Before

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Oh, Great God,
You said of Your magnificent Self,
in effect:
“Before there was anything, I AM”.

 

In distant time,
rather, I should say,
before You even started time moving on its relentless travels,
You, my Great Father,
Were,
Are,
and Will Be –
all at once (thus, the I AM!)
Before then, You knew me
!
You, the Great Creator, saw me in Your mind’s eye!
You saw me – Your ‘perfect’ me and also every later flawed aspect of me –
and still You loved me,
took pity upon me, and loved me;
rejoiced in me, and loved me.
You knew me, envisioned me, and loved me,

even BEFORE
You gave me a spirit;

BEFORE
You spoke my name in a whisper and bestowed my soul.

You knew me BEFORE:

 You constructed my body deep within my mother’s miraculous life-supporting anatomy.
Before You breathed life into tiny me.
Before I was delivered from my confinement into the vast world.

BEFORE:
I learned about You, but still didn’t know You.
Before I was sadly blinded concerning You.
Before I turned away from You, although Your
concern and compassion for me never wavered.
Before You never left my side;
I should have died many times;

You carried me.
Before I made countless mistakes.
Before I disappointed You; most likely saddened You to tears,
and shook You to your core with outrageous blasphemies,
even though You knew those things were in my heart.

You loved me long BEFORE:
Before You sent me a messenger who knew You,
and showed me who You are;
the reality of You,
Someone to whom You meant Everything.
Someone who knew life before You,
when something seems to be missing;
when there is an emptiness in one’s heart 
only a relationship with one’s Creator can fill;
when there is a hunger and a thirst
that can only be satisfied by His comforting
words of love, of peace, and of joy.
Who pointed to the way You were chasing, calling, pursuing me.
Who showed me Your unconditional love;
taught me of Biblical truth,
of faith,

and of grace,
and mercy,
and salvation,
and, most importantly,
introduced me to the real Immanuel,
“God With Us”,
Jesus.

You, Father God, saw me BEFORE:
You, whose existence I had previously refuted,
proved Yourself to me time and again –
even more than necessary to convince –
extravagant in Your thoughtful pursuit.

Before You imparted Your Holy Spirit into me,
and before that moment when my joy overflowed and overwhelmed me.

Before You called me “My Child” and kindly adopted me into Your family.

I have a Before and an After.
Every before implies its own after.
Before, I was dying without You.
Now I am fully and completely alive with You!
Now I bow before You alone,
and I will be with You ever after!

You knew me BEFORE:
You gave me new birth,
made me a new being,
a new creation.
You knew me before You made me,
as well, 

a messenger of Your Great Glory.
~
Dear Reader – I’m your humble messenger, 
To demonstrate His unconditional love as my own.
No matter what has happened in my past,
nor yours.
Our mutual Father in Heaven,
Creator,
commissioned me to write this message to you,
as a plea to take it to heart,
to show you the difference between
a life before receiving Him and His message,
and the life “after” —
A dying life into an increasingly living life!
The “after” life is amazing, and it is everlasting!

I pray for you constantly because I care for you.
You know me.
You know you can trust what I’m saying.
Father God knew you and loved you
Before and He does now.
You need and deserve a great After!
Trust Him.
All my caring, loving, good wishes, and hopes,
I send wrapped up in this message. 
Yours truly,
Gloryteller

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Book of Your Life

 

 

 

Open the unexamined Book of Your Life.


From Chapter One,
Jesus follows you closely, quietly,
As you walk your path.
Turn the pages of your journal,
He walks with you.
If you run, He runs.
If you fall, He waits.
Lie down, and He lies down nearby.
If you weep, He quietly cries.
If you try to outrun Him,
Or get away,
He effortlessly stays right behind.
Veer right or left,
Into the hollow, the empty,

He is faithful in the turning.
Stop, and He stops.
Continue in your barren, winding way,
He continues with you.
But turn around and look back,
He does not turn His back.
Not ever.
He engages your pleading eyes.
Always.
You turning to Him is all He wants.
Asking Him to come alongside,
To take the lead,
Is all you need.
To begin a better path.
To write your new page.
To fill the complete Book of Your Life.


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Ojibwe Insight Expanded

Sometimes, I sit alone in pity for myself,
but,
all the while,
the breath of God wafts me across the great, vast, universe.

I forget how His favor bathes my life with beautiful wonders
and how He shows me great mercy.

I forget that I am never forgotten, always loved, never alone.

Sometimes I forget, in lonely sorrow for myself,
that the Creator’s hand has carried me,
in caring pity,
in sympathy,
across majestic mountains,
past lakes of stars, 
and high up,
into peace,
into the moon-washed Valley of Sparkling Waters
where He has shown me my final – and eternal – campsite.

Sometimes I sit in pity for myself
While my   self   is away with the Great Father,
dancing with unfettered joy.

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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 society. I should say, it is appearing out of the darkness behind the woodwork of society.

Notice 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 – 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 darkness;
trade evil for evil?

“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 darkness,
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 Emmanuel and Savior!
The dark one cannot abide this Light. 
See?!
He flees!

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The Perfect Christmas Gift

I just posted a series of CHRISTmas music videos.
Please scroll down to view all the advent season content I have left
for your pleasure and for His glory.
May your Christmas/Christbirth celebration be the
warmest, most meaningful, most blessed,
and most joyful yet!
***Your Gloryteller***

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“The Perfect Christmas Gift”,
written and performed by Sandy Howell.
Uploaded by Bob Marshall.
Many thanks to you both.

My friend, I give you the gift of a song; music with a video.  It speaks for itself.


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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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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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Breath Of Heaven – Mary’s Song

Not even one of us can fully understand nor appreciate Mary’s plight . . .

(Rest in Peace, Donna Summer.  We still have your amazing voice.)

These poignant video clips are from The Nativity Story,  upload thanks to Peperamico.

Merry Christmas from Gloryteller.com
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A Paul Harvey Christmas Message – The Man and the Birds

 

A Brilliant Modern Day Parable
This whole broadcast is good, but if you want to skip ahead to the story, it begins at about 5:10.

May you and yours have a joyous Christmas!



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O Christbirth Tree, O Christbirth Tree, How Lovely Are Your Branches!

 

My
Christbirth
**tree is ever-green**
***With everlasting life***

Its branches & its members
***Clothed in colorful lights***
*Lights reflected by ornaments*
*****Of all shapes and sizes*****
***Which shine just as brightly***
*******It’s filled with surprises!******
***Wrapped ’round with garland****
**********As a bundling rope**********
*********The whole tied together*******
*******With warm faith and hope********
**********The star at its crown is**********
***********Wreathed in white light**********
*********Can be seen near and far**********
******’Cause it’s clear, pure, and bright*******
************That’s the part of the tree***********
**************That ultimately pleases*************
********************You see*************************
*******For the Star at the point and the apex*******
************************Is Jesus*************************
*****And the branches, the lights, and ornaments*****
**************************Are we*****************************
****************For He is the Bridegroom********************
************We are His church, bride, and wife -*************
*************The trunk that stands in The Water,***************
****************************The Water of Life.***********************
Water
of
Life

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Happy Christbirth!

von

©Gloryteller.com

 

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He. Came. Down.


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He Came Down

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He came down.
Mary said YES,
Then He came down.
Born like us.
Born with us.
Born for us.
Born to us.
Born unto us.
Born into us.
He came down from His Glory,
Leaving Holy Home and Father, to become a creation, in a real sense, just like us . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

To be born most humbly into the broken, reeking mess that we, mankind, had made of the world.

To be born into the shameful, smelly mess that I had made of my own wretched heart . . . . . . . . . . .

The defenseless egg of God,

having scarcely a shell.
A tender shoot,
a tiny lamb,
in perfect humility,

he came down naked,
to be born covered with
 another’s blood,
mother’s blood.
Born to be pierced,
and poured out,
and to cover all
others with His
pure, holy blood.
He came down
with only Love as a defense.
Double-sided love.
He came down to the dung heap,
the lowest, the basest of places,
a place of no honor;
of ignobility,

because that’s where I was,
I and my neighbors,
hiding under the
layers of dirt.
He could have said
“No, not again”.
He could have said
“To hell with this” . . .
He didn’t have to
rise from His manger
to knock on my
heart’s door.
To clean it all up,
just like new,
from ceiling to floor,
window, to wall,
and spend His life,
His all, for me,
to bear away my sin.
Yet, He would be
the first to admit,
(if He weren’t so humble),
that He did have to.
Someone had to
do something.
But no-one could
except Himself.
I didn’t deserve
His coming down, this
Wonderful Counselor,
this Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
This Immanuel.
Savior Lord.
JESUS CHRIST!
But, He came down,
out of love,
bearing light,
carrying forgiveness,
sowing grace like seeds,
ready with a cool drink,
gentle hands to wash our feet,
with tears of compassion,
where sin and mercy meet,
and I’m so glad,
so happy,
so joyously thankful
that He did,
that my glory goes up.
I send it up.
I glorify His name,
Who was born into many names,
and into ONE name,
and that name is
The-Name-Above-All-Names.
He came down,
and now He reigns
King of My Heart.

Glory to God in the Highest Heaven!
That

He.
Came.
Down!
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The Happiest Christbirth Celebration to you, today!
LS< Your Gloryteller
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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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Frohe Weihnachten!

Zu meinen Deutsch sprechenden Freunden in Österreich, die SchweizDeutschland, die Niederlande und überall, wünsche ich Ihnen frohe Weihnachten und glückliches 2017. 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 2017. May God bless you and your loved ones.)

Len at Gloryteller.com

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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 (updated-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, 2015!
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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Happiness Is Being Born TWICE!

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Today is the anniversary of my second-birth day.
My rebirth day.
My original birth was kind of like Christmas;
Without it, there could have been no Resurrection Day.
Without my first birth, I could not have been re-born.
My life could not have been repaired, resurrected, and redeemed.
First came my birth day,
then an Advent of sorts – a long time of waiting and preparation.
(even if I didn’t realize some of that stuff,
that garbage was preparation)

then the great gift of joy in a second-birth day!
Needless to say, for my birth and rebirth
I am extremely thankful!

♫Happy birthdays to me,
Happy birthdays to me,
For both, I am thankful!
Happy birthdays to me!♫

On this day a few years ago,
I caught Him!
He had been chasing me
harder and harder,
faster and faster,
for about two months.
He chased me until I caught Him!
The lost was found!

The blind saw!
Fear fled!
The enemy ran!

That moment was the perfect meeting of the physical
and the spiritual.
The perfect arc between
the seen
and the unseen.
Grace touching flesh.
Faith bathing a heart.
Salvation invading a body of being.

It was instant, yet time seemed to stretch
into the infinite – into veritable eternity.
One moment, I was slowly dying in a hopeless world,
the next, I was delivered into Heaven!
I was like sea glass –
all the rough, broken edges smoothed –
I was remade from refuse into a beautiful gem!
I was a new creation and I felt it!

It was transformation – metamorphosis!
My cocoon dropped off!
I was free!
A newly adopted child

with a newly granted citizenship
including new customs, traditions,
benefits, privileges, responsibilities,
and a new language!
I wept!
I overflowed!

Needless to say it was a moment of pure JOY!
Joy so intense that it remains to this day.

Thank You, Jesus!
In a sense, I was born with You in that stable.
O, how can I ever thank You enough

for making that possible?!
For me, and for all people!
Thank You, our Highest Lord!
YOU ARE Wonderful!
Counselor!
Mighty God!
Everlasting Father!
Prince of Our Peace!
Happy Birthday to You, dear Jesus,
and because of You,
to me too!


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A Psalm Of Thanks for Everything – Bring Your Own Life Music If You Like :-)


To make a poem,
I set my sights,
On 
thankfulness for joyous delights.
For gifts undeserved
Like 
family and home,
For gifts in the past
And for any to come.

The meter I chose is simple and light,
It’s the pulse of a heart,
The tempo of life.
It’s the rhythm of music,
The cadence of time.
It’s the light
It’s the sun
It’s my sight
It’s a rhyme.

~~~It’s her eyes
her form
her laugh
her smile
her hugs
her kiss
her running a mile.

the flowers in Spring
a gold wedding ring
a child who can sing
the love of our King.

the giving of gifts
a smooth quantum shift
a much needed lift
repair of a rift.

 the colors of fall
the green of the grass
a huge mirrored ball
a trout and a bass.

it’s numbers
it’s paintings
it’s fractals sublime
it’s this state of wonder
so much of the time.

(And the stream murmurs love to the sycamore tree,
The tree tells a cloud, and the cloud tells the sea.
The moon hears them all, and he chuckles with glee,
And he sparkles the stream by the sycamore tree.)

 ~~~It’s my feet
a trail
a treat
a sail
a hike
a bike
some sand in a pail.

a lawn
a lake
choc’late icing on cake
a fawn
a yawn
sacrifice for my sake.

a dress made of lace
a calm peaceful place
winning a race
happy tears on my face.

the music of life
an end to all strife
the cosmos so big
a lucrative gig

a rope down a rock
a warm cotton sock
an arrested fall
a tick of the clock.

(And the stream murmurs love to the sycamore tree,
The tree tells a cloud, and the cloud tells the sea.
The moon hears them all, and he chuckles with glee,
And he sparkles the stream by the sycamore tree.)

~~~It’s a star
the moon
a par
a dune
a birth
the earth
a warm evening in June.

a choir
a band
an orchestra grand
a voice
a song
a run in the sand.

green
or red
a blanketed bed
an egg
a pun
a horse that can run.

a heart
a soul
a cinnamon roll
a sigh
a laugh
fresh pineapple from Dole.

a love
a mind
a person who’s kind
our girls
our boys
our comfort and joy.

good starts
good ends
an egg-laying hen
abundant life
it’s neighbors and friends.

(And the stream murmurs love to the sycamore tree,
The tree tells a cloud, and the cloud tells the sea.
The moon hears them all, and he chuckles with glee,
And he sparkles the stream by the sycamore tree.)

~~~It’s the clouds
a quest
adventure
a nest
a wonder
rejoicing
It’s acing a test.

a manger
a stable
a mother
a birth
an angel
a message
it said “Peace On Earth”.

the love of God
the hope in His 
Word
His grace
His glory
His armor and sword.
it’s truth
it’s faith
an eagle
a dove
my Savior lives!
It’s His love!
It’s His love!
It’s His love!
It’s His love!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(Keep going, this refrain is different)

(And the stream murmurs love to the sycamore tree,
and she sings to her friend, “There is music in me!”
The tree tells a cloud, and the cloud tells the sea,
“There is music in me!” “There is music in me!”
Wise Moon hears them all, and he chuckles with glee,
And he *sparklesthe stream by the sycamore tree.)

 

 

~~~♫~~~ϔ♫~~~Ѡ♫~~~≈≈≈♫
~~~
☺♫~~*~~*~~*ϔ♫~~*~~*~~*

©Len at Gloryteller.com 12-01-2015
All rights reserved

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A Pre-Christmas Act of Worship In A Retail Store

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!
~

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 gathering,
or a single off-key voice,
singing or speaking,
with a clapping beat,
or no beat at all.
~
Worship, it seems to me, is a matter of
the condition of each worshipper’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, worshippers
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!
~
There might be examples of all the above conditions of worship in this video.
He is worshipped and adored here – yes, even here – inside the huge Macy’s in Philadelphia – a worldly, consumeristic, retail marketplace where materialism and money normally are king. But not today!

This highly organized flash mob sings along with the world’s largest working pipe organ, the massive Wanamaker Grand Court Organ.

The “sounding joy”, the full, immense, 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

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Video

Choosing A Leader


* * *

Jesus.
Gets.
My.
Vote!

My vote belongs to Him.

I see His name at the top of every ballot,
and because He is there, I know all the sickness,
all the deception,
all the selfish ambition below that holy name,
will be reversed, repaired, and made right.

Chosen, groomed, and nominated from birth,
His campaign for leader of countries, worlds,
and all Creation, has been flawless.
Jesus runs on the platform of truth, 
whereas His opponent relies upon unceasing lies and deceit.
Today, it seems, lies and deception are the easier, more appealing,
ideas in which to believe.

The Constitution must be protected.
Jesus’ covenant with us is His Constitution –
and its protection should be our priority.

When our earthly elections are finished, 
Jesus will still be leader of all the people he has made.

One shining day, all people will bow before Him.

Sadly, those who have embraced the party of Death will be sent
to join their leader – the aforementioned opponent, the prince. of. lies.
The party of Eternal Life must and will prevail.

He is our Savior,
our Shepherd,
our Pardoner,
our Guide,
our Defense,
our Victor in battle,
our Benefactor,
our Blesser,
our Physician,
and our Unifier.

He is the only leader who:
has the power to save each of us,

to make our country great,
forgive us,
keep us from debt,
defend us,
give us purposeful work,
give us abundance,
heal us,
and bring us together.

Today, the collective nation has gone farther away from God
than ever in our history.

We have, as a country, lost our way.
The nation’s foundational document, the Constitution, is in danger.
We are becoming a people of, by, and for, the Government
instead of the intended opposite.
Our dignity and traditional way of life is fading.
We are being overrun by evil from the inside out,
and from the outside, in.

He can save it all if we turn back to Him as leader.
He is the Servant King.
We need to choose Him as Leader,
for He chose us first,
loved us first,
appointed us first.

He alone deserves highest accolades for serving our nation.

He alone can make us great again;

make us a righteous country;
Put us back on the right path;
Set us apart as a people,
not perfect, but differing from the world
because of the Leader we serve.

As for me and my house, we will vote, first,
for Jesus.

He is the ultimate Winner, 
the consummate Head of State,
the absolute, highest Lord and Glorious Leader.

In Him
is 
a beacon of freedom,
a bastion of security,
a sanctuary of safety,
a fully fulfilling life.

Jesus has my vote.
He alone is absolutely faithful and trustworthy.
He alone knows the way,
and leads us true,
when we would rather stray.

* * * 

This piece was meant to be published before voting day, Nov. 8, 2016,
But technical difficulties kept it from you until now.
Apologies.
However, as 
He has told me many times,
Better late than never,”

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An Unexpected Offering – Beauty From Ashes

The boxes were heavy as I trudged repeatedly from the house to the brush pile – the pyre where reams of history would soon be torched. Along with the boxes, my spirit, too, possessed a heaviness. The boxes contained hundreds of my son’s saved pages of schoolwork, many notebooks filled with homework notes and lecture notes from high school and beyond through the college years. 
The “burn pile” was large; at least ten feet in diameter and more than six feet tall. It contained branches and limbs trimmed from the many trees gracing our well-kept landscape and the yard around the farmhouse. I placed the boxes carefully on top, in the center where the fire would burn the hottest. If you’ve ever burned stacks of paper or books, you know it requires a very hot fire to heat them through to the point of combustion.

“It has been many years since my son and I weren’t together at the burning of a brush pile,” I thought. It didn’t seem proper, somehow, having a big fire without him there to help control the blaze, to enjoy the sights and sounds of the flames, to share comments, to discuss random things like politics, science, sports, and God.

“The Burning” is a tradition we have observed together for years, four or more times a year, with good reasoning behind it: Two are better than one for fire control, like I said, for keeping everything pushed together in order to burn it all, and also for experiencing together the exciting roar, leaping flames, and unbelievable heat of a large bonfire. (Yes, dear reader, I know I’m repeating; I’m bad about that, and also good at it)

The companionship was always foremost, but not today, for he has moved to “the big city” to attend medical school in pharmacy.
I’m missing him today.
I need to get used to single-handed fires,
but I don’t want to,
but I must.

Heaviness of spirit drags at me even though spirit is life.
The fleshly burden of the grey generality of death tries to press upon my bones.

Concentrating on the task at hand helps me ignore it.

He is not one to save a lot of extraneous stuff, so I was surprised at the large volume of heavy paper and notebooks he had left in his closet. I, (with his permission, of course) with urging from his mom, who dislikes clutter much more than I, took up the job of disposal. But his saving all that material makes sense when I think about it. He has been an excellent student. He worked unbelievably hard to maintain a 4.0 GPA for many years; his name was never absent from the honor rolls and Dean’s Lists. He graduated Summa Cum Laude.  He has the desire, the motivation, drive, and work ethic to excel in everything he does, including sports, music, and even video games!

He put a lifetime of effort into those boxes of papers. He has thousands of hours invested therein. They represent something important to him – and to me. I was reluctant to strike the match to light the accelerant I had poured in the center of the pile, but I let the muscle memory of old ritual accomplish the action. Dry leaves and twigs caught and quickly the whole pile was burning nicely. Soon, fiercely. Soon, so hot that there was little smoke. Cardboard caught and gave way spilling papers and notebooks outward and downward. The flames were all-consuming, devouring all but the memories.

I thought of all the times our son and I had sat at the dining table doing math homework. I had actually needed to relearn subjects like geometry and trigonometry in order to help him. He said it helped him learn, when he had to teach me some of the material. We helped each other and thus moved forward together, frustrated when correct answers would not come and excited when they miraculously did.

When the pile had settled and flattened like it always tends to do, the burning papers became ashes moving and stirring in the updrafts and currents of super-hot air. As I watched, a sudden, surprising,  synchronized dance began. Although there was no breeze, ashes began to rise quickly skyward like reverse confetti; like a snowfall of large, fluffy flakes returning to the place from where they came. The flakes of ash confetti were uniform; about one inch to an inch and one half square, and all were grey/white.

Thousands of them rose and spread out like a cloud of
twisting, spinning, fluttering creatures,
lifting, rising, sweeping upward.

Amazed, I thought, “Wow, that is amazing! There it all goes!”

I began to have an empty feeling.

Then joy began to arrive; epiphany appeared.

“This looks like an offering,” I thought. “I could make this an offering!”
Where had that thought come from?
Then I realized that I could return it all to Him who had made it.
To honor Him who had made us, and given my son all his wonderful gifts.
To Him who had honored me with a son and honored my son in turn.
“Beauty from ashes,” my heart said.
“I lift it up, Lord, I offer it all up to You!”

I offered it up with abundant thanks,
with absolute praise,
with affectionate worship.

The emptiness left. The heaviness of spirit lifted.
“His burden is light.” It is LIFE.
His grace lifts the ashes of the burdens of our lives.

I saw material rising up in the hot updraft and I knew that His grace was rushing down and in like cool wind from heaven to replace it. Right there, in that moment, I stepped through a thin place and was lifted up in the joy of His blessings.
Out of the rising, redeemed ashes, I realized, Lord, that my son would always be with me in spirit, just like Yours!
That is good news – the best news – and I thank you for

paper and pen,
a brain and mind,
a body and spirit,
a son to love and be loved by,
and the unexpected gift of beauty from ashes.

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Seeing A Scene Between The Lines — Another God Nod !

Re-posted from three years ago:
~ ~ ~

^^^^^

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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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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