It’s Hard To Dance When You Don’t Hear The Music

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To my friend who does not yet hear The Music,
Who does not yet believe it exists.
Who cannot fathom dancing with our Creator:


I used to be deaf to The Music,
the special kind of music between The Creator and His creation.

It is said that those who dance are considered insane by someone who doesn’t hear the music. 

Like many older men and women who thought they had heard it all and were comfortable in their ignorance, unaware of their deafness, I began to hear The Music. I had joined the community of the blessed.
At first a faint melody, but with time it became clearer, enjoyably compelling, and then it began to move my limbs, one at a time; then, my soul. At first a happy flute solo, and with time, a rich, full symphony.

It was a lot like not being able to hear it when a person blows a dog whistle, but you can clearly see that a dog hears it, because you can see the dog’s reaction when it is blown. Thus, you begin to understand the “insane” people. They obviously hear something you don’t and are reacting naturally to it. They are not insane. Their confident dancing arises out of the irresistible music that moves them, and they beckon you to join them.

To those who are perishing, it is foolishness, but for those who hear it, it is life.

Knowing God, and having a relationship with Him is like that. It is a music that only believers in Him can hear and understand. What complete and utter joy there is in dancing to that incomparable Music!

It is not beyond you to hear it.
I believe our Maker places the ability to hear Himself in every person. And not only the ability, but an innate inner longing to hear it. Many ignore it. In many it has been buried deep under the rubble of hurt.  Many deny it, or shun it, or slander it, but His Music persists all around us and it is definitely there to be heard.

My hope; my prayer, is that sooner or later you will listen for it, and will hear it, whether it begins faintly or thunders suddenly. Better sooner than later, better later than never, because dancing for Him; with Him, is nothing less than life itself; it is everlasting life!

I implore you, listen for it! Take a leap of faith. Begin to trust. Let yourself hear and believe.
You might begin to hear The Music in a voice, a birdsong, a waterfall, an orchestra, in wind chimes, or simply as a compelling inner tune that your soul cannot deny. You might hear it surrounded by the silence following a heavy snowfall, or alone in a meadow, or on a mountaintop.  If you be still and listen past your own noise, you will hear it just as I did.
Just as I still do, and will always.
I like being one of the “insane dancers”. I have never been so grateful for anything, as I have for the gift of hearing His Music and following it to Him Who has an unconditional love for me. I would like it much better if everyone would tune their ear, and turn their ear, to that incredible 
Music, and begin The Dance of Life.

O Lord, let me always be ready with a megaphone, a personal sound system,  an instrument, a singing voice. Let me always be an amplifier” hearing-aid” for Your song! 

My friend, once you’ve heard the purity; the truth, in its melody; the love and peace in its harmony, you will know what I mean, you will join us, and your heart will begin its own joyful dance.

Love to you.
Always,
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”.

  •  * * * *
    * * *
    * *
    *

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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Good Friday? Good Sunday!

It is Good Friday.  This is the day of remembrance of how my Lord Jesus suffered the agony of torture and death.
Like the criminal on His right, I believe a part of me hung there and died with Him that day – the dark part that needed to be put to death – in order that I might be saved into eternal life with Him. Like He spoke to that wretched, miserable, condemned man, He still speaks to me today through His Word, with labored breath, gasping one painful word at a time as if we are face to face –
                  “I. Forgive. You.” “You. Shall. Be. With. Me . . .” 

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

His torture and death were my fault in a sense.  (My brothers and sisters argue that it is theirs, which may be true, but I maintain I am the guiltiest)   He went ahead and saved me anyway. He forgave me that fault –  “It’s forgotten,”  He said, graciously.

What kind of Love? . . . I can scarcely fathom.

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

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


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

Thank you victoryinjesus123 for uploading this beautiful video.

Oh, and one more thing – the power of the cross is only the beginning.
The power of His victory over death lies at the doorstep beneath the joyously-open doorway of His empty tomb!
THANK YOU, JESUS!
That hardly seems enough to say,
Yet it is heartfelt.
Father, help me LIVE those three words.

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Oh, Heart! Seek Happiness? Accept Joy!

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Oh, Heart,
is it happiness you seek?
Happiness highly desirable?
Yet dependent?
Elusive happiness?
Happy chasings of things outside yourself?
Oh, frivolous pursuit!
Oh, Fleeting Fates!
Oh, Fickle Muses!
Oh, changing time and seasons!
Oh, whims and peculiarities of others.
Oh, Heart!

The perhaps;
the unhaps.
Ah, to erase,
to replace the un.
Happy-chance relies on happenstance.
The right things need to HAPPEN,
Oh, Heart,
for happiness to come.
Aye, to come, yet it so quickly goes . . .
So often it flees and will not stay in permanence
because something else happened unforeseen,
or didn’t,
or someone loved,
and changed,
or did not,
or lied,
or stole,
or went away,
or stayed the same,
or quit,
or gave up,
or did not last,
or laughed,
or betrayed,
or let chances pass.
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But,
Oh, Heart!
Have you considered Joy?
Joy is different.
It’s beyond definition,
although the world tries to define it,
confine it,
call it an emotion.
The world calls it synonymous with happiness,
But it is far from the same.
Joy is elementally incomprehensible if you don’t have it.
Oh, Extreme,
Oh, Deep,
Oh, Profound,
Utterly overwhelming,
at times,
but not captive of time,
nor whims of others,
nor Fates and Muses,
nor the chase, nor bruises,
save the Great Chase of Christ,
of His children;
His Divine Romancing,
of His bride.
Oh, Heart,
when you slow,
and turn,
and let Him catch your tattered strings,
and you let Him in,
and you see, and touch, and savor
His Joy,
and suddenly it is yours,
Oh, Heart!
Oh, Abiding gift!

Is it, then, Joy you might seek?
Joy so independent of what has happened;
is happening;
will happen?
Joy in knowing,
in enjoying a walk with Jesus,
joining with Jesus,
rejoicing in Jesus?
Great delight?
Rich fullness?
Exceeding gladness, oh, Heart?
Inside your own walls!
Happiness multiplied X times!

To have happiness and Joy together,
oh, Heart, is a precious gift.
But,
take heart,
Joy persists even in sadness.
No one can steal your Joy
unless you let it be taken.

There is unhappiness,
But there is no unjoy.


Joy wells up from deep inside,

Overflows to the outside,
is a living, life-giving, sustaining thing;
is abundant, noticeable, contagious;
is independent of external forces.

As happiness is precarious,
Joy is precise.

As happiness happens to you,
Joy joins with you.
Joy jumps with you!

“Happiness” is mentioned about 30 times in the Bible,
Oh, Heart,

while “Joy” is proclaimed about 300 times!

Happiness runs through your fingers the harder you try to hold it.
Joy wells up, overflows cupped hands,
and is unlimited at its source.

Oh, Heart!
Let the Lord  remake you to contain
even a small vial of the Joy in His glory.

Happiness comes from what happens, Oh, My Heart,
Joy comes from Jesus!

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Listen, Oh, Heart!
Happiness flows in and flows away.
No one knows if it might stay.
But Joy!
Joy, Oh Heart, ever bubbles from its Source.
Welling up endlessly, any time of day,
Or in any season.

Happiness depends.
It needs a reason.

But because He lives in you,
Oh, Heart,
Your Joy will never end.

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© 4-29-13 Gloryteller – L.S.
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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”.

  •  * * * *
    * * *
    * *
    *

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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Good Friday? Good Sunday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you victoryinjesus123 for uploading this beautiful video.

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

Thankful For A Grateful Heart

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Ten thousand million billion moments
With which my life is filled.
Each one shorter than a second,
Less; even shorter still.
Each one begins, and each one ends,
But is not taken away.
And each one has no meaning, then,
At the end of the average day.
Meaningless moments, but for Christ,
Who redeemed them all for me,
Tied them all together,
Made them all to be.
A whole life – a life that begins and ends,
But is not taken away.
As if that were not enough,
He also gave me words to say
A prayer of thanks for a grateful heart,
The gift of which is precious.
A heart to embrace the building joy
Of gratitude for Him, so gracious.
So, I give heartfelt thanks
For the moments,
For the life,
For redemption,
For Christ,
For the gift of a grateful heart,
And for more,
Much more,
I thank You;
Thank You, Lord!


Happy Giving of the Thanks today!

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The Psalm That Is Music To My Soul

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Hallelujah!!!
   Have I found my defining verses?
 My life statement?
My heart’s fondest song? 
There are so many to choose from, but I think this one was chosen for me.
May I quote it for you?  
OK, I will.

Psalm 57:7-11  :

“My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make music.
Awake, my soul !
Awake, harp and lyre !
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of You among the people.
For great is Your love reaching to the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be over all the earth.”

Ohhh, 
I pause,
breathless in absolute wonder of it . . .

Do you have a Bible verse, or set of verses that define your life,
or are your heart’s fondest song? 
Please share them with all of us. 
  We will be blessed to hear them!
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Thankful for a Grateful Heart

* ^*^ *


Ten thousand million billion moments
With which my life is filled.
Each one shorter than a second,
Less; even shorter still.
Each one begins, and each one ends,
But is not taken away.
And each one has no meaning, then,
At the end of the average day.
Meaningless moments, but for Christ,
Who redeemed them all for me,
Tied them all together,
Made them all to be.
A whole life – a life that begins and ends,
But is not taken away.
As if that were not enough,
He also gave me words to say
A prayer of thanks for a grateful heart,
The gift of which is precious.
A heart to embrace the building joy
Of gratitude for Him, so gracious.
So, I give heartfelt thanks
For the moments,
For the life,
For redemption,
For Christ,
For the gift of a grateful heart,
And for more,
Much more,
I thank You;
Thank You, Lord!


Happy Giving of the Thanks today!

Remember, Trust, and Fear Not

* * *
^                ^

I’m like Israel.
I’m always in some stage of forgetting.
Forgetting what God has done for me.
Always in some season of fluctuating lack, or abundance, of trust.
Lacking trust in Him.
Always wandering back and forth in the space between complete remembrance
and idolatry.
Between desperate, abiding trust,
and going aside to find my own way.
Gaining freedom.
Careless with freedom.
Freedom tipping dangerously
back and forth at the edge of destruction.
And so it is with my country.

It is said that great civilizations can’t be destroyed from without,
but easily from within.
I try to fight The Worm inside;
the one who hides its presence.
Insidious.
Parasitic.
Spanning the length of my inner workings.
Feeding, wiggling, waiting.
Trying to poison me gradually,
without my noticing.
But I notice.
I know it’s there
trying to kill the very one who feeds it.
And I try to poison it back.
In anger.
In revenge.
I take poisons to kill it,
or, at least, to drive it out.
But it won’t go,
And that’s killing me . . .

Alas! I have forgotten, once more,
that I can’t, and never could, by myself.
That there is The Saving Promise,
and The Trust in its Maker
that I let fade to my own harm.
I’ve only to remember that He has defeated that Worm.
Has His foot on its neck.
It knows it’s finished, yet
it writhes and thrashes,
and spews its poison,
Attempting to inflict yet one more wound inside.
But it is harmless as long as I remember to trust Him;
to keep Him precisely between myself and that monster.
Remember and trust.
Oh, Israel!
I can’t, even for one moment, forget,
Nor let trust fail.
Nor neglect thanking Him for what He has done, is doing, and will do.
To keep me safe.
And to keep me free.

~So it is with me.~
~And so it is with my country.~

That “Thin Place”

~~~~~~~~~

Sometimes,
Writing a message from My Light,
Or reading one,
Hearing His music,
Kneeling in His worship,
Sitting at His feet,
Or under His cross,
Or walking with Him in this thick hereandnow,
In wonder,
In humility,
Gratefully,
I approach that thin place.
Gracefully,
He allows me to perceive it,
To touch its elusive, wispy certainty,
Delicate, like a hint of misty fragrance,
Even to weave my fingers through it
To sense where The Father is.~
~That holy thin place which, so lightly,
So fleetingly, separates;
So gently lies between
This weighty place,
Where I am,
And eternity.
~ ~ ~

Friendship Matters

^ ~ ~ ~ ^

^ ~ ^

~ ^ ^ ~

(I like a title that can be read two ways.)
(I like how, together, words can play.)

^ ^

A week ago, it came “to light” that:
“Our friendship has made a difference.”
That difference, not just to us (and for us),
although that is very significant to me,
but to the various communities to which we belong.
And not only because we completed a worthwhile project together,
but in the larger sense, in which a 1+1 relationship, when blessed, can equal “3”.
In the matter of friendship, “blessed” is the key word,
for I had been relatively alone, friend-wise,
for many years, in this city,
before He saved and transformed me,
and blessed me in many ways.
Now I have many meaningful Christian friendships.
I understand something of Christian love,
and the love of Father God which surpasses full understanding.
I hadn’t known what I had been missing!



~A treasure greatly precious, and rare,

is the time spent with a close friend.
Life spins and circles smoothly there,
Where, on a bond, one can depend.~

I’m reminded of how Jesus called the unworthy disciples
His friends,
and of how he calls us unworthy believers
His friends.
(We are unworthy by ourselves, but with Him,
our friend IN us,
we are made worthy.)
He taught His friends.
He showed them the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
through His companionship,
through showing them Himself –
His true Self.

He knew this verse:
Proverbs 27:17    “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

~As crystal dust polishes crystal,
so one believer polishes another.~

His brother knew something astute about errant friendship:

James 4:4   “. . . don’t you know that friendship with the world
is hatred toward God?
Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world
becomes an enemy of God.”

Undoubtedly, Jesus is THE best friend that any and every person could have.
(What A Friend  We Have In Jesus)
All that He hears from the Father, He shares with us.
I am His personal friend, and He is mine!
That friendship made, makes, and will make,
the greatest difference in the whole world,
of all time,
for everyone,
forever.

Remember that a friend is more than the condition of having access to someone’s social media page.
It takes more than accepting a digital request to be a real friend.
It takes precious time to be a companion,
~and companionship is the jelly on the bread of friendship.~
To anyone who is “a friend of the world”,
and not a friend of Jesus, you are like I was –
you don’t know what you are missing,
and I say that in the kindest, most compassionate way possible.

The best friendships are based on a mutual relationship with God.
David and Jonathan come to mind as Biblical best friends.
“Let God be between us,” said Jonathan, who had everything to lose,
yet, because of his love,
was loyal in saving brother-in-law, and close friend, David.

Friendship makes a difference! 
And not only to the friends involved,
but in an expanding sphere
which engulfs all creation.

Let God’s blessing be between us, as well,
as it has been,
as He has seen to it that friendship
has indeed inspired this message,
and it matters.

Yes, our friendship has made a difference,
is making a difference,
and will make a positive difference,
just as Jesus’ holy friendships
Have always,
are now,
and always will
make THE BIG difference.
All the difference in the world.
All the difference in His everlasting Kingdom.

Reviewing My Past As I Look Forward To Leaving Time Behind

~ ~ ~ ~
^ ^ ^ ^ ^

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

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

* * * *
^ ^ ^ ^ ^

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty Never Gets Old

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Beauty never gets old
In the eye of its beholder.

~ ~

For it is already old,
And the beholder’s eye sees more
Than it ever expected to allow inside:
The Light of The Eons.

~ ~ ~

__________

A mere wondrous thought of the Ancient of Days.
An idea from His creative mind.
An image of His character.

~ ~ ~ ~

Beauty — an attribute of His Word and Son.
At once ancient, timeless, and present.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

At once, fresh, and young, and new, and most pleasing.
A joy to behold,
Beauty never gets old.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hold it!
Embrace it!
Behold . . . Him!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Beauty never gets old
In the eye of its beholder.
For it is already old,

And the beholder’s eye sees more
Than it ever expected to allow inside:
The Light of The Eons.
A mere wondrous thought of the Ancient of Days.

An idea from His creative mind.
An image of His character.
Beauty — an attribute of His Word and Son.

At once ancient, timeless, and present.
At once, fresh, and young, and new, and most pleasing.

A joy to behold,
Beauty never gets old.
Hold it!

Embrace it!
Behold . . . Him!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The images above hardly begin to portray, nor depict, the beauty of His created works.
Hardly an iota.
Certainly not alpha to omega.
Because:

It is said that Lord Jesus, The Son of God,
The Word Who Is God and was God,
And was with God, at and before The Creation,
Made everything from nothing.
I propose that He made everything, not from nothing,
But from Himself,
Who is Everything at once!
That is why we have beauty.
It is part of His image,
His attributes,
His wonderfulness.
For He IS Beauty.
Lord Jesus is the one, , , true, , ,
Beautiful One!

Gloryteller
8-9-13

 

 

Momentously Graced

~ ~~ ~
^ ^ ^^ ^ ^

Grace comes moment by moment,
Abiding until the next.
Life, a momentary comment,
By grace is momentously blessed.

L< Gloryteller
7-28-13

Previews, Glimpses, Sips, And Samples

~ ~ ~

^^^^^

At a food show, the chef fed us morsels from each course of his famous ten course gourmet dining experience.

The wine steward poured us sample sips of his oldest vintage.
But the actual meals and drinks were beyond our means,
Our ability to fully appreciate,
Beyond our wherewithal…

We were left with our dreams and air-filled beans,
Not that beans aren’t good, mind you…

At the homemade ice cream store, the clerk gave us delicious samples of exotic frozen wonders, but there were too many and we had to decide upon one or two…

We watched the trailer – actually a teaser – of the new blockbuster movie.  We could have watched it right then, but it was a month from release in theaters…

We looked at paint swatches, but they were too small to get the full visual picture of how the whole room would look with those colors…

We saw photographs of architectures and landscape designs for our new home, but each was more beautiful than the last and we couldn’t wrap our head around them, couldn’t decide…

We saw photographs of paintings, which, of course, couldn’t do justice to the real works of art…

We heard samples of music which we knew were not a fair representation of the complete recorded songs, which, themselves, failed to convey the complete experience of watching and hearing the artists play and sing the music before us “live”…

Perfume samples faded too soon…

The smell of lilacs.
We just want them to keep blooming all year
So that we can have the real thing
And not just a pleasant memory…

We saw the digital computerized results of the collisions of subatomic particles moving at nearly the speed of  light.  The pictures are digital because the particles are traveling so fast, their trails are very short, and their “lives” are less than flashes.  The researchers are reasonably certain that they have found the elusive Higgs Boson — the “God particle” — that confers mass upon all matter.  Those particles border upon the unreal in our local timespace, but their effects and their existence is, in a sense, eternal…

So it is to live here in the world of the created universe.
We see but a glimpse of the immense and the miniscule.
Of the quick and even the slow.
Of the true hues and created colors.
But we’re glad to have eyes.

We hear but a whisper of the eternal symphony.
But we’re glad to have ears.

We get only a momentary, fleeting taste of a magnificent feast.
But we’re glad to have the sense of taste.

We are thankful to have senses, but
We’re left with a longing for more,
No, not just more, but a longing for The Real Thing.
The big, full, complete, Real Thing.
All of it!

The thing is:  that God gives us the capacity to experience Him through His created works surrounding us here in our temporary home, the incompletely restored universe.  We have sensory organs, limited as they are, and we have minds which seek to understand, all the while knowing that the completed “big picture” will not be ours.  The complete fullness of God’s Mind, His Power, Majesty, and Glory is beyond our ability to experience.  Not here, not now, not yet.

What is it like to chase an electron?

What is it like to see all the countless wavelengths and hear all the countless frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum?

What is it like to hear the choir of all the stars in all the galaxies singing at once to the Risen Creator-King while all the angels’ voices soar in counterpoint?

What is it like to taste a ten-million-course banquet assembled by a host of angel chefs while the Persons of the Trinity dine at the table with us?

What is it like to see Your face,
Oh, Lord?

We likely will not know these things while alive on this world, but we have faith that we will know when we all hear the worldwide trumpet note that accompanies His returning shout as He comes at last to finish the redemption of all creation and all His people.

Until then, we are blessed, privileged, and gifted
With all of His
Sips,
Hints,
Nudges,
Samples,
Glimpses,
Whispers,
Previews,
Foretastes.

~ ~ ~
^^^^^

Now we see a blurred image in a mirror. Then we will see very clearly. Now my knowledge is incomplete. Then I will have complete knowledge as God has complete knowledge of me.  1 Corinthians 13:12 

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

But as it is written in the Scriptures, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him and wait for Him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9 
[ There are things God hath prepared for those that love him, and wait for him, which sense cannot discover, no teaching can convey to our ears, nor can it yet enter our hearts. We must take them as they stand in the Scriptures, as God hath been pleased to reveal them to us. –Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary]


I Shared My Everything

^~^

^~ ~ ~^

With you

Not only some cash

Not only some time

Not  only my past

Nor pain

Not only my failure and success

My love

True, and again, yes

But most of all I shared my faith

Spurned or embraced

That is all I have that really matters

Even Faith-So-Small

My everything and All-In-All

My joys and my sorrows

To make a difference

THE Difference in hope for your tomorrows

A deposit with endless interest

Awaits you there

When and where

And if you will accept the prayer

Of faith

Of everything with you I gladly share.

Evil Tries, Good God Triumphs

~ ~ ~

Nowhere, Nothing, No-One, Never —

Of Trial and Triumph

~ ~ ~

There is nowhere
Evil can go
that Good can’t reach.

There is nothing
Evil can touch
that Good can’t redeem.

There is no-one
Evil can take
that Good can’t release.

There is not one life
Evil can chain
that Good has not the key.

~ ~ ~

~  ~  ~  ~

Oh, Heart! Seek Happiness? Accept Joy!

^^^

Oh, Heart,
is it happiness you seek?
Happiness highly desirable?
Yet dependent?
Elusive happiness?
Happy chasings of things outside yourself?
Oh, frivolous pursuit!
Oh, Fleeting Fates!
Oh, Fickle Muses!
Oh, changing time and seasons!
Oh, whims and peculiarities of others.
Oh, Heart!

The perhaps;
the unhaps.
Ah, to erase,
to replace the un.
Happy-chance relies on happenstance.
The right things need to HAPPEN,
Oh, Heart,
for happiness to come.
Aye, to come, yet it so quickly goes . . .
So often it flees and will not stay in permanence
because something else happened unforeseen,
or didn’t,
or someone loved,
and changed,
or did not,
or lied,
or stole,
or went away,
or stayed the same,
or quit,
or gave up,
or did not last,
or laughed,
or betrayed,
or let chances pass.
*
But,
Oh, Heart!
Have you considered Joy?
Joy is different.
It’s beyond definition,
although the world tries to define it,
confine it,
call it an emotion.
The world calls it synonymous with happiness,
But it is far from the same.
Joy is elementally incomprehensible if you don’t have it.
Oh, Extreme,
Oh, Deep,
Oh, Profound,
Utterly overwhelming,
at times,
but not captive of time,
nor whims of others,
nor Fates and Muses,
nor the chase, nor bruises,
save the Great Chase of Christ,
of His children;
His Divine Romancing,
of His bride.
Oh, Heart,
when you slow,
and turn,
and let Him catch your tattered strings,
and you let Him in,
and you see, and touch, and savor
His Joy,
and suddenly it is yours,
Oh, Heart!
Oh, Abiding gift!

Is it, then, Joy you might seek?
Joy so independent of what has happened;
is happening;
will happen?
Joy in knowing,
in enjoying a walk with Jesus,
joining with Jesus,
rejoicing in Jesus?
Great delight?
Rich fullness?
Exceeding gladness, oh, Heart?
Inside your own walls!
Happiness multiplied X times!

To have happiness and Joy together,
oh, Heart, is a precious gift.
But,
take heart,
Joy persists even in sadness.
No one can steal your Joy
unless you let it be taken.
There is unhappiness,
But there is no unjoy,

Joy wells up from deep inside,
Overflows to the outside,
is a living, life-giving, sustaining thing;
is abundant, noticeable, contagious;
is independent of external forces.

As happiness is precarious,
Joy is precise.

As happiness happens to you,
Joy joins with you.
Joy jumps with you!

“Happiness” is referred to about 30 times in the Bible
while “Joy” is proclaimed about 300 times!

Happiness runs through your fingers the harder you try to hold it.
Joy wells up, overflows cupped hands,
and is unlimited at its source.

Oh, Heart!
Let the Lord  remake you to contain
even a small vial of the Joy in His glory.

Happiness comes from what happens, oh, my Heart,
Joy comes from Jesus!

*

Listen, Oh, Heart!
Happiness flows in and flows away.
No one knows if it might stay.
But Joy!
Joy, Oh Heart, ever bubbles from its Source.
Welling up endlessly, any time of day.
Happiness depends.
But because He lives in you,
Oh, Heart,
Your Joy will never end.

^^^

© 4-29-13 Gloryteller – L.S.
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Image

Defending His Words With My GPS

Photo of TomTom Go 500

^^^

A GPS plays a special role while traveling strange roads.  It tells us where we are, where to turn to reach our destination, how far we have come, how far we have yet to go, what the speed limit is, and where the landmarks, restaurants, and gas stations are.  It keeps us from getting lost!  It also increases our overall understanding of areas unfamiliar to us.  A GPS can greatly enhance the enjoyment of a trip.

It occurred to me that I, as a writer (and we writers, collectively), have a special role, since our craft is expressed through use of our language.    It matters how we use our GPS……..  GPS?  I see the questions in your eyes.

Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling! 

GPS!

It’s a matter of words – how we string them together in a proper, coherent manner into phrases and sentences.

G,P, and S are our tools –  the paint on our canvasses which color our written thoughts.

They are the instruments by which we give tone and texture, pitch and resonance to the songs of our printed voices.

They are the rich furnishings that embellish an empty house (blank page) and transform it into a home (poem, article, story).

Without the order furnished by the use of good grammar, punctuation, and spelling, (and, here, I must add vocabulary) there is confusion and chaos.  There is reader discomfort.  Instead of the stream flowing smoothly, their cognative canoes encounter obstacles which impede progress.  Instead of the intended float-trip through a beautiful landscape of understanding, there is a laborious detour through a swamp of lost meaning.

Today our language, (both the written and the spoken) is under attack by laziness, carelessness, apathy, ignorance, and lack of meaningful use by the general public. It seems few people actually care anymore about The Queen’s English  (meaning the standard, correct, conventional, most easily-understood-worldwide form of the language).  It is dying a slow death – even in the “media” – even in schools.  Our language is undergoing a deliberate “dumbing down”.  It seems to me that bad grammar, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary are somehow becoming more socially acceptable to many people than good grammar, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary.  To me, that is a very sad circumstance.  The consequences are tangible, for example, when thousands of job applications are rejected for not having been written properly.  It is essential to be able to express one’s thoughts and ideas clearly, concisely, and in an intelligent manner.

As writers, we find ourselves in a unique position.  We have a responsibility, and an obligation to make proper use of our language, not only for our readers’ benefit, and our own benefit, but for the benefit of the English language itself, and Society itself.

I must now state that I am not a journalist, nor an English major.  I’ve never had a creative writing course; the way I write is God-given.  All my knowledge of reading and writing came from grades one through twelve in public school, way back when “reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic” were considered very important, and were taught classically.  There was no “dumbing down” back then, only “smartening up”.  That being said, this post may still contain some GPS errors, but it’s not for lack of trying, and it’s not for lack of caring about English.  I’m no expert, but whatever my shortcomings, I’m still a writer.  Writing is my passion, my delight, and, most importantly, my calling.

As writers, we find ourselves the appointed guardians, supporters, and defenders of  The Language, and not only our language but God’s language;  His words.  HIS WORD.   Writers and readers alike should gain proficiency in GPS and vocabulary, especially if they happen to be reading or writing about The Bible, God’s people, or King Jesus — The Word of God, Himself.

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