Once Upon A Mountain
(Note: I got the name, Lord Filo from the greek. Filo means "Friend." The giant's name, Mageia in greek means, "Deceiver.")

Part I
   Once upon a time and long ago on a wide river, a passenger ship capsized and all were delivered. The survivors were hungry and missed the food served at the ship's galley, and found themselves in an uncertain place... a place called, Broken Valley. In the center of the Valley, they had been given the gift of a free fountain: above the Valley, there was a huge hill called, Serenity Mountain. They could eat fruit down in the valley and there was meat on the mountain above; but the people were afraid to leave Broken Valley, and were also afraid to climb up. Now, the reason they feared climbing the mountain is because of a tale they'd heard about a giant who lived somewhere on the mountain, and all that before had occurred. Some said they called the giant, "Mageia," but had not seen him, not once. "When he speaks," someone said, "he is loud, and mean with such cruel taunts! He bellows out demeaning words, and many here believe... they are as unworthy as he says: the giant laughs when they grieve." Some claim with sincerity, they know the owner of Serenity Mountain: one said, "Lord Filo is so loving, and even gave us this free fountain. He told us to drink from it freely, for it would not run dry; and He exhorted us to fill our canteens, said we'd need it for the climb."

  Then the owner faced the mount and said to the people, "Follow Me!" Some said they intended to, but feared what they might see; because they heard the giant from a distance telling them to turn back, or else he would make them fall when he came to attack.

Part II  There were several who started up the mountain, but would not stop complaining; either because of the slippery rocks, or because it had started raining. Others started up but there was so much strife between them. They followed not Lord Filo, because they took their eyes off of Him. Some were gaining ground, and followed Him more closely: these are those who wanted to know Him better, and were thankful mostly! Lord Filo nurtured them, and helped them when they needed rest: He was so kind and patient with them through every step and test. He would tell them they could make it, just to do what He did. None of their fears, or needs, nor tears from Him were ever hid.

The giant, Mageia would set traps throughout their climb, and try to trip them up, and succeeded at times; but Lord Filo would come and lend a hand and help them up, get them back on track, and fill again their empty cup.
In a distance they could hear the mocking's and the cruel words that would often discourage and put doubt in the followers. Mageia would strike them with a branch and hurt them bad: sometimes he would even laugh so loud and make them sad.
The climbers never saw him but imagined him to be... at least ten foot tall, weighing in at 470. The owner of Serenity Mountain, Lord Filo never disappointed His followers, nor left them alone. He was sometimes funny, and liked to laugh with them: His humor would refresh them, and they felt so loved by Him.
He told them that their trust in Him, and their obedience too gave Him joy, "and that joy" He said, "is what is strengthening you."
Part III
  There was a particular woman who followed from afar; she would often slip away to practice what was in her heart. She would get an awful craving and go hide behind a tree, take her stronghold out her pocket, so no one else could see. She would take a few drinks of it, then to catch up to them: she didn’t think Lord Filo knew since she was so far behind Him.
  Twenty-three people started the climb; but those who stayed were few: will you?
About midway up the mountain, it got really rugged and steep; then a man who appeared unexpected talked them into getting some sleep.
“You’ll need the rest for the climb tomorrow, but I have brought good news:
There is a much easier way to get to the top, than what has been told to you.”
They slept for what seemed like hours, and woke up with concern,
For Lord Filo had vanished, and their hearts within them burned.
They missed His presence exceedingly, and the support He gave!
But the man who talked them into sleeping assured them they would be safe.
He showed them another path to take that was wide and full of climbers.
They were sure the “easy way” was good; but wait till you see what transpires.
While they were packing up their gear, they asked their new leader his name:
He smiled, as if mockingly, but they did not discern his game.
He cocked his head rather arrogantly as he looked down on them,
And replied, “My name is Foolish Pride” then told them to follow him.
They followed for a while, but were told to make so many stops,
These who joined him the day before were just ready to climb to the top.
They also noticed the giant hadn’t bothered them all day:
That was quite unusual, but they preferred it that way.
The climbers they were with seemed so nice at first,
They even let them drink from their canteens when they would thirst.

Part IV
But they weren't used to that water, it made them sick so they couldn't climb:  the others didn't seem to care, and left them all behind.
Remember the woman who often slipped away? She was unaware of their plight; for she had been hiding and committing her secret sin again during the night. When she caught up to the climbers, and saw there was only Lord Filo, He told her how much He had missed her, and asked, "Where did you go?" The woman named, Ms. Lukewarm wanted to come clean; so she confessed to Lord Filo her habit and secret sin. Now that it was only her and Him with no one else between, she saw how following Him closely was more wonderful than she ever dreamed.

Now while the sick were mending, and sitting there alone, they spoke among themselves, when suddenly a light shone. They realized they had left their first love, Lord Filo, and so wanted to find Him, but how they didn't know.

Then in a distance and above their head, they heard a familiar sound: Lord Filo was peeking over a ledge, and sang, "My followers are found!" He lowered His staff to help them up, then He held them all very close: He told them how much He had missed them; they too said they had missed Lord Filo!
Before they reached the top the giant, Mageia was in a rage! He spoke to those who had turned back to the valley, so he could set the stage. His voice was loud and annoying, but intimidating too, as he manipulated the people below to try to tempt a few. The giant told them to "party and laugh loud" like they were having such fun, knowing that those who were climbing saw their race was almost won.
The people below shouted to the climbers in unison and would not stop: "C'mon! Don't you want to party with us before you reach the top?" "One last little binge! One last high! One last little fling before you reach the sky!"
The climbers stopped, and some looked back and when they did, they fell:
for the mean, sly giant Mageia had it all planned out very well. He planted a nasty sticker branch right at the back of their path, so it would trip up anyone who turned at all to look back. Those who fell were sore ashamed when they realized what they'd done: especially that they had listened to the lies of the deceptive one.
The ones who fell hid in shame and feared they had failed the King; but Lord Filo was there in a moment with bandages, ointment, and a sling.

After he bandaged the wounded, and consoled each of them, He went to find the giant who tried to steal them away from Him!

Part V
Once Upon A Mountain - The Conclusion
He had such love for His followers as He took the rod in His Hand: He humbled the giant with His authoritative Voice and command. There was such an awful sound when the giant Mageia cried! Lord Filo won the fight, and the giant deceiver died! Mageia fell through the trees to the bottom of the mountain, alone.
The people below were stunned when they saw his stilts and his megaphone.
The “giant” was no giant at all: he was only 2’8”.
The cowards and those who feared him knew they’d found out way too late.
To those who endured and followed to the top, Lord Filo,
He said, “My friends, you’ve been faithful through the test and tempter below."


But to the ones who had wasted their time climbing up another way, Lord Filo said to them, "I never knew you, go away!" Some were angry, some were sad, and asked Him for a reason: The King, Lord Filo replied, "To whom were you pleasing?"
You lived your life your way, and wouldn't follow Mine; yet you say you want to be in heaven for all time? Have you loved My people, or only criticized? Did you live your life to encourage them, or bring them down to size... with your smirks and stares, and intimidating look? Depart from Me, for your name is not written in GOD's Book."

Lord Filo looked to His followers: He loved and comforted them; those who were doers of The Word were truly born-again. He said, "You have been brave and trusting in My help alone; so come with Me to eternity for I have built you a Home.
When they entered in, their path was filled with roses beyond compare: and when they stepped on them, sweet fragrance filled the air. They were concerned they would crush them when they walked on them; but it would only increase the aroma of roses all around them.
Lord Filo sent His angels to escort them to The Throne.
When each of them met the Father, they knew this was "Home Sweet Home!"

Amen

2 Peter 1:10-12 So, brother and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those whom GOD has called and chosen. Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away. For so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Psalm 145:13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does.
Matthew 25:21-23

© GOD’s grace in Dawn Gwin 10-16-14; revised 12-04-14
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