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 "A Man Named Jim" ~ UPDATE: Completed story is now posted

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JustMe
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PostSubject: "A Man Named Jim" ~ UPDATE: Completed story is now posted   13/8/2012, 21:38





Jim was a decorated war veteran who came back from Vietnam with a few screws missing or so they said.
He roamed the small harbour community of Ashland Cove digging in dumpsters and collecting cans. Most
people in town talked about Jim. He was the scourge of the city. The kids laughed at and taunted him, The
growns ups were scared of him, but I was indifferent. I simply ignored my neighbour Jim.



Heya I am Rudy Torez and I am the pastor of the Ashland Cove Community Church. I relocated my family
here about a year ago when I accepted the pastorate. It has been a difficult transition for each of us in our
own way, but it has been a definate growing and maturing experience for all of us.



I usually started my work day out with prayer and today was no exception. I began by reminding God of
His promises to me. I asked him why this church had not grown either numerically or spiritually in the year
I had been pastor. The people in this church were loveless gossipers to say the least. I began to weep
for my church and my family. My sons were becoming as wild as march hares and their selfishness
was a mile wide and a foot deep and growing greater ever day. I heard that still small voice speak
He said for me to teach my congregation and my family on love.




“Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.”


Last edited by JustMe on 16/8/2012, 03:19; edited 4 times in total
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JustMe
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PostSubject: Re: "A Man Named Jim" ~ UPDATE: Completed story is now posted   16/8/2012, 01:13



After work that day as I peered out my kitchen window I saw my neighbour digging in his trash can
so I decide to take him some of my wife's home cooking. I approached him with a plate of food
and said, "Jim, my wife made you something to eat." He just repeated me," Jim, my wife
made you something to eat." I thought okay that's interesting. Maybe everyone is right and he is crazy?
As I was about to turn around and leave Jim motioned for me to come inside his house. Not wanting to
be rude, I hesitantly agreed.



I was not prepared for what I saw. It was a germophobes worst nightmare. Jim's living conditions
were deplorable. Jim kept swatting at the flies that were swarming around his armpits and sniffing his
armpits as well. I started to gag. I had to get some fresh air so I excused myself to the bathroom. Jim
was too busy talking to himself to even notice that I had left the room.



His bathroom wasn't much better. It was filthy and disgusting. On closer inspection of his pipes I
realized that Jim had faulty plumbing, and no running water as a result. I started to cry and decided
to roll up my sleeves and get busy. After many trips to the hardware store and several hundred dollars
Jim's water gushed like a fountain. Jim was so grateful. He thanked me repeatedly. It was the first
intelligible words I had heard him speak all day. He then gave me a big toothy grin and hugged me
until I thought he would hug the life out of me.



As I struted back across the street to my house I was filled with pride. I had done my good deed for
the day and helped poor ole Jim. It had been a great day and I was a great guy. But... I had no clue
what God had in store for me or my family and I definately had no clue what the future would hold.




“Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.”
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JustMe
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PostSubject: Re: "A Man Named Jim" ~ UPDATE: Completed story is now posted   16/8/2012, 01:36



Later that evening I heard that still small voice on the inside asking me to have Jim over for dinner on Friday.
I was not thrilled with God's plan, and I tried to bargain with Him. I said to God, " I'll ask my wife and if she's
okay with it I'll invite Jim." So that night as we were getting ready for bed I said sheepishly, "Honey, you
wouldn't want to have Jim over for dinner on friday, would you?" Diane said, "Oh that would be a
great idea. It would be a real lesson on love and acceptance for our kids" It figures I thought to myself she's
always willing to fix a meal or have guests over.



That morning I informed the kids that hopefully our neighbour Jim would be joining us for dinner on Friday.
My son Solomon threw a fit. "Dad we will be the laughing stock of the whole town," he exclaimed. "Everyone
at school will laugh at me and say Solomon has a new friend. Come on ,dad, he looks like a crazy clown
with all of those wildly, bright colors and mixed matched prints. Not to mention he stinks." My son Solomon
always did have a flair for the dramatics. I said, "Nevertheless we will all be kind and polite to Jim. Is that
understood?" Everyone agreed to be on their best behaviour that night.



Jim was shocked when I called to invite him for dinner, and promptly accepted my invitation.



Jim arrived on time for dinner wearing wild, colorful clothes.




“Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.”
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JustMe
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PostSubject: Re: "A Man Named Jim" ~ UPDATE: Completed story is now posted   16/8/2012, 01:52



The dinner conversation that evening was a tad awkward and my kids were not sure about this stranger
in our home.The rumors around town about him had made them scared to death.



The mood lightened after dinner as we all moved the furniture back and danced to some oldies music.
Jim taught, my oldest Son, Chris some new dance moves, and everyone seem to be having a blast.



Jim had the most fun playing with my younger kids. He and Victoria made silly faces at each other, and
the younger kids took to Jim like peanut butter to jelly. When Jim left that evening his eyes welled up
with tears as he thanked me for the invitation, and told me that was the best time he had ever had in his
life.



As the days went by I spent more and more time making needed repairs on Jim's home. I replaced the
siding, the door and the windows. I cleaned the yard and planted trees and flowers.




“Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.”
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JustMe
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PostSubject: Re: "A Man Named Jim" ~ UPDATE: Completed story is now posted   16/8/2012, 02:16



Jim and I cleaned that House until it shined like a new penny, and I completely remodeled his kitchen.



Jim began to become a real member of our family. He ate supper with us every night and started
going to the gym with us four times a week. I started to notice amazing transformations in Jim. He
was more social, comfortable and talkative. His mind became clearer it seemed. He also began
to lose weight from all of the trips to the gym.



One night after exercising Jim and I went to the Dairy Queen to get a drink when I noticed a member of my
congregation coming in the door. I imediately got embarrassed for sitting there with Jim. I stood up and
announced to everyone in the place how I had been helping poor ole Jim and I recounted all of the things
I had done. After I took my seat I felt horrible. I was full of pride. I needed to stroke my own ego at Jim's
expense to feel better about myself. My boys were out of control and selfish. My church was falling apart
and had no love in it. I was not in control, and helping Jim was the only thing in my life that I could control
Why was I really helping? Was it out of a need to be in control of something? Was it so I could feel
important and needed? Or was it so I could feel I had accomplished something? Anything? Cuz God
knew I wasn't making a difference in my church or with my family. I had to stop and take a good hard
look at myself. I came to the conclusion that Jim had been a better friend to me then I had ever been
to him. He always accepted me unconditionally. Maybe the real issue was that God had to do a work
in me before he could ever get to my church or my family.

After taking inventory of my ugly heart I looked at Jim and asked him to come to church with me. He said
that he didn't have any decent clothes to wear and that everyone would make fun of him. I told him
that we could solve that problem.



I had Chris take Jim and buy him the finest suit, but to my surprise Chris didn't stop with one suit. He pulled
out his own money and bought Jim a whole new wardrobe of suits. He used money that he'd been saving
all year. I was so pleased with my oldest boy. What an act of unselfishness.




“Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.”
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JustMe
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PostSubject: Re: "A Man Named Jim" ~ UPDATE: Completed story is now posted   16/8/2012, 02:38



We also took Jim to get a shave and a hair cut at the local hair salon, but sadly it would be several months
before Jim would ever come to church, but I didn't get mad at him. I didn't push him or reject him as a friend.
I just kept loving him, knowing one day he'd show up.



When that day finally arrived my church members were looking at Jim like cows at new gates. They just stood
there some with their mouths gaped open, some were whispering, and others just ignored him.



Jim stood there a completely different person that Sunday. He looked different, smelled different,
and even smiled. But...the most shocking transformation was what God had done on the inside of
Jim. He no longer had a need to talk to himself or smell his armpits and his thinking was clearer.
Yes, Jim was different, but it had nothing to do with anything I had done. It was the power of love
that made all of the difference. I was just an instrument of His love, a simple tool in His hands.
Jim started attending church and sitting with our family every Sunday. He even went on family vacations
with us. He loved my kids and my kids loved him. He became the brother I never knew I wanted
and the uncle my kids never knew they needed. The church started to explode with growth as love
became our dominating force. Just as God promised the Love of God invaded my life, my family's life,
and my church all because of a simple man named Jim.




“Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.”


Last edited by JustMe on 17/8/2012, 08:10; edited 1 time in total
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JustMe
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PostSubject: Re: "A Man Named Jim" ~ UPDATE: Completed story is now posted   16/8/2012, 03:31

If you like this story please go to my Sim Studio and rec it. Here's the link.


My story on the officials


Thank you.




“Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.”


Last edited by JustMe on 16/8/2012, 12:27; edited 1 time in total
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InaMac69
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PostSubject: Re: "A Man Named Jim" ~ UPDATE: Completed story is now posted   16/8/2012, 08:00

this is a fabulous story hun, and it really makes you stop and think about love and the power it has. You have worded this beautifully very well done

heart spin heart spin heart spin


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http://inamac69.tumblr.com/
JustMe
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PostSubject: Re: "A Man Named Jim" ~ UPDATE: Completed story is now posted   16/8/2012, 12:15

Thank you so much, Inamac. I'm glad you liked it




“Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.”
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