Ponderings in Elfland

Where Master Storyteller and Tolkien Artist Jef Murray shares his insights on God’s Grace.

The Star

The Star – by Jef Murray A Tale of an Aging Mother and her Son His mother was propped up in bed; seemingly in the same position as when he’d left her two days before. Her eyes fluttered open. “Sam! Have you come to take me home?” He sighed and pulled a chair up beside her. Through the window above her bed, […]

The Utter East

Aslan - Sketch © by Jef Murray

The Utter East – by Jef Murray The Utter East When e’re the road flows by my door And beckons loudly in its haste to sweep me off through mist and moor unto some rich uncharted waste, I feel that tug of tempting fate: September hailing from her hills, insisting secret paths await all souls who seek to shed life’s […]

The Apothecary

Lost Child – Sketch © by Jef Murray

“So, what will it do?” The young woman studied the contents of the glass bottle. Within was a single jade-green pill, perfectly round. The proprietor of the shop just smiled. “No, honestly,” said Jill, looking up at the man behind the counter. “I need to know what I’m getting myself into.” “It contains nothing that will harm you; be assured […]

Confronting the Count

Bram Stoker Conference Logo

A Gift Unbidden It comes without warning, and at the most unexpected of times. I’ll be furiously focused on one task or another: painting, or writing, or preparing for some descending deadline or some travel plans I’m making. Then, as if Someone had gently disconnected the power to all of these troublesome tasks and tribulations, everything ceases. The hammering of […]


Wedding RingsWedding Rings

A Jeweler Receives a Visitor The bell on the front door of the shop rang. The Dwarf peered through the curtain separating the storefront from his workspace. “Ah, it’s only you,” he said. Eyebrows bristled over a broad nose and his beard was shot through with strands of silver. He pushed aside the drapes and emerged from behind the jewelry […]

Making All Things New

Editor’s Note: Jef Murray gained some insights and made some spiritual progress during this past Advent Season, as we all hope to do if we are paying attention. The following are his “ponderings” of that time that he shared in his December Newsletter. He shares them now with you as we all look back to assess how well we prepared… […]

The Perspicuity of Puddleglum

Puddleglum - Sketch © by Jef Murray

Puddleglum – Sketch © by Jef Murray “Don’t pay any attention to what he says. You’re arguing with someone who believes God became a human being and then committed suicide….” The comment left me literally speechless. I had been in an exchange with someone on Facebook regarding the decline of honeybees, worldwide, and I had challenged their assertion that it […]

The Citadel

“You don’t belong here!” Bernadette Bingham was walking past the drab brownstone apartments on her way to work. She looked at the little girl playing on the stoop, puzzled. “You don’t belong here!” the child said again, looking her straight in the eye. It was not the look of a little child; her expression was intense, disconcerting. Then, abruptly, the […]

The Calling

Lucy saw the man on the street several times before she recalled that he had been murdered the year before. On reflection, she realized this wasn’t because she was inattentive; he was simply hard to notice. The bulky figure appeared hazy and indistinct, as if seen from some great distance: he was dressed in loose fitting, drab clothing, he avoided […]