Reviewing My Past As I Look Forward To Leaving Time Behind

~ ~ ~ ~
^ ^ ^ ^ ^

My life is being read back to me
by a speed-reader becoming more adept
with practice; soon a master,
fading lines racing,

the pages turning faster,
the rate of turning accelerating,
quickly, inexorably revealing my story, 
which, hopefully, was, and is,
And will be, all to Jesus’ glory.

* * * *
^ ^ ^ ^ ^

You’re right, those of you who say I spend a lot of time reliving my past,
reminiscing in nostalgic reflection,
Recalling recollected memories.
That’s not such a bad thing is it,
considering there is much more of my past behind me
than there is of my future ahead of me?
(Of course I’m speaking Earthily and physically, not spiritually.)

Jesus, my saviour, knew that feeling, I think.
In His early thirties.
Lines racing.
During His ministry.
Pages turning inexorably.
A man (Man) of time – living in time.
A fellow victim of time?
A fellow captive?
A servant of time?
(If a victim, a captive, or servant, He was a perfect one)
At least, a subject of time, bound by its rules.
Hardly as old as I am.
Half my age, His time was running out.
Time leaks away, as lifeblood from a relentlessly-dripping wound.
Yet He knew He was going to live “forever”
(was there a moment of horror when He thought He wouldn’t?)
in a place where the words “past”, and “future”,
and “before”, and “after”, and “forever”
have no meaning except in the context of life in the world
– the physical, materially-created universe.
In Heaven, there is only “now”, I reason.
(Even then, a special and unique kind of now.)
(Some say, even here, that “now” is all that exists)
But time is only for The World, even though
God is able, I think, to move in and out of this time-ridden world at will.

Things have happened.
Other things will possibly happen . . .
Yes!  This next line happened!
Sequence!
Time has kept all my lines from happening at once!

As I draw closer to my last line here, literally, in this post, and here, figuratively, on Earth,
I reflect upon the time of my birth,
childhood,
teen-hood,
adulthood,
the time of my re-birth,
a new, different, more real childhood,
and all the times between all the “hoods”.
Then the time after.
In comparison, the time I’ve been blessed with after having been born-again
is like living with one foot – like the frozen, anticipated, next step – in the joy of the timeless place
with Jesus and Father God.

A part of me has become rather fond of time, though it is a capricious master.
Reliable and steady, yet inexorable, unrelenting, and unforgiving.
It flies.
It waits for no-one.

It certainly is not waiting for me.
But God is. 
Patiently, forgivingly,  (which are, indeed, “time words”),
and lovingly (which is a timely, and an eternal word.)

“Reliving”, or thinking about the past is interesting and useful.
Living “in the now” is also important,
but to live in the “eternal now”,
to live with the Highest Lord, is what I really want.

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A Song To Time

 

 

A Song To Time

"The Wheel of Time" by Cris Ortega

“The Wheel of Time” by Cris Ortega

I write and I rewrite my song to beautiful Time,
Moment by moment.

Seeking not to waste her fleeting love,
I almost capture her essence,
Beat by beat,
But it slips away……
Breath by breath,
She steals the day,
And memories.

Never waits,
Precious, even in her arrogance,
Absconds with everything,
But is never caught in her cruel game.

Once, I held her elusive attention.
Once, I was able to hold her longer.
In elation, I was able to dance her
Fair into the night,
Bewitched by her deceitful spell,
And her flagrantly capricious charms,
Ignoring all the obvious alarms…….

Ahhh, but better choosings of late have left me
Fonder memories of her.
Fewer regrets.
Forgiven-ness wrenched
From her unforgiving airs.
Often, I am left with no regrets at all.

I write and I rewrite my song to her.
Moment by moment.
Even though she never loves for long,
And never, ever, stays……

Lie

* * *

^  ^  ^

Who has not said
“I love you“,

But later said
“I’ve changed my mind.”

“You liar; you lied!”

“I never did; I meant it at the time.”

A lie
lies
In the reddened eye
Of the beholder.

A lie
Lies ancient  in
A liar’s blackened heart.

A lie may be admitted,
Explained away, or hidden,
But love is not like that.

Love can’t lie.

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An Expanded Prayer To My Father In Heaven

 

My Father

 

Oh, my Father-God and my Lord, Who walks the vast halls of Heaven,
Where You live, and breathe, and reign sovereign
Over everything finite and eternal.
From where You speak,
From where You write Your Word,
From where You see all, know all, and do all,
From where You give Your unfathomable grace,
Your mercy, and forgiveness,
From where You open Your hands and pour out goodness,
And from where You sent Your Love Incarnate, Immanuel.

Your name is Holy.
Let me kneel humbly, respectfully,
In reverence to Your glorious name.

May Your kingdom, Your realm, be established,
May Your kingship be proclaimed,
May everything You desire to happen
Be done here on Earth, just as it is in Heaven.

I ask that You continue to provide all I need
In the form of wholesome food and water to nourish my body,
As well as The Living Bread, and The Living Water,
And understanding of Your Word, with personal revelation,
To nourish my soul.

I ask that You help me remember how You paid my debts
On the horrible cross of torture.
How You took my sin upon Yourself, Jesus,
How You gave Yourself in propitiating atonement, and in conciliation,
And appeasement, for my trespasses against You, Father-God.
Help me Lord to continue to learn to forgive others their debts against me,
Their trespasses, wrongs, crimes, and sins against me,
Just as You have so mercifully and graciously forgiven mine through Christ.

I ask You, Lord, to lead me away from the temptations of this world.
Help me keep your Word, Your principles, in obedience.
Lead me through the minefields, the snares, and the pitfalls,
For they are many, and my enemy shows me only the bait,
But hides the trap well.
Protect and deliver me from that devil, from that evil one, in Jesus name!

And finally, Almighty Father, I want to proclaim Your Kingdom.
It is the Kingdom of kingdoms, and You are the King of kings!

I proclaim that Your power is absolute.  It is the power that created
Beautiful Creation in its entire completeness.
It is the power to create human beings in Your image,
Human minds, souls, and hearts.
It is the awe-inspiring, miraculous power to change those hearts,
And save those souls.

And, I proclaim Your Glory, Lord.
How can I explain Your Glory?
It is too beautiful, too splendidly colorful, too exquisitely bright!
It blinds my eyes, baffles my mind, closes my mouth.
It is love unleashed, fervent, and intense.
It is Your inexplicable mercy, and grace, and kindness, and generosity.
It is as inexplicable as You, my God.
You’re glorious in Your Glory.
You ARE the Most High Lord,  Holiness Itself, Ancient of Days, The Great I AM.

Yes, Yours is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory,
For all time, and through unfathomable eternity.
You are my ABBA, my Heavenly Father-God to Whom I pray this prayer.
In Jesus’ most holy name.
Amen, and Amen.

 

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He Follows Patiently. Your Turn.

 

 

 

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

Her First Christmas Card

To my own
Morning Star.

Her First Christmas Card

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

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

Even now the demands of the season had come between them. Kept them apart yet again. Highlighted their differences. Hampered communication. Brought frustrations, then prevented resolution of those frustrations. When he tried to picture them together in unity, in oneness, the image of “One Being” kept sliding apart into two, like that of binoculars which refused to stay in focus. How he longed to have everything right and perfect between them.

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

Because You Mean So Much”,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whatever purpose God had in bringing us together,

I’m just grateful that He did.

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

and it means more to me than I can ever say

to have the gift of your friendship and caring.”

“Merry
Christmas”

He grinned unreservedly.

He had held his heart too close – or maybe not close enough. Missed some chances back then. It took months to recover his balance, but thanks to prayer, God had sent blessings, grace, and miracles.
He was wide awake now. All was calm and all was bright. Too calm and too bright? Moonlight traced a bright rectangle on the carpet as he became aware that her warmth and her steady breathing were absent. She wasn’t next to him in their big bed. Throwing back the comforter, he moved his legs over the edge, put his bare feet on the floor, and stood up intent on finding and joining her. Almost through the bedroom door, he turned back. There it was, right where he kept it under the Bible, behind the socks. He grasped the red envelope which contained his first Christmas greeting to his Beloved.

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

“I knew you would come, I felt it,” she said quietly. Had she been crying? “Our moon is perfectly full tonight of all nights!”
“Mary.” He kept his voice soft and low. “Just for us, do you think? Wow, it
is big! I think that’s the brightest, most beautiful one I’ve ever seen, and so unusually far to the northeast!” Perhaps he was annoyingly analytical at times. He put his arms around her from behind.
“Yes, I’m sure this one is just for us”, she whispered………… “Dave? I was just thinking of my lovely, perfect, Christmas card that you like to read to me every year on Christmas Eve. Would you read it to me later, in bed? I really need that tonight.”
“My love, I have it right here.”
“Wow,” she exclaimed in wonder and delight as he gently turned her to face him. Then he kissed her. It lasted. They paused, and, inspired, he began whispering the words to ‘Silent Night’. She joined him then, and they were softly singing together, for only with him could she truly sing her heart’s song…..And he, his. Only with her.
They sang, began swaying, then began dancing. In close embrace. Rejoicing together by the light of the Christmas full moon.
Angels danced unseen, and sang as well. They could feel them. “Silent
night, holy, holy, holy, night. All is calm, all is bright.”

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

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

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

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

The angels kept dancing,

And so did they.

***

Peace, Love, and Hope
Beyond your understanding,
Be yours tonight.
Merry Christmas, 12-24-2012

© Copyright by Lenn Snider 12-24-2012

A Christmas Who’s Who

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

*LS*

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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Boiled Down

 

I have taken a hiatus, of sorts, from writing during this demanding season, but the heat has at least served to boil something down for me.  Today, while doing the most mundane work, wrapped in sweat and dirt, I was given renewed purpose and also a new way to express my purpose:

To come to know my Father-God’s GLORY in new, deeper, more exciting, more relevant terms, whether the individual revelations be particulate or magnificent;  and then, in my own way, with His guidance, to constantly make known that GLORY to all the people who have eyes to see, and for all nations who have the ears to hear.

I have faith in His faithfulness to bring this to be in me.

Solid stone heart made tender and pliable.

Unworthiness made righteous.

Dreary unforgiveness fading as the grey flees sunrise.

His Selfless Love replacing selfish “love”.

To come to know and, in the knowing, to make it known…..

Yes, this will be do-able.

He boiled it down.

 

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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?

Good Friday? Good Sunday!

It is Good Friday.  This is the day of remembrance of how my Lord Jesus suffered the agony of torture and death.  A part of me died with Him that day – the part that needed to.

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

His torture and death were my fault.  (my brothers and sisters argue that it is theirs, but I am the guiltiest)  But He forgave me that fault and went ahead and saved me anyway.  “It’s forgotten,”  He said, graciously.

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

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

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

Thank you victoryinjesus123 for uploading this beautiful video.

Oh, and one more thing – the power of the cross is only the beginning.  The power of His victory over death lies at the doorstep beneath the joyously-open doorway of His empty tomb!  THANK YOU, JESUS!

Be Careful What You Name Your Kids

Hi friends, Chaff Rantley here agin. How are y’all?

I jist wanted to say i fergive all ya’ll who made fun of my name. I know what my name means. It is the husk of the wheat grain and it don’t have much value. It is thrashed off and blowed away and the Bible likens the wicked and evil doers to chaff. But God made them good to begin with and they made theirselves worthless by their choices and by listening to the evil one. Sometimes a persons name can bring him down. God would like them all to get back their value and they can by turnin around and makin Jesus the Lord of there life instead of there own sorry self bein lord. God’s grace is a valuable gift and when you get it, that makes you valuable agin, but you can only be eligible for to get it by choosing Jesus. You have to sign up to win the grand prize.

I dont know why my folks named me Chaff, i hope it wasnt to be mean but i dont know. Some people give kids goofy names jist to be different. They think they’s bein clever, but that aint funny. All I know is that Jesus is the name above all names and if i believe in His holy name mine dont matter much, but lotsa people dont know that yet.

So, folks if yer expecting a new little one, give some serious thought to the name he or she will have to carry around all their life.  Forgit all  them fad names or the name of the latest popular Hollywierd star.  Forgit yer whim of the moment or spelling Heaven backwards.  Neveah aint no kinda name.  Fergit namin them after common objects like “brick” or “mortar” or “chainsaw”.  And especially dont name them “chaff”.  Why add a burdensome name to all the other burdens they will have to carry through life? Ask God what to name them.  Why not give them a uplifting name?  This is Chaff and like my cousin says – I’m jist sayin………

Bloggin Is Hard

Chaff Rantley, back agin.

Okay, this here bloggin’, as my cuz calls it, aint quite as easy as I thawt.

I had to study up on rapture acuz that word aint in the Bible thet I can find at all, no way.  Thats why I got corn-fused.  Read this what Paul told them Thessalonianses–

15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

Near as I can figger, thets what ‘the rapture’ means — being snatched up into the air by angels and took to Heaven straightaway!  Well I’m all fer that I caint hardly wait!  But as fer some guy named Harold  trying to tell us  zackly when itll happen I have this to say to him—

    36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.   42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.  Matthew 24: 36-44

My sweet wife showed me howta do thet, thanks Hun and she dont want her name in public so I wont but how do you like that!  JESUS said that and I believe HIM and not some Harold dude who thinks he has some inside knowin about some secret code. Guess we still should forgive him – he shore dont know what hes doin……………………. I still think he wants to go camping.

Chaff

Image

The Power of Jesus Upon the Cross

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

Thank you victoryinjesus123 for uploading this beautiful video.

An Easter Offering

My offering for Easter/Resurrection Sunday 2011 is what God gave me, through the Holy Spirit,  suddenly and unexpectedly last fall.  May it lift you up, especially if you are lost on the trail of life, like I was, and may God bless you and keep you forever and always.   Thanks for your visit.  ( Read it here )

Your gloryteller

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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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"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.

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