Of A Lifetime – This One Great Gift


I close my eyes to write in my head
and I see you.



Then given.
Presented to me;


To have and to hold
in all the ways of having and holding.
To love and be loved
in all the ways of loving and being.
To share the hard stuff – relational stuff –
like patience and kindness,
endurance and longsuffering,
the Battle of Human Failings,
the monotonous work of the ordinary,
the grinding load of day-to-day servitude,
joy and heartbreak,
often mere survival,
yet ordained to survive
because there is only one He gives.
He allows no other while life endures.
And He never leaves nor forsakes,
but comforts and soothes.
Freely gives His grace.
His companionship.
His forgiveness and mercy.
His unconditional blessing.
For us, together.

Yes, I close my eyes to write in my head,
and I see you.
I see the Love that was,
that is,
and that is to come,
and I know that I’m greatly blessed.



Cold Without You – Song of Despair

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* * * * *
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* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Cold Without You

( Vaerse 1 )

What cold, hard stone where I lie,
What bitter womb is this ice,
Bears me down into despair,
The colder that you’re not here,
Don’t seem to be anywhere,
So . . lonely . . . cold.

( Chaurus )

Oh! Have I been a hope-struck fool,
To wait for you,
To make me whole,
Be everything,
To warm my soul,
Thaw my heart –
Make it sing?


How hard the isolation,
I always thought that you’d come,
To take me into the sun,
Before my time is undone,
I can’t endure alone,
So . . broken . . . cold.

( Chaurus 2 )

Here I lay naked on this stone,
My tired bones,
Count all the loss,
Dark, empty cold,
Where have I gone?
What have I done?
Why won’t you come?


Oh! Once I thought I had you.
Soul’s Joy! Just knew I had you,
Was close, but not the real you . . .
Left with nothing all too soon,
How I suffer without you.
So . . shattered . . . cold.

(Chaurus 3 )

I dream it’s warmer where you are,
Won’t you come take me there,
The real you,
The depth of you,
The joy of you,
The weight of you,
I’m . . fading . . . ( soon . . . . ).


Where is the place that you are,
How sad I dream it’s not far,
I sometimes feel you are near,
Cry out, but you never hear,
I’m entrapped in frozen tears,
So . . stranded . . . cold.

( Chaurus 4 )

The warm, rich tapestry of you,
From Elven loom,
My grasp eludes,
Cold, mocking moon,
His chill exudes,
What aching doom,
Rescue . . me . . . soon . . . .


How numbing is this north wind,
How cutting through my pale skin,
How sharp, it pierces my heart,
This winter gnaws me apart,
Once was light, all is now dark,
So dim . . .
So . . . cold . . .

( Chaurus )

Oh! Have I been a hope-struck fool,
To wait for you ,
To make me whole,
Be everything,
To warm my soul,
Thaw my heart –
Make it sing?


Oh! Solitary misery,
This hungry wind devours me,
Your loss and lack I mourn,
All else I could have borne,
How thin my fabric has worn,
So . . deathly . . . cold

( Chaurus )

The warm, rich tapestry of you,
From Elven loom,
My grasp eludes,
Cold, mocking moon,
His chill exudes,
What aching doom,
Rescue . .
me . . .
soon . . . .


© Len Snider, Gloryteller.com, 1-18-2014
All Rights Reserved


What Does Your Heart Treasure? What Does It Hold?

* * * * *

There is a chamber in every heart which is filled to overflowing with sorrow.
There is a larger chamber in every heart made to hold joy, but, unfortunately,
that vessel is oft-neglected, little used, only partially filled,
or sorrowfully empty.













No One Doesn’t

No One Doesn’t

One can push the fact away. Deny it.
Ignore it.
Refuse it.
Reject it.
Decline it.
Or flat turn it down.
The fact is this:
No one doesn’t want love.
Everyone wants love.
Whether they know it or not.
Even needs it, to my mind.
It feeds the soul.
It quenches her thirst.
Shelters her.
Clothes her in glorious splendor.
No one doesn’t long for love.
No one doesn’t!
Like breathing.
You can’t breathe properly, nothing seems right.
Some accept that, many deny it.
But it remains, beyond denial.
Beyond refusal.
Beyond all rejection of the idea.
As nectar remains deep inside the flower.
As life is encased inside the hard, dry seed.
The longing lives in us all.
A smoldering coal.
An unreachable itch.
We search a lifetime to reach, to quench.
I know that in myself.
Ahhh, to love and be loved…
Then sometimes we get close to the true thing.
Happiness, found and satisfied.
Love, at last!
It lasts a lifetime, sometimes.
But even then, a tickle, deep inside a hidden part.
Says, even that was just a shadow behind a veil.
A distant blurred image in smoky air.
The old longing still murmurs and rubs.
But WHYYY?  We rail. This has to be it, or all is lost.
Then we cry out against the One who put it there.
Wait……… The One………
Could there be a reason?
Something more?
A Truth I didn’t see before?
A seed of longing meant for me?
To search and find the one true thing?
God’s everlasting love for me!
The Love that always satisfies!
The Good News of the Prince of Peace!
The perfect Love that makes one free.
It’s the Love by which all other loves are seen.
It’s the Love inside which all other loves exist.
It’s the light by which our souls are lit.
No more itch, no more inner burning.
No more chafing, murmuring.
Except in the longing for more of Him.
Which, we need but ask, He gladly gives.
No one doesn’t long for that.
The proof  is in this overflow.
The love that’s pouring from this pen.
This here, this now, this absolute joy!
From Him, back to Him.
For me, for you.
Deny that, be ignorant of it, refuse it,
Push it away, reject it,
We still need it, want it, live for it.
It’s so deep and wide,
That because of it, out of it, and for it,
Jesus was born, and lived, and died, and arose.
No one doesn’t long for that kind of love.
Not in the soul, one doesn’t.
No one doesn’t long for Love.
No one doesn’t.
No one.

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

Marriages vs. Weddings

Despite my seeming cynicism about the ‘royal wedding’ I have nothing against marriages. (Except maybe the casual kind, the selfish, loveless, or meaningless/vain kinds)   In fact, I’m rooting for Kate and William to be in love and married together forever and to be the shining example of everything God intended marriage to be. I’m rooting for all traditional (no, I’ve no time for that subject) marriages everywhere to be all that God meant them and wants them to be.  I pray that couples will keep Christ the center of their marriages and their lives.  I pray that they make their vows in all sincerity and  call upon the Holy Spirit to help keep them.  The wedding, however has little to do with any of the above except to provide special circumstances in which to make sacred promises to God and to one another.  The obsession with all the worldly trappings surrounding the wedding have little to do with the success of the resulting marriage.  If as much thought, time, planning, dreaming, and praying were applied to the actual relationship, to loving the other person involved, to the realities of a great marriage, then the wedding would become secondary instead of the other way around.  I’m just saying……..

In the end, when Christ comes to “marry” His beloved bride, His Church, the wedding will be wonderful, but the marriage will be forever spectacular.                         I’m out of time. Dear readers please supply the appropriate verses – you’re so good at it!

To Obey Is Obsolete—–Not!

Thanks, Kimmie at Journeytoepiphany for suggesting today’s Brite post!  All morning I have been hearing how Kate and William, the bride and groom in the upcoming royal wedding (royal pain in the neck to some,  hehe,  – and a royal pain in England’s Pocketbook, yikes)  are leaving the ‘obey‘ out of their vows.   Hopefully they know that to love someone is to want to obey them,     therefore obedience doesn’t have to be promised, but is taken as a given.  I still see it as a sign of trouble.  The cumulative worldview is crumbling.  Love and obedience are being snowplowed to the wayside to make room for selfishness and rebelliousness.

And:   Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:23

“I can guarantee this truth: Whoever obeys what I say will never see death.” John 8:51

Want to obey?  These are essential:  Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  Matt 22:37  And:   The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”  Mark 12:31

Commanded to Love!  Implored to obey!  How can we not give Him our best shot?!

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The Basic Christian Library

"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. This is fundamentally what Christianity is all about.

"The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. Another converted atheist presents His compelling case for believing in Jesus.

"Left To Tell" by Imaculee Ilibagiza. This profound work is her own extraordinary story of endurance, discovery of the Holy Spirit, grace, healing, and an astonishingly compelling account of the necessity for forgiveness.

Compelling Christian Fiction Reads

"The Circle" 4-book series by Ted Dekker.
A man is the bridge between two very different worlds. Sound familiar? Can he save both? This T.D. work is brilliant in my book.

"This Present Darkness" and "Piercing the Darkness" by Frank E. Peretti. Tales of spiritual warfare from a unique perspective. Stirred a small controversy, but sold millions. What are we Christians afraid of? Hey, it's fiction!

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