There was an error in this gadget

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Season of ...

What is Christmas to you?

A season of ... joy? giving? celebration? busyness? stress? Maybe a little of all that?

For me it's that last one; or at least it has always been before. I'm hoping that this year will be a little different though. This year (I pray) we've got the focus right.

A verse that has been on my mind since I found it is Hebrews 13:6. I obviously try to do good and share, but are those two things really sacrifices in my life? Do I share to where it hurts? Are the good things I do forcing me to sacrifice anything?

I wrote about our amazing Thanksgiving dinner last week, and this verse reminds me of that evening. We sacrificed time as a family, money for the extra food, gas to drive our friend back and forth. I sacrificed some comfort, having a new person I didn't really know well in my home.

But God blessed it mightily. He was well pleased with what we did. And I want that again. I want all the blessings God has for me.

So, like I said in my last post, we are opening the doors of our home to friends, family, maybe even a stranger, on Christmas Day. We'll have food, warmth, music, and fellowship. It won't be quiet. It won't be private. It won't look like any other Christmas we've had in the past.

And I am very okay with that.

I have been writing Christmas poems for a few weeks now, and I currently have four that I'll be posting the week of Christmas. I'm actually hoping He'll give me one more so I have a full slate of new ones that week, but we'll see what He's got.

Have a great week everyone. I pray that God pours out blessings as you navigate this season and that you are always able to hang onto the reason we celebrate every year. See you next week!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giving Really is Better

Thanksgiving in our house had always been a family thing. For a long time, we traveled to my grandparents home until they passed away several years ago.

Then that home was passed to my mother, so we went to the same home, only ate with my mom and brothers. Something was still missing.

Then three years ago my husband and I decided to make it about just our family. That was better, without the drama, but something was still missing.

In 2008 and 2009, it was our family and my youngest brother. Again, nice, but missing something.

This year changed EVERYTHING.

This year we invited a man I would call an acquaintance to eat with us. He is a former soldier, having done two tours in Iraq, going through some personal issues, and was going to be alone (save the dogs) on Thanksgiving. My husband and I found this to unacceptable.With some cajoling, prodding, and assuring him it was no burden, he came on Thanksgiving to eat with our family of five.

And it was the best holiday we have ever had.

We made him some dinner, talked to him for a couple hours, gave him the leftovers to take home, and it was one of the best feelings I've ever had. He was so thankful and appreciated having people to talk to. What was a simple gesture made such a difference to him, and us as well.

On Christmas Day, we're opening the doors of our home to any family or friends who want to come. I'm going to bake throughout the day and set out snacks and spend the day with the people we love and cherish.

And I suspect it will be the best Christmas I've ever had.

The old adage is true: Giving is truly better than receiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Toda

Toda means thanks in Hebrew. This became the basis for my poem this Thanksgiving, giving thanks to God and Christ in one of the most important languages to both Jews and Christians.

I really wanted to write something special this year, because I have so much to be thankful for. The past few months have been an incredible season of blessing and learning and spiritual growth for me. He has poured out so much into and for me recently.

I pray that you have a blessed holiday and safe travels this week. May He smile on each one of you during this time. God bless!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Impressions

"Impressions" was inspired, like many other poems, by a song. "The Song You Sing" by Creed really made me think about the impact I was having on other people, day in and day out. The lyrics that really caught me were:

Does the song you sing
Have enough meaning
Inspire us to sing along
Does the song you sing keep echoing
Inspire us to sing the song you sing

God wants us to have an everlasting song. He wants us to sing a song that brings others to eternal life with us. It's not enough for us to make it if we don't try to bring anyone else to Jesus. We can't just coast along now that we're saved. We need to go out, be His hands and feet, sing His song, speak His word, and spread His gospel.

Have a great week everyone and may God bless you all greatly. See you next week!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On the Move

Yesterday was probably one of the longest days I have ever had. The family piled in the car at 4 AM and took off. Our destination? Dallas, Texas.

18 hours later we arrived.

I will never do that again. EVER. Except for the ride home.

There were blessings in the trip though. We got to see an enormous amount of God's beautiful Creation as we drove through Missouri and Oklahoma. Illinois and Texas were cloaked in darkness, however we did get to experience God's power in an intense thunderstorm as we approached St. Louis.

His hand was clearly on the entire thing as none of the kids killed each other, got sick on the ride or was (majorly) injured. There were no problems with the van and we were given fabulous directions by several different people. We made it, even in the dark, through the (to us) insane Dallas traffic.

I am hoping that being in a hotel, even with three kids, for 3 days while my husband is off doing his work will give me a chance to write some. I had planned to schedule poems for this week on Monday as we were originally to be here tomorrow, but the plan changed so I did not get the chance to schedule anything. I am going to do that today and everything should be back to normal next week.

I hope you all have a great week. We'd appreciate your prayers on Saturday as we travel home. God bless you all!

-----

I would appreciate it if you would fill out this short survey about various things surrounding my poetry - http://bit.ly/cOTyj4 ... Thanks!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Glorious Return

"Glorious Return" expresses the world that we are living in, and the world we will be living in until Jesus comes back. There will be suffering and persecution, but we are to count ourselves blessed for those things. We are following in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior.

I am very pleased to report that I am still writing, despite a slow down, as I penned two new poems last week. One of them is for Christmas, so you won't see it for a bit. The other should be in the rotation before too long.

The interesting thing though is what happened when I went to write. Our daughter had a practice for the puppet ministry she is involved with, so I went to the library for some peace and quiet. I sat down and a little girl immediately sat down with me and began to talk to me. She asked what I was going to be doing, so I told her I was going to write. I explained that I write poems about God and Jesus, and we spoke for a while about Him and how she wanted to build a rocket to go see Him someday. I found out that she was 4 years old and it floored me. God had placed me there to witness to a 4 year old little girl before I wrote. If I hadn't gone with the flow of His Spirit, I wouldn't have been there.

I am making a slight change to how I post poems and blogs. My schedule has shifted a bit, so I am going to post them Tuesday through Saturday, giving me Monday to set everything up and take a bit of the pressure off my Sundays.

I hope you all have a blessed week and He shines the light of His face upon each and every moment. Come, Lord Jesus!

-----

I would appreciate it if you would fill out this short survey about various things surrounding my poetry - http://bit.ly/cOTyj4 ... Thanks!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Influential Music

My life has almost always been built around music. My parents raised me to 60's, 70's and 80's music on vinyl records and radio stations. Events in my life are recalled by a song that was playing when they happened. I don't ever remember not having music around, and now when there is no music on, I feel kind of empty.

As expected, music is a huge influence on my poetry. I thought you might be interested in what's engaging me right now, and where many of my ideas are flowing from. Here is a list of music I'm using to get me writing these days:

  • "2000 Decembers Ago" by Joy Williams
  • "What Child is This?" by Mercy Me
  • "I Want to Be with You" by Cory Asbury and Team (KC-IHOP)
  • "Jesus Is" by Hillsong Church London
  • "Rend the Heavens" by Isa Couvertier
  • "Samuel's Awakening" by Jason Upton
  • "A Lion Has Roared" by Jeremy Horn
  • "Soul Cry" by Misty Edwards
  • "Revelation 4-5" by Justin Rizzo and Team (KC-IHOP)

Christmas music? Yeah, I'm writing for Christmas right now. I have one called "This Child" and I am hoping for at least one more before the end. The others I have found to be very good at stirring my heart and my emotions as I write, bringing me closer to His ideas for the poems.

A lot of it is likely unknown to many of you because it comes from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. Every two months we get a Limited Edition MP3 download of the "highlights" of the Global Prayer Room there, and every time we have found at least one song that touches us. It is an amazing place and an amazing resource for pure, heartfelt worship music.

Before I go, I need to ask for your help. It won't take long but I have a ten question survey that I need as many people as possible to fill out. It will really help me shape how I get the poetry to you, if you're interested in products or a book, and let me know how you're finding things.

Have a great week and I'll talk to you again soon. God bless!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Change of Pace

All summer long, I worked pretty hard to keep churning out new poems and blog posts, spending time on Twitter and Facebook scheduling posts. I hope that it has been great for you all, blessing each of you in a deep way.

Now that fall has arrived, though, I can feel a change coming. It happened last year, and I can see it on the horizon now as well. These cold months seem to signal a slowdown for me, a break I guess in my pace. I have not written a new poem in several weeks, and while I have ideas, nothing is flowing very easily. I am going to keep trying and I am sure that some things will coalesce, but I want to be honest about what you can expect at the moment.

I will continue to post a poem every weekday on both Twitter and Facebook, some you've seen recently and others from farther back in the archives. I am going to do my best to write a blog post every week as well.

Finally, I would greatly appreciate you filling a short, ten question survey about several things surrounding the poetry. It will help me get an idea for where people are finding the poetry, what you think of the postings, and if you'd like to see some things that have been in mind for a while now.

Thank you for all your support and following me down this ever changing road. May God bless every one of you as we all walk out this path called life, until the return of our King, Jesus.

Friday, September 24, 2010

One and Only

As I have drawn closer to Jesus, it has been made apparent that He needs to be my singular focus. "One and Only" is an expression of that. I love my children, and I am devoted to my husband, but Jesus must come before all of that. He spoke of this in Matthew 10:37. He demands to come first, nothing less.

I pray that your weekend is a great one! Let me know if there is anything I can pray for you about. Leave a comment here or get in touch with me through Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail. God bless everyone!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blessed Ones (Matt 5:3-12)

I am not feeling very good, so I am going to keep this short.

"Blessed Ones" comes from Matthew 5:3-12, otherwise known as the Sermon on the Mount or the Beatitudes. It is the second in the His Words series I am working on. I pray that it blesses you this day.

Have a great week and may God bless!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Silence

"Silence is golden."

"A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;" - Ecclesiastes 3:7

"Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." - Proverbs 17:28

Much is, and can be, done in silence. God used the silence before time began to start His work. When we turn off all of the world's distractions, all of the world's temptations, and just sit, He is there. That is what "Silence" is about.

Have a great weekend everyone. Send me a note if there's anything I can pray about in your life, and may God bless each moment!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Different

What a difference a year makes ...

Last year, the day after my birthday, I was in tears, having been very badly hurt by someone in my family. I was full of skepticism and cynicism about people's well wishes. I was depressed and angry.

This year could not be more different. I feel so incredibly blessed to have spent time with my children, mother, brother and husband all day Saturday. And I get to look forward to celebrating again next month when my dad can come down.

"Different" is a poem about the struggle of being considered abnormal. Christians don't act the same, talk the same, live the same. Sometimes that isn't fun. Sometimes it's downright horrible. But if we are followers of Jesus, we have to be different. We are not of the world, just as Christ was not of the world.

I pray you all have a great week and if I can intercede for any of you, just let me know! God bless!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to me

I'm 32 today!

Yay ... I guess ...

Just kidding. Another year with God is a great thing!

Last year I wrote a poem for my birthday, somewhat chronicling where I was with my faith. As this birthday approached, I thought it might be interesting to do another one. So, I'm planning on trying to do this every year around my birthday.

This year's installment is called "Butterfly". It talks about my lifelong trek and where I am now, waiting to be robed in white with my Savior.

For now though, I will enjoy having my brother come into town and eating the best cupcakes I've ever had. If you're in Terre Haute, you really should try Caboodle Cupcakes! If you're not, then ... I am sorry.

Have a great weekend and let me know if you need some prayer! God bless!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Beloved

I hope everybody had a great weekend, long or short!

My Beloved is one of my favorite poems that I have written lately. Getting more deeply involved with WVIHOP has brought me to much better understanding of the church, or believers, as the bride. The Song of Solomon has opened up to me with a second layer portraying Jesus as The Beloved and the church as the Shulamite. The love between them is pure and sweet, as the love between Christ and ourselves should be. I am somewhat impatiently awaiting the return of my Beloved, anxious to see His face and glory.

In case you missed the link on Twitter, there's a new video up on my YouTube Channel called "Night". You can find the poem here.

Have a blessed (hopefully short) work week, and if you need prayer for anything, feel free to get in touch with me!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Beautiful Magnificence

"Beautiful Magnificence" is a simple offering of praise to my God. His beauty is unmatched in this world. He appears as precious stones, surrounded by a rainbow. Jesus is the Beloved, chief among ten thousand.

I hope you have all had a wonderful week, and I pray your weekend is full of rest and fun times. If you are in need of prayer, feel free to get in touch with me and I would be happy to pray for you. I'll see you again on Monday! God bless!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fear

We all have fears whether we admit it or not. Fears of loss, fears of the public speaking, fears of death. My biggest fear though has nothing to do with earthly things. Hearing the dreaded words on Judgment Day. That is my biggest "Fear".

I will be getting a new video up in the near future, perhaps even today. It will be for the poem, "Night" with peaceful music behind it, trying to convey the tone of what I wrote.

Again, I want to offer prayer to anyone who needs it. You can leave a comment here on the blog or contact me through Twitter or Facebook. Be as specific or vague as you like.

Have a great week everyone! May God continue to bless you all!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Metamorphosis

"Metamorphosis" is a path that many people take to finding the Lord. At the end of their rope, they accept an invitation to church, or stumble in on their own, and start to hear about this thing called salvation. With a hunger in them that they can't explain, they listen and search and study, eventually accepting Christ into their life.

The key, though, is that they are not perfect once they get baptized or say a prayer. They still sin. They still mess up. They still do all those "bad" things. But Jesus still saves them. He died for us, "while we were still sinners". Everything rests on what Jesus did, not what we do.

I hope your week was a blessed one, but if not, I would be happy to pray for you. Get in touch with me and I will add you to my prayers. The link to my various social media outlets are on the right-hand side of the front page of the blog. You can also leave a comment below any of the posts here if you wish.

Have a great weekend everyone! God bless!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chorus

There is a huge chasm in the church right now as denominations dig in and refuse to work together as "members of that one body". Congregations are shrinking and no one is willing to lose one more, even if that means being insular. "Chorus" speaks about what God sees when He looks down the church, and what should be happening within it.

I know that this may be controversial, but if you look through the Word the only thing Jesus is concerned with is our devotion to Him, our acceptance of Him, and our relationship with Him. Not what denomination we are, not the works we do, not the doctrine we follow. One bride. One church.

I pray that your week has started well, and continues to be so, every moment of every day. God bless and thank you for your support!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Beyond Comprehension

I don't remember exactly where the title came from, but I think when we take a moment to sit back and REALLY think about what Jesus did for us, we can all agree that it's beyond comprehension. I don't think any of us can fully understand how God, the God of the universe, could come down to Earth as an infant, and then work Himself, literally, to death, all for love. That is a love that is beyond any of us.

However, I tried to express some of that in "Beyond Comprehension". My gratitude, my utter lack of understanding, my love for Him. He reigns, now and forever.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Matchless Redux

I posted about a poem called "Matchless" here about three weeks ago, and I talked about the inspiration for it. I was listening to some music and realized that I forgot a very important part of that.

The song "Holy" by Matt Gilman has been one of my favorites for a long time now. It's what I call a "big song" because it builds to a tremendous crescendo with the refrain of, "There is no one like you/You are holy/Holy!". It speaks directly out of the Book of Revelation about God's holiness and the majesty of heaven around Him.

So I wanted to fix my oversight from a few weeks ago, and clue you in to some great Christian music, and a little more of how my brain works when I'm writing!

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Psong

No, it's not a typo. That's really the title!

"New Psong" was written by taking lines from various Psalms (95, 96, 98, 100, or 101) and filling in between them with lines of my own. It's a lengthy poem but I love the picture of praise that it puts forth. I regularly read it at WVIHOP during our devotional set on Tuesday evenings because it fits so well with the thought of singing prayers and praying songs. And after all, God is so worthy!

So (hopefully) you noticed the huge change to the theme of the blog when you first arrived. I hope that you like the shift in style. I like the purple touches since much of my webpage is purple. The background is very soothing and unobtrusive, as well as showing off the Lord's Creation.

School starts again this week, which I am actually kind of happy about. I am hoping that soon we will settle into a really nice schedule that allows me to communicate more with all of you. I hate being out of touch.

So we shall see what the next month or so brings, and until Friday have a blessed week!

Monday, August 9, 2010

His Words

"Weary (Matt 11:28-30)" is the first poem in a series called "His Words". I am taking the words in red (Jesus' words) and using them actually within the poem itself as well as basing the poem on the Scripture in the titles. Be sure to keep your eyes out for them going forward as I sprinkle them in with the other new poems.

This is our ramp up week as we get ready to go back to homeschooling on Tuesday. School supplies, reformatting computers, forming curriculum ... that's this week. So, this is the only new poem this week, and I'll fill in on Twitter and Facebook with older ones you might have missed.

Have a great week and may God rain down his blessings on your life!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Stand

"Stand" came out of the lyrics to a Skillet song called "Awake and Alive". We are all going to have to take a stand someday. We will all face opposition from someone at some point over our faith, and we have to make a decision. Who will have our allegiance? Who will we choose? The answer has everlasting implications.

Don't forget that I would be happy to pray for anyone in need. Take advantage of one of the many ways to get ahold of me and I'll be glad to keep you in my prayers.

Have a great weekend everyone, and now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to a end of the school year party for my children! God bless!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Matchless

God is matchless and that is where "Matchless" began. I was sitting in my van, looking out at a patchwork sky of clouds and God rays, and I was overwhelmed with a feeling of awe. The God of everything was looking down at me and loving me like no one else ever could.

I pray that you had a blessed weekend, and that you feel His touch throughout this week!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hand in Hand

God is our Heavenly Father, and "Hand in Hand" comes from a picture of a child holding their daddy's hand. Although in the case of God, it means so much more because of His glory and perfection. The comparison between our hands and His is so poignant to me.

Have a great weekend everyone, and may God continue to pour out His blessings on you all!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Heavenly Messages

"Heavenly Messages" speaks about those times when God speaks to us. In dreams or visions, He pours out the gift of prophecy on those of us who have been chosen for it. I love the thought, and the experience, of God blessing me with a thought or message that perhaps no one else has. The scary part comes in being asked to share those things with other people and not knowing what their reaction will be!

Barring any unforeseen complications, I'll be working on another video this evening. This one will be for "Holy Sacrifice", one of my very early poems. I'll post a link here, on Twitter, and on Facebook when it is finished.

I know I keep bringing this up, but I want to make sure everyone knows that I would be happy to pray for any of you in need. Just let me know through any of the avenues available what you need, and I will pray for you!

Finally, in the very near future I'm going to be changing the look of this blog. I have a rough idea of what I want to do, but I just need to get the courage to take the leap. So, maybe next time you check in, things will be looking different!

Have a great day, and I'll talk to you again on Friday with another new poem. God bless everyone!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Scarred

I don't know about you, but I'm covered with a lot of scars. A few of them are visible, physical scars, but most are within. Emotional, spiritual; those are much more prevalent.

"Scarred" is about some of those things. The scars we carry personally, and also the scars society has.

It's also about the scars that brought salvation. The only scars that matter now. All those other scars can be healed by His scars.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and God bless! See you next week!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Battleground

I pray that you all had a wonderfully blessed 4th of July weekend! And for those of you who are off of work again today, hooray!

Today's poem is called "Battleground". It speaks about the daily warfare that occurs within us as we choose between God's way and the way of the world. The outcome is ultimately up to us, moment by moment, decision by decision.

I'm going to be updating the look of this blog soon, although to be honest I'm not exactly sure what I'll be doing. I just know it's time for a change!

In case you were not around when the announcement came, my poetry now has its own YouTube Channel. There are currently two videos up, and I will try to add two per month from here on out. Please leave comments and let me know what you think of them!

Finally, about ten days ago I posted here letting you know I would be pleased to pray for anything that you needed. Just know that at anytime, that offer stands. Send me an e-mail, post in the comments, send me a message on Twitter or Facebook.

Have a blessed week everyone!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Prayer Requests

Hello everyone! I hope your week has been wonderful and all is well in your life!

If so, praise God!

If not, I'd be honored to pray for whatever chaos is going on in your life. Please feel free to leave your prayer request in the comments of this post, or any other posts in the future for that matter. Alternately, if you'd like to keep the details private, e-mail me at holli@holliswank.com and know that I will be praying for you. Prayer has made such a difference in my life and I would be happy to pass that on to others.

Have a great weekend and know that God loves you, every single second of every single day, no matter what!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beautiful Garden

Today's poem is about the longing we all feel to return to Eden, to beauty, to God. I have read some of (and need to finish) Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge and this is one of the things I really identified with. I also really feel a connection to the song, "Eden", by Phil Wickham. It's as if there is a pull on my heart to return to that pure and innocent place where life began.

In case you missed the big announcement on Monday, my poetry now has its own channel on YouTube! I will be reading a poem and letting my husband transform it into a video with his music and a beautiful background. I'm very excited about getting my poetry out there like this, and I pray it will continue to spread the Good News all over the world.

I figured I would take this opportunity to re-post all of the ways you can connect with me and my poetry, including the brand new addition! They are as follows:

Website - http://www.HolliSwank.com

Twitter - http://twitter.com/ChristianPoetry

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Christian-Poetry-of-Holli-Swank/76811274609?ref=ts

YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/HolliSwank

E-mail - holli@holliswank.com


I am so glad you've joined me here and I'd love to get your opinions about the poetry, the website, or anything else that's on your mind. Thanks for your support and may God continue to bless you always!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Exciting News!

Last Thursday night during my meditation time, God revealed to me a wonderful new idea for getting my poetry out into the world. I've been so excited to share it with you, and I'm thrilled to now be able to do so!

My poetry now has a YouTube channel where I will be reading my poetry and posting it as a video with music and a background. The first poem I've done is "Come Home" and I think it has turned out fabulously. The YouTube channel is here, and you can subscribe if you'd like an e-mail update when new videos are posted. I am going to try to get at least two more up before the end of this week, and after that I'm going to attempt to produce one every two weeks or so.

This would not have been possible without the support, iMac skills and music of my husband. All I had to do was read the poem and he did everything else. He's an amazing blessing to me.

So there you go! Thanks for reading and I pray that this new avenue will bring you closer to God through the poems! God bless everyone!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Flame of Faith

Well, summer is going to busier than I thought! Where did my week go?

Today I offer up "Flame of Faith" to you. It was inspired by the lyrics of "Stir Up the Flame" by Misty Edwards, a worship leader at KC-IHOP. The poem talks about how our faith is a flickering flame and must be nurtured before it goes out.

During last night's meditation, I was granted a phenomenal idea by the Lord. I don't want to say too much before I have it fleshed out, but I promise it will be a great way for you to experience the poetry you find here. As soon as I know the specifics, I will post here and let you know. I am so excited about this and I cannot wait to share it with everyone!

Have a fabulous weekend and stay tuned for the announcement! God bless!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Back to Normal

Life is at last starting to slow down again!

On Tuesday, I posted Encounter, a poem about the first time I encountered the Holy Spirit. I was watching the KC-IHOP live feed of the IHOPU Student Awakening service. I'd been having a rough time with some things and I wrote some rather scathing things in my journal towards God. He answered rather quickly with a song, and then I was very literally overwhelmed by the Spirit, forced to my knees while my husband prayed over me.

Today brings Cloudy, my first poem of the spring. I just could not find any inspiration during the dark of winter, and this was my re-entry into writing. It also speaks to me about the darkness overtaking the world right now, and the renewal Christ will bring when He returns.

On a personal note, ten years ago today I was laboring away, awaiting the arrival of our first child. It's hard to believe, but today she turns ten, growing up every day. I wrote poems about each of my kids last year that you can see on my personal blog here, here, and here. Boy, has the time flown by.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and may God continue to bless you all!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Witness

A new poem! Gasp!

Witness
is similar in style to At the Foot of the Cross as it gives differing viewpoints on the hours of Jesus' death. The cross was a huge focus for me at the time of both poems, stemming from my visions during meditation. It became very clear that He intended for me to write about the cross in many different ways.

I pray you all have a great weekend and I will be back with you next week! God bless!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Long Overdue

I'm assuming that most of you have executed at least one move in your adulthood. And as such you understand how stressful and exhausting it is. Add in three kids and it gets really crazy!

So that's where I've been lately. We've been packing, moving, unpacking, lather, rinse, repeat for the past couple weeks. My husband getting sick slowed us down considerably, so until today, we weren't really sure we were going to make it.

But we did. So, this week I am going to make every effort to get back on schedule. At least one poem before Saturday.

Thanks for your patience with me while we moved! God bless everyone!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Oh Boy

Well ... I thought the week before last was busy. I was wrong.

Last week contained a trip to the Indianapolis Zoo, a devotional set at WVIHOP, a trip to the ER, a trip to the doctor, and a lot of fretting over my husband's health. This week contains some of the same! Add in a lot of packing and you've got a full schedule.

I'm only going to try to do one poem this week because I am still getting used to my new MacBook. Lullabye is a message of love and peace from God as we try to sleep.

I pray that all the mother's had a wonderful day yesterday. I received many gifts of love and a homecooked meal by my husband.

Have a great week everyone and God bless!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Changes

Whew ... what a couple weeks! We've been busy and there's no sign of stopping!

Our family is getting ready to move at the end of this month, so things are starting to ramp up around here. I am going to do my very best to post poems, if not a blog post, every week. If don't, however, you'll know why.

In case you missed it, last week I posted a poem called Servant's Hands. It speaks of the different ways we can choose (or not) to serve our Lord, and what good our hands can do.

Today you'll be able to read At the Foot of the Cross. It's the first in a series of poems about the cross, borne out of visions I was having during meditation at the time. My husband and I would have about twenty minutes of meditation, and I was repeatedly shown the cross, in varying scenes, degrees of clarity and distances. It became very clear that was the place God wanted me to stay at the time.

Wednesday will be Crisscrossed. It speaks of the image of the cross splashed across our society today. It's intended to be a thought provoking piece, and could be a little controversial in its frankness.

Finally, on Friday, is Life of Choices. This one I worked on for a long time, completely re-writing it once. It is also intended to make you think and perhaps recenter yourself in your decision-making process.

This week's poems are somewhat challenging, but I think that's a good thing. As hard as it is (and as much as I dislike it most of the time) being challenged almost always brings me out better on the other end. It is a refining that God puts me through to make me more of what He wants. I hope that maybe a poem will strike you and start a process of refinement in you as well.

Thank you for your support on Twitter and Facebook and here on the blog. I really do appreciate it, and I hope I contribute something back to your lives with this poetry. I am here for my God first and then for other people. As the saying goes, "Love God and love people". I pray that I am doing a good job of that with my poetry. May God bless you always!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lightbulb Preparation

This is going to be a crazy week!

Monday through Wednesday will be spent getting ready for my husband to be gone to work an Emmaus Walk Thursday through Sunday. This leaves me alone with three kids for four days! Oh boy.

This week brings you two poems, Lightbulb and Preparation (hence the blog post title). Lightbulb talks about those moments when everything just clicks for you. Preparation is about the coming kingdom and who is bringing it.

Thank you for your continuing support and I pray that my poetry is reaching out to you in a wonderful, spiritual way. God bless all and have a great week!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Undone

The poem today is one that has tremendous meaning to me. I explain briefly in the comments of the poem about where it comes from, but I want to do a more thorough job here.

I was nervous about attending the Good Friday service that our local IHOP (International House of Prayer) hosted at a high school nearby. See, I had never The Passion of the Christ and was very afraid of the violence I knew was contained within it. The IHOP service was going to feature music, dancing and painting surrounding the movie, which interested me, but the movie still frightened me. So I struggled with the choice for several days.

After prayer and a promise from my husband, who had seen the movie, that he would tell when the worst was coming, I went. The movie was shown on a large screen, with the sound down, as the team sang a selection of songs. From the beginning the mood was somber and tears were not scarce, but things really got intense when the scourging began.

For anyone who has seen the movie, you know the imagery that is presented in those scenes. I made it through the first stage with them simply whipping Him with what appeared to be rods, but as they lifted the rods with barbs, I buried my head in my husband's shoulder. Tears began streaming down my face and I literally was wracked with sobs. I had to take off my glasses and tuck them into my purse. Even being unable to clearly see the screen, or hear what was happening, pain and sorrow raced through me. He did this for me, to erase my sins, and even if I was the only person on Earth, He would have done it. How overwhelming is that?

Mary cleaning up the blood her son had shed, which covered a vast area after the beating from the Romans, as well as the scene where she remembered comforting Him as a child, brought more tears. I have a son. I cannot imagine seeing him suffer, and die, like that and have no power to stop it.

So I made it through the movie and the service, and we gathered up our stuff, emotionally drained from the experience. My husband plays twice a week at IHOP so the leader, Marvin, is well known to both of us. He came down to thank Larry and give us both hugs as we started to walk out, then seeing my face, told me to, "Stay undone."

So I have done my best to do that. Every time I get frustrated or angry or feel alone in my struggles I think back on those striking images of my Lord, drenched in blood, hanging on a cross, dying for me. And it works almost every time.

This is a video with clips from The Passion, set to one of my favorite songs, 'By Your Side'. If you've never seen the movie, it will give you a taste of what it is like. Hopefully it will cause you to come undone.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Success!

I am in week two of successfully posting poems and blog posts!

Now, that is in big part because of the efforts of my fabulous webmaster, who has arranged things on the site so that I can schedule poems to post throughout the week. It allows me to take one day to set everything up and be hands off for the rest of the week. He's awesome.

So, this week you get two new poems, Expectant and Indecision (Rev 3:15-16).

The first is about the way we all plan our lives and then ask God to bless what we've done, not let God carry out His plans for us.

The second is based on the Scripture referenced in the title. We are all lukewarm at times, with one foot in the Kingdom and one foot in the world's ways. He won't have it that way.

So I pray that you will enjoy the poems this week. Have a blessed week and may God's grace shine on you each and every day.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wondrous Day

He is risen!

This is the second half of the surprise I spoke of many months ago. Wondrous Night came back in December for Christmas, and it's sister Wondrous Day arrives for Easter. You'll notice great similarities and it is on purpose. I wanted to show how the events are inexorably tied together, and not just by the child/man they are centered on.

Have a blessed day everyone!

-----

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

- Matthew 28: 5-10 (NIV)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Circlet

A blessed Good Friday to you all.

Today's poem, Circlet, has been written for many months, and has one of my favorite titles yet. The thorns Jesus wore are typically referred to as a crown, but I have always loved the term circlet. The image of Christ, sitting at the right hand of God, in pure white, with a circlet of gold replacing those thorns is a glorious one indeed.

-----

And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.

And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,

And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!

And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.

And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.

- Mark 15:16-20 (KJV)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Priceless

It is, arguably, the most important week of the Christian faith. This week, almost 2,000 years ago, our Lord and Savior was hung on a tree, died bearing all our sin, and then, as he foretold, rose again. Wow.

I have three poems for this week, the first of which is Priceless. The second will come on Good Friday and the last on Easter. I figured there was no better time to restart my poetry than this week.

I'm going to be much more loose with a schedule of posting. I always felt a lot of pressure when I had a rigid schedule. God has really been speaking about peace and freedom and following the Spirit's lead lately, so I'm going to do that. You may get three poems in one week and none the next. I will do my best to never go two weeks without posting unless something is seriously wrong.

To peak your interest, here are some titles coming your way soon:
  • Crisscrossed
  • Encounter
  • Cloudy
  • Expectant
  • Witness
I pray that you all have a blessed Easter, and every day beyond. He is risen!

---

And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”

- Luke 24:4-7 (NKJV)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Welcome back!

So ... I've been away for a while. A long while actually.

This winter has been trying for me. I felt alone in many ways as the days grew shorter and nights drug on forever. In essence, my life entered winter about the same time the world did. Inspiration, and joy, left me. I would sit down to write and nothing came. Blank paper stared back at me.

Our church, along with about 17 others, entered a time of seeking the Lord for three weeks from January 25th to February 14th called the Divine Experiment. A time to turn off the world's influence and chase God. Great time to write, right?

Still nothing. No poetry anyway. I found the love of God and was invaded by the Spirit during that time (and no I am NOT complaining) but poetic words still escaped me. I thought about it off and on, and had somewhat resigned myself to the fact that He'd moved me on from this ministry.

But ... spring is here. And as I looked outside today, inspiration struck. The sunshine seemed to infiltrate me and stir something in me that had stayed dormant with all the cold and snow around.

So expect to see more of me these days. It might be a slow restart, but it will be a restart. God bless you all.