Fathers and Sons

I was thinking this past Father’s Day how blessed I am to be a father.
I have been blessed with three sons, a granddaughter, and a grandson who are each sources of parental joy. Each of those parental relationships is a blessing of the highest order.

Thinking further, I realized that my fatherhood is a key to cultivating insight, empathy, sympathy, and compassion for my contemporary fathers, and of fathers and grandfathers past. I have to nurture patience and forgiveness for those I deem irresponsible fathers. I must go a step farther to hold back their judgement which belongs, ultimately, to the One Father. I must accept the difficult task of emulating His love, kindness, protectiveness, caring, and provision.

In addition, I get the privilege of identifying with, and learning from, the Biblical fathers’ experiences and hard-earned wisdom:
Of Adam, the first human to become a father.

Of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (called “Isreal”), and Moses.
Of Joseph – steadfast father of Jesus in all ways that were of earthly importance.
Of Job, a father who lost all his beloved children and, in the end, had the same number “replaced” by Father God. Furthermore, being blessed with grace, ” he saw them and their children into the fourth generation.”
Then there is the father of the prodigal son. Only fictional, only metaphorical, only made up.
But no!
He is a clear picture of our loving Father God Himself, presented by the Holy Son, Himself.
He is real!
He never stops loving his child. He is filled with unreserved, unconditional joy when the child returns home.
And the son is me . . .

The last biblical father I’ll cite is the first.
Eternal Father of His eternal Son.
Creator and Father of all – Father God Himself.

It occurs to me that, inside the riches of fatherly experience, I am also blessed to be a son. I received that blessing first. I can empathize with other sons as well as other fathers. I have the distinct feeling that my son (each of the three) has always been with me and always will be; an inseparable part, a symbiotic co-entity.

Not every man is destined to become a father, but every man is a son. Not every woman is destined to be a mother, but every one is a daughter. In my mind, motherhood/daughterhood is equal in importance to fatherhood/sonship in His kingdom. Never think that I imply it is anything less. 

We may not all be parents, but through the parent/child relationship we can nevertheless experience parenthood from that vertical perspective. Looking up to and looking up at the parent is a good way to understand the parent and thus parenthood. Observing and listening from a lower viewpoint is an advantage. Looking up to, and at, our perfect “parent” in Heaven, our Kingly Father, is a good way to get to know Him, to participate in the great Father – child story, and to take our rightful place as heirs; as princes and princesses, in the Great Kingdom. It is commanded: “Respect your parents so that it will go well with you and your life will be long.” (my paraphrase) This extends, I think, all the way to our Heavenly “Parent”.

I often “see myself” as having been gathered in off the curb and adopted, unconditionally, and without any reservation, as His own child, but more than that, gifted to be reborn – born over again into his family because of the sacrifice of my “big brother”, Jesus.
Fractured first birth healed and made right by the second.

I am almost able to imagine what it took for The Father to turn his back on His suffering son. What agony they both suffered! Who could do that besides the First and Second persons of the Holy Trinity? And all for one purpose they deemed worthwhile – to save this father, this son – and all my fellow fathers and sons; mothers and daughters. How many of us would have tried to tell them, “don’t do it, it’s too much, the cost is too high, No! I’m. Not. Worth. It!” ?

Today, I’m glad they thought I was worth it . . . I worship them for it. I bless them with my meager “blessings” as they have abundantly blessed me . . .

I am indeed fortunate and blessed to be a father, as well as a son.
My hope is that I have imparted some of the greater meaning of that declaration; some of the grander aspects of the relationship.

Although my participation is partial and very imperfect,
participating in The Great Story of Fatherhood and Sonship is a highly meaningful aspect of my life as a believer.

Thank You, Father God!
Thank You, Son of Sons!

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The Expense of Safety – A Reprise – And The Rest Of The Story

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A Good Friday Story;
A Good Anytime Story –


The Expense of Safety

The Ferry to Safety was ready to depart.
Freedom, so close!

Special admission only???
Hope fading.
Whoever missed the boat was lost.
Completely lost and without hope.
One solitary, stringent ticket stand.
A waiting line far too long.

Serious guards watching.
Last chance.
Distress.

But I had not the standing,
Not the requirements,
Not the paperwork,

Nor the price of admission.
I stood forlorn in fear that
I would always wear these chains,

Or be, (oh, so slowly) tortured and killed;
Despair.

Then a man stepped up,
Radiating such undisguised love,
Unveiled compassion.

He gave me his own precious ticket with a smile.
No hesitation.
He paid my price.
Dooming himself with the selfless gesture.
Bewildered, I caught hold of it.

And just in time.
I stood astonished,
Forgetting even to thank him.
“Hurry, it departs;
It’s your one chance,”
He cried over his shoulder

As they cruelly restrained him,
Beat him to the ground,

Roughly dragged him,
Torn, and bleeding,
Yet miraculously silent as
They pinned him brutally against the ticket stand.

His fate I couldn’t know,
Couldn’t imagine.

Didn’t want to guess . . .
In horror and denial,
I watched the scene as I walked backward,

And stepped,
Not nearly grateful enough,
Onto the departing boat.



The Rest of the Story

I was in shock.
And I was safe.
My chains had dropped from me,
into the water,

as I stepped onto the ferry.
Relief overwhelmed me.

Was this how true freedom felt?
After a time, I noticed many others were there.
Some were kneeling, some looking upward
with bowed heads and raised hands.
A woman saw that I was alone.
“You are the last.”
“Yes . . . . . ,
I . . .
It’s incredible!

A man paid my price!”
I was still astonished.
“Mine too!” she exclaimed.
A man looked up . . . “Mine too!”
A child waved; in her hand a ticket:
“Me too!”
“Me too!” cried a young boy.”
A group of teenagers:
“Me too!” “Me too!” “And me!”
“He paid my fare!”
“He gave me his own ticket!”
All of us!
People were gathering into one group,
listening to each other.
“I threw my pass away years ago,
but he gave me another today!” said several.
“I lost mine and he gave me a replacement as well.”
“I didn’t deserve one.”
“I was in prison.”
“My neck was in the noose; I was good as dead.”
“He let me off the hook for the terrible things I said about him.”
“He forgave me too!”
“He gave me another chance.”
“He gave me another, and another, and another.”
“He told me it was ‘never too late’,
when he handed me his boarding pass.”
“He looked at me with love.
Nobody ever did that!”

“I know he saved my life, and not just once!”
“He told me God loves me!”
“I heard him forgive those guards.”
Yes, even while they did detestable things to Him.
I . . . I think . . . they killed him.

“Because of us,” I thought, in sorrow.
“Because we couldn’t get our own passes.”
“We could never qualify.”
“He deserved his ticket more than anyone,
yet he gave it to all of us and forfeited his life.”
 “He loved his life as much as we love ours.”
“Who was that poor man?”
An elderly lady approached on unsteady legs,
holding her ticket toward me in an outstretched hand.
Her eyes were filled with tears.
“He gave me this. I tried to refuse, but he insisted.
It was all . . . he . . . had.

What love he radiated. What love!” she sighed.
Her pass was identical to mine.
They all were.
I looked up at the wheelhouse,
and, to my delight, noticed that the huge watercraft
was named JOY.

As the day passed, people began telling their stories.
Everyone had a story involving the man we called
our hero, our rescuer, our deliverer.
We praised the man with our stories and with singing.
We fasted, partaking only of sweet, cool, water   –
The purest we have ever tasted.
In the evening we ate bread and grapes.
All these things were provided from coolers on the deck.
We became conscious of God’s presence and provision.
Those of us who were new to the faith experience were welcomed
into the family of believers and followers of that one man.
Because of what he did for us, we all worshiped him;
Because he showed us compassionate love,
We adored him;
Longed to see him again,
If only . . .

The boat seemed to expand in size while more people
came up from below.

So many breathing freedom!
Our ongoing rescue continued through the second day,

through which we repeated the fast, the worship,
the stories, and the evening meal.
When would we finally reach the Land of Promised Safety?
We wondered, but with faith and confident hope.
The massive boat churned a wake and plowed its way forward,
persevering steadily on course 
through a third day,
 as our faith and hope grew.
Then, in the cool of the evening of the third day,
we saw land . . .

And I, the undeserving;
I, the ingrate;
I, the impatient;

I, the selfish;
I, the forgiven;
and I, the thankful-rescued,

stood on the foredeck and saw The Man
standing with a grin,
and with open arms,
on the pristine sand of freedom’s shore.

α ∞ Ω
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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,
As you lay down new lines,
And lines become paragraphs,
As you turn your pages, He walks with you.
Lie down, and He lies down close by.
If you run, He runs.
If you try to outrun Him,
Or lose Him,
He effortlessly stays close behind.
Veer right or left,
He is faithful in the turning.
Stop, and He stops.
Continue in your way,
He continues with you.
But if you turn around and look back,
He does not turn around.
Not ever.
He looks into your questioning eyes.
Always.
He speaks softly to your heart.

Turning to Him is all He wants.
Asking Him to take the lead
Is all you need.
To write your new page.
To fill out your whole, true story,
To complete the never-ending
Book of Your Life.

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music: Ian Post
“Genesis-The Light”
on Sound Cloud

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Something Happens

Something happens when you begin to follow Jesus in earnest.
I’ve discussed it with a great many people;
people of diverse backgrounds and profiles.
In differing words, and in a variety of ways,
they all agree that 
something happens!

And that something that happens when you say yes to God

is unexpected,
has an aura of mystery,
is somewhat incomprehensible,
is difficult to describe using the limitations of language.
Yet, the essence of our dialog,
the substance of our stories of coming to faith,
the validating assurance of our choice,
has a common theme:
Something great happens!

When we accept Jesus as our Savior,
our almighty God,
our risen Lord,
we universally perceive something important changing “inside” us.
The changes are for our good,
for the better;
for the best.
And we have confidence that they will keep happening

in even greater ways.

When our spirit experiences that first encounter;
makes that crucial connection with our Living God,
something truly, inexplicably, wonderful, happens.
Something beautiful happens!

And it doesn’t just happen.
He causes it to happen!
Out of love!

He opens a door.
He makes a way.
It’s supernaturally personal.
Life walks in.

New life!
Real life!
Joy bursts in.
Grace settles in.
It is difficult to explain,
But do I really have to
when literally billions of people have known that 
something happens?!

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Impenetrable Firewall

Who among us has not lost or forgotten a password?
Many have also had their firewall broken through.
Have you?

Jesus is my living firewall.
My fortress.
He is impenetrable!
When fiery darts of incursion,
and arrows of intrusive evil are sent my way,

He shields me.
The windows of my heart and the software of my spirit
Are safe!
Protected!

I trust Him to keep my processor,
My operating system,
Running smoothly,
and be not corrupted,
or misused by malware from hell.
Jesus insures these things to all followers
Who sign up for His service!

Jesus is my living password!
In Him alone, is safety;
Security;
Certainty;
Permanence;
Peace of mind.

I never have to exchange my Word for a better one.
He is the only Word I’ll ever need.

No one can steal Him from me.
I never have to write Him down,
Put Him in a password manager,
Or worry that I might forget Him.
He is the way in,
Jesus is the only way into

Heaven.god

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A Paul Harvey Christmas Message – The Man and the Birds

 

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

May you and yours have a joyous Christmas!



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He. Came. Down.


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He Came Down

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

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

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

The defenseless egg of God,

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

he came down naked,
to be born covered with
 another’s blood,
a mother’s sacrificial blood.
Born to be pierced,
and poured out,
and to cover all
others with His
pure, holy blood.
He came down
with only Love as a defense.
Double-sided love.
For us here below,

from Him, up above.
He came down to the dung heap,
the lowest, the basest of places,
a place of no honor;
of ignobility,

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

Glory to God in the Highest Heaven!
That

He.
Came.
Down!
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The Happiest Christbirth Celebration to you, today!
LS< Your Gloryteller
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On Using Seemingly Questionable Christmas Traditions For Good

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“What do you think about the lie of Santa Clause?” asked nobody.
“Sure, I’d be glad to weigh in on the Santa controversy,” I replied . . .

It has been said, ad nauseum, that secular traditions such as Christmas trees, Santa Clause, and even the word “Christmas” should be condemned by Christians because they distract and detract from the true meaning of Christ’s birth.
I disagree.
Those many traditions are so ingrained into society that they cannot be reversed nor abolished. They can, however, be used in a positive manner. I’ve previously discussed how the Christmas tree points to Jesus Christ. It is easy for me to tell, as well, how Santa’s (“Saint Nicholas‘ “) life and existence points, to the life and teachings of Jesus.
I only implore you, dear reader, not to foster the lies about Santa Clause, St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas, but tell the factual truth about them. It’s the same for the the gift-giving, the lights, and the joyous celebrating. One can ignore any or all of it, but I believe that we should not only accept, as a fact of life, the secular traditions; the things that have been distorted and perverted away from the original intent of honoring the Christ-child, but turn them back upon themselves to their true purpose which is to celebrate His birth, to point to Him, to highlight Him, and to glorify Him in the unfettered, hopeful, optimistic, rejoicing manner in which the host of angels announced His arrival to the shepherds, and to us.
Those traditions can be used to help us illuminate Him in a darkened world. I believe that is our commission, our duty, and our pleasure, as believers and as beneficiaries of The Father’s miraculously humble, and humbling gift.
The gift of The Savior Child is given to every one of us, but it must be accepted before it can be unwrapped and enjoyed.

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Whatever you do,
Whatever you think,
Seek Him in all things
And have yourself a happy,
Have yourself a joyous,
Have yourself the merriest Christmas!

Above all,
Remember Who is glorious,

Give Him all your glory,
Keep it Christmas-Story-ous!

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A Pre-Christmas Act of Worship In A Retail Store

Every December, I like to start the Advent season by posting the video of this enormous, soaring, amazing, heart-warming event. I try not to use the word “love” lightly or frivolously, but I absolutely love this composition from Handel, this immense pipe organ, this crowd, this choir of believers, and the Subject of this song!

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Jesus Lives!
Let Him Be Worshipped
And Adored At All Times,
In All Places,
By All Willing Hearts!
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Worship is not a matter of the place,
no matter how commercial, or secular, or even “holy”.
It’s not a matter of the crowd,
no matter its composition, from the faithful, to the skeptical.
It’s not a matter of the means of praise,
no matter how lofty and soaring, or off key and humble,
nor how vocally and instrumentally technical.
It’s not a matter of numbers,
no matter if a large gathering,
or a single self-conscious voice,
singing or speaking,
with a clapping beat,
or no beat at all.
~
Worship, it seems to me, is a matter of
the condition of each worshiper’s heart.
Only God has full estimation of that;
however, in this retail store there seems to be a crowd of
like-minded, like-hearted, worshipers
setting commercialism aside for an eternal moment

with one great-big, majestic, musical instrument
All led and kept together by one amazing conductor;
How analogous to our God and His people!
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There might be examples of all the above conditions of worship in this video.
He is worshipped and adored here – yes, even here – inside the huge Macy’s in Philadelphia – a worldly, consumeristic, retail marketplace where materialism and money normally are king. But not today!

This huge, highly organized, flash mob sings along with the world’s largest working pipe organ, the massive Wanamaker Grand Court Organ.
This organ is a National Landmark in and of itself!

Wanamaker Grand Court Pipe Organ (this shows only a small fraction of its pipes)


The “sounding joy”, the full, immense, amount of joy served-up is overwhelming!
In the fullness of time,
every knee will bow to Him,
and,
“He shall reign for ever and ever.”

This year I wanted to add the lyrics:

Hallelujah 
Written by George Friedrich Handel

Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
(For the lord God omnipotent reigneth)
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
(Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah)
Hallelujah

The kingdom of this world;
is become
the kingdom of our Lord,
and of His Christ
and of His Christ

And He shall reign for ever and ever
And he shall reign forever and ever
And he shall reign forever and ever
And he shall reign forever and ever

King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
and lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
and lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
and lord of lords
King of kings and lord of lords

And he shall reign
And he shall reign
And he shall reign
He shall reign
And he shall reign forever and ever

King of kings forever and ever
and lord of lords hallelujah hallelujah
And he shall reign forever and ever

King of kings and lord of lords
King of kings and lord of lords
And he shall reign forever and ever

Forever and ever and ever and ever
(King of kings and lord of lords)

Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
Hallelujah

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Breath Of Heaven – Mary’s Song

Not even one of us can fully understand nor scarcely appreciate Mary’s plight . . .
And consider Joseph’s . . .

(Rest in Peace, Donna Summer.  I’m glad we still have your amazing voice.)

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

 

Please read to the bottom:


Breath of Heaven
Amy Grant

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done

*Holy father you have come

And chosen me now to carry Your son

*I am waiting in a silent prayer

I am frightened by the load I bear

*In a world as cold as stone

Must I walk this path alone?

*Be with me now


Be with me now

*Breath of heaven

Hold me together

Be forever near me

Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven

*Lighten my darkness

Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy

Breath of heaven
Do you wonder as you watch my face

*If a wiser one should have had my place


But I offer all I am

For the mercy of your plan

*Help me be strong

Help me be
Help me

Breath of heaven

Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
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.  .  . Have you ever found yourself saying these same words –
the ones I highlighted?

I have.

Yes, I have been chosen to “carry The Son”.
I feel completely unworthy.

The thought of bearing that precious burden is daunting-
sometimes frightening.
Yet the Archangel, himself, said, “Don’t be afraid”.Yes, the world is cold as stone,
and the path, often difficult,
but I don’t have to walk it alone-
never alone.
The Lord is with me.

*Breath of heaven
Hold me together-
My desperate plea –
He hears, and holds me up.

He lightens my darkness,
and if that were not enough,
He pours His holiness over me,
and His grace,
and His mercy.

I am not wise, but He chose me,
somehow.
He chose me and He helps me.

Breath of Heaven is always there,
softly taking me in,
gently sending me out . . .

Amy Grant, how did you know?

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Merry Christmas from Gloryteller.com
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Hopeful Content for the First Week of Advent

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!

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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 the child of God has is 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 )

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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

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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Book of Your Life

 

 

 

Open the unexamined Book of Your Life.


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

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


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Mary Did You Know?


(A Mother Just Knows)

In these advent days, the story is all about the love between Mary,
her Baby inside,
her husband,
the Holy Spirit,
and 
Father God.


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Breath Of Heaven – Mary’s Song

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

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

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

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

 

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

May you and yours have a joyous Christmas!



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He. Came. Down.


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He Came Down

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

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

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

The defenseless egg of God,

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

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

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

Glory to God in the Highest Heaven!
That

He.
Came.
Down!
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The Happiest Christbirth Celebration to you, today!
LS< Your Gloryteller
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Her First Christmas Card

He writes poems.
He writes fantasy fiction stories.

But can he write a “romantic” Christmas story?
We shall see . . .

To my own
Morning Star:

 

 

             All is calm, all is bright. “Just for us”.

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Her First Christmas Card

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

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

In spite of all their years of experience in the Church, even now, the responsibilities and demands of the season had once more come between them; kept them too much apart yet again; highlighted their differences; hampered communication; brought frustrations, and then prevented resolution of those frustrations. When he tried to picture them together in unity, in oneness, the image of “One Being” kept sliding apart into two images, like that of binoculars which refused to stay in focus. How he longed to have everything right and perfect between them.

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

Because You Mean So Much”,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whatever purpose God had in bringing us together,

I’m just grateful that He did.

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

and it means more to me than I can ever say

to have the gift of your friendship and caring.”

“Merry
Christmas”

He grinned unreservedly.

He had held his heart too close – or maybe not close enough. Missed some chances back then. It took months to recover his balance, but thanks to prayer, God had sent blessings, grace, and miracles.

He was wide awake now. All was calm and all was bright. Too calm and too bright? Moonlight traced a bright rectangle on the carpet as he became aware that her warmth and her steady breathing were absent. She wasn’t next to him in their big bed. Throwing back the comforter, he moved his legs over the edge, put his bare feet on the floor, and stood up intent on finding and joining her. He was almost through the bedroom door when he turned back. There it was, right where he kept it under the Bible, behind the socks. He grasped the red envelope which contained his first Christmas greeting to his beloved.

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

“I knew you would come, I felt it,” she said quietly. Her pretty brown eyes seemed moist. Had she been crying? “Our moon is perfectly full tonight of all nights!”

“Mary.” He kept his voice soft and low. “Wow, it sure 
is big! I think that’s the brightest, most beautiful one I’ve ever seen, and so unusually far to the northeast!” Perhaps he was annoyingly analytical at times. “Just for us, do you think?” He put his arms around her from behind.
“Yes, I’m sure this one is just for us”, she whispered . . . . . .

“Dave? I was just thinking of my lovely, perfect, Christmas card that you like to read to me every year on Christmas Eve. Would you read it to me later, in bed? I really need that tonight. Our closeness hasn’t been as close as I would like.”
“My love, I have it right here.”
“Wow,” she exclaimed in wonder and delight as he gently turned her to face him. Then he kissed her. It lasted. They paused, and, inspired, he began whispering the words to ‘Silent Night’. She joined him then, and they were softly singing together, for only with him could she truly sing her heart’s song…..And he, his. Only with her.
They sang, began swaying, then began dancing. In close embrace. Rejoicing together by the light of the Christmas full moon.

Angels danced unseen, and sang as well. Dave and Mary could feel them near.
“Silent 
night, holy, holy, holy, night. All is calm, all is bright.”

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

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

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

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

The angels kept dancing,

And so did they.

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Peace, Love, and Hope

Beyond your understanding,
Be yours tonight.
Merry Christmas, 12-24-2012 (updated-2015)

Footnote:
I have been watching the night sky, as is my habit,
and I have been anticipating that there might be a real
full moon . . .
And sure enough! A rare Christmas full moon!
Tonight – Christmas eve – the night of December 24

and morning of December 25, 2015!
I’m delighted, for part of my story is fulfilled,
even though I wrote this years ago!

I ‘looked up’ the details and found that
this phenomenon hasn’t happened for 34 years,
and won’t occur again for another 19 years.
I thank God for His continuous wonders!
(One of which is you, dear reader! You are a gift from God!)
Thank You!
Your gloryteller, Len
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© Copyright by Lenn Snider 12-24-2012

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(Keep going, this refrain is different)

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

 

 

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

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

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A Pre-Christmas Act of Worship In A Retail Store

Every December, I like to start the Advent season by posting the video of this enormous, soaring, amazing, heart-warming event. I try not to use the word “love” lightly or frivolously, but I absolutely love this composition from Handel, this immense pipe organ, this crowd, this choir of believers, and the Subject of this song!

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Jesus Lives!
Let Him Be Worshipped
And Adored At All Times,
In All Places,
By All Willing Hearts!
~

Worship is not a matter of the place,
no matter how commercial, or secular, or even “holy”.
It’s not a matter of the crowd,
no matter its composition, from the faithful, to the skeptical.
It’s not a matter of the means of praise,
no matter how lofty and soaring, or off key and humble,
nor how vocally and instrumentally technical.
It’s not a matter of numbers,
no matter if a large gathering,
or a single off-key voice,
singing or speaking,
with a clapping beat,
or no beat at all.
~
Worship, it seems to me, is a matter of
the condition of each worshipper’s heart.
Only God has full estimation of that;
however, in this retail store there seems to be a crowd of
like-minded, like-hearted, worshippers
setting commercialism aside for an eternal moment

with one great-big, majestic, musical instrument
All led and kept together by one amazing conductor.
How analogous to our God and His people!
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There might be examples of all the above conditions of worship in this video.
He is worshipped and adored here – yes, even here – inside the huge Macy’s in Philadelphia – a worldly, consumeristic, retail marketplace where materialism and money normally are king. But not today!

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

The “sounding joy”, the full, immense, amount of joy served-up is overwhelming!
In the fullness of time,
every knee will bow to Him,
and,
“He shall reign for ever and ever.”

This year I wanted to add the lyrics:

Hallelujah 
Written by George Friedrich Handel

Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
(For the lord God omnipotent reigneth)
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
(Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah)
Hallelujah

The kingdom of this world;
is become
the kingdom of our Lord,
and of His Christ
and of His Christ

And He shall reign for ever and ever
And he shall reign forever and ever
And he shall reign forever and ever
And he shall reign forever and ever

King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
and lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
and lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
and lord of lords
King of kings and lord of lords

And he shall reign
And he shall reign
And he shall reign
He shall reign
And he shall reign forever and ever

King of kings forever and ever
and lord of lords hallelujah hallelujah
And he shall reign forever and ever

King of kings and lord of lords
King of kings and lord of lords
And he shall reign forever and ever

Forever and ever and ever and ever
(King of kings and lord of lords)

Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
Hallelujah

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Video

Previous Older Entries

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.

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,

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And your fortune is mine - you got sued!

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