A Leap-Day Leap of Faith 2-29-16 and 2-29-20

I came across this post from Leap Days gone by.
I felt a tug on my virtual sleeve. Someone should see this – post it again.
So here it is, although it’s almost 8 months late.
God is chasing you!

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“Nothing before, nothing behind;
The steps of faith
Fall on the seeming void, and find
The Rock beneath.”

–John Greenleaf Whittier

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Les, a man – an agnostic man – was conversing on the telephone with a friend. The friend was trying to explain faith to the unbelieving Les, but was having little success. The fifteen-year-old daughter of the friend overheard the conversation and impulsively interjected a comment from across the room.

“What’s that Laura said?” asked Les, “I couldn’t quite make it out.”

“Oh, she is quite the student of poetry – and she has quite a deep understanding of her own faith. She just said this: ‘Why don’t you just tell him what John Greenleaf Whittier said about faith? – Nothing before, nothing behind; The steps of faith fall on the seeming void, and find The Rock beneath.’ “

“I’ll write that down. Sounds a little deep for me. Thank her for the thought, though.”

“Wait, Les, she also wants me to relay another message. She perceives that God is chasing you. Oh, that kid! You had better listen, she is a very insightful girl!”

After the call ended, Les got curious and ‘Googled’ the poem. “Yup, here it is, she got it word for word!”
Nothing before, and Nothing behind.”
“The seeming void . . .”
“Kind of sounds like me.”
“The Rock – finds The Rock.”
Sounds like she wants me to believe The Rock is God . . .”
More curious, he saw a ‘related link’ and clicked it.

Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance that
what we 
hope for will come about,
and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.”

“Hmmm,” he thought. He went back to the poem. Looked at it harder.
Went deeper – and it was deep!
He went back to the verse even though he had avoided anything to do with the Bible for a long, long time.
He sensed warm breath on the back of his neck.
“Chasing? Yes, I think she used the word chasing . . .”

He found this below the verse:
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

“11:1-3 Faith always has been the mark of God’s servants, from the beginning of the world. Where the principle is planted by the regenerating Spirit of God, it will cause the truth to be received, concerning justification by the sufferings and merits of Christ. And the same things that are the object of our hope, are the object of our faith. It is a firm persuasion and expectation, that God will perform all he has promised to us in Christ. This persuasion gives the soul to enjoy those things now; it gives them a subsistence or reality in the soul, by the first-fruits and foretastes of them. Faith proves to the mind, the reality of things that cannot be seen by the bodily eye. It is a full approval of all God has revealed, as holy, just, and good. This view of faith is explained by many examples of persons in former times, who obtained a good report, or an honourable character in the word of God. Faith was the principle of their holy obedience, remarkable services, and patient sufferings. The Bible gives the most true and exact account of the origin of all things, and we are to believe it, and not to wrest with the Scripture account of the creation, because it does not suit with the differing fancies of men. All that we see of the works of creation, were brought into being by the command of God.”

Esteeming himself a scholar, a learned man, a lover of art and poetry, he looked and studied and delved into the words and concepts which had previously escaped him – no, which he had ignored and run from for years.
“How do I catch hold of this stuff? It all seems so impossible. Yet what all this implies is that I need to step outside my blind self  more, and into the part of me that can see.”

“Les, let Me . . .” 

“I think I need to slow down and let God catch me a little.
But how did Laura know I liked poetry?
How did she know to quote me that one poem out of millions of them?
How did she know that it would touch me – begin to change me?
How did she know to say ‘God is chasing me
so that I might become aware and wonder of such pursuit?”

“It’s her faith. Laura knows my love. She is mine.
She wants you to know me as well,
as do I.
I AM here, I AM!”

Les called his friend. “Hi! I was wondering if Laura is at home. She is? Are you guys busy? Yes, I was wondering if I could come over and talk to you both about the message she had for me. I have a few questions.
Lunch? Sounds great, be there in an hour.”
Laura was joyous, and not surprised in the least.

Les took a step of faith; well, a leap of faith, really,
He slowed down for the catch,

He jumped into the void and landed on solid footing,
and within two months, I,
I mean he,
was HIS as well,
and has never had a single regret.

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A Matter of Life and Death

I keep beginning to write a piece about death, but Life won’t leave me alone . . .

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Into the Deeper Meaning And Deeper Still. A Touch of Christmas In July.

This will be a flight of fancy, a dive into the obscure. I don’t know exactly why I’m attempting to write this one, but I’ve been working on it for well over a year.
I have doubts that it will even interest you. Furthermore, I don’t even know how I’m going to address this subject, for I will try to take you into places I have not the words to explain. Maybe I will be given the words. Perhaps this is only for my own good, and possibly not even my own. 

“It is a fool’s errand”, I laugh inwardly at myself, “and I don’t perceive myself a fool, evidence to the contrary, yet, here we are.”
However, I’ve found that my doubts are often wrong, and you might find a touch of something familiar in it; something of value. You, yourself might be able to redeem this post by your intelligence and wise contemplation, kind reader! Give it a shot. If you have to quit, or skip to the ending, I thank you for trying.

 ~   ~   ~

Okay . . . I was watching one of my all-time-favorite movies, a Christmas-oriented animated film, for the umpteenth time last December and I noticed something strange part way through: Every time I watch it, new facets of ever deeper figurative meaning stand out for me. I realized that I instinctively seek what I call The Deeper Meaning! TDM (It deserves an acronym, right?) is a term which, as I will try to show, has itself a much deeper meaning than appears on the surface. “It’s a talent, I’m good at this,” I thought, “but, no, it is more of a gift I’ve been given.”
But how can I share this “gift” for the benefit of others? What good is it if I can’t? Of what benefit is this The Deeper Meaning? Is it only for my good alone? It seems as though that might be the case right this moment. But I hope I can bring this forth for the good of others, too. (No, I don’t think I’m the only one with this talent, this gift. I’m certain many have it! I also realize it could be different in degree and substance for everyone.)

The Catalyst

You’re going to laugh, but the movie I was watching was The Polar Express (TPE – another well deserved acronym!), a film that is loaded with symbolism. Have you seen it? It purports to teach “the real meaning of Christmas”, but barely skims the real truth of that subject. The Real Truth is there, hidden, intentionally or not, deep in metaphor and simile. 

William Broyles Jr., one of the film’s screenwriters along with Robert Zemeckis, hints that the Real Truth is there in the film by intention. He notes: “We all go through that passage… to that world of adulthood where that magic and wonder is gone — or maybe deeply buried. As we enter the Christmas season, this is a good time to rekindle a sense of wonder and awe of our Creator and Savior. The Polar Express is a great holiday film with a story even the youngest child can understand — and a profound message about faith and belief that no adult can miss.”  (I added the emphases)

However, a viewer needs some previous knowledge of that Truth, of that wondrous Christmas story, then one needs to dig into the film to expose it. A few years ago, I drafted a post about the symbolism in The Polar Express, but didn’t post it because I found that there had already been volumes written about it. I just didn’t want to join the Department of Redundancy Department. 

So, you’re wondering “why do I like that movie so much?”
“For several reasons, and for reasons beyond reason,” I reply. Back in early December, 2004, I reached my pivotal day: The Day-I-First-Believed! Suddenly, my life, my world, my belief-system took on a much deeper, more profound meaning! Maybe you have experienced that life-changer. If not, you can at least imagine the elation and rejoicing that takes place in that moment of saving transformation ( All the angels in Heaven immediately rejoiced for me. That’s scriptural truth! ).

Back to the point, it was no more than a week later that I volunteered to chaperone my young son’s class field trip to see the new Christmas movie coming out. It was one of the first screenings of The Polar Express! His mom and I had read the book version to him,  so I had a basic idea of what the movie would entail, and not only that, but my son and I were steam-locomotive buffs and the big 2-8-4 Berkshire type steam engine (Know-It-All-Kid in the film calls it a Baldwin type for some reason) became one of the main characters for us. Anyway, the movie was far, far, beyond the book! As a brand-new believer, my head was still spinning anyway. I was astonished! For example, a short way into the movie, the Conductor tells “Doubting Boy”: “Sounds to me like this is your crucial year. If I were you, I would think about climbing on board (the train of faith)!” Similar thoughts of a spiritual nature had been racing and swirling through my mind only few weeks before! And, as I watched, spellbound, I realized that the real meaning of the movie was actually not about belief and faith in Santa Claus, a.k.a. The Big Man, but belief in Jesus Christ, the real Big Man, and faith in Father God. That, combined with the fact that, in my childhood, I actually heard Santa’s sleigh bells on the roof late in the night one glorious Christmas eve, (don’t scoff, I really did, I’m absolutely certain!) it’s no wonder watching TPE two or more times a season has become a delightful tradition for me. Like the main character in the movie, I still hear the Bell of Belief ringing clearly, in all its figurative senses.

But, despite the whole prologue above, The Polar Express isn’t the central subject of this writing, it’s only the catalyst.

TDE Illuminated

Watching TPE was only where I first had an embryonic realization that the gift of The Deeper Meaning was present. Other examples of that realization, awareness, and discovery, come to mind:  movie plots that are interesting on the surface, but compellingly profound underneath, or, where love wins out against “impossible” odds; music that carries one beyond where you are, (for me, there is nothing quite as transcendent as a large choir backed by an immense pipe organ); natural mountain scenery so lovely as to make the heart beat quicker, yet being the mere covering of a splendor lying unseen to the eye, yet visible to the spirit; poetry, stories, and books that are enthralling, transporting one away from this world; a symphony orchestra playing a timeless classic; art which evokes invisible, yet powerful, emotion; a relationship which transcends all expectations;  building, crafting, or creating something beyond what you thought you were capable. That is Deep Meaning, and Deeper Still . . . can you think of some special things that take you to the Deeper?

I have written, or tried to write, of such things before, (The Reflection, for example) and here is the thing, here is the point that is so very difficult to make using mere words: The Deeper Meaning is more than merely looking deeper into figurative speech, metaphor, or simile. It is deeper than the elation of hearing soaring sopranos and booming pipes. I must tell you The Deeper Meaning is not the end result, it is only the beginning! It should lead even deeper into the hard-to-fathom Deepest! And that is where it leads me, even though I don’t think I have ever quite gotten all the way there yet. (I will, though, yes, I will!)

In everything I write, or make, or build, there is a deeper meaning. I try to put it there intentionally. That is my way as a creator. Few people see that there is something else/something more there, but I’m always gratefully amazed when a reader does. And so it is, I believe, with Creator God.

Further Illumination of TDM,
Which Is Meant To, Itself, Be Illumination,
Through Words, Ideas, and Examples:

I want desperately to get my meaning across, to illuminate The Deeper Meaning, but mere words can’t seem to express that, or else it is merely my poor command of them, but here are some words and ideas He gave me that might help :

The  Deeper Meaning is: 

Profound!
Joyfully received

Innermost, intimate revelation.
Personal and private (to share sometime later, maybe)
Non Superficial
Intensely heartfelt
Perception of the Soul
Emotionally astounding

Profound immersion in that which is:
Concealed
Secret
Hidden
Veiled

Often mysterious,
Esoteric
Obscure
Complex
Weighty
Enigmatic
Incomprehensible
Inexplicable
Perplexing sometimes
Abstruse (difficult to understand)

 

In addition, I think The Deeper Meaning is:

Transcendental – spiritual, of the nonphysical realm
Abstract – existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.
Unprovable – unable to be demonstrated by physical evidence or argument as true or existing, yet known to be true in your spirit!

An undefinable quality, or a state of being.
This quality, this “state of existence” was always there, but now I have a name for it – The Deeper Meaning – finding the true nature of this sense of wonder.

Here’s the thing, and by that I mean here’s another point:Something has been created, something made, and it contains The Deeper Meaning. That Meaning could have been incorporated intentionally, or it may be present intrinsically, hidden inside the complexity of something’s own existence.

Things that have been created to contain TDM intentionally:
All the examples I listed above where I find TDM.
The Polar Express
movie, of course!
Lord of the Rings books and movies.
Anything written by C. S. Lewis.

My own life!
Life in general!
The Creation of Adam, a painting by Michelangelo.

The Universe!
 On a higher level, The Bible!
(To name but a few)
What contains its own intrinsic TDM
inside the complexity of its/his own existence?
A huge choir singing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus accompanied by the Wanamaker Pipe Organ at Macy’s in Philly.
Yellowstone National Park

Grand Canyon National Park-

Rocky Mountain National Park

Marriage

Baptism

Time

Communion

To name only a few real good ones.


And, on an infinitely higher level,
The Deeper Meaning exists intrinsically in:
The Holy Trinity,
God The Father,

Jesus,
The Holy Spirit,
Christbirth,
The Crucifixion
Heaven,
and, again, The Holy Bible.

 

The Importance of Mystery and Wonder;
Of The Unseen and The Spiritual;
Of Faith and Belief;
Of “Magic”.
There really is a message here if I were only smart enough to explain it!

You see,

We are always trying to discover the True Nature of things. We use tools to look farther into the universe, and further into the unseen. Searching, always delving, and looking beyond, behind, underneath, inside; wondering who is backstage, what is “in the wings”, wondering how things happen – cause and effect. We try to use reason and logic, yet we, many of us, have a strong sense of the unseen, yet close, spiritual “world”. That is what tapping into The Deeper Meaning is good for. It leads to greater appreciation of things in both “worlds”, and it leads to something else – The Deepest Meaning – the True Nature and Character of our Creator God!

Who is God?
Why did He create the world?
Why did He create you and me?
How did He do that?
Why does He love us so much?
How can I be aware of Him and detect Him in all circumstances?
How can I be near Him Always?
Pursuing TDM could and should help with the answers.
Life is filled with wonder (Oh, Lord, let me never lose the ability to find it!).
I think wonder is akin to “magic”. There is a certain “magic” in childhood, and by “magic” I mean wonder and excitement and joy; mystery and curiosity, romance, delight, pleasure, and fun, and, as in childhood, the life “beyond”, the unseen life, is even more “magical” if you but look for the Deeper Meaning, stop, look, listen, and gain Faith to believe.
I, myself, though an older believer and an elder one, staunchly participate in and defend a “magic” life of wonder and excitement, and joy, mystery, romance, and delight! It is part of The Life To the Fullest Abundance He came to give us! Thankfully, there are some other defenders of this way of looking at life, and many of them are authors of children’s books. They mentor and guide the young ones, and indeed all of us, in the arts of wonder, curiosity, and the adventure of not knowing but wanting to know. They, whether aware of it or not, plumb The Deeper Meaning.

Mystery is also akin to “magic”, and, as scientists have pointed out again and again, the universe is a mysterious place that goes far beyond our capacity to understand it. The universe is filled with “magic”. How much more “magical”, then, is the unseen spiritual world? Belief itself is mysterious, in my book. The One in Whom I believe is the “embodiment” of “magic” and mystery, wonder, romance, and love, Himself!

Catholic theologian Leonardo Buff has put it: “We never ‘catch up with’ reality itself. The real nature of mystery always evades our attempts to conceptualize it, and escapes the nets of our language and symbolism. Its depths are never plumbed. Mystery is always linked to passion, enthusiasm and all great emotions, in short, to life’s deepest and greatest impulses.” TDM dives into this mystery to embrace it, to learn it, and to know it.

Finally, As We All Breathe A Sigh Of Relief:

I have had doubts about this; there have been roadblocks and loads of distractions. Yet, I have felt urgency bolstered by the encouragement of one dear soul – only one! And of course that of the HS who has never left me alone about this task. He wants it, for some reason, and that’s good enough for me! I have faith, and believe it will be fruitful and this basket I hold out will not return empty.

As for you, if you have “made it” this far, dear reader, of having to redeem this post, I release you! You can take part in that if you like, but The Real Big Man has already done it, as He promised me long ago.

I wanted to shine a headlight on a film that gives me joy – my Polar Express, catalyst for a reaction of such depth. And, like the sleigh bell in the film, representing the “first gift of Christmas” and symbol of the  true spirit of Christmas, the gift of The Deeper Meaning is much more than just an idea. When looked at through the eyes of a joyful heart, a heart of love, it becomes an instrument, like a bell, confirming the beauty of belief. Like boarding the imaginary train that travels to the North Pole, belief and faith can’t be forced, but the environment for encouraging “getting aboard” can be enhanced and lovingly set in place. I “got aboard”, and I still hear the cheerful ringing of the little bell of faith, belief and wonder, and I always will! It is, indeed, quite magical!

Here, I have described some things of deep importance to me. I told of how I came to recognize it, what I think it is and does, something of how it works, where it can be found, how it is useful, where it can ultimately lead one, and the unending, precious benefits of pursuing it. The Deeper Meaning! I want to bask in it, let it pour over me, roll in it, dive into it, let its current take me and wash me into the Deepest of All Meaning!
I would like to, somehow, stimulate the desire in you to look for it too – if you don’t already have it (chances are you do). When you decide to take that journey into The Deeper Meaning, keep right on going and it will eventually lead you into the Deepest of All Meanings – To The True Nature of, the divine substance of, the essence of the Maker and Source of all Meaning, The Very Center of Creation, and to the very Heart of God, Himself.

And Merry Christmas in July!
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Thoughts On Prayer – Precious Prayer

I recently wrote about dust and mortality, and a spirit which persists, and endures, and is treasured by God. That short piece can be found here.
There is another thing of ours which persists eternally, endures the ravages of time and death, and is treasured by God.

That thing is prayer!

Our prayers are so important to Him, so precious, each one that is sincere and spotless in intention, ( I don’t know what to say about prayers that ask harm to others) that He has assigned a special angel to their care alone. (See Revelation 8: 1-5) (See also Psalm 141:2, which is very similar)
In the center of Heaven, in His throne room, where all plans for Heaven and earth are made, in the center of all power and glory, that angel is charged with constantly offering up to God the prayers of God’s people.
The prayers lie on a golden altar before His unimaginably astounding throne, obviously a sacred place reserved for precious treasure! Those prayers are raised up before God, cupped in the angel’s hands, mingled together with the sweet aroma of incense.
I picture countless precious, metallic-like leaves which are unpacked from the golden altar and handled one-by-one by the angelic High Keeper of Prayers, ( this notion is my own and it is extra-Biblical, so if it is of no help to you, please disregard it )

and I’ve no doubt that each one of those communications is seen and heard by The Lord God individually, and is instantly committed to His perfect memory where it will be integrated into His Plan. I imagine that the whole process happens so quickly that there is no lag time at all between the utterance or sending up of the prayer and His hearing and seeing of it.

In His hands, prayers take on solidity; a life of their own.They endure and live on, although those who sent them up may be long-departed. I believe each prayer is eternal, therefore having no half-life but being full of life! They might be thought of as the nuclear fuel of His plan, although, unlike nuclear fuel, they never degrade and they persist forever!
It’s difficult for us to grasp the concept of “forever”. It’s very difficult to grasp that God created time and can live inside time and outside of time all at “one time”! I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure He can view all of time at the same time! He can place Himself at a point in the past and start things in motion that will be an answer to a prayer I pray today. He can, I think, integrate all the prayers that were ever prayed, and will be prayed, and somehow make them result in ultimate, glorious Good.
Prayer is, in a sense, “talking to God”, speaking with your creator to thank Him, to praise Him, to ask for help, to simply ask why?, or will You?, or what shall I do?. I have to think that every word we say to Him is important to Him. I have to think He remembers every word. He must! Even the angry words, the harsh, the foolish, the hurtful, and the factual; the righteous words, and the sinful. It’s all part of the relationship, I think.
In a relationship we remember most things that have been said.
My cousin coined a word – revelationship! That’s a great word which kind of ties this whole piece together.

I just wanted to express the eternal persistence of our prayers.
I wanted to show that they are precious to God; treasured by Him, a sweet fragrance, as illustrated by the picture in Revelation of a special ritual involving an important angel, our Lord God, King of Heaven and Earth, and the prayers of His people. It is a very important scene which is evidence and confirmation that praying is of prime importance! No wonder we are told to pray constantly . . . about everything!

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MLK Wisdom and A Prayer From Francis of Assisi

Like cockroaches coming out of the woodwork, an infestation of hatred is multiplying and invading contemporary American society. I should say, it is appearing out of the darkness behind the woodwork of our society.

Have you noticed how shining a bright light on those disgusting insects sends them scurrying back into the darkness? That’s how it is when the pure, cleansing, light of love sends hate back to its dark source – back to the lair of the enemy of our souls who thrives in evil darkness.

Hate is destructive, yet enticing.

What a great tool for him who seeks to kill our spirits.
How do we fight it?
Hate back?
Fight darkness with more darkness;
trade evil for evil? It’s tempting to do so at times,
But . . .

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
~Dr. Martin Luther King   

No, he is right,
We must end the darkness of hate,
But who has the light? 
Who can take away the place
Where hate lives,
Where evil hides?
Who has the power,
Who has the light?
Well, the one in the mirror,
The one facing me!
Yes, you,
If you would be free,

Pray this prayer
Of the man from Assisi:

Dear God, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master,
Grant that I not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

~ Prayer of St Francis.

Born to eternal life through our Emmanuel and Savior, Jesus!
The dark one cannot abide His Light. 
See?!
The enemy flees His name!
But don’t stop praying.
Don’t stop driving out darkness and hate.
The scoundrel is lurking; he’s never far off. 

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Independence Day Food For Thought

I like a good paradox: 

It seems counter-intuitive, but the truest, most lasting freedom comes from giving up one’s independence. Sounds wrong, right?  What do you think I mean by that? *

?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?

* Give up being independent from the Lord. Instead, be independent from sin; from the need for large amounts of status, power, and money. Trust and depend on Jesus alone for your freedom, and you will be free indeed; free at last!

Happy 4th of July!  God bless you, dear reader, and God bless America!
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Of Dust and Mortality and Me

It has come roughly five thousand miles to settle upon the hilly farmland where I live and (try to) breathe. Dry, powdery dust has wafted all the way from the African Sahara to limit visibility, and respiration, here on my home acres. Only God knows the number of those departed who have lent their own dust to the Saharan cloud, but it dims the sunlight like a partial eclipse. It induces me to remember I’m dust, myself. My frame is dry bones. The dust is inescapable. It is mortality.

Yet, dust and fleeting things are only what I consist of in this plane of earthly existence. The dust is moistened, and shaped, and fired. It is a clay vessel, my anatomy is, and inside the clay shell burns a flame. Burns a flame and shines a light. This to show that it’s not me but God, has the power, for only He can make that kind of fire and this form of light. (2 Corinthians 4:7)

So, it doesn’t worry me that my dusty clay is fragile and dying, for I know that the small flame and the light that is me, is completely precious to Him, as is yours, dear reader. It is treasured and kept safe in its own sacred place, away from all dust, and protected from death in His very heart.
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A Beautiful Corona

As you know, the word “corona” refers to a crown-like object or something roughly trumpet shaped. This spring, “corona” has acquired a very negative association that came with the name of a dangerous virus. However, I would like to take back the word and redeem it right now.

At about 11 pm last night, March 19, 2020, astronomical Spring officially came. The season has not changed that early for 124 years! All the harbingers of this wonderful season have arrived. Robins are headed north and can be found in almost every yard. Flowers can be seen everywhere. Trees, lawns, and gardens are covered with them!

One of my favorite flowers is among the earliest bloomers to trumpet the imminent arrival of Spring. That is the glorious daffodil. Daffodils come in many sizes, shapes, and color combinations. All of them are beautiful in my eyes, and they all have one thing in common. They all possess a colorful cup-shaped structure in the center. Did you know that structure is called the “corona”? Does that not save and redeem all the negative versions and nuances of the word? 


One day, in the fullness of time, all the ultimate harbingers will be in place for the arrival of the highest, most glorious “season” of all, when Jesus Christ arrives to accomplish our most complete rescue, our final redemption, and culmination of all His vows to us, His Bride, the body of believers. Amidst the heraldry of Heavenly trumpets, our King will come to sweep us up and whisk us away, on that glorious day. And upon His head will rest the Royal Diadem, the Holy Coronet of Coronation, the Crown of Glory, and He will be wrapped in a corona the likes of which has not yet been seen – the indescribably beautiful Corona of the Divine Light of the Highest Lord!

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How Incomprehensible His Glory !

I’m often mystified about my “Gloryteller” situation:
Why me?
Do I deserve the name?
Am I smart enough, or more to the point, wise enough?
Who am I to write of God’s glory?

Moses asked “Who am I that I should go . . .?” when being sent to the Pharaoh,
and God told him He would be with him.

Jeremiah said “I don’t know how . . .
and God told him He would be with him as well.

King David also asked “Who am I, that You would . . .?”

I am extremely less than those pillars of men . . .

Sure, sometimes I feel unworthy,

under-qualified,
ineligible,
over-extended,
in-over-my-head,
like I bit-off-more-than-I-can-chew,
like a fish out of water,
unfit for the task.

Nevertheless,
Here I am.
He gave me the name Gloryteller and no one else I know of.
He gave me a commission, a purpose, a message, a personal story to tell, and a way to tell it.
I do feel all of it was imparted to me so that I could give my own testimony,
my perception of His glory
in my rebirth, transformation, and salvation.

“What ‘other’ god can even come close to unfastening His sandals?” I ask.
So I will continue for Him; with Him.
I will do my best.

What about His glory? :

It has always existed, as has He, the Godhead,
the Trinity,
HE,
I AM,
has always existed.

It is said that His glory is fundamentally intrinsic and not external.
Yet, to me, it does seem external in a sense  –  in Jesus!

Heb 1:3 – “the Son is the radiance of God’s glory”!

In John 17, Jesus refers to the glory He shared with The Father before Creation.
The word “glory”, (or derivations thereof) appears more than 500 times in The Bible.


How can God’s glory be described but by our inadequate words?

Also, does he impart a finite, minor amount of His glory to us?
I think so, in a sense.

He gave us words to explore the above two questions:
There is a certain majesty and magnificence to mankind.
There is certainly an elegant splendor entwined in our souls,
although, in some, it is hidden, latent, or unfulfilled.
Humanity is capable of honor.
We are designed for distinction – raised to eminence at the very peak of creation.
We glimpse glorious greatness and grandeur in our own creations, our activities, our accomplishments.
We, as a people, respect those who earn renown, recognition, and good repute.
We are capable of love, in fact, I believe we are designed to love and be loved.

Regarding the “Human Condition”, all the above attributes are but analogies,
mere metaphors, and meager reminders of the true, absolute, and unfathomable glory of God.
Yet, we fall so far and fail so hard as a people and as individuals to live up to the demands of the concept of His glory.

As a people, we too often forget our citizenship in Heaven. As a group we love our world-born selves more than higher things unseen. We often make an eyesore of our gifts of whatever majesty, magnificence, elegance, and splendor that we have. Mankind, too often, makes a mockery of whatever eminence, greatness, and grandeur we have been given. We are prone to give our respect to people who hardly earn their renown, recognition, and reputation.

In God, there is only brightness and light. In us – humanity – there may be some light, but there is also darkness.
We are capable of being beautiful in the highest sense of the word, but, more often than not, we end up enacting the most terrible and ugly destruction. As humans, we are poor models of His glory, it seems to me, except for the one human who was also God.

And love.
Love!
In my mind, love is the easiest of all the attributes of His glory to understand even though we may not fully understand His perfect love. We want love – desire it – to a person.
But do we love?
Not always.
Not often.

Too often, not well.

We glimpse His glory, but fail to strive toward the God kind of glory.
(Not you and me, of course, but the majority of humanity.
Insert uncomfortable chuckle here . . .)

Can we see His glory?
I think each individual who is curious about God’s glory gets ‘close to it’ in a slightly different way. 
Again only in glimpses. Most people probably connect to it in nature. For me, a high mountain scene takes me there – or a flower, any plant, or animal, or bug, showcases His genius creative nature – seeing a baby, a child, a birth, the sky, the stars, life in its diversity, people in theirs.  

To be high-up in the mountains reminds me of His high holiness.
His transcendence.
His set-apart-ness.
His mystery.

The lightness of the air takes me close to the heaviness of His glory.

How mysterious
, His ability to know what is in our hearts;

to transform our hearts into new ones at the perfect time.

He is the pinnacle.
The Highest Being imaginable.
The Most High Lord.
His glory is elusive, yet we sense it because we are His. If the Holy Spirit is in us, it follows that at least some of His glory is too!
Unimaginable, but isn’t it true?

We may have a smattering, or more, of His glory in us.
We may have glimpses of His glory when observing His creation and when reading His Word.
We may even have personal revelation that points to His glory.

 But, I don’t pretend to understand the fullness of His glory.
If we were suddenly exposed to the reality of it, I think our minds would short circuit and shut down, but I do have faith that when He gives us our resurrected bodies and minds in Heaven, they will be able to contain the entirety of the knowledge of all His glory. We will be able to bear the ponderous weight of it and we will be in perfect, resplendent, glorious relationship with Him!
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To conclude:

I am but a lowly one of a multitude of writers and authors (scribes) for Him –
just a scribe in His service – 
a scribe to the Lord

Psalm 96:8 : “ASCRIBE to the Lord the glory due unto His name.”

Is that not a Godincidental twist of wordplay?
Is that not a remarkable confirmation?!

So, despite my questioning and self doubt, it turns out that I’m intensely thankful for my Gloryteller situation.
It means:
I am loved, and revered, and thought of, by my FatherSonSpirit in Heaven.
I have a special purpose in life.
I have faith in His plan.
I have a story to tell and a way to tell it.
I have (and I am) a mind, body, soul, and heart on loan from Him.
He trusts me to use the above for His benefit and glory,
and for the benefit of others.

After all, when I first said,
“Who am I to write for You, I don’t even know how?!”
He did say “It is alright, I will be with you.”
And He has been, is now, and always will be.
(What did I expect, anyhow?)

I may feel unworthy, sometimes, but I am honored all the time!

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Rejoice! Rejoice! With All Your Might, Rejoice!


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Rejoice! Rejoice! With All Your Might, Rejoice!

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think,
in one way or another,
about Christ’s crucifixion, His resurrection, and His ascension.

Today is no different.
But wait,
it is different, for today is His Church’s official celebration of that
creation-changing,
world-changing,
life-changing Day.

Today, let there be loud singing and joyous dancing.
Let there be massive celebration over all the Earth,
for our Jesus is alive!

Let there be all of that but, most importantly,
let Him be the Lord of your life.

Rejoice, My Soul,
All People, Rejoice!

I celebrate this holiest
Of all the days of holiness,
For as the sun appears to rise in the East,
The Son of God did arise on Easter
– Resurrection Day,

The greatest Day the Lord Has Made.
I rejoice and I am exceedingly glad in it,
For my Savior lives!
Oh, Lord, He lives!
Now and forever, He lives!
And because He lives,
So can I!
For my heart, too, was sealed
With hardened stone,
And in that darkened tomb
Dwelt death.
With tender touch He moved
The hardened part away
To let in light and life
So death was put to death.
The Holy Spirit Jesus sent
Was sent to live in me.
As Christ began to breathe for me
I felt my spirit leap.
It leapeth still in Heaven’s realm,
So graciously removed from hell
That I can only raise my hands and say,
“Rejoice, all people, rejoice!
Hallelujah, praise God, rejoice!”
For our Savior lives and breathes in us!
He arose!
He conquered bitter death and saved!
He does that still, today!

~ ~ ~

With love,
Your Gloryteller

 Resurrection Sunday,  4-12-2020 

(re-posted, with edits, from 3-31-2013)
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Wandering Among Dogwood Lamps

Late last night, there was thunder. After several moments, an eerie flash caught my eye from where I lay reading. Through a doorway across the room, then through a double window across another room, our dogwood tree was perfectly framed. Momentarily, the entire tree became an exquisite, living Tiffany lamp, lit from the inside by a mysterious argent light source, and then . . . .


April is “dogwood time” in the Mid-South. This year, our delightful dogwood is extraordinarily beautiful. Its flower petals are whiter and much larger than they have ever been, densely covering all the branches. They are so large that when a breeze ripples through the tree, the petals flutter like the wings of large, white butterflies . . .

Yes, I am familiar with the legends and symbolism surrounding the dogwood tree. The legends, I discount. They are interesting as fables but have no Biblical or historically factual basis. The symbolism, however, I do embrace. I like every reminder, every metaphor, that reminds me of Jesus and His love:

The petals, which are actually specialized leaves, or bracts, are the purest white, which reminds me of Christ’s perfect purity. There are four petals arranged in a cross-like pattern, and each petal has a semicircular hole at the tip, reminiscent of those that might be made by a nail. In addition, each “hole” is mysteriously stained with a pinkish or reddish blotch. The true flower is in the center of the four petals. It is green and yellow and is said to be a reminder of the crown of thorns that was forced painfully onto Jesus’ head. Interestingly, the “berries” often form in clusters of three. Their red color among the green leaves reminds me of Christbirth – the Christmas season! The sets of three, to me, symbolize the three divine persons of the Holy Trinity.


. . . . There was lightning once again, then more thunder, and this time the flashing and booming was closer. I turned my reading light off. The enveloping darkness was immediately banished by the intense, momentary, white glow of the dogwood. Once again, it looked as though it was lit from within, and somehow I was transported; translated to a place I had been only in my imagination, until last night. This time it seemed real.

I was walking on a winding, well-groomed garden path surrounded by surreal beauty. Unearthly beauty, except that here, too, there were dogwoods in bloom. The garden was so large, I could not see the beginning nor ending of it. An ancient place; possibly the parent of all gardens . . .

The path meandered, and the dogwoods that lined it were all lit from inside their canopies by light that made the sun seem dimmer by comparison, yet it was a soft light. Magnificent spring-blooming magnolia trees of all kinds and colors formed a backdrop. There were sprays of color from crabtrees and redbuds behind the dogwoods, as occasional apple, peach, and pear trees displayed their richly-flowered abundance. All were lit with the same urgently-joyous white glow.

As I continued, I perceived a change: the blooming trees were giving way to ancient olive trees, thick with ripening olives. Soon, I was in a much different garden; possibly the parent of all olive gardens! Those thick, gnarly trunks had the look of having seen countless days; having seen wonders, and also tragedies. This place was reminiscent of the garden where Jesus would go to pray . . . and each old tree also glowed from inside, but with a more yellow-green light; a more somber light.
I walked on, but was dismayed when the path changed to pebbles and dirt. Pebbles, and dirt, and rough rocks. There were no more trees, only dry-bones desert. There were no more lights, no glow. No joy. None.
I looked back and there was only a dismal grim cross on a barren, rock-strewn hill. I was lost in desolation. Isolation. I ran, stumbling repeatedly. The sky was dark at midday . . .

After a seeming eternity, the dry, rugged path skirted the top of a high cliff from which I could look down upon an expansive valley. I saw the garden of olives. Beyond that was beauty of which I could see no beginning nor any end.  Across the valley were snow-covered mountains glowing mightily from a mysteriously powerful inner luminescence. Low on the mountainsides were aspen trees in “new leaf”, not yet even knowing how to shimmer and quake. There were flowering trees of every description lit from the inside with indescribable light. Multitudes of multicolored butterflies were alighting in the trees, sheltering for the night. In the increasingly dusky light, even larger numbers of fireflies were replacing them in the air; blinking “stars” among numerous full-moons.
I knelt on one knee.

“I must somehow get back to that”, I thought. “I was not made for this distressing death place; this despair. I know now I was made to live in the immense Garden – in the place of The Lights – to enjoy them forever.”
I can only guess what, or whom, it was that lifted me by my arms and glided me down – wafted – like an ecstatic dandelion seed in a cool spring breeze – to the valley of beauty far below. At last I stood in wonder, at home, on the dogwood and firefly-lit path; tall, living, dogwood Tiffany lamps standing joyfully much farther than I could ever see.

I may be old, but I still remember the wonder and joy of that special, unique place in Creation. It is all the more special because the Creator encourages me to walk with Him  there among the dogwood lamps, any time I want.

 

© L. Snider 04-02-2019
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A Beautiful Corona

As you know, the word “corona” refers to a crown-like object or something roughly trumpet shaped. This spring, “corona” has acquired a very negative association that came with the name of a dangerous virus. However, I would like to take back the word and redeem it right now.

At about 11 pm last night, March 19, 2020, astronomical Spring officially came. The season has not changed that early for 124 years! All the harbingers of this wonderful season have arrived. Robins are headed north and can be found in almost every yard. Flowers can be seen everywhere. Trees, lawns, and gardens are covered with them!

One of my favorite flowers is among the earliest bloomers to trumpet the imminent arrival of Spring. That is the glorious daffodil. Daffodils come in many sizes, shapes, and color combinations. All of them are beautiful in my eyes, and they all have one thing in common. They all possess a colorful cup-shaped structure in the center. Did you know that structure is called the “corona”? Does that not save and redeem all the negative versions and nuances of the word? 


One day, in the fullness of time, all the ultimate harbingers will be in place for the arrival of the highest, most glorious “season” of all, when Jesus Christ arrives to accomplish our most complete rescue, our final redemption, and culmination of all His vows to us, His Bride, the body of believers. Amidst the heraldry of Heavenly trumpets, our King will come to sweep us up and whisk us away, that day. And upon His head will rest the Royal Diadem, the Holy Coronet of Coronation, the Crown of Glory, and He will be wrapped in a corona the likes of which has not yet been seen – the indescribably beautiful Corona of the Divine Light of the Highest Lord!

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Subscribers to Superscribers

I want to sincerely thank all of you subscribers.

Here’s how I look at it:
I’m a simple scribe.
You could be considered to be “under” me – as my “followers”.
Thus, you could be called SUB scribe-ers haha
But I don’t consider you to be “under” or “below” me.
Heaven forbid!

You are higher!
Without you, I’d be nothing!
Who would I “glorytell” to, if not for you?

I think you all should be placed well ABOVE me as SUPER scribe-ers!

Thank you dear reader!
Your reading me is everything!
Sub-scribing is just frosting on the cake!
An underserved blessing!
You are Super!

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A Beautiful Corona

As you know, the word “corona” refers to a crown-like object or something roughly trumpet shaped. This spring, “corona” has acquired a very negative association that came with the name of a dangerous virus. However, I would like to take back the word and redeem it right now.

At about 11 pm last night, March 19, 2020, astronomical Spring officially came. The season has not changed that early for 124 years! All the harbingers of this wonderful season have arrived. Robins are headed north and can be found in almost every yard. Flowers can be seen everywhere. Trees, lawns, and gardens are covered with them!

One of my favorite flowers is among the earliest bloomers to trumpet the imminent arrival of Spring. That is the glorious daffodil. Daffodils come in many sizes, shapes, and color combinations. All of them are beautiful in my eyes, and they all have one thing in common. They all possess a colorful cup-shaped structure in the center. Did you know that structure is called the “corona”? Does that not save and redeem all the negative versions and nuances of the word? 


One day, in the fullness of time, all the ultimate harbingers will be in place for the arrival of the highest, most glorious “season” of all, when Jesus Christ arrives to accomplish our most complete rescue, our final redemption, and culmination of all His vows to us, His Bride, the body of believers. Amidst the heraldry of Heavenly trumpets, our King will come to sweep us up and whisk us away, that day. And upon His head will rest the Royal Diadem, the Holy Coronet of Coronation, the Crown of Glory, and He will be wrapped in a corona the likes of which has not yet been seen – the indescribably beautiful Corona of the Divine Light of the Highest Lord!

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For Hailey, A Tale of Treasure

He felt humble as he began to write using the same words which so often before had been completely foreign to him. Yet, today they flowed onto the paper like honey, sweet and rich. He ran his hands through his whitening hair and touched the short beard on his chin. “I think it’s going to work this time. I tried putting it off, but Wonder won’t leave me alone about it.  It’s time I told it.” :

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The Treasure and Me

The Treasure wanted itself known. It was pressing on the man. It wanted him to tell others about it. Many others. So he began to describe how the Treasure had made itself known to him . . .

He had finally sought it after years of denying its existence. But during many of those years, he had vehemently and sarcastically mocked those who claimed to have found it themselves. Some of them tried to tell him about it, tried to explain, but they spouted gibberish! Those weirdos spoke a different language – an alien language! In addition, they made the Treasure sound almost alive, like some sort of entity with some kind of life of its own. All he could picture was a large wooden chest bound with iron, and overflowing with gemstones, pearls, gold jewelry, and silver.

He had tried to read their book and their maps when they gave him copies, but that was the same. What little he could make of them sounded like fairy tales, like superstition, like antiquated, irrelevant, make-believe. “Chances are this thing does not exist. Does it? No. Hogwash. Impossible. It’s not logical. It’s not scientific. A huge waste of time.” he would say to himself, and anyone nearby.

Out on the western frontier, he became associated with people who also denied the Treasure. They hated it. They made crude jokes about it, and also about the people who proclaimed they had found it. The man went along with them; joined them in their vicious mocking and their stone throwing. After a time, he realized the weirdos weren’t all that bad. They were at least peace-loving and kind, for the most part. Some were not, but who could judge? Could it be that some were not true to their beliefs? Every belief system had its posers. Rumors went around that very bad things had been done to some of them. That bothered him. To his great shame, he remembered the memory he’d repressed, that his own dear mother had loved the Treasure and had tried to lead him to it. Perhaps his friends were a bit too extreme. Perhaps they were the more delusional ones in their persecution of the Treasure People. He realized they may not have been the best kind of so-called friends.

He went his own way. He just didn’t know what he thought about the mysterious Treasure. He became quiet about the matter. It went beyond skepticism, he just didn’t think, worry, or care about it any longer. Still something was missing. In the desert of his life there were holes in the sand that needed filling. The things he filled them with brought no satisfaction. He was always thirsty. There were obstacles, too many boulders in his way. He traveled through dark valleys “on foot” and alone. If there were companions, they didn’t last long. They added very little. Then there was the hunger – always the hunger for something, something . . . more.

But what could it be?

His life became unstable; fishing a lake on an aspen-forested mountain one day, and stuck in a pool of mud in a canyon of brambles the next. Cycle and repeat. On the happy trails through the mountain tops, there was no thought of anything but the blinding distraction of his own pleasure, but in the mud pits, the thorny mazes, and the fearsome, predator-infested valleys, the subtle Treasure called to him with a whisper, like breeze through the pines, or the far-off echo of a voice. The voice spoke survival and rescue. It resonated.

Occasionally, the man encountered more Treasure People. One or two at a time, they hinted that the Treasure would be the answer to his problems, would change his life for the better, and would save him from his self-indulgent ways, which were indeed becoming a problem. One of them gave him a map with a dotted line and a big red “X”, but he still couldn’t, or maybe wouldn’t read it. Another showed him in their book where it said how to find it. And still others told him what it was and even what it looked like. They still maintained that it had mysterious properties, and possessed a life of its own. His inner, stubborn skeptic raged silently. “The words they use are too different. Not cipherable! Fairy tales made of gibberish and childish nonsense! Superstition!    It. Does. Not. Exist!”

Time passed. The hunger remained in the pit of his being. He slid downhill into worse predator-infested briar-valleys. The fishing lakes all dried up. He endured endless searching in endless nightmares where he ran in slow motion, unable to escape monstrous wolven evils snapping at his back. Waking in a cold sweat, he shuddered, “Maybe there is something to this Treasure business . . .  something. I’ve tried everything else.” Maybe I could use me some Treasure right now, but how . . . ?

It didn’t take long, and in the most unlikely place, it began to happen. He had the good fortune to find a cheap old horse, and slowly rode west. Riding into a tiny town on the edge of nowhere, he tied up his horse, walked into the nondescript saloon, sat down at the bar, ordered bourbon, straight, swallowed it, and stared into the mirror behind the bottles. He hardly recognized himself, and didn’t at all recognize the nice-looking woman who was walking up behind him. She looked out of place here, more of a kindly stranger than a barfly. He turned around, but before he could say anything, she asked gently, “You’re looking for it, aren’t you?”

“What’s that?” he responded, caught off guard.
“You know.”
“How . . . what . . .” his face flushed, “Nope, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“The Treasure. You’re looking. I think it’s been calling to you.”
“How do you . . . sorry I’m forgetting my manners,” he said as he stood, removing his hat. “Would you like to have a seat here, or at a table?”
“Here is just fine,” she smiled.
“Would you like something to drink?” he asked her as they sat.”
“I don’t drink, but a cool glass of water would be good.”
“Barkeep, cancel that second bourbon and bring two cool aguas, please.” He was trying to be cool, himself.
“It’s been calling you, right?” She couldn’t be sidetracked.
He looked down at his hands and groped for a clever comeback. “Well, everybody on the frontier wants their pot of gold.”
“But I’ve found it. It’s not anything like what you think.”
“I . . . I tried. I don’t think . . . I don’t see how it could really exist . . .”
“Oh, it does! It’s very real. I have it, and it means everything to me! I’m not lying. Once you have it, it is very difficult to lie. I have it, my friend.”
“I’ll bet you are going to give me a cryptic, nonsensical map now, aren’t you, and read to me from a children’s book of gibberish fairy tales?”
“No sir, it’s much simpler than that. All I have with me is my own testament, my own first-hand story, and it is the pure truth.”
“Say, what is your name, Ma’am?” There was some kind of attraction, something “winning” about her.
“Names are not important right now,” she was not going to be deflected. “The genuine bond we are forging doesn’t require that. Are you feeling it? You will always remember our conversation in detail.”
“Yes, something is different this time. Okay then, so you know about this Treasure. Why not just tell me where it’s buried? I’ll ride out and dig it up today!”

“I’ll tell you this. First, you must turn and go the opposite direction. You can get it, but you have to go the other way. And it is essential that you believe in it. You are a hard case, Mister, but you are right on the edge. You need a convincing little bump. That’s why I’m here. The Treasure is nothing like your preconceived notions about it. It is not buried in the sand under a cactus, or in some cave in the hills. It is nothing like what anybody you know says it is like, unless you know some Treasure People. They know. Of course, I am one of them, as you must have guessed by now.”

“The other way? What does that even mean? But you’re right, the biggest part of me doesn’t believe it’s real, and the words that tell of it are alien to me. But I want to think that the Treasure is real. I am beginning to see the hope, and the joy, and the peace it gives you. It’s all over your face. You kind of . . . ‘light up’ . . . with it, and if it does that for you, maybe it will do it for me too. I really want to have what you have.”

“I know. It shows doesn’t it. Especially when your eyes begin to be able to see it.”

“But why would you want to give me the Treasure when it means so much to you? Before long, you won’t have any left.”

“It doesn’t work that way. Sharing it with others only increases its value. It is unlimited in that way. And everyone should share in its wealth. It is not only Treasure to share, but a personal Treasure at the same time.”

“I trust you, Ma’am. I feel like I can believe you. So how do I learn to read the words that tell how to find where my Treasure can be found, where it is buried . . . or, um, whatever?”

Taking a scrap of paper, she began writing on it with a pencil she had with her. As she wrote, she said, “Once you lay aside your unbelief in it, the Treasure will begin to reveal itself to you. Your eyes have been blinded to it by the evil of this world, but the Treasure will make them see! Watch for it. There will be signs!” And with that, she showed him what she had written in large cursive letters on the scrap of paper. There was a large “X” and some unintelligible words written beneath it.

“But, once again, I can’t read this . . . and, of course, here’s that “X”.” He looked at her, crestfallen.

“You might not understand me saying this right now because the Treasure transcends complete understanding, but just know that I do love your soul. One can’t help loving every soul when one knows the Treasure, but the Treasure does have a life of its own, far beyond what you know as “life”, and it loves you far more than I can – infinitely more! You can find it here . . .  With that, she smiled, stood, and gently pressed the message she had written to his chest, and said, “It is right here – it was all the time – you will find it here. We will meet again, one day.”

He put his hand over the note. He looked into her eyes. One eye twinkled and the other sparkled, and she gazed straight into his. She seemed to possess a sort of glow as she said, “The Treasure is True Life, all else is death. It’s yours! Never let it go!” With that she backed out of the saloon through the swinging doors.

He stared, immobile, as the doors swung, and finally stood and exclaimed, “Hey, wait!    Loves me?    Come back!    In seeming slow motion, he went to the doors, looked up and down the dusty street, and sighed. Only his horse was there swishing its tail. She was gone. He went back inside and paid the bartender, who unexpectedly said, “Yore a lucky man. She was sure sumthin’.”

“Sure was!” He folded the note, put it in his shirt pocket, went to his horse, and rode out of town thinking he might follow her dust and catch up. There were no tracks he could find, and there was no dust, so he found a place to camp for the night and decided to cook some beans and hardtack. Getting the supplies from his saddle bags, he found the book. “It must have been her. She must have left me this!” He laid it on the log while he cooked, then read it as he ate. There was a notation on the inside cover.

“Sorry to have left you so suddenly, but I wanted you to concentrate on the message, not on me. I am merely your messenger. True, I do have a special skill-set. I knew just how to speak to you because we have a lot in common. Others planted seeds in you, but those could not flourish until I gave them special care. I speak your language. I knew it once, long ago. I imparted a better one into you. Now you will be able to read the book. Every word of it will point you to the Treasure. One more thing, my friend, don’t forget to read the note in your pocket.”
“With love,
Ma’am.”

Incredulous, he fumbled the book. Full of questions, he fished the scrap of paper out of his pocket. All was silent as he unfolded the paper. The “X” was there and the letters were clear – he could read them this time.

Χ
Π ÂΜ hεrε .
I ÂΜ γσυrš  αη∂  γôû  ârê  Μîηξ.
Π ωîιι  αιωαγš  βε ωîτh  γôû !
Hανε fαîτh îη Μξ .
ιôνê ,
Τ

Then, he understood. Not everything, but enough. Life? Death? Treasure! None of it was like he had thought it to be. In the morning, he turned and went the opposite way . . .

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Years later, after following all the signs, and experiencing continuous peace, and joy, and the companionship of other Treasure People, and the incomparable love of his Treasure, (which he named Wonderful – “Wonder”, for short) and after thoroughly reading the book he hadn’t been able to read, he found that his messenger had been right about everything. Every time he read from it, something new was revealed about Wonder. He came to know Wonder better every day, and relished the constant presence of Wonder in his life.

On reflection, the man came to the realization that his messenger had not only spoken his language, but it was in a female voice. A voice very similar to that of his dear mother. Just whom he had needed, she was indeed Treasure-sent! Ma’am was also right about wanting to share the message. He was compelled to tell others of his Wonder. He told all kinds of people, most of whom had heard something of the Treasure, but could not fathom the words, nor the concept of its reality, therefore many of them refused to listen, or they were sarcastic, or they made light of it. Sometimes, they even showed him their hate and anger. He was often cast out, reviled, and laughed at, but he was undaunted. He remembered, and put himself in their places. He kept sharing the Wonder, planting the seeds of it, having faith that they would someday grow. And he found things in common with the people. He found he could often speak their language, their language of love. Some of those who recognized the language wanted to learn it, and learned to read it. They have their Wonder and the Wonder has them, and we all stand here on the X beneath the waterfall of Treasure together. We all went the opposite way to the ultimate Life, and will never turn back.

~ ~ ~

Miss Hailey,
Thank you for reading this allegory. You inspired it! If you don’t remember me and my friend and what we discussed briefly at the “diner”, that’s alright, I’m certain that you’ve figured out the hidden meaning of this piece. It was woven together just for you. I may be your first messenger, or your final one, but I hope you take this to heart.  Whether to pursue the Treasure is the most important decision that you will ever make.
Best wishes, lots of encouragement, and unconditional love to you.
Gloryteller

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Plan and Plant for Harvest

 

 

One thing I’ve learned in my many years is that there can’t be a harvest unless something is planted – usually seeds – and many more than you expect to grow.

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Morning Star

 

The holy night of His birth, with shining glory and gleaming star,
Was the brightest night on earth, so far.
The sky was ethereal, with angels adorned,
But ordained events passed, and soon it was morn,
Daytime, in which He was called “Morning Star”!
People saw glimmers and set out from afar.

Now morning, midday, evening, and night,
His glory outshines all, and He is our Light.
Children and parents, husbands and wives,
He’s The One Living Light for each of our lives!
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Still

After a long, busy, tiring, but pleasurable, Advent, I find myself still and resting in peace today. What an eventful time I’ve had here at “Gloryteller” over the last three weeks and three days! It passed so quickly, I can hardly catch my breath!
I’ve learned new things about the Christ Child’s birth and some of the “old” things have struck me in new ways. I went deep into the Profound Mystery, and today, after the crescendo buildup of excitement surrounding

The Birth That Shook The Earth,

I find myself overwhelmed;
physically and emotionally 
drained,
but spiritually uplifted . . .  

The Baby is sleeping peacefully now.
He and His family have endured a world-changing night;
A mother-changing, husband-changing, son-changing night!
I feel like I went through it with them, in a sense . . .
And, at this moment, about all I can do
is be still and adore Him,
be still in the knowledge that He is my Lord God,
be still and worship Him,
be still and rest here at His feet . . .

Still, still, still,
His bright eyes softly close
And Mary, breathless,
Draws him sleeping
To her heart,
Made pure for keeping
Still, still, still,
His bright eyes softly close.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,
He hears, and sweetly smiles.
And kneeling Joseph
Joins in chorus
With the angels
Bending o’er us
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
He hears, and sweetly smiles.

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep,
He breathes a tender sigh,
For soon he’ll wake
The world from slumber
Bringing life
And endless wonder
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
He breathes a tender sigh

Sleep, Holy Jesus,
Sleep . . .

   ~   ~   ~
I really like this Austrian Christmas carol in the form of a lullaby.
(a “lullbaby” perhaps?)
It so saturates me with peace . . .
But now I must sadly, yet joyfully, send out one last,
heartfelt,
Merry Christmas
and wishes for peace to you this season.
It is Christmas night, 2019,

Goodnight
from Len, here at Gloryteller.com

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  Für Juli
 Stille, stille, stille,
Seine hellen Augen schließen sich leise
Und Maria, atemlos,
Zieht ihn schlafend
Zu ihrem Herzen,
Rein zum Halten gemacht
Immer noch, immer noch, immer noch,
Seine hellen Augen schließen sich leise.

Schlaf Schlaf Schlaf,
Er hört und lächelt freundlich.
Und kniend Joseph
Joins im Chorus
Mit den Engeln
Über uns gebeugt
Schlaf Schlaf Schlaf,
Er hört und lächelt freundlich.
 
Schlaf Schlaf Schlaf,
Er atmet einen zärtlichen Seufzer,
Denn bald wird er aufwachen
Die Welt aus dem Schlummer
Leben bringen
Und endloses Wunder
Schlaf Schlaf Schlaf
Er atmet einen zärtlichen Seufzer
 
Schlaf, heiliger Jesus Schlaf
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Christmas Eve 2019 – The Hunger

The last few hours of The Advent of Christ are before us.
We can wait no longer and we don’t need to.
Our hunger for hope, peace, joy, and love, is hard to bear;
We prepare the meal we will eat tonight after church.
We know we will be hungry for that food too,
but I want my hunger for Jesus to be foremost!

We can stay awake watching long into the night,
or go to sleep and let Him be born in peace.
Either is fine, for in the morning we will have the certainty
of Jesus’ birth!

The birth that shook the earth!

About 2020 years ago, everything was in place
to bring the astounding event into reality for humanity.
God’s gracious, merciful plan was about to
take a new turn and reach a new level.

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
And the Word became human.

And the Word was named Jesus,
He was born in a stable,
wrapped in cloth, and placed in a manger to sleep . . .

Placed in a manger . . .
Have you ever thought about that?
A manger is a type of feed trough for animals.
Here on the farm we call that a “feeder”.

It occurs to me that Jesus, lying in that feeder,
seems to have made Himself a symbol
for our spiritual nourishment!
Both a symbol and a reality all at once!

Is it any wonder that He told Peter, “Feed my sheep”?
Is it any wonder that He called Himself

“The Bread of Life”, or spoke over some bread, saying
This is my body“?
He wants us to partake of Himself!
To drink deeply!
“The Bread of Life”, and “The Water of Life”!

He, lying in that feeder, was already telling us,
“I AM your nourishment, your sustenance;
Come to Me and be filled”!

~ ~ ~

Happy Christmas Eve!
Your Gloryteller

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A Pre-Christmas Act of Worship In A Retail Store – HALLELUJAH!

Every December, I like to start the Advent season by posting the video of this enormous, soaring, amazing, heart-warming event. I try not to use the word “love” lightly or frivolously, but I absolutely love this composition from Handel, this immense pipe organ, this crowd, this choir of believers, and the Subject of this song!

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Jesus Lives!
Let Him Be Worshipped
And Adored At All Times,
In All Places,
By All Willing Hearts!
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Worship is not a matter of the place,
no matter how commercial, or secular, or even “holy”.
It’s not a matter of the crowd,
no matter its composition, from the faithful, to the skeptical.
It’s not a matter of the means of praise,
no matter how lofty and soaring, or off key and humble,
nor how vocally and instrumentally technical.
It’s not a matter of numbers,
no matter if a large, exuberant gathering,
or a single self-conscious voice,
singing or speaking,
with a loud clapping beat,
or no beat at all.
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Worship, it seems to me, is a matter of
the condition of each worshiper’s heart.
Only God has full estimation of that;
however, in this retail store there seems to be a crowd of
like-minded, like-hearted, worshipers
setting commercialism aside for an eternal moment

with one great-big, majestic, musical instrument,
All led and kept together by one amazing conductor;
How analogous to our God and His people!
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There might be examples of all the above conditions of worship in this video.
He is worshiped and adored here – yes, even here – inside the huge Macy’s store in Philadelphia – a worldly, consumeristic, retail marketplace, where materialism and money normally are king.
But not on this day!


This huge, highly organized, flash mob sings along with the world’s largest working pipe organ, the massive Wanamaker Grand Court Organ.
This organ is a National Landmark in and of itself!

Wanamaker Grand Court Pipe Organ (this shows only a small fraction of its pipes)


The “sounding joy”, the full, immense, profound amount of joy served-up is overwhelming!

In the fullness of time,

every knee will bow to Him,
and,
“He shall reign for ever and ever.”

This year I wanted to add the lyrics:

Hallelujah 
Written by George Friedrich Handel

Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
(For the lord God omnipotent reigneth)
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
(Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah)
Hallelujah

The kingdom of this world;
is become
the kingdom of our Lord,
and of His Christ
and of His Christ

And He shall reign for ever and ever
And he shall reign forever and ever
And he shall reign forever and ever
And he shall reign forever and ever

King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
and lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
and lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
and lord of lords
King of kings and lord of lords

And he shall reign
And he shall reign
And he shall reign
He shall reign
And he shall reign forever and ever

King of kings forever and ever
and lord of lords hallelujah hallelujah
And he shall reign forever and ever

King of kings and lord of lords
King of kings and lord of lords
And he shall reign forever and ever

Forever and ever and ever and ever
(King of kings and lord of lords)

Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
Hallelujah

WOW . . .
I sit once again in awestruck silence,
in abject humility,
before Him . . .

 

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The Basic Christian Library

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Compelling Christian Fiction Reads

"The Circle" 4-book series by Ted Dekker.
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