that God had done for him during his life on earth. He thought about his love. He thought about the peace God had given him during those times when the world and those around him offered none. He thought about the great blessings God had in store for Jerusalem. And then he looked around and saw that Isaiah was right people had their eyes open but they did not see, they heard but they did not listen. “If you, even you had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes,” he cried out loud.

From a distance God watched as his holy city changed into a evil monster as it swallowed his Only Begotten Son. Then barely audible the entire audience of heaven heard a familiar voice, “He is mine now, and he will die.”

Turning to God the Arch Angel replies, “We are all ready for battle Creator, just give us the word.” But as Jesus slipped into gates of the city the lips of the mighty Creator remained silent.

And time done its best to still the life of God’s Only Begotten Son, but time failed and in eternity it was time that was stilled!

Grace and PEACE.

Gary

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Story of Sigmond the Common Uncommon Housefly

As told By Gary Piper

SigmondThis is the story of a miracle (they do exist you know). It could be the miracle of a common housefly being animated to life by God. It could be a miracle of how God can speak to your heart through a story. It could be a miracle of how words become symbols that can bring healing and entertainment to our lives. The thing with miracles is that sometimes the miracle is in the eye of the beholder, a miracle to one may not be a miracle to another. Sigmond’s story is like that; his miracle lies in what his story can or can not do for you. To me Sigmond’s miracle is that he moved from my imagination to the printed page.

God sometimes uses the common in uncommon ways to make his presence and will known in the world. For example it is very uncommon for a common baby to be born in a stable, yet that is where God choose his Son to be born. It would be very uncommon for a common carpenter to be the Savior of the human race but he was. To humans it is very uncommon for death to bring about life but in Jesus that is exactly what did happen. It is also very uncommon for the Creator of all that exists to reach into our lives and become a part of us but he does. It is sometimes uncommon for a Christian to survive in the common world of today but the Holy Spirit endows and empowers us to do so. When you stop to think about it, life itself is filled with uncommonness.

Sometimes humans have tendency to ask why God he does this or why he does that, it’s okay to ask questions but we need to remember that we are not God and his ways and his thoughts are not ours. And there are times when going on a “fishing expedition” you miss his blessings. The spiritual beginning of Sigmond falls into this category. This story does not start with the physical birth of flies if you want find that out then I suggest you get a good encyclopedia.

Have you ever tried to eat and had a fly either buzzing around you or landing on your food? All you want to do is kill, kill, kill and as you’re trying to swat him you wonder why didn’t Noah swat those two files when he had a chance.

Sigmond’s story begins at the home of the Pager’s Harry age 43, Peggy age 41, John age 10, and Kathy age 8. There was nothing special about their family other than like most folks they live from payday to payday. Harry and Peggy’s marriage on a scale of one to ten was about a two. Their relationship was more like roommates than a loving couple devoted to each other. With both of them working stressful jobs there was little time for the children so the parent child relationship could be rated the same. Tempers were short, the daily attempt to survive in a hostile world added more weight to their already strained lives.

Monday, October 19, 2007 would prove to be both and ending and a beginning for Sigmond and for the Pacer’s. Things had not gone well for Harry at the shop that day and things were not going well at home either. Sigmond always tried to eat from Harry’s part of the table since he was a messy eater and always threw crumbs everywhere. However, on this fateful Monday Sigmond had not eaten all day so he was extra hungry. Sigmond usually swooped in pick up a bite then fly off before Harry could swat him. However on that fateful day because he hadn’t eaten he was a little more sluggish than usual. Because of Harry was angry and frustrated he was a little faster than normal, not a good combination if you know what I mean. Sigmond spotted a piece of beef lying near Harry’s plate and buzzed in for a big bite and BAM the lights went out!

He never even saw the hand as it hit him. He never felt anything either one minute he was heading in for supper and the next minute he was in a state of non‑existence. He was no longer in the Pacer house. He wasn’t in a dark tunnel. There weren’t bright or colored lights around him and there was no one there to greet him. He wasn’t anywhere because there wasn’t anywhere he could be. It was like he was transported to a state of being before creation.

“I got you this time you pesky fly,” Harry said as he brushed Sigmond to the floor.

“Are you just going to leave him there?” Peggy asked sounding angry.

“Darn right I’m gonna leave him there, it ain’t my job to clean the floor that’s your job,” Harry quickly snapped back.

“Sometimes I wonder what I ever saw in you and why I stay married to you Harry Pacer,” Peggy replied raising her voice even higher.

“Well I know why I married you, to clean the floors. And if you don’t like that then you know where the door is. I can always hire a housekeeper,” Harry said as he got up and stomped off.

Peggy, now with tears filling her eyes got up and went to the cupboard for a paper towel. And picked up what was left of Sigmond and took him to the trash can. “Sometimes I wish that father of yours would grow up and help around the house,” she said looking toward the kids.

Neither one of the children responded but then they were so used to hearing the verbal battles between their parents so they were numb to them. For a while John and Kathy chose sides but later realized that they were getting like their parents. So they pledged to each other not to let their parents come between them. As the internal battles raged within the lives of the four Pacers the Creator ignited the flames of life in a small insignificant dead housefly.

As Sigmond floated in nothingness images began forming in his eyes as each image appeared it immediately faded and was replaced by a new one. He tried to determine what the images were but they never lasted long enough for him to have a chance. On and on, faster and faster they came one after another till suddenly all went black. Then he felt the vibrations of a voice deep inside him say, “Let there be Light.” And suddenly Sigmond was blinded by light coming from everywhere. He tried to close all of his eyes but the light still blinded him. A short time later the light began to fade and as it faded Sigmond felt a strange sense of awareness growing within him. As the awareness grew he felt strength and power returning to his frail body. He slowly opened his eyes and began looking around to see where he was but for a moment everything was a big blur. When his eyes focused he found himself in the Pacer’s trash bag.

Then much to his surprise Sigmond began talking. “Where am I and what is happening to me?” Were the first words out of his mouth? But no one answered. He tried his wings; they moved okay but were not strong enough to carry him.

“Where am I and what is happening to me?” He asked a second time. Again there was no response. Something strange had happened inside the little fly, he felt different. For the first time in his life he was able to express himself and he was no longer obsessed with survival. For the first time in his life he wanted to know more about his surroundings yet somehow he knew. Then he remembered the images that had flashed through his eyes, but how could he remember he thought? How could he think, flies do not have that ability. “Will someone please tell me what is happening to me,” he asked again. Again silence is all Sigmond heard.

Sigmond decided to try his wings again. This time he felt power surging through them as he lifted off. Seconds later he was headed for the kitchen. “There’s the refrigerator,” he said to himself. “Hey, how did I know what that was?”

“Sigmond,” a voice called him from somewhere deep inside. It really wasn’t a voice you could hear it was more like vibrations forming in his tiny being.

For an instant Sigmond was stunned and nearly fell out of the air because no one ever tried to communicate with him before. Landing on the ceiling light fixture and regaining his composure he said, “Who said that?” Then he waited for the thoughts to reappear.

“I am the Life Giver and to you my little friend I have given the mysterious gift of life. I have also given you the ability to communicate with the higher species of my creation. Along with those gifts I have given you the wisdom to be a blessing to all you come in contact with. Do not be concerned about your outward appearance but concern yourself only with your inner spirit. When you come in contact with my people see them with your physical eyes but look at them with the eyes of your heart. When you are moved to compassion use the gifts I have given you to bless them. Be not overly concerned because of your surrounding mystery. Be concerned only with being Sigmond the Uncommon Common housefly,” the voice echoed deep inside Sigmond.

Sigmond was awestruck and speechless. When he began to regain his composure the thought crossed his mind to question the voice. As he tried all that would come to his mind was, “Fear not my little friend, but in faith step from the darkness of the present into the light of the future.”

His plans on returning to get something to eat were interrupted by the back door slamming shut. Sigmond noticed Harry standing with the refrigerator door open, “Peggy,” he shouted.

“Peggy, where is my beer?” his louder voice again broke the silence.

“Harry will you please keep your voice down I don’t want the children to hear us again,” Peggy replied entering the kitchen, “There is no beer I told you I don’t like it and I don’t want it in my house. You want a beer go somewhere else.”

Since it was the day before payday and they lived from payday to payday Harry said nothing he just stomped off to the bedroom. Peggy fell into the nearest chair and began crying, “Why God, he’s a good man we used to be so happy? What happened to change everything? Why don’t you please send us some help? We’re not going to make it unless you do,” Peggy Pacer prayed.

As Sigmond watched tears began forming in his eyes. “How will I know when I am moved by compassion?” He asked.

The small voice whispered, “When the eyes of your heart water and you cry for others and not for yourself then you are moving into compassion. When you want to reach out and dry the tears from the eyes of another’s heart then you are moving into compassion.”

Suddenly deep inside Sigmond was not alone, he felt the presence of another. He felt the pain of another. He thought for a moment he heard something break inside himself it was like his heart suddenly broke. Then he felt a sharp pain in the same spot and he began to cry inside. Immediately and without thinking of the danger he flew toward Peggy and landed right in front of her.

When she saw the pesky fly land right in front of her Peggy’s first thought was to smash it into the table thinking that would make things even with Harry. “I can’t do it little fly you and I have too much in common, we’re both pests and people would do better without us.” she said out loud. “Oh, my God look at me I’m talking to a stupid fly like he really hears me and cares!”

Now remember Sigmond understands what’s going on and so he momentarily breathes a sigh of relief because he wouldn’t need to be scraped off the table. “What do you mean stupid fly? What do you mean I can’t hear you or I don’t care,” Sigmond said. “I ain’t stupid, I can hear, I do care, and I can communicate with you.”

“Who said that?” Peggy asked looking around to see if someone else had entered the room

“I did, I’m Sigmond the Uncommon Common Housefly down here on the table,” he replied.

As she got up to go looking for whoever was talking to her it occurred that she was not hearing a voice the words were being impressed into her mind. “Oh my God,” she said out loud, “I am losing my mind I think that fly is talking to me by mental telepathy. I’ve got to go lie down on the couch and get some rest.”

“Please Mrs. Pacer, I know it’s hard for you to believe but I am talking to you and I do want to help you and your family. To show you it is me I’m going to fly twice around your head and then around your shoulders then land on that red spot on your tablecloth,” Sigmond said as he began to fly. About 45 seconds later he landed right where he said he would and waited for her response.

“Listen whoever you are or whatever you are this is too much for me, my life’s in shambles, my marriage is on the rocks, I don’t know what my children think, and a fly is talking to me and wants to help. It’s beyond my ability to understand. It’s. It’s too much for me, my mind is shutting down and playing tricks on me,” Peggy replied covering her face with her hands.

She continued, “Look Sigmond, if you do exist you know nothing about me, my life, my family, or anything. You’re a stupid fly you eat garbage, you infect people and you’re going to help me? If you want to help give me some short of infection that will kill me, that’s the kind of help I need right now. God, if you do exist I needed a miracle and you sent a dumb fly. How in the world am I supposed to take that? What am I suppose to do with a fly?” Standing to her feet she slammed the chair into the table and stomped off to the couch leaving Sigmond alone.

Then quietly from beyond time and space the still small voice of the Great I AM whispered, “The greatest miracle is life itself my child and it is my gift to you. Out of my love for you I also give you the gift of freedom to become who you want to be, absolutely no one can take that from you unless you give it to them. Yourself worth does not depend on how others see you but on how you see yourself. True happiness can develop only as you choose to have a relationship with me. You do not need a miracle to lift you out of your experiences you need only to feel my love and peace in them. You and all my people have been baptized by the positive power of my Holy Spirit you must simply be still and know that I am.”

But the words fell on ears that listened but could not hear. And the Great I AM bowed his head in silence and watched his tears as they fell to the floor of eternity. And in the tiny eyes of his heart Sigmond watched in awe as the Voice cried. “Were you talking to me Lord?” he asked.

“The words were meant for someone else my little friend but apply to you as well, do not fear I am with you always,” Great I AM said as he smiled and dried his tears.

In silence Sigmond stood alone with his thoughts. “What do I do now,” he said to himself. For the longest time Sigmond stood there staring into the darkness of the Pacer’s lives searching for the smallest glimmer of light. Finally the darkness of his thoughts gave way to the safety and peace of sleep. However, while his body rested deep in his spirit there was no rest as millions and millions of thoughts flashed across the eyes of his heart. Suddenly the word FRAGMENTED exploded with such force into his spirit that it temporarily blinded the eyes of his heart and immediately woke him up. He then recalled that as a fly a fly was all he wanted and needed to be but so far in the short existence of his new life it occurred to him that he could become more than just a fly. But even though he could think himself different he was still a fly. “I wonder if that is what the Voice meant about being the greatest miracle,” he asked himself.

“Could it be that the Pacers lives are so fragmented and cluttered that they can no longer be themselves? Could it be that they search and reach to satisfy an empty spirit?” The little fly questioned himself.

As he began thinking of an answer a second explosion rocked his spirit and he saw the word COMMUNICATION flash before his eyes. Sigmond was not familiar with this word because in the insect world communication existed but the insects were never really aware of it. He started to realize we was going into parts of life were new to him, but with boldness and faith he began to learn.

Sigmond discovered that communications was the ability for one to express themselves to another. The next thing he needed to discover is what was communicated. Somehow he heard words when the Pacer’s were talking to each other and when Peggy was to talking to him. But when the Voice talked to him there were no words just thoughts. Then he remembered seeing and feeling the sadness as the Voice cried. And in the tinniest corner of his spirit he began to see that words, pictures, and thoughts communicate feelings. And the little uncommon housefly understood what he needed to do to help the Pacers. Shortly thereafter his wakefulness gave to sleep.

Peggy was awakened by the sound of Harry getting himself ready for work. Not wanting a confrontation so early she lie on the couch as if she were still sleeping. About twenty minutes later she heard the back door slam and then the car squeal away. She then got up and went to awake the children for school. Three quarters of an hour later she found herself alone with her thoughts. Pouring herself a cup of coffee she sat down at the kitchen table and tried to work herself into the day.

“God,” she began, “It’s me, Peggy again facing the same old problems, saying the same old prayer listening to the same old response, nothing. At one time I believed in you, and I thought you were real, but I have discovered that you are only real in my mind. When things go well you are real but when things go bad your reality fades. Endure until the end the bible says. I wonder how many people are living miserable lives enduring waiting for some end that only comes with their own death or the death of their relationships. You want hear something funny? I dreamt last night you sent a fly to help me, a common ordinary housefly, boy am I getting desperate or what? There is still a part of me that wants to believe you are real that you do exist outside of my mind, and you do love me. Please God, help my family.”

Sigmond heard all of Peggy’s prayer and began plotting his next move. Leaving the safety of the ceiling light fixture he landed in front of her. Just as he touched down he caught a glimpse of a shadow coming his way. Instantly his survival instincts as a fly took over and he tried to fly, but couldn’t. His wings moved he could pick up his legs but he couldn’t move. In desperation he called out, “Please don’t kill me, I mean you no harm.” And in less than a heartbeat the hand stopped its deadly journey and the little fly breathed a sigh of relief. Suddenly there was a loud bang and the whole table rocked and shuttered as Peggy’s hand dropped to the table next to him and all fell silent

For the longest time the human and insect looked at each other neither moving. The insect happy to be alive and the human wondering what to think of next, “Aaarrreee, are you for real.” Peggy stuttered.

“I’m as real as you are I have been sent here to help you and your family,” Sigmond replied sounding relieved.

Now let’s pause for a minute and put yourself in Peggy Pacer’s place. Your life is a mess. Your family is about as dysfunctional as a family can get and still live under the same roof. You think God has given up on you, and suddenly you find yourself talking to a fly! How would you react?

Editing here…

A million thoughts shot through her mind logical one’s, illogical one’s, thoughts of fear, doubt, and, anger. Finally after minutes of silence she blurted out, “OK, who sent you, then?” Then immediately thinking to herself how stupid she was talking to fly.

“I will not tell you who sent me. I will let you discover that for yourself. Read in your bible verses four through six in the seventeenth chapter of First Kings,” Sigmond answered and then wondered how he knew that.

Getting her bible Peggy quickly thumbed through until she found the verses the fly told her to read. “What am I doing,” she asked! “A fly is telling me to read the bible. The only thing funnier than that is I’m reading it!”

Peggy began reading how God had commanded the ravens to Feed Elijah, closing the Bible she turned to the little fly. “So, what’s your point?” she asked.

“My point is that sometimes God uses the uncommon you’d never think of things to minister to people. It’s too bad people are sometimes insensitive to how God can and does reach out to them,” Sigmond replied.

“But why a fly? Why one of the dirtiest disease carriers on the face of the earth. You answer that question to my satisfaction and I’ll believe you,” she snapped back.

“You are depressed and ready to give up on life because you are bombarded with negative feelings from the environment you are living in. However, you have the ability to be lifted above it by the power of the Great I am if you so choose. Then the negative feelings that are weighting you down will have no power over you. Flies are the way they are because of their surroundings, most of us are dirty and disease carriers because of what we eat. You humans have a saying that goes, junk in junk out. Now let me ask you a question. Can you see a better way for God to illustrate his ability to bring about change than to take the most disgusting and useless of creation and transform it into something that is useful?” Sigmond asked. “Isn’t it like God do something like that?”

Peggy was still unsure of just what was going on after all she was having a conversation with a fly. But a still small voice from deep inside kept telling her that something very real was taking place. Besides what the fly was saying was making sense. She began formulating an answer but before she could finish she heard someone knocking on the front door.

“Who can that be.” she said to herself as she moved to answer the door. As she walked by the living room window she noticed a police car sitting in front of the house. Immediately she picked up her pace a little almost as if trying to keep up with the beating of her heart. As her hand touched the door knob she was almost running. As she opened the door standing on the porch were two police officers she quickly looked at the expression on their faces. There was trouble.

“Can I help you officers,” her voice trembled.

“May we come in Mrs. Pacer?” the male officer asked.

“Why of course, please do. Is something wrong officers?” she asked already knowing the answer.

“We’re afraid there is,” the female officer began. “There is really no easy way to tell you so we won’t beat around the bush. Your husband has been involved in an industrial accident and has been taken to Mercy Hospital unconscious. We are unable to give you any details other than he was struck in the head by something breaking off a machine next to the one he was operating. If you will get your things and secure your house my partner and I will take you there.”

Peggy began to panic. Harry injured. In the hospital. Did I kiss him goodbye this morning? Did I tell him I loved him this morning? Did I tell him to hurry home before he left? I told him none of those things, we fought, and he slammed out of the house. Harry injured. Harry’s in the hospital. Oh, my God I’ll never see him again. Thought after thought raced through her mind faster and faster.

“Mrs. Pacer are you all right? Would you like to get ready so we can take you to see your husband?” the female officer asked again as she gently touched Peggy’s shoulder.

The touch seemed to free and slow Peggy’s racing mind. “Yes, of course right away. I must go see my Harry,” she said through sobs. She began racing through the house turning off lights, shutting and locking the back door. As she hurried through the kitchen a familiar voice rang out.

“Don’t worry Peggy the Master Healer has got everything under control. Anchor your faith in him and you and your family will weather the storm. Even now the Master Healer touches Harry as only he can,” the voice belonged to a little Uncommon Common Housefly named Sigmond.

“I really hope you’re right, I can’t live without him Sigmond,” Peggy responded.

“Were you talking to us Mrs. Pacer?” the male officer asked.

“Oh no officer I was just praying. Can we go now please?” Peggy asked. As she pulled the door shut there was a small fly setting on the window looking out. Suddenly the apprehension that had been building was now being replaced by peace and deep inside she knew the fly was right.

As the police car moved through the streets of Port Huron the two police officers tried to engage Peggy in some small talk but she didn’t respond. Peggy’s thoughts were millions of miles away in another time, a time of peace and happiness. Suddenly the car jolted as it went over a bump in the road bringing Peggy back to the now. “I’m sorry officers did you say something?” she asked.

“That’s quite all right Mrs. Pacer, it wasn’t anything important, we’re almost there anyway,” came the reply. Just then the patrol car pulled into the hospital parking lot.

“Would you like us to accompany you, Peggy, may I call you Peggy?” the lady officer asked.

“Yes, of course please do call me Peggy. I would really appreciate it if you would go with me, I’m not real sure of just what to expect. I’m sorry I must have missed your names,” Peggy said as she moved quickly for the hospital.

“We’d be happy to go with you. I’m Susan and this is my partner Al,” the lady officer replied.

Al was the first to reach the door, opening it he waited for the two ladies to pass through. Walking up to the desk he said to the receptionist, “This is Mrs. Harry Pacer and her husband was brought in a short time ago. Can you please point us in the right direction?”

After checking the computer terminal the receptionist responded, “Mr. Pacer is still in the emergency room straight down that hall and through those doors.”

Peggy was off like a shot with the two police officers following. As she entered the emergency room she could she Harry straight ahead. Entering the room she quickly noticed all the electronic monitors, walking over to the bed Harry everything looked okay and it looked like he was sleeping.

“Are you Mrs. Pacer?” she heard a voice ask.

Turning around she came face to face with someone who appeared to be a doctor. “Yes I am, can you please tell me what is wrong with my husband, he looks okay?” Peggy asked.

“I am glad you are here Mrs. Pacer, I am Doctor Freeman Quinn,” the young doctor began. “Your husband is resting now he has sustained an injury to the left side of his head that left him unconscious. He was very lucky he was wearing safety headgear that took most of the impact. X-rays of his skull reveal no fractures, his EEG is normal and his vital signs are good we don’t know why he hasn’t awakened yet. Perhaps if he heard your voice it might help.”

Thoughts began racing through her mind. Would he want to hear her voice? Would hearing her voice help him or drive him deeper into sleep? What could she say to him? Of all the things that could have happened why this now, “God, I wish that was me lying there,” she whispered to herself.

On and on, thought after thought, regret after regret suddenly she burst into tears. “What can I say doctor what would help him,” she asked between sobs?

“Anything you want to, Mrs. Pacer. The idea is that encouragement from a familiar voice will sometimes trigger an inner strength within an injured person that will help them fight their injury. It’s not so much what you say it’s your voice they need to hear,” he reassured her.

Wiping away her tears and trying to sound as encouraging as she possibly could she began, “Harry, it’s me Peggy. Can you hear me Harry?” She paused as if she expected him to reply. “I am sorry about this morning and last night Harry. I love you and I don’t like seeing you this way please Harry if you can hear me wake up. We need you.”

She looked into his expressionless eyes and waited for them to open. “Please Harry won’t you wake up and at least shout at me or do something?”

Meanwhile behind his closed eyelids Harry Pacer was anything but motionless. Harry Pacer was not in the hospital but found himself floating in the air he suddenly opened his eyes and found himself at home. “Peggy,” he called as he went from room to room getting no response he called for John or Kathy still there was no response. Then something strange caught his eye, there was nothing in the house to show that anyone but Harry lived there. Gone was Peggy’s entire collection knick knacks from the shelf in fact there was no shelf. Running to John and Kathy’s bedroom Harry found the rooms completely empty. Running even faster to his bedroom he found no evidence of Peggy ever being there.

What is going on,” he shouted. But the only sounds that returned were the echoes of his own voice.

Returning to the living room Harry sat down in his lazy boy chair. “Am I losing my mind?” He said out loud.

“Won’t someone please tell me what is going on? Peggy, John, Kathy, anyone please no more joking around, you’re starting to scare me.”

There was no noise only silence, deadly silence. Harry reached for the TV remote and turned on the TV, there was snow. “Damn cable’s out again,” he remarked. Pushing the button to active the FM receiver the only sound coming from the speakers was a slight frying noise.

Harry could feel his pulse picking up speed going faster and faster as he became more aware of his racing heart. Getting up and moving to the living room window he opened the curtains and was horrified by what he saw.

Nothing, absolutely nothing it was almost as if someone hung a white sheet in front of the window. “What is going on,” he shouted, “Someone tell me what is going on right now!”

“The door,” he said to himself, “I am getting out of this nightmare right now.” Reaching for the door he threw it open in desperation and without looking to a big step. Nothing he had stepped off into nothingness and now he was falling. The only thing faster than his descent was his beating heart and his racing mind. He had heard stories of people when they die having the sensation of falling. “But I don’t want to die,” he cried at the top of his lungs.

Across the ceiling of his mind Harry Pacer saw the words, “If I’m falling that must mean I am going to hell.” Suddenly fear and silence gripped him as his mind went into overload, he lost track of time.

After what seemed like eternity he again shouted, “I don’t want to die.” He began reaching for something to grab so he could stop his fall. Immediately his hand touched something and he gripped it tight straining every muscle as he pulled himself into a room. Opening his eyes he stood in horror it was his own living room.

“What the hell is going on,” he shouted, “Am I in the twilight zone or something?” All he heard in response was silence, nerve racking silence. In hopes of finding someone or some sign of someone Harry ran from room to room searching always with the same result, no evidence of anyone else ever having been there.

Arriving back in the living room, he fell into his lazy boy chair his mind was weary of trying to figure out what was going on. After a few minutes of resting he got out of the chair and headed for the kitchen for something to drink. Opening the refrigerator he found it full of his favorite beer, “Someone’s been here who knows what I like,” he commented to himself as he took out a six pack.

“I wonder what’s to eat,” he said as he opened the freezer door. “All right,” he exclaimed when he saw the contents, it was crammed full of White Castle frozen hamburgers his favorite food. He took five hamburgers and put them in the microwave. Two minutes later he was headed back into the living room with his hamburger supper and his three six pack of Coors. Again falling into his lazy boy he opened a beer and guzzled it quickly, opened another one and guzzled that one. He reached for a hamburger and shoved the whole thing in his mouth and started chewing. He opened two more beers and guzzled them.

After thirty minutes he had eaten five hamburgers and drank about three six packs of beer. As he threw the last can to the floor the room began to spin very fast, “I sure hope my old lady don’t come home now,” he mumbled to himself.

After a few minutes the room stopped spinning long enough for him to fall asleep. As Harry Pacer slept in a world all by himself a small Uncommon Common Housefly named Sigmond turned his attention heavenward and asked, “Is it time yet Life Giver?”

“No, my little friend sometimes a climb to glory and victory must begin with a downward fall to despair and defeat. Before I can put a new spirit into some one the old one must first be expelled. Do not worry Sigmond all is going as planned.”

As Peggy sat holding her husband’s hand she noticed it hard and callused from working so hard for so long. “When was the last time I thanked you Harry for working so hard for us?” She asked him

Memories carried her back in time before life had turned sour for them. Their dreams were big yet simple and obtainable. Strange she thought all their dreams were ones set by each other and not as a couple. As her mind began returning to the present she could see each of Harry’s dreams collapsing and she watched as he slowly withdrew more and more into his own world where he could still be happy. “Why have I been so blind as not to see that, why have I been so selfish?” She asked herself.

“God,” she began to pray, “I don’t understand why I always turn to you as a last resort but I do, so please forgive me for doing so now. Please Lord send my husband back to me and the kids, I promise I will build a positive atmosphere in our home for him. I will do my best to understand his inner feelings and make adjustments within myself. We have both gone through life seeking what we wanted for ourselves but we have not been communicating with each other and helping each other. Can you give us another chance to turn things around, Lord?”

Peggy just barely finished her prayer when all of heaven broke out in celebration, “Glory to God in the highest, another soul has come home,” the Angel chorus sang. And the Creator of all that was, all that is, and all what is yet to be bowed his head and cried tears of joy. Then heaven fell silent again as it turned its attention to the lonely world of Harry Pacer.

Still clinging to the world beyond time Harry woke up the next morning with his head feeling about 4 sizes bigger than it actually was. He rolled off the couch and fell on the floor landing on some empty beer cans. Finally opening his eyes wide enough to see something he scanned the room. Beer cans everywhere hundreds of them. “My God,” he shouted, “when is Peggy going to clean this damn house!”

Seconds later he remembered there was no Peggy. How long have I been this way he thought, and after looking around the room he concluded it must have been days or even weeks.

Harry again checked out each room of the house for any sign of Peggy or the children. Seeing none he then checked each window and opened the front door which also proved the same, nothing. “Will someone please tell me what is going on,” he shouted at the top of his lungs! Then all fell silent, deadly silent. After making a path back to the couch through the empty cans he fell on the couch and started to cry. When was the last time he cried he wondered as his tears flowed freely?

Again Sigmond looked toward the heavens for a sign. And reverberating across the distance between heaven and himself he heard one word from a familiar voice. “Now,” it said.

Sigmond started his wings and flew in the direction of Harry suddenly he remembered it was Harry who swatted him the first time. Would he do it again? If I am killed again will I be dead forever? Do I even want to help a killer?

With each doubt he flew slower and slower until finally he stopped and landed on top of a picture. “It would be so nice to see him suffer a little while longer,” Sigmond said to himself.

Sigmond next looked at the picture he was resting on and noticed it was a picture of Harry. As he gazed at it he saw a different person than the one who had killed him. The Harry in the picture had a look of peace and happiness in his eyes.

Sigmond then looked at the Harry that was on the couch and saw anger, disappointment, and pain in his eyes. Then without any further hesitation Sigmond set off for the couch.

“Lord, why can’t we just go down and lift Harry up?” an Angel inquired of the Life Giver.

After looking deeply into the spirit of Harry Pacer the Life Giver began, “Each soul must come to me of their freewill no one must compromise that freedom. Harry must play out the world he has created for himself until he sees that it is not enough. He must suffer the pain of loneliness and see that his happiness depends on his ability to communicate with those around him. Sigmond can help him to discover that happiness and peace and still leave Harry’s freedom intact. Do not fret everything is going as planned.”

Seconds after leaving the picture frame Sigmond landed on the arm of the couch. He no sooner touched down when Harry began moving to swat the pesky little fly. But Sigmond didn’t move, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” he said.

Harry became a momentary statue unable to move, “Who said that? Where are you? What the heck is going on? “

“I did,” the little fly replied, “You would have killed me if I wouldn’t have said something. Are you going to put that hand down or not?”

“Yeah, right! You expect me to believe that you’re a talking fly. I’ll tell you what you are; you’re the last beer I drank. But I’m not kill you, at least not right now anyway. Right now you’re another voice I can at least talk with. So what’s your name fly?” Harry asked sarcastically.

“I am called Sigmond the Uncommon Common Housefly, Harry. And I’m not your last beer I am as real as you are. Do you know where you are Harry?” Sigmond asked

“I thought I was home but the more and more I think about it I’m not sure. I do know one thing there is nothing outside these walls, and there is no one inside these walls but me. Do you know where I am?” Harry asked.

“You are in your own world, a world that you have created to escape the real one. For you this is a world of safety, one where the only responsibility you have is for your own happiness. I am here to help you escape this world. I am here to help you see that a new and better world awaits you with Peggy and the children. Are you ready?” Sigmond asked.

As Sigmond looked into Harry’s eyes he could see pain in them he could see there was still some doubt. But he also caught a little glimmer of hope shinning in them. Sigmond searched his tiny mind for a way to show Harry that he was real, and not a figment of his drunken imagination. Sigmond knew that for Harry it was necessary that he hit bottom before he could be lifted up by the power of the Life Giver. Sigmond also knew that the Life Giver would cushion his fall but not stop it. Suddenly Sigmond’s answer hit him almost like a lightning bolt. For Harry, like most people, flies were the lowest form of life. For Harry to ask Sigmond for help would be an indication that he was ready to make the upward ascent. “Well, are you ready?” Sigmond asked again.

There no response from Harry, he just sat there as if he were a million miles away. As Harry sat on the couch the memories of the life he had with Peggy and the children played in his mind like a video tape player. He helplessly watched as a young newlywed couple tried to put their lives together. Tears formed in his eyes as he slowly watched their happiness seep away. Unable to communicate with Peggy his true feelings he watched as he withdrew more and more. He watched as the children became pawns in the deadly game of survival he and Peggy fought for their own individual happiness.

As Sigmond watched each tear drop fall and disappear into the carpet he noticed that some of them carried a little slivers of guilt, some of them carried a little bits of pride, others carried little bits of anger. After a few minutes of silence Sigmond decided it was time make a move. So he left the arm of the couch and landed right on the back of Harry’s left hand knowing that he was really moving into harm’s way this time. Looking Harry in the eyes he asked, “Well are you ready to let me help you?”

Harry’s first impulse was to kill the pesky fly, “Why on earth had God ever made the darn things in the first place is beyond me,” his mind told him. Instinctively Harry’s right arm moved toward the little fly at lightning speed, and then a loud slap echoed throughout the house.

Just as instinctively Sigmond readied to take evasive moves to preserve his life, yet in less than a heartbeat he decided to take a stand. “I’ve got take a stand if I’m going to help him,” he said to himself. Suddenly it got very dark, just as dark as it was the last time Harry took a swing at him.

Harry slowly moved his hand to see if he had got the fly or it escaped at the last minute. The pesky talking fly was still there. In fact he was walking around!

As the Harry moved his hand and the light returned Sigmond looked toward the heavens and mentally thanked the Life Giver for living up to his name. “For the third time Harry Pacer are you ready for me to help you?” Sigmond boldly asked.

Angered by the flies narrow escape from death Harry took another swat harder than the first again with the same results. And just like the last time Sigmond asked the same question.

Twice more the same sequence of events happened. Then Sigmond didn’t said, “Look Harry, you know you can’t kill me each time you try you always cup your hand at the last minute because you know I’m only one who can help you and deep inside you want help. Why can’t you admit that?”

“As far as I am concerned you and your relatives are the lowest form of life in the world and humans would be better if you were all dead. Right now I feel lower than a fly and I can’t kill you because it would be like killing a part of myself. Look I don’t know if you’re real or just a figment of my sick mind but I don’t want to exist where I am. I don’t know what can be done but I need help,” Harry replied between sobs.

That was the moment of truth for Harry and everyone was now in the place. The angel chorus made ready as it waited for the one word that would bring singing and celebration to heaven and earth. Then from the thunderous voice of the Life Giver it came. It was a word that slammed into the heart and soul of Peggy and Harry Pacer. It was a word that stopped all of time as another soul found its way home. It was a word that sent the Holy Healer flying into the comatose body of Harry.

“Now,” shouted the Life Giver.

As the familiar voice of the Life Giver echoed in Sigmond’s spirit he smiled and turned to fly away knowing that his work was now complete “Where are you going fly,” Harry asked, “aren’t you going to help me?”

“You don’t need my help Harry Pacer, the only one that could really help you was the Life Giver and he simply waited for you to admit you needed his help. He will now give you life, his life and it will be more fruitful than you could ever imagine,” Sigmond replied.

As soon as he spoke the last word Harry‘s body slumped to the couch and became lifeless as his old life died. Almost instantly the heavens opened and the angel chorus thundered across the room, then a blinding white light entered the lifeless form of Harry. Seconds later the light reappeared and shot heavenward and disappeared. Again thunder echoed across the room as the heavens slammed shut and all became still except the sound of the wings of an Uncommon Common Housefly named Sigmond as he went in search of dinner.

As Peggy sat holding the hand of her husband suddenly she could feel it getting warmer. Expectantly she looked into his face and as if a miracle were occurring it turned from a pale white to warm flesh tones. Then simultaneously she felt his hand move and his eyes open.

Sitting up in his bed he looked around he asked, “Where am I? And what I am doing is this bed?”

“You’re in Mercy Hospital Harry; don’t you remember getting hit at work? Something flew off a machine next to you and hit you in the head. Don’t you remember?” Peggy asked.

“Look lover if anything would have hit me in the head I wouldn’t have gotten hurt at all because it sure has been hard the last few years. Say how about shutting the door and you and I having some fun,” Harry said chuckling.

“Oh, Harry really,” Peggy replied sheepishly, “You want someone to find us? What’s going on anyway?”

“Look sweetie pie I love you and I don’t care who knows it. I don’t know what’s going on and I don’t care to know all I do know is that when we get home we’ve got a lot catching up to do. Now how about going and get whoever you can to get me out of this place,” Harry winked and gave Peggy a kiss.

As Peggy left in search of Harry’s doctor she rolled her eyes heavenward and whispered, “Thank you God, I’m not going to ask how or why I’m just gonna love him forever.”

Forty five minutes later Harry’s doctor returned to his room and handed him his discharge papers. “Harry I am not a believer in miracles but what’s taken place here in the last hour or so makes me think I should rethink that belief. There is absolutely no evidence that you were ever injured, not even a bruise. What happened to you while you were out? Where were you?” The doctor asked.

“Doc, I never believed in them either, but now I do because I am one. I can’t tell you what happened to me or where I was because I can’t remember. But I will tell you the real miracle is not that I am awake and unharmed, the real miracle is that I am a new man with a new chance at life. Goodbye and I would believe in miracles if I were you,” Harry smiled.

“Goodbye Mr. Pacer, goodbye Mrs. Pacer and believe me I am beginning to see a side to healing that I have never considered before, divine healing,” the doctor smiled, waved and left the room.

Coming into the lobby Peggy noticed that the two police officers were still waiting. “Oh I am so sorry for not coming out sooner. This is my husband Harry Pacer,” Peggy addressed the two officers.

“That’s your husband,” Al exclaimed, “We thought he was in serious condition.”

“Don’t worry about it Mrs. Pacer, it was a slow night so we were just catching up with some paper work. I’m glad everything is okay,” Susan replied.

“I am glad to meet both of you, thank you very much for seeing to it that Peggy was here. It was a miracle, the doctor tells me there is no sign what so ever that I was ever injured,” Harry said, shaking each of the officer’s hand.

“We sure were praying hard for both of you, we’re glad it worked out like it did. Would you folks like us to drop you off at home?” Officer Al asked.

“Thank you officers, you both have gone above and beyond what is required of you. We just wouldn’t want to impose on you anymore, we’ll just call a friend,” Peggy responded.

“You aren’t imposing we are public servants and you are the public, let’s go or we’ll arrest you for be unwilling to accept our friendship,” Susan said.

Ten minutes later the two officers were walking Peggy and Harry to the door. “If you two are as good at being police officers as you are at praying you’re the best, we can’t thank you enough. Would you like to come in for a minute?” Peggy asked.

“I wish we could but we’ll need to get back on patrol but thank you for your compliments police officers seldom are told that. Goodbye Mr. and Mrs. Pacer,” Al said.

“You call us Mr. and Mrs. again and I’ll turn you in,” Harry replied.

“Okay, don’t do that, Harry,” Al smiled.

“May we call again as friends in a few days Peggy? Do you know about Jesus Christ?” Susan asked.

“Why of course we’d be proud to have you as our friends and it’s been quite a few years since Jesus was a part of our lives,” Peggy started.

“Yes too many years,” Harry interrupted her, “Please come back as soon as you can.”

“Thanks again folks, and I’ll call you in a couple of days, Peggy and maybe we can get together over a pizza or something,” Susan replied.

As Harry entered the house again it seemed strange to him this time, like something was different, like something was warmer. As the two of them walked into the kitchen a fly began buzzing around Harry’s head. “Pesky fly, I’ll get the swatter and get rid of you,” he said angrily.

“Hold it Harry Pacer, not that fly you don’t. That one’s special, that one isn’t your every day common housefly. Leave him alone,” Peggy replied.

Harry looked at his wife and started, “Ya know what Peg, you’re right there is something special about that fly. While I was out I had a dream that I was in a world where only I existed. I had this whole house to myself the refrigerator was always full of my favorite beer and the freezer was always full of White Castles. I was the only one in it boy did I sure have fun, no wife, no kids, no bill collectors calling, no responsibility, and no high pressure job, just me. But that didn’t last long I missed you and I missed all the plans we never started and I missed the kids, I was more lonely then I have ever been.”

Turning and looking for the fly Harry continued, “Then, and you are not going to believe this but a talking fly came along and wanted to help. A pesky, dirty rotten, low life, scummy fly wanted to help me. Why a fly I wondered, I hate them. Just before I woke up I remember looking at that fly and all of sudden I saw myself, I was pesky, dirty rotten, low life, scummy fly. It’s a lonely life, Peggy being in your own world existing just for yourself. I wanted out of the world. I wanted someone to help me escape. I don’t know what happened next I just woke up a new person, the old low life has died and been replaced by the new me. I promise you Peggy I’ll never ever go back to being a low life again.”

“I know you won’t Harry,” Peggy said taking his hand, “Before I received word of your accident I had a visit from a fly who called himself Sigmond the Uncommon Common House fly. Who very wisely pointed out that I have not been there for you either I am here now Harry and I promise you I’ll always be here for you.”

“Deal,” Harry said smiling, “Let’s take the kids to McDonalds and a movie tonight to celebrate our reunion.”

“You got another deal Mr. Nice Guy. It sure is good to have you back Harry,” Peggy said before kissing him.

“It’s great to be back,” was his reply.

Meanwhile high above the reunion on a ceiling light fixture a small insignificant Uncommon Common house fly named Sigmond was rejoicing over the Pacer’s new found happiness. Suddenly Sigmond realized that his work was finished. He was an odd creature now he didn’t feel like a fly, “What now Life Giver?” What becomes of me? Must I return to a lonely world like the one Harry just left because I am different now?”

“Well done my little friend your work has just begun as you search for new friends you will come in contact with many people who with as many needs. Extend our friendship to them I say our friendship because you and I are friends and friends never really separate even though they may not be together, always remember that Sigmond. My friendship will carry you through all the trials you will ever go through, turn to me often and you will have the strength to see you though anything.” And the room became silent.

“Life Giver?” Sigmond said.

“Yes Sigmond?” came the reply.

“I love you,” the little fly said.

“I know,” the Life Giver said.

“Sigmond,” the voice rang out.

“Yes, Life Giver.”

“I love you,” the Life Giver whispered.

“I know,” Sigmond said. Then an uncommon house fly named Sigmond flew in search of an open window so he could go find another friend.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment