Catching Cursing Caleb

Cabin In The Snow Royalty Free Stock Photo - 5222005Part II – Searching for Truth!
Safely back in the cabin, the next day Caleb looked gloomily out the window.  The snow had stopped, and the sun was shining.  The wind picked snow up from the ground and swirled it into towers two hundred feet high.  Caleb had to admit that the sight was beautiful but he was still confined to the cabin.  He reflected on his experience with the snow on the previous day.
He had called out, “Help me, God!”  That was all. Suddenly the wind had changed direction blowing the snow away, and revealing the small cabin only a few yards away.  Caleb had quickly changed direction, and headed toward the cabin.  Almost instantly the wind had returned reducing the visibility to zero.  That glimpse had allowed Caleb to make it back to the cabin safely.  Had God really answered his prayer, or had it been merely a fluke?
He was an out-of-doors man by desire and profession and felt that every day he had seen evidence of a Creator in the Creation.  The beauty of the Colorado mountains:  the glowing sunsets, the ever changing cloud patterns, even the creatures who roamed the forest.  All seemed to proclaim the presence of a Creator.  As he reflected on these things, the desire to know more increased.
The following Sunday Caleb had visited the church in the village where they bought their food and supplies.  When he had entered the room before the service started, a hush came over the crowd gathered there.  His appearance was startling to say the least with large muscles stretching his coat sleeves, tattoos visible on his neck, large gages in his ears, and an unpleasant odor of weed about him.  This village church seldom had visitors from the logging camp.  Caleb had approached a group of men and had attempted to start a conversation, but profanity flowed from his mouth like water from a faucet.  Caleb was not angry.  He was speaking the only language he knew-the language of the loggers.  Mothers pulled their children close to them.  Old ladies avoided eye contact and began diligently to pray.  Clearly Caleb did not belong there.  They knew it, and so did he.
Returning home after his disappointing visit to the church, Caleb sulked.  How could it be so difficult to discover the truth about God.  Caleb was tired of the way his life was going.  He needed direction.  His life needed purpose.  So for the second time in his life, Caleb prayed: “If you are there, God, please show yourself!”
Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the Lord.  Jeremiah 29:14  NKJV

Catching Cursing Caleb

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Part I* – Whiteout!
Suddenly Caleb pushed away his drink and his phone that he had been using to play games, and stood up.  “I’m tired of this:  being cooped up in these four walls for days on end.  It’s only the first week of the off season, and I’m so restless I could scream.  (He punctuated his discourse with several curse words.)  The resort says that with this storm it may be another week before we get a call to help groom trails and runs.  I’m going out for a walk.”
Jed barely uttered a grunt.  A true introvert, he spoke little, and smiled even less.  He too, like Caleb, worked in the logging industry during the summer, and in the ski industry grooming trails and runs during the winter.  This September snow storm had put an end to the logging, and had also prevented their being able to start with the ski industry.  There was a little snow, but not enough yet to do any serious snow moving work.
Caleb strode to the hook on the wall, grabbed his coat and hat, opened the door and slammed it behind him.  Outside the snow swirled in the eddy made by the little cabin perched on the mountain-side. The blast of cold air quickly restored his usually calm demeanor.  He turned back toward the cabin and realized that he could no longer see it.  A complete whiteout had hidden even the dark image of their truck.  He had no time to lose.  He must get back quickly or he would wander to a precipice in this rugged terrain, and his body would not be found until spring.
He had gone only a few feet when he came upon an area where his footsteps had been completely obliterated by the wind-blown snow.  Which way should he go?  He went a few feet in one direction and encountered a big rock.  Opps, wrong way.  Caleb uttered an oath.  He must be more careful.  He started in another direction but was more confused than ever.  He uttered a string of curses.  Was there no way out of this swirling sea of snow?  His bare hands were icy:  his nose and cheeks felt the effects of the bitter wind.  It might be hours before Jed would come to look for him.  What was he supposed to do?  He was out of options.  Then Caleb did something that he had never done before:  he prayed.
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  Romans 10:13 NIV
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Gentle Joanne

She sat at the corner of the table next to me.  The table was crowded so she was forced to sit a little bit outside of the group.  No one noticed though.  The discussion was lively.  The ladies who represented various church backgrounds met weekly for Bible study.  We all looked forward to it since there wasn’t much happening in our small town.  We were all mothers of pre-schoolers, and were  relieved to have someone else watch the kids while we met and had our discussion.  One of the ladies brought mini cheesecakes in cupcake liners.  Everyone was enjoying a delectable bite or two between sips of coffee.
Usually the ladies stayed with the prepared format and answered the written questions, but today, somehow, we had strayed into a discussion about the Holy Spirit.  It seemed like most of the ladies had heard of excesses, and were critical with their comments.  Everyone but Joanne, that is.  She sat quietly composed, as if waiting her turn.  She was well known in our group for her insight into the scriptures.  She didn’t say a lot, but when she did comment all the ladies marveled at the depth of her answers.  Today, however, she said nothing.  Soon the discussion turned to the prepared format.
It was later that same day that I called Joanne.  I had noticed her quiet response and guessed that something was wrong.  “Oh, no,” Joanne answered.  “I certainly was not offended.  However, I do have some scriptures that I would like to share with you.”
“You do?  That sounds interesting.  Want to come over tomorrow for lunch?”  I asked.  I trusted Joanne.  She would stick to the scriptures for anything that she believed.
“Certainly,” Joanne replied.  “I’ll bring a dessert.”
We had a great lunch trading stories about our preschoolers.  Then it was time for Joanne to bring out her scriptures.  She had written them all down, and she gave me a copy so I could look them up later.  After forty minutes of delving into the subject in the scriptures, I began to feel foolish for the things that I had said in the Bible study the day before.  The foolishness was replaced with hunger–hunger for the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Joanne sensed my hunger and offered to pray for me.
“Is that all I have to do?” I asked.  “I just let you pray for me?”
Joanne smiled.  “Open your mouth and God will do the rest.”
She laid a hand on my shoulder and began to softly pray in a language that I didn’t understand.  It flowed like water down a river.  I was mesmerized.  The language was beautiful.
After a few minutes she stopped.  “I think you just need a little more time,” she said.  “Why don’t you go over these scriptures again tonight.”
She smiled reassuringly at me and left.
I was puzzled and disappointed, but I did as she said and looked up  the scriptures again.  Then I heard something in my head.  I opened my mouth and out came my language just as Joanne had said.  I stopped, then I started again.  I spoke softly so as not to awake others in my household.  Nothing excessive about this, I thought.
A couple of nights later my cousin, who lived in another state, called me.  She was hysterical.  She was having marriage problems.  I was no marriage counselor, and couldn’t offer her any advise.  So I told her that I would pray for her after I hung up the phone.  I did just as I had promised using my new prayer language.  She called me the next day marveling at the complete peace that she felt when she hung up the phone.
I was as amazed as she was.  The Holy Spirit could use my prayers even over a distance of a thousand miles!  I couldn’t wait to tell my friends!  I called them one by one.  At the next Bible Study meeting I had the list of scriptures ready for each person in the group.  One of the ladies wanted Joanne to have lunch with her later in the week.
In a month’s time gentle, quiet Joanne had prayed for all six of the Bible Study members, and we all had received the infilling of the Holy Spirit.  It all happened because gentle Joanne, did not argue or push.  She simply prayed and listened to God.  He did the rest just as she expected!
…It should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  I Peter 3:4 NIV