The Flashlight

This is going to be a quick post, but I just wanted to share a poem that was inspired by a discussion I had with the peeps from my Bible study the other night. Let me know what you think!

The Flashlight

The Lord is shining a light on my path;

there was only darkness before

so I beam as I can finally see the rocky crevices

appear around my feet.

***

“This way,” He gently whispers

as the beam moves along the path.

I step carefully to avoid the cracks

so I can keep my balance.

***

All of a sudden, the path slopes downward

to a dangling precipice.

“But Lord, I-“

“Just trust me,” He answers.

***

“I can’t- I can’t do it,”

so panicking, I pull out my flashlight,

and pop in the AAA batteries.

“I think I know a better way,” I say

so I traipse out of the light

through the brush and bramble,

letting the narrow flashlight beams

spill out.

I’m going so much faster this way,

going everywhere I like,

whenever I like.

But as I’m running about,

brushes begin to snag

and branches begin to grab.

The flashlight beam is dimming.

“Darn batteries,” I say,

and shake the device. It goes out.

Completely out.

Now I’m all alone,

in the middle of the woods.

Completely alone.

***

“God, I was wrong. I was so wrong.

I wouldn’t blame you, for wanting to leave me

alone.

I’m sorry for all I’ve done,

but if you’re God,

and if you’re loving,

please save me.

Please.”

At that moment, my path lights up

and I can see the rocks and crevices again.

***

“It’s ok, I’m here now.”

I grin, then throw my flashlight to the ground.

I won’t need that anymore.

But I hesitate as the Lord’s light moves along the path

and I look again at the device.

“Go ahead,” God says. “Pick it up.

You might need it later.”

I bend down to pick up the flashlight

for when I’ll use it once again.

***

God knows when we’ll stray away from him and his will, but he let’s us do so, because he loves us. He didn’t create us to be robots, but instead gave us free will to do what we want. He wants us to come back to him, and gently asks us to follow him, but he doesn’t force us to.

That’s what makes him so loving.

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A Singed Revival

Hey Guys!!!

You don’t think I would’ve left you guys off with just a depressing poem did you? DID YOU??? Well, the best part of the Easter weekend includes the fact that Jesus is risen. WOOHOOO!!! So this here’s a poem continued off from the main story line.

And this time, I came up with a title. Yeahhh man.

A Singed Revival

It’s now Sunday.

A few days have passed

Since I was here Friday.

*** (again, this is the spacing b/w the stanzas)

I walk through the woods,

Against the wind blast

I pull up my hood.

***

Shame is washing over me

Drowning me, yet holding me fast

I wonder if I’ll ever be free

***

I come to the stake on the mound

Though it seems like centuries have passed

Since he was mercilessly bound

***

I turn away, I can’t stay a second more

Until all of a sudden, as I look with a gasp,

A figure rises out from the ashen floor.

***

The ashes crumble off as the figure stands up

I stand there frozen, utterly aghast

And become as meek as a shivering pup

***

“Why are you afraid?”

The ashen-clothed figure asks

“Don’t you know me? Have you not prayed?”

***

“But-” I helplessly stammer, “you perished,

I saw the flames devour even the grass

And then everyone fled, including your parish.”

***

The being smiles, then shows me his arms,

Just singes, but a stark contrast

Against his incandescent arms, and rope burns

***

“Come,” he gestures past the collapsed forest

And we walk, at last,

To join in the heavenly chorus.

***

The main point that we can take away from Jesus’ revival story is that He’s not only alive, but also risen with nail-scarred hands, making him even more holy and blameless to us. He arose, scarred, but arose just the same. He could have gone around to save us an easier way, or could have decided, “Nah, I don’t really like them that much anyway,” and zapped us right then and there.

But he didn’t. He chose to come down to our world, saved us by dying on the cross, and then returned to heaven with nail-scarred hands because he loves us.

His hands are still scarred to this day.

A poem for Good Friday

I was thinking of attending a Good Friday Service this morning, but I didn’t because

a) They’re always so early. I’ve gone to them before as a part of my high school choir years ago, and we always had to go early. Although I suppose the service might be around the usual time that services are on Sunday morning. Still. When you think you have off from school, and you have to wake up early for a school choir, it counts as really early. So today, I needed some more beauty sleep (because some people actually have to work for it, you know).

and

b) I didn’t feel like it. I’m just lazy sometimes.

As my act of worship today, I decided to write a poem. And yes, this was written in the spirit of laziness, but who knew what fruit could arrive from laziness!

So without any further ado, here is my poem. And since it’s Good Friday, it’s a bit somber, so get ready.

Good Friday Poem (I haven’t really thought of any real titles yet, so if you have some ideas, let me know!)

It’s a Friday. I had just finished up for the day,

And decided to take a walk through the woods.

It had been a rainy day,

And being stuck in the office made it much worse.

Over my head, I pull up my hood.

*** (This is how I’m marking the stanzas, because wordpress refuses to let me space it like a poem)

As I walk through the trees that huddle together

I notice along the winding trail

A few other people, huddled against the weather,

And hooded as well, as if following a hearse

With their dark, narrow faces. But none of them wail.

***

“Hello,” I say, walking closer to them

“Hi Christian,” they say, to me. They know my name,

But I don’t know them.

They don’t look familiar to me, but cursed.

As if they were always living in shame.

***

I come to another group, less depressing than the first

And say hi to them as well.

They’re jolly, and making jokes, but burst

Into laughter when I tell them my name, they seemed averse

To getting to know me, and say, “Go to hell!”

***

Quickly, I pass by that group

I want none of that interaction

So I come to another, a troupe

Of thieves, stealing money from each other’s purse

And making faulty transactions.

***

Without saying hello, I pass by them too

And see, at the turn of the road

Thousands and thousands of other groups that grew

As they traversed,

Until all of a sudden, we slowed.

***

Ahead was a clearing in the trees,

Where a stake was nailed to the ground

A man was there, on his knees.

“Let’s beat him, first!”

Said one from the crowd, as we approached the mound.

***

And so we did. We beat him

With clubs and sticks that we brought

With us. His face was grim,

But even though he wasn’t coerced

To remain there, he never fought.

***

“Let’s tie him to the stake!” We said,

And so we did. We brought the ropes

From behind our backs while he bled,

And tied him to the stake as if it were rehearsed,

Then walked back down the slope.

***

Someone struck a match,

And held it aloft

As a signal. A batch

Of others lit up their matches, a verse

Of ultimate unity and scoff.

***

“Throw it,” someone sneered.

“Someone throw a match in.”

I paused at first, then volunteered,

Throwing in my match, and watched the others intersperse

Their matches onto the dying violin.

***

The wood ignited, surrounding the pole

With a deafening roar.

The figure on the stake just knelt on the coals,

And made not a cry, but instead did the reverse

And remained silent in the war.

***

Hours went by, and I watched this form

As he kneeled, beaten, in the ashes.

“Extinguish the flame,” I thought, when a storm

Was about to begin. He seemed to converse

With an invisible entity amidst the flashes.

***

A tear dropped to my cheek- or was it a raindrop?-

He looked up at me, and shook his head. “Why?”

“Because I love you,” I heard in my mind. Everything stopped,

But suddenly a lightning rod struck the stake, extinguishing the flames. Everyone dispersed

Except for me. Tears dripped from my eyes.

***

The figure slumped, the trees within the forest collapsed,

And the lightning continued to strike out at all of the trees,

Angry for the crime that was committed by the apostles.

What did I just do? I feel much worse

Than before the day began. I am not at ease.

After reading this, I want you to take some time to think on what Good Friday is all about. Think of how on this day, thousands of years ago, Jesus was crucified on Calvary for our sins. Every single one of our sins nailed him to the cross, and each one of us is as guilty as the next.

Not one of us is guiltless

Not one of us is saved

Without the power and sanctity of the beloved cross.

And while you think about how much we have all sinned and how much we will ever sin, think about how Jesus had a choice. He could have gone if he wanted to, but he remained.

Why?

Because he loves us. And that’s all we really need to know.

Cockroaches, Grasshoppers and Dinosaur Fossils

Hey guys.

So tonight is going to be a little different, because instead of writing about everything ridiculous like I usually do, I’m going to write about something that really matters.

Tonight, I’m going to be talking about something that I’ve just been thinking about, and I want to confess a major sin issue that’s been slowly ruining my life.

Pride.

It’s taken several months and readings to discover this flaw, and I finally discovered it in one journal session that I had with God just now. The fact that it took that long to acknowledge the issue proves the existence of the sin even further.

Pride. It brought Satan to his doom, and it’s bringing me to mine. And do you want to know why? Because pride undermines God’s authority. The phrase “pride comes before the fall” is sometimes thrown flippantly into casual conversation, but it’s anything but a casual topic.

In fact, it’s the root of where all sin began. Satan was proud when he wanted to undermine God, so he was tossed out of Heaven. Adam and Eve were proud when they wanted to know as much as God, so they were thrown out of the Garden of Eden.

And now I am questioning and challenging God in the same way just because I want to know the same things that God does. I want things my own way, and tell God that I know what’s best for me.

But do I know anything? No. I know nothing. I don’t even know anything as pointless as what I’m going to wear tomorrow (that’s not that important, but still. It’s nice to know sometimes), let alone what my future looks like.

Isaiah 40:22 refers to the people of God as grasshoppers on earth, but tonight, I realized that I am not even a grasshopper, but a cockroach. I don’t make sweet music, and I don’t jump jubilantly about, sharing music with the other grasshoppers.

Instead, I’m a pest. I wriggle around on the floor, groaning and moaning about things that don’t matter, and I go back to God with ideas on what I want my life to look like. I would squash me under a boot.

In fact, I think that when it comes down to it, that we are all cockroaches in some way. We want our own way and we want to continue living our own lives, separate from God so we can indulge ourselves in the pleasures abundant on Earth.

If we continue on like this however, we will be separated from God. We will get that separation that we claimed we wanted.

But God isn’t about to squash us under his foot without giving us a chance for redemption. Instead, he takes each of us cockroaches and breathes new life into us. He transforms us into grasshoppers, even while we were miserable, squirmy cockroaches.

But only if we let him.

So today, I would invite you all to look into your life and see where you have sinned. Abandon your cell phones and close up your computers, and spend some time in prayer, asking God to unearth the sin issues in your life. You might be surprised by how many dinosaur fossils you find.

And if you find after looking into your life that you are without sin, look again. Chances are, pride is going to be one of the main ones. Only a prideful person would look at himself and say that he or she hasn’t sinned against God, because let’s face it: we’ve all sinned and taken the fall, and we’ll sin again, and take another fall, just because we’re human

Just remember that whenever you’re performing the excavation, that God loves you no matter how many decomposing bones you find. And the important thing is to understand that, and accept his forgiveness once you ask for it.

Because he will forgive, just as he always does.

Back from off of the earth’s face

Oh heeyyyy guyssss!!!

It’s been a ridiculously long time since my last post, and I was just thinking about how much I have missed you, mah friends!!

So now that I’m back, and trying to start writing again (hopefully at least once a week, if not more), I have a few updates to share with you all!

One very important one is…. I HAVE A JOB!!! Even though it’s with my old high school in a field I didn’t pursue in college, I have a job!

And I know I should’ve posted this weeks ago, I know. But I’ve had special needs assistant position for about three weeks now, and being a working woman and all has had me very busy. Never in my life has the phrase, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him/her drink” been so applicable. But I’m trying to make the most of it by creating large amounts of visuals for my student as he’s autistic, and works better that way.

I’ve also taken to committing to as many different things as possible in order to drive myself insane. Who knew that there could be a limit as to how many things they could volunteer for! So as of now, I’m busy doing at least something every day besides working, whether it’s arranging books at the library, or mucking out stalls and feeding sheep. Going from almost nothing to everything at once can be a bit ridiculous.

Speaking of being a bit ridiculous, I’ve taken to quite a few writing projects, which have all turned out to be, just a little bit ridiculous. While I still have my novel editing in the background, I also had a project where I wrote an assortment of poems for a food-related contest, because, well, what else is there that’s worth writing about?

I would share them on here, but I’ll keep you all in suspense. What I’ll say about them is: one is all about doughnuts, one is about apples, and another is about chocolate.

You can see where my priorities lie: with the fruits and the sweets.

So besides working, driving myself insane and writing bad poetry, nothing else has been new with me. Oh, except for one little teeny tidbit of an exciting detail…

I may be going on a mission’s trip to Portugal this summer!! I would be working as an intern, meeting and serving the pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago, or Saint James’ Way, and walking it myself for about a week! I’m just about to start the application process, so yeah, I’m pretty excited about that, because God has lead me this way 🙂

So that’s pretty much all I have left to say before my brain becomes the subject of another poem. If I were to write said poem, it would probably go something like this:

My brain says

the porridge this morning tastes different,

just like watered wheat, with water and wheat.

And wheaty water,

and only that-

I should sleep more. Both food and brain

are in my bowl in front of me.

They taste terrible.

There you have it. If you eat your brain and porridge for your morning breakfast, this is probably the only sense you will make.

So, to officially end this rambling post, here are some more pictures of my puppy!!

Sadie decided to go Celtic for the day, so we got to capture that on camera.

Sadie decided to go Celtic for the day, and we had the rare opportunity to capture that on camera.

She really worked that angle.

She really worked that angle.

So then my sister and I got to pose with the model!

So then my sister and I got to pose with the model!

We're hoping to get her autograph before she gets another modeling gig.

We’re hoping to get her autograph before she gets another modeling gig.

If that didn’t thrill you, here’s a picture of a laughing goat.

"Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha"

“Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha” says the goat.

Yup. He’s laughing at you. Not just at me, but also at you.

But don’t take it too personally. He laughs at everybody.

Thus ends the chronicle of the terrifically terrible blog post. Goodnight world. May you dream Celtic puppies and laughing goats.

Reflections on Resolutions and Resolutions of Reflections

I thought I’d try something a little different tonight. I got all the weird randomness out last night, and believe me, it was waiting to be released. A month or so of my thoughts being pent up in my mind is enough reason for one’s mind to explode.

I’m going to be a little more serious. And I know what you’re thinking: You? Serious?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That would never happen!! Only on the day that pigs fly! Wait, what is that outside my window? Is that a-

Yes. It’s a pig, flying outside your window. But let’s get down to business (and no, not to defeat the Huns).

I mentioned last night that I was hoping to talk about my New Year’s resolutions for 2015. I am used to following the tradition of NOT making a New Year’s Resolution because that’s what everybody else tries to do every year, and fails. And I don’t like to do things just because everybody else does them. You might even say that I’m a nonconformist, hipster even. But we’ll go into that discussion at a later point.

Nevertheless, I decided to concoct a few resolutions, because, why not? Maybe mine will last longer than just one month. Though I have so many, I might forget that I actually made them. So here they are in written, numerical form (as opposed to hieroglyphic form):

1) Get a life.

2) Get a job.

3) Get a grip.

And ablie-ablie-ablie that’s all folks!!

Seriously though, here they are. They’re pretty much extensions of those three though, if you think about it.

1) Finishing things

– I’d like to finish a whole lot of things. I’m paused in the middle or have started several classics that I just haven’t gotten around to. I’d like to change that, starting with Sense and Sensibilty, which I’m proud to say I’m a quarter of the way through. It’s currently the only book I am reading, which is really saying something. This resolution then means that I’ll have to severely limit myself when I’m at the library to checking out only one or maybe even two books at a time. It’s going to be really tough.

– I’d like to finish several stories that I’ve started writing, beginning with my recent NaNoWriMo contribution, which might even go towards publication someday.

– finishing things also would mean finally finishing that Giver book review that I’ve promised. Eventually. Maybe.

(I didn’t say there was a specific time limit on finishing these things. If it comes to the end of the year and I still haven’t written that review, please get back to me on December 31st and get on my case. I will lock myself in a closet to finish it then.)

2) Getting a job

– pretty self-explanatory, but this will involve a lot of self-examination and prayer. And possibly traveling to new places, if it’s God’s will.

3) Becoming a better friend

– this means being more honest and open with the friends I already have and with new friends that I’m making. This too will be challenging, since I’m not very good at it, but I’m gonna try.

– this also means spending more time in the word and prayer. I know it’s cheesy, cause Jesus is ma friend and all- I mean, yah, I just finished snapchatting him a picture of me blogging about him.

J.k. He doesn’t have snapchat, let alone an iPhone, but if He did, He’d have all the best expressions, because comon. He’s Jesus, the freakin’ Son of God.

Anyways, this is getting a little weird, so let me take it down a notch.

Tonight, I watched a live streaming of the Passion 2015 conference in Georgia. Francis Chan, author of books like Crazy Love and Forgotten God was speaking. We looked into Exodus 19 when Moses goes up the mountain to speak with God, who descended to the mountain in a dense cloud. The Israelites were gathered around the mountain, hearing God talk to Moses amidst the thunder, lightning and loud trumpet blasts. They were too busy being near to the presence of God to think about checking their Facebook statuses or playing Bible Trivia Crack.

We have the same opportunity–even better, actually, because we can enter into his presence at any time we like– to talk with that same God who’s still that great and always present. And yet we only squeeze him into our five minute time slot in the morning, or at night when we’re falling asleep.

But the thing is, God cannot be squeezed into tight spaces. Following God is a commitment that can take a lot of time and energy. But I can tell you from personal experience that it’s worth that commitment, and time doesn’t really matter. I notice a definite change in my life when I am committing to being in his presence daily, and it’s a beautiful change.

Now I come to the end of my post, and I hope my random ramblings have helped you in some way, even if it was extremely difficult to be serious the whole time. I’m sure you could tell.

And here, I encourage you, in the spirit of making New Year’s Resolutions when people make commitments, to join me in committing to following God whole-heartedly. Because the half-hearted thing isn’t a good look.

So with that, I make my exodus (hopefully not like the Israelites). A good night to you all, and to you all a good night.

Robin Williams and robin’ fingers

Goooooooood morning Vietnam!! (And now, please say you’ve seen “Good Morning Vietnam,” otherwise this subtle reference was completely wasted on the wrong people.)

Hellooooooooo!!!! (Now think of the scene from Mrs. Doubtfire when Robin Williams smooshes (smoshes? Smushes? Smoushes??! Ah. Smuuuushes) his face into a cake because he had just lost his face mask, and was trying to keep the whole masquerade going. Don’t ask me why, I’m feeling in the Robin Williams mode, just go with it. R.I.P. to the one who went robin our hearts.)

Anyways, hello my friends!! I have missed you so much, as I am now just climbing up from the earth’s face from where I had fallen. And the reason I call you my friends is because I know you care so much, and because I feel like I can begin any conversation as if we were already in conversation, if you know what I mean. I’m sure you do.

Anyway, the reason that I haven’t posted for so long is because of this ‘lil cutie. I mean, who turn away from that face to write ridiculous self-consumed junk?

(Now here is where I insert the picture of our new adorable golden retriever, but I’m going to pause for effect… or affect? Ah… aeaeaffect. “Now that’s better!”- [insert here little cheesy song jingle… what’s that from again? Ahh just thought of it as I’m proofreading this. Wendy’s. Stupid commercials…]).

(Pausing…..)

(Still paused….)

(Haven’t pushed play yet….)

(“Play the movie!!” “Yah, play!!”)

(Ok, I will, I guess. Once again, if you’re a movie guru, and listen to the DVD title menu music for hours on end because you can can can, such as the movie, oh say Shrek, you would know exactly what I’m talking about).

(Ok, and play).

Sadie First Day

This was her first day home. Isn’t she just the cutest thing?

Sadie First Bath

This is a picture of her after her first bath. Just look at the little fluffernutter!!! Look at her, gosh darnit!!!!!

So yeah. It’s pretty much impossible to steal myself away from her, because she’s too busy stealing my heart. Or my shoes. Or my fingers.

Anyway, I thought it was about time that I wrote something, not to mention something during the odd hours of the night when most people are dreaming sweet dreams of sugarplums and Kanye West spoofs. And something that made absolutely no sense. This is what you have been missing. My mind has been unleashed, like a “puppy on the run” (another jingle, but one from our family fam fam)- which, when unleashed in the house, she does run.

So here I am, writing something. I had a whole amount of things I was going to talk about, like New Years Resolutions, and all of these witty things, but phew, look at them!! They just shot off like a rocket through my window! And broke the glass too. Rude.

So I think I might save that for another time, because, that’s what I do. Plus it’s getting close to 4 am, and my cuckoo clock is bound to go off any second.

…just kidding about that clock. I have ten more minutes until it goes off, so I should be fine.

Anyway, I’m still gonna go. I’ve drinken (drunken, dranken? Drinken? Bah, I give up. Though if you were a sheep, you’d say ba-a-a-a-a I give up. But you’re not, because sheep can’t read, and you can. Though I don’t think they’d be dumb enough to continue reading this, they’d say it’s so ba-a-a-a-ad that they have to stop. You should stop reading it too. And I should stop writing. [and this is when the blog writer instantly feels guilty for calling her readers stupid, and where she decides to quit writing for the night, and call it a night, or morning, or day, depending on which time zone you’re in])…

I decided not to even continue that sentence because it was getting too long, if you know what I mean… (now get your head out of that gutter!! You filthy, filthy minds!!! [and once again, the blog writer instantly feels guilty for assuming that the readers’ minds are filthy, and decides to stick to poetry from now on: mainly haikus, with this type of format:

Here is a haiku

I wish that it could rhyme some

I should stick to prose

And here the blog writer decides to agree with the haiku, and continue writing prose and making weird jokes.])

If you’ve stayed with me for this long, I admire your endurance. I will spare you finally, by ending here with an inspirational message: don’t write poems, unless you really can.

And that concludes our show of “What’s going on at 3 am in Jen’s Brain”! Thanks for sticking around, we’ll see you next week! Coming right up, “the cuckoo clock that didn’t go off, because the sound wasn’t turned on to begin with!” Right after the break.

This is why I don’t have a life. Thank you, television.