Brothers of Bethlehem

There’s never a dull day! We boys have been called in the midst of our play to assemble for a surprise. We chatter excitedly, for the Father’s surprises are always most pleasant!

We are told, as we gather in the street in front of our homes, that our Rescuer is coming to see us! We’ve been told He recently did the most amazing thing in that other place, and now He’s coming to live here – here with us! Almost before I’m finished saying that, there He is! He’s just appearing several paces away, walking quickly toward us wearing a warm smile. As we most excitedly gather around Him, He wraps us in His arms and lifts us each, in turn, into a bear hug. He’s really pressing His cheek into mine! Is that a tear I feel? There is no weeping here, yet maybe He allows Himself a tear. Nevertheless, I’ve never felt anything like the love He has for me. It radiates from Him! It makes me radiant in turn! Jesus, Lamb of God! Our King! Holding me to His breast!
But . . . what? Before I can even absorb what is happening, He’s saying that He has another surprise for us, that we should be still and watch where the road curves around a forest of trees. What could it be? My mind races in anticipation. It is having quite a time being still.

Here I am with my Savior, yet I’m remembering things – like how we were whisked away before the wicked blades of evil could violate us. We’ve been told we were but babies the same age as the Savior, but He escaped and we were taken. We’ve been told that our mothers, and, of course, our fathers too, have wondered why they were not warned as well. It would sadden us for our parents if we were still in the other place, but here we are happy for ourselves, we Brothers of Bethlehem.

We’ve been told that the times were very complicated. We’ve been given a part of a scenario that we can understand, and that is this: if all of our families had been warned of the coming wickedness, we would have been fleeing in groups that would have been easily tracked down and captured. The result would have been the same, except that He, and His family, would have been caught with us. We agree that that absolutely could not happen. You know why? We’ve been told it’s because He had to live – live a perfect life – until the time was right to do the most courageous thing ever that rescued us and brought us here. A perfect life! I know I never could have lived one . . . And what was the thing? How can I say this . . . should I say it? He took the blade that was meant for us . . . I said it and it’s good. It’s the truth. He looks at me and winks. He makes me so happy!

I’m back from my brief thought excursion. Something is about to happen! My attention is back where He told us to look, and there, coming from behind the trees, rounding the corner is a woman wearing blue and white linen. She is running gracefully as a deer, and as fast! Close behind her are many other women, also wearing beautiful linens, and close behind them are their husbands supporting them with shouts of encouragement. “Faster, loves! Faster! It’s our boys!

Oh my! That’s my mother out in front, and behind her is my father! I’d know her anywhere! Her name is Rachel and she’s looking right at me! I can’t contain my excitement and begin running, myself. I hear Jesus laughing loudly as I yell, “Come on, brothers, it’s them!”
I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, but, now, I must correct myself. I said there was never a dull day here. That’s true, but it’s not enough. There is never a day without unbridled joy here! Thanks be to the Father, and to Jesus!

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The Deep Sleep of Sheep

Feed My sheep
Said He
As awareness increases day by day
The challenge to feed
The sheep
Is to bring awareness from out
The sleep
Is to cast subjective truth away
And to coax the shallow into
The deep

L S 10-22-22

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Last Train Home

There is a song written by Pat Metheny, one of my favorite jazz guitarists/musicians/songwriters, called “Last Train Home”. I’ve listened to it many times, but I only heard it today. When I heard it, I knew what it meant to me. My eyes . . . I sort of . . . cried.

The relentless background beat was that of a hard-pulling steam locomotive. The beautiful melody, Pat provided expertly with his electric sitar. A touch of melancholy swept over me, then a sense of sentimental longing for something I can’t explain. You really must listen to an authentic version of this song to grasp what I’m saying. I can’t exactly explain it, but I had a sudden knowing of the song’s meaning for me
– and there was a soldier.

~ ~ ~

The soldier was nested softly in a grey blanket within a pinebox coffin covered by a colorful flag. The casket sat on its bier in a train car which was colorless except for the flag and some bunting around the top corners. The wheels of the car made ka-clackka-clack sounds as they moved over the joints in the track. And there was also a soldier.

This soldier stood at attention, overlooking the casket, at its foot. He held his rifle in both hands as though he was ready to use it at need. The long, narrow bayonet was fixed. I don’t know why. Just thought it would be a nice touch. The Major had commanded him to this duty, as he could spare no others. Guard. Escort. Reggie. His best friend since they were regimentally thrown together. They were from the same town, it turned out. Reggie was younger, weaker, and much more courageous than he . . .

Reggie had died by his side.

He’d badly injured his back carrying Reggie’s body over his shoulder, away from the battle. A tear formed. No! No emotions! I’m on duty! He listened to the distant incessant sound of the steam locomotive pounding out the beat as though trying to hammer the tracks flatter, smoother. The powerful sound of steam pistons and valves intensified as the engine tackled the hundred-mile incline to a higher region. Mountains. Home.

He’d been fortunate that the aged, but zestful, conductor sympathized with his plight. He resourcefully arranged an old car. This was the last train headed out for at least a week. He and Reggie would have had to wait in misery. Ka-clack-ka-clack, relentlessly. The last car on the last train home. Certainly the last train home ever for Reggie. He was the best of us all. It should have been me . . .

He suddenly realized that his finger was tightening on the trigger. No! There is no threat! Stand down! He had loaded his rifle against regulations and against reason. I thought it was a nice touch . . . He was committed to protecting sleeping Reggie. He began to shake. Was that cannon fire in the distance? He began to sweat. Oh, god, I never want to hear another cannonball explode! And rifles are for rabbits, not men . . .

Last train home. What of me? Reggie knew every meaning of home. He was deep and smart, and he tried to enlighten me. I couldn’t fathom much of it. Never had much family or home life, and I’m not deep . . .
He tried to tell me about God, too, but I pretended I wasn’t listening too hard. That must have hurt Reggie bad, but he didn’t show it. He liked talking about things like love, and home, and Jesus, and who he called Father God. I wish I had listened harder . . .

The roar of war increased in his head. Pain and loss. He stood his rifle against the wall and covered his ears with both hands. He felt lost inside his own being. Reflexively he cried out, Oh, God. (Make it stop)
He went to his knees, wrapping his arms around Reggie’s box, laying his tear-streaked cheek on the flag.
It was then that he felt the large, warm hand on his right shoulder. The hand that could not have been there, but was. And he heard the whisper that was not, but was saying everything he needed.

He turned and propped his hurting back against the bier, and he knew. He had been alive, but dead to all feeling. Empty of joy, love, and true life. Reggie was dead, yet fully alive in his memory, and what he remembered now was Reggie saying that Jesus died to make a way home for them . . .
A way home! Jesus Lives, and He is the way home! Jesus is the Last Train Home!

He stood, picked up his rifle, and resumed his watch. The roar was gone. The train’s engine spoke speed, and power, and determination. He looked at the coffin and felt peace. Old friend, I have a ways to go, but I’ll see you when I get there. This is the last train, buddy. We are going home!

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I Am Sand

I am Sand
Sand, I am
Man of sand
The sand which
Largely lies piled
In the lower chalice
Of a cosmic time glass
An amper-sand glass
&
Sand sculpture above
Once elaborate
Ornate
Flowing slowly from the funnel
Cone-like sand castle rising
Ordinary
Final

&

I am sand
Sand, I am
Man of sand
Dust of the earth
In God’s large left hand
Held as sand sculpture
Fearfully and wonderfully made
Precious and pouring down
Beautifully
Into His right
Caught and held dear
Man of sand
Saved by Him
Not a grain lost
Re-formed
Redeemed
Not final
Everlasting in His hands

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M.L.K. Wisdom and A Prayer From Francis of Assisi

(I wrote this piece a decade ago. Hatred has multiplied exponentially since then on many fronts, especially today, as we simply ask people to think about what constitutes murder, and the wrong in the shedding of innocent blood. Today, it has become fashionable for a faction of society to hate with a vengeance anyone who disagrees with their depraved ideology. I wish these people could understand . . . “don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?” (James 4:4 ) When they violate their own “hate crime” laws, how should we respond to their insults, threats, violence, and terrorism? Dr. Martin Luther King, a leader whose principles most seem to have forgotten, had answers for all of us:  )

~  ~  ~

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 so destructive, yet so enticing. What a great tool for him who seeks to kill our souls and spirits.
How do we fight it?
Hate them 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?
Only Jesus, and, well, the one in the mirror,
The one facing you!
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.
These are extremely difficult concepts, but these are extremely difficult times.
However, we are:
Born to eternal life through Emmanuel our Savior!
Take heart! The dark one cannot abide this Light. 
Invoke His name! Jesus! Lamb of God! Almighty God With Us!
See?!
The evil one flees!

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Straining To Reach Beauty



“We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it . . . At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door . . . We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.” ~ C.S.Lewis

Isn’t he great?
I know what he means – I think.
But Lewis is right, it can hardly be put into words.
I want to be immersed in the beauty I enjoy with my senses.
I want to be baptized in it.
I want it to soak into me and heal the ache.
I want it to fill the voids of longing and loss.
I strain against my earthbound chains to reach it.
I want to revel in the pure joy of it.
I want to unite with it;
to be it.
Earthly beauty must be but a metaphor,
a poor representation,
of Heavenly beauty.
Did He not create it as a foretaste,
a tidbit,
a sampler of His own absolute beauty?
Ahh, to imagine how durably our spirits must have been created
to stand in His presence
and to bear the unutterable,
unfathomable,
power and glory,
and beauty,
emanating from The Father and from Christ Jesus!
With each new encounter with beauty,
I strive;
I wrench and heave at my chains.
Little by little,
link by link,
they weaken.

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Then, Realization, God Spoke To Me

Caught up in worldly troubles, I hadn’t been watching, I hadn’t been listening. My attention was not where it should have been. Everything has been going wrong, especially with my vehicles, and with my writing opportunities. In my frustration, I reached out for help. I was under serious attack!
Then one frustrating afternoon, the realization dawned on me that God had spoken to me that very morning. It wasn’t vocal. It wasn’t overt. It was through a very timely Scriptural reading which told me He would calm every storm if I but communicated my needs in prayer.
Next, he spoke by sending a close friend who guessed the exact-sized hole to drill in an essential auto part that had broken. The storm began to calm.
Then, when I was purchasing a part to fit the hole, He spoke to me about buying an obscure little part, having odd looking threads, that was hidden among others. It might be a possible backup part – it was an afterthought.
Soon, I was ready to tap threads into the formerly-mentioned hole, but the first part would not fit. The backup part might fit, I thought, but I didn’t have the proper tap. Oh, yes I did! It turned out that the cheap little tap-and-die set I bought a few days previous had a little die tucked away, almost hidden, in the corner of the case. That was perfect for the job! Amazing! God had spoken again . . .
And again, when I successfully performed, on the first try, a technique I’d never done before. The backup part, the little “afterthought” screwed in perfectly! The complex larger part was like new, restored and re-installed on the engine without a hitch, and works well. (Kind of like I was restored, He reminds me)
And again, when three friends came with tools, experienced hands, and good advice, to do the seemingly impossible to get my truck running.
They haven’t given up on the project, or me, to this day.
Oh yes, I mentioned my writing opportunities. Obviously, I am writing! I’m back! But not without fighting for it. Distractions, house problems, storms knocking out my internet for a whole day . . . He is calming those storms too, and I’m completing this post.
Dear reader, you might say “coincidence, all of it”, but I maintain my Father God is speaking to me. I’m certain, steadfast, firm, and I am “listening” now. Perceiving Him, discerning, watching, hearing, sensing Him near. And I am speaking back. It’s a conversation!
I believe that God is a personal God, not only in the sense that He is the ultimate “person“, but in that He longs for a personal relationship with each of us. Jesus’ earthly mission made that opportunity possible!
Personal relationships are of primary importance. We keep them alive by speaking to each other in all the various real and metaphorical ways. Sometimes the small things say volumes.
I believe God has a language of love tailored and tuned for our exclusive individual understanding.
Let God speak volumes to you!

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Happy CIAMC Day !

It’s here already! Where has the month gone?
I’m celebrating the second Christmas Is A Month Closer Day!
Let us sing and dance!

If you’re baffled, here is what’s going on:
https://gloryteller.com/2022/02/28/one-month-closer/

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One Month Closer

In mid-January, we took down all our Christmas/Christbirth decorations. I don’t like doing that as it seems the season always flies by faster than a reindeer. I remember feeling uplifted by the thought that each passing day only brings the next Christmas season closer.
By mid-February, tax filing, home improvements, and other projects pushed all thoughts of celebrating Christ’s birth out of mind. Last week, on February 25, I realized that two calendar months had already passed since Christmas. That was fast! Quickly doing the mental math, I realized there were only ten months left until next Christmas. Even less until Advent. It’s coming fast, so to mark the occasion I invented a new “day of observance”, CIAMC Day, or Christmas Is A Month Closer Day! I’m excited, because it recurs on the 25th day of each month except December! If you’re thinking my life is pretty boring, you’re wrong. I’m very seldom bored (I want to say never). It’s creative things like this that keep my mind active and keep me looking forward to the next celebration.
Mark it on your mobile calendar each month, if you feel like it, dear reader. It would be great if you celebrated with me! And, by the way, did you notice the two words in the acronym between “Christmas”, and “Month”? I AM ! Yes! There He is again, He is here, even in this small reminder!

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Fading In

Today is Tuesday, 2-22-2022, and it is being called 2s day! I have to laugh! I have, unfortunately been absent from writing here on this, my beloved website, for most of nine months. Life things, world things, home things, had to be attended. I normally don’t write much during the summer anyway, due to being active and outdoorsy, but I’ve also lost an autumn, a winter, and, ouch, a Christmas writing season. I almost got depressed, not having the time to compose, or even rub two words together. But many pieces of work pressed on me, and I did “write things in my head”. They accumulated a kind of “pressure” that I must open the valve of writing to relieve. Here is one of them:

EMBRACE THE FADE

I’m getting old. My eyesight is dimming. I can no longer see “the world” as well. It is fading from my sight. My hearing is diminishing as well. Some frequencies are just gone! It was bound to happen. They, whomever they are, say this is normal and natural. Perhaps, but I do not like it  . . .

My strength, too, is fading. I can no longer lift heavy objects without pain. I cannot grip with power, nor can I throw things far. I am slower. I can no longer run far, or even walk as far as I once was able. I can no longer do the many wonderful things that, in my youth, I could do easily and do well.

Worst of all, my memory is fading in distressing ways. My once copious vocabulary is condensed into just a little more than essentials. I struggle to think of the right words when, not long ago, a large number of them were within my grasp on my mind’s menu. (It’s a destitution of words)
I thank God for internet dictionaries and thesauruses! 

Perhaps even my soul and spirit are beginning to fade from the world. Am I perceiving correctly?

I hope you haven’t given up and quit reading because it sounds like I’m complaining, and this is a very negative piece. Far be it, and God forbid, for I thank Him joyfully that I have made it this far up the road, and that He has allowed me to have this much left! His grace, and mercy, toward me abound!

And here’s the thing:

Sure, this world is fading from my sight, and my hearing, and there are artificial means to partially remedy that, but resistance is futile when all is said and done. However! It has been given me to reveal some good news! As my old world inexorably fades out, my New World is fading in, so to speak. Perhaps a better word for it is materializing. Or, being manifested. And, oh!, the wonders I am just beginning to see and hear! 

The new strength I’m just beginning to know, and my grasp of new things is germinating. I know now that there is a whole new vocabulary God has for me. Names and ways of description that never have been used in this old world. My soul and spirit being bound to a body in this physical plane are slowly and gently being untangled and freed. The “world” is fading in their sight as well, as a departing sailing vessel fades into the mist and emerges out of a mist to dock on the other side. Are they beginning to perceive the new body, and new world that will be theirs? 

As I ponder these things, I have peace. I’m learning not to fear. The last vestiges of fear are fading out, never to fade back in. The pain of fading out here is eclipsed and erased in the brilliant and glorious fade-in where Father God and Jesus are waiting to bring me, bring all true believers, the unfading complete perfection of sight, and sound, and mind, and body, and Love, and Life.

 

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Observing Advent – Four Sundays and the Weekdays Between, With Steadily Increasing Hope, Joy, Love, Light, and Ultimate Peace!

First Sunday

“Advent” is here!
It is today!

All Creation is pregnant with anticipation!

This is the time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth – the most unprecedented, and unequaled; the most earth-shaking event in human history!
(Well, depending on how you perceive it, it’s definitely one of the top two!)


The word “Advent” comes from the Latin “adventus” which means coming, or arrival, of a person or thing.

In this special and absolutely unique case,
what is coming is rich in mystery;
profound in its implications!
Excitement builds in Heaven and earth!

I find it interesting that the words “Advent” and “adventure” are so closely related, which is fitting since we are waiting and preparing for the arrival of  a series of awe-inducing, exciting events :

All that surrounds Jesus’ Nativity celebration,
A son is to be given,
700 year-old prophecy to be fulfilled,

The imminent arrival of Emmanuel, “God With Us”,
The Kingdom of God being established on Earth,
Reconciliation with the Father,
Renewal of all things,

Rescue of the perishing,
Redemption of souls,
Atonement,
Forgiveness,
Abundant life,
Signs and wonders,
Miraculous acts,
Great Joy will be made available to all people,
Messiah! Savior! Christ! He’s coming, 
alreadynot yet, and soon!
The image of The Father will walk on earth,
The advent of Love!
And more, and more, and more!
And, in the fullness of time, Jesus’ long-awaited final return!

When someone important to us is coming to visit, we know we must wait. Patiently or not. Before their arrival, we must prepare as best we can. Thus, we are waiting, and prayerfully preparing, not just for events, but for the arrival of the Personage without whom there would be no experience of exciting spiritual adventure, no exploration of mysteries unknown, no real and true experience of love and life whatsoever.

But for the birth of the little Lord Jesus, I could not live.
As He is born, so am I.
So are we all!

I wait and look forward to honoring His birth; to observing the amazing circumstances that surround it.
It has “happened” again and again in countless hearts and minds.
It is happening now in mine,
and will again, endlessly, with passage of time.

I ceremoniously light the first candle in the Advent wreath,
the candle of hope,

also, the first flame in my heart.

The expectant waiting and preparation of my heart applies not only to Christbirth,
but to Resurrection Sunday, Thanksgiving, and Jesus’ final return as well.
Advent is an important concept.
It is exciting, yet peaceful at the same time.
I want to make it part of me;
I want to live it.

Advent First Week

The first week of Advent is said to be concentrated upon the hope of the Savior’s arrival as supported by the Scriptures’ prophetic promises. There are several pertinent verses, but I chose this one :

“The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land.” (Jeremiah 33:14-15).

O, Jesus, 
We await your sweet arrival!

~~~~~~

Words and Music for Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
by Charles Wesley:

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

1. Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

2. Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to Thy* glorious throne.

(*emphases, mine)

The hope that we children of God have is a confident hope,
an enduring and an eternal hope.

Peter tells us that the Child of God has
“an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade – kept in heaven for you” (
1 Peter: 1-4 )

Advent Week Two

The second week of Advent is focused on peace.

Waiting becomes a bit more intense as we add the expectancy of
hope and peace in preparation for our Savior’s arrival.

 We light the second candle,
the candle of peace,

If not on our tables,
Then in our hearts.
And light increases.
It doubles!
We can hardly wait until the full light
of His glorious presence shines upon the world,
and also upon each of us!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Jesus is the only one that can bring peace with God.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a great multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to all mankind upon which His favor rests!” Luke 2: 13-14

Here’s a song that is full of hope and peace,
And light too!

Advent Third Week


We are in the third and final full week preceding the joy-filled celebration day!
This week we savor the JOY surrounding His coming to live with us!
Emmanuel – here because of The Father’s love for all people.

In this third week, we also remember all the proclamations made about our coming Christ-child, our Messiah, our glorious Savior; proclamations by Isaiah, by angels, by Elizabeth, by Mary, by Zechariah, by more angels, and by many others.

Luke 2:9 Just then, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people!

He is coming not to condemn those lost in the dark, but to give them a saving light.
What joy it is to know Him, having been one of those lost, and now having His light.
And what a joy it is to know the astounding love of The Father,
Who sent 
this generous gift of His Son!

(many thanks, Spadecaller, for the upload. Your art is moving!)

I light the third candle,
the candle of joy,
And light increases again.
Even the stars seem brighter,
and the moon waxes!
The candle flames have kindled
a fire of rejoicing in my heart!
I, the least of believers,

proclaim this joy, 
proclaim His glory,
(like it says in the header at the top)
And suddenly, we come to:

The Fourth Sunday of Advent
Today, December 24, 2017 (four years ago) is the fourth Sunday of Advent,
which also coincides with Christmas Eve.
We light the fourth candle – the love candle,
in my book, the easiest one to light in the heart,
for Father God loved us first, and then sent His Jesus
to enable us to fully love Him.
Love rescued and love reconciled!
This candle also signifies His presence.
The Advent season is all about expectant waiting;
excited, hopeful, waiting for the Baby’s presence!
We want Him to be born soon!
We want to see Him!
He seems so close,
The air is charged.
We can almost feel angels in the air.
The Spirit of God certainly presides over our village.
Everything is poised; miraculously in position.
Mary, her Baby, Joseph, shepherds,
angels – lots of angels!
Peace and joy are closing in.
Tonight is the Holy Night – Jesus Christ’s night.
The Advent of Christ is all but complete.

Are preparations perfect?
Is my heart ready for His arrival?
I find myself wishing that I could be better prepared,
And more ready,
But,
He. Was. Born. Last. Night ! ? !
Could it be?
Yes, it is:

Christmas Day


And so, the season of expectant waiting is complete!
I light the largest, purest, center candle,
the only One left.

and the flame in my heart roars to life!
To life!
Hope is fulfilled!
In our Immanuel, our Jesus,
all prophecies and promises are now reality!

His name is Light of the World!
His name is Peace!
His name is Son!
His name is Love!
His name is Savior!
His name is King!
His name is Everlasting!
 His name is God!
His presence is good news, bringing great joy for all people!
His presence makes darkness flee!
The Light of the World has finally come!
And like so many believers,
so many bloggers,
I repeat the sounding JOY!

Joy To the World,
and Peace to ALL mankind!

Joy to the World, the Lord has come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing!

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy!

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found!

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love!

~   ~   ~
And yet,
it is not over . . .
I must stay prepared;
keep waiting expectantly;
with confident hope,
with all the peace, joy, and love, grace can provide;
The “second” Advent begins now,
And all Creation is pregnant with anticipation!

 

 
 

 

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I Joyfully Announce A “Birth”

I’m pleased to be here to announce the birth of my new book.
But pleased is not enough.
I’m happy to announce it!
No, happy doesn’t quite do it either.
I joyfully announce the birth of my new book!

It’s my first paperback, and I’m like a kid who just 
received exactly what he wanted for Christmas!
No, I’m not like a child, I am a child – a child of God!
I am the ordinary, if not insignificant, young boy, remarkable only 
because I happened to be on the scene, and I was willing to 
give Him my plain little loaves of stories that He, Himself, inspired.
Along with the loaves, I shared some of the small,
but potentially nourishing, word-fishes I had in my lunch sack .
I hope, and pray, and have faith, that my Master
will multiply these light loaves and salty fishes, these stories,
as only He can do, that they might be 
“eaten”, digested, and otherwise put to good use
by any readers who might need spiritual sustenance,
might need a nudge toward The One
who can resolve and redeem all troubles.

Every single reader of my stuff is
loved, and cherished, and prayed for,
by yours truly

 

Glorystories: A Gloryteller Compilation by [Lenn Snider]

Find it here:
https://www.amazon.com/Lenn-Snider/e/B09B5HZK65/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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Prophet, I’m Not

 
But, although I’m not,
although it doesn’t seem one of my gifts,
through the H.S., I do know this:

Someday, somewhere, someone will,
by the most remote chance,
stumble upon,
trip over,
by happy accident,
or puzzling “coincidence”,
by a mysterious urging,
or mere curiosity,
read one of my stories,

one of my posts,
one of my poems,
one of my lines,
or one of my fabricated words,
and, quite unexpectedly, think:
Perhaps he’s onto something.
Perhaps God is real.
Maybe this points to Him.
Could this be a message from God?

Maybe there is Some One who actually cares.
A God Who loves.
One who creates,
and forgives,
and rescues,
and saves,
and transforms,
and is ever-faithful,

and gives undeserved favor,
and shows mercy,
and is present,
and gives joy with His presence.

“Perhaps” will become “possibly”,
possibly will become probably,
probably will become definitely,
definitely will become yes!,
and yes! will develop into the joy of a deeply personal relationship. 
Perhaps . . .
Perhaps you are that someone.
And perhaps I AM a bit of a prophet after all . . .

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You’re Living On The Surface . . .

 

A repeat post I sense The H.S. wants me to put up.

Father, send this to someone who needs it.
Father, bless the need of the reader who reads it. Amen.

^~ ~ ~^

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:
To YOU – there is more of every good thing than you think possible,
more joy than you can imagine in a relationship with your
Creator who loves you dearly and wants you near.

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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 arrogantly 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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“I Want To Meet The One Who Made This”

My dear reader, I’d like to convey a true story along with some thoughts:

In May, a certain man made his way to a campground in Rocky Mountain National Park. He considered this campground, the Moraine Park Campground, to be the “back porch” of a prominent mountain he had come to know and think highly of.
His camper was self-designed and self-built in the A-frame style. It was completely unique and some might say exceptional. Having been painted red, with silver, white, and blue highlights, the camper upon its aluminum trailer stood out and attracted a large amount of attention.
People would stop while driving past and inquire, “Did you build that?” Others would walk past and say, “That’s amazing!” A few would ask to take a look inside, at which time the man would gladly show them inside to take a look at his ideas and his handiwork. The man was glad that his camper prompted smiles and happiness.
The most memorable incident happened just after the man went inside his camper to put on a jacket. He had left the door slightly ajar and there came a knocking on it, along with a male voice saying, “Hello in there?”
“Hello, I’ll be right out.”
“So sorry to bother you,” came a female voice.
“No bother at all,” he said, opening the door to find a friendly looking couple at his doorstep.
“We are so glad you’re here! We have been trying to catch you home for two days and this is our last try before we have to leave.” Looking at her husband, she exclaimed, we just walked all the way over here hoping; “He just really wanted to meet the person who made this!”
“I’m glad you caught me, too! I’m so flattered! Can I show you around?”
They had a very pleasant conversation following the tour, and all parted with la
rge smiles.

The encounter made a lasting impression on “camper man” and he began to think. “They really wanted to meet me, and I’m glad to have met them. But I wonder why folks are drawn to seek out people who have made or done something special. By extension, folks seem attracted to others who possess special abilities, knowledge, wisdom, fame, celebrity, wealth, or power. Is it simply curiosity? Bragging rights? Hope that some of that “specialness” will rub off? A need to have their approval or blessing? To gain a friendly relationship with said person? An honest desire to give a bit of credit and praise to someone they deem deserving?” With that couple, he was certain that the latter two ideas had been involved.

So, those desires seem almost universal, and if that is true, why don’t more people seek out God? It seems like we all should naturally be drawn to Him! No other being has His abilities, knowledge, wisdom, fame, celebrity, wealth, and power. He is the Ultimate in all those things. Not to mention that He is the Ultimate Rescuer, Doer of Good Things, Lover of Our Souls, and Creator of All Things (especially us). I know the average person might have trouble believing
that Someone they can’t see not only exists, but loves them. They might have trouble believing they are created souls and not a cosmic accident. They might have trouble believing that when we stand in the center of such overwhelming beauty in the likes of our national parks, that He created that and all beautiful things. There was a time when I, I mean “camper man”, found all of it hard to believe, but the best thing he ever did was to seek That Guy, get to know Him, praise and worship Him, become friends, love and have an awesome relationship with The One Who sacrificed His own life to save mine because He loves me!

Camper man’s most fervent prayer is that every person follow their inner urgings and say:

I really want to meet the One who made this!












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A Platform Of Grace

Great blocks of grace, upon grace, upon grace
Layered from peak to earth
Forming wondrous pyramidal base
Which I gratefully abide atop
Surveying the miracle of rebirth
The Highest, whom I might praise nonstop
See brightest springtime rays of morning
Where mercy, upon mercy, upon mercy’s dawning
Secured by the mortar of rescue undeserved
Falling like rain from One I scarcely served.
The gilding of hope, upon hope, upon hope
Edges draped with gleaming golden rope
Where I am preserved, I wait
Held by Love’s embrace, upon embrace, upon embrace
Temple of Jehovah, Yahweh, Adonai
Jesus, Messiah, El-Shaddai
O Ancient Of Days, right here I’ll wait
Being held by Love, upon hope, upon mercy, upon faith
Living high upon grace, upon grace, upon grace
Upon grace, upon grace, upon grace.

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The Griswold Switch

I just coined a term:
The “Griswold Switch”!
What in the world is that?

Definition:  1. The forgotten, or yet to be discovered, solution to a major problem, or a mystery.
2. The elusive missing piece of a puzzle that is making someone crazy who can’t find it.
3. The prime factor upon which everything hinges; the thing that makes everything “work” correctly.
4. The means by which darkness is dispelled and light is brought forth, said light revealing truths which were previously hidden from “blind eyes”. 

       In the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” *, Clark Griswold is trying desperately to make Christmas wonderful for His family despite not getting his expected annual holiday bonus. Part of his efforts include the more than 20,000-light exterior illumination of his house. He hilariously risks life and limb to create a spectacular display, however, every time he makes the final connection in the yard, the display comes on and immediately goes off, or doesn’t come on at all. He gets frustrated. He’s at his wit’s end.
      As it turns out, all the octopus-like circuitry for the display is connected to a certain receptacle in the garage controlled by a light switch which his mother and his wife flip on and off not knowing the consequences. By coincidence, his wife finally leaves the switch on, and Clark is able to make the connection, lighting the overly brilliant display and causing a massive power surge at his house. As I remember, the solution is only revealed to us, the audience, and not even to the Griswolds themselves.

Yes, you guessed it, that is the “Griswold Switch”!

I know people who have sought their own “Griswold Switch”
all their lives and have not found it.
I, myself, finally found it in the early autumn of my life.

Jesus
has been that “Griswold Switch” for me.

I had forgotten Him.
Re-discovering Him, I found Him
to be the solver of all problems,
the One for whom there are no mysteries. (1.)

He is the crucial and indispensable piece
central to the puzzle of life. (2.)

Jesus is the One who makes all Creation work properly.
He is the Prime Factor upon whom all life hinges,
including my own. (3.)

He switched me on – lit me up –
Caused a glorious power surge in my circuits.
His light dispelled darkness in my life,
and illuminated The Truth,
which is the beginning of the understanding
of God’s eternal existence, and the revelation
of what The Father’s love looks like 
through that of His Son.  (4.)

I now think of Jesus as much more than 
my “Griswold Switch”.
He is my glorious and highly revered “God Switch”!

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* This is an irreverent movie. It contains a lot of profanity and misuse of the name of God and Jesus.
On that basis, I can’t recommend it.
However, I can’t condemn it either. If I did that, I couldn’t explain my term “the Griswold Switch”. My advice is, if you wish to watch it, watch with discretion and discernment. It is a “worldly” movie, but some parts are hilariously funny.

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2021 Should Begin With Prayer

I am prompted by the Spirit to use my site to present a prayer to begin 2021.
But what kind of prayer? Which one? Should I create one?
Wait, the best and most important prayer has already been given:

Our Father,
Who lives in Heaven,
Sacred is your name.
May Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
Here on earth as it is in Heaven.
Lord, give us bread for the day
and forgive our wrongs toward You,
as we forgive those who
have wronged us.
Lead us away from temptation, Father,
and deliver us from evil.
Amen
For the Highest Kingdom, the Greatest Power, and
the most majestic Glory belong only to you, Father,

forever!
and Amen

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He Reigns, He Shall Reign Forever

The year 2020 has been arguably the worst I’ve ever seen in my many years. Well, in many ways, it was, yet lots of good things happened as well. I prefer to dwell on those and count my blessings, for this is the “day” the Lord has made and I will be grateful – I will rejoice and be glad in it!

The result of the disasters of 2020, for me has been an increase of faith in Jesus whose birth we just celebrated, an increased awareness of His love, a resurgence of hope, a greater awareness of joy welling up, and the permeating peace He gives integrated with all the above gifts.
Peace to you, dear reader, and to you, a happy and blessed 2021 !

I began December with this deeply awe-inspiring music from Handel, so I shall end it the same.

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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Angels From the Realms of Glory Sing Gloria In Excelsis Deo

I like this special production. The music is top notch! The effect of angels coming down from the sky is spectacular, and all participants are praising Him with all their might! Glory to God in the highest Heaven! Every knee shall bow, even the camel!

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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!

Copyright Licensing

Creative Commons License
gloryteller.wordpress.com, and all proprietary work found here, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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My Signature Story

"I AM NOT MY OWN" is the piece that inspired the building of this site. It is the story that this site, as well as my life, is centered around. This letter to you is the one i would most like for you to read out of all the ones you will find here, because it describes how profoundly the works of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit can change one human life.

For Your Reading Enjoyment, This Is Like A Park, Use It, Enjoy It, and Leave Everything Where You Found It.

The content here's not to be used,

But to only be read and perused.

If you copy it off,

My lawyer's not soft,

And your fortune is mine - you got sued!

Gloryteller :-)

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