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Our Current Virtual Church Message

Sparkle Pond

Norman couldn't remember when he first came to Sparkle Pond. The pond was a secret to everyone except Norman and his family. Norman didn't know how the pond got its name either. There was a special place on the edge of the pond where Norman could lay on his belly and peer over a rock into the water below to see the fish swim back and forth. Norman's grandfather and then his father owned the pond. Now the pond is Norman's. As a boy, in the heat of the summer…when days seemed to never end…when school was out…Norman would flop down on that belly rock and watch the world of the fish go by. Now, Norman is full of arthritis because he is in his golden years, so he doesn't flop down on the rock like he used to. Today, Norman has to ease himself down real slow then gently stretch out to get horizontal enough to see the fish. Norman wishes he were young again because of all his aches and pains. When Norman looks down into the pond he can see his reflection and the scars left by the explosion when he was in Viet Nam. All the other scars accumulated throughout his life don't show on the outside but too many of the inside scars remain.

Norman has visions but he doesn't tell anyone. He always has visions when he gets near that rock…the belly rock. There is a certain way Norman can look at his reflection in the water that turns the visions on and off. Seeing the visions is like watching a TV show. The visions have never seemed to mean anything, at least they haven't meant anything until now.

This time Norman sees a stairway to the clouds. Then he sees bags of dirt falling down out of the clouds. The bags of dirt hit the ground and there a cloud of dust billowing up. Norman knew what the vision meant. The vision was about regrets. The vision was about Norman's regrets falling down out of the sky because God does not want Norman to carry his regrets any more. God doesn't like regrets. At least God doesn't like regrets to be carried so long your regrets own you.

Another vision was a basketball falling down out of the sky and bouncing endlessly upon the water of Sparkle Pond. The vision was a bouncing basketball bouncing forever. Norman played basketball when he was in high school. Norman knew what the vision meant. The vision was about staying young at heart, even when your joints ache and your muscles hurt from being old.

Another vision was rain falling upward from the ground. Norman could see the rain drops going from the ground up into the sky. Norman knew the meaning of this vision too. This vision was about Norman's grief. Norman's wife Marie passed away about a year ago and the grief was sometimes more than Norman could bear. The raindrops going upward meant God absorbed all of Norman's tears in God's love and compassion.

The next vision was of a passenger train with lettering on the side of the train that said "Bound for Glory." Norman could see people in the train cars and the people were all having a party. The passengers were full of joy and happiness. The passengers on the train were all his loved ones who had passed away. Norman could see his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others…and he could see Marie. My, how young they all looked! Marie looked like she did back in high school. Norman knew the meaning of this vision too. The vision was about Norman's turn to get on the train and join the party. Norman was thinking any day now he would be getting on the train.

However, another vision came up and it was like one of those daily calendars where you tear on page off a day. Norman could see there were many days on the calendar. This vision meant Norman was not going to be boarding the train for a long time.

The final vision was of Norman's little church. Norman had been going to that church since before he could remember. His great-grandfather helped build the building back in the 1800's. Attendance isn't what it should be. The pastor has another church so Norman and the congregation only see the pastor every other week. In this vision, Norman could see the hands of Christ envelop the church in love.

Norman struggled to get back on his feet. As he did so, even with all his pain and struggles, Norman told the Lord how thankful he was God gave him life.

The message first appeared in August, 2008, in the Virtual Church web site at http://www.findthepower.com

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018