Your Daughter, My Mother

After the church service and worship I am celebrating my mother,
but early this morning I was a little melancholy as you will see:

 

Your Daughter, My Mother

Dear Heavenly “Grand”-Father,
Many years ago; more than twenty-two,
You made Mom a place to live
When she went away
To live with You.

Would You go there today,
Right up to her house,
And give her, for me,
A nice new dress, a flowery skirt,
A pretty blouse?

Would You give her
Nice-looking sandals,
Some beautiful shoes?
Oh Grandpa, today I’m getting the blues . . .

Please tell her I miss her.
We are too far apart.
All the time and the distance,
She’s still in my heart.

Would You put a sparkling
Crown on her head?
Or just hold her hand?
Would You give her, today,
A big Daddy-hug?
The warmest kind as only You can?

And tell her that her prayers for me
Were answered by You,
And are being still,
To this very day.

Tell her I’m finally free.
I’m on Jesus’ path,
I’m following Your Way.
Maybe not all that she hoped and she prayed just yet,
But much closer, Grand-Daddy,
Much closer this day.

Today, she just seems much too far away . . .
So thank her for me.
It’s heavy to bear,
That it’s Mothers Day here and she’s way up there.

But tell her I will soon see her, perhaps!
Until then, maybe give her a dance.
Will you give her a flower?
Lord, give her a laugh?

Tell her that I can hardly wait.
I’ll see her at the garden gate
When I finally come.
The one on the west,
When I have my rest.

Meantime, Grandpa,
Please give her my best,
’til I come.
Your best too, ’cause we love her.
And just because she’s Your daughter;
Just because she’s my mom!


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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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Thank You, My GREATEST Audience

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As a writer, it is of extreme importance that I have an audience.
A readership.
My Highest Lord and Editor has graciously given me that.
I thank Him for you, my reader.
Most of all, I’m extremely thankful for His own attentiveness to my words.
He attends to my words, here, and in prayer, personally.
He listens, He hears, He reads me,
and, best of all, He responds!
So . . .

I thank you, Oh Highest Lord,
For seeing the words from my hands,
For hearing the audible words my mouth has spoken,
For hearing the silent words my mind has formed,
For attending to the words from my pen,
For reading the language of my body,
For embracing the singular manuscript of my soul,
And, most of all, for hearing the words
constantly uttered by my remade, worshipful heart.
I thank You, Lord, for hearing me,
Understanding my prayer,
Attending to the many parts, and forms, and sounds of my voice;
 And responding,
In Your own time,
In your own way,
For my good,
In this holy, ongoing, conversation we have, Lord.
I thank You.

Your Daughter, My Mother

A slightly melancholy look at a child’s love.
A celebration for, and of, his mother.
A prayer for one whose presence was irreplaceable.
A prayer for one whose absence is always felt.
Love You, Mom.
Me


Your Daughter, My Mother

Dear Heavenly “Grand”-Father,

Many years ago; more than twenty-two,
You made Mom a place to live
When she went away
To live with You.
Would You go there today,
Right up to her house,
And give her, for me,
A nice new dress,
A flowery skirt,
A pretty blouse?
Would You give her
Nice-looking sandals,
Or some beautiful shoes?

Oh, Grandpa, today I’m getting the blues….

You chose her to bear me,
I was blessed from the start.
Please tell her I miss her.
We are too far apart.
Would You put a sparkling
Crown on her head?
Or just hold her hand?
Would You give her, today,
A big Daddy-hug?
The warmest kind as only You can?
And tell her that her prayers for me
Were answered by You,
And are being still,
To this very day.
Tell her I’m finally free.
I’m on Your Son’s path,
I’m following Your Way.
Maybe not all that she hoped
And she prayed, not  just yet,
But much closer, Grand-Daddy,
Much closer this day….

Today, she just seems
Much too far away….

All the time and the distance,
That pries us apart.
‘Spite life’s trials and resistance,
She’s still in my heart.
So thank her for me.
‘Cause it’s heavy to bear,
That it’s Mothers Day here and she’s way up there.
But tell her I will soon see her, perhaps!
Until then, maybe give her a dance.
Will you give her a flower?
Lord, give her a laugh.
Tell her I can hardly wait.
I’ll see her at the garden gate –
The one on the west,
When I finally come.

Meantime, Grandpa God, please give her my best.
Your best too, ’cause we love her,
‘Cause You hear all my prayers,
‘Cause You know who they’re from,
And just because she’s Your daughter,
And because she’s my mom!


 

Metaphor Mountain

 

I “love” mountains and I “love” The Mountains.

(I’m using quotation marks because I’m trying to teach myself to use the words “love” and “hate” appropriately, that is to save them for situations in which their true meaning applies)

What I really mean to say is that I like mountains intensely.  In my book, one can only love living entities that one can have some sort of relationship with, like God (especially Him), a person, or perhaps a pet.  Of course the words love and hate can be used metaphorically and that’s the way they are most often used.  You hear it umpteen-zillion times a day. (Wink) I, myself, hate that.  Oops, I dislike that.  It is so common we don’t even notice the frequency of “I love it when”…., or, “I hate it when”. It’s annoying when I hear “I just love your hair, and that purse, I just love that, that’s to die for!”. We all do it, but how did we get so far from the true usage?   Love God with everything you’ve got.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  That’s a tall enough order for the word “love”. Hate the sin, love the sinner! Another mighty tall order, yet, in those two sentences are found the true meaning and usefulness of the words love and hate.

I’ve gotten slightly off the trail. Let’s get back on it: If there were inanimate objects I could love, however, they would be “the mountains”.  I have had, and am having, some wonderful real and metaphorical relationships with them, a few notable individual mountains in particular. If I had a “bucket list”, being in the mountains would be on it right after being with my people.

Mountains have real and metaphoric value in my life because they emphasize several opposing concepts:

Ascending and descending.
Higher and lower.
Danger and safety.
Climbing and falling.
Struggle and peace.
Beauty and desolation.
Heaven and Earth.
Spirit and flesh.
Good and evil.
And the awareness of the proximity of
life and death.

I could expand this list almost endlessly, but you get the point.

Recently, the subject of death has been on my mind. My post, https://gloryteller.com/2013/03/25/one-last-mountain/,  uses ascending a mountain as a metaphor for death.  Perhaps it will become more than a metaphor.  Perhaps I will “meet Death” on the slopes of a real mountain. Most likely it will be a metaphoric mountain that will claim my bodily life.

When I was transformed into a believer, my many and various fears were either taken away completely or were significantly diminished. My almost obsessive fear of death was one that was removed. All that is left is the natural, instinctive, compulsion to preserve my bodily life. Death, to me, is the necessary step I must take to reach Paradise, Heaven, and eternal life in the presence of my Lord and my Heavenly Father. Yet, it dawned on me that perhaps I’m taking death too lightly. Is it really a natural part of life? Is there nothing that can be done about it? If it is normal and natural, should anything be “done” about it?

I subscribe to the school of thought that death is a corruption thrust into a creation that was perfect before selfishness turned into sinfulness and spoiled the whole plan. I also believe that there is something that should be, and can be, done about death, and that is to believe, and believe in the Savior, who was sent to vanquish it. Death is the consequence of our sinful nature, but He accepted true death in our places, so that we would not have to face the permanent consequences of our selfishness. Jesus defeated selfishness with selflessness! Everything that should and could be done about the problem of death has already been done! Problem solved! Done! Over! Finished! But only for believers in the One who did it perfectly and died for it perfectly! (I’ll leave it to you to discern and comprehend the larger, more complex, concept of death beyond the relatively simple death of a body.)

So, that being said, perhaps I still don’t really know enough about death, nor the process through which it will take me. Perhaps when the moment comes, I’ll be unprepared and I might succumb to fear, or find out that everything I thought I knew was wrong. It only happens once, and, although there are those who claim to have returned to their bodies, or returned from Heaven or Hell after they died, I suspect that death is an individually unique occurrence to which the testimonies of others have little value. There is only one person I personally know who has returned from death – my Lord and Savior, Jesus. I only trust what He said about it. That is recorded in the New Testament.

To climb a mountain, it is vital to be prepared. It’s interesting that the word “vital” comes from Latin roots meaning “relating to life, or the quality of being alive”. In my case, it means being able to preserve my life and my ability to stay alive throughout the whole journey; until the adventure is completed. I must pack the essential food, water clothing, and first aid supplies. I must have a map of the area and the route to the top either in my “head” or in my pack. I must be in good physical condition. I must have a positive mental attitude. I must have skills and knowledge, and be able to use them wisely. I must read extensively about the subject. I also must know how to pray and talk to the only One who will be my companion all the way. There will be only one chance to “get it right”.

Preparing to summit a mountain is like anticipating both bodily and metaphysical death – knowledge about what will kill you, makes you stronger. The stronger you are, the more likely a good outcome. The Bible says every person will die, then live again in an eternal body. The only question is “ which of two eternal ‘places’ will a person exist in after that”. I choose life – abundant life – with God.

Yes, that metaphoric mountain rises before me, and yes, evil will stalk me all the way up, but, before me, Jesus walked, and fell, and died, and lived again on that final mountain so that I would need to fear no evil; so that I would not have to fall, and break, and die before reaching the summit. His Spirit will accompany me and I will rely on His strength as I get weaker on my journey to the top, where He, Himself, awaits my arrival. From this land’s end until The Endless Land, I will trust God and believe in The Son of Man, and that not a moment too soon, for now, day breaks the gloom of night, and I can begin to see my humbling,        huge,        sobering,         mysterious,       towering,        massif on the horizon.

^^^

An Expanded Prayer To My Father In Heaven

 

My Father

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

I Would Rather Live My Life….

I Would Rather Live My Life….

 

I would rather live my life believing there is a God and die to find out there isn’t than live my life believing there isn’t a God and die to find out there is.” – Albert Camus

This statement sounds good at first glance doesn’t it? Perhaps a good starting point for a journey of faith? If one looks more closely, it is, however, lacking. It barely scratches the surface. What about knowing there is a God? What about knowing God personally? What about knowing we are loved and treasured? What about knowing exactly how He wants us to live our lives? What about knowing that Jesus is our personal Savior, Lord, and risen King? What about reading what He has to say about all this in His own Words? What about knowing exactly who we will face when we die, and also what happens after that?

I would rather live my life knowing my Creator God, my Lord and Savior, and what He says about Himself – and me – than to live my life wondering and speculating about Him.” LS<

Another Divine Paradox

Another Divine Paradox

And then I considered Job…….

 

“Oh, Divine paradox that trials may be desirable,
That attack indicates being on the right track,
That oppression can be a positive expression,
That the enemy’s wrath means I’m on the right path,
That God weaves the brambles of satan’s discouragement into a soft, glorious, robe of encouragement.

 

When I was newly born-again I was warned that I would be attacked because the devil considered me vulnerable.  It happened several times, but I withstood because forewarned was forearmed!  But, as I grew in faith, and with the passage of time, that warning wore off.  Now, every time I drop my guard, the debbil is ready and very willing to punch me where it hurts, especially just when I feel I’m getting closer to God.  It seems that he attacks when threatened.  Doesn’t want to be forgotten by his old pal who has betrayed and forsaken him.  He wants his revenge, no doubt.  The ultimate stalker.  The quintessential murderer.  Should we take it as a sign that we are on the “right track” with the Lord when we are sore-oppressed by the enemy?  I think so, yes.   “Because God redeems even this….”
By this be encouraged, oh People.  Be forewarned, and stand your ground.
Remember, the more worthy the adversary, the more cunning and vicious satan’s attack.  Be a worthy adversary!

(each time God sits a writer down to write, satan knows he’s lost another fight)
wink 😉
LS<

 

 

By Grace Un-Limited

 

By Grace Un-Limited

 

Oh, Lord, I have swum astounded, deep into clear Hawaiian lagoons

Holding my breath in the pressing foreign world

On my own before I knew You

In rocky marine corridors where fear is, and faith calls

Twenty feet down in discomfort, but not crushed

Where beautiful creatures live and breathe effortlessly

Looking up in urgency, life and light seemed much too far away

Yet I rose up from distress and received life through Your mercy.

 

Oh, Lord, I have climbed to dizzying heights in the Rockies

Only on Your power, not my own, amazed that You allowed it

Where breathing became gasping and cold winds blew

Where even clouds and birds played far below my perch

And glorious formations waited for me to stand upon them

Inhospitable, the threatening no-man’s-land, even dangerous

Hesitation overcome by hope of life renewed

In flatter places well-made for my warmth and breath.

 

Oh, Lord, I have delved deep  into vast, southern subterranean chambers

Where squeezing darkness rules in uneasy peace

Where tunnel and precipice wait and bat wings warn

Where immeasurable  crushing weights loom overhead

Where magnificent earthly artwork poses to be admired

Exploration of being — of Spirit, of Earth, and of Spirit again

Who am I to be adventuring out of self and into You who creates

From a Living Love so unrestricted, so infinite, so boundless?

 

Oh, Lord, Your grace has pulled my heart, my mind, my very soul

Strongly, surely, toward quick-receding limits

Then beyond limits where that beautiful grace can be grasped

Where hope, and faith, and mercy can be held, and felt, and measured

Where peace is palpable, and there is no end

Where Your very Love can be embraced, and seen, and heard

And where, only through Christ, my being, my existence, my overwhelming joy

Is released, freed, and un-limited from the ends of Earth into Life Without End.

 

Copyright by Len Snider, Gloryteller   11-1-12

 

 

Too Much Me In Me

 

 

Too Much Me In Me

 

There’s too much me within me, Lord

There’s too much me in me

So much too much I wish you’d take

Away the excess You don’t need

Then more’s the room You’ll make

For work and glories You can use

Lord, empty all the wasted me

Replace the empty space with You!

Love’s Deep

Love’s Deep

 He awoke suddenly, startled into full consciousness from a deep sleep. It was the reverberation of the dream that had roused him. He blinked and turned onto his back. From experience, he knew that when he awoke right after having a dream that he could remember that dream, but this was different. It was as though the memory had preceded the waking. It had been so intense, so vivid, so full of implications that weren’t apparent at the moment. So…….. intentional………

 He had just opened the door to one of the stalls in Grandpa’s old red barn so that he could get his riding mower and cut the grass around the house. He had paused for a moment, turning to enjoy the clear blueness of the Spring sky and the excited singing of the birds, when he saw her walking toward him from the direction of the house. His beautiful young wife was smiling as she approached. She was full of life and showed it in the confident way she carried her tall, slim frame, and in the way she was dressed. Today she was wearing a black, form-fitting dress with white trim circling the neckline, the sleeves, and the bottom hem. There was quite a contrast between her dress and his short-sleeved blue work shirt, jeans, and boots, as well as between her light hair and eyes that matched the sky, and his dark hair and deep brown eyes. As she came closer, he remembered that she had a Ladies’ Group meeting at church at ten o’clock this morning. She was coming out here to say goodbye. That was sweet of her. He felt his love for her welling up as it always did at the mere sight or thought of her. He ‘drank in’ her look, from her long, straight, light brown hair, to her blue eyes, to her amazing lips framing an even more amazing smile. He also ‘drank in’ the look in her eyes. The look of love she usually had for him was unusually intense this morning! It was remarkably deep, even mysteriously so. Enthusiastically ardent. Strongly, deeply emotional. Then the touch of her hands on his face was tender, implying a deep spiritual desire; her kiss, intimately personal, fervently powerful, her affection fiercely burning, evoking blazing bonfires and wild horses galloping, their muscles rippling. Enigmatically, mysteriously inexplicable, it was. He had heard of unconditional love, but this time it was palpable – graspable in a new way, and solidly unchangeable. And now the surfaces and interfaces between them were disappearing and they were somehow moving into each other, not necessarily becoming one, not this moment, but inhabiting one another completely. This was the way they both wanted to stay forever. This was love. Maybe seconds, maybe millennia later, she withdrew from the embrace, running her hands down his arms. Squeezing each others’ hands, they still inhabited each other – occupied each other, their eyes locked, arms still reaching toward the other. Transfixed in wonder, he had never known such a loving feeling directed toward himself. He watched her turn………. and then he was awake and alone in awe and frustration in his dark bedroom.

 The dream, itself had only lasted a few seconds. Short, as dreams go, it was over much too quickly. “And, how strange,” he thought, as he reflected on it. “We were so young………..”

 He was sixty-eight now. Grandpa had been dead for fifty years. After Grandpa had passed on, his dad and he had taken over the farm Grandpa built. Four-hundred acres of row crops, pastures, livestock facilities, and grain storage buildings had been a handful. After Mom died, Dad was never the same. His windmill no longer turned in the wind and he had died too. Then he, Dave, and his new wife, Mary, had run the place until it became too much for them and they leased out the croplands on shares. He still called it “Grandpa’s farm”, though, and the barn was still “Grandpa’s barn”. That part was true to life, but in the dream he was young, and the worst part of all was that the young ‘wife’ in the dream was not Mary………. . Mary had been beautiful, yes, but she’d had dark hair and hazel eyes. And she had died three years ago. But his dream had seemed so real. The girl was a stranger, yet had ‘really been’ his wife. It was like another reality – a different life. And her love – the love between them was real – overwhelmingly real. “Get a hold of yourself, Dave,” he muttered to himself.

 “Ohhhh God, You know I’ve been so lonely, why would You do this to me? It felt like I was cheating on the memory of my Mary. What was the good in that?

Why would You show me a love like that, so intense, so powerful, when even my true love, Mary, and I hardly ever had moments that deep?”

He thought about the overwhelming, intensely deep, real love he had experienced in the dream. He wanted that so badly. How could a man taste that and not pursue it forever? His silent inner-weeping welled up.

“Ohhhh, Lord ………..”

 Then a quiet voice spoke so intensely into his soul that his whole body jerked:

That’s The Way I Love You” …………….

The revelation swirled through him, his whole being tingling. The realization that it was true permeated his being with a warm joy, a welcome peace……..

 “Ohhhh, my Lord, I never knew it was like that.”

His whole being was being flooded with astoundingly wonderful word-pictures. The Lover and the Beloved. Visions filled with fragrance, with music, with flavor, and color:

Love’s deep, yearning pursuit…….

Love’s deep, longing, desire……….

Love’s deep summoning……………..

Love’s deep, fiery-wild embrace…..

Love’s deep, caring concern…………

Love’s deep, all-inhabiting indwelling.

Love’s deep Romance……………………..

Your Deep, YOURS, my Lord …………………….. Oh, how You romance us! And that is only part of it, isn’t it. That’s only the tip of the iceberg that my human heart can perceive, isn’t it? But….. but, Lord, I still don’t understand why You didn’t use my Mary to show me……………………..”

You had to know the difference.

…………………………………………….“ Yes, You are sufficient, Lord. I’ve been needing something, but I just didn’t know what. I feel a lot better, Lord, and I thank You. You love me that much?

Now and evermore have I loved you both.”

I only wish I could return that kind of love”………..

You can, in your way. It is within you.

He tried and tried to find the right words to describe the miraculous encounter, the precious revelation. How could he tell it to others? Love’s selfless deep? Love’s wondrous deep? Love’s unreserved deep? Love’s unconditional deep? It was so mind-boggling. Love’s fathomless deep! Yes that’s it!

Be vigilant, child. Your commission is set. Now find your new heart.”

He tried to go back to sleep and continue the dream. Once in a great while, that actually worked………..…………………

 The next morning was Sunday morning. He got ready for church with a new passion for praise and worship of his Almighty Loving Father and Savior. He had a feeling that this service would be special.

 He was drawn to sit toward the back of the auditorium, on the left side. He usually sat in the center, but the center seemed too crowded. As the soft pre-worship music permeated the large space, he became aware of the conversation of the two ladies who sat in front of him. He was not one to eavesdrop, yet he couldn’t help but gather bits and pieces of their conversation, mostly from the one on the right who spoke rather too loudly and too much. He determined that the lady on the left, who was more soft-spoken, was visiting from out-of-state. She seemed about his age. There was something about a young man, possibly her son. Something was all wrong. He was in love with the wrong girl, perhaps. He saw a tear roll down her cheek, and heard the words “lonely”, and “Joe”, and, “ intense personal relationship”, and “ he loves so deeply”.

 “Looks like I’m not the only one thinking about love today,” he thought.

 The worship songs were fervent and meaningful. The message by Pastor DeWayne wasn’t about love, as he had expected, but was about rescue and redemption, which, when he thought about it, had a lot to do with love. The end of the service was coming too quickly for him.“Now it’s time to stand and form groups of three or more to pray for each other,” said the pastor. Since Dave was part of the church’s prayer team, he knew what to do. There was no-one close except for the two ladies in front of him, so he leaned forward and said, “How can I pray for you sisters this morning? My name is Dave. Do you have any prayer needs? I, personally have some back pain I could use some intercession for, but mostly I have praises.”

 “Oh, I have some arther-itis in my fingers that’s been botherin’ me,” stated the one on the right, the louder and shorter of the two, “I’m Betty and this is Sarah. She’s from Texas, ya know,” she inserted, before the taller, more reserved woman could respond. “Pleased to meet you,” everyone said at once.

 “Let’s join hands, if that’s all right, and form a circle. You know Jesus said that wherever two or three or more gather in His name, He will be there in their midst.” They did, and Dave poured himself into praying for Betty’s fingers, and into praises for their Lord. Betty prayed about Dave’s back, rather too long. “Amen,” Dave smiled to himself when she finished.

 “Sarah, you haven’t said much. You don’t have to be shy around here. Isn’t there something we can pray for you?”

 “Well, it’s complicated, but I think I’m okay. Thank you so much for the thought. I have mostly praises myself, like you said.”

 “No she’s not okay,” blurted Betty. “She’s all in a tizzy because she dreamed of this young man last night and she felt like she was cheatin’ on the memory of her husband, Joe. On top of that, she’s been beside herself with loneliness – jist emptiness, poor thing, since Joe passed. Could we please talk to God about that?”

 “I can relate, Sarah,” Dave said softly with compassion, “I lost my wife, Mary, too.” He felt Sarah’s discomfort. The hand he was holding began to sweat and so did his. Her hand was so soft……. . What Betty had said began to sink in.

 “I told you all that in confidence, Betty,” she said calmly, “But you missed the point. God used that dream to show me His immense love for me, and I’m at peace now. She looked at her hand in Dave’s. His hand was so strong…… . She began to blush. Dave looked at her face. She was downright pretty! That smile looked very familiar. His face began to flush.

“Uhhhh, what’s goin’ on here,” Betty demanded.

Dave noticed that he had dropped Betty’s hand and that he was holding Sarah’s in both of his.

 What was going on? Dave’s eyes met Sarah’s clear blue eyes and hers met his deep browns. And in that moment they knew their new hearts.

 “Sarah, did you, by any chance, ever have a black dress with white trim?”

 Her eyes began to fill with tears. “Did you ever have an old barn?”

 “Yes, and I still have it!” they both exclaimed.

 (“Now and evermore, I have loved you both, He said.”)

 With that, an increasing knowing passed between them and they began the long fall into the Deep of one another. No, not the depths. That’s another thing. The Deep – not a place, but a state of being! It was the manifestation of His all-encompassing, all-pursuing, all-inhabiting Romance imparted from God to person and from person to person, the Deep calling to the Deep , the Deep occupying the Deep, the Deep exquisitely alive in the Deep!

 “Selfless Deep?” Dave asked, wide-eyed.

 “Yes. Wondrous Deep?”

 “That’s right. Unreserved? Unconditional?”

 “Love’s Fathomless Deep?” They both began to giggle like children.

 By now, Betty was beside herself, feeling very left out. “You two know each other, right? Or is this some kind of coincidence? You’re speakin’ your own language. Please, give me a clue.”

 “More like a Godincidence, Betty,” quipped Dave without ever taking his gaze from Sarah’s eyes.

 “My friend, we have a lot to explain. We will fix your befuddlement,” said Sarah warmly. “I met Dave last night in my – our – miraculous dream, then in person just now. We knew each other – know each other. It’s hard to explain but we have been given something, and have been shown something very special that is going to knock your socks off! First we will tell you all about it, then we will tell the whole world. Spreading the message of His universal love for His people is the mission He is calling us into as we speak. It’s as though He is outfitting us with everything we need for a long journey. He is strengthening our connection with each passing second.”

 (“Your commission is set, He said”)

 “That’s the truth, my dear. Let me take you both to lunch and we will fill you in, Betty,” Dave proposed, never letting go of Sarah’s hand. “Sister, God’s love for each of us is so much, well, more than we ever thought, or knew. You’re not going to believe the way God loves you, and He’s telling us that we could use your personal testimony as an eye witness to our miracle as we travel, if you are feeling the strong pull of the Holy Spirit in that direction.”

 “If only you knew,” now Betty’s emotions were rising. “I’ve been needin’ something myself. Been feelin’ restless, and I’ve been havin’ thoughts and dreams and ideas about goin’ out and tellin’ the good news of Jesus. I never much thought I would be a good evangelist, but the good Lord has been preparin’ me in little ways that I didn’t much notice until now. I had a feelin’ He would send somebody to me sooner or later. That’s the way He works. He sends jist the right person at jist the right time. His timing is always good. I was kinda hopin’ for Him to send a sister………..or a man……………but, anyway, I cain’t wait to hear what He revealed to you two. I love to hear personal testimonies and you must have a doozie! I love to tell mine too. It’s jist little and simple, but there is great power even in a little story about Him. Yep, I think the fields are white for the pickin’ and I’m ready to go, I’m ready to learn and grow and give my life to Kingdom work! Oh! Praise the Lord, I’m so blessed! Yes! I’m up for lunch and I cain’t hardly wait to learn from you two. This is my calling, I jist know it! You’re not gonna believe how much I like to talk. Prolly too much! Oh, my heavens, I’m doin’ it again aren’t I? Hahahaha!”

 Dave and Sarah smiled intently as they heard every word Betty said, hearts beating wildly, hand in hand, and all the while immersed in the rich, deep, love inside each-other’s eyes.

It’s something like this……

Copyright © by Lenn Snider 5-3-2012

All Rights Reserved

Your Daughter, My Mother

A slightly melancholy look at a child’s love.

A celebration for, and of, my mother.

A prayer for one whose absence is always felt.

Love You, Mom,

Me

Your Daughter My Mother

Dear Heavenly “Grand”-Father,

Many years ago; more than twenty-two,

You made Mom a place to live

When she went away

To live with You.

Would You go there today,

Right up to her house,

And give her, for me,

A nice new dress, a flowery skirt,

A pretty blouse?

Would You give her

Nice-looking sandals,

Some beautiful shoes?

Oh Grandpa, today I’m getting the blues….

Please tell her I miss her.

We are too far apart.

All the time and the distance,

She’s still in my heart.

Would You put a sparkling

Crown on her head?

Or just hold her hand?

Would You give her, today,

A big Daddy-hug?

The warmest kind as only You can?

And tell her that her prayers for me

Were answered by You,

And are being still,

To this very day.

Tell her I’m finally free.

I’m on Jesus’ path,

I’m following Your Way.

Maybe not all that she hoped and she prayed just yet,

But much closer, Grand-Daddy,

Much closer this day.

Today, she just seems much too far away….

So thank her for me.

It’s heavy to bear,

That it’s Mothers Day here and she’s way up there.

But tell her I will soon see her, perhaps!

Until then, maybe give her a dance.

Will you give her a flower?

Lord, give her a laugh.

Tell her that I can hardly wait.

I’ll see her at the garden gate –

The one on the west,

When I finally come.

Meantime, Grandpa, please give her my best.

Your best too, ’cause we love her.

And just because she’s Your daughter,

And because she’s my mom!


Rejoice! Rejoice With All Your Might! Rejoice!

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think, in some way, about Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Today is no different. Wait, it is different, for today is the Church’s official celebration of that creation-changing, world-changing, life-changing Day.  Today, let there be loud singing and joyous dancing.  Let there be massive celebration over all the Earth,  for our Jesus is alive!  Let there be all of that, but, most importantly, let Him be the Lord of your life.

 Rejoice!

Rejoice, My Soul – All People, Rejoice!

I celebrate this holiest

Of all the days of holiness,

For as the sun appears to rise

In the East,

The Son of God did arise

On Easter – Resurrection Day,

The greatest Day the Lord Has Made.

I rejoice and I am exceedingly glad in it,

For my Savior lives!

Oh, Lord, He lives!

Now and forever, He lives!

And because He lives,

So can I!

For my heart, too, was sealed

With hardened stone

And in that darkened tomb

Dwelt death.

With tender touch He moved

The hardened part away

To let in light and life

So death was put to death.

The Holy Spirit Jesus sent

Was sent to live in me.

As Christ began to breathe again

I felt my spirit leap.

It leapeth still in Heaven’s realm

So graciously removed from hell

That I can only raise my hands and say

Rejoice, all people, rejoice!

Hallelujah, praise God, rejoice!

For our Savior lives and breathes in us.

He arose, he conquered bitter death, and saved.

He does that, still, today!

With love,

Your gloryteller

Re-posted For Resurrection Sunday,  4-8-2012

Dawning

This Dawn Will Endure

 

Dawn opens its sleepy eyes slowly                       

One at a time, softly blinking

To behold dimly the horizon in waking

Always amazed with the revealing

Beginnings, ever-refreshing

Impatient to see expanding light

So terribly long it could but dream of sight.

As it had been blind in the slumb’ring

~~~~~~~~~~~

The dawn is a seriously great metaphor!

The light increasing, the sun rising.

Well, here’s what “dawned” on me:

God !   That Jesus, my Savior lives!

The Son literally rising in my life!

~~~~~~~~~~~

We Jesus-followers all have our own special story about how Jesus “dawned” on us.

The sun also “sets”, and the love of The Son “sets” us to testifying of His Kingdom, of His saving grace, and of His great glory!

And we pray for those who haven’t truly seen the dawn.

Oh, Lord, let that Dawning spread wide, covering your people from horizon to horizon.  Amaze them at Your revealing, Lord.  Make them impatient to awaken.  Make them to see that when the Dawning of Christ arrives, it will endure forever in their lives.  Amen

Proverbs 4:18 – The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.

The Day Will Come

Howdy y’all,

Chaff here again and mighty glad to be.  This is another day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

I’m writing today about that Harold Camping guy.  I mentioned him in my first and second blogs, (go here to review ) seems like a long time ago.  I’ve learnt a lot since then, thank God, and thank my cousin, Gloryteller, and my wonderful wife, Millie Jean.

Well, Mr. Harold Camping is at it again.  He says October 21, 2011 (TODAY) is THE day when Christ will come and this old world will end – the day of so-called rapture.

(Well, let me back up here and say there is lots of argument about the “rapture” and whether Christ will come then or later, or whether His coming is one event or two, or whether some people will be left here after the believers are taken.  It doesn’t matter!  All that matters is that He will come and take us believers with Him)

Harold Camping could be right.  It could be today jist as much as any other day.  But exactly when or how it will happen NO-ONE KNOWS.  According to the Bible, the “big event” will come as a surprise on an ordinary day jist like any other day.  Maybe a day when we least expect it – like a day when some pretender predicts it – a day jist like today.

I heard some women on the news say that if  Mr. Camping is right, he wins, but if he’s wrong we all win.  They have it so wrong and so right.  The believers I know welcome the day when Christ comes to take us with Him and ALL PEOPLE WILL BOW ON THEIR KNEES TO HIM.  Of course the non believers will soon find out their judgement and it won’t be a good day for them.  No wonder they think that if the world remains intact and whole it is a good day for them.

I, for one, can hardly wait to see my Savior, so that day WILL BE the best day of my life here, and it will be my entrance into eternity with God and His Son.  I don’t know, Eternity probably isn’t even measured in days.  It could be like one, endlessly beautiful GREAT DAY.

So how about y’all?  Will the last day be a great day for you, or a horrible day?  It is important that you think about that and be prepared.   The keys to Life or Death are layin’ on the table in front of you.  Please, please, my friend.  Choose LIFE!

Blessings to ya’ll,

Chaff

 

Be Careful What You Name Your Kids

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

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

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

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

Bloggin Is Hard

Chaff Rantley, back agin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chaff

Wrensong

In Iowa,  in the Fifties, a boy  began a journey. Walk a ‘ways’ with him.   Read Wrensong here.

Upstream Run

This brite post is a tribute to a good man, Les Wenger.  As husband, father, uncle, and friend, Les will be sorely missed.  The story “Upstream Run” was conceived to honor his memory.  Thanks to his family: Mary G., Diane, Andrea, Gerald, and Peter for their indispensable parts in the creation of this post.  Please go here to view Andrea and Peter’s  beautiful tribute.  Then click here to read my story, “Upstream Run” written to honor Les, and to glorify God.  Most of all, thank You my awesome Lord God for giving me so much.

Les Wenger

Your Daughter, My Mother

After the church service and worship I am celebrating my mother, but early this morning I was a little melancholy as you will see:

Your Daughter My Mother

Dear Heavenly “Grand”-Father,

Many years ago; more than twenty-two,

You made Mom a place to live

When she went away

To live with You.

Would You go there today,

Right up to her house,

And give her, for me,

A nice new dress, a flowery skirt,

A pretty blouse?

Would You give her

Nice-looking sandals,

Some beautiful shoes?

Oh Grandpa, today I’m getting the blues….

Please tell her I miss her.

We are too far apart.

All the time and the distance,

She’s still in my heart.

Would You put a sparkling

Crown on her head?

Or just hold her hand?

Would You give her, today,

A big Daddy-hug?

The warmest kind as only You can?

And tell her that her prayers for me

Were answered by You,

And are being still,

To this very day.

Tell her I’m finally free.

I’m on Jesus’ path,

I’m following Your Way.

Maybe not all that she hoped and she prayed just yet,

But much closer, Grand-Daddy,

Much closer this day.

Today, she just seems much too far away….

So thank her for me.

It’s heavy to bear,

That it’s Mothers Day here and she’s way up there.

But tell her I will soon see her, perhaps!

Until then, maybe give her a dance.

Will you give her a flower?

Lord, give her a laugh.

Tell her that I can hardly wait.

I’ll see her at the garden gate –

The one on the west,

When I finally come.

Meantime, Grandpa, please give her my best.

Your best too, ’cause we love her.

And just because she’s Your daughter,

And because she’s my mom!


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