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Amazing Grace John's Encounter With God Ch 4

Fiction stories with bits of true experiences has been an intriguing adventure for me. Come join in the journey and experience God at work.

Campfire Experience

Campfire Experience

Feeling Trapped

Feeling Trapped

God of Wisdom

As Deacon Jeffrey Maynard came through the door, Pastor Walters snapped out of the past and into the present. Pastor, Jeffrey began, The Deacons and I have been sitting with Tom in the study, he's freaking out like a caged animal. I don't know how long we can keep him here. I'm telling ya he's crumbling by the minute. Can you give us some counsel on how we should proceed until you get there?

Pastor Walters looked over at the devastation written on Jennifer's face. He knew he needed to focus his attention on this situation before moving on to handle Tom. As he sought the God of wisdom he contemplated his next action ... "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." James 1:5-8

Pastor turned to his Deacon, "Jeff, I would advise you to seek the Holy Spirit's direction for wisdom, pray with him or open the word of God and begin reading it to Tom, I will be there as soon as I can."

Jeff's eyes landed on Jennifer's vulnerability and he felt rage within his heart, "Yeah I'll read God's word to Him alright." Matthew 5:30 came to his mind ... "And if your right-hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."

Instead of allowing the rage to control him or to take up residence ...he sent up a prayer for God's wisdom and His Holy Spirit to control him and guide him as he headed back to the office.



John's History

As Jeffrey made his way out of the room John felt himself shaking inside. He told Pastor that he needed to take a break and walk off some of the adrenalin still thundering through his veins. Pastor Watermelon understood, all too well, the conflicting and wild emotions threatening to undo John.

After John left the room Pastor looked over at the women and studied Jennifer. She was struggling to quiet her soul. He determined it necessary to give Jennifer more time to come to grips with what had happened to her. He turned to Jill and decided to ask her some questions about her husband. You see John had come forward the previous Sunday morning as the congregation sang, I Surrender All, and laid his weapons on the alter. There had been no time in Pastor's grueling schedule to discuss this, action of surrender, with John that week. Although they had not talked about it yet, Pastor was quite sure he knew the story behind the action. The pastor began, "Jill, you and John have not been in our congregation long so I don't know much about your background. Can you tell me a little about your husband?"

Jill felt like a deer caught in the headlights. She wasn't sure she should speak for her husband but in the little time, she had come to know Pastor Walters, she perceived his intentions to be pure and unadulterated. She did not want to expose all of the pain and suffering her dear man had been through. Where would she begin and what would be relevant for Pastor to know. She was quietly weighing her options and did not speak for a few minutes. Pastor Walters seemed to understand her struggle and waited patiently for Jill to speak.

"Pastor, you have no idea about the journey that God has taken my husband on to bring us to this Church. It is miraculous really .. You see John is a Vietnam Vet (ah huh thought Pastor - I knew it!) After serving his time in Vietnam he came home to a country that literally spit on him and called him names as he walked off the airplane ...and for what! John had served his Country and its people. He had obeyed the orders of his country and given his life to protect it. The shock of the reception he received, upon landing on the soil of the USA, was the last straw of hope for John."

My husband experienced the worst kind of tragedies imaginable during his stint in Vietnam. "Yes, I know ..thought Pastor Walters painfully" "In fact, to this day he will not tell me all of the specifics. All I know is that it was horrific and so damaging that it almost destroyed him."

"John was homeless and estranged after his time in the service. He could not come to grips with what happened in Vietnam ...with the obliteration of lives, as a smashing of so many insects, and the comrades he held in his arms as life drained out of their bodies ..all of the injustices he faced when he came back to the States were too grave to hold in his soul."

John's Favorite Fishing Spot where he was given the Word of God

John's Favorite Fishing Spot where he was given the Word of God

John Introduced to The Word of God - Bible

Jill continued, "One day, not too long ago, as he sat on the grass at one of his favorite fishing spots on Lake Odessa, one of your Church members, Ken Gentry stopped to talk to him. John looked suspiciously at the young man who reached his hand out to introduce himself. John noted that there was a kindness to Ken's features and a knowing in his eyes. John wasn't sure he liked or wanted this young man's eyes disrobing his vulnerability. But Ken didn't acknowledge John's discomfort, instead, he plopped down beside him. It didn't take Ken long to put John at ease with his relaxed ways and nonthreatening mannerisms. The foremost question in John's mind was .."Why would a man like Ken stop to talk to him, a good for nothin' homeless man?"

As John concentrated on fishing, Ken lounged back on his forearms and talked as if they were old friends. Ken was sharing stories of his life and situations with great humor. He was talking to John as if he was somebody important. John could feel his body loosen up as he weighed Ken's words and observed his mannerisms. Ken had a way about him that allowed John to let down some of his walls down, the walls he so diligently guarded. Ken did most of the talking. John found himself laughing softly at some of his stories. There was something different and intriguing about Ken. He was unlike any man he had ever met; he couldn't put his finger on it, but he intended to find out. John hoped this would not be the last time he would meet see Ken.

Before Ken left he handed John a book explaining that it was the word of God, the Bible. He told John it was the book of life. Ken smiled warmly and told him to keep it. John saw the sincerity in his eyes and quietly responded with a 'thank you.' Ken got to his feet then bent down to shake John's hand, flashing a big smile he said, God Bless you, John!.

As John turned back to his fishing he was rerunning the conversation in his mind. Tom said the book was the word of God. He said it was the book of life. John meditated on those words as he stared at the very worn book he held in his hand, the supposed word of God. "Could it be there was a God?" After all the horror and devastation of the war, he'd pretty much decided that there was NO God. Still, John tucked it in his jacket and concentrated on catching a big one for dinner that night.

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God's Word

God's Word

Encounter with God

Jill continued the story by telling Pastor about John's Encounter with God. "That night God revealed himself to John in a supernatural way. John was setting up camp. He built a campfire. As he sat on a log he stared at the red hot embers. Then out of the darkness, God spoke into John's soul. He told John He loved Him and that He had a plan for His life. John ran over to his jacket and grabbed the Bible Ken had given him. It was dog eared from years of use. As he sat beside the campfire holding the Bible in his lap ... He opened it and then watched as the pages of the Bible turned right in front of him. He began to wonder if he was asleep this a dream? His eyes searched the page and then landed on ... "For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock."

"There is so much more to his story Pastor, more I feel you would like to know. But what I can tell you is that John is no longer a man without hope. He was healed from the years of torturous guilt, shame and thoughts that plagued him night and day. He knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God was real and that He loved him and He cared about every detail of his life. John has studied the Bible for hours and hours learning all He can about the God who came to his rescue; the God who pulled him up out of a miry pit and set his feet upon a rock!"

Pastor Walter's eyes filled with tears as he contemplated the love and mercy of God in reaching out to John... Amazing Grace came to his mind ... "He once was lost but now he's found ...was blind but now he sees."



A Soul at Rest

After Pastor wiped the tears from his eyes he turned to focus them on Jennifer. He noted that there were no more tears or red blotches on her face, in fact a soft peace covered her countenance. She had been listening intently beside Jill. She had also felt the power in Jill's words ...the power of God seeking out and calling this man, John, to Himself.

Jennifer now spoke. "Pastor, I am ok now, really I am. As I listened to Jill, God spoke to my heart. He showed me that I need to put the violation behind me and open my heart to His healing touch. My true protector is God Himself. I see that clearly now. God placed John in the right place at the right time for my protection."

Pastor smiled as he contemplated the great and marvelous work of the Holy Spirit. It was evident that the Holy Spirit was working a miraculous healing in Jennifer's heart.

Sisters - It Is Well

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© 2010 Susan Ream


Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on April 13, 2010:

skye, tears of gratitude filled my eyes as I read your comment. You are an encourager .. you truly are and I thank you for using your gift of encouragement to bless me. :0)



skye2day from Rocky Mountains on April 13, 2010:

Hello Mekenzie, WOW I am impressed. God is so Good and he wants no one to perish. I like Jill and John they are sweeties. I am moving forward catching up. You are a beautiful writer sister. I know God shines on you, your spirit is such a sweetie. You have Blessed many at the hubs with your presence. I do believe you have the light in you and it shines. lol ( - : Hugs

Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on March 26, 2010:

Raymond, welcomed to the story. I appreciate your insight .. yes, we are pilgrims here and we are being molded by the potter's hand. As he works the clay of our lives.. may be submit willingly and rid ourselves of the things that hinder us from being personal representatives of the Lord Jesus. Blessings!

Raymond Tremain from Metro Manila Philippines on March 25, 2010:

Mekenzie well this story is just what is neede d to show that we can't fool anyone about our inner self.

It all will be shown one day, and it's best to get much as possible out now so that we can correct it before it is too late.

Good write

God loves you

Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on March 10, 2010:

Johhny Be Good ... lol - good one brother Dave. I've already read what Johnny is up to. Unchained Grace has already written chapter 5 and I am praying over chapter 6.

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on March 10, 2010:

right now the name of this "Saga" song, should be "Johnny Be Good," but who knows in which direction Brother James is going to draw us next as it is his turn now to turn the page.

Brother Dave.

Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on March 10, 2010:

Ghosty, my kindred heart friend ... you communicated clearer than you know. There are many pieces to a puzzle that are being put together beautifully by the Master's Hand. As you say, Unchained Grace, Mekenzie and the reader. I am seeing Unchained Graces heart, as you say as well as learning from him and the reader and God who is directing my own thoughts for this story. I am BLOWN AWAY by what HE is doing here.

I agree that urlike brought a very profound and needed observation ... Jesus came to seek and to save all sinners ... even Tom with all of his conditions. As believers, though righteous anger is understandable here and appropriate discipline is called for, love for Tom needs to be conveyed as well as prayers for Tom's soul.

The story of the Bible turning pages was an actual real account .. I agree God supernaturally did this for John - I believe He did this because He knew what it would take to get John's attention. God is not confined to a Box as so many see Him.

Thanks for your awesome comments GW and pray for us as we continue. We want this series to glorify God and to be a work that is alive and touches people right where they live.

JG the IGNITER from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals on March 09, 2010:


This series is really turning out to be very spiritually profound to me in so many ways! I was reading Ulrike Graces comment and the stongest thought--she said "It's always easier to appreciate the work of God in our own lives and hope that others have grace for us...but it's not always easy to see it for others."

How profound! You both have made it easier for "OTHERS TO SEE IT" as ulrike grace said. Amazing!This series you are both doing--it is as if by doing it this way-both of you and UG are seeing each other-your hearts-exposing-as well as allowing the reader to see it--and then here comes the comments from the readers...they are again showing other people-where they are-their hearts-I can't articulate this into words--ohhhhhh this is the Holy Spirit working through this--for sure. I got to shush because I can't speak what I am feeling from this hub in words.

Secondly-I always stare at Coffeesnobs pic saying where do I know you from? She mentions she was in the Navy...where? Sandiago California? Just curious.

Was Ken an Angel sent to John? I love God and his mysterious ways--always reaching out to us through strangers-you never know who you will meet-who God will send for you-to you--that is why it is so important to see everyone-love everyone-there is a message from the Holy Spirit in these paragraphs and I see it--feel it so strongly! ohhhhhhhhhhhhh the Holy Spirit is here...seriously.

I am thinking of the story of John and the supernatural experience of the Bible pages turning. My thought are strongly on why do these God/supernatural things not happen to everyone? I am asking right now. And then I think of my experiences and I say that God has this great beautiful movie going on down here and some of us know it--others don't--I believe at this moment by pondering this...that God acts out in supernatural ways to certain people-those who are chosen for specific works that God has ordained and he does not want them to miss it-when he performs these supernatural things-such as turning the pages by themselves-he has grasped John's attention--because John has seen it all in life at this time--or atleast he thinks so...and then this Bible turning?

God knows that John will be stopped in his tracks--he he he..I know this! And he will not turn away because it is something quite amazing to him-God draws him near by showing himself-his powers down here---and that aint all he can do!!!!!


Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on March 09, 2010:

Urlike Grace, Very good and provoking thoughts you presented here. You are right that most of us will want to cream Tom for violating a woman.. It's pretty dispicable and ugly.

But as you say, God absolutely died for all of us sinners .. and He died just as surely for Tom and he did for John. If Tom is truly God's child .. and not just a showboat.. God will deal with Him as the Potter faithfully works with the Clay.

Tom must face consequences though as consequences and Church discipline are taught in the scriptures ... with the goal of restoring one back to the heart of God and the Church.

The decision will be Tom's of course and how he responds. Good thoughts dear lady. Appreciate your comments!

Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on March 09, 2010:

Coffeesnob, Your typos.. too funny .. I have never seen you typo .. so I am assuming you were so eager to get your thoughts out .. it just happened. lol It happens to me too..

I read your comments on Unchained Grace's last hub and learned a bit about you and your History serving our Country in the Navy .. you are quite the woman and I so respect your sacrifice to serve our country as well.

I appreciate your blessings as I write and thanks so much for the encouragement. Blessings Sister!

UlrikeGrace from Canada on March 09, 2010:

It's always easier to appreciate the work of God in our own lives and hope that others have grace for us...but it's not always easy to see it for others. Oh how much we as Christ's body need His compassion to know and see that God is at work in everyone of us. That others have had their own "life," and are in process of healing and growing with Holy Spirit. Even those like Tom, who we want to walk away from, God loves with a heart so big, He sent His Son Jesus for him. There is no sin that is not unforgivable... none...we just cannot out sin God's grace...and we never know where that river of grace will flow from...hence Jennifer's healing through the testimony of John's life from his wife's view point. God is so creative...we must never sell Him short.

Blessings to you McKenzie, your doin great!


coffeesnob on March 09, 2010:


All those typos in my comment and you so graciously posted it - lol - I wanted to show you I could spell your name right. I know it must be a huge blessing diving into this story. And I am sure it must get you thinking about people and their depth as you write. I appreciate your insight into real lives. God bless you as you continue to write. You are making a difference,

Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on March 09, 2010:

Hi Ann, I'm so glad to have your comments and presence in this series. I'd like to know how the series is challenging you .. only if you wish to share. It's ok if not .. just glad that it is. Blessings!

Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on March 09, 2010:

coffeesnob, so happy to have you read this... I was curious to know how you would see this. I agree with you that it is really important to understand deep inside a person's heart .. to understand his history and where he is today in his walk with Christ. God is the potter and we are the clay - He is always working on us to make us pure and holy and fit vessels to be used for His honor and glory. We are all in process until we hit Heaven's Gates. Thank you stopping by and for sharing your perspective. Blessings!

Ann Nonymous from Virginia on March 09, 2010:

You are doing a really good job with this Mekenzie! Keep it up as you are really challenging me through this series!

coffeesnob on March 09, 2010:


You are undfoling lives well. I think it is important to see deep inside of the person to understand. It doesn't always make the situation better, nor does it always dispel consequences, but at least the reader can being to understand and that is huge. When we beign to understand others it is a step toward enormous change

Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on March 09, 2010:

Hey Micky Dee, I see you whizzing by for a read. You are too funny .. yes, one thing at a time .. thanks for the quick stop and I'll be looking for you at the next stop. Appreciate the kudos! Bless YOUR heart dear MickyDee

Micky Dee on March 09, 2010:

Nice story. I hope it doesn't snow or rain on John. Is Tom running for public office yet? He'd make a great politician. Of course to be a politician you usually have to go to liars school- I mean lawyers school! Oh well- one thing at a time! Great hub! Quite a challenge! Thanks Mekenzie!

Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on March 09, 2010:

Brother Dave, thank you for your encouraging words. I am going to God and asking the Holy Spirit for direction before I follow up on each chapter. I wanted so bad this last time to go to James and say ... where are you going with this ... but then I remembered him saying to me ... go to the Holy Spirit and let Him lead you. This is, as James would say, an unprecedented approach to writing here on the hubs. It was his 'brain/heart child.'

My stomach at first was in knots thinking ... where do I go from here? I am realizing that this is another opportunity for me to release and trust and expect a supernatural leading from God. When I did that ... just as you say the thoughts came flooding and they flowed together easily.

Thanks again for coming for the read and for leaving your comments. It is So appreciated! Blessings

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on March 09, 2010:

Dear sister Mekenzie I love how this story is working out. I read your comment to Unchained Grace my brother James,and your reference to "tricky writing" fact or fiction, as long as it is in a Godly manor, simply pause and ask The Holy Spirit for guidance. He will instantly flood your mind with Godly uplifting thoughts to help you to complete that which you are working on. If you have ever watched the epic Easter movie Ben Hur, there is a scene near the end where Jesus has died and the three key women of the story, are taking shelter from a storm like the gates of heaven opening up. The mother and sister of Ben Hur are lepers, suddenly the waters nearby start to overflow and turn red and The two lepers start to become cleansed by the rain falling at the crucifixion of Christ. The two women became cleansed and purified once again. Jennifer goes through such a cleansing as she listens to Jill talking about her husband. Jesus Blood helped Jennifer feel clean again and God's Holy Spirit was working to calm her and bring her peace.

Let the Powers of His Holy Spirit Flow,


Brother Dave.

Susan Ream (author) from Michigan on March 08, 2010:

Dear Brother Unchained Grace, It took some deep thought and tricky writing to get the situations to work well. I am so glad you liked how Jennifer found peace through listening to Jill talk about God's pursuit of her husband. It just happened as I was writing ... of course we know it didn't (just happen) we've been praying over the story and God is the one unfolding it as we write. I really like what you said "I could feel Jennifer's pain seem to flow away like an errant twig in a brook." Great emotional word picture!

Unchained Grace from Baltimore, MD on March 08, 2010:

The followup to this should be interesting. I really like the way you picked up from Chapter 3. You exposed the human side of Tom. The fear and the anxiety. What I really liked was the way Jennifer found deliverance from it all through the conversation Pastor had with Jill. Perhaps Jill's presence was indeed meant to happen after all! God knew Jennifer would not only a comforter, but that she'd be comforted through words not even meant for her between Pastor and Jill. Oh, but those words WERE meant for her, weren't they? Nice turnaround. Really nice. I could feel Jennifer's pain seem seem to flow away like an errant twig in a brook.

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