Seeing A Scene Between The Lines — Another God Nod !

Re-posted from three years ago:
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It happened completely unexpectedly on my birthday,  while reading a major novel.
I have never experienced this particular peculiar “special effect” while reading,
so I’ve been trying to assemble the right descriptive words with which to relate it:

I was reading, and I’m still reading, a “real”, hardcover, paper-and-ink version of the classic “Atlas Shrugged”.
As I was reading along, eyes moving along at a fast clip, my attention was drawn to the space above the line which I was reading.
I noticed something materializing there.
Without slowing down or stopping, I noticed a three-dimensional scene beginning to appear above the line.
It was as though I was driving at highway speed, watching the scenic countryside “moving past” as I watched out of my side window.
It was only a second before I reached the end of the line and thought, “What in the world was that?  What’s going on now?”
(It seems I hardly ever have to wait long for
something anomalous
something amazing
something astounding
something bizarre
something “coincidental”
something “crazy”
something epiphanic
something exceptional
something extraordinary
something mysterious
something remarkable
something super-natural
something surprising
something  unconventional
something unique
something unusual
and/or
something whimsical
to occur).

So I immediately returned to the beginning of the line and read it again, scientifically looking for a cause for this effect, a connection, or an explanation.
There was nothing special about that particular line nor the sentence which it was a part of.
The “effect” was still there, fence posts in the foreground zipping by, green hills farther out “moving” more slowly, and the mountains and clouds on the horizon not appearing to move at all.  As I kept reading, the background scene expanded to fill all the spaces between several lines as though I were actually there at that particular time and place.  Then the scene began to fade quickly and was gone in a few short, but pregnant, seconds.
I thought:
“What a thrilling thing!”
And I wondered:
“What are You trying to tell me?”

“He’s gone hallucinatory”,  you’re thinking.
Over the edge,
Delusional,
Imagining things,
Lost his mar……
You get the picture — I know what you’re thinking.
Yes you are!  I know it!
Well, maybe you have a point, but I don’t think so, and even if you do, God can still work with this.

You see,
I look at it as another instance of grace;  a most-undeserved nod from God, timed perfectly,
tailored uniquely for me, a personal revelation prepared for my use in my personal testimony and my personal ministry.
It’s typical that I should get a God Nod – my term for a message, an elbow bump from God – while reading a book authored by a pro-abortion atheist, views I strongly disagree with (Ayn Rand, a very, very talented, enjoyable, and skillful writer/novelist, and anti-socialist which I do agree with),
but what do I do with this?
How  can I use it?
What do I write?

Reveal yourself, John Galt!
Hmmm, The “John Galt Line”…..

wow

It came to me…

The scenery between the lines reminds me of pieces I have written about reading the Bible as a living text. It’s about what’s in the lines, and what’s between the lines, but it’s more than that. It has a depth of scenery that appears to be whizzing past the moving reader, yet the scenery is still and stationary. The trick is, I gather, to stop, turn ninety degrees, and look past the lines, deeper into the page.  I tried it, and as I did, the faraway, unmoving Mountain began to draw toward me (and also get larger) as I approached It, just as it would happen if a driver going past turned directly toward his/her desired objective. What a great metaphor!

“Line upon line, precept upon precept” is, to my mind, a good thing – a good way to build a work.  The lines are stacked in two dimensions, the precepts in three, or more!

The Word of God has layers and unfathomable depths to be explored.
Turn into it when it seems everything is whizzing past.

When you seek to move closer to Him, He will move closer to you, dear reader.

My trust in our Lord has led me into the most amazing life I could have imagined.

I wish you even more than you can imagine, and pray that you, too, will get unexpected Nods from God
as you read, write, and travel through the scenery of your life.
Bless you!
L<  Gloryteller

P.S. – I would be very interested to hear of your God Nods!

Has anything remotely similar ever happened to you?
Join the discussion, or start one.  You are appreciated!

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Cornerstone

I was reading Peter’s ‘first’ and noticed how he refers to Jesus Christ as the Chief Cornerstone twice in quick succession. That caused me to think – to ponder.
I sat in ponderous thought.
I thought about how ancient Isaiah also referred to the Messiah as the cornerstone.  God gave several different authors this metaphor that is eternal in its reach.
“The Bible is an astoundingly brilliant work!” I thought.  (Duh! Of course it is!)

“Cornerstone”, I thought . . . An ancient builder’s term; one with which many in Peter’s flock would have been familiar, as I am, even today. The primary (chief) cornerstone is the first part of a building to be set. Primary to the other three cornerstones. (I think of the other cornerstones as being the Prophets, the Apostles, and the Disciples.) Its placement must be perfect and the stone (the block) itself must be perfect, for the perfection of the whole building depends on it.
“That’s Jesus!” I thought.
The stone that was rejected in Matthew, Mark and Luke became the Chief Cornerstone. The builders (the pharisees, I’m assuming?) built their building without Him, resulting in its collapse. Their structure of belief in themselves, and not Jesus, is a fallen one. (“Not one stone will remain upon another”, He said.)

The cornerstone is chosen for its qualities of material strength, purity of substance, and ability to endure ponderous weights under all conditions of time and weather. It is then shaped with sharp steel to possess many perfect right angles. “That, too, is Jesus!” I said to myself.

When the resulting cornerstone is perfected, it must be set. Its placement will determine the final position and shape of the whole structure. It must be perfectly plumb, perfectly level, and lined up perfectly “straight with the world”. Although our Cornerstone will be considered foundational, it must, Itself, be placed on a solid footing – either bedrock, or packed, undisturbed soil but never sand, clay, or mud. And, to me, that foundation is the Word of Father God.
“Jesus, again!” He always stands upon The Word – the Good and Precious Stone of Acts, Ephesians, Peter, Psalms, and Isaiah.

Now let us assume that our stone is a perfect cube, although it could as easily be a rectangular solid. How does one make a perfect cube? By measuring the diagonals of each face (from each corner to the opposite one) and making certain that the two diagonals on each face are exactly the same length. My cognitive processes soon led me to a wonder – the figure formed by those two diagonals is . . . a cross! The diagonals make four perfect right angles. I really like making these connections!

And if the cornerstone were a rectangular solid, the diagonals would form an ‘ X ‘.
SIDE NOTE: Here is an excerpt from a previous post:

“I began to think about how the X in Xmas stands for Christ.  I found that the X is actually Chi, the first letter in the Greek word, Χριστος.  I hope I got that right, because, hey, it’s Greek!  Anyway, that Greek word means Christos – the anointed One – which is a translation of the Hebrew “Messiah”.    The X in Xmas is derived from the Chi (pronounced “Ky” which rhymes with “my”, or “guy”) in this word: Χριστος.  X, or Chi, (we think in terms of an English “X”) came to denote “Christ” sometime in the sixteenth century.”  I consider the cross and an “X” to be closely related – another connection to our Jesus.

So, the Prime Cornerstone is precious. It is perfect in itself and is placed perfectly. It is strong, and pure, and durable, and beautiful. It stands on the most solid footing. Its faces bear the figurative markings of a cross. It is essential – the First, the Primary, the Beginning. “Yes!” I thought, “That is most certainly our Jesus! If we are the bricks in the walls of His body – His Church – He most certainly holds us up in all the ways one would expect a perfect Cornerstone to perform!”

Then there is the Capstone.

In the NIV, Peter adds the reference of Jesus as the Capstone – the finishing stone covering the top of the walls. He refers to Psalm 118. (Zechariah also spoke of The Capstone.)  The Chief Capstone is Ornate and glorious. It signifies completion, exaltation, and eminence. It sits atop the wall directly above the Chief Cornerstone, sealing, and protecting, and possessing every piece under it. This too, is a wonderful picture of Jesus.

I picture the essence – the Spirit – of the Living Cornerstone beginning to ascend up the corner of the building, slowly, like an elevator. It is lit with an inner glow that gets brighter and whiter as it rises. As it passes each row of blocks comprising the walls, it imparts its light to that row all the way around. It keeps rising, lighting each row and burning brighter with pristine white fire, ascending and transforming until it reaches its final position seated on top of the wall. It is at the peak of its splendor and glory. It has made the whole structure splendid and glorious. The finished work. The epitome; the peak; the top Capstone. High and exalted. He now sits at the highest pinnacle of everything. The Beginning and the Ending. The First and the Last. Alpha and Omega. Beginner and finisher of our faith and our salvation. The strong Rock we stand upon and our Seal at the top.  Our Crown!

Cornerstone and Capstone. Yes! That is our Lord Jesus!
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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 speak of God’s glory?

Moses asked “Who am I . . .?” 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?”.

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 and no one else I know of.
He gave me a commission, a purpose, a message, a personal story to tell.
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 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 allegories,
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 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.

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 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?
Is that not a remarkable confirmation?!

So, 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.

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, but I am honored!

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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!

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With love,
Your Gloryteller

 Resurrection Sunday,  4-5-2015 and 3-27-2016
(re-posted, with edits, from 3-31-2013)
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Good Friday? Good Sunday!

It is Good Friday.  This is the day of remembrance of how my Lord Jesus suffered the agony of torture and death.
Like the criminal on His right, I believe a part of me hung there and died with Him that day – the dark part that needed to be put to death – in order that I might be saved into eternal life with Him. Like He spoke to that wretched, miserable, condemned man, He still speaks to me today through His Word, with labored breath, gasping one painful word at a time as if we are face to face –
                  “I. Forgive. You.” “You. Shall. Be. With. Me . . .” 

When I stood accused of selfish sins and crimes that I knew I was guilty of, He effectively said to me as He stood there weak, trembling, and covered with blood:
“Don’t worry, you’re “good”.  Get behind Me.   I love you too much to let this happen to you. I’ve got this.” 

His torture and death were my fault in a sense.  (My brothers and sisters argue that it is theirs, which may be true, but I maintain I am the guiltiest)   He went ahead and saved me anyway. He forgave me that fault –  “It’s forgotten,”  He said, graciously.

What kind of Love? . . . I can scarcely fathom.

So, I don’t know about the “Good” part of Good Friday.
It is also called Black Friday and Holy Friday, either of which I can relate to, especially “Holy Friday”,  but hardly Good Friday, except that good resulted from it.
You can’t have a resurrection without a death, especially THE Resurrection following THE Death,
both of which rocked the foundations of the world.

If anything should be called “Good”, it is Resurrection Day“Good Sunday” if you will – the joyous day that I lived through Him, and had Life because of Him, and was shown the true meaning of Love.


I once again turn to Stuart Townend, Keith and Kristyn Getty to express with music and images what cannot be expressed with words alone.  I pray that every heart that hears and sees this will be broken, transformed, and renewed at the foot of that one horrible, and glorious, cross………..

Thank you victoryinjesus123 for uploading this beautiful video.

Oh, and one more thing – the power of the cross is only the beginning.
The power of His victory over death lies at the doorstep beneath the joyously-open doorway of His empty tomb!
THANK YOU, JESUS!
That hardly seems enough to say,
Yet it is heartfelt.
Father, help me LIVE those three words.

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The Wheat and the Grape – Sacred Harvest




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 Our Daily Bread said today that “our Savior hung between Heaven and earth
to bear every sin of every generation on His shoulders.”
He hung between Heaven and me . . .
What pain it gives me to see that scene . . .
But the above statement led me to think deeply about
what He had told his disciples
and us,
only the night before He hung there,
what we must do to remember Him;
to remember who He was,
to remember what He did,
how He did it,
and why.

“The Lord’s Supper is absolute genius”
is what I concluded.
(not that I think I’m the first, nor the only, one to think that)
He broke the bread and compared it to His body
which would imminently be broken for us.
He poured the wine out and compared it to His blood
which would soon be poured out for us.

“He hung between Heaven and earth.”
He was, and is now, intermediary between us and The Father.
Not as a wall, but as a bridge.
He made a way to raise us to His shoulders,
thus standing between us and the evil one “in the earth”.

As for myself, there is more here than “meets the eye”.
Have you ever thought about how grains
like corn, barley, rye, and wheat are all separated
from the earth by a woody stem?
The seed head of the wheat plant is the “fruit”, in a sense,
that we use to make our bread.

The same applies to “the fruit of the vine”;
tomatoes, cucumbers, kiwi, guava, and, get this – passion fruit –
and predominantly, grapes.
All grow above the ground on woody or semi-woody vines.
They all contain juice, but grape juice makes wine.
(side note: there is great debate whether Jesus’ “fruit of the vine” was unfermented juice, or wine)
I’m in the wine camp because wine stores better.
I won’t even dwell on apple, orange, peach, plum trees, or berry bushes,
each of which produce juicy fruit on woody stems;

but I’m getting off track.

The point is that grapevines, like wheat plants,
produce their fruit between Heaven and earth on woody stems,
and the final product of both were used at the Lord’s Supper.
The Last Supper of our Lord!

By now you are making the connection I’m getting at.
Lord Jesus compared His body to a broken loaf of bread,
and His covenantal blood to the poured-out juice of the grape,
in order that:
“as often as you
eat this bread
and drink this cup,
you will do so in remembrance of Me.”
Connecting His spiritual Self to the physical act of
eating and drinking something specific,
is brilliant.

It makes the act sacred, and simultaneously
makes our remembrance of Him sacred.
But for me, it doesn’t end there.
Jesus was always using agricultural metaphors because,
I assume, most everyone in His day knew something of the subject.
Is it a great leap to make that He also connected Himself
with the fruit of the earth?

With harvest?
With life-giving, life sustaining, food and drink?
With saving us from spiritual starvation?
If that connection is only for me to make
in order to strengthen my faith in Him,
to take me deeper into our relationship,
to tell me more of a story I long to know more of,
or to give me insight into something so sacred
that I scarcely can digest it,
Then so be it.
You, dear reader, can make of it what you will.
If it doesn’t do anything for you, leave it.

Here’s the thing:
I maintain that Jesus not only connected Himself to
The Bread and The Cup,
But also to the wheat and the grape.
Rich and ripe,
He stood like a sturdy stalk of wheat
before a terrible threshing,
and He hung like a beautiful cluster of grapes
before a horrible crushing.
He stood and He hung there between Heaven and earth,
between us and oblivion,
between us and eternity.
The first and best fruits of the earth,
until the harvest was finished.
He made Himself our everything,
even our spiritual food and drink.
Essential, lifesaving, sacred, and beautiful.

The Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Harvest.
Absolute Genius!

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Oh, Heart! Seek Happiness? Accept Joy!

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Oh, Heart,
is it happiness you seek?
Happiness highly desirable?
Yet dependent?
Elusive happiness?
Happy chasings of things outside yourself?
Oh, frivolous pursuit!
Oh, Fleeting Fates!
Oh, Fickle Muses!
Oh, changing time and seasons!
Oh, whims and peculiarities of others.
Oh, Heart!

The perhaps;
the unhaps.
Ah, to erase,
to replace the un.
Happy-chance relies on happenstance.
The right things need to HAPPEN,
Oh, Heart,
for happiness to come.
Aye, to come, yet it so quickly goes . . .
So often it flees and will not stay in permanence
because something else happened unforeseen,
or didn’t,
or someone loved,
and changed,
or did not,
or lied,
or stole,
or went away,
or stayed the same,
or quit,
or gave up,
or did not last,
or laughed,
or betrayed,
or let chances pass.
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But,
Oh, Heart!
Have you considered Joy?
Joy is different.
It’s beyond definition,
although the world tries to define it,
confine it,
call it an emotion.
The world calls it synonymous with happiness,
But it is far from the same.
Joy is elementally incomprehensible if you don’t have it.
Oh, Extreme,
Oh, Deep,
Oh, Profound,
Utterly overwhelming,
at times,
but not captive of time,
nor whims of others,
nor Fates and Muses,
nor the chase, nor bruises,
save the Great Chase of Christ,
of His children;
His Divine Romancing,
of His bride.
Oh, Heart,
when you slow,
and turn,
and let Him catch your tattered strings,
and you let Him in,
and you see, and touch, and savor
His Joy,
and suddenly it is yours,
Oh, Heart!
Oh, Abiding gift!

Is it, then, Joy you might seek?
Joy so independent of what has happened;
is happening;
will happen?
Joy in knowing,
in enjoying a walk with Jesus,
joining with Jesus,
rejoicing in Jesus?
Great delight?
Rich fullness?
Exceeding gladness, oh, Heart?
Inside your own walls!
Happiness multiplied X times!

To have happiness and Joy together,
oh, Heart, is a precious gift.
But,
take heart,
Joy persists even in sadness.
No one can steal your Joy
unless you let it be taken.

There is unhappiness,
But there is no unjoy.


Joy wells up from deep inside,

Overflows to the outside,
is a living, life-giving, sustaining thing;
is abundant, noticeable, contagious;
is independent of external forces.

As happiness is precarious,
Joy is precise.

As happiness happens to you,
Joy joins with you.
Joy jumps with you!

“Happiness” is mentioned about 30 times in the Bible,
Oh, Heart,

while “Joy” is proclaimed about 300 times!

Happiness runs through your fingers the harder you try to hold it.
Joy wells up, overflows cupped hands,
and is unlimited at its source.

Oh, Heart!
Let the Lord  remake you to contain
even a small vial of the Joy in His glory.

Happiness comes from what happens, Oh, My Heart,
Joy comes from Jesus!

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Listen, Oh, Heart!
Happiness flows in and flows away.
No one knows if it might stay.
But Joy!
Joy, Oh Heart, ever bubbles from its Source.
Welling up endlessly, any time of day,
Or in any season.

Happiness depends.
It needs a reason.

But because He lives in you,
Oh, Heart,
Your Joy will never end.

^^^

© 4-29-13 Gloryteller – L.S.
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Rhylie’s Chronicle – Update!

Installment Five by The Chroniclist is here! He seems to be alive and awake at last!

Click here for the whole story,

or here if you only want to read part five.

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A Leap-Day Leap of Faith 2-29-16

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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 unbeliever 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 thinks 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 . . .”
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.
“Chased? Yes, I think she used the word chased. . .”

He found this under 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 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 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 – change me?
How did she know to say ‘God is chasing me’ so that I became aware 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.”

Les called his friend. “Hi! I was wondering if Laura is at home. She is? Are you guys busy? I was wondering if I could come over and talk to you both about the message she had for me. Lunch? Sounds great, be there in an hour.”

Les took the steps of faith, well, a leap of faith, really,
and within two months I,
I mean he,
was HIS as well, and has never had a single regret.

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A Vision

 

Forenote: I hesitated to post this one because it is very personal and it will expose me to skepticism, cynicism, and scoffers. However, that doesn’t bother me much, for I come from their front ranks. I’m encouraged that the battalion I belong to now has more truth, more love, more life, and more power than that motley band ever did. Don’t get me wrong, I love them still, just not their ill intentions. I’m posting mostly because God won’t leave me alone about it. He has a reason. This was a powerful message for me and I am led to share it. I’m secure knowing that this will encourage, confirm, comfort, enlighten, and/or answer someone who will read it. Is that person you? I would really like hearing from you, dear reader. Blessings from your Gloryteller.

                                                      ~ ~ ~

  I’m hardly ever visited with ‘visions’ but here’s the one I had recently:
Lying on my side in bed, ready for sleep, I was staring into the darkness when I saw someone lying in front of me in the same position I was. A figure approached the man. I instantly knew it was Jesus. He wore a white robe. On His head was the familiar, yet repulsive, circlet of thorns. I wondered why it was present on His head when it was so incongruous to the pure white robe. He bent over the man.
The man was me.
I was ‘out-of-body’, watching somehow. Jesus’ face was plain but pure; plain and beautiful at once; His expression, warmly compassionate. I was enthralled – couldn’t stop looking at His beautiful face – didn’t want to stop – ever. He spoke no words but gently touched ‘my’ shoulder. When His face was above ‘my’ face, it began to dissociate into pixel-like droplets which proceeded to ‘rain’ down. The droplets became like thousands of tears which formed a warm waterfall washing over my face. The tears were beautiful too because they had, only a moment ago, composed His most astonishing face. Then, contrary to my wish, the vision froze and slowly faded.

I was awake and alert the whole time, in fact, I raised my head in awe trying to see more.

The darkness had been a backdrop to His light and my vision – like a movie screen, kind of. How metaphoric! There was so much more going on in this than I can explain with mere words – but I have to try. My thanks and praises to my Lord Jesus:

It was about allowing my heart, not just my eyes, to see.
It was about his tender mercies just for me.
It was about death, and life, and lovingkindness.
It was about darkness behind and foreground brightness.
It was about His compassion; His grace.
It was about suffering and the beauty of His face.
It was about longing, and hope, and waking dreams.
It was Jesus revealing more of Himself to me.

My memory of that ‘waking dream’ is as vivid today as it was the moment it faded.
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Submission Is Power

I’m convinced that submission is the way to personal power, and not the world’s kind of power, not my independent assertion over others but the power that comes with a relationship with Jesus.
As a human, He submitted His will perfectly to The Father. Because of that relationship, The Father’s power manifested itself through Him.
I think submission in every relationship gives access to His power.
Am I good at it? Not at all.
But every time I take a step in that direction I feel the power of His love and goodwill for me.
Am I good at explaining the concept?
Admittedly not.
However, I firmly believe that if you ask
He will explain it in words and ways you can understand.

Be well, dear reader.

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Trails of Ink (My Shortest Post?)

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It is my sincere desire that anyone who follows my trails of ink will find Jesus at the end of them.

~Len

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When Faith Goes Still

I must confess that, at times, usually only briefly, my faith becomes rigid and cold – stark and inanimate. I get the picture of a steel beam lying on the ground. It is of no real use there. Waiting.
It gets that way when my understanding fails. When I think of the rape of an innocent or the murder of a child . . . I am so horrified that I wonder why God is not horrified as well. My distress asks “Why do You not intervene?” That is when my faith goes still and cold, yet I hang onto it and grasp it as if it is my last treasured possession. If I went right now to research answers, I could find dozens of rational answers. Maybe even comforting answers.

At this moment, I just want to see what my own heart says:
That He is God and I am not.
That my understanding is shallow and incomplete.
That He loves the soul of the most demon-possessed murderer as much as He does mine/me,
and He gave Jesus’ life so that one, too, might be saved.
That His forgiveness of a repentant believer is unconditional, as is His love.

That, except for His grace and mercy, my situation could be just like theirs – or worse.
That He doesn’t want to lose even one soul to Darkness.

It is a most difficult concept for me to love that person, or, at least, their soul, as much as I do my own. Just maybe, it might be that the faith and understanding of the above-mentioned innocent child is more animated and warm than my own. Would they gladly give their life for the healing and saving of the soul of their tormenter if Jesus were right there to explain, and help them, and teach them?
After all, He suffered the same horrors.
He understands what is at stake.
Would they gladly forgive?
Would I?
Can I?
Do I?
I should.
I am supposed to.
But, being an older human, it is hard.

The people opposed to God say that they won’t believe in a god who doesn’t have compassion for the innocent – who will not intervene in their behalf when they think He should – a god who loves murderers. If He were the kind of god that they have invented in their minds, they might be right;
but they don’t know Him.
Everyone “murders” something, in some way, nearly every day.
He does intervene in ways unseen.
Jesus was innocent.
He does have compassion.
He IS compassion.
And that, my friend, is the point at which the rigid, cold, stark, inanimate faith that I could only hold onto like a waiting seed, once again comes to life!
Warm, pliable, animated, and comforting because of His compassion and His love.
A gift amidst the horrors of a broken world.
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Live In Your Joy

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Artist - Traci Parks

Artist – Traci Parks

Remember

Dear Child

Your Joy cannot be taken away

For it lives in that untouchable place

In your very inner center

Between the disaster under your feet

And the fleeting happiness surrounding your head

Between the dismay in one hand

And the current distraction in the other

Joy exists in a place between all the heartache

All the strife

All the good and the bad things that can be touched

And felt and heard and seen

It is always there in-between

Untouchable

If you know the Lord

Joy is there in an open treasure-box

Like a light-emitting gem that wells up

On the peak of a rainbow-crystal fountain

Joy is full of color and light and warmth

It is far beyond mere happiness

Mere synonyms can but dimly allude to its wonder

Precious gift along with grace

Leave it open not closed away

For others may sense it and open their own

Remember 

Dear Child

Who makes my own Joy seem brighter

Your Joy cannot be taken away

Nor can it be given but by the One who made it

If you don’t know Him

Get to know Him

He is ready

He loves you

Each can have their own Joy

So keep yours shining in its perfection

Look at it often

In its untouchable place in-between

In your very inner center

Live there with your Joy

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Move On, But Remember To Keep Celebrating His Arrival

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A friend of mine posted this observation:
“Christmas is over and it’s time to move on from celebrating the birth of Jesus to following the life of Jesus.”

I get his point.
(I don’t think He intends to minimize Christmas)
For one thing, it is all too easy to become fixated on this one aspect of Jesus’ incarnation,
thus missing the importance of His whole life, and the purpose of His presence here.
I think my friend wants to emphasize the importance of following Him
in trust, and in obedience, above all else.
To do that, it’s crucial that we “move on” and take Him from His manger bed,
(even though there is nothing like having a new baby to hold)
to love Him and watch Him as He learns to talk, and then to walk,
as He grows in wisdom and knowledge,
as He learns to use His hands to build and to heal,
as He becomes an adult who teaches, preaches, and ministers to His people,
as He carries His cross to a culmination of crushing sacrifice,
as He conquers death and is resurrected.
And not only lovingly watch, but lovingly participate in these things with Him
as He enters, invited, into our hearts.
Understanding Him, and following His life and His Word are the priority for a believer.

I must be true to myself, on the other hand,
and say that I disagree that “Christmas is over”.
The seasonal celebration may be over.
The secular holiday may be over,
but my heart’s celebration of my Savior’s birth will never be over.
The upwelling, unrivaled, unquenchable joy that my Lord’s arrival brings will never end.
I will not be moved.
His birth is the culmination of all the pre-Nativity preparation,
planning, decision-making, and
the very character, the nature, and the acts
Of Father God, and of His Son, who is the Word, the Creator, the Sustainer.
Jesus’ birth is the beginning, on earth, of something so miraculous,
so mysterious,
so remarkable,
so astounding,
so important,
so world-changing,
so life-changing,
that I cannot, and I will not be moved from it.
Its implications bring me to worship in a special way.
The story of His birth pulls me into a deeper relationship with Him.
The story of His life brings me to better relationships with people.
The story of His sacrifice on the cross, and His resurrection,
and the gift of His indwelling Holy Spirit
allow me a deepening relationship with our Father God.
It’s my hope, and my desire, to celebrate His birth,
His whole life, everything He was, and is, and will be,
every day.
That’s a tall order, I know, but I have a beginning point that
The Father provided in this one amazing birth;
“the birth that shook the earth” –
“the birth that shaped the earth”-
“the birth that saved the earth”.
Without this one birth – Jesus’ birth – there would be
no controversial Nativity Scenes,
no Santa Clause to argue about,
no Christmas trees,
no carols,
no Christmas parties,
no brightly wrapped gift packages,
no rampant commercialism,
no Christmas vacations,
no decorating,
no pretty lights,
NO LIGHT IN THE WORLD AT ALL,
no Savior,
no hope,
no real love,
no GOD WITH US.
Imagine a world, a life, without the birth of Jesus in it . . .
That would be a nightmare.
That is why I won’t be moved,
nor lightly “move on” from it.
The beginning of His Story is the beginning of so much!
That is why I hold close the holy celebration of Jesus birth.
That is why I celebrate His whole holy life from birth to ascension.
Even what He was before that.
Holy!
Even what He is and will be beyond that!
Glorious!
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Have a
Happy
Joyous
Christbirth
Celebration
All Through
The Year!

Blessings, dear reader,
from me, your gloryteller.

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Her First Christmas Card

He writes poems.
He writes fantasy fiction stories.

But can he write a “romantic” Christmas story?
We shall see . . .

To my own
Morning Star:

 

 

             All is calm, all is bright. “Just for us”.

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Her First Christmas Card

Between. That’s where he was. Dave was between sleep and consciousness. Between clarity and the fog brought about by unbidden change. Between the deep mystery of Christmas Eve and the lambent hope he always found on Christmas Day.

He was warm and relaxed under Mary’s favorite comforter. Although teetering on the rim of the slope leading back down into the pool of sleep, he began to remember. Years of Christmas memories. Welcome, warm ones. She was in them all from the beginning.
He remembered the greeting card he had bought her before their first Christmas together. Undelivered that first Christmas, he had left it in his sock drawer under his mother’s Bible. It had languished there, regretfully, because of circumstances better left buried. Complicated days, those had been. He had needed to address some personal problems. He had been a fool. Yet, in the months of the following new year, he and Mary had worked their way through those problems with love, respect, and with indispensable Divine help.  He gave her the card the next Christmas, when it could be sincerely and wholeheartedly given.

In spite of all their years of experience in the Church, even now, the responsibilities and demands of the season had once more come between them; kept them too much apart yet again; highlighted their differences; hampered communication; brought frustrations, and then prevented resolution of those frustrations. When he tried to picture them together in unity, in oneness, the image of “One Being” kept sliding apart into two images, like that of binoculars which refused to stay in focus. How he longed to have everything right and perfect between them.

So it was only right tonight that he remember that first Christmas card, for reading it together had become one of the centerpieces of their unity during many joyous Christmases . . .

Because You Mean So Much”,

it said, above pine branches and a sprig of holly complete with red berries. He pictured it in his mind and smiled in the recalling.

Gilded around the edges. Swirling red flower stems and buds as a background for the message. He had memorized the front:

I believe that God brings certain people into our lives for a reason.

Some days it’s to help us see something new and wonderful.
Sometimes it’s to encourage us and strengthen our faith.

And sometimes it’s to remind us that we are never truly alone….”

He nodded in affirmation. Mentally, he opened the card. The same evergreen pine and holly
above a verse:

How natural it is that I should feel as I do about
you, for you have a very special place in my heart”, Philippians 1:7.”

The two tears which began forming in his ever-green eyes testified to the truth of that scriptural passage. How appropriate that the verse was centered on the left-hand page, for it had been the heart of his message to her. He had to pry his attention from it to the continuance of the main message found on the last page:

Whatever purpose God had in bringing us together,

I’m just grateful that He did.

You’ve been a real source of understanding in my life,

and it means more to me than I can ever say

to have the gift of your friendship and caring.”

“Merry
Christmas”

He grinned unreservedly.

He had held his heart too close – or maybe not close enough. Missed some chances back then. It took months to recover his balance, but thanks to prayer, God had sent blessings, grace, and miracles.

He was wide awake now. All was calm and all was bright. Too calm and too bright? Moonlight traced a bright rectangle on the carpet as he became aware that her warmth and her steady breathing were absent. She wasn’t next to him in their big bed. Throwing back the comforter, he moved his legs over the edge, put his bare feet on the floor, and stood up intent on finding and joining her. He was almost through the bedroom door when he turned back. There it was, right where he kept it under the Bible, behind the socks. He grasped the red envelope which contained his first Christmas greeting to his beloved.

As he passed the arched doorway to the kitchen, the new stove caught his eye with its bright, clean, modern lines. The old one had been serviceable, but was badly worn. It had possessed none of the new digital gadgets. It was ordinary. “Kind of like me?” He mused. He missed the old thing. He was sentimental that way. He remembered all the times they had danced near that stove, especially while meals were being prepared upon it. It had been a place of comfort in the chill of winter. Amused, he remembered the big pots of chili being prepared for company – with large pans of cornbread in the oven. Ahhh, the smells! Ahhh, the dancing in the close embrace of his Mary!
Down the hall he turned the corner and there she was, silhouetted in front of the glass doors which opened onto the deck. Looking out upon the snow-covered cornfields, she was radiant even in her white flannel pajamas – the ones with the little candy canes among the faces of angelic-looking sleeping children. Moonlit brightly! The filmy, sheer blue gown she wore over her ‘jams’ added to her mystery. Heartwrenchingly lovely! His Morning Star! Gosh, she was something truly special!

“I knew you would come, I felt it,” she said quietly. Her pretty brown eyes seemed moist. Had she been crying? “Our moon is perfectly full tonight of all nights!”

“Mary.” He kept his voice soft and low. “Wow, it sure 
is big! I think that’s the brightest, most beautiful one I’ve ever seen, and so unusually far to the northeast!” Perhaps he was annoyingly analytical at times. “Just for us, do you think?” He put his arms around her from behind.
“Yes, I’m sure this one is just for us”, she whispered . . . . . .

“Dave? I was just thinking of my lovely, perfect, Christmas card that you like to read to me every year on Christmas Eve. Would you read it to me later, in bed? I really need that tonight. Our closeness hasn’t been as close as I would like.”
“My love, I have it right here.”
“Wow,” she exclaimed in wonder and delight as he gently turned her to face him. Then he kissed her. It lasted. They paused, and, inspired, he began whispering the words to ‘Silent Night’. She joined him then, and they were softly singing together, for only with him could she truly sing her heart’s song…..And he, his. Only with her.
They sang, began swaying, then began dancing. In close embrace. Rejoicing together by the light of the Christmas full moon.

Angels danced unseen, and sang as well. Dave and Mary could feel them near.
“Silent 
night, holy, holy, holy, night. All is calm, all is bright.”

Right on cue, the grandfather clock began “chiming twelve” as if to say, “Re-joice, re-joice, for-Christ-the-Lord-is-born-this-day!”

He counted the twelve syllables aloud just to make sure, for he was compulsive that way. She giggled happily. Ring-ringing! Exactly twelve chimes – twelve wondrous sounds with meaning reverberating through eternity.
They looked into each others’ eyes and said in unexpected unison, as was their habit and their gift, “Happy Birthday Jesus” . . . . . . . . . . . .  Eyes wide – always amazed when this happened.

Then : “I Love You, always remember that!” In unexpected unison, they had done it again!
Green twinkles and brown sparkles swirled as their eyes shone . . .

Their images resolved into One.
Under the brilliant full moon,
All Heaven and Earth
celebrated, rejoicing with them.

The angels kept dancing,

And so did they.

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Peace, Love, and Hope

Beyond your understanding,
Be yours tonight.
Merry Christmas, 12-24-2012 (-2015)

Footnote:
I have been watching the night sky, as is my habit,
and I have been anticipating that there might be a real
full moon . . .
And sure enough! A rare Christmas full moon!
Tonight – Christmas eve – the night of December 24

and morning of December 25!
I’m delighted, for part of my story is fulfilled,
even though I wrote this years ago!

I ‘looked up’ the details and found that
this phenomenon hasn’t happened for 34 years,
and won’t occur again for another 19 years.
I thank God for His continuous wonders!
(One of which is you, dear reader! You are a gift from God!)
Thank You!
Your gloryteller, Len
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© Copyright by Lenn Snider 12-24-2012

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Frohe Weihnachten!

Zu meinen Deutsch sprechenden Freunden in Österreich, die SchweizDeutschland, die Niederlande und überall, wünsche ich Ihnen frohe Weihnachten und glückliches 2016. Mag Gott Sie und Ihre geliebten segnen.
Len bei Gloryteller.com

(To my German-speaking friends in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, and everywhere, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy 2016. May God bless you and your loved ones.)

Len at Gloryteller.com

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Hope Came Down

Unten Hoffnung Kam

He came down so that we could live – really live – with Him
and our loved-ones in Heaven.
Forever together.
We need that hope more with each passing day . . .

Thank you, Kari Jobe and Bob Marshall for the upload.

Merry Christmas from Gloryteller.com

 Frohe Weihnachten von Gloryteller.com

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A Christmas Who’s Who

We must remember this,
Amidst the noise and fuss,
JESUS is the subject of Christmas,
And the object of Christmas is US.

*LS*

Merry Christmas from Gloryteller.com!
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Mary Did You Know?


(A Mother Just Knows)

In these advent days, the story is all about the love between Mary,
her Baby inside,
her husband,
the Holy Spirit,
and 
Father God.


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Previous Older Entries

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I don't own, and have no claim on, these music videos. The following are simply links inside my website pointing back to the original locations of the videos. The names of the creators of these videos are cited wherever possible, and only "embedding-enabled" selections are used.

The Basic Christian Library

"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. This is fundamentally what Christianity is all about.

"The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. Another converted atheist presents His compelling case for believing in Jesus.

"Left To Tell" by Imaculee Ilibagiza. This profound work is her own extraordinary story of endurance, discovery of the Holy Spirit, grace, healing, and an astonishingly compelling account of the necessity for forgiveness.

Compelling Christian Fiction Reads

"The Shack" by William P. Young.
All criticism aside, and with some discernment, this story forever changed how I see important principles like the Trinity, forgiveness, and the "God kind of love". Remember, it's not Gospel, it's fiction.

"The Circle" 4-book series by Ted Dekker.
A man is the bridge between two very different worlds. Sound familiar? Can he save both? This T.D.work is brilliant in my book.

"This Present Darkness" and "Piercing the Darkness" by Frank E. Peretti. Tales of spiritual warfare from a unique perspective. Stirred a small controversy, but sold millions. What are we Christians afraid of? Hey, it's fiction!

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