Good Friday – The Expense of Safety

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A Good Friday Story –
The Expense of Safety

The ferry to safety was ready to depart.
Special admission only.
One stringent ticket stand
With a long line.
I had not the standing,
Nor the price of admission.
I stood forlorn in fear that
I would be tortured and killed.
Then a Man stepped up.
He gave me His ticket with a smile.
And just in time!
He paid my price!
I stood astonished,
Forgetting even to thank Him,
As they cruelly restrained Him,
Beat Him down,
Dragged Him away
To what fate I couldn’t know,
Didn’t want to guess. . .
In horror, I watched
As I walked backward
And stepped onto the departing boat.
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Cold Without You – Song of Despair


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φ

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?

2.

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?

3.

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 . . . . ).

4.

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 . . . .

5.

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?

6.

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 . . . .

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

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What Does Your Heart Treasure? What Does It Hold?

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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.

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Evil Tries, Good God Triumphs

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Nowhere, Nothing, No-One, Never —

Of Trial and Triumph

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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.

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The Expense of Safety

A Good Friday Offering

The sole ferry to safety was ready to depart.
Special admission only.
One solitary ticket stand.
Last chance.
I had not the standing,
Nor the price of admission.
I stood forlorn in fear,
I would certainly be tortured and killed.
Then a Man stepped up.
Radiating such undisguised love,
Unveiled compassion.
He gave me His own precious ticket with a smile.
No hesitation.
He paid my price.
Dooming Himself.
Bewildered, I caught hold of it.
I stood astonished,
Forgetting even to thank Him in my haste,
As they cruelly beat Him down,
Dragged Him away,
To what fate I couldn’t know,
Didn’t want to guess.
My fate . . .
In horror, I watched
As I walked backward
And, not nearly grateful enough,
Stepped onto the boat.

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Beyond My Understanding

 Beyond My Understanding

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.    Proverbs 3:5

Way beyond my understanding.
All I know is
It was a miracle that remains
And the miracle was a gift
Delivered to crumbling doorstep
Outside my sagging door locked tight
Nailed shut,
Yet breached,
It sat inside on rotting floor
Shining to be opened.
To be believed past unbelief
By miracle, not my doing.

Gift

It is salvation wrapped in grace undeserved.
The gift of faith to see hope once unseen.
A new heart unchained
Full with compassion
And repentance like a changing wind.
Heart to feel abundant love long unfelt
And mirror eyes to see myself as I am seen
Then others too, the same.
And mercy, charity, a call to pray,
A heart to sing, a heart to praise,
Hands to raise, a Book to read
All unwrapped and taken out,

When gift, upon gift, inside gift, unveiled
Then took away all fears and doubts
Healed my aching soul complete
And full and whole, then more, and more
A heart to tell of gifts and Glory,
Of His Great Love,

Holding out poor offerings,
And gratitude, a heart of thanks, 
I thank you JESUS, thank you LORD!
That You should care for me.
To rebuild my house,
To give me gifts,
To give me Yourself.

Oh, Miracles beyond my dull understanding,
Though nothing is beyond Yours,
I can but sit in rejoicing gratitude.
And no better gift
Nor more precious treasure
Could forever enter
Through my splintered door.

Carrier!

Carrier!

 Do Not be alarmed by what I have to tell you.
How do I phrase this? ……………………… I’ve been infected.

Years ago, I was exposed. The infectious agent was introduced into my heart through an opening that had not been there before. It was my own doing that it was left open, though. I meant to do it because I had made a choice. I had chosen to invite Salvation in, and thus was exposed to The One Truth, and The Only Life. I was immediately overwhelmed and taken over! Infected! Much like a computer is “infected” by downloading a foreign program that takes over its operation. Much like a human virus that, once inside you, replicates inside one’s cells, not killing, (although I did die to my old self) but changing the DNA. Thus I succumbed.

As a side note, do you know that some scientists propose that nearly 10% of the human genome (the entire “code” of human genetic information) is composed of leftover viral DNA that humans have carried around in their own genes for many thousands of years?

In a like manner, I have been carrying “Heavenly information” left within me by the infecting power of Holy Spirit. I am a Carrier! I have been imparted, and implanted, with belief in the Good News of Jesus Christ! Being a Carrier of information this important, and because of the nature of this glorious infected state, I have a driving need, a compulsion, a commission, to pass it on to others. That’s not so difficult since it’s airborne and contagious.  Those who have developed resistance through long exposure to the enemy’s anti-Body, may take longer by varying degrees.  But, sharing a few words of my own testimony, of the wonder of my own infectedness, or of Jesus’ great love for the prospective infectee often has the desired effect. The agent I carry is so infective that the mere sight of me carrying this Life, this Joy, is sometimes enough to transfer it. Often, I share a gift of food, or supply needed materials that I’ve liberally infused with Holy infectedness, and they catch it.  Other times I have to leave seed and spore of the Good News where the Spirit bids, and He sees to it that it infects and grows in His good time.

I was infected by a Christ-follower. That’s the only way it can be spread, but it can spread fast when fellow carriers each do their part to make more carriers.

The thing is, once this infecting Agent is fully established in the heart, in the very DNA, it is there for good. I mean that in every sense of the word.  I have never heard a person say they wish it hadn’t happened.  Truth, Salvation, Life, and His unfathomable Love are infectious like that.

My Friend, There’s Someone I’d Like You To Meet

My Friend, There’s Someone I’d Like You To Meet

Early on, I saw him from afar.  He was ordinary and plain, dressed poorly in dirty clothing.   Yet, he carried himself with a certain dignity.  I moved on and forgot about him……

Until miles later when I met him in passing.  “Dirty feet,” I thought.  “Oily hair.  Calloused, grubby hands.  Still dresses shabbily.  Bad haircut and doesn’t shave.”   Yet, he looked confident as he spoke to the people he met.  I don’t think he noticed me as I passed with only a glance, saying nothing.  No-one to bother with…..

Until time flew, and the years became heavy, and I found myself wandering into the back alley of my life.  Losing myself.  Confused by myself. Stumbling in despair amidst garbage, and wreckage.  Holes in my worn-out walking shoes. Walking on cold, wet, well-traveled dirt, the way ever-narrowing between breath-stifling walls. Suddenly I slipped. I felt myself falling and sliding down the steep-sided pit of what must have been an old storm sewer.  After I landed, I sat and wept.  There was no way out.  It was getting hotter.  Darker.  I sat in the hot, sulfurous muck and wept.  The muck was rising.

Fear gripped my throat. “Helllllp.  Is anybody there?  Does anybody hear me?”

“I’m here.  I hear you.  Be still and all will be well.”  A candle was lit behind me, illuminating a face.

“It….It’s you……”

“It is I.  Always have been me,” he said, grinning. ” Don’t you remember how, early on, I waved at you from a distance, but you didn’t want to see?  Later we met in passing and I smiled, but you didn’t speak.  Many times I walked behind you, beside you, and before you, but you avoided, sidestepped, ignored, looked past, seemingly blind, deaf, and dumb.  Well, don’t feel bad.  I get that a lot. It happens to lots of folks.  You’d be surprised how many I’ve met for the first time in a pit like this one.  Why you deprive yourselves for so long kind of mystifies me. It’s a cryin’ shame and such a waste of good time, don’t you think?”

” I……I……sorry…..,” I looked away, embarrassed.  “Umm, this stinky stuff is rising……”

He was holding a strong stick with which he began poking and pounding a hole in the bottom of the filthy pit as he spoke some foreign-sounding words.  After awhile the muck began to drain out.

“Thanks.  How did you do that?”

“It’s not so hard if you know how to speak to it.”

I began to notice that he was clean, in spite of the surrounding filth. I was the smelly, dirty, oily, grubby, and shabby one. It was, indeed, a crying shame.

“Let’s get you outa here,…… that is, unless you’d rather stay.”

“Nooo!” I cried desperately, “This is horrible! I want out! But……but……I don’t see any way out! There’s no way ouuuut!” It was like hearing someone who’s going hysterical, only it was my own panicked voice. I waited for the counteracting slap in the face that always came in the old movies…….

“Be still, my friend, be still. I am your way out. Do you believe me? Look at me……”

I looked. “Yes……. it’s strange, but, but, yes I do believe you. Please get me out of here.”

With that, he smiled, held the candle up, and looked toward the impossibly high rim of the pit.

“When I say the word, you climb this rope, okay?” With a gesture, he indicated his whole slender self. I stared, thinking a whole series of negative thoughts, then nodded in the affirmative.

He then stuck the candle into the loose side of the pit and in one continuous motion, ran three steps across the floor and two steps up the side, gave a determined yell, stretched his full length upward, grabbed the rim firmly with his fingers, and kicked his toes into the wall.

“I’m ready. Climb swiftly now!”

My first jump missed. His feet were well above my head, so I took a run and caught my fingers inside the backs of his shoes. They should have pulled off his feet, but they were miraculously tight. I scrambled and dug furiously with my feet until I could grab his clothing and pull myself up, hand over hand.

“That’s right, pull up until you can get your feet on my calves.”

I finally got my hands over his shoulders and my feet on his calves. That had to hurt him, but he didn’t make a sound.

“Now use your feet and knees to get any purchase you can on my back. Persevere, my friend.”

I was already panting. Exhausted. But then he did an amazing thing. Reaching back with his right hand, he grasped my right wrist and pulled upward. My shoes scraped his back cruelly. I hurt for him as he put my right hand on the rough rim of the pit. He reached down around my back and used my belt to pull me up farther while hanging onto the rim with only his left hand. This man was strong! I straightened my left arm above his left shoulder, then placed my knee on his right one.

“Are you all right?” I gasped.

“I endure,” he breathed. “Keep climbing.”

I managed to get my foot on his left shoulder. Pulling with my arms, I then placed my other foot on his right shoulder and stood. The side of his face was pressed against the wall. I moaned at the pain I must be causing him as I swung one leg, then the other, over the edge and rolled to safety. As I moved to help him, I heard his feet scrambling and saw him press with his arms and pull himself up until his arms were straight. Then he swung a foot up, pushed, and rolled over beside me.

“Thank You,” I heard him whisper.

“What? Thank you, Man!” I gasped, relieved.

At that, he stood and grinned down at me. He reached down and helped me stand on wobbly legs.

“There were probably a dozen easier ways to do that, but I wanted to make a point. Surely you see the metaphoric value in what just happened.”

“ Metaphor? Stinking hot pit….. Wait. Who are you. What’s your name?” I asked with hesitation.

“It would be better if I showed you. You will have to close your eyes to see. Hold my face in your hands and don’t let go.”

His image began to resolve before me. I saw his feet. Grimy, stained with dried blood, a deep wound in each. I shuddered as I heard words enter my mind. “These are the feet that walk into the light. The ones that carry the Truth, the Word of Peace. These pierced feet were made to carry you to safety. You needed but ask it.

His hands were closed, but I could see that the backs had wounds like his feet. I began to be alarmed and tried to let go of his face and open my eyes, but they wouldn’t open and I felt his strong, gentle hands hold my own hands to his cheeks. “It’s all right. Be at peace. Pierced for you, these are the hands that can lift you. Heal you. Help you. Hold you close and safe forever. You need but ask it. As his hands turned over and opened, I was amazed to see that my name was written in red across his right palm. His left palm contained a single word in red.  Forgiven.

I wanted to comment, but my mouth wouldn’t open. Just as well. It contained only foolish words. What I had thought was myth and legend and Christian delusion was being revealed to me as real truth. Boy, had I been wrong……again…….

I saw his chest rising and falling. Laboring for breath. And inside it, he revealed his innermost heart. I must tell you that words are inadequate to describe it. Even the small portion that he thought I could handle. This pierced heart is the “place” where he keeps the care, the concern, the immense love he has for me. It was overwhelming to comprehend. My own heart struggled with the hugeness of it, yet I felt it being expanded in order to partially accommodate and understand such wonder and beauty. “Yes, it’s beyond all your understanding, but one day you will be given comprehension, if you but ask. My heart has spoken to yours many times, but you did not know its language. Do you recall? Do you know me yet?”

“You must be the One my family and friends have called The Savior, The Christ. Of course you are! You just revealed that beyond a doubt! You’re Jesus. They call you Son of God and Son of Man, right? The One who was born on Christmas and died on Easter!” I’ve seen you on TV……. Sorry, that was lame…….. They don’t do you justice………….

“Well, you’re on the right track. Look at me once more!”

I looked at His face. His torn, bleeding, tortured face. On his brow was a cruel crown. I somehow knew that it was the crown of my wickedness. Of my sin. And it was heavy. And painful. And the horrible weight of it was pressing down unbearably on Him but He was not crushed.

“Whyyy,” I moaned as he removed my hands from His face and let my eyes open. When my eyes were fully opened, I saw Him differently. He was whole. He was radiant. He was bright with majestic splendor! And now, there was no crushing headpiece, but on His head He wore a brilliant Crown of Glory. If I fell to my knees in awe, He must have lifted me up then…….

“Why? Because you couldn’t. You would have been crushed and destroyed under it. Like what happened in this pit, only I can deliver you from the “great death” and by “great” I don’t mean good, I mean enormously bad. The price of your reckless spending had to be paid, but you were broke. You bought what the enemy was selling on credit until your debt was outrageous. He can collect anytime, you know. We abhor the thought of that happening to you, so I bought your debt and paid it myself, in hopes that you would someday turn toward me and against the enemy. Toward Truth and against lies. To be given a new heart. A heart filled with joy. And to be transformed back into the person you were always intended to be. Yes, We paid it all in the hope that you would merely want to pay it back. You, could never settle that kind of debt, of course, so We make it free. A “wash sale”, in the hope that you will turn around, believe in me, say yes, choose life, and follow Us……..

Speaking of “wash”, no offense, but you smell quite bad. Hahahahahaaaa. You must be thirsty as well. Let’s leave this place and find some water to take care of that. We’ll greet the morning together and you can tell Me what you’ve decided about your life……..

I’ll never forget the huge hug he gave me as we left that alley. His cheek left a film of sweat on mine that stayed cool as it evaporated away and I walked with Him into the peaceful warmth of a new sunrise, a new heart, a new hope, and a brand-new life……..

Of course, I said yes! Once I said yes to Him, He asked something of me. He wants me to make introductions. Everywhere. In any and every way I can think of. I said yes to that as well. Gladly!

That’s why I wait at the edge of the deep pit. I stand at the entrance to the alley of death. I walk the mean streets and frequent the black markets hoping to find you there because there’s someone I’d like you to meet. And when I do find you there, my greatest hope is that you will come with me a short way to where He is so that I can say “Lord Jesus, I’d like you to meet My Friend, and, My Friend, meet Jesus, my Savior-Lord and my King!” He will say “I’m most pleased to meet you.” What will you say, My Friend?

Good Advice In A Summer Pome

Seek, my friend, the Son of Man.

Screen the Sun, or roast like ham.

The Son can heal and save you if you ask.

The Sun can peel and kill you if you bask.

Life or death upon demand.

Choose life and seek the Son of Man.

By C. Rantley  (My first attempt at a pome.  Hope y’all like it.  Sincerely, Chaff)

An Easter Offering

My offering for Easter/Resurrection Sunday 2011 is what God gave me, through the Holy Spirit,  suddenly and unexpectedly last fall.  May it lift you up, especially if you are lost on the trail of life, like I was, and may God bless you and keep you forever and always.   Thanks for your visit.  ( Read it here )

Your gloryteller

Things Beyond My Understanding

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.    Proverbs 3:5

Way beyond my understanding.

All i know is

It was a miracle

And the miracle was a gift.

Delivered to crumbling doorstep

Outside my sagging door locked tight

Nailed shut.

Yet breached,

It sat inside on rotting floor

Shining to be opened.

To be believed past unbelief

By miracle, not my work.

Gift

It is salvation wrapped in grace undeserved.

The gift of faith to see hope once unseen.

A new heart unchained

Full with compassion

And repentance like a switching wind.

Heart to feel abundant love long unfelt

And eyes to see as i am seen

Then others too, the same.

And mercy, charity, a call to pray

A heart to sing, a heart to worship,

Hands to raise.

All unwrapped and taken out,

When gift, upon gift, inside gift, given

Then took away all fears and doubts

Healed my aching soul complete

And full and whole and more and more

A heart to tell of  gifts and Glory

Of  His Great Love,

And gratitude, a heart of thanks,

I thank you JESUS, thank you LORD!

That You should care for me,

To give me gifts,

Rebuild my house,

To give Yourself.

Miracles beyond my full understanding.

But nothing is beyond Yours!

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In Desperation, I Prayed (Continued)

As a self-proclaimed atheist/agnostic, the last thing i would have thought i would catch myself doing was to pray.  Yet, circumstances had changed.   I had become aware of a person who desperately needed help.  I really wanted to give aid, but helping was circumstantially impossible.  That  may have been one of my first experiences with sincere, unconditional compassion.  There was nothing i could do. Or was there?  As the situation got worse for my friend, i got desperate.  There remained only one thing i could think of that i could do, and that was to beg to the God, of whom i didn’t acknowledge the existence, if indeed He existed at all, for help.  Now, how’s that for a sentence?  Anyway, i went out on a limb with my philosophical principles and prayed, although, at that time, i refused to call it praying.  It went something like this:

Desperately, I Prayed: “God, are you real? Are you there?  Some people think you are, and they say you hear when people talk to you.  If you are listening, can you prove it?  Would you please, please help my friend?”   I felt nothing except a vague sense of relief that i had exhausted the last possible solution.

And, in a short time, He showed up!

It wasn’t long before the situation improved dramatically.  Only God could have worked in this precise and exact way!  It was NOT coincidence nor superstition! Those arguments – my old crutches – could no longer be applied.  I knew it had to be Him!  I could feel the truth being made manifest in my heart.  He was saying  “Yes, it’s Me,  yes, I am here,  I Am!”    Then He made sure that i knew it was Him through miraculous signs and wonders keyed just for me for the next several weeks.  Actually, He has never stopped!

I had opened the door a crack and He stepped in.  I am certain that the Holy Spirit was responsible for helping with my decisions as well as holding off the enemy until i could stand on my own.  That’s not to say i can do much of anything on my own, for i rely on His strength every day.  On my own efforts, i probably would never have offered that first prayer.

Six years later, i know that a prayer in behalf of someone else is called ” intercessory prayer”.  ‘Standing in the gap’  in sincere, unconditional prayer for others is  important.  So is ‘the sinner’s prayer’ – an admission of guilt and a plea for mercy .  So are prayers of praise and of thanksgiving.  But that one short, confused, desperate prayer was integral in leading to my redemption, salvation, rebirth, and transformation.  Thank you Jesus!  And thanks be to God that  in desperation, i prayed.

Read the short poem by the same name here.

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By the way, i sometimes refer to myself as “i”. That is because i don’t like to glorify my own name.  I would rather reserve that for I AM – for Him. 🙂               I hope it’s not too distracting, but if it is, i’ll consider standard form, lol.

Who and Whose Am I?

I am a new creature in Christ, radically saved, reborn, and transformed through His mercy and grace.  I had wandered lost in the wilderness of unbelief for exactly 40 years, (how very Biblical in itself) after which, He revealed His amazing, powerful, presence to me.  His love was palpably manifest as He proved Himself miraculously in ways tailor-made to turn my doubt and stubborn disbelief.  I was found and rescued!  Now I am His, and as such, I want to use what He has given me.  I alone can do the work in the exact, unique way that he has planned and purposed.  I just want to fulfill my role as one small, yet vital, member of His staff of servants.

 My life now has meaning and purpose.  The Holy Spirit speaks constantly into my heart the glory of the Great Commandment, and of  the Great Commission, and out of those comes a longing to tell of His great power and  glory, His mercy and grace.  I have never before had the desire to write stories, nor the talent for it, yet He has unfathomably enabled me to do that to further His great kingdom. 

My hope is that many people visit here to see what I have to say, but if only one beloved soul could be led to Christ, one person’s faith strengthened, or one heart encouraged,  my time and effort will be well worthwhile.  I will put my words out there and let the Holy Spirit use them as fits God’s plan.  I have stories to tell and His Glory to tell.  I am ready and willing and by the grace of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, here I go!

About The Music Links Below

I don't own, and have no claim on, these music videos. The following are simply links inside my website pointing back to the original locations of the videos. The names of the creators of these videos are cited wherever possible, and only "embedding-enabled" selections are used.

The Basic Christian Library

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

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

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

Compelling Christian Fiction Reads

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

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

Copyright Licensing

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gloryteller.wordpress.com, and all proprietary work found here, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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My Signature Story

"I AM NOT MY OWN" is the piece that inspired the building of this site. It is the story that this site, as well as my life, is centered around. This letter to you is the one i would most like for you to read out of all the ones you will find here, because it describes how profoundly the works of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit can change one human life.

For Your Reading Enjoyment, This Is Like A Park, Use It, Enjoy It, and Leave Everything Where You Found It.

The content here's not to be used,

But to only be read and perused.

If you copy it off,

My lawyer's not soft,

And your fortune is mine - you got sued!

Gloryteller :-)

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