*Cold Without You * A Followup


One never knows what one will get after posting a piece of work.
I could expect more from a box of chocolates.
I never know what to expect.
I’m often surprised.
Surprised by my disappointment, or maybe by an enjoyable comment,
but not surprised much, any more, by the usual (normal; to be expected?)
plain, every-day apathy.

What I kind-of hoped for was that a reader would notice the
abject hopelessness of the poem and ask if I were okay,
(it sure seems as though someone’s not okay)
ask if I needed prayer, offer an encouraging word,
or a word of wisdom.

(I, personally, don’t like missing
a chance to offer a word
out of compassion, sympathy,
or just empathy when someone
seems in despair.
I do miss chances, but don’t like it,
especially when due to my own neglect)

(I at least thought someone
would comment on the work itself,
for I judge it one of my best works
of lyrical poetry. Ahhh, well . . .)

After all, everyone wants to be

attended to,
cared for,
commiserated with,
shown concern,
cared about,
shown sympathy,
stood up for,
identified with,
shown kindness,
shown just a touch of human tenderness.

Everyone – at least at some time during their lives,
whether they admit it or not.

It’s all right!  I’m not in despair!
So how did I write “Cold” as though I were?
I wrote from a place I have been before.
Why did I risk going back to “that place” to possibly get stuck there again?
Why should I want to expose myself to those feelings again?
Because I’ve been saved from them. My despair has been redeemed!
I have no fear of it!
I wrote “Cold” mainly for those who haven’t been saved.
For them, for me, and for all of us.
I wrote it in memoriam for what once was, but is not now.
“Memoriam” = memory of I AM.  (Ha! Yes!)

I write for those who live in despair, and fear, and hopelessness,
and who don’t yet know redemption.

So, you might ask, who is the missing “you”, the metaphoric one
to whom those desperate pleas are addressed?
Is it a lost love? Is it love itself?
It could be.
Is it “the one” who was never found, though constantly dreamed of?
The “one” deemed the answer to all problems, trials, and pain?
Is it a relationship? Is it a soul-mate, a friend, a heroic rescuer?
Is it a long-sought, ever longed-for but unknown lover?
Is it about bad decisions; wrong paths followed;
misplaced trust; looking for answers in the wrong places;
believing in
a false Lord, or none at all?
It could be any or all of those.
The reader must decide.
(I’ll leave it to you to unravel the mystery of the “tapestry
of the Elven loom”.)

From my viewpoint, all the right answers, solutions;
the trust, love, belief, and salvation needed
are embodied in one person.
Jesus Christ, of the manger.
Jesus Christ, of the cross.
Jesus Christ, Lord of all.
Jesus Christ, who fills all the above human needs,
and with whom a relationship gives a joy
which covers sorrow and despair,
and which throws a rope of solid hope to anyone
mired in the quicksand of hopelessness.

~ ~ ~
Thank you, dear reader!
Your reading and sharing of my stuff
means more to me than you might be able to guess.
Thank you!

In closing:
“Just remember, every heart holds its sorrows,
yet every heart which knows The Highest Savior
also knows the hope that brings the upwelling of  joy
that comforts sorrow and brings an exciting kind of peace.”
Gloryteller, 1-21-2014

~ ~ ~















Cold Without You – Song of Despair

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
* * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Cold Without You

( Vaerse 1 )

What cold, hard stone where I lie,
What bitter womb is this ice,
Bears me down into despair,
The colder that you’re not here,
Don’t seem to be anywhere,
So . . lonely . . . cold.

( Chaurus )

Oh! Have I been a hope-struck fool,
To wait for you,
To make me whole,
Be everything,
To warm my soul,
Thaw my heart –
Make it sing?


How hard the isolation,
I always thought that you’d come,
To take me into the sun,
Before my time is undone,
I can’t endure alone,
So . . broken . . . cold.

( Chaurus 2 )

Here I lay naked on this stone,
My tired bones,
Count all the loss,
Dark, empty cold,
Where have I gone?
What have I done?
Why won’t you come?


Oh! Once I thought I had you.
Soul’s Joy! Just knew I had you,
Was close, but not the real you . . .
Left with nothing all too soon,
How I suffer without you.
So . . shattered . . . cold.

(Chaurus 3 )

I dream it’s warmer where you are,
Won’t you come take me there,
The real you,
The depth of you,
The joy of you,
The weight of you,
I’m . . fading . . . ( soon . . . . ).


Where is the place that you are,
How sad I dream it’s not far,
I sometimes feel you are near,
Cry out, but you never hear,
I’m entrapped in frozen tears,
So . . stranded . . . cold.

( Chaurus 4 )

The warm, rich tapestry of you,
From Elven loom,
My grasp eludes,
Cold, mocking moon,
His chill exudes,
What aching doom,
Rescue . . me . . . soon . . . .


How numbing is this north wind,
How cutting through my pale skin,
How sharp, it pierces my heart,
This winter gnaws me apart,
Once was light, all is now dark,
So dim . . .
So . . . cold . . .

( Chaurus )

Oh! Have I been a hope-struck fool,
To wait for you ,
To make me whole,
Be everything,
To warm my soul,
Thaw my heart –
Make it sing?


Oh! Solitary misery,
This hungry wind devours me,
Your loss and lack I mourn,
All else I could have borne,
How thin my fabric has worn,
So . . deathly . . . cold

( Chaurus )

The warm, rich tapestry of you,
From Elven loom,
My grasp eludes,
Cold, mocking moon,
His chill exudes,
What aching doom,
Rescue . .
me . . .
soon . . . .


© Len Snider, Gloryteller.com, 1-18-2014
All Rights Reserved



Thank You for Your Friendship!


A pair of friends alternately watch one another
across the room,
through the clear eyes of mutual love,
with a spirit of respect,
and warm esteem,
and each one thinks:
“I am the more fortunate here.”
And so it should be between friends.
And so it is, between Jesus
and each of His believers.
So it is, I believe.
But that kind of friendship is, at the same time,
 far, far more;
more than these limited phrases
can describe.
That is a relationship reaching into forever.


post #150


Previews, Glimpses, Sips, And Samples

~ ~ ~


At a food show, the chef fed us morsels from each course of his famous ten course gourmet dining experience.

The wine steward poured us sample sips of his oldest vintage.
But the actual meals and drinks were beyond our means,
Our ability to fully appreciate,
Beyond our wherewithal…

We were left with our dreams and ‘air-filled’ beans,
Not that beans aren’t good, mind you…

At the homemade ice cream store, the clerk gave us delicious samples of exotic frozen wonders, but there were too many and we had to decide upon one or two…

We watched the trailer – actually a teaser – of the new blockbuster movie.  We could have watched it right then, but it was a month from release in theaters…

We looked at paint swatches, but they were too small to get the full visual picture of how the whole room would look with those colors…

We saw photographs of architectures and landscape designs for our new home, but each was more beautiful than the last and we couldn’t wrap our head around them, couldn’t decide…

We saw photographs of paintings, which, of course, couldn’t do justice to the real works of art…

We heard samples of music which we knew were not a fair representation of the complete recorded songs, which, themselves, failed to convey the complete experience of watching and hearing the artists play and sing the music before us “live”…

Perfume samples faded too soon…

The smell of lilacs.
We just want them to keep blooming all year
So that we can have the real thing
And not just a pleasant memory…

We saw the digital computerized results of the collisions of subatomic particles moving at nearly the speed of  light.  The pictures are digital because the particles are traveling so fast, their trails are very short, and their “lives” are less than flashes.  The researchers are reasonably certain that they have found the elusive Higgs Boson — the “God particle” — that confers mass upon all matter.  Those particles border upon the unreal in our local timespace, but their effects and their existence is, in a sense, eternal…

So it is to live here in the world of the created universe.
We see but a glimpse of the immense and the miniscule.
Of the quick and even the slow.
Of the true hues and created colors.
But we’re glad to have eyes.

We hear but a whisper of the eternal symphony.
But we’re glad to have ears.

We get only a momentary, fleeting taste of a magnificent feast.
But we’re glad to have the sense of taste.

We are thankful to have senses, but
We’re left with a longing for more,
No, not just more, but a longing for The Real Thing.
The big, full, complete, Real Thing.
All of it!

The thing is:  that God gives us the capacity to experience Him through His created works surrounding us here in our temporary home, the incompletely restored universe.  We have sensory organs, limited as they are, and we have minds which seek to understand, all the while knowing that the completed “big picture” will not be ours.  The complete fullness of God’s Mind, His Power, Majesty, and Glory is beyond our ability to experience.  Not here, not now, not yet.

What is it like to chase an electron?

What is it like to see all the countless wavelengths and hear all the countless frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum?

What is it like to hear the choir of all the stars in all the galaxies singing at once to the Risen Creator-King while all the angels’ voices soar in counterpoint?

What is it like to taste a ten-million-course banquet assembled by a host of angel chefs while the Persons of the Trinity dine at the table with us?

What is it like to see Your face,
Oh, Lord?

We likely will not know these things while alive on this world, but we have faith that we will know when we all hear the worldwide trumpet note that accompanies His returning shout as He comes at last to finish the redemption of all creation and all His people.

Until then, we are blessed, privileged, and gifted
With all of His

~ ~ ~

Now we see a blurred image in a mirror. Then we will see very clearly. Now my knowledge is incomplete. Then I will have complete knowledge as God has complete knowledge of me.  1 Corinthians 13:12 

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

But as it is written in the Scriptures, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him and wait for Him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9 
[ There are things God hath prepared for those that love him, and wait for him, which sense cannot discover, no teaching can convey to our ears, nor can it yet enter our hearts. We must take them as they stand in the Scriptures, as God hath been pleased to reveal them to us. –Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary]


He Returns On Fire In The Third Person




Gloryteller has returned in the third person, on fire to write.   (Who even missed him or noticed a lack of recent posts?)
He was “on retreat” in The Mountains once more.
He is, once more, humbled.
He is humbled beyond his usual daily state of  humbled-ness.
Hiking and climbing  joyously with his youngest son, “College Guy”,
who is such a one that there should be no surprise at being humbled by him — by him and of course by Creator God, Who lets Gloryteller,
and indeed helps him,
do what he can’t do,
go where he can’t go,
see what he can’t see,
and be what, and whom, he can’t be.

As the mountains caught fire, he did too, in the spiritual sense.
Humbled, yet on fire?  Yes, like the lightning-sparked blazes in the forests, it was completely natural.
Fire is a muse to him.
So is driving.
So is hiking.
So is lightning.
And thunder-like-a-cannon is a muse to him.
And sitting on a peak, and watching the clouds, and living a life.
So are many writers a muse to him.  (You might be one of them)
So are extraordinarily ordinary people, and not so ordinary,
like Tim The Waiter, who most likely will never read about his genuine, inspiring self here.
Sources of inspiration —
Nothing more than types and shadows of The One Source of his true inspiration.
He’s back, yet still away.
Muse in his own right.
Blazing with ‘musement.
He contemplates.
He ruminates.
He wonders.
He ponders……..

What fire burns there?
What does a muse muse about?

He picks up his flat-keyed ‘pen’ and begins to spark lightning-fires,
His muses prompting, chittering, talking excitedly all at once.


Father, Son, Pinnacle

Father, Son, Pinnacle


Defending His Words With My GPS

Photo of TomTom Go 500


A GPS plays a special role while traveling strange roads.  It tells us where we are, where to turn to reach our destination, how far we have come, how far we have yet to go, what the speed limit is, and where the landmarks, restaurants, and gas stations are.  It keeps us from getting lost!  It also increases our overall understanding of areas unfamiliar to us.  A GPS can greatly enhance the enjoyment of a trip.

It occurred to me that I, as a writer (and we writers, collectively), have a special role, since our craft is expressed through use of our language.    It matters how we use our GPS……..  GPS?  I see the questions in your eyes.

Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling! 


It’s a matter of words – how we string them together in a proper, coherent manner into phrases and sentences.

G,P, and S are our tools –  the paint on our canvasses which color our written thoughts.

They are the instruments by which we give tone and texture, pitch and resonance to the songs of our printed voices.

They are the rich furnishings that embellish an empty house (blank page) and transform it into a home (poem, article, story).

Without the order furnished by the use of good grammar, punctuation, and spelling, (and, here, I must add vocabulary) there is confusion and chaos.  There is reader discomfort.  Instead of the stream flowing smoothly, their cognative canoes encounter obstacles which impede progress.  Instead of the intended float-trip through a beautiful landscape of understanding, there is a laborious detour through a swamp of lost meaning.

Today our language, (both the written and the spoken) is under attack by laziness, carelessness, apathy, ignorance, and lack of meaningful use by the general public. It seems few people actually care anymore about The Queen’s English  (meaning the standard, correct, conventional, most easily-understood-worldwide form of the language).  It is dying a slow death – even in the “media” – even in schools.  Our language is undergoing a deliberate “dumbing down”.  It seems to me that bad grammar, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary are somehow becoming more socially acceptable to many people than good grammar, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary.  To me, that is a very sad circumstance.  The consequences are tangible, for example, when thousands of job applications are rejected for not having been written properly.  It is essential to be able to express one’s thoughts and ideas clearly, concisely, and in an intelligent manner.

As writers, we find ourselves in a unique position.  We have a responsibility, and an obligation to make proper use of our language, not only for our readers’ benefit, and our own benefit, but for the benefit of the English language itself, and Society itself.

I must now state that I am not a journalist, nor an English major.  I’ve never had a creative writing course; the way I write is God-given.  All my knowledge of reading and writing came from grades one through twelve in public school, way back when “reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic” were considered very important, and were taught classically.  There was no “dumbing down” back then, only “smartening up”.  That being said, this post may still contain some GPS errors, but it’s not for lack of trying, and it’s not for lack of caring about English.  I’m no expert, but whatever my shortcomings, I’m still a writer.  Writing is my passion, my delight, and, most importantly, my calling.

As writers, we find ourselves the appointed guardians, supporters, and defenders of  The Language, and not only our language but God’s language;  His words.  HIS WORD.   Writers and readers alike should gain proficiency in GPS and vocabulary, especially if they happen to be reading or writing about The Bible, God’s people, or King Jesus — The Word of God, Himself.


It’s Hard To Dance When You Don’t Hear The Music



To my friend who is an atheist:

I used to think somewhat as you do, so I know something of  “where you are”.
“Late in life”, I discovered something that “works” infinitely better.
It is said that those who dance are considered insane by someone who doesn’t hear the music. 
Like many older men and women who were, unlike me, actually brilliant and talented,
I began to hear The Music.  It became clearer, and then it began to move my limbs.
It’s like not being able to hear a dog-whistle, but you can tell that a dog does, because you can see its reaction when it is used.
God’s music is like that, and what complete and utter JOY there is in dancing to it!
My hope is that you will hear it, whether it begins faintly or thunders suddenly.
Whether in a voice,  a birdsong, an orchestra, windchimes, or simply an inner tune that won’t be denied.
Once you hear the pureness, the truth, in its melody, you will know what I mean, and your heart will begin its joyful dance.

Love to you.

Metaphor Mountain


I “love” mountains, and I “love” The Mountains.

(I’m using quotation marks because I’m trying to teach myself to use the words “love” and “hate” appropriately, that is to save them for situations in which their true meaning applies)

What I really mean to say is that I like mountains intensely.  In my book, one can only love living entities that one can have some sort of relationship with, like God (especially Him), a person, or perhaps a pet.  Of course the words love and hate can be used metaphorically and that’s the way they are most often used.  You hear it umpteen-zillion times a day. (Wink) I, myself, hate that.  Oops, I dislike that.  It is so common we don’t even notice the frequency of “I love it when”…., or, “I hate it when”. It’s annoying when I hear “I just love your hair, and that purse, I just love that, that’s to die for!”. We all do it, but how did we get so far from the true usage?   Love God with everything you’ve got.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  That’s a tall enough order for the word “love”. Hate the sin, love the sinner! Another mighty tall order, yet, in those two sentences are found the true meaning and usefulness of the words love and hate.

I’ve gotten slightly off the trail. Let’s get back on it: If there were inanimate objects I could love, however, they would be “the mountains”.  I have had, and am having, some wonderful real and metaphorical relationships with them, a few notable individual mountains in particular. If I had a “bucket list”, being in the mountains would be on it right after being with my people.

Mountains have real and metaphoric value in my life because they emphasize several opposing concepts:

Ascending and descending.
Higher and lower.
Danger and safety.
Climbing and falling.
Struggle and peace.
Beauty and desolation.
Heaven and Earth.
Spirit and flesh.
Good and evil.
And the awareness of the proximity of
life and death.

I could expand this list almost endlessly, but you get the point.

Recently, the subject of death has been on my mind. My post, https://gloryteller.com/2013/03/25/one-last-mountain/,  uses ascending a mountain as a metaphor for death.  Perhaps it will become more than a metaphor.  Perhaps I will “meet Death” on the slopes of a real mountain. Most likely it will be a metaphoric mountain that will claim my bodily life.

When I was transformed into a believer, my many and various fears were either taken away completely or were significantly diminished. My almost obsessive fear of death was one that was removed. All that is left is the natural, instinctive, compulsion to preserve my bodily life. Death, to me, is the necessary step I must take to reach Paradise, Heaven, and eternal life in the presence of my Lord and my Heavenly Father. Yet, it dawned on me that perhaps I’m taking death too lightly. Is it really a natural part of life? Is there nothing that can be done about it? If it is normal and natural, should anything be “done” about it?

I subscribe to the school of thought that death is a corruption thrust into a creation that was perfect before selfishness turned into sinfulness and spoiled the whole plan. I also believe that there is something that should be, and can be, done about death, and that is to believe, and believe in the Savior, who was sent to vanquish it. Death is the consequence of our sinful nature, but He accepted true death in our places, so that we would not have to face the permanent consequences of our selfishness. Jesus defeated selfishness with selflessness! Everything that should and could be done about the problem of death has already been done! Problem solved! Done! Over! Finished! But only for believers in the One who did it perfectly and died for it perfectly! (I’ll leave it to you to discern and comprehend the larger, more complex, concept of death beyond the relatively simple death of a body.)

So, that being said, perhaps I still don’t really know enough about death, nor the process through which it will take me. Perhaps when the moment comes, I’ll be unprepared and I might succumb to fear, or find out that everything I thought I knew was wrong. It only happens once, and, although there are those who claim to have returned to their bodies, or returned from Heaven or Hell after they died, I suspect that death is an individually unique occurrence to which the testimonies of others have little value. There is only one person I personally know who has returned from death – my Lord and Savior, Jesus. I only trust what He said about it. That is recorded in the New Testament.

To climb a mountain, it is vital to be prepared. It’s interesting that the word “vital” comes from Latin roots meaning “relating to life, or the quality of being alive”. In my case, it means being able to preserve my life and my ability to stay alive throughout the whole journey; until the adventure is completed. I must pack the essential food, water clothing, and first aid supplies. I must have a map of the area and the route to the top either in my “head” or in my pack. I must be in good physical condition. I must have a positive mental attitude. I must have skills and knowledge, and be able to use them wisely. I must read extensively about the subject. I also must know how to pray and talk to the only One who will be my companion all the way. There will be only one chance to “get it right”.

Preparing to summit a mountain is like anticipating both bodily and metaphysical death – knowledge about what will kill you, makes you stronger. The stronger you are, the more likely a good outcome. The Bible says every person will die, then live again in an eternal body. The only question is “ which of two eternal ‘places’ will a person exist in after that”. I choose life – abundant life – with God.

Yes, that metaphoric mountain rises before me, and yes, evil will stalk me all the way up, but, before me, Jesus walked, and fell, and died, and lived again on that final mountain so that I would need to fear no evil; so that I would not have to fall, and break, and die before reaching the summit. His Spirit will accompany me and I will rely on His strength as I get weaker on my journey to the top, where He, Himself, awaits my arrival. From this land’s end until The Endless Land, I will trust God and believe in The Son of Man, and that not a moment too soon, for now, day breaks the gloom of night, and I can begin to see my humbling,        huge,        sobering,         mysterious,       towering,        massif on the horizon.



One Last Mountain

One Last Mountain

 painting by John McNaughton

painting by John McNaughton

Re-posted for R. L.,  a dedicated reader who liked the way this format “walks” across the page.
It’s actually a quirky glitch in the WordPress transposition of the way I really wanted it displayed. 🙂

I only recent conquered one
Not so distant past
But each peak now seems harder than
Was climbing up the last

           Perhaps I’m almost finished
My climber says I’m not
My will is not diminished
My body not quite shot

                      But one can hardly ever tell
When one’s nice trail will end
What waits beyond horizon’s hill
Or ’round next river bend

                                 And there will be that one higher
More fright’ning to attempt
Looming there one last hard climb
Where no one is exempt

                                              Daunting doubts I reckon
Uncertain and unknown
Cold airless shadows beckon
To scale it all alone

                                                          You fool you will not be alone
The trail well-marked and lit
The crags will have beginner’s holds
You surely will not slip

                                                                       Up toward my final peak
The one on which I’ll stay
I’ll wait until He finally speaks
Then lifts my soul away

                                                                                   Thus will it be that in the end
I’ll rest there where He Is
In the beauty of the Endless Land
With Him and all of His


The Expense of Safety

A Good Friday Offering

The sole ferry to safety was ready to depart.
Special admission only.
One solitary ticket stand.
Last chance.
I had not the standing,
Nor the price of admission.
I stood forlorn in fear,
I would certainly be tortured and killed.
Then a Man stepped up.
Radiating such undisguised love,
Unveiled compassion.
He gave me His own precious ticket with a smile.
No hesitation.
He paid my price.
Dooming Himself.
Bewildered, I caught hold of it.
I stood astonished,
Forgetting even to thank Him in my haste,
As they cruelly beat Him down,
Dragged Him away,
To what fate I couldn’t know,
Didn’t want to guess.
My fate . . .
In horror, I watched
As I walked backward
And, not nearly grateful enough,
Stepped onto the boat.



One Last Mountain

One Last Mountain

 painting by John McNaughton

painting by John McNaughton

I only recent conquered one
Not so distant past
But each peak now seems harder than
Was climbing up the last

I’m walking so much older now
Much slower than before
It’s time to lay some burdens down
And shoulder them no more

 Perhaps I’m almost finished
My climber says I’m not
My will is not diminished
My body not quite shot

 But one can hardly ever tell
When one’s nice trail will end
What waits beyond horizon’s hill
Or ’round next river bend

And there will be that one higher
More fright’ning to attempt
Looming there one last hard climb
Where no one is exempt

Daunting doubts I reckon
Uncertain and unknown
Cold airless shadows beckon
To scale it all alone

You fool you will not be alone
The trail well-marked and lit
The crags will have beginner’s holds
You surely will not slip

Up toward my final peak
The one on which I’ll stay
I’ll wait until He finally speaks
Then lifts my soul away

Thus will it be that in the end
I’ll rest there where He Is
In the beauty of the Endless Land
With Him and all of His


Meet Xian (Christian), Part II

Meet Xian (Christian), Part II

Well, you can’t win them all (said anyone who has written a blog).
My post ( https://gloryteller.com/2013/03/07/meet-xian/) about the genesis of my “Xian” (Christian) character, a.k.a. “Chi” was a big flop. I don’t think anyone even read it, let alone liked, rated or commented on it.
That’s life!
However, I’m not one to give up, even when giving up might seem the prudent-est course.

Perhaps it seemed childish, superfluous, or irrelevant, but I like to branch-out; to write in different styles about different subject matter.  It keeps me flexible, keeps me thinking, helps me focus, helps my creativity, keeps me growing as a writer.  I could go on, but I might get boring.  That’s one thing I don’t want to be, for that would dishonor the One I write for, Who is never boring, always exciting, always awe-inspiring, always creative, and in Whom there is never a dull moment!

So!  There’s more to Chi (and that rhymes with my guy) than meets the eye:


Chiasmus is a literary figure of speech (and how I love a good figure of speech) in which two or more clauses are related to each other through a reversal of structures in order to make a larger point.  Chiasmus means, in Greek, “to shape like the letter X,* thus the sentence structure looks like this: When read left to right, up to down, the first topic (A) is reiterated as the last, and the middle concept (B) appears twice in succession (Also, the middle concept could appear just once).*
I will try to give you an example:
“I don’t want the symbol ‘Xian’ to be boring, to keep ‘Xian’ interesting is my aim.”

Many long, complex chiasms can be found in Shakespeare and in Greek and Hebrew texts of the Bible.  You knew I would get around to The Bible didn’t you!    I was amazed when I noticed how many ways my study of the letter Chi led me to connections with Scripture.  First, the chiastic pattern shown above is well known as the “criss-cross”  pattern.  The apostle Peter was martyred on an X-shaped cross.  “X” also invokes to me the shape of the cross of Jesus.
Second, the chiastic pattern is also known as the A-B-B-A pattern.  ABBA!  One of the most dear names of God, ABBA is Aramaic for “the Father”, and arguably, is Hebrew for “Daddy”.  It was used as an intimate, yet respectful way to address one’s father, and in a very special sense, one’s Heavenly Father.

The classic Scriptural chiasmic ABBA structure is from Matthew 19:30 wherein Jesus says, “But many who are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”  

Finally, I say that not only is Xian a most interesting little “guy”, but delving further into “his” origins has yielded a wealth of interconnected knowledge, knowledge which touches the very origins of my faith,  all begun by a little drawing of a “guy” I call Xian (Christian).

Did you see what I did there?  😉

*From Wikipedia

God Gives That We May Give To Him

At Christmastime, when I was a boy, my dad understood the relative poverty of his children, so he would give us each a small amount of money to be spent on gifts for the other family members.  What was a small amount to him was a small fortune to us, so we each happily shopped with Mom and picked out trinkets and treasures for our siblings and parents.  Wrapping the gifts was fun, but the best part was the excited anticipation we had for Christmas morning when the family would partake in what we children had built in our minds to be the Olympics of giving and receiving.  It was as good as it gets, and after all the unwrapping, and showing, and laughing, and modelling, and cheering, and thanking, we all felt richer and more blessed than we were before.  But it was Dad and Mom, I think, who felt the most blessed, for having given to us so that we could bless each other with gifts.  The money they gave us came back to them, multiplied, in seeing generosity, unselfishness, and brotherly love instilled into us and put into action.  And so it is with God.  He gives out of His abundance, into our poverty, that we may bless others.

God gives to us out of His riches,
The gifts we receive are to bless others,
Which is our greatest gift to Him, in turn.

Whether the gift of writing, of singing, of making music, of delivering a message, of healing, of encouraging, of hospitality, of giving time or treasures, of working or helping, of giving testimony, of sowing seeds, of doing a kindness, of giving a hug, or a simple smile, you do have one gift – or more – that you can share with others who are destitute until they receive your unique offering.  All these things came from God.  Shouldn’t we make sure they get back to Him through the proper channels?


He Follows Patiently. Your Turn.




In the book of your life,
Jesus follows you closely, quietly,
As you walk your path.
Turn the pages, He walks with you.
If you run, He runs.
Lie down, and He lies down nearby.
If you try to outrun Him,
Or get away,
He effortlessly stays right behind.
Veer right or left,
He is faithful in the turning.
Stop, and He stops.
Continue in your way,
He continues with you.
But turn around and look back,
He does not turn around.
Not ever.
He looks into your pleading eyes.
Turning to Him is all He wants.
Asking Him to take the lead
Is all you need.
To write your new page.
To fill the complete book of your Life.



 Do Not be alarmed by what I have to tell you.
How do I phrase this? ……………………… I’ve been infected.

Years ago, I was exposed. The infectious agent was introduced into my heart through an opening that had not been there before. It was my own doing that it was left open, though. I meant to do it because I had made a choice. I had chosen to invite Salvation in, and thus was exposed to The One Truth, and The Only Life. I was immediately overwhelmed and taken over! Infected! Much like a computer is “infected” by downloading a foreign program that takes over its operation. Much like a human virus that, once inside you, replicates inside one’s cells, not killing, (although I did die to my old self) but changing the DNA. Thus I succumbed.

As a side note, do you know that some scientists propose that nearly 10% of the human genome (the entire “code” of human genetic information) is composed of leftover viral DNA that humans have carried around in their own genes for many thousands of years?

In a like manner, I have been carrying “Heavenly information” left within me by the infecting power of Holy Spirit. I am a Carrier! I have been imparted, and implanted, with belief in the Good News of Jesus Christ! Being a Carrier of information this important, and because of the nature of this glorious infected state, I have a driving need, a compulsion, a commission, to pass it on to others. That’s not so difficult since it’s airborne and contagious.  Those who have developed resistance through long exposure to the enemy’s anti-Body, may take longer by varying degrees.  But, sharing a few words of my own testimony, of the wonder of my own infectedness, or of Jesus’ great love for the prospective infectee often has the desired effect. The agent I carry is so infective that the mere sight of me carrying this Life, this Joy, is sometimes enough to transfer it. Often, I share a gift of food, or supply needed materials that I’ve liberally infused with Holy infectedness, and they catch it.  Other times I have to leave seed and spore of the Good News where the Spirit bids, and He sees to it that it infects and grows in His good time.

I was infected by a Christ-follower. That’s the only way it can be spread, but it can spread fast when fellow carriers each do their part to make more carriers.

The thing is, once this infecting Agent is fully established in the heart, in the very DNA, it is there for good. I mean that in every sense of the word.  I have never heard a person say they wish it hadn’t happened.  Truth, Salvation, Life, and His unfathomable Love are infectious like that.


My Biology Pants For Theology

My Biology Pants For Theology!
Yes!  I’ve Got To Catch Him!


Oh, my heart,
Oh, my heart,
Oh, my heart!
Why do you race and beat so?
Oh, legs how you run,
You’re chasing the Son,
You’re climbing where you’d never go!

Oh, my chest,
Oh, my chest,
Oh, my chest!
Why do you heave and pant so?
Breaths coming fast,
How long can you last?
In pursuing the One you would know!

Oh, my soul,
Oh, my soul,
Oh, my soul!
Why do you leap and dance so?
Oh, arms how you raise,
Oh, voice singing praise,
Oh, mouth loud and bold are you now!

Oh, my Heart,
Oh, my Mind,
Oh, my Soul!
Why do you long for Him so?
You failed again and again,
Finally let Him come in,
Now there’s nowhere else you can go!

Oh, my Life,
Oh, my Joy,
Oh, my Faith!
Why do you so make frenzied haste?
There is rest here below,
Just be still and you’ll know,
He will wait, then again you can race!


(Can’t you just see Him turn and wink at you as you reach toward Him and He turns, laughs, and speeds playfully away, grinning in approval as you follow precisely in His steps?  “Come on!” he shouts. “It’s impossible not to catch me!” )




Paul Harvey – The Man and the Birds


A Modern Day Parable




      I feel very strange.  The day before yesterday I was strongly led to write this unusual piece – “Shards”.  (unusual, for me, in its pain and darkness – I’m more into joy)
Around noon yesterday (Friday, 12-14-2012) I saw the horrible, heartbreaking tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut on the news.

I had not planned to give God much of a part in this poem.  I intended it for encouragement for one individual, that “they” might be encouraged by it and know that they are not alone in their plight of brokenness. However, yesterday morning, as I awoke, I was strongly led to change it, and include His compassionate nature in the final stanzas.
      I hesitated to post this in fear of being inappropriate, but I feel strongly that He wants someone to read this.  I emphasize that this was written before the tragedy.  It is my hope and prayer that it will draw someone to Him and  lead them into his arms.
Today I will post “Shards”.  I have no answers to the usual questions which tend to make people turn away from God in times like these.  “Where’s God?” “Why does God allow innocent blood to be spilled; innocent lives to be taken?”  “Why does He so often allow evil to prevail?”  “Is it because of the rebellious and disobedient nature of mankind?”  “Is it because when we, as a people, decided to ‘go it alone’ without Him, He decided to show us how that would work out for us?” I don’t know.
      This is all I know at this moment:   I refuse to let these questions shatter the faith that I, with His grace, have gone through so much to maintain.  I refuse to be captive to my own meager understanding.  Jesus didn’t come to earth to eliminate murder. He came to comfort the brokenhearted, for one thing.  We still live under the curse of evil and we all face death – old and young alike – but Jesus came here to address death and defeat it for each of us through His resurrection.
I refuse to let evil steal my joy and my hope, for this is what it boils down to, for me — that our only hope to be reunited with those innocent souls is through Jesus Christ.  I am absolutely certain that Jesus’ compassion for innocent souls, those taken too soon, is immense, for, in a sense, He was one of them It is through faith, trust, and belief in Him alone that we will  be allowed to rejoin those beautiful innocents again in full joy, to sing, and dance, and laugh, and love with them forever.


The countless shards of one shattered heart,
An exploding, expanding sphere of chaos,
Spreading wide and scattering apart,
Across the world, a swarm of loss.
Shards acutely sharp,
Across the heavens, destruction hurled,
Shards immutably hard,
Dark devastation unfurled.

Small flechettes ripping flesh and bone,
Piercing even the fragile membrane
Between the body and the soul,
Replacing joy’s song with despair’s refrains
Shredding the universe into coarse turmoil,



Where, in the lovingkindness of His heart of compassion,
God gathers them all in His arms, and His hands,
And skillfully, then, He begins to re-fashion
Refitting them back as only He can.

Remaking, shaping, forming, unshattering,
Deftly rounds off the pain and re-tunes –  it’s an art,
He fits them all back, in a shape that’s most flattering.
Then removing the thing that tore them apart,

He creates a new unshatterable heart.
He creates a brand-new unshardable heart.


Evil Translated To Glory

Great Evil Translated To Greater Glory

The greater the amount of evil defeated in saving one’s eternal life, the greater the glory attributed to God.
(LS 11-29-12)

I don’t mean that one sin is “worse” than another.  I don’t mean that a certain grace imparted is greater than another, nor that it is harder for God to defeat a “greater amount” of evil in any given person’s life.  There is no sin that can’t be forgiven, and no evil that He can’t defeat.
What I mean is that, from the perspective of a person who was granted the miracle of saving grace later in life, the odds of my seeing and accepting that grace seemed slim, at best.  The awe and wonder I have in light of that are immense!

I also mean that the large amount and the “seriousness” (as judged by Earthly standards) of the selfish evil accumulated in my own life that was defeated by Grace, is a metaphor for the “increasing amount” of wickedness, and evil, and selfishness I see accumulating in the world today.  The longer He lets it build up – the worse it gets – the more awe and wonder there will be when He comes in all His Glory!  That metaphor concludes with all the evil of the world being defeated in due time, and on that day, great will be the glory of God!  On that day, all people will “bow their knee” to Christ.  (Sadly to say, for a great many souls who don’t know Him, and consequently whom He doesn’t know, that will be their last desperate act before their everlasting death.)  For Eternal Life, and for the Great Glory of God, I continue to present my case – His case for evil to be translated to glory, and I continue to pray toward that end.


Cottage, Pain, and Palace


Cottage, Pain, and Palace


“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity



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