Sam – Chapter 8

Angela met Sam at the door, “What going on Sam? I’ve been watching you all morning.” She said.
“Well,” Sam took a deep breath, “Where’s Carly?” He said looking around.
“She’s in the living room writing down what the Lord told her this morning, after that, I think she will do her reading. Come on, spill the beans.” She said playfully tweaking his arm.
“Alright, Angela just like I told Carly, in the middle of the night the Lord woke me up, and spoke to me. He has been talking to me ever since. I haven’t even looked at your bible study yet, He just started talking to me, just like that.” Sam had to pause to catch his breath.
“Hmm.” Angela said, “you know Amy mentioned that maybe some people can just naturally hear Him, but you threw me for a loop. I didn’t know what to say what with the children here and all that.”
“I didn’t know what to say either, It’s amazing,” Sam thought for a second and said, “You know I think it might have been because I finally quit trying to deal with my frustrations about my father, and turned them over to Him.”
“That’s right Sam,” the Lord interjected. “I can often reach people when they quit trying to resolve old hard feelings, and turn to Me, and it is amazing.”
“Whoa, I just got a confirmation on that.” Sam said a little giddily.
“This is just too wild, Sam, I’m astounded.” Angela said smiling.
“Yeah, I’m still a little shaken by it.” Sam said.
“Don’t worry Sam, you will soon be more comfortable with it.” the Lord spoke reassuringly.
“Thank you Lord.” Sam said in wonder. “Angela, this is really cool.”
“Yes, that’s what Hannah and I think about it, it really, really is.” Angela said.
“Hey do we still have some of that sugar free blueberry pie? ” Sam said hopefully.
“Yes, we do and I’ll put on some fresh de-caf.” Angela said.
“Alright, let’s celebrate.” Sam said gleefully.
Sam and Angela chuckled and held hands as they headed for the kitchen. Suddenly they heard a girlish giggle from behind them.
Carly announced, “I came to read you what He told me,” she said holding up the little notebook Angela had given her.”
“Well, come along young lady, by the way do you like blueberry pie?” Sam said.
“Yup, I do,” Carly said beaming.
“Come on and have a seat then,” he said patting a chair as he passed on his way to the refrigerator for the pie.
Angela started the coffee, and got out the iced tea for Carly, while Sam gathered the forks and plates.
“Sam be sure to set a plate for Mac, it will be a while, but he will join you and there will be cause for celebration.” the Lord said.
“OK, Lord will do, and I’m looking forward to it,” Sam said silently, picking up the plates and heading for the table.
Carly was so tickled by the impromptu party, that for a moment or two she couldn’t quit giggling.
“OK, Carly what do you have there.” Angela said when she joined them at the table.
The coffee maker was making its usual chuffing and bubbling sounds as Carly opened her notebook.
“First of all He told me that he loves me, He said, He loves me more than the sand on the beaches, more than the water in the seas, and more than the stars in the heavens.” Carly said.
“Ooh, I like it already”, Sam said.
Angela put her hand on Sam’s arm to gently tell him not to interrupt. Sam mouthed “Oh” and kept his peace.
“Thank you, Mr. Sam” Carly said, “He told me that my mom was already hearing from Him and that we can share with each other, but He also said that because Mom, and Mac, and I will all hear Him soon, He will use us together like a team to help people. Then He told me that one day, I will be like Esther in the bible, because I will stand up for His people, and that I will be like Ruth who was always a faithful friend. And who always tried to do what was right. He said that I will do great things for Him. I asked Him, Do you mean me Jesus? I’m not sure I can do great things.”
“He said, You are right Carly, it would be hard for you, but I can do them, and we will do them together. When you can hear Me, I can work through you very easily. I thanked Him for that, then He said that Miss Angela would like to hear about what I said and that I could go tell her. He said, He would talk to me some more, later” Carly said.
“Oh, I’m so happy for you dear, this is what your mother and I have been praying for, that we might see other people come to hear Him and talk to Him every day.” Angela said.
“Wow, I really liked it, especially the part about Esther and Ruth.” Sam said.
Suddenly they heard laughter, the sliding glass door opened and in clattered Mac and Ralph.
Mac burst out, “The Lord sat with me for a long time, he said that he would like to sit and talk with me everyday or even any time I feel like it. Then after we talked for a while He said that somebody wanted to see me, I zipped open the door and Ralph was waiting to come in, Ralph sat patiently while the Lord and me talked, then the sun came out and we ran around the backyard as fast as we could, and then I came in.”
“Was it just you and Ralph running in the backyard?” Sam asked.
“Oh no, not just me and Ralph, Jesus ran with us too, It was cool.” Mac explained.
Angela almost swallowed her coffee the wrong way, “Mac you saw him?” She asked.
“Yes ma’am, He even patted Ralph on the head, I like to play with Him, it’s fun.” Mac said.
“Then I guess you might be hungry, would you like to try some blueberry pie, Mac? Sam said picking up the piece with the pie spatula, to show to Mac, completely unperturbed by Mac’s announcement.
“Oh yes, can I have some milk with it?” Mac said when he noticed there wasn’t any on the table.
“Sure you may,” Angela said as she hopped up to get it. She puzzled over Sam’s lack of surprise as she got the glass out of the cupboard.
“Mac, we are celebrating because He has spoken to Carly and I and now, you too, for the first time, all in the same day.” Sam said.
“Alright,” Mac said appreciatively, “is there going to be a cake?”
“No, Mac,” Angela said, “but I can probably find some vanilla ice cream, interested?”
“Yeah,” Mac said with gusto.
“Carly would you like some too?” Angela didn’t want to leave her out.
“Oh yes, please, thank you.” Carly said.
Sam’s eyes pleaded with Angela, “OK, you too,” she said. “Do you mind if we share?”
Sam said, “No,” but he really did mind, he had had to share nearly everything with his brothers as he was growing up, to his mind sharing was a second hand, hand-me-down kind of thing.
The Lord said to Sam, “Sam I am going to help you to love sharing, You love Angela don’t you?”
Sam said “yes I do Lord,” sensing that this was a loaded question.
“Take a good look at her,” Jesus said. Sam looked at Angela and he felt a love so sharp it was almost painful. “Sam I made an adjustment to your heart, how do you feel now?” The Lord said.
“Wow, Lord, that is something, you know it’s hard to tell just how different I feel, but sharing is easy at this point.” Sam said silently.
“It will be easier still before too long.” The Lord said. “Sam, I need you to know that all love comes from Me. If it’s really love you are seeing in action, it came from Me.”
“What about the other, the seems-to-be love?” Sam queried.
“There are a lot of things people do that look like love, but they are acting out self interest, manipulating someone, being manipulated or any of a number of selfish human motives, no those things do not represent My love. I want you to understand also, that just because a church or religious organization does something, doesn’t mean that it is from Me. There are a lot of selfish motives behind a lot of the things that are done in My name. I will talk to you more about it later, but I am going to put a stop to the things which are done in My name which are not from Me.” The Lord said firmly.
“That sounds like a tall order, Lord. We christians have been killing each other in your name for a very long time. It will be hard to break the habit” Sam said.
“Yes, Sam remember who I am and how patient I’ve been. I will tell you more about it later, after all, you are celebrating.” He said.
“Oh yes, thanks Lord I look forward to it.” Sam said and he went to the refrigerator  to bring the chocolate syrup to the table.
“Oh Boy, you’ve got chocolate syrup,” Mac said.
“Yes, Mac the bottle isn’t very full, so we will have to share with the ladies,” Sam said with a twinkle in his eye.
Well they ate, and drank their drinks, laughed and generally enjoyed themselves, at one point Sam and Mac started singing “Jesus loves me”. The ladies had a good chuckle at this and after teasing the boys by lip-syncing, they joined in. It was hard for Sam to keep up because the children knew absolutely all of the verses, and Sam was only completely certain of the first. He would hesitate and let Mac and Carly start each new verse and let them jog his memory.
When the song was over with a ripple of laughter, the Lord said to Sam, “Sam this is the first of many celebrations We will have for I want to use you all to bring many people to Me and there will be much rejoicing. Are you willing to work for Me, Sam?”
“Lord, you are God and I am just ordinary old Sam, I would be crazy not to work for you.” Sam said.
The Lord said, “Great Sam, We are going to have fun, there are a lot of people floundering in this world, We will soon see the light come back into many eyes and hope well up in many hearts, just wait and see.”
“Wow, Lord will I get to solve any problems?” Sam asked hopefully.
“Oh, I can think of a few for you, but mainly Sam I will be giving you some new skills, I will stretch you.” the Lord said.
“OK Lord, but I may be like a fish out of water.” Sam said.
“Let Me worry about the the power and ability to do it. All I need from you is a willing heart.”
“Well you’ve got that, Lord,” Sam hoped the Lord hadn’t noticed his slight hesitation.
The Lord did notice, but making an issue of it was the farthest thing from His mind, He knew that deep down in his heart, Sam had always wanted to do the right thing.
As the festivities wound down, with Carly retreating to do her reading, and Mac heading for the backyard to play with Ralph, Sam and Angela sat savoring the last of their coffee, with just a touch of real cream, it seemed like dessert.
“Now about this bible study you are going to do, I think that I am more interested than ever.” Sam said.
With just a hint of a frown Angela said, “but it seems like you’ve got it all now Sam.”
The Lord said to Sam, “Sam, there are some useful things you can learn in this study, besides it is vitally important to share with others, encouraging one another. I could even tell you something special for someone else who is at the study.”
Sam said, “the Lord says that I could learn something useful and that it is important to share.”
“Alright, but you mustn’t run ahead of everybody, you should plod along with the rest of us.” Angela said.
The Lord said, “I will guide you, Sam.”
“He said, He will keep me in line,” Sam said.
Angela said, “OK, that’s good enough for me, Hannah and I were hoping to start next week. We are going to discuss it after supper on Friday. ”
“Oh that’s right, well I will let you two do the nuts and bolts. I will see if the kids want to play with the train set.”
“That sounds good.” Angela said.
“It’s a deal then, you guys do the work and we get to play.” Sam said with a mischievous grin, “no, really, let me know if I can help.”
“Alright Sam, we will.” Angela said. She then busied herself with the after celebration cleanup filling the sink with soapy water. Sam stacked up the plates and carried them to the sink then he brought the glasses.
“Thanks Sam, I can take it from here you should check on Mac and see how he is doing.” Angela said.
Sam said “sure” and went out to the patio, he saw that Mac and Ralph were playing a very energetic version of fetch the ball, more like fetch and chase, and it didn’t look like either of them would tire soon.
Sam sat down at the patio table and said “Lord how do they do this journaling thing?”
The Lord said, “Sam, a lot of people in your culture struggle with doubt. They doubt themselves, their ability to hear Me or they doubt that I would even want to talk to them. You see doubt throws you back on your own resources and if you are busy trying to figure Me out, you will never hear Me, it’s like your mind has already ruled that possibility out. Journaling allows you to suspend the analytical thought that always raises doubt, if you are just listening for Me and not doubting that I will speak, you can write down what I tell you and then compare it to the bible and see if it is consistent with what I have already revealed to people. It is almost exactly how I spoke to David when he wrote the Psalms. David would tell Me how he felt, and I would answer. You see it again and again in the Psalms. You will also see that David was always painfully honest. Honesty with Me is best, Sam because I know the truth anyway, and as you know from the book of Jonah you can’t hide from Me.”
“I didn’t think I could anyway, Lord why don’t more people hear you like I do,” Sam asked.
“Sam, on occasion a man will come to realize that something he has been struggling with is impossible for him to conquer, if that man in humility turns to Me. I will give him the faith to begin to hear Me. for you it was the frustration you felt about your father. When you really let go of it and turned it over to Me. It is like you opened the door, you remember “Behold I stand at the door and knock” well, I have come in and we are having fellowship.” the Lord said. “Unfortunately, most people are too comfortable with their problems to give them up, or sometimes just too scared of what I might say to let Me in.”
“Wow, I like that scripture in action, in real time.” Sam said.
“It was like that for Moses he had finally given up trying to figure out why he had done what he did in Egypt and in humility he surrendered to Me, it was what I was waiting for, because I had something for Moses to do.” the Lord said.
“Uh-oh do you have something for me to do?” Sam asked.
“Yes Sam but don’t worry I will start you off slowly, first of all your being in that bible study will encourage pastor Bill to come.” Jesus said.
“What, I thought that the study that Angela went to was his idea.” Sam said
“No, Amy found the study and though Bill was curious about it he didn’t participate, I am drawing him to hear me, you see his education makes him want to analyze everything and so when I do speak to him he thinks it is his imagination, or something else, he does not really believe that I speak to people nowadays.” The Lord said.
“Isn’t that a pickle, a pastor who thinks he is too smart to hear You.” Sam mused.
Jesus gently chided, “Don’t be so smug, Sam it’s the same thing you were doing until last night.”
“Oh, yes I guess so, sorry Lord.” Sam said apologetically.
“That’s OK, Sam humility will help you hang on to the proper perspective. Just remember this is about Me, and what I want to do, not about how you are smarter than someone else.” The Lord said.
“Yes Lord point taken, thank you.” Sam said. “So how can I help?”
“Sam over the next few days I will help you to become comfortable with hearing Me, then I will simply tell you what to say at the bible study.” Jesus said. “That and you will need to listen when Bill needs you to, don’t volunteer too much, just listen.”
“You said you would help me before, can you keep me from sticking my foot in my mouth?” Sam asked.
“Well that involves free will, but I will warn you when you are tempted to talk too much.” the Lord said.
“Alright, I guess it will be a sort of tight rope after all.” Sam sighed.
“I will be with you Sam, I will not desert you, so relax.” the Lord said. “By the way Mac and Ralph are just about pooped out, you could get some of the lemonade that Angela has so thoughtfully just made and have it ready for Mac and of course some water for Ralph.”
“Oh,” Sam looked out and saw the boy and the dog sort of huffing and puffing together. “Yes I’m on it Lord”. And Sam hustled into the house.

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