Tag Archives: Abba

SCROLL OF LIFE

Been a busy couple of weeks. Visiting days at the Grands’ schools. Planting new starts for the terrace gardens. Reading umpteen things that I find totally absorbing. Not to mention, Easter and the end of Lent. And – – – loving every minute of it.

Didn’t write much this year about where I was heading with my spiritual journey. I’ve said this before, bu I think it has just been my time to absorb and reflect on the blessings of this past year. I am somewhat healthier. Our new NC home feels so much more like home. Plants are flourishing – just like Hubby and I am. It has been that way since my 100 Day Ration and Advent writings – 140 days of writing and then a restful time by the sea. A time of enjoying the present moment and absorbing all I can as my scroll unfolds before me.

You see, the Jewish word that is usually translated as book in English is “sefer”. Sefer means scroll. Thus – “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your BOOK before one of them came to be.” [Ps 139:16] Would actually be – “…were written in Your SCROLL…”

Books are ‘a whole ‘nother thing’ as Mama Mick used to say. We can easily flip pages in a book. We can look back. We can skip forward. We can even take a peek at the very end so we don’t have to wait for it to unfold. And – while you can do the same thing in a scroll you can only see pieces of the one scroll that you hold in your hands.

“…and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ “~Lk 4:17-21

God wink moments happened to Yeshua, the man, and to all those people attending service that morning. He had to unroll the scroll the attendant handed to him – not the scroll He had choosen – and find the place that fulfilled the promise of that moment. Not the moments that lay in the past. Not the moments that would come in the future. But that moment. That moment when a promise was fulfilled. A wrinkle in time being lived to its fullest.

I like to think that this is what I have been doing in the past few weeks. Living my wrinkle in time. Talking with shut-ins. Running errands for those who are struggling to stand without falling. Playing with Grands that won’t be tiny munchkins much longer. Reading and printing things to absorb. Praying for family, friends, and country in my war room.

Speaking of which – this week – I cleaned off the door to my war room. All my prayer lists and Bible verses are filed away in one of my notebooks, so I can look back at them occasionally and see where I’ve been. Good use for a book. I seem to need that reassurance every now and then. A acknowledgment to myself, that my path – while somewhat crooked – is becoming straighter and easier to walk.

Today, I hung 3 new verses on that door. Verses that will reassure me on the dark days and challenge me to keep my path straight through the rainstorms of life. And, as the scroll unfolds a little more, I will write up a new prayer list which will be full of colorful names and requests. I like using different colors because that is the way Abba created everything – – – full of rich hues, vibrancy, diversity. Full of a little heaven on earth.

It’s funny. As I read back through today’s musings, this definitely wasn’t what I had in mind when I started to write. God winks are like that. The scroll unrolls – words leap off the page and into my head – and I just marvel at the path of thoughts that He plants with His WORD and Spirit. As always, I can’t wait to unroll the scroll a little more and see what He has planned for me this day.

Whatever it is – it will be for my good. [google images]

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COVENANT SONG

“I am making everything new!” ~Rev 21:5a

This verse has been drifting through my mind since yesterday, so I guess that is my hint. Got to admit, I’ve been paraphrasing these words – “I make all things new”. I laugh and feel Abba “Gibbs slap” me, but like DiNozzo, I smile because I know it is a sign of affection and pride.

Our home still looks like a construction zone. Lumber piles cover many of our new flat spots. I know, they will eventually disappear into a lumber yard – hopefully to bless someone else’s home in some new way. Piles of brush are still scattered hither and yon. And while my driveway is fairly cleared of Hubby’s toys (due to the highly functional new carport), there are still a few toys piled up along the side of the house. (The racks for hanging them in the “garage” haven’t quite made the “done list” – – – yet!)

“It is done!”~Rev 21:6a

Now these are words I am definitely waiting to hear for I getting antsy to see how our covenanted land will look as G-d knows it will. So while I wait, I’ve been pulling more brush from the edges of my garden, raking leaves and cleaning the front shutters. Did you know that stuff advertised on TV – RustOleum ReColor – really works? Wipe it on – stinks bad so be prepared – and whammo – shutters look new. Now if I just didn’t have to climb ladders to get the rest of the shutters done. sigh

Tonight the body is a little sore, but thanks to our therapeutic hot tub – not bad at all. An earlier shower has given way to a cool breeze chasing away the near 80 temperatures of the day, and I am content. Somehow, I just know the quirky home is content as well.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”~Rev 21:6b-7

Tonight, as I drank my last glass of water, I watched Venus disappear into the horizon of trees. The puppies are snoring louder than the Hubby for once, and I feel a song rising within me. Moses and the people of Israel sang a song of joy when they emerged from the waters of the Nile. Miriam, the prophetess and sister of Aaron (which is a whole ‘nother story that is turning in my head) led them in another new song of joy.

Two prayerful songs of thanksgiving and praise to the Father who had blessed them.

Tonight, I think I might have a clue how that must have felt. It was a new day of song for this fleeing tribe of people – long, long ago. A new covenant was taking shape. Just as there is a new covenant song tonight singing on the wind from my heart to the Father – for my country — my covenanted land – my family – my friends – dancing through the narrow gate where the land has been made new and a garden beyond compare awaits.

“Behold, I make all things new.” ~Rev 21:5a

FOR SOME REASON

Tomorrow, the “shop” will be started – again.

Tomorrow, the tree crew will be here to start widening the distance from our home to the woods around us.

For some reason – it is all – finally – coming together.

We thought all of this would done by now. We actually thought we started this process three weeks ago. Land leveled. Permits in hand. Inspections done. Materials bought and sitting in the trailer. But for some reason – the answer was “Nope” – “Nada” – “Not happenin’ “!

Although, Hubby isn’t as calm as I am about it, we really have quit questioning timing issues or even questioning when we have to throw out our entire set of plans and consider something completely different. We did it last year when we thought we were building a house and ended up buying a fixer-upper. We did it again and again and again this year as we worked on this house.

Our timing is not always the perfect timing. Our plans not always the perfect plans. Funny thing – when we back up and open our eyes a little wider, we suddenly begin to see the flaws of our plans and our timing.

It was rainy and windy the past few weeks. Not ideal weather for building or taking down trees. The new plans are – while not as fancy as we thought we wanted – they are more economical and just as practical. The land – that we thought was perfect enough – is even better now.

I’ve talked about this before, but for some reason, I feel pushed to talk about it a little more tonight. Madeleine L’Engle grew up with a father who had serious health issues from WWI. Often as a child, she would pray, “Dear God, do whatever is best for Father, do whatever is best.”

For some reason, this prayer struck a chord in me. It’s childish simplicity resonated initially on one level, but reverberated deeper and deeper into the depths of my seeking soul. I tend to think it has something to do with Matthew 18:3, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

For some reason – this prayer has made it into my daily war room action, and before I close my eyes at night, it is one of the last prayers on my lips.

“Do what is best, G-d, do what is best.” For our land. For our home. For our friends and family. For our country. For our world.

Tomorrow – the tree guys will begin the process of removing trees.

Tomorrow – a new building will be erected.

Tomorrow – for some reason – must be the perfect time with the perfect plans – – – at least we are praying that is so. [google images]

SLIVER OF A NEW MOON

That ol’ adage: “Time flies when you’re having fun,” is way too true.
 
Way back when the yard of life seemed to stretch forever, in the sliver of a new moon, I met a girl who worked just down the hall from me in a small, inner city school on the East side of Columbus. I met her when a energetic student ran past my 6th grade classroom and down the hall shouting “Miss WWWW-OOO-LL-FFFFFFFFF!! ” in the best wolf imitation I have ever heard – then or since.
 
Miss Wolf stuck her head out the door of her room and said somewhat quietly, “Robert, lunch is over so get yourself in here and let’s not disturb the other classes.” While Miss Wilson, who mothered all us rookie teachers, looked out of her room that was right next to Miss Wolf’s. With words much more direct and to the point, “Mr. Dixon…”her voice full of the ringing tones of an angry, powerful archangel, stopping everyone in the hallway – including a very remorseful 4th grader who dropped his head as he tried to avoid the crooked, protruding finger Miss Wilson was waggling in his direction.
 
I loved that yard of my life.

 

It is when I caught the first glimpse of a new friend. A friend who carried my secrets. A friend who had lived more in a life time than I could imagine, with struggles that made mine seem petty. A friend who taught me more than I could ever teach her. A friend who testified to the love of Christ when I was failing abysmally. A friend named Wolf.

 
“How many are your works, LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.” ~Ps 104:24
 
Jewish tradition teaches that as we grow into our bodies and lives, we take the life rolling around us for granted. When we were a child, a lady bug could capture our attention. A new friend was a treasure. A shiny stone sparkling in the sun – a gift. But as we age, we forget to see or acknowledge those blessings. Thus, once a month, Jewish tradition encourages the people to remember, when the moon is just a sliver in the sky, the miracles that happen all around us – if we will just open our eyes.
 
“May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—”~Ps 104:31
 
I opened my eyes one fall day in 1975 to find a friend, and wonder of wonder, during the sliver of a new moon of the first month of a new year, we had a great few days that went all too fast. I will take her to the airport tomorrow and wait until Abba brings our journeys to another juncture. While our yard is much shorter these days, it is still filled with so many treasures around us that it doesn’t matter when or where that juncture occurs for we know that it will be perfect in His timing.
 
“Praise the Lord, my soul.

Praise the Lord.”~Ps 104: 35b

The Dwelling 2016

A year ago, Hubby moved us into a house we didn’t technically own yet – had carpet that was beyond description – holes in the wall, missing fixtures, no working appliances, black water that trickled out of one facet, and – virtually – no heat.

“By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.”~Prov 24:3-4

I’m not sure this move had much wisdom or precious and pleasant riches in it when I first saw it, but God’s blessing colored those first impressions, and I smiled. Found it in late December, changed our plans to build and got a contract to buy before New Year’s Eve. Luckily, the day we moved, the first new toilet was put in place, carpet removed. the water lines flushed and one bed erected. Everything else remained in boxes in the garage or stored in trailers on some land we owned about 3 miles away. 2016 was shaping up to be an interesting year.

“The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you.”~2 Sam 7:11

This I know for sure – the LORD has always made a house for me even before I recognized it. There is a history to our spur-of-the-moment decisions that come at the end of certain sporadic years in our journey together. As high school sweethearts, we broke up for 10 years and got back together in December. Three years later — in late December – we changed our wedding date from May to January 9. Six years later – we found the perfect place to build a home – on New Year’s Eve. 25 years later – in January – we moved from OH to NC. And there we were again – 3 years later – in another December/January quandary of moving craziness.

(Personally – I am adding this prayer to my war room door – “Can our next major move in life, to a home you have waiting for us – PLEASE – be in spring or maybe fall?”)

So tonight, as I sit in a completely re-done house, I look around and am content. The somewhat, squeaky wood floors and gas logs wraps around me just as my childhood home on Riverside Dr, used to do. A new kitchen, two new bathrooms, a brand new heating/AC system, and two silly labs asleep at my feet remind me of how much Our Father can accomplish in our lives when we are listening and willing to step out in faith.

A house that the Grands called “the spooky, stinky, ugly house” is the place they love to visit and spend the night. Clean, patched walls are covered with treasured memorabilia from our 36 years of traveling together and revered, separate pasts. A true war room closet door filled with the WORD, praises and prayers that Abba has lovingly blessed over the past few months. And 2 sleepy chocolate dogs that curl into me at the end of day have made that house a home.

This is as close to heaven as it gets. A neighborhood full of people we know by name and visit with often in the course of a week. Laughter from children who still play outside – not to mention the “boys” who love riding their noisy “toys” along with the kids. I guess this is just my way of saying, “Thanks, Father”. 2016 was one crazy year, and I’m just waiting with anticipation to see what 2017 will bring our way.

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”~Jn 14:2

HIS TABERNACLE

“…Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”~Rev 21:3-4

“…the Tabernacle of God is with men…” Tonight as I was reading my nighttime devotions, these seven words swirled around me and sang deep in my soul. Over and over the WORD etched itself. Carving a niche within to rest and light this world a little more with His love.

God’s tent is with me – – – with you – – – with each and everyone of us – – – He loves us that much. Of course, the questions always follow such revelations – how is that possible? Why? And then – I kick myself in the proverbial “butt”. Why can’t “faith” be as simple as it was when I lay under a tree to talk to my Father?

The busyness of the season pushed (and continues to push) Abba to the back of my agendas so many times over the past few days. I’ve missed prayer times – – -times to grow in the WORD – – – quiet times to plead in the war room – – – and still I have felt His Tabernacle with me – every day – every step – in every word I spoke to others while the prayers of thankfulness thrummed unspoken, deeply within me.

“Here I AM” – with me – with you – – –

Regardless of the bad choices I have made and continue to make, He chooses to be with me. Even when I reject Him, He seeks me out and waits for me to open the flaps of my tent, so that He may enter and share a meal with me. Someday, I will understand how that is possible. Someday, I will understand a love that great. Someday, the questions will be silenced.

“Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.”~”It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”

Tonight as I sat outside by the fire with the Hubby and daughters, my heart was listening to other music. Music, not from the neighbors’s bonfire festivities, but music that still issues its timeless reminder – over and over and over. All I have to do is open the flaps of my tent. Invite the Creator of the universe into my tent. His tabernacle is with me. Always. Forever. Forever and ever.

Hallelujah.edmund-sears-265676

ADVENT LOVE #2: LIGHTS OF LOVE

“Every time we open our mouths and speak, we are eiter saying let there be light or let there be darkness.”~Glennon Doyle Melton.

God said, “Light Be!”

He created us in His image. We get to choose…light or darkness…

I love Christmas lights. It is fun to take the girls out at night and walk a short distance with colorful lights twinkling all around. Reminds me of my childhood – decorated door with red twinkling bells – Christmas display contests tucked beneath the boughs of a tall pine tree – and all the times my son called them “miracles”.

The littlest Grand was excited when I picked him up from kindergarten. He’d made a present for his sister and couldn’t wait to put it under the tree. He was sure she would want to tear the paper off right away. As we drove, we giggled and stopped – as usual – to look at the goat farm on the way. They weren’t doing much today but two were close to the fence, so we stayed for awhile. Lucky for us – no cars were following us – so it was easy-peasy.

For the past couple of years, I’ve noticed out of the corner of my eye, a little nativity set up on the same road. I’ve never seen it at night, but when we stopped today to look at it, there are a few cords, and I think that I may have to return sometime during the early evening hours to see what it looks like at night.

“…and behold, that star which they had seen in The East went before them, until it came and stood over where The Boy was.”~Matt 2:9

The Grand and I were impressed. Simple. Run down shack that had obviously seen much better times. The Grand spotted the star high above us that I hadn’t even noticed until he pointed it out. A sheep nestled close to the manger, but there was no baby yet. We were glad since our winter coats were not enough to block the chill in the air.

The nativity.
A baby in a manager.
A star over it all.

Abba opened the darkness then – He opens the darkness now – not with a fire-ball – but a single star’s light. Nothing spectacular shouting, “Here is my son” but instead a candle in the vastness – – – bright enough to open eyes of those who seek – – – dim enough to ignore. But – if they choose to follow the Light – the Light of Grace grows and grows and grows and grows – – – in HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE – – – until it is so bright that the darkness fades away.

“The people who sat in the darkness have seen The Great Light, and those who were sitting in the region and in the shadow of death, to them The Light has dawned.”~Matt 4:16

Advent Love #1: The Journey

“God always takes the initiative- – -He blessed first, served first, comforted first, and most of all, LOVED first. An then it’s up to us.”~Max Lucado, p175, Because of Bethlehem
 
This is the week, I really tend to start centering in on the humanity of the Holy family and the journey they actually took I mean – really? Walking and/or riding a donkey for 60 – 100 miles (depending on the probable routes of the times) in the last week of pregnancy has to be the ultimate ‘I-don’t-wanna-do-this-ever’ for new parents. And yet – somewhere deep within me – I know they didn’t even question it.
 
You have to figure that Mary and Joseph came from families that were immersed in scripture study. Visited by an angel – covered by the Holy Spirit – visited by another angel – Mary and Joseph knew scripture. They knew the prophecies – they knew that their son, Yeshua, would be born in Bethlehem – even before a Roman emperor told them that they would have to journey there to be counted.
 
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”~Micah 5:2
 
They may not have liked it, but they knew Abba was faithful in His promises. They knew they were on a journey like no other, and they walked that long distance in faith. Just as they had traveled the last 9 months – of fear – of derision – of lectures – of shunning…. The long distance into the wilderness – the heat of day and the cold of night – the Braxton-Hicks Contractions…the pain…discomfort – snakes and robbers perhaps hidden ahead – or – on good days – staying with relatives, friends or even – perhaps – an inn – resting on the Sabbath – money to travel – maybe? – but – in reality? – no place to call their own…no place to lay their heads… no place to lay their child…the Messiah…
 
Sometimes over the years, I’ve wondered if they thought that God would open a miraculous door, and they would find a place “fit for a king” waiting for them when they got to Bethlehem. I’m pretty sure that Abba didn’t fill in a lot of details for them any more than He does us when He pushes us out the door on our own journeys. As I study the scriptures, El is great at pointing the way, but expects us to travel on faith most of the time. I guess you can tell, that is not always my favorite way of embarking on a journey. I’m still working on that particular aspect of my character.
 
However, as I read over the last couple of paragraphs again, the proverbial light bulb went on in my sometimes functioning mind. Bam!! It made sense. His parents had to travel their own mirror journey of what Christ’s path would reflect. How could they “train up a child the way he should go…” if they didn’t understand what hardships might lie ahead in His earthly, humanoid journey.
 
“Therefore we shall love God because he first LOVED us.”~1 John 4:19
 
Today, hubby put on his shorts and took his own journeys. He ran the four-wheeler, the scooter, the motorcycle and walked the dogs. I worked on Christmas stocking #3, cleaned the garage, delivered a pine decoration to a neighbor and lit the final Advent candle.
 
We are blessed. Prayers circle. LOVE arrives as a baby. Merry Christ-mass. Seek the infant.
[google images]

Advent JOY #7: Seed

The joy of having an old “new” house is that there are always things that need a little tweaking. The floor in my office/writing/music/memory room is due for a tweak. This wouldn’t be a bad thing except it is crowded with “stuff” that probably only has meaning to me, and half of that “stuff” needed to be moved.

Errrrr….

Not exactly what I wanted to do on the morning of finishing a Christmas stocking, preparing food and pine centerpiece for daughter’s Christmas party, painting a few more ornaments as gifts, and wrapping a few presents. BUT – there I was – moving things from one room to another and biting my nails in between – literally. Tweaks are like that. When they squeak, we must tweak……and that is when the seeds fell on the floor.

“All suffering, all pain, all emptiness, all disappointment is seed; sow it in God and he will, finally, bring a crop of JOY from it.”~Eugene Peterson

A couple summers back, I read an easy way to save seeds for an efficient, easier planting in the next spring. So – I followed the instructions and when they were dried and ready – put them away for the spring. The problem was – I lost track of them. Two years later, the squeak of the tweak brought forth an unexpected JOY.

“Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.”~Ps 126:5-6

Obviously, I can’t run out and plant seed today – even in NC, it is not that warm. So I picked them up and put them on the bed in the extra bedroom until the squeak of the tweak is fixed….hmmmm….maybe I better move them, so I remember where they are this time….

Tonight, as I watched the Grands run from one floor to another – their Christmas JOY rattling the windows – while the camaraderie of the parents who were gathered around mounds of finger food permeated the downstairs with even more Christmas JOY – I had to smile. Seeds planted long ago are dropping fruit for a seed plantings of their own. We left before the Christmas play, the caroling, Santa’s visit, a Polar Express-marathon-sleepover – a communion service of it’s own in the making…

The JOY of the LORD is your strength.”~Neh 8:10

So – a day that started out in frustrating busy work that I didn’t want to do became a day that burst forth into an unexpected, beautiful rare bloom of brilliant colors. Colors that I keep revisiting in the quiet of our “new” old home where the squeak of the tweak is still clamoring for attention. Maybe tomorrow, I will move some more stuff so that the fixer-upper person will be able to complete their task without breaking anything. The seeds – not safe in the extra bedroom to my way of thinking – are now tucked securely into a book shelf nook, so I can find them easily two months hence.

Who knows what seeds Abba plans to plant in the next week of Advent? He planted a seed of LIGHT just for us in Bethlehem 2000+ years ago. I just hope that I continue to notice those seeds He plants close to me and am wise enough to nurture them in prayer, tending the garden well so that He may harvest the crop with His blessings in His perfect timing. After all – Christ is coming again soon, and I can hardly sit still.  My JOY is bubbling to the surface.

Now to the LORD sing praises
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All others doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and JOY, comfort and JOY;
O tidings of comfort and JOY.

[google images

Advent Peace #6:Expectation

“…when God performs a miracle you don’t ask “how”, you just give thanks.” ~The Miracle of the Cards movie (2001)

Every year – besides driving the Hubby crazy with non-stop Christmas movies and music – I bury myself in reading old Christmas books. I don’t mean modern old – I mean – childhood old.
Kitty’s Christmas.
The Little Lost Angel.
The Littlest Angel.
Capote’s Christmas Memory.
Dickens’ Christmas Carol and various other stories.
Raphael, the Herald Angel.
If I’m lucky I will eventually make it to the more modern Christmas books like The Immortal Nicholas, The “Best” Christmas Pageant Ever, and eventually end with – of course – the Night Before Christmas and Amahl and the Night Visitors singing me to sleep.

There is something so special about the old literature that seems to be missing from the more modern Christmas books. It puts me in mind of the Old Testament where there is a hint or a mention of the Messiah in every book. An expectation. A hopeful excitement that says “perhaps today” as you read each page.

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”~Is 7:14

In our modern and oh-so-wise era, we tend to explain away such verses or use “reason” to explain such illogical words. But way – way back – when times were simpler and answers were much harder than a push of a few keys, they didn’t ask “how” or “why”. Instead, they accepted the WORD on faith taught by their parents and their parents’ parents – an expectation given with excitement and thankfulness.

“The Story of Christmas is the story of God’s relentless love for us.”~Max Lucado, Because of Christmas

This week, as I finish up Christmas cards and get a little more serious about the stockings and gifts that need to be finished way too so soon, I go back to the WORD and read through those expectant verses of the first Advent in Genesis, Exodus, Numbers and on and on and on till I get to Revelations. Then I read the expectant verses for His return visit. That is when I truly feel the Christmas spirits – the expectant spirit – the “perhaps today” spirit. For it is there where I find Abba’s true gift of “relentless love”.

” ‘Lemuel,’ he shouted, and tears of joy streamed down his face, ‘they are singing the song of the heavenly Chorus. It wasn’t lost – our songs were never lost! Our message was heard! They heard us, Lemuel! We did not fail!’…And Raphael, the Herald Angel, led the mighty chorus.”~Raphael,The Herald Angel by David Apell and Merle Hudson (p55).