The prompt over at dVerse Poets Pub yesterday was to write poem about a time or times that influenced our evolution to the poet we are today. I had to really think about this one to come up with something, and here’s what I came up with.
First it was research papers,
then long-winded briefs
Perhaps just a memo
or letter to a client
but never a poem,
that’s not the sort for me
Expressing in essays
my thoughts and beliefs
No limit on wordiness
to slow me down
Others expressed ideas
great and profound
in simple poetry
of few lines and words
Maybe, just maybe
I could give it a try
Use fewer words to express
the mercy and grace of my Savior
the pain and the darkness
shattered by Light
Turns out a few words
are sometimes all it takes
If my heart is the Lord’s vineyard
the fruit belongs to Him alone
If vines are to grow and flourish
first He clears out the weeds and stones
If fruit is to blossom and thrive
first the rain falls and sunshine shone
If I’m to produce His top crop
I must cling to the truth He’s shown
My heart is the Lord God’s vineyard
the fruit I set before His throne
As humans, we have a tendency to compare ourselves to others. Either we see someone with a talent that we admire and wish we had, or we see someone who is sinning in a way that we are proud we don’t.
I admit that when I hear other women in church or in my Bible study sing in a beautiful soprano voice I feel a little jealous—okay, a lot jealous—that I cannot sing very well.
And when I see greedy, self-centered, immoral, and wicked people on TV I sometimes feel a twinge of superiority because I don’t act as they do.
But God has not called me to compare myself to others, whether it makes me feel less than them or better than them. It doesn’t matter if I don’t have the talents that others have, because I have the talents that God gave me. It doesn’t matter if I don’t sin in the same way as others, because I still fall short of the glory of God.
There are only two people in this world that I should ever compare myself to. The first is my former self—solely for the purpose of realizing what the Lord Jesus has done in my heart, how He has made me a new creation, and how I have used the talents He has given me. The second is Jesus—for the purpose of knowing what the gold standard of required behavior is, what I am striving towards with God’s help.
So who are you comparing yourself to today? What talent that God has given you are you neglecting because you are wishing for the talent He gave to someone else? What sin that God wants to save you from are not seeing in yourself because you are too busy focusing on the sins of others?
Won’t you change your focus with me today and keep your eyes on Jesus? He is the author and perfector of our faith, the source of our talents, and the power to overcome all our sins.
Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life
can never be restored
is forever destroyed
cannot be pasted
remains in tiny pieces
Cake once eaten
can never be made whole
With you and me
restoration is impossible
But with God
all things are possible
all things can be made new
all things will be used for our good
My heart is a mansion
where Christ dwells
The parlor filled with
The kitchen overflows with
But in a back room
locked up tight
dwell fear, doubt,
Sometimes late at night
they make their escape
Squatters wreaking havoc
throughout the house
My Savior has promised
to evict these intruders
by His Spirit—
not a spirit of timidity
but of power and of grace
“Be strong and courageous”
“Do not fear for I will not leave you
or forsake you”
“There is no condemnation in Me”
These are the promises
that restore harmony and hope
to the mansion that is my heart
She wanders afar
My prayers for rescue
Some people may have noticed that I haven’t been posting much lately. In fact, I’ve only posted one thing since Jan. 1, 2014. It’s not that I haven’t had ideas of things to write, because I have. And it’s not that I haven’t had any time at all to write, because as busy as I am there are time-waster activities I could give up so that I could write and post.
To be honest, I don’t really know what’s kept me from writing. However, a few weeks ago I went to a seminar titled “Just Write,” which I initially signed up for just to get the MCLE credits that I need. But it inspired me to pull out my pen (or my laptop) once again. Then over the last two weeks I wrote an essay for the writing contest for the Faith and Culture Writers Conference that I’ll be attending; Doing that reminded me of how much I love writing and want to get back to it. So tonight I wrote three short-form poems and have scheduled them to post over the next three days.
My goal—though I kind of hesitate to set one in writing for the world to see—is to post two or three new poems or essays each week. I need to “just write.” I won’t call it a resolution—it’s a bit late in the year for that anyway—but rather it’s an obligation to myself, akin to breathing.
This poem was inspired by my Bible Study Fellowship teaching leader, who has been a great inspiration to me. We are doing a study of Matthew and some of the phrases in this poem are inspired by the encounters with Jesus that we have been studying.
wherever He may lead
Into the storm
or to foreign lands
wherever there is need
of the Living God
rejoicing, “I am freed!”
The cross of Christ
the Gospel true, she
rejoicing plants a seed
forging ahead with
teaching we do heed
The Word of Life
the source from which all
teaching does proceed
‘Tis the sweet eve of Christmas Day
I pray that all will find the way
To the manger where Jesus sleeps
See the treasure His mother keeps
This quiet will last but a little while
For one day Mary will not smile
To see her son on a cross dying
His disciples all around her crying
But for now she cradles Him in her arms
Protecting the Christ Child from all harms
Seek Him now as the wise men do
He came out of love for me and you
This is a post that I wrote the first December that I was blogging. I wasn’t getting nearly the traffic back then that I do now, and since I’m having a little trouble getting anything new written I thought I’d repost this. The timing is perfect because tomorrow is Christmas Eve. It’s the perfect time to ponder Immanuel.
As Christmas is fast approaching, I’ve been thinking about the many names given to Jesus in the Bible. He is called the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Alpha & Omega, and many more. But my favorite name of Jesus is Immanuel. The prophet Isaiah wrote: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14. This verse is quoted in Matthew 1:23 regarding Jesus, and in Matthew the writer defines the name Immanuel to mean “God with us.”
When I look at one of my many nativity scenes, that is what I see: God with us. For thousands of years God tried to get the message across to His people that He loved them and would always be there for them. He spoke through miracles, such as the parting of the Red Sea, and through prophets, such as Isaiah and Daniel. But in spite of all His attempts to get through to them, His people didn’t always get it.
So God decided to become one of us, to be with us, to experience life just as we do. I like the name Immanuel because it reminds me that God loves us enough to be willing to experience all the pain, trials, and heartache that we do, to fully understand how we experience relationships and love. God did this in hopes that we could and would better relate to Him. Because ultimately what He wants is for us to be with Him.
This Christmas, I hope you will feel the blessing of being with God and of God being with you. I hope you will experience the fullness of Immanuel.
Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life