On Using Secular Christmas Traditions To Glorify Not Mislead

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“What do you think about the lie of Santa Clause?” asked somebody.
“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 those figures. Fact is, they are legends and fantasies based on a good man’s acts, but they must not be passed down as reality. The generous acts are the Christlike reality.
It’s the same for the gift-giving, the lights, and the joyous celebrating. One can ignore any or all of it, or one can use those traditions of secular Christmastime as reminders of Jesus’ birth, life, words and deeds. I strive for that as I constantly try to keep Him at the forefront of the celebration.
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 this proclaiming 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, our Light of the World, is given to every one of us, but that gift must be received and willingly 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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Why I Call It “Christbirth”!

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 I’m not thrilled about the word Christmas.
I’m not crazy about the word Easter either.
But I very much love the events those two words represent.

Words are only symbols that we use to convey,
or identify, things, events, or ideas. Often, the words
we devise (or, in this case, that are devised for us) are
less than ideal, or appropriate, or even accurately descriptive
in representing the actual thing being described.

I believe that “Christmas” is such a word.
I’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to delve into the origins,
meanings, and protests concerning the word “Christmas”.
I have been through it, and it’s not pretty.
Some say it’s downright blasphemy, wickedness, and sin to use it.

However,
Nevertheless,
and, Be That As It May,
the event that has come to be known to us as “Christmas”
is the event that shook the earth.
It is the truth of the event that is important,
not necessarily the word we have adopted to describe it.
To my way of thinking, the birth of Jesus was, and is,
the most momentous occurrence in history.
It is to be celebrated – its story told and retold in truth
to the ends of the earth.
So ( Blast semantics!) I do say Merry Christmas,
and I do say Happy Easter, instead of
Happy Resurrection Sunday,
because I know I will be understood by the general public,
and also by Christians, in general.
And by those greetings, I mean
Hallelujah!
Rejoice!
Celebrate enthusiastically!
For, unto us a child is born!
Our Savior lives!
He has come to live with us!
– Or
 He is risen!
Our Savior lives!
And in His glory He will come down again!

So, here’s the thing – here’s my point:
Instead of the term “Christmas”, I prefer the word
“Christbirth”
(which I think I have invented, haha,) 
(but someone may have beaten me to it, I really don’t know)
to represent this wondrous, marvelous event,
but, no matter what word we use in reference,
in Jesus’ birth, the very Word of God came to live among us,
with us, and, in time, in us, so that we,
despite our inclination to sin,
might have the right to be “born” into a new world –
a world of saving grace, faith, hope, and of love,
into God’s presence;
born in a new, a wondrous,
 a marvelous, and a miraculous way,
Just as Jesus was, before us!

Happy Christbirth!
Merry Christmas!
Rejoice!

Your Gloryteller

 

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Not A Single Life Can Compare To His. Not One . . .

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One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village,
the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another obscure village,
where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty,
and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book.
He never held an office.
He never had a family or owned a home.
He never went to college.
He never visited a metropolis.
He never traveled more than two hundred miles
from the place where He was born.
He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness.
He had no credentials but Himself.

In His early thirties, the tide of public opinion turned against Him.
His friends ran away.
One of them denied Him.
Another betrayed Him.
He was turned over to His enemies.
He went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
 While He was dying, His executioners gambled for His clothing,
the only property He had on earth.

When he was dead, He was taken down
and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

More than twenty wide centuries have come and gone,
yet today He remains the central figure of the human race,
and the leader of  mankind’s progress.

I am well within the mark when I say
that all the armies that ever marched,

and all the navies that ever were built,
and all the parliaments that ever sat,
and all the kings that ever reigned,
put together, have not affected the life of mankind
upon this earth as significantly as has that
One Solitary Life.

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Paraphrased From Dr James Allan Francis in
“The Real Jesus and Other Sermons”

© 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia
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As eloquent and powerful as this piece is,
I feel that even this is inadequate to explain
the full importance 
to human life on this planet,
of our Immanuel’s life,
sacrificial death, resurrection, and ascension.
.
–Your Gloryteller

 

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Jesus, Joy of the Highest Heaven

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A Children’s Christmas Carol for Everyone

I lift up Keith and Kristyn Getty and I thank them for this beautiful song.
And I thank Him for them!
And I thank Him for you, my dear reader!

 

This baby, making His first sounds, learning His first words, 
taking His first steps, becoming self-aware.
Like us in every way.
Yet, in every way, different.

 

“Come to turn me, a stranger, into a child of God.”
Remember, JESUS is the subject of Christmas, and the object of Christmas is US.

LS

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O Christbirth Tree, O Christbirth Tree, How Lovely Are Your Branches!

 

Α&Ω
My
Christbirth
**tree is ever-green**
***With everlasting life***

Its branches & its members
***Clothed in colorful lights***
*Lights reflected by ornaments*
*****Of all shapes and sizes*****
***Which shine just as brightly***
*******It’s filled with surprises!******
***Wrapped ’round with garland****
**********As a bundling rope**********
*********The whole tied together*******
*******With warm faith and hope********
**********The star at its crown is**********
***********Wreathed in white light**********
*********Can be seen near and far**********
******’Cause it’s clear, pure, and bright*******
************That’s the part of the tree***********
**************That ultimately pleases*************
********************You see*************************
*******For the Star at the point and the apex*******
************************Is Jesus*************************
*****And the branches, the lights, and ornaments*****
**************************Are we*****************************
****************For He is the Bridegroom********************
************We are His church, bride, and wife -*************
**********We are the trunk that stands in The Water,**********
****************************The Water of Life.***********************
Water
of
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Happy Christbirth!

von

©Gloryteller.com

 

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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
By 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
~ ~ ~

.  .  . Have you ever found yourself saying these same words –
the ones I highlighted?

I have.

Yes, I have been chosen to “carry The Son”, in a sense.
In that very important sense, all true believers have been chosen to
“carry Him”.
And, sometimes, I feel completely unworthy.
And I pray that the Father stay near me and hold me together.

The thought of bearing this precious burden; this gift;
this responsibility; this life, is daunting – 
sometimes frightening.
A wiser, less broken, less flawed soul should take my place . . .

Yet, I am exactly the kind of person He seeks,
chooses, and challenges, to “carry Him inside”.
One only must be willing.
And 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 –
Like David, 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.
And through Him, I am sufficient.
And I am honored.

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

 

Amy Grant, how did you know?

~ ~ ~

Merry Christmas from Gloryteller.com
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A Christmas Who’s Who

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

*LS*

Merry Christmas from Gloryteller.com!
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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.

*

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 Christmas Who’s Who

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

*LS*

Merry Christmas from Gloryteller.com!
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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
~ ~ ~

.  .  . 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?

~ ~ ~

Merry Christmas from Gloryteller.com
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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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O Christbirth Tree, O Christbirth Tree, How Lovely Are Your Branches!

 

My
Christbirth
**tree is ever-green**
***With everlasting life***

Its branches & its members
***Clothed in colorful lights***
*Lights reflected by ornaments*
*****Of all shapes and sizes*****
***Which shine just as brightly***
*******It’s filled with surprises!******
***Wrapped ’round with garland****
**********As a bundling rope**********
*********The whole tied together*******
*******With warm faith and hope********
**********The star at its crown is**********
***********Wreathed in white light**********
*********Can be seen near and far**********
******’Cause it’s clear, pure, and bright*******
************That’s the part of the tree***********
**************That ultimately pleases*************
********************You see*************************
*******For the Star at the point and the apex*******
************************Is Jesus*************************
*****And the branches, the lights, and ornaments*****
**************************Are we*****************************
****************For He is the Bridegroom********************
************We are His church, bride, and wife -*************
*************The trunk that stands in The Water,***************
****************************The Water of Life.***********************
Water
of
Life

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Happy Christbirth!

von

©Gloryteller.com

 

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A Christmas Who’s Who

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

*LS*

Merry Christmas from Gloryteller.com!
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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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Happiness Is Being Born TWICE!

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Today is the anniversary of my second-birth day.
My rebirth day.
My original birth was kind of like Christmas;
Without it, there could have been no Resurrection Day.
Without my first birth, I could not have been re-born.
My life could not have been repaired, resurrected, and redeemed.
First came my birth day,
then an Advent of sorts – a long time of waiting and preparation.
(even if I didn’t realize some of that stuff,
that garbage was preparation)

then the great gift of joy in a second-birth day!
Needless to say, for my birth and rebirth
I am extremely thankful!

♫Happy birthdays to me,
Happy birthdays to me,
For both, I am thankful!
Happy birthdays to me!♫

On this day a few years ago,
I caught Him!
He had been chasing me
harder and harder,
faster and faster,
for about two months.
He chased me until I caught Him!
The lost was found!

The blind saw!
Fear fled!
The enemy ran!

That moment was the perfect meeting of the physical
and the spiritual.
The perfect arc between
the seen
and the unseen.
Grace touching flesh.
Faith bathing a heart.
Salvation invading a body of being.

It was instant, yet time seemed to stretch
into the infinite – into veritable eternity.
One moment, I was slowly dying in a hopeless world,
the next, I was delivered into Heaven!
I was like sea glass –
all the rough, broken edges smoothed –
I was remade from refuse into a beautiful gem!
I was a new creation and I felt it!

It was transformation – metamorphosis!
My cocoon dropped off!
I was free!
A newly adopted child

with a newly granted citizenship
including new customs, traditions,
benefits, privileges, responsibilities,
and a new language!
I wept!
I overflowed!

Needless to say it was a moment of pure JOY!
Joy so intense that it remains to this day.

Thank You, Jesus!
In a sense, I was born with You in that stable.
O, how can I ever thank You enough

for making that possible?!
For me, and for all people!
Thank You, our Highest Lord!
YOU ARE Wonderful!
Counselor!
Mighty God!
Everlasting Father!
Prince of Our Peace!
Happy Birthday to You, dear Jesus,
and because of You,
to me too!


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Move On, But Remember To Keep Celebrating His Arrival

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A friend of mine posted this observation:
“Christmas is over and it’s time to move on from celebrating the birth of Jesus to following the life of Jesus.”

I get his point.
(I don’t think He intends to minimize Christmas)
For one thing, it is all too easy to become fixated on this one aspect of Jesus’ incarnation,
thus missing the importance of His whole life, and the purpose of His presence here.
I think my friend wants to emphasize the importance of following Him
in trust, and in obedience, above all else.
To do that, it’s crucial that we “move on” and take Him from His manger bed,
(even though there is nothing like having a new baby to hold)
to love Him and watch Him as He learns to talk, and then to walk,
as He grows in wisdom and knowledge,
as He learns to use His hands to build and to heal,
as He becomes an adult who teaches, preaches, and ministers to His people,
as He carries His cross to a culmination of crushing sacrifice,
as He conquers death and is resurrected.
And not only lovingly watch, but lovingly participate in these things with Him
as He enters, invited, into our hearts.
Understanding Him, and following His life and His Word are the priority for a believer.

I must be true to myself, on the other hand,
and say that I disagree that “Christmas is over”.
The seasonal celebration may be over.
The secular holiday may be over,
but my heart’s celebration of my Savior’s birth will never be over.
The upwelling, unrivaled, unquenchable joy that my Lord’s arrival brings will never end.
I will not be moved.
His birth is the culmination of all the pre-Nativity preparation,
planning, decision-making, and
the very character, the nature, and the acts
Of Father God, and of His Son, who is the Word, the Creator, the Sustainer.
Jesus’ birth is the beginning, on earth, of something so miraculous,
so mysterious,
so remarkable,
so astounding,
so important,
so world-changing,
so life-changing,
that I cannot, and I will not be moved from it.
Its implications bring me to worship in a special way.
The story of His birth pulls me into a deeper relationship with Him.
The story of His life brings me to better relationships with people.
The story of His sacrifice on the cross, and His resurrection,
and the gift of His indwelling Holy Spirit
allow me a deepening relationship with our Father God.
It’s my hope, and my desire, to celebrate His birth,
His whole life, everything He was, and is, and will be,
every day.
That’s a tall order, I know, but I have a beginning point that
The Father provided in this one amazing birth;
“the birth that shook the earth” –
“the birth that shaped the earth”-
“the birth that saved the earth”.
Without this one birth – Jesus’ birth – there would be
no controversial Nativity Scenes,
no Santa Clause to argue about,
no Christmas trees,
no carols,
no Christmas parties,
no brightly wrapped gift packages,
no rampant commercialism,
no Christmas vacations,
no decorating,
no pretty lights,
NO LIGHT IN THE WORLD AT ALL,
no Savior,
no hope,
no real love,
no GOD WITH US.
Imagine a world, a life, without the birth of Jesus in it . . .
That would be a nightmare.
That is why I won’t be moved,
nor lightly “move on” from it.
The beginning of His Story is the beginning of so much!
That is why I hold close the holy celebration of Jesus birth.
That is why I celebrate His whole holy life from birth to ascension.
Even what He was before that.
Holy!
Even what He is and will be beyond that!
Glorious!
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Have a
Happy
Joyous
Christbirth
Celebration
All Through
The Year!

Blessings, dear reader,
from me, your gloryteller.

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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 (-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!
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 Christmas Who’s Who

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

*LS*

Merry Christmas from Gloryteller.com!
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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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O Christbirth Tree, O Christbirth Tree, How Lovely Are Your Branches!

 

My
Christbirth
**tree is ever-green**
***With everlasting life***

Its branches & its members
***Clothed in colorful lights***
*Lights reflected by ornaments*
*****Of all shapes and sizes*****
***Which shine just as brightly***
*******It’s filled with surprises!******
***Wrapped ’round with garland****
**********As a bundling rope**********
*********The whole tied together*******
*******With warm faith and hope********
**********The star at its crown is**********
***********Wreathed in white light**********
*********Can be seen near and far**********
******’Cause it’s clear, pure, and bright*******
************That’s the part of the tree***********
**************That ultimately pleases*************
********************You see*************************
*******For the Star at the point and the apex*******
************************Is Jesus*************************
*****And the branches, the lights, and ornaments*****
**************************Are we*****************************
****************For He is the Bridegroom********************
************We are His church, bride, and wife -*************
*************The trunk that stands in The Water,***************
****************************The Water of Life.***********************
Water
of
Life

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Happy Christbirth!

von

©Gloryteller.com

 

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The Basic Christian Library

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"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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