Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Pruning

The Twist and Shout — Meeting at the Bar prompt today at dVerse Poets Pub focuses on the volta at the end of a poem. I’ll let you check out Bjorn’s excellent description if you want to know more about it. I looked back over some old lessons at dVerse for a sonnet form to use and settled on the Terza Rima Sonnet from way back in May 2013. As usual, I probably didn’t get the meter right, but I liked the rhyme scheme for this prompt and the poem that I had already started earlier today.

Pruning

Jesus, intercede for me when I sin
If I loudly protest, make me mute
I must survive the Father’s discipline

Oh, Jesus, intercede when I bear fruit
Prune away enough of what is dead
But never my whole being to uproot

For my greater good I know You bled
To save me from a sinful wasted life
That I might bear abundant fruit instead

Seasons come filled with trials and strife
I cry out to You my God above
And still I must endure Your Pruner’s knife

Your pruning is a true act of love
As on my branches rests Your holy dove

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Cardboard Evangelism (Miracles)—A Found Poem

This morning in church we had a visit from a group of men from our local Teen Challenge ministry. The sermon was about how God still performs miracles and these men shared how they are each a miracle. They did so in a very unique way; they called it their cardboard evangelism. Each man walked in front of the congregation with a cardboard sign. On one side they had written who they saw themselves as before they came to Teen Challenge; on the other side they had written who they are now—a miracle of God.

After the service I asked if I could write a found poem based on their cardboard evangelism and they said I could. So with the help of a few of the men I took pictures of the signs so that I could transcribe these miracles into this found poem.

TC Frown TC Smile

Cardboard Evangelism (Miracles)

Walking in a world of darkness
Found the Light in Jesus Christ

Lost cause; No foundation
Redeemed child; New creation

Chained down by addiction
Set free in Christ

Suicidal depressed broken spirit
Miracle Overcomer Healed

Young homeless lost with no hope
Found by Jesus who gave me hope for a better life

Abandoned, Dad was in prison
Found and free through my ultimate Father

Addicted to cutting myself; Hopeless, in pain
Christ bled enough for me. I am healed inside and out

20 years running with the devil
Now . . . running with GOD

Introduced to meth; it was killing me slowly. I hit my rock bottom
Repented to God. Now praying to be faithful

Bitter outcast looking for acceptance in a needle and a spoon
Passionate Jesus freak

Godless dirtbag
Fresh and clean with the Lord

Lost everything to alcohol
Gained everything through Christ

Overwhelmed by darkness
Overcome by Truth

On the street homeless, shooting meth, feeling hopeless
Overcame all with God’s love & forgiveness

Felt misled
Now have purpose

Had everything; wasn’t enough
Have Jesus; more than enough

Lost, broken, and hopeless
Found, healing, and hopeful

Junkie running to the needle every day
Delivered running to my Sword †

Imprisoned by drug addiction
Bailed out by Jesus Christ

Drinking away the past and the hurt
Trusting in Jesus to heal it all

Chasing dope daily, just to get high
Chasing God daily, and lifting Him high

Afraid I could do nothing right
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!

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Change

The change in me
when in Christ I believe
should be as noticeable as when
I dye my hair Love Apple Red

 

The prompt at dVerse Poets Pub yesterday was to write a poem about hair, using it as a metaphor or as the topic of the piece. At first nothing came to mind and I had decided to skip the prompt. But then this morning I remembered this post that I wrote some time ago about hair and decided to reduce the gist of that long post to a short poem.

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A New Creation

I’m not a sinner and nothing more
I’m also a saint who Christ restored

I live each day a new creation
The Holy Rock my firm foundation

Though I have sinned, falling short of God’s glory
My life of sin is not the end of the story

I live each day a new creation
Relying on the Spirit to resist temptation

Christ died to redeem a sinner like me
Now I have His sweet victory

I live each day a new creation
Secure and free in my salvation

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The Veil

A thick, dark veil obscures Your beauty
not the sort a bride wears
that offers a glimpse of what lies beneath

An impenetrable, purple veil
like an enormous Persian rug
hanging from poles of acacia wood and gold

Your beloved desires to see
the beauty behind the veil
and for You to see her and her yearning

Sin, the veil of darkness
separates You from Your beloved
so completely reconciliation seems impossible

Yet Your love for her
is stronger than the veil of sin
as You died for her the veil was torn in two

Beauty shone beyond the veil
no longer obscured from view
Your beloved approaches Your throne of beauty

The veil is torn, it is no more

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Holy in 10 Words

The Meeting the Bar prompt over at dVerse Poets Pub today is to write a ten-word poem. This poetry “form” was apparently created by Brian Miller who is quoted as saying “after ten words no one is listening anyway.” It just so happens that the other night as I was getting ready for bed I wrote a poem that, including the title, was exactly ten words. I jotted it down in the notepad on my nightstand before retiring. It’s been rattling around in my brain ever since trying to find a second stanza. Now I know the reason it didn’t find a second stanza is because it was already done.

Holy

Holy Holy
set apart
for the work of God

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Stripped Away

Yesterday I had coffee (well, actually I had tea) with my dear friend Ginger at Kyra’s Bake Shop in Lake Oswego. (As a side note, Kyra’s is a 100% gluten-free bakery and the treats are delicious. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true.)

I gave Ginger a signed copy of my book, which she encouraged me to publish. We had a great visit and I was telling her about the culmination of my year of no fear in 2014, which began when she and I went to a writers’ conference in the spring. She said to me, “I think there’s a poem in that.” This is not the first time that very phrase from Ginger’s lips has resulted in a poem. So I’m dedicating this one to Ginger. It’s my first post of 2015 (so, no, Post-a-Day isn’t happening) as a perfect recap of what God did in 2014.

Stripped Away

One by one
You stripped away
Each old fear
That stood in my way

To becoming what
You planned for me
A child of God
Hopeful and free

“No fear” I wrote
I thought it true
So many fears
Had been quelled by You

“No fear” I wrote
Yet one remained
A truth to tell
Laden with pain

Still You were faithful
In my year of no fear
To take that last one
And make it clear

That the truth once told
Would set me free
And the bond I cherish
Will forever be

Now there is nothing
For me to fear
Not even fear itself
Can snicker or sneer

To set me adrift
From the course You’ve laid
Sharing my freedom
In never being afraid

1/13/15 update: The dVerse Poetics Prompt today is to write about a secret. Since this poem involves a secret truth that needed to be told, I decided to share it there.

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My Lesson – A Poem

Over at dVerse Poets Pub today, Claudia has challenged us to write about anything we want, but we have to really look at it first. No clichés or hollow shadows of the thing allowed.

My Lesson

My BSF lesson was just some questions,
Bible passages to read—long passages
This is the life of Moses, Exodus and all that

Now it’s filled with my scribbles,
that half cursive, half printing jumble
that is my barely legible handwriting

Good thing no one else has to read it
It’s just for me, and to share with my
Saturday morning discussion group

But the real lesson is yet to come

I’m amazed every week, with each new lesson
that others don’t always have
the exact same answers as I do

We read the same passages yet
we glean different principles as
God’s Word speaks into each life, each heart

My lesson is that our Creator, omniscient
that He is, has a different lesson for me
than He has for you today, this week

Perhaps next week, or next year
I’ll be on the same lesson as you are now
or vice versa as our circumstances require

And that makes me rejoice
that my God truly knows
our daily needs and provides

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Obstacles – Hopefully Not a Bad Christian Poem

Last weekend I went to the Oregon Christian Writers fall one-day conference. It was a great conference filled with inspiring moments and lessons to learn. There were take-aways that will be incorporated into the poetry book I’m working on, but there was also a new poem I wrote.

One of the break-out sessions I went to was “How Not to Write a Christian Poem.” We talked about what makes a poem a “Christian poem.” My thought was that it must have an underlying Christian theme or worldview. Another comment was that it should glorify God—I liked that, too. We read a few poems and talked about whether we thought they were Christian. For some poems there was agreement, for others there wasn’t.

Of course, beauty and goodness are in the eye of the beholder, and I might like a poem you don’t, and vice versa. In the final analysis, though, we learned that a good Christian poem should:

  • not be overly laden with “Christianese”
  • not be trite or include over-used language
  • not be dull and boring
  • not be overly sentimental (I’m not sure how the presenter defined this)
  • be based on truth and the author’s experience

As part of the session, we each wrote a poem in the space of about 5 minutes. I thought I’d share mine just as I wrote it there. It needs some work to be a finished poem, but I liked the direction it went under the time pressure I was facing.

Obstacles

Obstacles appear
sickness and pain, busy-ness and loss
seemingly at random in my path
deterrents to my dream
The American dream of success and great gain

What is my dream?
A nightmare it seems has
overtaken me instead
Chaos in my world, in my mind

I thought I knew what was best
but Your detours have led me
to the real dream

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Swimming with the Fishes Fearlessly

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I took a vacation to Maui. It’s only our second time to Hawaii. The first time we went, I missed out on the snorkeling trip he and our son went on because I was afraid of the water. I missed out on cool tropical fish, octopus, spinner dolphins, and more. Simply because of fear.

It all started when I took swim lessons at the Collier Park pool in Ramona, California in the third grade. I was a skinny little thing back then, with not an ounce of fat on me and pitiful lung capacity due to living with smokers. The instructor told us to get into the 7′ end of the pool, push away from the side, and tread water. I followed his instructions—and a sunk like a rock. I frantically tread water at the bottom of the pool, looking up at the surface of the water where life-sustaining air was in abundance, terrified that I couldn’t get to the top, until someone jumped in and pulled me out.

Ever since then, if I ever got in a pool, lake, river, or even the ocean—and it has been seldom that I have—I always stay in the shallow end and my hair and glasses stay dry.

But as we planned our trip to Maui, I felt a strong desire to snorkel so that I could witness the beauty of God’s underwater creation. I knew it was going to take more courage than I have on my own to overcome a decades-long fear of water.

So I asked several groups of friends to pray specifically that I would be able to overcome my fear and snorkel. I prayed myself that God would give me courage to experience a successful and enjoyable snorkeling adventure.

God is good. He answered that prayer in ways I never imagined. In fact, I realized afterwards that He had begun answering my prayer 29 years ago when I met my husband, long before I even knew it would be my prayer. God knew I would need more than courage—I would need encouragement and someone to hold my hand through the experience.

I started in the hotel pool with rented snorkeling equipment, including prescription goggles so I could actually see. My husband was patience and encouraging as he sat relaxing in the lounge chair by the pool. Once I had mastered the ability to put my face in the water and breathe through the snorkel, we ventured out to Black Rock just down the beach from our hotel. As we first began to snorkel, my husband literally held my hand and we paddled around together looking at the fish. When I got water in my snorkel and became frustrated and wanted to quit for the day, he didn’t give me a hard time but was understanding.

Although it was a short snorkel that first day, we snorkeled three more times during the week. As long as I needed him to, my husband held my hand. Once when I felt a little panic, I recited one of my favorite versesPhilippians 4:6-7and God’s amazing peace did calm my heart. Eventually I was comfortable in the water and was able to snorkel on my own around Honolua Bay and Honokohua Bay. I even saw an octopus, a turtle, an eel, and a ton of colorful fish and coral.

Are you letting fear hold you back from something you would love to do? Are you missing out on life’s abundant blessings because you are paralyzed by fear and anxiety? Ask God to give you the courage—and whatever else He knows you need—to overcome that fear. He is faithful and He will answer, “for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7.

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