Amusement Park: Haunted House Ride, Second Room – Darkness

Amusement Park: Haunted House Ride, Second Room – Darkness

Amalia was glad to see that they had finally crossed the bright, noisy room and the next door was just before them. But her gladness was short-lived. As they went through the doorway they were plunged into darkness. A darkness so dense, she couldn’t see the handlebars she was holding on to. At first she was fearful. What was lurking in the darkness? What if the path changed direction? She clutched at the bars as her whole body tensed. She wouldn’t be able to anticipate a change, and it might cause her to fall out of the car. How long would this darkness last? How far was it to the next door?

0420200800a (2)

Yet there were no sounds in the darkness, no sense of danger. It was actually kind of peaceful, especially after all the commotion in the previous room. Slowly Amalia relaxed her grip. This wasn’t so bad. She could do this. And as her eyes adjusted, she noticed that there was a very dim light coming from somewhere. It was so faint that she still couldn’t see anything in that room, but she could just make out the form of Jesus sitting next to her.

“Jesus, I’m glad You’re here. Even though I know I could have handled this darkness on my own, it’s more fun to have You with me.”

He smiled. “Lean back on me, and relax. Everyone needs time alone with me, without anything else to distract them. It’s a time to rest, and to soak in My presence.”

Amalia snuggled back against Him and sighed. There was a peace here, a sense contentment that she wasn’t used to. It was a good place to be, and she was determined to enjoy every inch, not caring how long it lasted.

As she rested, Jesus murmured intimate words of love, encouragement, strength, and promise into her ears. His words were so soft she almost couldn’t distinguish one word from another. And yet she could feel the warmth of His voice surrounding her and filling her heart with so much comfort and love that she didn’t know how she would be able to contain it. Yes, this was a great place to be, and, between the vibration of the car and the voice of her Friend, she was soon lulled into a delicious nap.

Dear Hidden One (From Someone Who Loves You series)

IMG_20180716_092230048

Dear Hidden One,

Maybe most people can’t see you there, moving in the darkness that surrounds you, but I can. You are so beautiful! And I love you so much already!

You probably think that where you are is all there is in life. But you are so wrong. There is so much more to life than you can imagine, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Although most of the time you seem content in your small dark place, I wonder if you sense there is more.  I see you stretching out your arms and legs, testing the walls around you. Do you ever get frustrated with those boundaries?  Or do you know they are there to keep you safe until you’re ready to join me in the light?

Always,

Someone who loves you

 

These letters have double meaning. On the surface they are letters I’m writing to my granddaughter. But they are also letters God is writing to you. Reread them, replacing the greeting with your own name, and the closure with God’s name – and get to know the great love God has for you!

 

 

The Lunch Invitation

Nancy looked at the lunch invitation with delight. Meals at her friends’ house were always an adventure. They liked to experiment with their recipes, often finding creative ways to tweak the ingredients to make the dishes unique and unforgettable. This meal, scheduled for the following week, should be no exception.

Each day she tried to imagine what they would be serving.  Probably nothing as ordinary as spaghetti or grilled cheese, unless they added some fun ingredients, of course. Maybe something with lobster, she thought, mentally licking her lips.

Finally the day came and she drove to her friends’ house with great anticipation

“Come on in! I’m so glad you’re here!” Susan exclaimed as she held the door open for Nancy.

“Thank you for the invite,” Nancy replied. “I love your cooking!”

They walked down the hall towards the kitchen. “Bob is finishing the salad right now. We kind of burned the main dish so we added some extra ingredients to make the salad larger. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Not at all. Salad actually sounds good.” Nancy knew whatever they served would be amazing.

IMG_20180711_173248056

The large salad in the center of the kitchen table did look amazing. So full of greens with lots of colorful veggies, eggs, and cheeses mixed in.

Bob held the salad fork and motioned to the salad. “We weren’t expecting to have to make such a big salad and didn’t have enough greens so I added some lettuce leaves from our backyard garden. It’s the first time we’ve ever grown lettuce and I’m so excited that they were ready to use today.”

Nancy glanced out the window to the back yard, then stared with horror. A dog was peeing on the bed of lettuce. Was this the same bed that Bob got his lettuce for the salad? It had to be.

“Umm…” she began. “Your dog is… umm… peeing on your lettuce.”

“Oh, that’s OK,” Bob said. “He does that all the time. It doesn’t hurt the lettuce.”

Nancy looked at the salad. Was some of that peed on lettuce part of this salad?

Susan saw her look and said, “Don’t worry. I’m sure Bob rinsed the lettuce before adding it to the salad.”

“Of course,” Bob agreed. “I always do.”

Nancy thought of the quick rinse she usually did to her own vegetables. Surely he did better than that.

“Besides,” Susan went on, “even if he happened to use a lettuce leaf that had gotten peed on, it’s such a little part of this salad that you won’t even notice.”

Somehow, Nancy had lost her appetite and began wondering what excuse she could make to get out of there without eating.

Later, much later, she thought… is this like us and sin? We think we do so many wonderful things that a little sin here or there doesn’t really matter. But is that how God sees sin? That it’s OK to accept small sins as long as we basically try to do the right things? Would that be like Susan and Bob accepting that salad since it was basically all good ingredients? A little contamination wouldn’t be noticed?

No, God was pure holiness. There was no darkness in Him at all. So all sin, no matter how small, must be as despicable to Him as the possible yellow lettuce had been to her.

Wow! That sure puts sin in a whole new light.

Light of the World Award

I was delightfully surprised to be nominated for the Light of the World Award again, thislotw-award-200 time by the awesome dancer, photographer, and writer BibleBloggerGirl of Teen, Meet God.  Her love for God at such a young age is an inspiration to me!  This award was created by Joe from Lighthouse Devotions. I like this award because its name is all about what I’m trying to do with my blogs – shine a little light into the world. To be nominated twice is the highest compliment I could receive! Thank you so much, Shae!

Here are the rules:

  1. Save and add the award image on your blog. (Here is the link for the award post with image and rules of award.)
  2. Create a page/post to mention the award nomination and thank the person/blog that nominated you. Make sure you provide a link to their site.
  3. Give credit to the creator of the award (Lighthouse Devotions) and provide a link to the site as well.  (http://www.Lighthousedevotions.blog)
  4. List the rules.
  5. Answer the next four questions on the same post:
    1. What three words would you use to describe your blog?
    2. In what way(s) can a Christian shine for Christ?
    3. What bible verse (quote it) talks about being a light in a dark and lost world?
    4. What Christian song do you know that has the word “light” in it? Provide a link if available.
  6. Nominate 7 or more people/blogs to receive the award. Briefly explain why you think they should receive it and provide a link to their sites.
  7. Contact them and let them know that you nominated them.
  8. Provide them with a link to the Rules page.
  9. Say a prayer thanking God for His light and ask that He continue to shine it through you and your blog.
  10. Keep shining the light of Christ wherever you go and in whatever you do!

 

My new answers:

  1. God-focused, variety, encouraging
  2. by walking the talk – by really believing what we say we believe, and being open about that belief
  3. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
  4. Lights Shine Bright by TobyMac (feat Hollyn)

 

My nominees:

I have nominated many amazing bloggers for this and another award, and most have not accepted them. I know of a few reasons, but most I can only guess. The last thing I want to do is bother anyone by nominating them when they’d prefer not to be involved. So, instead of trying to guess who’d appreciate being nominated, I’m going to do this a different way.  If you’d like to be nominated, or know someone who would love to receive this award, leave me a comment. I will choose seven who, as the award says, shine Jesus’ light in a dark world and list them here. 🙂

Deep Inside a Flower

“There’s something very beautiful deep inside you,” her boyfriend told her.

“No, there isn’t,” she responded.

“Yes, there is. I can see God pouring His love all over you, watering you as if you were a flower. Only you can’t feel it.”

On the surface, she had come to know God’s love and presence, and to a degree could accept that, but deep down was a whole different story. She could feel the darkness that she believed was down there, and was afraid to find out that she was right.

“No,” she shook her head. “There’s nothing good in me.”

“I don’t believe that. I see you as a bud, closed up tightly around great beauty. And I see God slowly and gently opening your petals, one by one.”

Fear rose up in her. What if He really was doing that? What if He gets to the center of her IMG_20180416_204207978being and finds only darkness there? Maybe even evil. And demons.

“What if I’m afraid?”

“It’s OK. God knows that. And He will go only as fast as you are able. He won’t force you.”

“Maybe, but I can’t take the chance.” She really, really didn’t want to find out she had demons.  She had heard of plenty of people who had had demons cast out of them. She shuddered just thinking about it. What would that be like, having a demon cast out? Maybe like having a nasty worm in your stomach pulled out through your mouth. She had seen a video of that once. Or like having leprosy on the inside that would gross out anyone who saw it. She’d rather hide her darkness than subject others to it. Her petals would have to remain closed.

Later, they talked about it some more. She took in his words, hoping he was right, but knowing that he wasn’t.

The next night, they attended a prayer meeting together. She listened in amazement as the speaker for the night spoke about… she could hardly believe it… how God opens His people little by little, to reveal the beauty that is inside them.

No way, she thought. That has to be more than a coincidence. She got excited thinking that maybe… but no. That was true for other people but not for her. She knew there was nothing but darkness inside her. She could feel it.

The next night, she had an unexpected visit from a friend. This friend handed her a vase with a magnolia bud and a red rose in it. She thanked her friend and had a nice visit, but she didn’t think much about the flowers.

Until the next day.

The magnolia bud had opened during the night – and the flower was absolutely beautiful! Somehow she knew beyond a doubt that this flower was from the Lord. She could feel His love and presence and knew that He was doing something deep within her. As she yielded to Him, she began looking forward to finding out what that something was.

It would take years for her petals to fully open. But when they did, she found out she had been wrong all along. Instead of darkness, she found Light. Instead of evil and demons needing to be cast out, she found His great love for her. She realized  her fear had been lying to her all those years.

“There’s something very beautiful deep inside you,” her boyfriend, now husband, had told her those many years ago. Now she finally knew that it was true. There WAS something beautiful deep inside her. And that something was called Jesus.