Faith Waxes Poetic

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Two poetic quotations which help clarify the mystery of faith :


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

John Greenleaf Whittier
John Greenleaf Whittier

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AND :

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

Matthew Henry explains:

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.

On a personal note;
When my faith saw these two “poems”,
it immediately deepened itself.
It’s hard to explain.
It’s miraculous; a wonder,
and the explanation is in the poetry itself.
Have a faith-deepened day!
Gloryteller

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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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Remember, Trust, and Fear Not

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I’m like Israel.
I’m always in some stage of forgetting.
Forgetting what God has done for me.
Always in some season of fluctuating lack, or abundance, of trust.
Lacking trust in Him.
Always wandering back and forth in the space between complete remembrance
and idolatry.
Between desperate, abiding trust,
and going aside to find my own way.
Gaining freedom.
Careless with freedom.
Freedom tipping dangerously
back and forth at the edge of destruction.
And so it is with my country.

It is said that great civilizations can’t be destroyed from without,
but easily from within.
I try to fight The Worm inside;
the one who hides its presence.
Insidious.
Parasitic.
Spanning the length of my inner workings.
Feeding, wiggling, waiting.
Trying to poison me gradually,
without my noticing.
But I notice.
I know it’s there
trying to kill the very one who feeds it.
And I try to poison it back.
In anger.
In revenge.
I take poisons to kill it,
or, at least, to drive it out.
But it won’t go,
And that’s killing me . . .

Alas! I have forgotten, once more,
that I can’t, and never could, by myself.
That there is The Saving Promise,
and The Trust in its Maker
that I let fade to my own harm.
I’ve only to remember that He has defeated that Worm.
Has His foot on its neck.
It knows it’s finished, yet
it writhes and thrashes,
and spews its poison,
Attempting to inflict yet one more wound inside.
But it is harmless as long as I remember to trust Him;
to keep Him precisely between myself and that monster.
Remember and trust.
Oh, Israel!
I can’t, even for one moment, forget,
Nor let trust fail.
Nor neglect thanking Him for what He has done, is doing, and will do.
To keep me safe.
And to keep me free.

~So it is with me.~
~And so it is with my country.~

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Momentously Graced

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Grace comes moment by moment,
Abiding until the next.
Life, a momentary comment,
By grace is momentously blessed.

L< Gloryteller
7-28-13

You’re Living On The Surface

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I don’t remember what mood or incident triggered this rather “different” drafting;
rather more outspoken, and opinionated, and, maybe, judgemental than my usual.
It is almost a rant – a departure from my normal voice, but I feel
that it was put in me for a reason; that it is a rant against the enemy,
and that a special someone will benefit by hearing it, and I pray
the Holy Spirit sends it where it should go:

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You’re Living On The Surface

I see you up there where my own self once languished,
Pleasure seeker.
(Never think that I deem myself better than you,
For I have been you
And am you)
But at the same time,
This is how the Endteller said it would be;
That most would not see past their hands
Feel past their skins
Think past their morning coffee
Their all-day coffee-chased pills
Their evening intox
Giving themselves away in so many imaginative ways
Their narco-laced, caffeine-based,
Red-saffron blood-fed
Self-stimulated gorge
And surge
And purge

And urge
Huge, insatiable appetites whet
Tiny, urgent, skimming lives.

Food, drink, pleasure, weep;
Slather, blather, rinse, repeat.
Rat-race to anxiety,
Retreat into a fetal sleep.

Where Me, Myself, and I is a
meaningful relationship.

Loving only love is false.
Where the tee-vee is the mirror
And the mirror is queen,
Where desperation-devastation has the taste of sinn-amon
Sin-ammonia
Sin-pneumonia
Stinking poison
Sin euphoria
Where life’s meaning wades in a shallow, muddy puddle
And no new taste
(sing this part to your favorite tune)
No new place
No new clothing
No new feeling
No new art
No new wine
No new toy
No new noise
No new bauble
No new ring
No new car
No new poem
No new scenery
No new skin
No new lie
No new anything can satisfy for long.
No new association is a satiation anymore
And even the plaintive inside voice
That says “there must be something more”
Is fading.
This is how the Endteller said it would be
Oh, Beautiful,
Oh, sad, lost, desperate pleasure seeker.
Oh youthful, doomed, nightmare dreamer.
And there’s no way out but more of the same
More of the same
More of the shame
More of the same…

The elusive answer is hiding in plain sight:
Awaken from surface sleep,
For morning awaits with gifts in her hands.
Transforming and new
For there is much more than you have seen or imagined.
Dive deep beneath the flotsam of an empty existence,
Dive deep to where Love Himself waits well beyond the shallows
Though you may not love Love yet,
There, in the depths where you are loved so intensely,
Is a start
Is your ransom
Is your beginning
Is your only hope
Dive deep, drown in Love
Oh, Beautiful, becoming, emerging seeker.
Astound the Endteller.
Dare the depths and be saved from the nowhere-place
The nothing-time
Of a surface-self existence.

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

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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.
Always.
Gloryteller

Carrier!

Carrier!

 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.

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I Would Rather Live My Life….

I Would Rather Live My Life….

 

I would rather live my life believing there is a God and die to find out there isn’t than live my life believing there isn’t a God and die to find out there is.” – Albert Camus

This statement sounds good at first glance doesn’t it? Perhaps a good starting point for a journey of faith? If one looks more closely, it is, however, lacking. It barely scratches the surface. What about knowing there is a God? What about knowing God personally? What about knowing we are loved and treasured? What about knowing exactly how He wants us to live our lives? What about knowing that Jesus is our personal Savior, Lord, and risen King? What about reading what He has to say about all this in His own Words? What about knowing exactly who we will face when we die, and also what happens after that?

I would rather live my life knowing my Creator God, my Lord and Savior, and what He says about Himself – and me – than to live my life wondering and speculating about Him.” LS<

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Paul Harvey – The Man and the Birds

 

A Modern Day Parable

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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.

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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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Illuminated

 

Illuminated

To paraphrase  C.S. Lewis in “The Weight of Glory” :

“I believe in Jesus Christ as I believe the sun has risen, not only because He illuminates me, but because by Him all else is illuminated.”

LS<

 

 

 

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Languages of Love

Languages of Love
He speaks every moment

Every place in time

In all interrelated spatial positions

To every creature

And to all creation

Primarily to every heart

And soul who will listen

Every searching mind

May hear the delicate

The precise presiding mathematics

See it in waveforms dancing

Lyric logarithmic

It is indeed everywhere

And in everything

Numbers the letters

Equations the words

Complex sentences paragraphs

Chapters books

Libraries

Explaining the structure

Form and function

Of a tree of a seashell of salt

Of music

Of us

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Music too is everywhere

And in everything

For every hearing heart

Are you listening

Do you hear the numbers flow

Babbling rhythmic audible

The noted tones the letters

The bars and lines the phrases

The soaring passages

Of operas concertos

Whole symphonies

Overtures to all creation

Explaining things unseen

Abstract substance

Beauty illuminated

Emotion elucidated

Eternity exclaimed

Glory exponential

Singing artistic creativity

Dignified craftsmanship

Timely invention

Science hums insights

Poetry counts the treasures of thrift

Word and The Senses recite truth

Look and you will find

Faith comes by hearing

Taste and see

A sweet fragrance to Him

He touched their eyes

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He shows Himself everywhere

In everything His Heart speaks

What was made

We didn’t make

Unworthy creatures we

Surely not math

Surely not music

Not art not science

No not Love

Only trouble

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His Image His Nature His Love

He would communicate

To hearts souls minds

He speaks so many languages

Signs and wonders abound

Science Thought Art Inventiveness

Sight Hearing Smell Taste Touch

Math

Music

Word

His many sacred Languages of Love
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Written fast as He gave it sans punctuation

Stream of consciousness

It is packed pressed down and running over

All saying read me again

Making demands on a reader

Did you rise to the challenge?

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Copyright 8-27-12 Gloryteller.com

My Friend, There’s Someone I’d Like You To Meet

My Friend, There’s Someone I’d Like You To Meet

Early on, I saw him from afar.  He was ordinary and plain, dressed poorly in dirty clothing.   Yet, he carried himself with a certain dignity.  I moved on and forgot about him……

Until miles later when I met him in passing.  “Dirty feet,” I thought.  “Oily hair.  Calloused, grubby hands.  Still dresses shabbily.  Bad haircut and doesn’t shave.”   Yet, he looked confident as he spoke to the people he met.  I don’t think he noticed me as I passed with only a glance, saying nothing.  No-one to bother with…..

Until time flew, and the years became heavy, and I found myself wandering into the back alley of my life.  Losing myself.  Confused by myself. Stumbling in despair amidst garbage, and wreckage.  Holes in my worn-out walking shoes. Walking on cold, wet, well-traveled dirt, the way ever-narrowing between breath-stifling walls. Suddenly I slipped. I felt myself falling and sliding down the steep-sided pit of what must have been an old storm sewer.  After I landed, I sat and wept.  There was no way out.  It was getting hotter.  Darker.  I sat in the hot, sulfurous muck and wept.  The muck was rising.

Fear gripped my throat. “Helllllp.  Is anybody there?  Does anybody hear me?”

“I’m here.  I hear you.  Be still and all will be well.”  A candle was lit behind me, illuminating a face.

“It….It’s you……”

“It is I.  Always have been me,” he said, grinning. ” Don’t you remember how, early on, I waved at you from a distance, but you didn’t want to see?  Later we met in passing and I smiled, but you didn’t speak.  Many times I walked behind you, beside you, and before you, but you avoided, sidestepped, ignored, looked past, seemingly blind, deaf, and dumb.  Well, don’t feel bad.  I get that a lot. It happens to lots of folks.  You’d be surprised how many I’ve met for the first time in a pit like this one.  Why you deprive yourselves for so long kind of mystifies me. It’s a cryin’ shame and such a waste of good time, don’t you think?”

” I……I……sorry…..,” I looked away, embarrassed.  “Umm, this stinky stuff is rising……”

He was holding a strong stick with which he began poking and pounding a hole in the bottom of the filthy pit as he spoke some foreign-sounding words.  After awhile the muck began to drain out.

“Thanks.  How did you do that?”

“It’s not so hard if you know how to speak to it.”

I began to notice that he was clean, in spite of the surrounding filth. I was the smelly, dirty, oily, grubby, and shabby one. It was, indeed, a crying shame.

“Let’s get you outa here,…… that is, unless you’d rather stay.”

“Nooo!” I cried desperately, “This is horrible! I want out! But……but……I don’t see any way out! There’s no way ouuuut!” It was like hearing someone who’s going hysterical, only it was my own panicked voice. I waited for the counteracting slap in the face that always came in the old movies…….

“Be still, my friend, be still. I am your way out. Do you believe me? Look at me……”

I looked. “Yes……. it’s strange, but, but, yes I do believe you. Please get me out of here.”

With that, he smiled, held the candle up, and looked toward the impossibly high rim of the pit.

“When I say the word, you climb this rope, okay?” With a gesture, he indicated his whole slender self. I stared, thinking a whole series of negative thoughts, then nodded in the affirmative.

He then stuck the candle into the loose side of the pit and in one continuous motion, ran three steps across the floor and two steps up the side, gave a determined yell, stretched his full length upward, grabbed the rim firmly with his fingers, and kicked his toes into the wall.

“I’m ready. Climb swiftly now!”

My first jump missed. His feet were well above my head, so I took a run and caught my fingers inside the backs of his shoes. They should have pulled off his feet, but they were miraculously tight. I scrambled and dug furiously with my feet until I could grab his clothing and pull myself up, hand over hand.

“That’s right, pull up until you can get your feet on my calves.”

I finally got my hands over his shoulders and my feet on his calves. That had to hurt him, but he didn’t make a sound.

“Now use your feet and knees to get any purchase you can on my back. Persevere, my friend.”

I was already panting. Exhausted. But then he did an amazing thing. Reaching back with his right hand, he grasped my right wrist and pulled upward. My shoes scraped his back cruelly. I hurt for him as he put my right hand on the rough rim of the pit. He reached down around my back and used my belt to pull me up farther while hanging onto the rim with only his left hand. This man was strong! I straightened my left arm above his left shoulder, then placed my knee on his right one.

“Are you all right?” I gasped.

“I endure,” he breathed. “Keep climbing.”

I managed to get my foot on his left shoulder. Pulling with my arms, I then placed my other foot on his right shoulder and stood. The side of his face was pressed against the wall. I moaned at the pain I must be causing him as I swung one leg, then the other, over the edge and rolled to safety. As I moved to help him, I heard his feet scrambling and saw him press with his arms and pull himself up until his arms were straight. Then he swung a foot up, pushed, and rolled over beside me.

“Thank You,” I heard him whisper.

“What? Thank you, Man!” I gasped, relieved.

At that, he stood and grinned down at me. He reached down and helped me stand on wobbly legs.

“There were probably a dozen easier ways to do that, but I wanted to make a point. Surely you see the metaphoric value in what just happened.”

“ Metaphor? Stinking hot pit….. Wait. Who are you. What’s your name?” I asked with hesitation.

“It would be better if I showed you. You will have to close your eyes to see. Hold my face in your hands and don’t let go.”

His image began to resolve before me. I saw his feet. Grimy, stained with dried blood, a deep wound in each. I shuddered as I heard words enter my mind. “These are the feet that walk into the light. The ones that carry the Truth, the Word of Peace. These pierced feet were made to carry you to safety. You needed but ask it.

His hands were closed, but I could see that the backs had wounds like his feet. I began to be alarmed and tried to let go of his face and open my eyes, but they wouldn’t open and I felt his strong, gentle hands hold my own hands to his cheeks. “It’s all right. Be at peace. Pierced for you, these are the hands that can lift you. Heal you. Help you. Hold you close and safe forever. You need but ask it. As his hands turned over and opened, I was amazed to see that my name was written in red across his right palm. His left palm contained a single word in red.  Forgiven.

I wanted to comment, but my mouth wouldn’t open. Just as well. It contained only foolish words. What I had thought was myth and legend and Christian delusion was being revealed to me as real truth. Boy, had I been wrong……again…….

I saw his chest rising and falling. Laboring for breath. And inside it, he revealed his innermost heart. I must tell you that words are inadequate to describe it. Even the small portion that he thought I could handle. This pierced heart is the “place” where he keeps the care, the concern, the immense love he has for me. It was overwhelming to comprehend. My own heart struggled with the hugeness of it, yet I felt it being expanded in order to partially accommodate and understand such wonder and beauty. “Yes, it’s beyond all your understanding, but one day you will be given comprehension, if you but ask. My heart has spoken to yours many times, but you did not know its language. Do you recall? Do you know me yet?”

“You must be the One my family and friends have called The Savior, The Christ. Of course you are! You just revealed that beyond a doubt! You’re Jesus. They call you Son of God and Son of Man, right? The One who was born on Christmas and died on Easter!” I’ve seen you on TV……. Sorry, that was lame…….. They don’t do you justice………….

“Well, you’re on the right track. Look at me once more!”

I looked at His face. His torn, bleeding, tortured face. On his brow was a cruel crown. I somehow knew that it was the crown of my wickedness. Of my sin. And it was heavy. And painful. And the horrible weight of it was pressing down unbearably on Him but He was not crushed.

“Whyyy,” I moaned as he removed my hands from His face and let my eyes open. When my eyes were fully opened, I saw Him differently. He was whole. He was radiant. He was bright with majestic splendor! And now, there was no crushing headpiece, but on His head He wore a brilliant Crown of Glory. If I fell to my knees in awe, He must have lifted me up then…….

“Why? Because you couldn’t. You would have been crushed and destroyed under it. Like what happened in this pit, only I can deliver you from the “great death” and by “great” I don’t mean good, I mean enormously bad. The price of your reckless spending had to be paid, but you were broke. You bought what the enemy was selling on credit until your debt was outrageous. He can collect anytime, you know. We abhor the thought of that happening to you, so I bought your debt and paid it myself, in hopes that you would someday turn toward me and against the enemy. Toward Truth and against lies. To be given a new heart. A heart filled with joy. And to be transformed back into the person you were always intended to be. Yes, We paid it all in the hope that you would merely want to pay it back. You, could never settle that kind of debt, of course, so We make it free. A “wash sale”, in the hope that you will turn around, believe in me, say yes, choose life, and follow Us……..

Speaking of “wash”, no offense, but you smell quite bad. Hahahahahaaaa. You must be thirsty as well. Let’s leave this place and find some water to take care of that. We’ll greet the morning together and you can tell Me what you’ve decided about your life……..

I’ll never forget the huge hug he gave me as we left that alley. His cheek left a film of sweat on mine that stayed cool as it evaporated away and I walked with Him into the peaceful warmth of a new sunrise, a new heart, a new hope, and a brand-new life……..

Of course, I said yes! Once I said yes to Him, He asked something of me. He wants me to make introductions. Everywhere. In any and every way I can think of. I said yes to that as well. Gladly!

That’s why I wait at the edge of the deep pit. I stand at the entrance to the alley of death. I walk the mean streets and frequent the black markets hoping to find you there because there’s someone I’d like you to meet. And when I do find you there, my greatest hope is that you will come with me a short way to where He is so that I can say “Lord Jesus, I’d like you to meet My Friend, and, My Friend, meet Jesus, my Savior-Lord and my King!” He will say “I’m most pleased to meet you.” What will you say, My Friend?

Dawning

This Dawn Will Endure

 

Dawn opens its sleepy eyes slowly                       

One at a time, softly blinking

To behold dimly the horizon in waking

Always amazed with the revealing

Beginnings, ever-refreshing

Impatient to see expanding light

So terribly long it could but dream of sight.

As it had been blind in the slumb’ring

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The dawn is a seriously great metaphor!

The light increasing, the sun rising.

Well, here’s what “dawned” on me:

God !   That Jesus, my Savior lives!

The Son literally rising in my life!

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We Jesus-followers all have our own special story about how Jesus “dawned” on us.

The sun also “sets”, and the love of The Son “sets” us to testifying of His Kingdom, of His saving grace, and of His great glory!

And we pray for those who haven’t truly seen the dawn.

Oh, Lord, let that Dawning spread wide, covering your people from horizon to horizon.  Amaze them at Your revealing, Lord.  Make them impatient to awaken.  Make them to see that when the Dawning of Christ arrives, it will endure forever in their lives.  Amen

Proverbs 4:18 – The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.

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An Open Letter To My Brother(s)

My dear, dear Brother,

It has been in my heart to write you,  brother that I love, whom I have known all my life, whom I have known for a time, and whom I have not yet met….  That sounds kind of mysterious doesn’t it?!  This letter is about helping you to understand some important things.  You may have been wondering how my life turned out.  Well, it has been quite a trip!

I have seen and done a full range of amazing things.  I have experienced defeats and victories I did not imagine possible when we were “younger boys”.

I have been in places no one should go and also in places of unfathomable beauty.  I have found love, lost it, found it again, and kept it;  been hopelessly discouraged and blissfully happy.

I will forbear detailed descriptions, my brother, for something has happened to outshine, overpower, and truly transcend everything else – every person, place, and experience – that has happened to me in this world.

It is only that sight, that victory, that glorious place and transcendent state of being that I wish to speak of now, for I found what I had never found before, what I hadn’t even sought, (at least not that I knew of) though it was in plain sight.  I had been blind.  Ignorantly arrogant.  Arrogantly ignorant, too.

Then, through God’s Grace, I saw what I had refused to see and went where I hadn’t allowed myself to be.  It was a miracle.  A gift.  A discovery.  A Divine Revelation.  Suddenly, I BELIEVED GOD and I BELIEVED IN GOD!  I BELIEVED IN MY RESCUER and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST!  Those were names I rarely repeated, even as blasphemy.  They just didn’t exist in my vocabulary.

I discovered Who and Whose I Am and that has made all the difference in my life.  I became a BELIEVER.

Of course you might be thinking things like, “How could you do this?  How could you be one of them now?  You were such a good, skeptical agnostic.  A cynic.  You liked atheism.  You are a scientist.  You demand proof.  You are not a superstitious person.  You demand truth.  Don’t fall for The Great Delusion.  Be logical, be reasonable!  Come to your senses, man.”

I have said and thought the same things myself.  Many times, self-righteous unbeliever that I was.

Yes, I am a scientist who loves logic and truth, and I’m a Christian too.  A Christian first.  Let me explain….

(Oh, I wish this were easier for me to explain.  Can you read between the lines?  I’m trusting you to read with an open mind – open to my deep caring and concern for you – and that I wouldn’t try to lead you into any bad place.  If you love me, remember, love engenders trust.  Just trust that your welfare, your good, and your very Life, have been paramount in my mind and heart for at least seven years.)

PROOF

I can offer you no scientific proof that my God exists.  Science can’t prove His existence.  It can’t disprove Him either.  That is not the “job” of science anyway.  Science is a system of knowledge dealing with the operation of general, physical (natural) laws.  However, God created nature.  He is above nature.  He is supernatural!   (No, not “that” kind of supernatural, lol.)  I can’t prove He created nature either.  That requires us to pre-suppose that He exists.  So, we are at an impasse.  I can’t prove to you what I unequivocally know to be the truth.

I’m now beginning to realize what a daunting task I’ve taken on, trying to convince you of the legitimacy of what I now believe with all my heart.  You are blessed with a superior intellect and can easily rebut my every attempt to convince you, if you so desire, (in fact, we do have a spiritual enemy who would be delighted if you do just that) however I only beg your patience, and forbearance.  In respect for our history and if you care for me, please, at least try to suspend your disbelief just for the duration of this letter, like you would for an incredibly imaginative sci-fi movie, as I try to explain.

METAPHORICALLY  SPEAKING

I like metaphor.  Figurative speech.  You and I have carried on whole conversations by substituting oblique words and phrases for “real” ones.  That makes me smile when I think about it!  One of my favorite movies, “Contact”, is loaded with metaphor.  Ellie’s struggle is a metaphor which conveys the struggle of an evangelical worker like me to present the truth of Jesus’ story to an unbelieving world.  Here is a bit of  dialog from “Contact” illustrating how difficult it is to explain the kind of transcendent thing that happened to Ellie Arroway, and to me:

I’m betting you know the storyline.  If you don’t, you should watch this great movie.

Michael Kitz: Wait a minute, let me get this straight. You admit that you have absolutely no physical evidence to back up your story.
Ellie Arroway: Yes.
Michael Kitz: You admit that you very well may have hallucinated this whole thing.
Ellie Arroway: Yes.
Michael Kitz: You admit that if you were in our position, you would respond with exactly the same degree of incredulity and skepticism!
Ellie Arroway: Yes!
Michael Kitz: [standing, angrily] Then why don’t you simply withdraw your testimony, and concede that this “journey to the center of the galaxy,” in fact, never took place!
Ellie Arroway: Because I can’t. I… had an experience… I can’t prove it, I can’t even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever… A vision… of the universe, that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how… rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater than ourselves, that we are not, that none of us are alone! I wish… I… could share that… I wish, that everyone, if only for one… moment, could feel… that awe, and humility, and hope. But… That continues to be my wish. 

(The italics are mine.)   Yes, I  had an absolutely profound experience.  I can’t prove it, but I can try to explain it.  My Lord wants me to do that – over and over as long as I live on Earth.  Unlike Ellie, I know exactly what happened.  Yes, everything I know as a human being and everything that I AM tells me unequivocally that it was real and is real.  I was given a wonderful gift – one that changed me profoundly and fundamentally forever.  I was, and am, convinced that I am a unique and precious creation of God – His child – and being that, I am loved by Him beyond my understanding.  I am not alone and never have been.  Most importantly, I do wish to share that message with everyone, especially with one as close to me as you are.  That is my wish, my purpose, my duty, and His will for me.

In a future letter, I would like to describe, if it is even describable, what happened in that one precious, spectacular, miraculous, breathtaking, moment when belief replaced unbelief.  But for now, I need rest.  This is exhausting!  But, just know  that I would exhaust myself to my very end to help secure your immortal Life against complete destruction and into the never-ending peace and wonder of God’s kingdom.

With sincere love I wish you well,

Peace upon your House!

Your Brother

An Epic Post

Here’s a fun little facebook post I did about the word which is used by almost all the kids using the internet.  Like so many words, it has become slang to them, as in “that was an epic fail”, or “his fight with Valdemort was sooo epic“.

If the ‘youngers’ can create slang, so can I !

Epic is a BIG word!

In internet slang, “epic” means “extremely awesome”.

In everyday English usage, epic means “beyond the ordinary in size, extent, and scope”.

Epic can also mean “heroic; majestic; and impressively great.

An epic poem (or story?) pertains to a long composition, usually centered upon a hero,in which a series of achievements or events is narrated in an elevated style; the Iliad, for example.

To me, epic also implies a depth and a richness of truth surpassing even the most extremely awesome of events and objects observed in the natural universe.  I, then, am led to coin the phrase Ultra-Super-Epic, descriptive of the One Being, the Supreme Entity, the Only One Worthy of That Title.

He is the great I Am.  He is the Lord God Almighty!

Only He and His actions are Ultra-Super-Epic !

He is extremely awesome, and so much more!  He is way beyond the ordinary in size and scope!  He, is beyond heroic in His deeds!  He is far beyond “majestic and impressively great”!

The depth and richness of His love and compassion defy description.  The good news is that His Story can be read by anyone, and should be; for, His Word alone is THE Epic Love Story;  THE Super-Epic Historical Romance;  and THE Ultra-Super-Epic Poem of all time.

Epic! Yes He is, and far, far, beyond.

Spirit Walks

An excerpt from a story I’m writing.

The H.S. says “Don’t wait, post this now!”

So, OK!

“Realizing my foolishness in trying to explain the nearly inexplicable, if I were to try to describe the difficult concept of how the indwelling Holy Spirit of Jesus operates in me, it would go something like this:   I am on a trail, hiking toward a glorious peak, a pristine lake, or a hidden green valley, but the trail is full of obstacles and choices, forks and distractions,  beauty and fearfully deadly hazards.  The few trail markers are easy to miss, but I begin to notice something supernatural happening. Awareness, like seeing movement in the corner of my eye. A shadow, a fleeting image, I see with a new eye, eternal and perfect.  An image steps out of my own, going before me.  Only a nanosecond ahead.  It is like my own image only sharper, brighter, more colorful, perfect.  Quicker than a thought, and before the outline can be fully perceived, I step into the form and fill it as it completely filled me only the shortest of moments ago. My course is slightly altered, and adjusted. The Eternal Spirit leads and follows all at once.  It helps me and asks for help in one breath, and the Spirit Man responds and follow-leads all in one smooth, ongoing, motion taking both beings, as one, up and down the ever-changing trail in the most effective and joyful way.  Together. Not having to chase or be chased, unless playfully.  Not like before they met.  Nanosec after nanosec.  Mile after mile.  Parsec after parsec. Together.” 

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To Meet Him There – An Act of Worship

 

TO MEET YOU THERE

 

Your creations, oh Lord,

Capture me

Convince me

Confirm You.

Immense mountains

Majesty and mystery

Massive earthrock moving skyward

Magnificence like mercy’s power,  Your Prominence,

Your Eminence,

Away and up, I climb to meet You there.

Color – carved canyons

Complex, winding wide

Cut in solid stone, rim to rim

Connecting continuous flowing Truth exposed.

Down in, I climb, to meet You there.

Verdant valleys I find,

Filled full for every need

Verifying You –  Your care for me.

Daily, hourly, each moment, I see

Your good, Your kind, Creativity.

 

Oh, God !  You make me to walk in wonder.

Wonder like a child

Wonder with which I can worship You

Wonder I never want to lose.

And as wonder unwraps faith, my Lord,

Faith shows me farther,

Deeper into unseen wonders

Where Your wondrous glory shines,

Then, through that thin place I climb,

To meet You there.

 

 

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Marriages vs. Weddings

Despite my seeming cynicism about the ‘royal wedding’ I have nothing against marriages. (Except maybe the casual kind, the selfish, loveless, or meaningless/vain kinds)  In fact, I’m rooting for Kate and William to be in love and married together forever, and to be the shining example of everything God intended marriage to be. I’m rooting for all traditional (no, I’ve no time for that subject) marriages everywhere to be all that God meant them and wants them to be.  I pray that couples will keep Christ the center of their marriages and their lives. I pray that they make their vows in all sincerity and call upon the Holy Spirit to help keep them. The wedding, however has little to do with any of the above except to provide special circumstances in which to make sacred promises to God and to one another.  The obsession with all the worldly trappings surrounding the wedding have little to do with the success of the resulting marriage. If as much thought, time, planning, dreaming, and praying were applied to the actual relationship, to loving the other person involved, to the realities of a great marriage, then the wedding would become secondary instead of the other way around.  I’m just saying……..

In the end, when Christ comes to “marry” His beloved bride, His Church, the Royal Wedding will be wonderful, but the marriage will be forever spectacular. I’m out of time. Dear readers please supply the appropriate verses – you’re so good at it!

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About The Music Links Below

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 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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