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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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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Once, It Was Enough

Life was fine when I didn’t have Jesus in it. At least, that’s what I thought. It was enough, but now that empty life can never be enough. 

I licked a spoon that was used to stir egg nog.
It was not enough!
I wanted a drink! 

Jesus gave me that sweet drink.
No more futile striving for only a thin film
of the sweetness.

 Now I have Him,
and with Him,
the sweet, rich,
fragrantly spiced,
deliciously satisfying,
 glass of joyous life to drink from,
that is always full,
never empties,
and is endless!
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Cooking A Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner – Yes I Can – This Is About Thankfulness


Yes, dear reader,
Unlike most men, especially old-school men such as myself,
I’m capable of planning and cooking
a full-blown turkey-and-stuffing anchored;
mashed potato filled;
gravy-slathered;
two vegetable enhanced;
candied sweet ‘tater and
green bean casserole complimented;
cranberry sauce enlivened;
dinner-roll augmented;
and pie-crowned Thanksgiving dinner.
I don’t want that to sound like bragging,
nor self-exaltation,
it’s just the truth.
It’s a blessing that I can cook almost anything, and even do a little baking, but the blessing came at the expense of my mother’s suffering.
When I was 13, my mother dislocated her elbow due to a fall. That very painful injury prevented her from doing many of her homemaking duties including cooking the daily family meals. As the eldest child, I was appointed cook’s assistant. I performed the mechanical operations of cooking while poor plaster-casted Mom directed me. That was one of my life’s momentous turning points, because I have used those cooking skills that she taught me countless times for my own benefit and for the benefit of others.
Today, Mom is on my mind.
Thanks, Mom, for teaching me to cook and for everything else.
Thanks, God, for Mom and for all my blessings.
Thanks for the ability to imagine and invent things, and for the ability to make, and build, and create the things I imagined – everything from small tools to buildings and a home, and thanks for the ability to repair, or at least “rig up” almost anything. Thanks, God, for the ability to grow food on Your land. Most of all thanks, Lord for the very surprising gift of the ability to write.
As much as I like to cook, I’d rather write about cooking.
I’d rather write than do almost anything else.
As for Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that this website is partial fulfillment of my God-given purpose. More than anything else, I’m thankful to You, Lord, for gathering me to Yourself and giving me the joy of salvation – the joy of knowing You!

“O, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good!
His loving mercies endure forever!
O, give constant thanks unto the Lord!”

Happy Thanksgiving, dear reader!
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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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Labyrinth

In the Heart of My Mind I often go walking
through lush, open meadows where the colorful, wildly beautiful,
gardens of my existence meander extravagantly. It is there
where I am complete, and full, and joyous in my Creator.
But . . .

Off to the far side, down on one end in the rocks, there is a hole. Sometimes, on the night of the Dark Moon, I declare – no, more like endure – a Fool’s Night. I go to that enticingly repulsive hole and slip in. Not always by intention. Oh no, hardly ever by my own design or volition, but I am tricked into it; goaded, prodded, pushed, even within the gardens in the Heart of My Own Mind. I’m tricked in my dreams, or in moments of weak daylight musing.
Slip in, I meant, for there is a slick, muddy, slope leading down; down into the labyrinth. The mud stinks, and now I, having fallen on my back, stink. This is The Labyrinth of Darkness Past.
As I move, trembling, through the rock-walled passageways, I pass rooms. Some rooms contain pits filled with waste, others have manacles and chains fasted to the walls, or nooses hanging from the ceilings. There are rooms housing dark, ghostly, disembodied memories. There are toothed error-worms seething in writhing masses, gnawing at the tranquility of the flora rooted in the gardens above. There are whip-words lashing out, eager to scourge innocent flesh. There are specters of sadness howling, weeping apparitions of disappointment lurking, wraiths of heartbreak groaning.
Sharp, cold, gusts of regret add to the bitter ambiance as I trudge along the main hallway. Self loathing blows me toward abysmal chasms of despair. I want out, but I am caught in a bizarre, self-destructive ritual.
Once again I realize that the despair here is all my fault; that this cruel dungeon is of my own making.
As usual, I only enter one of the hellish rooms. This Fool’s Night, in the dark of the moon, I visit a ghastly memory of heartbreak. One I caused, I inflicted. Watching it all happen again, the broken heart of another becomes my own. I was selfish, and foolish, and deserve this painful self-recrimination, this self-flagellation, this self-loathing.
I don’t know why I made this unconscionable mistake. It was careless and stupid. I would personally express sorrow, ask forgiveness of my victim, offer restitution, but it is too late. The fateful incident, like so many others, is fettered and imprisoned in this horrid labyrinth forever. I flounder painfully in the putrid mire of them all.
But why? Why do I allow the trickery of a Fool’s Night during the Dark Moon?
Why do I remember so vividly the dark side of my former self? The good outweighs the bad by far. I remember some of it now. Times I did the right thing. Times I made someone happy. When I sacrificed and gave instead of taking. Even before I became the new man. But those are not as vivid. Perhaps it is humility. Perhaps darkness is vivid and good is muted because of chicanery!
The enemy! That accuser! I see now! I am not a criminal – have never been in jail. I’ve broken no major human laws  (exceeding the limit of speed – yes, that is bad enough). I’m an ordinary sinner. My despair can only serve that ravenous beast! By the larceny of dreams. By the murder of memory, it deceives. I picture the liar laughing. No, that beast shall not steal my joy. The enemy of my soul will not! Begone! I have turned away from that life which was more death than life. I have received grace undeserved, mercy in my guilt. Forgiveness. Freedom. My redeemer has redeemed me, taken my sin upon his own shoulders, and, I pray, will redeem – has redeemed – my unkind actions and words, somehow – made them right – gave peace to those I hurt. Somehow He has, He does, and He will. The remembered casualties of my negligence, the ones I perceive entrapped in these labyrinthian rooms have perhaps already moved on, forgiven me, found the Redeemer for themselves, been set free. I ask that they have. That is my hope and my faith.
I hold them out to Him. I give the wraiths, apparitions, and specters into His large, open, hands. He gave His all to rectify my sin; to take it upon himself. He said He would remove my sins as far as the east end of the labyrinth is from the west end, if I would only turn and believe. And He did say He came to heal the brokenhearted.
As I let them go, I find I have traveled full circle and am back at the entrance. An ornate, polished, wooden ladder has been placed to aid my exit. I but touch the ladder and am snatched out of The Labyrinth of Darkness Past fully awake and aware. Aware of His presence in the Garden of My Existence. I don’t look back. The labyrinth should be destroyed. I don’t know if I can blast it by myself, but when the time is right, I’m sure He can, or else He will give me the strength. He also gives me a shield against the trickery of the enemy. I should remember to wield that on the next night of the Dark Moon.
       
I think of people like me who occasionally endure chronic remorse – especially those people who’ve been born anew.  I pray for your encouragement. Be lifted up! We all fall short of His glory. I have to wonder if anyone doesn’t carry the shame of hidden past guilt. Forgiveness is key. We must forgive the one who has trespassed against us – even if that one is our self, I think.
       We also, as I said, must place it into God’s open hands; place it at the foot of His cross; or employ any other imagery that helps you give it over to Him. A burden such as this is too big, too heavy, for a mortal to hold. Dear Reader, you are not alone in your Labyrinth of Past Regret. You have me and my prayer for you, but most importantly you have Him who cares about you. He will help you grapple with your labyrinth. He will seal the entrance for all time. He will protect, preserve, and help you to inhabit the wildly beautiful, the joy-filled gardens of your existence at the Heart of Your Mind. Thanks be to God.
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Saved From Myself

One of the most difficult jobs God gives us
is gently convincing someone of the concept
that they need to be, in effect, saved from themselves.
From their broken nature.
From poor decisions based on selfishness.
From their lack of a sense of a higher hope,
and purpose, 
and meaning.
From their arrogant, rebellious, reckless,
self-elevation

To the position of god.
It is a universal need all people have in common.
It was true for me;
myself most of all.
My own worst enemy (but for that other).
Yet I dismissed the notion of salvation out of hand.
Adamantly.
Still, He had someone in the wings
who was perfect for the job.
He placed that person right in my path.
With perfect timing.
Giving voice to a theme song
tuned to my stubborn rebel ears. 
Unexpectedly, I believed those personal lyrics.
Surprisingly.
Inexplicably.
Amazingly.
Thankfully.

I soon was “saved from myself “, 
Delivered.
Into a relationship with my Creator God.
I have not looked back.
I rejoice!
Now, I sing to you.
Am I the one He has reserved in the wings for you?
Or are you destined to step onstage for someone else?
It can be a most difficult job.
“Don’t be discouraged,” He encourages.
I’m living proof not to be –
I did not need it, or so I thought,
Yet, thankfully,
I was

saved from myself.

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Before

3d63998d9680e585464b69e20a9259e1_-quill-and-paper-clipart-quill-and-paper-clipart_641-720


Oh, Great God,
You said of Your magnificent Self,
in effect:
“Before there was anything, I AM”.

 

In distant time,
rather, I should say,
before You even started time moving on its relentless travels,
You, my Great Father,
Were,
Are,
and Will Be –
all at once (thus, the I AM!)
Before then, You knew me
!
You, the Great Creator, saw me in Your mind’s eye!
You saw me – Your ‘perfect’ me and also every later flawed aspect of me –
and still You loved me,
took pity upon me, and loved me;
rejoiced in me, and loved me.
You knew me, envisioned me, and loved me,

even BEFORE
You gave me a spirit;

BEFORE
You spoke my name in a whisper and bestowed my soul.

You knew me BEFORE:

 You constructed my body deep within my mother’s miraculous life-supporting anatomy.
Before You breathed life into tiny me.
Before I was delivered from my confinement into the vast world.

BEFORE:
I learned about You, but still didn’t know You.
Before I was sadly blinded concerning You.
Before I turned away from You, although Your
concern and compassion for me never wavered.
Before You never left my side;
I should have died many times;

You carried me.
Before I made countless mistakes.
Before I disappointed You; most likely saddened You to tears,
and shook You to your core with outrageous blasphemies,
even though You knew those things were in my heart.

You loved me long BEFORE:
Before You sent me a messenger who knew You,
and showed me who You are;
the reality of You,
Someone to whom You meant Everything.
Someone who knew life before You,
when something seems to be missing;
when there is an emptiness in one’s heart 
only a relationship with one’s Creator can fill;
when there is a hunger and a thirst
that can only be satisfied by His comforting
words of love, of peace, and of joy.
Who pointed to the way You were chasing, calling, pursuing me.
Who showed me Your unconditional love;
taught me of Biblical truth,
of faith,

and of grace,
and mercy,
and salvation,
and, most importantly,
introduced me to the real Immanuel,
“God With Us”,
Jesus.

You, Father God, saw me BEFORE:
You, whose existence I had previously refuted,
proved Yourself to me time and again –
even more than necessary to convince –
extravagant in Your thoughtful pursuit.

Before You imparted Your Holy Spirit into me,
and before that moment when my joy overflowed and overwhelmed me.

Before You called me “My Child” and kindly adopted me into Your family.

I have a Before and an After.
Every before implies its own after.
Before, I was dying without You.
Now I am fully and completely alive with You!
Now I bow before You alone,
and I will be with You ever after!

You knew me BEFORE:
You gave me new birth,
made me a new being,
a new creation.
You knew me before You made me,
as well, 

a messenger of Your Great Glory.
~
Dear Reader – I’m your humble messenger, 
To demonstrate His unconditional love as my own.
No matter what has happened in my past,
nor yours.
Our mutual Father in Heaven,
Creator,
commissioned me to write this message to you,
as a plea to take it to heart,
to show you the difference between
a life before receiving Him and His message,
and the life “after” —
A dying life into an increasingly living life!
The “after” life is amazing, and it is everlasting!

I pray for you constantly because I care for you.
You know me.
You know you can trust what I’m saying.
Father God knew you and loved you
Before and He does now.
You need and deserve a great After!
Trust Him.
All my caring, loving, good wishes, and hopes,
I send wrapped up in this message. 
Yours truly,
Gloryteller

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Ojibwe Insight Expanded

Sometimes, I sit alone in pity for myself,
but,
all the while,
the breath of God wafts me across the great, vast, universe.

I forget how His favor bathes my life with beautiful wonders
and how He shows me great mercy.

I forget that I am never forgotten, always loved, never alone.

Sometimes I forget, in lonely sorrow for myself,
that the Creator’s hand has carried me,
in caring pity,
in sympathy,
across majestic mountains,
past lakes of stars, 
and high up,
into peace,
into the moon-washed Valley of Sparkling Waters
where He has shown me my final – and eternal – campsite.

Sometimes I sit in pity for myself
While my   self   is away with the Great Father,
dancing with unfettered joy.

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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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Rejoice! Rejoice! With All Your Might, Rejoice!


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Rejoice! Rejoice! With All Your Might, Rejoice!

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think,
in one way or another,
about Christ’s crucifixion, His resurrection, and His ascension.

Today is no different.
But wait,
it is different, for today is His Church’s official celebration of that
creation-changing,
world-changing,
life-changing Day.

Today, let there be loud singing and joyous dancing.
Let there be massive celebration over all the Earth,
for our Jesus is alive!

Let there be all of that but, most importantly,
let Him be the Lord of your life.

Rejoice, My Soul,
All People, Rejoice!

I celebrate this holiest
Of all the days of holiness,
For as the sun appears to rise in the East,
The Son of God did arise on Easter
– Resurrection Day,

The greatest Day the Lord Has Made.
I rejoice and I am exceedingly glad in it,
For my Savior lives!
Oh, Lord, He lives!
Now and forever, He lives!
And because He lives,
So can I!
For my heart, too, was sealed
With hardened stone,
And in that darkened tomb
Dwelt death.
With tender touch He moved
The hardened part away
To let in light and life
So death was put to death.
The Holy Spirit Jesus sent
Was sent to live in me.
As Christ began to breathe for me
I felt my spirit leap.
It leapeth still in Heaven’s realm,
So graciously removed from hell
That I can only raise my hands and say,
“Rejoice, all people, rejoice!
Hallelujah, praise God, rejoice!”
For our Savior lives and breathes in us!
He arose!
He conquered bitter death and saved!
He does that still, today!

~ ~ ~

With love,
Your Gloryteller

 Resurrection Sunday,  4-5-2015 and 3-27-2016
(re-posted, with edits, from 3-31-2013)
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Live In Your Joy

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Artist - Traci Parks

Artist – Traci Parks

Remember

Dear Child

Your Joy cannot be taken away

For it lives in that untouchable place

In your very inner center

Between the disaster under your feet

And the fleeting happiness surrounding your head

Between the dismay in one hand

And the current distraction in the other

Joy exists in a place between all the heartache

All the strife

All the good and the bad things that can be touched

And felt and heard and seen

It is always there in-between

Untouchable

If you know the Lord

Joy is there in an open treasure-box

Like a light-emitting gem that wells up

On the peak of a rainbow-crystal fountain

Joy is full of color and light and warmth

It is far beyond mere happiness

Mere synonyms can but dimly allude to its wonder

Precious gift along with grace

Leave it open not closed away

For others may sense it and open their own

Remember 

Dear Child

Who makes my own Joy seem brighter

Your Joy cannot be taken away

Nor can it be given but by the One who made it

If you don’t know Him

Get to know Him

He is ready

He loves you

Each can have their own Joy

So keep yours shining in its perfection

Look at it often

In its untouchable place in-between

In your very inner center

Live there with your Joy

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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 Child Giving Thanks

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Here is the beautiful voice of a beautiful,
Very young child giving thanks to God.
These are her words;
She helped to write this song!
Straightforward.
Honest.
Uncomplicated.
Pure.
From her heart.
O, that I can remain so,

For I am nothing if not His child,
And less than nothing if not thankful for everything 
 little Rhema Marvanne sings about in her brilliant
song of worship.
The visuals are quite astounding as well.

Credits:
My thanks to:  Rhema Marvanne – Original song with Lyrics by Rhema Marvanne and Larry Randall, Music by David Howarth. Taken from Rhema’s 3rd album, Believe, recorded when she was 8 years old. Published by Howarth Music Publishing (BMI) 2012.
My thanks to The Father for Rhema and her family.
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Cooking A Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner – Yes I Can – Thanks, Almighty God!


Yes, dear Reader,
Unlike many men, especially old-school men such as myself,
I’m capable of planning and cooking
a full-blown turkey-and-stuffing anchored;
mashed potato filled;
gravy-slathered;
two vegetable enhanced;
candied sweet ‘tater and
green bean casserole complimented;
cranberry sauce enlivened;
dinner-roll augmented;
and pie-crowned Thanksgiving dinner.
I don’t want that to sound like bragging,
nor self-exaltation,
it’s just the truth.
Here’s the thing:

It’s a blessing that I can cook almost anything,
and even do a little baking, but the blessing came at the expense of my mother’s suffering.

You see, when I was 13, my mother dislocated her elbow during a fall. That very painful injury prevented or hampered her doing many of her homemaking duties including cooking the daily family meals. As the eldest child, I was appointed Cook’s Assistant. Until she was fully healed, I performed the mechanical operations of cooking while poor plaster-casted Mom directed me and taught me. That was one of my life’s momentous turning points, because I have used those cooking skills countless times for my own benefit and for the benefit of others.
Today, Mom is on my mind.
Thanks, Mom, for teaching me to cook and for everything else you did and taught.
Thanks, Father God, for Mom and for all my many blessings.
Thanks for my ability to imagine and invent things, and for the ability to make, and build, and create the things I imagined – everything from small tools to buildings and a home, and thanks for the ability to repair, or at least “rig up” almost anything. Thanks, God, for the ability to grow food on Your land. Most of all, thanks, Lord for the very surprising gift of the ability to write.
As much as I like to cook, I’d rather write about cooking.
I’d rather write than do almost anything else.
As for Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that this website is partial fulfillment of my God-given purpose. More than anything else, I’m thankful to You, Lord,
for gathering me to Yourself and giving me the joy of salvation –
the joy of knowing You!

“O, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good!
His loving mercies endure forever!
O, give constant thanks unto the Lord!”

Happy Thanksgiving, dear Reader!
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Peace Like A River For My Soul

Asher B. Durand

Asher B. Durand

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Peace is kind of like love.
Everyone needs it.
Most civilized people want it.
Many seek it in one way or another.
So do I.

The quality of peace is not strain’d either.
It, too, falls like gentle rain from Heaven
upon the needful ones below. (thanks, Shakespeare)

Some folks have real peace and some have a pseudo,
temporary, fleeting kind of peace.
So do I and so have I.

Some look for it in all the wrong places.
Yup, that was me.

Many have no peace whatsoever and have no idea
where it comes from,

how to get some,
or even what it is.

Again, been there.

When I find myself in need of the comfort and enjoyment of peace,
which is most of the time,

like many folks I seek and readily find peace
in what is commonly called “Nature”.
“Nature”, in a broad sense, is universally understood.
You are probably forming mental pictures right now
about how you perceive and define “Nature”.
Now envision some of your favorite peace-inducing “Nature” scenes;
places you have been, or even pictures of real places or those imagined by someone.
Did that bring you a bit of peacefulness?

But –
“Nature” (nature – to bring it down off its pedestal)
is only a reflection of the super-natural;
of God’s supernatural glory. (He is above nature – He made it!)
Isn’t it delightful that even this somewhat hazy reflection
of Heaven can still bring us earth-side peace?

I personally enjoy a pastoral scene, one with water in it,
and even better, one with a mountainous theme.
A clear, unpolluted, starwatching-sky is also a delight.

Sunshine and sheep,
Cattle and a creek,
Grass and rolling hills,
Green and blue and still.

A clear night sky,
Star-filled and wide,
Shapes made of  light,
Faith becoming sight.

A picture will do, but being there in person is best.
Sitting and contemplating;
meditating and cogitating;
or simply ‘taking it all in’ and enjoying the serenity,
the quietness,
and the upwelling joy begotten of His Light and Life.
It’s great!
But i
f I am walking, I like an upward path through my favorite “Nature”.
Ascent is so metaphoric.
I walk upward into His waiting embrace.
What peace, elation, and joy all at once!

I like to visit nature alone to find great peace,
  and this occurs to me – even my extrovert friends seek peace alone there sometimes.
Many of them enjoy walking an upward path by themselves.
There is something calming about solitude.

Peace is this:
Just being still and knowing that He is God.

And this:

. . . the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your heart and mind . . .”

Wonderfully this:
“You will go out with joy and be led out in peace.
The mountains and the hills will break into songs of joy in your presence,
and all the trees will clap their hands.”

Especially this:
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you;
not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.”
Yes, that was The Prince of Peace speaking to each of us,

in fact He mentions ‘peace’ at least four hundred times in His Word
in all its different meanings and nuances.

Personal peace is important.
Without it, there is a certain emptiness;
an unmet longing.

In today’s turmoil, peace is elusive.
Tranquility, and quiet,
harmony and calmness,
concord and agreement,
safety and security,
and freedom from anxiety and worries
are in short supply.
But peace is important to God.
As His creations, He made it important to us as well,
and He saw how incapable we were
of having any through our own devices.

So He sent His Son, The Prince of Peace,
while we were still enemies of His,
to humble Himself as human in order
to make peace between the warring parties,
The Father vs. the fallen.
Jesus’ sacrificial death was the condition of the cease-fire,
the requirement of justice,
the peace treaty,
the just agreement of concord,
the new covenant of peace between mankind and The Father,
between each person and Father God,
and between Him and myself.

I believe that with His final exhalation,
He whispered Divine peace into the heart of Creation,
and into mine. His peace, like His joy – gifts that cannot be
lost, if guarded, once they are embedded in your heart.

It is said that all Creation rejoiced when this treaty was struck.
I believe that “Nature” “broke into song,
and the trees clapped their hands”
not only for mankind,
and myself,
but for Its Own sake as well,
for
that was the beginning
of the restoration,
the redemption and the repair
of not only humanity, but of all Creation –
in peace.

Thank You Lord, for peace.
Without it, life earth-side would be much more difficult.

So,
what better way to seek and find peace than to
walk with The Bringer and Giver of Peace,
The Wonderful Counselor of Peace,

The Prince of Peace?

He willingly,
eagerly,
whole-heartedly
Walks and talks with me,
(and wants the same with you)

on my upward path through nature,
and not only through idyllic scenes,
but through every season,

taking me,
leading me,
pushing me,
supporting me,
carrying me,

giving me,
showing me,
His peace, and wonder, and glory,
until we reach the arms of The Father,
where I’ll be wrapped in the Ultimate Peace,
the final,
enduring,
everlasting,
Peace of His eternal presence.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~
~  ~  ~
~

There is a special hymn that is commonly associated
with peace: “Peace Like A River/All Is Well With My Soul”.
If you don’t know the background of this song, you should check
out the remarkable story of the author, Horatio Spafford.
There is a line in the fourth verse which speaks deeply within me:
“Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.”
Many versions of this hymn are slow and, well, peaceful.
Here is a version that is upbeat and joyous.
It really struck a chord in me:

Thank you Spring Harvest for the music and Humpty Fell for the fine video!

©Gloryteller.com 10-27-15
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Who Am I ?

To know one’s identity is highly important.
Just ask those with amnesia.
Just ask anyone who doesn’t know, or is uncertain,
or who is “trying to find himself, or herself”.
This piece of knowledge is extremely valuable;
vital, even.

This writer knows the answer.

Who am I?
I AM my Father’s child!
A simple statement.
Make it as complex as you like, for it is indeed huge!

My cousin Ann, of whose attributes I can’t say enough,
quite astutely says that she is:


“Born of one father,

Born again of another.”

A remarkable statement of identity!
I’m pretty certain she means “Born first on earth
of her father, my uncle, and born again of
Father God through Jesus Christ.”
Ann is not only clever, but she is full of truth!

However,
When I thought of myself in light of her statement,
I realized that “I” – “my Father’s child”,
was first born to Him in Heaven,
in a sense,
in the high, holy sense,
the only sense that matters to “me”.
Conceived by Him and born to Him.
Then borne by Him to my bodily habitation on earth.
Borne to my second father,
born unaware of the First.
When finally, finally, I became aware of my First Father,
my initial, original, foremost, paramount, primary, principal Father,
Whose merciful forgiveness of,
and passionate love for me,
transcends my meager understanding,
it was then that I “stepped into the seeming void of faith”
and found the truth of my identity in Him.
It was then that I was born again in Christ Jesus with help from
His Holy spirit.
Reborn!
In Christ, who is in the Father, who are in me!
Here on earth in a body,
but not being a body, or a brain,
but only having one,
while being something – someone – entirely new and different.
My being and my life are in my Father!
Thank You, Father, for my life and my identity (in You).
Indeed,
I AM my Father’s child!
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Moonstruck

It struck me during the recent eclipse what an apt visual metaphor a lunar eclipse is for how the things of this world dim and veil the Heaven of God. The light of the sun is blocked from illuminating the full moon by the dark shadow of the earth. That is just what happens when the light of The Son of Man is blocked from illuminating our hearts and minds by the dark shadow of the world’s misguided value system.

The Light is His redemptive action, His saving grace, His compelling promise, His immense love, and His radiant glory.

The full moon is our need for relationship with Him, our obedience out of love for Him, our longing to be eternally in His presence, our heart for worship, our giving, our promotion of His kingdom, our joy in the privilege of sharing the good news of His story with the lost world. It represents our individual hearts and our collective heart as a people.

The shadow cast by the earth represents the distraction of
self indulgence in the pleasures of the world,
the false idea that there are no absolutes and every person’s unique view of “the truth” is valid,

that there is nothing other than what can be seen,
that death is the end of life and there is no living spirit that continues,
that God, His Son, and His Heaven are a myth,
that there is no such thing as sin and we can do whatever we want,
that there is no right or wrong except what each individual determines is right or wrong for “them”,
that our spiritual enemy is a myth, which is exactly what that enemy wants us to believe regarding all the above “world’s values”.

On one side, Light. On the other, dark shadow. As for me, I choose Light. As for me, I maintain the struggle, grappling with the shadow-prince of this world, all the while calling upon The Light to prevent the eclipse of my joy.
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Random Thoughts From The Farm

O
^  ^  ^  ^
~~I~~I~~I~~I~~I~~I~~
I~~I~~I~~I~~I~~I~~I~~I~~I

Thought #4.
“People don’t need most of what they want,
but worse, many people don’t want
what they need most.”


#19.

I made a mnemonic device to eliminate the confusion on when to use “then” or “than”:
ThAn compAres. 
ThEn tells whEn (or sEquencE of EvEnts).


#20.

“Now I need a device to help me remember  “mnemonic” . . .”


#21.
My original racist joke:
“An ordinary Asian guy walks into a bar and orders a Singapore Sling. The bartender says, ‘Sorry, sir, look at the sign. We only serve Grasshoppers, Salty Dogs, and White Russians.’ “


#22.

“People who want to communicate good should take grammar more serious.”


#26.

“When you undertake to make yourself more alluring, consider well whom (or what) you may be luring.”


#27.

“Must write,
must write.
Must write uniquely as commissioned,
or die an invisibly unique and individually empty death.”


#28.
“Grace comes moment by moment,

Abiding until the next.
Life, a momentary comment,
By grace is momentously blessed.


#30.

“Occasionally I think well.
Most other times, I think, “Wellllll?” . . .


#33.

“Another Random Thought:  Why does it seem that political parties are such a “far cry” from the concept of an enjoyable, festive, fun gathering? (My mental image when someone says “party”).  Why is it that political parties are on the opposite end of the spectrum from that?”

#34.
A Homegrown Original from 9-5-13 :
“What do you have when all your iguana does is sleep, and can’t stand up anymore?
Are you ready for it?  Drum rollllll . . .
Reptile dysfunction  . . .”
Pa- Dum- Pa !

#35.
Another Random Thought from 9-5-13:
“At what point does a practicing physician become a performing M.D. ?  Hmmm?”

~~~
That is more than enough for now, right?

I have 189 of these so far, so bear with me!
Ha ha ha ha ha,
God bless you, dear Reader!

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A Thought From My Garden

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Thought #185.  (I thought this thought while IN my garden,
in case you thought my garden thinks thoughts of its own.)

“Love everyone, and be friends with those rare people you also LIKE.”


(Bis Juli und Ben, die inspiriert diese. Gott segne sie, immer.)

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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.

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.

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