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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Potter”



As the sun rises announcing a new day to face, the screen door slams as her night guest slips out. Crushing the cigarette into the ashtray and shoving the now empty whiskey glasses aside, the woman shoves her chair back from the table in disgust. She glances around the garbage strewn kitchen and her eyes fill with tears.

Taking a deep breath she walks out to the old shed where her pottery tools lie covered in dust. The kiln sits in the corner with old rags piled high on its lid. Her work table has clumps of dried clay stuck to wood. Her potter’s wheel has cob webs intriguingly stretched across it.

Walking to the shelf she grabs a whisk broom and begins sweeping the cob webs with a vengeance while muttering to herself. She grabs a hand full of rags and furiously dusts off the work table, scraping at the old dried clay.

Once the cob webs are gone, the dust removed, and the rags put on the shelf, she grabs a glob of clay and sits down on the rickety old chair. In almost a frenzied-like state she begins to shape the clay.

She pounds, she rolls, she furiously punches the gray clay and finally a large round ball is formed and with anger she carves out the face; the eyes with tear drops spilling down the gray cheeks. She smashes the nose and reforms it much smaller. The down cast mouth speaks of great pain and sorrow.

She pokes and pulls on the clay as she forms ears. Looking at it, she suddenly smashes them thinking they are too big. The clay face staring back at her is how she sees herself; lost, hopeless, no good, the lowest of lowest.

She doesn’t hear the squeaky door slowly open and a Man steps inside. He stands in the doorway with the sun radiating behind Him watching her. The woman raises her fist and with a loud vehement cry she smashes her fist into the clay figure she has formed.

Her head drops to her chest and her sobs rise from deep within her soul. The Man steps forward and places His hand on her shoulder. With great compassion He speaks softly, “I am the Potter and you are the clay. Here, let me show you.”

He gently pushes her aside and takes the seat. With hands of a Master He reforms the clay and in a short time the woman sees before her a new clay figure. The eyes are sparkling, the nose is pert with a smidgen of freckles, and its mouth is full and smiling. Where there was a ghastly form of death, the clay figure is now filled with life.

The Man scoots the chair back, stands, and smiles at her. Tears are running freely down her cheeks as she stares at the clay form. The Man reaches out and gently runs His thumb across her tears, wiping them from her cheeks.

“I have come to give you life more abundant.” Pointing to the newly formed clay, He softly tells her. “Because you believe in Me you are a new creation.”

The woman throws herself into His arms and hugs Him tightly sobbing out all her hurt, all the pain life has thrown at her. His beard rubs her cheek and withdrawing from Him she places her hand on her cheek where His beard rubbed, savoring the lingering feeling.

She looks back at the clay form as she swipes at her tears and shakes her head in wonder. Turning back to face Him she softly states, “Only the True Potter could make something beautiful out of the mess I’ve made.”

He smiles and quietly slips out into the new day.


2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”


We are all guilty of committing sins, each and every day. That’s why Christ died on the cross even while we were still sinners. Through His death our sins are washed clean. Accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior cleanses us and we are made new through His blood and by the renewing of our minds. So many times we see ourselves in the exact opposite way that Christ sees us. As in the story, she saw herself ugly and hopeless and yet Christ sees her, even in her sin, as beautiful and loved. Each one of us is special and greatly loved by the One who created us and He has a special purpose for each of His children. With our permission He will transform us into what He created us to be.

Our past is not our Identity!


I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Christmas Gift”

The Christmas Gift

The doors fly open and the sale is on. Crowds by the hundreds push, shove, and trample others to get to the discounted merchandise. One woman shoves another with a face masked in anger, “That one is mine!” she yells as she shoves another woman to the side.

The police stand outside the doors to try to control the crowd, to no avail. “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” is playing on the intercom and yet no one notices. They’re focused on the goodies that might make a distant relative like them just a little more or for a family member that insisted that item is the only thing they want under the Christmas tree.

A Man stands back from the crowd and watches. Disgust is on His face. He listens to the piped in music and shakes His head in wonder. His thoughts are sad for He is watching the commercialization of His birth; the birth of the Creator of the World who came and died so that these greedy people could fill their baskets with all that will be tossed out within weeks.

A woman stops, she tilts her head slightly to the side as she listens to the song, “Oh Come all Ye Faithful.” She sees the Man standing off to the side and approaches Him. “Hello.” She says sadly.

He looks at her with sad eyes and replies, “Hello.” He nods toward the pushing and shoving people and asks, “Why aren’t you out there with them?”

She looks out over the crowd and then back to Him. “I came for one item because we don’t have much money.” A tear forms in her eyes and escapes. She swipes it away quickly and continues, “I hear the music, the Christmas carols being played, and looking out at these people, I realized I was just like them. I would have fought anyone or anything to get the one gift I came for.”

“But now?” The Man asks interested.

“But now I have learned better. I have four children and watching these people has made me realize this isn’t what I want to teach them. I’m not perfect and I do a lot of things wrong but I want to teach my children that the greatest gift ever given at Christmas was Jesus.”

Before the Man can reply someone slams into her and growls, “Get out of the way woman!” She is almost knocked off her feet and the Man grabs her arm to steady her and guides her out the door.


Luke 2:11 – “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”


I’m sure many of us have witnessed the crowds during the Christmas season. I have seen a fight break out over a parking space, the pushing and shoving, and angry customers. It seems we are so focused on getting just the right gift for friends, family, or colleagues that we forget what Christmas is about. This story reminds me of the Bible story of two sisters; Mary and Martha. Jesus shows up and one is rushing about in a frantic panic while the other sits at Jesus feet. Aren’t we doing much the same during the Christmas season? We rush, we cook for days, we slave over getting the house clean, and by the time Christmas Day arrives we’re exhausted and can’t enjoy the time with friends or family!  And then there are also those organizations that want to render this holy day as nothing more than just another holiday where people get a day off from work. The merchants begin touting Christmas trees and decorations along with Halloween costumes. And they do it because we, the public, buy their merchandise right along with the Halloween costumes in our shopping carts. But at the same time, there are those of us that sit back, listen to the Christmas carols, and relax!  We don’t stress over what gift to buy, we don’t cook for days on end, and we stay away from the crowds at the Malls. Our simple decorations is a Manger scene and maybe a Christmas tree in the corner. No, we aren’t Mr. Scrooge! Our focus is on the real meaning of Christmas, a child is born, and His name is Jesus, God in the manger. That’s what Christmas is about! He is the greatest gift anyone will ever receive! Are you Mary or Martha? Are you focused on the commercialization of the most holy day or are you sitting at the feet of our Lord and Savor?



A Message to the Grave

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A powerful testimony of forgiveness and healing.

Jen's Secret Diary

Dear Dad,
I am writing this on the 9th anniversary of your death, October 18th, 2018. I shed a few tears for you, as I do every year around this time. I guess I get nostalgic around this time, just as I do around the holidays, missing the few good times we did have and thinking of what could have been.

I never got the chance to tell you while you were alive, the impact that your alcoholism and absenteeism had on me. No, I do not hold you solely responsible for the abuse. I do however; feel that by allowing your 2nd wife to make me share a room with boys, while she gave my bedroom to her daughter, somehow played a part. Why didn’t you speak up and say it was not appropriate? Why couldn’t you have paid closer attention to what was going on infront of your…

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The Narrow Road – True Story

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Running along the trail, his footfalls resound upward and leave a deep resounding thump, thump. thump like a drum beat in a cave. The birds stop their singing and take flight as he lifts his head and screams, “Why God? Why?”

Suddenly dropping to his knees, his fingers dig into the damp soft ground and sobs rip through him from a heart that seems to have shattered into a million pieces. Peering from beneath a nearby bush, a rabbit sits twitching his nose with big brown eyes watching Brian. Brain is unaware as wet leaves soak his jeans.

Feeling exasperation and anger, he flings his arms heavenward with shaking, clenched fists. He yells to God, “How can you love me? You can’t when you let this happen!” Falling face down, Brian sobs into his folded arms. The still of the forest absorbs his cries.

The rabbit has scampered to safety and the birds have taken flight as Brian lies on the cold damp ground confused, frustrated, heartbroken, and doubting how God could ever love him.

“This book should be on the New York Best sellers list.” Robert Filosi

All proceeds support Elah Ministries, Inc. 

Available at:

Authenticity Encircles Authenticity

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the grizzle grist mill

As you become authentic, you will begin to see and be drawn to others who are authentic. As you begin to walk this road, you may also realize some people in your life seem to walk away or even fade away. Realize this for what it is, and embrace it; be okay with it.

Don’t judge them for not continuing in your journey. Don’t slander them for not being loyal and true. Don’t even worry about asking too many questions of why? Or why not?

Some weren’t meant to travel this same road with you. Some don’t wish for the changes you’ve chosen to indulge like a sweet dessert. Others just aren’t where you are and will never understand the transformation until they themselves come to that crossroad in their own lives…and that is okay!

Be you. Be authentic. Encircle others who are authentic. Let go of that and…

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4 Hidden Behaviors An Abusive Person Displays Before Revealing Themselves

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“Just because a person doesn’t put hands on you doesn’t mean they aren’t abusive. Abuse is control, blatant disrespect, and also hurtful words. Don’t settle for emotional abuse, thinking it’s okay because it’s not physical.” – Tony A. Gaskins Jr

Spotting abusive people isn’t always as easy as television and movies make it seem. Most people want to believe that they would be able to tell an abusive person from the crowd after one conversation. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Abusive people are often hard to spot, and can hide in plain sight from the people that they aren’t actively abusing.

According to psychotherapist Amy Lewis Bear, “Abusers can be highly skilled at projecting an attractive image that convinces others they have solid personal values and wouldn’t be capable of abuse. An abuser’s thoughtful and caring behavior toward others gives their victims more reason to take the blame.”

After all, they’re husbands and wives and coworkers and bosses – abusive people fly under the radar more often than not, because they don’t want their abusive tendencies to be front and center. It’s important to know how to spot an abuser before they reveal themselves – or before someone reveals them. It’s important not only for victims of abuse, but for the friends and family of those victims.

This is important to remember. It isn’t so much a hidden behavior as it is a fact above abusive people. Keeping an eye out for abusers needs to be more than just looking for the shifty characters late at night, or the husband with a bad temper. Abusers don’t seem like normal people because they’re good at pretending – it’s because they are normal people, who lead completely normal lives outside of their cycles of abuse.

They may have difficulties like money troubles or substance abuse, but those are traits of non-abusive people as well. It’s important to remember: abusers are regular people, and knowing that will make it easier to spot an abuser when they start to show themselves. But what’s the catch? They like playing the blame game.

Author Steven Stosny mentions, “Avoid anyone who blames his negative feelings and bad luck on someone else. Feeling like victims, they see themselves as justified in whatever retaliation they enact and whatever compensation they take. Blamers will certainly cause pain for you if you come to love one.”

A lot of people don’t believe the victims of abuse because they have only had perfectly pleasant interactions with the abuser. This is a dangerous trap to fall into, and it’s important to remember that abusers will never abuse everyone. They need to be selective of their victims because if they abuse everyone they come across, no one will get close enough to them for them to manipulate, control and enact their abuse upon.

The victims of an abuser are usually people that they’re close to, like a partner or a family member. If someone’s past partners all have the same story of that person being abusive, it’s a red flag. In fact, it’s more likely that someone is abusive if there are only select people in their life that come forward with stories of abuse.

This is one of the main reasons that many women who are in abusive relationships stay, or get so caught up that it’s hard to leave. Because if an abuser were mistreating their victims 100% of the time, they wouldn’t have anyone to control or abuse, because everyone would avoid them. The key trait of an abuser is that they’re able to get away with it without driving their victims away.

This means that they may start out with small acts of abuse – manipulation or subtle gaslighting – and then build up to a more controlling nature. Or, they may exact outbursts of violence – such as yelling or hitting – and then immediately become nurturing or loving again.

The thing about abusive people is: these acts of abuse are almost never just a one-time thing, but when they abuse, “they may have elaborate excuses for these incidents or blame the person they attacked by saying they “had to” or that they “were provoked,” states WebMD.

Without a victim, an abuser has no one to abuse. This may result in the abuser getting into a string of failed relationships, or immediately seeking out another victim when the first one removes themselves from the situation. This is one of the most overlooked hidden behaviors in an abusive person. An abuser cannot abuse without a victim.

When one victim leaves, the abuser will oftentimes immediately be in search of another victim – or, they’ll act as sweet and kind as they can in order to lure their previous victim back to them. The best way to end an abuser’s reign is to safely remove the victim. Once this happens, an abuser will almost always show their hand – after all, they don’t like having their abuse victims taken from them.

Trying to Control

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